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MSC Magnifica alongside in Key West, Forida (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
MSC Magnifica alongside in Key West, Forida (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

Photos of MSC Magnifica From a Short Weekend Cruise

MSC Magnifica alongside in Key West, Forida (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
MSC Magnifica alongside in Key West, Forida (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
Senior Editor, News and Features
Aaron Saunders

Last updated
Apr 23, 2024

Read time
4 min read

MSC is one of the fastest growing cruise lines in the world, and while it may be based in Europe, the line has been continually expanding its U.S. presence over the last two decades. Basing ships in Miami, Port Canaveral (Orlando), New York and Galveston, the line’s largest-ever newbuild, MSC World America, will make its debut Stateside next year (see our review of its sister-ship, MSC World Europa, here).

In addition to MSC World America, MSC’s presence in the Caribbean includes some of its newest and most innovative big ships, like MSC Seascape, MSC Seaside and MSC Seashore, along with the smaller MSC Divina.

MSC's logo on the funnel of MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
MSC's logo on the funnel of MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

But the “smallest” (we use this only in the most relative of terms!) ship in MSC’s Caribbean deployment is the perfectly-sized, 2,550-passenger MSC Magnifica. Part of the line’s Musica-class ships, MSC Magnifica debuted in 2010 and even sailed MSC’s World Cruise in 2023.

Cruise Critic hopped aboard MSC Magnifica in April 2024 for a quick 3-night cruise from Miami to Key West and Nassau – and found plenty to like about MSC’s more intimate class of ship, even if it does lack some of the bells-and-whistles like the MSC Yacht Club that its larger fleetmates have.

1. MSC Magnifica Offers Plenty of Public Rooms – and Space

The Tiger Bar is located on Deck 6 aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The Tiger Bar is located on Deck 6 aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

There’s an unfortunate trend in the cruise industry right now: bigger ships that carry thousands upon thousands of people yet which have public rooms designed to hold fewer than 100 patrons. This variety is nice, but it results in substantial hunting around – hunting for a drink, hunting for a seat, hunting for entertainment.

The L'Ametista Lounge aboard MSC Magnifica is done in hues of purple and magenta (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The L'Ametista Lounge aboard MSC Magnifica is done in hues of purple and magenta (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

The L'Olimpiade Sports Bar on MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The L'Olimpiade Sports Bar on MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

The Quattro Venti dining room on Deck 6 is one of two main venues aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The Quattro Venti dining room on Deck 6 is one of two main venues aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

MSC Magnifica's Le Gocce Bar on Deck 5 even has gluten-free drink options (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
MSC Magnifica's Le Gocce Bar on Deck 5 even has gluten-free drink options (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

That simply doesn’t happen aboard MSC Magnifica, which has multiple public rooms built to hold hundreds of cruisers at the same time. These lounges cascade attractively into one another along the ship’s main entertainment decks (Decks 5, 6 and 7), but all have distinctive themes, décor and entertainment offerings each evening.

The Photo Gallery aboard MSC Magnifica is situated on Deck 7 (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The Photo Gallery aboard MSC Magnifica is situated on Deck 7 (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

The result is a ship that feels more spacious than a larger ship – and where we rarely had an issue getting a seat at our favorite watering hole.

The Cuba Cigar Lounge aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The Cuba Cigar Lounge aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

Some public rooms are more hidden, too: little gems like the cozy cigar bar located off the atrium on Deck 7, and the Sports Bar, hidden away on the port side of the same deck, make for quiet respites for those who’d rather avoid the already-minimal crowds.

2. Cabins aboard MSC Magnifica are Comfortable and Refreshed

An Oceanview stateroom aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
An Oceanview stateroom aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

Cabins aboard MSC Magnifica are comfortable and refreshed. Our oceanview cabin on Deck 8 had multiple lighting options (we love to see this), along with an absolutely massive amount of storage space.

Oceanview staterooms aboard MSC Magnifica are spacious and well appointed (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
Oceanview staterooms aboard MSC Magnifica are spacious and well appointed (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

And while the bathrooms may have had the old-school shower curtain design, they still offered more space than the average modern cruise ship bathroom, not to mention MSC’s wonderfully-scented toiletries.

Passenger corridors aboard MSC Magnifica are attractively decorated (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
Passenger corridors aboard MSC Magnifica are attractively decorated (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

Our only complaint: power outlets are still few and far between, though this isn’t unusual for a ship that’s 14 years old.

3. MSC Magnifica Offers a Touch of European Elegance at Sea

MSC Magnifica's atrium is a grand space that manages to be cozy at the same time (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
MSC Magnifica's atrium is a grand space that manages to be cozy at the same time (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

MSC is rightly proud of its European heritage, and that spills over into the amenities available aboard MSC Magnifica. Passengers can expect to find a decent selection of European drinks and specialties like Aperol Spritz and Campari, and the overall atmosphere onboard feels extremely elevated for what is, essentially, an entry-level weekend cruise to the Bahamas.

The friendly crew aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The friendly crew aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

That elegance is also due in large part to the international officers and crew aboard MSC Magnifica, who provided us with some of the best service we’ve seen in a long time – an even more impressive feat on these short “booze cruises” that are often hard on the crew.

MSC Magnifica's pool deck (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
MSC Magnifica's pool deck (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

While most passengers aboard the average sailing in the Caribbean hail from the United States, expect to see a decent smattering of passengers hailing from places like Europe, the UK, Australia and Canada. It creates a nice international vibe that’s often missing from short cruises out of Florida.

4. MSC Magnifica’s Décor is Wild – and Delightfully Refreshing

The Tiger Bar seats over 400 people and hosts music and activities daily (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The Tiger Bar seats over 400 people and hosts music and activities daily (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

There’s no getting around it – MSC Magnifica’s décor is absolutely wild – and we love it. Bold, refreshing and different, it is a welcomed change from many new ships that debut with soft colors, inoffensive soft furnishings, and bland textures.

The Tiger Bar has some of MSC's wildest -- but oddly-appealing -- decor onboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The Tiger Bar has some of MSC's wildest -- but oddly-appealing -- decor onboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

The Topazio Bar aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The Topazio Bar aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

The Topazio Bar hosts live music nightly aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The Topazio Bar hosts live music nightly aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

The bold décor aboard MSC Magnifica screams for attention, from the faux animal prints in The Tiger Bar to the eye-popping violet hues in the L’Ametista Lounge that give way to a look of soothing elegance in the entrance corridor to the Aurea Spa – a space that might be one of the most attractive corridors at sea.

The entrance to MSC's Aurea Spa aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The entrance to MSC's Aurea Spa aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

The Ruby Bar on Deck 6 is a great spot for drinks and people-watching (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The Ruby Bar on Deck 6 is a great spot for drinks and people-watching (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

The L'Ametista Lounge houses evening shows and activities (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The L'Ametista Lounge houses evening shows and activities (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

The L'Ametista Lounge aboard MSC Magnifica offers views from 180 degrees (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The L'Ametista Lounge aboard MSC Magnifica offers views from 180 degrees (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

Some bars and lounges are even named according to their color scheme: Deck 6 has The Purple Bar and The Ruby Bar attractively wrapped around the atrium to suit those who are interested in some pre-dinner libations. Even if some of the names are hard to remember, like the Le Gocce Bar on Deck 5, you can always say to newfound friends, “Meet me in the red bar at the base of the atrium!”

Looking down from the upper reaches of MSC Magnifica's atrium (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
Looking down from the upper reaches of MSC Magnifica's atrium (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

MSC Magnifica's Atrium has plenty of seating near reception on Deck 5 (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
MSC Magnifica's Atrium has plenty of seating near reception on Deck 5 (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

Guest Services wraps around the atrium on Deck 5 aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
Guest Services wraps around the atrium on Deck 5 aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

You may not be wowed by every color choice or décor aboard MSC Magnifica, but you will most definitely find a public room that speaks to you.

5. MSC Magnifica Shines – Even Without the MSC Yacht Club

Departure from Miami aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
Departure from Miami aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

At first blush, the biggest drawback of MSC Magnifica is that it lacks the lavish MSC Yacht Club luxury ship-within-a-ship concept that has proven to be so successful aboard newer, larger MSC ships.

MSC Magnifica boasts an indoor pool area covered by a retractable Magrodome roof (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
MSC Magnifica boasts an indoor pool area covered by a retractable Magrodome roof (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

The entrance to the L'Edera Dining Room on Deck 5 (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The entrance to the L'Edera Dining Room on Deck 5 (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

The L'Edera Dining Room is one of two main dining rooms on MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The L'Edera Dining Room is one of two main dining rooms on MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

The MSC Yacht Club offers premium accommodations that are accompanied by private dining rooms, lounges and exclusive decks, creating a kind of elegant enclave set within a larger cruise ship. But the truth of the matter is, there is no need for an MSC Yacht Club aboard MSC Magnifica: the ship is spacious enough that lines rarely form, drinks are easy to come by, dining venues rarely fill up right away (except at peak hours), and deck space always seems to be available somewhere.

Doremiland, the main kid's club aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
Doremiland, the main kid's club aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

Kids are treated to their own outdoor slides and splash parks aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
Kids are treated to their own outdoor slides and splash parks aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

MSC Magnifica sails Government Cut as it departs Miami, Florida (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
MSC Magnifica sails Government Cut as it departs Miami, Florida (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

The aft stair tower aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
The aft stair tower aboard MSC Magnifica (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

While MSC’s newest and biggest ships continue to raise the bar on the line’s oceangoing experience, MSC Magnifica is a great choice for a first-time cruiser (or a first-time cruiser to MSC) who is looking for an affordable vacation with a touch of elegance at the same time.

We can’t wait to go back.

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