Having sailed on the Opera 2 years we expected the same experience but were sadly disappointed. We were a group of 6 adults who have travelled with MSC several times in the past. After going through MSC boarding procedures and then through security provided by (CPK United Nederland BV) I inadvertently left a hip belt on the Xray belt. Upon boarding the ship five minutes later I advised the ship security of my forgotten belt and they contacted the security company who said they would return it. They did a short time later but there was a substantial amount of money stolen from the belt. Be careful going through the security screening procedures in IJmuden.
We found service at dinner time was very good but breakfast and lunch service was substandard. Ordered items were never received and staff didn't seem to know what they were doing. The food was very mediocre and other passengers were heard to say the food was inedible. We had three gala nights but the food certainly was not any better. The buffets were plain and at times food was cool.
At several ports, Tallin for instance we were told we had to take the MSC shuttles to the town center and when we asked if the On/Off buses were nearby we were told no when in fact those buses were located within 100 meters on the dock. When we got to the town center we took the On/Off buses to tour the city and were dropped off near the ship. I would recommend anyone travelling to St.Petersburg to use any of the licensed tour groups available instead of the tours provided by MSC...over priced. Time in the ports was too short.