We are planning to take a cruise for our family trip this year (August or september/2017). We have 1.5 years old girl who enjoys going out. But we really don't know which to choose the; new MSC Meraviglia ship (Barcelona; Marseille; Genoa; Naples; Messina; Valletta; Barcelona) or take the MSC Sinfonia (Venice; Split; Santorini; Mykonos; Dubrovnik; Ancona; Venice). We prefer the eastern itinerary more as we have never been in the ports of call. But we want to try the new ship as we are impressed with everything on it. This is our first cruise and I don't think we will be able to make another one for a long time after that. So should we try the new ship or take the itinerary we like more. I know we will love both but we have to choose now. Please help me make up my mind.
I would prefer the eastern cruise given the choice of the two.
But have you looked at other more possibly popular cruise lines? There are so many cruise lines operating in The Med.
When I'm researching cruises (anywhere in the world), I start at VacationsToGo.com filtering my search by region/ports. I then look for lowest prices and freebies (incentives.)
Recently, we've been booking our cruises through the other big player in the cruise booking industry--Avoya Travel. My wife has a relationship with an independent agent working through them, and her level of service has been great.
Thank you for your reply. I use Expedia for looking around, but I think we will use a travel agent for the reservation after we compare the prices. I checked other companies like NCL, but MSC is the only one who sails children for free. Actually NCL has better itinerary than MSC in the west (it includes Florance and Naples), we can pay the extra 500$ for the child, but we are still confused if we should choose the new ship (Meraviglia; which will start sailing this June) over itinerary.
munaelisa, go to cruisecritic.com to get lots of good information and reviews on all the various cruises. Its not a very user friendly site, but there is a whole section of reviews that is helpful, even specific to individual ships. This Rick Steves site has a lot of knowledgable travelers, but primarily it has a land-touring focus. Rick Steves does have a guide book on Mediterranean cruise ports, however, which might be useful.
If it is your first cruise it should make no difference that a ship is brand new, as you won't have anything to compare it to. I would choose the itinerary you like better---that is what will give you the most pleasure from the trip.
I am curious, have you looked at the virtual tours of what the two ships look like? Or are you going on the fact that the one ship is just newer. How old is the MSC Sinfonia? Is it worn out or old looking or not appealing? Knowing what the actual ships look like may help in determining which ship you would be most confortable on.
You've gotten some good advice. I'll second the recommendation to spend some time on cruise Critic. The reviews of the individual ships may be helpful. Just because a ship is older doesn't mean it will be worn and run down. The ships are periodically put into refit for maintenance and updates. While a brand new ship often needs a break in period to work out problems.
Another thing to consider is that Med cruises are very port intensive. You will spend little of your waking hours on the ship. So all the extra bells and whistles aren't as important as, say, on a transatlantic cruise.
All else being equal, I'd go with the itinerary that interests you the most.
Thank you guys, I checked the cruise critics but the new ship is still without any reviews. But I think you are right, we may only use the ship for sleeping, so we should take the itinerary we like more.