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Embarkation at Southampton was swift and efficient. We boarded around 12.30pm and the cabin was available at 14.20. Food and drinks were available in the Sahara buffet on deck 13 – show your itinerary details if you have “all inclusive drinks package” to obtain your free drinks. Our cabin was very clean and well presented – our cabin attendant greeted us, in fairness he did not explain the cabin or show much more during the cruise although he kept it well presented. The cruise was well paced with clear details of the events and dress codes for the evening – I would estimate 40% of the guests followed this – many just wore what they felt like which was to the detriment of say the Gala Nights. Entertainment was good – not spectacular. Bar staff either were brilliant.. or non-existent, sometimes we moved bar as we waited too long for service. Notably in the Topazio bar Emily Castanar was a real star. The excursions offered were good; whilst we only used three they offered a good insight into the ports and the guides were excellent. (N.B. some tours are multi-lingual which can cause confusion as the point of interest may have passed) Food: The buffet in the Sahara cafeteria was large and offered a choice of dishes for breakfast, lunch etc. I heard many complaints about the food but for us the simple breakfast and lunch salads were good. A call button on each table alerted a waited if you wanted speciality drinks etc. In the evening we chose “Any Time Dining” on the Aurea Package – Our restaurant was Quattro Venti. Here is where there is a slight anomaly – guests not on Aurea are generally allocated a table and sitting 6.30 or 8.30. This means they know in advance where they will sit, but not with whom until day 1. On anytime dining you need to pre-reserve in the morning after 9am stating you want a 2 person table. It could be anywhere in the Aurea area and many people were annoyed they did not get “their” table. We were very lucky and had the same table most nights and paid a gratuity directly to the team for this – Ina, Samadiana and Gede – all of whom are stars in our eyes - they made our holiday. By contrast at Hamburg when new guests boarded they were very upset even suggesting my wife and I move mid meal so they could have a our 4 person table near the window which they always had on cruises!!! … most disturbing and embarrassing for us. The food in the restaurant was ok – you could have more than three courses if you wanted and they often substituted starters for mains etc. We felt the English chef had anglicised the menu too much taking away the Italian heritage. With Aurea you also get a spa treatment, inclusive drinks and access to a solarium area on deck 16. Disembarkation was a dream – Aurea passengers were first off at 08.30 and we had collected our luggage by 8.35 – and out of the terminal. I would recommend MSC.

Amazing Trip - Beautiful Ship

MSC Magnifica Cruise Review by Farehamtravellers

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom – Aurea
Embarkation at Southampton was swift and efficient. We boarded around 12.30pm and the cabin was available at 14.20. Food and drinks were available in the Sahara buffet on deck 13 – show your itinerary details if you have “all inclusive drinks package” to obtain your free drinks.

Our cabin was very clean and well presented – our cabin attendant greeted us, in fairness he did not explain the cabin or show much more during the cruise although he kept it well presented.

The cruise was well paced with clear details of the events and dress codes for the evening – I would estimate 40% of the guests followed this – many just wore what they felt like which was to the detriment of say the Gala Nights.

Entertainment was good – not spectacular. Bar staff either were brilliant.. or non-existent, sometimes we moved bar as we waited too long for service. Notably in the Topazio bar Emily Castanar was a real star.

The excursions offered were good; whilst we only used three they offered a good insight into the ports and the guides were excellent. (N.B. some tours are multi-lingual which can cause confusion as the point of interest may have passed)

Food: The buffet in the Sahara cafeteria was large and offered a choice of dishes for breakfast, lunch etc. I heard many complaints about the food but for us the simple breakfast and lunch salads were good. A call button on each table alerted a waited if you wanted speciality drinks etc.

In the evening we chose “Any Time Dining” on the Aurea Package – Our restaurant was Quattro Venti. Here is where there is a slight anomaly – guests not on Aurea are generally allocated a table and sitting 6.30 or 8.30. This means they know in advance where they will sit, but not with whom until day 1. On anytime dining you need to pre-reserve in the morning after 9am stating you want a 2 person table. It could be anywhere in the Aurea area and many people were annoyed they did not get “their” table. We were very lucky and had the same table most nights and paid a gratuity directly to the team for this – Ina, Samadiana and Gede – all of whom are stars in our eyes - they made our holiday. By contrast at Hamburg when new guests boarded they were very upset even suggesting my wife and I move mid meal so they could have a our 4 person table near the window which they always had on cruises!!! … most disturbing and embarrassing for us.

The food in the restaurant was ok – you could have more than three courses if you wanted and they often substituted starters for mains etc. We felt the English chef had anglicised the menu too much taking away the Italian heritage.

With Aurea you also get a spa treatment, inclusive drinks and access to a solarium area on deck 16.

Disembarkation was a dream – Aurea passengers were first off at 08.30 and we had collected our luggage by 8.35 – and out of the terminal. I would recommend MSC.
Farehamtravellers’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom – Aurea
Cabin B3 14021
The cabin was good size with a large glazed patio door leading to the balcony. This made the cabin very light. The curtains are double allowing either total darkness or some light through a voile. Tea and coffee making facilities are available along with still and sparking water (N.B. As drink are all inclusive, replace the from the bars, not the mini-bar and save around 6 Euros a day) There is a safe and plenty of hangers, drawers etc. Under bed storage for cases is available. The bathroom has a great shower, abundant hot water and great mirrors. Also in the room are a soft chair, small table and a soft stool.
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