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549 MSC Cruises MSC Divina Cruise Reviews

Girls go cruising to escape snow and winter. This cruiseline by far delivers quality and service, but is easy on the budget. We loved the activities and crafts, variation in dining, shops and markets. The dedicated staff was always eager ... Read More
Girls go cruising to escape snow and winter. This cruiseline by far delivers quality and service, but is easy on the budget. We loved the activities and crafts, variation in dining, shops and markets. The dedicated staff was always eager to please. Some of our group are seasoned cruisers and were pleasantly surprised, given some of the negative reviews we read prior to our cruise, how much we enjoyed ourselves. A few of us are repeating the trip again this February! Our only disappointment was missing a port and shore excursion to Falmouth for High Tea and not too much of an explanation why. Grand Cayman was great and the turtle exhibit was awesome and now finally we can all say we truly were "to Hell and back!" Our room and washroom were spacious, balcony adequate, always neat and clean. Embarking and disembarking was a breeze, especially with wheelchair assistance. All around a great experience! The Divina is "divine!" Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
We were a group of 17 of various ages, some in their 20's and others in the 70's. In the group there were 4 that had sailed MSC before but for everyone else (including myself) it was the first MSC cruise. The embarkation went ... Read More
We were a group of 17 of various ages, some in their 20's and others in the 70's. In the group there were 4 that had sailed MSC before but for everyone else (including myself) it was the first MSC cruise. The embarkation went smooth. We arrived around noon and after check-in proceeded to the Ship. Our room steward (Stone) introduced himself on the first day, I requested ice in our stateroom and he always stocked with fresh ice. DINING: Was not expecting much (since I read so many bad reviews regarding the food), but to us, it was very good and either equal or better than other cruise lines. Breakfast was about the same every day but again similar to other cruise lines. There is no station where you can order an omelette but they have trays with various omelettes and fried eggs. Lunch was much better, the pizza is hand tossed and they take pride in making it well and good, similar to what you get at a good pizzeria. Good variety for lunch and dinner buffet, I even had Octopus stew on one day for lunch and it was great. Lots of great Italian cheese and prosciutto. Besides the Pizza, the Coffee is also better then other cruise lines. They serve Segafredo coffee and I found that even the free coffee at the Buffet is very good. TIP - The Lunch buffet serves different food in different areas, make sure you walk around. Also, the back of the ship is easier to get a table. ACTIVITIES and ENTERTAINMENT The shows were all excellent, although I have seen a better Michael Jackson tribute show on NCL Epic, I have to say they did a great job. I'm not into Opera but still enjoyed it, especially the talent of the singers. There were the typical activities such as Karaoke and White party that were very good and the entertainment staff did an excellent job. This is one area where the 5 younger passengers (in their 20's) felt MSC is behind. There was no Comedy shows and lacked on some entertainment for the younger crowd. There is no bar service in the Theater but I actually prefer it that way. Never a problem getting a good seat at the Theater. SERVICE Overall the service was good but could improve in a few areas. The Dinning room staff was very good, although some waiters were more friendly then others but that is common on other cruise lines also. Our room steward was very responsive, always ready to help. An area that could improve was bar service in the dinning room. It was almost impossible to get a cocktail or order a glass of wine. As far as the beverage service, this is an area where MSC could improve for the American market. I was born and raised in Europe and I know that the service is acceptable for Europeans but Americans expect more. On other cruise lines you can't go past the pool deck without a server asking if you want a drink but not so on this MSC cruise, I had to walk to the bar and wait in line. I believe the bar is under staffed and more servers needed on the pool deck. There is a nice international feel on the ship with many languages being spoken by passengers everywhere, I find it amusing but there are some cultural differences - for example the 2 Italian ladies on the buffet line, they were having a loud "long distance" conversation over everyone else, which is somewhat rude to speak over people like that, nevertheless I was on vacation, found it entertaining and just had to laugh. In contrast with other Cruises I have been on out of American ports, I believe that on this cruise 80% of the passengers were not American, but mostly European, again it does feel different but many of us like the experience. If you like to go around and chat to people on the ship you may encounter some that only speak Italian or French (.. or so they say). It was interesting to hear Italian songs during Karaoke. I never had a problem with the ship staff understanding English, so no problem there. The overall conclusion was positive. Despite the bad reviews, this is a great ship with good service, food and entertainment. It's an awesome value when compared to other cruise lines.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Just returned from the 11/30 cruise in the Yacht club. It was by far the BEST cruise my DH and I have ever enjoyed a cruise (this was our 16th). Being in the YC was the best money we ever spent. The food was FABULOUS in the dining room as ... Read More
Just returned from the 11/30 cruise in the Yacht club. It was by far the BEST cruise my DH and I have ever enjoyed a cruise (this was our 16th). Being in the YC was the best money we ever spent. The food was FABULOUS in the dining room as well as the Top Sail Lounge, The One Pool, and Room Service. Our butler was acutely aware that DH was handicapped and went out of his way to make sure that he was accommodated in every aspect of the cruise. DH and I were met at the port by MSC rep and were taken ASAP to our point of entry to the ship which only took about 5 minutes. (the only thing I was curious about was that we were only offered water - not champagne - but that's OK). Our Butler was outstanding - his name was Nata - and he was with us thru the entire cruise, catering to our every whim and being there on a moment's notice. Being all inclusive, we enjoyed many cocktails in the Top Sail Lounge, The One Pool Bar, our butler service and the mini bar in our stateroom. If something was missing, all we had to do was call the butler! Nata offered to unpack for us, but I chose to do it on my own. However, every time we stepped out of our cabin, it appeared that they were watching (just kidding!!) because our room was spotless each time we returned. The food in Le Muse was second to none. However, we only ate there 2 nights. We are very private persons and would rather order room service and eat on our balcony. We didn't try to order from the restaurant, but room service was very good. Being handicapped, DH was treated like gold and they made sure that he was included in everything that was provided on the ship. Our butler was acutely aware that DH was handicapped and went out of his way to make sure that he was accommodated. The food was FABULOUS in the dining room as well as the Top Sail Lounge, The One Pool, and Room Service. We are now completely spoiled and will never again travel in anything else except the YC. Dollar for dollar, you cannot beat the price!! ALL service staff were extremely unobtrusive (even those that we encountered in the "downtown" part of the ship. All were extremely polite and an asset to MSC. Congratulations on your new endeavor!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
MSC Divina, Yacht Club Suite, Istanbul-Bari-Katakolon-Izmir-Istanbul-At sea-Dubrovnik. After a very successful cruise in a Yacht Club Suite on board the MSC Fantasia in the Western Med last year it was with big expectations we booked ... Read More
MSC Divina, Yacht Club Suite, Istanbul-Bari-Katakolon-Izmir-Istanbul-At sea-Dubrovnik. After a very successful cruise in a Yacht Club Suite on board the MSC Fantasia in the Western Med last year it was with big expectations we booked the brand new MSC Divina for holiday this summer. Again in the Yacht Club as this concept is truly great for us. A silent haven within a mega ship with personal service, great comfort and relaxing atmosphere. A paradise for our holiday. And we were not let down. MSC Divina is a sister ship of MSC Fantasia but there are some improvements here and there, like a bigger Top Sail Lounge in the Yacht Club and not at least, toilets on the Yacht Club One Pool Deck. They are similar in layout so no problems to navigate around this BIG ship. The ship is shiny, very clean everywhere and it seems like MSC put it's proud to keep their ships in an immaculate condition. Embarkation was a breeze, we took a water taxi from our hotel, then a quick stroll down to the terminal where the Yacht Club staff and our butler waited for us. We were on board in less than 15 minutes. Maybe it helps to do the MSC web check-in, I don't know. Our cabin was a Deluxe Suite on deck 16, 33 sq m. Perfect size and only 3 sq m smaller than the Royal Suite we had last year. Darker interior colours than on MSC Fantasia, but a very cozy and relaxed atmosphere.The walk in wardrobe is nice. A word on warning, water taxis in Venice are VERY expensive, costs start at EUR 70. We had our dinner served in the private restaurant Le Muse and as last year, the service was great. Regarding the food we thought for a second that the standard might have fallen a bit, after a rather bad main course the second evening. After a couple of days the food improved a lot and we had two great gala nights with terrific food. Organisation in the restaurant was also bit chaotic in the start as well but also that improved as the week passed on. As the ship is completely new I guess they have some organisation issues going on. As last year we had our breakfast in the Top Sail Lounge. Great views there and a lot to choose from. We had wonderful lunch served on the Pool Deck with different food every day and several hot dishes to choose from unlike last year when they only had one hot dish. Maybe they listened to our customer feedback form? The staff in Yacht Club is very good and they offer exceptional service. Some of them had transferred from MSC Fantasia and it was very nice to meet them again. At the pool deck the pool staff took very good care of us and in the Top Sail Lounge live piano entertainment took place every evening. It was a very international atmosphere on board, we met other passengers from the US, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain and Italy in Yacht Club. We did not use any shore excursions from MSC except from at the disembarkation day in Venice when we had a late afternoon flight. The organisation of the excursion was not the best and I have to say that it was not good value for money, even if the airport transfer was included. Next time we will organise our disembarkation ourselves. The ship is amazing and we had a great cruise from the very beginning to the end and we highly recommend MSC Yacht Club. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Having booked the Divina at fairly short notice we got what turned out to be an excellent deal �£699 balcony room less 5% online booking (this 5% is wiped out by service charges. Some reviews did make me wonder if we had done the ... Read More
Having booked the Divina at fairly short notice we got what turned out to be an excellent deal �£699 balcony room less 5% online booking (this 5% is wiped out by service charges. Some reviews did make me wonder if we had done the right thing. In a nutshell this is a continental, family orientated "monster" (size wise) of a ship. Mainly Italians plus Germans, Spanish and French as the main users, so don't expect afternoon tea and a three course Michelin star dinner. Let's start with the staff, we found them to be helpful and charming, only one or two struggled with English but on a multi language ship this is to be expected. Embarkation was fairly painless, our luggage was transported from the service offered at Venice station and it didn't take long to get on board. Disembarkation was a little slower, organised but slow, again, you have to consider the ammount of people leaving the ship so all in all it was OK. The only hitch is getting back into venice when off the ship as other cruises were disembaking so the dockside was pretty busy. The buffet food was fine, we never had a problem finding something to enjoy, there was an issue with seating on occassions but with 4000+ people it had to be expected. The evening dining is a seven course continental style meal, some dishes were excellent, mainly they were good with one or two disappointing plates, but you never left hungry. Our cabin was fine, everything worked and everything clean. The Allegrissimo drinks package was well worth it, drinks on board are expensive but when bottled water, beer, wine, cocktails, fresh fruit juice etc are included you can't really go wrong. We only did one show which was good, other shows had good reviews off other passengers we met. Entertainment in all the bars seemed a little below par from the small exposure we had to it, this was balanced out by some fine entertainment in the main lobby by the crystal staircase, the pianist and the trio of piano and two violins were excellent, we had many a relaxed evening listening to them. The Gym needs more equipment considering the amount of people on board and we didn't really use the pool area so can't comment on the facilities other than on our day at sea, sun beds were rarer than rocking horse droppings! To briefly sum up, we travelled as a couple and thoroughly enjoyed our time on board considering what we paid, don't expect 5 star dining, entertainment and services. If you have a problem with children on board, don't go in the school holidays the same goes for the continental style of the ship. You will meet a tiny percentage of rude arrogant people of all nationalities, they exist in everyday life as well (you should have seen the neanderthal tendancies of some people every time cherries appeared at the buffet!) Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
MSC Divina review- Departure date 08/11/2012- Cabin type Yacht Club De Luxe Suite - YC1 This was my first experience with MSC and I came away very impressed. I had not considered the line in the past but the combination of a brand new ... Read More
MSC Divina review- Departure date 08/11/2012- Cabin type Yacht Club De Luxe Suite - YC1 This was my first experience with MSC and I came away very impressed. I had not considered the line in the past but the combination of a brand new ship and the itinerary that went to both Izmir and Istanbul was enough to sway me. I am glad we took the "risk" and sailed with MSC, I feel we got a lot of value for our investment. The Divina is a gorgeous vessel. The attention to detail in the art and architecture is amazing. Obviously the designers wanted to create a place of beauty and one can tell a lot of expense went into items such as the crystal staircases (on which each step is filled with cut crystals that look like diamonds) lovely sculptures and paintings. The Yacht Club complex is done in rich earth tones and feels more like a boutique hotel than a cruise ship. The cabin was a bit on the small side given what I am used to (I would say more like a mini suite) but the quality of the materials used were very luxurious. The bed was similar to a temperpedic and by far the most comfortable I have ever slept on outside of my home on land or sea. The pillow menu was extensive including two different types of memory foam pillows. Our butler did not bat an eye when I asked for six pillows. (I have fibromyalgia and need to support my limbs when sleeping). The linens were very high quality and the carpet passed my white sock test with flying colors. (I always put on a pair of white socks and drag my feet in the room whenever I am checking out a new ship or location- if the socks stay white you know they take cleaning seriously- believe it or not they have turned dark brown in some places that are considered 5 star). A lot of planning went into the lighting, of which there are many options, including hidden in the headboard and along the walk in closet hanger rail. A huge mirror is in front of the bed which I am certain some people might find as an extra perk lol. The bathroom and balcony are also both on the small side. The bathroom has a tub shower combination with a glass wall that covers half the tub and works like a shower curtain or door. There was plenty of storage in the bath and main cabin. The amenities were pretty standard, lotion, shower cap, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner and a facial soap. It would have been nice to see some extra items that I have become accustomed to like q-tips, bath salts, linen spray etc. but each line is different. The lack of specialty toiletries would not affect my interest in rebooking. In fact I already booked the YC on the Preziosa for next year. The YC is insulated very well from the rest of the ship and it is quite possible to never leave the complex except for when heading to La Muse the YC restaurant. The food is very good in La Muse as is the service. We had a beautiful view of the "infinity pool" and some sculptures. (It is a stretch to call that pool an infinity pool- it is a nice pool with balcony type glass to look out at the ocean but really is not the same as a true infinity pool) The all inclusive drinks package that comes with the YC is a very nice perk! We loved the itinerary especially Istanbul which was an amazing day. Although we spent most of our time up in the Yacht Club while on the ship I did tour the other areas on the sea day and did not encounter any of the issues people had expressed concern about such as overcrowding and smokers. It did not appear any different than any other large ship, there appeared to be plenty of loungers and with multiple pools and hot tubs there appeared to be room for everyone. I saw activities for all ages including a water slide, bowling, a 4D movie theater and a Formula One racecar simulator that looked very popular. We only walked through the Casino once but I did not smell any smoke and I am quite sensitive to it. I have compiled an in-depth day by day review with links to photos and the daily programs. You can view it here. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1700848&page=2 Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Our port to board the cruise that we chose was Venice so before the cruise we flew Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi into the city of Milan and immediately after checking in a hotel next to the Milano Central train station we went to Duomo and ... Read More
Our port to board the cruise that we chose was Venice so before the cruise we flew Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi into the city of Milan and immediately after checking in a hotel next to the Milano Central train station we went to Duomo and spent our day there. The following morning we bought a ticket with Trenitalia (36 Euros- 2nd class ticket) from Milano Central to Mestre Station where we spent one night in Venice in a hotel close to the Mestre Station (Lugano Hotel). There after checking in we took the bus to Venice (aprox 15 minutes) and once in Venice we passed our day walking around the city. About Venice, I could say that is a pretty city but to over crowded with people and prices are very high since is a tourist popular spot, not to mention that even if you want to use a bathroom you must pay. (Must husband said as long as there is a bush there is a toilet!) The following Day we started out for our adventure and went from the Lugano Hotel in Mestre to Venice. We arrived to Venice we took the people mover to our cruise, (1Euro per person) and as soon as we got off the people mover there was a sign for passengers of MSC where some free busses would pick up there and take you to the Cruise to start your checking process. Recommendations in Italy: -If you are only staying one night there are many hotels in Mestre that are close and has easy access to Venice and better prices. -If you are planning to use your credit card, some places would ask you for your pin number in a credit card, so be sure you get that number from your provider. - If you are using public transportation in Italy, whatever ticket you have, do not forget to validate your ticket before you climb on board the train. My husband and I took the MSC Divina out of Venice, Italy in the first week of September 2012 and had a wonderful time on the ship. Boarding the cruise was relatively smooth I could say that didn't take us more than one hour from the moment we got there to our standard inside cabin 12187, located on Aurora deck 12. Our overall experience in Divina was great. The beautiful floating city is huge boat, so big we could not walk every single floor in our 8 days on it, but we try to be in almost every single public spot of the boat, not to mention that the views of the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean are breathtaking, and the ride on Divina is smooth as silk. About our destinations we think that it's hard to deny that The Mediterranean Sea (Latin for "the middle of the earth") is one of the most diversified cruise destinations in the world with many of the most amazing ports ever to be found, even if my husband and I agree that since Italy is a beautiful country the port of Bari is not the nicest to visit in Italy. Safety procedures Lifebelts are located in the wardrobes. Compulsory emergency drill for all guests and emergency lifeboat exercise is held in your assigned an assembly station and shown what to do - in five different languages. The Ship - Public Areas There were a lot of these: restaurants, bars, a 24-hour casino whilst the ship is at sea, a big theater, library, shopping stores, gymnasium, pool, Jacuzzis and spa. The bars and lounges are attractively furnished - good solid comfortable chairs and seats. There is smoking on board in some designed areas, but all the restaurants were all non-smoking. Restaurants: There are many restaurants in this cruise, for all kind of food lovers in case you do not want to eat daily in your assigned restaurant. In our case we booked a 2nd dining seating and the hours of dining seating are one at as 7pm, and the next being at 9pm. Honestly the reason why we booked 2nd seating is thinking about diner at that hour would be most for adults. Our assigned restaurant for diner was the Villa Rossa, in there your table is assigned since the beginning of your cruise and you share the table with the same people, and we were very lucky to have a good dinner table, and our waiters were always greeting us with a smile. Entertainment: Every single night on the cruise there is a show on the Pantheon Theater and the cruise director Franco would introduce the show on more than 6 languages so not matter what language do you speak you would be able to understand what the show is going to be about. The Michael Jackson show was the best. Lighting effects and great performers. In general, we must say that we enjoy the shows every night before going to our diners. On the other hand Most of the bars had resident singer's bands or Djs, and there are plenty daily activities everywhere you go on the cruise, just be sure you read your daily program that you won't miss anything. Wifi: We brought our i-phones and a laptob computer that we use to connect to the internet and when you brouse to use the internet it takes you to the msc webpage and you pick different increments, 30, 60, 100, etc, minutes and we chose 100 min for $15.00 euros and just connected to download my email to keep in touch, it's automatically charged to your room. Just be sure to logout! Or your time keeps running until you expend your last coin. Ports to Visit on this cruise: Bari Italy In this port we caught the MSC shuttle bus that take you from the cruise port to the city, and from there we just walked around the small narrow streets of the city and visited it churches and the harbor. Katakalon Greece After Bari we headed down the coast to Katakalon where we took a private excursion to Olympia, offer just as soon as you start working in to Katakolon with a company called Global Travel (for only 10 Euros for person the transportation) Olympic is the original places were they started the Olympic Games. We visited there the archaeological site and for that, one hour is more than enough time. (Tickets are 9 Euros for both archeological and museum or either one for 6 Euros for person) and from there back to Katakolon were we now headed back to the boat, since there are not many hours in this port. Izmir Turkey We found that overall; the best way to tour the city was to find a taxi at port and request for them to take us to the place we want to visit ( In our case it was the ancient city of Ephesus and the virgin Maria house). Therefore, we hired a taxi driver as soon as we got off from the ship and spent our day in this magnificent place. (We paid 90 Euros for the taxi ride). Istanbul Turkey Istanbul is the only city in the world located on two continents. It is the nearest Asian city to Europe, and the nearest European city to Asia. Istanbul, in my personal opinion, is one of the most exciting ports on the Mediterranean. Ships tie up right in the center of town and if you decide to, you could literally walk to the Galata Bridge and just a few minutes from there take the tram, in our case we hired one of the many drivers that parked outside the boat waiting for passengers to head to the tourist places, in our case here we visited the Topkapi palace, the blue Mosque and the grand bazaar. Be sure to negotiate the rate with the taxi driver. It is good to mention that in this port you would have many hours since you get there at 730 AM arrival and you must be on board by 430 pm. (Wepaid 90 Euros for a taxi to take us to The Blue Mosque area, and in there we visited The Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace and Agia Sophia. and from there take us to the Grand Bazaar and bring us back to the port all this from 9 am to 230 Pm.) so my advice is if you book a taxi be sure you arrange your hours from that time until at least 4 00 PM that you won't miss a minute in these fabulous city. Also Don't pay the taxi driver until after the end of the day and your returned to the ship! Dubrovnik Croatia Our last port of call was Dubrovnik in Croatia; there we rode a MSC bus from the port to the city center, which is surrounded by walls. We walked around and saw the most important buildings and stop to see everything that this place has to offer. My advice is if you go there be sure you enjoy a cold beer or one of their famous ice creams and one of the many ice cream shops, and them be ready to walk the city and appreciate its beauty and since is right on the coast you would have the chance to see some beautiful breathtaking views. Disembarkation our luggage was collected from outside our cabin late on the last night after we'd labeled it. Then we were up early for our disembarkation process. We waited for a while in the main theater then our group was called and sadly, we were off the ship. We found our luggage very quickly, saw it loaded onto the coach, and waited for just a few minutes before setting off. We again took the people mover and one time in Venice, we caught an airport shuttle bus from Piazzale Roma to Marco Polo airport (6 Euros for one way for person). Buses run often and it takes 20 minutes to the airport so we got there with plenty of time for our 230 Pm flight back to Dubai with Emirates Airlines. Top 5 Must-Pack Items for a Cruise - After this cruise I would say that we would like to recommend this top 5 items: - 3 copies of your passport, 1 in your suitcase, 1 to take with you in port and 1 to email yourself in case you lose your documentations when traveling. -One envelope to save bar receipts in case you get charged for something you think is not correct, or just to keep control and order with your receipts. - TSA locks. -umbrella, sweater and something to cover your heard, personally we used the umbrella not on our cruise but in Venice since was raining two days in a roll, you never know when you would need it, and your scarf is always useful if you plan to visit places that require women to cover their hear. - One small extension cord, since there are not many places to plug your electronics on the cabin. Conclusion: My husband and I had an outstanding time on this trip and it will hold many memories into the future, we made new friends and we are so glad for the opportunity we had to do it. In addition, I thanks every single person that make this trip an unforgettable experience, and I do recommend people to experience the travel on board an MSC cruise whatever would be their destination. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Just had a fantastic cruise on MSC Divina, my 14th cruise. Been with many other cruise lines but this was my first MSC - hopefully will not be my last. Very well organised embarkation in Venice and very satisfied with inside cabin. We ... Read More
Just had a fantastic cruise on MSC Divina, my 14th cruise. Been with many other cruise lines but this was my first MSC - hopefully will not be my last. Very well organised embarkation in Venice and very satisfied with inside cabin. We always pay for cheapest cabin but it had a large king+ bed (2 singles together) and was very comfortable. Few things I noticed this line did not do - no towel animals, no chocolates, very little information available about the port you are visiting, no free water with evening meal or tea/coffee. We paid for an all inclusive package on board and easily spend well over the cost of this. The package we took was 23 euros per day per person a total of 322 euros - we spent 610 euros (yes we did enjoy the sparkling wine and cocktails, but also bought teas and coffees). Beware though they add an extra 15% service charge to this amount taking it up to 370.30 euros - they did not tell us this and when we complained about the extra service charge the receptionist misunderstood and removed the full service charge of 7 euros per person per day from our account!!. I jotted down the cost of drinks for you to know before you go, (all in euros)cocktails average 6.25, large draft beer 4.90, small 2.90, wine 5.50, cappuccino 2.00, coffee with milk 1.60, 33cl coke, fanta, lemonade etc 2.70. Even if you are all inclusive some drinks you still have to pay for these include Jack Daniels and coke 7.75, and strongbow 5.50 - ALL PLUS 15% SERVICE CHARGE. I would definitely recommend taking out a drinks package. Only trip we paid for was Olympia which was great and Venice on last day. Paid for bus into Bari and you could have walked to castle and historic area. In Izmir paid 50 euros for a taxi to take us to Agora, the castle and a mosque. Istanbul we paid 10 euros for a taxi to take us to historic square BUT BEWARE no taxis around square he dropped us off in a quiet street away and when we needed to get back to ship could not find a taxi ANYWHERE. Left it late and had to run through streets desperately trying to find a taxi, eventually did and he totally ripped us off 40 euros to get back to ship and we must have run half way there. Dubrovnik we used ship transfer bus and had a wonderful visit. Lovely hard working staff, great shows which I loved. English was often the first language spoken which surprised me and I understood everything had to be translated into 4 or 5 other languages. Wonderful tenor on board and great acrobats. Some small negatives - Europeans on ship do not queue and push in front of you not matter how patiently you have been queuing - this was to get on/off ship or buy bus tickets. More children than other cruises I have been on but they did not really bother us you can find places to sit away from them. Have to buy tea and coffee apart from buffet area. Same food every dinner time in buffet area as a vegetarian I had chips, pizza and salad every day. Evening meal not best food we ever had if you are a vegetarian get used to egg plant and even as a meat eater my husband said the other cruise lines were better BUT we were full and the soup and salad courses help fill you up. To summarise we had a wonderful cruise, brilliant itinerary, also understood because of distance not full days in port. Would recommend MSC and Divina is big and beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
First of all let me say that my wife and I are fairly experienced cruisers and so have plenty of points of comparison. Negatives - Announcements in five languages. Fairly short time allowed in port. We were aware of both these before we ... Read More
First of all let me say that my wife and I are fairly experienced cruisers and so have plenty of points of comparison. Negatives - Announcements in five languages. Fairly short time allowed in port. We were aware of both these before we travelled and so they came as no great surprise. In any event the announcements were only made about three times a day and soon ceased to intrude. The amount of time in port is, to a large extent governed by the itinerary and as the destinations were a major factor in our choice of cruise this criticism is also tempered with pragmatism. Positives - We made our own way to the terminal (earlier than scheduled following the advice of a previous critic) and were in our cabin by 1pm and our luggage swiftly followed. Our balcony cabin was excellent being somewhat larger than previous cruises and there were welcome surprises in the bathroom with fluffy towel robes and best of all proper shower doors rather than a clingy curtain. It was immaculately clean and kept so by our efficient and friendly steward. We ate in the buffet for both breakfast and lunch and whilst it was always busy (the ship being fully booked) we never failed to find a vacant table. Dinner in the Villa Rossa Restaurant was generally very good with plenty of choice from the several courses on offer although it has to be said that the salads would have benefited from a little more tomato,cheese, onion etc and a little less lettuce. The staff were invariably efficient and friendly. The evening shows were excellent if a little samey with a very high standard of singers, dancers and acrobats. The money saved on not having a resident band (all the music being "canned")was very well spent on the artistes. A major plus was the Allegrissimo drinks package. We are both moderate drinkers but it was great fun at dinner to check with our fellow diners how much "profit" we had made that day. Disembarkation was well organised the only minor criticism being a lack of signs for the free shuttle buses from our remote berth to the Venice "People Mover" All in all a splendid cruise and we will strongly recommend MSC to all our cruising friends. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
My partner and I have just returned from a cruise on the MSC Divina. Now I have cruised before on P&O from Southampton, however for my partner this was his first experience. To sum it up this was a perfect holiday in every way, ... Read More
My partner and I have just returned from a cruise on the MSC Divina. Now I have cruised before on P&O from Southampton, however for my partner this was his first experience. To sum it up this was a perfect holiday in every way, relaxing, hot and very well serviced, but to start you in a clear picture our only niggles were as follows - 1) the adults only 'infinity' pool is not adults only (we are fine with kids but this struck us as a bit of a pain. 2) some of the other guests on board were down right rude and ignorant (not MSC' fault) 3) end in Venice was spent sitting outside the terminal for 4.5 hours as coach transfer didn't leave till 1415 (again not MSC' fault, we should have booked the transfer to the center) Okay on reflection most of our niggles were nothing to do with the line itself, more other people and our own unguided knowledge. From the start of the cruise were were happy with the processes and ship, she is a monster of a girl but beautiful all the same, well planned out and designed and had a very nice atmosphere when we were walking around. The cabin was also spectacularly clean and tidy, good size as well in comparison to most I have seen. Embarkation - This to be honest is like organized chaos! Flight and coach transfer was painless and very easy as there was a representative at Marco Polo airport to greet us and get us to the transfer point. When we arrived at the terminal, as mentioned it was chaos, but it flowed well and was also painless. Instructed to drop our bags and went upstairs to check in where we could get on board straight away, all in all from airport to cabin took no longer than an hour all told. Went for lunch and ship set sail as planned, with mandatory drill done prior to slipping her lines. Food & Entertainment - Food wise the ship had it all from the usual buffet to the traditional dining and extra charge services. We ate in the buffet for the entire week, more from a point of view of flexibility than anything else, although the menus for the main restaurants looked very nice! The menu in the buffet didn't seem to alter much, it was much of the same most days, but all hot and a wealth of choice available from the usual grill fair and some ethnic dishes. The entertainment for us was a little lax I have to say. we went to three of the main theatre shows which were all very good and had everybody seeming to enjoy themselves. During the day however and throughout the evening there wasn't a huge amount to do or get involved in, this again didn't bother us too much as we are quite happy to chill out and just have a few drinks rather than go to nightclubs and tribute acts etc. What was available we found to be good and there were plenty of areas to sit and drink. Now Divina has been designed to carry 3500 passengers. 90% of the time you did not realize there were that many people on board. There were always areas available to sit around the pools and in bars as well as there being plenty of sunbeds. Little tip for you : on deck 18, overlooking the middle pool and in front of the funnel is the solarium, up here remains very quite for the duration of the cruise as many people do not explore this way. This is a good area to sunbath and chill out peacefully if required. There is also a large whirlpool/jacuzzi up here as well, go careful though as the ships horn is up here which is very loud and if goes when unexpected it scares the life out of you!!!!! All in all everything was arranged well and well planned. The staff were attentive and polite and always happy to help, the tour arrangements were great and again well planned with no queuing and a seamless process. The ship as well is very well decorated and feels very stylish and grown up, which for an Italian line i was expecting some garish colors etc. More on ports below, but cruise wise was excellent and I would strongly recommend sailing with MSC to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We were interested in a Mediterranean cruise over Thanksgiving holidays, and after doing some research, the MSC Divina became an obvious choice for the following reasons: 1) brand new ship, made it's maiden voyage in July 2012 2) ... Read More
We were interested in a Mediterranean cruise over Thanksgiving holidays, and after doing some research, the MSC Divina became an obvious choice for the following reasons: 1) brand new ship, made it's maiden voyage in July 2012 2) kids cruise free when booked with two adults 3) my mother was cruising with us, and they had a reasonable price for a single room occupant 4) great port-of-calls: Barcelona (our embarkation port), Canary Islands, Casablanca, Madeira Islands, Malaga, Rome, Genoa. We flew into Barcelona the day of embarkation, and in retrospect, we should have arrived at least a day or two earlier. There was a general strike in Barcelona, and we were fortunate to be able to arrive a day after the strike. The port was close to the airport, but since we were traveling with 5 adults and 2 kids (my wife and I, my mother, my mother-in-law and father-in-law, and my two boys ages 9 and 7), we were able to get a 1/2 day tour with Barcelona Day Tours, who picked us up from the airport, took us to all the highlights in the city (Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, Las Ramblas, several Gaudi houses), and they also dropped us off at the port. The embarkation at Barcelona was OK, no major hassles, but we were VERY tired by mid-afternoon, because of jet-lag and time differences. It would have been nice to get on-board faster, especially with young children, but we waited for about 2 hours overall (we arrive by noon), and about 1 hour in line. Overall, the MSC Divina is an impressive ship, with all the bells and whistles of a newly minted boat. The cruisers were about 40% German, 40% Spanish and Italian, 10% other Europeans (mostly French) + Turks, and about 10% or less English speaking, mostly British nationals, and probably less than 1% Americans / Canadians. All announcements were translated into 5 languages, but we did not feel overwhelmed, it was fun to be amongst other cultures. Most people were very courteous, and the staff was all English speaking. We occupied 3 rooms in the front of the ship, one balcony and two inside rooms. The room was adequately sized, but the balcony wall was metallic white rather than glass, and this is the case for balcony rooms in the front and back of the ship. There was an unusual cracking sound when the ship was traveling at a higher speed, especially noticeable during the night, and we asked for an engineer to see if they can alleviate the sound, but he said it was structural, coming from the wooden frame, and cannot be fixed. I initially thought it was from the balcony doors. The bathroom was European style with liquid shower soap and shampoo, adequately stocked. I hope to comment on the following topics to help out future cruisers who might be considering the MSC line. FOOD/DRINKS: The main dining food was good, but more European, so there was an good mix of pasta / beef / veal / fish / turkey etc, but very limited in steak / seafood (no lobster/crab/shrimp nights), and the veggie selections were always good. The desserts were GREAT! The drink package is very unusual, in that water was not free. North American travelers get a free bottled water per room per day, but that is usually not enough with 3 meals to consider. So we opted for different drink packages, some with just extra water, and some with juices / soft drinks. We didn't drink as much wine or other alcohol as most of the Europeans, so we did not consider the Allegrissimo packages. Water and juices were free during breakfast in the all-you-can-eat restaurant in the 14th floor (the Calumet, I think), but strange enough, they block the same machines that off for lunch and dinner, so you end up having to buy all drinks or use coupons. It's just different from American cruise lines. Service was EXCELLENT throughout, very friendly wait staff in all sections. There were several "gala" and "formal" nights, and we did dress up for those, but noticed that they were not very well followed, maybe only about 50% of the cruisers observed the dress code. ENTERTAINMENT: We went to most of the shows during the evening, and they were all very enjoyable; talented actors / singers. The Michael Jackson tribute was the best! We also enjoyed the pool, the coordinated activities during the morning, bingo, and I rode the Formula 1 racer which was quite fun. KIDS CLUB: My boys enjoyed the Club Mini and they had great activities every day. Lots of crafts, games, Wii tournaments, and occasional group lunches and dinners. Kids have a choice of staying practically all day when the ship is docked on port. We took our kids on the excursions, but apparently you can keep the on the ship if you'd like. We had a very choppy night after the first port (Casablanca), and were told it was normal to have high winds in the Atlantic during the winter season. The boat was rocking so much that all we could do was stay in bed. Several adults in my family took pills for motion sickness which were being given by the concierge desk, and that helped a little. Strange enough, both my boys were not that affected, and they still insisted on going up to the Mini-Club, and on my way there, it appeared many other passengers were not as affected as we were. But we basically stayed in bed the ENTIRE day at sea, and didn't even get to the restaurants for any of the meals. After that one day, everything was calmer, and the rest of the trip was smooth sailing, especially after entering back into the Mediterranean. Lots of picture taking opportunities! We bought a few of the portraits, since it was not easy to get our whole family in a setting. The price was 50 Euros for about 5 pictures. I'll comment on the ports below separately. There is no option on Casablanca, which was our first port, and we took a city tour through MSC, and it was very nice, got to see an olive market, the historic portion of the city, a Catholic church (Notre Dame), and the very impressive Hassan II Mosque. Overall, we were pleased with our cruise experience with MSC, and would not hesitate to book with them again. It's different from American lines, but still a very enjoyable experience overall. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Embarkation was relatively smooth. I had heard that you could arrive 1 hour before the "actual" checkin time, however this was not the case. Drinks packages and dayspa packages were available to purchase before we got on the ... Read More
Embarkation was relatively smooth. I had heard that you could arrive 1 hour before the "actual" checkin time, however this was not the case. Drinks packages and dayspa packages were available to purchase before we got on the boat. Im not sure why I spent all the time trying to do it from Australia. It ended up being a waste of time organising drinks pacakages, as once we got on board the waiters had no idea about the type of packages we had booked! Certainly wasnt there fault, it seems that the packages that are being sold in Australia are actually different to what they have on the ship, or not common. So the translation from Australian booking agents to the ship did not work. This was for 3 of the 5 families that were travelling. They voucher booklets were handy and quite good value for sparking water and soft drinks. You could just buy the drinks from any bar with the vouchers and take them to you rooms. No issue at all. The voucher booklets were on sale on the boat at all times (near the pool area). The restuarant we were allocated was great (Black Crab). We had amazing waiters "Safwan and Wayan". Couldnt have helped us more. They were fabulous catering to our very need. Great entertaining the kids as well. Our seating was a 6pm, and you needed to arrive by 6.15, otherwise they run behind for their next service. No problems sharing wine etc with the table. We purchased a wine package. It was a waste of money, as the wine was terrible! I dont consider myself fussy at all with wine, but every bottle was like vinegar. You would be better off just buying a nice bottle or two or three on board! Every single service person on board, in particular, indonesians and phillipinos were amazing. The most beautiful and friendly people. This made the experience just that much more enjoyable. We had the same guy service our room each day (twice a day) and what a pleasure he was. He just knew our routine each day, and I loved that. I dont know how they do it with a smile each day. Buffet time was crazy busy most of the time. But we always got a seat! However, you could also go each day for lunch at your allocated restaurant. It was so much more pleasant and refined! Im not sure why we didnt do this more! Entertainment on board started quite late. Even the the discos for the teenagers didnt start until 10.30....which was a little late. After a full meal and a busy day all of our group of 15 were ready for bed by 9pm. My husband and i purchased the "steam and spa" package upon embarkation. I thought it was great, just gave us something to do every day, especially sailing days. They often ran specials about day 4 on for treatments etc so keep your eye out for these, as you can get stone massages etc half price!!! We had a catergory 9 cabin (outside with a balcony). Be sure to pay more to get a good cabin, there was nothing like sailing into a new city and watching the view first thing in the morning. We were a family of 4, husband, me, 16 year old girl and 5 year old girl. We had a great time with the cabin and didnt find it squishy, which was a suprise. Husband and I virtually unpacked and put suitcases under the beds and so it was roomy and comfy. We went to the sports bar one time to play Bowling with the kids. It turned out to be really expensive. From memory we smashed through $30AUD in about 15 minutes. There is no reason that this cant be cheaper or free!!! Coffees/Teas/Milkshakes on board were relatively fine in cost! (Cheaper than Australia thats for sure). All in all I loved the Ship, it was amazing. I loved cruising. What I didnt like about the cruise: (1) crazy buffet time (2) pushy people and people who had no concept of others; (3) the terribe wine (4) the "lost in translation" with our drinks package; (5) lack of a good place to go early evening for a drink that had some fun music Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We cruised on the MSC Divina January 5, 2013, 11 night cruise from Malaga. What a gorgeous ship! Spotless from top to bottom with excellent staff. This review is about the little details.... 1. To buy the drinks or water package ... Read More
We cruised on the MSC Divina January 5, 2013, 11 night cruise from Malaga. What a gorgeous ship! Spotless from top to bottom with excellent staff. This review is about the little details.... 1. To buy the drinks or water package or not: USA and Canadian guests receive coupons for a one litre bottle of water per day. The water package provides 14 one litre bottles---one package is plenty for two people. The tap water is potable. There is free coffee/water/ice/cold milk 24 hrs in buffet There is free juice with breakfast (although it tasted a lot like Tang) Glass of wine: approx. 5eu Beer: approx 5eu Bottle wine: approx. 20-25eu Litre bottle of water: 2.30eu coffee with dinner: 2.30eu 2. Laundry is 25eu per load. If you hang your hand washing in the shower it dries overnight---it has an excellent exhaust fan. 3. Breakfast served in your cabin is free 4. Food in the buffet and the dining room is quite good. We did not try the specialty restaurants. The buffet tends to be quite loud and crowded during peak times. 5. Entertainment in the evenings was excellent (music, singing, dancing, acrobats) 6. If you want a balcony with a glass railing you need to book category 9 or higher. Our cabin had a steel railing and I felt a little boxed in. 7. The rooms were very spacious and comfortable 8. Internet: Cybercafe using their computers--1.50eu/minute. WiFi--12eu for 60 minutes, 19eu for 100 minutes 9. Daily newspaper: 2.50eu per day for a computer printout of your paper of choice 10. Embarkation and disembarkation: very smooth. By allowing guests to board in Rome, Genoa, Barcelona, and Malaga, there is never a huge group of people. We boarded in Malaga and it looked like only about 50-100 people were boarding. We sailed right through. They did NOT take our passports as one other reviewer mentioned, so disembarkation also went quickly. 11. One negative: deceptive pricing in the spa. My daughter booked a hair cut which was advertised on special for 24eu. When it was done it cost 66eu---the shampoo and blow dry was extra but was not mentioned. 12. On sunny days the pool areas and decks were elbow to elbow crowded. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
There were 4 of us on the MSC DIVINA Yacht Club Class. We are all experienced cruisers and have been on most lines and we all agreed this is the most fabulous ship we have ever boarded. It has spectacular modern spaces kept scrupulously ... Read More
There were 4 of us on the MSC DIVINA Yacht Club Class. We are all experienced cruisers and have been on most lines and we all agreed this is the most fabulous ship we have ever boarded. It has spectacular modern spaces kept scrupulously clean. The Yacht Club is a private class with a separate conceirge, cocktail lounge, restaurant, pool and pool bar. It is well worth the extra $$. However, the whole ship is gorgeous and different. We tried all the restaurants and they were stylish; the food was good if you like a gourmet European style; it is an Italian ship. You are better off with the Italian selections as meats are smaller and thinner than in the USA. There are many courses served but the portions are smaller than American ships and not as many choices. Order more courses if you want more food. The buffet on the top deck is great. It goes on and on; you can get lost in the buffet; the food was good especially the pastries and breads. There were no more than 30 Americans on the whole ship. The guests hang out with their own nationalities so there is no interaction. The staff speaks English but most of the guests do not. Everything is announced in 5 languages. There were mostly Italians French, Spanish, Japanese, Russians; they did not dress up so much for dinner and were more casual except in the Yacht Club. The staff is very professional and tries to please. There is smoking in the LaLuna Bar, the Casino and there is a cigar club bar. This is a very European experience. We liked it; BUT very different than an American ship and you WILL be disappointed if you are not open to an entirely new experience. All the activties were very well attended; much more so than American ships. The entertainment is classical and excellent. We got off in Civitavechhia on a Sunday and only EUROPE CAR is open for car rentals one hour between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. on Sundays. Enjoyed all the ports and took cabs and hop on/hop off buses. We can't wait to get back to MSC Yacht Club. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
We took the MSC Divina in March 2013 to the Eastern Caribbean. They are new to the Caribbean; adding an Italian and more European flair to the market here.It is comparable to Celebrity. There were younger couples and plenty of kids (as it ... Read More
We took the MSC Divina in March 2013 to the Eastern Caribbean. They are new to the Caribbean; adding an Italian and more European flair to the market here.It is comparable to Celebrity. There were younger couples and plenty of kids (as it was Break); but mature couples, as well. We loved the ship! As older veteran sailors, we appreciate the more 'upscale' qualities of the ship. It is easy to get around for activities. Plenty of deck space, considering it's large size. The food in the main dining was very good - nice variety and very well presented. Lots of pasta and Italian style foods. The Buffet could get a bit crowded, but had fine choices. The outside day dining was fine - which is what we like, rather than sit inside for breakfast or lunch. The entertainment was first rate - with a wonderful European quality - opera night, classical violinists in the Atrium, aerialists, etc. more of the variety of performers than usual. The crew are attentive and efficient. We had a great time and are taking the Dvina again in Feb. 2015. A great ship and a fine value. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Upon first pulling into the cruise port, wow! The Divina was definitely one of the biggest and by far the most glamorous looking. The Swarovski staircases really make for a beautiful lobby. The dining was wonderful. We all enjoyed trying ... Read More
Upon first pulling into the cruise port, wow! The Divina was definitely one of the biggest and by far the most glamorous looking. The Swarovski staircases really make for a beautiful lobby. The dining was wonderful. We all enjoyed trying different cuisines. The variety of food was excellent. Buffet food was still very good for being buffet with a nice selection, which was always hot. The breads were to die for! We had a 5 o'clock dinner in the Black Crab and enjoyed every night. To order something new every night and as much as you wanted was very nice. The entertainment on the ship was great! You felt as if you were at a Broadway show for every performance. The casino was small but enjoyable. We did not utilize the private restaurants. There were 3 pools and I want to say close to 6 or 8 jacuzzis for guests to enjoy. Pool chairs of course were reserved by guests for their friends that never came to the deck. This was a little aggravating but there were plenty of chairs. As long as you got out there by 11am or so, you were fine. Everything was very clean on the ship, and I loved the Purell stations all over the ship. I would wake up early every morning and enjoy the running track around the ship and would see workers cleaning every inch of the ship, even some mornings cleaning the underneath of the wooden railings with a toothbrush!! You can tell every worker pays attention to detail and the ship looks magnificent because of it. The food service workers got to know us and we enjoyed asking them about themselves, too. Everyone you passed would smile and say hello to you. The ship was so large that at no time did we feel it was crowded with almost 4,000 people aboard. There were 5 languages spoken on the ship for general announcements, but English was dominant. It was interesting to see the Captain get on stage in the theater several nights and make announcements, himself, in all 5 languages. The ship was very cultural diversified. Port stops were extremely organized and no waiting involved! We did several excursions, and we would be assigned to meet in a particular location of the ship and all deboard together. Entrance off and on the ship were very secure, which we enjoyed. We were a little disappointed the sea was too rocky to tender to Great Stirrup Cay, but the other 7 days of beautiful weather made up for it. It was a wonderful vacation and very relaxing. I will now be a frequent cruiser. In fact, after going in March on an 8 day/7 night, we will be going in October, 2014 on the same ship, different Caribbean route. We all can't wait. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Not long back from our first trip with MSC and all i can say it was way above expectation. Everything certain cruisers where complaining about were actually some of things i most enjoyed about the ship, i found the multitude of ... Read More
Not long back from our first trip with MSC and all i can say it was way above expectation. Everything certain cruisers where complaining about were actually some of things i most enjoyed about the ship, i found the multitude of nationalities particularly fascinating and utterly immersive, the announcements in five languages i thought was great and reflected the multicultural world we live in, while the line certainly has an Italian flare and the vast majority of passengers are indeed Italian i feel the ship had a more of an international feel about it (English is widely used and often preferred by some members of the crew)i thought the food was great and always available, The shows really were something else we were blown away by the productions on board you could tell they had spent a lot of money on them, and half an hour per show is perfectly adequate. we also found the staff the best we have come across we made some good friends with the crew and lot of exchanging of emails happened to keep in touch. we stayed in balcony Cabin 13047 and it was stunning and in a great location one deck below the pool deck. I don't wont to waffle on to much but if you were on the fence about MSC then i cant recommend it enough. We have now booked for the Armonia next year out of Dubai....let the countdown begin Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
It was our first cruise and we are already keen to book the next one. We did the one week cruise out of Istanbul and really enjoyed the ship. It is clean, beautiful and has a wide range of services that we enjoyed. We though the food was ... Read More
It was our first cruise and we are already keen to book the next one. We did the one week cruise out of Istanbul and really enjoyed the ship. It is clean, beautiful and has a wide range of services that we enjoyed. We though the food was pretty good, we were in the Villa Rosa restaurant, and a good range of options. Drink prices were same as a restaurant so really consider the drinks packages, we got water and beer tickets which worked well but one of the couples we ate with had unlimited which takes the pressure off if you do't want to bother keeping track. The restaurants are good, and serve breakfast which as a much more civilised option than the buffet. We used the buffet for lunch as it was open when excursions got back, the food was varied, some very good, some pretty mediocre. The people were unbelievable, it was like they had never been fed before. You can get heaps of food, but if you don't want to feel like you are feeding time in a zoo then use the other restaurants as much as possible, the Black Crab and Villa Rosa have free breakfasts. The shows were excellent and there is a good range of bars with different atmospheres. Our cabin was first rate, and the staff were just wonderful, always obliging and happy to assist and there are plenty of them. Be nice to them and you will get first rate service with a genuine smile. The shore excursions were mixed - Dubrovnik do you own thing, Venice was mediocre so choose, do your own thing in Bari, Olympia was very good and Ephesus was easily the best guide and itinerary we have ever had and we have done a lot of travelling. The cruise itself is cheap and with a little planning - drink coffee and water in the buffet where its free, etc. you can choose how much you spend. If you just use a bit of thought you won't spend that much extra. Overall we felt like millionaires yet didn't spend a fortune. I love the MSC experience and our next holiday will probably include a cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Msc Divinia is a lovely ship and the staff were fantastic and the shows were good if not very short ie 1/2hr. We did the AI package which was well worth it. There were plenty of places to go in the evening to suit all people and the ... Read More
Msc Divinia is a lovely ship and the staff were fantastic and the shows were good if not very short ie 1/2hr. We did the AI package which was well worth it. There were plenty of places to go in the evening to suit all people and the entertainment in the bars was good. We had a balcony room which was big enough and great to be able to leave the door open to the balcony. Wifi was very expensive! The Black and White bar was great, with a big dance floor and some good entertainment.There was only two complaints:1. The food in the restaurants was never hot and sometimes was nearer to cold. The portions were small so have most of the courses is my advice. The main buffet restaurant was a nightmare at times as hundreds of people tried to eat with not enough seats.2. The sore excursions we did go on we're not great which was Izmir and Venice. The Venice trip was € 80 each and went to a glass factory which took up about 11/2hrs of a 4hr trip. We then had to walk briskly to where the gondola trip started and the guide did not describe any sights on the way. The gondola trip lasted 1/2hr with 6 of us in and I was facing backwards and it did not go anywhere great. We then were left there by the guide to get back to our boat to go back to the ship alone. We had to nearly run across St Marks square to be on tine. Overall a rip off. I would not recommend their shore excursions and we did our own thing as much as possible. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
June 2013. Our first ever Cruise and we decided on the Med and MSC Divina. Booked and paid far in advance (that afforded us a nice discount)to board in Venice and do a 7 day trip to Dubrovnik and back. Before our Cruise we read some bad ... Read More
June 2013. Our first ever Cruise and we decided on the Med and MSC Divina. Booked and paid far in advance (that afforded us a nice discount)to board in Venice and do a 7 day trip to Dubrovnik and back. Before our Cruise we read some bad reviews about the Divina - bad staff, bad food, terrible wine etc etc. Well...we experienced NOTHING of the sort! The staff was excellent, the food was very acceptable and the wine was fine. Boarding in Venice took all of 15 minutes. Our cabin was ready 2 hours before the advertised time and we found it spotless and inviting. The Cabin attendant (Frederique) introduced himself and after that we just saw him slip in and out of our Cabin to freshen things up. We bought the Allegrissimo Drinks package at 23Euro per person per day and it was a very good decision. Our evening meals we had in the Villa Rosa Restaurant and our waiters Halili and Stephen went out of their way to ensure we had a good time. 1 Evening meal we went to the Tex Mex (Extra charge) and another evening we Dined at the Buffet Restaurant (we did not feel like dressing up). It is advisable to wear long pants for dinner. We had 2 Gala evenings and a Jacket and tie is advisable if you do not want to do Black tie. Guest relations - Tyrone, Guest entertainment - Bonita and Oscar, Waiters - Mischa and Violetta were gems!!!! Excursions: We only used the Ship excursion for Katakalon - well worth it as the guides are VERY informed. There was no waiting or pushing and shoving to get off the Boat and onto Buses - all was very well organised. Istanbul and Dubrovnik we did on our own. The Divina is kept very clean - staff constantly cleaning. It was a pleasure Cruising and we will do it again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Having read all the reviews on MSC Divina before going, we felt it useful to give our perspective as well, albeit from a first time cruiser slant. Embarkation: This route is circular, and it appears you can embark at most stops, although ... Read More
Having read all the reviews on MSC Divina before going, we felt it useful to give our perspective as well, albeit from a first time cruiser slant. Embarkation: This route is circular, and it appears you can embark at most stops, although the majority of people embark in Venice. We (and about 300 others) embarked at Istanbul, where everything seemed well organised, and we did not have to queue for long. Our luggage was by our cabin within an hour. However once on board (including staff perceptions) everything is tailored towards an assumption that we embarked at Venice; this is not detrimental, you just notice it in conversations and the way the daily guides are written. There does seem to be some benefit though; when we were in Venice, the check in desk was much more chaotic, with longer queues and some confusion for embarking passengers which we could avoid since we were only in transit. At disembarkation we were able to get up/leave our cabin later than Venice passengers as there were less people to manage. Moral of the story: If you can be flexible, board at a quieter port. Ship: The ship was spotlessly clean and very impressive to look at both on the outside and inside. There is a you tube video (found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AKMfVJxGv8, and having skipped through this before embarking, we can confirm it looks exactly like this. One slight niggle we had was the number of areas insider where you could smoke; it seemed that every lounge/bar had a smoking area and a non-smoking area, but since smoke drifts, the non-smoking areas quickly smelt of smoke. This was particularly irritating given that there is a designated Cigar Lounge for smokers to use. Room: We had a balcony room. This provided all that we wanted, and the balcony was well worth the money, as the views were great, and gave somewhere outside to sit away from the crowds. Dining: When we booked we already KNEW it was an ITALIAN ship. Therefore, even though we are British, we were not expecting to have tea or coffee offered after dinner, and the food would be more tailored towards the Italian/Mediterranean palette. Thus, everything about the food MET OUR EXPECTATIONS. Thus to anyone moaning about this, you should have done your research and if you could not cope, should not have booked in the first place! Rant over… Complaints about the food not always being piping hot, however, are valid. The service in the restaurants was really good, and a couple of times when I did not like something they changed it to another meal. You can also request to tailor the meal e.g. can I have the potatoes from one option with the meat from another. Service in the buffet needs some work, as I did find the staff got our drinks orders wrong at least twice. The range of food in the buffet for breakfast and lunch was good (I am a fussy eater) and I thought fair for the price we paid on the cruise. Not 5* perhaps but I always left full and with a smile on my face. Drinks: tea, coffee and fountain juice drinks (be warned these tasted like syrup) were available all day from the buffet. All drinks in the restaurant had to be paid for, and were limited to wine/beer/water/basic soft drinks. If you wanted cocktails you had to buy from another bar and carry in yourself. We bought the Allegrissimo package at 23Euro per day. This worked out at great value, since we calculated that we spent on average about 32Euros per day each without even trying (and we don’t drink much, so most of this was soft drinks, fresh squeezed juice and iced tea, virgin cocktails and a glass of wine for dinner. There is an added bonus that you can get scoops of gelato too which was wonderful. If you book in advance you also avoid the 15% service charge, which soon adds up). Service Servicing of our room was faultless. The room is cleaned in the morning, and the bed turned down in the evening, and had no complaints with the quality of the work, with towels replaced as required, clutter tidied, glasses replaced etc. Port & Shore Excursions We took part in one MSC-arranged excursion, to Ephesus from Izmir. The tour was an English and Spanish mixed tour, so the tour guide had to deliver everything in two languages. It was impressive that she could do this, but did make the tour drag, meaning that we didn’t get as long as I would have wanted to look at each site (i.e. the end of the tour was a little rushed). The main reason why we avoided the other excursions was that, in our opinion, they were a little too expensive for what they offered. Both Dubrovnik and Bari are very accessible by local transport (bus for 15Kuna (2Euro) in Dubrovnik, and a 15 min walk in Bari). Similarly, for the main tourist sites in Istanbul, you can get the tram from a stop 300 yards from the port to Sultanahmet for only 3TL. Travel to Embarkation Port - For Istanbul, the prices quoted by taxi drivers are at least twice what they should be, so ask for the journey to be on the meter. Disembarkation Disembarkation was relatively smooth, once again helped by doing so at a ‘quieter’ port. We were clearly notified of what time we needed to leave our room (8am), and our luggage was easily identifiable inside the cruise terminal Summary We really enjoyed the cruise; the ship was as expected, and the main reason why we chose this particular cruise (the ports we docked at) did not disappoint.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We just returned from a 7 week cruise with the MSC Divina and we have loved it. Before writing this review I have been reading some others to see what the general thought is.Well, if you want to enjoy this cruise, you need know a few ... Read More
We just returned from a 7 week cruise with the MSC Divina and we have loved it. Before writing this review I have been reading some others to see what the general thought is.Well, if you want to enjoy this cruise, you need know a few things and adept to it. Let me start be saying that you can see that MSC is an Italian company and you can see it in everything in the ship. Learn to love it and use it to your advantage: you will have real coffee, you can expect good cocktails, high prices for alcohol (if you don't have a package) and the restaurants will be Italian style as well.I have read a few review saying that some of the people in the ship have no manners: pushing in front or not saying 'excuse me'. Well, you can start bothering about this, or just live with it. When you come in to the ship (after an excursion or something), you can push around and try to get into the elevator. Or you walk 1 stairs up, walk 20 seconds to the next elevator group and not have to wait for it.Dinning: The ship has a restaurant service 19:00 and 21:00 dinner. The waiters work extremely hard and try to speak your language (I have seen Indonesian waiters trying to speak and understand Germans and Italians). In general: when you are nice to them, say thank you, have a bit of patience and try to understand their situation (they literally run around bringing your food!!) then they will be kind to you as well. Being kind generally works better then shouting in your own language, be upset that he/she doesn't understand it and hope for great service because you tip him a bit.The food isn't great. But what can you expect if the kitchen has to serve 4-5 courses for a few 1000 people within 2 hours. Expect food you can prepare in mass or which are easy to through on a plate. The use of spices is also minimal; you have Italians, Germans, English, Americans and many other nationalities on board, all with a different taste-palette. There is also a buffet restaurant. Not great quality either and the behavior of the people makes it look like 'feeding time' in a zoo. Same things holds for the breakfast. Well, if you want to have excellent fine dining on your cruise-ship, chose one of the line where you pay triple the amount of money.Drinks.The currency of the ship is Euro. Except 5 euro's for a beer, 4,5 E for below average wine, and 6.5 for a cocktail. 1-3 E for coffee and 2 E for 1,5L of water. On top you have to pay a fee of 15%. I think that is expensive; but is it any different on another ship? You can also take the Allegrissimo package. For 23 euro's per person per day you can drink yourself stupid, have ice cream, have wine, take some bottles of water for in your room or on shore. For what I have seen from other cruise lines: this is basically the cheapest you can get. Drink 2 cocktails + 1 coffee + 1 ice cream and maybe 1 coke; and you already cover your costs. It just makes holiday so much easier when you don't have to think about bar-costs. The cocktails are great and quick btw. I loved it! You can also go for the 46 euro pppd package and get real champagne, some even fancier cocktails, mini bar service and some aged whiskey's and beer in a bottle.The Ship.The ship is new. The inside looks nice, flashy, shiny. There are plenty of themed bars, live music, shops, a large theater and it all looks nice. The shows are nice: the last about 45 minutes. Some are more music oriented (3 of them), there is 1 ballet show, 2 acrobatic and 1 mixed shows. It might not always be your style, but you see the effort and the dedication the performers put into it.The guests do use the towel-tric: trying to reserve their seat. Yup: if everybody wants to go have a tan on top of the ship, there is not enough space. If you see that boarding time from your excursion is 15:00 and you plan to go tanning afterwards: try to get a chair before 15:00, before the rest tries to get a chair. Excursions.If you don't want to think and book the excursions: they are fine. It all goes a bit slow though; but that is what you can expect if you are in a group of 20 - 50 people...Or you read quickly want the main excursions are about and you will have an idea of what there is to do in a city. I will name two examples:In Bari you can do a 3-4 hour city tour: go on a bus, have a walk and see about what is there. Maybe there is a lunch in it as well: expect 50 euro per person. Or you walk out of the ship, and go to a hop on hop off bus. Pay 15 euro's a person, do the same things and have a guide as well. Afterwards you go find a lunch yourself. Either find a restaurant or go to your favorite review page and find a restaurant. We had a 2 people lunch for 20 euro including free wifi. Easy saving.In Istanbul you will probably do the same touristy things as everybody: Haga Sofia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi palace, Hippodrome and the Bazaar. You can follow your group... or pay 3TL (1,20 eur) to take the tram which stops in front of the blue mosque! Over there everything is at a walking distance. So, all in all, I had a great time. For the money I could not have wished for more. I still had a 5 star feeling and am happy to have seen all these cities! Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We arrived at the port to board the ship, DISASTER. We had to wait and wait for our bags to be checked in.There was some cover, but a lot of people had to stand in the blazing sun and this included many elderly people.After checking in our ... Read More
We arrived at the port to board the ship, DISASTER. We had to wait and wait for our bags to be checked in.There was some cover, but a lot of people had to stand in the blazing sun and this included many elderly people.After checking in our bags we were left to make our way to check in, no signs to show you the way, with the result you had people walking around the port looking for the check in, not a great start to your cruise. When we got to check in, another long wait, and your not finished there, another wait to get through security. At last we were on board, told where our room was and that was it.Lucky for us we were on the Fantasia last year and both ships are about the same inside so we knew where to go.We had just entered our room when there was a knock on the door, it was our cabin stewart, Aldo, to inform us that there was some damage in our room caused by the previous occupants and would be fixed asap.We went for a coffee, returned about an hour later, everything was fixed.Well done Aldo. The cabin was small,the saying "couldn't swing a cat" springs to mind. We were greeted every morning by Aldo with a big smile and a "Good Morning". If we met him in the evening again we got the big smile and a "How was your day".Aldo kept our room spotless during our cruise.The whole ship is kept spotless by a crew of cleaners,who you can see at work every minute of the day and night. Having cruised with MSC before we knew all about the buffet crowd and we timed our arrival so it wasn't that difficult to get a seat.We found the food hot and tasty We had the second seating at the Villa Rossa restaurant, service was excellent, food was great, good selection and hot. Every member of staff we came in contact with were very nice. As other reviewers have said, get the drinks package and don't do the ships tours, they are too expensive,do some research before you go(log on to TripAdvisor). Every port had a tour bus at the gate that you could just hop on. Some of the stays are very short,in Istanbul the traffic was terrible and the official tour buses returned to the ship with 5 minutes to spare, so again research is very important when you are getting a tour. Finally getting off was not as bad as getting on,but with the ship docking at 8 and passengers having to be out of their rooms by 7, everybody going for breakfast at the same time I would hate to see what happened in the buffet restaurant. We had breakfast in the restaurant we dined in,although they only open have the restaurant the service was very slow. We had to assemble in different part of the ship according to the coloured and numbered labels the gave us for our luggage,when the staff held up our number we followed that member to the gang way, got off the ship at the terminal where our luggage was waiting.All in all it was a great cruise, would we go with MSC again,yes we would, but next time we might try another company just for a change.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Having just returned from our twelfth cruise with the eastern Mediterranean route on the MSC Divina, we are stumped at the abundance of negative reviews we had read in advance. Our experience was just the opposite. No cruise is perfect but ... Read More
Having just returned from our twelfth cruise with the eastern Mediterranean route on the MSC Divina, we are stumped at the abundance of negative reviews we had read in advance. Our experience was just the opposite. No cruise is perfect but the MSC Divina came pretty darn close for us. Yes, we had some reservations prior to our departure. First, we've always been most comfortable on ships averaging 1,500 to 2,000 passengers (MSC Divina carries around 4,000). Second, we've been spoiled in the past by lines catering almost exclusively to the American passenger. But the allure of the MSC Divina design coupled with the Venice base and very appealing ports including Izmir, Istanbul and Dubrovnik clinched the deal for us. The ship is a beauty. Sleek, understated, elegant and full of surprises (and after a year, still with the feel of a sparkling, brand new ship). The MSC Divina feels very Italian and yet very international all at once. The staff, somewhat reserved (but as you get to know certain members of the crew, you'll find some great, friendly personalities), is always right on top of your requests and always striving to be as accommodating as possible. The crew is just as international as the passenger roster, unique to most cruise lines - you'll find nametags from Bali to Bosnia, South Africa to Scotland. Some of the bartenders weren't always at the top of their game - but with so many bars and so many attendants, just hop over to the next; you'll soon have your favorites (and they are quick to recognize you after a day or two). Embarkation in Venice was a snap. Of course, it helped that we took a private water taxi to the dock from our hotel (the wonderful A Tribute to Music hotel) to the private dock located next to the ship (great tour and what a way to arrive, all for about 70 euro). Your luggage is immediately tagged at the private water taxi dock so you skip the long lines to check in luggage at the terminal and immediately head up to registration. It's a quick confirmation at registration -- just make sure all information such as dinner seating time and any drink packages are printed on your cabin card. Mention that you arrived by private water taxi and instead of waiting for your boarding number to be called (group numbers are handed out at the crowded luggage check-in), you are immediately shown to the front of the line to board the ship. Embarkation with registration was a matter of 20 minutes for us - and after we boarded and grabbed a quick bite, we were amazed to find our luggage already at our cabin door in less than an hour. Our MSC Divina cabin 13038 could not have been better. Designed in beautiful dark brown, orange and gold tones, the cabin seemed a bit more narrow than other cabins we've had (from our favorites with Holland America, Celebrity and NCL to the "unique" Costa Fortuno to the not-so-hot Carnival) but certainly more comfortable. Plush sofa, ample storage and cabinets, compact but convenient bathroom (exceptionally clever design to fold in the shower doors when not in use to expand the bathroom space), thick carpeting, beautiful lighting options and comfortable seating on what seems to be a bigger-than-usual veranda with jaw-dropping views (and ideal privacy dividers from your neighbors). And the bed - the bed! - wow, just about the most comfortable bed we've ever had on any cruise. It was a plus that the forward cabins on the 13th Cupido deck are on hallways that dead-end with the captain and upper management rooms, so the hallways and cabin are dead quiet. Just ideal. Not sure how they did it - or when they did it - but our cabin was always clean, bed made, spotless bathroom, ice bucket filled, and turn down service with next-day information packets always waiting for us no matter the hour we returned at night. Our balcony and large windows were thoroughly scrubbed down twice on two port days. The best deals on the MSC Divina, as frequently mentioned, are absolutely the all-inclusive allegrissimo drink package (which also includes fantastic gelato from various stations) and the laundry package (20 items per cabin during the cruise cleaned for 25 euro total, and all came back to our cabin on the same day). While many cruise lines seem to be scaling back on entertainment and shows, MSC pulls out all the stops on the Divina in the sophisticated Pantheon Theatre with lavish and large (very large) productions. No live orchestra means more performers, singers and dancers on stage. I can't remember the last time we went on a cruise and went to every evening performance. On the Divina, the highlights for us included a spectacular Moulin Rouge Cadeaux show, mind-blowing Michael Jackson tribute and beautiful Sogno Italiano of Italian arias and operas. Astounding that in one week we saw everything from "Swan Lake" to Cirque-like aerials, can can dancers to electronic violinists, swashbuckling pirates to Italian tenors, all spectacular! The MSC Divina has a wide variety of bars, each with distinctive decor and entertainment in the evening. Our favorites turned out to be the Golden Jazz Bar (still amazed at the unique glass bubble chandeliers), Black and White Lounge (terrific dance band) and of course, the atrium bar with those gorgeous Swarovski crystal staircases and an ever-changing entertainment line-up from a concert pianist to a chamber orchestra to opera singers. We opted for our usual late dinner seating and chose the smaller of the two dining rooms, the Villa Rossa. It's an elegant room of deep reds with black and gold trims, and surrounded by panoramic windows - and have to say the Villa Rossa was far more elegant and not as cramped as the "signature" dining room called the Black Crab (don't get me wrong - it's a beautiful room but the Crab seemed crowded, somewhat claustrophobic and very understated in black and very muted plum and gold colors). Service in the Villa Rossa was of course impeccable and friendly, and that dining crew works darn hard to keep your meal flowing and anticipating your needs. The menus were varied, interesting and extensive. Sure there were some misses (our dining captain could tell I was having a tough time with a certain dish, whisked it away and immediately replaced it with another choice), but for the most part all the selections ranged from good to great. I am still dreaming of an incredible smoked gouda risotto'loved it so much I had a second helping and then for dessert, a third serving! Somewhere along the line, the MSC Divina got a reputation for serving dishes only lukewarm to cold. Not in our case - every hot dish was just that - hot! Amazing, by just our second night, our favorite bottles of wines, dishes of ice and favorite breads were waiting for us every evening. The big (and I mean BIG!) grand buffet sprawling over the Calumet and Manitou wings can be overwhelming. I would guess it extends about a third the length of the ship of the 14th floor deck, and you will be blown away by the selections of entrees, Mediterranean and international specialties, salads, wide variety of pizzas and pastas, meat carvings, unique Italian sandwiches, desserts, and expansive and truly fantastic cheese selections. Yes, the buffet can get very crowded - name one ship when a breakfast or a specific lunch period isn't crowded - but just take a breath and keep proceeding to the rear of the buffet into the Manitou sections (with stylish American Indian motifs). This buffet is smartly designed and selections continue to repeat themselves throughout the wings -- you'll find the rear portions much less crowded (and quiet) with more than ample window and booth seating. The MSC Divina is a marvel of not only design but also management of a large passenger ship. The many pools and tiered decks were never overly crowded (you'll always find outdoor seating - the attendants go out of their way to find comfortable spots for you). To escape the action of the unique Aqua Park, head aft to the Infinity Pool and hot tubs (always pretty quiet). The MSC Divina interiors have a variety of easy, comfortable seating (loved the silver two-person banquettes in the Black and White Lounge as well as lounging on the large full-body cushion sofas of the Golden Jazz). Exiting at ports was a breeze -- just wait ten minutes after port doors open so that the excursion groups can pour out first. I might guess tendered ports could be a bit challenging with so many passengers, but fortunately we didn't have to deal with any tendered ports. The only time the ship felt somewhat crowded was that hour or so between the 1st dinner seating/1st show and the 2nd dinner seating/2nd show. The beautiful and oh-so-comfortable 1,600 seat Pantheon Theatre is located at the front of the ship and the two dining rooms at the rear, so of course there is the intersecting flow from end to end during that evening interval (and there can be some gridlock pending the great opera singer or dance band in a lounge, or how good someone is bowling in the sports bar, or a jackpot being hit in the casino). Some good (and some not) surprises we discovered aboard the ship: - This is one spotless, sparkling, always white glove clean ship, at all hours of the day or night. Like others, we couldn't help but marvel at how the crew was always subtly cleaning every inch of the ship (never before seen attendants appearing from nowhere with handheld vacuum cleaners). - We are not fans of the White Party, but the MSC Divina's is so different: all ages having a great time, dancing with crew members and performers, fantastic bands, wonderful service and just a great spirit that is so inclusive of all ages, all nationalities, all types of folks (at one point I was dancing all at once with a very senior woman from Stockholm, a Japanese businessman and one of the reception desk attendants). - The Aurea Spa is one of the most elegant spas you'll ever see. We took a tour and were blown away - and had every intention to indulge (we were so intrigued by the coconut and opium saunas) but simply ran out of time. - Do not miss the 4D HD theatre - it is a hoot! We took in the "canyon ride" film and were hollering and grabbing the sides of our seats! Loved it! It's a six euro charge for the wild ride. - The first gala night is definitely a dressy affair (this international passenger roster took it seriously!) - the second gala night was a bit more subdued when it came to the 'glamour' quotient. - If you attend one of the 20-minute daily cooking demonstrations (interesting watching the chefs create dishes, but alas, no sampling), you'll qualify for a 15% discount at the upscale Galaxy restaurants or the Sacramento TexMex steakhouse. We opted for the Galaxy one night and found the dishes somewhat interesting but the setting and service lacking anything close to "upscale" or special (we definitely do not recommend it). The Galaxy is just the very hip Galaxy Disco's adjoining bar made over for the dinner hour. We were going to try the Sacramento TexMex steakhouse one evening but 1) it always seemed empty, which we didn't take as a good sign; and 2) we were simply enjoying the Villa Rossa dining room too much. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. No matter the ship, parents of all nationalities (yes, that includes you American parents, too) have a tendency to let their little monsters run loose now and then, thinking it's cute and that others will also enjoy the dancing tyke sprawled on a dance floor or pounding their spoon against a table. Just smile, shake your head and move away. - The MSC Divina doesn't push photo opportunities (too much), and there are mostly fixed positions for photo sittings and not cameraman climbing all over the decks. And give it a try - have to admit this ship's photographers are very stylish, very creative and very professional with some truly great photography! A word about the ports (and they can be short - but then again, every port stop is too short when you are truly enjoying yourself): Bari, Italy: fascinating old town and some glorious cathedrals to visit - then wander into the old town neighbors, down colorful alleys, and you'll glimpse Italy from decades gone by (and on this Sunday, there were local bands playing on hidden corners throughout old town Bari). Easily accessed from the port by taxi, bus or on foot. Katakolon, Greece: we wisely skipped Olympia (knowing Ephesus lay ahead the following day) and enjoyed the quaint town right on the port with some fantastic (and very reasonably priced) shopping. Also loved an open air tourist train ride from the town into the Greek country side, with fantastic views and stops at a beautiful vineyard and a breathtaking beach resort. Izmir, Turkey: we're not one for the ship excursions but prefer to book private (and much less expensive) tours. We scored big time with booking a private tour of the astounding Ephesus and Artemis along with a fantastic buffet lunch through Gizem Gencer at www.ephesustours.biz (and insist on Erman Gokbora as a guide - wonderful, knowledgeable and gracious guide). Istanbul, Turkey: once again, the massive mass ship excursion were not for us, so we booked a sensational private Byzantine tour and lunch with Ender Boz at www.privatetoursinistanbul.com. Regret to say we can't recall the name of our wonderful hostess, but we saw all the major historical sites of Istanbul in a knowledgeable, whirlwind tour tailored to our interests (and our guide knew how and when to maneuver past long lines and avoid the crowded mass tour times). Dubrovnik, Croatia: so this was our one trip-up. Had booked a private tour through Pero Klaic at pepoklaic@yahoo.com and his www.dubrovnikshoretrip.com. He was a no-show (luckily we had no deposits with him - definitely a tour service to avoid!) and were about to panic when we luckily discovered that for only 50 euro (compared to Pero's 150 euro trip), we could get a private one and a half hour taxi tour of the views, historical sites and then the jaw-dropping old town and walled city of Dubrovnik. Just hail any taxi at the port gate and make the request. And finally, disembarking in Venice. Well, all good things come to end. And all good procedures, too. This is where the MSC Divina stumbled a bit - disembarking was a chaotic mess. No one seemed quite sure where to go, when to go, who was to go, etc. We were one of the lucky ones (sort of), as all cabins on the 13th floor Cupido are for some reason marked as Gray One for priority disembarking. The 8 am disembarkation time became 9 am and then finally, finally, Gray One group was allowed to leave (and yes, our luggage was right there waiting for us as we departed). Now in all fairness, there could have been good cause for the confusion and concern that morning. There were massive and disruptive news-generating protests all day long by Venetians, protesting the arriving and departing cruise liners as being destructive to the Venice environment. Seeing how many (there were nine ships in port on our arrival in Venice) and how close these ships sail to the Venice docks and canals, I somewhat agree with the protestors that there are just too many that are sailing too close for comfort. And the MSC Divina seems to be always singled out of all ships by the protestors because of her enormous size and her namesake "godmother' Sophia Loren (many are demanding their beloved Sophia have her name removed from the ship). So we are privileged to offer a counter to those negative reviews of the MSC Divina and instead marvel at and appreciate the extraordinary experience aboard this glorious ship. We're excited to now be MSC Club members!   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Embarked in Bari... (Only regret) From the moment you arrive on board it feels like you are on in a high priced hotel. We booked a Balcony Cabin... Gorgeous and well appointed. Buffet breakfast was as expected at ANY smorgasbord. Meals ... Read More
Embarked in Bari... (Only regret) From the moment you arrive on board it feels like you are on in a high priced hotel. We booked a Balcony Cabin... Gorgeous and well appointed. Buffet breakfast was as expected at ANY smorgasbord. Meals in the designated restaurants were plentiful and good variety. The wait staff (In Particular Raddi) were excellent and anticipated drink orders as we sat down for dinner. Two of the shore tours we booked 6 months in advance were cancelled due to lack of participation but the alternatives chosen were really well organised. The ports stopped at were fantastic... although it would have been nice to spend more time at each. I highly recommend the Allegrissimo drinks package as it was great value for money... I also had my hair dyed , cut and styled, nails and makeup done for the gala night at Aurea Spa and their prices were quite reasonable. In fact i believe they were cheaper than having them done here in Australia. The hair stuff only took about 2 hours as well.. We ran into many other Aussies on our cruise and there were other English speakers as well. Seriously if you get an opportunity to cruise with MSC Divina, do it Read Less
Sail Date September 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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