Too bad you can't rate them lower than 1 star. They don't even earn one star.
Our cruise on the MSC Divina immediately started off on a bad note when there was a gas leak in their building in the Port of Miami. This apparently ... Read More
Too bad you can't rate them lower than 1 star. They don't even earn one star.
Our cruise on the MSC Divina immediately started off on a bad note when there was a gas leak in their building in the Port of Miami. This apparently caused delays with the previous passengers being able to vacate the boat; therefore preventing the guests for our particular cruise from boarding. While we do not fault MSC for the gas leak, the situation was badly managed at best.
Prior to the departure date MSC had send multiple forms of correspondence reiterating that all guests needed to be in the building to get checked in the boat by 5PM that evening. The gas leak occurred approximately noon on departure day. NO CORRESPONDANCE of any kind was sent out by MSC to warn the guests there was a delay and the departure would be pushed back. Many people were visiting Miami during the day and could have spent more time in town, shopping, eating dinner and sightseeing, etc. Instead, MSC chose to have all the guests standing outside in the Port of Miami in the summer heat and humidity; without water, food or information of why they could not board. As is normal for a cruise there were elderly people, and families with young children in this line. Our wait time was approximately 4 hours; however, once on board we discovered some people had wait times of over 6 hours. In our opinion, standing in the heat and humidity without water and listening to infants cry for four hours is not a great way to start a vacation.
When people were finally able to board the boat, many passengers were told they could not eat at the formal dinner service because it was too late, regardless of the day’s events. They closed everything on the ship for the safety drill, while most passengers were too irate, dehydrated and hungry to participate. The line at guest services filled the entire lobby. MSC could have offered free food and drinks, dollars that could be used for drinks or purchases onboard, a dollar amount off everyone’s total bill for the cruise; as a response for the extremely long inconvenience; however they offered nothing. which also ended up causing us to miss our very first formal dinner that evening that was changed unbeknownst to us.
The following is a brief summary describing the many additional problems and why we would not recommend MSC to anyone.
Food - Not good. People always ask about food on cruises, as they have a reputation for cooking marvelous meals. This was not the case on the MSC Divina. The food quality was average. The choices for the “formal” dinners were not high end restaurant choices. Additionally, they overcooked almost everything. The fish and scallops were always overcooked, and no matter how you ordered your steak it would be delivered well done (a bit chewy and cooked all the way). The buffet was essentially the same food items each day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There was a little bit of variation. This food tasted about like buffet food you can get at any typical buffet restaurant, anywhere. At the buffet you could find enough food to ensure you would not leave hungry; however at the formal sit down dinner, the portions were so small, my husband and I would often go to the buffet to finish eating our meal; because we were still hungry. As many people know when you pay for your cruise they offer you a choice of dinner times. We selected the late dinner time based on the presented ships itinerary, when we boarded we discovered we had been placed in the early dinner time. Additionally, the staff was obvious regarding the fact they did not care about the dinner times and the fact they would make zero effort to improve your situation. Due to this inconvenience and other mismanagement activities by the cruise line, we were unable to partake in several of our formal dinner services, which is included in the cost of the ticket. There was extremely limited late night dining. You could choose from very sloppily prepared pizzas and egg salad sandwiches. Not the burgers, fries or chicken tenders type comfort foods people typically enjoy when eating that late. Even worse, you literally had to fight for pieces of pizza because they were very inefficient at having enough pizza to split between the guests that were patiently waiting.
Staff – Approximately three days into our cruise we decided everyone on the entire boat must be new, because there is no way they could be so inefficient. 1. The boat was way understaffed, regarding cleaning, meal service, bar service, everything. 2. Anytime you asked questions, even to people at guest relations, they always initially never knew the answer to whatever you asked, and then if you pushed them, would go out of their way to make sure you could not get whatever you might have needed or wanted to make your trip a bit more bearable. 3. It was very difficult to get drinks. We have been on other cruises and have never had to tell a bartender how to make a drink, or have to wait 30 minutes (minimum) for one beer. You shouldn’t have to flag down a staff member to request a drink; there should be servers in each area ready to take your order. (As a side note: I personally believe that if the staff were able to receive tips, that they would do a much better job because then they would have incentive to keep striving to please their customers.) There was also no consistency between mixed drinks from different bars and bartenders. Many bartenders needed to look up the basic drinks on the ship’s menu. 4. None of the staff was friendly, it seemed like they were avoiding the guests. This improved as the trip progressed. I personally, filled out an early “review” form for the ship and specifically wrote that their staff was not friendly or helpful. The only good staff experience form the entire trip was the housekeeping staff who managed to get in and out of our room, to clean and provide fresh towels daily, and without intruding on our privacy. We did no have a do not disturb/make up room sign anywhere in our room, which makes that more impressive. Communication issues also played a big part in our disappointment of the staff, as it was unclear how much of they staff spoke English.
Tenders – Two of our destinations required us to tender onto the island. This was horribly mismanaged; unfortunately causing most of the guests to loose several hours of precious time, they would have liked to spend on the islands. There were never enough tenders to get people back and forth, and they were always late starting the service, regardless of what time we arrived at the island. For example: We had 2-1/2 hours at the Bahamas’ Cay island after waiting for our tender assignment to be called. We were then crammed onto one of the slow moving tenders where we saw at least 2 people get sick. Finally after half of our island time had been robbed from us, we spent 30 min’s looking for a beach chair! The lunch service there was awful. All of the food tasted as if it had been sitting on the hot plates for hours. It took us 30 minutes to get food and another 10 min’s to in the water line. An hour or so later we were back in another 30 min line to get back on the tender. Not a very relaxing day for our last port of call.
Shows/Entertainment – The on-board “Vegas-Style” shows were very well done. The rest of the activities were sparse. The “entertainment team” was small, so there would only be one or two activities, as opposed to multiple activities occurring constantly all day long in various rooms around the ship. For example: They had karaoke one night, in which almost the entire boat attempted to fit into ONE room, because it was only karaoke offered during the entire cruise. The volume of people caused the already struggling staff even more problems regarding drink service and accessibility.
Boat – The boat is huge and nicely decorated, as are most cruise ships. The back end of the boat, where the “adult” pool was located, constantly smelled of sewage. The pools and hot tubs closed early. Public restrooms were very small. For example at major public areas such as the restaurants and the pools, there were only 1 or 2 stalls in the women’s restroom. Lastly, I am not sure the reason why; but on most cruise ships you can not tell you are moving, on the Divina you can. Definitely stay away if you even suspect you might get motion sickness. Some areas on the boat were more difficult to access. Since we had been relegated to the secondary “formal” dining hall, each night it felt like we had to go through a maze to get to our formal dinner. Signs were posted, but they were difficult to follow.
Service – Customer service was non-existent. Everyday of our weeklong cruise there were multiple instances where we were ignored, waited super long (30 minutes minimum) for mediocre service or food, could not receive help or answers to our questions.
Overall Experience – Overall this was the most stressful “vacation” of our lives. The Caribbean is amazing, but absolutely find another way to visit. By far, our worst cruise experience to date. Do not book with MSC unless you enjoy spending the majority of your time waiting in a line to be treated as an inconvenience.