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New@Cruisin

MSC Meraviglia Review - Feb 2-9, 2020

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Long post ahead...

We got off the MSC Meraviglia this Sunday so our cruise was from Feb 2 to Feb 9. We had a grrrrrrrrrrrreat time ! This was our 11th cruise. We sailed with Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian before. If I had to order them by my own personal preference, that would be 1. Royal Caribbean, 2. Norwegian, 3. MSC and 4. Carnival. But again, this is my own opinion. But overall, we loved it. I mean, come on, you’re on a cruise; I’m one to look at the positive side of things and not let the less positive elements affect me. So if you’re looking for a bad review, this will not be the one… On that note, we overheard people in an elevator one night and people were complaining that they really did not like the ship, that it was dark, felt closed out etc. I was surprised as I didn’t feel that at all. We loved the ship, it really is beautiful. We took lots of nice pictures in the famous Swarovski staircases. We never really felt crowded as there are so many different areas to hold the guests. Of course, when you get out of the Broadway theatre after the show, everybody tries to get out at the same time so it is to be expected. There really is something for everybody. We went to the TV Studio to see karaoke and it was really popular and guests who were participating were great. Takes a lot of courage that I don’t have. Kudos to them.

Stateroom: We had a Fantastica balcony cabin on the 11th floor. Size compares to other lines. Balcony seemed a bit smaller. Room was clean, bed was comfortable. Shower had great water pressure. So overall, all good !

Food: We had a 6:30 PM table in Panorama Dining Room and had a wonderful ocean view. Everything we ate was pretty good. Not amazing but good. Some nights, I had issued picking something from the menu as the choices were limited but overall, it’s positive. We ate the 5$ fish and chips at the Brass Anchor Pub on the first sea day and it was really really good. We also ate the buffet for lunches and it’s a great buffet with many different stations offering a lot of options. There are 2 Marketplace buffets offering pretty much the same dishes when you get there. So once you go through the door, pass the first buffet area which gets pretty crowdy and keep walking to the back of the ship for the 2nd buffet much less crowded and nice sitting tables outside. Having breakfast outside with these amazing ocean views is worth it ! You can get water, 4-5 kinds of juice, plus coffee, hot water and tea at all times.

Drink Package: We had the Easy Package and felt we had our money’s worth. We’re not heavy drinkers but had Prosecco, wine, beer, specialty coffees all week which was nice. The package is also valid on Ocean Cay so had a couple of nice tropical drinks there too. I simply asked for a tropical drink that would be included in my package and had no issues.

Service: We had very good service everywhere. In the dining room, we noticed that the head waiter and his assistant were arguing a lot. It didn’t affect us nor their service but it just got a little bit annoying. But like in any restaurant or bar you go, some people ‘have it’ more than others. No big deal really…

Shows: Broadway theatre gets really full for the 8:30 PM show so you really need to make your reservations, even if it’s free, and get there early to get good seats. We were wowed by the shows. Honestly, I would have paid to watch each of the shows, except for Virtual which was a lot more basic. The magician show was good but we've seen all these tricks. The shows with singers and dancers are really outstanding ! We also attended both Cirque du Soleil shows and loved them. As people from the Montreal area where the Cirque was founded, we simply could not miss it 🙂

MSC for me app: The app works great and gives you your own personal schedule based on your reservations and bookings. It is also great to communicate with your friends for free, without the internet package. Just download the app and once you’re on the ship and connects to their wifi, you need to create a profile and then scan your friends profile to add them for the chat. Once you figure it out, it works out great !

Visited ports: We did Costa Maya, Belize, Roatan and were lucky enough to stop at Ocean Cay. We already did all the other ports before, except Ocean Cay of course. In Costa Maya, we exited the port and got a cab to Mahahual and then picked a place at the beach. Water is calm and beautiful, no seaweed. We had a nice lunch on the beach. We were really looking for our stop in Belize as we had book cave tubing with Cave Tubing dot com - Butts Up again. It was our 3rd time with them and they sure delivered again this time. We had an amazing time. River is beautiful and caves are amazing. They provided tamales for lunch after. I highly recommend them and this excursion. The owner has a team of local people who are working hard to give us a great experience. Yhony the owner has been in business for about 16 years and as his business expands, he is helping families and local economy so encourage them ! In Roatan, we booked with a local operator for a beach day at Bananarama. It got really crowded but the beach is beautiful. It was a great day ! Ocean Cay is a great place but we can see that’s it’s brand new. Palm trees just got planted and other trees too so it will take some time to look its best. Day was overcast but we could still enjoy the amazing colours of the ocean. There are a lot of different beaches on the island to accommodate everybody. The lunch buffet got a very long line when everybody wanted lunch at the same obvious time and food was just ok. There are chairs everywhere so no issues there.

Embarkation/Disembarkation: I was expecting the worse because of the Super Bowl so we got to the port early, around 11:00 and traffic was not as worse as expected. We had to wait about an hour but it wasn’t too bad. I read that some people had to wait a long time but it wasn’t our case. We got on the ship around 12:30 an headed to Marketplace for lunch. Disembarkation was a total breeze, we simply walked off the ship when we were ready, so before our assigned time and never stopped walking until we got out of the terminal. No delay for luggage, no delay at customs. That was great !

So in conclusion, I got my money's worth. I am one that could never have a bad time on a cruise… I always make the best of my cruise time. Overall it was great, but not exceptional. I would definitely go back on the same ship or on another MSC ship if there is a good deal. Because ultimately, we want the best experience but also want the best deal...

 

Edited by New@Cruisin
Dinner time correction

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Thank you for your honest review. We are looking forward to our cruise on March 8th. 

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And We Will Be on Meraviglia on the 5 th of April sailing. 

Will the fantastic  cruisedirector Gene Young stay on the ship until Meraviglia start the Cruise to Europe the 12 th of April........I have heard that he Will stay in US.

He is simply the Best We ever have had. He was Our cruisedirector on Seaside.

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4 hours ago, Preziosa said:

And We Will Be on Meraviglia on the 5 th of April sailing. 

Will the fantastic  cruisedirector Gene Young stay on the ship until Meraviglia start the Cruise to Europe the 12 th of April........I have heard that he Will stay in US.

He is simply the Best We ever have had. He was Our cruisedirector on Seaside.

We are on 3/22 so remind me.

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Thanks for your review! We're a week out and looking forward.  Also have the easy drink package and delighted to know prosecco is included, do you have drink menu photos? Or info on the white wines?

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Thanks for the very fair and balanced review - especially the advice about the buffet and shows.  We leave tomorrow - same ports.  (We did the cave tubing with that company years ago - really fun and a well operated independent excursion company. )

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12 hours ago, KittyCruz said:

Thanks for your review! We're a week out and looking forward.  Also have the easy drink package and delighted to know prosecco is included, do you have drink menu photos? Or info on the white wines?

Happy cruising ! No, sorry, no picture of the drink menu...

 

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12 hours ago, jkgourmet said:

Thanks for the very fair and balanced review - especially the advice about the buffet and shows.  We leave tomorrow - same ports.  (We did the cave tubing with that company years ago - really fun and a well operated independent excursion company. )

Enjoy your cruise. Wish I would go back already 🙂

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I was on the same Feb 2 cruise. Had a great time as well! Will post a review as well when I'm back home. I did not experience any of the issues that some posted on these boards. During my cruise, when I recalled some of the comments in the bad reviews,  I wondered if they were talking about a different ship because I just wasn't having a bad time, hahaha. Will definitely sail MSC and the same ship again. 

 

Thanks for posting your review!

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We sailed B2B this week (Feb 2 - 9), and the previous week. The two weeks were like night and day. First cruise seemed extremely loud and crowded at all the public areas. The Feb 2nd cruise (although plagued with many of the usual problems with some chair hogging etc) was a much more relaxed and comfortable experience.  so YMMV week to week.

 

This is the most beautiful ship with the best passenger amenities that I have been on (approx 30 cruises and counting).  I would probably sail MSC exclusively if they would improve their buffet variety and main dining room meals (quality and preparation was IMO edible but below the standards of most other mainstream cruise lines)

 

Ocean cay visit, a work in progress but a real unique experience (loved it) protect your feet and wear water shoes as there are lots of broken and sharp coral all around the island and beaches. 

 

sorry if I hijacked the thread 

 

Edited by spamwhiches
spelling

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On 2/15/2020 at 3:13 AM, Preziosa said:

the fantastic  cruisedirector Gene Young stay on the ship until Meraviglia start the Cruise to Europe the 12 th of April........I have heard that he Will stay in US.

 

As a past HAL guest, Mr. Young has been the CD on some of my HAL cruises and was on my Meraviglia cruise.  He is a true professional and is as guest-oriented as any that I have experienced.  It's no wonder why MSC specifically recruited him to be Meraviglia's CD when they introduced this wonderful ship into the North American market.

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On 2/14/2020 at 8:52 PM, New@Cruisin said:

Ocean Cay is a great place but we can see that’s it’s brand new. Palm trees just got planted and other trees too so it will take some time to look its best. Day was overcast but we could still enjoy the amazing colours of the ocean. There are a lot of different beaches on the island to accommodate everybody.

 

Ocean Cay impressed me.  Its potential is real and when it is fully developed may make all of the other Private Islands of other cruise lines trying to "catch up".

 

Even its "still underdevelopment state", it is not to be missed.  The night time entertainment available--by itself--far exceeds anything that I have witnessed on Half Moon Cay or Princess Cays.

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On 2/14/2020 at 8:52 PM, New@Cruisin said:

Embarkation/

 

I drove and found the port traffic to be terrible preventing me from being able to drop my luggage off at the YC Tents.  Trying to get the car into the proper lane to get to the parking garage was another challenge.  Them trying to walk through the mass of humanity disembarking/embarking Explorer of the Seas as well as those embarking Meraviglia to get to the YC Tent:  well, the word stressful does not quite fit the experience.  

 

Disembarkation was better because the Port Agent Representative and the Porter were able to graciously accommodate my need to have them get me and the luggage to my car in the garage.

 

Traffic into and out of the Port of Miami was no issue.  It was the traffic patterns WITHIN the Port of Miami that were the issue.  

Edited by rkacruiser

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On ‎2‎/‎14‎/‎2020 at 5:52 PM, New@Cruisin said:

Long post ahead...

We got off the MSC Meraviglia this Sunday so our cruise was from Feb 2 to Feb 9. We had a grrrrrrrrrrrreat time ! This was our 11th cruise. We sailed with Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian before. If I had to order them by my own personal preference, that would be 1. Royal Caribbean, 2. Norwegian, 3. MSC and 4. Carnival. But again, this is my own opinion. But overall, we loved it. I mean, come on, you’re on a cruise; I’m one to look at the positive side of things and not let the less positive elements affect me. So if you’re looking for a bad review, this will not be the one… On that note, we overheard people in an elevator one night and people were complaining that they really did not like the ship, that it was dark, felt closed out etc. I was surprised as I didn’t feel that at all. We loved the ship, it really is beautiful. We took lots of nice pictures in the famous Swarovski staircases. We never really felt crowded as there are so many different areas to hold the guests. Of course, when you get out of the Broadway theatre after the show, everybody tries to get out at the same time so it is to be expected. There really is something for everybody. We went to the TV Studio to see karaoke and it was really popular and guests who were participating were great. Takes a lot of courage that I don’t have. Kudos to them.

Stateroom: We had a Fantastica balcony cabin on the 11th floor. Size compares to other lines. Balcony seemed a bit smaller. Room was clean, bed was comfortable. Shower had great water pressure. So overall, all good !

Food: We had a 6:30 PM table in Panorama Dining Room and had a wonderful ocean view. Everything we ate was pretty good. Not amazing but good. Some nights, I had issued picking something from the menu as the choices were limited but overall, it’s positive. We ate the 5$ fish and chips at the Brass Anchor Pub on the first sea day and it was really really good. We also ate the buffet for lunches and it’s a great buffet with many different stations offering a lot of options. There are 2 Marketplace buffets offering pretty much the same dishes when you get there. So once you go through the door, pass the first buffet area which gets pretty crowdy and keep walking to the back of the ship for the 2nd buffet much less crowded and nice sitting tables outside. Having breakfast outside with these amazing ocean views is worth it ! You can get water, 4-5 kinds of juice, plus coffee, hot water and tea at all times.

Drink Package: We had the Easy Package and felt we had our money’s worth. We’re not heavy drinkers but had Prosecco, wine, beer, specialty coffees all week which was nice. The package is also valid on Ocean Cay so had a couple of nice tropical drinks there too. I simply asked for a tropical drink that would be included in my package and had no issues.

Service: We had very good service everywhere. In the dining room, we noticed that the head waiter and his assistant were arguing a lot. It didn’t affect us nor their service but it just got a little bit annoying. But like in any restaurant or bar you go, some people ‘have it’ more than others. No big deal really…

Shows: Broadway theatre gets really full for the 8:30 PM show so you really need to make your reservations, even if it’s free, and get there early to get good seats. We were wowed by the shows. Honestly, I would have paid to watch each of the shows, except for Virtual which was a lot more basic. The magician show was good but we've seen all these tricks. The shows with singers and dancers are really outstanding ! We also attended both Cirque du Soleil shows and loved them. As people from the Montreal area where the Cirque was founded, we simply could not miss it 🙂

MSC for me app: The app works great and gives you your own personal schedule based on your reservations and bookings. It is also great to communicate with your friends for free, without the internet package. Just download the app and once you’re on the ship and connects to their wifi, you need to create a profile and then scan your friends profile to add them for the chat. Once you figure it out, it works out great !

Visited ports: We did Costa Maya, Belize, Roatan and were lucky enough to stop at Ocean Cay. We already did all the other ports before, except Ocean Cay of course. In Costa Maya, we exited the port and got a cab to Mahahual and then picked a place at the beach. Water is calm and beautiful, no seaweed. We had a nice lunch on the beach. We were really looking for our stop in Belize as we had book cave tubing with Cave Tubing dot com - Butts Up again. It was our 3rd time with them and they sure delivered again this time. We had an amazing time. River is beautiful and caves are amazing. They provided tamales for lunch after. I highly recommend them and this excursion. The owner has a team of local people who are working hard to give us a great experience. Yhony the owner has been in business for about 16 years and as his business expands, he is helping families and local economy so encourage them ! In Roatan, we booked with a local operator for a beach day at Bananarama. It got really crowded but the beach is beautiful. It was a great day ! Ocean Cay is a great place but we can see that’s it’s brand new. Palm trees just got planted and other trees too so it will take some time to look its best. Day was overcast but we could still enjoy the amazing colours of the ocean. There are a lot of different beaches on the island to accommodate everybody. The lunch buffet got a very long line when everybody wanted lunch at the same obvious time and food was just ok. There are chairs everywhere so no issues there.

Embarkation/Disembarkation: I was expecting the worse because of the Super Bowl so we got to the port early, around 11:00 and traffic was not as worse as expected. We had to wait about an hour but it wasn’t too bad. I read that some people had to wait a long time but it wasn’t our case. We got on the ship around 12:30 an headed to Marketplace for lunch. Disembarkation was a total breeze, we simply walked off the ship when we were ready, so before our assigned time and never stopped walking until we got out of the terminal. No delay for luggage, no delay at customs. That was great !

So in conclusion, I got my money's worth. I am one that could never have a bad time on a cruise… I always make the best of my cruise time. Overall it was great, but not exceptional. I would definitely go back on the same ship or on another MSC ship if there is a good deal. Because ultimately, we want the best experience but also want the best deal...

 

Thank  you so much for sharing a Very Positive experience and Lovely Attitude!  We board on March 1st on the Meraviglia & can't wait.  We've been on the Divina and the Seaside and have had nothing but Great Experiences.  Can't wait to see what is in store for our adventure in 12 days!  We always look for the positive and stay away from the negative talk from others on board. your vacation is what you make it and we always make ours positive:)  Happy Cruising!

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On 2/15/2020 at 2:46 PM, KittyCruz said:

Thanks for your review! We're a week out and looking forward.  Also have the easy drink package and delighted to know prosecco is included, do you have drink menu photos? Or info on the white wines?

check this: all info about drinkmenue is in this review starting from page 9

 

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6 hours ago, cvg42 said:

check this: all info about drinkmenue is in this review starting from page 9

 

 

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@cvg42

 

 

Thank you! Not only a great review and drink menus, but some extra pointers!

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Great review! We loved the entertainment on the Mera as well (except for the magician).

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