Your Ultimate Cruise Guide

MSC Magnifica Review

53% of cruisers loved it
144 reviews | Write a Review

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
Editor Rating
4.0
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
Print this section

MSC Magnifica Member Reviews

This was our first cruise with MSC. The seven day cruise was part of a two week European tour package. Before we left on our trip, I read the reviews for the Magnifica and MSC and was not impressed. At that time, if I was shopping for a cruise ... Read more
Grim happypanda
04/16
We have been on many, many cruises, and this one was right down there with the worst. We will never sail with MSC again, no matter how discounted the price nor how convenient the dates. Foul food: very poor quality and tepid was as warm as it ... Read more
11/15
We just got back this evening, and I wanted to be so much more positive. We're Americans living in the UK, and we've cruised once, in the Caribbean, with RC, and maybe we were just spoiled, but... The layout of the ship isn't too bad, although ... Read more
1 - 3 of 144 Reviews
Show The Lowest Price

MSC Magnifica Ratings

Editor Rating 4.0 Member Rating
Category
Editor
Member
Dining
2.0
3.2
Public Rooms
3.0
4.1
Cabins
4.0
4.2
Entertainment
3.0
3.2
Spa & Fitness
4.0
3.3
Family & Children
5.0
2.9
Shore Excursions
3.0
3.1
Enrichment
3.0
3.0
Service
4.0
3.7
Value-for-Money
4.0
3.4

Explore This Ship

MSC Magnifica Deck Plans MSC Magnifica Cabin Reviews
Ship Stats
Crew:
1,027
Launched:
2010
Decks:
16
Tonnage:
102,853
Passengers:
2,518
Registry:
Panama
CDC Score:
Not Yet Inspected
Close X
See Deals on MSC Magnifica up to 82% off

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@cruisecritic.com to your address book.
We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.