Opera in Cuba

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#1
Nottingham
216 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Hi

Booked on the Havana cruise for October aboard Opera. Couple of quick questions.

What are the themed nights is it White and Italian

Do many folks wear Tux etc for the formals.

How much difference has the insert made to the ship, last time we were on her was back in 2011 and really enjoyed it, but have heard that the extra length has spoiled it somewhat.

Kev
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#2
Toronto
61 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Following this. We're booked for next month. Not many on this forum with info on Opera.
Cheers,
Valia
PS if no one replies I guess I'll let you know once I'm back.

Sent by Valia
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Cheers,
Valia


MSC Divina, Caribbean, August, 2017
MSC Opera, Cuba & Caribbean, March 2017
Fathom Adonia, Dominican Republic, Jan 2017
Celebrity Constellation, Baltic, summer 2013
Crown Princess Mediterranean, summer 2012
#3
Nottingham
216 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Thanks Valia
I would appreciate that and anything else you can let me know about. I like MSC this will be our 4th but never out of the Med with them.

Kev
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#4
3 Posts
Joined Jan 2017
Just returned from the Opera Cuba sailing. As for formal nights, I saw no one in a tux or gown, but on the flip side there were MANY that were dressed very casually in the dining rooms for formal nights.

I there was no Italian night but a White night and a couple of nights themed toward our ports. Havana Nights was one and Mexican, and Jamaican another. Themes were mostly carried into the restaurant for food, but there was a performance (at an additional cost of 35Euro per person) by a famous Cuban band.

If flying from Canada into Varadero with Sunwing, be ready to wait until 8pm to enter your stateroom. This makes for a very long day when your flight leaves at 6am.
#5
Washington
6,023 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
For Italian night, wear the colors of the Italian Flag - red, green and white. They do a special show in the theater with audience participation - if you don't want to participate, sit in the middle of a section where the performers can't reach you.
#7
1 Posts
Joined May 2011
Hi there,

We are a British couple booked on the Opera from Havana in July, it is our first time with MSC so would love to hear anything about them, Opera in particular, and any tried and tested trips and tours used at all ports. Also any information on taxis in port and how the tendering system works with MSC.

PS love the sound of the limoncello!

Many thanks

Charlotte
#8
Toronto
61 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Originally posted by Berrygirl118
That is interesting, we did not have an Italian night on our cruise. They did however have Italian food featured along with Lemoncello on the first Gala night.

Hi. I leave on Saturday. Just wondering how rushed the Cayman island stop was. There's a tender and we leave at 3 pm. Do you remember if it was hectic?

Cheers,
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Cheers,
Valia


MSC Divina, Caribbean, August, 2017
MSC Opera, Cuba & Caribbean, March 2017
Fathom Adonia, Dominican Republic, Jan 2017
Celebrity Constellation, Baltic, summer 2013
Crown Princess Mediterranean, summer 2012
#9
Toronto
61 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Originally posted by grush240
Thanks Valia
I would appreciate that and anything else you can let me know about. I like MSC this will be our 4th but never out of the Med with them.

Kev
Yikes I've been making updates on another thread. I'll copy and paste info later.

We're in Cancun today. We're sharing a taxi with another couple to take a taxi to Paradise beach. It's supposed to be 15us one way (for the trip) & 3 usd entry fee (incl use the pool & one chair) as well as option to rent umbrellas etc. We'll let you know how it goes.

The food in the restaurant has been good. Breakfast and lunch minimally different than the buffet so we've opted for buffet. It is crazy at lunch when back from port...everyone seems to eat around the 230-3 pm mark. The lunch finishes at 330 pm.

Our times in port have been lovely. Monday in Havana was increased to 7pm (all aboard 630 pm)...Montego bay 5 pm ..but we seemed to be docked until 8 pm.


Cayman is short..last tender 215 pm. EVERYONE lined up for 215..so really we only left around 330 pm. If you choose beach only there's plenty of time. Otherwise choose destinations so you can enjoy both. (I hope to come here again and visit the blue iguana reserve and tortoise reserve. )

My friend smokes...so do the Italian majority of passengers. So there's plenty of places. One half of the pool desk 11 is dedicated for ashtrays and smokers. There's a bar on the 5th floor thar also is full of smoke. I have had some success avoiding these areas.

I've enjoyed the pool. Many on the sea day sit around it but don't go in.


Let me know if you have any specific questions and I'll try to answer them.

Bye for now,
Valia

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Cheers,
Valia


MSC Divina, Caribbean, August, 2017
MSC Opera, Cuba & Caribbean, March 2017
Fathom Adonia, Dominican Republic, Jan 2017
Celebrity Constellation, Baltic, summer 2013
Crown Princess Mediterranean, summer 2012
#10
Nottingham
216 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Thanks Valia
Appreciate the feedback sounds like you had a good time. Hadn't realised it was a short stay in the Caymans so might just do the beach. Think by the sound of it I'll leave the Tux at home for this one.

Kev
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#11
3,959 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
What is the currency onboard Opera?
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Bea
'Would I could set sail upon the water'.

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#12
Toronto
61 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
It's Euros or US. If the ship stops in the Antilles it's US. But my Cuba & Caribbean cruise it was Euros. Valia

Sent by Valia
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Cheers,
Valia


MSC Divina, Caribbean, August, 2017
MSC Opera, Cuba & Caribbean, March 2017
Fathom Adonia, Dominican Republic, Jan 2017
Celebrity Constellation, Baltic, summer 2013
Crown Princess Mediterranean, summer 2012
#13
3,959 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by trulygreenfish
It's Euros or US. If the ship stops in the Antilles it's US. But my Cuba & Caribbean cruise it was Euros. Valia

Sent by Valia
Thanks, Valia. That explains why it's not clear on the MSC website.

I'm considering an itinerary which includes Cuba, Belize, Honduras, Mexico, Jamaica, Cayman Islands so probably will be Euros.

The all-inclusive drinks package price will be more expensive if it's US$. With the poor currency exchange rate, that's a factor for us. I'll probably book an Aurea cabin, which includes the drinks package. Whichever currency is used onboard, it'll still work out better value than a balcony cabin and purchasing the package separately.

I see MSC is planning to introduce Ocean Cay as a POC for Opera in November 2018.
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Bea
'Would I could set sail upon the water'.

PREVIOUSLY ON:

MSC Meraviglia June 2017 (YC)

MSC Fantasia Feb 2017
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MSC Sinfonia Oct 2016
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#14
Toronto
61 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Aurea level sounds nice. We were lucky. You might want to shop around. The drink package was included in our fantastica booking. Also they seem to have a variety of drink packages available for Caribbean sails. Pick the one that best suits your needs. We're traveling msc again next summer to Europe. .way less choice.
Enjoy,
Valia

Sent by Valia
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Cheers,
Valia


MSC Divina, Caribbean, August, 2017
MSC Opera, Cuba & Caribbean, March 2017
Fathom Adonia, Dominican Republic, Jan 2017
Celebrity Constellation, Baltic, summer 2013
Crown Princess Mediterranean, summer 2012
#15
3,959 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by trulygreenfish
Aurea level sounds nice. We were lucky. You might want to shop around. The drink package was included in our fantastica booking. Also they seem to have a variety of drink packages available for Caribbean sails. Pick the one that best suits your needs. We're traveling msc again next summer to Europe. .way less choice.
Enjoy,
Valia

Sent by Valia
We have some great offers for the Med, here in Ireland, from time to time. There are rarely offers for the Cuba itinerary, though - perhaps because we don't have direct flights, hence too small a market to bother with promotions.

At the moment the price is at the "Early Booking Rate" which is usually the most expensive. We're not planning on going 'til Summer 2018 so plenty of time to watch for a price drop as the current price is a bit too steep. I'd be happy with a fantastica balcony cabin, but the lack of sofa and drinks package not on offer are driving me towards Aurea. As it's DH's 60th we've decided to blow the budget on one cruise in 2018 rather than do the average 4 cruises in 1 year which we've been doing for the past 4 years.

I've been reading the limited reviews about Opera in Cuba and they really are very negative! As an MSC regular, I can see beyond some of the usual complaints regarding food, service, language, etc. However, there seemed to be problems regarding visas and fears re entering/existing the ship in Havana. The itinerary we're looking at has a 3-day stay in Havana. I'm wondering how MSC deals with the visa issue.
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Bea
'Would I could set sail upon the water'.

PREVIOUSLY ON:

MSC Meraviglia June 2017 (YC)

MSC Fantasia Feb 2017
MSC Sinfonia Nov 2016 (b2b)
MSC Sinfonia Oct 2016
MSC Sinfonia Aug 2016
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MSC Divina Oct 2015 (TA)
MSC Divina Sep 2015 (YC)
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MSC Splendida Feb 2014
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MSC Fantasia Nov 2011
Carnival Sensation Sept 2000
#16
Toronto
61 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Hmmm..I'm from Canada. It seemed that most of my fellow travellers were from Italy (majority), German and Spain. There were a handful of others from"across the pond" and fellow Canadians. I last sailed on the Adonia (a former P&O) and before that Celebrity. My parents loved the Divina but I can say the itinerary was fabulous just not what I expected. The ship just had a bit of a different feel. One eg. the gym was a room with windows but one could not access nor use lockers or a shower there. aaOne had to also fill out a waiver paper before using it.

Let me know if there's something specific you're wondering about. I, too, looked but could not find much about the Opera prior to sailing.
Valia
(Drinks were fab btw )
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Cheers,
Valia


MSC Divina, Caribbean, August, 2017
MSC Opera, Cuba & Caribbean, March 2017
Fathom Adonia, Dominican Republic, Jan 2017
Celebrity Constellation, Baltic, summer 2013
Crown Princess Mediterranean, summer 2012
#17
3,959 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
So, you didn't experience any problems regarding visas for entering/leaving Cuba? Did you apply for one before sailing?
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Bea
'Would I could set sail upon the water'.

PREVIOUSLY ON:

MSC Meraviglia June 2017 (YC)

MSC Fantasia Feb 2017
MSC Sinfonia Nov 2016 (b2b)
MSC Sinfonia Oct 2016
MSC Sinfonia Aug 2016
MSC Magnifica April 2016
Celebrity Millennium Jan 2016
MSC Divina Oct 2015 (TA)
MSC Divina Sep 2015 (YC)
MSC Preziosa Mar 2015 (TA)
MSC Fantasia Dec 2014
MSC Preziosa Aug 2014 (YC)
MSC Preziosa May 2014
MSC Splendida Feb 2014
MSC Splendida Feb 2013
MSC Splendida Feb 2012 (YC)
MSC Fantasia Nov 2011
Carnival Sensation Sept 2000
#18
Toronto
61 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Hi. MSC provided the visa for us. We were charged 15 Euro each for the visa.

Cheers,
Valia
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Cheers,
Valia


MSC Divina, Caribbean, August, 2017
MSC Opera, Cuba & Caribbean, March 2017
Fathom Adonia, Dominican Republic, Jan 2017
Celebrity Constellation, Baltic, summer 2013
Crown Princess Mediterranean, summer 2012
#19
3,959 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Thank you, again, Valia. You've been very helpful.
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Bea
'Would I could set sail upon the water'.

PREVIOUSLY ON:

MSC Meraviglia June 2017 (YC)

MSC Fantasia Feb 2017
MSC Sinfonia Nov 2016 (b2b)
MSC Sinfonia Oct 2016
MSC Sinfonia Aug 2016
MSC Magnifica April 2016
Celebrity Millennium Jan 2016
MSC Divina Oct 2015 (TA)
MSC Divina Sep 2015 (YC)
MSC Preziosa Mar 2015 (TA)
MSC Fantasia Dec 2014
MSC Preziosa Aug 2014 (YC)
MSC Preziosa May 2014
MSC Splendida Feb 2014
MSC Splendida Feb 2013
MSC Splendida Feb 2012 (YC)
MSC Fantasia Nov 2011
Carnival Sensation Sept 2000
#20
United Kingdom
1 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Hi Valia,

There are a couple of things you might be able to help me with please.

The "fantastica" drinks package - does this include all drinks included branded and wines?
Or is there a more expensive package?
Don't suppose you have a bar list?

And with regard to FORMAL nights, i read that nobody gets dressed up with black tie/dinner suits. Is this correct?