I boarded MSC Opera in Southampton yesterday. I arrived at the Mayflower Terminal at 11.45am and was onboard the ship by roughly 12.15. First impressions were as I expected from MSC, very good! I have said many times that MSC ships smell nice as well as looking impressive and MSC Opera is no exception. I actually sat chatting to a couple this morning from the UK who agreed that the ship has a “scent” about it that is incredibly sweet and a nice change from the typical “cruise ship smell”.
I found my way around quite easily thanks two ships visits on sister ship MSC Lirica last year. My cabin is on Deck 10, Turandot deck and is an oceanview. The cabins on MSC ships are very nice indeed and the one I am currently calling home is more than enough for one. My cabin steward is also very friendly and delivered the extra pillows I asked him for earlier in the evening.
We left Southampton on time and to a typical Italian sail-away party, the music was good, the entertainment staff are very funny and lively and everyone onboard had a great time, even us Brits who didn’t have a clue what they were all singing about. I have to say though that prior to this rather happy event I got such a fright when I noticed two crew members perched worryingly on the top of the ships funnel. I had only glanced briefly but then realised they were in fact bringing in the flags as we were ready to sail. I don’t like heights so my heart was literally in my throat for the guy at the front, all in a day’s work for him I have no doubt, but another job I would NEVER want to be asked to carry out!
My night went better than I could have expected thanks to two girls also in their twenties who kindly invited me to join them for drinks and a good old girly chat. We chatted for hours and were still enjoying one others company late into the evening. I will talk to anyone and everyone and I have to say I have met quite a few people in the last 24 hours, I am certainly not going to be alone for the cruise entirely which is great.
The food as always is very nice and again the selection is incredibly impressive, if there’s one thing MSC Cruises exceeds at it’s definitely the selection of food on offer. Even this morning for breakfast they had everything you could ever want to indulge in, including my beloved hash browns although I must admit the hash browns on MSC Magnifica were nicer. As I took my morning meal outside I also passed another small buffet type station where they were serving fresh waffles and what looked like fresh crepes with chocolate sauce, heaven on a plate!
We arrived this morning in Ijmuiden, Holland and what a beautiful day it has been! Very warm and sunny. I was met by my adopted Dutch family whom I met on MSC Magnifica, they would be my tour guides for the day and we explored Haarlem which is somewhere I definitely recommend you stop and enjoy. I actually much preferred Haarlem to Amsterdam, far prettier and not as fast paced, you can take your time and actually enjoy your surroundings whilst sipping a refreshing beverage at one the many cafes, bars or restaurants that line the streets. I will give you a full blog about Ijmuiden soon, there was far too much to see and do to cram it all into one paragraph!
I am now back on the ship and there is some kind of mini-golf competition happening around the pool, I can’t see exactly from where I am sitting but there are lots of people taking part and the open deck is full of happy cruisers from all over the world! There are actually a lot of Russian citizens boarding the ship today.
What this evening shall bring I have no idea but up to now I am having a great time and I am excited to see what else this voyage brings. Hopefully it includes more sunshine! 😉
Until next time…………See you in Guernsey!