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Sail Date: October 2014
We boarded in Southampton without any problem,enroute to Amsterdam.The ship docked at Ijmuiden and we took the MSC "Amsterdam on your own" tour,effectively a shuttle bus into Amsterdam.The following day we arrived at Le Havre,and ... Read More
We boarded in Southampton without any problem,enroute to Amsterdam.The ship docked at Ijmuiden and we took the MSC "Amsterdam on your own" tour,effectively a shuttle bus into Amsterdam.The following day we arrived at Le Havre,and were given free transport into the city centre.Pleasant place to walk around and maybe give their tram system a go. We had requested 2rd dining on the ship and on a table for 6 or 8 people,however we found ourselves eating on our own.We had been talking to other passengers and I requested to be moved to their table which was duly organised.We mostly ate breakfasts and dinner in the restaurant and lunches in the buffet.We found the food very good but would have liked a choice of a tea or coffee after our dinner. Next port of call was Bilbao,so we again took the ship's shuttle ( 12 euros} into the centre.Lovely walk along the river past the Guggenheim and into the old town. On to Lisbon,docking close to the Alfama district.We used the local hop on hop off bus,other people used the metro or trams to get around.We didn't do any ship excursions as we like to do our own thing. On to Madeira where it is an easy walk into Funchal.We had been to the Island before,but for anyone new to the island I would recommend taking an excursion into the mountains for the outstanding scenery and gardens.The entertainment staff onboard work very hard to keep passengers involved,althouigh there was a definate Italian flavour to the evening shows. Next stop Cape Verde islands,we stopped at Mindelo,walked into the town,not alot to see,maybe the other islands in the group could be more interesting.Long leg down to Walvis bay,Namibia(7 sea days) There are problems in this area of the Atlantic with communications,no t.v,no internet.We found Namibia interesting,climbed dune 7 and visited Swakomund,lots of wildlife around,pelicans,flamingoes,seals and whales etc.End of the cruise was Capetown,arrived early and hoping to photo tablemountain,heavy mist prevented,but it clears quickly.We found all of the staff pleasant and efficient and the cruise was very good value for money.Having endured 15 hours flying back to the U.K. its no contest! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
Had a lovely time onboard MSC Opera. The 21 days were very enjoyable. We had an inside cabin that was clean, quiet and comfortable and our cabin steward looked after us very well. The cabin was surprisingly light and felt roomy with plenty ... Read More
Had a lovely time onboard MSC Opera. The 21 days were very enjoyable. We had an inside cabin that was clean, quiet and comfortable and our cabin steward looked after us very well. The cabin was surprisingly light and felt roomy with plenty of storage space. We ate dinner in the LA Caravella restaurant on the 2nd sitting, this was a perfect time to eat as it allowed a leisurely return to the ship after trips ashore. The food and service was very good and our waiters were entertaining and efficient. We ate a couple of times in the buffet this was usually very busy but the food was plentiful and varied. Downside was the free tea and coffee which wasnt a patch on the drinks available in the bars. We paid for the all inclusive drinks package which was well worth the money. The bar teams work hard to ensure guests are served promptly and always took the time to have a friendly chat. All in all the cruise with return Emirate flights to the UK was excellent value for money. This was only our second cruise and we would sail with MSC again.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
Our cruise on the MSC Opera left Southampton on May 26, 2014 and returned to the same port on June 7, 2014. The Good The cost of the cruise was low and the ship departed and arrived on schedule. All stops on the itinerary were as ... Read More
Our cruise on the MSC Opera left Southampton on May 26, 2014 and returned to the same port on June 7, 2014. The Good The cost of the cruise was low and the ship departed and arrived on schedule. All stops on the itinerary were as planned. The plumbing worked and the captain did not run the ship aground. The direct contact staff personnel (cabin attendant and wait staff at dining rooms and buffet) were attentive and courteous. The Bad The food was inconsistent and not as tasty as expected from an Italian cruise line. The free beverages did not include juice all day or iced tea, and the hot coffee was too often undrinkable. The buffet counters and seating were far too small for a ship of this size and seemed to be less than 50% of buffet sizes on other comparable ships on which we have cruised. We purchased the London-Southampton transfer and were not met after we cleared customs (after an overnight flight) because MSC had not correctly noted our arrival time. When the lady at the information desk called the local contact number provided on our vouchers, it proved to be a non-operating number. Only by persevering and finding a gentlemen with MSC on his clip—board were we able to find our way to a shuttle bus. The security line (yes-only one line was open!!!) at the Southampton terminal was unacceptably long with no provision made for elderly guests or those with mobility challenges. And once we got thru security.....there was another line to check-in for the cruise. The TV in our cabin was an old model (no flat screens for MSC) and did not have a DVD player. The Ugly I assume MSC can keep its cruise fares low by paying lower port fees. We had a day in the Netherlands. MSC docked at Ijmuiden which is an hour by coach to Amsterdam. This leaves a little over 5 usable hours to see Amsterdam. In Helsinki, the Reception Desk people advised we would dock at South Harbor. Instead we docked at West Harbor. For those who plan ahead, where you dock is important to know. So, at the last minute we had to rework our plan to visit Helsinki due to the docking change. It is worth noting that West Harbor is in an industrial area and requires a tram ride into town while South Harbor is described by Rick Steves as “conveniently and scenically located within walking distance of downtown.” In Stockholm, we were told by MSC we would dock (and therefore planned around docking at) Stadsgarden and were even given berth numbers. Guide books advise that the best way to navigate around Stockholm from Stadsgarden was via hop-on/hop-off boat tours available at that port. So where did we dock??? You guessed it.....at Frihamnen, a less conveniently located port area to which the hop-on/hop-off boats do not go “all the way out” again quoting Rick Steves. My conclusion.....MSC chooses less convenient port areas to both reduce their port fees and steer travelers to the MSC excursions and/or for-a fee shuttles MSC provides A word about the MSC Opera excursion/reception desk and the quality of the information they provide. As described above, they mislead us about where the ship would dock at several ports. We heard from passengers that they were advised to use an MSC excursion to see Tallinn when the reality is that the old city is an easy walk from the pier, obviating the need for a costly excursion. Further, for Russia, where a visa is required for US travelers, the MSC excursion printed materials mistakenly tell visitors that their choices are limited to use of MSC excursions (and the ship's collective visa) or possession of their own Russian visa. There is a third choice which is to book a tour independently, as we did, and have that company provide the documentation required to clear Russian immigration. It is therefore my conclusion, with regard to shore travel, that consciously or not, MSC is not working in the best interests of its passengers by acting as they do. They are acting to minimize their costs and maximize their profits and the passengers interests are a distant third, if on their list at all. Finally, with regard to excursions, we have had to file a dispute with our credit card company because MSC refused to credit us for an excursion one of us could not use due to a physical problem. As for our cabin, we have never experienced mold in the shower on the five cruises we have previously taken with other lines. Our shower had mold growing on the floor and wall tiles and the shower curtain was moldy as well. This unsightly and potentially unhealthy situation was only remedied after several calls to housekeeping and the reception desk (same number if you can believe that). Conclusion If what you want is a low-cost basic cruise experience, MSC might be right for you. For the majority of North American cruisers, especially those who have been travelers on other cruise lines, MSC is simply “not ready for prime time.”   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
My husband and i booked our first cruise to portugese islands for 3 nights on 28th Feb from Durban. This was a themed criuise with a local radio station. The embarkation and disembarkation were quick and efficient every thing in between ... Read More
My husband and i booked our first cruise to portugese islands for 3 nights on 28th Feb from Durban. This was a themed criuise with a local radio station. The embarkation and disembarkation were quick and efficient every thing in between was a complete disaster. the food was very poorly prepared, either over or under cooked or stale. what was left over at lunch was served at dinner. when eating at the resturant, atleast one person at the table will receive their serving after every one else has eaten. Any side orders only arrive after we had eaten.When we ask about it, the response is "dont worry you will still eat" and the service was the worst i had experienced ever, the staff ignore you when you ask question or if they do respond its a very short and snotty remark. There was no sense of urgency, no apologies no concern in anything that the staff had to do. There were alot of older passengers on the ship and they were completely lost about how things were supposed to be, we found ourselves helping other passengers with the things the staff should be helping with. Whether the staff are overworked or not is NOT the customers problem, MSC has to ensure they keep their customers happy, i paid for a service which i did not receive. I most certainly will NEVER travel on the OPERA ever again and will ensure i let everyone i know about the poor service we received and discourage them from ever travelling on the OPERA. The cabin was sufficient. it would have helped if the shower was 2 inches bigger. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
I don't really understand the naysayers here - cruise was fantastic - but when you have a clientele that moan to staff about shops in Spain being closed on a Sunday so they won't get off at Bilbao "because there's ... Read More
I don't really understand the naysayers here - cruise was fantastic - but when you have a clientele that moan to staff about shops in Spain being closed on a Sunday so they won't get off at Bilbao "because there's nothing to do," perhaps I can appreciate it a little... Embarkation was super efficient, was enjoying a drink and a bite to eat about 45 mins after arriving at Southampton. Had an outside cabin at the back of the ship on level 10, underneath the buffet. Couldn't hear any noise at all and very handy for an early morning cup of tea! Cabin was compact but plenty of room for the 4 of us (kids of 7 and 6). I am on the larger side both vertically and horizontally but could fit in the shower no problem. Housekeeping was excellent and our chap was very friendly and approachable and made a few towel animals to keep the children entertained. We ate as often as possible at the restaurants (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and the food was perfectly good with plenty of variety. Portions were smallish but it's an Italian boat and they like plenty of smaller dishes so that was to be expected. I felt that the service was excellent at all times. Perhaps the secret is to treat the staff as human beings rather than slaves and you might have a better time - I have to admit that I was pretty shocked at how some fellow travellers spoke to them. We had three gala nights on Board. Some in black tie for dinner, most smartly dressed. I would say it is worth the effort as it makes it a special occasion. Get practising waving napkins as well. They do have themed nights to make sure you pack something white, and in the colours of the Italian flag, and 60s, 70s and 80s and "masquerade" if you want the full experience. (Don't let this put you off, varying amounts of effort are made!) Bar service was great - spent most of the time on deck when on the boat and never had a problem. I am having trouble adjusting to not being called "Mr Julian" all the time now I'm home. Allegrissimo package a must - I am sure we spent double the cost. Kids enjoyed the pools and the jacuzzi. Usual nonsense about reserving sun loungers but didn't really both me. Kids Club not quite as good as I have experienced before - the staff did a good job but I think that it is pretty difficult to keep a number of nationalities happy at the same time. Gym was ok - enough to work off some of the food and booze. My wife had a massage (they do loads of offers so don't pay full price, wait a little!) which she thought was great. Entertainment team were great. We enjoyed (and won most of!) the quizzes, and have a nice collection of MSC cd cases, t shirts and other odd bits. Their pool games were a bit silly but most were fun. They were very approachable and happy to chat which was great - nice to hear a bit more about what goes on on these boats. Saw a couple of the shows. My parents and daughter went to most and enjoyed them. I have to quibble about some of the icons of rock and pop - can't argue with Elvis or Freddy Mercury at a push, but Gloria Gaynor, the Weather Girls and the Village People is pushing the definition a bit. Excursions - stupidly expensive. You can do most of the cities on your own. IJumuiden - might be worth getting the shuttle bus to the hydrofoil (you could walk or get a bus but...) but don't buy the tickets off at the terminal as they mark them up a few Euros. You can buy them from a machine at the jetty which has an english setting. Guernsey - you can get a local bus pass for 9 for a family of 4 (on the bus) and can potter about if you want. Although take the timetables with a pinch of salt and get there ten minutes early. St Peter Port is a nice little place for a wander around. Vigo - Not the most attractive place, but you can walk into the centre of town by heading up straight past the shopping centre at the port and will find yourself neat to the main church. We headed straight up to the park and castle, and 2 of the 6 of us made it all the way and it was lovely with great views. The Iron Age village was an unexpected treat (I sound quite sad but I like that kind of thing!). If you are a fan of large fish processing plants you'll be in heaven if you turn left off the boat! Maybe the excursion to Santiago De Compostela is the only one I would think about doing on the cruise. Lisbon - Wonderful. Not enough time sadly. Metro station just by the boat if you want to travel further afield (Belem for example) with an all day pass 6 Euro for metro, trams and buses. But you can easily walk most of it. The Cathedral is great. Baxia is worth a wander around. Somewhere I will head back to for sure. Bilbao - Nothing to do if the shops are shut....unless you count to Guggenheim, a lovely riverside and a atmospheric old town. Got the shuttle bus which is a bit expensive I suppose but drops you dead centre and everything is within a short walk. We dedicated most of our time to the Guggenheim and then had a stroll to the old town. Didn't really miss not being able to buy any tat from the shops. Must be me. Le Harve - Free shuttle bus into town. The Hotel de Ville (and square) and St Josephs Church are well worth a look. The Church is amazing inside. All in all a great family holiday and I wouldn't hesitate to go with them again. Some of it is a bit cheesy but go with the right attitude and you'll have a ball.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
Just back from the Opera, after the help given here before we went I felt it right to write a review. Sorry if it is long. Do not know quite were to start, we had heard of the MSC Opera horror stories before embarking: food, ... Read More
Just back from the Opera, after the help given here before we went I felt it right to write a review. Sorry if it is long. Do not know quite were to start, we had heard of the MSC Opera horror stories before embarking: food, service, multi language etc., etc., etc.. So we went with a truly open mind, a bit of trepidation and a little fear. We need not have worried, food was in general good, cabin was fairly standard, entertainment from the excellent to the dire, drinks package was good value and service across the board was in general friendly and attentive. So like any other cruise really. I cannot complain about a ship, which serves Crepe Suzette fresh from the pan in every bar on formal night MSC Opera is a good ship to sail on and would appeal in its layout to the Aurora and Oriana fans. Decor is classic in style but not much artwork (no art auctions at all ?) mainly mirrors all over the ship giving a light and airy feel to the ship. All public lounges have views to the outside and there was plenty of seating space in all lounges. The ship was sailing full but we never once had problems finding a space to sit. There is also a large area at the rear of each deck with about 40 loungers per deck. The prom deck does not wrap around but is very wide. Bizarrely there are no loungers or seats here at all. I assume it has to do with the muster stations being on deck and not in the lounges. Talking of muster this was not held until after Amsterdam so really pushing the 24-hour limit for muster after boarding. Pool area is nice with plenty of loungers, 2 pools and 2 hot tubs and poolside showers and you can access the pools from central lifts that enter almost straight on to the pool area. To get a pool towel your card is swiped and if not returned you are charged €20 per towel. At first I thought this would annoy me but the massive advantage is that people take care of the towels returning them rather than leaving them lying on beds, towels can be refreshed as often as required so no returning to a soggy towel after lunch if you went swimming first, so I am a convert to this now, you can ask for multiple towels so only 1 person needs to go for them. Food was banned from the pool area again aiding the clean appearance of the area no plates, bowls, napkins etc. flying around. There was a large patio area for eating outdoors if you wished. There is a similar deposit to the towels for board games, cards etc. and the mini golf equipment. Embarkation/Disembarkation Embarking at Southampton was a breeze, we arrived and dropped bags at 11:50 and even allowing for the fact we had to park at a car park some distance away from City Terminal and get the shuttle bus back we were in our cabin after all formalities at 12:20. It was a nice touch to have a steward take your hand luggage and guide you to your cabin and another traditional touch was the bus-boys around the ship. Disembarking on return was by the attending a lounge and getting told to disembark no announcements through the ship. We were off the ship by 08:00 with the only delay caused by waiting for the shuttle back to the car park. It was odd to see people come and go at every port of call but it was all well managed by MSC. It was one cruise that when you had the thought that you had never seen someone before on the cruise you were probably correct. Cabin We had the visit from the upgrade fairy before departure so we went from inside guarantee to outside cabins, we were in 8227 (a twin) and my mum in 8041 (a triple), the extra bed hanging on the wall rather than been hidden in the wall or roof of the cabin. Good idea to have storage and safe behind dressing table mirror set in to the corner and plenty of plugs easily to hand. Storage space was similar to other lines. Bathroom was also similar to other lines the only slight problem being the triangular shower and my new best friend the shower curtain who scrubbed my back every shower. The drink's package included the mini bar and water and snacks in the cabin so that was good given the lack off tea/coffee facilities in the cabin. Cabin was kept clean and tidy and we had no noise or bad creaks in the bumpy seas and we seldom saw the room stewardess so that worked well. Downside was blankets and sheets, personal taste I know but I prefer a quilt. No extras in the cabin by way of cotton wool/buds or lotions and potions apart from the wall mounted soap and shower gel dispensers. Food and drink The self-service was the same elbow to the ribs, walking stick whacked of shins, queue jumping, eye poking experience of most other ships. Food if you stuck to the Italian and continental style was always good, I loved the different breads at breakfast and lunch. The British items were acceptable. All the pasta was made fresh on board daily and tasted exceptional. The outside grill had pizza, burgers, sausage and a daily special although this was only open until 4pm at the latest. Restaurant service was good with a wide breakfast selection; breakfast could be a tad chaotic similar to other cruises. Lunch could be 7 courses if required with great pasta and Italian dishes; there was an always-available side to the menu. The lunch items that were non-Italian were again in general good. Dinner was 9:00pm for second sitting and was a 7-course journey (Appetizer, Salad, Soup, Pasta/Risotto, Main Course, Cheese, Dessert) through a different Italian region each night. It was good to get a card on the table each night explaining the region and the food, which came from that region. The always available menu had beef, fish, chicken, salad and pasta, I never had to eat from this side over the 8 nights so I was very pleased. Highlights for me were 2 Italian steak dishes a Filet Mignon with a mushroom sauce and also another Italian filet steak dish. The soups were always hot and tasty and the Pasta and Risottos were exceptional. There were 2 communal desserts paraded into the restaurant by the waiters over the cruise, 1 was an Italian flan doused in liqueurs, and the other on the last night were the biggest Baked Alaska I have seen on a ship and also possibly the biggest flames. With the baked Alaska a glass of Prosecco was served to all guests. My wife is a coeliac and requires a Gluten Free diet so that was a slight concern before boarding, we need not have worried. In the restaurant Carlos, a Station Captain introduced himself on the first night and he was the proverbial genie in a bottle. Every time we entered the restaurant (no matter from which door) he was at her side. Anything she wanted from the menu's he arranged (Danish pastries and Croissants being a real surprise at breakfast). If a fish dish was not suitable he had another fish dish made for her etc., etc.. Gluten free pasta was made fresh to order, in some dishes sauces were removed but in general she was happy with the coeliac options. This year both of us celebrated birthdays ending in 0 with my wife's being the last night of the cruise. After the parade of the Baked Alaska's and the parade of the Chefs she spotted the waiters being suspicious, yes she got the Italian version of Happy Birthday with the largest Gluten free chocolate cake we have ever seen. This was a really nice touch as we had not seen any other celebrations while on board. I should say that additional veg was available but that we never felt the need for it, tea and coffee was available at lunch and dinner if you asked for it, as was tap water. We stuck to the bottled water, as it was part of the drinks package. Drinks and Bars We took the standard drinks package so this covered house wine in the restaurants, all wine in the bars, spirits, beers, cocktails, smoothies, freshly squeezed orange juice, water, soft drinks and in the cabin the mini bar (this was great for bottled water in the cabin with the lack of tea and coffee facilities). The spirit measure used was certainly more in line with Celebrity and therefore larger than P&O, although the drink price was more expensive than P&O so swings and roundabouts in reality. Ports and Sea Days We used the shuttle at La Rochelle (€7) and Bilbao (€12) and at the other ports - Amsterdam, La Coruna, Cherbourg - simply walked off. At all ports we had a wander and did our own thing. We were asked to present ourselves on board for a passport check on the morning of arrival in Amsterdam. All non-UK citizens had to do the same on the sea day before arrival in the UK. On the 2 sea days the weather was not great, the first we sailed in a milky fog with the horn sounding. It was a weird one as the sea was smooth as glass, there was no wind, from the pool deck you could not see the sea or the funnel, from the mini golf deck you could not see the pool - the weirdest fog day we have had. The second day was wet, wet, wet, bumpy and lumpy Animators, Entertainment and multi-cultural living The Animators (entertainment staff) work really hard, are constantly around and always bubbly it would be easy to criticise quizzes in 5 languages etc. but that is part of the fun and hats off to the staff who can converse and ad-lib in 5 languages. The theatre entertainers were all ship staff so no guest entertainers, it was a mix of an English singer, dancers, acrobatic performers, operatic singers, a flamenco troupe, quick change/juggling duo. For us the highlights where the tenor and soprano teamed with a piano and violin duo who normally played in the martini bar and also the flamenco evening as a dance group they were outstanding. The cruise director made his nightly appearance with a welcome to the audience in 5 languages, yes it could seem long winded but again he spoke with no script and would ad-lib in any of the 5 languages depending on the audience reaction to what he was saying. There was music and frolics in all the bars and all nationalities seemed to enjoy it. The majority of vocals were in English but often interspersed with songs in Spanish or Italian. The 'theme' of the ship was definitely 'holiday time', so no sign of serious lectures or talks her that might make your brain hurt. Dress code was in theory 6 informal and 2 formal nights. It is fair to say that informal was not well adhered to, but that more of an effort was made on the formal nights. We dressed to the code and enjoyed ourselves - why worry about others. The kids club at all ages seemed to be well attended with various activities through the day and at night, all the nationalities seemed to gel well. In conclusion we had a good cruise on a good ship with a happy crew. Would we go again yes, even whilst it sometimes felt we had stepped on to the set of the Eurovision song contest. We would rank the experience along side P&O although not as formal in style or approach. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Great destinations and most staff. However the ship is a disaster. They spent millions extending the ship when really they should have towed it to the middle of the Atlantic and used it as target practice.... The stairs and lifts are ... Read More
Great destinations and most staff. However the ship is a disaster. They spent millions extending the ship when really they should have towed it to the middle of the Atlantic and used it as target practice.... The stairs and lifts are not logical. Some go all the way some stop a floor before you want and others stop before one before you want to get to.all If you have a window or an inside cabin don’t bother trying to sleep before well after midnight because the noise from discos and bars will definitely keep you awake. Even with the best possible earplugs I can STILL SING ALONG WITH THE MUSIC!! Guest relations offered me €100! So kind.... If I could get a flight home I would. If you have booked change it. If you are thinking about it DONT!! Go on something, anything else. I have done 17 cruises and this is the absolute WORST!! The entertainment crew were certainly enthusiastic. If a little loud, and mostly in Italian..... Dining is fine. Service in the MDR was excellent. The food was ok, portion size was small. One carrot does about three tables, the Buffet was a nightmare!! Pushing, shoving and loud. Forget if you want a table. The coffee was awful too. Thankfully the destinations was fantastic. Mykonos was lovely, Santorini was a bunfight. But the highlight was Corfu town. Lovely and lovely people. A couple of places were tender. A queue was ages but they dealt with it ok and they did use larger tender ships to get us off. A good idea that other cruise companies should adopt. All in all great destinations but a old tug and appalling ship and terrible terrible customer service. My view is the same AVOID even if it was free!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We often go on different cruise companies, and we have a large experience of service on cruise ships, but we were 1st time on the Opera MSC ship And unfortunately our vacation was very poor :( As soon as we entered the ship, we were ... Read More
We often go on different cruise companies, and we have a large experience of service on cruise ships, but we were 1st time on the Opera MSC ship And unfortunately our vacation was very poor :( As soon as we entered the ship, we were surprised about the small the size of the cabin, although we had a cabin with a balcony, there were not even napkins in the cabin. On the diversity in the restaurant and the buffet, it is better not to remember. The food was from low-quality products and there was no varied choice. Its was no season fruits , except for melons and apples, there was nothing, only apricots were given on the last day Excursions were also not on the high level Where it was possible to stay a little longer, time was abbreviated and one day they just stole from us. We planned this trip mainly because of the city of Mykonos, so this port was canceled altogether and went to another completely un interesting city Chaina The captain's squad referred to bad weather with a storm warning,  although we looked on the Internet, the weather was good everywhere. It was also very economical with parking and time in another port because Chaina was cheaper port than Mykonos The people understand that they not stupid, that on our ship there was an accident on June 2 in the city of Venice and compensation was paid to the people. But we were suffered in the capital, they were saving money on us We decided that we would never again use the services of the company. MSC P.S It was not possible to go out on the balcony and open it, because smoke stood all the time people was smoking on their balconys The administration of the ship did not announced  to prohibit smoking on the balconies, without at all caring for the fire safety of the people and the ship itself. And the night disco started at 9.30 and ended 1.30 -2.00 From loud speakers it was not possible to fall asleep   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We originally chose this cruise for late 2019 purely on its itinerary but they cancelled it on us. We then had to search and rebook, having to bring the trip forward as well as carefully choosing a cabin on a deck that would have a good ... Read More
We originally chose this cruise for late 2019 purely on its itinerary but they cancelled it on us. We then had to search and rebook, having to bring the trip forward as well as carefully choosing a cabin on a deck that would have a good view from the balcony close to a lift which would be near the buffet restaurant as my wife and I have difficulty walking. We were downgraded to a lower deck at the other end of the ship. The corridor had a serious sinkhole under the carpet which tripped me up. The corridor also had steps under the carpet due to differing heights of the floor levels. We could not have a move as the cruise was fully booked. No discount for being downgraded. The breakfast restaurant had one broken toaster for one piece at a time. (they only cost $20!) Toast was not fresh as they left slices baking under a heat lamp which baked them so hard that I broke a tooth which I later lost. They took no responsibility. Coffee mugs had stained cracks and chips. I'd only been to the dentist the week before! To say the balconies were spacious is ridiculous as the chairs were so big there was no space to get on to it. (Just over a metre deep!) OK for children. The cabin was tatty and needed repairs which I was able to do myself being an engineer. The evening tour in Cuba was good and the shows were also good though the volume between singers and instruments controller was upside down. (Kid's!) Overall our worst cruise due to being messed around. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We have done 35 cruises with 6 different cruise lines and over 700 nights at sea, and this was the first and last cruise with MSC. WHAT A DISASTER! Our safety and health were seriously at risk with MSC. On every other cruise every ... Read More
We have done 35 cruises with 6 different cruise lines and over 700 nights at sea, and this was the first and last cruise with MSC. WHAT A DISASTER! Our safety and health were seriously at risk with MSC. On every other cruise every guest getting on the ship and at every port, also at the entrance to all the restaurants, had to have hand sanitiser on their hands, NOT MSC. Hygiene was shocking. I dropped the food tongs on the floor accidentally and one of the staff picked them up and put them back on top of the food!! Guests and staff were allowed to handle food and return it back for others to take. Guests were also allowed to smoke right next to food service areas by the pool. With regards to safety, the lifeboat drill was a total fiasco, and all they seemed to care about was for the photographers to go round taking photos of guests wearing their lifejackets that they could buy, even though the guests were told not to wear them for the drill. We did not hear any instructions regarding the abandon ship procedure, and there were definitely not enough staff instructing guests on not to use lifts and to ensure they were directed to the correct muster stations. Our balcony door was broken and allowed to rattle all night for the first 10 nights, keeping us awake, and only after numerous complaints for it to be repaired they eventually came and bodged it. There were also several extra large shattered windows around the ship that were not repaired the whole time we were on the ship. MSC advertised a ‘Power Walking Track’, this was a lie, no track and the deck where it was supposed to be just cluttered with sun beds. They advertised broadway style shows and spectacular shows. Entertainment was well below standard, even the main theatre shows did not have live bands, just music backing tracks. It was the worst entertainment we have ever seen, what a let down. Food was well below standard, buffet selection very limited and food was not hot and the worst we have eaten anywhere. We had stomach upsets for the entire duration of the cruise. Service was exceptionally poor and staff just could not care less. There were a lot of people ill on the cruise, which was not surprising as the food and hygiene was shocking. NEVER AGAIN WITH MSC, What a total waste of money. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We took a cHavana cruise on dec 2018 starting and ending in Havana. As the trip included new-years eve it was very expensive. As we entered the ship we immediately understood that it was a big mistake - you will see why: 1. ... Read More
We took a cHavana cruise on dec 2018 starting and ending in Havana. As the trip included new-years eve it was very expensive. As we entered the ship we immediately understood that it was a big mistake - you will see why: 1. Onboarding The ondoarding process is all on paper, No sea-pass or Card that is actiavted once you are registered. That has to be done on a Kiosk - so you have to queueu. We had booked a Wellness package with a bootle of champaign on the first day and water every day in our room. Of Course it did NOT work. The Steward did not know what that was and argued that it would NOT be part of the package. After goind the the documents we luckily had printed and two days of discussions we had been granted it. OK, that is not important one migth think, but why dod you have to argue for items that hed been sold? 2. Cleanness The cabin was dirty, bathroom full of hairs (we had to clean it) and there had been no soap or shampoo. The buffet area is very, very veeery dirty - I mean dirty!!! The flow is flled with French fries, sodas, water - all Kinds of stuff. You Need to clean your shoes when you leave the buffet. 3. Size of the cabin The cabind are very small, the balcony is 4' x 10' so that only 2 persons can sit on a chair. Having regular breakfast here is very difficult as the small table provides space for two cups and two plates only . 4. Food This is one of the worst parts. Niot only that they do NOT use any seasoning it also is either warm or cold. A medium steak is well done and dry. The bread was rotten - you could NOT eat it 5. Entertainment If you are used to modern Entertainment - bad luck for you. You will be listening to east-europe-trying-accent Songs or classic opera. That is basically it. If you are lucky you have a fairly good salsa band in one of the bars. 6. Complaints. You may try - it will not change anything and the staff will avoid you. We felt sorry for the People that performed as they had been frustrated by their Management. Summary: We paid a hell lot of money or the worst cruise ever. I have lost 6 pounds, had lack of sleep and can only warn you: If you are used to NCL, RCCL or Celebrity do NOT take MSC!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Saw this 2 week cruise as a deal before Christmas. Unusual itinerary so decided to go. Where to start!? We flew to Cuba on Air Europa, via Madrid. Never again...a party plane, with duty free booze on sale, with the obvious results and ... Read More
Saw this 2 week cruise as a deal before Christmas. Unusual itinerary so decided to go. Where to start!? We flew to Cuba on Air Europa, via Madrid. Never again...a party plane, with duty free booze on sale, with the obvious results and no interference from the crew...they hid! Opera was a huge disappointment. Multi lingual, very noisy, and lots of other nationalities, Spanish and Mexican especially, for whom it seemed this was their first cruise and who were determined to enjoy everything on offer to the detriment of other passengers. Corridor noise was an on-going problem. Evening theatre entertainment was spoiled by constant noise. The volume level around the ship was higher than on any others we have cruised!! Opera itself was hugely expensive...ships tours extortionate, alcohol for sale on board was 3 times the prices ashore! Everything on the ship seemed geared to getting money...tips expected, and asked for, everywhere. The staff rarely cracked a smile...there was an on-going challenge to make the security guards at the head of the gangplank grin just once...failed! Reception was hopeless---it took 5 visits and 2 safe changes before a working one was produced. Food in the restaurant was often cold, repetitive and orders were mixed up, with the staff then arguing that the meal presented was what we had ordered! The buffet was a permanent scrum, with hand sanitiser occasionally available. Milk, coffee, butter, menu items, ran out and were not replaced, despite officers walking around supposedly checking for potential problems! Time and motion did not exist. What other ship has the captain trying to sell ship's tours on his midday report? The ship picks up and puts down people in all ports visited. And it took 3 different safety drills to get one lot of a new intake of passengers to attend. On previous ships we have been aware of recalcitrant non-attendees being brought before the captain, and in one instance thrown off the ship! Basically this is an Italian ship, with a multi-lingual crew, (impressive, but generally unhelpful),who operate to a Mediterranean standard. The shows are geared to a multi-lingual audience - one 45 minute slot each night for pure opera and 2 singing and dancing shows. That means no lectures, no bridge, no singles support, no quizzes etc etc...anything which necessitates a specific. language. There were about 20-30 other Brits on this cruise,and they all said "never again". Having cruised over 40 times with various companies, we have learned our lesson, and will now avoid MSC generally Write another review Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Beds are comfortable and the room was very clean. Elias who was our cabin steward was very friendly and helpuful. Too bad the rest of the cruise crew had a terrible attitude, they were all super rude. The food at the buffet was ok, but ... Read More
Beds are comfortable and the room was very clean. Elias who was our cabin steward was very friendly and helpuful. Too bad the rest of the cruise crew had a terrible attitude, they were all super rude. The food at the buffet was ok, but they don’t serve a lot of options. The restaurant food was terrible, bland and small servings. The staff at the restaurant was super rude, and had a terrible artitude, up to the point we avoided asking for things. If you have a food intolerance forget about this cruise, they don’t take questions about what they are serving. We traveled with 3 adults on wheelchairs and they had a lot of trouble moving with them around the ship because cleaning carts blocked the hallways and we got yelled at when we tried to move them. One of the elevators did not work for almost 2 days and that one was the one we could reach. We asked for assistance and they completetly ignored us and they told us “we didn’t need the service” I wouln’t recommend this cruise if you have trouble moving arround. The entertainment was poor, and we could hear the music in our cabin until 1 am. Overall I think this cruise was way too expensive for the service and quality of meals. I wouldn’t recommend this ship to anyone unless you want to pay to get yelled at. Read Less
9 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
Sail Date: September 2016
As we were going to be in Copenhagen we thought we should do something from there. 3 days in Copenhagen was great and the HOHO(Hop on hop off Bus) was great to get around. The 3 day pass seemed a bit dear but when you consider we got 2 ... Read More
As we were going to be in Copenhagen we thought we should do something from there. 3 days in Copenhagen was great and the HOHO(Hop on hop off Bus) was great to get around. The 3 day pass seemed a bit dear but when you consider we got 2 free beers at Carlsberg Brewery and on our last day you could take your bags on the HOHO and when you got off at the mermaid(forget her name) they transported you to your ship for free. As to the MSC Opera we had a good time on board.The ship was clean and tidy and so was our internal cabin. Mudaffar our cabin attendant was polite, funny and cleaned our cabin well.There was enough room in the cabin because we we always on deck somewhere.Dining was good and our waiter/wine steward Jean-Paul made sure everything was alright.Entertainment was good generally but sometimes did not suit us. Regarding port and shore excursions you needed to deal with Kathy as she was informative , polite and very knowledgeable. Really the only problem we had was with a German Tour Guide who obviously had some 40 people with her. We were in the the stern of the ship on deck 12 and been there for some time enjoying the scenery from the lounge. This woman came in and said anybody who doesnt speak German, out as this is a private function. There was no sign outside to tell anyone this when we went in and as the lounge held about 200 and she only needed one corner.We thought ,and told her, she was very arrogant and rude Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Right from the start we had hassles. We did not embark 'till 19:30 (Correct Time)and as soon as we hit the deck we were harassed by three different staff members trying to sell us drinks packages and this is before we got off the ... Read More
Right from the start we had hassles. We did not embark 'till 19:30 (Correct Time)and as soon as we hit the deck we were harassed by three different staff members trying to sell us drinks packages and this is before we got off the deck. We managed to get to the dining room by 21:00 and same hard sell from the waiter. Still undecided we settled for two glasses of house wine. Seeing as there was no water supplied we opted for the drinks package the next day, only to be told that they could't include last nights wine as it wasn't "House Wine"????? Our Cabin was without a doubt the smallest we've ever encountered on the high seas and Tyrion Lannister would have had trouble getting in the shower! The food was pitiful, you would think on an Italian ship you would get great pasta, not so, cluggy rubbish and the Pizza, we've had better $2 specials from the supermarket, the hamburgers were disgusting, I wish I could post a photo. I ordered steak in the dining room only to have two pieces of beef cut from a roast served up! On every other ship we've been on, hygiene has been #1 priority, the hand wash stands were tucked so far back they were hard to find AND NO ONE checked to see if you had used them! People were picking up food in the buffet with their hands and then putting it down again, gross.The only saving grace on this cruise were the staff, particularly at the reception desk. I guess the deck entertainment was a language thing, but the Three Stooges was never my idea of comedy. We didn't bother with any shore excursions, too pricey, but you get that on most cruises now. Give this ship a "Wide Berth" :-( Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
My wife and I went on an MSC Carribean Cruise, the Cuba Special Cruise, from December 22nd to December 28th, 2015. On December 22nd when we arrived at Rome Fiumicino Airport we were welcomed by three very nice young ladies who helped us ... Read More
My wife and I went on an MSC Carribean Cruise, the Cuba Special Cruise, from December 22nd to December 28th, 2015. On December 22nd when we arrived at Rome Fiumicino Airport we were welcomed by three very nice young ladies who helped us to carry out the check-in procedures. So far so good, but as soon as we reached our gate the ordeal started. The Meridiana flight, coming from Milan, that MSC had booked for those who were going on the "Cuba Special Cruise" had a three-hour-delay; consequently we arrived in Havana three hours later than the scheduled time. Once in Havana we were pushed like cattle to the buses by people who only spoke Cuban-Spanish. BOARDING THE MSC OPERA SHIP: when we boarded MSC Opera Ship things got even worse: each of us was given a cruise card with our name and cabin number on it. Nobody helped us to reach our cabins on that big ship. There were some crew officers in their elegant white uniforms looking at us without even raising a finger to help us who were exausted and absolutely lost. Would it have been too costly for MSC to organize a Welcoming Committee to welcome their passengers on board, to make them feel at ease and help them to reach their cabins? When at last we reached our cabin, an aurea cabin which had cost us a lot of money, we saw that it was very small and with an extra bed on the wall. Of course, my wife and I didn't need that extra bed which dwarfed the cabin making it look even smaller and uglier that it already was. Dialing 99: at this point we had questions we wanted answered, so since on the Daily Planner it was written that we could contact "Reception" dialing 99, we called but got no answer. In the next couple of days, after dialing that numer several times without getting any answer, we realized that if on board we needed any kind of help we had to go to Reception Desk or/and to the Excursion Desk. RECEPTION DESK AND EXCURSION DESK: unfortunately, going there was like going to an Amateur Night Show; in fact most of the members of the staff were rude, impatient, uncaring and unable to solve most of the problems the passengers had on board. My wife and I had already booked and paid for two of the excursions we wanted to take but when we went to the ship Excursion Desk we were told that those excursions had been cancelled; then the next day they told us that those excursions had been arranged again. A very inconsistent behaviour! Once on the ship we also booked and paid for two additional excursions and they said we would have our tickets delivered in our cabin the next day. As a matter of fact, the next day we had the tickets delivered but, guess what, they had made a mistake giving us tickets for excursions we had not booked. When we went to the Excursion Desk to return the wrong tickets and to get the right ones, they were rude and impatient as if it had been our mistake and not theirs. Mind you, in order to speak with members of the Reception Desk and the Excursion Desk staff we had to stay in line 10 to 45 minutes depending on the day and on the time of the day. MSC made clear that they wouldn't take any responsibility for the excursions because they said: "the excursions are organized by independent third parties" but since MSC granted those "independent third parties" permission to operate on their ship and to deal with MSC passengers shouldn't MSC take responsibility for the way they operate? INTERNET SERVICE: At the Opera Reception Desk I bought a 24.90 euro packet in order to use Wi-Fi for 100 minutes. After sending only three messages and four photographs I realized that I had no credit left. Since I couldn't believe it and I thought I had made a mistake, I went to the Reception Desk where a very rude young lady told me: "You don't understand! Don't you realize you are on board a ship where a lot of passengers are trying to use Wi-Fi?" Since MSC are aware of that problem, shouldn't they charge 24.90 euro for a whole day instead of charging 24.90 euro for only 100 minutes? MEALS ON BOARD: buffet food was average but it was hard to find a free table and since waiters were slow in cleaning the tables , most of the times we had to eat at tables where the left-overs of previous passengers hadn't been removed. L'APPRODO: the only good restaurant on board was L'Approdo where the food and the service were excellent. We wish to thank here two highly qualified waiters: Mr Adiana and Mr Altamirano. Unfortunately, however, that Restaurant was only open for dinner. TEATRO DELL'OPERA: the evening and night shows at the Teatro dell'Opera were very enjoyable and the artists very talented. THE LAST TWO DAYS: the last two days and our return home were the worst part of our ordeal. The day before the end of the cruise, our cabin steward removed the bathrobes MSC had given us to use during our cruise. The problem was that, especially on the last day, we counted on those bathrobes to keep us warm while in our cabin because we had been asked to pack and leave our luggage outside our cabin the night before our landing. The day before the same steward locked our minibar that was supposed to remain unlocked until 9 a.m. of the next day. On the last day we waited, as we had been asked, from 2.30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Piazza di Spagna ship lounge. At 7 p.m. they announced it was time for us to land, to collect our luggage that had been left the night before by MSC at the Port of Havana Customs Warehouse and to carry it by ourselves without any help whatsoever to the bus where a driver loaded it . When we arrived at the airport, however, the driver didn't help any of us to unload our luggage, so all of us, old and young, had to do it by ourselves. In a few words nobody took care of us. It was hard for us to collect our luggage, to carry it, to look for the check-in area and to find the gate whose number was changed at least three times. To make the disaster complete the Meridiana aircraft took off with about a four-hour- delay. I only wrote here a few of the things that went wrong!!! DECLINING THE CAPTAIN'S INVITATION: my wife and I wish to answer Captain Raffaele Iaccarino, the Commander of MSC Opera Ship, who wrote on MSC Opera Daily Program that he hopes to see us again on bord the ship, that we firmly decline his invitation because "ERRARE HUMANUM EST, PERSEVERARE AUTEM DIABOLICUM" Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Let me start by saying this was our second MSC cruise in the last year. We cruised on the Divina in November and loved it. That's why we chose to book our long yearly European cruise with MSC on the Opera. What a mistake. Check in ... Read More
Let me start by saying this was our second MSC cruise in the last year. We cruised on the Divina in November and loved it. That's why we chose to book our long yearly European cruise with MSC on the Opera. What a mistake. Check in was OK. Room was OK except worse bed and pillows ever. I travel every week for work and sleep in hotels 4 out of 7 nights a week. The bed was hard, flat, terrible bedding, pillows old and lumpy. We booked our cruise directly with MSC and the MSC agent assured us that if we booked our excursions with her we would save 10 percent off the cost. She said if we booked on the ship it would be 10 percent more. Because of this we booked all our excursions with her. When we got on board, we realized the ships charges on board for the excursions were much less according to their tour brochure. We talked to three different MSC customer representatives included the man in charge. We showed them the notice in writing (an email) about the promised discount from the MSC representative. We were told that they aren't responsible for what other MSC representatives promise. We asked if we could cancel the excursions and rebook and were told NO. We were overcharged almost $300.00 from what the cost was on the ship. Another lie, while we were waiting to be processed on the ship, I was talked into buying a spa package. I was told it would be 20 percent less if I purchased then rather than on board. Well, that same package was half price during the cruise. We asked for coffee and was told it was only available in the dining room at breakfast. We were told the same thing about milk. They even charged for water in the dining room. The food was horrible. Nothing special and not very appealing choices. When you went to the upper deck to get coffee, it was cold. The fruit machines on the upper deck were only on in the morning. The pizza in the pizzeria was like cardboard with very little topping. There was a notice in our cabin about MSC supporting UNICEF as well as a paper for you to fill out if you wanted or didn't want to provide a donation on your cabin bill. We didn't complete the form. We got a preliminary bill two nights prior to the end of the cruise and it was correct. We settled our account on the last night of the cruise and got a final receipt. The morning of disembarking we had a bill under our door and surprise, in the middle of the bill they had added two donations for UNICEF. I didn't mind donating, but it needs to be my decision, and I was appalled they had taken such liberty with my money. I called the service desk to ask them to take the charge off my bill and was told I would have to fill out the paper indicating I didn't want to donate and bring it to the service desk. I completed the paper and stood in line for 45 minutes to have it deleted, We left an item we purchased in the dining room and some people we met turned it in to the dining room staff because they didn't know our cabin number. They saw us the next morning and advised us they had found the item and turned it in. We went to the head waiter and he said that it had been turned in however, he could not find it when he went to get the item for us, it didn't make it to lost and found and we never got the item. The shows were horrid, worse ever. I have seen better entertainment on the street. The only good thing was they were very short - 45 minutes to an hour. Very little on ship functions and recreation. They do not cater to English speaking guests at all. Lastly, there are no presentations on the ship about the towns your visiting, the currency used, what to look for, etc. we found this very frustrating. We didn't know what currency was accepted where, we didn't realize in some places they charged to go to the bathroom, etc. I mentioned this to the gentleman who was the head of customer service when we met about the overpricing of our excursions. His response was that if we had any questions, we could always ask the customer service desk. REALLY, you think it's OK to ask me to stand in line at your customer service desk to ask if it's safe to drink the water in town? He also told me when I complained that there wasn't any coffee available in the dining room for lunch and dinner that this was an American custom and that they didn't cater to that custom on the European cruises. We went on four cruises last year. We love cruising. We are thankful this wasn't our first cruise because if it had of been, it would have been our last. We will cruise with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Viking, and Carnival but we have intentions of ever cruising on MSC again. We spoke with many English speaking guests who felt the same way. Cruising is a great vacation - just chose the cruise line wisely. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
Having cruised on MSC OPERA in August last year and heard the refurbishment included a splash park we were very excited about bringing our daughter husband and 4 grandchildren on board. I could not believe the changes to the menu and ... Read More
Having cruised on MSC OPERA in August last year and heard the refurbishment included a splash park we were very excited about bringing our daughter husband and 4 grandchildren on board. I could not believe the changes to the menu and the quality and quantity of the food .In august everything was tasty plenty of variety and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. We tried the restaurant most nights but even the waiters were embarrassed about the food and quantity and many a time offered us something extra one potato seemed to be the norm along with little meat or vegetables. We have visited Italy on many occasions and have always had wholesome tasty food , we may be British but burgers hot dogs and chips are not for us The grandchildren ordered fish fingers one night and when we said eat them up they replied they don't have any fish in them, so we all tried them and it just tasted of mush. My husband son in law and granddaughter tried the king prawns and they were absolutely disgusting just mushy and tastless. We had quizzes good musicians and reasonable shows last time but unfortunately not much going on at night .I personally like opera but it is not for all tastes, most shows not for us so we didnt bother. Disco for 15 minutes twice in the whole 14 days for the children terrible, you try to explain why it ended so fast to a six and four year old. Baking session for children very good but wanted all family entertainment for the children and ourselves on holiday as a family Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Well...the problems started when we tried to embark in Istanbul and were not on the passenger list, despite the fact that my wife's parents, for whom we had paid in the same transaction, were. Eventually our names were found (on ... Read More
Well...the problems started when we tried to embark in Istanbul and were not on the passenger list, despite the fact that my wife's parents, for whom we had paid in the same transaction, were. Eventually our names were found (on the mysterious "other" list) and we discovered our tiny cabins (with sheets and blankets so worn we would have chucked them out to Vinnies years ago. Then we tried to order some drinks from a waiter who made Manuel from Fawlty Towers look like the Maitre D from the Waldorf. After three tries he eventually brought my mother in law a scotch and dry, albeit a deconstructed version of the drink with a glass of ice, a nip of scotch in a separate glass, and then (much later) a small can of dry ginger. When I asked for a bottle of wine he looked totally gobsmacked and enquired (in apparent shock): "A whole bottle?" Leaving me to wonder whether he had ever taken a drinks order in his life. Trying to get a drink generally was a sobering experience on this ship. The bar staff took for ever and the queues were ridiculous. But if the drinks were hard work, much worse was the food. It reminded me of 1970s National Fitness Camp food; bland, overcooked, no variety and pretty much the same thing every night. Oh, and ice cream! The ice cream bar was only open in the afternoon when most people were off the ship...and you had to pay for it. Worst of all was the waiting to get back on the ship after a day ashore - on at least four occasions we had to queue over 40 minutes (once for an hour) in the freezing wind while sewage was being pumped out of the ship close by. Unbelievable. The bed linen was not changed for the whole twelve days we were aboard and the room attendant had to be asked on a couple of occasions to empty the bins (incluiding the sanitary bin). There was (almost) no entertainment organised by the ship and I was literally counting the days until I could get off. This was a really expensive cruise (we have been several times on Oceania and Royal Caribbean which are infinitely better cruises and much, much cheaper) which is bewildering when you consider that the greatest costs of a cruise are fuel and salaries. The ship basically sat off Canakkle for five days and Istanbul for four more - hardly went anywhere - and seemed to be staffed by a skeleton crew of trainees on probation. It was by far the worst holiday we've ever had and I truly wonder how these people stay in business. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
We have undertaken 3 cruises with 3 different Providers over the years and this outfit were appalling in comparison to the other two. Food and the Service levels were rubbish. The facilities and appointments are tired and dated including ... Read More
We have undertaken 3 cruises with 3 different Providers over the years and this outfit were appalling in comparison to the other two. Food and the Service levels were rubbish. The facilities and appointments are tired and dated including the cabin decor. Public areas are comparative in external presentation but once you get down to the individual, the facade fails. Worst was the Service levels in both the Restaurants and the Bars. Apart from poor (not even average) food quality including stale tasting garnishes and salads), the waiting time to get bar service exceeded any reasonable level of patience. I would not travel with this line again if I won the trip in a raffle. Embarkation took ages as did the time to re-enter the ship after excursions. It all pretended to be in the cause of Security, but little real attention was paid by the supposed inspectors and was frankly treated as little more than a job justification exercise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
Just returned from our first cruise on this ship (18th August) . Unfortunately the weather was not great and so the ship was unable to port in Guernsey which we were really looking forward to. The additional sea days were not really ... Read More
Just returned from our first cruise on this ship (18th August) . Unfortunately the weather was not great and so the ship was unable to port in Guernsey which we were really looking forward to. The additional sea days were not really catered for by the ship. Most of the activities for adults were puerile and an insult to my intelligence and I found most of the shows I attended poor in quality. My 2 teens were so bored that it lead to tensions in our group-there is only so much wii and Xbox they could take and plus they could do this at home. The service charge policy is not explicit and the organisation needs to look at how they convey this information about this is openly conveyed to passengers We did meet some lovely people both passengers and staff. I could see that staff work really hard and it was interesting hearing their stories of their homelands. I was however, also concerned about the officious ness of some staff particularly in reception. Fundamental complaints were not really dealt with and , I experienced, the attitude about any issues raised seemed to be a shrug of the shoulders.i observed examples of managerial staff shouting at junior staff in front of guests and witnessed 2 incidents of staff mimicking passengers. Did try to draw attention to this to front desk staff and was told to write it on my questionnaire rather than being offered the opportunity to raise this with a manager. Interestingly the questionnaire only offers 3 lines for feedback I did request additional paper but when I asked for a paper clip or staple was told to just fold it together and put it in the box.I did express my concern about this as I could already see the box was already very stuffed, but she did not relent Overall MSC is not really for us although I understand that it suits others (possibly those with very small children) We did get some lovely reassuring advice from other more experienced cruisers who were emphatic that we shouldn't judge cruising by this experience and reassured us that there were better cruising options with other operators that would better suit our family's needs In a nutshell MSC never again.... Cruising would love to do it again Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
Well, where do i start with this one?? Should I start with the Travel agent who were so incompetent but also untruthful, or do i start with my terrible ordeal on the cruise? Well let me start with the travel agent. What a load of messing ... Read More
Well, where do i start with this one?? Should I start with the Travel agent who were so incompetent but also untruthful, or do i start with my terrible ordeal on the cruise? Well let me start with the travel agent. What a load of messing about and total lies. I should have known from my experience with those jokers that maybe the cruise may just turn out to be a bit of a disaster. First of all the reps were inconsistent with the information they gave us as a family. The cruise was booked in advance of 14 months and a deposit left for a family of 8. Over the months from the initial deposits we booked the car parking at Southampton seeing as we were driving down to the port. We also decided that we would take the wine /water drinks package, which allowed us to have 4 bottles of wine and 7 bottles of water. Initially a price was agreed at the begining for both parties which consisted of 4 in each party. However after paying the last installment I realised that one package was priced £150 more than the other package when it came to the final installment, when I asked about the price descrepancy I was told it was because my room was bigger than the other party, and also because there was 3 adults in my party and 1 child. Oh really?? Then I asked about the coaches that were advertised in the brochure that said it could offer transport to it's passengers to Southampton. I was told that the coaches don't operate anymore and that stopped in 2013?? Oh really??? Well how naughty to mis-inform me in that way. Once on the cruise I checked my cabin and compared it to my cousins and it was exactly the same size, SO WHY WAS I CHARGED MORE??? It was not at all bigger. Nor had the coaches that took passengers to Southampton stopped running. Simply because there was a family on the cruise who had travelled down to Southampton from up North on a coach. Now onto the cruise, I really don't wish to spend too much time on this review, because I have wasted enough time on the cruise. So i will try to keep this simply. Words of warning, the MSC Opera charge service charges of 6 Euros a day per cabin per adult. On top of the money we as customers have already paid to go on the cruise. It appears to be to remove the issue of tipping individual staff members or cabin workers etc etc. In my cabin was 3 adults so at the end of the cruise they wanted 180 Euros which was 60 euros per adult. However lucky for us we read all the paperwork before we went on the cruise and so on the day of booking in we informed reception staff that we were not willing to pay the service charge and asked that they removed it. They did at the end of the cruise unfortunately many other passengers were complaining about the service charge because they were unaware of the charges. READ ALL PAPERWORK IS MY WARNING. Drink packages, seem to work better than buying individual drinks. However I refused to be charged £200 per adult in our group for the drink package as we had 3 adults and 1 child. For the child it was £120 therefore the total package would have been £720. Not on your nelly after spending so much money on the cruise. Therefore one party purchased the alll inclusive drink package and got drinks for the other party and that worked just fine. So be ware, oops not forgetting that if you buy individual drinks there is a 15% service charge added to the drinks. Money money money is all i can say. Entertainment for children was limited and after 2 days became boring and repetative. Therefore you had children running around the decks entertaining themselves due to boredom. Excursions well what can i say. How can a cruise company think it is ok to arrange excursions to places that are shut for traditional holidays or shopping centres are shut because its a Sunday? However they still take your money and arrange for the coach to pick you up knowing you will have nothting to do when you arrive, simply because it ends up being like a ghost town. Its not on, just not on. So beware. Also be aware that all the places named in the itinerary as places you will visit say in small print "WEATHER PERMITTING" so if the weather is bad and the seas are rough you may not see that country. PHOTOGRAPHS- Dont allow them to charm you into taking loads of photos once on deck. Its all about MSC making thousands of pounds. Although the pictures well most are usually nice and of an ok quality MSC offer no real deals for the photos to you as a customer. If you try to mix and match pictures they dont let you. They also will not budge on any prices, and what they end up with is thousands of unwanted pictures, which is a complete waste or material and resources. MSC are greedy and should offer better deals if they really want to shift the majority of their pictures taken. It appears they would rather throw them away than reduce the prices. Its a crying shame, but demonstrates clearly that their interests is in the money/profits they can make. Oh by the way dont get sick, the only sick treatment you will get will be a sea sicknes tablet if you suffer with sea sickness. Anything you want outside of sea sickness tablets will cost you 80 Euros before you even get through the door to see the onborad medical Doctor.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
I wanted to relate to you our experience on the MCS Opera. From the time we checked in we started experiencing problems. The young man at the check in counter could not run our credit card, he said he would have to enter it manually, this ... Read More
I wanted to relate to you our experience on the MCS Opera. From the time we checked in we started experiencing problems. The young man at the check in counter could not run our credit card, he said he would have to enter it manually, this would prove to be a problem later in the cruise. In addition, my picture for the room and charge card did not come out clearly. When I boarded the ship I was taken aside and asked to see my passport. I was then told I had to go to the reception desk and get a new picture. So that was the start of our cruise experience. Our problems continued with the food. This being our 9th cruise we are very familiar with the quality and quantity of cruise ship food. The food on this ship was mediocre at best and of poor quality most of the time. Portions in the main dining room were small. On numerous occasions we had to go to the buffet after our meal to feel we had a complete dinner. One of my main courses consisted of veal cutlets about the size of a silver dollar. There were a total of three on my plate and about 2 ounces of potatoes to go with it. Three of our meals were inedible due to the meat being over cooked and dried out. Most of the fish dishes were of poor quality. I could go to any Denny’s or Applebee’s restaurant and get far superior meals than anything served on this ship. The chicken cordon bleu was breaded and deep fried and tasted like a McDonald’s Happy Meal. In addition coffee or tea were not available with dinner in the main dining room. I will not even go into the buffet food as I would just because it was even worse than the dining room. My troubles continued with a member of the reception desk staff. Prior to leaving for the cruise we had contacted MSC regarding transportation to Amsterdam from the port, which is about 45 minutes away. We had been told that the bus ride was complimentary. Once on board we found this not to be the case. We had to buy a bus excursion into Amsterdam for 32 euros each. The next day, I received a note in my room to come to the reception desk to talk about these charges. As mentioned, before the problem with my credit card at check in was raising its ugly head. Upon my arrival at the reception desk and showing the young lady the note, her first words to me were,”You can’t make any more charges to your room”. When I asked why she said, “You didn’t run a credit card when you came on board”. When I related to her what had happened when we checked in she then told me, “That’s not how we do it, the people on shore don’t know what they are doing and you didn’t run your credit card”. After several more exchanges like this, and her telling me not to be rude, I asked to see her supervisor. Other than an apology from the supervisor nothing else was said or done about the incident. I have attached a picture of the shower floor in our state room. Most of the edge of the shower is coated with mold. This was indicative of the cleanliness of the rest of the ship. Windows and mirrors smudged and dirty, tables in the buffet wiped with only a wet cloth that just spread the mess around instead of removing it. On one occasion I observed a bus boy drop his cleaning cloth on the floor, step on it, pick it up and continue to “clean” tables with it. I did not even contemplate going in the pools or Jacuzzis. At one time I saw an infant of about 12 months in one of the Jacuzzis, with a diaper on, and none of the staff asked it to be removed. I have many more examples of problems with this ship including tendering issues, lack of amenities, and certain crew attitudes that would take too long to relate to you here. Overall, we were very disappointed with this ship and would never take another MSC cruise. We did not have any issues with the multiple languages on board and this was one of the bright spots of the ship as was the nightly entertainment. This ship was advertised as a 4 star ship and I would not even rate it a 2. This was not just our opinion but that of many other passengers we talked to while on board. One experienced traveler we met called this a Dollar Store cruise, which fits it very well. I would not recommend this cruise line to anyone in the future.   Read Less
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 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.2
Family 4.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.0
Enrichment 1.0 2.9
Service 4.0 3.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.2
Rates 3.0 3.5

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