This was my second cruise on Opera. I last travelled on her to the Black Sea thee years ago. On my last cruise I would have rated the ship four or five but this voyage had some major problems.
Firstly the good points:
The ship has medium sized, modern and comfortable cabins. These cabins are well maintained and the cabin stewards are first rate.
The ship has a good layout and all the public areas are cleaned and well maintained.
The Allegrissimo drinks package was good value and the overall standard of the drinks were very good. A minor point, a larger beer selection and diet tonic would be nice.
The food overall was good. However this times we did have a few poor meals. Last time on the Opera all meals were good. Service in the restaurants and bars was excellent.
And now for the not so good:
Tiny gym for a large ship. Always impossible to get a machine.
This voyage was an Atlantic crossing. When my wife and I went to breakfast at eight AM, most of the pool sunbeds were reserved. By the time we went out at nine all beds were reserved. there wer plenty of beds on deck 12, but that had no shade and was pretty windswept.
From our lofty perch on deck twelve we noted that a fair proportion of the beds were still unused at eleven. Even more galling was we noticed some groups had reserved two beds, one in shade and one in sun. Since the Company has a policy of no reservation we tried to raise the issue with reception. I will come back to this point at the end of my review?
Excursions. The ship advertised a large selection of of excursions in the English language. We booked three and two of them were cancelled. One of our excurions booked was to the Normandy landing sites.
Many of the English speakers were from Australia and New Zealand. Some had come specifically for the D Day sites. MSC showed no interst in helping them, although internet research showed local guides were available. I tried to talk to the Excursions Manager?
Major Complaint. I thought the sundeck and excursion problems were worth complaining about. It took half a dozen visits to reception to get anyone of authority to listen. The excursions manager saw me after we had left Cherbourg a full thirty hours after my original complaint.
Would I use MSC again?
On an ocean transit, NEVER. The excursion and the sundeck problems would put an end to that. Also on a British / AMerican ship there are far more activities in the event of a crowded deck / inclement weather. MSC did try, but when at the multinational quiz you hear the same question in five languages and lose the will to live. Entertainment also was less to my liking, but the classical concerts were excellent.
On a Med or short cruise. PERHAPS. Given a good itinerary, comfortable cabin, good drinks and reasonable food I might be tempted. But I would be careful to sort out my own excursions before I left home
Excellent cabin. No problems.