MSC Cruises has one of the most modern fleet of cruise ships in the world. Their stylish ships so easily recognisable by the white hull and superstructure topped by a stylish swept back dark blue funnel embossed with the company’s logo. But the modern styling doesn’t stop at the outside as my visit to MSC Magnifica berthed at Southampton proved.
As soon as you board this ship you become aware of the Italian influences. The 3 deck high Atrium, huge glass backdrop constantly changing colour, the water feature, glistening gold balcony rails, sparkling glass and crystal topped piano leave you in no doubt as to what is in store. There is no mistaking this for anything else other than a beautiful MSC ship.
Of the 1259 passenger cabins 793 have balconies. The remaining either outside view or no view but which ever you choose they all come with the essentials and some with extras. All cabins have minibars, safes, hair dryers, interactive TVs and telephones with electrical sockets of the U.S. and European variety. 16 cabins have been designed for those with disabilities, 4 balcony, 2 outside view and 10 no view all of which measure a generous 42 Sq. Metres
The ‘Royal Theatre’ located on decks 6 and 7 with seating for 1,240 passengers is home to production shows, singers, acrobatic acts and much more. This theatre is nothing less than spectacular, the ceiling a mass of miniature sparkling lights forming designs and patterns, hidden lighting producing artistic lines and features, this is a show in its own right. The large stage fronted by dark green curtains matched to dark green velour upholstered seating is a venue to sit back and enjoy the show. The main entertainment lounge L’Ametista has seating for over 300 passengers and here from early evening to the early hours passengers can enjoy a variety of live bands, dancing and audience participation shows.
There are numerous bars on Magnifica of which nine are inside the ship whilst another 2 are on open decks. The largest of these, Tiger Bar, really is large with seating for almost 440 passengers. All bars are tastefully furnished and decorated with an excellent mix of contrasting and vibrant colour schemes.
Dining has always been an important part of any cruise and passengers on Magnifica will not be disappointed. The two main restaurants L’Edera and Quattro Venti operate a classic two sitting system and both have bars near to their entrances perfectly situated for that pre dinner cocktail. The ‘Sahara Buffet’ is found on deck 13, open 20 hours a day, and comes in two sections, the rear section transforming into L’Oasis Restaurant in the evenings. Deck 7 is home to ‘Oriental Plaza’ a Chinese restaurant which like L’Oasis commands a supplement.
Worried about putting on those pounds, then visit the ‘Sports Centre’ on deck 16 for a game of tennis or football, deck 15 for an outdoor game of Shuffleboard or to get really serious the well equipped gym situated within the Aurea Spa area. You even enjoy sea views whilst using the treadmills and for the really energetic there is the jogging track. The main swimming pool area Le Grand Bleu is found on deck 13 along with the indoor pool, La Grotto Azzurra featuring a sliding roof for inclement weather. After all this work visit the Aurea Spa, treat yourself to a traditional Balinese Massage, relax in the Turkish Bath or Thalassotherapy Room or just laze in the relaxation area.
Children are exceptionally well catered for especially on deck 14 where they have their own pool and outdoor games area, 4D cinema, ‘Underwater World’ playroom, Bowling Alley and Video Arcade. Something for all ages. This deck is also home to T32 the ships disco complete with its own bar where the energetic or young at heart can dance until the sun welcomes another day or just enjoy a drink whilst the DJ plays a record of your choice.
MSC Magnifica is a large resort style ship with an equally large range of cabins, good dining and entertainment venues that will transport passengers in comfort. The appeal will be mainly for families looking for a cruise holiday that provides good facilities to keep the children amused and occupied whilst they are able to do their own thing. This ship will certainly meet their needs and has chosen Southampton as its home port for the March to October 2018 season.