MSC Opera – A Day Visit

MSC Opera is a mid-sized cruise ship, which has a capacity for around 2,100  passengers. Distinctly Italian in flavour  with a refreshing Italian ‘modern’ meets Art-Deco style that will appeal to younger adults and families. As one would expect, the décor is heavily Italian influenced and why not – this change certainly appealed to me.

For the past two years it has operated out of the port of Southampton on the South Coast of England. On the day of our visit she was berthed at Southampton’s City Terminal which is adjacent to the Mayflower Park.

Check-in for our visit was reasonably swift and we were escorted straight on board to the ship’s Theatre, The Teatro dell’Opera…

…where we were given a short introductory briefing about the ship followed by a 20 minute compact medley of entertainment

by the ship’s current theatre entertainment team…

We were shown a limited selection of  cabin accommodation ranging from ‘Ocean View’…

…through inside cabins…

…and to ‘Outside with a balcony…

The range of cabins we inspected were all on the small side though they were cheerfully styled and decorated in bright colours. All had large wall mirrors which I presume  are to serve the purpose of illusion to size.

There is a reasonable sized pool deck,  generous sized pools and  Jacuzzis. Drink stations are available on the deck and a ‘patio’ dining area leading off the ‘La Vele Cafeteria’

La Vele Cafeteria, again bright and breezey…

I certainly got the impression that the accent on board MSC Opera was heavily biased towards entertainment. There certainly were some excellent looking bars and lounge areas including The Cotton Club

The Caruso Lounge…

The Piazza di Spagna…

The Soto Vento Pub, which is divided into ‘smoking’ and ‘non-smoking areas…

…and not forgetting the Byblos Discoteca…

…while not forgetting that must for Italian ships, the Aroma Coffee Bar

Inclusive in the tour was lunch. Our group dined in the ‘La Caravella Restaurant…

…where we all enjoyed an excellent lunch…

…including the particularly good Tagliata di Manzo…

In summary this was a good ship visit for a number of reasons. Firstly, a cruise with MSC had never appealed to me, probably due to the number of poor reviews they receive on many cruise review sites. MSC Opera was not the ideal ship MSC for us to visit because it lacks a variety of suite accommodation and, of course, sailing as it regularly does from Southampton, the itineraries aren’t that appealing.

Having said that both my wife and I were impressed with the entertainment facilities and the décor which was not so garish as I had imagined. Of course, as with all visits as opposed to an actual cruise, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. But at least my wife and I now have MSC on our radar and it would certainly be good to see how their ‘Yacht Club’ suite accommodation compares with our favoured Grills option on Cunard…

http://www.msccruises.co.uk/uk_en/MSC-Yacht-Club/Overview.aspx

(MSC Fantasia, MSC Splendida, MSC Divina and MSC Preziosa introduce the MSC Yacht Club – an exclusive “ship within a ship” offering the ultimate in luxury cruising, privacy and personal service combined with an outstanding array of leisure facilities)

Ship visits to MSC Opera while at Southampton cost £20.00 a head. Booking details can be found at…

http://www.msccruises.co.uk/uk_en/MSC/Ship-Visits.aspx

Footnote: Many other ships offer visits while visiting ports, not just Southampton. I spotted one lucky group who had actually won a ship visit through the local Southampton newspaper, the daily Echo. This particular group visited Holland America’s Maasdam…

Anyone familiar?

2 responses to “MSC Opera – A Day Visit

  1. Thanks for this Richard. I hadn’t really considered them either most of the itineraries I’d looked at were from Genoa, not the easiest for us to get to.

    Like the look of the pool though & I’d be happy enough with their verandas. What were the bathrooms like?

  2. Great that you had the chance to visit the MSC Opera. We cruised with her through the Bay of Biscay last summer. Yes, the balcon cabin is “small”, but if you live inside it, the mirrors help a great deal not to feel squeezed. The service was throughout really good – as we experienced it. Thank you for sharing your visit to the ship and best regards from the Lofote-Islands in Norway!

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