The 95,128-ton, 2,518-guest Magnifica debuted in March 2010 as the fourth ship of MSC’s Musica Class, following sisters Musica (2006) Orchestra (2007), and Poesia (2008). Like her sisters, she offers a style that really screams what she is: a modern Italian cruise ship — a little bit stylish, a little bit showy, a little bit sequins-and-heels, a little bit skimpy bathing suit by the pool, and a lot cool Roman ciao, bella.
She also offers some new features for the class, including a sports bar, an a la carte restaurant with cuisine by two-star Michelin hef Mauro Uliassi, a 4D cinema (think 3D with moving seats and wind effects), a small bowling alley, and a large new buffet area serving Italian and international cuisine.
Boarding guests enter into a bright, three-deck atrium that’s all curving lines, polished tile, etched glass, and gleaming brass handrails, all centered on a backlit two-deck waterfall and beneath an LED-illuminated ceiling of stars. A pianist performs regularly on a transparent baby grand that sits on a glass platform just above the water, and shops, an Internet center, a card room, a small library, an Internet center, an art gallery, and several bar/lounges cluster around or near the atrium on its various levels. Among the latter are the clubby Cuba Lounge Cigar Room and L’Olimpiade Sporting Bar, with multiple TV screens and seating areas laid out along an Olympic-style track design in the floor.
Most of Magnifica’s public rooms are located the two upper atrium decks. On Deck 6, the lively Tiger Bar is the venue for daytime activities/demos and evening music and dancing. Farther forward and spanning three decks, the Royal Theatre is a splashy Vegas-meets-art-deco space with a plethora of glittering wall and ceiling lights. Deck 7 offers the large Atlantic City Casino and the L’Amatista Lounge, a show lounge that serves, among other things, as the ship’s karaoke bar.
Up at the top of the ship is the busy, very disco looking T32 Disco, the 4D cinema, a video arcade, and a two-lane bowling alley.
One deck down (and all the way at the other end of the vessel) is the Aurea Spa, which offers two ornate Turkish baths (one for men, one for women) and a lovely pre- or post-treatment relaxation room where a row of flowing lounge chairs and three whirlpools face a wall of glass and the open sea. There’s also a juice bar, a smallish gym, and the usual menu of massage, wellness, and beauty treatments.
Kids get the “Underwater World” playroom with its giant octopus and submarine fixtures, plus games, arts and crafts supplies, PlayStations, etc., and activities like puppet shows, group games, pizza parties, and acrobatics lessons. Outdoors, there’s a second, enclosed play area with a tube slide and a wading pool.
On Deck 13, Le Grande Bleu pool area is a fun, Mediterranean-themed space with three whirlpools around a smallish central pool. The forward pool area (“La Grotta Azzurra”) is the Musica class’s first all-weather pool, able to be covered with a retractable glass roof. Up top, there’s a “power walking” track, shuffleboard, and a sports court for basketball, tennis court, and volleyball.
As aboard all MSC ships, dining is mostly traditional, with dinners served in the two fixed-seating main dining rooms: L’Edera, with its classic cruise ship restaurant look, and the more tony looking Quattro Venti. Both serve a combination of Mediterranean and international dishes, and both suffer from low ceilings, which amplifies ambient noise.
For a more intimate alternative, guests can dine at the Oriental Plaza Restaurant, a beautifully designed, modern space that serves both northern and southern Chinese cuisine (including dim sum specials), priced a la carte.
For casual meals, there’s a buffet restaurant that in the evening also offers a nightly a la carte option in its aft section, serving dishes created by two-star Michelin chef Mauro Uliassi. There’s also a standard pool-deck grill outdoors, serving casual meals during the day.
Most of Magnifica’s staterooms are 199-square-foot outside cabins with balconies, each designed in a clean, modern style, with richly colored upholsteries and wall treatments. Each offers adequate storage, a small sitting area, TV, minifridge, vanity/writing desk, private safe, and a bathroom with shower and minimal toiletries.
Smaller inside and oceanview staterooms are also available, as are 317-square-foot balcony suites, which come with a larger balcony, larger sitting area, king-size bed, more closet space, and a tub in the bathroom.
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