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MSC Magnifica Review

Find a MSC Magnifica Cruise from £59

MSC Magnifica
4.0 / 5.0
345 reviews

Pros
A relaxed, Brit-friendly ship that's suitable for all ages
Cons
Lack of speciality dining and water park
Bottom Line
Well laid-out vessel offering good value-for-money

About

Passengers
3,223

Crew
1,038

Passenger to Crew
3.11:1

Launched
2010

Shore Excursions
928
Sails To
Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean, Eastern Mediterranean, Baltic Sea
MSC Cruise Deals
Jeannine Williamson
Cruise Critic Contributor

MSC Magnifica Overview

MSC Magnifica is one of the Musica-class ships, which debuted in 2006 and include sister ships MSC Musica, Orchestra and Poesia, with Magnifica the last to join the quartet in 2010.

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For 2018 Magnifica began sailing the line's first full season round trip from the U.K. -- homeporting in Southampton -- and, as a result, a number of Brit-friendly features have been added, such as kettles in every cabin and Yorkshire Tea (the line even employed a Tea Taster to ensure the quality was up to scratch), bangers and Marmite at breakfast, scones and jam at tea time, and English entertainers for some of the shows. That said, MSC Magnifica remains an Italian ship, so passengers shouldn't expect an all-British experience such as the likes of P&O Cruises or Fred. Olsen. What they will get is the best of both worlds in a warm, friendly and cosmopolitan environment.

A comment often made about MSC is that the ships are too glitzy and over the top, but that certainly doesn't apply to the 3,223-passenger Magnifica, which has no crystal-studded staircases, water parks or the exclusive  "ship within a ship" Yacht Club enclave found on the line's newer and larger vessels. So while that will be a minus for some, it's a plus for passengers who enjoy a more traditional style of cruising with less all-singing all-dancing amenities.  

What Magnifica does have is a plethora of diverse bars and lounges -- with drinks at very reasonable prices, an elegant atrium with a grand piano as the centrepiece, and virtually round-the-clock dining opportunities (albeit with just one speciality restaurant). It's not an overwhelmingly huge ship, and is well designed and easy to get around. In common with other vessels in the fleet, cruises are sold as three "experiences" -- Bella, Fantastica and Aurea -- with various levels of inclusions. For example, priority dining times and free room service delivery for Fantastica passengers, and anytime myChoice Dining and bathrobe and slippers for Aurea passengers. Magnifica is very family-friendly with a great range of free activities for youngsters, plus unique amenities such as a dedicated laundry service for children's clothes.

While English is the main onboard language, MSC attracts passengers from mainland Europe and beyond. This means that announcements are made in five languages and entertainment is mainly geared to appeal to multinational audiences, with dancers, bilingual singers and acrobats -- although dedicated English acts have been introduced to cater for the increase in British passengers. Also, unlike the majority of cruise lines, passengers embark and disembark at different ports of call, so you can expect a change in the onboard demographics along the way. It is a credit to members of the crew in all departments who manage to switch seamlessly from one language to another.

Another thing to note is that cigarette smoking is more prevalent on MSC than other lines, with designated areas on the pool decks and inside the ship (in a section of the casino and in the cigar lounge).

In January 2019 MSC Magnifica will host the line's first ever world cruise, across six continents, 32 countries and 49 ports of call.


Top MSC Magnifica Itineraries

MSC Magnifica
13 night europe - northern cruise

Rotterdam, Brugge (Bruges), Le Havre, Southampton, Bilbao, Ferrol, Lisbon, Lisbon, Tangier, Valencia, Marseille, Genoa

13 NIGHT Europe - Northern CRUISE

MSC Magnifica

View All MSC Magnifica Itineraries (65)

Fellow Passengers

The composition of fellow shipmates is influenced by where the ship is deployed, and there has been a big jump in British passengers as a result of Magnifica homeporting in Southampton. Similarly, when it sails in the Mediterranean the majority of passengers are Italian, and others will come from all over the world. Part of the fun of MSC -- which sails under the company slogan "the Mediterranean way of life" -- is that there is always a cosmopolitan vibe created by the many different nationalities onboard (usually at least 20 or more). It's a very inclusive line, attracting all types of passengers including couples, families, groups of friends and a small sprinkling of solo travellers. In general, they are younger than cruisers on more traditional ships, creating a livelier (some would say noisier) atmosphere.

Occasionally the cultural differences create a few small rubs. Waiting patiently is not the norm in some countries, so there can be queue jumping at the buffet and people flooding out of the theatre in no particular order at the end of a show.


MSC Magnifica Dress Code

Magnifica has a very relaxed, laid-back onboard atmosphere, which will appeal to cruisers who prefer not to have to don their best bib and tucker. Daywear is casual, with beach attire on deck, shorts, T-shirts and jeans at breakfast and lunch, and comfortable clothes for excursions. The daily programme lists three evening dress codes for the restaurants from 6 p.m., but these are suggestions and not strictly adhered to or enforced. For gala nights -- usually two every seven-night cruise -- the recommendation is elegant, which is MSC's less stiff and starchy version of formal. Of the women that did dress up on elegant nights, the tendency was for cocktail dresses, and nobody wore long ball gowns. Some men wore black tie or dark suits, while others simply smartened up a little. Informal nights mean a dress or trousers for women and jacket and trousers (no jeans) for men. For casual nights more or less anything goes (aside from shorts and swimwear), including jeans, T-shirts and sportswear. There is also an optional theme night on most cruises, such as a white party or 70s and 80s night, where passengers can wear anything suitable they might have -- but again, this is only a recommendation and nobody will feel out of place whatever they choose to wear.


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MSC Magnifica Ratings

CategoryEditorMember
Cabins4.04
Dining4.03.1
Entertainment3.03
Public Rooms4.03.9
Fitness Recreation4.03.2
Family5.03.4
Enrichment3.02.8
Service5.03.5
Value For Money4.03.3

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Cruises on MSC Magnifica start from £59 per person.

Awards and Recognition

MSC Magnifica Member Reviews

MSC Magnifica
muddicaroline2
Sail Date: Sep 2019
Keep it up Magnifica... Read More
MSC Magnifica
Melcoz
Sail Date: Nov 2019
MSC organised a comfortable bus to take us from Trieste to Venice airport.... Read More
MSC Magnifica
CruiseQueen612
Sail Date: Jul 2019
Greece (go visit the famous Oia) -Piraeus, Greece (you have to visit the Acropolis) -Corfu, Greece (must visit paradise beach) -Kotor, Montenegro (do a boat tour of the bay) The food on the Magnifica... Read More
MSC Magnifica
jp382
Sail Date: Jul 2019
My husband and I decided to book a very spontaneous trip on MSC Magnifica four days before the ship was to set sail through Expedia.... Read More

MSC Cruises Fleet

MSC Lirica
3.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

263 reviews

MSC Lirica is one of four medium-sized Mistral-class ships dating from 2003. In 2014, an 80-foot-long section was sandwiched into the middle of the ship.

MSC Lirica Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean MSC Lirica Cruises to the Mediterranean View All MSC Lirica Cruises
MSC Musica
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Musica serves an English-speaking crowd but with a largely international mix of passengers. Expect dance lessons and a decent wine bar to keep you occupied.

MSC Orchestra
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


MSC Orchestra, which joined the fleet in 2007, is the line's eighth ship. Like MSC Musica, Orchestra represents an evolutionary new design strategy for the line.

MSC Sinfonia
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


The 1,952-passenger MSC Sinfonia is one of four Mistral-class ships that saw a new midsection during a major 2014/2015 refurb. Sinfonia debuted in 2002.

MSC Fantasia

The 3,300-passenger MSC Fantasia debuted in 2008 as the largest and most innovative cruise ship ever built by Italy-based MSC Cruises.

MSC Splendida
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Spendida is European through and through, from the food and decor to the coffee and cigarettes. The ship sails the Mediterranean and most rooms have balconies.

MSC Poesia
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Tastefully exuberant decor -- brass handrails on the staircases, marble countertops at reception, a waterfall in the atrium -- means Poesia is elegant but not boring.

MSC Armonia
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


MSC Armonia is the oldest ship in the MSC Cruises fleet. Built in 2001, Armonia began sailing under the MSC banner in 2004.

MSC Magnifica
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Part of the Musica Class of ships, 2,518-passenger MSC Magnifica has a sprawling spa, a range of dining venues and a high number of balcony cabins.

MSC Divina
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


One of the most multinational ships sailing in North America, with a decidedly Mediterranean flare, active nightlife and the suites-only Yacht Club.

MSC Preziosa
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


MSC Preziosa provides a fun, relaxed and affordable way to cruise the Med. With 1,751 cabins and a total capacity for 4,345 passengers, Preziosa offers a good choice of accommodation options.

MSC Seaside
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Designed for North America, MSC Seaside focuses on the outdoors with more alfresco space, lots of balcony cabins and open-air attractions.

MSC Meraviglia
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


The 4,475-passenger ship (5,714 at capacity) boasts a number of industry firsts, including a Cirque du Soleil venue and promenade with an LED ceiling that projects different scenes throughout the day.

MSC Seaview
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


MSC Seaview is MSC Cruises' second Seaside-class ship, launched in June 2018. The 5,179-passenger ship, along with its sister, will have the largest ratio of outdoor space of any cruise ship.

MSC Grandiosa

Due for delivery in October 2019 and September 2020, the first of two new Meraviglia Plus ships will carry nearly 6,300 passengers plus 1,700 crew.

MSC Virtuosa

MSC Virtuosa, the second ship in MSC Cruises' Meraviglia Plus Class, is slated to launch in September 2020 and will carry 6,297 passengers.

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