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MSC Divina Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,756 Reviews

Disappointing and expensive

MSC Divina Cruise Review by jtate00

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2019
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Interior Stateroom

Overall I would describe my experience on the MSC Divina as disappointing.

There were things I liked and things I hated, and unfortunately the bad outweighed the good. The ship itself was beautiful, clean, and elegant and most of the ports were great; however, that’s about where the positives stop. 99% of the staff was terrible (the exception being my server at dinner- Jatiana was phenomenal).

Bar-

There is no consistency or standard when it comes to the bartenders- each time you order a drink you never know what you’re actually going to get. I ordered a simple Mai Tai 3 times while at Ocean Cay and got a different drink all three times and only the first was even remotely resembling a Mai Tai. It’s like they just make a fruity drink with whatever ingredients are conveniently within reach regardless of what you order. I overheard the server chastising the bartender saying “this is not a Mai Tai” to which he replied “just send it out” and when I questioned the drink the server got angry with me, swore that it was a Mai Tai until I started listing off the ingredients of one, and eventually just straight up ignored me until I walked away.

Shops-

The staff that operates the sales booths throughout the cruise were very snobby and rude- especially the watches booth. I was looking at some Tag Heuer watches for my wife to match the one I have myself and at no point did the salesman greet me he only stared as I browsed. Then after I set the watch down he rolled his eyes, huffed obnoxiously loud, and dramatically pretended to wipe fingerprints off the face. (I never touched the face I handled it only from the band and was very careful)

On-board restaurants-

I ate at both the Butcher's Cut Steakhouse and Galaxy Sushi restaurants and was disappointed in both. At the Steakhouse I was disappointed with the food quality- it was much too overpriced for the bland tasting ribeye. At the Sushi restaurant I was pleased with the food, but disappointed in the service. I arrived early for my reservation and was asked to sit and wait as they were not open yet, which was fine because we were the first guests for the night and were able to sip a drink and wait. However, as we were waiting a big party arrived and they didn't even ask to be seated they just sat themselves and tried 3 different tables before finding the one with the best view. Instead of asking them to wait like they did us the staff just let it happen and eventually started sitting other guests arriving before sitting my wife and I (again we were the first guests to arrive). After we were Sat it took about 20 minutes to be helped. The server was entirely ignorant of the menu and told me I couldn't order two separate drinks that were sushi bar specialities because he didn't know what they were. Every time we ordered something (drinks, appetizer, entree, dessert) the server would disappear for upwards of 15 minutes before returning. So I ordered a drink, waited 15 mins, the server returned to tell me I couldn't have that drink, I ordered another drink, waited 15 mins, the server returned to tell me I couldn't order that one either. I think my water was refilled one time the entire time (about 2.5 hours) and it was because I asked him to. Other tables who arrived 30 mins after we did were served their courses before us.

Casino-

The casino was also pretty disappointing. The selection of table games was pitiful and the dealers were awful. They were all very sloppy dealing and one dealer almost took chips from a player that won because she did math wrong. Then the dealer didn't pay out right. Luckily the player caught her. None of the dealers knew the rules for the "Dream 21" version of blackjack and each of them played differently. Some paid player blackjacks immediately and some didn't causing me to push on a blackjack that I should've won. I tried to split a pair of 8s and moved the chips side to side- the universal signal that I wanted to split- then turned around to talk to my wife and while I wasn't paying attention the dealer moved my second set of chips to behind my first set "doubling down" my hand which I obviously then lost. Another dealer sarcastically Yelled "thanks for the tip" when I stepped away from the table to take a short break between shuffles. Needless to say I did not return to play or tip him.

Room Service-

Although my room was kept clean throughout the cruise I never once met my room steward. So when I needed a form to have laundry done or needed the minibar restocked he was nowhere to be found. I tried asking other stewards but they just replied they'll tell my steward and I waited hours and he never showed up til we left. This happened multiple times. I even tried calling room service to have them send someone but again hours went by and no one showed.

Ocean Cay-

Perhaps the most disappointing part of the cruise however was my experience on the Ocean Cay Marine Reserve. Part of the reason was poor service and the other part was poor management of expectations on behalf of MSC. Before arriving we attended the scheduled brief for disembarkation and Ocean Cay, so we were told that the island was still in-progress and had an idea of what to expect. If we had not attended that brief we would have been shocked in the difference between what MSC advertises as Ocean Cay and what it actually looks like, but my disappointment was not due to the island's appearance. The first disappointment was how long it took to get off the ship once we arrived at Ocean Cay. They have to let a significant amount of crew off the ship before the guests because for the most part the staff on the island is the same staff from the ship. We arrived around 0800 but weren't able to leave the ship until around 1000. By the time we walked to the lagoon beach and got our chairs and umbrella we rented "all day" set up it was after 1030. My wife and I wanted to take advantage of our "all day" drink package we purchased for Ocean Cay, so I went to the bar only to find out they weren't done setting up yet and wouldn't open until 1100. So at 1100 I went back and discovered their blender was broke and their system was down so they could only make cocktails on the rocks and manually charge for drinks. I told the bartender I had the drink package, but he didn't know what code my card was supposed to say to indicate such and he told me I had to order a drink under $6 for the package (Later I found out the drink package covers the entire menu not just up to $6 drinks). So I looked at the menu, but there were no prices listed on it so I had no idea what drink I could order and he didn't know the prices either. Once I finally got my drinks I also dealt with the issue of receiving drinks that were not what I ordered. Once I settled at the lagoon beach I rented an "all day" raft and "all day" snorkeling set. After I purchased the snorkeling set the staff notified me that the one beach with a reef they recommended for snorkeling was closed due to wildlife in the water. It's the ocean. It's not a pool. I expect there to be wildlife at the reef that's what I want to snorkel and see. At least give me the option to sign a waiver stating I understand the risk of swimming with wild animals and let me snorkel. And I didn't appreciate the staff waiting until I purchased the equipment to tell me the Snorkeling beach was closed. They told me I could snorkel in the lagoon because there is a net that prevents large fish from being able to enter, but there was absolutely nothing to see in the lagoon just sand. I use the term "all day" to refer to the rentals because as I said the experience didn't start until about 1100 and basically the entire island shuts down at around 4:30pm so realistically you're paying "all day" prices for about 5 hours worth of use. At 4:30 the lifeguards go off shift and you're not allowed to swim without lifeguard supervision. In the ocean. Or even in the shallow lagoon that doesn't have wildlife in it. So I turned in my snorkeling gear and inflatable raft I paid "all day" for and decided I'd spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach and taking advantage of the drink package only to find out that all the bars except for the main bar at the entrance to the island close early too. When I brought it up to a staff member they told me that they try to close the island down for the people who buy the nighttime excursions to have exclusive access. So our choice was to return to the ship 6 hours before we were scheduled to leave Ocean Cay at 10:30 pm or to sit at the Bar at the entrance And enjoy some drinks but there was not a beach right there to enjoy.

All in all I truly felt like Ocean Cay was a huge scam and was very disappointed because I believe the island has potential and I certainly paid premium prices for everything while on the Divina. Maybe in a couple years MSC will finally figure out what they're doing and it will be a pleasant destination but until then I recommend everyone stay far away from Ocean Cay.


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Ocean Cay was a scam.

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