Review: MSC Opera
Cruise - Ocean Cruise
A great way to travel
87 people found this review helpful
We sailed from Cape Town on 28th April for our cruise back to Southampton on the MSC Opera. We certainly enjoyed our trip back and the sun shone for us in all our ports of call. We saw the flamingos in Walvis Bay, Namibia, then toured past the dunes to Swakopmund with its very Germanic architecture. Next stop was Dakar, Senegal, where a short ferry ride took us to Goree Island with its very colourful, traditional fishing boats. Once the hub of the Atlantic slave trade, Goree is now an artists’ colony and the perfect place to pick up that ‘must have’ souvenir.
After Dakar came the longest leg of our journey at sea – 6 days in total – as we crossed the Atlantic, but with plenty to entertain us, we were never bored. In the daytime there were lectures on all our forthcoming ports of call and of course the daily round of the World Quiz. There was a well-equipped gym and some days were best for just relaxing with a book by the pool or in one of the many lounges. The shops were open all hours too. On 4th May we crossed the Equator, accompanied of course by the traditional Equator crossing ceremony which always involves Neptune, a big wet fish, milk, flour, eggs, cocoa and a swimming pool in need of cleaning. We have already learned on previous cruises that this is not something we want to volunteer for, but those who did appeared to have a great time. In the evenings we enjoyed the shows, which were spectacular, followed by dinner and dancing.
On 10th May we arrived in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Much prettier than we remembered it from previous visits with a very picturesque market and great shops. The very next day we re-visited Funchal, Madeira, an old favourite of ours, but we still managed to find a part of the city we had never seen before in the old town – the Portas Abertas art project, designed to open the doors of the city to art and culture. All the doors on the street have been changed into works of art by local artists and it’s quite a sight. One more day at sea and then 2 more ‘back-to-back’ ports – Lisbon and Vigo. Lisbon is so quaint with its old trams and elevadores and for 6 Euros each you can ride as many as you like in 24 hours. We definitely had our money’s worth! We had a very long day in Lisbon and the sail out was quite something – past the Christ the King statue (for a minute there I thought I was in Rio -?), the Bartolomeu Dias monument and the Belem tower. Then a nostalgic sail past the former fishing village of Cascais where I actually went for a holiday about 30 years ago!
Vigo, Galicia, was on a smaller scale than Lisbon but a hike up to the Castro was rewarded with great views of the ship in the harbour. After a siesta in the heat of the day, a stroll around the quaint old town in the afternoon was just what was called for.
Our last port of call was Cherbourg in Lower Normandy with its many historical attractions such as the Normandy beaches (D-Day Landings) and the Titanic Exhibition in the Cite de la Mer. Cherbourg itself is a pretty harbour town and setting for the 1964 French musical film Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) – Luckily we didn’t need ours as the sun was shining.
Thank you MSC Opera for a fantastic cruise experience and one which I am now busy recommending to all our friends – some of whom have already booked the return trip!!
87 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.