I will start this review with my feeling that there really is no BAD cruise, but some are better than others. I sailed on MSC SEASIDE in May and was for the most part, very impressed, as that was my first time on MSC. The promotion that ... Read More
I will start this review with my feeling that there really is no BAD cruise, but some are better than others. I sailed on MSC SEASIDE in May and was for the most part, very impressed, as that was my first time on MSC. The promotion that tempted me for this trip was just too good to pass up, so we decided to give Divina shot. Regrets, no. Bad cruise, no…Others were better, however.
My experience on MSC Divina was enjoyable however there are some things that future cruisers should keep in mind.
This is a very nice, large (a little older) ship. In my opinion, it was very confusing to get around. It took me several days to begin to get some bearing. There are MANY elevators and some of what I referred to as secret elevators. You really need to study the layout and explore this ship to get around effectively. You WILL probably get lost in the beginning. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. That being said, I did not experience long waits for elevators throughout the week, as I had expected. They were pretty fast. It just took time to get from point a to point b as some of the public decks do not connect with each other. (and I dare you to try to find the jogging track!)
Initially, I felt the ship very confusing, due to the above reasons… after a few days, I felt it to be more annoying! This was due to the fact that the majority of the 3600 passengers were from all over the world and very few were from USA (maybe 20% on this trip, I was told). That made for communication and some cultural differences, which are tolerable, but the people were just many times rude! Cutting in line, pushy, bumping into you without an acknowledgment or excuse me…and no concern what so ever, mostly just stopping where ever they happen to be at the time, to have a conversation….even if it is in the middle of the buffet traffic flow, which happened everyday!. The same rudeness was experienced with the elevators. There is no consideration for anyone getting off, when the doors opened…all just piled in and did not yield to people exiting, and if you try to get on and people were already in there, they would just not move. I had to “weave around” then to find a space near the back or sides, instead of the person standing in the middle just moving! So annoying.
The next most annoying feature on this trip though is the chair HOGS…not savers, because mostly they just NEVER showed up……but towels were out on ALL available chairs by 7:30 AM on sea days……every time, even when the weather was not good! The worst part is that I literally saw these chars empty for most of the day. It’s Just plain rude and pointless. There are plenty of chairs and spaces on the ship, and people come and go. I do not understand the “entitlement” of some people. There was NO enforcement of their lax policy of not doing this on this ship.
These are the things that I could not “get past” on this trip, because they don’t need to be….
That being said, I am on vacation and not going to sweat the small stuff. If this behavior bothers you, think carefully before booking on Divina. Would I book Divina again? NO Would I book Seaside again YES.
Divina is clearly still a European ship, alternating with Med and Caribbean seasons; while the Seaside which has been built for US market, and year round Caribbean “gets it” more.
This was a longer trip for me; 11 days over Thanksgiving holiday. The demographic was all ages, mostly older and we had a good itinerary to break it up. I love cruising, but for me, even with the excursions and diversions, I was getting kind of bored towards the end…not so much of being on the ship for too long, but mostly because it seemed to be the same thing (on board) day after day. The cruise staff was energetic and tried to engage people, but on this ship, the variety of languages is and will remain their biggest downfall. Crew and staff speaking, trying to engage and get involvement; and passengers just not listening or understanding…… So, not much staff could do about it. I would think with today's technology that it could be a simple fix of an app on your phone with a translator and head phones….it seems to work at UN and would be a great improvement on a multi cultural ship like this one.
Mostly though, it seemed to be the same thing every day…..Even and especially with the show at night. . I was really looking forward to the shows because on SEASIDE they were fantastic, every night. On Divina; not so much. The singers and dancers were very talented and worked hard but every night it was the same thing……singing with some back up dancers (weird and distracting choreography) and ZERO sets. For 10 nights we saw stairs on the stage. That is all; just stairs. Finally, the pirate show…which was great. It was a show, not just song fest, and it is what I would have expected for each night, or at least a couple. I skipped the Opera and walked out on a couple of others…just got bored. The “ pre show” however was very entertaining. Go early, it’s the best part of the show. Cukoo! The entertainment around the ship through out the evening was plentiful….La Luna Piano Bar (never saw the piano beinge played on time the whole trip) but an nice duo each night. The Golden Jazz Club (never was any jazz in there) but high energy Latin music each night, The piazza had piano and dance music nightly. Lots of venues throughout the ship. Many Theme nights and typical trivia and karaoke.
I do miss the comedy shows. I imagine it is impossible with the language diversity. (that could be a great comedy show in itself!)
With spent time (and money) in the casino. Actually won a little in the long run. BlackJack , slots, roulette but sadly NO CRAPS on MSC. I really miss that.
The food and service was good. Food plentiful…but again boring . The buffet, although HUGE; was literally the same thing every day. Lots of food and variety, same each day. Period…..The dining room was nice and service was very good, food was ok too. The pizza was GREAT! (People were annoying….no flow of traffic, stopping in the middle of lines to talk WITH strollers!) Oblivious.
Ports were good. We did two excursions and only one complaint. The tour was supposed to be English; There was a 2nd one of the same for multilingual, however, out tour guide instructed us that there were many Germans and she was told to be bi lingual. So there was constant translating and not enough “tour info” Actually much was spoken in German and I found myself tuning out. That was disappointing and my complaint fell on deaf ears. We received chocolate dipped strawberries for our inconvenience! I thought maybe partial credit would have been more appropriate and I would NOT have booked this had I known about the language.
All in all, the ship is pretty and clean. The cabin in nice and spacious, and clean. The staff is nice, efficient and friendly. The price was right and we enjoyed our vacation. Would I sail Divina again, probably not. There are too many other ships to experience. Read Less