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305 MSC Cruises MSC Divina Cruise Reviews

Choose this crew based on the itinerary. Have sailed the MSC Divina 4 times before and this time the inconsistencies were evident but given the low price point, we still had fun. Was the cruise perfect? NO. There were plenty of ... Read More
Choose this crew based on the itinerary. Have sailed the MSC Divina 4 times before and this time the inconsistencies were evident but given the low price point, we still had fun. Was the cruise perfect? NO. There were plenty of 10's and Plenty's of 0's and stuff in between. First the 10's for us. Embarkation was perfect. The bars and bar staff on the middle of the ship were awesome. Casino and casino bar staff were awesome. The sports bar was fun and entertainment except when people bowled. why stick a bowling alley in an open air sports bar? SMH. Galaxy Shushi restaurant was awesome with food and staff. La Cantina di Bacco and the made to order brick oven pizza awesome. Go see Rosario for a great pie. Zero's - MDR food and staff at our table were horrible. Went 3 times at the beginning of the cruise only. Each time we waited over 1.5 hours for dinner and drinks were never replinshed. Food quality was really inconsistent. Service was so bad they comped a specialty restaurant. Never went back after that. The ship is 6 years old and it is starting to show its age. The staff does a great job of maintaining it clean but you can see wear and tear over the years. Entertainment was okay on the Divina. Nothing spectacular but nothing horrible although the tribute to Tina Turner was highly questionable. Overall an average cruise but again given the price point compared to other cruise lines, you can see where the difference is missing. Would we sail MSC cruises again? Not sure anymore. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our first MSC cruise, we have done about 20 cruises most others on ncl, Celebrity and HAL. We enjoy trying new experiences and saw a great deal for a balcony cabin with drinks, we even upgraded the drinks package and the cost per ... Read More
This was our first MSC cruise, we have done about 20 cruises most others on ncl, Celebrity and HAL. We enjoy trying new experiences and saw a great deal for a balcony cabin with drinks, we even upgraded the drinks package and the cost per day was still under $200. We used their status match to gain black status under the MSC program, this enabled us to use priority check in, the line for check in was so short that it didn’t help but we were allowed to board the ship earlier. The ship is gorgeous both outside and internally, with the magnificent staircase the showpiece. We had just disembarked the NCL epic and despite being similar sizes this ship felt far more spacious. The internal public areas stretched over 3 floors on the lower levels plus the upper floor buffet, disco and spa. The outdoor areas were also spacious with several hidden sun areas. There were loads of bars and cafes and the theatre is huge. I loved that it was easy to see the ocean from so many different locations (except forward). Our cabin was a “Bella” on deck 9 it was larger than expected with a full sofa. Storage was good and the balcony was a reasonable size. The bathroom is a little smaller than other ships but functioned fine with only one person at a time. There is a stark lack of amenities in the bathroom. The bed was comfortable. The tv had basic channels but more than on other mainline ships we have tried. We enjoyed using our balcony although the smoke and ash from smokers on the promenade and those flaunting the rules occasionally marred the experience. Dining - this was the major disappointment with the cruise. Things appeared great on embarkation with a huge buffet spread including amazing cheeses and cold cuts, fabulous pizza and salads but this turned out to be the only highlight. There are 2 mdr but you are assigned to fixed dining and shared tables. We begged for and received one of the few 2 tops but it was adjacent to the front door and was an uncomfortable position. Service was efficient but the food was simply terrible. Easily the worst food I have experienced on a cruise ship. The pasta was an embarrassment to an Italian line. On a normal cruise we would never dine in the buffet for dinner but on this cruise we had to give up on the mdr. The buffet wasn’t much better with only half the stations open, the meat was very poor quality. By the end we limited ourselves to pizza and salad. We tried the Italian specialty restaurant as we had a free meal there under our status. We were given a table next to a tv with sports playing, a bag of torn stale bread (I thought it was to feed fish with), an incredibly limited option of courses we could choose. The main food was good, the service was aloof. I would not pay the high prices they were demanding otherwise but I understand given how bad the food in the mdr was why people would pay. Entertainment- The cruise director was the worst we have come across. He rarely made an appearance and when he did he spoke in such a cockney accent that even myself as an Australian struggled to understand him. the nightly shows were basic song and dance numbers using the same cast, in a couple of shows acrobatic performers were incorporated which helped improve the standard. It was such a shame to see such an amazing theatre and stage so under-utilised with next to no stage production. The audience receptions were very muted. There were a couple of opera performances which was a nice change. There was a large activities staff with a lot of activities but generally poor in comparison to NCL. There was a lot of dance classes which were lots of fun. There was one water slide. 3 pools was an upside. The formula one car was fun but was regularly broken (most noticeably when they offered it as a prize for trivia games hmmm). Service - average overall. Bar staff were very mixed but the problem was the drinks packages were confusing, the upgrade offerings onboard were different to those offered via the internet and this led to a lot of confusion. We finally requested a meeting with management who simply denied there was a problem, to their credit though they must have marked our card as from that moment onward we were given almost anything we liked. However wine was still regularly poured into tumblers. The beer and wine offerings were very inconsistent between locations. The quality of cocktails was the worst we have encountered. The good points were that they would simply leave the whole bottle of wine on the table in the mdr. The coffee was the best we have had at sea. There were 2 great coffee bars and the gelato was also great. Guest relations was probably the best we have encountered, still average but better than normal, with questions able to be answered, problems followed up, and the telephone actually answered. The gym was great, open and airy with loads of equipment. The spa was terrible, the staff were statutes. The thermal area had his and her steam rooms and saunas but no jacuzzi or spa. A very small resting area with no drinks or easy towel access. The change rooms had no amenities at all ... completely ridiculous. We did one shore excursion which simple reiterated my long held belief to never do the, again. We were treated like children forced to stand in lines and yelled at as if we could not understand basic instructions. The snorkeling trip was promised as 3 reef locations of National Geographic style, it was a beginners style experience with life jackets enforced, the 3 locations were within 100 metres of each other clearly on the same reef next to another cruise ship in jelly fish infested waters that my wife is now suffering scars from. I still believe I should sue both companies for how bad this experience was. I am not sure we would cruise with MSC again despite loving our cabin and the public areas, the food and dining experiences were simply too poor. There was a lack of interest by senior officers and management and it just led to a feeling of chaos. We were regularly informed that there had been a large staff turnover just 10 days prior but good management should overcome this. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The ship is beautiful and well layed out. Our cabin number was 12245. Balcony, aft. Perfect access to the buffet and main dining rooms. My husband and I smoke and the main smoking area in the Garden Bar (aft) was perfect. If you choose ... Read More
The ship is beautiful and well layed out. Our cabin number was 12245. Balcony, aft. Perfect access to the buffet and main dining rooms. My husband and I smoke and the main smoking area in the Garden Bar (aft) was perfect. If you choose this cruise and don’t smoke, John is someone to meet. He’s been on the ship for 7 years. I was not impressed with the food. My hope is that MSC will catch up to the American taste and style of food. The food was bland. We sail Carnival most of the time. We look forward to getting dressed up and having a dinner full of flavor. Flavor was never a part of the MDR experience. We skipped at least 4 dinners on a 10 day. Overall, we met some remarkable people, staff and fellow cruisers. If I had to choose a cruise line, I’d choose Carnival or Royal Caribbean for the food. I do believe, “Drinks On Us”, made for a fantastic voyage on MSC Divina. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I uploaded all of the daily planners I took pictures of do you have an idea of what to expect. The ship is beautiful, but I didn't come to look at the beautiful ship. The entertainment on the ship was not for us. The main shows at ... Read More
I uploaded all of the daily planners I took pictures of do you have an idea of what to expect. The ship is beautiful, but I didn't come to look at the beautiful ship. The entertainment on the ship was not for us. The main shows at night were singers with background dancers. Many of the songs were not in English, which we understand because it is a European cruise line, but we didn't sit through any of the shows. No comedians, no magicians, nothing of the sort. We appreciated that there was sectioned off smoking in the casino. It wasn't very smoky in the non-smokring section and we didn't feel the need to shower from the smell every night after gambling for a bit. NO ATM ON BOARD. You can get a cash advance for a charge of 5% at the guest relations desk. The flow of traffic with people from other countries who are not used to walking to the right was weird. Pizza is available 24/7. We liked the selection of food. There is something for almost everyone, even picky eaters like me. I say almost because I don't know how vegetarians or gluten people eat without starving. The toilet in our stateroom was set diagonal and when you sit on it, your leg touches the tiny showers fold in door. If you're a large person, I highly suggest you ask about the size of the shower in your room. The pools are saltwater pools. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
MSC is a wonderful cruise line. I was on a casino comped cruise and at first very excited to have a room assigned to me on the 13th floor. Only one floor down from the buffet. Although the ship is very beautiful and our interior room was ... Read More
MSC is a wonderful cruise line. I was on a casino comped cruise and at first very excited to have a room assigned to me on the 13th floor. Only one floor down from the buffet. Although the ship is very beautiful and our interior room was nice, it was noisy from the overhead buffet and a storage closet next door that had carts banging together during the night. On the 4th night we heard water running outside our door,coming through the light fixture in the ceiling. We placed a garbage can under the running water and emptied the bucket as it filled. I called Guest Services to report and to get maintenance to come stop the leak. I was laughed at the first time and advised the young lady that this was serious and needed immediate attention, 20 min. later , I called again and spoke to the same lady, after hanging up and waiting another 15 minutes I went to Guest Services to speak to the manager. We received a bottle of champagane and strawberries when I requested another room. 2nights later the same thing happened only this time it was inside the room and over the bed. Head of housekeeping came and was very nice. Still I would say room 13137 has not the best cruise memories for me. We did love the ports and met many wonderful people on this cruise. The buffet food was very good and MDR was just of on the food but our tablemates were awesome. Casino hosts and cocktail parties were very well done and nice. Casino slots were not paying well this cruise. There were some of the newer games on board though and casino was crowded most of the time. Shows were nice but I missed the Michael Jackson show. Dancers ,singers and set were beautiful. MSC had lots of deals for this cruise and the prices and packages were a great value. I will say that after 10 days of so many different languages being spoken and heard that I was glad to get home to my amiliar southern roots. I like MSC and I'm grateful for the comped room. I hope to cruise them again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Free beverage package which was very limited, great mattress, great attentive housekeeper for our cabin always ready to give us what we needed. Entertainment was ok a lot of singing and the music was so loud you really could not ... Read More
Free beverage package which was very limited, great mattress, great attentive housekeeper for our cabin always ready to give us what we needed. Entertainment was ok a lot of singing and the music was so loud you really could not understand what they were singing. The Last night entertainment was very good, funny and the acrobats were so good. Wish they had one not of just a comedian instead of all the singing. Bartenders great very busy at times, but once they saw us they knew what we wanted, wait staff excellent. Inside cabin, nice size bathroom. Took one msc excursion and it was worth the money. We got cabs for our other touring. Lots of children on this ship I thought, but no impact on us. Would I go on MSC cruise again, maybe not prefer Princess, the need a new chef menu said one thing and most of the time it was not what we expected. Example we ordered the sea Scallop dinner it was bay scallops smaller than a dime and maybe three in this big dish of noodles with who knows what sauce, that went back along with the risotto terrible. We never went back for the final night, Mario the man in charge was funny and nice we finally had to tell him how bad the food was. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Price. Very cheap. Less than $1400.00 for 2 people. 10 days including drinks. You get what you pay for. Cabin was fine no complaints. Food wasn’t the greatest. Cheap food. Hamburgers were good, pizza was ok. We ate a lot of both. Dinner ... Read More
Price. Very cheap. Less than $1400.00 for 2 people. 10 days including drinks. You get what you pay for. Cabin was fine no complaints. Food wasn’t the greatest. Cheap food. Hamburgers were good, pizza was ok. We ate a lot of both. Dinner menu was not very good. Left a lot to be desired. Fish meals not very good. Chicken meals ok. Ny strip steak was tough and grisly. Could not eat it. A lot of casserole dishes and bread. They fill you up with bread. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would give them a 3 on all meals. Like I said you get what you pay for. Entertainment on a scale of 1 to 10 I give them a 2 or 3. Same group of people every night. I have seen high school students do better. 1 night the show was a 8 on scale of 1 to 10. Overall entertainment was lousy. PS If you want a cheap trip ok. If you want a good trip try another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I believe you make the cruise/experience and the ship is there to enhance that experience. In this case MSC has some work to do if they want to attract a broader audience, especially the western cruiser. Ship is nice, but needs some modern ... Read More
I believe you make the cruise/experience and the ship is there to enhance that experience. In this case MSC has some work to do if they want to attract a broader audience, especially the western cruiser. Ship is nice, but needs some modern touches. Staff/crew work hard and at times seemed like some areas were simply understaffed. Food was just average with little variety from day to day. With any cruise/vacation I keep my expectations set to average so that I’m not disappointed, in this case I’m glad I did. Good price for the number of days, but runner out of items and not addressing gaps will cost MSC repeat cruisers and those that want a new experience. We tried it and not sure if we would do it again. Will add that the shows were very good and the performers are a dedicated group! I would recommend this part of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Price of cruise was a big factor in choosing it. Food was average and frequently was not hot. Our waiter in dining room, early seating, was excellent and very accommodating. Cookies in afternoon were delicious. Juice was lukewarm in ... Read More
Price of cruise was a big factor in choosing it. Food was average and frequently was not hot. Our waiter in dining room, early seating, was excellent and very accommodating. Cookies in afternoon were delicious. Juice was lukewarm in morning, hot tea water also lukewarm. Buffet lunch was best meal, six different pizzas and good assortment of hot food, cheeses and lunch meats, fruit and desserts Photographers everywhere wanting to take your picture. Entertainment was boring, each night had same lighted stair background, singers and dancers doing same routine. The two lead singers were excellent, though. Cabin very clean and comfortable. Ship felt very crowded in atrium. Most activities were done on pool deck or at 10:30 at night. Daily trivia only allowed two persons per team, guess they did not want to give away too many prizes. Had the free bar package and was very satisfied with it. No frozen drinks included, but you could always buy them. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We had been warned by our travel agent that this was an Italian cruise line and things would be different, especially the meals. She was right. The Divina is a beautiful ship. Embarkation was smooth and went quickly. The staff was ... Read More
We had been warned by our travel agent that this was an Italian cruise line and things would be different, especially the meals. She was right. The Divina is a beautiful ship. Embarkation was smooth and went quickly. The staff was polite but not overly friendly. They do not seem to interact with the passengers like staff on other cruise lines. Of all the cruises we have been on, we saw the cruise director, Jerome, the least of any cruise director on past ships. Bingo was a single game. The first time offered they had a snafu with the computer shutting down during the game so all info ended up being lost and the game needed to be restarted. We did not play again after that and I think many others avoided it also. The meals were definitely catering to European flavor and, I feel, lacked variety. The buffet line food was often barely warm. The main dining room was not much better and took forever to be served one course to another. Portions tended to be small. The ports were great and we booked this particular Eastern Caribbean cruise (11 days) because it went to ports we had not been to before (with the exception of Antigua) We definitely got what we paid for but we will not book with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
My husband and I like to travel and have done a total of 45 cruises. So I feel we have plenty of cruises to compare this cruise to. As Paul said when we got off the ship we would probably not go on this cruise line again even if they gave ... Read More
My husband and I like to travel and have done a total of 45 cruises. So I feel we have plenty of cruises to compare this cruise to. As Paul said when we got off the ship we would probably not go on this cruise line again even if they gave us a free cruise. The ship was beautiful and the best part of the cruise was that we were on the water and made some good friends. The status program was a joke and the items that we were entitled to, I had to fight to get. They never let us know that you had given us a laundry package - luckily I knew about it but I had to go to the guest service desk to make sure it was on our account and to get the paperwork for the laundry. When we went to guest services for anything else - the people were not very friendly or knowledgeable. They would give us an answer and then we would find out the information was incorrect. Paul ordered the same drink with dinner the first three nights. The first night it was $5.60, the second night it was $9.49 and the third night it was $10.79. He got upset and wanted to know why the difference and what it was going to be each night. After we got the maitre d' involved - he went and got it straighten out and told us the price would be the $9.49 each time that drink was ordered. I ordered a shrimp cocktail the first three nights of the cruise - the first two were the regular sized shrimp cocktails with the tails on the shrimp. The third night I got the tiny shrimp that comes in a can. The food most nights was not very good. Every thing was over cooked and lacked enjoyable taste. One night as the early seating was leaving they told the last seating not to order the prime rib - it was not even eatable. Even the vegetables were over cooked most days. When we went to the buffet for lunch it seemed that it was the same each day - the only difference seemed to be the carver station. The waiter and assistant waiter on the first cruise was never around - I started taking a bottle of water with me and also having them fill three glasses of water to get thru the meal. The waiter the second cruise - was over worked - he tried hard and spent each night running from table to table. When you book the cruise they do not tell you whats not included in the different levels. The level we chose was Bella - little did we know that things like room service (even thought the brochure said it was included) would come with a delivery charge. They never let us know at night when there was a time change - they just listed it on the daily planner and they didn't tell you what night it changed. The free dinner that was included in the status program - had 18 choices for the 1st course, 2 choices for the main course and 3 desserts. The first course was good, the main course was either fish soup or a sirloin steak. The soup was salty and not very good and the steak was not as good as the steak that you could get in the dinning room. Most of the ports were in freight yards - and when the other cruise lines that we have been on and stop in these type ports they have a free shuttle - but not MSC. We heard that the captain didn't want to pay for one. (Not sure if this was true or not but) Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
In my opinion. Customer service was not as I expected, staff was not friendly for the most part. Food was not what I expected, didn't have a great deal of choices. Ship design was awkward didn't have enough natural light in the ... Read More
In my opinion. Customer service was not as I expected, staff was not friendly for the most part. Food was not what I expected, didn't have a great deal of choices. Ship design was awkward didn't have enough natural light in the common areas. Towels seems rationed. Didn't have body cream like most cruises do. Shore excursion to the Panama Canal was very good, but it took us 2 hours to get out of port limon because of the traffic. Cabin bathroom had to be cleaned by housekeeping due to having mold and tile grout as per my request.TV was very small. Cabin balcony glass was full of salt, I had to wipe it down myself when I arrived. They didn't clean the glass until three days into my cruise. Ship design was awkward didn't have enough natural light in the common areas. I will think about it twice if I go again on an MSC cruise Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose it because the date and itinerary suited our needs. It was our third cruise and the first with MSC. The greatest impact was the volume level of the other passengers. My goodness, the Italians are LOUD!!!! They came mob-handed ... Read More
We chose it because the date and itinerary suited our needs. It was our third cruise and the first with MSC. The greatest impact was the volume level of the other passengers. My goodness, the Italians are LOUD!!!! They came mob-handed in big family groups (too many pushchairs) and they have no volume control. They screech at each other at the top of their voices. They also have no concept of queueing, constantly squeezing round you to the front and barging ahead with no manners. This cruise was unusual that a number passengers embarked and disembarked at each of the seven ports, so there was no 'start' or 'finish' to the cruise. It was like a holiday camp on a ferry. After the initial shock we got used to the ship and enjoyed the cruise because the destinations were fun. However the ship is pretty chaotic and disorganised. There is a great lack of information, particularly about the ports of call - no maps or information available as you leave the ship at each port. There are few onboard activities organised for the evenings. We took the Portofino excursion at Genoa - absolute waste of money! The boat ride 'along the coast' was a mile out to sea so you couldn't see anything and it was dreadfully choppy despite being a pleasant day. It took a boring hour and a half to reach Portofino, where we were told there was just one hour before we needed to be back on the boat! We had thought the return journey was by coach but instead had to rush around Portofino and then spend another dreary 90 minutes aboard back to Genoa. Portofino was quite pretty but not worth the journey. The restaurant food was good and the service excellent. The buffet was very spread out and very repetitive, but perfectly okay for lunch. We enjoyed having a drink in the Eataly bar which offered complimentary canapes with the drinks. We were appalled that you have to pay for water on board! MSC is very strict about taking no drinks on board. We enjoyed the theatre shows. The resident main singers and dance pair were first class. The ship was clean and attractive but the cruise lacked the little extras and frills that we expect so we wouldn't travel with them again. P&O has been our favourite line so far. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We sailed the Mediterranean for the second time and selected the MSC Divina because of the great itinerary. We loved the ports which included Genova, Palermo Sicily, Sardinia, Valencia, Rome, Marseille and Palma. The entertainment was ... Read More
We sailed the Mediterranean for the second time and selected the MSC Divina because of the great itinerary. We loved the ports which included Genova, Palermo Sicily, Sardinia, Valencia, Rome, Marseille and Palma. The entertainment was great and the auditorium was comfortable and huge. We had no trouble finding seats. The cabin was big and there was lots of closet space. The only real complaint we had was that the food was not as good as we would have expected for a major cruise line. The pizza that was available at sll hours was fabulous and was our favourite. The seafood pasta served at dinner required a magnifying glass to find the seafood. The other draw back was that the free coffee provided in the dinning room and at the buffet was terrible!! It tasted burnt which was surprising and upsetting. This forced us to buy specialty coffee. Overall it was a pleasant cruise and if the itinerary was right we would probably use MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Our first MSC cruise and won't be our last. Chosen for the itinerary. Would have given it a 4 but for the disappointing dining experience. Ship is immaculate and although the ship was full it was kept spotless at all times. Was ... Read More
Our first MSC cruise and won't be our last. Chosen for the itinerary. Would have given it a 4 but for the disappointing dining experience. Ship is immaculate and although the ship was full it was kept spotless at all times. Was a real cosmopolitan mix on board dominated by Spanish and not many English on board which wasn't a problem for us. We booked a balcony cabin and were allocared a corner berth at the back of the ship on deck 11, which was fabulous with lots of space and the biggest balcony we have ever had (this was our 10th cruise). The service levels were good overall but did vary on a bar by bar basis. The only let down for us was the evening meal, which is a big part of our cruising experience. The restaurants were rammed with lots of young family groups and hence very noisy even on the late sitting, which surprised us given this was at 9.45pm. The menu was ok if a little plain as was the food. The best meal we had was in the Sushi restaurant which was fabulous. The wine choices were also a little limited even with the premium drinks package. That said we would still book another MSC cruise based on the overall experience Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I'll begin by listing the cruise ships I've sailed on so far: Celebrity Equinox P&O Ventura Carnival Vista Royal Princess and now... MSC Divina. Overview: This cruise line is quite different from most ... Read More
I'll begin by listing the cruise ships I've sailed on so far: Celebrity Equinox P&O Ventura Carnival Vista Royal Princess and now... MSC Divina. Overview: This cruise line is quite different from most others in that it's very European, with a minority English-speaking clientele. Approx 10% of our fellow passengers were English, around the same again were American. The majority were Spanish, Italian and various others, making for a unique ambience. To cope with the many languages, the entire cruise is designed around multilingualism. Everything from the menus in the main dining rooms to the Cruise Director's opening speech every night before the show involved five or more languages. It's the only way they can offer a cruise to so many nationalities but for me it absolutely doesn't work. Having to wait for your language and listen to many you can't understand is just a waste of time, and it happened again and again, from ship announcements to even excursions. Oh, and get ready to leave your room at 7am on the last day (more about that later). Staff: Anther big difference for me was the staff. Firstly, for a ship of this size, there just didn't seem to be enough crew to cope. Bar queues took over five minutes on a regular basis, and drinks orders would be delivered in 10-20 mins. Customer Service queues regularly exceeded 15 people, queues for the ice cream took as long as ten minutes. These don't sound like catastrophic waits, but when you add this up each day, it somewhat spoils the cruise. And perhaps because they were overworked, they just can across rude in general. We had some exceptions (some friendly, jokey evening waiters made a much better impressions), but in general, staff rarely smiled and quite often made you move out of the way for them. Several times in fact we were told by staff in buffet when we ordered hot drinks that we could make them ourselves. And the cruise director was the worst I've ever seen. He was barely present, merely an announcer at evening shows, rattling off five or six language spiels and promoting the latest drinks offer etc. They should take a leaf from Carnival here, where the cruise directors are bright and omnipresent characters, welding the cruise experience together into a complete package. The Ship: The ship was a nice vessel in all fairness. It's large but not overwhelmingly so, and has some very attractive spaces including the Art Deco bar, the indoor pool area and a rather lovely Swarovski-enhanced atrium. But for the size of the vessel there just wasn't enough leisure space. Compared to the Carnival Vista and the Royal Princess (both almost equal in length and passenger numbers) the ship felt crowded. There wasn't much to do on days at rest, with all deck games requiring you to ask for equipment. The sunbeds went fast, and you'd regularly see crowds traipsing around, looking in vain for a sunbed or two. The pools suffered most, with fifty-five people counted in the rear pool area at one time. It just felt like there wasn't enough space to stretch out. The Carnival Vista made great use of the level 7 Promenade Decks, with loungers and bars - something this ship could dearly do with. I also felt there could have been more going on - there wasn't much live music, and we rarely saw pool activities except for a morning fitness class. Dining: Everyone's biggest worry turned out to be a non-event. Food was fine. It wasn't excellent, and at time was just plain average, but it certainly wasn't bad. The buffet was hue and had fair choice, although later diners would have to face a fifty-person queue to get in. The MDR offered a three-course evening meal, with smallish portions but some nice variation (eg Mediterranean night). We had an All-Inclusive drinks package included and I will say it was pretty good - we could enjoy cocktails, spirits, coffees, ice cream, beer, sparkling wine and much more. Excursions: Excursions were noticeably cheaper than other cruise lines, and generally were quite good. We did have a few small issues such as non-English excursions staff but in general trips flowed well. The Cabin Our balcony room was actually very nice. The nicest cabin I've yet experienced at sea in all honesty. It was modern and felt spacious, with a seating area and a bathroom with a plastic shower door rather than a flimsy curtain. Charging ports were few and far between though and the TV rather small. Summary: 5/10 In all, it was a decent cruise. If I hadn't experienced other cruise lines, I'd probably be giving it an 8/10. But seeing how things are done elsewhere, it just makes me realise that MSC cuts corners and just isn't the same polished product I'm used to. It wasn't bad by a long stretch, but I don't think I would sail with MSC again. The end of our cruise was a good summary of the experience. After an evening in Palma (ship departed at 12 midnight from the port) we discovered that we had to vacate our cabin at 7am - information that was only given to us that evening, hence we returned to find the info sheet on our beds and couldn't believe what we saw. After speaking to customer services, we were told by one staff member that the rooms took three hours to clean - a complete and utter lie. There was no budging, so the alarms were set for 6:30 on our final day. Not the best way to end a cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
MSC in the Caribbean, as it has several competing companies, focuses on service and care. In Europe, as it has no competition, the mess is general. They exchange Coca Cola for Pepsi, exchange San Pellegrino and Panna water served in ... Read More
MSC in the Caribbean, as it has several competing companies, focuses on service and care. In Europe, as it has no competition, the mess is general. They exchange Coca Cola for Pepsi, exchange San Pellegrino and Panna water served in America by anyone, the attendance worsens noticeably, with bad prominence for the attendants of Venchi and the safety when returning to the ship. Calumet, which is the restaurant that serves 20 hours, falls a lot of quality, nothing resembles the cruises that MSC does in the United States. The buffet worsens and the replenishment is bad. The schedules provided in the booking are different. For example, FP5 should leave Rome, but FP7 left. Should arrive in Mallorca the 3PM but arrived at 1PM and should arrive in Genova at 9AM but arrived at 7,30AM. The ship is great and, at the Yacht Club, better still, but do not just cruise with the ship. The only positive caveat, though somewhat elitist, is that the Yacht Club staff, especially the Top Sail Lounge and the butlers who serve the cabins, are great and try to lessen the effects of the Italian Way. (Google Translator) Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We are just a week back from our 7 day cruise on the MSC Divina, we started and ended in Genoa. Our family has taken several Disney, Carnival, and Royal cruises previously all in the Caribbean. My goal of this review is to provide ... Read More
We are just a week back from our 7 day cruise on the MSC Divina, we started and ended in Genoa. Our family has taken several Disney, Carnival, and Royal cruises previously all in the Caribbean. My goal of this review is to provide background/facts as well as the good and bad that we experienced both before and during the cruise. -Why we booked. We booked this cruise and flights in June 2017 as the timing was right. Our flight was into Milan the day before the cruise which left from Genoa. We decided to take this cruise as we have a 3 and 7 year old, this cruise had no days at sea and we would be able to experience Italy, Spain, and France. MSC was also offering a promo of "Kids cruise free" so we got a pretty good deal. We booked an oceanview on the 5th floor with the Fantastica experience. The experience included 12 drink coupons per person, non-alcoholic for the kids. We had some fears that our 3 year old might want to climb so we decided against a balcony. (Observation, it appears oceanviews are only available on floors 5 and 6 and the upper floors are all balconies). -Pre-cruise As it has been mentioned by several people the MSC website and booking information is clunky at best. It depends on the day of the week if the information is available and working. When it does work the information is limited and for any real detailed information you have to call the customer service number which I found on several occasions has at least a 15-20 minute wait to speak with someone. As we were flying into Milan we booked transfers from Milan to Genoa through MSC for $31 per person each way. Information was provided a few days before the trip and we were told the pick up was at gate 8 of the airport terminal 1 at 8 am. This seemed early as the cruise left port at 6 pm and it was only a 2 hour drive but I figured we hopefully would avoid some crowds. I took advantage of the status match program for the Voyager Club and was given Black status, MSC's highest. The "exclusive" benefits to black card members are listed below and I will provide the on board experience later. -Complimentary specialty restaurant "Tasting Menu" dinner for two (no beverages) [One dinner per stateroom] -Complimentary spumante with chocolate-dipped fruit per stateroom, once per cruise -Priority disembarkation at end of cruise -Courtesy towelling bathrobe and slippers available during the cruise -Complimentary dance class -MSC Voyagers Club exclusive Black Card Party -MSC Voyagers Club Chocolate Ship -Late stateroom check-out at disembarkation We reviewed the shore excursions, internet packages, and food/beverage all inclusive options on the website. We discovered that there were no shore excursions that were good for the kids. We decided to buy an internet package and had questions on the beverage package. About a week before the cruise I called customer service to get details on the beverage package. Our 3 year old only likes apple juice **yes, I know but stick with me**. Knowing she had 12 drink coupons I wanted to know if apple juice was readily available on the ship or if we should buy the unlimited non-alcoholic package for her. I was told there is always apple juice in the buffet at breakfast and there were even juice boxes available that we could bring to the room. She even recommended bringing an empty water bottle that could be filled and used through the day. There was no reason to buy the package as if she wanted juice outside of breakfast she still had the 12 coupons. I was thrilled with the response and didn't buy the package. -Arrival and Embarkation We arrived on Friday about 11 am and had a room at the MXP airport as the cruise wasn’t leaving until Saturday and we had booked transfers with MSC. After arriving we checked in to the hotel and took the train into Milan to explore the city. We had a great time but for future reference Milan shut down a bit at 3 pm as it was Good Friday. We enjoyed a nice meal and headed back to the airport on the train. On Saturday morning we had the chaos of getting everyone up at 6:30 to make sure we were ready for the transfer at 8 am. We grabbed a quick on the run breakfast at the hotel and barely made it by 8 am. We arrived at Gate 8 and looked around for anyone with an MSC sign and no-one was there. I went out by the buses to see if we had arrived late and they walked out again to no avail. I tried calling the transfer company a few times with no answer. Finally, at 8:20 someone answered the phone and told us the time had been changed to 9 am and someone would be there with a sign, in the meantime “the airport has places to eat you should get a coffee.” We didn’t get a call or email about this change. At 9:05 someone showed up with a sign and told us we wouldn’t be leaving for a while as we were waiting for more passengers. He also mentioned we should get a coffee. The transfer left at 10 am, needless to say we weren’t thrilled that we rushed around to get there for 8 am and we didn’t leave for 2 hours. The airport isn’t a ton of fun for 2 kids. When we arrived in Genoa we got off the bus and followed the crowd into the embarkation hall. There was a line of about 150 people already, I approached one of the employees and told him I was a black card member. One of those “benefits” was priority embarkation. He handed me a card and sent the family up an elevator to the Yacht Club check in. We made it through the process in about 30 minutes and were getting on the ship. The process was smooth and easy. - On Board Once on board we went to our room and we were pleasantly surprised by the size of the room. The window was quite large compared to the other cruises we have been on. The cruise cards were in the room and we looked for the drink vouchers to no avail. I was somewhat surprised that my card was silver, but it said that I was a black card member. The biggest surprise was that the “bunk beds” came out of the ceiling above either side of the bed. Be careful if you jump up in the middle of night, you might have headache. We went to the welcome buffet and realized it would take some navigating as the space was huge. It was set up in a mirror pattern where both sides matched. There was also a pizza area and a hot dog/burger area. The quality of the food was good and the selection was adequate. There is a kids section in the back which they liked a lot. There was a selection of deli meats/cheese, an ethnic section, carving/pasta area, healthy section, and a few other areas. I can see how people who didn’t walk the buffet would miss several items. We explored the ship and visited the kids club for registration and met several other families before dinner. Our dining table was set for 7 but no one else came to the dining room. On previous cruises the waiter and assistant were the most outgoing people on the ship. To our surprise this wasn’t the case, our waiter didn’t engage in any conversation other than taking our order. We asked a couple of questions and were told he didn’t know the menu as it was new. - The Good – There were several items that were very good -The housekeeper was very nice and did a great job. She was great with the kids. -The kids club was amazing, the workers did a great job and my 7 year old didn’t want to leave. -The casino staff was great. I played blackjack while there and had a lot of fun. -The quality of the food was very good at the buffet and the selection was enough to keep us happy. -The pool was around 78 degrees each day and was a lot of fun for the kids. They weren’t overcrowded which was nice. -The excursion desk provided honest answers to questions. They admitted there really weren’t any kid friendly excursions which I appreciated. -The shows were hit or miss, the pirate show was good. - The Bad – nothing over the top but a bunch of little to middle type things. -As mentioned earlier my 3 year old only drinks apple juice. The first morning we searched the buffet and didn’t find apple juice we found various different types and figured it was a rotating schedule. The second morning when we didn’t find apple juice we asked and were told there is never apple juice in the machines, you can only buy it from the bar at 3 euros each. I inquired about adding the unlimited package and was told it was too late, you can only buy it on the first day. I complained to the desk and was told it was too bad and I’d need to buy it from the bars. - While there I asked about my card being silver instead of black and was told it wasn’t a big deal but if it was a problem they could change it. I asked about the benefits being a black card member and they told me the cruise consultant would be sending us messages to get the benefits. This never occurred and when we inquired about the free specialty dining it was made to be that we were hassling the staff. We never received any message, they did send the chocolate ship on the second to last night. - The biggest negative was in the dining room, as I mentioned earlier our waiter was very dry to say the least. The first and second night we were told that he didn’t know the menu. My wife ordered a wine the first night and then asked for the same one the next night along with the aforementioned apple juice and it never arrived for over an hour even though we asked 4 times. When the supervisor asked him why we were still waiting he said he didn’t know what wine it was. Our food took an extremely long time to arrive and both nights something was wrong. We asked for a new table as there wasn’t a good fit, they moved us and also moved the waiter to the section next to us which was awkward to say the least for the rest of the cruise. -On all of the other cruises the staff has been friendly and easy going. I found this staff to have very low morale and just plain rude. The best example I can give is when a crew member and a guest would get to a door at the same time, the staff member would push through the door sometimes bumping into the guest. I’ve always seen the crew open the door or step to the side when guests arrived at the same time. This was an overriding theme throughout the ship. Final Thoughts At the end of the day, there weren’t any over the top issues but there were a bunch of small issues. The best way to describe it was this was a cruise that had a very good price and we got what we paid for. I don’t know if I would take a cruise with MSC again. The only thing I can say is that there could be a difference if you are in the Yacht Club level of service for the extra fee. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We joined friends on our first cruise experience. We didn't know what to expect but were given the 'heads-up' by our friends on what other cruise lines offer and how they operate. MSC disappointed in the customer service ... Read More
We joined friends on our first cruise experience. We didn't know what to expect but were given the 'heads-up' by our friends on what other cruise lines offer and how they operate. MSC disappointed in the customer service department on this cruise. There seemed to be a lack of employee training as we encountered conflicting answers to our questions. We did not receive our drink vouchers for our Fantastica Experience until we persistently tried to get someone to deal with the issue. The drink vouchers were not given to us until the third day of our voyage! What seemed to be a simple oversight became a huge problem that the onboard staff was unable to solve. The general feeling of fellow passengers was of confusion and frustration. The ship itself is beautiful and our cabin was extremely comfortable and accommodating. The quality of food improved with time, though the buffet got a bit chaotic at times and we felt rushed in our First Seating timeslot in the dining room. Our waiter, while personable, seemed to be flustered quite often. His assistant was efficient and professional. Small portions discouraged food waste and it was easy to order extra portions. Onboard entertainment was OK, but was not a highlight. Entertainers who were not part of the troupe of regulars were excellent. We avoided the crush of passengers getting off the ship at ports-of-call by leaving later and doing self-guided tours. Disembarkation in Genoa ran smoothly (behind schedule though) but was preceded by poor communication and confusion about procedures the night before. It was extremely difficult to get through to Customer Service with so many people having the same concerns as us. The Genoa port terminal was a challenge for passengers with small children or mobility issues. We experienced line-ups and a 'mob scene' at the taxi stand. Fortunately, the train station was a short walk away. I would hesitate to try another MSC cruise, even with their very competitive pricing, until organizational improvements are evident. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Holistic cruise. My first cruise. I discovered I am not a cruise person. Too many people for my taste. I can only handle Vegas for 2 days and this was like 10 days in Vegas with 2000 fellow vegans. As a solo traveler, I prefer more ... Read More
Holistic cruise. My first cruise. I discovered I am not a cruise person. Too many people for my taste. I can only handle Vegas for 2 days and this was like 10 days in Vegas with 2000 fellow vegans. As a solo traveler, I prefer more space. The Holistic program was amazing. Great speakers, yoga, Ship was nice, clean. Food good not great. Ship's personnel could be both very attentive and pleasant, and quite rude. Gilbert, cabin service excellent . I found a great waitress in Villa Rosa and just stuck with her. Before that I found myself avoiding the dining rooms due to slow impersonal service. The European crew were most often cold and harsh. One day I was yelled at 4 times for not following their strict procedures. (Too early for breakfast and social events, etc.) I guess I'm just a troublemaker. Interior cabin was fine. I booked 2 excursions through MSC (St. Thomas, Miami). They were good not great. I booked 2 others through Viator (St. Kitts, Barbados) and they were wild and crazy parties with sail and snorkel. Fun. Did not see much of the islands though. Embarkation was smooth. My bag was lost on the debarkation and the response by MSC for the last 3 three weeks was virtually nonexistent. 1 initial email and no response to my phone calls. Website worthless. Still no word. Definitely left a bad taste. Having said all this, I am considering the Holistic cruise again next year for the program if I can figure how to survive an 11 day cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This ship was chosen to host the 15th annual Holistic Holiday at Sea vegan cruise. I was looking forward to cruising with MSC and expected it to far surpass previous experiences on the Carnival ships. I was disappointed. The crew on the ... Read More
This ship was chosen to host the 15th annual Holistic Holiday at Sea vegan cruise. I was looking forward to cruising with MSC and expected it to far surpass previous experiences on the Carnival ships. I was disappointed. The crew on the MSC seems to like saying NO more than they say YES and I found them to be non-customer service oriented. Bar service was extremely slow and the dining room staff was flat out rude more than once. Even the pool staff had no problem telling me I was 2 minutes too late to get a dry towel one day. Really? The cabin was fine, as was our cabin steward. The beds are not that comfortable, barely more than cots with a thin pad, but it was vacation and it was fine. The ship itself is beautiful, no complaints. We had one problem with an excursion in Martinique and discovered the MSC excursion staff onboard to be inflexible in our request to cancel a similar excursion in an upcoming port. They need to make sure their excursion descriptions are accurate. When I disembarked, I swore I would never cruise MSC again. However, in retrospect, I would change that to a "maybe". One of the biggest differences I noticed was that there is no assigned dining table or section of dining room, so you don't have the same waiters for the entire cruise. What this means is that those waiters are not getting tips at the end of the cruise, and tipping is "strongly discouraged", therefore they have little incentive to provide a great experience for the guests. And it shows. I might go on another MSC cruise just because I know what to expect now. Other cruisers on this trip did have some comments on the service level as well, so I know it was not just our experience or perception. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
OK, I'll start off with the ship itself, its beautiful. The staff are lovely and all seemed like they were having fun, despite the problem I shall now have a rant about. Our 10 day cruise I can only describe as being hijacked by ... Read More
OK, I'll start off with the ship itself, its beautiful. The staff are lovely and all seemed like they were having fun, despite the problem I shall now have a rant about. Our 10 day cruise I can only describe as being hijacked by over 2000 Holistic Holiday makers. This meant that great swaths of the ship were sectioned off just for them, often to have lectures from “doctors” about the benefits of eating nuts or some such thing, half the buffet restaurant sectioned off for their Vegan lovers, yet they still wanted to sit in the section left for non vegans. This made the buffet section very crowded and we often struggled to find somewhere to sit, but if we walked through the section for the vegans there were lots of empty tables The whole of the “first sitting” for evening meal was taken up by the holistic holiday makers, so everyone else had to have the second which doesn’t do my stomach any good, but I can sort myself out, it was the people with children I felt sorry for. I heard one report that said that a lady from the holistic lot went into the handbag shop and threw all the leather handbags off the shelfs, also in the mornings there was a group that needed to be taught how to laugh, very loudly using a megaphone. We met a couple on the ship that were doing a back-to-back cruise, they said the whole ship was completely different from their first 10 days. I also spoke to several staff and they said the same thing and begged me not to think this was a typical cruise on the MSC Divina. If the holistic holiday makers want to all go on holiday together then book the whole ship, that way there will not be tensions between people because that’s what it ended up being on this cruise, there was a definite us and them feeling by the end on the 10 days, I have never felt that in any other cruise. I can only out this down to the fact that every day there was different parts of the ship sectioned off for the holistic holiday makers. Ok that rant over, I will come back to the ship, the food is ok, but evening meals did often come out luke warm, we had to send it back some times only to have it microwaved and made so hot it burns. The service in the evening was ok, our waiter was a lovely man, very personable. The cabin is nice and comfy, the whole ship is clean. There was a problem with getting the mini bar restocked each day, not with drink but with the little snacks, the ship seemed to have run out of them according to the cabin staff. Shows are not to our taste execpt for the Micheal Jackson one, which was brilliant. A must see even if you are not a huge fan of his music. This doesn’t mean the shows are no good, just not to our taste. So the big question would I go on an MSC cruise again? When I came off this particular cruise the answer was a firm no, however having had time to think about it and the fact that the ship itself is so nice then I have changed my mind and will give them another try, but I will have to make sure that there isn’t going to be over half the passengers in some sort of group or another Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Although we have been cruising for many years, this was our maiden MSC cruise. The negatives started as we got on ship - NO smiles. Either cruise staff or service personnel. What a contrast to Carnival, NCL, Royal and Princess. It was ... Read More
Although we have been cruising for many years, this was our maiden MSC cruise. The negatives started as we got on ship - NO smiles. Either cruise staff or service personnel. What a contrast to Carnival, NCL, Royal and Princess. It was noticed by several people we asked. One crew member told us that Europeans don't smile much. When we asked someone at lunch who was from Eastern Europe, they said smiling sometimes indicates trying to take advantage of the person you are smiling at. Whatever, but it isn't a fun welcoming first impression. Ship was very nice, theater is best we've seen on any ship, shows were top notch but intended for older cruisers, the average age on this sailing was probably 60 so it was a good match. Food was below average of other major cruise lines, service was just not pleasant at all in the main dining room. Did someone really upset the staff because the acted pissed to be waiting on us. They we're shocked and would ask twice if you asked for extra entree or two appetizers - the OPPOSITE of most cruise lines who are willing to bring you anything on the menu and are concerned if something isn't to your liking. Don't expect that on MSC. Questions of food description, quality, flavor, modification are all met with at best neutral and usually argument. You must order dessert when you order the meal which results in over ordering but we tried to order after the main course one evening and were told it was not possible now. Simple things like having water glasses full were our of the question. ICE - forget about even asking. The food on the buffet is very limited and clearly cooked well before it is served so don't expect anything except over cooked and dried out. Nothing special in the food category except the little sandwich and dessert bar on deck 6. They were nice, accommodating and tasted really good. Don't be fooled into paying for anything except their full internet package and even that has unreliable and slow connections. Their "cruise package" is actually just 10 days so our cruise required TWO packages. The packages on Carnival and Royal are much simpler and better. We were fooled, read them very carefully. This may be our last time on MSC unless there is a dramatic price or a route we truly prefer. We have four more cruises scheduled and MSC isn't on the list. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The Divina was distinctly European in its culture. We saw more Europeans than on any previous cruise we have been on. The “no video or picture” announcement prior to the shows was given in at least four languages, none of them english. ... Read More
The Divina was distinctly European in its culture. We saw more Europeans than on any previous cruise we have been on. The “no video or picture” announcement prior to the shows was given in at least four languages, none of them english. Some of my criticism may be due to the cultural differences. I believe that there is no such thing as a bad cruise. That said, some are better than others. As mentioned on previous posts, we got on board within an hour of arriving at pier G in Miami at noon. Note, our docs said pier F, ship was at E. No big deal as it’s hard to lose a cruise ship! The ship is as beautifully decorated as most cruise ships, including Swarovski crystal staircases in the main atrium. The bars and lounges were contemporarily decorated for the most part. Our standard balcony room was nice, and maintained perfectly by our attendant, Chonna. Wish we could have brought her home with us! One issue with the room, the shower area, at 2.5’x2.5’, was the smallest I can remember on any ship. The pool areas seemed smaller than usual, but that may have been due to the crowds. The only days seating was available after 9:00am were port days when most people were ashore. Lots of deck chair saving going on at sea. Thankfully, our balcony chairs were comfortable, and the wind and sun usually kind to us. As mentioned in other reviews, the staff in the dining room seemed unorganized on the first day, even apologizing for the slow service. The rest of our cruise they got it together and performed well. The food in the main dining room, the Black Crab, was average for mid-priced cruise lines. Some specifics: The prime rib, which most old cruisers know to get the night you see it on the menu, was good. The desserts ranged from wonderful to okay. We like to eat breakfast and lunch in the dining room when possible, so I had to try their shrimp and grits, a dish I look for everywhere. Their description was great, shrimp sautéed in savory bacon drippings, over cheese grits. What I got was one thumbnail chunk of shrimp, on top of a teaspoon of cheese, on top of runny plain grits. Later in the cruise, I ordered it again, asking for extra shrimp and extra cheese. I got four chunks of shrimp, and a whole tablespoon of cheese, on the same grits. Best shrimp and grits ever? The lo-country shrimp and grits at Ruby Tuesday. Yeah, that RT. Another favorite dish of mine is corn beef hash. Only saw it on the buffet and tried it twice. It was gruel. Best ever was at O’Sheehan’s pub on NCL. I figured that with the European culture the Muesli would be great. I make better at home. Beer and wine were included as part of our package. Note, this is only during meal times in the buffet and dining rooms, ie. it did not include the specialty pizzeria. No choice of beer or wine, only Heineken beer and three varietals of wine. The specialty pizza was good, so I call it a tie with Princess’ Alfredo’s pizzeria. The pizza on the buffet was fine. Okay, I’ve vented enough about the food, the shows helped make up for it. While the music was canned, the voices were not. They were great. I enjoy opera, and they gave us a good dose, maybe too much for some. The sets were amazing, but the best part was the dancers. I’ve never seen a troop of five girls and five guys work that hard, and they did it every night for ten days! There were parties in the clubs every night, though we’re not partiers. We were on board for Mardi Gras and Valentines days, but there was no mention of them that we saw. If you do party, take a white outfit for that night. We were also aboard at the start of the Olympics, and would have enjoyed seeing some on TV after a tiring day, but it was not available. Soccer was available, though. Yes, I know it’s important in Europe, but so are the Olympics. We enjoyed shore excursions in Aruba and Cartagena. I was surprised that ships had started visiting Cartagena, but it was a beautiful city, even though a civil war ended seventeen months earlier? Best souvenir? A bag of Columbian coffee. Smoothest coffee I’ve ever tasted. Due to the size of the ship, it had to dock at the cargo port in Freeport instead of downtown. To get downtown required $5 per person, each way. Fortunately, the locals had a fair sized shopping market at the dock. I enjoy meeting people, usually in the dining room, on cruises. It’s fun and you never know who you’ll meet. Fortunately, more Europeans speak english as a second language than Americans speak their languages. With one exception, all were polite. When I asked a nice Swiss man why they all liked MSC, he said language was one big reason. One day in the Le Serene pool area, which is misnamed, I saw a guy about my age at the hot tub with a Vietnam vet hat. I’m a Vietnam vet too, so I asked him about his experience. As it turns out he was in the battle of Ia Drang. That was the battle that provided the story for the movie “We were Soldiers”, with Mel Gibson. He said the movie pretty much nailed it. It’s not often one gets to talk with living history. Disembarking back in Miami was fine. We had time for breakfast in the dining room, but service was slow. If you’re in a hurry to leave, do the early walk off by 7:30am. Final note, US citizens had a separate line in the terminal at customs, which was much shorter. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
“Worst ever” or not? Feb. 4, 2018 MSC Divina Sailed from Miami, FL. Scheduled stops Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Limon, Costa Rica This is the itinerary we booked. This is the itinerary we booked. Day Port Arrival Departure ... Read More
“Worst ever” or not? Feb. 4, 2018 MSC Divina Sailed from Miami, FL. Scheduled stops Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Limon, Costa Rica This is the itinerary we booked. This is the itinerary we booked. Day Port Arrival Departure 1 Miami, Florida −−:−− 19:00 2 AT SEA −−:−− −−:−− 3 Ocho Rios, Jamaica 10:00 18:00 4 AT SEA −−:−− −−:−− 5 Cartagena, Colombia 08:00 17:00 6 Cristobal, Panama 09:00 18:00 7 Puerto Limon, Costa Rica 08:00 17:00 8 AT SEA −−:−− −−:−− 9 Belize City, Belize 09:00 17:00 10 AT SEA −−:−− −−:−− 11 Freeport, Bahamas 12:00 20:00 12 Miami, Florida 07:00 −−:− This is what we got. 1 SUN Miami, Florida --:-- 19:00 2 MON AT SEA --:-- --:-- 3 TUE Ocho Rios, Jamaica 08:00 18:00 4 WED AT SEA --:-- --:-- 5 THU Oranjestad, Aruba 07:00 14:00 6 FRI Cartagena, Colombia 09:00 17:00 7 SAT Cristobal, Panama 08:00 17:00 8 SUN AT SEA --:-- --:-- 9 MON Belize City, Belize 10:00 18:00 10 TUE AT SEA --:-- --:-- 11 WED Freeport, Bahamas 12:00 20:00 12 Miami, Florida 07:00 −−:− Any explanation why Costa Rica was replaced with Aruba? I like Aruba but was really looking forward to Puerto Limon for grand-kids on this trip. Why can't I find any accessible cabins? Kept calling weekly until one appeared. Oh, look, there's one requiring a downgrade from “Fantastica” to “Bella”. Since it was the only option available at the time we really had no choice but to book it. (Price was lowered for the “Bella” cabin. Where did it go? My sister and her roommate were highly upset when their accessible cabin was changed to non-accessible without any prior notice. Unresponsive guest relations manager. Sister and roommate told at guest relations to come back later – it was the manager's rest period. After 3 days and a heated exchange in the guest services area with an audience of at least 100 I asked to speak with his supervisor. Imagine my surprise to find he did not have any on the ship. (I do not appreciate being lied to!). He finally found a solution by calling other guests in accessible staterooms. The first guests he called jumped at the offer. I was also told, indirectly, that the “agent” approved the room change from accessible to standard. As the agent, I can assure you that I did not approve the room change. If someone at my host agency approved the change without my knowledge I would like to take it up with them. After the fact, I heard of multiple parties assigned accessible rooms that they did not need or request. I am sure there is a reasonable explanation for this and I do not believe any one acted inappropriately. I simply suspect there might be a procedural weakness internally. I read somewhere we were changed from Freeport to Nassau – can't find it now. Was I hallucinating? Maybe. Good news – finally got to see Freeport. The bad news? Freeport was a prime example of “Europeans” cultural inability to form a line. For the most part I exclude British and a significant percentage of French from this diatribe. Absolute total chaos trying to get a bus from the pier to the shopping district. Local authorities tried valiantly to maintain order and have us (about 4,000 of us) form something resembling a line and failed utterly. I was not the only person contemplating violence. Why do they keep telling us there is no such thing as decaffeinated tea? Or that they “ran out”. After our daughter's chat with head-waiter/Maitre-d on this subject we missed breakfast. They followed her around with a bowlful of decaf tea bags at breakfast the following morning. We still got a “we don't have that” at lunch. One entry to buffet was blocked by staff so seating could be found for guests before they gathered food in the buffet; seating was marked as reserved for our daughter, son-in-law and 2 kids; when they returned their seats were occupied by others (not North Americans) who came in the other way and got highly offensive when asked to move. I don't normally consider myself as biased but there are times... Speaking of running out – was running out of butter the result of unusual demand or yet another example of poor planning? I can't remember specifically what else “ran out” but there was something else that I was dumbfounded when I was told “we ran out” of two days before the end of the cruise. Can you define “medium rare”? Shouldn't it have at least some pink? I was somewhat disappointed on our September, 2014 cruise on Divina when the creme-brulee that was promised nightly was not available after the first dinner. What was offered as a substitute was a poor replacement. There was no promise of the same thing this time around but the alternative was just as inadequate. Overall food quality was reminiscent of school lunches – edible and not likely fatal. Many other instances of right and left hands on staff not communicating. Daughter had 2 bags held because of “liquids” being in them. There were no liquids in either bag. We had one bag held because we had 2 bottles of wine. Every one of 40 prior cruises on several lines allowed one bottle of wine per adult in stateroom. Got my wine back on the last night. Read the fine print in ticket and boarding documentation, It does say not to pack alcohol so I guess I've got to let that one pass. My sister's bottle of wine was not confiscated but the power strip she needed to charge her oxygen concentrator and her roommate's electric scooter was. It was returned and they were promised an approved replacement – which never materialized. Perhaps a rethink to MSC's alcohol policy is in order. If not – I'll manage. My wife's theory is that since Seaside is the “Next Big Thing” in the North American market MSC may have put their best performers (wait-staff, etc.) there and also started to market Divina more to Europeans. Hence a surprising drop off as far as quality of service, as well as a dramatic shift in passenger demographics. Please don't get me wrong here, with one exception everyone in a service position was highly motivated to give the absolute best service possible. The perceived decline in service was more one of training and experience than attitude. If any fault is to be assigned I would like to nominate “senior” wait-staff for obvious failure to provide adequate training to their “juniors”. We plan to be aboard Seaside on November 10. We sincerely hope the perceived shortcomings will not be evident on that cruise. One other minor issue. I applied for (loyalty) status match and was approved for a Black card. I applied for status upgrade for my wife and I thought she had been given Gold status but couldn't find the verification so I didn't question when she was issued a Blue card when we boarded, but we were told she was actually Gold. I suspect a minor clerical glitch that didn't significantly affect our cruise. She might have qualified for Black through our history at RCCL/Celebrity. I am not sure if that is possible or worth the effort since the status match is a “one time only” opportunity. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
MSC Divina Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
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 3.7
Rates 5.0 3.7

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