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We recently sailed on the MSC Divina from 12/20 – 12/30/18. The price was fantastic and it appears that they are trying to break into the US market but like anything you get what you pay for and in our case, this was the worst cruise we have ever been on and we have been on a LOT of cruises! This was our first experience with MSC Cruises and will most likely be our last. When we made the reservations during Memorial Day, we had a very pleasant MSC travel agent assist us (Lori Segal). When I tried to contact her a couple of weeks later with a few questions, I never heard back. About a month later she finally emailed me back and said she had been out sick. Later still, I received an email that she was no longer with MSC, from Lisa Mazuz. Does no one pick up and respond to agent’s messages when they are not there? After getting frustrated with not hearing from her, I waited on hold for over an hour (no exaggeration) and finally was able to speak with Patrice Burke. She tried to assist me but I found out later that she had actually cancelled our cruise and our shore excursions. So again I had to hold for over an hour to get this straightened out. This should have been enough to tell me that this cruise was a mistake but no we persevered. When we arrived at the cruise terminal (as Black Card Status) the girl that checked us in, gave us our keys and nothing more. Normally we get a map of the ship (which we later found out that other guests had been given) and they take our credit card information so that we are all set up. Instead, once we were on board we had to register our credit card at a Kiosk. I was OK with this, even though it was another step that could have been avoided; however, at the end of the cruise as we were trying to depart, they made us turn around and go back to the Kiosk to pay off a balance. Why did we have to register the credit card if it was not going to be used to pay off the balance? This was so ridiculous and my husband was irate – per his comment “this was the last nail in the coffin”. In addition the ship has no ATMs and the only way you can obtain cash is to get a Cash Advance at 5% so make sure you have plenty of cash as some of the shops on the islands do not take credit cards. Concerning the Cabin: When we finally got to our cabin, in Bella Class, we discovered the smallest cabin and balcony that we have EVER had. It was the size of a postage stamp. There was hardly any room in the closet, the drawers were too small to put anything in. There was no table in the room to put food/room service, etc., on. No couch, no chair – only a small ottoman to sit on in front of a makeup mirror. The shower design was ridiculous – you could not take a shower without the water running out on the floor and you could not get in or out without hitting yourself with one side of the door or the other. The deck chairs were not adjustable and were extremely uncomfortable. Again no table. The bed was made up with a regular sheet on the bottom, instead of a fitted sheet and it kept coming undone - under the bottom sheet was a nasty, pelted mattress pad that was just disgusting. The TV in the room was so small that my husband could not make out anything on it from his side of the bed (and we are not talking far away). There was no bar soap in the shower or sink and the liquid soap did not foam up or make us feel clean at all (we had to wait and buy soap on one of the islands). We did not have hot water in the shower until the 2nd to last day! Concerning the Activities On Board: Other than pool activities, there really was not much going on. We are used to having shows, lectures, activities or something in the atrium, at least on sea days but no! If there were any slot tournaments or other specials in the Casino, they were not well advertised and we did not know about them. The theater did not offer any cocktail service, there were no cup holders in the seating, etc. The shows were horrible!!!! They had Opera one night (I did not hear one person say that they enjoyed any shows), they force fitted a show called the “Christmas Witches” for Christmas Eve, that had nothing to do with Christmas. The male singers were terrible. They did a show called “The Show much Go On” with songs from Queen, the female singer was fine but the guys sounded like cats being choked. We went to the “Afternoon Christmas Trivia” on Christmas Eve only to find out it had nothing to do with Christmas! We went on a Celebrity cruise for Christmas two years ago and the entire cruise was very festive. Not so on this one. Concerning the Food and Dining: We were supposed to be in 1st seating, but when the travel agent cancelled our cruise and we had to rebook, they put us in 2nd seating. I called several times and was assured that we would be moved to 1st seating; however, when we checked in – our cards had us in 2nd seating and we had to wait about a half hour to talk with the Maitre’d to get the seating changed and it did not happen until the 2nd night. We were with 10 other people but we could not sit near any of them, we could not even get a special table to be together for Christmas dinner. Our very first meal in the main dining room (the Black Crab) took us over 2 ½ hours to get our food. On later nights, after having complained we were able to get in and out in 1 ½ - 2 hours. The food was terrible everywhere. This is no exaggeration! Very little selection in the Buffet (if it were not for pizza we would have starved). They actually charged extra on the main dining room menu for certain selections! The only specialty restaurants were Sushi and Italian. We actually tried the Italian one night (Eataly) it was terrible. My Carbonara was so dry you could not eat it and the bacon smelled terrible. My husband’s steak was too tough to cut. The waiter was rude and kept calling my husband “Chief”. When the Maitre’d came over, he kept apologizing and wanted to give us something else. But at this point we had given up. He asked us to complete a comment card which we did, we can only hope someone will take appropriate action. The hostess told me I could take my wine with me when we left, but the waiter chased us down and told us we could not take the glass out of the restaurant. On one of the special nights in the main dining room, they had Diver Scallops as an appetizer and warm water Lobster as the main course. We were finally thrilled with the menu; however, when it came out the Scallops and the Lobster were so overdone and rubbery, everyone at the table (all six of use) returned them both for other selections. We had lunch in the main dining room one day and that was enough. We ordered Clam Chowder and when it came out, it was Gray and smelled like rotten fish. I tried the Shrimp Ceviche and it was terrible, tough and smelly! It is really bad when even the wait staff try to get you to stay away from some of the dishes! On “Italian Night” they did a presentation on the center stage and said “And now for your first surprise – join us with a toast of your Lemoncello” Of course no one had lemoncello to toast with and then they went around the room with FAKE cakes! Concerning the Ship’s Design: This ship was not designed for relaxation, comfort or elegance….There we no shady spots to sit out on deck. You had a choice of sun, smoking, by the pool or in the enclosed pool area with no breeze, no deck chairs anywhere to enjoy a good book in the shade. The bar stools in every single bar/lounge were terribly uncomfortable. There is no place to put your feet and they sit off center. The Eataly restaurant (one of the specialty restaurant) had plastic chairs!!!! When we came back from shore excursions there were empty bins designated to put your “hand towels” in – of course no one was given a hand towel to use or put in the bins. Definitely an Italian Line: All announcements were in seven different languages, it took forever for the announcements to be conveyed. I tried to order a Chocolate Martini one night and ended up with a Margarita first and then a Mojito second. English is not well understood by any of the staff on board. The phone announcements (when you try to set an alarm or are on hold for room service) are all in Italian, we had no idea what was being said. All of the medication and toiletries for sale are all in Italian and the music on most shows was in Italian. TV in the room had very little on it in English and if you wanted to watch a movie it cost $9.00! Bottom Line: The Staff were friendly and tried really hard. They were overworked (not enough staff) and were not well trained in any of the services that were offered; e.g., dining room, bar, etc. If MSC wants to be successful in the US Market they need to make a LOT of improvements/changes. We have taken the time to give detailed feedback, we can only hope it will make a difference! And the kicker of them all is that MSC indicates on their shore excursion tickets that they are NOT responsible for the excursions!!!!

MSC needs some serious improvements!

MSC Divina Cruise Review by donnacolb

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2018
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Bella Balcony Stateroom
We recently sailed on the MSC Divina from 12/20 – 12/30/18. The price was fantastic and it appears that they are trying to break into the US market but like anything you get what you pay for and in our case, this was the worst cruise we have ever been on and we have been on a LOT of cruises! This was our first experience with MSC Cruises and will most likely be our last.

When we made the reservations during Memorial Day, we had a very pleasant MSC travel agent assist us (Lori Segal). When I tried to contact her a couple of weeks later with a few questions, I never heard back. About a month later she finally emailed me back and said she had been out sick. Later still, I received an email that she was no longer with MSC, from Lisa Mazuz. Does no one pick up and respond to agent’s messages when they are not there?

After getting frustrated with not hearing from her, I waited on hold for over an hour (no exaggeration) and finally was able to speak with Patrice Burke. She tried to assist me but I found out later that she had actually cancelled our cruise and our shore excursions. So again I had to hold for over an hour to get this straightened out. This should have been enough to tell me that this cruise was a mistake but no we persevered.

When we arrived at the cruise terminal (as Black Card Status) the girl that checked us in, gave us our keys and nothing more. Normally we get a map of the ship (which we later found out that other guests had been given) and they take our credit card information so that we are all set up. Instead, once we were on board we had to register our credit card at a Kiosk. I was OK with this, even though it was another step that could have been avoided; however, at the end of the cruise as we were trying to depart, they made us turn around and go back to the Kiosk to pay off a balance. Why did we have to register the credit card if it was not going to be used to pay off the balance? This was so ridiculous and my husband was irate – per his comment “this was the last nail in the coffin”.

In addition the ship has no ATMs and the only way you can obtain cash is to get a Cash Advance at 5% so make sure you have plenty of cash as some of the shops on the islands do not take credit cards.

Concerning the Cabin:

When we finally got to our cabin, in Bella Class, we discovered the smallest cabin and balcony that we have EVER had. It was the size of a postage stamp. There was hardly any room in the closet, the drawers were too small to put anything in. There was no table in the room to put food/room service, etc., on. No couch, no chair – only a small ottoman to sit on in front of a makeup mirror. The shower design was ridiculous – you could not take a shower without the water running out on the floor and you could not get in or out without hitting yourself with one side of the door or the other. The deck chairs were not adjustable and were extremely uncomfortable. Again no table. The bed was made up with a regular sheet on the bottom, instead of a fitted sheet and it kept coming undone - under the bottom sheet was a nasty, pelted mattress pad that was just disgusting. The TV in the room was so small that my husband could not make out anything on it from his side of the bed (and we are not talking far away). There was no bar soap in the shower or sink and the liquid soap did not foam up or make us feel clean at all (we had to wait and buy soap on one of the islands). We did not have hot water in the shower until the 2nd to last day!

Concerning the Activities On Board:

Other than pool activities, there really was not much going on. We are used to having shows, lectures, activities or something in the atrium, at least on sea days but no! If there were any slot tournaments or other specials in the Casino, they were not well advertised and we did not know about them. The theater did not offer any cocktail service, there were no cup holders in the seating, etc. The shows were horrible!!!! They had Opera one night (I did not hear one person say that they enjoyed any shows), they force fitted a show called the “Christmas Witches” for Christmas Eve, that had nothing to do with Christmas. The male singers were terrible. They did a show called “The Show much Go On” with songs from Queen, the female singer was fine but the guys sounded like cats being choked.

We went to the “Afternoon Christmas Trivia” on Christmas Eve only to find out it had nothing to do with Christmas! We went on a Celebrity cruise for Christmas two years ago and the entire cruise was very festive. Not so on this one.

Concerning the Food and Dining:

We were supposed to be in 1st seating, but when the travel agent cancelled our cruise and we had to rebook, they put us in 2nd seating. I called several times and was assured that we would be moved to 1st seating; however, when we checked in – our cards had us in 2nd seating and we had to wait about a half hour to talk with the Maitre’d to get the seating changed and it did not happen until the 2nd night.

We were with 10 other people but we could not sit near any of them, we could not even get a special table to be together for Christmas dinner.

Our very first meal in the main dining room (the Black Crab) took us over 2 ½ hours to get our food. On later nights, after having complained we were able to get in and out in 1 ½ - 2 hours.

The food was terrible everywhere. This is no exaggeration! Very little selection in the Buffet (if it were not for pizza we would have starved). They actually charged extra on the main dining room menu for certain selections! The only specialty restaurants were Sushi and Italian.

We actually tried the Italian one night (Eataly) it was terrible. My Carbonara was so dry you could not eat it and the bacon smelled terrible. My husband’s steak was too tough to cut. The waiter was rude and kept calling my husband “Chief”. When the Maitre’d came over, he kept apologizing and wanted to give us something else. But at this point we had given up. He asked us to complete a comment card which we did, we can only hope someone will take appropriate action. The hostess told me I could take my wine with me when we left, but the waiter chased us down and told us we could not take the glass out of the restaurant.

On one of the special nights in the main dining room, they had Diver Scallops as an appetizer and warm water Lobster as the main course. We were finally thrilled with the menu; however, when it came out the Scallops and the Lobster were so overdone and rubbery, everyone at the table (all six of use) returned them both for other selections.

We had lunch in the main dining room one day and that was enough. We ordered Clam Chowder and when it came out, it was Gray and smelled like rotten fish. I tried the Shrimp Ceviche and it was terrible, tough and smelly! It is really bad when even the wait staff try to get you to stay away from some of the dishes!

On “Italian Night” they did a presentation on the center stage and said “And now for your first surprise – join us with a toast of your Lemoncello” Of course no one had lemoncello to toast with and then they went around the room with FAKE cakes!

Concerning the Ship’s Design:

This ship was not designed for relaxation, comfort or elegance….There we no shady spots to sit out on deck. You had a choice of sun, smoking, by the pool or in the enclosed pool area with no breeze, no deck chairs anywhere to enjoy a good book in the shade.

The bar stools in every single bar/lounge were terribly uncomfortable. There is no place to put your feet and they sit off center. The Eataly restaurant (one of the specialty restaurant) had plastic chairs!!!!

When we came back from shore excursions there were empty bins designated to put your “hand towels” in – of course no one was given a hand towel to use or put in the bins.

Definitely an Italian Line:

All announcements were in seven different languages, it took forever for the announcements to be conveyed. I tried to order a Chocolate Martini one night and ended up with a Margarita first and then a Mojito second. English is not well understood by any of the staff on board.

The phone announcements (when you try to set an alarm or are on hold for room service) are all in Italian, we had no idea what was being said. All of the medication and toiletries for sale are all in Italian and the music on most shows was in Italian.

TV in the room had very little on it in English and if you wanted to watch a movie it cost $9.00!

Bottom Line:

The Staff were friendly and tried really hard. They were overworked (not enough staff) and were not well trained in any of the services that were offered; e.g., dining room, bar, etc. If MSC wants to be successful in the US Market they need to make a LOT of improvements/changes. We have taken the time to give detailed feedback, we can only hope it will make a difference!

And the kicker of them all is that MSC indicates on their shore excursion tickets that they are NOT responsible for the excursions!!!!
donnacolb’s Full Rating Summary
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