MSC Meraviglia – Style Over Substance?

Very big cruise ships are increasingly becoming the norm. This year onward, and over the next five years or more, we are going to see the biggest ships ever built, enter service.

MSC’s ‘Meraviglia’ mega-ship has now been in service since June 2017.

I’ve not cruised on her. However many early passenger reviews of Meraviglia, which have appeared on-line, saw the reviewers impressed with the ship itself, but sometimes critical about the on-board experience. Even some later reviews, such as this one, from December 2017, highlighted the same issues.

(MSC image – Click to enlarge)

MSC’s Meraviglia (‘Wonder’ in English) is  171,598 gross tonnes and carries up to 5,714 passengers. She is part of a rapid expansion of MSC’s fleet comprising of three new classes of ship: ‘Meraviglia’, ‘Seaside’ and ‘The Word Class’.  Meraviglia was the first of these ships to be delivered.

MSC’s origins are Italian, but they strive to offer a multi-national product. In fact they particularly want their big new ships, to appeal to the enormous North American cruise market.

Some commentators have been critical of the MSC experience on-board their smaller ships, in the past.  This poses two questions: Do MSC need to  raise their game to deliver a higher quality experience?  Can they achieve this on their big new ships?

In short is Meraviglia really ‘Wonderful’?

I’ve not cruised on her yet, but guest contributor, Tony Barraclough (UK), took Meraviglia’s maiden voyage.

In fact Tony did a back-to-back itinerary: Le Havre to Genoa, then Genoa to Barcelona. He occupied two different grades of cabin and has written two reviews.

Tony has done ten MSC cruises, as well as ten cruises with other cruise lines, so he knows what he is talking about.

He has kindly given me permission to share his reviews with you.

MSC Meraviglia reviews: HERE


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