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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I have cruised before, but my wife had not, and she was looking for "an over the top" experience". So I began searching for big ships doing the Mediterranean in November. MSC had a lot of ships and the Meraviglia is one ... Read More
I have cruised before, but my wife had not, and she was looking for "an over the top" experience". So I began searching for big ships doing the Mediterranean in November. MSC had a lot of ships and the Meraviglia is one of the top 10 largest ships afloat, very new, and the video was amazing. The reviews however, were anything but amazing. Like lukewarm and even negative reviews about our favorite restaurants, I have learned that most negative reviews are more about missed/too lofty expectations than reality. The biggest gripes about the Meraviglia seemed to be food and staff. Since the boat is so high tech and wondrously equipped, no one really complained about the ship. Sure enough, even our tablemates as well as others on board echoed the Cruise Critic complaints. They ranged from now having butter and iced tea (both free, readily available) to non English speaking staff who were "unfriendly". If your attitude is "I am the guest and I expect to be served", you will be disappointed. If you engage the staff with your own smile and understand they work 11 hours a day, even my first time cruising wife was amazed at how every waiter and staff person smiled back.....even when they had to say "no" (like when we were late for dinner and the gatekeeping waiter apologized saying he was not allowed to let anyone in past 7:45, so I asked him to ask for his captain, which he did, and of course, the captain, his boss, let us in). MSC offers the lowest prices afloat for the most interesting itineraries and the newest boats.....but unless you are traveling Yacht Club, you just cant expect white glove service--but you can expect politeness and cleanliness and entertainment and "service". And we got all of this and more. Dinner. We only ate at the standard Waves Restaurant. Three sittings, We were the second. The appetizers and desserts were great, the entrees, though varied were not as good and need improvement. Not to worry though because the astonishing buffet, open 20 hours a day, had stupendous selections of excellent food from simple salads, to homemade pizza, Halal and ethnic specialties, rotisserie *the roast veal carved to order was smashing), plus an on board mozzarella factory (you could see it being made) that ensured great caprese salads and more. And they changed the offerings every day! Housekeeping. In a word, perfect. No goofy doorknob hangers telling staff to clean up the room. Just press a button. Spotless. The Room. We opted for an admidships deck 12 interior cabin because my wife was worried about seasickness. The cabin was huge, with a queen plus bed, great pillows, lighting, etc And the bathroom has the best shower afloat in my experience with infinite hot water! And a blow dryer!. Staff. What a great group of waiters and support staff rom Central America to Ukraine and Africa. Just knocked themselves out to please! It surely helped that we engaged them instead of treating them like servants. Prices: For 5Euros we got any two items delivered free to our room. Drinks were 6Euros. The best ice cream and chocolate (made on the boat) were $1-3Euros. The coffee, water, tea, ice tea, etc. were all free at the buffet. So no complaints about the "extras" The experience: 32 elevators, four pools, an arcade full of shops, sky bars, full size basketball court, full size bowling alleys and a water slide that went OVER the edge of the ship, outstanding singing and dancing "Broadway" type shows and Swarovski glass staircases made onboard life hugely satisfying. The guests. Where were all the seniors? This was the first cruise I have ever been on where there were so many families, disabled people, young honeymooners, babies, kids, etc. from so many different countries. A true multi-cultural experience. Our table mates were from the Dominican Republic (an MD and his wife), honeymooners from Colombia, and a couple from Florida. A great itinerary and all of the above for $1300 for 7 nights? Yup, and we cant wait to go again! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Embarkation in Genoa started off as a nightmare. It was disorganised, none of the staff knew where we had to go and the signage was very confusing. No sign of the Yacht Club tent until we finally got directions from a staff member who ... Read More
Embarkation in Genoa started off as a nightmare. It was disorganised, none of the staff knew where we had to go and the signage was very confusing. No sign of the Yacht Club tent until we finally got directions from a staff member who actually knew where the Yacht Club check in was. With suitcases, this was very stressful not helped by the fact that 2 ships were in at the same time. Our new butler, Maksim, was amazing. He was there if you needed him but left you alone if you didnt want anything. He was friendly and professional and always had time for a chat. Butlers tend to provide room service but they also serve in the Top Sail lounge and the One Pool Deck this gives a continuity of service as they know how you like drinks, etc. There are 3 places in the Yacht Club where you could get food (apart from room service) the One Pool Deck, the Top Sail lounge and the restaurant. You could also book in to one of the speciality restaurants although we didnt do this as the food was so good in the Yacht Club. Main buffet: We ate in the main buffet twice and we had no problem getting a seat. The button on each table to ask for drinks was a really nice touch and the service was quick and friendly. Food here was nice although there were some strange combinations of food which made it difficult to have a complete meal. However, you could get burgers, hot dogs and pizza here. Yacht Club One Pool Deck: Here you could have casual breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks. We had roast beef, chicken parmigiana and salmon amongst others and the food was generally good but was sometimes a bit lukewarm. This place is great if the weather was good but you couldnt eat up here if it was cold. You also had a full range of drinks including some very nice wines such as Chablis and Pinot Grigio. Top Sail lounge: There was a small buffet of cold snacks such as sandwiches, cakes and nuts. You could also get sushi here and they had canapes before dinner. You could also take high tea here between 4-5pm where you had a 3 tier cake and sandwich stand with a selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones with jam and real clotted cream. If you wanted any other sandwiches, you only needed to ask and they would get you some. They also had a selection of loose leaf teas which were served from the trolley. A very civilised experience. Yacht Club Restaurant: This was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The first night was really good and Ajay was efficient. However, the second night started out as a disaster, so much so that we tried to walk out. It took an age for the menus to arrive, we didnt get any drinks and the waiter couldnt understand what we wanted. When we walked out, we were stopped by the Restaurant Supervisor Massimo who was very concerned and persuaded us to stay. He seated us in another section of the restaurant and our new waiter, Miljan, was amazing. He served us for the rest of our cruise and we didnt want for anything. He got to know what wines we liked and recommended some new ones which were good to try. He also tailored the dishes and had a really good sense of humour. He knew how to tailor the service based on our personality and attitude. We never had an issue getting a table bar one night (tables were available but not in Miljans section) so we were asked to go to the Top Sail lounge and Massimo came to collect us as soon as a table was ready. He generally got us the same table every night which was nice. Joyce, the Assistant Waiter, was also really good remembering that we liked still water and what type of bread we generally like. Miljan and Massimo really made our cruise special and we were quite emotional when we left the last night. Massimo also organised an anniversary meal for us with a specially cooked dish and a bottle of champagne. The entertainment on board ranged from dire to quite good. It seemed that MSC has spent all the money on Cirque du Soleil on board and not had much left for the other entertainment. We did not go to see Cirque du Soleil as it is not our cup of tea but there were spaces available every night for the shows for both the meal and drink options. Highlights: Yacht Club and the Meraviglia itself is amazing Always loungers available even on the main decks (never busy on the One Deck even on sea days) Service was impeccable Food was of a very good standard with some great wines recommended The butler service was amazing including getting on and off the ship The button on the buffet tables to get a drink worked really well Concierge and room service were excellent Loved the pillow menu. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The only good thing about this experience was the ship,the food is horrible, they nickel and dime you Cabin is extremely small. Not enough space for storage even just two persons. Our friend with four family members had a same size cabin. ... Read More
The only good thing about this experience was the ship,the food is horrible, they nickel and dime you Cabin is extremely small. Not enough space for storage even just two persons. Our friend with four family members had a same size cabin. Keep in mind, the crew ration of this new ship is 3.8-3.9. While the other cruise lines keeps crew ration around 2.8-3.0. , room was small could not fit cloths for 2 people everything they make small ,food was less ,and this was my second with msc ,i was very disapoted ,well next year for sure will go with a different 1 from msc ,While they provide a new my MSC smart phone app for most of the information for on-boarder, the front desk always have long line even during the night around 11 pm or midnight. Reason for that is the there are so many issues passengers encountered. Read Less
MSC Meraviglia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 2.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.3
Public Rooms 5.0 3.6
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 5.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 2.9
Service 4.0 3.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.1

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