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Cruise · 2018 · MSC Cruises'  MSC Meraviglia

Civitavecchia - Palermo - Malta - Barcelona - Marseille - Genova - Civitavecchia

   MSC Cruises'  MSC Meraviglia  is the wonder of MSC !

The biggest European cruise liner 'MSC Meraviglia' docked in La Valletta :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 21mar2018 1242CET (La Valletta)

MSC Meraviglia  The Ship
  • IMO 9760512
  • MMSI 249973000
  • Call Sign 9HA4455
  • Registered in La Valletta ⁄ Malta
  • First Cruise 04 June 2017
  • Passenger Beds 5714
  • Staterooms 2244
  • Crew 1536
  • Crew ⁄ Stateroom 0.685
  • GT 171598
  • GT ⁄ Stateroom 76.5
  • Length 1036ft / 315.83m
  • Beam 141.1ft / 41.00m
  • Beam Superstructures n/a
  • Draft 28.7ft / 8.75m
  • Height ~213ft / ~65.00m (a.s.l.)
  • Engine Power 38.4MW
  • Speed 22.7kts
  • 12 Restaurants
  • 20 Clubs & Bars
  • Food Market
  • Cooking School
  • Theater 985 Seats
  • Discotheque
  • Casino
  • Library
  • Kids Club
  • 13 Pools
  • 3 Waterslides
  • Bowling Alley
  • SportPlex
  • High Ropes Course
  • Wellness & Fitness Center
  • Jogging Track
  • F1 Simulators
  • Star Wars Pod & Flight Simulator
Data Sources: MSC Cruises / Bureau Veritas / www.schiffe-und-kreuzfahrten.de / www.cruisemapper.com / MT / Wikipedia

'MSC Meraviglia' is one of the 14 ships currently operated by 'MSC Cruises', the Italian shipping company founded in 1995. 'Meraviglia' means wonder, and thus, the ship's decks are named after world wonders. 'MSC Meraviglia' is a modern cruise liner, just 1 year old, built in Saint-Nazaire and floated out of her STX France dry dock on 02nd September 2016 at 06:15pm. She is the biggest cruise and passenger ship on the European market, featuring the 'MSC Yacht Club' - a ship-within-the-ship-concept - with luxury suites, restaurant, lounge and pool deck in a private area on board. Since the cruises are distributed worldwide, many different languages are spoken on board. The entertainment program includes 'Cirque Du Soleil At Sea', a show created exclusively for 'MSC Cruises'.


Booking - 7 Nights  'Mediterranean Cruise'  with  MSC Meraviglia

I booked the cruise with 'MSC Meraviglia' 13 months before departure online on the website of 'MSC Cruises'. I had to pay a deposit of 20% of the total fare with the booking. About 5 weeks before departure, I made the final payment, again with credit card. I already had completed the manifest online on the website of 'MSC Cruises' 7 months before departure, where the passenger can also see payment status, a cruise countdown, as well as some offers for excursions, beverage and internet packages for example. Purchases could be made up to 3 days before departure, I took a beverage package including 14 soft drinks and an internet package with 2GB bandwidth, my credit card was directly charged with the amount. 3 weeks before departure, I received the travel documents by eMail, which later were reissued again by eMail in the night 4 days before departure of the ship with a free upgrade to the 'MSC Yacht Club'. That did not change the 'Experience Fantastica' from the booking, it was then also printed on the 'Cruise Card'.


The Cruise  Day 1 - Monday 19th March 2018 - Civitavecchia   ... - 06:00pm

I flew in on the evening before departure day in Roma, the heart of the Roman Empire, the epicenter and holy ground of history. I urgently had to see some of the main attractions of La Città Eterna, the 'Colosseo', Campidoglio's 'Lupa Capitolina' with Romolo and Remo, the 'Arco Di Costantino', and grand boulevard Via Dei Fori with the emperor statues of 'Avgvsto', 'Nervae' and 'Traiano' on the north side and the decorated statue of 'Caesar' on the south side. I made some night shots of the illuminated monuments with my camera, before I returned back to my hotel late in the evening.

The weather was bad on the next morning, the cruise departure day, when I took the regional train to Civitavecchia at 11:12am. As every time before, I had to walk the entire station of Roma Termini along to get to the platform from where the train of Trenitalia then departed on time, no big problem with a rolling suitcase. The train was nearly empty on this Monday morning, plenty of space for me and my baggage; ticket costs €5.00 at the ticket machine, paid with credit card and PIN. I left Roma a little bit wistfully, this wonderful place on earth, but saw 'MSC Meraviglia' already from the train, just before arrival in Civitavecchia at 12:20pm, with 4 minutes of delay. The train ended in Civitavecchia, thus I had not to drag my baggage down and up the stairs. I haven't seen any taxi there, btw.

I then walked to 'Largo Della Pace' Fermata Bus Navetta Civitavecchia at Via Prato Del Turco, from where Port Of Civitavecchia offers a free and frequent shuttle bus to the each the cruise ships, just to find it closed after 20 minutes and 1500m of walking. It was windy, cold, and the traffic was crazy in this small town. There was no sign or any information about a replacement bus stop, but an old couple, rarely speaking English, also got stranded there with their baggage.

I decided to walk to the ship. So, back through the harbor area to 'Forte Michelangelo', and just behind the fortress, next to the big gate in the fence, which was open today, I found the replacement CruiseBus stop there. I put my baggage into the bus, no check of documents was made, and after a short ride of just a minute, I arrived at 01:14pm in front of 'MSC Meraviglia', berthed at pier 12, next to the small 'Terminal Bramante'.

Few other guests arrived, and there were absolutely no queues, nowhere. From now on, everything went very quickly; check in, reception by a butler from the 'Yacht Club', who was handing me out the coupons for the 'Soft Drink Package' I had purchased online at home for €34.00, 14 pink coupons for 14 soft drinks obtainable in bars and restaurants. After that, I passed the security control and the photo spot, I declined to get photographed, the butler carried my baggage up the gangway stairs, I entered 'MSC Meraviglia' at 01:23pm on deck 5, next to the 'Reception Guest Services' in the 'Infinity Atrium'; another security check, and a picture was made for the 'Cruise Card'. The butler guided me through the 'Galleria Meraviglia', showed to me how to get a priority elevator with my 'Cruise Card', entered the 'Yacht Club' on deck 16, and I got some information about the 'Yacht Club' from the concierge. He began to speak German, so I released him from the pain and we continued speaking English. He offered me a daily printed newspaper, and eventually, I was brought to my 'MSC Yacht Club Deluxe Suite', stateroom 14008 on deck 14, starboard side at 01:32pm. The butler handed me out the 'Cruise Card' and gave me a short guided tour through the suite, showing me everything, and he made sure I, understood that the 'Cruise Card' must stick in its slot next to the suite door to activate the power supply for the suite. Arranged on the table were Vino Spumante and a fruit bouquet. The 'Daily Program' in German language was arranged on the desk together with other information and the 'MSC Bracelet', a wristband that can be used alternatively to the 'Cruise Card' on board; for example, holding it against the NFC reader to open the stateroom door.

At 03:00pm, after a short siesta, I activated the 'MSC App' using my Internet ID which was printed on the 'Cruise Card'. A half an hour later, I showed up at the 'Yacht Club' concierge, because I could not lock the safe in my suite. He would send someone to me within a few minutes. And indeed, after a short while, a man came and the problem was solved immediately. Next was to get internet access for the 2GB 'Standard Internet' package, I had already purchased for €47.90 before the cruise at home online. In the 'MSC App', I clicked 'Internet Access', then the hamburger menu, followed by 'Create Account', and eventually, I had to type Internet ID, my eMail address and I could type a password of my choice. I bookmarked the LogIn page for quick access and could browse the web after clicking 'Start' twice on the LogIn page.

In the late afternoon, I took a first kind of a sunbath in the weak March sun. The weather forecast for the entire cruise was so evil that already had preventively cancelled, erased and deleted all my expectations for the so needed sunshine after the long winter. So, every single hour of sunshine and warmth would feel like a bonus on top of the cruise.

At 05:08pm, I activated my 'Cruise Card' at one of the terminals near the 'Reception Guest Services' in the 'Infinity Atrium' on deck 5, selecting a language of my choice out of a broad range of available languages. A deposit of €250.00 was reserved on my credit card, and I had to sign on the screen, instead of giving my PIN.

The security drill was held for all passengers boarded in Civitavecchia from 05:25pm on in the 'Broadway Theatre', no life vests to bring with from the stateroom, seats were a little bit narrow. The event was offered in 7 languages; English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese in a theater that was filled with about 800 guests, and the show was done after 20 minutes.

At 06:29pm, 'MSC Meraviglia' pushed herself away from the pier, and 14 minutes later, the ship left the harbor of Civitavecchia. It was windy, cold, and the sunset looked through the clouds. The wind shook 'MSC Meraviglia' a little bit, but later at 08:00pm, when I had dinner at the 'Marketplace Buffet', 'MSC Meraviglia' rolled and shook much more intense; guests, me included, rolled while walking around from one side to the other as well. There is an electronic bell on every table that can be used to call a waiter and order beverages. Tab water is included in the cruise fare from dispensers, plastic table ware is used here. To my surprise, the 'Marketplace Buffet' wasn't crowded at all, and I even had a window table, no congestion at the buffets and no restricting opening times, very pleasant.

After dinner, I opened 'Profile' and 'Onboard Payments & Billing' in the 'MSC App' for a look to my board account. The daily service charge of €10.00 was listed together with a donation of €1.00 at the hands of UNICEF, and the soft drink, I had purchased, plus 15% service charge billed separately for onboard expenses in bars and restaurants; I had forgotten to bring a coupon.


First sunset on the cruise just before departure from Civitavecchia :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Sunset · 19mar2018 1808CET (Civitavecchia)
Last view on illuminated Civitavecchia just after departure :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Departure Civitavecchia · 19mar2018 1845CET (N42°06-E011°45)

The Cruise  Day 2 - Tuesday 20th March 2018 - Palermo   09:15am - 05:00pm

At 08:27am, after a night cruising through a rough sea, 'MSC Meraviglia' passed the harbor entrance of Palermo, the capital of the Italian island of Sicilia, turned and docked 23 minutes later at Molo Piave. I left the ship at 09:22am from deck 4, just minutes after the first passengers. The weather was as bad as predicted, cold and windy, but with some sunshine until arrival. I proceeded directly to the probably most important architectural gem of Palermo, the 'Cattedral'. Oranges were hanging on trees in the streets, but otherwise, no signs of spring time at all, everything was very late this year; even Roma was covered by a snow layer just 3 weeks ago, and in Germany, temperatures were freezing far below zero degrees in late March. But I had some luck with photographing the 'Cattedral', shortly before it began to rain, the sun looked through the clouds and illuminated the church with its Moorish elements for taking photos. I decided to go back to the ship because of the rain after taking a look to the 'Palazzo Dei Normanni' right around the corner, arrived at the embarkation tent with its security at 11:55am and was back on the ship 5 minutes later. I then had a half an hour of sun on my balcony, and I really enjoyed it, before having lunch in the 'Marketplace Buffet' restaurant, genuine Italian pizza, which is included in the cruise fare.

I spent the afternoon with a needed long siesta, after the turbulent night, rolling in the bed from one side to the other. At 05:15pm, 'MSC Meraviglia' pushed herself away from the pier, and some 11 minutes later, she left the harbor of Palermo. The sky was grey with a visibility not far behind the city center, the mountains vanished behind a wall of fog, and it started to rain again. After leaving the harbor, 'MSC Meraviglia' turned west against a very strong and cold wind, and she then sailed into the darkness along the coast of Sicilia.

It was stormy again, and at 11:11pm, some sort of a small freak wave hit the ship. The 'Daily Program' flew from the table, and with a quick grab to my water bottle, I prevented it from sliding down to the carpet as well. I could see waves of more than 3 meters with thick foam tops outside. Walking around was more a staggering than walking, the ship rolled, pitched and rocked. However, this evening, a plate with chocolate covered strawberries was delivered to my suite; delicious!


Sicilia is in sight after sunrise :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Arrival Palermo · 20mar2018 0726CET (N38°19-E013°23)
First view on Palermo :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Arrival Palermo · 20mar2018 0723CET (N38°20-E013°23)
Palermo embedded in mountains :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Arrival Palermo · 20mar2018 0826CET (N38°07-E013°23)
City center of Palermo with 'Palazzo Dei Normanni' (center) and 'Cattedral' (right) :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Arrival Palermo · 20mar2018 0821CET (N38°07-E013°23)
Last view on Sicilia in the dusk :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Departure Palermo · 20mar2018 1831CET (N38°18-E013°17)

The Cruise  Day 3 - Wednesday 21st March 2018 - La Valletta   09:00am - 05:00pm

Early in the morning, after another stormy night and right after sunrise, Maltese island of Gozo was in sight, and at 08:14am, 'MSC Meraviglia' sailed into the narrow natural harbor of La Valletta, turned and docked 28 minutes later at the small Valletta Cruise Port Terminal. At 09:03am, the gangway was open at deck 4, and first passengers left the ship. I did so at 10:05am, after making some photos of the ship's decks, in the unexpected sunshine. Lots of taxis, excursion buses and even horse carriages were waiting for passengers next to the terminal.

I started my sightseeing tour through the little and beautiful capital of Malta, with narrow streets and alleys, ancient buildings and fortress walls nearly everywhere. The streets were crowded with masses of people walking around, it was warm and sunny, with a clear blue sky, perfect for photography.

I finished my sightseeing tour around La Valletta in the small park 'Upper Barrakka Gardens', right next to the place where the ritual gun shot takes place daily at midday from the 'Saluting Battery'. Entrance to the garden is free, and the gun show can be observed from the waterfront balcony of the garden for free as well, as long as there are not too many spectators.

In the garden, there is the upper elevator entrance of the 'Barrakka Lift' that connects the old town with the waterfront. Taking the elevator down is free, up costs €1.00 at ticket machines, there was also staff to assist, and to check the tickets.

I decided to take the 'Three Cities Ferry' to Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua on the other, eastern side of the natural harbor of La Valletta. The ferry costs €2.80 for the return ticket, and it also includes the elevator up to the old town of La Valletta after returning from the Three Cities. The La Valletta Ferry Pier is located not far away from the lower elevator entrance, there are direction signs, and tickets can be purchased at the ferry stop. The ferry sails every 30 minutes, a journey takes about 10 minutes. I took the ferry at 12:15pm, 15 minutes after the gun shot which nobody can miss. On the other side, there is a nice and big marina, with lots of sailing boats and luxury yachts, some old churches, and a good view on La Valletta, including 'MSC Meraviglia', she was bunkering fuel. After about an hour of stay in the Three Cities, I took the ferry back to La Valletta and the elevator up to the 'Barrakka Gardens'.

I was wondering whether it would be too risky to visit the picturesque Marsaxlokk fishing village, one of the main photo spots of Malta. I had less than 3 hours left until 'MSC Meraviglia' would sail from La Valletta.

The bus line '81' departed at 02:13pm from bus bay 'Valletta A6' of the 'Main Bus Terminus', the ticket costs €1.50 one way, and the journey took 44 minutes, instead of the scheduled 30 minutes, because of traffic jams, construction sites, narrow streets and generally bad traffic conditions; it is left hand traffic here in Malta. I quickly shot some photos of the really picturesque scene and took the next bus from station 'Xerriex' back to La Valletta at 03:25pm, where I arrived 52 minutes later at the 'Main Bus Terminus' bay 'Valletta 18'.

I walked down the road to the cruise terminal, where I arrived at 04:28pm. The only way to the ship was through the duty free shop. A large group of waiting passengers was at the gangway, but my butler saw me coming and granted me priority boarding. Security control was made on board and went quickly. The sun was hiding behind high clouds meanwhile, after this unexpectedly very sunny and warm day.

At 05:06pm, 'MSC Meraviglia' pushed herself away from the pier, and just 10 minutes later, she left the harbor of La Valletta. About 1nm off the coast, 'MSC Meraviglia' stopped for a compass test, she turned several times around herself, and continued sailing towards west after exactly 1 hour. The darkness fell over La Valletta, while I had a snack and something to drink in the 'Marketplace Buffet'.

The fruit bouquet was replaced with fresh fruits with the evening room cleaning at around 07:00pm, and as every evening, I found a chocolate praliné on my pillow. The elements shook the ship later in the evening, but the storm I already got used to did not come tonight.


Maltese island of Gozo is in sight :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Gozo · 21mar2018 0720CET (N36°02-E014°28)
Just before entering the natural harbor of La Valletta :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Arrival La Valletta · 21mar2018 0808CET (N35°54-E014°32)
La Valletta on top of fortress walls :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Arrival La Valletta · 21mar2018 0815CET (N35°54-E014°31)
Harbor front of La Valletta :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Arrival La Valletta · 21mar2018 0823CET (N35°54-E014°31)
View on La Valletta from 'Three Cities Ferry' :
Malta Panorama La Valletta · 21mar2018 1341CET (La Valletta)
Marina of Birgu :
Malta Panorama Three Cities · 21mar2018 1317CET (Three Cities)
The fishing village of Marsaxlokk with picturesque panorama :
Malta Panorama Marsaxlokk · 21mar2018 1503CET (Marsaxlokk)
Last view on La Valletta in the dusk :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Departure La Valletta · 21mar2018 1832CET (N35°55-E014°32)

The Cruise  Day 4 - Thursday 22nd March 2018 - Sea Day

After a quite calm night, another storm in the morning, and the ship creaked again here and there. Waves reached up to 3 meters sometimes, with foam and spray on top of them.

It was not easy to find a free table in the 'Marketplace Buffet' on this sea day morning. The restaurant began to empty after 10:00am, but breakfast was still available. Beverages for breakfast were included in the cruise fare, juices, coffee, hot milk, different teas and tab water. The choice of different food, even Asian style, was remarkably great. All the international passengers caused a Babylonian background noise.

The sea calmed down around midday, before it got rough again in the afternoon. At 12:30pm, Italian island of Sardegna was in sight in the north, the sky was covered with clouds and everything looked quite grey, a small cargo vessel sailed alongside and fought its way through the waves.

At 01:30pm, the 'Marketplace Buffet' was crowded, but I had a table outside with a view to the fairway. The rain has stopped and it was a little bit warmer, while the sun tried to look through the clouds. The satellite image animation promised an afternoon with sunny sections after passing the southernmost point of Italian island of Sardegna.

In the afternoon, a new face at the 'Yacht Club' concierge, she asked me to show my 'Cruise Card' to make sure I am allowed to be there.

A very strong and cold wind from north west, light rain, some sunny moments and spray many decks high sometimes, that was the afternoon of this sea day.

Later, I enjoyed the extremely delicious pastries, warm cakes, something to drink, and felt the ship shaking while fighting against wind and waves, watched the clouds playing with the sun and the waves moving by through the panoramic windows of the 'Marketplace Buffet', high above the sea.

Before dinner, I showed up at the 'Yacht Club' concierge, and asked him about the current position of the ship, which is usually displayed together with other nautical information on interactive screens, TV and cruise line apps, but this service is regrettably not provided on 'MSC Meraviglia', just on other ships of the cruise line. I furthermore asked him whether this weather is normal in March, he said yes and wanted to know whether this is a problem for me; I replied: "I'm from Hamburg, I don't get seasick!" He laughed.

After dinner, the wind was stronger, but significantly warmer. The sea got very rough again in the late evening. 'MSC Meraviglia' creaked, shook, rolled, rocked and pitched with no end. The weather map showed close isobars for the area the ship would sail through in the night, but the weather forecast for the next day was very good, with plenty of urgently needed sunshine.

No chocolate praliné on my pillow in the evening but a plate with absolutely delicious cookies and small pastries. Also, an optional excursion ticket for a return transfer between the 'Barcelona Cruise Terminal' at Moll Adossat and the city center.


Stormy sea on the only sea day of the cruise :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Storm · 22mar2018 1452CET (N38°53-E007°47)
Sunset on the sea day :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Sunset · 22mar2018 1812CET (N39°21-E006°44)

The Cruise  Day 5 - Friday 23rd March 2018 - Barcelona   09:00am - 06:00pm

I got up very early to make interior photos from the ship, without catching too many passengers on them. Thus, I also could see a very beautiful sunrise. Just 2 minutes before 'MSC Meraviglia' entered the harbor of Barcelona at 07:24am, the pilot came on board and 50 minutes later, the ship docked backwards at 'Moll Adossat Cruise Terminal A', right behind the bridge to the pier.

I spent the following hours with sleeping, eating, and my first sunbath this year on the sun deck of 'MSC Meraviglia', 75 minutes from 01:00pm on. The sky was not clear all the time, high clouds moved by and the wind was strong and cold.

As planned, I left the ship in the afternoon, from deck 6 midships at 02:50pm, for getting onto the Montjuïc hill. I knew that there is a very good photography spot for ships berthing at 'Cruise Terminal A'; and so it was.

The optional excursion ticket for a return transfer between the 'Barcelona Cruise Terminal' at Moll Adossat and the city center for €9.90 per person, €6.90 for kids, delivered to my suite last evening, reminded me of the public regular 'T3PortBus', that departs from Moll De Les Drassanes close to Rambla De Mar and stops at every cruise terminal along Moll Adossat. A return ticket costs €4.00, as I remembered it from previous visits of the Catalán capital.

But instead of taking any bus, I walked nearly 40 minutes from the terminal to the metro station 'Paral·lel', and then I took the Funicular half way up the hill. Ticket costs €2.20 one way. The 'Funicular De Montjuïc' needs just 3 minutes for the journey, and I walked the rest of the way up the hill, where I arrived a little more than 1 hour after I had left the ship. I shot my photos of 'MSC Meraviglia', enjoyed the view on Barcelona and decided not to leave the town without La Rambla. So, I walked back down the hill to the Funicular station, took the next one, and changed at 'Paral·lel' to the metro line 'L3', where I got out at station 'Liceu' at 04:35pm, amidst the La Rambla. It was different than the other times I walked down La Rambla, with all the bald trees now; very few signs of spring time here in Barcelona as well. About at 04:50pm, I arrived at Rambla De Mar, my absolutely favorite location in Barcelona. Wonderful atmosphere, but the ship wouldn't wait, and I had to leave this place just when I arrived. From the bridge, on the way back to the ship, I shot further photos of 'MSC Meraviglia', and I eventually returned to the terminal at 05:35pm. Security and boarding went very quickly, and I eventually had some sunny rest on my balcony.

At 05:57pm, 3 minutes before scheduled departure from Barcelona, the pilot came with a boat, 20 minutes later, 'MSC Meraviglia' pushed herself away from the pier and started sailing towards the harbor exit, which she passed at 06:42pm. Lots of sea gulls circled around the ship while it was stopping right behind the harbor exit. A loudspeaker announcement, as always in different languages, informed about the evacuation of a passenger due to a medical emergency. 'MSC Meraviglia' continued her journey to Marseille at 07:40pm along the illuminated coast of Catalunya.

After the evening room cleaning, I found another optional excursion ticket, this time for a return transfer between the 'Marseille Cruise Terminal' and the city center on the desk.


Sunrise just before arrival in Catalunya :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Sunrise · 23mar2018 0652CET (N41°13-E002°17)
Catalán capital Barcelona illuminated by the rising sun :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Arrival Barcelona · 23mar2018 0719CET (N41°19-E002°10)
Barcelona illuminated at night :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Departure Barcelona · 23mar2018 1949CET (N41°18-E002°18)

The Cruise  Day 6 - Saturday 24th March 2018 - Marseille   09:00am - 05:00pm

At 08:23am, after an unusual calm night, 'MSC Meraviglia' sailed into the harbor of Marseille, turned and docked 27 minutes later at 'Marseille Cruise Terminal A'. First passengers left the ship after further 18 minutes from deck 4.

I showed up at 09:15am for breakfast in the 'MSC Yacht Club Restaurant'. The friendly waitress tried to speak to me in German language. My order was delivered to the table just 10 minutes later, in the meantime, German dough rolls with butter and a hot chocolate were served, I missed the latter in the 'Marketplace Buffet' restaurant, before I found it on the next morning.

I left 'MSC Meraviglia' at 11:05am from deck 6 midships, taxis were available in front of the terminal, but I followed the green painted pavement for pedestrians to the stop of the free shuttle bus 'Navettes Croisières', at which I arrived after 16 minutes of walking. The schedule display listed departures of the 'Free Shuttle Bus' every 20 minutes, but that was just the schedule. The optional excursion ticket for a return transfer between the 'Marseille Cruise Terminal' and the city center, offered by the cruise line for €16.90 per person or €10.90 for kids, would have been a bus that departs and arrives in front of the terminal. Originally, I had planned to use the public bus RTM 'Ligne 35' from stop 'Littoral Gourret', about 800m away from the free shuttle bus stop to Place De La Joliette in the city center of Marseille; single ticket costs €2.00. There is also the RTM 'Ligne T35' stop 'Terminal Croisières', some 500m east of the free shuttle bus stop. This line operates especially for cruise passengers. But since there was a free shuttle bus coming just in time, I took it, departed at 11:38am and arrived 16 minutes later at the 'Navettes Croisières' stop in the city center of Marseille, which is actually located within the harbor area at some sort of a backyard. The passageway is at a small gate with check point near the public bus stop 'Terrasses Du Port' opposite of the German consulate, diagonally across from Place De La Joliette.

Since there was no sunshine, I did not make any photos from the few sights I visited, like the giant 'Cathédrale Sainte Marie Majeure', the 'Villa Méditerranée', the 'MuCem' at Promenade Robert-Laffont and the 'Église Saint Laurent' with a view to 'Vieux Port'.

After waiting nearly a half an hour, the 'Free Shuttle Bus' departed at 01:28pm and arrived 9 minutes later next to the check point, where every guest had to present the 'Cruise Card'. I went faster back to the 'Marseille Cruise Terminal A', where I arrived at 01:50pm. Masses of cruise passengers were waiting at the security lines, but I found a butler who granted me priority, thus the boarding went quite quickly, and 12 minutes after I arrived at the cruise terminal, I was back in my suite. The sun looked through the clouds sometimes in the afternoon.

The departure of 'MSC Meraviglia' was delayed since an excursion bus got stuck in a traffic jam. The bus arrived 45 minutes after scheduled departure time, the ship eventually departed at 05:54pm and left the harbor 6 minutes later. The night fell over 'MSC Meraviglia', while she was cruising along the illuminated Côte d'Azur, with a lighthouse sometimes, through a rough sea again.


Sunrise at Côte d'Azur :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Arrival Marseille · 24mar2018 0701CET (N43°09-E005°05)
Marseille in some afternoon sunlight :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Marseille · 24mar2018 1715CET (Marseille)

The Cruise  Day 7 - Sunday 25th March 2018 - Genova   08:00am - 06:00pm

Daylight Saving Time started in the night, and when I got up very early again, the lights of Genova were already in sight. 'MSC Meraviglia' entered the harbor at 06:42am, turned as always and berthed at 'Terminal Ponte Caracciolo' 48 minutes later. Too bad, contrary to the pier, the ship used to dock at in most previous weeks.

I left 'MSC Meraviglia' at 10:48am and walked the short way to the mandatory shuttle bus, which then departed at 10:54am for a 4 minute journey to the 'Terminal Ponte Andrea Doria', the one west of 'Stazione Marittima', to where I then walked. From the ground level under the 'Stazione Marittima', stairs up at the sign to metro and bus stop, and then I left 'Stazione Marittima', heading downtown Genova, a wonderful Italian city. Countless street vendors from Africa along the entire way.

My first sight was the famous 'Galeone Neptune', especially built for a movie. After that, I went to Via Garibaldi, narrow streets and alleys with lots of old buildings, many in Art Nouveau. There is the 'Ascensore Di Castelletto' to 'Belvedere Montaldo Spianata Castelletto', ticket costs €0.90, but the ticket machine coin slot was clogged. I had to walk the way up to the viewpoint with a great view, overlooking Genova. I then walked back down and further to Piazza Giacomo Matteotti with 'Palazzo Ducale', and to the 'Cattedrale Di San Lorenzo', right around the corner. In the opposite direction, there is the Piazza Dante with 'Casa Di Cristoforo Colombo', the birthplace of Columbus. Behind that small building, there is the bus stop 'Dante 2 / Casa Di Colombo' of AMT bus 'Linea 42', the line heading 'Via Isonzo / Sturla' also stops at 'De Gaspari 1 / Cavallotti', close to one of the main photo spots of Genova called Boccadasse. The bus departed at 02:54pm, frequency is about 15 minutes, ticket costs €2.50, purchased on the bus, valid for 100 minutes, and the journey to Boccadasse took 11 minutes. I did not stay long, shot my photos of this really beautiful scene and took the bus back to downtown Genova at 03:35pm, where I arrived 16 minutes later. I eventually walked through 'Porta Soprana', once again up to 'Belvedere Montaldo Spianata Castelletto' and eventually back to the 'Terminal Ponte Andrea Doria', where I arrived at 05:00pm, passed security and arrived 9 minutes later with the bus at 'MSC Meraviglia'.

At 06:28pm, the ship moved away from the pier very slowly and left the harbor 25 minutes later. The aft sun decks were covered with many soot lumps from the funnels. The butler knocked at the door at 10:00pm and informed me personally about the disembarkation procedures on the next morning.


Illuminated Genova before sunrise :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Arrival Genova · 25mar2018 0639CEST (N44°23-E008°57)
The industrial harbor of Genova with the tallest lighthouse in the Mediterranean 'Lanterna' :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Arrival Genova · 25mar2018 0653CEST (N44°24-E008°55)
Boccadasse is an old mariners' district of Genova :
Genova Boccadasse · 25mar2018 1516CEST (Genova)
View on Genova Porto Antico just after departure :
Genova Panorama Porto Antico · 25mar2018 1836CEST (Genova)
Last view on Boccadasse :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Departure Genova Boccadasse · 25mar2018 1901CEST (N44°22-E008°57)
The fairway back to Genova :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Departure Genova · 25mar2018 1905CEST (N44°21-E008°57)
Last and very picturesque sunset on the cruise :
Cruise · MSC Meraviglia · Sunset · 25mar2018 1916CEST (N44°18-E008°59)

The Cruise  Day 8 - Monday 26th March 2018 - Civitavecchia   08:00am - ...

At midnight, I watched the LED Fireworks show in the 'Galleria Meraviglia', and a half an hour later, I put my baggage in front of the suite door.

After a quite calm night, the morning started with the most beautiful sunshine, when 'MSC Meraviglia entered the port of Civitavecchia at 07:12am, turned and docked 38 minutes later at pier 12.

I left my suite at 08:40am, had breakfast, made a small last walk around the ship and returned to the 'Yacht Club' concierge to say good bye and thanks for a wonderful cruise.

I left 'MSC Meraviglia' at 09:57am from deck 4, collected my baggage in the small 'Terminal Bramante', saw some taxis in front of the terminal, but took the next shuttle bus, arrived at 10:12am next to the 'Forte Michelangelo' and further 12 minutes of walking along the sea promenade later, I was at the train station. I saw masses of travelers with their baggage, and thus I decided to purchase a First Class ticket to Roma Termini for €7.70.

The train left Civitavecchia at 10:45am for a 62 minute journey to Roma Termini from track 3, to where I had to drag my baggage down and up the stairs. I did not find a First Class car and took place in the Second Class. Spring broke out in Roma, with first rape oil seed fields blooming in wonderful yellow colors, finally. And later in the aircraft, some minutes after take off, I was granted a last view on 'MSC Meraviglia', before flying above some mountains in central Italy, still covered with some snow.


Conclusion - 7 Nights  'Mediterranean Cruise'  with  MSC Meraviglia  1800nm

The just about 1 year old cruise liner 'MSC Meraviglia' is a great ship with lots of attractions, sights and well designed and elegant interior. She sailed a little bit unstable, reacting more intense to waves, given her size. Strong winds additionally increased the cruise experience with rolling and pitching a little more than other cruise liners of comparable sizes. The weather was like a diva on this cruise, majority of nights were stormy, and there were only 3 more or less sunny and warm days.

In the night 4 days before departure of the ship, I received an eMail with a reissue of my cruise ticket, containing an information about a cabin number change, which actually was an upgrade to the 'Yacht Club'. The MSC 'Yacht Club' is a separate area with suites and luxury staterooms. Admission is granted for passengers - called 'Members' - of those staterooms only. The 'Yacht Club' offers to its guests an own reception with concierge, a butler service, the 'Top Sail Lounge', open nearly all day with a bar and delicious snacks, as well as the own sun deck with pool, whirl pool and the 'MSC Yacht Club Pool Buffet', where the guests can eat and drink open air. Regular meals are served in the 'MSC Yacht Club Restaurant', with service at the tables. I prefer buffet restaurants, and if you don't know about the great variety of food in the 'Marketplace Buffet' restaurant, you may miss something, or even a lot. The 'Yacht Club' on 'MSC Meraviglia' spans over 5 decks behind and above the bridge, with 80 balcony suites and 15 smaller interior staterooms, the 'Yacht Club' has its own elevator and stairs in a small atrium. The lounge and the restaurant give a good view over the bow, as well as the sun deck, but there is no glass free outlook to the bow for photography; furthermore, most of the sun deck area is covered with some sort of sun sails. Among the amenities in the 'Yacht Club' are priority at boarding, security and even elevators, free beverages, fruits on the stateroom, a chocolate praliné on the pillow and other things.

Embarkation and disembarkation, as well as leaving and boarding the ship for excursions, were always fast without long queues. The security drill in the theater took just 20 minutes and was held in different languages, even Japanese and Mandarin. Orientation on 'MSC Meraviglia' was a little bit more easier than on other ships, with stateroom numbers separated into even on starboard and odd on port side of the ship, with signs in the staircase halls. I noticed longer waiting times at the elevators sometimes, but they were an artwork of mirrors and very fast.

The passengers were from many different nations, even lots of people from Asia, very international atmosphere on board, majorities were people from Italy, Spain and Germany. Many kids were on board; I also saw people in wheel chairs and with rollators. The staff was very friendly, caring and attentive, not just in the 'Yacht Club', but everywhere. American way of communication and dealing with things, I was addressed in German language sometimes. The 'Reception Guest Service' on deck 5 was not very frequented most of the time and the ship generally did never appear crowded to me.

I am a buffet type of passenger, and I preferably avoid long sessions in the main dining room, I did not eat in the main dining room therefore. The 'Marketplace Buffet' restaurant was open from 06:00am till midnight, guests can stay casual and do not need to dress up. Plastic table ware was used, but the offered food was more than very good, with a great choice and variety, even for breakfast. The quality was excellent, the delicacies from the patisserie extremely good. There was an 'Ethnic Corner' with food from different parts of the world, and genuine Italian pizza was included in the cruise fare as well. Tab water was always complimentary from dispensers, many different beverages for breakfast as well. Other beverages could be ordered at the table, soft drinks were delivered in cans of 330ml each, water in bottles. Mostly, I had no problem of getting a free table, but I repeatedly noticed a scarcity of teaspoons. The nicely done hand wash niches at the entrance were used by very few guests.

On the 'Galleria Meraviglia', many shopping opportunities and events. From my observation, the ship is very kid friendly, toys are being offered in the shop, as well as candy, potato chips and chocolate for example, even cheaper than at the airport. There is also a small pharmacy, and the MSC shop offers gifts and clothes at affordable prices even in my size. Also on the 'Galleria Meraviglia', there are some luxury boutiques, the 'Jean-Philippe Chocolate & Coffee' chocolaterie, the 'Brass Anchor' pub, the 'Kaito Sushi Bar' and the 'Eataly Food Market', where guests can taste and learn about Italian food, as well as purchase some of the things.

Entertainment for everybody was provided nearly all around the clock at different locations on board, a little bit limited due to the bad weather, that was not allowing pool parties. Many activities were on the 'Daily Program', in the gym and the indoor and outdoor pool areas with some whirlpools, and of course in the 'MSC Aurea Spa' wellness area. I did not book any of the excursions offered in a big variety, all my tours were self organized.

Internet access worked very fast only in the few night hours, the system was obviously repeatedly a little bit overloaded during daytime. I usually had to click the 'Start' button twice, to activate the internet access. Sometimes, it was helpful to log out and log in again, when the connection was too slowly. The 'MSC For Me' app is available for guests with smartphone or tablet, the guest can - for example - monitor on-board expense accounting, see deck plans and log in to the internet via WLAN / WiFi, also possible at address 'login.mscwifi.com', using the ID from the Cruise Card, bandwidth usage was shown at log in and log out. Features are offered to guests on the interactive screens in the staircases as well.

Thank you 'MSC Cruises', for a wonderful cruise with so good food and your warm Mediterranean hospitality on meravigliosa 'MSC Meraviglia'!


MSC Meraviglia  Extérieur
Giant funnel of 'MSC Meraviglia' with logo of 'MSC Cruises' :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 20mar2018 1836CET (Exterieur)
The 'MSC Meraviglia' 'Yacht Club' pool deck area :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 21mar2018 0937CET (Exterieur)
The 'MSC Meraviglia' main pool area :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 21mar2018 0946CET (Exterieur)
The 'MSC Meraviglia' main pool area in the dawn :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 23mar2018 0622CET (Exterieur)
The 'MSC Meraviglia' main pool area with giant LED screen :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 21mar2018 1846CET (Exterieur)
The 'MSC Meraviglia' 'Horizon Amphitheatre' with sky trail ropes course 'Himalayan Bridge' :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 23mar2018 0707CET (Exterieur)
The 'MSC Meraviglia' 'Horizon Amphitheatre' in the dusk :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 20mar2018 1840CET (Exterieur)

MSC Meraviglia  Intérieur
The 'MSC Meraviglia' 'Infinity Atrium' with glittering 'Swarovski' stairs :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 23mar2018 0557CET (Interieur)
The 'Galleria Meraviglia' with an 80m (263ft) long LED screen ceiling :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 23mar2018 0546CET (Interieur)
The 'Galleria Meraviglia's LED screen ceiling features different themes :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 25mar2018 1042CEST (Interieur)
The 'Galleria Meraviglia's LED screen ceiling can display a blue sky :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 23mar2018 0549CET (Interieur)
French 'Tricolore' displayed on the 'Galleria Meraviglia's LED screen ceiling at Marseille :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 24mar2018 1102CET (Interieur)
Fireworks show displayed on the 'Galleria Meraviglia's LED screen ceiling at midnight :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 26mar2018 0001CEST (Interieur)
The 'MSC Meraviglia' 'Broadway Theatre' with 985 seats :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 23mar2018 0608CET (Interieur)
The 'MSC Meraviglia' indoor 'Bamboo Pool' area with magrodome :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 23mar2018 0644CET (Interieur)
The 'MSC Meraviglia' 'Sky Lounge' with 180 seats :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 23mar2018 0659CET (Interieur)
The 'Marketplace Buffet' of 'MSC Meraviglia' features 1345 seats :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 25mar2018 0611CEST (Interieur)
The 'MSC Meraviglia' 'Yacht Club' :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 24mar2018 2121CET (Interieur)
The 'MSC Meraviglia Yacht Club Restaurant' :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 25mar2018 0647CEST (Interieur)
The 'MSC Meraviglia' 'Yacht Club' 'Top Sail Lounge' :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 23mar2018 0616CET (Interieur)

MSC Meraviglia  Stateroom

My 'MSC Yacht Club Deluxe Suite' #008 on deck 14 on the starboard side had a king size double bed with bedside tables. I slept well on the bed, the stateroom was quiet, no annoying loudspeaker announcements. There was furthermore a couch with table, closets, commode and stool, a safe for valuables, a digital phone with big display, a coffee machine and a minibar stocked with water, refreshment and alcoholic drinks as well as some snacks. There were sockets for EU and US plugs, and one for charging with an USB cable, but none of them at the bed. Sufficient storage was available for clothes and baggage.

Lots of TV channels were offered in many different languages on a giant screen, but 'MSC Meraviglia' does not offer a moving map with position and other nautical information of the ship, I had to use online services and the GPS function of my smartphone.

Bathroom with shower, rain shower and gel dispensers, as well as a clothesline, big mirror, toilet, washbasin and towels. Many toiletries were provided.

The big balcony had 2 chairs without foldable backrest and a stool, the weekly cleaning was announced on the evening before. Stateroom cleaning was carried out twice a day.

The usually 6-page and closely printed, well into German language translated planner 'Daily Program' with all necessary information was delivered to the stateroom every day, but was also available in other languages at the 'Reception Guest Service'. Security information on the stateroom door, next to the innovative electronic 'Do Not Disturb' button system and the air conditioner thermostat.


Balcony 'MSC Yacht Club Deluxe Suite' #008 on deck 14 on the starboard side :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 23mar2018 1851CET (Stateroom14008)
307ft² (28.50m²) suite with private bathroom and 55ft² (5m²) balcony suitable for 2 guests :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 19mar2018 2132CET (Stateroom14008)

MSC Meraviglia  Photos
View on 'MSC Meraviglia' from Muntanya De Montjuïc :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 23mar2018 1553CET (Barcelona)
Another view on 'MSC Meraviglia' from Muntanya De Montjuïc :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 23mar2018 1607CET (Barcelona)
View from Porta d'Europa bridge on 'MSC Meraviglia' :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 23mar2018 1711CET (Barcelona)
Another view from Porta d'Europa bridge on 'MSC Meraviglia' :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 23mar2018 1714CET (Barcelona)
View from 'AIDAperla' last year while 'MSC Meraviglia' was sailing backwards to her pier :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 21jul2017 0705CEST (Barcelona)
Another view from 'AIDAperla' last year on 'MSC Meraviglia' :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 21jul2017 0708CEST (Barcelona)
On harbor cruise with 'Las Golondrinas' in Barcelona last year :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 21jul2017 1601CEST (Barcelona)
'MSC Meraviglia' berthed in Barcelona :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 21jul2017 1604CEST (Barcelona)
View on the bow of 'MSC Meraviglia' :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 21jul2017 1613CEST (Barcelona)
'MSC Meraviglia' is an elegant giant :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 21jul2017 1615CEST (Barcelona)
My balcony 'Yacht Club' suite #14008 on 'MSC Meraviglia' :
MSC Meraviglia · IMO9760512 · 21jul2017 1605CEST (Barcelona)

MSC Meraviglia  Links

  MSC Meraviglia - www.msccruises.com

  MSC Meraviglia - www.msccruises.com - DeckPlan

  CruiseShipsInfo - MSC Meraviglia Cruise Ship Tour  Video 00:22:13

  DreamBlogCruiseMagazine - MSC Meraviglia Complete Ship Tour  Video 00:23:21

  HonestCruising - MSC Meraviglia Full Tour & Review  Video 00:18:11

  CruisesAndTravelsBlog - MSC Meraviglia Yacht Club Tour 2017  Video 00:06:09


MSC Meraviglia  Cruise Critic Review by JMHamburg

  Wonderful Cruise On 'MSC Meraviglia' !