We recently went for a week long cruise on the MSC Divina. The ship itself is a marvel and absolutely gorgeous, from the winding crystal staircases to the massive showroom, it is truly breathtaking, but unfortunately a beautiful ship is nothing without a staff or food that meets the same standard.
99% of staff was slow, rude, and basically just seemed like they didn't want to be there or cared if you were having a good time on your vacation or not. Smiles were a commodity, and don't even bother to say hello because you WILL NOT get one in return. When I had mentioned to a bar manager that a smile from the staff would sure make our vacation a little nicer, I was told these exact words with a laugh "well, they are Eastern European", I am guessing he was joking that they don't smile in eastern Europe, this was not the answer we were looking for. Oh yea, too, if you decide to lay out on deck, don't look for a waiter or waitress to get you a drink, there are none, I believe we saw one the whole time we were onboard.
The main dining room - The first night of the cruise the dinner special was "Shrimp Ravioli" which my partner, a grown man, ordered, they brought out three quarter sized round ravioli in a huge bowl and opened a can of tiny shrimp which they threw on top (yes, that was his entrée), I ordered the steak, which was like leather, and a baked potato which ended up being half of a full sized potato that when you took the tin foil off of was grey and cold (I think they like the word tepid, because that is what the food was throughout the cruise, I don't believe the words warm or hot are in their vocabulary)...
The food got no better as the week went on, from the chewy lobster, the dried out turkey with no gravy, to the long black hair that showed up on my plate with the chocolate dessert (I shave my head so I know it wasn't mine!). The ordered coffee came after dessert was served and was cold as ice, we left it sitting there. Once again, don't look for a smile, hello, or a good bye, they could care less and spend more time yelling at each other than dealing with their guests.
We understand that they need to cook for many, many people, but this being our 17th cruise, we have never before had food or service this bad, on any cruise line we have been on.
On another note from the main dining room, don't bother order the wine they offer on their menu because they don't have it, we did not find this out until we had already given our ship card to pay for a bottle of wine we like and then were brought a bottle of swill that should have come in a box...they tried to tell us it was the same, as if we wouldn't notice? Sommelier? Don't even ask for one, they don't have one on the ship, and when I did ask to speak to one I was looked at like I was raven from the movie the exorcist with my head spinning around.
Now on to the photography department, what a scam!!!! They have large signs everywhere saying buy 5 get 5 free, but what they don't post is the "rule" that the 5+5 is only applicable for the same event photos...meaning, if they take a picture of you at dinner on Monday night, then all five photos must be bought from that same Monday night photo shoot. Not knowing this we waited until the last day of the cruise and picked 10 pictures we liked, taken at different times during the week, figuring we would pay for 5 and would have gotten the other 5 free, it was then we were told about the "rule" stated above. It wasn’t until I pushed and pushed and said it was basically a bait and switch and false advertising and finally went as far as to take it to the deputy captain at the front desk, that they came back with the excuse of "the girl who makes the signs and prints in the daily program made a mistake and forgot to put the "rule" on all of it", so they would honor the 5+5 for us.....but I can only wonder how many others were duped by this? Again, the photography staff could not have cared less about you or preserving your vacation on film...so sad.
Good stuff...the cabin housekeeping staff did a good job, and the specialty Eatily Restaurante which we did one night ($34 up-charge per person) was magnificent, I just really wish the head chef there could give the others chefs onboard some insight on how to cook and use gravy/sauces.
The water slide onboard was fun, and the casino was ok (again if you can get past all the pouty faces dealing you cards) but be aware that if you don't want to play cards the slots are all .01 and .05 cent machines, I think we saw four .25 machines in the place and three of them were "offline" the whole cruise.
The ship shows were also very well put together and entertaining.
In the end it comes down to this....all the cruise lines out there are fighting for your business right now, and there are so many other lines that will go out of their way to make your vacation truly memorable, that it would be in your best interest to go to one of the others until such time as MSC gets it together and trains their staff in standard customer service and culinary, after all, they are on the front line of your vacation and you don't want it ruined!