Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Mein Schiff 3
Ship: 458 out of 500
Accommodation: 168 out of 200
Food: 327 out of 400
Service: 331 out of 400
Entertainment: 84 out of 100
Cruise: 328 out of 400
Overall Score: 1696 out of 2000
Mein Schiff 3 Statistics
Size: Large Resort Ship
Cruise Line: TUI Cruise
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9641730
Builder: STX Europe (Finland)
Original Cost: €390 million
Entered Service: May 2014
Length (ft/m): 967.8/295.0
Beam (ft/m): 118.1/36.0
Draft (ft/m): 26.2/8.0
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (28,000kW)/2
Passenger Decks: 12
Total Crew: 1,000
Passengers (lower beds): 2,506
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 39.7
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.5
Cabins (total): 1,250
Size Range (sq ft/m): 182.9-581.2/17.0-54.0
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 1,033
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 10
Wheelchair accessibility: Good
Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 3 (1 w/sliding glass dome)
Hot Tubs (on deck): 4
Self-Service Launderette: No
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: Yes/200
Onboard currency: Euros
This ship has it all for youthful German-speaking families
Overview. Named by the famous pop vocalist Helene Fischer when it debuted in June 2014, Mein Schiff 3 is the new kid on the block for rapidly-expanding TUI Cruises. This new ship, for German-speaking families, takes the best parts of the all-inclusive brand further.
The Ship. Larger than Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2, this ship incorporates all the best of the previous two ships, and has added more facilities and tailored the design to its passengers’ needs. Its new-generation propulsion system is stunningly quiet in operation, with absolutely no vibration anywhere.
A superb 82ft (25m) lap pool (long by cruise ship standards and half the length of an ‘Olympic’ sized pool) is featured outdoors - together with a large-scale movie screen and sports area for basketball and volleyball - while a second, indoor, pool and adjacent hot tubs provide plenty of choice for families with children.
High up on Deck 14 is what’s known as the Blue Balcony, a 118.4-sq-ft (11-sq-m) glass-floored platform some 121.3ft (37m) above the sea, which gives the sensation of floating over the ocean.
Public rooms are plentiful, and include a really lovely music academy-style concert hall (auditorium) which has been designed to the highest acoustic specifications.
What makes a cruise aboard Mein Schiff 3 really user-friendly for families is the all-inclusive pricing, though this excludes spa treatments, excursions, and the extra-cost restaurants: Richards Feines Essen, Blaue Welt Sushi Bar, Fish House Gosch Sylt, and a Surf ’n’ Turf Steakhouse, among others. The dress code is smart casual. But the real diamond in the crown is the two-deck high glass enclosure which houses two different restaurants - with great views over the ship’s stern (the back), and a fine barista coffee lounge.
Mein Schiff 3 has a really comforting ‘feel,’ and boasts a number of outstanding passenger-friendly features, including: the longest swimming pool of any cruise ship; an ocean-connect museum (I call it an ‘oceano-quarium’); water fountains on each accommodation deck (special quartz crystals are provided in each cabin to add to the water pitcher for negative ion purification); vertical walls of living plants; large meat ageing (proving) cabinet adjacent to the Surf ‘n’ Turf Restaurant; smartphone food ordering for waiters (sent electronically to the kitchen so the waiter is always at his station to attend to passengers); a Nespresso coffee machine is provided in every cabin; large spa and wellness facilities; large choice of (included and extra-cost) dining venues and eateries; and a completely enclosed shore excursion information and booking room.
Families. Younger children are well catered for, with a playroom and an outdoor paddling pool, while teens have their own adult-free chill-out lounge. There’s also a character called Captain Sharky (perhaps he’s ‘driving’ the ship?).
Accommodation. About 82 percent of all cabins feature private balconies, and each one features a hammock - now a signature item for all ships in the TUI Cruises fleet. Likewise, every cabin comes with a Nespresso coffee machine.
Combination balcony cabins allow for interconnecting balconies, and a ‘holiday home’ package provides a Mein Schiff 3 chef to prepare a barbecue on the balcony grill.
Spa accommodation is located near the spa and part of a package that includes a massage for two in one of the most extensive wellness spa environments at sea.
A Captain’s Suite, at 581.2 sq ft (54 sq m) is the largest suite aboard ship, and is located near the navigation bridge. Meanwhile, each of the spacious Sea & Sky Suites has its own large roof terrace and private sunbathing (including a large hammock and upcale sunbeds) and shaded areas. Premium veranda cabins offer large, diagonal terraces, and there are three suite categories. Also, 10 cabins are designated as wheelchair-accessible.
Family-friendly suites sleep up to 6 (they come in three different types). One example measures about 452 sq ft (42 sq m) but there’s also a huge balcony measuring 506 sq ft (47 sq m). The total adds up to a delightfully large 958 sq ft (89 sq m). All come with Xbox game consoles.
Dining. With a choice of 11 dining venues, there really is plenty of choice. The Atlantik Restaurant is the ship’s main restaurant. It is divided into three sections, and focuses on three styles of food: Classic - for dishes such as steak with roasted shallots and a chili-chocolate reduction); Mediterranean - for choices like home-made pastas, grilled fish and lamb with herbs of Provence; and Eurasian - for items such as sweet and sour vegetables with fried jasmine rice. Five course menus include home-made pastas, grilled fish or antipasti, as well as Asian dishes and is part of the inclusive offering.
Other dining options. At the aft of the ship, a 1,798-sq-ft (167-sq-m) multifaceted glass structure (nicknamed the ‘diamond’) spans two decks. Inside the ‘diamond,’ are two restaurants that became extremely popular aboard the company’s Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 - Richards Feines Essen for fine dining and the Surf ’n’ Turf Steakhouse, which features a superb glass-enclosed meat dry-ageing cabinet.
Hanami (it means flower-watching - particularly cherry blossom) is a Japanese restaurant (try the shabu-shabu beef), which incorporates a sushi bar. The venue offers sushi creations and other specialties of Japanese cuisine at an additional cost.
A real bakery, an adjunct of the self-serve buffet restaurant Anckelmannsplatz, features freshly baked (all day long) crispy rolls, panini and cakes. Already appearing aboard Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2, the popular informal restaurant Fish House Gosch Sylt now has about 130 seats aboard Mein Schiff 3 (versus 88 seats aboard Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2), and features fresh fish and well-prepared seafood dishes, with daily specials listed on a blackboard.
For the still hungry, the Day & Night Bistro provides regional and international snacks around the clock (including currywurst and other comfort food favorites), while in a modern coffee lounge a barista brews international coffees and presents Mein Schiff’s own hand-crafted pralines and chocolates.
Entertainment. The Theater is the ship’s showlounge. It is a three-deck venue with 949 seats, and features colorful, razzle-dazzle production shows and major cabaret acts.
What is really innovative, however, is a stunning concert hall/movie theater called Klanghaus (literally: small music academy-style concert hall) which was developed in conjunction with renowned acoustics experts from leading opera houses and concert halls. It provides a really fine setting for live classical and jazz concerts, theatrical readings, lectures and movies with surround sound.
Numerous bands, small musical units and solo musical entertainers provide live music in several of the lounge venues throughout the ship.
Spa/Fitness. Sports facilities include a large arena in the aft section of the ship for volleyball, basketball, and football.