Thursday, 18 April 2013

Sailing Aboard MSC Magnifica

Danielle Fear, aka Cruise Miss, brings us up to date on her voyage aboard MSC Cruises' MSC Magnifica from Amsterdam....

I joined MSC Magnifica (left) yesterday morning and so far I am very impressed. Check-in was swift and I was shown personally to my cabin - a very nice touch I walked through the door and was greeted with a rather nice balcony cabin and queen-sized bed. Yes, I have all of this space to myself and it feels good!

After a brief exploration, I made my way out to explore the rest of the ship. Every inch of this vessel really is beautiful; even the elevators have character. She also has the same sweet floral smell I encountered on MSC Lirica last year (as does the liquid soap in the cabin bathroom). It’s not the usual cruise ship smell - this ship wears hers like perfume!

Over the previous few days I had struggled to fit in a nice sit-down meal so, when lunchtime came, I knew I had the chance to enjoy the Sahara Buffet area and relax. I walked in and it just didn’t end - everywhere you went there was food and it all looked delicious. I have been on larger ships than Magnifica, yet the buffet areas have been less than half the size of the one on here. It was hard to decide what to have, though, but I opted eventually for a cheese wrap that was delicious. I also tried the stir-fried rice with shrimp and chicken, which was equally tasty. All I can say is, for food lovers this is the place to come - it’s far from typical buffet food and the presentation is superb.

After we sailed away from the port of Amsterdam, I went exploring again and discovered the huge Casino. This, my friends, is what a casino on a ship should be! I stumbled across the Sports Bar, with ESPN showing on numerous flatscreen TVs. Along with sporting memorabilia (see below!) and images, it’s a nice space - and a great place for the women to leave the men when in need of some onboard retail therapy!

I walked past the Oriental Plaza restaurant, which is a speciality dining option where the menu features a lot of Sushi, and also came across the Cigar Lounge, the two-lane bowling alley and then right aft on deck 13, the lovely seating area where people were enjoying the sail away and lunch.

Coming back to the centrum of the ship on deck 13, it felt like the majority of passengers were here. The weather was actually pleasant and surprisingly, warm, and the space was full of people enjoying drinks, laughing, chatting and just enjoying being in that holiday spirit.

In the evening I took myself off to the Sports Bar briefly, then made my way back on to the open deck and enjoyed a drink and the atmosphere. The majority of those on board, I think, are German and Dutch; I have come across only two other British passengers so far. Not that it matters, as everyone has been very friendly and will switch to English when you smile and say you don’t understand them.

My first impressions of MSC Magnifica are therefore very positive indeed. She truly is beautiful; everything is clean, tidy and very well cared for. The facilities are above and beyond what I expected and I am certainly enjoying my taste of Italian-style cruising!
Next - in port in Hamburg.