Buyers be aware of a Great Cruise!!!!
I will hit all of the subjects in just a few moments but I have to address the reviews that have been posted. For all you haters out there my family and I (so not just one observer) wonder if the people that posted such negative reviews where actually on the MSC Divina because all the nit picking wasn't even close or could NOT be replicated! It was AWESOME!!!
Embarkation= The smoothest process to date! Check in representative was very nice, fast, courteous and made us feel very welcomed. We just weren't a number! A nice touch was the deck we entered the ship wasn't some elevator or staircase entrance, It was the atrium where the beautiful crystal staircase and waterfall greeted us. Also it was very easy to get to our port of embarkation, there were signs indicating where are ship was and it did not take long for our luggage to get to our room.
Ship info= The ship itself was beautiful, with lavish décor and the perfect balance between kid and adult areas. A unique feature on this ship was the dedicated areas on deck for teenagers, while on other ships they only have the club areas. For those critics that said navigating around the ship was difficult, maybe you should consider another type of vacation. By the end of the first full day, we could find most everything. There were many pools and hot tubs for the adults so we could just relax. The only problem was that on sea days the outdoor lounge space was crowded by the pool and the only other area is basically in a wind tunnel on the very top deck.
Staterooms= We were booked in category 9, a superior balcony stateroom which has a larger balcony vs. the ones that line up with the lifeboats. This is because the ship's exterior design isn't straight from bow to stern. The row of balconies move inward from the ships water line giving you less room. Spacious, elegant furniture and décor were very rich. Not the typical island and floral prints you see on other cruise lines. The artwork on the walls were a nice addition vs. typical print photos. The mattress is VERY FIRM, however, our stateroom attendant helped us by giving us additional toppers. The bathroom was well designed including spacious counters, tons of storage space, and a slightly larger shower compared to other cruise lines. The shower had a nice glass door instead if a flimsy curtain. This is a nice perk so that if you need extra space, the doors fold into the shower itself to create a extra area for you to do your personal things. It also has great water pressure in both the shower and sink. Our stateroom attendant was very kind and catered to our every need, including bringing extra towels each day, refilling our ice bucket, and kept our stateroom impeccable.
Dining= If I had to describe the dining experience in one sentence it would go something like this, it was OUTSTANDING! The lunch buffet on the first day just amazed me, it had rows and rows of food. Of course they had your typical American food like burgers and fries, but their Italian food was just unbelievable. There were so many different types of pasta like tortellini, raviolis, and stuffed pasta shells with eggplant, not to mention their amazing pizza. For anyone who was in the second seating and reported that the first seating dragged late, MSC has totally fixed that. When each seating starts you have fifteen minutes to get there, in other words if a seating begins at 5:45 you have to be there by 6:00 or they will not let you in. The speed at which you are served food was much better compared to other reviews, we were in and out in about an hour and a half. Every night on the menu it had different combinations of different types of entrees and the desserts just took it to the next level. The waiters were also very kind and fast, as soon as they took our orders the food came right out and hot. What I thought was convenient was if you go to the buffet for breakfast there were a few waiters walking around with a cart loaded with coffee so you did not have to get up. The room service dining was also great, they brought our breakfast order right on time and never messed the orders up.
Entertainment=this had to be one of the best parts of our cruise, the shows each night were just unbelievable. One night they featured an amazing pirate themed acrobatics show, it had contortionists, acrobatics, and men who could fly only harnessed by a small wrap of rope around their arms. The best show had to be the tribute to Michael Jackson featuring his best songs. Other great shows were Wonderland and Witches of Paris.
Shore excursions=At our first stop in St. Thomas we did a catamaran sail and snorkel tour provided by castaway girl and the good reviews about them were right. They were kind, funny and the boat had an awesome bar. The snorkel itself was very interesting, they brought us to a little cove where a us navy cargo ship sunk and gave us a guided tour of the ship and a coral reef nearby. When we were in San Juan, we visited the two forts that were within walking distance of the pier. The Castillo San Salvador and the Castillo del Morro. Each fort was very neat, after we paid the small entrance fee we were allowed to explore most of the forts including dark tunnels that led to the dungeons, and steep staircases that led to defense areas with cannons and cannonballs. (By the way this was not an excursion we did this our self). In great stirrup cay we did not do an excursion either but if you enjoy snorkeling, this is the place to do it. While we were snorkeling a massive manatee swam up to us and just stopped there for about five minutes and then swam off. We also saw two stingrays and tons of tropical fish while we were exploring the very large snorkeling area. Overall the shore excursions and activities on the islands were outstanding.
Disembarkation=This might be the only flaw on the whole cruise, our tag was brown 2 which was one of the last groups to get off which I enjoy doing. We did not have to wait long to be called to disembark but as soon as they called us we maybe moved 200 hundred feet and stopped because the line off the ship was too long. We waited in the hallway for thirty minutes before we were able to get off ship.
Overall summary= It was a great cruise and I highly recommend this cruise line for anyone who wants a great cruise. We are going to try to post a cabin video tour on YouTube, if we can figure it out.