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10 MSC Cruises MSC Divina Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

Second time on this ship in 3 months. Celebrated wife B'Day. Every staff member from room steward Fredrick, to bar staff Vaness in LaLuna to Jessica in Golden Jazz bar, were phenomenal. Special shoutout to Ari, dinning room staff, ... Read More
Second time on this ship in 3 months. Celebrated wife B'Day. Every staff member from room steward Fredrick, to bar staff Vaness in LaLuna to Jessica in Golden Jazz bar, were phenomenal. Special shoutout to Ari, dinning room staff, for serenading her on birthday and last night of cruise!! Dinning room waiter John and Edison, were great, very attentive and never missed a detail. Theatre shows are the best on the seas. Costumes for the pirates show were unbelievable, as well as the dancers and acrobats. But by far and away the Michael Jackson show was the headliner for the week. Jorge Rodriguez? was uncanny! He nailed every move/step in all the songs. The ending of the show with cast and ships crew, taking a bow was unbelievable! Quite a tribute to the King of Pop!! Also the duo singers in LaLuna bar was fabulous. Special treatment of songs from ABBA,Eric Clapton, Santana, made each night unique. Quite the lounge act. Don't miss any of the entertainment!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
What a gorgeous beautiful ship, such detail and European Flair!!! This is a large ship with crowds of people everywhere. The crew was outstanding and friendly and always responsive to our needs. Giovanni and Miguel were our wait staff in ... Read More
What a gorgeous beautiful ship, such detail and European Flair!!! This is a large ship with crowds of people everywhere. The crew was outstanding and friendly and always responsive to our needs. Giovanni and Miguel were our wait staff in the Black Crab Restaurant, they were excellent and friendly and efficient. I had a group of 8 people on this cruise and everyone was pleased with their service. It was nice to be able to speak Italian for a change. The food overall was very good, some of the dishes presented were outstanding, some were average but good. There were plenty of choices from the appetizers to the main entrees to the desserts, I can't understand some of the ratings where people are complaining about quantity of food, we were complete stuffed. The buffet on the lido deck was outstanding, expensive prosciutto and other Italian cold cuts were served with a nice selection of cheeses, there were always a number of pizzas served which was delicious. There was an ethnic corner with various nationality foods served, there was a carving station with delicious fresh meats, a pasta bar, hot dog and hamburger bar, special meals of the day bar, a deserts bar etc. The breakfast menu is extensive as well, both in the restaurants and the buffet. They even have a poolside breakfast bar available so you can eat and still swim in the pools. The gelatto bar was great as well. The best show was the Michael Jackson Tribute Show....a nice married couple performed Abba and the Beatles in one of the lounges, they were fantastic. The port calls and tours were great as well, I would recommend the "see everything" panoramic tours for all the ports. Uncle Sam our Cabin Stewart was great, always had a smile for us, kept ice in the bucket and kept our cabin #11106 in tip top condition. We really enjoyed the art auction, the free glasses of champagne, and learning about the different artists, we purchased several paintings at a good discount. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I liked it so much but some times i got bored with the food because my cruise was for two weeks and the food was always the same. In one opportinity I asked at the buffet for an orange juice to the waiter and the rude waiter said you can ... Read More
I liked it so much but some times i got bored with the food because my cruise was for two weeks and the food was always the same. In one opportinity I asked at the buffet for an orange juice to the waiter and the rude waiter said you can go and get it your self and i have the all the drinks included. another issue was that I payed 30 mins of massage at the spa for couple and i got only 25 mins, taking into the account that the prices at the spa are very high i was expecting a very good service but it was dissapointing and what is worst I didnt get the complimentary tea that was advertaised at the moment of the purchase of themassage- another thing that i didnt like is that the guys that were helping all the passangers to book a new cruise they were very mean, specially the lady. The medical center or service was very expensive i got very sick the last 3 days but i couldnt see the doctor because it was way too expensive and the price didnt include medication .the rest of the cruise was fun and i wanted to thanks for the service and the capitan was very nice and the rest of the crew too. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I wasn't a big fan of cruises, but after my experience onboard the MSC Divina I got so enthusiastic about it that I will cruise again very soon The ship was amazing, the crew and the personnel super helpful and extremely nice. When ... Read More
I wasn't a big fan of cruises, but after my experience onboard the MSC Divina I got so enthusiastic about it that I will cruise again very soon The ship was amazing, the crew and the personnel super helpful and extremely nice. When I asked for some shoe cream one of the hostess gave me her personal one! The Spa, the Gym and the "Yacht Club" area were simply stunning and my cabin was top notch. Food, cocktails and snacks were delicious I cannot comment about the excursions since I took only one short trip ashore (which was very nice indeed) but the excursions lists was extremely rich and diversified The only cons I can think about is the fact that outside of the Yacht Club area some common spaces were a little bit crowded but I guess this is unavoidable during high season Overall, a five stars experience Thanks to MSC for this unforgettable experience Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the seven day cruise. It was a Jazz Cruise but the ship offered many wonderful experiences that we could partake in when we had free time. Arrival and departure were all handled with ease. The staff was ... Read More
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the seven day cruise. It was a Jazz Cruise but the ship offered many wonderful experiences that we could partake in when we had free time. Arrival and departure were all handled with ease. The staff was fabulous, friendly, and most courteous meeting all our needs and expectations as was the service provided. The food, more European in presentation, was excellent and diverse with an eye for detail. The ship, The Davina, was beautiful offering a luxurious environment with a wide range of eating venues, activities, shops, and lounges to enjoy. Our cabin was spacious and well fit. We found the entertainment and shore excursions to be top notch. I bought a spa package and was pleased with the services and facilities but wish I was informed more with all of its offerings that I had to learn for by myself. (An intense explanation of spa facilities at the start would have been appreciated.) We have cruised on many different lines and found MSC to provide excellent service and venues to make our cruise all we could ask for. We are looking forward to a ten day cruise in November and we plan to continue to look at MSC offerings. MSC is a FANTASTIC cruise line meeting all our needs and expectations!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My wife and I usually take a cruise in April so we started looking last December, we love the Eastern Caribbean and especially St. Martin so when we saw that the Divina was going there we started reading reviews and almost decided against ... Read More
My wife and I usually take a cruise in April so we started looking last December, we love the Eastern Caribbean and especially St. Martin so when we saw that the Divina was going there we started reading reviews and almost decided against it. Let me start by saying this was our 24th cruise on 5 different cruise lines and we can honestly say we have never had a "BAD" cruise. This ship departs from Miami at 8 PM so everyone has plenty of time to fly in the same day and make the ship, we liked that being from Texas and arrived in Miami around 2 PM, a quick 20 minute taxi ride to the ship and we were in the terminal . This was our first MSC cruise so we did not have priority boarding. This was the easiest, fastest and friendliest embarkation we have ever had. Upon entering the ship we were greeted by friendly staff and told where the food was. We went up to the 14th deck and got in line at the buffet and there was plenty of choices. The food on the buffet was as good as any we have ever had on a cruise ship. Unlike other ships we have been on there is pizza on this ship anytime and you do not have to wait on it. The dining room food was normal for cruise food, not many dessert items but ok. The wait staff in the dinning room was excellent and we had no complaints. The entertainment was excellent, the only show we did not care for was the opera but that is just not our cup of tea. We had cabin # 11084 and it is in the corner so we had a large balcony, we would have enjoyed that a lot more except for the neighbors smoking. MSC says no smoking on balconys but they might as well say no sleeping in your cabin. We do not normally use the casino because of all the smokers but this ship must of had an excellent vent system because we did not smell any, very pleasant. The disembarkation was as easy as embarkation, docked at 7 AM and was off by 8AM. To sum this review up we were very happy with this cruise line and ship. We are glad we did not let the negative reviewer's talk us out of it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
In my opinion, these cruises, taken back to back, were not cruises as I usually think of them. They were floating rock concerts. I won't comment on the ship, service, food, and usual "cruise stuff" as other reviewers have ... Read More
In my opinion, these cruises, taken back to back, were not cruises as I usually think of them. They were floating rock concerts. I won't comment on the ship, service, food, and usual "cruise stuff" as other reviewers have pretty well described the pros and cons of these things. Back in 2000, I swore off mass market lines when they began to X ray my luggage for alcohol, soft drinks, and such under the guise of searching for weapons when the real reason for this was (and is) to ensure I pay the ship's hyper inflated prices. So since 2000, I have confined my cruising to lines like Regent, Silverseas, and the like, except for specialty cruises like this. I will say that, although MSC is a mass market line, it is one of the better ones. As others have said, their ships are really "ship shape" and MSC does offer drink tickets which allow passengers to buy hard and soft drinks at a lesser price. Now on with the review of the floating rock concerts. The Moody Blues Cruise featured (of course) the Moody Blues along with the Zombies, Roger Daltry, Little River Band, ELO (Now called "The Orchestra"), a couple of great cover bands and other cover musicians. Notable among these was Randy Hanson, who can play Hendrix style guitar better than Hendrix did. The Moodies, the Zombies, and Daltry each played two shows on different nights in the ship's huge auditorium. Passengers were divided into two groups and given blue or pink passes to see these auditorium shows. The color of you pass determined the night and time you could see these shows. However, it was often possible to see an auditorium show a second time, on a space available basis. These shows were fantastic, except that for one color group, the Zombies were relegated to 11:00 PM on the night before disembarkation for those not staying on for the Cruise to the Edge. As a result, many missed the performance by this great group. Performances by other groups were held only in the outdoor pool area or in the ship's lounges during the day and into the evening, while the auditorium sat unused. The performances of these musicians were also great, but the location was lacking. The audience area in these locations is simply too small to accommodate all who wanted to attend. After all, this ship holds almost 4000 passengers, and it looked pretty full to me. Shows like this are put on by promoters who reserve the ship for the concert cruise. Some of the promoter's people who were on board told me that there is a question whether the Moody Blues will be available for a repeat of this rock cruise next year, and therefore a question whether this cruise will be repeated next year. (This cruise was a repeat of one last year, on the smaller MSC Poesia). If the Moody Blues cruise repeats next year (hope it will) I'll be there, with the hope that the ship's auditorium receives more use, for more groups and performers other than the headliners. The Cruise to the Edge featured progressive rock groups, which is a different type of music from that on the Moodies cruise. As I am from the USA, Yes was the most familiar band (to me) performing on this cruise. Other headliners included Marillion, UK, and Steve Hackett. The situation with the venue for the performances by these headliners was the same as on the Moodies cruise. They performed rather late in the evening in the auditorium, and admission was by color coded pass cards, and "space available" for others. However, Renaissance (a group I would classify as "new age", and very good) performed in this auditorium one afternoon. Other groups were relegated to the outdoor pool area and the lounges, with the same audience crowding as on the Moodies cruise, while the auditorium sat vacant. I am not familiar with many of the other groups, but I found them most entertaining. One of the other groups was Queensryche (a metal group) which I felt was a strange inclusion in the progressive rock line-up. But it was a welcome to me, as I like their type of metal. Onboard, I was told that the Cruise to the Edge will repeat next year. And again, I'll be there. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
MSC Divina - April 7 to 12 2014 - Miami/Cozumel - On the Blue, Inc. - Cruise to the Edge My wife and I have attended very few music festivals and have been on even fewer cruises -- zero!!! -- thus our anticipation for 2014's Cruise ... Read More
MSC Divina - April 7 to 12 2014 - Miami/Cozumel - On the Blue, Inc. - Cruise to the Edge My wife and I have attended very few music festivals and have been on even fewer cruises -- zero!!! -- thus our anticipation for 2014's Cruise to the Edge on the MSC Divina was off the charts. However, as far as we were concerned -- anything goes -- we were completely laid back and our expectations were minimal. In the end we were very happy with the facilities, dining options and crew of the MSC Divina; we were well accommodated by the staff of the charter tour hosts -- On The Blue -- from reservations to embarkation to our on-board needs; and we were thrilled by all the amazing performances, events, and chance encounters with musicians over the five-day trip. I was compelled to write this review after seeing some negative postings here: one by a generally miserable 2014 attendee and one about the 2013 cruise by a family who booked an MSC cruise and was caught unaware of the chartered music event. The latter became a non-issue in 2014 when On the Blue opted to host three complete charters back-to-back: Monsters of Rock, Moody Cruise and Cruise to the Edge (CTTE). All passengers were on-board for one reason, and the ship was fully dedicated to the purpose of sharing music. As to the former issue, I'm happy to see that someone who takes such pleasure in misery was able to find/make enough fault to fulfil his own destiny. From the start, our experience was memorable. The tour company, On the Blue (OTB) was always pleasant on the telephone, and quickly helped with all my questions about reservations, the web site, invoices and payment processing. We did not need to interact with MSC directly, other than setting up excursions, printing boarding documents and perusing on-board beverage packages via the web site. Our experience was enhanced by upgrading to VIP status. The additional cost was a no-brainer: reserved seating at headline performances, upgraded room with balcony, and advanced boarding. OTB/CTTE's information packet was comprehensive and their concert schedule was sent to us with sufficient time for us to plan out an agenda. We had zero anxiety arriving at the port. We were quickly guided through the embarkation procedures and welcomed by the staff. To insure that attendees could see each artist at least once, all acts were scheduled at least twice over the duration of the cruise. Main stage shows were split into Pink and Blue groups to make sure that everyone had a seat at one performance of each headline act in the intimate theater. After extensively reviewing the event schedule, we discovered that despite the careful planning, some overlaps would prevent us from seeing two secondary artists we were interested in. We politely mentioned this when picking up our credentials, and the tour staff quickly accommodated us by switching some of our shows from pink to blue. (As the hater complained in his review, I was one of those attendees intentionally given reserved seats in both blue and pink shows.) Although we could have abused this privilege and doubled up on our favorites, we used out passes as intended and saw each headliner (Hackett, UK, Marillion, Yes,) one time. We saw some of the awesome secondary acts twice each on the smaller stages and overall we managed to see at least 15 of about 25 acts on the boat. As forewarned on the web site and all the printed materials, weather was sometimes an issue, so we had to stay flexible and accommodate a few schedule changes. The ship was kept very clean in spite of many selfish attendees not cleaning up their own trash around the stages. Our room was kept spotless and well-attended by our steward. Unfortunately, the boat ran out of maps and hadn't gotten their delivery before departure, but we quickly managed to find our way around with the help of the maps near each elevator and stairwell. We took an hour upon arrival to tour the boat and find all the restaurants, bars, stages, and pools. Being a rock music cruise, formal dress was never required. Instead we had fun theme nights, like "black out", "pirate" and "rock and roll capes". Our favorite photos were taken on the "rock cape" theme-night. The staff photographers were pleasant and offered us some great opportunities to create mementoes of our trip. We ate most of our meals at the buffet, where there was plenty of variety over the five days. Our favorite foods were the traditional pizza margarita, the carved meats, fresh pastas, and the fresh-sliced charcuterie and prosciutto. (Yeah, it was a pretty typical buffet, but all we needed.) There were plenty of pastries and finger-foods to eat on the run, and there was never a waiting line for meals. Sit-down dinner and breakfast service at the Black Crab or Villa Rossa was also included, so we had some of our most memorable meals there. We had selected an early seating time, but with the ship not full and so many things to do, we never had to wait for a table. No one ever asked about seating times. It was always a blast to dine with strangers who shared our love of music and always had great stories to share. We met folks from around the US, Europe and South America. The touring keyboardist from Three Friends ate with us one evening. We kept bumping into Tony Levin who, like us, was on his first cruise. Eddie Jobson and John Wetton managed to be everywhere at once. We had a great conversation with Simon Collins in a hallway (while coincidentally his famous father was singing on the overhead speakers.) We chatted briefly with Steve and Jo Hackett in Cozumel. Everyone we spoke with seemed to be having a great time. Technical glitches and weather affected many of the performances, but never dampened the performers' mood or enthusiasm. Renaissance's Annie Haslam still took full advantage of her five-octave range, and was able to laugh about the rocking stage one stormy night and then come back to battle the wind with a smile the next night on the outdoor stage. We staggered up the stairs and down the halls like drunken sailors during the roughest of weather, but managed to get by with virtually no motion sickness. Tangerine Dream braved the windy pool stage and made electronic magic. One member of PFM stumbled (or was wind-blown) off a riser, but never missed a beat. Steve Hackett's band provided the highlight of my trip with a perfect rendition of Supper's Ready (and all the musical excess and self-indulgence it represents.) Our itinerary was slightly disrupted by stormy weather, which caused us to divert from Isla de Roatan (Honduras) and spend an extra day in Cozumel. This was not a bad thing, as the seas were rough and any excursions would have been spoiled by bad weather. In Cozumel we learned the art of dickering and got some pretty jewelry for family. We ferried across to Playa Del Carmen and snorkelled a cenote. I'm grateful for the busy entertainment schedule on the ship, as I would normally prefer to fly to my destination. In this case, the concerts were more important than the ports of call and I wouldn't have cared if we simply anchored up outside Miami for the duration of the trip. I'm hoping that OTB pairs up with MSC again in 2015 for another Cruise to the Edge. We'll absolutely be on board for the next one. We had a great time and have absolutely no complaints about the experience. This is absolutely the best way to enjoy a rock festival. Everyone was friendly, and superstars let their guard down and became regular folks like the rest of us. The sparkling Divina was the perfect setting for it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
The elegant MSC Divina is the newest and largest (4,000+ passengers) of the 12-ship fleet of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC.) The MSC Company founded in 1970 is the second largest global cargo shipping company. The MSC cruise ... Read More
The elegant MSC Divina is the newest and largest (4,000+ passengers) of the 12-ship fleet of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC.) The MSC Company founded in 1970 is the second largest global cargo shipping company. The MSC cruise line, however, is still not familiar to most Americans. Originally called Fantasia, the ship was renamed Divina to honor Sophia Loren, the Godmother of the fleet. When the cruise line first began cruises in America, I attended a luncheon aboard the MSC Lirica that included a tour of the ship. The cleanliness and elegance of that ship so impressed me that I decided then to definitely cruise on an MSC ship in the future. We planned our cruise on the MSC Divina a year ago when we booked it while onboard our 2013 MSC Poesia cruise. The 7-night roundtrip cruise from Miami, Florida, February 1-8, 2014 visited St. Maarten, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Our party of six traveled with a larger group of almost 800 Irishmen for tenor Andy Cooney’s Cruise of Irish Stars 2014. There was a real feeling of camaraderie among all of us. Many have cruised annually with this group - some for 8-10 years. It was fun meeting Jaime, sisters Eileen and Claire all from Ormond Beach and Francesca from the Villages in FL. The drive from home on the day of sailing took around 3 ½ hours. After dropping off our vehicle at a convenient off-site parking garage, we took the complementary shuttle van to the terminal. We arrived at 12:30 and boarded the ship within mere minutes. We quickly headed up to the sumptuous buffet on Deck 14 for a light lunch. After 42 cruises, this was one of the smoothest embarkations ever. Our disembarkation went just as smoothly and swiftly. We utilized the Self-Assist Program of carrying off our own luggage. The Compulsory Emergency Drill was a little chaotic at our Muster Station; so many passengers crowded in the area, all carrying life jackets and trying to put them on at the same time. The straps were a little confusing for many passengers but we all helped one another. The crew did their best to conduct the drill, checking attendance by scanning room key cards. The predominant language on board is English, by the way. There are few announcements so be sure to read your Daily Program for specific information about events and procedures. Although I have read many complaints about MSC, mostly when they first entered the American market, I found little to fault the company on this cruise. What impressed me the most was the sheer beauty of the MSC Divina. The deco throughout the ship is inviting and elegant. Little touches that you do not first notice catch your attention later. The public rooms are tastefully decorated in a modern Italian style. As I boarded the ship on Deck 5, I was drawn to the dazzling two deck Swarovski crystal staircases. They were a favorite spot for passengers to take photos. I especially loved the décor in the stunning Pantheon Theater with its gorgeous silver curtain. There are no obstructive views. The stadium-style seating affords every seat an excellent view of the stage. Since there were so many other live entertainment performances going on at the same time as the production shows, including our own Irish live entertainment, we were always able to get good seats even when we arrived just before Showtime. No food or drinks are served in the theater. In general, drinks are not pushed. All seventeen lounges and bar areas are beautiful and we would often stop to listen to live music either before or after the Production Shows. My favorite lounge was the Silver Lounge, Deck 6 because of its convenient location and beauty. Many passengers including us enjoyed the beautiful and timeless classical music played by The Elegant Trio & Igor nightly from 5 PM until late in the reception area on Decks 5 and 6. I truly felt that I was back in Europe listening to their music. Since the clientele on board is international, so is the live music around the ship. Many passengers enjoyed dancing to live music. The varied dance lessons (Grease Lightning, Country, Cumbia, Bachata, Triburon and Latin - Mambo, Merengue, Samba) offered in the lounges and Aqua Park were very popular and the steps easy to learn. The Irish passengers especially participated in the Riverdance class. Our quiet balcony cabin # 9125 also had the same attention to detail, as did the public areas. It had a very sophisticated décor. The lovely cabin was well- appointed with: a king-size bed, end tables with drawers, sofa with a small cocktail table, tall framed mirror, desk (with mirror) and ample closet space for our belonging. Gray wall-to-wall carpeting, a safe, framed art and a small fridge completed the furnishings. Our balcony furnished with a table and two chairs afforded beautiful views of the water. I really looked forward to returning to our serene and comfortable cabin each evening. The compact bathroom had a small shower stall with clear, unique folding doors that made the room seem larger when opened. I appreciated the retractable clothesline inside the stall and the two robes. Dispensers (for environmental reasons) held liquid soap at the sink and shampoo and shower gel in the shower. The shower cap and sewing kit were nice amenities, although I did miss the usual small bottles of hand lotion and hair conditioner. There was a regular clean supply of white fluffy bath and hand towels including face cloths. Yani did a wonderful job of unobtrusively cleaning and refreshing our stateroom when we vacated it. I never did get to meet her - although my husband did. Yani also fulfilled our additional requests faithfully. The ship has a small secret amber light hidden above stateroom doors that alerts the steward whether you are inside or outside the cabin. To turn on lights, you must place your stateroom card in a slot. I always knew where my card was so I liked this feature. It also is cost saving for MSC, which is very environmentally oriented. This system allows your steward to enter your cabin without disturbing you. What a neat idea! The stateroom corridors were light & cheery with spaced wallpaper panels of Italian scenes. At one point our passageway widened and we could look right down through broad curved glass walls onto the huge chandelier and the reception area below. It is most unusual for ship stateroom corridors to have an open feeling. Just off to the side was a lovely sculpture where we often arranged to meet before getting on the elevators. The same unobtrusive service found in our stateroom we also experienced in the lovely Villa Rosa Main Dining Room. I had requested a table by a window for our party and we received it. Our servers, Putera from Indonesia and Rudy from Bali did a professional job of attending to our requests, often anticipating them. Our wine bottle was always on our table when we arrived. The servers replenished our beverages and breadbasket without prompting. The congenial Assistant Maitre‘d Tommy stopped by our table nightly to check on our dining experience. Fiorentina from Romania was very prompt and carefully assisted passengers receiving Special Request Meals in our section. She also helped the wait staff when she saw a need. I enjoyed all the Italian dishes and loved the “flaming” Baked Alaska that the wait staff presented with a flourish. We enjoyed the food and service so much in the main dining room (MDR) that we often ate breakfast or lunch there or in the Black Crab Restaurant (another MDR.) I especially enjoyed the delicious French toast. The buffet on Deck 14 had a great selection of fresh produce, casseroles, Italian dishes, cheese, breads, meats & cold cuts. We all enjoyed the pizzas. Deserts were plentiful at lunchtime & I enjoyed their chocolate mousse more than once. We, therefore, never felt the desire to visit a specialty restaurant. Many passengers frequented the soft serve ice cream machines as did I, which were conveniently located on two sides of the Aqua Park available 2:00-5:00 pm. Besides the elegance and European style service on the ship, what impressed me greatly was the quality of the nightly shows. One of the reasons I enjoy cruising is to see the extravagant theater shows and MSC did not disappoint. Every night there was a different production show. My favorites are Witches of Paris (French Variety,) Simply Italian (Best Loved Italian Songs,) Frank (Sinatra) Forever and The Tribute (Arias.) If you like Michael Jackson’s music, you will enjoy Star Walker. Children seemed mesmerized by Pirates and Wonderland (Alice in Wonderland.) The costumes were all magnificent and the quality of the singing and dancing was wonderful. Attending a different variety show each night was a delight for me. Often performers came down the aisles into the audience. I did not really miss hearing a live orchestra because there was so much live music elsewhere on the ship. Since the passengers are international, it probably is a good move to make the shows mainly singing and dancing sprinkled with acrobats and other stunt performers. There were no comedian performances for this reason, I think. Sometimes in the theater prior to the production shows, the energetic animation (entertainment) staff performed impromptu comedy antics that surprised unsuspecting passengers to their amusement and the rest of audience. The fun helped the wait time seem shorter. Aside from port and shopping lectures, educational presentations were almost nil. Again, I feel the multitude of languages spoken by passengers may be a factor. There were plenty of parties and other activities. I attended the culinary demonstration conveniently presented poolside but wished that they had the recipes printed. The Flower Glory Party in the Black and White Lounge featured popular music of the 60s-80s. The MSC Factor Talent Contest was entertaining. Be sure to pack white clothing to wear to the White Party held under the Caribbean Stars on Deck 14. The Celebrate Chinese Wealth Day in the Galaxy Disco and MSC’s Little Italy parties were other fun events. The single women on the cruise enjoyed dancing with the MSC Divina officers. I enjoyed the fashion show in the reception area. All the clothing was for sale in the shops onboard. I do not remember seeing a fashion show on my other cruises. The open-air Aqua Park screen showed Pavarotti: The Event Live, Pacific Rim and Captain Phillips. If you are into fitness, there is a schedule of events going on throughout the day - morning walks, stretching, Aqua Cycling, Aerobics, Zumba, etc. Jewelry Making, Art & crafts, Scrabble, sport tournaments, napkin folding, Veteran’s Meet, bridge games, Italian lessons, bingo and trivia rounded out other offerings. On Super Bowl Sunday, football fans watched The Seahawks VS. The Broncos in the packed Sports Bar. Some extra cost events were fun, too. The men in our group enjoyed the Formula 1 4D Simulator. Find out if you have what it takes to be a racecar driver. One unique event was the Winemaker Experience where you join winemaker Greg and custom blend you own bottle of wine. Another unusual event was the opportunity to try five different “solid” cocktails in one glass. The young energetic animation team did a great job with organizing and participating in poolside games and other activities. I answered a math trivia question and won a colorful MSC mouse pad. My husband & brother-in-law each won one also in a ring toss game. The lively music poolside played by our Irish group of entertainers was fantastic and quite popular with even those not traveling with our group. Dancers crowded the limited space in front of the stage area to do Ceili dancing. For me, the water in the five pools was a little too cool so I did not stay in the water a long time. I did enjoy the whirlpools because the temperature was not too hot for me. Kids loved the waterslide. Shallow areas in the Aqua Park were great for toddlers and young children. There are 150 fountains in the Aqua Park. In St Maarten, we shopped in the village of stores right at the pier. In San Juan, we rode the complementary trolley near the terminal out to Castillo San Felipe del Morro, “El Morro.” Later we walked back to the ship stopping along the way in several shops in Old San Juan. In Great Stirrup Cay, our MSC shore excursion was an eco-boat tour. We learned interesting facts about the history of the Bahamas, its local ecology and marine life. We were all encouraged to touch, hold and photograph many marine species. What surprised me was the necessity of signing a waiver for the eco tour. Later, we visited the vendor tents at the beach, relaxed on beach lounges and swam in the clear Caribbean water. The only issue that I had with our day at the beach was the exceptionally long buffet lines that we encountered unprotected from the hot sun. The wait took away a good portion of our beach time. Perhaps a box lunch handed out as we departed the ship might be an option to the long lines for the buffet. One unusual thing that I noticed while on board was that there was a # 13 deck and # 13 lifeboat. However, there was no # 17 lifeboat. Cruise Director Andre explained that in Italy # 17 is considered unlucky; #13 is not. I especially recommend MSC to young families since children under 11 sail free when staying with the parents in their cabin. There were many families on this cruise because of this policy. In fact, there was a wide range of ages onboard from many foreign countries. I spoke with passengers from Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Japan. What an opportunity to get to know people from different cultures! I have a few thoughts for MSC. Perhaps the ship could stock non-fat milk. We were always served 2 % at best which they assured us was skimmed milk. Other times they served whole milk and called it skimmed. I prefer choosing my own time to dine and this option is not currently available on MSC. Since we were with a large group with specific entertainment schedules, we all had to choose Early Dining anyway, so this was not an issue on this particular MSC cruise for me. Be aware that the dining room doors close fifteen minutes after the start of the dining seating. Another issue was the early 7 AM time for vacating our stateroom on disembarkation day. This surprised me since our staterooms were not ready until 2 PM on Embarkation Day, which is late for most cruise lines. You may find some onboard difference if you sail MSC in Europe. Many passengers found navigating the ship to be a little confusing because the two MDRs used the same main kitchen. This means passengers sometimes had to go up or down a deck to get from one end of the ship to the other. Many new ships, in fact, have this similar arrangement. What it all comes down to is will I book another cruise on MSC? The answer is a definite yes. The food and service were good, the shows were wonderful and the ship was simply beautiful. Best of all, the pricing is very competitive with the major cruise lines and an excellent value. Special online sales offer even greater savings. I am already a member of the complementary MSC Club for returning guests. There are several benefits to becoming a member including a complementary cocktail party and various discounts. Be sure to join after your initial cruise. Arrivederci, MSC!   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
The first embarkation was easy and very smooth. We had been on this ship when it was brand new and we were pleasantly surprised on the updates that were made. The cabin was twice about 20 square meters on the 8 floor with large balcony and ... Read More
The first embarkation was easy and very smooth. We had been on this ship when it was brand new and we were pleasantly surprised on the updates that were made. The cabin was twice about 20 square meters on the 8 floor with large balcony and ship was new about 5-6 month. The most important was the value for 12 days the price - 1400 euros for 2 adults and one child. Dining, entertainment, activities, and service was impeccable. We have day by day shore excursions there. We have nothing but good to say about MSC company and our shore excursions. Most of the time in every port of call we are booked private tours from local companies. Everything we booked in advance was easy, and our guides was knowledgeable about the places, was amazing and full of adventure.It took some time longer than we anticipated to go through the tendering process to exit the ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
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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