Our MSC Divina cruise (April 11-18) started out oddly. No one met boarding passengers to tell them anything about the ship, so we were all milling around, not sure what to do or where to go, since we boarded at 12 noon and could not get ... Read More
Our MSC Divina cruise (April 11-18) started out oddly. No one met boarding passengers to tell them anything about the ship, so we were all milling around, not sure what to do or where to go, since we boarded at 12 noon and could not get in our cabins until 3 pm. When we finally got to the cabin, we didn't know how to turn on the lights. There was nothing on the wall beside the switch to inform you and, of course, we had not received any information about this, either. This is common in Europe, we heard, but new to us.
Next, we learned that our itinerary had been changed, giving us only 1 1/2 days in Bermuda instead of two full days. Don't know where that time went, since the Nassau time hadn't been extended. We know that itineraries can be changed, but the explanation given in the daily program didn't make sense. Our prime reason for taking the cruise was to go to Bermuda, so we were very disappointed.
The daily program said, for the day we arrived in Bermuda, that the ship had made alternate arrangements for transport around the island besides the buses and ferries, but didn't explain what those were?
Throughout the cruise, there was constant frustration by the fact that almost none of the crew spoke English. If you asked a question about a meal or directions around the ship, they did smile at you, but couldn't answer you. We were surprised that a cruise ship out of an American port wouldn't make any efforts to have crew members who could communicate with you.
After the Thursday night show, the captain made a presentation on stage, talking about how the crew were a big family and got along so well, but MANY of the passengers were saying that it was too bad the crew didn't want to deal with the guests.
The topper for the cruise was our "excursion" in Nassau, which was supposed to be a 2 1/2 hour tour around the capital, leaving the ship at noon, including sights of the mansions, cathedrals and 18th century fortresses, followed by "a stop at a local beach for a quick dip before you begin your return drive to the port and your ship". However, when we docked, our ship was followed into port by three other cruise ships, who all disembarked their passengers at once. There was absolute chaos on the dock as people tried to start their excursions. A man came along the line and hollered that our group was going to have "a one hour tour and two hours on the beach". People started yelling that was not the program, so the man conferred with other people. We still didn't know what was going on and finally boarded the buses just around 1 pm. The driver gave us about a 30-minute tour, showing us almost nothing ("this is a school"), and then we were dropped off at a beach, and were told by Marco, an MSC crew member, that the buses would be back at 2:15. Then he said it would be 2:30. When that time passed, he said it would be 2:45. Finally, an independent bus came down the hill to the parking lot where about 50 of us were standing and said he would take us back to the pier for $2 each. We filled his bus, but then Marco got on the bus and told us to get off, that this bus "was not in the program". Many people yelled at him and told HIM to leave the bus. Finally, he left and we returned to the dock by about 3:45. Since we had to be back on board by 5:30, there wasn't time to do much of anything else in Nassau, so we got on the ship. We went to "customer service" (although I have a hard time calling it that, since they didn't provide customer service at all on the Divina) to put in a complaint about the NON excursion, but were told we had to go to the excursion desk which opened at 7 pm. Another man was there before us, and he was absolutely furious. A second bus went to help the people at the beach area, but Marco did make those people get off the bus -- and the "program" buses didn't arrive until 4:15, so the entire stay in Nassau was used up waiting around. After dinner, we went to the excursion office -- and there was Marco! Several other people were there, too, so when we all realized we were not going to get any satisfaction from Marco, we asked to see the manager. She listened to the issues and asked all of us to write formal complaints, but said she couldn't do anything. We were all asking for refunds of what we paid for the excursion.
Apparently, no one on the Divina has any authority to handle customer issues, which is really bad. We have contacted our credit card company to deny the charge for the non-excursion ($55 each).
The ship is beautiful and the cabin was not bad, although there was mold in the shower tile which was not nice to see. The food wasn't anything special, for the most part. Wait staff couldn't understand English, either.
All in all, we were so disappointed and will never take an MSC cruise again. We kept hearing the same thing from almost everyone else we talked with onboard, too. Passengers who are regular cruisers were saying that they had never seen this kind of poor service on any other ship.
Too bad. Read Less