MSC has some pretty bad reviews, and I'm pleased to report that we had a very pleasant time on board Opera. However, it was not all plain sailing, if you'll excuse the pun. So let's start with the bad points and if you feel you can stomach those, I shall move on to the good points.
The biggest minus for us was the very poor vegetarian food. Meat and fish eaters are very well catered for, but poor old veggies get a very raw deal - literally! Raw carrots, raw lettuce, raw onion, but often no hot veggie dish at the buffet aside from the side veg. I don't consider a bowl of boiled broccoli to constitute a meal. Often meat was added unnecessarily, reducing the choices even further Eg breakfast omelettes with added ham, breakfast potatoes with added sausage pieces, pasta with added meat or fish. Even at the sit-down restaurant at lunch and dinner time there was not always a veggie option for each course. This was particularly disappointing for the gala dinners. what there was was very samey eg cheese appetizer followed by a cheese salad followed by a cheese main course. Aubergines were presented in various ways day after day. I love aubergines, but was starting to go off them, and my poor old daughter hates them so was left with no alternative. There were no labels to indicate what was veggie and it was not always easy to tell and the staff did not always know. We did say we were veggie at time of booking and were contacted part-way through the cruise to check that all was well, but nothing resulted from our complaint.
Deserts in the restaurant and buffet were generally good, the ice-cream was very nice and the pizza parlour was good. The afternoon tea was always very nice and the scones were very tasty. Tea at the tea stations was usually rather too weak and no tea or coffee was served after the meals.
The cabin is reasonably roomy as cabins go (we had a standard ocean view) but our steward was not great. Often we returned and the cabin had not been made up, despite being vacated for several hours. He always looked a tad unhappy and I wonder if perhaps he was simply over-worked. No chocs on pillows or towels shaped like elephants and swans unfortunately.