A taste of cruising

The impressive MSC Opera.

The impressive MSC Opera.

Last month we were invited to attend a group ship visit in Southampton by group cruising specialist, Cruise for Groups, in conjunction with MSC Cruises. The purpose was to launch a new range of exclusive group cruise deals for 2012 aboard MSC Opera, part of the ‘Lirica’ class of liners. After the usual security checks, GTO’s Deputy Editor, Carrie Drage, was taken on a full tour of the vessel and its onboard facilities. The public areas of the 1,700-passenger ship are all tastefully decorated and include four restaurants, seven bars/lounges, a casino and the impressive Teatro dell’Opera, famous for its evening entertainment. The cabins also seemed both spacious and comfortable – even the inside ones! As experienced cruisers will know, it’s impossible to go hungry on a cruise so, sitting down for lunch, we knew we were in for a treat. Ordering from the actual menu presented to cruise passengers, our party of 60 GTOs were able to get a taste of what was in store should they return with a group. After lunch, Steve Plummer of Cruise for Groups and Vanessa Tomasselli of MSC Cruises presented details of four exclusive group cruising deals to Northern Europe, Venice, Norway and the Baltic Capitals in 2012, all sailing from Southampton. For more on these offers and how to book your places, please visit the ‘Cruising News’ section following the links above.