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MSC Cruises: MSC Magnifica

MSC Magnifica Cruise Review

The fourth sister ship in MSC Cruises’ Musica-class, MSC Magnifica was introduced in 2010 as a groundbreaking ship featuring design and technology to achieve energy efficiency and environmental performance. Interiors reflect an Italian style with decks named for Mediterranean ports.

MSC Cruises took a giant leap into mainstream cruising with the introduction of this large and entirely new ship class. Highlights of the Musica-class design are a three-deck central foyer, where a piano is suspended on a transparent floor, à la carte restaurants, large-screen outdoor cinemas, and, on MSC Magnifica, a covered outdoor pool with retractable roof.

Italian culture prevails throughout, and serves as an important part of the entire cruise experience. Interiors are a blend of art deco and art nouveau themes as well as the authentic Italian designs for which other MSC Cruises ships are known. The extensive use of various colored marbles adds a luxurious quality to public spaces. In addition to its soothing Zen garden and Oriental music, the sushi bar is a bonus to the dining experience.

More widely known as one of the world's largest cargo shipping companies, MSC has operated cruises with an eclectic fleet since the late 1980s. When the line introduced two graceful, medium-size ships in 2003 and 2004, it ushered in an era of new shipbuilding that has seen the fleet grow faster than any other European cruise line. This line is growing into a major player in both Europe and the Caribbean.

MSC blankets the Mediterranean nearly year-round with a dizzying selection of cruise itineraries that allow a lot of time in ports of call and include few if any sea days. In summer months, several ships sail off to northern Europe to ply the Baltic. Itineraries planned for repositioning sailings visit some intriguing, off-the-beaten-track ports of call that other cruise lines bypass.

No glitz, no clutter—just elegant simplicity—is the standard of MSC's seaworthy interior decor. Extensive use of marble, brass, and wood reflects the best of Italian styling and design; clean lines and bold colors set their modern sophisticated tone.

MSC adopts some activities that appeal to American passengers without abandoning those preferred by Europeans; however, regardless of the itinerary, be prepared for an Italian-influenced experience. Also expect to hear announcements in several languages.

What You Should Know


  • There's a walking track high atop the ship as well as a covered promenade
  • Private gaming rooms for serious gamblers add a Las Vegas vibe to the casinos
  • Smoking is limited to one lounge and outside deck spaces


  • Announcements are made in several languages
  • Boat drill instructions, also given in several languages, can seem endless
  • Some in-cabin TV programming might be considered too "adult" for family viewing
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 987
  • Entered Service 2010
  • Gross Tons 92,400
  • Length 964 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,259
  • Passenger Capacity 2,518
  • Width 106 feet
  • New

Feb 3, 2012

Israel Greece Italy

This was the worst ever cruise experience. The many standards that make cruising enjoyable had been shaved and from the second we got on to the ship we were treated like 'Euros with legs' The whole 10 days was geared around the needs of the ships routine and not the guests. Again, the poorest food yet on any cruise ship. The selection of ingredients, the cuts of meat,, fish etc were of poor quality. The food was adequately cooked but the portions

were miniscule and the garnishes un-inspiring. I had one hot meal during the week and that was when I demanded the tepid plate to be replaced. For the first time ever there was no lobster on gala night. It being replaced by two thin slivvers of tough lamb on a soggy piece of fried bread with half a sun-dried tomato, that was the main course. The appetisers were good, varied and interesting. The deserts were un-inspiring, predictable with minimal choice. There was only one flavour of ice cream available each day. For the first time ever drinking water was not provided at dinner, niether was tea or coffee. There was one 24 hr drinks station which was difficult to find on deck 13 and every day we had to ask for milk. Overall the food resembled 'canteen' food but cooler.The self service buffet resembled a cattle market and frequently ran out of various dishes despite the fact that the meal should be available for another hour. The pasta as one would expect on an Italian ship was superb but the pizzas were stodgy and undercooked. Another first for MSC, room service, eg a sandwich was chargeable!!! Tea-time, a half hour before dinner consisted of dry curled sandwiches which could have been made the day before! Adequate, clean and comfortable The entertainment in the theatre in the evenings was amongst the best we have enjoyed on a cruise ship though the routines became a little monotonous towards the end of the cruise. The evening show was spoiled a little by the laborious 10 minute sales talk by the cruise director in six languages prior to the commencement. The entertainment in the bars was acceptable most of the time though some of the musicians/singing was embarrassingly poor. Did not do any far too expensive. I think that cruise companys have dumbed down the cruises including the actual cost in order to entice a wider audience on board. However once on board it's 'lets screw them for all they are worth' time. Bar prices expensive to start with are all enhanced by an automatic service charge of 15%. Everything about this particular cruise was about taking the maximum amount of money from you. There was no individual care or attention given to the quality of your experience.The staff whilst not hostile were clearly stretched and tired and on many occasions simply could not be bothered to look into what you were saying or needed. On one occasion I was told by the man at the tea station that 'it wasn't his job' when I asked for some milk! The normal multi-national arrangement with staff was largely replaced by a majority Indonesian work force who whilst readily smiling and pleasant often simply could not understand what you were asking for. I cannot count the number of times I saw guests throw their arms up in despair with frustration over simple requests being ignored or not understood.

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