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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience more of Havana - and we got two full days in the amazing city of Havana! The ship is in port right in Old Havana so it was super easy to get to town and back to the ship. To make things ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience more of Havana - and we got two full days in the amazing city of Havana! The ship is in port right in Old Havana so it was super easy to get to town and back to the ship. To make things even better we spent New Year's Eve on the ship and enjoyed an excellent dinner and on deck party complete with Cuban dancers, champagne and midnight buffet under the stars. I can't say enough about how incredible the entire cruise experience was for us. The service we received was excellent across the board, from waiters, to housekeeping, to bar staff, to activities and excursions and more. We found the dining to be top notch in both the buffet and the dining room. Many food selections are available to meet all palates and tons of fresh salads, vegetables and fruit which you don't always see. In particular the buffet was one of the best we have encountered. Our experience in the dining room was 10/10. Our waiter, Permana, looked after our every wish as if he were a family member. There was nothing this guy wouldn't do to please us. And always smiling. The quality of the food, and the variety on the menu (that changes every night, I might add) was just excellent. We left dinner every night completely satisfied and happy. The overall hygiene of the boat was very good too. This is not always easy to do with over 2,000 guests but the MSC staff worked magic to make sure that common washrooms were cleaned regularly, decks were washed down every night, and carpets and floors were clean. House keeping did a great job of making sure our messy room was cleaned and tidied every day. While we were at dinner, our wet pool towels were replaced with dry ones without fail. We did not encounter ANY of the issues I read about in the many other reviews (rude staff, pushy guests, smoking infringements, bad food, etc.). In fact we found the exact opposite - friendly, helpful staff and polite and guests. Throughout each port: Montego Bay (Jamaica), and Cozumel (Mexico) we found that the ship worked like clockwork. We were not able to get off the ship in Georgetown (Cayman Islands) due to high seas, and this was explained to us over the intercom in detail. The captain's decision ruled in favour of our safety. Although this was a disappointment, we appreciated the care that was shown, and the staff did not miss a beat by making sure there were extra on board programs and service was stepped up to meet the demand of all passengers on board. All five of our family agreed that we would do this cruise again, perhaps even next year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
i love cruises and have tried RC and Celebrity. I certainly had high standards but this cruise made me not want to ever go on a cruise. Service was among the worst things: always rude and with no service or hospitality spirit. I even ... Read More
i love cruises and have tried RC and Celebrity. I certainly had high standards but this cruise made me not want to ever go on a cruise. Service was among the worst things: always rude and with no service or hospitality spirit. I even argued with the people at front desk because they were REALLY rude. Next, food was truly disapointing, flavorless and always the same...no creativity. All shows and ammenities were like a re make of something else they had done before. They didn't care at all for costumer experience. Extremely expensive. Ugly interiors and boring spaces. Terrible experience at disembark and onboarding In general, all I wanted was for it to end. I wish I had never known this cruise. It was truly infamous and not worth it. The ONLY good thing about this ship is it stops in Cuba. If you have decent standards, this is not for you. AVOID IT. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I had been on a cruise with Norwegian Sky a month before so I was able to compare quite easily and some of the differences astounded me. First off, alot of the staff in the buffet area were quite rude. I felt like asking them for a ... Read More
I had been on a cruise with Norwegian Sky a month before so I was able to compare quite easily and some of the differences astounded me. First off, alot of the staff in the buffet area were quite rude. I felt like asking them for a bottle of water was the equivalent of accusing them if they recently murdered someone...If someone broke a smile,I would have been dazed. Twice I asked for coffee and both staff members sent me over to the other one because neither could be bothered getting it for me so I left eventually...thirsty. My friends wallet was stolen in the buffet area and later on handed in to reception by a member of staff with all the money gone.......Of course this could also have been a member of public on the cruise but who knows.... Secondly,the 2 excursions that I went on were complete money scams. The first was the 'Go Native in Jamaica' tour where we were to be taken to a botanical gardens and shown how their coffee is made..I didnt even realise I had been in the botanical garden until we were left and back on the bus..There was a few palm trees,some animals and that was it..No talks whatsoever from our tour guide to discuss where we were and I heard him briefly tell one lady in Spanish how the coffee was made but he walked on then,forgetting about the other 30 or so people who didnt hear it! The next excursion was the 'Best of the Cayman Islands'..Now if that was the best then I dread to think what the worst would be..We were shown the local tax office,the local post office,taken into 3 gift shops and finally the turtle center which was a saving grace,this place was lovely. Both of these tours cost over €60 which is really maddening...We had our own tours arranged at our fist port of call in Cuba and this was the best idea we had,brilliant tours for exactly their moneys worth. Ill certainly be doing this if I ever go on another tour. This is not the ships fault but the average age on the ship was about 70..There was no young entertainment at all and the shows that they did have on left alot to the imagination. Disembarkation on the last day was made 10 times more complicated than it should have been. On Norwegian,we simply took our own luggage off the ship when we docked,no hassles,end of. MSC made things so complicated and then booked the wrong transfers for us so we then had to worry whether we'd even make our flight home.(We did thankfully). Overall,lovely ship to look at but everything else was a major downer for me and my 3 friends. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first cruise, so although I have nothing to compare it to, I did expect a bit better. The first problem we encountered was a note in our stateroom saying the excursion we had booked for the following day was cancelled due ... Read More
This was our first cruise, so although I have nothing to compare it to, I did expect a bit better. The first problem we encountered was a note in our stateroom saying the excursion we had booked for the following day was cancelled due to lack of take-up. I had until 23:00 p,m, to book something else. Not very helpful when you don't embark until 23:45 p.m. so to late to re-book. The stateroom (8203) was spacious with a large comfy bed. The bathroom was adequate but the shower curtain was a pain, as it kept sticking to your legs. The maid attended twice a day, making up the room in the morning and preparing the bed in the evening. With fresh towels left on both visits. Our meal time was changed from 20:30 to 21:30 (a bit too late). The restaurant service was very slow. Our waiter seemed to be serving several tables whilst the rest of the waiters swarmed around the Italians seated in the corner. The meals were of average quality, but not very filling. I left the restaurant on the two occasions we used it still feeling hungry. There was quite a variety of food available in the buffet, but most of the "hot" food was barley warm. The hamburger bar and pizzeria were the best places to eat. The crew were all friendly and helpful. This was spoiled by pushy European travellers who thought there needs must be met before anyone else's, I will not let this put me off booking another cruise, but it won't be with MSC next time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Previous experience with MSC Opera were excellent. The combination of ship and destination (Cuba) was the trigger to book for this cruise. What a major disappointment!! The upside were the cabins, but the rest was really a disaster. The ... Read More
Previous experience with MSC Opera were excellent. The combination of ship and destination (Cuba) was the trigger to book for this cruise. What a major disappointment!! The upside were the cabins, but the rest was really a disaster. The staff - with exceptions -was not motivated and sometimes rude. The food was in general average (we - wife and I - are still suffering from a parasite and are on antibiotics) and hygiene questionable. On the very first day I addressed one of the officers in the main dining room, when I visited the lavatory and one of the waiters came out of the toilet, didn't wash his hands and resumed service. I know that +60% of the people don't wash their hands, but it is unforgivable for waiting staff. We could not book the vintage car excursion anymore and had to arrange it ourselves. Through Tripadvisor we booked the top ranked company. In hindsight, we were better off. MSC would have charged us €92 p/person for the tour. We (4 people) paid $80 (excl. tip) for the 2,5 hrs tour with a very good guide (Jorge), or $20 p/person. MSC, this is over charging, i.e. 368€ vs $80! The cigar and rum tour was interesting, but you may skip the Havana Club commercial visit. We had similar experiences in Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Cozumel and organized our own shore excursions with Tripadvisor as our reference. The entertainment was lousy. The deck entertainment was - as always - very loud. The performers - if present - were mediocre. We spend many pleasant evenings and nights with the performers (Chris Clarke) in the Cabala bar on previous trips. Now the performers tried to compete, who could get us asleep the quickest. Addressing one performer to play more up beat songs, was answered with "we are not allowed to play other music here". The music was not aligned with the public, but the other way around. We had complete different experiences with the interaction between performers and public. The other bars were similar. Dull and annoying. I have never seen such limited involvement of public. MSC should really improve. The lady officer responsible for the bars was not even interested to the comments given and I assume she didn't do anything with these comments. MSC, don't build new ships if you chase away your core public. You are neglecting the core principles to make a cruise successful, i.e. hygiene, entertainment and F&B. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
First impressions were good with the ship looking highly impressive moored alongside the quay at Havana and the staff being very smiley. Once on board, the ship was confirmed as being generally well maintained even if showing some signs of ... Read More
First impressions were good with the ship looking highly impressive moored alongside the quay at Havana and the staff being very smiley. Once on board, the ship was confirmed as being generally well maintained even if showing some signs of ageing with the odd area of wear and tear. So far, so good then. The cabin was relatively small compared with some other cruise lines and we noted that some of the trims to the fitted furniture was damaged. The shower was also found to be extremely small and the curtain had an annoying habit of sticking to me when showering. Everything that would be expected in a cabin was present including adequate storage, a safe (this took a while to find as it was behind a mirror!) and a comfortable bed. Added to this, the staff servicing the cabin were attentive and visited often. However, the towels were changed even when hung back up after a first use. Given that MSC advocate their status as a green cruise operator, this is disappointing. The staff elsewhere on the vessel did not, however, always provide a level of service that would be expected (especially given the level of tips and service charges that MSC add on). We were routinely ignored in the bars and the staff tasked with taking orders from tables only took interest in us when we went to the bar. I suspect that this was simply to gain the credit for obtaining the order but clearly the effort taken was less than impressive. Similarly the staff in the self service buffet restaurant did not usually afford the customers the respect of giving way when carrying hot food and drink but instead pushed through narrow gaps with many near misses. That said, the staff in the main restaurants were attentive and kept topping up drinks (sadly, they can't count, though, as extra drinks were often added- no problem as far as I'm concerned as I opted for a drinks package so did not get overcharged). The food was decidedly average in all areas. The main evening meals were small portions with unusual combinations and a distinct lack of vegetables. The buffet offered a fairly good selection but it seemed odd that vegetables were displayed at breakfast and we couldn't help wonder if they forgot to serve them at dinner! A show was offered each evening in the theatre but most were not to our taste.We did, however, start watching the Dirty Dancing show but left midway as we felt that the performers were going through the motions rather than enjoying their jobs. The entertainments team did their best to keep things moving and offered dance coaching, games and crafts to anyone wishing to take part. A little more variety would be welcomed and perhaps MSC should look to their competitors for inspiration. The shore excursions were the usual variety of sightseeing, shopping, active events and exploring nature. Anyone planning to invest into these should first of all look to see if better options are available from local operators- MSC are quite expensive! Our cruise was curtailed by a hurricane which prevented our visit to Cozumel. Strangely, it still took as long to get back to Havana (with no explanation from the officers) so we were subjected to a further full day at sea. This should have been okay but little extra was laid on by way of activities and, indeed, the ship did not even open up the Cotton Club bar during the day even though it was full of guests. This was despite the Cruise News saying that this would happen in the event of bad weather which, frankly, was the case that day. Embarkation was, as mentioned above, fine but the disembarkation at Havana was a challenge with the staggered departure failing by virtue of Cuba not giving clearance to leave too promptly. MSC can't be held responsible for the actions of the island nation but they can. however, be criticised for keeping the passengers in the dark by not providing public address announcements or even making an appearance in the theatre which was the main rendezvous point. Indeed, MSC did not use the tannoys that often during the remainder of the cruise and, even when they did, they could not be heard over the music being played over competing systems! All-in-all, MSC did not impress and it is unlikely that we will travel with them again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Our previous 2 cruises, with Cunard and Princess were a dream so with destination the most important for our choice we booked though an agent and eventually made it on board a MSC ship. Eventually I might add is because our private ... Read More
Our previous 2 cruises, with Cunard and Princess were a dream so with destination the most important for our choice we booked though an agent and eventually made it on board a MSC ship. Eventually I might add is because our private transfer wasn't at Havana airport to pick us up, but with an MSC representative collecting a bus load, I thought they might help. But we weren't on his list so he directed us to an office outside the terminal. After 20 minutes and 6 people later they had no idea what to do, I I went back inside the terminal to talk the the MSC man again. I asked him if he could contact the ship and try and help us get to the port. Again "no" was the answer, "speak to someone in red". After arriving in Havana at approximately 21.15 and the time now being 11.30 we found another person in red who said that another couple had been in the airport and they had booked a taxi for themselves it would cost 30 Pesos. We went to the exchange only to have the shutters pulled down in front of us. We went back outside the terminal and used another exchange. So in a new continent we found ourselves in a cab hoping that we would get to the port. Arriving at the ship, we were given a card and told that our cabin was on 9. No welcome, no hello, no anything. From here the experience got worse. On day 5, I wrote a letter that was 5 pages long on the problems and issues experience so far on the cruise. I wrote the letter on day 5 as this was the day that we booked a hiking adventure and they took us to the beach, I ended up speaking to 6 different people that day who all told me not to worry as I wouldn't charged any extra for the excursion. On day 12 we received our refund for the Hiking trip, we asked for the refund for 5 days before the General manager eventually stepped in. The other poor and terrible experiences are too numerous to add so I'll be brief. 6 of the excursions were Not value for money, we went on 8. The restaurant food service was poor, the food in some cases was inedible. We made up a game called, How many of the courses would be edible. one night scored 0/3, one night scored 3/3. Some of the entertainment was chargeable, the rest was very basic, seen it all before type of thing. The crew ate in the buffet dining rooms with the passenger, pretty much all the time. The on board reception staff were rude and repeated statements to questions, when you asked a further question they repeated the first again. Every person we spoke to on and off the ship wherever we were had a complaint. A first cruise couple said it had put them off ever going on a cruise again. Another couple said that they had were on their 4th MSC trip and this was appalling, we leave them trying to get their money back on 2 x face cream at €450 EACH. On day 8 we received our welcome on board pack, with a schedule for the next 14 days. We would cruise again for a long while and certainly never with MSC. We can laugh about turning up to the beach in our hiking shoes, but MSC gave us that number, and put us on that bus. There was no number check, excursion check, names taken and when we asked to be taken back to the ship we were told no we would have to stay. The worry was that for a whole day MSC didn't have any idea where we were, they knew we weren't on board and that we weren't on the right excursion but they didn't know where we were. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I would never book another cruise with this company ever again. Due to the recent hurricane, our flight got cancelled and we were stranded at Charles De Gaulle airport with little or no information for nearly a full day. MSC were ... Read More
I would never book another cruise with this company ever again. Due to the recent hurricane, our flight got cancelled and we were stranded at Charles De Gaulle airport with little or no information for nearly a full day. MSC were extremely unprofessional in dealing with the hundred or so passengers that were supposed to be flying out on 9th September 2017. We eventually joined the ship in Cozumel (supposed to be Havana) and were excited to start our holiday. There is nothing wrong with the ship itself, but the food was terrible. Extremely repetetive, often luke warm and the portion sizes in the main dining room wouldn't even satisfy a small child ! I know it is an Italian ship...but we got sick and tired of pizza and pasta...every single day. Do the Italians really eat this sort of stuff EVERY day ?! The burgers and hot dogs were the lowest possible quality, that I have ever had the misfortune to eat....as was most of the food to be honest. Everything seems to be done on the cheap. The cocktails have very little alcohol in them, and we were given warm glasses most days.They also give short measures. The staff try their best, but they are also nowhere near as good as many of the cruise ships staff, we have travelled with before. The "entertainment" if you could call it that, was awful. Mainly geared to the Italians, French and Germans...we Brits were really not catered for. The dancers lacked enthusiasm, were always out of sync with each other and NEVER smiled. All in all....very dissapointing. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Having sailed with MSC before with little problem we chose this cruise round the Caribbean to 'fill some gaps' in the list of islands we hadn't visited. Firstly let me say that due to Hurricane Irma the cruise was altered to be in ... Read More
Having sailed with MSC before with little problem we chose this cruise round the Caribbean to 'fill some gaps' in the list of islands we hadn't visited. Firstly let me say that due to Hurricane Irma the cruise was altered to be in Cozumel for 2-3 days instead of Havana, and i have no gripes there. Safety first, after all! To the cruise................................. The ship was......ok, but the 2 pools often left you with nowhere to dip, let alone swim. The shade was a premium item and reserved 'German style' very early on with towels on the best positioned sun (or should that be shade) beds. Food.... simply put it was atrocious, the roof panels shed copious fine dirt and was collected in the gaps between each panel dropping onto tables and food. The service was awful with lots of talking and laughing between staff rather than serve and clean tables. Not good. The food, for an Italian ship was not good at all. the meat was mainly second rate, with even tender meat being like chewing leather. Ice cream had to be paid for and the pizza guy doesn't know how to make a pizza with the centre 3-4 inches being wet mush everytime. Pasta? for gods sake its an Italian ship and they cannot do pasta!!! i stayed relatively safe with salad for the fortnight, and a cooked breakfast consisting of not properly cooked fried eggs, very poor bacon etc although they did have a cook station outside for omelettes or 'proper' fried eggs. Drinks packages were pushed morning noon and night, and we literally turned 1 person away and another standing 5 foot away and watching turned up to hassle us. I did think i might want one but they aren't even very good value! Never got near any Gym equipment due to the crowds in there morning, noon and night despite a polite notice asking for 25 mins per piece of equipment. no one and no CCTV looking after safety around the 'main' pool, and little notice taken to diving in over people already in the pool, and smoking while in the pool too! Excursions! Steer clear, they are very overpriced and there is not 1 place you call at you cannot get the same tours cheaper. For instance, in Belize we went to see the Howler Monkeys etc and for 4 of this saved UK£130.00 overall when compared to the MSC trips. The MSC ones are a definite money making exercise, with little to recommend them. We paid for a cabin with a balcony, but for 4 whole days we didn't have the use of it due to painting, maintenance, then a revisit from maintenance because they actually forgot to do their job the previous day, then cleaning. Why cannot this be done in port during changeover? I lost the use of what i paid for, for 4 days without even an apology. Steer clear of the coffee place around deck 6. What a rip off, surly staff, poor drinks and they don't do complaints well! I ordered 1 hot coffee and 3 frapachinos, and all 4 drinks were about room temperature. Complain that the chilled drinks should be just that, and you get 'well that's the way they come' from the staff! Staff attitude in general Well as i never met the bus driver i cannot say about his attitude, but the staff directly under him and below them should be fired and replaced by performing seals as they would do a better job in customer service and being courteous and polite. For example, coming from the upper restaurant one night, 4 of these 'upper deck' guys pushed through us all as a group while jabbering to themselves. no apology, no recognition, we just didn't exist. Apart from the room staff, and the lower deck guys and girls keeping the ship going i think this is truly the worst ship i have ever been on (and yes i've done the Thompson Destiny and a Costa ship). It needs a root and branch hiring, firing, and training regime going in there before it hits the Med in a few weeks, to at least try and put things right. Oh and don't get me started about the lack of visa information needed in Havana, or the seemingly constant P.A. announcements below decks. This has put us all off MSC and unless something comes up where we really want to go on, i'd steer clear of them in general and this ship like the plague. Come on MSC, What happened to Italian Style, grace, manners and decent food? I'ts not present on the Opera and is replaced by trying to get every penny out of the traveller who's already spent high to travel with you? AVOID! Read Less
MSC Opera Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.8
Dining 3.0 3.2
Entertainment 5.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.2
Family 4.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.0
Enrichment 1.0 3.0
Service 4.0 3.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.2
Rates 3.0 3.5

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