I have just returned from a two night cruise from Southampton to Guernsey on the MSC Opera and it was a total shambles from beginning to end.
Luckily some of our party had arrive earlier than us and secured our waiting number to check in but they and everybody else had to wait three hours. There were not enough staff to cope as the ship was I am told fully booked.
There were only two waiters in the bar we used on the first night so there were people queueing at the bar and at on time it was about ten people, but as priority was given to the waiters service was extremely slow.
After a lot of people complained at the Service Desk some more waiters eventually appeared.
At dinner we showed the waiter our cards and were told where to queue until the retaurant opened and were at the front of the queue at 19.30 but on entering we were told that our restaurant was upstairs where when we arrived we were at the back of the queue. We exited the restaurant at 11pm after our meal.
Breakfast the next day was more queueing as once again they seemed caught out by the number of passengers and they ran out of food a few times. We had to wait half an hour in the queue and at one time the queue did not move at all for ten minutes.
The facilities and choice at the Buffet did not seem adequate for the size of the ship.
Tendering ashore was carried out very efficiently although we had to queue for our tender numbers for about fifteen minutes as they had to print them because as we were told there were more people going ashore than they thought. What's wrong with a piece of paper and a pencil to write down the tender number?
The bar that evening was better staffed and we even got snacks at our table and the dinner sevice was quicker although the standard of the food was poor.
The ship itself was clean and well decorated and my internal cabin was good.
As you can see there was a lot of queueing but the biggest queue was at the Service Desk on the last morning with people querying their bills and a lot of people removing the gratuities from the bill.
To sum up it seems that as a filler cruise they were not really bothered. We had a drinks package so we has prepaid the gratuities and although some of our party cancelled them most did not. I did not hear any positive comments about the voyage.