We, along with some of our friends, decided to try MSC. We are all seniors and have all sailed on several different cruise lines. We met some cruisers who really liked MSC and we got a really good deal on THe Divina and decided to give it a try. We sailed in January to the Eastern Caribbean, We had stops at San Juan, St Marteen and NCLs private island.
Embarkation: We drove to Miami and parked at Safe Cruise Parking. It was a fenced lot and their shuttle was prompt and they helped with all our luggage.
I do not know who does MSC's Embarkation, but they should do all cruise line embarkation. No wait to get through security and no wait at the desks.Walked right on the ship. Were told that our rooms would be ready at 1:30pm, but our rear balcony room was ready when we got on at 1:00 pm.
Room: Our rear facing balcony room was wonderful. Very large. Bed and a full size couch. Great bathroom. No shower curtain, but glass enclosure. No extra lotion. All soap etc in dispensers. Balcony was huge, probably 14 feet, but only two chairs. Got our room steward to add two. Found out later that if you called the front desk you could get a lounge added. TV no great shakes. Only complaint was the design of the closets. They were on the wall across from door to bathroom. Could be hard to use. The desk area had plenty of plugs, but would suggest an extension cord.
Ship: The Divina is a beautiful ship. A little hard to get around, but very clean and a treat for the eyes. The biggest compliant we had was the deck space around the pools. MSC does not enforce the no saving chairs policy and on a sunny day it was impossible to find a chair. 4,000 people is too many for this ship.
Food: Uneven is the best I can say. Some things were very good, others not so good. The buffet is huge and has the best salad bar I have ever seen. Other things just average. Make sure you go to the rear of the buffet, same food not as crowded. Pizza is OK, no fresh grilled hamburgers or hot dogs.The biggest surprise for me was that the pasta was just average. Often under or over cooked. You just need tp remember what you are paying for the cruise. One of the best things I had was am egg salad sandwich from room service.
Service: Our room steward was great, but some of the other people did not have great service. Sometimes it is hard to communicate with them. But they want to please, Also, be aware that you have to have a room key in the slot to have electricity. That also turns on a light outside your cabin that tells the room steward you are in the room. They will not come in if the light is on.
Dining room service was not good the first night. But we spoke to the head of the dining room and it improved markedly after that. Just make sure yo speak up!
Front desk service was generally good. The personnel speak multiple languages, so if you are not being understood ask to speak to someone else.
Entertainment: Among the best I have seen. The performers are very talented. More of a circus type show than you see on other ships. Multiple acts and singers and dancers, but all very good. They have a show every night and the showroom is wonderful. The singers and bands in the lounges are also very good.
Passengers: Much more international than any other cruise line I have been on. We had 900 Armenians and over 1000 Germans on board. They do make announcements in 5 languages. Dress and manners are a bit different, but was not objectionable to us.
Overall: Considering what we paid, it was good value for the money. Would I go again? Yes if the price and itinerary was right. Wish they sailed from Fort Lauderdale, but like I said they offer good value for the money. They really want to improve and are working hard to get better. I would discount some of the reviews that say this is the worst cruise experience ever. Nice ship, nice room, fantastic entertainment. That is a pretty good start.