Having read a lot of reviews regarding the MSC Magnifica, we decided to go on the cruise with an open mind; and on the whole it was a very enjoyable cruise. The ship does live up to its name and is constantly kept clean and tidy, the staff work very hard and are always pleasant. We stayed in a balcony cabin, though not as large as some we have stayed in it was big enough for 2 with enough room for our clothes and space under the bed for the cases. The room was kept clean though the balcony was not swept during our cruise. We mentioned this to reception and it had a cursory clean.
The food on board was quite good, there was a lot of choice on the buffet breakfast and if you wanted to be waited on you could use the restaurant. Lunch in the buffet was very much the same every day unless you found the "ethnic" section this changed every day from Indian to Chinese etc. with pasta each day. Evening meals were of the Italian style (what else it's an Italian ship) and were varied each day served in 5 courses.
Entertainment was provided in several venues, music and dancing, easy listening and a show in the theatre. The latter again being of the Italian style did seem a bit dated very much like the (Sunday night at the London Palladium)singers dancers and acrobats. The days did lack a bit of interesting entertainment leaving you wandering around on sailing days, though this was a winter cruise so may be in summer it will be different. This was a Christmas cruise but other than Christmas songs being played all day there was very little to tell it was different from other days.
The parts we did not like were personal dislikes so you may find that these are things that you do like:
Embarkation was very poor they dealt with our cases very well as soon as we arrived; we made our way to the upper level of the terminal without any explanation what to do and were given a ticket with a number on. At this point you need to join the line to check in and get your cruise card; you can register your credit card then to save time later. We still had our number and were told to wait until it was called. The ship is tantalising looming through the window but you can't get on. We waited 2 hours with no refreshments until our number was called and we could go on the ship. Having gone through the process I think I would have left the cases and gone round Venice until last moment and not had the problem of waiting in the terminal.
The smoking policy we found to be quite unacceptable and the rules against it are constantly flouted with no action taken by the staff. you can smoke freely in the casino so if you don't smoke this is a no go area meaning if you want to traverse deck 7 you will need to go up and down via deck 6. On deck 6 in the Topazio bar there is a section on the port side for smoking but this is not divided off so the smoke fills the room and some of the shops. you are requested not to smoke in rooms and on balconies, but nothing is done to stop it I had a cigarette stump and ash landing on me from balconies above, not very nice. Again nothing was done about it. Smoke gets into the corridors from rooms, according to one guest in an inside cabin, the smoke from next door filled their cabin as there was no way to ventilate it.
Children have a lot to do during the day but some are left unattended at night running around unchecked. Parents of some children encourage them onto the dance floors in the evenings, making it very dangerous to dance in case you knocked one of the children over onto the hard floor; so in a lot of cases you just give up and leave it to big soft dads standing on the dance floor grinning at their precious little darlings spinning round and sliding across the floor. But it was about 4 families who spoiled it for others keeping babies up until the early hours of the morning.
A lot has been said in other reviews about the price of drinks and tips but we knew this before cruising and it was not a surprise. The cruise is not as expensive as some other lines so the price of drinks was compensated for. If you are a big drinker there are all inclusive packages you can use. The prices were not a lot different from other cruises and hotels I have stayed in, though the prices in the shops on board were over priced so I don't think they had a lot of custom. All in all it does seem a bit of false economy and if they lowered prices they would have a lot more sales.
Would I sale with them again? Yes if the price and package was right.