MSC Divina Cruise Review by Dolebludger: Moody Blues and Cruise to the Edge cruises
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Moody Blues and Cruise to the Edge cruises
In my opinion, these cruises, taken back to back, were not cruises as I usually think of them. They were floating rock concerts. I won't comment on the ship, service, food, and usual "cruise stuff" as other reviewers have pretty well described the pros and cons of these things. Back in 2000, I swore off mass market lines when they began to X ray my luggage for alcohol, soft drinks, and such under the guise of searching for weapons when the real reason for this was (and is) to ensure I pay the ship's hyper inflated prices. So since 2000, I have confined my cruising to lines like Regent, Silverseas, and the like, except for specialty cruises like this. I will say that, although MSC is a mass market line, it is one of the better ones. As others have said, their ships are really "ship shape" and MSC does offer drink tickets which allow passengers to buy hard and soft drinks at a lesser price. Now on with the review of the floating rock concerts.
The Moody Blues Cruise featured More (of course) the Moody Blues along with the Zombies, Roger Daltry, Little River Band, ELO (Now called "The Orchestra"), a couple of great cover bands and other cover musicians. Notable among these was Randy Hanson, who can play Hendrix style guitar better than Hendrix did. The Moodies, the Zombies, and Daltry each played two shows on different nights in the ship's huge auditorium. Passengers were divided into two groups and given blue or pink passes to see these auditorium shows. The color of you pass determined the night and time you could see these shows. However, it was often possible to see an auditorium show a second time, on a space available basis. These shows were fantastic, except that for one color group, the Zombies were relegated to 11:00 PM on the night before disembarkation for those not staying on for the Cruise to the Edge. As a result, many missed the performance by this great group. Performances by other groups were held only in the outdoor pool area or in the ship's lounges during the day and into the evening, while the auditorium sat unused. The performances of these musicians were also great, but the location was lacking. The audience area in these locations is simply too small to accommodate all who wanted to attend. After all, this ship holds almost 4000 passengers, and it looked pretty full to me. Shows like this are put on by promoters who reserve the ship for the concert cruise. Some of the promoter's people who were on board told me that there is a question whether the Moody Blues will be available for a repeat of this rock cruise next year, and therefore a question whether this cruise will be repeated next year. (This cruise was a repeat of one last year, on the smaller MSC Poesia). If the Moody Blues cruise repeats next year (hope it will) I'll be there, with the hope that the ship's auditorium receives more use, for more groups and performers other than the headliners.
The Cruise to the Edge featured progressive rock groups, which is a different type of music from that on the Moodies cruise. As I am from the USA, Yes was the most familiar band (to me) performing on this cruise. Other headliners included Marillion, UK, and Steve Hackett. The situation with the venue for the performances by these headliners was the same as on the Moodies cruise. They performed rather late in the evening in the auditorium, and admission was by color coded pass cards, and "space available" for others. However, Renaissance (a group I would classify as "new age", and very good) performed in this auditorium one afternoon. Other groups were relegated to the outdoor pool area and the lounges, with the same audience crowding as on the Moodies cruise, while the auditorium sat vacant. I am not familiar with many of the other groups, but I found them most entertaining. One of the other groups was Queensryche (a metal group) which I felt was a strange inclusion in the progressive rock line-up. But it was a welcome to me, as I like their type of metal. Onboard, I was told that the Cruise to the Edge will repeat next year. And again, I'll be there. Less
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