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-- This was only the 3-night cruise to Freeport and Ocean Cay; back to Miami to disembark on January 31st. -- I chose it because the price was too good to pass up! I went solo this time, just to try out the MSC line and see their brand new private island, Ocean Cay. I am Platinum with Carnival, and have sailed Royal Caribbean 3 times. MSC did the status match for me when I put in the request, so I am a Gold member with them. (Got a fruit basket, MSC logo gift, etc) I flew in to Miami the night before, and stayed at Clarion Inn & Suites MIA Airport. It was comfortable and convenient. Good shuttle service from airport, and then $10 pp shuttle to cruise port the next day. Plus, easy walk to a good Thai restaurant down the street. Cruise port was very empty, being a Tuesday. Our ship plus one small ship there. So, went right in, showed ID, and went through security around 11:50am. Stood in line around the maze for about 25 minutes to get room key. Not too bad. Was on the ship by about 12:30. They said rooms would be available by 1pm. Perfect timing. Ship is very clean, shiny, and fancy inside. Nice atrium with stage, glass elevators, sparkly staircase, etc. Really cool art around the ship. Great big sports bar for those who are interested. Funky couches and chairs in lounge/bar area on the way to the theater. Big screen TV out by the main pool, and an area for activities. (I watched the Ring Toss game). Saw a couple ping pong tables. Nice water slide towards the back - not huge. Looked like fun. Too cold for me this trip! I found so many places with empty lounge chairs out on the sun decks. My favorite spot was all the way in the back, maybe Deck 16 (?) above the "Garden Bar". Had the place to myself - and the windows blocked the wind. One of my other favorites on this ship was the Piazza del Doge on Deck 6 Mid. There is a big case full of snacks, fruits, and desserts (included with your cruise). There were lots of empty tables every time I stopped by for a cookie or slice of cake, and the girl working there was always smiling and nice. When you go to the Buffet, walk around to see everything first. There is delicious pizza over on one side. There was an Asian / Indian section towards the back - I got Tandori chicken and Cumin rice that first day. YUM!! There's a whole grill section for burgers, hot dogs, and fries. I never would have seen these items if I had just gotten in the first line. * Go to the show at the theater each night. * I almost didn't go, just because of the name, "Autumn In Paris". Didn't sound like anything I would enjoy. It was GREAT!! There were acrobatics, slapstick antics, singing, really good dancing (including a Tango). So glad I went. Dinners in Main Dining Room were ok - just what I expected. Not horrible, not awesome. Wait staff was nice, maybe spread a little too thin to give really great service. They never introduced themselves or learned our names, but were considerate. Ports were great -- the second reason I chose this cruise. In Freeport, I took a shuttle to Grand Lucayan Lighthouse Pointe for a resort day. (Booked it on my own) Fun day! Ocean Cay Marine Reserve, MSC's new private island was just as beautiful as the pictures! Luckily, the captain was observant enough the night before to know that it would be too windy to dock the ship that next morning when we were scheduled in. So he took us straight there after we left Freeport, arriving around 11pm. By midnight, the storm started blowing and raining, there was lightning & thunder! It was awesome to see from my balcony! Woke up in the morning to blue sky & lots of sunshine, but still quite windy and even a little cool for my standards (!). Passengers started offloading onto the island around 10am. So many wonderful beaches and swimming areas to choose from. One has lots of activities, music, hammocks. Another is secluded and quiet. Some are set up for families, another is for Yacht Club guests. You can walk across the bridge, get lots of pictures. The lines at the lunch pavilion were quite long when I walked by, so I grabbed a cheese burger & fries at one of the food trucks (included with your cruise) and sat in a beach chair to eat. I was pleasantly surprised - It was amazingly fresh & tasty! Then I swam out to one of the floating platforms, even though the water was SO cold! Totally worth it! ** Great beach day ** You can climb the lighthouse (for an extra charge) if you'd like. There is a light show from the lighthouse at 9pm, and another at 10pm. You can see it just fine from the ship, or be out on the island that late, since back-on-board is 10:30pm. I chose to keep my bag and do the Express self debarkation, because I was hoping to make a 10:15am flight out of MIA. Easy and smooth. Caught a shuttle (after they filled it with 12 people) for $10 pp to the airport, and was there before 9am. Good cruise. I would go on MSC again; want to take my husband to Ocean Cay!

My first MSC cruise - would go again!

MSC Divina Cruise Review by NeedToVacation

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2020
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Fantastica Balcony Stateroom
-- This was only the 3-night cruise to Freeport and Ocean Cay; back to Miami to disembark on January 31st. --

I chose it because the price was too good to pass up! I went solo this time, just to try out the MSC line and see their brand new private island, Ocean Cay.

I am Platinum with Carnival, and have sailed Royal Caribbean 3 times. MSC did the status match for me when I put in the request, so I am a Gold member with them. (Got a fruit basket, MSC logo gift, etc)

I flew in to Miami the night before, and stayed at Clarion Inn & Suites MIA Airport. It was comfortable and convenient. Good shuttle service from airport, and then $10 pp shuttle to cruise port the next day. Plus, easy walk to a good Thai restaurant down the street.

Cruise port was very empty, being a Tuesday. Our ship plus one small ship there. So, went right in, showed ID, and went through security around 11:50am. Stood in line around the maze for about 25 minutes to get room key. Not too bad. Was on the ship by about 12:30. They said rooms would be available by 1pm. Perfect timing.

Ship is very clean, shiny, and fancy inside. Nice atrium with stage, glass elevators, sparkly staircase, etc. Really cool art around the ship. Great big sports bar for those who are interested. Funky couches and chairs in lounge/bar area on the way to the theater. Big screen TV out by the main pool, and an area for activities. (I watched the Ring Toss game). Saw a couple ping pong tables. Nice water slide towards the back - not huge. Looked like fun. Too cold for me this trip! I found so many places with empty lounge chairs out on the sun decks. My favorite spot was all the way in the back, maybe Deck 16 (?) above the "Garden Bar". Had the place to myself - and the windows blocked the wind.

One of my other favorites on this ship was the Piazza del Doge on Deck 6 Mid. There is a big case full of snacks, fruits, and desserts (included with your cruise). There were lots of empty tables every time I stopped by for a cookie or slice of cake, and the girl working there was always smiling and nice.

When you go to the Buffet, walk around to see everything first. There is delicious pizza over on one side. There was an Asian / Indian section towards the back - I got Tandori chicken and Cumin rice that first day. YUM!! There's a whole grill section for burgers, hot dogs, and fries. I never would have seen these items if I had just gotten in the first line.

* Go to the show at the theater each night. * I almost didn't go, just because of the name, "Autumn In Paris". Didn't sound like anything I would enjoy. It was GREAT!! There were acrobatics, slapstick antics, singing, really good dancing (including a Tango). So glad I went.

Dinners in Main Dining Room were ok - just what I expected. Not horrible, not awesome. Wait staff was nice, maybe spread a little too thin to give really great service. They never introduced themselves or learned our names, but were considerate.

Ports were great -- the second reason I chose this cruise. In Freeport, I took a shuttle to Grand Lucayan Lighthouse Pointe for a resort day. (Booked it on my own) Fun day!

Ocean Cay Marine Reserve, MSC's new private island was just as beautiful as the pictures! Luckily, the captain was observant enough the night before to know that it would be too windy to dock the ship that next morning when we were scheduled in. So he took us straight there after we left Freeport, arriving around 11pm. By midnight, the storm started blowing and raining, there was lightning & thunder! It was awesome to see from my balcony! Woke up in the morning to blue sky & lots of sunshine, but still quite windy and even a little cool for my standards (!). Passengers started offloading onto the island around 10am.

So many wonderful beaches and swimming areas to choose from. One has lots of activities, music, hammocks. Another is secluded and quiet. Some are set up for families, another is for Yacht Club guests. You can walk across the bridge, get lots of pictures. The lines at the lunch pavilion were quite long when I walked by, so I grabbed a cheese burger & fries at one of the food trucks (included with your cruise) and sat in a beach chair to eat. I was pleasantly surprised - It was amazingly fresh & tasty! Then I swam out to one of the floating platforms, even though the water was SO cold! Totally worth it! ** Great beach day **

You can climb the lighthouse (for an extra charge) if you'd like. There is a light show from the lighthouse at 9pm, and another at 10pm. You can see it just fine from the ship, or be out on the island that late, since back-on-board is 10:30pm.

I chose to keep my bag and do the Express self debarkation, because I was hoping to make a 10:15am flight out of MIA. Easy and smooth. Caught a shuttle (after they filled it with 12 people) for $10 pp to the airport, and was there before 9am.

Good cruise. I would go on MSC again; want to take my husband to Ocean Cay!
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Cabin Review

Fantastica Balcony Stateroom
Cabin B2
Very nice stateroom. Quiet - I didn't hear any noise, even though it is close to an elevator. Convenient location to the stairs / elevator. Can easily zip right up to the buffet, or down to the Main Dining Room.
** Could not even hear the thunder and pouring rain & strong wind outside with the balcony door closed. **
Good side to be on for the Lighthouse laser light show at Ocean Cay.
Cupido Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Beach
    Grand Lucayan Lighthouse Pointe beach day:
    took taxi/shuttle to marketplace for $6 pp each way, checked in at resort. Beautiful beach, very nice infinity pool, hot tub, beach/pool lounge chairs everywhere, ordered lunch at poolside restaurant. Great service - nice people!! Would definitely go again!
    View All 140 Beach Reviews
  • Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve
    Walked around first to see which beach was least windy. Grabbed a burger & fries from food truck on island. Delicious! Swam out to one of the floating platforms. Water was COLD but so beautiful!! Took pictures of sunset over by the lighthouse. Watched light show from my balcony on ship. Awesome day! Will visit again.
    View All 94 Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve Cruise Port Review