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Cruise Review – MSC Magnifica These are our notes of the cruise. They are rather sketchy but this represents our cruise diary which we started on Saturday as soon as we realised that this would be an unusual cruise. Saturday Absolute chaos on arrival. No signage or staff to advise what was going on, just the first of many scrums.This is especially hard when travelling with someone with mobility issues. The ship has clearly lied about the first language of the ship being English. Everyone is speaking Italian. We feel like foreigners. No ship orientation. Not even given a map. The ship is very large and complex and yet no help was offered, no tours. Amazing. Sunday It's day 2 and this ship appears to be cross between a floating scam and a vast kindergarten so far its very grim - i would rather be at work its costing me 3.5 euros for 10 mins on the internet so i will keep this brief Getting attention generally very difficult. Always a long queue at the reception, from customers confused Waiters inattentive, bar staff more interested in selling drinks packages. Badgering passengers rather than serving them Very little thought for the disabled The place was packed, everyone fighting for seats and attention More like a floating butlins No magic Hugely oversold Serious language barrier, like the United nations The smallest tv in the room - uterly useless. from my bed my iphone has a bigger picture, which had no decent channels apart from sky news and couldn't be connected to any other devices No signage andNo guides for embarkation, which was utter chaos No provision for the disabled No proper welcome. No personal attention . no orientation so spending hours simply finding our way around Everything in Italian Sitting about waiting Queuing Herded like cattle All seems very amateur Charge of 29€ to access a steam room Despite a boat of 3000 people there wasn't an English tour bus, information in Spanish No attempt to put Brits together, spent day 1 with spaniards herds of children eveywhere, no peace and quiet no matter where you go on the plus side, the food is good (when you fight your way through the crowds for it) and then search for a table the staff are nice but many dont really know what the are doing, ask for a latte and i got a glass of milk basically like being trapped in a school playground for a week. there are about 3x mor people on the ship than many of the facilities can accommodate Sunday - Bari Monday A mindless performance of “Romeo and Juliet” which lasted just 40 minutes. Alternative sections were in English and Italian, making the performance incomprehensible for everyone who couldn’t speak both languages. Very little story content, mostly visual and aimed at kids. In the evening I started a review on cruise critic using the internet terminals in the “cyber café”. The connection was slow and so it took me 30 minutes to write it. The ship then charged me 13euros for this 30 minute session. 13 euros for 30 mins. This reveals the level of robbery that MSC is involved in, when they charge such a scandalous sum for a basic service that should be included for free. And because the service is poor (slow) I have to pay extra!! These people are clearly thieves. Tuesday – Katakolon No shuttle bus or staff when we got outside the ship so we made a very slow walk to the local town. Not long in port so we had a drink and returned to the ship Wednesday- Mykonos Finally a good length of time in port. We had a full day to explore the town and utilised a free bus arranged by the town along the promenade. Thursday – Athens £40 for a bus tour. Just a few hours in Athens since ship departed at xxx. We then set sail for Dubrovnik travelling at a snails pace, Clearly going very slow in order not to arrive until Friday. Friday – At sea Very little activity on board for the elderly. Very noisy all day with the cruise director screaming into the microphone in Italian making half of the ship unusable its hard to believe we paid for this holiday - we would not be happy if we had got this holiday free - we would still want to leave Friday – Dubrovnik Again, no provision for the disabled or those with mobility issues. On the bus at 8:45AM and into Dub at 9am, but allowed just 4 hours to see this historic city. Last shuttle bus at 1:15pm. Cost £40 for a 90minute tour of 4 adjacent buildings and the rest of the time free. Just enough time to visit a couple of tourist shops and have a beer. Visits to two great cities were cut impossibly short so that we could spend 36hours cruising the Adriatic at a snail’s pace between Athens and Dubrovnik. On Friday night I asked at the reception what was the plan for Saturday, and why we were being ejected from the ship at 8am when the flight the cruiseline had booked didn’t depart till 5:30. The lady behind reception looked a bit lost. She told us we would be at the airport by 11, and could then stow our bags and spend some time in venice. Sat – venice and departure The minibar was locked shut whilst we were at dinner. If we thought the cruise could not be any worse we were about to be proven wrong. We were asked to leave our suitcases outside our doors on Friday night for them to be taken ashore. Seemed like a pointless exercise and indeed it was. We were asked to vacate our rooms by 8am on the Saturday! Never have I found a hotel with such an early checkout. We then had to join a long queue to settle our onboard expenses at the reception desk. We found a mystery charge of 9euros per person per night for “service charge” despite the lack of service during the cruise. This was a total of 9x2x7 = Again no provision for the disable at the homeward departure. We were herded into an enclosure where we had to look for our suitcases and then into a long queue for a bus. We were on the bus about 910 and at the airport about 9:30. There was no-one at the airport and the assurance of facilities for our bags turned out to be a lie. We could not check in until 2:20. We had a total of 8 hours in the airport. In order to get a seat in the café we had to order food and drinks, since the seating prior to check in was none-existent apart from this café. After sitting in a café for 5 hours we then checked in at 2:20 and sat around for another 3.5 hours, since our flight was delayed till 6:15. The good food is good and the bar drinks are reasonably priced, although charging 15% service charge at the bar is rather shoddy. The daily pianist or harp at 6pm was nice (although the screaming children ruined it several times) The bad The lowlights: children running and screaming at all times. All excursions and movement was surrounded in chaos, with little signage or direction. We dined alone on a large table 4 nights of the 7 as dining companions ate at the buffet. The Maitre D should have spotted this and rearranged the table plan. So we were denied the change to meet other guests at dinner. Very poor organisation. The coffee provided with breakfast or in the buffet was terrible. Forget Italian quality coffee! All announcements in 5 languages so very long and intrusive. The internet is very poor here. The terminals are slow and VERY expensive. The wifi is expensive for the good quality. Constantly being gouged for money. Forced to pay for water at meals (which is against maritime law). Charged silly prices for the excursions, which are short and chaotic. Charged 15% “service charge” even for bar drinks. A mystery 9Euro per person per day “service charge” added at the end of the cruise. Too much to mention in full, but I will write a full diary and publish in the travel press if MSC do no promise to make changes. In summary This is a cruise company with serious problems. Very amateurish. Many staff are unsure what they are doing and there are few processes in place. Trial and error seems to be the principle of management. MSC have mis-informed and mis-managed for the whole week. The firm is always grasping money off customers, and is basically a floating mafia operation. We get the impression that the MSC cruise ship operation is drowning, their head is under water. They do not have the skill to manage such a large and complex operation. They run from crisis to crisis because of lack of organisation. There is no education on the cruise, no attempt to inform passengers about the destinations. The theatre shows are all aimed at children. The whole experience was impersonal. No one to greet us. Handed a newsletter every night, and have to queue at a reception to gat any more information. When you get to the front of the queue you often are sent elsewhere or get no clear answer. The whole cruise was a waste of time. We all regret booking with MSC. Please use another cruise line. Avoid this company like the plague. Needless to say it will be our lifes work to make MSC cruises suffer as much as we have, and to help others avoid this shipwreck We suggest you dig a hole in the ground, fill it with water and sit in it for a week - you will have a better holiday than on this ship

This ship is AWFUL; avoid like the black death.

MSC Magnifica Cruise Review by danielUK2016

33 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Cruise Review – MSC Magnifica

These are our notes of the cruise. They are rather sketchy but this represents our cruise diary which we started on Saturday as soon as we realised that this would be an unusual cruise.

Saturday

Absolute chaos on arrival. No signage or staff to advise what was going on, just the first of many scrums.This is especially hard when travelling with someone with mobility issues.

The ship has clearly lied about the first language of the ship being English. Everyone is speaking Italian. We feel like foreigners.

No ship orientation. Not even given a map. The ship is very large and complex and yet no help was offered, no tours. Amazing.

Sunday

It's day 2 and this ship appears to be cross between a floating scam and a vast kindergarten

so far its very grim - i would rather be at work

its costing me 3.5 euros for 10 mins on the internet so i will keep this brief

Getting attention generally very difficult. Always a long queue at the reception, from customers confused

Waiters inattentive, bar staff more interested in selling drinks packages. Badgering passengers rather than serving them

Very little thought for the disabled

The place was packed, everyone fighting for seats and attention

More like a floating butlins

No magic

Hugely oversold

Serious language barrier, like the United nations

The smallest tv in the room - uterly useless. from my bed my iphone has a bigger picture, which had no decent channels apart from sky news and couldn't be connected to any other devices

No signage andNo guides for embarkation, which was utter chaos

No provision for the disabled

No proper welcome. No personal attention . no orientation so spending hours simply finding our way around

Everything in Italian

Sitting about waiting

Queuing

Herded like cattle

All seems very amateur

Charge of 29€ to access a steam room

Despite a boat of 3000 people there wasn't an English tour bus, information in Spanish

No attempt to put Brits together, spent day 1 with spaniards

herds of children eveywhere, no peace and quiet no matter where you go

on the plus side, the food is good (when you fight your way through the crowds for it) and then search for a table

the staff are nice but many dont really know what the are doing, ask for a latte and i got a glass of milk

basically like being trapped in a school playground for a week. there are about 3x mor people on the ship than many of the facilities can accommodate

Sunday - Bari

Monday

A mindless performance of “Romeo and Juliet” which lasted just 40 minutes. Alternative sections were in English and Italian, making the performance incomprehensible for everyone who couldn’t speak both languages. Very little story content, mostly visual and aimed at kids.

In the evening I started a review on cruise critic using the internet terminals in the “cyber café”. The connection was slow and so it took me 30 minutes to write it. The ship then charged me 13euros for this 30 minute session. 13 euros for 30 mins. This reveals the level of robbery that MSC is involved in, when they charge such a scandalous sum for a basic service that should be included for free. And because the service is poor (slow) I have to pay extra!! These people are clearly thieves.

Tuesday – Katakolon

No shuttle bus or staff when we got outside the ship so we made a very slow walk to the local town. Not long in port so we had a drink and returned to the ship

Wednesday- Mykonos

Finally a good length of time in port. We had a full day to explore the town and utilised a free bus arranged by the town along the promenade.

Thursday – Athens

£40 for a bus tour. Just a few hours in Athens since ship departed at xxx.

We then set sail for Dubrovnik travelling at a snails pace, Clearly going very slow in order not to arrive until Friday.

Friday – At sea

Very little activity on board for the elderly. Very noisy all day with the cruise director screaming into the microphone in Italian making half of the ship unusable

its hard to believe we paid for this holiday - we would not be happy if we had got this holiday free - we would still want to leave

Friday – Dubrovnik

Again, no provision for the disabled or those with mobility issues. On the bus at 8:45AM and into Dub at 9am, but allowed just 4 hours to see this historic city. Last shuttle bus at 1:15pm. Cost £40 for a 90minute tour of 4 adjacent buildings and the rest of the time free. Just enough time to visit a couple of tourist shops and have a beer.

Visits to two great cities were cut impossibly short so that we could spend 36hours cruising the Adriatic at a snail’s pace between Athens and Dubrovnik.

On Friday night I asked at the reception what was the plan for Saturday, and why we were being ejected from the ship at 8am when the flight the cruiseline had booked didn’t depart till 5:30. The lady behind reception looked a bit lost. She told us we would be at the airport by 11, and could then stow our bags and spend some time in venice.

Sat – venice and departure

The minibar was locked shut whilst we were at dinner. If we thought the cruise could not be any worse we were about to be proven wrong. We were asked to leave our suitcases outside our doors on Friday night for them to be taken ashore. Seemed like a pointless exercise and indeed it was. We were asked to vacate our rooms by 8am on the Saturday! Never have I found a hotel with such an early checkout. We then had to join a long queue to settle our onboard expenses at the reception desk. We found a mystery charge of 9euros per person per night for “service charge” despite the lack of service during the cruise. This was a total of 9x2x7 =

Again no provision for the disable at the homeward departure. We were herded into an enclosure where we had to look for our suitcases and then into a long queue for a bus. We were on the bus about 910 and at the airport about 9:30. There was no-one at the airport and the assurance of facilities for our bags turned out to be a lie. We could not check in until 2:20. We had a total of 8 hours in the airport. In order to get a seat in the café we had to order food and drinks, since the seating prior to check in was none-existent apart from this café. After sitting in a café for 5 hours we then checked in at 2:20 and sat around for another 3.5 hours, since our flight was delayed till 6:15.

The good

food is good and the bar drinks are reasonably priced, although charging 15% service charge at the bar is rather shoddy. The daily pianist or harp at 6pm was nice (although the screaming children ruined it several times)

The bad

The lowlights: children running and screaming at all times. All excursions and movement was surrounded in chaos, with little signage or direction. We dined alone on a large table 4 nights of the 7 as dining companions ate at the buffet. The Maitre D should have spotted this and rearranged the table plan. So we were denied the change to meet other guests at dinner. Very poor organisation. The coffee provided with breakfast or in the buffet was terrible. Forget Italian quality coffee! All announcements in 5 languages so very long and intrusive. The internet is very poor here. The terminals are slow and VERY expensive. The wifi is expensive for the good quality.

Constantly being gouged for money. Forced to pay for water at meals (which is against maritime law). Charged silly prices for the excursions, which are short and chaotic. Charged 15% “service charge” even for bar drinks. A mystery 9Euro per person per day “service charge” added at the end of the cruise.

Too much to mention in full, but I will write a full diary and publish in the travel press if MSC do no promise to make changes.

In summary

This is a cruise company with serious problems. Very amateurish. Many staff are unsure what they are doing and there are few processes in place. Trial and error seems to be the principle of management. MSC have mis-informed and mis-managed for the whole week. The firm is always grasping money off customers, and is basically a floating mafia operation.

We get the impression that the MSC cruise ship operation is drowning, their head is under water. They do not have the skill to manage such a large and complex operation. They run from crisis to crisis because of lack of organisation.

There is no education on the cruise, no attempt to inform passengers about the destinations. The theatre shows are all aimed at children.

The whole experience was impersonal. No one to greet us. Handed a newsletter every night, and have to queue at a reception to gat any more information. When you get to the front of the queue you often are sent elsewhere or get no clear answer.

The whole cruise was a waste of time. We all regret booking with MSC. Please use another cruise line. Avoid this company like the plague.

Needless to say it will be our lifes work to make MSC cruises suffer as much as we have, and to help others avoid this shipwreck

We suggest you dig a hole in the ground, fill it with water and sit in it for a week - you will have a better holiday than on this ship
danielUK2016’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom – Bella
Cabin B1 8180
quiet room
balcony small
TV useless, too small and cannot be connected
Panarea Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • City Tour
    £40 for a bus tour. Just a few hours in Athens. Tour was in 2 languages since they couldn’t get a whole bus of English speakers. Didn’t get a single photo as noting we stop for was worth photographing.
    View All 154 City Tour Reviews
  • City Tour
    a ship of 3000 people and they couldnt fill one bus with english speakers?!
    so half of our coach tour was in spanish
    The walking tour was good
    View All 13 City Tour Reviews
  • City Tour
    Again, no provision for the disabled or those with mobility issues. On the bus at 8:45AM and into Dub at 9am, but allowed just 4 hours to see this historic city. Last shuttle bus at 1:15pm. Cost £40 for a 90minute tour of 4 adjacent buildings and the rest of the time free. Just enough time to visit a couple of tourist shops and have a beer.
    Visits to two great cities were cut impossibly short so that we could spend 36hours cruising the Adriatic at a snail’s pace between Athens and Dubrovnik.

    A rather arrogant tour leader who left a disabled couple at the entrance to a museum meaning they lost the group. They were furious when we exited the museum and complained. She defended herself and blamed them initially.Later in the tour she clearly had a rethink and decided to make amends and took them on a private tour of the museum after the tour had ended,
    View All 110 City Tour Reviews
  • Katakolon (Olympia)
    no bus or any provision. just dumped in a small tourist town
    so my disabled mother had to walk for 40 minutes to reach the local cafe
    total disgrace
    this cruise line should have its license removed for the way they treat the elderly
    View All 541 Katakolon (Olympia) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Katakolon (Olympia) Cruise Port Review
  • Mykonos
    Finally a good length of time in port. We had a full day to explore the town and utilised a free bus arranged by the town along the promenade.
    View All 1,007 Mykonos Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Mykonos Cruise Port Review