Review of the Divina 12/20/19 to 12/27/19
• Beautiful; lots of character and elegance (loved the crystal staircases)
• Ship is immaculate and no matter what time of day, someone was cleaning somewhere
• Ship was LARGE ... 4,345 passengers and 1,388 crew members; decided we like the smaller (under 3000) ships; less crowds
• Lots of awareness for hand sanitizing and if the machines were out of sanitizer, crew members were outside of restaurants holding sanitizer to squirt in our hands
• Layout was a bit weird (or I just forgot from our previous cruises) but had dead end decks that didn’t go all the way through; in the beginning , I was constantly trying to figure out how to get to the deck I wanted when I encountered this (or maybe I am just aging and not as swift...lol)
• Really nice with all of the different cultures and languages; we were exposed to people from all over the world
• Our six year old granddaughter made friends from Italy and other countries; language was absolutely no barrier and it was fun to watch the children communicate and play with each other and then we parents would get to know each other and try to communicate
• Shows were more opera-like or singing and dancing but were nice; we prefer less of that and more comedy or other acts; also not sure if it was because it was Christmas week, but MSC only had their own entertainers for each show each night (and they were good; especially the aerial artist and the three men who juggled and jumped, etc.)...we are used to other cruise ships that fly in different entertainment (no comedians, but that could have because of various cultures/languages)
• Finding a seat in the theater was never a problem; we enjoyed being in the balcony area and could see well (I don’t think everyone took advantage of the entertainment)
I cannot say enough good things about their kids’ club program. Our 6 year old granddaughter LOVED it and preferred the kids’ club to going on excursions or hanging out on the ship with family. They brought the kids to meals in the buffet (they sat in a separate section in the back where it was private), the evening shows (they sat in the side front rows), they played games and had many activities for them. She was never bored. The crew members got to know the children by name and it was like they were a little family. And, because it was Christmas week, they did Christmas themed events and even had a visit with Santa bringing gifts. Amazing. We’ve been on other ships and had our boys in the kids’ club and they didn’t compare to MSC Divina.
There was a teen club also but our 14 year old granddaughter chose not to participate. However, we saw this group around the ship and they looked like they were having a blast together.
• Announcements in 5-7 languages several times a day wasn’t bad (we read reviews that said they were annoying) and was kind of fun to guess at what language was being spoken
• Impressed with the captain who was fluent in all of the languages (I think there seven of them); at one gathering he had memorized his talk in ALL languages but one (and that one he apologized and read from a sheet of paper). Wowie!
• Cabin steward was good but not overboard friendly; they work longggg hours; I asked how much sleep they get and he said 4 hours
• Absolutely THRILLED they had a Catholic priest on board (for both Sunday Mass and Christmas Eve Mass)
• Pool area very crowded; had to get up super early to put your towel out and save a chair (but that’s no different than other ships we’ve been on). We did discover the adults only area halfway through our week and that was more manageable (as far as crowds and chairs)
• Buffet was good, soooooo many choices and many international foods; a bit slow and you needed to be patient in line; however, definitely a good alternative for quicker food but almost always was crowded to the max and sometimes hard to find a table to sit at and eat (we did discover tables in the adjoining pool area with a lovely ocean view and less noise; just had to walk to other side with plates of food and drinks)
• Delicious pizza in the buffet at all times of the day and many different choices of pizza; we sort of expected that it would be great considering this was an Italian cruise ship!
• Restaurant was good; wait staff friendly but it was hard; I don’t think they wanted to be working Christmas week and couldn’t blame them; service was SLOW but where do we have to go and we read that that is the Italian way...no rushing when eating (certainly not the American way!)
• Free chicken wings in the sports bar (Den enjoyed; only received a few so had to order 2 or 3 servings at a time)
We purchased (before the cruise) the Easy Package and it worked great for all 6 of us. When we felt like a mixed drink that wasn’t on our package, we found bartenders who were willing to mix our juice and a shot for us (and extra tips and a smile went a long way).
Pretty easy and smooth and only had to wait an hour after checking in early; then we were served mimosas as we explored the ship and had lunch in the buffet as we waited for our cabin to be ready
Easy and smooth (an hour delay but thanks to our better than fantastic travel agent (the one and only Shelley Coutinho of Action Travel in Mebane, NC), we weren’t sweating it...had changed our flight home to a later one and we weren’t in a rush); luggage was easily found and customs was a breeze
• Charged for soft service ice cream (kids received free with their drink package); granddaughters had to get me a few ice creams on their cards LOL (I had already read about this so it wasn’t a surprise)
• Port times are REALLY short; we didn’t really pay attention to that when we were booking but the windows were short and taking into consideration a half hour to get off and getting back a half hour early really limited what we could see and do. Would definitely pay attention to times at ports next time before booking
• TV in room was tiny tiny tiny (like a computer monitor); we weren’t there to watch TV but when we did turn it on and wanted to see our bill or what was going on, I had to stand close to the TV to see, couldn’t lie in bed and see the TV
• If we sail MSC again...we would like to upgrade to the Yacht Club; more money but looked less crowded and quieter and would be more our style
• Read lots of complaints about the food; we are NOT foodies but would say the food was very good and there was plenty to choose from.
• Prior to cruise, read so many mixed (mostly negative reviews) of MSC and The Divina. I truly think it’s what you make of it. We were happy to be cruising and happy to have the family together. Even when the toilets stopped flushing one morning (on the whole ship), it was inconvenient, but not upsetting. Stuff happens. It’s how you handle it. I would definitely recommend MSC and The Divina.
• Cabin #11224; with the Fantastica package
• We had an oversized balcony and loved it!