Meh. And cruises shouldn't be 'meh'

MSC Magnifica Cruise Review to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean


Contributor Level: Deck Hand
Experience: 2-3 cruises
Reviews: 0
Helpful Votes: 3

Overall Rating:

3.0 out of 5
Sail Date: December 01, 2010
Ship: MSC Magnifica
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 6 years ago
Our cruise departed Dec 27 and included New Year's Eve. For a holiday cruise, I guess I'd expect some sort of an extra air of "joy" (or something). Instead, the entire cruise was a bit depressing. The staff didn't really want to be there and were caught snipping at each other. The air of discontent of the staff spilled over to the guests, and various tables at dinner and people on tours took out their discontent in rather brutish ways on the staff and guides. It was like a spiral of whining, yelling, snipping (think pre-teens on a long car ride to visit relatives they don't like).

Holiday discontent aside, service was utterly random. Our dinner server was awesome, but the folks we got when randomly seated at lunch were random, and ranged from the typical 5 star server who puts your napkin in your lap and notices the moment you glass of water is at 80%, to people who failed to notice anything. Our room was clean, accept they didn't like to take away empty plates - which was just weird. We got breakfast delivered to our room, which was the only way we found to get enough coffee, but it arrived randomly, anywhere from an hour early to an hour late.

There also weren't enough plans for kids. We don't have kids, and aren't generally against kids, but when the kids start self organizing races through the bar and spinning contests on the barstools because they are bored...

Other random things to note: Dress is not enforced: on gala night, jeans were to be seen. Fresh fruit is in abundance, juice and coffee are not. Expect complete disorder when it comes queueing. These are not American/UK lines. Infact, there really aren't lines. Just crowds of people with elbows moving forward (if you've taken rush our transport in Italy, you know what I mean).

The Good? They fed us far too much at every meal, and everything was kept utterly clean. The Spa was as good as stressed on the websites. The boat was well equipped for the cold weather, with indoor pool areas.

All in all, I'm really not certain I'd go on a MSC cruise again. I'm willing to brush a lot of it off as the staff being upset they were trapped on a cruise ship over the holidays, but... For the amount we paid, I'm not sure I want to deal with "Meh" again.

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
If you are vegan, you will starve. If you are non-diary, you will nearly starve. Vegetarians who eat diary are fine. The food is of good quality, but little effort goes into presentation (the risotto in particular can put you off wanting to eat). The breads, ice creams, and sorbets all seem fresh and are excellent.

Entertainment

3 out of 5
If you attend theatre or live music regularly, there will be a subset of the entertainment you like. We had 1 amazing violinist and two amazing opera singers onboard. The rest of the entertainers were on par with what you'd see at Six-Flags or other amusement parks.

Children's Programs

1 out of 5
Children ran wild on the ship, clearly bored.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
The crew was utterly random. Some amazing. Some clearly wished to be else where.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
It was an average ship.

Cabin / Stateroom

1 out of 5
There is a lack of plugs (2 total) and lack of flat areas (exactly enough for a laptop) in the porthole rooms. There are two chairs (no arms) and a bench to sit on, and the bed.

NOTE: Some rooms have ships lights right outside the portals. These are bright purple/UV lights that the curtains do not block out. We found eyeshades from our flight over were required.

Pros: clean and well fed

Cons: no one seemed happy

Recommends MSC Magnifica? No.

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