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My husband and I have done 5 other cruises in the past (with cruise lines other than MSC). We wanted to introduce my reluctant parents to cruising, as well as take our two young sons (aged 2 and 5) on their first cruise. MSC offered more than competitive rates, so we could actually afford to take the whole gang. They also seemed quite family-oriented. Positive: The cruise ship was very large, and was very modern and 'nice looking'. I wasn't embarrassed to get on board when in port. It also wasn't as tacky as some other cruise ships we've been on. Negative: The sewage outlet behind our toilet backed up repeatedly during the cruise, spewing raw sewage onto our bathroom floor. The staff did attend to this issue promptly, but, to our dismay and disgust, we noticed that the cleaner was not allowed, by the cruise line, to use bleach to clean the bathrooms. Not his fault at all, but disgusting nonetheless. Positive: To make up for the above-mentioned "troubles", the cruise line gave us a free laundry package (because they don't have public laundromats on board like certain other cruise lines - it cost $30 USD to have 20 items washed). Negative: Many of the staff barely spoke/ understood English. It was often very hard to ask for services and be properly understood. Positive: The crowds were somewhat more subdued than Carnival's crowds. Fewer, if any, rowdy and drunk passengers. Negative: Although advertised as a family oriented cruise line, we had an awful time booking a room that could actually accommodate our children. We booked months in advance, and were told all was settled. Several weeks later, we received a phone call from MSC telling us our children could not stay in the room we had booked, and we would have to cancel our trip ASAP or incur penalties. It was too late to cancel as we had already made all our other travel arrangements around this cruise. Not to mention the fact that we had booked directly through MSC, and the agent on the phone had never indicated that the children couldn't be accommodated in our stateroom. Only after several phone calls (literally at least 5 hours wasted on the phone resolving this one issue) and a threatened BBB complaint did they give us a new room for the original price. Negative: On the second last day of the cruise, my son was in a bad mood during breakfast in the restaurant. Not being loud or anything. Just in a bad mood. The maitre-d took it upon himself to approach us and pull out his cell phone, telling my son he was phoning the ship's captain to see if he could have a chance to 'drive the boat'. Of course, my 5 year old's mood instantly lifted. A man who closely resembled the captain soon after came to our table, shook my son's hand, and introduced himself as the captain. He told my son that the next morning, he'd be allowed to go with him and steer the wheel for a bit. My son was extremely excited (and so were we, to be honest). Turns out it was all a big joke. In his defense, the maitre-d appears to have had good intentions. But what in the heck was he thinking, promising a 5 year old that he'd get to 'drive the boat' the next morning? Needless to say, my son was devastated and the last day of our cruise was essentially ruined. We went to the front desk to ask if they could do something to make things better, since, after all, MSC had cause this problem. We were told they couldn't do anything; the best they could do was put in a complaint against the maitre-d, and that since it was a restaurant problem, the restaurant alone could deal with it. They might offer us a free bottle of wine for our troubles. Obviously that wouldn't make my son feel any better. The clerk then offered to write the captain an email to see if he'd be willing to spare a few minutes to meet my son. According to her, he was a really down to earth man, and there was a good chance he'd agree. Never heard back from anyone on the matter. Not even an 'I'm sorry, the captain is too busy at the moment'. Negative: The food wasn't very good. It wasn't bad, but nowhere near as good as on my previous cruises. The portions at the restaurant were very small. The selection at the dinner buffet was laughable. The pizza was very good though. Negative: Although presenting itself as being kid friendly, it isn't anything special. Unless you put your kids in the childcare program, there isn't anything for them to do onboard. AT least not in the 0-5 age group. My kids were bored to tears during the days at sea. We spend tons of money in the arcade as it was essentially the only form of entertainment for them. The only swimming pool where diapered children were allowed was the mid-ship one, which was under the blaring sun and filled beyond capacity. The water slide was only for children aged 8 and up (or over 48 inches); another great disappointment for my 5 year-old. Negative: I had two massages done while on board. Every time, at the end, I was asked if I wanted to purchase any overpriced facial products. I was already paying way more than I would on dry land for a massage, so no, I didn't want to buy facial products. One of the masseuses actually made a face at me when I (politely) declined. Summary: Although the price was decent, compared to other cruise lines, we likely wouldn't cruise with MSC again. The bathroom issue disgusted us, the children were bored, most of the staff didn't understand us when we tried to communicate, booking the trip was beyond nightmarish, and the last day of our cruise was ruined by unthinking staff, and the issue never properly rectified. The only positives of this cruise were the good price, the ship was relatively classy, the fact that some of the staff was excellent, and the pizza very good.

Disgusting bathroom and restaurant staff ruined the last day of our cruise.

MSC Divina Cruise Review by juliefouc

19 people found this helpful
Trip Details
My husband and I have done 5 other cruises in the past (with cruise lines other than MSC). We wanted to introduce my reluctant parents to cruising, as well as take our two young sons (aged 2 and 5) on their first cruise. MSC offered more than competitive rates, so we could actually afford to take the whole gang. They also seemed quite family-oriented.

Positive: The cruise ship was very large, and was very modern and 'nice looking'. I wasn't embarrassed to get on board when in port. It also wasn't as tacky as some other cruise ships we've been on.

Negative: The sewage outlet behind our toilet backed up repeatedly during the cruise, spewing raw sewage onto our bathroom floor. The staff did attend to this issue promptly, but, to our dismay and disgust, we noticed that the cleaner was not allowed, by the cruise line, to use bleach to clean the bathrooms. Not his fault at all, but disgusting nonetheless.

Positive: To make up for the above-mentioned "troubles", the cruise line gave us a free laundry package (because they don't have public laundromats on board like certain other cruise lines - it cost $30 USD to have 20 items washed).

Negative: Many of the staff barely spoke/ understood English. It was often very hard to ask for services and be properly understood.

Positive: The crowds were somewhat more subdued than Carnival's crowds. Fewer, if any, rowdy and drunk passengers.

Negative: Although advertised as a family oriented cruise line, we had an awful time booking a room that could actually accommodate our children. We booked months in advance, and were told all was settled. Several weeks later, we received a phone call from MSC telling us our children could not stay in the room we had booked, and we would have to cancel our trip ASAP or incur penalties. It was too late to cancel as we had already made all our other travel arrangements around this cruise. Not to mention the fact that we had booked directly through MSC, and the agent on the phone had never indicated that the children couldn't be accommodated in our stateroom. Only after several phone calls (literally at least 5 hours wasted on the phone resolving this one issue) and a threatened BBB complaint did they give us a new room for the original price.

Negative: On the second last day of the cruise, my son was in a bad mood during breakfast in the restaurant. Not being loud or anything. Just in a bad mood. The maitre-d took it upon himself to approach us and pull out his cell phone, telling my son he was phoning the ship's captain to see if he could have a chance to 'drive the boat'. Of course, my 5 year old's mood instantly lifted. A man who closely resembled the captain soon after came to our table, shook my son's hand, and introduced himself as the captain. He told my son that the next morning, he'd be allowed to go with him and steer the wheel for a bit. My son was extremely excited (and so were we, to be honest). Turns out it was all a big joke. In his defense, the maitre-d appears to have had good intentions. But what in the heck was he thinking, promising a 5 year old that he'd get to 'drive the boat' the next morning? Needless to say, my son was devastated and the last day of our cruise was essentially ruined. We went to the front desk to ask if they could do something to make things better, since, after all, MSC had cause this problem. We were told they couldn't do anything; the best they could do was put in a complaint against the maitre-d, and that since it was a restaurant problem, the restaurant alone could deal with it. They might offer us a free bottle of wine for our troubles. Obviously that wouldn't make my son feel any better. The clerk then offered to write the captain an email to see if he'd be willing to spare a few minutes to meet my son. According to her, he was a really down to earth man, and there was a good chance he'd agree. Never heard back from anyone on the matter. Not even an 'I'm sorry, the captain is too busy at the moment'.

Negative: The food wasn't very good. It wasn't bad, but nowhere near as good as on my previous cruises. The portions at the restaurant were very small. The selection at the dinner buffet was laughable. The pizza was very good though.

Negative: Although presenting itself as being kid friendly, it isn't anything special. Unless you put your kids in the childcare program, there isn't anything for them to do onboard. AT least not in the 0-5 age group. My kids were bored to tears during the days at sea. We spend tons of money in the arcade as it was essentially the only form of entertainment for them. The only swimming pool where diapered children were allowed was the mid-ship one, which was under the blaring sun and filled beyond capacity. The water slide was only for children aged 8 and up (or over 48 inches); another great disappointment for my 5 year-old.

Negative: I had two massages done while on board. Every time, at the end, I was asked if I wanted to purchase any overpriced facial products. I was already paying way more than I would on dry land for a massage, so no, I didn't want to buy facial products. One of the masseuses actually made a face at me when I (politely) declined.

Summary: Although the price was decent, compared to other cruise lines, we likely wouldn't cruise with MSC again. The bathroom issue disgusted us, the children were bored, most of the staff didn't understand us when we tried to communicate, booking the trip was beyond nightmarish, and the last day of our cruise was ruined by unthinking staff, and the issue never properly rectified.

The only positives of this cruise were the good price, the ship was relatively classy, the fact that some of the staff was excellent, and the pizza very good.
juliefouc’s Full Rating Summary
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