Our family of four including a 12 and 14 year old just spent an enjoyable week exploring the Eastern Mediterranean on the MSC Divina and agree with some reviewers that some of the negative reviews are unfair as research needs to be done ahead of time so you know what the cruise includes. This is not an "all-inclusive" or "gourmet foods and wines of the world cruise". It is an Italian-based company with mostly Italians on board. You are not in Kansas anymore! As another review said, "adapt, and you'll have a good time."
Here's our list of pros and cons:
Gorgeous ship, new and sparkling. Our cruise was smooth as silk.
Wonderful service from the cabin attendants. They are constantly cleaning and work very hard at being multi-lingual. Even as we walked down hallways to get to different places, every attendant said hello and smiled. Our room was cleaned and tidied at least twice a day. We had a room on the 13th floor with a glass balcony and it was More
lovely. We unpacked and put our suitcases under the bed and there was enough room for all of us.
Great service in the restaurants. All our servers had wonderful attitudes and spoke several languages. We had the first seating in the Villa Rosa restaurant and had lovely dinners with a family from Quebec every night. My husband and I avoided the buffet most of the time since we're not competitive eaters who find it fun to stuff down 20 pastries and enough fruit salad for 16 people but many buffet-goers seemed really focused on 5 digit calorie totals for the day, so to each his own and kids loved it thinking it was heaven on earth. There's something for everyone! I am baffled that some reviewers were "hungry" after visiting the buffet as the selection is enormous.
The Allegrisimo drink plan was a decent value as it also includes gelato and virgin cocktails. The white wine (my drink of choice, I'm boring that way) was not very good but the other drinks made up for it.
The ports of call: amazing! Istanbul! Venice! Olympia! Dubrovnik! We were thrilled to visit them all.
The Reception and Excursion Desks. Two words: not helpful. Basically staffed by petulant older teenagers who snarl as you walk up. Our drink plan was erroneously not printed on our cruise cards which cased trouble for the servers who had to call the front desk to verify our drink plans for two days. By the time we got our drinks we were almost done eating. The front desk could've helped resolve this or given us a note to give the servers but instead they asked us to keep coming back to the desk until they "fixed" the card machine. Thanks front desk! Way to support your fellow staff members!
The Excursion desk...warning! Don't offend them by asking a question! They are there to book you on expensive EXCURSIONS, and cannot and will not covey really simple yet incredibly useful information like "yes, you can walk from the port of Venice where we are currently docked directly to the Water Taxi line and take that straight into San Marcos' square". Plan ahead and get real maps of the cities (they don't have any) and you'll have 80% of what you need to have a great day without purchasing the overpriced excursions with MSC. Note to MSC: have the servers and cabin attendants and all of housekeeping train the staff and the Reception Excursion desks on how to provide excellent service. Less