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Review: MSC Magnifica

Cruise - Ocean Cruise

Potentially a good ship......

  • By SilverTraveller coolonespa

    208 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • Apr 2014
  • Wife
  • Special occasion
  • Balcony

150 people found this review helpful

We were onboard the ship for a few hours to see what it had to offer whilst it was docked at Dover on its round UK cruise from Hamburg. Built in 2010, her 95,000+ tons can carry in excess of 2,500 passengers in over 1,250 cabins. 16 of these cabins are for guests with disabilities or reduced mobility. Guests own mobility scooters will be accommodated on the ship by prior arrangemnt. Our first impression wasn’t great as embarkation took far longer than it should, with lots of standing around. Once onboard though the thing that caught our eye was the impressive decor. Bright and welcoming, nice furnishing here, a piano there and a piece of art over there added up to a pleasant sensory experience. On a ship so vast it would be easy to get the impression that you were sitting in the middle of a football field but this is tackled by the space being broken up into discreet areas. In those areas, particularly the lounges, the furniture has been arranged to create booth like areas, so within the large space you have your own intimate individual area. Each lounge had its own theme as well which added to the individual feel. I can well see this being the place to enjoy a drink listening to the jazz band, or waiting for the officer to sweep you onto the dance floor. Around the various dining options the buffet style restaurant looked appealing but similar to what you'd find on most ships. The Quattro Venti caught our eye though with its version of the intimate booths, pleasant decor and plush furnishings. Definitely the place to be for a pleasant dining experience. It appears that prior to boarding you are allocated a table for your cruise i.e. there is no open dining, but you can arrange on board to choose another dining option. Our lunch was served in L'Edera and sadly this was an unsatisfactory experience. Meals were not as described on the menu and the presentation was mixed e.g. The minute steak was not marinated as described and looked like it and the chips had been tossed onto the plate from a distance. The salmon was tasty and beautifully presented (as was the Turkey Roulade) but was on its own, no veg. When I queried this with the waiter he went off to check but never came back. All the meals on our table were luke warm at best. To be fair the tables either side of us were very happy with their meals, hot and tasty, so I'm not sure why it all went wrong on our table. One of the guests on an adjacent table was astonished at our tale and was about to begin his sixteenth cruise with MSC next week & it was certainly not the standard he'd come to expect. There were opportunities to work off your dining indulgences at a very well equipped gym that was privileged to stunning views, though floor to ceiling windows at the front of the ship. Well if you must exercise you might as well enjoy views over the open seas, giving the impression you are cycling, skiing or running to the next port. Too much like hard work? Head for the spa then. The beautifully dressed Indonesian ladies will massage away your troubles in the soothing treatment rooms. There is even an opportunity to de-stress with a friend in the double tabled treatment room (devastated we didn't have time). Should even this seem like a step too far, just lounge by the pool, one under a retractable roof, or one of the six jaccuzies. Of course if the gym wasn't energetic enough you could also hit the disco that night, although I'm not sure what dear Vera would have thought to club music in view of the white cliffs of Dover. There's an opportunity to ten pin bowl here, plus an arcade with a 4D cinema experience. Which brings me to two points of note. I was assured that the sound proofing was excellent but unless your going to be in the disco you might want to book a cabin away from it. MSC ships are family friendly, so great for taking the grandchildren but, even though there are adult only areas on the ship, if loads of kids is not for you, choose your cruise dates with care. Only one bedroom was available for viewing on the day, a standard balcony room. Nicely decorated, plenty of room and a double wardrobe with safe was supplemented with a nice sized shower room, so all you could need. What's included in the cruise price is pretty standard e.g. Full board plus teas, coffees and soft drinks in the buffet areas. There is a £20 pppn drinks package that seems very reasonable, as it includes all but premium brands. Other items e.g. spa treatments or the Tamakeira oriental restaurant are extra, as are gratuities. There is a great sports bar with an amazing number of screens, to help you make the most of your drinks package. This is a no smoking ship apart from the casino, a smoking lounge and around the pool. Let's assume that our dining experience was an anomaly to the high standard of service cruisers normally enjoy on this ship, I'm sure that the facilities are plentiful enough, even with large number of people on board, to have an enjoyable cruise. Based on the glowing reports of the repeat customers we met today, rather than our limited experience over a few hours, MSC is probably worth considering in your cruise plans.


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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 3 Comment(s)

  • Barrowman
    over 7 years ago
    The three things I didn't like about the ship .

    1. The food, had Squid and it was like rubber and the veg wasn't hot.

    2. The fact that you had to walk through the 'smokers lounge' to get from bow to stern.

    3. The garish furnishings, if I remember correctly one of the lounges was done out in what I can only describe as leopard skin colours, carpets, furniture and accessories - looked horrible in my opinion....

    Apart from that - Nice ship....
  • coolonespa
    over 7 years ago
    Thanks David. I'd like to actually cruise on the ship & see if the day visit was a true reflection of the standard of food/service on the ship.
  • Barrowman
    over 7 years ago
    A fair review Steve, I was fortunate in being asked to have an overnight stay on MSC Magnifica at its launch in 2010, whilst it is a nice ship and well laid out with plenty of facilities it is not a ship that would be my first choice to cruise on....