We just got back from a New Year's Cruise on MSC Divina. All descriptions and pictures were beautiful. There were no bad reviews, just comments about being open minded. We have been open minded all right. Please keep in mind that I am a very positive person and always look for good things, so I will start with good. The embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth, well organized, no problems. The shows were magnificent, great voices, amazing dancers and beautiful costumes. Music in lounges was great; Gorgeous atrium with 2 violonists playing every night. Public areas decorated for Holidays, look very festive. The crystal staircase is something out of this world. Our cabin had a full bath, which was unexpected and very much appreciated. Ports of call were good.
Now, to the negative side. The ship is designed in such a way that you can see and feel all 4,300 passengers. It feels VERY crowded, although I have to say it was a fully booked cruise. Still, public areas, such as pools, atruim, etc. were packed with people at all times. At the buffet you basically have to push your way around in order to get through and very hard to find a table. The food in the buffet was so-so. Waffles soggy, nothing interesting for lunch, not even tuna salad. Lot's of pizza that didn't taste good. There is no way you can find a lounge by any of the three pools. There were lots of kids on vacation, plus they sail free, so they were out of control and parents were nowhere in sight. Impossible to swim. Spa design doesn't make any sense. It's coed and at the same time separate. It's not close to the pool, so you can go in and out. Dining rooms are packed with tables and chairs so tight that it's impossible to walk between the tables. I felt bad for the waiters that had to go around. Not all tables are round. If you have such luck sitting by the wall or window, those tables are rectangular and are accompanied by couches, which can only accommodate small people. Besides, if you are by the wall or window, there are pockets with no air, very stuffy plus these areas are separated by the particians from the middle of the dining room, so you can't see when the waiters are presenting something. The food came in cold most of the time. Again, more work for waiters, who didn't speak english for the most part and couldn't provide any explanation about the dishes on the menu. The worst was rack of lamb. It was like someone dumped them in the boiling water and just boiled. Discusting. Lobster was OK and they didn't mind providing extras. Pool towels situation was annoying. They were not just there for passengers to use. One has to stay in line and provide your cruise card, they recorded it and then return with the ticket, so they know you turned them in. Why? What could passengers do with those towels anyway? At the same time there were a bunch in the spa without any problem.