MSC Cruises are the worlds largest privately owned cruise line, borne out of 300 years of seafaring history. A floating resort combining timeless glamour with excellent service , they said and it did not fail to deliver!
MSC Meraviglia has the capacity to host 5,701 guests and 1,536 crew. There are 32 lifts, 4 pools and 19 decks. They have WI-FI everywhere on board. Want to really try some luxury ? – upgrade to The MSC Yacht Club with concierge . Located on Deck 19 with its own sundeck pool, bar, grill . (The MSC Yacht club restaurant is located on Deck 18).
Myself and my travelling companions were celebrating a significant birthday and a cruise was the preferred choice. We wanted a cruise that worked in well with the actual birthday date. When we researched our choices of Cruise companies MSC Cruises came up with the best option for our dates in question – a 7 night Mediterranean cruise departing from Barcelona.
We flew from Dublin to Barcelona with Aer Lingus on February 9th, 2018 and departed on our cruise that same day. We arrived a little earlier than planned at port to board the MSC Meraviglia and were very pleased we had booked the Wellbeing Aurea package which offered priority boarding. It saved a lot of time and avoided the long queue. We were in our cabins by 3pm.
Choosing our Cabin and its location was an important factor for us. At the time of booking the ship was actually quite full and from the selection offered we chose cabin no’s 14057 & 14083 ( B3 – Balcony Cabin) on Deck 14 , (Balcony Aurea) pretty much mid ship and in close proximity to the panoramic lift. We were very happy with their location and liked the idea of being located on a higher deck and one deck below the marketplace buffet which was very handy at times and open 20 hours a day!
Our cabin 14057 had a bath and our companions cabin 14083 had a large shower area and everything was clean, comfortable and modern with slippers and bathrobe. We were delighted with the complimentary MED by MSC room diffuser which came as part of our well being package. It smelt divine! We found the bed extremely comfortable and our cabin steward was very efficient, friendly and very helpful at all times.
For dining options we were allocated the Panorama Restaurant (My choice dining ) – anytime dining with a priority lane during dinner times. We also decided to try out two of the speciality restaurants for a different culinary experience – The Butchers Cut & Kaito Teppanyaki . They are definitely well worth trying but note that a supplement will apply and early booking is advisable.
We really liked the Sky Lounge on Deck 18. It has spectacular panoramic windows and much quieter than the other bars and a really great area to watch the ship sail out of port on a cold evening while you relax and enjoy a Bellini!. Our package included all inclusive unlimited drinks. Take time to check it out in detail as certain brands are not included.
We also had unlimited access to the MSC Aurea Spa thermal area with sauna, steam and relaxation room on Deck 7. Our package included a complimentary massage of up to 1 hour and a Tanning Lamp session. We originally thought it was a spray tan as it was a little confusing and as I never had one I was looking forward to trying it out but we are not fans of sunbeds so we did not avail of the complimentary offer. Remember to to book the massage the day you arrive on the ship as if you forget to do this after the 2nd day it will not apply. ( The four hands Balinese massage is not included in this offer) We booked our massage for the day at sea – it was just perfect timing as we were exhausted from all the sightseeing!
There are lots of areas on the ship for Family Entertainment and a baby club for under 3’s called Baby Club Chicco a Mini Club, Young Club and Teen Club all situated on Deck 18 – all ages are covered up to 17 years inclusive.
The Shopping area on Deck 6 have boutiques with designer clothes. There are also other shops with special offers most nights, items such as handbags, sunglasses, watches and perfumes. Deck 6 is located on a 96 metre long indoor promenade with a fabulous visual display on the longest LED dome at sea. Each evening It never ceased to amaze.
The Carousel Lounge is host to Cirque de Soleil at sea. It was a really enjoyable show and you can choose to have your evening meal during the performance or opt for a cocktail and dine after. The Broadway Theatre is large and very comfortable with many different shows and events nightly.
We opted to visit all the the ports of call independently rather than book trips with the excursions desk which worked out quite well and even took some of the tourist buses however for the stopover in Rome we booked an MSC guided trip which cost 130 Euro pp and it turned out to be the highlight of our trip! We strolled past the long lines of tourists straight into the Vatican and were brought on a visit to the Sistine Chapel. If you opt for this trip you will not have time to visit anything else and can see some of the attractions from your coach but we decided we can always come back to Rome again, throw our coin in the Trevi Fountain and see all the other amazing sights another time. Vatican city was incredible and a very memorable experience.
There is so much on board this cruise ship to keep you busy and entertained and the spectacular Swarovski staircase is a must for a photo opportunity!
We enjoyed the cruise experience – it was our first time travelling with MSC Cruises.
Please see below our Ports of Call.
Ports of Call
- Barcelona, Spain
- Marseille, France
- Genoa, Italy
- Civitavecchia, Italy
- Palermo, Italy
- Valletta, Malta
- AT SEA
- Barcelona, Spain
To book your next cruise –
www.msccruises.ie or book through your local bonded travel agent.
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