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APDMOM

My View: A Merry Meraviglia Christmas in a Fantastica Balcony

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APDMOM...thanks so much for this great review and pictures!  I know you said earlier that you internet was being gobbled up quickly, which package did you buy....would you suggest buying the unlimited package?

 

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51 minutes ago, CruiserDoc said:

APDMOM...thanks so much for this great review and pictures!  I know you said earlier that you internet was being gobbled up quickly, which package did you buy....would you suggest buying the unlimited package?

 

@CruiserDoc 😂 Let’s just say that I had a blonde moment when I calculated the MB’s.  It can never be that I am getting “older” and my math brain is getting lazy... 🤦‍♀️

 

I had calculated 1/10th of the number of MB’s I actually had.  So, I really have about 285 MB’s per day with the 2GB package.  It will definitely be adequate for this week.  So far, I have used about one third of the MB’s and we are over halfway through the week.  We bought the cheapest internet package, as we mainly need it to keep in contact with my family in Namibia.  

 

The bonus is that I get to do the live review, which becomes a personal journal for me.  Years from now, when this thread is buried, I will still visit it to relive our memories.  It is a win-win for me 😊

 

In summary, 2GB is enough for posting this review and some social media visits.  It will not be enough if you want to stream videos.  It all depends on what you need it for. 

 

The good news is therefore that the Megabytes are not disappearing as fast as I thought at first. 

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3 hours ago, mamaneedsavacay said:

I love your review. Since you all don't spend much time ashore on port days, are you finding there is enough to do on the ship? Where do you spend most of your time, especially DS? I'm taking three kids (10-15 yrs) in the spring, and I'm nervous about staying entertained, on Sea Days especially. Most of the ports are new to us, so we'll do full day excursions. 

@mamaneedsavacay It really depends on what they enjoy.  Our son is easily entertained and not into normal teen stuff.  So, he does not participate in the program.  There is definitely a lot to do - from the slides to the Himalayan Bridge to plenty of water activities.  There is a basketball/soccer area, Foosball tables (free) and Table tennis (Free).  There is bowling, the arcade and a flight simulator (Extra charge).  I will also post some of the teen activities with the daily planners at the end of the week.  Hopefully, that will give you an idea. 

 

We enjoy the top level of the Bamboo pool when there are not young kids screaming.  Since it is enclosed, it can be sensory overload when “the littles” are loud.  Otherwise, we spend a lot of time on the balcony and have a daily visit to the Himalayan Bridge.

 

Hopefully, someone else with teens will help here with some advice or feedback 😊

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Caramel Latte:

 

Upon returning to the ship, I enjoyed a Caramel Latte at Jeanne Pierre - best caramel latte I ever had.

 

DS had the chocolate Oreo shake, which he reports is not as good as the one at Venchi on Seaside.

 

Caramel latte:

A13D4A51-37B3-41C7-BC0A-BB2158E5D548.thumb.jpeg.255e4385c44a8f398dc9d6e6d02e59ff.jpeg

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Dome Show: MSC World Tour

Every evening, they have a 3-minute dome show.  This one was MSC World Tour which was a bit disappointing, as I thought it would be real pictures of venues where MSC sails.  Instead, it was an animated show about different cultures - more of a kid fun show.  It is still pretty entertaining, but I would not plan my evening around catching one of these, unless you have young kids who will enjoy it.

AC3241AF-B979-4A0C-A27C-C5ABB65A5461.thumb.jpeg.5b2d5bc93cdcbf5289b40c72a5a78787.jpeg

 

3FAE104E-F228-4AA3-A4E3-466B1D748B04.thumb.jpeg.b1c94b9f23416d90b8a331053dc3aacc.jpeg

 

Christmas Evening Dome Display:

DD0282BF-3753-41E8-AD8E-E19FCD4F5DDA.thumb.jpeg.4ac1f5f382d70a439971d922b31b3e1c.jpeg

 

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Christmas Show:

When I did our show bookings, it looked like there were only 5 shows - all offered on the first 3 days.  Well, my proactive planning backfired, because I found out today that there are 4 more shows, including the Christmas show tonight.  Unfortunately, all 3 shows for tonight had been fully booked.  So, we decided to skip the MDR dinner, ate at Marketplace, and went to wait in the standby line.  We barely arrived about 9 minutes before the show started, and they allowed us to go right in.  There were still plenty of seats left, but the show filled up almost all the way.

 

TIP: If you don’t get a booking for a show, just stand in the standby line.  You may not get the best seats, but every show we attended so far had quite a few seats open.

 

The show tonight was extra special, as the cast put it on voluntarily.  It is something they wanted to do as a group, seeing as it is Christmas Night.  This is a very enthusiastic cast, and you really can not help but love the shows - even when there are occasional pitch issues and the voices don’t blend well.  It is just still a very entertaining performance and we loved every minute of tonight’s show!  I have to say, I did not think I would ever see “Oh Happy Day” performed in a show on a cruise, but tonight’s show proved me wrong.  I personally really enjoyed it, and it seemed like a vast majority of the crowd agreed.

 

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CE308A31-8BEA-43E8-9F25-51353DFA02E9.thumb.jpeg.d383fdf66c751d296982c0ce811d05f4.jpeg

 

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Menus for Christmas Day:

Even though we did not make it to any of these meals, I will post the menus in case anyone is interested.  They had a lunch in the MDR, even though it was a port day - something special just for Christmas day.

 

CA34BB11-8021-4F4A-9E21-283AF8D27700.thumb.png.6f97163d8d2bd1da9368e9911718d051.png

 

43837755-9CD5-49BF-936D-7E63A2B2E2D2.thumb.png.51dc26b399e5949c80f29c950f171ad7.png

 

4114362A-A24F-4975-AD24-308EA1CF8532.thumb.png.ac2f88c4ce8f0ab1f273655f3681e53e.png

 

A558D404-4E2C-48CF-BDE2-917DFF918E54.thumb.png.d77367c0f40bffa0df3506a702421904.png

 

7B270E7E-70B5-4556-B8D2-042CF9EA1E5C.thumb.png.805f56b656438f80d9b801115f5ae68c.png

 

79CDC2D9-6B23-4281-9BBC-57F91A673700.thumb.png.174c9fa7894b71df4d8a6bc5d85aaa9e.png

 

DDF3BEA5-78F0-4117-B5A7-724A305A07E7.thumb.png.d220bf5abfe580bb558c6df3d79d7358.png

 

94A78FC8-4BF1-460D-946F-97A3910FBB60.thumb.png.15b529f1f87ac4dc519861bbf5113dcf.png

 

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I'm happy to have found another one of your wonderful reviews! I've only sailed on Divina so far, but I hope to sail MSC again in the future. 

Heather 

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Good morning from our Sea Day!  I am one day behind on my review, but I will have some time to catch up today.  I will be spending a lot of time enjoying the aft view from our balcony 😁

 

With that said: If there are any more requests or questions, please post them soon.  Today will be the ideal time for me to try to help find answers for you.  

 

Thanks to all of you for reading along and for the kind comments!  Also, thanks to all of you who contribute and share from your experiences.  

 

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Thank you for the review, which I'm following, and the fantastic pictures. We're booked on the Mera for next November, and can't wait. My only question to myself is whether to upgrade our drink pkg from Easy.

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Hello APDMOM what a great review, and a great informational gift to us all! Merry Christmas. 

 

Regarding the nightly shows, this will be our first time on MSC when we sail Meraviglia soon. Can you say again, did you book them all on your app? When were the shows available to book? And are there 2 times for each nightly show?

 

Also you mentioned the wrist bands, but looked like 2 different types. The ones you got ("Saga"), and then also I thought some $15 bands from the shops that maybe have added feature of tracking/app. Do you know if the $15 bands were also a no-go for your cruise (e.g., all bands were down) or if they were working? 

 

Finally, as a Christmas cruise, I'm guessing the crowd count is high. Can you comment on how crowded it feels and any Meraviglia ship tips around navigating the masses?

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3 hours ago, SGCruiser2013 said:

Hello APDMOM what a great review, and a great informational gift to us all! Merry Christmas. 

 

Regarding the nightly shows, this will be our first time on MSC when we sail Meraviglia soon. Can you say again, did you book them all on your app? When were the shows available to book? And are there 2 times for each nightly show?

 

Also you mentioned the wrist bands, but looked like 2 different types. The ones you got ("Saga"), and then also I thought some $15 bands from the shops that maybe have added feature of tracking/app. Do you know if the $15 bands were also a no-go for your cruise (e.g., all bands were down) or if they were working? 

 

Finally, as a Christmas cruise, I'm guessing the crowd count is high. Can you comment on how crowded it feels and any Meraviglia ship tips around navigating the masses?

@SGCruiser2013 

Some of the shows were available to book about 2 pm on boarding day.  However, not all shows were listed, which is how we missed booking the Christmas show.  So, I would recommend checking every day.  There are 3 shows each night. One at 6:45, one at 8:15 (most popular), and one at 9:45.  (Some nights it varies by about 15 minutes, but these are the typical times).  I will post a video when I get home about how to book or navigate the app.

 

The Wrist Band Saga will continue soon.  However, they work now!  🙂  When they were out of commission, it was unfortunately for both types of bands.

 

Yes, as a Christmas cruise, it is very crowded.  However, there are always lounges that are more quiet.  For example, we are currently at Jeanne Pierre on a sea day and it is very calm and quiet.  My best advice for sea days would be:

1. Eat in the MDR for lunch

2. Don’t ‘settle’ for a crowded space - get to know the ship and find the quiet lounges, such as the Sky lounge.

3.  Book and enjoy a balcony, if you can. 

 

Enjoy planning your cruise! 🙂

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, deliver42 said:

Thank you for the review, which I'm following, and the fantastic pictures. We're booked on the Mera for next November, and can't wait. My only question to myself is whether to upgrade our drink pkg from Easy.

@deliver42 I will be posting many of the menus later today or tomorrow, so you will have a better idea of whether it will be worth the upgrade for you. 🙂  Maybe that will help.

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TIME CHANGE:

Ship time changed back to New York time (put clocks forward).  I happened to see when the time on the phone changed this morning.  At 5:48 it jumped to 6:48.

 

We docked just as the sun was rising:

C42E1A85-7395-450B-A25B-072FD6FAA81B.thumb.jpeg.2fc2b14c192c46e2957055e3fe5a918d.jpeg

 

Ships in port with us:

Carnival Breeze:

F043EFD8-E5E7-461F-ACC6-915A2F43BA0E.thumb.jpeg.6c1deab12c99d034fea6be691c5de793.jpeg

 

Rhapsody of the Seas:

FECA898E-6228-4B95-A5EF-B3DF06996D8E.thumb.jpeg.be6ea687f5e6fd9d763ba09536ac8cc9.jpeg

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We have been to Costa Maya several times and opted for a quick walk on the pier just to get a few ship pictures.  The rest of the day, we enjoyed the quiet ship.

 

TIP: I highly recommend choosing one port day to enjoy the quiet ship.

 

A few views from the pier:

62B997A6-9797-44BF-B90E-A31870921057.thumb.jpeg.39185d631a6b95e9833009f280e31aed.jpeg

 

DH and DS on our balcony:

F58F52BE-5239-40BA-A63E-5EC17A510D3D.thumb.jpeg.ddfe36752a67e54efcc4b1cca383e15d.jpeg

 

You could see plenty of fish and pelicans from the pier:

0E462963-F3DC-47AB-9300-E4AD86F39836.thumb.jpeg.768548dab62746254c9176c12d74b00c.jpeg

 

0D64CD56-75D6-4B22-B32D-C70592E6CA88.thumb.jpeg.f5f6dc55cc4b09986b66c9ef3930b09b.jpeg

 

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A few views of the port from our balcony:

440A19E3-ED78-49B4-BF3F-87563214BB6A.thumb.jpeg.2c0a766be345f2d258985d90f6fab8c1.jpeg

 

F7881246-1674-4D4F-8A75-09E84AEFA925.thumb.jpeg.63d2829eaa6988281f77baf0c5fefbc6.jpeg

 

A74F81B9-8B03-4EEC-8A1D-F0800DFD3F95.thumb.jpeg.9bcfe24ee6daf80ad930908987fa44a7.jpeg

 

Kris Kringle (aka Santa) on the Bridge of Carnival Breeze:

BB85942D-0183-46BD-B594-FED9EDA4E0D6.thumb.jpeg.f020dc395241620c0ac093370cfd9839.jpeg

 

The view from our balcony as Carnival Breeze sailed away:

2807C9BB-45BB-4241-BE4C-715CFED6D187.thumb.jpeg.d131859ea684ebc3a1aca356c9cca010.jpeg

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Dinner:

0E566C8E-B3AC-4919-8B50-131B5EAE0960.thumb.png.f4cac809c513ed83965a12bd1310f96f.png

 

4B131AAC-20AC-4B00-A9B5-37BAE52E2E2B.thumb.png.b986b51ec837097b71e7bc3db6b2b8e6.png

 

0CA279B5-1C7C-4F12-B9CD-E4D912371C6C.thumb.png.82350483c78ff1f6a3af83d98a825ad4.png

 

Salmon:

DFF0E30A-0D39-408D-8FD9-D39C837AD171.thumb.jpeg.9529dc38a4d3f5beabced1da1211ed25.jpeg

 

Seafood:

60221DDC-5E84-4972-9791-FC4C45DAAB58.thumb.jpeg.f5279f9cba8ab947d2f5fe76c73c428a.jpeg

 

Lamb:

8F0BFF09-E507-4029-A0B8-85E168E34540.thumb.jpeg.c1a23f21700508e9443db21db5e2fa34.jpeg

 

Bread pudding (Not very sweet):

BCBA1456-D617-49D5-960F-D27CA531C396.thumb.jpeg.12491d3f2347c899f70832ae305577fa.jpeg

 

Pudim Molotof:

5D053372-9B01-48C9-8C70-D2EFB7057B74.thumb.jpeg.47a8ff6e6c0538077bd8d5a072079813.jpeg

 

Brownie Stack with Vanilla Ice Cream (Ask for the ice cream):

15B62AFE-AC3B-4B5E-8787-9D21A4F90DC0.thumb.jpeg.e92ce8a1f7f54a0cbf48d6c88c8568d0.jpeg

 

Our Verdict on Dinner:

 

APDMOM:

Roasted Corn Chowder (Excellent), Herbed Rack of Lamb (Very Good), Pudim Molotof (Excellent)

DH:

Atlantic Salmon (Excellent - his all time favorite), Bread and Butter pudding (Okay - not much sauce)

DS:

Seafood Cioppino (Excellent - a repeater), Brownie Stack (Excellent - much better than on Seaside)... Ask for vanilla ice cream - it does not automatically include the ice cream.

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The Show:  PAZ

 

Tonight’s show was more of an auditory than visual pleasure.  Picasso’s art is not very peaceful to me, and the background as well as costumes were an oxymoron to the name of the show (Peace).  

 

However, the dancers were absolutely incredible with their rhythm and coordination.  It was definitely a pleasure to listen to the tapping, clapping and hollering.  Here are a few views - clearly not as colorful as other nights:

0DD45AF8-C426-4673-A04C-C9234036EC14.thumb.jpeg.6d72f8ba0168f7c0c8bc30ff99a1064b.jpeg

 

4230FCB0-61B7-4E4D-9CD1-681EF0CAE8B6.thumb.jpeg.389d38f854e0f3b21e6fb8020bce28c0.jpeg

 

930687D2-D148-4BC7-86C0-0FA8B837F85E.thumb.jpeg.562d9cc2995ecb73419d014491166586.jpeg

 

C1F7AEE0-EA95-42FC-A406-7AFB11C65969.thumb.jpeg.3c935a0b0b4190051b2d611e2ff7ab4d.jpeg

 

B4C4A2F1-F75B-40CE-A52B-2E9211B4B7A4.thumb.jpeg.9e0b27a7cca178aca5f5822163510e3a.jpeg

 

22840DCD-AD0B-429A-9C57-10D226A4700F.thumb.jpeg.1b5e8d40a64b7fd44cb059f382e7a1d5.jpeg

 

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5 hours ago, APDMOM said:

@SGCruiser2013 

Some of the shows were available to book about 2 pm on boarding day.  However, not all shows were listed, which is how we missed booking the Christmas show.  So, I would recommend checking every day.  There are 3 shows each night. One at 6:45, one at 8:15 (most popular), and one at 9:45.  (Some nights it varies by about 15 minutes, but these are the typical times).  I will post a video when I get home about how to book or navigate the app.

 

The Wrist Band Saga will continue soon.  However, they work now!  🙂  When they were out of commission, it was unfortunately for both types of bands.

 

Yes, as a Christmas cruise, it is very crowded.  However, there are always lounges that are more quiet.  For example, we are currently at Jeanne Pierre on a sea day and it is very calm and quiet.  My best advice for sea days would be:

1. Eat in the MDR for lunch

2. Don’t ‘settle’ for a crowded space - get to know the ship and find the quiet lounges, such as the Sky lounge.

3.  Book and enjoy a balcony, if you can. 

 

Enjoy planning your cruise! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Thank you so much @APDMOM this is super helpful. 

 

One other thing on our minds - we've not traveled MSC before - how have you observed the dress code? Is it same/different from other cruise lines? MSC website and information says no shorts/t-shirts after 6pm in public areas. In caribbean cruises we've taken on other lines, given the nice warm weather, it seems like the American crowds overall dress is more casual. Wondering whether on Meraviglia, at this time of year, you've observed differences. Should we interpret the MSC guidance as a more strict dress code? 

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1 hour ago, SGCruiser2013 said:

 

Thank you so much @APDMOM this is super helpful. 

 

One other thing on our minds - we've not traveled MSC before - how have you observed the dress code? Is it same/different from other cruise lines? MSC website and information says no shorts/t-shirts after 6pm in public areas. In caribbean cruises we've taken on other lines, given the nice warm weather, it seems like the American crowds overall dress is more casual. Wondering whether on Meraviglia, at this time of year, you've observed differences. Should we interpret the MSC guidance as a more strict dress code? 

You are welcome, @SGCruiser2013!

 

Dress code is very similar to other lines in the Caribbean.  Tonight was Elegant night and they turned people in shorts away from the main dining room.  However, you can be in public spaces in casual clothing.  Although in the minority, they do allow shorts in the MDR on casual evenings.  “Elegant” is also not very formal on our cruise either.  I have not even seen a single tuxedo this cruise, and only about 5% of men even wear a jacket  (I actually did a quick visual survey while sitting here in the show lounge, waiting for the show to start).

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I have been following your journey and loved your reviews of the ship and the cruise.  So many negative posts on CC had us worried. My wife and I sail on this ship March 8th, 2020.  

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