The fourth vessel in MSC Cruises’ Musica class, the 2,518-passenger MSC Magnifica doesn’t have the size of the Italian line’s newest mega ships, but it does have tons of bells and whistles: an Asian fusion restaurant, a bowling alley, and gelato by the scoop. In the evenings, catch a show in the theater with Cirque-du-Soleil-type acrobatics or enjoy a nightcap in one of the vibrant tiger-print or purple-hued lounges. This is a ship with European flair and an over-the-top design aesthetic, not to mention seemingly endless energy.
What We Love
On-Deck Dancing: Multiple classes in different genres — salsa, bachata, tarantella, sirtaki — are offered daily. Later, you can hone your new skills in the ship's 12 bars and clubs, where live music fuels the ambiance and a high-energy staff will get you on your feet.
Italian Specialties: Cuisine from the mother country is what this Italian ship does best — and at every meal there’s an opportunity to indulge, whether that be fresh-sliced prosciutto and Napoli salami at the buffet’s salumeria or a slice of quattro formaggi pizza made by the in-house pizzaiolo. At dinner, you can expect rich pastas, such as cannelloni alla tosca and seafood risotto, with creamy Venchi gelato for dessert.
Flexible Packages: MSC offers three types of fares (Bella, Fantastica, and Aurea) with a choice of amenities, so you can tailor your cruise to your needs and your budget. The Bella package is the most wallet-friendly — with the option to add on other amenities and services on an à la carte basis. The most elaborate option, Aurea, includes perks such as unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, a massage at the spa, and complimentary access to the adults-only Top 16 sundeck.
Best Known For
Mediterranean Vibe: Because Magnifica captures the spirit and energy of the region she visits, it's easy to experience the good life on board — be it sipping a Prosecco poolside or chatting with friends over osso buco.
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Who It's Best For
Polyglots: Magnifica caters to a big mix of nationalities — mostly European — which lends a lot of color and spice to the onboard vibe (if you don’t mind announcements in several languages). The staff is impressively fluent in multiple tongues, and you can even schedule language lessons on board.
Couples and Families: Sailings on Magnifica skew younger than the typical cruise crowd, with lots of theme parties and round-the-clock entertainment to keep seagoers energized and busy. The ship also caters to an even a younger set with dedicated indoor and outdoor spaces, a 4D cinema and arcade, a teen spa menu, and activities-packed programs.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Some Public Spaces Feel Crowded: Some of the facilities seemed too small for the number of passengers on board: The gym was always packed, the pool decks were constantly overpopulated, and peak buffet times meant long lines and sharing tables with strangers.
Large Smoking Areas: Cigarette and cigar smokers can hang out on an entire side of the pool deck — good news for puffers but bad for those who have a hard time tolerating smoke.
Lisa Cheng is a New York-based writer for ShermansCruise who also writes for Travel + Leisure.
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MSC Magnifica at a Glance
- Line: MSC Cruises
- Class: Musica
- Number of Passengers: 2518
- Ship Size: Large
- Launch Date: 2009