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MSC Opera Review

2014 Best Overall
2014 Best for Dining
2014 Best for Entertainment
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Find a MSC Opera Cruise from £137

MSC Opera
4.0 / 5.0
336 reviews

Pros
Fun-filled ship with top-notch entertainment, great food and great kids' facilities
Cons
Limited dining options
Bottom Line
With two nights and two days in Havana, this is a real opportunity to discover the Cuban capital

About

Passengers
2,142

Crew
800

Passenger to Crew
2.68:1

Launched
2004

Shore Excursions
250
Sails To
Eastern Mediterranean, Africa, Mediterranean, Middle East
MSC Cruise Deals
Adam Coulter
Cruise Critic UK Managing Editor

MSC Opera Overview

The 2,150-passenger MSC Opera is one of four medium-sized Lirica-class ships, dating from 2004 (the others are Armonia, Lirica and Sinfonia).

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MSC Cruises spent more than $200 million on Opera and the rest of the Mistral class during a two-year refurbishment program in 2014–2015 that saw a nearly 80-foot-long section sandwiched into the middle of each ship. The "stretching" procedure added nearly 200 more cabins -- 94 of which have balconies. During the refurbishment, the line also took the chance to update the spa and childcare facilities, as well as to add an interactive water feature called the Spray Park to the top deck.

The result is a ship that looks and feels contemporary, despite its advanced years. MSC has really thought about what ship would fit best for this Cuba itinerary, and has gone to great lengths to give it a Cuban feel in terms of entertainment and cuisine, as well as some well thought out shore excursions.

Opera does have its limitations, however, not least the crush at peak hours at the buffet and the lack of dining options.

The ship has been homeporting in Havana, Cuba from the winter 2015-16 season, and stays two nights and two and a half days in the Cuban capital, which means you can get a real feel for the city, enjoying its nightspots and -- if you're feeling adventurous -- venturing out to discover other parts of Cuba during the day.

Opera also stops in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico. Opera was joined by sister ship MSC Armonia in winter 2016.


Top MSC Opera Itineraries

MSC Opera
28 night mediterranean cruise

Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Athens (Piraeus), Split, Venice

View All MSC Opera Itineraries (27)

Fellow Passengers

Opera's demographic is predominantly European, mainly Italian, French and Spanish with a handful of Brits. The line does not operate the "People to People" program, which allows U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba, so there are no Americans onboard. The cultural differences are fascinating and fun; one thing they all have in common is they are there for a good time and the partying goes on till late. You also never know what response your "good morning" will get ... it might be a "Guten tag" or "Buenos Dias," "Buon Giorno" or "Bonjour." That's one of the things that make this ship special, and also means announcements in at least five different languages; sometimes more.

Ages range from families with young kids to seniors with walkers.


MSC Opera Dress Code

There are two formal nights on a seven-night cruise; otherwise, dress during the day is casual and, at night, is country club casual.


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MSC Opera Ratings

CategoryEditorMember
Cabins3.03.6
Dining3.03.1
Entertainment5.03.4
Public Rooms4.03.9
Fitness Recreation3.03.2
Family4.02.9
Enrichment1.02.8
Service4.03.4
Value For Money4.03.1

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More about MSC Opera

Where does MSC Opera sail from?

How much does it cost to go on MSC Opera?

Cruises on MSC Opera start from £137 per person.

Is MSC Opera a good ship to cruise on?

MSC Opera won 7 awards over the years.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2014 Best Overall
  • 2014 Best for Dining
  • 2014 Best for Entertainment
  • 2014 Best for Fitness
  • 2014 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2014 Best for Value
  • 2014 Best for Families
Show More

MSC Opera Member Reviews

Lbsignorelli
Sail Date: Jun 2019
It has been widely reported in the papers about the MSC Opera accident in Venice. An extremely unfortunate event due to a mechanical failure.... Read More
Kenwootton
Sail Date: Feb 2020
The buffers have everything thing you could need The beds are comfortable and bangs fit under the beds This is our second msc cruise and it is just plain good Value When we read the reviews... Read More
Cranleigh Man
Sail Date: Oct 2019
Before we booked our cruise we looked on various websites for reviews on the Opera but there was not many, and what there was were not very good.... Read More
CO-SOS
Sail Date: Apr 2019
The reviews on MSC Opera are not as bad as some people would lead you to believe. I think probably it's a 3 star overall.... Read More

MSC Cruises Fleet

MSC Lirica
3.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

263 reviews

MSC Lirica is one of four medium-sized Mistral-class ships dating from 2003. In 2014, an 80-foot-long section was sandwiched into the middle of the ship.

MSC Lirica Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean MSC Lirica Cruises to the Mediterranean View All MSC Lirica Cruises
MSC Musica
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Musica serves an English-speaking crowd but with a largely international mix of passengers. Expect dance lessons and a decent wine bar to keep you occupied.

MSC Orchestra
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


MSC Orchestra, which joined the fleet in 2007, is the line's eighth ship. Like MSC Musica, Orchestra represents an evolutionary new design strategy for the line.

MSC Sinfonia
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


The 1,952-passenger MSC Sinfonia is one of four Mistral-class ships that saw a new midsection during a major 2014/2015 refurb. Sinfonia debuted in 2002.

MSC Fantasia

The 3,300-passenger MSC Fantasia debuted in 2008 as the largest and most innovative cruise ship ever built by Italy-based MSC Cruises.

MSC Splendida
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Spendida is European through and through, from the food and decor to the coffee and cigarettes. The ship sails the Mediterranean and most rooms have balconies.

MSC Poesia
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Tastefully exuberant decor -- brass handrails on the staircases, marble countertops at reception, a waterfall in the atrium -- means Poesia is elegant but not boring.

MSC Armonia
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


MSC Armonia is the oldest ship in the MSC Cruises fleet. Built in 2001, Armonia began sailing under the MSC banner in 2004.

MSC Magnifica
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Part of the Musica Class of ships, 2,518-passenger MSC Magnifica has a sprawling spa, a range of dining venues and a high number of balcony cabins.

MSC Divina
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


One of the most multinational ships sailing in North America, with a decidedly Mediterranean flare, active nightlife and the suites-only Yacht Club.

MSC Preziosa
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


MSC Preziosa provides a fun, relaxed and affordable way to cruise the Med. With 1,751 cabins and a total capacity for 4,345 passengers, Preziosa offers a good choice of accommodation options.

MSC Seaside
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Designed for North America, MSC Seaside focuses on the outdoors with more alfresco space, lots of balcony cabins and open-air attractions.

MSC Meraviglia
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


The 4,475-passenger ship (5,714 at capacity) boasts a number of industry firsts, including a Cirque du Soleil venue and promenade with an LED ceiling that projects different scenes throughout the day.

MSC Seaview
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


MSC Seaview is MSC Cruises' second Seaside-class ship, launched in June 2018. The 5,179-passenger ship, along with its sister, will have the largest ratio of outdoor space of any cruise ship.

MSC Grandiosa

Due for delivery in October 2019 and September 2020, the first of two new Meraviglia Plus ships will carry nearly 6,300 passengers plus 1,700 crew.

MSC Virtuosa

MSC Virtuosa, the second ship in MSC Cruises' Meraviglia Plus Class, is slated to launch in September 2020 and will carry 6,297 passengers.

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