This was our fifth cruise with the MSC company. We have done the MSC Divina and the MSC Poesia twice. We chose this cruise for the itinerary, especially the night in Cuba. The cruise is a smaller ship with about 2500 cruisers. We liked ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with the MSC company. We have done the MSC Divina and the MSC Poesia twice. We chose this cruise for the itinerary, especially the night in Cuba. The cruise is a smaller ship with about 2500 cruisers. We liked that, because you would run into the same people over the week and it never felt crowded on the ship. Also, the embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze due to the size. We had no wait whatsoever. The ship is decorated very modern with many lounges and seating all over the ship. Since our cruise was a December cruise, every lounge, dining area, etc. had a beautiful Christmas tree. The ship was decorated very festive for the season. Because the ship is older, there is no large atrium in the middle of the ship with the glass elevators. Who needs that, anyway? One area that we really liked was the pool area. It was spread out with the pool, hot tubs, great splash area for younger ones that was enclosed. Plenty of pool seating around the outside decks and the entertainment crew always had something fun going on to get the crowd active.
Our room was a balcony view located on the ninth floor (room 9143). The location was convenient to everything. We loved our cabin. My daughter (12 years old) had a bunk-bed at the end of our king bed. From the king bed, you could see the water easily. I loved being able to read in bed and see the water. It was very relaxing. Our cabin attendant (B) was very sweet, thorough and kept our room really clean.
We had the anytime dining and usually arrived at our same table around 7:00. The food was excellent and our wait staff was very attentive and accommodating. We sat at the same table all week next to a really sweet couple from Switzerland. We ate a few times at the buffet, which had many options to chose from at breakfast and lunch. We also had lunch in the dining room a few days. The food was excellent!
The shows were phenomenal! The entertainers were really talented and put on a great show. Due to the size of the ship, they do have you reserve the seats in advance. They have big screens located throughout the ship, you scan your ship card and reserve a spot.
Two of our favorite shows was "The Adams Family" and "French Follies". Overall, great shows with singing, dancing, and various performers. The entertainment crew (Graham, Kaitlan, Gary) on this ship worked really hard to make sure that everyone had a great time. They have a flower power night, white night and many other events that were fantastic.
We loved all of our ports (Grand Caymen, Conzumel, and Cuba), except for Montego Bay. We had been to Montego Bay on the MSC Poesia about 8 years earlier and it was vibrant and happening. The port now has all the shops closed and to do shopping you go on a shuttle a long way through the city that is littered with trash. The shopping is past the airport in the resort area that is cleaned up. We walked through the shopping area in a bout 10 minutes and chose to go back on the shuttle to our ship. One reason for this was because our driver was so entertaining on the way there, so we figured we should ride back with him. We picked up some people that had gone to the beach and they were not impressed. Maybe the people that went on the excursions had a different experience and a good time in Montego Bay.
The highlight for us was Havana, Cuba. We did the walking/bus tour on the first day. Our tour took us through the four squares. Our guide was very knowledgeable and informative. He loved his city. One interesting highlight was an exact replica of Cuba in miniature that we were able to see. We also visited a cigar/ coffee store. The bus tour took us to Plaza de la Revolucion (Square of Revolution). Where we boarded the bus was also a spot where all the classic cars are parked. What a trip to see so many brightly painted cars from the 1950's. The tour was about seven hours. The next day, we did the classic car tour. WOW!!!! I would highly recommend this tour. We were in a 1952 Chevy with the original paint and many other car parts! Our driver was really personable and shared pictures of his daughter, wife, home, and dog. We went to a really cool artsy area with neat bars and restaurants. The ride ended with a visit to the Floridita Bar which included a free pina colada. What a great place! Crowded but fun and the absolute best pina colada ever. There is a nice statue of Hemingway at the end of the bar, apparently, that was one of his favorite bars. Also, one of the most art-deco buildings is located a block from the bar. The old Bacardi building is amazing. At the top, is the Bacardi bat, with such great architecture. The one tour that we really wanted to do was the dance/nightclub performance. Due to my daughter's age, we could not participate. The minimum age is 18. It actually worked out fine, because MSC brought on the ship a great Cuban band and a dance performance that was first rate and very entertaining. We loved the show! It was nice to be sitting on the ship in Cuba watching a Cuban band perform and then to see an amazing dance performance.
Lastly, Captain Scala was amazing. He spoke about 15 different languages. He made sure to welcome all nationalities to the ship on the first night of the show. He also walks around the ship and talks to the cruisers. Both days when we returned from Cuba, he was there to greet the passengers and ask about their adventures in Cuba. We actually had the privilege to sail with him on the Divina both times. On the last night, he speaks to the guests and does a top ten that is really entertaining. Read Less