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MSC Magnifica Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
345 Reviews

Great food and entertainment

MSC Magnifica Cruise Review by Mel_Oz

16 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Nov 2019
  • Destination: the Eastern Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Interior Stateroom

We boarded the Magnifica the day that Venice flooded - the water was already calf-deep in the morning, very sad.

The boarding process was very smooth, and so was our departure.

Our interior cabin was always clean and well tended; make sure you bring tissues (kleenex) as they aren't provided. The TV only showed news, news, and the view from the bow of the ship. You want movies? You have to pay for it. (MSC does nickle-and-dime you a lot.)

The food in the restaurant was excellent for lunch and dinner. The Bistro was almost always chaotic, and it could be hard to find a table during peak hours, but the variety of food was really good, the food was fresh and tasty, and the crew took care that it was all hygienic. We didn't buy a drinks package and packages were pushed pretty hard the first couple of days, but otherwise the service was always quick, polite and friendly. We sometimes wanted to try more than one main course - the service staff was happy to get an extra serving for us to try, and was quick to bring extra vegetables if asked. The restaurant people were very responsive and the food was always hot and tasty.

I was very impressed by the evening shows. The dancers did a great job, the costumes were lovely and the acrobatic performers did a fantastic job considering the sway of the ship. Each night had a different theme. The singers were really good, and a lot of the songs were in English. I was very impressed with their operatic performances. The MC spoke a great many languages and I think the crowd all felt included. The couple of dance classes I attended were fun.

We didn't do any of the optional tours: they are extremely expensive and we were able to get around easily without taking them. Don't fall for the optional 10 Euro bus rides they offer to get you from the ship to the port frontages - the walks were often very short and bus rides not necessary. Sometimes there were even free port buses. My husband and I are in our mid-50s and relatively fit, but our mid-60s companions had no issues with the walking either.

The stops were generally long enough to have a good walk and look at the place - a taste of each place rather than a chance to really look around. The only hassle with the stops is the crowded wait before getting off the ship, but the MSC security staff handle the exits and re-entries quickly.

We had to skip Katakalon due to weather, and weren't able to dock back at Venice because of the flooding. MSC organised a comfortable bus to take us from Trieste to Venice airport.

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Cabin Review

Interior Stateroom

The cabin is small but functional and although I normally prefer an outside cabin with a port, the room was very dark and quiet when we wanted to sleep. The bathroom was clean and efficient. Our only issue was the next door neighbours - 4 teenagers who tended to yell at each other and drop the bunk beds down with a pretty loud thunk at odd hours of the night.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


We had the chance to explore Venice before we got on board at Venice. It's a beautiful, decrepit, historic city. We bought a day pass for the public transport (20 Euros) and rode on the front seats of the Vaporettos (the boats that go along the grand canal) to have a good look around. Got off to wander around St Marks Square but didn't have time to tour the Doge's Palace or get into the Cathedral, which was closed for prayer. Venice flooded really badly that night :( Do take along gumboots or buy the silly-looking shoe covers - wet shoes are no fun and parts of the old city of Venice flood often


We had a walk around. A nice chance to stretch the legs and wander an Italian town.

Katakolon (Olympia)

We had to skip this port due to severe weather.


Get off the tender and take the speedboat to Oia. Much cheaper than the tour, and they give you a bus ride back to Fira with plenty of time to explore both towns. Oia is where all the classic photos of white buildings and blue roofs are taken. Fira was feral and very touristy

Athens (Piraeus)

It poured all day. We got to the Acropolis and the museums easily by taking the local trains and walking. The weather definitely dampened our experience and we didn't get to enjoy it as much as we'd hoped but we saw some amazing sites.


This one does have a long walk from the pier. A nice walk with some lovely buildings


A beautiful, scenic town, right off the dock. The view through the fjords is fantastic - either watch the ship come in (it was still dark for us) or stay on the top decks and watch the departure for amazing scenery.

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