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

Mixed Review - in Detail

MSC Divina Cruise Review by ronaldo03

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2020
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Yacht Club Deluxe Suite

Was in the Yacht Club on this Western Caribbean Cruise. We were there for a jazz-themed cruise, so didn't go on any excursions (don't like the Caribbean, actually). Providing this review on the shipboard services.

Yacht club provides expedited embarkation and debarkation, which went quickly and smoothly. Also has separate door for leaving and rejoining the ship at ports, which was always quick and easy. It offers exclusive access to a pool area with hot tubs, bar, and a small buffet at breakfast and dinner. It also provides access to the Top Sail lounge, open 22 hours a day and with small food items most of the time. You get a butler and dedicated concierge service, as well as exclusive access to the Le Muse restaurant.

Most of the Yacht Club amenities were excellent. The Top Sail lounge, concierge and butler staff were stellar - very nice people, who were also effective and efficient. Our room was cleaned well and unobtrusively. After a quick request for different beverages at the beginning of the cruise, our refrigerator was always fully stocked exactly as we wanted. Concierge was happy to help us with anything we needed, and the staff at the Top Sail lounge was quick, friendly, and as they grew to know us started anticipating our requests. I don't have enough nice things to say about them, and if this review was about the Yacht Club experience only it would be 5 out of 5.

The mixed part of this review, the negative part, is for Le Muse restaurant. It isn't about the quality of the food, or the thinking behind the menus. It is for the preparation of the food, which frankly was terrible. The food was anywhere between under-seasoned and woefully under-seasoned, thus leaving it anywhere between bland and tasteless. In addition there were numerous cooking errors made, pretty much every day. Some examples:

Burger and fries - burger overcooked and dry, fries undercooked and rubbery, bun not toasted

Pasta with scallops - one of the better dishes, but would it have hurt to spend two minutes searing the scallops?

Steak with porcini mushroom sauce - I had two tasty little mushroom morsels in my sauce; the rest was essentially brown water. My wife had only brown water.

Another day steak ordered medium rare; came out blue. Replacement cooked properly, though of course underseasoned.

The day after I complained, they slightly overseasoned my pasta to compensate; the foie gras was still bland.

Carmelized banana dessert - had an overwhelming, bitter acrid taste - completely inedible. Obviously badly burned - how did this get out of the kitchen?

Octopus salad - seared octopus, red onion, jicama, arugula. A thoughtful and intelligent ingredient mix - served bone dry. I called over the waiter - "this is missing the dressing". He says "It's supposed to be served that way". I reply "It says lime cilantro dressing on the menu". Took awhile - when he came back he had four more pieces of octopus on more salad, with maybe a couple of ml of dressing. We were on their private island that day. He says "The salad is dressed aboard ship before delivery, so we have no more dressing". He had tried to scrape whatever there was out of the bottom of the bowl, which made for maybe one bite with dressing. To make it even more infuriating, the one bite with dressing was delicious.

There were more examples, but you get the idea. We ordered room service several nights for an alternative, as the pizza was uniformly delicious. To me, preparing second rate food properly, like any chain restaurant can do, would have been preferable to taking top quality ingredients and turning them into the bland cardboard we were consistently served.

Interestingly, another couple with us in the yacht club got themselves reassigned out of Le Muse into the main restaurant (where you have an intimate dining experience with 700 of your closest friends). However, they said they had cruised a year earlier and the food in Le Muse then was excellent, however the head person then had been reassigned to the main restaurant, where they said the food this year was tasty. Unfortunately, it seems that left cardboard Carl in charge of Le Muse.

We didn't spend a lot of time around the ship. It was clean, and in the bars we went to the drinks were consistent from one to another. Didn't try the themed restaurants (at extra charge). Probably should have. Other entertainment around the ship - pretty typical.

Hopefully they get the food thing sorted out. Otherwise, the quality of the cruising experience really depends on what's important to you. I probably wouldn't go back unless I knew they solved the execution problem in the restaurant, but if the cruising experience is more important to you, I would heartily recommend the Yacht Club staff on the Divina.

ronaldo03's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Yacht Club Deluxe Suite

Cabin was clean with a small sitting area and balcony.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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