MSC Magnifica April 2018

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sunseeker16
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MSC Magnifica April 2018

Post by sunseeker16 » 02 May 2018, 19:10

MSC Magnifica 23-30 April 2018
Southampton - Le Havre - Zeebrugge- Amsterdam - Hamburg

Embarkation and Disembarkation
Embarkation was so simple. Cases to porters as usual, then to (empty)desks at City Terminal to present passport and self-printed ticket. Passport checked, then straight to, and straight through security. Proceeded straight to ship, avoiding ship’s photographers, greeted by ship staff with hand held barcode reader/security picture taker. Ticket ‘read’ and picture taken. Ticket retained ... that’s it. Straight to deck 6 bars, where staff were all keen to sell drinks package. We’d had one included in our booking, so went straight to our (unlocked) cabin to pick up our cruise cards. These had to be registered/related to a credit card at one of a number of ‘mini ATMs’ sited midships on decks 5,6 and 7. Piece of cake. From alighting the train to ordering our first drink took well under 30 minutes.

Disembarkation should have been equally simple but we were about an hour late docking and securing the land bridge, so there was a bit of a stramash between passengers leaving permanently and those on trips. Had we not been late I think it would have been fine

Ship
The ship is beautiful. I didn’t see anything which looked worn or shabby. There are mirrors and brightwork everywhere. Anything shiny is constantly cleaned. There were no crushes for the lifts.
Deck 6 is almost all bars/venues plus one of the two MDRs. There were always seats. The chairs are slightly Art Deco; very comfortable.
Our cabin was a balcony on Deck 10. The usual facilities. A nice white shower room with plenty of storage space. Kettle and tea bags/coffee and milk pots.
Covered pool on Deck 13, with lots of tables and chairs around. Ice cream bar etc.
Plenty of sun beds outside

Food
My only real grumble. The buffet was very good. Lots of choice, well signed, seats always available. Great pizzas from 11.30am to midnight.
Sports Bar offered pastries at breakfast, sandwiches/wraps at lunchtime and teatime cakes.
The MDR was a disappointment. I must stress that I had a dental problem from day 2, so my view may be affected. We only dined here; I can’t comment on lunches.
We were on a round table for eight, 4 (including us) on a semi-circular ‘banquette’, 4 on chairs. This seating is simply not suitable for a 2 hour meal each night - it’s more akin to the emergency arrangements you might make for a one-off family gathering.
The starters were interesting and generally good, the desserts were fine but we found the main courses a bit hit and miss; moreso than when we had cruised MSC previously. Grumps about the seating and the toothache may have influenced my view though.

Entertainment
We thought it was excellent. 4 bars with four styles of music, all night, every night. No silent periods. Two dance venues. Theatre shows were spectacular and thoroughly good, professional, entertainment.
Sea days were a little flat. Some trivia, quizzes, bingo etc. No guest speakers. No films.
Cabin TVs are as small as ever. BBC World News plus one or two others, some sport in various languages, a few films available, accounts viewable.

Itinerary
Very enjoyable. Le Havre and Hamburg were new. Le Havre seemed to have suffered badly in the last unpleasantness, so had little of architectural interest. It is nice enough to walk around though, and we had an excellent lunch in one of the many bar/restaurants.
Zeebrugge was the same as ever. The shuttles to Blankenburge were €19, so we walked into Zeebrugge. The season hadn’t started, so there was very little, other than the long, wide beach. The afternoon was sunny enough to enjoy the sun beds on the top deck
Amsterdam was full of river cruise ships, which were an interesting watch. My tooth was at its nadir, so I didn’t enjoy the city as much as I should.
Hamburg is a great destination. Pick up the water taxi (€1.60) just at the aft of the ship and go right into the city. We ate at the BockBrau brewery/restaurant, in the sun on the roof terrace. We hope to get back to have another look at the city

That’s all I can dredge up just now. Please ask if you have any questions. MSC is different from anglophone cruises but that doesn’t mean better or worse - just different. We booked whilst there was a ‘free drink package/free internet’ deal. We seemed to receive an upgrade from inside to balcony. I think that makes the value for money quite outstanding and means I will forgive the patchy MDR offerings (but not the seating!)

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oldbluefox
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Re: MSC Magnifica April 2018

Post by oldbluefox » 02 May 2018, 19:59

We don't hear much about MSC so I found your review very interesting. My neighbour often goes with MSC and likes it - but he's Italian!!!! :lol:
Thank you sunseeker.

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Jan Rosser
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Re: MSC Magnifica April 2018

Post by Jan Rosser » 02 May 2018, 20:43

Thanks for your review - interesting read - the ship sounds amazing - my only experience of an Italian cruise line was Costa and we sailed from Genoa so lots of Italians - very noisy as I recall - I also recall pasta cooked at the table and flaming puddings - health and safety stopped all that :lolno:
Janis


CaroleF
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Re: MSC Magnifica April 2018

Post by CaroleF » 03 May 2018, 09:42

Very interesting thank you. I don't suppose we'll every consider going with MSC but it's always good to read about other cruiselines.

Carole


Marsiphone
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Re: MSC Cruise line

Post by Marsiphone » 08 May 2018, 16:17

Going first time on MSc what is the dress code please would like to know

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sunseeker16
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Re: MSC Magnifica April 2018

Post by sunseeker16 » 09 May 2018, 08:26

Very relaxed.
Are you on one of the summer ‘multistop’ cruisers, where passengers board at various ports? If so there will be a multinational passenger manifest, so less emphasis on the vaguely ‘traditional’ cruise dress codes. There are two Gala nights per week, where you can, if you wish, get your glad rags on. Lots of people did, from DJs and long dresses, to glitzy ‘going out’ clothes. On the other hand, the Galas seem to be scheduled for sea days, before a good number of folk disembark and don’t bother with special dress.

Do what you feel like. It really doesn’t matter. Our dinner table were all ‘dressers’; I saw a ?Japanese? man in a great traditional robe; beautiful ladies in African colours and headdresses ... and people in cardigans!

Enjoy your cruise

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Happydays
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Re: MSC Magnifica April 2018

Post by Happydays » 09 May 2018, 08:37

I like to read cruise reviews to get an idea about what else is available. We haven't tried MSC but have been on Costa several times and enjoyed them! The food on Costa in my opinion was better than P&O but that is quite a while ago now probably changed.

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Manoverboard
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Re: MSC Magnifica April 2018

Post by Manoverboard » 09 May 2018, 09:26

Thanks for your report SS16, we have enjoyed the Italian Cruising style over the years and agree they are worth a try.

ps ... I agree about Costa's food but am a tad concerned that they serve their drinks on the rocks these days :lol:


Eileen6
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Re: MSC Magnifica April 2018

Post by Eileen6 » 07 Jul 2018, 18:12

Hi Sunserker
We are considering doing a msc cruise. Always go with p&o. Can you tell me if water is available at all meals and if so do they charge?

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