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MSC Opera Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
336 Reviews

Cape Town to Southampton - what a disappointment!

MSC Opera Cruise Review by cruisingman14

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Apr 2014
  • Destination: the British Isles & Western Europe

Just returned from this repositioning cruise with MSC Opera. The service/organisation was appalling. This is our 22nd cruise and by far the worst. Here are the main gripes!:

1. Chaos at embarkation – no-one to tell us where to leave our cases before joining the queue. We were 1.5 hours in line!

2. Sleeping arrangements- We had requested twin beds but found our room to have a double. We had to ask twice to change the bed configuration and it was finally done 9 hours later at 10pm when we were tired with travelling and had not been able to unpack!

3. Mustering- We attended the mustering then got a letter in the cabin the day after to say we hadn’t attended.

4. Excursions - We booked our only excursion on-line as we knew it would be popular (desert trip in Namibia). The excursions desk on board had no record but luckily still had places left.

5. Waiter service- We had very slow waiter service in the restaurant, once waiting 40 minutes between soup and main course at lunch. Normally we use the waiter service on sea days at breakfast and lunch as we are not in a hurry to go ashore. However, we abandoned that plan and ate in the self-service buffet from then…

6. Supplies - On a number of occasions at breakfast there were no cups, no tea bags, empty hot food trays.

7. Maps -You are the only cruise company we know who do not supply a printed street plan of the city/town centres for those not going on your expensive excursions.

8. Theatre/restaurant seating - The theatre is not big enough to accommodate even one dinner sitting of guests – I hate to think when MSC Opera, Armonia and Sinfonia will be like for theatre/dinner restaurant seating when they cut them in half and add a further 24 metres length of cabins, as is planned to start next year.

9. Events - Events don’t start on time whether it is the evening show or even a poolside game.

10. Food temperature - A lot of the hot buffet food was in fact cold, especially that in the buffet annexes outside.

11. Craft classes - The German woman doing the crafts was a disorganized disaster. She didn’t come prepared for the numbers who turned up or come early to set up. As a retired teacher I know all too well that lesson preparation is the key to success.

12. Films - There was no information about the rolling film program being shown on the TV – just the film titles.

13. Library - There were very few English reads in the library – shelves full of German, Spanish, Italian, etc. untouched.

14. Questionnaire - We didn’t receive an interim questionnaire when others did.

15. Karaoke - Animation staff couldn’t operate the karaoke machine.

16. Waiters - Our waiter’s grasp of English was poor. All our table of 6 asked for ice cream once. He brought sorbet. Another day one asked for a glass of beer and he brought ice cream!

17. Food danger - Mussels as a starter were served unopened – not fit to eat therefore.

18. Quiz - Animation staff doing the music quiz couldn’t link the laptop to the TV. We waited half an hour and then gave up.

19. Shore information - No information is provided for independents going ashore – presumably a ploy to get them to buy the dear excursions.

20. Menu - Sometimes we ordered one meal and got another.

21. Pool music - Music is always too loud by the pool and often left on when there is no activity – look at the age clientele and ask if they wanted to be blasted with rock music?

22. Afternoon tea - Every day there were nice scones with jam and cream for afternoon tea – but no knives provided!

23. Security - The security guards who swiped your card getting off/on could do to go to charm school. They are very surly and unwelcoming. I understand they are trained by the Israelis. Enough said…

24. Buffet desserts – there was nothing to say what these were and so many were left with one bite out of them when passengers tried them and didn’t like them. A waste of food which could be easily rectified with labelling.

25. Disembarkation - The morning of disembarkation we had to be out of our cabins by 6.30am! We have never had such an early time in all our years of cruising. Normally it’s about 8am.

26. Luggage - When I came to retrieve my case ashore the case had been dented and the pull along handle was bust. Another case bites the dust…

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Cabin Review

Cabin was fine. Good location - only one deck upto the buffet and pool area!

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