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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We choose this cruise based on 1. Itinerary, 2. date, 3. expense. Meet all our requirements. Compare with other cruise line such as Royal Caribbean, Princess or Carnival, the food choices with MSC is limited, but with the money you ... Read More
We choose this cruise based on 1. Itinerary, 2. date, 3. expense. Meet all our requirements. Compare with other cruise line such as Royal Caribbean, Princess or Carnival, the food choices with MSC is limited, but with the money you saved, you can eat whatever you are missing on the shore and even better. The cabin is spacious and clean, there is always dancing class going on, the gym is one of the largest I have seen on the cruise ship. One thing to note about Marseille port, it's a LONG walk to the free shuttle bus, and it's not very enjoyable walk, so take the taxi or cruise ship shuttle out. The embarkment process is the best I have ever been to, everything moves swiftly, we were boarded at no time. The disembarkation process has little glitch, two people from our party were stopped at the exit, apparently computer has flagged them for balance not cleared, even we paid the night before. I find this strange, even if there is a balance, they should charge us the balance using the card on record, not stopping us. This actually caused us to missed the train. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were visiting from Illinois and chose this cruise because it fit our schedule and the price seemed reasonable. We did spend additional money on entertainment and drinks, but in the end it was still a good value, especially with kids. ... Read More
We were visiting from Illinois and chose this cruise because it fit our schedule and the price seemed reasonable. We did spend additional money on entertainment and drinks, but in the end it was still a good value, especially with kids. Weather was great! Pluses: Nice looking ship with a variety of live entertainment, shops, bars, and activities. Great itinerary with interesting ports. Wide stairways made it easy to skip the elevator wait. Getting on and off the boat was generally smooth. The kids loved the mini-bowling. The cabin had adequate room even with the sofabed opened up. Beds were comfy. Minuses: Quite a few maintenance issues. Among the things which did not function for most or all of our cruise were one of the bowling alleys, the racecar simulator, some of the indoor hot tubs, several treadmills, and the air hockey games. The cabin bathroom was rusting in parts and smelled faintly of sewage. The pools tended to be overcrowded. There is a lack of public toilets, mainly due to poor design (one toilet stall covers a ridiculously large amount of area, even with a full sink inside!). Mixed: - The food. Breakfast was fine but repetitive. The buffet was OK but seafood and fresh fruit tended to disappoint. Snacks and desserts were often the best items. Main dining meals were slow to arrive and not consistently high quality, although they were sometimes good. We got the Fantastica package which offers free bottled water in the main dining room. When in Europe we are used to paying for water, Americans who complain about that forget that even a 15% tip is now considered stingy stateside. - The ship design. It takes some getting used to, although there are maps everywhere. Lots of zigs and zags. Among the more confusing areas are the buffet, the virtual world, and Deck 5 (where you have to wander among cabins to find the reception). Service: We found all the staff friendly and polite, and room service was very prompt. However, the customer service procedures were often baffling. I sometimes was bounced around between places to get charges dropped, and it would usually take about 5 minutes of a staff person pecking away at their keyboard to get even simple account changes made. Communication with guests could certainly be improved. I suspect one reason the lines are reception are long is that the onboard systems are poorly integrated. Ports: We did not do any excursions, and avoided the paid shuttles. Going independent did make things a bit harder, especially when the port was in an industrial wasteland, but when the official bus costs more than a taxi it doesn't make much sense to use the bus. We encountered a number of MSC-organized tours, and given the large group sizes and lack of English we don't feel we missed much. It's definitely worth buying an internet package if you're going independent, you will need to do a lot of searching and mapping. Passengers: Mostly Italians, but a fair number of French and Germans too. It's Europe so people smoke on the balcony. Lack of a common language made it harder to strike up casual conversations, and we didn't really get to know anyone the entire time. I can imagine this could be a drawback for the kids club, though to be honest our kids tend to shy away from kids clubs anyway. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Where to start: First, we have sailed nineteen times and experienced an array of American AND European cruise products from RCCL, Princess, Costa, P&O, NCL, Holland America etc. The experiences of these diverse products have ... Read More
Where to start: First, we have sailed nineteen times and experienced an array of American AND European cruise products from RCCL, Princess, Costa, P&O, NCL, Holland America etc. The experiences of these diverse products have collectively informed my opinion of our MSC experience. MSC is NOT for the American market share rather, this European line is clearly after the sustainability of the European market share. American products by and large, do not charge a consistently high price for the cruise and then, charge clients for water while on board. Yes... MSC does this. Not even Costa does this. We paid over 3k for our cruise (similar and consistent to what we have paid for with other products like RCCL, Costa, Princess etc.) but while on board the MSC product we were charged for water.... we were amazed, perplexed and terribly disappointed. Its also important to note -what MSC USA sold us was not what we experienced onboard. When we pointed out the discrepancies on board we were told to take it up with MSC USA when we got home. We did, they did nothing to satisfy or settle our issue. We purchased the Fantastica experience, were told drink packages were included - then they somehow were not included. When we argued they were - we were told we had to buy a drink package which we did for our two children (non alcoholic package) and 1 adult alcoholic package. Only to get on board and be told we shouldn't have done that in fact it was included in our package and when we asked to have the initial prepaid packages we purchased refunded they said - sorry it wasn't included... The only thing which we felt was consistent was the inconsistency between what was sold and what we expected to what we actually experienced onboard. Other things we felt were important to note. The excursions - expensive but of little to no substance; again, representing to us an imbalance between what we paid for and what we actually experienced. We purchased several excursions through MSC - and quickly spent MORE TIME transiting to the excursions than we actually did enjoying the place we were visiting. This happend to us in both Arles France and Portofino. In Arles, we spent 3 hours on a bus to experience the town for only an hour. While in Portofino, same things - we paid a fortune to go to Portofino and spent three hours transiting there only to spend an hour IN Portofino... Very little value for money. Similarly, MSC twice docked at a port which they charged a fee to go from the Port facility to the town.... We were left shaking our heads and again, having the experience of other lines, this was an anomaly we felt was important to note for others who are considering this line. The ship itself was clean, comparatively clean to other lines and with cabins which were much larger than the typical stateroom found on other lines. That was about the only two bonuses on this line. Our experience of the ship was in one word -- exhausting. Terribly overcrowded and with clearly overwhelmed staff who continually treated us with discourtesy and disregard. The staff appeared as exhausted of the overcrowded conditions as we were. This was consistent from the bar staff to the dinning staff -- totally overwhelmed and continually discourteous and seemed exhausted..... The common centers on the ship were jammed daily elbow to elbow with people and loud music - wasn't a quiet spot on the ship to be found... ever. The smoking is an experience not commonly found with American products, on European lines - smoking is everywhere and something we found terribly intrusive and distasteful. Imagine placing the ONLY soft serve ice cream station for kids on the ship in the smoking section of the ship... kids actually have to endure cigarette smoke while waiting for their ice cream (which was eventually closed down due to being broken). This careless disregard for children - alone, made us not want to return to this product... ever. We have sailed many ships (19 cruises to date) and several of those other European products. First time we were ever on a ship and product we couldn't wait to leave... first time. The cost of this product comparatively is similar to other lines - RCCL, Princess Holland America - but what you get for your money is wholly inconsistent and as a result, we could not in good conscience recommend this product, especially for families. While MSC is trying desperately to break into the American marketshare, we believe this is going to be extremely difficult as people with experiences such as ours, share our impressions with others. This was an honest and unbiased account of our experience. We hope it is taken seriously so the product may be improved for others going forward. For us, we will not use or recommend this product in the future. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Here is some info about me: I'm 48. Live in USA. have cruised 51 days with Carnival, 14 days with princes, and now 7 with MSC. Have cruised a lot of Caribbean, one Norway, one Alaska, and now one Mediterranean. We started and ... Read More
Here is some info about me: I'm 48. Live in USA. have cruised 51 days with Carnival, 14 days with princes, and now 7 with MSC. Have cruised a lot of Caribbean, one Norway, one Alaska, and now one Mediterranean. We started and ended our cruise in Genoa. Before the cruise, I registered myself and my husband for the status match program. NOT user friendly, i must say. Make sure your photo that you upload with your other cruise-line info is a small data file. It took me several tries, but i finally got it done. we got silver level by providing our carnival info. Other than a bowl with 4 pieces of fruit in our cabin, not sure we noticed much difference. I was the one in our group of 16 friends/family that did the research and planned most of our trip. i went into the cruise having read MANY reviews. Having read the reviews, i would say that i agree with many of them. 1. very nice ship. clean inside. nicely decorated. clean. 2. entertainment above average. they had 3 lead singers who sang to a prerecorded soundtrack. they sang well. the dancers danced well. there were a couple of songs that they had one of the dancers (very obviously) lip-sync. I would have preferred that they did not do that. they were far better at dancing than lip-syncing. Just let the dancers dance!! 3. food....... a. dining room. Although our wait staff was very friendly, i did not feel the same level of personal involvement or level of attentiveness with them as i have felt with previous cruises. They just didn't seem to "have it all pulled together". some in our 2 tables of 8 did not get things that they ordered and it did seem to take a long time for one of our tables, who had a different waiter. as far as the food goes, well...... as many other reviewers have said, the selection is lacking compared to other cruise lines. maybe 5 options for starters (soups, salad, etc). another 5 for main dishes. then maybe 4 or 5 desert choices. they did have something like 3 items that are on the menu every night, but i can't say that i looked at them more than once. they did not seem very interesting. the food was NOT awful as some in my group claimed and some reviewers have claimed. Yes, i have had better. I think if they had more selection, the complainers in my group might have been happier. Maybe if the food had been catered to Americans, maybe they would have been happier.....i just don't know. Maybe i just had low expectations because of the reviews i read before the cruise, but MAYBE I had more realistic expectations since I have been to Europe many times and know to expect things to be a little different than in a cruise that caters to Americans. The fact is that on this cruise you can expect to be surrounded by lots of french, german, spanish, and italians. English speakers were by far in the minority. Not a problem, but something to be aware of. Of note, we went to the dining room the first 3 nights, then never went back. we found that the food on deck 14 was just as good and a lot quicker. we had 7pm dining. if we ate in the dining room, we had to go to the 945 show. a little late for me. b. informal dining......breakfast and lunch were perfectly adequate. lots to choose from. they did a good job trying to have selections that cater to different cultures. they had the bacon (actual bacon, not British bacon that is actually ham), but the link sausages were more British than American. lots of pastries, different types of eggs (scrambled, etc), pan cakes, etc. I very much enjoy experiencing what other cultures eat. some in my group are not what i would call cultured. they just thought some of the items were bad....in reality, the food items were that way, not because they were bad, but because that's the way other cultures eat them. Of note, as other reviewers have said, the pizza was very much above average for cruise pizza. it was nice to not have to wait in a long line for mediocre pizza like you do on carnival. Of note, I expected the dinner in the casual dining to be at least a small step up from what you get in there for lunch, but i did not find that to be the case. 4. Drink packages...... most in our group chose to purchase drink packages. my husband got the $10 per drink max package for $39 per day. I got the $19 non alcoholic package, and my son got the $14 per day non alcoholic kids drink package. Of note, i only got mine because i had to have a package for my son and husband to have one. I think they might have gotten their money's worth, but i'm not sure that i did. I don't like to drink a lof of sugary drinks or ones with artificial sweeteners. Large bottles of mineral water were like 2.50, so not crazy bad without the package. It was nice that I was able to go to the bar and order 2 cappuccinos and a mineral water at the same time and not have to wait or come back for the others. I think you have to wait 15 min between the alcoholic drinks. You could also get soft serve ice cream with the non alcoholic packages, but not with the alcoholic packages. Had i not gotten a package, the free drink selections would have been fine with me. Of note, no decaf coffee that i could see for free.....i found that strange. lots of different flavors of tea bags to choose from. 5. staff members.....including the dining room staff, i found the staff to be very friendly. they were very good about making eye contact and greeting you. most of them that I encountered, spoke a good amount of english. I was pleasantly surprised by that. 6. excursions...... we did not choose to book any excursions through the cruiseline, although a couple in our group did. My mom was pleased with the cave trip and another tour she and her friend took. What we did pay for was 3 transfers! No tendering with free shuttle for this cruise line. we paid $12.99 per person for 2 of them and like $16 for Marseille. I did read about the other options (hop on hop off close to port, free shuttles, and city buses), but we decided that our time and lower amounts of frustration from having to find where to go made it worth it for us to just fork out the dough. We just weren't up for the adventure of all of that. 16 people is a lot to have to wrangle up. 7. transfers. we used a company called www.airportstaxitransfers.com to get us from the genoa airport to the hotel in genoa, hotel to ship, ship to milan, then hotel in milan to airport in milan. highly recommend them. extremely punctual, we had not hitches with any of the four segments. with our number of travelers it was very cost effective. something like 50 euros total each for all 4 segments. door to door service. Of note, we spoke to an Australian couple who were on the last of 3 consecutive msc cruises. they nearly missed the ship because the transfer that was arranged through the ship didnt work out. they had been told a later time for it and so they missed it. it cost them 1000 euros to take a cab from venice and made it there with 1 hour to spare. the cruise line was going to reimburse them for the 1000 euros and the ship's employees were very apologetic to them and seemed to be very interested in making it right for them. I would have written that bad experience off as a 1-off, but we got word that the cruiseline had also messed up their transfer at the end of our cruise. they had them going to germany, instead of to the airport. Not sure how that all came out, but im sure it was frustrating for them, considering the other snafu...... Not saying dont use the cruiseline for transfers, but just make sure that you check all of the details very carefully. 8. nickel and diming..... Yes, it did seem that they charged extra for A LOT of things. We heard one passenger wondering if they were going to be charged extra for toilet paper! What I would say about that, though, is that you get what you pay for. This was, by far one of the least expensive 7 day Mediterranean cruises that i could find. If we had booked with one of the others, maybe some of those things would have been included....maybe not... Maybe the food would have been better, probably so. But if you are doing well to just get yourself in the door of this ship (financially speaking) and you need the lower price, then you may have to just understand that some things won't be included in the base price. At least they give you the option of having a less expensive trip if you are willing to not use the things that cost extra. 9. I do want to tell you about an excursion that we booked on our own in Cagliari. we booked it through www.sardiniadreamtours.com before the cruise. you can find them on youtube and instagram. highly recommend this company. This tour was the highlight of our cruise. we got in 4x4 landrovers and went off-roading to some awesome lookout points in the mountains, then spent time at two beaches (chia was one of them). it cost us about 60 euros each and it lasted the whole time we were in port. they even took us on a quick trip through the historic area just before returning us to the ship. Francesco was awesome! They all went above and beyond. 10. The fact that each of the stops can be your start/end of your cruise. .....as i mentioned, we started and ended in Genoa. we were told that about 900 passengers boarded and disembarked with us. we found it to be pretty stress free, having done the same with 3000 passengers on other cruises where you feel like cattle. we carried our luggage on and off, and it was pretty easy. prior to cruising, i wondered if it would be a pain in the butt having them do a safety drill every day. i have to say that i hardly noticed it, other than the announcement and a few people around the ship with live preservers in their hands. Of note, once you board on your embarkation day, you cannot leave the ship until the next day. If you want to spend more time in that city, do it before you get on. we chose to spend that day in Genoa and board at around 3:30 instead of earlier in the day since we wanted to have a little more time in genoa. we breezed right through the boarding process, since most everyone had already boarded for the day. Our room was ready, we walked right in. Also of note, they put your key in the room and the door will be open when you get there. *****Be sure to go register your form of payment of on-board purchases. they have kiosks by the reception desk that make it pretty easy. you do not have to wait in line at the reception desk to get that done (lines ALWAYS long at the reception desk) 10. would I do it again if I had the choice? I would say yes. some in my group might say no. again with the unrealistic expectations...... I would just tell the nay Sayers to just fork out the big bucks for the other cruise lines next time if you want better food, etc. If they can't afford more, then maybe consider a land vacation or a Caribbean cruise. Just my 2 cents worth..... Hope that this helps you in some way, Cathy Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose the MSC Divina cruise in the Mediterranean because of its unique itinerary for a seven night cruise and because of the opportunity to have a choice of ports from which to embark. Both of these were different from the other cruise ... Read More
We chose the MSC Divina cruise in the Mediterranean because of its unique itinerary for a seven night cruise and because of the opportunity to have a choice of ports from which to embark. Both of these were different from the other cruise line's offerings and paid it off. Also, since we were flying from Los Angeles to Europe, we wanted to see as much as we could each day, so no days at sea was exactly what I was looking for. We chose to board in Marseille since my husband wanted to spend a couple days in Paris prior to the cruise. As for the cabin, we paid for an inside guarantee with the "Fantastica" experience and were very surprised to be upgraded to a mid-ship balcony. Although the ship is a bit dated, it was very clean, the service was excellent across the board and the balcony cabin was very roomy. Our cabin attendant - I Putu Kertajaya, was excellent, and honored our requests. The itinerary included Marseille, Genoa, Civitavecchia (for Rome), Palermo, Cagliari, Palma de Mallorca, and Valencia. We were fortunate weather-wise with only two days of rain and good weather for the rest of the ports at the end of May, and to have calm seas. Previously having sailed many times with Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Disney, and Carnival, I was curious about what differences would exist with MSC, so I read many Cruise Critic reviews. I learned that there would be differences from the above mentioned cruise-lines in the food and entertainment offerings so I was not surprised to find this to be the case. Both the buffet and the dining room menus have less entree options. Also, our "Fantastica" level of service included water bottles at meals in the dining room, (we found out late into the cruise) all who had not paid for this had to purchase water at lunch and dinner in the dining room just to get a glass of water with the meal. We were accustomed to being served free water at lunch and dinner in the dining rooms prior to this experience, so this was an unusual difference for us. Also, the entertainment in the theatre was not innovative or inspired and had the nightly repetition of the same talent, unlike others we have sailed with, but I was aware this would be the case from the reviews I had read. A variety of styles of music and dancing could be found in the lounges for those who enjoy that. The ports were all very pleasing and we explored most of them on our own taking trains and buses with the exception of two ship's excursions. Since people were embarking and debarking each day on this itinerary, it was hard to get a Cruise Critic meeting or Meet & Mingle party together. Also, with no days at sea, time was limited. We received a note in our cabin that the meeting date was cancelled, but then rescheduled for dinner in the Asian Fusion (new) Galaxy lounge/restaurant. This was a delightful sushi dinner with two ship's officers and just four of us Cruise Critic members. It was a very special evening for us on the ship and the two officers were extremely friendly and personable. This was one of the highlights. We had a really good week with the knowledge that this experience would be different in terms of food and entertainment. If you are accustomed to the cruise-lines mentioned above or the luxury lines, you will have a good time IF you are aware of differences and change your expectations...it's all in the expectations and this was a great daily itinerary. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
People often ask what was my worst cruise and I answer I've never had a bad one. I can still say that after my mediocre experience cruising the Mediterranean from Rome (Civitavecchia) last week on MSC Divina. Had it not been for the ... Read More
People often ask what was my worst cruise and I answer I've never had a bad one. I can still say that after my mediocre experience cruising the Mediterranean from Rome (Civitavecchia) last week on MSC Divina. Had it not been for the complimentary balcony upgrade I would have given them a "Poor" rating. Overall it is a nice ship and most of the staff friendly with good entertainment. Nice workout facility and plenty to do on board. Unfortunately the food was barely a step above your local buffet restaurants, that included the sit down dinners. Perhaps that is why they were constantly walking through promoting the specialty restaurants while you were in the main restaurant or buffet. Quite often the hand sanitizer machines were empty, though the ship was mostly clean. The boarding process seemed a little informal without giving you much direction on what to do next. We were sent to our room where the door was opened and only one key card on the bed. We had to go to the reception desk to request the other card. We had to visit guest services a few times because promotions offered to us weren't made clear without having to ask for them repeatedly. Also the bedding configuration wasn't as requested. They corrected that before bedtime. The destinations were great, though sometimes difficult for people with mobility issues. You could always catch free or low cost shuttles outside the ship if you're willing and able to walk. Otherwise you may want to consider purchasing the shuttles provided by the ship. I've actually sailed this exact ship before from Miami years ago. Perhaps that is the difference. Maybe it's the European culture where iced tea is not served. I'm okay with that. But finding out the only free beverages are small cups of water from the ice machine, coffee, or hot tea didn't go over well compared to other cruises. They do have free juice from machines at breakfast. Our first dinner in the Black Crab restaurant was a bad experience when we asked for water and tea and the waitress explained there was a cost for it since they only served bottled water and hot tea (though canned ice tea was also available for purchase). Turns out I had some kind of promotion that made the bottled water and hot tea free at lunch or dinner in the restaurant. So that was fine. But it got worse. The first course I discovered hair in the food. They were very apologetic, asked for my room number, and gave us free sodas and wine with lunch or dinner the rest of the trip. I realize the hair thing is likely an isolated incident. And the free water is minor in the whole scheme of things. Vacations cost money. I suspect if MSC spent more time trying to please the customer rather than saving themselves money, it would have been a more pleasant journey. I am used to cruise ships nickel and dining you, but this time they seem to go to far. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Having read the reviews prior to booking I was a bit apprehensive. No need to be. Embarkation in Civitavecchia was very easy and swift. Just be sure if you're travelling to the City by train to validate your train ticket, we ... Read More
Having read the reviews prior to booking I was a bit apprehensive. No need to be. Embarkation in Civitavecchia was very easy and swift. Just be sure if you're travelling to the City by train to validate your train ticket, we accidentally didn't and were fined by a conductor. I imagine its a common revenue raiser. So we were in a bad mood due the train experience but were very pleased we could board the ship upon our arrival. The cabin was excellent, a lot larger than I expected (outside Bella cabin 5071). During our stay it was cleaned probably twice each day, we had a fantastic cleaner. The ship itself is excellent. We didn't find it too hard to get around and work "things" out. The elevators are often busy and easier if able to sometimes take the stairs. We quickly worked out that waiting in line for your turn musn't be a common European/Italian trait. This was most evident at the Ports queuing for hop on hop off buses. But it's something we got use to and just had to take in our stride (and nothing to do with the ship - they can't teach manners). We found the service on board was excellent. Only very minor things like asking for the price of a bourbon and coke at dinner was met with "I don't know" by the waiter. And she didn't find out -so saved me some money by not buying one. But again no big deal. The food in the Balck crab was great. We only ate there twice purely as we were often too busy to make the dining times and the buffet was more convenient. We didn't try any of the extra pay restaurants. We didn't take the drink packages as they were very expensive in Australian dollar terms. Particlularly as we had 4 in the cabin, my wife and a 4 and 9 year old that would all have had to take the package. Our children don't drink soft drink, my wife doesn't drink much. The sports bar was a favourite spot. You could order burgers, nuggets hot dogs etc. whilst watching world sporting events. The staff were exceptional. Whilst we cruised, there was a 10 beer for 25 Euro beer special. This was the best value/deal we could find for drinks on board by a long way. The theatre shows were excellent. We went every night and the kids also loved them. We played bingo a couple of times which again the kids loved, but I thought this was overpriced given the prize. I read some reviews abot the buffet. The whole family thought the range and quality was excellent. Though busy at times, you could always find a table. We rarely needed lunch on shore after the excellent breakfast. The access times to food on board should mean you'll never be hungry. Before cruising we probably had high expectations of the kids club. We didn't really give it a chance as when we signed the kids up, they basically seemed to be doing craft and drawings (it seemed a bit like baby sitting). My 9 year old and his friend pleaded with us not to stay as they basically wanted to play soccer on deck every spare moment. The kids that were there seemed very happy, just wasn't for our boys. The on deck soccer pitch was excellent. My son went on the waterslide, not sure why but it was too slow. He stopped in it a couple of times. Might have been water flow? Anyway he went on it a couple of times, but thought it average. The pools looked fantastic. We used the spas near the basketball court they were a bit quieter than the main ones. I tried the pool but it was a little too cold for me. We never did any of the cruise organised tours, made our own way on shore. Never used the boat shuttle as there was generally cheaper options at the port. It was greatly appreciated when on departure they waived the gratuity fee when requested. we preferred to tip direct and the gratuity fee is significant money in Australian dollar terms due the exchange rate. My wife gets very sea sick normally. This was a major concern and risk when we booked. Thankfully she was completely fine as were our kids with no ill effects whatsoever. Our friend unfortunately did and does suffer motion sickness so she spent some time in her cabin unwell. The boat and the ocean was very stable and smooth sailing. When organising our next holiday cruise, MSC would be my first choice based on value and quality. When booking this cruise part of the reason we chose MSC was the price so I was concerned the cheaper price would be reflected in service, quality or "somewhere", I was happy to find this not the case. I'd happily recommend the Divina to anybody looking for an excellent family cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise based on the value for the price and the ports of call. The ship itself was nice although there was extensive leaking on the 9th floor the duration of the cruise. The main areas were well maintained and quite clean. ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the value for the price and the ports of call. The ship itself was nice although there was extensive leaking on the 9th floor the duration of the cruise. The main areas were well maintained and quite clean. The staff was very nice although it seemed that they could use more wait staff in the various bars. The wait time for pool side drinks was quite long and it appeared that there were only 2 waiters on duty at the pool each afternoon. The food left a lot to be desired. We tried eating in the main dining room once and it was a horrific experience both for service and food quality. The buffet was better although there was not a lot of variety. Also lunches were superior to breakfast and dinner. Often there were wait times to get into the buffet both at breakfast and lunch time. Entertainment was very cheesy including their show which was a tribute to Jim Carey’s “The Mask”. After the first day my 10 year old son refused to go to the kids club due to a lack of fun age appropriate activities. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise for a great deal and because the ship looked great. We were keen to find another cruise line to widen our options. Sadly, this was not to be. Firstly, there is a long list... only 5 people checking in about 300 ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a great deal and because the ship looked great. We were keen to find another cruise line to widen our options. Sadly, this was not to be. Firstly, there is a long list... only 5 people checking in about 300 people between 330pm and 430pm at the port of Civitavecchia - rude staff and it took forever. We were so late on board (520pm not 430pm) we had to go straight to our room for our life jackets (yes really!) and go to our muster point. Staff talked to themselves and ignored the cruisers. They were hopeless. We were there almost an hour -gasping for a drink and totally fed up after 2 long waits. Eventually we got to our cabins - highlight - cabins are lovely and very clean. Then we tried to sort out our dinner reservation having found out that MSC had changed our 830pm to 930pm - far too late to eat. We had no luck so ate at the buffet - this was ok but no better. Alot of pizza and pasta - so much for MSC aiming to broaden their appeal and market. The next day arrived in Sicily. Breakfast buffet was fine but always the same - no variety. Lunch buffet back on board was again ok at best. Limited options again if you didn't want Italian fair. There were huge pizza, pasta and salad areas. Two dessert options- both the cheap, cream filled sponge finger cake option. Common at all times.. I saw nothing else in terms of hot puddings, creme brulee/mousse type thing. Disappointing.Later on we tried to book our earlier evening meal in Black Crab - the manager could not be less bothered. Rubbed his head and said fully booked earlier - you'll have to come and queue - this is all because THEY changed our time! When we did get to the dining room it was such an anti-climax. The food choices on the menu we had in the Black Crab were poor- 4 options - I only eat fish so two were out. But the meals were unappetising and poor quality e.g lasagne night - only a lump of lasagne about 4x5 inches on the plate!! No vegetables! Nothing else. It looked dried out and unpleasant. I had risotto - it was ok but no better. When we sat down on nights 2-4 there was no bread or butter - we had to ask. Glassware had not been replaced either. Basically the wait staff were lazy and self obsessed - they were having a great social time whilst cruisers waited for drinks, orders and food!! It was shocking. We had to ask twice for drinks one night and even then the white wine was warm!! Appalling experience. We were only told about the fixed menu and the lobster/fish options in the speciality restaurant when we were honest about how we had found the dining room. Then there was the embarking after days out expereince - the queues to get back on were awful - such slow service and no greeting, no banter with cruisers. So poor. Finally, disembarkation - told we could get off in Valencia and then they kept us all on lower level 4 in a stairway for an hour!!!!! People were fuming as they had connections to make. We were also told there was a bus for luggage (?) so as we got off we prepared to use it to suddenly see taxis - were told no taxis by MSC!!!! Shocking. Customer service is non-existent. Entertainment was awful -- nothing going on during teh day and poor shows - all very Italian focused - not one of the good shows mentioned in other reviews. The Luna bar had a good double act who were lovely. The singer in the main area for entertainment at night was ok but did the same songs each night!!!! The CD - never met - never saw and never heard about!! The Master Chef at Sea - 30 minutes of a stupid quiz to find contestants - beggared belief. Hygiene - forget it. Never saw one person clean a thing except two giggling young men scraping the metal on the stairs. Never saw anyone wiping down lift buttons, stairway rails or anything. No one in the buffet checking the cleansing fluid is used. No reminders about cleaning hands. I saw people taking food with hands eg a man took a handful of almonds!!! Just shocking all round. Noro virus risk is high on board for sure. In short - go on here for poor food and to be ignored. Would never go with MSC again - the ship and cabins are lovely - what a missed opportunity MSC. Get some decent chefs and train your staff what customer service is. At every opportunity if it could go wrong by them, it did. Heartbreaking we spent hard earned money on this and it was my sister's first cruise. Wish we hadn't bothered. We read the American reviews and thought it was fussy American critics - sorry, no! Do not book this ship. You can do better with your money - even Costa was better than this, as we told them when we found our bill miscalculated - we had someone else's - we had drinks packages! Even that they got wrong. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
For the itinerary. We were not informed it was a Holistic Vegan cruise and they took over the entire ship. MSC catered to them even though there was only 1900 of them sailing. They were rude and expected everything their way and MSC ... Read More
For the itinerary. We were not informed it was a Holistic Vegan cruise and they took over the entire ship. MSC catered to them even though there was only 1900 of them sailing. They were rude and expected everything their way and MSC treated all others as second class citizens. The food was mediocre and mostly vegan in the buffet. In the dining room we were served regular food which was not exceptional. Most staff were rude and did not care about any concerns we had. Entertainment was almost nil as they used theatres for meetings instead of shows. They were supposed to have two shows a night but mostly only one at 7:00 pm but that was our dining seating. When we did attend one show it was mediocre and not very entertaining. Our cabin was normal for a cruise ship and the chambermaid did an okay job cleaning the room. We did two excursions booked through MSC. The first was the horse and carriage ride through old Cartegena which was well worth the money. We would highly recommend this one. The second was the Panama Canal boat tour. Do not recommend this one as it was not worth the money they charged. The boat they hired was very old and seats very uncomfortable. Would not do this again. We will never sail the Divina again (this was our second time) but will give MSC another chance to satisfy us on the Meraviglia in January of 2020. Hopefully we will have a better experience or never sail again with MSC or recommend them. Compared to a Carnival cruise we took in December 2018 which was fantastic this one was totally disappointing. The only redeeming factor was the great bar tender we had. He made the cruise for us. Thank you. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
First of all, I got a room with a balcony that was presented in the pictures with a nice open view. The room I got half of the balcony is made a metal that doesn't have the nice open view. 95% of other rooms have the balcony made of a ... Read More
First of all, I got a room with a balcony that was presented in the pictures with a nice open view. The room I got half of the balcony is made a metal that doesn't have the nice open view. 95% of other rooms have the balcony made of a transparent glass that allows the nice open view over the ocean... sunsets etc.. Anyway... that was my first disappointment. I didn't get what I paid for!! It is very rare I go on vacation and it is exactly for these type of reasons!! you never get what you pay for!! Second, this is a cruise for seniors. I was there with my family and for my family given that we live on two different continents and we don't see each other for years ( last time I spent time with my sister was 8 years ago). My group included 19 yo, 23 yo, 40, and late 40s.We expected to be able to stay a little late than mid-night maybe meeting fun people. The ship is full with seniors, the programs are boring and everything closes at mid-night. Be prepared for long boring walks back and forth and trying to have fun. The two restaurants and three bars looked nice, the dinner was decent every night. They have options that they change every evening.Dinner is ok. In general the personal is ok. They don't speak english but eventually they would bring what you want :). The breakfast had two options buffet and a la carte. The buffet is super crowded. Food is ok-ish. It is a cantina type of serving. By the end of the trip everyone was coughing left and right in your food! :) I really don't recommend the MSC tours. There isn't much time to spend on each city/island and not much time for sight-seeing, they are very disorganized, expensive and you waist your time trying to get on busses then stuck in traffic. Try to make your own schedule, find a nice beach and go there. Most public beaches aren't too clean but at least you don't stay in a bus for hours. The bus we visited Panama broke in the middle of the highway, we waited 40 min while the driver tried to fix it (some type of belt broke), eventually they sent another one. I was very surprised, and they continue the tour in the old city. Third, at the end I experienced a very unpleasant situation with an employee that scan cards and make sure you are the person that travel. Instead of being honest and give the right information that I was selected for a security check, he told us that the system broke and I can't get out of the ship until an officer comes to see me. I had to wait long time while nothing was happening. It became very messy very fast because my family was waiting for me and we all had to say Goodbye and go on our way to the different flights. To speed up the process, because other people were waiting to get out of the ship, I requested someone to bring me to the security check and in the meantime I figure out the real reason why they stopped me. I find it very unprofessional to misinform people and very disrespectful creating confusion without any reason in an already crowded/messy situation. This type of personal shouldn't be on a "hospitality" business and he should be fired. I barely had time to say goodbye and hug my sister. The entire thing just turn my stomach upside down. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
The cruise started on a bad note because too many of the staff seemed tired and annoyed at serving the incoming guests. As a first impression this is not great. Then there are countless hidden costs, even when you purchase packages that ... Read More
The cruise started on a bad note because too many of the staff seemed tired and annoyed at serving the incoming guests. As a first impression this is not great. Then there are countless hidden costs, even when you purchase packages that are merchandised as all inclusive. Even the gym had many additional costs which was a shame. The spa was nice but they did some hard selling even somewhat pushing services that aren’t needed. Also some costs are sneakily added, like water in the cabin even when you have a drinks package. The food is average and doesn’t reflect the tasty videos on display in their promo pieces. The deck is also very cluttered where finding a place to enjoy the sun can be challenging. As the cruise went on things improved (the final show was really impressive) but it was a shame that what was marketed and what was experienced did not match. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Overall, we have had a good cruise. Many minor things were not quite there to make it a great cruise. Food: Restaurant - “Black Crab” food quality got better as the cruise went along, though it was somewhat inconsistent. Our ... Read More
Overall, we have had a good cruise. Many minor things were not quite there to make it a great cruise. Food: Restaurant - “Black Crab” food quality got better as the cruise went along, though it was somewhat inconsistent. Our waiter was exceptionally polite and attentive. Buffet – Food was ok, good selection, the pizza was very good. In the “rush hour”, drink service at the buffet was slow. Coffee stations are too few for the size of the buffet. Dinner and lunch buffet selections are very similar. Sports Bar – Food was ok, chicken wings are great. If you are sitting at the bar, make sure you do not sit on the rightmost chair as it is next to the bar station (the waiter keeps bumping into you). Bar service is a bit slow. Bars around the pool are the busiest and the slowest. Bar service can be from ok to rude. Bars in the core of the ship do offer much better service and are typically fast and exceptionally courteous. Bars receipts are terribly inconsistent, some bars ask to sign a receipt, some bars just give you a receipt, and some do not give you a receipt at all. Facilities: Pantheon Theater – a large theater facility great overall, comparable to most other cruise ships of the same size. It would be nice to be able to watch movies Pools – the layout is similar to any typical cruise ship, one covered pool, two open-air pools. The size of the pools is overall adequate though they were busy on days at sea. Pool decks are a good size also, though on days at sea it is hard to find an unoccupied chair after 10 am (towels are not being removed from unoccupied chairs). Atrium of the vessel is gorgeous and is exceptionally appointed. Public washrooms on the ship are scarce and men’s washrooms have no urinals creating lines ups. Entertainment was mostly a combination of musical and acrobatics act. There was no comedy show as such (it would be difficult considering the linguistic composition of the passengers). It was good, but it was not outstanding. Opera at sea (a compressed to 50 min version of Verdi’s La Traviata) was different certainly. Twice a day room service is nice, room stewards are polite and attentive, the room is vacuumed but there always seem to be some sand around (I presume vacuum cleaner without an agitator brush head have a hard time picking up the sand from the carpet). LGBT events seemed to be an afterthought, though MSC did host multiple events, unlike some other cruise lines we have taken. Embarkation was delayed by few hours (apparently due to a drug bust), which was somewhat unpleasant, and the terminal crowd was quite large (we took a trolley to Miami downtown and walked there for 2 hours). Disembarkation was typical lineup and wait for the line to move, took us roughly 30 min to get off the vessel, plus another 15-20 min to get our luggage. I hope with the construction of the MSC terminal in the port of Miami next year, things will run a bit more smoothly. We will be cruising with MSC again, though it takes a bit of time to warm up to MSC. Multicultural/Multilingual experience was overall great. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
I choose this cruise for myself (single 55 year old male), my 24 y/o son and 21 y/o daughter because it scheduled well around her college spring break and we could all handle a 10 night getaway...we flew in from three places Thursday ... Read More
I choose this cruise for myself (single 55 year old male), my 24 y/o son and 21 y/o daughter because it scheduled well around her college spring break and we could all handle a 10 night getaway...we flew in from three places Thursday morning February 21st (all excited and a bit apprehensive about such an immersive family experience) and flew back to our respective places Sunday March 3rd wondering where all the time went and having had an amazing trip together. Who knows when we'll all be in the same place again for that long?! It was very special and memorable. The 10 night itinerary is perfect. I love the two initial sea days and have been to the eastern and western Caribbean on multiple cruises so like that we just steamed southeast. We met great people and settled in to our new home. Two sea days on the way home is also a perfect way to unravel the prior days. We met people from around the world: straight and gay couples; large and small groups, single guys travelling together with women, other guys, family and alone; single women travelling with other women, men and family. 30somethings to 80somethings and every age in between. A pair of really fun 33 y/o Canadian couples were our pool/party buddies most afternoons and we heard no less than six languages around us at any time. There were many repeat MSC cruisers and a surprisingly high number of repeat/frequent Divina cruisers. I've been on Seaside twice (February 3, 2018 and February 2, 2019) so I've learned MSC is an international crowd (refreshingly so most of the time), the food is overall great and it is as or more professionally operated as Royal, which is the only other line I've frequented. We all found things to do and people to talk to, reconvening for dinner in the dining room eight of the 10 nights. More on that later. MSC Divina is a beautiful ship. I was forward portside oceanview room 8005. My kids were midship starboard interior room 8194. I had Wellness package and no drink package. I drank what I wanted and paid at the end. I heard many people talk about getting drink packages as free upgrades, even balconies as free upgrades so I will be asking for upgrades when I book in the future. We spent a lot of time at the Garden Pool. We choose there because it overlooks the stern and the ocean/water is so close and hypnotic. You also avoid all the social announcements, dance classes, sexy man/woman, BINGO, etc., going on midship at the big pool. Shhh...it's an amazingly quiet, secret spot. Even though all of us are repulsed by cigarette smoke there was virtually no lingering smoke from the Garden Bar smoking area, which is on Deck 15 right next to the Garden Pool. We staked out spots on the wooden decking, got buckets of Red Stripes (well I did anyway) and didn't bother fighting over a chaise lounge. BTW they were mostly gone by 8, scarce by 9 and gone by 10. And staying on Deck 15, we'd get ready for dinner and meet there for an aperitif...live music, stars/sunset and really no smoke bothering us. SMOKERS: this is your spot! There is also a very nice Cigar Lounge with decent cigars for sale onboard. There are far better cigars for sale in the Mini Mall, which you can then bring into the Cigar Lounge. BRING a lighter (safely and legally of course) as it can sometimes be very hard to find an extra flame onboard. The ship has many unique areas, which allow music, dancing, social activities, kids activities, etc. to be going on in one area without dominating the other areas. I'd spent time gazing at deck plans and getting ready for "my turn" so I'd picked the pool and staterooms we'd hang out at. I tried to make advance reservations at Eataly but was told it was sold out. I had no problem making a reservation once onboard. We ate there Sunday night and it was above expectation although with small portions of pasta. The MDR was also above expectation. We enjoyed the menus, food, flexibility, quality of service and personalities of our service staff, beverage service, decor and people watching. Be prepared and plan ahead...if you have an 8:30 dinner like we did (too late for me), see the 7PM show (not me...I won't miss sunset...we all did our own thing before dinner) because dinner lasts until 9:30/9:45ish. We didn't find any dish in the MDR or buffet we didn't eat due to flavor or poor quality. Our conclusions: too much and too good to say no. The ship shows some signs of wear and tear (carpet in hallway was worn, edging around hot tubs is worn, etc.) so you'll see some things to complain about in that regard. However, it was was sparkling clean and everything worked all the time. Everything. Both cabins were better than expected and cabin service was personalized, friendly and helpful. We carried luggage on and off so em/debarkation were non-events. Wait here, queue there, just relax. It won't leave without you. We actually had breakfast at the buffet and sat in the sun for an hour on Sunday before leaving the ship so it helped extend our vacation a bit. Hard to think of any complaints but I guess it's only fair so here we go: no comedy show. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We are just off the Divina. We chose this cruise because of the price and great itinerary. food: good to not good. The buffet is overcrowded and finding a place to sit us not easy for breakfast/lunch. Although food is plentiful, we ... Read More
We are just off the Divina. We chose this cruise because of the price and great itinerary. food: good to not good. The buffet is overcrowded and finding a place to sit us not easy for breakfast/lunch. Although food is plentiful, we found both breakfast and lunch very repetitive. MDR for dinner was hit and miss. My husband is gluten/dairy intolerant. While they tried to accommodate him, they actually forgot his meal one night and we had to go back to the buffet. They offered him terrible desserts ie. jello on “elegant” night. I think the chef could have done so much more. No creativity at all. This portion of our cruise was very sub par. entertainment: the singers and dancers are all very good but not 9 nights in a row. It would be nice to have a bit of variety. Magicians, comedians etc. Room: our room was clean, large and we were lucky to get a huge balcony. Overall: impossible to get a pool lounger after 8:30 am. They are reserved as early as 6:00am. People often threw a towel on the chairs and left for hours and hours. They need to introduce a no chair hogging policy. Not sure we would return on MSC. Leaves to be seen. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was a family cruise with 22 people. I was very sceptical after all threw bad reviews. EMBARKATION: was very quick. Room was beautiful but could have been cleaner. I'm a clean freak and parts of the corner if the floor ... Read More
This was a family cruise with 22 people. I was very sceptical after all threw bad reviews. EMBARKATION: was very quick. Room was beautiful but could have been cleaner. I'm a clean freak and parts of the corner if the floor weren't very well cleaned. The main parts were cleaned daily. I like the bathroom better then Carnival and Princess due to the shower having glass doors that fold in when not in use. FOOD: Main dining room was really quite good. Did have 2 dishes that I sent back which is highly unusual for me to ever do. Buffet was not my favorite. Too many pushy people and food was not my favorite. There was a lot more variety then I was expecting though. Homemade cookies were great! Pizza was really good as well. Sports Bar was great. Food great and atmosphere great. Chicken wings great! CASINO BAR: Cannot say enough about Mark in the Casino Bar. He makes the most perfect drinks ever and is the nicest guy!!! STAFF: Very understaffed or just not enough staff in the right place at the right time. SHOP STAFF: Not very friendly and honestly sometimes rude. ENTERTAINMENT: Honestly the best entertainment of any cruiseline I've been on. Nightly shows ate incredible and most of the bars were open and had good entertainment nightly. OTHER CRUISERS: This is an Italian cruise ship so there are a lot of Europeans. I was very surprised how many of the "richer" Europeans agreed as if they were entitled and would push in front of you. Very rude people but not all of them. Just be aware and don't let it ruin your vacation. WOULD I DO MSC AGAIN: It would have to be a really good itinerary and great price otherwise I will stick with Carnival and Princess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Clean ship. Service in dining room super slow. Food adequate, not great. Took 2 hours for breakfast one morning. Luckily it was a sea day. Be careful in the islands. Some people on our ship had an incident in Antigua. Google ... Read More
Clean ship. Service in dining room super slow. Food adequate, not great. Took 2 hours for breakfast one morning. Luckily it was a sea day. Be careful in the islands. Some people on our ship had an incident in Antigua. Google it. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Beach at Tortola was nice. Favorite port is St. Maartens. Nice beach. Room was bigger than expected. Good service with our cabin steward Dale. Beach towels in rooms need to be upgraded. Did not like the buffet on Deck 14. Wanted more variety. Same thing every day. Regret not trying the gelato. The Italian coffee on Deck 7 is excellent, along with the pastries. Pizza is superb as well. Super hot and fresh. Do not miss these items. Entertainment was spectacular. Best of any cruise ship. Well choreographed. Dancers, singers acrobats gave it their all. Amazing. Many discrepancies of amounts charged on the "drinks on us" package. Please check your bill when you get it. Overall had a nice time. I believe MSC is working on their service. Americans don't take as long as Europeans dining. That may be the issue. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Best cruise value for balcony cabin including drink package. Service in the Black Crab Dining Room excellent. Our waiter and crew anticipated our needs before we asked. The food was selection was more Mediterranean than we've had on ... Read More
Best cruise value for balcony cabin including drink package. Service in the Black Crab Dining Room excellent. Our waiter and crew anticipated our needs before we asked. The food was selection was more Mediterranean than we've had on other ships but excellent options and we enjoyed trying a few new things. We tried the dining room for both breakfast and lunch as well and enjoyed the menu selection. Excellent pizza, salads, desserts, as well as hot and cold entrees were available in the buffet. The Bella drink package was wonderful. Instead of paying $12/drink, on this ship we were able to drink all day for $12 in tips. The shops were very nice, and the adults only Solarium area was the nicest I'd seen on any ship. Deck chairs were harder to find on sea days, however we learned to get out early and "save" our chairs just like everyone else did. the shows were wonderful and the excursions were great too. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I should warn you....this will be a very in-depth review as I found it difficult to get good info on MSC when we were planning our cruise. I am hoping this will answer questions for everyone...especially US people who may not have heard ... Read More
I should warn you....this will be a very in-depth review as I found it difficult to get good info on MSC when we were planning our cruise. I am hoping this will answer questions for everyone...especially US people who may not have heard of MSC. This was my 18th cruise, I am a 47 year old female, 1st time on MSC. Sailed Carnival, RCCL, Norweigen, Holland America and Disney. We did the 1/30/18 sailing for 11 nights. We had 22 people in our group, ages 4 to 74. Most everyone was 18-52. We picked this due to dates, 11 days, and the PRICE was super reasonable. We upgraded to the "Deluxe" drink package prior to embarkation. I'll discuss drinks later. EMBARKATION - they told us 3pm as our time to get to the port. Sailing was 7pm. We arrrived by noon and were on the ship before pm. It was super easy, but you do set up your credit card on the ship, not at embarkation. You have 48 hours to set up your account. ROOMS - we had an aft facing baloncy, everyone else had side balcony. We love the aft and highly recommend it. The rooms are similar to other ships, our balcony was a bit larger and we put up a hammock. The cabin stewart was awesome, but no animal towels if you look forward to that. SERVICE - A lot of people complained (in previous reviews) that the service was aweful. We did not experience that AT ALL!! Sure, we had to wait at the pool bar for a drink, but I've never been a cruise where I didn't wait. The bars had PLENTY of bar tenders and they were husteling. There wasn't anywere on the ship where we felt service was sub-par. FOOD - Yes, the pizza at the buffet is EXCELLENT! They do have a variety of food and I found everthing above average for a buffet. The buffet is also open 20 hours a day, you can get Pizza 24 hours, so that is great as well. We ate in the dining room every evening. Our wait staff was attentive and gave us great advice on what to eat based on past guest experience. They have a "fixed" menu everyday that includes apps, dinner, dessert. Then they have the "theme" menus daily, and food you can "buy" if you want. We ate the "theme" almost every night. There was only 1 night I did not care for my food so I simply got a different meal. There is PLENTY of variety to choose from. People have complained of cold food....that never happened either. Overall I give the food a 4 out of 5. DRINKS - this was amazing!!!! We had the "Drinks on us" package, but upgraded to "Deluxe" prior to embarkation. We ordered anything we wanted...Grey Goose on the rocks, anything frozem, shaken, etc. With the deluxe we also had our mini bar in the room stocked with small bottles, beer, snacks. They were refilled daily. At dinner were allowed bottles of wine up to $50. We had 2 bottles a night!!! Well, well, well worth purchasing if you are a drinker. PLUS it was the least expensive of any cruise I have been on for all you can drink. ENTERTAINMENT - I personally thought the shows were above average. They had Cirque de Soleil type shows 3 nights or incorporated into the show. Their impression shows were good, but yes, they sing with accent. The show staff is certainly hard working. I am NOT an opera person, but they have opera shows 2 nights (on 11 night cruise). I admit, I fell asleep...but people in our group LOVED it and appreciate Italian opera. They do not have comedians - which is most likely due to the SUPER HIGH amount of Eurpoeans on the ship. I would say 60% not American.....it is an Italian owned cruise line. There is no way a comedian would work due to the joke not being understood by more than 1/2 the passengers. OTHER THINGS TO KNOW - There are "themes" every night. We had 11 nights, so 3 nights were formal. There was an Italian night, White Night, 70's Disco Night, Red night, Fiesta night. They have deck parties every night and those are awesome. They have SOOO Many activites all day - no one was ever bored. They do dance lessons by the pool, Bingo, Master Chef at sea, pool games, basketball tournaents, ping pong tournaments. Most of our group of kids were 17 - 23 and they did activies ALL DAY LONG. We had 6pm seating, then went to the show at 9pm. The shows are somewhat short, so by 9:45 we went to the casino bar. They let the "kids" hang out with us and they would serve 18+ - which is how is should be in international waters. They allowed one person to buy for the group, which was nice. Everyone did not need to go to the bar at once and crowd it. There were plenty of places to hang our after dinner. At least 5 areas with different entertainment/nightly games/participation stuff if you wanted it, or you could just watch other people make fools of them selves. There was ALWAYS something to do. The night time disco was open unitl ??? We left at 4am several times and there were still people dancing. OVERALL - After 18 cruises, this was my favorite. People complained about annoucements in 6 languages. Sure, it was a bit annoying, but it was fine. The food was very good, the service very good to excellent, the ship itself is very classy, the entertainment was very good, and there was never a lack of activities. We are already planning the cruise for next year on MSC. It was also my kids' (ages 18 and 21) favorite cruise. I highly recommend MSC!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
This was the 30th Anniversary of our "Friends and Family Annual Winter Caribbean Cruise". There were 24 of us. Our 3rd time on MSC and the 2nd on the Divina. We were on last winter and the dining experience was "OK", ... Read More
This was the 30th Anniversary of our "Friends and Family Annual Winter Caribbean Cruise". There were 24 of us. Our 3rd time on MSC and the 2nd on the Divina. We were on last winter and the dining experience was "OK", but boy....have they upped thier game. There is a new exec chef and selection, preparation and presentation have vastly improved both in MDR and buffet. No jugglers, magicians, or comedians at the show, just Las Vegas type review with a touch of Cirque de Soliel and costumes that are way over the top. All great performances. Evenings, a live band for dancing in 3 lounges plus the atrium. M&G, repeaters party and the "Black Party" (that's for top tier repeaters) all offered endless bar service and top staff attended and mingled and chatted with guests. 3 nice pools, with the back most quiet and for adults only. The ship is beautiful and the overall fit and finish is quite nice. We arrived shortly after noon and boarding had already commenced and we were on board in about 10 minutes after arriving. No waiting, no lines, no queuing. MSC had a few issues when they started sailing out of the US, but I think they've pretty much addressed and resolved them. All and all it was a great cruise. We will recommend MSC and we will sail with them in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
First the good. This is the second time we have been on MSC Divina. She is a large vessel that is absolutely beautiful in design and appointments. She also seems to be extremely well maintained and is kept super clean and well painted. ... Read More
First the good. This is the second time we have been on MSC Divina. She is a large vessel that is absolutely beautiful in design and appointments. She also seems to be extremely well maintained and is kept super clean and well painted. The carpets are clean, the glass and light fixtures are clean (something I notice) and the ship is well lit. Embarkation for us was a big improvement this year for one BIG reason. We are "Black" card level repeat cruisers so we get priority embarkation. MSC finally realized that it does no good to offer priority check in only to then dump everyone in a big room while waiting to board. So now if you get priority check in you also get priority boarding as well. Are you listening other cruise lines? !! The ship operation went very smoothly and the weather while windy for the first few days was mostly sunny. Port arrivals and departures were right on time. We did have to miss the port in Grand Cayman but the captain made every possible attempt to make it happen including parking the ship in the harbor while further assessing the forecast. A storm over the island made it just too rough for safe tender service so we had an extra day at sea and an earlier arrival in Cozumel. The entertainment on board was better than average with more american style shows and a bit less Italian opera than a year ago. The passengers seem to still be about 70% European. I want to mention the superb saxophone player who entertained by the rear garden pool bar in the afternoons and evenings. A very talented musician. Debarkation went fairly smoothly except they send almost everyone to a theater in the front of the ship which then makes for a long slow line to the one exit ramp they use. It would really help if they used the second ramp that seems to be available in Miami. Now for the shortcomings. First the food in the main ding room while slightly improved from last year was still disappointing on several evenings. The quality of the meat was very poor in the MDR multiple nights. It was cooked correctly to order but was just a poor quality cut. The exception was the prime rib which I thought was tender and perfectly seasoned. Chicken was generally better but the Chicken Cordon Blu was also very poor. We had very excellent service from our waiter and his assistant throughout the cruise. We went to the Eataly premium restaurant one night and had a very good meal. My son had the filet and said it was the very best he ever had. Hmmmm. A note: the phone reservation people were NOT manning the reservation phone during posted hours. Called numerous times with no answer and finally had to go to the Eataly when it opened to get a reservation. The buffet still needs some serious reworking! The layout of the food is just plain silly and a waste of the large space available. The most desirable items are all in the forward area of the buffet and the aft section seems to be just an afterthought. Pizza (very good) and burger type food is all in the forward area but no burgers are taken to the back area. Two salad bars in the forward area but none in the back. Only a bowl of salad in back with no dressings. At breakfast there are no trays of scrambled or sunny side up eggs anywhere but the forward area. There are custom omelet makers at all four areas this year and kudos they take your order and giver you a number so you don't wait in a 10 minute line. I got conflicting information each day about whether they could make custom scrambled eggs. Trays of sausage, bacon, fruit and bread in all areas but pre-made eggs only in forward section. Of course this leads to huge and unnecessary crowding at the forward end. OK, the one really BIG complaint that needs to be aired to the public is the "tipping". I don't know what the current state of affairs is on other lines but on MSC the "tipping" policy is no longer what people think. It came to light to some passengers that the daily "service charge" that is added to each persons on board account is no longer being distributed to the service crew as tips! This also is true for the 15% "service charge" that is being collected on each drink at the bars. Instead, the service crew (bartenders, cabin stewards, waiters and such) are being paid a regular salary just like the captain and hotel managers. As passengers we have always been led to believe that these "service charges" were necessary to make sure the service people were compensated as they are in restaurants and bars on land. If they are now going to be salaried employees then that money should be incorporated into the regular cruise fare and the "service charge" nonsense dropped.. MSC (or any other line that is now doing this) should stop the somewhat dishonest game they are playing with the fares. Having said that, I believe MSC is trying hard to build their brand and slowly learning what it takes to attract the american market to their ships. I look forward to seeing the new private island in Bimini later this year and how they will compete with the other big players in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
MOLD in the cabin bathroom, poor quality and improperly prepared food in the Dining Room and Buffet, filthy floors and tables in dining areas, Dining Room servers unable to set a table properly and generally unresponsive to guest requests, ... Read More
MOLD in the cabin bathroom, poor quality and improperly prepared food in the Dining Room and Buffet, filthy floors and tables in dining areas, Dining Room servers unable to set a table properly and generally unresponsive to guest requests, a "Drinks On Us" package that did not include some of the most basic drinks and mixes and required guests to pay a 15% gratuity on each drink over and above the gratuity paid for each day - a gratuity that several bartenders told us they never saw. Something that tasted like Tang being used as Orange Juice in Screwdrivers, running out of Club Soda before the final two days at sea and then trying to substitute bottled water, not having enough servers so they could offer and get mixed drinks in the Dining Room, not to mention their inability to even keep water glasses refilled. A Balcony Cabin where if you sat in a chair on the balcony you could not see the water since it has a metal wall instead of glass - CLEARLY should be advertised as Obstructed View. Common area Restrooms that are few and far between compared to other ships we have been in, and which are not cleaned often enough. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Second time on beautiful Divina after our excellent 2015 Mediterranean cruise. We had 2 Bella balcony cabins on deck 8 forward. Very pleased with the comfort of the room and hard working, polite cabin attendant. Overall staff we ... Read More
Second time on beautiful Divina after our excellent 2015 Mediterranean cruise. We had 2 Bella balcony cabins on deck 8 forward. Very pleased with the comfort of the room and hard working, polite cabin attendant. Overall staff we encountered was very helpful, kind and friendly with the exception of the front desk - people there definitely need more training in customer service. We had a beautiful table for 5 at the Villa Rossa restaurant, early seating. Really glad that we chose this option as dinner lasted about 1,5-2 hrs. Highest praise goes to our excellent table waiters - we parted as friends:) Our biggest disappointment was the quality of the food in the main dining room, what a change for the worse in 3 years! The menu choices were adequate and sounded delicious but execution was poor. MSC was famous for their excellent pasta made fresh on board. In 2015 we would order one pasta dish between the four of us every dinner just to savour the fantastic flavour. What happened???? Not a shred of fresh basil, olive oil or cream in sight, everything was drenched in some lumpy flour and chicken stock concoction, they used same horrific sauce for a variety of fish dishes as well:( Best meals in 10 days - jerk chicken was beautifully cooked, same goes to duck breast. Everything else was just OK, curious as of whose idea was to plate wilted yellow arugula with duck terrine appetizer on our last evening? Don't chefs taste what they are cooking or check out the quality of the greens before being sent out to the tables? We enjoyed entertainment offerings in bars and lounges from classical pianist, sax player, several different bands - lots of people were dancing and having a great time. Our favourite theatre show was La Traviata. All the ports visited were interesting, we did our own thing, used public transportation wherever we could, loved Guadelupe! Overall good value, especially with drinks on us included. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
The customer service and staff are excellent. Embarkation in Miami was smooth but did include a long line, even for those with priority status. Ship cards are provided at check in, but must be activated onboard with a credit card at little ... Read More
The customer service and staff are excellent. Embarkation in Miami was smooth but did include a long line, even for those with priority status. Ship cards are provided at check in, but must be activated onboard with a credit card at little kiosks located around the Atrium area. There is no rush, as you have 48 hours to activate your card. Cabins were ready by 1 p.m. and suitcases arrived a few hours later. Lunch was available in the buffet. The ship in general appeared clean and beautiful, but looking a bit ready for her next dry dock reconditioning with a few frayed edges on chairs and carpets. Onboard accounts can be viewed on the cabin television, but Divina doesn't offer a mobile app. If passengers need to communicate onboard, social media apps can be used if ship wi-fi is purchased. The 3-level Atrium on decks 5, 6 and 7 is cozy, comfortable and sparkling with the crystal staircase and glass elevators. The Atrium provides convenient access to bars, restaurants, guest services, excursions, coffee shops and is frequently the hub for piano music and entertainment from the staff. There are several stores and a lot of emphasis on sales and shopping. There are professional photographers most evenings, but viewing of photos is not automated by cabin number or name. They are placed in folders in the studio grouped by event such as “1st gala night.” If you wait until the last night as we did, it is frustratingly hectic to find all of your photos and very little precious space to spread them out. We managed and purchased five 8x10’s for $60. After arriving home, I did notice the MCL Divina logo at the bottom center was imposed over part of the picture. The pool and buffet area on deck 14 is very active with lots of people, bars, and staff entertainment events, bingo and contests frequently in progress. It can be fun and exhausting at the same time! Service for drinks was busy with 2-3 bartenders at each bar and just a few roving servers. The casino is bright and pretty. Smoking is only permitted on one side. There are the usual slot machines and table games. Dealers and wait staff are top notch. There is a lot of traffic through the casino before and after show times. Sea days were somewhat quiet with evenings being busier. The food in general is good everywhere on the ship. Put on your walking shoes for the buffet because it is very long. Most of the serving stations do repeat two or three times throughout the length of the buffet, with plenty of beverage stations in between. It is chaotic and hard to find a seat at peak dining hours. I agree with the consensus about the pizza – it’s the best I’ve ever tasted! Seating in the Black Crab main dining room at our family table for four was a bit congested with servers having to squeeze in between tables and chairs. The menu offered new selections every night, as well as certain standby choices and specialty meals at a price. I tried the surf and turf for an extra $27 which included filet mignon and lobster tail and it was quite delicious. Our head waiter and his assistant took excellent care of us, and my family took good care of them too! The MSC Voyagers Club offered me a complimentary specialty dinner for two. It was disappointing to find out that the only guest I was allowed to include must also be staying in my cabin! Since I booked a cabin to myself, I decided to have a solo lunch at Eataly. The food was delicious, with a very long wait in between courses. The décor resembles a diner and is not comfortable. BE AWARE: Regarding dinner seating in the main dining room, we requested the early dining time due to having a young child with us; however, upon check-in, our ship cards reflected late seating. We were told to have this corrected onboard at the restaurant. We did go right away as this was a problem for us – they were all set up with a table and staff ready to deal with seating issues. We were told that early seating was fully booked! I asked if we could do the My Choice Dining time and was told that was only available for the Aurea Experience. I pointed out that we had worked with customer service for six months planning this cruise and were never told that dinner seating time was only a “request.” They did adjust this for us, but it was a stressful beginning to vacation. The evening stage show is approximately 45 minutes at either 7 or 9 p.m. With dinner sittings at 6 and 8:30, the timing was a little awkward; early diners wait for the 9 o’clock show, while late diners must attend the show before dinner. The two or three shows I went to offered excellent talent and costumes, however themes were slightly disjointed and there were no stage settings. Evening music in one lounge included a 5-member band with couples dancing, and another lounge with a very lively duo performing familiar hits. There were other parties and music later into the evening we did not attend due to travelling with a child. I did not visit the spa or gym. There was a waterslide, but I never saw anyone use it. Loved the two coffee shops, decks 6 and 7. Delicious! Sports Bar is also fun, has good complimentary food and is quite noisy when busy especially if people are bowling! The views from Galaxy on deck 16 are spectacular. Overall, I had a great time on Divina. The staff does a fantastic job. MSC is proactively responsive to their customers. The diversity of staff and passengers is enlightening and enjoyable. I am looking forward to another cruise with MSC! PORTS Antigua: From port we took a 15-minute taxi ride to Dickenson Bay Beach. Taxi was $3 per person each way and the driver returned to pick us up at the designated time. This beach was well rated. It is nice and located next door to a Sandals resort. I would rate this beach as Average. There was a strong wave break and a steep gravel drop when entering the water. The weather was perfect; the water was cold but refreshing in January. We stayed by a decent beach bar. I believe it was called Tony’s. Four chairs and two umbrellas were $44. Bottled beers were $4-$5 and Smirnoff Ice was $5. Restroom facility was not favorable. Saint Kitts: From port we took a taxi to Carambola Beach Club on beautiful South Friars Bay Beach. The taxi was $4 per person each way and it was a 12-15-minute ride. We rented two umbrellas and 4 chairs for $60. Scenery of the mountains from the beach is gorgeous, sand is a darker color, and water was crystal clear and chilly. There are clean restrooms with a changing area. The bar was busy, but well-staffed and there were servers on the beach. Beer $5, mixed drinks $7 and frozen $10+. The restaurant looked nice but we did not eat there. Food prices were $20 and up. The beach became very crowded as the day progressed, so go early for the best seats! Tortola: Round-trip taxi (open-air bus) from the port to Cane Garden Bay beach was $16 per person. A wristband was provided to those paid in full, and taxis came for return pick-ups on the hour. The trip was approximately 20 minutes. This is a pretty beach with beautiful scenery. There are several bars, restaurants and shops. The area is still under development with new structures. It’s much more touristy than when I visited there two years ago. Pusser’s Rum has a bar and restaurant with good food and drinks. We rented four chairs and two umbrellas for $40. Guadeloupe: We decided an excursion through MSC was our best option for this port. The catamaran to Gosier Islet held about 20 guests and 2 crew. The boat motored along the coast for about 45 minutes and then anchored off shore. We swam in shallow water (less than 5 feet deep) over to the islet and the crew brought our bags over by small boat. Some guests also used the boat to get to the island. There are no facilities there, so we just put down towels and explored the area. There were a lot of stones and coral on the beach and live sea grass in the water. After 1-2 hours, we returned to the catamaran. The crew attempted to use the sails for our trip back, but a rain storm interfered. The covered interior of the catamaran was large enough for everyone to take cover. St. Maarten: This was a fun and lively port. We took a water taxi (ferry) for $7 per person round trip from the port to downtown. It is also an option to walk. There is a very long stretch of beach lined with chairs and umbrellas and a boardwalk lined with restaurants, shops and bars. The ferry makes at least two stops, one at the busier entrance to the beach (where you would arrive if walking) and one further away. We set up early on the beach near Honky Tonk with two umbrellas and two chairs for $40. They offered buckets of beer for $10 and free wi-fi. The sand was beautiful and very soft, water was chilly. We enjoyed some good food and drinks at Lazy Lizard for lunch. Fun and relaxing day. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We sailed a 10 day cruise on the MSC Divina on the 10th January 2019 from Miami, porting at St. John's, Antigua, Basseterre, St Kitts, Road Town, Virgin Islands, Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Embarkation ... Read More
We sailed a 10 day cruise on the MSC Divina on the 10th January 2019 from Miami, porting at St. John's, Antigua, Basseterre, St Kitts, Road Town, Virgin Islands, Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Embarkation at the port of Miami was fairly straight forward, we arrived around 11am and checked in although there was a wait in the terminal building until 1pm. We had a balcony cabin on deck 12, the cabin was comfortable and had everything you would expect i.e. TV, Hair Dryer etc Dinning We struggled with the dinning on MSC, i have sailed with MSC several times previously but always find the dinning a challenge after sailing with the flexible freestyle dinning on NCL. Dinning is fixed to two sittings and is a shared table. We chose the later sitting. MSC normally do a reasonable job at matching up similar guests of the same nationality so its important you check that your nationality is correct on your cruise documents. The service in the restaurant was good. The food in the main restaurant (Black Crab) was ok but i cant say that any of the meals were particularly memorable. The speciality dinning options are also limited, we ate in the Galaxy Disco Restaurant one evening as it was included with out Black Card Status, it is a Sushi/Asian restaurant and the $30 taster menu was included free however, if i had to have paid for the restaurant i would have been very disappointed. The service was good but the food was limited and we were still hungry when we left. The only other speciality restaurant is the Italian and to be honest i wouldn't pay for pizza when the pizza in the buffet is free and is excellent. As you would expect being an Italian cruise line; the ice cream, coffee and pizza are all good. Entertainment This time we didn't really experience much of the live entertainment, i heard i was good. I did venture into the Theatre one evening however i wasn't very impressed with what i saw, it looked a bit amateurish. There were plenty of deck parties and always something going on around the pool deck so i would suggest if you want a quite place to sit then you should avoid the main pool deck. We went to the nightclub a few times and there always seemed to be a few people in there until quite late. There were some gala nights whereby you could dress up if you wanted and there were theme nights such as a 70's party and the white party. Pool Areas Sea days as you would expect are very busy, it was annoying that people put towels on beds and then never use them. One day we took towels off the beds and were there all day and the people never came back. Its pretty selfish of people to reserve beds like this. Casino What i really liked about the ship was the roulette table, there was only a minimum bet of $1 required and it was $1 dollar chips which is different to NCL whereby its $2 chips and a minimum of 5 chips per round. I was able to sit at the roulette table for many hours and not spend too much money. Drinks The drinks package we had was a bit random, it included one draft bear and miller light cans and wines, it was a bit difficult trying to find out what was included and what wasn't. We actually discovered that you could order a non alcoholic frozen cocktail and ask for a spirit to make your own. There was a variety of wines but not the best to be honest. Also i don't think you need to buy any of the MSC experiences if you buy a separate drinks package as they don't really offer anything over and above. Ports All of the ports were excellent and we did this cruise because of the itinerary, we were a little disappointed with Guadeloupe and just visited the local town. At all the stops we were able to just get off the ship and find a taxi to a local beach, most days the taxi's were around $8 per person and at most of the beaches a sun chair was $10 and umbrella $15. If you do some research before you go then i don't think you would really need to do any of the ship tours. Overall, it was a nice cruise, a good itinerary, good service and a nice ship but nothing particularity memorable. I have cruised with several other cruise lines previously including MSC and Royal; Caribbean and if i had the choice of a cruise with a similar itinerary and price then i would choose NCL simply because of the flexible dining and the simplicity of the drinks package offered but i don't think you will be disappointed with MSC. Read Less
MSC Divina Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
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 3.8
Rates 5.0 3.7

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