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Age: 51

Occupation:Systems Engineer

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: MSC Cruises

Ship: MSC Opera

Sailing Date: 2013-09-14

Itinerary: Northern Europe

We visited 5 countries in 10 days, Amsterdam, Vigo, Spain, Lisbon, Portugal, Bilboa, Spain, and La Harve, France - great experience. The only problem is that we didn't get to stay longer at each of the ports, except for La Harve, France. We set up our excursion through MSC without an issue.

Cons - I had ordered the beverage soda package and beer/water package online prior to our departure, but they didn't show it on our account when we boarded. They did issue us vouchers that we used throughout the cruise. I would recommend doing this prior, since they will add the 15% gratuity to each drink you order a la carte!

The ship is dated and you can see this in the rooms and lounges. We had a room with a balcony, which was a bit too small. The bathroom is real small with only a shower that you can barely fit if you are a bit oversized. I'm not and hated the fact they use a shower curtain. Pretty dated. The room was "surface" clean, however there was a stench smell in the bathroom. Especially, when you are at sea for more than a day. I don't remember this being problem with the other cruise line I traveled with before.

This being our 3rd cruise, we were expecting the same quality of service that we got with Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises. NOT!

We didn't like the fact that the cruise wasn't English friendly. I guess since it is an Italian ship, it was catered more to that theme.

The food was mediocre. Nothing special and repeats. You are assigned sitting, first or second sitting. The menu was limited and the service was okay. One of our guest was served her mean cold.

As stated, it's pretty dated. Hardly saw our cabin attendant. Our sliding door to our balcony was never cleaned until the very last night. Go figure. I guess he was hoping for a tip, which I left him one, in addition to our daily tipping charge that the cruise line charged us.

We didn't participate in any. But noticed they had bingo and some dance lessons.

We did excursions in Amsterdam, Vigo, Lisbon, and Bilboa. In Vigo we visited Santiago Campostelas. This was well worth the 1.5 hour trip to Santiago. I would recommend this to all Christians and non Christians. We also did an excursion to Fatima. Again, a delightful place. Bilboa is awesome. Would highly recommend the Guenhiem and Historical City tour. In La Harve, we wanted to visit the Normandy American Cemetery. The cruise ship did NOT have excursions to this place. You'd think they would set up an excursion given the significance, but I guess it's not in their purview. If you are traveling with a group of 6-8 persons, they are some private tours you can engaged outside the cruise ship, however since it was me and my husband we had reserved a vehicle and drove there. Quiet a experience.

Because we were traveling with multiple persons of different languages, French, Italian, Germans, and of other origins, our excursion were translated in English. However, the rudeness when we traveled with the French or Italians of overly speaking when the tour guide was translating in English, was left to be desired. Very loud. And, they talk about the Americans!

Unfortunately, MSC did not live up to our expectations. We are not hard to please, but the service overall was mediocre. The food wasn't too pleasing and limited in selection. They should have open sitting even if you are assigned either the 1st or 2nd.

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