MSC Opera Cruise Review by nh0688: Tooo Operatic
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Baltic Sea
Our party inc teenage son (13) were very impressed by the ship,cabins,and waiting/stewarding staff but it was very international - all announcements in 5 languages Dutch/French/Italian/English/Spanish,in fact strangely ship took on passengers at all 6 ports of call in a 8 day cruise.The food was very poor in buffet areas ,always luke warm or cold,with a limited poor quality choice.The restaurants served 7 courses,really too many, could have been 3 with better quality and increased amount,some so called courses were literally a few mouthfuls.Great Bar selection and service but expensive with 15% service charge,we were all inclusive so no problem,free ice creams for kids,great speciality coffees and almost every drink and cocktail imaginable included.
The onboard shops were also fairly expensive but fairly typical of cruise ship market.The worst element was the terrible Cruise Director,his input was close to invisibility compounded by trying and failing to provide entertainment More for 5 major language groups - this meant no comedy apart for mime,and operatic sets almost every night,no magicians or illusionist's and no real modern dance sets to recognisable music, although the dancers did try they were handicapped by too diverse an audience.Other lounges features piano,violin and yes more opera and a dreadful guitarist Sebastiano (he could play but singing was terrible - my ears still ring to him murdering Country Roads.
All ports of call had interest,we booked cruise on basis that it visited new to us locations (Amsterdam/La Rochelle/Bilbao/Coruna/Cher berg) - paid for shuttle buses but reasonable value to get us to centre of action The ship was kept immaculately clean throughout cruise,however,it did have a strange cruising pattern inc an unscheduled overnight stop and optional 4 hr shore visit by tender at St Peters Port,Guernsey.MSC seem to have a problem with timetabling,at some points the ship was barely moving ,at one time it was close to drifting from France to England at other times it was 20 knots - I got the feeling MSC had not really worked out the Bay of Biscay transit times accurately or had built in too much contingency timings.The cruise could probably have benefited from a proper all day stop at Guernsey.All said would not do MSC again food nowhere close to RCL,NCL,and even Thomsons and entertainment was "classical Italian" eve3n though only 20% of passengers were from Italy.My 13 year old son had virtually no appropriate activities to attend and again the extreme international composition of passengers meant he found it difficult to mix with new kids - he is very sociable - but hung around with us most of the time. Less
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