Newcastle Upon Tyne, England.
MSC Opera: Opulence mixed with modern comforts
MSC Opera certainly lives up to its name — classic, grand, opulent. It's a cruise ship with something to sing about! A true sense of grandeur and spaciousness prevails on MSC Opera, one of the most welcoming ships in the fleet of Italy-based MSC Cruises.
MSC Opera offers a fun onboard atmosphere with more than enough activities both day and night to keep passengers of all ages entertained. Although one of the smallest within the MSC fleet, Opera manages to convey a sense of spaciousness and offers some superb accommodations — in fact, MSC Cruises has some of the best staterooms at sea.
To cruise aboard MSC Opera is to experience the best of old-fashioned elegance mixed with modern home comforts. Once on board you can look forward to a truly magnificent experience: Enjoy an espresso at the coffee bar or indulge in fresh home-made ice cream at the Gelato Bar. Take Italian lessons, stop by the Internet Cafe or simply enjoy a perfectly blended cocktail on the open deck.
Who will like sailing on MSC Opera
MSC Opera will appeal to those who want to discover the Med way of life! This is a ship for all ages and tastes. MSC Opera is a good choice for those looking for something a little different from their cruise vacation. She is a ship full of Mediterranean flare, and that is evident throughout in her decor and cuisine.
The ship's passengers come from the world over, so there is a constant mix of nationalities on board — this is always fun during daytime activities on the open deck — and her onboard programs are conveyed in several different languages. I'm British and never had a problem understanding what was going on.
Where MSC Opera sails
My voyage: On a recent sailing, I embarked on a 10-night Southampton round-trip Atlantic voyage with stops at Le Havre, France; Ijmuiden, the Netherlands; Lisbon, Portugal; Vigo and Bilbao, Spain, and Saint Peter Port, Guernsey. The ship was a hive of activity during the entire voyage — never a miserable face did I see, though I was thoroughly miserable when I had to bid her farewell on disembarkation day.
Top dining options on MSC Opera
MSC Opera offers two main restaurants, La Caravella and L'Approdo. Both offer waiter service and boast a top gastronomic selection of treats, from king prawns to succulent steak and some wonderful vegetarian options all accompanied by a superb selection of fresh breads that are expertly baked on board.
La Vele Cafeteria, the ship's beautifully decorated buffet restaurant, extends down the port and starboard side of the ship. You'll find a wonderful selection of food available morning, noon and night, including a fantastic selection of fresh salad, cheeses, several different meats and various pasta and other dishes.
A large al fresco snack area, Il Patio, offers a selection of delicious pizzas, burgers and hot dogs for you to munch on while soaking up the sun.
Spa & wellness
On board MSC Opera, you'll find the award-winning MSC Aurea Spa, one of the best spas at sea. Fluffy towels and plush robes for the steam room and sauna, delicate flower petals and warm lighting in your massage room and all-new, state-of-the-art fitness equipment in the gym await you.
There is also a relaxation and meditation area surrounded by glass overlooking the open ocean that is simply calling out your name. Beauty treatments blend the best of ancient and modern practices incorporating elements of natural minerals, healing salts and aromatherapy to modern methods such as electronic stimulation.
The health center offers specialized regimens that include anti-wrinkle facial treatments, firming and exfoliating all-over body treatments and several types of massage incorporating shiatsu, reflexology and sports therapy. The hair salon offers the full range of services from cuts and coloring to make-up application and waxing.
Bars & lounges
MSC Opera offers guests the choice of several bars and lounges, each inspired by a different theme. They include Bar Aroma Café, Piazza di Spagna Piano Bar, Caruso Lounge, Cotton Club Bar, La Cabala Piano Bar, Byblos Discotheque (which is located on the very top deck at the aft of the ship and extends out onto the open deck), Monte Carlo Casino and the Opera Theatre.
You can relax and enjoy a post-dinner liqueur in La Cabala or dance the night away in Byblos – the choice is entirely up to you.
On-board entertainment across the entire MSC Cruises fleet is a big thing. You can enjoy everything from dance lessons on the Opera's open deck as the sun sets on the Mediterranean Sea to a first-class operatic performance in the ship's Teatro dell‘ Opera (Opera Theatre). The 4,300-square-foot casino is always open when the ship is at sea and is incredibly popular day and night. There is also a Virtual Reality Games room located at the aft of the ship — ideal for kids and adults.
MSC Opera offers a range of entertainment in her complimentary Kids Clubs. There is so much for kids to do with MSC Cruises, you may need longer than a week to fit it all in. MSC Opera offers a small mini-golf area on her top deck, which is always fun for the entire family, along with several designated kids' areas for those ages 3-17, staffed by trained and fully qualified professionals. As each age group has different interests, MSC has created clubs offering a wide range of activities from parties, live shows, arts and crafts lessons, sports tournaments and ship-based adventures — in short, more than enough to keep them busy all day. The kids clubs are open 9 am to 10 pm.
MSC Opera offers a wide variety of stateroom options, from comfortable inside cabins to spacious balcony cabins, all the way up to the top-of-the-line suites with balcony, which measure 290 square feet (27 square meters). All staterooms offer in-suite facilities, TV, mini-bar and safe. For guests with reduced mobility or disabilities, MSC Opera also offers specially adapted inside cabins with wider doors, fold-down shower seat and grab rails.
Danielle Fear sailed on MSC Opera as one of the journalists and bloggers who are occasionally invited aboard to write about the ship as guests of MSC Cruises. See Cruiseable's Ethics & disclosure policy.
Have you sailed on MSC Opera? Please share a story, tip or discovery. What was the highlight for you? I'd love to know!
Interested in a cruise on this ship?
Top highlights on this ship
- Chic and contemporary public areas
- Some of the best staterooms at sea
- Drinks package options available
- Will be "stretched" in 2015 with the addition of new cabins and a new water park
- Several embarkation and disembarkation port options