We just returned from a week-long cruise on the MSC Divina. There were many things we liked, but quite a few things fell short. We had been told that we could board the ship starting between 12:00 and 12:30, but ended up standing in line until close to 2:00 before boarding started. This was never fully explained, although we heard a number of rumors floating around like the one where three people did not get off the ship from the prior cruise and the delay was due to searching for them. The show the first night was a tribute to Frank Sinatra. This turned out to be rather comical since their Sinatra imitator had a pronounced Russian accent, so even though he had a pleasant voice, he really did not evoke Frank! The second night the show was Wonderland. We thought we knew what to expect since we had seen Wonderland, a show conceived and initially presented in Tampa before making its way to Broadway. But MSC's Wonderland was more like a Cirque de Soleil show, with singers, acrobats, contortionists, tumblers and an odd appearance by a man on stilts who for no apparent reason came on stage in almost every show during the week. Is this a European thing? This odd mix of singers, dancers and acrobats was served up night after night in the Salute to Italy, the Paris show, the Pirate show, yet we were told over and over that MSC had the best entertainment. We did enjoy the scaled down version of La Traviata and the final evening's show of Opera Highlights, and thank goodness neither of these featured tumblers or the man on stilts.
The cruisers were from many countries. Americans seemed to be only a third or so of the population, with many Chinese, French, Italians, Spanish and Portugese people aboard. Some of the different cultures proved challenging to get along with when approaching the buffet or when boarding the elevators, maybe these situations are best left to the imagination, but politeness seemed to be somewhat lacking.
A lot of people have written about the food. We found it to be generally good, but we are not expecting the highest quality. When serving thousands of people at each meal, it is to be expected that the food will be good, but not great. Serving size was medium to small, but each meal had numerous course offerings, so a large plateful was really not wanted. There was lobster tail one night, and prime rib twice (very thin slices). Desserts and baked goods in general, were fair, at best. Items like croissants or brioches were reminiscent of those bought from your local supermarket shelf. Torta caprese, an Italian brownie, was dry, and having had it once, my husband did not reorder it although it appeared on almost every day's menu. Probably the best dessert was the cheesecake, of which several varieties were served during the week. Our waiter was Sulastra, and he did an excellent job all week. We ate almost every meal in the dining room in order to avoid the crowds at the buffet, and because the food was better in the dining room.
We came into our room the first day and interrupted the steward vacuuming. He finished up so that we could get settled, but we had to ask him to come back and vacuum again, there was so much dirt on the floor. The carpet, very flat, and orange in color, was dirty and appeared stained in many areas. I was reluctant to take off my shoes and usually wore flip flops in the room. But the condition of the floor was not our main complaint.Every time we came back to the room we noticed a very pronounced smell of sewage in the hallway, and we would still smell it after we entered our room, but usually after a few minutes we would either get used to it, or the smell would dissipate, I really hope it was the latter. On the positive side, the room was a good size and we had enough room for all our things to be put away. We enjoyed the balcony very much even though it was quite small.