We cruised with our 9-year old daughter, who is disabled. Our embarkation in Genoa was very smooth, with no queues and a relaxed atmosphere. We embarked at about 2.30pm and went straight up to our cabin - a balcony suite on deck 12. We were pleasantly surprised with the spaciousness of the cabin and especially the bathroom, which had a bath tub as well as a shower. There was plenty of storage space, especially as we had a wheelchair. The only downside was the sofa bed for the 3rd person, which was not very comfortable as the mattress was very thin. We did have a problem with an overflowing toilet on one day (clean water luckily!) and this was promptly dealt with by maintenance staff. Our cabin steward was very good, making towel animals for our daughter.
We found the lifts to be very good on this ship, as we relied on these, having a wheelchair. We never had to wait too long and rarely encountered a full lift, as we frequently did on the Divina the previous year.
We were on the first sitting for dinner. Staff in the restaurant were very attentive and the food was good, with mainly Italian dishes as you would expect form an Italian cruise line. The buffet on deck 11 offered a good variety with some exotic dishes, although if you wanted Pizza you had to go to the separate pizza counter outside. The variety was not as great as on the MSC Divina, but this was down to space, as the buffet restaurant was much smaller.
Entertainment in the theatre was good, although some of the shows were quite similar to each other.
Shore excursions were generally very expensive and, having a daughter in a wheelchair, we preferred to do our own thing. One downside was that shuttle buses were not provided in a number of ports.
All in all, we found the cruise to be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. The smaller size of the Opera compared to the Divina definitely makes a difference. It is less crowded and less hectic. We would definitely book another cruise on this ship.