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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. Food in buffet was above average and plenty of choice. We don’t need to sit close to the food and found by going to the back of the restaurant we always found a seat. Shows are usually not to our taste on cruise ships but many of these were - Opera / dance / musical style rather than comedy or variety. We didn’t go to all as some didn’t appeal but enough did. Theatre is absolutely stunning decor wise as is all of the ship. Music in bars- if seeking quieter more easy listening - Le Gocce & Topiazo and for liveler with dancing Tiger and L’Amestisa - we felt something for all tastes. So all in all the only thing we didn’t like were the pushy photographers but we just assertively said ‘No thank you ‘ and moved quickly on. Disembarking was a little slow but smooth enough and plenty of taxis outside and lots of staff to assist with finding luggage etc. Yes, they take on and off people at various ports and make announcements in multiple languages but none of that bothered us in the slightest. We met some lovely people and saw some great places. Staff were extremely friendly and helpful and we had no issue going to the bar to order a drink if they were busy which was only a few times. Would we go with MSC again - most definitely and so glad we didn’t let the negative reviews put us off. We didn’t use their excursions other than 3 shuttles and we didn’t use the spa or leisure area so I can’t rate those.

Fab ship and interesting ports

MSC Magnifica Cruise Review by Timetogotime

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2018
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview Stateroom – Fantastica
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.

Food in buffet was above average and plenty of choice. We don’t need to sit close to the food and found by going to the back of the restaurant we always found a seat.

Shows are usually not to our taste on cruise ships but many of these were - Opera / dance / musical style rather than comedy or variety. We didn’t go to all as some didn’t appeal but enough did. Theatre is absolutely stunning decor wise as is all of the ship.

Music in bars- if seeking quieter more easy listening - Le Gocce & Topiazo and for liveler with dancing Tiger and L’Amestisa - we felt something for all tastes.

So all in all the only thing we didn’t like were the pushy photographers but we just assertively said ‘No thank you ‘ and moved quickly on.

Disembarking was a little slow but smooth enough and plenty of taxis outside and lots of staff to assist with finding luggage etc. Yes, they take on and off people at various ports and make announcements in multiple languages but none of that bothered us in the slightest. We met some lovely people and saw some great places. Staff were extremely friendly and helpful and we had no issue going to the bar to order a drink if they were busy which was only a few times. Would we go with MSC again - most definitely and so glad we didn’t let the negative reviews put us off. We didn’t use their excursions other than 3 shuttles and we didn’t use the spa or leisure area so I can’t rate those.
Timetogotime’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Oceanview Stateroom – Fantastica
Cabin O2 5069
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.
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