July 2015 - MSC Opera to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Before MSC Opera I was on MSC Fantasia which is a bigger (and better) ship. Overall impresion of this cruise is great! Itineraries are great, time spent on shore excellent and everyone are so nice and kind. If this had been my first cruise I would have probably been thrilled, but since this is my third cruise I couldn't help myself but to compare it with previous ones. We were the first passengers since the ship was renovated last year, and one could say that this was a test cruise. There were a lot of oversights: mugs and cups in buffet restaurant were often dirty - every second cup was clean so it became tiresome to check every cup. Juices in the self serving restaurant were available only in the morning not in the evening and hot chocolate wasn't available at all although it was included in the price. Later we found out that staff don't bring out bags of hot chocolate or they rarely do and sometimes they make a hot chocolate in the thermos which is not warm and which has very little cocoa (color was dirty white, not brown!).
Food for breakfast was the same every day; muesli was already prepared on the milk-it looked disgusting to me and I would prefer to prepare it by myself in yogurt. I drink a lot of tea (which was available all day) but I could find honey only in the morning and lemon was even harder to find. The food was often greasy (even fish!) and dinner in the restaurant was taking too long, every single day (from 9pm till 11pm!). Although maître d'hôtel came to us one evening asking us how is everything, are we satisfied and promised us faster service, nothing has actually changed.
The midnight buffet was very poor: mostly vegetarian sandwiches and desserts from previous days.
Air Conditioner made being inside the ship very uncomfortable because it was very cold in bars and lobbies. Inside temperature was around 20 C, which is low considering outside temperature is much higher. I regret not bringing more long sleeve blouses, jackets etc.
I had situation by the pool when pool attendant told me I can't eat fruits by the pool (which is OK, because it was said on the warning board that it is forbidden). But I was disappointed he didn't say anything to other people eating around or even worse: children diving and jumping in the pool that is not in children area (it is clearly stated that it is forbidden to dive and jump in the pool and to run around the pool) ! When I asked him about that his answer was that they are children. I don't care if they are children or not, but because of that children I couldn't swim, or sit by the pool because they splashed water a lot and got me and my expensive camera wet even on the sunbed. Not to mention that children were diving and jumping in the whirlpools! So I didn't use those either. Deck No.11 has 2 pools deep 1.8m and one big part of the deck for children (that is new). But 30% children were in children area, and the rest of them around other 2 pools. It was very noisy on 11th deck. The best part to rest is the back of the ship.
Most people have spoken english perfectly, but it happened that woman on reception (from Kyrgyzstan) didn't speak it very well (or almost at all) and we couldn't understand each other which was very frustrating. Except that situation (and situation on the deck by the pool) all stuff was very polite, friendly, helpful... I'm not complaining on staff, I am disappointed with the ship and a lot of oversights which now I can't remember all.
I don't regret going on this cruise, I just think that MSC can offer a much better experience then this.