We decided to take ourselves and our grandson on a wonderful Christmas cruise and after seeing Christmas pics of the Divina decorations we booked the Divina as we did last January as we also love the indoor pool and hot tubs.What a mistake that was ! Getting on ship we arrived way early to avoid crowds,yet spent hours standing in line as special "Priority guests got to clear customs and board with very little inspection or hassle.After clearing customs who took away a small pocket knife from carry on,a computer power codr from my kid,and insisted we had liquid in our backpack even though there was none,but still missed 4 bottles of water in our medicine bag and a second pocket knife in my case and a spray bottle of bedbug spray (yes we spray for bedbugs on ship cabin).After clearing customs after 3 hours we stood in line again at customer service to get room keys,then another hour in lobby waiting to board.When finally entering ship over 3000 passengers went to horribly undersized buffet to wait for room announcement that never came.Yes,the buffet is about 300 tables short of tables it needs for normal meal crowds.We finally got up and went to room as no staff knew when rooms would be ready,we found room ready luckily.Our luggage is well labeled,has colorful tape all over,took hours to arrive at cabin minus my big bag.After showing pics of our bag to attendant and luggage handlers they all said they had not seen it.After 5 hours we went to luggage area on our floor and found my bag being used as a door stop,everyone lied to us !
Food : the food on this cruise was horrible ! Whether buffet or dining room,the staff is rude,the food under or overcooked,meat was tough and chewy,and not much American food.Pizza,cold burgers with no buns,hotdogs in paper containers in bun and has been ,sitting out for long periods,spicy mediterranean food,warm milk and always running out of juice and coffee.We lost weight on this cruise,a first for us ! As this was a Christmas cruise we expected better food and as they advertised we looked forward to a turkey with all they fixins meal,but it never happened.In main dining room on last night they announced a special for all of us,baked Alaska,the music started,they paraded they cooks and kitchen staff down the steps followed by waiters holding many "Baked Alaska's" then back into kitchen,and guess what,they baked Alaska was fake,no desert for the dining room,all a SCAM !!
The Christmas dinner they advertised as "The fantastic Christmas eve buffet" was a huge joke,it was held at 11:30 at night on Christmas eve,had several different cakes that were all the same just different colors,onion rings,store bought frozen mini eclairs,quich,and warm milk,what an insult ! Christmas morning was same old food,and for Christmas dinner the only food I could find that was edible was a dinner roll and got some liver sausage to make myself a sandwich.Never saw a Christmas meal,no turkey dinner (did have sliced turkey one night several days before Christmas).If you expect decent or even good food then choose another cruise line !
Cabin was a handicap room,nice size but no storage in room or bathroom.Walls creaked and moaned all night when rough seas which was all but 2 nights.Balcony dividers banged all night,life boats below us made loud noises all the time.Got very little sleep,had to nap when in port to get some sleep.Carpets were dirty,socks got dirty in just a few minutes in room.Bathroom floor tiles were stained and dirty looking,showered in pool shoes.Toilet overflowed twice onto floor when toilets stopped working,YUCK !
This new island was not ready for visitors yet,nothing to do,stores were very expensive and could not even find an Ocean Cay hat.
We arrived on a Sunday and got on shore about 4:45 and stores closed at 5PM.Not a great idea to arrive 15 minutes before stores close !
We got off ship,did some shopping and walked around to see area,not much interesting to do.
We got in to St Maarten about 7AM but could not get off ship til almost 9AM and had to be back on ship by 1:30 PM so we took water taxi to downtown,walked the business district and did some shopping and met some really funny shop owners and lots of nice people,walked along the crystal clear water of beach and wished we had a full day to enjoy this fantastic island but MSC in their wisdom only decided to give us a few hours on this beautiful paradise.