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19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
...no lie, we both caught the cruise bug! This was our first cruise and we're hooked! The whole adventure was memorable and we can't help but tell everyone how extraordinary the experience was. The embarkation process went ... Read More
...no lie, we both caught the cruise bug! This was our first cruise and we're hooked! The whole adventure was memorable and we can't help but tell everyone how extraordinary the experience was. The embarkation process went smoothly especially considering there were 4,000 guests to board.The excited anticipation of the cruisers and the well-executed organization of the MSC staff made for a pleasant and seamless boarding. Entering the ship we were welcomed by the stunning crystal staircase and lovely live piano music. Before searching out our cabin, we wandered around just a bit to get a feel for what we were in for. We were not disappointed. The Davina was clean, maps were abundant, and even with thousands of guests, we were able to move about comfortably and with minimal wait time. The cabin was roomy and spotless and throughout the cruise the wonderfully efficient crew kept it clean, stocked, and orderly. We called them our elves and we joked about how they seemed to know when we were out so they could slip in and clean up multiple times a day. Having a balcony room was a plus as we loved relaxing out there at all hours of day or night. The 24-hour buffet of food... oh my! What a treat. We enjoyed the everyday foods like pizza, hamburgers and salads, but also looked forward to the daily specials where we found interesting items like eggplant lasagna and lemon chicken and a variety of fish plates. We love salad and fruit and found the melons especially to be wonderfully ripe and tasty. And who could deny the many desserts?! We could never choose just one. We especially liked the international crew. These people are hard working, friendly, helpful and pleasant.There wasn't a lazy person seen. What a joy they were to be around! Being our first cruise, we didn't take in any excursions, although we were immediately approached in Nassau and agreed to take a tour. The driver had a lot of great information and stories. We would have never seen nor learned as much on our own. The stop at Half Moon Cay was beautiful and at 57 years old I finally learned how to float! Looks like we'll need to schedule another cruise so I can learn to swim. (Our only disappointment was the internet. My husband was in the midst of online classes for his masters and the connection was incredibly slow making it a bit stressful getting assignments turned in on time.) Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Hubby and I booked Divina as first-timers, and we almost didn't. What a MISTAKE it would have been to miss out on this. First, it is important to read the literature and know your options. The buffet around the pool serves a lot of ... Read More
Hubby and I booked Divina as first-timers, and we almost didn't. What a MISTAKE it would have been to miss out on this. First, it is important to read the literature and know your options. The buffet around the pool serves a lot of pool/grill food on disembarkation day and day two, so if you want primo selection, don't eat there. We ate in the Galaxy Restaurant, the Black Crab, the Eataly Steakhouse and the Sports Bar. In all cases, I was thoroughly satisfied. We reserved the buffet for our last early morning breakfast (6 a.m. on disembarkation day). It wasn't crowded, and the selection was decent. Excursion opportunities abound. We didn't take any because we were thoroughly engaged in activities on the ship, but if you pay ahead you can load your vacation with all kinds of pre-planned trips in your port cities. The Aurea Spa is fabulous. We scheduled a couples' massage and didn't have to suffer long lines or wait times to enjoy an excellent Balinese session (30 minutes) for only $49 each on disembarkation day. It is important to read the daily schedule for daily sales on various amenities. And the gelato... gelato is everywhere. I didn't bother looking in the buffet area for ice cream since there is a gelato bar near the pool on deck 14. It is heavenly. I understand that cruisers who have taken 20 or more cruises will find many faults with this ship: it is smaller, newer and new to the USA. Also, this is not the ship for you if you don't like foreign people; there are 37 nationalities onboard and most print literature is in five or more languages. But, if you are a person of the world who enjoys talking with people from many cultures and engaging in multilingual, cross-ethnic conversation with other cruisers, this is the ship for you. Finally, it will be very hard to beat the price. ;) Right now there is a 7-day going for $429, double occupancy. Read Less
36 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our first cruise, and I have to say that I had some reservations about taking one. I didn’t know if I’d like being “trapped” on a ship, not able to go where I wanted, but after seven days on the MSC Divina, I have to say ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and I have to say that I had some reservations about taking one. I didn’t know if I’d like being “trapped” on a ship, not able to go where I wanted, but after seven days on the MSC Divina, I have to say that I was mostly impressed and had an enjoyable and relaxing vacation. Website / Customer Service (phone) – Our initial impression of MSC was with their website. We wanted to book a trip, but were unable since the website kept crashing. After several attempts, we just booked it through [a travel agency]. After booking the trip, we wanted to book a massage package. The wording on the MSC website was unclear and we had several questions. Calling customer service twice, the phone rang for over 20 minutes, and finally we just left our number for a callback. They did call back a few days later, but once again, a few days later, when we had another question, we did not want to go through this entire process once again. We also had trouble booking the massage package with the website, which kept crashing. Initial Impressions – We arrived an hour and a half before departure, and I’m not sure if we had arrived earlier if we would have received more information, but I found that we had a lot of questions that we just had to figure out ourselves. A simple packet with FAQ’s would have greatly helped answer questions like, “Where do we pick up our drink packages?”, “Where is our restaurant?”, and “How do we book our massages?” Customer Service Desk – Our questions led us to the customer service desk. It was packed and we had to wait in line. When it was finally our turn, the representative who was helping us had a little difficulty understanding our questions since English was not her first language. Eventually we had to find and track down the spa ourselves, and once again, when we arrived, they seemed a little confused about the spa package, which we booked from their website. I have to say, after all of this I began to question what we had gotten ourselves into, but mostly from that point on, things got much better. Food – Dinner was nice at the restaurant (Villa Rossa). It wasn’t five star, but it wasn’t horrible either. I could tell that they really tried to show a touch of elegance, especially for the amount of people they were serving. Fish, lamb, lobster, Italian food…appetizers, soup, entrees, dessert…it all seemed like they were really trying. There were even nights when they had special desserts like tiramisu. Buffets – The food, once again, was decent, especially for a buffet. They had a wide variety and served the main three meals a day. The only downside was the rush of people, who sometimes could be very rude, pushy, or who were sometimes clueless where they were walking or that they were blocking everyone else’s path. The buffets sometimes could be a very stressful experience on a vacation that was supposed to be relaxing. Vegetarian Options – There were several, and this was a pleasant surprise. Room Service – In our room, room service was free before 11:00 PM. Bars / Clubs – There were several options on the ship, and each offered a somewhat intimate feeling. From a sports bar, to a jazz bar, to a cigar bar, it seemed there was something for everyone, and a lot to find and explore on the ship. Sometimes the clubs could be crowded at night, but overall they were comfortable and had good service. Most of the clubs had “safe” entertainment which almost reminded me of a wedding reception. Children ran around and old people tapped their foot and smiled, while standard songs were played. Sometimes crew members would urge people to dance the YMCA and stuff like that. For me, it was nice, safe fun, but not so much my thing. Still, I didn’t find it boring either. I just enjoyed the attempt at keeping everyone entertained on a night at sea. Spa – Although we had a little confusion at first, and had to find the spa ourselves and book our appointments, everything after that was excellent. The crew was very courteous and professional. They handled our every need, and the massages…oh the massages! They were great. So relaxing! Ship Layout – It took us a while to figure out how to navigate the ship, but eventually we figured it out. Staff – The staff were great. They were pleasant and met our every need. The staff should be commended for their excellent service! What a great staff! Ports of Call – We went to Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico (Cozumel), and the Bahamas. I really liked this aspect of cruising. Go out during the day, come back to a dinner and a night out and the next day you are somewhere new. There were a few downsides for me. There were a few moments of anxiety when we didn’t know if we would make our ship (because of local transportation) but this is no fault of the cruise line. I would just suggest giving yourself a two hour cushion for arriving back at the ship. Another thing I didn’t like was how the locals treated the tourists. It seemed like everyone wanted to make a quick buck off of the tourists. In Jamaica, we stopped on a tour to talk to the “spice man” who gave us a five minute talk about various herbs on the island. Afterward he wanted twenty dollars. (yeah right!) Another example was an encounter at a cigar store. I didn’t have internet access, and they guy seemed friendly enough. He told me these cigars were “very nice” at twenty dollars apiece. Taking his word for it, I bought five, only to find out when I arrived at home, that they were five dollar cigars. I seemed to encounter this again and again, from liquor vendors to trinket salesmen. Still, besides some of the vendors, the islands themselves were very beautiful. I would just advise you to be aware of people constantly trying to rip you off. The Room – We had a balcony room, and I thought it was a nice size. It was about the size of some hotels I’ve been in, in New York and New Orleans. The room was nicely laid out and felt roomy for the size. There was even a sitting area, plus we had the balcony. The bathroom was economically laid out, but I felt it was a decent size for what I had to do. There was a TV, which had a few multicultural channels and a few from the United States. It wasn’t much, but who really wants to watch TV on vacation anyway? The Entertainment – There was a live show every night. Once again, I thought it was a “nice” touch, something to do after dinner, because who wants to watch TV on vacation. The shows featured singers and acrobats and had a Vegas / Broadway feel to them. All the singers seemed very well trained. Many of our dining companions really liked the shows, but they were not really our thing. Still, it was a nice option to have if we wanted to something to do, but there were other things to do besides the shows. The Casino – We went one night. The casino is relatively small and has an intimate feel to it. I doubt the slots pay hardly anything back, but the blackjack table had a five dollar minimum, which was nice for some light gambling. Shopping – There are a few duty-free shops and jewelry shops. It was nice to browse, but I think the prices were a little high. Passengers – The passengers are mostly European. For some people, this is a turn-off, but I really liked the variety. It had a nice, international feel, and I think offered a bit more sophistication than an American cruise would offer. Other Amenities – There was so much to discover on this ship. Every corner we turned, there would be a chocolate shop, espresso bar, limoncello bar, pizza place, or something unexpected. I felt that these were nice, little treats and made the experience more enjoyable. The best part is that the little extras were not outrageously priced. On Deck – Travel days (where we were at sea all day) the deck filled up quickly, as people marked their territory early to secure a chair for the day. Some people would be gone for hours at breakfast or wherever leaving the other passengers to constantly walk around looking for chairs. We got our chairs early, but once again, it seemed like a struggle for the others. Tips – I like MSC’s no tipping policy. Tips are included in your bill, so there is no awkward moment trying to figure out who you are supposed to tip and how much you give him. Overall – I really liked my cruise! Of course there were several things which I could criticize, but for me, the amount of luxury and individual attention that they give on the limited space of a ship with thousands of people was truly a feat, and clearly outweighed any negatives I encountered. The staff was great, and my cruise was both exciting and relaxing. MSC is a good cruise line, and I liked the Italian / international feel. If you’re more of an adventurous person, I would say this might be the cruise line for you. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was my first cruise. We arrived at the port at 11:30 using Jiffy Jeff transportation. Well The terminal was packed as it was a partially chartered ship most of the group (claim 800 people) many of which were arriving together on ... Read More
This was my first cruise. We arrived at the port at 11:30 using Jiffy Jeff transportation. Well The terminal was packed as it was a partially chartered ship most of the group (claim 800 people) many of which were arriving together on multiple buses. We went into the terminal an saw a sign "boarding will be delayed". Come to find out the prior cruise was "Holy Ship" a chartered techno dance music cruise an they apparently had too much fun with multiple people being arrested, slight damage to the ships as they said but I didn't see anything wrong other than some TV's an framed pictures weren't level. Also they had to have a crane take down the stage they brought with them from the pool deck. We finally boarded around 1:45 an went straight up to the buffet on deck 14. Food was good the entire trip buffet and MDR. My only issue was portion sizes were smaller than expected. 10 small raviolis does not make an entrée but that's just my opinion. Meats were cooked well as were the fish pasta and PIZZA!!!. We were allowed into our cabins at 3:05 an dropped off our carry on bags then went to explore the rest of the ship. One thing many didn't like was the aft elevators only went to the Villa Rossa Restaurant and not the Black Crab on deck 6 which confused a majority of the older people who got very upset they had gone down then have to go back up an over an down again in another elevator. First two nights at dinner we watched people come in 10-20 min late because of it. Now as for dress code at dinner - Personally I found it a joke that my in-laws who have been on MSC before claimed EVERYONE dresses up. Well that sure was NOT the case for our cruise. many men did wear jackets but I'd say it was only 50-60% majority did like me dress shirt tie wth nice pants. The only people we saw turned away were a family who showed up at 6:55 when 1st dinner was 5:45 an expected to be seated. St. Thomas we docked at Havensight which was nice for shopping and had plenty of taxis available to get into town if you weren't willing to walk. It wasn't very hot maybe 70 at best when we first got off but was mid 70s by the time for all onboard. San Juan was much warmer and before we were let off they announced the pier would be shut down due to another ship coming right across from us at 11:45am so they could do all the ropes without passengers being in the way. Well the ship ended up coming closer to 12 an they shut down the pier for a good 30-45min maybe even an hour as they couldn't seem to get the ropes how they needed to be. If you are going to take the free trolley around town I suggest going to stop #14 across from the CVS right on the main road same side as the pier. Stop 1 was a madhouse but we got seats since we were on early due to boarding at 14. We skipped Great Stirrup Cay due to poor sea conditions the tenders weren't able to handle safely so we ended up with a 3rd sea day an the crew scrambled to get entertainment available. We ended up going extremely slow an sometimes stopped for a while since we couldn't go back to Miami early. As for entertainment the dancers, musicians and acrobats were all very good my only issue was the stage lighting. we usually sat towards the middle/ back (bottom of the steps) and the steps on the stage were too bright yet the rest of the lights on the performers were too dim you couldn't really see the detail in the costumes or their faces. (IMHO). Debarkation was smooth we had to go to the theater at 8:15 but we ended up being allowed off at 8. Inside the terminal it was like the airport with rows of conveyor belts all marked with colors of the tags. Small issue with some of the other passengers we had 2 colors as we were two different cabins yellow an pink. Well we had found the pink bags instantly an dragged them to the yellow area, many people were so rude thinking just because we had pink bags it was the pink section which it wasn't and clearly marked it wasn't. One guy threatened to fight an employee because nobody told them they were waiting in the wrong area. HELLO the big YELLOW board over the conveyor belt kinda gives the answer. We got our bags went down the short hallway quickly went through customs as we didn't purchase anything expensive an were out waiting for Jiffy Jeff within 30miin of getting off the boat. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
So we are a family of 4 and we decided to take our kids of there first new years crews on MSC which is a line that I have never been on. The sailing was from Dec. 26 2015- Jan 3 2016,days 8 nights. when we arrived at the port of Miami, ... Read More
So we are a family of 4 and we decided to take our kids of there first new years crews on MSC which is a line that I have never been on. The sailing was from Dec. 26 2015- Jan 3 2016,days 8 nights. when we arrived at the port of Miami, just looking at the MSC Divina, It looked absolutely amazing, we absolutely could not wait to get on. When in the port there were long lines unless you had Aurea experience or higher which is what we had and got through very quickly eventually getting the ship. So we get on and the lobby Is filled with people trying to get to there cabin in an elevator but who cares we got there very soon. Getting into our balcony cabin, it fit all 4 of us, 2 on the king bed, our kids on the futon which was very comfortable. And keep in mind there are plenty of closet space but your bags go under the bed, there is no where else to put them. The bathroom is tiny. the shower doors are glass and are moved into place by magnets. On to the service. The service on the ship wasn't so hot. We ordered room service because we were very tired and ordered 4 sandwiches, but they brought us only 2 sandwich's, for a first timer I wasn't very satisfied. And later on they would mess up almost every room service order we made. In the restaurants such as black crab (which is the only free restaurant besides the buffet) all the waiters cannot speak English very well, they basically mumble. After reading some questions from people, they want to know if there is good activities for teens on board. The answer is no. My son is 14 and he had 2 family friends on board with him, and almost never gets bored. There is a teen club but it doesn't seem fun, all it is, is dancing to the same songs every day and playing Xbox which doesn't even sound interesting. They were bored mostly during the night. Something that the boys did was bowling basketball watch basketball and swim during the day and maybe the night. On the MSC Divina there are shows every night. And they are SPECTACULAR. The best have ever seen, everyone of us loved it. There was a show where Queen song were sang, acrobatics, dancing, and the best of all the Michael Jackson show. The theater was 100% filled that night, I mean the guy could dance exactly like Michael Jackson and they also have a special surprise at the end of the show for you! About the food, it was not so hot either. We didn't go to any other restaurant besides The black crab, buffet and eataly which was good. In the buffet there are not to many healthy choices for people who hate junk food like me. I'd say its OK. The black crab, some nights it was terrible some nights it was very good. They undercook steak a lot so remember to check before you eat it. The pizza and pasta are amazing in all restaurants since its a Italian ship so try that. We went to Ocho Rios Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize city and Freeport. All were very good except for Jamaica, we went to the beach it was just crappy. If you are going to Cozumel go to Playa San Juan, VERY NICE snorkeling! and if you are going Belize make sure to book the Starfish island excursion. Beautiful island! Over all I would come back to MSC as long as they improve!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This was the first experience my boyfriend and I had with cruises. We flew in from Toronto into Fort Lauderdale. To preface, we felt that we did have a very nice time on the ship. In general, the service was good and we were generally ... Read More
This was the first experience my boyfriend and I had with cruises. We flew in from Toronto into Fort Lauderdale. To preface, we felt that we did have a very nice time on the ship. In general, the service was good and we were generally satisfied but feel there could have been many improvements. In general, we would consider trying other cruises for comparison purposes but the experience on the Divina wasn't enough to make us go, "WOW, WE HAVE TO DO IT AGAIN!". EMBARKATION: The transition from the plane to the cruise a bit confusing and I would have preferred more direction. We were never given any information prior to arriving in Florida except we would be bused to the port. At the baggage carousel, there was a lady walking around with a 8x11 inch sign yelling for anyone going on the MSc Divina. I felt this could have been done better. Nonetheless, we got the tags to attach to our bags and was ushered to the bus fairly easily. All that I would have needed to know was to be told more instructions, that someone will be at the carousels to meet you or just a couple of extra signs. I was a bit worried, a bit confused but it worked out fine. When we got to the port, the line-up took about 1.5 hours to finally get our cards and up to our rooms. We noticed there were 3-4 counters that were not open despite the large numbers of people. I'm not sure if this is the usual amount of time it takes to embark. Unfortunately, my bag didn't end up getting to my room until around 9pm the first night but I was just glad to get it by that point. FOOD & BEVERAGES: From 6am to 10:30am the buffet served a full breakfast, then a continental breakfast, followed by lunch from 12-4pm, snacks from 4-6pm and then dinner from 6-9pm. There is water, tea and coffee available whenever it was open. They actually probably served the full breakfast until maybe 11am. At peak times, the buffet was PACKED. With this amount of people, that was invariably going to happen. Also, the design of the buffet could have been better. Instead of being a perfect mirror image with similar foods arranged on both sides, this was the case at some areas but then some foods could only be found in one section. Therefore, I'm sure we never found certain foods. Apparently, there were cookies which we never ended up finding. The waiters are meant to ask for drink orders and deliver drinks to diners but we only had this happen once in many meals. I don't really blame them, there are way more diners than waiters can reliably bring beverages to. The other free dining options were the Black Crab or the Villa Rosa, whichever you were assigned to. In general, the food and service was very good during the dinners. I found the steaks were never quite medium rare as I asked, but more medium. Once again, when you're dealing with such high numbers of diners, I don't expect perfection...would have been a plus though. They had a nice little custom of making a big deal about their desserts, which I found sort of fun. Our waiter, Agung, in the evenings was great and after a few days began to learn our preferences and anticipate our requests quite nicely. There is also the option of going to the Black Crab for lunch between 12-2pm. On Day 3, my boyfriend and I arrived at the restaurant at 1:50pm for lunch. Unfortunately, we had a very unpleasant experience. The waiter did not understand my questions, him and another waiter rushed us immensely. They hovered less than a metre away from where we sat and the moment the last bite was done, they took away the plate and put on the next course e.g. salad, main, dessert. They were so bent on going as fast as possible, that the waiter would have the main ready in one hand while he took away my salad plate. My boyfriend was also served his food at a faster rate because he was a faster eater. Therefore, I was still eating my main, by the time he was almost done his dessert. While we were eating our meal, they were also setting the rest of the table (there were 4 empty seats at the table) for the evening meal at 6pm! The moment I finished the last bite of my dessert, we were told they needed the table to prepare for the evening! My boyfriend and I upon leaving the restaurant went straight to the reception and made an official complaint. I was given a 15 minute meeting with one of the senior officers. He wrote down my complaints, apologised profusely and assured us that even if we had arrived at 1:59, that we should have received the same services as if we arrived at 12:00. He gave my boyfriend and I a free meal at the Eataly Steakhouse for our troubles. I felt this was appropriately handled. The Eataly restaurant was quite good and did give us the proper medium rare in our steaks. We did not find the prices that expensive compared to steakhouses at home. The food was quite good but service was very slow. We saw a few tables looking quite dissatisfied with the pace of service and witnessed a couple complaints to the waiters. Generally, we had a nice meal. Also note: outside of the free restaurants and the buffet, you must pay for water. We brought water bottles and just refilled every chance we got at the buffet. Another thing that seemed very confusing to us. Perhaps because we had never cruised before, but we purchased the Cheers package prior to our departure. Beware, if you purchase a package ashore, you cannot change it on the ship! After the first couple days we FINALLY understood that this package only applied towards free wines and beer from the Buffet (which is on the 14th deck, away from many of the activities!) from 12-4pm and 6-9pm and from the Black Crab during 12-2pm and 6-8pm. We were able to use this in the form of a bottle at dinner though. We ended up getting 18 drink vouchers for cocktails and times in between for $86 US + 15% gratuity (or $98). All they needed to do was give each person a print-out when we boarded explaining what package we had, what it included and when it was applicable as opposed to us trying to figure it out along the way. EXCURSIONS: Another thing that was overwhelming was the immense excursion package/book they gave us to choose ashore. There were 15-20 options per port, each with their own long, descriptive paragraph. By the time we got through the options for the first 3 ports, we were done shopping for excursions. We refused to read further. All they need to do is do bullet point lists of what the excursions included, not write flowery mini-novels that were all really the same at the end of the day. The excursions were also, as expected, more expensive to purchase onboard than ashore. Compared to an all-inclusive resort, we found the excursions shorter, SOMETIMES cheaper, and more watered down. We did an excursion in the Cayman Islands and visited the Turtle nursery and did a stingray excursion in Cozumel. We enjoyed parts of both of them. ENTERTAINMENT: I was stunned at the quality of the shows. The cruise makes a point of doing a high-quality production every night. I've been to professional musicals and major live concerts and I was quite impressed by the calibre and professionalism of the performers. Some nights were more exciting and more variety-show style, other nights were more sophisticated like a classical voice concert and the Michael Jackson show was fantastic. Highly recommend making a point of going to these shows! PHOTOS: There are photographers enticing you to take photos every night. We had every intention of buying at least some of the photos as we meant for them to be souvenirs for our parents. The process of purchasing photos was the single most infuriating process I have ever encountered on any vacation. Ever. First, you had to search for your photos among walls and boxes full of everyone's photos. Just do the math, 4000 guests, 10-20 photos each means you have to search through around 80,000 to find your own. And no, your photos weren't all together, they were spread out all over the place. After an hour of looking we found most (couldn't find them all) of our photos, nobody would tell us a price. In order to get any information about the cost, we had to wait in line for 45 mins to speak to a sales person. They told us that unless we made a 'package' that they would be extremely expensive.... only they couldn't tell us what the 'packages' were. We spent 30 mins at the counter trying to mix and match the photos we liked to get a 'package' before the staff finally caved and explained the pricing model to us (he had a sheet taped to their desk that he let us look at). It turns out that they arbitrarily print the photos as either 'large' or 'medium' and you have to buy 10 of the same size to get a deal. Only you couldn't change the size of from their arbitrary selection. Want then on a disc? That's an extra $50 on top of whatever you pay for the photos. If you want photos, expect to spend about 3 hours of your time and around $250 for 8-10 generic photos. Needless to say, we ended up buying none out of principle, and we recommend you avoid this process altogether. DISEMBARKATION: This was a huge pain and left us quite anxious given we had a flight to catch. I'm not sure whose fault this is. We ended up getting off the ship 1.5 hours later than expected. If our flight hadn't also been delayed, we would have barely made it. If we had been placed on a later group for disembarkation, we would certainly have missed our flight. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
This was our third cruise aboard the Divina, so we knew what to expect. The Showroom entertainment is as good as any, and better than most, of the 100, or so, cruises we have taken. The ship is elegant and well maintained. The cabin ... Read More
This was our third cruise aboard the Divina, so we knew what to expect. The Showroom entertainment is as good as any, and better than most, of the 100, or so, cruises we have taken. The ship is elegant and well maintained. The cabin steward was nice and the staff were friendly and helpful. My problem with the waitstaff in the dining room is that most speak minimal english. Usually just enough to take your order, but if you have questions or complaints, that's where their language skills all but disappear. The serving sizes have become smaller and less satisfying with each cruise we have taken. This was probably our last cruise with MSC. The lido deck buffets are a disaster. Rude passengers pushing and clawing like it's their last meal. The specialty dining at Eataly is fair at best. Plastic chairs and an ultra contemporary decor is just not what I associate with gourmet dining. We had a wonderful shore excursion in Cozumel with Julio leading us on a snorkeling adventure of the underground caverns. This is probably not a good tour if you have claustrophobia, or don't like water. For the brave and adventurous it is spellbinding. Not to be missed, the tequila tasting at the conclusion of the swim is fantastic! We are traveling with 10 other senior couples from our neighborhood and everyone was able to do their own thing and participate in different activities. The spa treatments were relaxing and well performed. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
First The good: The Ship itself is beautiful. Now for the rest. If you are palnning on cruising with MSC I would advise you to heed the following. Sail Date: November 2015 Destination: (Caribbean, Central & South America) The ... Read More
First The good: The Ship itself is beautiful. Now for the rest. If you are palnning on cruising with MSC I would advise you to heed the following. Sail Date: November 2015 Destination: (Caribbean, Central & South America) The ship is beautiful. Unfortunately, that is the best I have to say about the cruise. The food on the buffet was OK unfortunately it was pretty much the same each day. Never saw so many hot dogs, hamburgers or sandwiches since the military dining halls. Also all sandwiches come with condiments on them so if your don;t like ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise or others, you're out of luck. The crew was not very friendly. By that I mean they never remembered you especially in the Casino where a lot of people spend there time. Drinks were supposed to be free after using your cruise card but we had to ask on the last night where the drinks were. We were informed that only a management individual could approve them. (BS) The ship had about 3,500 foreigners on it mostly from Eastern European countries. I was in the military for 27 years and Eastern Europeans are very rude and literally smell because of there hygiene habits. Elevators especially bad. They pushed there way around everywhere and forget excuse me or thanks you. "Go back to your own country and culture" No ATM machine on the ship???????????????? Nope. If you need money you were out of luck. The only cruise line where you had to pay to use the steam room and Sauna. (WHAT THE F--K) Decks were always slippery. Ports except Falmouth were horrendous. Shuttle bus from ship in Panama left us of in a neighbor hood where I would have like to had at least mace. Cruise director goes on stage in the theater and tells everyone not to bring anything valuable off ship with you due to lots of robberies. In closing I would advise you to look at all other cruise lines before going on this one. Organization is lacking terribly. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Just got back from a 10 day, Mediterranean cruise on the MSC Divina (9-26-15 sailing). I’ll do a very short review for those with a short attention span and a much more detailed review for those who would like an in-depth review. ... Read More
Just got back from a 10 day, Mediterranean cruise on the MSC Divina (9-26-15 sailing). I’ll do a very short review for those with a short attention span and a much more detailed review for those who would like an in-depth review. Background: I’ve been doing cruises for about 15 years, having sailed on Celebrity, Norwegian, MSC, Carnival, RCCL, Princess, and Croisieres de France. I’m also an Amazon top reviewer and work for a major Wall Street firm in San Diego. My girlfriend and I are in our early 50s. Short Review: Don’t believe all of the negative one and two star reviews of MSC. This ship was beautiful, spotless and the food was good. Also, don’t get fixated on all of those photos of hot dogs and hamburgers. There is a huge and varied selection of food to choose from. While MSC doesn’t do everything perfect, there are a lot of things they do very well. I would not hesitate to sail on MSC again and in fact, they’d be one of my cruise lines of choice. Long Review: Pre-Cruise: We spent 2 days in Rome on the Spanish Steps. We stayed at the Piazza di Spagna View, which is in a wonderful location. The room was inexpensive and literally overlooked the steps. It was also clean and comfortable. However, staff was often not on site (they’re there mornings only) and it did lack some amenities that some might be used to. Rome is a fabulous city, so do not miss it. We ate so well. Excellent and reasonable restaurants everywhere. Fantastic people watching. Something over 1,000 years old almost every time we turned the corner. We did private transportation (used Viator) from airport to hotel, from hotel to ship and from ship back to the airport. It worked well, but we did have one hitch. Embarkation: 5 minutes, are you kidding me? Seriously, on the ship in just 5 minutes. Baggage showed up in 20 minutes. Did you know that MSC stands for Mediterranean Shipping Company and that they are a huge global shipper? When we were in Europe, we saw the MSC logo on trains and shipping crates everywhere. I think that they know a lot about moving things and I believe this carries forward into their cruise business. Best and fastest embarkation ever! Video: I’ve uploaded a video review to YouTube entitled MSC Divina Balcony Review 13118. If you’d like to search for it, it shouldn’t be too hard to find. The Cabin: As mentioned, we stayed in 13118 which is a mid-ship balcony cabin on the 13th deck, which is the “Fantastica Experience”. I had booked the lowest level balcony guarantee and this was our room assignment, which I was very happy with. The room was immaculate, spacious and comfortable. Do be aware that some of the balcony rooms are much smaller than others, so be sure to look at the deck plan. For example compare our room to let’s say 13130. Our room is far bigger, even though the location is similar and pricing could be similar or identical. You have to insert your cruise card (or similar) into a slot to keep the lights on. I inserted a paper card but the cabin steward informed me it’s best to use the cruise card. That’s because, when your card is in the slot, there’s a small light to the upper, left part of the door that tells him it’s occupied. When he sees that light off, he knows it’s okay to clean the room. There’s much discussion about the overhang from the superstructure, especially with respect to the 13th deck. Some rooms have a small overhang, some have a very large overhang, while others have no overhang. We had the small overhang and I viewed this as a positive. It kept the room shady on sunny days and when we had blowing rain, I think it was also a plus. So in short, the room was excellent, probably my best experience to date. The Food: I was almost scared off by prior reviews of MSC food. Others have posted photo after photo of hot dogs and hamburgers, suggesting that the food is lousy and of limited variety. That’s not even slightly true. Yes, there are always hot dogs, burgers and pizza. The pizza and burgers are excellent, but I didn’t try the dogs. *BUT* bear in mind that during meal hours, the buffet is super well stocked with a massive variety of foods, most of which are very good or excellent. Here’s a tip. If you don’t see what you want…keep on walking. The buffet area is very, very large and often there were many items in farther away areas of the buffet that you wouldn’t see if you didn’t do a lap, or at least a half-lap, around said area. So dismiss the hot dog and burger comments, as it’s just not true. Sure, you might see that in-between meals, but otherwise you’ll find a ton of offerings. In the main dining room, food was mostly very good. I can’t quite go excellent, but solid in general. However, there is definite room for improvement. The fish is always overcooked and mostly has a somewhat fishy taste. Disappointing, but the solution is to avoid the fish. I’d call upon MSC to improve their seafood quality and preparation. As mentioned, it was always tough and overcooked. The beef, lamb and chicken are very good. Prime Rib was cooked quite nicely. Most of the appetizers and desserts were solid as well. While most on the ship speak very good English, our waiter did not and as a result several orders were fouled up. He was a nice guy, but initially I asked for another table. Both the Maître D and assistant Maître D told me “not possible”. We also asked for their My Time Dining and I was told “not possible”. Frankly, I thought that the Maître Ds were snotty and unaccommodating and they ought to shape up or ship out. We also bought the Allegrissimo drink package and I have a tip for you. When trying to book this, some links wanted $35 USD per day while others wanted 26€ per day. Obviously, 26€ is cheaper, so find that option. If you book this in advance, you avoid the 15% (I think) service charge. There are plenty of good drink options and limited wine options, but we found a merlot that we mostly enjoyed with dinner. Also, Allegrissimo gets you coffee drinks, such as cappuccinos, and unlimited Gelato, which is fantastic! The Ship: Beautiful. Almost stunning really. Super clean and super well-maintained! It wasn’t hard to get around. Best ship I’ve ever been on. The folks at MSC deserve applause for the thought and detail that they put into Divina. It almost pains me to read all of the negative reviews directed towards such a beautiful ship. And again, as noted the food and service were also quite good, with several minor exceptions. I also liked the fact that announcements are to the point and kept to a minimum. The Passengers: Varied. Many Europeans. Cruisers of all ages, not too old and not too young. Plenty of English Speakers too. We rarely had a problem with communication, although as noted, some of the waiters could have spoken better English. Entertainment: Really, really good. Saw a number of shows in the theater and was highly impressed. I liked Billy Bones, which received a standing ovation. Michael Jackson show was also very good, but far less acrobatic and physical than Billy Bones. Most of the musicians on Divina are excellent. There was a heavy-set pianist who sometimes played with an Italian opera singer and they were amazing! We’d sit in that beautiful lobby with a brandy snifter of Grand Marnier (included in Allegrissimo) and it was a great way to wind down in the evening. Disembarkation: I’m guessing it went fine for most. We had a problem though. We had an 11:55 am flight and wished to get off the ship early. The front desk told me not to put my bags outside of the room, but instead simply carry them down and exit the ship as soon as it arrived. We did that and in short, they would not allow us to exit the ship for another 45 minutes. If you are doing a cruise out of Rome, booking a flight departure around noon or after you are probably fine. 1 pm, 2 pm even better. 11 am, you’ll probably miss it. 11:30 am, possibly doable, with some luck and reasonable traffic, but generally try for around noon or later. Internet Access: If you’re like me, you’ll want constant online access. While on the ship, I bought MSC’s Wi-Fi package. They had a 50% off deal that I thought was quite fair. Not sure if you’ll get the same offer, but here were the prices, again at 50% off. All prices are in Euro. 1hr 8.45€. 1.4hr 12.45€. 5hr 27.45€. 8hr 34.95€. 24hr 84.95€. I chose 8 hours and it suited my needs. Don’t forget to login and logoff, as the clock keeps running if you forget. While on land, you may know that roaming data can be crazy expensive if you are overseas and you can run up a massive bill if you aren’t careful. Here’s what I did. Understand that I have an iPhone 6 and this might or might not work for you. 1. I bought a Keepgo SIM card with 1 GB or data. This ran me $70. I removed my normal SIM card before leaving and replaced it with Keepgo. This gave me 3G speeds (it’s fine) in every stop and it works in almost every country in the world. There might be cheaper options by purchasing SIM cards in each country, but I didn’t want to monkey with that. This works great everywhere I have ever visited. I’d suggest you test it before you leave, as there might be configuration issues, but they are usually simple to resolve. The Keepgo app should be downloaded and used. But just one problem. It’s a data only card, which means you can’t use your phone as a phone in the usual way. Not really a problem, in my view. 2. Use Skype, which is not only super cheap anyway, but possibly free. As of this writing, Skype offers an Unlimited World Plan. It’s inexpensive to begin with, but the first month is free. So, I did the free trial, called anywhere in the world for free during the trip and then cancelled the trial upon my return. If you don’t cancel, you’ll be billed for the next month. I was charged nothing. But what if people wish to call you? 3. If you wish to receive incoming calls with the above setup, you’ll need to buy a Skype Number. It’s around $18 for 3 months and you can choose a local number that anyone call you on. So if you’re in Rome, your phone will ring when someone calls you on a hometown number. Works great. Again, if you don’t cancel, it will renew. Some might not need this, as you can still communicate via e-mail or possibly text. But I wanted to have a way for work or family to call me easily if something really important came up. Ports: Let me begin by saying that everything is billed in Euro. While you’ll have a credit card on file with the ship, you will want to have some Euro cash in your pocket. We brought about 300€ each for the 10 day cruise and I ended up with about 70€ left over. Obviously, you may need more or less than we did. Also, many European credit cards have the new security chip, so better if you have one of those. My Capital One card did not. I asked for a chip card and was told they wouldn’t be mailing those for months. They also said that I could not specifically request a chip card ahead of schedule. I then asked, “If I simply ask for a 2nd duplicate card, will it have the chip on it”. The answer was yes, and indeed it did. Also, use a card for purchases where possible without any currency mark-up. Capital One is a good example. Discover card also waives the foreign currency transaction fee, but is not widely accepted in Europe, so you can probably leave it home. There are other cards that waive that fee, so check it out before you travel. La Spezia, Italy: We did the Cinque Terre, which is stunning. It’s also close to the cruise port, by train. I recommend that you get off the ship, grab a taxi, and take it to the central train station. Should run around 15€, which is a bit pricey, but it will get you there fast. I’d not recommend walking or messing with a bus. At the train station, you’ll see a lot of people, a lot of stuff in Italian that you don’t understand, several automated machines with short lines, and a longer line leading to a couple of ticket windows. Get in the longer line and buy the 5 Terre ticket for Cinque Terre for 12€ each. You must have cash (no credit card accepted). This will allow you unlimited train passage between the 5 towns, which is super convenient. You must validate the ticket at the platform once only. You should see a number of machines that you can put the ticket into the slot to validate. You also have to write your full name in pen on the ticket. The ticket agents do speak some limited English to help you a bit. But then, you’ll see a bunch of train schedules, in Italian, and they may seem confusing. Don’t worry, it’s not that hard. Just look for a specific city that you’ll visit, make sure to find the right platform, and get on board. Look for departures (treni in partenza) and not arrivals (treni in arrivo). You’ll figure it out. If you have internet access, I recommend that you view their schedules online. Go to ViaggiaTreno d o t it and click on the small Italian flag in the upper right corner, then select English. Next, click on Train – Station. Once you enter the first few letters of the town you want to visit, it will populate. Why not try it now? Type in Monterosso and you’ll see the departures and planned platform. Double-check the info with the schedules at the station, especially the platform. You can do this without going online, but it’s in Italian at the station. Still, not too tough to figure out and a breeze once you’ve got the hang of it. I’d suggest that you visit Monterosso first (it’s the farthest from La Spezia and probably the nicest) and then work your way back. We hit all 5 towns, going from Monterosso to Vernazza to Corniglia to Manarola and finally onto Riomaggiore before finally heading back to La Spezia and then taking a taxi back to the ship. If you wish to do all 5 towns (we did), get off the ship early and you will return late but you will have time. You could also hit a few towns only, but again I liked Monterosso the best. I had an amazing sea bass lunch with fantastic local white wine at Il Castello. Cannes, France: This was a bit disappointing. We did the MSC tour to Nice and Eze. They were filming in Nice and traffic was at a standstill due to this. We sat on the bus for about an hour. Nice seemed quite nice, but we had maybe 25 minutes to see it. Then, 2 passengers were lost and we had to wait 45 minutes for them. Eze was interesting but mostly nothing but shops. The perfume factory gave me a headache. However, I do think Nice is worthwhile and if you don’t hit traffic, you might have better luck. We spoke with one couple who had a private driver. They hit Nice, Eze and Monaco and had a great time with no problems. Palma de Mallorca, Spain: This is a surprisingly nice and large island and I think the population is 800,000. We did the Dragon’s Caves aka Cuevas de Drach via MSC. Really beautiful caves with a large lake at the bottom. You walk through them and then you are seated in the dark while dimly lit boats row up and play classical music. Pretty cool. Then, those same boats take you back to the exit. Next, the bus took us to the Majorca Factory Shop, which mostly sells nice pearl jewelry. While I could care less about pearl jewelry, there’s a café that sells Sangria, Espresso, Licor de Mallorca for only 1€ and great sandwiches for 3€. Get in line early. The Sangria is excellent and we bought 4 at such a low price. I also enjoyed the sandwich a lot, which is made fresh and toasted. The only bummer is that all that bus traveling gives you limited time in the actual central Palma city area. We had some time and it’s nice and impressive. While I would have preferred more time to see the massive church (it was closed) and to check out central Palma, I did think the tour was worthwhile. I also thought MSC’s tours in general were well-priced, mostly around 40€ per person. Barcelona, Spain: Gorgeous city. We did the “Highlights of Barcelona, Montserrat and Wine Tasting” tour, which was long at 7.5 hours. The tour started with a visit to Vilarnau Winery that makes Cava, which is basically Spanish Champagne. It wasn’t great and wasn’t bad. Included was a tasting of their Cava. Next we climbed the mountain of Monserrat to an elevation of about 4,000 feet to visit the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, which I believe was built around 1400. The Abbey and its surroundings were utterly spectacular. It’s like something you’d see in a video or magazine, but never dreamed you’d visit. I loved this stop and highly recommend it. The only downside is that the tour concludes with a drive through Barcelona, so you never really experience Las Ramblas and such. You’ll have to decide if that’s acceptable. But I will say that I enjoyed this tour, although I thought the winery thing was just okay. Valetta, Malta: An old city that you can walk about in. We walked to a giant Elevator and it took us up over the massive wall that lines the city for I think 2€ (coming down is free). The city is very walkable and quaint. Don’t miss St. John’s Co-Cathedral, although they do nail you for 6€ to get in. Worth it, in my view. Outside of the cathedral are several cafes where you can have lunch, a snack or a drink and that’s exactly what we did after walking most of the central area. You probably don’t need a tour to see Malta. Corfu, Greece: I’m half Greek, so it was kind of special in a way to visit the home of many of my ancestors. We did the MSC Paleokastritsa and Wine Tasting tour. You start off by visiting the Koum Quat Mavromatis (Mavormatis means “Black Eyes” in Greek) Factory that offers free tastings of their liquors, mostly Kumquat, Limoncello and Ouzo. They also offer many candies, jams and such. Oh man, this place is great! Load up on purchases here. The prices are excellent and the quality is outstanding. I bought a ton of stuff for 60€. Everything is good and you can taste some of it to confirm. We then visited the beautiful Paleokastritsa beach, but time was quite limited. We had a couple of glasses of Ouzo in a restaurant on the sand. Next we visited a town very high in the hills and had Greek wine (it’s okay) and a nice plate of meat and cheese (excellent). There are also gift shops with cheap prices. The drive is lovely and I was surprised that Corfu has over 4,500,000 olive trees on that island. There are literally olive trees almost everywhere you look! Messina, Sicily: This stop was disappointing. The city is beautiful as you pull up, but on Sunday it’s pretty much closed and seems a bit run down. There was nothing to do but visit the nice ancient cathedral built in 1198 and climb the bell tower for a small fee. Pay the extra 1€ after climbing the tower to visit the cathedral’s museum, which has some beautiful items displayed. But the town was dead as can be. We took the MSC tour to Mt. Etna. It’s a long ride out there and doesn’t go to the top, stopping at a secondary crater, which was boring. Nice drive though. Dress for cold weather, as you’re 7,000 feet up and it’s very windy and cold! Naples, Italy: We took the MSC tour to Sorrento and I loved Sorrento! The drive is stunning, especially when you are high on the cliffs above the town. Sorrento itself is lovely and charming. This is a super short stop, so do the MSC tour. You’ll get off the ship fast. Limited time in Sorrento, but I suggest you visit it nonetheless. We stuck with the tour guide part of the time and then visited the Fauno Bar and Restaurant in the main town square for an Antipasti plate and excellent local wine. The plate ran us 12€ and I’m not sure about the wine’s price, but you got a small bottle of the “house red” that held 250 ml, or about 1/3 of a standard bottle of wine. My total cost was 35€ for wine, antipasti and 2 cappuccinos. Great people watching spot and good food. Don’t overlook the little bowl of huge local olives which are different yet terrific. So yes, please do visit Sorrento! Conclusion: We loved MSC, we loved the Divina and we loved this itinerary. We also thought that late summer/early fall was an excellent time to travel, as the temperatures were very nice. As you may understand, this is not a lie on the beach and bake in the sun kind of cruise. You are visiting historic parts of Europe. We visited so many wonderful places, had so many great experiences and memories, and it was so convenient by doing this by cruise ship. Sure, time is limited in many ports, but life is full of trade-offs and good luck doing all of this any other way. And finally, don’t let the negative reviews scare you away from MSC. Yes, there are areas they could improve upon, but there is so much that they do right. I certainly do recommend MSC, the Divina and this European itinerary. We had a fabulous time! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
The Divina Hosts 4 000 'guests', which is way too much for the services it can deliver. There are long waiting times at the elevators, when getting off, at the buffet, at the excursion office desk, everywhere. In addition, to ... Read More
The Divina Hosts 4 000 'guests', which is way too much for the services it can deliver. There are long waiting times at the elevators, when getting off, at the buffet, at the excursion office desk, everywhere. In addition, to manage such a crowd, employees are told to apply the rules by the book without taking the client needs into consideration. At the dining room, for ionstance, you can't make a change to your order once it has been given to the waiter. They also offer deceiving excursions. 16o euros for example, to spend 30 minutes in the village of Capri. We also found an insect in our cabin two times during the cruise. Finally, managers won't listen to the clients and carry on their business as if everything was fine. By the way, Italian crew members never ever smile. They rather look down at you even though you are paying to be on board Read Less
MSC Divina Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 5.0 0.0

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