This was Susan's 70th Birthday present, she wanted to see the Northern Lights if possible and the Fiords. We embarked at Southampton, which was so smooth and welcome from the hassle which is flying, airports and long waits. Arrive at the port car park, 150 yards from the boat. Have your cases transferred by Van, walk across the car park, and more or less embark straight away. Get you Card authorised, your cruise card issued and your pass to and from the ship, and get down to exploring and enjoying your ship for the next 10 days. The staff were Great, (I do not complain ever,! unless something is badly wrong) From Day to day experience, we ate in the Ldedira restaurant, for Breakfast and Lunch, and in the Other main restaurant for our evening meal. It is such more civilised than fighting for your food in the busy Self service 'Oasis' food counters (4 of them). WE found no problem finding good food to enjoy at all times. Some were moaning of too little for certain tastes, but we enjoyed what we had and it was cooked well. Ex Chefs are hard to please, so take heed, it was not bad, and was plentiful.
The Magnifica is one of MSC's smaller ships which has a welcoming atmosphere, heaven knows what we will find when we go on the new larger ships later on this year? Yes we have found a love for MSC! this was our third MSC ship and cruise, and genuinely? we have loved the informal atmosphere seldom found on large ships. Things do not always go to plan! We booked a few excursions on line! one sent to us was, a waterway trip in Hamburg. Turned out it should not have been on this site, it was destined to be in Amsterdam! MSC have a process for taking Service fees from your account at 10E per day per person. We like to tip for getting excellent service and cut these fee's down to half, paying the room guy, and waiters personally for what turned out to 'far in excess' superior service. Weather in the Northern Cimbs can be very wet, blowy or both. We had high winds, some rough seas for part of the journey, but on this ship, you hardly knew what was happening outside. The Sun however, was plentiful and we got some decent tans from the warm sun out of the wind. The Ports of Call were interesting, we called at Stravanger on their National Day. what a traffic spectacle that turned out to be. The people were warm and loved the British, the youngsters were a credit to the nation, Young and Old alike were all dressed in their National Costume. For the Men, a suit in Electric Blue, the Girls has Dresses! each one embroidered in Gold and Silver, with skirt bands in different colours reflecting their different localities. The Girls flocked so Beautiful and fresh, if only we had that sort of National Pride!
We stayed in one port alongside Brittania, P&O's flagship. We talked comparing ships, and if British registered, P&O came off worse. We are shortly (as I'm on my retirement year) to try Cunard in late August, we shall have to see what comes of that trip. However, if you care to enjoy a trip into the less unusual places that the Caribbean or the MED, then try Norway. it really is a great if expensive place to visit. Two coffees will cost you £10, local cakes and delicacies especially Fish will be a worthwhile experience, but cost you 30 Euro. MSC? well we love it!
Great room lad, helps you to receive the better service. Nothing was too much trouble, for example Sue tipped her tea over in a small swell, didn't put it down in a more suitable place. Her Linen slacks were covered, the room guy got them back in a few hours, cleaned and pressed for a few Euros. Being on a high balcony is great for lying in bed in the early hours as you enter yet another port. there is Tea/Coffee in the room but only if your room guy is helpful or not, is there enough Milk/sugar. Room was clean as was the Heads (bathroom). Shampoo and body wash installed and full., Fresh towels every day, Take note Thompson and Costa. Sheets changed 2 days! not bad.