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MSC Opera Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
336 reviews
8 Awards
See all photos
Editor Rating
4.0
Very Good
Adam Coulter
Cruise Critic UK Managing Editor

The 2,150-passenger MSC Opera is one of four medium-sized Lirica-class ships, dating from 2004 (the others are Armonia, Lirica and Sinfonia).

Pros

Fun-filled ship with top-notch entertainment, great food and great kids' facilities

Cons

Limited dining options

Bottom Line

With two nights and two days in Havana, this is a real opportunity to discover the Cuban capital

About

Passengers : 2,142
Crew : 800
Passenger to Crew : 2.68:1
Launched : 2004
Shore Excursions : 250

MSC Cruises spent more than $200 million on Opera and the rest of the Mistral class during a two-year refurbishment program in 2014–2015 that saw a nearly 80-foot-long section sandwiched into the middle of each ship. The "stretching" procedure added nearly 200 more cabins -- 94 of which have balconies. During the refurbishment, the line also took the chance to update the spa and childcare facilities, as well as to add an interactive water feature called the Spray Park to the top deck.

The result is a ship that looks and feels contemporary, despite its advanced years. MSC has really thought about what ship would fit best for this Cuba itinerary, and has gone to great lengths to give it a Cuban feel in terms of entertainment and cuisine, as well as some well thought out shore excursions.

Opera does have its limitations, however, not least the crush at peak hours at the buffet and the lack of dining options.

The ship has been homeporting in Havana, Cuba from the winter 2015-16 season, and stays two nights and two and a half days in the Cuban capital, which means you can get a real feel for the city, enjoying its nightspots and -- if you're feeling adventurous -- venturing out to discover other parts of Cuba during the day.

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Opera also stops in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico. Opera was joined by sister ship MSC Armonia in winter 2016.

Fellow Passengers

Opera's demographic is predominantly European, mainly Italian, French and Spanish with a handful of Brits. The line does not operate the "People to People" program, which allows U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba, so there are no Americans onboard. The cultural differences are fascinating and fun; one thing they all have in common is they are there for a good time and the partying goes on till late. You also never know what response your "good morning" will get ... it might be a "Guten tag" or "Buenos Dias," "Buon Giorno" or "Bonjour." That's one of the things that make this ship special, and also means announcements in at least five different languages; sometimes more.

Ages range from families with young kids to seniors with walkers.

MSC Opera Dress Code

There are two formal nights on a seven-night cruise; otherwise, dress during the day is casual and, at night, is country club casual.

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Find a MSC Opera Cruise from $289

More about MSC Opera

Where does MSC Opera sail from?

MSC Opera departs from Venice, Durban, Cape Town, Ancona, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai

How much does it cost to go on MSC Opera?

Cruises on MSC Opera start from $289 per person.

Is MSC Opera a good ship to cruise on?

MSC Opera won 7 awards over the years.
MSC Opera Cruiser Reviews

Dedicated staff despite accident

It has been widely reported in the papers about the MSC Opera accident in Venice. An extremely unfortunate event due to a mechanical failure.... Read More
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Lbsignorelli

2-5 Cruises

Age 50s

Just a good value cruise

The buffers have everything thing you could need The beds are comfortable and bangs fit under the beds This is our second msc cruise and it is just plain good Value When we read the reviews... Read More
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Kenwootton

2-5 Cruises

Age 50s

Party Ship

Before we booked our cruise we looked on various websites for reviews on the Opera but there was not many, and what there was were not very good.... Read More
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Cranleigh Man

6-10 Cruises

Age 70s

Good

That would definitely be a recommendation for MSC to take on board. Positives: rooms are excellent. Lots of hidden space for clothes, which is excellent.... Read More
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ShellyBarb0509

6-10 Cruises

Age 50s

MSC Cruises Fleet
MSC Lirica
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