Last Year I was compelled to write a glowing report about my time on MSC Opera. I had read a lot of poor comments and thought it was unjustified for the cruise ship. We had a brilliant time. So this year we thought we would go again on a short 2 night cruise on the MSC Opera. How wrong we was. It was organised chaos from the very start.
Embarkation : We was crammed in a pop up Gazebo for over 45 minutes of the official embarkation time. 1 small table was selling refreshments no courtesy drinks. We got on board and thought that was a slight blip but it wouldn't spoil our break. All was fine until about 45 minutes on board and we realised it was massively under staffed, we were waiting 30 minutes queuing at the bar no waiters/waitresses were coming to your table. This was the theme through out the 2 nights queue after queue. So we was allowed to go in to the cabins they were as we remembered them and no issues at all. The one thing we was looking forward to from last year was the fine dining in the restaurant. Doors were supposed to open for the 2nd sitting at 8:30pm we got to our table at 9pm. The waiter greeted us no issues with him he tried his best and you could clearly see he had too many tables to serve. Wine was poured once then the bottle dumped on the table to top yourself up (I have no issues with that) last year the waiter would be alarmed if you glass was even close to being empty. Ah well at least the food should be good mmmm NOT at all. The mussels most was closed and the few that were open were ok. The soup nice and warm, the pasta well that is where it went down hill rapidly sticky under cooked and not presented well looked like scrambled eggs. The veal was very fatty and slightly warm not what we had become accustomed too. So we headed back to the bar leaving the restaurant at 11:05pm not best pleased. So we went to queue for another drink in the Casino and yes still another 30 minute. So we headed back to our rooms to get a good night sleep only to find that the cabin had not been prepared for the evening still in the day state.
Day 2 pretty much the same we disembarked at Guernsey and there were no problems with this getting on to the tender to spend the day off the ship. We thought we would give the restaurant another try and wish we hadn't, the poor waiter tried his heart out and this time it was better, I think a lot of guests didn't give it a 2nd chance like us as it was very quiet. On hind sight we wish we hadn't the food was very poor. It didn't start well with the bread rolls the butter had melted and then reset looked like a layer of lard, the Minestrone soup had 1 piece of pasta in it. The risotto was all congealed and looked like tapioca and tasted like well I would rather not say. We ordered the sirloin beef which when it was presented to my son his face said it all so we quickly asked could we change our order to roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. This came with a blob of mashed potato (actually it was smash mash) and celery? the gravy was nice though. We headed out before the bringing in of the Tiramisu. The waiter was upset at us leaving and we didn't want to hurt his feelings but we couldn't stay there any longer. He was lovely and tried his very best I just wished he had cooked our dinner as I m sure he would have done a great job with how hard he tried.
Well overall very disappointed. I must finish on a positive note. We have had 2 cruises on this ship and this first one I could not fault at all in fact I probably have sold more cruises for this ship to my friends and colleagues over last year with how much I have raved about it. I just hope they are still my friends if they have or are going on theirs soon. I got the feeling this was a training cruise for the staff if it was then MSC should have advised us so we didn't expect the works. So 2 cruises 1 brilliant 1 terrible that's a 50% return rate. I will try it again in the future due to my first impression but it won't be a start of the season cruise due to my last impression. MSC sort it out as I know how good you can be.