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A Med cruise seemed attractive, as seemed the price. The experience was of living in a big city. Very slow embarkation, a process repeated at every port, i.e. every day with airport-style security on leaving and returning. Despite the excellent staff, mealtimes were often a stressful time. We could never be certain that a table would be available in the only restaurant open to us but we knew for a fact that the self-service buffet would be crowded, no seats, no tables, sometimes not much choice. There was always a feeling of imminent chaos as the restaurants were not able to plan for numbers ashore, new passengers and those remaining on board. Restaurant table meals were beautifully presented and served in pleasant surroundings. The menus looked exciting but the meals turned out rather bland. Our drinks package was adequate but disappointing. Our deal gave us up to 6 Euros for drinks but anything slightly more interesting was at least 6.50, so the package was largely worthless. The Californian Cab-Sauv red was actually pretty good, however, and there was a range of budget cocktails but anything other than lager was off package. Entertainment was done by accomplished artistes but each show looked & sounded a bit like the previous one. The cabin was fine, the housekeeper was discreet and skilful, nice linen and towels, fairly quiet. A balcony is only any good if you are in the sun, which was not often, we found, but that's the itinerary, not the ship's fault. Our main gripe was the dishonest way MSC presented shore visits. They promoted their own excursions but by omission, misdirection and wilful deception managed to keep the free transfers and shuttles a well-guarded secret at each port. In Palermo we followed a line under large sign for "SHUTTLE BUS", only to find after 30 mins it was an 18 euro tour, not the free shuttle which was hidden behind a building beyond it. The same stunt was pulled in Valencia, where the free city bus took you to the bus-stop for the 1 euro 50 trip to the city, but only if you avoided the MSC staff attempting to lure passengers on to another 12 euro trip to town. 12 euros isn't a lot , but if you are a family of 4...? Overall the big downer was the vast population of passengers tied to timetables for visits, shows, eating and drinking, getting on and off, all happening at the same time for everybody. This will be our last cruise on a big ship. The central activities were over-eating and over-boozing, but that's not really what I had in mind when I booked. Gala nights were spotty as most passengers preferred to stay casual, almost as if they were on holiday..!

A Big City experience with no suburbs!

MSC Divina Cruise Review by brianinfrance

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
A Med cruise seemed attractive, as seemed the price. The experience was of living in a big city. Very slow embarkation, a process repeated at every port, i.e. every day with airport-style security on leaving and returning. Despite the excellent staff, mealtimes were often a stressful time. We could never be certain that a table would be available in the only restaurant open to us but we knew for a fact that the self-service buffet would be crowded, no seats, no tables, sometimes not much choice. There was always a feeling of imminent chaos as the restaurants were not able to plan for numbers ashore, new passengers and those remaining on board. Restaurant table meals were beautifully presented and served in pleasant surroundings. The menus looked exciting but the meals turned out rather bland.

Our drinks package was adequate but disappointing. Our deal gave us up to 6 Euros for drinks but anything slightly more interesting was at least 6.50, so the package was largely worthless. The Californian Cab-Sauv red was actually pretty good, however, and there was a range of budget cocktails but anything other than lager was off package. Entertainment was done by accomplished artistes but each show looked & sounded a bit like the previous one.

The cabin was fine, the housekeeper was discreet and skilful, nice linen and towels, fairly quiet. A balcony is only any good if you are in the sun, which was not often, we found, but that's the itinerary, not the ship's fault.

Our main gripe was the dishonest way MSC presented shore visits. They promoted their own excursions but by omission, misdirection and wilful deception managed to keep the free transfers and shuttles a well-guarded secret at each port. In Palermo we followed a line under large sign for "SHUTTLE BUS", only to find after 30 mins it was an 18 euro tour, not the free shuttle which was hidden behind a building beyond it. The same stunt was pulled in Valencia, where the free city bus took you to the bus-stop for the 1 euro 50 trip to the city, but only if you avoided the MSC staff attempting to lure passengers on to another 12 euro trip to town. 12 euros isn't a lot , but if you are a family of 4...?

Overall the big downer was the vast population of passengers tied to timetables for visits, shows, eating and drinking, getting on and off, all happening at the same time for everybody. This will be our last cruise on a big ship. The central activities were over-eating and over-boozing, but that's not really what I had in mind when I booked. Gala nights were spotty as most passengers preferred to stay casual, almost as if they were on holiday..!
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Cabin Review

Cabin 12120
Big enough for 2. Big comfortable bed, nice bed-linen, compact shower/WC, Spotless throughout.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews