- Average scores calculated from:
- 0 web reviews - 3 cruiselinefans reviews
Write a cruise review
Did you love or loathe your cruise?
Tell everyone about your cruise by posting a review. It's quick and easy.
Write a review and earn 2,000 points, bringing you that one step closer to a Bronze award.
Review of the Opera
Cruise Date: January 2009
MSC Opera Feb. 2006
MSC Opera Review 2/11-2/18/06
I will preface this by saying that my husband and I have been on 20+ cruises on many different cruise lines, therefore I would consider myself a veteran cruiser.
The ship is beautiful and was kept spotless throughout the voyage, with an abundance of brass, glass and mirrors. It is reminiscent of the older ships, prior to 9 story atriums. The public spaces were all on deck 5 and 6 and provided a variety of options to meet and mingle with old and new friends.
We had an ocean view cabin, which was small, but well designed and appointed. There were 2 closets, a dresser with 6 drawers, 2 night stands with shelves, shelves behind the vanity mirror (along with the safe), and 2 cubbies at the vanity. Storage was not a problem. The room seemed more spacious with the beds made into 2 twins, as opposed to a queen sized bed. The bathroom is average sized, with little storage. The shower is TINY and presented a problem to many.
The staff were (for the most part) friendly, helpful and always smiling. We did run into a grouch at the Currency Exchange desk. The service is on par with what you would expect from Celebrity or Holland America., from white gloved attendants bringing you to your cabin on embarkation day to an attendant helping my disabled mother with her plate in the buffet line (this happened every day). They were always busy, never standing around, and were a pleasure to be around. I went to the Reception Desk on several occasions and always found them pleasant and helpful. We did not use the Shore Excursion desk, so I cannot comment on that. The ships officers were very visible throughout the cruise, and were more than willing to spend time talking to you. I cannot find one bad thing to say in this department.
The food was almost always delicious. The menu was very International and sometimes hard to understand. Our waiter was very patient and explained everything to us. The lobster wasnt great, but I never find cruise ship lobster to be good (were from the Northeast, once youve had Maine lobster, nothing else compares). The beef was dismal the first evening, but improved immediately by the second night and was fantastic for the remainder of the cruise. The Spaghetti Bolognese was terrific and I enjoyed it almost every night, except when they had Lasagna, which was also wonderful. The soups were very flavorful and always served piping hot. The desserts went from mediocre (Crme Brule) to awesome (Cheesecake with Chocolate Sauce). Our party also enjoyed the ice creams and sorbets each evening. We also had lunch several times in the dining room, and enjoyed the same quality and experience as dinner.
Breakfast and lunch are available on Deck 11, as a buffet. We only had breakfast a few days (they closed breakfast at 9:30 am), however, it was your average cruise buffet breakfast, with a fried egg/omelet station. We ran into people looking for things like cream cheese and regular pancake syrup. Everything was there; you just had to ask for it and would be shown where it was. I cannot stress enough, if you dont see what you want, ASK FOR IT, and you will most likely get it. Lunches were typical cruise line food, with a pasta station, carving station, pizza, grill and various salads and hot foods. The pizza was good, but a little bland. The hot dogs were good, but we didnt enjoy the hamburgers. The pasta station was always a good choice, with a salad (which was always crisp and fresh). Hot tea and coffee were available until evening and juice was available during breakfast. IMHO, they should turn the juice machines to Lemonade and Iced Tea, once breakfast was over. There were never any cold beverages available on the buffet, except milk and water.
These were the best shows we have seen on a cruise ship, top notch and very enjoyable. MSC does a great job of appealing to the different nationalities that sail with them, which is no small task. The shows ranged from Cirque type acts to magicians, dancers and singers, all of whom were very good. There isnt one show I wouldnt recommend. There were also performers of different genres (soft rock, jazz and classical) scattered throughout the ship, all of them very good.
The casino was very small and never very busy. Additionally, it was not opened as much as what you might be accustomed to. Also, they did not have any casino tournaments (slot and blackjack). The dealers were nice and some very friendly and we enjoyed the time we spent in there.
These are the Cruise Directors staff, and are great. They take care of the daily activities onboard, ranging from Italian lessons, to trivia and zany deck games. They were always fun, energetic and very approachable.
There were activities scheduled to appeal to everyone. Some of them were arts and crafts, bridge tournaments, trivia contests, Italian lessons and crazy deck games. While there was enough to keep you busy, it was not non-stop action. This lends itself to being a more relaxing cruise, allowing more time to laze in the sun or relax with a good book. If you need 24/7 entertaining (think Carnival), this is not the cruise line for you.
As I previously stated, we did not use the services of the shore excursion office. In San Juan, we got off to shop a little and use the internet cafe. We have been here many times and didnt see the need to get off for just a few hours. In La Romana, we went to Casa del Mar on our own (this can be arranged though the shore excursion office, however, as a travel agent I went with other travel agents to do a site inspection). In St. Marteen, we just shopped at the pier. I think next time well take the water ferry to downtown (cost $5.00 roundtrip). In Cayo Levantado we took the tender to their private beach. It is a beautiful, white sand beach with plenty of shade and beach chairs. Shopping was available from local vendors and a bar-b-que lunch was provided (not very good). There were also a few bars spread out, where you could purchase drinks with your ships card (very convenient).
While there is an internet caf onboard, it is very expensive. Charges are $.60/minute, with a minimum 10 minutes each time you sign on. They do not provide package plans and the computers seemed to run pretty slow. I would not plan on keeping in touch by e-mail on this cruise.
This has been a hot topic on these boards, so I feel the need to address it. While I understand that $12.00 pp/per day is more than usual, it is well earned. The customary tips do not take into account all of the excellent staff that work on the Lido deck and throughout the ship. I was more than happy to pay an additional $14 for the week for the service I received. I don't even care if the money goes to MSC, who then turns around and pays their staff a decent wage. Obviously, the staff is happy and it shows. If the cruiseline were to increase their fare (to pay the employees a decent wage) and then state a "No Tipping" policy, it would go the way of Holland America (higher fares and now tipping is expected). I know I'm in the minority here, but I've worked in the service industry and tend to be generous with my tips.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable cruise, which I would repeat again, without hesitation. I would recommend it for people looking for a relaxing time who are opened minded to cuisines and citizens of different nationalities. All information (both on the PA and printed matter) is in at least 5 languages. If you are looking for a totally busy, totally American cruise, this cruise line is not for you.
More reviews by cruzinlass
More reviews of this ship
Live from the Broom Cupboard Quite Long MSC Opera cruise 15th June 2013 Itinery Southampton UK round trip to, Ijmuiden/ Amste...MSC Opera 11 july 2012
A short review of our cruise We take this year a cruise with MSC Opera on 11 July for 9 days and pay the full price. First of all many storm and bad weather, ok that?s the risk if you take a cruise on the Atlantic. But the cruise self on the MSC ...