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Sail Date: July 2018
We, h&w and 18/19 y/o daughters just disembarked from a great week on Seaview. We flew from New York and spent a day and night in Barcelona (hop on/hop off bus was great for our jet-lagged selves to get an overview of that lovely ... Read More
We, h&w and 18/19 y/o daughters just disembarked from a great week on Seaview. We flew from New York and spent a day and night in Barcelona (hop on/hop off bus was great for our jet-lagged selves to get an overview of that lovely city). We overnighted at the Hilton Barcelona which was fine. The next day we took a taxi from our hotel to the Seaview arriving around 12noon. Easy embarkation- they gave us a number and we waited a bit but within the hour we were on the ship. We cruised Divina last year and were interested in the new ship/new itinerary. We were on somewhat of a budget though (since we have 2 college tuitions to pay this year) so we opted for 2 interior fantastica doubles. This is our 9th cruise in 12 years and we love balcony cabins but in this case it made sense to do the interior and they were fine - would have been tight for 4 but for 2 (with luggage stored under the bed) it was fine. No table and just one chair so it really was not conducive for hanging out in but luckily there were plenty of places to sit inside and outside throughout the ship. I can’t comment on Yacht Club, specialty restaurants, other cabin types, children’s activities, zipline/slide etc as we did not utilize those. And other reviewers were kind enough to post photos/reviews of the ship but I’ll just add a few of my impressions and advise you to go to the CC message boards to find out other specific info! We were originally booked as part of a group of extended family/friends but the group fell apart prior to the final payment date so it was just us 4. I would say Seaview is great for groups as here are plenty of places to congregate! Our dinner reservation was for the early seating in the Silver Dolphin - (they have two main dining rooms with 3 seatings each). I wanted to switch the time and was able To do so later that day for the middle Seating starting the second night. Since we wanted to enjoy the sail away party we skipped the early (6pm) dinner and opted for the buffet. Loved the buffets (two of them open at different times but plenty of selection in each and most of the time no difficulty getting a seat - inside or outside)! We are from New York and have certain expectations when it comes to Pizza and the pizza on this ship (even with some strange combinations) was delicious! The food and service in the silver dolphin was fine but a bit too gourmet for my girls who preferred the buffet selections so we opted to alternate our dinners. I will post some dining room menus on the forum at a later date. We had 8pm seating and were easily able To make the 9:15pm shows if we wanted. Regarding the shows - I went to see 6 of them - I happened to like the Tina Turner tribute the first night the best and the another nights broadway show tunes/Disney song variety type with the requisite acrobat and dancers. Being American my taste was obviously geared to English songs so I would say they did a good job alternating the shows - they had some English, then Spanish, French and Italian themed shows and one or two with very little singing. As far as being English-speaking no problem at all… All the staff we ran into spoke some English… Most of the music playing was English and although some of the entertainment was geared to other languages it was easy enough to follow through if you wanted and/or go find some other type of entertainment well into the night. At any given time there could be two or three different venues playing different types of music/entertainment. We also tried our hands at the casino once or twice but for the most pa at any given time there could be two or three different venues playing different types of music/entertainment. We also tried our hands at the casino once or twice and Enjoy the parties/music they had out on the panoramic pool deck some nights. We did get off in each port but did our own thing except for the organized tour to Pompeii . We had fantastica drink vouchers that you get when you embark but my husband and I also did the unlimited package for drinks and didn’t need our vouchers but I had them in case my girls ran out because they also could be used for water, gelato, cappuccino, soft drinks etc - they had no problem using them and all we had to do was show our card. Speaking of sign and sail card - I thought it strange that the cabin number was on the card so if you lost it someone could access your cabin- I guess you could take a sharpie and cross that out and/or get new cards if you lost so no big deal. Since we sailed in the summer it was full of families and people of all ages. The ship was full yet never felt overly crowded. Sometimes we had to wait for the elevator but that is usually the case. We enjoyed hearing the different languages of the other guests and all shipboard announcements were told in at least 4 languages! It added to the international experience which is what we wanted when we chose this ship. All in all this was a great experience for my family- possibly the last cruise in a while so I am glad it was memorable! I would definitely recommend MSC and Seaview and although there were a few minor inconveniences they are not with mentioning here! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Ponant had been suggested to me by a family member, and the smaller number of passengers was appealing after the larger cruise lines. However, leaving after this 8 night cruise, I am underwhelmed and left feeling that I certainly did not ... Read More
Ponant had been suggested to me by a family member, and the smaller number of passengers was appealing after the larger cruise lines. However, leaving after this 8 night cruise, I am underwhelmed and left feeling that I certainly did not get value for money. As has been previously stated by other reviewers, the standard of meals is not consistent. We had three Gala Dinners and these were all of varying standards, nothing particularly memorable about any of them. The alternative buffet on deck 6 was awful, I have had better more appealing meals on the larger cruise lines. I had room service a number of times and they were delivered without any covers over the plates! The last night farewell affair was laughable in that the entire staff were paraded onto the pool deck with rock music, whilst I understand that staff need to be acknowledged for their service this was over the top. As a non-French speaking passenger there was a feeling of condescension from the reception staff and in particular from the female cruise director, there were a number of non-French speakers on board and we all had the same opinion. The wait staff and cabin staff were much better, polite and willing to assist at all times. I will definitely not be cruising with Ponant again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We hadn't been on Connie since she was doing Caribbean cruises. We enjoyed the updates though it was a strange cruise to us. We enjoy the port intensive itineraries in Europe. Montenegro is a must return destination. Our experience with ... Read More
We hadn't been on Connie since she was doing Caribbean cruises. We enjoyed the updates though it was a strange cruise to us. We enjoy the port intensive itineraries in Europe. Montenegro is a must return destination. Our experience with the crew is greatly improved from what we remembered. Only issue was that guests were permitted to skip the hand sanitizer when entering the buffet. Seems like a bad plan. Entertainment was odd to us. We normally go to a show every night plus a few in the alternate venues. Often there was only one show in the main theater and it was late like after 9pm. With many early starts that just doesn't work. Shows mustn't be well attended if they only schedule one. The few we stopped in on were below par in our opinion. We did have two tender ports and thought the crew did a good job keeping that moving. Some ships just seem to always have tender problems. Not this one. Beware the excursion to Krka Park. Must bring your passport which is a problem if you want to swim together. 45 minute stop for wandering, swimming and picture taking. 35 minute queue to the women's rest rooms. Must have Croatian currency to use the toilet. This is the only stop in Croatia and the ship does not carry Croatian currency. Men were seen "wandering off" while women were appealing to the attendant to accept euros. Luminae was excellent and the staff worked together like a very fine team. We were exceptionally well cared for. The cruise critic Meet and Greet was scheduled at 7pm so right during dinner. There had to be a better time to not limit attendance. Our room (SS2) was in good condition. Some obvious rusting out on the balcony but not bad for a 16 year old ship. I like the feel of this class as it never feels crowded. We never saw more than maybe ten people in Michaels Club. Joao was a great host. Arrival in Venice went very well. Celebrity was probably a half hour or more ahead of the scheduled departures and the authorities had plenty of people to keep things moving smoothly. All in all we had a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
As a couple we have been on MSC Divina and Preziosa on Western Mediterranean. We expected similar experience on Sinfonia; however, it was not the case at all. 1) Embarkation was extremely tiring in Venice. Very slow check in the heat ... Read More
As a couple we have been on MSC Divina and Preziosa on Western Mediterranean. We expected similar experience on Sinfonia; however, it was not the case at all. 1) Embarkation was extremely tiring in Venice. Very slow check in the heat resulted in one passenger to be taken to hospital. We checked in at 12:30; our bags showed up at 18:40 after complaining. Most bars on board were closed even though there were no place passengers could go for a while. Those that were open were under-staffed. 2) Bar staff were overall under staffed and rude when you wanted to get drinks. Mixed drinks like Mojito were terrible. 3) Servers at the restaurant were kind and respectful. We’ve had Edi and Allan serving us and they were excellent. Food was also generally tasty. 4) Maitre D’ (marianna?) was very good. However her helper Spartana was rude and he flat out lied to us one night when we were late for dinner due to an excursion being late. He said our table was given away and we had to dine elsewhere. Maitre D’ fixed the situation and she sat us to our table. She than sat other people even 30 mins after we sat down. This Was for us unacceptable and we won’t be returning to MSC because of him. 5) We have done excursions in 4 ports and nearly all of them were waste of money. I highly recommend avoiding any excursion; especially those who offer food or drinks. Free drinks usually meant non alcoholic “flat” soda. The Beach excursion in Dubrovnik was especially bad, we could not get back to the ship sooner.From rude staff to prostitutes on the beach, we felt very uncomfortable. 6) Finally, the rooms were good except for the 15 inch computer monitors as Tvs. The gentleman who was taking care of the rooms was very nice and he lept the room in tip top shape all the time. 7) Entertainment was sub par to our previous MSC cruises. The dance group which seemed to fill in between good acts were over used. Voice of the female singer was good. The juggling and strength acts and the latin dancers were great! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I just got back from cruising round Croatia and Italy this was my first cruise and I found the over all experience was totally amazing staff and crew bent over backwards to help you and the food was lovely always had a good variety to ... Read More
I just got back from cruising round Croatia and Italy this was my first cruise and I found the over all experience was totally amazing staff and crew bent over backwards to help you and the food was lovely always had a good variety to choose from even had burgers and snacks on if you just wanted something small to eat can't fault any part of my experience the bar staff where brilliant after a few days of being on board they knew what we wanted they where all very polite well mannered and would always try there best to get you what you asked for even though there was a language barrier however there where four bar staff on deck 6 (the promenade deck) there names are Arben, Zakhar,Dede,and Emillian they where a great bunch of guys who made my first cruise a memorable one as they all went that extra mile to help you and always made me smile no matter how I was feeling whether it was being hungover from the night before or just feeling tired they all brightened my day just by giving me a smile and basically doing what they are paid to do and that's to make sure the guests are happy and for that I would highly recommend the marella celebration cruise ship to my friends and family I will definitely be coming back on board again sometime . The cabins where spotless always kept clean didn't do any excursions as it was more of a relaxing holiday so my overall experience of my first cruise was 100% amazing Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I'll begin by listing the cruise ships I've sailed on so far: Celebrity Equinox P&O Ventura Carnival Vista Royal Princess and now... MSC Divina. Overview: This cruise line is quite different from most others in ... Read More
I'll begin by listing the cruise ships I've sailed on so far: Celebrity Equinox P&O Ventura Carnival Vista Royal Princess and now... MSC Divina. Overview: This cruise line is quite different from most others in that it's very European, with a minority English-speaking clientele. Approx 10% of our fellow passengers were English, around the same again were American. The majority were Spanish, Italian and various others, making for a unique ambience. To cope with the many languages, the entire cruise is designed around multilingualism. Everything from the menus in the main dining rooms to the Cruise Director's opening speech every night before the show involved five or more languages. It's the only way they can offer a cruise to so many nationalities but for me it absolutely doesn't work. Having to wait for your language and listen to many you can't understand is just a waste of time, and it happened again and again, from ship announcements to even excursions. Oh, and get ready to leave your room at 7am on the last day (more about that later). Staff: Anther big difference for me was the staff. Firstly, for a ship of this size, there just didn't seem to be enough crew to cope. Bar queues took over five minutes on a regular basis, and drinks orders would be delivered in 10-20 mins. Customer Service queues regularly exceeded 15 people, queues for the ice cream took as long as ten minutes. These don't sound like catastrophic waits, but when you add this up each day, it somewhat spoils the cruise. And perhaps because they were overworked, they just can across rude in general. We had some exceptions (some friendly, jokey evening waiters made a much better impressions), but in general, staff rarely smiled and quite often made you move out of the way for them. Several times in fact we were told by staff in buffet when we ordered hot drinks that we could make them ourselves. And the cruise director was the worst I've ever seen. He was barely present, merely an announcer at evening shows, rattling off five or six language spiels and promoting the latest drinks offer etc. They should take a leaf from Carnival here, where the cruise directors are bright and omnipresent characters, welding the cruise experience together into a complete package. The Ship: The ship was a nice vessel in all fairness. It's large but not overwhelmingly so, and has some very attractive spaces including the Art Deco bar, the indoor pool area and a rather lovely Swarovski-enhanced atrium. But for the size of the vessel there just wasn't enough leisure space. Compared to the Carnival Vista and the Royal Princess (both almost equal in length and passenger numbers) the ship felt crowded. There wasn't much to do on days at rest, with all deck games requiring you to ask for equipment. The sunbeds went fast, and you'd regularly see crowds traipsing around, looking in vain for a sunbed or two. The pools suffered most, with fifty-five people counted in the rear pool area at one time. It just felt like there wasn't enough space to stretch out. The Carnival Vista made great use of the level 7 Promenade Decks, with loungers and bars - something this ship could dearly do with. I also felt there could have been more going on - there wasn't much live music, and we rarely saw pool activities except for a morning fitness class. Dining: Everyone's biggest worry turned out to be a non-event. Food was fine. It wasn't excellent, and at time was just plain average, but it certainly wasn't bad. The buffet was hue and had fair choice, although later diners would have to face a fifty-person queue to get in. The MDR offered a three-course evening meal, with smallish portions but some nice variation (eg Mediterranean night). We had an All-Inclusive drinks package included and I will say it was pretty good - we could enjoy cocktails, spirits, coffees, ice cream, beer, sparkling wine and much more. Excursions: Excursions were noticeably cheaper than other cruise lines, and generally were quite good. We did have a few small issues such as non-English excursions staff but in general trips flowed well. The Cabin Our balcony room was actually very nice. The nicest cabin I've yet experienced at sea in all honesty. It was modern and felt spacious, with a seating area and a bathroom with a plastic shower door rather than a flimsy curtain. Charging ports were few and far between though and the TV rather small. Summary: 5/10 In all, it was a decent cruise. If I hadn't experienced other cruise lines, I'd probably be giving it an 8/10. But seeing how things are done elsewhere, it just makes me realise that MSC cuts corners and just isn't the same polished product I'm used to. It wasn't bad by a long stretch, but I don't think I would sail with MSC again. The end of our cruise was a good summary of the experience. After an evening in Palma (ship departed at 12 midnight from the port) we discovered that we had to vacate our cabin at 7am - information that was only given to us that evening, hence we returned to find the info sheet on our beds and couldn't believe what we saw. After speaking to customer services, we were told by one staff member that the rooms took three hours to clean - a complete and utter lie. There was no budging, so the alarms were set for 6:30 on our final day. Not the best way to end a cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We had been on an MSC cruise previously, and wanted to try the Yacht Club category. This is really worth the extra cost, as we are an older couple, and do not enjoy all the noise associated with the mainstream cruises. The only ... Read More
We had been on an MSC cruise previously, and wanted to try the Yacht Club category. This is really worth the extra cost, as we are an older couple, and do not enjoy all the noise associated with the mainstream cruises. The only critique for us was the food, which was just "OK". However the serving staff were great in the Yacht Club restaurant, which made up for the food! All drinks including wine and spirits were also included in the price. We like the low key selling from the shops on board, rather than the U.S. lines that promoted the selling to an intense level. The cabin category provided a butler, who really looked after us well, as the cabin was cleaned throughout the day, with fresh towels, bottled water etc. The only staff that were not good at their job was one of the concierge staff, who seemed to be frustrated whenever a question was asked. Overall, we really enjoyed our week on the ship, and will return. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We choose this cruise because of its length (7 nights), the itinerary Civitavecchia, Palermo, Caglari, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Marseille, Genoa, Civitavecchia, and the cost. Overall, we found it excellent value for money. Before ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of its length (7 nights), the itinerary Civitavecchia, Palermo, Caglari, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Marseille, Genoa, Civitavecchia, and the cost. Overall, we found it excellent value for money. Before getting into the cruise itself, I found the MSC website quite poorly designed - it was not smooth to use and required multiple visits. It also failed to answer some of the issues I address below. MSC needs to get some smart software developers to rework the site. Now, ......., on to the cruise itself. While this was our first ever cruise, I think we are reasonably discerning travelers. The MSC Divina is lovely modern ship that had very good facilities. We were in cabin 11115 which completely met our needs. It was sufficiently spacious and well presented. Our steward, Roberto, was great. A really nice, helpful person (and, no, he didn't pay me to say this!!). Incidentally, while there were plenty of children on the ship, we didn't have any noise problems. We used the gymnasium regularly and found it quite well appointed. I have a comprehensive gymnasium membership in New Zealand and found this facility more than adequate for what I wanted, albeit a little crowded at certain times. Its location on an upper deck, forward in the ship gives a great view as you approach port. I think our three negatives, all of which are rather minor, would be firstly, the WiFi - we paid for the comprehensive package and found it expensive but poor. I'm sure MSC could do much better. Our smart phone (European) SIM card helped when we were in or near to port. Secondly, before we embarked we really had no idea if the water package would be necessary - after all, everyone at least provides water (gratis) with a meal, don't they! No they don't. Fortunately, we had decided to take the package for daytime use. This was a good decision - water is not provided at restaurant meals, it needs to purchased. The administrative hassle in doing this seemed needless, why not up the price a few $/person and save everyone time and effort. Having said this, MSC is a European cruise line and purchasing water in Europe is the norm not the exception. It was these little things that left us with the sense that MSC cuts their front-end price, but tries to recover from this by their rather expensive on-board packages. [Note: Free water is available, as is coffee and tea, in the buffet area]. Our third minor irritation was the buffet - it is typically something of a zoo. However, we had read earlier reviews before embarking and were not surprised. That said, apart from one very average restaurant meal (the Mediterranean night from memory), the food was just fine, at least as we experienced it. In general, we didn't book shore excursions but rather chose our own on shore itinerary. A smart phone helped with navigation problems in some of the cities! The one excursion we did take was the Segway tour of Genoa. For us non-experienced Segway riders it was fun! No problems at all for us 60+ year-olds in learning how to ride and then do the tour. What a blast! Great tour guide. My wife (the speeding menace) now says we need a Segway at home! We chose Marseilles as the place to rest rather than go for a formal shore excursion. However, I went for a 6 km run into the suburbs to get some exercise. I noticed that while MSC was charging 15 Euros to get a bus from the ship into the city there seemed to be a free bus about 500 metres away down the wharf. Embarkation and disembarkation procedures were smooth and straightforward. Indeed, the staff were very helpful in allowing us priority disembarkation to catch a 9:32 am train out of Civitavecchia. We left the ship about 7:50 am, picked up our luggage, caught the bus to the railway station and were on the platform by 8:30 am. Plenty of time! One other out of the ordinary thing to report. We needed to make use of the hospital facility - my wife had taken a fall at Rome Airport on our way to embark and had done some damage to her hand. The question was, "How much damage? The doctor and staff were great. Good, basic, first principles (correct) medical diagnosis and treatment. I think, all up, it cost us about 120 Euros. One interesting thing we noted was the predominance of European travelers on the cruise. We certainly didn't hear many people speaking in English as their native tongue. Certainly not a problem - just an observation. Incidentally, all the staff we met not only spoke English but were multilingual. In reality, we were the ones who lacked language skills. Pulling everything together, we were pleased with our choice of cruise ship and with the itinerary. We had a lovely time and would regard any hassles as being very minor in the broad scheme of things. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose the Norwegian Star out of Venice because a cruise vacation fits our familiy's needs and to see cities and ports of call that we have never visited before. We have not cruised in eleven years and wanted to experience developments ... Read More
We chose the Norwegian Star out of Venice because a cruise vacation fits our familiy's needs and to see cities and ports of call that we have never visited before. We have not cruised in eleven years and wanted to experience developments in the industry. The Star is a midsized ship, 2,600 passengers, and that was plenty to achieve extraordinary diversity as to age and ethnicity. We heard multiple languages being spoken and enjoyed that portion of our experience. The restaurants on board were all very good, both as to quantity and quality of food. We booked ahead for most nights which was very important to being seated without a substantial wait at dinner time. We appreciated seats being set aside in the buffet restaurant and at the theater for guests with limited mobility. The most troubling aspect of the cruise was the time it took to leave the ship in tender ports. We lost too much time in this process, and that cut into our precious time ashore. NCL certainly cares a lot about customer experience, but this does need improvement. If it is possible to stagger the cruise ship arrivals in the various ports that would help reduce long tender rides and sometimes disturbingly large crowds in the various ports (five ships in port during our only few hours in Santorini). Also an alternative to using the cable car to descend in Santorini must be developed. This very long wait was very stressful and frustrating, especially as we watched lots of people break in line. The best part of the trip was the onboard evening entertainment. The production shows were absolutely outstanding. The singers and dancers were very talented, an aspect of our cruise that I did not anticipate and which added value. One other commendation is that on the day our port visit to Mykonos was canceled due to bad weather, NCL was able to swiftly reroute us to Athens with several good choices for shore excursions. I was very impressed with the speed that this change was implemented and that in my opinion our overall experience was enhanced by the unexpected change. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Overall I thought this was a great cruise. I picked it for the itinerary and the cost, and was very happy with the choice. This was my 4th cruise; others who cruise more often say this is a smaller ship but I loved it. It had a small ... Read More
Overall I thought this was a great cruise. I picked it for the itinerary and the cost, and was very happy with the choice. This was my 4th cruise; others who cruise more often say this is a smaller ship but I loved it. It had a small town feel, where you run into other people you've met throughout the cruise, yet there was still plenty to do. I enjoyed the casino and really liked most of the dealers - very friendly and fun to talk to. Our cabin was great (an exterior cabin with a window, no balcony); all cruise cabins are small but this was perfectly fine for 2 people. The steward was very attentive; overall I thought the service on this ship was fantastic (a few minor exceptions not worth talking about). The embarkation and disembarkation were both very smooth; best I've seen. This ship couldn't stop at Mykonos for the weather, but the captain substituted Pireaus (near Athens) and I was very happy with that. Kotor was absoloutely fantastic, alhtough there's no need to do the excursion if you want to hike to the top of the city walls - just do it on your own. (Someone in our group had asthsma, so I'm not sure why they signed up for this excursion, and the tour guide must have walked her back - we ended up going to the top on our own anyway and never saw him again. I reported this at the Excursion deck and they didn't offer even a partial refund; said it was the first they'd heard of it.) Again, that was relatively minor as we had a nice day. Santorini was lovely, although it took a long time to tender off the ship so we had a limited time there. Dubrovnik was fabulous - we did the Game of Thrones tour which my 23-year-old son LOVED and so did I even though I don't watch the show. Speaking of my son, the Star had a program for 18- to 25-year olds to meet on their own at the bar each night, and that worked out great. My son met lots of friends and had people his age to hang out with every night after dinner while I went to shows or the casino or whatever. The dining was great. We originally had reservations for a specialty restuarant one night, but cancelled our reservations because the 'free' (included) options were fine. There was only one night we couldn't get into our first choice because it was ful, even though we got there only minutes after they opened. It looked like part of the restaurant was partitioned off for a private event. Read Less

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