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Just scored an upgrade to Yacht Club on the Meraviglia - any tips on taking full advantage?


By douglanglois , January 14, 2020 in MSC Cruises

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Any tips on getting the maximum benefit from the amenities of MSC Yacht Club? The wife and I are generally pretty low maintenance, so left to our devices there's a good chance we'd never even think to ask and end up missing out. I'm not sure we even get the full service from a regular cruise porter, never mind a butler!

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How did you get that upgrade....what did you do....

4 minutes ago, Preziosa said: How did you get that upgrade....what did you do....

Well you know, I'm kind of a big deal... Kidding. After much discussion of the relative merits, we put in an offer via the plusgrade program.


MSC staff and butlers do a great job.  The first day upon boarding the maitre de or host/ess will track you down and try to get an idea of when you want to eat even though there are no set times in YC.  You'll meet your butler at some point, he may ask if you want beds separate or together.

In the lounge, just sit down and someone will readily take your drink order.  Up by he pool, they aren't as quick to do so, so we just walk up to the bar and order.

Guessing you'll also have access to the spa for free.  You'll have a wristband that does everything except let you on/off the boat as far as charging for things or unlocking your door.  The butlers also usually escort you to places like the nightly shows if you desire.  They'll also escort you off and in some cases back on the ship.  If you are at GC, there is a separate line to get on the tenders.

Concierge in main area to help with reservations.


Eat, drink an be merry.

Enjoy the perks that are specific to YC, such as the Top Sail Lounge, One Pool, access to the thermal area of the spa.  Preferred and escorted exits on port days are swell.  We are also relatively low maintenance, so shoe shine, laundry, and a caffé latte in the morning are pretty much it for us.


Congratulations to you! Enjoy. Our first MSC cruise (and YC experience) starts in two days. 

3,000+ Club

22 minutes ago, Zephyr173 said: Eat, drink an be merry.   Enjoy the perks that are specific to YC, such as the Top Sail Lounge, One Pool, access to the thermal area of the spa.  Preferred and escorted exits on port days are swell.  We are also relatively low maintenance, so shoe shine, laundry, and a caffé latte in the morning are pretty much it for us.

Have never asked a MSC butler to shine my shoes.

I have done so prior to the first gala evening on each YC cruise.  Just remember it's preferable (as a courtesy to the butler) to give your shoes the day before.


3 hours ago, douglanglois said: Any tips on getting the maximum benefit from the amenities of MSC Yacht Club?

I haven't sailed YC before, but if I did I can only imagine the things I would request just to see how far they would go to accommodate me. You're welcome to take this list and call it your own...good luck!

- Have the butler iron your shorts each day while you're at breakfast.

- Tell GS you have an aversion of 'crushed' ice and you'll need one of those block cubes in the glass for each drink order.

- Have the butler iron your socks and fold them in to a tight triangle each day while you're at the YC pool.

- Let the YC Matre D know you prefer your vegetables to be arranged on your plate in the form of a smiley face.

- Let the butler know it would really make your day if he could share one or two 'Dad jokes' whenever you run in to him.

Of course as the trip progresses you'll come up with dozens more ideas like this that'll take your trip from good to GREAT!

4 minutes ago, Ray_Ray said: I haven't sailed YC before, but if I did I can only imagine the things I would request just to see how far they would go to accommodate me. You're welcome to take this list and call it your own...good luck!   - Have the butler iron your shorts each day while you're at breakfast. - Tell GS you have an aversion of 'crushed' ice and you'll need one of those block cubes in the glass for each drink order. - Have the butler iron your socks and fold them in to a tight triangle each day while you're at the YC pool. - Let the YC Matre D know you prefer your vegetables to be arranged on your plate in the form of a smiley face. - Let the butler know it would really make your day if he could share one or two 'Dad jokes' whenever you run in to him.   Of course as the trip progresses you'll come up with dozens more ideas like this that'll take your trip from good to GREAT!   Enjoy.      

hahaha they will had you a laundry slip and charge the account



5 hours ago, douglanglois said: Any tips on getting the maximum benefit from the amenities of MSC Yacht Club? The wife and I are generally pretty low maintenance, so left to our devices there's a good chance we'd never even think to ask and end up missing out. I'm not sure we even get the full service from a regular cruise porter, never mind a butler!

Congratulations on a scoring an upgrade. Was this complimentary or did you bid?

IMO, the best part of YC is that there is zero crowding in top sail lounge and the pool. No need to secure a chair. We didn't find service exceptional in YC, but we seem to be in the minority. We didn't ask our butler for anything really as I'm just not that type. For us, the ONLY time being in YC had a great benefit was debarkation. We got into Miami several hours late and it took until 2 p.m. to debark the whole ship. We had a flight out at noon and our butler escorted us to the front of the line. That was worth a bunch!

Oh, you can over ride the elevator with your YC card.  Some people like doing that. Personally, I think it's in extremely poor taste and would never ever attempt this. Ever. Seriously, who can't wait for an elevator to stop at a few extra floors?  But again, I seem to be in the minority as many YC guests liked to use this feature. 

We like to do the elevator access just to see how often it works. Read reports of Divinia being spotty and it was.  Seaside seems to work better though, but not 100%.

12 hours ago, BermudaBound2014 said: ....Oh, you can over ride the elevator with your YC card.  Some people like doing that. Personally, I think it's in extremely poor taste and would never ever attempt this. Ever. Seriously, who can't wait for an elevator to stop at a few extra floors?  But again, I seem to be in the minority as many YC guests liked to use this feature. 

Well said, agree entirely so we are in that minority also....have never used it on our 3 YC cruises, and would only do so in an 'emergency' situation e.g. DW requiring a quick expedite to cabin for urgent wc use!


Let the YC restaurant staff sing "For he's a jolly good fellow" for you with every meal conducted by your butler. Yes, every meal includes breakfast also, certainly. 

14 hours ago, BermudaBound2014 said:   Congratulations on a scoring an upgrade. Was this complimentary or did you bid?   IMO, the best part of YC is that there is zero crowding in top sail lounge and the pool. No need to secure a chair. We didn't find service exceptional in YC, but we seem to be in the minority. We didn't ask our butler for anything really as I'm just not that type. For us, the ONLY time being in YC had a great benefit was debarkation. We got into Miami several hours late and it took until 2 p.m. to debark the whole ship. We had a flight out at noon and our butler escorted us to the front of the line. That was worth a bunch!   Oh, you can over ride the elevator with your YC card.  Some people like doing that. Personally, I think it's in extremely poor taste and would never ever attempt this. Ever. Seriously, who can't wait for an elevator to stop at a few extra floors?  But again, I seem to be in the minority as many YC guests liked to use this feature. 

We bid for the upgrade.  I was having the same thought about the elevator override. We were on the Seaside in the summer, and when it was busy, it was quite annoying seeing the elevator zip past with the YC-override symbol showing. I think most of us have come to terms with the fact that money buys privilege, but this particular upgrade feels like something taken away from regular passengers, rather than just an extra bought by YC passengers. Felt a bit 'in your face'. To make matters worse, I was told there were a bunch of teenagers in yacht club that had decided tying up the elevators was great sport.


We are traveling with another couple, but they have not received the upgrade email (yet).  They have a guaranteed cabin and has not been assigned a cabin yet for our April cruise.  When do you assign the cabin?

We are debating on whether to upgrade because our friends will not be in the YC.


3 hours ago, lifeasme123 said: We are traveling with another couple, but they have not received the upgrade email (yet).  They have a guaranteed cabin and has not been assigned a cabin yet for our April cruise.  When do you assign the cabin?

When booking a cabin category as guarantee MSC now shows the following:

Your stateroom will be assigned approximately 4 days prior the date of sailing. Kindly note that in case of a guarantee stateroom booked for 4 or more passengers, you may be assigned 2 separate staterooms instead of a quadruple stateroom (with no price difference). In this case, the staterooms will be on the same Deck and same ship side, as close as possible to each other but without a connecting door.

With the ships using the new bidding system I think they are less likely to assign guarantee cabins before the last minute.

Bossa Nova

On 1/14/2020 at 12:34 PM, douglanglois said: Any tips on getting the maximum benefit from the amenities of MSC Yacht Club?

Please understand that I grew up with irrationally frugal parents where we combined soap scraps to create new bars and spent cross-country vacations in campgrounds, with KOA as the exception because it was "too fancy". Suze Orman could best explain what happened when I became independent of my parents. So from that perspective, the two things that are most intoxicatingly delightful for me about MSC Yacht Club are: (1) anything that is slightly "askew" or would require waiting in line is taken care of, such as the time that my luggage was confiscated because my awesomely over-engineered nail clipper designed by orthopedic surgeons was mis-identified as a forbidden tool in X-ray inspection by ship security (photo below with butler taking care of the situation in the background), and (2) no lines! (See South Park: Season 5, Episode 6, Cartmanland.)


May I ask a question as I was recently upgraded also via bid.  My edocs still say "Bella" on booking info page, on embarkation sheet, and luggage tags.  Is this case with you? Original experience still on docs?

 Futher back it has a page that lists all the plusgrade amenities. 

Trying to get Q answered, CS with Meraviglia gave another number to call, cant reach that.

Thanks if anyone can answer this one.  

I am going to answer my own question, and hopefully it helps someone else.  I called the second customer support number, which they asked me not to post because it is for travel agents (I am NOT a TA!)   I think they gave me the number to get me off the phone.

Here is the answer--they cannot remove the "experience " of the original reservation.  However, at embarkation the agent will have  "hidden" notes on the reservation that show the YC upgrade and amenities thereof.    Whew!

She did give me an email address to share with CC members--turnaround is generally 2 days.  Perhaps it is on this board somewhere but I have not found it.

[email protected]

1 hour ago, brandy3415 said: May I ask a question as I was recently upgraded also via bid.  My edocs still say "Bella" on booking info page, on embarkation sheet, and luggage tags.  Is this case with you? Original experience still on docs?  Futher back it has a page that lists all the plusgrade amenities.    Trying to get Q answered, CS with Meraviglia gave another number to call, cant reach that. Thanks if anyone can answer this one.  

When I view my reservation online, and on pages 3&5 of our E-ticket packet, our experience is listed as yacht club. Did you try clicking "Request E-Tickets" on the website again after you got the upgrade notification?

Funny.  When I request e tickets it gives me my old cabin number!  The ones I have on for me page 4-your cruise booking information, while 'experience' is Bella the category is "YC1 -Yacht Club Deluxe Suite".   These came by email minutes after the bid was accepted.   Page 6 -purchased services says only "Plusgrade".  Page 7, has full description of YC amenities, also under 'purchased services.  

And as I stated above, the very nice travel agent support agent said that it was not possible for them to remove the experience part.  Maybe because I was Bella?????She did not say.   I am now going to cease worrying that I will be turned away from Top Sail or the restaurant!!!

Thanks for your input!


I'll suggest a few small things:

  • If you know what you think you'll want in your mini-fridge, ask for it when you meet him/her. That way when you come back in the evening it'll be all ready for you from then on.
  • Go to afternoon tea in topsail lounge
  • Ask for a cheese plate to be made up and delivered to your room. 
  • Ask for coffee/tea to be delivered each morning.
  • Specifically on the Meraviglia, ask for a curry --- you have to ask the day before - the chef is from India and makes excellent curry, but needs to plan it so it doesn't negatively impact the ability to make/serve the rest of the planned meals. 
  • If you find something you really like one day, and nothing on the menu the next day appeals to you, see if they can make the meal you really liked. For example, if you like cheese risotto, and but they have a risotto that doesn't appeal to you, you can ask if they can make the cheese risotto.
  • If you have already booked the Cirque shows, tell the concierge ASAP and you'll be switched to the YC seating area.

Personally, my butler was only so-so, so don't go in expecting super service.  I would have complained, but I heard that any complaints mean automatic firing, and while it wasn't top notch service, it wasn't worth having the person fired for.

BTW - the reason your ticket says Bella is because outside of YC, you only get the level of experience you paid for originally. You will NOT get drinks, etc. at outside bars unless you paid for a drink package. You will get access to the thermal spa, and access to the special seating areas for the theater and Cirque - and the topsail lounge and restaurant you can eat and drink at - you just can't get a drink outside the YC without paying for it.

9 hours ago, Lookn4Sun said: I'll suggest a few small things: If you know what you think you'll want in your mini-fridge, ask for it when you meet him/her. That way when you come back in the evening it'll be all ready for you from then on. Go to afternoon tea in topsail lounge Ask for a cheese plate to be made up and delivered to your room.  Ask for coffee/tea to be delivered each morning. Specifically on the Meraviglia, ask for a curry --- you have to ask the day before - the chef is from India and makes excellent curry, but needs to plan it so it doesn't negatively impact the ability to make/serve the rest of the planned meals.  If you find something you really like one day, and nothing on the menu the next day appeals to you, see if they can make the meal you really liked. For example, if you like cheese risotto, and but they have a risotto that doesn't appeal to you, you can ask if they can make the cheese risotto. If you have already booked the Cirque shows, tell the concierge ASAP and you'll be switched to the YC seating area. Personally, my butler was only so-so, so don't go in expecting super service.  I would have complained, but I heard that any complaints mean automatic firing, and while it wasn't top notch service, it wasn't worth having the person fired for.  

Having been in the Mera YC twice, and another booked, this is the best and most balanced suggestions and comments I read on this thread.....All of it is sound, and those things (with suggested timelines) would never come across as demanding. The one thing that disappointed us was the afternoon tea, we thought it was average at best....but go and experience it as YMMV.

9 hours ago, hamrag said:   Having been in the Mera YC twice, and another booked, this is the best and most balanced suggestions and comments I read on this thread.....All of it is sound, and those things (with suggested timelines) would never come across as demanding. The one thing that disappointed us was the afternoon tea, we thought it was average at best....but go and experience it as YMMV.

I'm flattered.

I was trying to think about how to describe the YC experience and the butler - whom, BTW, is shared among, I think 8 cabins on the Meraviglia.

One way to think of it as that the YC and the butler are there to help your trip be as stress free as possible. YC members get less stress when boarding, don't have to deal with the crowded buffet or dining room or pool deck or bar; delicious food is easy to get (with quality between the MDR and the specialty restaurants), you only have to worry about high end drinks, they help you get off at ports, they make sure your room is as you want it, they will escort you to shows and help make sure you have a good view (or in the main theater at least a seat!),  you get access to the places to relax and unwind in the thermal spa, etc..  If you are on a longer cruise, they will start to remember you and your preferences - if you order a Pina Colada Zero every day around 5 as your pre-dinner drink, by the third time they will more than likely see you and suggest it if not start making it. You tend to know the servers and others in the dining room.

While some people want to "test the limits" or push to see what they can ask for, I'd suggest you think what will make your cruise as relaxing, stress free, and comfortable as possible (within reason) . Want to have coffee each morning without having to order it? Done. Want to have large print version of a newspaper? Done. Want to order a pizza because you slept through lunch and don't want to deal with the pool deck or buffet? Done [as long as the pizzeria is open, which was noon to midnight on the cruise I was on]. Want to arrange (and pay) for a private tour during one of the stops? Done. Don't like the pillow you have? Need another blanket? Done.  Want to surprise your SO with towel animals on a particular night? Ask and it's done. Never want to leave your room and just want to enjoy your suite because you just want to totally decompress/write your novel/whatever? Order every meal and/or pizza from room service --- note, however, that they will not deliver food from the dining room unless you are sick, so that might become old very fast! Want to relax right away? They can help you unpack. Want to spend as much time as possible enjoying the last day/night? They can help you pack. 

A bit off from the original question, but I hope that helps the OP and others when thinking about how to utilize YC and the butler.

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The MSC Meraviglia Yacht Club Experience Review

Doug Parker

Doug Parker

  • February 3, 2024

A year-round cruise ship from MSC Cruises floats gracefully in front of a lighthouse in Ocean Cay.

Contents Show

Doug talks with Mark and Rocky of TheCruiseLife this week about their nine-night cruise aboard MSC Meraviglia.

They dive into their bougie MSC Meraviglia Yacht Club experience, from exclusive embarkation to dedicated amenities like a butler, private lounge, dining room, and sun deck. They discuss the superior dining options, including specialty dishes and a unique cheese trolley, and the benefits of their status-matching loyalty program status.

One of MSC Cruises’ larger vessels , Mark and Rocky also touch on the onboard entertainment, the ship’s atmosphere, and ports of call, including a visit to MSC’s private island, Ocean Cay.

Find Rock and Mark’s coverage of MSC Meraviglia :

  • ThisCruiseLife YouTube channel features their cruises across all lines.
  • The MSC Meraviglia playlist has several videos from their sailing.
  • Read the MSC Yacht Club experiences on ThisCruiseLife website .

MSC Meraviglia Review Transcript

MSC Cruise Ships by Age

Doug (00:01:01) – Mark and Rocky had just returned from a nine-night cruise aboard MSC Maravilla. It was out of New York City, in the Bahamas, Florida area, and staying in the yacht club. They join us on the line right now. Hey, guys, how are you?

Guest (00:01:16) – Good, Doug.

Doug (00:01:17) – I’m excited to talk about this because we haven’t had an MSC Yacht Club experience in a long time. We’ve had the ones that were like three-nighters and were fast, but I’m excited to hear what it’s like spending extended time beyond seven nights in that yacht club. So what we’ll do here before we get started, we’ll get some pre-cruise thoughts. You’re in the Phoenix area. What made you want to take this nine-niner out of New York City.

Guest (00:01:40) – Honestly, it was just the idea of getting to check out a new cruise line. We’ve been looking at MSC for a long time, and the idea that sailing out of New York in the heart of January, when it is very cold outside, uh, the pricing was very lucrative to get ourselves onto that ship, as well as to fly across the country to New York.

Guest (00:02:01) – So all the stars aligned and just made it worthwhile for us.

Doug (00:02:04) – Now, there were some, uh, a little bit of weather going through the country about the time when you all boarded. It might have missed you by a day or two. Did that impact your flights going into Manhattan?

Guest (00:02:14) – It did not impact the flights at all. It did impact sail away a bit. Um, as you can imagine, uh, the storms, uh, it was pretty rocky on the seas. Uh, it was really cool because it was the first time ever.

So we’ve been to Alaska several times, but it was the first time ever we’ve actually seen snow on a cruise ship. And so to see the crew, it was the first time many had seen snow on a cruise ship. And they were out running out, uh, TikTok ING and taking selfies. It was a really special experience, uh, being able to see that snowstorm.

Doug (00:02:48) – That is so cool.

Doug (00:02:49) – So did you any pre cruise time in the city before boarding in Brooklyn?

Guest (00:02:57) – You know, we always suggest that the best way to do it is to fly a day ahead of time. Uh, this time we flew in two days in advance to take some time and explore Brooklyn, because that’s where the cruise terminal is for MSC. And then we also took the subway into Manhattan and just kind of hung around Times Square, went to a couple of bars, a couple of restaurants, and, uh, just kind of got ourselves situated in New York before we set sail. We met up with we met up with one of, uh, the solo’s that I met on board, uh, Norwegian Cruise Line. So I did a Norwegian cruise line earlier in 2023. Uh, we met a bunch of solos in our solo cabins, and we actually met up with them to hang out, and they showed us New York, which was a ton of fun.

Guest (00:03:36) – You see.

Doug (00:03:36) – You never know what connections you’ll make on a ship, right? Right.

Guest (00:03:39) – Exactly.

Doug (00:03:40) – Yeah. It’s it’s so awesome. So you make your way to Brooklyn the following day and you go to embark MSC Maravilla. How was that embarkation process? And, did you get any kind of special treatment embarking since you were in the Yacht Club?

Guest (00:03:54) – Goodness gracious. It was an embark like none that I’ve ever experienced. We’ve all been through embark. We know the lines, we know the queues. We know all of the seating areas. Um, the moment that we got there, immediately there was signage for yacht club. And so the, the, the porter, the luggage porter whisked us over and tagged our bags with yacht club tags and pointed us to his colleague standing at the door with a yacht club sign. They literally escorted us through the terminal to our own dedicated security line for yacht club. Um, they didn’t have a they didn’t have us waiting in the general queue.

Guest (00:04:28) – And so we went through that security queue, uh, very quickly. And another, yet another Yacht Club representative whisked us to our private lounge, where they did one on one check ins with us, um, and then handed us glasses of champagne and canapés and sparkling water. Um, and it was a private area, very quiet, very secluded from the rest of the terminal. And we enjoyed mimosas and, uh, sparkling water, uh, that as we waited to board the ship.

Doug (00:04:57) – How long did it take you from curb to ship, then?

Guest (00:05:00) – It took us about an hour and a half. So unfortunately the the sailing before ours was the New Year’s cruise. And so they had a lot of passengers to disembark from that ship. So they were slightly delayed on clearing the ship down to zero counts for us to start the embark process. So yeah, about an hour and a half from when we arrived. Fortunately, the lounge was great. We had butlers in there waiting on us, so it was a really pleasant experience getting to stand around and wait until the ship was ready.

Guest (00:05:28) – Literally. Butlers, butlers, refilling our champagne glasses, walking around with bottles of champagne, saying, oh, would you like a refill on your champagne? Well, okay. Yes, we would love that.

Doug (00:05:38) – It’s like being stuck in an airport and being able to be in an airline lounge instead of in the regular common area, right? Just kind of, uh. Yeah, yeah, living it up in there. So you make your way on board the ship. You’re mentioning this was your first time on the ship. So what were your first impressions of MSC Meraviglia?

Guest (00:05:54) – So it’s kind of funny you ask that we didn’t actually get to see the whole ship for the first four hours that we were on board when they when the yacht club boards, we get priority boarding service. So they bring us into the main atrium, and that’s about the most of the ship we get to see. From there, we walk down a corridor of rooms to the very forward of the ship, where they have elevators that they can badge in, giving you priority access to the elevator.

Guest (00:06:21) – They loaded us into these elevators and took us up to the 16th deck where the topsail lounges, which is the exclusive lounge space for the top or the yacht club. Uh, and they put us in there with, again, more champagne and more canapés and live music that was being performed for us. So we spent most of the first four hours on board in that topsail lounge. Well, they took us from the Topsail Lounge. Then they opened up the Topsail Restaurant, the exclusive restaurant for yacht clubbers. And so we literally went from canapés and champagne up to the lunch in the Topsail restaurant.

Normally we run around taking pictures and exploring the ship. We literally were just kind of in the lap of luxury those first several hours onboard. Oh, we met our butler as well during that time. And so we didn’t actually leave the yacht club as Rocky mentioned, until about four hours after boarding.

Doug (00:07:12) – So a lot to unpack here. So I want to actually take a step back.

Doug (00:07:15) – And I want to ask, um, we were chatting before we started recording here, and you mentioned you had an upgrade offer. So how much of a premium, um, once you accept that upgrade, is it for the yacht club against just staying in a regular balcony cabin?

Guest (00:07:29) – So that’s exactly what we had booked. We booked a balcony cabin and received an offer to bid on an upgrade. Now, because we had already booked that balcony and paid for a balcony, the upgrade amount was not wildly expensive. I think it was. We we could have started the upgrade process offer at $300 per person. Wow. And Rocky was like, okay, should we just start there? And I was like, how often will we get to stay in the yacht club? We are maxing that bit out. And so I think we each maxed our bid out at about $600. So for another $1,200 or so plus tax and all of that stuff, um, we could move from the balcony we had into.

Guest (00:08:09) – We actually dug and bid for an interior yacht club cabin because we were like, okay, we’re just gonna make sure we get into this thing. Well, they were they must have been sold out because our dreams were answered. We got the upgrade and they put us into a deluxe suite.

Doug (00:08:24) – I love it. Let’s discuss that deluxe suite in the yacht club and give us all the details.

Guest (00:08:30) – As you walk in, the first thing that meets your eye is the size of this cabin. I would say that this cabin is the same depth as your standard balcony cabin that you find on any cruise ship. However, the width is probably equivalent to one and a half to anywhere up to two times the width of a standard balcony cabin. Huge space, um, between the foot of the bed and the credenza and wall units that they had where all of the minibar was located. There was probably a good 4 to 5ft of space between those two areas. Um, inside the bathroom, it was upgraded amenities.

Guest (00:09:05) – You had marble tile throughout, a very large, spacious walk in shower with a rainfall head, uh, or the rain shower head. Um, the balcony was the same width as the room, so it was a pretty sizable balcony. They only put two chairs and one side table out there, but you could have easily had another two. Uh, very large and spacious room.

Doug (00:09:29) – So the question is, how do you use the butler on your cruise? Well.

Guest (00:09:33) – You know, because we often have butlers on our cruises. Uh, I kid, um, it was the first experience. And so literally the butler introduced himself. We were in the room. He he knocked and came in and he said, what questions do you have for me? And we said, well, we don’t even know what questions to ask. And so he’s like, well, let’s start with your pillow selections. Are your pillows up to your liking? And Rocky joked, he’s like, well, we’ll sleep on him tonight and let you know.

Guest (00:09:59) – Um, but but the. Butler took care of our minibar, so he asked us specifically for our preferences in terms of sodas, juices and beers.

He asked for our liquor selection because the yacht club comes with a bottle, comes with bottle service, a single bottle. And so we, uh, we shared our, uh, bottle selection with him, and then he just let us know that he would be the person that would escort us to dinners if we wanted. He would escort us to the theater for shows.

He would arrange our bookings if we wanted to go to any specialty restaurant. And so it was, you know, Rocky and I asked as we were getting ready, we’re like, is this just going to be an upgraded room steward, like a room steward that wears a suit? Um, and no, it was it was significantly more than just a room steward. In fact, we had a junior butler as well and, and a third person who helped service the room.

Guest (00:10:50) – So there were three people servicing the room. But that Butler experience was really unique and new to us. Yes, I love it.

Doug (00:10:58) – So you were on there for nine nights. Was there enough space in your room to put everything?

Guest (00:11:01) – Yeah, there was um, I think one of the challenges that we discovered when we were unpacking our room was the closet space was a little bit smaller than what we’re used to on some of the other balcony rooms that we’ve had in the past. Um, the way it’s set up, you walk in and the, the closet space is your entrance to the bathroom.

And so it’s kind of a strange layout. We discovered that there were some challenges with that. However, there was a three-drawer storage space in the main room area that was part of the main. I don’t know what you call it. Credenza. Yeah. And so that actually made up for some of that lost space. And fortunately, these beds were designed to hold luggage under or suitcases under them.

Guest (00:11:41) – It was easy to unpack our room and get moved in for those nine days. Oh, and don’t forget both of the nightstands next to the bed. So there were additional storage tables next to the bed as well. And so there was plenty of storage. But to Rocky’s point that the closet seemed to be a little bit smaller than than other rooms.

Doug (00:11:59) – ThYacht Club is like Norwegian’s Haven, a ship within a ship concept. So outside of your room, what amenities did you have within your ship?

Guest (00:12:07) – I’m telling you, they design it so you don’t have to leave the yacht club. They tell you when you’re going through the booking process. They say it’s exclusive and it’s private. And that is very true. And so the entrance to the yacht club on each of the floors are glass doors. Truly. They look out into the elevator bank. I think MSC has designed it so that people can see in and you can see out, but you have to badge in and out to get in.

Guest (00:12:33) – And so the spaces are beautiful. They’ve got those crystal staircases. What are those crystals? The Swarovski, Swarovski, uh, staircases, the spiral staircases. So we would leave our room and take the staircase up to the next deck. Uh, the 16th deck, which is where the concierge was at the Topsail lounge. Topsail lounge was windows all at the front of the ship.

The view of of New York, we commented that was probably the best view of New York we’ve ever had in that topsail lounge. Oh yeah, the canopy. Like, there’s just so much to unpack in that, um, the full bar.

And then again, you take up another spiral staircase and you are there at the exclusive restaurant, and then one more spiral staircase up, and you are at deck 19, which is your dedicated, uh, lounging space, pool, and hot tub. There’s a daily buffet that they put up there for, for just yacht club guests, along with a bar.

Doug (00:13:23) – Let’s talk about some of the food on MSC Maravilla.

Doug (00:13:26) – Once you get out of your haven complex and go to the buffet with the common folk, how was the buffet and the food throughout the nine days?

Guest (00:13:34) – So we didn’t discover the buffet area until that first night. It was the second day that we discovered it. Yeah. Uh, now that I think back on the experience, um, we like to refer to those areas as Jen and Pop. And, uh, as we walked in to the buffet, we were we kind of felt like we were in someone else’s place. We didn’t feel like we knew that our way around, because we had spent so much time on the ship before we found the buffet. But once we did find it, I’ll tell you, Doug, we spent a good amount of time there, especially for late-night buffets. Uh, this was the first time that we’d really seen a cruise line dedicate a late-night buffet to its passengers consistently. Every night from midnight until 2 a.m..

Guest (00:14:14) – They served food. And we’re not just talking about just, you know, a quick little grab here and there. They have their pizzas available. They have little small sandwiches that you could grab. They had burgers and hot dogs. They sometimes had nachos. Sometimes, they would do a breakfast with some scrambled eggs and bacon every night. I think I got scrambled eggs and bacon every single night of the cruise.

They had the healthy corner like they had salads. And so it wasn’t even just that fried stuff that you sometimes find on the late night buffet. They had salads in a healthy corner. I mean, it was the largest. So we’ve seen late night buffets right on Carnival. We’ve seen it on, uh, we’ve seen it on the other lines. This was the I mean, it was the size of a regular buffet at from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m.. It brought me back to old days of cruising.

Doug (00:14:57) – Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sounds like it. So for your main. You were mentioning.

Doug (00:15:01) – You had your dining room in the topsail area. So how was the dining in the yacht club, and was there much of a selection like, do they rotate the menus? How does that play out?

Guest (00:15:12) – Very much a dedicated menu for the, uh, those that were in the yacht club. Um, the options that they, they had on the menu, there was some mirroring that happened to the main dining rooms on the ship, but they were elevated to a different level with the offerings and the types of food. Uh, there was a selection of classics that were served every night.

For example, you could get your classic filet mignon, or a salmon would be available. And I think they also had a lobster on that classics menu. On the classics menu, you had lobster and filet mignon. I mean, this is this is next level here. Right. And then uh, for the regular offerings every day they had a rotation of several different items. Usually there was a daily result of that was available.

Guest (00:15:53) – There was also a different daily lamb that was on the menu. Uh, so definitely a higher caliber of food offerings on the menu. And the way that they were prepared and plated were very beautiful. Uh, you had, of course, your main waiter and then you had your, your waiters’ assistants and they would all work in harmony together to deliver your breads, appetizers, entrees, and desserts.

Speaking of desserts, don’t forget that the maitre d would flambé the dessert. So we had cherries jubilee one night where he flambé and served that, um, they, they did the cheese trolley where they would literally, they literally had a cheese trolley where you could choose the cheeses and, and jams and jellies that you wanted as part of your dessert option. It was it was definitely. Where do you find a risotto on a cruise on the difficulty to actually prepare that correctly for the masses. Um, you can’t do that. But you can in a private small restaurant that’s dedicated to a subset of your passengers.

Doug (00:16:53) – And how were the lines up there?

Guest (00:16:57) – We don’t know what you mean by lines.

Doug (00:17:00) – Fair enough.

Guest (00:17:02) – Yeah, because there was such a small capacity within the yacht club itself on the ship. Right. And because you only have those people that have access to it, our dining times for dinner was available from 6 p.m. until 830.

That was when you could get seated, and it was open to your time. Whenever you wanted to go in, you would show up. There was one knife that I can think of, and I believe it was the second gala night. We had to wait maybe three minutes, maybe get seated. Yeah. Um, overall, the amount of seating that they have both in the lounge and the restaurant are ample for the number of people that are in there, and they know that they’re going to turn over tables throughout the evening from guests that are doing early versus later dining.

Doug (00:17:42) – Did you enjoy any specialty dining on board this one?

Guest (00:17:45) – So this sailing specifically, we chose to stick to the yacht club so that we could capture each of the menus and actually record some reviews each dinner. We actually are right now looking at booking, uh, another MSC cruise, we committed to ourselves that we would do a yacht club and we would do non-Yacht Club. And so that is where that’s sailing, where we plan to actually explore some of those additional, um, upstairs upcharge specialty restaurants. But for this sailing we literally stuck to the Yacht Club restaurant. That exclusive restaurant.

Doug (00:18:16) – I meant to ask you, before you sailed, did you do the status match with them?

Guest (00:18:20) – Yeah, both of us actually ended up doing status match. Um, with Mark having diamond status with Carnival and I have platinum status, we were both able to match into their gold status or gold level with the Voyagers club.

Doug (00:18:33) – So you stepped right into gold. So do you know, like what that gets you compared to just being a first-time MSC cruiser?

Guest (00:18:39) – Great question.

Guest (00:18:40) – Because, uh, MSC is not known for their loyalty program having the strongest perks, but what it did get us is it it got us a welcome back reception where they had cocktails, which when you’re in the yacht club, it doesn’t really have a huge impact. Uh, because we had champagne up and up in our private lounge.

We also got a little gift. It was a little backpack or drawstring backpack that we got. There’s also when you’re part of the when you’re part of the loyalty program, you get a discount on sailings with MSC, and on future sailings with MSC. And so I think it’s a 5% discount that you get as, as a member of that level. And so there are some perks.

They don’t actually do priority. Like many lines have priority boarding and don’t do that until you hit their very top level, which is diamond. And that’s the only group with priority boarding and demarcation. So that’s our goal. My goal is to hit Diamond on Carnival and MSC.

Guest (00:19:36) – We’ll see how long it takes.

Doug (00:19:37) – Double diamond. There you go.

Guest (00:19:39) – I like it I like.

Doug (00:19:40) – That. How about around the ship like you mentioned Carnival. So we’ll stick with that. Uh, they have the guys burger joint, which is complimentary dining. Does MSC have anything like that around the ship? Kind of a grab and go type place. Yeah.

Guest (00:19:52) – So, uh, it was kind of surprised. And that was one of the conversations that we had at Post Cruise is the fact that there really aren’t those. Types of grab and go quick serve restaurants on board. You do have the buffet, which is very well divided. They have their ethnic corner and they have their pastas, and they have a pizza spot and some burgers, but it’s really only confined to that area as well as the main dining restaurant restaurants. Aside from that, everything is upcharge. They have a Mexican place that’s an upcharge. They have, uh, I can’t remember all of them. There’s a there’s a couple other ones.

Guest (00:20:27) – One thing that I would call out that was unique, that I’ve never seen before on any of our sailings, is they had a kid’s buffet, a dedicated buffet for the kids so that they didn’t have to be in the main area of the buffet. And then the only other kind of separate areas that they had were out on the lido deck.

They had that kind of they had like side buffets. It was the same buffet food on the inside of the buffet, but it was just right outside on Lido, so you didn’t have to go in. But there was no you know, I think about even Celebrity Apex had the burger and fries station and Carnival and all of their side restaurants that they have that are included. None of that. It is focused on the buffet and their and their main dining room for the included options.

Doug (00:21:10) – Let’s discuss the entertainment on board Maravilla. I know that MSC gave up the Cirque partnership located at the back of the ship. What’s going on back there now?

Guest (00:21:22) – So I will say that we were pleasantly surprised with the show performances that were put on in the main Broadway theater, which is their main theater in the forward of the ship. We actually attended one of the Meet the cast type of, uh, presentations, if you will, and we had a really great interaction with them.

We found out that all of the shows in that forward lounge were designed specifically for that cast and this ship. So in all, we were very impressed and enjoyed all of the shows we saw in that forward lounge. Now, going to your question about Cirque du Soleil partnership, you can see that there still is some residual, um, design with the shows that they have in that back lounge that does still exist, they still do aerial acts, and we very much enjoyed those performances. But one thing to be aware of is MSC still continues to consider that an upcharge and add-on type of experience.

Guest (00:22:20) – So if you buy it on the ship, it’s $18 a person to get into one of those shows. The nice thing is they sweeten the deal because they throw a drink at you that you can enjoy during the show, but it’s definitely a bit different of an experience than what we’ve seen on most of the other cruise lines.

Doug (00:22:37) – Gotcha. And did you guys, uh, like, what kind of show was you mentioned? It was like an acrobatics thing, but it was just an MSC-branded show.

Guest (00:22:47) – Yeah. So they put on a magic show. Houdini is the name of the show. And so there’s a lot of singing, dancing, acrobats flying through the air, and a little juggling and jumping out into the audience. And so definitely had, I would say Cirque vibes, but just not with the branding. But to Rocky’s point, they’re still charging that upcharge for the Cirque like show.

Doug (00:23:10) – Gotcha. Okay. Historically, MSC Cruise Entertainment is more visual and less like comedians because of the international audience. Is it like this on MSC Meraviglia?

Guest (00:23:22) – Actually, no. I feel like there was a lot, a lot of the presentations that we saw were done primarily in English, surprisingly. Okay. Uh, the one thing that caught us off guard was the overhead announcements.

Anytime the captain would make his announcements, it would always be done by the captain. Again in Italian. Uh, during the safety briefings when we were on the embark day, they were doing announcements in both English and Mandarin. For safety reasons, there were so many Mandarin-speaking passengers on board. But overall, most of the shows were done and performed in English leading up to the show’s start.

They would do a couple of announcements in Mandarin and Italian and English and German. So they did do several pre-calls for those shows. But overall the actual shows themselves were primarily in English, if there was any speaking at all. Yeah, it turns out it turns out those songs are universal. You know, the journey is universal across all languages.

Doug (00:24:19) – Let’s talk about the sea days. As far as crowds and congestion, I know that you were up there in the yacht club for probably most of it, but as you made your way further south, you mentioned the snow on the sail out, but that it eventually warm up once you got around the Carolinas or Florida.

Guest (00:24:36) – Warmed up is relative. Uh, it was warmer than than the snow, but we there weren’t a lot of folks spending time out on deck or making use of of the water slides. Um, it was still pretty chilly until, honestly, the nicest day we had was in Nassau. And so it took us, uh, five days into the cruise before the weather was, was to a point where you would want to actually be out on deck or layout, you know, you could be out. I mean, we were like, jackets and jeans, uh, throughout the sailing. Uh, but but it wasn’t it didn’t get really warm until we got down into the Bahamas.

Doug (00:25:07) – As far as the crowds and congestion around the ship, was there any of that since everyone was inside?

Guest (00:25:16) – Really? Honestly, the only crowds we experienced were in the Meraviglia Galleria Meraviglia, which is a domed area. If you deck six and deck seven, it’s a two-story area. They’ve got a beautiful dome, similar to the Fremont Experience in Las Vegas, where they’ve got that led that runs almost the entirety of the ship. That’s where they would do many of their dance parties and events, because it was too cold up on deck to do it.

We didn’t feel that space was designed to host those parties. And so it’s a throughput for traffic on the ship. And so you’ve got people trying to make their way throughout the ship and people dancing and singing. And that was really the only time we felt like we were crowded, or that we were kind of annoyed a little bit by the traffic flow of the ship. Otherwise I would I would tell you, we didn’t feel crowds, even the buffet, the buffets, were sometimes a little bit busy, but but not to the point where we’ve seen it wear on other lines.

Guest (00:26:12) – What did you think of that promenade area with the ceiling that lights up?

Guest (00:26:15) – Beautiful. Uh, we were stunned by the design and how gorgeous that space was, and they really maximize the usage of those LED screens throughout the sailing, including on Embark day, when they’re showing you where all of the different muster stations are located. But overall, that space was beautiful.

It was definitely wide enough to walk through it when there wasn’t an event happening, you could easily take yourself up onto the next deck up and look down from the mezzanine and really enjoy the sights and the and sounds and even the smells coming from the chocolate factory. As you were sailing along, so it was very enjoyable.

Speaking of speaking of those multi-use screens, remember, even on the welcome back party, they played the Welcome Back video that that that MSC sizzle reel. They played the video thing. Welcome back. I appreciate your loyalty. They played that up on those screens. And so literally everyone at the Welcome Back party headed to the sky watching them talk about what a great experience MSC is.

Doug (00:27:11) – The casino. How was that as far as the smoking situation in and around it?

Guest (00:27:17) – They had a smoke-free casino. It appears that it was an afterthought based on our conversations with the other passengers on board. The smoke-free casino was nice. However, they didn’t have any gaming tables for the smoke-free gamblers.

Now, the exciting thing was the placement of the Cirque theater. You have to walk through the smoking casino to get to the theater, which was kind of a strange setup, but the way the casino was set up. They put the main bar in the center of it. So you’re not diving into the main casino itself. Overall, the casino seemed like a pretty ample size, comparable to what we’re familiar with on some of Carnival’s Vista ships .

Doug (00:27:59) – Okay. Very cool. So, let’s talk about the ports of call you hit on this nine-night cruise. And what we’ll do here is hit the first one, give us a highlight, then we’ll go to the next one and so on.

Guest (00:28:10) – The first cruise port we visited was the exotic location, Port Canaveral in Florida. We had something else arranged. We have some really good friends that we’ve also met through going on cruises who live in the Orlando area, they ended up picking us up, and we had a fun day at SeaWorld for the day. So, it’s definitely a little bit different. We didn’t book anything through MSC because we’ve been to Port Canaveral before, so we wanted to check it out through the locals.

Doug (00:29:01) – So what was after Port Canaveral?

Guest (00:29:04) – Next was Miami and the day was unexpected. Icon of the Seas was scheduled to arrive in Miami the day before.

However, due to the weather, they kept her out for an extra day. And so we literally got to see icon of the seas sail. And we did a live, uh, we did a YouTube live where we streamed her sailing into Port Miami for the first time. We watched her turn around in the basin, return, and dock at the Royal Caribbean Terminal. There.

We got off the ship, and we hiked our excursion that day. We hiked about a mile up to the Royal Caribbean Terminal, climbed up to the very top of the parking garage, Royal Caribbean parking garage, and we just took pictures and filmed a bunch of stuff up there because it was like such a wow moment for for a couple of cruise nerds.

Doug (00:29:53) – Yeah. No, definitely. So after Nassau, you headed over to the Bahamas. Uh, what was the first Bahamas port?

Guest (00:29:59) – We first stopped at MSC’s Private Island, MSC’s Ocean Cay Marine Reserve. It’s a beautiful private island destination.

You can tell that MSC put a lot of thought and consideration when they were designing this port. It’s huge. It is massive, huge. And it’s nice because the ship can dock directly onto the port there, instead of you having to do a water shuttle taxi service to get in.

It is a very large and sprawling island, with tons of places for people to go out and lounge and layout, grab food, and have a nice relaxing day. Now. Now they don’t have, you know, big water parks and they don’t have hot air balloons that go up in the air like some, you know, private islands do. But but I mean, it had everything that you could want.

Guest (00:30:48) – It had many different beaches. Uh, to Rocky Point food trucks, uh, included food trucks throughout the island, as well as some upcharge food trucks where you could get, you know, seafood, you could get your lobster rolls and some of that fresh seafood.

Doug (00:31:00) – You were in the yacht club, right? So I know they have that yacht club area on the other side of the island, like on the other side from where the ship docks. How was that space, or I guess, did you utilize that space? And would you think of it if you did?

Guest (00:31:12) – Yeah, we actually, uh, as soon as we got off of the ship via escort from our butler. It’s just fun to say that. I’m sorry. Uh, we were escorted over to the yacht club’s meeting point, where they picked us up by golf cart and drove us to that exclusive area. It just made it a little bit easier to get there so we can maximize our time. Uh, the area is referred to as the Ocean House.

And so that’s actually where they serve lunch. And it’s a lovely, large colonial-style building. Uh, the lunch there included amazing bites from a lobster roll to crab ceviche. The ceviche was so good. The beach was delicious. Uh, they also had your standard fare of burgers on the menu, and then a couple of salads and other options.

Overall, it was a great area. As you approached it, there was signage, so you knew it was reserved for the yacht club guests. Uh, there was a private beach. And that’s the one downside that I would say about the exclusive area is the Yacht Club’s Ocean House. The beach is probably the least nice of the beaches that are found on the island.

It’s a little bit rough. Uh, there’s some larger sand bits, if you want to call them that. Uh, so getting in the water makes it a bit tough. And due to the weather that we encountered, we really didn’t even touch the water because we touched the water.

We just didn’t get into the water. It’s it’s rocky, says sand. But I would say sharp rock. So the folks that had been there before had water shoes and were in the water. That was a that’s a great tip. If you’re going to Ocean Cay and in the yacht club, make sure to bring water shoes because. It will make your day better.

Doug: .That’s a good tip. There are a lot of beaches around the island so you get to explore most of them?

We did. We met people on the cruise, as we always do on cruises. And so we went out and we got to explore a little bit with them. In hindsight, I wish we had done the exploration first because it started to pour. Uh, it started to downpour and it was a cold downpour in the Bahamas. And so we we didn’t get to explore as much as we’d like, but we got to see several of the lagoons.

Guest (00:33:15) – We got to see the lighthouse. We got to enjoy one of the food trucks. We did eat at one of the food trucks just so we could say we, you know, ate with our friends. Um, Rocky. Rocky always says we ate with the common people. Um, and so we enjoyed the food on the mainland. And then there’s shops, there’s shops, there’s you can buy ice cream cones and various things on land as well. Before we headed back to the ship. And, and unfortunately, that was the only we were this point spoiled us, Doug. Um, we were looking for our butler escort back onto the ship, but but there was not one on to the ship. And so we had to wait in the rain with the rest of the ship that had all run back to get onto the ship as well.

Doug (00:33:55) – Oh, no. Horrible. Did you get to stay at night to see the lighthouse lit up? Yeah.

Guest (00:34:01) – Back on board wasn’t scheduled until 8:00 that evening. Uh, most of the passengers had embarked on the ship by about 330 or 4 due to the weather, but we stayed docked there, and we were wondering about that lighthouse show because we’d heard about it. And so we went to the concierge, who gave us a great recommendation on where to go to view it, so we could also hear the music playing through the show.

Uh, and so we had the opportunity to watch it and it was impressive. We enjoyed it. And hopefully, we’ll be able to return to Ocean Cay again in the future, where we won’t encounter poor weather. We can be on the beach and see the light show from the ground.

And because of the concierge tip, we know the crew smoking area on MSC Meraviglia. And so it was a great tip and we got to hang out with crew as they watched the light show.

Doug (00:34:54) – He probably know this, but if you’re ever feeling energetic or you want to work out, you can climb that lighthouse. It’s like $15 or 20 maybe, but you got some great views up there and there’s quite a few steps, so, uh, yeah, pack your energy. Yeah.

Guest (00:35:06) – No. And that’s another reason why we want to go back. You know, I don’t think, uh, the weather was really in our favor to be able to do that type of an excursion, but definitely in the books for us to do it again.

Doug (00:35:16) – So your final port of call was Nassau. How was your day there?

Guest (00:35:19) – Nassau was great. Uh, as Mark had mentioned, it was the best weather that we saw on the entire cruise, and we were a little bummed that it was our final port day, but we made the most of it. We were docked in Nassau with four other ships. So a standard busy Nassau day. Uh, nothing unusual there.

Guest (00:35:36) – Uh, we have a tradition whenever we’re in Nassau, where we go visit a rum distillery in a little bit deeper into town. And so we decided to do that at this time. We took the trek and walked around and checked out the updates that they made to the port of Nassau, because that was our first time there since they did all the construction since they finished the construction.

Yeah, we’ve been several times during. Yeah. And then from there we walked up to the distillery and enjoyed a little tasting up there before returning to the port and getting on the ship. It was a pretty quiet day, but we’re looking forward to the opportunity to get to lay out on deck on the cruise ship before sail away took place.

Doug (00:36:12) – Yeah, perfect day for it. So you leave Nassau for a couple of days and you head back to Brooklyn. How were your sea days going up?

Guest (00:36:19) – The weather, I will say, was more cooperative on the way back, but. So it wasn’t as bumpy and rocky, but there were times when you would sleep at night and roll on or you would.

Guest (00:36:31) – You knew you were on a ship. You know, when Rocky and I first boarded, one of the things we commented as we were sitting in, I think it was the topsail restaurant. After spending time in the lounge, we said, we don’t feel like we’re on a cruise ship, but you just felt like you were almost at an all-inclusive resort.

We knew we were on a cruise ship on the sea days out and on the sea days back. The weather was left, the ocean a bit rocky. We had some. You saw some gale-force winds. There were some swells, but they had the magnetic, uh, bags out, the thick bags out in the elevator banks. They had those out for, for all of the passengers. We did talk to several folks who said they might not sail again in January, but but we liked it. But I know the sign us up.

Doug (00:37:18) – So it’s time to get off the ship in Brooklyn.

Doug (00:37:20) – Was the process as smooth and bougie as that embark?

Guest (00:37:25) – I love that you say the bougie because it continued through. Uh, we always go for a very relaxed, dark morning. We try to stay on the ship as long as possible.

We book later flights knowing that there’s always the possibility that a ship could be delayed returning to port. Uh, and fortunately for us, the ship did arrive on time, however. We didn’t end up disembarking from the ship until much later.

We we decided to go down and have breakfast down in the main restaurant, the topsail restaurant, in the yacht club area. And once we were done eating there, we went down to the lounge and enjoyed a quick beverage and a couple of little canapés. You know, just trying to get our last bits in and chatted with the bartenders.

The bartenders were tremendously friendly the entire sailing, and we just hung out with them and enjoyed some coffee and drinks. Yep. And then once we were ready to get off of the ship, we went to the concierge and actually, we ended up seeing our butler at the concierge desk, and he offered to help us get off the ship.

Guest (00:38:26) – And so he took Marc’s two suitcases that he was carrying from his hands and wheeled them to the elevator, took us down to the lower deck, and wheeled us over to where they take you off the ship. Or they scan your card to say you are officially disembarked from the ship. So we continued that experience as long as we could.

And the cool thing about the luggage program, if you decide to put your luggage out the night before the cruise ends, all of the yacht club luggage gets delivered to one specific spot, so you’re not rushing to get off.

You’re not rushing to go find where your luggage was placed. When it’s in that terminal building, it’s very easy to locate and get to pick up your suitcases and you’re on your way. Once again, those yacht club signs. Right this way. Um, a dedicated area, even for your luggage.

Doug (00:39:16) – Awesome. Very cool. Does Brooklyn have facial recognition for the dark?

Guest (00:39:21) – Yes they did. We were very excited when we saw that we’re getting off the ship.

Doug (00:39:25) – Yeah. It sure makes a difference. Looking back here as first-time MSC cruisers and in the yacht Club, do you have any first-time tips to offer anyone sailing MSC or sailing out of Manhattan?

Guest (00:39:39) – Uh, goodness gracious. If you get that upgrade offer and it’s within your means, you bid that upgrade offer up. Suppose you can get into the yacht club from a balcony. That would be my biggest tip because not only does it include all of those amenities that we’ve talked about. They grant you into the premium drinks package as well.

So the premium drinks package on this sailing would have been 790 a person, a person. We paid less for the entire yacht club experience, including those premium drinks. It included Wi-Fi on each of our devices, and it included all of those exclusive amenities that we’ve talked about.

And so that would be my number one tip is if you get that offer to upgrade to the yacht club, really look at what it would cost you to have that experience and just individually and take that for serious take.

Guest (00:40:29) – Be serious about that. And if you can get that upgrade and it’s in your means, do it. Yeah, absolutely. And then I would also say the other thing is that this cruise ship departs out of the Brooklyn terminal.

So instead of paying the 60 plus dollars that it would cost to get an Uber or a lift, you could take the subway, and the train system, all of which will be super easy to get over there. And there’s a water taxi or ferry. Ferry, I guess it is, uh, that takes you from Wall Street.

If you were to go into Manhattan and stay the night out there, you can quickly get onto the ferry from Wall Street over to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. Easy. And it’s quite cost-effective.

Doug (00:41:09) – Yeah, that’s one thing I’ve heard over the years is that a lot of people who are doing cruises out of either Brooklyn or Manhattan, they kind of get taken by surprise how much it actually cost to get from the airport to the cruise port.

Doug (00:41:20) – But a little extra research can save you quite a few bucks, and it’s not that bad. I think it’s.

Guest (00:41:25) – Scarier being in New York traffic. Quite honestly. When we the Uber, we took an Uber from the hotel to the cruise terminal. I think that was scarier than the subway was, you know, the night before when we had flown in. And so, yes, I think it’s great.

Doug (00:41:41) – Well, looking back, what was your biggest highlight of this cruise?

Guest (00:41:56) – I would say the biggest highlight was probably being in the yacht club. What a treat it was for us to be able to experience that. Um, it was so exciting walking into the Topsail Lounge in that exclusive yacht Club area, no matter how many times a day we walked in there, we always discovered new canopies that were waiting for us to try.

Guest (00:42:17) – The bartenders and servers in the topsail lounge were all very friendly. They started to get to know us, what drinks we enjoyed the most, and they would start making recommendations based on the spirits we were drinking to make our journey that much more enjoyable. I think for me, um, one of the best bites of food I’ve had on a cruise ship was, uh, in the Eden restaurant onboard Celebrity Apex.

And I would say fast forward. That was a couple of years back now for Thanksgiving. But fast forward to this. To have that daily rotating risotto to me was a surprise and delight that menu in Topsail restaurant. You just don’t see food like that on a cruise ship. And it was fantastic.

And it was included in that experience. It wasn’t we weren’t, you know, dropping 150 for the meal. It was included in that yacht club experience. That, to me was a surprise and delight.

Guest (00:43:10) – I did not expect how good and high-quality that food would be.

Doug (00:43:22) – Well, uh, in closing here, your final thoughts of MSC Maravilla.

Guest (00:43:27) – the MSC Meraviglia is a gorgeous ship. MSC did a great job in designing and developing this class of ship. The size of it was great. We did have a lower capacity on the ship during our sailing, but we still managed to have a great time. We met a lot of great friends.

We found places to call our own that maybe we’re not in the yacht club specifically. Still, we discovered the Sky lounge as a great place to meet people and to be able to enjoy the company of others that were not a part of the yacht club, and really just kind of put ourselves with the rest of the population that was sailing. Very good. The Champagne Bar was another one of my favorites. That the Edge bar.

Guest (00:44:09) – The champagne bar, you know, that looked out over the water as the ship was sailing. That was great. Those champagne cocktails were excellent. And that’s the beauty, right? When you have. We would flash our yacht club bracelets and I will tell you, I joke. I’ve made this joke now lines would disappear and people would just randomly appear.

Servers would appear, you flash that yacht club bracelet and it didn’t matter what bar we were at, if we were at the horizon bar, after the champagne bar, or at the Sky lounge, they just showed up and took such great care of us. You can tell that even the rest of the ship is trained to pay attention to yacht club guests, because it was just such a fantastic experience.

I’m excited to go back on MSC Meraviglia in in the in the standard amenities in the non-yacht club amenities to be able to experience it truly and compare and contrast to be able to talk about what does that value look like and how it feels to sit down in the main dining room each night for dinner versus in your dedicated restaurant? And so I am excited to get back on the ship.

Guest (00:45:10) – We’ve looked we’ve booked on the inaugural on MSC World America, World America. And so it was it was a great experience and great sailing. And so MSC gets a lot of bad rap out there. There’s a lot of negativity about people who love or hate it. And I will tell you from our experience where we’re looking at booking two more already. So it was it was in it was in a really good category for us.

Doug (00:46:34) – Awesome. We’ll link to it also in the show notes at Cruise Radio dot net. Mark Rocky, thank you all so much.

Guest (00:46:40) – Thank you so much, Doug.

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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 pic.twitter.com/ZNDRZcfKKH — 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.

For more cruise guides, news and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .

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.

msc meraviglia yacht club tips

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.

msc meraviglia yacht club tips

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.

msc meraviglia yacht club tips

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.

msc meraviglia yacht club tips

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.

msc meraviglia yacht club tips

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.)

msc meraviglia yacht club tips

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.

msc meraviglia yacht club tips

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.)

msc meraviglia yacht club tips

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?

msc meraviglia yacht club tips

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).

msc meraviglia yacht club tips

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.

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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

Popular: 39 Useful Things to Pack (17 You Wouldn't Think Of)

Read next: park & cruise hotels for every port in america, popular: 107 best cruise tips, secrets, tricks, and freebies, 11 comments.

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

So sad..to 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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Guide to the MSC Meraviglia Cruise Ship and Things to Do

Posted on Published: 10/05/2023  - Last updated: 10/17/2023

While Boston isn’t necessarily thought of as a cruise ship destination, it is a popular port of call in the summer and fall months. Last week, Boston welcomed the largest ship to visit the Flynn Boston Cruiseport this year – the MSC Meraviglia. The ship, which originated in Brooklyn, visited Boston on the way to Canada as part of a New England/Canada itinerary.

While I didn’t sail on the MSC Meraviglia, I did have the opportunity to visit the ship for the day at the Flynn Cruiseport to see all of the activities on board. I also enjoyed lunch at the Butchers Cut Steak restaurant on board.

Disclosure: My day and lunch on the MSC Meraviglia were at no cost. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links and a purchase/click through this post may result in a commission paid to us at no additional cost to you.

Find prices on your next MSC sailing here .

Galleria Meraviglia promenade with LED domed ceiling showing stained glass

About the MSC Meraviglia Cruise Ship

MSC cruise line, which is headquartered in Switzerland, is the third-largest cruise brand in the world and has been growing in North America. The MSC Meraviglia, which was first introduced in 2017, has a passenger capacity of 5,700 guests across 19 passenger decks.

She’s 1,036 feet long and 213 feet tall (one of the largest cruise ships) and has a current home port in New York City (Brooklyn Cruise Terminal). The MSC Meraviglia is the first of the Meraviglia class ships.

When I talk to people about large cruise ships, they are often concerned about getting lost. I felt comfortable in the Meraviglia right away, however, and already had a good sense of direction after a few hours on board. Maps and deck plans by the elevators can help aid in directions as you try to find different destinations on the ship.

The centerpiece of the ship is the Galleria Meraviglia, a 315-foot atrium/indoor promenade with an LED domed ceiling. I loved the open atmosphere of this area, where you’ll find many of the shops and restaurants on board.

Bowling alley on board the MSC Meraviglia

Activities on the MSC Meraviglia

As someone who was very new to the MSC brand, and who is very focused on family travel, I wasn’t sure what type of kid-friendly activities to expect about the ship. I was very impressed by the amount and quality of family entertainment on board, however. There’s a lot for a family to enjoy in between port stops.

Water Park: The Meraviglia actually offers a water park at sea, right on the top deck. This water park has three twisty slides and is a great place to hang out during days at sea between port stops.

Ropes Course: Located along the water park is the Himalayan Bridge ropes course, the centerpiece of which is a bridge walk. Be sure to pack the appropriate footwear if you plan to take advantage of the ropes course.

Bamboo pool with retractable roof closed

Swimming Pools: The pool deck is always one of the most popular destinations during a family cruise. MSC offers several pools, including an indoor pool with a retractable roof – the Bamboo Pool (perfect for cooler weather itineraries). There’s also an adult-only pool.

MSC Aurea Spa: In recent years, I’ve been finding myself spending more and more time in spas on board ships. So, while I was on board the ship, I made sure to take a quick tour of the Aurea spa, including the thermal suite.

This area includes saunas, steam rooms, a Himalayan salt room, hot tubs, and much more. You can also choose to book a spa treatment. An additional fee applies for the spa.

Entrance to Doremiland kids' club with life-size LEGO friends sculpture

Kids’ Club : My kids always enjoyed spending time in cruise ship kids’ clubs, so I was eager to see the offerings on the MSC Meraviglia. There are five different kids’ clubs for different ages/stages, from 0-17 years old. MSC has a partnership with LEGO, and that can easily be seen as soon as you enter the Doremiland Kids’ Club area.

Sportsplex and Gym: You don’t have to worry about skipping your workouts when you are on board the MSC Meraviglia. In addition to a TechnoGym with loads of fitness equipment, there’s also a Sportsplex area. In this indoor area, you can play basketball, pickleball, volleyball, and more, away from the elements.

Entertainment Area: One of the most impressive areas on the ship for families, in my opinion, is the small entertainment area overlooking the Sportsplex. Here, you’ll find a 4D theater, an F1 racing simulator, a flight simulator, and a bowling alley. I think this area of the ship will be especially appealing to teens.

Theaters: Want to see a show while onboard? There are two different entertainment venues. The Carousel, which requires an additional fee, offers two dynamic shows – Rock Circus and House of Houdini. There’s also the Broadway Theater, which offers six different shows during every sailing.

Casino : There’s a large casino on board, as well as a separate area with just slot machines.

Entrance to Brass Anchor with bicycle outside

Restaurants on the MSC Meraviglia

With 20 bars and 12 restaurants, you’ll never go hungry or thirsty. Here are some of the venues (including bars and specialty restaurants) you’ll find on board:

Butchers Cut: This high-end steakhouse is a splurge, but it’s absolutely delicious. I enjoyed a burrata and beet appetizer and a small filet mignon entree. Another highlight is the bacon cheese bread.

Kaito Teppanyaki: Enjoy Japanese food cooked right in front of you in this Teppanyaki restaurant located on the ship.

Kaito Sushi Bar: Sushi is one of my favorite foods, so I’m always happy to see a sushi restaurant on board a ship. Kaito Sushi Bar is located adjacent to Kaito Teppanyaki.

L’Olivio d’Oro and L’Olive Doree – two separate sides of a restaurant that is included as two of the main dining rooms. They are open for dinner.

Waves Restaurant: Another included restaurant is Waves Restaurant. It offers all three meals.

Panorama Restaurant: A restaurant offered exclusively to guests booked in the Aurea Class.

Mozzarella station machine at the buffet

Marketplace Buffet: This is your typical cruise ship buffet, but it also offers pizza as well as freshly made mozzarella.

Ocean Cay: If you want to have some seafood while you are onboard, you’ll want to make a reservation at this specialty restaurant.

Hola! Tacos and Cantina: This is a newer concept for MSC and is extremely popular.

There’s also the Jean Philippe Chocolat and Cafe, (by French chocolatier Jean Philippe Maury), Jean Philippe Crepes and Gelato, the Carousel Lounge, Edge cocktail bar, the Champagne Bar, the Brass Anchor Pub, the Meravilglia Bar and Lounge, the TV Studio and Bar, the Attic Club nightclub, Atmosphere North and South bars, the Bamboo Bar, the Sports Bar, the Sky Lounge, the Horizon Bar, the Top Sail Lounge (exclusive to MSC Yacht Club sailors), and the Polar Bar.

Shops on the MSC Meraviglia

While you are on board the ship, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do some shopping. Like all cruise shops, these stores are not open when the cruise ship is in port.

Shops include an MSC merchandise shop, a duty-free shop, a jewelry shop, an accessory shop, and a clothing shop.

Ropes course in water park area with pool

Yacht Club on the MSC Meraviglia

Guests booking a cruise on the MSC Meraviglia (and every MSC ship) have the option to book the MSC Yacht Club. This premium experience does cost more but offers a “ship within a ship” experience.

Benefits of the Yacht Club include:

  • A premium stateroom in this exclusive section of the ship
  • Access to the Top Sail Lounge
  • Priority elevator access
  • Priority embarkation and disembarkation
  • Access to the Thermal Spa
  • Exclusive access to the private pool deck just for Yacht Club guests
  • An exclusive Yacht Club restaurant
  • A premium beverage package
  • 24-hour room service

MSC Meraviglia Itineraries

Ready to set sail on the Meraviglia? There are some great itineraries offered on the ship, including some that stop at MSC’s private island, Ocean Cay. These include (not a complete list):

  • The Bahamas and Florida: 7-night sailings stopping at Port Canaveral, Nassau, and Ocean Cay, 8-night sailings stopping in Miami , Nassau, and Ocean Cay, 9-night sailings shopping in Port Canaveral, Miami, Nassau, and Ocean Cay, 16-night sailings going to Port Canaveral, Miami, Nassau, and Ocean Cay, and 10-night sailings stopping in Puerto Plata , San Juan, USVI, and St. Maarten.
  • Bermuda: 5 and 6-night sailings going to Bermuda, 12-night sailings going to Bermuda , Port Canaveral, Ocean Cay, and Nassau, and 14-night sailings going to Bermuda, Miami, Ocean Cay, and Nassau
  • Caribbean and Bahamas: 11 and 20-night sailings stopping in Port Canaveral , Miami, Ocean Cay, Cozumel, and Costa Maya
  • Canada and New England: 10-night sailings stopping in Newport, RI, Boston, MA, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown, and St. John, and 11-night sailings stopping in Newport, RI, Boston, MA, Portland, ME, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown, and St. John

LED domed ceiling showing stained glass design, bowling alleys, entrance to kids' club with large LEGO figures

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David Perlman

Friday 6th of October 2023

Nicely written, informative article. My best friend from high school and his wife are onboard for the Oct 4th, 2023 sailing and this article lets me know more than he will! Thanks.

msc meraviglia yacht club tips

7 Things I Learned On An MSC Cruise Ship

When I have a client who has never cruised before I always start with MSC. But since they are the “new” ship on the block, inevitably my clients ask “Is an MSC cruise good?” I went on a 3-night voyage on the MSC Meraviglia to the Bahamas. I then went on a 7-night cruise from Brooklyn on the same ship. Here are the 7 things I learned while I was on my MSC cruise ship.

Organization Is Not A Strong Point

Unfortunately, the organization of MSC is very subpar. I think that they need to revamp their embarkation process. They had a lot of issues with getting guests onto the ship. One of their issues was their method of managing all mandatory requirements before sailing. It requires passengers to bring their travel documentation with them.

I even saw entire families waiting in the holding area because they were being denied entry! That’s why I encourage all of my clients to get travel insurance either through the company or better yet with my personal choice Safety Wing !

Inevitably, there were many passengers who didn’t, and that immediately created lines. Luckily we arrived a couple of hours earlier so we didn’t have to wait too long. Unfortunately, others were not so lucky. Our ship was supposed to leave Port Canaveral, Florida at 4 p.m., and there were still lines at 6 p.m.

There needs to be a different more streamlined process because it created a bit of chaos and a little bit of disorganization. Another one of their disorganization issues revolves around the mandatory evacuation drills. Most cruises that I’ve been on have a seamless process, MSC not so much. Disney Cruise Lines shines in this department .

During the chaos of embarkation, they made several shipwide announcements to all passengers to voluntarily report to the muster station. A good portion of the travelers on the ship had never heard of this drill before!

Travel Tip: Muster Station Safety Drill

MSC’s muster drill was a series of announcements over the ship’s system demanding that “all passengers report to their muster station.” If you didn’t know what that was, you were not reporting. Even if you did know where it was, you didn’t know where to find it! This only added to the chaos that was embarkation. This is absolutely NOT one of the things that make MSC cruises good.

Cleanliness, Beauty, and Dining Are Where They Shine

The MSC Meraviglia is beautiful. There really isn’t any other way to describe it. It looks like it’s brand new, and has never been used. It smelled new, it was shiny and it literally sparkled. And by literally, I mean that the stairs literally sparkled! Seriously, they are made of Swarovski crystals and are absolutely breathtaking.

The rooms were very clean too. Honestly, it oozed “modern.” We stayed in a standard balcony stateroom and it was slightly larger than other cruise lines we’ve sailed. The bathroom was spotless, and for me, that is a big win. As with all cruise staterooms, the bathroom was on the smaller side, but it was overlooked because of how clean it was.

Travel Tip: Make sure you bring an adapter if you want to blow dry or straighten your hair in the bathroom. Since it is a European ship, they only had Euro power outlets in the bathroom. These are the ones I recommend .

The Food! Things I Learned On An MSC Cruise Ship–EAT ALL THE FOOD!

By day two we were loving every bit of food we ate. I don’t remember having one piece of food that I did not like. The quality is fresh and the variety is acceptable in the buffet area. I particularly liked the breakfast options. The variety of pastries alone made me wish I was back.

Their main dining hall was at the back of the ship and offered spectacular views. We ate there for what we affectionately called “dinner” at the earliest time 6 p.m. and found that the menu did not change, at all. That made our ventures into the specialty restaurants which we called “supper” that much more eventful.

We ended up eating at several of their specialty restaurants, and they are worth every penny of added expense. The options were:

  • Hola! Tacos & Cantina
  • Butcher’s Cut
  • Kaito Teppanyaki and Sushi
  • Main Dining Buffet

One of the negatives was the bars/lounges. Most of them were closed for our cruise. We were told that it was because of a staffing issue. I think that they need to improve this in order to improve their US-based customers.

Travel Tip: Try a drink when you are on a cruise that is different than anything you’ve ever had! If you like it, at least you’ve found a new drink! If you don’t, at least you tried!

They Are Very Family Friendly

Some cruise lines excel at family-friendly activities. MSC is one of them. First, moms of littles, you will be happy to learn that MSC offers a fun playroom for children under 3! Most places don’t offer that service!

They also have plenty of amenities that cater to older kids. There is a basketball court that converts to a teen nightclub at night, an ice cream bar, a virtual reality arcade, LEGO rooms, computer labs, and more!

What sets them apart, however, is that they have activities for families that like to think outside the box. I call these families “learning families” because they try to have moments with their kids while on vacation. MSC offers that with multiple “teaching with experiences” activities.

They aren’t just fun and games, they offer cooking classes, language classes, and immersive cultural tours while on location.

But when it comes to fun and games, they offer enough varieties to keep the kiddos entertained.

I Like How They Are Growing Their U.S. Fleet

MSC will have 2 new ships in 2022, the MSC Seascape and World Europa. They will then have 5 ships sailing in the USA throughout the year. Each of these ships has that unique new “flair” that MSC ships seem to offer. The word that comes to mind is sophisticated.

They are building a new port in Miami which will be the furthest and last built in a state-of-the-art cruise terminal that will open in late 2023. The key takeaway I got was that MSC is a higher-end cruise line. Their amenities and services are not for those who are looking for budget or party cruises.

In April of 2023, they will start sailing from New York City, which is such a benefit to my fellow northeast peeps! MSC Seascape will make its home there. MSC also announced that they will be launching World Europa, their largest ship in the fleet, and her sister ship MSC Americana.

I’d be cautious about booking cruises on those first cruises out of either new port. I’m sure it is not going to be organized. You’ll definitely want to avoid booking after they’ve been returning from a foreign country as the entire crew has to be inspected and the crew has to participate in Coast Guard drills, etc. That means lines, and waiting and we already know they aren’t good at that.

The Yacht Club Upgrade is Essential

MSC’s Yacht Club is an exclusive white glove service upgrade. They market it as a ship within a ship. It’s geared towards the more open-minded explorers w/higher education or more experience with travel. Yacht Club members are the travelers who when they arrive at a destination experience it. They go to museums, visit locals and eat at dive restaurants.

The Yacht Club amenities are worth taking a look at. Not only do you have access to your own wing of the ship in larger staterooms, but you also are treated like royalty!

On the ship, the Yacht Club experience is designed to give you 360 sea views at all times. In their private area on board, Yacht Club members receive:

  • Private white-glove butler service
  • Espresso machine (in-room)
  • Pillow menu
  • 20-hour private concierge
  • Premium open bar
  • Private area for shows
  • Priority boarding and disembarkation (which allows them to avoid the lines)
  • A dedicated private beach area at Ocean Kay (private island)
  • Yacht Club Only restaurant with Michelin star chefs
  • Private pool and whirlpools
  • So much more!

In my opinion, it represents the future of cruising. On some of the newer ships, the Yacht Club is going to feel like you are in a 5-star resort in the middle of the ocean.

The Private Island is…Spectacular

There really isn’t much more to say than that. It’s the Bahamas, so you can already assume that the island was going to be nice. But MSC made it a mission to repurpose this island into the beautiful paradise it was.

The private island has a wedding venue and a pavilion. I would definitely be adding it to the list of best places for your destination wedding or honeymoon . Bimini Beach is on the list and I try to visit it as much as I can!

I highly recommend choosing a cruise that spends the night on the island so that you can witness the lighthouse light show!

Their Customer Service Leaves A Lot To Be Desired

It seems like a lot of the staff was not knowledgeable about certain things. It was almost as if they were new to the ship and didn’t know how to properly do their particular job. Throughout the entire trip, I heard guests complain about the customer service. One passenger stated that a staff’s response to a customer issue was “oh well.”

I didn’t personally have any issues, but whenever I had a question, I did find it a little unprofessional that the staff I asked usually couldn’t answer it. I spoke with a logistics coordinator for MSC in the shipping sector who was also on this cruise and she stated:

One of the issues people were having was with the credit card on file. Most cruise lines allow guests to use the credit card that they used to book their cruise for additional expenses. If you purchase anything you’ll just get a bill at the end of the cruise, and that’s it! Again, MSC does things differently.

They require clients to add a card either at check-in or at one of their kiosks for charges on board. This caused confusion, especially for travelers who are used to just having their card added for them automatically.

The credit card situation came back again when we were checking out of the ship. Passengers couldn’t disembark until they “settled their bill” prior to leaving. Most cruise lines do that for you. Very chaotic.

If you are sailing to the Caribbean, my answer is not quite yet. I think they need to get a year or two into the U.S. market before they are ready for the accolades of other companies. On the other hand, if you are cruising in Europe, I wouldn’t go with any other brand.

I do think that if you are a seasoned cruiser, you’ll definitely like the “up-scale” nature of MSC. If you would like to book your MSC cruise at some AMAZING rates! Click here to schedule a consultation with me!

The post 7 Things I Learned On An MSC Cruise Ship appeared first on Teach Travel Discover .

When I have a client who has never cruised before I always start with MSC. But since they are the “new” ship on the block, inevitably my clients ask “Is an MSC cruise good?” I went on a 3-night voyage on the MSC Meraviglia to the Bahamas. I then went on a 7-night cruise from...

Kings of Russia

The Comprehensive Guide to Moscow Nightlife

  • Posted on April 14, 2018 July 26, 2018
  • by Kings of Russia
  • 8 minute read

msc meraviglia yacht club tips

Moscow’s nightlife scene is thriving, and arguably one of the best the world has to offer – top-notch Russian women, coupled with a never-ending list of venues, Moscow has a little bit of something for everyone’s taste. Moscow nightlife is not for the faint of heart – and if you’re coming, you better be ready to go Friday and Saturday night into the early morning.

This comprehensive guide to Moscow nightlife will run you through the nuts and bolts of all you need to know about Moscow’s nightclubs and give you a solid blueprint to operate with during your time in Moscow.

What you need to know before hitting Moscow nightclubs

Prices in moscow nightlife.

Before you head out and start gaming all the sexy Moscow girls , we have to talk money first. Bring plenty because in Moscow you can never bring a big enough bankroll. Remember, you’re the man so making a fuzz of not paying a drink here or there will not go down well.

Luckily most Moscow clubs don’t do cover fees. Some electro clubs will charge 15-20$, depending on their lineup. There’s the odd club with a minimum spend of 20-30$, which you’ll drop on drinks easily. By and large, you can scope out the venues for free, which is a big plus.

Bottle service is a great deal in Moscow. At top-tier clubs, it starts at 1,000$. That’ll go a long way with premium vodka at 250$, especially if you have three or four guys chipping in. Not to mention that it’s a massive status boost for getting girls, especially at high-end clubs.

Without bottle service, you should estimate a budget of 100-150$ per night. That is if you drink a lot and hit the top clubs with the hottest girls. Scale down for less alcohol and more basic places.

Dress code & Face control

Door policy in Moscow is called “face control” and it’s always the guy behind the two gorillas that gives the green light if you’re in or out.

In Moscow nightlife there’s only one rule when it comes to dress codes:

You can never be underdressed.

People dress A LOT sharper than, say, in the US and that goes for both sexes. For high-end clubs, you definitely want to roll with a sharp blazer and a pocket square, not to mention dress shoes in tip-top condition. Those are the minimum requirements to level the playing field vis a vis with other sharply dressed guys that have a lot more money than you do. Unless you plan to hit explicit electro or underground clubs, which have their own dress code, you are always on the money with that style.

Getting in a Moscow club isn’t as hard as it seems: dress sharp, speak English at the door and look like you’re in the mood to spend all that money that you supposedly have (even if you don’t). That will open almost any door in Moscow’s nightlife for you.

Types of Moscow Nightclubs

In Moscow there are four types of clubs with the accompanying female clientele:

High-end clubs:

These are often crossovers between restaurants and clubs with lots of tables and very little space to dance. Heavy accent on bottle service most of the time but you can work the room from the bar as well. The hottest and most expensive girls in Moscow go there. Bring deep pockets and lots of self-confidence and you have a shot at swooping them.

Regular Mid-level clubs:

They probably resemble more what you’re used to in a nightclub: big dancefloors, stages and more space to roam around. Bottle service will make you stand out more but you can also do well without. You can find all types of girls but most will be in the 6-8 range. Your targets should always be the girls drinking and ideally in pairs. It’s impossible not to swoop if your game is at least half-decent.

Basic clubs/dive bars:

Usually spots with very cheap booze and lax face control. If you’re dressed too sharp and speak no Russian, you might attract the wrong type of attention so be vigilant. If you know the local scene you can swoop 6s and 7s almost at will. Usually students and girls from the suburbs.

Electro/underground clubs:

Home of the hipsters and creatives. Parties there don’t mean meeting girls and getting drunk but doing pills and spacing out to the music. Lots of attractive hipster girls if that is your niche. That is its own scene with a different dress code as well.

msc meraviglia yacht club tips

What time to go out in Moscow

Moscow nightlife starts late. Don’t show up at bars and preparty spots before 11pm because you’ll feel fairly alone. Peak time is between 1am and 3am. That is also the time of Moscow nightlife’s biggest nuisance: concerts by artists you won’t know and who only distract your girls from drinking and being gamed. From 4am to 6am the regular clubs are emptying out but plenty of people, women included, still hit up one of the many afterparty clubs. Those last till well past 10am.

As far as days go: Fridays and Saturdays are peak days. Thursday is an OK day, all other days are fairly weak and you have to know the right venues.

The Ultimate Moscow Nightclub List

Short disclaimer: I didn’t add basic and electro clubs since you’re coming for the girls, not for the music. This list will give you more options than you’ll be able to handle on a weekend.

Preparty – start here at 11PM

Classic restaurant club with lots of tables and a smallish bar and dancefloor. Come here between 11pm and 12am when the concert is over and they start with the actual party. Even early in the night tons of sexy women here, who lean slightly older (25 and up).

The second floor of the Ugolek restaurant is an extra bar with dim lights and house music tunes. Very small and cozy with a slight hipster vibe but generally draws plenty of attractive women too. A bit slower vibe than Valenok.

Very cool, spread-out venue that has a modern library theme. Not always full with people but when it is, it’s brimming with top-tier women. Slow vibe here and better for grabbing contacts and moving on.

msc meraviglia yacht club tips

High-end: err on the side of being too early rather than too late because of face control.

Secret Room

Probably the top venue at the moment in Moscow . Very small but wildly popular club, which is crammed with tables but always packed. They do parties on Thursdays and Sundays as well. This club has a hip-hop/high-end theme, meaning most girls are gold diggers, IG models, and tattooed hip hop chicks. Very unfavorable logistics because there is almost no room no move inside the club but the party vibe makes it worth it. Strict face control.

Close to Secret Room and with a much more favorable and spacious three-part layout. This place attracts very hot women but also lots of ball busters and fakes that will leave you blue-balled. Come early because after 4am it starts getting empty fast. Electronic music.

A slightly kitsch restaurant club that plays Russian pop and is full of gold diggers, semi-pros, and men from the Caucasus republics. Thursday is the strongest night but that dynamic might be changing since Secret Room opened its doors. You can swoop here but it will be a struggle.

msc meraviglia yacht club tips

Mid-level: your sweet spot in terms of ease and attractiveness of girls for an average budget.

Started going downwards in 2018 due to lax face control and this might get even worse with the World Cup. In terms of layout one of the best Moscow nightclubs because it’s very big and bottle service gives you a good edge here. Still attracts lots of cute girls with loose morals but plenty of provincial girls (and guys) as well. Swooping is fairly easy here.

I haven’t been at this place in over a year, ever since it started becoming ground zero for drunken teenagers. Similar clientele to Icon but less chic, younger and drunker. Decent mainstream music that attracts plenty of tourists. Girls are easy here as well.

Sort of a Coyote Ugly (the real one in Moscow sucks) with party music and lots of drunken people licking each others’ faces. Very entertaining with the right amount of alcohol and very easy to pull in there. Don’t think about staying sober in here, you’ll hate it.

Artel Bessonitsa/Shakti Terrace

Electronic music club that is sort of a high-end place with an underground clientele and located between the teenager clubs Icon and Gipsy. Very good music but a bit all over the place with their vibe and their branding. You can swoop almost any type of girl here from high-heeled beauty to coked-up hipsters, provided they’re not too sober.

msc meraviglia yacht club tips

Afterparty: if by 5AM  you haven’t pulled, it’s time to move here.

Best afterparty spot in terms of trying to get girls. Pretty much no one is sober in there and savage gorilla game goes a long way. Lots of very hot and slutty-looking girls but it can be hard to tell apart who is looking for dick and who is just on drugs but not interested. If by 9-10am you haven’t pulled, it is probably better to surrender.

The hipster alternative for afterparties, where even more drugs are in play. Plenty of attractive girls there but you have to know how to work this type of club. A nicer atmosphere and better music but if you’re desperate to pull, you’ll probably go to Miks.

Weekday jokers: if you’re on the hunt for some sexy Russian girls during the week, here are two tips to make your life easier.


Ladies night on Wednesdays means this place gets pretty packed with smashed teenagers and 6s and 7s. Don’t pull out the three-piece suit in here because it’s a “simpler” crowd. Definitely your best shot on Wednesdays.

If you haven’t pulled at Chesterfield, you can throw a Hail Mary and hit up Garage’s Black Music Wednesdays. Fills up really late but there are some cute Black Music groupies in here. Very small club. Thursday through Saturday they do afterparties and you have an excellent shot and swooping girls that are probably high.

Shishas Sferum

This is pretty much your only shot on Mondays and Tuesdays because they offer free or almost free drinks for women. A fairly low-class club where you should watch your drinks. As always the case in Moscow, there will be cute girls here on any day of the week but it’s nowhere near as good as on the weekend.

msc meraviglia yacht club tips

In a nutshell, that is all you need to know about where to meet Moscow girls in nightlife. There are tons of options, and it all depends on what best fits your style, based on the type of girls that you’re looking for.

Related Topics

  • moscow girls
  • moscow nightlife

msc meraviglia yacht club tips

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Restaurant-Yacht Chaika

Ratings and reviews, location and contact.

Pleasantly surprised, service is good so is the food. Great selection of Fusion food, a mixture of Italian, Japanese, European, Asian etc. A pleasantly nice dining experience, highly recommended, a must try!

Thank you for your feedback and invite you to have lunch or dinner again aboard the ship in an atmosphere of high standards of yacht hospitality.

everything was perfect - the food, the service, the desserts were the best, nice atmosphere and the location - magical

Best food, best view in Moscow. absolutely faultless from arrival to finish. Best risotto i had for many years absolutely perfectly cooked. The view on Ukrainian hotel and the white house by night is amazing

Had to wait for the food for 1.5 hours and then another 20 minutes for the check. Finally called for the manager and he offered... a 10% discount as a compensation. Simply pathetic! The food is mediocre at best. Not bad per se, but one... would expect something better considering the prices. There are many places to eat in area that are much better. Avoid this one at all costs. More

Hello, Alexander Your comment is extremely important for us, thank you a lot for it. We are terribly sorry for your time that you`ve spent waiting your order and we have already taken actions to improve quality of our service and it would be realy... More

Food is very expensive,very pretentious, doesn't worth that money. Portions are very small. We ordered ravioli and there were 4! Four raviolis! For almost 15 euros. Then we asked to bring us dessert menu but nothing, they didn't even bothered, so we payed and left... without dessert. Very poor service for that price. More

This is a very good restaurant. The food is really good, maybe the best in Moscow. The service is also good. The view from the restaurant is great. The prices are very high.

I often visit this restaurant and must say it’s one of the best in Moscow in terms of quality and service. Staff really try hard to make sure that you are happy and satisfied. Customer service is a huge problem in Moscow but Chaika sets... a great example for others in the industry! Food is delicious and the menu has lots of options for everyone! Atmosphere is great and view is beautiful on the embankment. Special thanks to German & Oleg! More

Thank you for your feedback! Again aboard the yacht restaurant "Chaika" in accordance with the high standards of yacht hospitality.

Highly recommended, great location in the city center of Moscow with a superb atmosphere. Too many menu choices, though all delicious!

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Thx a lot for your review! We are looking forward to see you in our restaurants.

Visited this lovely restaurant with a friend of mine. It was relaxingly warm August evening - so the place on the river seemed like a good idea. We came quite early and the restaurant was not full. The hostesses kindly offered several places to sit... and we chose to sit on the sofas. We had some wine, which was good. We struggled a bit when deciding about the food as few options (scallops) were not available. Fish on ice on display did not look very fresh. To be honest it was an unusually hot August and it is probably understandable that some see food options were not available. However, we did manage to order something and sat waiting and looking onto the river. My long-legged friend struggled sitting at the low sofa and the manager noticed that, offering as a very good, proper table beside the open window. It was nice touch and I was very pleased by their polite observations and immediate reaction to solve the problem. Food was quite good and presentation was perfect. Perhaps I can something about the food, but 1 visit is not enough to criticize or make a definitive opinion. Overall, quality place, which of course, does not come cheap. I would recommend this restaurant without hesitation. More

Good afternoon! Thank you for your detailed feedback! We are looking forward to seeing you again, we are sure that you will be delighted with our dishes!

I've been here several times during two business trip in Moscow. The overall quality for both service and food is absolutely top-notch, plus the location is very unique.

Hello! Thank you for your feedback! We are looking forward to visiting again!

Located on a boat at Krasnopresenskaya River Bank this 5 Star Restaurant transforms into a party location due to multiple groups hosting events. Impressive wine selection, Asian and European kitchen...

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Thx a lot! We are waiting for you!

It is a nice place to gather specially at the lounge The service and staff very good I like the river view The food is almost like all restaurants in Russia they serve different cuisine. Staring Russian appetizer till Asian dishes Presentation and taste amazing... I consider it overpriced little bit More

Good location. Nice views. Good choice of food and drinks. European and Asian menu. Nice service. Pricey enough.

Had a large group dinner here. Food was above average and service quite good. The real attraction is the view of Moscow from the river on a nice night. Great place for a larger group dinner. More

Hello, John We are really pleased by reading that you and your friends were satisfied by our service, client`s experience is the highest value for us. We will be happy to see you again, come and enjoy some new dishes from our chef and nice... More

The luxurious atmosphere of this place, the view and the location make it quite outstanding. We had dinner here with friends and the dishes were amazing, accompanied by a chilled bottle of Chablis, it really made me feel as if it was a part of... the classic Russian movie. More

RESTAURANT-YACHT CHAIKA, Moscow - Presnensky - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Tripadvisor

  • Service: 4.5
  • Atmosphere: 4.5

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An Insider's Guide to Moscow Nightlife


As a city that never sleeps, Moscow is known for its vibrant nightlife as much as for its stunning architecture. Having a plethora of choice, you may need someone to guide guide you through the club scene of Russia’s capital. Read on for the best places to take you through the night.

One of Moscow’s oldest nightclubs, Propaganda is an iconic spot that’s been around since the 1990s. Featuring deliberately shabby interiors, Propaganda, affectionately called “ propka ” by regulars, still gathers crowds even on weekdays. The club is particularly favored for scoring world-class DJs, hosting gay parties on Sundays and offering tasty and inexpensive food .

7 Bolshoy Zlatoustinsky Pereulok, Moscow, Russia , +7 495 624 5732

Another legendary spot, frequented by the cool crowd, this bar was founded by celebrated Russian designer Denis Simachev. Fancier and pricier than Propaganda, it’s worth a visit if only for eclectic interiors and salmon pizza.

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12 Stoleshnikov Pereulok, Moscow, Russia , +7 495 629 80 85

Nauka i Iskusstvo

Tiny and nondescript, Nauka i Iskusstvo (‘Science and Art’) is all about the music . Although there are no fancy cocktails, glitzy interiors or bohemian entourage, the club hosts some of the best electronic parties, hip music gigs and cool designer shows.

13/15 Nastavnichesky Pereulok, bld.3, Moscow, Russia

One of Moscow’s quirkiest nightclubs, Squat ¾ occupies the basement of the former Central Baths building. Instagrammed by Moscow’s it-girls, the club is famous for gothic techno-balls and bohemian raves. Apart from the club and a bar, it is also home to a Greek cafe, barber shop and fashion store.

3 Teatralny Proyezd, Bld. 4, Moscow, Russia , +7 967 162 6062

The newest venue on the list, Pluton is located on the premises of the hip design center Artplay. Despite the high ceilings of a former industrial building and tiled walls, Pluton feels strangely homely and comforting. Opened in 2017, this is not a nightclub in the traditional sense. Pluton promotes all kinds of events: from cathartic ambient, to jazz music to art-performances.

8A Nizhnyaya Syromyatnicheskaya Ulitsa, Moscow, Russia , +7 903 254 2669


Another Artplay resident, Rodnya is a rooftop club that hosts resident DJ sets and international bands on tour. In summer you can dance until sunrise on the club’s rooftop terrace.

5/7 Nizhnyaya Syromyatnicheskaya Ulitsa, bld.7, Moscow, Russia , +7 925 003 559

Aglomerat is a multi-purpose art space, housed in the former Mars factory. With a spectacularly dystopian interiors, it plays host to all kinds of events – from movie screenings and art exhibitions , to metal band shows and rave nights.

3 Kostomarovsky Pereulok, Bldg. 12, Moscow, Russia , +7 968 450 8760

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

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Things to do in Moscow: how to visit Moscow | Unmissable, cool & unusual

  • September 2, 2023

Things to do in Moscow best

What are the best things to do in Moscow? What to do in Moscow? First, I will list the main places to visit by theme, passing by the must-sees, but also more unusual places in Moscow. Then, I will describe what to see in Moscow in one day and how to visit Moscow in 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 days. Let’s go!

Good to know. For more information, click on the places to open the dedicated blog posts.

Main places to visit in Moscow & best things to do in Moscow

I worked in Moscow and I loved this city for its dynamism and energy. We find there from time to time to see friends, remember good memories and enjoy this giant city! Then the time has come for us to share with you our practical guide.

TOP 5 must-see places in Moscow

  • Moscow Red Square
  • St. Basil’s Cathedral
  • Cathedral of Christ the Savior
  • Bolshoi Theatre

Places of cultural, historical and religious interest in Moscow

  • Novodevichy Convent and cemetery
  • Tretyakov Gallery
  • Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
  • Kremlin Izmaïlovo (pseudo-historic place, recently built in the image of the old, one of the best things to do in Moscow for your Instagram account 😉 )
  • Park and ancient village of Kolomenskoye

Visit Moscow of the Soviet era

  • Moscow State University and Sparrows Hill
  • VDNKh and the Museum of Astronautics, one of the key landmarks of the Soviet era in Moscow
  • GULAG Museum
  • Metro stations
  • The Stalinist skyscrapers, scattered all over the city

Less touristy places in Moscow

  • Gorky Park and the GARAGE museum
  • The old Krasny Oktyabr factory
  • Zaryadye Park
  • Center for Contemporary Art, WINZAVOD
  • Business center, Moscow City

Main districts of Moscow to visit

  • Patriarch Ponds
  • Tchistye Prudy
  • Kuznetsky most
  • Arbat Street

However, regardless of the length of your stay, whether you are going to visit Moscow in 4 days or in 2, you need a visa. The article Obtaining a tourist visa for Russia could then be useful in any case.

What to do and see in Moscow in one day?

List of things to see and do in Moscow in one day:

  • Go to Red Square
  • Visit St. Basil’s Cathedral
  • See Kremlin walls (but not to visit)
  • Visit Cathedral of Christ the Savior
  • Discover Kuznetsky most districts and see Bolshoi Theatre building
  • And if you have time at the end of the day: go to the Sparrows Hill or to the Moscow City for a beautiful view

Things to do in Moscow in 2 days

If you want to visit Moscow in 2 days, there are 2 purposes: do not miss the essential places of Moscow and optimize travel.

  • First day: Red Square , Saint Basil’s Cathedral , Zariadye Park, Bolshoi Theatre , Kremlin
  • Day 2: Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the former Krasny Oktyabr factory on Balchug Island, Gorky Park, Moscow State University (one of the Seven Sisters buildings ) and Sparrow Hill

As 2 days os really short, be sure to choose an accommodation in the best districts where to stay in Moscow .

Walking on Red Square in Moscow: one of the unmissable things to do in Moscow

Iconic place and one of the must-see places in Moscow and even in Russia! Besides, if there was only one place to visit in Moscow in 2 days, this place would then be Red Square, without hesitation. Therefore, starting the city tour with Red Square is ideal . Several buildings are on the square, but not all of them have to be visited. Check out my blog post about Moscow’s Red Square in detail to learn more and not miss anything.

Red Square Moscow

Visiting Saint-Basil’s Cathedral inside

Even more emblematic than Moscow’s Red Square! Built in the middle of the 16th century under the orders of Tsar Ivan Le Terrible, this cathedral is one of the most beautiful monuments of Orthodox art, and definitely one of the unmissable places in Moscow. Visiting Saint-Basil’s Cathedral inside is one of the most beautiful things to do in Moscow!

  • Visit estimate time : 1h30
  • Entry ticket : 700 RUB. Tickets can be purchased on the cathedral’s official website 45 days before the tour.
  • Audio guide (recommended): 500 RUB
  • Opening hours : June to August 10 am-6pm; from November to April: 11 am-5pm; May, September, October 11 am-5pm. Cathedral closed on Wednesdays. Entrance is closed 45 minutes before closing.
  • Find out more in the dedicated article: Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow

Saint Basil's Cathedral

Take a walk in Zariadye park: one of the coolest things to do in Moscow after visiting Red Square

Zaryadie Park is just a 10-minute walk from St. Basil’s Cathedral, so it’s easy to include in your itinerary if you’re going to visit Moscow in 2 days. From its heights, you can see the red walls of the Kremlin. But, the most impressive point of view is the platform which overlooks the Moskva river. A must see! And clearly one of the coolest things to do in Moscow!

  • Open 24 hours a day
  • Good to know! Park Zaryadye is also a place to visit in Moscow in winter. Find out more here: What to do in Moscow in winter?

What to do in Moscow

See the Bolshoi Theatre and discover the Kuznetsky Most district

The Bolshoi Theatre is the most famous Russian theater in the world. The most economical way to see a presentation at the Bolshoi Theater is to take the tickets on the theater’s official website in advance, so here is our tutorial to help you: How to buy entrance tickets to the Bolshoi? In addition, several pedestrian or one-way streets

The Bolshoi Theater is the most famous Russian theater in the world. The most economical way to see a presentation at the Bolshoi Theater is to take the tickets on the theater’s official website in advance, so here is our tutorial to help you: How to buy tickets to the Bolshoi? In addition, several pedestrian or one-way streets are located north of the theater. It is therefore very pleasant to find them to leave the main axes of the megalopolis.

IMG_3040 tickets Bolshoi Theatre dress code

Visit the Moscow Kremlin

Visit Kremlin is on top of things to do in Moscow. A place of power for centuries, the Kremlin then shows us a whole different image when viewed from the inside. If you want to visit Moscow in 2 days, the Kremlin is certainly one of the must-see places in Moscow.

  • Opening hours : Daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Thursday.
  • See our blog post about visiting the Moscow Kremlin

Moscow Kremlin: skip-the-line tickets and 8 things not to miss

Visit the Cathedral of Christ the Savior

This impressive Moscow Cathedral is the seat of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is a must see if you visit Moscow in 2 days and clearly one of the things to do in Moscow. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior was first built in 1883 in memory of Russia’s victory over Napoleon’s Grand Army. Then in 1931 Stalin ordered its destruction. It was then rebuilt again (identically) only in 2000.

  • Where? Ulitsa Volkhonka 15. At the foot of the Kropotkinskaya metro station.
  • Opening hours . Daily: 10: 00-17: 00, except Monday: 13: 00-17: 00
  • Free entry (some closing restrictions, for example a short)

Good to know! In orthodox religious places, one must avoid excessively uncovered clothing. Women should cover their heads. After visiting the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, you can explore Bolotny Island and Gorky Park. This is one of the routes our guide to Moscow.

Cathedral of Christ the Savior

The old Krasny Oktyabr factory: one of the coolest things to do in Moscow

If you cross the Moskva River by a pedestrian bridge which is located just in front of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, you will enjoy a beautiful view of the city and at the same time you can discover Balchug Island. Furthermore, if you want to visit Moscow in 2 days, you can include this island in your itinerary between the cathedral and Gorky park. Here is the old confectionery factory Krasny Oktyabr, which has gradually turned into a fashionable micro-district. There are then some elements of street art, cafes and restaurants and some Moscow bohemian side. At the end of the island you can see a gigantic 98-meter-high monument dedicated to the Russian reforming tsar Pierre The Great.

Good to know! You can find on this island are the trendiest nightclubs in Moscow. On weekends, there are taxi caps after midnight so there are so many people. On the other hand, if you go there in winter and during the day, the island is quite empty and less interesting to see.

Gorky Park is one of the TOP places to visit in Moscow, because it allows you to better understand the life of the locals and their rhythm. In fact, it’s a huge entertainment park. For example, in winter there is a giant ice rink and in summer – free dance or yoga lessons, sandy beaches for playing volleyball, an outdoor cinema. So, like the locals, have a Stakantchik (ice cream or cooked corn), and enjoy the atmosphere of the place: that’s one of the interesting things to do in Moscow to discover the city.

  • Where? Krymsky Val 9. 20 minutes’ walk from Krasny Oktyabr, along the quays.

Sparrow Hill and Moscow State University

The Sparrow Hill, Vorobiovy Gori in Russian, is the highest point in Moscow. It is rather known to Russians, but less to travelers. A nice view on Moscow opens from the hill, and in particular on the Luzhniki Stadium. In addition, on the hill itself is the Moscow State University: an impressive skyscraper from the Soviet era.

  • How to get there? By bus T7 (35 min) from Oktyaborskaya station, near Gorki Park. By metro (Vorobiovy Gorki station) + climb the hill on foot. On foot along the Moskva along the Gorky Park (1h30) + climb in funiculars.

Good to know! It is possible to cross the Moskva river by funicular. We actually tested it and it was pretty cool! That is one of our favorite things to do in Moscow!

What to do in Moscow

What to do in Moscow in 3 days?

If you are going to visit Moscow in 3 days, it would be interesting to dive into the Soviet era which strongly marked the country and the city. After the Bolshevik Revolution, the capital was transferred from Saint Petersburg to Moscow, in order to mark the change of power. Moscow then became the world showcase for communist ideology. Here are the best things to do in Moscow for 3-day-trip!

VDNKh, visit Moscow of the Soviet era

VDNKh is a large exhibition center in the north of Moscow, where there are still several striking witnesses of the USSR. The most interesting are the Museum of Cosmonauts and the Statue of the Worker and the Kolkhozian , which will certainly impress you with its size!


GULAG History Museum

The explanations of the museum are very well done. We really have the feeling of going back in time. If you are going to visit Moscow in 3 days and you are interested in history and this subject in particular, I recommend this museum. Visit the GULAG History Museum is one of the most interesting things to do in Moscow.

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Discover the Patriarche Pounds district

It’s a nice neighborhood in Moscow where you can come across rather affluent locals, but not necessarily very bling-bling. Take a walk in this area is really a cool thing to do in Moscow! In addition, the Ponds of Patriarch is one of the places of Bulgakov’s novel “Master and Margarita”. As this is an interesting area to see, we have included it in a walking tour of Moscow. The route ends at the Moscow Kremlin, which is very convenient, because you will be able to visit Moscow in 3 days by optimizing your trips.

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What to visit in Moscow in 4 days: TOP things to do in Moscow in 4 days

If you want to visit Moscow in 3 days, you will already see a lot of things. On the other hand, if you stay one more day, you have plenty to do! The Novodevichy Convent, the Tchistie Proudy district and the Izmaylovo Kremlin are very good candidates for you, if you are going to visit Moscow in 4 days.

Visiting Novodevichy Convent in Moscow

The Novodevichy Convent is one of the most brilliant examples of Russian architecture, according to UNESCO. This beautiful complex was built in 1524 and today consists of the convent, but also of a cemetery whose status could be compared to that of Père-Lachaise in Paris. Visiting Novodevichy Convent is one of the great things to do in Moscow, if you want to go a little bit outside of the center!

What to see in Moscow in one day

Discovering Tchistye Proudy district

It’s one of the most popular areas of Moscow, with many cafes, restaurants and bars nearby. It is therefore a place to discover if you want to visit Moscow in 4 days. It is just as pleasant for a stroll as for the discovery of local life. For example, in winter the pond turns into an ice rink.

Visiting the Izmaylovo Kremlin, one of the coolest things to do in Moscow!

The Izmaylovo Kremlin is more of a tourist than a historic place. On the other hand, it is a pretty impressive place to discover, especially on weekends. Inside the Kremlin, there is a flea market where you can find a little bit of everything, but mostly good souvenirs to bring from Moscow. For example, chapka, traditional Russian scarves or matryoshka (Russian dolls). Add the Kremlin and the Izmaïlovo market to your itinerary if you are going to visit Moscow in 4 days, because it is a nice and very colorful place! Visiting the Izmailovo Kremlin is one of the things to do in Moscow, if you want to put colors in your Instagram account! 😉

Things to do Moscow blog

In 4 days, we will have the opportunity to see several Moscow: Classic Moscow, Moscow of old Russia, Soviet Moscow and a little bit of the new Moscow. So what to visit in Moscow on the 5th day of travel?

What to visit in Moscow in 5 days?

Art lovers will be delighted to discover the Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, while others will prefer to stroll along Arbat Street, see the buildings of Moskva-City or visit Bunker 42.

Admiring Russian art at Tretyakov Gallery

Founded in 1856 by an industrialist and great lover of art, the gallery has grown over the decades, and then bequeathed to the state. Today the collection includes more than 140,000 pieces, 15,000 of which are paintings. Visiting the Tretyakov Gallery is one of the things to do in Moscow if you want to discover Russian art!

  • Where? Pereoulok Lavrouchinski 10. A 5-minute walk from Tretiakovskaya station
  • Opening hours. Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Closed on Mondays.
  • Entry tickets. 500 RUB.

Museum to see

Visiting the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts presents the treasures of ancient Egypt, the paintings of Rembrandt and Cézanne, a fine collection of Impressionism.

  • Where? Ulitsa Volkhonka 12
  • Opening hours. Daily: 10: 00-20: 00, except Thursday: 11: 00-21: 00. Closed on Mondays. The boxes close an hour before closing.
  • Entry tickets. The prices vary according to the collections from 300 to 750 RUB.

Walking on Arbat Street

All Russians know Rue Arbat. So, walking on Arbat street is one of the things to do in Moscow. However, after the years, little by little it became very touristy. This is a pedestrian street only. There are souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes there, but it is no longer the most authentic neighborhood in the city.

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Seeing the buildings of Moskva-City (Moscow City)

Moskva-City is Moscow’s business center, much like Paris’s Defense district. The skyscrapers of Moskva-City are among the tallest in Europe: 373 meters high! Very nice place to see at dusk.

Good to know! You can admire a nice view of Moscow City from the docks of Tarasa Shevchenko. It’s especially beautiful in the evening with all the lights on.

Bunker 42, one of the most unusual things to do in Moscow

Bunker 42 is a secret military complex which was to be used by the Soviets in the event of a nuclear attack: a space of 7000 m² 65 meters underground!

  • Where? 5 Kotelnitcheski Lane, 11.
  • Prices. 2200 RUB per person
  • Opening hours. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Restaurant inside. Original, but rather a tourist trap.

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What to visit in Moscow in 6 days or more?

There are still so many places to see, because Moscow is a big megalopolis and there is always something exciting to do there. For example: the ancient Kolomenskoye village or the WINZAVOD contemporary art center .

If you are interested in history and want to see Russian cities on a rather “human scale”, it would certainly be interesting for you to discover the cities of the Golden Ring . For example, it is very easy to get to Sergey Posad from Moscow (less than 2 hours in train). Visiting the Golden Ring is one of the best things to do in Moscow if you are staying more than a 5-6 days.

There are still plenty of places to see in Moscow, however I did my best to list here the best things to do in Moscow, what to see in Moscow in one day, but also in 2, 3, 4 or 5 days in Moscow!

Moscow travel tips:

  • Airport transfer: how to go to Moscow?
  • Where to stay in Moscow (hotels, districts)?
  • Tourist voucher for Russian visa
  • Christmas and New Year in Moscow
  • What is the best time to visit Moscow?

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    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 ...

  4. Cruise Review: MSC Yacht Club on MSC Meraviglia

    MSC Meraviglia is definitely a mass-market, budget-friendly mega cruise vessel. But it also features the MSC Yacht Club. This is a ship-within-a-ship experience that turns the typical big-ship cruise into a next-level experience that will leave you plenty spoiled and craving this type of cruise again and again.

  5. Full Review of the MSC Meraviglia and Yacht Club. We tell you ...

    We sailed on MSC Meraviglia in early January 2024 and captured a LOT of video, pictures, and lessons learned throughout the sailing. Not only did we experien...

  6. MSC Cruises MSC Meraviglia ship review

    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 ...

  7. The Beginner's Guide to MSC YACHT CLUB

    MSC's Yacht Club... What's in it? What does it include? What about the rooms? How's the food?We had questions before we cruised on Meraviglia's Yacht Club an...

  8. Everything MSC Meraviglia

    Deck 19. 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.

  9. MSC Meraviglia: Top 12 Tips, Shortcuts, and Secrets

    We sailed on the MSC Meraviglia to The Bahamas in early August 2021. If you follow these twelve tips, you'll likely enjoy sailing on her as much as we did.0:...

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

    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 ...

  11. MSC Cruise Travel Secrets: 20 Tips & Tricks for Sailing with MSC

    MSC Cruise Travel Secrets: Tips & Tricks for Sailing with MSC. ... The MSC Yacht Club offers all-inclusive amenities and is the top tier experience for cruisers. ... We sailed July 2019 on the Meraviglia . Another thing we were not prepared for was the inability to get off an elevator, people shoved to get in never thinking there will be more ...

  12. Top MSC Meraviglia Tips From Travelers

    MSC Meraviglia Cruise Reviews - Tips 4.0 (985 Reviews) Photo Gallery Photo. Photo Gallery Photo. Photo Gallery Photo. View all 3150 Photos. Close. Follow Share. ... For Yacht Club Experience it is like being in a private club (dining room, private pool area and lounges, lounge and host of butlers and concierge desk. Thumbs up 1 Read full review ...

  13. Is MSC Yacht Club Worth It?

    Our MSC Yacht Club Suite was just perfect — not too big, and not too small. Measuring in at a range of approximately 280 to 312 square feet, the category's living area features a king-size bed, a sofa and a vanity desk with plenty of breathing room in between. The bathroom's residential-size, walk-in shower and spacious toilet and sink ...

  14. Guide to the MSC Meraviglia Cruise Ship and Things to Do

    Yacht Club on the MSC Meraviglia . Guests booking a cruise on the MSC Meraviglia (and every MSC ship) have the option to book the MSC Yacht Club. This premium experience does cost more but offers a "ship within a ship" experience. Benefits of the Yacht Club include: A premium stateroom in this exclusive section of the ship; A butler

  15. MSC Meraviglia Cruise Ship: Overview and What to Do

    MSC Meraviglia Cruise Ship Stats. First off, here's how this ship measures in. Gross Tonnage: 171,598; Length: 1,315.83 meters (or just over 1,036 feet) Decks: 19 (15 for passengers)

  16. 7 Things I Learned On An MSC Cruise Ship

    MSC's Yacht Club is an exclusive white glove service upgrade. They market it as a ship within a ship. It's geared towards the more open-minded explorers w/higher education or more experience ...

  17. Escape to Paradise with the Yacht Club Experience on MSC Meraviglia's

    Join us as we share more of our Yacht Club experience on the MSC Meraviglia!In this video, we hangout on MSC's private island, the Ocean Cay Marine Reserve. ...

  18. The Comprehensive Guide to Moscow Nightlife

    Some electro clubs will charge 15-20$, depending on their lineup. There's the odd club with a minimum spend of 20-30$, which you'll drop on drinks easily. By and large, you can scope out the venues for free, which is a big plus. ... Weekday jokers: if you're on the hunt for some sexy Russian girls during the week, here are two tips to ...


    Restaurant-Yacht Chaika. Claimed. Review. Save. Share. 185 reviews #547 of 10,697 Restaurants in Moscow $$$$ Italian Seafood Mediterranean. Krasnopresnenskaya Emb., 12A Berth International Exhibition, Moscow 123610 Russia +7 495 777-87-88 Website Menu. Closed now : See all hours.

  20. An Insider's Guide to Moscow Nightlife

    Aglomerat. Aglomerat is a multi-purpose art space, housed in the former Mars factory. With a spectacularly dystopian interiors, it plays host to all kinds of events - from movie screenings and art exhibitions, to metal band shows and rave nights. 3 Kostomarovsky Pereulok, Bldg. 12, Moscow, Russia, +7 968 450 8760.

  21. Things to do in Moscow: how to visit Moscow

    Things to do in Moscow in 2 days. If you want to visit Moscow in 2 days, there are 2 purposes: do not miss the essential places of Moscow and optimize travel. First day: Red Square, Saint Basil's Cathedral, Zariadye Park, Bolshoi Theatre, Kremlin. Day 2: Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the former Krasny Oktyabr factory on Balchug Island ...