Cruise ship review: MSC Magnifica – The Telegraph

The last of the quartet of Musica Class ships launched between 2006 and 2010, MSC Magnifica underwent a series of “Brit-friendly” tweaks before a full season of UK departures in 2018 – a first for the line – and prior to embarking on MSC’s first-ever world cruise in 2019.

Style & character 7/10

With no Swarovski crystal-studded staircases and associated glitz, Magnifica lacks the bling of MSC’s newest ships. It’s got an understated elegance and is well designed and easy to get around.

The on-board atmosphere is relaxed, informal and inclusive, making it great for families with children of all ages.   

Cabins 7/10

New Brit-friendly features include kettles and Yorkshire Tea in every cabin. My 161sq ft. balcony cabin, one of 785 on the ship, was brightly decorated in red and cream and a huge mirror running across the foot of the bed created the illusion of more space.

The bathroom shower had a clingy curtain and dispensers of gel and shampoo, rather than branded toiletries. Other accommodation includes connecting and family cabins for up to five, plus 16 adapted cabins. There are no singles.

theatre on board

Enjoy a variety of shows in the main theatre

Food & drink 8/10

Food is available in the buffet from 6am to 2am, and there’s 24-hour room service. Recent menu additions include full English breakfast and afternoon tea with scones and jam, alongside some great Italian food such as freshly made pizzas. The two main restaurants operate on a two seating basis, with anytime dining in one of them. There’s only one speciality restaurant, the Oriental Plaza, which is superb. A set meal costs €28 and items on the a la carte menu start at €3 for sushi.

Service & facilities 8/10

Even when the buffet is packed the crew members do a great job of clearing and cleaning tables. In the main restaurants they always take time to chat and make a fuss of children. Of the 14 watering holes L’Olimpiade Sporting Bar is a favourite with original sporting memorabilia on display and an impressive beer menu, including a “metre of beer” (10 craft beers) for €22. A variety of drinks packages are available.

Entertainment/excursions 7/10

On port days Magnifica offers a wide variety of shore excursions, as well as customised and exclusive tours. Parents going on trips can also leave children aged three to 11 in the kids’ club. Revue-style shows designed to carter to an international audience are staged in the main theatre and fairly standard, however MSC is the only cruise line to feature live opera and this is a class act. Dedicated British entertainers are also being brought on board for the first time.

Value for money 8/10

Fares cover dining room and buffet meals, all entertainment and an action-packed kids’ club. Wi-Fi costs from €39.90 for the Chat & Social Apps package. Daily tips of €10 per adult and €5 for children over two are automatically added to the on board bill.