1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. MSC Cruises
  4. MSC Divina Review
  5. MSC Divina Cruise Reviews

1,686 MSC Cruises MSC Divina Cruise Reviews

This was our third cruise on MSC. Unfortunately it didn' t go as smoothly as the previous ones. The main reason: The human factor. The attitude towards the passengers is simply too laid back. The ship is beautiful and very well ... Read More
This was our third cruise on MSC. Unfortunately it didn' t go as smoothly as the previous ones. The main reason: The human factor. The attitude towards the passengers is simply too laid back. The ship is beautiful and very well maintained. The cabins (balcony) are somewhat smaller than on the older MSC ships (e.g. Lirica), but still nice and comfortable, Embarkation and disembarkation in Venice went smoothly, especially if you are an MSC Club member and use the priority lines. Otherwise you should expect to spend som time in lines. The food in the restaurant and cafeteria is good and tasty, especially if you choose the Italian dishes. The real challenge on this ship is the lack of service management and management of the passenger flow. When all 4.000 passengers return to the ship (all the excursions return at the same time) and go to the cafeteria there is simply not enough room. Twice we gave up finding a table. If you do find a table, then you will have to hunt for cutlery, plates, coffee and by the time you have found most of it, half of the food is gone. We had to go to 5 different drink stations just to get hot water. This can be done much, much better ! From the second day we were delayed. No reason or information was given. If you asked, you were simply misinformed by the crew. In Katakolon we arrived more than one hour late. Nevertheless we were told to be in the meeting place for the tour at 7 am. At that time we were still saling at open sea at full speed ! If you asked, why you should get up this early, the standard answer was: We wil be there in 10-15 minutes. It took more than one hour before we could se Katakolon.... Same story in Istanbul, just in reverse order. All must be aboard 4:30 pm. We didn´t leave until 6:30 pm. No reason was given. But we could easily have spent 2 hours more in this exciting city. By the end we of course arrived late back in Venice, For the first time an expanation was given: Due to heavy fog the port was closed. Strangely enough this socalled closure didn´t affect NCL Jade or RCCL Splendour who both have arrived on time back in Venice.... Finally a word of advise: If you buy any packages , e.g. the laundry package aboard, that are not swiped, make sure to get a receipt. We were charged for all our laundry at full price, as the accounting office couldn´t find the package order slip in their apparent mess. The rude and arrogant answer to my complaints - twice ! - was to imply that I was lying and never had turned in the order slip. Customer service may need a new name to more correctly reflect the attitude of the staff. All in all a mixed experience. This might have been our last cruise on MSC. We will return to NCL and RCCL... Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Overall, the MSC Divina is an enjoyable ship. The ship is simply the most elegant ship we've been on, but service is where MSC seems to be lacking. The ship needs more open deck space, especially at the buffet area. There was never ... Read More
Overall, the MSC Divina is an enjoyable ship. The ship is simply the most elegant ship we've been on, but service is where MSC seems to be lacking. The ship needs more open deck space, especially at the buffet area. There was never anyplace to sit during breakfast/lunch. I'd never experienced this problem on Carnival and we were on a full ship on the Breeze in the Med last fall, so I'm pretty sure it's related to ship design or perhaps due to the fact that Europeans don't eat and clear a table as quickly as an American audience and this causes backlog in table availability. Embarkation in Venice was about on par with other embarkations we've done. Getting so many people on a ship just takes a lot of time. The ports (Bari, Katakolon, Izmir, Istanbul, and Dubrovnik) were all great destinations with something to do at every one. It's nice that the more low key Bari and Dubrovnik ports bookend the more hectic activities that are available at Katakolon, Izmir, and Istanbul. The only problem I have with the itinerary was the fact that the port times were rather short (ex. only 5 hours in Dubrovnik). I'd have rather lost a port day in Bari in exchange for longer port times in Katakolon or Istanbul. MSC excursions are well run and enjoyable if you're willing to pay for the most expensive ones. Disembarkation is a little irritating because they want you to vacate your cabin at 0700, which seems early since they don't start unloading passengers/baggage until 0830 at the earliest. Overall, a great cruise as far as the ship, cabin, and itinerary are concerned. Now, the problem that we had on the Divina centered around the service. We are Americans living in Europe, so we are used to the less personal service provided at dinner. You can expect the dinner service on the Divina to be very impersonal. We felt like the server was just there to do a job, which I guess he is, but we missed the connection that we had with our servers on previous cruises on different lines. This extended to the cabin steward and other servers as well. I realize service is a very personal thing, but we were fairly put off by the lack of service above and beyond the expectation. The major issues on our cruise that would make us choose to not sail MSC again center around the Mini Club (Kids center) and the poor dinner service. We had quite a bit of trouble just getting the proper dishes that we ordered on the cruise and were often rushed to order our entire meal mere minutes (five at most) after being given the menu. It felt like a crap shoot as to whether we would receive what we ordered or not. The Mini Club was terrible. We had booked excursions based on the availability of the Mini Club to watch our 3 year old son during the one port day in Istanbul. The MSC website is clear that Mini Club only accepts children 3 and over, and is available for port excursion days. What they neglect to inform you of is the fact that your child must be fully potty trained in order to participate and they refuse to assist in any way. So, we were forced to purchase an excursion ticket for him onboard for the full day trip in Istanbul as they wouldn't refund our excursion that we had already purchased. Now, I understand that policies are what they are and the reasoning behind the policy (molestation liability, etc.) but I would have greatly appreciated MSC explaining the entire policy on their website up front so we could have planned accordingly. Additionally, when we did take him and our daughter to the Mini Club on the sea day, they weren't welcoming to our son (he cried out of apprehension in the new environment and they chose to simply ignore him) and the staff neglected to explain directions to our daughter in English, even after asking to be spoken to in English (a language they support, by the way). So, our son didn't participate at all and our daughter was not interested in returning after the two hours she spent there. I would definitely state the Carnival's Camp Carnival is much better because they will assist with bathroom visits and actually try to welcome the child. Unless your child speaks Italian, they may not do well in MSC Mini Club. Conclusion-Great ship and itinerary. Thoroughly enjoyed most parts of the cruise, but the lack of quality service at dinner and the Mini Club would make us choose another line in the future. If you don't have kids, I would definitely recommend. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We sailed on the Divina a few weeks ago. The ship is beautiful and huge. We have sailed with Holland Amer, RCL, Celebrity,and NCL but not MSC before. A few things we noticed: People smoke everywhere. Not used to that in North America. Very ... Read More
We sailed on the Divina a few weeks ago. The ship is beautiful and huge. We have sailed with Holland Amer, RCL, Celebrity,and NCL but not MSC before. A few things we noticed: People smoke everywhere. Not used to that in North America. Very few english speaking passengers so a very multicultural experience which we quite enjoyed. Embarkation was chaotic and took much longer than it should have. The cafeteria was always crazy busy so we ate in the dining room almost every meal. Because you are in port for such a short time, we always had time to eat there. The food was very good and we found the service to be very good. Our cabin was fine, as spacious as expected and very clean. The evening shows were very good particularly the can can, pirate, opera, and Michael Jackson. We were surprised by how much we enjoyed them. The reason for the cruise was the ports of call for us. Bari was fine, a nice walk about and a little shopping. Interesting to see the tomb of St Nicholas. Katakalon was our gateway to Olympia and we enjoyed it. Izmir allowed us to see Ephesus and that was amazing. Istanbul was fantastic. Wish we had a week to spend there. We also loved Dubrovnik. Could easily go back there. We did not book any tours with the ship, we did them on our own, prebooking private tours that were very convenient and less expensive. It was a very nice cruise for a very reasonable price. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
In a few quick words.....if you expect any level of customer service on a cruise, DO NOT waist your money on MSC. Cruised on November 30th... I traveled with a large group on what was suppose to be an awesome cruise. When I heard it was ... Read More
In a few quick words.....if you expect any level of customer service on a cruise, DO NOT waist your money on MSC. Cruised on November 30th... I traveled with a large group on what was suppose to be an awesome cruise. When I heard it was MSC, I did some research and by all accounts, everything looked awesome. Now I am not a first time cruiser, having sailed on both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity a number of times. On each of those cruises, the level of service that you receive is second to none. Well, I am getting ahead of myself so lets go slower. Embarkation was short and simple with few lines at all. Once on the ship I saw that the staff was very well dressed and was excited to move forward. I liked the fact that my cabin was already available at 3:30pm and made my way there. The ship is kind of a strange design with silly turns and all. They seemed to have wasted a lot of valuable room space that could have been great balconies. The room was standard and my cabin steward saw us and introduced himself. During the cruise he kept everything up to my liking. Dinner that night (we asked for late seating but got stuck on early) was interesting. The wait staff seemed far to understaffed to wait on us fully. We had to ask for water to be refilled all the time and virtually every night in the dinning room. Special requests were not really possible as the staff spoke very little English. One of my cruise mates asked for a chocolate chip cooked for dessert one night and the wait person offered him drizzled chocolate on a plate..he never got the cookie! The food wasn't bad but on the surf and turn night, the "filet" was either pot roast or prim rib (which was an entree a few nights earlier) and it was covered in gravy. While food came out about the same time for all of our party, the service was slow. During lunch in the dining room, service was even slower! Bar service in the dinning room was virtually non-existent so we ended up getting our drinks before dinner and bringing them in with us. While at the table, we would get up and go elsewhere to get them. The buffet on the 14th deck had its own challenges. While there was a variety of foods, it was the same thing every day. During transitions from different dinning times, i.e. breakfast, lunch or dinner, all of the food would be removed for up to a half hour. So during those times, if you came up, there would be no food...anywhere!!! They served pizza till midnight and then after that, only one station of cold bread with egg salad, tuna salad for chicken salad. There were free juices but after lunch, they machines were changed to just water or tea. The staff did keep the area clean pretty well but there was the general language barrier if you needed something. Specialty dinning. Two restaurants, one steak place and one Italian place. Not what you would expect from a multi-million dollar cruise ship. In the steak house you sat at metal tables with plastic chairs. There was zero ambiance...just cold surfaces. Then the food was all ala-cart. The Italian restaurant seemed just a little bit nicer but while there was an entrance in the hallway, you were forced to walk through the back door of the steak restaurant to get into it. We didn't eat at either. Surprisingly we found that there were very few bars and those were understaffed. We would wait 20-25 minutes for waitstaff and then they were rude. The bar staff themselves seemed completely uninterested in us as guests. They also spoke very little English so special requests were out of the question. Also the drink consistency was laughable. Each day the ship had a "drink of the day" similar to what all the other cruise lines have, however, the drink was never the same. I and two friends got on on one day at various bars and none of them looked or tasted alike. Alcohol is bread and butter for cruise ships. As such, they "push" drinks on you all them time. On MSC, that never happened. The servers never asked you if you wanted anything. They would walk around with empty trays and wait for you to approach them, and when you did ask for a drink, they seemed uninterested in helping you. We also found that throughout the ship, there were several times when bars ran out of certain types of liquor. Entertainment. The main shows were OK but other than the Michael Jackson and ABBA show, it was the same cast doing the same thing with a different background. There were very few bands on board, mostly one or two people singing tunes and those were pretty poor. Disembarking...we took our own luggage off and didn't have any issues. In summary: This was the third cruise ever for MSC out of the United States. I've never been on a European cruise but I cannot imagine that they don't want service. Did anyone at MSC actually do any research on what an American cruiser would want? If MSC wants to survive in the American market, they have a LOT of work to do Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This was the maiden voyage of the Divina from Venice to Miami, 18 days aboard luxury. Well this was our third Cruise with MSC,and upon walking aboard at Venice, we were pleasantly amazed. We check internet rates,Repositioning cruises ... Read More
This was the maiden voyage of the Divina from Venice to Miami, 18 days aboard luxury. Well this was our third Cruise with MSC,and upon walking aboard at Venice, we were pleasantly amazed. We check internet rates,Repositioning cruises and do a lot of trolling cruise lines before deciding,but have found MSC have certainly upped their game since our first cruise on the Armonia. The Divina is in a class of it's own. We were originally a bit hesitant about being so low down on deck 5, but this turned out to be one of the best decks to be on. Ok if you have plenty of money and are wanting a balcony or suite,but we just like an outside room so we can see arrivals in ports, and apart from that,who wants to spend all their days cooped up in their cabin anyway We arrived at the port at about 2pm and were straight on Board and enjoying our first drinks within the hour. The terminal at Venice is very comfortable, and the processing speedy. Train takes you from the bus terminal to the berth. The Divina is a fantastic ship,as soon as you step aboard she has you memorised.and although we were a little concerned about being on a ship with over 4,000 passengers,we did not feel crowded at all.You were meeting new people each day that were elsewhere on the ship that you had not disovered. With the Divina, what we had an exceptional crew.A lot of the staff are from Bali and have the spirit and friendlyness of Indonesia,but they are worked hard for the money they get and are treated poorly by those in authoritve roles.This is why I asked to have my gratuities rescinded so I could pay those who made my trip worthwhile rather than the money go into the big pot and those at the top taking the cream. We had exceptional service from the bar persons and waitresses,always smiling, and as I have certain alergies to certain foods,the The assistant Maitre D’ checked my choices every night, and bought a menu for the following night so I could choose. The helpfulness and personal touch certainly made our trip a memorable one. Food in the dining rooms was a let down,maybe because we had had such good meals on the last cruises made us more critical,but one night we had lamb,which was sent back by the majority of those who were served it. the meals lacked variety.Chef needs a wake up call. But saying that, the buffet meals were varied and plentyful,although we only discovered the different selections on going to other parts of the massive self serve areas there was Chinese,Italian,Indian,Greek,vegetarian etc. We booked the Allegrissimo drinks package at $44 per person per day,and although expensive due to the fact my wife did not drink that much,and you had to have two per cabin. But, it was nice not to have to worry about how much it was going to cost for every drink, and there were nice wines for the evening meals as well. One did not have to worry about the 15% surcharge per drink,and speciality coffees were included. Being in the center of the ship has it's advantages,less rocking,and when we boarded it was only a short walk to our cabin. The Autrium rose up 9 floors and along with piano playing and the bars dotted around, this became quite a focal point for people to meet. tt was nice after an evening meal to congregate and indulge in a cocktail or two before retiring. There were several bars and entertainment areas around the ship to suit all tastes. We agree that the entertainment was absolutely first rate! The shows that they put on were well done, but they had a fasination with violin players,and going by the lack of patronage,it should have signalled that the customers wanted more shows and variety. A bit more of the singers and a Italian opera would have gone down better. Those that they did,were well attended. The one annoying aspect we found on the poolside,was the continued showing of MSC propoganda on the big screen,day in day out.It would have been nice to maybe have scenes from the previous days entertainment on board or movies at night . One let down was lack of buses when the ships hit a port,one would think that the companies plying the tourists would be well prepared and lay on extra services to accommodate the crowds. We really felt we were treated to a holiday and despite our misgivings of last cruises would happily sail with MSC again. One good thing is they look after repeat customers,with discounts for future travel. In fact we are booked to go on our next cruise in November on the Orchestra Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
I have a mixed review to be honest. I loved the ship and I had a great time but my frustrations grew more and more every day. I love going on cruises and this was my third one. The other two were on carnival. I figured this MSC cruise ... Read More
I have a mixed review to be honest. I loved the ship and I had a great time but my frustrations grew more and more every day. I love going on cruises and this was my third one. The other two were on carnival. I figured this MSC cruise would be much better but to be honest, it was not. I will most likely take an MSC Cruise again as this was only the second cruise in the Caribbean so they have some work to do and I took that into account. The staff honestly, does work very hard and they work daily and they do not get paid a lot. However the management seriously needs some work. They need to train the staff much better. Especially in the dining rooms and in the Buffet areas. The bartenders needs some serious training. It took forever to get drinks and honestly, the drinks were expensive and very week. We waited about a half hour for drinks. American's love to drink. So to start with the Buffet - there was no juices to drink besides water. So I decided that I would use a soda coupon and go get a soda however the bar in the buffet area was closed. So all you had was water. So I decided to go to the other bar outside the pool deck area. Well good luck with that, the line was enormous and you had to wait for thirty minutes for that to happen. The staff did not seem to be knowledgeable about much as well. My friend who came with me, thought he would actually gain a lot of weight from all the food but actually he said he lost weight as the food was not that good. I felt as though the food was good at times but not all the time. Late night, the food was limited. The entertainment staff was actually great. They have the most amazing shows and they really show appreciation to all the guest. I have never seen shows like this ever. I met one of the Entertainment staff individuals who I became friends with. I told him my experience on the ship and also told him that this is a new area for the ship so I know there are things that need some work and I would come back on the ship again in hopes to see progress and I am sure I will. I do see however that the management on the ship really does need to do some work. I was not impressed with the management. There was a huge difference between a Carnival Ship and the MSC Divina though. Our cabin staff member was very nice and did a really good job. He would always ask us when we wanted our room cleaned. He was there during the mornings and the evenings. Since we stay up very late, we chose the evenings. He did a great job. I will most likely go on a Carnival Cruise ship however before I go on this ship again. But who knows. I just do not want to take a chance on bad service again but will have to see. My friend who went with me, says he will never go on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My wife and I recently sailed on a 3-night voyage on the MSC Divina, and this special introductory cruise sailed from Miami to Port Canaveral, where we remained onboard due to the inclement weather, and then headed to Great Stirrup Cay ... Read More
My wife and I recently sailed on a 3-night voyage on the MSC Divina, and this special introductory cruise sailed from Miami to Port Canaveral, where we remained onboard due to the inclement weather, and then headed to Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian’s private beach island), where the stop had to be canceled due to high winds and rough seas. As you may have seen or heard if you keep tabs on the happenings in the cruise industry, there was a tremendous amount of fanfare, and an extensive marketing effort by MSC, well in advance of the arrival of the Divina in the United States. Following a lengthy Trans-Atlantic voyage the ship, which is being heralded by MSC as “a Diva like no other,” sailed into Miami early on the morning of November 19th. A video of the ship’s arrival, where it was accompanied by a flotilla of Fiats that had actually been turned into zippy little motor boats, can be seen on MSC’s web site. MSC really pulled out all of the stops for this celebratory voyage. There was a great seven-piece band from Miami playing on the pool deck on the day of departure, and prior to heading to sea we were treated to a fantastic fireworks show. Sticking to the Diva theme which has been established for the Divina, MSC also went to the expense of hiring about half a dozen models for the occasion. These lovely young ladies were dressed in slinky red dresses, high heels and beautiful hats, and they spent their time strolling around the ship and posing for pictures with the obviously overjoyed and excited guests. All of these pre-cruise activities, combined with the open bar and the wait staff freely distributing cocktails, created quite a level of excitement and anticipation as our beautiful ship headed out to sea. Because the ship had been sailing from Europe for almost three weeks prior to our voyage the mix of passengers on our short cruise was also very different from what it will be in the future. Many of the passengers who had sailed on the Trans-Atlantic voyage remained onboard for the additional three days when we were sailing, thus there were a large number of guests from Australia, Turkey and China in addition to many other travel agents and other invited guests, media folk and industry bigwigs. Of course, when the Divina starts to sail from Miami on a regular basis, the vast majority of the passengers will probably be Americans. In addition, since children age 11 and under sail for free with MSC, and kids between the ages of 12 and 17 sail for reduced rates, there will be plenty of families sailing with their children. The Divina, as advertised, is an absolutely beautiful ship with unique and truly stunning décor in virtually every public area. There is a dominating black and silver color scheme in many areas, and, as on many other MSC ships, there is an extensive use of chrome and mirrors throughout the ship. As you navigate the ship and closely examine the décor, lighting, furnishings and fabrics you cannot help but be impressed by the skills and creativity of the design team that created this vessel. The numerous clubs and lounges that offer all types of live entertainment are beautiful and the main theatre is absolutely stunning with excellent sight lines from the orchestra or the balcony. The seats are offset to provide for better viewing although it would have been nice if the theatre had been designed with enough legroom to actually cross your legs. The public decks include angular or double entrances into many of the venues which are located in the center or on the outer edge of the ship. The ship is quite long, and with walkways often weaving back and forth I found that getting a handle on the layout was more difficult than usual. In addition, many of the balcony staterooms either extend out or are set back from the side of the ship which results in hallways which include blind 90 degree right and left turns as opposed to the typically straight hallways from bow to stern. The ship’s three-story atrium is extremely attractive with stunning Swarovski crystal embedded staircases and a crystal chandelier being the primary decorative features. Deck 5 is the lowest level of the atrium and it includes the guest services reception area, a small bar, an extremely small Internet center and the lower level of the Black Crab restaurant in the rear of the ship. The second level of the atrium (Deck 6) has another bar, the shore excursion desk, the future sales center and the upper level of the Black Crab. As you head towards the front of the ship you will find numerous boutiques, the Piazza del Doge (for drinks and small group musical entertainment), a cigar bar, more shops, the casino and the main entrance to the Pantheon Theatre. The third level of the atrium (Deck 7) includes more bars and shops, a small jazz club, a coffee bar, the art gallery, the dueling piano bar, and the balcony of the Pantheon Theatre. Heading towards the rear of the ship on that deck you will find the Eately Restaurant (a creation of celebrity chef Mario Batali), and a small specialty food store where you can purchase imported pasta, vinegars, olive oils or some truly delicious biscotti. This deck also includes the photo gallery and the beautiful Black & White Lounge which is a lovely spacious club with a large dance floor that is used for live music and special activities. The main, two-level dining room is named the Black Crab and there is another dining room called Villa Rossa which is located at the rear of the ship. The Black Crab has unusually low ceilings and the tables are spaced too close together which makes the room quite noisy when it is filled to capacity. The Villa Rossa, on the other hand, has a more spacious feel and offers a broad panoramic view of the ocean. The main pool deck has tables and chairs along the outer edges of the ship and loungers closer to the multi-level area where the pool and hot tubs are located. There is a band stand for live music and scheduled activities, plus a movie screen where MSC’s promotional videos were shown during the daytime and where regular movies are shown in the evening. Further forward there is a second pool and seating area with a retractable roof. On many ships this area is a solarium where one can escape from the noise and activity at the main pool, but on this ship there was music blasting there as well. There are two bars on the pool deck as well as the gelato/sorbet counter and a couple of free-standing stations where sodas and alcoholic beverages are available should you wish to procure them yourself. This is sometimes advisable since while there are plenty of cocktail waitresses on the pool deck we found that you can wait quite a long time for them to bring you a drink. The buffet, which consists of individual stations that offer a wide variety of hot and cold foods, is located on the pool deck and it extends for almost half of the length of the entire ship. The food and seating areas closest to the pool tend to be extremely crowded, and there can be quite a traffic jam where the people waiting at a counter to be served interfere with those guests who are trying to walk through the area towards the pool or the rear of the ship. The buffet area towards the rear of the ship is much quieter and well worth the extra steps that it takes to get there. We also discovered that you will often find completely different types of food in the rear section of the buffet than in the area closest to the pool. In addition, there can be different foods on one side of the ship compared to the other side. One would be well-advised, therefore, to take a long slow walk around the entire buffet to become familiar with the layout and the location of the many food stations in advance of actually having a meal. Heading forward from the pools you will enter the absolutely stunning Aurea Spa and the fitness center. This beautifully designed area includes an expansive health bar with a lovely seating area for relaxing before or after your workout or your massage. They offer an amazing variety of presumably remedial herbal beverages, there are individual rooms for all types of spa, hair, and facial treatments, and there is a terrific exercise area with lots of weights and equipment and a wonderful 270 degree view of the sea. The Divina does have a few other rather unique areas on the highest decks of the ship. Towards the rear of Deck 15, for example you will find an infinity pool and a nice service bar, plus the various venues that comprise the children’s center. Directly above there is a peaceful solarium with a couple of hot tubs and additional lounge seating. That deck also includes the sports area, the 4D cinema, the F1 racing simulator, and the Galaxy night club. The layout of the entire ship is a bit more complicated than most, so studying the deck plan and the relationship between particular elevators and specific public areas is definitely recommended prior to sailing on the Divina. We stayed in a balcony cabin which was about average in size, or perhaps a bit smaller than similar accommodations on other large ships. The décor was very clean and pleasant with nice wood furniture, attractive fabrics, a large sofa, a refrigerated mini-bar, a small flat-screen television, and a large floor-to-ceiling mirror across from the bed which made the cabin appear to be much larger than it actually was. One European feature of the cabin is a small box on the wall near the door where you insert your room key when you enter your cabin. Doing this enables you to use the lighting in the cabin, and it also activates a small light in the hallway above your cabin door. This is an excellent idea since the light lets your cabin steward know when you are in your cabin and when you are out so that he can perform his housekeeping duties while respecting your privacy. We had to figure this out on our own, however, since our cabin steward never explained anything about any of the features of the cabin when we met him later in the afternoon. The amount of closet space was quite limited and the number of drawers in the closet and in the tiny nightstands was far less than one would like, or need, especially if you were sailing on a 7-night or longer cruise. The bathroom included a very narrow counter with a sink plus there are three hanging shelves and one lower cabinet for your belongings. The shower was unique in that it is made of two rotating Plexiglas doors which remain open or closed when a magnet on the top of each doors latches on to another magnet on the ceiling. Opening and swinging back the right-hand door when you are not in the shower provides you with more space to move around and this is also beneficial because the toilet is installed next to the shower door. The cabin steward did not tell us about this either. Unfortunately, the amenities that were provided in the bathroom did not even come up to the level of a basic Best Western. There are dispensers of body wash and shampoo on the wall inside the shower but MSC does not even provide their guests with a wash cloth. There was a liquid soap dispenser next to the sink which did not work properly even after we asked our cabin steward to have it repaired, and this problem affected many other passengers that we spoke to during our cruise. With the soap dispenser being completely useless we then discovered that there are no bars of soap on the ship even though there is a soap dish on the wall next to the counter. As a result, we had to reach into the shower and pump some body wash onto our hands any time that we wanted to wash them. Lacking a wash cloth made cleaning ourselves in the shower, or in my case shaving, a far more time consuming and inconvenient procedure than it should have been. In addition, MSC did not even provide a nice welcoming tray of body lotion or hair conditioner which one will find in any basic hotel room. One would think that if they can afford to let hundreds of children sail for free that they could afford wash cloths and bars of soap and little bottles of conditioner and hand lotion for their guests, and the omission of these items was very disappointing. The evening turndown service was also lacking in that there were no chocolates or other treats placed on our pillows. The most expensive accommodations on the Divina are found in the exclusive MSC Yacht Club which is a private enclave located on Deck 15 and 16 at the very front of the ship. This “ship within a ship” concept enables guests to enjoy complimentary wine, drinks and beverages, a private pool, hot tubs and sun deck, a special room service menu, a complimentary mini-bar, butler service, their own private restaurant and a private elevator to transport them to the spa. You do receive complimentary champagne and canapés upon your arrival and special edible goodies during the day on the sun deck. As a really nice extra benefit, you and your luggage are personally transported from a special greeting area outside of the cruise terminal directly to your suite by a butler when you arrive for your cruise. The grand entrance to the Yacht Club features a circular concierge area and a stunning Swarovski crystal staircase which leads to the second level of accommodations. The suites themselves, however, were only a bit larger than the standard balcony cabin where we were staying. There was more closet space and a fancier bathroom but the balcony was no larger than ours. My overall opinion of these accommodations is that it is quite a stretch to refer to them as suites. A few unusual aspects of this “exclusive sanctuary at sea” left us quite mystified and less than impressed. On the private sun deck, for example, all of the lounge chairs are out in the sun and the only shade that is provided is near the bar where there are tables and chairs under a large awning. Since this ship will be sailing in the Caribbean year-round one would think that guests would be provided with an area where they could stretch out on a lounger without being in the direct sun, but apparently this thought did not occur to the designers of this space. The other truly inconvenient feature is that the Yacht Club’s private restaurant, The Muse, is located all the way on the other end of the ship as opposed to being in close proximity to the suites. The restaurant, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, wraps around the rear of the ship. However, far from being an elegant, private venue, the floor-to-ceiling windows actually look out on to a public sun deck, where people of many shapes and sizes wearing bathing attire can be viewed while you are eating. Inconsistent is the first word that comes to mind when I think about the many different meals that I had while on the Divina. The ship’s galley definitely has its strengths (most of the Italian dishes and their excellent pizza and gelato), but while some of the dishes can be excellent, other preparations and the way that they are plated leave a lot to be desired. Our culinary experience began the day that we boarded when we discovered that lunch was being served in the Black Crab restaurant. Rather than head for the buffet like the vast majority of arriving passengers, we headed for the dining room and enjoyed an absolutely wonderful meal. The appetizers were excellent, I had a fantastic filet mignon as an entrée, and we devoured a lovely selection of Italian desserts that included panna cotta, a small cannoli, and a delicious tiramisu. The breads were excellent, the maitre d’ was charming, and the service was precise and professional. After the disappointing dining experiences that I had experienced on my only other MSC cruise (Orchestra – March 2009) I was absolutely blown away by this meal. Skeptic that I am, I asked the maitre d’ if this was a typical daily lunch menu on the ship or whether it had been specially prepared for our 3-night voyage. Based upon his assurances that it was similar to the regular lunch menus, I left the table looking forward with great anticipation to my future dining adventures, for if MSC had really gotten their culinary act together, so to speak, then we really might be in for something special over the next three days. However, when I was discussing my superb lunch later that afternoon with some Australian passengers who had been sailing on the Divina for the past three weeks, they informed me that they hadn’t seen any filet mignon during their entire cruise and in general they were pretty unimpressed with the food that they had been served. One couple had even upgraded to the Yacht Club mid-voyage and they did not have anything complimentary to say about their dining experience in the private restaurant. Sadly to say, my lunchtime euphoria lasted only until dinner that evening. The food was no better than mediocre to good, dishes arrived lukewarm, and the service was something that had to be endured rather than enjoyed. Dinner the first two nights was fair to good, but on the final evening of our cruise, the meal, which included a superb baked Alaska for dessert following the traditional parade, was excellent from start to finish. Besides our evening meal in the dining room we had breakfast and lunch in the buffet. The breakfast selections were about the same as on most cruise ships but many cooked items were set out in serving trays where they cooled off far too quickly. Cold pancakes, rock-hard French toast, and horrid scrambled eggs may be suitable to some people, but a cold breakfast of fresh fruits, cheeses, breads and cereals would be a much more reliable and satisfying way to start the day. On a positive note, however, MSC’s coffee, which is available at well-positioned, recessed service areas, was far better than that which I have had on many other cruise lines. Lunch provided many more hot and cold choices including MSC’s excellent pizza which was prepared and served at two large stations in the buffet. There are usually four to six different types of pizza being made at any one time, but they cool off very quickly after they are sliced and then placed onto serving platters under heat lamps. One would be advised, therefore, to hang out at the counter and grab a slice or two immediately after a pie comes out of the oven when it is nice and hot and really, really good. Pizza was being made late into the evening and many people were enjoying it as a midnight snack on every evening of our cruise. MSC does offer thirteen varieties of pizza and you can order a whole pie and have it delivered to your cabin or enjoy it for lunch on the pool deck for a nominal extra cost. Through the years, difficulties communicating with the onboard staff, poor service and problematical attitudes at the guest services and shore excursions desks have been some common criticisms of the cruise line. MSC continues to crank out new ships at an amazing pace, but staffing each of them with thousands of experienced people, and training them to provide passengers with the level of service that is available on other major cruise lines, has been one of MSC’s continual challenges. What may be acceptable in Europe simply is not going to cut it when the vast majority of passengers are Americans who, as we know, want what they want when they want it and generally do not easily suffer fools. The Divina is going to be sailing from Miami year-round, so to accommodate the needs of the North American cruise passenger MSC has eliminated the constant migraine-inducing barrage of announcements made in five or six languages. They brought an English-speaking cruise director onboard in Miami for our voyage and all of the announcements, except for the one made during the mandatory lifeboat drill, were in English. To accommodate their foreign-speaking guests MSC has gone to the trouble and expense of printing their daily program in six different languages and they should be commended for taking this step. Where the vast majority of the dining room, housekeeping and deck staff are concerned, it appears that MSC has basically airlifted a good percentage of the population of Bali, Indonesia to work on the Divina. These people are very sweet and sincere and they work extremely hard, but despite MSC’s claims to the contrary the vast majority of them still have a very limited ability to communicate in English. When it comes to providing crisp, choreographed, professional service in a dining room many of them are obviously inexperienced and they were clearly not provided with adequate training after being hired to work on the Divina. The Divina’s return to this country has, of course, been in the planning stages for a very long time. This ship has been sailing for almost a year and a half, and that should have been more than enough time to drill the most basic tenets of dining room service into the heads of even the most inexperienced waiters and busboys, even if they were honing their skills in the Mediterranean. One would have thought, therefore, that by the time that the Divina arrived in Miami that everything related to passenger communications and service would have been hitting on all eight cylinders, especially for this inaugural cruise where MSC would be trying to impress all of the travel agents whom they will be relying upon to fill the ship every week. In the main dining room, however, we experienced and observed service that can only be described as uncoordinated, erratic, and unprofessional. Even on the first evening of the cruise, when one’s waiter traditionally introduces himself to the guests at the table and tells them what a pleasure it will be to serve them during their cruise, our waiter simply walked over and asked us if we were ready to order after we had been sitting there for at least ten minutes. This oversight can be forgiven, however, since it turned out that our waiter had been promoted from his position as a busboy only one day earlier, and thus he was not familiar with the standard operating procedures of his new position. Amazingly, one of the most basic rules of serving food, where a dish is served by reaching over a guests’ right shoulder, had not been ingrained into the heads of the staff. As a result almost every dish, from bowls of hot soup to entrees, was served by reaching across another person to serve the person seated next to him. In addition, the waiter or his assistant would often arrive with the entrees and then ask, for example, “Who gets the veal?” This demonstrates nothing but laziness on the part of the order taker and is the type of service that one might expect when having a meal at a roadside diner in New Jersey. Ordering a pre-dinner cocktail was yet another disaster, as it took a full twenty minutes for the cocktail waitress to appear at our table to take my order after I had asked my waiter to send her over, and it then took another twenty minutes until the cocktail actually appeared long after I had already eaten my first course. Perhaps I am being overly critical here, but Americans can be an impatient and often demanding lot. If this ship, therefore, is going to effectively compete with Carnival, Norwegian, Princess and Royal Caribbean, for example, their service and food quality had better be at least as good, if not better, than that which these other cruise lines currently provide. Speaking of guest relations, MSC has also gone to the trouble of producing some wonderful promotional videos where they show the ship’s officers strolling the decks, stopping to straighten the towel of a bikini-clad sun worshiper, and pausing to greet couples, families and their children as if they were long lost relatives. What I saw was quite different, however, as I constantly observed officers walking the decks talking on their walkie-talkies or to one another, and rushing past the passengers as if they didn’t exist at all. One aspect of our cruise where MSC really did an outstanding job was by providing live entertainment that truly offers something for everyone. The smaller lounges offer performances by solo artists, duos, and larger bands, and the dueling pianos bar was an extremely popular gathering spot in the evenings. There was a steady stream of recorded and live music on the main pool deck which made it an extremely noisy place throughout our cruise. The best live band, which is based in Miami, was only brought onboard for this introductory cruise as was the Abba tribute band which performed once in the main theatre. We saw all of the production shows in the main theatre and found them to be extremely entertaining and enjoyable. The shows are, however, quite different from the standard singing and dancing, often Broadway-based song and dance productions that are found on most major cruise lines. For example, the first show began with the ships’ troupe singing and dancing while dressed as pirates (which was the advertised theme), then all of a sudden there were four male acrobats tumbling across the stage. Their appearance was then followed by four female gymnasts contorting themselves in a way that no human body should be able or allowed to do. Confused and not knowing what to focus on at that point we soon realized that the show really had no plot at all and that we should not bother searching for one. The next show, entitled the Witches of Paris, began with the lead female singer treating us to a truly superb number. This was a much better show than the previous one, and this young lady and the lead male singer are truly exceptional talents. Every number that they performed by themselves, or as a duet, was as good an exhibition of professional quality singing as we have heard on any cruise ship. The final show was a Michael Jackson tribute and this was undoubtedly one of the best shows that we have ever seen on any cruise ship. The male lead reenacted every move and dance step that Michael Jackson ever did and then some, and the background dancers, great costumes, interaction with the audience and the superb music made the show one that richly deserved the standing ovation that it received. MSC appears to be focusing more on visual effects, acrobatic and gymnastic performances due to the higher than average number of foreign-speaking passengers. Their stage productions are thus quite different from what is presented on most other cruise lines, but if you take it all in and enjoy the talents of the various performers that take the stage you will definitely have an enjoyable time. Looking back at our 3-day experience on the Divina, one thing that we can say for sure is that we really did have a good time. We loved the ship, thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment, and we met a lot of great people. While we were obviously less than pleased with a number of aspects of our onboard experience, I believe that the Divina has the potential to become a great cruising experience and an excellent vacation value.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
I cannot believe the moans I have encountered during this cruise and some of the ridiculously negative reviews I have read upon returning . Facts the ship is beautiful the staff that I encountered were all very nice people yes some of the ... Read More
I cannot believe the moans I have encountered during this cruise and some of the ridiculously negative reviews I have read upon returning . Facts the ship is beautiful the staff that I encountered were all very nice people yes some of the food could have been better, particularly in the main restaurant and if i put my mind to it I could find little things to nit-pick on about. it seemed to me that throughout this cruise many people spent the holiday in some sort of weird competition to see who could gather the most negative notes instead of actually enjoying their surroundings and their holiday. I believe ,though I may be wrong, that most of the passengers on this ship got a very good deal on the price of the cruise in fact i doubt if they could have stayed in a travelodge for the price per night equivalent. However despite that I heard complaints about the staff not being able to speak "proper english", "too many foreingers on board" and many more unbelievable statements. The ship is international I am ashamed that I have never bothered to learn another language and certainly do not expect my waiter and cabin steward to speak half a dozen languages fluently In fact if they could I think they would be looking for a better job! I met some lovely people from all corners of the world on this cruise and enjoyed every minute of their company. A smile speaks a thousand words. I have cruised with most of the major lines RCCL, HAL,Celebrity ,NCL etc and I could have pointed out faults with them all if scrutinised enough. I have had great food with RCCL on some of their ships and mediocre food on some of their ships ...it depends entirely on the guy who is running the kitchen. I never felt under pressure to purchase anything on this ship whereas on my last few cruises with the other lines I was sick of the hard sell mentality on-board. I would personally like to thank MSC for a lovely holiday. I was travelling solo and am grateful that MSC offer such great deals on solo occupancy of cabins I would have no hesitation on cruising with them again . Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Divina Transatlantic cruise Venice to Miami November 2nd 2013 This was our third cruise with MSC in Twelve months and our second transatlantic, despite all the issues with MSC since booking way back in early January we had high ... Read More
Divina Transatlantic cruise Venice to Miami November 2nd 2013 This was our third cruise with MSC in Twelve months and our second transatlantic, despite all the issues with MSC since booking way back in early January we had high expectations of the Divina which is basically a stretched Musica class ship. Embarkation. We arrived at the port of Venice at around 11-45 am handed over our cases and went upstairs to find one area to our right very crowded and one to our left where people were in queues waiting for the check in desks. MSC club said that there was preferential check in at Venice for Silver, Gold and Black card members (this has now been removed from the current club member benefits) so we went over and asked one of the staff who told us it was for Gold and Black card members only, we took ourselves over to one of the information desks and asked the same question and were then lead to a separate area and were on the ship within twenty minutes. For some reason it had been decided that Credit card details would be obtained on the ship rather than at check in and it was left to passengers to go to customer service to register their card. Once again we were never required to fill in a health questionnaire. We headed up to our room which was a Balcony on the back of the ship on Deck 10, the cabin was similar to the one we had on Poesia the year before but slightly larger with a Balcony of some Fourteen feet in length that contained two chairs and a table as well as two sun loungers, the bathroom has two opening doors to the shower rather than a curtain which was great. Wardrobe space again was similar to Poesia with a three-door robe one containing the safe and draw storage space; there is also a 2 drawer bedside cabinet on each side of the bed and two on the vanity unit. The Fridge is also housed in this unit with the TV and a shelf above. The furniture is a dark walnut colour whereas the Poesia had been a much lighter material, we found the bedside lamps were a little to dull for reading with the main lights switched off. Red carpet and Bed headboard covering and two large mirrors, table and two seat settee completed the room. Our cabin was looked after by Nengah, who did a great job and left a note for me on my Birthday this was unexpected, and a really nice gesture. We headed up to the buffet for lunch having left our carry on cases in the cabin, after around twenty minutes there was a total loss of power for around five minutes, we have no idea as to why or if it was only the buffet that was affected. A problem with Deck 12,11 and 10 balconies is that when they wash the large panoramic windows of the back of the buffet on deck 14 these balconies get the water from it so every morning the balcony was wet and stayed that way until the room was cleaned, a further problem is that if they overfill the aft Infinity pool and forget to drain it back before leaving port these three decks get soaked as the ship makes its turns which is due to the water escaping from the contained area One of the White shirted crew/officers came to check out the problem and confirmed the water was from the pool but it was never cleared away, a possible design flaw, others on these decks also had to ring customer service about the water issue. The sliding doors to the balcony cannot be latched while out on the balcony which means that if the ship is rolling from side to side the door slides open and closed with quite a thud, dangerous if you happen to be going in or out and are caught unawares. For a somewhat new ship this area suffers from a lot of vibration during ship maneuvers being above the propellers and even small sea swells made the rolling of the ship worse, Divina rolls around quite a lot more than a big ship should do and this was noticeable in other parts of the ship. The sign that tells you that you cannot smoke in the cabin was hidden behind the curtain on the fixed pain of glass, about halfway through the cruise it was moved to the sliding panel after complaints about people smoking on their balconies. The meet and greets for the roll call were arranged by Ken who worked hard on arranging them and were somewhat interesting and a disappointment, the first one for thirty minutes was attended by Andre who was the new cruise director who was shadowing Maddie who was to leave the cruise once in Miami, I think Andre was taken by surprise at the comments being made. Only water was provided at the meeting. A second meeting was arranged so that people on the roll call could meet and talk to each other due to the short time of the first one, sadly this clashed with the re arranged time of the world quiz for us, and again I believe no refreshments were provided. Andre once again attended a third meeting and gave us an insight into how MSC intended to move forward in the Caribbean, the disappointment comes in because there were a host of senior MSC management people on the ship by this time and not one of them could be bothered to grace us with their presence nor any of the ships officers! Once again only water was provided. We have heard it said before that MSC need to stop thinking of their passengers as Cargo. Our thoughts on the Divina … The Divina is a nice very clean big ship but with small areas and what seems to be less space than on the Poesia and it does have some annoying design traits, the Villa Rossa dining room is located on Deck Six at the back of the ship and can only be accessed by Lift or by stairs from Deck Seven, to go from Villa Rossa to say Deck Five you have to go up and across Deck Seven and then down again. The Atrium of Divina is possibly the best part of the ship in our opinion and looks great and it also looks like where most of the money was spent, especially the staircases. Public toilets have no Hot water! And most have just two toilets in them, there also appeared to be a lack of them around or close to the Aqua Park. Pools are Salt water as is the water slide, the Spa area is nice and the staff always greeted you with a smile, you need to watch you do not walk into the tall mirrored glass that are next to the walkway to the sauna, changing rooms and steam rooms which were free to use on this cruise unlike on Poesia last year. At the bars we had no problem getting drinks although on busy nights in some it can get a little slow with not enough servers. The Jazz bar colour looks as though it has been imported from Costa and is not the usual MSC style, this bar is the only way to go forward to the theatre on this deck even if you come through the sports bar and many times people were walking past right in front of the singers despite the main route being to the left. There are two rows of three glass mirrors on each side prior to the buffet entry when coming from the lifts on Deck 14, no idea what the reason is for this although the theme of mirrors was replicated all over the ship especially on the staircases. The Buffet design although light and airy also suffers from lack of walking space between the tables and the food areas, with two of the beverage areas in the worst place possible next to a door leading to and from the kitchen. If you want salad be prepared to walk from one side to the other to get all you need unless you get the prepared stuff in a bowl from near the bar at the main entrance. At the back of the buffet opposite the bar are some bench seats that are not fixed down, be prepared to get stuck in there as we saw one guy did and could only get out when one waiter forcefully pushed the bench away after the people on the other side refused to moved despite being asked by the waiter his wife and four of us sat close by. Also be aware of the small kids food area with its little plastic railing and entrance frame which one man walked into and knocked over! Not quite sure why he was in the kids food area. Despite information to the contrary there were some people who still went into the buffet in swimwear and bathrobes! Hot water for Tea and Coffee is stored in containers and ran out on numerous occasions so you had to wait for a member of staff to change them over or go elsewhere, not sure why they do not have them plumbed in as some other ships are. The only passageway between the Black and White lounge on Deck Seven to the Theatre without going outside onto the Deck 7 boat deck has the photo shop and cruise pictures which means there is always a bottleneck of people coming from First dinner seating and the Black and White lounge to the theatre going against those heading to Second sitting dinner or coming from the theatre or other bars. The boat deck may well be a spoiler for some people because apart from a few small areas forward and aft of the lifeboats you cannot stand at the side rail and gaze out to sea due to the design of the lifeboat stowage. There is very little deck space between the pool and the small stage used by the Animation team and for those doing the dance exercises which means you have people dancing in between the sun beds around you. On Deck 15 there is very little room between the two rows of sun beds in many areas and people are constantly falling over them or kicking them as they go by, this area is also used by those jogging or walking. We did not have any problems finding a sun bed during the whole cruise. The Black and White lounge is the biggest lounge on the ship but is way too small for the number of people who wanted to use it and also had a lack of seating, it also possibly has the most uncomfortable and worst seats of the whole ship. The theatre is a mix of Red seating and Silver paneling and poor lighting on the stage that made it difficult at times to see what was going on during the shows some of which were the same ones from the year previous on Poesia. On the nights we visited the theatre it was never full. Anyone hoping to get to the front of the Divina for a view will be disappointed as this space is taken up by the Yacht club which houses around 4% of guests on the whole ship. Shops … The ship has the usual range of shops like the Logo shop, wristwatches and sunglasses, jewelery, handbags and duty free. The Disco appeared to be very under utilized in the evenings on this crossing, maybe it will get more use in the Caribbean. Food … This is always a difficult one because what one person likes another one may hate, the buffet food was the same as the previous years repo cruise on Poesia and at times lacked taste and was quite bland, the new size burgers were just meat and no flavour. Offerings for sweets at lunch and dinner were the same for the whole 18 days of the cruise and very unimaginative. The breakfast smoothies were one of the things to look forward to with Mango and Strawberry being our two favourites. Look out for Jennifer at breakfast who will have you one there in no time and they are best mixed by Kevin behind the bar. The Dining room on the first night was late for second sitting with people going in at 9-30 instead of 9 pm and at 9 pm the next night instead of 8-30 but the following nights seemed to sort themselves out at 8-30. Food in the evening also suffered from up and down syndrome, one-day good the next poor with the odd really good one thrown in, there appeared to be a problem of consistency from night to night. Of the Four Gala nights again it was a case of 1 really good, 1 not bad and 2 poor. Towards the last five nights the Dining room was maybe only half full. Tables in the Villa Rossa dining room were mainly for between 6 and 8 people and it seemed that there were not enough tables for two people. The Majority of people seemed to observe the dress code in the Dining room especially on Gala nights. The Cold fruit soups were once again one of the best foods served. Lamb shank one night was a big order by many in both the Black Crab and Villa Rossa; it was also possibly the most returned or left meal due to the meat being tough. The Duck that night also suffered the same fate although later in the cruise the Duck a`lorange was possibly one of the best meals of the cruise. The steaks went from wafer thin to be replaced mid cruise by decent thick tasty ones although we are still baffled as to how one arrived part well done and part pink inside! The after dinner sweets were again somewhat lackluster and on a few occasions we headed to the Café Del Doge for the better tasting offerings though there is a charge. Iced water was served from jugs without being asked for and coffee was available after dinner for those who wanted it. There were complaints of slow service in some areas of the dining rooms which may have been down to the fact that one kitchen serves one deck of the Black Crab dining room while the other one served the Villa Rossa and the other floor of the Black Crab, it may also be because the assistant waiters are away getting drinks while the waiters are busy doing everything else. Smoking is allowed on Deck 14 on the port side where you come out of the buffet and the bar with the Gelato is also on this side! A bad move in our opinion by MSC, they should have moved the smokers over to the other side. Entertainment... Many of the staff are from Poesia and have worked the Caribbean before, the Animation team lead by Claudio (ex Poesia) with Brendan, Zac, Yves, Sean, Adam, Julio and the others work their backsides off to get people involved in the games but were it seems handicapped by management on this cruise for some reason in the Black and White lounge in the evenings. The main band (ex Poesia) also seemed to have their hands tied singing the same set in the same order almost every night in the Black and White lounge where 95% of entertainment was dancing. It would be helpful if before they cruised MSC advised guests that there are to be theme nights on their cruise, Divina had a White party but had to be cancelled on the outside deck due to rain, a smaller version took place inside. Then there was a /60`s/ 70`s/80`s night which was the actual dress code for that night along with a Carnival and Red White and Green night. There were Four Gala nights onboard, Two casual, a 60/70/80`s, Green White and Red, Carnival, Casual or White and Eight Informal. The water slide was available for anyone to use despite a sign saying teens only and we made full use of it on a few days, the 4D cinema was good though a cost is incurred of $7 per film, the F1 racing simulator costs $9 a go, the Shuffleboard court yes just the one is virtually unusable when there are sun beds on either side and also the entry canopy to the Top 18 solarium ($10 a day for a sun bed) at one end. Surely someone must have noticed the issue of putting the court there? During the Five day sea crossing with no satellite signal MSC announced that the pay films would be available for Free, what they failed to say was the system was only able to accommodate 500 TV’s and each day the system crashed. They were upgrading the system with the new TV programmes as we sailed to Miami from San Juan that meant a visit to every TV on the ship to re programme them all. Cruise cards seemed to be a problem this year for some reason and between us we had them replaced 11 times for various reasons including bar machines not reading them and failing to open the cabin door, plus the original ones not having the drink package code on them. Other people we knew onboard had similar issues with their cards. Customer Service Desk … Very helpful staff although it did take Four visits over Six days to get the first days bar charges taken off our account due to not having the drink package code on our original sea pass cards. Ports Visited … Malta way too short only around Five hours, Malaga 5 1/2 hours, Madeira Full day, St Maarten Full day, St Thomas Full day for some due to US immigration, San Juan Full day. Getting off the ship at a few of the ports was a scrum at times because only one exit was used which was off the Atrium and having so many people in such a small space looked like disorganised chaos. Cruise highlights … The Ports visited, the best theatre show that we saw was Wonderland. Meeting many of the crew from the Poesia again especially Wayan our waiter from last year, Claudio from the Animation team, Sylvia in the Bacco bar and all the others. Meeting those roll call members we had chance to along with many others, taking part in the various quiz rounds and games. Visiting the two remaining ports on the itinerary that we had not been to, a visit to the everglades and our two days/nights in Miami despite the storm on the last night, meeting Police Officer Sergeant Bello of the Miami Beach police department who was one of the officers keeping an eye on the two buildings being built on South beach for an Art exhibition. Cruise Lows … The big one of losing a port day and arriving a day early in Miami for an advertising day by MSC just so the Divina could be the only ship in port on the 19th of November! Not what we paid for and being fed a constant stream of excuses as to why it was being done, the worst of all making out that it was so passengers could enjoy an “Exciting” day in Miami! Many of who had already made plans to stay for 2 or more days already. Plus there were people on the ship who live in Miami and Florida. Some Theatre shows were the same as the Poesia repo cruise last year but with different singers and dancers who were not as good, very much the same menu and food as last year with a few changes. The Captain and Hotel Manager were also from the Poesia along with Cruise Director Maddie. Disembarkation … We were told by staff that around 1500 passengers got off the ship on the 19th rather than stay on an extra night. You have to vacate the cabin by 7am. We will never understand the Italian way of organization of sending people to the farthest point when there is a shorter route, being on the back of the ship our allocated lounge was the theatre! We queued at the gangway exit for around Thirty minutes during which point people were told that there was an issue with the elevated walkway! The very same one that had been used all the previous day and night and was being used by the people in front of us who had already left the ship. The real reason was the slow baggage handling that was going on down below us, have these people learned nothing ? Tell people the Truth of what is happening and stop making up stories in order to cover up the problems. Having left the ship with other people we had sailed with last year we headed to the baggage claim area which was three halls with a conveyor belt unlike most other places we had been to where cases are stored in their respective colours tag wise and you go and collect them. The bags came through very slow and we waited around sixty minutes for ours, one German man had been waiting over two hours! Others waited longer. Conclusions … We would count ourselves as liking big ships over small ones having sailed the Oasis, Mariner of the seas and Ruby Princess and while many people will like Divina for various reasons we cannot see ourselves traveling on any of the other three Fantasia class ships of MSC. One reason being that there is no access to the front of the ship other than for those staying in the Yacht club. The Musica class of which Poesia belongs in our opinion has more wow factor than the Divina and has better-allocated space; any future cruises with MSC will likely be on this class of ship. To quote one lady who has been on all the MSC class of ships including twice on Divina, “Divina is all show and no substance” her preferred ship is the Sinfonia. Any cruise day at sea is always better than a day at work and some cruises are more memorable than others, sadly this cruise will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. After three cruises we are able to say that MSC although only being Twelve years old and young in terms of cruising compared to the likes of Carnival etc have a good product but it is let down by inconsistency in food in various areas and poor management especially those of the land based operations.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My parents and i were on a 9 week holiday from Australia and we were traveling with 5 other people. We had already done a 14 night Adriatic/ Greek island cruise on ncl Jade a week earlier. I was really looking forward to sailing on MSC as ... Read More
My parents and i were on a 9 week holiday from Australia and we were traveling with 5 other people. We had already done a 14 night Adriatic/ Greek island cruise on ncl Jade a week earlier. I was really looking forward to sailing on MSC as i had already seen footage on you tube of how beautiful it was. We organized a private taxi to drop us at the terminal and we when we arrived the staff were at the waters edge ready to take all bags off us which was awesome as with ncl we had to take them ourselves. Check in was fairly smooth and fast. My first impression when boarding the was OMG! This ship is absolutely beautiful and anybody who says otherwise is kidding themselves. The bars are all beautiful as are the eating areas. I really enjoyed the pools and the gym as well. I had my own cabin on board and it was an outside cabin on the 5 level. It was beautiful and massive. I have never seen a cabin this big and i had it all to myself. My parents had a balcony cabin although it wasn't as big as mine it was still very nice. My cabin steward was very friendly and always made the effort help anyway he could. My parents girl was also lovely. We ate in the Villa Rosa every night except for 1 when we went to Eataly. We had the late seating which we find a lot better than the early. The first night was a schmozzle. Instead of eating at 830 we didn't get in till 930. There was a lot of new staff that started that day as it was embarking on the transatlantic cruise to America. We understood that there was going to be a few hiccups so that didn't really bother us. What did bother us was the attitude of the 1st seating, some of them just blatantly refused to hurry and leave even when it was 930. We had excellent waiters on our trip. Their names were Frankie and Kurniwan. They always had our drinks waiting and always had a joke with us even if they didn't quite get the Australian sense of humor. I found the food every night beautiful. My parents and their friends often sat at the bar on the 7th floor near the atrium. The drinks waiter Darwin and Sevastina were great. Always having a joke and being funny. i found all the staff on Divina although run off the feet with obvious cut backs on staff to be very friendly and attentive. I enjoyed the food in the buffet, however made to order omlettes should be a must on cruise ships so i was definitely disappointed with that. the dessert in the buffet were awesome. Now for some negatives. My two main complaints were HANDWASHING and entertainment in the bars. In regards to these i did make complaints while i was on board and did have a meeting with the pursers about this. In all restaurants and bars there are the dispensers for people to wash their hands however people would just walked past them and not use them which really pissed me off. As much as i don't want to say it, it was mostly Europeans that didn't use them and as you can imagine it was a majority of Europeans on board. How there wasn't an outbreak of gastro ill never know. All i ask is for someone to be stationed at least at the main dining rooms and buffet and spray peoples hands as the go in. Ncl do this on all their ships so i know it can be done. Entertainment was very boring. The stage shows were great but in the bars not so much. A lady and her husband in the back bar were quite good but opera and violins every night is really annoying. Don't get me wrong they are good at what they do but when you are in the Caribbean its not something you want to hear every night. Music around the pool was non existent and there were no sail away parties. It was quite sad when you were in the Caribbean and you could hear the music on the other ships and nothing on ours. I saw the cruise directors and asked them one night why there was nothing on and happening and they said the get too manly complaints from the Europeans about loud music. I told them you do realize that you are going to the Caribbean and going to be going out of Miami all the time which means Americans, Canadians, Australians and British to name a few will not stand for boring cruises in the Caribbean They want Fun, upbeat cruises. As this cruise was about 6 months ago i understand that things may have gotten better which i really hope they have as it is a beautiful ship and the staff were amazing. The staff and the ship are why i will cruise Msc cruise Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This was our first cruise with MSC and after praise from a TV show about the ship we had high expectations. Once on board initial impressions were good. We had an inside cabin on deck 5 which was one deck below the casino and on the same ... Read More
This was our first cruise with MSC and after praise from a TV show about the ship we had high expectations. Once on board initial impressions were good. We had an inside cabin on deck 5 which was one deck below the casino and on the same deck as the main lobby for enquiries and help desk. The lobby/atrium was quite impressive spread over three decks with the famous swarowski crystal stair cases and several bars. Bar staff, waiters and servers were all excellent with a good mix of nationalities and most with very good English. The coffee bars and ice cream parlors were very good. Ice cream cup $2.10 12 + flavours, double cappuccino $4.10. There is a good choice of bars with most cocktails costing around $7.25 e.g. Manhattan, Pina Colada etc. Wines by the glass from$5.50 to $8.50 and bottles from around $24 upwards. Beer $5 or $6. We had pre purchased the Alligrissimo Drinks for £20 per person which was also on sale at embarkation but for the price of $44 per person in a cabin, considerably more. It is quite difficult to drink $44 of alcohol and ice cream each day for 18 days especially with days ashore. We did have problems with ordering wine as some of the more popular wines such as the Shiraz and Californian Cabernet Sauvignon ran out early in the cruise. My recommendation is to drink when you feel like a cocktail or a glass of wine and the occasional ice cream or coffee and save your money. The design of the ship is somewhat different from standard cruise ships. There is no full walk around promenade deck. You can walk outside along the port and starboard sides of the ship on deck 7 but to go from one side to the other you have to go inside past the lifts for and aft. You cannot access the front of the ship on the top deck unless you are a Yacht Club member, i.e. effectively a first class passenger. We have cruised on nine other cruise ships from five cruise lines and never have we not had access to the front of the ship on one of the top decks. You can look out of the front of the ship on deck 10 from inside the Gym through two sets of glass windows and shields. Although you could theoretically walk around the top deck 15, but without access to the front of the ship, this was made difficult by the many many sun loungers always filled with sun bathers during the day.The weather was very good fortunately for them. If you wanted to walk or risk jogging around deck 15 this could only be done early in the day or after dusk when the sun worshippers had retired to the bars or restaurants. Walking around the deck also involved negotiating the top deck Bar at the rear on the port side, which was also a popular spot for the smokers who also inhabited a long section on deck 14 port side where they had ash trays. There was no where to sit on the outside top deck 15 accept on a sun loungers apart from in the port side rear bar where you have to share with the smokers. There was plenty of room in areas on deck fifteen where chairs and tables could have been placed. We found food in the main dining room very disappointing with limited choice. Meat tended to be over cooked and portions very small with very few vegetables. Food in the Buffet on deck 14 was good for breakfast if you could find a seat to eat it at. Lunch had a reasonable choice of dishes but again was very busy. If you decided to eat later when the buffet was quieter, you risked the choice being reduced as food ran out. The evening buffet was always very disappointing with only one side of the restaurant being open and a very poor selection on offer. There was always pizza and burgers, pasta and grilled chicken again usually over cooked, but that was pretty much all. Lunch time specials like sweet and sour pork or curry and a meat joint were never offered in the evening We saw two shows both good. The story of Ben Bones and very good, the Michael Jackson tribute. Getting off the ship on port days varied from reasonably successful to totally shambolic. If you had chosen to go on a ships trip you were escorted off from decks 4 or 5 usually. Every one else who was on an independent excursion, or who just wanted to go ashore, had to leave from deck 7 mid ships through the atrium which meant everyone converging either from deck 6 coming up the swarowski staircase or from one of four corridors on deck 7 into one large scrum trying to file through one exit with two scanners for cruise cards all at the same time. Given the tendency for Europeans not to understand the concept of an orderly queue, this inevitably lead to chaos. Having said all of this, the ports of call were outstanding. Valletta in Malta, an amazing sail in through a spectacular harbour, albeit watched from the side of the ship, the front not being available as mentioned above. Malaga in Spain, Funchal in Madeira, Philipsburg in St. Maarten, Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas and San Juan in Puerto Rico before arriving in Miami for an overnight stay before disembarkation, another shambles. As mentioned by other critics you have to leave you cabin by 7 in the morning only to sit around on the ship. In our case we sat in the theatre and waited for our assigned colour and number to be called. However nothing was happening. We were supposed to get off the ship as 9 a.m. our allotted time, but nothing was happening and no numbers were being called. One guest complained at the front desk and a member of the entertainment department to come to the front and explain what was happening. Apparently a problem with immigration authorities or customs, even though every one had cleared Homeland Security in St Thomas and many had also been off the ship the previous day happily wondering around Miami. So what was going on? To summarise: A large ship with some strange design features, large state rooms, excellent staff, but poor organisation, disappointing food, great coffee and tasty ice cream. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
There’s been a lot of talk about the full time arrival of MSC to the Caribbean cruise scene and whether or not MSC would make significant enough changes to woo a greater share of American cruisers. Well read on my friend! I’m American ... Read More
There’s been a lot of talk about the full time arrival of MSC to the Caribbean cruise scene and whether or not MSC would make significant enough changes to woo a greater share of American cruisers. Well read on my friend! I’m American and my family of 4 went on the first 7 day cruise on the MSC Divina out of Miami over Thanksgiving. The good: The cost. The cost of this 7 day cruise was far below the average cruise fare and a great value. For the over obsessed critique readers out there, you can’t help but notice all of the comments over the beauty of this ship. Well add us to the list of admirers! This ship is simply stunning. Extremely well laid out, MSC Divina offers a touch of class seemingly everywhere. The stage production shows were amazing. Great costumes, singing, dancing, and cirque du soleil acts. Move over Disney, there’s a challenger for best high seas entertainment. Love, love, love their smoking policy! No smoking in the casino or on outside balconies. There is smoking on the one side of the ship at pool level, but overall, the more restrictive policy was VERY much appreciated. The 5 languages thing was such an overblown concern. Talk about a big hullabaloo over nothing. They only made announcements in all 5 languages for safety messages, which in 7 days couldn’t have been more than 4-5 total. ALL other announcements were made only in English. We found that the cruise consisted of about 60-70% Americans and the rest European/other. With all this angst against European travelers, you would think you were about to board the ship from Kevin Costner’s Waterworld. We did not have one bad encounter from any non-American passenger. No one cut in line in front of us, pushed us in a crowded room, made fun of our slow comprehension, or stole our babies or sold our wives. Relax people… Our room steward was amazing. Always making sure we had everything we needed. Our kids enjoyed the 3 different pools. Could be better: The sail away from Miami was VERY underwhelming. No deck party, no fun atmosphere. We didn’t leave until 7pm. It was like we slipped away under the cover of darkness. There was a moment when a Carnival ship sailed past out of port with the music playing and people dancing on deck. It felt like I was on the wrong ship. More than once we were victims of apathetic staff syndrome. Conflict resolution from MSC staff goes something like this: Me – “The MSC web site states that the Great Stirrup Cay cabanas come with priority tender tickets, but we didn’t get any such tickets with the cabana excursion voucher that was delivered to our room.” Excursion desk – “The tender start first thing at 8:30 for all passenger on board.” Me – “But the MSC web site description states we get priority tender tickets.” Excursion desk – “The tender start first thing at 8:30 for all passenger on board.” Me – “It is disappointing to get conflicting information, especially when decisions to spend money are predicated on the services that are described.” Excursion desk – “The tender start first thing at 8:30 for all passenger on board.” MSC bar staff were prickly on more than one occasion. We had the beverage package but on most occasions bar staff were unable or unwilling to clarify questions we had about the beverage package we purchased. I assume the belief is that it’s my beverage package, so it’s my responsibility to understand what I purchased. News flash for MSC – Americans work stupidly long hours and have no time to read all that crap we sign up for. We assume we give you a boat load of cash, and you answer our dumb questions… Disembarkation was a mess. At one point they closed the gangway because of “high traffic” through customs. We weren’t sure is this had something to do with the higher percentage of non-Americans trying to get through customs, if so MSC needs to plan for this. We were finally allowed to leave the ship around 11:30, which seemed very late to us. For me, there seemed to be a much larger 60+ age cruiser contingency than I’m used to. Not sure if this had more to do with the time of year and length of cruise, or if MSC will attract the older crowd in general. Don’t get me wrong, there’s no one I adored more on this earth than my grandmother, I just don’t want to spend a week with yours. For the record, my wife disagrees with me that this was an issue. In conclusion: MSC is trying to accommodate the American cruiser, as was evidenced by the American football games on TV, change of venues with more American tastes, the majority of announcements in English, etc, while at the same time staying true to their Mediterranean roots. There’s room for improvement for sure – no mash potatoes or pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dinner MSC? Would it kill you to have the ONE soft serve ice cream machine operate for more than a few hours a day? But there’s no doubt there’s great value here. Especially for the 45+ crowd. Don’t let the negative reviews scare you from the MSC Divina. For many, this could be a hidden gem.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This was about my 10th cruise, first time on msc. Positives, beautiful ship, nice amenities, personally I enjoyed the food. Entertainment was ok to good. Shows were good in the theatre. A few of the musical entertainers were good and had ... Read More
This was about my 10th cruise, first time on msc. Positives, beautiful ship, nice amenities, personally I enjoyed the food. Entertainment was ok to good. Shows were good in the theatre. A few of the musical entertainers were good and had something for most musical tastes. Crew generally nice and helpful. Our cabin steward was fantastic. By far the nicest most modern ship I have been on, which makes the following observations so frustrating. Negatives 1. Embarkation, luggage did not arrive in our or most staterooms until after dinner, even for some who were on the ship first. 2. Debarkation, what a disaster. Haven't seen anything like it in 25 years. Over an hour plus line and a pissing match between US customs and msc. Both blamed each other. Ultimately, since it hasn't been this way on my other recent cruises, it must be an msc issue. 3. TV selection in the rooms and on the ship was terrible. Hey msc, Americans like their NFL football! They finally got the message and had the NFL games on TV on Thanksgiving day. Lots of upset passengers. Kids need to have nickelodeon and/or Disney channel 4. On all my recent cruises I had cell service or at least the ability to pay for it, not on this MSC. My AT&T did not work. 5. Bowling alley was broken all week and they could never get their story straight when it would be up. Three different stories by three different people. Not good. 6. Lots of nickel and dimeing, and pettiness, like my daughter not being able to bring dessert from dinner back to her stateroom. 7. Dinner, took way too long. Really think it was lack of staff. Getting drinks at dinner was a chore and getting service was not easy. Lunch in the dining room took over an hour and a half. 8. Bottom line, their customer service and follow up leave a lot to be desired. Hopefully they respond to their customers because it is a beautiful ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
There's no denying that the Divina is a beautiful ship, but MSC needs to offer more than a just pretty face if they hope to make it on this side of the pond. I realize they are fairly new to this market and that they have a few kinks ... Read More
There's no denying that the Divina is a beautiful ship, but MSC needs to offer more than a just pretty face if they hope to make it on this side of the pond. I realize they are fairly new to this market and that they have a few kinks to work out. We hope that they take their passengers comments and reviews seriously, because they really need to make some quick adjustments if they want to survive in this market. All in all, we did enjoy our cruise and hoped that the “Mediterranean Lifestyle” that MSC promotes would really set it apart. However, our experience was not really that different from the other mainstream cruise lines we sailed on. The most noticeable differences were the large number of passengers of different nationalities and the absence of urinals in the mens restrooms. So, let's begin with the positives. Embarkation was fast and efficient. We got through the terminal and on the ship in about 45 minutes. Most of the staff we encountered were cheerful, friendly and helpful, especially customer relations. The room steward did a fairly good job of keeping the cabin neat, but fell a little short when it came to providing clean glasses. The shower had split doors that opened into the shower, so it created some additional space in the bathroom. There were very few announcements. They had live music all over the ship, with the exception of the theater. The shows were actually pretty good. They were decent productions, with above average talent and nice sets. I think for most people, that dining is one of the most anticipated experiences on a cruise, and in this arena, MSC really faltered. As far as the buffet goes, the choices were plentiful, the cold food was cold, the hot food was hot and the service was actually pretty decent. The breakfast in the buffet was typical, however there wasn't an omelet station. At lunch and dinner it would get very busy, so we went there during off hours and avoided the crowds. FYI: only wine and beer is served in the buffet, if you want a mixed drink, you'll have to go to a bar to get one. The staff won't bring one to you. The main dining room experience left a great deal to be desired and the service was short of abysmal. We had the second seating and the first seating always ran late. As a result, there were crowds of people in the hall and on the stairways waiting to get into the dining room. When the doors finally opened, there was a stampede of people rushing into the dining room all at once. It was not a pleasant experience and as the cruise proceeded, there were fewer and fewer people coming to dinner. While most of the dining room waitstaff were pleasant, the service was incredibly slow and disorganized. They are way understaffed and although they really tried their best, they just never got it together. As a result, we spent a minimum of 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours for dinner service and 1-2 hours for lunch. Unlike most other cruise lines, the waitstaff never really learned the diners preferences. Also, they never cleared any extra glasses from the table, nor removed any empty ones. This happened at both lunch and dinner. For instance, at lunch one day there were 6 people at the table, but there were18 glasses. Maybe it's an European thing? I realize that the subject of food is quite subjective and while we never went hungry, the quality of the food was somewhere between just fair and decent. We never ate anything worth writing home about. And unfortunately, if you like beef, you're probably going to be sorely disappointed. I don't know if something got lost in the translation, but one night they offered what the menu called “beef fillet”, but what was served was 2 thin slices of beef with gravy. One night, the lamb we were served was so overcooked that we couldn't eat it. And, no one else at the table could eat theirs either. The lobster was also way overcooked and was dry and chewy. Seriously, it took two waiters to remove the meat from the shell. I'll admit it, I did eat the lobster, because even tough lobster is better than no lobster. Now onto lunch in the main dining room. I ordered what the menu described was a Reuben sandwich, but what I was served was a slice of Pastrami on toasted white bread with cheddar cheese, no sauerkraut or thousand island dressing. And, this was not an isolated incident as we saw the expressions of others that were served “Reuben” sandwiches. My guess is they called it a Reuben because that was the name of the guy who made the sandwiches. Lunch service was also very inconsistent. One day the service was efficient and friendly and the next day it was incredibly slow and downright rude. For instance, one day at lunch, after waiting 20 minutes for our food arrive, we politely asked our server when our order might be ready and his reply was “if we wanted fast food we should have gone to the buffet”. I mentioned to him that his reply wasn't going to sound very good in a review. He was completely unconcerned. Oh well. I didn't review the Eately Italian restaurant or Steakhouse because we didn't eat there. Why? When we went to check them out, the steakhouse looked like a school cafeteria or fast food restaurant with rows of small square tables and plastic chairs. The Italian restaurant was slightly more sophisticated having round tables with white table cloths, but yet again more plastic chairs. Not exactly the kind of ambiance one would expect of “upscale”dining and we certainly weren't enticed to dine there. Apparently, no one else was either. Every time we passed by them they were empty. OK. Now that I'm through with our dining experiences let's move onto the few other observations. First off, there is no adults only pool. There is an adults only sunning deck available, for a charge. They have very few English language TV channels and zero music channels. Children are allowed everywhere, and I mean everywhere, in all of the bars and lounges and at all hours. Maybe it's just me, but I find it difficult to relax in a lounge and enjoy the music played by an ensemble while several children are running, screaming and bouncing on the banquette next to me. Also, the way that the ship is designed the traffic flow goes through almost all of the bars and lounges. Consequently, people were constantly walking through and passing right in front of the stages during performances. Disembarkation was utter chaos. We chose self disembarkation and, at first, it seemed like MSC had it well planned. We received colored and numbered tags to attach to our luggage and instructions giving the time and place to exit the ship. That's where any semblance of organization ceased. When we arrived at our designated area the crew was directing people to go and wait inside the lounge. After waiting for about 45 minutes in a packed, standing room only lounge, for some unknown reason, an announcement was made that disembarkation would commence on the opposite side of the lounge. So, the people that arrived first, and were closest to the exit and presumably at the front of the line were now at the back of the line. As you can well imagine, there were many people that were not pleased and tempers were flaring. It was getting downright ugly. Thankfully, the crew did the smart thing and stepped aside to let the people that were closest to the exit off the ship first. In closing, MSC has a nice product, but having a pretty ship won't be enough to keep attracting customers. As I said before, we did enjoy our cruise with MSC and in spite of the the numerous problems in the dining room the rest of the cruise was enjoyable and most of the crew were very pleasant and professional. However, I don't think we'll be sailing with MSC again anytime soon. We'll wait and see if they improve. I hope they do.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
The Davina - The good and not so good from a newbie point of view. I have done about 17 Royal Carribean cruises and wanted a change of pace. We chose the Davina. There were three of us. Myself, my wife and 1.2 year old son. The good ... Read More
The Davina - The good and not so good from a newbie point of view. I have done about 17 Royal Carribean cruises and wanted a change of pace. We chose the Davina. There were three of us. Myself, my wife and 1.2 year old son. The good Embarkation while chaotic went relatively smooth. The ship is pure eye candy. It sparkles from end to end. The cabins were beautiful. The Gelatto was tasty. And while they charge for it outside of dinner, they were giving it away free on the day before the cruise ended. The 4-D show was worth the $7 dollar chage, andfelt and was similar to what you would get at Universal studios...Just smaller scale..- Our child sailed FREE which was a nice savings - There is child care for children 3 years and "older". Seemed to us like you could drop your kids off in the morning and pick them up in the evening. They had those children very busy.And those parents had it made. The show costumes were excellent.The theater was the best I have seen with no columns so you would be hard pressed to find a bad seat. The Michael Jackson show was a good effort. Notably the smooth criminal part with the "lean." The acrobatics in the other shows were standouts along with the times the cast members would come OFF stage into the audience. The photagraphy shop consistantly took great pictures. Arguably, the best I have seen on a ship. The lunch menu was great at the Calmut buffet. The pizza...The pizza! I have never eaten so much of it in all my days. No premade crust here. All handmade in front of you. The cheeses and different meats were great at the Mediterannian section in the Calmut buffet. They also baked most of their baked goods in that giant pizza oven. I had [I]my first[/I] right out the oven fresh croissants. The main dining room was as beautiful as the rest of the ship. Room service was good. We did not wait longer than 25 minutes to get anything we ordered. The cabin while nice had a plasma TV. You are able to feel the back of the set and find and extra HDMI slot to plug in your computer, tablet or other device. An though I dont thnk they you want you doing that, I was able to plug in and watch a couple movies from my computerat nights end. The soap dispensers in the bathroom were also nice to have. I liked having the balcony door open to get fresh air. My neighbor who was always smoking on his balcony without regard for anyone else. I complained to the front desk. The reception desk was great at handling that problem. ( Did he continue to smoke after the reception desk sent him a nasty gram?....YES...Just not as often. ) The crew was so helpful. Even on the last day..even on the last morning! The bad The shows had minimal sets. The Michael Jackson show lookalike mainly danced and lipsynced. The Frank Sinatra show's main singer wore so much mascara and eyeliner, I felt it took away from his otherwise great performance. The bowling should have been free in the sports bar, as that place seemed empty most of the time. WAY TOO MUCH SMOKING! There was alot of it. Especially on deck 14, the main pool area. Just walking from one end to the other to get to the Calmute buffet was ridiculous with all the ciggarette smoke. Still it did not seem to bother the kids playing in the pool areas. The dinners in the main dining room overall were not impressive. The lobster was cold. So, I ordered another. It too was served cold and neither with butter. Also, way too many people for the staff to handle in the main dining room though they tried. An A for effort. The rocking of the ship. Perhaps it was the time of year. Perhaps we did not have the best weather. But this ship seemed to rock the majority of the time we were there. Now I don't get sea sick, but even I got that "fun house " feeling at times during this cruise. Cant say I felt that way about many other cruises I have been on. The tipping system needs work as I do not believe the money goes to the staff that actually helped you. I dont know. They get $1200 a month from what I am told and thats it. -No child care for children 3 years and "under "- Let me be more specific. The program they have is a one hour thing in the morning and another in the afternoon where a parent has to be there. Its not very useful. There are not alot of activities, so you wont miss much during the day. You will have time to babysit your own child. Dont worry.. My overall opinion...and thats all it is...Is that this ship while beautiful is still suffering from growing pains. Would I sail on her again? I say, Maybe, if they change a couple things... My wife says no because of the smoking and child care policies. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
rude adjective, rud·er, rud·est. 1. discourteous or impolite, especially in a deliberate way: a rude reply. 2. without culture, learning, or refinement: rude, illiterate peasants. 3. rough in manners or behavior; unmannerly; ... Read More
rude adjective, rud·er, rud·est. 1. discourteous or impolite, especially in a deliberate way: a rude reply. 2. without culture, learning, or refinement: rude, illiterate peasants. 3. rough in manners or behavior; unmannerly; uncouth. I start this article with the definition as it sums up the entire experience on the MSC Nov 23 -30 from Miami. I'm going to include some points that will save you a lot of headache if you have already booked and if you haven't please rethink wasting a week of your life and vacation time until hey work out some efficiency and organization, first non of the staff was on the same page and gave completely different information from the same company. First your travel agent doesn't have to book your excursions or drink packages or spa treatments and she probably doesn't know how. MSC will tell you she book it then they will say you book it , I finally sent he travel agent the form and she said she had never been informed on how to book them nor did she have the form. I wasted a lot of time on calls to MSC with staff that was uninformed and un trained and with out up to date information . and even if you find the pancakes nether the travel agent or MSC was able to explain the differences in pre book drinks packages , and the spa treatments have names but not descriptions for example one large packaged included a aura relax but doesn't even explain that its a body scrub and body peel which no one may want to have after 4 days in the sun, so those details are not available, here is the link to the drink and spa packages to order your self if you can get no one to help you after phone call after phone call and wasted time.https://msccruisesgetforms.com/forms/specialservicesrequest.aspx Additionally if you are trying to book your reservations for the specialty restaurants you may call then they will tell you to book them on board then they will tell you when you call back that you need to book them a week in advance before the cruise. When on board if you need to do self assist you will need to stand in the customer service lie and give them your flight departures you will also need to fill out forms and do 5 follow up calls and go to the desk talk to someone and then do additional request and still they wont have your flight information or self assist information in the system even thought u went down there dropped the forms off stood in line three times to make sure it was done and finally when you get ready to depart on the final day you will stand in a hot room full f hundreds of people at the back of the boat and there will be no flow of air and you may get heat stroke and no water is even provided for guests. Dinner and Buffet service There were way to many people on this boat for good customer service there was a lot of very upset people no bread no water .we sat at our table many times for 25-30 minutes with out water or even a drink order being taken it took 2.5 hrs food didnt come fro 45 minutes .to get our dinners and the buffet was always a complete mess with no flow of walking passage ways were blocked with people , they needed way more selection and different themed nights and those listed on the daily Mexican Chinese's etc but the basic staples not even nachos easy cheap and could easily be added hamburger bar ,Okay thanks giving was the worst iv ever had , They actually served sweet potato French fries .no candied yams no cranberries no green beans no mashed potatoes it was big let down and the buffet should have been spectacular fro this not even pumpkin pie. don't expect any thing I f u go for thanks giving ,, the flow at the buffet was not thought out as there was many area you cannot even pass by so you couldn't pass people with wheel chairs and scooters had a very difficult time and had to honk there little horns ,, but I saw them walking up and down stairs( ready to break into jumping jacks) at other times as if they were fine ,I have no idea if they had any problems at all but got a cart because they were sick of the crowds discussing he situation with staff they couldn't wait to get off the boat and they said there was way to many people on the boat themselves. passengers ere upset they were rude to each other they were rude to staff then in turn staff was just rude rude we had friends of 85 that booked 6 months in advance in a group and had wanted to be seated together they were seated scattered even when the request was clear , when they were at there dinner they could not order additional items this is not customer service they should be able to eat what they wan t and as much as they want even at dinner service if they want two lobster get it , other cruise lines do not say no u can not have a steak and additional order of main course, they could not sit together they could not get good service and the waiters had attitude when we waited a hr fro food or food came out wrong they actually said it wasn't there fault that they brought what was not ordered . u cant get a drink order you cannot get a cappuccino seriously its just too much to ask them when they cant even do what they need tto be doing then they would have to run down the hall to do it , you need to send cocktail waitresses up there during dinner if u have to. Its ridiculous to sit there with bread and no water and not even a glass of wine 30 minutes , forget it dinning room was a complete night mare ( at least play piano music to calm the mad guests )and they are understaffed to the point that everyone's meals were upset it was extremely poor service and aggravation ,if you are looking fro relaxation and comfort this is not the cruise for you We literally need a vacation after this night mare ,its constant aggravations the first day on the daily they should list in the 5 languages how to communicate with our allow passengers and staff, hello please thank you excuse me may I ,thank u , just common curtsy is thrown out the door by not only fellow passengers who pushed to the front of lines but employees on the ship , my friend went to do karaoke in the lounge and the guy at the counter wouldn't even allow her to borrow his pen to write a song for the piano player even after saying shoe would just stay there in front of hi for one minute he said NO this is my pen There a solarium that you can pay for private deck n kids but its exactly next to the kids area, its like walking through chucky cheese to get to your area not good placement .if youo needa towl you will need your card and being given a small recipt for your towl that you will need to keep o return your towl wich is not even sensible to have to keep track of a stupid piece ofpaper , ya paper and water don't mix why they just don't gve u towls in your state roma nd exchange them for clean ones on deck or going off port makes no sense and if they are not there when u leave or Friday night when they check the mini bars then you are charges is simple but u need to carry a little receipt with u and along with multiple paper for coupons for the drink packages ,I bought on package and it was actually cheaper on the boat but u have the 15 percent fee added on board , where is the efficiency and organization who thought of this , its makes no sense and wastes time of people and employees stapling his prepare to the bill , when a customer boards this credit prepaid should be automatically loaded to card and deducted as swiped and used. other wise you just plan on constantly carrying g drink coupon books with you constantly . forget about getting a chair in the sun or even at lunch ,if your steward isn't around you will never get a hold of him my husband and I counted 25 times I had to call to the reception guest services and was hung up on waiting o get answers and assistance I needed a extra blanket but forget it because there switch board etc is complete understaffed and u have o call them to get your steward jut wasting more of my vacation time it was nothing like I have ever seen before or experienced I just kept thinking I cant believe I actually wasted a week of my life and paid for this cruise and the flights to get here when im on a floating night mare many many customers were upset .if some0ne was to make a horror movie about the ship from hell it would have been this cruise I had enough m husband had enough the only refuge was the spa now I don't have enough good things to say about the sa I had prebooked a big package 4 treatment and tipped well my husband purchased two massages and a facial , Gail the spa director was wonderful , the only problem we had there was a rude girl on the phone when I called down and she kept telling me she spoke English but not well enough to care that I anted the spa director to call me back I clearly asked to speak with someone else 6 times she said no I couldn't believe it when we had spent so much money in the spa. but again horrible customer service .. if Gail is not aware of who this person was she should know the spa director wil leb big success on this crusie line as after dealing ith all the other rude staff u will need to distress from the boat night mare ,,, additionally it looks like she is doing a great job . our stateroom was always immaculate but not like the photo in red its blue ,and we had a metal balcony and were very disappointed as wee booked a balcony and never expected this metal rail instead of seeing he water massive disappointment as I made it clear that's why we booked and to sit out side eat breakfast and look at a metal wall no to look at the water , but we heard there were no more rooms to change to even though I had a letter from my agent saying our view would not be obstructed view it was I shouldn't have to stand up t look out at the water when I clearly requested this specifically o sit and view the water and it was confirmed we would not have a obstructed view yes I consider this no9t what we were guaranteed. the theater shows the best I've seen especially eh pirates of the Caribbean show but im partial for reasons but as many cruises as I've taken this was the worst flo0w and efficiently just common sense im in the hospitality industry and organization staff meetings and updates apparently are not taking place , this boat should have come into this port overstaffed to get good reviews and to get things in order because the staff on board already wants to get off the boat and couldn't wait to get off it. at every port we just wished we could stay because we couldn't stand the thought of what a night mare cruise this was nothing relaxing about t not one single person past the steward and spa made us feel like they cared the least bit about having o go out of there way t gain new customers instead they couldn't be inconvenience and gave snide remarks and rude gestures rolling eyes and never once saying im sorry this must be frustrating let me see what I can do the majority of the time even when we tried to talk to someone they said someone would call us back no one called back then when the someone finally did I was laying down and she even cut me short and was rude, I hear that u are thinking yu are entitled to this and that, what you don't handle customers like that ???????I have no idea where you learned customer service but you are loosing customers fro msc not gaining happy clients, yes that's what she said when we attempted to explain how our meals took 2,5 hrs and I specially clearly said I do not want the matradee coming over he came over and said I heard u were complaining which is the worst way to handle a customer or make someone happy its rude to approach someone who is making request and do that there are other ways to approach the issue, the matradee ended up trying o help us butt he meals took way to long and not once when there was a special desert was it announced wee just sa there with no water no answer to why we were waiting 25 minutes they should have said to night we have a special desert and make the announcement or the waiter tells the table at the beginning of the m3eal to night we have baked Alaskan or tiramisu if you would like some thing else this ifs fine but is this desert okay with every one we could not believe we waited for that we could have left the restaurant or they could have actually already served the desert we actually wanted its like showing up late for dinner which is actually rude m you ar in fact saying im more important im superior well that's what this cruise line doesn't treated us with disrespect and wasted our vacation time .repeatedly having o do follow ups on requests that were clear. and being gi8ven the wrong information by your own staff that is not properly trained in customer service or information updates , this cruise had many passengers from Europe on it , they are familiar with the cruise line name .and coming to the states the name then becomes know to Americans and when they make there travel choices to travel the Mediterranean or Europe with a good reputation and good service would choose MSC, this is one reason we chose the is cruise lien to see if we would use in Europe or recommend to to clients,, seriously no . we deserve refund it like we paid you to use us as Ginny pig to see how bad you ca treat your customers befo9re they want to jump overboard .deserve a refund. it was like I paid MSC to torture us a week to be there Ginny pig this week to see how far they can push there paying customers before they jump over board   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Our 10th Anniversary was ruined. No dancing, no romantic dinners, it was a take over of a large and very different group. All the reviews seem to be the same. The food was less than acceptable. The dinning room Villa Rosa was awful. The ... Read More
Our 10th Anniversary was ruined. No dancing, no romantic dinners, it was a take over of a large and very different group. All the reviews seem to be the same. The food was less than acceptable. The dinning room Villa Rosa was awful. The food was laughable, the service was nonexistent. The buffet was cafeteria food, it was very salty and tasted like we were eating institutional food. Forget about getting a drink on this cruise. None of the wait staff cared to wait on anyone. The bartenders ignored you. They did keep the tables clean, that's about it. Midnight buffet was hot dog rolls and your choice of tuna fish, chicken salad and egg salad and maybe ham. I was afraid to eat any of it. Where were the ice sculptures the exotic food? This is not what I remember when I cruised with Royal Caribbean. I first want to say I have nothing against gay/lesbians or drag queens. I didn't expect to vacation with them on a ship for seven days. That should have been my choice. I have friends and family who I love that are gay, so I want to be clear that I have nothing against them what so ever. We happened to be on a cruise that was inundated with over 2,000 drag queens, and a very large gay and lesbian group. At first I really didn't understand what was going on. But then they took over the ship. There was no where to go for a peaceful relaxing time. The entertainment was just ok. There was no bands or orchestras. Everything was lip sync. The theater show was the same every night, just different theme and costumes. Kind of strange. The guest services was a joke. They never helped us in any way. They either didn't know or they gave us the run around. They always had the wrong information or no information at all. "Sorry we can't help you". Don't ask for a wake up call, because you won't get it. They will pretend that they will wake you, but they won't. The nonsense frat party and drag queen parties that went on day in and day out was to say the least offensive. I literally hid in my cabin and ordered room service. The room service was good by the way, but very limited in choices. Coffee, tea and salad was delicious. I'm not sure where that food came from, but it was certainly so much better than any other food on the ship. The fitness center was top notch as was the spa. Day one I wanted off that ship. The disgusting display of some of these groups was appalling. I felt bad for the people who had children and elderly parents with them. Some of the things that happened were X rated and I don't feel comfortable putting it in this review. I felt trapped and disgusted. MSC did the wrong thing allowing these groups to be integrated into the very small population of people who had no idea what they were in for. These groups did not want us on this ship. They took over all of the bars, pool and entertainment areas. Every night they had a theme. One night was Hell. Priests and Nuns dressed like the devil, real nice!!! The stories go on, and way to vile to put on this site. NO ONE WAS TOLD THAT THESE GROUPS WERE GOING TO BE ON THE SHIP. I would have sailed a different day for sure. We will NEVER ever go on a cruise again. I never want to be put in a position where I spend a lot of money and be trapped with no food or acceptable entertainment. I am disgusted. The service was horrible. You couldn't get a drink at the bar EVER. Food was terrible but I give them an A for cleanliness. Most of the staff could care less about you or understand you. They were all a bunch of miserable people. Except for Angus in the cigar lounge. There was hate crimes going on as well. Security was a joke. But I'm sure these poor German couples are calling their lawyers. Security did nothing but allow situations to escalate. Even when an officer of the ship was called, nothing was done about this situation. What happened was considered a "Hate Crime" in the USA. I am so done. I don't even want to talk about it anymore. Just watch yourself. I would NEVER recommend MSC, they have no idea what they are doing. Beautiful ship run by robots. I thank God for our excursions. That was our only solace. But then we had to get back on that God forsaken ship and hide in our cabin. Peace to all. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Having just returned from a 7 night cruise on the beautiful MSC Divina, sailing 30th November to Western Caribbean, we feel we must address some of the, in our opinion, totally unjust comments already posted by our neighbours stateside ... Read More
Having just returned from a 7 night cruise on the beautiful MSC Divina, sailing 30th November to Western Caribbean, we feel we must address some of the, in our opinion, totally unjust comments already posted by our neighbours stateside The star of the cruise was indeed the ship itself. Everywhere gleamed and staff were constantly visible polishing and keeping it looking immaculate. The Golden Jazz bar was a particular favourite. We were lucky enough to have a balcony cabin ( on the twelfth floor). It was well appointed with a lovely large, soft double bed although we do agree that the TV channel choices were limited. Despite its position on the ship the cabin was very stable with little to no movement felt. All aspects of the ship did not disappoint us - open public areas, the pool decks, excellent gym and spa facilities, large theatre and bright dining rooms, As brits we do not expect a waiter constantly "shadowing" us !! indeed some may find this intrusive. We never encountered any rude staff, although we did sometimes find the bar service during the day a liitle slow. Our cabin steward was particularly pleasant and always had a smile and a word for us if we met ( and not because we had constantly tipped him) Buffet food was plentiful and of more than an acceptable standard. Dirty plates were efficiently removed without fuss by the waiters. In an evening we dined in the Villa Rossa restaurant on first sitting. Every night there was sufficient choice from the menu and our waiting staff were pleasant and kept our drinks replenished as required. My husband particularly enjoyed the lobster tails. The entertainment at night was well produced with a talented cast including speciality acts such as acrobats and contortionists. One way to introduce a little more variety would be perhaps to introduce a comedian as a stand alone act one night. If more to your tastes the Casino had a good range of tables and fruit machines. One point we must make was that the cruise was shared with, among others, a group of Jazz enthuisiasts and over 1500 gay American guys and Drag Queens! ( a large privately arranged tour with their own itinery of events). You can imagine the sights we saw !!! Whilst we had no problem with this - you just have to act as if its perfectly normal for grown men to be mincing past in high heels, tiaras and tutus, womens swimming costumes - we were led to believe that other passengers were not so keen. This did mean that most nights some areas of the ship were out of bounds, due to private functions taking place, which was frustrating. So on a cruise you never know who your fellow shipmates may turn out to be. As a comparison last year we cruised with Royal Caribbean, and cannot say that MSC were under par by any means, and if the cruise itinery suited us we would travel with this company again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Booked a 7 night cruise on the MSC Divina out of Miami. This was our 8th cruise, first and probably last on MSC. Only the second cruise for them out of that port. First, could not book reservation online, as the program would not complete ... Read More
Booked a 7 night cruise on the MSC Divina out of Miami. This was our 8th cruise, first and probably last on MSC. Only the second cruise for them out of that port. First, could not book reservation online, as the program would not complete the reservation. Had to contact MSC to book the cruise. Also, there is not a lot of information on the website, and nothing on there basically that tells you any information about your cruise after it is booked. Now the cruise. Embarkation rather confusing; no one seemed sure what was going on. Left the port of Miami at 7 PM with no fanfare, deck party or anything that let you know you were leaving port. This was characteristic of the 2 other ports visited as well. The ship itself is pretty nice, with 3 pools and numerous whirlpools. The front pool has a retractable roof, nice if it is raining, windy or cool. But the upper deck areas are crowded when at sea; 4 days on this cruise because there was no stop at Great Stirrup Cay due to the weather. This is further complicated by the fact there are 2 areas not accessible to regular guests. The MSC Yacht Club in the front, which means you cannot access the front of the ship and there are no decks which you can walk completely around the ship. The other deck 18, is an extra charge. No thanks. Many chairs were "reserved" with orange towels and no one there despite rules saying seats could not be saved. Not enforced. There is really nothing to do up on deck; the sports area is very small. We did not eat in the main dining rooms. Food in the buffet was average; selection at night was even less. Poor design of this area and not good accessibility especially when it was busy, which was most of the time! Our cabin was an interior room, was plenty spacious and nice amenities. However, our cabin steward was the worst we have had on any of our previous cruises on Disney, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival. Simply put, not very attentive or detail oriented. TV channel selection was very limited; this needs to be improved for US cruisers. $12 per day per person "service charge" automatically charged to your account; I had them cut this in half. Entertainment was acceptable, but did not compare to the competition. All music is "canned", meaning no live band for the theatre shows. Kind of a professional kareoke! I am sure MSC did this to cut costs, but the presentation is simply not as good. All other cruises we have been on have live orchestras in their shows. Disembarkation on this cruise was a disaster! Reported to the theatre at 9:45 AM; did not leave the ship till 11:20! Yikes!! So, we wish MSC well, but they will need to make some changes to be competitive with the other cruise lines. Our money will be spent somewhere else! Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Sailing of November 23, 2013 This was the first 7 night sailing of the Divina from her new port in Miami. The Divina is a new ship for MSC and carries a max passenger load of 4363. She will be sailing year round now from Miami Florida. ... Read More
Sailing of November 23, 2013 This was the first 7 night sailing of the Divina from her new port in Miami. The Divina is a new ship for MSC and carries a max passenger load of 4363. She will be sailing year round now from Miami Florida. Let me tell you a little about us. We are a retired couple who cruise a lot (this cruise was number 41) and we live in Florida. We began cruising in 1987. Cruise ships were a lot different then. We cruise for relaxation and to get away from the world for a week or more and enjoy the Caribbean a lot. We have sailed with MSC before – on the Lirica (7 days) in March of 2006, and on the Poesia (10 days) in January of 2010. These ships were beautiful, the food was terrible we thought and doubted that we would ever sail MSC again. We got an offer for this cruise that was very good and thought why not – we know what to stay away from food-wise and had read that they were changing a few things to cater more to the American market since they would be sailing full time from Miami. The itinerary was a stop in St. Maarten, a stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico and a beach day in Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas with the other days being sea days. We asked for an inside cabin close to an elevator (my husband now has mobility issues) and we got that. We asked for second seating dining with a table for two and we got second seating and a table for 8 – more about that later. We drove to Miami (about 90 minutes for us) and parked in the parking garage adjacent to the terminal (G) arriving a little after Noon. We checked in very quickly and were issued a number to board. They started boarding soon and we were on the ship and finding our cabin. It was located nicely on deck 10-Cabin 10164 – but very small. However there was adequate storage and our cabin stewardess, Charlene, was very accommodating – separating the beds as we requested and finding us robes – she was an excellent stewardess all week – great service. The bathroom had glass shower doors – nicer than the curtain that clings – and body wash and shampoo were in dispensers in the shower. The shower was easy to adjust and my husband, who is 6'4” had no issues with the height of the shower head. There was a hair dryer in a drawer in the cabin – good for shorter hair – and there is only one outlet that is dual voltage. If you are plugging in numerous electronic devices, bring a power strip. There was adequate closet space and hangers for a weeks cruise, but the layout of the closer and the bathroom door was not ideal. There was no table at all, a mini-fridge and a TV – not much in channel selection – but we don't watch TV on a cruise anyway. We got settled into the cabin and went for lunch in the buffet on deck 14. The elevator delivered us right outside the buffet – there are actually two – the Calumet (midships) and the Manitou (more aft)-I call this buffet a cul de sac buffet since there is no open deck space in the back – the buffet goes all the way to the back of the ship. There were different stations for different foods and plenty of selection and beverage stations. They would change the signs periodically so you have to read the signs. There was a pizza station – excellent pizza served from noon to 4:30 and 5pm to midnight-if you kept going further back the food was more ethnic – more Americanized in the front part. We had breakfast in the buffet a few times – it was good – we had lunch after boarding – very nice selection- but only had breakfast there the remainder of the cruise. It was very noisy – especially in the front part – there are no soft surfaces to deaden the noise – so we always looked for a place to sit more aft. In addition to the tables and chairs, there are booths in the back and there are bar height places to sit as well. Forward of the buffet was the pool deck with tables and chairs on each side and loungers all around – there were two pools – the more forward one having a dome cover that could be opened or closed. Both of these areas were crowded and noisy for us – and people saved chairs all over the place – it was hard to find a place to sit – especially in shade. Let me take you around the ship from top to bottom decks – Deck 18 has the Yacht Club forward and the Top 18 solarium midships (they charge for the Top 18). Deck 16 and Deck 15 forward are also both Yacht Club with cabins, pool, restaurant, and lounge. Deck 16 Midships is the Galaxy Restaurant (fee), Sky and Stars Disco, Virtual World, and aft the La Prue Solarium. Deck 14 as mentioned has the buffets, the pools, and far forward is the Spa with the gym as well. They offered some classes, lots of things at the Spa and there is also a steam and sauna (no fee) with a cooling off relaxation room. Decks 8-13 are all cabins. Decks 5, 6, and 7 are entertainment and restaurants and shops and lounges. It is a big ship and was new to us so it took me a couple of mornings exploring to become really familiar with it. The thing of note for us was that there were very few really comfortable places to sit and read either inside or outside. The furniture is all very contemporary and rather hard to sit on for any length of time we thought. We did find a couple of places and outside finally resorted to saving our loungers like everyone else was doing so that we would be assured of a place to sit after having lunch. I am up early each day and went to the Gym most days after getting some coffee. Was able to do my own stretching and yoga and that is really all the use we had of the gym. They have a juice bar there with places to sit and that was a nice quiet and relaxing place to read. Merchandise for sale was everywhere – there is a Pool shop on Deck 14, a shop in the gym with athletic wear, along one side of the pool deck there was always a selection from the shops of things for sale – that took up valuable lounging space by the way. Lots of whirlpools and the pools were well used and nicely appointed. On Deck 15 aft there is a Garden pool that supposedly was an adults only area – but we observed many families with their children in it – it is an infinity edge pool and very pretty – the temperature of the water was posted at 73 degrees. The ship itself is beautiful, artfully decorated and very contemporary. It is maintained beautifully – very clean. The flow of people seemed crowded to us at peak times. There is a two lane bowling alley in the Sports Bar. There is a children s program and a teen program each with their own area. Children sail for free on MSC – so there are always a lot of children on board. The service all over the ship was, in our opinion, excellent. Friendly crew – always smiles and willing to help in any way possible. The officers and the Captain very visible and friendly. The Cruise Director (Andre-who reminded us of Kelsey Grammer) – and his staff and all the entertainment staff were outstanding. They really got people involved and had lots of various activities all day and evening. There was great entertainment in the lounges- dueling pianos, La Luna piano bar, singers and other entertainers. The shows in the theater were FABULOUS – best we have ever seen at sea – There were three big production shows with acrobatics, singing and dancing – Witches, Wonderland, and Pirates – and an Italian Song night, a tribute to Michael Jackson, and one to Frank Sinatra and a comedian/impressionist – all wonderful – we wouldn't have missed one – 7PM for late seating guests and 9pm for early seating guests – get there early to get the best seat – the theater filled up every night. There were two formal nights – one on Sunday and one on Friday – most people dressed up – the one on Sunday was a Welcome from the Captain and cocktails were served in the La Luna Piano bar and you could have your picture taken with the Captain – there was a presentation of officers in the theater and the Captain also welcomed everyone. On Friday, was a farewell by the Captain and his staff. The other nights were casual dress. There are two main restaurants – the Black Crab – a two deck restaurant midships, and Villa Rosa – aft on Deck 6 – one level – could only be reached by the aft elevators or by the aft stairs from Deck 7 - we ate in both of them during the week – and found the noise level high, the tables and chairs way too close together and it was hard for waiters to serve – but they did a wonderful job of it. The food has greatly improved and we enjoyed every breakfast, lunch and dinner we had. Breakfast and lunch are open seating – so be aware that you could be seated with someone who doesn't speak English – this happened to us twice – but we all used sign language of sorts and it worked out nicely. Dinner is fixed seating. We had wonderful table mates at our table for 8 and enjoyed them very much. We were able to finally get a table for two later in the cruise and enjoyed that as well. The Maitre D’s were very accommodating. Our waiters and their assistants were excellent as well. The service in the dining rooms can be leisurely – this is European fashion – but I could see some Americans being impatient with this. We did stay away from the beef at dinner, but had Rack of Lamb the first night that was delicious, we had wonderful pasta all week long both at lunch and dinner – the desserts were really good – especially the gelato, sorbet and crème brule. The lobster on Friday was excellent – the breads delicious – we enjoyed each and every meal. There was no function that we saw that was for the MSC Club (those who have sailed with them before). We are not able to drink anymore so had no experience with the bars – however I can tell you if you are a drinker you should take advantage of their various drink packages – they are a bargain compared to the individual pricing of that sort of thing. Debarkation for us was very well done. We were the first group off after those who took their own luggage off and we got off a little after 8am as was planned. There are luggage carousels in the terminal for you to claim your bag and they are by color. There was plenty of help and customs for us was quick – we were in our car and on the way home by 8:30am. A caveat for those of you who were under the impression that handicapped parking in the port is free – it was until November 16 of this year – they changed the criteria – we had counted on this and ended up paying $20 a day for parking. All in all we had a very good time – it was not the relaxing cruise we had expected it to be however. When we were in St. Maarten there were six ships all with over 3000 passengers – very crowded – we did get off the ship after lunch and took the water taxi in – not as crowded in the pm – didn't get off the ship in San Juan – enjoyed being able to find seats and read – the beach day was canceled due to high seas and bad weather. This is a cruise line that we will not travel with again – simply because it doesn't suit us well. For us, Princess is the best fit. I would recommend MSC to families and extended families having reunions and younger and more active people than we are. It just didn't suit us as far as rest and relaxation was concerned. It was hard for anyone physically challenged in any way to get around in my opinion. And the lack of really comfortable lounging places was not good for us. I do have to say that just the entertainment alone was worth the cruise. We aren't sorry we went – we had a very nice time and met lots of really nice people. If you have further questions please feel free to e-mail me at melkaz1758@gmail.com. I do have the daily programs and I will put a link to pictures on the MSC Board on Cruise Critic as soon as I get them labeled and uploaded.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We just returned from our seven day Thanksgiving cruise on MSC Divina and everything about it was five star ---especially the food and the entertainment!!! This is our fourth cruise with MSC . Last year we did a ten day cruise on Emerald ... Read More
We just returned from our seven day Thanksgiving cruise on MSC Divina and everything about it was five star ---especially the food and the entertainment!!! This is our fourth cruise with MSC . Last year we did a ten day cruise on Emerald Princess, but we found the food was not at the same level as MSC. Our friends who did both cruises with us also agreed that the Divina was superior in every way! They found the staff friendlier,always smiling , and trying to please. The beef was melt in your mouth delicious compared to tough beef on Princess. Also, the pizza was cardboard frozen on Princess and made from scratch on Divina!!! We have never had a poor meal on MSC, and Divina 's food more than met our high expectations!!!In addition to fine dining choices ,they offered grilled food like sweet potato fries cheeseburgers etc. My husband said the cheeseburger was wonderful !! We never felt the need to visit other dining rooms as we felt we had perfection already! As a woman who makes my own pies , enjoys quality fresh food ,and cooked large turkey family dinners plus roast beef and Yorkshire pudding dinners for over forty years I heave some background on the subject ! Don't listen to any negative reviews on the food . It is one of the reasons we keep going back!!!! Secondly, the entertainment is incredible ! The first show got three standing ovations!! All the other shows got at least one or two standing ovations! You do not want to miss one show as it is world class entertainment!! The costumes are elaborate and a feast for the eyes plus the singers can really sing and the dancers can really dance. The acrobats leave you breathless. In addition ,the theatre is constructed so that everyone can see!! You can't find a bad seat for viewing! Also, throughout the ship there is a great variety of music to suit every age and taste!! We discovered an Italian -American couple in La luna bar who sang many songs that we loved---Patsy Cline,Loretta, Adele, George Jones, John Denver, Glen Campbell etc.One night they did a fun flower child theme in a 60's tribute. The young people were super at getting people participating . Another venue was more today's music for the young set --loud beat . They had music for everyone to enjoy! Finally, the ship itself is stunning ! The pictures do not do it justice. It shines, glows , shimmers , and gleams !! It is kept spotless!!!!! It is elegant and beautiful beyond belief ! I never had trouble getting a table or a spot near a pool . The buffet is really well thought out with many stations and you never seem to be in a long line up! My only complaint is that we needed more time to enjoy the Divina ! The ship itself is a destination!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We loved our MSC cruise from the 23-30 to the Eastern Caribbean and only wished it was longer! The food, entertainment, staff, and the ship itself were five star! We were on the ship and eating lunch around noon! The food was always ... Read More
We loved our MSC cruise from the 23-30 to the Eastern Caribbean and only wished it was longer! The food, entertainment, staff, and the ship itself were five star! We were on the ship and eating lunch around noon! The food was always excellent---tender beef , fresh salads and pizza , plus incredible desserts! We never had a disappointing meal. Just one tip--if you have the late seating , don't come early as you could be in a crowd waiting!! If you arrive right on time you can walk right in. Also, don't miss the witches show the first night as it is a French review and got three standing ovations!! All the shows are spectacular and worth the cost of the cruise alone!!! In addition, the entertainment in the lounges had a wonderful variety to suit every taste. We discovered a couple in La luna bar that sounded like Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash , Tammy Wynette and George Jones, Patsy Cline and Glen Campbell!!!! There was hard rock too for the teens , oldies, and classic live music. This is not a dull ship--- waiters parade in with flaming baked Alaska ! (Best dessert ever!) The Aurea suite Balcony was huge with walk in closet, marble bathroom , two televisions, separate living room , and panoramic windows in the bedroom. It is more windy at the front but we loved the rocking motion and the privacy! The ship itself just gleams with beauty and is clean, clean , clean! We are spoiled by Divina and feel no other cruise line could match it in value. We have done 4 MSC cruises and 1 Princess. Our friends ,who were on the Divina for the first time, are now hooked on MSC!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
I sailed on the 11/30/2013 sailing to the Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Great Stirrup Cay. I have previously sailed on NCL, Royal, Carnival and Princess. I went into this cruise with an open mind about MSC and did a lot of reading ... Read More
I sailed on the 11/30/2013 sailing to the Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Great Stirrup Cay. I have previously sailed on NCL, Royal, Carnival and Princess. I went into this cruise with an open mind about MSC and did a lot of reading about the line before cruising. The check-in at the port of Miami was quick and easy. No Issues. The staff welcomed us on the ship and from the first moment I was in awe of the ship’s beauty. She is certainly the most beautiful ship I have ever been on and she sparkled. The mirrors everywhere took some getting used to, but by the end of the cruise I got used to staring at that handsome guy looking at back at me. Cabin - I had a category 6 balcony stateroom which is the smallest balcony cabin (no couch or chair), but was plenty of space for me. I found the décor to be pleasant, dark woods with white, red and black accents. The bed was comfortable, and the balcony contained two chairs and a foot rest. The bathroom was very standard cruise bathroom. I found there to be enough space, outlets and storage. I did miss not being able to check my account on the television, but I was told that it will be available in the future. My steward was efficient and unseen; my kind of steward. Food – I liked the food. The dining room service was spot on. We were sat at table 904, a table of 8 in the Villa Rosa dining room. We had Rennga and Putu, both from Indoneisa. They were personable and efficient. We did not wait long for food at all, and in fact, some nights felt rushed. They actually turn up the lights in the dining room at 10:30PM which we found a tad odd. I did found something tasty to eat each night, and never left hungry. I really enjoyed the buffet for lunch; fresh pasta and a carving station every day. A very extensive selection of cheeses, breads and freshly sliced deli meats (there is a person slicing all day). There is a children’s section for things like chicken nuggets, hot dogs and chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast ). Entertainment – Second to none. I loved the MSC production shows and the Pantheon Theater is the nicest theater at sea. We saw the Witches of Paris, Pirate Show, Wonderland and the Michael Jackson show. All were modern, fresh and unlike anything I’ve seen on another cruise lines. I thought the entertainment was better than I’ve seen on the Epic and Breakaway. General Observations – The very best coffee I have had on any cruise line. I usually spend a good amount at the coffee bar on board. I didn’t spend a dime this cruise. The coffee was strong, dark and always served with hot milk. Awesome. The very best pizza I’ve had on any cruise line. Starting at lunch they will have one freshly baked focaccia, one white pizza, a cheese pizza, a pepperoni pizza and a couple specialty pizzas out. Thin crust, great sauce and spices and perfectly cooked. There were many complaints from fellow passengers about the service, mostly from the bar areas. I purchased very few drinks on this cruise except at dinner, but the cocktail service at dinner was great. The tender process for both Grand Cayman and GSC worked very well. Staff ratio – In regards to staffing; I felt that the staffing was lacking in some areas and overstaffed in others. For example; a scheduled open bar cocktail party for 500 was only staffed with three bartenders and two cocktail waitresses. While up in the buffet, there were four or five servers milling around a section of 20 or so tables at each meal. I will give MSC credit though; when a supervisor came in and saw what a mess the party was, she immediately got on her walkie talkie and in about 5 minutes streams of staff appeared to help out. Nice service. VERY, VERY few announcements which was quite refreshing. NO activity announcements like bingo, art auctions and the like. Very little sales pressure on this cruise. No in your face cocktail waiters shouting at you on the pool deck; though there was always a server around. I didn’t get any soft serve on this cruise. Machines were only open 2-5PM and that was usually my nap time. Oh well, I guess I’ll live. All around, I had a great cruise. Never had a bad one, and never will.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Much misinformation about what was to take place in this maiden transatlantic crossing of MSC's Divina. I must say that the ship is gorgeous. Good looks are, however, deceiving. The disorganization starts at the top and filters down ... Read More
Much misinformation about what was to take place in this maiden transatlantic crossing of MSC's Divina. I must say that the ship is gorgeous. Good looks are, however, deceiving. The disorganization starts at the top and filters down to all aspects of the cruise. As cruising is relative, the relationship is based on what you have experienced before and the anticipation that you are embarking on something similar or perhaps even better than you did before. I must admit, I made the mistake of ignoring the reviews I read as the ramblings of disgruntled previous passengers (they are the most likely to write where passengers that appreciated their trip tend to dismiss it as having gotten what was expected). Unfortunately those who complained in this case understated the reality. It took me 15 of the 19 days of this cruise to even find out the basis upon which the voyage was initiated. "We are going to bring a taste of the Mediterranean to the Caribbean to allow those in that area to experience it w/o the extra travel." Okay, fair enough but the taste left from this cruise would tell me that I would not want to experience more which is simply not true. If one loves travel, Italy and the Greek Isles should be high on the priority list, especially their culinary offerings. MSC Divina did not come close to the mark there. They awarded their own Pizza chef as the best in Italy. I think their pizza was adequate but noting to write home about. Unfortunately it appears that their head chef was promoted from the Pizzeria and should be put to whence he came. Overcooking and over salting foods was the norm. And heavy gravy for Au Jus - it is supposed to be a sauce, not a gravy. No problem, the English cut prime rib that was smothered by this foul presentation could not have hurt or helped it anyway. Lest you think that this is an example, it was carried on throughout the dining experience. Lobster butterflied and left in the shell (not even removed and then replaced - still attached). It tasted more like lobster flavored rubber. Two of my favorite dishes ruined, uneatable! I do know good food. Being a former restaurant owner and qualified chef give me a right to critique foods with some authority. And, comparison to other cruise lines culinary gives me another rating system to use in case I was to consider my own skills to be more than what they are. Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America, and Princess all offer way better culinary skills. OK, Costa fell below MSC but I will not cruise with them again either. It was so bad that I felt sorry for the dining room staff that was a go between having to deal with the abuse that so often is misdirected toward them because of lack of quality that they are required to present. The bright spot in the dining room was the fine effort made by the staff there and their efforts to do well despite the insurmountable odds against them. This, I might say, was also true of our cabin steward. Meeting all our expectation and providing little extras was his mission. He too did a spectacular job. It is a shame that those were the high lights of this cruise experience. I did have a meeting with the guest relations manager wishing to see this beautiful ship be successful in its transitional efforts. I fear, however, that little of what I had to say was even a consideration. MSC will not make it in the Caribbean!!! Especially if they continue with a line of arrogant stupidity and misinformation. And speaking of misinformation, we received information almost continuously via loud speakers on all the sales, and offerings that should have been handled on a want to know basis. And in five languages no less. In preparation for their entering the U.S./Caribbean market (they will be home based in Miami for the next two years) they were required to meet U.S. coastguard standards. They drilled their crew daily, especially when we were in ports of call. If anyone stayed aboard or came aboard after being out and about, they were blasted with crew drills over the loud speakers (at least they too were not in five languages). I have had and expect preparatory pre sailing drills for the passengers before but this is required and appreciated for all who want to wonder the deep blue seas. The incessant crew training drill needs to be done elsewhere or quietly so as not to disrupt the peaceful respite that one has paid for. And, it overflowed into almost every other aspect of their disorganized presentation. I am guessing that 30% of the crew came newly aboard in Malaga. Needless to say, they required the training that was given to them as we sailed away. Yes, some of it got better as the time passed but I will have a hard time forgetting the cappuccino served to me in a demi-tasse or the 1/2 filled demi of espresso. One bartender training five newbies while customers waited an hour for their miss-made drinks. I was told by another English speaking French Canadian that I spoke with that he had over heard a cruiser from Belgium speaking about the "stupid Americans that got what they paid for and considered fine dining to be hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza". Well this "stupid American" had fine dining tastes that were not met in any way, shape or form. Even the sommelier who visited us during our evening meal was frustrated when he spoke about the ship running out of wines that were offered. Apparently, they did not anticipate that so much wine would have been consumed (an Italian ship with a 4200 passenger capacity that had 3300 aboard for 19 nights wouldn't expect large consumption of a product in which they take so much pride - yes it is good and does rival the best of the French but???) Just another glitch in their organized chaos. Oh, and paying for what you get. I have paid less for far more with others that did not try to nickle/dime me for the "not included" Unless you were U.S or Canadian, you even paid for your bottled water - poor Australians and Brits. Oh heck, we even were required to pay for coffee with our evening meals, Never mind any on board. They too were pay as you go and pricey at that. 6 Euros each for a game of mini bowling. Mom was charged $15 per book for their used (left behind) book from their library - okay, they returned the funds when the books were returned but what an ultimate insult to one's integrity. Might have been more acceptable had they advised that they would assess a charge if they were still on your ship's card and not returned prior to disembarking but... The list is far more extensive but I am as tired of writing this as you are of reading it if you have gotten this far and I think if you have, you get the picture. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
I was hesitant to write a review after reading some of the comments in these threads- but since I think I have a unique perspective, here it goes: This is my 6th cruise, 1st on MSC. I traveled with my spouse, our 2 children (3 and 10 yrs ... Read More
I was hesitant to write a review after reading some of the comments in these threads- but since I think I have a unique perspective, here it goes: This is my 6th cruise, 1st on MSC. I traveled with my spouse, our 2 children (3 and 10 yrs old) and my in-laws. Overall I liked this cruise. The entertainment was good, the food was mostly very good (especially if you like seafood, but don't order the steak) cabin was pretty much as I expected and the kids' clubs were excellent. I blame my TA (or MSC for not educating the major TAs?) for not informing me of/ allowing me to take advantage pre booking restaurants/drink packages (now I know better). I am disappointed that our stop to Stirrup Cay was cancelled - 5 days at sea out of a 7 day cruise are one or two too many. a number of things I'd like to see improvement on: consistency of schedules/procedure between what is on line/in print/ on the interactive TV's/ in the announcements (when to have your bags out/ when to be out of your cabin/ etc) getting on/off the ship at ports could be a little faster (the barcode scanners seem to take longer than on other ships) 4 ports of call on a 7 day cruise seems to me about optimal why not load the drink packages on the cards vs. paper coupons? just one more thing to carry around/get lost more flat rate (and less expensive) options in the specialty restaurants - they always seemed empty which is nice that no reservations were needed but I can't help but think that if was $20/per person vs. a la carte they'd be more popular electronic check in/out of kids to the kids' clubs Please Please don't mess with: The Gelato/sweets - excellent and for between 75 cents and $2.00 for a nice portion is PERFECT The coffee - excellent espresso, espresso drinks. Again a small charge - Bartenders that know how to pull a beer, make café coretto I found MSC to be very nice. Celebrity was better for dining experiences, Disney wrote the book on logistics and Kids' Clubs - overall I'd say nicer than Carnival and RCI- definitely worth a try. A piece of advice for Americans who have never traveled abroad (independently/ not on a cruise) MSC's culture feels European, like being at a resort in Sorrento or the Amalfi coast - neither good or bad - but different - read the first couple of chapters of one of Rick Steves' guide books to get in a temporary European frame of mind. Special kudo's to the staff at the Kid's Club for getting our deck phone reprogramed - makes much more sense that can dial to/from cabin. (When a concern was raised - they FIXED it- an accommodating attitude I found all over the ship- all one needed to do was ask for assistance and things got done) Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
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

Find a MSC Divina Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click