Along with all the other newbie’s at Pentravel where I work we got to go on a 5 day cruise from Cape Town to Walvis Bay and back on the MSC Opera. It was a cruise educational to give us first hand knowledge of cruising and the products we sell. It is always easier to sell a holiday once you have been on it yourself and for a lot of newbie’s this was their first time on a cruise ship.
As we got to the harbour that morning it was already hot and the lines for people boarding stretched all the way along the parking lot. As this was an educational we were treated to priority boarding and didn’t have to stand in line for 3 hours. From now on I would always recommend people pay a bit extra and get priority boarding as standing in that long line, in the sun for up to 3 or 4 hours can not be fun.
As soon as we boarded I went exploring the big ship. Walking around did bring back loads of memories of me working on a cruise ship years ago and it felt strange being on here as a passenger and not as part of the crew.
MSC Opera is a cruise ship built in 2004 and served as the flagship of the company until MSC Musica entered service in 2006. She can accommodate 2,055 passengers in 856 cabins, and host a crew complement of approximately 740.
A cruise ship is a huge floating hotel and entertainment centre all in one. The MSC Opera has a beautiful swimming pool on the upper deck and even 2 heated Jacuzzi’s. Heading up I even found a mini golf course out on the deck. If it wasn’t so windy I would have loved to try it out but unfortunately it was quite windy throughout our whole cruise.
Inside there is even a game centre, gym, spa, casino and a club where we had quite a few cocktails in the evenings. The MSC Opera cruise ship is certainly classic, grand, opulent with a true sense of grandeur and spaciousness.
Displaying the hallmark Italian style found on all of MSC Cruises’ stately ships, the public areas are enhanced by a sweeping marble reception area and magnificent open spaces with glass walls in order to best exploit the fabulous ocean views.
As the afternoon came along a mist rolled in from Table Mountain and as we cruised out of the harbour you couldn’t even see more than a meter into the mist. I do love my Stephen King books so I couldn’t help but think of his book the Mist as the white surrounded us.
Cruising is definitely not for everyone and some of the newbies spent the whole cruise in their small cabins sea sick and said that it even took them a day or two after debarkation to feel 100% normal again. So definitely take some motion/sea sickness tablets with, just in case as it could make or break your cruise.
Throughout the cruise we had a lot of team activities and got to know our co-workers a lot better. But we also had a lot of free time which we would have loved to spend on deck at the swimming pool but unfortunately the weather was bad. It was windy and cold throughout the cruise so I hid in various lounges with my book.
As we cruised back into Cape Town we had lovely clear weather and got some beautiful views of the city and of Table Mountain.