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Trip Report MSC MAGNIFICA March 2011 cruise to Greece, Croatia, Turkey

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We were to have gone to Alexandria ( Cairo) but because of the unrest Athens an
Ismir were substituted.
There are some pros and cons with this shipping line and some of the cons certainly need to be looked at in terms of what you want from a cruise because they are certainly not minor.
Firstly, this cruise line allows children to go free which means that there are a lot of children on the cruise and particularly at dinner. I personally thought that there should either have been a special area for families or even another venue as the noise of the children sometimes made the evening somewhat unenjoyable for people who just wanted to sit, eat and chat without the crying, screaming and yelling of little ones who are bored to death.
The evening meal is served in the main restaurants and there is no buffet to go to should you not find the people at your table to your liking. Personally I found those at our table to be the nicest bunch of people I could have wished for but there have been other cruises that I just did not want to join the main table in the restaurant.
My particular whinge though is with having to purchase water with the meals. Water is not free and neither is coffee and it is not even available for lunch. There are no fruit juices available either.
One night we had had a sleep in the afternoon and arrived for dinner a bit late and were not allowed in so had to wait for the late sitting.
The Cyber Lounge aboard is a good one and I would suggest that if you want to use the internet while on board you use that instead of trying to use your own computer. The cable for the computer in your cabin is next to the TV and the electrical plug is about 15 ft away. Getting off the Internet is difficult sometimes and this can cost a lot of money. There were good internet cafe's in Rhodes, Athens, Izmir and in Olympia ( or the village where you get off the ship) but nothing was open in Dubrovnic.
We had a balcony suite cabin which was really lovely and had heaps of cupboard space. The TV was mostly Italian channels and 3 channels of news in English but nothing else. You could buy movies but it would have been nice to have had just one channel with something other than news.
The evening meals in the main restaurant were a bit of a hit and miss affair in quality. Sometimes they were good but other times they were rather ho hum. I did not find the waiters particularly interested in their job either.
The ship was decorated very well but I must add that if you are a tad unhappy with your circumference then I would take a pair of dark glasses so that you cannot see yourself in surround picture in the 100s of reflections in the lifts however if you have a wonderful figure you can admire yourself a million times over.
The evening shows were very disappointing. I personally only went to 2 but the other people in our group went to all of them and said that they were very disappointed.
In general the staff on this ship were very good, very helpful and pleasant. The food could be improved upon and definately this annoying impost of charging for water and not having coffee and tea available at meals is dreadful ( the exception was breakfast).
Would I go on another MSC? That is a hard question to answer really but probably not unless it was to my most favourite places and at a very much reduced cost compared to other shipping lines.

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