I had to check the dates on the previous reviews to see if we had been on the same sailing - so much negativity. While nothing is ever 100 percent perfect, our family had a fabulous time and would love to cruise MSC Divina again if the destinations appealed.
Yes, embarkation was a total mess. The fault was not with MSC though, it was the port of Miami. Further delay was caused when some of the passengers who had checked in sneaked on board before the ship had been cleared by customs and then refused to get off. Both the Captain and the activities director explained and apologized for the delay as soon as we got onboard. Although it was not their fault, mid way through the cruise the Captain announced a ship wide cocktail hour to further apologize for the inconvenience. All bars, all lounges. Delicious Prosecco, great Martini's and more in the bar we chose, freely served for about an hour and a half. So come on, give them some kudo's for trying to offset a bad situation! More
Cabins were beautiful. Spotlessly clean. We had a couple of balcony cabins and had no complaints. The ship overall is stunning, and was immaculately clean everywhere.
Food: We always found something great to eat, but we are not hotdog/hamburger/fries people. For us, part of the fun of a trip is trying new things. The ethnic section at the back of the buffet has some wonderful choices, Jerk chicken, Lamb curry, Bahama fish curry, Indonesian specialties and more. Beside the prosciutto and other high quality cold cuts and cheeses made delicious sandwiches. Pizza - OMG! The lunchtime desserts were fantastic. European patisserie, fresh fruit tarts, berry topped mini cheesecakes, so different from the usual cruise ship buffet desserts.
We had no problems at all communicating with our waiter, who was from Indonesia. The portions were slightly smaller, but I think that is because there were more courses. He was happy to let us change things around if we did not like one of the courses, for example a smaller portion of seafood risotto as an appetizer although it was listed as an entrée.
I agree that the adult disco was taken over by the 17-21 crowd. Techno music does tend to draw them in! There were plenty of other choices though for adults, and the Black and White lounge was full every night with dancing and fun.
The drink packages were a good deal. We chose to purchase a couple of the Allegrissimo Escape voucher books at $72 each. I think I worked out that it was about $4.80 per drink that way, with no added service charge. We drank all the usual stuff using the tickets, Martini's, Mojito's, Colada's, Margarita's, and it seemed to work out about half the cost per drink of other cruise lines if you did it this way.
We found the staff to be very friendly and approachable. We saw the Captain and his staff often and they were always friendly. We did not experience any language difficulty except in trying to use the phone in the cabin, as the menu was in Italian. I agree with the other reviewer though, and my main complaint, is that the front desk did not pick up the calls promptly, and if you went to the front desk, there was usually a long line.
In summary, Pro's: Ship, amenities, cleanliness, amazing shows, quality of food, friendly staff, drink packages, cabins, generally the other passengers we met were polite, friendly and pleasant whatever their nationality.
Con's: Reception desk, late night snacks limited to pizza and sandwiches - would have loved some of the yummy desserts from lunchtime, Booking process - Very little information between booking and sailing. Less