1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. MSC Cruises
  4. MSC Meraviglia Review
  5. MSC Meraviglia Cruise Reviews
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We have never cruised before, and chose the specific cruise we went on, due to the availability of kid’s activities for our 10 year old daughter, the destinations throughout the Baltics and a decent price. Getting on board as newbies was ... Read More
We have never cruised before, and chose the specific cruise we went on, due to the availability of kid’s activities for our 10 year old daughter, the destinations throughout the Baltics and a decent price. Getting on board as newbies was a bit stressful, as we did not know the process and there was little information about what to expect. We also was more stressed than was required as we roamed around trying to find out how to register a credit card to our cruise card (which wasn’t obvious on the machines) and find out how the kids club works and how/where to go. As it turned out our daughter never gelled with the kids club, as she was hitting the top end of her age group and felt they were being treated childishly and there were few kids of her age. I did get the feeling a lot of other kids truly enjoyed it, just not ours. The boat was generally fairly busy and the common areas (particularly the buffet and the pool areas) could be very crammed and chaotic. At times the central inside area was blocked by other activities. The dining area was great, with a new menu every day, so there was always lots of choice. We did ultimately enjoy our cruise and had some nice on land days, both self served and on excursion, though it will probably be better if we do another cruise now we know what to expect. The staff was generally attentive, smiley and professional, and the fact that all gratuities were paid centrally was more comfortable, as we come from a culture where wages are fair and tipping is only applicable if the service is exceptional. Disembarkation was brilliant, taking us 10 minutes from we were called till we were in a taxi. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise for the remarkable deal we found to cruise Northern Europe. Embarkation was very smooth, we waited about 30 min or so, but we arrived before our check-in time. The ship is very modern and has a real wow factor! This ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the remarkable deal we found to cruise Northern Europe. Embarkation was very smooth, we waited about 30 min or so, but we arrived before our check-in time. The ship is very modern and has a real wow factor! This was out 13th cruise. We’ve done Disney, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival. MSC is definitely different from the “American” lines. Pool decks are much quieter, no music/games/contests like on the other ships. No sail away party. There was a giant screen; however, it never played any movies or shows, only beach scenery. The pools are salt water and we’re not terribly crowded except on sea days when it was nearly impossible to find a lounger even on the deck above. The thermal suite is lovely and a great place to relax. The kids club was good. Our boys enjoyed their time there. They do close at various points throughout the day in seas days, which was a bit of a pain. The food in the buffet was really just ok as was the main dining room. The speciality restaurants have much better food. The status match program is nice. I have a gold card so there were some perks, but not like ones On other lines. We got a bowl of fruit in our cabin and a string back pack. We were offered a free photo but it had to be from a particular party which was at 11 on the last sea day. Overall, any cruise it what you make of it. We chose MSC for the great itinerary. It can feel like you’re being nickeled and dimed, but we were prepared for that from other reviews. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We sailed the Nordic fjords from Kiel with our adult children. The cabins are quite OK, not a lot of space for storage, bit dark colors. Still cleaning twice a day, not really necessary for us. Very large ship, very crowded, ... Read More
We sailed the Nordic fjords from Kiel with our adult children. The cabins are quite OK, not a lot of space for storage, bit dark colors. Still cleaning twice a day, not really necessary for us. Very large ship, very crowded, specially because we had bad weather and everybody was searching inside convenient seating. There are many lifts, maneuvering through the ship is easy and quick. Going ashore quick every time, how ever long waiting times at the security check getting back on board. Food overall pretty good. The easy drinking package gives you cheap drinks of low quality for 30 euros/ day, overpriced!! Staff not more than average, some very rude (you have whole day, one European in a bar told us). Very disappointing, our cabin was again (!!) changed by MSC without informing us. We booked 3 cabins together, they ended up scattered over the ship. We won't book MSC again, they just change your cabin as they like to do.... Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports and to try a new line. MSC has the status match program which also helped. This cruise was from Genoa, Italy to Kiel, Germany with stops at Marseille, Barcelona, Cadiz, Lisbon, Vigo, and Southampton. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports and to try a new line. MSC has the status match program which also helped. This cruise was from Genoa, Italy to Kiel, Germany with stops at Marseille, Barcelona, Cadiz, Lisbon, Vigo, and Southampton. Embarkation: This was a disaster. I am not sure if Genoa was not equipped to handle this many passengers, or if they were just not prepared to turn over the whole ship as MSC frequently interports in Europe. Whatever the reason, we arrived at the port at noon and eventually made it onboard around 4pm. Ship: The Meraviglia is a beautiful ship. Every area has something unique and stylish about it. That being said, many areas seemed choppy and without a good flow to them which created bottlenecks at certain areas. Cabin: We had a Fantastica Ocean View (O2) and while the cabin was spacious enough and well appointed, the storage space was nearly non-existent. Especially for a twelve day cruise. We were on Deck 5, just down from guest services and the Atrium bar and I thought the location was good. easy to get everywhere. Dining: This started out poorly, but eventually ended up fine. We had no dining time assigned, we just kept being told that we would get our time once on board...that never really worked out, mainly because we boarded so late, the dining table had closed. Finally we were assigned a table/time and that is where we sat the rest of the cruise. Food in the MDR was fair to good; In the buffet was mostly fair with some good, and at our one specialty dining experience, The Chef's Table, was spectacular. Entertainment: MSC really shines in this area. Shows were good to great and Cirque at Sea was amazing. Service: Across the board service was friendly and professional. Never had an issue there. Ports & Shore Excursions: All were booked through MSC and all were either good or great. Arles and Vigo were the standouts. We did not do an excursion in Barcelona. Disembarkation: Another disaster. I had priority debarkation and while I was off the ship in a reasonable amount of time, I then stood around for over an hour waiting for my luggage to make it off. Overall, the ship was beautiful, but I don't think I would use MSC in Europe again. I haven't written them off completely so I may sail them again in the US, but I will choose other lines when sailing in Europe. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I should point out that this was my first cruise although my wife has been on several, including another MSC cruise. We scheduled this cruise about a year in advance and purchased the cheapest cabin available. We figured we would be on ... Read More
I should point out that this was my first cruise although my wife has been on several, including another MSC cruise. We scheduled this cruise about a year in advance and purchased the cheapest cabin available. We figured we would be on excursions everyday and didn't plan to spend much time in the cabin so no need to get a fancy one. We flew from the US to Barcelona two days before the cruise and did some touring.The morning of the cruise we went on a Freemasons and Knights Templar tour in Barcelona through Barcelona Occulta Tours which was excellent - lots of hidden history in that city. Embarkation took a while and nobody really explained what was going on. It seemed a bit chaotic but eventually we got on board. Luckily the staff is multi-lingual and answered our questions. We ate at the buffet for every meal on the ship and we thought it was pretty good. Some of the buffet sections stay mostly the same every day like pizza, bread, and cold cuts. Others like the rotisserie, ethnic and dessert sections had different items every day. My wife is a vegetarian and was able to find plenty of food. We ordered the breakfast package which was delivered to our room every morning. The first day they brought enough food for 10 people and I had to ask them to only bring one plate of each item. The breakfast was quite delicious. There were nightly shows in the theater which were free. We thought they were pretty good. The ship was generally kept pretty clean. Our cabin ran out of hand soap the day before we got off the ship though, and I ended up getting sick the following evening. It was difficult to locate our steward when we needed him. We went on excursions every day they were available and could usually only locate him in the evening. Room service staff, cleaning staff, and servers in the buffet were nice. I dined at the three specialty restaurants. I thought the Butcher's Block was by far the best, followed by Eataly, and the Japanese restaurant in last place. I was tempted to eat at the Butcher's Block a second time but didn't get around to it. As mentioned in other reviews there was a bit of pushing and shoving at the buffet. Not everyone is raised to be polite and they won't hesitate to cut in front of you or push you out of the way. After getting over my initial shock, I was becoming a master of body positioning, wedging my way into lines and pushing people aside just like those brutes. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. The ship seemed a bit crowded, especially in the evenings and on the formal nights. I wore my suit jacket twice and had some pants/shirts ironed for a nominal fee. We had a private Montserrat/Barcelona tour with Barcelona Day Tours scheduled for 8:30am the morning we got off the ship, so we did the self disembarkation along with probably a hundred or so others. I was worried about getting off in time, but it was no problem. Excursions: Marseille and Avignon - We liked it and our guide Cecil was good. We paid to go onto the bridge which was nice. We saw Chateau D'If from the church. Magnificent Milano - The city is cool, but annoying people trying to sell you stuff are a big problem. Our guide wasn't that great. She had a very halting speaking style where she would pause for a long time. Rome - There was a marathon which caused our excursion to be canceled, so we did the Papal Angelus one and it was great. We saw St Peter's Basilica and the Pope. Then we saw the Pantheon, Colosseum, Circus Maximus, and Forum on foot. Some roads were closed for the marathon but our guide was excellent and circumvented them. Segesta and Eurice - We took the bus into the mountains and it was very cold there so take warm clothes. We toured a church but it was foggy and couldn't really see much. Then we went to Segesta and saw some ruins that were pretty cool. We received a pretty good packed lunch on this tour. I was quite happy with it. Valletta and Mdina - This was a pretty good tour but only 4 hours long. I wish they had a longer tour on Malta. We went to Mdina first and toured a church. The guide explained Maltese culture as we walked the streets. Then we went to Valletta and saw another church where the knights are buried and where there is a Caravaggio painting. I thought it was pretty cool. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was my second cruise but my partners first. We arrived at Barcelona airport late due to a flight delay at Gatwick so our transfer to the ship had long gone. We were told to get a taxi at a cost of 39.00 euro's which was credited ... Read More
This was my second cruise but my partners first. We arrived at Barcelona airport late due to a flight delay at Gatwick so our transfer to the ship had long gone. We were told to get a taxi at a cost of 39.00 euro's which was credited to our account by the ship. Embarkation was smooth as we were ushered into a huge marque where our documents were checked and we were given our personal cards (like a credit card) which showed our room number, name, deck etc as well as your photo which is used for security when you disembark and embark during your cruise. The first sight of the vessel was amazing, it is enormous and very impressive. Our baggage was outside the door when we eventually found our cabin. we had booked a window cabin but were a little disappointed as it was very small and, in our view, badly laid out. Our window view was of the lifeboats!! However we told ourselves that we had come on a holiday and not to spend lots of time in the cabin. The TV shows lots of European shows etc but not English ones, we got World News and some National Geographic, not even a music channel. I found it difficult to do my hair as there was no mirror where the plug points were for the hairdryer (included) and my straighteners/curlers. The cabin was kept spotlessly clean and the bed turned down each evening and the following days inventory left. Our first exploration of this beast of a ship was amazing and awe inspiring, it is huge. The main area is deck 6 which is the promenade and gets you from one end to the other so if your lost, which we were a few times, get yourself back to deck 6 to get your bearings. Decks 5,6 and 7 have all of your shops, bars, restaurants, entertainment. The promenade is covered by a beautiful glass dome which is able to change and throughout the voyage there is a dome show. We were given a sitting for our evening meal in the Panorama Restaurant on the early sitting of 18.00. The only thing I can say is that the food here was ok, nothing special. Be aware that the other eating area advertised, Sushi, Italian, Butchers Cut are NOT included in the all incl and re expensive. In fact that is the one accurate thing about this liner is that everything is very EXPENSIVE. We are not huge drinkers by comparison and so declined the drinks package but when we received our statement wished we hadn't (a small G&T and draught lager 15.00 euros+tax) You are not allowed to bring your own drinks aboard. Our first breakfast was in the Waves restaurant which was civil and relaxed but closes at 9.00, the food was good but the coffee was disgusting. Two days later we came across the Market Buffet which is a self service area, now it was packed and humming but there is an amazing selection of food and is open until 10.30m for breakfast. There is entertainment and activities going on throughout the day and evening and the inventory left in your cabin each evening tells you what is going on, the time, and where on the ship which is a great help. I had read many reviews before we left that said staff were rude etc, we found that the service was very good and staff were very hard working and amenable. We only did 3 shore visits, Genoa was lovely and for 12 euros we did the open top bus trip. Beware Palermo and its Horse and Carriage tour, we got ripped off good and proper. We asked how much and were told 80 euros and shown where he would take us on a map and we could stop and check places out (we checked out the fish market, 1 stall lol) suddenly after about 30/45 mins our driver stopped and told us our tour was finished and that the port was only a 10 min walk away, surprised we gave him the 80 euros to be told it was 80 euros each!!!! There was nothing to be done but pay up, he had us good and proper so pay up front if you decide a horse and carriage is for you. Having been to Malta before I knew you could by a ticket for the local bus and hop on and off as you wish, as we left breakfast there was a man by the doorway offering just that so we paid 20 euros each for a ticket. The map showed two routes, a yellow and a red. The guy suggested we take the yellow first and then the red. The yellow visited a craft village and the old capital Medina which we wanted to visit. The bus dropped us at this so called craft village which took us a while to find as it is still in construction and more like a building site. it will be lovely when finished whenever that will be!! By the time we had got another bus and quickly visited Medina we realised that we did not have enough time to do the red tour (180mins) and get back to the ship before departure!!!. Our last day on board was at sea but unfortunately the weather was very brisk and chilly so our thoughts of a lazy day on a sunbed was hampered, so we chilled inside. We requested a statement so we could pay up and lol this was when we found out how expensive this cruise really is. Suitcases have to be put outside your cabin by 1.00am of the day of departure and out of your cabin by 8.00. You are allocated a time and area to be for disembarkation and suddenly that it your off and on your own, talk about getting your money and getting rid of you lol. All in all this was a lovely ship/holiday but there are a lot of things we would do differently next time Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Last summer we were planning spring break 2019 and found a great deal on AA Rewards tickets to Barcelona. We'd been to Spain, but not Barcelona. During our research, we came upon MSC and their 7 night Med cruises. We've sailed ... Read More
Last summer we were planning spring break 2019 and found a great deal on AA Rewards tickets to Barcelona. We'd been to Spain, but not Barcelona. During our research, we came upon MSC and their 7 night Med cruises. We've sailed with RCCL, HAL, Celebrity and our beloved DCL many times, but had barely even heard of MSC. The price, timing and itinerary were right, but boy oh boy, the reviews were shaky at best. Still, after checking out the forums and youtube videos, and discovering we could status match to Black with MSC based on our DCL Platinum status, we decided to give them a try. We booked our Aurea Duplex Suite and set our countdown clocks for March, 2019. Our sailing party: Myself and my husband, 50-somethings, married 30 years with two kids. Our daughter is an adult and didn't travel with us this trip. Our son, who sailed with us, is 16. We've done over 25 cruises. This was our sixth European cruise (third Med) and, as noted above, first on MSC. We're American. Embarkation: Took a taxi from our hotel (RoomMate Carla) to the Port and arrived just before noon. First impression of the ship as we drove up "wow...looks more like an apartment building than a ship." Immediately saw the line for "Black Card" luggage drop. Had our bags tagged and our paperwork in hand, so we were processed quickly. Noticed many fellow passengers without tags, but staff was prepared and helpful. We were directed inside to the Aurea line (there separate lines...Yacht Club, Aurea and everyone else. All lines appeared to be moving...the Port was well staffed. We soon had our cards, were directed to the embarkation photo and then headed on board. From taxi drop to stepping on board took about 15 minutes. Painless. First hours onboard: Entering the Meraviglia is a bit like walking the gauntlet. In Barcelona, you enter into the Gallery where you are greeted by many smiling crew members selling drink packages, dining packages, spa packages, etc. If you've done your research, you'll be prepared and can politely decline or make someone's day by actually purchasing their wares! For convenience, we upgraded our Easy Drinks Package to Premium Plus. We're not heavy drinkers, but we like what we like and we didn't want to hassle all week with limiting ourselves to the $6 and under menu. And, yes, we should have upgraded before leaving home, but we were MSC rookies and have learned our lesson. Carefully consider you drinks package before leaving home! Anyway, after walking the gauntlet, we headed up to Deck 15 to the Market Place for lunch. It's a large area with several food and beverage stations. The stations repeat and we found that, in general, if you head to the back of the space, there are fewer crowds. The food was fine and plentiful and the drinks service (push a button at your table) was efficient and friendly. We explored the ship a bit using the MSC and Me app for a map (there are also paper ship maps located at Guest Services...we found both helpful) checking out the work out facility, basketball gym, walking track, etc. The ship is clean and bright and mostly well-laid out. It's obviously very large, but didn't feel too large and rarely felt crowded. We encountered many smiling faces from crew and guests and found the same throughout the week. We headed to our room around 1:30pm. Aurea Duplex Suite 12001: When we first looked at sailing MSC, we were shocked at the relatively low prices for staterooms, even those labeled suites and yacht club. We considered yacht club, but were intrigued by the Duplex Suite. Two stories! Two closets! Two bathrooms! And a HOT TUB ON OUR VERANDAH! For what price???? Less than an inside cabin on DCL? We decided that "we had to go for it" and pushed the book button. We also decided to surprise our son, so when he opened the door, it was the first time he had any idea what category stateroom he was spending the week in. Priceless! I had read every review and watched every video posted on the suite. The pictures and descriptions are all accurate. The room is truly special. All seasoned cruisers know that space on cruise ship is at a premium, and any parent of a teen knows that an extra bathroom on vacation is a miracle. This stateroom gave us both, as well as two walk in closets, two tvs, a dining table (which we used to plan our days and play games, as well as for breakfast most mornings,) and the fabulous verandah with private hot tub. We used it almost every evening for enjoy sailaway and sunset and it was a true luxury. The stateroom also had a minibar (which our premium plus drinks package allowed us to use, including the snacks) and a nespresso maker, which we used every morning. We found our excursion tickets, navigator, invitations to onboard events and black card gifts in the room everyday, including the first day. And shortly after entering the cabin, our room host knocked to introduce himself and see whether we needed anything. He was super friendly and nonintrusive and we appreciated him all week long. He delivered our luggage before 3 and we unpacked ready to truly begin vacation! Safety Drill: Because people embark everyday, the mandatory safety drill is different everyday. Ours was in the Deck 6 Theater and last about thirty minutes. This was our first introduction to just how many nationalities were sailing...the presentation was in English, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese. We were impressed by how many crew members spoke three or more languages and enjoyed listening to them throughout the week. Dining: Because we were Aurea, we had "My Choice" dining. Our dining room was the Panorama and the process was very easy. Simply decide what we want to do and show up at the dining room when we want to eat. We never waited for a table and had great waiters 5 of our 6 meals in Panorama. And the one miss wasn't anything terrible, just an okay server who maybe was having a bad night. The dinner menus change nightly and we never had a problem finding meals that appealed to us. The food was mostly very good with a few excellent items and a few less tasty items. Generally, we enjoyed the appetizers and entrees more than dessert. And with the premium plus package, although it's wine by the glass, not bottle, if my husband and I ordered the same wine, they automatically brought the whole bottle. Lounges: I'm a champagne drinker and enjoyed the champagne bar for a predinner drink most evenings. They offer a selection of cocktails and champagne and sparkling water...my favorite was the Veuve Clicquot Rich. They bring snacks like chips and nuts to the table (which our son enjoyed) and have a menu for charge available, too. The service was very friendly and professional. We used a few other bars for cocktails during the week with varying levels of service and atmosphere. There's a fabulous looking top deck 18+ lounge that we didn't use because we were sailing with our son, but definitely would have used if we were alone. Gym, game room and basketball court, etc.: So cool that they offer an indoor basketball court. Our son used it almost every evening for an hour. He met several other kids, enjoyed the view and got some exercise. My son and hubby also used the gym and found it adequate. We checked out games for free a few times from the activities desk, as well. We didn't bowl or do the ropes course. Next time! Entertainment: We enjoyed a few show onboard...the Opera, the Broadway medley and the flamenco dance performance. We booked our seats using our app. The theater was full, but not overcrowded and the performances were good. We enjoyed all three. The cruise director, who introduces the shows, is fabulous...great energy and personality. We also played bingo a few times (and yes, the numbers are announced in at least 7 languages!) It's only coverall, so one prize of at least !000 euro each game. We also went to one Cirque du Soleil show. That's not really our cup of tea, but we enjoyed the show and were glad that we gave it a try. Specialty Restaurants: Only tried one, Butcher's Cut, using our free Black Card dinner. All three of us matched Black, so there was no charge. The service was very good, as was the meal. The dessert here was excellent...a "cut" above the dining room, for sure! The atmosphere was okay, but I actually preferred the Panorama dining room in that regard. Spa: Although Aurea provided us with a week long pass to the thermal area, we never made it! We did, however, enjoy our complimentary 50 minute massages and I got a blow out three times during the trip. Again, friendly staff. Nice atmosphere. No complaints. Itinerary and Shore Excursions: This is really what the trip was all about....traveling comfortably through one of our favorite parts of the world. As noted, we embarked in Barcelona and sailed to Marseille, Genoa, Rome, Palermo and Malta, with one day at sea. We did a mix of MSC prebooked excursions and independent excursions. Our day in Rome on our own was probably my favorite, but we also really enjoyed our walking street food tour in Palermo (by Streaty) and our day in Marseille when we went to Ax en Provence with a ship’s excursion we spent two nights in Barcelona pre and post cruise. I highly recommend Sagrada Família and also very much enjoyed a day trip to Andorra. Final impressions: We were on a much needed break sailing the Mediterranean on a relatively new ship staffed with friendly people and in a fantastic stateroom. The weather was picture postcard perfect...upper 60’s and sunshine and the sea was calm. The champagne flowed and the onshore experiences were varied and plentiful. We enjoyed sail away from our private hot tub and were entertained by earnest performers in the evenings. The food was varied and tasty and the price was right. We’re not giving up n DCL, but we’re booked on another MSC itinerary. So glad we tried them and already looking forward to going back! Happy Sailing! 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Overall, this was an enjoyable cruise and I would sail on MSC again. My husband and I sailed with our 13 mo daughter and both sets of grandparents (in their 70s). We have all cruised several times on a variety of cruise lines. This was ... Read More
Overall, this was an enjoyable cruise and I would sail on MSC again. My husband and I sailed with our 13 mo daughter and both sets of grandparents (in their 70s). We have all cruised several times on a variety of cruise lines. This was our first time on MSC. EMBARKATION: We spent a week traveling around Italy prior to making our way to Genoa, where we embarked. We found the locals in Genoa to be the least friendly (and some even hostile) to tourists, compared to the rest of Italy. We were glad we were only spending one night there. The port itself was quite confusing. We took the metro to the stop close to the port. Once we arrived, there were very few signs. We followed what signs there were, which sent us upstairs, only to have to go back downstairs to drop our luggage off. Luggage drop off was not labeled. We ended up at a tent that looked like the right place, only to be told (after waiting a few minutes) that we were in the Yacht Club drop off. Steerage passengers needed to just leave their luggage in the road. It was a little odd. But we eventually got it to the right place and got ourselves on the ship. Our luggage arrived without issue, despite our misgivings. Once embarked, there was definitely a push for up-selling drinks and dining packages, but the staff members left us alone when we declined. We were able to immediately drop off our hand luggage in our rooms and head up to the buffet for lunch. All in all, it took us about an hour to get from the port entrance to lunch at the buffet. So despite the lack of signage and the confusion about luggage drop-off, it was a relatively quick and easy process. SHIP: The ship was stunning and always clean. There are multiple dome shows daily and it's worth catching at least one. The area that felt the most crowded was the Bamboo Pool area and the buffet (partially because they would block off parts of the buffet seating at various times). DINING: BUFFET: There was always seating at the very back of the buffet--even during peak times. The lines there seemed to be the shortest, as well. The stations repeat themselves a handful of times throughout the buffet, so there's no need to stand in a long line at the beginning of the buffet. Staff members from the pay-for-restaurants would walk around asking if we wanted to make reservations for dinner that night. Again, they left us alone when we declined. We found breakfast at the buffet to be one of the best meals of the day. There was a good variety of food, although it did not vary from day to day. There was an omelette station, a ham carving station, eggs, bacon/sausage, yogurt, fruit, cereals, muesli, Asian rice and noodles or dumplings, pancakes, waffles, sticky buns, etc. Lunch at the buffet was also pretty good. The pizza, pasta, and fresh mozzarella were always delicious. A few members of our group had pizza that had been sitting out for awhile and it wasn't as good as the fresh slices. There was also a salad station, bread, carving station, and a variety of dishes of the day, some of which were good, some not. The mass-produced desserts were similar to other cruise lines--usually not delicious, but ok. There were a few that were really enjoyable. MDR: We ate dinner in the MDR each night. Our waiters were very friendly, but hadn't been trained as well as on other cruise lines. They weren't trained to pay attention to details or anticipate needs. Some nights there would be butter for the bread, but no butter knife. Other nights there were small dishes for olive oil and vinegar, but no olive oil and vinegar. Some nights there would be a place setting for the baby, other nights there wasn't (there was always a high chair). The staff were always responsive when asked to do something, but failed to anticipate needs. Not a deal breaker, but something the training could improve upon. The food quality was inconsistent. Some nights the food was really good (ie the mushroom risotto), others it was quite bland or even not good (ie the prawns). CABIN: We had an inside cabin that was relatively spacious. Obviously smaller than ocean view or balcony rooms, but larger than the one other inside cabin we've had on another cruise line. The bathroom was small, but well designed. Our cabin steward was very attentive and always called our baby by her name when he saw her. THEATER SHOWS: There was a really great variety of shows ranging from rock to opera to flamenco. The dancers and singers were more talented than I've seen on other cruise lines. The singers did sing in English with an accent, but overall put on excellent performances. The one miss was when they had the opera tenor sing Frank Sinatra's "My Way" during a tribute show. Opera just isn't the right style for Sinatra. On the sea day, there was an opera, which was really well done in less than an hour. They had some subtitles, but they were intermittent. Unclear why they didn't provide full subtitles, which would have made it even better. GYM: The gym was small and crowded no matter when we went (early morning, mid-day, or evening). There's a waiver that has to be signed to use the gym, but they didn't ask us to sign it until our last day. ROPES COURSE/WATER SLIDES: There's also a waiver that has to be signed to participate in the ropes course and water slides. There are no signs to advertise this, so you could end up waiting in line for some time, only to find out that you had to go two decks down (to the Sportsplex) to sign the waiver and get your wristband before being allowed to participate. Once the wristband was obtained, both the ropes course and water slides were fun. The waits were never very long. POOLS: The outdoor pool didn't get much use given highs in the mid 50s to low 60s for most of the cruise. The indoor Bamboo Pool was almost always packed when we saw it. At one point on the sea day, there was a 15 person line for one of the hot tubs in the Bamboo room. This is likely less of an issue in the summer/warmer climate as passengers are more willing to use both the indoor and outdoor pools. GUEST SERVICES: I'd read several very negative reviews about Guest Services, but had no issues with their services. I went to Guest Services twice. Once was to have the UNICEF donation removed. The line was short and they were quick to comply. The second time was the last night of the cruise at 22:00. We found the embarkation pictures in our room, but left them there based on what other reviewers have said. The last night, we read the fine print that we were to return them to our cabin steward 48 hrs before the end of the cruise or we'd be charged. As we were packing up the last night, we saw this and I thought we'd have to eat the $E30 since we hadn't returned them, but thought I'd give Guest Services a try. I got in a line of about 10 people, but there was a guest services team member going through the line asking people what their issues where. He redirected me to the Photo Shop. I figured I was really out of luck at that point given the late hour, but they were still open and quick to take back my photos and refund the money. PORTS: As others have said, the published port hours are different than what actually happens--by up to an hour on both sides. For example, we were to arrive in Barcelona at 7:00 a.m. and leave at 6:00 p.m., but we arrived at 8:00 a.m. and left at 5:30 p.m. This is important to keep in mind if buying timed tickets for something in port. Civitavecchia: There's a free port shuttle from the port to the city. There are many taxistas waiting where the shuttle drops passengers off ready to take passengers to Rome and show them the sites. They were quite persistent despite declining their offers, then offended when they finally realized we weren't interested. We walked the mile or so to the train station and took the train into Rome for the day. Round trip it was Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I just finished my cruise trip embarked on Barcelona. I bought the Bella package with a balcony. That's my first time to travel in a cruise and I was quite satisfied with the amenities, services and entertainment on board. The ... Read More
I just finished my cruise trip embarked on Barcelona. I bought the Bella package with a balcony. That's my first time to travel in a cruise and I was quite satisfied with the amenities, services and entertainment on board. The cruise was beautiful and clean, and so the cabin. Thanks for the effort of the crew who made our beds every day and clean the balcony twice during the stau. Staff were generally polite, helpful and humorous. And the MC & PERFORMERS of the entertainment were energetic! I watched shows in the Broadway theater almost every day and they were all as excellent as the paid show by Cirque du Soleil. The aqua park and the rope facilities were fun. I spent my cruise day there without a moment of boredom. We were lucky that not much people were there as the weather was still quite chilly. Some setbacks were below: Similar to other comments, the cruise held 5000+ people, thus very often the public area esp. The indoor bamboo pools and jacuzzi were full of people. We managed to have "private" experience just because we went there at 930am. The buffet area ie market place was full of people from all ages at all time. But if u were early, u still manage to get seat at the window, which was definitely a better seating compared to the one assigned for you at the complimentary restaurant. (Unless you upgrade your package) The food at complimentary restaurants were so so. Not much variety n nothing luxurious. So i joined the dining package at 96 euro for 3 restaurants,namely Eataly, japanese restaurant kaito n Butcher cut. Eataly and Butcher cut were delicious yet the sushi from the package was overpriced and not worth it. (As an asian, i could tell the food was not fresh enough to be sashimi and no smoke salmon should be used for sushi roll lol) Quite a lot of things were charged items, e.g the drinks (even water!! at restaurants except marketplace , the virtual games, bowling, sauna, spa (tried the Bail massage, slightly more expensive than other spa experience outside but is their skills were up to standard.) Non alcoholic drink package costed 19euro per day per person which was really too ex to join == No external wine or beer were allowed so got to save the pocket money for that! Bingo was 10 euro per card which was again expensive compared to the casino games. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife and I went on a weeks cruise in january 2019 and we were a bit nervous because of the bad critics we have read. We both agreed that compared to Celebrity Cruise, MSC Meraviglia had much better food and much better varity of wine ... Read More
My wife and I went on a weeks cruise in january 2019 and we were a bit nervous because of the bad critics we have read. We both agreed that compared to Celebrity Cruise, MSC Meraviglia had much better food and much better varity of wine (including a lot of good european wines). The coffee was true italian style espresso - top quality. And the best is that it was served in almost every bar and restaurant. The ship was new and clean and the cabins in fine size. The skylounge bar is very cool and they make the best drinks and we also enjoyed the live music. The only thing we would have wished for was a little better space in the public areas and we missed a separat discotek. Seen from our point of view MSC is a serious and trustworthy company. All-in-all: We would like to try another of MSCs ship next time mainly because of the food and wine and friendly staff. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
As the title states this was a winter cruise on the continuous west med route starting in Barcelona and ending back there 7 days later. OK up front important news - The staff were brilliant throughout the ship and the modern systems all ... Read More
As the title states this was a winter cruise on the continuous west med route starting in Barcelona and ending back there 7 days later. OK up front important news - The staff were brilliant throughout the ship and the modern systems all worked well. After a dozen cruises I can report the staff were the best I have encountered and I was very surprised as this was a hop on hop off cruise where staff are usually stretched and stressed and sometimes less than cordial. Customer services queues were kept short at all times and staff numbers dealing with issues were the largest I have seen ( NOT LIKE PRINCESS!!) Very , very good and it makes such a difference. We had a balcony room at the rear. It was modern functional, smart and above all QUIET. It was an upgrade so no complaints at all. The ship can take 5714 customers and is huge . In winter with most of the deck and deck bars impossible to visit in the cold , my guess is that we were at about 80% capacity. Inside that is full enough. There are areas of the ship that are not available to ordinary fare payers, either staff or yacht club areas, so the number of public accessible decks in winter is about 6 and almost all activity takes place on 6 and 7 with customer services on 5. At this level of capacity the ship is OK. We managed to get a table for 2 in one of the 3 dining rooms but it was set for 4. The table for 4 people was far too small. Overall MSC have taken packing people into the dining rooms to it's physical limit with some very large oval tables cramming 10-12 people round them. This is not for me. Such a shame when the service and quality of the food was high. The ship design makes any privacy or quiet impossible, It is one long massive tube with no doors relying on design and sound control to give the impression of different areas. The exceptions are the pub and the shops and impossibly expensive special restaurants (empty) which are behind doors. On ship like MSC Lyrica you could listen to a classical trio in the library for a concert and it was magical. Now such performances are rare and are given in the centre of a roundabout with 3 lanes of heavy traffic going round - quite pointless. It is a truism that as ships get bigger and more modern, the number of chairs goes down. At peak time you cannot find a chair near a bar and if you are having a private drink you just have to allow other people to join you because people are desperate for a seat. People give up and go away. The strategy seems to be, sell the drinks packages hard and then reduce the speed of service in the bars, take a away the chairs and ensure people drink less. For me you would have to be crazy to buy a drinks package on this type of ship. The stress of paying , maybe in excess of 100 euros a cabin per day for 7 days and then having to fight for a seat and then wait for very slow service would be unendurable for me. So there it is. In fairness to MSC this cruise cost about the same as it did 10 years ago. By the way if you take this cruise in winter avoid Marseilles. We visited the old town. It was shut, unwelcoming, and very run down. Might be fine in the summer but it was a miserable experience and the worst stop I have ventured into. Take a trip or stay warm inside. Cocktails 8- 10 euros Bottles of wine from 23 euros and beer at 6.5 euros for 330 ml - all plus 15%. There was even a service charge on using your mini bar. Would I cruise on this ship again? Yes but only in winter. At capacity it would not be for me. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This cruise allows passengers to embark and disembark at any port on it's route. That means no embarkation day and no debarkation day. The good news with that is that you're not fighting a big crowd at your point of embarkation ... Read More
This cruise allows passengers to embark and disembark at any port on it's route. That means no embarkation day and no debarkation day. The good news with that is that you're not fighting a big crowd at your point of embarkation and debarkation, and most of the first day stuff that might normally be mobbed, like ship-card management kiosks, aren't particularly busy. Embarkation and Debarkation were both very smooth. The bad news is that there is a muster drill every single port day with the blowing of the horn and the very long announcements, and you're not part of a cohort so if you like making cruise friends, they may be leaving much sooner than you are. We chose to embark in Barcelona to enjoy a couple of days in the city on either end of the cruise. This was a great call, we LOVE Barcelona and it is an awesomely easy terminal to access and move through. This is one big ship! At full capacity with guests and crew it can hold almost 7,000 people, but somehow it rarely felt that crowded. There is a lot to say about the experience so I will do my best to take it in categories and not to get too tangential. Our overall rating? 7.5/10, would cruise again but only if we got an awesome deal. Much of the lost points had to do with culture differences, language barrier, and frustrations with the European vs US idea of customer service. Without further delay ... let’s get reviewing! The ship itself is BIG but not super accessible. There are some annoying choke points that get clogged up and can’t be avoided (like exiting the theaters) and the the deck plan makes it somewhat difficult to navigate overall. There were actually entire areas we never even bothered going back to after we did our embarkation exploration because we couldn’t seem to find them again despite having a whole week on board. That said, the ship is gorgeous. It’s main atrium has a curved ceiling made of LED panels they call “The Dome” and each evening they do a brief Dome Show. It sounds cheesy but it was actually very cool. The signature Swarovski crystal staircases definitely add wow factor. We found our aft facing cabin very comfortable with an awesome and spacious balcony (cabin #10374). Book these rooms only if you enjoy the motion of the ship because you will feel it. It happens that we love it. The only issue was that it was all the way aft and there are no aft elevators, so it was a long enough walk that I definitely had a “if I forgot it, I don’t need it” mentality. Note: Smoking is still extremely common in Europe and a lot of people were smoking on their balconies which will waft up to yours and the corridors often smell of smoke. The casino is technically the only indoor smoking area and the ventilation is garbage and you must walk through to get to the Carousel Lounge, which is where they have the Cirque du Soleil show. Not judging anyone’s choices, but something to note for those who are sensitive to the smell or who worry about second hand smoke. Now on to everybody’s big question: how was the food? (A quick note, I am a vegan and my husband is not, but we are writing this together. Obviously a big factor for me is dietary accommodation and I also try to include allergen sensitivity in my review). This ship was good about allergen warnings but not very good at the distinction between vegan/vegetarian. I have noticed that for many cruise staff on all cruise lines, all allergies or dietary restrictions = gluten free, which is annoying but I do appreciate the effort. **TL;DR, food is hit and miss, dining room portions are very small.** In some specific areas the food was exceptional - the breads and pastry were all absolutely delicious (RIP my waistline), and all the mozzarella used/served is made fresh onboard. The house-made sorbets and ice creams were also excellent. Cured meats and cheeses were gourmet quality and there was very good selection. Buffet is open most of the day with solid variety and tasty food. Dinner Misc Notes- we ate in one of the complimentary dining rooms (Panorama) and found that unfortunately most of the mains were a bit disappointing. For those who are American you may find the portions pretty small as all dining is very much in the European style where you eat small plates at meals and supplement that by enjoying a bite with coffee or a hard drink in between meals. European meals are also often later than American ones, so it’s more like a pastry in the morning, lunch between 1-3 and dinner between 7:30 and 9:00. Be sure to sign up ahead of time for a seating you want or you could get stuck with a very late seating or a very early one. In the dining room the good news is that they had an entree option marked vegan at each dinner. Bad news is they were pretty bad - either very teeny but ok or sufficient but fried (I just don’t like deep fried food). One evening I was served 3 little pita points with about 2 tbsp of hummus and 2 tbsp of babaganoush. Suffice to say I came hungry and left...cranky and ended up having a protein bar back in the cabin. Although I was never in danger of starving or anything like that, it did not exactly make me feel like I was on vacation having a fine dining experience. BUT! All was not lost! After the hummus incident of 2019, the dining manager made me aware that they can do a 2 dish Indian entree every night if the menu option is no good. I ate that the rest of the trip (4 dinners) and it was delicious. My husband’s meals were ok, standouts include the escargot in puff pastry appetizer, and also the steak dinner served at the Cirque Du Soleil experience (extra fee). Desserts were very disappointing with the exception of ice creams and sorbet. We also had a major problem getting coffee served with our dessert, apparently this is not a thing that is common in Europe and so they would have to brew an entirely new pot, which is lovely except that the dessert was served long long before the coffee so you’re done or you’re waiting while the room empties out. Most of the service issues were things like this - simple requests from a U.S. perspective that required scrambling for a euro style dining setup. Not a deal breaker but definitely noticeable service hiccups and the staff was visibly annoyed. Breakfast - We attempted breakfast in the dining room the first two mornings but found the service to be a problem for getting to our excursions on time and there was no vegan option. Some classic dishes like eggs benedict were not done very well and so we preferred the buffet for breakfast, it has good options for just about anyone. The buffet is usually a zoo but that is true of every ship we’ve been on and it just comes with the big-ship territory. After hours: like most ships, pizza is available almost all the time and they also offer mini sandwiches (bocadillos), well into the evening along with fresh fruit and some small dessert bites. Don’t worry, you won’t go hungry! Entertainment: the shows were 50% awesome and 50% good-not-great. Again, full disclosure, we are very spoiled because we are near NYC and usually see shows on Broadway, so we have high expectations. The production quality was very solid and they went all out on the costuming - it had a distinctly eurovision look: gowns, headdresses, sequins, and omg so many costume changes! The dancing was excellent, there were 2 or three very very good singers and overall the performing was strong. The dancers were awesome. One problem we had was that the singers were largely Italian and so when they cover American broadway, rock, and pop classics the accent is very very noticeable. Big props though, not easy to sing in English while also trying to do right by a well known hit song. We had Cirque Du Soleil included with our cruise fare and it was great - definitely worth attending. Each night there was an interactive “party” in the main atrium and we found them to be lots of fun. If you attend the show you are pretty much released right into the party. I had the opportunity to spend an hour in the thermal suite, which was very impressive! Many rooms and different temperatures to choose from, including a temp variation rain shower path. I enjoyed it very much. We also took advantage of foosball and the “Himalayan Bridge” ropes course, and the gym facilities. If you are a gym goer, don’t forget weights are marked in Kilograms! I wasn’t thinking at 6am and got a big surprise when I tried to just pick up a “20”! There were many many more activities and things to do that we didn’t get to but which looked really great. We did a shore excursion in every port and had a good experience, and we definitely recommend the MSC excursions. If you're still with me here, you must have had a snickers because this ran LONG. If you choose to cruise this ship I hope you have a wonderful trip - we definitely did! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The 5 plus and minus with this cruise. Plus. World class evening entertainment - The main company consist of 6 singers, 11 dancers and 5 musicians (alternate nights). They offer 6 great shows of 40 minutes, popular broadway ... Read More
The 5 plus and minus with this cruise. Plus. World class evening entertainment - The main company consist of 6 singers, 11 dancers and 5 musicians (alternate nights). They offer 6 great shows of 40 minutes, popular broadway musicals, history of Rock, flamenco dance, Italian songs and a modern day themed. The shows are world class with great choreography, costumes and musics. Mobile phone app - MSC for Me - while on board the ship can easily find informantion on itinerary, book restaurant and shows and check details of billing account (the most useful function in the app). Itinerary - Civitavecchia, Italy - Palermo, Italy - Valletta, Malta - Barcelona, Spain - Marseille, France - Genoa, Italy. Spa - Modern, spacious and well equipped. Daily activities - plenty of choices and varied to suit. Minus. Charity donation to UNICEF - Auto deduction of 1 (one) EUR per person per day. Chairty donation is a personal choice and voluntary. MSC auto enrolled my cabin of 4 person, of which I needed to visit the reception and wasted my time in the long line to remove the charge. The pushing of products and services - I understand cruising is a business and want of MSC to increase income and profit. However, there is a fine line between of highlighting and selling, I rather ask than to be offered. Transfer in Barcelona, Spain - The charge of 8 EUR per person between port and World Trade Centre (WTC) in the port is not value for money, since WTC is still 30 minutes walk from the city centre. In fact, the metered taxi from city centre to port is only 10 EUR for 4 person. Rushed service in the morning - the ship was full, 4,500 passengers, so I understand it was difficult for the restaurants to cope with the rush in the morning. Poor information or lack of transfer service between airport FCO and Civitavecchia. I rather prefer MSC to organise the transfer service. This was the missing link in an otherwise wonderful MSC cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Being an avid cruiser and a loyal RCI customer (Royal, Celebrity, Azamara), I was getting curious about the MSC's new Yacht Club product. Everything I was reading indicated this was the standard of cruising my husband, in particular, ... Read More
Being an avid cruiser and a loyal RCI customer (Royal, Celebrity, Azamara), I was getting curious about the MSC's new Yacht Club product. Everything I was reading indicated this was the standard of cruising my husband, in particular, would enjoy. He's not that keen on ocean cruising, particularly if it involves older ships, tired itineraries, average food and constant nickel-and-diming (i.e. the average cruising experience in Australian/NZ waters.) Upon seeing a special price for a YC Deluxe cabin on a 7-day West Med sailing in early December 2018, we decided to check it out. It was not our first trip around the Med, so we were comfortable with the fact it was going to be cold (for Queenslanders!) and we would probably find ourselves onboard more than usual, rather than remain on shore until last call as is our usual MO. A big bonus with MSC is their status-matching with other cruise lines' loyalty programs. Based upon my Captain's Club level with Celebrity/Azamara, we were automatically assigned MSC Black, which is the highest grade in MSC's loyalty program. This was a very attractive incentive that other cruise companies should explore and gave us some very appreciated additional perks. Our trip from Australia to Europe started off brilliantly with an unexpected upgrade from premium economy to business class on board EVA Airways (BNE - TPE - CDG. Thank you, EVA, every outbound sector was an excellent flight!) After a couple of days in Rome at a gorgeous, well-priced hotel near the centre (Liberty Boutique), we travelled by private transport to the port of Civitavecchia. We arrived at the port around midday and were greeted by very friendly staff who shepherded us to an exclusive lounge area for YC guests. It was empty (the whole terminal seemed fairly quiet), but was still fully stocked with a wide range of drinks and snacks. After a short wait, we were greeted by a lovely young lady in livery (coat and tails!) who we were told was one of the YC butlers and had arrived to escort us onto the ship. We followed the butler in the direction of the ship, overtaking others who were standing in line, while she held aloft a paddle with "Yacht Club" stamped across it. Not surprisingly, our queue-jumping accompanied by a liveried staff member drew some attention. At this point, we started to wonder if we had fallen down the rabbit hole. On board, we were taken to the YC concierge area and given a whistle-stop tour of the exclusive YC facilities, then shown to our cabin. The lady butler advised us we had been assigned a different butler for the duration of our cruise and he would make himself known to us in short course. Our room was outstanding. It was new, modern, spacious, heaps of storage and the bathroom was an absolute delight with a large shower cubicle, rail shower and rain shower. We had a small but adequate balcony, comfortable bedding (pillow menu optional) and, frankly, I felt the room wanted for nothing. Our butler did not make himself known until later in the evening and, to be frank, we found his attention very sporadic throughout our whole cruise. Our understanding is that the YC butler is meant to be readily available to assist you with all manner of reservations and recommendations. Unfortunately, we hardly ever saw him as he seemed to be solely focused on his other guests. (At the time of introduction, he noted he was from Indonesia and, I suspect, he believed as 'Aussies' we were too laid back to need any special attention compared to the others under his care. However, we aren't exactly the type to be found holidaying in Bali, so he rather misread us if that was his assessment.) Consequently, this was the first cruise ever that we did not provide an additional tip to our cabin staff. (Obviously, we did pay our standard gratuities - we consider these to be non-negotiable.) The disappointing butler aside, our YC experience was generally excellent, with one notable exception - the breakfast service in the YC restaurant. It didn't matter what anyone did (and we know we weren't alone in this predicament) breakfast was never more than lukewarm and usually bland. In the end, we took ourselves off to the main buffet for breakfast and were surprised that the food was much more inviting (and I abhor large ship buffets - you won't see me in the Windjammer for dinner EVER.) As for the rest of the food, drink and general facilities in the YC - just brilliant. In particular, it was nice to have a dedicated concierge desk for any questions. Given we didn't really understand all the intricacies of the YC product, it was useful to be able to confirm details without lining up. (I still don't know that we took advantage of all the YC perks, but we certainly gave it a solid try out!) Would I sail MSC again? In a heartbeat, provided I was travelling in the YC. This product leaves the other cruise companies floundering when it comes to value-for-money. We did venture beyond the YC to check out the very impressive facilities on the rest of the ship. It is big - but then it needs to be, as its catering for nearly 6,000 pax. Our cruise didn't feel overly busy, but it wasn't exactly peak season either. I had read some nightmare stories about the behaviour of the general population on board MSC's cruises and I can't say I saw anything to suggest it was that bad. It does get noisy, however, as many of the people on a European cruise of this size are from cultural backgrounds that are comfortable with 'loud'. On the whole, I didn't think the non-YC environment was any less inviting than you'd find on one of RCI's larger vessels. Thank you, MSC, for a very enjoyable cruise. Please consider bringing your ships Down Under. Australians deserve more than the many aged vessels the other cruise companies try to shunt our way. My husband and I have already recommended friends to go (they travel this April) and, for our part, we'll definitely be back. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this as our 25th anniversary and it sailed out of Rome, and Rome was on our Bucket list. Embarkation was one of the smoothest ever, as was disembarkation. Our first time on MSC, so not sure how to compare, but this was our 15th ... Read More
We chose this as our 25th anniversary and it sailed out of Rome, and Rome was on our Bucket list. Embarkation was one of the smoothest ever, as was disembarkation. Our first time on MSC, so not sure how to compare, but this was our 15th cruise overall. We were disappointed that we booked this cruise when we did to get the Circ du Soleill tickets that were part of the package. When we got on board we found out we needed to pay for this. The guy running the ticket desk told me had numerous people complaining about the same thing. They were supposed to get free tickets but had to pay. I have complained to MSC but no word back yet. Very strange not having a Cruise Director or actviities lined out like we are used to. It's also a little strange the people embark and disembark at every port, so there is no set embarkation point, new people coming and going all the time. Food was great compared to other lines we thought. We appreciated the dining room having assigned seating and times again. It gave us a chnace to get to know the staff and table mates. We never figured out how to make reservations that are REQUIRED to see shows, so only skipped in on the end of a couple. Disappointed no comedians either. I havent been on other MSC cruises, so I really dont know how it compares. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We have been loyal to Royal for years but this cruise was such good value we gave it a go, and we had a great time. We went with an open mind recognising that each cruise line will have its own characteristics and MSC would not be exactly ... Read More
We have been loyal to Royal for years but this cruise was such good value we gave it a go, and we had a great time. We went with an open mind recognising that each cruise line will have its own characteristics and MSC would not be exactly the same as RCL. Firstly the ship, as many have said, is stunning, we found it clean throughout and lots of choice in the venues. The cabin, we were inside bella on deck 10, was spacious but had no furniture, I missed the small sofa. It did have the largest shower we have had at sea. Both the bathroom and bedroom would benefit from more storage. our steward Gusti was very attentive. Food - we ate every evening but one in the main dining room, Panorama. After the first night we asked to be moved to a round table as that suited our family better and from that point Gerlin and Anil looked after us very well indeed. We engaged with them and they with us and it made for a great dining experience, head waiter Jeannot was also very attentive and kept a close eye on everything. we all enjoyed the food. Butchers Cut - we ate dinner here for a family celebration and it exceeded all expectations - wonderful food. Entertainment - the team work extremely hard and the activities throughout the day and night suited us perfectly, quizes and dancing. Parties on the Promenade were a great success and we surprised ourselves by partying well past our usual bedtime. There is a variety of musical artists in the venues around the ship, hopefully a style for everyone or karaoke for your own style. I thought there were more drinks servers on MSC in the bar/lounge venues than on RCL and we had great service all round. Again we took the time to talk to staff they were very friendly and spoke with us anytime we met up during the cruise. We saw a couple of shows in the theatre, and even the ventriloquist was funny although so many languages was a challenge to listen through and still get the comedy. We saw Cirque show Sonor, and while appreciating the skills involved I think for us we chose the wrong show. it was very futuristic and the more traditional Viaggio may have suited us better. The cocktails offered are a bit strange. We had status matched our Crown and Anchor to Voyagers club black prior to going but did not receive all the benefits during the cruise, we are still not sure how that is intended to operate. We got a voucher for thermal area and meal in restaurant, vouchers arrived on different days at beginning of cruise, we kept waiting for the rest of the listed benefits but they didn't come, we asked for the chocolate ship on our last night and they seemed surprised we had not received, so we may have just been unlucky. Our itinerary was disrupted due to weather which was unfortunate - both in terms of not seeing the ports we wanted and in terms of the bad weather itself. Embarkation and disembarkation for us in Barcelona went smoothly. Our overall verdict - pleasantly surprised having read other reviews. We really enjoyed the whole experience and will not hesitate cruising with MSC again if the itinerary and price are right for us. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We were concerned about the likely service, food etc - having read many poor reviews and bad comments. But our experience was almost nothing but everything was fine. We were very content. The ship's customers were much more heavily ... Read More
We were concerned about the likely service, food etc - having read many poor reviews and bad comments. But our experience was almost nothing but everything was fine. We were very content. The ship's customers were much more heavily Asian and of course there were plenty of Italians. Their nature is not to 'stand back' and wait patiently in line, unlike the Brits or Americans they certainly don't say 'after you' - so that was noticeable. The ship was immaculate and is quite stunning, good lifts, restaurants, bars, our steak in 'Butcher's Cuts' was one of the best we have ever tasted! Restaurant food was good, not five or six star, but good. The Panorama restaurant was very smart and very good indeed (and spacious) the Marketplace Buffet could be crowded and rather noisy (but no worse than Celebrity, RCL or NCL) and we always found a table without difficulty. The evening entertainment was overall very good, the Cirque du Soleil very good. Lively and good fun. The ship went to Marseille, Genova, Palmermo (had to miss Malta because of a storm) but then Palma de Mallorca. Our only adverse comment is that there are no staff positioned so that all that enter a restaurant have to use anti-bacterial gel hand cleaner. There is therefore a risk, we suggest that needs to be changed. Finally, the big question: would we book with MSC again : Answer: Definitely. 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
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
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
A small review after my cruise with MSC Meraviglia. Background: My wife and I got 7-8 cruises with Royal (grand suites incl.) 2 with Celebrity and 1 with NCL under my belt. A few negatives; - less CHOICES in the breakfast ... Read More
A small review after my cruise with MSC Meraviglia. Background: My wife and I got 7-8 cruises with Royal (grand suites incl.) 2 with Celebrity and 1 with NCL under my belt. A few negatives; - less CHOICES in the breakfast and lunch buffet than Royal, Celebrity, and NCL. - Do NOT book a stateroom on deck 14 under the pool deck on Meraviglia. NOISY! You could hear people running, loungers placed out by the crew every morning at 6, LOUD pool parties like the white party.. When I complained about this, I got the impression that the customer service was well aware of this, and gave me a B I G discount on my upcoming cruise in February. - lack of visible crew during disembarkion/poor imformation. ( our case was maybe especially bad since disembarkion was very late due to really bad weather in Civitavecchia. Chaos. - Lack of waiters during breakfast. Ordering drinks took forever.... getting them? Even longer. Some positives; - Value for money. Dont know about cruises in the Caribbean, but the prices on MSC cruises in Europa wins BIG time over Royal, Celebrity and NCL. - Very good food in the Main Dining Room - and yes u can have several starters, mains and/or desserts. No need to go hungry. In my opinion, equally good as Royal, NCL, and Celebrity. - Drinks. Better than on Royal and Celebrity. - Butchers Cut... oh.. the best filet mignon I ever tasted on sea. - Best pizza. No discussion! - Sunny in the Main Dining Room. A waiter that know what he was doing. Good recommendations through the whole cruise. Some neutrals: - the housekeeping is not there to befriend you, but to do a job. I got real friends, and I am fine with that. Im not trying to be a friend with my accountant, bus driver or my sons kindergarden teatcher either. They are doing their job. - those noisy «foreigners». I belive this is just cultural differences. I feel a ship out of Miami is equally “noisy” as from Genoa. The difference is that many cruisers are used to cruise with others with their own language. It sounds more noisy maybe. But since I am from Norway, if find those “foreigners” equally “noisy” as English speaking cruisers. Equally «rude» as well.. People push in the buffet everywhere - me too! In my opionion MSC delivers a equally good product as Royal, NCL and Celebrity. Yes it is some differences, but all in all a good cruise product. Some differences from Royal, Celebrity and NCL, but that I am mostly happy for. We dont need 7 cruise companies delivering the exactly same product, do we? Im more than ready for my two next bookings with MSC! Royal and/or Celebrity needs to do some REAL effort to get me back.. just my two kroner.. from a normal cruiser - not paid or bribed from any cruise company............ Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Ok, truth be said, there a far more experienced cruisers out there, who undoubtedly are in a much better position to compare. I’m a novice cruiser, who only did a Western Caribbean cruise on board of Regal Princess, in early February ... Read More
Ok, truth be said, there a far more experienced cruisers out there, who undoubtedly are in a much better position to compare. I’m a novice cruiser, who only did a Western Caribbean cruise on board of Regal Princess, in early February this year, and loved it. We’ve been very hesitant on cruising, and when we finally decided to try one, we we’re recommended Princess or Celebrity, because they offer a semi high standard. I know that sounds snob, but it’s just that we like our privacy, good food, good service, a place to relax and read, away from the hustle and crowds, and yes, we love luxury too. Regal Princess ticked all the boxes, and more, so why MSC which - according to experienced cruisers, our travel agent, and internet, is a step down. The answer is simple ; Yacht Club ! On our 4th day, on sitting in the ‘top sail lounge’ with a martini & Tonic, enjoying the view of leaving Palermo, and the quit atmosphere, while writing this review. Our embarcation port was Valencia, Spain, and the journey did not begin well. The port of Valencia is a nightmare, apparently road signs showing tourists to the that part of the port where you need to board, are not a requirement, and so we drove back and forth, passing MSC Meraviglia more then 5 times, before finally taking the ‘road of last resort’ leading to the cruise terminal, which is shared with ‘local ferries’ going the the various balearic islands. What a contrast with Fort Lauderdale. But then the Yacht Club kicked in, where a butler awaited us in front of the cruise terminal, took charge of our luggage, and guided us to the yacht club check in area. No waiting lines, no cues, but a private escort right to the stateroom on board. Lovely ! We booked the last available stateroom in Yacht Club, a ‘YIN Suite’ ; Yacht Club Interior Suite.
I wouldn’t call it a ‘suite’ since it’s definitely the smallest room I ever stayed in, even including my ‘road side’ rooms in these cheap highway chain hotels, for example ‘Accor’. That being said, a bottle of cava, fruit basket, chocolates, Nespresso machine, well stuffed mini bar ( included ), housekeeping, beds being made up ( even again after a ‘siesta’ ) towels folded to different animals everyday, and the omni present smile of our state room attendant and private butler. Yes, a 24/7 on call private butler is part of the Yacht club service too. So, perhaps, it’s not a suite in size, but it definitely is in service. Then we started our tour of the ship. Since it was after 14:00 h, the yacht club restaurant was closed, and because it was pouring rain, the Sundeck pool buffet was closed, so we decided to go to ‘the marketplace’ the main buffet restaurant. Bad idea ! It immediately made us realise why MSC is considered ‘a step down’.
Crowds, pushing and shoving, cues, people trying to cut the lines, a slice of pizza on the floor, horrible. We decided to skip the longest lines, and ‘fought our way’ to a slice of pizza, freshly baked, right out of the oven, then passed to the kids corner - because there was no cue there - for some condiments, and rushed outside to the tables alongside the pool. Quit ? No, but a huge difference with ‘in the marketplace’. A waiter came by, and soon after, brought our drinks. Nice. We continued our exploration through the central gallery with it’s impressive led dome, complimentary restaurants, bars, tv studio, etc, and a nice ambiance. Strange how such a big ship has such a simple layout, and I mean this in a positive way. On regal princess it took us days to figure out which floor we needed to go to for, say the theatre, which zones to cross, etc. On Meraviglia, it’s simple. Meraviglia - Regal Princess : 1-0. Soon, we ended our exploration tour, and headed back to Yacht Club, and only returned to the rest of the ship ‘when necessary’. Dinner in the Yacht Club Restaurant, free dining, great. Menu, food, presentation, wine, service, right up there with Regal Princess. A nice touch are the daily changing wine suggestions, and it you prefer another one, they’ll get it for you. Great ! A large selection for breakfast in the restaurant, and then some, or a breakfast buffet at the poolside sundeck. Great. So is the service at the sundeck, the buffet, the bar, etc. Add to all that the 24/7 yacht club concierge, who are perfectly able to attend clients in 5 languages. Great personal attendance, but with a downside, since all shows and announcements are done in 5 languages, a bit boring sometimes, even more when during the weekend the mandatory safety drills for new arriving passengers are also announced in 5 languages, and on Sunday at 7:37 an announcement of ‘all on board at 18:30’ was done in 5 languages. I did not quiet get the need for that. We booked the optional ‘Cirque du soleil at sea’ show and were escorted to the theatre by our Yacht club butler, passing the waiting lines. So relaxing. The show was good, not spectacular, but then again who’s complaining if you only pay 15 € per person, including a cocktail for a 45 minute show. In yacht club all drinks - and yes I mean almost all drinks, even premium whisky, cognac, … - are included. Truth be said, some are not, but then we’re only talking about the truly very expensive ones. And here I stumble upon a point of criticism ; from the info prior to booking the cruise we understood that only soft drinks are included in the yacht club and our travel agent was also very uninformative about this, and since we do like our gin&tonic, wine,… we decided to book the optional premium all inclusive drinks package. A total waste of money. When on vacation, we love to relax and read, in all serenity and tranquility. On Regal Princess that made us decide to - on sea days - rent a cabin in the adult only retreat section. On MSC Yacht Club we thought that we would have that anyway. Not so. It’s totally uncomprehensive that the MSC Yacht Club is not adult only. Don’t get me wrong, I love children, but on vacation, I love to relax without running, screaming children. And apparently other guests did so too, since when on day 3 of our cruise a couple boarded with 2 young children who monopolised the yacht club pool and hot tub, while continuously shouting, a lot of guests moved away to the far side of the yacht club, away from the pool. I was informed that since recently, yacht club also has family staterooms, and the concierge was aware of these 2 children, since the clients for their neighbouring staterooms had also already complained. My advise to MSC ; make yacht club adult only, or make some cruises in yacht club adult only, so that clients can choose wether they want to take the risk, or not. So what did we miss ? Well, ‘Movies under the stars’ like on Regal Princess, the ‘love boat’ episodes on the stateroom television, and the ‘sail away’ party with the love boat tune from the ships horn. So, I think it’s time to conclude, and of course all based on my subjective, personal opinion. For future cruises, the choice between Princess and MSC will entirely depend on the itinerary and the price, comparing MSC Yacht Club with Princess. I feel that the ‘standard service’ and overall quality of Princess is very comparable with MSC Yacht Club. But to make a fair comparison, I do have to include the premium drinks package and a retreat cabin for ‘on sea’ days on Princess. Let’s wait and see which - based on these conditions - will be our next cruise, and if MSC decides to make Yacht club adult only. If not, the choice will be very simple. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Reviews about the Meraviglia are not exactly very good. We can understand them and agree... if you are not in a Yacht Club cabin. Athmosphere The ship is crowded and loud most of the day. Getting on and off the ship means queing, ... Read More
Reviews about the Meraviglia are not exactly very good. We can understand them and agree... if you are not in a Yacht Club cabin. Athmosphere The ship is crowded and loud most of the day. Getting on and off the ship means queing, for minutes at least. Good luck if you try to find an unoccupied table at the buffet restaurant between 12 and 2pm. Good luck if you try to find two available chairs at any of the bars onboard just before diner time. Good luck if you try to find a lounger along one the pools that is not occupied during a sunny sea day. The Meraviglia gallery on deck 6 is usualy very busy and loud. On the sides are MSC staff members trying to sell you drink packages, restaurant deals, massages, jewellery, perfumes... and so on. It almost resembles the atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul... MSC should really try to deminish this kind of selling techniques, it is very annoying and for many passengers a reason not to travel with MSC again. Food The food at the buffet restaurant is very decent. It is not 'gourmet', but it is well prepared and tasty. There is not much variety, but there are certainly enough choices to please everyone. The waiter service is very efficient, thanks to the buzzer on every table. Just push the button and a waiter will be at your table within a minute. We cannot comment on the food in the main restaurants as we have only dined in the Yacht Club restaurant or used room service. Drinks The drinks in the many bars are also well prepared and you will receive complementary crisps, olives or salted nuts with it. The choices of cocktails, beers, spirits is immense. The waiters are usualy very friendly and seems to enjoy their jobs. Excursions We took two excursions with MSC and they were very good. No complaints. Spa and Wellness The Thermal Area will not dissappoint you. There are two big saunas, two big steam rooms and much more. I particulary liked the walk through shower with four different shower heads, both cold and warm. There are also multiple relaxation rooms. The Thermal Area is a perfect spot for a cloudy sea day. But off course it will be busy at those times, but not really crowded. The Thermal Area is complementary for Aurea and Yacht Club guests. Pools A major advantage of a big ship is the inside pool area, named the Bamboo Pool on Meraviglia. Perfect when the weather is bad, but again, then everyone wants to be there and it is impossible to find a lounger. Passengers leave their towel on them for the whole day, giving others no chance to relax on one. Sad... The outside pools are very attractive when the weather is good and are then... crowded and loud! Entertainment We attended the two shows by Cirque de Soleil: Sonor was very good, Viaggio was also good. e saw some perfomances in the Broadway Theater. A ventriloquist which was very mediocre and a magician/'shadow artist' which was dissappointing. We also attended an abridged version of Puccini's opera 'La Boheme' which was actualy very good. So it was a mix of good and bad entertainment. YACHT CLUB Atmosphere If you stay in the Yacht Club, the atmosphere is completely different. The YC areas are quiet and have a relaxing (maybe boring for some) atmosphere. There are less than 200 passengers in the Yacht Club. You will always find a lounger around the pool on deck 19, there is always a table available at the YC restaurant and more than enough available seats in the YC Lounge and bar. YC benefits A YC passenger gets many small but interesting benefits: hold your cruise card to a sensor near the elavators and you will have 'Priority Service'. This means that if you enter the elevator on deck 18 and want to go to deck 5, the elevator will bring you directly to deck 5, without stopping at the other levels. If you want to get off the ship and are in a hurry, just ask any of the butlers to escort you and you will bypass all the queing passengers. And when you come back, if you are lucky, you can see a butler outside the ship to escort you directly to the security area onboard, again bypassing all the other passengers. On disembarkation day, you do not have to wait or to queue, you can walk off the ship at any time you like (as soon as 20 minutes after the arrival in port). YC food There are four options for breakfast: room service, the restaurant, the lounge or the grill on the sun deck. We mostly used room service. The choices on the list seems to be limited, but you can always request items that are not listed. I like Egg benedicts, wrote that on the paper and it was delivered. Excellent service! The food in the restaurant is very good, again well prepared and tasty, but not realy luxury. A lot of pork and lamb and other 'affordable' ingredients. Lobster was only offered once during our two week cruise. That's being 'cheap' from MSC. The dishes are very small. You are not full after an appetizer, main course and dessert. But there is always an evening snack at the buffet, including a slice of pizza of you are still hungry. And you can always order two appetizers or two main courses instead of one. The grill on the sun deck only opens if the weather permits it. It's a good location for having lunch. You may choose your meat (e.g. lamb, pork, beef, fish...) and it will be grilled and minutes later served at your table. Conclusion I realy enjoyed my stay on the MSC Meraviglia and was fortunate to be in the Yacht Club. I will sail with MSC again (next cruise is on the Seaview), but only in a Yacht Club cabin and if the price is reasonable. With the Yacht Club, MSC tries to immitate the luxury cruise lines. However they are not comparable. On a luxury cruise line, the food in the restaurant is more upscale, with more exquisite ingredients, slightly larger portions and with more choices on the menu. The butlers on MSC are good and friendly but are more room stewards than true butlers. If the itinerary and the price of a Yacht Club cabin is comparable to an itinerary and the price of a cabin on a luxury cruise line, I will certainly choose the latter one. This explains my 4 star rating instead of a 5 star rating. Happy cruising! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We enjoy very nice days of navigation,entertaining and sociability.The embarkment and desembarkement a little slow because this ship have 5700 passengers.When we come tours the embarkment is very slow because control passengers.The ship is ... Read More
We enjoy very nice days of navigation,entertaining and sociability.The embarkment and desembarkement a little slow because this ship have 5700 passengers.When we come tours the embarkment is very slow because control passengers.The ship is new one and very confortable and all areas very beautiful.From our cabin was very fast to go Broadway theater. The cirque soleil show was very nice. The lunch and dinnertime very good and service very good.We enjoy Tv studio karaoke bar and we profit free package drinks.After dinner we walk and shopping.The shopping area very good with a lot good offers special perfumes,clothes. The cruise tours are very expansive and The some bus drivers very fast drive that was impossible make fotos. The temperature on the ship not very good sometimes cold and sometimes very hot.On the cabin sometimes was cold.The cabin with balcon was very confortable and this time Tv channels with large offer several languages. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We choose this ship and voyage for the spring break, after the good price and the new ship and value. Booked early. We are experienced cruisers, took many cruises on different major lines. We read about the different approach of ... Read More
We choose this ship and voyage for the spring break, after the good price and the new ship and value. Booked early. We are experienced cruisers, took many cruises on different major lines. We read about the different approach of European based cruise liners, and monitored the clients' review carefully before the journey. We adjusted our expectations and made sure we board with an open mind. It appeared to be a very valuable move to make sure we enjoy the trip. EMBARKATION / DISEMBARKATION Great, fast, efficient service. We board / disembarked in Barcelona. The fact MSC boards passengers in all ports resulted less new comers in any given port. We checked in at 1 p.m. and was boarded within 20 minutes. Disembarkation was less organized, any one can walk off the ship at will. But the luggage comes out fast (disregard of the number assigned) and it was relatively painless procedure. SHIP The ship is brand new and beautiful, very well maintained and cleaned. The design has modern clean cut flavor, lacking of huge high ceilings, etc. But overall a very modern, super clean ship. CABIN We optioned for the duplex suite, for 2 adult and 2 children. It was an excellent choice. Price wise, the two floor suite stands out for great value, much more affordable than any other major lines' equivalent suite. It features a large private balcony with large jacuzzi, 1 st floor sitting room with sofa bed converted to king, a dinning area easily accommodate 4-6 with very comfortable table and chair, 2nd floor bedroom with king bed. Both floor has plenty of storage with both huge walk in closet. Both floor has separate bath room one with tub and one with shower. The suite comes with Aurea experience - including all unlimited wine / beer / drinks throughout the journey, dine as you wish (not set dinning time) at Panorama restaurant, and complimentary massage for 2 adults at spa. The suite was kept superbly clean, two housekeeping per day. Yes the living room sofa bed was turned back to sofa in the day time, and converted to bed at night, daily. DINNING I dined at both Panorama Restaurant and Wave. The Panorama Restaurant was assigned as part of the Aurea experience. It is well docorated with lots of space, and service apparently is more attentive. We walk in as we wish at any time and never experienced any waits to obtain a table, I also dined in Wave - along with some friends booked on the same trip. The restaurant manager was very nice to re-arrange the table size for us from day 3. It was set time dinning daily - early dinning at 5:30 p.m.. To my observation, the Wave is more crowded, and the service was not as nice but acceptable. Both restaurants offer the same menu. Food quality wise it was not great, but acceptable. Size / portion wise it was ok. Passengers used to US based carriers of offering lobster night / steak, will be disappointed. These were offered and sold as "cost extra" items. Thus no free lobster, no free steaks. Other than that, the food quality / portion / presentation are acceptable, not great, but no bad either. ENTERTAINMENT Due to busy itinerary (we arranged own shore excursion every day), we did not have time to attend the show. From past clients, their feedback ranges from great to nono. Thus I can not give my opinion. Circle O Solei show cost money - since we have seen them in Las Vegas, we did not attend, but the kids who saw them seems to be enjoying. There are plenty of activities - Himalayan high walk rope adventure, water slides, etc., these were free of charge, but one has to line up at the deck below to sign paper and get wrist band to be allowed to line up at the venture. No clear instruction and signs were given so many experienced lots of frustration to begin with. Pool sizes and public Jacuzzi are small and are frequently crowded. Live music played around the ship are nice. We enjoyed them. They were not exceptional great or impressive, but we are happy with what they are. PORTS and SHORE EXCURSIONS This is a port intensive journey. We arranged our own activities in all ports. From the 7 days journey there are only 1 sea day which comes on the last day. It was kind of fully packed. The voyage was officially designed from Genoa - for those who gets on from Genoa they can enjoy three days of port day, followed by a sea day to take a breath, and then another three days of port day activities. But for those embarked from Barcelona, they have to go port days 6 days in a row, before they have a sea day to take a breath - that is the end of the cruise. Thus the itinerary was very intensive. The city / port it docks was a wonderful combination. But was a very tired "vacation" if one wants to see every ports and started their journey in Barcelona - which I believe most of the US passengers do.. Also it seems MSC purposely make those who arranged their own activities (rather than book ship tours) to encounter some last minute surprises. Docking time / shore time was changed almost at every port, in most cases shortened, only at last minute (the night before after dinner), thus many passengers who arranged own activities were scrambled to get hold of their local operator to inform them the most updated timing. In many cases they have to cut short the initial planning. This is new to us - as we have cruised to Europe before on HAL and RCCL, both sticked to their initial docking schedule announced almost months in advance. MSC seemed to in favor of changing their mind at every port. Docking time as changed from 10 a.m. to 8 a.m. last minute, leaving time was changed from 6 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. last minute. It creates lots of confusion and last minute surprises for those who arranged their own pick up / activities. TIPS TO ENJOY THE TRIP 1. Adjust your expectation - for those who have cruised other lines before. For European based lines, don't expect them do the same as US based lines. They have their way of operation. If you can not accept the difference or adjust your expectations, you should avoid this line. 2. Book higher / more expensive modules. For example, pay a little extra to book Aurea Experience (rather than Fantastica etc). The all inclusive drink, the free massage, the complimentary use of SPA and Pool and exclusive sundeck area with pool, makes all the difference, and is cheaper than paying after boarding. 3. Prepay for services you feel necessary to enjoy - for example, I prepaid for a unlimited photo download package for US$59 before the trip, while onboad it sells for 119 Euro. I prepaid a US$59 laundry package (40 items) for a week, and it turned out wonderfully. Overall speaking, it was a great vacation. The family enjoyed the ship and the experiences. We knew it was different from RCCL or HAL or any other lines we have been on, but we adjusted our expectations and never went on to expect them to do the same. As a result, it was a very rewarding trip. We would travel on MSC again, but only at Aurea experience, and probably at higher catagory of cabins for space. 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

Find a MSC Meraviglia Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise