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197 MSC Cruises MSC Divina Romantic Cruise Reviews

Like many onboard, we booked this cruise because of the ridiculously low price for a 5 day trip. 1. We flew into the area and stayed at the Ramada by the cruise port the night before embarkation, a pretty good option since they have a ... Read More
Like many onboard, we booked this cruise because of the ridiculously low price for a 5 day trip. 1. We flew into the area and stayed at the Ramada by the cruise port the night before embarkation, a pretty good option since they have a great indoor pool and they are close to the port. Shuttle was $10 pp, so we decided to take a Lyft to the ship for $14 instead. 2. Embarkation was a nightmare and the worst part of the cruise. Not the ship's fault, but security was letting 20 people at a time in the building for check-in and the line outside (in the heat and sun) was 1 1/2 hours long. The bottleneck was the escalator to the check-in area and security held up the line forever for no good reason. Once we made it to the MSC controlled space, we were through in less than 10 minutes. They were very apologetic, but there was nothing different they could have done. 3. Since we were late boarding, our cabin was ready and that was a blessing in that we could drop off our bags and head to the buffet for something to eat. By now, it's 3:30pm, and the drill is at 4:15, so grab a plate and fill it before food service was shut down. Not really a problem, but then we had to hurry back to the cabin to get our life jackets (not expecting that) and make our way to our station. Drill was typical but included donning the jackets which took a little longer. Still not a big deal. 4. Cabin. We booked 12259, outside starboard side. It was spacious enough, with the usual balcony including 2 chairs and a small table. More than sufficient for our needs, and an enjoyable place to spend sea days and some port time. We could have used a few more shelves, but for 5 days it was perfect for our needs. The shower is a little strange. It's like a plexiglass clamshell, with both sides opening out for pretty easy entry, but the one door opened onto the toilet and could present a real problem for someone with balance or mobility issues. I doubt it would shatter, but you could slam that door into the toilet and cause some damage to the shower, and to the occupant. There was shampoo and body wash (biodegradable) in the shower, and both were pleasant to use. The bed was relatively hard, but that's my preference, and the king configuration had no sign of the usual crack between the mattresses! All in all, one of the more comfortable I have occupied. We had a pull-out sofa in the room, which was nice for sitting in the morning and evening, although we didn't use the bed itself. There is a refrigerator that is a decent size. We were able to put in a few things without removing the pricey items inside. Our cabin was about as far aft as you could go, and that was convenient to the dining room, but a 1,000 foot walk to the theater. The exercise was well received! Our cabin steward, Be, yes that's his name, was one of the best we have ever had. I never saw him without a smile and a laugh, and he kept the cabin pristine. We had a few conversations and a discussion about his home on Madagascar. He really added to our enjoyment on the trip. 5. Dining. We were assigned to early seating at the Black Crab. Dinner was at 6pm, and didn't really interfere with our port times, since it was dark by then. We had a table for 6 and were blessed with great table mates. Dinner was generally exceptional, with at least one miss. The grouper, tornedos of beef, parmesan were all restaurant quality and really enjoyable. There were some strange sides (whole roasted okra?) but in general as good as we found on the other major lines. I did have a bad meal one evening, but they swapped it out for the NY strip and that was fine. We generally ate in the dining room for lunch if it was open, and the food was some of the best on the cruise. We had the buffet on embarkation day and on both port days, and it was a typical shipboard buffet. The pizza was excellent, and there was ethnic (Indian) food at one station. Generally the pasta was good, but the food was better in the dining room. I also ate breakfast in the dining room most morning while the queen slept in, and it was very good. I heard people commenting about the zoo in the buffet, so it was nice to sit in a quiet environment with fresh, hot food and converse with other early risers. Quality was very good. 6. Specialty restaurant. We ate one meal (complimentary) in the steak house. It was very much like a high-end ala carte steakhouse experience on land. We both had the filet, which was well prepared and delicious, but the meal included only 1 side and a dessert. A salad would have been nice, but we didn't feel it was worth the price. However, the dessert made up for it! We both had the chocolate molten cake and it was very close to the best thing I have ever eaten in my life! Moist chocolate cake with a volcano of dark fudge erupting from the center alongside a large scoop of vanilla bean ice cream! In retrospect, we should have made reservations again just for the dessert! The fixed board meal is $47 per person and includes the side and dessert. No additional tips required, but drinks and other sides are not included and are a little expensive. We did get a bottle of Pelligrino to start the meal however. I think this is on a par with other cruise lines, but we still have a problem spending $100 when the food in the dining room is this good. 7. Entertainment. There was a production show every night of the cruise. This was a total surprise, but we didn't really miss the usual assortment of magicians, jugglers and comedians. The quality of the shows was 5 stars. Sometimes there was very little story in them, but the dancing, singing, costumes and general choreography were amazing! There were a lot of acrobatics in the shows, and some were Cirque quality. The energy level was off the charts and they were able to bring in audience participation at every show. We never missed one, and thoroughly enjoyed each and every performance and performer. On Italian night we were treated to the lead singers and they added an amazing tenor and contra-soprano that brought the house down. On our previous sailings with MSC, the entertainment was generally excellent, but this was a whole new level of quality and represented the best of our 75+ cruises. 8. The Divina. We were concerned that this was an 8 year old ship, but we shouldn't have been. She is beautiful and well laid out. The public spaces are extraordinary, and the pool areas really beautiful. Never a problem finding a deck chair or a bartender. They show movies on the deck and the screen is huge and bright and the sound system is stadium quality. The dining areas are beautiful and well-appointed, although a little tight getting around tables at meal time. I would never have guessed her age, and the level of maintenance was better than most cruises we have experienced. Casino, shopping and public areas were well designed and maintained, giving a level of luxury to the ship. We would not hesitate to sail on her again, and are now considering booking on one of the new mega-ships. 9. The crew. Our cruise director, whose name escapes me for some reason, was very professional and qualified. I called her the German Amazon - she was tall and liked to pile her hair up! I have no idea how many languages she spoke, but they were all accentless as far as I could tell. Every staff member we met was courteous and friendly, and as usual the dining room staff was exceptional. I've already mentioned our cabin steward, but I was greeted warmly by every other steward I passed in the hall. The captain was extremely approachable and we had a number of one-on-one conversations with him. His English was excellent, and he also speaks 6 languages - 5 fluently. He is from Sorrento, and we had a nice conversation about a little town an hour from there where we both had vacationed! Talk about a small world. Although the crew was the usual foreign mix and the officers were from all over, English was spoken by everyone and communication was never a problem. I would also rate the crew at 5 stars. 10. Ports. We only had 2 stops, Costa Maya and Ocean Cay. Costa Maya is a typical cruise built port with the ubiquitous shops, restaurants and bars. There are nice beaches here, but it's not really Mexico, but a cruise-themed version of it. Not our favorite port, but certainly not the worst either. Ocean Cay. We were the third MSC ship to dock at Ocean Cay, and there is still quite a bit of construction going on, although it did not impact our enjoyment of the island. There are a number of beaches, including a private one for Yacht Club passengers, and a family beach that seemed to attract the kiddos. We found a nice quiet area for ourselves, and had pre-rented an umbrella for $10 that was plenty big for the 2 of us. They had spaced "food trucks" around the island that served burgers, hot dogs and pasta salad. There were 3 I believe and all had the same menu. There was also a large buffet area in the center of the island with plenty of seating. The food was typical buffet, but cooked on the ship and brought ashore, so it did affect the quality and temperature of the offerings. The worst food of the cruise, but you could have walked back on to the ship for food at any time, so a small issue. Lots of bars, same prices as the ship and drink packages worked here also. The beach was white sand and beautiful. The water was crystal clear and Caribbean Blue, and 4 feet deep from the shore to the sand bar - at which point it dropped to 12 feet. That allowed for a lot of different water activities, and people were taking advantage of it. Most of the beaches surrounded a lagoon, and there was snorkeling off the ocean side with some small coral reefs available. We really enjoyed the stop here and MSC had done a great job of creating their own tropical paradise. 11. Passengers. I don't have an actual count, but I would guess the mix of passengers to be about 50% Americans, with a large mix of South American / Hispanic and a smaller number of Europeans. You definitely heard a lot of Spanish, but MSC is popular with a European crowd and the number of people who flew in for a 5 day cruise was amazing! I assume they spent time in Florida also, but we met a number of folks who were there just for the Divina. There were approximately 100 pre-school aged children on the ship. Most were in the camps and we never really saw much of them. They would arrive for the shows and watch politely and then march out together afterward. One evening we had a pre-show of the kids singing for about 15 minutes, and it was delightful! The camp counselors were in costume almost every time we saw them and the kids seemed to be having a great time. 12. Weather. We had really good weather most of the trip. There was some rain in Costa Maya, but generally lots of sun and warm temps - highs in the upper 70's and low 80's. Generally the seas were mild, although 2 of our dinner mates complained of movement. We never really felt anything, except walking down the corridor on occasion, and none of the shows were impacted. 13. Disembarkation. Here we go again. We were actually called for disembarkation at the exact time indicated on the colored luggage tags. Luggage had to be out by 2AM, and was gone by the time we went to breakfast at7. We left for the gangway on schedule, got off the ship, then entered the terminal under the control of the port again. A nightmare. Again, they were letting 20 people at a time go down to the customs/baggage area and the line in the corridor was 2 hours long. No reason for this. For some reason an officer took pity on us (we were at the end of the line) and escorted us to the elevator and straight down to baggage! I don't know why, but I would have married her if I wasn't already spoken for! We expected a crowd in baggage, but there was hardly anyone there! I have no idea why they limited the lines to the escalator. Anticipating and easy trip through the Global Entry kiosks, we were dismayed to find there were none. There were also 5 border agents processing 4,000 passports at the end of the queue. This is the worst process by a port we have ever encountered. It would give me serious pause about every sailing out of Miami again. 14. Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle. Since this is a CC review, I feel it incumbent on me to describe the M&M. We have been to a lot of them, and usually they are ok, but a little disorganized with a smattering of crew (usually the cruise director and some staff) and a few snacks and beverages in a too-small venue. We still go, but about 1/2 of them have been disappointing. MSC is trying to build business and sees CC as a major part of this strategy. We were placed into one of the largest lounges on the ship, there was a CC cake baked especially for the occasion, and every single staff officer was there - including the captain! Hors d'oeuvres were excellent and a variety of drinks prepared at the bar were available. Introductions were made and then the captain made an attempt to engage with every person in the room. More than that, he was very interested in our opinion of the ship, our previous sailings with both MSC and other lines, and actually took notes of our comments. I have to say it was the best M&M I have ever attended, and I strongly suggest all of my fellow CC members do so also! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was a group booking of 42 people the cruised with us immediately following our beach wedding. Price: We paid extra to have the aurea experience, and I did appreciate the priority boarding and massage...but the slightly bigger ... Read More
This was a group booking of 42 people the cruised with us immediately following our beach wedding. Price: We paid extra to have the aurea experience, and I did appreciate the priority boarding and massage...but the slightly bigger room wasn't worth it. Service: Awful, disorganized, major language barrier- granted this is an international cruise line but it made it increasingly hard to communicate all the issues our group was having. We had many adult men sharing rooms and were place on 1 queen bed instead of specifying 2 beds. We had 2 people that paid for drink packages and did not get the upgraded package they ordered or it showed they never got one at all. Despite having the best drink package, we were not allowed to "buy" drinks for anyone...kind of a waste for $300. The other drink package doesn't allow you to get any drink over $6....which is every alcohol on board fyi. The beers were $6.50, so either upgrade to deluxe or pass on it. Our mini bar was not stocked and had two half drank bottles of water in it when we arrived. Gross. We were given my choice dining but we still assigned a table at the 1st dining which we did not want. Half our party was assigned to 1st and half to 2nd. When we attempted to sit with our family and were seated by a manager, a waiter came over and told us to move to an empty table despite explaining his boss moved us there for a reason....the waiter did not care. That night while everyone else had dinner, it took 60 minutes to receive our entrees and 90 minutes to receive coffee...only after complaining to a different manager when 2 waiters saw me with my hand up, looked and turned away. Our lunch the next day took 2.5 hours from start to finish. The food is not as flavorful as royal carribean or norwegian and there was nothing anyone was dying to have again. The buffet is not open as much as other cruiselines and is insanely crowded. If you go, be sure to get breakfast at 7am or it will be a madhouse. The pizza and waffles are best at the buffet. No one was allowed in the water due to a storm coming on their private island which is understandable but not when there is not a wave in sight and the sun is still shining. Our guests kept getting the run around on loading money into their accounts and were not permitted to pay off their balances in full which was odd. Most of the staff either did not understand our guests complaints/questions or just did not seem to care that much. Some were generally nice but others were rude. Our room steward was pleasant and kept the room nice....and the dancers and acrobats were good, no comedian, but I guess that is the norm on a shorter cruise. The boat is pretty but it took a few days to figure out the ship and by then we were leaving. They could use more activities on board. Basically, what you will save by getting a whole cruise for under $300 will cost you in other ways and be prepared to be nickle and dimed. I am a relatively cheap traveler, but my guests were very disappointed by this and all the other charges and bad service...not exactly the service you expect at the start of your honeymoon with such a large group. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We decided to take ourselves and our grandson on a wonderful Christmas cruise and after seeing Christmas pics of the Divina decorations we booked the Divina as we did last January as we also love the indoor pool and hot tubs.What a mistake ... Read More
We decided to take ourselves and our grandson on a wonderful Christmas cruise and after seeing Christmas pics of the Divina decorations we booked the Divina as we did last January as we also love the indoor pool and hot tubs.What a mistake that was ! Getting on ship we arrived way early to avoid crowds,yet spent hours standing in line as special "Priority guests got to clear customs and board with very little inspection or hassle.After clearing customs who took away a small pocket knife from carry on,a computer power codr from my kid,and insisted we had liquid in our backpack even though there was none,but still missed 4 bottles of water in our medicine bag and a second pocket knife in my case and a spray bottle of bedbug spray (yes we spray for bedbugs on ship cabin).After clearing customs after 3 hours we stood in line again at customer service to get room keys,then another hour in lobby waiting to board.When finally entering ship over 3000 passengers went to horribly undersized buffet to wait for room announcement that never came.Yes,the buffet is about 300 tables short of tables it needs for normal meal crowds.We finally got up and went to room as no staff knew when rooms would be ready,we found room ready luckily.Our luggage is well labeled,has colorful tape all over,took hours to arrive at cabin minus my big bag.After showing pics of our bag to attendant and luggage handlers they all said they had not seen it.After 5 hours we went to luggage area on our floor and found my bag being used as a door stop,everyone lied to us ! Food : the food on this cruise was horrible ! Whether buffet or dining room,the staff is rude,the food under or overcooked,meat was tough and chewy,and not much American food.Pizza,cold burgers with no buns,hotdogs in paper containers in bun and has been ,sitting out for long periods,spicy mediterranean food,warm milk and always running out of juice and coffee.We lost weight on this cruise,a first for us ! As this was a Christmas cruise we expected better food and as they advertised we looked forward to a turkey with all they fixins meal,but it never happened.In main dining room on last night they announced a special for all of us,baked Alaska,the music started,they paraded they cooks and kitchen staff down the steps followed by waiters holding many "Baked Alaska's" then back into kitchen,and guess what,they baked Alaska was fake,no desert for the dining room,all a SCAM !! The Christmas dinner they advertised as "The fantastic Christmas eve buffet" was a huge joke,it was held at 11:30 at night on Christmas eve,had several different cakes that were all the same just different colors,onion rings,store bought frozen mini eclairs,quich,and warm milk,what an insult ! Christmas morning was same old food,and for Christmas dinner the only food I could find that was edible was a dinner roll and got some liver sausage to make myself a sandwich.Never saw a Christmas meal,no turkey dinner (did have sliced turkey one night several days before Christmas).If you expect decent or even good food then choose another cruise line ! Pools- We booked this cruise for a great Christmas experience and the indoor pool and hot tubs,ooops. The indoor pool was clean and clear the first day,then throughout rest of cruise was slimy green color and pool staff was not able to tell us why it was,pool superintendent was very rude and refused to answer our questions about green slime,she was not the kind of employee a company wants representing them to their passengers.We had mostly bad rainy weather during cruise as we thought might happen so we wanted the indoor pool to swim in all weather but were not able to swim other than the two short times I swam in outdoor crystal clear pools that were polar bear cold,and indoor hot tubs were full all the time due to weather and indoor pool not being usable. Shows on ship- The male singers were painful to listen to.As we were on back to back 10 day cruise the shows repeated on seciond half from first half and Christmas shows were only mildly amusing.Shows were way way too loud,the lighting was blinding and the background lighting was so bright that it made it hard to see people on stage. Staff- most staff were rude,claimed to not speak English,were not helpful at all and went of the way to avoid answering your questions.The customer service staff was uncaring,the computer was mixed up and was charing most people for charges they did not incur,and on leaving the ship last day they were holding many people hostage claiming they owed money even though they cleared their bill the night before,which by the way is a two hour line waiting to pay your bill,what a joke,maybe they have never done this before, LOL ! Early morning rooster crowing- Waking us up early morning for announcements with a rooster crowing,no kidding,a rooster loudly starting annoumcements that were done in 6 languages,but in hallways only and very garbled! Internet service- we paid for 4 device fast internet,well had to stand near door in cabin to get any signal,was getting constant advertising everytime we used internet,no filter on service. Island ports- We arrived in San Juan about 3:30PM,was not able to get off ship til close to 5PM after long lines waiting and port delays.Most shops on Sunday close at 5PM,left us only a few minutes to shop.Most passengers decided to go into bars on shore and spent hours drinking instead of being able to shop and see island,was dark already before getting off ship.What a waste of a port stop.Got into St Martin early morning,again hours waiting to get off ship,then had to be back on ship by 1:30,had very little time to this beautiful island,again what a waste !Got into Nassau Bahama on their holiday and after parades and celebrations were over,ugly island and not much to see at Atlantis,BORING ! We found garbage in hallways,elevators and public areas,pretty much due to them not having a single garbage can in any part of public areas,what is wrong with a ship that does not allow you to get rid of your trash ? Also there are no clocks on ship,you never knew what time it was,you would be late or early for meals or shows,also they put a time change on the front of daily activity paper,but it was not the right day,got up next morning after changing our alarm clock (our personal clock,no clock in room) only to find we were late for breakfast,does anybody proof read these things. Rude Europeans everywhere,pushy,loud,would push you out of line at meal so they could take last piece of food on buffet,had tongs pulled out of my hand so a Euro guy could take the last waffle,was pushed in hallway,pushed themselves to front of line getting off ship and almost started a fist fight.Had a guy punch a lifeguard at pool when the lifeguard told him his baby could not be in hot tub in a diaper,Euro guy pushed then punched the lifeguard. So much more to complain about,but lets just say we will not be seen on a MSC cruise ever again !! Not even if we got a free cruise,will not be held hostage again ! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have mainly sailed CCL and wanted to try a different cruise line. We figured a 4 day would give us a good taste of MSC. We originally booked a balcony on deck 9 then decided to bid on the yacht club experience and it was accepted. ... Read More
We have mainly sailed CCL and wanted to try a different cruise line. We figured a 4 day would give us a good taste of MSC. We originally booked a balcony on deck 9 then decided to bid on the yacht club experience and it was accepted. Although it was a costly upgrade it was the best experience. The private lounge, bars, restaurants and sun decks were definitely worth it. The food was not bad at all. We did not go hungry. I did not like the pizza at all. The gelato and the Specialty Coffee was very good. We decided to try the main dining room on the last evening. We were set in a quiet section and were catered to every need. This is because we were Yacht Club. One day we walked through the Calumet buffet fir lunch. While there was a great variety of food to be had and it was laid out in way that you didn’t have to wait in a long line, I was glad we had our own private area to dine. There were just too many people and children to trip over. We watched one show ‘the show must go on’ a tribute to Queen and it was nice. The theatre was large and really didn’t have any bad views. The ship was large, clean and very friendly staff. We would sail MSC again although, I think we would definitely have to sail yacht club. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We took an 11-day southern/eastern Caribbean cruise on the MSC Divina in November 2018... our first cruise on that line. On the whole the first experience was pretty good, so when we saw a 12-day southern/western Caribbean trip (with a ... Read More
We took an 11-day southern/eastern Caribbean cruise on the MSC Divina in November 2018... our first cruise on that line. On the whole the first experience was pretty good, so when we saw a 12-day southern/western Caribbean trip (with a stop at their new "Ocean Cay" private island) on the Divina for December 2019, we decided to go for it. It's interesting how you remember some things about a trip, and seem to block others out. I suppose one of the things I "blocked out" about MSC after the first trip (but I was immediately reminded of when making arrangements for the second trip) was the absolutely TERRIBLE experience with their telephone/internet reservations system. Frequent hour-plus waits on hold for an agent... who frequently would be ill-trained and sport a real attitude to boot. Their "back-office" reservation computer system is even worse... making frequent errors and even adding "mystery charges" to our reservation before our departure (which had been paid in full for months). I was forced to pay these charges (which were apparently added during a $0 cost cabin change a few days before departure) in order to get the e-tickets reissued with the new cabin in time for the trip. I've finally had to dispute the charges with the credit card company after our return... the MSC customer service folks on board the Divina couldn't figure it out either. I've been cruising for many years and have dealt directly with virtually all of the major cruise lines to make and maintain my reservations. On a scale of 0-to-10 in this regard, MSC rates about a -3 (and probably still falling). The info I have is that MSC is so difficult and time-consuming to deal with that many travel agents will refuse to even book their clients on MSC. Embarkation in Miami was similar to the previous cruise... right down to the excuse for late boarding due to a "late customs clearance" of the arriving ship earlier that day (with pre-printed signs in already place placing the blame on US Customs)... when in fact the ship had cleared customs and was disembarking arriving passengers before 7AM. MSC's Terminal F at Miami has somewhat less charm than your average bus station... especially when packed with standing-room-only passengers waiting for a "delayed" boarding. Claudia has some significant food sensitivities/allergies, so we took special care to complete MSC's "special needs form" a few months in advance of the trip, and even received a written confirmation that MSC had received it. An email from MSC advised us to contact the Maitre'd in the MDR (main dining room) on the first day of the cruise... which we did, and were assured that "everything will be fine" (MSC translation: "I don't care about your problem, just go away"). When we went to the first meal in the MDR, Claudia asked to see the special menu that we were told would be available (blank stares... crickets). When we pressed the issue and explained her food issues to the waiter and asked what they might suggest, his response was (wait for it)... "We have nothing here she can eat today... perhaps come back and try again tomorrow". Amazing. I spent that evening researching how we might cut our losses and just leave the cruise at our first port of call in Aruba. Here is where Cruise Critic indirectly saves our cruise. On the third day of our cruise, we had our Cruise Critic "Meet & Greet". Pretty much by chance, the International Host on our cruise, Roxanne Battistoni came over to us and asked how our cruise was going. We told her that things were not great... between being blown off by the folks in the MDR with regards to Claudia's dietary issues and the still unresolved mystery charges, I was still wondering when this vacation would be starting. Roxanne was genuinely concerned and sat down with us, taking the time to learn what was going on. She promised us that she would make things right, and that we should come back to the MDR for dinner that night (we had pretty much written them off after the "try again tomorrow" episode). Somehow Roxanne had moved heaven and earth, and suddenly the dining room and kitchen staff were on point and made some really innovative meals that Claudia really enjoyed. Roxanne continued to check in with us throughout the cruise to make sure that everything was still on track. Roxanne is definitely a "rock star" among the Divina's staff, and we hope she is recognized as such. Another star was Seebum Rajeev ("Rajeev", as he prefers to be called), our head waiter in the La Rossa dining room. Roxanne contacted Rajeev, and he carried the ball with regards to Claudia's dietary issues from there. Rajeev was truly amazing, and after he made the effort to fully understand her requirements and tastes, each night he would arrive with "off menu" dinners that were really spectacular and so much more that Claudia was expecting. The rest of us at the table were even a bit jealous, I suppose. All along, Rajeev had such a friendly and welcoming demeanor... we were always happy to see him. Rajeev is another "rock star" on the Divina. Beyond the fiascos with MSC reservations the initial dining room issues, this second trip on the Divina was otherwise pretty average. We like the general look, layout and "vibe" on the Divina, which was a major reason (other than the itinerary) that we booked this second cruise. The most recent cruise was a disappointment in some regards to the previous one... - The quality of the food on the recent cruise was generally down a notch or two as compared to the cruise a year ago. Some of the entrees in the MDR were literally inedible and had to be sent back. It's pretty apparent that their incentive is to "upsell" to the added cost "above menu" entrees in the MDR. I paid $21 extra in the MDR for a ribeye steak (which was actually very good) one night when the "standard" menu was filled with various unpronounceable third-world dishes. The buffet was about on par with last year. The pizza station in the buffet, which was pretty spectacular last year and was a real favorite of mine has taken a big hit. The variety and quality of the pizza is nothing like last year... pretty much just pepperoni and cheese pizzas, the latter sometimes garnished with pieces of leftover hot dog and even lettuce(???). Burned pizzas are put out on the line regardless, apparently in hopes that someone will eat them. Pass. - The entertainment is generally OK, although also not nearly as good as it was a year ago on the Divina. The evening shows were exactly the same ones presented during our cruise a year ago... mostly "tribute" shows to Michael Jackson, Queen, Frank Sinatra, etc. The productions are quirky... inexplicably combining acrobats, singers, dancers, baseball and basketball players and PG-rated strippers (among others). They very best part of the shows last year... the pranks pulled on the audience as they were entering the theater by the cruise director's staff... is now sadly gone. After some disappointments with MSC shore excursions on our trip last year, we elected to do our own thing this trip. Everything worked out OK with the the exception of one sailing/snorkeling trip on the "Octopus" in Aruba (I left a review somewhere on TripAdvisor about that). Generally though, the excursions we organize ourselves work out better than the ship's excursions. The Divina had apparently just completed a trans-Atlantic repositioning cruise prior to our trip on December 6th. On that trip a large percentage of the crew were reported to have been new and just starting their contracts, and the reviews for that trip are far from stellar. Additional crew were reported to be just joining the ship in Miami for our cruise, so it may be that some of the issues on our trip were due to the inexperience of the crew. It's hard to say. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We did this cruise back to back with the previous TransAtlantic cruise for a total of 31 nights. This cruise though we did in the Yacht Club. It is the way to go. A totally different experience in the ship within a ship concept. Loved ... Read More
We did this cruise back to back with the previous TransAtlantic cruise for a total of 31 nights. This cruise though we did in the Yacht Club. It is the way to go. A totally different experience in the ship within a ship concept. Loved the Top Sail Lounge and the high tea and the nightly music. The cabins are spacious. Butler service and great concierge. Daily newspaper. Private restaurant. Marble bathrooms with a bathtub. A wonderful bed.The private restaurant Le Muse was very nice and the head waiter cooked special dishes and desserts. The key card access also gives you priority service on elevators which is very nice. There is a private pool area for Yacht Club members with bar and food service in the Pool area. The bed was fantastic. It included all your drinks and everything in your mini bar. There were always snacks/tapas. fruit/treats in the Top Sail Lounge. You get a newspaper of your choice each day. This is the second time we have done the yacht club. Well worth every penny! Private ride and private area on Ocean Cay for Yacht Club also. We were the first ship into Ocean Cay! Gorgeous sunsets there. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We loved the itinerary of this cruise commencing in Sardinia. We had read negative reviews before departure but we couldn't have had a better experience. Balcony cabin (which was serviced twice a day) was excellent exceptionally ... Read More
We loved the itinerary of this cruise commencing in Sardinia. We had read negative reviews before departure but we couldn't have had a better experience. Balcony cabin (which was serviced twice a day) was excellent exceptionally clean, as was the whole ship, beautiful, well equiped and stylish. The food was very good in the Villa Rosa restaurant service was amazing and I was pleased with veggie options. All staff on board were pleasant, welcoming and helpful. The ship was very busy with children but there were designated adult areas which we loved. The excursions we chose were good value. One slight issue was the amount of people in buffet when we used it made it a bit chaotic but choice of food was amazing. Embarkation and disemarking was very smooth. Returning to the ship after excursions was busy but the staff worked quickly to get everyone on board. We particularly enjoyed the entertainment in the Theatre, shows were well attended every evening. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We booked this cruse very last minute, and snapped up a reasonable deal on a YC1 cabin in the famous MSC Yacht Club, first things first, the Yacht Club is a wonderful experience and really does set a bar for service, unfortunately there ... Read More
We booked this cruse very last minute, and snapped up a reasonable deal on a YC1 cabin in the famous MSC Yacht Club, first things first, the Yacht Club is a wonderful experience and really does set a bar for service, unfortunately there are still so many small niggles that stop it being the luxury experience they sell. The constant sell sell sell from all staff, photos, speciality dining, spa etc it’s just constant and really grates after a while. Embarkation: we boarded in Rome, luggage was taken immediately on our arrival and we was led into the waiting room in Rome, as we arrived at 1.30 we was sat down while the butler checked us in, within 10 mins he was walking us into Yacht Club Top Sail Lounge, this is a very relaxed lounge for YC guests. Cabin: we had a YC1 which is for all intense purposes a Mini Suite cabin with a bathtub, the room was a nice size for two people and serviced daily by the cabin attendant. Lots and lots of storage. Dining and Lounge: the Top Sail Lounge was a quiet and comfortable area you can visit anytime of the day, we ate breakfast there everyday and it was more than enough, pastries and fruit etc, you are sat for dining in Le Muse, this was where it all went wrong, a basic requirement should be to dine when you want, we was told on the first day between 7.30-8.30pm the restaurant was very busy, we tried to come earlier or later to fit this but felt very out of the experience we expected from YC. Entertainment: you don’t come on a MSC cruise for entertainment , bad Tina Turner act, terrible acrobatics show and awful witches show, NCL or Princess excel here and MSC struggle with the language issues. Disembarkation: have never felt so unwanted on a ship on the final day, we was asked three times what time was was getting off, in the end we just left ourselves, a really sour end to a average to good cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The ship is stunning, the crew was very attentive and friendly, the food was magnificent....fresh pasta, homemade gelato...everything was amazing. I loved it so much w3 are sailing on msc again in October. The only con was some of the rude ... Read More
The ship is stunning, the crew was very attentive and friendly, the food was magnificent....fresh pasta, homemade gelato...everything was amazing. I loved it so much w3 are sailing on msc again in October. The only con was some of the rude passengers, but I guess that is because Europeans culture is different form American. The shows were beautiful, just the right amount of time, not too long. Debarkation was very easy , just as quick and easy as embarkation. Luggage was brought to our room promptly. The main dining room was lovely, our wit staff brought us whatever we wanted. Drinks were inexpensive, surprisingly. The bars around the ship each had different music, something to satisfy everyone. The staff was very friendly, the only con was when you had a question, you had to wait on a long line at guest services. All in all, I wouldn’t travel on any other cruise line.. Msc was a nice surprise. The Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Cabin was very nice, adequate cabinet and cupboard space. Mattress was very hard with 2 different thicknesses. We didn’t have an issue with the room or the room steward. My appointment was with the organization of details. We ... Read More
Cabin was very nice, adequate cabinet and cupboard space. Mattress was very hard with 2 different thicknesses. We didn’t have an issue with the room or the room steward. My appointment was with the organization of details. We boarded an headed directly to the buffet as we had been traveling for the past 24 hrs and were very hungry and thirsty.. Our cruise cards were incorrectly coded as we had paid for the ‘easy drink’ package well in advance.. We were served with beverage charges as our drinks were being served. We were advised by the beverage manager we would have to go to customer service and have our cards properly coded.. The lineup took approximately 30 minutes to have this issue corrected.. Next issue, we go to enter our cabin.. cruise cards would not open our room, back to customer service and another 20 min wait.. All fixed again.. We wanted to disembark for a few hours In Civitavecchia.. to our disbelief, we were denied.. Card was still improperly coded, and for the third time back to customer service. This all happened within the first 2 hours of boarding.. Not a good start.. That evening our dinner seating was 7 pm.. we arrived slightly after 7 to once again have an issue with the maitre d, he was very rude and abrupt saying we would have to come back for the 9:45 seating.. My wife is very persistent and eventually we were seated.. We were not happy with the customer service and it would be very difficult for us to recommend MSC to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Where to start: First, we have sailed nineteen times and experienced an array of American AND European cruise products from RCCL, Princess, Costa, P&O, NCL, Holland America etc. The experiences of these diverse products have ... Read More
Where to start: First, we have sailed nineteen times and experienced an array of American AND European cruise products from RCCL, Princess, Costa, P&O, NCL, Holland America etc. The experiences of these diverse products have collectively informed my opinion of our MSC experience. MSC is NOT for the American market share rather, this European line is clearly after the sustainability of the European market share. American products by and large, do not charge a consistently high price for the cruise and then, charge clients for water while on board. Yes... MSC does this. Not even Costa does this. We paid over 3k for our cruise (similar and consistent to what we have paid for with other products like RCCL, Costa, Princess etc.) but while on board the MSC product we were charged for water.... we were amazed, perplexed and terribly disappointed. Its also important to note -what MSC USA sold us was not what we experienced onboard. When we pointed out the discrepancies on board we were told to take it up with MSC USA when we got home. We did, they did nothing to satisfy or settle our issue. We purchased the Fantastica experience, were told drink packages were included - then they somehow were not included. When we argued they were - we were told we had to buy a drink package which we did for our two children (non alcoholic package) and 1 adult alcoholic package. Only to get on board and be told we shouldn't have done that in fact it was included in our package and when we asked to have the initial prepaid packages we purchased refunded they said - sorry it wasn't included... The only thing which we felt was consistent was the inconsistency between what was sold and what we expected to what we actually experienced onboard. Other things we felt were important to note. The excursions - expensive but of little to no substance; again, representing to us an imbalance between what we paid for and what we actually experienced. We purchased several excursions through MSC - and quickly spent MORE TIME transiting to the excursions than we actually did enjoying the place we were visiting. This happend to us in both Arles France and Portofino. In Arles, we spent 3 hours on a bus to experience the town for only an hour. While in Portofino, same things - we paid a fortune to go to Portofino and spent three hours transiting there only to spend an hour IN Portofino... Very little value for money. Similarly, MSC twice docked at a port which they charged a fee to go from the Port facility to the town.... We were left shaking our heads and again, having the experience of other lines, this was an anomaly we felt was important to note for others who are considering this line. The ship itself was clean, comparatively clean to other lines and with cabins which were much larger than the typical stateroom found on other lines. That was about the only two bonuses on this line. Our experience of the ship was in one word -- exhausting. Terribly overcrowded and with clearly overwhelmed staff who continually treated us with discourtesy and disregard. The staff appeared as exhausted of the overcrowded conditions as we were. This was consistent from the bar staff to the dinning staff -- totally overwhelmed and continually discourteous and seemed exhausted..... The common centers on the ship were jammed daily elbow to elbow with people and loud music - wasn't a quiet spot on the ship to be found... ever. The smoking is an experience not commonly found with American products, on European lines - smoking is everywhere and something we found terribly intrusive and distasteful. Imagine placing the ONLY soft serve ice cream station for kids on the ship in the smoking section of the ship... kids actually have to endure cigarette smoke while waiting for their ice cream (which was eventually closed down due to being broken). This careless disregard for children - alone, made us not want to return to this product... ever. We have sailed many ships (19 cruises to date) and several of those other European products. First time we were ever on a ship and product we couldn't wait to leave... first time. The cost of this product comparatively is similar to other lines - RCCL, Princess Holland America - but what you get for your money is wholly inconsistent and as a result, we could not in good conscience recommend this product, especially for families. While MSC is trying desperately to break into the American marketshare, we believe this is going to be extremely difficult as people with experiences such as ours, share our impressions with others. This was an honest and unbiased account of our experience. We hope it is taken seriously so the product may be improved for others going forward. For us, we will not use or recommend this product in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
wanted to try the yacht club experience and do not regret! The only thing we missed was an indoor pool or indoor Jacuzzi for the Yachtclub. We also found the yachtclub restaurant way to far from the yachtclub cabins.You have to walk all ... Read More
wanted to try the yacht club experience and do not regret! The only thing we missed was an indoor pool or indoor Jacuzzi for the Yachtclub. We also found the yachtclub restaurant way to far from the yachtclub cabins.You have to walk all the way to the other side of the ship. Food was very fine, but not realy special. The gala night had a very simple menu. The waiters are very friendly in the Muze! The ship is beautiful, The staff very friendly. The shows are good but just not that good as the MSC seaside. The decoration of the shows is quiet simple. The Casino is great. Very little smell from the smoking area. We didn't do any organised excursions. In Palermo. The hop on Hop of that was great to see the city. In Cagliari we just took the bus up the hill to Porcel to visit the beautiful kathedral and walked all the way down. We have already been to Rome. A good alternative for Civitavecchia is taking a taxi to the Tenuta dell'Argento restaurant at 10 minutes drive from the city. It is a farm in the countryside we you have the best fresh meat restaurant. If I would go again on a cruise with Msc, but always in Yachtclub. All the rest is to crowded. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We had a wonderful experience on the Divina. Our servers in the dining room were so fun and courteous that we only missed one night with them. They shared stories about their on board life as well a their homeland. We were I the Villa ... Read More
We had a wonderful experience on the Divina. Our servers in the dining room were so fun and courteous that we only missed one night with them. They shared stories about their on board life as well a their homeland. We were I the Villa Rossi MDR and our servers were Cosme and Eric. The food choices some nights were difficult to make. We booked a balcony Fantastica room and were pleasantly surprised by its spaciousness. We were very surprised that theroom was cleaned two times per day and the bed turned down at night - nice touch. We did not get the drink package and were more than okay having 12 drink tickets each. We could have whatever beer we wanted and they honored the tickets for frozen drinks. I have a lot of respect for the "abuse" the bar staff took from guests. A lot of guests were so impatient and unsympathetic towards the staff that it made me very sad. I pulled a few staff aside and gave then words of encouragement. MSC does need to hire more staff. We also appreciated the attempt by staff to control the lounge chair situation and removing towels after 30 minutes of non-use. The Divina is very clean and sparkly. What surprised us was how quiet the ship was at night. Compared to how many people were aboard, there was hardly anyone in the bars. We thought it would be loud and quite the party going on. We find it very relaxing. The entertainment staff went out of their way to entertain. They were always high energy and had a smile for you but weren't pushy to participate. I loved that you could get professional pictures taken with various backgrounds. The photographers were great and made you feel comfortable. Over all, we had an excellent time and would choose MSC again Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We sailed on MSC Divina because we got got a bargain and to entice us we were "matched" to the level on NCL/Carnival, we found the ship to be nicely designed, our cabin was comfortable and the amount of amenities and dinning was ... Read More
We sailed on MSC Divina because we got got a bargain and to entice us we were "matched" to the level on NCL/Carnival, we found the ship to be nicely designed, our cabin was comfortable and the amount of amenities and dinning was plentiful, we were hesitant because people's reviews had made it seem like there was too much pasta on the menus, we found the opposite, the food was very tasty and the selections was great, they still need to work out a few kinks, in the black crab restaurant ( where we were assigned ) we had to wait for our coffee to accompany our desserts, but it seems like every cruise line is cutting staff and you don't get quite the prompt service that we expect. The itinerary was wonderful too, going to shore and coming back into the ship was painless and we loved the fact that the ship stayed longer in ports than most cruises we have taken, that was nice surprised. Another pleasant surprise was the entertainment in the theater, we enjoyed all of the shows, they did an amazing job and would certainly would do another MSC Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Best cruise value for balcony cabin including drink package. Service in the Black Crab Dining Room excellent. Our waiter and crew anticipated our needs before we asked. The food was selection was more Mediterranean than we've had on ... Read More
Best cruise value for balcony cabin including drink package. Service in the Black Crab Dining Room excellent. Our waiter and crew anticipated our needs before we asked. The food was selection was more Mediterranean than we've had on other ships but excellent options and we enjoyed trying a few new things. We tried the dining room for both breakfast and lunch as well and enjoyed the menu selection. Excellent pizza, salads, desserts, as well as hot and cold entrees were available in the buffet. The Bella drink package was wonderful. Instead of paying $12/drink, on this ship we were able to drink all day for $12 in tips. The shops were very nice, and the adults only Solarium area was the nicest I'd seen on any ship. Deck chairs were harder to find on sea days, however we learned to get out early and "save" our chairs just like everyone else did. the shows were wonderful and the excursions were great too. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I enjoyed the ship. The quality of the entertainment was excellent from the shows to the singers and musicians around the ship. The entertainment staff were engaging and a lot of fun for all ages. I like the dance lessons and the ... Read More
I enjoyed the ship. The quality of the entertainment was excellent from the shows to the singers and musicians around the ship. The entertainment staff were engaging and a lot of fun for all ages. I like the dance lessons and the stretch classes on the Aqua Deck. The ship is beautiful. The food in the dining room and Eatily are very good. However, the food in the buffet was mediocre except for the pizza. Best pizza ever on a cruise ship! Service on the ship was very good, however, the Lido dining staff weren't very engaging unless you began the conversation. The cruise director Sinan was very good. I like how the ship's officers were visible and friendly. Being an European ship announcements were made in 4 or more languages. After a while you got used to it. The gym was adequate although several machines weren't working. The thermal package was overpriced especially since they did not have a thalossotherapy pool or the heated loungers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We decided to go on a cruise for my wife's 60th birthday and overall, we had a blast! This is our third cruise and first time on MSC. We had a great time on this cruise, and I would definitely cruise with MSC again. The value is hard ... Read More
We decided to go on a cruise for my wife's 60th birthday and overall, we had a blast! This is our third cruise and first time on MSC. We had a great time on this cruise, and I would definitely cruise with MSC again. The value is hard to beat! Embarkation was ok in Miami… generally smooth. We stood in line to get our cruise card (maybe 30 minutes), and then had to wait seated in a lobby… maybe an hour… until our boarding group was called. We arrived at 11am and were on board the ship by 12:30pm. (FYI… We arrived earlier than our listed boarding time.) Ship / experience: The ship is certainly beautiful… areas are kept very clean. It felt kind of "narrow" to us, perhaps just due to the sliced-up layout rather than the more open mall-like designs in some other ships. It does have one large, beautiful atrium with the famous Swarovski crystal staircases. The clubs and bars all have differing, but pleasing designs. BTW, someone complained about the bar hours, but we always could find an open bar/restaurant if needed, and the bar hours are listed in the daily planner. We snapped a photo of the schedule on our phones and were always able to find an open bar or restaurant. This is a European cruise line, there were many international passengers. We encountered a few that did not speak English, but those that did (or allowed us to attempt to communicate to them in our extremely weak German or Spanish) were very nice. We certainly encountered a couple of “ugly Americans”… and I mean in the way they acted… IE full of negativity and happy to share it whether or not you wanted to hear it! Thankfully, we had fantastic, friendly folks at our table for dinner. Gym: Adequate. I was mostly heading for the treadmills, and generally did not have a problem finding one… or if I had to wait, I didn’t have to wait long. Two of the exercise bikes were not functioning, and I think if you were heading for one of those, you probably would have had more trouble. Still, if you catch it in off hours, you’ll have less of an issue. They have a 30 minute limit on the cardio equipment. There is no running / walking track on this ship. Overall, I’d say the gym is not quite big enough for a ship this size, and with low ceilings, there is not quite enough airflow through the gym especially around the cardio machines. You have to return to your room to shower unless you get a thermal pass. Spa / Thermal Area: We played $100/person for thermal passes and really enjoyed the thermal area with multiple saunas to choose from as well as a larger steam room. (FYI… bring waterproof footwear (watersocks, sandals, flip-flops, etc) if going in the steam room; the floor is slick!) They have a great calming relaxation area with a beautiful view of the sea, and after having a good sweat, it is a great place to relax for a few minutes. We also paid for a couple’s 50 min Balinese massage. We paid $100/person + gratuity… and the massage was great! Entertainment: The entertainment was fair. Let me first say that the performers they had were super talented... excellent live singers, dancers, and acrobats, but they all performed to prerecorded music. As a musician, I really missed seeing live instruments on stage, and there just aren't enough 100%-live bands across the ship. The only regular, fully live band on the ship played in the Black and White lounge playing top 40 dance music from all eras. (Not bad, but the band simply went through the motions and they certainly didn't seem "into it.") Aside from a pianist in the atrium, and a piano/violin classical duo, most other “bands” just had a live musician or two and played against a prerecorded track... so as a musician, it pretty disappointing to me, even though all of the musicians were certainly talented. The stand out for us was Sabor Latino and with a live drummer/percussionist pair... maybe I’m just a sucker for Latin jazz. :-) Shows: This is an Italian ship / cruise line, and I'm really happy to see they embrace opera, even if the crowd did not. I'm not a huge opera fan but can certainly appreciate it. The at-sea mid-day opera show was a highlight for me, but was sparsely attended... the two opera singers were excellent, and they played with a pianist and violinist that were both excellent (and the only "live band" I saw in the theater). The evening opera show (an abridged version of Verdi's La Traviata) was good as well, and you could kind of gather the story from the actions on stage... but not knowing the story line, it still needed either a program guide containing translations or subtitles on the screen above. I saw most of the other shows, only missing a couple of them. Overall, the stage sets for other shows were pretty boring. The Queen show had an awful background track and IMHO, pretty weak choreography. The pirates show had great costumes and the most interesting stage set of any show, but the story line was awful. I really enjoyed the Sinatra show... the baritone was fantastic, and I thought it had good choreography. I also enjoyed the Witches of Paris show, where the acrobats where highlighted. (We only caught two shows that showcased the acrobats). Other on board activities: - In general, the daytime at-sea activities provided did not appeal to us. They mostly consisted of dance lessons, art classes (very basic stuff from our assessment), party / dance stuff in the aqua deck area. They had a napkin / towel folding event where we thought we’d get to try our hand at it, but it turned out to only be a demo which was disappointing. - Sitting by the pool is not our thing, but apparently, getting a deck chair by the pool is quite a challenge. People stake out their chair for the day. I think MSC could prohibit this practice and there'd be plenty of chairs for everyone, as there were always plenty of chairs available… just with people’s stuff on them. - The water slide is blast! - We paid for a "behind the scenes" tour which was very interesting... it lasted a long time… over three hours, and other than visiting the engine room and bridge (due to security concerns), we covered much of the ship. Cost was $45/person and was made through the excursions desk once on board (cannot be pre-booked). Well worth the price! Food: - We really enjoyed the food on the cruise overall. - I thought the buffet was pretty good… plenty of healthy and not-so-healthy options available. I made use of the omelet station every morning, and we overdosed on bacon as you only can at a buffet. :-) The only major flaw at the buffet I saw was that they were scrambling to refill coffee dispensers on a morning or two, and like the dining room, the service through the buffet tables was hit or miss. As others have mentioned, it was definitely very busy at peak breakfast hours, and most Europeans do not have the same sense of personal space as Americans... so some come across as being rude. Still, we were able to find a seat, eat and eat plenty, and I thought the food overall was great. - They also had prosciutto (one of my favorite cold cuts), but only on the first couple of days. - For something different, try a German breakfast… grab one of the delicious roles, some cold cuts, and a hardboiled egg. - If you want something completely different, try the Asian congee, available on only one side of the buffet for breakfast. It’s basically a rice porridge, add miso, mushrooms, onions, and fish sauce to taste; we’ve only experienced this on cruise ships and it is certainly not for everyone, but we love experiencing another culture’s foods… part of the fun of cruising!! - Being lactose intolerant, I was happy to see cheese-less pizza on the buffet. - The bread is amazing… the Europeans know how to make great bread and croissants. Take advantage while you can! - We had some great meals in the dining room. On two nights, entrées on the menu did not appeal to me, but the alternative options were excellent. I ordered the salmon one of those nights and it was great (The salmon is served nightly as one of their “always available options” on the menu.) Another night, none of the meat dishes appealed, so I ordered the vegetarian Indian dish and it too was excellent. (Note that most vegetarian main-course dishes were Indian curries and such… I suspect their other veggie curries were also great.) I only had one poor dish in the dining room, and it was a “healthy fish” option one evening. - One couple said the best food on the ship was in the sports bar, where they served wings and burgers; we personally like more variety than that, but whatever floats your boat! Restaurants: - The main dining room (Black Crab for us) service was hit and miss. The first two nights were both really slow, but they generally improved markedly afterwards for a couple of nights, but then had an off night every now and then… I’d say we had good service 50% of the time. On bad nights, it would take us 2 hours for dinner. On good nights, 1.25 – 1.5 hours… (Lunches and Breakfasts in the main dining room are much faster.) FYI… advice: only order wine when in the restaurant which is kept by the table. Grab any other drinks at the bar, and bring it into the restaurant. The restaurant took forever to serve mixed drinks. - Galaxy – sushi! On my wife’s birthday night, we enjoyed dinner at Galaxy. I thought the Sushi was very good. The price was pretty high… about what we’d pay in a sushi restaurant in the USA. Their menu / pricing was confusing with a bit of fine print explaining it all. So you can get a prix-fare multi-course dinner for $30/person, but can swap one of the options for something better at half price… they didn’t seem to mind if you swapped something similar. Neither of us like octopus, so we swapped for maki for an upcharge. The presentation was beautiful, and service was excellent, and we were surprised at how few folks were dining up there. I think the price was the deterrent… seems to me, we should be paying LESS than we would in a USA sushi restaurant, given that we’ve already paid all-inclusive rates. They could simplify the menu pricing, and just charge $25/person and I bet they’d pack the restaurant. - We thought about dining at Eataly, but heard from others that the steak house part just wasn’t that great, so chose not to go there. We hear the pizza was fantastic, but being lactose intolerant, I avoided it as well. Bars / drink package: - We read up on our “drinks on us” package – know that you do pay gratuity on your drinks, and your drink choices are limited. Search the MSC site to find detailed information about your package. I found a PDF with all the details and specifics and we knew exactly what to expect and it was exactly as stated. - I think our first formal evening, some basic drinks were free in the bar that evening… champagne, and a few mixed drinks too, including a martini. - We found a great bartender, Ryan from the Philippines, at the Silver Bar. (He is on contract with MSC for a few more months, so seek him out if you can!) That ended up being our go-to happy-hour bar before dinner. Other notes: - As others have noted, some staff, including our dinner waiter and our cabin steward, were extremely busy and did not seem to have time to be super personable / friendly with us as might occur on other cruise lines. - Accessibility of the senior staff was pretty impressive. We found a number of senior staff making themselves available throughout our cruise. - I’d encourage you to find your specific cruise on CruiseCritic and sign up for the gathering that they have on board. We spoke to the captain and others and thoroughly enjoyed chatting with the senior staff. In addition, we had a little gift of chocolate covered strawberries and champagne in our cabin the next night! Can’t guarantee you’ll have the same experience, but… Disembarkation was super smooth and fast… much faster than our last experience with Royal Caribbean two years ago in Fort Lauderdale where I think we caught customs on their lunch break! Overall, we’d definitely go on an MSC cruise again. There were definitely some hiccups, but it was obvious to us that MSC is trying very hard and they do want and listen to feedback. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The divina is a beautiful ship! Spotless! The variety of food available was plentiful and quite the variety! the pizza was available all day whether breakfast,lunch, dinner, early or late snacks! the best at sea!! The ... Read More
The divina is a beautiful ship! Spotless! The variety of food available was plentiful and quite the variety! the pizza was available all day whether breakfast,lunch, dinner, early or late snacks! the best at sea!! The staircase was breath taking! the pools and hot tubs were clean and hot! The corridors were clean and no clutter to be found! the staff was great! The ship itself was breath taking! the cruise director and fellow crews were very friendly, we have made new friends as well! we left from miami, we were at sea for 3 days, went to bonaire which was such a beautiful place, the city tour was breath taking. we went to curaçao the following day which was beautiful as well. aruba's aloe tour was quite interesting. we were at sea the following day. we went to ocho rios and booked a sand and beach day it was amazing! we were suppose to be in the grand caymans the following day but the water was too rough and our captain felt it was unsafe to tender in. we were given another sea day. we had travelled to the caymans before so we were not that upset, we were fully refunded for the excursion that same morning as we had booked it through msc. we will definitely cruise with msc again! the coffee selection was great ! the cruise director and his team were fabulous! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Background on myself. This was my 49th cruise on multiple lines. Never had a bad cruise. I'm not the type to get upset because someone forgot to leave enough towels or forgot my water. If you have an issue go talk to a Manager. 99% of ... Read More
Background on myself. This was my 49th cruise on multiple lines. Never had a bad cruise. I'm not the type to get upset because someone forgot to leave enough towels or forgot my water. If you have an issue go talk to a Manager. 99% of the time it will be fixed. I always like to say YOU make the cruise not the cruise line. EMBARKATION: Arrived at 3pm took about 1 hour to get from curb to room. Thought it would be quicker arriving late but I guess some other cruisers had the same idea. CABIN: Inside Bella #10189. Found that there was more than enough storage space. only issue was that there is very little extra room in the cabin. Bathroom was OK. The extra outlet in the bathroom did not accept the American plug with the larger one side prong.If you can upgrade to Fantastica for the extra space do it. Steward was great. Made the room up in morning and while we were at dinner. Black Crab Restaurant: Service in the restaurant was very good. My GF has a Gluten allergy and was taken care of by Christian at dinner and Arthur at breakfast and lunch, both Head Waiters. There is a totally separate Gluten Free menu for each dinning segment which is presented when asked for. The Head waiters will take the order and serve the food which is prepared in a separate area of the kitchen, (no cross-contamination). The food was basically OK. No wow dinners. Was very disappointed with the Italian night meal. Again, just OK. Being an Italian owned line one would think this would be the showcase night, nope. Breakfast and lunch was the same every day. Basic breakfast and lunch items. Service was quick and consistent. Food, again just OK. Buffet: Only did breakfast and lunch here. Good variety and AWESOME pizza. Typical breakfast and lunch offerings. Pretty mush the same every day. Quality was good. Having 2 bars in the buffet area that served beer and wine was a treat. Espresso and cappuccinos are available at almost every bar. Entertainment: Only went to 2 shows, very average When you have a female singer (very good voice) singing New York New York in the Frank Sinatra tribute, no thanks. Almost all of the bars had a piano, guitar or sax player in the evening. These were VERY GOOD. We wished they would sing and play longer. Bars: Most bars gave OK service. The best bar that we found was The Garden Bar aft deck 15. The port side was smoking but the wind kept the area pretty smoke free. Toward the end of the cruise some bars started running out of things. They had these items at other bars so it got irritating to get something at one bar and not another.. Disembarkation: Best in a long time. We received orange tags which meant 10am . We arrived at the Poseidon theater at 10am and were in our car (we park at the port) at 10:35am. Overall an average cruise. Nothing to WOW us. We are sailing again on MSC Seaside in August. Almost all of the MSC veterans we spoke with said that the Seaside is a much better ship and they loved it. We will see. Any questions just ask. I'll try to get back ASAP. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
MOLD in the cabin bathroom, poor quality and improperly prepared food in the Dining Room and Buffet, filthy floors and tables in dining areas, Dining Room servers unable to set a table properly and generally unresponsive to guest requests, ... Read More
MOLD in the cabin bathroom, poor quality and improperly prepared food in the Dining Room and Buffet, filthy floors and tables in dining areas, Dining Room servers unable to set a table properly and generally unresponsive to guest requests, a "Drinks On Us" package that did not include some of the most basic drinks and mixes and required guests to pay a 15% gratuity on each drink over and above the gratuity paid for each day - a gratuity that several bartenders told us they never saw. Something that tasted like Tang being used as Orange Juice in Screwdrivers, running out of Club Soda before the final two days at sea and then trying to substitute bottled water, not having enough servers so they could offer and get mixed drinks in the Dining Room, not to mention their inability to even keep water glasses refilled. A Balcony Cabin where if you sat in a chair on the balcony you could not see the water since it has a metal wall instead of glass - CLEARLY should be advertised as Obstructed View. Common area Restrooms that are few and far between compared to other ships we have been in, and which are not cleaned often enough. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
After over a decade of cruising, we decided to try MSC Divina. Very disorganized crew. Late embarkation and disembarktion with no explanation. Lines for linking credit card to sea pass on ship. Only one customer service desk open. Bar ... Read More
After over a decade of cruising, we decided to try MSC Divina. Very disorganized crew. Late embarkation and disembarktion with no explanation. Lines for linking credit card to sea pass on ship. Only one customer service desk open. Bar service slow, rude staff, unless of course you are willing to tip an additional few dollars above the 15% already charged per drink. Those customers were catered to. Poor food selection, slow service from wait staff. Horrible problem with pushing and shoving of guests on this cruise, mostly from Europeans which was the overall consensus from most US and even some UK guests. Eataly steak house has no atmosphere and is nothing more than a pizza parlor with plastic chairs. Dining staff difficult to deal with to change dining time. Required multiple requests and standing in lines. MSC crushed a hard side suitcase with no responsibility taken by staff. Will not sail MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
As a frequent cruiser with NCL, it was great to be able to receive a status match from MSC and be Black Card holders for our first cruise with their line. Black card holders get some great perks like sparkling wine & chocolate covered ... Read More
As a frequent cruiser with NCL, it was great to be able to receive a status match from MSC and be Black Card holders for our first cruise with their line. Black card holders get some great perks like sparkling wine & chocolate covered strawberries, a fruit bowl, chocolate ships, a free tasting menu in a specialty restaurant, a thermal hour in the spa, etc. Those little perks add much enjoyment to a cruise. Embarkation was a little slow, but that was our fault for not knowing how it works with MSC. As black card holders, you also get priority boarding, and we did not speak up, so we were in the wrong line. Next time we will know. Our first view of the ship was very impressive. It is quite beautiful, with loads of statuary and beautiful artwork on the walls. The main colors in the public ares are burgundy and silver, and it's very elegant. The crystal staircases are so pretty! We were able to go right to our cabin, and it wasn't even noon yet. The buffet was ready to serve lunch as soon as we boarded, and as we were leaving our room to go eat, we opened our door and our luggage was already there! Shocking! We have never gotten our cruise luggage that fast on either Carnival or NCL. The buffet was enormous, and they still give you a large platter for your food, unlike other lines that give small plates and no trays. We were quite surprised at the amount and variety of food, and there were different areas for Asian, Medditeranean, pizza, a carving station, varieties of cheeses and cold cuts, salad bars, and dessert bars. We prefer the dining room for all our meals, but the times we had to eat from the buffet due to our schedule, we were quite satisfied with the food. I just don't like to jockey for line position, fight for a turn at the beverages, and try finding a table until your food is cold when you finally find one. I would much prefer having someone bring me my food in a quieter and calmer atmosphere. We had second seating at the Black Crab restaurant. I wish all cruise lines used the "your time dining" that NCL uses. But we liked going in late as it worked better for our schedule. We sat at a table for eight all by ourselves for the entire week. Pretty funny. Our waiter and his assistant were quite nice, but uninterested. No pleasant small talk, no questions about our day, strictly business, get them in, get them out. They were polite and did smile, but I didn't feel the love like I have on other cruise lines. It seemed to be that way at all the bars as well. No one tries to make friends with the cruisers. In fact I felt like some of them bordered on rude. I was usually ignored until someone begrudgingly would ask me if I needed something. No dude, I'm standing here patiently waiting because I just like to crowd up to bars. HA. But the waitresses were sweet, and it was better to sit and let someone wait on me rather than try to get my own beverage. The food was OK. Most of the main dishes in the dining room were average. I truly didn't feel like I was eating gourmet food on the dining room at any time during the cruise except for the desserts. MSC has awesome desserts! I made sure to take advantage of their deliciousness! Took about five extra pounds of weight home, too. Sigh... I was kind of surprised that there were only two specialty restaurants on board. The shows were very good. All of the singers and dancers were fabulous. I am not a big fan of canned music, however, so that was a bit of a disappointment.. But the performers made up for it. The costumes were beautiful and the sound system was perfect, if maybe just a touch loud. The theater was quite comfortable, and there were clear views without poles in the way of your view like some cruise ships have. There was a problem with the steps, though. There were stairs down a flight, then a ramp, and then one more step down. I saw many people stumble on that single step, and I am betting there have been some serious injuries. They really should redesign that. The cruise director's staff would do some comic things while people were being seated. That made the waiting time fun. The pools were beautiful and there were quite a few hot tubs, but you could never get a deck chair. People would use these giant clips and beach towels to save seats and you would see many like that with no people in them. MSC needs to have a policy of moving stuff out if no one shows up in a certain amount of time, like I hear other cruise lines do. We like to play the slot machines, and there was a good variety of them in the casino. I don't understand why it is still acceptable to let people smoke in casinos but it still is, and that makes it a little hard on non-smokers. But there was an area that was less smoky and we kept to that side of the room for the most part. My favorite waitress worked in the casino. I wish I could remember her name. We don't usually do a whole lot of ship activities. I went to karaoke to sing one night, and that was pretty fun. Otherwise, we spent most of our free time on our balcony. It was heaven! We went to check out the bowling lane, the race car simulator, and the 4D Theater, but all those things are full of kids for the most part so we didn't use them. The bands in the bars were good. Most of the solo performers used backing tracks which we don't enjoy, so we did not frequent the musical acts. Plus we don't drink alcohol, so no reason to hang in bars. The ports were Antigua, St Kitts, Tortola, Guadeloupe, and St Maarten. They were all very beautiful in their own ways. Be advised, Guadeloupe is quite rainy, so bring a poncho on board! We took ship excursions in every port. They were all good. We took advantage of the laundry service, one large bag, 30 items for $20. It said that it would be done within 48 hours, but we got it back the next day! We also had reason to visit the medical facility, and they were very nice. We bought 5 of our photos for $60, which I think it a fair price. For another $10, they put our favorite photo on disc. I think that was a little excessive, but we wanted it so we could print it for our kids. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on board, and went to the Eataly specialty restaurant for dinner. Now that was a gourmet meal! The food was amazing from start to finish. Our waiter Geraldo was really sweet and quite personable. Then they surprised us with a cake and Happy Anniversary sung by all the waiters to the tune of Happy Birthday. That was very cool! The shops were good, and there was quite a few of them. We were able to get all the little things we needed right there on board. Except for lip balm. They really should stock lip balm, lol. I got a great hat during the $10 extravaganza! lol Disembarkation was very very slow. It's so rude to have to be out of your cabin by 7:30am, and that was for Black Card holders, like that's a good thing or something.lol Luckily our flight did not leave until three, if it was around noon, we probably would have missed it. We hear Divina has had some recent drug busts among the crew, so that may have slowed things down, but also we were still in a government shut down, so that could have slowed customs down as well. I think they should have served coffee in the theater where we were waiting, that would have made it better. It took about two hours to clear the ship, and once they did, disembarkation went pretty smoothly. I like the way they sort the luggage for claiming in the terminal, that works out well. Over all I give the trip a B+, and I would definitely cruise with MSC again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Bottom Line:Food was mediocre at best. Service was poor and totally unprofessional. Extremely unorganized sitting arrangement. It basically ruined my birthday celebration/. Never again. Food: portions are extremely small. Please note ... Read More
Bottom Line:Food was mediocre at best. Service was poor and totally unprofessional. Extremely unorganized sitting arrangement. It basically ruined my birthday celebration/. Never again. Food: portions are extremely small. Please note that I do not go on cruises for the food. Bland, sometimes tasteless. Saw same dishes served at lunch and dinner. Service or lack off: staff simply does not care or are at least concerned about your needs. It was a fight to be considered for a table for two, although I had it confirmed beforehand when reservation was made. It was my birthday present and just wanted to enjoy being with my partner.Our waitress was better suited to be running an army than serving tables. Bordeline rude, making little effort to show some interest in what she was expected to do. If you like singing or dancing, you will be happy. That is all you get. Better be a opera lover. They are very good and pushing you to buy stuff......sales and more sales of cheap perfumes, and watches. Bar areas looked more like a mall than a pleaesent place to have a drink. NOT AGAIN..... Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Our first time on MSC, but we have taken lots of cruises on other lines from Silversea to NCL We went with open minds, expecting a more Euro experience than RCCL or Celebrity. However, the greediness, rudeness & loudness of some ... Read More
Our first time on MSC, but we have taken lots of cruises on other lines from Silversea to NCL We went with open minds, expecting a more Euro experience than RCCL or Celebrity. However, the greediness, rudeness & loudness of some of the large groups of Europeans & Eastern Europeans was astounding, and we travel extensively through Europe regularly. This of course is not the fault of MSC, but beware if this is your first time. This was a back to back cruise, the first part was over Xmas, the second over New Year. The difference was noticeable, especially in the quality of food, for some bizarre reason. The Xmas part of the cruise had mainly good, sometimes very good food. The second part, in the same dining room( Villa Rossa) & with usually a very similar menu to the previous week, had mainly bad, sometimes very bad food! What could have happened? Had the executive chef fallen overboard!? The maitre d' shrugged off our question rather rudely. In fact we encountered rather abrupt rude service from several areas arounf the ship, including the bars where staff are seriously overworked, the excursions desk, where total indifference was present, & of course, Guest Services desk, where one hand didn't seem to know what the other hand was doing. Training is certainly required I feel. The highlight of the cruise( apart from the pizza & gelato!) was the lovely waiter in Villa Rossa, Anna Maria from Romania. If all staff could be like her then MSC would have no problems whatsoever. Our cabin steward( deck 12 aft) Ozzy from India was always helpful too. In short, good & bad from MSC but it could & should have been good & better! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Food quality in main dining room is excellent, Celebrrity, Viking River, Holland has American, RCL have nothing to brag about in comparison. New items daily and also standard always available staples like a juicy, cooked to order, too big ... Read More
Food quality in main dining room is excellent, Celebrrity, Viking River, Holland has American, RCL have nothing to brag about in comparison. New items daily and also standard always available staples like a juicy, cooked to order, too big NY strip steak. Prime rib truly was PRIME, not choice. Lobster tails are northern, not tropical. We ended up eating all three meals there, always superb. Cafeteria on deck 14 is good enough. Room, just big enough, in perfect repair and spotless, lots of storage. Bed, linens, pillows (offer a selection of types!) top of the line. HVAC system most effective (and quiet) of any we’ve experienced. Steward was very attentive. Decor, using deep purple as the foundation, not our taste, but it’s obvious a lot of attention went to coordinations. TV does not offer the most viewed US news channel, Fox, mostly CNN with continual snide, mean spirited comments about those they look down on. French channel news pretty much only level refuge. Wall Street Journal, US number one newspaper by far, not available on line. Ship has exceptional stabilizing, even with 10 foot seas and gusts over 25 knots, steady, smooth ride. Public areas are dazzling, and always spotless. Some bartenders are very skilled. All personable. Prompt waiter service. Pool area music and entertainment a far too loud for our tastes but there are quiet refuges in corners. Coffee blend is good but regular coffee weak especially for an Italian ship. Espresso, always available is good. We had an issue with an excursion, and customer service investigated and followed up professionally. Unlike other cruises did not see crew wiping railings. Noticed this because I had a cold which hoped not to spread. Hand sanitizers only by food service. I think many more should be placed. Fellow passengers are extremely geographically diverse, more so enemy than cruises originating in Europe. A delight of diversity. Price was influential in booking, and so was the service we received a few years prior when we treated our ten grandchild (+parents!) to western Caribbean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
MSC Divina Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
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 3.7
Rates 5.0 3.7

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