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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Just back from an amazing cruise on the beautiful MSC Divina. This was my 6th cruise on MSC so I wasn't put off by the negative reviews and this cruise on the Divina certainly met all of my expectations. I acknowledge people have ... Read More
Just back from an amazing cruise on the beautiful MSC Divina. This was my 6th cruise on MSC so I wasn't put off by the negative reviews and this cruise on the Divina certainly met all of my expectations. I acknowledge people have different tastes, likes and dislikes and for me MSC and NCL provide me with the best cruise experiences with Royal Caribbean following very close behind. P&O and Cunard are not for me, however I can appreciate why some people would like them. So the relevance of this is that some reviews seem to state nonsense as facts rather than opinions. For example, the reviews that state the buffet only offers hot dogs, burgers and pizza! This is completely untrue. Yes, there are these items available (and the pizzas are delicious by the way) but walk through the buffet and you will find fresh salads, pasta, curries, roasts, various vegetables, rice, potatoes, fish etc etc!! The food in the evening was also very good - I was never served a cold dinner - and if there was something on the menu you didn't like they would always bring you something else. The ship is well laid out, spotlessly clean and beautifully decorated. I sailed on the Divina a couple of years ago soon after its launch and I can say the ship still looks amazing and is obviously immaculately maintained. The staff are without exception the friendliest and most helpful you could expect to come across on a cruise ship. How they manage to be so cheerful when confronted with so many miserable and rude passengers is beyond me! We met some great people on the cruise - Australian, American, Irish, Belgian, Swiss, Spanish, French, German and British and we all commented on how grumpy and abusive some of our fellow passengers were. How can they expect any service at all if they are so incredibly rude and obnoxious to the hard-working staff? It seems some passengers (I call them the professional complainers) deliberately create a scene so as to get priority treatment - and indeed we witnessed this in the main dining room. Please MSC - do not pamper to this disgraceful behaviour - better these few idiots never sail with you again than potentially lose the business of more people who are genuinely trying to have a good holiday! Embarkation and Disembarkation was fine - again the same as with other cruise lines. Hundreds of impatient people trying to get on or off, jump queues and getting stressed. Just relax, follow the instructions and you will be fine. One criticism was on arrival in the American Virgin Islands, MSC should have been more upfront with how long the formalities would take and some unfortunate passengers only managed to get off mid-afternoon for a couple of hours on shore. I was lucky - managed to get off at 10am and got a ferry to St John - a beautiful island with empty, white sand beaches! However I did pay more for my cruise experience (Aurea package) so the old adage you get what you pay for seems to apply. Entertainment on board was excellent - the Galaxy disco was not as busy as the last time I sailed on the Divina, however this was an 18 night cruise so there was an older demographic - most people of working age don't get that amount of time off. The party nights on the pool deck worked very well though and people of all ages seemed to enjoy themselves. (Thankfully all the grumpy passengers had exhausted themselves by moaning all day so were probably tucked up in their beds!) Ports of call were also very good - weather was a little unkind in Barcelona, Malaga and Martinique but beautiful for the rest of the cruise. So that's it. An excellent cruise aboard a stunningly beautiful ship. Good food, great entertainment, fantastic cabin and above all wonderful staff. Amazing value for money! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
My wife and I are both MSC veterans with many cruises over the past ten years. This, however, would be the first time we cruised in Yacht Club and the first Transatlantic. I’m an American and she Italian and both well over 65. I ... Read More
My wife and I are both MSC veterans with many cruises over the past ten years. This, however, would be the first time we cruised in Yacht Club and the first Transatlantic. I’m an American and she Italian and both well over 65. I realize that our YC experiences were for the most part vastly different from those enjoyed by the passengers in aurea, fantastica, and bella classes. Embarkation: We live in Rome so we took the early morning Frecciabianca train to Genoa where the Divina was to board and sail from. Arriving at the Piazza Principe station I elected to take a taxi to the ship rather than lug four suitcases down to the port. There were several other MSC passengers doing the same thing (both the Divina and her sister ship Preziosa were boarding that morning) but after a short wait it was our turn and the taxi (€15) drove us right to the Divina boarding point. I had the driver drop us at the white Yacht Club tent where the porters took our bags and a YC butler tagged them. We then had to wait a few minutes for another butler to arrive who escorted about ten of us to the YC check-in desk in the passenger terminal where pastries and drinks were available. After a prosecco and a pastry we were called to the counter where our cruise documents were checked, passports swiped, and cruise cards issued. A butler then escorted us through security and onto the ship to the forward elevators and up to the YC concierge desk. I believe the entire process from baggage tagging to the concierge took about 40 minutes. We were welcomed by our two very pleasant and efficient concierges, Lucia Taloti from Italy and Ovidiu Moldovan from Romania, and the chief butler, Kamil Mustapa from Indonesia. The maitre d’ from the Le Muse restaurant, Giuseppe DI Nardo, was also on hand to ask our dining preferences for dinner. After this we were free to go to our cabin. The Ship: The 139,072 ton Divina was built in 2013, third in the Fantasia class of now four MSC cruise ships which include the Splendida and the Preziosa. It has a total of 18 decks of which 13 are for passengers and has a capacity of over 4,000. The crew numbers more than 1,300. The regular cabins are mostly found on decks numbered 8 through 13, the vast majority with balconies. Much has already been written about this beautiful ship so I won’t elaborate more. Yacht Club in General: The exclusive Yacht Club area is on decks 15, 16, and 18 at the bow of the ship and consists of 70 suites plus the Top Sail Lounge and bar. Above on Deck 18 is its private pool, Jacuzzis, bar and sun deck. Entry into the YC area is by the same key card that opens the cabin door and serves as a personal passport for exiting and reentering the ship. YC members have their exclusive restaurant, Le Muse, on deck 15 at the stern of the ship. This requires a bit of a walk outside along deck 15 which is fine in good weather but when it’s raining, cold, or very windy, the only other option is to go to a lower deck to the aft elevator and stairs and climb back up to 15. Most go down to deck 7 but this is usually quite crowded with lounges, shops, and the photo area. Deck 14 means fighting your way though the chaotic self-service buffet. The speedier way is to walk the cabin-lined corridor of deck 13. For the Spa, there is a private elevator to the rear of the Concierge desk. A well stocked library is also behind the Concierge. Top Sail Lounge: This is the area most YC members gathered to relax and intermix with other members. It is basically a very pleasant and comfortable lounge spaced all along the front of the ship with an expanse of glass that lets you see from one side to the other, truly spectacular. Private areas of comfortable divans, easy chairs and small tables allowed both large and small groups to socialize. Toward the rear of the lounge is a well-stocked bar, and a small self-service buffet offering little tidbits to eat throughout the day and evening. Pastries, cereals and fruits for breakfast, sandwiches and desserts at lunch and throughout the evening. Waiters (called junior butlers) bring you anything you want from the bar, as well as carrying it to your cabin should you so desire. The wait staff was efficient and absolutely wonderful. I would specifically cite May from Myanmar, Gianna from Madagascar, and Agus from Indonesia as those we had most contact with. The chief butler Kamil and his assistant Dani Agung were nearly always present supervising either in the lounge or up at the pool bar. Aside from some premium liquors and cocktails, all drinks are free whether it be coffee, water, aperitifs, cocktails, whiskies, etc. On many days we chose to take our breakfasts and/or lunch in the lounge instead of walking to the restaurant. The One Bar and Pool: The private YC elevator behind the Concierge desk lifts between the Spa on Deck 14, and the pool deck, deck 18. The exclusive pool/lido area consists of adequate sun loungers for every YC member on board. Never is there a problem finding one with distinctive blue beach towels (the rest of the ship has orange colored towels). Exiting the lift on the port side are showers and the smokers’ area (the only one in YC) with tables, umbrellas and sun loungers. Walking to the right (towards the bow) are the elevated two Jacuzzis and salt water pool with all the other sun loungers directly ahead. Walking around the pool to the starboard side is the bar and covered table area where one can drink, eat and read in the shade. There is also a small buffet that has food for breakfast and lunch. Again, everything is free. The rear of the pool area looks down on the lido area for the general population. Le Muse Restaurant: The YC dedicated restaurant has its own kitchen with a chef and a half dozen cooks and assistants and served the most wonderful food. The chef is Giovanni Chiaramonte from Calabria. The dining room was supervised by the maitre d’, Giuseppe Di Nardo from Bari assisted by the fine sommelier Luigi Fusco from Caserta. We ate in Le Muse each evening at dinner and most lunches as well. I splurged with an American breakfast two or three times. All in all we enjoyed both the food, the atmosphere, and the great staff who couldn’t do enough to make our dining experience wonderful. The menus offered much more international fare than the predominantly Italian we’ve been used to on MSC cruises but we had no problem finding items to our taste. The seafood served, while necessarily from the freezer, was excellent including the smoked salmon plates we frequently ordered. The dessert menu at lunch had a New York cheesecake to die for! We had the same waiter throughout who was both friendly and extremely competent – Wady Nurdin from Bunaken Island, Indonesia. Wady brought us anything we asked for, whether it was on the menu or not, and kept our water and wine glasses filled. We usually went to dinner around eight or eight-thirty and Giuseppe always had a table waiting for us. The Suite: Ours was number 15010 on the starboard side of deck 15, very convenient to the Concierge area and the Top Sail Lounge. Not much larger than a standard balcony cabin, it was more luxuriously outfitted and had a walk-in closet as well as the normal divan and desk. The bath was larger as it had a tub. The balcony was standard size with two chairs and a footstool. The niceties were many, the bottle of prosecco (actually two bottles since we’re black members), chocolates, fruit, 24 hour free room service, as well as our favorite newspaper hung on the door each morning. The minibar was stocked with various beverages and of course free. Other amenities included YC bathrobes and slippers, and special bath products. Our butler was a very fine fellow, Adam Mandjra from Madagascar who attended to our every need. Our very friendly cabin steward was Donald from Jamaica. Passenger Mix: Our 140 fellow YC passengers were different from what we’ve experienced on other MSC cruises in that they were probably 80% English speakers mostly from the US and Britain. The remaining 20% was made up of several German and Italian couples as well as family groups from Spain and Turkey. Entertainment: We had a wonderful American piano player every evening in the Top Sail Lounge named Alan. Aside from that we had very little contact with the ship’s animation team and did not frequent the other bars or lounges. Evening entertainment on the other hand was the Theatre at 7 pm where we went most days. We found practically all of the shows very good, some with themes we had seen before on other cruises but very well performed. The dancers and particularly the singers were all very good with shows ranging from Italian and Neapolitan favorites to opera and classical themes. Other: I had six very nice massages down in the Aurea Spa by a cute Balinese lady named Ratna Dewi. The ship was spotlessly clean as are all MSC ships and smoking was not a problem. The entire YC area was smoke-free except for one small area on the pool deck. On this ship even the casino was smoke-free. My wife was very proud to have taken six hours of English language lessons taught by a British couple in a conference room. Weather and Climatic Conditions: We experienced cold rainy weather the first few days of the cruise but the sun came out when we reached Funchal, Madeira and stayed with us for much of the remaining days. In the Caribbean we had heavy rain the day we docked at Martinique and for much of the time we were on St. Thomas. Temperatures during our five day Atlantic crossing went well over 30 degrees Celsius making it a bit uncomfortable out on the open decks. Port Calls and Shore Excursions: We remained on board during the stops at Barcelona and Malaga, having visited these cities on numerous occasions. At Funchal we went ashore and took a ride around the city on the red city sightseeing HoHo bus. At Bridgetown, Barbados, I had booked a five-hour catamaran cruise with Cool Running which was very nice. We had opportunities to snorkel with hundreds of multicolored fish (like in the Red Sea) and were fortunate to swim alongside a large sea turtle. We stayed on board at Martinque due to the rain. On St. Maarten and St. Thomas we took round the island excursions organized by the ship. We had two more ship’s excursions at San Juan: The El Yunkee rain forest in the morning and a country pig roast fiesta about an hour away at Cayay in the central area of Puerto Rico. The rain forest was excellent but the pig roast we could have done without. It was expensive, loud, and the food was only so-so. At least we mixed with local Puerto Ricans and saw how they party. Disembarkation: A piece of cake as they say. My credit card voucher was on the cabin door and I signed it for the concierge. After a relaxing breakfast in the Top Sail Lounge, we were in the first group to disembark at Miami. Led by our fantastic chief butler Kamil, we bypassed all the other passengers and were taken directly to our luggage. The customs inspectors merely gave us a glance and we were out on the street and into a taxi that took us to the Avis rent-a-car office. Conclusions: It was a great cruise which we thoroughly enjoyed. If our future MSC cruise itineraries will be on one of the Fantasia class ships, we will definitely go in Yacht Club. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2014
The first embarkation was easy and very smooth. We had been on this ship when it was brand new and we were pleasantly surprised on the updates that were made. The cabin was twice about 20 square meters on the 8 floor with large balcony and ... Read More
The first embarkation was easy and very smooth. We had been on this ship when it was brand new and we were pleasantly surprised on the updates that were made. The cabin was twice about 20 square meters on the 8 floor with large balcony and ship was new about 5-6 month. The most important was the value for 12 days the price - 1400 euros for 2 adults and one child. Dining, entertainment, activities, and service was impeccable. We have day by day shore excursions there. We have nothing but good to say about MSC company and our shore excursions. Most of the time in every port of call we are booked private tours from local companies. Everything we booked in advance was easy, and our guides was knowledgeable about the places, was amazing and full of adventure.It took some time longer than we anticipated to go through the tendering process to exit the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
wanted to try the yacht club experience and do not regret! The only thing we missed was an indoor pool or indoor Jacuzzi for the Yachtclub. We also found the yachtclub restaurant way to far from the yachtclub cabins.You have to walk all ... Read More
wanted to try the yacht club experience and do not regret! The only thing we missed was an indoor pool or indoor Jacuzzi for the Yachtclub. We also found the yachtclub restaurant way to far from the yachtclub cabins.You have to walk all the way to the other side of the ship. Food was very fine, but not realy special. The gala night had a very simple menu. The waiters are very friendly in the Muze! The ship is beautiful, The staff very friendly. The shows are good but just not that good as the MSC seaside. The decoration of the shows is quiet simple. The Casino is great. Very little smell from the smoking area. We didn't do any organised excursions. In Palermo. The hop on Hop of that was great to see the city. In Cagliari we just took the bus up the hill to Porcel to visit the beautiful kathedral and walked all the way down. We have already been to Rome. A good alternative for Civitavecchia is taking a taxi to the Tenuta dell'Argento restaurant at 10 minutes drive from the city. It is a farm in the countryside we you have the best fresh meat restaurant. If I would go again on a cruise with Msc, but always in Yachtclub. All the rest is to crowded. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
This was our honeymoon, we had planned to travel RTW by plane, but my wife's back problems caused by osteoporosis meant that long-haul travel was out of the question. I found a special offer from an Italian travel agency (Falk Travel) ... Read More
This was our honeymoon, we had planned to travel RTW by plane, but my wife's back problems caused by osteoporosis meant that long-haul travel was out of the question. I found a special offer from an Italian travel agency (Falk Travel) who are linked to the supermarket group LIDL, where we do our weekly shopping. Booking: A bit of a nightmare, the Italians do love their paperwork, and Falk demanded all sorts of documents to be faxed to them (as if we were another agency with office equipment and spare time to match) at very short notice. I researched MSC on-line, and pre-booked the water, news and two excursion packages over the net. I further visited a High St travel agency to compare our "savings" and find out about parking at Genova. I joined Cruise Critic to ask about my biggest worry: paying on board with my Visa Debit card. MSC is ambiguous on both it's website and in it's brochures, saying only that "Pre-paid debit cards are not accepted" but credit cards are. I don't have credit cards, and didn't want to get one just for this trip. A further enquiry, by phone to the MSC UK call center (to avoid language problems) taught me only one thing: Mark - the call center operator that I spoke to - has no training, manners, people skills or any foreseeable future in customer relations. Embarkation: An easy drive, good car parking (not the MSC sponsored park, but a much cheaper one sourced on the web) courteous porters and not too many delays. Very unlike the experiences of less fortunate passengers, many of whom were flown from LGW to Nice (of all places!) and then they faced a long coach journey without food, drink or toilets after a flight delay of over 90 minutes. Needless to say, all the pre-embarkation check-in work had been a complete waste of time, but I found out (at this eleventh-hour juncture) that Visa and Mastercard were both accepted. Why was this not PLAINLY stated by website, brochures AND call-center cretins alike? I was now carrying 2,500 in cash which i had had to queue up for in Christmas rush banks - I was not impressed. We found our own cabin, no help offered, and were pleasantly surprised by it's cleanliness, relative spaciousness, equipment, furnishings and balcony view. We were further impressed by the availability, if not the quality, of an unexpected buffet lunch. Catering: Universally bland - even the Tex-Mex menu was only enlivened by the sparse and unimaginative use of jalapenos. Where was the garlic, onion, rich smoked salumi and herby tomato cuisine so praised by international chefs when talking about Italian cuisine? Lavish use of costly ingredients and skillful preparation and presentation was ultimately marred by catering down to a standard guaranteed neither to excite nor offend anyone. Talk about living in a "Nanny State", now we had to endure "nursery food". Our waiter was attentive, intelligent and charming, he should be in charge of training the others, who varied from inept, untrained and uncomprehending to downright rude and offensive (I cite the poolside drinks waiter who removed my drink while I was in the toilet, then said - not even sotto voce - "What a Disaster!" when I had the audacity to ask for a replacement). Passenger Services: Reception and accounting were not much better, I can only speak a few European languages: Three fluently and another four and a half in a broken manner. But if they don't want to hear what you have to say, they won't, and that's that! (NB never expect an apology, it's not in their vocabulary, in ANY language) The on-board newspaper was an (almost) endless source of amusement, I have kept them all as a teaching aid to show my students how badly the English tongue can be mangled. My Italian wife has done the same with her Italian copies: we still chortle about the Padre celebrating "Holy Mess" in the theatre. Excursions: The least said, the better. I only booked two: Casablanca and Ostia. The former was smelly, uncomfortable (spiritually & physically) and overpriced. Our guide was an Islamic Evangelist, but so modern-minded that he boasted of only having one wife. The latter trip (Ostia) was cancelled at the last minute due to lack of interest - with a little notice we could have made other arrangements, but hey! Overall: I agree with all the negative comments in the reviews of others who have endured - sorry, enjoyed MSC. The photographers are intrusive, the pricing irrational, the staff - with exceptions - poorly trained, and lacking in language skills. Many of them are Indonesian or from the former USSR - not the best linguistic heritage for working with a western European / American customer base. They are further hobbled by a company policy of regularly transferring crew members between vessels. A practice which stops the staff from ever building useful teams or esprit-de-corps. The Other Passengers: A great crowd with a few notable exceptions, cruising certainly makes it easy to make friends if you want to, and a large vessel makes it easy to avoid those who you find less than affable. I'm sure a few were avoiding me by the end of the trip. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
This is our 3rd cruise with MSC so it can be assumed that we like there ships,their itineraries and their value for money, MSC Divina fulfilled all, albeit with a few minor niggles, but nothing sufficient to detract from the overall ... Read More
This is our 3rd cruise with MSC so it can be assumed that we like there ships,their itineraries and their value for money, MSC Divina fulfilled all, albeit with a few minor niggles, but nothing sufficient to detract from the overall experience of the cruise and the holiday. As with our last cruise with MSC this one was booked as a cruise only with air travel to and from Genoa being organised independently through British Airways finding that BA's 23kg luggage allowance provided sufficient allowance for what had been packed to see us through an 11 day cruise with a number of gala dinners anticipated with some room to spare. On arrival in Genoa it was easy to get a taxi to the port from the front of the terminal, with the charges regulated we found it cost less than 30 Euros and whilst taking a different route to that made by the local bus service to the Genoa stations it seems to be the route taken by taxis to and from the airport using a dual carriageway toll road from the airport almost directly to the port . Embarkation was as usual slightly chaotic, having been directed down a separate queue we were quickly re-directed to the back of the main single queue, despite MSC offering preferential boarding to its club members I've yet to see this actually being offered, in fact it was explained that this facility was for black card holders only, which is entirely contradictory to their stated club benefits. However, despite this annoyance boarding was relatively quick and easy. On boarding it was no surprise that the ship looked very familiar being very similar in look and style to Splendida, our familiarity proved useful as on this occasion we were not shown to our cabin but left to find our own way, which for us proved easy. An inside cabin on Deck 12 to the stern of the ship was no different to that occupied on Splendida and was satisfactory for all our requirements. Although fairly simply furnished it was sufficient for our needs, we did need to obtain an extension from housekeeping for a CPAP machine to be plugged in but this wasn't difficult to arrange. As usual with MSC the cabin was nicely kept, beds made up and turned down, towels replaced and made to look respectable every day despite our clutter. Newcomers to MSC should be aware that it doesn't offer much in the way of English speaking TV channels, Euronews being the nearest, unless your a fan of BBC Entertainment and cbeebies the bbc channel for young children! The cabin was quiet and not subject to any unusual noise or motion or smells, there was a bit of movement when in the Atlantic but other than for the use of the bow thrusters etc when maneuvering into or out port there was no significant disturbance from or awareness of the engines or propellers. I was most impressed when we met the Cabin Steward in the gangway who introduced himself and despite not seeing us come out of the cabin knew which cabin we were in, throughout the cruise Handry was brilliant and was always around with a cheery hello and good morning and shared a laugh with us every day, he's an asset MSC. It was noted that MSC appear to have changed their policy on the safety drill, as it took place prior to leaving Genoa, this seemed to go much quicker than on previous drills and was compulsory with your attendance being recorded, as usual what was slightly annoying was that not all passengers took it as seriously as they should, particularly with the still fairly recent Costa accident. A review of the cruise; The first port of call was Barcelona with a 12 noon arrival. A shuttle bus service was offered by MSC at a reasonable cost but we chose to join the queue for taxis which was fairly orderly and went fairly quickly. We took a taxi to the cable car station for around 10 - 15 Euros and took the cable car 1 way over to the harbour, it is well worth the cost of 10 Euros for a one way trip. A walk round the harbour and through town to La Ramblas where I incurred the wrath of a street performer by photographing him from a distance without paying, what a pity that Barcelona's famous street performers are not as welcoming as others as that we saw during this trip, this gold painted cowboy whistled continually to get my attention and payment. Elsewhere street performers don't demand or expect payment, Barcelona take note, this expectation will detract from the attraction. As seems usual with MSC the stop in Barcelona was limited to some 4 hours or so, what a pity for such a great city with so much to see and enjoy given the time. 2 days at sea followed, the first in the Med the second going out into the Atlantic to Madeira. Overall the Med was fairly benign, the Atlantic was calm but with a slight swell which led to some noticeable movement, nothing that I found uncomfortable in any way, more interesting! As usual when steaming along at a rate of knots there was a fair and cool wind which restricted the full use of the outdoor pools and sun decks but there were plenty of activities and locations on board to satisfy most people. Our first day at sea brought the first of our gala dinners. New Years Eve saw the second of the gala dinners, two on consecutive days, followed by our arrival in the bay of Funchal for the midnight fireworks which in a word are stunning, not only are fireworks fired from barges in the bay but also from the surrounding hills, London take note - others have pulled off your much heralded (millennium eve)'river of fire' successfully where yours didn't come off as we all expected! Having docked in Funchal we had a full day there with departure at 6pm, and on walking into town we found that a night club was not only still disgorging young celebrants but was still going strong, no fuddy duddys here then! We ignored all the taxi drivers who assured us that everywhere was closed and that there island tours where the only option, Funchal was open for business though. Funchal is a gorgeous city, the centre is compact, clean, welcoming, pretty and provided a pleasant place to enjoy a coffee and a brass band playing outside the cathedral. We walked to the cable car in town and took it to Monte, well worth visiting for the view and its church. Given the time available we didn't visit any of the gardens, the only disappointment was that the toboggans from Monte down the hill were not open and so another visit will be required. The following morning saw our arrival in a slightly damp and overcast Tenerife, up until then the weather had ranged from glorious and very warm sunshine in ports to cloudy and cool at sea, this was the first stop and first day that we needed protection from rain. As usual we explored independently and found that Tenerife was not particularly to our liking, although Santa Cruz is a obviously a shopping centre it is for that reason that it didn't float our boat. Apart from a local market which is not a tourist destination but a collection of fish, meat and fruit and veg shops and a pleasant square or two there was nothing much on offer but shops and shopping so we took a tram ride out of town to La Trinidad. This seemed as busy as Santa Cruz but it also offered a more pleasant old town with an artisan craft market, on a drizzly day it wasn't great walking round the old town but it may be nicer on a sunnier day. What I found interesting was the artisan market discovered in a square on our way back to port, well worth looking at for gifts or mementoes of a trip. Departure from Tenerife brought another gala dinner, our 3rd in 4 days, all at our table thought this was something of overkill by MSC and so was not strictly adhered to, it was also noticeable that on occasion for the gala dinners in particular there were noticeable absences from the tables surrounding us. The following morning we arrived in Casablanca and again we decided to stick with our independent exploring rather than take an organised tour or a taxi tour. If you alight in Casablanca be aware that you disembark in a working port and may have to avoid forklifts and loading trucks as we did, you should also bear in mind that to exist the port on foot involves a considerable walk. Casablanca was it was a case of set off and hope for the best. We walked into town and our first experience was a somewhat eye opening walk through the maze of alleyways and shops that made up the Medina (the Bazar Aya). Although some of what we saw in Casblanca was not what we were used to we didn't feel unsafe even wandering off the main tourist routes in order to get ourselves to the Mosque, in fact one of the surprises was coming across an entire market stopped and at prayer in the middle of the market and the road and then disappearing in all directions in a sea of people when prayers were concluded, amazing. We walked a considerable distance to find the Grande Mosque of Hassan II built jutting into the waves of the Atlantic, but the walk was worthwhile with a guided tour of the interior being offered with all nationalities being catered for by multi linguistic guides, if you make one visit in Casablanca make it the Grand Mosque; Rick's Bar which we walked past on our return journey to the port proved a disappointment and not worth making a special effort to see. The following afternoon saw our arrival in Malaga for an afternoon stop, this is much like Barcelona in that the amount of time in port was disappointing, Malaga was a great surprise being a beautiful city with lots of character and interest and nothing like the Benidorm sort of tourist resort imagined. A very warm afternoon saw us explore Malaga and in particular the inside of the Cathedral which is well worth the entry, the interior is beautiful. We found the city centre to be compact and very pleasant to walk round enjoying a buzzing atmosphere, we will be back in Malaga to explore the city and the region further as there is much more to see there. At the time of our visit the centre was full of shoppers enjoying the sales and the bars and restaurants and unfortunately we had to leave before the procession of the kings later that afternoon, what we did find though was the market set up all along the seafront. Departure from Malaga brought the final of our four gala dinners and the highlight of the flaming baked Alaska delivered as usual with music and panache. A slight annoyance at Malaga was the advertisement of a shuttle bus, what wasn't advertised was the availability of both a local service bus and a hop on hop off tourist bus within a few minutes walk of the terminal, MSC could be more helpful in providing information on all options available to passengers, particularly those not availing themselves of organised excursions. It was whilst 'queuing' - in the loosest possible sense of the word - for the shuttle bus that tempers flared among some passengers, one Italian getting himself very irate and looking close to fisticuffs, the young girls responsible the queue would be no match for irate impatient passengers if trouble broke out, MSC need to manage this situation more and ensure that queues for buses, taxis, etc are managed more and do not provide an excuse for impatient passengers to cause trouble, they should also stop their own staff from jumping the queue, on this cruise MSC staff were found to be the most adept at jumping queues to board buses. The final port of call was Civitavecchia were we spent the day wondering around town. We found it to be pleasant enough with some nice shops and a market where we bought a cheap Italian extension cable for future cruises so that was worthwhile in itself. What doesn't appear to be worth while is the tourist train which we didn't take on being told that there wasn't much to see. Our final port of call was Genoa where we found that MSC's disembarkation procedures appear to have changed to the benefit of passengers who no longer have to sit in the theatre awaiting their disembarkation, we were able to enjoy breakfast, coffee and a leisurely wander around the decks before going to our meeting point. Disembarkation itself was easy with the only point of note being the need to be aware that queuing for a taxi is not always easy with our other nationalities having different ideas as to an orderly and patient queue! Other aspects of the cruise; Itinerary - the itinerary was good, although given the coolness of the season we found that 3 sea days were bordering on too many days at sea. The ports of call rated as follows; Barcelona - great city, needs more time and a dedicated visit Funchal - very nice town, cable car a highlight, New Year fireworks were awesome Tenerife - a disappointment to us and on this showing not likely to be revisited Casablanca - an experience, one that may be repeated Malaga - great ambiance, much enjoyed, needs more time and a dedicated visit Civitavecchia - nothing special - you're better off taking the train to Rome Genoa - not to every one's taste, but worth a look if in town ahead of a cruise The weather in the main was sunny, dry and very warm, the only days that were not were the days at sea which were breezy and cool, although sunny on occasion, and Tenerife which was cool overcast and drizzly, all in all great weather. The food and restaurants - One area that did not disappoint was the food. Yes the buffet was mostly busy at lunch but we always found a table, the food offered was varied and plentiful and there was plenty of choice, although on occasion it could have been hotter, some may have a problem with melamine plates for lunch but given their service of 3000 plus it cannot really be argued with. The food offered for main dining in the Villa Rosa restaurant was varied and plentiful with 7 courses always offered from the main menu and a number of alternatives always available if none in the main menu were to your liking. I found the food to be always of good quality and always served hot, I had no problems with the food or with the waiting staff, my one issue with MSC is the use of photographers at meal times, they are intrusive and in our case extremely rude. Some people have an issue with MSC not providing free water or tea and coffee, we might expect it but it shouldn't be the major issue some make of it, if you take the trouble to visit the buffet at anytime day or night you'll find free water, tea and coffee always available, there is no requirement to pay for water or beverages on board. Entertainment- The major disappointment was the evening theatre shows which we found did not match the standards seen in other MSC ships. The entertainment team seemed non existent where as on other cruises they were in evidence in the theatre providing some pre show fun and entertainment. The shows themselves were the usual 40 minute offerings by MSC, one was a surprising 20 minutes long, hardly worth the effort of either MSC putting it on or us in making our way to the theatre! Of the shows seen the Parisian and Italian themed shows were enjoyable, the pianist I found over-rated and over-used given his headlining in two shows, the singers were good but the opera singer who had the audience on their feet in Barcelona was not to my personal liking. The Michael Jackson tribute was the best staged, although lip synched. The dancing was superb and the staging excellent. We expected more from the shows and they could have been more variety offered, they disappointed overall which is a shame as we expected more from MSC on Divina. Staff- We found the staff on board to be generally good with some exceptions being both outstandingly good and bad. The outstandingly good was Philatron a waitress who greeted us by our first names after a gap of two years since meeting her and speaking to her of an evening on Splendida, that's amazing. Also outstandingly good was the previously mentioned Cabin Steward Handry and Sery our waiter in Villa Rosa. The outstandingly bad was the photographer who whilst taking photos of our table at a gala dinner refused to take a photo of myself and my partner and I whilst taking pictures of all eight other diners at a table of nine, given that we were dressed for a gala dinner and that we wanted a photograph it surprised us that we were ignored and treated both with some ignorance and extremely rudely by what one can only hope is a rogue member of staff who has no place dealing with members of the public, MSC will be made aware of this in a formal complaint to MSC in the UK, MSC in Italy. The other area that could be improved was the ability of staff to provide information on ports and places of interest and the means of transport available to independent travellers, whilst set up to sell their own excursions it would be nice to have additional information available and not to be sold tickets for a shuttle bus when alternatives were available and were not advertised. Some ports of call with shuttle buses provided could also do with better crowd management to avoid the likelihood of arguments, the use of young ladies to manage the disembarking crowd trying to board shuttle buses in Malaga was not altogether successful when I seriously thought that fists would fly. Overall - MSC Divina didn't disappoint on most fronts, a very stylish ship, too large for some perhaps but never seeming too busy apart from on gala evenings when the communal areas mid-ships were awash with those either making their way from the first sitting ot to the second sitting. The mix of passengers on board was as usually for MSC ships, being an Italian line it is no surprise that Italians, Germans, French and Spanish were in the majority, closely followed by Eastern Europeans and a noticeably increased contingent of Brits with a fair number of Americans also on board. The on board shopping is for those with money although the duty free shop offered cigarettes at well below prices seen elsewhere both onshore and in duty free shops at ports. There are numerous bars and lounges with lots of various types of music and entertainment on offer at most times of the day and evening, the one thing it was hard to find on occasion was a quiet spot, MSC seemed to let out the library to groups some afternoons which was irritating if you wanted somewhere quiet to read. To sum up, a good cruise, an enjoyable holiday, great ports of call, most of which were new to us, the food was good and the service was as expected and surpassed. This cruise brought similar benefits to that of our previous cruise on Musica in that we were sat with friendly and amusing diners who we went on to share many evenings with on board. As with on the Musica previously we hope to maintain a friendship with new friends made on board. We would cruise on Divina again and as 3 time cruisers with MSC we would will most certainly be cruising with them again soon. We happen to be comfortable with MSC, a fact that some reviewers see as being blind allegiance to a particular line, as can be seen from my review this cruise was not without its issues but none so bad as to spoil a holiday or to prevent us from choosing MSC for another cruise. We approach our cruises with an open mind and a realisation that we get what we pay for, MSC offer style, comfort, service, good Italian food, and great itineraries on superb ships at a very reasonable price and we find that hard to be beaten by other lines. So that is my review of a cruise on MSC Divina, if you consider it blind allegiance that is fine by me but please do not criticise me on forums for making a different choice to you, after all you make your choice! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
After writing an extensive and mostly glowing review of a 7 day voyage in MSC Splendida's Yacht Club May of 201, we returned in November of 2012 for 11 days on MSC's new Divina, again in a Yacht Club cabin. The first review was ... Read More
After writing an extensive and mostly glowing review of a 7 day voyage in MSC Splendida's Yacht Club May of 201, we returned in November of 2012 for 11 days on MSC's new Divina, again in a Yacht Club cabin. The first review was written in the glow of our first Med Cruise and Yacht Club experience. Does MSC's exclusive and pricey experience stand up to a second trips scrutiny? The Ship and public spaces: Divina is virtually identical to the Splendida in layout, save the cursory changes in bar themes and color schemes. Most notably to me was the addition of a sports bar with at least 10 screens, which allowed me to watch a couple sports events that I didn't want to miss. The food menu was unique in this bar as well with pub food and beers from around the world. Nice! They have a silly two lane bowling alley in the bar as well. Fun for the kids I suppose, but at 8 Euro a game, I didn't see a single game in action. None of the other many bars stood out, but there was a general (personal?) feeling that the overall style was a bit less flashy than the Splendida. There is still plenty of shiny chrome, brass, Swarovski crystal embedded stairs etc. There is an ample Cyber cafe with a printer that, while still charging stiff fees for internet usage, they at least print at no charge. 24 hours of prepaid WiFi internet usage is 150 Euro. Wifi connection was strong across all the areas I used it in, save for, ironically our cabin! The Casino seemed much larger, spanning the width of the 6th deck. The pool areas are very nice and appeared spacious on at sea days. The spa is excellent, very well finished and the gym is huge, spanning across the entire bow on the 14th deck with excellent equipment. We ate outside the Yacht Club dining options only three times, once each at "Sacramento", the Pizza restaurant, and the Buffet. Sacramento is curious. It exemplifies MSC's lack of understanding of Americans or their food culture. All during the cruise, they promote through announcements the Mexican cuisine here, and in fact they do have burritos, Fajitas etc. yet the on ship signage promotes the Burgers and Steaks. Pictures throughout the restaurant are from what appears to be California's Gold rush era. A silly observation perhaps, but one that may cause confusion, or worse mockery by the large American contingent when the ship moves to the Caribbean in late 2014 in MSC's stated goal of attracting more US dollars. The Burgers, by the way were generous in size, but identical to what you find in European restaurants promoting USA burgers...bland, grey, flavorless pucks. 8 Euro for a large double burger, good fries and a beer. Plentiful, if not satisfying. The Pizza restaurant on the other hand was excellent! A good, 15+ pie selection, prepared with excellent ingredients in a gas fired brick oven. The pie was very good, well made with a very good, burnt in just the right places thin crust. A bargain at 5 Euro for about a 12" to 14". Great The buffet was as expected, the few items we had were not good, yet not bad, just sustenance. Walking through at least once each meal time appeared to deliver much of the same. I think it is worth calling out that every space we experienced on the ship was absolutely spotless. MSC puts a lot of effort into keeping the public spaces very clean. Even the occasional peek behind closing doors in crew areas revealed white, white, white! Nice to see. Note that this is decidedly a foreign cruise line and experience. There was but one other American couple in the Yacht Club and until we boarded the "English" bus to Rome on day 10, I can honestly say I did not hear one American dialect, and very few British. The crew all speak very good English, but you will be surrounded by passengers speaking many different languages. It was fine with us, but maybe not for everyone. The perfunctory 9:30 daily announcements in 5 different languages became a bit much however. The Yacht Club: With all that said, we must admit that public areas interaction was mostly limited to back and forth to Le Muse, the clubs exclusive restaurant. When you have access to your own pool area, lounge, concierge, and restaurant why spend time elsewhere? The Divina has a very similar configuration as the Splendida, save for fewer Yacht Club Cabins. The YC cabins that were on decks below 15 & 16 have been converted to "Aurea" Spa rooms. All of the YC facilities remain the same size resulting in what should be even more room for the remaining YC guests. And what facilities they are! The "Top Sail Lounge", on the 15th deck spans literally 180 degrees of glass across the bow. The area is very spacious, with a bar, impeccable service and excellent snacks that are refreshed throughout the day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As with all YC facilities, well drinks, beer, wine and soda and a nice cocktail list are free. Also included is a proper afternoon tea service, very professionally done. The attention to detail across the YC, but particularly in this lounge is fantastic. The YC pool area appears the same as the Splendida, save for an awning added over tables on the bar side of the deck, a nice addition. Again, snacks are offered...and did I say the drinks are included?? This area is on the top 18th deck on the bow with spectacular views The YC restaurant, Le Muse is located, as it is on Splendida on the 15th deck on the stern. Getting to the restaurant from the YC cabins results in one of two experiences dependent on the weather. Nice out? A pleasant stroll outside across the open 15th deck. Inclement weather? A sometimes slow elevator ride to deck 6 or 7, then through the crowded bars, past the shops and the regularly packed photograph area to another slow elevator ride back up to 15. Once at Le Muse, the dining experience is mixed. The service always continues the YC theme...attentive, professional, but never rushed or fussy. They get the service right in the bars and restaurant. It was only the food early on that was hit and miss. After the first three days we were quite disappointed and not looking forward to the rest of the trip at Le Muse. But after those three days, they hit their stride and the meals improved considerably. We also learned to lean towards the Italian dishes, particularly the Pastas. Make no mistake, there is no Michelin star eminent, but it was much better with a few very good dishes along the way. The cabin, as on our last cruise was excellent. Plenty spacious and very nicely finished with a nicely stocked mini bar (all contents included in the YC price). We are very happy with the 16035 YC1 cabin. As noted before, this cabin (and its twin on the starboard side 16034) are a lot wider, but not as deep as the standard YC1 cabin. This offers a more spacious room and balcony. Of course the cabin was spotless after its twice daily service. And a new feature, your daily local newspaper is included...by early afternoon, I was delivered a full size, every page of my SF Chronicle. Awesome! A note on Butler service. On our cruise last year, the Butler was so attentive, it bordered on too much. We rarely left our room without him walking up, asking if we needed anything, escorting to the restaurant etc. He was regularly in the lounge and always at the ready. For this cruise, our Butler was MIA. We met him at embarkation as he took us to our room and that was about it! It was somewhat disappointing, but the rest of the butlers and service team all made up for his vanishing act. The service didn't lack, but it was curious. Our ports were Genoa, Barcelona, Casablanca, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Fuchal, Malaga, Civitavecchia and return to Genoa. The only excursion we booked was a round trip bus ride to Rome that was clunky at leaving the port, but an efficient return amid the zoo that is the St Peters Square bus terminal. Smoking attracts a lot of attention around MSC on this board. It is prevalent on the ship, but inside areas are limited to the casino, the enclosed cigar room and an area of the Lounge in the Yacht Club. It is at a bothersome level only in the Casino. The Casino area does open above to a bar one deck above, and while there is no smoking in that bar, the cigarette smell is noticeable. The small smoking area in the Yacht Club lounge is somehow very well vented, not affecting the rest lounge at all. Another excellent cruise on MSC! They are definitely not your father's cruise line, and to us that is part of the appeal. If you want to be surrounded by English speaking neighbors, and feel as though you haven't left the U.S. while on board, MSC is likely not for you. The Yacht Club cost really isn't that much more in cost to a regular balcony cabin, and the included drinks alone make up much of the additional cost. If you want to splurge on the Yacht Club experience, this cruiser highly recommends it and will return. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
We have done a number of transatlantic crossings and enjoy the sea days, this was our 2nd time in the Yacht Club. The Yacht Club experience is worth every penny, it is a quit oasis on an otherwise very pretty but very crowded ship. The ... Read More
We have done a number of transatlantic crossings and enjoy the sea days, this was our 2nd time in the Yacht Club. The Yacht Club experience is worth every penny, it is a quit oasis on an otherwise very pretty but very crowded ship. The service in the lounge and the pool is exceptional, the head butler is always visible, always ensuring that all your needs are met, all the staff without exception were always smiling,pleasant and happy to assist. Whatever you may want to drink is available and different food items are available in the lounge throughout the day, it is also a quiet pleasant area to relax indoors and look out the windows or read. The room butler and the assistant were always somewhere in the area, as soon as you left your room in the morning, your room would be refreshed before you returned. Our assistant attendent sewed a button for us, shined shoes and was always there to greet or open the door. I was very pleased with the yacht club, but did not give it a five rating for a couple of reasons, none of which would prevent me from going again. The cabins and the balcony are the size of a typical balcony room, you have very limited counter space, the few larger rooms and suites all seem to book very early. The pool area is great but has limited shade, it could use some umbrellas for shade in the areas, people were searching out shady spots. The food in The Muse restaurant was inconsistent for dinner, the choices on the left side of the menu were restricted, they always had a beef or chicken on the alternate menu and that was the choice many nights. Sometimes you ordered one thing and received another, sometimes it was just not good. When a special pasta was prepared by the head of the department it was outstanding, making me wander why all the food could not have been as good. Breakfast and lunch was always good and the staff were all pleasant. We are black card members so received 2 speciality restaurant dinners. We ate in Eataly , a fixed menu, it was nice, very few patrons at the time. We ate in Galaxy, again a set menu, with very different food items that may not appeal to all, it was an experience, one other couple in the restaurant at the time.You are escorted on and off the ship, which makes the process easier but it would be nice if it was a seperate route from everyone else. The concierge is always available and answers all questions. We went to a couple of shows ,visited the casino a bit but basically stayed in the Yacht Club areas.The gym was fine, a little crowded in the morning as usual, gym staff very helpful, had a facial, very pleasant and very reasonably priced. The passesgers were a very international mix , and the staff were able to communicate with all. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Here is some info about me: I'm 48. Live in USA. have cruised 51 days with Carnival, 14 days with princes, and now 7 with MSC. Have cruised a lot of Caribbean, one Norway, one Alaska, and now one Mediterranean. We started and ... Read More
Here is some info about me: I'm 48. Live in USA. have cruised 51 days with Carnival, 14 days with princes, and now 7 with MSC. Have cruised a lot of Caribbean, one Norway, one Alaska, and now one Mediterranean. We started and ended our cruise in Genoa. Before the cruise, I registered myself and my husband for the status match program. NOT user friendly, i must say. Make sure your photo that you upload with your other cruise-line info is a small data file. It took me several tries, but i finally got it done. we got silver level by providing our carnival info. Other than a bowl with 4 pieces of fruit in our cabin, not sure we noticed much difference. I was the one in our group of 16 friends/family that did the research and planned most of our trip. i went into the cruise having read MANY reviews. Having read the reviews, i would say that i agree with many of them. 1. very nice ship. clean inside. nicely decorated. clean. 2. entertainment above average. they had 3 lead singers who sang to a prerecorded soundtrack. they sang well. the dancers danced well. there were a couple of songs that they had one of the dancers (very obviously) lip-sync. I would have preferred that they did not do that. they were far better at dancing than lip-syncing. Just let the dancers dance!! 3. food....... a. dining room. Although our wait staff was very friendly, i did not feel the same level of personal involvement or level of attentiveness with them as i have felt with previous cruises. They just didn't seem to "have it all pulled together". some in our 2 tables of 8 did not get things that they ordered and it did seem to take a long time for one of our tables, who had a different waiter. as far as the food goes, well...... as many other reviewers have said, the selection is lacking compared to other cruise lines. maybe 5 options for starters (soups, salad, etc). another 5 for main dishes. then maybe 4 or 5 desert choices. they did have something like 3 items that are on the menu every night, but i can't say that i looked at them more than once. they did not seem very interesting. the food was NOT awful as some in my group claimed and some reviewers have claimed. Yes, i have had better. I think if they had more selection, the complainers in my group might have been happier. Maybe if the food had been catered to Americans, maybe they would have been happier.....i just don't know. Maybe i just had low expectations because of the reviews i read before the cruise, but MAYBE I had more realistic expectations since I have been to Europe many times and know to expect things to be a little different than in a cruise that caters to Americans. The fact is that on this cruise you can expect to be surrounded by lots of french, german, spanish, and italians. English speakers were by far in the minority. Not a problem, but something to be aware of. Of note, we went to the dining room the first 3 nights, then never went back. we found that the food on deck 14 was just as good and a lot quicker. we had 7pm dining. if we ate in the dining room, we had to go to the 945 show. a little late for me. b. informal dining......breakfast and lunch were perfectly adequate. lots to choose from. they did a good job trying to have selections that cater to different cultures. they had the bacon (actual bacon, not British bacon that is actually ham), but the link sausages were more British than American. lots of pastries, different types of eggs (scrambled, etc), pan cakes, etc. I very much enjoy experiencing what other cultures eat. some in my group are not what i would call cultured. they just thought some of the items were bad....in reality, the food items were that way, not because they were bad, but because that's the way other cultures eat them. Of note, as other reviewers have said, the pizza was very much above average for cruise pizza. it was nice to not have to wait in a long line for mediocre pizza like you do on carnival. Of note, I expected the dinner in the casual dining to be at least a small step up from what you get in there for lunch, but i did not find that to be the case. 4. Drink packages...... most in our group chose to purchase drink packages. my husband got the $10 per drink max package for $39 per day. I got the $19 non alcoholic package, and my son got the $14 per day non alcoholic kids drink package. Of note, i only got mine because i had to have a package for my son and husband to have one. I think they might have gotten their money's worth, but i'm not sure that i did. I don't like to drink a lof of sugary drinks or ones with artificial sweeteners. Large bottles of mineral water were like 2.50, so not crazy bad without the package. It was nice that I was able to go to the bar and order 2 cappuccinos and a mineral water at the same time and not have to wait or come back for the others. I think you have to wait 15 min between the alcoholic drinks. You could also get soft serve ice cream with the non alcoholic packages, but not with the alcoholic packages. Had i not gotten a package, the free drink selections would have been fine with me. Of note, no decaf coffee that i could see for free.....i found that strange. lots of different flavors of tea bags to choose from. 5. staff members.....including the dining room staff, i found the staff to be very friendly. they were very good about making eye contact and greeting you. most of them that I encountered, spoke a good amount of english. I was pleasantly surprised by that. 6. excursions...... we did not choose to book any excursions through the cruiseline, although a couple in our group did. My mom was pleased with the cave trip and another tour she and her friend took. What we did pay for was 3 transfers! No tendering with free shuttle for this cruise line. we paid $12.99 per person for 2 of them and like $16 for Marseille. I did read about the other options (hop on hop off close to port, free shuttles, and city buses), but we decided that our time and lower amounts of frustration from having to find where to go made it worth it for us to just fork out the dough. We just weren't up for the adventure of all of that. 16 people is a lot to have to wrangle up. 7. transfers. we used a company called www.airportstaxitransfers.com to get us from the genoa airport to the hotel in genoa, hotel to ship, ship to milan, then hotel in milan to airport in milan. highly recommend them. extremely punctual, we had not hitches with any of the four segments. with our number of travelers it was very cost effective. something like 50 euros total each for all 4 segments. door to door service. Of note, we spoke to an Australian couple who were on the last of 3 consecutive msc cruises. they nearly missed the ship because the transfer that was arranged through the ship didnt work out. they had been told a later time for it and so they missed it. it cost them 1000 euros to take a cab from venice and made it there with 1 hour to spare. the cruise line was going to reimburse them for the 1000 euros and the ship's employees were very apologetic to them and seemed to be very interested in making it right for them. I would have written that bad experience off as a 1-off, but we got word that the cruiseline had also messed up their transfer at the end of our cruise. they had them going to germany, instead of to the airport. Not sure how that all came out, but im sure it was frustrating for them, considering the other snafu...... Not saying dont use the cruiseline for transfers, but just make sure that you check all of the details very carefully. 8. nickel and diming..... Yes, it did seem that they charged extra for A LOT of things. We heard one passenger wondering if they were going to be charged extra for toilet paper! What I would say about that, though, is that you get what you pay for. This was, by far one of the least expensive 7 day Mediterranean cruises that i could find. If we had booked with one of the others, maybe some of those things would have been included....maybe not... Maybe the food would have been better, probably so. But if you are doing well to just get yourself in the door of this ship (financially speaking) and you need the lower price, then you may have to just understand that some things won't be included in the base price. At least they give you the option of having a less expensive trip if you are willing to not use the things that cost extra. 9. I do want to tell you about an excursion that we booked on our own in Cagliari. we booked it through www.sardiniadreamtours.com before the cruise. you can find them on youtube and instagram. highly recommend this company. This tour was the highlight of our cruise. we got in 4x4 landrovers and went off-roading to some awesome lookout points in the mountains, then spent time at two beaches (chia was one of them). it cost us about 60 euros each and it lasted the whole time we were in port. they even took us on a quick trip through the historic area just before returning us to the ship. Francesco was awesome! They all went above and beyond. 10. The fact that each of the stops can be your start/end of your cruise. .....as i mentioned, we started and ended in Genoa. we were told that about 900 passengers boarded and disembarked with us. we found it to be pretty stress free, having done the same with 3000 passengers on other cruises where you feel like cattle. we carried our luggage on and off, and it was pretty easy. prior to cruising, i wondered if it would be a pain in the butt having them do a safety drill every day. i have to say that i hardly noticed it, other than the announcement and a few people around the ship with live preservers in their hands. Of note, once you board on your embarkation day, you cannot leave the ship until the next day. If you want to spend more time in that city, do it before you get on. we chose to spend that day in Genoa and board at around 3:30 instead of earlier in the day since we wanted to have a little more time in genoa. we breezed right through the boarding process, since most everyone had already boarded for the day. Our room was ready, we walked right in. Also of note, they put your key in the room and the door will be open when you get there. *****Be sure to go register your form of payment of on-board purchases. they have kiosks by the reception desk that make it pretty easy. you do not have to wait in line at the reception desk to get that done (lines ALWAYS long at the reception desk) 10. would I do it again if I had the choice? I would say yes. some in my group might say no. again with the unrealistic expectations...... I would just tell the nay Sayers to just fork out the big bucks for the other cruise lines next time if you want better food, etc. If they can't afford more, then maybe consider a land vacation or a Caribbean cruise. Just my 2 cents worth..... Hope that this helps you in some way, Cathy Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise based on the value for the price and the ports of call. The ship itself was nice although there was extensive leaking on the 9th floor the duration of the cruise. The main areas were well maintained and quite clean. ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the value for the price and the ports of call. The ship itself was nice although there was extensive leaking on the 9th floor the duration of the cruise. The main areas were well maintained and quite clean. The staff was very nice although it seemed that they could use more wait staff in the various bars. The wait time for pool side drinks was quite long and it appeared that there were only 2 waiters on duty at the pool each afternoon. The food left a lot to be desired. We tried eating in the main dining room once and it was a horrific experience both for service and food quality. The buffet was better although there was not a lot of variety. Also lunches were superior to breakfast and dinner. Often there were wait times to get into the buffet both at breakfast and lunch time. Entertainment was very cheesy including their show which was a tribute to Jim Carey’s “The Mask”. After the first day my 10 year old son refused to go to the kids club due to a lack of fun age appropriate activities. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
4th cruise with MSC, first time divina. (before: music/fantasia/splendida). Always nice cruises, otherwise wouldn't have booked a 4th cruise :). Sailed from Genoa to Venice. Balcony state room fantastic (11094). Also booked the ... Read More
4th cruise with MSC, first time divina. (before: music/fantasia/splendida). Always nice cruises, otherwise wouldn't have booked a 4th cruise :). Sailed from Genoa to Venice. Balcony state room fantastic (11094). Also booked the premium drank package at 39€/day. The cabin: Room was like we knew from previous cruises but this time no curtain at the shower but a shower door. Improvement! The cabin steward who normally is somewhere around, especially on the boarding day, wasn't there. And in the end, we never saw him during the whole cruise. All other cabin stewards we saw daily, but ours...??? although room was kept clean and towels were changed twice a day, but room was never prepared for the night like we were used to have on previous cruises with MSC. (curtains closed/beds opened/towels replaced/last checks/...). And then the last night...nothing at all. Even no fresh towels. It was like if for MSC on the last night you are no longer welcome... Was this a big problem? No, but you except the same level of service for your entire cruise. Dinner: 1st thing to do was to change dinner seating. Dinner booked online on msc page: 2nd seating but cruise card mentioned 1st seating so up to the Maitre D to change into 2nd. Changed with no comment. Then it was time to use the cruise card/drink package. Bars: Premium package entitles you all drinks on the menu up to 10€. So let's start with a Paulaner Hefeweizen. After the first one asked for a second. "Sorry, out of stock". De bar on the other side still had one (or more...) So far no problem. Then ordered a prosecco superiore. This is not the standard prosecco you get with the easy package. "Sorry out of stock". This went on for the entire cruise. Not everything on the menu seems available in the bar...even if you ask for a mixer with a premium brand vodka/gin/whisky/...you should stay close to the bartender to make sure he uses the ordered brand. Is this a big problem? No, but if MSC sells you a package with the promise you can order drinks up to 10€ they should deliver. Otherwise it is wiser to stay with the cheap drink package. The daily shows: 1st I would like fellow passengers to remind that they have 2 x the same show a night in order to offer everybody to join a show before (for the 2nd seating) or after (for the 1st seating) dinner. So please don't join after the show has started and if you come late don't want to grab a chair in the middle of a line so you want people to stand up and let you pass. Thank you :) The show on the first night was a tribute to tina turner. Music and singing was OK. Dancers were doing their thing. The show on the second night were Italian songs. Same dancers. Became already a little annoying. The show on the third night: singing an the same dancers. We left after the third song and didn't return the rest of the cruise since the program mentioned singing and dancing again. Shows on previous cruises were beter: some singing/some dancing/some acrobatics/some magic/some theatre/...but not only singing and dancers. Is this a big problem? No, but variety is more then welcome?!? The dinners: We knew what to expect but this time food was really flavorless. And the problem with the wine was that they give you the wine menu (premium package, remember :)) but it is hard to get the chosen wine... We had the impression that the food at the buffet restaurant was better this time than in the restaurant. But the most inconvenient was the dinner on the night we were at Palma the Mallorca. Since the schip only left at 23:30 they decided for an open seating dinner. Thus: not at your table and maybe even not in your restaurant. The waiters couldn't follow at all since at once all passengers seemed to have decided to dine at around 20:30 or so...what a disaster! My advice to MSC: keep the seatings like they are. If yo are not on board for the time of your seating -> you go to the buffet. Easy no? Is this a big problem? No, but rather inconvenient and stress for as well waiters as for the passengers. All this made it a rather strange cruise. Did we enjoy it? YES, we were on holiday but we had made better experiences with MSC. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Our first MSC cruise and won't be our last. Chosen for the itinerary. Would have given it a 4 but for the disappointing dining experience. Ship is immaculate and although the ship was full it was kept spotless at all times. Was ... Read More
Our first MSC cruise and won't be our last. Chosen for the itinerary. Would have given it a 4 but for the disappointing dining experience. Ship is immaculate and although the ship was full it was kept spotless at all times. Was a real cosmopolitan mix on board dominated by Spanish and not many English on board which wasn't a problem for us. We booked a balcony cabin and were allocared a corner berth at the back of the ship on deck 11, which was fabulous with lots of space and the biggest balcony we have ever had (this was our 10th cruise). The service levels were good overall but did vary on a bar by bar basis. The only let down for us was the evening meal, which is a big part of our cruising experience. The restaurants were rammed with lots of young family groups and hence very noisy even on the late sitting, which surprised us given this was at 9.45pm. The menu was ok if a little plain as was the food. The best meal we had was in the Sushi restaurant which was fabulous. The wine choices were also a little limited even with the premium drinks package. That said we would still book another MSC cruise based on the overall experience Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
MSC in the Caribbean, as it has several competing companies, focuses on service and care. In Europe, as it has no competition, the mess is general. They exchange Coca Cola for Pepsi, exchange San Pellegrino and Panna water served in ... Read More
MSC in the Caribbean, as it has several competing companies, focuses on service and care. In Europe, as it has no competition, the mess is general. They exchange Coca Cola for Pepsi, exchange San Pellegrino and Panna water served in America by anyone, the attendance worsens noticeably, with bad prominence for the attendants of Venchi and the safety when returning to the ship. Calumet, which is the restaurant that serves 20 hours, falls a lot of quality, nothing resembles the cruises that MSC does in the United States. The buffet worsens and the replenishment is bad. The schedules provided in the booking are different. For example, FP5 should leave Rome, but FP7 left. Should arrive in Mallorca the 3PM but arrived at 1PM and should arrive in Genova at 9AM but arrived at 7,30AM. The ship is great and, at the Yacht Club, better still, but do not just cruise with the ship. The only positive caveat, though somewhat elitist, is that the Yacht Club staff, especially the Top Sail Lounge and the butlers who serve the cabins, are great and try to lessen the effects of the Italian Way. (Google Translator) Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We are just a week back from our 7 day cruise on the MSC Divina, we started and ended in Genoa. Our family has taken several Disney, Carnival, and Royal cruises previously all in the Caribbean. My goal of this review is to provide ... Read More
We are just a week back from our 7 day cruise on the MSC Divina, we started and ended in Genoa. Our family has taken several Disney, Carnival, and Royal cruises previously all in the Caribbean. My goal of this review is to provide background/facts as well as the good and bad that we experienced both before and during the cruise. -Why we booked. We booked this cruise and flights in June 2017 as the timing was right. Our flight was into Milan the day before the cruise which left from Genoa. We decided to take this cruise as we have a 3 and 7 year old, this cruise had no days at sea and we would be able to experience Italy, Spain, and France. MSC was also offering a promo of "Kids cruise free" so we got a pretty good deal. We booked an oceanview on the 5th floor with the Fantastica experience. The experience included 12 drink coupons per person, non-alcoholic for the kids. We had some fears that our 3 year old might want to climb so we decided against a balcony. (Observation, it appears oceanviews are only available on floors 5 and 6 and the upper floors are all balconies). -Pre-cruise As it has been mentioned by several people the MSC website and booking information is clunky at best. It depends on the day of the week if the information is available and working. When it does work the information is limited and for any real detailed information you have to call the customer service number which I found on several occasions has at least a 15-20 minute wait to speak with someone. As we were flying into Milan we booked transfers from Milan to Genoa through MSC for $31 per person each way. Information was provided a few days before the trip and we were told the pick up was at gate 8 of the airport terminal 1 at 8 am. This seemed early as the cruise left port at 6 pm and it was only a 2 hour drive but I figured we hopefully would avoid some crowds. I took advantage of the status match program for the Voyager Club and was given Black status, MSC's highest. The "exclusive" benefits to black card members are listed below and I will provide the on board experience later. -Complimentary specialty restaurant "Tasting Menu" dinner for two (no beverages) [One dinner per stateroom] -Complimentary spumante with chocolate-dipped fruit per stateroom, once per cruise -Priority disembarkation at end of cruise -Courtesy towelling bathrobe and slippers available during the cruise -Complimentary dance class -MSC Voyagers Club exclusive Black Card Party -MSC Voyagers Club Chocolate Ship -Late stateroom check-out at disembarkation We reviewed the shore excursions, internet packages, and food/beverage all inclusive options on the website. We discovered that there were no shore excursions that were good for the kids. We decided to buy an internet package and had questions on the beverage package. About a week before the cruise I called customer service to get details on the beverage package. Our 3 year old only likes apple juice **yes, I know but stick with me**. Knowing she had 12 drink coupons I wanted to know if apple juice was readily available on the ship or if we should buy the unlimited non-alcoholic package for her. I was told there is always apple juice in the buffet at breakfast and there were even juice boxes available that we could bring to the room. She even recommended bringing an empty water bottle that could be filled and used through the day. There was no reason to buy the package as if she wanted juice outside of breakfast she still had the 12 coupons. I was thrilled with the response and didn't buy the package. -Arrival and Embarkation We arrived on Friday about 11 am and had a room at the MXP airport as the cruise wasn’t leaving until Saturday and we had booked transfers with MSC. After arriving we checked in to the hotel and took the train into Milan to explore the city. We had a great time but for future reference Milan shut down a bit at 3 pm as it was Good Friday. We enjoyed a nice meal and headed back to the airport on the train. On Saturday morning we had the chaos of getting everyone up at 6:30 to make sure we were ready for the transfer at 8 am. We grabbed a quick on the run breakfast at the hotel and barely made it by 8 am. We arrived at Gate 8 and looked around for anyone with an MSC sign and no-one was there. I went out by the buses to see if we had arrived late and they walked out again to no avail. I tried calling the transfer company a few times with no answer. Finally, at 8:20 someone answered the phone and told us the time had been changed to 9 am and someone would be there with a sign, in the meantime “the airport has places to eat you should get a coffee.” We didn’t get a call or email about this change. At 9:05 someone showed up with a sign and told us we wouldn’t be leaving for a while as we were waiting for more passengers. He also mentioned we should get a coffee. The transfer left at 10 am, needless to say we weren’t thrilled that we rushed around to get there for 8 am and we didn’t leave for 2 hours. The airport isn’t a ton of fun for 2 kids. When we arrived in Genoa we got off the bus and followed the crowd into the embarkation hall. There was a line of about 150 people already, I approached one of the employees and told him I was a black card member. One of those “benefits” was priority embarkation. He handed me a card and sent the family up an elevator to the Yacht Club check in. We made it through the process in about 30 minutes and were getting on the ship. The process was smooth and easy. - On Board Once on board we went to our room and we were pleasantly surprised by the size of the room. The window was quite large compared to the other cruises we have been on. The cruise cards were in the room and we looked for the drink vouchers to no avail. I was somewhat surprised that my card was silver, but it said that I was a black card member. The biggest surprise was that the “bunk beds” came out of the ceiling above either side of the bed. Be careful if you jump up in the middle of night, you might have headache. We went to the welcome buffet and realized it would take some navigating as the space was huge. It was set up in a mirror pattern where both sides matched. There was also a pizza area and a hot dog/burger area. The quality of the food was good and the selection was adequate. There is a kids section in the back which they liked a lot. There was a selection of deli meats/cheese, an ethnic section, carving/pasta area, healthy section, and a few other areas. I can see how people who didn’t walk the buffet would miss several items. We explored the ship and visited the kids club for registration and met several other families before dinner. Our dining table was set for 7 but no one else came to the dining room. On previous cruises the waiter and assistant were the most outgoing people on the ship. To our surprise this wasn’t the case, our waiter didn’t engage in any conversation other than taking our order. We asked a couple of questions and were told he didn’t know the menu as it was new. - The Good – There were several items that were very good -The housekeeper was very nice and did a great job. She was great with the kids. -The kids club was amazing, the workers did a great job and my 7 year old didn’t want to leave. -The casino staff was great. I played blackjack while there and had a lot of fun. -The quality of the food was very good at the buffet and the selection was enough to keep us happy. -The pool was around 78 degrees each day and was a lot of fun for the kids. They weren’t overcrowded which was nice. -The excursion desk provided honest answers to questions. They admitted there really weren’t any kid friendly excursions which I appreciated. -The shows were hit or miss, the pirate show was good. - The Bad – nothing over the top but a bunch of little to middle type things. -As mentioned earlier my 3 year old only drinks apple juice. The first morning we searched the buffet and didn’t find apple juice we found various different types and figured it was a rotating schedule. The second morning when we didn’t find apple juice we asked and were told there is never apple juice in the machines, you can only buy it from the bar at 3 euros each. I inquired about adding the unlimited package and was told it was too late, you can only buy it on the first day. I complained to the desk and was told it was too bad and I’d need to buy it from the bars. - While there I asked about my card being silver instead of black and was told it wasn’t a big deal but if it was a problem they could change it. I asked about the benefits being a black card member and they told me the cruise consultant would be sending us messages to get the benefits. This never occurred and when we inquired about the free specialty dining it was made to be that we were hassling the staff. We never received any message, they did send the chocolate ship on the second to last night. - The biggest negative was in the dining room, as I mentioned earlier our waiter was very dry to say the least. The first and second night we were told that he didn’t know the menu. My wife ordered a wine the first night and then asked for the same one the next night along with the aforementioned apple juice and it never arrived for over an hour even though we asked 4 times. When the supervisor asked him why we were still waiting he said he didn’t know what wine it was. Our food took an extremely long time to arrive and both nights something was wrong. We asked for a new table as there wasn’t a good fit, they moved us and also moved the waiter to the section next to us which was awkward to say the least for the rest of the cruise. -On all of the other cruises the staff has been friendly and easy going. I found this staff to have very low morale and just plain rude. The best example I can give is when a crew member and a guest would get to a door at the same time, the staff member would push through the door sometimes bumping into the guest. I’ve always seen the crew open the door or step to the side when guests arrived at the same time. This was an overriding theme throughout the ship. Final Thoughts At the end of the day, there weren’t any over the top issues but there were a bunch of small issues. The best way to describe it was this was a cruise that had a very good price and we got what we paid for. I don’t know if I would take a cruise with MSC again. The only thing I can say is that there could be a difference if you are in the Yacht Club level of service for the extra fee. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Arrived back in North America last week after an 18-day cruise from Genoa across the Atlantic Ocean to Miami on the MSC Divina This was our first trip with MSC so we were open to it being different to other cruise lines. Prior to booking ... Read More
Arrived back in North America last week after an 18-day cruise from Genoa across the Atlantic Ocean to Miami on the MSC Divina This was our first trip with MSC so we were open to it being different to other cruise lines. Prior to booking this trip I must confess I never gave it a thought that being as the cruise started in Italy and being as it was an Italian ship most of the passengers would be from Europe. In fact, 90% of the passengers came from Europe and only about 10% came from North America so there were not too many people that spoke English. I found that the ship was spotlessly clean and there were always people around cleaning the carpets or the walls and stair rails. The upper decks were kept clean and they had to be dried off after the rain showers so that it was not slippery. I noticed from our balcony that each day a crew member was inspecting the life boat area checking to make sure that all the lights were on in the panels. We ate mostly in the buffet and I must say that there was a large selection of different meat dishes. There was an area for salads where you could make up your own. The fruit was abundant and needless to say the pizza was always available. I have never seen fried egg and sausage pizza before. I would like to have seen a few more green vegetables but that’s the way it is. Deserts were very good. My only problem with the food was. Coming from North America we don’t use olive oil like they do in Europe and I found all the dishes oily. I noticed that when they grilled the hamburger patties the tray they put them in had oil in the bottom. On other thing that surprised me was I did not see any Chinese food or Sushi or Indian curries. Once again its most likely because they were catering to a largely European passenger list. On the other cruise lines we have found these dishes. Talking about the passengers I have never seen so many rude and grumpy passengers. Twice I got pushed out of the food line by ladies waving their arms and raising their voices about something. One man even reached over my shoulder and picked up a piece of pork with his fingers, sooner than wait for me to put down the tongs. I was also shocked when I went to the pool deck. The crew were putting the lounge chairs away. The deck was covered with empty paper cups, beer glasses, and other junk food wrappings. People were too lazy to put their garbage in one of the bins when they left. I still find it disgusting at men wearing a speedo bathing suit when they are 60 years old with a big beer belly. The crew members were good and always had a word for you. But I would suggest to the management of MSC that they have a few words with the officers that walk around in their white uniforms and their noses stuck up in the air. They should stop now and again and say hello to the passengers. It was very apparent when we were in the lounge waiting for disembarkation. Four officers came into that lounge and spoke to the bar tender. They didn’t appear to being any hurry but not one of them spoke to the 40 people in that room and asked how they liked their cruise. They just chatted with the bartender. The ports of call were all very good and we enjoyed seeing them all. I was surprised in Barcelona when we had to return to port with a sick passenger. This ship does not have a heliport on the bow deck to take off sick people. MSC made a big mistake stopping in St. Thomas because it’s a territory of the USA and everyone had to clear USA Immigration. St Thomas is a very small place and there were 4,000 people, on the ship. For us it was OK we were part of the 10% and saw the Immigration officer at 8.15am and were finished at 8.16am. But for the others from Europe who had to show visa’s or the ESTA forms they had a long wait. I heard them page for the last group at 3.30pm. So those people would not have had time to go ashore. They should have gone to another Island and did the USA Immigration in San Juan which is bigger port and we were there for almost 24-hour. In general, we had a great trip but I am not a fan of the ship, I found it to be confined and the colors are boring. If you like red, Grey, and Black you will be OK. I understand that the ship is dedicated to the great Sophia Loren from the 1950’s and the ship reminded me of the 1950’s. There are lot of bars and lounges but there is not to much of an open area. In the evening the area of decks five and six where the stair case is was jammed with people you could not get a seat. We had a nice balcony on deck 11 and the cabin was like must of the cruise ships. It did not have a speaker in the cabin so when an announcement was made you had to open the cabin door to hear what was going on. On other ships they had a speaker in the cabin that you could switch on and off or turn it down. We missed almost all of the captains announcements. But I just did not like the ship and I would not travel with MSC again It just was not for me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This is our 4-th cruise and we chose it mostly because of the ship, since the itinerary is not the best. Palma de Majorca and Valencia are nice, but the other places are not worth the trip. They offered shuttle buses for the city that ... Read More
This is our 4-th cruise and we chose it mostly because of the ship, since the itinerary is not the best. Palma de Majorca and Valencia are nice, but the other places are not worth the trip. They offered shuttle buses for the city that were more expensive than travelling with taxi. We wanted a new ship, that offers better comfort and instead we ended up in a crowded, smelly, full of leaks and unsanitary place. The worst thing was that they gave us spoiled food for dinner and my daughter got seek. When we tried to see the ship's doctor they wanted to charge us 100 Euro. They refused to give us any medication, or even a thermometer and the farmacy on bord had nothing helpful. The service was terrible. We waited a long time for our food at dinner, hence the ice cream was always brought melted. The food was terrible and always the same. All the areas of the ship are very crowded, we felt like sardines. None of our request were answerd, although they were simple ones, for example we asked for the children's bed to be folded during the day, since we couldn't move around it in the room. The ship has a systemic liking problem in the hallways and that also made the water pressure very low. The water in the public restrooms is only dropping. I found that very unsanitary. The only good thing was the evening shows. The artists put a lot of work into them and we enjoyed them. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Chose the cruise because of itinerary---which didn't happen. To be positive, the highlights: Cabin was nice and larger than most ships on which I've sailed. Young man taking care of cabin was great!!! That's ... Read More
Chose the cruise because of itinerary---which didn't happen. To be positive, the highlights: Cabin was nice and larger than most ships on which I've sailed. Young man taking care of cabin was great!!! That's it!!!!!!!!! The cons: Were lied to many times by ship's officers. These included, but were not limited to: a. Being told that there was no TV because they couldn't get signal. They didn't pay for American set-up. So, no TV for twelve days. Catching up on news now...... While in NYC there were no spirits. They put out signs stating that this was because of New York port regs. Not true, ship messing officer told me that they had forgotten to get liquor license. So much for buying the drink package. As it turned out, blaming the Americans was often the answer to problems. Backfired once though as the PA announced that we were late leaving the ship in Bermuda because of the Americans----I guess that someone never learned that Bermuda was a British territory. Changed itinerary and skipped the Azores. Were told that this was due to a hurricane that was going to hit there----it had already passed. And there were more lies. Secondly, the food was awful. We also had opted for dinner in the dining room, but the service was so bad that we began using the buffet after four nights. There were times that it would take over an hour to get the main course. Food in any venue was never hot. Eggs were always cold. On two days we started the day without coffee. This would occur frequently during the day. To top that off, there were also two days that they ran out of coffee mugs. Food varieties were slim. Ran out of hand sanitizer for five days. Getting on and off the ship was an ordeal. As opposed to other ships that I've been on, this had no food around the pool area and you were required to pay for ice cream. Library was closed the first four days for staff training. Was told that this was to teach employees on methods of interacting with Americans. I think that some flunked the course. When library did open, it contained two books, one on cats and the other The Book of Mormons. No decent quiet lounges to just sit and read or play games. Excursions generally started late and many didn't cover advertised venues. I could go on but won't. My advice would be to avoid this company at all costs. They will certainly never see me or many of my fellow cruisers again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Most of our cruising has been with Holland America (over 300 nights), but we have also sailed with Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Swan Hellenic (of blessed memory). We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience a big ... Read More
Most of our cruising has been with Holland America (over 300 nights), but we have also sailed with Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Swan Hellenic (of blessed memory). We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience a big ship, and we liked the itinerary (Genoa, Italy to Miami, FL, via Civitavecchia, Marseille, Barcelona, Cadiz, Lisbon, Azores, Bermuda, and New York City). Unusually for a trans-atlantic repositioning cruise, we had three overnight stays (Tenerife, Bermuda, and New York City. A hurricane over the Azores caused a diversion to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spanish Canary Islands.) The Divina has a capacity of 4,345 passengers, but we were 3,335 upon arriving in Tenerife. Even with the ship only 77% full, it always felt extremely crowded in the public areas, and especially on the sun decks, the restaurants, the bars and lounges, and the theatre. One problem with bigger and bigger ships is the fact that more and more people still have to leave and enter the ship via a couple of gangways. This can lead to long waits in the ship and/or on the quay. The food was average or below average (my wife's evaluation) to good (my own evaluation). We succeeded in obtaining freshly made, consistently hot dishes at breakfast and lunch in the Black Crab restaurant by insisting (we were frequently told that he was not on duty, but this was true on only one occasion) on being seated with a particularly attentive waiter, Mr. Arturo de Leon, from the Philippines. His consistently excellent service to us, and to some other passengers who sought him out, seemed to provoke jealousy, rather than emulation, on the part of several of his colleagues. Our evening dining in Villa Rosa was also enjoyable, as we shared a table for 8 with two other Canadian couples, and were served by a trio of excellent waiters: Rusdi (Indonesia); Rohan (India); and Gabriel (Romania). My favourite meals were the fish dishes and the desserts. Our cabin steward (Ronald, from the Philippines) was also very efficient, and almost always managed to service our room while we were away at breakfast or dinner. The fuse for the thermostat burned out, and it took several days to get it repaired. The fitness centre had only two elliptical machines, was crammed full of people, and had the music cranked up to the maximum. Apart from the (mostly initial) entertainers (a living shadow artist; a mime; a ventriloquist; and four superb flamenco dancers), we found the dancing and singing acts to be excruciatingly loud, and gave them a pass, after several tries. The very, very worst "entertainment" were the Bermudan drummers and dancers: unbearably loud and incredibly repetitious. Several guests (usually, the same ones) disregarded the order to refrain from recording the shows on phones and laptops. The prohibition was never enforced by staff. There was only ONE solo recital of classical music, by the accomplished pianist on board. MSC's idea of classical singing is to have a third-rate tenor screaming "O Sole Mio" as if he was being burnt alive. Alma Duo gave two great tribute concerts to ABBA and the Beatles. The fashionista and his towering model were good. The "library" is the worst on the high seas: frequently closed (without warning) because of "staff training," it had the smallest selection of books in any of the five languages used during the cruise (English, Italian, French, Spanish, and German), and not a single reference book (atlas, travel books, almanacs, etc.). The trivia quizmaster was by far the most obnoxious staff member I have ever encountered on a cruise ship. He treated contestants as if we were half-witted kindergarteners. Many staff appeared to be poorly trained, and some were observed smoking and drinking on the non-smoking 7th deck (port side), and tossing their butt ends and empty cans overboard. I mentioned this on my feedback sheet, halfway through the 23-day cruise, but received no followup. The future cruise consultant offered limited office hours, and NO cruise brochures were freely available. I asked for a loan of a brochure in English; was promised one "in your cabin, in a few days," but was never sent one. One good aspect of MSC cruises is their willingness to match one's status on competing cruise lines or hotels. Even though this was our first (and might be be our last) cruise with MSC, our 4-star Mariner status with Holland America got us Black-card Voyagers Club status (the highest of 5 levels) on MSC. This enabled us to receive various perks throughout the cruise, which made up for some of its less pleasurable aspects. Our favourite meal on board was the sushi tasting menu on deck 15, which was most enjoyable, and one of the aforementioned Black-card perks. Lastly, it was wonderful to meet a large group of Cruise Critics on board, visit their cabins, and socialize. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This is a VERY kid unfriendly ship. Of the 3 pools we had access to we could only go in 1 which was typically freezing. We also saw a midfle school aged kid get kicked out of the gym when he was running next to his dad on s treadmill, ... Read More
This is a VERY kid unfriendly ship. Of the 3 pools we had access to we could only go in 1 which was typically freezing. We also saw a midfle school aged kid get kicked out of the gym when he was running next to his dad on s treadmill, causing no trouble. We paid extra for the Yacht club, which is a must with this line otherwise you will be waiting awhile just for the buffet. With this "exclusive club" you also got 24 h access to a butler. However literally every time we ordered room service it was wrong. It was fantastic service in the dinning room and club. We asked for milk in the room several times before they then stocked out mini fridge with a card board box that you need heavy scissors to open, which we didn't have. We also requested a crib. I called and contacted MSC numerous times prior to the cruise and I was assured it would be there, it wasn't. Contacting MSC was also a mess. We booked 11 people through Tim Bronson, the agent from MSC. He was not only not helpful, but impossible to reach. Our 4 rooms were all over the ship and not even on the same floor together. 2 of our reservations got cancelled a few weeks before the trip. Luckily no one booked those rooms in the mean time. We have cruised multiple times and this was the worst food I have had on a ship. We did multiple excursions which were not organized well and the guides were lackluster at best. The one guide refused to use the headset pieces in Rome because he "has been doing this since 1975 and didn't need it". Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The cabin was nice and clean but the buffet was extremely crowded and dirty. Very difficult to find a place near the pool. The shore excursions were the worst, we were running to check the points of interest with guides telling a story ... Read More
The cabin was nice and clean but the buffet was extremely crowded and dirty. Very difficult to find a place near the pool. The shore excursions were the worst, we were running to check the points of interest with guides telling a story on fast forward. The “culinary tour” in Palermo means 2 rice balls on a plastic plate in a dirty crowded market and 2 small cannolis( worst we ever had) on the run. Going to Portofino means waiting to disembark for 1/2 hour, waiting to embark another ship 1/2 hour, 1 1/2 on the way and 1 hour in Portofino, exhausting and worthless. The winery tour in Sardegna was filled with wrong information and just some marketing for the factory. At the embarkation their only concern was to sell us drink packages so we got lost on the ship trying to find our cabin. That was our first and last cruise, we spent a lot of money and waste our time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise because it was a back to back cruise with the Poesia. We were with a group of 6. We were transferred by coach from Venice to Genoa which took about 5 hours. Only about 12 people on the coach. Good trip. Because we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a back to back cruise with the Poesia. We were with a group of 6. We were transferred by coach from Venice to Genoa which took about 5 hours. Only about 12 people on the coach. Good trip. Because we arrived at Genoa at about 15.30 embarkation was easy and fast - straight through, baggage arrived at cabin the same time as we did. Balcony cabin was big and neat and tidy.Much bigger than Poesia. The tiles in the Shower recess floor were loose and water leaked onto floor outside shower. Dining was below average. Wait Staff in dining room were good but it was obvious they were under pressure 'from up above'. Servings in the dining room were small and the menu was exactly the same as the ship which we just came off. No variation at all - very disappointing. Breakfast and lunch in the buffet was total chaos. Too many people pushing and shoving and the noise level was very loud. Menu's were not very appealing at all. Service in the dining room for breakfast was slow. One morning I waited 20 minutes before being served. Most Bar staff were very slow and it appeared that it was a chore to serve you. Prices on drinks menu did not include a service charge of 15%. So when you ordered a beer for EUR4.95 the bill come in at EUR5.69. Some times we would order a drink from the list and after about 20 minutes the waiter returned to say they didn't have it or they ran out. The drinks included red wine Cabernet Sauv, Cognac, Cocktail of the Day, Strongbow Cider etc. You had to keep an eye on your onboard account as I was charged twice for items I did not purchase. The onboard account on the TV screen listed your transactions but did not include the total of the bill - you had to work that out yourself. Entertainment was good but it was mainly performed by the onboard production crew, mainly dancing and singing. The Cruise Director did not appear to get too involved in day to day activities. the only time we saw him was at the evening show where he introduced the show in about five different languages. Imagine if they featured a comedy act, the comedian would have to tell the joke several times in different. How good would that be?? We did not do any Shore excursions from the ship because we thought the cost was excessive. They provided paid shuttles into town, which were also expensive, then we done our own thing. Disembarkation was good and well organised, bit different than the chaotic Poesia. The ship was beautiful, very Italian with plenty of marble and glass, plenty seating in the lounges, but the standard of service and dining experiences really let it down. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Friends asked us to join them on this cruise as they had never been on a cruise before. We had travelled on Princess Cruise line before and could not help but compare the two. In fact there is no comparison! Don't get me wrong Divina ... Read More
Friends asked us to join them on this cruise as they had never been on a cruise before. We had travelled on Princess Cruise line before and could not help but compare the two. In fact there is no comparison! Don't get me wrong Divina is a magnificent ship, but I'm afraid thats where it ends! Overcrowded, to many children onboard even making late dining a nightmare (9 o'clock) kids crying & running around. 2 smoke rooms onboard as well as smoking in the Casino....smell permeated through the ship. Food very very average in restaurants, marginally better than buffet (which was full of rude people that piled their plates like there was going to be a famine) the staff are obviously not happy. Entertainment the same every night! English about 4th down on the list spoken onboard. 15% surcharge on everything purchased onboard...coffee, drinks etc. They also tried to charge €10 per person per cabin a day!! When we questioned this we were told it pays the staffs wages...sorry MSC your job to pay wages!!! And we will tip those that deserve it!! Shuttle costs expensive. Would i recommend MSC? No way. To many unruly kids, arrogant travellers, no organisation in buffet as well as theatre...umhappy staff (no wonder with the way they are treated by some onboard) Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We had past experience with msc-positive. this cruise convinced us never to use them again. ship is understaffed and service is poor. Guest services and excursion office were terrible-wrong information many times. in 3 different ... Read More
We had past experience with msc-positive. this cruise convinced us never to use them again. ship is understaffed and service is poor. Guest services and excursion office were terrible-wrong information many times. in 3 different ports there were shuttle charges . ONLY IN THE NIGHTLY NEWSLETTER DID THEY INFORM ABOUT THIS- Prices ranged from 13 euro to 16 euro and because they choose to dock outside the city-there is really no choice. there is afeeling that passengers must conform to convience of the crew. The ship is very clean and weel kept-food is okay-not enough good points to cruise with them again. the entertainment was about the same everynight-same singers and dancers-only the opera evening was worth it. ON THE LAST NIGHT THE NEWSLETTER WAS DELIVERD AT 22:00 To our room-informing us to have luggage outside by 23:00 and to vacate the cabin at 7:00-again no timely notification. the ship is nice but with everyone on board-public spaces are very crowded. some of the crew do their best-but the ship sorely lacks manpower. T Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
This was my second cruise on MSC but I have cruised many times on others. The first time on MSC was on the Lyrica and it was a good experience the food was good and the ship was spotless. This time it was not (I considered taking a flight ... Read More
This was my second cruise on MSC but I have cruised many times on others. The first time on MSC was on the Lyrica and it was a good experience the food was good and the ship was spotless. This time it was not (I considered taking a flight back from one of the ports of call). The Divina is a very nice large ship. The cabins are great but the food was not bad - it was terrible. Breakfast was OK in the dining room and the OK at best in buffet, lunch was OK to good in the buffet but poor in the dining room, dinner was very, very poor in the buffet and very poor in the dining room. I spoke to many other fellow cruisers on this trip and all thought the food was very poor! I did not have one meal for dinner that decent on this cruise. The production shows were tops but they were only 50% of the nightly entertainment. Crossing the Atlantic no TV, no movies - just nothing. An almost 5,000 passenger ship and they had 2 scanners checking you off the ship - Princess has 4 or 5. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because we thought MSC will be a good choice. What a disappointment ,so much so that we wanted to get off earlier. There is no service. The staff is unfriendly and not prepared to help. The food is the worst ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we thought MSC will be a good choice. What a disappointment ,so much so that we wanted to get off earlier. There is no service. The staff is unfriendly and not prepared to help. The food is the worst ever. We even lost weight. That was a first! on our previous trips(not MSC)we each gained 6 kilo's. Food choices are very limited and not at all tasty. For my yogurt (thinned) I had to ask for honey, and then got the tiniest amount imaginable. For lunch I took a hamburger. It was a plain dry piece of pattie without anything else. When I said that there's no trimmings on , the server told me: so what? Evenings were even worse! Dirty overlays on the tables small portions, and no cream with our puddings. Pathetic. Our cabin was not serviced every day.We had to ask for it and then,had to commit to a scheduled time on OUR holiday ! Very little is included in the price. Not even tissues. To get from the harbor to town you have to pay.. Also a first. This was a horrible horrible experience and we wouldn't recommend it for anybody . If this was our first cruise, we wouldn't ever have done it again. Read Less
MSC Divina Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.3
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 1.0 3.2
Service 4.0 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 5.0 3.7

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