Review: MSC Opera
Cruise - Ocean Cruise
An interesting day out
95 people found this review helpful
Having seen reports of horrendous road works by Southampton Docks we decided to stay overnight before our day visit as we live 150 miles from Southampton – needless to say we drove straight from our hotel in the New Forest to the ship without a moments hold up! But would not recommend that anyone else travelling to the docks thinks that it is easy now – it's bad enough on a normal weekend when several ships are in dock – and I suspect we were just lucky! So beware!
We arrived just after 9.30 and found embarking passengers already waiting to check in and with no chairs available there were bodies all over the floor. Those of us on the Day Visit were met and very well looked after throughout the day by land based staff and were split into two groups and taken on a tour of the ship. As my husband is disabled and used his scooter for the day we had our own personal guide who very kindly made sure we didn't get lost and took us on different routes where necessary. We all met up in the main restaurant for a most enjoyable lunch followed by coffee in one of the lounges. All in all a very enjoyable day for which we offer our grateful thanks.
BUT – the ship standing alongside the quay is impressive – unfortunately for us she did not live up to the same standard once aboard. We have been on 12 cruises with cruise lines varying from Cunard, P&O and Fred Olsen to a collection of US lines – almost invariably on smaller ships and have had all sorts of experiences – but each of them had their own 'WOW' factor – and we couldn't find it on this ship. The make up of nationalities among the crew was to say the least eclectic and few of them that we spoke to seemed to understand much English – although we were told that the main language when leaving British ports is English. There were also a substantial number of Italians among the passengers who had obviously embarked at another port and were enjoying a day in Southampton – nothing wrong with that at all but someone expecting to join a 'British' cruise may find this difficult and I should imagine that once at sea announcements will need to be made in different languages together with a mix of entertainment to suit all tastes.
We felt that the cabins we saw were very small by comparison to most cruise ships we have been on – and we usually travel in standard outside staterooms. The Gym gets the best view on board and the spa is delightful – again with really good views. Both the self-service restaurant and the 'crows nest' also have good views from the front of the ship. We were surprised to find that they had a bar lounge for smokers – thought they went out with the Dodo! And if well used this would send smoke across several other lounges.
I am sorry if this review sounds negative and I am sure there are many who will write to tell me I'm wrong but the whole point of taking a Day Visit is to look at a ship with a view to taking a cruise on it – and following this day visit it is unlikely that we will be booking to go on it. However – I have to say that we were told that all the MSC ships are different and if you are interested in travelling with the company the best thing is to ring them with a list of your own personal likes and dislikes and they will be able to tell you which ship is suitable for you. Given the warm welcome and care and attention we received maybe we will just do that one day.
95 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.