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We chose this cruise due to the price and itinerary and it fitted in with our wedding anniversary. We hadn't sailed with MSC before and were advised by the travel agent that they were now trying to appeal to the British market,by making English the first language and making the cuisine more appealing to UK customers. So despite most of the reviews we thought we would give it a go. The good: Boarding at Southampton was quick and efficient and our bags were in our room within a couple of hours. The ship as many have commented was well maintained and very clean. The ports we visited were new to us and we enjoyed them all especially as due to bad weather we actually got to spend the whole day in Amsterdam. The English breakfast and afternoon tea especially the fruit scones were very good and it was nice to have a kettle in the room for a morning and evening cuppa. The bad: We had specifically booked the Oriental restaurant for our anniversary and despite written confirmation prior to boarding from the agent and us confirming it with the Maitre de when we boarded that it was reserved when we turned up on the night we weren't booked in which was frustrating. However when we looked at the set menu the majority of it was sushi which we don't like and we asked at guest relations to cancel as our reservation hadn't been made and we didn't like the food. The lady at guest relations didn't apologise for the mix up for our anniversary and showed zero empathy and refused to refund us our money as she kept repeating that it was against the rules to refund prepaid reservations which we found ironic as in their glossy MSC promo shown in the theatre they say that "feelings are more important than rules" obviously nobody told her. The shuttle buses were very expensive to the ports and the reception staff appeared to be under orders not to provide guests with any information on local transport alternatives. The ship photographers were incredibly pushy and the walk to and from dinner every night was like fighting your way through the paparazzi. The food in the restaurant was below average and the portion sizes small. We were supposed to get tea with dinner but nobody seems to have told the staff and we were incorrectly told it referred to the kettle in our room. There was a lot of vibration in the room when ever we docked and on a couple of occasions a strong smell of diesel fumes came through the air vents. When we docked at Hamburg there was a large number of Russians who embarked they were very loud rude didn't queue picked up food with their hands and walked in and out of the shows with no consideration for fellow passengers or the performers. The indifferent:The staff especially in general didn't seem interested and just went through the motions. On a couple of days at sea the weather was too bad to sit out and there was very little entertainment provided it wouldn't have taken a lot of thought to have put a couple of films on in the theatre. The entertainment in the theatre was average and the shows were comparatively short at 30 minutes Overall we enjoyed the cruise not because of MSC but despite them we met two other couples at our set dining who were good company and we enjoyed all the ports we visited. Would we book another cruise with MSC well we already had before we went on this cruise when we sail around the gulf in January so we await that cruise with some trepidation given our experience on this one.

The good the bad and the indifferent

MSC Magnifica Cruise Review by Paul Villa

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2018
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Interior Stateroom – Bella
We chose this cruise due to the price and itinerary and it fitted in with our wedding anniversary.

We hadn't sailed with MSC before and were advised by the travel agent that they were now trying to appeal to the British market,by making English the first language and making the cuisine more appealing to UK customers. So despite most of the reviews we thought we would give it a go.

The good: Boarding at Southampton was quick and efficient and our bags were in our room within a couple of hours.

The ship as many have commented was well maintained and very clean.

The ports we visited were new to us and we enjoyed them all especially as due to bad weather we actually got to spend the whole day in Amsterdam.

The English breakfast and afternoon tea especially the fruit scones were very good and it was nice to have a kettle in the room for a morning and evening cuppa.

The bad: We had specifically booked the Oriental restaurant for our anniversary and despite written confirmation prior to boarding from the agent and us confirming it with the Maitre de when we boarded that it was reserved when we turned up on the night we weren't booked in which was frustrating.

However when we looked at the set menu the majority of it was sushi which we don't like and we asked at guest relations to cancel as our reservation hadn't been made and we didn't like the food.

The lady at guest relations didn't apologise for the mix up for our anniversary and showed zero empathy and refused to refund us our money as she kept repeating that it was against the rules to refund prepaid reservations which we found ironic as in their glossy MSC promo shown in the theatre they say that "feelings are more important than rules" obviously nobody told her.

The shuttle buses were very expensive to the ports and the reception staff appeared to be under orders not to provide guests with any information on local transport alternatives.

The ship photographers were incredibly pushy and the walk to and from dinner every night was like fighting your way through the paparazzi.

The food in the restaurant was below average and the portion sizes small.

We were supposed to get tea with dinner but nobody seems to have told the staff and we were incorrectly told it referred to the kettle in our room.

There was a lot of vibration in the room when ever we docked and on a couple of occasions a strong smell of diesel fumes came through the air vents.

When we docked at Hamburg there was a large number of Russians who embarked they were very loud rude didn't queue picked up food with their hands and walked in and out of the shows with no consideration for fellow passengers or the performers.

The indifferent:The staff especially in general didn't seem interested and just went through the motions.

On a couple of days at sea the weather was too bad to sit out and there was very little entertainment provided it wouldn't have taken a lot of thought to have put a couple of films on in the theatre.

The entertainment in the theatre was average and the shows were comparatively short at 30 minutes

Overall we enjoyed the cruise not because of MSC but despite them we met two other couples at our set dining who were good company and we enjoyed all the ports we visited.

Would we book another cruise with MSC well we already had before we went on this cruise when we sail around the gulf in January so we await that cruise with some trepidation given our experience on this one.
Paul Villa’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior Stateroom – Bella
Cabin I1
Cabin was small with limited storage space but we don't spend much time in there so can live with that.
Riccione Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins