MSC Meraviglia Cruise Review by Sockalaura
- Sail Date: October 2018
- Destination: Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Fantastica Balcony Stateroom
This is a trip I will not be forgetting! I want this to be an honest review, so below I’ve listed the positives along with the negatives and also given (I hope) some sound advice if you are thinking of sailing on MSC Meraviglia.
- The staff! They couldn’t do enough for us. So friendly and approachable. A special thank you to Halik (Waves Restaurant) you were amazing and so attentive. He quickly mastered what our favourite drink was and ensured our glasses were always full!
Also to the guys who looked after and cleaned our room and changed the beds everyday. Amazing job! Thank you so much for everything! The standard was impeccable and they work so damn hard. You are all a credit to MSC!
- This ship is spotless! Absolutely emaculate. Granted the ship is just over 1 years old but taking into account the shear size of her as well as the amount of passengers on board the ship is ridiculously clean!
- The food/drink - Such a vast variety of food and drink on offer. In the evening we ate at our dedicated restaurant (Waves) where we were served a 3 course meal every evening with the night’s menu offering a range of dishes to choose from. Meanwhile, The Market Buffet which serves food (I believe) until 2am always had fresh, delicious food with a big range to choose from. At peak times it gets very busy yet the food just keeps coming out fresh!
- You will never get bored whilst on board there is so much to do and places to explore!
Now for the negatives (or things to look out for!)
- I’m not saying us Brits are perfect, but goodness me some of our European neighbours were incredibly rude! We witnessed people clicking their fingers at staff and speaking to waiters/waitresses in the most patronising of ways.
Never saying please or thank you.
Absolutely horrific to see!
Also, it would appear that certain nationalities do not know basic manners such as knowing how to queue and not push in (so frustrating!!) people would literally push you out of the way, tread on your feet to get to where they want (this 99% of the time happened in The Market Place Buffet where food is available (almost) 24/7. We even witnessed one family take two trays of burgers/hot dogs, leaving none left for anyone else queuing. Disgusting. Learn some damn manners.
Excursions: What a rip off. Save your money!! I believe at least 5/7 places we visited during our 7 day cruise had shuttle buses on from the port at the cost of €12.99. They do not tell you this in advance! Allowing passengers to pay €50+ for excursions so they can access / get to the city centre which is completely unnecessary when the shuttle bus serves the exact same purpose! This being said there were of course some excursions which were more than just a coach trip to get you from A to B. But if you are booking trips through MSC just so you can get to the city centre etc do not bother. You’ll get a shuttle bus ticket on your door the night before you arrive at your next destination. (You are welcome!)
Embarkation: What a long, long drawn out process. Be prepared for a very long wait!! We flew to Genoa, Italy. I do wonder if other destinations experienced as long a wait. Definitely would recommend avoiding Genoa if and when possible! After a short 1hr 30min flight we were taken straight to the port. The process up until this point was so smooth & fast!
We arrive at the port in Genoa and there we waited for HOURS. The process wasn’t explained to us upon our arrival, we literally had to figure it out for ourselves. We were given a number, we soon figured we had to wait for our number to come up on a board. After waiting 2+ hours our number was finally called!! Up the escalator we went only to be met by another queue!!! This came with another 1 hour wait to get checked in. We then had to queue again to go through security when we were finally let on board.
A very long process but totally worth it once you are on board the ship. Thankfully disembarkation is a lot quicker!
Word of warning: You have to leave your suitcases outside your room the night before you leave. MSC did an amazing job ensuring our luggage was looked after and got to where it needed to be, we experienced no issues.
But please know, you will need another form of bag for anything you need that night / the following morning before you fly home. We thankfully had a small case we used as hand luggage which were managed to throw everything into, avoiding any dramas.
Check your bill before you leave!! We experienced double charges (which were later removed) and also a friend was charged €30.00 for a photo he never received!
The queues to settle your bill at reception get exceptionally long! So word of warning, allow yourself plenty of time and check your invoice before you leave otherwise you may be in for a shock!
There is a daily charity charge of €1 which goes to UNICEF (I believe) which we didn’t mind. However we did mind the daily €10 (per person!) service charge which gets added to your account automatically. (That’s €210 in service charge for us for the week)
We decided to have this charge removed and paid out tips to our waiter/room attendants the night before we left, that way we know they’ve got the money. €10 a day per person soon adds up as you can imagine and not know where or who that money goes to concerned us.
Other points to mention:
Do not pack a hairdryer. It’ll be confiscated / kept away for safe keeping. A hair dryer is provided in the room & works absolutely fine and did the job.
No tea/coffee facilities in the room which was a shame, but we understand why.
If you buy a drinks package like we did you cannot use it on your day of departure! Also we couldn’t use ours on the day we arrived as it hadn’t been uploaded onto our access cards.
All in all, we really enjoyed cruising with MSC. The ship is stunning, the staff are wonderful the inside of the ship is beautifully kept and so spacious. What a beautiful way to see Europe!
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