This Cruise Life

Msc yacht club 2024 on board msc meraviglia.

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To say we were pampered is the understatement of the year (although, considering it’s only January, fingers crossed there’s more pampering ahead)! We had the opportunity to sail MSC Meraviglia out of New York earlier this month; we were excited to check out the new-to-us cruise line. But what we didn’t expect: an upgrade to MSC’s exclusive Yacht Club!

What is the Yacht Club?

The Yacht Club is MSC’s “ship within a ship” concept that promises both privacy and exclusivity. The experience includes amenities most could only dream about: white-glove butler service, 24×7 concierge, an exclusive restaurant on the ship and on MSC’s private island, Ocean Cay, unlimited drinks anywhere on the ship, a private pool, hot tub, lounge deck, and so much more.

MSC Yacht Club 2024 On Board MSC Meraviglia

Upgrade Offer

In early December, just over a month from our sailing date, we received an email inviting us to bid on an upgrade . We were already in a balcony cabin, so it seemed odd bidding on an interior cabin – but that’s just what we did! We maxed out our bid on an interior Yacht Club stateroom in hopes that the upgrade fairies would grant our wish.

On December 13, 2023, that’s exactly what happened!

Thank you Twitterverse!!! You made our MSC Yacht Club dreams come true. Our upgrade was accepted this morning. Full review of the MSC Yacht Club Deluxe Suite and experience coming January! 💙💙💙 #thankyou #msc #yachtclub — This Cruise Life (@thiscruiselife) December 13, 2023

Yacht Club Check-In

Fast-forward a month to January 9, 2024 when we checked in to board MSC Meraviglia. Again, to say this check-in process was different would be a huge understatement. Unlike your typical check-in with long queues, growling stomachs, and throngs of people, we waited in our own lounge with champagne and canapés away from the crowds. We made sure to document the entire experience so that we could share it with you:

First Impressions

So what is it like to sail on a ship within a ship? Is the Butler actually a real person, or is it just a glorified room steward? And what exactly is a canapé? The first 24 hours on board was a whirlwind. There were so many new experiences – and so much food! Considering this was our first-ever MSC cruise, it was a GREAT first impression! You can check out our detailed review of that first 24 hours, along with what we thought about MSC Meraviglia:

Full Review to Come!

Now that we’re back on solid ground, we’re working on our full review of our 9-day sailing on board MSC Meraviglia in the Yacht Club. We’re going to cover the things that we loved, didn’t love, and a couple things that we hated about the ship and experience.

As always, thanks for joining this cruise life of ours and following our adventures! -Mark and Rocky

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MSC Meraviglia review: What it's like to cruise on MSC's 1st New York-based ship

Ashley Kosciolek

For the first time, MSC Cruises has based a ship in New York. Given that the vessel, MSC Meraviglia, is the fifth-largest in the line's fleet of two dozen ships in terms of tonnage and the sixth-largest by passenger capacity, the ship's presence in the Big Apple is a big deal. As one colleague astutely pointed out, when it's docked there, it's the largest hotel in the city .

I recently sailed on MSC Meraviglia out of its Red Hook homeport in Brooklyn, and I have mixed feelings. Overall, the ship is lively and aesthetically beautiful. Its specialty restaurants and nightly shows are some of the most consistently superb on any vessel, and it offers one heck of a luxury product in its Yacht Club suite enclave .

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However, passenger flow is an issue, with many public spaces so crowded they're uncomfortable, and service is painfully slow in some bars and restaurants. You'll likely end up paying a lot more than you originally planned because some of the most enticing things to do come with added fees. And, as my travel companion so succinctly put it, I've never been told "no" so many times on a cruise.

Here, I'll take you through some of the activities I tried, the places I ate and the experience I had so you can better determine if MSC Meraviglia is right for your next voyage.

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Overview of MSC Meraviglia

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MSC Cruises' Meraviglia was the first in the line's Meraviglia Class of ships. When it debuted in 2017, it became the line's largest vessel, with space for up to 5,655 people at capacity (4,475 at double occupancy). It has since been overtaken, in terms of passenger capacity, by subsequent vessels in the Meraviglia Class, as well as those in the World Class.

The ship exudes the same glitz that's typical of other MSC vessels, despite its mass-market appeal and penchant for attracting budget travelers. Lavish artwork, chrome accents and bold jewel tones convey a sense of opulence throughout public spaces, and no ship in the fleet would be complete without an atrium staircase adorned with thousands of Swarovski crystals.

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Like MSC's other modern ships, MSC Meraviglia has an extra-fee chocolate shop on board — this one through a partnership with chocolatier and pastry chef Jean-Philippe Maury — where you can purchase chocolate, macarons, candy and specialty coffees.

There's also a sizable water park on the top deck, a shopping mall-style promenade area and several decks of cabins that are part of the line's Yacht Club, which affords passengers exclusive access to a dedicated restaurant, lounge, bar and pool deck just for them, as well as butler service.

What I loved about MSC Meraviglia

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Largely, my onboard experience was great. Crew members were friendly, my cabin was comfortable, and the daily activity options were plentiful, varied and fun. At night, most shows fell into the "excellent" category, and the food in every extra-fee restaurant and the Yacht Club was phenomenal.

Specialty dining

MSC's food consistently receives less-than-stellar reviews from passengers, particularly regarding the line's complimentary dining experiences. Much of the main dining room fare is indeed so-so — palatable but largely underseasoned and mass-produced, so that it often looks like it's been sitting under a heat lamp when it reaches you. Food in the buffet is varied and tasty, but it can also become repetitive after a week, and the space is frequently crowded and confusing to navigate.

So why am I including food under the "what I loved" category? I think that MSC's alternative, for-fee restaurants — including the ones on MSC Meraviglia — are some of the best. If you're willing to shell out the money, you can have a fantastic meal on this ship.

Of the ship's specialty restaurants, my favorites are Hola! Tacos & Cantina and Kaito Teppanyaki.

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Even though Hola! levies extra charges, passengers have the option of paying a la carte for items individually priced as low as $2.95 or paying $17.99 for unlimited menu items. The salsa and guacamole are wonderful, the tortilla soup always hits the spot for me, and the tacos are small, so you'll be able to try several to find your favorite without feeling overstuffed.

If you know me, you know the fact that I'm recommending Kaito Teppanyaki is shocking. I'm notoriously not a fan of this type of cooking, particularly when it comes with a side of cringeworthy performances by the chefs. However, the food there on MSC Meraviglia was so great that I didn't mind the cook's jokes.

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The MSC Yacht Club is a private section on select MSC ships that offers cabins across several categories, including suites. Passengers booked in those cabins have special keycard access to a dedicated guest services and concierge desk; an exclusive pool, sun deck, lounge and bar (with free drinks); and complimentary anytime dining at a special restaurant just for Yacht Club cruisers.

Cabins are outfitted with higher-quality materials and furnishings, and each comes with the services of a butler. Meri was mine, and she was the best. She was able to make dining and spa reservations for me, escort me to priority seating in the theater for nightly shows and have crackers and green apples delivered to my cabin when the second night's rough seas made me feel seasick.

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I absolutely loved the special touches MSC provides to Yacht Club passengers, including a special afternoon tea service and a private, intimate final-night performance by Lorraine Crosby — the female vocalist from Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" — who sometimes makes guest appearances on board. (She also put on two larger shows for the entire ship earlier in the sailing.) Additionally, I had access to Yacht Club perks at private island Ocean Cay Marine Reserve , including dedicated trams, a shaded waiting area with cold water and access to a private beach and restaurant.

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Although the Yacht Club comes at a premium — at the time of publication, rooms on MSC Meraviglia started at $1,199 per person for a Yacht Club inside cabin on a six-night Bermuda sailing — fares include drinks and tips, along with Venchi pillow chocolates, free room service and minibar selections, plus one round of in-cabin snacks and a choice of one bottle of vodka, gin or whiskey delivered to your room. (I normally drink rum, and they were able to substitute it for me, even though it's not one of the spirits normally offered.)

Above all, the most valuable component of the Yacht Club for me on this sailing was the ability to escape the general chaos that is the rest of the ship. Don't get me wrong: I immersed myself in the buzz outside of the Yacht Club as often as possible, but as an introvert who dislikes crowds and noise more and more the older she gets, I found it essential to have a separate area to which I could retreat.

Galleria Meraviglia

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One of the most fun and flashy locations on MSC Meraviglia cruises is the Galleria Meraviglia, a central indoor walkway similar to the Royal Promenade on Royal Caribbean ships. It's a long space flanked by bars, restaurants and shops with a feel similar to a shopping mall. However, the highlight for me is the giant LED screen, which runs the length of the space and hosts what the line calls "dome shows."

During these shows, themed scenes — including deck plans for the muster drill, dinosaurs and volcanos during the "Jurassic" dome show and even famous ceilings — appear overhead. They're the metaphorical heartbeat of the ship, and you can't help but stop to watch.

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The nearby chocolateria, Jean-Philippe Chocolate & Cafe, is an excellent place to grab a cuppa, and the adjacent Meraviglia Bar & Lounge is home to trivia, live music and more. Mix in a shore excursion desk; shops that sell high-end jewelry and purses; a counter serving for-fee gelato, crepes and smoothies; and Hola! Tacos & Cantina (one of the best Mexican restaurants at sea), and Galleria Meraviglia feels like the place to be.

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There's little I enjoy more than a relaxing arcade day , and MSC delivers with its Sportplex gaming complex. It features a small traditional arcade with air hockey, alien shooter games and first-person driving games, as well as prize machines; several immersive virtual-reality pods (most of which were down for maintenance during my sailing); two Formula One racing simulators; a 4D cinema where several players attempt to take out zombies and killer clowns; and a sports court that hosts basketball, pickleball, dodgeball and other activities.

But my ultimate favorite was the bowling alley. My travel companion and I inexplicably wound up in Sportplex after dinner on formal night. We played for half an hour — enough time for two games if it's only two people and you move quickly — and were ultimately joined by the Yacht Club director, Craig (who won easily). It was a ton of fun, but I don't recommend bowling in a ballgown.

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The drawback is that, like lots of other cool pastimes on MSC Meraviglia, it all costs extra (except for sports court use). The arcade charges per game with the tap of your keycard. The simulators can be purchased on a per-ride basis, and bowling is charged in chunks of either 30 or 60 minutes.

To save money, passengers can purchase packages where you get a certain dollar amount free. (For example, if you prepurchase $150 worth of gaming credits, your card will be loaded with $220.)

What I didn't love about MSC Meraviglia

As with all things, in travel we take the bad with the good. While most experiences on this sailing fell in the latter category, it wouldn't be a fair review without calling attention to the things that I think the line needs to address.

The departure port

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When MSC first announced that MSC Meraviglia would be sailing from New York, the ship's homeport was Manhattan. I groaned when I heard its docking spot had changed to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood.

Brooklyn's terminal is difficult to reach, particularly if you don't have a car. Anyone venturing to the port from Manhattan will need to take the subway, followed by a ferry — not an easy feat if you're toting luggage. Park-and-ride-style buses also seemed to be an option, according to several passengers on my sailing who arrived from outside of the city. If you're like me and decide to drive to the port, know that parking is at a premium, and fees are steep. (At $45 per night, I paid $360 to park there for eight nights.)

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Waits on embarkation day are another concern. When I arrived, lines snaked outside the terminal and down the sidewalk in front of the building. I had multiple passengers throughout my voyage tell me that they waited between two and three hours in line to board the vessel.

It's unclear whether the terminal is ill-equipped to deal with passenger flow for such a large ship or if MSC hasn't quite brought its embarkation processes up to speed, but if you don't have priority boarding privileges, either through a high loyalty status tier or a Yacht Club booking, expect the process to take a while.

On the plus side, you'll have great views of the Statue of Liberty as you sail away, assuming the weather isn't rainy or foggy.

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At 19 decks, MSC Meraviglia is huge. On my voyage, the ship was only sailing at about half capacity (about 3,000 passengers out of a possible 5,655, or 53%). However, a perfect storm of events converged to create a situation that was less than pleasant for anyone not booked in a Yacht Club cabin.

A large group booking of about 1,000 people overtook many of the public areas on a daily basis, which drew complaints from cruisers who weren't in the group. For example, trivia was standing-room-only on several days, and the buffet was so continuously crowded that I ate there only twice on the entire voyage.

Additionally, it rained during our first two days on board — embarkation day and the following sea day — meaning that the ship's outdoor spaces weren't utilized. Because everyone was stuck inside, the ship felt even more crowded. (I shudder to imagine what it would have been like if the ship had been sailing completely full.)

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Although the weather certainly isn't the cruise line's fault, it seems that the ship should be better equipped to deal with situations where passengers are stuck inside. I also thought that, perhaps, the large group booking was a one-off and that it wouldn't be the norm on other sailings. However, I spoke with one of the officers on board who told me that the cruise line is actively recruiting similar large group bookings.

One of the biggest contributing factors was the ship's layout and flow. Some areas lead to dead ends, while others force you to enter busy areas — like the massive Marketplace Buffet — to find stairs to go up or down a deck. In several bars and lounges in the main atrium, tables and chairs are scattered so close to the main staircase that it's difficult for two-way passenger traffic to move through the space.

The feeling of overcrowding was exacerbated by service inconveniences like long waits for drinks, meals and elevators.

Confusing policies and procedures

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Some of the things MSC does truly confuse me, and they began almost immediately after boarding.

When cruises first returned following the 18-month COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, many lines decided to go digital with their muster drills. Passengers watched videos on their mobile apps or on their cabin TVs before reporting, at their leisure (to maintain social distancing), to their muster stations for verification. MSC has chosen to institute a bizarre version where all passengers watch a video and then report to their muster stations at the same time.

If everyone is going to the same place at the same time, why not do the muster drill in person? On the flip side, if you're going to make people watch a video instead of doing a live demonstration, why make everyone go to their stations simultaneously? The process creates a chaotic environment where, in my case, people were required to walk into the theater, do a lap around it (for reasons nobody ever actually explained) and immediately exit again.

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Speaking of the theater, no drinks are allowed in there, which is odd, given that all other cruise lines allow passengers to order drinks during shows or at least carry them in with them to enjoy while they watch. We saw several surprised cruisers being told they had to dump their beverages or drink them before they'd be allowed inside.

The drink situation gets worse when you try to order cocktails in the ship's restaurants. When I did so in one of the main dining rooms, I was told that only wine was available. When I visited the alternative eateries, I was told I could only order from what was on the menu, some of which wasn't included with the beverage package. What's the point of selling pricey beverage packages (which can cost more than $70 per person, per day, for the most expensive) if there are so many exclusions?

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Specialty coffee from the onboard chocolate shop also isn't included with the packages, nor are coffees on private island Ocean Cay, which leads me to my next head-scratcher. I had the single best coffee drink of my life when we called on Ocean Cay. The Coco-Nilla Latte is espresso, vanilla flavoring and coconut milk, and I loved it so much that I tried to have it replicated on board.

I went to three of the ship's regular bars, each of which is equipped to make espresso that's included in the line's beverage packages, as well as the specialty coffee bar at the for-fee chocolate shop. At each location, I was given some sort of excuse:

"We don't have vanilla syrup at this bar."

"We don't have coconut milk here."

"Oh, those are only made at Ocean Cay."

It's likely if this happened on a ship in any other fleet, the response would have been, "We don't have the ingredients, but let me see if we can find them."

The crew culture on MSC Meraviglia seems to be one that either doesn't encourage them or doesn't allow them to go the extra mile. My request wasn't a lavish one; vanilla syrup and coconut milk are standard accouterments at most cafes on land. The ship has a passenger-to-crew ratio of 3:1, which is better than that of other cruise lines with fares at a similar price point, so I don't feel like I'm asking too much from an affordable cruise line.

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I must also mention some weird food-related practices I saw on board. Both times I ate at the Marketplace Buffet, I witnessed crew members stopping adults from taking food from a particular section of kid-friendly foods. "No, those are for children only," a crew member behind the counter told a parent who was trying to grab dessert for his son, who was outside by the pool.

"You mean I can't take this out to my kid?" the guy asked in shock. The crew member told him he would have to go to the pool, get his son, bring him inside and have him pick out the dessert, which he grudgingly did. But talk about a disruptive experience.

On the other occasion, I saw a couple of adults eyeing the chicken nuggets that were on offer. They were forbidden by a crew member from taking any. I have never seen something so absurd on a sailing in my life. Children aren't the only ones who enjoy chicken nuggets, nor are they the ones who pay the cruise fares. Adults, whether they have kids on board or not, should be allowed to eat whatever they wish from the buffet that they paid for — even if it comes from the children's menu.

Another head-scratcher is you might still have to pay a supplement to eat in certain restaurants, even if you booked a dining package that includes a set number of specialty restaurants for a set fee. It depends on what you order.

For example, I had a dining package, but when I dined at Kaito Teppanyaki, the waiter informed me that there would be an extra $10 surcharge to order the Geisha and Samurai options and a $30 upcharge for the Emperor option. Again, what's the point of selling dining packages if they don't cover what they're supposed to?

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Additionally, on a ship of 3,000 people, MSC Meraviglia had only one of four main dining rooms open for lunch on a rainy sea day when everyone was stuck inside. It was open for one measly hour, from noon to 1 p.m. I saw the hours posted as I was passing by the line that was quickly forming, so I decided to eat there to evaluate the situation. Spoiler alert: It wasn't great.

Finally, MSC Meraviglia's sports equipment is kept under actual lock and key. You have to sign out everything from pickleball paddles to basketballs for use on the indoor sports court and volleyballs for the pits on Ocean Cay. However, when I tried to sign out a basketball during posted rental hours, the person working told me no and offered no explanation. When I checked with guest services, they told me that shouldn't have happened. But it did. Twice.

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On a separate occasion, when my travel companion and I showed up for scheduled volleyball time, the attendant cut the game off at 45 minutes because he said he had to leave. When we asked if we could keep the ball to continue playing, he refused. There seems to be no flexibility, and staff members are not empowered to deviate from protocol on the fly, even when it makes sense.

Most cruise lines' ships have unmonitored equipment available for passengers to use when the courts are open. It's often stored in unlocked chests that passengers can access at any time. Sign-out, which seems like an unnecessary step, is not required with most other cruise lines, which brings me to this: To quote one of my TPG colleagues when she referenced an MSC sailing on a different ship, "I have never said, 'No other cruise line does it like this,' as much as I did on [my cruise]. And it wasn't a good thing."

MSC Meraviglia cabins and suites

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MSC bookings can be confusing for first-timers because, in addition to selecting a cabin type (inside, outside, balcony or suite), passengers must also choose from one of three experience packages. Dubbed Bella, Fantastica and Aurea, they all come with different perks and inclusions, as noted below.

Bella: This is the most basic, bare-bones package. It includes accommodations, free meals in the main dining rooms and buffet, and free daily activities and nightly entertainment. Passengers with this package will be assigned to set-seating dining times after they board. They also will be charged for any room service orders, as well as changes to their cruise booking reservations.

Fantastica: This package includes everything listed under the Bella package, plus the ability to change sailing date reservations one time for free, complimentary delivery of room service breakfast and the ability to choose a preferred set-seating dining time for dinner prior to embarkation.

Aurea: Aurea comes with everything in the Bella and Fantastica packages, as well as free access to the ship's top-deck Solarium area, a welcome package that includes prosecco and chocolates, anytime dining (go whenever you want with no set seating time), a 10% discount on spa treatments, priority boarding and free 24-hour room service (not just at breakfast).

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MSC Meraviglia houses 2,244 rooms in various types with several configurations, some of which sleep more than two passengers. Of those staterooms, 55 are accessible for cruisers with mobility issues. In those cabins, passengers will find additional space for maneuvering things like wheelchairs and scooters, as well as zero-entry door thresholds and shower grab bars. (Theaters and most public areas are also accessible, but unfortunately, I didn't see a single lift at any of the ship's four pools.)

Cabin types are the standard ones found on just about all cruise ships: inside or interior (no windows or balcony), outside or ocean-view (a window or porthole that doesn't open), balcony or verandah (a sliding glass door that opens onto a small balcony, usually with chairs and a small table) and suite (cabins with balconies and more square footage and/or special perks like those afforded in the Yacht Club).

On my Meraviglia sailing, I was booked in an MSC Yacht Club Deluxe Suite — a balcony cabin in the Yacht Club suite area — on Deck 18. At about 280 square feet, plus an additional 54 square feet of balcony space, the room felt generously sized for two people. (Note: Yacht Club has all types of cabins, from insides all the way up through massive Royal Suites and two-deck duplexes.)

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The room was furnished with a king-size bed that converts into two twins on request, a couch and a desk/vanity area. It featured a closet and cabinet space for storage and an en suite bathroom.

Standard amenities included a hair dryer and a TV (with a random smattering of TV channels, for-fee movies and ship-created programs like jewelry and port seminars and navigational information). My cabin had several electrical outlets, including three 110-volt North American outlets, three 220-volt European outlets and one USB port at the desk/vanity area. One USB port is not enough, and there were no outlets near the bed, which was frustrating.

Special for Yacht Club guests, the suite was equipped with a Nespresso machine, free minibar drinks restocked daily (including bottled water, San Pellegrino, juices, flavored iced teas, soda and beer), one complimentary round of snacks (Toblerone chocolate, Pringles and mixed nuts) and a choice of one complimentary bottle of spirits (whiskey, gin or vodka).

My cabin came with a pillow menu, which I only discovered after two nights of neck pain, thanks to mismatched pillows. The bed was topped with a memory foam mattress, which was like sleeping on a cloud.

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Closets in my cabin were just the right size for two people. There were two, one with a bar to hang clothes and another with cubbies for shoes, intimates and the cabin safe. I did find the closets' location in a small enclave that led to the bathroom a bit awkward.

Underbed storage was perfect for hiding empty suitcases. Bathrobes and slippers were provided, and I made good use of both when I went for a massage at the spa.

Cabin bathrooms in the Yacht Club are stocked with MSC's own brand of toiletries, including shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, bar soap, a shower cap and sewing kit. Fluffy white towels and elevated fixtures like marble countertops and floors and showers with both standard and rainfall showerheads add to the air of elegance.

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However, some of that was offset by the fact that the shower in my bathroom had no lip, so water leaked all over the first time I used it. Each time after, I put towels outside the door to sop up the mess. The toilet also often smelled like sewage, even when not in use.

The storage space for toiletries could also have been more generous. There were only two small metal shelves, which weren't enough for two people's things. The rest had to be stored inside cabinets where the garbage can was located.

Gratuities, room service and premium alcohol and Wi-Fi packages are included in all Yacht Club fares. You do not need to purchase add-ons or pay added fees like you would in cabins outside the Yacht Club.

A Yacht Club booking also entitles you to priority embarkation, disembarkation and tender access; 24-hour butler and concierge services; complimentary spa thermal suite access; luggage unpacking and repacking services; daily newspaper delivery and one free pre-cruise booking change.

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I made good use of the free Wi-Fi inclusion (for two devices per person). The free room service was handy when I just had to order late-night pizza. Plus, the priority boarding perk meant we went from shore to ship in less than 10 minutes while other passengers waited two to three hours in rainy conditions to embark.

My butler, Meri, went above and beyond to help me make spa and specialty restaurant reservations, and she met us each evening to escort us to dinner and to the theater, where reserved Yacht Club seating was waiting. She did her job superbly, but I generally like to do things for myself. Having someone else handling the minutia felt frivolous and unnecessary; it took a few days for me to acclimate.

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Concierge service was generally good. However, on the first day, when I had questions about dining, the person who assisted me waived me off in the face of a long line at the desk and told me to ask my butler. My interactions there improved markedly after the stress of the first day calmed down, and all of my subsequent questions were answered promptly and cheerfully.

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The exclusive Top Sail Lounge was a great place to relax with a drink and view, read or get some work done. The Yacht Club sun deck was a lovely space, but it was often too hot for me, so I didn't spend much time up there. The area was home to a pool, a hot tub, tons of seating, solarium access and a daily outdoor buffet at the Yacht Club Grill. Although the food looked tasty, it was, unfortunately, often surrounded by flies.

The indoor Yacht Club Restaurant, however, was a dream. Everything I ordered was fantastic — flavorful, well prepared and cooked to order instead of looking like it had been sitting out for a while. I particularly enjoyed the breakfasts there and highly suggest the omelets and pancakes.

Overall, I found my Yacht Club experience to be a great way to escape when other areas of the ship felt overwhelming, which they often did.

MSC Meraviglia restaurants and bars

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Included in the price of each sailing is free dining at the massive Marketplace Buffet, in one of four main dining rooms or in the Yacht Club Restaurant (depending on your booking). The four main dining rooms often felt crowded, and service was inconsistent. The buffet was even worse.

The quality of the complimentary food was unremarkable — not great but not terrible, either. Waiters in the dining rooms often seemed rushed and unwilling to fill drink orders. (I found out later it's because the galleys don't have bars, so waiters have to run all over the ship to fill drink orders, which often take an inordinate amount of time to arrive.)

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Due to its size, MSC Meraviglia can offer lots of different cuisines. While the Marketplace Buffet has an "ethnic" section typically serving Asian and Indian fare, the largest variety and the highest quality come from the specialty restaurants. They include seafood, steak, Mexican, sushi and teppanyaki, and all cost extra.

MSC offers dining packages, which allow passengers to pre-purchase a set number of meals in alternative restaurants. When those meals are cashed in, cruisers can choose from a preselected list of menu items designated for package holders. Generally, if you're planning to eat at more than two or three specialty restaurants, booking a package will save you money.

There's at least one bar in every public space, so you won't have to go far to whet your whistle.


Free restaurants

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Waves, Panorama, L'Olive Dorée and L'Olivo D'Oro are MSC Meraviglia's four main dining rooms, where passengers can eat dinner for free. (Specific restaurants will also be open on certain days for breakfast and lunch, depending on the day's schedule.) Menus, which change daily, are the same across all four.

Waves, on Deck 5, is the smallest. The largest — L'Olive Dorée and L'Olivo D'Oro, which are mirrors of one another — are found on Deck 6, across from one another and flanking the hallway that eventually leads to Panorama. All four dining rooms offer set seating, except Panorama, which also accommodates passengers with Aurea bookings who have anytime dining.

As mentioned above, I was booked in the Yacht Club and dined in either the Yacht Club Restaurant or one of the specialty restaurants for dinner each night.

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However, I did try lunch in Waves twice, as it was the only main dining room open to the ship's 3,000 passengers for lunch. The first time, we were seated at a table for two that might as well have been a table for six; it was so close to the tables for two on either side of it that there were only about 2 or 3 inches separating them.

After we sat, it took 15 minutes for someone to bring us water. We never received bread. It was another 10 minutes until our waiter took our food order, and not once did anyone ask us if we'd like something other than water to drink. When my travel companion finally requested a beer, the waiter's response was, "Be patient, sir." My jaw dropped.

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The pacing between courses was silly. Our appetizers arrived shortly after we ordered, which was great, but mine — spinach and artichoke dip — arrived looking dried out and crusty with five broken chips on the side. (The waiter obliged when I requested a few more.) After the starters were cleared, it was another 10 minutes until our mains were delivered. I thoroughly enjoyed my cobb salad, but my beef burrito was build-your-own style, and it was largely flavorless.

My companion never did see the beer he ordered. Eventually, we gave up and left, as did the man at the table next to us, who said he had been waiting half an hour for a dessert that didn't materialize.

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The second experience was significantly better, with our waiter seating us at a table for two near a window and asking if we wanted drinks (which arrived quickly). The food was still just OK, and both experiences were crowded and exceptionally loud.

MSC Meraviglia's buffet, Marketplace, spans the entire aft of Deck 15. It has a decent variety of stations, but the food is often the same from day to day. The layout is confusing to navigate, too, with lots of nooks and crannies that can make it difficult to find what you're looking for. It was crowded beyond reason during mealtimes, so I avoided it whenever possible, only eating there twice during the voyage for research purposes.

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Stations include bread; salad; soup and pasta; a rotisserie section with a carving station and sides like mashed potatoes, rice and baked beans; cold cuts and cheeses; an "ethnic" counter, which tended to serve Asian and Indian cuisine; and outposts for desserts and both hot and cold drinks.

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The pizza was both a highlight and a pleasant surprise. It comes out hot and fresh, and it's available by the slice in several types from two separate counters in the buffet.

There are some other small complimentary food locations throughout the ship, too, including a poolside grill with burgers, fries and hot dogs and an ice cream counter with free soft-serve in cones or cups and optional toppings.

Restaurants that cost extra

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Hola! Tacos & Cantina is the Mexican restaurant on MSC's newest vessels. It offers tapas-style small plates; I highly encourage you to order a few, as there's a lot on the menu that's delicious. My favorites are the guacamole, tortilla soup and cheese quesadillas. For tacos, I highly recommend the Chipotle Carnitas (pulled pork with chipotle, black bean salsa and cilantro), Barbacoa (ancho-chili beef, chipotle and red cabbage) and Ancho Tingo (shredded chicken, poblano peppers and pico de gallo).

You can pay a la carte if you're in the mood for something light or go with the all-you-can-eat option if you've worked up a serious appetite.

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Margaritas are also a must if you're craving an adult beverage. Basic margs are included in the line's alcohol packages, but specialty ones — featuring frozen flavors like mango and strawberry and on-the-rocks selections with smoky salt or sweet berry sugar rims — cost extra, ranging from $11.99 for a single drink to $30 for a 1-liter pitcher. There's also a selection of Spanish beer, fresh fruit juices, spiked milkshakes and other fun concoctions. The service was so great there that I returned on a different night just to order drinks.

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If you've done one teppanyaki restaurant, you've done them all. Or at least that's what I thought when I grudgingly made a reservation at Kaito Teppanyaki, another of MSC's extra-charge dining choices.

Yes, the cheesy jokes, singalongs, "catch this food in your mouth when I throw it" challenges and other performative cooking are standard, but the actual dishes are so much tastier than any of a similar variety I've had on land. Top-notch quality and expert seasoning make the dishes stand out. (For context, I usually skip meat when I order teppanyaki, but the sirloin steak looked so good that I ordered it. I'm glad I did.)

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Every person who orders receives miso soup and a small salad as starters, along with sushi and sashimi with tempura vegetables. Then they choose from one of several prix fixe menu options: Geisha (sea bass fillet and chicken breast), Samurai (Scottish salmon, tiger prawns and sirloin), Emperor (yellowfin tuna tataki, scallops and half of a Maine lobster), vegetarian (egg wash roll and sesame tofu steak) and a kids menu (spring chicken teriyaki with vegetables).

I ordered the Samurai, and the salmon and sirloin were absolutely delicious. All options include egg fried rice and a dessert of caramelized pineapple, ginger ice cream and mint. The latter was underwhelming. Drinks are limited to what's on the Kaito-specific menu (Japanese beer, whisky and sake, plus a small selection of wine by the glass and Champagne by the bottle).

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Kaito also has a separate sushi bar with an a la carte selection of sushi, sashimi, nigiri, tataki, yakitori and other items, including combo platters and desserts.

Butcher's Cut, MSC Meraviglia's a la carte steakhouse, is heaven for meat lovers, but vegetarians beware: As expected, there's not a lot on the menu for you to eat, with the exception of some of the starters.

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When you arrive, your waiter will bring a breadbasket for the table. Ours included baguettes, raisin walnut bread and bacon cheese rolls, but what stood out to me were the smoked maple and paprika butters served alongside them. They were so good.

Appetizers include burrata and beet salad, Caesar and house salads, hearts of palm, a goat cheese tart, shrimp, crabcakes and oysters Rockefeller. Or, if you're feeling extra-spendy, try one of the featured starters, such as caviar, a shellfish platter, bone marrow, Kobe sliders and foie deviled eggs. For soups, choose between smoked tomato and lobster chowder.

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Non-steak mains consist of roasted chicken, scallops Benedict, halibut and sockeye salmon. However, if steak is what you're after, you can choose from a 36-ounce dry-aged tomahawk for two, 24-ounce dry-aged T-bone, 12-ounce flat iron, 8-ounce filet mignon, 20-ounce rib-eye, 14-ounce New York sirloin, 16-ounce American bison and 13-ounce double lamb chops.

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I ate there on one night of my sailing and decided to go big by adding jumbo lump crab to my filet mignon. However, I misread the menu and didn't realize it was actually jumbo lump crab Oscar, which meant it arrived mixed with hollandaise sauce. It looked like scrambled eggs, and I'm not a hollandaise fan, so I didn't eat it.

The steak, however, was phenomenal, particularly with the accompanying sauces (mushroom, peppercorn, chimichurri and bearnaise). Each steak comes with one side; additional sides cost extra. Choose from Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, French fries, asparagus, onion rings, macaroni and cheese, and more.

Among the dessert options, the best are the chocolate lava cake, the New York cheesecake and the peanut butter and milk chocolate cookie.

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I'm not a huge seafood fan, so I avoided Ocean Cay, but I heard rave reviews from other passengers. This intimate restaurant, found on Seaside-class ships and MSC Meraviglia, offers a menu of fresh fish and seafood dishes, as well as a selection of wines for appropriate pairing.

For a between-meal treat or a caffeinated pick-me-up, snacks and coffee tied to chocolatier and pastry chef Jean-Philippe Maury are solid options. The cookies-and-cream gelato at the Jean-Philippe Crepes & Ice Cream counter is to die for, as is the Green Goddess smoothie, made with coconut juice, spinach, fresh mint, banana, passion fruit and lemon sorbet. They didn't have the lemon sorbet when I ordered, but I asked to substitute mango instead. It was exceptionally good.

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At the cafe just across the way, you can buy chocolate replicas of the ship, chocolate bars with fun toppings like nuts and berries, macarons and candy by the pound, as well as gift boxes of sweets. It also sells coffee drinks that include espresso, cappuccino, Americano, lattes and spiked coffees.

If you're a coffee lover who's heading ashore at MSC's private island, Ocean Cay Marine Reserve , you won't want to miss the extra-fee Coco-Nilla Latte, found at The Smiling Fish. A combination of espresso, vanilla syrup and coconut milk, either hot or iced, it's far and away my favorite coffee drink anywhere, ever.

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A more affordable option than most alternative restaurants is room service. My pick is the pizza, which will be delivered to your room hot and fresh, with a variety of options available, including Margherita, vegetable, pepperoni, four cheese, marinara, MSC style (tomato sauce, ham, arugula, mozzarella, Grana Padano cheese and olive oil) and supreme. It's free if you're staying in the Yacht Club. A la carte pricing and delivery fees will apply to other cabin types, depending on the experience package you book.

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As with most cruise ships, you don't have to go far to find a stiff drink on MSC Meraviglia.

My go-to was the Brass Anchor Pub, reminiscent of an English local where you can snag a bottle or a pint and some extra-fee pub grub. TVs throughout the space broadcast a variety of sporting events (subject to satellite availability), and trivia and live music take place there throughout the sailing.

I also spent some time at the Casino Imperiale bar, which was open on my sailing longer than any of the other onboard watering holes. It serves a selection of beer and cocktails.

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The centrally located Meraviglia Bar & Lounge, found along Galleria Meraviglia (the ship's promenade) next to Jean-Philippe Chocolate & Cafe, is also home to trivia competitions, live music and dancing throughout the day. It's the bar often frequented by passengers before and after shows in the nearby Broadway Theatre.

Sky Lounge is the place to be for sweeping views through floor-to-ceiling windows. It provides a comfy and often quiet space to read, work or gather with friends.

If you're seeking the oft-missed cigar lounge, look for the entrance on the starboard (right, when facing forward) side of the Sky Lounge entrance, or enter the lounge and follow it around to the starboard side.

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Edge Cocktail Bar is another centrally located place to grab beer, wine and specialty cocktails — including the delicious Purple Rain, a combo of vodka, white rum, blue curacao, gin, peach schnapps, sweet and sour, and grenadine that turns a shade of purple when you mix it. One deck above it is the Champagne Bar, which sometimes also serves seafood. One deck below is the Infinity Bar, so named because it's found at the base of the Infinity Atrium.

The ship's TV Studio & Bar is where you can find the cruise director filming the ship's daily morning show the night before. It's also the site of trivia competitions, several of which were standing-room-only.

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There's a Sports Bar in the ship's Sportplex, but I never saw it open, even when the area was crowded. Three bars (Atmosphere Bar North, Atmosphere Bar South and Bamboo Bar) by the main Atmosphere Pool serve up classic umbrella drinks, as well as beer and other libations. You'll also find bars in the Marketplace Buffet, on the Yacht Club sun deck and in the Yacht Club Top Sail Lounge.

MSC Meraviglia activities

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MSC Meraviglia hosts a variety of activities to keep you busy when you're not ashore. You might start your day with a free guided morning stretch or aerobics, or pop into the gym for a self-led session or a for-fee class like yoga or spin.

The daytime schedule features plenty of options for those with a competitive spirit. They range from golf putting, foosball, Ping-Pong soccer and pickleball tournaments to giant darts and trivia (visual trivia like airline logos and "name that place," as well as "name that tune" and general knowledge trivia).

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If you'd rather get your groove on, keep an eye out for dance lessons and themed parties hosted by the entertainment team. My favorite was the Snow Party, when the crew blasted fake snow (which appeared to be suds of some sort) as we danced on the blazing hot pool deck.

Napkin folding, bingo, movie screenings, arts and crafts, and passenger talent shows (yes, you have to audition) round out the list of pastimes.

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As you pass back and forth between events, don't miss the regularly scheduled dome shows along the Galleria Meraviglia promenade. You'll see the LED projections on the ceiling, covering topics like famous ceilings, dinosaurs, space and the changing of the seasons.

Beware of seminars on jewelry, health and wellness, and other topics that are thinly veiled sales pitches.

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Feeling like a day of swimming or sunbathing? Pull up a lounge chair by the main Atmosphere Pool. If you're looking for a more sauna-like experience, head to the Solarium's covered Bamboo Pool; check out the aft Horizon Pool for better views and more peace and quiet. There's also a small pool on the private Yacht Club sun deck.

Looking to relax in a hot tub instead? You can find two of them one deck up from the Atmosphere Pool, as well as two at the Bamboo Pool and one on Deck 18's aft sun deck (behind Sportplex). There's also one at the Yacht Club Pool.

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The Polar Aquapark on Deck 19 aft offers plenty of wet fun for kids and adults. Attractions include three slides — a bowl slide, where riders awkwardly end in the bowl and then exit via a flight of steps, and two twisty slides that require rafts — and a splash area with sprayers and dump buckets. There's no fee to use the space, but you'll need to sign a waiver and obtain a wristband before riding the waterslides.

Speaking of children, the ship has a dedicated kids club, called Doremiland (named after the cruise line's mascot, Doremi, as in the first three notes of a musical scale). The club is divided into Baby Club (infants and toddlers up to 3 years), Mini Club (ages 3 to 6 years), Junior Club (7 to 11 years), Young Club (12 to 14 years) and Teen Club (15 to 17 years).

Each group has age-appropriate activities scheduled, and all — except the tweens and teens, who can come and go as they please — are heavily supervised by qualified staff. Sample activities might include storytime, arts and crafts, and Lego playtime for younger children, while tweens and teens enjoy less structured pastimes like video games and dance parties.

MSC Meraviglia shows

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As with most MSC ships, MSC Meraviglia's entertainment is stellar. From free live music, theater shows and promenade dance parties to extra-fee Cirque du Soleil-style performances, the options are varied and feature talented singers, dancers, magicians, acrobats and more.

Each production show is offered once per sailing, at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. in the Broadway Theatre. Some are staples, while others rotate.

"Born to Rock," "One Day More," "Cool" and "Journey" are the ship's recurring shows, which each appear once per weeklong cruise. They focus on popular songs in the rock 'n' roll and pop genres, Broadway hits, music from the '70s and '80s, and cultural favorites from Spain, Italy, France and more.

As part of a rotating selection of limited-time performers, English duo The Conjurors performed two shows during my sailing, featuring numbers games, mindreading and pre-show predictions that impressively came true by the end. The duo is scheduled for more than a dozen sailings. Other limited-engagement performers include comedians and pianists.

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Speaking of limited-time performances, on the second-to-last night of the voyage, I sat in the theater unsure of what to expect from the headliner, Lorraine Crosby. "You might be thinking, 'She sounds like the lady who sings that Meat Loaf song.' Well, that's because I am the lady who sings that Meat Loaf song," Crosby joked. Her biggest claim to fame is that she rocked the female vocals in Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything for Love, But I Won't Do That."

What followed was a vocal performance that gave me chills. Crosby's range and ability to adapt to different genres are astounding. She belted out favorites by Queen, Tina Turner and Celine Dion and arguably did a better job of it than they did.

On the final night on board, she held an intimate performance for Yacht Club passengers in the suite area's private lounge. Again, I shivered as she took on the likes of Adele, AC/DC and others.

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Another free entertainment option worth mentioning is daytime street theater that includes contortionists, roving musicians, magic workshops and flash mob-style performances by the onboard singers and dancers. If you happen to be passing through the promenade area when a flash mob happens, you're likely to see a punk rock-themed song-and-dance routine or, perhaps, one where the cast is dressed up like flowers, insects and birds.

Shows for a fee

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Carousel Productions, MSC's own brand of Cirque du Soleil-style shows, are offered six days a week on MSC Meraviglia, with each of two shows — "House of Houdini" and "Rock Circus" — running three nights, on alternating days, with two performances each night (8 p.m. and 10 p.m.). Originally designed to house dinner theater, the Carousel Lounge is set up as a theater in the round and no longer serves food. (That ended when the cruise line shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the line has no current plans to bring it back.)

The for-fee performances levy a nominal charge for attendance and include a welcome drink for each showgoer.

"Rock Circus" is a mix of acrobatics, aerial performances, and song and dance to some of rock's greatest hits, including songs by Guns N' Roses and AC/DC.

"House of Houdini," which follows a clearer storyline than "Rock Circus," loosely tells the tale of Houdini's great underwater escape from a straitjacket and chains. A group of singers, dancers, acrobats and aerialists dressed as circus performers show Houdini the ropes as he prepares for his greatest feat.

MSC Meraviglia itineraries and pricing

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Through at least September 2024, MSC Meraviglia is sailing seven- and eight-night voyages to Nassau and Ocean Cay Marine Reserve in the Bahamas from Brooklyn.

It also features six-night Bermuda cruises that spend three days docked at King's Wharf, as well as 10- and 11-night Canada and New England sailings that feature calls on Boston; Portland, Maine; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; and Saint John, New Brunswick. The 11-night itinerary also visits Newport, Rhode Island.

A couple of 11-night Western Caribbean voyages visit Port Canaveral (the port for Orlando) and Miami in Florida, Cozumel and Costa Maya in Mexico and Ocean Cay.

MSC Meraviglia offers some of the lowest prices in the industry. At the time of publication, inside cabin prices were starting from $299 per person ($43 per person per night) for a seven-night Bahamas cruise, $379 per person ($63 per person per night) for a six-night Bermuda sailing, $449 per person ($41 per person per night) for an 11-night Western Caribbean voyage and $619 per person ($56 per person per night) for an 11-night trip to Canada and New England.

What to know before you go

Required documents.

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As with a sailing on any ship, there's certain paperwork you'll need to cruise on MSC Meraviglia. If you're a U.S. citizen sailing from and returning to a U.S. port, you can sail with either an official copy of your birth certificate and a driver's license (both are required) or a passport. I recommend the latter, and it must be valid for at least six months.

MSC Cruises adds an automatic service charge of $14.50 per person, per day, to final bills on all sailings. For children 2 and older, the daily charge is half, or $7.25.

Also, a 15% gratuity is added to bills at bars for cruisers who do not have a drinks package. If you have a drinks package, you'll pay a 15% service charge when you purchase the package, but not on individual drinks. A 15% service charge is also added to items in minibars, salons and spas.

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MSC Cruises' Wi-Fi, available through the MSC for Me app, is fast enough to be competitive with all of the other major cruise lines. But pricing varies, based on the number of devices you use and whether you're OK with simply browsing the web and checking e-mail or would prefer to use Netflix or other streaming services.

Expect to pay about $72 for one device with unlimited data on a basic package. A two-device plan for the same runs about $109. There's also a four-device plan for about $223. If streaming video is what you're hoping to do, you'll need one of the more expensive plans, which range from about $100 to more than $300.

Be warned that plans are tied to specific devices, and you cannot switch between them. For example, if you buy a one-device package, you cannot use it for your cellphone, log out and then log back in with your tablet. In that case, you would need to purchase a two-device package.

MSC's MSC for Me app allows passengers on the same ship to chat with one another for free without purchasing a Wi-Fi package. The app also lets you make dining reservations, check the daily schedule and view your onboard bill.

Carry-on drinks policy

MSC does not allow passengers to bring any of their own alcohol on board.

Smoking policy

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Smoking (including e-cigarettes) is permitted in a few designated areas, including the port side of the main pool deck. It's also allowed on one side of the casino. Nonsmokers, beware: The separate sides do nothing to keep the smell from wafting. It was enough to keep me away from the area for the duration of my sailing. Smoking isn't allowed in cabins or on cabin balconies; violators will receive a $250 fine.

MSC Cruises does not offer self-service laundry facilities on any of its ships. However, passengers can send their clothing out to be washed, folded, pressed or dry-cleaned for a fee.

Electrical outlets

MSC Meraviglia's cabins all have a mix of 110-volt North American outlets, 220-volt European outlets and USB ports. In my Yacht Club balcony stateroom, I had three North American outlets, three European outlets and one USB port, all at the desk/vanity area — none near the bed.

The onboard currency for MSC Meraviglia when it sails from New York is the U.S. dollar.

Drinking age

You must be 21 to consume alcohol on MSC Meraviglia's sailings from the U.S.

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Passengers on MSC Meraviglia's warm-weather itineraries from Brooklyn can be found in T-shirts, shorts, bathing suits and cover-ups during the day, when there's no set dress code.

The line's American clientele tends to dress more casually at night, as well, but the line suggests "smart casual" attire for dinner. That might include khakis with button-down or polo-style collared shirts for men and sundresses or nice pants with a flowy top for women. Dark, unripped jeans are also acceptable for both men and women.

On "gala" evenings (usually one per weeklong sailing), the dress code is more refined. Passengers might choose to wear tuxedos, suits, khakis with button-downs and blazers, cocktail dresses or sparkly ball gowns.

On my sailing, the ship also had "tropical" and "white" listed on the daily schedule as suggested attire. Pack accordingly.

Bottom line

MSC Meraviglia is a beautiful ship with great food, shows and public spaces, but it has a few pain points.

In addition to feeling crowded, the vessel charges extra for many things that will make your overall cruise better. If you're on a strict budget, either resign yourself to doing only the free activities and eating in the main dining room and buffet, or plan to sail with a different cruise line.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

  • The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • A beginners guide to picking a cruise line
  • The 8 worst cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • The ultimate guide to what to pack for a cruise
  • A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
  • 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
  • 15 ways cruisers waste money
  • The ultimate guide to choosing a cruise ship cabin


MSC Meraviglia Deck by Deck Guide

MSC Meraviglia - Part 1 - Deck by Deck Guide

MSC Meraviglia full deck guide

We spent a week onboard MSC Meraviglia in October 2018. In case you missed it, you can read our entire live-blog here .

We’ve written some guides for people who haven’t yet had the chance to try out the ship – whether you have booked or are thinking about booking, read our guides for plenty of tips and advice!

Our first guide is a full deck-by-deck guide of the entire ship. MSC Meraviglia is a big ship (at the time of writing – the 5th biggest cruise ship in the world!) and it will take you a day or two to navigate her fully. Thankfully, you can use this guide to familiarise yourself with the ship and whilst onboard there are TV screens located by most venues and in every lift lobby on each deck. Simply touch them to find a place you wish to go to or where you are! Additionally, you can use the MSC for Me App to navigate around the ship too.

These are crew only decks and you won’t be down here anytime soon!

This deck is primarily used for tender access and also the Medical Centre is based on this deck. This deck is also sometimes used for wheelchair access gangway (check in the Daily Program or with the reception at the port though!)

This deck is the most popular deck to embark and disembark the ship. There are usually several gangways attached to this deck (depending on the port). You’ll also find the  Infinity Bar, Infinity Atrium  (complete with the start of the famous crystal staircase),  Infinity Reception and also the Business Centre (located to the left of reception) and finally the  MSC Excursions self-service desks allowing you to book your excursions 24/7. Often, a pop-up Cirque du Soleil at Sea stand is located here to book tickets for the two nightly shows available during your cruise.

MSC Meraviglia Infinity Atrium

Live music is often performed in the Infinity Atrium from a pianist to a live singer or MC on Gala Nights. Heading further back, past reception you’ll find access to the 600-seat Waves Restaurant which is open for Breakfast and Lunch daily (no reservations required).

MSC Meraviglia Waves Restaurant

From the front of the ship you have The Broadway Theatre , which is actually two decks high, but only accessible from Deck 6.

MSC Meraviglia Broadway Theatre

Immediately behind the theatre, heading to the rear of the ship you enter Galleria Meraviglia – the 80m long indoor promenade, with the world’s longest LED dome screen!

MSC Meraviglia Galleria Meraviglia lower

The promenade is on two tiers, we’ll cover the lower level and the left-hand side first. First, you have the Meraviglia Bar & Lounge , followed by the Jean-Philippe Chocolate & Cafe , MSC Excursions desk (this is manned) then Plaza Meraviglia which contains some of the onboard shops (Mini Mall and two shops which sell Perfumes & Cosmetics and the other Watches & Sunglasses. There are also pop-up shops here whilst at sea.

MSC Meraviglia Plaza Meraviglia

On the right-hand side of Galleria Meraviglia from the front, we have the Boutique which sells clothes, accessories and jewelllery, Eataly Food Market , Jean-Philippe Crêpes & Gelato Bar , Eataly Ristorante Italiano & Chef’s Table,  finally  La Vetrina which offers spa and beauty products. The  MSC Logo Shop is then situated around the corner.

MSC Meraviglia Jean-Philippe Crepes and Gelato Bar

After you exit the Galleria Meraviglia , you’ll find a large area surrounding the atrium. On the left-hand side is the EDGE Cocktail Bar with seating also to the right-hand side.

MSC Meraviglia EDGE Cocktail Bar

Immediately behind this area are the MSC PhotoShop and MSC Photo Gallery where you can buy photo equipment and browse your cruise photos. As you head further back you’ll enter a very wide corridor containing the Emotions – Immersive Gallery . From here you can use small kiosks to choose and purchase the photos that have been taken of you throughout the cruise.

MSC Meraviglia MSC Photo Shop

Next up as you continue to the rear of the ship is the L’Olivo D’oro restaurant on the left and the L’Olive Doree restaurant on the right. These are two of the four main dining rooms on the ship and you will be automatically allocated one before embarkation.

MSC Meraviglia Deck 6 Restaurants

If you walk past both of these you’ll arrive at another main dining room – The Panorama Restaurant . This restaurant is for MSC Anytime Dining guests and spans the entire width of the ship, with panoramic views out to sea.

MSC Meraviglia Panorama Restaurant

Starting at the front of the ship we have the MSC Aurea Spa which spans the entire width of the ship, offering many facilities.

MSC Meraviglia MSC Aurea Spa

Immediately behind this, we enter the upper tier of Galleria Meraviglia . On the left-hand side is the TV Studio & Bar venue. Walking down the right-hand side we have the Brass Anchor Pub , followed by Kaito Sushi Bar and Kaito Teppanyaki speciality restaurants. Crossing over to the left-hand side we have the Butcher’s Cut speciality restaurant.

MSC Meraviglia Galleria Meraviglia upper

At the rear of the Galleria Meraviglia, we have the Champagne Bar , the bar is located on the left-hand side with additional seating on the right-hand side.

MSC Meraviglia Champagne Bar Deck 7

Immediately behind this is the entrance to Casino Imperiale which spans the entire width of the ship.

MSC Meraviglia Casino Imperiale

If you walk all the way through this, you’ll end up at the Carousel Lounge , the home of the Cirque du Soleil at Sea theatre shows. Visit during the day to see a beautiful panorama from the back of the ship or at night for a stunning show!

MSC Meraviglia Carousel Lounge by day

All of these decks are accommodation-only decks and don’t feature ship facilities or services. Each deck is serviced by two sets of eight lifts (forward and mid-ships) and two further panoramic lifts located towards the front of the ship either side.

MSC Meraviglia lift lobby

Starting at the front of the ship we have the Bamboo Pool and Solarium . This is a covered pool with a retractable roof and is split into two levels. On the lower level, you’ll find the pool and hot tubs with the Bamboo Bar at the rear.

MSC Meraviglia Bamboo Pool and Bar

As you leave the Bamboo Bar & Pool area you’ll enter into the Atmosphere Pool area, first is the Atmosphere Pool Bar North which is a covered, but outdoor bar handy to the pool.

The pool is open during port and sea days, depending on the weather. Sunbeds are first-come, first-serve and are free.

MSC Meraviglia Atmosphere Pool

At the rear of the Atmosphere Pool , you’ll find the rear splits into two venues. On the left is the Atmosphere Pool Bar South . On the right, the Atmosphere Ice Cream Bar combined with the Marketplace Buffet grab and go section.

MSC Meraviglia Atmosphere Pool South

Continuing to the rear and now inside, you enter the expansive Marketplace Buffet which spans the entire width of the ship. In here the buffet is split into several different seating areas with a large counter that runs the entire buffet offering a wide selection of foods.

MSC Meraviglia Marketplace buffet entrance

At the rear of the Marketplace buffet , you can sit at a rear terrace if you wish. This isn’t very busy as most people miss it!

MSC Meraviglia Marketplace buffet terrace

At the front of the ship is an entrance to the MSC Yacht Club and the Top Sail Lounge , this is by keycard access only for MSC Yacht Club passengers. Walking back, through the lift lobby you’ll enter the upper level of the Bamboo Pool & Solarium . There are numerous tables and chairs around here and table football games too. As you leave this area you’ll enter the upper level of the Atmosphere Pool .

MSC Meraviglia MSC Yacht Club staircase

During the day you’ll find sunbeds available for use, again on a first-come, first-serve basis.

As you head towards mid-ships you can either follow the deck around the ship that continues to the rear or you can walk across the ship from one side to the other. It is also here that the power walking and running track are located.

MSC Meraviglia Power Walking / Running track

In the middle of the ship now you’ll find the nearly full-width MSC Gym by Technogym containing the latest gym equipment by Technogym and the starting place for several fitness classes.

MSC Meraviglia Gym by Technogym

Walking further back, you’ll enter the fun and activities area, known as the Sportplex . It starts with the 4D Cinema, the Flight Simulator, the F1 Simulator, Arcade games, Bowling and the Sports Bar. The indoor Sportplex  arena is also located here, offering kids (and adult) games such as badminton, football and others.

MSC Meraviglia Sportplex

As you leave the Sportplex you’ll pass the Horizon Bar which directly overlooks the Horizon Amphitheatre; a series of stepped deck areas offering sunbeds and views over the rear of the ship. As you head down the steps to the bottom of the Horizon Amphitheatre you’ll find the Horizon Pool and deck space to walk around.

MSC Meraviglia Horizon Pool

Don’t worry, you’ve not missed one! There isn’t a Deck 17 as seventeen in Italian culture is considered an unlucky number! If you view 17 as a Roman numeral (XVII) it is changed anagrammatically to VIXI which in Latin translates to “I have lived” or “My life is over”. So you won’t find a Deck 17 on any MSC cruise ships!

At the front of the ship is access for MSC Yacht Club guests only and contains the MSC Yacht Club Restaurant .

Heading back through the lift lobby you’ll have to head down a deck to continue walking outside of the ship.

In the middle of the ship on Deck 18 you’ll find the Sky Lounge , a large panoramic bar with floor-to-ceiling windows giving you a 180-degree view forwards over the Atmosphere Pool and to the sides of the ship, excellent for sea days or arriving/leaving ports. The bar up here offers table service.

MSC Meraviglia Sky Lounge

Walking to the rear of the ship you now enter the area for children’s activities which includes Doremi Lab , Baby Club Chicco , Junior & Mini Club Lego , Doremi Studio and the Young/Teen Club Attic , complete with soft drinks bar!

MSC Meraviglia Doremi Land

You can walk out of the rear from here and head down a deck to the Horizon Amphitheatre or head up to Deck 19.

MSC Meraviglia Horizon Amphitheatre

Deck 19 is only available at the front of the ship for MSC Yacht Club passengers which includes their Solarium Grill, Pool, Sundeck and Bar areas. Again, access by key card only.

Top 19 for MSC Aurea guests is located on this deck (at the rear), passes are available to purchase on a daily or per-cruise basis.

At the rear of the ship Deck 19 is also the Polar Aquapark which spans the entire width of the ship. There are many splash pools here and access to the three free waterslides. This facility is open during port and sea days, depending on weather, (times are in the Daily Program).

MSC Meraviglia Polar Aquapark

We hope you enjoyed our MSC Meraviglia full deck guide! Next up will be the Food and Drink options available on the ship!

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MSC Gratuities (Tips/Service Charge): Full Guide to Cost & How They Work

Sailing MSC and wondering about the service charges — also known as gratuities — that you will see? Almost no matter which cruise line you sail, these daily charges are a part of life.

And the cost can be significant. In general, cruise lines charge between $14-$16 per person, per day for the gratuity charges. That can add up to hundreds of dollars for a couple on a weeklong cruise.

Of course, with those sorts of dollar amounts, you might have some questions about what this money is for, where it goes, and how the entire process works.

In This Article...

What are service charges (gratuities)?

Daily gratuity charges come in a lot of different names. Sometimes they are called tips. Some lines call them crew appreciation. MSC called them service charges.

These all mean the same thing — a charge per person, per day that is to provide compensation to the passenger-facing crew like your room steward and the dining staff.

In the past (decades ago), the crew relied on the generosity of passengers to provide a tip. Today, the process is automated to where nearly everyone on the ship is charged the same rate.

How much are service charges on MSC?

MSC has several different gratuity rates that depend where the cruise occurs. For those sailing in The Bahamas/Caribbean, South America, or Asia , you’ll see the following rates:

  • Adults (>12 and up): $14.50 per night
  • Children (2-12): $7.25 per night
  • No service charges for kids under 2 years old

For those sailing in the Mediterranean, Europe, Middle East or Southern Caribbean , the rates are slightly different and priced in euros:

  • Adults (>12 and up): 12 euros per night
  • Children (2-12): 6 euros per night

So say that you’re a couple taking a 7-day cruise. In this case, you’ll each pay $14.50 per night, for a total of $203 over the course of the trip.

How do I pay the MSC service charges?

You have a couple of options for how you can pay these charges.

First, you can choose to pre-pay. In this case, the daily service charge is added into the price of the cruise. When doing this, the charge is already taken care of before you board meaning it’s one less thing to worry about. On the other hand, it also means giving the cruise line more money before you technically have to pay it.

The second way to pay the gratuity charges is to simply wait until you are on the ship. They will be added to your onboard account during the trip. You will then pay with the payment method on file at the end of the cruise as you would with any other onboard spending.

For more on whether or not to pre-pay gratuities, see our article here .

Can I change the amount charged?

In general, no you cannot change the gratuity amount charged. MSC says on their website that “ the Hotel Service charge serves to ensure we maintain the highest quality standards of service to our guests. The daily amounts below have been calculated with this in mind and cannot be modified.”

So if you simply don’t agree with the service charge amount, you can’t adjust it. But what if you receive particularly bad service? In that case, there is some recourse.

The cruise line says “should you wish to remove any of the daily Hotel Service Charge in the unlikely event that you do not receive satisfactory service, you may do so by contacting the Guest Relations Manager onboard.”

Can I tip more if I want? Or tip a specific person?

Many people during the cruise find a particular bartender they love or really appreciate their room steward. So if there’s someone that you want to thank on the cruise, can you tip more?

Most cruise lines encourage this, but MSC specifically says it “does not recommend tipping individual members of staff.” Even so, there is a difference between “not recommending” something and banning it. If you decide you want to slip some extra cash to a crew member, it will likely be appreciated.

Which staff is covered by the MSC service charge?

It’s not specifically laid out exactly how the service charge is applied to the crew. While cruise lines normally are tight-lipped about how exactly the charges break down to the crew members, they do normally lay out in general terms who gets the money.

MSC speaks in even more vague terms about where the money goes:

“During your cruise you will meet staff throughout the ship who provide you with excellent service. They are supported by just as many staff and crew who work hard behind the scenes to ensure you enjoy every moment onboard.

“For your convenience, MSC Cruises will automatically add a daily Hotel Service Charge to your shipboard account, based on your chosen itinerary and the number of days for which the services are actually provided.

“The Hotel Service charge serves to ensure we maintain the highest quality standards of service to our guests. “

Does the service charge cover all the tipping around the ship?

For the most part, MSC’s gratuity charge covers all the tipping you need to do on the ship. So if you go eat in the main dining room, you simply leave when you’re done with the meal. There’s no need to leave a tip.

One area that is not covered is the bar. If you purchase a drink on the ship (assuming you don’t have the drink package) then there is a 18% bar service charge added on automatically for North American cruises and 15% for other trips.

Notably, MSC makes no mention of extra gratuity charges for spa and specialty restaurants, two areas that normally see additional gratuity tacked on for other cruise lines.

What else should I know about MSC’s service charges?

One thing that we think should be pointed out is that when it comes to cruise gratuities, MSC is actually on the low end. For instance, Carnival Cruise Line charges $16 per person , per day as of April 2023. Royal Caribbean also charges $16 per person , per day for most cabins.

There is also no upcharge on the gratuity amount if staying in a suite (these cabins typically see higher gratuity charges on other lines), and there is the lower daily charge for kids 12 and under.

In other words, while no one likes to see extra charges on their cruise, MSC offers one of the best values when it comes to these fees.

More on Sailing MSC:

  • Worth It? Complete Guide to MSC Cruises Drink Packages
  • 10 Ways MSC Is Different From Other Cruise Lines
  • Ocean Cay (MSC’s Private Island): Complete Guide & Things to Know

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In Europe they do pay. It is added to cruise fare automatically so is paid by all and cannot be removed.

So read such misinfirmed and inaccurate comments…. in which good crew members are gipped out of tips…because a passenger does not understand how it works. Tops or DAILY GRATS…are split with ALL crew…ones you do not see ( laundry, pool deck, etc). Pay your daiky grats. If you’re not happy with something go to guest services and they should correct whatever crew member is not providing you the proper service

This may be accurate for some lines and not others. The one I worked for had tipped positions who received the gratuities (some directly such as waiter and asst waiter and others in pools (bartenders except for add’l tip added by the guest at time of purchase). The back of house didn’t share in the tips at all. And technically if you handed a non-tipped position cash, they were to turn it into their manager to enhance “crew welfare” events of that particular team.

Hello fellow & future cruisers! I absolutely adore cruising 🛳! It’s my favorite way to travel. I’ve only been on 8, soon to be 9.

I learned on my first cruise with Carnival that once you board, it’s best to go straight to the service desk & kindly say “Hello. I’d like to remove the tipping fees from my account.” Without hesitation or question, the Carnival staff immediately is understanding. They look at the computer screen & simply remove the fees. #1 This frees up literally hundreds of $$$$ off of ur c.c. #2 You get to decide who to tip directly, who deserves a lot, a little or nothing. #3 These hard working people should get the tips THEY deserve. One of our waiters once told me, that the servers make about $1.18 average. It was heart breaking.

I bought the drink package & found a bar in the atrium I liked. There was a fantastic bartender that I was so sweet. The first night I gave her $20. She cried & told me that would help her family so much. I got great service from her for the rest of the cruise & have a kind hearted story that touched both her & my soul. ❤️

I’ve had one of the room cleaners that never cleaned anything! By the 7th night, we had at least 10 dirty glasses. There would’ve been more but we kept sending them out with room service. Oh, we tipped our room service people a few bucks each time they came. That put a pep in their step whenever they came over! At the end of our cruise, everyone in our area was talking about how dirty their rooms were. We honestly explained to our room cleaner why we weren’t tipping him. He never changed our sheets or gave us the cute towel animals. We could’ve complained, but eh… I didn’t want negative energy. However I tip accordingly. Maybe next time he’ll do his job.

I hope you all have a fantastic vacation! No matter where u go! Thanks for reading! Much Love, Lynae Thomas

I am on MSC Preziosa at the moment. I did not go to the dining room at all, because they gave me the second seating instead of the first seating, which is too late for me. (I bought the lower class ‘Bella’, so just too bad, I got what they had left!). I asked for my Hotel Service Charges to be paid to the Buffet staff instead of the Dining Room staff. They refused. They said the gratuities is for everyone including the Engine Cleaners! So, actually when they say ‘Hotel Service Charge’ they really mean paying your part of the ‘MSC Pay roll’. Or they could just call it ‘Extra Cruise Fare’. Which is amazing is that Europeans do not have to pay for those extra charges on the European cruise where I am right now. It is mandatory only for the people that have bought their cruise from MSC Cruises USA. Why? I have no idea!!!

Hi I read on the site If booked before November 2022 With msc line There wasn’t a hotel charge is that correct

This has been very helpful! Thank you for all this information. Please if anyone can answer two questions from first-time cruisers: 1) We bought our tickets through a 3rd party…is that the CC MSC will charge our gratuities to at the end of the trip, or will we have a chance to provide them a different CC while onboard? 2) Does buying any of the drinks package cover ALL the gratuities of the total trip ($14.5/day/person), or only the gratuities of the drinks bought?

MSC uses a system where you add the card once you are on the ship (there are kiosks you visit). So you can use whichever card you want once onboard.

The drink package only covers gratuities of the drinks bought.

thank you for the reply. Greatly appreciated. Much to learn bout cruising:)

Great informative post. Thank you. Myself and my husband don’t drink so we plan to not have a drink package. Will we still pay this 18% for a soft drink from the bar. (Pepsi, Coke or a juice etc)? Just curious as we have a Northern Europe trip planned next Spring with MSC

Yes, that charge should be there. However, the amount will be 15% for that region, not 18%.

From MSC’s website:

“Onboard bar purchases will incur a gratuities, automatically added to all purchases: 15% gratuities on European, Emirates, South Caribbean, Red Sea, South America (Brazil and Argentine) and Far East itineraries, and 18% gratuity on North America itineraries.”

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17 MSC Seaside Tips and Suggestions

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Doug Parker

  • January 7, 2020

MSC Seaside is the first purpose-built ship for the North American market from MSC, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line.

MSC Seaside Cruise ship

A better godmother couldn’t have been chosen, as Seaside subtly blends Italian design and tradition with spaces and amenities desired by modern North American cruisers. 

With a passenger capacity of 4,132 (double occupancy), Seaside compares favorably with the largest and most modern ships from the other big lines such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian Cruise Line.

1. Download the MSC for Me App to your smartphone

MSC App to your phone

MSC for Me is an incredibly functional and fun app for anyone on an MSC cruise. Before you sail, users may book a show, shore excursions, prepay for drinks or specialty restaurants, and add activities to a personal agenda. 

Once onboard MSC Seaside, guests can use the MSC for Me chat function to message fellow cruisers without purchasing an internet package. Additionally, a “what to eat” feature gives insight into local in season and fresh ingredients in meals onboard as the ship moves from port to port. Of course, the app also includes a map of the vessel, and the ability to check events and add them to the planner. 

2. Look into the Easy Drinks Package

MSC offers drinks packages on every sailing like every other major cruise line, and there are several levels to choose from. Passengers often overlook the Easy Package, but it certainly shouldn’t be. For only $35 per day (at writing time), the package includes anything under $6 in most venues and includes beer, wine, liquor, specialty coffees, and bottled water. Sometimes this package is offered as a promo during booking, so keep a lookout for that.

3. Asian Market Kitchen


Many of the largest ships at sea now have teppanyaki restaurants onboard, and MSC Seaside has one too. Unique, however, is the Asian Market Kitchen, a concept from celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi, the creator of Hawaiian Fusion. Asian Market Kitchen differs from his land-based restaurants by presenting an unforgettable pan-Asian menu. 

For something different, consider ordering the Triple Play, a fun dish consisting of kaiware (radish sprouts), yamagobo (pickled burdock root), shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, and Hamachi fish with a delicious garlic aioli sesame sauce. Another popular item is the poke bowl, which has various choices. Asian Market Kitchen is a la carte pricing. 

4. Have a Drink at the Seaside Bar

Located in the spectacular atrium onboard the ship, the Seaside Bar is the place for evening entertainment and drinks. The whole atrium is ensconced in glass and crystal, scattering the light and creating a magical venue, especially in the evening.

Live music takes place on the small stage with acts consisting of musical trios, soloists, and other entertainment with dancing couples common. The selection is vast, with all types of liquor, beer, wine, and cocktails. Daily specials are available (try the Moscow mule.)

5. Order a drink with a side of sea views

For passengers who prefer to have sweeping views of the ocean while they sip their beverage of choice, the Top Sail Lounge is the place to be! Be warned, though. This lounge is for the exclusive use of Yacht Club guests, which means you have to be staying in a Yacht Club suite to access it. 

Located on Deck 16 all the way forward, this lounge has outside walls consisting of floor-to-ceiling glass windows, giving spectacular views of the sea. The Top Sail Lounge is also a great spot to watch a sail in or away from the port or to enjoy a Caribbean sunset. 

6. Brave the Bridge of Sighs

Bridge of Sighs MSC

Named after the famous bridge in Venice, MSC Seaside has its own Bridge of Sighs. This bridge is at the far back (aft) of the ship on Deck 16 and consists of a glass-bottomed walkway positioned high above the South Beach pool.

The bridge is a great photo stop and is a fun place to visit during your time onboard. If you enjoy the Bridge of Sighs, there are two additional glass walkways on either side of the ship on the Waterfront Promenade, Deck 8.

7. There’s a chocolate bar, and it’s spectacular

Venchi 1878 Chocolate Bar

On Seaside, they take their desserts seriously — so much so that there’s a space devoted to the art of chocolate! The Venchi 1878 Chocolate Bar is located on Deck 6 near the Piazza Grande and is a treat for the eyes as much as it is for taste. 

Stunning designs are created from chocolate and candies, truly works of art. In addition to the displays, there are vast quantities of chocolate available to purchase, which makes excellent souvenirs for friends and family back home.

8. Speaking of the Piazza Grande

Piazza Grande MSC

In Tip #7 we talked about the Venchi 1878 Chocolate Bar located on the Piazza Grande. This Piazza is centrally located on deck 6 and is where most of the shopping on the ship is located. In addition to the shops and boutiques, there is also a great bar serving all kinds of drinks with a good quantity of comfortable chairs. Along with the dance floor and stage, this spot is a great place to unwind while onboard and is more relaxed than the atrium or the top decks by the pool.

9. If you are a family, look into the Super Family Cabins

For families or groups, a great way to sail is in the Super Family Cabins. These cabins are three combined staterooms, usually with two typical rooms and one center bedroom with a fold-out couch; they come in both balcony and ocean view options. The standard cabins have a king or two twin beds, along with a set of twin bunks, sleeping up to 10 people comfortably.

The Super Family cabins also have two full bathrooms. When booking, pricing is done by the cabin rather than per person, which can be a nice savings.

10. The MSC Seaside has a full-fledged adventure park onboard

Forest AquaVenture Park

MSC Seaside has a multi-story waterpark called the Forest AquaVenture Park. Inside the park, there are five water slides, including two racing slides that extend over the side of the ship.

The MSC Seaside’ Adventure Park also contains an AquaPlay and AquaSpray park for younger guests. Above all this water play, passengers who wish to climb can enjoy the Adventure Trail. This ropes course even has spray cannons for shooting other adventurers.

11. Dress for the White Party

msc seaside atrium bar

Every sailing of the MSC Seaside includes a White Party where guests dress all in white and staff don fantastic costumes. Don’t forget to pack appropriately to enjoy the party fully.

12. The kids club is not just a kids club

In addition to age-separated kids and teen clubs, the MSc Seaside has a fun and engaging entertainment space called Doremi’s Studio. Located on Deck 18 with the other kids’ stations, Doremi’s Studio is where kids can watch and enjoy special programming for their ages. Fun varies by sailing, so be sure to check with the kid’s staff or the schedule of events.

13. Panoramic Elevators

Panoramic elevators swimming pool

Should you be excited about an elevator? YES! At the rear, or aft, of the MSC Seaside, are a pair of panoramic elevators that wizzes up and down the outside of the ship, giving spectacular views of the sea and the fun going around below. The higher you go, the better the view, culminating on Deck 16, right by the Bridge of Sighs (Tip #6 above).

14. Do you really enjoy chocolate?

Venchi 1878 Gelato and Creperie

Then say “hello” to the Venchi 1878 Gelato and Creperie, the ship’s second (but different!) Venchi location. Situated aft on Deck 7, this incredible space is THE place to get your Italian gelato and coffee treats. With MSC being an Italian line, they know how to make a fine coffee and a seductively smooth gelato. Even though this restaurant has an a la carte menu, you will not be disappointed with the quality or the taste.

15. Race in the F1 simulator

Looking for some competition with your friends or family? Try the F1 Simulator on Deck 7 where you can sit in the drivers’ seat of an F1 race car and participate in a virtual reality race! Additional fees apply, but they are a small price to pay for the fun to be had.

16. Dine Al Fresco at the Marketplace Buffet

MSC Marketplace Buffet

If you enjoy a lovely meal with a view, fill your plate at the Marketplace Buffet on Deck 8, and head all the way aft, past the food and outside. 

On the ship’s rear is a fine place to enjoy your meal with sea views and gentle breezes. When you are finished, take the panoramic elevators up to deck 16 to enjoy the Miami pool and all the action there.

17. Pretend you’re in Europe

This may be a Caribbean cruise, as MSC Seaside sails year-round from Miami, but the clientele is decidedly international. In addition, many announcements are in multiple languages along with English, such as Spanish, Italian, and French. Embrace it!

Enjoy the different cultures and foods, and maybe make some new friends. Who knows, you may end up in Rome one day, visiting with your new friends from the cruise. 

Michael York helped contribute to this article.

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MSC World Europa deck plans

Deck layouts, review of facilities, activities, amenities.

MSC World Europa cruise ship

MSC World Europa deck plan review at CruiseMapper provides newest cruise deck plans (2024-2025-2026 valid floor layouts of the vessel) extracted from the officially issued by MSC Cruises deckplan pdf (printable version).

Each of the MSC World Europa cruise ship deck plans are conveniently combined with a legend (showing cabin codes) and detailed review of all the deck's venues and passenger-accessible indoor and outdoor areas. A separate link provides an extensive information on MSC World Europa staterooms (cabins and suites), including photos, cabin plans and amenities by room type and category.

MSC World Europa (2022-built) is the first WORLD-class vessel of MSC Cruises - the fleet's largest and most innovative ships ever constructed. With the same design are three more liners (sisterships) with deliveries in 2025 ( MSC World America ), 2026 ( MSC World Asia ), and 2027 (tbn).

MSC World Europa cruise ship deck plan shows 2633 staterooms for 5240 passengers (max capacity is 6782) served by 2138 crew-staff. The boat has 20 decks (16 passenger-accessible, 12 with cabins), 13 dining venues/restaurants and food bars (including 3x MDRs-dining rooms, 6x specialty restaurants), 21 lounges and bars, 7 swimming pools, 13 Jacuzzis (outdoor whirlpools/hot tubs, including 4x cantilevered), 39 elevators (11 of which are Panoramic / glass-walled-floored Lifts in the Atrium).

MSC World Europa decks are named after European capital cities - Berlin (Germany), Rome (Italy), London (UK), Madrid (Spain), Dublin (Ireland), Vienna (Austria), Moscow (Russia), Copenhagen (Denmark), Prague (Czechia), Brussels (Belgium), Bern (Switzerland), Athens (Greece), Paris (France), Lisbon (Portugal), Valletta (Malta).

This unique ship has 40,000+ m2 (430,000+ ft2) of public space, 15000 m2 (161,000 ft2) outdoor deck space, 3440 m2 (37000 ft2) main pool deck area, 760+ m2 (8200 ft2) of children's interior complex designed by Lego & Chicco (with 7x rooms dedicated to different age groups), Zen District (adults-only wellness and relaxation complex), Family District (with 10 kids facilities/pools, clubs, playgrounds), Family Sundeck (kids-friendly sunbathing area), Aquapark (with outdoor playgrounds, splash pools, water cannons, 3x waterslides with virtual reality experiences), Teens Sundeck (with a swimming pool and spa pool).

Deck layouts

Deck 05 - berlin-cabins, deck 06 - rome-lobby-lounge, deck 07 - london-casino-shops, deck 08 - madrid-promenade-spa, deck 09 - dublin-cabins, deck 10 - vienna-cabins, deck 11 - moscow-cabins, deck 12 - copenhagen-cabins, deck 14 - prague-cabins, deck 15 - brussels-cabins-bridge, deck 16 - bern-cabins-duplex suites1, deck 18 - athens-cabins-lido-pools-duplex suites2, deck 19 - paris-cabins-kids-top sail lounge, deck 20 - lisbon-cabins-gym-waterpark, deck 21 - valletta-cabins, deck 22 - amsterdam-waterslides-the spiral-yacht club sundeck.

MSC World Europa deck plans are property of MSC Cruises . All deck layouts are for informational purposes only and CruiseMapper is not responsible for their accuracy.

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MSC World Europa Decks and Cabins

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  • 12 Copenhagen
  • 15 Brussels
  • 21 Valletta
  • 22 Amsterdam
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Built in 2022, the MSC Cruises MSC World Europa cruise ship weighs 216K tons and has 2631 staterooms for up to 6314 passengers served by 1413 crew . There are 20 passenger decks, 12 with cabins. You can expect a space ratio of 34 gross tons per passenger on this ship. On this page are the current deck plans for MSC World Europa showing deck plan layouts, public venues and all the types of cabins including pictures and videos.

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MSC Cruises MSC World Europa




MSC Yacht Club Owners Suite diagram

Floor Diagram YC Owners Suite Cabin 18001

Sleeps up to: 4 2 Cabins Cabin: 839 sqft (79 m 2 ) Balcony: 699 sqft (66 m 2 ) * Size may vary, see details below.

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Deck locations, stateroom cabin features, important size information, stateroom cabin perks, more diagrams of this cabin type.

Yacht-Owners diagram


MSC Yacht Club Royal Suite diagram

Floor Diagram Yacht Club Royal Suite YC3

Sleeps up to: 4 4 Cabins Cabin: 548 sqft (52 m 2 ) Balcony: 452 sqft (42 m 2 ) * Size may vary, see details below.


MSC Yacht Club Whirlpool Duplex diagram

Floor Diagram Yacht Club Duplex Whirlpool YJD

Sleeps up to: 4 6 Cabins Cabin: 495 sqft (47 m 2 ) Balcony: 322 sqft (30 m 2 )


MSC Yacht Club Duplex diagram

Floor Diagram Yacht Club Deluxe Starboard Suite YCD

Sleeps up to: 4 3 Cabins Cabin: 495 sqft (47 m 2 ) Balcony: 64 sqft (6 m 2 )


MSC Yacht Club Deluxe diagram

Floor Diagram Yacht Club Deluxe Suite YC1

Sleeps up to: 4 130 Cabins Cabin: 269 sqft (25 m 2 ) Balcony: 53 sqft (5 m 2 )


MSC Yacht Club Interior diagram

Floor Diagram Yacht Club Interior YIN

Sleeps up to: 2 7 Cabins Cabin: 161 sqft (15 m 2 )


Whirlpool Bath Suite diagram

Floor Diagram Grand Whirlpool Suite SJ3

Sleeps up to: 4 4 Cabins Cabin: 376 sqft (35 m 2 ) Balcony: 398 sqft (37 m 2 ) * Size may vary, see details below.


Grand Suite diagram

Floor Diagram Grand Suite SE3

Sleeps up to: 4 10 Cabins Cabin: 376 sqft (35 m 2 ) Balcony: 96 sqft (9 m 2 ) * Size may vary, see details below.

Grand-Suite diagram


Promenade View Suite diagram

Floor Diagram Promenade Suite 4 passengers

Sleeps up to: 4 4 Cabins Cabin: 226 sqft (21 m 2 ) Balcony: 75 sqft (7 m 2 ) * Size may vary, see details below.


Family Suite diagram

Floor Diagram Family Suite S3

Sleeps up to: 6 40 Cabins Cabin: 269 sqft (25 m 2 ) Balcony: 43 sqft (4 m 2 )


Suite with Sundeck diagram

Floor Diagram Seat with Private Sundeck S2

Sleeps up to: 4 46 Cabins Cabin: 182 sqft (17 m 2 ) Balcony: 161 sqft (15 m 2 )

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Balcony diagram

Floor Diagram Balcony B1, B2, B3

Sleeps up to: 4 1092 Cabins Cabin: 182 sqft (17 m 2 ) Balcony: 32 sqft (3 m 2 ) * Size may vary, see details below.

Balcony diagram


Promenade Balcony diagram

Floor Diagram Balcony Promenade View BC1

Sleeps up to: 2 196 Cabins Cabin: 172 sqft (16 m 2 ) Balcony: 53 sqft (5 m 2 )


Infinite Ocean View diagram

Floor Diagram Infinite Oceanview OV2, OV3

Sleeps up to: 4 170 Cabins Cabin: 215 sqft (20 m 2 )

Ocean View diagram

Floor Diagram Oceanview O1, O2

Sleeps up to: 4 77 Cabins Cabin: 172 sqft (16 m 2 )

Interior diagram

Floor Diagram Interior I1, I2

Sleeps up to: 4 818 Cabins Cabin: 161 sqft (15 m 2 )

Studio diagram

Floor Diagram Studio Oceanview

Sleeps up to: 1 22 Cabins Cabin: 118 sqft (11 m 2 ) * Size may vary, see details below.

Studio diagram

MSC World Europa Deck Page Menu

Click deck pictures to go to individual cruise deck plan pages where you can see all the public areas, venues and stateroom cabins categories for each deck.

MSC World Europa Quick Stats

Big picture msc world europa decks.

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MSC World Europa Links

  • PDF of all the decks
  • PDF (choose your own decks)
  • MSC World Europa DECK DRAG
  • MSC World Europa Cabin Check


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  • MSC Cruises

MSC Meravilgio Yacht Club best floor

By Paphillyguy , December 31, 2019 in MSC Cruises

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500+ Club


New MSC csruiser here.  Looking at the Yacht club.  Was wondering what is the best floor to book on 14, 15 ,16.  Do all of these floors have key card entrances to get to the room on the floor?   Was looking at 16005, 15031 or 14007.  Thank

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Sorry  Meravilgia


If you scroll down a few lines, or a page, in this form you will see that your same question was asked and answered several times. Bottomline, Deck 14 seem to get the most votes, but no real reason to select one over the other IMO, mainly personal preferences. We were on deck 18 three weeks ago and just rebooked the same cabin (18012) for next December. Great location for us.

3,000+ Club

13 hours ago, Paphillyguy said:  Was looking at 16005, 15031 or 14007.  Thank

I haven't sailed with MSC, but will be on a YC itinerary.

I've wondered whether there is a 17 th Floor. Does not show on the passenger deck plan. Could it be a work area?

Looking at the deck plan, there is little difference between the cabins you mentions on decks 14 through 16. They're all on the port side of the front of the ship.

The 16 th floor is closest to the YC facilities. The 14 th floor is closest to the non-YC cabins.

The 16 th Floor is close to the concierge and lounge. Might be some noise and traffic. Though proximity can be a convenience?

I presume that there must be key card control on 15th and 16th floors. But, not on the 14th Floor.


17 is considered an unlucky number for Italians.  Like our 13.  So there is no deck 17.


33 minutes ago, HappyInVan said:   I haven't sailed with MSC, but will be on a YC itinerary.   I've wondered whether there is a 17 th Floor. Does not show on the passenger deck plan. Could it be a work area?   Looking at the deck plan, there is little difference between the cabins you mentions on decks 14 through 16. They're all on the port side of the front of the ship.   The 16 th floor is closest to the YC facilities. The 14 th floor is closest to the non-YC cabins.   The 16 th Floor is close to the concierge and lounge. Might be some noise and traffic. Though proximity can be a convenience?   I presume that there must be key card control on 15th and 16th floors. But, not on the 14th Floor.  

"mafig" has already answered your question about the non-existing deck 17 so I will give the others a shot.

All YC deck/area entrances are locked with glass doors and require a YC key card to gain entry. We have seen some people who probably not knowing any better try to rush in behind a YC guest before the doors close, but they are reminded that the YC is a restricted area. 

As for hall noise that is not a problem on any deck. Before entering an actual YC cabin, a person must enter a hallway that is seperate from the main center hallway. In our limited MSC YC experience (2 sailings), hallway noise never happened, we seldom even heard the cabin attendants just outside our door.

Deck 18 on the  Meraviglia was very good for us during our sailing the second week of December. It is just a few steps to doors that lead to either the main YC hallway, or to a another door that allows direct access to the non-YC area. It is also very close to the entry to the YC's MDR, which is a big plus. There was some minor morning noise from above when the YC Grill/Pool area was being prepared for the day. However, this noise was very low level and did not last very long; a few minutes. We have already rebooked this cabin for our next MSC sailing this coming December. 

The YC is one of the quietest areas we have ever sailed in. It is so isolated and controlled, there just is not any noise to worry about. There may be an exception, if so, I am sure someone will mention it.

29 minutes ago, sptrout said: As for hall noise that is not a problem on any deck. Before entering an actual YC cabin, a person must enter a hallway that is seperate from the main center hallway. In our limited MSC YC experience (2 sailings), hallway noise never happened, we seldom even heard the cabin attendants just outside our door...   The YC is one of the quietest areas we have ever sailed in. It is so isolated and controlled, there just is not any noise to worry about. There may be an exception, if so, I am sure someone will mention it.

Thanks. Experience matters.

We have sailed in Yacht Club

- Seaview - deck 16

- Bellissima - deck 16

- Meraviglia - deck 15

and one upcoming cruise

- Bellissima - deck 15

Deck 18 is convenient for many passengers but we prefer not being under the YC pool deck & bar. We like deck 15 and 16 with short walks to Top Sail Lounge & YC Restaurant. Yacht Club is often described as ‘enclave’ for a reason. Sophisticated with style... but not over the top, just right. 

I would choose the stateroom from

your selection:

...just my personal opinion...

One thing that I just remembered, if your cruise is stopping at Ocean Cay make sure to pick a cabin on the starboard (right) side of the ship. Not only will you have a great view of the island all day you will have a prime spot to watch the light show on/in the light house (from your balcony).

We stayed on 16 - it was a hop and a skip away from the TSL and close to the Concierge lounge and loved that we could walk walk right out from the cabin into the TSL for either snacks or pre-dinner drinks.  It is one stair up to YC restaurant or 2 flights up to the sun deck.  There is an elevator right by the concierge deck so we found it very convenient and quiet since there are cabins instead of the pool deck above.  As a matter of fact, we have selected the same deck for our next cruise. 

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msc meraviglia yacht club tips


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