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Sail Date: February 2013
The MSC Divina is a beautiful, new cruise ship. Our balcony cabin was very well appointed and appeared spacious, the best of our 8 cruises. The wait, room & reception staffs were courteous and knowledgeable. All the entertainment/shows ... Read More
The MSC Divina is a beautiful, new cruise ship. Our balcony cabin was very well appointed and appeared spacious, the best of our 8 cruises. The wait, room & reception staffs were courteous and knowledgeable. All the entertainment/shows on the ship were top shelf, many with a classical slant. The excursions were well done, without exception, and included Casablanca, Morocco; Tenerife, Canary Islands (our favorite); Funchal, Portugal; Malaga, Spain; Rome and Genoa, Italy. There were reasons this cruise was less inexpensive than Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian cruise lines. 1. The food at lunch and dinner in the dining room was, at best, mediocre. 2. The cafeteria breakfast was crowded; had a shortages of plates, silverware or napkins; and juices offered only one morning. 3. Drinks of any sort, aside from coffee and tea at breakfast, were at additional cost, that incudes water. 4. We like coffee after our evening meal. It isn't served and was ordered from a bar/cafe arriving, inevitably, lukewarm. 4. The ship boards at every port. Over 800 boarded at Barcelona, about the same number at Genoa and hundreds at Rome. After every port departure the newbies toured the ship and swamped the common areas. 5. Reception told us there were about 200 passengers with English as their 1st language. If not with a group this can be a lonely journey. If you are from North America we would suggest Royal Caribbean or Norwegian. Well worth the added cost. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
Booked this our 2nd cruise with MSC for the itinerary & price .Did our own flights & transfers flew into sharm el sheik airport and was soon watching a lovely sunset as we were driven to the port. ... Read More
Booked this our 2nd cruise with MSC for the itinerary & price .Did our own flights & transfers flew into sharm el sheik airport and was soon watching a lovely sunset as we were driven to the port. Check in was quick and was handed a red card with our cruise card to give in at life boat drill later that evening.We were soon on board our luggage arrived in our cabin 10mins after we did The armonia is not a wow ship but it is spacious & comfortable with 2 surprising large swimming pools (for a cruise ship) our inside cabin was spacious with a good size bathroom everything in good working order spotlessly clean as was all the ship something we found before on MSC .Had 2nd sitting in mdr (9.30) like to eat earlier so had all our meals in the buffet found plenty of choice only small criticism dinner was a little predicable but did not have a bad meal especially enjoyed the fresh cooked pasta available every lunch time. Shows in the theatre were enjoyable but not spectacular apart from the special acts which were amazing. We booked 2 excursions in egypt luxor/vally of the kings/felucca sailing and Gizah & Sakkara both long days but well planned with very knowledgeable guides plenty of time to see all the sites found both amazing the drive along the banks of the nile was like stepping back in time . Also did the Timna pack & underwater observatory spectacular scenery in the park but thought observatory over rated . To our big disappointment petra was a no go due to heavy snow in the mountains did shuttle bus to aqaba but found not a lot there . Back to sharm el sheik caught the shuttle bus to naama bay enjoyed our last day strolling & shopping in the sun. TO SUM UP really enjoyed our 2nd MSC cruise it is Italian cruising but if you are open to that you will also enjoy it .We love it already booked another MSC cruise later in the year counting down the days Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
Just had a fantastic cruise on MSC Divina, my 14th cruise. Been with many other cruise lines but this was my first MSC - hopefully will not be my last. Very well organised embarkation in Venice and very satisfied with inside cabin. We ... Read More
Just had a fantastic cruise on MSC Divina, my 14th cruise. Been with many other cruise lines but this was my first MSC - hopefully will not be my last. Very well organised embarkation in Venice and very satisfied with inside cabin. We always pay for cheapest cabin but it had a large king+ bed (2 singles together) and was very comfortable. Few things I noticed this line did not do - no towel animals, no chocolates, very little information available about the port you are visiting, no free water with evening meal or tea/coffee. We paid for an all inclusive package on board and easily spend well over the cost of this. The package we took was 23 euros per day per person a total of 322 euros - we spent 610 euros (yes we did enjoy the sparkling wine and cocktails, but also bought teas and coffees). Beware though they add an extra 15% service charge to this amount taking it up to 370.30 euros - they did not tell us this and when we complained about the extra service charge the receptionist misunderstood and removed the full service charge of 7 euros per person per day from our account!!. I jotted down the cost of drinks for you to know before you go, (all in euros)cocktails average 6.25, large draft beer 4.90, small 2.90, wine 5.50, cappuccino 2.00, coffee with milk 1.60, 33cl coke, fanta, lemonade etc 2.70. Even if you are all inclusive some drinks you still have to pay for these include Jack Daniels and coke 7.75, and strongbow 5.50 - ALL PLUS 15% SERVICE CHARGE. I would definitely recommend taking out a drinks package. Only trip we paid for was Olympia which was great and Venice on last day. Paid for bus into Bari and you could have walked to castle and historic area. In Izmir paid 50 euros for a taxi to take us to Agora, the castle and a mosque. Istanbul we paid 10 euros for a taxi to take us to historic square BUT BEWARE no taxis around square he dropped us off in a quiet street away and when we needed to get back to ship could not find a taxi ANYWHERE. Left it late and had to run through streets desperately trying to find a taxi, eventually did and he totally ripped us off 40 euros to get back to ship and we must have run half way there. Dubrovnik we used ship transfer bus and had a wonderful visit. Lovely hard working staff, great shows which I loved. English was often the first language spoken which surprised me and I understood everything had to be translated into 4 or 5 other languages. Wonderful tenor on board and great acrobats. Some small negatives - Europeans on ship do not queue and push in front of you not matter how patiently you have been queuing - this was to get on/off ship or buy bus tickets. More children than other cruises I have been on but they did not really bother us you can find places to sit away from them. Have to buy tea and coffee apart from buffet area. Same food every dinner time in buffet area as a vegetarian I had chips, pizza and salad every day. Evening meal not best food we ever had if you are a vegetarian get used to egg plant and even as a meat eater my husband said the other cruise lines were better BUT we were full and the soup and salad courses help fill you up. To summarise we had a wonderful cruise, brilliant itinerary, also understood because of distance not full days in port. Would recommend MSC and Divina is big and beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
Just returned from a weeks cruise on the msc fantasia, where to start after reading so many poor reviews I thought I should try and help others who are going to cruise with msc or is just about to book. Firstly the ship is absolutely ... Read More
Just returned from a weeks cruise on the msc fantasia, where to start after reading so many poor reviews I thought I should try and help others who are going to cruise with msc or is just about to book. Firstly the ship is absolutely brilliant , spotless beautiful and well kept .The staff in general are really nice but you do come across the odd moody one mostly the Romanians for some reason, after numerous conversations with waiters I found out that they do not have any days off and work for a 9 month period ( shame on you MSC no wonder they walk around like zombies, you try working an 11 hour shift every day for 9months). FOOD Overall no great shakes the main two dinning rooms are the worst they have no idea of fine dinning and the waiter runs around trying to get everything done. The food is hitty missy some is good some is dreadful , it is never consistent. I was with Royal Caribbean and they are hands down the best I have had.Next if you are on the first sitting which is 7.00 pm then they usher you out at about 9.00pm for the next sitting which starts about 9.00pm, the first sitting should be earlier to allow the staff more time.. The buffet at dinner time is reasonable and you can usually find something to eat look out for the ethnic area you often get the best food their. It is really busy and the Italians pile theie plates high ( worse than the brits LOL ) . In the evening there is no ethnic area food so the choice isnt as good but still okay. For some reason the food is at its best just over warm neve red hot. Breakfast is reasonable plenty of choice but sadly no fresh cooking like on Royal Carribean their omlettes were to die for.Do's and Dont's First day on board go to the meeting you will get the offer of three excursions which are good value three for £90.00 . Its hard to beat this price even doing it yourself and they were good we did the Aix En Provence, Genoa and Tunisia shopping and history. DRINK For some reason the Brits and Irish can book an all inclusive drinks package before you go ,there is two called the Algrisimo one is £150.00 pp and the other is £250.00pp No kidding we had the £250.00 pp which allows you to use your mini fridge we emptied it daily LOL , also you can drink all the top Brandy's and whiskies plus the cocktails and you can have tea and coffee from the bars free as well. The Piazza ice creams and cakes are free with that one too. At the end of the holiday we had spent over a thousand euros so the £500.00 we paid was well worth it. You get the water free and bottles of wine in the main two restaurants and by the glass everywhere else.Yes beware the bottled water will cost you a small fortune. Overall the ship is great the food is poor the staff are great ,the passengers okay apart from the Rusians ,the Germans dont know how to queue. I would go again for the price Id paid. Oh and the balcony cabin I was upgraded to was fab. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Just returned this afternoon from a 10 day New England/Canada cruise with MSC: The ship is beautiful & clean, the food was good. This was only our second cruise but the comparisons between Princess and MSC were glaring. #1] This ... Read More
Just returned this afternoon from a 10 day New England/Canada cruise with MSC: The ship is beautiful & clean, the food was good. This was only our second cruise but the comparisons between Princess and MSC were glaring. #1] This was a European line, each time an announcement was made it was made in 5 different languages (tedious to say the least) #2] In ten days we (party of 4) did not speak with one staff person who had English as their first language. It was almost comical in the dining room. #3] Breakfast in the dining room was awful and we ended up eating at the buffet each morning (Breakfast in the Princess dining room was luxurious). #4] Upon leaving our 3rd port (Quebec) we ran into an awful storm in the North Atlantic and our Halifax stop was cancelled. Okay you can't control the weather we understood this, though very disappointed, but there was NOT one concession made for that part of our itinerary being missed. NOTHING. How about a complimentary glass of wine that night? They had our $$$, we were very disappointed. Due to this storm we sailed from Monday night to Friday morning with no stops and no extra activities were offered. Really?. Tedious. #5] Cabins were nice, smaller than Princess, the pillows were awful I have stayed in Motel 8's where I've had better pillows. They were made from chunks of foam rubber stuck in a case. #6] Embarkation for excursions were so disorganized it was a wonder anyone got to where they wanted. Poor communication. Hurry up and wait. #7] Our cabin was kept spotless. Kudo's to the room stewards. #8] Guides on our port excursions were wonderful. #9] Final embarkation in NYC was so disorganized and folks so on edge we saw two fights!!! We picked this cruise because it went round trip started in NYC ended in NYC and this meant we didn't have to fly. Sorry MSC probably will not be cruising with you again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
When we booked this cruise we were flying from Gatwick to Genoa, about 20 minutes transfer from the port. This was one of the deciding factors when picking this cruise as long transfers are really difficult for me. However, 9 days before ... Read More
When we booked this cruise we were flying from Gatwick to Genoa, about 20 minutes transfer from the port. This was one of the deciding factors when picking this cruise as long transfers are really difficult for me. However, 9 days before we travelled we got the tickets and were informed that we were now flying from Heathrow into Milan Malpensa airport - 2.5 hours transfer time to the port. Need less to say we were not impressed! It is important to point out that we booked through Virgin Cruises, so it is not clear who was responsible for the fact that we only discovered the change 9 days before we sailed. However, the change was still unacceptable. Anyway, when we arived at Milan airport we were met by the MSC rep (very friendly) who informaed us that we would have an hour wait before we left as we were waiting for another 2 people on a later flight. Finally we arrived at the port and were directed to the boat in a rather haphazard manner. We received our room cards and were informed that we would be eating in the second sitting, even though we had requested 1st sitting. We were told to sort this out with reception, which we duly did. One of the receptionist was quite rude and was very quick to point out that 'requests cannot be guaranteed'. Luckily another receptionis (Lucia) was very polite and said we should go and see the restaurant manager who would probably be able to change it for us. This we did and we were indeed changed to 1st sitting with no problems. This bodes the question why were we not given the sitting we requested to start with??? What a pointless waste of time for everyone! On the plus side, the food and service at dinner was excellent, with them very helpfully accomadating my gluten free requirements. Also the evening entertainment (although at times resembling a trip to Butlins), was very good, especially the shows in the Broadway Theatre. Also the room was much bigger and nicer than I expected, with a comfortable, large bed and lots of storage space (including a safe and lots of hanging space). There was also a hairdryer, which was v handy. Unfortunately the staff at breakfast were not so friendly, in fact pretty indifferent I would say an the choice was a bit limited and got very boring by the end of the week. The 2 excursions we did were pretty good, although v expensive, and even coach transfers out of the port were very pricey. Just as we were beginning to think it wasn't too bad though, we got our instructions for leaving the boat on the last day. Essentially we were turfed off at 9:15am and transferred to the airport...even though our flight was not until 7pm. So, 7 hours in Milan Malpensa airport - what a marvellous end to the holiday!! Needless to say the good definitely did not out weight the bad on this trup so I would not travel with them again and I would discourage others from doing so either. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2011
We Arrived in New York 21st overnighted then Boarded next day Saturday. No Luggage labbles available/supplied until the Bus has arrived at the dock & we had waited over 20 minutes. Boarded the Poesia & escorted to our Cabin on ... Read More
We Arrived in New York 21st overnighted then Boarded next day Saturday. No Luggage labbles available/supplied until the Bus has arrived at the dock & we had waited over 20 minutes. Boarded the Poesia & escorted to our Cabin on Deck 12 (Balcony). First couple of days experience "passable" but the continual 5 languages begun to annoy. ENGLISH (1748 english speaking passengers)LATIN(OK it is a Latin Ship) GERMAN ( I know that most Greman schools teach German as a second language)FRENCH & SPANISH. The Impression we obtained (along with numerous other passengers was that ANNA (Cruise Director) liked the sound of her voice & desired to show how clever she is. Food, passable but SO REPERTICOUS absoluteley no variation to Breakfast & lunch in the Buffett Diner poorly cooked presented & the variety appalling. Crusie Shows NO LIVE BAND IN THE THRETER; no intrduction of the EXCELLENT PERFORMERS. On the final night supposed to be HIGHTLIGHTS OF THE CRUISE not one singer no dancing no crowd involvement ect ect ect. Tours good but very much over priced $98 each to see the town & canal we did it by Taxi $25 each WHY THE ENNORMOUS PRICE HIKE. Staff distant did NOT show ANY Hospitality to Passengers & seemed to be allocated one task,ie pick up dirty plates that is ALL I DO do not suggest I should pick up dirty glasses. Service Charge "NOT NEGOTIABLE" $12/day/passenger. If Passengers chose to "tip" individual Staff can"happen" but the service charge WILL NOT BE REMOVED UNTIL AFTER CLOSE OF BUSINESS LAST NIGHT. 0545 morning of arrival over 250 lined up trying to sort out Service Charge ect. Why can not the accounts be closed say 8.00pm last night & the ability be given to sort out questions during the last night. MANY OTHER CRUISE LINES OPERATE THIS WAY; no it seems to be TOOO HARD FOR MSC besides THIS IS THE WAY MSC OPERATES PASSENGERS DO AS WE SAY. It almost seems in good Faulty Towers style: MSC would run a very happy contented problem free cruise if it was PASSENGER FREE. & believe me my family will contribute to making MSC PASSENGER FREE. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
We have just arrived back from MSC Armonia Adriatic Cruise (Venice - Ancona - Corfu - Santorini - Piraeus (Athens) - Argostoli (Kefalonia) - Kotor - Venice) and absolutely loved it! We booked this cruise because of the itinerary and after ... Read More
We have just arrived back from MSC Armonia Adriatic Cruise (Venice - Ancona - Corfu - Santorini - Piraeus (Athens) - Argostoli (Kefalonia) - Kotor - Venice) and absolutely loved it! We booked this cruise because of the itinerary and after reading some of the reviews on the Armonia we were wondering whether we had made a massive mistake however, we enjoyed every minute. The staff were helpful and friendly, the ship was pristine, the food was fantastic and the entertainment was fabulous (and mostly in English)! We arrived in Venice Marco Polo Airport and greeted by an MSC rep who showed us to the MSC information desk. We were quickly transferred to a coach and taken straight to the cruise terminal. Check in was extremely organised and easy. Each party was given a boarding number our number was 4 and we were on the ship within half an hour of boarding starting. When we boarded we were escorted to our room which was an ocean view outside room with a large window (only the suites on the Armonia have balconies). The room was comfortable with a double bed, dressing table, mini bar and T.V. There was plenty of wardrobe space and hangers for all of your clothes. All rooms were cleaned, tidied and towels changed twice a day with a turn down service at night. The food in the formal restaurants was fabulous. The only little thing was that there was not 24 hour food available - for example lunch finished at 2 p.m. and there was no food until afternoon tea at 4 p.m. Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and midnight buffet was served every day. The buffet restaurant was a bit disappointing and could get very crowded during mealtimes but we just went to the formal restaurants for breakfast and lunch instead. The Grill and Pizzeria/Pasta bar were also very good but again could get crowded during peak times1 We were on the second sitting (9.15 p.m) for dinner. After thinking that this might be a bit late we were grateful for the later sitting as it was nice to take your time getting sorted after a spot of sightseeing! Everyone was given a formal restaurant to attend for dinner (if wanted) we were given 'La Pergola'. Each night a six course meal was served with about 3 choices for each course although you didn't have to choose all six courses! Drinks were reasonable at about 2.70 euro for a soda, 6.50 euro for a cocktail, 4 euro for a large beer and 7 euro for a carafe of wine - remember the 15% service charge on each drink! Drinks packages were offered throughout the cruise and we decided to get the cocktail package which gave us 12 cocktail drinks for around 66 euros. Each evening you were given the 'suggested dress' for the next evening on the daily programme. This ranged from casual (men - sports shirt, trousers, jeans women - dress, pant suit), informal (men - jacket and trousers no jeans women - informal dress or pants and blouse, gala (men - tuxedo, dinner jacket or dark suit and tie women - dressy outfit, cocktail dress, formal gown). Generally people dressed up for the two gala nights men mainly wearing suits, shirts and ties and women long dresses, heels. MSC Armonia is one of the smaller ships within the fleet however, the facilities on board were good. The spa and gym could get very crowded during sailing times as could the swimming pool. We went during the school summer holidays (August) and there were plenty of children about! However, they were not a nuisance and we sunbathed away from the swimming pool area on the deck above to avoid the noise. There were plenty of sunbeds and towels were provided for use outside. Ports of Call Ancona - easy walking distance to the main town from the cruise terminal - a main shopping street with a fantastic food and clothes market - cathedral which is worth a visit. Corfu - about 20 min walk to the Old Town for the port which was very well signposted - MSC offered a 15 euro per person bus service to the town however the walk along the seafront was lovely - visit the old fort but be aware on a Sunday it closes at 3ish. Santorini - our best destination - gorgeous setting - great photos! After much research on the internet we were a little unsure about how to get around Santorini. We read reviews that the buses were sometimes irregular so we decided to book an MSC excursion to Fira and Oia which also included a visit to a winery. We were really glad for the excursion as it was nice to be taken around and told lots of interesting facts! The ship docks in the ocean therefore you are taken on a tender boat to the port area. As we were on an excursion we were taken to the old port but if you decided not to get an excursion you are taken to the Fira port were you can ride a donkey or get the cable car up to Fira town. We got the cable car down to the port area - no queue at all to get on board and there were 3 ships in dock at the time! We returned to the ship to watch the sunset it was gorgeous! Piraeus (Athens) - very very very hot!!! We walked to the metro station from the cruise terminal about a 20/30 minute walk. The metro was OK to find but no signs to help - look out for the pedestrian bridge about gate number E6 cross over the pedestrian bridge from the port side. A day pass was 3euro and could be used as much as you wanted over a 24 hour period. Make sure you validate your train ticket on your first trip or else you could land a 90euro fine. We went on the metro to the Acropoli station and the Acropolis was a 5 min walk from there. Make sure you visit the Acropolis as early as possible to avoid the crowds. The Acropolis was 12 euro to enter but this ticket price also allowed you to visit other sites such as the Temple of Zeus. We arrived at about 8.30 am and it was great however by 9.30 the excursions started to arrive... it was chaos! We also visited the new Acropolis museum which was fascinating only 5 euro - lots of artefacts and glass flooring were you could see down into the buildings and areas which they had found. Argostoli (Kefalonia) - easy walk into the town - lovely sea front walk - beautiful town - enjoyed wandering around the streets and seafront! Kotor - easy walk into the walled old town - again enjoyed exploring the old town and getting lost within the alleyways! Venice - disembarkment day - all had to be out of rooms at 7.00 am - given coloured baggage tags to attach to your suitcases - each colour related to a time for disembarkment and transfer to the airport - times were booked based on your flight times - everyone was off ship by 11.30 am ish but transferred to the airport at 3 pm. Long day!! We decided to go on a MSC excursion to Venice as our flight wasn't until 5.40 p.m. MSC took care of our bags at no extra cost - without the excursion the port will charge 5-7 euro per bag. We were transferred to St Marks Square without any fuss by boat and allowed to explore at our leisure. Venice is a very easy city to walk around we visited Rialto bridge and walked along the Grand canal. Overall a very enjoyable holiday - we will definitely sail MSC again! Read Less
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