Magnifica-7 nights-wonderful ports: MSC Magnifica Cruise Review by margmx

MSC Magnifica 4
Member Since 2006
90 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Magnifica-7 nights-wonderful ports

Sail Date: April 2010
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Venice
Background: We are seasoned cruisers. My husband and I have cruised with most of the major lines. We always travel in our spring break, as we run a language school. I am American and my husband is Mexican.

Embarkation: We investigate arriving in Venice, and it was cheaper to take a taxi from the airport to the port than paying for the ship´s transfers. We took a taxi to the port which cost 35 Euros and arrived in less than half an hour. The embarkation process for not good. We got our papers immediately but were told to wait until our number was called. We had no idea how long it was going to be, so we waited in a huge crowd. There weren´t enough seats and one young lady fainted while waiting. We arrived at the port at around 12:30 and were finally permitted to board around 2:15. It wasn´t a pleasant experience. It might be because the ship is new and they haven´t gotten their act together, but they were calling number 1 at around 1 p.m. when we were supposedly allowed More to board starting at 10:30 a.m., so something went wrong.

Cabin: We had an inside cabin which was quite spacious because we had a handicapped cabin. It was decorated in red, but it was comfortable and had everything we needed. It was clean and we had wonderful cabin service.

Ship: The ship is new and very clean. There are areas that are quite beautiful, such as the lobby and the theater, and other rooms which are quite gaudy. The spa is quite nice and has an acupuncturist.

Food: Since the cruise was very crowded, we decided to have all possible meals in the dining room, rather than the buffet. Our supper service was very slow. We don't blame the waiters; there were just too few waiters for too many people. It took at least 1 hour and 45 minutes for every dinner, and we didn´t get anything but bread for the first half hour. The food was fine, but on MSC you don´t get lobster, snails or steak unless you pay for your meal in the extra restaurants.

Entertainment: The entertainment (shows) were quite good, although they recycled most of the acts. We didn´t participate in many other things except swimming twice in the indoor pool, which was usually very crowded with children except very early, and on exercise class.

Disembarkment: The disembarkment was controlled. We had to wait an hour an a half to leave the ship, but it was better organized than the embarkation, as we waited on the ship. We disembarked, had our luggage checked to the train station, which is closer to downtown Venice than the port, and then took the water ferry to San Marcos. From there we walked across Venice, had lunch, and ended up at the train station, where we picked up our bags and took a taxi (which charged 50 Euros) to the airport.

General impression: There are not too many English-speakers on this ship. The majority of passengers are from Germany, Italy and France. There are lots of kids, as kids are free. All announcements are in between 4-6 languages. All in all we were very happy with our cruise experience because we booked this cruise for the great ports and were not disappointed. If you book for snails, lobsters and service, MSC might not appeal to you. Less

Published 04/18/10

Cabin review: 511050

Port and Shore Excursions

Dubrovnik: This was our last port and it was wonderful. We paid for the transfer to the old city (which at 10 Euros was what a taxi would have cost us), and then walked the 2 km. walls around the city. You don´t need a guided tour here, as the best experience you can have is walking the walls around the medieval city. The scenery was breathtaking. We also took a 45 min. boat tour around the harbor and an island in front of Dubrovnik, which was nice, but not as great as walking the walls. The city is tiny, and you can walk across it in 10 minutes. You need about an hour and a half to walk the walls if you are taking pictures. Warning:there are lots of stairs!

Istanbul: Here we arranged a tour through Istanbul Tours, which we found on the internet.We had a tour guide who was very knowledgeable for the 2 of us for less than the price of the tour they had on the ship. We went to St. Sophia (number one place in my mind), the Topaki Palace, the Cisterns (beautiful), the Blue Mosque (pretty but not as impressive as St. Sophia), and the market. The market interested me less than the other places. We had a wonderful lunch in a local restaurant and went to a carpet store where we were given tea and coffee and shown how carpets are made. We ended up buying a tiny carpet, but we could have eliminated that part of the tour if we had wanted to spend more time someplace else. I can highly recommend this tour agency and our guide, Mehmet.

Read 403 Istanbul Reviews

Izmir: Here we took the ship´s excursion to Mary´s house and Ephesus. It felt sort of rushed since we did both, but both places were wonderful. Mary´s house is just a few miles past Ephesus on a hill. It is a beautiful place apart from having historical and religious significance. Ephesus is also in a beautiful place and is much more complete than other ruins we've visited. We had a hard time understanding our guide´s English, but apart from that we were easily able to imagine the people living in the city 2000 years ago. We like it much better than Pompeii.

Read 184 Izmir Reviews

Katakolon: This is a sleepy fishing village. We stayed in the town instead of taking the tour to Olympia because we had been there the year before. Olympia is a fantastic place. The museum and artifacts are fascinating and the setting is gorgeous. The town of Katakolon is very pretty too.

Venice: Absolutely beautiful. We walked from one end to the other, as we'd been there before.

Read 1130 Venice Reviews

Compare Prices on MSC Magnifica Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruises

Read more MSC Magnifica cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s MSC Magnifica Review >>

Compare Prices on MSC Magnifica Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruises

Member Since 2006
90 Forum Posts
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Share feedback
Thank you!  Cruise Critic values your feedback.
How can we improve this page?
Skip X

See MSC Magnifica deals up to 82% off:

September Deals
MSC Magnifica 53% Loved It

2 Night Mediterranean Cruise
See all MSC Magnifica Deals >>