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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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
My my embarkation port was Barcelona, where we spent three days at portaventura hotel. I advice. Then we embarked. I.went with my husband, my five years kid and thirteen years kid. I can only say it was a great decision we took. ... Read More
My my embarkation port was Barcelona, where we spent three days at portaventura hotel. I advice. Then we embarked. I.went with my husband, my five years kid and thirteen years kid. I can only say it was a great decision we took. Beautiful and clean ship. Aurea balcony cabin is an excellent deal. Lots of adults' and kids' entertainment. Very nice excursions, delicious and various food, friendly staff, lovely ambience. Fits to families with kids, to honeymooners, singles, teenagers, babies, kids..... With aurea cabin u get a priority pass so u get a smooth and fast embarking. As well yyou get unlimited Drinks and smoothies. Free massage for me and my husband. Access to a wonderful restaurant with different menu each day. As fit the excursions. There are plenty of variety. Historical, beach, familial, adventurous... you may choose the excursion you want. In brief it was a "sans faute" trip Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I travelled with my husband and two sons aged 8 and 16. In short, we all loved it! There was literally something for everyone. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and painless at the beginning, end and during ports of call. ... Read More
I travelled with my husband and two sons aged 8 and 16. In short, we all loved it! There was literally something for everyone. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and painless at the beginning, end and during ports of call. There were no lengthy queues. The ship is spectacular. It is beautifully appointed and spotlessly clean in all areas. There are several pools, hot tubs and sunbathing areas. We never failed to get a sunbed and we don't subscribe to the 'laying your towels out early' school of thought. Even on the day at sea, which was busier than normal, there were no problems with capacity. The cabin was an interior with a double bed and two over bed bunks. It was lovely, plenty of storage and well appointed. The only small criticism I could make that it was a bit dark. However, the bathroom was lovely and bright for shaving, make up etc. The food was excellent. In the formal dining rooms (you don't have to dress up or even wear long trousers if you don't want to) the food is quite special and my husband and I enjoyed trying new things. My 16 year old son preferred the buffet restaurant with his friends. It is also excellent. We really enjoyed lunch there every day and breakfast was great too. There is also an abundance of food available from pool bars etc almost all day so we never went hungry. We pre purchased the basic drinks package and it was fantastic value. Almost all drinks are included (inc cocktails, ice cream, milkshakes) and we definitely got our money's worth. The children's wrist bands are a good touch - he could use it to sign in and out of the kids' club and buy drinks and ice cream. The kids' club was fabulous - he was keen to go a lot! It is open from 9am-11pm and you don't need to book. If they are there over meal times, they are taken to the restaurant and you can actually leave the ship on a long excursion and leave them there! The shows were generally very good. We really enjoyed Cirque du Soleil which is a small extra charge and the show Paz was also a favourite. My 16 year old son spent his days with friends he met at the teen club and playing football or in the pools or waterpark. We didn't see him for a week! The waterpark and slides are great fun with the only downside being the fact that the water is salt water. My younger son didn't quite get to grips with closing his mouth and swallowed quite a bit! It also stings your eyes so goggles are an idea if sensitive. The high ropes adventure is free and was very good, although there were queues sometimes. The service was, without exception, fantastic. I would not have dreamed of removing the gratuities from the bill as the staff seemed to genuinely care about the guests and were friendly and attentive. We got off at Naples and did the child friendly tour of Pompeii which was cheaper and shorter than the regular one and I would recommend it. We also particularly enjoyed Malta where we did a horse and carriage ride. The evening entertainment was wonderful with live music and dancing everywhere you went. Staff were very good at getting people involved. The white party is not to be missed. Parties on the promenade (the dome ceiling is awesome) are also a must! We all loved it and would most certainly go again. I have no complaints about the ship, service or MSC and cannot understand some of the previous comments. If you have booked this cruise then, lucky you! Enjoy! 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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