Big, beautiful ship with different culture

MSC Meraviglia Cruise Review

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Reviews: 3
Helpful Votes: 91

Overall rating:

3.9 out of 5
MSC Meraviglia

7 Night Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: March 01, 2020

Ship: MSC Meraviglia

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

We were not sure after reading so many negative reviews whether we would enjoy MSC. We found differences compared to Royal Caribbean and determined we like Royal Caribbean better. We did win another MSC cruise so we will go again once everything settles down with the virus. We enjoyed our cruise vacation and the new experience.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
We arrived by 11 am. Porters nearly fought over our luggage tip. The rest of the trek inside the terminal was uneventful. Security was easy with no wait. We filled out our questionnaires per cabin and waited in line for about 10 minutes. Then we stood on the circle to have a thermal body scan before we were able to wait in the boarding area. Seating was plentiful and announcements were clear. We boarded the ship after about 30 more minutes. It was strange to have crew lined up as we crossed the threshold trying to sell dining and drink packages. Not a welcoming committee. :(

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
We are buffet people. Never tried the dining rooms or specialty restaurants. We found the buffet options to be okay early in the week. By the 4th or 5th day we grew tired of the exact same offerings. The food was also inconsistently prepared (eggs Benedict were hard and the english muffin was like a rock-other times they were cooked perfectly). Things we loved: pizza, mozzarella balls, breakfast, some of the desserts. We also discovered the cookies during late night snacks from 10:30-12:30. Yum!

Marketplace Buffet

4 out of 5

There were hand washing stations and enthusiastic staff with hospital grade hand sanitizer at the entry. Plenty of tables in this large area. It was very noisy and busy most days at all 3 meals. The drink stations seemed too few for the size of the buffet and the number of people on board. The staff were kind and worked hard to keep tables cleared and clean. It took us 20 minutes each meal to walk the whole buffet and wait in the lines to get our food and drink. The coffee was awesome and they had flavored creamers! Oh and the views were amazing. Plenty of tables lining the floor to ceiling windows and there were tables at the back of the buffet on a patio overlooking the back of the ship.These were often taken and we had to wait for one. to open up. Beautiful place to enjoy a meal with family and friends!

Jean-Philippe Chocolate & Coffee

5 out of 5

Such a cool place. We had a great time watching chocolate bars and treats being made. Bought a couple of chocolate bars which we delicious!

Carousel Lounge

5 out of 5

We attended the Cirque shows here. Beautiful stage and the seats were comfy.

Brass Anchor Pub

1 out of 5

We visited this pub for “afternoon trivia” which never transpired with no explanation. We asked the bar staff for ice water and were told they couldn’t do that. Had to by $13 with if bottled water. Disappointing that other bars around the ship were happy to hand us a glass of ice water.

Onboard Activities

2 out of 5
The activities were mostly dancing, exercise, or really loud music. Trivia was held on the pool deck - too loud and nowhere to sit. We found things to do but were bored during sea days. Played cards to pass the time. We did look forward to the Broadway shows each night which were phenomenal! Also enjoyed our first opera-thought I wouldn’t like it but had tears streaming down my cheeks by the end.

Casino Imperial

4 out of 5

My husband was disappointed they didn’t have Texas Hold-em tables. He played slots or I should say we played slots - enough to earn a free cruise. I thought there would have been more fanfare when we won the cruise - instead we had to ask for our cruise certificate 3 different times and finally got it at 10 the last night of the cruise. They also gave my husband $100 to keep playing and another $100 in store comps, so we ent shopping in the logo store. We also played bingo and won the last game. It was fun although bingo on Royal Caribbean was and event with multiple game and the entertainment staff made it so much fun. MSC could take lessons from Royal! All in all, we found things to enjoy and were glad we gave MSC a chance.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
The broadway shows and Cirque shows were out of this world. These are things we ordinarily wouldn’t get to see and they didn’t disappoint. The rest of the entertainment was not our cup of tea.

Broadway Theater

5 out of 5

Had a great time here enjoying the broadway shows. One thing that was tricky is the lights on the stairs. They are super bright and almost mask the edge of the stair. I saw lots of people tripping and missing steps. The stage was beautiful and the seats were clean.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Our cabin stewards for our 2 cabins Marlon and Jain were awesome. They were very attentive and took time to talk with us anytime we saw them. We always had plenty of towels and the rooms were clean. Most of the staff were pleasant that we saw around the ship. We were disappointed to find out we couldn’t get extra room keys for our cabins. At checkin in the terminal we were told to go to guest service to get extra keys. Stood in line 45 minutes to be told they couldn’t do it. Royal did this for us no problem.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Ship is beautiful, modern and was easy to find our way around. Extra cleaning/sanitizing was observed a few times although hand sanitizing stations were in each area. We brought our own and used it if the station was empty. While the ship was mostly clean, we did see trash on the floor here and there. Not sure if the ship was understaffed due to all of the cancellations or if that was the normal ratio of passengers to crew members. Our cabin hadn’t been vacuumed as we found someone’s pills on the floor our first day.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Cabin was a nice size, balcony was a little on the small side. we would have liked a couple more drawers or cubbies around the vanity. but we made it all work for the two of us. The bathroom was tight with little countertop space. Had to be creative and we made it work. The shower was lovely and the soap products were nice. The bed was comfy and we loved the pillow choices. Cabin steward brought us more firm pillows which were great.

Ship tip

Be ready for a different cruise culture than Royal Caribbean.

Ports of call

Miami, Florida

4 out of 5
Nice area. We stayed at the Marriott Biscayne bay with a lovely view of the cruise port. Watch ships coming and going. Had dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp in Bayside Market and did a little souvenir shopping. Didn’t do an excursion.

Coxen Hole, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

4 out of 5
Went to Little French Key. It was a madhouse stepping out of the port area. Lots of people approaching us for tours. We said no thank you to so many people that we missed the people we were looking for. Once on our way it was pleasant and we enjoyed Little French Key.

Belize City, Belize

3 out of 5
Took tender to the port and found our excursion Belize Cave Tubing. Took a van to the crystal caves about 1 hour away. Changed clothes and hiked 45 minutes to the cave opening. Had a few seniors that were not able to hike and the guides found shortcuts for them so they could enjoy the river. The tubing experience was relaxing although not all that exciting. Scenery was beautiful and unique. We didn’t eat lunch as we have sensitive tummies. It was a long day - longer than expected. We were hungry and tired by the time we made it back to the port area. We shoppe and quickly grabbed. tender back to the ship.

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

4 out of 5
The pier was really long! The port area was nicely done. There were 3 other ships in port so it was really busy! Lots of souvenir shops to choose from. We took a taxi to the Krazy Lobster restaurant and took advantage of the tables and chairs under palapas right on the beach. We bought a round of sodas and stayed for couple of hours. The surf was extremely rough farther out and the reef was breaking up the intense waves but swimming and snorkeling were a challenge. The water was beautiful and a little chilly.

Disembarkation

3 out of 5
We chose express disembarkation as we had an early flight. We had 2 senior ladies with us and 4 bags to pull. People lined up starting at 6:15 and the gangway opened at 6:45. It was fairly quick to get inside the terminal only to bottle neck at the single available elevator. If we had only one bag each, we could have taken the escalator but our senior ladies couldn’t manage pulling their bags. Altogether it took 45 minutes to get to the curb and into our Uber.

Traveler Photos

Little French Key Lolo the monkey Little French Key Cave Tubing Marriott Biscayne Bay rough surf in Costa Maya
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