Many good thing, Many bad things: MSC Magnifica Cruise Review by kmnstr2

MSC Magnifica 3
Member Since 2011

Overall Member Rating

Many good thing, Many bad things

Sail Date: January 2011
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Venice
My husband and I enjoy cruises. We went on our first for our honeymoon and now we try to do one every year. This was our 5th cruise but our first on MSC cruiselines. All of our previous cruises had been on Carnival Cruiselines.

The MSC Magnifica was a beautiful ship. The decor was very nice. We were able to board fairly quickly and go directly to our stateroom rather than have to wait on the Lido deck or roaming around until our room was ready. Our room was nice and clean. We had a balcony and the size of the room and balcony were comparable to all of our previous cruises. Our bed was a bit too hard for me but my husband did not have a problem with it. The pillows on the bed were the worst pillows I have ever encountered in my life. They were so bad I took the throw pillows off the sofa and put my pillow case on them and used that for most of the cruise. Our steward seemed nice. We did not encounter him much at all. He kept our cabin clean when we were out. My one complaint More about my cabin/steward was that I had a dress I brought on the cruise and it somehow disappeared from our closet and I never saw it again. I asked the steward if maybe it had fallen out of the closet and was taken by mistake - he said that did not happen. i emailed our house sitter to search my house on the slim chance I forgot the dress at home - I did not. I asked the people at the reception to try to find out what happened to my cocktail dress and the woman I spoke to paid half attention to me as I explained the situation and she did not take my name. she took my cabin number and wrote it on a post it with 5 other cabin numbers on it. I never heard from her or the steward again regarding my missing clothes. I was very upset that my dress came up missing and then no one was able to tell me what happened to it.

We really enjoyed that the evening show for the 2nd dinner seating took place during 1st dinner service. The show was at 7:15 each night and after the show we could just go to dinner and after dinner either go out on the ship for the night or just go back to our cabin. This is much better for us than having to wait until 10:15 for the show to begin. We enjoyed the shows. There is a certain amount of cheesiness one should expect from a cruise mainstage but there were some very cool things as well. Plus, the opera singers were a great experience for us.

Our server at dinner was great. His name was Latif Abdul and he was from Indonesia. He had a good sense of humor and was very nice throughout the entire cruise. We sat with another couple on the ship and they were from Puerto Rico. It was great to meet them and we could talk about our days out and we exchanged addresses. It was wonderful to be able to get to know people from around the world.

One of the best things about this cruise (for Americans) in my opinion, was the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. We met people from China, Italy, Germany, Bali, Puerto Rico, Croatia, Cyprus, and so on. It was wonderful.

We knew when planning our cruise that it would be very expensive. First the conversion of $ to euro and then the cost of everything in euros. We were not prepared, i think, for how expensive it ended up being. Thankfully the ship does offer Americans one free liter bottle of water per day per cabin, all other drinks need to be purchased. There was a 15% service fee on all purchases on the boat. That really adds up! Plus, the ship charges you 6 euros a day per person for gratuity. Plus, you make a donation for St Jude of one euro per person (just once). I am not against making donations to things but to not have a choice kind of makes it NOT a donation. So everything just keeps adding up. Plus, due to the protests in Egypt our trip to Alexandria was canceled. The ship/MSC save a great deal of money on fuel that was not used to get to Alexandria yet they offered no discount to the people on the ship. We were still charged for the fuel they did not use. Also, Due to skipping Alexandria we got to Limassol a day early (Sunday) and they were not expecting us until the following day and it was difficult to find a taxi or a tour plus most places were closed as it was Sunday. Also this put us in Haifa on a Saturday, the Sabbath, and it too was closed up and a ghost town. So the ship got all their money but they did not seem to care about the effect these changes would have on their cruise patrons. I guess they think if we'd have booked excursions through them we would not have been effected that much. While the ports were very cool, it was very disappointing to miss out on so much because the ship did not have a good contingency plan.

Due to the protests in Egypt, my husband, who is currently stationed there, was told to find a way to get back without going through Cairo. This required either the Internet or a phone and the cost on the ship was insane. internet was the lesser of two evils and we had to pay 10 euro for 30 minutes. The phone was 5 euro A MINUTE! They did not work with anyone having to deal with things like this. They just said pay the money and you can have the service. It was very disappointing.

We kept a log of the things we enjoyed on the cruise and the things we did not care for at all. In the end the list was fairly equal in length. This is not good enough to make us want to cruise with this cruiseline in the future. We might inform others about the cruiseline but I doubt we would recommend it.

The food on this ship was very disappointing. One thing you should look forward to on a cruise is the food. If nothing else it should be awesome. It wasn't. The buffet, which was offered for breakfast and for lunch, was not good. occasionally you might find something above average but overall it was quite poor. I wanted to go into the galley and teach the line cook, or whoever it was down there, how to cook certain things. Food would be over cooked, undercooked, served cold, be totally bland, and so on. Formal dinner each nice was not an option. There was no buffet offered for dinner service. This was ok for us because we prefer formal dinner but many people did not bring formal attire for gala nights and they skipped dinner because they did not have the proper attire. their only other dinner option was to buy dinner at the pizza place or one of the other restaurants. We did not eat there but were told that the food at the pizza place and the Chinese place and the other paid restaurant was quite good. So it seems that if you wanted a decent meal you had to pay extra for it and that is unacceptable.

Another thing that was upsetting about this cruise was that the ship took us into ports where we were near nothing so we would have to take a bus to the town. Well, the cruise ship charged you for the shuttle to get to the town. If they were going to do this they should have mentioned it long before the night before we arrived somewhere. It seemed like such a scam to get even more money out of us. Plus, getting to Limassol a day early, the taxi's did not know to get to the port so there was no other option - you had to pay for the shuttle or walk for 90 minutes. This happened at a few ports. It did not seem ethical to me.

One more thing - there were a couple days where the toilet in our stateroom stopped working. I guess they were having some trouble in sections of the ship, and the toilets would not flush. This was somewhat disturbing.

Overall, we really enjoyed our cruise, but would have enjoyed it more on Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Less

Published 02/22/11
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: 1010151

Our stateroom, 10151, had a balcony and on the balcony there was a small table and 2 chairs. This was nice. Inside our room it was very clean and nice. Blue was the main color in the room. There was a fold out sofa, a vanity, a queen size bed, two nightstands, a dresser, television, and a closet. There was a small bathroom with a very small shower. The bed was quite hard for me but my husband did not have a problem with it. The pillows on the bed were absolutely terrible. There were a couple days on the ship when the toilets stopped working. This was less that desirable. Our stateroom was located in a great place on the ship. Close but not right next to elevators and stairs. Not above or below any noisy clubs or the casino. It was a nice location.

Port and Shore Excursions

Bari was a nice place to have visited. I am sure it would have been a completely different experience if we'd come in the warmer weather but we hired a taxi to take us on a tour and he took us all around. We had a great tour. We actually did the same thing the excursion people paid for but we got around faster and saw a bit more. Plus it was so much cheaper :) We climbed steps and ramps and hills. It seems like nothing is flat here so if you come be aware that there will be a LOT of walking and very little of it will be on a flat surface. The rains pretty much followed our ship all throughout the cruise but that did not keep us from touring and experiencing all we could. It just made it a bit colder than we would have liked.

Read 141 Bari Reviews

We love, love, LOVED Dubrovnik. Shuttle and fee aside, this place was great. We went to the old city and walked an walked and walked. For hours. The weather was wonderful, the city was amazing, the people were nice. There were stray cats and dogs everywhere. The architecture was amazing (I admit, the architecture was amazing at most of the ports and there were also cats and dogs at most ports). We climbed up to the top the the exterior city wall and you could walk almost the entire perimeter of the city from atop this wall. There were plenty of shops and just all of the exploring we did. it was so cool. we'd get lost and then find ourselves and then get lost again and do it over and over. (we did the same in Rhodes. This was my husbands favorite port. It was mine too but I really liked Venice as well.

We ended up being in Haifa for two days due to Alexandria being canceled. This was nice. we spent the first day going to Nazareth, Canaan, and the Jordan River and the 2nd day just walking and exploring on our own. We went looking for the Chagall Museum and by the time we had found it it has closed for the afternoon and it would reopen in the evening, but we were leaving that day so we did not get to go into that Museum. We walked around in the Bahai Gardens which were beautiful. Our taxi driver that took us around on the first day gave us an empty water bottle and we filled it with 2 liters of water from the Jordan river, where John the Baptist baptized Jesus, and I brought that home to christen our daughter. Very cool.

Read 141 Haifa Reviews

This was a nice port to visit as well. At this moment I do not remember much other than Ruins. Oh, the... I forget what it was called but the ruins with a temple of Zeus and all that jazz, plus a museum. We shared a taxi with a couple from France and their 3 month old daughter. It was our coldest rainiest day. Our taxi driver took us to the ruins and gave us an hour. At the end of the hour we still hadn't been to the museum so we asked if we can have more time and he said yes. We went through the museum which was so cool AND you could take pictures. Then the driver took us all back to the town. He asked for more money since he gave us more time. We were all taken aback about this because if he'd wanted more money for giving us longer he should have said that up front. We did not give him more money for two reasons, 1 - we planned this to use the last of our euros so we actually didn't have more than we agreed on and 2 - he shouldn't have expected us all to give him 10 more euros without discussing it with us first. It was the same for the French couple. But the cold, rain and driver aside - this was a very cool stop.

I really enjoyed Cyprus. We waled through a couple museums and castles. there were orange trees and lemon trees and olive trees everywhere. One of the museums showed the remains of someone that was tortured a very long time ago. it was quite morbid. the head, hands, and feet were cut off and the hands were stuffed up the persons backside. very disturbing. It was quiet since we go there on a Sunday but once we found a taxi he took us all around and told us about the place and it was a good day. Plus, it was our cheapest port. :)

This place is beautiful. The weather was not too bad. We hired a taxi again to take us on a tour of the island and we go to go to places the ship excursion went to and again, we got there faster and cheaper. We climbed up what seemed like endless steps and ramps to get to a castle/fort place and then climbed that to get to the top of it. We saw ruins and museums and shopped and it was just a wonderful day. Again, lots of walking and lot of ups and downs, but totally worth it!

Read 382 Rhodes Reviews

We got to Venice a couple days before the ship left the port and stayed one extra day after the cruise. Venice was like a labyrinth of beauty and history. again, so much walking and steps and ramps and so on but it was breathtaking and there wee so many basilicas and museums and palaces and so on. we took a short gondola ride on the grand canal and a bit off the main path. We went to the museum of the genius of Leonardo DaVinci and this enormous HUGE church. There are shops at every turn. Turns out the few shops we went into were the most expensive shops we could have entered, so it was nice to know we have good taste. I would recommend this city for anyone. Well, anyone that does not have trouble walking...a lot. Such an amazing place.
Read 1130 Venice Reviews

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