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56 MSC Cruises MSC Divina Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

Just came back from our Meditarranean cruise on MSC and we have nothing but glowing reviews for the staff friendliness, multilingual, pleasant and helpfulness. The food was fabulous be it at the dining room or the buffet which had fresh ... Read More
Just came back from our Meditarranean cruise on MSC and we have nothing but glowing reviews for the staff friendliness, multilingual, pleasant and helpfulness. The food was fabulous be it at the dining room or the buffet which had fresh pizza all day long and a good spread of fruits, and for those insisting on unhealthy food there was a full Americanized section with burgers, fries, hot dog, etc excursions were well organized and the guide knowledgeable and easy to follow. Our balcony cabin was on the 8th bridge and that was fine, but next time we would opt for a higher level and a more central location to reduce the walking. Best meal and pizza ever in Pompei, which is worth the visit. Every night there is a different show which is actually very professional and worth seeing. Was pleasantly surprised. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was my third cruise and by far the worst. I have previously traveled Royal Caribbean and Carnival and both experiences were great. When we checked in to board the ship, our room was changed and the check in staff could not give me a ... Read More
This was my third cruise and by far the worst. I have previously traveled Royal Caribbean and Carnival and both experiences were great. When we checked in to board the ship, our room was changed and the check in staff could not give me a reason why. Our bags were already labeled with the previous room number so we had to go immediately to guest services (my first of about 100 visits to guest services). I informed them that all of my bags would go to the wrong destination and they assured me they would fix this. When all was said and done, one bag showed up 5 hours later, two went to the wrong room (which I had to go personally retrieve), and one went missing all together. Over the next 5 nights, I stopped by the guest services desk to handle the missing bag. It wasn't until my 6th visit that anyone even mentioned filling out a "lost luggage claim form." I informed them that my toothpaste, lotion, and other toiletries had gone missing with the bag and they gave me a 1 mL tube of tooth paste with a tooth brush and a double XL tee shirt. The store on the ship did not open until the 5th night and didnt have medicine until the 6th night. The customer service staff were unhelpful and noone seemed to know what to do. The line was constantly full of unhappy customers and everyone only seemed unhappier after leaving the desk. I do not blame MSC divina for losing my bag, it was most likely stolen at the port; but their lack of customer service and unwillingness to help was a daily headache. All I needed was a receipt from them so I could file an insurance claim and that took multiple phone calls, multiple desk visits, and multiple headaches. When I boarded the ship, my room was still dirty. My mini fridge was unstocked and had food crumbs and spilled soda in it, the tables had visable water stains and finger prints on the tables. My shower looked like it had been cleaned at waist level and above only and there was more than one long black hair on the wall. The front desk said they would send someone when they had free time. The gentleman responsible for cleaning my room was also responsible for unloading and delivering all the bags, therefore he did not have time to come. He was very polite but seemed very overworked. The staff just seemed disorganized. I would purchase one plan to eat at a restaurant and that particular restaurant would have never even heard of the deal (the staff called that restaurant's manager and he also had no idea about the deal or how it worked). The staff at the excursion office knew nothing about the excursions and were also unhelpful. In general the common areas of the ship were clean. The ship was new with beautiful bars, a nice pool. The gourmet restaurants were delicious and the buffet was up to par with any other cruise ship buffet. The nightly entertainment was wonderful. All of the bar, restaurant, and othe staff were extremely kind. This ship has so much potential but I would never take MSC ever again due to the terrible management. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was the first time on this cruise line and I absolutely loved it. It was the cleanest ship I have ever been on and being an avid cruiser that says alot. Crew was constantly cleaning everything down to using a toothbrush style brush to ... Read More
This was the first time on this cruise line and I absolutely loved it. It was the cleanest ship I have ever been on and being an avid cruiser that says alot. Crew was constantly cleaning everything down to using a toothbrush style brush to clean the metal stair runners. Typically I do not go to the shows but being the first time on the Divina I went and sure glad I did. The entertainment was excellent - could NOT have been better. Went to every single show and they were perfection which certainly doesn't happen very often. Found the crew to be exceptionally friendly. There seemed to be a communication issue at times but it was due to lack of understanding the English language. I certainly did not hold that against them as they just need more interaction with American passengers. This in no way affected the enjoyment on this cruise - as a matter of fact they seemed to try harder to please passengers. The ship was beautiful inside and out. The decor was outstanding. The cabin was a great size being slightly bigger than most with balconies. The room was always immaculate. The food was fair and comparable to other cruise lines but seemed to be better in the buffet at lunch rather than dinner in the dining room. Can't wait to get back on board - LUV THE DIVINA - she is one of a kind as I find myself comparing this cruise to others and she is #1. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We normally cruise with Thomson and I know that is thought to be the budget end of the cruise industry. This time we chose MSC and the new ship Divina, so 4 of us (2 couples) eagerly boarded the ship in Venice. Embarcation was long but ... Read More
We normally cruise with Thomson and I know that is thought to be the budget end of the cruise industry. This time we chose MSC and the new ship Divina, so 4 of us (2 couples) eagerly boarded the ship in Venice. Embarcation was long but reasonably well organised. We were very impressed by our Balcony cabin. Also the whole ship was more glamorous that we were used too so we were very happy. That is where it ended, the Ports were very remote..we never arrived at them on time or left them on time. No information given when arriving at the ports except for MSC excurtions. Never had much time to do anything. Then came the mealtime experience. Wow I have never seen so many people at one time trying to clamber for food. Coffee, food and utencills were very often missing in action. Once at breakfast I could find no coffee at any of 3 stations so asked at the bar, I was very rudely told "go to the machines" while he served only the chosen few with fresh coffee..he could not have liked my face. I complained to one of the Manager types and to his credit he got us coffee himself. I have never come across such rude,greedy and arrogant people in any of the cruised I have previously gone on. Food quality I felt was very poor, even in the supposedly fine dining room, one night we had deep fried pork chop and chips!!!. Stage shows were good,but everywhere on the ship we went there was constant noise, loud music from every lounge, loud people as well so the combination did not make for relaxation. I am glad we tried another cruise line it has made us realise that the so called budget end has a lot going for it especially the food, the previous cruises had us looking forward to our evening dining experience, I am afraid this one had us dreading it. Last comment, we resented being told what to fill in on the questionnaire. Please put excellent and not just good was the cry of the day. Sorry but I prefer to be honest. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This was our third cruise on MSC. Unfortunately it didn' t go as smoothly as the previous ones. The main reason: The human factor. The attitude towards the passengers is simply too laid back. The ship is beautiful and very well ... Read More
This was our third cruise on MSC. Unfortunately it didn' t go as smoothly as the previous ones. The main reason: The human factor. The attitude towards the passengers is simply too laid back. The ship is beautiful and very well maintained. The cabins (balcony) are somewhat smaller than on the older MSC ships (e.g. Lirica), but still nice and comfortable, Embarkation and disembarkation in Venice went smoothly, especially if you are an MSC Club member and use the priority lines. Otherwise you should expect to spend som time in lines. The food in the restaurant and cafeteria is good and tasty, especially if you choose the Italian dishes. The real challenge on this ship is the lack of service management and management of the passenger flow. When all 4.000 passengers return to the ship (all the excursions return at the same time) and go to the cafeteria there is simply not enough room. Twice we gave up finding a table. If you do find a table, then you will have to hunt for cutlery, plates, coffee and by the time you have found most of it, half of the food is gone. We had to go to 5 different drink stations just to get hot water. This can be done much, much better ! From the second day we were delayed. No reason or information was given. If you asked, you were simply misinformed by the crew. In Katakolon we arrived more than one hour late. Nevertheless we were told to be in the meeting place for the tour at 7 am. At that time we were still saling at open sea at full speed ! If you asked, why you should get up this early, the standard answer was: We wil be there in 10-15 minutes. It took more than one hour before we could se Katakolon.... Same story in Istanbul, just in reverse order. All must be aboard 4:30 pm. We didn´t leave until 6:30 pm. No reason was given. But we could easily have spent 2 hours more in this exciting city. By the end we of course arrived late back in Venice, For the first time an expanation was given: Due to heavy fog the port was closed. Strangely enough this socalled closure didn´t affect NCL Jade or RCCL Splendour who both have arrived on time back in Venice.... Finally a word of advise: If you buy any packages , e.g. the laundry package aboard, that are not swiped, make sure to get a receipt. We were charged for all our laundry at full price, as the accounting office couldn´t find the package order slip in their apparent mess. The rude and arrogant answer to my complaints - twice ! - was to imply that I was lying and never had turned in the order slip. Customer service may need a new name to more correctly reflect the attitude of the staff. All in all a mixed experience. This might have been our last cruise on MSC. We will return to NCL and RCCL... Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Overall, the MSC Divina is an enjoyable ship. The ship is simply the most elegant ship we've been on, but service is where MSC seems to be lacking. The ship needs more open deck space, especially at the buffet area. There was never ... Read More
Overall, the MSC Divina is an enjoyable ship. The ship is simply the most elegant ship we've been on, but service is where MSC seems to be lacking. The ship needs more open deck space, especially at the buffet area. There was never anyplace to sit during breakfast/lunch. I'd never experienced this problem on Carnival and we were on a full ship on the Breeze in the Med last fall, so I'm pretty sure it's related to ship design or perhaps due to the fact that Europeans don't eat and clear a table as quickly as an American audience and this causes backlog in table availability. Embarkation in Venice was about on par with other embarkations we've done. Getting so many people on a ship just takes a lot of time. The ports (Bari, Katakolon, Izmir, Istanbul, and Dubrovnik) were all great destinations with something to do at every one. It's nice that the more low key Bari and Dubrovnik ports bookend the more hectic activities that are available at Katakolon, Izmir, and Istanbul. The only problem I have with the itinerary was the fact that the port times were rather short (ex. only 5 hours in Dubrovnik). I'd have rather lost a port day in Bari in exchange for longer port times in Katakolon or Istanbul. MSC excursions are well run and enjoyable if you're willing to pay for the most expensive ones. Disembarkation is a little irritating because they want you to vacate your cabin at 0700, which seems early since they don't start unloading passengers/baggage until 0830 at the earliest. Overall, a great cruise as far as the ship, cabin, and itinerary are concerned. Now, the problem that we had on the Divina centered around the service. We are Americans living in Europe, so we are used to the less personal service provided at dinner. You can expect the dinner service on the Divina to be very impersonal. We felt like the server was just there to do a job, which I guess he is, but we missed the connection that we had with our servers on previous cruises on different lines. This extended to the cabin steward and other servers as well. I realize service is a very personal thing, but we were fairly put off by the lack of service above and beyond the expectation. The major issues on our cruise that would make us choose to not sail MSC again center around the Mini Club (Kids center) and the poor dinner service. We had quite a bit of trouble just getting the proper dishes that we ordered on the cruise and were often rushed to order our entire meal mere minutes (five at most) after being given the menu. It felt like a crap shoot as to whether we would receive what we ordered or not. The Mini Club was terrible. We had booked excursions based on the availability of the Mini Club to watch our 3 year old son during the one port day in Istanbul. The MSC website is clear that Mini Club only accepts children 3 and over, and is available for port excursion days. What they neglect to inform you of is the fact that your child must be fully potty trained in order to participate and they refuse to assist in any way. So, we were forced to purchase an excursion ticket for him onboard for the full day trip in Istanbul as they wouldn't refund our excursion that we had already purchased. Now, I understand that policies are what they are and the reasoning behind the policy (molestation liability, etc.) but I would have greatly appreciated MSC explaining the entire policy on their website up front so we could have planned accordingly. Additionally, when we did take him and our daughter to the Mini Club on the sea day, they weren't welcoming to our son (he cried out of apprehension in the new environment and they chose to simply ignore him) and the staff neglected to explain directions to our daughter in English, even after asking to be spoken to in English (a language they support, by the way). So, our son didn't participate at all and our daughter was not interested in returning after the two hours she spent there. I would definitely state the Carnival's Camp Carnival is much better because they will assist with bathroom visits and actually try to welcome the child. Unless your child speaks Italian, they may not do well in MSC Mini Club. Conclusion-Great ship and itinerary. Thoroughly enjoyed most parts of the cruise, but the lack of quality service at dinner and the Mini Club would make us choose another line in the future. If you don't have kids, I would definitely recommend. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We sailed on the Divina a few weeks ago. The ship is beautiful and huge. We have sailed with Holland Amer, RCL, Celebrity,and NCL but not MSC before. A few things we noticed: People smoke everywhere. Not used to that in North America. Very ... Read More
We sailed on the Divina a few weeks ago. The ship is beautiful and huge. We have sailed with Holland Amer, RCL, Celebrity,and NCL but not MSC before. A few things we noticed: People smoke everywhere. Not used to that in North America. Very few english speaking passengers so a very multicultural experience which we quite enjoyed. Embarkation was chaotic and took much longer than it should have. The cafeteria was always crazy busy so we ate in the dining room almost every meal. Because you are in port for such a short time, we always had time to eat there. The food was very good and we found the service to be very good. Our cabin was fine, as spacious as expected and very clean. The evening shows were very good particularly the can can, pirate, opera, and Michael Jackson. We were surprised by how much we enjoyed them. The reason for the cruise was the ports of call for us. Bari was fine, a nice walk about and a little shopping. Interesting to see the tomb of St Nicholas. Katakalon was our gateway to Olympia and we enjoyed it. Izmir allowed us to see Ephesus and that was amazing. Istanbul was fantastic. Wish we had a week to spend there. We also loved Dubrovnik. Could easily go back there. We did not book any tours with the ship, we did them on our own, prebooking private tours that were very convenient and less expensive. It was a very nice cruise for a very reasonable price. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
My husband, myself and our 14 year old daughter booked a back to back cruise of the western and eastern mediteranean. This was our 2nd cruise. We booked with MSC mainly due to the good price. The first ship we embarked on was the Divina, ... Read More
My husband, myself and our 14 year old daughter booked a back to back cruise of the western and eastern mediteranean. This was our 2nd cruise. We booked with MSC mainly due to the good price. The first ship we embarked on was the Divina, the second the Splendida. We loved both the ships, they were bright, spotlessly clean and just so beautiful. If I had to chose one, I would choose the Divina though, mainly due to the nicer colours used and it being just a little bit newer! Our balcony room was great, perfectly adequate space for the 3 of us. It was cleaned twice a day by our lovely cabin man Aurelio (Divina). He surprised us one day with a lovely towel animal, so we did one back for him - a long towel snake with paper eyes and ribbon tongue! After this he just got better and better, with one day us even finding a monkey hanging from a coathanger on the ceiling! Took us a day or so to get used to the layout of the ship, but once we had it, it was easy to get about. We ate mainly in the restaurant, which was very beautiful and we had two lovely waiters who catered to our every need. The food was always nice and warm and beautifully presented. I felt that the food was probably catered for 'the masses' in that it was never very spicey and never had very strong flavours, but I think that is what you need to do to suit the majority of people. We did enjoy everything that we ate. There was a big selection of entree, soup, salad, main plate, pasta or risotto, desert, cheeseboard etc etc. There is no way anybody could say they were hungry or that there wasn't enough selection! Our waiters on the Splendida, Wayan and Putu, were gorgeous and loved to talk a few words in Indonesian with us!! All the bar staff were also very attentive and it was no problem to order a drink. We did occasionally eat in the buffet. This area was very busy but we did always manage to find a table within about 5 minutes. There was plenty of very quick easy food just in the main entrances, eg. hamburgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, pizzas etc. for those wanting a quick snack around the pool. There was also of course selections of pasta, meats, salads, fish, ethnic foods and deserts. It could sometimes be a little difficult to move from station to station holding a plate and a drink and cutlery as the walkways were busy with people doing the same thing. We noticed a lot of food wasteage on the tables, I think people just put too much on their plates!! I have been told by others that this happens on most cruise lines tho! We did go to most of the shows and we really enjoyed them. The entertainment team and the stage entertainers were spectacular! We thought they were a little better on the Divina than the Splendida!! The shows only go for about 40 minutes, which was just perfect. We really enjoyed some of the Italian opera singing - something that I wouldn't go and see if it was a 2 hour show, but the 40 minutes was so enjoyable, and you knew that even if you didn't enjoy the show that night, it wouldn't take the whole night!! There was also the Michael Jackson show, a pirate show, a hand shadow show, acrobatic shows, dancing shows, singing etc. etc. All spectacular! We did a couple of excursions, Ephesus, Tunisia and Rome on your own. They were very well organised, you received your tickets about a day or so before, it told you what time and location to be at, then you just registered at the desk and were given a number. When your tour number was called, you followed your leader out of the ship to your bus to meet the tour guide. Simple!! The tour in Ephesus was a little difficult as there were 39 people in the group, and we didn't have the ear pieces, so had to try and get in close to hear the guide. Was okay, you just needed to make sure you stayed close! The sights were amazing. Was a little sad seeing some of the cats and dogs in poor condition. In Tunisia our guide would give us a bit of a run down of the area and then give us free time to explore and tell us where and what time to meet, this worked very well. Rome on your own was easy, they provided transport to and from Rome. We ended up at the 'go home point' about 40 minutes early, and they had buses there already and started departing early, so that was nice after such a busy day walking Rome! You could catch a MSC shuttle bus from the ship into the main centre of each destination, but the costs all added up, so we usually just made out own way, either by walking, public transport or taxi. Unfortunately MSC don't let you know about any of the free services the port might provide, eg. I think it was in Marseille that there is a free bus service from the port into town every half hour, but we only found out about it from the taxi driver (taxi cost 30 euro)!! Probably best to do a little research before you cruise to know the best way to get into each location centre. We enjoyed time spent in the hot whirlpools, swimming pools and also just lounging by the pool. The hot whirlpools were very hot! I think they were 37 degrees. This was good, because you couldn't spend too much time in them, so there was a high turnover of people in them, which meant you could always get into one without too much 'hanging around'! The pool water was quite cold, so only my daughter and husband went in the pools, but they were never over busy. The 'zen' pool at the back of the ship was a lovely area. It is adults only, but our 14 year old was never stopped. She was always nice and quiet though, so not a noisy teen! In fact the only one of us to 'get into trouble' was my husband, who jumped straight in instead of entering the water quietly (it wasn't a big bomby!), and was told off! That was good though, as it meant the staff were keeping the area nice and quiet, ha ha!! The bigger pool in the middle always had plenty of activity around, some games, music and dancing all organised by the entertainment team - was fun to watch! We never used the indoor pool area. Sometimes you had to walk around a little to find a couple of pool lounges together, but was never too difficult. Only day that was hard was the sea day. Benefit of a balcony was that we always had sometime to go and sit quietly if we needed. There were plenty of areas and bars to enjoy a drink or a quiet time. We had the Allegrissimo drinks package. It was definately worth it, as we drank more than what the package had cost. Although we both said that we were not sure that we would get it again, as we felt it made us drink more to get our moneys worth! The price of drinks on board were reasonable, and we probably would have spent less than the package cost if we were drinking 'normally' eg. just a wine with a meal and maybe a cocktail in the afternoon or evening. You could get free coffee, tea and water in the buffet area. We didn't have any trouble with big groups of teenagers or yelling kids, maybe because they were all back at school only the fortnight before. Our 14 year old tried on a few occasions to see if anything was happening in the youth area, but there never seemed to be much or anyone there. That made it a little bit hard for her, as she was really hoping to meet other young ones. The italian kids seemed to be made up of big family or friend groups, so they seemed to keep to their own little groups. Of course the language would be a bit of a barrier too. Our last cruise (P&O) we never saw her, and had to make her come to lunch and dinner with us, after which she was just itching to get back to the kids club!! If I was travelling with young children I would definately consider this as a negative with MSC. There didn't seem to be as many activities for the adults as well, if that is important to you. We were just happy to do our own thing, so this wasn't too much of a concern to us. On every other level, we were totally happy with MSC, their staff and their organisation. The ships (Divina and Splendida) were beautiful. The ports visited were wonderful. Would we use MSC again? Definately if we were looking for a good family holiday for a good budget price and weren't too worried about the use of kids clubs. Hope this all makes sense, am typing with jetlag, so not sure!! Enjoy your cruise with MSC, because we certainly did!!   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We arrived at the port to board the ship, DISASTER. We had to wait and wait for our bags to be checked in.There was some cover, but a lot of people had to stand in the blazing sun and this included many elderly people.After checking in our ... Read More
We arrived at the port to board the ship, DISASTER. We had to wait and wait for our bags to be checked in.There was some cover, but a lot of people had to stand in the blazing sun and this included many elderly people.After checking in our bags we were left to make our way to check in, no signs to show you the way, with the result you had people walking around the port looking for the check in, not a great start to your cruise. When we got to check in, another long wait, and your not finished there, another wait to get through security. At last we were on board, told where our room was and that was it.Lucky for us we were on the Fantasia last year and both ships are about the same inside so we knew where to go.We had just entered our room when there was a knock on the door, it was our cabin stewart, Aldo, to inform us that there was some damage in our room caused by the previous occupants and would be fixed asap.We went for a coffee, returned about an hour later, everything was fixed.Well done Aldo. The cabin was small,the saying "couldn't swing a cat" springs to mind. We were greeted every morning by Aldo with a big smile and a "Good Morning". If we met him in the evening again we got the big smile and a "How was your day".Aldo kept our room spotless during our cruise.The whole ship is kept spotless by a crew of cleaners,who you can see at work every minute of the day and night. Having cruised with MSC before we knew all about the buffet crowd and we timed our arrival so it wasn't that difficult to get a seat.We found the food hot and tasty We had the second seating at the Villa Rossa restaurant, service was excellent, food was great, good selection and hot. Every member of staff we came in contact with were very nice. As other reviewers have said, get the drinks package and don't do the ships tours, they are too expensive,do some research before you go(log on to TripAdvisor). Every port had a tour bus at the gate that you could just hop on. Some of the stays are very short,in Istanbul the traffic was terrible and the official tour buses returned to the ship with 5 minutes to spare, so again research is very important when you are getting a tour. Finally getting off was not as bad as getting on,but with the ship docking at 8 and passengers having to be out of their rooms by 7, everybody going for breakfast at the same time I would hate to see what happened in the buffet restaurant. We had breakfast in the restaurant we dined in,although they only open have the restaurant the service was very slow. We had to assemble in different part of the ship according to the coloured and numbered labels the gave us for our luggage,when the staff held up our number we followed that member to the gang way, got off the ship at the terminal where our luggage was waiting.All in all it was a great cruise, would we go with MSC again,yes we would, but next time we might try another company just for a change.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Having just returned from our twelfth cruise with the eastern Mediterranean route on the MSC Divina, we are stumped at the abundance of negative reviews we had read in advance. Our experience was just the opposite. No cruise is perfect but ... Read More
Having just returned from our twelfth cruise with the eastern Mediterranean route on the MSC Divina, we are stumped at the abundance of negative reviews we had read in advance. Our experience was just the opposite. No cruise is perfect but the MSC Divina came pretty darn close for us. Yes, we had some reservations prior to our departure. First, we've always been most comfortable on ships averaging 1,500 to 2,000 passengers (MSC Divina carries around 4,000). Second, we've been spoiled in the past by lines catering almost exclusively to the American passenger. But the allure of the MSC Divina design coupled with the Venice base and very appealing ports including Izmir, Istanbul and Dubrovnik clinched the deal for us. The ship is a beauty. Sleek, understated, elegant and full of surprises (and after a year, still with the feel of a sparkling, brand new ship). The MSC Divina feels very Italian and yet very international all at once. The staff, somewhat reserved (but as you get to know certain members of the crew, you'll find some great, friendly personalities), is always right on top of your requests and always striving to be as accommodating as possible. The crew is just as international as the passenger roster, unique to most cruise lines - you'll find nametags from Bali to Bosnia, South Africa to Scotland. Some of the bartenders weren't always at the top of their game - but with so many bars and so many attendants, just hop over to the next; you'll soon have your favorites (and they are quick to recognize you after a day or two). Embarkation in Venice was a snap. Of course, it helped that we took a private water taxi to the dock from our hotel (the wonderful A Tribute to Music hotel) to the private dock located next to the ship (great tour and what a way to arrive, all for about 70 euro). Your luggage is immediately tagged at the private water taxi dock so you skip the long lines to check in luggage at the terminal and immediately head up to registration. It's a quick confirmation at registration -- just make sure all information such as dinner seating time and any drink packages are printed on your cabin card. Mention that you arrived by private water taxi and instead of waiting for your boarding number to be called (group numbers are handed out at the crowded luggage check-in), you are immediately shown to the front of the line to board the ship. Embarkation with registration was a matter of 20 minutes for us - and after we boarded and grabbed a quick bite, we were amazed to find our luggage already at our cabin door in less than an hour. Our MSC Divina cabin 13038 could not have been better. Designed in beautiful dark brown, orange and gold tones, the cabin seemed a bit more narrow than other cabins we've had (from our favorites with Holland America, Celebrity and NCL to the "unique" Costa Fortuno to the not-so-hot Carnival) but certainly more comfortable. Plush sofa, ample storage and cabinets, compact but convenient bathroom (exceptionally clever design to fold in the shower doors when not in use to expand the bathroom space), thick carpeting, beautiful lighting options and comfortable seating on what seems to be a bigger-than-usual veranda with jaw-dropping views (and ideal privacy dividers from your neighbors). And the bed - the bed! - wow, just about the most comfortable bed we've ever had on any cruise. It was a plus that the forward cabins on the 13th Cupido deck are on hallways that dead-end with the captain and upper management rooms, so the hallways and cabin are dead quiet. Just ideal. Not sure how they did it - or when they did it - but our cabin was always clean, bed made, spotless bathroom, ice bucket filled, and turn down service with next-day information packets always waiting for us no matter the hour we returned at night. Our balcony and large windows were thoroughly scrubbed down twice on two port days. The best deals on the MSC Divina, as frequently mentioned, are absolutely the all-inclusive allegrissimo drink package (which also includes fantastic gelato from various stations) and the laundry package (20 items per cabin during the cruise cleaned for 25 euro total, and all came back to our cabin on the same day). While many cruise lines seem to be scaling back on entertainment and shows, MSC pulls out all the stops on the Divina in the sophisticated Pantheon Theatre with lavish and large (very large) productions. No live orchestra means more performers, singers and dancers on stage. I can't remember the last time we went on a cruise and went to every evening performance. On the Divina, the highlights for us included a spectacular Moulin Rouge Cadeaux show, mind-blowing Michael Jackson tribute and beautiful Sogno Italiano of Italian arias and operas. Astounding that in one week we saw everything from "Swan Lake" to Cirque-like aerials, can can dancers to electronic violinists, swashbuckling pirates to Italian tenors, all spectacular! The MSC Divina has a wide variety of bars, each with distinctive decor and entertainment in the evening. Our favorites turned out to be the Golden Jazz Bar (still amazed at the unique glass bubble chandeliers), Black and White Lounge (terrific dance band) and of course, the atrium bar with those gorgeous Swarovski crystal staircases and an ever-changing entertainment line-up from a concert pianist to a chamber orchestra to opera singers. We opted for our usual late dinner seating and chose the smaller of the two dining rooms, the Villa Rossa. It's an elegant room of deep reds with black and gold trims, and surrounded by panoramic windows - and have to say the Villa Rossa was far more elegant and not as cramped as the "signature" dining room called the Black Crab (don't get me wrong - it's a beautiful room but the Crab seemed crowded, somewhat claustrophobic and very understated in black and very muted plum and gold colors). Service in the Villa Rossa was of course impeccable and friendly, and that dining crew works darn hard to keep your meal flowing and anticipating your needs. The menus were varied, interesting and extensive. Sure there were some misses (our dining captain could tell I was having a tough time with a certain dish, whisked it away and immediately replaced it with another choice), but for the most part all the selections ranged from good to great. I am still dreaming of an incredible smoked gouda risotto'loved it so much I had a second helping and then for dessert, a third serving! Somewhere along the line, the MSC Divina got a reputation for serving dishes only lukewarm to cold. Not in our case - every hot dish was just that - hot! Amazing, by just our second night, our favorite bottles of wines, dishes of ice and favorite breads were waiting for us every evening. The big (and I mean BIG!) grand buffet sprawling over the Calumet and Manitou wings can be overwhelming. I would guess it extends about a third the length of the ship of the 14th floor deck, and you will be blown away by the selections of entrees, Mediterranean and international specialties, salads, wide variety of pizzas and pastas, meat carvings, unique Italian sandwiches, desserts, and expansive and truly fantastic cheese selections. Yes, the buffet can get very crowded - name one ship when a breakfast or a specific lunch period isn't crowded - but just take a breath and keep proceeding to the rear of the buffet into the Manitou sections (with stylish American Indian motifs). This buffet is smartly designed and selections continue to repeat themselves throughout the wings -- you'll find the rear portions much less crowded (and quiet) with more than ample window and booth seating. The MSC Divina is a marvel of not only design but also management of a large passenger ship. The many pools and tiered decks were never overly crowded (you'll always find outdoor seating - the attendants go out of their way to find comfortable spots for you). To escape the action of the unique Aqua Park, head aft to the Infinity Pool and hot tubs (always pretty quiet). The MSC Divina interiors have a variety of easy, comfortable seating (loved the silver two-person banquettes in the Black and White Lounge as well as lounging on the large full-body cushion sofas of the Golden Jazz). Exiting at ports was a breeze -- just wait ten minutes after port doors open so that the excursion groups can pour out first. I might guess tendered ports could be a bit challenging with so many passengers, but fortunately we didn't have to deal with any tendered ports. The only time the ship felt somewhat crowded was that hour or so between the 1st dinner seating/1st show and the 2nd dinner seating/2nd show. The beautiful and oh-so-comfortable 1,600 seat Pantheon Theatre is located at the front of the ship and the two dining rooms at the rear, so of course there is the intersecting flow from end to end during that evening interval (and there can be some gridlock pending the great opera singer or dance band in a lounge, or how good someone is bowling in the sports bar, or a jackpot being hit in the casino). Some good (and some not) surprises we discovered aboard the ship: - This is one spotless, sparkling, always white glove clean ship, at all hours of the day or night. Like others, we couldn't help but marvel at how the crew was always subtly cleaning every inch of the ship (never before seen attendants appearing from nowhere with handheld vacuum cleaners). - We are not fans of the White Party, but the MSC Divina's is so different: all ages having a great time, dancing with crew members and performers, fantastic bands, wonderful service and just a great spirit that is so inclusive of all ages, all nationalities, all types of folks (at one point I was dancing all at once with a very senior woman from Stockholm, a Japanese businessman and one of the reception desk attendants). - The Aurea Spa is one of the most elegant spas you'll ever see. We took a tour and were blown away - and had every intention to indulge (we were so intrigued by the coconut and opium saunas) but simply ran out of time. - Do not miss the 4D HD theatre - it is a hoot! We took in the "canyon ride" film and were hollering and grabbing the sides of our seats! Loved it! It's a six euro charge for the wild ride. - The first gala night is definitely a dressy affair (this international passenger roster took it seriously!) - the second gala night was a bit more subdued when it came to the 'glamour' quotient. - If you attend one of the 20-minute daily cooking demonstrations (interesting watching the chefs create dishes, but alas, no sampling), you'll qualify for a 15% discount at the upscale Galaxy restaurants or the Sacramento TexMex steakhouse. We opted for the Galaxy one night and found the dishes somewhat interesting but the setting and service lacking anything close to "upscale" or special (we definitely do not recommend it). The Galaxy is just the very hip Galaxy Disco's adjoining bar made over for the dinner hour. We were going to try the Sacramento TexMex steakhouse one evening but 1) it always seemed empty, which we didn't take as a good sign; and 2) we were simply enjoying the Villa Rossa dining room too much. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. No matter the ship, parents of all nationalities (yes, that includes you American parents, too) have a tendency to let their little monsters run loose now and then, thinking it's cute and that others will also enjoy the dancing tyke sprawled on a dance floor or pounding their spoon against a table. Just smile, shake your head and move away. - The MSC Divina doesn't push photo opportunities (too much), and there are mostly fixed positions for photo sittings and not cameraman climbing all over the decks. And give it a try - have to admit this ship's photographers are very stylish, very creative and very professional with some truly great photography! A word about the ports (and they can be short - but then again, every port stop is too short when you are truly enjoying yourself): Bari, Italy: fascinating old town and some glorious cathedrals to visit - then wander into the old town neighbors, down colorful alleys, and you'll glimpse Italy from decades gone by (and on this Sunday, there were local bands playing on hidden corners throughout old town Bari). Easily accessed from the port by taxi, bus or on foot. Katakolon, Greece: we wisely skipped Olympia (knowing Ephesus lay ahead the following day) and enjoyed the quaint town right on the port with some fantastic (and very reasonably priced) shopping. Also loved an open air tourist train ride from the town into the Greek country side, with fantastic views and stops at a beautiful vineyard and a breathtaking beach resort. Izmir, Turkey: we're not one for the ship excursions but prefer to book private (and much less expensive) tours. We scored big time with booking a private tour of the astounding Ephesus and Artemis along with a fantastic buffet lunch through Gizem Gencer at www.ephesustours.biz (and insist on Erman Gokbora as a guide - wonderful, knowledgeable and gracious guide). Istanbul, Turkey: once again, the massive mass ship excursion were not for us, so we booked a sensational private Byzantine tour and lunch with Ender Boz at www.privatetoursinistanbul.com. Regret to say we can't recall the name of our wonderful hostess, but we saw all the major historical sites of Istanbul in a knowledgeable, whirlwind tour tailored to our interests (and our guide knew how and when to maneuver past long lines and avoid the crowded mass tour times). Dubrovnik, Croatia: so this was our one trip-up. Had booked a private tour through Pero Klaic at pepoklaic@yahoo.com and his www.dubrovnikshoretrip.com. He was a no-show (luckily we had no deposits with him - definitely a tour service to avoid!) and were about to panic when we luckily discovered that for only 50 euro (compared to Pero's 150 euro trip), we could get a private one and a half hour taxi tour of the views, historical sites and then the jaw-dropping old town and walled city of Dubrovnik. Just hail any taxi at the port gate and make the request. And finally, disembarking in Venice. Well, all good things come to end. And all good procedures, too. This is where the MSC Divina stumbled a bit - disembarking was a chaotic mess. No one seemed quite sure where to go, when to go, who was to go, etc. We were one of the lucky ones (sort of), as all cabins on the 13th floor Cupido are for some reason marked as Gray One for priority disembarking. The 8 am disembarkation time became 9 am and then finally, finally, Gray One group was allowed to leave (and yes, our luggage was right there waiting for us as we departed). Now in all fairness, there could have been good cause for the confusion and concern that morning. There were massive and disruptive news-generating protests all day long by Venetians, protesting the arriving and departing cruise liners as being destructive to the Venice environment. Seeing how many (there were nine ships in port on our arrival in Venice) and how close these ships sail to the Venice docks and canals, I somewhat agree with the protestors that there are just too many that are sailing too close for comfort. And the MSC Divina seems to be always singled out of all ships by the protestors because of her enormous size and her namesake "godmother' Sophia Loren (many are demanding their beloved Sophia have her name removed from the ship). So we are privileged to offer a counter to those negative reviews of the MSC Divina and instead marvel at and appreciate the extraordinary experience aboard this glorious ship. We're excited to now be MSC Club members!   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Embarked in Bari... (Only regret) From the moment you arrive on board it feels like you are on in a high priced hotel. We booked a Balcony Cabin... Gorgeous and well appointed. Buffet breakfast was as expected at ANY smorgasbord. Meals ... Read More
Embarked in Bari... (Only regret) From the moment you arrive on board it feels like you are on in a high priced hotel. We booked a Balcony Cabin... Gorgeous and well appointed. Buffet breakfast was as expected at ANY smorgasbord. Meals in the designated restaurants were plentiful and good variety. The wait staff (In Particular Raddi) were excellent and anticipated drink orders as we sat down for dinner. Two of the shore tours we booked 6 months in advance were cancelled due to lack of participation but the alternatives chosen were really well organised. The ports stopped at were fantastic... although it would have been nice to spend more time at each. I highly recommend the Allegrissimo drinks package as it was great value for money... I also had my hair dyed , cut and styled, nails and makeup done for the gala night at Aurea Spa and their prices were quite reasonable. In fact i believe they were cheaper than having them done here in Australia. The hair stuff only took about 2 hours as well.. We ran into many other Aussies on our cruise and there were other English speakers as well. Seriously if you get an opportunity to cruise with MSC Divina, do it Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
My husband and I are just back off the MSC Divina Eastern Med cruise. We had read all the reviews before we left but our experience was nothing bad like the reviews. We travelled without our kids so the family areas we didn't venture ... Read More
My husband and I are just back off the MSC Divina Eastern Med cruise. We had read all the reviews before we left but our experience was nothing bad like the reviews. We travelled without our kids so the family areas we didn't venture into at all. The boat is magnificence and we had a lovely balcony room on deck 12. The way the boat is done is amazing - every light fixtures on the boat is a statement piece. We loved every minute of our cruise. The staff were very helpful and the boat from top to bottom (at ALL times) was immaculate. I don't know how they kept every single area so spotless. We opted for dinner on a table of 8 and we were very lucky and had a super table. We never laughed so much and we all became good friends. We ate in the Tex Mex one night and the food was delicious. The food in the Villa Rosa was very hit and miss which was a disappointment but we found the buffet superb. We did the excursions ourselves and we didn't get out in Bari or Izmir (nothing there and a waste of a stop). The absolute highlights are Istanbul and Dubrovnik. We got up at 6:30am the morning we came into Istanbul and watched the sun rising from our balcony and the Mosques were all shimmering - its a sight we will remember forever - magic!! Dubrovnik - the boat was delayed so we only had 4 hours there and we hopped in a taxi from port and paid him 60 to bring us around the sites for 1.5hrs (well worth the money). He brought us to amazing view points and a gorgeous sleepy fishing village called Hilini and then he dropped us off at the walled city to walk around. This place is magical and will definitely return to explore it further. Highlights of the Cruise - the boat is stunning; room was fabulous, spotlessly clean everywhere; staff were great and always there to offer waiter service; entertainment is great; drinks package is great (cocktails are heaven) Negatives of the Cruise - Bari and Izmir should be taken off and give double the time in Istanbul & Dubrovnik. Its very disappointing to have so little time. We cruise the Med with Celebrity Cruises before and the stops were much longer (7am-10pm in Santorini for eg). The food was far superior on Celebrity but the gluttony on this boat was vile with obese Americans eating like pigs. As MSC is an Italian company a lot of people were Italian and German. Not too many English speaking (which was fine with us) but I never saw the gluttony on MSC like on Celebrity. I thought the ship was much nicer on MSC and very swanky with stunning swaroksi staircases and lifts. I would highly recommend MSC Divina. My advice is that you make your own Cruise. Don't get hassled by people pushing or being rude (nothing any Cruise ship can do about that). Enjoy your surrounds and where the boat is travelling you to and from. The scenery is amazing. There was great fun on the boat. There is something for everyone on the boat of all ages. The three opera ladies playing in the reception was beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
This was our 1st time on a cruise having spent 2 wonderful days in Venice. The day of embarkation was not pleasant, disorganized and at times chaotic! We finally boarded at around 3pm (should have been 12.30)and to compound things even ... Read More
This was our 1st time on a cruise having spent 2 wonderful days in Venice. The day of embarkation was not pleasant, disorganized and at times chaotic! We finally boarded at around 3pm (should have been 12.30)and to compound things even more a suitcase did not arrive until 9pm. Staff on reception not at all helpful when we tried to ascertain what had happened to our luggage! However, after this the experience was great, lots to do, fantastic food but avoid the buffet as with 4,000 people on board it can be a most unpleasant experience. eating in allocated restaurants much more pleasant and waiters lovely. Do book the drinks packages they are excellent value for money and wines of good quality. Don't book excursions as expensive and much better to do your own thing. A range of options when you get off at each port as all destinations are used to cruise ships coming in. Also a great way to get to meet locals and really experience the culture rather than on an organized tour. Overall a great experience and would definitely cruise again but perhaps with different company!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Fantastic ship, very clean and cabin/excursion/resturant staff very helpful and polite. We went on our first holiday without our children and did not expect to be on a ship overun with other people's children. As a primary ... Read More
Fantastic ship, very clean and cabin/excursion/resturant staff very helpful and polite. We went on our first holiday without our children and did not expect to be on a ship overun with other people's children. As a primary schoolteacher I love children but do not want them running riot in the evenings in EVERY area of the ship. There are no adult only areas unless you pay for Top 18 which we did but you still have to put up with the awful noise coming from around the pool - the Italian DJ never shuts up!!! During the very good entertainment in the bars in the evening we had groups of children throwing toys/flip flops to each other as well as bouncing on and off chairs and nobody stopped them. The food is adequate but rarely hot. The evening entertainment is brilliant. We did not buy the excursions as you can do them all on your own for half the price. We chose MSC because of the ports that were visited but not enough time is given in each port. The cabin was fantastic and the cruise good value for money but lack of activities during the day and the huge amount of children on board means we will never sail with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
I'm on the MSC Divina right now and I must say it's a nightmare. People are rude, and I remain very polite using that term. They push you away to get in a lift (elevator), push you away to get trough a hallway, and never ... Read More
I'm on the MSC Divina right now and I must say it's a nightmare. People are rude, and I remain very polite using that term. They push you away to get in a lift (elevator), push you away to get trough a hallway, and never ever they will say sorry or any form of excuse. Forget about the rule that reserving seats isn't allowed, after 9h it's impossible to find a free seat around the pool and the people watching the pool don't remove the towels thrown there to reserve the seats. The "relax - zen" pool is anything but relax or zen, kids shouting all over the place and jumping in the pool, while it's not allowed. When I made the remark I have been told that I could go to deck 18 where there is a paid relax zone with no kids allowed, so because other don't respect the rules I would have to pay 50€???? Dinner time is like feeding time for pigs, people jump on the food, take all the last pieces away in front of you without even eating them. I have never seen so much food being thrown away. They don't seem to respect the dress policy either, no swimsuits in the restaurants, well .... forget about it, they'll come in with the swimsuits still wet, no t-shirts or anything and hang with their sweaty arms over the food. And it's not only the people in the restaurants, it's also the food. I'm Belgian, so I'm used to a large variety of food styles, and I do like most of them, but here I can't find anything that looks like worth trying, and it's every single day the same food. It became so bad that over the last 2 nights the optional restaurants, for which you have to pay a supplement, have been overly crowed, all people like us that can't stand it anymore and are willing to pay extra to get some decent food in a normal restaurant. On a positive note I do have to say that the Tex-Mex restaurant is really good, the waiters are nice and will do anything they can to serve you, which can't be said of any other waiter in the bars or restaurants. The rooms are also very nice and clean with nice living space and great balconies. I could go on for hours but bottom line is you won't see me on a MSC cruise ever. Although this is my first cruise I will cruise again, I love the concept but I'll probably be using other companies then MSC. So my advice, stay away from this ship !! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
After years of my friends and sister (all with many years cruise experience) trying to get me to on a cruise I finally gave in on the 13th july 2013 and sailed on MSC Divina. We sailed from Venice and getting on the ship and to our room ... Read More
After years of my friends and sister (all with many years cruise experience) trying to get me to on a cruise I finally gave in on the 13th july 2013 and sailed on MSC Divina. We sailed from Venice and getting on the ship and to our room was easy even though I am a quadraplegic and completely confined to a wheelchair and have no balance at all. Our room was for three people (me and my two sisters),we had two singles and a pull out double sofa bed which our cabin boy attended to every evening and put away every morning. All beds were comfy and room was very spacious and clean with a large balcony. Our emergency evacuation drill resulted in us being told that yes we had used the lift this time from deck 11 to 7 for the life boats BUT in a proper emergency my sisters would have to try give me a piggy back down four flights of stairs as the lift would be out of bounds !! Yes you read that correctly , it would probably have been easier to throw me over the side of the balcony to land on top the lifeboat which was below !! We had requested second seating for our eveing meal to be with four other friends but were given first sitting so had to use the buffet on the first evening. Well we had difficulty first of all trying to find something we liked (we are not fussy honest) and then what we chose was cold. We were disappointed and hungry when we left. Theres no midnight buffet , usually they are putting out fresh food at this time as I have been informed so we had a cup of tea and went to bed. The amount of time spent in ports is very short. Sometimes arriving at 10.30am and leaving again at 3.30 - 4 pm. Getting on and off the ship was easy and well organised and the staff were very helpful. The staff in the black crab restaurant and in the Divina bar were very friendly and helpful. we took the allegrissimo drinks package and easily passed the 21 euros a day each we paid with the coffees , ice creams and cocktails and bottled water. we didn't go crazy either and weren't greedy. If you are a big drinker then it is worth doing. The service in the black crab restaurant was VERY slow , the food not what we liked so ended up quite a few times with chicken and chips for our main. the rissottos and soups were good. No coffee offered at the end either. Most staff around the ship looked unhappy but it makes you feel sad then , you think they don't want to be there. we wanted to go deck 18 for the adults only (payable) but there was no lift for the wheelchair so ended up on deck 16 which was quite quiet. Around the pool during the day was like butlins (YMCA , the conga etc) quite a few people seemed to really enjoy it though. Not for us . We spent one afternoon there and had people striding over our beds, not what we wanted when they were wearing budgie smugglers !! Waiters for drinks service were very scarce and had to go get own drinks most times. Most on the cruise would just push in front and leave us stood there with the wheelchair and refuse to let us in . sometimes they were only going up or down one floor too !! we were starting to consider piggy backs at one point . we decided to stoop to their level and just plough in to them , this seemed to work but we did get a few dirty looks. We went to the casino and was very surprised to see children as young as eight in there , not playing the games though , just with their parents. The ship was very nice , well maintained and clean. It was just the food and the ignorant people really. we had a good time and enjoyed our own company , did get excited one evening with the promise of a 60-70-80's disco , which lasted about 40 mins then went back to european line dancing , birdy song type disco. At this point we had to leave. I think I will try cruising again but not with MSC and hopefully get a better result. going to try NCL or Royal Caribbean.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We went on this cruise with great expectations. Wow a trip to the Mediterranean on the Divina! New ship ... Sophia Loren launched it. What could go wrong. Notes for the future: do not cruise in the summer holidays. Rude kids. Extra rude ... Read More
We went on this cruise with great expectations. Wow a trip to the Mediterranean on the Divina! New ship ... Sophia Loren launched it. What could go wrong. Notes for the future: do not cruise in the summer holidays. Rude kids. Extra rude parents. Kids put their hands all over the food. It is a great ship in size. Perhaps too big. 3,000+ pax. Lifts were often full. Buffet on 14th deck was often full, no matter where you tried to sit. Few speak English ... mainly Italians. Restaurants better. Service good especially when you try to speak Bahasa. But for us Aussies there were a few Aussies to talk to on our restaurant table ... they were a good mob. Excursions were expensive. Some were good. Others were terrible. Bari we did our own thing. Katakolon we did an ok tour of Olympus. Izmir we did a tour to Efasis and Mary's house and an ambush at an artisan centre; but interesting. Istanbul and another ambush at a carpet sales place (be prepared to spend a lot of money) but the lunch and Bosporos Cruise were good. Then came the problem day ... The second last day of the voyage the ship birthed in Dubrovnik. We were booked on tour DUB09  Dubrovnik and its old city walls. This was supposed to be a 3 tour. The tour went for 2 hours. We registered well before the prescribed time. We were then told to follow the excursion customer service officer. However, she was lost in the crowd trying to exit the ship. My wife and I were separated and she was told to exit from another exit on the ship while I was stuck in a crowd which was not moving. This, in itself, was quite a frightening experience because I could see the Occupational Health and Safety Risk had anything untoward happened. After 40 minutes, I exited the ship and was told where the bus was. As I was moving to where the bus was supposedly waiting, my wife found me and told me the bus had departed. My wife explained to me that she advised the Customer Service Officer (CSO) that I must have been held up but the CSO said the coach has to go now! A frantic discussion occurred with several CSOs. Finally, we were told that we should catch the general shuttle bus into the Pila Gate where someone (no name given) would be waiting for us and would direct us to our excursion group. We caught the shuttle to the Pila Gate. When we arrived at the Pila Gate, there was no CSO waiting anywhere. Then we started searching for our group both outside the gate and inside the walls. It took about 20 minutes of searching both sides of the Pila Gate before we found the tour. My estimate is that we lost 40 minutes of the tour through this and we were very lucky to find it. The MSC Divina CSO assigned to this tour refused to make eye contact with my wife or me after we joined the tour. Once the tour had been completed and we returned to the ship, I went to the Excursions Desk. I spoke to a senior CSO and she was a very superior, arrogant and quite rude. Initially she was not very interested in hearing my complaint. After she finally relented to hear my issue, she blamed me for not getting to the tour coach on time, even though I explained that getting off the ship was impossible and a risk. This CSO then said that she was supposed to be our contact at the Pila Gate. She was not at the Gate. No one from the MSC Divina was at the Gate. She, begrudgingly, finally took down the details of my complaint, advised me that she would have to contact MSC head office and promised me that she would contact me before the end of the cruise. I am still waiting. I have written to CS in Australia requesting a refund for the tour but it has been pushed on to headquarters so I do not expect any result.My wife's luggage was mislaid after disembarking at Venice; before coach transfer to Genoa to embark on MSC Splendida cruise. We approached two Divina CSO's to advise them that the baggage was missing and that we would not board the coach until the luggage was found. They did not know that our friends had advised the coach driver that they would not allow the coach to leave until we were on board. The CSO's attitudes were did you put the luggage outside our cabin on time? [We had at midnight!]; did you put the blue tag on? [I did]; did you check the blue labeled tagged bags again? [we did many times.] The CSOs walked away from us providing no further help! I then asked one of the ship's officers for help. He asked the same questions and suggested that we should board the coach. We refused! He then, at least tried to find out where the luggage was. We were then looking at green coloured labels when we noticed a bag which looked like hers. The blue tag on our bag had been ripped off. The white tag for our next cruise for the Western Mediterranean on the MSC Splendida was still on the bag. This is really not a good look for MSC. Excursion customer service is really poor. Help with our lost luggage was non-existent.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
we were looking forward to our cruise with MSC having seen the DIVINA in venice the year before.We have cruised with Carnival on the Dream in the carribean and with RCCL both med and carribean a number of times,so our comparisons are based ... Read More
we were looking forward to our cruise with MSC having seen the DIVINA in venice the year before.We have cruised with Carnival on the Dream in the carribean and with RCCL both med and carribean a number of times,so our comparisons are based on that. Embarkation in venice was busy but you expect that.However we had not been told that we would not sail through the grande canal on the way out as it was the one week of the year that ships are not allowed due to a big boating festival.We should have been told as this happens at the same time each year,so beware if you are thinking of departing around the 20th of July.We have sailed from Venice before so we were ok but had it have been last year when we took a party of 20 on rccl from venice for my husbands 50th birthday we would have been devastated because none of those guests had sailed from Venice,which is why we chose that itinery. Having embarked we wandered the ship which being new was very smart but seemed quite dark in decoration and the ceilings appeared low.In fact my sister is only 4ft 10 and she could touch the ceilings in some parts of the ship. The entertainment was excellent.The cabin was adequate [balcony cabins and 1 inside cabin] although there was not any hidden storage ie. behind mirrors etc like on other ships and wardrobe space was very limited.cabin staff were again adequate but did not bother to get to know our names and simply did their jobs. We had the drinks package and this was excellent value including coffee and ice cream as well as cocktails and liqueurs. Now the reasons we will not travel with Msc again. The pools were actually dangerous with not only riotous children dive bombing but adults finding it hilarious to do the same .We have children and have never minded kids splashing around us but this was intollerable.Pool attendants blew a whistle probably twice during the week and just ignored the problem. The bar service was virtually non existant in fact waiters overted their eyes so as not to see you.When you managed to catch a waiter he would fetch you a drink but only because he had to.Even in the bars at night despite having pre dinner drinks in the same bar every night we were never greeted with a smile or any conversation.Most of the staff spoke very poor English and could not understand to even give you basic directions.Even at the main desk it was very difficult to make ourselves understood.Whist I appreciate that this is an Italian ship for safety reasons surely certain staff should be fluent to assist english speaking guests. The food was awful.Our waiter tried his best and apologised for his service saying that he could not serve us as we had been served on other ships as he had too many tables.He was very good and service was not the real issue. The issue was the food, too many courses of cheap quality food sometimes inedible and usually tastless. The buffet was no better too spread out so that the time you had your food on your plate and were at your table everything was cold.We ended up just having the first thing we saw and giving up on the rest. On our last day we left the pool in utter dismay looking round at 6pm there was a dirty nappy on the floor ,various bottles and cans rolling around in the wind and a deck attendant stacking chairs (rubbish was not his job). Generally the staff are being paid a salary unlike on other ships we have sailed on so service is irrelevant.The tips added to your seapass daily DO NOT go to your cabin or wait staff but are divided between the whole company. our waiter told us he got approx 1% of what was paid.My reccomendation would be to take off the tips and hand over cash to those who have earned it! We had hoped MSC would be perfect as we fancied a 2 week carribean cruise next year and the price was competitive.Unfortuanately we will not put up with bad food or bad service.We,a party of 12,have just booked 2 weeks with RCCL next year,please be aware that you get what you pay for! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
The ship is treated as a glorified day-care facility by the Italian holiday makers who are rude, pushy, don't adhere to the rules and are generally obnoxious. This is compounded by the ships staff who do not want to, or are not ... Read More
The ship is treated as a glorified day-care facility by the Italian holiday makers who are rude, pushy, don't adhere to the rules and are generally obnoxious. This is compounded by the ships staff who do not want to, or are not allowed to, pull people up on their bad behavior. Unaccompanied children(5yrs - 14yrs) running in the corridors, running up and down stairs, splashing in the pools and doing other stuff that kids do...they're kids who are trapped on a boat without enough activity to interest them. Unaccompanied teenagers 14yrs - 17yrs hanging out in the Nightclubs and bars till closing time(3am) with their parents drink card...but not their parents. When I asked if there was any bar on board that had a "No Children" policy I was laughed at by the reception staff(the worst service I have ever received was from the Reception Staff on this cruise). This is a MASSIVE ship with not enough activities organized for the number of passengers on the ship, not enough poolside spots and no-one checking that people adhere to the rules...therefore disadvantaging the rest of the passengers. Excursions were generally poorly organized with not enough shade, no water provisions and not enough transport forcing passengers to stand in the sun for the better part of an hour waiting for a bus...all the while getting pushed and shoved by other passengers. How fights didn't break out, I don't know?! We booked a family suit with balcony but could not use our balcony for much of the cruise because other passengers were smoking on their balcony...despite the safety regulations and the ships rules about no-smoking in cabins and on balconies. When we rang and complained(repeatedly) very little was done for 3 days...then we asked for the manager, who sent the cabin boy rather than actually doing anything about it themselves. Bathers in the Buffet...saggy old boobs in the salad and armpits over the food but no staff to correct the bad behavior. Our waiters and cabin staff were outstanding and the cabins were excellent. We made the most of our drinks package to ensure we got the most value for our money from this disastrous cruise. We refused to pay the service charge of 7-Euro per-person per day because of the terrible service we received from security and reception staff...we chose to tip the staff that were good to us, personally. I hope others can benefit from our poor experience with MSC Divina and this is the reason for my extensive review.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Myself and two kids age 16 and 21, just returned from a wonderful, 7 day Cruise onboard the Divina. There were very few Americans on board, but all of the ship employees spoke some English. My son enjoyed the teen club, Graffiti's, ... Read More
Myself and two kids age 16 and 21, just returned from a wonderful, 7 day Cruise onboard the Divina. There were very few Americans on board, but all of the ship employees spoke some English. My son enjoyed the teen club, Graffiti's, even though all the kids were from non-English speaking countries. Everyone speaks some English so he did just fine. Here are the pros/cons of our MSC Divina Cruise: PROS: We chose MSC because the ports of call were wonderful. We arrived in Istanbul and visited for several days prior to Embarkation. Istanbul is a fascinating city, Izmir as well. We loved Olympia too. Bari is quaint and easy to walk around on your own, Dubrovnik beautiful, but Venice is a bit overrated and expensive. The Ship is beautiful and spotless. Our Balcony Cabin 13185 was good sized and very clean. Our cabin attendant Andrianiaina Tovo Jean Marcellin was friendly and did an excellent job cleaning up our cabin twice a day while we were sightseeing and eating dinner. The Dining room food was delicious with different menu choices. We loved the relaxing 6 course meal. Americans get 7 coupons for water bottles at dinner but everyone else must pay for the water at 2.50E per liter. Our Dining Room waiter, Ardinata, was friendly and professional. The buffet was good too but often too crowded at peak lunch and dinner times. The buffet had free water, coffee, tea, milk all day and juices at breakfast. Shows were excellent especially the Michael Jackson Tribute, Pirate Show, and Egyptian Show. It was fun to hear the emcee greet the guests in almost every language on board. CONS: Embarkation was long and hot. We boarded in Istanbul not Venice. There were not many passengers boarding there, maybe 150. The line was long and moved slowly and the port building was not air-conditioned. It was very frustrating to start our trip this way. Maybe the Venice and Bari Embarkations are smoother. The port stops were short. Made it very rushed at each port. We did two MSC Excursions. The first, Katakolon - 'Olympia and Shopping', was very good and Olympia is worth the visit if you like ancient history. However, the second, 'Venice - Gondola Ride, St. Mark's Square Tour, and a Museum', was definitely not doable in the time at port. What made it worse was that our tour guide had English and Italian speaking folks in her group. The time spent translating into both languages wasted a lot of time. We ended up running through the Doge's Palace Museum in order to get back to tender boat to the ship. We did two private tours through 'Tours by Locals.com' at Dubrovnik and Izmir. Both guides met us at the port exit and had us back to the ship on time. These private tours were not much more expensive than the ship excursions, so I would recommend them. There was a sporadic sewage smell on our hall and in our cabin. The smell came through the air-conditioning and the crew always gave us a different reason for it. It always went away. Debarkation was confusing. Prior to the cruise, MSC in the US said if we took our own bags (since so few folks disembarked in Istanbul), we could take our time leaving. Our pickup service was not until 10:30 so we planned to leave around 10:00. Then onboard, we were told we must be out of room by 8:00. Reception then said, no, we needed to checkout of our room by 7:00. When I got upset they agreed to let us stay in our room until 8:30. We were told to pick up passports at 9:30 but the passports did not arrive on ship until 10:30. Very disorganized and unclear. Overall, I enjoyed the cruise very much and would choose MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Our family of four including a 12 and 14 year old just spent an enjoyable week exploring the Eastern Mediterranean on the MSC Divina and agree with some reviewers that some of the negative reviews are unfair as research needs to be done ... Read More
Our family of four including a 12 and 14 year old just spent an enjoyable week exploring the Eastern Mediterranean on the MSC Divina and agree with some reviewers that some of the negative reviews are unfair as research needs to be done ahead of time so you know what the cruise includes. This is not an "all-inclusive" or "gourmet foods and wines of the world cruise". It is an Italian-based company with mostly Italians on board. You are not in Kansas anymore! As another review said, "adapt, and you'll have a good time." Here's our list of pros and cons: Pros: Gorgeous ship, new and sparkling. Our cruise was smooth as silk. Wonderful service from the cabin attendants. They are constantly cleaning and work very hard at being multi-lingual. Even as we walked down hallways to get to different places, every attendant said hello and smiled. Our room was cleaned and tidied at least twice a day. We had a room on the 13th floor with a glass balcony and it was lovely. We unpacked and put our suitcases under the bed and there was enough room for all of us. Great service in the restaurants. All our servers had wonderful attitudes and spoke several languages. We had the first seating in the Villa Rosa restaurant and had lovely dinners with a family from Quebec every night. My husband and I avoided the buffet most of the time since we're not competitive eaters who find it fun to stuff down 20 pastries and enough fruit salad for 16 people but many buffet-goers seemed really focused on 5 digit calorie totals for the day, so to each his own and kids loved it thinking it was heaven on earth. There's something for everyone! I am baffled that some reviewers were "hungry" after visiting the buffet as the selection is enormous. The Allegrisimo drink plan was a decent value as it also includes gelato and virgin cocktails. The white wine (my drink of choice, I'm boring that way) was not very good but the other drinks made up for it. The ports of call: amazing! Istanbul! Venice! Olympia! Dubrovnik! We were thrilled to visit them all. The Cons: The Reception and Excursion Desks. Two words: not helpful. Basically staffed by petulant older teenagers who snarl as you walk up. Our drink plan was erroneously not printed on our cruise cards which cased trouble for the servers who had to call the front desk to verify our drink plans for two days. By the time we got our drinks we were almost done eating. The front desk could've helped resolve this or given us a note to give the servers but instead they asked us to keep coming back to the desk until they "fixed" the card machine. Thanks front desk! Way to support your fellow staff members! The Excursion desk...warning! Don't offend them by asking a question! They are there to book you on expensive EXCURSIONS, and cannot and will not covey really simple yet incredibly useful information like "yes, you can walk from the port of Venice where we are currently docked directly to the Water Taxi line and take that straight into San Marcos' square". Plan ahead and get real maps of the cities (they don't have any) and you'll have 80% of what you need to have a great day without purchasing the overpriced excursions with MSC. Note to MSC: have the servers and cabin attendants and all of housekeeping train the staff and the Reception Excursion desks on how to provide excellent service.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
It was our first cruise and we are already keen to book the next one. We did the one week cruise out of Istanbul and really enjoyed the ship. It is clean, beautiful and has a wide range of services that we enjoyed. We though the food was ... Read More
It was our first cruise and we are already keen to book the next one. We did the one week cruise out of Istanbul and really enjoyed the ship. It is clean, beautiful and has a wide range of services that we enjoyed. We though the food was pretty good, we were in the Villa Rosa restaurant, and a good range of options. Drink prices were same as a restaurant so really consider the drinks packages, we got water and beer tickets which worked well but one of the couples we ate with had unlimited which takes the pressure off if you do't want to bother keeping track. The restaurants are good, and serve breakfast which as a much more civilised option than the buffet. We used the buffet for lunch as it was open when excursions got back, the food was varied, some very good, some pretty mediocre. The people were unbelievable, it was like they had never been fed before. You can get heaps of food, but if you don't want to feel like you are feeding time in a zoo then use the other restaurants as much as possible, the Black Crab and Villa Rosa have free breakfasts. The shows were excellent and there is a good range of bars with different atmospheres. Our cabin was first rate, and the staff were just wonderful, always obliging and happy to assist and there are plenty of them. Be nice to them and you will get first rate service with a genuine smile. The shore excursions were mixed - Dubrovnik do you own thing, Venice was mediocre so choose, do your own thing in Bari, Olympia was very good and Ephesus was easily the best guide and itinerary we have ever had and we have done a lot of travelling. The cruise itself is cheap and with a little planning - drink coffee and water in the buffet where its free, etc. you can choose how much you spend. If you just use a bit of thought you won't spend that much extra. Overall we felt like millionaires yet didn't spend a fortune. I love the MSC experience and our next holiday will probably include a cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We were told that flights would be arranged close to our travelling date, we were informed 2 weeks prior to travel that we were outbound from Gatwick to Verona and inbound Venice to Gatwick. Not the end of the world, but be aware that you ... Read More
We were told that flights would be arranged close to our travelling date, we were informed 2 weeks prior to travel that we were outbound from Gatwick to Verona and inbound Venice to Gatwick. Not the end of the world, but be aware that you may not get a flight to a local airport. Flights were organised, along with transfers, by MSC. Gatwick was chaos!! We arrived early, but were unable to sit together. I am a nervous traveller, also being 22 weeks pregnant did not appreciate being split up from my husband. As MSC arrange flights as a large group booking, you cannot check-in online 24hrs prior. Hence, no seats together, as everyone else had checked in beforehand. Flight was ok, nothing special, food poor considering BA flight. Transfer was easy, MSC rep waiting at airport to show you to the correct bus. Summing up the embarkation to the ship, and the rest of the holiday, chaos and queues!! Queue to drop off your cases, queue to enter terminal, queue for escalators, queue for compulsory photos, very large queue to check-in and queue for security! A very long and tedious process, not helped by the apparent rudeness of the check-in staff. We were shown to a desk, the man ignored us and carried on talking to his friend. Eventually be acknowledged us and said 'yes' whilst shrugging his shoulders, as if asking what we wanted! I said we were there to check-in, he didn't really speak to us through the whole process and when finished just stood there before shooing us away with his hands!! Not the treatment I was expecting. Have to say the rest of our party arrived earlier and had a pleasant and smooth check-in. Cabin excellent! Balcony cabin, good storage, nicely sized room, good standard and quality fixtures/fittings. We had cabin 9160, great location! Just off the lifts, which went to the dining rooms, buffet and pool decks. Easy access to everything. Luckily we had a glass balcony, the rest if our family had the enclosed steel balconies which obstructed your view and sun. The decor of the ship was excellent, very surprised. Public areas very nice. One negative point - in my opinion there were not enough toilets on board and they were always dirty!! Being pregnant, I spent a lot of time back and forth to the toilets. There were so many people on board, you were always queuing. Ship felt crowded, always being pushed & elbowed by others, always queuing for something. Good luck in getting a seat in the public lounges at dinner time. We opted for 1st seating, which was 18.45, usually finished by 20.45. Second sitting was 21.15. Dining rooms were pleasant, food was average and nothing special. They made an effort with the menus, but they were generally not to my taste, I did struggle to eat anything some evenings. My Dad has Coeliac Disease, so needed to have a gluten free menu. Gluten free food is only available in the restaurants and not the buffet, this limited him during the daytime. However, the gluten free service and the quality of the gluten free food was excellent!! Made for stress free dining. Ports: Venice, Bari, Katakolon, Izmir, Istanbul, Dubrovnik, Venice. Sounded a great itinerary, but disappointing. Venice, did not see it other than from the ship & coach. Bari, not much going on. Katakolon, a single street of tourist shops. Here there were local coaches offering return trips to Olympia for €10, don't pay the MSC prices, walk to the town (5 mins) and much cheaper options. Izmir & Istanbul, we opted to remain on the ship due to the recent troubles and unrest. Dubrovnik, €12 each for transfer to the Old Town. However, step off the ship and you can get a taxi for €10 each way with 4 people in!! Dubrovnik was beautiful, but unbearably hot and packed with people. Day at sea: make sure you stake your claim to a sunbed early!! They were out at 06.00 putting towels down. Despite the rules, no-one listens and no-one removed towels whilst we were there. Dining on this day was particularly difficult. The buffet was always very busy, so we decided to use one of the restaurants instead. This proved to be a mistake. 6 of us were out on a table for 8, then 2 Austrians were also put on our table. Ordinarily not an issue, but we were all on different drinks packages and they didn't speak any English. We sat awkwardly for the duration. The orders were all mixed up, the waiter was very rude and abrupt. My mother ordered a cranberry juice, she received a green coloured drink and was told they had run out!! She did not know what the drink was and was not asked if she would like something different. Our evening dining couldn't be more different, the waiting staff were fantastic! I think it was probably hit & miss, depending on the staff. The last evening, we were told to attend a meeting to inform us about the disembarkation procedure. This was a complete waste of time, there was no information, we were just told to put the luggage tags on bags and read the info posted in our room that evening. The info advised on your disembarkation time, based on the tag colour. Be warned, you have to vacate your cabin by 07.00!!!!!!! Ridiculously early!!! Cases need to be outside your room by 02.00 and collect them the next day. We had transfers included to the airport. The info stated that our meeting time to disembark was 09.10, but our transfer time was 15.00. We asked if we could stay on the ship - No! Is there somewhere to leave our luggage? - Yes, but you have to pay for the service. The cruise terminal is a good distance from everywhere, are there any transfers to Venice for the day? - No, you need to figure it out yourself and pay for any transport! We were thrown off the ship with our luggage in the baking heat with nowhere to go and not enough money left to pay for luggage deposit/transport/drinks etc. Plus the temperature was unbearably hot and I was pregnant. MSC didn't seem bothered by that!!! I really could have cried! Also, our meeting time was 09.10, we sat for 45mins waiting before we were called. My husband spoke with the women organising the people for the airport transfers. At first they said that the earlier buses were all full, after pleading they said for us to wait. They squeezed us onto the next bus to the airport. I was very grateful!! At least we could sit in the cool, afford drinks and use the toilets at the airport. No thanks to MSC. They were happy to abandon us. You're off the ship and no longer their problem. A big thank you to the lady who did help us though. It's a real shame. The ship was lovely, the majority of staff were excellent. However, a few staff were horrendous, the ship was too busy, organisation poor, uncaring attitude. After the stress of the disembarkation I would not sail with MSC again.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Msc Divinia is a lovely ship and the staff were fantastic and the shows were good if not very short ie 1/2hr. We did the AI package which was well worth it. There were plenty of places to go in the evening to suit all people and the ... Read More
Msc Divinia is a lovely ship and the staff were fantastic and the shows were good if not very short ie 1/2hr. We did the AI package which was well worth it. There were plenty of places to go in the evening to suit all people and the entertainment in the bars was good. We had a balcony room which was big enough and great to be able to leave the door open to the balcony. Wifi was very expensive! The Black and White bar was great, with a big dance floor and some good entertainment.There was only two complaints:1. The food in the restaurants was never hot and sometimes was nearer to cold. The portions were small so have most of the courses is my advice. The main buffet restaurant was a nightmare at times as hundreds of people tried to eat with not enough seats.2. The sore excursions we did go on we're not great which was Izmir and Venice. The Venice trip was € 80 each and went to a glass factory which took up about 11/2hrs of a 4hr trip. We then had to walk briskly to where the gondola trip started and the guide did not describe any sights on the way. The gondola trip lasted 1/2hr with 6 of us in and I was facing backwards and it did not go anywhere great. We then were left there by the guide to get back to our boat to go back to the ship alone. We had to nearly run across St Marks square to be on tine. Overall a rip off. I would not recommend their shore excursions and we did our own thing as much as possible. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
June 2013. Our first ever Cruise and we decided on the Med and MSC Divina. Booked and paid far in advance (that afforded us a nice discount)to board in Venice and do a 7 day trip to Dubrovnik and back. Before our Cruise we read some bad ... Read More
June 2013. Our first ever Cruise and we decided on the Med and MSC Divina. Booked and paid far in advance (that afforded us a nice discount)to board in Venice and do a 7 day trip to Dubrovnik and back. Before our Cruise we read some bad reviews about the Divina - bad staff, bad food, terrible wine etc etc. Well...we experienced NOTHING of the sort! The staff was excellent, the food was very acceptable and the wine was fine. Boarding in Venice took all of 15 minutes. Our cabin was ready 2 hours before the advertised time and we found it spotless and inviting. The Cabin attendant (Frederique) introduced himself and after that we just saw him slip in and out of our Cabin to freshen things up. We bought the Allegrissimo Drinks package at 23Euro per person per day and it was a very good decision. Our evening meals we had in the Villa Rosa Restaurant and our waiters Halili and Stephen went out of their way to ensure we had a good time. 1 Evening meal we went to the Tex Mex (Extra charge) and another evening we Dined at the Buffet Restaurant (we did not feel like dressing up). It is advisable to wear long pants for dinner. We had 2 Gala evenings and a Jacket and tie is advisable if you do not want to do Black tie. Guest relations - Tyrone, Guest entertainment - Bonita and Oscar, Waiters - Mischa and Violetta were gems!!!! Excursions: We only used the Ship excursion for Katakalon - well worth it as the guides are VERY informed. There was no waiting or pushing and shoving to get off the Boat and onto Buses - all was very well organised. Istanbul and Dubrovnik we did on our own. The Divina is kept very clean - staff constantly cleaning. It was a pleasure Cruising and we will do it again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
MSC Divina Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.5 3.3
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 1.0 3.2
Service 4.0 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 5.0 3.7

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