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295 MSC Cruises MSC Divina Cruise Reviews

Where to start! We are normally independent travellers, so decided to book directly with MSC. This was a reasonable experience and the person dealing with our telephone booking did select a good room for us, which was appreciated. On the ... Read More
Where to start! We are normally independent travellers, so decided to book directly with MSC. This was a reasonable experience and the person dealing with our telephone booking did select a good room for us, which was appreciated. On the Forums, some bookers seem to not have received a room allocation at time of confirmation. We were given a balcony cabin 12134. That's deck 12 on Aurora, mid ships and not too from from lifts. Our party consisted of myself with my two daughters aged 21 and 19, so we shared a double bed and the sofa bed was turned into a large single bed each evening during turndown. Received the cheque book type confirmation a few days before - this was couriered to us by DHL from Naples. However, it was incorrect and I had to phone to point out the mistake about one of our airport to port transfers that had been included, and so it was emailed out within 24 hours on a A4 sheet. Our flights from UK to Italy were included as part of the package, as the prices were excellent - we couldn't have done anything better ourselves. I checked! However, the flights to Venice from London did not arrive in time (no matter which airline you used) so we had to fly from LGW to Verona (there were 35 other Divina passengers on this BA flight too). I was expecting some assistance at the Gatwick check in from MSC but it was just do-it-yourself. As this was part of a group booking, I found it a bit irritating that we couldn't do online check in. Check in Arrived at Verona with the usual scrum that you may expect. Looked for the MSC rep - there were lots of other travel companies there too - and she duly appeared about 10mins late. A comfortable air conditioned coach awaited us outside the terminal building. Criticism at this point - we had only eaten the BA breakfast, and there was no suggestion that we may like to get something to sustain us at this time. Little did we realise that we would not eat until dinner that evening on the ship! Fortunately, the first sitting at 19:00. Coach transfer (this was the bit we were missing in the original travel details) was smooth and took us right into the port, to the terminal building adjacent to the Divina. Here's where the good experience ended! Embarkation check in was the worst I have ever endured. Queue outside the building, passport check and deposit luggage with the appropriate tags. Enter building and given a number - 23 in our case. Waited in another holding area with seating, toilets and that's it. No food, no drink and lots of pushing and frustrated bemused people. It seemed like several hours, but think it was (only!) 90 mins. Every 30mins another number was called to join yet another queue. I had completed the web check in form beforehand, in the hope that this would fast track us, but don't think this saved any time at all. Pointless! When we did finally join the queue to actually check in, the photographer tried to take our photos around a ship's wheel. What a joke - sad, tired and frustrated subjects. Sorry, didn't buy that particular photo! Room Balcony room on 12th deck. 2/3 of our cases already waiting outside our room, the last case delivered within one hour. Room was great. As this was our first cruise, didn't know what to expect, but thought it very acceptable and well planned. Bathroom had a clever glass folding modern screen, good shower head with reasonable jet. Single sink but lots of storage and glass shelves. Shower contained cylinders of shampoo and soap but not conditioner. Also a soap pump at the sink. Plentiful toilet roll (that says more about me than I probably realise) and tissues. Exceptionally clean. We took more hangars for the wardrobes, and a four way extension cable plus continental adaptors. There are two sockets in the room, with a hairdryer built into a drawer. Stored our cases under the bed otherwise these would have been annoying. TV had various standard channels - Bloomberg and CNN were the only English channels. Also had ship navigation channels which was really interesting if you are sad like me! Balcony had two chairs and a small table. Sofa was made into a bed during turndown but daytime was room for two. Huge mirrors made the room look larger. Air con/heating was good. Your cruise card (like hotel room credit card key) opened the room and slotted in for power for the room. Cleaning was good. Got caught out one day when a clever machine came along the side of the ship to clean the balconies and windows! Fresh bath and hand towels twice a day. Two pillows per person. Two bathrobes not three. Altogether very pleasant. Food If you like tasteless 1950s style food, then you will love the food in the Calumet or Manitou buffets. Worst food that I have ever eaten on a holiday. Everyone descending at roughly the same time filling large plastic dinner plates with tasteless creations. Different stations served different themes but still puzzles me how you can create food that either tastes all the same or of nothing at all. The only food I found acceptable was the melon. Only slightly better food in the serviced restaurants - Villa Rossa or The Black Crab. However, the waiting staff, mostly from Honduras, although smiling and trying to be helpful, struggled with any English or Italian. Forget about asking questions about food or drink. The more you pay as extras on the ship, the better the food. We ate at the pizzeria La Cantina di Bacco - great pizzas and vastly better than the ones served in the buffet. Sacramento Tex Mex - mixture of burgers and nanchos. Nothing to write home about. The final evening I decided to push the boat out (sorry!) and dine in Galaxy. Professional service, tasty food well presented, great wines. Totally deserted! Also had very nice cakes and good coffee at Caffe Italia inside the Piazza del Doge. Ice cream at the Pool Bar was nice. Gala dinners - there were two. Some people made an effort - cocktail dresses appeared. Other people did not bother too much. Beverage stations in the buffet areas had 24hr tea, coffee and iced water. I am a bit of a coffee snob - which coffee beans were used for this brown liquid???? Why was decor in the buffet Indigenous American tribes??? Plastic ornaments? Mmm! Drinks packages What a ridiculous system! We pre-purchased the Cheers package but even with an explanation from the Reception on the ship, still not sure what we were entitled to where. On the way back to the airport after leaving the Divina, we discovered that some people had books of tickets that they gave to waiters so that they knew how much and what kinds of drinks they had available. For some reason, we didn't receive this or were made aware of its existence. So confused and would have ordered more bottles of water if we had known. As it was, we were told not to leave them lying around the room, as the mini bar staff would try to charge us (which they did!). It seems that you can only use the vouchers for the Cheers package in the buffet and the all inclusive restaurants. Any where else, you get charged. Plus the service charge!!! Beware the bottles of water they place in your rooms are not free. Entertainment Pantheon Theatre is well equipped and comfortable. Shows were different themes each night (will someone please explain why we had a show entitled 'Pharoah' one evening. We weren't anywhere near Egypt!) Same weak singers, reasonable dancers and acrobats each evening doing slightly different things. The Michael Jackson show was the best. Lighting effects and costumes good. The Euro Cup final was screened in the theatre, and this was the most enjoyable entertainment. Not because I am a football fan but because there was such a great atmosphere. Strong and noisy Spanish contingent had a great time, Italians slunk out towards the end. Franco the cruise director (are we supposed to know him?) was an expert in five different languages. Didn't participate in the Giant Bingo or any pool games. Excursions After a lot of investigation we went on KAT01 Olympia and Shopping from Katakolon and IZM02 Ephesus from Izmir. Both trips were value for money. Great English speaking guides, comfortable air conditioned coaches, careful drivers. Olympia was a bit of a disappointment as expected more excavation. Olympia shopping consisted of a few souvenir shops and cafes. Ephesus guide, Sarah, was particularly interesting. Trip included a surprise stop at a pottery but there was no pressure to buy. There was also a toilet stop at which the local vendors suddenly appeared. Both guides talked about their culture, history, people, language, religion, agriculture, politics. All kinds of topics that made the trip interesting as well as guiding us around the main points of interest at the sites. For Bari, Istanbul and Dubrovnik we did our own thing. Used local transport. After disembarking, we wanted a quick trip to Venice before our flight. We spent some time working out luggage storage (railway station or airport), transfers by boat etc. In the end, we took advantage of an MSC trip that was announced the night before which was the perfect answer. Disembarkation quickly and early, dedicated ferry to near St Mark's Square straight from the Divina. Three hours to wander and back on the ferry to the port. Collect luggage (miraculously still there) and coach to the airport in time to check in at 17:30. Couldn't have done it any cheaper and certainly not as easily. Pool areas Lovely facilities with small pools (nice temperatures) and jacuzzis. Pity that MSC didn't enforce their own rules about kids not allowed in adult only pools. Lots of kids running around all over the place. Crowded jacuzzis also full of kids. Usual lounger rage from some adults. I guess this was because the Divina was full? Safety procedures Lifebelts are located in the wardrobes. You need a degree in origami to work out how they fit. You are assigned an assembly station and shown what to do - in five different languages. This was done before we cast off from Venice. Be careful to select an adult size. I must have looked like an idiot not realising that I was wearing a child's life vest! To sum up Fabulous ship that has some spectacular interior design - ornate, luxurious and extravagant. Swarovski crystal staircases, lots of glass, use of gold and red. Themed bars. Very clean. Hand gel at all the restaurants. Access from port to town were very good for all the stops. Such smooth sailing but perhaps we were lucky with the weather. However, food and embarkation procedures let this cruise down big time. First and probably last cruise unless someone can convince me that it's not all like this? Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
this is the second time we have cruised with MSC but it has been marred by their very poor procedures. We had to fly to Verona, were then bussed over 100km to Venice to board. Although we hold MSC Member cards with priority boarding ... Read More
this is the second time we have cruised with MSC but it has been marred by their very poor procedures. We had to fly to Verona, were then bussed over 100km to Venice to board. Although we hold MSC Member cards with priority boarding this was not possible at Venice so had to wait for 4 hours to get to our cabins. The cruise itself was really good, staff extremely helpful and pleasant, entertainment good and MSC Divina is stunning and spotlessly clean. And then it all turned sour. There were 15 of us in our party and we had to disembark very early, meeting at 7.30am to start this process - before anyone really felt like eating breakfast. We had asked if we could leave later but were advised that as a festival was on in Venice that day all roads were closed and water taxis not available from the industrial port we had to dock in and then advised we had to go to the airport. We were dropped off at airport approx 9.30am and our flight was not until 17.30. We spoke to the MSC rep at airport about keeping our luggage but this was not possible and airport charged 6 euros per case (x15) and would have been approx 300 euros to get into Venice. MSC were desperate to get everyone off the ship as quickly as possible and did not really care about travelling with children or adults with medical conditions. Bearing in mind MSC sell their cruises as 8 days/7 nights it most certainly is not. On day 1 we got to our cabins at approx 5pm and had to depart on day 8 at 8am Bearing in mind this was a package booked by MSC they should have taken flight times into consideration during their disembarkation procedures and show some thought to their customers. We will not book again with MSC because of this which is a real shame because everything else about the Cruise was brilliant. Get your act together especially when it comes to the final day of what is a very expensive holiday and not let customers go away with a bad taste in their mouths, the solution was really quite easy, let cruisers stay on board to enjoy the facilities until at late as possible before transferring to the airport - we were not the only ones camping out on the grass Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Fabulous ship, gorgeous and amazing to look at. Really incredible! Huge and you will need a map for the first day. Our interior stateroom 8253 was just perfect, larger than expected and well decorated. A place for everything. ... Read More
Fabulous ship, gorgeous and amazing to look at. Really incredible! Huge and you will need a map for the first day. Our interior stateroom 8253 was just perfect, larger than expected and well decorated. A place for everything. Bathroom surprisingly large with room for all your products. We received fresh towels at least twice a day. Food was outstanding. We couldn't find fault with it anywhere on the ship, no matter where you ate. The buffets were extremely chaotic, so after Day 1, we ate most of our meals in the restaurants. Also, we really liked ordering breakfast in our room. We did this on days when we had early excursions, or just didn't want to be bothered with the crowds. Take advantage of this - it was great! Speaking of crowds, we had a full ship - all 4300 people were on board. It was the last week of europeans' vacations, so kids were still out of school. It was loud crowded and not very relaxing. Excursions to Istanbul and Olympia were particularly crowded and not very enjoyable. It was also extremely hot, we drank 37 liters of water in one week. We preordered the 'classic' wine package which came with 6 bottles of wine and 7 waters. The wine was excellent, a nice selection of 2 reds, 2 whites and 1 rose. Evening shows were decent, but make sure you see "Starwalker", a tribute to Micheal Jackson. Very well done. The photographers are out and about at all times. We weren't interested in the dinner shots or mandatory fun shots, but I did drag my husband to sit for a posed shot of the two of us, hoping that we may have a nice one to buy. However, they all turned out super! NOTE: they photo shop, so your wrinkles and chins magically disappear. Hence, we bought three. A great opportunity for your family holiday card - they really are quite nice. Small ones were 19 euro, but they had a 'deal' - buy two get one free. Lots of 'opportunities' to buy things, like the DVD of the cruise, more excursions, ect. We got tired of this by the end. Bring lots of sunscreen, aspirin and pepto-bismo. You either can't afford them or can't get them on the ship. Just saying... Travel specific: If you arrive the day before the cruise, I recommend staying at the "Ca Doge Hotel". It is in Venice next to the bus station (P. de Roma)and people mover. Extremely convenient to the ship. Boarding the ship happens earlier than they tell you in the paperwork. We were at the port by 11 and on the ship by 12 noon. Very organized and not much waiting. You can probably arrive at 10:30 am. This is how it went: Take People Mover to port (1 euro each). Walk for about 5-10 minutes to blue and white MSC tent. Free shuttle will take you to MSC Divina check-in. Line up to drop off luggage. You need your passports and ship tickets. They will take your bags and give you a boarding number. Enter a/c building and head upstairs. They take your photos, give you MSC card, drink tickets, ect. By the time this all happens, our boarding number came up and we walked onto the ship. Our room was ready, but luggage didn't arrive for a few hours. SO, make sure to pack your swimsuits with your carry-ons. This way you can use the pool before everyone else. Excursions were fast and furious however well-organized. Bari: We stayed on the ship and had our pick of deck chairs and pool location -the only opportunity on the cruise. Most people did get off to explore, but we had a fine time in the sun. Olympia: We took MSC trip. 1.5 hours total on the bus, only 2 hours for site and museum. It was a drive-by. No time to even buy a postcard! Izmir: We did our own thing and had a blast. Walked to the Agora (30 minutes), saw the site. Walked to Bazaar (10 minutes) and bought a rug. Took a cab back to boat (10 euro). Best trip of the vacation, because we were on our own. Istanbul: A big, hot mess. Took Viator tour (same tour as MSC but 1/2 the price) and literally ran through 5 sites. There were THOUSANDS of people at each one. Amazing locations, but we couldn't really appreciate them in the limited time we had. We discussed with our dinner mates who took the MSC tour and they said the same thing. Everyone went to bed early that night exhausted. Dubrovnik : Recommend taking MSC shuttle to old town (10 euro each). We tried taxis, but had to fight with the Italian families to get one. Not a good idea. Again, hot and crowded, so we had lunch by the water and did our own thing. Loved the town - beautiful and would like to visit again. Strollers are probably not a good idea. The streets (Olympia, Istanbul, Dubrovnik) are really narrow and mostly cobblestone or unpaved. We saw many unhappy parents trying to wrestle them, and winding up carrying their kids. Also the bridges in Venice will be a terror with a stroller. Disembarking from the ship: Very organized Once off, we didn't find a shuttle to get us back to the people mover, so we had to walk a long way with our luggage. We recommend organizing transportation with the ship. We wound up storing our luggage at the hotel (Ca Doge Hotel) for the day, which was great. There is luggage storage at the bus station, but a very long line to drop it off. So that's it! Overall, it was a great way to see so many places, but it only gave us a taste. Food and service was excellent, you won't be disappointed with that. However too many people, rude and obnoxious who brought their kids. Not for us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
The cruise was selected because of the schedule and specific ports of call. The main source of frustration was the daily newsletter and the personnel working the service desk. The main nightly entertainment was listed in the ... Read More
The cruise was selected because of the schedule and specific ports of call. The main source of frustration was the daily newsletter and the personnel working the service desk. The main nightly entertainment was listed in the newsletter as a single name with no explanation of what it was and the service desk provided little additional information. The newsletter arrived so late at night, that planning for breakfast in order to attend scheduled tours - the service desk rarely had the tour time schedules the night before. When asked about what currency should be used at different calls, the service desk answers differed with the accounting desk. When we discovered that we would have to wait an hour and a half after the last tour group left the ship in Venice, we decided to try to go ashore on our own. When we ask the service desk if they had a map of the port so we could see where the water bus stops were, we were told they did not have one. Asked if they knew when the stops were located they said they did not know. We were left to wait for the late schedule ship to S. Marc Square. When we return we had to go through customs before boarding the ship. Once thru customs we walked past a water bus stop RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE BOW of our ship! When I complained to the supposedly service desk supervisor, there was no apology or expressed concern. I doubt that I will ever recommend MSC to any of my friends or relatives in the future. As a side note: Don't worry about the dress code for the main dining facilities. You saw a many t-shirts and jeans as you did coats and ties. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
I booked a guaranteed cabin because there were not many choice left. It was about the same price as a regular cabin. Two weeks before my cruise, I received my cabin assignment which showed two cabins. I called by MSC cruise agent and he ... Read More
I booked a guaranteed cabin because there were not many choice left. It was about the same price as a regular cabin. Two weeks before my cruise, I received my cabin assignment which showed two cabins. I called by MSC cruise agent and he confirmed that we we have to change cabins right in the middle of our cruise. This is because people get on and off at every port and MSC uses guaranteed cabins to keep every cabin full at all times. I asked him if we could have the open cabin (in the same category) and he said MSC would have to approve it. But they would not. When we got on, the check-in person said we could stay in the first cabin for our entire cruise. But three days into the cruise, a form letter was left on my bed reminding me that I would have to move. The people at the reception desk said it was "standard procedure" and common for people to change cabins in the middle of their cruise. So we had to pack all our things and leave our luggage in the hall taking our valuables with us for the day's excursion. When we re-boarded, we had to get new cards for our cabin and no one could understand why we didn't like changing cabins. The good parts - The ship is beautiful, the workers are friendly, and everyone speaks a passable English. None of the billed gratuity goes to them so if you want to leave a tip, it is best to leave it on the table and/or cabin on the last day. The cabin was nice with storage space but only has one outlet available. So you may want to bring an electrical strip. Our cruise rate was reasonable but you often get what you pay for. The not so good parts - From previous reviews, I knew the food would not be fancy but their buffet makes an inexpensive family buffet look like a 5 star restaurant. Salad, bread, apples, and oranges were always available but their cuts of meat range from pig necks to rolled and pressed turkey. Water is available at the buffet but a sign says not to fill water bottles for hygiene reasons. The buffet was always crowded even at off times and it could be difficult to find a table. In the main dining room, we had to buy a plastic bottle of water each evening, so much for being green. Our table mates, who had been on several other MSC cruises, said the food and activities had sharply declined. Even their shrimp was fishy but no one got sick. There is no advantage to the web check-in since each person is given a group number when they arrive. Activities during "at sea" days were few. One day they had shirt painting but there was only room for 7 people on a ship of over 3500. I noticed that people didn't participate very much in activities that were extra money. The casino had few people gambling, the spa was mostly empty, and not too many people were drinking alcohol. We took three MSC excursions and the buses were only 1/3 to 1/2 full even though they combined the languages (e.g., English and German). Internet cost 12 euros an hour, is slow, and the mostly empty Cyber Cafe is even more expensive. Given the large cutbacks and lack of spending with the other cruisers, it makes me wonder if MSC is financially sound. Anyway, don't book a guaranteed cabin in ANY category unless you want to move in the middle of your cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
The MSC Divina is a beautiful, new cruise ship. Our balcony cabin was very well appointed and appeared spacious, the best of our 8 cruises. The wait, room & reception staffs were courteous and knowledgeable. All the entertainment/shows ... Read More
The MSC Divina is a beautiful, new cruise ship. Our balcony cabin was very well appointed and appeared spacious, the best of our 8 cruises. The wait, room & reception staffs were courteous and knowledgeable. All the entertainment/shows on the ship were top shelf, many with a classical slant. The excursions were well done, without exception, and included Casablanca, Morocco; Tenerife, Canary Islands (our favorite); Funchal, Portugal; Malaga, Spain; Rome and Genoa, Italy. There were reasons this cruise was less inexpensive than Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian cruise lines. 1. The food at lunch and dinner in the dining room was, at best, mediocre. 2. The cafeteria breakfast was crowded; had a shortages of plates, silverware or napkins; and juices offered only one morning. 3. Drinks of any sort, aside from coffee and tea at breakfast, were at additional cost, that incudes water. 4. We like coffee after our evening meal. It isn't served and was ordered from a bar/cafe arriving, inevitably, lukewarm. 4. The ship boards at every port. Over 800 boarded at Barcelona, about the same number at Genoa and hundreds at Rome. After every port departure the newbies toured the ship and swamped the common areas. 5. Reception told us there were about 200 passengers with English as their 1st language. If not with a group this can be a lonely journey. If you are from North America we would suggest Royal Caribbean or Norwegian. Well worth the added cost. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
This was our first cruise with MSC, we chose it because of the price and the itinerary. Divina is not even a year old yet and you could tell as it was in tip top condition and spotlessly clean wherever you went. Our simple inside ... Read More
This was our first cruise with MSC, we chose it because of the price and the itinerary. Divina is not even a year old yet and you could tell as it was in tip top condition and spotlessly clean wherever you went. Our simple inside stateroom was clean, spacious and lovely and quiet which meant we always had a good nights sleep on the extremely comfortable bed. You can't order or predict the weather and to a degree, this did make the time onboard a bit limiting as it was too cold to use the three small pools. There was no chance of getting in the hot tubs as they were full of kids all the time and the 'Zen Garden' area at the aft end did not appear to be as kid free as it was meant to be. I appreciate that this is a Meditteranean company but I was really surprised at the lack of taste or variety in the food they offered, whether it be in the main resurant or the very crowded buffet areas. They also struggled to keep the food at a reasonable temperature, nothing was what I would class as hot. The staff needed an injection of something as, apart from a select few, they all seemd to be miserable; maybe it was the weather! The cruise director seemed to be a throwback to the cheesy eighties when he introduced the very average entertainment in the Pantheon Theatre. If it was not for the acrobats, none of the shows were worth watching really and they only lated 30 minutes. We booked excursions online before we sailed and I will not do it again. One was modified and we were told 'unlucky' you have to take the alternative! Thankfully we had taken the t's & c's along with us so we got a refund. In fact the ship owed us on the final day as they had cancelled another trip due to bad weather! Don't get me wrong, this was not a bad cruise, it could just have been better. The Alligrisimmo drinks package is the best value deal I think I have ever had but it will have to be a great itinery and price to get us back cruising with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
My wife and I recently went on MSC's cruise of the eastern Mediterranean. While overall it was a great experience, there are a couple of things that everyone should know about MSC prior to booking with MSC. First, be prepared for long ... Read More
My wife and I recently went on MSC's cruise of the eastern Mediterranean. While overall it was a great experience, there are a couple of things that everyone should know about MSC prior to booking with MSC. First, be prepared for long lines. Our initial boarding took about an hour and was extremely confusing. There were no signs directing us where to go and communicating with MSC greeters was difficult as most spoke very limited English. Anytime that you are getting off the ship, be prepared to wait. MSC does not understand how to stagger everyone disembarking from the ship so you will be crowded into the ladderway with 4000+ passengers like a can of sardines as everyone tries to get off. I will say that the food on MSC is mediocre at best and often just outright terrible. Of all the meals, dinner was done fairly well, but lunch and breakfast were poor. Unless you catch the buffet at an off hour, it tends to be really crowded. The options are fairly poor (i.e. cold cuts, tiny pancakes, greasy hash-browns for breakfast), and I couldn't find a single spoon anywhere. If you elect to go to the restaurant instead of the buffet, be prepared to wait a long time for your food and deal with servers that don't speak English well. Though the cruise seems cheap at booking, get ready to pay a lot with drink packages and excursions. I had no idea what the drink packages were until they forced me to make an impulse decision as I was checking in. I elected to take the Alegrissimo package, which was unlimited drinks and often had trouble making this package worth my while. One note, when they say draft beers, all they have is Heiniken and Amstel Light (and maybe Strongbow and New Castle if you're lucky), so don't expect to find more draft beer. Kids run a muck everywhere on this ship. This seems to be a more family oriented cruise, which is fine if that's what you're looking for, but if you're on your honeymoon or a romantic vacation like we were, this is really annoying. Now on to the good. The cruise ship is amazing. They did a fantastic job keeping it clean and keeping my room clean. The cleaning lady responsible for my room cleaned it twice a day and was like a ghost. The excursions were awesome. I honestly did not have one bad tour guide anywhere we went, and the destinations were a lot of fun. The entertainment on board was phenomenal. They kept each show to about thirty minutes, which was long enough to keep me from getting bored. Most of the lounges were really nice and classy. The workout area was great. There were about 7-8 treadmills with some bike machines and elypticals plus some free weights, machines and mats to do yoga and whatnot. Overall, I would say that the good outweighed the bad with this cruise line, but if you go with MSC, be aware of these issues upfront. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
I must say this is absolutely not our first cruise and I am a big cruise fan, so we decided to take this cruise because I heard of many people saying it was the new cruise company, new modern ships ( in fact the Divina is less than a year ... Read More
I must say this is absolutely not our first cruise and I am a big cruise fan, so we decided to take this cruise because I heard of many people saying it was the new cruise company, new modern ships ( in fact the Divina is less than a year old), has all the European charm that many other cruise companies don't and also because of the itinerary. I always read reviews before booking and reviews seemed to be like " still needs to mature", "the misunderstood cruise line", " all critics are not true" - that one coming from a first time cruiser- etc, so it still did not seem so bad to me and we decided to try it. We were a party of 10 so we booked 4 staterooms, 3 of them balconies on our cruise departing from Venice June 15, 2013. As I did not want any problems, I decided to book directly through MSC USA instead of a travel agency. Our first day was my son's birthday so I called a few times before our cruise to make sure they would have a cake ready for our dinner. After we embarked, we left our bags and went to our rooms. First thing I noticed, was that the bathroom was filthy and the sheets were dirty, so I called room service and they brought a pile of sheets to show me that it was not dirt but stained. All of them with yellow stains! Unbelievable for an 8 months old ship, so I still asked them to change my sheets. They cleaned the bathroom and left the entire floor wet with the water from the toilet. I didn't want my day to be ruined by that so I had to wipe it and got ready for dinner. Just before leaving my room called about the cake and they had no idea what I was talking about. They told me it was the "travel agency" mistake and if I did not presented a voucher with the value of the cake I can not have it, and they did not believe me when I said I booked directly with MSC in the USA. After 30 minutes on the phone with 5 different people the Guest Service Manager agreed to have a small cake ready for our dinner. That was the second problem. The third problem of the day was that they misplaced one of our bags. It was past midnight and my husband's bag never arrived in the room. So I had to leave my children alone in the room while my husband and I searched all over the ship for his bag. Front Desk staff said that the person who delivered the bag was already sleeping so they sent someone else to help us search. After 2 hours the bag was found on the 13th floor ( we were on the 10th floor). I could spend many hours writing about the other many problems that we had, but just to give a big picture, the staff is not helpful at all. I would recommend you first walk to the elevator and go to the 5th floor and make the line to talk to the front desk rather than call them (that would be faster). If you eat breakfast or lunch at the buffet they will definitely approach you to ask you if you need anything but we figured out that if it something that you are not paying for ( beer, wine or cappuccino) they will look at you and say " you can get it yourself", very loud and clear! So besides plain water and ice all other drinks you have to pay for, not as other cruises where you can always find ice tea and juice. And yes, the Divina does have a Formula-1 simulator ( my 16 years old son was so excited about it) but you have to pay for it, and not at a cheap price. And yes it does have a bowling alley, but you have to pay for it. And 4D movies, but you have to pay for it. Oh and if you have been on other cruises, you would love this...they DO have ice cream, but guess what? You have to pay for it! As for the shows..yes they were nice but first you have to sit through 20 minutes for the Cruise Director to introduce the show for 3 minutes in each of the 7 languages that they use on board, before it starts. The guy is not funny or nice, but he IS a polyglot and that is something!! Traveling with children? My daughter (10) simply ran away from the IPuffy club. Not only were they not nice staff, but all the activities were extremely boring. And the water slide? Sure there was a slide where everyone got stuck in the middle because there was not enough water to slide, so my children were also greatly disappointed. Too bad, because the ship is really beautiful but they need twice the staff and a lot of customer service training! Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
I have just returned from a 7 day cruise ex Venice on the MSC Divina and there are pros and cons, I'll start with the positive:- The ship is stunning and my balcony cabin was lovely always amazingly clean lots of storage and ... Read More
I have just returned from a 7 day cruise ex Venice on the MSC Divina and there are pros and cons, I'll start with the positive:- The ship is stunning and my balcony cabin was lovely always amazingly clean lots of storage and everything worked (different from the hotel rooms I experienced during the rest of my holiday) The staff were all wonderful, polite and helpful in spite of some language barriers, The same cannot be said of many of the passengers, I found them loud, rude and pushy ,no idea of queuing or personal space. There were a lot of children on board which I hoped to avoid as it was outside school holidays so I gave the pool areas a wide berth. I didn't avail myself of the nightly entertainment so I can't comment. The food was very average so if you are happy to eat fruit and salads then its not a problem. Its a very cheap cruise so I wasn't expecting 5 star gourmet. A word of warning the buffet is like feeding time at the zoo,I have never seen so many people piling incredible amounts of food on their plates and going back again and again for more, they would put my two horses to shame and they don't know any better! Maybe they thought it was the end of the world and this was their last meal. I only used the cruise excursion once for Izmir - had a fabulous guide (also a lecturer at the university in Istanbul ) all other ports I did on my own or caught the $10 shuttle bus from the ship, it was very easy. For those cruisers visiting Istanbul, you do need Turkish Lira for the tram and the banks don't open till about 9:30, I was so lucky the guard let me on for free and telephoned ahead to so when I arrived another guard was waiting for me and let me off, neither would accept a tip. The embarkation and disembarkation process is a bit of a nightmare due to the sheer volume of passengers, my advice don't begin and end the cruise in Venice,pick another port. Would I do it again ? probably not I would spend more money and go with a smaller more upmarket cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We are experienced cruisers having cruised with Disney, NCL and Royal and completed 10 previous cruises both in Europe and the USA. However first with MSC. Divina is a beautiful ship with lots of glamour however lacks entertainment very ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers having cruised with Disney, NCL and Royal and completed 10 previous cruises both in Europe and the USA. However first with MSC. Divina is a beautiful ship with lots of glamour however lacks entertainment very little to do in terms of daytime activities apart from quiz at pool in five languages. I was disappointed with the cleanliness of my stateroom. I am not fussy but dust an inch deep on lamps etc is not was I have come to expect from cruise lines. We had the all inclusive drinks package which was a god send as the prices where higher than on previous ships and no soda cards available of the kids. Through choice we did not eat in the assigned Villa Rosa for dinner but stayed in buffet. Did have lunch in Villa Rosa and it was lovely however buffet was a nightmare no silver ware and when staff approached told to eat with my fingers. Food selection was very similar every night and although it was our choice to eat here I felt that other lines have a bigger variety of buffet items. I am diabetic and was unable to get sweetner for tea, every drink appeared to have sugar in it and no sugar free or fat free desserts available. Overall I was dissappointed I felt the staff were unhappy and asked a crew member about the service charge and did they get a proportion of it and was told no. If anyone knows if this is the case can they please post. I was upset by this as I always pay the service charge believing that this goes to all the staff on board. Ports were good however felt that not enough time was allocated in Istanbul could do with a longer stop here. MSC is certainly not on my list of great cruise lines however I would sail again if the price was right and the ports good but for now Ill stick with NCL or Royal Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
After years of my friends and sister (all with many years cruise experience) trying to get me to on a cruise I finally gave in on the 13th july 2013 and sailed on MSC Divina. We sailed from Venice and getting on the ship and to our room ... Read More
After years of my friends and sister (all with many years cruise experience) trying to get me to on a cruise I finally gave in on the 13th july 2013 and sailed on MSC Divina. We sailed from Venice and getting on the ship and to our room was easy even though I am a quadraplegic and completely confined to a wheelchair and have no balance at all. Our room was for three people (me and my two sisters),we had two singles and a pull out double sofa bed which our cabin boy attended to every evening and put away every morning. All beds were comfy and room was very spacious and clean with a large balcony. Our emergency evacuation drill resulted in us being told that yes we had used the lift this time from deck 11 to 7 for the life boats BUT in a proper emergency my sisters would have to try give me a piggy back down four flights of stairs as the lift would be out of bounds !! Yes you read that correctly , it would probably have been easier to throw me over the side of the balcony to land on top the lifeboat which was below !! We had requested second seating for our eveing meal to be with four other friends but were given first sitting so had to use the buffet on the first evening. Well we had difficulty first of all trying to find something we liked (we are not fussy honest) and then what we chose was cold. We were disappointed and hungry when we left. Theres no midnight buffet , usually they are putting out fresh food at this time as I have been informed so we had a cup of tea and went to bed. The amount of time spent in ports is very short. Sometimes arriving at 10.30am and leaving again at 3.30 - 4 pm. Getting on and off the ship was easy and well organised and the staff were very helpful. The staff in the black crab restaurant and in the Divina bar were very friendly and helpful. we took the allegrissimo drinks package and easily passed the 21 euros a day each we paid with the coffees , ice creams and cocktails and bottled water. we didn't go crazy either and weren't greedy. If you are a big drinker then it is worth doing. The service in the black crab restaurant was VERY slow , the food not what we liked so ended up quite a few times with chicken and chips for our main. the rissottos and soups were good. No coffee offered at the end either. Most staff around the ship looked unhappy but it makes you feel sad then , you think they don't want to be there. we wanted to go deck 18 for the adults only (payable) but there was no lift for the wheelchair so ended up on deck 16 which was quite quiet. Around the pool during the day was like butlins (YMCA , the conga etc) quite a few people seemed to really enjoy it though. Not for us . We spent one afternoon there and had people striding over our beds, not what we wanted when they were wearing budgie smugglers !! Waiters for drinks service were very scarce and had to go get own drinks most times. Most on the cruise would just push in front and leave us stood there with the wheelchair and refuse to let us in . sometimes they were only going up or down one floor too !! we were starting to consider piggy backs at one point . we decided to stoop to their level and just plough in to them , this seemed to work but we did get a few dirty looks. We went to the casino and was very surprised to see children as young as eight in there , not playing the games though , just with their parents. The ship was very nice , well maintained and clean. It was just the food and the ignorant people really. we had a good time and enjoyed our own company , did get excited one evening with the promise of a 60-70-80's disco , which lasted about 40 mins then went back to european line dancing , birdy song type disco. At this point we had to leave. I think I will try cruising again but not with MSC and hopefully get a better result. going to try NCL or Royal Caribbean.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Very nice new ship, but a poor design. There is very poor separation between smoking and non smoking areas. For example you have to walk right through the Casino or bar above that is open to the Casino via a large stair case to get to the ... Read More
Very nice new ship, but a poor design. There is very poor separation between smoking and non smoking areas. For example you have to walk right through the Casino or bar above that is open to the Casino via a large stair case to get to the Theatre and sitting in the theatre the smoke drifts through, yuck. They have no areas that are adults only even bars, unless you are prepared to pay a lot more for access to exclusive areas. People grab all the chairs around the pool early in the morning despite rules saying if just leave towels on chairs they will be removed, nobody enforces it, so you can't get a good seat or lounger near the pools. The buffet restaurant is too small, and you can't get a table a busy times, then they close off all the drinks stations about 9am, to force you to buy drinks. The formal restaurant was very nice, except don't order the duck, it was so overcooked you couldn't even get a fork into it, and the waiter said yes that happens every cruise. (went on the MSC Splendia following week the duck was perfect, after we explained what happened and ordered beef, he also brought us duck to show it was good. It was perfect) Overall e felt the whole aim of the staff on board was to extract as much money from you once they had you on board, you couldn't even bring back on board a half finished bottle of water. Excursions were extremely expensive, often where local taxi's or buses were available at much less. Basic advise, Use Celebrity or Princess in preference. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Fantastic ship, very clean and cabin/excursion/resturant staff very helpful and polite. We went on our first holiday without our children and did not expect to be on a ship overun with other people's children. As a primary ... Read More
Fantastic ship, very clean and cabin/excursion/resturant staff very helpful and polite. We went on our first holiday without our children and did not expect to be on a ship overun with other people's children. As a primary schoolteacher I love children but do not want them running riot in the evenings in EVERY area of the ship. There are no adult only areas unless you pay for Top 18 which we did but you still have to put up with the awful noise coming from around the pool - the Italian DJ never shuts up!!! During the very good entertainment in the bars in the evening we had groups of children throwing toys/flip flops to each other as well as bouncing on and off chairs and nobody stopped them. The food is adequate but rarely hot. The evening entertainment is brilliant. We did not buy the excursions as you can do them all on your own for half the price. We chose MSC because of the ports that were visited but not enough time is given in each port. The cabin was fantastic and the cruise good value for money but lack of activities during the day and the huge amount of children on board means we will never sail with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
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
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
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
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
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
It was nightmare for us being vegetarian - having only few choices to eat everyday. We had requested Indian vegetarian meal at the booking, but the head of the dining room person said- he did not receive any request and we were the only ... Read More
It was nightmare for us being vegetarian - having only few choices to eat everyday. We had requested Indian vegetarian meal at the booking, but the head of the dining room person said- he did not receive any request and we were the only one in the whole ship to request that type of meal ( later on we met more than 6 indian families, with same complaints, in the ship). To his credit, the head of the Dining room, did manage to cook something " Indian Vegetarian" each night for dinner, which was OK. On the plus side, the ship was nice. The staff was friendly and helpful. Most of the "Amenities' advertised ( like 4D theatre, bowling etc) are not free. We have sailed many other cruise lines and so far I had given Royal Caribbean the 'worst" rating, but from now onwards, MSC DIvina will take that place. They gave us only 8 AM to 3.30 PM in San Juan and cancelled the Great Stirrup Cay due to weather. So, we spent only 17 hours off shore in whole 7 days/7 night cruise. Rest of the time, we were stuck eating same Pizza and Pasta Rakesh Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Such a beautiful ship it's a shame it will get torn apart unless undergoing a lot of changes whilst in America, Whilst agreeing with an awful lot of what has been said in reviews which I have read I feel some people have been quite ... Read More
Such a beautiful ship it's a shame it will get torn apart unless undergoing a lot of changes whilst in America, Whilst agreeing with an awful lot of what has been said in reviews which I have read I feel some people have been quite harsh and petty with their comments. Yes the service onboard in the dinning room was a bit hectic but this was mainly due to understaffing, 2 hours 40 minutes on early dinning is far too long and puts 2nd sitting far later than stipulated but things did improve after the first week when staff got used to running around tables overcrowded a little quicker, felt sorry for some of the waiters. Paying for water & coffee in the dinning room is unacceptable which was soon realized by the management once the American visitors joined the cruise, never happened to myself before. Our cabin boy must of been invisible although he did keep the cabin clean & tidy was never to be found when needed only for a wave from the end of the corridor. Films on the television were a joke able to watch half of four films and only saw the finish of two other films due to constant breakdown during the screening, nothing to watch whilst crossing the Atlantic. Entertainment in the beautiful theatre was a big letdown, five good shows out of nineteen days cruising unless you liked opera which judging by the amount of persons walking out during these shows would suggest didn't. The cast which worked hard when appearing were very good but even their shows only lasted at most 35 minutes, shame that shows couldn't of been made to last longer with some other form of entertainer. The cruise was changed last minute which meant we never visited the port of Nassau I believe that this was due to the big show put on for our entrance into Miami harbour which was spectacular but didn't warrant us missing what ports we'd paid to see when booking. Things were all about to change after we disembarked, for the following three days when travel agents and the media got invited to a three day complimentary cruise when over a thousand were treated to top level entertainment, fireworks and no doubt better service & food, its a shame that paying cruise customers weren't treat the same, but I feel certain that MSC should of learnt a lesson if not then this cruise will be coming home earlier than they anticipated. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
First off the Divina is a beautiful ship. Well decorated,very tasteful and kept as clean as possible, the housekeeping staff did an excellent job. No complaints there. The buffet waiters kept the tables clean and dishes picked up very ... Read More
First off the Divina is a beautiful ship. Well decorated,very tasteful and kept as clean as possible, the housekeeping staff did an excellent job. No complaints there. The buffet waiters kept the tables clean and dishes picked up very well. The food choices were varied and pretty good, although by the time you find a table the food was never hot, this being said it was always very crowded. They should have signs saying what way the lines go, almost every time after standing in line people would just step in front of you help themselves. The buffet hours were not good, several hours between meals, but pizza was always available. The restaurant, wow where to begin. First let me say when we cruised with carnival we always looked forward to evening dinner, it was very interactive, our waitress was always polite and asking about our day and just a very pleasant experience. Very different than MSC. very crowded, overworked staff, we had one waiter that basically did everything from taking orders,clearing the table after each course,refilling water glasses, ( which was hard to get refills) which water is the only free drink at dinner. Very overworked staff. The maitre'd was Italian as is most of the "upper management" and very rude and harsh on the waiters, yelling at them in front of the diners, we noticed this on different occasions the way they treated the staff. Not very professional.. Back to our maitre'd, night after night he would schmooze some tables around us, bringing them plates of cheese, extra bread,refill their water glasses and on lobster night actually brought them a plateful of extra lobster. Never once even stopped by our table to ask us if things were okay. Yes we are Americans and yes they were Italians..... Favoritism? It was very disappointing and maddening. We had second seating at 8:30 and we didn't get out until 10:45 11:00 every night. Not once all week did our table of 8 get served at the same time, usually several minutes between the first and last to get served. Gala evenings we were led to believe that coats and ties were required so I go purchase suits for myself and boys, only to find out people were wearing t- shirts to the fancy gala evening. What a joke, so don't spend any money For nice clothes as they do not enforce any dress codes. Our last port of Great Stirrup Cay was cancelled due to weather, so we sailed in circles for 24 hours to sail 100 miles. It would be nice if there was another port on stand by, like maybe Nassau that has docks. That would have been nice. Overall experience, hmmmmmm.....so-so. It has a lot of potential so MSC better adapt quickly to the American market or they will be going back to Europe. Unless things change from what they were on this cruise we would choose a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Booked with a large group. Promised the moon and stars but that is hardly what was delivered. Both the agency and the Cruise line had a full year to prepare for this 1700 plus member group, that brought aboard alot of it's own ... Read More
Booked with a large group. Promised the moon and stars but that is hardly what was delivered. Both the agency and the Cruise line had a full year to prepare for this 1700 plus member group, that brought aboard alot of it's own specialty entertainment, and had alot of it's own special events seperate from the rest of the customers. I was lucky enough to get to the port early and check in was a breeze as was boarding. Since I tip well my bag arrived rather quickly to my room, were others had to wait till well after we left Miami to see their luggage which caused panic. My room on the 5th level which is the lowest on the boat with a nice big port hole window was comfortable, clean and enjoyable as it barely moved unlike rooms on higher floors. I tipped my cabin Steward the moment I arrived and said let's get this started right, we had a nice discussion of my likes , dislikes, and expectations and he delivered ontime, everytime. He therefore earned two more tips during the voyage. The ship is very large and the first thing I did was go floor to floor front to back getting to know everything and after about 3 and a half hours I had the ship memorized. General staff on board, with some exceptions, tended to be robotic, to cold, to downright miserable, and you could walk miles without seeing a smile unless you actually stopped, asked for one and humiliated them in the process. Bar tenders can be very shady, slow and arrogant, so it's best to pick a few in different locations, tip them really well right away, make a connection, and no matter what bar you are at or how busy they are they will drop everything and get to you right away even if your 4 deep in line. Our group had several very large parties and everytime they started out understaffed at the bars. MSC does not seem to get the hint after day 1 nor did they after day 6. Everything seemed as if we were lining up in a 1970's era Soviet Breadline. The Brunch is served on days at sea it costs extra but is worth every penny. The food and service are top notch and it's the only venue that is. The rest of the food and service ranged from passable to downright repulsive. I have never spit so much food back on plates in my entire life. It was a week of how not to cook and serve food. The main dining room was always slow, and the staff took 5 days to warm up to our table which was full of amazing wonderful people. The Dining Captain however met me the first night with a paper in his hand and discussed some of my special dietary needs and followed up daily to make sure I was happy. He earned a nice tip for that personal touch. The buffet while vast in size and choice provided food so bad I would not feed it to starving animals, I got so tired of spitting the food back on my plate in disgust most days I just waited to endure dinner. The staff at the buffet are very robotic and only speak with each other rarely did I see them approach a guest and speak, just lift dirty dishes away. Alot of the customer service staff and tour desk staff seemed under trained, had zero authority to make an independent decision, and while every day I got my wake up call by asking directly at the desk , on the most important day, departure day, no call at all. The entertainment staff was very nice on board and some nice shows, and the few chances I got to meet some of the professional entertainers they were delightful people and proud of their work and eager to have you see and enjoy it. They seemed to be, other than the cruise director, the hostess at the Brunch, the only ones that ever really got excited about the product they were offering. On a scale of 1 to 10 sadly this ship with so much potential has only reached a 3.5 with me. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Although a veteran of 72 cruises, this was our first experience with a "Mega Ship". It was not a particularly satisfactory experience. The ship is very attractive in its decoration, however if one is using a scooter or wheelchair ... Read More
Although a veteran of 72 cruises, this was our first experience with a "Mega Ship". It was not a particularly satisfactory experience. The ship is very attractive in its decoration, however if one is using a scooter or wheelchair the ship's design is quite problematic. None of the doors on this ship are equipped for automatic opening, and when one is trying to get outside or back in when underway, the wind makes opening a doorway extremely difficult. Our "accessible" cabin itself was lovely, with plenty room for our 2 scooters, however there is only 2 110V plugs and they are at the cabins desk area, so if one must utilize a CPAP unit or other device by the bed you must bring a 12' extension cord to power it. The doorway was not any larger then the standard cabin doors, and the passageways are quite narrow so maneuvering our scooters into and out of the cabin was difficult. The large beam that stuck out into the passageway directly opposite our cabin door made it all the more difficult to get in and out. There was also a consistent problem with cleaning carts in the passageways at all hours that had to be moved by us to get past them on our scooters. (For scooter users info, the best ships we have found for accommodating us has been Celebrity's Solstice Class. Almost all the ships doors, including the "accessible" cabins are electric and auto opening) Re meals: The quality and choices for our dinners in the dining room were quite good, and the service was very good. The Buffet meals were not so much. Very crowded and not very appetizing. Shows: Varied from very good to Poor. Did not have a show every night. Good access to the theater for scooters. Embarkation and Debarkation was quite well managed at Port Miami. Overall appraisal: Would not choose to cruise this ship again due to the crowded conditions and less then satisfactory ease of movement for scooter usage. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Hi, not a first time cruiser, have an opportunity to compare MSC with Holland America we sailed a few months ago. Everything else being equal, I would choose HAL for my next cruise. The Divina is an excellent ship, it is new and very ... Read More
Hi, not a first time cruiser, have an opportunity to compare MSC with Holland America we sailed a few months ago. Everything else being equal, I would choose HAL for my next cruise. The Divina is an excellent ship, it is new and very comfortable, the cabin had a balcony, which was a big plus. Food was not as good as Holland America, though we were never hungry. MSC does not offer Open Table choice for dinner, rather they assign you to 1st or 2nd seating regardless of your request. We were assigned 2nd seating, though I have specifically asked the booking agent for the 1st seating. Our first night on the cruise we did not go to the dining room, it was too late for my kids to eat. MSC has rectified the situation next day and we were assigned first seating. Though I would rather avoid this kind of issue all together: this is not something one looks forward to when sailing with a major cruise company. I have two kids aged 9 and 14. My 9 year old enjoyed the activities offered by the kids club, while my teenager complained about absence of things to do in the Youth club. He ended up going there only twice, while when cruising with HAL we hardly ever saw him during the evenings. A few surprises came up at the end of the cruise: last day when arriving into Miami we were asked to vacate our room at 7AM. This meant waking up kids at 6AM - something no parent would rather do during vacation. Especially considering that our debarkation time was at 10:45. For 3 hours we were forced to spend 3 hours with our carry ons in the common areas of the ship. For some inexplicable reasons MSC requires everyone to approach their Reception desk on board the ship to settle their accounts. No idea why guests would not be able to just leave their signed copy of the bill in their cabin if they have no questions as per their bill. Big waiting lines on the morning of the arrival day. My biggest surprise came after the cruise: for some inexplicable reasons MSC has charged my credit card $200 more than I signed on the last day of the cruise (so much for being there in person!). My call to Customer Service did not yield any results, apparently all the bills and financial records are stored in the corporate office in Europe and US Customer Service is unable to help. The agent advised me to write an email to their Customer Service address, but was not able to give me any timelines or suggestions when I should be awaiting the response. Will see how this matter will be handled. But again, this is not something I was looking forward to when booking the cruise with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date December 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

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