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Just back from Opera 02.05.2005

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We returned yesterday from our Eastern Caribbean sailing on the Opera. Two thumbs up here from a pair of very satisfied cruisers :D



The ship is gorgeous and the food was great. Definitely a European experience…..

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Thanks for the "heads up" review of the Opera.

We're really looking forward to our cruise on 02/12.

Anything really good (or bad) to look out for on the

Eastern trip as far as shore excusions go....??


Fair winds,

Don and Georgann :)

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The shore excursions are a little pricey. They don't push them like they do on the other cruise lines though.


We only did the Best of Tour in St. Thomas which was fun. The Opera docked at the "Sub Base" in St. Thomas as opposed to the main dock where we have been at the past.


St. Croix dock area was a bit "run down" but OK for a few hours. It would have been fun to visit the Cruzan Rum Factory but we learned of this after the fact.


Embarkation / Disembarkation in Port Everglades was smooootthhhh BUT it took us almost 3-hours at FLL airport to check in and clear security for our return flight. What a ZOO!


S.Juan P.R.

BioLuminescent tour $80.00

Under the Stars $35.00

Latin Traditions $45.00


St. Thomas

Best of tour $45.00

Panoramic tour $32.00

Coral World $48.00

Magen's Bay $32.00

Atlantis Submarine $100.00

Island & ruins $60.00

Beach Tour $50.00


St. Croix

Best of both Worlds $50.00

Golfing $220.00

Scenic Island Tour $70.00

West End Beach $50.00

Historical Tour $65.00



City tour & Ardastra $42.00

GlassBottom Boat $36.00

City & Paradise Island $42.00

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Adolfo -



How are the dinner menu's? Is it all pasta and sauce or are there a fair variety of offerings?

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I have only been on the Lirica so far this year but I don't know where anyone would have got the idea that the dinners could be all pasta and sauce on any MSC ship cruising in US waters.

Sure you could get some excellent pasta, with or without excellent sauces and parmesan IF you wanted it, but there was a full normal dinner and lunch menu just like you would get on a US cruise line AS WELL as the Italian choices.

You want sirloin steak cooked rare - they'll do it. You want grilled chicken - they'll bring it.

And that is in addition to the usual HAL or Princess type menu choices.

All I would say I noticed was that soufles were not available and that the desserts were a little lacking.

Otherwise it was as good as any and overall it was BETTER than most lines I have been on.

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We just got back from the Eastern Caribbean cruise yesterday as well and had a blast. I'm the world's pickiest eater and ate EVERYTHING! We had the 2nd sitting in L'Approdo at table 43 w/ Massimo as our waiter. What a sweetheart! I'm not crazy about different types of sauces, I just like plain, marinara sauce on my pasta and he accomodated me every night. My parents and husband liked the other pasta choices and the main courses. Breakfast was always nice in La Vele or you could choose to eat in the dinner restaurant or eat out on the terrace where they made eggs to order and pancakes. Lunch was served at La Vele and out on the terrace where they had hot dogs and hamburgers and pizza from 12:30-6. Excellent pizza but there's always a line but well worth the wait.


We didn't do any of the excursions b/c I found them to be a bit pricey. San Juan was a complete waste b/c we got there so late (9pm as opposed to 7pm) so we just walked around town and then got a taxi to drive us around for a bit for $30. In St. Thomas we got another taxi and went to Coki Beach for $8 per person and snorkeled at our leisure for $5. We could have went to Coral World but at $18 per person we figured we could pass. I think the Opera offered that as an excursion but at a much higher price. You can just hire a taxi and go on your own. We took another taxi (there are tons of taxis always waiting so don't worry about trying to catch one) into town and he took us on another short tour of the island for $7 then dropped us off by the other port to do some shopping. From there we grabbed another cab for $4 and he brought us to port.


In St. Croix, since we were there from 7-1:30 we didn't think we'd have time to go to Christensted so we stayed in Fredricksted and went to Rainbow Beach. There we grabbed a cab for $6 pp round trip and stayed most of the day then went back into town to shop for a bit. I wished we were ported there longer to go to the other side of the island but we enjoyed the beach. My husband found out that the reason we were ported in Fredericksted is b/c the Opera is a new ship and the others were "grandfathered" over. Guess the new guy always has to pay their dues. I'm betting in 5 years time though that Fredricksted will be a great port and boost the economy of the village.


In the Bahamas we got kind of suckered by our cabby. We wanted to go to the Atlantis for $6 per person but he talked us into giving us a tour of "where the rich and famous live and where you can buy shirts 3 for $10 and get us into the Atlantis free where otherwise we would have to pay $29 a person to see the aquarium and go into the the hotel." So for $20 pp he took us on this "tour." Well, when we got to the Atlantis I asked one of the hotel staff if it was true that we'd have to pay to get in. She said that we wouldn't have to get in to see certain parts of the aquarium, there's a part where it's open to the public by the restaurant and that's the only place our cabby took us b/c even he couldn't get us in "free." We weren't able to go on the beach either but we wouldn't have been able to either way b/c we weren't guests of the hotel. And where he took us to an open market, we realized later when he left us in town that we could find the same deals at the other duty free shops. Whatever, it was an experience.


The best part of the cruise was the Animation Activities team. They're a great bunch of people and we had a ton of fun with them. My father was in the Mr. Opera contest and although he didn't win, he had a blast. I also participated in one of the "Olympic" games and had a great time. Enjoy the little shows they put on and relax. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.

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Oh, one thing about the disembarkation. We had the green luggage tags and were asked to wait in the Byblos Disco w/ a couple of hundred other people and only 2 elevators. After about an hour of waiting I told my parents and hubby that we should wait down by the pool area so as to avoid any mass rush when they called our color (which was last by the way). Good thing we did do that and even went down about 10 minutes before we were called b/c we got right out. If you want, you can even wait down by the Caravella or in the lounge on the 5th floor, just don't go into the reception area. That'll make your wait that much less stressfull. I don't know about you but waiting w/ hundreds of people plus tons of carryon luggage and a few screaming kids just about had me pulling out my hair! lol

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Thanks for your Excursion Info. It will really

help our decision process.


Still can't wait to get there......


Fair Winds,


Don and Georgann

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LMAO. He's the sexy blonde in the pink skirt. lol


Oh yeah, she's HOT.


Um, ahem, I think the wind at that point served to emphasize her "package," LOL, which might be the sole reason she was defeated.


hee hee

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I noticed a lot of men on this cruise, Animations Activities team and passengers alike, who enjoyed dressing up as women. Freaks!! lol And they say women are hard to figure out.

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Great Pictures of the ship, Jana!

Now I'm getting excited about going....



Did your father bring his own dress????:eek:

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>>Great Pictures of the ship, Jana!

Now I'm getting excited about going....<<


Yeah, I think my favorite is towards the end, the Leaning Tower of Pisa made from Parma ham... and the ship of cheese, lol.


By the way, the too-tall chairs in the room issue is being addressed. If you look at the cabin pics, you will see that the suites and the balcony cabins have them cut down already so they fit under the desk, and the outside and inside rooms still have them too high. The ship's carpenter is going floor by floor to get it done, so deck 8 will be next.



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