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msc opera


leprauchen

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Hi everyone,

I am a first time cruiser and am searching the web for somewhere nice. have found a 13 day trip on msc opera leaving dover in august of his year going to going to portugal and croatia and a few oher places ending up with 3 days at lake garda and back to dover via callais. has anyone ever done this trip???? if so did you enjoy it???? any help would really be appreciated. live in southern ireland and am looking for a fly/cruise for at least 10 days in aug.or sept for 2 people. any help would be appreciated.

thanks

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Hi leprauchen

Welcome to cruise critic (from one Celt to another!)

 

I've sailed on the Opera 6 times, so more than happy to answer any questions you might have about the ship. I did a similar itinerary to the one you mentioned on the Opera's sister ship last year. It started in Dover and ended up in Genoa, calling at places like la Corunna, Lisbon, Malaga etc enroute. You do have a few days at sea on this type of route and sometimes the seas can be rough in the Straits of Gibraltar (basically the Dover to just after lisbon part. The advantages of this type of cruise are you get quite a varied experience, getting to visit many different countries. and get a few days in between ports to just chill out and relax and take advantage of the ship's facilities. The typical 7 night Med cruises are really ggod too but sometimes very tiring as you arrive (usually) early in port everyday, rush about sight seeing and then end up staying up late to take advantage of the shows and other entertainment. I usually end up getting by on only about 5 hours sleep and almost need another holiday when I get back!

 

As I said before, feel free to fire away with as many specific questions as you want, and i will do my best to answer them as honestly as I can

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I didn't set out to sail the Opera 6 consecutive times - I actually kept intending to try another ship but they kept changing the Opera's itinerary to something new and the newer ships were doing the same cruise as I'd just doen on the Opera...

 

Anyway - why MSC for me? My choice is limited to 2 lines them and Costa as my very strong preference is for a European experience (Southern Europe at that). I'm the same when I take land based holidays prefer to go to Italy, France, portugal or Spain. I hate resorts that cater for british or American tourists. When I'm overseas, i want to be surrounded by differenet nationalities, languages, cultures and cuisine. I like the continental way of eating later and taking longer over meals - I get all of this with MSC. Also I love the classical music and the Operatic singers they always have onboard. I like to have formal set dining and love the opportunity to dress up on gala nights. I also like the ambience onboard, the uncluttered, classic decor and the fact that everything is spotless. I like the European style of service. I also like the fact that there are not loads of announcements, people trying to sell you stuff or just organize your day for you. I'm an independent soul who likes to decide what to do and don't need to be organised in any way. i like to relax on holiday and I get to do that without constant razzmatazz and "let's party" all the time - really not my scene.

What is not so good at times is the admin - it really isn't their strong point - borders on the chaotic at times or sometimes it is just hilarious. Also sometimes some of the Italian crew can be a bit stand offich (the reception girls). I think it is there way of bein professional but it can sometimes come accross as condesending. then again its not easy trying to be fluent in 5 languages and subtleties of language only come with absolute fluency.

 

MSC is not for everyone. If you like lots of activities, day and night, if you are the party type or want casual dining 24/7, or prefer to be surrounded by English speaking passengers and food and entertainment specifically geared for your nationality, then this is not the line for you.

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I didn't set out to sail the Opera 6 consecutive times - I actually kept intending to try another ship but they kept changing the Opera's itinerary to something new and the newer ships were doing the same cruise as I'd just doen on the Opera...

 

Anyway - why MSC for me? My choice is limited to 2 lines them and Costa as my very strong preference is for a European experience (Southern Europe at that). I'm the same when I take land based holidays prefer to go to Italy, France, portugal or Spain. I hate resorts that cater for british or American tourists. When I'm overseas, i want to be surrounded by differenet nationalities, languages, cultures and cuisine. I like the continental way of eating later and taking longer over meals - I get all of this with MSC. Also I love the classical music and the Operatic singers they always have onboard. I like to have formal set dining and love the opportunity to dress up on gala nights. I also like the ambience onboard, the uncluttered, classic decor and the fact that everything is spotless. I like the European style of service. I also like the fact that there are not loads of announcements, people trying to sell you stuff or just organize your day for you. I'm an independent soul who likes to decide what to do and don't need to be organised in any way. i like to relax on holiday and I get to do that without constant razzmatazz and "let's party" all the time - really not my scene.

What is not so good at times is the admin - it really isn't their strong point - borders on the chaotic at times or sometimes it is just hilarious. Also sometimes some of the Italian crew can be a bit stand offich (the reception girls). I think it is there way of bein professional but it can sometimes come accross as condesending. then again its not easy trying to be fluent in 5 languages and subtleties of language only come with absolute fluency.

 

MSC is not for everyone. If you like lots of activities, day and night, if you are the party type or want casual dining 24/7, or prefer to be surrounded by English speaking passengers and food and entertainment specifically geared for your nationality, then this is not the line for you.

Thanks so much for the prompt reply. We did book the cruise. Your description has some good points and some bad points for us. We don't need all the activities, etc. We enjoy meeting people from other places. I will have to practice my Italian. I really hate all the shopping push, so it sounds like we will enjoy opurselves.

We did ask for early dining, 7PM is good for us. Other ships seem to have too early, 5:30 or late 8:30. I hope we get the early dining at 7 pm.

We are most excited about the Adriatic itinerary, all the way to the Ukraine through the Bosphorus Straights, etc.

Thanks again!

Carol

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AmoMondo, you are a person after my own heart!. We are trying MSC Opera for the 1st time in May and I just popped in to have a look at any reviews and to see if any excursions in St Petersburg are recommended. I too enjoy Costa cruises, love the atmosphere and listening to all the different languages on board, although, as much as I like children will NEVER go in the Italian school holidays again.Did help that DH is Italian, especially when playing bingo!. Just been on another board where someone was whinging that their english speaking rep was Italian!!, and another person complained about their ship being full of Europeans!. They were, like me, Brits, shame to say.I'm a Celt too,though only a Welsh one, perhaps that helps!!!.

Leprechaun, hope you enjoy your 1st cruise, the Italian lakes are fab, my 1st ever trip to Italy was to Lake Garda.

Carol I am jealous, never been through the Bosphorus Straights, enjoy.

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Rusky123

You made me smile when i was reading your comments about some of our fellow Brits. I know exactly what you mean. there always seem to be some of them whenever I'm overseas (land or sea). i sometimes wonder why they travel at all, when everything seems to displease them so much.

 

Anyway hope you have a great time on the opera. I'd offer to give you advice on the Ports but unfortunately I sprained my ankle when on the Baltics cruise and could not get off the ship in St petersburg. \however I know the ship well, so would be more than happy to answer questions you have about it.

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