MSC Magnifica - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

MSC Magnifica


Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 403 out of 500

Accommodation: 155 out of 200

Food: 242 out of 400

Service: 298 out of 400

Entertainment: 62 out of 100

Cruise: 292 out of 400

Overall Score: 1452 out of 2000

MSC Magnifica Statistics

Size: Large Resort Ship

Tonnage: 92,409

Lifestyle: Standard

Cruise Line: MSC Cruises

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 9387085

Builder: Aker Yards (France)

Original Cost: n/a

Entered Service: Mar 2010

Registry: Panama

Length (ft/m): 963.9/293.8

Beam (ft/m): 105.6/32.2

Draft (ft/m): 25.2/7.7

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel (31,680kW)/2

Passenger Decks: 13

Total Crew: 987

Passengers (lower beds): 2,550

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 37.0

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.5

Cabins (total): 1,275

Size Range (sq ft/m): 150.6-301.3/14.0-28.0

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 827

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 17

Wheelchair accessibility: Good

Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts

Elevators: 13

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 2

Hot Tubs (on deck): 4

Self-Service Launderette: No

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: Euros


This is a large, family-friendly ship with stylish, but bright decor

Overview. This large resort ship is designed to accommodate families with children, who have their own play center, video games room, youth counselors, and activity programs. The interior layout and passenger flow are quite good, and decks are named after Mediterranean destinations like Capri, Positano, Porto Venere, Ischia. Some of the artwork is quite whimsical, but it suits the ship’s contemporary design.

The Ship. MSC Magnifica is one of a quartet of the same class, the others being MSC Musica, MSC Poesia, and MSC Orchestra. The ship sports a dark blue funnel, which has a swept-back design that balances an otherwise large-ship profile. The hull itself has large circular porthole-style windows instead of square or rectangular ones. The ship is powered by diesel motors driving electric generators to provide power to two conventional propellers.

The interior decor has an abundance of Italian and general Mediterranean influences. These include clean lines, minimalism in furniture design, and a collection of colors, soft furnishings, and fabrics that work well together. Real wood and marble have been used extensively in the Italianate interiors, and the high quality reflects the commitment that MSC Cruises has in the vessel’s future.

The focal point is a main three-deck-high lobby; it has a water-feature backdrop and a crystal (glass) piano on a small stage that appears to float on a pond. Facilities include a large main showlounge (Royal Theater), a nightclub, Atlantic City Casino, a discotheque that incorporates two bowling lanes, numerous lounges and bars (including L’Olimpiade sports/wine/food bar), a library, a card room, an Internet center, a 4D virtual reality center, children’s club, and a dedicated cigar lounge (Cuba Lounge) with specialized smoke extraction and stocking a selection of Cuban, Dominican, and Italian smokes.

One of the most popular venues is the Tiger Lounge/Bar. It features animal-themed decor and sumptuous but heavy chairs, and a long curvy bar. A shopping area, which includes an electronics store, is a well-integrated bar and entertainment area that flows through the main lobby so that shopping becomes a city-like environment where you can shop, drink, and be entertained all in one convenient area.

Drinking places include a pub-like venue as well as several comfortable lounges with live music. Note that 15 percent is added to all bar drink prices. Although access throughout most of the interior is very good, wheelchair-bound passengers should note that accommodation hallways are narrow on some decks for you to pass when housekeeping carts are in place. Sadly, there is no walk-around open promenade deck.

Accommodation. There are numerous different price levels, depending on grade and location: suites, outside-view cabins, and interior cabins. Included are 18 ‘suites’ with private balcony, mini-suites, outside-view cabins, and interior cabins. Contrary to nautical convention, the cabin numbering system has even numbered cabins on the starboard side, and odd numbered cabins on the port side.

All cabins have high-quality Italian bed linen (400-count cotton for suites, 300-count cotton for all other cabins), a minibar, safe, satellite flat-screen TV set, several audio channels, and 24-hour room service. Continental breakfast is complimentary in cabins from 7.30am to 10am, and room service snacks are available at extra cost at any other time.

Accommodation designated as ‘suites’ - they are not true suites, as there is no separate bedroom and lounge - also has more space, although they are small compared to suites on some other major cruise lines. They have a larger lounge area, walk-in closet, vanity desk with drawer-mounted hairdryer, a bathroom with combination tub and shower, toilet, and semi-private balcony with light. The partitions between each balcony are of the partial, not full, type. The bathrobes and towels are 100 percent cotton, and a pillow menu with a choice of five pillows is available.

Views from many cabins on Camogli Deck are obstructed by lifeboats. Some of the most popular cabins are those at the aft section of the ship, with views over the stern from the balcony cabins. The 17 cabins for the disabled are spacious and well equipped.

Dining. There are two principal dining rooms: L’Edera and Quattro Venti. Both are located aft - on different decks - with large ocean-view picture windows. There are two seatings for meals, at assigned tables for two to eight. Seating is both banquette-style and in individual chairs - although the chairs are slim and do not have armrests.

Other dining options. Casual, self-serve buffets for breakfast and lunch are set out in the Sahara Cafeteria (open 20 hours every day), where you can also enjoy sit-down and be served dinners in a casual setting each evening. There’s also a pool deck fast-food eatery for burgers. Coffee/tea and pastries are available in several bars adjacent to the mid-ships atrium lobby.

Enclosed in the ship’s center, on Amalfi Deck, Shanghai is a Chinese à-la-carte extra-cost restaurant. It’s a popular place, and reservations are required.

L’Oesi is a reservation-required, extra-charge, à-la-carte dining spot that, by day, forms the aft section of the Sahara Cafeteria, complete with Moroccan-style decor. Dinners are cooked to order from the adjacent galley.

A Sports Bar is the venue for light-bite snack foods (examples: chicken breast and rocket salad; eggs stuffed with salmon roe; smoked salmon rosettes; assorted sole rolls - all at a small additional cost).

Silver trays full of late-night snacks are taken throughout the ship by waiters, and on some days, special late-night desserts, such as flambé items, are showcased in various lounges. Ice cream is made on board.

All sorts of coffees, available in the many bars and lounges, cost extra but are still good value.

Entertainment. The Royal Theater is the large, principal show lounge, and the tiered seating spans three decks in the forward section of the ship, with good sight lines from most of the plush, comfortable seats. The room can also serve as a venue for large groups or social functions. All the large-scale production shows are performed to prerecorded music - there is no showband.

The L’Amethista Lounge is the place for social dancing and functions such as cooking demonstrations, with live music provided by a band. For the young and lively crowd, there’s the ear-melting T32 discotheque. With its floor-to-ceiling windows, it is a quiet, pleasant place to relax and read during sea days.

Additionally, big-screen movies are shown on a mega-screen above the forward pool, just behind the ship’s mast. Live music is provided in most bars and lounges.

Spa/Fitness. The Aurea Spa is one deck above the navigation bridge at the forward end of the ship. The complex has a beauty salon, several treatment rooms offering massage and other body-pampering treatments, and a gymnasium with forward ocean views and an array of muscle-toning and strengthening equipment. There’s also a Middle East-themed thermal suite, containing steam rooms and saunas with aromatherapy infusions, and a relaxation/hot tub room; there’s an extra charge for using these facilities. Note that gratuities to staff are not included, but left to your discretion.

Sports facilities include table tennis, a tennis court, mini-golf course, golf practice net, two shuffleboard courts, and a jogging track.