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We have been on eight previous cruises (Holland, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, Celebrity) and chose this MSC cruise because the islands visited were mostly new to us and it appeared to be an excellent value. This is an Italian ship and there were some minor cultural/experience differences from other cruises we have been on. This is no different than when you visit another country and is part of the overall experience. This was a 12 day cruise and we (my wife and I) had a wonderful time and were quite pleased with the cruise and overall value and experience. There were some mostly minor things that could be improved on that are included in the below topics but the good experiences greatly out weighted the minor negatives. Embarkation: This was the most negative thing we experienced. There must have been some technical difficulties and/or other issues because this took about 3 hours. After getting all the paperwork/documentation processed, the ship wasn't ready for passengers and we were put into a holding area. Eventually the passengers were let onto the ship. Based on other reviews, this negative experience appears to be unusual. Disembarkation: This was well organized and went smoothly and quickly SHIP: The ship was beautiful with lobby stairways offering photogenic opportunities. Overall we loved the ship but did have to work around a few deficiencies. There were not enough restrooms on the 14 level, where the buffet and fitness centers were located. Also, the fitness center was a bit small for the size ship and its passengers FITNESS CENTER: The equipment (weight machines and treadmills) were top notch and latest state of the art. I worked out every day with my wife. There was not quite enough treadmills and we frequently would have to wait a bit before a treadmill would become available. The weight machines were busy but we could generally use them with no delays. The stationary bicycles were never once available to me during the 12 day cruise. DINING: We loved most aspects of the dining experience and the food was mostly excellent. We did the 6pm dining and it was enjoyable to sit with the same group of pleasant folks each evening and share our experiences. Much of the food selection in the evenings were constant (but with many choices) but there were always some new selections to choose from each day. The food and the dining experience was the best we have experienced on any cruise. We mostly used the buffet for breakfast and lunch but the main restaurant was a better choice if time allowed. The buffet offered a large variety of food and was generally excellent. The challenge with choosing the buffet was finding a table to eat at. It took a bit of walking sometimes. The Pizza was really, really good as one would expect on an Italian ship. ENTERTAINMENT: This was very good but Opera is a bigger draw to the Italians than to most Americans. The big evening shows mostly offered dancing, acrobatics and singing. There were 3 nights that were opera but the other singing shows sounded a lot like opera too. These were great performances and a couple at our dinner table frequently missed the dinner so they could watch both showings of the evening entertainment. SERVICE: Service was for the most part excellent. The servers were polite and tried to please us. The dinner staff serving us was top notch and seemed to read our minds on how to best serve us :-) PORTS: We really enjoyed the ports. We have been on several Caribbean cruises but all of the ports we stopped at were new to us, which is why we chose this cruise. Curacao and Ocean Cay were our favorite stops.

Caribbean Cruise with an Italian Flair

MSC Divina Cruise Review by K Bradford

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Fantastica Interior Stateroom
We have been on eight previous cruises (Holland, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, Celebrity) and chose this MSC cruise because the islands visited were mostly new to us and it appeared to be an excellent value. This is an Italian ship and there were some minor cultural/experience differences from other cruises we have been on. This is no different than when you visit another country and is part of the overall experience. This was a 12 day cruise and we (my wife and I) had a wonderful time and were quite pleased with the cruise and overall value and experience. There were some mostly minor things that could be improved on that are included in the below topics but the good experiences greatly out weighted the minor negatives.

Embarkation: This was the most negative thing we experienced. There must have been some technical difficulties and/or other issues because this took about 3 hours. After getting all the paperwork/documentation processed, the ship wasn't ready for passengers and we were put into a holding area. Eventually the passengers were let onto the ship. Based on other reviews, this negative experience appears to be unusual.

Disembarkation: This was well organized and went smoothly and quickly

SHIP: The ship was beautiful with lobby stairways offering photogenic opportunities. Overall we loved the ship but did have to work around a few deficiencies. There were not enough restrooms on the 14 level, where the buffet and fitness centers were located. Also, the fitness center was a bit small for the size ship and its passengers

FITNESS CENTER: The equipment (weight machines and treadmills) were top notch and latest state of the art. I worked out every day with my wife. There was not quite enough treadmills and we frequently would have to wait a bit before a treadmill would become available. The weight machines were busy but we could generally use them with no delays. The stationary bicycles were never once available to me during the 12 day cruise.

DINING: We loved most aspects of the dining experience and the food was mostly excellent. We did the 6pm dining and it was enjoyable to sit with the same group of pleasant folks each evening and share our experiences. Much of the food selection in the evenings were constant (but with many choices) but there were always some new selections to choose from each day. The food and the dining experience was the best we have experienced on any cruise. We mostly used the buffet for breakfast and lunch but the main restaurant was a better choice if time allowed. The buffet offered a large variety of food and was generally excellent. The challenge with choosing the buffet was finding a table to eat at. It took a bit of walking sometimes. The Pizza was really, really good as one would expect on an Italian ship.

ENTERTAINMENT: This was very good but Opera is a bigger draw to the Italians than to most Americans. The big evening shows mostly offered dancing, acrobatics and singing. There were 3 nights that were opera but the other singing shows sounded a lot like opera too. These were great performances and a couple at our dinner table frequently missed the dinner so they could watch both showings of the evening entertainment.

SERVICE: Service was for the most part excellent. The servers were polite and tried to please us. The dinner staff serving us was top notch and seemed to read our minds on how to best serve us :-)

PORTS: We really enjoyed the ports. We have been on several Caribbean cruises but all of the ports we stopped at were new to us, which is why we chose this cruise. Curacao and Ocean Cay were our favorite stops.
K Bradford’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Fantastica Interior Stateroom
Cabin I2
We stayed in an inside cabin and it had a king sized bed (unusual for an inside cabin) and was better than most inside cabins we have stayed in. The television was quite small (~25 inch) and there was minimal programming but that is the norm on a cruise ship in our experience. Our main wish with television is to watch the NFL games and we were able to watch some games shown on ESPN. One needs to request wash clothes, apparently this is a cultural difference but they will provide one if asked.
Cupido Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins