MSC Opera Cruise Review by cliffordw: Never again MSC
Overall Member Rating
Never again MSC
Embarkation: Cape Town
It all started with at least an hour and a half standing in line to check in. On arrival at the check in desk we were given our cards but no mention about registering our credit cards for our on board account. We had to go find where to do it once on board and do it there.
On arrival at our cabin we found the room to be made up as a double bed, NOT as twin beds as had been quite specifically requested. The cabin steward said it would be corrected at the time of the nightly bed turn down and it was done. The cabin steward was very obliging and very diligent in his duties. The cabin was always well cleaned and tidied.
On inspecting our cards we noticed we were booked into the early dinner sitting despite, once again, specifically requesting the late sitting. This necessitated another visit to find the maitre d' to have the matter corrected. This we later found out was the situation with nearly all the passengers in our group of 19. We were told at booking there were no More tables for 2 and we would have to be seated at a table for 4, 6 or 8. On arrival in the dining room on the first night we observed many tables for 2 all unoccupied and diners all packed together on larger tables. Naturally we requested a table for two and were, I think reluctantly, moved to a table for 2 by the maitre d'.
The cabin was small: only one chair and it had to be accommodated under the desk so as we had some room to move around the cabin. The bathroom was adequate and clean but the shower stall was miniscule. My travelling companion and I are tall slim people but even we had difficulty in the shower. There was no room to move and the shower curtain clung when showering. Goodness only knows how the larger passengers managed. Maybe it was why there were so many people in the pool nearly every day: they were having their daily bath!
The service in the dining room whether it was breakfast or dinner was dis-organised and erratic. There seemed to be no organisation. As for the coffee: it was disgraceful. Instant was better and this on an Italian ship??
The quality and presentation of the food was greatly lacking. Sushi served for domades on a Greek night and as for the Greek salad I ordered on the same night - it was a disgrace! Brown, wilted iceberg lettuce (Greek salads do NOT have lettuce in them) with a few olives, a couple of dollops of fetta cheese and a couple of small cubes of capsicum! It should never have left the kitchen let alone be served to a diner.
Food was sometimes served undercooked (the mussels) or cold. It was very badly presented, almost as though it was just thrown on the plate and it will do. Only one waiter ever told us something we ordered was not available. At breakfast one morning we ordered smoked salmon only to be told they had run out. Why were we not told this on other occasions instead of being handed pickled salmon and have it passed off as smoked salmon or TOLD it was smoked salmon and have the plate put in front of you and the waiter walk away? Disgraceful
Wine service was generally good after all what can you do to a bottle of wine. One evening, on leaving the dining room after dinner to go to one of the bars to continue our evening, we attempted to leave the dining room with our wine glasses as we had not finished our wine and didn't wish to hold up the dining staff. We were told in no uncertain terms we could not remove the glasses from the dining room but were offered champagne flutes to put the wine in!!!!! We were allowed to remove the champagne flutes but not the (cheap) wine glasses. It beggars belief.
I spoke to a few people on board who have done numerous cruises with MSC and they could not believe the poor quality food and lack of organised service.
After being promised so much by the MSC website regarding the Opera it was all let down by poor organisation, very bad service in the dining rooms and poor quality, badly presented and wrongly represented food.
For a shipping company which promises so much it has one hell of a lot of work to do to meet the advertising on the MSC Opera.
Never again will I travel on an MSC ship I was so disappointed. Less
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