MSC Divina Cruise Review by Jafa73: MSC = Mostly Subpar Cruise
Member Since 2013
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MSC = Mostly Subpar Cruise
I have previously sailed on Carnival and Celebrity. Had a porthole on Carnival and a Balcony on Celebrity.
We arrived at the Port of Miami on a coach and was literally yelled at by the luggage porter for not having tags. Our tour operator told us we would receive them at the port. I guess it was too much work to get them out of his pocket and write our cabin numbers on them. Nevertheless we tipped excessively to make sure our bags would be properly handled. Not MSC's fault but still a very poor first interaction.
We managed to get through the checkin line and board the ship very quickly. It was just about noon and was delighted to find our cabin ready. We then headed up to the buffet which was immense and well stocked with great food. But that would be the last time it would look like that.
The buffet for breakfast and lunch was decent to downright subpar. Dinner which starts at 630pm was the biggest disapointment. All the More meat was cooked beyond dry. Sometimes the salad bar didnt have lettuce only cabbage. Not to mention the way it was setup caused confusion for the flow of traffic. There are lots of staff walking around clearing plates. There is a bar menu on each table but you have to ask someone to get items for you they never offer. There is also a selection of self service free drinks. For an Italian cruise line the pizza and pasta are barely ok.
In the dining room there is either early (630p) or late (830p) seating. 830pm is kind of late for me so we often had pizza at the buffet before dinner and often after dinner when we disliked the food we were served. The lobster was edible and some spinach/mushroom patties were very good. The steak and salmon was bad enough that I didnt want to finish it. Overly salty broccoli and cold mash potatoes were other dislikes. The service was just fine. Courses were served at a good pace for us. Our assistant waiter remembered I drank Pelligrino the day before, and tried to make small talk. I was amused one night when our waiter scrapped the bread crumbs off the table onto the floor and my leg. I did see tables for two but have no idea how that could be arranged.
I did very well at the casino. The staff was friendly. I never saw a cocktail server the entire time I was there. Your room key/on board card can be used to get money at the slot machines and no tranaction fees.
I selected the express service 20 items for $40 in by 9 out by 5. I followed their ridicoulous procedure of taking the express form to the reception desk and then having someone else pickup the items at the cabin. The items were returned 2 days later after two phone calls and a visit to the service desk. To add insult to injury some of the shirts were just pressed and still dirty. At least they adjusted the price to the non-express service ($25).
Typical cruise ship stuff. I saw two shows Wonderland which was awesome and then a(n) ABBA tribute band which was downright awful. I am biased though. I dont care for ABBA.
I enjoyed the ports even though I had a been there done that attitude. Falmouth has nice port but dont go out the gates except on a ships excursion. We ended up in a taxi for a $20 tour, there isnt anything worth seeing in Falmouth IMHO. All the vendors are selling the same tourist doo dads. They did call you to come over but no one walked up to you.
In Cayman we did the Tour and Tiki beach . Enjoyable. Tendering to shore in the ships lifeboats was not particulalrly enjoyable It was crowded, rough, and hot but we lived.
In Cozumel we did the Fury Catamaran. For $55 you ride the catamaran with free beer and margaritas, snorkel for a short while and have about 1 hour at a private beach with more free beer and margaritas. Made with fresh lime juice the maragaritas were great.
Stirup Cay was wonderful. Full size open air boats tendered to the island. Free lunch (burgers burnt outside and raw in the middle) was prepared in typical MSC fashion on the island. I booked the waverunner tour which ended up over an hour delayed ( 5 to 10 minutes at a time) but was so enjoyable it cancelled any ill feelings i had about waiting so long.
I am very unlikely to book another MSC cruise again. The food is mostly subpar in the buffet and dining room. The specialty restaurant wasnt enticing and I wasnt willing to take the chance. This is direct contrast to Celebrity specialty restaurants which are appealling and impressive. The staff on MSC seemed amatuer although pleasant enough. Many other reviews say how beautiful and clean the Divina is. I found Carnival and Celebrity just as beautiful and clean. Then there is talk about how Americans just arent used to European style service. The MSC Divina experience is subpar to other cruise lines. Less
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