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Pros: entertainment, the ship itself, & crew & staff nice Cons: Communication and Informational Shortcomings Surprise Meet & Greet with Ship's Captain Day 4, during the morning of what otherwise might have been a routine day at sea, brought a surprise and a real treat for us. At Cruise Critic's "Meet and Greet", sponsored jointly with MSC, Divina passengers who signed up in advance had a chance to meet their fellow travelers and speak directly with senior officers and managers, including the ship's captain. Unfortunately for our fellow passengers, few took advantage of this opportunity, with the number of passengers equaling the number of crew members. But those of us who did go had an hour to speak informally with Captain Francesco Di Palma about his duties as captain of the largest cruise ship we had ever been on, some of the challenges he has faced at sea, and his career path to captain of one of the large cruise ships sailing the oceans today. It was a highlight of this cruise or any that we have taken. Thank you Cruise Critic for making it possible and thanks to Captain Di Palma for his interest in his passengers and being so generous with his time. Cristobal Port, Panama MSC staff aboard ship failed to provide needed information about what to expect at the various ports for those who wanted to go off ship on their own rather than take ship's excursions. Or they provided wrong or misleading information, or just didn't know what to expect. For example, can you walk to town from the ship or get a taxi to town from the port? Guest Relations desk personnel or Excursion Desk personnel should have had this information and shared it. In the case of Panama's Cristobal Port, the excursion desk provided me wrong information, suggesting passengers could just hire a taxi when you got off the ship. But the reality was that no taxis were allowed at this isolated freight terminal. You could not go anywhere off the ship unless you first took one of MSC's contracted shuttle busses to the International Trade Center near the Colon passenger ship terminal, where other cruise ships dock. But they didn't tell anyone until the night before about this option. Also, there were not enough shuttles and people had to wait three hours beyond their scheduled departure time. Plus, heavy traffic made the trip even longer. There was not enough time to implement our plan to hire a cab to take us to Agua Clara Observation Center to see the Panama Canal's expanded locks. This was disappointing since it was a major purpose for taking this cruise.

Excellent value and cruise experience.

MSC Divina Cruise Review by observer2

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2018
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Fantastica Oceanview Stateroom
Pros: entertainment, the ship itself, & crew & staff nice

Cons: Communication and Informational Shortcomings

Surprise Meet & Greet with Ship's Captain

Day 4, during the morning of what otherwise might have been a routine day at sea, brought a surprise and a real treat for us. At Cruise Critic's "Meet and Greet", sponsored jointly with MSC, Divina passengers who signed up in advance had a chance to meet their fellow travelers and speak directly with senior officers and managers, including the ship's captain.

Unfortunately for our fellow passengers, few took advantage of this opportunity, with the number of passengers equaling the number of crew members. But those of us who did go had an hour to speak informally with Captain Francesco Di Palma about his duties as captain of the largest cruise ship we had ever been on, some of the challenges he has faced at sea, and his career path to captain of one of the large cruise ships sailing the oceans today. It was a highlight of this cruise or any that we have taken. Thank you Cruise Critic for making it possible and thanks to Captain Di Palma for his interest in his passengers and being so generous with his time.

Cristobal Port, Panama

MSC staff aboard ship failed to provide needed information about what to expect at the various ports for those who wanted to go off ship on their own rather than take ship's excursions. Or they provided wrong or misleading information, or just didn't know what to expect. For example, can you walk to town from the ship or get a taxi to town from the port?

Guest Relations desk personnel or Excursion Desk personnel should have had this information and shared it. In the case of Panama's Cristobal Port, the excursion desk provided me wrong information, suggesting passengers could just hire a taxi when you got off the ship. But the reality was that no taxis were allowed at this isolated freight terminal. You could not go anywhere off the ship unless you first took one of MSC's contracted shuttle busses to the International Trade Center near the Colon passenger ship terminal, where other cruise ships dock. But they didn't tell anyone until the night before about this option.

Also, there were not enough shuttles and people had to wait three hours beyond their scheduled departure time. Plus, heavy traffic made the trip even longer. There was not enough time to implement our plan to hire a cab to take us to Agua Clara Observation Center to see the Panama Canal's expanded locks. This was disappointing since it was a major purpose for taking this cruise.
observer2’s Full Rating Summary
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