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Cruise Ratings
Sail Date: April 2015
Well...the problems started when we tried to embark in Istanbul and were not on the passenger list, despite the fact that my wife's parents, for whom we had paid in the same transaction, were. Eventually our names were found (on the ... Read More
Well...the problems started when we tried to embark in Istanbul and were not on the passenger list, despite the fact that my wife's parents, for whom we had paid in the same transaction, were. Eventually our names were found (on the mysterious "other" list) and we discovered our tiny cabins (with sheets and blankets so worn we would have chucked them out to Vinnies years ago. Then we tried to order some drinks from a waiter who made Manuel from Fawlty Towers look like the Maitre D from the Waldorf. After three tries he eventually brought my mother in law a scotch and dry, albeit a deconstructed version of the drink with a glass of ice, a nip of scotch in a separate glass, and then (much later) a small can of dry ginger. When I asked for a bottle of wine he looked totally gobsmacked and enquired (in apparent shock): "A whole bottle?" Leaving me to wonder whether he had ever taken a drinks order in his life. Trying to get a drink generally was a sobering experience on this ship. The bar staff took for ever and the queues were ridiculous. But if the drinks were hard work, much worse was the food. It reminded me of 1970s National Fitness Camp food; bland, overcooked, no variety and pretty much the same thing every night. Oh, and ice cream! The ice cream bar was only open in the afternoon when most people were off the ship...and you had to pay for it. Worst of all was the waiting to get back on the ship after a day ashore - on at least four occasions we had to queue over 40 minutes (once for an hour) in the freezing wind while sewage was being pumped out of the ship close by. Unbelievable. The bed linen was not changed for the whole twelve days we were aboard and the room attendant had to be asked on a couple of occasions to empty the bins (incluiding the sanitary bin). There was (almost) no entertainment organised by the ship and I was literally counting the days until I could get off. This was a really expensive cruise (we have been several times on Oceania and Royal Caribbean which are infinitely better cruises and much, much cheaper) which is bewildering when you consider that the greatest costs of a cruise are fuel and salaries. The ship basically sat off Canakkle for five days and Istanbul for four more - hardly went anywhere - and seemed to be staffed by a skeleton crew of trainees on probation. It was by far the worst holiday we've ever had and I truly wonder how these people stay in business. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
We have undertaken 3 cruises with 3 different Providers over the years and this outfit were appalling in comparison to the other two. Food and the Service levels were rubbish. The facilities and appointments are tired and dated including ... Read More
We have undertaken 3 cruises with 3 different Providers over the years and this outfit were appalling in comparison to the other two. Food and the Service levels were rubbish. The facilities and appointments are tired and dated including the cabin decor. Public areas are comparative in external presentation but once you get down to the individual, the facade fails. Worst was the Service levels in both the Restaurants and the Bars. Apart from poor (not even average) food quality including stale tasting garnishes and salads), the waiting time to get bar service exceeded any reasonable level of patience. I would not travel with this line again if I won the trip in a raffle. Embarkation took ages as did the time to re-enter the ship after excursions. It all pretended to be in the cause of Security, but little real attention was paid by the supposed inspectors and was frankly treated as little more than a job justification exercise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014

We were a group of 10 family and friends. 7adults and 3children(9 and 2x7yrs) - Cruise dates were 8Oct - 15Oct.

Good : 1) Very large ship.New . Beautiful public areas - restaurants, coffee shops and bars.

2)Cabins are ... Read More

We were a group of 10 family and friends. 7adults and 3children(9 and 2x7yrs) - Cruise dates were 8Oct - 15Oct.

Good : 1) Very large ship.New . Beautiful public areas - restaurants, coffee shops and bars.

2)Cabins are quite spacious and well decorated & equipped. We were 2 adults and 2 kids in an Ocean view cabin. 2 Lower and 2 upper berth beds. The balcony cabin equally spacious. - these have a double bed and sleeper couch.Bathrooms are decent size with room to move around. 3)Restaurants/bars are plentiful - quality of food is good. Inca/Maya is the main buffet restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Informal so you dont have to dress up. Good variety every day. Could do with a few more vegetarian options. Food at main dining restaurants(Golden Lobster was good - though limited to 3 choices of main) we only ate here once as preferred more variety. Good idea is to purchase a drinks package at embarkation.There is definitely a good saving as opposed to purchasing from the bar. 4) Entertainment goes on throughout the day so you have the option of participating if you choose. 5) Plenty of space to swim in all the pools - water is salted and chlorinated so take along your goggles for swimming. Jacuzzis are always a bit on the full side with people sitting for hours!! n o shortage of recliners on the pool deck. 6) Amazing daily evening show - not to be missed.Yes the presenter does go on for too long in various languages but understandable since there is such a wide spectrum of passengers on board. 7)Embarkation was easy and fast - no hassle. Opt to settle your onboard account by cash..DO NOT take the credit card deposit option!!

Bad : 1) Housekeeping - shocking!!!! The only thing that was ever done in our cabin was that the bed was made and the used towels cleared. The floors were never vacuumed. The table tops never wiped down. The bathroom shower leaked an endless stream of water from the bottom so was constantly flooded whenever it was used.We were 4 people in the cabin and every day only 3 towels were replaced. On one day we only received 2 towels and the shower/bath wash had run out and was not refilled. I called guest services at 8am and at 8pm still had not received the towels or shower gel. Eventually, 6calls and 2 trips to reception later i eventually received the towels/shower gel at about 9pm!!! 2) Only 1 english news channel on television - not a single movie/tv show channel. The rest is Italian, german, chinese. None of these even offer english subtitles. 3) No ship services book in cabin. I generally prefer a hardcopy that details all services. The other cabins in our party had this - just not ours!! 4) Shortage of pool deck waiters/cleaning staff - you could never find anyone so had to constantly get up and go down to the bar to order drinks. Glasses/plates/rubbish was left lying around deck chairs the entire day and only cleared in the evenings when everyone had retired. 5) You would think/assume that the cruise would know you were travelling with children and give you relevant information pertaining to kids activities, services,etc. NOTHING is provided - you need to figure it out yourself or make your way to the kids club and collect a daily kids programme. 6) Dont waste your time buying the Fantastica cruise package - there is absolutely NO difference in services between Bella and Fantastica except the price. 7) Disembarkation at ports of call is manic with people pushing and shoving to get to the exit to get off. Rather wait an extra half hour to disembark in order to avoid the rush to the exits. Breakfast also gets very busy on these days so maybe get there later or earlier if possible.8) A service charge of EUR7 per person per day is added onto your cabin bill which you need to be aware of. You do have the option to remove this charge but you need to be very firm about not paying it.

Ugly: 1) Guest service staff could do with a lesson in politeness. Some of the staff are extremely nice whilst others have a terrible dont care attitude. 2)On one of the days at port of call, i left my twin 7year old sons at the kids club and left a room key card with them in the event they were tired and wanted to go back to the room. The kids club took the kids to the 4D theater for a show and happened to be passing through the onboard kids game room which had about 10machines varying in price between EUR1 - EUR4 per game.On the way out my boys decided they did not want to go back to the kids club and chose to stay in the games room and play...this went unnoticed by the kids-club staff.on our return to the ship we collected the boys and heard about what an awesome day they had and they even played games.After some enquiring they told us they decided not to go to kids club after the movie and stayed and played a few games.We were a bit concerned about their definition of a few so went down to reception and got a print out of our bill and to our horror - they had amassed a bill of EUR730 on said arcade games.(yes i almost fainted and hoped the ship would sink at that point).Only at that stage (6th day on the cruise) when the bill was given to us and we asked how is that possible, were we told that we should have "blocked" the childrens cards for purchases...Yes they have that facility but we need to ask for it to be done and NO, they do not provide that information in advance that this can be done. So my 7 year old has the ability to go into any one of the wonderful boutiques on board and purchase endless amount of jewels, gifts, watches and sundry and we would be liable for these purchases. We were also told it is our responsibility to oversee charges on the cabin cards irrespective if my children were in the care of their kids-club.After pleading with the guest services agent on the fact that we were not given any information about having the cards blocked, and on the basis of my kids ages, we were offered a rebate of EUR50 per child on these games. I can understand if my kids had consumed something or made use of a service to that value but surely some sort of further concession could have been made in this regard as these arcade games are purely extra profit and not an actual service. Nevertheless we were made to pay the balance of EUR630 which completely bust the budget for the rest of our trip.But we learn in the process - this is how money is made - through profiteering on unsuspecting people and children.

other than the above - it was a wonderful relaxing cruise. The ports of call are varied and interesting. The scheduled tours are great if you are travelling in a couple or single. If you are a group - take the taxi tours that are offered at disembarkation points.

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Sail Date: October 2014

Being our first cruise my wife and I have nothing to compare with, we searched reviews and noticed a mixed bunch of comments, mainly good. We are not sure how reviewers could score one or two stars. The ship , only launched in 2013 was ... Read More

Being our first cruise my wife and I have nothing to compare with, we searched reviews and noticed a mixed bunch of comments, mainly good. We are not sure how reviewers could score one or two stars. The ship , only launched in 2013 was Amazing, every part of the ship was like being in a five star hotel. We embarked in Istanbul, arrived at the port around 10.30am, embarkation commenced at 11am, very quick process, we were having lunch (waiter service ) by 12.30pm, our bags were waiting outside our cabin before 1.30pm.

The cabin ( inside ) was very well appointed, comfortable bed, shower room, TV with a couple of uk news channels plus pay TV if required. The cabin was very clean and our cabin attendant did everything to make our stay enjoyable. There was also a mini bar at a cost, plus a safe.

We took out the drinks package which was great value cost approx 23 euros each per day, a good selection of branded drinks and cocktails were available at all times plus ice cream, tea and coffee etc. by taking out the package there was a saving of 15% service charge. We also paid 7 euros per day each as tips for crew.

Service on board was very good, the majority of the staff we very pleasant and quick. We struck up relationships with a few of the crew, nothing was a problem.

Food was varied and in most cases good, available as waiter service or buffet style , with a full Range to choose from. Not always fine dining but no complaints.

Theatre shows were of a high quality, a little repetitive, different singers at all the bars. Overall, great cruise

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Sail Date: July 2013
Myself and two kids age 16 and 21, just returned from a wonderful, 7 day Cruise onboard the Divina. There were very few Americans on board, but all of the ship employees spoke some English. My son enjoyed the teen club, Graffiti's, ... Read More
Myself and two kids age 16 and 21, just returned from a wonderful, 7 day Cruise onboard the Divina. There were very few Americans on board, but all of the ship employees spoke some English. My son enjoyed the teen club, Graffiti's, even though all the kids were from non-English speaking countries. Everyone speaks some English so he did just fine. Here are the pros/cons of our MSC Divina Cruise: PROS: We chose MSC because the ports of call were wonderful. We arrived in Istanbul and visited for several days prior to Embarkation. Istanbul is a fascinating city, Izmir as well. We loved Olympia too. Bari is quaint and easy to walk around on your own, Dubrovnik beautiful, but Venice is a bit overrated and expensive. The Ship is beautiful and spotless. Our Balcony Cabin 13185 was good sized and very clean. Our cabin attendant Andrianiaina Tovo Jean Marcellin was friendly and did an excellent job cleaning up our cabin twice a day while we were sightseeing and eating dinner. The Dining room food was delicious with different menu choices. We loved the relaxing 6 course meal. Americans get 7 coupons for water bottles at dinner but everyone else must pay for the water at 2.50E per liter. Our Dining Room waiter, Ardinata, was friendly and professional. The buffet was good too but often too crowded at peak lunch and dinner times. The buffet had free water, coffee, tea, milk all day and juices at breakfast. Shows were excellent especially the Michael Jackson Tribute, Pirate Show, and Egyptian Show. It was fun to hear the emcee greet the guests in almost every language on board. CONS: Embarkation was long and hot. We boarded in Istanbul not Venice. There were not many passengers boarding there, maybe 150. The line was long and moved slowly and the port building was not air-conditioned. It was very frustrating to start our trip this way. Maybe the Venice and Bari Embarkations are smoother. The port stops were short. Made it very rushed at each port. We did two MSC Excursions. The first, Katakolon - 'Olympia and Shopping', was very good and Olympia is worth the visit if you like ancient history. However, the second, 'Venice - Gondola Ride, St. Mark's Square Tour, and a Museum', was definitely not doable in the time at port. What made it worse was that our tour guide had English and Italian speaking folks in her group. The time spent translating into both languages wasted a lot of time. We ended up running through the Doge's Palace Museum in order to get back to tender boat to the ship. We did two private tours through 'Tours by Locals.com' at Dubrovnik and Izmir. Both guides met us at the port exit and had us back to the ship on time. These private tours were not much more expensive than the ship excursions, so I would recommend them. There was a sporadic sewage smell on our hall and in our cabin. The smell came through the air-conditioning and the crew always gave us a different reason for it. It always went away. Debarkation was confusing. Prior to the cruise, MSC in the US said if we took our own bags (since so few folks disembarked in Istanbul), we could take our time leaving. Our pickup service was not until 10:30 so we planned to leave around 10:00. Then onboard, we were told we must be out of room by 8:00. Reception then said, no, we needed to checkout of our room by 7:00. When I got upset they agreed to let us stay in our room until 8:30. We were told to pick up passports at 9:30 but the passports did not arrive on ship until 10:30. Very disorganized and unclear. Overall, I enjoyed the cruise very much and would choose MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013

It was our first cruise and we are already keen to book the next one. We did the one week cruise out of Istanbul and really enjoyed the ship.

It is clean, beautiful and has a wide range of services that we enjoyed.

We ... Read More

It was our first cruise and we are already keen to book the next one. We did the one week cruise out of Istanbul and really enjoyed the ship.

It is clean, beautiful and has a wide range of services that we enjoyed.

We though the food was pretty good, we were in the Villa Rosa restaurant, and a good range of options. Drink prices were same as a restaurant so really consider the drinks packages, we got water and beer tickets which worked well but one of the couples we ate with had unlimited which takes the pressure off if you do't want to bother keeping track.

The restaurants are good, and serve breakfast which as a much more civilised option than the buffet. We used the buffet for lunch as it was open when excursions got back, the food was varied, some very good, some pretty mediocre. The people were unbelievable, it was like they had never been fed before. You can get heaps of food, but if you don't want to feel like you are feeding time in a zoo then use the other restaurants as much as possible, the Black Crab and Villa Rosa have free breakfasts.

The shows were excellent and there is a good range of bars with different atmospheres.

Our cabin was first rate, and the staff were just wonderful, always obliging and happy to assist and there are plenty of them. Be nice to them and you will get first rate service with a genuine smile.

The shore excursions were mixed - Dubrovnik do you own thing, Venice was mediocre so choose, do your own thing in Bari, Olympia was very good and Ephesus was easily the best guide and itinerary we have ever had and we have done a lot of travelling.

The cruise itself is cheap and with a little planning - drink coffee and water in the buffet where its free, etc. you can choose how much you spend. If you just use a bit of thought you won't spend that much extra.

Overall we felt like millionaires yet didn't spend a fortune.

I love the MSC experience and our next holiday will probably include a cruise with them.

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Sail Date: June 2013

Having read all the reviews on MSC Divina before going, we felt it useful to give our perspective as well, albeit from a first time cruiser slant.

Embarkation:

This route is circular, and it appears you can embark at ... Read More

Having read all the reviews on MSC Divina before going, we felt it useful to give our perspective as well, albeit from a first time cruiser slant.

Embarkation:

This route is circular, and it appears you can embark at most stops, although the majority of people embark in Venice. We (and about 300 others) embarked at Istanbul, where everything seemed well organised, and we did not have to queue for long. Our luggage was by our cabin within an hour. However once on board (including staff perceptions) everything is tailored towards an assumption that we embarked at Venice; this is not detrimental, you just notice it in conversations and the way the daily guides are written. There does seem to be some benefit though; when we were in Venice, the check in desk was much more chaotic, with longer queues and some confusion for embarking passengers which we could avoid since we were only in transit. At disembarkation we were able to get up/leave our cabin later than Venice passengers as there were less people to manage. Moral of the story: If you can be flexible, board at a quieter port.

Ship:

The ship was spotlessly clean and very impressive to look at both on the outside and inside. There is a you tube video (found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AKMfVJxGv8, and having skipped through this before embarking, we can confirm it looks exactly like this.

One slight niggle we had was the number of areas insider where you could smoke; it seemed that every lounge/bar had a smoking area and a non-smoking area, but since smoke drifts, the non-smoking areas quickly smelt of smoke. This was particularly irritating given that there is a designated Cigar Lounge for smokers to use.

Room:

We had a balcony room. This provided all that we wanted, and the balcony was well worth the money, as the views were great, and gave somewhere outside to sit away from the crowds.

Dining:

When we booked we already KNEW it was an ITALIAN ship. Therefore, even though we are British, we were not expecting to have tea or coffee offered after dinner, and the food would be more tailored towards the Italian/Mediterranean palette. Thus, everything about the food MET OUR EXPECTATIONS. Thus to anyone moaning about this, you should have done your research and if you could not cope, should not have booked in the first place! Rant over…

Complaints about the food not always being piping hot, however, are valid. The service in the restaurants was really good, and a couple of times when I did not like something they changed it to another meal. You can also request to tailor the meal e.g. can I have the potatoes from one option with the meat from another. Service in the buffet needs some work, as I did find the staff got our drinks orders wrong at least twice. The range of food in the buffet for breakfast and lunch was good (I am a fussy eater) and I thought fair for the price we paid on the cruise. Not 5* perhaps but I always left full and with a smile on my face.

Drinks: tea, coffee and fountain juice drinks (be warned these tasted like syrup) were available all day from the buffet. All drinks in the restaurant had to be paid for, and were limited to wine/beer/water/basic soft drinks. If you wanted cocktails you had to buy from another bar and carry in yourself.

We bought the Allegrissimo package at 23Euro per day. This worked out at great value, since we calculated that we spent on average about 32Euros per day each without even trying (and we don’t drink much, so most of this was soft drinks, fresh squeezed juice and iced tea, virgin cocktails and a glass of wine for dinner. There is an added bonus that you can get scoops of gelato too which was wonderful. If you book in advance you also avoid the 15% service charge, which soon adds up).

Service

Servicing of our room was faultless. The room is cleaned in the morning, and the bed turned down in the evening, and had no complaints with the quality of the work, with towels replaced as required, clutter tidied, glasses replaced etc.

Port & Shore Excursions

We took part in one MSC-arranged excursion, to Ephesus from Izmir. The tour was an English and Spanish mixed tour, so the tour guide had to deliver everything in two languages. It was impressive that she could do this, but did make the tour drag, meaning that we didn’t get as long as I would have wanted to look at each site (i.e. the end of the tour was a little rushed).

The main reason why we avoided the other excursions was that, in our opinion, they were a little too expensive for what they offered. Both Dubrovnik and Bari are very accessible by local transport (bus for 15Kuna (2Euro) in Dubrovnik, and a 15 min walk in Bari). Similarly, for the main tourist sites in Istanbul, you can get the tram from a stop 300 yards from the port to Sultanahmet for only 3TL.

Travel to Embarkation Port - For Istanbul, the prices quoted by taxi drivers are at least twice what they should be, so ask for the journey to be on the meter.

Disembarkation

Disembarkation was relatively smooth, once again helped by doing so at a ‘quieter’ port. We were clearly notified of what time we needed to leave our room (8am), and our luggage was easily identifiable inside the cruise terminal

Summary

We really enjoyed the cruise; the ship was as expected, and the main reason why we chose this particular cruise (the ports we docked at) did not disappoint.

 

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Sail Date: September 2011
We had looked forward to cruising on the MSC Magnifica. Researching on line it looked to be a beautiful ship, newly built and with every facility imaginable.

However, we were disappointed with many aspects of the cruise. ... Read More

We had looked forward to cruising on the MSC Magnifica. Researching on line it looked to be a beautiful ship, newly built and with every facility imaginable.

However, we were disappointed with many aspects of the cruise. There are somewhere in the region of 2000 passengers on board. Due to free travel for children, a large number were on board and I have to say we found this to be very irritating at times, especially in the evening when it was impossible to find a quiet spot to relax and listen to music or have a drink. The main foyer had a pianist and two violinists giving a performance in the evenings and it would have been nice to actually be able to hear them above the screaming and quite often bad behaviour of children. The entertainment in the Theatre was very good.

A lot of extra cost was involved. Water has to be purchased during dinner and no coffee is available after the meal. Similarly in the cabin. There is a coffee/tea machine on the 13th deck which allows one to obtain this but in the most ghastly blue plastic mugs! More suitable for children than mature adults. The standard of the food was quite acceptable and the Dinner menu good. The service by our waiter was exceptional and well done to him.

The cabin was good but with a restricted view but we knew this before booking. It was always clean and tidy. We did have a problem with the daily newsletter. It kept being delivered in Turkish as we had embarked at Istanbul and it took several trips to Reception to get it changed. Staff at Reception varied from friendly to fairly stand offish. Being an Italian ship the staff were mainly Italian and some spoke very little English which is surprising as they must cater for an international clientele.

The excursions were fairly disorganised but I suppose with 2000 passengers to get on their dedicated coaches this was to be expected. I feel it would have been a better system to issue everyone with a dedicated 'number' the previous evening with detailed instructions as to where to go. The lounges became chaotic on the morning of excursions. Places visited were a bit rushed and we tended to do our own thing rather than join the throng.

Overall, it was an acceptable cruise but we would not use this ship again. Maybe something smaller with a limited number of children on board. This together with one that when advertising 'inclusive' really meant that. A lot of extra expense was involved and even the shuttle bus was not free as on some other cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
Boarding in Izmir took 1/2 hrs because we waited for landing passengers for sight seeing.at 10.30 we received our magnifica cards ,our cabin was ready.Magnifica is a beautiful new ship and our 10th deck inner cabin was sufficient in ... Read More
Boarding in Izmir took 1/2 hrs because we waited for landing passengers for sight seeing.at 10.30 we received our magnifica cards ,our cabin was ready.Magnifica is a beautiful new ship and our 10th deck inner cabin was sufficient in size.We put our two suitcases into wardrobe and there was enough drawers to take in all our goods.We had applied for the first seating and we got a table for 2 at L'EDERE restaurant.Before the trip I have read at least 30 rewievs.And many passengers complained about seating with people they couldn't communicate or who were noisy.So we didn't have any problem and they were very helpful.We were charged 7 euros per day as service charge.If you consider the cruise is moderately priced,this was acceptable.Our waiter and cabin attendant were very friendly.When we were out of cabin each time it was put back into shape and cleaned by our attendant.Our waiter changed our dish with another one when we were not happy.I must say I haven' seen such agood service even in best hotels.We tried many meals from Italian kichen.Some we liked some were tasteless.The quality of the food served was acceptable.But i can't say that for deserts and cakes,which needs improvement.We dined at alacarte restaurant most of the time and avoided the crowd and rush of the cafeteria.There are 7 bars in the ship with live music.The quality of the music is good.That was the best satisfaction for me on board because most of the time i have no chance to listen to live classical or popular music at bars and restaurants at home.Most of the shows were also nice.

Next morning we arrived at Istanbul which is a world heritage.Since we already knew the city we walked along the pier and over the Galata bridge to Misir bazaar(spice market)through which you can also walk to Grand Bazaar which can take more than an hr.If you miss the tours the most atractive sites like Topkapi or Ayasophia will not take more than 10 minutes by taxi and cost no more than 10 euros.Next day we were at open sea to Dubrovnic and same night there was the first gala diner of the captain Francesco Veniero.The food was good and we enjoyed the shampain offered.Next they at Dubrovnic we took shuttle bus arranged by MSC for 10 euros.The road to old town has no attraction and doesn't worth to walk.The old town is a beautiful site which still needs some renovation work.There we had a nice local draft beer and paid in euros.So euros and dollars are accepted by the shops and restaurants so we didn't exchange money.Next day we arrived at Venice which is another world heritage.And while approaching and departing the port you can take best pictures of the islands and grand canal and don't miss to be at the open decks.We bought transfer tickets from MSC,to sanmarko squire for 11 euros.We embarked the transfer boat directly from the ship which was very convenient.We walked around venice and enjoyed it very much.Next day at Bari we took escorted train tour waiting just outside of the port gate for 20 euros.Tour took 2 1/2 hrs and we visited Sannicola church,castle and the narrow streets of Bari with our guide Nicoletta and we enjoyed it.The last port vas Katakolon and we spend our time for shopping and had ouzos at a bar.Same night was the second gala night and we enjoyed fine food and coctails offered by the captain in all bars before the dinner.I advise you to visit the tax free shops where i bought 1 lt whiskeys for 9.5 euros(sale price).Ihave a suggestion for MSC to sell tax free raki on board and if priced reasonably all Turkish pasengers about 250 on board will buy.Last morning we arrived at Izmir port where you can go to Ephesus and to the house of Virgin Marry.The historic sites around izmir are very well preserved.You can also take a taxi for 120 euros for four people to take you there.There is a good motorway which is about 100kms and takes 1 hr one way.If you stay at Izmir you can take the municipal hopon-hopoff bus for 10 euros to visit the city.

In summary i can say we enjoyed our cruise with Magnifica and can sail again in future if they ban smoking on board.They allow smoking at Topazio bar,L'Ametista lounge and in closed pool area.Can you imagine your kids getting into the pool in a closed space which is invaded by smokers.I sneezed continously because of the smokers during the cruise.I hope MSC and partner ARKAS will take the necessarry steps to find a solution.

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Sail Date: January 2010
Boarding in Izmir took 1/2 hrs because we waited for landing passengers for sight seeing.at 10.30 we received our magnifica cards ,our cabin was ready.Magnifica is a beautiful new ship and our 10th deck inner cabin was sufficient in ... Read More
Boarding in Izmir took 1/2 hrs because we waited for landing passengers for sight seeing.at 10.30 we received our magnifica cards ,our cabin was ready.Magnifica is a beautiful new ship and our 10th deck inner cabin was sufficient in size.We put our two suitcases into wardrobe and there was enough drawers to take in all our goods.We had applied for the first seating and we got a table for 2 at L'EDERE restaurant.Before the trip I have read at least 30 rewievs.And many passengers complained about seating with people they couldn't communicate or who were noisy.So we didn't have any problem and they were very helpful.We were charged 7 euros per day as service charge.If you consider the cruise is moderately priced,this was acceptable.Our waiter and cabin attendant were very friendly.When we were out of cabin each time it was put back into shape and cleaned by our attendant.Our waiter changed our dish with another one when we were not happy.I must say I haven' seen such agood service even in best hotels.We tried many meals from Italian kichen.Some we liked some were tasteless.The quality of the food served was acceptable.But i can't say that for deserts and cakes,which needs improvement.We dined at alacarte restaurant most of the time and avoided the crowd and rush of the cafeteria.There are 7 bars in the ship with live music.The quality of the music is good.That was the best satisfaction for me on board because most of the time i have no chance to listen to live classical or popular music at bars and restaurants at home.Most of the shows were also nice.

Next morning we arrived at Istanbul which is a world heritage.Since we already knew the city we walked along the pier and over the Galata bridge to Misir bazaar(spice market)through which you can also walk to Grand Bazaar which can take more than an hr.If you miss the tours the most atractive sites like Topkapi or Ayasophia will not take more than 10 minutes by taxi and cost no more than 10 euros.Next day we were at open sea to Dubrovnic and same night there was the first gala diner of the captain Francesco Veniero.The food was good and we enjoyed the shampain offered.Next they at Dubrovnic we took shuttle bus arranged by MSC for 10 euros.The road to old town has no attraction and doesn't worth to walk.The old town is a beautiful site which still needs some renovation work.There we had a nice local draft beer and paid in euros.So euros and dollars are accepted by the shops and restaurants so we didn't exchange money.Next day we arrived at Venice which is another world heritage.And while approaching and departing the port you can take best pictures of the islands and grand canal and don't miss to be at the open decks.We bought transfer tickets from MSC,to sanmarko squire for 11 euros.We embarked the transfer boat directly from the ship which was very convenient.We walked around venice and enjoyed it very much.Next day at Bari we took escorted train tour waiting just outside of the port gate for 20 euros.Tour took 2 1/2 hrs and we visited Sannicola church,castle and the narrow streets of Bari with our guide Nicoletta and we enjoyed it.The last port vas Katakolon and we spend our time for shopping and had ouzos at a bar.Same night was the second gala night and we enjoyed fine food and coctails offered by the captain in all bars before the dinner.I advise you to visit the tax free shops where i bought 1 lt whiskeys for 9.5 euros(sale price).Ihave a suggestion for MSC to sell tax free raki on board and if priced reasonably all Turkish pasengers about 250 on board will buy.Last morning we arrived at Izmir port where you can go to Ephesus and to the house of Virgin Marry.The historic sites around izmir are very well preserved.You can also take a taxi for 120 euros for four people to take you there.There is a good motorway which is about 100kms and takes 1 hr one way.If you stay at Izmir you can take the municipal hopon-hopoff bus for 10 euros to visit the city.

In summary i can say we enjoyed our cruise with Magnifica and can sail again in future if they ban smoking on board.They allow smoking at Topazio bar,L'Ametista lounge and in closed pool area.Can you imagine your kids getting into the pool in a closed space which is invaded by smokers.I sneezed continously because of the smokers during the cruise.I hope MSC and partner ARKAS will take the necessarry steps to find a solution.

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