On reading previous reviews I have come to the conclusion that this ship can be classed as the Marmite of the Cruising World; it's either loved or hated. I have just returned from a 10 day cruise to Holland, Spain, Portugal and France. This is my second cruise on the Opera and my seventeenth cruise overall. Previous cruise experiences include P&O, Cunard, Princess and Holland America, as well as several other MSC ships. I therefore consider myself experienced enough to write a fair review and make reasonable comparisons.
Embarkation: This has to be one of our best embarkation experiences to date. We used the free car parking facility at Southampton. On arrival at the car park our luggage was taken from us and we did not see it again till we were on board. The passengers were transferred by mini bus from the car park to the terminal. There were no queues, so once the formality of checking in was completed we were on board within minutes. Disembarkation worked equally as efficiently.
Accommodation: We booked a balcony cabin on deck 9. I have to say that this was the smallest balcony cabin I have ever seen. The actual cabin area was no larger than an ordinary inside cabin! The balcony was also small. However, the cabin had all that we required, enough storage space, plenty of hangers and was perfectly adequate for our needs. The cabin was kept clean and tidy by our room steward, who provided us with a good service and clean towels twice a day.