Booked a 7 night cruise on the MSC Divina out of Miami. This was our 8th cruise, first and probably last on MSC. Only the second cruise for them out of that port. First, could not book reservation online, as the program would not complete the reservation. Had to contact MSC to book the cruise. Also, there is not a lot of information on the website, and nothing on there basically that tells you any information about your cruise after it is booked. Now the cruise.
Embarkation rather confusing; no one seemed sure what was going on. Left the port of Miami at 7 PM with no fanfare, deck party or anything that let you know you were leaving port. This was characteristic of the 2 other ports visited as well. The ship itself is pretty nice, with 3 pools and numerous whirlpools. The front pool has a retractable roof, nice if it is raining, windy or cool. But the upper deck areas are crowded when at sea; 4 days on this cruise because there was no stop at Great Stirrup Cay due to the weather. This is further complicated by the fact there are 2 areas not accessible to regular guests. The MSC Yacht Club in the front, which means you cannot access the front of the ship and there are no decks which you can walk completely around the ship. The other deck 18, is an extra charge. No thanks. Many chairs were "reserved" with orange towels and no one there despite rules saying seats could not be saved. Not enforced. There is really nothing to do up on deck; the sports area is very small. We did not eat in the main dining rooms. Food in the buffet was average; selection at night was even less. Poor design of this area and not good accessibility especially when it was busy, which was most of the time!
Our cabin was an interior room, was plenty spacious and nice amenities. However, our cabin steward was the worst we have had on any of our previous cruises on Disney, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival. Simply put, not very attentive or detail oriented. TV channel selection was very limited; this needs to be improved for US cruisers. $12 per day per person "service charge" automatically charged to your account; I had them cut this in half. Entertainment was acceptable, but did not compare to the competition. All music is "canned", meaning no live band for the theatre shows. Kind of a professional kareoke! I am sure MSC did this to cut costs, but the presentation is simply not as good. All other cruises we have been on have live orchestras in their shows. Disembarkation on this cruise was a disaster! Reported to the theatre at 9:45 AM; did not leave the ship till 11:20! Yikes!! So, we wish MSC well, but they will need to make some changes to be competitive with the other cruise lines. Our money will be spent somewhere else!