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vango

Opera March 26-April 2

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:) We just returned from a week cruise to the Caribbean on the Opera. We were a bit skeptical but also very excited about this cruise. We loved the cruise. We felt it was a celebration of cultural diversity. As far as the food goes, the restaurant meals were excellent. We did not care for the buffet, but we don't like buffets. The pizza and bread were the best we have ever tasted. Room service was excellent. The room was small but adequate. As others have stated, the shower is very small. We had a balcony room, so we felt as if we had more space that the interior rooms. The staff was excellent and totally catered the the guests. We loved the Italians. They are so animated. The entertainment was very professional and talented. We found it to be much better than the all-inclusive resort talent. The animation team was so cute and fun. There was never a dull moment and way too much to eat. Some people complained about the lack of times to eat. All I can say is, how much can a person really eat? One thing that could be improved is the length of stay in the ports. We felt really rushed when we went ashore. All in all, the Opera is GREAT! It is definately European. If you want an All-American cruise, don't go. The Opera should not change a thing. They are different and need to remain that way. This is what makes the cruise unique. Let the other lines cater to the all-American cruisers.

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Vango, congrats on a wonderful attitude; that's what got us the service we sought! I'm so pleased you had a great time. Post photos when you can!

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Vango,

So glad you enjoyed your cruise. We were on the Opera the end of Feb and agree with you. The ship was fantastic, the crew great, dining and entertainment wonderful. What else can I say??? I, too, hope MSC keeps the European atmosphere. It has made the MSC brand stand apart from the other mass-marketed lines.

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I was also on the 3/26 thru 4/2 cruise (with Diane&4Girls). Too bad we never got to meet!!

 

The food was great; the kids in our group (my son and two of Diane's kids) requested spaghetti every night and there was never any sign of a problem. The breads were great and the pizza was hand tossed and baked right there in front of everyone; a constant stream of fresh pizza! The desserts were not what we were used to, so most of it wasn't something we enjoyed. But the ice cream was great! BTW, the ice cream bar is NOT self serve, and is only open from 2:30-5:30, so expect a long line! (It's worth it!)

 

The animation team was great!! There were a ton of them and they tried so hard to get everyone involved. I loved that they danced with the passengers, pulling them from their seats to encourage them to be active. I wish other lines would allow that! I have a picture of one of the guys dancing with a little girl (I also saw him at different times dancing with several seniors who had no one to dance with. Very sweet thing to do.) Most of the time I had my son with me, so the only times I got pulled onto the floor was to do the conga line (along with my son), but we backed out when they got out the limbo stick and we went under once! (Spinal fusion in my neck!! I didn't want to test the medical staff!) I was also pulled onto the dance floor by the dance intructor once in the disco. Diane and I only went up there twice. And this is one of my few complaints was that the disco was also the teen disco, so the adults were partying with 13-17 years olds till 2 AM! I didn't feel like I could cut loose in front of them. :D Would have been much nicer for them to have their own disco and I'm sure they felt the same way! (However, other than the dance instructor, the only other dancing I did was with Diane's 13 yr old & her 13 yr old friend who came with us. Let me tell you, those girls got some moves! Just not fair! Wow, I'm getting old!)

 

Another thing to make note of was the hours of the kids room. Open 9AM till noon, then closed till 3 PM. Open 3-6 PM, closed till 8. Open 8-11 PM. We had late seating, so we'd either have to skip the evening play time (which my son hated!) so we could have dinner together, or let him eat pizza and go to the play room while I ate, then pull him out at 10:30 so we could see the show which started at 10:45! BTW, the late night shows, in the theater as well as the midnight shows on the pool deck, were by far the best entertainment I've seen on a ship! Even my son loved them!

 

Our waiter was a little stiff the first night, but warmed up to us by mid-meal. (Most likely turnover stress, getting to know the new group of passengers.) Never had any problems with our cabin steward, but Diane (we think we both had the same girl, at least their names were the same) had non stop trouble with her. Lots of misunderstandings, I guess! The bartenders aren't very aggressive, and you have to learn how to catch their eye to let them know you want something. I finally tipped one guy who was helping me and he always smiled & approached when he saw me come to the bar. But again, Diane said he passed her right over to ask the man behind her what he wanted! (Naturally, she was pretty ticked and laid into him.) After that, he seemed to improve. LOL

 

I missed not having any towel animals, but no biggie... and the toilets are extremely aggressive when you flush, so brace yourself! Again, no big deal. But make sure you hang the "do not disturb" sign on your door when you are in your cabin, because they are knocking as they are sliding their key & the door is open by the time they finish saying, "Hello?" Easy to get caught dressing! (Or "whatever", for those of you with spouses!) The rooms are small, but there is so much available storage space, I didn't have a single thing out in the way. There's also a safe behind the mirror over the desk, and a mini bar with a fridge, which was very convienent! (I had an outside cabin, deck 8) Oh, I did have the slow drain problem in my shower, but I quickly learned to turn off the water as I washed my hair, then back on to rinse, etc. But as for the triangle shape of the shower, it's amazing how important that fourth corner is when you're trying to shave your legs! But again, not enough to complain about; just a simple note to those that it might be more bothersome.

 

I've read on one review about the pool area being noisy, but I found that if you hang out by the pool farthest from the bar where the games & dancing are going on, it's not as loud. I went there to read. I also read a complaint that the animation crew was corny and silly, but I think it's just that different cultures have differing opinions in their sense of humor. Of course it was silly; that's actually what made me enjoy it more! And I thoroughly enjoyed mixing with so many cultures! I was amazed at how each crew member knew 5 or 6 languages in order to communicate with such a diverse crowd. (Even if they weren't the best in all languages, they're still doing better than me!) In fact the only rude people that I encountered were mostly American passengers who seemed to think they were better than everyone else. To me that was rather embarrassing as an American. And I can certainly understand why people from other cultures would think Americans are rude! I just hope they understand that those people don't represent all Americans! Anyway, I loved it and now I want to go to Italy and the UK even more than I did before!

 

For those saying they sould be more sensitive to Americans, we should remember "when in Rome, do as the Romans do"; this is an Italian cruise line and we are guests on their ship. We should relax and enjoy how they do things!! I mean, how often do we get the chance to experience other people's cultures?? There are so many cruise lines out there... why should they all be the same? All in all, it was a great cruise, and I really wish I was on the ship right now as it sails back to Italy! :( I had a great time!

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Thanks for the great reviews Vango and Kaibigan. Would love to have some of that yummy pasta right now!! Kaibigan, I found that shaving my legs was easier when I just opened the shower curtain and put my leg on the commode. :) I'm in complete agreement in hoping that MSC doesn't change a thing! Gotta love "different". :D

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Kaibaigan,

You won't believe this one! We sat at the table next to you at dinner. Tonino and Deny were our waiters, too! My husband and I (early 50's) were seated with two young college women (age 22) from Maine. We had great conversations with them. They were so enjoyble. After looking at your pics, I realized that we had seen you aboard, but we never met.

 

Has anyone been sick since returning? I had heard that some people were sick on the ship. We came down with a terrible flu with respiratory symptoms. However, many people back home have it too. We started coming down with it on the morning we disembarked. Just wondering!

 

Vango

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Wow, that's funny! Were you at the table nearest the window or the other wall? (We were in the corner.)

 

Yes, One of Diane's daughters got sick halfway thru the cruise, but I don't think she threw up. I'm thinking it was a fever, nausea & weakness.

 

I started getting sick yesterday, but I don't think it came from the cruise...

 

Hope you're feeling better by now! Did you have a nice time? I think Diane & her girls were a little bored, but it was perfect for me since I can't use a rock climbing wall do in-line skating. It was nice & relaxing. But I did really want to join in on all the dancing & contests really bad. :rolleyes:

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We were on the MSC Opera March 26-April 2. The ship was absolutely beautiful, the staff was very accomodating. As someone expressed earlier there may be somewhat of a language barrier, at no time did we ever experience rudeness of any staff member. Every culture has their own way of doing things, diversity is a blessing. We enjoyed the opportunity to try a variety of foods, our server Antonio at the second seating in the L'Appodro restaurant was anxious to bring a variety of dishes for our table to sample. Our cabin steward Uomash (sp?) was always willing to please. The Animation Crew were fun, if you wanted to participate they encouraged you to do so, if not they did not bother you. I only wish that I had that much energy. My teenage sons and our travelling companions enjoyed the ship and the experience. We would definately travel MSC again. :o

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