The 2,142-passenger MSC Opera is one of four medium-sized Mistral-class ships, dating from 2004 (the others are Armonia, Lirica and Sinfonia).
MSC Cruises spent more than $200 million on Opera and the rest of the Mistral class during a two-year refurbishment program in 2014–2015 that saw a nearly 80-foot-long section sandwiched into the middle of each ship. The "stretching" procedure added nearly 200 more cabins -- 94 of which have balconies. During the refurbishment, the line also took the chance to update the spa and childcare facilities, as well as to add an interactive water feature called the Spray Park to the top deck.
MSC Cruises will homeport MSC Opera in Havana, Cuba from the winter 2015-16 season -- the first mainstream cruise line to do so.
The line will operate 16 Caribbean cruises on the 2,120-passenger ship, including stops in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Mexico -- with two nights and two and a half days in the Cuban capital.
It will be joined in Cuba by a second ship in winter 2016.