MSC Opera Cruise Review by pallascats
- Sail Date: June 2018
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Fantastica Balcony Stateroom
Let's start from the good things:
* cabin: a bit worn out, but extremely clean and confortable, good service and luckily we had a cabin with balcony
* Embarkation: ok genova is a bit messy, but we survived, everything went well, we had our luggage very quickly.
* Entertaiment: the quality of the shows is extremely good and can suit a multicultural audience (a mix of europeans, russians and americans)
* The public rooms and the ship is spotless, extremely clean and you can see staff constantly cleaning
* The Opera is small and its interior decor is nice, classic (a bit retrò) and elegant.
* Ports: there is a MSC shuttle for Palma, Ibiza (13-15 euros), at Marseille, Olbia and Livorno there is a free shuttle that drops you downtown. At Olbia, get the public bus number 40 (5 euros) from the port to go to nice beach Pittolongu. It's worth it!
* The service at bars and cafès was weird, sometimes we had the impression that staff were trainees at their first real work experience. We sat and waited, waited, waited... for 2 espresso!
*Food is free and ther is plenty at any time. Free water is ok, free coffe is bad (for italian standards).
*Dress code: dress as you like, except at dinner time at restaurants where you can't go with a swimming suits and filflops, no particular elegance is required.
Now the bad experience
* food: you find free food everywhere, unfortunately is pretty awful. Everything was either too salty or overspiced, with strange combinations of flavours. Pasta at the buffet was overcooked and full of stuff than no italian would dare to put in a sauce (pesto with seafood and tomatoes??). Desserts too sugary and sweet. Only meat options, pizzas, bread, salads and fruits were good.
The buffet is designed in a irrational way: at peak times you just got stuck in a crowd of people in line (chaotic italian style), staff cleaning dishes and people trying to get out or to find a place to sit.
A better choice for lunch is the restaurant la Caravella, less crowded, slightly better food quality.
At the Restaurant l'Approdo in the evening the dishes were estremely disappointing. Italian classics like lasagne and cannelloni were chewy, salty and had a bad taste. Risotto with porcini mushrooms had no porcini flavour. The "signature dishes" were mostly pretty inedible, let alone international options (chinese, asian or paella - directly from freezer).
The maitre attitude was annoying: we argued on Mychoice option, he didn't let us eat at free dinner time, as stated on the documents, claiming that our travel agency messed up. We discussed quite a lot and in the end we won... no comment..
The waiter's service was slow. Most of the times we arrived at the table and we were left waiting for nearly 30-40 minutes before getting our orders. Sometimes I just wanted to walk out and go to pizza buffet!
* On MSC there is a constant aggressive sales attitude: from the first moment you get onboard, staff tries to sell you beverages packages, excursions, photos.. I was really annoyed by that.
* Day at sea: the ship was packed, so you had to queue everywhere: at the (small) swimming pools, jacuzzi and gym. If you don't like crowds and children screaming and splashing, get a cabin with a balcony and relax there!
Would we go again on a MSC cruise? Only if we get a dirty cheap deal for a balcony cabin (and we bring food from home).
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