Cruise Critic was aboard the new 139,400-ton, 3,502-passenger MSC Divina May 19 - 22 for a pre-inaugural sailing. We filed photos, videos and written dispatches from the ship, which is the largest ever to launch for the Europe-based MSC Cruises. On Saturday, May 26, the ship was christened during a glittery ceremoney in Marseille, France -- and Sophia Loren, the line's longtime brand icon, once again served as godmother.
As the third vessel in MSC's Fantasia class, Divina carries on favorite traditions of sister ships, MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia, yet with redesigned interiors, a handful of new features and 100 additional cabins. Like her sister ships, Divina features MSC's Yacht Club. The ship-within-a-ship complex includes cabins and suites, 24-hour butler service, a private lounge, restaurant and pool. Divina's Aurea Spa will have Balinese massage, saunas, Turkish bath, and more. The new Aurea Spa Suites are specially designed accommodations that are part of the Yacht Club complex. Finally, Divina will house an interactive "4-D" cinema and a Formula 1 simulator, both of which are found on Fantasia and Splendida.
Is MSC Cruises the Industry's Most Misunderstood Line?
While MSC Divina will become the Italy-based operator's newest, snazziest ship ever to be based in the U.S. (starting November 2013 from Miami), cruise line CEO Pier Francesco Vago says "the soul of our brand is the Mediterranean." Vago feels MSC's fares have been way too cheap in North America given the quality of the product -- "We're not the 'Fun Ship'," he says. It definitely doesn't feel like Carnival during this "welcome aboard" video shot as Divina left its shipyard berth at France's St. Nazaire on Saturday, May 19. Yet the reviews of MSC by North American passengers are mixed. For more on why MSC is so misunderstood, check out a piece we published in March 2012.
We travel with our youngest son aged 9 and friends with kids, too. We already cruised on a MSC ship years ago and we didn't like therefore no more MSC cruises for us. This year anyway some friends of us asked to join them on MSC Divina and we ...continue
My wife and I were fortunate enough to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary with a lovely group of fellow cruisers.
MSC DIVINA: Outstanding vessel - extremely plush and stylishly maintained to a high standard though there was a little lateral ...continue
This was our second cruise with MSC and we mainly choose it because they offered us a great price.
Before the Cruise we had a lot of contact with MSC customer services as I have a really specific diet and on the previous cruise it had not been ...continue