I have previously cruised on the MSC Preziosa on a European itinerary from Southampton and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. It was with confidence, therefore, that I booked a cruise on MSC Meraviglia sailing from Miami for myself and husband as well as our daughter and granddaughter; both first time cruisers.
Boarding was not a pleasant experience. We were not allocated a time to board and spent a very long time standing in queues to check in. We eventually were able to sit down in a waiting area until we were allowed to board the ship. We had been allocated number 6 and when this was called we made our way to the stairs. However, before we managed to reach them the next 3 numbers were called at once and everyone rushed forward with some pushing in front of us. This resulted in my husband and I becoming separated from our daughter and granddaughter which was a very frightening exerience for them. It was over an hour before we were reunited with them on the ship. There was also a mix up with the luggage and, despite the cases all being clearly labelled, my daughter was given the wrong case (which was also clearly labelled with the owner’s details). She did not get her case until very late that night.
The ship was beautiful and clean and we all enjoyed the range of activities and shows on offer during the week. Althought they incurred an extra charge, we particularly liked the ten pin bowling and the 3d cinema. We also found the staff to be courteous and pleasant.
The only other negative was the food – to be specific, the vegetarian options on offer. There was little variety; in the main dining room pasta in tomato sauce appeared on the menu nightly and a vegan option which was almost always something bland with roti bread. Also, the chef, worryingly, had no idea that parmigiano-reggiano wasn’t vegetarian as dishes containing it were marked on the menu as being suitable. I was very bored with the food by the end of the cruise. I did check out the menus in the speciality restaurants but there was little choice there either. I did enjoy the pizza in the buffet but there is only so many times you can eat pizza in a week.