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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I traveled with my partner and my mother, both my mother and I have traveled with Royal Caribbean quite a few times so I have another company to base this experience with. We flew to Barcalona from Heathrow, and joined the MSC ... Read More
I traveled with my partner and my mother, both my mother and I have traveled with Royal Caribbean quite a few times so I have another company to base this experience with. We flew to Barcalona from Heathrow, and joined the MSC MERIVIGLIA, my partner who is a first time cruiser was taken back by the size of the ship, as she puts it “wow” and indeed, the ship is massive, and magnificent, and that’s where the thumbs up stop. Embarkation was actually smooth and quick, so once all paperwork was done, we entered the ship, no welcome aboard, no warm greetings, just on and that was it. The first appearance of the ships interior is quite good, and the arched LED roof in the main deck area is also impressive, but that soon fades. The cabin, clean, standard, I could bang on and on about everything, so here is a pros and cons list Pros Great itinerary - some beautiful cities. Embarkation quite quick. The food and service in the Main dining hall is great. Beds are comfy. Cons Only three swimming pools - all sea water. (Very salty) All deck chairs cleared away after about 19:00 making the decks empty. Large TV over main pool - never used for movies. No smoking rules very lax, some even smoked in the hot tubs. Lack of things to do of an evening, unless you like music, eating, and Italian humour. Large gangs of moody and loud teens roaming boat being bored. Lack of lifts for size of ship The artwork, and colours used are bland. Super cons The main buffet hall (the market place) Luke warm food, bland and the same food EVERY DAY. Main buffet hall over crowded, which didn’t help with people using tables to play board games due to being bored. Lack of drinks choice in main buffet hall, Morning you get juices, and water and coffee and tea, but after about 11:00am all you will get is water and coffee and tea, (unless you pay) Drinks are expensive (most cruises are) At around 21:00, the kids club decides to march the kids through the main promenade to kids music loudly. The cabin to balcony doors slam loudly by inconsiderate neighbours. No night lights in or around the toilet, so sometimes you have to put the lights on to see where your going. The showers are ok, but could be more powerful. We found out they only change the bedding once in 7 days. Lost use of balcony twice due to “maintainace” Serious lack of things to do of an evening. All shows were based on music. Mainly Italian or Spanish The magic show and hand silhouette show was very 1980’s and most humour Italian orintated Everything costs, even certain shows that are based on the boat. The layout of the foods in the market place buffet is a mess, so by the time you finally sit down your food is pretty cold. The staff in the market place will only attend your table if you are buying a drink. Staff will tend to either walk straight at you, or refuse to move if you need to get past. If you have special dietary needs, good luck, mum was celiac, The tv in the cabin had only two English speaking channels BBC news and National geographic. The layout of such a large ship was a mess. The entertainment area will bankrupt you, for example 30 mins bowling €30.00 €55.00 for an hour. 4D cinema adults €10.00 or €8.00 for kids So to sum up, what you thought was a good priced cruise will actually cost you more than with other cruise lines, Would I recommend or travel with MSC again, NO. even my partner who had never Sailed before claimed that she found the evenings boring and would not sail with MSC again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
At embarkation the ship looked really impressive but as soon as we got on board & before we had a minute to take in the spectacle we are descended upon and literally grabbed by over eager sales persons berating us for our stupidity for ... Read More
At embarkation the ship looked really impressive but as soon as we got on board & before we had a minute to take in the spectacle we are descended upon and literally grabbed by over eager sales persons berating us for our stupidity for not having purchased a drinks package. Having eventually managed to extricate ourselves from this unpleasant situation we headed for our cabin and were more than a little put of by the strong smell of sewage in the corridor. That smell dissipated after a the first day. The cabin was a pleasant size pretty well equipped, the balcony was a reasonable size. The thing about this ship is it's size and that really is not a good thing because there are far too many people on board for it to be able to cope. Expect to spend a significant portion of your cruise waiting for one of the too few lifts. The worst part of the cruise was the buffet, a truly awful, dreadful experience. There are just far too many people so its difficult to find a space to eat, the noise is over-powering and when you finally fight through the crowds and buffet foot is appalling, really, really bad. More about he drinks package, eventually we gave in and bough a drinks package only to find that it is a real con, the only beer included was a really nasty version of Heineken, only a couple of spirits and the cheapest of the wines. It doesn't take long after arrival on this magnificent piece of engineering until you realise that it exists solely to cram as many human beings as possible on board and then find as many ways as possible to separate them from their cash. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Was the largest cruise boat we have booked on, but nevertheless ran like clockwork with few long waits compared to Princess when it comes to getting on and off. Purchased cruises were excellent and as advertised. MSC for Me, the app ... Read More
Was the largest cruise boat we have booked on, but nevertheless ran like clockwork with few long waits compared to Princess when it comes to getting on and off. Purchased cruises were excellent and as advertised. MSC for Me, the app wasn’t much good, as you cannot message your fellow traveller, many things priced as extra such as F1 and flight simulator, teppanakki restaurant difficult?impossible to get the price, several days when the daily activity list and menus was zero/blank; paper based backup worked though. Bookings system worked though. Cirque at Sea was good, especially the food but our seating (dinner) was terrible and room very hot. For approx 1/3 of the audience the view is from side or behind some of the explanatory visual. We attended opera, dance and rock presentations. The rock was not well received , sung and phrased by non English speakers. We should have thought it through. Some very talented singers too!! The opera and flamenco dance was fabulous. Dining in Panorama and Waves didn’t give us a view, but the view from the Market Buffet and Sky Bar is terrific. In March we were lucky and had no rain, but you need to have several layers when you go ashore as there is plenty of shade even if forecast is 16-18. Take note: Feb/Mar usually wet. Hand hygiene is not overly policed onboard, most of us caught varying degrees of ‘colds’. There are plenty of hand sanitizers and hand wash stations - please use them. Overall, food quality is patchy. Breads and pastries excellent, salads and ‘healthy options’ quite good, cold meat and cheese great, hot offerings and deserts OK to good. The more special it is supposed to be the more disappointing it can be. This is in the general and buffet dining rooms, not necessarily the specialty restaurants. Other than Cirque, we went to the Sushi - food fabulous, but staff not knowledgeable, just salesmen. We knew what we wanted and they weren’t pleased. The lonely little expert guy (chef) in the corner doesn’t get a look in. Don’t ask for sake ‘warm’ - it causes a frenzy and I received a thimble of molten microwaved sake!! You might leave hungry from this restaurant as they never leave you alone for even 5 minutes. Drinks available in different areas varies in range. For instance I could only order Chardonnay (there are lots of beer and beer related options) at the British Pub. Package drinks purchase not economical if you will be ashore most of the days-see exclusions and fine print. Service is 50-50. Waiters tended to be a tad difficult, room and customer service terrific. Some waiters were fine but.. not all. Problem being the service daily charge added automat to your bill ( you can have it removed) doesn’t give some of them any incentive. I emphasise there were some terrific waiters!!! Room was very comfortable (balcony) and with Fantastico package we were able to order early morning cuppa from room service. Room had small fridge, small wardrobe, no robes, great big bed, 2-3 seater couch, lovely big shower/loo. You can request no mini-bar otherwise it is stocked. 1lt water €2.90. So many new people leave and board every day!! With about 4000+ passengers most of the time there are patches of noisy or rude people. Lift and queue etiquette very interesting. Kids are well catered for onboard and attend shows and dinner at all hours. During our week they were no problem! Noisy teens another matter Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Quick background - we are a couple who have cruised 6 times over the last 2 years. Not the most seasoned cruisers but have some experience of cruising with different lines. We decided to take the leap from mid sized ships to bigger ones ... Read More
Quick background - we are a couple who have cruised 6 times over the last 2 years. Not the most seasoned cruisers but have some experience of cruising with different lines. We decided to take the leap from mid sized ships to bigger ones with MSC as they offer yacht club, which we felt would be a good way to combine a big ship with some familiarities of a smaller vessel, as well as indulging in the luxury service YC offers. Embarkation was great. We were taken personally by a butler to the YC check in area and given Prosecco to drink. We were then escorted straight to our cabin (YC suite) by a butler who also introduced us to the staff on the concierge desk. The cabin was lovey. More a junior suite than a suite of rooms as we’ve had on other lines, but very well furnished. The only snags would be the wardrobe being quite small for two people and the balcony being quite small also. However this did not distract from how nice the room and shower room were. We also had a complimentary mini bar and a bottle of procecco on arrival in the room. This has to be the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in. The ship it’s self is a sight to behold. Absolutely amazing. Think Swarovski Crystal stairs and LED ceilings that show different images during the day. The YC private sun deck was very nice as was the private lounge bar for YC guests. The physical product that MSC offer was brilliant. However the service provided by the majority of staff was a massive problem. We had chosen to book several meals and drinks packages before travel. This allowed us to get the dates that we wanted in advance (NYE being one of them) for specialty meals. One of those we booked was the Cirque du Soleil meal and show. When we arrived we had a note in our cabin asking us to visit guest services to confirm our reservation for this meal. As we were in the YC we were able to go to our concierge desk rather than wait as guest services (the queue at guest services was at times 1hour long!). The concierge explained that anything in terms of meals booked on the website never transfers to their system and that’s why we had to see them. She emailed the cirque to confirm our choice of date. We decided to check that our other reservations were in place. She said no and that for those we would need to go over to Eataly and speak to the manager who would confirm them all in one place. We went to Deck 6 where Eataly was and tried to get the attention of the manager who was chatting with some Italian guests. He proceeded to ignore us for several minutes before we decided to interrupt his conversation. We explained the situation and he didn’t reply but waved another memeber of staff over who couldn’t even speak English. He didn’t have a clue what we wanted to after 10 minutes of trying to explain using hand gestures we gave up and went back to the concierge. The concierge said the reason for not being able to get it sorted was we ‘had gone to the wrong Eataly’ and it was our own fault. She said we needed to go and find the other Eataly and they would sort it. At this point we asked if she could sort it for us. She agreed, although did not seem happy about it and said she would email the bookings to us. She also explained that our booking for the chefs table wouldn’t be available for NYE as we had booked for. She also spotted our premium drinks package and said ‘I don’t know why you bought that as you’re YC and get it anyway’ . No offer of a refund. It was at this point we realised that the bottle of champagne and souvenir flutes we had booked for sail away had not been delivered. She again told us that this is because their system has never worked but she could sent it over for another day. This set the tone for the rest of the service recieved. •in the YC bar we were often ignored and found it easier to just go to the bar our selves rather than wait for a waiter. One who did come came back to us 4 times to confirm our drinks order of ‘Diet Pepsi and a white wine’. The same waiter slammed our drinks down and began shouting at another member of staff •when coming back on board from one of the ports the staff ignored us and we calling each other profanities very loudly •walking through deck 6 was an obstacle course of people selling you meals and drinks packages •we asked our concierge to change one of our meal bookings over one night as we’d had a long day and fancied something quieter than the cirque show we’d booked. He shouted at us over the phone saying that he couldn’t do that as it was ‘too complicated’. When pressured by us to sort it he said he would but in future could we ‘not change our minds as it’s awakward’ for him and that he’d struggled to get us a table in the other resturant (which ironically was very quiet anyway!) Food. •Generally the food was poor quality. The food served in the YC resturant was the same at lunchtime as in the buffet (not the gourmet experience the website promised). •The steak in the butchers cut was very good, but at a premium. •The buffet was a feeding frenzy with people grabbing food and pushing and shoving. There was inadequate seating available for the volume of guests. It was very very very loud in here, we didn’t go back after the first time! •When booking we were advised that we could dine anytime at any of the included resturants across the ship. However this was no longer the case and we could only dine in YC, premium resturants or the buffet. Other guests who were not YC were subjected to strict dining times in a set resturant - if they were 15 minutes late for their time they would not be allowed in. •unlike other lines you will not see officers around the ship and the manangement team do not interact with guests, passing you to a more junior memeber of staff Around the ship •Astheically the ship is lovely. However the public areas do not seem to cope very well with the volume of passengers during the winter season. Everywhere is loud. There was a DJ playing above the shopping arcade at the same time as a Zumba class happening at the bar a few meters away. •the Swarovski stairs are amazing, however you probably won’t be able to use them as the ships photographers use them for private photo shoots with people lying down on them posing •on day one I thought there was a queue to meet and greet the captain. It was very long. It was actually the queue for guest services for people complaining •staffing ratios do not seem very high. At the amusement arcade there was one person running the sports court, bowling alley, f1 simulators and the flight simulator. We had a go on the flight sim and had to wait ten minutes when it finished for the memeber of staff to let us out. We had to wait in a pitch back sealed pod! We even pressed the emergency button as we’d waited so long!!! •the safety drill was the most unusual experience ever. We were all asked to meet in the theatre. Given an demonstration in 5 languages as to how to put the life vest on and then group by group taken to different muster stations across the ship. We were group A so after everyone had left we were told in 5 languages that the theatre was our muster station and we could go. Surely they could have told us this at the start and saved us a 45 minute wait?? Bottom line This ship was on the whole not for us. It is loud and difficult to relax in. You could be sat eating a meal at the butchers cut to be interrupted for 10 minutes by animated dinsours fighting and roaring on the LED screen for a ‘show’. However we do appreciate that some people enjoy that kind of holiday. However, had the service and food been better we would have made the best. Instead we were treated like an inconvenience and told off by so called ‘concierges’ and ‘butlers’. We told the YC director that we were planning to leave the next day and he apologiesed but didn’t offer to rectify any of the issues we had raised. The next day he was genuinely surprised that we had booked flights home and said he thought we would have reconsidered - why? Nothing had been changed. All the bookings we had made online were still messed up. The food was still rubbish and staff still rude. And even our newspaper delivered on the last day was wrong. We decided our time was more valuable that the money we had already spent and we would have a happier new year at home where at least we don’t get told off and can relax. This ship is due to move over to serve the American market this year. I cannot see Americans who are used to and expect a high level of service tolerating what MSC offer on this ship. We have been offered no compensation or reimbursement for the services we paid for in advance that we did not revcieve. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I would like to start off by saying that this cruise was booked whilst on-board a previous MSC cruise in the year (Voyagers Club), therefore understandably chuffed with the already discounted trip/cabin/onboard credit ect. The ... Read More
I would like to start off by saying that this cruise was booked whilst on-board a previous MSC cruise in the year (Voyagers Club), therefore understandably chuffed with the already discounted trip/cabin/onboard credit ect. The Meraviglia is huge, well planned out and therefore should provide any passenger with a pleasant experience, over the duration of the holiday not once did I see an unclean part of the ship nor did I have reason to complain about the facilities. Travelling with my wife it is fair to say that we know what we want from a holiday and can easily compare the Meraviglia to past MSC holidays! DO NOT DO THIS ! this is where we learned very quickly that this trip is going to be different in many ways. If you are willing to sail away and embrace the new you will have an excellent time..... If you natter on to your newly found friends at dinner about your last cruise and think that that the waiters will have time for you then you will probably have a terrible time... > forget that honeymoon cruise in the Caribbean or that time that you took the kids away on a cruise where you found all the fun to be had at sea! It is very hard to repeat the same experiences, my thoughts below are reasons why I state this....... 1. Technology, your granny will hate it but get used to it as the MSC is top class with scrolling information boards at every lift point (much like scrolling on a mobile phone), scan your card or wristband at the terminal to get a map, book dinner of to simply check on tonight's shows. In room TV info is just amazing with on demand movies, news, safety info and future cruising info 2. Cleanliness - Its clean and tidy, almost OCD level so don't mess up the ship or your room for that matter as your cabin man/woman will notice. 3. Entertainment - Excellent but you'll need deep wallets to get rid of the kids for an hr, 100 euros will get a arcade pass to the flight simulator and F1 car simulator and similar, the water park and high ropes are FREE though so just make sure you use this facility. 4. Adult entertainment - Cirque du soleil, I didn't know what this was at the time but just book and see the show before you board to avoid disappointment, most easily the best show that you will witness on water. SONAR was so so cool. 5. Dining, Expect busy waiters and long wait times at the bar the STAFF versus PASSENGERS ration is miss managed, the only way to have a nice little chat to staff would be the Anchor pub, and that'll be because they know that mainly English passengers go there. Strongbow will be part of your drinks package if you have it. 6. Meeting friends - Not likely, If you are really lucky to keep in touch with your allocated dinner guests and make a point of meeting up or suggesting paring up on land to do some shore excursions then maybe you will> my experiences when even trying to strike up a conversation with others are that the ship is so so big why bother as I wont see you again for the rest of the cruise, even at the voyagers exclusive party and meet the captain it was like being in the middle of a busy shopping mall surrounded by (yes like minded) strangers. Summary - I had an excellent time with my wife and can say that the ship itself is amazing and takes all week to discover each and every facility, MSC have some nice touches, ill try not to spoil all of the quirky tricks that make you feel good about being on holiday but here are two (x2) must have experiences.... A. Get up before six (6am) and walk under the dome (dome show) to see the sky and hear the morning birdsong. B. Be up on deck (poolside) when sailing away from ports to experience Andrea Bocelli's TIME TO SAY GOODBYE song (the younger cruisers will be more familiar with the film step brothers - either way its a nice touch) .......If this is your first cruise I would consider starting with other smaller ships within MSC's fleet before you go big time. Whatever you decide or if you have already booked you will have a nice trip so make the most of it and put in a little effort with others- you'll be grateful when staff remember you for the right reasons and not just because you were complaining at reception- have fun guys. Mr Lee Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I have cruised before, but my wife had not, and she was looking for "an over the top" experience". So I began searching for big ships doing the Mediterranean in November. MSC had a lot of ships and the Meraviglia is one ... Read More
I have cruised before, but my wife had not, and she was looking for "an over the top" experience". So I began searching for big ships doing the Mediterranean in November. MSC had a lot of ships and the Meraviglia is one of the top 10 largest ships afloat, very new, and the video was amazing. The reviews however, were anything but amazing. Like lukewarm and even negative reviews about our favorite restaurants, I have learned that most negative reviews are more about missed/too lofty expectations than reality. The biggest gripes about the Meraviglia seemed to be food and staff. Since the boat is so high tech and wondrously equipped, no one really complained about the ship. Sure enough, even our tablemates as well as others on board echoed the Cruise Critic complaints. They ranged from now having butter and iced tea (both free, readily available) to non English speaking staff who were "unfriendly". If your attitude is "I am the guest and I expect to be served", you will be disappointed. If you engage the staff with your own smile and understand they work 11 hours a day, even my first time cruising wife was amazed at how every waiter and staff person smiled back.....even when they had to say "no" (like when we were late for dinner and the gatekeeping waiter apologized saying he was not allowed to let anyone in past 7:45, so I asked him to ask for his captain, which he did, and of course, the captain, his boss, let us in). MSC offers the lowest prices afloat for the most interesting itineraries and the newest boats.....but unless you are traveling Yacht Club, you just cant expect white glove service--but you can expect politeness and cleanliness and entertainment and "service". And we got all of this and more. Dinner. We only ate at the standard Waves Restaurant. Three sittings, We were the second. The appetizers and desserts were great, the entrees, though varied were not as good and need improvement. Not to worry though because the astonishing buffet, open 20 hours a day, had stupendous selections of excellent food from simple salads, to homemade pizza, Halal and ethnic specialties, rotisserie *the roast veal carved to order was smashing), plus an on board mozzarella factory (you could see it being made) that ensured great caprese salads and more. And they changed the offerings every day! Housekeeping. In a word, perfect. No goofy doorknob hangers telling staff to clean up the room. Just press a button. Spotless. The Room. We opted for an admidships deck 12 interior cabin because my wife was worried about seasickness. The cabin was huge, with a queen plus bed, great pillows, lighting, etc And the bathroom has the best shower afloat in my experience with infinite hot water! And a blow dryer!. Staff. What a great group of waiters and support staff rom Central America to Ukraine and Africa. Just knocked themselves out to please! It surely helped that we engaged them instead of treating them like servants. Prices: For 5Euros we got any two items delivered free to our room. Drinks were 6Euros. The best ice cream and chocolate (made on the boat) were $1-3Euros. The coffee, water, tea, ice tea, etc. were all free at the buffet. So no complaints about the "extras" The experience: 32 elevators, four pools, an arcade full of shops, sky bars, full size basketball court, full size bowling alleys and a water slide that went OVER the edge of the ship, outstanding singing and dancing "Broadway" type shows and Swarovski glass staircases made onboard life hugely satisfying. The guests. Where were all the seniors? This was the first cruise I have ever been on where there were so many families, disabled people, young honeymooners, babies, kids, etc. from so many different countries. A true multi-cultural experience. Our table mates were from the Dominican Republic (an MD and his wife), honeymooners from Colombia, and a couple from Florida. A great itinerary and all of the above for $1300 for 7 nights? Yup, and we cant wait to go again! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I am a cruiser of significant experience. I have sailed many days on Crystal, as well as having sailed on Seabourn, Holland America Line, Azamara Club Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Princess as well as ... Read More
I am a cruiser of significant experience. I have sailed many days on Crystal, as well as having sailed on Seabourn, Holland America Line, Azamara Club Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Princess as well as the now defunct Transocean Tours' MS Marco Polo and Voyages of Discovery's much missed MV Discovery. I have sailed multiple times in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, as well as the Northwest Passage, Antarctica, South America, Asia, Alaska, Norway and the Baltics. Whenever I do a review, I review the ship against what it A) is pertaining to be, and B) value versus the price paid. In this sense, a Crystal cruise may not receive five stars if the voyage did not meet my high expectations, whilst a 3 night Norwegian Cruise Line voyage may rate higher if my substantially lower expectations were exceeded. In my opinion, the MSC Yacht Club product is the best value in luxury cruising. My wife and I are in our mid 20s, and we appreciated the fact that we had our own enclave aboard, where the crew quickly learnt our names and favourite drinks, but could at will descend into the melee of a mega-ship filled with energy, music, song and dance. The Yacht Club was in essence a haven (pun unintended), a quite, relaxing area, approximately the size of one the older Seabourn triplets, where it was easy to meet passengers and make friends, in a fashion that is usually impossible aboard a ship carrying several thousand passengers. One could then go and enjoy the entertainment and options available on the ship with said friends. The entertainment was of high quality, especially the Cirque de Soleil show. Every night a production show was presented, of which one can get tired of quite quickly, but they were of similar quality to shows I have seen on other mass-market lines. The overall ambiance of the vessel was international, which is something we really enjoyed about MSC, and the Meravilliga's interiors where nothing short of stunning. We did not try any eateries besides the Yacht Club restaurant and the buffet, so cannot comment on the quality of food in the rest of the ship. In the Yacht Club, the pantry always had food available, the drinks where of reasonable quality and weather permitting there was a barbecue or buffet available on the open private decks. The MSC Yacht Club restaurant offered food of a reasonable to high quality, with service that was great if not perfect, missing the finesse of service found on dedicated luxury lines. The butler aboard the Yacht Club was more of a room attendant, although you could always count on the ones serving in the Yacht Club lounge, for all intents a private observation lounge at the forward-most point of the vessel's superstructure. Lines where never a problem as we had dedicated lifts which we could override to give Yacht Club passengers express service, and the butlers where always at hand to walk you out or back on to the ship, skipping the sometimes substantial ques. In a similar fashion, after a very hectic day trying to get to the ship (trains on strike, taking a bus, taxis on strike, having to take several busses, etc.) the glasses of sparkling wine and welcome of the YC crew made our embarkation perfect. I can happily recommend the Meraviglia if you are a guest seeking a large cruise-ship experience in an international environment, with a value-driven luxury product, and for this value are willing to give up the extra refinements and finesse found on 'true' luxury lines. I am sure we will be sailing aboard an MSC vessel in the Yacht Club in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
UK Booking Office, Website and Tech Support should all be closed - the "service" provided and poor systems just aren't good enough. As MSC is starting to focus on the American market, just move it all there so we can deal ... Read More
UK Booking Office, Website and Tech Support should all be closed - the "service" provided and poor systems just aren't good enough. As MSC is starting to focus on the American market, just move it all there so we can deal with people accustomed to customer service. We booked Yacht Club - the prices are getting too steep for us now, so we had an inside cabin (14005). This is by far the worst cabin we have had in 40 cruises. I will review that separately. Boarding the ship is usually an enjoyable experience for those in Yacht Club. Luggage taken at the roadside and within your cabin in under 30 minutes. A separate check-in area, complete with drinks and snacks and a private butler-led escort to the YC area. Well, the butler obviously had a day off because the pleasant young lad given the job of escorting us to YC was clueless. He couldnt use his YC card to summon the express lifts because he didnt have one. The lifts were extremely crowded so we were led from one side of the deck to the other and back again in search of a lift. When we did get one, he took us to the wrong floor, led us out and had to quickly usher us back in before the lift went - he did that twice. He remained cheery even if the rest of us were a tad fed-up. Everything (well nearly everything) about YC was perfect. Dinner was excellent every night, the private top deck was great and the small food area was great to escape the chaos in the main buffet. Service within the YC lounge was sporadic and not a patch on our previous YC cruise aboard Splendida. The ship itself, once you figured it out, was great. The Italians were Italian, doing Italian things - sometimes annoying but they are Italian after all lol The shows were actually really good - now they have the gimmicky cirque de soleil (extra charge) they have moved the "bendy wendy girls" and other circus style acts into there - leaving the theatre to present theatre style musical shows. OK they may still be short at 45 minutes but they are worth seeing (3 shows a night and need to book as soon as you get aboard). Sadly, the main buffet was a complete shambles. Splendida had an amazing salad bar area; on here it is terrible. Food kept running out, was spread weirdly around the buffet area and never seemed to change from one day to the next. Even the famous Italian pizza was poor. Trying to get a drink in the buffet (using the excellent "bar call" button system) took forever or just didnt happen. Im sure the system is fine but Im not sure any staff actually bother to look at it. Now, Ive read several reviews regarding poor staff service levels and attitude. IF you go looking for those staff, Im sure you will find them. We never did because we greeted every single one of them with a cheery hello, please and thank you and they were just brilliant. It always amazes me how they recognise you from one cruise to the next, often a year apart - give them 20 seconds and most will even remember your name. They are all stars. We are looking forward to our next MSC cruise on Seaside and then the inaugural sailing of Bellissima next March - BUT we are keeping our fingers crossed on the cabin Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Only take notice of negative reviews on here if you are looking for an English or US style cruise. If you are cosmopolitan, love a lively atmosphere, enjoy European food and are nice to staff then you will not find fault. The ship is ... Read More
Only take notice of negative reviews on here if you are looking for an English or US style cruise. If you are cosmopolitan, love a lively atmosphere, enjoy European food and are nice to staff then you will not find fault. The ship is magnificent, the staff were fantastic, the food was good. We took advantage of the all-Inc drinks and enjoyed a 3 dinner package ... Butchers Cut, Eataly and Cirque du Soleil. .. everything was perfect. Our balcony cabin was fantastic ... and yes the bathroom is smaller than on other MSC ships. .. but the shower was actually larger. Disembarkation for ports and day of departure extremely well organised. Much bigger ship than we have been on before and weren't sure if we would like it, we didn't ... We LOVED it. Fabulous entertainment from shows in the theatre to acts in the various bars and especially the animation team staff on the bridge in the Promenade. Only downside is we now need another holiday as we didn't get back to our cabin until the early hours every night! Thanks MSC! See you again soon. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this for our honeymoon. Our group includes our 80 year old mothers. I’m struck by the sheer overcrowded, impersonal, iPad and upsell-driven process we are a part of. Food areas and common areas are ridiculously overcrowded, ... Read More
We chose this for our honeymoon. Our group includes our 80 year old mothers. I’m struck by the sheer overcrowded, impersonal, iPad and upsell-driven process we are a part of. Food areas and common areas are ridiculously overcrowded, no seating available and long queues for lukewarm and very ordinary food-we cruise a lot, this is way below par on many levels. The ship itself is impressive, and I’m sure few would deny this, the experience though is far from relaxing. Cabins small, we have a balcony cabin with the Aurea package, TV impossible to see from the bed, we have no sofa, nor mirror in our cabin (bar the bathroom). I believe we have seen our cabin attendant once. We found that the staff are undertrained in general, they work too many hours and are tired and overstretched as they have traded opulence of ship and taken away any form of personal experience, just doesn’t feel special in any way and it’s a fight to get service-I requested a tray to carry food to my mother who is disabled, and was told to make several trips with plates instead, each time fighting my way back through infeasible crowds. Not a patch on other similar priced cruise experiences I’ve had. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Embarkation in Genoa started off as a nightmare. It was disorganised, none of the staff knew where we had to go and the signage was very confusing. No sign of the Yacht Club tent until we finally got directions from a staff member who ... Read More
Embarkation in Genoa started off as a nightmare. It was disorganised, none of the staff knew where we had to go and the signage was very confusing. No sign of the Yacht Club tent until we finally got directions from a staff member who actually knew where the Yacht Club check in was. With suitcases, this was very stressful not helped by the fact that 2 ships were in at the same time. Our new butler, Maksim, was amazing. He was there if you needed him but left you alone if you didnt want anything. He was friendly and professional and always had time for a chat. Butlers tend to provide room service but they also serve in the Top Sail lounge and the One Pool Deck this gives a continuity of service as they know how you like drinks, etc. There are 3 places in the Yacht Club where you could get food (apart from room service) the One Pool Deck, the Top Sail lounge and the restaurant. You could also book in to one of the speciality restaurants although we didnt do this as the food was so good in the Yacht Club. Main buffet: We ate in the main buffet twice and we had no problem getting a seat. The button on each table to ask for drinks was a really nice touch and the service was quick and friendly. Food here was nice although there were some strange combinations of food which made it difficult to have a complete meal. However, you could get burgers, hot dogs and pizza here. Yacht Club One Pool Deck: Here you could have casual breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks. We had roast beef, chicken parmigiana and salmon amongst others and the food was generally good but was sometimes a bit lukewarm. This place is great if the weather was good but you couldnt eat up here if it was cold. You also had a full range of drinks including some very nice wines such as Chablis and Pinot Grigio. Top Sail lounge: There was a small buffet of cold snacks such as sandwiches, cakes and nuts. You could also get sushi here and they had canapes before dinner. You could also take high tea here between 4-5pm where you had a 3 tier cake and sandwich stand with a selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones with jam and real clotted cream. If you wanted any other sandwiches, you only needed to ask and they would get you some. They also had a selection of loose leaf teas which were served from the trolley. A very civilised experience. Yacht Club Restaurant: This was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The first night was really good and Ajay was efficient. However, the second night started out as a disaster, so much so that we tried to walk out. It took an age for the menus to arrive, we didnt get any drinks and the waiter couldnt understand what we wanted. When we walked out, we were stopped by the Restaurant Supervisor Massimo who was very concerned and persuaded us to stay. He seated us in another section of the restaurant and our new waiter, Miljan, was amazing. He served us for the rest of our cruise and we didnt want for anything. He got to know what wines we liked and recommended some new ones which were good to try. He also tailored the dishes and had a really good sense of humour. He knew how to tailor the service based on our personality and attitude. We never had an issue getting a table bar one night (tables were available but not in Miljans section) so we were asked to go to the Top Sail lounge and Massimo came to collect us as soon as a table was ready. He generally got us the same table every night which was nice. Joyce, the Assistant Waiter, was also really good remembering that we liked still water and what type of bread we generally like. Miljan and Massimo really made our cruise special and we were quite emotional when we left the last night. Massimo also organised an anniversary meal for us with a specially cooked dish and a bottle of champagne. The entertainment on board ranged from dire to quite good. It seemed that MSC has spent all the money on Cirque du Soleil on board and not had much left for the other entertainment. We did not go to see Cirque du Soleil as it is not our cup of tea but there were spaces available every night for the shows for both the meal and drink options. Highlights: Yacht Club and the Meraviglia itself is amazing Always loungers available even on the main decks (never busy on the One Deck even on sea days) Service was impeccable Food was of a very good standard with some great wines recommended The butler service was amazing including getting on and off the ship The button on the buffet tables to get a drink worked really well Concierge and room service were excellent Loved the pillow menu. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
£3700 pounds for a nightmare , dirty tables Full lifts Staff English very limited Everyone using the wheelchair and pram entrance so my children were irritable waiting over an hour to board . Some staff were great and some ... Read More
£3700 pounds for a nightmare , dirty tables Full lifts Staff English very limited Everyone using the wheelchair and pram entrance so my children were irritable waiting over an hour to board . Some staff were great and some terrible , the better ones in the paying restraunts . If your thinking of travelling mainly Italians and announcements are mainly in other languages other than English . Buffet most days clear your own table before sitting like a zoo. The ship is very attractive however the staff are the ones that can make or break your stay . The rooms very clean and attendant was polite . Waiters in main restraint were great . If MSC said I’ll give you a £1000 cruise voucher to a future cruise I would decline. I blame the ships management as moral seems an all time low . Especially avoid this cruise if you are from the uk and have children as the kids club speak little English and focus more on there own spoken language . The excursion from the port to Marseille is charged by Msc however there’s a free shuttle so they will have you over for this. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
A quick review of Meraviglia...... this was my second MSC cruise in 6 months, usually travelling with RCI. We boarded in Marseilles one very rainy Saturday. I think there were only about 400 joining the 'bus' that day. ... Read More
A quick review of Meraviglia...... this was my second MSC cruise in 6 months, usually travelling with RCI. We boarded in Marseilles one very rainy Saturday. I think there were only about 400 joining the 'bus' that day. Boarding started at 12 noon prompt and we were on board before 10 past. Muster was held in the theatre and then, rather strangely we were led to where our actual muster station was (a random point along the deck 6 promenade.....) . It was a very multi cultural cruise with a very large group of Chinese on board. We had a balcony on deck 9, 2 doors away from the 'secret' lift which was the perfect location and highly recommended. The only issue we had was on the last night when many Spanish teens got on board and they used the foyer of the secret lift for their meeting place at 3am, chatting very loudly. The room was well appointed, rather strange wall paining of some vegetables. Cupboard was very small with sliding doors that didn't slide very well. 2 drawers and 2 shelves. Very little storage. Suitcases fitted under the bed. Beds were very comfortable and the shower was very hot. Hairdryer in top drawer of dresser. Very odd dressing table chair which isn't a chair at all but a very heavy uncomfortable stool. No hooks on the wall to hang coats so they had to go in the cupboard. Being Black member I got a bottle of prosecco, chocolate covered strawberries, bathrobes, the chocolate ship, a backpack, an invite for 2 to a specialty restaurant, invite to cocktail party, free photo which is the one taken at the cocktail party, invite to a dance class, and and hour in the gym. I think that was all! We went to Butchers Cut for the complimentary dinner - very good steak well cooked but I found the starters a bit odd. I had the goats cheese and it came in a skillet on a rather hard base...it was too large I think. For pudding I had the cookie which came in the (same) skillet and again was a bit heavy going. The restaurant temperature was very cold and for pudding we actually moved tables out onto the balcony. Staff on board were excellent. Especially those in the English pub and in the various bars. The ship was spotless. Dress code was varied (to put it politely). The spa area is huge with so many baths and steam rooms - it was very enjoyable. Weather was not good - rain in Marseilles and Genoa. Snow in Rome which resulted in tours being cancelled. The ship was very good about keeping people informed. Music everywhere - lovely classical music in the atrium, a good band allowing for dancing in the Meraviglia Bar, salsa type band and karaoke in the On Air club; the only music I didn't like was the singer in the pub which I felt was far too loud for the space. I also liked the fact that some of the entertainment team were always around dancing with guests. The ship definitely had a party atmosphere. The ceiling display is impressive and only lasts a few minutes. Shows were proficient. I liked the one that was about the Apps. I did not go to see Cirque de Soleil. The chocolate shop is large and takes up a lot of space and I never saw anyone in there. I bought a box to go for €17.70 The Sky Lounge is a lovely quiet space, supposedly child free. One evening there were two prams in there, I spoke with the bar staff asking why they had been allowed in ...they obviously had to maneuver the prams past the large sign that says "0-18 not allowed" ti get in in the first place (!). The staff looked embarrassed and obviously did not want any confrontation. I went and spoke with another bar manager I had met earlier in the voyage. Immediately he was on his phone asking for the children to be removed...and he also wanted to send me a plate of something for my inconvenience. Now that is service! Very impressed! unfortunately it was my last night so I had to decline! There is a corner of the Sky Lounge (unmarked on any deck plan!) that is an enclosed smoking room. Meals in the MDR were fine, didn't go hungry and didn't come out feeling as if I could't eat another mouthful. Buffet had a very good selection including an Ethnic Corner which had some good dishes I like the way the MDR is open for lunch every day to although I didn't try it. The drinks package is the best value at sea. Didn't like the rose too much but the prosecco and the Aperol more than made up for it! There is a far wider selection of beers in the pub than in any other bar too. I would say that travelling as a solo it was quite a lonely experience. Most were families or couples. I have never spoken so much French! I feel that the lack of roll calls on these cruises mean you do not build up any friendships beforehand. Ship never felt crowded and was well laid out. I personally hate the Royal Promenade on RCI ships (all the ambiance of a shoe box) but this one was wide and I think the 'curves' into the shop areas helped with the flow. Shops were full of luxury items. There is also a very good range of toiletries and essential items on board too. Branded items are much cheaper than on RCI. MSC also add €1pp to your cruise bill as a donation to UNICEF. If you prepay the tips in UK it works out at £49pp for 7 days compared to the €70pp on board (which is about £61). Every penny helps! There is a huge kids area with 10-pin bowling and car simulators, and a big sports court. Outside there is a waterslide and a rope climbing frame for the adventurous. Last day was a disaster. Disembarking in Marseilles where all documentation said we docked at 8a so flights had been arranged accordingly. On board they said they docked at 9. This caused a great deal of stress to some people, not to mention expense, where people had booked cars, or tours or onward transportation. Despite having the priority Orange coloured departure group there was no organisation and it was a free for all with everyone pushing to get off the ship at once. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We got a good deal through Cruise Nation and although it wasn't an ideal time of year to cruise the Mediterranean we were looking forward to seeing the ports of call and experiencing life on a huge ship. Sadly we found that life with ... Read More
We got a good deal through Cruise Nation and although it wasn't an ideal time of year to cruise the Mediterranean we were looking forward to seeing the ports of call and experiencing life on a huge ship. Sadly we found that life with MSC was not for us and never will be again. We boarded at Barcelona and it was a relatively smooth process. The ship is really a hop-on hop-off service around the Med so there wasn't a full boarding process. The numbers boarding at Citavecchia seemed greater which is no surprise as it is an Italian ship. The ship itself was impressively huge and inside was the epitome of bling with shiny finishes and mirrors everywhere The ship had 5000 plus passengers and when everyone was on board it was hell on earth. The cabin was a little sanctuary but as soon as you stepped out the door it was mayhem with people pushing and shoving everywhere, competing for every facility on board. Everyone was allocated a particular restaurant for their evening meal although it was the same menu in each one. On the first evening it took almost two hours to be served three courses of luke warm, miniscule portions of bland food. After that experience we didn't go back. We did check the menu each day and found very little to suit the British palate, even if it had been palatable.The only alternative was to use the Market Place buffet areas which, most of the time, resembled a school canteen gone mad. There was no semblance of order with long queues at the counters, rude people wandering around with full plates, eating as they walked and pushing in front of others at the serveries. I have no desire to be racist, but another reviewer hinted at the huge numbers of a far Eastern race who monopolised large parts of the buffet areas, descending like a plague of locusts as soon as the doors opened, each carrying their little flasks and emptying the drinks containers. After a few days all the pleasure of eating on board, if there ever had been any, had gone. We saw the Cirqe de Soleil Sonar show and it was very good. The other shows in the Broadway theatre were average enough but were ruined by the number of people allowed in well after the show had started. We even had the pleasure of a group of children stand behind us talking loudly and laughing through the performance. As other people have said the central mall area is impressive but it does take up a lot of space with no purpose. There is large area given over to a Chocolate Bar/shop which is completely pointless and a range of designer outlets with huge prices The Brass Anchor pub was enjoyable until the female vocalist did her strangled cat impression each night. The Edge cocktail bar on Deck 7 was the most popular but, conversely, was the one with the least seating. People could be seen loitering around waiting for a table or chair to become free and then compete to get there first. We have to compliment the bar and waiting staff on the ship. They worked long hours but were always the most pleasant and well mannered. We didn't do any of the MSC excursions. Most of the ports were walkable from the ship. MSC were looking 16 euros for a shuttle bus into Marseille but didn't tell you that a 15 minute walk from the ship took you to the free port shuttle. In all, not an experience to be repeated. We will stick to a smaller, more personal and more British based cruise line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
MSC Meraviglia Westen Mediterranean cruise. Feb.2018. This ship is like a game changer of Italian cruise lines. It's a fabulous vessel, and we really enjoyed it. Venues and shows are spectacular, entertainment is in the ... Read More
MSC Meraviglia Westen Mediterranean cruise. Feb.2018. This ship is like a game changer of Italian cruise lines. It's a fabulous vessel, and we really enjoyed it. Venues and shows are spectacular, entertainment is in the air in a way that we haven't experienced with MSC before. I really enjoyed the opera, but there was something for everyone. It's a great ship for the cold with marvellous indoor pool areas and a fantastic spa. I did however question if it would work in the summer time since there is a lack of outdoor space. I asked someone and got it confirmed that the past summer was a disaster since there wasn't space enough on the pool decks. It's been pointed out before : it's like travelling on a bus, with people coming and the whole time. This makes the reception constantly crowded. Unlike many non - Italian ships there isn't much of a choice for dinner unless you are willing to pay up. You can however visit the buffet, which is at least one alternative. We were happy with what we got regarding quality and service, but we miss the delight of being able to choose where to go for dinner like we would normally do. General service was a mixed bag, but house keeping was top notch. With people leaving just about every day, disembarkation was great. Embarkation could have been good too, but it was unnecessarily messy. Even if it was too cold to be outside our kids had their best cruise ever. All the theatures and the kid's clubs kept them happy. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
After reading some of the reviews we were wondering what we’d let ourselves in for. We needn’t have been concerned, the ship was lovely, spotlessly clean, cabin although a little smaller than most, was very comfortable, the staff ... Read More
After reading some of the reviews we were wondering what we’d let ourselves in for. We needn’t have been concerned, the ship was lovely, spotlessly clean, cabin although a little smaller than most, was very comfortable, the staff friendly and helpful. Plenty of entertainment.The theatre, and the Circe de Soliel were excellent. Although there were many nationalities on board English was the first language.The food was good, all tastes catered for in the buffet diner and specialty restaurants. Maybe a bit on the expensive side, but we were on holiday. The only disappointment was the weather. We enjoyed Rome, and Valletta.Barcelona and Marseilles were the proverbial wash out. We are going to the Caribbean next month so hopefully we shall find the sunshine there, again we go with MSC, although not the same ship. I’m not going to read any reviews before I go, as we had a very good experience last time I shall look forward to the same. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
First of all this is a big cruise ship: 19 floors, over 5,000 passengers, 1,200 crew. It is like a big floating hotel with a small mall in the center. It is quite new (June 2017), so it looks and feels new, shiny and flashy. It is a great ... Read More
First of all this is a big cruise ship: 19 floors, over 5,000 passengers, 1,200 crew. It is like a big floating hotel with a small mall in the center. It is quite new (June 2017), so it looks and feels new, shiny and flashy. It is a great ship, no questions about it... The crew is excellent. I have read reviews of this an other cruise ships and they always mention that the workers seem to be stressed out, don't have time for the passengers, seem to be on a labor dispute attitude, etc. Well, not this one. The crew, which is made of people from all over the world: Latino Americans, South East Asians, Africans, and mostly Italian supervisors, is very attentive, friendly and very hard workers. We were nicely surprised. Our room was modern and efficient, on the 8th floor. This was a low budget trip for us, so we selected an interior room without window or balcony, but that was never an issue, we just left the light of the bathroom on at night so that we wouldn't feel confused or lost in the dark. The food was good. The ships has several free restaurants, but passengers are assigned a specific lunch/dinning restaurant for the entire trip. All these restaurants have the same Mediterranean-style menu. They have different shifts and we selected the last shift at 9:15pm for dinner, which meant we were mostly surrounded by Spaniards, which like to dine late. The portions were "European-size", not "American-size" but we never left hungry. We could also go to "The Marketplace Buffet" a big all-you-can-eat cafeteria on the 15th floor. It was open 20 hrs a day and offered breakfast, lunch and dinner (all free). We had no complaint about the variety and quality of the food. There were also several other specialty restaurants (steakhouse, Japanese, Italian) that required you to pay. We had jet-lag since we came from California, and we were up at 6am every day. That happen to be a blessing, since at 6:30am the Marketplace cafeteria was just opening, almost empty except for some Chinese people that also had a similar jet-lag. It was peaceful and enjoyable, and you could watch the sun rise and the clarity impose itself on the Mediterranean waters, right outside of the wall-to wall glass windows of the cafeteria. If you tried to go to the same cafeteria at 9am you would feel like in a mad house, with thousands of people all trying to serve themselves with fried eggs, bacon, sausages, croissants and what-else, running around and avoiding each other at the same time. We decided to keep our jet-lag for the rest of the trip... You could buy drinks (wine, beers, cocktails, soda's or mineral water) one at-a-time, or purchase drink packages, which I would recommend since one-at-a-time is expensive, in the range of EUR 5 for a soda to EUR 8 or more for a cocktail. During our stay we bought two decent Italian white wine bottles at the restaurant and paid EUR 25 ea., but there were many more expensive selections in the wine list. Our waiter (we always had the same waiter assigned to our table) was super-sweet and kept our unfinished wine bottles on the fridge for the next dinner. Free juice was available at the cafeteria but only for breakfast. No free soda fountains, and a glass with soda and ice was EUR 5 ea., which really bothered me. There was free coffee, hot water and tea bags at the cafeteria, and also several free filtered water fountains and we used them to fill our empty plastic bottles that we brought with us when we checked-in, and we reused them over-and-over in our land-explorations. They also added to our package --at the last minute and without us asking for it-- a free mineral water bottle with meals at the restaurant, which was very nice. We did not try to bring in liquor or beers into the ship, since we had read on the internet that they would confiscate them, but the water bottles were never a problem. The ship had different activities every day, and we very much enjoyed the troupe that performed different shows of music and dance several times a day in the theater in the back of the ship. There were also two different shows of Cirque du Soleil and we bought tickets for a dinner-and-show night, but to our bad luck that was the only day that we had bad weather, the ship was moving noticeably and they canceled the show... They returned the EUR 35 ea. that we paid for our tickets. So, we cannot judge the quality of the show. But we need to dispel some misinformation about Cirque du Soleil shows: It is a smaller theater and a smaller troupe than what you get on a regular show when they travel to different cities. And the shows are much shorter in duration. There is no free Cirque du Soleil shows since you have to either buy a dinner-and-show for EUR 35 ea. or a cocktail-and-show for EUR 15 ea. Purchasing of tickets at the ship, or confirming your assistance (which is a requirement for the tickets to be valid) is at very inconvenient times (9:30am to 4:30pm) since this is the time that you are in land and not in the ship, and you cannot do it online. We couldn't use the multiple swimming pools of the ship since it was winter. One of the pools was in a covered area on the 15th floor but it was not totally insulated and it felt a little too "cool" for our taste. We did try a jacuzzi and it was very nice once "the masses" had disappeared to prepare themselves for dinner... We loved the Sky Lounge on the 18th floor, were we had a drink every night before dinner, overlooking the 15th floor swimming pool through the big glass windows of the lounge. No kids allowed, so it was a peaceful place and a piano was gently played in a corner... The main promenade has a nice LED dome that produces different light shows through the day and night. On the sides there are some stores and several bars and lounges, but as with the main Atrium and Reception Desk, they are overwhelmed by people on the evenings. I felt sorry for the grand-piano players at the Atrium, that were supposed to produce warm-welcoming jazzy music in that chaos of people. And there were always long lines at the Reception Desk. It was a puzzle why so many people had to visit the desk every day and night. Maybe part of the reason is that there is people checkin in-and out of the ship on every port, so they had to settle their accounts before departing the ship the next day... Internet access was the worst part of the experience on this ship. It is slow and super-expensive. We purchased a package of a little less than 1 gig of data for $38.50, and somehow it was mostly gone in 30 minutes of use. Don't ask me how, since I had disabled most of the apps background data connections. I was trying to use Google Maps to plan our excursions, but to no avail. We had also purchased a Vodafone sim card for our iPhone, so we had to wait for the ship to get very close to port to get some reception and be able to connect to the internet and plan our daily trips. Using the Vodafone card in port and on land to guide ourselves to were we wanted to go barely used a fraction of the data cap allowed, so I don't understand how the ship data package was exhausted so quickly. So, do all your research of the places you want to visit, how to get there, etc., before you arrive to the cruise ship, since you won't have barely any internet access once you are in. And buy a Vodafone or similar multi-country sim card that you can use with your smartphone on each destination. The other thing that really irritated me is the lack of comprehensive information about the different features and cost of activities in the ship, before you buy your tickets and during your voyage. The online information is fractured, incomplete or non-existent. MSC has a website and specific web pages about the MSC Meraviglia, and they have an app that you can use in your smartphone or iPad while in the ship, but a lot of information is simply not there. As an example, they feature prominently the Cirque du Soleil shows, as they should, but it doesn't say anywhere if it is included in the ticket. I had to call the cruise travel agent to ask the question, wait for them to call the company and then they told me it was included. False. It was NOT included. You need to buy a dinning ticket or a cocktail ticket to be able to see the show. I asked several other questions and they sent me links to web pages that more or less touched on the issues, but these pages are not linked to the main website, you have no way to see them unless they send you the specific link. And there is barely any information about the ports and docks, and how to get from the ship to the city that you are landing, if there is any bus service, how much it cost, location maps, etc. It is as if they expect you to just join one of their tours and never wander by yourself on the cities that you are visiting... The other thing that irritated us was the checkin process. Totally unnecessary long waiting lines. They give you some orange juice at the end, when they should have offered the juice while we waited that stupid line. While I waited sitting on the concrete floor, exhausted after our long trip from California, I kept thinking that the airlines have mastered since long ago the checkin process and I could not understand why it was so complicated for these cruise people. We had already paid for our trip, we had done a required online-checking process many days before. What else was needed? Just to show our boarding pass, passport and go in, isn't? Nope. Don't ask me why. As a compensation, de-boarding the last day our our trip was much easier and fast, except for a visit to the Reservation Desk to contest a charge from the Bamboo Bar that was incorrect, and it required us to wait a couple of hours for them to contact the waitress to confirm our dispute. I guess they didn't believe us stinky cheap passengers... At the end, you have to question if this cruise was worth it. This was our first mega-cruise experience and I think it was worth it. We learned a lot. But I realize we are not be the typical cruise passenger. Our idea before joining this cruise was to use it as a means of transportation and accommodation as we visit all the different cities in the itinerary. It brought us to each city and we didn't have to deal with moving our luggage to a different hotel each day. And of course, it's nice to have a new and clean ship, with facilities that you can use while you are there. But our original idea is not exactly correct. First, visiting the cities is not as easy at it sounds, the docks are not necessarily at walking distance and transportation gets complicated, time-consuming and even expensive, plus they don't really give you any clues, you have to find everything by yourself. Second, the cruise is a destination by itself. For a lot of people --the majority-- the cruise is the destination and the cities just the excuse. They enjoy being on the ship, eating and drinking, dancing and wearing their finest cloths at night shows, restaurants and lounges. It's a floating resort! So, we'll have to think twice before doing another cruise, and it will have to be a much smaller ship. This ship is beautiful, good service, good food, good facilities, but too big, too many people, and not the kind of vacation that I have ever dreamed of. But if you like big resorts, enjoy it! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I am currently a passenger on the MSC Meraviglia. My wife and I are passengers on a Mediterranean cruise.I can honestly say that this past week I experienced the worst of over 35 cruises I have enjoyed. The ship is not geared for the ... Read More
I am currently a passenger on the MSC Meraviglia. My wife and I are passengers on a Mediterranean cruise.I can honestly say that this past week I experienced the worst of over 35 cruises I have enjoyed. The ship is not geared for the American audience. For example coffee or tea after dinner is an extra. The MSC line nickel and dime you whenever possible. On several days I had to wait 45 minutes to get back onto the ship. When I asked to speak to the head of security, I received the run around. I am still ,after several days and asking to speak to someone waiting to hear from any personal. The food on this ship is sub par as opposed to all the other cruises I have been on. It is so bad that my wife and I are going to pass our normal dinner seating and opt for pizza. If you are are from the US you will quickly realize the poor quality and treatment passengers receive on this ship. I notified them in advance that it was our anniversary and not so much as a balloon was placed on the door. Please note I offered to pay for the anniversary addition. It leaves a lot to be desired. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I usually do not review cruises but this one cannot be ignored. My husband and I flew to Barcelona with 10 friends to take the MSC Meraviglia cruise that sailed 11-24-17. The itinerary for this cruise was great. But, sadly, that was the ... Read More
I usually do not review cruises but this one cannot be ignored. My husband and I flew to Barcelona with 10 friends to take the MSC Meraviglia cruise that sailed 11-24-17. The itinerary for this cruise was great. But, sadly, that was the only thing that was great. The ship is new and quite beautiful but the acoustics are horrid. It is a very loud ship. The cabins appear roomy but that is because there is limited furniture (no chair), a very small closet with only a few thick wooden hangers that take up a lot of precious room and only two very very small drawers which are located in the small closet. I would suggest bringing hangers and limiting your clothes. Use the extra luggage space to bring water. Only water available in the dining room is what you bring in or buy at 3.25 a bottle. And forget about getting a cup of coffee after dinner. Not available in the dining room. You would not have time to drink it anyway. They start trying to get you to leave about an hour after arriving. Our first night, the Maitre 'D actually asked us to leave. Only time he talked to us the whole 8 day cruise. Our waiter was rude and unsociable. He was rolling his eyes while standing behind you taking your order. I guess he thought we would not see that. The food portions were very small and the quality was mediocre at best. This was the first cruise that I lost weight. There were several nights that we had to go to the buffet after dinner if it was open. The buffet was closed more often then it was open. They shut it down after breakfast for two hours and again from 4PM-7:30PM and again at about 10:00 PM. During those times all that is available is Pizza which was not very good. It's an Italian ship and the pizza was not very good. The poolside grill was cooking hamburgers but would not let you get one. They were wrapping and taking them to the buffet. By the time you got one, took it to the salad bar to put lettuce/tomato on it, it was cold. But, I only ate one because it was terrible meat. Disembarkations for the tours were total chaos. On our tour to Rome the bus turned around 1/2 hour into the trip to come back for 4 people they forgot. They got us back to the ship at tour end late and we missed our appointed dinner seating. They would not seat us and told us to go to the buffet. When we went up there all that was available was pizza. We paid for some fish and chips at a pub and they were tasteless. The buffet served exactly the same food day after day. There were a few desserts that were good but in general it was just mediocre food. The hot chocolate at the specialty shop was great but that is another paid for item. You have to reserve all shows. The cigarette smoke in the casino is terrible. The staff ranged from complacent to rude. I could go on. This was the worst cruise I have been on and I will never sail with MSC again. They began as a cargo hauler and apparently still think that's what they are doing because they are definitely not a cruise line. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Given, that my wife and I have now completed a number of cruises (with both Royal Caribbean and MSC), I think I am finally qualified to write a meaningful review. In 2013 we cruised with MSC Preziosa in the Western Med and the itinerary ... Read More
Given, that my wife and I have now completed a number of cruises (with both Royal Caribbean and MSC), I think I am finally qualified to write a meaningful review. In 2013 we cruised with MSC Preziosa in the Western Med and the itinerary included Barcelona, Naples, Genoa, Messina, Tunis (Tunisia) and Marseille. It was a fantastic experience, which subsequently led to us fast becoming "cruise junkies". Since then we've cruised on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas and MSC Divina, on different routes in the Caribbean. Whilst on the Divina last year, we heard from the Captain at the "special" Captain's Cocktail Party (essentially a thank you for passengers who return to cruise with MSC), about MSC's plans to role out new ships over the next few years. So, when MSC invited us to partake in the live streaming of the christening/launching of the Meraviglia earlier this year, it certainly caught our interest. We subsequently browsed Meraviglia's itinerary and noticed that with the exception of Tunis, the route throughout October was the same we have previously done. Due to terror attacks in Tunis, it was replaced by Valetta in Malta. We took the decision to book, based on the ship and not so much the itinerary. And we also decided to "spoil" ourselves by choosing the Yacht Club Experience. The Yacht Club Experience (YCE) is best described as being an exclusive area within the ship, only accessible to those passengers who purchase this (expensive) option. There is a myriad of shows, bands and other forms of entertainment, including the amazing Cirque du Soleil on board, which this this review does not seek to cover. The review does however speak to our personal experience; Embarkation for us was in Marseille. YCE passengers are greeted by butlers (they are available 24hrs on call in the Yacht Club), who basically do the checking in whilst you sip on bubbly. They escort you to your cabin and make sure you feel totally pampered (I warned my wife not to get use to the lifestyle and not to expect the same when we get home!). We had cabin 18016 on deck 18. The cabin was plush, vast and did not disappoint. A chilled bottle of bubbly awaited on the coffee table, along with fresh fruit (which is replenished daily. A mini bar is also available for your use and stocked daily. The bathroom (shower only), is a nice size and packing/closet space is more than ample for the 7 night cruise. There's a Nespresso machine with coffee capsules for your use, but no froth machine. The bed was firm but comfortable and YCE passengers can request varying density of pillows. YCE passengers have access to all public areas and may also choose to dine in the general dining areas. However, the Yacht Club has it's own dining area, lounge and pool area. With 5700 people on board, it was nice to escape the hustle and bustle and retreat to exclusivity on occasion. YCE passengers also have free access to the Thermal area. This has various steam, sauna and other jet baths. We had absolutely no problem with the cleaning services, or that of the butler and dining staff. In general, I think MSC can be proud of the people who tirelessly perform these tough duties. YCE passengers also have the added benefit of being able to book excursions and shows with the YC Concierge. However, let me deal with the irritations; MSC........ when I pay for an all inclusive Yacht Club Experience and you tell me that all drinks in any of the bars and restaurants, excluding only the speciality restaurants (because this is how you advertise it), then expect me to get very irritated when I am told by the Concierge that this is not entirely the case. I then am told that in some restaurants where there are prices on the menu and in some bars where there are 2 asterisk, these are not included in the package. This scenario became the bane of my cruise. MSC...... It's either all inclusive or not. You need to be honest with me from the start! Then there is the Captain. Maybe it's not him personally, but the folk who plans his public itinerary. Passengers make a big deal about meeting the Captain... we even dress up for it. So if you plan a gala event, planned for 7pm sharp, then have the decency of being there on time! MSC.... with the Meraviglia, you have embarked on a similar operating model to Royal Caribbean, with the expansive promenade and varying themes. I accept that you need to be innovative, but you need to get it right or else it's a disaster. We have met and taken pics with the Captain of all our cruises, bar the Meraviglia...... after waiting for nearly an hour, we just gave up and went for dinner. We thought, we'll catch up with him at the special cocktail party (which on other MSC ships, is held in a lounge aft of the ship). Alas, this was also a disaster. Arriving early for the event, we were ushered to seats by the entertainment crew and when the Captain finally made his appearance, it was on a balcony in the promenade, nowhere close to where we were told to sit. I should stop whinging now. Folks, the Meraviglia is stunning and I expect the new MSC Seaside and others that will follow, to be even more spectacular. The Yacht Club Experience is very different from the "normal" exec balcony suites. I nearly forgot to mention...... we did not sample foods in the general dining areas, but in the Yacht Club, the food and wine is excellent!!! Be aware that some parts of the Western Med are already quite cold in October, with temps in the mid teens (Celsius). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
A group of us, friends, for the past several years enjoyed cruising as a fun alternative to all-inclusive vacations at beach resorts. Our prior experience on another MSC ship, Poesia, a few years ago was very good, and the lingering ... Read More
A group of us, friends, for the past several years enjoyed cruising as a fun alternative to all-inclusive vacations at beach resorts. Our prior experience on another MSC ship, Poesia, a few years ago was very good, and the lingering memories lead us to take a cruise on MSC Meraviglia this year. Besides the behemoth form factor, fancy displays, technological innovations, gleaming stainless steel, and shimmering Swarovski crystal embedded staircases, a cavernous promenade with a long LED roof, with many shops, and restaurants, a water park with water slides and a Himalayan rope course: the ship is attractive in many ways. The top two decks are stacked with play, games, and spa areas. Buffet is nothing spectacular either, just run-of-mill, the usual fare. Buffet restaurants are crowded always due to the volume of passengers. There wasn’t adequate staff in the buffet restaurants to keep the busy place ‘ship-shaped’. Dishes were not picked up properly or the tables were cleaned promptly. Too many people, too less staff especially in buffet restaurants was very noticeable. No water or juice were served at the table, everything was self-serviced. The dinners at the free restaurants were so-so as well, nothing particular about the menu to speak about. No water served at the dinner table in the restaurants, if you want water pay, and buy! It was to a point annoying to see them trying to upsell something or other, from liquor, dinner at upscale restaurants to spa packages always. Talked to many crew members during the cruise and realized that they were all over worked for the same money they got from a smaller ship. Now we know that the first impression may not be the lasting impression. The big, bold, spanking-glittering look impressed us first, but it was different when came to creature comforts, service aspects, food and value for the money. They were sub-par in nature to our expectations.Customer service was extremely poor. No response to enquiries started even months before the actual cruise dates. Few emails to them to rectify certain mistakes/omissions were met with total silence. We asked for certain cabins on specific decks, and the agent agreed during the booking time. However, what we received were different, and tried to correct the error via emails was futile. Dinner seating time was another issue: what was originally asked for and assigned was arbitrarily changed and couldn’t get it changed. Some positives were the crew: they were courteous, and friendly. The restaurant, buffet, and dinner staff went out of their way to serve us. Kudos to all them! Perhaps, next time we may be better off on a small or medium size ship. Overall rating: average, nothing spectacular. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
It was our first cruise, we are family of 2 adults and 2 childrens, we decided to take this cruise because it is a new ship and it was look fantastic on the web, when we booked it back in June 2017 there was no reviews yet. We read the ... Read More
It was our first cruise, we are family of 2 adults and 2 childrens, we decided to take this cruise because it is a new ship and it was look fantastic on the web, when we booked it back in June 2017 there was no reviews yet. We read the reviews only a few days before our cruise and saw many bad reviews so we went with very low expectations... On the cruise we found many reviews were really correct. This company has a big problem with customer service as well with food quality, we were expected from an italian company to serve great food, but the food quality and variety was absolutely poor !!! Our first dinner was at Wave Restaurant, we couldn't eat most of the food there. Since that dinner we decided to try the Buffet and found it better, but again, the food quality is poor. We found ourselves eating Pizza and Pasta with Salad every meal, as well there bakery wich was good, we didn't touch the meat or chicken. The buffet area is very noisy and crowded. The front desk customer service didn't do anything with our complaint about it even when we went there twice and they talled us the manager who is in charge of the food on the ship will contact us, so it seems they are very welcoming this poor quality. But this is only a part of there bad service, in general they dont give you as a guest a good welcoming feeling, they welcome your money only !!! There is a long list of other bad things to write... There were also good staff to tell like the cleaning of the rooms and all the areas at the ship but for us it all start and end with customer service and food quality. Therefore this cruise is not worth to going to. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We expected a better experience having been on other cruises such as Royal Carribean and Celebrity... Entertainment was so so, lots of passengers with nothing to do in the evening except stroll in the main inside concourse... The number of ... Read More
We expected a better experience having been on other cruises such as Royal Carribean and Celebrity... Entertainment was so so, lots of passengers with nothing to do in the evening except stroll in the main inside concourse... The number of seats inside is very limited for the total number of passengers who would be inside when weather is bad. One's only option is to stroll and keep on walking rounds on the 5th, 6th and 7th floors concourses and corridors (partially used for specialty restaurants. On other ships one could find a spot in the evening with music of his choice. Some announced activities never took place. We were debited for a service charge on a daily basis although our cruise ticket was fairly expensive. Breakfast area very noisy and crowded. Menu in the main restaurant was not up to par with what is expected. Something ought to be done to reduce the negative aspects. Read Less
34 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I was very apprehensive when reading such bad reviews about this brand new ship - we were pleasantly surprised with nearly everything. Most staff were very helpful & polite, cabin excellent, ship spotlessly clean, entertainment was ... Read More
I was very apprehensive when reading such bad reviews about this brand new ship - we were pleasantly surprised with nearly everything. Most staff were very helpful & polite, cabin excellent, ship spotlessly clean, entertainment was okay, food was good quality, drinks package excellent value. Excursions were very wel organised & excelent value for money. Embarkation also was excellent. My only gripes were that the buffet restaurant was extremely busy for breakfast ( resembled a cattle market at times) but compared to prices of other cruises MSC are very competitive. My biggest gripe being the total lack of respect & utter rudeness of fellow passengers (mainly Italian origin) . Two of them almost started a fight around the pool, all over a sunbed! Other passengers all commented about this being the only thing that spoilt their cruise. Inevitably this can happen on any cruise liner! I would definitely return on a MSC cruise in the future. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
It was my 6th Cruise with MSC. Have earlier tried cruising with Orchestra, Poesia, Divina and Preziosa. Was good and value for money. Now should I try the new one. Meraviglia. Balcony cabin was nice. Breakfast and lunch in the Markedplace ... Read More
It was my 6th Cruise with MSC. Have earlier tried cruising with Orchestra, Poesia, Divina and Preziosa. Was good and value for money. Now should I try the new one. Meraviglia. Balcony cabin was nice. Breakfast and lunch in the Markedplace buffet was ok. Could also go to the restaurant in the ship and get it a la carde, but in the evening I was forced to go to the Markedplace restaurant. No carpets on the floor and very noicy up there. The waiters was not good. Forgot several times my orders. Said to the receptionist that I couldn't accept to be placed in this restaurant in the evenings. I would have to be placed in one of the main restaurants in the ship on deck 5 and 6. Here is a nice atmosphere, but it was not possible, because the ship was overbooked they told me. They put me on a waitinglist and then I dit not hear anything from them. The evening at Galla, 3 waiters came during the restaurant with the icecakes. After starter and main course I asked about the ice. There were no ice. Then they gave me a card so I could choose an another dessert. Think that they took the ice to the main restaurants. There were no photographs during the nights in the Markedplace restaurant, but in the gallery we could see all the photos from the main restaurants. Dissapointed. The show in the theater was bad. Not the same quality as on the other ships. Cirque du Soleil did we no see. Then you had to pay at least 15 euro. The bars was ok, especially the pub onboard. Very nice waiters here. Will not recommend this ship. Choose one of the other ships or another company. Read Less
MSC Meraviglia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 2.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.3
Public Rooms 5.0 3.6
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 5.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 2.9
Service 4.0 3.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.1

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