MSC Opera – the ship

MSC Opera was built in 2004 for MSC Cruises at the Chantiers de L’Atlantique shipyard in St Nazaire, France. At 65,591GT she’s pretty small in comparison to the mega ships that are being built today.

As we’ve now sailed on all four of the Lirica class cruise ships we’re in a good position to compare them to each other, and indeed the larger ships in the fleet.

We were very fortunate to be upgraded to a balcony cabin from an ocean view – here’s a quick video tour of our cabin 10208. We found the cabin a nice size, although there is no seating area other than the balcony and the chair at the dressing table, compared with the newer ships which often have a sofa area. This was not a problem for us.

You’ll also notice that there is a shower cubicle and not a curtain. The bathroom was plenty big enough with two glass shelves and a cupboard under the sink for storage. The hairdryer was one of those hose on the wall types and not brilliant.

In addition to the drawers in the wardrobe there is a cupboard at each side of the bed and additional drawers in the desk.

Our black card perks of chocolate dipped fruit and a bottle of Prosecco were waiting for us on arrival.

The ship from the outside shows the elegance and classic lines of this class of ship.

Our table, 622 in the L’Approdo restaurant on deck 6 right by the window to allow good views outside whilst sailing


The sweeping marble staircase from the Aroma Coffee Bar to the reception area. This area provided a good photo opportunity. I was trying to be arty with my camera angle but I’ve made it look like the ship is badly pitching and listing!

The Sottovento pub on deck 5 offers a variety of draft beers and bar snacks, however we found that the pub was too smoky on this ship and therefore only went in twice.

The Teatro dell’Opera spans the forward sections of decks 5 and 6. Seating is in fixed rows that are raked. On the other three Lirica class there were small tables and chairs infront of each row of seats which could impede your view.

The Piazza di Spagna lounge on deck 5 is the ship’s wine bar, with lots of seating and a dance floor. I just wanted to demonstrate here the seating but there is about as much again with the dance floor in the middle. This is the lounge where most of the evening parties happen.


The Cotton Club on Deck 6 is another lounge with a live music option. A Cuban artist used this space on our trip.

The deck space on the Lirica class is nice and open, with plenty of room for sun loungers, however it was too cold to sunbathe on our trip.

Like most of our nights onboard, this post is finishing with the disco. By night it is a trendy night spot playing a variety of music from classic disco to Euro-pop and dance music. I think everyone had gone to bed when I took this!

During the day the space isn’t used very much, but it is accessible so is a good spot to read or play a game. There is access from here to the buffet and it’s not too far from the pool bar should you want to read a book with a cup of tea.

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