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14 Durban to Africa MSC Cruises MSC Opera Cruise Reviews

I Was disappointed with the Portuguese island stop it had absolutely nothing to amuse me. i had nothing to hold onto in the rubber duck.it traveled at excessive speed and was frightening i did not go on the island as i was not prepared ... Read More
I Was disappointed with the Portuguese island stop it had absolutely nothing to amuse me. i had nothing to hold onto in the rubber duck.it traveled at excessive speed and was frightening i did not go on the island as i was not prepared to jump into the sea. the cost of cokes and mixers was atrocious. being diabetic no tab was available it is all i am allowed to drink as a mixer. On our first night at dinner i requested a table for 2 and was very rudely told this was not possible. How ever i was later assisted by a very competent Mr Orlando Malvone who saw to my every need .ialso had very good service from a waiter by the name of Ikadek endra Antara from inonesia. We are thinking of doing anotherr cruise to Windhoek in 2017 for my 80th birthday. I am a retired pensioner from NEDBANK where MSG does its banking. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
It was always my wife and myself's wish to go on a boat cruise but unfortunately there was always something that prevented us from going. We just decided that come what may we will do it this year. Then there was the thought of ... Read More
It was always my wife and myself's wish to go on a boat cruise but unfortunately there was always something that prevented us from going. We just decided that come what may we will do it this year. Then there was the thought of whether to take the kids as my youngest is special needs. We took the kids and I don't think I made a mistake as the activities cater for everyone's needs and was enjoyed by all. The friends we made, young and old, the experience as a whole cannot be easily erased. Only problem now is the oldest wants to know when is the next trip as she will often say " this is just like when we were on the boat" or "this looks just like Madagascar" then I will just answer her "Soon" Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
The ship was ready for its passengers. It was clean and tidy. The embarking procedure was understandably slow, but then rather slow and thorough that anything else. I did not make use of any excursions The cabin and the whole ship, as ... Read More
The ship was ready for its passengers. It was clean and tidy. The embarking procedure was understandably slow, but then rather slow and thorough that anything else. I did not make use of any excursions The cabin and the whole ship, as far as I could see - was clean. I however had to report a defective bed lamp and the defective soap dispenser of the hand basin three times before they were fixed. The choice of food and the preparation thereof was good. The restaurant staff was friendly, but in one case, took the liberty of telling a passenger (a friend of mine) that he arrived too late for dinner. Neither I or my friend were of the opinion that the restaurant crew was in any significant way inconvenienced. A waiter told my friend that he had to be in the restaurant before a certain time "according to the rules" - but when he was asked to show the rules that he referred to, he could not do so. My friend mentioned the incident to the head waiter, who immediately sided with the relevant waiter. We also experienced the wrong orders being delivered - twice. I myself made my booking for the cruise via Internet, and I specifically asked for the first sitting AND to dine with my friends (of which there were many to choose from). After booking in on the first day, I noticed on my card that I was booked for the second sitting. At the Information Desk I was referred to the relevant maître d. He almost immediately switched me to the first sitting... BUT he could not provide seating with or close to my friends. I did not create a scene, but I was inconvenienced and dissatisfied. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We did the Durban / Madagascar / Portuguese Islands 7 day cruise. Unfortunately couldn't get off for the Islands. Enjoyed the cruise so much that we are going again in April to see if we can get onto the Islands. This was by far ... Read More
We did the Durban / Madagascar / Portuguese Islands 7 day cruise. Unfortunately couldn't get off for the Islands. Enjoyed the cruise so much that we are going again in April to see if we can get onto the Islands. This was by far our best holiday ever. Can't wait for April 2016. Service was superb and friendly. Although we do think you could do with more service on the pool deck during the day. We have never come across such happy employees all the time! You must be doing something right. Entertainment was fantastic and much better than we expected. The ship was well maintained, clean and very well organized. The food was plentiful and superb. We especially enjoyed the Alaskan Bake evening - the atmosphere in the restaurant was fantastic as the waiters display the Alaskan Bake. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We travelled by Taxi to the Port of Durban, and got there early.... 2 hours prior to the stated embarkation time... This was to ensure that we would not have to wait in queues later in the day, and would get onto the ship before the heat ... Read More
We travelled by Taxi to the Port of Durban, and got there early.... 2 hours prior to the stated embarkation time... This was to ensure that we would not have to wait in queues later in the day, and would get onto the ship before the heat of the day really set in. MSC started embarkation at 09h00, and went smoothly, until we got to passport control... They would NOT start processing any passengers until 09h30, which meant waiting in queue in the NOT AIRCONDITIONED shed. MSC did supply water and fruit juice, but this was NOT COLD. Upon embarkation, our cabins were not ready for us.. which wasn't a problem for us, but we did overhear other passengers complaining. The previous cruise passengers had just disembarked, and cabin stewards had a big job getting all the cabins ready for the new cruise. Perhaps a little understaffed..... The cabins weren't ready until after lunch... We went to the smoking bar on deck 5 (Sotto Vento), and had excellent service from the waitrons there. We sailed for 2 sea days to reach the port of Fort Dauphin in Madagascar. It is disappointing that MSC has decided to take the stop at Anakao off the itinerary of this cruise. They say that they can't guarantee the landing there. I have been there twice previously, and never had a problem. This tendered landing is sheltered, so should not have any problem with landing!!!! At Fort Dauphin, we decided not to use the MSC excursions, as we found them to be too expensive. We had already made a booking with a local tour operator at half the price. (Dodi's Lemur Tours). MSC announced that they were still waiting for the Madagascan authorities to clear the ship, but they were basically lying to us, as we could quite clearly see passengers disembarking the ship and climbing onto shuttle busses. We do understand that they were giving priority to their own excursion guests, but there was no reason to lie to the rest of the passengers who were in queues waiting to get off the ship!! We only disembarked after 09h30, and we had to be back onboard by 14h15 for sailing at 15h00. The excursion ashore was therefore very rushed. One issue we did have was that MSC closed the smoking bar on deck 5 (Sotto Vento) on one evening for a "private function", which we discovered was for a CREW party. They had NOT notified the passengers in any way about this happening. There are so few smoking areas on board..., so why take somewhere that the PAYING customers use, and use it for the exclusive use of the CREW...???? They had other options open to them... i.e: the large lounge on deck 7 (Caruso Lounge), which was very seldom open to the passengers... MSC made absolutely NO apology for this..!!!! The food was of a mediocre, satisfactory standard... some highs... some lows. We did, however get excellent service from our waiters (Arick and Jan) in the dining room (La Caravella). There were times, that we felt that the service in the bar areas was slow, due to them being unerstaffed. We were advised by staff members that MSC had halved the number of serving staff before arriving in South African waters. Apparently MSC don't care about the South African passengers. MSC have NO competition in South Africa, so have a captive audience!!!! The staff who were on duty did their level best, but at busy times, they were stretched to their limits...!!! Another point that i think needs to be aired, is that MSC does not offer the Allegrisimo (all inclusive for $31 per day) drinks package for any cruise departing from a South African port calling them "LOCAL" cruises. They DID previously offer it!!! They say they only offer it on "International" cruises. MSC offers this package EVERYWHERE else in the world.... !! why not in South Africa?????? Methinks we are being discriminated against. If i had a choice of another cruise line operating out of South African ports.... I would not use MSC again, despite being a MSC gold club member!!!   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
It was our first experience of cruising and my husband and I, together with another couple, boarded the MSC Opera on Monday the 16th February, for a four night cruise to the Portuguese Islands in Mozambique. We were very excited and our ... Read More
It was our first experience of cruising and my husband and I, together with another couple, boarded the MSC Opera on Monday the 16th February, for a four night cruise to the Portuguese Islands in Mozambique. We were very excited and our boarding procedure went quickly and without a hitch, as we had purchased the Fast Track package when purchasing our cruise package. After reporting at the reception we proceeded to the pool deck, as the cabins would only be ready after we had sailed. The atmosphere was great and we all got into the party mood in no time. The sail away party was great fun even though the wind was howling and the sea was somewhat choppy, making walking look like we were all drunk and stumbling around. We had a good laugh at ourselves and the other passengers! On entering our balcony cabin, we were pleasantly surprised. The cabin was quite ample for the two of us and the balcony was great. The bathroom was small but adequate although the shower was tiny and as our cruise director, Steven, joked during a talk in the theatre, the shower curtain 'attacks' you when you least expect it! Allow me at this point to say that the cruise director Steven Cloete, was outstanding in everything he did. He is a true asset to your company. The only criticism relating to the cabin was the bedding. Although we found the bed to be comfortable enough, the bedding was tired and worn and the pillows were awful and very thin and lumpy. I phoned housekeeping and requested extra pillows, which were delivered promptly but alas, another two thin lumpy pillows! Breakfast was satisfactory, however not great. It is best to sit at a table and be served rather than do the buffet breakfast which was unappetizing. The eggs benedict were yummy but for the rest just very average. The fruit juice was watered down cordial juice and the coffee that was served was horrible. Tea was a tea bag in the cup and they pour hot water on the tea bag and then cold milk before the tea has time to draw! The tea and coffee from room service is a lot better. The buffet restaurant at the back of the ship also did not have great food at all. The fast food section looked even more unappetizing although we did try the pizza, which surprizingly was not bad at all. We got the impression that they were catering for the masses and the same old food was served every day with only a change in the daily protein. Meat was very scarce! We found our evening dining experience not much better. We had a wonderful waiter serving us, Avinash was his name, but the food really was not up to standard. The calamari was totally overcooked, as were the steaks which we ordered as medium rare and got well done tough pieces of meat. The lamb cutlets were no better and were tough and rubbery. The food was also more often than not cold and we didn't always get what we ordered. The curry's from the Indian cuisine choice, were very tasty though. We also had a bad experience regarding the table of 10 or so men that were seated one table away from us. They were rowdy and disrespectful of fellow diners and the personnel. The maitre d had no control of these guys. We dressed up for dinner every evening, as we understood was required, and on the gala night put on all our finery. The program for that day specifically stated the dress code as being formal. These men came to the diningroom dressed in T-shirts, shorts, caps and open sandals every evening. I called the maitre d over on the gala evening and enquired why they had been allowed into the diningroom dressed like this when we went to the time and effort to respect the dress code and he replied "I can do nothing, they are too many and too big"! This was in our view totally unacceptable and he should never have allowed them to enter the diningroom dressed like that. We spent our days lazing at the pool and went to the shows that were offered in the evenings, which were wonderful and very entertaining. All in all we had a fantastic time on the cruise and were impressed with all the decor, the various clubs/bars and the overall cleanliness of the ship and the friendly staff. Just a pity about the below average food and the lack of control in the diningrooms. The cruise bug has definitely bitten but I think next time we would rather not cruise in South African/Mozambique waters because of the type of passengers that make life uncomfortable for others! Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This was my first cruise as I am prone to sea-sickness and have avoided traveling on Cruise liners. As this was my wife's 50th celebration, I arranged the surprise to provide her with an unforgettable experience. From the start of ... Read More
This was my first cruise as I am prone to sea-sickness and have avoided traveling on Cruise liners. As this was my wife's 50th celebration, I arranged the surprise to provide her with an unforgettable experience. From the start of not knowing where she was going to arriving at the port was an incredible and exciting journey. From this point on-wards, I felt the experience slipping as the cruise began to take shape. Had I known that we could embark early in the morning, I would have changed the journey to arrive in the morning and not the afternoon, and to experience more of the cruise before we left the port. Our first experience was the Lunch buffet at 15h00 where all the food was almost finished and a few leftovers to choose from. The Pizza and hamburger stalls provided no added benefit and was dry or stale, and cold. This did not change throughout the cruise. The evening entertainment provided some relief as well as our first formal dinner. The company was good however short-lived as my wife felt a little sea-sick. The food quality in general throughout the cruise was plentiful however lacked somewhat in taste and enjoyment. You often get the impression that everything is rushed to accommodate the volume of visitors. Our breakfast experiences was probably the worst as the staff was not friendly or obliging and appeared annoyed when requesting service or assistance. The cabin was excellent and entertainment rewarding, yet very crowdy and uncomfortably compact. I believe the journey could be much more rewarding by providing some alternative Dining options whereby we as holiday makers can enjoy the experience without the need to rush in/out and without feeling like dining in a company canteen. I wanted to ensure my wife's 50th birthday celebration was an unforgetable experience, but alas , turned out to be a very busy and rushed holiday, and not particularly enjoyed due to dining experiences. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Although we loved the cruise and the time on board it was somewhat spoiled by the many children running amok and unsupervised all over and at all hours often up and down the passages in the early hours of the morning. But possible a bad ... Read More
Although we loved the cruise and the time on board it was somewhat spoiled by the many children running amok and unsupervised all over and at all hours often up and down the passages in the early hours of the morning. But possible a bad choice of cruise on our behalf and in future and we hope there will be another time, we would prefer a cruise out of season and therefore more peaceful but that's just our personal choice and also the opinion of many of the other pensioners we spoke to on the cruise. The food was excellent, no problems and the crew most efficient and courteous. We did have a problem with a damaged suitcase which was not resolved due to Hollard Insurance co difficult procedures to try and claim so ended up paying for the damage ourselves as we were not prepared to give our full medical history to them in order to get a wheel replaced on a suitcase. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our 3rd Cruise and the 2'nd on the MSC Opera. At embarkation in Durban we were greeted with such friendly, cheerful and helpfull staff, we really felt at home and could not wait to go to our cabin. This time around we ... Read More
This was our 3rd Cruise and the 2'nd on the MSC Opera. At embarkation in Durban we were greeted with such friendly, cheerful and helpfull staff, we really felt at home and could not wait to go to our cabin. This time around we wanted a cabin with a few and really enjoyed the view. We are Bingo players and to start of our holiday my husband won the bingo on the first day. We enjoyed sitting in the lounges in the evenings with a cocktail and listening to the entertainment. The shows in the theater was suburb and we did not want to miss any of it. The Cruise Director Steve is such an excellent MC and he made the boring "information you should know" so interesting and full of laughs. We ate to much and did not have any bad dining experiences. My son really enjoyed the pizza that was available throughout day and night. We rarely caught a glimpse of him as he made friends while still embarking and with all the entertainment available enjoyed every second. He met up with the teenager group entertainment which he enjoyed especially the disco. The shore excursion was an incredible experience with being taken on the ocean with the rubber duck to just swimming in the clear waters. We just did not enjoy standing in a very long queue to wait for the lovely braaivleis and then not having anywhere to sit and enjoy our lunch. We already booked our next cruise in January this year and are very excited to see the revamped MSC Symphonia in December this year. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
WOW, what an experience.....sun, fun, relaxation, ok maybe not so much relaxing due to alll the awesome activities. Fabulous food, from fine dinning to 24hr pizzas. I had my 4yr old with me and she wanted to live on the ship, loved ... Read More
WOW, what an experience.....sun, fun, relaxation, ok maybe not so much relaxing due to alll the awesome activities. Fabulous food, from fine dinning to 24hr pizzas. I had my 4yr old with me and she wanted to live on the ship, loved it to bits... The shows were amazing..... An incredible experience. Plan to do this yearly☺ Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
It was both my friend and i wedding DATE 10 APRIL. I paid for the hole trip for both familys five people. No communication,i want to visit inhabane as planned as it was both familys wedding date. We are friends for 30 years. We ... Read More
It was both my friend and i wedding DATE 10 APRIL. I paid for the hole trip for both familys five people. No communication,i want to visit inhabane as planned as it was both familys wedding date. We are friends for 30 years. We stopped at Mapoto harbour, what a waiste, you are not safe of the boat. My Video camera was nearly ripped of me by a native,but with force i did get it back.There are two many native beggars it is not safe. The photos sales need a system,we could not find our photos what we want to buy to much photos and to long waiting quie. a Simple cabin nr will do the tric when the camera man take the photos. Both familys still waiting for member ship after filling in all the forms?? Get one Afrikaans speaking person to assist with langue as 20% of the people for Durban harbour speaks Afrikaans.It will help a lot with any route changes,we could not understand the English excent. This rating to improve jourself is a good idea just answer your Emails what we have send. The MSC OPERA CRIUSE AND PERSONEL IS EXCELLENT,the food and entertainment excellent MY table141 service was excellent The evenings shows was the best Bingo was something new for me,and i enjoy it.(a lady won R60,000) The barbeque and Rum on the iland was a experience and fun. Swimming on the beach and to be the last couple to get back to the MSC boat,what a day! The most fun was at the star board side of the boat with my very stong torch light at night,the dolfins was jumping out of the water and chasing the light,free show for about 80people ,every time i want to leave they begged me to stay a little bit longer. The disembarkation was very professional done Well we are planning as a group pensioners now to do another boat trip We are planning for our next boat trip with more people groups Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We did not know what to expect and were so wonderfully surprised that from the moment we stepped on board till we disembarked we had a fabulous time. From the cabin to the food to the entertainment everything was so well organised and ... Read More
We did not know what to expect and were so wonderfully surprised that from the moment we stepped on board till we disembarked we had a fabulous time. From the cabin to the food to the entertainment everything was so well organised and such a lovely surprise. We cannot wait to go on another cruise this time hopefully on the Meditteranean run. We were especially astounded regarding the amount of discount we received a) for booking early and b) for being pensioners that it made it all the more possible. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
From check-in to disembarkation all went smoothly! We travelled in a group of 8 girlfriends - ready to have fun and we did! We cruised on the MSC Opera on a 3 day cruise to Mozambique. The cabins were neat, well services but tiny - ... Read More
From check-in to disembarkation all went smoothly! We travelled in a group of 8 girlfriends - ready to have fun and we did! We cruised on the MSC Opera on a 3 day cruise to Mozambique. The cabins were neat, well services but tiny - luckily we hardly slept in the cabins because we tried to experience as much as possible on a short cruise. The dining experience was good with a wide variety to choose from and the staff was always friendly. We pre-booked our drinks packages which saved us a lot of money. The drinks and photo packages on-board were very expensive. The shore excursions was well organised and we had an amazing time snorkelling and sunbathing on the beach! There were tons of activities to partake in but we mostly enjoyed the entertainment around the pool area and the dance clubs! In summary, we had an absolute ball! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Had the most fantastic time of my life! Never had to worry about my teenager kids who were also having a ball with the endless entertainment and never-ending food supply! Everything was of superb quality - food, entertainment, service, ... Read More
Had the most fantastic time of my life! Never had to worry about my teenager kids who were also having a ball with the endless entertainment and never-ending food supply! Everything was of superb quality - food, entertainment, service, rooms etc. Was so impressed and couldn't stop talking about it for months - we're still talking about it and NOTHING will ever compare to that holiday. It was such a great success that we have booked our next cruise to Mauritius / Reunion on 26 DECEMBER 2016 - still about 13 months to go!!!!!! The only negative thing about my cruise experience is that we left my son's watch and cell phone in the cabin safe; forgot it there!!!!! Never managed to get it back! Remember to remove all valuable items from the cabin BEFORE you disembark - lesson learnt! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
MSC Opera Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.7
Dining 3.0 3.1
Entertainment 5.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.2
Family 4.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.0
Enrichment 1.0 2.8
Service 4.0 3.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.2
Rates 3.0 3.5

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