On arrival onboard the MSC Cruise Ship Meraviglia, there is a huge hard sell line of touts that surround you as you walk through calling out to you to buy all their extra packages and shoving their ads in your hands. Very difficult to ignore or say no which is what they want.
Market place buffet restaurant is massively overcrowded, noisy, uncivilised and impersonal. Have to push and grab for everything. Should be split into different rooms. No free fruit juice except at breakfast time and extremely sugary! Coffee is terrible.
Hard sellers going from table to table touting for their businesses in your face whilst eating your meals. Pushing you to buy extras such as freshly squeezed orange juice which should be free anyway, soft drinks and payable restaurants, etc, etc. They are rude and interrupt you constantly.
The alternative free upmarket restaurant also charge you for water plus commission on top! They refuse to offer tap water. Food there is tiny. 3 raviolis for a main meal or a teaspoon size mashed potato as the only veg with a thin piece of meat. Soup size is about 4 tablespoons.
No films, documentaries, dramas, tv programmes for English viewers in the cabins. Only payable ones. They only had news channels and CBeebies in English. Cinema is chargeable. Bowling is chargeable.
Free show every evening but Cirque du Soleil in another theatre is payable.
Buying a wifi package doesn’t even give you access to your emails. You have to upgrade even more to get that.
Excursions are much more expensive with MSC. Much much cheaper if you get a taxi or Hop On Hop Off buses. There is always a Tourist Information desk right next to the ship at every port giving you a free map and directions and ways to get about much cheaper than the ship’s. The ship always gives you the impression that their methods are the only ones, such as their own ‘payable’ shuttle bus to city centre a mile away – not true.
Money is taken from your account towards UNICEF without your consent during the cruise. Was told this is apparently “in the small print”.
The brainteaser quiz session had 90% of questions regarding MSC i.e. “What benefits are there if you book your next cruise now with us”. I think the word ‘benefits’ should be swapped with ‘hidden charges’. And the words of their show one evening was “We work with Love” - or rather “we work with del boys”.
Felt like being hauled through a washing machine with the huge push to make you unwittingly spend more and I will never go with MSC again. Sadly, this mindset of hidden charges/hard sell/fees/commission is rife with all cruise companies and is getting worse. Stay away!