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Jan2 June 15th, 2005 11:10 AM

msc opera don't go
my thought on my cruise with msc opera in April. I sailed from venice to Greece and Turkey. loved the ports, but the experience on the ship was not good. Many cruisers including myself were very dissapoined in the quality of the food. Also it is really hard to find anything to eat after about 9pm. I also had a bad experience with the ship's dr. I don't think they contract with very well qualified doctors. Just hope and pray you don't have a medical problem on this ship. Jan

henri June 16th, 2005 02:18 AM

Re: msc opera don't go
Dear Jan2,
can you please be some more specific ??
I sailed the Transatlantic on OPERA, also in april 2005, and had no special mention problems.
What was the exact problem with the food ?
For the time after 9Pm there was a reasonable Room-service-list for (more) food on our sailing and besides that, there was a midnight-buffet EVERY night from 23:30-01:00.
Are you sure that it was a not good qualified Dr. on board OPERA. Then it must have been another than the Transatlantic one, because he was.
This is very serious, because by international law it is decree that only 'real' Dr's are allowed as ships-doctor/physician.
Hoping to answers,

Jan2 June 16th, 2005 08:58 AM

Re: Re: msc opera don't go
Henri, I had trouble finding anything to eat between 9 and 11 . If i didnt care for the meal , i would look for something before bedtime, usually about 11pm. I could find nothing, As my roomate was usually in bed before then, I did"nt want to call for room service. I have only been 0n 2 other cruises with carnival. In my opinion and many of the cruisers, the food was not very appealing. We had some italian rigatonni one night , that was not as good as what you can buy at Costco in the freezer section. There was hardly any choice of desserts, and what they offered was not very good. I sat at a table with 7 people, and most were very disappoined in the food, especially dessert. As for the Dr, I developed a bad stomach ache, went down to the infimery and requested to see the dr. I was only allowed to see the nurse, and without even checking me , She just handed me some suppositires. The next day I requested the Dr to come to my cabin as I was so ill I could barely get out of bed. The dr came and gave me a shot for pain and more suppositaries. We anyway, by her not checking me thoroughly. I developed a ruptured intestine and developed gangrene . I told the dr I had med insurance, and could have been flown home or to a nearby hosp, but she tollally misdiagnosed me as just having a stomach ache. I neary lost my lofe, When I got back home I had emergeny surgery. to save my life. That is why I think i had a very low qualit dr on the Opera, Jan

Barrydan July 10th, 2005 06:34 AM

Re: msc opera don't go
I am truly sorry to read of your horrendous experience. Presumably you are taking legal action against the Dr. for misdiagnosis. In turn have considered you could face legal action by the Doctor if they were aware of this post and you could not prove their negligence inexperience and lack of qualifications?

My experience with Opera, Lirica and Melody have been so very different.

I would certainly urge people to travel with the company and enjoy the many good things they offer.

Did you at any time consider that eating after 9.00 p.m. is in itself unhealths and could cause major health problems?

Best wishes for a ver speedy recovery.

Anne Campbell July 10th, 2005 07:32 PM

Re: msc opera don't go
Aside from Holland America and Princess, cruise lines contract doctors from outside temp agencies. I encountered a very drunk doctor on one of the most expensive ships in the world. This is unfortunate, but the reason you should always buy travel insurance which can get you to Germany if you're in Europe. Never, ever get sick in Italy, I could tell you horror stories.

MSC has been getting negative feedback since they started from many Americans. I think travel agents tell them it's "premium", which isn't true. MSC Cruises calls its ships premium, but they aren't. They're worth what you pay for them, sometimes around $50 per person, per day.

Jan2 July 11th, 2005 07:46 PM

Re: msc opera don't go
thanks Babyzino and Anne Cambell for your sincere interest in my health. Jan

Shellyjean July 16th, 2005 07:33 PM

Re: msc opera don't go
My mom was on Opera (HI MOM) and if there is any lawsuits about what she said here, they should be filed by her! International law being the quagmire that it is, I don't know how much luck she would have, but I sent a perfectly healthy 62 year old woman, who has enough energy to work full time and live on a house that can only be reached by 20 uneven steps come home from her dream vacation looking like death, being wheeled off the plane in a wheelchair. I immediately took her to a local hospital where she was very promptly diagnosed by a competent dr. It was a simple and quick diagnosis because her doctor listened to her. I was there, I saw it.

Her gripes about the food-I don't know. I am happy not to do the dishes, so I'd probably be thrilled to be served anything. But coming home with advanced peritonitis when she had been seen by a dr. the previous DAY and left untreated is unconscionable. Whether it is a premium cruise or a Kmart cruise, one should be taken care of properly by licensed physicians.

I almost lost my mom. Her doctor said if she hadn't been in such good physical condition then she would not likely have made it to the plane. Thank God that kind people on the KLM and NW airlines took good care to keep her as comfortable as possible till she got back home.

babyzino July 16th, 2005 08:33 PM

Re: The Law
Right on Shelley and thanks Jan.
For those who come across this and wonder why I got a thanks from Jan above when nothing from me was posted.... it was because the editor removed my posts. Posts which pointed out that it was absurd for anyone to intimate that Jan might be subject to a law suit for describing her medical scare.
Speaking of the law, the US Sup Ct issued an opinion last month in a case involving the claim of a disabled person against Norwegian Cruise Line that I predict will have repercussions on the pricing policy of cruise lines that do any business in the US. The court held that the cruise line was subject to the provisions of the American With Disabilites Act inasmuch as the ship was considered to be a public accomodation and therefor prohibited from non-compliance with the ADA concerning the treatment of disabled customers. There are other federal laws that prohibit discimination in pricing by public accomodatons based upon gender, race and , I believe, nationality. Cruise lines porting in the US that offer differing prices based on country of origin might soon find themselves on the wrong end of a law suit. I have long wondered how they could justify different pricing based simply on place of residence.
Hope this doesnt offend.

luckyjudy July 17th, 2005 08:39 PM

Re: msc opera don't go
We sailed on MSC Lirica across the Atlantic in May and were most impressed. o wpi;d agree that the food was not up to the standards of some of the other ships as far as the meats were concerned. but the pasta was awesome! and so was the fresh fruit.
There was always food available. In fact, as was pointed out qbove, there was a midnight buffet at 11:30 every night.
I didn't have to use the medical facilities, but a fellow passenger who had hesitated to report below because of the possible charges, found friendly free assistance to his sea sick needs.
This is not meant to make light of the other passenger's problems, but to assure people that MSC is worth trying. We preferred it to HAL!

lollyjoe July 20th, 2005 07:23 AM

Re: msc opera don't go
Very interesting thread and some quite damning statements, which I find hard to believe. I have sailed MSC, & Cunard & HAL.. I preferred the food on MSC. Costco.. LOL, that isn't Italian food, it's American food dubbed Italian for Americans.
Sorry if yuo got a misdiagnosis.. that can happen anywhere. Your own doctor already knows your history, others don't. Ship's Medics are all fully qualified. There are plenty of other lines where sadly unfortunate instances have occured, and in your local hospital.

Germany has no better medical care than anywhere else in Europe, a statement I find rather odd as it would be quicker to get back to the US from some areas. Travel insurance should be mandatory for all passengers. Ever tried getting medical care in the US as a non-resident with insurance? They leave you lying in agony on a trolley until they get confirmation bills will be paid... stuff the patient, money talks more.

Shellyjean July 28th, 2005 02:31 AM

Re: msc opera don't go
My mom was seen and her obvious problem wasdiagnosed immediately by an ER doctor who had never seen her a hospital she had only been in for the birth of my daughter. She had travel insurance. . Misdiagnosis does happen, but it shouldn't. And there was no IF about the misdiagnosis. She was delivered to me in a wheelchair. Money was never an issue. The inadequate care WAS the issue. The actual costs of the ship dr. only demonstrate vividly that you get what you pay for! The cost was very minimal. However, I know my mom would have gladly paid 100 times that to be spared her close brush with death, not to mention the pain and discomfort she experienced throughout the last 4 days of her cruise. If you are having a heart attack or a stroke would you be expected to tell everyone HOW to care for you or would you expect that the medical types would take charge and do their job??

Upanchor September 23rd, 2005 05:27 AM

Having had several wonderful cruises with MSC it is difficult for us to accept much of the misinformation given in this post. Food is absolutely wonderful as are each and every member of highly professional staff we have encountered.
Personally were either of us in serious pain and unhappy with the ships doctor - we would insist that the Hotel Director arrange transportation to a hospital at the next port - and if they would not co-operate would hail a taxi and do it ourselves.
It is also kind of silly when people who are totally ignorant of the line, have never sailed with the company, and were not present at the time of the alleged incident start issuing warnings!!

stewrobb October 12th, 2005 05:50 PM

MSC Don't Go???
It really doesn't surprise me that a majority of the people who write poor reviews have other issues. Don't forget folks this is an ITALIAN cruise line and not a large facsimile of the good old american way. You should embrace that which is in front of and around you. If you don't like it suck it up, it's only a few days.

My wife and I are going on the Opera in March. Are we excited? Oh Yes!!! What if we don't have a good time? Probably not gonna happen. To escape a cold Canadian winter in any capacity is a welcome thought.

Just think, you could be stuck in Wisconsin, freezing at a Packers game and eating cheddar. At least mine will be Parmigiano and the temperature will be hot!

Don't forget life is meant to live and the Italians live life so well.


VeryPicky December 25th, 2005 01:01 AM

Jan: Just want to say I'm so sorry to hear what happened to you. It's scary to get sick away from home. I got poisoning in a hotel in Italy years ago. We all woke up screaming "It was the zucchini!" (It had tasted funny but we all thought it was a spice or something at the time we ate it.) The hotel manager was terrified a bunch of Americans were all going to sue and insisted we had all acquired a "flu" all at the same time! Luckily, one of us was a nurse and she ran around buying cases of 7-up. We all shakily boarded the bus the next day. Nobody sued. But we all could have. . . .

concheman December 29th, 2005 07:51 PM

OMG the MSC Cruise bashers are at it again.Must cost other cruise companies heaps to keep them writing in.
Clearly a successful cruise company MSC is bugging some others

RD46 December 30th, 2005 02:38 PM


I have to agree - a week in the caribbean sun will be much better than a week spent in the midst of a Canadian winter.

Although I have not yet travelled with MSC, I do expect that my March cruise will be a different experience than the standard/homogenized cruises I have come to expect. Not that there is anything wrong with that...

The following website has sample menus for Mediterranean, and 10/11 day Caribbean cruises. I am very excited as they sound real Italian - there are not too many cruise lines where you will be served risotto. And while I am sure that it will not be as good as my mother's, I know that I will be ordering it for dinner everynight. Cheers!

foredeck March 1st, 2006 01:25 PM

FYI MSC Passenger Contract
Para.6 Travel Insurance
All passengers must have valid current travel insurance for the duration of the voyage. The company may require passengers to provide proof of such insurance coverage prior to departure.
Never seen this enforced,or ever asked to show proof. Three MSC cruises. Always carry travel insurance.

cindyandmatt March 1st, 2006 04:41 PM

Our Italian travel agent told us that as U.S. citizens it is optional to carry travel insurance but it is mandatory for Europeans. Maybe it's in their brochure because they're European?

CathyCanada March 14th, 2006 08:35 PM

I was on the Feb 25th sailing of the Opera and loved it. I'm so sorry that you had such a bad experience, Jan and hope that you have fully recovered.

The food was not the best I have had on a cruise, but it was very good and I always found something (or asked for it) that I liked. There was a midnight buffet most nights and on the off nights, waiters brought food around on trays. Everyone has different tastes so what one person likes, another won't.

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