A new day, day number two, on the MSC Meraviglia, and hopefully a better one. We both got a good night’s sleep and didn’t get up until 8:00 am. We got dressed and took the elevator to the Marketplace Buffet. The elevators are kind of slow, and sometimes packed pretty full.
Breakfast in the buffet
We headed all the way to the back of the Marketplace Buffet to the outside tables. These really are the most peaceful and pleasant tables if you can get them. Eggs were ready-made, so I got two eggs sunny-side up, bacon, and some fruit. They had baked apples. They’re not hot, but they’re still good. And I was trying to eat green apples because they’re supposed to help sea sickness. So far, so good. I have to admit, the Meraviglia is a very smooth sailing ship.
The eggs had been sitting out a bit, I guess, because they were rubbery and I didn’t eat them. The bacon and baked apple were delicious. The coffee is also very good. They do have regular and decaf in the buffet, and they have flavored creamers, which make it even better.
After breakfast I just roamed around the ship taking pictures and found the waterslide deck, which also has a pool and activities for kids. I also found the basketball court and the game area and I never really found a huge crowd in that area. They actually have a bowling alley, along with a 4D theater, an arcade, and a sports car that is a ride. There is also a bar in the area. I honestly rarely saw a person in any of these areas the entire cruise, so it’s a nice quiet area if you need to get away from people. I went by the gym, but it was pretty crowded, they also have a walking/running track on deck.
Welcome Aboard party
Since we matched our Carnival Cruiseline points to get into the Voyagers Club before we booked this cruise, we were invited to the Welcome Aboard party at 11:15 am. (We had Gold status on Carnival, it was transferred to Silver status on MSC.) They were passing out glasses of Champagne and Fruit Punch, and then the Cruise Director and Captain came out to greet us from the small bridge above the Promenade Deck. A word about the Cruise Director, Gene Young. Even though he’s from America, he’s not what American’s normally think of as a Cruise Director. He doesn’t wear crazy outfits, and he’s a bit subdued for a Cruise Director. We really didn’t see him that much, and when we did see him around the ship, he wasn’t very friendly.
Promenade Deck Dome
I need to say something about the Dome above the Promenade on the Meraviglia. I think that this feature is the best feature of the ship. If you’ve ever been to Fremont Street in Las Vegas, it will give you an idea of what the dome is like. It constantly changes pictures, and it does shows nightly. It’s beautiful. Hit the arrow to see the video below.
Back to the party
The Captain gave a welcome message, and then it was repeated in several different languages. The Captain speaks in English and Italian, then they have girls who finish the other languages with the same message. It can take awhile, and about everything is done this way. And then after the parade, the entertainment staff came out dancing to the song It’s a Wonderful World. They are talented. The party didn’t take long and then already it was time for lunch. Time does fly by on a cruise.
We tried to get our outside table in the buffet, but I guess that everyone had discovered them by the second day. There were plenty of open tables to the back of the buffet, and we never ever had a problem finding a table. Also, there are always open tables if you go in the side doors of the buffet instead of the center door. Be aware, the “washy washy” guy is always at the center entrance trying to spray you with Purel, but he’s not at the side door. There are sinks at each entrance to wash your hands.
I had some cauliflower and some broccoli, a hot dog, and some fries. The hotdogs and the fries are really good. The veggies were okay, although the cauliflower was kind of spicy. To drink they have unsweetened iced tea, assorted juices, water, coffee, and hot tea. They have assorted tea bags. And of course I had a couple of desserts. The deserts in the buffet are very small, so you can sample more than one thing. Desserts are the best food on the cruise, I think.
Relaxing before Cirque du Soleil
We knew that we were going to have a really long night since our Cirque du Soleil reservations wasn’t until 8:45 pm so we decided to relax for a couple of hours. I sat on the balcony in the cabin and worked on my blog. I write it out freehand, and then type it up when I get home.
Let me tell you about the TV channels on the ship. There is TBS, TCM, a cartoon channel, and TruTV in English. The funny part is that all of the commercials are in Spanish. There are a lot of ship channels trying to sell you stuff, and a lot of TV in different languages. The TV will go black several times a minutes, and then come back on. Kind of annoying. And no USB port that I could find on the TV.
After relaxing, we showered and got ready for elegant night. This is a night where you dress up a bit when you go to dinner. It’s a good night to get pictures taken if you want them. As for the cabin shower, I really like the ones on the Meraviglia. They have plexiglass doors instead of shower curtains. That means no water all over the floor of the bathroom. The bathroom itself is about the same size as on any ship. Small.
We went to the first show at 6:45 pm in the main theater, called the Broadway Theater. If you want to get good seats at the shows, you need to make reservations at the kiosks all over the ship. You use your sea card to make them. They had shows at 6:45, 8:45, and 10:45 each night. If you don’t have a reservation, you can get in at five minutes before the show started. The shows were never full, I always saw empty seats to the sides.
This show was called Born to Rock, and we really enjoyed it. It started out with music from The Beatles, and ended up with songs from Queen. The entertainment staff really is excellent on the Meraviglia, the sets are great, and this show is worth seeing. Each show is only about 45 minutes long.
And after the show what did I find but a rubber duck! You may wonder…why a rubber duck? There is a group of cruisers who hide rubber ducks around any ship that they sail on. It’s always a treat to find one, and this is my first. Thanks so much Debra and Tony!
Cirque du Soleil – Viaggio
After the show was over, at around 7:40 pm, we walked through the Casino to where the Carousel Theater is located to get in line for Cirque du Soleil. We’re not really a fan of casinos because of the cigarette smoke, but the line to Carousel Theater went through the Casino and we had to wait in it. I don’t think that they planned well putting the Carousel Theater right next to the Casino, because some people cannot take the smell of the smoke. We stood there for about 20 minutes.
Once we got into the theater, it was very nice. Since we had the meal included with our ticket, we got a glass of wine as we were shown to our table. We sat with a very nice American couple who shared our frustrations with the first day on the ship and the slowness of dinner the night before.
Much better food
However, the service at Cirque du Soleil was much more organized and fast. We had actually pre-ordered our meal when we booked our reservation on the ship the night before, so we didn’t have to look at a menu. I had no idea of what we were actually getting because I didn’t really understand the menu the day before, and we had very little time to look at it, but everything was delicious. First came a small salad of some sort which we liked, then a delicious and tender filet of beef, potatoes, and spinach. For dessert we had a small cheesecake with white chocolate. Such a nice change from the night before. To drink we had a bottle of sparkling water.
As for the show, Viaggio, I’ve never been to Cirque du Soliel before and I didn’t think that I’d like it. But it was a lot of fun. I’m really not sure if there was a plot, it had something to do with a lady and butterflies, but the performers definitely kept us entertained. From jugglers to dancers to a flying bicycle to someone walking down the wall on the side of the room, there was no way to get bored. I would definitely recommend Viaggio, and get the meal, it’s worth it. It was the best food and service that we had on the ship. I would do it again.
It was a really long day, so after walking around a while, we decided to call it a night. We wanted to be rested for Cozumel in the morning. Remember, Cozumel was our replacement for Ocean Cay, MSC’s new private island. We weren’t thrilled about going to Cozumel because we’ve been there so much, but we figured we’d go out and walk around the port a bit. We were given $100 onboard credit and promised 20% of the amount we paid for this cruise for a future cruise, so that helped a bit. But still, Cozumel does not make up for Ocean Cay. It is a disappointment.