This is my collulative review for MSC Divina based on our 2 cruises ( one in 2017 Miami- St Martin- Puerto Rico, Bahamas; and the second one in March 2018 14 days trip across Caribbean and Central America ( Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica, Belize)
The ship is really big, it takes up to 3500 passengers. During both vacations ship was full, almost no empty cabins. Even though it’s 6 years old, all public areas are in very good conditions. No obvious signs of wear and tears. Always in every ports, and between cruises, crew members did small renovations: painted some elements, restore polishing and many other.
In general there is enough place of the ship, but public areas and pools are very overcrowded when you have a day at sea. There is no hope to find a vacant sunbeds after 9am. Many people “book” their sunbeds by attaching towels. So, you can see a lot of “booked” sunbeds with no people on them. Crew staff does not enforce their 30 mins policy.
First time we had inside cabin and a cabin with balcony view second time. Inside cabin is rather small, no sunlight and no natural elimination. It makes me feel sleepy all the day. At the same time room is enough for accommodation of two people with relatively small amount of personal belongings. Cabin with balcony is big enough for two, a lot of space. All cabins are equipped with TV with some free channels . It’s enough to be up to date with the world news. Room service is good.
I have to admit that the level of service significantly dropped over from last year. Maybe the reason is that the best staff were promoted to new ship MSC Seaside. People looked quite exhausted and indifferent. One small example: we had a problem with smell from toilet. I had to leave a request 3 times in order to fix it. It was very funny to see when you ask a guest service for something or leave a request, they say “sure we will do or fix”, but they didn’t even ask a cabin number. Do I need to say that nothing is done after all?
Service in restaurants are also very slow. Here it really depends on your waiter. We had very slow waiter. At the same time tables near us, had an excellent waiter. He managed to support small talks, advice some dishes and bring food quite quickly.
In general, I would rate food for 3 stars out of 5. There is nothing special, but at the same time there are plenty of choices. Hungry is the last thing you should worry about. The only time when you have nothing to eat is between 2am and 6am at night. General buffett offers a variety of food: salads, grills, soups, pastas, burgers, vegetables, fruits, cakes, and many other. I would highlight here their pizza corner. Their pizza is very delicious and is served all the day.
Dinner is served in two big restaurants for those who prefer more stylish menu and in buffet for those who’d like to eat quickly. As I mentioned above, service in restaurant is quite slow and you should allocate at least 1.5 hours for a dinner. There are many people who don’t go to restaurants for dinner and lunch only because of slow service. Menu in the restaurants and buffets is absolutely the same, as we had a year ago. Nothing new.
In general I’d say the food is Ok, but not great. Do not expect crabs, sushi, prosciutto, expensive seafood and some other dishes that you can have in high end restaurants. At the same time we should take into account below market price for MSC cruises.Having said that, I would estimate food choice as really good for that price.
For those who’d like something more elegant, there are several a-la carte restaurant where you can get more delicious food for extra charge.
As in most cruises, coffee and alcohols are charged extra. Alcohol I think is very overpriced. What you can buy in Spain or Italy for 5-6 USD, or in the USA for 10 USD, here you will pay at least 40.
Even though MSC publishes a long list of entertainments and events in daily program, there is few of them are worth visiting for adults. Evening performance are really great. But, a typical program is created for 7-days cruise. The second time we had 14 days cruise and they tried to stretched 7-days program for 14-days cruise. We saw the same shows as first time. The rest days they created very weak presentation by simply offering musicians from bars and public areas to play on the main scene. Or, as alternative, showing once again some extracts from already shown shows.
As a conclusion I would say this ship is good for first time cruisers and for budget travelers. MSC offer a good options for very decent price. I think it is an ideal price-value combination. MSC also tries to promote people to return back to the ship next time. But I think this is not a good choice. They run the same buffet, the same shows, entertainment every single year, and there is no a single reason to buy the same staff twice.
- Big ship in a very good shape.
- Many public areas don’t make you feel boring during a day at sea
- Good price-value combination
- Some shows are really good when you see them first time
- Room service is good
- The ship is for one time visit only. The second time you will get the same food, the same show, - everything the same.
- Service is slowly going down. The ship is understaffed and staff is exhausted and indifferent
- Slow service in restaurants.
- Alcohol and excursions are overpriced.