Boarding in Izmir took 1/2 hrs because we waited for landing passengers for sight seeing.at 10.30 we received our magnifica cards ,our cabin was ready.Magnifica is a beautiful new ship and our 10th deck inner cabin was sufficient in size.We put our two suitcases into wardrobe and there was enough drawers to take in all our goods.We had applied for the first seating and we got a table for 2 at L'EDERE restaurant.Before the trip I have read at least 30 rewievs.And many passengers complained about seating with people they couldn't communicate or who were noisy.So we didn't have any problem and they were very helpful.We were charged 7 euros per day as service charge.If you consider the cruise is moderately priced,this was acceptable.Our waiter and cabin attendant were very friendly.When we were out of cabin each time it was put back into shape and cleaned by our attendant.Our waiter changed our dish with another one when we were not happy.I must say I haven' seen such agood service even More
in best hotels.We tried many meals from Italian kichen.Some we liked some were tasteless.The quality of the food served was acceptable.But i can't say that for deserts and cakes,which needs improvement.We dined at alacarte restaurant most of the time and avoided the crowd and rush of the cafeteria.There are 7 bars in the ship with live music.The quality of the music is good.That was the best satisfaction for me on board because most of the time i have no chance to listen to live classical or popular music at bars and restaurants at home.Most of the shows were also nice.
Next morning we arrived at Istanbul which is a world heritage.Since we already knew the city we walked along the pier and over the Galata bridge to Misir bazaar(spice market)through which you can also walk to Grand Bazaar which can take more than an hr.If you miss the tours the most atractive sites like Topkapi or Ayasophia will not take more than 10 minutes by taxi and cost no more than 10 euros.Next day we were at open sea to Dubrovnic and same night there was the first gala diner of the captain Francesco Veniero.The food was good and we enjoyed the shampain offered.Next they at Dubrovnic we took shuttle bus arranged by MSC for 10 euros.The road to old town has no attraction and doesn't worth to walk.The old town is a beautiful site which still needs some renovation work.There we had a nice local draft beer and paid in euros.So euros and dollars are accepted by the shops and restaurants so we didn't exchange money.Next day we arrived at Venice which is another world heritage.And while approaching and departing the port you can take best pictures of the islands and grand canal and don't miss to be at the open decks.We bought transfer tickets from MSC,to sanmarko squire for 11 euros.We embarked the transfer boat directly from the ship which was very convenient.We walked around venice and enjoyed it very much.Next day at Bari we took escorted train tour waiting just outside of the port gate for 20 euros.Tour took 2 1/2 hrs and we visited Sannicola church,castle and the narrow streets of Bari with our guide Nicoletta and we enjoyed it.The last port vas Katakolon and we spend our time for shopping and had ouzos at a bar.Same night was the second gala night and we enjoyed fine food and coctails offered by the captain in all bars before the dinner.I advise you to visit the tax free shops where i bought 1 lt whiskeys for 9.5 euros(sale price).Ihave a suggestion for MSC to sell tax free raki on board and if priced reasonably all Turkish pasengers about 250 on board will buy.Last morning we arrived at Izmir port where you can go to Ephesus and to the house of Virgin Marry.The historic sites around izmir are very well preserved.You can also take a taxi for 120 euros for four people to take you there.There is a good motorway which is about 100kms and takes 1 hr one way.If you stay at Izmir you can take the municipal hopon-hopoff bus for 10 euros to visit the city.
In summary i can say we enjoyed our cruise with Magnifica and can sail again in future if they ban smoking on board.They allow smoking at Topazio bar,L'Ametista lounge and in closed pool area.Can you imagine your kids getting into the pool in a closed space which is invaded by smokers.I sneezed continously because of the smokers during the cruise.I hope MSC and partner ARKAS will take the necessarry steps to find a solution. Less
MSC Magnifica Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean