Inexpensive Mega SET SAIL 2004
Spend an afternoon in a Turkish bath at the Aurea spa
Start your day with a delicious omelet at II Patio
Take poolside line dancing classes
Enjoy a shot at the two-deck Teattro Dell’Opera theater

MSC Opera is a charming ship — smaller than many sailing the seas these days but still comfortable and luxurious. Its numerous lounges make sharing a drink or chatting with old — or new — friends a fun thing to do on sea days. Expect to see a variety of age groups. Because of MSC’s Kids Sail Free program, you’ll probably be sailing with youngsters — especially during school holidays.


MSC Cruises’ former flagship vessel may not be as large as newer ships, but its timeless use of wood and marble make for a unique, French-Art-Deco-meets-modern-Italian décor not seen elsewhere. Befitting of its old-fashioned elegance are huge windows and glass walls that impart an extra dose of brightness and color.

Staterooms are equally vibrant, almost tropical, and appropriate for warm weather destinations. Staterooms are either inside or ocean-view, and suites have a balcony. Standard rooms are cozy but comfortable, with suites being slightly larger. MSC Opera has only 28 suites, which might be considered mini-suites on other vessels, and offer bathtubs and balconies. Booking for these suites fills up quickly.

Cruisers aboard MSC Opera are as varied as its ports of call; the itinerary is a favorite of North Americans, Brits, Germans and Italians.

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Find MSC Opera cruises

In February, March and part of April, she focuses on three and four-day cruises out of Durban, South Africa. In spring, MSC Opera makes a grand voyage to Southampton, England, sailing out the summer in the British Isles and Northern Europe. She heads back to Cape Town in the fall.