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6 MSC Cruises MSC Divina Gay & Lesbian Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise ever - what an amazing experience! Checking-in in Miami was very smooth and took little time. We could board at around 2.30 pm. Our cabin (13082) was situated on the 13th deck and was more spacious than we ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever - what an amazing experience! Checking-in in Miami was very smooth and took little time. We could board at around 2.30 pm. Our cabin (13082) was situated on the 13th deck and was more spacious than we could imagine with enough storage/drawers for a seven night cruise. Our room attendant Theo was very attentive and our cabin was cleaned minimum twice a day (with daily evening turndown where they close the curtains and leave the brochure of next days' activities on your pillow). Dining was overall very good. We were seated in the "Black Crab" restaurant (second dinner seating) - we found this place very busy, but the food was good, nothing special. As we liked to be more cosy sometimes, we went to the buffet restaurant on two nights and enjoyed our meals over there with a bottle of wine. We tested quite some bars (as we had purchased prepaid drink vouchers) and they were all very good. Cocktails were nicely made and tasted delicious! We went 4 times to the Pantheon Theatre and we loved the Michael Jackson show the most, anyway this kind of entertainment was very much appreciated. Nice selection of shops onboard. The ports we did were amazing (Ocho Rios, Cayman, Cozumel and Nassau!) - we did some snorkeling, a jeep safari,etc. We did not book through MSC, but did everything ourselves (via Viator and so on). We will choose again for MSC in the future! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The MSC Divina was a wonderful experience! It is about time that a competing company presented some Meditteranian class to the Caribbean with impecable Italian service. Other cruise lines should take note of this product. Embarcation was ... Read More
The MSC Divina was a wonderful experience! It is about time that a competing company presented some Meditteranian class to the Caribbean with impecable Italian service. Other cruise lines should take note of this product. Embarcation was delayed, more than usual, due to a previous charter that demanded the attention of US Customs. Apparently, they over-indulged and did not want to get off the ship! If you are in the Yacht Club, you have to be on the lookout for a little white tent on the pier. There, you are met by a Butler, bypass the line, and are excorted to a VIP Lounge, wherre you are checked in. From the moment we got out of the taxi, to the moment we arrived in our cabin, we were escorted all the way, The baggage arrived within the hour. One thing I particularily liked about the Devina was that it pitched and rolled like a real ship; not so much as to bother anyone, but enough to make you feel you were at sea. The ship itself is a work of art. Check out the crystal stair cases. For Yacht Club Members, the dedicated lounge, right over the bridge, gives fantastic views and unparralled sevice. We don't cruise the Caribbean for its ports of call, necessarily, but one thing I would recommend is going to "Airport Beach" to watch the famoous activity of jetblast and tourists in St. Martin. Puerto Rico was a bit of a bust for us, and we didn't get off the ship, as we had been there before. The last call was Grand Turk. A word of advice here, as I was told that Carnival owns the dock, and if you hadn't previously booked a shore excursion there, you would be denied at the pier, as the vendors only took cruise cards, We wanted to do a Segway tour, but it was sold out and they would not sell us one ashore. Instead, we went to Margarittaville again and watched the fun. This itinerarey had 3 sea days, which I really enjoyed. Last but not least was the high quality and variety of the entertainment in the main theatre. It was abave and beyond that which was expected. The staff were all excellent and did everything and anything they could do to make us feel welcome and satisfied. I highly recommend the MSC Divina. Give it a try and you will not be disappointed. Happy cruising, Carl Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
The Divina is gorgeous! The unbelievable Swarovski Crystal stairways, the beautiful Gaudi-esque indoor salt-water swimming pool, the serene and expansive spa, the stylish and clever auditorium, and the only infinity pool at sea...all were ... Read More
The Divina is gorgeous! The unbelievable Swarovski Crystal stairways, the beautiful Gaudi-esque indoor salt-water swimming pool, the serene and expansive spa, the stylish and clever auditorium, and the only infinity pool at sea...all were part of the wonderful Divina's allure. I have been on 12 cruises in the past 3 years, (Celebrity, Princess, NCL and Royal Caribbean), and can honestly say that MSC outshone them all. Especially noteworthy is the entertainment: the evening featured performances are unbelievable! The Michael Jackson, Moulin Rouge, Pirates of the Caribbean and Frank Sinatra theme shows were better than many in Las Vegas, and the special performance of a condensed La Traviata was wonderful! Also, the Golden Lounge had the terrific duo of Shepard and Green, which drew a large crowd of dancers and patrons each night. There was always Jazz in the aft lounge, and another fun duo in the Luna...all lounges had music all evening, every evening. Also of note is the delicious selection of 5 different pizzas, available every lunch and dinner in the buffet. The food overall was very good, and I recommend having the sit-down lunch in the Black Crab dining room. Dinners were all good in the Villa Rossi dining room, especially the fruit soups and Caesar salad appetizers. Don't miss the last night's lobster tail entree with Baked Alaska dessert...delicioso! Service was always prompt and friendly, and our cabin steward was very efficient. The pool/loungers are busy but never packed, and I really enjoyed the spa's Relax room, sauna and steam package. This is a wonderful ship, with lovely Italian touches. I highly recommend it, and plan to cruise on the Divina again and again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
After reading so many reviews both positive and negative, I decided I should share my experiences on my recent MSC Divina cruise. First about me; I am a 54 year old now single man from Ohio. After a somewhat recent ending of a six year ... Read More
After reading so many reviews both positive and negative, I decided I should share my experiences on my recent MSC Divina cruise. First about me; I am a 54 year old now single man from Ohio. After a somewhat recent ending of a six year relationship and enduring a tough winter, a friend of mine told me about the Divina and when he was going. I chose to sign up and used the idea of a cruise to help me get through the winter. On this cruise I was traveling on my own, but knew that my friend would be aboard the Divina along with several fun people from the Cruise Critic Message Board. Arrival at the Port of Miami: I arrived to the port at approximately 11:00 am. I made it through multiple security checks and walked into a large hall loud hall. (Wearing hearing aids, the noise was too much for me.) I walked into a line with little waiting approached the agent and started to check in. When the gate agent asked for my medical form in which I did not know what she was talking about. She was able to supply one and it was completed along with the rest of the check in process. When I asked about boarding groups, she told me that I should have a number handed to me at the beginning of the line. At that point it became apparent to me that I had not been approached as I should have been by a staff member handing out both the medical form and boarding group numbers. I found the right staff person, got my boarding card and everything was remedied easily. I guess this was just a hazard of travelling solo. Boarding the ship was a snap. Once on board, the ship was gorgeous. I immediately went to the Buffet and had a nice quiet lunch. As other reviewers have pointed out, the further back you go in the buffet, the quieter is it. I chose to sit near the aft, where there were large picture windows allowing for a view of the Miami Skyline. The food was quite tasty and there was a wonderful selection of both healthy and decadent selections at the buffet throughout the week. There were lots of public spaces in which to congregate, in fact most of Deck 7 is club after club after club. Probably my favorite place was the Garden Bar. The Garden Bar is outside and tucked away on the aft near the infinity pool. It was much quieter and much more relaxed than the other two pools. Our CC Roll Call had an informal gathering at the Garden Bar and it very quickly became our meet up area throughout the cruise. I must say that our CC Meet and Mingle was quite well attended there were dozens of members there. I guess there was so much traffic on our roll call, it caught MSC’s attention. In fact, Ken Muscat MSC’s Senior VP of Sales and Marketing attended our Meet and Mingle. He was a very nice man and took copious notes from our suggestions as well as our complements. I was travelling alone and chose to book and inside cabin on Deck 8. The cabin was small, but for one person it was just the right size. Storage was ample for one person, but with two formal nights, I could see how the storage space could be just a bit tight. The storage area had three cabinet doors, two which opened to a closet and one which opened to a shelf, the safe and several drawers. There were also two night stands, each with a drawer. The cabin had a desk with an upholstered cube to sit on with two shallow drawers, one which held a blow dryer. Additionally, there was a mini bar and a flat screen TV perched upon the mini bar. The bathroom was ample and had wonderful glass like doors which folded in allowing for the bath to feel even more spacious. The shower, once the doors were pulled out, made for a roomy shower. One interesting thing happened to my cabin while on the cruise; my cabin steward moved my beds apart to turn them into twin beds. The “renovation” of my cabin came as a surprise when I walked back in that evening. Seeing as the central space of the cabin made things seem roomier, I decided to try it for a day or two. After the second night, I saw my steward and ask him why he changed my beds. He told me that my neighbors had insisted that was their cabin and asked for the change. I did find the excuse weak, as told him I was not comfortable in a twin bed and to please change it back. When I returned to the cabin, the “renovation” had been un-done and all was back to normal. Speaking of cabin stewards, mine was quite pleasant and found the right mix between being friendly and not intrusive. The cabin was always clean and towels, regardless if I wanted them replaced or not, were always fresh. Dining aboard the ship was always a pleasure. Food was quite tasty and my dining mates at my table were wonderful people. At my table was my friend, who is Canadian, whose parents were from the UK, and five Brits. Even though we speak the same language, the Canadian often translated for me. One example of my Canadian friend translating for me, one of the ladies at the table was a retired Matron. I innocently asked her if she enjoyed her work in prisons, which elicited huge roars of laughter. My Canadian friend explained that in Britain, a Matron is the equivalent of a Head Nurse. I think I may have actually blushed at that point! One difference with dining on MSC, dinner is an experience. Dinner often lasted at least an hour and a half. Dining with delightful people often made that hour and a half go so quickly. Wait staff and bartenders were always pleasant and attentive. During the entire week, I ran into only one server who was a bit too surly for my tastes. Other servers more than made up for the one person’s surliness and the issue was quickly forgotten. A couple of other thing I must mention. Prior to leaving on the cruise, I had ordered the Allegrissimo Premium Drink Package. I must say I am glad that I did. Not only did the package include most liquors, it also included top shelf liquors, soda pop, the items in my mini bar, gelato from the gelato bar, pastries from the pastry counter and coffee drinks. While I am not a big drinker, the unlimited selection allowed me to try things I would never ever try. For example, Johnnie Walker Blue Scotch was one of the drinks included. Not being a Scotch drinker, I would never have tried it at $22.00 a shot. Since I was on the package I tried it and decided it was something I liked. A double or two of Johnnie Walker Blue in the evening or a Hennessey XO at $17.00 a shot would help me meet my cost quota to break even each day. I must say that after totaling my receipts from the week between all of my indulgences, the total more than exceeded the original $399.00 price for the package. If this package is available to you, I would heartily suggest ordering this before your board the ship. The package once you are on the ship increases in cost and is not available after the first day of the cruise. I must also mention the entertainment. Not only is the theater beautifully designed, with great sight lines and wonderful acoustics, the shows were also very good. Each show had a good combination of music dancing and acrobatics throughout the week. Even though I am not a huge fan of opera, there were two shows opera shows done throughout the week. Please do NOT miss these shows. They are incredible. The tenor was unbelievable good. Additionally, the ships photographers are extremely talented and took the time to take wonderful photos of passengers wanting their photos taken. After the first dinner, the photographers were never intrusive and often were stationed in different locations throughout the ship. The photographers would actually pose people to get a good photo of the person. My Canadian friend took several photos which were incredible. This was my thirteenth cruise and second with MSC. After this cruise, I will most certainly be taking more cruises with MSC as this was probably one of the best cruises I had taken in years. Would I recommend MSC? I most certainly and absolutely would!   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We were booked into the Yacht Club, so perhaps this is not the typical feedback. In every way, from the embarkation to the disembarkation, we were treated like royalty - having our own butler, passing around long queues, and enjoying many ... Read More
We were booked into the Yacht Club, so perhaps this is not the typical feedback. In every way, from the embarkation to the disembarkation, we were treated like royalty - having our own butler, passing around long queues, and enjoying many perks. The accommodations were not extravagant, but who spends time in his room on a cruise? The pillows (from which there were many to choose) and bed were extremely comfortable, and the complimentary breakfast served to us on our balcony was always delicious and on time. The most remarkable memory we had was the 5-star restaurant exclusively for the Yacht Club (where even the wine is served without charge). The meals were utterly fantastic and served with flair. We were never hurried, yet the various courses always appeared exactly on time as if we were the only patrons in the restaurant. Always ask for Gian Marco as your waiter. He is nothing less than a magician. We have never had such service! This was the only cruise we have taken that we weren't constantly bombarded with promotions. On the next cruise we took (on a different cruise line) we were pestered by sales pitches on the PA system from the various boutiques on board to buying photographs which were snapped in your face on the way out of a restaurant to special classes you could take for extra charge. For the Yacht Club members, everything was included including simple alcoholic beverages at certain bars on the ship. Out of all the ship's staff we encountered, only one treated us in a non-professional manner. Soon after we reported the incident to the concierge, we were visited by an Italian MSC executive and his American counterpart who happened to be on board. They offered profound apologies, and assurances that this would never happen again. I sometimes think the Italian man may have had his Uncle Vito "take care" of the offending employee (lol), but while I'm sure this was not the case, we were impressed how thoroughly and seriously they took action to rectify any unpleasant situation. Such details as the quality of merchandise in their gift shop was not unnoticed. As inexpensive mementos for each cruise we take, we always buy a double deck of playing cards and a model of the ship for display on our living room bookshelf. The next cruise line we used (mentioned earlier) had only chintzy single-deck playing cards and a model ship suitable for a bathtub toy, while the products bought on the Divina were of professional quality and worthy of being on display. Needless to say, we have raved about the wonderful experience we had to all our friends. We have nothing but the highest praise for MSC, their beautiful ship Divina, and their wonderful staff. We have no way of knowing if we got special treatment as a result of being in the Yacht Club, but if you can book your room on these special decks, DO IT. The only downside to our cruise was that we were hopelessly spoiled and set up for disappointment when cruising other lines. There is simply no comparison. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Having just returned from our twelfth cruise with the eastern Mediterranean route on the MSC Divina, we are stumped at the abundance of negative reviews we had read in advance. Our experience was just the opposite. No cruise is perfect but ... Read More
Having just returned from our twelfth cruise with the eastern Mediterranean route on the MSC Divina, we are stumped at the abundance of negative reviews we had read in advance. Our experience was just the opposite. No cruise is perfect but the MSC Divina came pretty darn close for us. Yes, we had some reservations prior to our departure. First, we've always been most comfortable on ships averaging 1,500 to 2,000 passengers (MSC Divina carries around 4,000). Second, we've been spoiled in the past by lines catering almost exclusively to the American passenger. But the allure of the MSC Divina design coupled with the Venice base and very appealing ports including Izmir, Istanbul and Dubrovnik clinched the deal for us. The ship is a beauty. Sleek, understated, elegant and full of surprises (and after a year, still with the feel of a sparkling, brand new ship). The MSC Divina feels very Italian and yet very international all at once. The staff, somewhat reserved (but as you get to know certain members of the crew, you'll find some great, friendly personalities), is always right on top of your requests and always striving to be as accommodating as possible. The crew is just as international as the passenger roster, unique to most cruise lines - you'll find nametags from Bali to Bosnia, South Africa to Scotland. Some of the bartenders weren't always at the top of their game - but with so many bars and so many attendants, just hop over to the next; you'll soon have your favorites (and they are quick to recognize you after a day or two). Embarkation in Venice was a snap. Of course, it helped that we took a private water taxi to the dock from our hotel (the wonderful A Tribute to Music hotel) to the private dock located next to the ship (great tour and what a way to arrive, all for about 70 euro). Your luggage is immediately tagged at the private water taxi dock so you skip the long lines to check in luggage at the terminal and immediately head up to registration. It's a quick confirmation at registration -- just make sure all information such as dinner seating time and any drink packages are printed on your cabin card. Mention that you arrived by private water taxi and instead of waiting for your boarding number to be called (group numbers are handed out at the crowded luggage check-in), you are immediately shown to the front of the line to board the ship. Embarkation with registration was a matter of 20 minutes for us - and after we boarded and grabbed a quick bite, we were amazed to find our luggage already at our cabin door in less than an hour. Our MSC Divina cabin 13038 could not have been better. Designed in beautiful dark brown, orange and gold tones, the cabin seemed a bit more narrow than other cabins we've had (from our favorites with Holland America, Celebrity and NCL to the "unique" Costa Fortuno to the not-so-hot Carnival) but certainly more comfortable. Plush sofa, ample storage and cabinets, compact but convenient bathroom (exceptionally clever design to fold in the shower doors when not in use to expand the bathroom space), thick carpeting, beautiful lighting options and comfortable seating on what seems to be a bigger-than-usual veranda with jaw-dropping views (and ideal privacy dividers from your neighbors). And the bed - the bed! - wow, just about the most comfortable bed we've ever had on any cruise. It was a plus that the forward cabins on the 13th Cupido deck are on hallways that dead-end with the captain and upper management rooms, so the hallways and cabin are dead quiet. Just ideal. Not sure how they did it - or when they did it - but our cabin was always clean, bed made, spotless bathroom, ice bucket filled, and turn down service with next-day information packets always waiting for us no matter the hour we returned at night. Our balcony and large windows were thoroughly scrubbed down twice on two port days. The best deals on the MSC Divina, as frequently mentioned, are absolutely the all-inclusive allegrissimo drink package (which also includes fantastic gelato from various stations) and the laundry package (20 items per cabin during the cruise cleaned for 25 euro total, and all came back to our cabin on the same day). While many cruise lines seem to be scaling back on entertainment and shows, MSC pulls out all the stops on the Divina in the sophisticated Pantheon Theatre with lavish and large (very large) productions. No live orchestra means more performers, singers and dancers on stage. I can't remember the last time we went on a cruise and went to every evening performance. On the Divina, the highlights for us included a spectacular Moulin Rouge Cadeaux show, mind-blowing Michael Jackson tribute and beautiful Sogno Italiano of Italian arias and operas. Astounding that in one week we saw everything from "Swan Lake" to Cirque-like aerials, can can dancers to electronic violinists, swashbuckling pirates to Italian tenors, all spectacular! The MSC Divina has a wide variety of bars, each with distinctive decor and entertainment in the evening. Our favorites turned out to be the Golden Jazz Bar (still amazed at the unique glass bubble chandeliers), Black and White Lounge (terrific dance band) and of course, the atrium bar with those gorgeous Swarovski crystal staircases and an ever-changing entertainment line-up from a concert pianist to a chamber orchestra to opera singers. We opted for our usual late dinner seating and chose the smaller of the two dining rooms, the Villa Rossa. It's an elegant room of deep reds with black and gold trims, and surrounded by panoramic windows - and have to say the Villa Rossa was far more elegant and not as cramped as the "signature" dining room called the Black Crab (don't get me wrong - it's a beautiful room but the Crab seemed crowded, somewhat claustrophobic and very understated in black and very muted plum and gold colors). Service in the Villa Rossa was of course impeccable and friendly, and that dining crew works darn hard to keep your meal flowing and anticipating your needs. The menus were varied, interesting and extensive. Sure there were some misses (our dining captain could tell I was having a tough time with a certain dish, whisked it away and immediately replaced it with another choice), but for the most part all the selections ranged from good to great. I am still dreaming of an incredible smoked gouda risotto'loved it so much I had a second helping and then for dessert, a third serving! Somewhere along the line, the MSC Divina got a reputation for serving dishes only lukewarm to cold. Not in our case - every hot dish was just that - hot! Amazing, by just our second night, our favorite bottles of wines, dishes of ice and favorite breads were waiting for us every evening. The big (and I mean BIG!) grand buffet sprawling over the Calumet and Manitou wings can be overwhelming. I would guess it extends about a third the length of the ship of the 14th floor deck, and you will be blown away by the selections of entrees, Mediterranean and international specialties, salads, wide variety of pizzas and pastas, meat carvings, unique Italian sandwiches, desserts, and expansive and truly fantastic cheese selections. Yes, the buffet can get very crowded - name one ship when a breakfast or a specific lunch period isn't crowded - but just take a breath and keep proceeding to the rear of the buffet into the Manitou sections (with stylish American Indian motifs). This buffet is smartly designed and selections continue to repeat themselves throughout the wings -- you'll find the rear portions much less crowded (and quiet) with more than ample window and booth seating. The MSC Divina is a marvel of not only design but also management of a large passenger ship. The many pools and tiered decks were never overly crowded (you'll always find outdoor seating - the attendants go out of their way to find comfortable spots for you). To escape the action of the unique Aqua Park, head aft to the Infinity Pool and hot tubs (always pretty quiet). The MSC Divina interiors have a variety of easy, comfortable seating (loved the silver two-person banquettes in the Black and White Lounge as well as lounging on the large full-body cushion sofas of the Golden Jazz). Exiting at ports was a breeze -- just wait ten minutes after port doors open so that the excursion groups can pour out first. I might guess tendered ports could be a bit challenging with so many passengers, but fortunately we didn't have to deal with any tendered ports. The only time the ship felt somewhat crowded was that hour or so between the 1st dinner seating/1st show and the 2nd dinner seating/2nd show. The beautiful and oh-so-comfortable 1,600 seat Pantheon Theatre is located at the front of the ship and the two dining rooms at the rear, so of course there is the intersecting flow from end to end during that evening interval (and there can be some gridlock pending the great opera singer or dance band in a lounge, or how good someone is bowling in the sports bar, or a jackpot being hit in the casino). Some good (and some not) surprises we discovered aboard the ship: - This is one spotless, sparkling, always white glove clean ship, at all hours of the day or night. Like others, we couldn't help but marvel at how the crew was always subtly cleaning every inch of the ship (never before seen attendants appearing from nowhere with handheld vacuum cleaners). - We are not fans of the White Party, but the MSC Divina's is so different: all ages having a great time, dancing with crew members and performers, fantastic bands, wonderful service and just a great spirit that is so inclusive of all ages, all nationalities, all types of folks (at one point I was dancing all at once with a very senior woman from Stockholm, a Japanese businessman and one of the reception desk attendants). - The Aurea Spa is one of the most elegant spas you'll ever see. We took a tour and were blown away - and had every intention to indulge (we were so intrigued by the coconut and opium saunas) but simply ran out of time. - Do not miss the 4D HD theatre - it is a hoot! We took in the "canyon ride" film and were hollering and grabbing the sides of our seats! Loved it! It's a six euro charge for the wild ride. - The first gala night is definitely a dressy affair (this international passenger roster took it seriously!) - the second gala night was a bit more subdued when it came to the 'glamour' quotient. - If you attend one of the 20-minute daily cooking demonstrations (interesting watching the chefs create dishes, but alas, no sampling), you'll qualify for a 15% discount at the upscale Galaxy restaurants or the Sacramento TexMex steakhouse. We opted for the Galaxy one night and found the dishes somewhat interesting but the setting and service lacking anything close to "upscale" or special (we definitely do not recommend it). The Galaxy is just the very hip Galaxy Disco's adjoining bar made over for the dinner hour. We were going to try the Sacramento TexMex steakhouse one evening but 1) it always seemed empty, which we didn't take as a good sign; and 2) we were simply enjoying the Villa Rossa dining room too much. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. No matter the ship, parents of all nationalities (yes, that includes you American parents, too) have a tendency to let their little monsters run loose now and then, thinking it's cute and that others will also enjoy the dancing tyke sprawled on a dance floor or pounding their spoon against a table. Just smile, shake your head and move away. - The MSC Divina doesn't push photo opportunities (too much), and there are mostly fixed positions for photo sittings and not cameraman climbing all over the decks. And give it a try - have to admit this ship's photographers are very stylish, very creative and very professional with some truly great photography! A word about the ports (and they can be short - but then again, every port stop is too short when you are truly enjoying yourself): Bari, Italy: fascinating old town and some glorious cathedrals to visit - then wander into the old town neighbors, down colorful alleys, and you'll glimpse Italy from decades gone by (and on this Sunday, there were local bands playing on hidden corners throughout old town Bari). Easily accessed from the port by taxi, bus or on foot. Katakolon, Greece: we wisely skipped Olympia (knowing Ephesus lay ahead the following day) and enjoyed the quaint town right on the port with some fantastic (and very reasonably priced) shopping. Also loved an open air tourist train ride from the town into the Greek country side, with fantastic views and stops at a beautiful vineyard and a breathtaking beach resort. Izmir, Turkey: we're not one for the ship excursions but prefer to book private (and much less expensive) tours. We scored big time with booking a private tour of the astounding Ephesus and Artemis along with a fantastic buffet lunch through Gizem Gencer at www.ephesustours.biz (and insist on Erman Gokbora as a guide - wonderful, knowledgeable and gracious guide). Istanbul, Turkey: once again, the massive mass ship excursion were not for us, so we booked a sensational private Byzantine tour and lunch with Ender Boz at www.privatetoursinistanbul.com. Regret to say we can't recall the name of our wonderful hostess, but we saw all the major historical sites of Istanbul in a knowledgeable, whirlwind tour tailored to our interests (and our guide knew how and when to maneuver past long lines and avoid the crowded mass tour times). Dubrovnik, Croatia: so this was our one trip-up. Had booked a private tour through Pero Klaic at pepoklaic@yahoo.com and his www.dubrovnikshoretrip.com. He was a no-show (luckily we had no deposits with him - definitely a tour service to avoid!) and were about to panic when we luckily discovered that for only 50 euro (compared to Pero's 150 euro trip), we could get a private one and a half hour taxi tour of the views, historical sites and then the jaw-dropping old town and walled city of Dubrovnik. Just hail any taxi at the port gate and make the request. And finally, disembarking in Venice. Well, all good things come to end. And all good procedures, too. This is where the MSC Divina stumbled a bit - disembarking was a chaotic mess. No one seemed quite sure where to go, when to go, who was to go, etc. We were one of the lucky ones (sort of), as all cabins on the 13th floor Cupido are for some reason marked as Gray One for priority disembarking. The 8 am disembarkation time became 9 am and then finally, finally, Gray One group was allowed to leave (and yes, our luggage was right there waiting for us as we departed). Now in all fairness, there could have been good cause for the confusion and concern that morning. There were massive and disruptive news-generating protests all day long by Venetians, protesting the arriving and departing cruise liners as being destructive to the Venice environment. Seeing how many (there were nine ships in port on our arrival in Venice) and how close these ships sail to the Venice docks and canals, I somewhat agree with the protestors that there are just too many that are sailing too close for comfort. And the MSC Divina seems to be always singled out of all ships by the protestors because of her enormous size and her namesake "godmother' Sophia Loren (many are demanding their beloved Sophia have her name removed from the ship). So we are privileged to offer a counter to those negative reviews of the MSC Divina and instead marvel at and appreciate the extraordinary experience aboard this glorious ship. We're excited to now be MSC Club members!   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
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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