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The MSC Opera: A Huffington Post Cruise Ship Guide

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MSC OPERA
Courtesy of MSC Cruises
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The MSC Opera is a popular floating resort. The waters are crowded with sea-worthy vessels, so to make planning easier, we've done all the prep work for a cruise vacation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on cruise ships, here is a tip sheet offering all the key information one could ever need to know about The MSC Opera.

Destination

The MSC Opera sails to such destinations as Italy, Malta, Spain, Morocco, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay on cruises that typically last from three to 20 nights.

Passenger Ship

The MSC Opera is a large ship at about 825 feet long and 94 feet wide. It can carry about 2,055 passengers and a crew of about 720 on its nine passenger decks. The ship is popular with cruisers interested in "elegant simplicity."

Special Features

The MSC Opera is described as a "masterpiece on the seas" by the cruise line, and it has a number of features that make it especially appealing. The elegant decor is enhanced by marble flooring and detailed woodwork throughout the ship. The Old World elegance of the vessel dovetails nicely with modern amenities like the futuristic Byblos Disco, the state-of-the-art Teatro dell'Opera theater and the Virtual Reality Games arcade. The ship also has miniature golf, a fitness center, solarium, video game arcade, spa, beauty salon, theater, casino, library and Internet cafe. Passengers can also take Italian lessons while on the cruise.

Accommodations

The MSC Opera boasts 856 well-appointed staterooms. The ship offers nearly a dozen cabin categories, including interior, ocean-view and balcony staterooms, and a variety of suites. All staterooms are equipped with a safe, refrigerator, shower, telephone, hair dryer and TV. The smallest cabin measures 140 square feet.

Cost

Fares vary, depending on such factors as itinerary, cabin selection and date of travel. On the MSC Opera, passengers can experience such itineraries as a three-night South American cruise for $339 or a 20-night transatlantic cruise from Italy to South America for $1,349.

Excursions

One MSC Opera passenger recommended the excursion to Gdansk, Poland. This passenger loved the cuisine and was attracted to the the city's Old Town area, describing it as having a charming "Dutch feel" to it. The passenger also recommended Stockholm, Sweden, enthusiastically noting that it would be a wonderful place to pack up and move to.

Dining Experience

Passengers on the MSC Opera can choose from two formal restaurants, La Caravella and L'Approdo, which serve Italian and Mediterranean fare. There are fixed seating times for dinner. Other more casual venues are the Le Vele cafeteria and Il Patio outdoor cafe. Midnight buffets and room service are other options.

Maiden Voyage

The MSC Opera made its maiden voyage in 2004. It was built by a French shipbuilder exclusively for MSC Cruises as a passenger liner.

In The News

MSNBC reported in May 2011 that the MSC Opera suffered a power outage while cruising the Baltic Sea.

WATCH

Tour of the MSC Opera.

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