Dining on MSC Euribia

Aboard MSC Euribia, the dining experience presents a varied palette that caters to diverse tastes, albeit with mixed reviews. The ship offers a range of dining options, from casual buffets at the Marketplace Buffet, known for its variety, to specialty restaurants that deliver distinctive culinary experiences, such as the popular Kaito Teppanyaki. While the variety is commendable, the quality and service can be inconsistent. This makes dining aboard MSC Euribia somewhat of a mixed bag, with some venues excelling and others falling short of expectations, reflecting a broad spectrum of dining experiences that might not satisfy all cruisers.

Main Dining on MSC Euribia

Dining aboard MSC Euribia, particularly in the main dining areas, presents a series of challenges that can affect the overall guest experience. The ship houses several main dining rooms, each tailored to different accommodation classes, but the quality and service levels across these venues are inconsistent and often fall short of expectations, and that of MSC’s competition.

Main Dining Rooms for Bella and Fantastica Guests: The twin restaurants, Aurora Boreale and Aurora Borealis, situated on Deck 6 and directly across from each other, serve as the primary dining options for Bella and Fantastica guests. These spacious dining halls, with a combined seating capacity of just over 900, struggle with operational issues such as difficulties in securing tables or preferred dining times. Guests have reported that the process of getting a table can be cumbersome, particularly for those in the Bella category, where the lack of dining privileges can mean less flexibility and longer waits, with some passengers not able to be seated until nearly 10pm.

The quality of food in MSC main dining rooms has also been a subject of debate for a while. Common complaints include dishes arriving lukewarm, the use of poor-quality ingredients, and specific issues such as prawns not being properly deveined. Such lapses in culinary standards can detract significantly from the dining experience. Additionally, the service in these areas, especially noted during our own visit, was not particularly friendly, which could further impact the enjoyment of meals.

Dining at Colorado River and Green Orchid: Other dining venues for Bella and Fantastica guests include the Colorado River and Green Orchid restaurants. Similar to Aurora Boreale and Aurora Borealis, the menu offerings do not significantly differ, and the same issues of food quality and service inconsistency prevail here. These factors combined make the main dining experience for many guests less than satisfactory.

Il Campo for Aurea Guests: Il Campo, the main dining room designated for Aurea guests, offers no differentiation in the menu from what is served in the other main dining rooms. This lack of distinction is disappointing, given the higher tier of accommodation and the expectations for something more exclusive or enhanced.

MSC Yacht Club Restaurant: The MSC Yacht Club Restaurant, exclusively for Yacht Club suite guests, stands out as the most beautiful and ostensibly exclusive dining venue onboard. However, the menu here closely mirrors that of the less exclusive dining rooms, which is underwhelming considering the premium paid for Yacht Club accommodations. While the setting is more refined, the food does not convey the same level of luxury, feeling only marginally elevated from what is served to lower classes. There is a significant opportunity here to include more premium options, especially to accommodate guests with dietary restrictions more thoughtfully.

Comparative Perspective: When placed in context with similar ‘ship within a ship’ concepts like Celebrity Cruises’ Retreat and Cunard’s Queens Grill, MSC Yacht Club’s dining falls short. These competitors offer a distinctly higher standard of service and cuisine reminiscent of a luxury hotel in a cosmopolitan city, justifying their higher price tags with a truly luxurious dining experience that MSC Yacht Club currently does not match.

Recommendations for Improvement: To elevate the main dining experience aboard MSC Euribia, several improvements are needed. Enhancing the quality of ingredients, ensuring food is served hot, and improving the overall service attitude would greatly benefit the dining atmosphere. Specifically, for MSC Yacht Club, introducing a more distinctive and luxurious menu would align the culinary experience more closely with the exclusivity of the accommodation, making it a more compelling choice for discerning cruisers. Addressing these issues could significantly enhance the dining satisfaction for all guests onboard.

Specialty Restaurants on MSC Euribia

Aboard MSC Euribia, the speciality dining options range from exciting Japanese cuisine to intimate steakhouses and casual taco eateries. Here is a detailed review of these varied extra charge dining experiences:

Kaito Teppanyaki: Located midship aboard MSC Euribia, Kaito Teppanyaki offers an interactive dining experience where chefs prepare your meal right before your eyes on an iron griddle. The thrill of watching skilled chefs at work complements the culinary enjoyment, with meals priced around €50 per person including tips. However, a notable concern was the chef’s practice of cooking vegetable and vegetarian items on the same surface as meat products, which could be a significant issue for vegetarians or those with dietary restrictions.

Kaito Sushi and Robatayaki: Alongside Teppanyaki, MSC Euribia hosts two other Japanese-themed restaurants: Kaito Sushi and Robatayaki. Kaito Sushi offers a traditional sushi dining experience, while Robatayaki, which became our favourite of the three, presents a more varied menu. Robatayaki combines sushi with an assortment of small dishes such as buns, skewers, and gyoza, catering well to those who prefer a quieter dining setting away from the lively teppanyaki performances. Like Teppanyaki, the price here is about €50 per person with a dining package, offering a good alternative for those seeking Japanese cuisine without the interactive chef element.

Le Grill: Le Grill, the newest steakhouse in MSC Cruises fleet, offers a cosy and intimate setting that seems worlds away from the ship’s busier areas. Replacing the more traditional Butcher’s Cut found on other MSC ships, Le Grill’s menu is nearly identical but aims for a different ambiance. The dining experience typically includes a starter or soup, a main course, a side, and dessert. Despite its promising setup, Le Grill was disappointing in several respects. The service lacked attention to detail; for example, despite explicitly stating dietary preferences, staff served bread containing bacon. The absence of vegetarian options in the main courses is another significant drawback, especially considering the modern dietary trends and needs. Furthermore, those with dining packages found their choices severely limited, with 47% of the menu unavailable under these packages, and requiring an additional supplement of 50%. This restriction, along with the high cost of 59 euros per person without tips, underscores a feeling of being nickel-and-dimed, which detracts from the overall dining experience.

Hola! Tacos & Cantina: As the cheapest speciality restaurant on MSC Euribia, Hola! Tacos & Cantina was surprisingly our favourite. Open for lunch and dinner, it offers a menu that includes tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and nachos, available either a la carte or for an all-you-can-eat fee of around €17, which is very reasonable. The selection of salsas, ranging from very mild to mildly hot, was particularly enjoyable. However, it’s important to note that while the food is cooked to order, it is pre-prepared, meaning that customisation to meet specific dietary requirements is not possible.

In summary, while MSC Euribia offers a diverse array of speciality dining options that cater to various culinary preferences, the experiences can be hit or miss. Robatayaki and Hola! Tacos & Cantina stand out for their quality and value, respectively, whereas Kaito Teppanyaki and Le Grill have areas that could be improved, particularly in accommodating dietary restrictions and ensuring customer satisfaction in service and menu flexibility. It is also a shame that 3 out of the 5 speciality restaurant restaurants are Japanese, which does hamper culinary variety on this ship.

Casual Dining Spots on MSC Euribia

Aboard MSC Euribia, the casual dining options are diverse, offering everything from extensive buffets to specialty treats, catering to a variety of tastes and preferences.

Marketplace Buffet: The Marketplace Buffet is the central hub for casual dining on MSC Euribia, featuring a wide array of food selections that excel in quality compared to similar offerings from cruise lines like P&O Cruises, Marella, and Ambassador. However, it falls short when compared to the more refined and varied buffet options offered by premium lines such as Holland America, Celebrity Cruises, and Virgin Voyages. The buffet serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with breakfast typically being the busiest time. Guests can enjoy a traditional breakfast spread that includes eggs, bacon, croissants, and waffles. The layout during this peak time can become congested, making it challenging to navigate through crowds or find a table. An early visit can mitigate this issue.

Lunch at the Marketplace features a delightful variety, from fresh salads and pizza to a carving station and international dishes like Indian cuisine. A highlight is the freshly made mozzarella, prepared in front of guests, enhancing the dining experience with a touch of culinary theatre, and a nod to MSC’s Italian heritage.

Dinner tends to be quieter, as many guests opt for other dining venues, allowing easier access to evening offerings such as grilled fish, pork loin, and pasta. A notable feature during dinner is the service buttons on tables, which guests can press to summon a waiter for drink service. Desserts are plentiful, although it’s surprising to find no ice cream available in the buffet.

Atmosphere Bar South: Located on the pool deck (Deck 15), this venue is included in the cruise fare and serves popular items like pizza and burgers. Its operation is weather-dependent, which means it may close during poor weather conditions, limiting availability.

Carousel Lounge: More of a snack bar than a full-service restaurant, the Carousel Lounge offers light bites such as pastries, muffins, and finger sandwiches until early evening. This makes it a convenient alternative to the often crowded Marketplace Buffet, and it’s included in the cruise fare.

Yacht Club Grill and Bar: Exclusive to Yacht Club passengers, this buffet is open for breakfast and lunch, weather permitting, and is located on the Yacht Club Sundeck. It offers a more exclusive and peaceful dining option compared to the main buffet area.

Jean-Philippe Crepes & Gelato: Situated on the promenade on Deck 6, this venue, although at an extra charge, provides an excellent selection of crepes and gelato. Its variety is impressive, and the quality is high, making it a worthwhile treat if you’re looking to indulge.

Atmosphere Ice Cream Bar: Also at an extra charge, this poolside venue offers soft-serve ice cream, a favourite especially on warm, sunny sea days.

Jean-Philippe Chocolat & Cafe: For those with a penchant for sweets, this extra charge cafe is the go-to spot for specialty coffee and a diverse selection of chocolates.

In summary, while casual dining aboard MSC Euribia offers a broad spectrum of choices that cater to various dietary preferences and desires, the overall experience can vary. The Marketplace Buffet, while extensive, struggles with congestion during peak times and lacks the finesse found on more premium cruise lines.

Dining Tips and Recommendations

Dining aboard MSC Euribia presents a delightful array of options that cater to varied palettes and dining preferences. To maximise your culinary experience on this cruise ship, here are some tailored tips and recommendations:

Explore Dining Packages: If you plan to sample multiple specialty restaurants during your cruise, consider purchasing a dining package. These packages can offer considerable savings compared to paying for each meal individually. This is especially valuable on MSC Euribia, where the specialty dining experiences, such as Kaito Teppanyaki and Le Grill, provide unique culinary adventures. Although be mindful of the dishes which are excluded as part of the menu. In this event, guests with a dining package will be entitled to a 50% supplement of a dish’s individual cost (for example, if an excluded dish has an individual cost of €20, someone with a dining package will pay €10).

Make Reservations Early: Popular dining venues on MSC Euribia, such as Kaito Sushi and Robatayaki, can fill up quickly. To ensure you don’t miss out on these experiences, make your reservations early, either online before your cruise or as soon as you board. This early planning can help secure a spot at these highly sought-after tables.

Variety at the Marketplace Buffet: While the Marketplace Buffet offers a wide array of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it can get very busy, particularly during peak times like breakfast. Plan your visits during off-peak times if possible, or head there early to avoid the rush and enjoy a more relaxed meal. The fresh mozzarella made on-site is a must-try.

Specialty Dining Experiences: Don’t overlook the intimate and cosy Le Grill for a steakhouse experience, despite its few service hiccups. If meat isn’t your preference, Hola! Tacos & Cantina offers a vibrant alternative with its a la carte or all-you-can-eat options at a very reasonable price. It’s a lively venue perfect for a casual and fun meal.

Enjoy Complimentary Dining Venues: Besides the specialty options, MSC Euribia also offers excellent complimentary dining choices. The ship’s main dining rooms serve a variety of dishes that cater to different tastes, including health-conscious options. For a quicker, casual meal, the Atmosphere Bar South on the pool deck is ideal for grabbing a pizza or burger while enjoying the sea air, weather permitting.

Special Dietary Needs: For guests with specific dietary requirements, MSC Euribia can at times prove quite challenging when it comes to accommodating various needs such as vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets. It’s advisable to inform your waiter or the dining staff of any dietary restrictions to ensure these are considered throughout your dining experience.

Indulge in Crepes and Gelato: For those with a sweet tooth, Jean-Philippe Crepes & Gelato is a delightful spot to indulge in beautifully crafted crepes and a range of gelato flavours. Although there is an extra charge, the quality and variety make it a worthwhile treat.

Room Service: For a relaxing night in, take advantage of the ship’s room service, which is available 24/7. Enjoy everything from an early breakfast to late-night snacks in the comfort of your own cabin, perfect for those moments when you prefer a quieter dining experience.

Savour the Experience: Finally, dining on MSC Euribia is as much about the overall experience as it is about the food. Each restaurant boasts its own unique theme and ambiance, designed to enhance your meal. Take the time to appreciate the decor, the service, and the company of your fellow diners.

By following these tips, you can ensure that every meal on MSC Euribia is not just satisfying, but a memorable part of your cruise experience.

Conclusion

Dining aboard MSC Euribia offers a diverse array of culinary experiences, though the overall quality and service can vary significantly across different venues. The ship’s array of dining options caters to a wide range of tastes and preferences, ensuring that there is something for everyone, albeit with some inconsistencies that might affect the overall dining satisfaction.

Marketplace Buffet stands out for its extensive variety, offering a vast selection from breakfast through dinner. While the quality surpasses that of many other cruise lines such as P&O Cruises, Marella, and Ambassador, it does not reach the high standards set by more premium lines like Holland America or Celebrity Cruises. The buffet area can become particularly crowded during peak times, especially at breakfast, which can detract from the dining experience. Planning your visit during off-peak hours might offer a more relaxed atmosphere and easier access to the diverse offerings.

Specialty Restaurants on MSC Euribia, such as Kaito Teppanyaki and Le Grill, provide unique dining experiences that are generally well-received. However, Kaito Teppanyaki has faced criticism for not segregating the cooking of vegetarian and meat products, which could be a significant issue for some passengers. Le Grill, while offering a cosy and intimate setting, has been noted for its service lapses, particularly in handling dietary preferences and restrictions, which is disappointing given the higher cost.

Hola! Tacos & Cantina emerges as a favourite for its more casual and vibrant dining experience, offering value for money with its all-you-can-eat option for around €17pp. The venue’s atmosphere and the quality of its offerings make it a popular choice for those seeking a laid-back meal.

Jean-Philippe Crepes & Gelato and other extra-charge venues like Jean-Philippe Chocolat & Cafe add a special touch to the onboard dining options, providing high-quality desserts and snacks that are worth the additional expense for those looking to treat themselves.

On a more exclusive note, the MSC Yacht Club Restaurant aims to provide a more luxurious dining experience but falls short of replicating the high standards seen in similar ‘ship within a ship’ concepts from other cruise lines. The menu and food quality, while slightly elevated, do not justify the premium price tag when compared to the exquisite offerings and service found in venues like the Retreat with Celebrity Cruises or Queens Grill with Cunard.

In conclusion, dining on MSC Euribia offers a spectrum of choices that can cater to casual diners as well as those seeking more refined culinary experiences. However, there are noticeable areas for improvement in food quality consistency, service standards, and accommodation of dietary needs across the board. For guests looking to make the most of their dining experience aboard MSC Euribia, taking advantage of dining packages, making early reservations, and exploring a variety of dining venues can enhance the overall dining experience.

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