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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We were talked into going on this cruise by my sister in law as it seemed to be excellent value and a good way to see some great european sights. we are first time cruisers and were a little apprehensive especially after reading some of ... Read More
We were talked into going on this cruise by my sister in law as it seemed to be excellent value and a good way to see some great european sights. we are first time cruisers and were a little apprehensive especially after reading some of the reviews.however after a very smooth and easy embarkation we went to our balcony cabin on deck 11 Meraviglia well appointed and clean. We dined in the Red Velvet restaurant most nights where our table server Kowmang from Bali kept us amused and looked after us very well indeed. As some reviews have said portions are not huge but after 3 courses you are full and can always make a trip to the Zanzibar buffet for a pizza and beer supper. As regards the drink packages we just paid as we went and found it reasonable value for money. The entertainment was fun especially the wonderland and queen tribute shows {Freddie Mercury sounded great with an Italian accent} Service overall was good and the shore excursions well organized, the few complaints were mainly passengers who didn't listen to the guides and ran late!! We are beyond the child raising years but from what we saw the kids had a great time especially for halloween. Disembarkation was again slick and easy, If you want to go on a very european cruise I reccomend MSC. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first cruise, so although I have nothing to compare it to, I did expect a bit better. The first problem we encountered was a note in our stateroom saying the excursion we had booked for the following day was cancelled due ... Read More
This was our first cruise, so although I have nothing to compare it to, I did expect a bit better. The first problem we encountered was a note in our stateroom saying the excursion we had booked for the following day was cancelled due to lack of take-up. I had until 23:00 p,m, to book something else. Not very helpful when you don't embark until 23:45 p.m. so to late to re-book. The stateroom (8203) was spacious with a large comfy bed. The bathroom was adequate but the shower curtain was a pain, as it kept sticking to your legs. The maid attended twice a day, making up the room in the morning and preparing the bed in the evening. With fresh towels left on both visits. Our meal time was changed from 20:30 to 21:30 (a bit too late). The restaurant service was very slow. Our waiter seemed to be serving several tables whilst the rest of the waiters swarmed around the Italians seated in the corner. The meals were of average quality, but not very filling. I left the restaurant on the two occasions we used it still feeling hungry. There was quite a variety of food available in the buffet, but most of the "hot" food was barley warm. The hamburger bar and pizzeria were the best places to eat. The crew were all friendly and helpful. This was spoiled by pushy European travellers who thought there needs must be met before anyone else's, I will not let this put me off booking another cruise, but it won't be with MSC next time. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
...no lie, we both caught the cruise bug! This was our first cruise and we're hooked! The whole adventure was memorable and we can't help but tell everyone how extraordinary the experience was. The embarkation process went smoothly ... Read More
...no lie, we both caught the cruise bug! This was our first cruise and we're hooked! The whole adventure was memorable and we can't help but tell everyone how extraordinary the experience was. The embarkation process went smoothly especially considering there were 4,000 guests to board.The excited anticipation of the cruisers and the well-executed organization of the MSC staff made for a pleasant and seamless boarding. Entering the ship we were welcomed by the stunning crystal staircase and lovely live piano music. Before searching out our cabin, we wandered around just a bit to get a feel for what we were in for. We were not disappointed. The Davina was clean, maps were abundant, and even with thousands of guests, we were able to move about comfortably and with minimal wait time. The cabin was roomy and spotless and throughout the cruise the wonderfully efficient crew kept it clean, stocked, and orderly. We called them our elves and we joked about how they seemed to know when we were out so they could slip in and clean up multiple times a day. Having a balcony room was a plus as we loved relaxing out there at all hours of day or night. The 24-hour buffet of food... oh my! What a treat. We enjoyed the everyday foods like pizza, hamburgers and salads, but also looked forward to the daily specials where we found interesting items like eggplant lasagna and lemon chicken and a variety of fish plates. We love salad and fruit and found the melons especially to be wonderfully ripe and tasty. And who could deny the many desserts?! We could never choose just one. We especially liked the international crew. These people are hard working, friendly, helpful and pleasant.There wasn't a lazy person seen. What a joy they were to be around! Being our first cruise, we didn't take in any excursions, although we were immediately approached in Nassau and agreed to take a tour. The driver had a lot of great information and stories. We would have never seen nor learned as much on our own. The stop at Half Moon Cay was beautiful and at 57 years old I finally learned how to float! Looks like we'll need to schedule another cruise so I can learn to swim. (Our only disappointment was the internet. My husband was in the midst of online classes for his masters and the connection was incredibly slow making it a bit stressful getting assignments turned in on time.) Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Hubby and I booked Divina as first-timers, and we almost didn't. What a MISTAKE it would have been to miss out on this. First, it is important to read the literature and know your options. The buffet around the pool serves a lot of ... Read More
Hubby and I booked Divina as first-timers, and we almost didn't. What a MISTAKE it would have been to miss out on this. First, it is important to read the literature and know your options. The buffet around the pool serves a lot of pool/grill food on disembarkation day and day two, so if you want primo selection, don't eat there. We ate in the Galaxy Restaurant, the Black Crab, the Eataly Steakhouse and the Sports Bar. In all cases, I was thoroughly satisfied. We reserved the buffet for our last early morning breakfast (6 a.m. on disembarkation day). It wasn't crowded, and the selection was decent. Excursion opportunities abound. We didn't take any because we were thoroughly engaged in activities on the ship, but if you pay ahead you can load your vacation with all kinds of pre-planned trips in your port cities. The Aurea Spa is fabulous. We scheduled a couples' massage and didn't have to suffer long lines or wait times to enjoy an excellent Balinese session (30 minutes) for only $49 each on disembarkation day. It is important to read the daily schedule for daily sales on various amenities. And the gelato... gelato is everywhere. I didn't bother looking in the buffet area for ice cream since there is a gelato bar near the pool on deck 14. It is heavenly. I understand that cruisers who have taken 20 or more cruises will find many faults with this ship: it is smaller, newer and new to the USA. Also, this is not the ship for you if you don't like foreign people; there are 37 nationalities onboard and most print literature is in five or more languages. But, if you are a person of the world who enjoys talking with people from many cultures and engaging in multilingual, cross-ethnic conversation with other cruisers, this is the ship for you. Finally, it will be very hard to beat the price. ;) Right now there is a 7-day going for $429, double occupancy. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
this was the first cruise we took , that too after so many apprehensions that we may end up managing the motion sickness issue of mine and my daughter , but to our surprise both had no issue of nausea etc . at all . we stayed for one ... Read More
this was the first cruise we took , that too after so many apprehensions that we may end up managing the motion sickness issue of mine and my daughter , but to our surprise both had no issue of nausea etc . at all . we stayed for one day prior to embarkation in venice just to explore this beautiful city we heard that embarkation takes hours but it was not crowded at all i have concluded the following do's and don'ts 1. reach the embarkation city one day prior as it ease out your boarding plans like reaching in time ( in my case four hours from the departure of the ship ) hence you don't have to face crowd 2. choose aurea package ( cabin with balcony ) as it gives you - priority boarding ,unlimited drinks on board , free access to thermal area which is worth going every day , complimentary massage which is average in quality and preferred dining 3. don't take excursions from the ship as they are double the cost of the one sold at the dock and it's the same excursion ( we had the following ports - bari,santorini,katakolom,corfu, piraous and kotor 4. always keep one black and one white formal dress for two formal dinners given at the ship .if possible keep one floral dress as well 5. don't miss the entertainment shows - it is done twice 7;15 pm and 9:15 pm 6. no need to keep snacks etc in you luggage for emergency as they run one restaurant 20 hrs / day with free access to all unlimited times with lot of things on buffet 7. prefer higher decks . ours was 12th deck which i found the best 8. shopping on board - watches , wine and jewellery is worth a buy ,plan it 9. for indians there is nothing much as far as food is concerned but can have it in preferred dining , we personally were not satisfied with the food served to us in the name of veg indian dinner 10. rooms have one big double bed , one bunk bed and one sofa cum bed thus four beds in total , good enough for a family of four 11. the problem comes in disembarkation though its not so for the european guests as they dont have to submit their passports as passports collection takes hell lot of time . 12. plan one small suitcase for last day clothes as your main luggage will be taken on the previous night by the ship authority for scanning and it will be lying at the port when you disembark 13. carry umbrella /raincoat as orchestra doesn't supply the same ( other cruise lines might be doing ) 14. don't take wi fi package ( though its not expensive - 19 euro for basic surfing for the whole duration of cruising ) i will definitely cruise again on some other destination for sure thank you msc orchestra Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This cruise was our first for our 25th wedding anniversary and I must say we thoroughly enjoyed it. In general I felt it was like a 5 star hotel as the cabin was fantastic and the cabin steward done such a fantastic job of looking after ... Read More
This cruise was our first for our 25th wedding anniversary and I must say we thoroughly enjoyed it. In general I felt it was like a 5 star hotel as the cabin was fantastic and the cabin steward done such a fantastic job of looking after our room, I wanted to take hi home with me! The ship itself is beautiful, my only complaint was I kept getting lost but I have no sense of direction so that's my fault. The food was in general good my only real complaint here was that I felt the buffet food wasn't very warm and maybe once in the Red Velvet restaurant. I would advise to stay clear of the sports bar for food as our experience there was awful and remember even if you are all inclusive you have to pay for food in this bar and honestly it was disgusting it was one of the worst meals I have ever had, so best avoid this place. we only attended one of the shows which had singers on it was ok but didn't tempt me to go back the next night. the come dancing type competition in the Isolito bar on the 7th floor ( I think that's what it was called) was great and we had a fair good many nights in there with the female singer and her band. Embarkation and disembarkation was fine as far as I was concerned but as this was my first time I have nothing to compare with. a few people were moaning a bit about this but I really didn't think it was that bad. All in all I loved it and I will return on another cruise Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this cruise as we were unsure if we would like cruising at all. It was an excellent price. Embarkation couldn't have been easier- even with a wheelchair. Luggage was waiting at our cabin when we arrived. I can't think of any ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we were unsure if we would like cruising at all. It was an excellent price. Embarkation couldn't have been easier- even with a wheelchair. Luggage was waiting at our cabin when we arrived. I can't think of any aspect that we were disappointed with, in fact, we both agreed that we could have gone round again. The cabins were spotless and comfortable. Food was good, especially for the number of people being catered for. We didn't go on any of the organised shore excursions, opting to do our own thing. The ship was as we expected from images on the Internet. The service we received was very good, all the staff we came across were extremely attentive and polite. I couldn't fault the embarkation/disembarkation, as I said, with a wheelchair, the staff took the chair from my husband and either took me onto the ship or dock. This holiday was excellent and suited the needs of my husband and I. We didn't join in all the activities on board but, the entertainment was varied with something to suit all. We would certainly go again and are looking to book another cruise as I write. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was my first cruise, I wanted to visit Athens, Istanbul and Dubrovnick. Unfortunately the recent bombings in Turkey caused MSC to drop Istanbul from the itenary. MSC emailed and pledged 100 Euro on to the cabin account as ... Read More
This was my first cruise, I wanted to visit Athens, Istanbul and Dubrovnick. Unfortunately the recent bombings in Turkey caused MSC to drop Istanbul from the itenary. MSC emailed and pledged 100 Euro on to the cabin account as compensation. On the last day of the cruise this turned out to be 50 Euro per person, not what they pledged. Embarkation, disembarkation, was painfully slow, not because of the registration process but there seemed to be long delays waiting to process through security control. On-board was great, the "B2" cabin was definitely worth the upgrade and mostly the service was first class, although certainly fell short especially during my complaint when trying to sort problems. I dined in both Quattro Venti restaurant and oasis buffet and found both excellent dependent on which fitted into my routine. I bought the Allegrissimo drinks package during embarkation which became better value the more drinks, coffee and ice creams you consume. Happily there was so many things happening to keep me choosing entertainment. I did the ship excursion to Olympia which was ok but I felt it was not value for money therefore opted to go it alone from then on. I'm glad I did, there was no hassle and having freedom of choice once off the ship was great. I will definitely not book with MSC again as I did not enjoy the feeling of being a cash cow and do not think my experience was good value. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2016
we went for a cruise with msc orchestra to the French Antiles. We had a great time. The staff was verry friendly, they spoke french/ englisch/ spanisch/italian,.... The cabins were clean the beds confortable and the housekeeper was ... Read More
we went for a cruise with msc orchestra to the French Antiles. We had a great time. The staff was verry friendly, they spoke french/ englisch/ spanisch/italian,.... The cabins were clean the beds confortable and the housekeeper was verry helpfull with all we asked. The food was mostly average to good. we didn't expect more than we got. The shows where verry professional en entertaining. I don't understand what other revieuwers are nagging about! We took the alegrissio pack and I kept the receipts, we did more than a great deal! You can order drinks without thinking of the price Read Less
35 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our first cruise, and I have to say that I had some reservations about taking one. I didn’t know if I’d like being “trapped” on a ship, not able to go where I wanted, but after seven days on the MSC ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and I have to say that I had some reservations about taking one. I didn’t know if I’d like being “trapped” on a ship, not able to go where I wanted, but after seven days on the MSC Divina, I have to say that I was mostly impressed and had an enjoyable and relaxing vacation. Website / Customer Service (phone) – Our initial impression of MSC was with their website. We wanted to book a trip, but were unable since the website kept crashing. After several attempts, we just booked it through [a travel agency]. After booking the trip, we wanted to book a massage package. The wording on the MSC website was unclear and we had several questions. Calling customer service twice, the phone rang for over 20 minutes, and finally we just left our number for a callback. They did call back a few days later, but once again, a few days later, when we had another question, we did not want to go through this entire process once again. We also had trouble booking the massage package with the website, which kept crashing. Initial Impressions – We arrived an hour and a half before departure, and I’m not sure if we had arrived earlier if we would have received more information, but I found that we had a lot of questions that we just had to figure out ourselves. A simple packet with FAQ’s would have greatly helped answer questions like, “Where do we pick up our drink packages?”, “Where is our restaurant?”, and “How do we book our massages?” Customer Service Desk – Our questions led us to the customer service desk. It was packed and we had to wait in line. When it was finally our turn, the representative who was helping us had a little difficulty understanding our questions since English was not her first language. Eventually we had to find and track down the spa ourselves, and once again, when we arrived, they seemed a little confused about the spa package, which we booked from their website. I have to say, after all of this I began to question what we had gotten ourselves into, but mostly from that point on, things got much better. Food – Dinner was nice at the restaurant (Villa Rossa). It wasn’t five star, but it wasn’t horrible either. I could tell that they really tried to show a touch of elegance, especially for the amount of people they were serving. Fish, lamb, lobster, Italian food…appetizers, soup, entrees, dessert…it all seemed like they were really trying. There were even nights when they had special desserts like tiramisu. Buffets – The food, once again, was decent, especially for a buffet. They had a wide variety and served the main three meals a day. The only downside was the rush of people, who sometimes could be very rude, pushy, or who were sometimes clueless where they were walking or that they were blocking everyone else’s path. The buffets sometimes could be a very stressful experience on a vacation that was supposed to be relaxing. Vegetarian Options – There were several, and this was a pleasant surprise. Room Service – In our room, room service was free before 11:00 PM. Bars / Clubs – There were several options on the ship, and each offered a somewhat intimate feeling. From a sports bar, to a jazz bar, to a cigar bar, it seemed there was something for everyone, and a lot to find and explore on the ship. Sometimes the clubs could be crowded at night, but overall they were comfortable and had good service. Most of the clubs had “safe” entertainment which almost reminded me of a wedding reception. Children ran around and old people tapped their foot and smiled, while standard songs were played. Sometimes crew members would urge people to dance the YMCA and stuff like that. For me, it was nice, safe fun, but not so much my thing. Still, I didn’t find it boring either. I just enjoyed the attempt at keeping everyone entertained on a night at sea. Spa – Although we had a little confusion at first, and had to find the spa ourselves and book our appointments, everything after that was excellent. The crew was very courteous and professional. They handled our every need, and the massages…oh the massages! They were great. So relaxing! Ship Layout – It took us a while to figure out how to navigate the ship, but eventually we figured it out. Staff – The staff were great. They were pleasant and met our every need. The staff should be commended for their excellent service! What a great staff! Ports of Call – We went to Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico (Cozumel), and the Bahamas. I really liked this aspect of cruising. Go out during the day, come back to a dinner and a night out and the next day you are somewhere new. There were a few downsides for me. There were a few moments of anxiety when we didn’t know if we would make our ship (because of local transportation) but this is no fault of the cruise line. I would just suggest giving yourself a two hour cushion for arriving back at the ship. Another thing I didn’t like was how the locals treated the tourists. It seemed like everyone wanted to make a quick buck off of the tourists. In Jamaica, we stopped on a tour to talk to the “spice man” who gave us a five minute talk about various herbs on the island. Afterward he wanted twenty dollars. (yeah right!) Another example was an encounter at a cigar store. I didn’t have internet access, and they guy seemed friendly enough. He told me these cigars were “very nice” at twenty dollars apiece. Taking his word for it, I bought five, only to find out when I arrived at home, that they were five dollar cigars. I seemed to encounter this again and again, from liquor vendors to trinket salesmen. Still, besides some of the vendors, the islands themselves were very beautiful. I would just advise you to be aware of people constantly trying to rip you off. The Room – We had a balcony room, and I thought it was a nice size. It was about the size of some hotels I’ve been in, in New York and New Orleans. The room was nicely laid out and felt roomy for the size. There was even a sitting area, plus we had the balcony. The bathroom was economically laid out, but I felt it was a decent size for what I had to do. There was a TV, which had a few multicultural channels and a few from the United States. It wasn’t much, but who really wants to watch TV on vacation anyway? The Entertainment – There was a live show every night. Once again, I thought it was a “nice” touch, something to do after dinner, because who wants to watch TV on vacation. The shows featured singers and acrobats and had a Vegas / Broadway feel to them. All the singers seemed very well trained. Many of our dining companions really liked the shows, but they were not really our thing. Still, it was a nice option to have if we wanted to something to do, but there were other things to do besides the shows. The Casino – We went one night. The casino is relatively small and has an intimate feel to it. I doubt the slots pay hardly anything back, but the blackjack table had a five dollar minimum, which was nice for some light gambling. Shopping – There are a few duty-free shops and jewelry shops. It was nice to browse, but I think the prices were a little high. Passengers – The passengers are mostly European. For some people, this is a turn-off, but I really liked the variety. It had a nice, international feel, and I think offered a bit more sophistication than an American cruise would offer. Other Amenities – There was so much to discover on this ship. Every corner we turned, there would be a chocolate shop, espresso bar, limoncello bar, pizza place, or something unexpected. I felt that these were nice, little treats and made the experience more enjoyable. The best part is that the little extras were not outrageously priced. On Deck – Travel days (where we were at sea all day) the deck filled up quickly, as people marked their territory early to secure a chair for the day. Some people would be gone for hours at breakfast or wherever leaving the other passengers to constantly walk around looking for chairs. We got our chairs early, but once again, it seemed like a struggle for the others. Tips – I like MSC’s no tipping policy. Tips are included in your bill, so there is no awkward moment trying to figure out who you are supposed to tip and how much you give him. Overall – I really liked my cruise! Of course there were several things which I could criticize, but for me, the amount of luxury and individual attention that they give on the limited space of a ship with thousands of people was truly a feat, and clearly outweighed any negatives I encountered. The staff was great, and my cruise was both exciting and relaxing. MSC is a good cruise line, and I liked the Italian / international feel. If you’re more of an adventurous person, I would say this might be the cruise line for you. Read Less
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