Just returned from a 7 day cruise from Miami to St Martin aboard the MSC Divina. My wife and I are experienced cruisers and know what we like (and don't like). I noticed some of the other post indicated the service is bad because they are not trying to compete for the American customer, but more of an International customer (then why are they based in Miami, USA?) Of the dozens of cruises we have been on, it seems to me that EVERY CRUISE is an International cruise, with vacationers from all around the world.
Let me outline a few of our disappointments.
1. Staff Attitude. VERY BAD A cruising experience starts with the attitude of the staff and it trickles down from the management.
2. Language Skills. VERY BAD They could not understand or answer simple questions in English.
3. Dining Room. EXTREMELY BAD Not once did our server get the orders correct for our table. Order Chicken, Get Steak. Order Steak, get unidentified meat. Ordered a bottle of wine from Bin #460 and it took 3 attempts to get the bottle correct (ordered Merlot, the first 2 times they brought out a white wine). This is first cruise we actually lost weight on. Ordered a Penne Pasta with Olives, etc. It came out as Ravioli stuffed with sweet potatoes.
4. Buffet. SERIOUSLY? Cold Hamburgers, Pizza with Marinara sauce only and called it Margherita Pizza, cut fruit that looked as though it had been sitting from previous day. Most dishes were overcooked and tasteless ( I guess trying to appeal to a larger sector of the population ) I actually saw and heard a dining room attendant yell at a guest for stopping in front of him so she could view the buffet choices. By the way, if you want to know what will be on the Dining Room menu each night, visit the buffet, same food choices.
5. Up Charge. YES! Everything is an up charge. Even popcorn on the pool deck was an up charge, or you could buy a drink and get a small bag of popcorn.
6. Ship Design. POOR. Our initial impression of the ship that it was clean and fresh, which it was. However, they put way too many cabins that held way to many people with not enough public space. There were many patrons in wheel chairs that simply were unable to navigate the 18 inches of space in the aisle on Pool Deck 14 and 15 while attempting to traverse the deck from elevators to the Calumet buffet dining room. It was even difficult for a bi-ped to walk through the cramped public spaces. It was more like a Congo line when trying to get around the ship.
7. Pools. SMALL. 3 very small saltwater pools on board. Enough said.
8. Pool Loungers. NONE. When we arrived for embarkation on the ship in Miami, we went upstairs to enjoy the deck, as the ship did not embark until 8pm. All of the loungers on Deck 14 (pool deck) and Deck 15 were stacked and tied to the railing. Why? Some guest just want to enjoy the outdoor experience of the decks without having to stand for hours.
9. Pool Towels. You get 1! My wife and I found 2 open loungers on Day 1 at sea, she placed her bag on a lounger, sat on the other and I headed off to get pool towels. I asked the pool attendant for 2 towels and he stated you can only have 1 per room card. I asked him again and he stated that my wife would need to come and get her own towel with her room card. I then ask how many drinks could I buy at one time with my room card, he stated as many as I wanted. What's wrong with this picture? Also, there are 3 pools, 1 forward, 1 midship and 1 aft. They have one location get "a towel" which is midship, making it a trek especially from the aft pool on Deck 15, down the walk and down the stairs to towel attendant.
10. Guest Survey. What? On the last night our of cruise we completed our guest survey as requested and left it under a stack of papers and a book I was reading in the room. We left for dinner, upon our return my wife notice the book etc was moved. The survey was missing. She confronted our room attendant, he stated that it was in the trash and he threw it away. She asked for another survey and he said no, you can only have one. Recognizing her agitation the room attendant returned a few minutes later with our original surveys stating that he dug them out of the trash. What the? We held on to them and deposited them ourselves upon our exit.
Overall. I would never recommend this cruise line to anyone. Simply a bad overall experience. All we heard around us were people talking in disgust with the service, the quality of the food and the bad attitude of the staff. I have my own set of commandments, and one of those commandments is to never criticize food, but I am breaking my own commandment. If you enjoy good food and a variety of choices, stay away from MSC.
The manager, staff and crew of the Divina should take a cruise onboard a line like Royals Oasis of the Seas or any Celebrity ship to see how it is done (International Style)
Sincerely and Respectfully..... Miami Adventure