Review: MSC Magnifica
Cruise - Ocean Cruise
43 people found this review helpful
I bought this cruise through Planet cruise as this was to be our first cruise & thought perhaps it wise to consult the “experts”, but in truth I could have done no worse by picking with a pin & a list, the ship certainly looked impressive from the shore, it’s huge, 16 decks & carries over 2000 passengers & over 1000 crew, but on boarding we were left to find our own cabin, which was a real effort when it was so big & we had just had a 6 hour drive, on finally entering our cabin I was a little disappointed to see that while spotlessly clean it was a fair bit smaller than I had expected for a balcony cabin & was a double (I had booked a twin). I read some of the literature that had been left there for us & noticed that MSC intended to charge my credit card with gratuities at approx 10 euros per person per day, that would have added another 140 euros to what was not a cheap holiday, I went directly back to reception & told them as I did not agree with this policy I would cancel any such payments so they stopped them, but I spoke to others later who had not realised this & although I did not know it then this was just the start of the “charges” incurred which took in everything from a game of pool (I found only 1 pool table on the ship to cater for well over 2000 guests,) to having a film put though to your television in cabin (the tv was tiny & the videos were jerky) but as there was so little by way of entertainment we had little choice, we had expected there to be a large outside cinema on board but this was just one of the many exaggerated or non existent things advertised by this ship, they also advertise a 4d cinema but this was actually only a 7 minute experience not a cinema at all, there was also charges for any branded spirits but in fairness this didn’t really affect us too much as we found it hard to get a drink at all, when going up to the bar the tenders there almost trying to ignore you & would tell you that we should sit & a waiter/waitress would come & serve us & while we found that this did happen eventually the service was intermittent & slow & once or twice they didn’t come back at all & given that when ordering you had to hand over your door card to the waitress so it could be swiped ( in case there was a charge ) we had then to search for the person who had taken the card, & although it did take us quite a while to work it out I do think this was done purposely as the longer you have to wait the less drinks you can have, as this happened time & again in all the bars & whether busy or not. We had also expected there to be a mini golf & 10 pin bowling on board as both are advertised but the mini golf does not actually exist & the 10 pin bowling amounted to 2 lanes of skittles & that also cost 6 euros per person per game, the entertainment programme they had running in their much advertised theatre was frankly diabolical ( the one exception being the acrobats who were actually very good ) a few examples are their own abbreviated version of the opera Carmen, which was awful or on the last night a variety show that actually was more of an aren’t we " jolly good fellows" back slapping by the heads of the departments which took longer than the acts that came on after ( again the acrobats were good ) I am fairly convinced had the put the acts on first they would have been left talking to an all but empty theatre. The food was mediocre, although plentiful, in the buffet but was often cold ( as were the tea & coffee urns provided ) which was also hampered by even after choosing your meal you could walk all around the dining room trying somewhere to sit ( there were just 2 of us, so I can only imagine the difficulties this would have caused families or larger parties) which we did always manage but usually when our food was too cold to eat. they claim they have shuffle board & there certainly were shuffle boards painted on the deck but twice we were so bored we thought to give it a shot only to be told that they didn’t “start” till later in the day ( I never saw it used any time with in the week I was aboard), they claim a library but on visiting there, found only half a dozen reference books in the English section. They ran bingo a couple of times during our cruise but we only attended once as it was pretty clear that this was also another money making scheme for MSC as the bingo tickets were priced at 10 euros for 1 card or 20 euros for 3, there was only 1 game & that was for a full house the lucky winner won 300 euros given that I counted at least 55 people with the limited view I had ( I was in the top area of the theatre where it was held) I guess it was a nice little earner for MSC, having been a frequent passenger on board various cross channel ferries who have also run bingo games I can say that this ship charged 10 times more for a bingo card & the prize was considerably less, it would seem just another of MSC money making scheme. Their shore excursions desk ( which unlike the bars ) always had a staff member will to give full & quick service ) were a complete rip off, eg. we had the presence of mind to pre book ourselves a trip to Keukenhof gardens which cost online through tiqets approx £25 per person this included public transport to & from Amsterdam out to the gardens & back plus entrance fees & the same trip if bought on board through MSC was a whopping £75 person so 3 times the price, all of their shore excursions were overpriced & as they gave out no info at all to passengers as to how to get around at any of the ports of call, I,m sure a lot of people would feel they had no choice but go with MSC & pay through the nose for the experience, A good example of this was at Zeebrugge, where for the sum of 15.90 euros per person ( no reduction for children over 3) MSC would provide you transport from Zeebrugge to Blankenberg, ( not even Bruge ) why Blankenberg?? I can only assume because it a whole lot closer than Bruge, when directly outside the port gates there are any amount of local buses lined up waiting to take you into Bruge for around 22 euros for a return they also provide you with a map & any other local knowledge required. The only good things that I can & must say concerning this trip was the friendliness of the local people I encountered on shore & the friendly & exceptional service afforded us by our cabin steward who was a gem.
43 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.