1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. MSC Cruises
  4. MSC Meraviglia Review
  5. MSC Meraviglia Cruise Reviews

36 New York (Manhattan) MSC Cruises MSC Meraviglia Cruise Reviews

This ship is beautiful and the shows were outstanding but cold food and lack of hygiene and sanitation made it undesirable. There are no hand sanitizers at all entries to the buffet. It was not until the ship became a cough fest did MSC ... Read More
This ship is beautiful and the shows were outstanding but cold food and lack of hygiene and sanitation made it undesirable. There are no hand sanitizers at all entries to the buffet. It was not until the ship became a cough fest did MSC stand a crew member to spray hands and this was only at the one entrance with sanitizers in place. MSC allowed guests to refill water bothles bu putging the used botgle right up into the water nozzle on thewater machine this also occurred on the pumps of coffee creamers. People reused glasses to get beverages also. MSC failed to changed serving utensils when they replenished the food. Not only is this disgusting it can contribute to illness and food poisoning as well. All utensils were used the duration of the food service. People also urinated in showers and pools as we seen one gentlemen pull his trunks outwards to rinse of his private area. Many people but no water on floors leading into bathrooms and it wasnt bc MSC squeegeed the floors nonstop. The ladies bathroom by the buffet had no soap or water for a few days but remained open. On many occasions the guests onboard failed to wash after using the restroom even in working facilities. Seating is very minimal in many music venues so if you want to listen to it be prepared to stand. I have cruised NCL Carnival Holland America and Disney snd the careless concern for spreading of illness would more than make me think twice about booking again. I want all health and sanitation to be top notch not simply the facade Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The price leaving NYC 13 day cruise was great we even got a balcony , the balcony was tight for luggage space, ,embarking from NY was smooth , disembarking was havoc , The main dining food was not that good ,they push specialities ... Read More
The price leaving NYC 13 day cruise was great we even got a balcony , the balcony was tight for luggage space, ,embarking from NY was smooth , disembarking was havoc , The main dining food was not that good ,they push specialities dinning ,thecrew was inexperienced and very new to working on a ship,but very eager to please, and we took care of our waiter, assistant waiter and steward with cash gratuities, most ships allow you to go down to guest services and get envelopes to give cash ,do not allow the cruise line to decide who gets your tips, its there job to pay for higher earning labor ,which comes out of your purchase price. Alot of guest did get sick coughing due to (we were told)very cold air conditioning and hot weather, it plays with your lungs.Save yourself $125 to $175 from going to ships Doctor, bring a z pack or antibiotic, benadryl,inhaler albertoul de-congestion etc, just in case , If you go to one of the islands ,stop at a pharmacy and try and get cough medicine with codeine, works great on suppressing coughs. The maitre d were in main dinning room great overall I recommend this ship especially if they can keep cost low. If you have the money great spend it, but if your on a budget, this ship can be negotiated, just dont get stupid with spending on excursions, and alcohol if your looking for a beach for example in Aruba it will cost you $49 dollars on ship excursions ,were as a local bus will take you there and back for $2.50 each way,Curacao anther ex, $59 dollars tour to town , blue curacao liqueur factory, and beach, $25;to $30 neg. same tour in van with locals, for first ,timers,newbies,, who are inexperienced , go to ship excursion , By the way the ship cancelled their new island,(not ready) and we went to Jamaica instead, not my choice: but it was class act by MSC who gave every cabin $100 back and %20 off next cruise, they were not obligated to do that and are allowed to change ittertinary any time, MSC PROVED TO ME THEY ARE A Class Act Thank You Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
New York Boarding was a breeze .the shows were excellent . The meet and mingle was a highlight to meet and greet cruise critics fans. Outstanding! Staff in all areas were very friendly and helpers with our internet.ship was different ... Read More
New York Boarding was a breeze .the shows were excellent . The meet and mingle was a highlight to meet and greet cruise critics fans. Outstanding! Staff in all areas were very friendly and helpers with our internet.ship was different than our usual cruises. Enjoyed our new cabin after we had to change due to problems in our original cabin. Cruiser were friendly except that we had trouble communicate with different languages. The islands we visited were good, took a few tours with local vendors. Some of the island’s celebrate an holiday so many stores and museum s were not open and we had a lot of rain. Enjoyed the food , ice cream and the hot tubs. The ship was very clean and the bed and pillows were excellent. There always a problem getting off any cruise which is normal. We enjoyed the cruise which was the first on MSC Different but still enjoyable Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This is a new ship and it is beautiful and the price was right. Getting on the ship was pretty fast if you don't stop to take a cruise pic. First impression of inside of ship was wow very nice. We went to buffet for lunch it was just ... Read More
This is a new ship and it is beautiful and the price was right. Getting on the ship was pretty fast if you don't stop to take a cruise pic. First impression of inside of ship was wow very nice. We went to buffet for lunch it was just ok noting special like Carnival or RCCL lines what I'm use to. Made it to cabin stated where's the 3rd closet and extra storage space. There was a foul smell coming from the shower drain at times so strong I put a wet towel over the drain to keep the odor from penetrating the entire cabin, most times the smell was in the halls. MSC should make it mandatory for all employees to wear deodorant OMG the smell was pretty bad on some employees. The ship hasn't changed over to the American market it still is favoring the European market. Food: The food on the Meraviglia is just one step above the MSC Seaside and that's not good. Back in the day people went on cruises and raved about how fabulous the food was, not on these ships. People in the yacht club were complaining about the food quality. A passenger in the YC was telling me that a man ordered a t bone steak and a strip steak was server to him. It was corrected but the mistake should not have happened in the first place. The food was lukewarm, some mornings you have super hot coffee and other days it's like warm by the time you put creamer of milk in it's cold. One day I chose a small piece of steak from the children side it was so tough I couldn't even cut it with a knife. Restaurants kept running out of clean coffee cups. I noticed how much food that was left on plates. Food was not edible, to tough or to salty or just not cooked right. The specialty restaurants were a joke, they are just a small step above the buffet. NOT GOOD. I inquired 3 times if the Meraviglia had switched over to the American market and was guaranteed that it has been. NO IT HAS NOT. MSC better wake up and copy other ships that have their program together if not it will fail in the American market. Entertainment: Went to the special show on board thought this is what I've seen in Vegas not, they might as well hired some of the seniors in wheelchairs and using walkers to do the show. Show was boring and felt like a middle school production. The show was over and there wasn't an announcement saying goodnight and thank you for coming just silence for a minute then the passengers started getting up to leave. There was a group on board that had a private event in the Sky lounge it was more entertaining then all the shows on board. We had a ball with them. There should be more to do during the day other then shopping shows or trivia. Who was the cruise director? Other pass cruises I've taken the cruise director was more active and we all knew who it was. Money: MSC nickel and dime you to death, old tv shows and movies cost $8 to watch in your cabin. bowling $25 for one half hour. .All day long you are bothered by the people trying to sell you a drink package or to one of their terrible specialty restaurants. Would I recommend this cruise line to a friend no I would not, to and enemy yes I would. I'm done with MSC Cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This ship is absolutely beautiful. Everything was clean and fresh and shiny. The food was good to delicious in the MD and the buffet. In fact, the prime rib was better than we had recently at a local steak house. We enjoyed the ... Read More
This ship is absolutely beautiful. Everything was clean and fresh and shiny. The food was good to delicious in the MD and the buffet. In fact, the prime rib was better than we had recently at a local steak house. We enjoyed the Cruise Critic party. It was held in the Sky Lounge and was the largest number of guests to attend. There were drinks and snacks and we got a chance to meet the Officers. The crew we met were mostly friendly and efficient in their duties. We did see 2 occasions when guests were rude or aggressive in their behaviour towards crew. Sad but common nowadays. The itinerary was especially appealing. Most days we went to the beach and soaked up the sea and sand. Entertainment on the ship was top notch. The evening shows were Very professional. We did see Cirque show Sonar. We thought it was amazing. The theatre is attractive and interesting. A cruise is what you make of it. Your attitude will go a long way to determine your enjoyment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
About the Reviewer: I’m a 37-year-old male who sailed with his mother to celebrate her milestone birthday. This was my second MSC Cruise, my first being on the MSC Seaside in October 2018 (there’s a review for that voyage as well). ... Read More
About the Reviewer: I’m a 37-year-old male who sailed with his mother to celebrate her milestone birthday. This was my second MSC Cruise, my first being on the MSC Seaside in October 2018 (there’s a review for that voyage as well). However, this sailing I was celebrating a milestone of my own as this was my 47th cruise overall and my accomplishment was hitting a full year of my life at sea! Other cruise lines I’ve sailed on are Norwegian Cruise Line (Platinum Plus with over 25 cruises), Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises and lastly a couple of times on Carnival. My reviews are typically written in chronological order so you can follow along with when things occurred and what my thoughts on them were. At the end there’s a summary and thank you to staff who stood out. I hope you enjoy! Day 1 – Embarkation Day – New York City After the first cruise to sail from NYC had a bad embarkation, I was happy I wasn’t arriving to Manhattan until Noon on the bus I took down from Boston. Upon arrival to the pier, the porters quickly took our luggage and with a decent tip ($2 per bag), our bags were gone and down the conveyer belt in no time! We entered the terminal and encountered a fairly long security line at 12:30PM. When I had my documents out, the lady pulled me aside and told me to go into another line which was not snaked. I did so and we were at security in no time. The check in counters didn’t have any lines at all. I was taken straight away and we were on the ship by 12:45PM. It was pretty seamless! We embarked the Meraviglia from the front of the ship and walked down the indoor Promenade with the giant LED screen, the largest at sea! It was impressive, although some of the shows watching them looking straight up later in the cruise would make me get dizzy. To best view them, go to deck 7 by the spa and look the long way down the promenade. Helpful Tip: We registered our credit cards at the onboard kiosk on Deck 6 by the elevators mid-ship. There are two types of machines to register your room card with. One takes cash and credit cards, the other one takes credit cards only and is smaller. The cash machine had so many people fiddling with them, I just wanted the card machine and this was located on Deck 6 starboard side. We went to lunch at the Market Place Buffet up on Deck 15. The buffet is quite lengthy. Each side has the same type of sections. In the front on the port side is the pizza station which serves pizza pretty much ALL the time (breakfast pizzas, and a changing variety throughout the rest of the day). There’s a pasta, salad, rotisserie, sweets and wellness sections. On port and starboard side there was ethnic sections which largely consisted of Mexican / Spanish foods throughout our voyage. In the back of the buffet (most didn’t walk that far), there was a stir fry section which was really good. During the voyage, on port days, the back section of the buffet was closed. We grabbed a plate of food and sat on the outside deck overlooking the Hudson River. It was overcast but not too chilly to enjoy a lunch out there. While eating lunch, I connected to the ship’s WiFi and loaded the MSC for Me app. This app is quite handy in booking reservations for all the shows and seeing what’s on. It also has a chat functionality which you can use to stay connected to new found friends on the ship. It was the first cruise where I used the chat functionality and it worked quite well. The app also gives you guidance on where things are in the ship and how to get to them. I strongly urge you to download this prior to the voyage so you can take full advantage of what’s on offer and waste minimal time at the touch screens scattered throughout the ship. After lunch, it was announced the staterooms were ready. We proceeded to our stateroom and the luggage was already there! This was quite impressive given how short of a time it was. The rooms were ready at 2PM. Stateroom 9218: This is a Fantastica balcony stateroom. If you don’t know what Fantastica is, it’s a tier level of room you book on MSC ships where you get certain amenities – main among them is room service. This stateroom was located starboard side on the mid-ship bump out and it was the second to last room heading aft in the mid-ship bump out. MSC seems to have a standard stateroom format as the room looked exactly the same as Seaside. The closet was small and didn’t have enough hangars (we remembered and brought our own). There is two cubbies and two drawers on the right side of the closet with the safe in the middle. There’s also another cubby on the floor of the closet on the right side. The bathroom consisted of a shower with glass door, very deep sink (love the sink design on MSC) and a counter which extends down the wall for storage. There are three shelves in the bathroom. The stateroom was in physically good condition upon initial inspection. It quickly became apparent due to the ship’s configuration with the bump out, we must’ve been on the end of the vacuum line with our neighbors being the last. The toilet was very picky so you had to flush it constantly. We had to get it fixed twice during the voyage. The refrigerator was good at cooling items such as the water containers we brought. There’s a desk drawer under the counter top, it’s quite big and another helpful place to store stuff. The light to the left of the beds was constantly flickering during the voyage. I never used it but when the evening turn down was done, it would flicker. I don’t know if it was an electrical issue or what not. I did not report it. Now this part is important, when the ship was at sea and we had some rough sea conditions due to passing cold fronts, the room was constantly creaking! For a ship as new as this, I couldn’t believe the amount of noise the room made. It wasn’t anything the ship could do to fix it as it was the room itself. I still slept but when you were in the room, you could hear it with the ship’s movement. If you’re a light sleeper, book another room and probably not on the bump out. Of more important note, the room did NOT have any Kleenex / tissues. We asked for a box and were told the ship does not provide them, only to Yacht Club guests. Some guests on the previous voyage (where an illness had started to break out) were given them who were not YC guests. This would later come back to bite MSC big time. If you’re going to be an Eco Ship, why not get rid of bottled water but instead tissues? I’m still scratching my head over this one. After unpacking, we headed down to the dining room to change our dining time. We requested the early seating but when we said early – we didn’t mean 5:15PM. I don’t know why MSC doesn’t allow a person to pick slots in first, second and third order so that if you booked an experience, they could work best to accommodate you. Having fixed dining times is inherently lazy of cruise lines anyway! It’s the one thing on MSC that I do not like. The restaurant manager switched us from Waves at 5:15PM to 6PM in Panorama. Panorama is a really beautiful restaurant aft on the ship. However, what I didn’t realize is when he switched us, we went to a table share with two other couples. Thankfully they turned out to be quite lovely people when tables around us had some really odd pairings with people swapping out. This process took us over 1 hour to do so if you don’t like your dining time, change it first thing when you get on because the people pile up and you don’t want to spend your first day of holiday waiting. At 5PM as we wasted so much time getting the table and time changed, it was the compulsory emergency drill. Our muster station was in the casino (oddly it was on Seaside as well). We arrived early to get a seat for mom and waited and waited. People were not attending the drill like they were required to. Finally, it started and it was over in the blink of an eye. They only demonstrated how to put the life jacket on. The rest was found on the stateroom TVs which was clear during the voyage people did not watch (throwing cigarettes and other items overboard, smoking on the balconies, etc.). Fellow Passengers: There was truly an international mix of passengers on the ship. I became friends with people from Germany, Holland, Canada, Austria and Greece! What unsettled me was the group of people MSC used to fill the ship closer to sailing. I booked fairly last minute (8 weeks out) and thought wow, the ship is still fairly open. However, when they discounted the prices even lower around 3 weeks out, the passenger make up got really interesting both posting online beforehand and on the ship. The Cruise Director joked about it not being a Carnival ship one night in the theater, well I guess he never visited the nightclub. Those folks causing issues were the scum the low pricing MSC did brought onboard, amazingly and not shockingly… all Americans. Before you say how rude, I’m American but I do have a sense of propriety and class. I understand everyone is on holiday but save your offensive shirts, surly (perhaps drunk) comments, feeling up your fellow (perhaps drunk) cruisers for your stateroom or better yet… don’t cruise if you can’t act correctly in public. Most of the latter stuff was in the nightclub. Cruisers also didn’t seem to practice good hygiene either leading to a massive spread of a sinus and upper respiratory bug throughout the ship. Cough etiquette goes a long way. Coughing into your elbow is great way to stop the spread of germs, but most just chose to cough on everyone else. The lack of tissues made the spread of germs on all surfaces even better. Way to go MSC on that one! I will give credit to MSC for trying to make the situation right during the voyage. I truly appreciated the guest services hospitality when my concerns were addressed. It was dinner time in Panorama and the first night menu resembled a similar one to NCL with the vegetable spring rolls. I had the lamb t-bone. The spring rolls were great. The lamb t-bone was incredibly small so I asked for a second portion. Lino, our head waiter, delivered it without issue. Lino and Frederick in Panorama offered great service throughout the cruise. Frederick was very attentive and constantly filling my water glass. The food was way too salty and it just made me thirsty incessantly. Frederick would have to refill my water glass up to five times during the dinner service! FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Serge Massot We booked the 8PM showtime for the ventriloquist. I realize there’s an international audience on the ship so he would say somethings in English and I believe the other parts were Spanish. However, the little character was not really amusing and he was hitting on female passengers and calling other male passengers ugly. It was entertainment but not the kind I experienced on Seaside. I know Meraviglia had to add entertainment to the ship as they only had 7 production shows but this guy was not very entertaining overall. After the long day of traveling and getting up early, after the show I showered and relaxed. It was at this time that we discovered the room service menu’s inadequacies. I remember having room service on the Seaside and not having any issues finding something to eat. This cruise I was up in the buffet for breakfast more than I had anything from room service. Mom found items but it was challenging as she doesn’t like chocolate (and most of the menu was chocolate items) and can’t have dairy. Other entertainment going on the first night was a welcome party from the cruise staff around 10:45PM in the Promenade and the disco with the DJ after 11PM. DAY 2: At Sea The weather was still chilly outside and the seas were kicked up. Cold fronts coming off the USA East Coast would cause issues during various days of the cruise. Today was the Cruise Critic gathering and the ship did it nicely with cocktails being served at 10AM and little bites to eat. This time they let the passengers mingle a bit before they introduced the officers and presented us with a cake. It was a very nice touch and I got to make some great cruise friends along the way! It was today I discovered the Gym on Deck 16 mid-ship and wanted to do a workout since the weather wasn’t warm enough for it. The gym was packed solid and hideously small for a ship this size. Some of the cardio equipment was broken further compounding the crowded feel of the place. I went for a walk around the walking track with mom that goes around mid-ship to aft on Deck 16 to get some steps for the day. While doing the walking track, it’s single file so where possible I walked outside to the right of it to talk with mom. Runners were coming along on the other lane or just running everywhere and not staying in their lane. When you got to the aft section of the Horizon Pool where the track loops around on the Starboard side, you go right through a smoking area! How dumb!! If you’re trying to workout, why on Earth would you want to inhale smoke?! After an early lunch, I decided to go to the gym and finally found a spot to work out on the mat. I did have to work in for one of the two benches near the free weights. Very few guests were sanitizing equipment after use so I did before each usage. The side room which could be a good stretching area, was locked as it had the spin cycles in them. An aerobics room was missing on this ship since they used the basketball/soccer court for those classes. You couldn’t take a mat down there to stretch though! After a brief nap, I went to the single / solo cruisers gathering. It was there that I met two wonderful ladies at the bar who introduced me to some of the bar staff they knew from a previous voyage. All the bartenders and wait staff in the Sky Lounge were really friendly, helpful and out-going. It would become a good place for a pre-club drink or to pass time between activities. It was the first formal night of the cruise and I had the beef tournedos. The meat was cooked to order and very well presented but the sauce was way too salty. I didn’t have time for dessert as the ship had scheduled the LGBT gathering at 6:30PM in the Sky Lounge and I wanted to attend. Both the LGBT and the singles were unhosted events and unlike the Seaside – occurred every night of the cruise from night 2 onward at the Sky Lounge. Since we booked the 9:30PM show because I was unsure whether or not the LGBT gathering would run late or not, mom and I went to the Sportsplex which included the arcade, bowling, F1 simulators and the flight simulators. I purchased the Fun Pass pre-cruise for $100 for what I thought was unlimited usage of the entire complex, it turned out, it wasn’t unlimited but that’s not too much of a worry after the weather finally moderated. Of note, the bowling only had one functional lane meaning you had to arrange an appointment to use it. The 4D Cinema was intense. I played all three of the interactive movies with the skeletons in the mine one being the gentlest of them all. It’s quite an intense experience. The arcade has minimal games for a ship this size: 1 competing motorcycle game, Star Wars Game, shooting game (which didn’t seem to be working during the voyage much) and a demolition style sit down race car game. Turned out I was really good at destroying opponents in this game! The arcade would be a good place to pass time in between moments in the evening hours where entertainment gaps existed. I would highly recommend the Fun Pass at $100. The 4D Cinema is $10 per person, bowling is $25 for a half hour play, F1 was also expensive. One bad weather day and you could easily hit the $100! FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: One Day More It was the first production show of the cruise, featuring Broadway hits like Singing in the Rain, Cats, Les Miserables. The productions make extensive use of LED walls for graphics saving tons of space for props and endless costume changes back stage. The production cast tonight was great, the opera singers were more overpowering of their cohort singers in group numbers but I knew they’d both be shining stars during opera night later in the cruise! I would definitely recommend catching this show on the ship! Tonight, was the first night I went to the Attic Club disco on the ship. It was here that I discovered one of the two DJs from the Seaside was onboard (and he wasn’t the better one from Seaside – DJ Tony). At the bar in the nightclub was a younger guy with his head down sleeping, apparently passed out. Security went over to check on him and let him stay there but he put his head back down. Eventually he ordered two Red Bull and was much more awake but only caffeinated. It was a good night out but most hung outside at the Horizon Bar to smoke on the starboard side. With the crosswinds, it would waft across the deck into the non-smoking area making it impossible to get air. The Attic Club was insanely hot as the ship still had the heat on from the colder cruises. I retired shortly around 1AM. DAY 3: At Sea It’s October 30th and the ship began coming alive with Halloween decorations. The culinary team in the buffet carved pumpkins yesterday all day in the kitchen they make the fresh mozzarella in and today they setup a display of them with fake candles. The display was just as you entered the Marketplace Buffet. Also, in the Meraviglia Lounge, they had pumpkins carved on the tables there and the whole bar was even more decorated than the previous day. Actually, the whole Promenade on Deck 6 was alive with Halloween items, including some scary looking man who was later used for photos by the ship’s photography team. The weather was not cooperating so well so the Fun Pass was used to play some bowling, arcade games and 4D Cinema before heading back to rest for the afternoon. The temperature outside was finally starting to moderate a bit but the weather was still overcast with occasional rain showers. We also found a nice place to go for a walk downstairs away from the smokers. It was on Deck 7 forward and was a horseshoe from port side to starboard side through the front tunnel in the ship from one bump out section to the other. It’s by the life rafts and was a good place to go to not be in the direct sunlight as well. There are NO deck chairs on this deck, it was strictly used for walking purposes only and it’s not very well advertised. Crew do a lot of work out on this deck so parts may be shut off as well. Today, the ship delivered strawberries and prosecco to the room as part of the Diamond status Voyager’s Club welcome back gift. Prior to sailing, make sure to status match with your other cruise line’s loyalty club status. On NCL I’m Platinum Plus which makes me Diamond on MSC. Just before dinner it was announced Cirque du Soleil’s scheduled performance of Viaggio was cancelled due to the rough sea conditions. I was scheduled to attend the 9:30PM showing. It would become practically a routine to visit the scheduling guy at the Carousel Lounge to get the shows rescheduled this cruise. Why would you ever build a show lounge at the aft of a ship for a Cirque performance? The least amount of movement is mid-ship! Tonight, after switching the dining time around, the birthday cake showed up to the Panorama restaurant for mom. The first night it was delivered to the Waves Restaurant because we were scheduled to be there but the second night I left early before it could be served. It became a running joke this cruise because the travel agent also bought a cake for my mom’s birthday so there were TWO cakes floating around the ship! The section host, William, did a splendid job of tracking them all down and getting them arranged though! FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Born to Rock The second production show of the cruise with the production cast was mom’s favorite. She loves rock music and loved all the tunes. They had Tina Turner and many other rock legends. The production was pretty solid with full usage of LED panels and several wardrobe changes by all. Less group singing in this production so it made it a lot smoother. A definite must catch show! THEME NIGHT: Country and Western Night MSC has several theme nights on their American sailings or so it would seem (some appeared on the Seaside as well). The first theme night was Country and Western. I don’t particularly like country music but I was interested to see what they would do. The cruise staff dressed in Western attire and danced to the same line dance songs you’d hear most other places with a few country dance tunes thrown in for good measure. The overhead LED panels in the promenade had different graphics displaying throughout the event. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Beer Prov Adult Comedy Show This was an adult’s only improv comedy show. It started slow and just died. It wasn’t too funny and when it took too long to setup the next act, most people, including myself walked out. I felt bad for them but with a more engaging party (Country Night) going on just feet away, I felt my time could be better used to watch people have fun than those four TRYING to be funny. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Black Light Party Cirque du Soleil might’ve been cancelled but the Carousel Lounge was still open for usage. I loved the Carousel Lounge as a nightclub. Yes, the bar had a significant shortage of various types of alcohol requiring you to walk to the casino bar to get your drink but the lighting system and sound systems in there were FAR superior to the Attic Club. It also was much better climate controlled. It was sad the Neon party only lasted one hour before they closed it down at 12:30AM and sent us up to the Attic Club. DAY 4: At Sea – Happy Halloween MSC Meraviglia Finally, a good morning to go sunning on the pool deck after breakfast! I went up for a little while before returning to the room to join my mom at the Welcome Back Cocktail reception on the Promenade Deck 6 for all Voyager’s Club member. The event was attended by all senior staff on the ship with little snacks and drinks being served, including non-alcoholic ones. The best part was the production cast came through and did a song and dance number for us after the captain came by to say some remarks and toast. There was also a history presentation on the LED ceiling. It was very well done and probably the best welcome back party I’ve attended on any cruise line to date! After a buffet lunch, it was time to hit the gym. While most folks were out on the pool deck or worked out earlier, I could find a corner to do my ab workout and didn’t have to battle nearly as many people for the equipment. Dinner tonight was ribs and an Asian Salad. The salad was good. I asked for a double order of the ribs and still felt hungry. I didn’t order more because of the showtime and needing to get to the theater. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Serge Massot Yes, this ventriloquist came back with a new show dubbed to be full of surprises and laughs. Some of it mirrored the first show and there were new elements. The female he selected from the audience clearly didn’t want to do it and looked like she could’ve punched him at any time. I was sitting in the back and her unwillingness was palpable from there! It was a show to see but again, if he’s on, take a pass on it. THEME NIGHT: Halloween Several cruise guests, largely Americans, dressed up for Halloween. The top 3 were picked by the cruise staff for final voting up on the bridge in the Promenade. I dressed up as Cesar, quite a few vampires around but the winner of the contest was a group of drag Pan Am flight attendants and a pilot. I’ve never had my picture taken by so many cruisers before! A ship’s photographer named Veronica (I think) also snagged me for a photo shoot and she did some amazing poses. She was having a ton of fun with it! I don’t customarily buy ship photos but I did from her shoot. She’s got a good eye! Music tonight was by DJ Fabiano and the LED ceiling was on fire with creative and spooky graphics. I’ve done 3 Halloween parties at sea and this was by far the best one yet! Bravo Meraviglia entertainment team! The after party was up in the Attic Club and Horizon Pool Bar at midnight but since I was getting up to go ashore tomorrow, I went up for a bit and went to bed. Cirque du Soleil was cancelled again tonight, although it was the SONOR show I was scheduled to see. It was again due to the ship swaying in the sea conditions (high winds). DAY 5: Land Ho! ST MAARTEN After a quick breakfast, it was off the ship and in a taxi with other guests to head to Maho Beach. I was heading to Cupecoy Beach, a LGBT friendly beach on the island. It cost me $30 for the trip for myself one way. When we arrived at Maho Beach, the beach was underwater and the sand had gone up over the wall and a bus got stuck causing a traffic jam. This should’ve been my clue to get out but I didn’t. I went to Cupecoy anyway and the beach conditions were similar. The beach was underwater due to the tides and high seas. I stayed and sunned myself on the rocks until some other cruisers from the ship arrived. We walked the different inlets from above and admired the views. I split the van on the way back with the other guys from the ship. It took us one hour to get back to the ship because the traffic was so bad. Mom spent the day walking around Philipsburg, St Maarten and finding tissues. She wasn’t sick at this point but the only option available at the time was to use toilet paper to clean out your nose when you awakened in the morning. This was very silly to her (and eventually to me too when I saw what a lack of it was doing to the ship) so she sought out tissues and made that her day ashore. She was successful. You knew it was starting to get bad on the ship because a hand sanitizer lady appeared in the entry way to the Marketplace Buffet. She wasn’t there until this day. When I arrived back onboard and synced by phone back to the Meraviglia Wi-Fi, the restaurant reservation was gone showing what time we were supposed to have Teppanyaki. My mom reserved the Teppanyaki for me to celebrate a career advancement. SPECIALTY DINING: Kaito Teppanyaki This specialty restaurant is where a cook prepares a meal in front of you using a grill and puts on a show. The price varies depending on what meal you select. I had the Samurai meal which was 7 courses and included sushi, salad, soup, tempura, steak, rice and dessert. Mom had the vegetarian version of it with tofu, cucumber rolls (versus tuna rolls), tempura, salad, soup and dessert. Dominique from the Philippines prepared our meal on the grill and did an excellent job of the show. I asked him if he’d been on NCL doing it as the show was quite similar and he said he actually did work on NCL. If you’ve done Teppanyaki on NCL, this is similar but with more food (courses). Also, during the reservation process, the lady asked my mom if I was celebrating anything and she put it in the computer. To my surprise, during dessert time, the Kaito crew came out with a congratulations cake and sang a modified happy birthday congratulations song to me! I wasn’t expecting it and it caught me off guard… my mom’s payback for the birthday cake for her earlier on I presumed! It was a great meal with excellent service. I would bump into the waitstaff in the mornings up in the buffet and they’d always greet me by name. Impressive! FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Antonio Versini: A world of Hands I figured this would be the standard magicians show with sleight of hand magic tricks and such. It actually was that and a whole lot more. He put up this projection light on the starboard side and this circle screen in the back and started doing impressions with his hands of animals, singers while songs were playing and morphed them all together. It was quite impressive and unique as I’d not seen anything like this before at sea. THEME PARTY: White Party A signature event on MSC seems to be their White Party. It’s simple, you wear white and dance the night away. It was the first night a party was held at the Atmosphere Pool outside. It was high energy once the line dance songs ended that accompanied most theme nights on the voyage. We had some good EDM tunes before the party shut down at midnight and moved to the Horizon Pool and Bar on Deck 16 / 18 aft. I stayed up until 1AM enjoying the fun before heading to bed. DJ Fabiano was spinning the after party. At the bar, one of the late bookers was drunk and loudly complaining about how crappy the music was. He was a complete buzzkill for anyone near him at the Horizon Bar. DAY 6: FORT-DE-FRANCE, MARTINIQUE We called on Fort-de-France, Martinique and when the morning started it was sunny and I had a leisurely buffet breakfast. I was joined by another solo from New York who hopped on last minute. She was very pleasant and we chatted for a bit. By the time I got off the ship, the sky had changed and storms were coming. The local dancers were out and performing tunes for photo ops. We decided to head to the museum we couldn’t see the last time we were there because it was Sunday. This time it was Saturday and the museum still closed because it was a holiday weekend for them (All Saints Day). The problem with going to the other side of town was the sky opened up and it down poured. Everyone ran for cover; my very large umbrella was no match for the deluge of rain that came. I ducked into an open shop. It was at this time we began to realize most of the city was closed! After getting soaked, it was time to head back to the ship and change. We decided on a leisurely lunch in the Panorama Dining Room. It was leisurely alright; it took 1.5 hours to get our lunch service and it largely seemed because the waitstaff didn’t want any other people to sit in their section again. We never dined in Panorama for lunch again after this one experience. In the PM, I returned to the gym and did a workout waiting for the sun to come out and then watched as the new guests embarked. The cruise was split into two segments to try and get more of it sold. We had a lot of new faces but sadly the sick ones were still around coughing everywhere. I continued to use my avoidance precautions as best as I could but the buffet was a hot bed of germs. Tonight, seemed to be a Greek themed menu so I stuck with the selection of Greek plates including Zucchini meatballs (Kefeta [sic]), slovaki and a custard pie for dessert. A table mate recommended all the dishes and he was supported by Lino, our head waiter for our table. It was a pretty tasty meal. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Virtual The third production show of the cruise featuring the singers and dancers. The show is with more modern music and features a cast member interacting with a phone which has different apps. Dancers come out as dancing emojis and such. While the costuming was engaging, the show, in my opinion, was the weakest one of all the productions. It just didn’t flow right and seemed wonky as they moved from app to app on an iPhone displayed on the LED screen. THEME NIGHT: Space Party I didn’t know or have anything for this party to wear so I just went as I was. It seemed like a lot of cruisers just showed up because it was on right after the show. It was at 10:15PM in the Promenade. The LED ceiling had different solar system displays and stars showing. It was a nice party with the cruise staff decked out in light up silver wardrobe. The funny part was the party was over at 11PM and they told everyone to check out the after party up at the Horizon Bar. When I went up there along with several other cruise guests, there was no music! Someone messed up this night and left a one-hour gap between the two parties! When the DJ came up, it was music under the stars at the Horizon Bar and not inside at the Attic Club. The lack of music and movement for one hour made me exhausted so I headed to bed shortly after midnight. DAY 7: BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS Our arrival was a nail biter for those of us on the starboard side of the ship. We watched as the ship backed into the channel and then come alongside a shipping container vessel (carrying some MSC containers by the way), and then slowly inching back. It was probably the tightest park job I’ve ever seen by a ship. We had to use this section of the pier because it was Sunday and the trolley trains wouldn’t be working. It was truly a sight to behold and nice work by the shore pilot and the bridge crew for an awesome docking without hitting anything (cargo ship or pier)! It was Sunday so everything was largely closed here. It wasn’t due to the same holiday in Martinique but just a very traditional church-going island. This actually worked in our favor as we decided to head to the Garrison and see if the George Washington House might be open. The ship was doing a tour to it so we figured we would try and the walk was a nice jaunt from the ship. We arrived and found a worker who was doing some clean up and said we could enter for $10USD per person. We did and walked the whole site and when we were leaving, the curator actually had just come back from church to close it up. He opened it before church for the ship’s tour. We lucked out! It was noon so we tried a place close by, one of two that were open for lunch called Brown Sugar Restaurant. It was a buffet lunch for $40 USD per person, since the other food option open was spicy Jamaican, we had to dine here. The service was non-existent. We needed water as the sun had emerged finally and it was a scorcher but the lady seemed to make it a chore to refill the glass even once. The buffet was extensive but not worth the money they were charging. After lunch, we decided to take a taxi back over to the port because it was so hot! The one-way taxi fare cost us $20 USD. Back on the ship, we showered and relaxed. Tonight’s dinner menu was not appetizing. I had the strip steak off the always available menu and it was tough despite requesting it be medium. This was one of two nights where I found the main dining room’s menu seriously disappointing and I’m not a picky person by any means. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Come Il Mare This night featured the Italian opera singers of the Meraviglia. We had heard them in earlier productions but tonight showcased their range. It was a spectacular show. Before the show and the previous night, the cruise director made it a point to say the show wouldn’t be for everyone. It wasn’t for everyone. The interpretations were on the side panels of the words being sung. The problem was the port side panel with the English was partially blocked by the curtain to the stage. I still enjoyed it! An aside: What I found really rude was despite the warning, the folks who had the 8:30 dining time still attended the show and got up and left en masse to their dining room! It was beyond rude given the caliber of the production being put on. MSC needs to put a block on reserving the show times if it overlaps with the person’s scheduled dining times. Folks with late seating need to see the first show only. Folks with the early seating see the second or third shows depending on when they finish. It’s much more respectful to the performers and the audience that way. THEME PARTY: Pirates Party Channel your inner Jack Sparrow mate and come along on the promenade for a fun-filled night at sea! I had a pirate shirt with me after learning of this theme on the Seaside the year prior. It was well-received by the staff who were surprised anyone had anything to go along! It was a typical night of line dances. However, when the party ended at 11PM this time around, I knew there would be a one-hour gap between music so I went straight to bed. DAY 8: GRENADA MSC SHORE EXCURSION: Spices and Rainforest Despite having been on so many cruises, sometimes I do go to someplace new. Today was the day to explore Grenada using a ship’s excursion because I didn’t know the island. I always take an organized tour the first time to a place and then go on my own the second time after I have my bearings. With that said, do NOT take this tour if you’re prone to motion sickness. The roads in Grenada are tight with lots of twists and turns and ups and downs. I got was getting car sick in the back and trying to get some fresh air. The AC in the tour van wasn’t working effectively and the hot air plus the lady who was coughing her head off up front was making me feel more nauseous. Finally, at the lake when I almost puked, the driver let me open the back window. I was fine thereafter but we had already stopped at the spice factory and driven well over an hour like this. The spice factory was short but informative with a 20-minute presentation and then time for shopping in the gift shop out front. The next stops were in the mountain at a lake and national park and then the Annendale Falls. The falls were spectacular and I wish I could’ve gone swimming but timing didn’t allow for it. They had cliff divers doing crazy jumps into the water for money. When the tour returned to the ship, I was still queasy. Overall, there were cheaper taxi options available doing a similar tour minus the nutmeg factory. However, no tour will be without the windy, bumpy roads so keep this in mind. We sailed for Curacao at 2PM. I went back and sunned for a bit before catching the Snow Party up on deck. At the pier welcome back show they had today, they had the snow machine out there and it appeared again on the pool deck for fake snow during this party. I live in New England, the last thing I wanted to see was snow – fake or real! Ha but it was a good afternoon party to have poolside and helped pass the time. SPECIALTY RESTAURANT: Butcher’s Cut (Elegant Night) As a Diamond member, you are given a choice of complimentary specialty dining. We chose this restaurant. The sommelier was quite helpful in finding mom a non-alcoholic drink she could order since the first one she had ordered; the ship didn’t have one of the ingredients. I ordered a glass of Robert Mondavi and the sommelier delivered it promptly. He was very attentive and so was the specialty restaurant manager who stopped by to say hello. I had the shrimp cocktail, the New York Steak (better quality than main dining room) and cheesecake for dessert. It was a nicely paced meal with great service offered by all. It was a nice evening to have dinner away from Panorama and well done! FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Way Yet another production show brought to you by the production cast of the MSC Meraviglia. It was a high energy dance show with some opera thrown in. I sat much closer to the stage than I usually do for this show because it had filled up quite early tonight. The dancers had a soda fountain themed attire and several wardrobe changes. I liked the energy from it and would recommend it. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Cirque du Soleil’s VIAGGIO The production was off to a very slow start. It didn’t seem too engaging. When the jugglers and all the other entertainers got going together, the show ended. It took forever for it to ramp up to something exciting and when it did, it was over in the blink of an eye! Yes, there were people walking on the LED wall sideways and a bike which was being pedaled across the ceiling but this show was not like any other type of Cirque show I’ve seen before. It was my first Cirque du Soleil and frankly, I wasn’t impressed by it. My mother fell asleep because it was boring. Other guests were just as confused as we were when the show ended because it had just started to get good when it did so. Being so short, it meant it had to be high energy the whole way through and instead it seemed like the last 10 minutes were. I would skip this show. I did the drink option for $18 pre-booked online. THEME NIGHT: Gatsby Party The Gatsby Party was taking a step back to the roaring 20s with cruise staff in period costumes. Since I was in Viaggio during most of it, I didn’t hear the actual type of music played but the LED ceiling was still putting on a good show while it was happening. DAY 9: CURACAO We arrived at 1PM. I went up on the sun deck and grabbed some sun before our arrival. I started to feel a bit under the weather today. Mom had started to feel that way at the end of the previous day. By the time we docked at 1PM, I was definitely coming down with something. During the afternoon, mom and I walked over to the Maritime museum and had a look around at the exhibits. The museum was not too far from the Queen Emma pontoon bridge. We had a walking tour of historical buildings in Willemstad we did afterward on our own. The ship was offering something similar but we found this walking tour online and it actually explained buildings quite well. We walked around quite extensively before heading back to the ship. Tonight’s main dining room theme was Tropical Night. The menu featured Jamaican jerk chicken and several other Caribbean favorites. It was a good menu, but not perhaps if you’re not a fan of spicy foods. It seemed like the spices weren’t too heavily applied though to the dishes I had but I have a high tolerance for spice. I went back off the ship after dinner since we were in port until 11PM to grab a drink in town with friends. It was a nice night off the ship. Most of the crew were off the ship that worked during the day, the production casts had the night off and were out and about in town. I returned to the ship and skipped the Tropical Latin Party to go to bed. I was exhausted and wanted to try and beat whatever this sinus thing was happening. Thankfully I had bought more tissues! DAY 10: ARUBA Today, mom and I walked around town which was scorching hot as the sun was out! It looked like it was threatening rain but it never materialized. We first went to the National Aruba Archaeological Museum. It was highlighted in a tour book of the island we had bought years earlier. When we arrived, the gentleman said we were in luck as the museum had just reopened during a ceremony the night prior with a new exhibit as well. The cost of admission was FREE. The museum was quite interactive and extensive on the island’s history and archaeological finds. I enjoyed it and would recommend it! The Aruba Historical Museum was also in Oranjestad and it was a five-dollar admission fee. What the gentleman at the ticket booth failed to state was this museum was also under renovations with the exhibits squished in the middle of the floor and largely unlabeled. They were in the process of moving things around. You could climb the fort tower and get a view in both directions. Overall, I would pass on this museum until they’re done their reorganization of exhibits. The island has a few other museums on offer as well and can be found by going to Visit Aruba’s website. We didn’t go to the model train museum as it was too far out of town. However, there was an antiquities museum in town as well. There was a free trolley running very infrequently from the port taking you on a loop around town. It was free as well. This was new since the last time I was in town. The entire port area had been done over nicely. When we returned to the ship, this was the first port where workers were outside squirting you with hand sanitizer besides the girl in the buffet. The gym was largely deserted so after a late lunch, I went there to do a workout and see if I could sweat out whatever this bug was coming on. I took a brief nap before getting ready for dinner. I didn’t write down what was on the menu tonight but it couldn’t have been too memorable as I didn’t take photos of it either. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Life is Magic Now here was a proper magic show with sleight of hand tricks, the sawing in half of the beautiful lady, putting her in a box and escaping and then switching it out for the magician. The show was definitely engaging and used some of the dancers as well to move things along between his wardrobe changes or setting up for the next act. I would recommend this show if it’s still around on the ship for the 7-day itineraries. For the second time, the production of SONOR from Cirque du Soleil was cancelled due to a technical issue. This time it wasn’t due to rough seas. When I went to go and change out the tickets, they were in the midst of a dress rehearsal or something and there were a bunch of technicians standing around. Since this was the second time I had to re-schedule this show, I wasn’t happy. If they had done this rehearsal earlier in the day instead of going ashore (which they did do because I saw them out), the cast would’ve discovered the technical problem and got it fixed in time. I was starting to regret booking any of the Cirque du Soleil shows on the ship. THEME NIGHT: 60s, 70s and 80s Party The cruise staff once again dressed up in their best 70s outfits, mostly bell-bottoms and glistening tops. The party was true to the time frames in questions featuring songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s which were heard at most of the other parties. I didn’t finish the party and went to bed. DAY 11: At Sea The morning consisted of a Welcome Back party for Diamond Card members only on the deck 6 promenade with more drinks and light snacks available. The LED screen did a performance of outer space landing on Earth and then the Captain and the senior officers appeared on the bridge. They seemed to be keeping their distance from the cruise guests as a good portion of the ship was now sick with whatever upper respiratory / sinus bug was going around. In the afternoon after a buffet lunch, I went out to the sun deck and relaxed. They had a King of the Sea show on at 4PM but it seemed like they picked up random people to do it. It wasn’t overly entertaining so I went back to the room to shower and take a nap. Tonight’s dinner was a formal night and the beef tournedos were on the menu again. I ordered a double of them as the meal was good the first time around. The first one was very tender but the second one on the plate was overcooked. I’m not sure how that occurred but the salt from the covering made me thirsty the rest of the night. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Paz This is a production showcasing the Flamenco dance with the art of Picasso on the LED screens behind the dancers and rotating through the audience projections. The lead dancers did an amazing job. The footwork of both of them was so fast and graceful, it was a good show. The artwork itself was enjoyable to see and how they worked it into the show. Definitely a must catch, especially if you like the flamenco dance. MOVIES UNDER THE STARS: Cars 3 The ship had run a few shows and music video type productions on the big screen at the pool but tonight was Cars 3. I hadn’t seen it in its entirety with my nephew and was waiting on the silent disco to open so I watched it for a bit until I got to a part I saw and then got a drink and came back. It’s nice they have a movie on the big screen because during the day, the screen is largely used for what’s on at the pool deck with no movies playing. There’s just tables and chairs setup but no food on offer like Princess Cruises does with popcorn and such. The bar is open there if you want to do a walk-up drink order. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Silent Disco The Carousel Lounge once again opened up with a silent disco. Housing three channels, one EDM, one Latin and one old school, there was plenty on offer. It seemed most people were on the first channel which the DJ was actually spinning in real time. The other two were pre-recorded it seemed. You had to check in for the headset and check out for it. The problem was, the bar in the Carousel Lounge didn’t have Grey Goose so I had to exit to get a drink at the bar straight ahead in the casino. You also had to hand over the headset when you had to use the bathroom which was just outside the Carousel Lounge. It seemed a little bit silly if they scanned your cruise card for taking one of the headsets. However, the Carousel Lounge was an amazing venue and it was a fun night. The music continued after the Silent Disco ended up at the Horizon Pool and Bar. I stayed up a bit later to dance to the music before finally crashing to bed around 1:30AM. DAY 12: JAMAICA Now if you’re wondering why we hit Jamaica, it was because on November 4, 2019 after sailing from Grenada it was announced due to operational issues on Ocean Cay, the island was not ready to accept ship visits. As a result, the compensation offered was a $100 onboard credit and a 20% of cruise fare paid to be applied to a future cruise. The compensation offered was astounding for missing a private island. I wasn’t sure they were going to make it there when I saw the photos on Cruise Critic prior to sailing but if we did it would’ve been nice to be one of the first. Turns out three sailings stops were cancelled and now it seems on hold for the next sailings as well. Since we would’ve had 3 sea days instead of 2, MSC decided to have the ship call in Ocho Rios, Jamaica since there was berth space available. When we arrived in Jamaica, we pulled in and looked like we were going to dock at the James Bond pier which was not close to anything but swung a hard left and came around to the other closer pier. We didn’t book anything on this island as we’ve seen what we wanted to see. Mom just wanted to go to the shopping center outside the port area with Margaritaville and to find another box of tissues. The tissue hunt brought us way outside the port with all the harassing taxi drivers trying to sell you tours every 2 feet and then other seedy characters trying to sell you marijuana. Both were out of luck, in MA marijuana is legal. I don’t smoke it but told them it was legal back home so didn’t need it. They didn’t like that response. Ha ha! Soon, those annoying folks are not going to find someone to buy it. One interesting thing to note, while the taxi drivers were all local, a predominant part of the stores we visited in search of tissues were not owned by original islanders. We had noticed this in the last few ports but this was really in your face here. No wonder the locals are not making any money if they can’t even sell their tourist wares. It seemed more desperate than my last visit. I truly was annoyed with the locals pushing stuff at me every couple of feet. I wanted to get back to the ship asap. I really wished MSC had gone somewhere, ANYWHERE but Jamaica like Cayman or Cozumel! Tonight, was Italian Night on the ship. In the main dining room, the menu was Italian themed with meatballs as an app, chicken parmigiana and Osso Bucco on order for mains and a lemoncello-type of dessert. The waiter also brought the second cake for my mom that was ordered by the travel agent. It was a nice touch and they did a whole big thing. The cake said Best Wishes and it was handled by William, the section lead. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Meraviglioso Amor The last of the production shows was the second best for mom (Born to Rock her first) and one of my favorites as well. The production featured hits like Gloria, foreign love songs with familiar lyrics so the person knew what it was no matter what language it was. The dancers and singers came together at the end along with the cruise staff and selected staff from different areas to say goodbye to Italian opera singers singing Time to Say Goodbye. It was a fitting close to a great show and a capstone to the production shows presented throughout the voyage. After the show ended, we hurried down the promenade to the logo shop for the Logo Shop Happy Hour where if you buy 3 things you would get 20% off. I bought a Lego version of the ship for my nephew for Christmas and two magnets to give him of the Doremi character for the refrigerator and trip souvenirs. I was also entered to win a ship figurine signed by the Captain. Since it was 9PM, I stuck around for the drawing. I didn’t win it but it was a good thing I hadn’t because my luggage was already overweight! THEME PARTY: MSC Little Italy The cruise staff were dressed in the colors of Italy but sadly I was exhausted so I went to bed after quickly stopping by. To be in theme, just wear red, white or green or all three! DAY 13: Sea Day The last day on the ship meant doing things I’d said I was going to do the whole cruise and never got around to. After walking a bit in the morning after eating breakfast, mom and I stopped by the Bamboo Pool for a smoothie. The Bamboo Pool had a bunch of delicious smoothies and the MSC for Me app tipped me off to them when they offered a special earlier in the cruise. I did stop by and look at the beverage menu and said I would return. I never did until today. I had the Strawberry concoction with yogurt and it was very nice. Mom sampled a different one without the yogurt in it and hers was a purple color so I’m not sure what was in it. The drinks cost $6.50 each but were pretty decent for the price paid. I spent the rest of the morning catching some sun and returned for lunch to the Marketplace to meet up with mom. After lunch we decided to head to the Photo Shop to pick up the complimentary Mediterranean night photo and find the others. I found the Halloween photos and decided to buy one of them. The embarkation photo didn’t look good so we chucked that. Vanessa who did the photo shoot with the Halloween photos rang us up. I asked her why they had printed all these photos when you can tap the cruise card in the kiosks and print them around the corner. It is so wasteful and you have to jack up the price of the photos to cover all the paper and chemical waste. MSC should have a selection pre-cruise where you choose if you want any photos printed or if you want them done digitally and you can request the print be made if you like it. This would be more environmentally friendly and perhaps the cost savings could mean they’d purchase tissues for the staterooms again! Win win, right?! After finishing up with the photos, I met up with some cruise friends at the Polar Aquapark in the aft part of Deck 19. I had not been up there the whole cruise but wanted to try the water slides. The water slides were a ton of fun. Two of them require an inflatable tube to ride, the other one which shoots you into a bowl doesn’t require a tube. The bowl slide was not as fun as you don’t shoot around it as much and then stop and have to climb out and go down the stairs. There are other water features largely geared towards kids but tons of adults were in the water park having fun too! After the water park, I needed some sun to dry off as I had to finish packing stuff including the bathing suit. The girls who I met were in the Aurea area up front on Deck 19. I wondered what this area was like as it faces the pool deck. It wasn’t relaxing because the music from the pool deck is blasting right at you. It was also a bit windy up there since it was so high up. I went back down to Deck 18 forward behind the screen and a nap. At the last dinner we had an amazing time chatting with our table mates and wishing each other well in our future travels. We also missed the Beer Prov Adult Comedy Show. I wasn’t too saddened by missing it and instead enjoyed the company of our fellow table mates a bit longer. We returned to the room to do the last of the packing and get the bags out of the room. They had to be out by 1AM but ours was out by 9:30PM. We went to bed early because we had to meet in the Carousel Lounge at 7:30AM. All Diamond US citizens had to meet at that time and were assigned Lilac 1 luggage tags. DAY 14 – MIAMI, FL, USA I was up at 5:15AM to get ready and the Marketplace Buffet was open at 6AM. When we got upstairs, the Norwegian Breakaway was still in the Miami turning basin. Goodness, what an early start this was! We were in the channel in the early hours of the morning and tied up. The siren they have on the inside of the ship by the bulkhead doors that opens out is so darn loud and ricochets off the buildings it was impossible to sleep with our starboard side facing the pier. This made a long day even longer. We reported to the Carousel Lounge as directed by the information left in our stateroom. You had to vacate your stateroom by 8AM anyway. We noticed none of the luggage tags had been called. This continued for over an hour as we noticed more and more cruisers disappearing from the Carousel Lounge with Lilac tags. We had a noon flight and needed to get off the ship. When 8:30AM came and they said disembarkation had been stopped, I made my move and asked where the actual gang ways were because we needed to get out. The lady told me where they were but disembark had stopped. When it resumed, we were in position and got off. Most of the lilac people had done so as well. There was huge gaps in luggage in the terminal for a luggage color that wasn’t called yet! No wonder the whole disembarkation process was messed up. The line for the non-US citizens inside the terminal was lengthy. All of them needed to be fingerprinted. For US citizens, all they did was snap a photo of the passport with a handheld device and send us on our way. The US citizen line moved faster and those were supposed to be the ones getting off the ship first anyway if people read the instructions! We made it to the airport by 10AM and checked in for our flight home. THOUGHTS ON SHIP DESIGN: The Meraviglia is a ship dubbed for all seasons. Her overall design supports her being a ship for cold weather cruising only. Her top deck is woefully inadequate for the passenger load she has and this will become a problem when the ship commences its Caribbean season. One side of the ship is always shaded from the smokestack back and deck chairs are crammed in every nook and cranny along the walking/jogging track. If you’re looking for a proper sun deck, stick with the MSC Seaside sailing year-round Miami. The ship’s interiors have some really beautiful spaces including the crystal staircases in the atrium. There’s a lot of wasted space on Deck 6 and 7 midship where the entry to the dining rooms and casino / Carousel Lounge are respectively. The gym is a postage stamp and is in dire need of better equipment and expansion. The promenade is great but with all sorts of sales going on and photography setups, it makes passing this area a pinch point every night on the way to the shows. The bathrooms on this ship were always distant from where you were, especially for the nightclub. If you wanted a bathroom that was large enough from the Attic Club, you had to walk down past the kid’s club to the ones by the elevators. The Horizon Pool had a one stall bathroom on Deck 16 but this wasn’t enough to support a mildly packed nightclub. You’d always have to walk a distance to use the bathroom. This didn’t make sense if the goal was alcohol sales! Likewise, for the sun deck, if you are on Deck 18 forward by the solarium roof, you have to come down one deck and go inside across the Bamboo Pool below where you were sunning and into the bathroom there. There didn’t seem like any convenient bathrooms to the Atmosphere pool deck either. You had to go into the Marketplace buffet to go bathroom. I never found it more cumbersome to need a bathroom on any cruise ship than this one! I found this truly odd. The Carousel Lounge is a far superior venue and fully equipped with a lot of audio-visual equipment. I’m surprised only a very small portion of what the equipment was in the lounge was used for Cirque du Soleil. It was evident either the shows were changed in some way to shorten them or to make it easier for the cast. There were projections and a large circular screen which were never deployed during either Viaggio or SONOR. I tend to notice production aspects more and love a good visual show. Sonor used some visuals on the LED wall but not nearly as much as the room was capable of handling. Lastly, the ship’s walking and running tracks are so crammed during warm weather days with sun bathers and people trying to run and walk and just figure out what they’re doing, it would make sense to have walkers use the Deck 7 semi-loop and leave the runners topside. My mom got clipped a few times by runners while staying in her lane. The runners didn’t seem to care or apologize for it either. This ship is not the best for fitness if you’re looking for that. STAFF SHOUT OUT: I always like to recognize staff who went above and beyond to make my holiday memorable. Ahmadi, my stateroom steward for accommodating most special requests (sans tissues) and always greeting me in the hallway no matter the time of day or night when he was working. He got used to our schedule and cleaned our room when we had our dinner. Our dining team of Lino, the main waiter and Frederick, the assistant waiter, were amazing and kept us hydrated and offered us more food if we wanted it. If we wanted more, there was rarely a wait. William who oversaw this team of amazing professionals was also quite attentive and handled a special request to find decaf tea for mom. When coming to the USA, the Meraviglia had to get rid of this nice tea display case which didn’t comply with USCG Vessel Sanitation program inspection criteria. As a result, it was a hunt for various versions of tea. He saw to it mom had her supply! He also oversaw the birthday cake situation and figured out a workable solution! Ryan De Leon in the Sky Lounge and in the nightclub was also amazing. He knew my name and my drink order by heart! Lastly, the Kaito Teppanyaki restaurant cook Dominique for a good show and the team who would greet me whenever they saw me in the Marketplace Buffet when they were up there selling the restaurant. Even the guest services staff on this ship were so kind and helpful (unlike Seaside’s guest service staff). I had a repeated issue with the ink on my stateroom keycard rubbing off in the intense heat topside and they replaced it without issue and with a smile. They have the toughest job on the ship constantly getting yelled at! SUMMARY: The Meraviglia is a nicely decorated ship. The LED panel is a great way to entertain. The night time cruise staff went out of their way to make the ship enjoyable and make sure everyone was dancing. The crew on the ship were the happiest and most efficient if I had to compare it to the Seaside last October. The crew made the trip. The chef could lay off the salt and I’m not a foodie but if I’m saying it was salty, the food was not as good as the Seaside’s preparation was. I didn’t encounter a rude staff member anywhere on the ship and only had slow service once, in the main dining room during lunch. I know the crew had a chance to get off the ship finally in each of the ports we visited. I think that plus a crew party helped to lift spirits among them. Would I recommend the Meraviglia? For top notch service, yes, I would! Would I sail on the Meraviglia again? I’m not so sure I would. If it were the Caribbean and the Seaside were on offer, I would probably sail Seaside instead. If it is a cold weather cruise, then I would consider Meraviglia again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Had a really good time as usual we dont let the little stuff get to us.The crew were unreal and worked harder than ever to make our vacation as good as it could be. THE PROBLEM? The company completley misses the mark on the importance ... Read More
Had a really good time as usual we dont let the little stuff get to us.The crew were unreal and worked harder than ever to make our vacation as good as it could be. THE PROBLEM? The company completley misses the mark on the importance of quality and making tools available to the staff. We have done about 15 cruises now Royal Caribbean, celebrity,Cunard, Seabourn, viking and even Carnival and have never had such poor quality of food.the chicken breast was frozen the soups were thin tasteless even the cheese on the onion soup was welded to a round wafer of bread I think That was not eatable. The pasta was limited to 2 or 3 different sauces that resembles wallpaper paste. Italian cruise line? The cheeseburgers were ok and pizza was good. The waiters at the table were inexperienced but tried hard but not even supplied with bottle opener and had to search around for one before opening my beer every night even in the specialty restaurant. My wife even asked for a cranberry spritzer that after 10 days and multiple explanations couldn't get it right. We went to the specialty restaurant using a package of 3 that includes a show. Sorry to say that even didn't measure up. So was below avarage and food just ok.The ship is beautiful and is not really crowded dispite the amount of people aboard.The shows were ok and didnt see anything that wowed us. The bingo was expensive and we didn't play but the last game they proudly boasted a $500 grand prize. No art auction or inside movie theater although they have a few cool things like bowling, f1 race cars and simulators at extra charge. The pools were crowded the hot tubs were small and cold the slides were fun and oh yes dont forget your room supplied beach towel that needs to go everywhere with you ( even on excursions) and if you lose it $20.Overall disappointed and would not return to MSC. There are too many companies out there that work really hard and deserve our business but Hope's of MSC improving are slim. GEORGE l Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose the cruise to see family in new York, Visit "beautiful" |||| New England and travel on a fantastic looking ship at what we thought a reasonable price. Embarkation wasnt too bad considering the number of people but ... Read More
We chose the cruise to see family in new York, Visit "beautiful" |||| New England and travel on a fantastic looking ship at what we thought a reasonable price. Embarkation wasnt too bad considering the number of people but disembarcation horrendous. I dont know if it was better if you had pre booked one of their final destination tours or their airport transport but as our travel agent had prebooked us a private pickup we expected it to be like an airport where there are pickup points or welcome centres. No way complete chious.. 4,500 people trying to find out where to go as we all had to be off the ship by 10.30 latest by timed exits. We landed up on pavements across a busy road with hundreds of other confused people trying to find their pickups. With no phone and after 30 mins we were quite distressed and ready to book our own taxi when we spotted someone with our name. Wonderful modern ship but too big to cope with so many people and although reasonably priced.its all about getting money from you. Overpiriced drinks, meals and tours. Luckily we had an easy drinks package which sufficed and did our own thing on shore as to be honest rhere isnt much to see or do in the small towns and countryside. We went to the Cirque Du Soliel "Viaggo" show which we were told was better than "Sonar". Very, very dissapointing and a lot of people agreed. Seen better at the local circus. Shows in the theatre very good. Computor screens everywhere to book things which a good idea BUT. Our travel agent gave us no choice and booked us late sitting dinner at 8.30 which is no good for someone on UK body time. Told we could change on board. No way. Spent 2 nights gping from one restaurant to another trying to find someone to take responsibilty. Lots of queses of other people doing the same. With 3 main reataurants giving a total of 6 sittings and all their computirs you would think it would be easy to change dinner times. Food good, cabin good, staff good except at reception where they are probably fed up of complaints poor things. No guest lectures, travel talks, hosted meetups. Sorry for anyone single, LBGT Would I travel with them again. Dont think so as prefer a more personel, organised experience. Most ports just cant cater for such big ships. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our 2nd MSC cruise, the first one being 5 years ago on the Divina. We are platinum on both Carnival and NCL. As a New Yorker, I was trilled when I found out MSC would be sailing out of the city. The entertainment on this ship ... Read More
This was our 2nd MSC cruise, the first one being 5 years ago on the Divina. We are platinum on both Carnival and NCL. As a New Yorker, I was trilled when I found out MSC would be sailing out of the city. The entertainment on this ship was excellent. I'd say the talent was Broadway quality. Each night there were new shows in the theatre. There was also music in smaller venues for listening and dancing. For such a large ship and so many passengers I rarely felt crowded. The halls were wide, the entrance to the buffet was huge and except for one time we never had a problem finding seats in the buffet. That "one time" was for breakfast when our port arrival time was 10am...so it was understandable. And, the elevators weren't crowded. The best part of the buffet was the pizza! I didn't find any other food above "the OK level" but I eat to live, so as long as I have my vegetables and fruits I'm good. And, they had lots of vegetables and fruits. This ship is gorgeous. Those Swarovski Crystal staircases were like "Staircases to Heaven". And everything was immaculate. We had a Bella Balcony. We travel light, so storage wasn't a problem for us. However, those who pack a lot might find it limited. Our steward was always around and made up our room early. I had 3 services in the spa...massage, facial and hair color/cut. I was very satisfied with the hair (incredibly inexpensive if bought on line). The massage and facial were also pre-purchased at good prices. The massage was OK; the facial better. We had a free hour in the thermal spa; I wasn't very impressed. I also used the gym several times. The equipment was all new and modern. The first morning it was too crowded but after that I went in the afternoon so there was always room. Our weather was beautiful except for one "cloudy and a little drizzle day" in Sydney. We had an MSC excursion which wasn't super exciting but then again, there's no much in Sydney to get excited about. If I didn't know I was on a ship I would have thought I was on land (except for one night when there was minimal rocking) it was such a smooth sailing. Please take all those negative reviews with a grain of salt. This is a wonderful ship. If you cruise for food it might not be your best ever experience. But, if you cruise to relax, meet lots of people from other parts of the world and just enjoy yourself you won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were on the Meraviglia departing New York doing the 10 day Canada/New England cruise leaving October 18. We have been on more than 20 cruises with Princess, Holland, Celebrity, Carnival and Norwegian. We have cruised previously on the ... Read More
We were on the Meraviglia departing New York doing the 10 day Canada/New England cruise leaving October 18. We have been on more than 20 cruises with Princess, Holland, Celebrity, Carnival and Norwegian. We have cruised previously on the MSC Seaside and the Divina. The Meraviglia is a very large ship carrying 4500 passengers. The ship is beautiful and was very clean throughout. We found all the staff to be polite and friendly. The ports were all very good and we did do one excursion to Peggy's Cove and it was fine. We had a balcony cabin on deck 13 and our cabin steward was great. He was friendly and kept our cabin immaculate. Now, the part we did not enjoy: This ship is too large and very crowded. The traffic flow on this ship is horrible. We realize that because of the time we went it was not warm enough to use the pools or sit outside, so everyone was inside. There was never any seats to watch the one entertainment option besides the theatre. The theatre productions in the Broadway theatre were amazing, and the best we have seen on any other cruise line. That is where it ends. The one small area where they had some decent music was always packed and no seats available. They had someone singing and playing the piano in the piazza but it was horrible. The same dull music over and over again. It lulled you to sleep. Hopefully, once in the Caribbean and passengers can use the pool and the outside area things may improve. Too many people pushing into elevators and through the buffet. Also these same people took huge amounts of food in the buffet and never ate it. Very wasteful, it is no wonder the quality of the food on cruise ships is going down. I think there should be signs telling people to take only what you can eat as you can always go up for more. On the subject of the food in the buffet is was just okay. We ate dinner in the dining room and it was just okay also. We did eat one night in the Butcher's Cut and it was excellent. We were happy with the embarkation process. With regard to disembarkation we had a tour of New York then on to the airport. There was a problem with some people's luggage being ready for pickup once off the ship that caused some people to be very angry. I think MSC does not pay attention to the small details. They seem to take a long time getting and being setup for any changes or new situations. 13 Overall we enjoyed the cruise. We took this cruise because of the excellent time we had on the MSC Seaside. Keep in mind MSC cruises are a good price, they do cater to a large European and Asian clientele, and as a result they do give instructions in all languages. If you are okay with something a little different and not a perfect cruise experience than MSC would be okay for you. For us, we have not decided if we will go on MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
DH saw TV commercial and was intrigued. I booked this sailing in early 2018 for the yacht club deluxe suite at an unbelievably great price. The Ship is beautiful and the crew is fabulous, not just in yacht club but everywhere on the ship. ... Read More
DH saw TV commercial and was intrigued. I booked this sailing in early 2018 for the yacht club deluxe suite at an unbelievably great price. The Ship is beautiful and the crew is fabulous, not just in yacht club but everywhere on the ship. Our cabin was spacious and very clean. I know food is subjective but I mainly chose seafood entrees which were better than meat which DH frequently chose. Appetizers and desserts were very good. As far as ports we have done this itinerary before, so no excursions this time. They have a strange system for getting on and off the ship in ports. People were using the same ramps and scanners whether coming or going. It was a little hectic. And as far as the shows the few we saw were not great. But as with all of our cruises we enjoyed it and would love to see the Meraviglia add more itineraries and stay in the New York area. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Just a note: I can't seem to select just the 10-day portion, we couldn't do the 23 day due to job/time restrictions. MSC Meraviglia Review: 18 Oct 2019 – 28 Oct 2019 Passengers: me (CH), my husband (BH), and our adult ... Read More
Just a note: I can't seem to select just the 10-day portion, we couldn't do the 23 day due to job/time restrictions. MSC Meraviglia Review: 18 Oct 2019 – 28 Oct 2019 Passengers: me (CH), my husband (BH), and our adult daughter (SH). Package: Fantastica: inside cabin, the Easy Drinks, Spa, Arcade/Amusement Park Fun Pass, and Internet (which we upgraded onboard). We reserved both Cirque Shows for the first two full nights (early cocktail show, as the meal didn't appeal). We also reserved two excursions: Tall Ship Sailing Cruise (Halifax) and Lighthouses of Maine (Portland) Cabin# 13300 Steward: William Panorama MDR; 1st seating: Main Server: Rakesh Assistant: Russel Both were excellent, and quickly learned and provided for our preferences. OK, right off the bat, would I sail on the Meraviglia again? Yes. Like all ships, she has good points, bad points and meh points. She's a beautiful ship, with most of the amenities we look for in a cruise ship. Such as: Pools Ropes & trees course Spa Waterslides Specific specialty restaurants: steakhouse teppanyaki Entertainment shows 4-d theater bowling f-1 simulater flight/roller coaster simulator Good points: The Aurea Spa: For me the Spa on any ship is an important yes/no, make-or-break deal. This one was great. With a whirlpool, a bubble bench, 2 steam rooms (dark and light), four saunas (though one seemed down the entire time), an ice/cold room, multiple rain-showers with add-ons, the walk-through alternate hot/cold shower, a salt room, two nice relaxation rooms, some warm lounge chairs in the bubble tub room, and free robes during the cruise (part of our package) It was the best one I've been in on a cruise. All it lacks is a large thlasso pool such as NCL has. Food: The meals in the Buffet and Panorama MDR were very good. I even occasionally wandered off the standards to experiment with new-to-me items. Specialty Restaurants: The Butcher's Cut: excellent, I'd definitely eat there again. We used the Dining Experience option and it was quite filling. Unfortunately, I don't remember our server's name, but he was excellent. (I recall it being Marco -BH) Kaito Teppanyaki: also excellent, and very good at dealing with dietary issues, they were quite willing to swap out for the shellfish, and verified that it was dietary not allergy multiple times. William was our cook and he was one of the best we've had on a cruise. Cirque du Soleil: [note: it's almost impossible for a Cirque show to be bad.] Viaggio: excellent SONOR: the seeming lack of a coherent story makes Viaggio the better of the two. (Corrected to SONOR -BH) Meh Points: General: The white tea/coffee cups in the Buffet are too small. The blue ones were the right size, but were not at every station every day. The tea selection was OK, but needed more plain black tea. MSC, there's a reason the Vanilla/Raspberry tea was almost all that was left when we got back to NYC. The cabin seemed smaller than most other ships. They ran out of San Pelagrino! On an Italian ship! Granted, there were other brands of sparkling water available, but still! No menus posted by the MDRs for the daily meals. Boarding: Not bad, not great: we were told boarding was to start at 1 PM, so we made plans for meeting with a friend for lunch. We got to the Port at 10:30 AM, only to learn boarding had already started. Even then we were in group 13. Boarding went smoothly otherwise. Aurea Spa: No easy in-and-out for the whirlpool and bubble tub tubs in the Spa. I'm short, 5' 1/2” and the entry/exit was doable but awkward. No Color bar! I loved that on the Divina, and it was included in their drinks package. I'm a real fan of teas and those were fantastic. The Drinks Package: We had the Easy Drinks Package,which is nice, but the $6 limit cuts out my favorite drink (Strawberry Daiquiri). It also doesn't include some of the special items (such as gelato and the snack items in the Piazza del Doge) the coupon package on the Divina did. Towel Animals: No towel animals or a program on how to make them. I miss my towel animals. Sea Day Brunches: The breakfasts at the MDR were OK, but when you wind up eating most breakfasts in the Buffet, it's an issue. In fact, one sea day [Thursday the 24th, I believe] they were out of one specialty of the day. Maybe it's just me, but the best sea-day breakfasts/brunches I've had were on Carnival. Steak and eggs! When you're being beat out on food by Carnival, you're doing something wrong. The Buffet: Could we get more beef in the carving stations? None of us like ham, and BH cannot eat any pork. Excursions: Well, the one(s) we went on were good, but the one I was most looking forward too (the Tall Ships) was cancelled due to 'insufficient registration', though when we got to Halifax, they said that particular ship usually stops on the 18th. SH added the Salem Witch Excursion on board and enjoyed it very much. Bad Points: The Specialty Dining Packages: Not quite what we've seen elsewhere. Even MSC Divina had better options. Meraviglia's Dining Packages are, in our opinion, unnecessarily limited. Your specialty restaurants are pre-chosen and the meals provided are fixed. Not that the one in Butcher's Cut is bad, in fact, it seems to be the most relaxed, allowing choices from a limited menu, with options to swap out at an additional cost of half the listed cost of the item swapped. Ocean's Cay? We're not seafood lovers and BH has shellfish issues [dietary restrictions], so only the tuna dinner was even an option. Kaito Teppanyaki is NOT included, just the Sushi bar. Again, seafood issues. Same with the Tapas bar. Even the best plan, the Two + One included Ocean's Cay in the package, though the other was Butcher's Cut and the plus was a Cirque dinner show. We'd have taken that one or the Tryptic if we could have swapped out Ocean's Cay. General: MSC's seeming lack of (or just poor) communication. For example; Italian/Mediterranean Night was just listed as an Elegant Night, so if we hadn't seen the waiters and the tables dressed for it before we got to the Panorama, we'd not have known. Another example was on our last day, a sea day. Around 12:30 PM, while we were already in Panorama and had ordered, they announced that the specialty restaurants were half-off for lunch. I'd have seriously considered Butcher's Cut again if we'd known earlier and BH would have re-done Kaito Teppanyaki. Another communications point is our repeated attempts to get confirmation that MSC knew I used a CPAP. In fact, the only line we've used that acknowledged my CPAP was Carnival. Things I'd like to see in the future: A list of Elegant/Specialty Nights posted/provided on the first day. A listing of the dates for the various shows available on the first day. Menus for the MDRs posted daily (as on every other ship we've been on) I'd also love to see MSC have a ship based out of New York, as it's much easier for us to sail from. Maybe one that does that Grand Cruise Meraviglia is making in Oct 2020 as a routine sailing, allowing for both north and south trips regularly. Both routes seem very nice, missing only St. Kitts, our favorite island. Add a Brazilian style steakhouse as well. And, yes, Towel Animals, please! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were waiting for MSC to cruise out of NYC. We were sick of RCCL Anthem of the Seas, and don't cruise on Carnival or Norwegian. Embarkation was quick. The staterooms were ready fairly early and our luggage arrived to the room ... Read More
We were waiting for MSC to cruise out of NYC. We were sick of RCCL Anthem of the Seas, and don't cruise on Carnival or Norwegian. Embarkation was quick. The staterooms were ready fairly early and our luggage arrived to the room fairly early as well. We had a balcony on Deck 10. It was one of the smallest balconies we have ever had on a cruise, but since we were going to Canada, we didn't use it too often. The cabin itself was pleasant enough, but there was not enough storage for an 11 day cruise, we kept having to pull our suitcase out from under the bed. We had the Premium Drink package, and we had to watch our account as we were being charged for drinks. Shenel in Customer Service was great in getting our account credited back, but it was pretty annoying that the IT department couldn't get this fixed, as we weren't the only ones with this problem. I was impressed on all the cleaning that was going on throughout the ship. However, the public women's bathrooms frequently had no soap in all the sink dispensers. Some hand sanitizer dispensers were empty. I was appalled by the number of people entering the dining room or the buffet without washing their hands; no one from the cruise line was even directing them to do so, which is what happens on other cruise lines. We took a 3 specialty restaurant package and used it for lunch. When the ship was in port, they were open! On those days we received excellent service. We even decided to eat in the Sushi Bar and the Hibatchi restaurant without our package. Our least favorite meal was at the Tapas restaurant. Main dining room, late dinner on Deck 5, for the most part the food was good. It came out warm sometimes, but we found out that it was because there was only one kitchen on the ship for the dining rooms. The Pizza in the buffet was always hot and freshly made and was good for a late night snack, a big plus too, was that you could watch them making the Mozzarella right there. The Comedy show, Beer Prov was a bust. Sat through the first show, and didn't laugh. So didn't go to the show later in the week. We didn't like the crowds to see any other shows in the Broadway theater, so we didn't go. Enjoyed Master Chef at Sea. Cirque De Solei the first show was great, the second show was cancelled for us because of weather. We didn't like the crowds on the Promenade, when they had the music events. Too crowded for us. There really were not other lounge areas, like on the Seaside to enjoy a cocktail and music. On Deck 5 near the Customer Service desk, the piano player and singer were great. She sang in either English or Italian. We liked the service at both The Edge Bar (where you can always get Espresso) and the Champagne Bar. The future cruise desk is stuck in the back of the Champagne Bar on Deck 7, there is no sign up sheets, and really no way of knowing who is on line to see them. That needs to be more prominently placed. We did one MSC excursion in St. John, and thought for the $50 each, the trolley tour was not worth it. After that, we did things on our own in port. We found out on the last day that there was a morning show to talk about the day. We didn't know and were never told that our balcony would be cleaned 2 different times in 2 different ports. Both times we were in our room with the curtain open for sunlight. Disembarking at the end of the cruise was easy. We live in Brooklyn, NY and were home 30 minutes after we got off. We waited to get off since we lived locally. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Living in South Florida, we were ready to get away from the heat and travel to a cooler climate for a few days. Had cruised on MSC Divina and MSC Seaside, so decided to give the Meraviglia a try. We were not disappointed! The ship is ... Read More
Living in South Florida, we were ready to get away from the heat and travel to a cooler climate for a few days. Had cruised on MSC Divina and MSC Seaside, so decided to give the Meraviglia a try. We were not disappointed! The ship is just beautiful, and lovingly maintained. Officers and staff were very friendly and often visible. We had a balcony cabin and initially thought closet and storage space was tight, but we actually were able to unpack everything and store our luggage. Hanging hooks on the wall added great space for winter coats and outerwear. We spent 2 wonderful nights in NYC before a memorable sailaway. Embarkation was a breeze.Having heard things were backed up on the previous cruise, we waited till about 2:30 to head to the port. We literally walked on board immediately. Since our departure was delayed from 7 pm to 10pm we sailed past the Statue of Liberty under the stars....it was just breathtaking! The Canadian itinerary was perfect for the time of year. We took excursions in all ports. The trip to Peggy's Cove was our favorite. Portland,Maine and Boston were on our own, as we have lived there and know those cities well. Our onboard was terrific. We have cruised many times before, and our cabin steward Chris, and his colleague Jeremy, both from the Phillipines were the best we have ever had. They anticipated any needs we had, and their service was always timely. Cannot say enough about these two!! We enjoyed the food onboard, loved the pizza and had a great meal in Ola, the tapas restaurant. Overall this cruise was a great way to enjoy some autumn weather, and we look forward to traveling on MSC again soon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I have sailed on MSC Seaside twice before and really enjoyed everything about it. So I decided to sail on Meraviglia. There were confusing issues constantly. I registered as a gluten free passenger but that was not on their list. I ... Read More
I have sailed on MSC Seaside twice before and really enjoyed everything about it. So I decided to sail on Meraviglia. There were confusing issues constantly. I registered as a gluten free passenger but that was not on their list. I booked the cruise 2 years ago while onboard Seaside but nothing I signed up for showed on their reservations. Seaside had lots of great options for eating but Meraviglia had very few. Dining room was only open at night so I was not able to order gluten free at the buffet. I went for breakfast 2 times in Panorama and they were very disorganized with serving gluten free options. SEASIDE delivered gluten free pastries every day to my cabin, Meraviglia did not do this. I ended up going to the Marketplace and carefully selecting my foods. As a side note NCL allows you to order gluten free pizza at the buffet MSC does not. I had pre-purchased the Thermal Spa package for the entire cruise and I had purchased a 50 minute Bali massage. Neither appeared in their systems but I presented my confirmation from MSC showing it was there. They took 5 days to actually acknowledge I had them. I was given a 30 minute free massage but since half the cruise was over it was hard to schedule it in. I found the "Captains night" lacking as they were concerned with pushing people through. My photo with the Captain was printed huge and was going to cost me $50.00. I asked for a smaller version and was told sorry it would not be available. Several days later I found smaller versions so they agreed to print one for me at $25.00. The welcome back cocktail party was insane. The captain appeared for a moment above the promonade and thanked everyone for being family. There was no photo opportunity as on the other 2 sailings with MSC. As for the crew they were wonderful, My waiters James and Matt in Wave were outstanding as was my Maitre de Roby. The people in the spa were very nice and the massages were excellent. I found the drink packages very confusing and what was "given for free" did not offer drinks anywhere except in the dining room or during meal times., If I wanted a cocktail any other time I had to pay for it. The ship was beautiful and sailed so smoothly even in rough waters. I love MSC but I was very disappointed with this ships processes. I think people onboard should be allowed to make decisions without constantly having to contact headquarters when the evidence is right in front of them. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
MSC New York City to Quebec (roundtrip) October 2019 Our first experience with MSC was extremely disappointing, to the point we will never use this cruise lines again. MSC is an Italian based cruise line that is trying to make ... Read More
MSC New York City to Quebec (roundtrip) October 2019 Our first experience with MSC was extremely disappointing, to the point we will never use this cruise lines again. MSC is an Italian based cruise line that is trying to make an entrance into the U.S. market and unless they make some major changes, will definitely fail. See some of our experiences below. • Arriving at terminal was total disorganization - chaos. No one to direct passengers resulted in our standing on multiple lines for over 4 hours just to board. • Ship left two hours late since not all passengers could board on time. • Since the highlight of this cruise was to go to Quebec Canada, it was very disappointing to learn that the itinerary was changed from one and a half days in Quebec to just one day. I learned this after boarding. We also learned that instead of the return arriving changing by two hours earlier that the itinerary stated. My wife asked the ships cruise director what we were going to do with the 12 hours cut short form the itinerary. The cruise director replied (and this true) “we need to go slower leaving the Saint Lawrence Seaway since we must avoid hitting any whales.” • There were several other stops to Canada ports and when approaching Sydney, the captain announced that they were cancelling this stop altogether. As experienced cruisers we found these itinerary changes altogether unacceptable. This is no way to treat your customers in any business. DINING • Having traveled on all the major cruise lines that serve the US market such as Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival, Holland America, etc., we know that we can look forward to fine dining as part of the experience. We especially expected dining to be good since we like Italian food (of which there was some, but little) MSC obviously doesn’t consider quality dining important. While their buffet was good the evening dinners were mediocre at best. Maybe this is acceptable on European cruises, I don’t know. It was another significant disappointment. SERVICE • The crew, for the most part, spoke little, and in some cases, no English. In many cases they simply did not know the answer, for example “where is the restroom” or “what kind of meat is in this dish?” I don’t want to convey that all crew members were like this because some made sincere efforts to be helpful. I am sure that MSC knows their business, but I also know that if they want to make in the American market major changes will have to occur. • Like all cruise ships that we have been on, MSC also had a Customer Service desk. This also had long lines. Many people told us of 2 hours waits on this line. Going there myself the desk that could be staffed by 7 people, only had one. DRINK PACKAGE • MSC does offer several “drink packages”. We purchased the base one that included unlimited drinks for most beverages. The drinks that qualified for with our Easy Package were all drinks that were listed as $6.00 or less on any ship menu. This seemed to be working well until we all discovered that in many cases, we were being charged for drinks included in our package. This was an 11-day cruise that took all 11 days to get the charges straightened out. o Here is where I must compliment the head waiter in the dining room for his persistence in getting the charges rectified. • It is also is an indication that so many ship personnel had no understanding of the drink package program, even that the program existed, though it was clearly written on each passenger’s ship cabin key card that had to be presented for any purchases. GLOBAL CRUISE LINES • Electrical outlets in staterooms and ship are set up with many European 220-volt receptacles, although our room did have two 110 outlets, there are zero public 110 outlets. An example of this is my friend had to return to his sate-room to recharge his oxygen converter. This is another example of how the MSC lines is really not prepared for the U.S. market. • MSC seems to pride themselves in being an international cruise line. Clearly the large majority of passengers were English speaking from the U.S. It did get to be a bit much having to hear each single ship announcement in 5 different languages (English, French, German, Spanish, and of course Italian). I really think that they don’t realize that this is unlikely to work for the U.S. market. o While on an MSC sponsored excursion in Quebec the bus tour guide explained everything in Italian and English. I couldn’t help but feel that were missing out on part of this tour because more than half the time we had no idea what she was saying. Even the entertainment was presented in 5 languages. SUMMARY This partial overview really doesn’t list all the disappointments we had on this cruise; however, I feel that it is only fair that I point out some of the ship’s positive traits. The Meraviglia is a fairly modern ship with many sections aesthetically pleasing. The ship is large and I believe able to accommodate 5,700 passengers. If adequately staffed I think it could support this quantity of passengers. Staterooms were comfortable and sized as one would expect to find on similar cruise lines. Dining rooms were large and sufficiently sized to support all passengers. The ship Meraviglia did have the multiple pools, spa, exercise room, food court, casino, plus even had two stationary Formula One race cars and bowling alleys. In my opinion if you are considering a cruise with MSC I would highly recommend checking out them carefully before making a regrettable decision. Please ask others their opinion/experiences as well. While I realize that you don’t know me, please take my word as an experienced cruiser that there much better options than MSC. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because a friend wanted to try MSC. It was also going to be a birthday cruise for me. The disaster began on day one when the boarding process took over 4 hours! I felt sorry for the seniors and disabled who had to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because a friend wanted to try MSC. It was also going to be a birthday cruise for me. The disaster began on day one when the boarding process took over 4 hours! I felt sorry for the seniors and disabled who had to wait in these ridiculously long lines. Many of us did the preboarding steps on the MSC app which didn't help anything go faster because the staff had to still go through everything once you got to the counter. Once on board, we tried to go to the dining area to make sure dinner arrangements were secure, and they were not. We were a party of 12 and were separated at different tables. We were told by the Maitre D they can not accommodate us and it was impossible to put together a table of 12. We've been on 20 cruises and have never been told anything like that! Dinner the first night took over 3 hours to get served and the service was very poor. One of our guests had questions about the menu and our waiter looked at her and said, "JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT!" Some of us decided to eat upstairs at the buffet the entire cruise. We were never able to sit together as an entire group for dinner. On other cruise lines, the waiter would address us after dinner to make sure everything was good and inform us of events happening on the ship. On this cruise, the waiter would announce, "Ladies and gentlemen, we need to get ready for the next seating so you have to leave!" REALLY!!! We were never greeted with "good morning" or "good afternoon" in the buffet area. Many of the staff in the buffet area came across as rude and not friendly and would walk right in front of you without looking or letting you pass if you were walking with food. Also, it seemed as though they made all the food at the beginning of the cruise and then just kept putting it out everyday. A lot of it began to taste like leftovers and some of the bread and pastries even got stale after the 4th day. Almost every morning, the buffet area ran out of coffee cups in all of the beverage stations and would often take 20-30 minutes before staff would bring out more cups, causing a mad rush for cups and coffee! Our itinerary included a 2 say overnight stay in Quebec but we were told via announcement that we were only going to spend one day in that port. Many of us were looking forward to the 2 days and had to cancel plans and excursions. The ship left shortly after midnight and we never received an explanation as to why our trip in that port was cut short. Also, with a ship of almost 5k passengers, you would think they would open more than one gangway. It took so long to get back on the ship, and crew members would cut in front of you to get back onboard. Disembarking was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. We were in line to get off the ship and there were 3 terminals where the staff would scan your cruise card and everyone was splitting to go into one of the 3 lines. We got up to the staff member and I was handing him my card, when he just looked at me, put his scanner down and closed the line without saying anything! On top of that, he didn't leave the area but instead just stood there to chat with one of the other crew members! We all had to back out of that line to get into one of the other lines that were open, causing more chaos. On other cruises, the crew members would say thank you and bid you goodbye, but none of the crew members were saying anything to the passengers. Thankfully, we went to the guest service desk on the 4th night and canceled our gratuities and diverted them at the end of the cruise to the few on board who we thought deserved them. The bright spot on board was our cabin steward, Aldrin. He took good care of us and was very friendly and professional. Overall, the ship was beautiful, but too big for such an amateur and disorganized staff. They actually made Carnival look good for a quick second! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This review will also be posted on the MSC Chat Boards also so you can respond. I am trying to figure out what I thought was sooo different about this MSC cruise than my other cruises on “American” lines [RCL, Carnival, Celebrity, ... Read More
This review will also be posted on the MSC Chat Boards also so you can respond. I am trying to figure out what I thought was sooo different about this MSC cruise than my other cruises on “American” lines [RCL, Carnival, Celebrity, NCL, etc…] Very little! NOTE: [I am standing on my “soap box” right now] “When reading reviews here on CruiseCritic by people saying how horrible everything was…and said reviewers saying “I’m a Diamond Member” or “I’ve been on 50 cruises”…and this is their FIRST review online? Where are the reviews of all those GREAT cruises you are comparing this one to? Did you join CruiseCritic just to criticize and grumble? Oh wait….maybe all of your reviews are on the site “CruisePraise”? If you have a gripe…give us the details. Don’t just complain!” [Stepping down from “soap box”] ALSO NOTE: Yes…embarkation was a disaster. I agree! See “also note” at end of review. So…What was so different about this cruise than my other cruises? Here’s what I experienced! 1) The crew was just the same as any other line: Staff from every nation. Many of them on the ship for the first time like the guests. Once I was on the ship…I don’t think I had one problem with customer service or my bill…nope! Reviewers have noted how different the staff is: never smiling or saying hello….Not True! Well not for me. I had cabin stewards wishing me a good day when just passing in the halls [With a smile too!] I made friends with Rose at the Spa and Cynthia of the entertainment crew and Youseff at Jean Philippe Chocolates, then there was AJ one of the photographers. They all made the cruise much fun! 2) The food was about the same as other lines. I WAS disappointed though that the menu was not as Italian as when MSC’s ships sail in Europe. The food was “Americanized” and I thought the idea was to have something different. Our service in the MDR was just fine! Our food was hot and we ran about 1 ¼ – 1 ½ hours for dinner. I’m not a steak eater, but I love lamb. I had lamb chops/rack twice on this cruise...my last cruise on Royal lamb wasn’t on the menu even once! The MDR desserts were the best of any main cruise line I have been on. I’ll agree that the choices in the lunch buffet each day were limited and the buffet desserts lacking, But of those limited options I had some delicious lunches. A white fish stuffed with spinach in a cream sauce that was wonderful! And I never like white fish. A beef and mango stew another day was also wonderful! [For all you nasty reviewers who slander their pizza? What planet are you on? The pizza was always fresh out of the oven and excellent!] 3) My studio cabin [Yes, I was in steerage as I heard YC people referring to us] was quite stylish and it looked exactly like the picture. I thought the bed was just fine. [I know people can be finicky about beds...that's why there are so many different kinds!] Though the bed was a pull out sofa bed...it was not the home kind that the "two year old" could open like in the commercial. It was a seriously solid piece of bed! In fact...I had wanted to open it the first night before my steward came...and I couldn't figure it out. When he came and I saw how it opened...I would never have figured that out nor could I do it myself. My only issue was that when the sofa bed was open at night you could only open the closet doors 1/3. Fine when the bed was closed during the day. But having the option of closing the bed to a couch made the room perfectly livable! The bathroom was cool...curved glass shower door and the cool diagonally shaped sink and the square glasses in the square holders. Yes…there were tissues! And yes there was a garbage can under the sink, but I didn’t know it until the 3rd day. 4) The Vegas style shows were very good. The LED drops were very classy and well done for the scenery. Though I do like physical scenery, it seems that LED drops are the way of the future. The dancers in the stage shows were exceptional. What a big cast! 12 dancers and 6 singers. Carnival shows now have a cast of only 8 in their Playlist shows. [Though all Europeans and Middle Eastern performers doing songs from Oklahoma....well...O.K...] Two of the singers were great doing the opera and classical, but when miked for B'way and pop....didn't work for me. Their voices were so strong and classically trained that I don’t think they needed the microphones…and when they tried to pull it back for the amplification it technically didn’t work. I just wasn't crazy about all the singers. There was a show called “Life is Magic” with this magician who was so polished…doing magic from card tricks to full on illusions [the ones with big boxes you put a lady in and stick swords through and slide middle parts over…you know those!] It also featured all the female dancers [with at least 6 full cast costume changes!] It was so “Old School” and it was GREAT! I won’t lie to you…I like Vegas style shows….I do NOT want to see Cats! 5) The Passengers…I talked to more people and even developed a nightly "route" from showing up for cocktails with these folks, then to dinner with my table mates, then to another table to check in during dessert with those folks, then to the show. I never did that on any other cruise. [This is cruise #24] One Bad Story from the first hour I was on the ship. After finally getting on board at 1:30 pm [I arrived at 11 am and my luggage was professionally and immediately handled by a porter at the entrance door] I immediately went to the cirque box office and booked my times, went to the spa and booked my 2 massages appointments, checked on the location of my dinner table...and then proceeded to find out how to connect to the Wifi with my android phone. Right in the gallery there was a table and a young crew woman talking with a guest leaning over a phone and there was a little placard with the internet symbol on it. I couldn't believe my luck in finding this and exclaimed "Oh...this is where we find out how to connect to the internet! Yea!". Well! This female guest turns to me and in the nastiest voice says "SHE'S HELPING ME NOW!" I just stared at her in disbelief. The crew member was mortified!. Then she says "DO YOU WORK HERE?" What? I have a coat and I am dragging luggage. I sheepishly said "no". “WELL WHEN SHE IS THROUGH WITH ME THEN SHE CAN HELP YOU!" I backed away....and when she was finished she put this evil grin on her face and turned to me said "SHE CAN HELP YOU NOW". The wonderful crew member, Cynthia, almost cried and fell over herself apologizing for this woman's behavior. Epilogue: On the last sea day I was in the quickly moving and not long line for cash refunds and there was that same woman...with that same weird grin on her face berating a uniformed officer trying to answer questions in the line. it was all I could do NOT to go over and tell her off. 6) Yes...I was approached often for specialty restaurants...but on MSC they actually took "no thanks" for an answer. I felt LESS “nickel and dimed” on this cruise than on NCL or Royal Caribbean.. 7) Bar service…I’m afraid you may have to believe every other review on here about the bar service. 8) The Coffee….O>M>G>!!!! The most excellent Macchiatos and Correttos I have EVER had! I had at least two machiattos at the Jean Phillipe chocolate counter each day and one or two correttos at the sky lounge each evening. 9) Disembarkation….My bill was left in the door and was totally correct so I did the self-express…lined up at 7 am in the Galleria and was in a [FAKE!] Uber, but let’s not go there!...and I was home in Jersey City at 8:30am! So....in conclusion. I think it was beautiful ship...but a budget, not a luxury brand. However with the low cruise fare I paid I was able to afford the Wifi, Thermal Spa, two massages, and both Cirque shows with [strange] cocktails. On my previous 23 cruises I have NEVER gotten Wi-Fi or a Thermal Spa Pass, only once a massage as it was a free perk. I personally found service to be good, I know some others didn't...activities need to be honed. [ALSO NOTE: Yes…embarkation was a disaster. I agree! It is a BIG ship and the NYC Cruise terminal was not built for this size ship. AND it was a transatlantic so there was customs to clear 4500 people. Yes…the NCL Breakaway Class sails from there also and I remember it took a long time to embark on that ship also, but it wasn’t chaos…but it was a weekend when the pier has a full complement of porters and staff, unlike, I am told, during weekdays when we sailed. And the departing guests did not have to go through customs. Enough said] Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It was horrible from the beginning. MSC was NOT prepared to deal with NY. They did not make the right arrangements with the longshoremen and the Stevedore unions and got it stuck up where the sun doesn’t shine. No excuse they need to ... Read More
It was horrible from the beginning. MSC was NOT prepared to deal with NY. They did not make the right arrangements with the longshoremen and the Stevedore unions and got it stuck up where the sun doesn’t shine. No excuse they need to prepare. 3 to 4 hour waits to check in. People getting sick and requiring medical treatment. No priority boarding. It was a fiasco! They also were showing NY travel agents the ship and those people were getting off while people who had waited in line were trying to board. Not enough ramps not enough computer a complete disgrace. Left over an hour late. They claimed that rough seas caused us to miss Sydney port of call but word has it they did NOT make proper arrangements to stop there and even Canada said the heck with you. Most of the crew just arrived the same day, they were being shown around the next morning. No Satellite TV or sports broadcast. No NFL or College football, no baseball playoffs and NY Yankee fans were pissed and I don’t blame them. No news ! It was like we were lost at sea and we kind of were. MSC was in total disarray. Food was terrible. Buffet was weak, some water and juice dispensers did not work. Ran out of Coffee many times and no one to replenish. Poor selection and quality. Poor choice of deserts and fruit. Ice cream was out at the pool deck which was freezing rain. No cookies. Their pizza wasn’t even very good ! LOL ! Main dining room was just as bad. Poor cuts of meat and bad menus choices. Long waits to be served. The SPA was also a disgrace. One Steam room was not working and never got repaired. Only two of the three warm chairs worked and on Rough sea days they drained all whirlpools bot outside and in the SPA. Entertainment was ok but Cirque du Soleil was a rip off with watered down drinks and the show had to be stopped due to technical difficulties for 15 minutes. They credited everyone $300 for inconvenience of missing Sydney but it was no where near enough for their incompetence. People didn’t get drink packages, people didn’t get on board credits from the travel agencies. I didn’t get mine and when I called my agent he said it was definitely paid to MSC so they were really screwed up. I inquired but never got it. Ship is just fair. Poor design compared to others like Seaside and Celebrity Edge. No officers to be seen even at the VIP Black card party that was a joke. They probably were afraid to be confronted. I didn’t speak to one person that was happy and yet MSC is in complete denial. Be careful of cruising on them. They have expanded too quickly and are not prepared. They really should be ashamed. The $300 OBC that they gave everyone was no where near enough for their incompetence ! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was the WORST cruise we have ever been on and we were not alone. It got off to a bad start when we all had to stand in lines to get on the ship for FOUR HOURS. People were actually passing out. So, we were all unhappy to begin with ... Read More
This was the WORST cruise we have ever been on and we were not alone. It got off to a bad start when we all had to stand in lines to get on the ship for FOUR HOURS. People were actually passing out. So, we were all unhappy to begin with and sadly things never really improved. The food wasn’t good, as it was pretty much the same thing every day. Also, we never got to stop in Sydney, Nova Scotia, for which they gave everyone a $150 credit. There were always long lines at the reception desk because that was the only place you could get problems solved, questions answered, etc. and there were LOTS of problems. We ended up in that line for an hour and a half because charges were made to our account BEFORE I even activated our credit card. It was fixed, but....having to stand in another line didn’t make anybody any happier. Some people got to their cabin only to find there was either no bed...just a pull out sofa...or nothing else in the room to sit on except the bed. There was very little to do during the day, so we spent most of our time sitting in the promenade watching people. We kept striking up conversations with people and nobody we talked to was happy and everyone we talked to said they would never take another MSC cruise. We had made that decision while standing in line at the very beginning....unacceptable. We couldn’t believe that nobody from the cruise line ever apologized for that. A simple apology and explanation would have gone a long way. As it was, all we heard were rumors about what happened. Someone fell in the auditorium because of the way they lighted the stairs and the cruise director called for help from Medical three times and nobody came. Luckily there was a doctor in the audience who went over to the person and checked him out. One day we had rough seas and lots of people were getting sea sick. We met a lady at the breakfast buffet who was sea sick so I told her husband to go down to Medical and get her some sea sick pills. He did, but came back and said there was a note on the door that said it didn’t open until 2 p.m. Unbelievable. So I went up to our room and got some pills for her. She felt better right away and proceeded to call me her “angel” every time she ran into us on the ship after that. We found out later from other passengers that if someone went down to medical for sea sick pills they were charged for them, but if you stood in that line at Reception, they were free. Again...unbelievable. There was very little communication about anything from the crew. We had to find out things through other passengers. It was the only ship we have ever been on that did not link your credit card to your cruise card right at the desk where they took your picture and gave you your cruise card. You had to do that by yourself at one of the kiosks on the ship that were “at various locations.” These resembled ATM machines and once again there was no guidance by anyone on the ship as to exactly how many there were, where they were located, or how to use them. We watched the people in front of us to see how it was done, then showed the people behind us how it was done. It was the “blind leading the blind” every day. The only good thing about the cruise was the shows we saw at night in the theatre and meeting a lot of people due to everyone sharing their horror stories about what happened to them on the cruise. The only port we enjoyed was Quebec and that was the one we were really looking forward to so that was great. However, instead of spending two nights there, we had to leave early for which everyone on board was given another credit. While we were standing in line at Reception, we heard some people saying they were Canadian citizens and were planning to get off the ship in Quebec and drive home rather than finish the cruise, as they had had enough. Also...we heard that one of the crew members even abandoned ship while we were in Quebec. Luckily, we made it home safely and the disembarkation process went much smoother than the embarkation process. For us, it was too little too late. Never again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Took over 4 hours to get check in and almost as bad getting off the ship apox 2 hours.The ship itself was beautiful they did a very good job on the lay out, but they need more crew mates for this size of a ship.Food was so so needs a lot ... Read More
Took over 4 hours to get check in and almost as bad getting off the ship apox 2 hours.The ship itself was beautiful they did a very good job on the lay out, but they need more crew mates for this size of a ship.Food was so so needs a lot of improvement,the buffet was just most ship just OK nothing special.Had a inside cabin and it was the smallest inside cabin I ever had.,been on 18 cruises.Overall they need to get there act together.Entertament was top notchAll the shows were very good just about the best I have seen on a ship.I almost Forgot to mention we were supposed to dock at Quebec for 2 days never happen 1 day and out to sea.main reason for booking the cruise.Try to make to review as best I can but I just can’t come up with any other points.The Botton line is that they better stick to shipping and sell off the cruise business Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We booked this trip one year ago on the MSC Seaside. When we booked there were various “packages” available. We choose Aurea experience which included the deluxe package which became the Premium drink package. During the year MSC ... Read More
We booked this trip one year ago on the MSC Seaside. When we booked there were various “packages” available. We choose Aurea experience which included the deluxe package which became the Premium drink package. During the year MSC changed their packaging but we didn’t change our booking. I give you this background so you can fully appreciate the misadventures we have had. The first issue was embarkation- over 3 hours to get on from curb to the ship. An hour an a half of it outside in the cold schlepping our bags the whole way . Now I am not lazy but we had our 80 year old mother with us who walks with a cane. There was no where for her to sit and we had to deal with our bags and hers - making for a lot of maneuvering. Once finally in we went to get wheel chair assistance only to find out there were people who had been waiting over two hours already . Mom was so tired she just wanted to get on board so we proceeded to the priority embarkation (black card status privilege) to line up for another hour and a half. Again no seats or refreshments. Then for the first time ever we waited another 1/2 hour to get up the boarding causeway . There was a number of travel agents in for the day for a cruise ship tour and so we couldn’t go on if they were coming off . We made sure each agent was aware of the issues - probably offsetting any goodwill gained in the tour. Eventually a MSC staff said there was another walkway at the back of the ship but by then we were actually almost on the gangway. Our next issue was that the alcohol package we booked wasn’t on our card at all. We tried to discuss this with guest relations but they said nothing they could do. The bar and catering manager finally quasi fixed it but only gave us a classic package rather than the premium we had under our original booking . I am so We are now on day three of the trip and have had the port cancelled due to a delayed sailing on account of weather . So I don’t blame MSC for the onboarding - that sounds like a port authority and port agent issue. I don’t blame them for the weather - we all know that no one controls that. But........when a company of this size refused to honour the contents of their contract there are bigger issues at play. I have also now found that they have charged items to my account that were not signed for - with again the horrendous guest relations comment of - well I guess they forgot to get you to sign . With absolutely no remorse they said they would put a note on the file. At this point I am ready to remove the daily gratuity charge to offset the additional charges I am getting hit with (those known and those unknown) however I know that hurts those staff that have no ability to change this sucky situation. So instead I feel a review to warn people about this situation is better . By the way we are seasoned travellers and my husband is a cruise agent so it is not like we don’t know what we are doing . My advice at this point is to avoid this cruise line until they get their act together . Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
1: Background information: I've been on nearly sixty cruises and only once have things been worse. I will never critic poorly things that happen due to nature and anything beyond the cruise lines control. I've traveled on the MSC ... Read More
1: Background information: I've been on nearly sixty cruises and only once have things been worse. I will never critic poorly things that happen due to nature and anything beyond the cruise lines control. I've traveled on the MSC seaside and though a very nice ship my experience was less than expected. 2: Ship information: I chose the ship due to its technology of which I read about and its departure out of New York and my living in the area. 3: Activities: I must say that offerings for the active were minimal. One senior couple said they played cards so much they got tired of looking at each other. 4: Service: I cannot think of ANY service from the front desk, dining, internet assistance, account setup, casino cash in, news of the world or much of anything else that could be rated even average. They definitely put the word "Line" in Cruise Line since nearly everything had a line. After falling on the deck outside the whirlpool area I visited medical. The female physician took a cursory look and offered cream and a pain killer. I informed her of my recent major surgery on the area and that spurred nothing. She did not even bother to take my name. 5: Port & shore excursions: First one Sydney skipped, Corner Brooked really tiny. The amount of peoples on the ship is 30 percent the size of the town. Charlottetown nice and would have been better but nature (rain) did us in. Quebec was great but the second day was 30 minutes. We departed at 12:30 am. 6: Travel to embarkation port: It took me nearly four hours to be boarded. I watched them load luggage into the evening hours. The suffering of the passengers was everywhere. Did not seem as corporate thought this through. 7: Cabin: Described in detail below. 8: Dining: Breakfast buffet redundant and On par with most as I saw it. Lunch offerings in the buffet was sub par in my opinion. I was in Waves dining area in the evening. No attention to detail by the staff, sub par offerings and barely warm food on occasion. One constant in the buffet was that they were more interested in selling drinks than cleaning the used tables. Being solo I was able to just move the previous occupants leftovers to the side on many occasions. Cold coffee at stations, No cream for the coffee, ice cream but no spoons. It's all about the details at times. 9: Entertainment: The main shows were very good. Anything after that you had to wing it. I have NEVER heard as many seniors complain of being bored. 10: Disembarkation: This worked out for me since I was in one of the early groups. Couldn't wait to leave I hate to say. 11: Summary: Two trips on MSC with basically the same poor results. In December I travel to Spain to cruise on their newest ship the Grandiosa. At this moment I can only hope. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It could have been so good, but the embarkation was the worse I have ever had to endure. Easy for me as I was not as old as some of the travellers who were made to stand for over 4 hours in the port whilst they embarked. No information, ... Read More
It could have been so good, but the embarkation was the worse I have ever had to endure. Easy for me as I was not as old as some of the travellers who were made to stand for over 4 hours in the port whilst they embarked. No information, no water, shame on you MSC. Once aboard the ship all was good. The cabin beautifully adequate with good service from the attendant. Food was good and the server was a delight. Breakfast organisation was another story though. Poorly organised and haphazard, who knew what you would end up with despite your order. The Buffet was a free for all, as these things often are, not enough seating and tables left dirty for too long. The entertainment was skilful but lacked something, all very wooden, but very colourful. The entertainment director Gene was a complete dork, had as much personality as a wet towel!! We hit bad weather, which is not fault of the company and we missed a port and had to leave Quebec early. I do not understand why we left Quebec so early and no explanation was given. We were annoyed about that. The only thing that has put me off MSC is the embarkation and disembarkation process. Totally spoils the holiday when you have no information as to why you are waiting for so very long. Up your game MSC.... you should be experts by now. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The Canadian Maritime Province itinerary of this cruise and the thought of sailing on a new ship was appealing but the execution of all aspects of the pre-cruise experience, a nearly four hour wait during embarkation and general on-board ... Read More
The Canadian Maritime Province itinerary of this cruise and the thought of sailing on a new ship was appealing but the execution of all aspects of the pre-cruise experience, a nearly four hour wait during embarkation and general on-board disorganization have convinced me to refrain from sailing with MSC in the future. Having experienced the woeful lack of customer service when booking a previous cruise with MSC, I should have known that frustration would ensue as I attempted to make use of the poorly designed website. That, in addition to innumerable unanswered emails and phone calls, might have been put aside had the cruise itself not been fraught with problems even before setting foot onboard. During the nearly four hour wait (most of it outdoors on a windy day), MSC dispatched no agents to speak with the thousands waiting to board. Busloads of passengers were dropped off near the head of the line which, apparently, indicated to those folks that there was no need to proceed to the back of the line. Quiet resignation eventually turned into vocal disruption...not a good way to welcome passengers to a ship. Once onboard it was apparent that the Meraviglia is, indeed, beautiful. Our cabin was immaculate and attended to by a friendly, hardworking young woman. (Most crew members were similarly pleasant; only one guest services agent was less than welcoming. To her credit, I believe that she realized that her demeanor didn't meet acceptable hospitality standards ~ a bottle of wine and some appetizers were delivered to our cabin with a card bearing her name.) No compensation was offered for the four hour wait to board ~ MSC lost thousands of future bookings with that decision. To the company's credit, compensation was offered when a port was missed. However, that compensation was not increased when the ship left the port of Quebec City in the middle of the night rather than the next afternoon. (More than one explanation was given by guest services agents as to why/when the early departure plan was put in place ~ none of them even remotely related to the other.) As the cruise progressed, one overheard more and more people who had decided to never book with MSC again. Every elevator ride, table-side discussion, casual chat with another passenger, excursion, etc. resulted in unsolicited details about the disorganization encountered before and during the cruise. Unless MSC decides to compensate those on the ship with some post-cruise incentives, I predict that the company will, indeed, lose thousands of future bookings. The sad part, for me, is that the jobs of some very hard working crew members are in jeopardy because of MSC's apparent lack of concern for the future of its company. A satisfied customer generates numerous future bookings...a dissatisfied customer has the opposite effect. I'm still hoping that MSC will contact all passengers from this cruise with a sincere apology and a tangible reason to consider MSC as a viable choice in the future...until then my plan is to book with Princess. (The poor service rating below reflects both pre-cruise and contemporaneous service from MSC as a company and does not reflect the service provided by individuals on the Meraviglia...the vast majority of whom were well-trained and efficient.) Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
MSC Meraviglia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 3.8
Dining 4.0 2.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.3
Public Rooms 5.0 3.6
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.6
Family 5.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.0
Enrichment 2.0 2.8
Service 4.0 3.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.0

Find a MSC Meraviglia Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click