MSC Opera Cruises Review
Several of MSC's ships, including the Poesia, Magnifica, Melody and Fantasia, do one-way repositioning cruises at rock-bottom prices. But hidden fees are travelers' biggest complaint (tea, coffee, and bottled water cost extra at some meals), along with grumbles about sub-par food and limited hours at the pool and restaurants. Passenger capacity: between 1,500 and 3,000 (depending on ship).
MSC Cruise Line is not considered a budget cruise company, but several MSC ships do one-way repositioning cruises at prices starting at about $60/person/night. However, MSC Cruise Line reviews indicate that irritants like hidden fees (for bottled water, coffee, and tea, for example), disappointing food and entertainment, and mediocre service leach much of the joy from the journey. The line is based in Italy and the European ambiance of the ships seems to throw some American passengers; MSC Cruise reviews posted on Cruise Reviews, for example, carp about the repetitive multi-lingual announcements at the start of an evening entertainment, ship personnel who struggle with English, and the low-key energy of onboard activities compared to the all-out party frenzy found on some American cruise ships. Frommer's notes that cruises with North American itineraries have yet to fully embrace the cruising sensibilities of American and Canadian passengers and adds that service on board is inconsistent. And despite Italy's vaunted reputation as a gourmet Mecca, the food served in the buffets and restaurants draws little more than tepid appraisals in many MSC Cruise reviews.
Passenger capacity on MSC ships ranges between 1,500 and 3,000, depending on the ship.. The fleet is the youngest in the industry and travelers generally report the decor is clean and fresh, with distinctly European styling; many cabins include balconies. MSC runs cruises in the Mediterranean, and around Northern Europe, South Africa, and South America, and across the Atlantic. Ships like the Poesia, Magnifica, Melody, and Fantasia sometimes offer repositioning cruises that take passengers in one direction only; the prices on such trips are quite low, but remember to factor in the cost of transiting in the opposite direction.
Fares on most MSC cruises are no particular bargain -- repositioning cruises being an exception -- and for many travelers, the overall package lacks value. Families with young children, however, may have a different view: children up to and including age 11 travel at no cost.