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

Cuba & Caribbean Cruise

MSC Opera Cruise Review by gskpk

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Aug 2017
  • Destination: Cuba
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview Stateroom

2 weeks cruise with had a very good itinerary inc 4 days in Havana Cuba. Also stops at- Belize City, Roatan Island Honduras, Costa Maya Mexico, Cozumel Mexico, Grand Cayman & Jamaica

We thought Havana Cuba was brilliant and the other destinations were all worth a short visit with some interesting sights inc Mayan Temples.

The itinerary was 4*

The ship however was a weak 3* overall

This was our 5th cruise and had by far the poorest standards compared to any previous cruises

We were a bit worried re cruising in the Caribbean in Sept being their hurricane season and certainly when we found that Hurricane Irma (one of the most powerful ever Atlantic hurricanes) was following part of our route.

Whilst the TV news-feeds gave grave warnings about the potential destruction that this hurricane would bring there was no communication from the ship crew until 2 days before our disembarkation date which we thought was really poor as most passengers were worried.

I did speak to some of the officers when seeing them at a bar but they were dismissive of the danger and said there would be announcements when MSC has some specific info.

We did ascertain that hurricanes move at around 10 to 15 miles per hour and a cruise ship can do 25+ miles per hour so should be able to outrun a hurricane. It would have been nice if the ship had announced this to help unnerve the passengers

MSC did arrange for our return flight to Gatwick to be diverted from Havana (where the hurricane was due to strike on the day of our flight) to Cancun in Mexico

The return journey was however complete chaos where whilst MSC did provide boats to the Mexican mainland then buses to Cancun the only communication was in Spanish after we left the ship. The return journey took 27 hours and we arrived without our luggage.

Of the 500+ passengers departing on our date I think no more than 5% were British.

Most were Spanish & Italian with some German & French- hence the communication difficulties with nobody from MSC coming with us on the journey from the ship to Cancun Airport where we also had no tickets.

We didn't receive a questionnaire after our holiday so I sent in a letter nearly 3 months ago covering many issues on the cruise. I have chased for a response 3 times and each time they advise a full response would be received 'in a few days' but in Mid Dec I still have only received an acknowledgement letter

See below for our ratings

We thought that the entertainment was awful all being dance based with some singing. Like something from a 1970s TV 'Summertime Special@.

Dining varied between good and awful. Evening mealtimes were late at 'Mediterranean' times eg 2nd sitting for dinner allowed entrance to the restaurant at 9.30 so by the time all 10 people had arrived at the table and chosen food it was often 10.30 before the starters were served.Main courses were served between 11 and 11.30. Most days it was after midnight that we left the restaurant.

Staff were generally very pleasant but there were far too few for the number of passengers in all areas inc restaurant, bars, reception etc

gskpk's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Oceanview Stateroom
Cabin O2 8152

Nice cabin with decent space for myself, my wife and daughter

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


See our Trip Adviser review of Havana. We loved it

Altun Ha

Interesting day out with Mayan ruins

View All 187 Altun Ha Reviews

Nice beaches and enjoyed a glass bottom boat over the Coral reef.

Mayan Ruins

Interesting visit to Mayan ruins in the middle of a rain forest although they were little different to those seem a couple of days earlier in Belize

I think these were better and would suggest just doing these ruins unless you have a specific interest in Mayan ruins

We had a torrential tropical storm so would advise taking some rainwear (eg a poncho)

View All 179 Mayan Ruins Reviews

Just a beach type resort. Nothing special.Can swim with dolphins here in a man made lagoon area

Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Interesting only in that it is a major offshore banking base and different from much of the other Caribbean in that it has many modern office buildings for multi national banks, accountants, solicitors etc.

Very flat island

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