MSC Magnifica Review

Fab ship and interesting ports

Review for the Baltic Sea Cruise on MSC Magnifica
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Timetogotime
2-5 Cruises • Age 60s

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Sail Date: Apr 2018
Cabin: Oceanview Stateroom

We selected this cruise as we always do based on the itinerary rather than the ship. We also liked the idea of a shorter flight from Dublin to Southampton. It was our first Msc cruise. We were a bit concerned about some of the reviews but went with an open mind and had a fabulous holiday. We 2 female friends travelling so our requirements and the sort of activities etc we like are no doubt different to a family or couple so that may account for our different viewpoint but we can only speak as we experienced.

Getting on was straightforward although a little different to the way other ships do it but plenty of staff and efficient- we had a boarding time of 13.30 but as we flew from Dublin we arrived earlier and were top of the queue when check in started at around 12.30. They give you a boarding card so first come is first served as it were. The only annoying thing which was to become a feature of this cruise was the photographer at the entrance who literally knocked one person over in her eagerness to get a photo. There were 8 in total on board and were far and away the most annoying element of the cruise - very aggressively blocking the entrance to loos , bars , MDRs. It was like running the gauntlet every night.

Our experience of Atrium / guest services on NCL is of constant activity and noise but on MSC the atrium and reception area is quiet having a piano and classical musicians rather than quiz and games etc - all of these are held in specific bars so unless you want to participate( we didn’t ) you won’t see or hear them. We ate in Quattro Venti and secured a table for 2 by visiting the Maitre’D desk as soon as we boarded. We were at the same table each night and all the tables around us were also tables of 2 or 3/4 people travelling together rather than ‘assigned seating ‘. The other MDR L’Edera seemed to be mainly large tables. Food and service in MDR was very good with the only night waiters seemed to be under pressure the first elegant night. We managed plenty to eat every night and while it wasn’t always piping hot or gourmet quality we thought that considering the number of meals being prepared and served it was better than some other cruises and indeed holiday hotels we had experienced. Wine was flowing - we were on Fantastica experience and had also bought the standard drinks package for €98 pp. we most certainly got value for money there as it also provided water and coffees & ice cream. There is no coffee bar as such on this ship , rather coffees and teas are available in all bars and in the Sahara buffet. Coffee was very good. The drinks selection was fine for us - cocktails / wine / prosecco/ spirits were what we drank so can’t speak about beers.

Cabin Review

Oceanview Stateroom

Cabin O2

We had an oceanview stateroom on Deck 5 right next to Guest Services - we were worried it might be noisy but as we got it for the price of an interior as a deal and the TA had stayed one door up we went with it. Best cabin we have had on any cruise - sooo convenient for Deck 5 , 6 and 7 for bars and MDR and gangway - we only used lifts for buffet on 13. Good size and we asked for and quickly received additional hangers. Clean and looked after well by Francesca our stateroom attendant. Good storage and good size bathroom with constant hot water. We don’t seek toiletries or teas / coffee in room and as had the drinks package didn’t use mini bar other than to store water - you must buy your water in the bars and bring to the room if on a package - like the mini bar you will be charged for the water already available in the room.

Port Reviews

Le Havre

Unfortunately we were in Le Havre on May 1 which was a public holiday so many places were closed. We took the shuttle in and walked around the city which was very pleasant and we saw all the main city sights. It was a sunny day so we enjoyed getting a feel for the city

Porto (Leixoes)

We took the hop on hop off bus from the port into Oporto and saw a lot from that - we got off for a couple of hours and walked around and did some shopping and then got back on to get back to the ship. Lovely city and we would definitely visit again

Lisbon

Absolutely loved Lisbon and it is on our list to return for a sun holiday / city break in the near future. We used a hop on hop off as transport to and from port and also did some shopping. Beautiful city and we only saw part of it as wanted to enjoy it rather than rush it.

Seville

We strolled into Cadiz rather than going to Seville. Lovely city with lots of history to see. Lovely walk from the ship and plenty of shops and cafes.

Malaga

We visited Malaga on Sunday and as with most places in Spain many shops are closed. We visited Picasso Museo which we enjoyed and also Malaga Cathedral. The city was vibrant and sunny and we will definitely go back to this one too. An easy walk from the ship

La Coruna

Another easy walk from the ship to centre city - smaller and less time than the others so again we strolled around and had some coffee and churros at a local cafe - delicious- we did more shopping as some lovely boutiques in this city.

Amsterdam

We were in Amsterdam for 24 hours from 7am to 7am. Journey in through the ijumden lock is very interesting and worth getting up up to see. We docked right in the city so again a short stroll in. We took a canal cruise and saw the main sights and then walked around most of the city which is really easy and very well signposted. We stopped for a drink and met some lovely local people who recommended a nearby restaurant where we ate dinner. We got a taxi back to the ship as the waiter in the restaurant said it was safe but would be dark and deserted once we got to the edge of the port so we opted for a taxi which was easy to get and not expensive. It was great to have the extra time here

Hamburg

We took the MSC shuttle into town as it was a bit of a distance. There was a festival on and so great atmosphere and busy - lots of tall ships and other boats around so harbour and port were really buzzing as well as city centre. Fab shops here too. The town hall is worth seeing - amazing building and also a couple of very interesting churches and parks easily accessible from the shuttle drop off point too.

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