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Sail Date: August 2019
This summer we decided, for our vacation, to book a cruise that sailed from Venice, Italy to the Greek islands and back. Leg 1 of our cruise brought us to Kotor in Montenegro. While there we took a guided bus excursion allowing us to ... Read More
This summer we decided, for our vacation, to book a cruise that sailed from Venice, Italy to the Greek islands and back. Leg 1 of our cruise brought us to Kotor in Montenegro. While there we took a guided bus excursion allowing us to see and visit the 5th century town of Budva still surrounded by the original city walls. Right away when walking in you get taken back in time. The ancient city is made up of narrow streets and many churches. Budva is one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic coast. After we visited Budva we returned back towards the port and the old city of Kotor. There we had a short guided tour within the fortified walls of the old city. Breathtaking and worth the visit. The second leg of the cruise brought us to Mykonos. Our first time here and expectations were high. We booked 2 excursions. The first one was an island tour. Like most of the islands in the cyclades group of islands, most of the landscape of Mykonos is dry. Our bus and tour guide took us around the island giving us a chance to capture beguiling views of Mykonos town and the old port, before a scenic route brought us through the picturesque villages of Agios Ioannis and Kalafatis, eventually ending up at Ornos beach. Here we were able to relax and swim for a couple of hours before heading back to the ship. In the evening we returned onto the island. A windmill-dotted landscape, friendly locals and a particularly lively night-time clubbing scene have all gone to make Mykonos the popular holiday destination it is today. For this tour will see you leave the ship, hopon a local, public seabus for a short trip to theold port to enjoy an evening of Greek hospitalityand a light dinner in a restaurant. In addition todelicious local specialities and wine, you willalso get to enjoy a folkloric show while at therestaurant. You can even join in yourself andshake a leg or, if you prefer, simply clap in timewith the music. The tour also includes a guidedwalk around the narrow lanes of Mykonos town, full of whitewashed houses and enclosed gardens. The third leg of our cruise brought us to Santorini. A short tender boat ride from the ship brought us to Athinios port where we will boarded a bus to Oia, a typical Greek village characterized by narrow streets with traditional white churches with blue dome. A picture-postcard vision of the Mediterranean! This village offers a breathtaking viewover the Gulf of Santorini. Following our visit to Oia our bus brought us to Perivolos Beach, a picturesque stretch of black pebbles giving onto the beautiful blue of the Aegean Sea. We stayed about an hour and a half to enjoy beach life. Before embarking back on the bus we had a typical Greek meal at the Kouzina restaurant located along the sea front. The service was great and the food was very tasty. Once back at the port, a boat ride took us back to ou ship. The fourth leg of our cruise took us to Corfu. In the days of ancient Greece, Corfu marked the final stage of the legendary trip made by the mythological Greek god, Odysseus, on hisjourney home to Ithaca. This tour give us a chance to enjoy Corfus lush landscape as we travelled around the island. The excursion included a visit to Achilleions Palace, a beautiful white mansion and the former residence of Queen Elizabeth of Austria who was also known as Sissi. The richly decorated palace is set in pretty gardens overlooking the sea and is dedicated to another hero from Greek mythology, Achilles. Before returning to the port we will also had a chanceto pay Corfu town a brief visit and spend a little free time strolling around. While in Corfu we also visited the Church of Saint Spyridon, a Greek Orthodox church. It was built in the 1580s and houses the relics of Saint Spyridon. Its bell tower is the highest in the Ionian Islands and it is the most famous church in Corfu. The fifth and last leg of our cruise took us to Bari. Here we decided to to discover Bari on our own. We took a little road train tour around Bari’s historical quarter witch gave us a chance to view the local marvellous medieval architecture. We passed by the magnificent Baris old Norman castle for anexternal viewing after visiting the Basilica of St. Nicholas. This church was built in honour of Bari’s patron saint and founded towards the end of the 11th century A.D. The Basilica is an important religious pilgrimage site. Before returning to the ship we had a chance to roam through the little medieval streets where we had a chance to have a refreshment and to buy some souvenirs. With that, we headed back to our ship for the last night of our cruise. We had a great time and would recommend this adventure to anyone. It was great waking up in a different place every day. The MSC crew and staff was amazing. We would like to say a special thanks to Rowena D’Esposito, our guest relation manager, and to Mundir, our cabin attendant. Every one on the ship was great but these two really went out of their way to make sure that we had a great cruise. The buffets and restaurants leave you wanting for nothing. Our cabin was cleaned twice a day, every day. Truly spoiled. There is always something going on all the time. There are numerous lounges with live music and drinks to satisfy all tastes and there is even a great disco for the young and the young at heart. If you like to try your hand at chance, there is also a casino onboard. Every night you can enjoy live shows at the ships theatre. We had a great time and we would sail again with MSC. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Great destinations and most staff. However the ship is a disaster. They spent millions extending the ship when really they should have towed it to the middle of the Atlantic and used it as target practice.... The stairs and lifts are ... Read More
Great destinations and most staff. However the ship is a disaster. They spent millions extending the ship when really they should have towed it to the middle of the Atlantic and used it as target practice.... The stairs and lifts are not logical. Some go all the way some stop a floor before you want and others stop before one before you want to get to.all If you have a window or an inside cabin don’t bother trying to sleep before well after midnight because the noise from discos and bars will definitely keep you awake. Even with the best possible earplugs I can STILL SING ALONG WITH THE MUSIC!! Guest relations offered me €100! So kind.... If I could get a flight home I would. If you have booked change it. If you are thinking about it DONT!! Go on something, anything else. I have done 17 cruises and this is the absolute WORST!! The entertainment crew were certainly enthusiastic. If a little loud, and mostly in Italian..... Dining is fine. Service in the MDR was excellent. The food was ok, portion size was small. One carrot does about three tables, the Buffet was a nightmare!! Pushing, shoving and loud. Forget if you want a table. The coffee was awful too. Thankfully the destinations was fantastic. Mykonos was lovely, Santorini was a bunfight. But the highlight was Corfu town. Lovely and lovely people. A couple of places were tender. A queue was ages but they dealt with it ok and they did use larger tender ships to get us off. A good idea that other cruise companies should adopt. All in all great destinations but a old tug and appalling ship and terrible terrible customer service. My view is the same AVOID even if it was free!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise for a family reunion, with 14 people coming in from 4 different countries across 3 continents. The embarkation process was smooth and we were able to go to the buffet and seat ourselves right away. However, within ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a family reunion, with 14 people coming in from 4 different countries across 3 continents. The embarkation process was smooth and we were able to go to the buffet and seat ourselves right away. However, within the first day, the bathroom in one of our staterooms was clogged right away, and did not get fixed for over 48 hours. Even worse, this was grandma's room - so everyone was upset over this. The pool was rather small and definitely not swimmable -- too many people on the boat overall, so all you could do was really just stand in the water. The buffet was always crowded for all meals, and you had to circle a few times to get any kind of seating, even for 4 people. The pizza place was good and served really good pizza, so we often just went there instead. For dinner, the restaurants had nice wait staff and servers. The food was good, but we have had better on other cruises. The staff on the ship were very nice, but everytime we had issues with room keys, the bathroom repair, the internet, it was obvious that they are severely hampered by management and their policies - with apparently no one on board who could just make an executive decision. The disembarkation process everytime we went to shore and especially on the last day was a mess -- very crowded, unorganized, with everyone lined up for a long time just sweating it out -- they literally turned off the AC on the last day so there was no circulation as we waited over 2 hours to get off the ship. This was our first experience with MSC and sad to say, we will think long and hard before ever going on one of their cruises again. Our family has been on many cruises with different companies in the past - Holland America, Royal Carribean, and Disney -- all of those cruises were by far superior to what we experienced on this cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We often go on different cruise companies, and we have a large experience of service on cruise ships, but we were 1st time on the Opera MSC ship And unfortunately our vacation was very poor :( As soon as we entered the ship, we were ... Read More
We often go on different cruise companies, and we have a large experience of service on cruise ships, but we were 1st time on the Opera MSC ship And unfortunately our vacation was very poor :( As soon as we entered the ship, we were surprised about the small the size of the cabin, although we had a cabin with a balcony, there were not even napkins in the cabin. On the diversity in the restaurant and the buffet, it is better not to remember. The food was from low-quality products and there was no varied choice. Its was no season fruits , except for melons and apples, there was nothing, only apricots were given on the last day Excursions were also not on the high level Where it was possible to stay a little longer, time was abbreviated and one day they just stole from us. We planned this trip mainly because of the city of Mykonos, so this port was canceled altogether and went to another completely un interesting city Chaina The captain's squad referred to bad weather with a storm warning,  although we looked on the Internet, the weather was good everywhere. It was also very economical with parking and time in another port because Chaina was cheaper port than Mykonos The people understand that they not stupid, that on our ship there was an accident on June 2 in the city of Venice and compensation was paid to the people. But we were suffered in the capital, they were saving money on us We decided that we would never again use the services of the company. MSC P.S It was not possible to go out on the balcony and open it, because smoke stood all the time people was smoking on their balconys The administration of the ship did not announced  to prohibit smoking on the balconies, without at all caring for the fire safety of the people and the ship itself. And the night disco started at 9.30 and ended 1.30 -2.00 From loud speakers it was not possible to fall asleep   Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I am writing this review although our cruise did not go as planned. It has been widely reported in the papers about the MSC Opera accident in Venice. An extremely unfortunate event due to a mechanical failure. That being said, I would like ... Read More
I am writing this review although our cruise did not go as planned. It has been widely reported in the papers about the MSC Opera accident in Venice. An extremely unfortunate event due to a mechanical failure. That being said, I would like to commend MSC and it’s Opera staff for working so hard to assist the passengers and create a positive atmosphere. Laura at reception was instrumental in getting us tickets home with a lovely demeanor despite the vitriol of countless cruisers. The housekeeper, Jane, for 10141 was friendly, helpful and went out of her way to make things pleasant. All the staff extended themselves to make everything as comfortable as possible. Kudos to MSc for covering an cost of and making arrangements if one wished to leave early, as well as reimbursing full cost of cruise for all passengers whether they decided to stay on board or not. Also, free Wi-Fi, drinks,, transport to Venice San Marco throughout the day and night. This shows that it knows how to respond d with excellent customer service. The ship, while older, is immaculate and well run. I will cruise with MSC again, despite the accident. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We took this cruise because the itinerary was good, the price was right and it dovetailed with the end of a land tour that we took in Croatia. However, we did not anticipate that the ship would be full of Italians on Easter holiday with ... Read More
We took this cruise because the itinerary was good, the price was right and it dovetailed with the end of a land tour that we took in Croatia. However, we did not anticipate that the ship would be full of Italians on Easter holiday with their children, or that some port and shopping activities would be completely closed due to the holiday. The reviews on MSC Opera are not as bad as some people would lead you to believe. I think probably it's a 3 star overall. The Opera is older and smaller than some and doesn't have the staffing (#s and training ) of Holland America (HAL); however, I would compare it's overall service level to Carnival. CAVEAT : We have 175 days on HAL, so that may "color" some of these comments. THE GOOD: Embarkation in Venice went smoothly; however, we were there early and it would not have been as smooth if we arrived with the crowds because they just didn't have the staff to handle a crush of people. Also, the staff's English is often limited. This was true in MANY aspects of the voyage. The rule: Speak slowly, clearly and make sure that you are understood...Don't assume that because they smiled and nodded their head that they completely comprehended what was said. The Lido restaurant's smaller than some but is able to handle the crowds but you have to know when to eat--"earlier is better than later". The fixed seating restaurants are adequate,but there is a limited "as you wish option ". The service people are sometimes overwhelmed because the waiters handle ALL drink orders and virtually everything is a paid item, even water, coffee and tea--except in the Lido.The food is adequate, sometimes very good, sometimes just OK. There is not the selection as on HAL, and the portions are smaller; however, I never saw anyone go hungry and they seem to be happy to give you double appetizers, entrees and/or desserts. The buffet offered in the Caravelle sit-down restaurant for breakfast and lunch seems to be a little more genteel, but here again, "timing is everything" to avoid crowds. We had a balcony, which was a nice room -- bigger than NCL, but not as big as HAL. The one really funny thing is the size of the shower. If you are approaching 200 lb it's tight. Our cabin steward was from Madagascar and he did everything that was required -- promptly, efficiently, cheerfully, with no complaints. Getting back and forth through the ship requires learning which elevators go all the way to the top and which elevators go all the way down and to what facilities --until you learn this you'll have a fair number of missteps . MSC needs an orientation tour presentation for people who have not sailed with them previously. We had a number of dealings with both Recepton and the Voyagers Club. In ALL instances we were very pleased with the help the we received . We only took one excursion, because MSC excursions are expensive, but we had on board credits to use and that was one of the ways we could use them. We found that most ports were doable on our own,especially with the help of the Rick Steve's Mediterranean Cruise Ports book and the wife's able trip planning. ..It certainly wasn't due to any info that MSC provided. I may do a port-by-port review on the individual ports--time permitting... THE BAD: MSC "nickel 'n dimes" ya for everything. Especially annoying is the charges for beverages (at least for Americans)--it's kinda like paying 1 € to go to the bathroom, while ashore--very European, but annoying. Charging for gelato and cappuccino on an Italian ship is just plain WRONG. Some people were pushy and didn't do lines well...We got used to it (:-). Some kids were often out of control and their parents seem clueless or incapable of making them behave. Eating can be a rugby-style event, if you don't adjust to minimize interaction with the crowds. Entertainment is barely OK--amateur hour in some cases. Good seats are gone, unless you arrive 30 mins early. MSC ties, or is slightly below, NCL and Carnival for the lack of information on ports (though the excursions desk did print out some basic Lonely Planet maps). There are NO programs on anything historical or natural. On sea days, if it's not pool, child, silly games/sports or drinking related it doesn't exist. It seems that they only want to sell over-priced excursions. Speaking of excursions, one of the really annoying things was the fact that they charge for transportation from the dock to the town, even though when they are very nearby. They should provide some sort of Transportation or at least info on alternative methods of transportation because paying anywhere between 8 and 10 €/pp to go in from the port is OBSCENE! ! BIG problem is getting on/off ship--their system is old and slow and they don't have enough people manning the stations, even during daily on/offs. THE UGLY: Final disembarkation was an absolute mess, plus their system denied departure for a number of folks right at the last minute because it thought they hadn't settled their accounts (which they had)...TOTALLY unacceptable! ! PROS: Staff is very friendly and helpful, but ensure they understand EXACTLY what you want. Ship is very clean, rooms are nice (but showers are miniscule). Many bars, lounges and common areas are available (most with live music at nite). Room stewards, waiters and staff are friendly and helpful--willing to meet your needs (as long as they clearly understand what you want). Good ports and good weather made this an overall good cruise...So, other than the disembarking problem this maybe approaches a 3.5 star. BUT, with that problem it falls to a 2 5 star I think MSC may adjust some things to cater to American-habits when it does more sailings from the States, esp with their newer ships--who knows?? BOTTOM LINE: Will I cruise MSC again--PROBABLY?? It depends on the itinerary, price and ship--BUT, never on a major holiday, especially in Europe. "Ya get what ya pay for" and in this case It was worth every penny... Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because of the great ports and we were not disappointed! We loved every place we went and had beautiful weather. We got to Venice several days in advance and took a Viator tour to the Dolmites the day before the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the great ports and we were not disappointed! We loved every place we went and had beautiful weather. We got to Venice several days in advance and took a Viator tour to the Dolmites the day before the cruise. It was incredible and I'd recommend it to anyone who has extra time in Venice and has been to Venice before. We stayed at the Hotel Papadopoli, which was very close to Piazalle Roma and easy to get to with suitcases from the airport bus. It was also very easy to get to the port using the People Mover from that hotel. The hotel is very nice. The room was a good size for Europe and the service was excellent. We never ate at the hotel because their restaurant is very expensive, but there are cheaper restaurants right across the canal from the hotel. The embarkation was OK. We waited in line for about 40 minutes, which wasn't bad. Our balcony room was nice-small, but you don't notice it with the balcony. The ship is very clean, but it was extremely crowded. The food in the buffet and dining room is not great, but the pizza by the pool was outstanding. The shows were fine-average for this kind of cruise. It was very difficult to get off the ship on the two days we had to tender-Kotor and Santorini. We had to stand in a line half-way around the ship to get off when we went to Kotor (and also Corfu, even though we didn't tender), and we got to our excursion (which we organized through Kotor Tours) half an hour late. We took a tour from Koper to Lake Bled and Lbujina (sp.). This was organized through the roll call. Lake Bled was beautiful. We paid to go up to the castle, with beautiful views over the lake. Then we went to Lbujina, the capital city. It's absolutely beautiful and has a castle above it. There is a large pedestrian area and open markets. We enjoyed it even more than Lake Bled. We hadn't organized a tour in Split. When we got off the ship we negotiated a deal with a taxi driver to go to Trogir, which is a beautiful walled town. We were lucky to be there on Easter Sunday. We were in the square in front of the cathedral with all the people with their Easter baskets. It was so beautiful. After Trogir, the driver took us to some Roman ruins outside of Split and then back to the ship. After lunch we walked to the Diocelian Palace and took a walking tour, which was fascinating. The next place was Kotor, Montenegro. Since we'd been there before and had walked through the city and gone to Perast (beautiful), we had organized a private taxi tour to the Ostrog Monastery, which is built in the side of a clifff. Since we couldn't get off the ship on time, this tour was rather rushed due to long distances. It took us almost 2 and a half hours to get to the monastery. The monastery is different from any place we'd ever been. The black-robed monks were guarding the remains of a saint. The Montenegran people are Orthodox and very religious. Then we drove for over an hour to a huge lake where we had a great lunch (included in tour) and then a quick boat trip on the lake before returning to the ship. Contact Kotour Tours for this and other tours. I can highly recommend them. The next day was on the ship. We needed this day because we'd exhausted ourselves with all the touring the previous days. The following day we got to Mykonos. There we just got off the ship and walked, which you can easily do. It's a very pretty island but very crowded and commercial. We walked to the windmills and did a lot of shopping. The following day was Santorini. After our bad experience tendering to Kotor, we decided to take the ship excursion so we could get off as early as possible and see as much as possible. We were only in port from 8 to 2, which isn't long enough for Santorini. We got to Oia and had about an hour and a half there on our own before being taken to a winery for wine tasting and a great view. Then we were return to Fia and had an hour there to shop before returning to the ship on the cable car.. We had to stand in line at the cable car for almost an hour!) Santorini is beautiful and worthwhile, even though we had been before. The following day was Corfu. We hoped to find a tour when we got off the ship, but it was Good Friday in the Orthodox Church, and tours had been suspended. We took a taxi into town and walked into the old town where we saw a very interesting Good Friday procession with a marching band and singers. The old town is pretty, but the fortresses were closed and it was very crowded! The next day was Bari and we had only 5 hours in port, so we took the MSC exucursion to Alberobello. This is a very pretty town and we found it very interesing with the trullo, ,which you won't find other places. The tour guide was not very good and didn't take us inside one, but we saw the inside of several while shopping. Disembarkation in Venice took forever. We had a transfer to the Venice airport for a late flight. We were supposed to meet at 10::30 to get off the ship, but we didn't get off the ship until 12:30. We got to the airport at around 1, had lunch there and then were able to check into our flight. MSC has its faults. They messed up by cruise card twice and I had to keep replacing it because their printer didn't work well, which held me up when I tried to get off and on the ship. Their food is not the best either. However, we are repeat customers because their ships go to great ports and the price is right. Beware of their shuttle fees. They charge more than they need to to get you from the ship to the city. In Corfu they charged 9 euros a piece when we later found there was a free bus! As I said before, the food was just OK. The service in the dining room was usally good. We were signed up for one table, but when we got to the table the couple there refused to sit with anyone else (they were Chinese), so we ended up getting moved to another table by ourselves that had better service. The buffet was always very crowded and the choice at breakfast was very poor, so we tried to eat breakfasts in the dining room, where it was partially a buffet, but we could get omelets. Most of the people working on MSC were very nice. We just had problems with the administration, as we were supposed to receive some free drinks with the package we booked, and we had to spend the first 2 days going to the reception and proving that we were sent a confirming e mail about the drinks before we finally got the drink vouchers. If I hadn't printed up the confirmation, we wouldn't have gotten anything. Then they made a mistake on my cruise card because their printer wasn't working and I had to go back to the reception 3 times before getting a cruise card that worked. The faulty cruise card delayed my getting on and off the ship. I received 2 massages at the spa which were fine. The spa on Opera doesn't have a nice thermal area (no jacuzzi), so I didn't sign up for that. The shows were OK. There was one comedian who performed twice who was good the first time and OK the second. Most of the shows were the same singers and acrobats. The acrobats were excellent, the female singer was good, but the male singer was just OK, so we skipped several of those shows. We didn't participate in any of the other activities on board because we were very busy at the ports. We will probably go on MSC again because we like their routes. Just don't expect luxury or pampering. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We decided on this cruise as a sudden addition to our bucket list - Havana (Cuba), St Marteen, Antigua, Madera - all in one sweep. Getting through Havana airport was an exceptional experience and one not to be glamorised in any way. We ... Read More
We decided on this cruise as a sudden addition to our bucket list - Havana (Cuba), St Marteen, Antigua, Madera - all in one sweep. Getting through Havana airport was an exceptional experience and one not to be glamorised in any way. We arrived at the ship quite late went through the obligatory photograph, not much in the way of a welcome, collected our cards then straight to our cabin and bed. Next day in Havana was pretty good - we did our own thing, a morning and afternoon tour is separate old American cars for a lot less than the ship organised tour. We then spent a day at sea before arriving in St Marteen, again our own thing - a short walk into town then a bus to Maho beach where we were delighted to lots of low flying landing aircraft and got severely sandblasted by a big 757 taking off, culminating in a dip in the Caribbean sea before another bus ride back to town and a walk around the shops. Off to Antigua, it was Sunday and everything was closed so really a wasted day, all that was on offer was a taxi tour around the island. Now 6 days to cross the Atlantic, when the weather was good we could sun bathe and swim but as we sneaked further north the weather changed and we were forced to stay inside with limited options on suitable activities. At a certain time during the day there was only one internal bar open for the serving of coffee and naturally it was full. Funchal was next and not much to say here but a Sunday and not much open, then off to Malaga and some terrible weather through the Straight of Gibraltar with very high seas and extremely strong wind rendering damage to the ship and meaning we arrived late, then again some very high winds onward to Alicante again arriving late. To be fair the ship handled the rough weather well and was relatively smooth. The disembarkation at Alicante was an absolute disaster. We were told to gather in the theatre and consequently only received instructions in German, I checked the queue it was moving and getting shorter so without waiting for whatever non information was to be forthcoming decided to join the queue and get off the ship. As we had a balcony "Fantastica" cabin we were allocated the L'Approda restaurant. The menu was quite restricted and indeed required us to order McDonalds style chips every night. We were offer an option of a backed potato but only if ordered the previous evening - when it arrived it was just about cooked, not soft and fluffy or hard and inedible but certainly not fully cooked, similar can be said of a chicken kiev, only just cooked, not totally as would be expected with chicken. There were complaints made by other diners to the Maitre'd about the limited menu which was basically met with a shoulder shrug. The table waiting staff were very very attentive and friendly, I cannot say a bad word about them. We were on a drinks package thankfully. The printed cost of a "Gin and Tonic was 6€, this was the price charged in some bars, inothere the charge was for a 'Gordons' @ 6.50€ plus tonic???. On an occasion I ordered a @Vodka Martini and my wife a Bellini, the waiter returned with a Martini and advised that Bellini's were not available?? I returned my drink and my wife advised him that Bellini's were available as a cocktail, he returned with the Bellini and a vodka and water - agh, third attempt say me receiving a Morgans and coke???? - it was now so late I had lost the will and went to bed. I had little reason to approach the reception desk - thankfully - when I did to advise them of a potential medical problem I was met with an "I don't care" shoulder shrug. When it came to closing my credit card I was advised to return to the desk no less than three times. so not at all impressed with the unfriendly reception staff. The entertainment team worked very hard to keep guests amuse and some of the evening antics in the Piazza di Spagna were hilarious, This bar needed more staff to deal with the number of revellers as at times it was very difficult to get a drink.The theatre shows were of a high standard but way to high brow and classical themed, there were a few more light hearted entertaining evenings and the contortionists were incredible. A cruise once done not to be repeated, a class of ship that I shall avoid in future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise as it sailed from Havana and we disembarked in our home province of Alicante so we got to see Havana and the Caribbean with no jet lag! The cabin (inside fantastica) was spacious and airy due to the clever use of ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it sailed from Havana and we disembarked in our home province of Alicante so we got to see Havana and the Caribbean with no jet lag! The cabin (inside fantastica) was spacious and airy due to the clever use of mirrors. Plenty of wardrobe space and room to move around. The entertainment team were great. Not to everyone’s taste I get that but the ship was big enough to avoid them if it’s not your thing. We were just observers most of the time but they were very enthusiastic and obviously enjoyed what they were doing which was infectious. The ship is dated especially with regard to the technology available but the ship is now in dock for an upgrade. All the personnel were very friendly and helpful. My only disappointment was the limited choice and sometimes the quality of the food. Also, due to translation issues you were never quite sure what you were going to get! That said,wonderful fresh pasta and pizza were always available, unfortunately salad consisted of lettuce and not much else! The bars all had different genres of music, something to suit most people and there was never really a scramble for seats or even sun beds as long as other passengers were being sensible and considerate. We started off with my husband saying he thought this would be our last cruise and finished it looking forward to booking another one soon. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, especially for Cuba. We had 3 chances to go ashore at Havana and it exceeded our expectations. The cabin was nice with large window and our cabin steward was excellent at all times. We had ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, especially for Cuba. We had 3 chances to go ashore at Havana and it exceeded our expectations. The cabin was nice with large window and our cabin steward was excellent at all times. We had breakfast and lunch in the self=service restaurant, no problem there, except it was always so crowded. Our evening meal was in the Caravella restaurant. Our waiter was excellent, but seemed to be rushed off his feet looking after several tables at once, hence there was often a big delay and long wait for the food to arrive. The starters and desserts were reasonable but the main courses were not very good. I had to look at the menu several times and just decided on a starter as the quality of the food was very poor. We ordered wine with the meal every night and duly signed the receipts. Fortunately, we kept the receipts, because on getting a print=out of the bill, three times we had been charged in excess of the wine we had ordered and signed for. Each time we had to go and queue at Reception for it to be resolved and always without an apology. I also had a tour added to my bill which I had not booked, this was duly removed. If I had left checking the bill to the last day, there would not have been enough time to rectify it, as there were queues of people waiting at reception. Also, the practise of reserving sun beds still carries on. it was very difficult to get a sunbed as so many were reserved with towels on them. The dress code was not adhered to. On the "Select" nights, most men still wore open neck shirts and I noticed two men wearing baseball caps back to front. Do people not like to dress for dinner anymore !! I have travelled with Cunard, P & O, Fred Olsen and Maritime Cruises in the past, all were excellent. We did enjoy the cruise generally, especially the entertainment. The Opera group were brilliant, both for the operatic shows and the "west end shows". All were brilliant vocalists and a pleasure to watch and listen to. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Review - Cabin 9004, MS Opera I approached this cruise with some trepidation, I’d read dozens of negative - some scathing - reviews of the MS Opera here on Cruise Critic. I figured that there were more than fifty negative reviews ... Read More
Review - Cabin 9004, MS Opera I approached this cruise with some trepidation, I’d read dozens of negative - some scathing - reviews of the MS Opera here on Cruise Critic. I figured that there were more than fifty negative reviews for a ship that carries over two thousand passengers a week, I’d brazen it out. I was pleasantly surprised. My cabin steward was cheerful and friendly, despite working stupidly long hours. My cabin was always spotless, serviced morning and evening. I read complaints that the MS Opera was looking tired and poorly maintained; I saw no evidence of that. Instead I saw crew members tirelessly painting and polishing the ship. Similarly, I’ve read negative comments about the waiting and bar staff. I’ll deal with them separately if I may., Waiting staff in the main dining room and buffet - I could not fault the waiting staff in either. They were always attentive and eager to serve, with a smile, even the most challenging passengers I experienced. Bar staff - a slightly different matter, in the bars I visited - and I tried most - the staff did their best to service customers although, to be honest, a few more bar staff would have not gone amiss, particularly at the ‘Spinnaker’ bar on the pool deck on ‘sea days’ or sailaway parties. Service improved markedly when more senior staff appeared on deck. On occasion I sent cocktails back, as there was little evidence of the purported spirits I have also read criticisms of the food. I tried the buffet restaurant, the burger and pizza offerings, while I enjoyed dinner and breakfast most days in the ‘La Caravella’ restaurant, on a Deck 5 at the aft of the ship. Some have complained about cold food, I never experienced that, and while the portions weren’t huge, there was always the opportunity to ‘top up’ - the ‘Caribbean Selections’ offered would be three prawns/shrimp or scallops - tasty but not exactly filling. Towards the end of the cruise several diners on my table ordered multiple main courses. I can, however, recommend the ‘Eggs Benedict’ at breakfast time in ‘La Caravella’. Back to the burgers and pizza, no complaints there, several people I spent time praising both - while they sitting writing lists of complaints about other features of the cruise. Entertainment - the evening shows in the theatre range from cheesey (Dirty Dancing), worthy (Opera and violin recitals) through to exciting (flamenco) and bizarre (acrobats). Daily entertainment in the pool area near the ‘Spinnaker’ bar was ‘Hi Di Hi’ type games during the day, while in the evenings the ‘bands’ were overly loud, it was difficult to hold a conversation anywhere near. On board internet is expensive, but it worked most of the time, there were times of increased contention when response times became unacceptable. Reasonable, but could do better. Overall, while others sat comparing MSC unfavourably to Royal Caribbean or P&O, I quite enjoyed the ship. Yes there are areas that could be improved, but most travellers had a great time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
It started with the farcical embarkation protocols they have in place at Cozumel, Mexico. Their documentation states boarding is from 12 noon. We arrived to find a line of people on the pavement of s busy road. One person was trying to ... Read More
It started with the farcical embarkation protocols they have in place at Cozumel, Mexico. Their documentation states boarding is from 12 noon. We arrived to find a line of people on the pavement of s busy road. One person was trying to check people’s information and the line just continued to grow and spill out onto the street. Why only one person ??? Once we got through that road block we were directed to go through to the dock where 4 more people finished the check in process but then we still couldn’t board until 1.30pm. What a shambles. The disappointment continued. Our cabin was tiny. A lot of the staff were very disinterested with a few exceptions, the worst being on the service desk. The food was mediocre and the Entertainment even worse. Some of the public areas including the library stink of cigar smoke. Everything from drinks to excursions are priced exorbitantly in Euros. We found the food in the dining room uninspiring except for the formal night when the kitchen seemed to have made an effort. The fact that they charged even for ordinary water in the dining room as well as in our cabin seemed petty. The entertainment onboard was definitely B grade compared to other cruises we have been on. Their version of Masterchef was boring. The same few old movies were looped continuously on the TV in our cabin. The library stank of cigar smoke. Except for Havana which was a wonderful place to visit, the other ports were pretty boring unless you are a water baby who loves the sun and surf. The only reason to subject yourself to this cruise line is they are the only ones that offer a 2 night stopover in Havana, Cuba and that was worth putting up with the rest.started with the farcical embarkation protocols they have in place at Cozumel, Mexico. Their documentation states boarding is from 12 noon. We arrived to find a line of people on the pavement of s busy road. One person was trying to check people’s information and the line just continued to grow and spill out onto the street. Why only one person ??? Once we got through that road block we were directed to go through to the dock where 4 more people finished the check in process but then we still couldn’t board until 1.30pm. What a shambles. The disappointment continued. Our cabin was tiny. A lot of the staff were very disinterested with a few exceptions, the worst being on the service desk. The food was mediocre and the Entertainment even worse. Some of the public areas including the library stink of cigar smoke. Everything from drinks to excursions are priced exorbitantly in Euros. The only reason to subject yourself to this cruise line is they are the only ones that offer a 2 night stopover in Havana, Cuba and that was worth putting up with the rest. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We originally chose this cruise for late 2019 purely on its itinerary but they cancelled it on us. We then had to search and rebook, having to bring the trip forward as well as carefully choosing a cabin on a deck that would have a good ... Read More
We originally chose this cruise for late 2019 purely on its itinerary but they cancelled it on us. We then had to search and rebook, having to bring the trip forward as well as carefully choosing a cabin on a deck that would have a good view from the balcony close to a lift which would be near the buffet restaurant as my wife and I have difficulty walking. We were downgraded to a lower deck at the other end of the ship. The corridor had a serious sinkhole under the carpet which tripped me up. The corridor also had steps under the carpet due to differing heights of the floor levels. We could not have a move as the cruise was fully booked. No discount for being downgraded. The breakfast restaurant had one broken toaster for one piece at a time. (they only cost $20!) Toast was not fresh as they left slices baking under a heat lamp which baked them so hard that I broke a tooth which I later lost. They took no responsibility. Coffee mugs had stained cracks and chips. I'd only been to the dentist the week before! To say the balconies were spacious is ridiculous as the chairs were so big there was no space to get on to it. (Just over a metre deep!) OK for children. The cabin was tatty and needed repairs which I was able to do myself being an engineer. The evening tour in Cuba was good and the shows were also good though the volume between singers and instruments controller was upside down. (Kid's!) Overall our worst cruise due to being messed around. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We have done 35 cruises with 6 different cruise lines and over 700 nights at sea, and this was the first and last cruise with MSC. WHAT A DISASTER! Our safety and health were seriously at risk with MSC. On every other cruise every ... Read More
We have done 35 cruises with 6 different cruise lines and over 700 nights at sea, and this was the first and last cruise with MSC. WHAT A DISASTER! Our safety and health were seriously at risk with MSC. On every other cruise every guest getting on the ship and at every port, also at the entrance to all the restaurants, had to have hand sanitiser on their hands, NOT MSC. Hygiene was shocking. I dropped the food tongs on the floor accidentally and one of the staff picked them up and put them back on top of the food!! Guests and staff were allowed to handle food and return it back for others to take. Guests were also allowed to smoke right next to food service areas by the pool. With regards to safety, the lifeboat drill was a total fiasco, and all they seemed to care about was for the photographers to go round taking photos of guests wearing their lifejackets that they could buy, even though the guests were told not to wear them for the drill. We did not hear any instructions regarding the abandon ship procedure, and there were definitely not enough staff instructing guests on not to use lifts and to ensure they were directed to the correct muster stations. Our balcony door was broken and allowed to rattle all night for the first 10 nights, keeping us awake, and only after numerous complaints for it to be repaired they eventually came and bodged it. There were also several extra large shattered windows around the ship that were not repaired the whole time we were on the ship. MSC advertised a ‘Power Walking Track’, this was a lie, no track and the deck where it was supposed to be just cluttered with sun beds. They advertised broadway style shows and spectacular shows. Entertainment was well below standard, even the main theatre shows did not have live bands, just music backing tracks. It was the worst entertainment we have ever seen, what a let down. Food was well below standard, buffet selection very limited and food was not hot and the worst we have eaten anywhere. We had stomach upsets for the entire duration of the cruise. Service was exceptionally poor and staff just could not care less. There were a lot of people ill on the cruise, which was not surprising as the food and hygiene was shocking. NEVER AGAIN WITH MSC, What a total waste of money. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Chose this cruise for the Havana Stay and that didn’t disappoint but MSC Opera did! The ship looks good, clean and well kept public areas. Our cabin was ocean view fantastica experience, cabin was small but had plenty of storage ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the Havana Stay and that didn’t disappoint but MSC Opera did! The ship looks good, clean and well kept public areas. Our cabin was ocean view fantastica experience, cabin was small but had plenty of storage space, bed was comfortable (still not sure fantastica means.) Dining - breakfast in dining room and in buffet both poor - cold eggs, cold bacon and the same everyday. Dinner - in main dining room service was good Rene & Louis did their best, but the quality of the meals was disappointing... every salad was serve soaking wet, moussaka had no aubergine, spicy Carribean pork had no flavour (considering one of our ports was Montego Bay you think they could have pick up some seasoning.) Only the fresh pasta and pizza dishes were well prepared and tasty, but on last day there were no dried chillis - and when asked the servers in pizzeria just shrugged. Service - most of the staff looked exhausted and they seemed very overworked (I’m an experienced cruiser and have spoken to staff on other cruise lines, yes I know they all work hard) but, we were told of 14 hr days, with few days off during a nine month contract. So service with a smile happened very rarely. Entertainment- I found the stage shows to be okay, the acrobats were very good. Considering that they needed to make it appealing in any language. Activities - the amination team dressed up and jumped around a lot. We enjoyed the jazz style guitarist. Spa - had 2 steam rooms, 2 saunas but they were both for male and females ? Not idea why not for single sex use. Spa services overpriced as usual. Gym equipment old, and poorly maintained. No I would not go again, food offerings poor, no wow factor. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We took a cHavana cruise on dec 2018 starting and ending in Havana. As the trip included new-years eve it was very expensive. As we entered the ship we immediately understood that it was a big mistake - you will see why: 1. ... Read More
We took a cHavana cruise on dec 2018 starting and ending in Havana. As the trip included new-years eve it was very expensive. As we entered the ship we immediately understood that it was a big mistake - you will see why: 1. Onboarding The ondoarding process is all on paper, No sea-pass or Card that is actiavted once you are registered. That has to be done on a Kiosk - so you have to queueu. We had booked a Wellness package with a bootle of champaign on the first day and water every day in our room. Of Course it did NOT work. The Steward did not know what that was and argued that it would NOT be part of the package. After goind the the documents we luckily had printed and two days of discussions we had been granted it. OK, that is not important one migth think, but why dod you have to argue for items that hed been sold? 2. Cleanness The cabin was dirty, bathroom full of hairs (we had to clean it) and there had been no soap or shampoo. The buffet area is very, very veeery dirty - I mean dirty!!! The flow is flled with French fries, sodas, water - all Kinds of stuff. You Need to clean your shoes when you leave the buffet. 3. Size of the cabin The cabind are very small, the balcony is 4' x 10' so that only 2 persons can sit on a chair. Having regular breakfast here is very difficult as the small table provides space for two cups and two plates only . 4. Food This is one of the worst parts. Niot only that they do NOT use any seasoning it also is either warm or cold. A medium steak is well done and dry. The bread was rotten - you could NOT eat it 5. Entertainment If you are used to modern Entertainment - bad luck for you. You will be listening to east-europe-trying-accent Songs or classic opera. That is basically it. If you are lucky you have a fairly good salsa band in one of the bars. 6. Complaints. You may try - it will not change anything and the staff will avoid you. We felt sorry for the People that performed as they had been frustrated by their Management. Summary: We paid a hell lot of money or the worst cruise ever. I have lost 6 pounds, had lack of sleep and can only warn you: If you are used to NCL, RCCL or Celebrity do NOT take MSC!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We booked this cruise for our honeymoon which wasn't even acknowledged. We were very disappointed. I got food poisoning on my third day on the ship. I only ate on board so it was definitely from the ship and I had also seen people ... Read More
We booked this cruise for our honeymoon which wasn't even acknowledged. We were very disappointed. I got food poisoning on my third day on the ship. I only ate on board so it was definitely from the ship and I had also seen people prior to me getting sick walking around with bandages covering where drips had to be inserted for people who had food poisoning. The ship did not enforce the use of the hand santizers. People just walked past the staff spraying them. I had to remain in my room for 24 hours and was given 45€ credit as I was cabin bound. I therefore missed a hole day of my honeymoon and wasn't right for a good few days after. When we approached reception at the end of our stay we produced the letter stating we has 45€ credit due to me being sick which we received from the doctors surgery on board. We had so much hassle to get it honoured with the reception staff stating they had never seen it before. This wasn't our first time dealing with reception staff we had to deal with them on our second day on board as our card had ran out of money. We had a total of €80 gratitudes by day two which can be paid at your own discretion ...we dread to think what our bill would of been by the end of the week. We also had to deal with them as our Wi-Fi package wasn't working. The female staff at reception were so rude and so unhelpful. Our cabin attendant on floor nine was an absolute pain. He thought nothing of knocking on our door at 10-11 pm at night. The entertainment was awful. The acrobats were good but that was about it. The excursions on board were very expensive too. We would not recommend this ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Not really impressed with MSC Opera, so I would not recommend it to any of my friends. “Anytime Dining” means 8.30pm – any other time seemed to be an inconvenience (fortunately we were not assigned to one of the two sittings for ... Read More
Not really impressed with MSC Opera, so I would not recommend it to any of my friends. “Anytime Dining” means 8.30pm – any other time seemed to be an inconvenience (fortunately we were not assigned to one of the two sittings for evening meals – 15 minutes late and you are turned away). Average staff member was good, but the more senior ones have the poorest customer facing skills. Best avoid the Maitre d’ and his second-in-command in the fifth deck restaurant who both have severe attitude problems towards their customers. Some good meals served, but mostly average and very small portions. Carvery in buffet area good. The picture of the burger shown above the counter bears no resemblance to the inedible pile of stodge served up. Only four running machines in the gym – one of which was out of order much of the time. Constant nagging to buy additional packages and massages. Coffee poor across the ship poor, except for the speciality coffee shop on the 5th deck. Can take a long time to disembark The balcony cabins seem to creak when the boat is in motion. Toilet flush was intermittent. An erroneous charge of nearly 100UKP on our credit charge bill was removed after waiting for nearly two hours. No apology; just advised that the bill had been corrected. In fact, “sorry” does not seem to be in their vocabulary even when a member of the crew rams your ankle with a large trolley. One member of the Excursions team simply ignored us as we spoke in English. You must pick a room away from the noisy pool deck and nightclub – we were lucky here. Look after the table football ball – there is a 30 Euro fine if you lose it. Whilst it is obviously challenging to get any internet service whilst at sea, it is pointless paying for other than the basic social apps service – no signal and interruptions prevent you using your allowance. The other liners we docked against just looked so much smarter........ Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Our first cruise, we knew we were compromising some of the things we had been tipped off about, but wanted to spend time in Havana over the Xmas holidays. You don’t have to fly with MSC via Madrid, we booked directly with Virgin. ... Read More
Our first cruise, we knew we were compromising some of the things we had been tipped off about, but wanted to spend time in Havana over the Xmas holidays. You don’t have to fly with MSC via Madrid, we booked directly with Virgin. Generally we were pleased. The ship was very clean, some of the staff delightful and food and drink packages good value, although by the end of the cruise we couldn’t face another 3/5 course dinner or cooked breakfast ☺️ We didn’t appreciate the ship did a bi weekly round trip, although it gave us plenty of time in Havana. Belize was charming, Roatan an experience, but Cozumel is a dump, it didn’t help that our trip to the pearl farm was cancelled - apparently due to possible storm - and we didn’t look forward to returning the next week! I wouldn’t get off the boat again! MSC should rethink, especially with such little time spent in the Cayman Islands. Costa Maya was much more pleasant. Montego Bay is nothing special! Our waiting staff Sunny and Analise were a delight and our cabin attendant John was very efficient keeping our room clean with fresh towels daily. Some of the reception staff and one of the Maitre Ds were quite abrupt, not handling our issues terribly well. Another receptionist Patricia was excellent. It felt as though the Italian guests were more favoured. We saw a couple of shows which were entertaining but didn’t care for all the noise and activities around the pool. Xmas songs were played constantly throughout the trip! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Saw this 2 week cruise as a deal before Christmas. Unusual itinerary so decided to go. Where to start!? We flew to Cuba on Air Europa, via Madrid. Never again...a party plane, with duty free booze on sale, with the obvious results and ... Read More
Saw this 2 week cruise as a deal before Christmas. Unusual itinerary so decided to go. Where to start!? We flew to Cuba on Air Europa, via Madrid. Never again...a party plane, with duty free booze on sale, with the obvious results and no interference from the crew...they hid! Opera was a huge disappointment. Multi lingual, very noisy, and lots of other nationalities, Spanish and Mexican especially, for whom it seemed this was their first cruise and who were determined to enjoy everything on offer to the detriment of other passengers. Corridor noise was an on-going problem. Evening theatre entertainment was spoiled by constant noise. The volume level around the ship was higher than on any others we have cruised!! Opera itself was hugely expensive...ships tours extortionate, alcohol for sale on board was 3 times the prices ashore! Everything on the ship seemed geared to getting money...tips expected, and asked for, everywhere. The staff rarely cracked a smile...there was an on-going challenge to make the security guards at the head of the gangplank grin just once...failed! Reception was hopeless---it took 5 visits and 2 safe changes before a working one was produced. Food in the restaurant was often cold, repetitive and orders were mixed up, with the staff then arguing that the meal presented was what we had ordered! The buffet was a permanent scrum, with hand sanitiser occasionally available. Milk, coffee, butter, menu items, ran out and were not replaced, despite officers walking around supposedly checking for potential problems! Time and motion did not exist. What other ship has the captain trying to sell ship's tours on his midday report? The ship picks up and puts down people in all ports visited. And it took 3 different safety drills to get one lot of a new intake of passengers to attend. On previous ships we have been aware of recalcitrant non-attendees being brought before the captain, and in one instance thrown off the ship! Basically this is an Italian ship, with a multi-lingual crew, (impressive, but generally unhelpful),who operate to a Mediterranean standard. The shows are geared to a multi-lingual audience - one 45 minute slot each night for pure opera and 2 singing and dancing shows. That means no lectures, no bridge, no singles support, no quizzes etc etc...anything which necessitates a specific. language. There were about 20-30 other Brits on this cruise,and they all said "never again". Having cruised over 40 times with various companies, we have learned our lesson, and will now avoid MSC generally Write another review Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Beds are comfortable and the room was very clean. Elias who was our cabin steward was very friendly and helpuful. Too bad the rest of the cruise crew had a terrible attitude, they were all super rude. The food at the buffet was ok, but ... Read More
Beds are comfortable and the room was very clean. Elias who was our cabin steward was very friendly and helpuful. Too bad the rest of the cruise crew had a terrible attitude, they were all super rude. The food at the buffet was ok, but they don’t serve a lot of options. The restaurant food was terrible, bland and small servings. The staff at the restaurant was super rude, and had a terrible artitude, up to the point we avoided asking for things. If you have a food intolerance forget about this cruise, they don’t take questions about what they are serving. We traveled with 3 adults on wheelchairs and they had a lot of trouble moving with them around the ship because cleaning carts blocked the hallways and we got yelled at when we tried to move them. One of the elevators did not work for almost 2 days and that one was the one we could reach. We asked for assistance and they completetly ignored us and they told us “we didn’t need the service” I wouln’t recommend this cruise if you have trouble moving arround. The entertainment was poor, and we could hear the music in our cabin until 1 am. Overall I think this cruise was way too expensive for the service and quality of meals. I wouldn’t recommend this ship to anyone unless you want to pay to get yelled at. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose the Cruise as it fitted in with the UK school 1/2 term and was going to some interesting ports. We booked over a year in advance, big mistake, the flights got altered leaving us with a 2.5 hour transfer by coach each way. No ... Read More
We chose the Cruise as it fitted in with the UK school 1/2 term and was going to some interesting ports. We booked over a year in advance, big mistake, the flights got altered leaving us with a 2.5 hour transfer by coach each way. No negotiation, no alternative except to lose our deposit and rebook doing our own flights. By the time they announced the flight details the cost of flights had risen and little was available, leaving us with no option but to continue. Not a good start, a delayed flight and by the time we arrived to check in after a 2 1/2hr transfer and a less than smooth airport transfer to the coach even the photographer had gone home. Which was just as well as we where wet and bedraggled having had to paddle from the bus to the embarkation desks, we were nearly 3 hours late. Next they some how managed to transfer our 2 bags to the other MSC ship departing that day. We did alert them as to not having our bags before we left port and by 10.30pm it was apparent they had no idea where they where. Next morning we where told they were not on board either ship and were searching the port(we had had a MSC transfer from Nice to Genoa). Nothing offered apart from emergency wash bag, male briefs and socks. There was nothing in the onboard shop of any use, so we headed to the nearest shopping mall at the first port of call for basic essentials for our party of 3. On arrival back on board the HRO had us escorted to her office and told us the bags were on the other ship and we would get our bags in 2 days. No apology, and she would not sanction our meagre purchases of 3 t shirts a pack of ladies pants, 2 bra's, swim shorts, costume, 1 pair of activity sandals and 2 pairs of trainers, 2 pairs of chino for my husband and son plus a European usb charger so we could charge a phone and a stick deodorant to share. I could not find a change of trousers so was left with little choice but to continue to wear my jeans. The bags turned up late morning of our 4th day. Some of the clothes stained from being left wet from the rain at the port. The ship rolled quite badly even though the sea was not that bad. It was made worse by the cabin ceiling creaking and groaning with each roll. The extra equipment for the table tennis, table football and crazy golf on decks 11 and 12 was held on deck 5. It would be so much more user friendly to have it at a nearby bar. There was only 1 set for the crazy golf too. Our Excursions; 1st trip was cancelled no explanation and was refunded to our account not to the credit card it was booked with, the second trip itinerary was changed but we where not told until the coach had set off. We only got to the 1992 lava flow site rather than much further up Etna which was hugely disappointing. We had only booked 2 trips as we felt the quality on offer was not that good, very limited. We arranged our own trip to Herculaneum while in Naples, a car transfer that went very smoothly and despite the rain was a good trip. The timings of the arrival in Valletta was very poor. We arrived at 3pm, the Cathedral and other attractions all closed 4.30-5pm. No thought had gone into the excursions, which we had not booked in any case. Sightseeing in the dark and it was pouring with rain again. We did see the evening Gun Salute from the battery which was good. Food; not great, cool to luke warm in both restaurant and buffet. Dinner, a strange variety of menu combinations, mostly was fairly tasteless with small portions in the restaurant and a distinct lack of vegetables or a salad course. Lunch was mostly the same fare every day. The only exception was roasted veal one lunchtime in the buffet which made a good hot sandwich.The Pizza was also OK but very busy and if you wanted salad with it you had to brave the main buffet or paddle to the burger bar on the opposite side of the ship. The buffet was manic, no table space at meal times and often only 1 side open towards the end of service. We ended up getting room service breakfast as it was the only way to be able to eat without a struggle, the 'hot' breakfast options just were not worth the fight. Even in the dining room getting tea was not easy and cold milk for it even harder. the food was buffet but the hot drinks waiter service. The only cold milk was on the buffet but no spare cup or glass to be had to help yourself. With room service we had to ask twice for cold milk even when cereal was on the order. The main buffet coffee was either stewed or cold/empty. The hot water dispenser max temp 79C, not hot enough for a tea and the orange juice was just horrible, decent juice is not hard to do. A fresh squeezed one I saw at the juice bar was 5euro. The water dispensers were luke warm and at least 1 ice dispenser not working. There were often no cups/mugs to be had either. We were on Aurora package that was an all inclusive drinks package but we only saw 1 red, drinkable, 1 white, not great and 1 rose served with meals. Only 1 bar open in the day, we never saw the crepe station open. They ran out of English tea on day 4 in the buffet. Big complaint to customer services, by the next evening they had restocked. Very few people were using the hand sanitizers and it was not being enforced. The lift buttons and stair hand rails were all sticky and grubby. The pizza area and bar on deck 11 flooded and was covered in water most days. The only way to get to the buffet without wet feet was to walk down to the rear most lift/stairwell inside the ship before going up. Our teenager never found the relevant program of kids entertainment. We culminated our holiday by being first off the ship at 9 am, another 2.5 hours by coach back to Nice airport for a 6 hour wait for a 6pm flight back to London Heathrow. All in all an experience not to be repeated. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
The actual cruise with MSC was lovely but not sure I would be confident in booking with them again due to appalling customer service and organisation. Firstly MSC cancelled our cruise saying they would reimburse us for expenses in ... Read More
The actual cruise with MSC was lovely but not sure I would be confident in booking with them again due to appalling customer service and organisation. Firstly MSC cancelled our cruise saying they would reimburse us for expenses in reorganising our holiday around the new cruise dates. In the end they refused to reinburse for all our out of pocket expenses. They only paid us for two nights non refundable hotel bookings but of course as we were booking hotels later in the year the price had gone up and we ended up having to pay this expense ourselves so we could still have our holiday. Embarkation was awful. We were kept waiting in the hot sun for over an hour after the time we were told that embarkation would start. Disembarkation was equally disorganised and no one actually seemed to know anything about what was happening. We also booked a quite expensive excursion which did not materialise as to the description. Only half of the excursion took place and was cut short early. Again MSC refused to reimburse us for the portion of the excursion that did not materialise. The actual cruise was lovely. Contary to some reviews, the boat was in good condition and appeared well maintained. Our cabin was very clean and had plenty of storage. The bed was very comfortable.The cabin steward did a very good job of tidying our cabin. The food was excellent and very good service by staff. There was plenty of choices at lunch and dinner. We particularly enjoyed afternoon tea and the ice cream bar. The gym was ok but some of the machines would benefit from updating. We also enjoyed the dance lessons on deck. It was a shame that the experience was marred by awful customer service. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I have a child and this cruise offered interesting places, at the right time, offering a kids club.. While the rooms were clean and neat and the food ok, the real downside was our noisy cabin right above a night club disco. They ... Read More
I have a child and this cruise offered interesting places, at the right time, offering a kids club.. While the rooms were clean and neat and the food ok, the real downside was our noisy cabin right above a night club disco. They were unable to move anyone and as the bass was so strong and volume so loud I tried to have the music level lowered. There was lip service paid to my complaint, however on the second night I did have an ‘audience’ with the cruise customer service manager. For that night only the music was turned down. Then the next night up again. While asking numerous times to turn it down, this did not happen. Spoilt the cruise for me entirely... ‘yes madam’ ‘yes’ and then not being heard. My child had a great time with the lovely staff at mini club. Internet service was poor. I paid a lot of money for premium internet but audio and video were not available. It ran out quickly and the fine print tells you to stop it if you don’t want your allowance to run out. Then when it didn’t work again I was pressured into paying for more.. ended up costing about 150 euros fir 5 days... felt ripped off... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My husband and I booked this cruise Aug 28-Sept 7 - it had a great itinerary which is the only reason we chose it. We are older (64) so booked the Aurea Suite which included quite a lot and alcohol. There are so many kids on this ship, it ... Read More
My husband and I booked this cruise Aug 28-Sept 7 - it had a great itinerary which is the only reason we chose it. We are older (64) so booked the Aurea Suite which included quite a lot and alcohol. There are so many kids on this ship, it wasn't funny. I gather kids travel free. This cruise started in Florence (Livorno), worst port ever. We were supposed to get priority status with our booking, well that didn't happen. We happened to arrive at the same time as a large busload of people arrived and they did not have 2 different security checks, just one, so we ended up in line waiting - so much for priority boarding which we paid extra for. No one except those on the 11th floor were allowed to use the 12th floor deck which was exclusive to Aurea guests, which was great as kids weren't allowed up there. We were unfortunate to have booked the last room and it was close to the door leading outside, and all you heard all night was noisy guests going in and out. At 1:30 in the morning, they cleaned the decks so all you heard was the loud sound of the power washer going on and off. They also set up the chair at 5:30 in the morning so you heard the racket of them laying them down. One night at 4:30 a.m., they were moving tables and chairs from the 11th deck up to the 12th deck and throwing them up the stairs. What a racket they made. Had no regard for the customers sleeping below. That is the problem with this ship. The workers on this ship have no regard for the comfort of their guests and they should - we pay their salary. I would travel MSC, but probably get a better cabin and probably try for a newer ship. They were very nice, but this ship which is old, Read Less
MSC Opera Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.7
Dining 3.0 3.1
Entertainment 5.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.2
Family 4.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.0
Enrichment 1.0 2.9
Service 4.0 3.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.2
Rates 3.0 3.5

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