Christmas on Divina.
Couple in late 30's with two kids 13 and 10. Past cruises on: Costa, MSC, HAL, Carnival.
WHAT WE LIKED:
Very efficient and well organized embarkation, nice terminal.
Elegant, clean and tasteful decorated ship.
Cozy inside cabin 9013, much bigger then competitors.
Buffet food was good but there could have been more choices for the main entries.
Several choices of deserts, were delicious and nicely decorated in buffet and MDR.
Best pizza and pastry at sea!
Best midnight buffet ever!
Great food and service at MDR for dinner, not to long of a wait.
Great food and quick service at MDR for breakfast or lunch.
Beautiful theater and amazing shows, great choreography, varieties and professionalism of dancers, magicians and acrobats. Every night, for both shows the theater was full!
Andre, the cruise director did a great and professional job in organizing all the events.
Entertainment Team was superb in multiple places of the ship, always funny and visible entertaining passengers – best we ever saw!
Kids and teens programs looked well organized and busy. Our kids did not participate.
So many choices for live music every night in several bars and lounges and also talented night guitar player at aft pool.
No pushy bartenders or photographers.
Several hot tubs with different temperature and jets pressure.
3 fresh salt water pools, 1 covered.
Differed experience, crowd, languages and cultures. In our opinion 50/50 Americans and Europeans.
Every kid on board received a gift from Santa, adults got complementary sparkling wine or martini.
For returning guests there was a private cocktail party organized with captain, live music, snacks and drinks – nice touch.
Went twice to reception desk and always was treated nice and problem quickly solved.
No more announcements in 5 languages except for safety.
Picturesque and well maintained private island Great Stirrup Cay (owned by NCL) with warm clear waters.
And if you read in some reviews that food is cold, we did not observe that. We found out that the buffet was so big, and by the time you visit all the stations and finally sit, your meal is not hot anymore! Also we never experienced long waiting in MDR.
Self assist disembarkation was a breeze -smoothest ever.
Almost every beverage station at the buffet was filthy, several times cleaning staff would just walk by and not do anything about it. MSC, please supervise your employees in these areas.
Fabric seat cushions not a great idea for a buffet. For a year and a half old ship almost every fabric seat cushion was dirty and stained. This can easily be fixed by exchanging with leather like cushions.
Buffet table cleaning staff at dinner were wearing ugly, dark green, very long aprons, remaining butcher shop personnel.
I can't understand why safety drill was conducted in bar lounge not by the life boats muster stations?
Materials used in the interiors are tasteful but not durable and not high quality. Wear is already visible, surprised because it is only year and a half old ship.
Water slide is designed wrong! Kids or adults stuck in the middle of the ride, this happened several times every day. Some kids were stuck and crying inside the tube!
Non of the water jets / geysers around the pool ware working for the entire cruise.
NOT TO ACCEPT:
Constantly, in several public toilets (by theater or on top deck by water slide) we, and many other frustrated Americans observed male cleaning ladies toilets and female cleaning gentleman toilets, while occupied. Hey MSC this can not be accepted by Americans and it is not US standard, please change that since you are operating in different culture region.
After midnight buffet at Galaxy Disco we observed a group of Italian officers in white formal uniforms drinking and dancing with female bartender and teens passengers! I understand they may be off duty at this time but please, MSC have them wear personal clothes NOT a formal white officer uniforms! This was very scary looking and it reminded us of Captain Francesco Schettino.
Only 1 gala night per our 7 night Christmas cruise! And it was not even on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day but on 26th. Can’t understand that! Christmas Eve: themed dress code – white, Christmas Day: themed dress code – 60s-70s-80s. Hey MSC, it was a Christmas cruise and people would like to celebrate holidays formally!
We can clearly see big improvements since our last MSC cruise on Poesia in 2008 and can tell that the US market seems to be very important to them. MSC is raising standards to pleased American travelers, but there is still a few subjects that need adjustment and I'm sure that they will patch them up soon. Definitely we will sail with them again and hope they will bring a second ship to the US for year round sailing soon. To all families, who want to experience something different: beautiful Divina, great food, amazing shows, not pushy staff and Mediterranean flavors is the way to go, and I'm sure you will never come back to any ordinary Carnival ship.