Travel Diary Day 1 On-board the MSC Opera

Good morning… I am currently writing this in bed, in my cabin on-board the MSC Opera.  I can see Mozambique’s coastline in the distance and today we will be exploring the capital, Maputo.

I am very lucky to have been invited onto a Press/Media Trip to explore and experience the MSC Opera. My BFF Karolina and I experienced the MSC Sinfonia in 2011, so I was super excited to be returning, this time with Sox.

Yesterday morning, we left early for the OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg. We flew to Durban on Mango airlines and I actually forgot how quick it is to fly to Durban. 1 hour and 10 minutes. I felt like I had just settled into my seat, opened my book and the announcement was being made: “10 minutes to landing, cabin crew!”

Mango has new ergonomically designed seats that give you extra legroom. I don’t have the longest legs in the world, but they are long and there is nothing better than stretching out.

We had a small wait to board whilst the electricity was out, but the excitement of what’s to come and seeing the magnificent ship in front of us didn’t dampen any spirits.

Soon enough we were checking in our bags, going through the boarding process, stamping our passports and boarding the MSC Opera.

It is absolutely beautiful inside. Gold décor, lush carpets, mirrors everywhere and enough entertainment and restaurants for days. I felt a little overwhelmed; there is so much to do and I want to do it all!

We found our cabin and Sox did what I normally do in any hotel/new room situation. Jump on the bed.

We have a balcony cabin, which is just the best. Large windows that open up onto a balcony with chairs and a table, where you can watch the ocean and the horizon if you feel a little sea sick.

I am quite thrilled to not experience sea sickness. Well, so far so good.

We also watched the port pilot being airlifted via helicopter off the cruise liner. Exciting James Bond stuff really.

Before we could take off, the alarm drill rang through. It’s the one and only time you want to hear that alarm sound. We had to grab our lifejackets out of our cabin cupboards and were ushered out of the emergency exits and to our allocated areas for the emergency evacuation drill. Of course, when in a bright orange lifejacket, it’s an absolute must for an emergency selfie.

After the drill, we were free to run wild and roam all that the MSC Opera had to offer.

We eventually retired to our cabin and I had the first afternoon nap I’ve had in years. Things have been so crazy (good crazy) lately, but I’ve been quite exhausted. I also think the gentle swaying/rocking of the ship is the best feeling. It literally rocks you to sleep. I woke up just in time for dinner at the L’Approdo restaurant with the rest of the journalists on board.

You are definitely encouraged to eat. The portions are ample, but small, so that you are able to sample everything.

I photographed Ingrids homemade pasta…

Sox’s Butter chicken

I had the seafood medley…

Ending off with cheese plates and fruit

We stopped at the Aroma Cafe for tea

After dinner (and tea) we walked it off by exploring the ship again.

We were a little early for the disco, but when the party does get going, everyone looks like they know a synchronised dance. As the dance floor tilts slightly everyone goes in that direction and then back again. It’s such fun!

We found the Adventure Golf and definitely have to give that a bash…

There is also 24/7 pizza on the go. Giant fresh cheesy pizzas await anyone who feels like a big slice (or 3)…

Night jacuzzi, anyone?

Playing silly buggers in the lifts between the 5th and 11th floors.

We tried our hand at the casino too, mainly Roulette and I had lady luck on my hand a few times! Hello Dollars!

Sox wanted to watch the Manchester United game so he found a spot at the bar. I loved watched the barman making cocktail after cocktail. I stuck to my wine spritzers and I’m doing so well on my no sugar mission.

Today we were supposed to arrive at the Portuguese Islands but because of the extremely windy conditions, the itinerary has changed. We have arrived in Mozambique and will be exploring the capital, Maputo.

I was woken up this morning by a very excited Sox, who had pulled back the curtains and told me to: “Come look!”

Right… It’s off to find breakfast, tea and explore!

Have a beautiful day!

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