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MSC Divina Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1756 reviews
3 Awards

Second cruise on the MSC Divina in less than a year was not the charm...

Review for MSC Divina to the Western Caribbean
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goodoldan
10+ Cruises • Age 60s

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Additional details

Sail Date: Dec 2019
Cabin: Balcony Stateroom

We took an 11-day southern/eastern Caribbean cruise on the MSC Divina in November 2018... our first cruise on that line. On the whole the first experience was pretty good, so when we saw a 12-day southern/western Caribbean trip (with a stop at their new "Ocean Cay" private island) on the Divina for December 2019, we decided to go for it.

It's interesting how you remember some things about a trip, and seem to block others out. I suppose one of the things I "blocked out" about MSC after the first trip (but I was immediately reminded of when making arrangements for the second trip) was the absolutely TERRIBLE experience with their telephone/internet reservations system. Frequent hour-plus waits on hold for an agent... who frequently would be ill-trained and sport a real attitude to boot. Their "back-office" reservation computer system is even worse... making frequent errors and even adding "mystery charges" to our reservation before our departure (which had been paid in full for months). I was forced to pay these charges (which were apparently added during a $0 cost cabin change a few days before departure) in order to get the e-tickets reissued with the new cabin in time for the trip. I've finally had to dispute the charges with the credit card company after our return... the MSC customer service folks on board the Divina couldn't figure it out either. I've been cruising for many years and have dealt directly with virtually all of the major cruise lines to make and maintain my reservations. On a scale of 0-to-10 in this regard, MSC rates about a -3 (and probably still falling). The info I have is that MSC is so difficult and time-consuming to deal with that many travel agents will refuse to even book their clients on MSC.

Embarkation in Miami was similar to the previous cruise... right down to the excuse for late boarding due to a "late customs clearance" of the arriving ship earlier that day (with pre-printed signs in already place placing the blame on US Customs)... when in fact the ship had cleared customs and was disembarking arriving passengers before 7AM. MSC's Terminal F at Miami has somewhat less charm than your average bus station... especially when packed with standing-room-only passengers waiting for a "delayed" boarding.

Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom

Our cabin (an aft balcony) was quite nice, and our cabin steward did a good job for us. Our cabin was adjacent to the aft starboard stairwell landing (the stairs going completely from top to bottom of the ship), which apparently is a popular (and quite illegal) "smoking lounge" for both passengers and crew members. After we got tired of the cigarettes butts and even medical waste (syringe wrappers, etc) on our balcony, I contacted the ship's safety officer whose response was that "everything will be fine" (MSC translation: "I don't care about your problem, just go away". Not the first time we had heard that from MSC). The situation continued, although the cabin steward did make a point to clean up the balcony each day after this.

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