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14 Miami to Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

The Divina is a beautiful ship, for sure. Clean, elegant, spacious. Definitely NOT American. And that's not a bad thing. We have plenty of "American style" cruiselines and to have another option is a plus. We've ... Read More
The Divina is a beautiful ship, for sure. Clean, elegant, spacious. Definitely NOT American. And that's not a bad thing. We have plenty of "American style" cruiselines and to have another option is a plus. We've recently returned from a 20 day Transatlantic journey and over the course of the cruise I've formed many opinions of this ship and the cruiseline in general. I'll start from the beginning. Sit back and relax- this may be information overload, but a lot of questions will be answered. Embarkation. Your cruise ticket will have a recommended time for your embarkation. Ignore that and get there when you want to. 11:00 am is fine. They will not turn you away. We did, however, have to wait awhile because as we found out once onboard, two crew members jumped ship in Miami. Defected. Left. So of course, immigration was investigating. We didn't have to wait long, however. We were onboard by 1:00 pm. Once we crossed over the gangway to the ship we noticed a lot of the ship was cordoned off and we had to go up to the Buffet- along with everyone else. So of course, it was crowded. Embarkation day- that's to be expected. No worries. We got our food, found a table and enjoyed our first Divina meal. The buffet is very large and the food is plentiful, varied and good. You do have to look around because there are different options around every corner. Burgers, hot dogs, wraps, pizza, salad and fruit can be found in the center area between Manitou and Calumet buffets. Fruit juices, tea and coffee are available all the time. They tend to run out of creamer a lot, though. Daily specials and desserts will be on either side. Just wander around a bit to get your bearings. Window tables are, of course, the most popular. They do have too many handicap accessible tables- they are usually all empty. Sit at one if you must, but be prepared to move if necessary. After lunch we checked on our cabin, which our amazing cabin steward, Maskur, told us was "almost ready." We were able to drop off our backpacks and go explore a bit. It was when we dropped off our bags that we noticed that our balcony cabin was small and had nothing more than a bed, a desk and two nightstands. No sofa. Quite a shock and disappointment considering they did not show a picture or diagram of our cabin style anywhere on their website. Balcony cabins are shown to have a sofa. This was a major issue for us- especially for a 3 week cruise. We waited a day to address this with guest relations because the we know the first day or two is so hectic for them. When we did go to inquire about the sofa we were told sorry- nothing we can do, the ship was sold out. Not wanting to give up so easily, we went back the next day to talk to a different agent. He seemed more sympathetic and understood that we didn't feel that we got what we paid for and said he'd contact us once we left New York City to see if there was another cabin available and if not he'd see what he could do. He never contacted us so we returned to him. Sorry- there was nothing he could do. We asked for a supervisor and he went behind closed doors to speak to his supervisor. The supervisor told him he had spoken to me at the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle and I had told him or cruise was great. Partly true- I had actually said everything was great but we were disappointed in our cabin, which, of course, was brushed off. We were bewildered and disappointed but decided to shake it off and not let it ruin our cruise. So just beware- there is a very large percentage of balcony cabins that have ONLY a bed, two nightstands and a desk. No sofa, as is pictured on their website. Deceptive advertising. Issue number two is do not purchase anything online prior to your cruise. If you do and want to cancel or change your order once onboard- you won't be able to. We purchased a photo package on their website prior to sailing. Once onboard we decided that we did not need 10 photos of ourselves so we asked to cancel. Sorry- you purchased online you have to cancel online. Okay. We paid for 10 minutes of internet service to cancel our package. Since we'd already set sail we could not access our online account! Back to the photo department. Sorry. Nothing they could do. Sigh. Okay... well- we purchased the package, we'll choose some photos in a few days. You have to purchase all 10 at the same time. We went to the photo department to choose some pictures and found 7 that were decent so we asked them to hold those 7 until we posed for more photos on Italian night. When we returned and chose a few more pictures to complete our order- they had lost the original 7!! We had given them our chosen photos and our cabin number. Anyway- long story short- we ended up getting the manager involved. End result- they reprinted some (some were never found on the computer) gave us about 14 pictures instead of 10 and we're supposed to get a full refund because of all the time we had to spend going through all the photos multiple times. Haven't seen the refund come through yet. We did receive an email that it is being processed. Muster drill- a waste of time. You could not hear or understand what they were saying. Had there been an emergency it would have been total chaos. Television- on a 3 week cruise the ONLY channel we could access in English was a British news channel. Can we say "Brexit overload?" One or two days they did offer a few free movies, but the test of the time your choices were to pay for movies, watch British news or turn it off. Okay- enough with the problems we had personally. On with the good. As I said the ship is beautiful. And clean! Our room steward- Maskur- was amazing. Our waiter and his assistant were both wonderful. The staff in the buffet worked very hard. They will interact with you and converse with you if given a chance. They are far from home and missing their families. Ask about their family! They will beam as they tell you about their home. Food- The food in the buffet is plentiful, varied and good. We chose to eat there on several evenings when we didn't want to dress up for dinner. It was always great. The Black Crab is a beautiful restaurant. The variety is somewhat limited in my opinion but there was always something I could find and the portions are big. I never had anything that wasn't hot and good. The best kept secret is the Sports Bar. Hamburgers, Reuben sandwiches, fish and chips, Ceasar Salad, wings- all complimentary and all good! Finding a table is sometimes a challenge though. There are only a few tables and people tend to gather there to play cards or just chat without ordering food. And you have to eat your food there- you can't order and take it anywhere else. The Piazza del Doge has complimentary cookies, cakes and sandwiches throughout the day and night. Gelato is $3.50 for a small cup or $5.50 for a large. They also make Sundaes and shakes for $6.50- $7.50. I can't speak to any drinks packages- we never buy those. Not worth it for us. There are always juices, tea and coffee available in the Buffet. The bed- comfortable enough for me. A bit on the firm side but I slept well. Activities- Dance lessons, origami lessons, craft sessions, trivia games, scavenger hunts, bingo, exercise classes, yoga, etc. are available throughout the day. The entertainment team is busy and energetic all day long. Shows - Mostly music. Singing, dancers, a ventriloquist one night. As with any ship- we enjoyed some shows and didn't care for others. That's up to individual tastes. Ports- we booked the cruise for the ports. This was a 20 day Transatlantic repositioning cruise with incredible destinations. NYC, Bermuda, Azores, Portugal, Malaga and Valencia, Spain, Marseilles and Genoa. Overnight in 4 of the ports, which was amazing! NYC- was way too cold for these Florida people! We stayed onboard on a nearly empty ship, which was nice. Bermuda ended up being canceled due to weather.... from what I heard this was the 3rd time in a row Bermuda has been cancelled- but that could be hearsay. We ended up in Tenerife in the Canary islands. A bit of a RIP off many felt, because we were supposed to have 2 full days in Bermuda, instead we got an extra sea day, and a not so great alternative port- and no refund on lost port taxes for Bermuda. It would have made more sense to give us extra time in one of our shorter ports- as we only had 6- 7 hours in several of our ports. I do understand, though, that there could be scheduling problems. Finally- MSC is a fine cruiseline and the Divina is a beautiful ship. The big area that MSC needs to improve on is communication. Talk to 3 different people about an issue and you will get 3 different answers. They are not consistent. Know this before you sail and you will be fine. Their website..... well- I'll just say it needs work and I'll leave it at that. Will I choose MSC for future cruises? Probably not. Crystal staircases and pretty decor can't make up for poor customer service and lack of communication. MSC is privately owned, answers to no one and simply does not appear to care about their guests. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
To be completely transparent about my review, we booked this cruise about a month before we set sail. We took advantage of MSC's status match, which only put us at the silver level. We paid for a very inexpensive inside guarantee ... Read More
To be completely transparent about my review, we booked this cruise about a month before we set sail. We took advantage of MSC's status match, which only put us at the silver level. We paid for a very inexpensive inside guarantee room, but when we were assigned a room, we were upgraded to an aft-facing balcony. The upgrade was so unexpected, and the room was so awesome, the cruise already turned out way better than we could have hoped. As for the actual cruise, as stated in many reviews, MSC has a very European flair. We quite enjoyed meeting so many Europeans on board, but this does make the experience slightly different than many mainline US cruises. Dinners in dining room are a little slower. The entertainment is a little more classical. We really enjoyed the Italian opera. The buffets can seem quite crowded, and since people take a little longer to eat, it can be hard to find a table, and not everybody has the same idea of what a line is. We found the ship to be beautiful, with many different types of lounges and public areas. The pools were quite large compared to some ships we've been on, with a water slide, an adults only area, a solarium, and many hot tubs. The gym was well appointed, but always crowded. It may be because the weather was not great. We really enjoyed the lecture that was given by a very interesting crew member about each upcoming port. It really helped us in our understanding of the places we visited. We found the service to be outstanding. Every crew member we interacted with was very helpful, polite, and interesting. We've read lots of reviews about the food being of poor quality, but we found it to be just fine. There was always something interesting to eat. Portions seemed just right, and our service at dinner was very responsive. An area that could use much improvement was the disembarkation process at ports. Lines to get off the ship were usually non-existent, and usually just turned into a mob. There was usually little or no supervision of this. Also, for some reason, our ship was always at the furthest dock. This meant that after fighting the crowd to get off the boat, you had to fight another crowd to get on buses that would take you to the port entrance. In some instances, MSC actually charged for some bus rides. We usually took the long walk to avoid the crowds, but in some ports we weren't allowed to walk. Though we stopped at a lot of ports, many stops were for 8 hours or less which made exploring the ports difficult. There also didn't seem to be many interesting excursions to choose from through MSC. Our room was very nice. It was relatively large with a nice couch seating area. The TV was pretty useless, but we didn't watch it anyway. The balcony was huge. There were 2 lounge chairs, 2 regular chairs, a table, and still plenty of room. Bathroom and shower were very comfortable. Overall, we had a great time on our first transatlantic cruise to Italy. We would recommend it to anyone, and would definitely hope to cruise on MSC in the future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This cruise was our 50th wedding anniversary celebration. We sailed in the Yacht Club category. Overall, we had a good time (not a great time), but as usual the lasting impression was the last impression. We pre-booked a post-cruise ... Read More
This cruise was our 50th wedding anniversary celebration. We sailed in the Yacht Club category. Overall, we had a good time (not a great time), but as usual the lasting impression was the last impression. We pre-booked a post-cruise excursion that would give us a drive-by tour of Rome before dropping us off at the airport. We were expecting them to handle our luggage, see the sites and experience a stress-free ride to the airport. By dinner time on the evening before disembarkation day, we had not yet received our disembarkation instructions. When we inquired, the Yacht Club concierge pulled an envelope out of a stack of envelopes and gave it to us. I looked at it and there were no instructions for the excursion so I asked about it. He informed us then and only then that the excursion had been canceled because so few people had signed up for it. OMG!! When I asked what alternative arrangements had been made for us, he dismissively said, "Oh, sir, you can just take a taxi." Cancellation of the excursion was totally unacceptable, but his attitude shook me to the core. This is the concierge for the exclusive Yacht Club telling me to go find a taxi. Really? At dinner in the exclusive Yacht Club restaurant Le Muse, I asked to see the Yacht Club Director. He earned his pay with me and my group as we explained what had happened and told him we needed an alternative. Bless his heart, he was back in just a few minutes (obviously he knew about the problem before-hand) and said they had arranged a private mini-van transfer to the airport. The problems with this solution were that it cost more than the pre-booked excursion (which of course was refunded to our account) and there was no tour of Rome. The next morning, we found our mini-van and delightful driver waiting for us. We were able to arrange a drive-by tour of major sites in Rome for an extra 100 euros per couple. All told, then, the alternate excursion cost $152 more per couple. To my way of thinking, that expense should have been covered by MSC. It was not. We are not likely to sail with MSC again, but will pend a decision on that to see if MSC responds to this review. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I chose this cruise because MSC offered a sweet deal - $75 for 20 nights!!! I have cruised with Costa, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Holland America. I hadn't cruised with MSC before. When I first signed up for the cruise, I got ... Read More
I chose this cruise because MSC offered a sweet deal - $75 for 20 nights!!! I have cruised with Costa, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Holland America. I hadn't cruised with MSC before. When I first signed up for the cruise, I got a deal through MyVegas.com to get onboard credit for $100. I filled out all the paperwork, but I never got the onboard credit. MSC said "you have a new customer to get that". I was. Then they lowered the price. I asked my travel agent about what this implied - would I get the lower deal? Would they apply that lower fee to onboard credit? Sorry, no luck... Then I told my friend about the lower fee - he jumped in and got the lower fee, and he was UPGRADED to a Balcony room. I was stuck in a interior room, despite my having brought him this deal. When I got on the boat, and asked about the distilled water for my CPAP machine, the cabin steward got me ONE single bottle, but said "the ship ran out and you would have to the rest during the port stays." Great! The show's entertainment in the showroom was hideous. No Broadway Musicals, no Magicians, and not a single comic. But loads of Dancers! Can you say "Jazz Hands" anybody??? The Food was so-so. The pasta seemed undercooked, most buffet meals were cold, with a few exceptions. The onboard freshly baked cookies were great, but they ran out of them sometime around day 15. They didn't have onboard softserve ice cream. Instead they had gelato for a price..... When I got to the Black Crab (dining restaurant), we usually didn't get out of there for 1 3/4 hours. The service was slow, but it appeared to be improving day by day. On the plus side, the ship itself was a treat - nicely appointed staircases, upscale dining options, etc. The ship's cabins' featured an plexiglass shower door - not a curtain like most ship's have. That was impressive. The ship's prizes were great too. (Trivia, Daily game, etc.). My friends and I got t-shirts, hats, decks of cards, free 3D race track ride, free bag, and Champagne! That was also impressive. We didn't do the excursions but we did go out the ship to barter with local taxis, and Hop On Hop Off buses. They seemed much cheaper, to me. As I said, keep your expectations really low, and you will enjoy yourself. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We had been on the Divina and enjoyed it before in the Caribbean so we decided to go on our first Transatlantic on it. The ship is beautiful, the service is great and ports are fine but we are not impressed with the entertainment or ... Read More
We had been on the Divina and enjoyed it before in the Caribbean so we decided to go on our first Transatlantic on it. The ship is beautiful, the service is great and ports are fine but we are not impressed with the entertainment or television stations, most English channels except news, have been suspended for more than a week! The shows have great performers but there are too many classical music types of performances. There have been about 5 so far and we are used to comedians and a variety of performances. Our inside cabin is large, clean and comfortable but we are not happy with the buffet chaos and lack of desserts there. There is rarely enough equipment available anytime during the day in the fitness area. The deck chairs are very uncomfortable and there is a major trip hazard on deck 15 aft where there is a steel rise that goes from plastic floor that joins wood floor. My husband trip and caught himself from going overboard! Guest Services is great! Dinner usually takes 2 hours which is sometimes too long. I would definitely cruise again on this ship, the value is great! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise because we like to do long ones crossing the Atlantic. Unfortunately it was the first time we had such bad sea for 5 days. Our cabin was the very last one on our deck. 13223 stern. Wow every little swerve or move of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we like to do long ones crossing the Atlantic. Unfortunately it was the first time we had such bad sea for 5 days. Our cabin was the very last one on our deck. 13223 stern. Wow every little swerve or move of the ship we felt. It was okay until we had very strong winds continuously 90 miles an hour for about 5 days. We had to be in the atrium as much as possible it was better. The food was very good not extraordinary but very good. The cabin service was excellent. The entertainment was very good at the theatre but the activities were not. I guess too many languages would have made it difficult to have too many different ones. The port presentations were excellent. Embarkation and deembarkation was terrible. A total mess no one to take charge in different situations it seemed there was no management to lead. We will cruise again with them as the prices for a crossing is excellent and the ship was super nice. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
For the itinerary. We were not informed it was a Holistic Vegan cruise and they took over the entire ship. MSC catered to them even though there was only 1900 of them sailing. They were rude and expected everything their way and MSC ... Read More
For the itinerary. We were not informed it was a Holistic Vegan cruise and they took over the entire ship. MSC catered to them even though there was only 1900 of them sailing. They were rude and expected everything their way and MSC treated all others as second class citizens. The food was mediocre and mostly vegan in the buffet. In the dining room we were served regular food which was not exceptional. Most staff were rude and did not care about any concerns we had. Entertainment was almost nil as they used theatres for meetings instead of shows. They were supposed to have two shows a night but mostly only one at 7:00 pm but that was our dining seating. When we did attend one show it was mediocre and not very entertaining. Our cabin was normal for a cruise ship and the chambermaid did an okay job cleaning the room. We did two excursions booked through MSC. The first was the horse and carriage ride through old Cartegena which was well worth the money. We would highly recommend this one. The second was the Panama Canal boat tour. Do not recommend this one as it was not worth the money they charged. The boat they hired was very old and seats very uncomfortable. Would not do this again. We will never sail the Divina again (this was our second time) but will give MSC another chance to satisfy us on the Meraviglia in January of 2020. Hopefully we will have a better experience or never sail again with MSC or recommend them. Compared to a Carnival cruise we took in December 2018 which was fantastic this one was totally disappointing. The only redeeming factor was the great bar tender we had. He made the cruise for us. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was my fourth cruise on MSC Divinia and definitely my best. Loved the itinerary and the crew was great. I especially want to compliment Ley Aguila and Oumaima Boudile of the Cruise Staff for making this a memorable cruise. They are ... Read More
This was my fourth cruise on MSC Divinia and definitely my best. Loved the itinerary and the crew was great. I especially want to compliment Ley Aguila and Oumaima Boudile of the Cruise Staff for making this a memorable cruise. They are both full enthusiasm and made the activities especially fun. I would also like to compliment Havin Pereira, Mariana Prison & Yanga Ndayi and the rest of the staff at the Atrium Bar for their friendliness and excellent service. The live music on this cruise was excellent with Olena and the Cantabile Duo both being the standout performers. I made it a point to catch as many of their performances as I could. This was an 11 night 12 day cruise in the southern and western Caribbean and my highlights were Cartagena and Panama. Aruba was also a pleasant surprise. As always the food was excellent with a more European menu than other cruise lines. The common areas are spectacular and laid out for a convenient flow. I highly recommend MSC. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I am writing this review because of the many I have read relating negative experiences on the Explorer since its launching mid 2016. My wife and I have been cruising several times per year for over 15 years on both Regent ships and ships ... Read More
I am writing this review because of the many I have read relating negative experiences on the Explorer since its launching mid 2016. My wife and I have been cruising several times per year for over 15 years on both Regent ships and ships of other cruise lines, some claiming to be as luxurious as RSS. We have just sailed the Miami-Barcelona segment on the Explorer from March 26 to April 09, not continuing to Venice because our purpose was strictly to enjoy the most luxurious ship in the industry without the excursion filled portion going from Barcelona to Venice, stopping at ports that we have visited several times before on both Regent and non-Regent ships. To begin with, most of the criticisms that prompted this commentary in our view are very personal and in some cases perhaps unnecessarily emphasized, especially from people who seem to prefer emphasizing the negative as opposed to embellishing the positive. Since the ship offered passengers two surveys to express their opinions, we did so, trying to be as objective and neutral as possible, as well as making suggestions for what we consider would be improvements to complete (if not perfect) the concept of luxury. The ship is indeed very luxurious, and we found every single member of the crew (from top to bottom) very friendly, efficient or trying to be efficient, and always prepared and willing. We did express in the surveys, however, that it seemed to us the people responsible for the design and construction of the ship forgot to include in their concept of luxury both comfort and quality (or either disregarded or ignored them), which we consider intrinsic to the meaning of luxury, especially for those able and willing to pay what Regent charges for their all inclusive cruises (this also applies to all cruise lines claiming top of the line luxury ships, such as Crystal, Seabourn, etc., and even Oceania and Azamara, not to forget the sections set apart in much larger ships, such as Cunard with their Queen and Princess levels, etc. etc.). But before we go into the negatives, let us refer to the positives. (1) We properly closed the balcony doors to successfully prevent any noise from the wind filtering through. (2) The bathroom was larger than expected, especially the shower, and very beautifully finished, with all the expected amenities. (3) The cabin attendants were at all times available to satisfy our whims (we had none) and every day expertly (and timely) cleaned the cabin. (4) Staff and crew were always attentively smiling and disposed to fulfill anyone’s desires and needs, always willing to rectify whatever might be required of them. (5) The food was very well presented and the menus were sufficiently diversified in all the restaurants, except for breakfast in our view. We think a little more variety of cheese and salami offerings would have been proper in the most luxurious ship. Papayas and mangoes were plentiful but insufficiently ripened and thus both hard (papayas) and sour (mangoes), contrary to the cantaloupes, melons, oranges and bananas which were all always exceptionally tasty and ripe. The variety of breads was insufficient when compared to most other ships we have cruised. (6) Theater shows as expected, very good, especially the violinists. We would have liked to see a classical piano and/or classical harp presentation, even if only one in 14 days, if only because these were offered in previous Regent cruises we have taken. In previous cruises we have also experienced classical quartets of different types throughout the ship, unfortunately missing in the Explorer. Finally, access to the internet was smooth and simple, even when bad weather intermittently made it inoperative. At all times, the internet manager was attentive and ready to resolve issues and problems. And among the restaurants, we most enjoyed and frequented the Pacific Rim, although this should not be interpreted as a negative for the other restaurants. On the negative side, the example we used in the surveys was our own cabin. We reserved cabin 881 (changed to 880 at the request of Regent to accommodate a couple who was traveling to Venice and did not want to be forced to change cabins in Barcelona) because we have traveled on the very back end of other ships very comfortably and thought the most luxurious ship would significantly beat those past experiences. We were wrong (our neighbors in 881 agreed with us). The cabin is unnecessarily small, with the bedroom enclosed by unnecessarily protruding walls making passage to the seating room area unnecessarily narrow and potentially dangerous if the ship is tumbling along due to a restless ocean (which was the case for almost most the entire 14 day trip). In fact, the bedroom makes one feel enclosed in a shoebox. In addition, the big television screen is fixed to the wall right in front of the bed, forcing the viewer to lay on the bed too see anything and everything coming through (unless, of course, the connection is broken, as happened several times). Equally bothersome was the fact that of 14 music channels, with several inactive, none included classical and semi-classical or light classical music, including operas and overtures, big band, oldies (FSinatra, Como, Crosby, NKCole, et.). The single classical music channel refers to the live channel facing the front of the ship playing the same (or what seem to us the same) repetitive music we “enjoyed” in our past cruises on the other three ships. Perhaps for some, or many, these two examples are exaggerated and personal, thus not important, but to people like my wife and I, who like to spend time in the cabin, the layout is critical (again, our neighbors and others in G1 and G2 cabins agree with us). But what we want to exemplify is that our negative experience and view of the G1 and G2 cabins is incompatible with the claim of most luxurious ship in the industry and both could and should have been avoided. There are many other comments we could add here, but none are to us significant enough to call attention to them, in some cases because some may be considered specific to our personal biases and values. Overall, we were satisfied with the ship, the service, the food and everything else one expects of a claim of luxury. We have highlighted those items we consider stand out either on the positive side or on the negative side in relation to the claim of luxury and our experience with Regent and other luxury cruises. Should we cruise on the Explorer again, it will not be on any G1 or G2 cabin. And in this respect, since Regent has announced the construction of an identical twin to Explorer, we are compelled to insist the G cabins be enlarged with a structurally different design (or physiognomy). One final observation. In the surveys, we did recommend Regent seriously explore the possibility of providing the necessary means for a passenger to quietly enjoy watching and listening television without disturbing the sleeping companion, either by providing speakers attached to the TV via a long cable, or by providing Bluetooth technology, charging extra for willing guests and/or on a complimentary basis for frequent passengers, with the quality of the speakers varying according to the status of the user and the amount charged. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I found this cruise to be all that I expected. the staff is young and energetic,warm and always go the extra step to please. The Explorer is easy to find your way around. Only draw back if you can call it that,if your cabin is in ... Read More
I found this cruise to be all that I expected. the staff is young and energetic,warm and always go the extra step to please. The Explorer is easy to find your way around. Only draw back if you can call it that,if your cabin is in the aft part of the ship and you are going to Compass Rose you will need to take the forward elevator. I could not have been more pleased with my suite and the amenities provided. There was an issue in my suite which I mentioned to the hotel manager. That afternoon the Captain, Staff Captain, Hotel Manager and Chief Engineer were at my door to address the issue. Issue resolved. The numerous dining options were another plus. The ship was kept immaculate and all departments take great pride in their work. I really felt that I was on one of those many high end Yachts we saw in Monte Carlo. if you are not one to take advantage of the shore excursions your value for the cost diminishes. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was our forth Explorer cruise which pretty much shows how much we love this ship. We have sailed over 350 nights on Regent (on all the ships) and find the Explorer the top of the line. To back up a bit, we flew to Miami from ... Read More
This was our forth Explorer cruise which pretty much shows how much we love this ship. We have sailed over 350 nights on Regent (on all the ships) and find the Explorer the top of the line. To back up a bit, we flew to Miami from Vancouver, B.C. using our own air and took the air credit. We flew American Airlines which is a mediocre airline at best but it did get us there. We also took the hotel credit as we were a group of over 100 people (customers of a travel agent) and had special events in Miami for two days prior to embarkation. This was a transatlantic cruise with only 3 port stops so there were mostly Regent repeat customers on the ship (that preferred having the ship be the destination). We stopped in Bermuda for 2 days which was okay. IMO, Regent is making too many stops at this port and we are getting tired of it. Our second port was Funchal which we love. Madeira is a lovely island with great food and scenery. We took an "included" excursion that took us across the island where we had lunch at a local restaurant. The food was delicious. Most of us tried "black scabbard" fish (only available in Madeira and Japan). It is the ugliest fish that I've ever seen but tasted great. Our last port was Gilbraltar, U.K. where we visited a farm in Spain. This required going across the border which, according to our tour guide, is getting more difficult to cross every day. Thankfully, it was not an issue. The farm is amazing - they have cork trees, cows, and the famous black pigs. The farm is thousands of acres and is completely organic. Most of the feed for the animals comes from the trees. The pigs eat the acorns and is praised as some of the best ham in the world. We visited their new school and petting zoo which was lovely. This was followed by tapas (the amazing ham was included and is the best we have ever tried) and sherry. This is the first time that we have done the same excursion twice. IMO, it was worth it. Destination Services on this cruise did an excellent job (something that I have not said before about this department). We stayed in the Master Suite which was the best suite we have stayed in on the Explorer - not just because it is a Master Suite but because of the layout. We have also stayed in a Grand Suite, Concierge Suite and F1 Suite on the Explorer and have toured other suites. Besides for the Master Suite, we also like the Concierge/F1 Suites (identical except for the balcony) and the Seven Seas Suite. We are not fans of the PH suites. Food on Explorer remains excellent - in most dining venues. Our favorite on this cruise was Chartreuse - especially for lunch. Great food and impeccable service. Our least favorite was Prime 7 due to inconsistent food. Compass Rose is always wonderful as long as you dine early or late. Going to Compass Rose after a special event can be chaos. For instance, after the Captain's Reception, 200-300 people immediately go to Compass Rose. There is no way any restaurant can provide excellent service when everyone arrives at the same time (unless you are at a wedding and the choice of food is very limited and prepared in advance). Service was also excellent. If anyone has a problem with food or service on any Regent ship, the key is to let the Food and Beverage Director or the General Manager know about the issue. They will do everything within their power to make it better. If you do not say anything, there is no way they know that there is something that needs to be fixed. On our last cruise, there was an issue that I reported to Daniela, F&B Director (which was corrected) but on this cruise, there was nothing negative to report. We are not big into entertainment, however, the entertainment on this cruise was the best that we have encountered on the Explorer. Cruise Director John Barron is determined to raise the entertainment level up a notch. So far, he is accomplishing his goal. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We have been on all Regent ships, but not the new Explorer. When offered a deal too good to pass up by our TA, accepted for this BTB, Miami-Barcelona-Venice. Added bonus was opportunity to join Regent management in Miami for several ... Read More
We have been on all Regent ships, but not the new Explorer. When offered a deal too good to pass up by our TA, accepted for this BTB, Miami-Barcelona-Venice. Added bonus was opportunity to join Regent management in Miami for several pre-cruise events. No complaints to date. Nothing is perfect. Yes, on one dinner occasion at Compass Rose, when both of us were momentarily away from our table, an attendant removed the salt and pepper shakers. That was, obviously, a signal for another to remove everything else. When we returned, were offered the dessert menu. Wait! Still main course to go. Our waiter then appeared to reevaluate, and reset our table, complete with salt and pepper shakers. No big deal. One of those things you recall. All staff are attentive, professional, and responsive. Food quality--particularly the fish and chicken--excellent. Wine selections are a cut-above. Can ask for another variety of a particular white or red, not necessarily on the menu as offered for that dinner: "No Problem." d Suite accommodation is spacious. Large, walk-in closet, and other amenities, as advertised. Just review the basic pay-out on-line, or in the catalogue; double check with your TA; and, there should be NO unpleasant surprises. Had the best Bridge Tour ever, on any 5+star ship. The Captain is a genuinely friendly, approachable guy. A solid hand-shake while looking you straight in the eye. Completed the first segment to Barcelona two days ago. Currently on the second, at Monte Carlo. Tops so far. Will publish our final evaluation upon returning home on/about April 21st. GoARMY! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We have been in discussions with MSC since our return from our trip to try and find a solution for our dispute. Unfortunately they came back with an offer of 10% discount off our next cruise with them. Please read our complaint and see for ... Read More
We have been in discussions with MSC since our return from our trip to try and find a solution for our dispute. Unfortunately they came back with an offer of 10% discount off our next cruise with them. Please read our complaint and see for yourself our experience. I can honestly see why MSC are struggling to compete in the American market. Having travelled on the same ship previously our expectations were high. I feel it is my duty to share my review on here as it was quite possibly a disaster from start to finish. The only thing I enjoyed about the Yatch Club was the peace and quiet away from the rest of the ship. I sailed this same ship 2 years and 8 months earlier for my honeymoon, completing a back to back cruise in an inside cabin. I feel I have knowledge of the service provided not in the Yacht Club. Prior to booking this cruise, I read MSC's boasts of the Yacht Club as well as reviews on cruise critic and trip advisor. My expectations were high! Day 1 – First impressions Arriving at the port of Miami I was lead to the Yacht Club desk by a baggage handler. She was extremely pleasant and she did all she could to assist, she like us was let down by the Yacht Club team. As we approached the Yacht Club desk there was nobody there. The baggage handler took out bags and labelled them even though this was not her specific role. She asked us to wait while she tried to find someone, she was shocked that no one was there. A few minutes passed and finally a butler arrived. He told us he was unable to leave his station. Unfortunately, I did not think quickly enough to ask, if this was the case, then why were you not here when we arrived? We waited a short while, during which time two other couples had arrived who were also waiting. A second butler arrived and introduced himself as Estefan, he escorted us on to the ship and took us to the person whom provides the cruise cards, Estefan then left. After we had been given our cruise cards (which took less than 2 minutes) we were told to go into the waiting room next door. As we walked in, we sat down, no one was around except for an attendee cleaning glasses and clearing tables. A few minutes passed and in walks a couple who arrived just after us. To our astonishment they were with the original butler (the one that could not leave his station), he offered them champagne and fussed around them. I then asked the only butler present for a glass of champagne, which he did get for us and he asked where our butler was. (I could only shrug my shoulders). After they left to head to the ship I saw a new butler and he asked what was going on, he asked if we wanted to go on to the ship. I was almost startled as I wondered why we were bothering with this room if the option was to go on to the ship. I said yes and he began to walk us out of the waiting lounge. Then from out of thin air appeared Estefan. I'll take them he exclaimed to the other butler. So, here we are being led on to the boat by our butler, Hooray! Oh wait! We arrive at deck 7 and our butler quite simply says, you may now go to the main buffet area or go to the yacht club, he then walked away! As we hadn't at this stage realised exactly where we were on the ship, we had no time or opportunity to question anything. In fact we had been dumped on a deck where everyone else gets led and at this stage were unsure of how to navigate our way to the Yacht club. We asked a couple of workers where to go to get to the Yacht Club and they directed us to the main buffet area. This was not where we wanted to be! We sat down and ordered a drink to try and figure out why we had been directed here. This was not in the Yacht Club promises. If we had not purchased the basic drinks package we would have incurred a charge here. I asked three different people how to get to the Yacht Club and their reaction was as if this place did not exist. Basically no one seemed to be able to help. We walked around and eventually found Le Muse, where one of the staff kindly directed us. We finally arrived and yet couldn't get in due to our cards not working. A problem which other people had and collectively we had to wait for other Yacht club passengers to open the doors for us. On entering the Yacht Club we were asked to take a seat. We were told we could go to the bar or to our room so again with no direction we found our own room. Finally making it to our room, where we dropped off our hand luggage and explored the room. We saw a letter welcoming us to the ship and advising that there was a fresh bowl of fruit and a bottle of prosecco to welcome us. Neither of which were in the room. Perhaps this was because we had not yet set sail? We went off to explore the Yacht Club whilst we waited for our luggage to arrive having a drink in the main bar, then venturing up to the smoking area in the top pool bar area. We returned to the room from around 4 until 6 to unpack (I imagine you have logs so as to show where guests are as well as times). Once we were unpacked we went to the pool bar where we enjoyed some drinks which my husband had to go and get (every single one of them) from the bar. No waiters seemed to come round to the smoking area. Our previous experience was not like this in the main part of the ship. We stayed at the pool bar until around 930 (incidentally, we were there for so long because we met the travel agent I referred to earlier). Having decided that we should go and get ready and meet up again an hour later, we headed to our room. It should be noted that just before we left the pool bar, we were advised by the bar man that the restaurant closes at 930. This was disgraceful as no one had informed either room of this and also, what time is that for a 6 star service to say that we cannot eat later than 930 (I will come back to this later as later in the week the restaurant closed at 10)!!!!!! Around 10, our butler knocked on the door. He introduced himself and that was about all. We advised about the prosecco and the fruit, he questioned it as if we actually hadn't had it already before advising that he will look into it. He soon re-appeared with it. He asked how my first day had been and I explained very frankly that I was very disappointed by the service already provided. First impressions are so important! What was frustrating most about this encounter was 1) The butler should have walked us all the way to the Yacht Club and to our room. 2) The butler should have explained all aspects of dining, bars, what was included, what was not included 3) The butler service and what to expect and what not to expect 4) How to contact the butler or anyone else We experienced the top sail lounge on our first evening (and went in at least for a drink or more every night thereafter), I was shocked at how few people were in there every single night. To say that we were told by cruise nations upon booking the additional drinks package that we would not want to ever leave the Yacht Club. This being a complete fallacy. Clearly everyone wanted to be elsewhere than listening to the same 12 pieces of music being played on the piano and that being the extent of range of entertainment. It might be interesting for you to note how much money was spent on drinks out of the Yacht club by Yacht club members during this week. I should imagine it is a large amount. Due to the lack of information of the restaurant, we remembered the fact that we could order room service. So, my husband placed a call for room service. 30 minutes was advised for how long we should be waiting. 25 minutes passed and a phone call was received. Have you received everything on your order? No, nothing has yet arrived. 15 minutes passes, my husband calls and chases up the room service, it’s on its way, it won’t be long. 10 minutes passes, another phone call. Have you received everything on your order? No, nothing has yet arrived. It won’t be long, but I just wanted to ensure that what you ordered was available. Yes, pending the actual arrival! 5 minutes later, we placed another call chasing room service and then it finally arrived. Guess what, we never received a phone call asking about the order. The order was wrong and the bread soggy. Situation = hopeless. Give up and eat some pringles was what we ended up doing. Thanks for closing our first day of glitz and glamour so perfectly. Day 2 – Day at sea I opened my door to two newspapers. One from Wales and the other from Scotland, I could only assume the butler had guessed on what paper I would like. Having received no information still regarding where to go or how to get there. We headed out to the only place we knew from before……..the buffet, where we experienced the horror of more people getting food than there were seats for them after they had obtained their requirements. Fortunately we were able to find a table outside, however the food was close to terrible. We headed back to our Yacht Club area and over the course of the day established that there was a buffet selection at the pool bar. Thanks for the information! Knowing now about the times of Le Muse, I suggested that my husband calls to book us in, given that we had anytime dining, the time should not be an issue, but more of a courtesy if you will. My husband was told by the concierge desk (around 4pm) that he would receive a call back once the reservation of 7 was made. We never heard back, so again my husband called. The concierge advised that he still had not spoken to anyone and hence not confirmed. Why did you not call to advise of this? No feasible answer was provided. My husband, frustrated at the phone calls, went to the concierge, whom advised that his colleague had been dealing with the reservation (the colleague was not available). My husband advised that he was appalled at the reservation fiasco and reiterated the anytime dining that we had. He also took the opportunity to highlight the fact that he was not happy with the fact that our butler was never around and asked for our butler to come and see us but he never came (seriously, 4 hours passed and I just gave up ever expecting him). He continued to advise that it was his understanding that the butler attends to 6 rooms and therefore perhaps 5 rooms are receiving the best possible experience and we are being treat like second class citizens. The concierge simply nodded to acknowledge the 6 rooms and apologised for the problem with the restaurant booking, advising that he will confirm shortly. Eventually, we heard back only to be told that the reservation time was not possible. We could go at 830pm though!!!!!! My husband continued to discuss this unacceptable alternative until I became upset and took the phone from him and spoke with the concierge. I exclaimed my dissatisfaction at having not had any service so far, no information and missing dinner the night before. Eventually, the concierge called back at advised we could go to dinner right now……the time being 630pm, my husband had to reiterate the time we wanted to go! We made it to dinner, making our own way to the restaurant because no one advised us a butler should/could escort us. So we took probably half an hour to arrive due to the maze effect of the ship! The dinner was of a very high standard and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The service was exceptional that night. Unfortunately many other people we spoke to had not enjoyed the food that evening and had therefore not returned to the restaurant. Day 3 – First port of call – change of schedule- Grand Turk We received our daily itinerary (the evening before) advising we were going to Grand Turk. Knowing about the Hurricane we guessed as to why the change had been made, however, there was no actual information regarding this, which I found very poor. Having spoken to fellow guests over the past two nights, we were starting to find our feet and understand how things worked, no thanks to the staff. We received a continental breakfast to the room, which was really great. We enjoyed the jug of coffee for two and the muffins as well as the fruit. A good start to the day. The breakfast had made up for the fact that the wrong newspaper was delivered two days running. We went to the concierge desk and asked to be escorted off the ship. We were escorted off the ship in a small group having been made to wait for more people almost to make the butler’s journey worthwhile. Upon returning to the ship we had a specific entrance which initially was fantastic as we by-passed the crazy lines, but once on the ship we were unable to get our 'special lift' to come down to us. Instead, we opted to walk up the stairs and go to a bar on level 7 until the crowds of people had dispersed. A very good job, we had the intelligence to pay for the drinks package for use in the rest of the ship. A general observation which is not limited to this day was that the service in the pool bar was terrible but when we sat by the bar the barman was very attentive and made excellent cocktails. I was extremely disappointed that proper champagne was unavailable in the Yacht Club without paying for it. My previous experience on Divina was with the premium drinks package it included Nicholas Feuillatte champagne. This change was a very unwelcome surprise. In addition to this, I would like to highlight that the alternative drink selected by MSC was Prosecco. In the absence of champagne, this was my alternative preferable drink, however, when every bar on the ship has none until the Wednesday then this is disgraceful. I think this in particular is incredibly poor. How do you explain that a drink which I prefer to drink and I can have in my paid package, I cannot actually have because your bars have none? (I did try every bar). It also seemed that if you were seated in the smoking area that service was almost none existent. This area seemed rather inadequate for the number of smokers in the Yacht Club and there was a serious lack of shade and shelter. Finally all the chairs and tables in this area were always put away by 8 this is very unaccommodating for the smokers in the Yacht Club as this is the only area in the whole of the Yacht Club that smoking is allowed. Day 4 – St Maarten The morning room service arrived early and was cold. What looked like an already used cup was on the tray and there was no coffee, just milk and hot water. We had pretty much repeated the order from the other day. I called to complain and ask for the ‘breakfast’ to be removed immediately. My butler arrived (wow, forgot I had one), he was accompanied by the person whom brought it originally. He apologised and explained that he had been somewhere else and this was the reason for the sorry state of the breakfast. This made no sense as he was basically saying that only he could keep muffins warm and ensure that a pot of coffee is placed on a tray. He offered to remake it, but the moment was ruined. We went to the pool bar to get our own breakfast (which was very good, a small selection but the best bacon and scrambled egg I’ve had on any ship we have sailed on) and never used room service again! I had been experiencing for two days now a slight problem with one of my eyes, whereby it was regularly streaming and running for a period and causing a little discomfort. With our second stop being in St Maarten I asked the concierge about a local pharmacy. I don’t expect concierge’s to know everything but something like this should be known, I was simply told, just try any store you come across. I bought some eye-drops which were bought in a local store. The eye drops carried no warning label and when applied, they dilated my pupil, this then caused complications with my eye due to the exposure to the sun. As a result, I had a raging headache and felt incredibly tired. My husband asked the concierge about the medical team on board and was told that I had to go to them by 8pm at the latest. At this time (around 6), I did not want to be rushed into going to see the Doctor, due to having to pay insurance excesses. It might be required but I felt that my window of time was being pressed against me. My husband went to the concierge to ask if I wasn’t well enough to leave my room, could he go and collect food from Le Muse and bring it to me. The concierge told him, he could order room service or order pizza to the room. My husband challenged this and eventually and after asking someone else, the concierge advised that if I wanted to order from Le Muse, then they would deliver it. This was very frustrating, as I had read that this was actually fine to do in the circumstances explained. Eventually my eye was better and I was able to go out that night, though we did not eat at Le Muse or order from there. We were party to a conversation which took place between two passengers and the manager of the Yacht Club staff and a lady officer who was in charge of customer relations. The two passengers whom we became friends with were highlighting their utter disgust at the lack of service they had received. Their complaints were close to those of our own. We were docked at St Maarten at the time and it was late morning. The two passengers advised that they were to leave the ship at this port and make their own way home. Money was not an issue to them, what was an issue was the service which was promised and not delivered. Your staff tried to appease them by listening to them but not really offering anything as a means to rectify the situation. The manager of the Yacht Club staff, brought a bottle of Asti and shared it amongst 8 people (us included). It was not until the next day when we saw the couple again (clearly opted to stay on the ship). The main reason was logistical to them but they had been offered the ability to go to any restaurant at any time at no cost. This seemed to appease them somewhat but they were still vastly unhappy with the so called butler and concierge. We weren’t afforded this offer but I suppose money was an issue to us and we weren’t in a position to attempt to abandon ship. Also, some aspects were really great, the relaxing and quietness of our area for example. Day 5- San Juan Today we had a relaxing day by the pool. In the pool bar the food was always good but it was often left out for long periods of time uncovered. We rarely saw our butler in the butler role (as previously advised) but saw him more and more in the pool bar area serving drinks. On this day he spent the whole day serving drinks round the pool. We had conflicting information on whether the boat was short staffed or not. Guests told us the ship was understaffed. We spoke to bar personnel whom confirmed the same. When one of our friends asked the concierge, the concierge looked stunned and said no, not short staffed. We are running at full capacity. Who knew what to believe? Should we be making excuses for the lack of service? Is it our fault if the ship is understaffed? Every bar we went to on the rest of the ship seemed to have plenty of staff, you sat down and someone came over and served you. Why was this not the case in the Yacht Club?? Day 6- Day at Sea We went to dinner with two of our new friends (1 being the travel agent). Our friends booked ahead via the concierge and guess what, they had no difficulties in making the reservation. They were even offered a butler to escort us. We took advantage of this rare butler sighting and were escorted to Le Muse (the butler incidentally was our friends’ actual butler). Upon arrival, we were seated in a booth, we sat for 15 minutes with no waiter attending to us. Eventually, one of our friends asked for some bread. Another 10 minutes passed before we again asked for bread. The service eventually picked up, though one of our friends had to wait 30 minutes for a Martini. One of our friends had completed the form regarding an allergy to Mushroom – They had to still ask and ensure that no such sauce was used. I am unsure what the purpose of this form therefore was. We were going to fill out our own form but wisely decided to just manage it per meal. Our friends advised that the whole time they had to check and re-check and that all servers had no knowledge of any requests. Surely if someone is severely allergic then it is important everyone knows. We enjoyed Le Muse generally and this experience was a small distain. The general service was excellent. We were told by the person who gave us your contact details that the day before she had asked for Sangria. She was simply told that it takes 24 hours to make and the person she asked walked away. Wanting to test this and also being partial to Sangria. We asked a server at the pool bar for Sangria. True to form, he advised that this takes 24 hours (which is ridiculous by the way, we have travelled in Europe a lot and know that this is not the case). As he was about to walk away, we as a group of 8 people asked can you make us some. Yes was the reply. We clarified a couple of times and ensured that 24 hours from now we can order Sangria. 24 hours later we asked for the Sangria. It had not been made. This isn’t good enough, there are not very many people in the Yacht Club and I’d be surprised if it was full when we travelled. Why was the Sangria not made? Day 7 – Last day and night First task of the day……..remove gratuities. We would not have even dreamed to remove these due to being in the Yacht club and had actually discussed it before we left, that we would absolutely leave the gratuities on. My husband without even telling me went and took these off. He told me that he said to the concierge, I would like to remove the gratuities for both parties. The concierge simply replied ‘Of course’ and removed them. My husband advised, that even though they were clearly anticipating this and most likely every cabin in the Yacht club did the same, he expected at least a brief Q and A about our reasons (even with the concierge knowing many of our grievances) We went to the Pool bar for breakfast (a repeat of the last 3 days as it was very good). My husband ordered an omelette, the waitress (whom was the butler who escorted us to dinner the night before) asked my husband to wait one moment whilst she got her pad and pen. As she approached, another guest stopped her and ordered an omelette. Instead of suggesting that she was already dealing with a customer, she proceeded to take the order before finally getting to my husband (very poor customer service). The order was placed, when it came…….It was wrong. The omelette was re-ordered and came out as originally ordered. I did feel that this particular butler struggled with English. One very amusing moment. When we left our room that morning to go for breakfast, we saw the couple (whom were so unhappy with the experience that they intended to leave the ship early) in the hallway talking with our butler. When we saw them upstairs at the Pool bar, we joked with them that we now understand their dissatisfaction. They asked why, we joked because your butler is our butler. Unfortunately, this was the case, something wasn’t working right for us to feel this way. When you have spent a small fortune on the holiday of your dreams to feel so let down is unfair. We happened to be walking back to our room, late morning, when we noticed our door was open so as we approached, we said we would pop into the top sail lounge whilst they finished our room. As we walked past we were able to observe 2 people in the room one watching the TV (our butler) and one making the bed. Interesting thought! So, moving on to lunch. Again, we went to the pool bar, one of our friends went and kindly ordered burgers for 4 guests (my husband included, but not me). In the meantime, my husband ordered 1 mojito, 1 pineapple mojito and 2 waters. The waitress (still the same from the morning who struggled with English) brought to my husband 2 mojitos. She gave them 1 at a time and said, this one is the pineapple mojito and this one is the regular mojito. They were both regular mojitos, we just left it. He did however, ask where the waters were and said, don’t worry, when you next come over this way, please bring them. 10 minutes later, the same waitress brought 3 burgers. My husband again asked where the waters were and also serviettes. Cutlery, salt and sauces. The waitress returned with 2 waters, 1 burger and some sauce. Already during this time, my husband had established that the chips were flat cold. The burger was tasty however. You almost feel bad to keep asking for things. Why is it so hard to get it right? I may be wrong to think this but surely a butler is one of the best service positions to have on the ship. Why are the staff in the Yacht Club making so many mistakes? That evening we went to watch the Michael Jackson one show, which was of a poor standard down to the appalling attempt at lip synching and out of time dancing. We, along with our new friends, thought, let’s have a few drinks in the top sail lounge and order pizza. Hello Mr Concierge, can we order pizza to the top sail lounge? As we had read on trip advisor someone had done this. No, only to your room. Really? So, one of us is going to wait in the room for pizza and then walk into the top sail lounge with it!? Unbelievable! So, we went to Le Muse again. Not what we wanted to do but the service and food was excellent. Day 8 – It doesn’t end well We left our suite with our luggage in tow. Went into the top sail lounge for a final drink and bite to eat. My husband went to the bar (as he was accustomed to doing). A butler asked what his order was and said he would bring it over. Never came. Meanwhile we saw our butler fussing after a table which had a baby with them. Clearly we were the wrong demographic and this was now apparent. Neither our butler nor any other butler approached us during our half hour visit. We went to concierge desk and asked for a butler to escort us off the ship. Our own butler saw us off. As we came out of the lift ready to disembark we saw the 'butler' whom was supposed to bring my coffee. Sadly this butler had always been very pleasant and attentive up until now. My husband sarcastically said to him, thanks for the coffee. Why did my coffee not come? Why did no one ever seem interested in attending to us? My butler who was seeing us off the ship told me to complain and agreed that this was not right. He himself could have got my coffee not one person came and offered us a drink that morning. I would like to return to my earlier point about this being the second time we have travelled on MSC Divina. I would like to point out that within 2 minutes of arriving at our inside cabin, the person assigned to our room (cleaning) introduced themselves, made us feel very welcome and advised what his role was. He remained incredibly attentive throughout the next 2 weeks. Filling our mini bar daily and turning our beds down every evening with towel animals left on display. We had our bed turned down twice during this whole trip. This is not good enough. We had to ask for our mini bar to be replenished. When you are in the Yacht Club you shouldn’t have to ask for these things. I can honestly say that the Yacht Club experience was not as advertised. It was a huge disappointment. For this reason I have made my complaint very thorough as I feel changes need to be made for your customers to receive the service that you are advertising. I was so looking forward to the Yacht Club after having spent two weeks on Divina on our honeymoon. We decided to return to Divina for our five year anniversary of being together, what better way to celebrate than on the ship you spent your honeymoon on. Unfortunately we had a much better experience on our honeymoon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The Epic is showing wear and tear. Rust and paint bubbles. Saw several fabric seat cushions with worn edges and stains. Laminated edges of some doors and counters were loose. Although windows were washed in port, there was a dull haze on ... Read More
The Epic is showing wear and tear. Rust and paint bubbles. Saw several fabric seat cushions with worn edges and stains. Laminated edges of some doors and counters were loose. Although windows were washed in port, there was a dull haze on their surfaces. I believe that most of the passengers on this Atlantic crossing were experienced cruisers. Usually it takes a day or two for passengers to settle down. However on this cruise passengers immediately seemed to know how to behave. On this cruise the majority did not push and shove, did not jump the queues, did not beat on the elevator buttons, did share tables, did know how to walk passageways and stairways without blocking. Unfortunately, all that changed with the first stop in Barcelona. The next segment was Barcelona, Palma, Marseille, Barcelona with no sea days, Thursday to Sunday. As I stood to one side and the elevator doors opened I was shoved aside by a man who then stood in the doorway preventing those on the elevator from leaving. He turned about and yelled and waved to others to push ahead of others waiting. A second man body blocked the first man into the elevator. Apparently someone inside the elevator was pressing the close doors buttons, as the doors quickly closed. On two occasions as the shuttle bus was approaching the shipside parking space, people from the back of the bus left their seats and ran forward. For one person the importance of being first off the bus was to stand on the bottom step and light a cigarette. The good news is that few of the week-end cruisers had discovered the quiet zone deck forward. Also, it appeared that they preferred the buffet on deck 15 over the main dinning rooms. I lost interest in the buffet/café area after seeing a woman wave one hand under the hand-sanitizer dispenser, then immediately turn her hand over to pour out the small amount of liquid that accidently hit her palm. I had a balcony on deck 8, mid-ship. The decks above were setback, leaving my balcony uncovered. During the crossing there were no problems. For the Barcelona to Barcelona segment it was dangerous to be on the balcony. During this segment my balcony often was hit with discarded cigarettes, bread and other food, broken drink cups, used tissues and one wash cloth. Departing each port people forward were feeding the gulls. In addition to the trash and garbage from above, the bird droppings discouraged use of the balcony. What used to be free tours of ship areas, now have a tour fee. Consulting with a physician in Medical has a fee of $149. Medications and treatments are additional expenses. Older passengers with a long history of cruising were complaining about price increases - what used to be $5 became $10 and now it is $20. On the good side: Each morning there were more than one station offering eggs to order. There were pasta stations blending choice of sauces and types of pasta noodles. During the morning crew would circulate among the tables with coffee and hot water pots. The menu for the main dining rooms changed a little everyday - some items were available every day and always there was something new. There was variety in the free entertainment. Song & dance, comedy, magic and a hypnotist. Even though it was an adult crowd there was a comedy presentation without socially unacceptable words and no sexual innuendos. I have no complaints about the "wave" design of the cabins. But, I prefer the layout with the bed next to the balcony door. We use the couch as a drop zone upon return and a staging/preparation area before leaving the cabin. It is a lot easier than having the bed between the door and the couch. Also, any splashing from the sink hits the floor and not the edge of the bed. Some details of needed information and unique situations have to be done face-to-face or by telephone. Use as much of the computer world tools as possible for everything else. Embarking goes better if you prepared on-line at home (bag tags, boarding documents, travel vouchers). You still stand in line in the terminal but if paperwork was done before arrival, you keep moving toward the ship. The Epic has interactive TV for things such as show reservations and room service pizza. Room service breakfast still used the "card on the door handle" method. In my opinion Wi-Fi is too expensive because it is too slow. There are apps for your mobile unit that allow some interactions about services on the ship - and text with other passengers (ask about which actions have fees). The tours were typical. Too many cruise ships in port depositing too many people onto 50 passenger busses going to the same places. One guide with a weak voice lecturing 48 tourist strung out single file. Fortunately tours are including free time and some guides are agreeable to be abandoned as long as everyone is back on the bus when it is time to leave (or agree to check-in periodically along the guides intended walking route). With on-line tools it is easy to do research; to price shop locals against ship rates; to be selective about where to go and what to experience. The bad news is that as an independent you still have to work around the cruise ship crowds - get to your destination before the tour busses arrive and then you have to hurry to stay ahead of them. Specific to this spring crossing of the Atlantic Ocean: Weather predictions can be unreliable. I had just-in-case clothing. Most mornings after sunrise was low to mid 60sF. Mid-days were mid 60sF to mid 70sF. Most days there was a breeze - lots of people in shorts, T-shirts and bathing suits on the sun decks. People sitting in the shade reading or sleeping usually had a light jacket; some were covered in a blanket. One day the seas were about 11 feet, but the Epic was stable with little roll - nothing falling off tables or shelves. All the other days the seas were 1 to 5 feet and the Epic, to me, had not apparent roll. Average speed during the daytime I estimate to be about 20 knots. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015

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