I am considering a cruise aboard the MSC Opera in the Mediterranean in November 05. Anyone take this cruise before? what about the shore excursions? kids club? being american? Any input would be appreciated.
I took Lyrica last fall in the Mediterranean. I'm used to being around Europeans and loved it. Europeans don't mix much with people outside their families but they are much livelier aboard a ship than Americans. At a dance class the ages trying to shake it ranged from toddlers to people in their 80's and it was a hoot to see.
Like every other cruise line, MSC charges an arm and a leg for shore excursions so in every port I walked all over and had a terrific time. The only exception was Tunis, where the language is a problem.
If you want a real European experience, give this a try. Some of the waiters seemed to look down on us Americans, but perhaps that was my imagination. This is a cruise experience planned for Europeans, no Americans, so you won't find everything done the same way. Are you flexible? Open to new experiences?
I`ve returned a couple of weeks ago from this ship. Although being european (german) and an experienced cruiser, my favourite line is RCCL (i also like Princess). To my own surprise i fell in love with the MSC Opera after wonderful 7 days. What was good is that i didn`t have the same expectations like i had when boarding e.g. the Serenade of the Seas. But the "Opera- Experience" was a very charming and romantic one without any major problems. Give it a try, don`t worry about being american and not european (the cruise experience is a specific "italian" one, an average "all european"- experience is COSTA). The fairytales being sometimes told in cruise forums about the "anti- american" MSC- experience are really ridiculous, and i say this with the experience of 10 cruises on RCCL and Princess.
I don`t know the itinerary, but it should be great. But if it`s your first cruise in europe i would strongly recommend to take shore excursions (they`re relatively cheap at MSC, but still too pricy like everywhere else). You can only do the beautiful small town of Dubrovnik on your own.