Before I tell you my top 5 I want to tell you a little about Meraviglia herself. Meraviglia means ‘Wonder’ in Italian and you’ll see why as you read on. She is 315.3m long, has a total of 2,250 cabins and can accommodate 4,500 passengers per sailing. Last month I was fortunate enough to be invited on board for a day to explore her in all her glory along with some of my blogger friends. From the short amount of time I spent on the Meraviglia I knew I wanted to sail on her properly – and soon!
Disclaimer – just for clarity I want you to know that MSC invited myself and a group of travel writers onboard for a day to explore the Meraviglia, I was not paid to attend or write this article, I do so because I want to bring more content to the Cruise Addicts Blog. Enjoy!
So here are my top 5 experiences…
First up, Yacht club. I would have to say – This has to be in my top 5! It really was an experience that left a huge impression on me in the short time we spent on Meraviglia. We were taken to the lounge and offered a selection of drinks, I opted for a sparkling pink wine topped with a glazed cherry, yum! The lounge is beautiful, very plush, warm and very welcoming. As you walk in there is a buffet filled with delectable canapés, easily the fanciest buffet I’ve ever seen, ever.
After enjoying our welcome drinks we were taken up to the dining area and showed our tables, the head waiter made his way around our tables to introduce himself, he was very warm and welcoming; I could have taken him home! The waiters then offered us a gorgeous selection of artisan breads which looked like they’d come straight from a French bakery.
Our head waiter came back a little while later to offer us his recommendations from the menu (something I always appreciate) and he took down our orders. I opted for the wellness salad for starters, a light option but packed with flavour, I had devilled chicken for my main – I’m still not sure what was “devilled” about it but it, again was delicious and had a totally lush side of seasoned potatoes. For my dessert I chose a firm favourite of mine, apple pie, it was very tasty however it came out cold so I wish I’d specified that I like it warm as I’m certain it wouldn’t have been an issue.
Throughout the meal our drinks were never allowed to run out, waiters made sure we had ample water and wine (red & white were on offer but I’m sure if we’d requested something else they’d have made it happen) The service in Yacht club was exactly what I want from a cruise and I’m 100% considering booking Yacht club for my first proper MSC cruise.
Get a Picture on the Swarovski stairs
It’s like a right of passage when cruising with MSC, if you haven’t had a picture on the Swarovski stairs did you even cruise with MSC?!
Most passengers will wait till formal evening to get a picture when they’re all glammed up so these stairs are best avoided on those nights. Each step costs a whopping €15,000 and is jam-packed with real Swarovski crystals certain to make the perfect backdrop for your new favourite profile picture! Meraviglia even has a Swarovski shop onboard where you can buy a little cruise souvenir to remind you of the stunning ship and her sparkly stairs.
Let the kids explore kids club
The kids club on Meraviglia is like no other kids club I’ve seen on a ship. For starters it’s Lego heaven, I dread to think how much the Lego they have on board is worth, it’s insane; there are ball pits and buckets full of the stuff! There’s even a Lego bench complete with Lego ladies for you to pose for a picture with.
The kids area has it’s own “bar” which is super cool and has a popcorn machine, milkshake maker, tonnes of chocolate and sweets on sale (including big name brands like Haribo) there’s even a coffee machine for parents who have been talked into coming along and funding their child’s fun-spree!
There’s an arcade with lots of 1 and 2 player games and they even have a flight simulator and two F1 simulators. If those aren’t enough for your little ones then how about watching a film in the 5D cinema or bowling a strike in the bowling alley?
Another amazing feature in the kids area is the indoor sports court, another first for me as this area has always been outside on my past cruises. I just love that the children can be active regardless of the weather. It’s a fab meeting place for a bit of 5-a-side or basketball.
Cirque de Solei
There are 3 different Cirque de Solei shows you can choose to watch when on board, see if you can squeeze them all into your cruise and pick a favourite! These shows come with a surcharge but like most things on MSC the charge isn’t ridiculous, pay just €15pp for access to the show and a cocktail or pay €39 for access to the show, a 3 course meal and a cocktail too! The shows promise to be spectacular and the purpose built theatre (Carousel Lounge) brings you right into the center of all the action.
Take a stroll under the largest LED dome at sea
Meraviglia has the largest LED dome at sea, it’s 262ft and it really gives the wow-factor to the 2-storey Galleria Meraviglia. It changes periodically to give a whole new ambience to the area and even has moving options like an aquarium with mermaids and fishes all swimming about above your head. I’d really love to do a timelapse video of the dome so I can capture all the amazing themes in one video. I suppose I’ll just have to get a cruise on her booked!
I wasn’t sure what to expect from MSC as the price can make you think they’re a little cheap but that’s not true at all, I’d call it value for money! It’s a truly beautiful ship, full of glitz and glamour and an absolute bargain for what you get.
If you’re thinking of booking that MSC cruise, go for it because I’m certain you won’t regret it.
Thanks for reading,