This was the first cruise for my husband and I. We are both in our 40's. We traveled with friends of ours who had cruised on this ship previously. I had read a lot of reviews before starting this trip, and it was quite a mixed bag, so ... Read More
This was the first cruise for my husband and I. We are both in our 40's. We traveled with friends of ours who had cruised on this ship previously. I had read a lot of reviews before starting this trip, and it was quite a mixed bag, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I was pretty much prepared for anything. Overall, I would say it couldn't have turned out much better!!!
Embarkation went fairly smoothly, although we had a different experience than most of the passengers since we were traveling with a disabled friend. This helped us avoid the lines, but also kept us from taking embarkation photos, which might have been nice to have as a memory of our journey.
The ship was truly amazing. The decor was gorgeous, and throughout the cruise, the staff worked to keep everything clean so you could enjoy your time there. The Divina is really large, so it was a bit daunting for a first-timer, but with the help of the maps and wandering around quite a bit, it became fairly easy to navigate and get to where you wanted to be. Our interior cabin, 9175, was decently sized, clean, and in great condition.
The food on the Divina was good, for the most part. The buffet allowed us to try many things, and I was really only disappointed in one. The desserts were great. The food doesn't vary a lot throughout the week, but with so many option to choose from, there's no need to eat the same thing each day if you don't want. Our dining room was The Black Crab. We were supposed to get early seating, but ended up with the late seating instead. I think this worked out better for us in the end, as we didn't have to rush from dinner to get to the show, so we could get decent seats. I will say that service in the Black Crab was pretty slow, but that's probably to be expected when you have to serve so many people all at once. Our servers, Brendo and Magdalena, did their best to make sure we had bread and water, and to try to hurry things up when they could. Sometimes there was some confusion, but it always got worked out. The food in the Black Crab was better than the buffet. The portions the first night were larger than we were expecting, but the other two nights we ate there, portions were much smaller. We also dined at the Sports Bar, where we found the food to be quite delicious. It got busier there as the week progressed, so get there early to really enjoy it.
I truly enjoyed the shows put on by the Divina each evening. Like many people have said, the shows are somewhat similar in nature, as if there is a formula they have to follow. There's dancing, singing, acrobats, and a bit of humor. With cruisers from all over the world, perhaps this is the best solution. The dancers were all amazing, and I loved the different acrobatic acts immensely. I also enjoyed the different activities that went on throughout the week on the ship.The staff always seemed very high-energy and upbeat from early in the morning, to very late at night. Sasha especially was very friendly to us and always made us feel like we were family.
We got to enjoy most of the dances at night. They had various venues around the ship so you could do the kind of dancing you wanted. No matter where we went, people were having a good time. I especially enjoyed the 70's party, where many people dressed for the occasion, and the white party, where everyone joined in on the fun and stayed up late partying.
The pools and hottubs on the ship were nice, though we found it was best to go early, especially if you want a chair. At the infinity pool, a pipe broke the last day and we were unable to use it, so if you really want to experience something on the ship, don't put it off till the end, or you may not have the chance. I'm glad I did earlier in the week. The slide is fun, as well, even though there were mostly children using it.
We did not book any excursions, and decided to just do our own thing on each island.
In the Bahamas we took a taxi tour with a woman named Sharon. She did a great job telling us about the island and its people, and was very friendly. We drove around in less-well-to-do areas for part of the tour, so it was interesting seeing how some of the Bahamian people lived..We went to Fort Charlotte, had a drink at a local bar, checked out the John Watling's distillery, went to Fort Fincastle and Queen's staircase, and finally some time at Atlantis. We didn't get a lot of time at any one place, so it was a bit rushed, but we got to see a lot. And we had time afterwards to wander around and check things out at our own pace.
In Puerto Rico we just walked around Old Town.There were a lot of interesting things to see everywhere, and we didn't even get around to doing everything we wanted. We especially enjoyed our time at Castillo San Felipe del Morro. The grounds are fascinating, and the views can't be beat. Everything around that area was worth checking out. We had lunch at Sanse Tapas Bar, where the food was incredible.
In St. Maarten/Martin we wandered around on the beach in Philipsburg and the shops for a bit, then took a local bus to Marigot on the French side. We had lunch at L'Arhawak restaurant, where the crepes were amazing, and a nice outdoor seating area. Then we hiked up the hill to Fort Louis. There's not a lot to the fort, but the views from there are probably some of the best on the island.
If you are LGBTQ, they have a meeting near the beginning of your cruise, where you can meet some of your fellow cruisers. We found a couple of cool people to hang around with during our time on the ship, and sometimes off-ship as well.
I unfortunately missed the Cruise Critic meeting on the Divina, as I confused the day. I wish they would have had it on the first sea day, as doing it on the first port day was a bit overwhelming for a first time cruiser.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. The weather was great, the people (both staff and passengers) were pretty friendly, and the ship lived up to its hype. Sure, there were a few little bumps here and there, but I was expecting that. I had never really been interested in crusing before, but after my experience with the Divina, there might be another cruise in my near future!!! Read Less