After a good night’s sleep we opened our hotel room curtains, thinking we’d see MSC Opera on the horizon. Alas all we could see was Norwegian Spirit heading in to port. Funnily enough it was two years since we’d arrived at Abu Dhabi cruise terminal and MSC Fantasia was nowhere to be seen and only NCL Spirit was in port.
Unfortunately the weather the night before had been very bad and the ship had to slow down. The wind had been very strong with rough seas causing a delay by a couple of hours. The prevailing wind had also caused some damage to the canopy that covers the outside section of the buffet on deck 11. Our embarkation was therefore a little delayed, and whilst some people may get annoyed at that aspect it’s important to remember that it is ALWAYS safety first. The recent events on Viking Sky demonstrate how bad weather can impact ships.
Embarkation began at around 2pm and we were onboard incredibly quickly thanks to our Black Card status in the MSC Voyagers Club. We were absolutely delighted to find that Alistair, the Hotel Director had secured us an upgrade from an ocean view cabin to a balcony. Thank you so much Alistair! Alistair was also waiting for us on deck and gave us a short tour of the ship.
Our cabin on deck 10 is incredibly spacious and our friendly cabin steward introduced herself. Our Black Card perks of a bottle of fizz, chocolate models of the ship and chocolate dipped fruit were waiting for us.
The mandatory muster drill was soon to follow and this was conducted professionally and efficiently.
We headed back to our cabin and unpacked before exploring the ship a bit more. Opera is the last of the four Lirica class of ships for us to sail on, and we were expecting it to be the same layout and feeling as Sinfonia, which we travelled on at Christmas however there are some aspects that make this ship feel different.
We headed to dinner and were allocated table 622 in L’Approdo restaurant on deck 6. A lovely table for four by the window which we are sharing with our friends Stuart and Trevor. The evening’s theme menu was Meditteranean with dishes such as tapas, paella, nicosie salad and tiramisu.
The food was nothing short of excellent with great service from our waiter. The wine flowed all through the meal – the drinks bill for our table would have been €120 – thank heavens for the drinks package!
The evening’s celebrations continued with drinks in various bars and we even made it to the disco!
I’ll update this post with pictures when we’re in port and can use mobile data as we’re saving our WiFi