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We had a terrible experience on our cruise with MSC. The ship is completely overcrowded and people behave like animals. The all-you-can-eat buffet became a life-and-death scramble for the last piece of pizza and the sit-down restaurant needed some serious negotiating to give our family a private table, rather than one with random strangers. The on-board entertainment is what you would expect I suppose -not high culture- and the excursion programme offers nothing but the most standard whistle stop bus tours. The staff were very friendly and proactive, that is about the only positive thing I can say about this trip. However, one of the more upsetting aspects of the trip was when we found out about the working conditions of the staff on a "Behind the Scenes" tour of the ship. Staff are hired as cheap labour from poor countries, most likely paid well below European minimum wage standards and work long hours. They have to pay for their uniforms and have to pay 30Euros a week for very basic internet to stay in touch with their families. The guys in the laundry for instance worked in a dark, boiling and humid room on the lower deck, washing laundry that could be minimized. Towels were replaced several times a day without being asked to and in spite of MSC's claim that Magnifica is an "Eco-ship". Similarly, the amount of food that goes to waste is absolutely outrageous. The all-you-can-eat buffet generates at least 25-30% of food waste, just because people pile up more than they can eat. At the same time, MSC automatically charges a discretionary donation for Unicef from your payment card and advertises its support for the charity. An effort to reduce food waste and improve work conditions would seem like a more ethical place to start! As an independent and responsible traveler I believe in the good that tourism can bring to people, cultures and society. However, the MSC cruise experience does neither protect the environment nor foster relationships between cultures. Sad, sad mass tourism!

MSC NOT magnificient at all!!!

MSC Magnifica Cruise Review by Kipepeo

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We had a terrible experience on our cruise with MSC. The ship is completely overcrowded and people behave like animals. The all-you-can-eat buffet became a life-and-death scramble for the last piece of pizza and the sit-down restaurant needed some serious negotiating to give our family a private table, rather than one with random strangers. The on-board entertainment is what you would expect I suppose -not high culture- and the excursion programme offers nothing but the most standard whistle stop bus tours. The staff were very friendly and proactive, that is about the only positive thing I can say about this trip.

However, one of the more upsetting aspects of the trip was when we found out about the working conditions of the staff on a "Behind the Scenes" tour of the ship. Staff are hired as cheap labour from poor countries, most likely paid well below European minimum wage standards and work long hours. They have to pay for their uniforms and have to pay 30Euros a week for very basic internet to stay in touch with their families. The guys in the laundry for instance worked in a dark, boiling and humid room on the lower deck, washing laundry that could be minimized. Towels were replaced several times a day without being asked to and in spite of MSC's claim that Magnifica is an "Eco-ship". Similarly, the amount of food that goes to waste is absolutely outrageous. The all-you-can-eat buffet generates at least 25-30% of food waste, just because people pile up more than they can eat. At the same time, MSC automatically charges a discretionary donation for Unicef from your payment card and advertises its support for the charity. An effort to reduce food waste and improve work conditions would seem like a more ethical place to start!

As an independent and responsible traveler I believe in the good that tourism can bring to people, cultures and society. However, the MSC cruise experience does neither protect the environment nor foster relationships between cultures. Sad, sad mass tourism!
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