Return to Cruising Ship Guide: MSC Meraviglia
When is MSC Meraviglia slated to resume operations?
After successfully resuming sailing in Europe, MSC Cruises will officially resume operations in North America as the MSC Meraviglia heads to the Caribbean for the summer season. The ship will start cruising on August 2, 2021, offering 3- and 4-night cruises from Miami to Nassau (Bahamas) and the line’s private island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
MSC Cruises highly recommends guests be fully vaccinated to sail with the line, however they will allow unvaccinated guests. Passengers who are not fully vaccinated will be required to purchase the line’s Travel Protection Plan with coverage for COVID-19, and will be subject to stringent health protocols. These protocols include wearing masks, the required purchase of an MSC-sponsored shore excursion in order to go to the port, and COVID testing at embarkation and while onboard.
All fully vaccinated guests (12 years and older) must provide a Negative RT-PCR or Negative NAAT or Negative antigen test taken no more than 2 days prior to departure. Guests that are not fully vaccinated (ages 2-11) must provide a Negative RT-PCR or Negative NAAT test taken no more than 3 days prior to departure (antigen test will not be accepted for not fully vaccinated guests).
Cruising on MSC Meraviglia? Here’s our guide to everything you need to know before you board.
About the Ship: MSC Meraviglia is one of MSC Cruises’ larger-sized ships. The vessel is one of the line’s Vista-class ships, and is home to a number of activities and venues perfect for travelers of all ages. At full capacity (prior to COVID-19 restrictions) the ship can accommodate up to 4,500 passengers and offers 1,556 total cabins. MSC Meraviglia features include a large indoor promenade with a massive LED “sky” dome that changes images throughout the day or for special occasions, as well as a large lido pool with an ample amount of loungers. The ship is home to the MSC Yacht Club, a ‘ship-within-a-ship’ area that includes luxury cabins, separate restaurants, and a private club atmosphere.
Activities + Entertainment: You will find absolutely no shortage of entertainment or activities on MSC Meraviglia. Some highlights include an F1 Simulator, a bowling alley, a Sports Plex, an aqua park with three waterslides, an arcade, kids and teens clubs, the MSC Aurea Spa, multiple pools, and a theater.
Adults will be pleasantly surprised to learn that the large open-deck aft pool area transforms into a dance and entertainment space at night. Twice a night, six days a week is a Cirque Du Soleil acrobatic show, in the ship’s specially-built Carousel Lounge. One is called “Sonor,” which centers on a villain out to steal “sound.” Viaggio, the second Cirque show, is filled with color, juggling, astonishing feats, and casts a happy vibe over the audience.
Dining: MSC Meraviglia’s dining options include a variety of international and Mediterranean-inspired venues. L'Olivio d'Oro and L'Olive doree are the two main included dining venues, offering Flexi- and My Time dining. Other included and specialty eateries on the ship include Hola! Tapas Bar, Jean-Philippe Crepes & Ice Cream, Jean Philippe Coffee & Chocolate, Marketplace Buffett, Panorama Restaurant, Waves Restaurant, Kaito Sushi Bar, Kaito Teppanyaki, Butcher’s Cut, and Ocean Cay seafood.
Pricing: Sailings are booking up fast with MSC Cruises’ return to the Caribbean. Right now, you can expect basic accommodations on MSC Meraviglia to start at around $50 - $60 per night for balcony accommodations. With all of the great deals available from MSC, balcony rooms are currently running the same price as interior accommodations. Book NOW to score a cabin at these great prices!
What to Expect at Embarkation & Onboard Protocols
MSC Cruises’ embarkation and onboard procedures vary for vaccinated and unvaccinated guests:
- Vaccinated Guests: Guests who can present valid proof of the COVID-19 vaccine will be required to take a rapid antigen test at the terminal prior to boarding (covered by the line). During port visits and at Ocean Cay, vaccinated guests can travel independently. Vaccinated guests will be required to wear a mask throughout the cruise while indoors and in public areas. Mask use is not required outdoors.
- Unvaccinated Guests: Guests who cannot present proof of the COVID-19 vaccine will be required to take a rapid antigen test at the terminal prior to embarkation (covered by the line). Guests 12 years and older will be required to purchase (prior to final payment) the line’s Travel Protection Plan with coverage for COVID-19. Non-vaccinated guests will be required to wear a mask throughout the cruise while indoors and in public areas. Mask use is not required outdoors but is recommended. While visiting Ocean Cay, unvaccinated guests can spend the day as they wish; however, at any other port of call guests must purchase a shore excursion through the line in order to go into to port. For cruises five nights or longer, guests will be required to take a rapid antigen test within 24 hours of disembarkation (covered by the line).
As of August 17, all guests age 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status, must provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 test before embarkation. The test must be taken no more than 3 days before arriving at the terminal for embarkation and the guest is responsible for the test and cost.
Tips from Our Community Members:
This cruise was beautiful and I had a great time whether on the ship or on a port. I would recommend it to anyone. - Aleris
MSC Meraviglia is a beautiful ship. This is my second MSC cruise. I appreciate the fact that this cruise line does not charge double for solo cruisers. The itinerary was excellent. I enjoyed the dining and entertainment on the ship. The staff I met were friendly and helpful. The cabin was clean. It was a relaxing vacation. - rparker379
I think MSC is a cut above a lot of the rest. This is my 3rd cruise with them and envision doing more. Evening entertainment was wonderful, service was great - the nightly parties were really fun, the ship itself was beautiful, the cabin was spacious - and plenty of time in each port of call! - Kaliopa
With so much to see and do in the ports which MSC Meraviglia visits, be sure to book shore excursions as early as possible. The top-rated excursions by destination are:
Ocean Cay, MSC Marine Reserve - Ocean Cay is the brand-new tropical paradise private island destination from MSC Cruises. This pristine island features over 2-miles of sandy shores that are perfect for both relaxation and adventure. Features of the island include multiple beaches offering chair and cabana set-ups, a full-service spa, food trucks and beach bars, fire pits, and a lighthouse offering spectacular light shows. Guests can enjoy a number of water activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving, paddle boarding, deep-sea fishing, and more.
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Latest Update: September 7, 2021