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We chose this line as we'd previously been booked, and heard that the Yacht Club was very good and although perhaps not as good as NCL's Haven was so much better of a price that the rationale for booking was quite clear. To be honest, we traveled on the Divina about 5 weeks previously and were so unimpressed that we would have cancelled this upcoming cruise if we could have. Well; that would have been a mistake! On our 1st cruise we had had several discussions with management and I believe that we were not the only folks who found problems, particularly with food quality, preparation and presentation in the YC dining room Le Muse. They brought in a new manager, Idris, who took charge and there was evidently a serious overhaul of food and other services in the YC under his direction. There was a dramatic improvement in service and food quality although this wasn't universal. I shall go into more detail below, but again I must reiterate that there was a palpable improvement to the point that would draw us back quite happily to Divina and possibly other MSC ships. We were delighted by the high level of service and attention from the staff. In particular one of the Assistant Butlers, Prankash was genuinely endearing and attentive. He was kind and always assisted whenever he could. The Officer Manager of the YC, Idris was outstanding. He checked constantly on all guests and operations and made rounds frequently. We cannot give enough credit to him for improving the YC operations, particularly dining, and also all service staff for their happy dedication to service. As mentioned above, the food quality and presentation had improved dramatically since our previous cruise. This said, MSC simply must start using better quality beef! In general, any of the beef dishes were almost unpalatable no matter how the cooking was done. Desserts need to be improved (frozen from an outside vendor?). As well, the quality of soups was not all that great. Salads were limited in that the only dressing available in general was oil and vinegar. The other dressings, even when available, were commercially prepared. But again, other foods such as pasta, fish and some vegetarian foods were excellent. And presented in a lovely fashion unlike what we'd seen on our cruise 5 weeks before. Whereas we used to almost look with trepidation towards our upcoming dinners in Le Muse, this was no longer the case and allowed for full enjoyment of the cruise. The cabin was lovely. Good storage. Kept quite clean. The bed was very comfortable too. The bathroom was a tad small but fine. Temperature control was excellent. Our main issue, and this applies to many newer ships, is that the balcony although large enough for recliner chairs if not full recliners (which we miss!), only had uncomfortable straight back chairs with one foot rest available. To truly enjoy a balcony experience (day and night), comfortable seating is a must and this needs to be addressed. On deck in the YC there was plenty of seating. There was a nice bar and buffet for breakfast or lunch. The pool was fine. The major drawback is that on days without any wind and a hot sun overhead, there was little to no shade or protection! We knew about this in advance and purchased high quality umbrellas that we could pack and held onto the chairs or a nearby railing quite well. These provided excellent sun protection and improved our enjoyment of the outside deck immensely. MSC really needs to rethink what seems to be a no (ship provided) umbrella policy. One significant issue though relates to overall cleanliness of the public areas of the ship including public washrooms (especially the ones outside of Le Muse) and surfaces like handrails. We have been on at least 50 cruises in the past and are used to seeing staff cleaning and polishing surfaces almost constantly, This was not so on Divina. Moreover, hand sanitation was not really enforced and yet there was an outbreak of norovirus on the ship! Use of hand sanitizer prior to entering dining areas or re-boarding the ship should have been enforced much more rigorously (with or without norovirus). Some public washrooms actually had unpleasant odours related to poor sanitation. This issue is not minor and in concert with the other more minor issues noted above reduced our overall score from excellent to 'good'. We did not go to the main shows this time. However we enjoyed thoroughly the small ensemble entertainment that was available throughout the ship! One could enjoy a piano-violin duo in one area, while in the next it was possible to enjoy high quality latin music and dancing! Just excellent! The ports of call were really quite good. We did not get off in Jamaica as Ocho Rios is not one of our favourites to say the least. We really liked Colombia, and also Panama. As for embarkation and disembarkation, I would say that the other cruise lines could learn something from MSC as regards treatment of suite or YC (Haven, Retreat) guests. This was done in an exemplary fashion and was seamless. It seems to us that MSC keeps trying to improve, and they are succeeding! Over time, it might even become our preferred cruise line!

What An Improvement 5 Weeks Makes!

MSC Divina Cruise Review by hctkbt

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Yacht Club Deluxe Suite
We chose this line as we'd previously been booked, and heard that the Yacht Club was very good and although perhaps not as good as NCL's Haven was so much better of a price that the rationale for booking was quite clear. To be honest, we traveled on the Divina about 5 weeks previously and were so unimpressed that we would have cancelled this upcoming cruise if we could have. Well; that would have been a mistake!

On our 1st cruise we had had several discussions with management and I believe that we were not the only folks who found problems, particularly with food quality, preparation and presentation in the YC dining room Le Muse. They brought in a new manager, Idris, who took charge and there was evidently a serious overhaul of food and other services in the YC under his direction. There was a dramatic improvement in service and food quality although this wasn't universal. I shall go into more detail below, but again I must reiterate that there was a palpable improvement to the point that would draw us back quite happily to Divina and possibly other MSC ships.

We were delighted by the high level of service and attention from the staff. In particular one of the Assistant Butlers, Prankash was genuinely endearing and attentive. He was kind and always assisted whenever he could. The Officer Manager of the YC, Idris was outstanding. He checked constantly on all guests and operations and made rounds frequently. We cannot give enough credit to him for improving the YC operations, particularly dining, and also all service staff for their happy dedication to service.

As mentioned above, the food quality and presentation had improved dramatically since our previous cruise. This said, MSC simply must start using better quality beef! In general, any of the beef dishes were almost unpalatable no matter how the cooking was done. Desserts need to be improved (frozen from an outside vendor?). As well, the quality of soups was not all that great. Salads were limited in that the only dressing available in general was oil and vinegar. The other dressings, even when available, were commercially prepared. But again, other foods such as pasta, fish and some vegetarian foods were excellent. And presented in a lovely fashion unlike what we'd seen on our cruise 5 weeks before. Whereas we used to almost look with trepidation towards our upcoming dinners in Le Muse, this was no longer the case and allowed for full enjoyment of the cruise.

The cabin was lovely. Good storage. Kept quite clean. The bed was very comfortable too. The bathroom was a tad small but fine. Temperature control was excellent. Our main issue, and this applies to many newer ships, is that the balcony although large enough for recliner chairs if not full recliners (which we miss!), only had uncomfortable straight back chairs with one foot rest available. To truly enjoy a balcony experience (day and night), comfortable seating is a must and this needs to be addressed.

On deck in the YC there was plenty of seating. There was a nice bar and buffet for breakfast or lunch. The pool was fine. The major drawback is that on days without any wind and a hot sun overhead, there was little to no shade or protection! We knew about this in advance and purchased high quality umbrellas that we could pack and held onto the chairs or a nearby railing quite well. These provided excellent sun protection and improved our enjoyment of the outside deck immensely. MSC really needs to rethink what seems to be a no (ship provided) umbrella policy.

One significant issue though relates to overall cleanliness of the public areas of the ship including public washrooms (especially the ones outside of Le Muse) and surfaces like handrails. We have been on at least 50 cruises in the past and are used to seeing staff cleaning and polishing surfaces almost constantly, This was not so on Divina. Moreover, hand sanitation was not really enforced and yet there was an outbreak of norovirus on the ship! Use of hand sanitizer prior to entering dining areas or re-boarding the ship should have been enforced much more rigorously (with or without norovirus). Some public washrooms actually had unpleasant odours related to poor sanitation. This issue is not minor and in concert with the other more minor issues noted above reduced our overall score from excellent to 'good'.

We did not go to the main shows this time. However we enjoyed thoroughly the small ensemble entertainment that was available throughout the ship! One could enjoy a piano-violin duo in one area, while in the next it was possible to enjoy high quality latin music and dancing! Just excellent!

The ports of call were really quite good. We did not get off in Jamaica as Ocho Rios is not one of our favourites to say the least. We really liked Colombia, and also Panama.

As for embarkation and disembarkation, I would say that the other cruise lines could learn something from MSC as regards treatment of suite or YC (Haven, Retreat) guests. This was done in an exemplary fashion and was seamless. It seems to us that MSC keeps trying to improve, and they are succeeding! Over time, it might even become our preferred cruise line!
hctkbt’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Yacht Club Deluxe Suite
Cabin YC1 15024
The cabin was lovely. Good storage. Kept quite clean. The bed was very comfortable too. The bathroom was a tad small but fine. Temperature control was excellent. Our main issue, and this applies to many newer ships, is that the balcony although large enough for recliner chairs if not full recliners (which we miss!), only had uncomfortable straight back chairs with one foot rest available. To truly enjoy a balcony experience (day and night), comfortable seating is a must and this needs to be addressed.
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