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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We had been mulling over booking MSC for a long time.We were regular NCL cruisers who were looking for a change as we felt the quality and value had declined since new leadership took over. We finally pulled the trigger because a) great ... Read More
We had been mulling over booking MSC for a long time.We were regular NCL cruisers who were looking for a change as we felt the quality and value had declined since new leadership took over. We finally pulled the trigger because a) great package price thru an airline carrier b) status match program and c) the positive comments on the MSC forum regarding the Cruise Critic Parties and interaction with senior staff. Overall we had a very good time and will definitely sail the Seaside in 2018 Good- Ship was clean and well maintained -Cabin was spacious and well laid out (couch was long & not a modified loveseat) -Drink coupons: Great option vs drink package. -Buffet pizza-AMAZING - Cruise Critic party- Wow! Officers spent a great deal of time talking to us individually and truly are focused on winning over the North American market -pools- None of the pool areas felt over crowded & they were open until late evening -Eataly- very good dinner with excellent service - Lots of lounges as well as coffee bars -Overall with the exception of the dining room the service from waiters, the bartenders,room stewards, guest services staff was the best we have experienced (other then Disney cruise) -Status Match- Voyagers Club- Black Card Level- We were impressed with the extra perks (Priority tender was the best) and truly felt valued as customers. -Internet-Bought the $20 social media package for the week and I was very impressed with the speed. I think it was as fast as Vroom package I had on my RCCL Jewel of Seas cruise last year- Entertainment Staff-Dance instructor was phenomenal, as well as the host of Karokee night. Needs some improvement ( Not deal breakers but they need to step up to win more customers) -Dining room/ quality of food/ service- didn't matter what brand of wine I ordered they would pour whatever bottle was open and closest-Food was Luke warm. Ordered turkey one night for dinner and it was a turkey roll ( small circular turkey meet with blah stuffing in center). Meanwhile in buffet they had full turkey at carving station. Lack of variety- for an Italian cruise line I expected more pasta/risotto dishes then what they offered. Dessert offerings were repetitive -Buffet: It wasn't so much the layout that bothered me vs what stations were opened and closed- They need better signage and maybe more staff focused on customer flow vs clearing a plate from a table Towel Exchange- They don't exchange pool towels during the day or when you re-embark the ship. Who wants to drag a sandy towel back to their room so the room steward can exchange it in the evening. Towels were also poor quality. They should have exchange set up before you get back on board and a booth by the pool.On our RCCL cruise they allowed you to sign out extra towels when you disembarked. Entertainment- need more live music vs recorded music with singer.Yes the dancers and singers in the theatre are awesome ( opera on a cruise ship was a treat) but they cheap out in the lounges and sometimes the recorded music/singer volume wasn't mixed right. Live bands provide more energy to the shows. Duelling piano show would also be awesome or a comedy show. Specialty Restaurants- The food was great in Eataly however they did absolutely nothing to promote restaurants. We could not find a menu for the Italian restaurant or Galaxy anywhere. We mentioned to our Main Dining Room waiter that we were going to Eataly and he said "they have 50% off promotion, mention my name if they ask". Photos-Photographers were polite and very engaged in their work however photo area is gong show. It was like looking for Waldo trying to find your photos on 200 feet of wall or out of 3 or 4 boxes on a table. They need a better cataloging system. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
The price for this cruise was fantastic. the ship is beautiful and has some great entertainment and the black and white club was fantastic. the jazz club we did not see much but looked nice. the piano bar was situated ... Read More
The price for this cruise was fantastic. the ship is beautiful and has some great entertainment and the black and white club was fantastic. the jazz club we did not see much but looked nice. the piano bar was situated different from other piano bars in that there were no seats in front of the piano and you could smell the smoke from the casino which made it almost impossible to go there. T the service in the buffet is spotty and not very quick i saw officers cleaning up the plates while the servers just watched. if the msc had the service of the other bigger cruislines they would be worth going many times but their service is not good. i had good meals but some in my party said the food was very spotty after a few days otherwise on the night of the meals they said only good things about the food. i will wait a few years until they get their act together even though i know they have alot of hip c oming out in the next fewsyears service is very important tome. I WAS UPSET THAT THEY DID NOT HAVE LOBSTER NIGHT EVEN THOUGH I AM NOT MUCH OF A LOBSTER Person. the cabin we had was very good and the aft balcony is super because i took my naps out there. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
The price was unbeatable as a "last minute". We dined every night with the same people and luckily we loved them all and had some great conversations as well as a lot of fun. Ordering breakfast in the dining room was a crap ... Read More
The price was unbeatable as a "last minute". We dined every night with the same people and luckily we loved them all and had some great conversations as well as a lot of fun. Ordering breakfast in the dining room was a crap shoot ... order what you want and get what they give you so be a flexible breakfast eater. The food was OK but not fabulous. The entertainment on the other hand was truly fabulous and every night was like going to an off Broadway event. We tendered once out of 4 stops and I don't tender so that was a plus for me. The balcony room was great....13125 was a super convenient location and the beds were nicely prepared to make you comfortable. The ship itself is HUGE and beautiful. It has literally thousands of mirrors and "Glitz" is the operative word for this ship. They had two formal nights, one white night and one Halloween night (which was an absolute fun night) The ship was all decorated for Halloween and dressing up for the best costume contest is highly encouraged. Not everything was perfect but the imperfections were fairly minor ....it's all in your attitude so go with a good one and have fun !! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
I loved everything about the cruise with the exception of the announcements repeated in six different languages and most of the songs in the shows were in Italian. Another issue I had was the pool towels were in the room and I missed out ... Read More
I loved everything about the cruise with the exception of the announcements repeated in six different languages and most of the songs in the shows were in Italian. Another issue I had was the pool towels were in the room and I missed out going into the pool/hot tubs because I didn’t want to go back to the room just to get a towel. Yet another issue that was VERY strange was that they didn’t “link” your credit card to your ship pass and you had to go to the Cruise Card Activation Points to register your credit card. The embarkation was very smooth and didn’t take long once they let you into the building – we (myself and my sister) got to the pier early because the shuttle from our hotel only had one ride to the pier at 8:30 am. Once you were on the ship you were able to hit the buffet and walk around the ship. The food was exceptional – especially the pizza! I didn’t hear any announcements when our cabin was ready and only found the room was ready when I gave up pulling my carry-on luggage and I went to the storage area that holds the items until your room is ready – the attendant said I should go check my room to see if it was ready and it was ready. We were very fortunate to be seated at a 6 person table near the window – 2 of the group didn’t show up at the dinner all week. Unfortunately the table next to us had 7 people and when I asked if 2 of the 7 could sit with us I was told they have to keep the seats open in case the people assigned showed up for the early dinner. I think it was a bad situation on both the cruise line and the couple to leave those 2 seats unused when the other table was so full. Our wait staff was very entertaining. Our tablemates, Jane and Ruben, were exceptional to dine with all week. The ship is so beautiful and different from the other cruise lines I’ve been on. I loved the shiny crystal look on the stairs. We had a balcony stateroom that was amazing and the room steward kept the room very clean. We had a change in our Itinerary due to Hurricane Irma and we did the following excursions: Negril Beach Experience & Rick’s Café Cliff divers in Montego Bay, Jamaica; Reef & Wreck Snorkel in Grand Cayman, West Indies; Catamaran Sail & Snorkel in Costa Maya, Mexico. Negril Beach Experience & Rick’s Café Cliff divers in Montego Bay, Jamaica – This was a very long bus ride to Negril Beach – the beach was so full of seaweed that we didn’t go near the water. We went to the Margaretville restaurant for lunch – food was good but the portion was very small and I was still hungry. Next was Rich’s Café to watch the divers – this was a waste as the wait for the person to go on the high dive was very long! Of course we had to make a stop in a souvenir shop for twenty minutes – again a waste of time! We got stuck in so much traffic that we got back to the boat 30 minutes late. There wasn’t any time to go to the Diamond Exchange for me to get my charm for the charm bracelet. Reef & Wreck Snorkel in Grand Cayman, West Indies – this was a great snorkel trip JC and Diana were very informative about the sites that we were going to snorkel at. I loved seeing the sunken Coast Guard boat and visiting the Cheeseburger site. Catamaran Sail & Snorkel in Costa Maya, Mexico – This was one of the best snorkel trips I’ve been on – Michele was my group leader and she used my underwater camera to take awesome video and pictures. My sister went with the beginner’s group and said she loved her guide (can’t remember his name) and she stayed in the water for whole time – she usually only lasts about a couple of minutes before she doesn’t like the mask. We purchased the Thermal Cruise Pass for the week and loved going into the sauna and steam room – sure wished there was a hot tub in this Adults Only area. The shows were very nice with the exception of songs in Italian. We also did Bingo two times and had fun with the Bingo boys (every time a B number was called the Bingo boys came and did something funny). We also took the dance lesson to learn to dance to Thriller at the Halloween party – this was awesome and I had so much fun doing this dance. We also attended the Captain’s Welcome Back party as my sister had already taken this cruise in March of this year. Of course we attended the Cruise Critic’s party and it was the most impression party I’ve been on (I’ve done both NCL and RCL) – they had drinks, appetizers, a fabulous cake and I received a beautiful photo of the party. Getting off the ship was not as easy as getting on because we weren’t told where to get our RED 2 luggage – we stopped at the first conveyor belt and only saw purple tags and thought it was strange. Then somebody said that the RED 2 luggage was way down the end. In the meantime the line was very long to get through customs and we couldn’t find a porter to help us with our luggage. MSC needs to have more porters! Overall, I think MSC did a great job and would go back on a MSC cruise in the future! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
My friend and I had been on the same cruise earlier this year. As the earlier cruise we had a relaxing and comfortable cruise. I wrote a review entitled "95 out of 100%, and this cruise was no different. The itinerary was different ... Read More
My friend and I had been on the same cruise earlier this year. As the earlier cruise we had a relaxing and comfortable cruise. I wrote a review entitled "95 out of 100%, and this cruise was no different. The itinerary was different due to Hurricane Irma, but the ports had no effect regarding the cruise. We did have some minor irritants, and I do mean minor. However since customer service is important, I intend to reiterate them here. This event could have been caused by a tired kitchen worker. The desserts were on display and a spoon was required, but no spoons were available. So I asked the employee about acquiring some spoons for the desserts. "Come back later" was the reply. No point in going further since this is a minor event. Another event was a request for a solid bar of soap. I don't care to use the liquid soap. The room steward acquired a 2 inch by 1 inch bar of soap. I asked if this was all the soap he could find. "there is no more". I went to the customer service desk and relayed the steward's reply as well as my surprise about my one bar of soap on the entire ship. The customer service rep let me know that members of the Yacht Club has exclusive use of the soap bar, and all other passengers have liquid soap available. That made me feel like I was in a third class passenger. The last whine is in regard to our last breakfast before disembarkation. Believe it or not, the buffet ran out of eggs, coffee, and forks with knives. People were desperate for these items. "Where did you get that?" was all over the buffet line and people going around and around the ENTIRE buffet lane, unreal. Again, we were all getting off the ship and happy to get off. The shows were great and I enjoyed them as well this second time around. A singer SONIA was most enjoyable to in the La Luna area, and I highly recommend her entertainment. The ship sort of closes down after 1100PM. That's why I prefer another cruise line. Let's call the other cruise line the fun ships. The ship's ride was great with no bumps in the road. We had a great time, and will recommend MSC. Like I said in my earlier critique, 95 out of 100%. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Hello! This is my first review, so please bear with me. Background, I am 34, hubby is 37, my two boys are 1 and 5 (but turned 6 during the sailing). We have done the Carnival thing but our first on MSC, both boys have been on Carnival too. ... Read More
Hello! This is my first review, so please bear with me. Background, I am 34, hubby is 37, my two boys are 1 and 5 (but turned 6 during the sailing). We have done the Carnival thing but our first on MSC, both boys have been on Carnival too. I grew up going on Cruises, not dozens but a few. We also traveled with my mother in law (her second cruise, first with MSC), and her boyfriend (first cruise). This was a surprise 8 day sailing for my sons birthday. We didn’t tell him until we were in the tunnel going into port. We had told him we were dropping off Grandma and Bill at port and we were going back to the airport to go to Chicago. He was shocked! Getting on was a breeze! 10 minutes from shuttle dropping us off to being in the lobby. So great. ROOMS We were in 11099. No noise from elevators or the hallways, very quiet. My oldest had a top bunk that came from the wall, not recessed in the ceiling. My youngest had a pack and play on the floor. We still had room to move around too. The hallway/doorway was a little narrow, it was tricky getting the travel stroller in and out, especially when people would quickly turn the corner and run into us. My MIL had the aft balcony, room 11299. The balcony was very large and loved the view, especially watching them tie the ship up in port. I felt the rooms were larger than previous company and appreciated the turndown service at night. We would often come back to our room not cleaned in the morning but not a huge deal. If we ever needed anything, staff were often found in the hallway cleaning other rooms. Once we ran out of toilet paper (more on that later) and I called reception and some was brought right away. FOOD It was cruise food. Nothing super memorable. The only things I didn’t like was the baked alaska (first time having it) was way too sweet and sugary, I didn’t like the birthday cake at all, and just once did I order off the kids menu. I loved how the kids menu changed a little every night too. On our previous company, it was the same thing every night. Though, chicken nuggets/strips would be nice. Our dinning room staff were the best ever. Super nice, patient with the kids, helped celebrate my sons birthday, and they would even help me carry plates when they saw me on the buffet. POOL I used the pool once (more on that later) and the hot tub twice with hubby. Deck chairs were very hard to come by but I saw most were occupied, I did not experience many with just a towel. The pool was often not filled all the way so the kids splash area around it was not there and the decorative fountains (I could see the sprinkler heads) were never on. Staff kept the area dry and neat, anti slip mats were placed on the major walk ways which was very helpful. We did not use the adults aft pool as it was also the smoking area and it was stinky! My MIL boyfriend was there most the cruise though, and he seemed to enjoy it. SHOWS Eh. Some were ok, but I have kids so I never made it through the entire show. Just like the previous company, it really depends on what you like. I thought they had a large talented cast however, more set pieces would be nice and I was always questioning if they were really singing. I guess that last one could be a dis or a compliment. KIDS PROGRAM I LOVED that my youngest could go there for a few hours for free. It was limited to 6 and was first come, first served, however they were not consistentaly following the policy of when you could sign up. But, it was free and he loved it. My oldest wanted to be in there as long as possible. On the day of his birthday, it was the Lego Master Builder Day. I had to beg him to leave for dinner so we could surprise him with his cake! The kids staff were super nice and some have been there for 6 years or longer! They would often take the kids to the Black and White Lounge for activities (Bingo, disco, cooking class), on parades around the ship, and to the shows in the evening. I don’t think the previous company took them anywhere. They had lots of opportunities to win prizes so my son was super excited when he finally won one. It was a stuffed mascot. A very large one! My son is austic and once he had a rough day but the staff worked with him and even gave him a foam ship toy for turning his day around. He was so sad when we had to leave them. THE BAD Ok, now to talk about the few things I referenced earlier. For three days, I was stuck in the room with the pukes and the poops. I was miserable. Luckily, no one else was sick but me in our room. My MIL was sick for a day or so. The buffet had an asian section so I lived on that rice soup oatmeal thing, and bread. With the hot tub, it died my swimsuit. It is not new, nor is it old. It had been one one cruise before and a swimming pool session at the school, handwashed all the time. It is now an ombre purple, the bottom is very very light and the straps are like new. I’m kinda annoyed as I loved it and it was pricy, but I guess that is the risk you take. So now that is my MSC suit. Photos turned out nice but I wish there was published price and a list of all the effects that could be applied. The lines were always so long and it took forever to ask questions. I did like that they would hold your photos so you don’t have to search for them every time you want to see them. They also need more photo packages. The only way to get any digital copies was with the $200 package. The previous company had that as an option which I loved. FINAL THOUGHTS On Saturday I booked a 10 night balcony for $399 leaving in January. We will be back if service continues, or improves. Please let me know if I left anything out or if you have questions. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We choose this ship for the price, our first time om MSC.I have been other a few other cruiselines. This is the most beautiful ship I have been on, the balcony room was also nice the balcony a good size.The shows were very professional, we ... Read More
We choose this ship for the price, our first time om MSC.I have been other a few other cruiselines. This is the most beautiful ship I have been on, the balcony room was also nice the balcony a good size.The shows were very professional, we saw everyone one except the opera.The room service was very good and our server in the main dining room , Anil, brought our food very fast, we had heard of some people waiting a long time. The food we didn't find had the best variety, but being an Italian ship we were aware of this. Our original ports had been changed because of the hurricanes, but we were very happy with the new ports, we did not book any excursions though the ship, we just did our own I had been to all the ports except Costa Maya, we really enjoyed it there. We would sale on MSC again,. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
A very busy and extremely lively ship with loads of activities for the full range of guests. Great party atmosphere every evening with many people participating in the dress codes for that evening's theme - be it Flower Power / ABBA, ... Read More
A very busy and extremely lively ship with loads of activities for the full range of guests. Great party atmosphere every evening with many people participating in the dress codes for that evening's theme - be it Flower Power / ABBA, Formal, Italian Night, White Night. Combined with all the daytime activities and sensible times for the absolutely BRILLIANT evening performances (Treasure Island, Queen Tribute, Michael Jackson Tribute, Italian Opera songs - I didn't even think that I liked opera till this cruise!! ) The ship itself is very 'blingy' ..... sparkles, reflections and shininess everwhere, right down to the lifts/elevators with their infinity mirrored walls. The casino area is brash and distasteful. The whole ship is a veritable shock to your senses to the extent that your vision is constantly being overwhelmed by garish decor. Additionally, the organic curves and swirls everywhere are the result of the ship's interior designer having a 'field day' on the 'drawing board.' Unfortunately, to us it is a visual nightmare. Have MSC not learned anything from classical Greek and Roman aesthetics of beautiful proportions? Buffet breakfast has to be timed to perfection to avoid the daily 'bun fight' :) the walkways are rather narrow and constricted in too many places to allow two people to pass comfortably. Tables are often left uncleared for too long. Coffee runs out far to quickly and staff seem grossly overworked (esp. behind the bars) but remain amazingly pleasant. After a few days we opted for the Black Crab restaurant at breakfast instead. Food is good and portions are excellent (unless you are an extremely greedy/obese person). There seems to be a lot of queuing on the ship generally. The Eataly Steakhouse is NOT a place to take your partner for a romantic evening - its like a tacky, plasticky cafe ....but it does serve excellent steaks .....eventually. There is only one area on the ship that is 'adult-only' - however, it gets filled up with smokers. So, basically, if you are a non-smoker and want to be 'away from it all' outside, you are totally stuffed. Even the inappropriately named Sirene pool is extremely noisy and gets full of children and becomes an echo chamber. Nonetheless, we DID have a really enjoyable time. We met some amazing people. The ports of call which we visited as independent travellers were fantastic. But the bling doesn't appeal to us, so we will probably not be in a hurry to do MSC in future. 'Horses for Courses' they say. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
I chose MSC cruises because the price for a 7-day cruise was inexpensive. This was my first cruise and I am pleased so say MSC was the cruise line that officially made me no longer a cruise virgin! The embarkation and disembarkation both ... Read More
I chose MSC cruises because the price for a 7-day cruise was inexpensive. This was my first cruise and I am pleased so say MSC was the cruise line that officially made me no longer a cruise virgin! The embarkation and disembarkation both were fine, had long lines but the process was easy. I can say that although the price was very affordable the service, attention to meet my needs and the others who traveled with me was phenomenal. The ship was decorated magnificently, our cabin was an average cabin compared to other cruise lines. We all asked for two single beds and all three rooms had to call to request the beds be separated. I really loved that we had clean ups twice a day. The entertainment was good, the evening shows got better each day. Some activities I actually attend occurred during other events so I did not get to participate. I also noticed that most parties or other adult entertainment was very late at 10:30 pm or later. On port days it made it difficult for me as I was tired from my fun day on the Island sight seeing, shopping, excursions or visiting local beaches. Each of the Ports of call I was impressed as it was so much to do and see. I felt it just was not enough time to actually get to see each place. The ports during this cruise were Cozumel, Mexico; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Nassau, Bahamas; Cayman Island. None of the places we traveled to was affected by any of the hurricanes, the locals said they had rain or nothing at all. The weather was great each day and it may have rained but it wasn't a wash out. I loved that when returning to the ship from port ice cold water and cold wash clothes were awaiting while we waited to be checked back on board. I did not see that on neighboring ships. The ship was beautifully decorated and no two areas looked the same, the ship was really clean and the food was good. Buffet always had fresh fruit some days it was sweet and other days it seemed as if they were trying not to spare any because the rind was attached to melon changing the taste. The food at the black Crab was good, the first day service was not to my standard as we felt as though we was being ignored, Jeyen improved and I to my disappointment most of us did not attend dinner the last nigh due to taking care of business in photo area or did not like the menu. I do regret not saying than you and good-bye. I was amazed when I received a birthday card signed by Captain Masso on disembarkation morning that was unexpected and put a smile on my face. I would sail on MSC Divina again but 1st want to get the new ship experience can't wait to sail on the MSC Seaside in 2019, if opportunity permits I will take two cruises next year one on Seaside and a birthday party on a Carnival ship! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our first cruise on MSC. We stayed in an inside cabin with the Fantastica package. We arrived at the port about 10:55 and were onboard within 20 minutes. (That was quick and easy!) Past reviews stated we would need to go to the ... Read More
This was our first cruise on MSC. We stayed in an inside cabin with the Fantastica package. We arrived at the port about 10:55 and were onboard within 20 minutes. (That was quick and easy!) Past reviews stated we would need to go to the casino to pick up our drink tickets, but we were told that they would be in our stateroom when it was ready. If we wanted anything before that, we just needed to charge it to our stateroom and stop in guest services later and have the charges removed once we had our tickets. (easy again) We found the food was good in the venues throughout the ship. Many of the options on the buffet were the same each day, but we found plenty of different things to try, especially if you were willing to try more adventurous fare. The Galaxy restaurant was my favorite of the non-included restaurants, but I enjoyed the main dining room as well. The entertainment was some of the best I have seen at sea. No, it did not have the same flow as some of the shows I am used to, but since many in the crowd did not speak English, they did a fantastic job. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The cost was a major consideration. We had heard mixed reviews and we basically said "what the heck!" and booked it. We really liked the room and the Steward was great. Not obtrusive and keeped the room clean and tidy for us. ... Read More
The cost was a major consideration. We had heard mixed reviews and we basically said "what the heck!" and booked it. We really liked the room and the Steward was great. Not obtrusive and keeped the room clean and tidy for us. We were upgraded to a balcony room and that was nice. We had a really great location near one of the single elevators near the middle of the ship that we called the "sneak-a-vator" because it was little used, fast and really convenient. The food in the dining room was just OK. Not really up to Carnival level if you ask me.. but certainly a decent meal if you are not too fussy. The wait staff could have been better. Drink service from the bar was poor and the service was spotty and slow. We surmised that a lot of staff have been raided for new ships and the training is struggling to keep up. Now for the really good and the really bad.. The shows were good in our opinion. Yeah there could be more "live" music and the male singers could have been better but over the shows were entertaining and the "acts" like the acrobats were really good. Not as much "glitz" as Carnival but, less risque in the costuming, and better for us. The Opera was good and a nice change of pace for a Cruise ship. The before show entertainment was cute and funny and had the entire hall laughing with their antics. The bar service on this ship is really poor. The bartenders are surly and really do not care to serve you. I had good service on the garden adult area. But the casino bar and the Silver bar are standouts for poor service. The Casino bar is used for the show bar and gets overwhelmed. I found the Pool bars to be the same hectic and grumpy staffed. The Solarium bar staff was nicer though. I have never been on a cruise ship where it was as hard to get a drink as this ship. As much falderal they make of the "drink" plans the should make it easier to take advantage of them. For God's sake, learn to make a proper Bloody Mary with celery if you are looking to have American's on your ship!!! I don't care if the thing costs 10 bucks just make it available. Morning service in the Dining room for breakfast.. asked for a Bloody Mary and got a look that was comical! The Spa needs to be more aware of African American's hair and styles if they want the American market. My wife has hair like some of her African ancestry and the haircut and style was really comical. None of the hair products available were geared to her type of hair. But, that led to a good adventure of Jamaica.. so we have that. Still 40 bucks down the drain. Correct this MSC.. The Buffet is really good but again do not have a clue why there are bars in there. There was no drink service and the bar could not make basic morning or regular cocktails for the diners so, what is the point? Just serve beer and wine from the back.. Stupid! There was never enough silverware wrapped during the peak times. The egg station is poorly located so the line blocks the drink station causing spills and unneeded stress for all. The entertainment of the Pool deck was good and the Cruise Director's Staff was really good and engaging. They offered lots of dance lessons and dancing contests and theme shows for us. They were fun. The Pools are really nice and there lots and lots of hot tubs when you go looking. and the indoor and outdoor pools are nice. The ship was really clean in our estimation. The bathrooms seemed to be well kept and staffed. The Music acts around the ship were poor at best. I have heard better sounds coming from wounded cats than from the golden lounge act. Elvis is preparing a ghostly hoard to visit her in the night in revenge for her "Elvis review" The guys in the "non - Piano bar, piano bar" were decent if you liked ABBA, but once again being American, not so much. The non smoking Casino is the best reason to visit this ship. Pay attention Carnival.. I WILL BOOK THIS CRUISE AGAIN JUST TO AVOID YOUR SMOKY CASINOS! This MSC Cruise was a pleasent and nice cruise aside from the small and snark things I have mentioned. We had a nice and relaxing cruise. Good times in the ports. Met a lot of really nice people. A good mix of younger and older people. So, in all, I would recommend MSC if the price is right and the itinerary is to your liking. Fix some of these problems and you have really competitive product for those looking to dial back the mania on a Carnival Cruise. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise line as a test for a yet to be scheduled Mediterranean cruise we plan to take in the future. It was our first cruise with MSC after one with Princess & four with RCCL. We loved the decor of the ship, although the ... Read More
We chose this cruise line as a test for a yet to be scheduled Mediterranean cruise we plan to take in the future. It was our first cruise with MSC after one with Princess & four with RCCL. We loved the decor of the ship, although the layout seemed a little old school. The cuisine was not really to our liking and the portions were small. It seemed geared more towards european flavours. However, they have the best pizza we've ever had. We found the staff very friendly and helpful. Our room steward and waiter were very good were always willing to go the extra mile to make our trip more enjoyable. We were in an inside cabin and found it very comfortable. One of the biggest negatives for us was the tendering process in Grand Cayman. The ship used their rescue boats as tender boats, which we found very uncomfortable and the crew packed people in like sardines. We got stuck in the front row on our return to the ship and almost passed out from the heat and humidity. It was 32C with about 95% humidity that day. Next to us was a Disney ship which used proper double deck tender boats with open sides to ferry people to and from the ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We were looking for a good deal on a last minute cruise. This came up and was recommended by the consultant on cruise Critic. The cruise started with a problem with the drink package. There were 3 promises it would be resolved starting ... Read More
We were looking for a good deal on a last minute cruise. This came up and was recommended by the consultant on cruise Critic. The cruise started with a problem with the drink package. There were 3 promises it would be resolved starting at 4 pm Drinks resolved at 11:00pm. Dinner very good, lamb and pork with curry. Exceptional Cruise Critic meeting hosted by the ship and its entertainment director. Director of hotel operations listened to our package problems and got them resolved also changed some seating arrangements for dinner. Good poolside service as my wife wanted a frozen strawberry margarita and it was not one of the menu drinks. Assistant stepped up and helped get it. Generally, the staff tried hard, but the lack of understanding of English was a huge problem, especially in the dining room. The attempts by the director of hotel services to resolve issues were excellent, but "get it right the first time" should have been the motto, with better training of the staff. e.g. Staff did not know what a "taste" of a wine was, could not bring wine from another restaurant on the ship to the main one, did not understand english very well, usually had too many tables and could not keep water refilled, borrowed salt from one table for another, without replacing. Communications on when things will happen, formal nights, etc. could have been better as they asked you to make advanced reservations to special restaurants, but you did not know which night these special events were. Also, I tried all day to make a reservation for the steak house by phone as instructed. The phone was never answered, despite hours being posted. Finally had to do it in person. Rowena Sebastian, the person in charge of the steakhouse was exceptional in customer service, and food in the steakhouse was excellent. Overall the food in the main dining was OK but nothing special, you had to watch what you ordered. Turkey was pressed and was terrible. The ship was beautiful and very well maintained (except for the restrooms). The restrooms were hard to find, small, and the men's contained no urinals. Men sometimes have very poor aim and the smell had soaked into the tile floor. We meet several very awesome people which added to a great experience! Overall the staff tried hard and by the end of the cruise, I thought that I might give them another try. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My wife and I, both in our early 50’s, have only sailed NCL for the past 12 years with a couple now defunct lines in the 1990’s. Initially MSC caught my attention by offering a status match to their top tier and very competitive ... Read More
My wife and I, both in our early 50’s, have only sailed NCL for the past 12 years with a couple now defunct lines in the 1990’s. Initially MSC caught my attention by offering a status match to their top tier and very competitive prices. I initially booked the Seaside 21 day transatlantic in the Yacht Club, but lack of information and concerns about Meraviglia’s recent maiden voyage/inaugural season voyages made me cancel this cruise as a first try with the company. On Divina I saw no reason to book Aurea class as the Thermal Spa, Top 18 sun deck and any time dining, which is basically just a choice of dining times with the option of a private table, did not seem worth the price. I figured our Black status would work well for embarkation, tenders and disembarkation. I’m sure we would have enjoyed Yacht Club but at around $3700 I wanted to see how we would enjoy a standard cabin. We mainly sail in suites on NCL but we decided to try a Fantastica balcony cabin for this cruise, at less than $1300 total it was hard to pass up. Part of that low rate was due to the sailing being in hurricane season and this season’s weather lived up to its reputation. The cruise before ours was cancelled as the prior cruise could not return to Miami on time due to hurricane Irma. Hurricane Jose and Maria were still out to the East so we were re-routed to a Western Caribbean variation. We had beautiful weather and calm seas the entire cruise. I will go ahead now and state that I did not find the Divina a ship that I would preferentially book again. Overall MSC has a steep learning curve for new cruisers, but once acclimated to how things work we found it an exceptional value for the money. I look forward to booking the Seaside in the future, as I think it will address many of the issues we disliked about Divina. We flew into Fort Lauderdale two days early as conditions in South Florida were a bit unstable after Irma passed through. Uber fare was significantly higher this time, $47 compared to $28 last December, and we stayed at the Gates Doubletree in Miami Beach. The surge of people without power and utility workers caused them to not have the room I reserved, but they did upgrade me to a very nice suite after a small complaint. Unfortunately the beach was a mess of sea grass and trash. I was just happy the hotel had power and we had a place to stay. Most restaurants and stores were open at nearby South Beach. Uber to the port of Miami was $14 and we arrived about 10:30am, check in on my documents stated 11am. I think embarkation was exceptionally fast because the ship had been in port for three days prior. I was surprised to see they had Aurea class check in next to the Yacht Club tent outside. We breezed through security which had a couple machines with no lines at all. Upstairs the check in area only had about 25 people in the main line. We were the only ones in the priority line and went right to an agent. Boarding had already started and the cabins were ready, definitely not the norm. First thing on board we went to the Casino bar to get our drink vouchers, we had 12 each with Fantastica experience and I purchased 18 more online for $89. This was our first experience with what became a frequent problem, they had no idea what I was talking about. A small part of it was a language barrier, but after asking several people in the casino bar who had never heard of the vouchers being handed out there, one finally knew it had recently changed so that they were now in our cabin. Okay, only ten minutes wasted time. We quickly registered a credit card at a nearby kiosk and headed to the cabin. I will make one note here about MSC and booking cabin choices, it’s a mess. I am quite picky about cabin choice and did much research beforehand, but still got less than I originally thought I was getting when booking. MSC’s website has been constantly changing, not always for the better. Finding information about cabin types and actual cabin sizes is very complicated, I had to read many threads here on Cruise Critic to have a basic understanding of what differences can occur within the same category. MSC controls inventory based on what offer is available, cabins come, go and come back frequently. I missed the two hour window the MSC website posted the reduced rate I eventually booked, so I had to use a late night travel agent to get that rate. When picking from a limited selection of cabins I used the MSC website deck plans as a reference. Cabin 9078 is shown as a regular balcony with cove balconies beginning two cabins forward, also there is no lifeboat below it. In reality all balconies on the deck nine forward hump are cove balconies and the ship has one more lifeboat than in the plans, partially under our cabin. It was not a big enough of a deal to warrant trying to change through the TA. Others on our roll call were unknowingly booked into the tiny two person Fantastica balconies on deck 13, that was more of a TA failure but I cannot understand why MSC lists those few on 13 as Fantastica when all others are Bella. They must have many unhappy cruisers clogging customer service every cruise, as evidenced by the difficulty our roll call members had with changing cabins on our less than full sailing. The immediate response from customer service was a ‘No!’ with a lot of hoops to jump and officers to talk with before getting any action, all for an open cabin in the same category. I found our cabin to be quite adequate in size and since I prefer to stand on the balcony I found the extra wide railing perfect for holding beverages. The bathroom was small, but the inward folding shower doors helped tremendously. Inside the shower was a bit tight as I am 6’4” and 210lbs, but it was fairly easily done. The bed was firm, I found it comfortable. There were pillows that ranged from very soft to a slightly chunky medium, we had no firm pillows but that was okay. The TV was small and off in the corner, they had TBS, a few movie channels (some in Spanish) and a basic CNN news channel. The interactive account aspect of our TV was not working, they were aware of it at customer service. It was not addressed during our cruise. Closet space was a bit tight for two bringing some formal wear, but after removing the bath robes and getting extra hangers we were fine. The safe was a bit erratic but eventually would reboot and work. Drawer and shelf space was tight so we used our suitcases as drawers under the bed. The carpet was worn but not worn out. At first I thought we were getting great cabin service due to being Black status and involved with Cruise Critic, but others with the same status on our roll call stated they never saw their cabin steward the entire trip and had very basic service. Ours was fantastic, even with a bit of a language barrier. He met us immediately and told us not to leave a card in the slot when we were not in the cabin as he could not enter if we did. Air conditioning and outlets continued to work without a card in the slot. He serviced the cabin about three times a day, and changed the sheets twice. He kept the cabin immaculate. We always got fresh towels, even when we hung them on the door hooks. The only problem we had was getting the mini bar restocked. I left a note, which didn’t work. Later I asked and he said I needed to fill out a form and sign it. I did, but still no replacement beverages. We just restocked the drinks ourselves from various bars for the same cost. I was impressed enough to write a note to the Head of Housekeeping commending his work, plus a tip for him at the end of the cruise. Dining was another area MSC needs to rethink, not necessarily the food quality but the seating. One of the main reasons we sailed NCL for so many years was the Freestyle dining choice of times, tables, and restaurants. We asked for first seating, which we got, and I was happy to be assigned Villa Rossa at the aft end as we planned to eat at the Black Crab for breakfast and lunch when available. What was strange is that we were seated at a table for six and no one else ever showed up. The table next to us had four people crammed onto a table made for two or three. They complained to several staff only to be told they could not move. There were several tables nearby that remained empty the entire meal. It actually made it awkward for us. Our service was good, bread and water were fairly easy to get throughout the meal. Most of the food items were of good quality and usually came out hot. One exception was fried items, which would occasionally be cold. After the Cruise Critic Meet & Greet we joined up with two other couples who had a less than stellar first meal with poor service. We moved to second seating at the Black Crab and had a very good table and service the remainder of the cruise. Meeting with the restaurant manager and discussing issues can have some benefits. Specialty dining is a weak point on Divina that will be addressed on the newer ships. We ate at Eataly Steakhouse and Galaxy with our Black card status. Ristorante Italia was not covered, it is part of Eataly Steakhouse but has a more seafood oriented menu. MDR food was more than adequate to make missing this venue a non-issue, it remained totally empty most nights. Eataly lacked ambiance, but had very good food, in my opinion better than Galaxy. Galaxy offered better service and views, but food choices were limited. Both places overcooked the meats, medium rare came out with the tiniest bit of pink barely visible. I will order rare in the future. Once was plenty for each of these venues. I did not try Eataly specialty pizza, the choices were deluxe but after eating so much good pizza at the buffet it felt unnecessary. It was evident the ship was not full when we went to the buffet, particularly after reading reviews of the chaos up there. At breakfast and lunch (it’s the only lunch venue open on port days) it could be a bit hectic, I never went near the place around dinner time. Seats were always available as you went aft. I only booked one early excursion that required eating breakfast in the buffet, all other times I ate breakfast in the Black Crab and found it much more enjoyable. It was a great way to meet new people as they fill the tables as passengers arrive. One Spanish only couple easily moved from our English only table to another table with Spanish speakers. Most restaurant menu items could be found at the buffet which had quite a bit more variety. I was happy with the limited choice to be seated and served a meal. Pizza in the buffet was very good and at peak times people were waiting, often taking the whole pie back to their group. Drink stations at the buffet were poorly designed and flow was inefficient with people having to squeeze past one another. I only saw a line at the omelet station, which is now inside the buffet rather than on the pool deck. Overall the Divina is in good condition for her age. There are workers constantly polishing and cleaning the public areas. The seating outside the MDR is in need of replacement but all other common areas seem to be in good shape. Public restrooms must be a nightmare for the cleaning crew, particularly the men’s restroom with lack of urinals. Only on disembarkation day was there a problem where overuse caused a flood in the deck seven public men’s room. Often if you needed to sit down it was better to go to your cabin. At off peak times the crew got them back in order quickly. There are no trash cans in public areas and workers were usually quick to remove glasses and dishes from vacated tables. I learned to just hand trash to a service staff member. Bar service could be erratic, at peak times it was best to go to the bar. Frequently staff had no idea what I was ordering, I only drank Sam Adams beer, Jameson or Elijah Craig, neat. Live music in the lounges was often overpowering and prevented any conversation, we would search out venues between sets. Silver Bar/Lounge and Divina Bar were usually quieter. The Atruim was mostly bearable but often had too much activity around to enjoy. In fact I will say that all the lounges except Black & White have an issue with too much foot traffic running through them. I rarely use public pools or hot tubs on a ship. On Divina this was the case. The forward Le Sirene coverable pool was used mainly by parents with small children, I saw too many training diapers for me to go near it. It was stifling when the roof was closed and hot when open as there is very little breeze. For some reason the water level was kept very low and the splash areas were most often totally dry. This was also the case at all the pools and we had very calm seas. The main Aqua Park pool was usualy more crowded with older children and adults. We had terrific weather so it was very popular on sea days, no chairs or tables available on the main level after 7:30am. On less crowded days there were ample loungers in the shade, seating in the sun was still a premium. The aft adult Garden Pool was always busy, the Port side is unusable unless you smoke. Chair hogging was rampant. All had towels on them, but 10% are ever occupied. We went late in the afternoon on a sea day and found two loungers and watched for about two hours before moving to more desirable ones, a lady came running over telling us that her friends just went to the rest room. After calling her on that she reluctantly said “Just take them”, which we did. The two of them had nine loungers reserved, the rest of the family arrived another two hours later removed the towels and they all left. I know it’s a problem on all cruise lines, hopefully MSC will look more at addressing it on their ships. The dailies offered a good range of activities; dance classes, trivia, language lessons, sports events and of course thinly veiled attempts to sell you things. I never found time to actually join any of them. As described in many reviews the shows changed every night, but mostly the same performers. So far I am not a show loving person on any line, but my wife is so we attended all of them. I will say most were enjoyable, pick up a drink or two before entering the theater. We booked one MSC excursion for snorkeling in Nassau as I had no inclination to walk into the city or visit any beaches there. The price was actually cheaper than booking the same excursion independently. Ship excursions at our other ports were fairly expensive and limited. Now for a bit of things I didn’t like: Divina has many oddities in its layout. The kids club and arcade take prime real estate on deck 15 & 16. Why is there a kids arcade linked to the casino? Le Muse is a far walk from the Yacht Club. Why do people in forward cabins get the aft restaurant seating? Half of the adult pool is covered with smoke. The guest services area is too small and makes for overcrowding and unhappy conditions. Getting an elevator to mid deck 16 is a pain. Why no craps table? The walking track is useless. The aft stairwells were rarely used and seemed a waste of valuable cabin area. The suite sizes are comparatively small, the very few true suites (separate bedroom and living area) with balconies book up very early and thus are very difficult to get. The outdoor seating on deck 14 just forward of the buffet is useless as there is no air circulation and it becomes unbearably hot. The thermal spa is lacking in comparison to other ships of its size. I found a very high percentage of new crew that had no idea how the ship operated and could not help answer any question. I was told this was because the ship was not able to do its weekly replacements and we had two weeks of new crew on our sailing. English was a total barrier to some crew others understood but were like deer caught in headlights. All were friendly and tried to find someone who could help. The Sports bar was the only exception. We tried to get food there on embarkation day at around 12:30pm. At first we were told it would open later, when we returned after 2pm we were ignored, the place was empty. This soured us on the venue and we never returned. MSC provides very little information to guests new to the line. Information was lacking or erroneous as to where drink vouchers were handed out, how to log onto the internet, when the Cruise Critic M&G and various other events like Black and welcome back parties would be held, and what/when Black status perks would be delivered. A simple letter for us newbies would have saved Customer Service countless hours. On two occasions the notice arrived the night before an event where I had already made other conflicting plans. MSC needs to promote hand washing and/or sanitizing stations. Machines were off to the side and slow to dispense, 90% of people didn’t even notice them, the ship is a Noro virus outbreak waiting to happen. I did like the signs in the public restrooms asking to use a towel for the door handle. Things I liked: Overall the ship was kept clean, crew were constantly cleaning and polishing. An NCL ship of this age would be well past time for a refurbishment. The main dining room food and service were above that at NCL, with the exception if you get newly training staff. Sure there were glitches, one in our party didn’t get one of their two ordered appetizers, and occasionally a menu item was not a good choice. I couldn’t understand some people’s expectation for gourmet cuisine and service when they paid discount mass market fares. Overall staff friendliness was great. Communication can be an issue, but most all tried to be helpful and found a way to get what you needed. The status match, even to the highest tier, made the cruise more enjoyable. This may be because the ship was probably not full, but for a ship with this passenger capacity it rarely felt overcrowded. This may also have been due to being off season for many children Advertisements were not blasted over the PA system for every event trying to sell you something, a problem that has increased on NCL. The long daily multi language announcements were easy enough to ignore. Since we had a hotel after the cruise we decided to forego the Black priority early disembarkation and were allowed to stay in the cabin until 10:45am. I could see crowds were light and we left the ship at 10:15am. There were no lines at customs, they looked at our passports and sent us away. Uber was easy to get and we headed to the Hampton Inn in Fort Lauderdale for a day at the beach. It was a recently renovated building downtown (I feared a beachfront hotel might have some lingering problems) and an easy ride in a free shuttle to restaurants, Las Olas beach and FLL airport. Was MSC the perfect cruise line, no. Was MSC an excellent value for the money, yes. I realized this first cruise with the line might have been somewhat better due to others cancelling. The itinerary was nothing what I had wanted, but MSC put together what they could in a bad situation. I came close to booking Seaside while on board for the $200Yacht Club bonus, but in the end passed as I will wait to see what happens to future itineraries. I would book Divina again if the price and itinerary are enticing, the ship alone is not enough for me. Seaside would be a much better choice and itinerary might not matter as much as the ship will be a big part of the attraction. Word from officers on board was New York and even West coast itineraries are in the near future. I would also be interested if they brought over their older, smaller ships with more unique itineraries. As MSC hones its product to the US market other cruise lines better keep watch. I have no second thoughts about leaving NCL behind if the upcoming ships and itineraries live up to expectations. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise along with the following cruise on 9/9/2017 as our first time on MSC. What an adventure!! Hurricane Irma certainly made it a cruise we will never forget!! Even though our itinerary was changed, we spent a couple ... Read More
We chose this cruise along with the following cruise on 9/9/2017 as our first time on MSC. What an adventure!! Hurricane Irma certainly made it a cruise we will never forget!! Even though our itinerary was changed, we spent a couple days in Cozumel and then went back to Miami 2 days early, for us, the cruise was a success. The entire crew. and in particular Captain Marco Massa went out of their way to help all guests with not only their concerns but also their personal problems. The Captain and MSC went above and beyond what was expected to make every guests' experience the best possible. We certainly had one on one conversations with Captain Massa about our personal concerns...and would like to say "he is the BEST". The cruise for 9/9/2017 was cancelled, however MSC one again came through with a total refund plus 25% discount on a future cruise. We will certainly be back!! The ship is beautiful, with plenty of entertainment areas, bars, restaurants and outside areas. The theater shows were also very good, a little different from what we normally see with their "European flair" but we enjoyed all of them. Being exposed to a different atmosphere throughout the ship and with the entertainment was refreshing. Roger and Tricia Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We choose this cruise due to the great price for 2 inside rooms for a family of 5 people. All three children under 12. We did have to pay almost full fare for 2 of them as we had 2 cabins. The food in the main dining room Black Crab was ... Read More
We choose this cruise due to the great price for 2 inside rooms for a family of 5 people. All three children under 12. We did have to pay almost full fare for 2 of them as we had 2 cabins. The food in the main dining room Black Crab was very good the service was hit or miss. The Galaxy specialty restaurant is worth every penny. Excellent service, food and the view from the Galaxy Restaurant is unbelievable. We also had a specialty dinner in the Eataly Steakhouse. My wife and my steak were both over cooked. The staff was more then willing to cook new steaks for both of us but we were to hungry and service was slow so we did not want wait the additional time for the new steaks. Our waiter was either new or did not understand english well enough. I had to go get my own bar drinks for the wife and me. The hostess at the restaurant was very confused why i was carry my own drinks. She apologized and brought both of us a glass of champagne for the inconvenience. My wife was expecting something being brought to our room for all the issues with this dinner. The Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle was excellent. They had appetizers, fresh strawberries, and a large cake. They even were coming around with trays of drinks for both adults and kids. The officers on MSC Divina were very visible and approachable during the cruise. They had about 8 officers at the CC Meet and Mingle. My oldest son was a little disappointed that basketballs were not readily available at the sports arena. You have to go sign out the single basketball for a max of 45 minutes at the Virtual Room located on Deck 16 inside the arcade area. Easiest way to get to by taking the stairs on the starboard side on deck 15. This is located above the Teen lounge which is on Deck 15. The pools on the Divina are at least 5 feet deep. They do have some areas that have a couple of inches of water for little kids to sit and play in water. The Waterslide on the Divina is a hit or miss item. I and some of my kids did get stopped in the waterslide and had to use our hands to propel us down the remainder of the way. I hope that the waterslides on the Seaside are of better quality will write a review after our end of March 2018 cruise. The buffet on Deck 14 was good quality and large variety during the hours of 6am to about 3pm. From 3pm to about 5:30pm and then again from about 10PM until closing they have a very select menu of pizza, salad bar, desserts, and sandwiches. Our kids did eat 1 meal during dinner time in the buffet. The hamburgers can the custom ordered with or without a bun. Pizza station is always open and very busy. They try very hard to keep fresh pizza available for the 5 or 6 variety that they have every day. Kids gave many complements on how good the buffet was for different food items. My children eat a very high protein and vegetable diet with no gluten due to food sensitivity. If you like Chocolate Lava Cake make to be in the main dining room on the first evening of your cruise. Otherwise you will have to go to the Galaxy specialty restaurant as it is a standard dessert there. Piazza Del Doce on Deck 6 is one of 2 locations that servers Gelato's along with coffee and cupcakes, cakes, small desert treats for purchase. One can use your drink vouchers or drink package for a milkshake or gelato dessert. The cupcakes, slices of cakes and small desert have a minimal charge of ~ $2.00 or less. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
My husband and I booked this cruise through a Casino Junket. We were comped an Oceanview and MSC upgraded us for free into a Balcony room. We've sailed on the past with Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean. The reviews that ... Read More
My husband and I booked this cruise through a Casino Junket. We were comped an Oceanview and MSC upgraded us for free into a Balcony room. We've sailed on the past with Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean. The reviews that I've read online about MSC have always been mixed, but the bad ones always stuck out to me. With the cruise being comped, we decided to give it a try. I will break everything down into categories on what I thought. Tip: If you go into this cruise thinking this will be like the other major cruise lines, you may be disappointed. Go in with an open mind. MSC seems to do things differently, but in an enjoyable way. Ship Itself: The ship itself was very clean and modern. Different areas of the ship seem to have their own theme with decorating, and everything flows together perfectly. This is the first ship that I've ever been on where the decorating really stood out. The crystal staircase that everyone talks about is even more impressive in person as it is in pictures. There were plenty of seating areas in each section of the ship, so if you have trouble walking distances, it shouldn't be a problem. Muster Drill: I was dreading this since I heard that the drill was done in 4 different languages. I figured this was going to take forever. You are required to bring your life jacket with you to the drill. Our meeting place was inside the casino. We all sat there while the staff went through the counts, and all of the details. Surprisingly, this process went by much faster than other cruise lines- even with them doing it in 4 languages. Stateroom: We were in a Balcony stateroom. The stateroom had a large closet, private bathroom, queen bed that could also be converted into two twins, a couch, and end table. There was a small tv, and a mini fridge across from the couch. The sliding glass doors opened to a small balcony with 2 chairs. From looking at the ship deck plans, it seemed that some of the ships had a see-through balcony wall, but the one I was in had a solid white metal one. The railing was pretty high, so you couldn't see the ocean water if you were to sit down in the chairs. This didn't bother me, but if you like to be able to see the ocean when sitting on your balcony, you will want to look into deck plans. My husband has a major fear of heights, so this balcony was perfect for us. As far as the bed itself, I normally sleep on a complete memory foam firm bed, so this bed was very comfortable to me. I never woke up with a backache, and slept all night. If you're used to sleeping on a very soft mattress, this bed may be a little more firm than you are used to. The couch has thinner cushions on it. It's comfortable to sit on, but wouldn't be comfortable enough to nap directly on it. I didn't check, but I believe these also turn into a bed also. We didn't open ours up, so I can't attest to how comfortable it is. The bathroom in the stateroom was a little different than other cruise ships in regards to the shower. The showers have this plastic dome that folds in and out to create a bubble around it. When I saw the pictures of this, I thought it looked pretty cool, although if you left it in the full shape of the bubble enclosing the shower, it gets in the ways of your knees when you are using the bathroom. If you pull the shower dome thing out and push them in the opposite way, they will fold to stay inside the shower area completely and stay out of the way. This is what we did with ours while we weren't using it. There are shelves to the sides of the sink to place your toiletries as well. You have your own climate control in the room so you can keep the room at whatever temperature you're comfortable with. In order for any of the lights to work, or the air, you have to insert a key inside the slot inside the room. This also doubles for letting the room steward know when you are/aren't in the room. I was very satisfied with the room. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We like MSC (this is our second cruise experience); we chose this one as the best option to know the Caribbean region in family (we spent 3 days before the cruise departure enjoying Miami at an hotel based in South Miami Beach) and we ... Read More
We like MSC (this is our second cruise experience); we chose this one as the best option to know the Caribbean region in family (we spent 3 days before the cruise departure enjoying Miami at an hotel based in South Miami Beach) and we were lucky to avoid the hurricanes that came latter! Two of us had some troubles at embarking as our suitcases appeared quite late in the day, forcing us to be constantly going to reception (several times) to ask for an update without any prior notice until they finally appeared. The rest of the journey the experience was fully satisfactory and plenty of nice moments. Service was quite attentive and the ship is quite modern and its installations perfect. Dining was nice although perhaps a bit slow service. We would repeat on a new journey this time visiting some new places to the extent the company arrange some interesting package including flights and transfers -probably the MSC company could obtain better fares- and perhaps a day or two of stay at an hotel to accommodate for the jet lag (we came from Spain to Miami). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Wow, where to start. I've read so much negative reviews before my cruise and I thought "uh oh, how bad can it be?" Just about everything was A OK. Some of my comparison would be with Carnival since I've done 4 cruises ... Read More
Wow, where to start. I've read so much negative reviews before my cruise and I thought "uh oh, how bad can it be?" Just about everything was A OK. Some of my comparison would be with Carnival since I've done 4 cruises with them the last 6 years and 1 with Norwegian. This is my review of the ship and the spaces I've used. The ships itinerary was St Marteen, San Juan and Nassau. We sailed on Aug 19 - 26 (Eclipse) cruise. We arrive the day before our cruise and stayed at Courtyard by Marriott Miami Downtown. My wife and I did not rush to the port to try to be one of the 1st to board. That's just nuts. We took our time. We had breakfast at Whole Foods next block over, and did some shopping at CVS for cruise stuff. Our hotel offered shuttle service to the cruise port for $5 per person, with 3 rides scheduled to the port in the morning on weekends. We signed up at the front desk. Shuttle seat about 12 people. Great price if you ask me. Give that hotel a call for exact info. Embarkation at Port of Miami was totally fine. We arrived at the port at 12:20 pm and there was practically no line. Note that this was at the tail end of summer and most people have done their cruise and getting ready for fall and school. The ship wasn't at full capacity. From side walk to boarding the ship took under half an hour after going thru at least 3 security check points and receiving our cabin card at the counter in the terminal. Note that staff who work at the terminal don't work for MSC the same way as staff on the ship. I've read negative reviews about people working in the terminal being rude. But on our day, terminal staff was fine and courteous. Once we boarded the ship, walked around a bit, headed to the casino to get our drink vouchers then headed up to the buffet. In the evening we signed up for the ship's web service and connected our credit card to our cabin card in the main lobby. It took no time at all. Buffet room - was a bit of a mad house. Everyone jostling around for food and places to sit. We headed all the way to the back and found a couple of chairs, but we did share the table with a couple. Note that you'll have an easier time finding a table as long as you're willing to share the table with others. Buffet stands had plenty of food. Note that there are hardly lines, if any, at each food station. Be courteous and just say that you just need that particular food item when cutting a line, if there is a line. Buffet food was fine and plentiful. Variety is more to European taste than to American. Deserts was just ok. Carnival's buffet area deserts was much better and many more choices. As everyone has said, TRY THE PIZZA! How very true. Pizza is very good, plentiful and fresh. Hamburger is nowhere near as good. Guys burger on Carnival is soooo much better. They also had deli sandwiches but Carnival's made-to-order deli is much better. Cabin 10139 - see cabin review below. Black Crab main dining room - beautiful room. Servers were fantastic. We chatted with our head and ast. server, ask how their day was, etc, said "thank you" every time they brought us something. We treated them nicely, they treated us nicely, they asked if everything was ok and if we needed anything. It got to the point that our head server got me a couple of free drinks from the bar and they sang to us with a guitar without us even asking. I tipped them well on the last night. Appetizers and main entree was good but small most of the time. On occasions we would order a 2nd entree if we saw something we really liked or wanted to try and it would be served with no problem. I read of service being very slow and no water was served. We had no problem what so ever. If I needed more water, I just ask and received water soon after. We had plenty of time to catch our shows at the Pantheon. Night time shows at the Pantheon Theater - it's really hit or miss and up to the individual. I loved "Treasure Island" and liked Micheal Jackson's "Star Walker". "The Amazing Mask" was so so. Band Queen "The Show Must Go On" was alright. They played some songs I never heard of, so that part was very boring for me. "The Witches of Paris" ok. I missed "Italian Classics". Most shows are shown twice. Only "Italian Classics" was shown once. Entertainment around the ship - there are bands, piano, steel drums playing at multiple locations during the day and evening. They were all pretty good. Pool area entertainment was your typical dance and having fun with the cruisers. Our movie line up shown on the pool giant screen was XXX Return of Xander Cage, La La Land, Rogue One, Inferno. Pools - main pool is a decent size with a wading area when enough water is let in. But because of the wading area, it takes up a lot of the deck area, meaning less lounge chairs. Plus there are decorative walls around the pool, it blocks the view of the giant screen. The giant screen is mounted too low. It should be mounted high up with the 2nd pool upper deck. Crew had set up some tables near by selling sun tan lotion, hats, clothes, etc. A smart idea. Upper deck from pool was nice. We "camped" ourselves there by mid morning for a couple of days. All lounges in good locations were taken up soon after. Pool area bar service was next to non-existent. If you want a drink from the bar.....go to the bar. By the end of our lounging around 3pm, the area around use was a mess with cups and beer bottles left there and the crew never came by to clean it up. Carnival Cruise was top notch in this dept - bar service and clean up. There is a movable roof cover pool next door, which we used once. It's very nice until it was filled up with kids. Same goes for the main pool - kids. Adult pool out back - we never had the chance to try it. Voyager's Club - MSC have a club for people who cruise often with the same cruise co, even if its a competitors. Since we sailed on Carnival 4 times, MSC granted us Silver members. Here is a link to MSC's Voyagers Club levels and benefits. https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/MSC-Voyagers-Club/Voyagers-Club.aspx Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I wanted to experience what cruising on MSC would be like. Love the ship. Well designed. Three pools so lots of choices. The food in the dining rooms was excellent but I would give the buffet a B- at best. Always go to the back of the ... Read More
I wanted to experience what cruising on MSC would be like. Love the ship. Well designed. Three pools so lots of choices. The food in the dining rooms was excellent but I would give the buffet a B- at best. Always go to the back of the dining area when looking for a table. Too many times there were empty food trays in the buffet line. At times they even ran out of cups for coffee in the morning. I think too many passengers wanted to take the cups home as souvenirs. They should go to standard white cups with no logos on them. Crew was accommodating with any request. We ate one night in the VERY CASUAL steak house. The food was great and the service was even better. We didn't think we had time for dessert so we were going to pass so we could go to a show, but our waiter told us to go to the show and come back for our coffee and dessert. Wow, were we impressed, try that on any of the other cruise lines. The shows are different and I believe you will either love them or hate them. We loved them. Seven different shows over the week. (Plus an extra afternoon show one day which was a 45 minute Opera. Yes you read that right an Opera.) The singers were amazing. The other shows were a cross between Cirque du soleil and comedy. Very unique. They are trying hard to make it in the US market and seem to be improving based on conversations I had with other passengers who had cruised with them before. If you want to experience a bit of foreign flair then this is the cruise line for you. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Convenience of arrival and departure from our home port of Miami. Multi-national crowd is a big draw. Top notch crew and entertainment. Loved how they always played my favorite song that I had requested on the first day, every time ... Read More
Convenience of arrival and departure from our home port of Miami. Multi-national crowd is a big draw. Top notch crew and entertainment. Loved how they always played my favorite song that I had requested on the first day, every time that I walked into the room. That was a very special touch. One of the most beautiful atriums with the Swarovski-encrusted staircases. We like to eat when we're hungry and based on other ship board activities, and did not like the fixed dining hours of 6:00 and 8:30pm. MSC should follow the changes incorporated by other cruise lines and offer "Anytime Dining" to those guests who prefer to eat whenever they wish. Our only criticism was a rather loud banging noise that woke us up every night in cabin 8106 and that lasted anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. Cabin steward William excellent, as were waitresses Sandra, Wendy and Jessie. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise and ship for the itinerary, and am so happy I chose for the Yacht Club. Loved that experience and I am sure that we would not have enjoyed our trip as much had we cruised on one of the other decks, as this ship was ... Read More
We chose this cruise and ship for the itinerary, and am so happy I chose for the Yacht Club. Loved that experience and I am sure that we would not have enjoyed our trip as much had we cruised on one of the other decks, as this ship was HUGE, and all the areas felt quite crowded. As it was, in YC we kept wondering "where is everybody", which suited us just fine. Loved the service, Le Muse was an excellent restaurant, but we would have liked to have more dining options. We took only one excursion, in Jamaica, which was fine. Would have been fine to book ourselves as well. Entertainment we wouldn't know, we don't like those shows too much. As far as the musicians go, their quality varied..,, but it was all nice and not obnoxious. Best part of YC was going on and off the ship and the separate quiet areas on the ship. I'm afraid we're spoiled forever now that we cruised YC... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Wonderful cruise. Staff was excellent. Great variety in entertainment. Loved our balcony suite. Our cabin steward, Judicael, spoiled us. Natalia and David at the Black Crab were very accommodating to our request as initially we had ... Read More
Wonderful cruise. Staff was excellent. Great variety in entertainment. Loved our balcony suite. Our cabin steward, Judicael, spoiled us. Natalia and David at the Black Crab were very accommodating to our request as initially we had requested second seating at the time of booking, but to our surprise we were changed to first seating. We addressed this to Natalia and David and for the last three nights they were able to grant us our initial request. Will definitely cruise on MSC in the future. We sailed last year on the Divina also but liked the fact that the stay in Puerto Rico was much longer than this one. Puerto Rico has a lot to offer and being in San Juan until 3:30 (embarkation time) was not enough. MSC should consider changing the route like they offered in October of 2016. I would like to suggest "anytime" dining instead of fixed dining time for future sailings. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
• Overall very good experience. • Mark, our Cabin Steward was great, always smiling. • Internet; waste of money, wasn't device settings; it was ours and our friends phones and laptops. I should be refunded, it was awful. ... Read More
• Overall very good experience. • Mark, our Cabin Steward was great, always smiling. • Internet; waste of money, wasn't device settings; it was ours and our friends phones and laptops. I should be refunded, it was awful. Don't plan on getting work done. • We enjoyed the Mix and Mingle through Cruise Critic and having the Captain and other senior leadership there. They made plenty of time to meet and talk with guests and not feeling rushed...a highlight of the trip! • Andre' the Cruise Director was fabulous. • Food was very good at both the buffet and table service. • Shows wonderful. They work to entertain an international audience and they do a good job. But 7 nights of it was too much; maybe one night of something different; comedian could do short shows in one of the lounges, something other than a big productions every night; but they were good. • Tim Brosnan booking agent was outstanding to work with. If you book, ask for him! • For us there was too much Latin music for dancing, probably the biggest disappointment and might be the reason we would probably not book again. • Service in restaurant was good but the service services (front desk) was very average. • Hard to get on equipment in the fitness center, forget peak times and there is no promenade to walk around the ship. Sorry cruise critic folks that we didn't seem to have a chance to interact and really meet. maybe I missed that, I was running late to the event. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
the ship is well maintained .All the public areas were kept spotless.The staff is friendly and helpful. We could not walk down a hallway or through a door without one of the crew saying hello or holding the door for us. The food was very ... Read More
the ship is well maintained .All the public areas were kept spotless.The staff is friendly and helpful. We could not walk down a hallway or through a door without one of the crew saying hello or holding the door for us. The food was very good .We tried all of the specialty restaurants and the food was delicious.the choices on the dining room and the restaurants menus were sufficient even for my picky daughter. Our cabin was beautiful and large enough for four people. The entertainment was very nice . there was a different show each night and different music being played in the different lounges. The drinks were very good.Everything from alcoholic to nonalcoholic to coffee. The only real problem I had was the excursions they had. nothing I really cared for. The prices were pretty standard for what they had just nothing really interested me . the one that we did book really was mediocre. Have been to two of the ports before so the itinerary wasn't the best for us.We stayed on and my daughter and I enjoyed some time in the spa. That was nice and very relaxing. I truly enjoyed this cruise .Would definitely cruise with MSC again Read Less
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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