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The Divina is a beautiful ship, for sure. Clean, elegant, spacious. Definitely NOT American. And that's not a bad thing. We have plenty of "American style" cruiselines and to have another option is a plus. We've recently returned from a 20 day Transatlantic journey and over the course of the cruise I've formed many opinions of this ship and the cruiseline in general. I'll start from the beginning. Sit back and relax- this may be information overload, but a lot of questions will be answered. Embarkation. Your cruise ticket will have a recommended time for your embarkation. Ignore that and get there when you want to. 11:00 am is fine. They will not turn you away. We did, however, have to wait awhile because as we found out once onboard, two crew members jumped ship in Miami. Defected. Left. So of course, immigration was investigating. We didn't have to wait long, however. We were onboard by 1:00 pm. Once we crossed over the gangway to the ship we noticed a lot of the ship was cordoned off and we had to go up to the Buffet- along with everyone else. So of course, it was crowded. Embarkation day- that's to be expected. No worries. We got our food, found a table and enjoyed our first Divina meal. The buffet is very large and the food is plentiful, varied and good. You do have to look around because there are different options around every corner. Burgers, hot dogs, wraps, pizza, salad and fruit can be found in the center area between Manitou and Calumet buffets. Fruit juices, tea and coffee are available all the time. They tend to run out of creamer a lot, though. Daily specials and desserts will be on either side. Just wander around a bit to get your bearings. Window tables are, of course, the most popular. They do have too many handicap accessible tables- they are usually all empty. Sit at one if you must, but be prepared to move if necessary. After lunch we checked on our cabin, which our amazing cabin steward, Maskur, told us was "almost ready." We were able to drop off our backpacks and go explore a bit. It was when we dropped off our bags that we noticed that our balcony cabin was small and had nothing more than a bed, a desk and two nightstands. No sofa. Quite a shock and disappointment considering they did not show a picture or diagram of our cabin style anywhere on their website. Balcony cabins are shown to have a sofa. This was a major issue for us- especially for a 3 week cruise. We waited a day to address this with guest relations because the we know the first day or two is so hectic for them. When we did go to inquire about the sofa we were told sorry- nothing we can do, the ship was sold out. Not wanting to give up so easily, we went back the next day to talk to a different agent. He seemed more sympathetic and understood that we didn't feel that we got what we paid for and said he'd contact us once we left New York City to see if there was another cabin available and if not he'd see what he could do. He never contacted us so we returned to him. Sorry- there was nothing he could do. We asked for a supervisor and he went behind closed doors to speak to his supervisor. The supervisor told him he had spoken to me at the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle and I had told him or cruise was great. Partly true- I had actually said everything was great but we were disappointed in our cabin, which, of course, was brushed off. We were bewildered and disappointed but decided to shake it off and not let it ruin our cruise. So just beware- there is a very large percentage of balcony cabins that have ONLY a bed, two nightstands and a desk. No sofa, as is pictured on their website. Deceptive advertising. Issue number two is do not purchase anything online prior to your cruise. If you do and want to cancel or change your order once onboard- you won't be able to. We purchased a photo package on their website prior to sailing. Once onboard we decided that we did not need 10 photos of ourselves so we asked to cancel. Sorry- you purchased online you have to cancel online. Okay. We paid for 10 minutes of internet service to cancel our package. Since we'd already set sail we could not access our online account! Back to the photo department. Sorry. Nothing they could do. Sigh. Okay... well- we purchased the package, we'll choose some photos in a few days. You have to purchase all 10 at the same time. We went to the photo department to choose some pictures and found 7 that were decent so we asked them to hold those 7 until we posed for more photos on Italian night. When we returned and chose a few more pictures to complete our order- they had lost the original 7!! We had given them our chosen photos and our cabin number. Anyway- long story short- we ended up getting the manager involved. End result- they reprinted some (some were never found on the computer) gave us about 14 pictures instead of 10 and we're supposed to get a full refund because of all the time we had to spend going through all the photos multiple times. Haven't seen the refund come through yet. We did receive an email that it is being processed. Muster drill- a waste of time. You could not hear or understand what they were saying. Had there been an emergency it would have been total chaos. Television- on a 3 week cruise the ONLY channel we could access in English was a British news channel. Can we say "Brexit overload?" One or two days they did offer a few free movies, but the test of the time your choices were to pay for movies, watch British news or turn it off. Okay- enough with the problems we had personally. On with the good. As I said the ship is beautiful. And clean! Our room steward- Maskur- was amazing. Our waiter and his assistant were both wonderful. The staff in the buffet worked very hard. They will interact with you and converse with you if given a chance. They are far from home and missing their families. Ask about their family! They will beam as they tell you about their home. Food- The food in the buffet is plentiful, varied and good. We chose to eat there on several evenings when we didn't want to dress up for dinner. It was always great. The Black Crab is a beautiful restaurant. The variety is somewhat limited in my opinion but there was always something I could find and the portions are big. I never had anything that wasn't hot and good. The best kept secret is the Sports Bar. Hamburgers, Reuben sandwiches, fish and chips, Ceasar Salad, wings- all complimentary and all good! Finding a table is sometimes a challenge though. There are only a few tables and people tend to gather there to play cards or just chat without ordering food. And you have to eat your food there- you can't order and take it anywhere else. The Piazza del Doge has complimentary cookies, cakes and sandwiches throughout the day and night. Gelato is $3.50 for a small cup or $5.50 for a large. They also make Sundaes and shakes for $6.50- $7.50. I can't speak to any drinks packages- we never buy those. Not worth it for us. There are always juices, tea and coffee available in the Buffet. The bed- comfortable enough for me. A bit on the firm side but I slept well. Activities- Dance lessons, origami lessons, craft sessions, trivia games, scavenger hunts, bingo, exercise classes, yoga, etc. are available throughout the day. The entertainment team is busy and energetic all day long. Shows - Mostly music. Singing, dancers, a ventriloquist one night. As with any ship- we enjoyed some shows and didn't care for others. That's up to individual tastes. Ports- we booked the cruise for the ports. This was a 20 day Transatlantic repositioning cruise with incredible destinations. NYC, Bermuda, Azores, Portugal, Malaga and Valencia, Spain, Marseilles and Genoa. Overnight in 4 of the ports, which was amazing! NYC- was way too cold for these Florida people! We stayed onboard on a nearly empty ship, which was nice. Bermuda ended up being canceled due to weather.... from what I heard this was the 3rd time in a row Bermuda has been cancelled- but that could be hearsay. We ended up in Tenerife in the Canary islands. A bit of a RIP off many felt, because we were supposed to have 2 full days in Bermuda, instead we got an extra sea day, and a not so great alternative port- and no refund on lost port taxes for Bermuda. It would have made more sense to give us extra time in one of our shorter ports- as we only had 6- 7 hours in several of our ports. I do understand, though, that there could be scheduling problems. Finally- MSC is a fine cruiseline and the Divina is a beautiful ship. The big area that MSC needs to improve on is communication. Talk to 3 different people about an issue and you will get 3 different answers. They are not consistent. Know this before you sail and you will be fine. Their website..... well- I'll just say it needs work and I'll leave it at that. Will I choose MSC for future cruises? Probably not. Crystal staircases and pretty decor can't make up for poor customer service and lack of communication. MSC is privately owned, answers to no one and simply does not appear to care about their guests.

The Good and the Bad

MSC Divina Cruise Review by DebG53

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Bella Balcony Stateroom
The Divina is a beautiful ship, for sure. Clean, elegant, spacious. Definitely NOT American. And that's not a bad thing. We have plenty of "American style" cruiselines and to have another option is a plus.

We've recently returned from a 20 day Transatlantic journey and over the course of the cruise I've formed many opinions of this ship and the cruiseline in general. I'll start from the beginning. Sit back and relax- this may be information overload, but a lot of questions will be answered.

Embarkation. Your cruise ticket will have a recommended time for your embarkation. Ignore that and get there when you want to. 11:00 am is fine. They will not turn you away. We did, however, have to wait awhile because as we found out once onboard, two crew members jumped ship in Miami. Defected. Left. So of course, immigration was investigating. We didn't have to wait long, however. We were onboard by 1:00 pm. Once we crossed over the gangway to the ship we noticed a lot of the ship was cordoned off and we had to go up to the Buffet- along with everyone else. So of course, it was crowded. Embarkation day- that's to be expected. No worries. We got our food, found a table and enjoyed our first Divina meal.

The buffet is very large and the food is plentiful, varied and good. You do have to look around because there are different options around every corner. Burgers, hot dogs, wraps, pizza, salad and fruit can be found in the center area between Manitou and Calumet buffets. Fruit juices, tea and coffee are available all the time. They tend to run out of creamer a lot, though. Daily specials and desserts will be on either side. Just wander around a bit to get your bearings. Window tables are, of course, the most popular. They do have too many handicap accessible tables- they are usually all empty. Sit at one if you must, but be prepared to move if necessary.

After lunch we checked on our cabin, which our amazing cabin steward, Maskur, told us was "almost ready." We were able to drop off our backpacks and go explore a bit. It was when we dropped off our bags that we noticed that our balcony cabin was small and had nothing more than a bed, a desk and two nightstands. No sofa. Quite a shock and disappointment considering they did not show a picture or diagram of our cabin style anywhere on their website. Balcony cabins are shown to have a sofa. This was a major issue for us- especially for a 3 week cruise. We waited a day to address this with guest relations because the we know the first day or two is so hectic for them. When we did go to inquire about the sofa we were told sorry- nothing we can do, the ship was sold out. Not wanting to give up so easily, we went back the next day to talk to a different agent. He seemed more sympathetic and understood that we didn't feel that we got what we paid for and said he'd contact us once we left New York City to see if there was another cabin available and if not he'd see what he could do. He never contacted us so we returned to him. Sorry- there was nothing he could do. We asked for a supervisor and he went behind closed doors to speak to his supervisor. The supervisor told him he had spoken to me at the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle and I had told him or cruise was great. Partly true- I had actually said everything was great but we were disappointed in our cabin, which, of course, was brushed off. We were bewildered and disappointed but decided to shake it off and not let it ruin our cruise. So just beware- there is a very large percentage of balcony cabins that have ONLY a bed, two nightstands and a desk. No sofa, as is pictured on their website. Deceptive advertising.

Issue number two is do not purchase anything online prior to your cruise. If you do and want to cancel or change your order once onboard- you won't be able to. We purchased a photo package on their website prior to sailing. Once onboard we decided that we did not need 10 photos of ourselves so we asked to cancel. Sorry- you purchased online you have to cancel online. Okay. We paid for 10 minutes of internet service to cancel our package. Since we'd already set sail we could not access our online account! Back to the photo department. Sorry. Nothing they could do. Sigh. Okay... well- we purchased the package, we'll choose some photos in a few days. You have to purchase all 10 at the same time. We went to the photo department to choose some pictures and found 7 that were decent so we asked them to hold those 7 until we posed for more photos on Italian night. When we returned and chose a few more pictures to complete our order- they had lost the original 7!! We had given them our chosen photos and our cabin number. Anyway- long story short- we ended up getting the manager involved. End result- they reprinted some (some were never found on the computer) gave us about 14 pictures instead of 10 and we're supposed to get a full refund because of all the time we had to spend going through all the photos multiple times. Haven't seen the refund come through yet. We did receive an email that it is being processed.

Muster drill- a waste of time. You could not hear or understand what they were saying. Had there been an emergency it would have been total chaos.

Television- on a 3 week cruise the ONLY channel we could access in English was a British news channel. Can we say "Brexit overload?" One or two days they did offer a few free movies, but the test of the time your choices were to pay for movies, watch British news or turn it off.

Okay- enough with the problems we had personally. On with the good.

As I said the ship is beautiful. And clean! Our room steward- Maskur- was amazing. Our waiter and his assistant were both wonderful. The staff in the buffet worked very hard. They will interact with you and converse with you if given a chance. They are far from home and missing their families. Ask about their family! They will beam as they tell you about their home.

Food- The food in the buffet is plentiful, varied and good. We chose to eat there on several evenings when we didn't want to dress up for dinner. It was always great. The Black Crab is a beautiful restaurant. The variety is somewhat limited in my opinion but there was always something I could find and the portions are big. I never had anything that wasn't hot and good. The best kept secret is the Sports Bar. Hamburgers, Reuben sandwiches, fish and chips, Ceasar Salad, wings- all complimentary and all good! Finding a table is sometimes a challenge though. There are only a few tables and people tend to gather there to play cards or just chat without ordering food. And you have to eat your food there- you can't order and take it anywhere else. The Piazza del Doge has complimentary cookies, cakes and sandwiches throughout the day and night. Gelato is $3.50 for a small cup or $5.50 for a large. They also make Sundaes and shakes for $6.50- $7.50. I can't speak to any drinks packages- we never buy those. Not worth it for us. There are always juices, tea and coffee available in the Buffet.

The bed- comfortable enough for me. A bit on the firm side but I slept well.

Activities- Dance lessons, origami lessons, craft sessions, trivia games, scavenger hunts, bingo, exercise classes, yoga, etc. are available throughout the day. The entertainment team is busy and energetic all day long.

Shows - Mostly music. Singing, dancers, a ventriloquist one night. As with any ship- we enjoyed some shows and didn't care for others. That's up to individual tastes.

Ports- we booked the cruise for the ports. This was a 20 day Transatlantic repositioning cruise with incredible destinations. NYC, Bermuda, Azores, Portugal, Malaga and Valencia, Spain, Marseilles and Genoa. Overnight in 4 of the ports, which was amazing! NYC- was way too cold for these Florida people! We stayed onboard on a nearly empty ship, which was nice. Bermuda ended up being canceled due to weather.... from what I heard this was the 3rd time in a row Bermuda has been cancelled- but that could be hearsay. We ended up in Tenerife in the Canary islands. A bit of a RIP off many felt, because we were supposed to have 2 full days in Bermuda, instead we got an extra sea day, and a not so great alternative port- and no refund on lost port taxes for Bermuda. It would have made more sense to give us extra time in one of our shorter ports- as we only had 6- 7 hours in several of our ports. I do understand, though, that there could be scheduling problems.

Finally- MSC is a fine cruiseline and the Divina is a beautiful ship. The big area that MSC needs to improve on is communication. Talk to 3 different people about an issue and you will get 3 different answers. They are not consistent. Know this before you sail and you will be fine. Their website..... well- I'll just say it needs work and I'll leave it at that.

Will I choose MSC for future cruises? Probably not. Crystal staircases and pretty decor can't make up for poor customer service and lack of communication. MSC is privately owned, answers to no one and simply does not appear to care about their guests.
DebG53’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Bella Balcony Stateroom
Cabin B1 11231
Deceiving advertising. Ther website shows pictures and disks of balcony cabins with sofas. We expected a sofa in our cabin for the amount we paid. No sofa and no explanation of why there is no picture of the cabin we had anywhere on their website.
Cupido Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

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