MSC Magnifica Review

Editor Rating:  4.0
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Editor Rating
4.0
Cruiser Rating
Why Choose MSC Magnifica?
  • Kids younger than 18 always sail free
  • Great spa includes thermal suite and smoothie bar
  • Sails from Europe, Brazil, U.K.

MSC Magnifica Overview

By Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor
MSC Magnifica falls into the Musica Class of ships, which debuted with 90,000-ton, 2,550-passenger Musica, launched in 2006. Musica featured an innovative new design for MSC. Introduced on the vessel were more contemporary features, such as a sprawling spa, a wider range of dining venues -- like the now-standard wine bar -- and a much higher number of balcony cabins. MSC Musica has since been followed by siblings MSC Orchestra and MSC Poesia (launched in 2007 and 2008, respectively). MSC Magnifica launched in 2010.

One of the key criticisms leveled at all MSC ships is "they're too glitzy." Yet Magnifica really is no more or less glitzy than other big cruise ships; the atrium on most older Carnival cruise ships would be much glitzier than Magnifica's. (Plus, the ship has no Swarovski crystals tucked away in the stairs, unlike the newer MSC ships.)

What it does have is a multitude of bars (with drinks at reasonable prices), an excellent spa and large fitness area, kids club, and a good-sized lido deck pool, plus another inside one. It also has great flow; it's well designed and easy to get around, which is a massive plus.

Where it loses marks is in the quality and variety of cuisine. The former is a real letdown for a line that puts such an emphasis on food. There are just two specialty restaurants, which is limiting on a ship of Magnifica's size. The entertainment onboard is also way behind the times when compared with modern cruise ships -- think slapstick vaudeville, rather than Vegas glitz.

Another potential area of concern is what the ship does not have, compared to other mega-ships: water parks, climbing walls and other active pursuits like simulated surfing, for example, which are de rigueur on most ships from other major lines.

The ship divides its time between Northern Europe and the Mediterranean, and it will be making its U.K. debut in September 2014.

Three years ago, MSC changed the first language onboard all its ships from Italian to English, so there will be no challenges for English-speakers. The challenge will lie in whether this ship has enough wow factors to draw an international passenger base.

MSC Magnifica Fellow Passengers

MSC Magnifica Fellow Passengers It depends entirely where the ship is deployed, which is in Northern Europe during the summer, the Mediterranean for the short shoulder season (September to October) or Brazil for the winter.

During the summer, it attracts mainly Germans and Dutch cruisers. When it's in the Med, the majority of passengers are Italian, and for the winter they're mainly Brazilian with a smattering of other Latin American nationalities. The ship's character changes wildly during each of these deployments, with timetables shifted to cater for each nationality. When the ship sails out of Southampton, passengers will be mostly British.

MSC Magnifica Dress Code

This is generally a casual ship, with beach attire and casualwear seen during the day and perhaps slacks and a shirt in the evening. There is no enforcement of dress code, just suggested colors depending on each night's theme: green, white and red for Italian night, etc. There is one formal night per cruise.

MSC Magnifica Gratuity

The onboard currency is the euro. Tips are not included in the cruise fares, and they are not automatically added to your onboard account, so tipping a few euros per person, per day, for room service at the end of the cruise is appreciated by the service staff.
Next:  MSC Magnifica Cabins
By Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor

159 MSC Magnifica Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

Start your review of MSC Magnifica
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autoplas
Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
1 helpful vote
I really cant fault this ship. Everything on board was top class. The only problems we had was with embarkation and disembarkation. We embarked in Venice and as we had styed in Venice for a few days before the cruise we took the ... Read more
emmabaksh
Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
11 helpful votes
Sailed August 2016
This was our second cruise and we chose MSC Magnifica for the European flavour on board and also the itinerary. We had read several reviews beforehand which were a mixed bag. For us Magnifica lived up to it's name in every aspect. The ... Read more
bernie simpson
Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
4 helpful votes
The MSC Cruise was recomended to us by our friends who travelled last year and enjoyed .their trip. Embarkation was a bit stressfull as it took a long time for people to get sorted too many people in a small space with very little ... Read more

MSC Magnifica Editor Ratings

  • Category
    Member
    Editor
  • Dining
    3.3
    2.0
  • Public Rooms
    4.1
    3.0
  • Cabins
    4.1
    4.0
  • Entertainment
    3.2
    3.0
  • Spa & Fitness
    3.3
    4.0
  • Family & Children
    2.9
    5.0
  • Shore Excursions
    3.1
    3.0
  • Enrichment
    3.0
    3.0
  • Service
    3.7
    4.0
  • Value-for-Money
    3.4
    4.0
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