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This ship was chosen to host the 15th annual Holistic Holiday at Sea vegan cruise. I was looking forward to cruising with MSC and expected it to far surpass previous experiences on the Carnival ships. I was disappointed. The crew on the MSC seems to like saying NO more than they say YES and I found them to be non-customer service oriented. Bar service was extremely slow and the dining room staff was flat out rude more than once. Even the pool staff had no problem telling me I was 2 minutes too late to get a dry towel one day. Really? The cabin was fine, as was our cabin steward. The beds are not that comfortable, barely more than cots with a thin pad, but it was vacation and it was fine. The ship itself is beautiful, no complaints. We had one problem with an excursion in Martinique and discovered the MSC excursion staff onboard to be inflexible in our request to cancel a similar excursion in an upcoming port. They need to make sure their excursion descriptions are accurate. When I disembarked, I swore I would never cruise MSC again. However, in retrospect, I would change that to a "maybe". One of the biggest differences I noticed was that there is no assigned dining table or section of dining room, so you don't have the same waiters for the entire cruise. What this means is that those waiters are not getting tips at the end of the cruise, and tipping is "strongly discouraged", therefore they have little incentive to provide a great experience for the guests. And it shows. I might go on another MSC cruise just because I know what to expect now. Other cruisers on this trip did have some comments on the service level as well, so I know it was not just our experience or perception.

Beautiful ship, but poor service

MSC Divina Cruise Review by Vegancruzer

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2018
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Fantastica Oceanview Stateroom
This ship was chosen to host the 15th annual Holistic Holiday at Sea vegan cruise. I was looking forward to cruising with MSC and expected it to far surpass previous experiences on the Carnival ships. I was disappointed.

The crew on the MSC seems to like saying NO more than they say YES and I found them to be non-customer service oriented.

Bar service was extremely slow and the dining room staff was flat out rude more than once. Even the pool staff had no problem telling me I was 2 minutes too late to get a dry towel one day. Really?

The cabin was fine, as was our cabin steward. The beds are not that comfortable, barely more than cots with a thin pad, but it was vacation and it was fine.

The ship itself is beautiful, no complaints.

We had one problem with an excursion in Martinique and discovered the MSC excursion staff onboard to be inflexible in our request to cancel a similar excursion in an upcoming port. They need to make sure their excursion descriptions are accurate.

When I disembarked, I swore I would never cruise MSC again. However, in retrospect, I would change that to a "maybe".

One of the biggest differences I noticed was that there is no assigned dining table or section of dining room, so you don't have the same waiters for the entire cruise. What this means is that those waiters are not getting tips at the end of the cruise, and tipping is "strongly discouraged", therefore they have little incentive to provide a great experience for the guests. And it shows.

I might go on another MSC cruise just because I know what to expect now. Other cruisers on this trip did have some comments on the service level as well, so I know it was not just our experience or perception.
Vegancruzer’s Full Rating Summary
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Fantastica Oceanview Stateroom
Cabin O2 8149
Other reviews of this cabin indicated the lights from the lifeboats were an annoyance, but I did not experience that. Besides, there are heavy curtains that block all the light anyway. The only disadvantage was that the lifeboat mechanicals were visible through our window, but it did not block much of the view at all. I loved the location of the cabin as it was right near the mid elevator stack. Just a few steps from our cabin door was a full length window with the beautiful atrium and glass elevator in view. Easy access to the Black Crab and Villa Rossa as well as everything mid-ship.
Artemide Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Snorkeling
    Terrific internet find! A 2 hour snorkel excursion for $40 - just had to take a taxi to the Hilton. Great snorkel experience - saw lots of fish, two shipwrecks, a sea turtle, sting ray. Water was a bit cold, but I had researched in advance that Feb is the coldest month for water temp. Would definitely do this excursion again.
    View All 69 Snorkeling Reviews
  • Guadeloupe
    Least favorite port. All out of English maps at the tourist booth, everything was in French, heavy security at this port - police with dogs at disembarkation and many police on bikes. We could not find anything and ended up haggling for a few souvenirs and going back to the ship. I do recommend trying the Ti Punch at the last bar nearest the ship - beware - it is potent!! I learned of it in my pre-cruise research of this port. If you go to this port, get euros in advance!!! Taxi drivers do not accept US cash. Due to this, we were unable to visit the recommended restaurant we wanted to try. The spice market was a nice experience but we were unsure about what we could bring back onboard so we just enjoyed the sights and smells.
    View All 101 Guadeloupe Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Martinique
    If the description of this excursion had been correct, we would not have gone. It was muddy beyond belief, many pairs of shoes were ruined and there was not one second of peace. It was a treacherous 2 mile hike through mud and wet leaves, watching every foot placement to make sure you didn't slip and fall over the edge of the mountain. We saw 1 small bird and 1 tiny lizard, no other wildlife. the trail is NOT well-maintained. There was buried pipe and occasionally broken glass, along with ducking under trees and climbing over trees, etc.
    This is NOT a reflection on the tour operator - they were fine gentlemen and did a good job. This was purely an error on the part of MSC in their excursion description.
    View All 13,326 Martinique Cruise Port Reviews
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  • St. Kitts (Port Zante)
    Loved St. Kitts! We met some very friendly people, found super cheap Wi-Fi and enjoyed strolling around the shops near the port. A lot of hassle from cab drivers and tour operators trying to get our business. Figured out the best way to make them stop was to tell them "we already have something booked" instead of "no", because they would just keep trying. It almost felt like an ambush. Overall this was one of our favorite ports!
    View All 1,706 St. Kitts (Port Zante) Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Snorkeling
    Great tour operator - we had a lot of fun even though we didn't see many fish and the reefs are looking pretty sad. Highly recommend this excursion.
    View All 319 Snorkeling Reviews