Everything MSC Magnifica – Part 3 – Ultimate Buffet Guide

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Ultimate Buffet Guide

Welcome to Part 3 of Everything MSC Magnifica. In this guide, we’ll cover all the food available in the buffet to you in a 24-hour period! (If you missed it, our entire 14-night live-blog from our cruise is available to catch up on!).

MSC Magnifica Sahara buffet

MSC Magnifica Sahara buffet

The Sahara buffet on MSC Magnifica is located at the rear of the ship (on both sides) on Deck 13. You can view more photos of it in our deck by deck guide.

MSC Magnifica is currently undertaking the Summer 2018 season with roundtrip cruises from Southampton. As part of the British Twists that MSC Cruises are offering on the ship, they’ve recruited an English Executive Chef, Anthony Wilson. He’s brought his 18-years of cruise ship experience on board to bring the international guests a food experience they can all enjoy.

In particular, a special effort has been made to welcome the British guests by adding British familiarities to their menus, the buffet selection and the cabins. A nice touch!

MSC Magnifica Buffet – breakfast layout

MSC Magnifica Buffet – breakfast layout

NOTE: Please remember this is what we saw during our 14-night voyage in May 2018 – the buffet may have changed by the time you board if the ship is on a different itinerary or in a different region!


Breakfast options

MSC prides itself on the widest breakfast buffet selection at sea for their wide range of international guests. The bakery section, fruit bar and cold cuts (meats and cheeses) selection are also open at this time.

  • Juices: orange, pineapple, grapefruit and ACE (a favourite Italian juice high in vitamins A, C and E with orange, carrot and lemon)
  • Hot beverages: tea (Yorkshire Tea), coffee (filter coffee), hot milk, cold milk
  • English breakfast: English bacon, bangers, black pudding, fried bread
  • Other hot breakfast options: American bacon, hash browns, roast tomatoes, mushrooms, link sausages, German sausages, toast
  • Eggs: boiled, sunny side up, scrambled
  • Omelettes: plain, cheese, mushroom, peppers, ham, onion, tomato, custom if requested
  • Pastries: croissants, danishes, brioche, pain aux chocolat, pain aux raisin, muffins
  • Sweet breakfast options: waffles, pancakes, blueberry pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes, cinnamon scrolls, doughnuts, baked apples
  • Condiments: Nutella, jam, marmalade, ketchup, HP brown sauce, syrups, whipped cream
  • Continental breakfast: fruit yoghurt, plain yoghurt, low-fat yoghurt, Rice Krispies, Chocolate Rice Krispies, cornflakes, frosted cornflakes, All Bran, bircher muesli, peaches, pears, prunes
MSC Magnifica Buffet – English bacon, American bacon

MSC Magnifica Buffet – English bacon, American bacon

Fruit bar

The fruit bar is open to accompany breakfast, lunch and dinner and offer fresh seasonal fruits.

  • Slices of watermelon, honeydew, rockmelon and pineapple
  • Grapefruit halves (breakfast)
  • Sliced kiwi, apple, pear
  • Fruit salad
  • Whole fruit: apples, oranges, plums
Fresh fruit at the Sahara Buffet on MSC Magnifica

Fresh fruit at the Sahara Buffet on MSC Magnifica

Cold cuts

The cold cuts section is full of neatly arranged with delicately sliced deli meats and cheeses. This is the breakfast of choice for many Europeans and is well stocked with a good range of assorted meats and cheeses, with jellies and pâté to be eaten with pastries and bread from the bakery.

  • Cheeses: Fresh Mozzarella, Grana Padano, Asiago DOP, sliced cheeses
  • Assorted meats: cooked ham, mortadella, salami
  • Jellies: Muscatel wine jelly, quince jelly
MSC Magnifica Buffet – cold cuts

MSC Magnifica Buffet – cold cuts

The Bakery

The bakery section has a huge array of different types of bread and rolls and is open during breakfast, lunch and dinner. For lunch and dinner, toast was usually replaced by focaccias and garlic bread.

  • White bread rolls: semolina, poppy seed, sesame seed, French baguettes
  • Toast: white, wholemeal
  • Pumpernickel
  • Grissini breadsticks
  • Garlic bread
  • Focaccia: tomato, cheese
MSC Magnifica - Part of the bakery section

MSC Magnifica – Part of the bakery section

Fresh pizza

Pizza is made fresh onboard from 11:30am until around 11:30pm each day, you can watch it being made in a special glass section in the buffet. There are four different pizzas available each day. One was usually Margherita, with a wholemeal base and one was usually a cream-based pizza but flavours rotated to give you fresh choices every day and we didn’t find one we didn’t like!

  • Tonno e Cipolla – tomato, mozzarella, tuna, fresh tomato, olives
  • Olive and onion – cream, mozzarella, olives, onion
  • Hawaiian –  tomato, mozzarella, pineapple, ham
  • Sausage – tomato, mozzarella, sausage
  • Vesuvio –  tomato, mozzarella, salami
  • Marinara – tomato, garlic, oregano
  • Margherita – tomato, mozzarella, basil
  • 4 Formaggi – mozzarella, stracchino, gorgonzola, emmental
  • Tirolese – cream, mozzarella, speck ham
  • Capricciosa – tomato, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, artichokes
  • Campana – fresh tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil
  • Calabrese – tomato, mozzarella, salami, bell peppers
  • Panna e Cotto – cream, mozzarella, ham
  • Integrale alle cipolle – wholemeal pizza, tomato, mozzarella, onion
MSC Magnifica - Fresh pizza

MSC Magnifica – Fresh pizza

Lunch specific

For lunch, there are almost as many hot meal options as dinner but with added fast food options and a range of sandwiches.

  • Mediterranean-style beef burger with lettuce, tomato, smoked provolone cheese, mustard OR mayonnaise
  • Cheeseburger with cheddar cheese, gherkin and ketchup
  • Beef burger with mushrooms sautéed with garlic and parsley, Emmental cheese, mustard and mayonnaise
  • Chicken and turkey hot dog
  • Kaiser roll with chicken salad and lettuce
  • Cereal bread with tuna salad, hard-boiled eggs, tomato and lettuce
  • Croissants with smoked turkey, gouda, mayo and lettuce
  • Pretzel sandwich with brie, speck ham, tomato and lettuce
MSC Magnifica lunch-specific items

MSC Magnifica lunch-specific items

Meat dishes

Meat dishes were served at lunch and in the evening. They rotated throughout the two weeks.

  • Chicken: roast chicken, Portuguese chicken, breaded chicken nuggets, chicken casserole, chicken breast, grilled chicken breast with cherry tomatoes, fried chicken fillets with coconut and panko breading, sautéed marinated onion and chicken, fried chicken in BBQ sauce
  • Pork: minute steaks, escalopes in gravy, escalopes with artichokes and rosemary sauce, pork loin, crispy fried pork
  • Turkey: turkey breast, turkey burgers, roast turkey with gravy
  • Beef: steak, beef meatballs in tomato sauce, beef minute steak pizzaiola with tomato sauce, capers and oregano, beef ribs in savoury tomato sauce, baked meatloaf, shepherd’s pie
  • Lamb: grilled lamb skewers, roast lamb
  • Game: veal escalope, venison stew in a red wine casserole, oven-roasted goose in gravy with berries, stewed boar with herbs and root vegetables
MSC Magnifica meat selection

MSC Magnifica meat selection

The Carvery

The carvery is manned during lunch and dinner daily. The joint of beef changes daily and is sliced infront of you at your request (All paired with a sauce or gravy)

  • Beef rib
  • Pork loin
  • Turkey
  • Roast pork
  • Roast beef
  • Roast veal
  • Oven-roasted Chicago round (beef)
  • Oven roasted beef tagliata
MSC Magnifica buffet carvery

MSC Magnifica buffet carvery

Seafood

There were many seafood options available in the buffet during lunch and dinner. Again, they were rotated throughout the cruise, but there was generally two available at any given time.

  • Fried cod in beer batter with tartare sauce
  • Fish fingers
  • Hake fillet in butter sauce
  • Mahi-mahi
  • Fillet of fish in a smooth citrus sauce
  • Seared fish fillet with a creamy curry and coconut sauce
  • Grilled fish fillet with lemon and parsley
  • Oven roasted salmon with creamy dill-mustard sauce
  • Grilled salmon with lemon and extra virgin olive oil
  • Grilled fish fillet with salmoriglio sauce, extra virgin olive oil, garlic parsley, oregano and a tomato concassé
  • Broiled fish fillet, tomato, oregano and caper topping, potato sauté and roast aubergines
  • Battered calamari rings
  • Grilled calamari and octopus with black olives
  • Seared fillet of salmon
  • Octopus in white wine sauce
  • Fried swai fillet in parsley beer batter
  • Jamaican escovitch cod, deep fried cod fillet marinated with lemon, herbs and vegetables
MSC Magnifica seafood selection

MSC Magnifica seafood selection

Fresh pasta

As an Italian ship, you would expect no less – pasta is made fresh daily onboard and the below options are available between lunch and dinner, rotated daily.

  • Pasta in duck sauce flavoured with juniper
  • Fusilli pasta alla Norma with fried aubergines, salted ricotta cheese and tomato sauce
  • Pasta with salmon, cream and dill
  • Pasta with olives, capers, anchovies, oregano, tomato and parsley
  • Wholemeal pasta with grilled bell peppers
  • Beef lasagne al forno
  • Giant squid ink tortellini stuffed with salmon, in sparkling wine sauce
  • Pasta in romanesca sauce with cream, ham, mushrooms and peas
  • Pasta with sweet peppers and braised onion
  • Lasagne portofino au gratin with Genoese pesto sauce
  • Wholemeal pasta with courgettes, mushrooms and onions
  • Cannelloni stuffed with vegetables on creamy tomato sauce with cheese
  • Pasta ‘amatriciana with bacon, tomato, onion, black pepper and pecorino romano cheese
  • Pasta with leek and calamari braised in white wine and parsley
  • Pasta with shellfish
  • Pasta with fresh tomato sauce, hot chilli pepper and garlic
  • Cannelloni Tuscan-style filled with meat, Swiss chard and ricotta cheese, au gratin with béchamel sauce and parmesan
  • Tortellini stuffed with beef and mascarpone with truffle butter and roasted hazelnuts
  • Pasta with five flavours, tomato, oregano, sweet peppers, capers and garlic
  • Potato gnocchi in gorgonzola cheese and walnut sauce
MSC Magnifica Pasta dish selection

MSC Magnifica Pasta dish selection

Ethnic

Ethnic dishes below were available between lunch and dinner and rotated daily. We found the majority of them to be located towards the rear of the buffet.

  • Aloo bhaji vegetable curry with potatoes, peas, spinach and onions
  • Mixed vegetable rice
  • Biryani rice with Indian spices, vegetables and fried onion
  • Tandoori vegetables
  • Samosas
  • Raita (yoghurt sauce)
  • Chana chaat salad
  • Chappati bread
  • Lamb curry
  • Pakora onion and vegetable fritters with onion chutney
  • Braised green beans with lime, coconut and shallots
  • Chickpea curry
  • Chicken biryani – rice, spices, fried onions and curried chicken
  • Palak sautéed spinach with garlic and spices
  • Lamb curry madras
  • Aloo phulkopir (potato and cauliflower curry)
  • Roti bread
  • Red chicken curry
  • Vermicelli and vegetable stir fry
  • Sauteéd beef strips
  • Sweet and sour pork with almonds
  • Cantonese fried rice with baby shrimp, cooked ham and egg
  • Glazed spring onions
  • Nasi goreng fried rice with chicken, baby shrimp and vegetables
  • Chicken legs with sambal spicy sauce and lemongrass
  • Udon noodles with crispy vegetables, sprouts and soy sauce
MSC Magnifica Ethnic selection

MSC Magnifica Ethnic selection

Healthy options

There were healthy options available every lunch and dinner session. These were rotated daily!

  • Grilled turkey breast marinated with herbs
  • Steamed hake with parsley orange vinaigrette
  • Steamed artichokes with black olives, parsley and extra virgin olive oil
  • Rice salad with peas, black olives, sweet corn, lentils
  • Stewed lentils and carrots with fresh tomato and coriander
  • Grilled tilapia fillet with Mediterranean citrus fruits
  • Grilled aubergines and courgettes with garlic, herbs and olive oil
  • Wholemeal pasta salad, kalamata olives, grilled courgettes, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes
  • Brown rice salad with tuna, red onion, green beans, black olives
  • Chicken salad with lettuce, grilled sweet peppers, chicken fillet, olives and bread croutons
MSC Magnifica healthy options

MSC Magnifica healthy options

Salads

Salads are available during lunch and dinner and are generally located at the front of the buffet on one of the islands.

  • Waldorf salad (celery, apple, walnuts, mayonnaise)
  • Thai chicken salad
  • Crab surimi with celery, carrots and mango chutney
  • Cobb salad with chicken breast, avocado, bacon, tomato, hard-boiled egg, blue cheese and iceberg lettuce
  • Surimi salad with lemon and lettuce
  • Cheeses and cold cuts are available in their own section of the buffet for anyone who wants to add them to their salads!
  • Salad greens: lettuce, mesclun, rocket, baby spinach, watercress
  • Salad vegetables: red cabbage, tomato, cucumber, peppers, onion, olives, radish, beetroot
  • Salad add-ons: capers, beans, jalapeños, croutons, salad dressings
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Cold pasta salads
  • Coleslaw
MSC Magnifica salad selection

MSC Magnifica salad selection

Afternoon snacks

Between 4pm and 5pm daily, the afternoon snack station was open in the buffet. It’s extremely popular and the desserts station is open next to it for even more choice of sweet treats.

  • Scones
  • Condiments: clotted cream, whipped cream, marmalades, jams, vanilla custard, berry coulis, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce
  • Puddings: bread and butter pudding with almonds, cinnamon bread and butter pudding, peach crumble, apple crumble, red fruit crumble
  • Cookies: chocolate chip, chocolate, shortbread, chocolate dipped ladyfingers, meringues
  • Cakes: marble cake, candied fruit cake
  • Donuts: berliner donuts filled with custard, churros, apple fritter donuts
  • Mixed salads for custom sandwiches – coleslaw, tuna, egg, chicken
  • 6-grain French baguette, lettuce, speck ham, olive pâté
  • Tramezzino – tuna, silver onions, mayonnaise
  • Milk bread rolls – Hungarian salami and sweet peppers
  • Wrap – butter, lettuce, tomato, sautéed mushrooms
  • 6-grain French baguette, roast pork, lettuce and mayonnaise
  • Tramezzino, smoked turkey, cheese, mayonnaise
  • Milk bread rolls, ham, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise
  • Wrap with emmental cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, lettuce and olive tapenade
MSC Magnifica afternoon snacks selection

MSC Magnifica afternoon snacks selection

Kids food

MSC has a special kids section of the buffet where you can always find some kid-friendly options. It is usually located towards the rear of the buffet and is clearly marked with a little archway and barriers to stop adults from using it!

  • Pasta with tomato sauce
  • Pasta with ham and
  • Pasta with bolognese sauce
  • Pasta with creamy sauce and peas
  • Pork hot dog
  • Roast chicken legs
  • Pasta with carrots and pumpkin tossed in tomato sauce
  • Steamed rice
  • Buttered vegetable medley
  • Potato purée
  • Fries
MSC Magnifica kids selection

MSC Magnifica kids selection

German dishes

German cuisine can be found during all meal times at the buffet and in the baked goods section. The range of sausages is enormous, we’ve only managed to list a few!

  • Sauerkraut
  • Pretzels with salt
  • Pretzels with oat flakes
  • Laugenbrot German glazed bread rolls
  • Currywurst German sausage
  • Munich white sausages
  • Schlesische Bockwurst German sausage
  • Spätzle with butter
  • Sautéed spätzle with mushroom sauce
  • Cheese spätzle with melted cheese and roasted onions
  • Händlmaier hausmachersenf mustard
  • Remia curry ketchup
MSC Magnifica German selection

MSC Magnifica German selection

Desserts

The dessert selection in the buffet is full of patisserie-style entremet cakes, filled choux pastries and small pottles of desserts like pannacotta and jelly. We were really impressed by the variety we saw, there were variations on some popular treats but there was also something new every day! Of course, you could also opt for gelato at the La Grotta Azzurra bar (available from 9am until 10.30pm daily)

  • Cakes: chocolate cake, black forest gateaux, carrot cake, sacher torte chocolate cake with apricot filling, vanilla cream and jam roll, coconut pistachio dacquoise coconut cake with pistachio mousse, chocolate caramel dacquoise, raspberry cream cake, chocolate coconut, lemon delight sponge cake with limoncello cream, royal cake with dark chocolate mousse, crunchy praline and vanilla anglaise
  • Profiteroles/ éclairs/ Paris-brest: coffee, chocolate, hazelnut creme, vanilla, custard, diplomat creme
  • Tarts: almond cream and blueberry, chocolate ganache, almond, caramelised apple, apricot pistachio, coconut slice
  • Fresh fruit tarts with custard: kiwi, apricot, strawberry, melon
  • Panna cotta: lime, raspberry, chocolate, strawberry, mango
  • Cheesecake: berry, lemon
  • Fruit jelly
  • Apple pie
  • Tiramisu
  • Mille-feuille
  • Apple sultana streusel
  • Duo of white and dark chocolate mousse
MSC Magnifica dessert selection

MSC Magnifica dessert selection

Midnight snacks

The midnight snacks consist of some or all of the following usually

  • Prepared sandwiches
  • Make-your-own sandwiches
  • Fresh pizza (until it runs out when the kitchen closes)
  • Cheese selection
  • Cold cuts
  • Desserts
MSC Magnifica midnight snacks

MSC Magnifica midnight snacks

Sides

Sides were plentiful and available during lunch and dinner. They were rotated throughout the cruise, but certain sides like chips, mashed potato and potato croquettes were available daily.

  • Chips
  • Potato croquettes
  • Beer battered broccoli and cauliflower
  • Mixed vegetable tempura
  • Onion rings
  • Mozzarella sticks
  • Ranchero polenta with chilli
  • Corn and cod fritters with parsley
  • Arancini (risotto rice balls, crumbed and fried)
  • Mashed potato
  • Oven roast potatoes
  • Sautéed potatoes with sweet peppers
  • Roast rosemary potatoes
  • Roast potatoes with herbs
  • Oven-roasted potato wedges
  • Potato gratin
  • Buttered carrots
  • Fried cauliflower with shiitake mushroom sauce
  • Roast artichokes
  • Steamed broccoli with extra virgin olive oil
  • Buttered green beans
  • Sautéed vegetables with tofu and soy sprouts
  • Buttered brussel sprouts
  • Sautéed sweet peppers and onions
  • Steamed asparagus with extra virgin olive oil
  • Carrots and peas sautéed with garlic and parsley
  • Stuffed calzone with ham and cheese
  • Stuffed calzone with vegetables and tomato
  • Vegetable burgers
  • Brown rice with steamed vegetables
  • Grilled vegetable tortilla
  • Rice pilau
  • Rice with kidney beans
  • Falafel
  • Yorkshire pudding
  • Roast potatoes with mushrooms
  • Roast carrot and zucchini
  • Vegetable couscous with nuts
  • Fennel au gratin with aromatic breadcrumbs
  • Fried panzerotti (fried calzone)
  • Garlic green beans
  • Cabbage sauteéd with garlic, onion and hot chilli pepper
MSC Magnifica sides selection

MSC Magnifica sides selection

Other dishes

These dishes didn’t really fall into a specific category. They were available during lunch and dinner and rotated throughout the cruise.

  • Baked bell peppers stuffed with rice 
  • Eggplant Parmigiana
  • Crêpe parcel filled with vegetables and cheese on a creamy tomato sauce
  • Vegetable tofu paella, rice, turmeric, sweet peppers, mushrooms, olives
  • Legume stew Tuscan-style white and red beans, lentils, carrot, aubergines and spring onion
  • Vegetarian paella with saffron rice, carrots, peas and sweet peppers
  • Vegetarian shepherd’s pie
  • Oven-roasted stuffed tomatoes with rice and aromatic herbs
  • Oven roasted legume balls with carrot purée
  • Neapolitan-style aubergines layered with mozzarella cheese and basil tomato sauce
Condiments

There is a huge selection of condiments that are available throughout the buffet. If you can’t find the one you like, then just ask a member of the crew – they are incredibly helpful!

  • Heinz tomato ketchup
  • Heinz mayonnaise
  • Heinz mustard
  • English mustard
  • Heinz brown sauce
  • HP sauce
  • Piccalilli
  • Mint sauce
  • Marmite
  • A1 sauce
  • Smoky and spicy barbecue sauce
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Sweet chilli sauce
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • Extra virgin olive oil
MSC Magnifica buffet condiments

MSC Magnifica buffet condiments

Drinks

Drinks are available from the bar at the front of the Sahara buffet or the rear bar located in the L’Oasi Restaurant. There are devices on all tables to call a waiter who will come over and take your drinks order or you may drinks in with you.

Additionally, there are drinks stations throughout the buffet. The cold drinks are covered in the breakfast section above, but there is always cold milk, cold water, ice, hot water, filter coffee and various different teas available 24-hours a day in a self-service area. This area has plenty of glasses and mugs too.

MSC Magnifica Buffet – tea, coffee, juice

MSC Magnifica Buffet – tea, coffee, juice


We hope you enjoyed our extensive buffet guide, please remember that the food on your cruise may be different than what we experienced. MSC Cruises offer a number of dishes that are present throughout their fleet and you may see them on some of their other ships too. Additionally, whilst the ship is sailing from the UK the British Twists are present, but will probably end in October 2018 when the ship repositions to the Mediterranean.

Don’t forget there are also food options via room service in your cabin and as standard, there are tea and coffee making facilities available for you to make your own drinks if you wish.

MSC Magnifica room service breakfast on our balcony

MSC Magnifica room service breakfast on our balcony

We hope you enjoyed our Ultimate Buffet Guide onboard MSC Magnifica

Read our other Everything MSC Magnifica guides:


About Author

Chris Hughes

Chris is an ex-Royal Navy Reservist. During his time in the Royal Navy, Chris served in the Maritime Trade Operations branch. A now seasoned cruiser, the first ship for Chris was Cunard Line's Queen Victoria. Chris enjoys nothing more than relaxing on a balcony during a sea day, gazing out to sea and enjoying the cruising lifestyle!

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