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Sail Date: August 2019
This was my second msc cruise along with my wife and two boys (14,11) and it did not disappoint. Yes most people on the ship are european which i dont mind cause i am fluent in italian and spanish, yes many people smoke, yes people cut the ... Read More
This was my second msc cruise along with my wife and two boys (14,11) and it did not disappoint. Yes most people on the ship are european which i dont mind cause i am fluent in italian and spanish, yes many people smoke, yes people cut the lines but for an american if you can get passed this you will find that most people will go out of their way to help you or provide service to you! Probably your best tool in your belt if your an american is tipping. In europe its not customary but i always tip and always find that a small tip can yield unbelievable results. Any way the cruise the ports were fantastic, the ship was clean and easy to navigate, no days at sea so no need to worry about the kids and a water park as your not on the ship much. The food is definitely above average for the price point and the pizza Never disappoints. The crew was spectacular a special thanks to the assistant maitre’d giuseppe esposito who fulfilled our every request in the dining room. Also i had the pleasure to interact with the hotel director giuseppe russo, i have to admit the most gracious host i ever met on any cruise, he sat with us talked with us and was genuinely excited to see americans on the ship. He made us feel like a million dollars and sent us a special surprise with his compliments. Everything about the cruise was great and we will definitely be cruising with msc again! Don’t hesitate to give them a try you will not be disappointed! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We have just returned from our 7 day cruise departing venice and travelling to Bari, Katakolon, Santorini, Pireas and Kotor in Montenegro and we couldnt recommend this cruise highly enough! We travelled on the much larger MSC Seaview ... Read More
We have just returned from our 7 day cruise departing venice and travelling to Bari, Katakolon, Santorini, Pireas and Kotor in Montenegro and we couldnt recommend this cruise highly enough! We travelled on the much larger MSC Seaview last year and I have to say I much preferred this size of ship although we didnt spend much time in the pool area as we had access to the top 16 deck with its two large jacuzzis. it is more mangeable and I was able to find my way around far easier than on the larger ship. I found the food was good overall, the restaurant food was lovley but the buffet was a bit basic and we seemed to always be going there when they were closing some part of it so we hardly ever saw the full choices available. Breakfast for the kids was perfect, pancakes, fruit, waffles etc as well as the usual cooked breakfast and cold meats etc available for adults. Loved the fact that they had a large range of sauces from around the world including UK HP Sauce. Lunch was a bit basic but it could just have been that we were dining later than most people and they had closed off some areas. We only had dinner in the buffet once and to be honest I much preferred the restaurant as we were able to have a proper conversation without one of the kids wanting us to get them something else from the buffet. The restaurant food was lovely and our waiter was really nice, enjoyed the meal times there. We travelled with 2 kids and to be honest they would hardly leave the kids club so it felt like we had a real break! The kids club was excellent and there were lots more english speaking kids there this time. Staff were really nice and it was secure so I didnt have to worry about them. Loved the top 16 deck area, our kids could play in the jacuzzi and we could relax and read. All in all I really enjoyed my week on maginfica. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
- Embarkation and disembarkation were normally late and very bad organised creating chaotic moments. Nobody gave us proper information or answers to our demands. - Food on the buffet were always the same, not very good quality. The bar ... Read More
- Embarkation and disembarkation were normally late and very bad organised creating chaotic moments. Nobody gave us proper information or answers to our demands. - Food on the buffet were always the same, not very good quality. The bar service took a very long time to serve drinks when you tried so. You'd rather go to take it yourselve if you want to have something to drink while eating... However dinners were better. - Staff (unless few people) was quite impolite. However it is quite understandable having seen their shifts of work... 7 days a week, morning, evening and night... - Time for excursion is not enough - Pools were very small for the amount of people "staying" at the boat and it was quite difficult to take a free hammock In general, the experience was quite disappointing, they sell a "Magnificent" cruise but it is far away from that. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My husband and I decided to book a very spontaneous trip on MSC Magnifica four days before the ship was to set sail through Expedia. We were coming from Boston, USA and took a non-stop flight to Rome, then a smaller flight to Bari, Italy ... Read More
My husband and I decided to book a very spontaneous trip on MSC Magnifica four days before the ship was to set sail through Expedia. We were coming from Boston, USA and took a non-stop flight to Rome, then a smaller flight to Bari, Italy where we embarked. We read some of the negative reviews (mostly about smoking on the ship and staff being rude) but decided to risk the trip anyway. We are so happy we did!! We found most of the criticisms of MSC and the crew to be completely inaccurate. From the moment we boarded, the staff, crew and bartenders were fantastic and very responsive to any of our needs. We did not have to wait very long for drinks, everyone was friendly to us and the ship was gorgeous. The cabin was ready when we arrived with our bags already in the room. The cabin was nicely furnished, very clean, comfortable bed and a beautiful room with a balcony. The dining in the main dining room at night wasn't my favorite. The food was good but nothing blew me away with flavor. If you are what we call in the states "a foodie", this is probably not the cruise for you. The buffet for breakfast and lunch was good, however. Very nice salad bar, hamburgers, french fries, pasta, homemade pizzas, rice, Thai dishes and lots of other choices. We went on the cruise for the Ports of calls and a spontaneous adventure. The dining portion and food were a low priority for us. The Activities on the crew were fun, we danced, had drinks at the cool bars, sat in the sun, and attended many of the Broadway-style shows. They were cute shows with skilled dancers and singers and a nice way to end the night. The thing we loved the most was the amazing ports of call. Every Greek island and/or city (Venice, Montenegro, Bari) was outstanding. Too much to write but a trip of a lifetime. Everything and more that we had hoped for. I highly recommend this cruise. The only small difficulties were lots of Europeans do smoke, but only outside. Not many people spoke English so we were a little isolated (but my husband found that to be a positive lol), the initial Embarkment was a 2.5 hour wait to get on board, and lines were a bit confusing in the buffet area for breakfast and lunch. I recommend going to the buffet right when it opens to avoid the frenzy. The only people I found to complain were the Americans who didn't have a lot of travel experience. Their expectations were too high for some of the places they visited off the ship. We understood that traveling to these ancient cities there would be lines and confusion since they are not equipped for the influx of thousands of tourists descending on their infrastructure at one time. Some of the ports of calls would have 5 cruise ships show up at one time letting 4,000 people off per ship. One last thing, I do believe you need to be average to good shape to walk around these ports of call. I am in good shape (45 year old female) and found it to be moderate to above moderate exercise to get around with lots of cobblestone walkways and uneven terrain. I was grateful my 80 year old parents decided not to attend the cruise with us as I don't think they would have had the energy to walk around. Overall I would rate this an excellent trip and would do it again with my family in a heartbeat. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was the only cruise that fit schedules for everyone in our family. We also thought maybe we should try new cruiseline after 5 cruises with the same company. Big mistake. The ship itself looks beautiful. Embarkation was fine. ... Read More
This was the only cruise that fit schedules for everyone in our family. We also thought maybe we should try new cruiseline after 5 cruises with the same company. Big mistake. The ship itself looks beautiful. Embarkation was fine. Excursions were fine. Cabin was fine except that some guests decided to smoke in their cabins so our cabin smelled smoky too. My cabin has “no smoking” sign inside not sure about others. Complained twice, nothing was done. The housekeeper even said he did not want to anger other guests. Bad smell aside, it’s for the ship safety. guess safety does not matter. Food was bad. Buffet breakfast was cold or overheated (rubbery) scramble eggs. Yogurt was in a big open bowl so gross that someone could easily spit on it. Buffet lunch or dinner was a collection of pasta and pizza, a little grilled chicken, grilled fish, nothing spectacular. Dinning room only went twice. Dining room did not serve any drink, not even regular tap water. You are forced to buy bottled water or wine. Definitely no coffee or tea after the meal. Meal was way below any cruise line standard. I could possibly do better at home in terms of taste and presentation! This cruise was 95% Italian focus. Shows were mostly in Italian and there was 1 in French. For my family, pure english speaking, no entertainment for the entire cruise. To be honest, the singing was ok, dance, acrobatics were below other cruise lines standard. Disembarkation was a disaster. 3 hours delay due to some event happening at Venice. We were expected to believe that this event was new and they knew nothing about it and did not think it would affect disembarkation. Really? According to our “daily program”, we should be out of the ship by 9:30 then changed to 10:30. We did not get off until 11:45. We missed our flight or many guests missed the flights or we had to scramble to look for alternatives paying extra. All we heard from the customer service, which probably more appropriate to call them customer no service, was that it was not their fault, there was nothing they could do. YES, you could do something and that was simply providing accurate information from the beginning! Being pure English speaking Asian from the North America, definitely minority in this trip, my family did not feel welcomed at all. No crew ever said a hello to us even if we walked right into each other. There was this lead Spanish officer, she was so cheerful and bubbly speaking in her language with her people but when she saw me, she took away the smile and simply looked and walked away. The worst I have ever been treated in my cruise experiences. MSC clearly is not ready to handle international guests in Europe, at least with this cruise and this crew. The whole cruise is tailored for Italian, Spanish or simply white. Going forward we will stick with more reputable cruise line, get our money worth. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I’m not even sure my words can accurately describe just how amazing this entire trip was. Our vacation started in the beautiful port of Venice, Italy. Highly recommend flying in at least 2 days before embarkation so you can explore a bit ... Read More
I’m not even sure my words can accurately describe just how amazing this entire trip was. Our vacation started in the beautiful port of Venice, Italy. Highly recommend flying in at least 2 days before embarkation so you can explore a bit in Venice. Stay at the Hilton Molino Stucky if you want beautiful views! We were first time MSC cruisers so unsure exactly what to expect, as we are American and the ship is dominantly Italian folks. Embarkation was a breeze. We were settled on the ship with our luggage within an hour of boarding. We had a balcony on deck 12 towards the back of the boat and loved the sizing and layout of the room! Our bed was a bit shaky, which we blamed on the engines (maybe?) but it was certainly bearable. More than enough room for 2 people in the basic balcony! We had the Fantastica experience, as we did not need any bells and whistles but did want a bit more than the “Bella”. The itinerary was simply phenomenal. Each day we got off the boat more in awe of where we were. We booked excursions in every island that required us to walk and move around a lot. This was not your typical ‘relaxing’ vacation. This itinerary is heavily culturally enriching. You will gain a lot of knowledge of the ports and the history surrounding them. I am not a history gal, but I was mesmerized by the history I learned. It was fascinating to learn from the tour guides who were so proud and excited to share their wealth of knowledge. Our itinerary break down was as followed: -Venice, Italy (visit San Marco) -Bari, Italy (visit Matera) -Katakolon, Greece (you have to see Olympia here) -Santorini, Greece (go visit the famous Oia) -Piraeus, Greece (you have to visit the Acropolis) -Corfu, Greece (must visit paradise beach) -Kotor, Montenegro (do a boat tour of the bay) The food on the Magnifica was SOOO good! We tried to keep our buffet time to breakfast only. Which was perfect for our early docked days. For dinner, we ate at the same table with 6 other folks and LOVED who we sat with. At first, this seems a bit ridiculous to have the same server with the same guests but we genuinely valued this time to unwind and reconnect at the end of a busy day! The entertainment was decent, but certainly have seen better. However, the dancing was great! MSC brought on aerialists that were excellent to watch! They were the highlight of most shows! The cruise staff was the absolute best staff we have ever been around. We have cruised several times but found this staff to be the BEST. So engaging, kind, and genuine. They wanted to really get to know you and help you have the most enjoyable time on board. It really says a lot when out of 2,500 rotating guests, they still remember your name! We were so sad to leave this crew, as they truly helped create many memories. The ONLY downside of our trip were the amount of children aimlessly running around, pushing and shoving. Luckily, we quickly learned how to avoid them and kept our distance. MSC is very family oriented, which is great! Just beware, you will certainly come across kids in mot public areas! Overall, this trip was epic. One of the best, if not, the best trips I have ever taken. Do not hesitate to book this trip. Hurry before it sells. You will love every second of it!!!!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This cruise was a good price, but it seems that’s because everything was a la cart. We didn’t even get tissues in our stateroom and couldn’t find a place aboard to buy them. If you had the sautés package, you received tissues - but ... Read More
This cruise was a good price, but it seems that’s because everything was a la cart. We didn’t even get tissues in our stateroom and couldn’t find a place aboard to buy them. If you had the sautés package, you received tissues - but this was not something MSC listed when we booked. Entertainment was opera/ballet type - not our cup of tea and as it was a cruise that left out of Venice was more geared for Europeans. Some rude people on the ship - pushed to the front of the line. Not enough common area on the ship so it gets very crowded especially by pool area. Some passengers moved loungers into space that blocked the entrance of the pool and could care less about inconveniencing others. Poolside entertainers fun and nice and some of the servers very nice and helpful. But overall we did not find the cabin stewards or reception to be easily accessible or helpful. They were not knowledgeable or helpful about ports unless you were taking one of their excursions. They seemed annoyed at Reception when you asked a question. Good luck if you have dietary restrictions - no ingredients listed at buffet and no brewed decaf coffee/non dairy milk. Getting on/off ship fine. Make sure cruise cards for everyone in your cabin are linked so when you pay your bill at the end you pay for all. We didn’t realize that and had to step out of line disembarking to pay for the other cruise card’s bill. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - Apart from Venice & Kotor - all the other ports were a new experience for us. The other attraction was there were no sea days, so every day was an opportunity to explore a new place. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - Apart from Venice & Kotor - all the other ports were a new experience for us. The other attraction was there were no sea days, so every day was an opportunity to explore a new place. The Ship was very nice (shame about some of the other passengers) but we found that the main dining room seemed very cramped in comparison to a number of the other ships we have been on. The accessible ocean view cabin was again quite spacious but not as large as similar grade cabins on other ships - because the door did not open automatically, it meant that I had to be there to open the door for my wife's wheelchair. The theatre was very nice, but having all the announcements made in seven languages became quite tedious. The shows were mainly of the dancing and acrobatic type rather than the 'west end' type of show that we have seen on other lines, but we still enjoyed them. The food was excellent but the service seemed to be quite slow - this was because one waiter had to serve the food, serve the wine and also clear the plates from the table so he was kept very busy, but he was very friendly and we had no problems with the way he served us. One 'niggle' was the fact that in most ports, MSC had provided shuttle buses from the port to the city but NONE!! of these were accessible to wheelchairs so in most cases we had to sort ourselves out. Even when a port provided its own internal transport (Corfu) this again was not wheelchair accessible. Our other 'niggle' was some of the other passengers who would push past you when waiting for the lifts. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Ship was clean. Pools were fine. Hot tubs were almost always full with a life guard enforcing a time limit and line policy for hot tubs. We upgraded to the fantastica service because we wanted free room service. After we got on board, we ... Read More
Ship was clean. Pools were fine. Hot tubs were almost always full with a life guard enforcing a time limit and line policy for hot tubs. We upgraded to the fantastica service because we wanted free room service. After we got on board, we found out that is not how it works. Normally, they charge for both food and service as separate line items on your bill. If you pay the up front cost, they don't charge for service but they still charge for food. The one upside of upgrading to fantastica service is that they normally charge 2 euro per liter of water in the restaurants. With the upgraded service at least you get free water. All in all, we felt like we were getting nickle and dimed at every turn. We were also frustrated with the culture of line cutting on board. It didn't matter what line we were in, we were constantly frustrated with people pushing ahead of us to get in front of us. We've only been on US ships in the past so perhaps this is common in European (Italian) culture. For us American's, it was maddening. I'm not saying American's never cut but this ship was an all new level. The cutting was constant and aggressive. Often times they would physically push us aside to get in front. One time, we stood side by side, arm to arm, between the stanchions. They kept weaving and pushing trying to sneak past us. After a few minutes of failure, the the failed line cutters finally let loose in a verbal outburst on how entitled Americans are. When we returned to Venice, the MSC ship in front of us collided with a docked boat. Apparently, this type of thing happens much more frequently than one would expect. Regardless, there are no contingency plans. We ended up hovering in the Venice harbor for more than five hours waiting for our ship to move to the dock. The one nice thing about this was that they did let us return to our rooms and they did give away free drinks and ice cream. Still, we ended up missing an activity in Venice that we had prepaid. Most of the employees are not service oriented. For example, when eating breakfast in a sit down restaurant, the server would come to our table to take an order. If we ordered an omelette they would take our order but if we asked for french toast they would tell us to go get it ourselves. Very strange. There were one or two exceptions. Many of the staff were very poorly trained and appeared to neither understand nor speak any English. The food was terrible. It wasn't just the choices on the menu (although, they weren't great) it was also the quality of the cooking. The one bright light was that the pizza was edible. The selection of fruit was pathetic. Embarkation was long and slow. Once we got inside the building, we had to wait in a large uncomfortable room for our number to be called. After waiting for a couple hours our number was called. We passed through one last security screen, got our photos taken and walked onto the ship. I could not understand how it could possibly take two hours to get us through this last step. None of the staff seemed to be in any hurry at any time. There were more smokers on board than I am used to having previously sailed only on ships leaving and returning to the U.S. I did not like this given that I don't like second hand smoke. The evening entertainment was hit and miss (of the five I saw, two were good and three were not good). There was an inside pool and an outside pool. I'm not a big fan of blaring music at the pool and unfortunately, there was almost always blaring music at the outside pool. They would do some sort of activity with "D.J.'s", music and some interaction. I found this to be very annoying and made sitting in a lawn chair on deck miserable. All and all I will say that I will never go on an MSC cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
It was the first world cruise for msc. we had done two other world cruises with holland america and costa cruise. When we compered the msc cruise with the other two was very poor in several areas. Cost: we paid a lot more money for ... Read More
It was the first world cruise for msc. we had done two other world cruises with holland america and costa cruise. When we compered the msc cruise with the other two was very poor in several areas. Cost: we paid a lot more money for this cruise so we espected more. The cabin with balcony 9080 was very small and impossible to organize clothing and shoes. Food: the food in the buffet was terrible, and 4 months of the same food every day. Fruit became a problem and you had to ask pleading to get some. The result was that if they had a tray of bananas people would get them so fast that in 2 minutes was gone. They waiter in the fruit stand was nasty. in the daning room the service was so slow at lunch or diner it took 2 hours or more. Dining hours 6 pm. And 8:30 pm. Too early and too late. The entertainment was very good. shows and music was really great. We did have and opera group that we loved. Service was very poor. Customer relations was the was the worse we ever had. Only one person there, mr. Nadal, worked to solve you problems. The rest of them were not interested on you problem and treated you like they did not care. Some people raised their voices and that seemed to do some good. It was horrible. After a while we just put up with to the situation. Ports were fine, some interesting other no so much, like always in any cruise of this type. Excursions were horrible. Insurance: we took the msc insurance. Read it very carefully. If you have a problem they are not going to pay. They will not cover most of the cost and will argue every $ or euro they pay. We do not recommend it. It was supposed to be a "wonderful world cruise" but it was really a poor cruise, on the costa cruise around the world they made us feel like the most important persons in the world. They worked hard to give us service and solve any problems we had. With msc we felt that they did anything to make us feel good or special. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Yes really enjoyed the cruise however the entertainment is poor with not much variety and only the evening shows only lasts on average 35/45 minutes. No entertainment program in any of the bars in the day or very little. On average ... Read More
Yes really enjoyed the cruise however the entertainment is poor with not much variety and only the evening shows only lasts on average 35/45 minutes. No entertainment program in any of the bars in the day or very little. On average we enjoyed the food,the cabins and service BUT the one thing that annoyed us was when I queried about the €10 a day service charge was told it didn’t matter how it was paid as the staff did not get it anyway it goes straight to the company So then did not have time to tip all we came into contact with Apart from leaving money in our cabin Toilet facilities around the ship are poor as it’s difficult to find a toilet when you want one, as the disabled toilet is huge they could put another toilet in there and there are no urinals so everyone uses the sit down ones Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We booked this cruise as a short break over Christmas mainly as it was a 5 nighter out of Marseille that suited our dates. Having travelled mostly with celebrity, Rci and princess we were not sure what to expect WE WERE VERY ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a short break over Christmas mainly as it was a 5 nighter out of Marseille that suited our dates. Having travelled mostly with celebrity, Rci and princess we were not sure what to expect WE WERE VERY IMPRESSED Embarkation in Marseilles v swift Luggage arrived quickly. Cabins (Bella class balcony) beautifully decorated- nice balcony with wicker effect furniture. Good air con that didn’t dry your throat out.(no tea coffee but chargeable mini bar) hairdryer good, free safe deposit box in room In shower shampoo and body was dispenser. Very clean and good size bathroom Ship was beautifully decorated all over for Christmas. Even a gingerbread house the size of a garden she’d made of real gingerbread in the atrium- the smell was beautiful. Constant live music in atrium - loads of space to sit.many large lounges- the amethyst lounge was beautiful purple and silver. Theatre was beautiful with some excellent shows. Christmas Eve had a special kids afternoon show with Santa giving out presents. There was lots of atmosphere all over the ship-carol singing with the passengers, crew choir, waiters doing dancing at end of the meal. I had soft drinks package which includes non alcoholic cocktails as well as hot chocolate- lovely to be served English breakfast tea in pot in the atrium listening to opera Christmas Eve there was a surprise midnight buffet- It was incredible the work that had gone into the artistic creations- - th esugar work, ice sculpture, chocolate work , bread in shape of Christmas characters, most appetising plattters of smoked salmon, mousses, cheeses, desserts, Christmas themed cakes, fruit cultures, - massive congratulations to all the chefs . Staff helpful and friendly Smooth disembarkation Trhorougly recommend this ship Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Worst food and worst customer service! Poor communication! Would suggest to avoid this one. We chose the cruise line because it was the only one operating in that area during the winter time. However it was a huge mistake. The food in both ... Read More
Worst food and worst customer service! Poor communication! Would suggest to avoid this one. We chose the cruise line because it was the only one operating in that area during the winter time. However it was a huge mistake. The food in both causal dinning and the buffet area are horrible and I think I could cook much better food than that. There was limited choice in the buffet section and it was hard to pick anything good. There was no communication during the entire cruise. My black card status was never attached to the cruse trip and was unable to resolved it from the customer service. The customer service was incompetent in both the general and excursion. The entertainment was terrible as there was almost no live music except the atrium. I did more than 10 cruises before and by far, MSC cruise was easily the worst. I cannot believe it could exist this long. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was the first time we sailed on the MSC line. We were pleasantly surprised as we had heard many negative reviews from Americans but the ship and this journey exceeded our expectations. The itinerary was what we were looking for and ... Read More
This was the first time we sailed on the MSC line. We were pleasantly surprised as we had heard many negative reviews from Americans but the ship and this journey exceeded our expectations. The itinerary was what we were looking for and stops we had not been to before including Malta, Greece and Genoa . The ports were great each one had its own beauty and history. The only port that was a bit disappointing was Corfu but primarily a beach spot we visited it in the beginning of winter and in the late day. The ship was impeccable and truly elegant and sophisticated. The entertainment was varied from fun and dancing to classical opera with some cirque de soleil type acts as well. The food was good basic but could always find something to eat and options were offered if you were not happy. The dining service was great in the dining room. The waiters couldn’t be more accommodating and even had a special American thanksgiving menu brought to us on Thanksgiving although it wasn’t on the menu. The embarking and disembarking was smooth and never had to wait long. The drink package was great and the internet worked fairly well. The only complaint was the tv selection in room. We would have liked something beside CNN news all the time. In addition the laundry package was strange as it was only offered up to the third day and we didntvhavecsooled clithes by then. The spa was also pleasant and we enjoyed some services and the gym was also very clean and machines were plentiful. We did plan our own tours as we are not fans of large group bus tours but the tours and procedures seemed efficient. Everything overall was a nine out of ten. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We are relatively new to cruises. Our first one was to Norwegian Fjords last year on NCL in the summer and the weather was more miss than hit so wanted to go somewhere hotter this time around. We found this cruise in the summer and ... Read More
We are relatively new to cruises. Our first one was to Norwegian Fjords last year on NCL in the summer and the weather was more miss than hit so wanted to go somewhere hotter this time around. We found this cruise in the summer and something to look forward to as autumn closed in and was in the half term holidays. The price was also a factor, and we had a balcony, on a Fantastica package at the back of the ship on floor 9. Before departing I read some of the reviews on here and whilst it may make people a little apprehensive, I’m a person that likes to go with the flow, very laid back and experience things myself before making my mind up. We had purchased the all inclusive and tried to find out the drinks on offer as part of the all inclusive. I saw the marketing messages about trying to cater more for British guests and there were mentions of strongbow, John Smiths and Guinness on tap but couldn’t confirm if they were part of the package. I can confirm they are!!! They only serve them in the Tiger Bar and the Sports Bar. The tiger bar had issues pouring the Guinness and ended up using cans :-( the sports bar however poured a superb pint! Mario, Elvis and the team were superb and provided amazing service with a smile!!! I made many, many, many visits to the sports bar!!!! We ate breakfasts and lunches mainly in the buffet when not onshore. The food was very good, plenty of it. For breakfast they put on full English fry ups, herrings, pastries, breads, American pancakes, 5 different eggs & an omelette station, continental style breakfasts with salamis, hams and cheeses as well as cereals, fruit, yoghurt and porridge. For lunch, they always had one roast meat, burgers, hot dogs, pasta, pizza, cold platters as well as other dishes such as curry, cottage pie, chicken wing etc. I’m quite adventurous and not picky and was able to find something to eat that was enjoyable. For dinner we were seated in the Quattro Venti restaurant on deck 6. We were in the 6pm sitting, and whilst the time was of our choosing, it did feel a little rushed, especially if we had been onshore. We had Kadek and Hamim as our waiters for the duration of the cruise. They were great to chat to, have a really personal service. They kept my two kids entertained with their napkin folding, kept my wife and I topped up with wine! The food was of an excellent standard, well seasoned and meats were tender. The portions are not massive but kadek and I came to an understanding that i’d Always have a double portion of main. I must have eaten a whole cow and her offspring the amount of red meat I had consumed during the whole cruise :-) I think MSC miss a trick with the lack of other restaurant choices. They only have an oriental restaurant, but we didn’t try this as being of Chinese origin we cook it better at home. The room was ample sized for 4 of us. The roll out bed was very tatty and foam protruding out of it, but when the cabin steward put the bedding on it was sleepable. The balcony was great addition. Gave us the ability to get fresh air into the room and nice to sit out and have a cup of coffee or Guinness watching the waves at sea and seeing the city landscapes in port. As the room was at the back of the ship we did find that you feel the boat move a bit more. On our first morning into Le Havre when the ship was docking at 5am it felt like a full on earthquake as the propellers got us into place. Woke with a start thinking “what the hell is this”. Something dislodged in the bathroom due to the vibrations but was fixed by maintenance the next day. There were tea making facilities in the room and Yorkshire tea bags, which was the tea of choice across the ship. The shows were not the greatest, the guys worked hard but sometimes it wasn’t the most engaging. Lots of dancing some singing. The main variety shows were good but other shows.... meh!!! The entertainment team were good. Always making fun of themselves and others. There wasn’t much to do for the kids other than kids club, which they didn’t want to attend. We did the arts and crafts but this was for really the adults only. Embarkation was very easy. Whilst the ship didn’t leave Southampton until 8pm, we were able to go on ship at 12.30, have some food in the buffet before our room was available. Disembarkation was a little chaotic but not too bad. In summary I was very pleased with the food, drink, facilities. The things brought in to appeal to the British market were very good. The staff were excellent. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We booked this via Vision Cruise on TV as the price was excellent for 8 days including a drinks package and ocean view cabin. We should have realised it was cheap for a reason. Arriving at Southampton, embarkation was badly organised. ... Read More
We booked this via Vision Cruise on TV as the price was excellent for 8 days including a drinks package and ocean view cabin. We should have realised it was cheap for a reason. Arriving at Southampton, embarkation was badly organised. On previous cruises we've been 15 minutes from car to ship, over an hour this time. Queuing to board was not pleasant. The ramp had steps up one side and a ramp the other. No organisation which meant people queuing where they liked, no accounting for disabled passengers (the chap behind me in a wheelchair had to stand for 20 minutes). Once on board there was a quick search and a photo taken and our cabin was ready and the room keys were inside (just as well nothing of value was already in the cabin). At this point I must point out the smells on Magnifica - the corridor to our cabin stank of drains and sewage for the entire 8 days we were on board, it was awful (lobbies frequently stank of cigarettes too). As we had the all inclusive drinks package we thought water in the room was complimentary although we were billed for it. When we challenged it we were told water in the room is not included in the package (even though its EXACTLY the same water). Food on Magnifica is rubbish - cheap and poor quality. Breakfast was by far the best meal of the day in the (ridiculously overcrowded) Sahara buffet. Lunch options were horrendous with the same food being served every day (catering for the UK market does not mean serving a lump of roast beef EVERY day!) and little variety. We popped there one day as we wanted to grab a quick bite before heading in to Amsterdam for the evening - it was worse than lunchtime - it was awful, I've had better in a Harvester. We left it and ate in Amsterdam. Evening dining is ok, but not what we've been used to. Presentation isn't great (I could do better), and the quality is often poor (my sister had beef one night which was so fatty it was inedible). We were not aware that the ship carries passengers from every port (unlike previous cruises where all passengers embark and disembark together). Most passengers were rude, obnoxious and frankly had no appetite to queue politely. Every lift meant people pushing in before you could get out, the buffet was chaos with passengers and crew pushing and shoving. One of the crew carrying a plate of dirty dishes knocked my sisters head, no acknowledgement or apology. With six languages on board, EVERY announcement, EVERY quiz, EVERY theatre introduction takes forever, and after a few days really starts to grate. Entertainment was average, given the language barrier it was predominantly dance (and almost exclusively tap and flamenco which they tried to include in EVERY show - does Carmen have flamenco in it!?). After a few days this got tedious and boring. There was however an english hypnotist on board and he was excellent. There were issues most days. We'd requested twin beds not a double - this was wrong. We'd specified the later sitting for dinner, this was wrong. On day 2 the toilet randomly blocked itself. On day 3 the safe broke so we had no security. Reception staff were very dismissive and always directed us elsewhere. One of our excursions didn't have tickets printed, which we were told weren't needed. Surprise surprise they were which meant a last minute dash around the ship to get them. Dress code is strange. We had two 'elegant' nights which aren't compulsory. Granted people can't be forced to dress up but on both nights I was sat in a dinner suite next to people in shorts and flip flops which made the whole thing somewhat pointless. Every British passenger we spoke to all said the same thing - never again will they cruise with MSC, and I agree. This is one cruise I actually looked forward to leaving - a view shared with others as we joked when we collected our baggage from the cruise terminal at Southampton. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This cruise was the worst of all our cruises ever. The staff was unfriendly and treated us as if we were a great inconvienence. When we embarked the ship we were not welcomed aboard and I was integrated about my boarding pass as to why I ... Read More
This cruise was the worst of all our cruises ever. The staff was unfriendly and treated us as if we were a great inconvienence. When we embarked the ship we were not welcomed aboard and I was integrated about my boarding pass as to why I didn't have a stamp by French Police on it. Which I later found out I didn't need that and police don't give stamps... they simply then took my photo and told me my room number and that was my welcome aboard. The shows were what you would expect from a high school play with the exception of the acrobats and stunts. The food was plain and the same thing day after day slightly changed. Not many activities on board and when there's is they start late or had some sort of complication. For example we met for Karaoke at the Disco at 1030 and it was announced at 1053 that it was cancelled due to technical problems. There were manny manny other things but would take for ever to write. Hope this helps someone not make the same mistake if you you want quality use Norwegian, Royal or even Carnival over MCS Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Having done over 12 cruises this was the first with MSC and I have to say it far exceeded our expectations. The food was excellent the Spa was amazing the staff were friendly and helpful such amazing value for money we will definitely be ... Read More
Having done over 12 cruises this was the first with MSC and I have to say it far exceeded our expectations. The food was excellent the Spa was amazing the staff were friendly and helpful such amazing value for money we will definitely be sailing with MSC again. The itinery was really what we booked this cruise for, leaving from southampton the embarkation was the sleekest I have ever encountered, the ship whilst mid to large size was easy to navigate. I was impressed by the covered pool area which was great on the cooler days although I was a little shocked that the pool was salt water. We booked the thermal spa experience and used the spa area every day which was great especially after doing 25000 steps in Amsterdam. The buffet was excellent and I found out over 400 pizzas are cooked every day I indulged in a few very tasty. The dining experience was fabulous never left Hungary and our server Kadek was amazing. The shows were great with acrobatics dancing singing etc something for everyone. Well done MSC Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We booked this cruise as we had a good offer which included a balcony upgrade, all inclusive package and WiFi. After reading some reviews we were worried that we wouldn’t enjoy it but went with an open mind. Embarkation and ... Read More
We booked this cruise as we had a good offer which included a balcony upgrade, all inclusive package and WiFi. After reading some reviews we were worried that we wouldn’t enjoy it but went with an open mind. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth for us. We were on and off ship very quickly. We were given a 13.00 time but couldn’t go to our rooms until 14.30. So had to keep our hand luggage with us and find somewhere to sit while we waited. We didn’t know who our room steward was as there was no information and no introduction when we said hello to them. We were disappointed with the a la carte menu. Choice was limited. I had prawns one night and was not offered a finger bowl. No coffee was offered at end of the meal which was a shame. On occasions felt we were being rushed. Food in buffet was mediocre. One occasion I had meatballs and it was cold. Range of food choices was limited. No hot deserts were available which was a shame. Several occasions the restaurant was full and had to wait to be shown a table and on one occasion we’re told it might be better to go to the restaurant on deck 5. Cost of shuttles transfer in 2 ports was on the high side. €15.90 per person return for 15 min trip each way but it was a bit far to walk with elderly parents. We didn’t do any excursions as nothing was of interest. We were disappointed we didn’t get 2 days in Amsterdam but that was our fault as we misunderstood the timings and thought there had been an error on the original schedule so didn’t do as much as we wanted to do there. We were pleased with the ship design. Plenty of different lounge areas, lovely large theatre and plenty of space. Could find somewhere to sit most of the time. The main atrium area was spacious. Entertainment on cruise was limited. Didn’t meet any of the entertainment team. Played quoits a couple of times but had to collect equipment from specific area at specific opening times. Good choice of board games to use and we used the scrabble but there was a mixture of English and other language letters and the board was not English - made the game interesting. We were able to waiver our tips when we arrived on the boat and there were plenty of places to register your card for payment. We were told that some changes had been made to accommodate the English but they were not obvious to us. One thing that we didn’t like was the fact that smoking was allowed inside the ship in most areas. Coming from a country where it has been banned made it uncomfortable at times. We found ourselves moving to different areas or avoiding those areas. Overall, we were a little disappointed with the trip. I wouldn’t rush back to an MSC cruise but wouldn’t say never again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was not the best cruise we've been on at all.....the main problem was the food, it was very, very poor. We ate in the dining room and it arrived Luke warm every time. On the first evening we waited 40 minutes between starter ... Read More
This was not the best cruise we've been on at all.....the main problem was the food, it was very, very poor. We ate in the dining room and it arrived Luke warm every time. On the first evening we waited 40 minutes between starter and main course. A couple of the steak meals we had were inedible. Staff were generally nice, especially Joy on the pool deck and sometimes The Tiger bar. Although there were a few who were as miserable as sin and avoided eye contact with you so they didn't have to serve you. This really happened a lot, we were gob smacked. We also witnessed one female waiter on the pool deck drop three or four big ice cubes and a pineapple chunk on the floor and just leave them there. The Sahara Buffet was packed the the rafters all the time; it didn't seem to matter what time of day you went. Two or more occasions we were met with a "closed" sign and they were stopping more people going in.....several times we walked in and straight out again....it was bedlam. The ship itself was clean and our cabin, 9094 was spacious. Our room attendent, Mohammed, was polite, helpful and quick. A couple of nights I was kept awake a lot because they continued to pipe music down the speakers outside our door. One thing MSC cannot easily control are the rude, ignorant morons of passengers who think it's OK to walk passed your door at two in the morning yelling at the top of their voices. The activities during the day were few, there was hardly anything to do. A few days we just lay on our bed and watched telly. We have been on the MSC Divina in the USA and Caribbean and that was a whole different experience....it was brilliant. This cruise on the Magnifica has ensured that we will never, ever go on MSC in Europe again. It was very poor. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I chose this cruise because my boyfriend and I love taking cruises. I had been to Europe a few times, but he had never been. I thought this was a great way to see Paris a few days before, cruise to a few different locations and spend an ... Read More
I chose this cruise because my boyfriend and I love taking cruises. I had been to Europe a few times, but he had never been. I thought this was a great way to see Paris a few days before, cruise to a few different locations and spend an extra night in Germany before coming home. He has never been a sightseer or history buff, but he absolutely LOVED it. This was the most efficient organized cruise I have ever been on, and I believe it was #10 or #11 for me. we landed in Southampton very early on the 15th. Our boarding time was not until after 4PM. We grabbed some breakfast at the airport, but had no idea what to do until 4PM. It was cold and rainy, so we thought we'd just drop by the ship around noon to at least unload our luggage and find something to do. EVERYONE was so kind and welcoming. They took our bags with no problem, and we asked if there was any way we could board prior to 4PM. They welcomed us onto the ship and told us to go get some lunch and warm up. We were told our bags probably wouldn't be to our room until 2:30PM (almost apologetically) but by the time we loaded our cruise card with money for fun, ate some lunch and went to just see where our room was located - our bags were already there. From noon to 1PM, we arrived, checked in, ate, and were in nap mode. That was an answered prayer for two jetlagged people ready to cruise later. The stops were all amazing. We didn't purchase excursions because we like to wing it and see how the locals do it. I don't regret it at all. I was so happy that we got so many hours to explore each port. I will advise passengers who want to see the Anne Frank house to purchase tickets months in advance. They do sell out and you won't get in most likely. We were happy to just see it. This is the first cruise where we went to trivia, saw every comedy show, and other shows in the main theater. Everything was so much fun. Sophisticats isn't something I thought I'd be interested in, but we loved it. we purchased the 30 euro laundry package because it was supposed to rain for most of our trip (never rained once after we boarded) but that was a very nice feature. We had a slight hiccup with our Fantastica drink package. We were given water coupons instead of the beer, wine, and soft drink. They immediately fixed this once we realized it. The only thing I did not like, and it is 100% my issue, not theirs, is Mediterranean Night was 100% fish or veal on the menu. We do not eat either of those things. It was awkward to see the menu and leave, but again I know that is my issue not theirs. I would hve just liked a beef or chicken option as well. I just really can't say enough. I had read some reviews about the state of the ship and other things, and it was the prettiest ship I've ever sailed on. The people were wonderful and we met a lot of great passengers as well. It will actually be hard to do the standard beachy cruise again after this. It was a dream come true, and we cannot wait to come back again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
It was mine and my partners first cruise. I really didn’t know what to expect after reading some of the reviews some good and some where dreadful. We went with an open mind and no sort of expectations as it was all new to us, as long as ... Read More
It was mine and my partners first cruise. I really didn’t know what to expect after reading some of the reviews some good and some where dreadful. We went with an open mind and no sort of expectations as it was all new to us, as long as we got value for money we would be happy. Well I don’t understand the negative reviews about this ship she is a stunner. We had a balcony cabin and the all inclusive drinks package that was exceptional value for money. Our cabin was 10096 it was spotlessly clean. Clean sheets and towels everyday and we had everything we needed. The tea and coffee facilities were a nice touch for an Italian ship as I do love a brew in the morning when I get up. We had second sitting dinnng 2030 in the Quattro Venti restaurant and the food was spectacular, with excellent waiter service. Our wine glasses never went empty. The entertainment in the tiger lounge was what you would expect sometimes a little cheesy!! But entertainment staff really friendly especially Ray. The T32 nightclub was good with a variety of music for all tastes. Gym and sauna and pool facilities were excellent and very clean. Casino really big for a cruise ship I thought. Overall a magnificent experience on the Magnifica will definitely be back as we thought she was a stunner. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Choose this cruise as we have sailed with lots of other cruise liners. Thought we would try MSc. Bad mistake.! Beautiful ship. Poor cold food. Cheese on most foods. Two of our guests are cheese intolerance. Staff were not interested ... Read More
Choose this cruise as we have sailed with lots of other cruise liners. Thought we would try MSc. Bad mistake.! Beautiful ship. Poor cold food. Cheese on most foods. Two of our guests are cheese intolerance. Staff were not interested when you asked them for anything. They just said over there, And pointed .if you asked them for anything they went away, and didn't return. We were not the only people to complain one lady who spoke in another language but we understood what she was saying no food for baby .! Says it all really. In the restaurant entertainment Staff were seen not using the hand sanitizer. Twelve staff entered in only two used sanitizer. Spreading germs in the restaurant. This is a beautiful ship. But let down by the restaurant staffing. It was apparent that the staff were not happy. Nor were the passengers. I have never saw or witness such poor unhappy staff in all the ships we as a family we have travelled with. We were travelling with a person who has disabilities. Staff even didn't help when she was struggling. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Cost of Cruise - very reasonable - ours included a drinks package (anything on the bar lists barring ones marked with asterisk. The only Lager on this package was Heineken draught or bottled. Loads of different cocktails though or basic ... Read More
Cost of Cruise - very reasonable - ours included a drinks package (anything on the bar lists barring ones marked with asterisk. The only Lager on this package was Heineken draught or bottled. Loads of different cocktails though or basic spirits, soft drinks, ice cream. Problem was getting served. Waiters preferred you to sit down and they come to you which could be quite a wait, then you have to wait for the waiters themselves to be served by the bar staff and bring the drinks to you. Whole process anything from 10 minutes to half an hour or more. Patience is a virtue. Staff are very busy and work very hard. Embarkation – Easy – photo is taken as you get on board – our time was 2.30pm but we got on no problem at 12.30pm – Until you can get into your cabin to get your cabin card to start using your drinks package (if you have one) the bar staff need the MSC piece of paper which states your purchased services – Beverage Packages and cabin number which is on the bottom of that paper. Disembarkation – Everyone has to leave cabins at 8.00am – Breakfast from 6.00am onwards as not every passenger gets off the ship. Our disembarkation time was 8.50am so went to breakfast at 8.00am. We abided by our time and when called we queued for a good 20 minutes to get off the ship. We now believe we could have left a lot earlier if we had wanted. Dining - Sahara buffet restaurant Deck 13 which is where we preferred to dine. Layout is weird. Food on the left side is different to food on the right. The dining room is divided in the middle by the lift area. The bottom end after the lifts is not always open. After 7 days we never figured out what the opening times were for this area. Rather than walk all the way back to go round to the other side guests were seen carrying their plates of food through the lift area to get to the other side. Like I said weird! Breakfast was alright - cooked English plus continental type . Lunch - not too bad - various cooked meats at the carvery – chips Assorted rice and fish dishes and on occasion mashed potato. We thought the choices were lots better than evening meal choices. Evening - quite lacking in choice including vegetables. Not once did we see a jacket potato. If you go at the right time you may get the carvery but there is no indication of when they close down each station and the food at that station is not available anywhere else. Late night snacks 10pm to 12am - Pizza and sandwiches. Don't be fooled if you go down there at this time and there is a wonderful full buffet on. Chips, burgers, sausages, hot dogs, pizza plus carvery. It happened to us when we first arrived and we thought how wonderful. We decided to eat late the next night after being in Amsterdam all day - and it was just Pizza & sandwiches. No rhyme nor reason I'm afraid. You do get sick of the sight of Pizza. Lots of people queuing up for the fresh one to be baked. Main Restaurant we asked for 2nd sitting but were told we had to have 1st sitting. We were Fantastica which is supposed to offer priority hey ho! Aurea guests can have My time dining which would have suited us better hence we ate in the buffet. I, personally didn’t like the food choices in the main restaurant. Gratuities – These can be cancelled at reception – no questions asked and no grief at all. Shows - I enjoyed the various shows we saw but my companions said they could have been better. So I guess its personal choice. Bars- there are lots of them but not typical bars more different lounges as you walk through the ship. As a guideline the carpet pattern and colour let you know which bar you are in. Nightly entertainment - Tiger bar was the busiest bar with an assortment of dance classes, disco, competitions going on every evening. This is the bar where it can take awhile to get a drink. My husband went to the bar himself but the bar staff were busy getting the orders for the waiting staff so he gave up after 15 minutes. Evening disco - we managed to stay up late enough one night (11.30pm) music was geared up for teenagers although the crowd was a good mix of age groups. We lasted one drink & called it a night. Muster station – You only attend the one for you on your day of arrival. The announcement will come through your cabin just this one time. Don’t forget to take your cabin card as they check on your attendance. Guests arrive and depart at each port of call. Lifts were ample, quick and efficient. Stairs were there if you fancied a walk. Shops – there were a few handbag & clothing shops. There was usually stalls mainly by the bar areas selling perfumes etc. There was no Duty Free shop so you couldn’t buy any tobacco or spirits on board. I believe they ‘confiscate’ any drinks bought ashore until the end of your holiday. Pool areas – we tended to frequent the indoor pool area which was very nice but drinks services upstairs was lacking to say the least. We were playing cards for nearly 2 hours but not once did a waiter come up the stairs. However whilst we were getting our own drinks from the bar – a bit like buses – 2 waiters came within seconds of each other asking if we wanted a drink! Cleanliness – the whole ship was extremely clean as were our cabins. All staff were extremely polite and friendly. Excursions - we didn't book any of MSC's. Zeebrugge transfer to Bruges - ship wanted to charge 49.99 euros return each just for the transfer no tour guide. As we went through Zeebrugge port security we got the same deal for just 20 euros each. Hamburg - we were going to do our own thing - water taxi & tram but was told by employee at the port security the water taxi just went across river and wouldn't be of any good to us. So we took MSC coach transfer 15.90 euros each return. However someone from our ship did do the water taxi but not without problems so we were glad on this occasion of MSC bus transfer. Amsterdam - we just walked into the town about 15 minute walk - we are quick walkers! Le Havre - we didn't dock due to French general strike so we had 2 days in Zeebrugge. Would we use MSC again – at this point in time the answer would be probably not. We honestly can’t put our finger on why we wouldn’t go with MSC again. We love Royal Caribbean cruises and even P & O with all its pomp and ceremony. I suppose if the price was right again in a few years time we may say yes to MSC – maybe. Read Less
MSC Magnifica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 5.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 3.0 2.9
Service 5.0 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates N/A 3.3

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