MSC Magnifica Review

Editor Rating:  4.0
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MSC Magnifica Ratings

  • Category
    Member
    Editor
  • Dining
    3.2
    2.0
  • Public Rooms
    4.0
    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
    3.3
    4.0
Editor Rating
4.0
Member 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

184 MSC Magnifica Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

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PAT_GER
Member Since 2015
1 review
12 forum posts
0 helpful votes
We chose this cruise because of its perfect itinerary and our fantastic experiences with MSC. Starting conveniently in Warnemunde, Germany (we're German) we cruised the baltic sea and had stopps in Poland, Latvia, Ltiuania, Estland, ... Read more
malaymooi
Member Since 2017
1 review
1 forum post
0 helpful votes
The price and destination are just perfect for my price range. The places which we visited were Baltic and the overnight stay in Saint Petersburg was a plus. I did not participate in the ship shore excursion as I wanted to work on my own ... Read more
Podium
Member Since 2017
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed May 2017
The pick-up from the airport and boarding the ship, went very well. The facilities at the ship is very good, but that is probably all at the positive list. The service in the 2 receptions, were non existing. There were a huge lack of ... Read more
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