MSC Magnifica Tour Index

MSC Magnifica wasn't a stranger to Southampton,  She had her UK showcase in the port in 2010 but in 2018, she would be picking up passengers here and in Hamburg.  In 2017, a lot was made of her being aimed at the British market including kettles in the cabins, a vote on tea (Yorkshire won), comedians and everything in pounds.  MSC offer visits for £20, so I took the opportunity to have a look for myself.

We had to meet at 10.45am at City Terminal, a pass sent by email to cut out.  My group was green with Tam.  As she was wearing a blouse in the same colour, she'd be easy to find if anyone lost her.  Sarah accompanied her, making sure stragglers like me, who like photos with no people if possible, kept with the group.  We boarded on Amalfi Deck (7) and went to the L'Ametista Lounge for coffee, tea, sparkles, water or juice.  We were there about twenty minutes before heading off, beginning on Postiano Deck (14), where the kids area is.  Unusually, we were allowed to go up to deck 15 and see the tennis court on deck 16.  At the other end, it was up to Deck 16 to see the exclusive area for guests who book the Aurea cabins.  This was very welcome as usually on tours it's, "Here's the deck", a few photos then onto something inside.  As MSC currently offer Yacht Club, Aurea, Fantasica and Bella experiences, it is nice to see cabins and amenities on the ships which have them.  

Unfortunately, due to the extra time seeing the upper decks, we were behind schedule.  Next was the Aurea Spa plus gym.  I think it's good many cruise lines now require you to sign a waiver before doing some activities.  There are two pool areas, one outdoor and one with a retractable roof.  I was very impressed with the selection in the Sahara Cafeteria.  Again, on a tour normally you're rushed through but on this we saw almost everything on offer.  When I sailed on MSC Opera in 2012, the buffet choice was severely limited.   Having an allergy like me can make it more difficult, so I stuck to salad mostly which was safe.  Even the pizza looked like it should be put out of its misery.  What a difference six years makes!  There was something for everyone and much did not contain what I'm allergic to.  The pizza looked very delicious and pasta smelled heavenly.  They had German dishes too as well as burgers and many other things.  A wide selection of fresh fruit is also on offer.  I could have stayed!

We only managed to see two Fantastica cabins on Portovenere Deck (12) and both were shut so a steward was needed.  The lights were turned off in the inside cabin before everyone had a chance to have a look.  The Royal Theatre was dark too.  The Oriental Plaza Restaurant is a pay venue but everything is reasonably priced. Because we were half an hour late and still on Portofino Deck (6), we headed down one deck to join the other group in the L'Edera Restaurant.  It was a choice between ordering from the menu or a buffet.  We also each had two drinks, either wine or soft as well as a choice of sparkling or still water from bottles.  Lunch was amazing.  Everyone at the table ordered.  They fed us well.  Once we'd finished, it was back to the L'Ametista Lounge on Amalfi Deck (7) for tea or coffee before disembarking.

MSC Magnifica is a beautiful ship and you constantly see her being cleaned.  A lot of thought always goes into decor and design on these ships.  Despite all the promises of being more British, she is still international with a strong Italian flavour, which I personally find a good thing.  It worked well on MSC Opera, which also sailed from Southampton, and the only thing which has stopped me booking another MSC cruise are the high solo fares.

Thanks to our wonderful guides Tam and Sarah as well as everyone as MSC for their hospitality.  To see photos of MSC Magnifica's's arrival, click here.

Sport Deck (16)
Capri Deck (15)
Postiano Deck (14)
Porto Cervo Deck (13)
Portovenere Deck (12)
Amalfi Deck (7)
Portofino Deck (6)
Sorrento Deck (5)

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© Patricia Dempsey 23rd April 2018
Not to be reproduced without permission