We got back a week ago, but I've been so swamped I haven't had a chance to update here yet.
The cruise was great, we had a wonderful relaxing time. Pictures are available. For those who've forgotten, we went on the MSC Opera. It was a lovely ship. Very elegant and understated decor. Our cabin was small, but more than adequate. We never felt cramped. The food was delicious. There were no sales-related announcements - only drills, port calls, and debarkation were announced. We loved that about it.
Things we liked:
- No announcements. It was very peaceful. You didn't feel like they were trying to milk you.
- Food was great. We enjoyed just about everything we ate.
- The entertainment was amazing. The gala show on Thursday night was the best show we've seen on a cruise.
- St Croix was a wonderful port of call. We absolutely loved it.
- "No tipping required" policy. No automatic gratuities were charged, and we weren't even given envelopes and suggested tipping amounts. It was very low pressure.
Our only complaints were:
- The itinerary could have been better. Arriving in San Juan at 7pm was a disappointment because most attractions were closed. I've heard the rain forest in Puerto Rico is well worth seeing, but of course you can't do that at night.
- The buffet restaurant was closed on the last night and the only notice of it was a small line in the program, under the opening hours of restaurants section. After the first few days you get into a routine and don't bother to look at that section too closely. So we were quite disappointed when we wandered up for dinner and found it closed. We'd missed our time in the regular dining room so had to order room service.