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34 MSC Cruises MSC Divina Repositioning Cruise Reviews

We sailed on this ship on 3 previous occasions and loved it. We liked the itinerary and price. Unfortunately, things have changed and the crew is incompetent. They kept our American passport when we got on. Made it difficult to get it ... Read More
We sailed on this ship on 3 previous occasions and loved it. We liked the itinerary and price. Unfortunately, things have changed and the crew is incompetent. They kept our American passport when we got on. Made it difficult to get it back. Food is now terrible. Little info about ports. Entertainment is repetitive. No television service other than free movies of their choice. Very poor Wifi and no communication with cell phones on the divina. Our last port, San Juan Puerto Rico, they tell us that everyone must get off the ship for the immigration procedure and you cannot get back on until 4:00 pm. We are supposed to get off ship at 10 am but still not off at 12 noon. During this process, they are having a crew drill and making announcements constantly. Also, we asked for a box of tissues and were told that we don’t get them in the Fantasia experience and they just changed that policy during this cruise!!!!!Terrible procedure. Also, minimal concern for hand washing.After this trip, we will not be back on the Divina and most likely will not choose MSC! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We have been cruising with MSC for the last 3 years. This was the 11th cruise with MSC and the 7th on the Divina.This review compares the Transatlantic cruise from the Divina during November 2019 against the previous cruises we did with ... Read More
We have been cruising with MSC for the last 3 years. This was the 11th cruise with MSC and the 7th on the Divina.This review compares the Transatlantic cruise from the Divina during November 2019 against the previous cruises we did with MSC out of Miami on the Divina, Seaside and Armonia.Comments are the differences between this cruise and all other MSC cruises we took. We didn't compare MSC with other cruise lines we have been on 20+ cruises on three other cruise lines). We flew into Rome and took the transfer from the Airport to the cruise port. Finding a meeting point at the airport was problematic. Other cruise lines picked up passenger at baggage claim. After some asking around we found a MSC sign and were hooked up with the driver and the transfer van. Arrived at the port around 9.30 and had to wait until 11.00 Am before embarkation. No computers were available (broke down.....) so only the embarkation ticket and passport let us on the ship. The cruise card was in the cabin. Since our passports we not scanned in, MSC kept our passports. We demanded and got them back the following day. This was not done in other ports as we found out later. The cabin was roomy and clean as was the ship. Had some broken lights replaced in the cabin at our request. Since we are Diamond members (MSC just changed the name from Black Members to Diamond Voyager Members) all the goodies coming with that level were present. Since we where in an Aurea level cabin we had tissues in our bathroom. Fantastica and Bella had no tissues. No tissues were on sale in the shops either. Cost cutting in the cruise industry continues! Ship and cabin throughout the cruise were kept clean to the standards we are use to from MSC. The dining menu has not changed in 3 years. Since this was a crossing some local cuisine was added (Spanish, Portuguese and Caribbean). One problem though, the food was always cold dining room or buffet was no different. Only a few time I had some hot French Fries because I was watching them refilling the bin.This was not a unique experience. Our fellow passengers experienced the same cold food. The steakhouse was a bit better and had good food. The entertainment on the ship was the same as it has been the last three years supplemented with some opera and a few one man shows which were hard to watch since everything was translated in 6 different languages. The stage has not changed since the ship was built and is not current anymore. The 25 year old MSC Armonia is more modern in that regard than the Divina. This ship right now is set up for one time cruisers! May one timers said this will be the first and last MSC cruise. MSC has not figured out what the American market wants. Hope they figure out fast before their large investments into the cruise fleet will not generate any income! Than the activities: There at least 3 dance classes a day, throughout the whole 20 day cruise. The craft projects were the level of kindergarten. Also Calligraphy was taught everyday. What was missing of the activities list was the three times a day Trivia and other activities we have gotten use to on the Divina. The majority of the daily agenda was dance classes and sales in the shops! When Trivia was held a large group participated . The cruise staff was friendly when approached but behaved anemic in presentations and involvement. Only the Dance instructors were busy. This made the cruise very boring (if you are not into Dance and listening to the same three musicians in the bars!). Since we are frequent MSC cruisers we are use to the multiple languages. However the announcements were very long and in all different languages , which made it very annoying. Also very lengthy sales announcement were done in at least 6 languages! The excursions sponsored by MSC were OK. Also here, the multiple languages made it more difficult to follow the tour guide. On previous MSC cruises, leaving out of Miami, only English was the language use. At this time of the year there are very few kids on board and they didn't cause any issues. Since no children in our party so can't judge the children's program but it appeared to have the same problem (didn't see any children groups with MSC staff as on other MSC cruises): lack of activities.. The cherry on the ice cream came in Porto Rico. Since the cruise had a large amount of none Americans the process of going through customs took over 10 hours. MSC had notified us in advantage of the slow process.We had to wait more than an hour in the staircase after we were told to leave the theater. For many elderly and handicapped certainly a problem. We were not able to get back on board until 6 PM. (the night before it was stated that by 4 PM people could go back onto the ship). During this waiting time in the hall no information was provided by MSC concerning the status of the debarkation. Guests were still leaving the ship to go through customs as late as 5.30 PM. In the mean time the crowd got to be very unruly and a mob scene developed. And when finally embarkation started there was a rush onto the entrance (as per good European tradition) with no control of the crowd!. MSC expected the issues and didn't plan for the comfort and safety of the passengers which were waiting to get on board. A few days before the cruise I received an email from Cruise Critic stating a mix and mingle party will be organized on the cruise. Two days before the end I checked with the service desk which had no answer and promised to get back to me. Surprise, surprise, never heard from them and no Cruise Critic party was held.My experience with MSC has mainly been positive (except when unannounced a group of 2500 Vegan passengers took over ship making others second class citizens. MSC has compensated us for the inconvenience of that cruise). This was the first time I took an MSC cruise based out of Europe. Never again. Hopefully they adapted there cruise staff and programs since the Divina now leave from Miami for the next 5 month. Although cruising with MSC is good value for your money, maybe not this time! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
In 2015, I had traveled on the MSC Divina to the Caribbean. It was a good trip on a ship that needed some upgrades but not unacceptable. In 2019, I again traveled on the Divina – repositioning cruise Milan to Miami. I was so ... Read More
In 2015, I had traveled on the MSC Divina to the Caribbean. It was a good trip on a ship that needed some upgrades but not unacceptable. In 2019, I again traveled on the Divina – repositioning cruise Milan to Miami. I was so disappointed in the condition of the ship, the food, the entertainment, the coldness of the officers and the rudeness of European fellow passengers. There were no amenities in the cabin - not even a box of tissues. I resorted to buying my own in different ports. The bed couldn’t be separated into twin beds even though I had requested that when I made my reservation. We could view the tops of the lifeboats from our balcony. They were dirty and rusty in parts. The sensors in the elevator doors weren’t working properly. We never knew how many times they would have to open and close before the car moved. Frayed carpeting near staircases were a potential hazard. Our safe malfunctioned and had to be replaced. Our tv set stopped working and no one could fix it, therefore no tv. In Barbados, there was a problem with the water system. It was shut off ship wide until repairs could be made according to Guest Services. Unfortunately, this was a beach day for many of the passengers. I, for one, didn’t appreciate having to go to the Dining Room full of sand and lotion. The water was turned on too late for a timely shower before dinner. On a different day, there was a huge leak in the hallway on my deck. Water was coming out of the ceiling like a waterfall. The food was not enjoyable. We returned items frequently. Many nights what arrived at the table did not even closely resemble what the menu described. Meat of any kind was tough and difficult to cut. The entertainment was opera and classical music based. Even the pop music shows had a stilted feel to them. Opera singers do not sing rock and roll successfully. The Cruise Director was only seen at the beginning of a show. I couldn’t even tell you his name. The officers, especially those in white uniforms, constantly walked right by us without even a nod. Even if we said “good morning”, several kept walking without acknowledging us. Guest services were no help either. Every time I called or went in person, they offered no solution, often just replying, “Company Policy”. Since I speak several languages, I am not bothered by non-English conversations around me. I mention this as a caveat to fellow Americans who are usually mono-lingual. Do not book a voyage on a ship that caters to Europeans. You will be very uncomfortable. No one will even greet you even in their language. The rudeness I encountered on this ship was unbelievable. What I don’t understand about the Europeans was a sense of entitlement and cultural arrogance. They would walk right into you and never say “excuse me”. The greediness at the buffet line was astonishing. The amounts of food they would take were incredible, even to the point of leaving nothing behind in the tray. Who were they feeding? The fiasco in San Juan was beyond description. We were told that everyone had to leave the ship for a face to face meeting with American immigration We would not be allowed back on board until everyone had been seen anticipating a 4pm re-boarding. The passengers started to return to the cruise terminal around that time. Time passed and it was almost 6pm when we were allowed to get back on. No explanations from anyone. In the meantime, the crowd was becoming impatient and ugly. There was much shoving, whistling, screaming and actual punching among the tired and angry passengers. Absolutely no one from MSC was there to explain the delays or to help with crowd control. It was a very bad and dangerous situation. Then to add insult to injury, when it finally was my turn to approach the security check I was shoved aside by a Yacht Club butler who yelled “priority” as he escorted his passengers through. No common courtesy or even recognition that other human beings were there. The only positive things I wish to note are the price of the trip, the itinerary and several individuals who went out of their way to help all passengers feel comfortable. The cost was $1,089 which was quite a good deal. The ports of call were excellent but there was a misunderstanding about an overnight in San Juan. Leaving port at 2am does not constitute an overnight for passengers looking forward to 2 days in San Juan. The following crew members deserve mention for their kindness and professionalism: Photographer: Nikola Vujcic, Waiter,Black Crab restaurant: JR De La Cruz, Entertainment team: Michelle Rosales, Dance Instructors: Raymond Araujo-Peña and Karlina German, Waiter, Doges Piazza: Roxan Reyes, Waitress, Golden Jazz Lounge: Beenisha and Excursions: Fabio. My recommendation for Americans – Stay off MSC ships. There are much better companies and much more pleasant trips for your hard earned money. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose to go on this cruise for a couple of reasons. One reason was we had never been on a Transatlantic Cruise, and two it seemed like a good deal for the amount of time of this cruise. We booked the cruise back in the Summer and at ... Read More
We chose to go on this cruise for a couple of reasons. One reason was we had never been on a Transatlantic Cruise, and two it seemed like a good deal for the amount of time of this cruise. We booked the cruise back in the Summer and at that time we paid for the Easy Beverage package (which is the low end Alcohol included up to $6.00) and we pre-paid our Gratuities. When we got on the ship we were approached by a number of people and one was selling the Beverage packages. When we told him we had the Easy package, he proceeded to show us the beverage menu and told us that we could have any beverage up to $10.00. The person I was traveling with drank mostly Chardonnay and after looking at the beverage menu she decided that there was a California wine that she liked and didnt really know the other wines so we both decided since she wanted that one particular wine and I wanted other drinks that were $6.50 and not covered by the Easy package, I would also up grade. We paid $207.00 additional for each of us to have the Premium Beverage package. The first two days of our 21 day cruise went fine as far as all the bars we were in had the Chardonnay she paid for. On the 3rd day of the cruise and forward till the end of the cruise the ship ran out of the one wine on the Premium package that she bought the up graded package to get. As we changed from one brand to the next they continued to run our of mixers and out of the Brand we chose. Time after time we heard "We dont have that any longer we ran out" The other issue with the beverage package is that when we went to the Gym, the bar/counter in there had smoothies. When I asked about the $6.50 fruit smoothies they looked at my card and said nothing in that bar/counter was covered by the Premium Package. So although we were told when he was trying to sell us the upgrade we could have any beverage up to $10.00 that was not true. When I tried to go back to the Desk to tell them in the first 5 days of the trip that since they seldom have the beverage we thought we paid for with the upgrade, so we wanted to revert back to the first Easy package we had bought and we wanted a refund of the $207.00 each we were told we only had 24 hours to cancel. When I explained the issue to the Head Person in charge of Beverage Packages (Pedro I believe his name was) he told me the wine that we bought the up grade for and was on the beverage menu we were shown and that was in all the bars on the menus, the ship had not had that wine on board for the last 4 months. When I explained that was not true that we had the wine the first 3 days of the cruise and it was a hit and miss to get it any place else, he basically called me a lair by saying "You are wrong we have not had it on board in 4 months.". He refused the refund the upgrade difference and left our table. About 15 min later he sent a bottle of the wine we had wanted to the table and said it was the only bottle still on board. Needless to say he never came back to apologize for what he said and never showed his face again. Bottom line before up grading your beverage package be sure you like more than one or two items on the menu because most likely you wont have it after the 3rd or 4th day of your cruise and for sure dont expect that they care or will do anything about it to make it right. In addition to the Beverage package issue, we also had cold food we had to send back and we had raw fish. Both of those things happened within the first week or so of the 21 day trip and did however, start to get better as the days went by. The food is not the best I ever had on a ship. I find Celebrity and even Carnival has better food and better choices for dinners. To top it off when we started our 5 days across the sea towards the Islands and the US we lost all TV Channels. There was no English speaking channels on at all until someone got to the top person and found out the issues with the Satellite and that MSC does not subscribe to channels in the Islands. We were out of our TV for half the trip! There was even a day or two when the TV Channel aimed at the front of the ship was not working either. It was actually a bit scary that there seemed to be no communication to the ship that the passengers could see. I will say on a good note the Service Staff were great. Slivio from the Black Crab Dinning area was very accommodating and did all he could to ensure we had a good experience. All the dinner and bar staff were very nice and were always polite and accommodating as much as they could be. Our Room Stewart (Babu) was great. Our room was always clean and he was always doing things to help (got ice for us, provided tissues as we needed them etc.) Thats another thing dont expect to have tissues in your room becuase MSC has cut those out and in order to get them you have to pay for them or you need to buy your own at a stop over, which is what most people did. If the back office and head people at MSC acted like the Service Staff does, I am sure MSC could be a good company to sail on again. As it is now with all the issues we had and the fact that they did nothing to help with those issues above we will spend our cruise time on other Cruise lines and not go back to MSC. This was our second on MSC and last on MSC. BE AWARE BEFORE YOU GO!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My partner and I spent 20 nights on the south bound transatlantic crossing which sailed from Genoa on 5-11-2019. We (41 and 42) were accompanied by 1 set of parents (64 and 65) and 1 couple who are friends our age. I researched thoroughly ... Read More
My partner and I spent 20 nights on the south bound transatlantic crossing which sailed from Genoa on 5-11-2019. We (41 and 42) were accompanied by 1 set of parents (64 and 65) and 1 couple who are friends our age. I researched thoroughly before choosing this cruise. Our primary reason to select this journey on MSC Divina was the brilliant itinerary. I read the reviews and noted the negative and positive accounts. We have been on Cunard QM2 and Q-Elizabeth, Celebrity Solstice, Golden Princess and Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas since 2015. We enjoyed Celebrity and RCL the most. I took a pragmatic view when reading past reviews as we were primarily motivated by the destinations and itinerary which were fantastic !!!! We were incredibly lucky with weather and the uneventful marine operation of the ship. Our group had a great time all up BUT the MSC experience was unfortunately mediocre at best. If you enjoy Celebrity or RCL you will have a very different experience on MSC. The SHIP. Newish, cleanish, cheaply but tastefully decorated, okay layout, a bit worn – particularly the furnishings. Not much to do. Not much on. Not many crew visible. The ROOM. We had fantastica balcony deck 10. Bigger than average, good bed, great bathroom, small tv, good fridge, just enough storage, well kept by our lovely room steward but VERY dusty as were the hallways. Buy some decent vacuums MSC and maintain them. The FOOD in MDRs. Sorry to say it was well below the standard of all the other ships we’ve experienced. We had to change restaurants because our wait staff were so bad and incorrect meals were delivered 5 days straight. They laughed it off and made no offer or attempt to bring what we actually ordered. It was quite shocking and they had a very blaze attitude amidst disingenuous platitudes. Some of the dishes were ok but it was, mostly, cheap and simple rather than simple and delicious. Even the paid meals in the MDR were of a poor standard at 23 euro for what turned out to be a cold steak - a real disappointment and we were charged for the same steak 3 times instead of a refund. We were so glad to have some amazing meals ashore and absolve ourselves of the ship’s abysmal food whenever possible. Breakfast in the MDR was survivable but the service random. The stories of tough cold steaks and tasteless or just salty food are all credible as that was exactly what we experienced. The FOOD in the buffet. The buffet was pretty busy with our load of 3222pax. It was really the better option for lunch and dinner despite the crowd. A good range of hot dishes and some nice cold options were varied and well replenished. Again an ‘economic’ approach was conspicuous. No smoked salmon or other cold seafood or fancy cheeses and only cheaper fish and cuts of meat. Only 2 DIY toasters in the entire buffet and no staffed toasting available. Daily specials being made to order at pop-up stations like pasta and hot roast rolls were often the best thing going. The Pizza was indeed lovely. My Coeliac (gluten free) father had very limited options and zero G/F labeling in the buffet. The ROOM SERVICE. Is Not Free (except Breakfast) on Fantastica or above. Whilst the spiel suggests it is included the wording just means no delivery or service charge. There is an item charge of 3 / 5 / 8 / 10 euro for 1 / 2 /3 /4 items respectively. The only hot item was soup. We were impressed with the quality of the room service. The breakfast was continental - only the drinks were hot. The ENTERTAINMENT. We went to two shows in 20 nights. The talent was good and gave it 100% but no sets to speak of, just the odd prop and it is aimed at a multilingual crowd so is a bit ‘different’ to what an anglophone audience might expect. Again, it looked cheap. The theatre and lighting were the main visual backdrops which made the entertainers look sparse. Oh and best to avoid the crew/captain introduction presentation unless you have a massive sense of humour and the patience of a saint. The ACTIVITIES. Origami, a bit of ‘visual trivia’ to bridge the language gap. Various fitness and dance activities. We felt like there was very little to do and were consigned to reading in our room on sea days. There was only news in English on the TV and nothing else. We were given 12 FREE movies on the pay per view for the 5 consecutive sea days. Perhaps the channels are reconfigured whilst the ship is sailing from Miami… but it seemed like they wanted to force us to buy movies. The COFFEE. Okay here is my most positive comment. The BEST CRUISE SHIP COFFEE I’VE EVER EXPERIENCED !!!!!! Great self-serve coffee in the buffet when it’s hot. Espresso 9/10 times was strong and pleasant. The DRINKS PACKAGE. We had the ‘Easy’ included and upgraded it to ‘Premium’ for 9 euro a night per person plus 15%. So, 207 euro for 20 nights per person. It covered most drinks at max 10 euro. If it’s 10.50 you pay the whole 10.50 not the difference. They ‘ran out’ of most of the good by-the-glass red wine early on. You can only get large 1 or 1.5 litre water on the premium package. The easy package would have been a problem for us as we like wine and the odd cocktail. The speciality restaurant wine list has only a handful of by the glass wines 10 euro of less. The 6 euro or less options are limited. I believe they were running stocks down prior to arriving in the US where they change all the drink menus as the currency becomes USD. Perhaps a restock of US duty paid liquor has some bearing on the dwindling stocks of various things. Also, there were no prices on most of the items in the various shops. Oh, and in the gym health bar only fresh orange is available on the premium package. No smoothies etc. Also, gelato and ice-cream are NOT INCLUDED despite the connotations of the advertising. Upside was they are in no-way mean with the drinks or pours. Our FELLOW passengers. Older with an obvious sense of entitlement but not particularly decrepit. Now there have been various comments about the social tendencies of particular cultures on MSC and other European cruise lines on Cruise Critic. I think the average Australian, American, Brit, New Zealander, Canadian, German or French guest might have found the manners and approach to interaction somewhat confronting on this particular voyage but not unbearable. There seemed to be a conspicuous lack of enjoyment and conversation amongst our fellow passengers. Barely any children and none of the “noisy Italian families” others mention on MSC cruises. I’d imagine a school holiday Mediterranean summer cruise may be a different story but if you were in a new port every day it would probably be survivable. There were quite a few of the selfish towel pegs on the sun loungers by 8am – a pet hate of mine. The UPSELL. It was everywhere and the prices were a bit silly. A 50% off 50 min massage was 80 euro. The crew weren’t all that pushy though. The SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS. Our best meal of the cruise was at the Butchers Cut. The Sushi place was ok-ish. Again if you buy the 2 dinners package you get a limited menu and have to pay if you want certain items but it was great food. I ordered additional sides which were very good. MSC speciality dining is much more expensive than other lines and nowhere near as good. The STATUS MATCH. One of us got black the other gold. It was as advertised but mostly meaningless and more of a sales tool than a passenger benefit. Loyalty in MSC speak means ‘gotcha’ rather than ‘we got you’ I felt. The CRUISE DIRECTOR. Who ? Made a few announcements. Very multilingual but never saw the guy or any of his staff. The CAPTAIN. Met him for a photo. Clearly an excellent sailor and manager as the ship was spotless on deck and ran like clockwork. Otherwise never heard from him or any of his officers who seemed to avoid passenger areas at all costs. The PORT CALLS. All wonderful except Puerto Rico where the ship was drilled by the US Coast guard with lifeboats down and all manner of alarming announcements that were just for practise. Also EVERYONE had to disembark including all crew via 6 or so border agents which took all day and no one was allowed back on until everyone had come off. It was 8pm before reboarding was allowed. MSC use this day to clear the ship into US waters with a load of paying passengers who are massively inconvenienced in the process. It was nothing short of a disgrace and a shambles. The ship should have been scheduled with a lay day with no guests to go through this process but MSC like to keep the euros flowing. Our HIGHLIGHTS were probably every port other than Barbados. The embarkation port of Genoa is actually worth a day or more of exploring. > Civitavecchia – be wary of delays if using trains to get to Rome. Valencia – the old city on foot is fantastic as are the tapas bars. La Siena was our pick and the food was amazing. > Lisbon was great and a ride on tram 28 to the old cemetery is a must. > The Azores (Ponta Delgada) – a beautiful place with the loveliest people. Our jeep day safari with GREENZONE AZORES (booked directly) was brilliant and our lovely guide Eduardo Miranda made the day so enjoyable! > Martinique - is a lovely island with French finesse and all the bells and whistles. > St Marteen – we spent the whole day at the famous airport beach drinking at the bar which was fun! > Miami – having never visited before, Miami was a pleasant surprise! A cool town where you do need a car but heaps to do, great cuban food and a relaxed fun atmosphere. OVERALL We all enjoyed our journey and loved the places we visited and the people we met. The cruise was unfortunately a big letdown and devoid of those little luxuries and premium experiences we’ve found on other ships. Had we been on an RCL or Celebrity ship it would have been a damn near perfect holiday but unfortunately MSC spoilt it a bit. Now I know they are a cheaper option, but we paid full brochure price of $6980 AUD for the room (2 pax) for this cruise and don’t think it was good value given the truly awful food, mediocre service and cheaply appointed ship. If you’re looking for a mobile 3 star hotel and are happy to eat ashore MSC is ok but it’s not the cruise experience I think most people expect if they’ve been on a few ships. If you get an incredibly cheap deal on a last-minute voyage and go with no expectations then you might rate it but we definitely did not. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We flew to Genoa from Miami, spent the night at the Holiday Inn and taxied to the port in the morning. Embarkation was a breeze. We sailed the Divina 6 times before so we Knew what to expect. Different Captain and different Hotel Director ... Read More
We flew to Genoa from Miami, spent the night at the Holiday Inn and taxied to the port in the morning. Embarkation was a breeze. We sailed the Divina 6 times before so we Knew what to expect. Different Captain and different Hotel Director this time. She is a beautiful Italian design ship. Love the crystal staircase. We had a balcony starboard forward cabin and a great steward (Alphonso). The cabin was adequate. We had first seating table for two and had a fantastic head waiter Silviu who took great care of us. We did buy our own pepper grinder in the Azores and salt grinder in Martinique. Got tired of fighting the shakers. Meals were adequate and the best eggs with bright orange yolks at breakfast. We did go to Butcher's Cut and had a fantastic meal there. So glad they got rid of the plastic chairs in Eataly. We went to few of the shows as we have seen many of them before but the cultural show in the Azores was very nice as was the can can show. There were some great music ensembles on the ship. We did no ship excursions but did do a hop on-hop off bus in LIsbon and went to the Cathedral in Valencia. The disaster was San Juan customs. There were only 8 stations open for over 4000 guests, the power went down for a while , and the ship was not finally cleared until 5:45pm to reboard. This was a Customs and Border Patrol issue not an MSC issue. And, we still had to do customs in Miami. I love the Cafe Italia coffee shop and the Easy drink package was wonderful for a 20 night cruise. We did this back to back with an 11 night cruise and got to be the first ship into Ocean Caye Marine Reserve. Beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We just returned from a transatlantic cruise on the Divina. November 5th 2019 departing from Genoa Italy to Miami Florida. Embarkation was great and handled quite well. Unfortunately the issues began shortly after. Here is a ... Read More
We just returned from a transatlantic cruise on the Divina. November 5th 2019 departing from Genoa Italy to Miami Florida. Embarkation was great and handled quite well. Unfortunately the issues began shortly after. Here is a short description of some of the issues:: Cabin Steward--Either hates his job or is just miserable naturally. I do not even know his name because he barely spoke to us. The beds are not made with top sheets--only the duvet-- so when the bottom sheet was changed we had to ask for the duvet to also be changed. There was always an excuse--I am sorry but I did not have time--Serious? Toilet paper was only left if you were totally out......no extra rolls in the room. This required us to call and seek toilet paper on two occasions. How cheap is MSC? Or was this just the cabin steward? Kleenex are not allowed to be given in the cabins??????? Again is this the way MSC wants to present itself to guests? Our Diamond amenities were not left in the cabin and we had to ask two times for them. Overall I have to say that this was the most miserable and one of the worst cabin stewards we have ever had. Food--Most passengers are going to tell you the best food they had was ashore..........true. The internet was barely usable most of the time.......I used data whenever I could instead of the wifi Guest Services--This is where MSC truly lacks--If three people went to customer service with a question there were three different answers. Guest service would rather tell untruths than explain the reality of a situation. We asked why we could not get Kleenex in our cabin and we were told because guests tend to clog the toilet???????? The cabin steward then told us that only certain experience levels are allowed Kleenex. We had another issue and asked to speak with the guest services manager- Fillipe told us that the manager was a very busy man????? Fillipe is also a miserable unhappy person but he did take our information and said he would give it to the manager. This was on day 2--he never ever contacted us. We overheard a meeting or a training session where the staff was being told that "Americans were difficult" Instead of explaining that American's might have a higher level of expectations, staff were told they are difficult which in my opinion creates a pre conceived idea that there will be problems and therefore it is ok to be rude to them. I went to the guest services desk one morning after a crew member burst out of a door on the 13th floor and hit my arm so hard my cell phone flew out of my hand. I simply said that it might be mentioned to the crew to open doors slowly if they open outward into hallways. The guest services person simply said "well maybe he did not see you" then turned and walked away........The correct response should have been--I am so sorry are you alright? Shore Excursions--We had an Excursion for Rome from Civitavecchia. The meeting time was at 7:40 am in the Pantheon Theater deck 6. We arrived in the theatre at 7:25. We received our bus number and waited--and waited--finally we were able to board the bus at 9am. The trip to Rome was 1.5 hours. After all the time waiting once we boarded the bus my husband was struck with a gastric intestinal issue. We knew that he would never make it to Rome and we decided we had to leave the bus. We told the Excursion person our problem and they returned our ticket to us. Once my husband was feeling better we went to the shore excursion desk to ask for a refund. We told them that between the delay and diarrhea we could not do the excursion. We were informed that there would not be a refund and were told that the delay was announced.......it was not. Additionally it would not have been pleasant for anyone if my husband had stayed on the bus. Again a bad choice by MSC. And it was MSC because the people running the excursion returned our ticket so we could take it to MSC for a refund. The biggest and most unforgiving issue was in San Juan. MSC handled the Customs and Immigration procedure so poorly that it put passengers in danger. First the procedure to get off of the ship was poorly handled and took far longer than expected.....this was not so much the problem as the re boarding. No MSC personnel were in the terminal organizing or updating passengers as to the time and procedure for boarding. This lack of information and organization lead to an unsafe uncontrolled crowd. Tempers flared and fights ensued in different areas of the terminal. One female passenger actually hit me from behind because I was in front of her. I could not believe that she did this and turned and told her it was not alright to put your hands on another person. The lady just kept screaming that she was Yacht Club she was Yacht Club. I could not go anywhere because the push of the crowd was so great. MSC finally held this woman back but did not detain her nor did they ask if I was alright. Hitting a person is a crime in the United States and my disappointment with the way MSC handled this is beyond words. I did go to guest services and filed a report and they gave me an email address to communicate this to. During this report they also said that the Guest relations manager had left a message to meet with us in Fort de France.....he did not but she said he would leave us another message after this latest incident......he did not. This all leaves me to question whether MSC even cares about their guests. There were some bright spots during our cruise. MSC did a wonderful job with the Cruise Critic meet and greet. This was one of the best meet and greets we have attended on any ship. Irish is a bar server that is delightful! Irish is always smiling and talks easily to guests. More crew should takes lessons from her. Irish usually works the buffet and the casino. The itinerary was great and we enjoyed most of our stops......of course the exception was Civitavecchia. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Warning signs started when we borded and we couldn't find the life jackets in the wardrobe. Later on our steward found them stuffed way under the bed where you couldn't see them without a flashlight. We had smooth sailing aross ... Read More
Warning signs started when we borded and we couldn't find the life jackets in the wardrobe. Later on our steward found them stuffed way under the bed where you couldn't see them without a flashlight. We had smooth sailing aross the Atlantic. Problem occured upon reaching Puerto Rico. US Customs was understaffed and it took us over 2 hours standing in line to make it to our excursion. Customs wanted everyone including the crew to come off the ship before they would let anyone back on. It was a gong show including fist fights among angry passengers when they opeded the gate at 6 pm to let people back on. Zero organization from the staff to keep it from looking like a cattle drive. Entertainment on the ship was very hit and miss. Fantastic singer in the atrium every night. Shows in the theatre had a bit too much opera content for some tastes but other shows were entertaining. Never got a hot meal in the dining room in the evening. The french onion soup was guaranteed to be hot. Mains were lukewarm at best. Breakfast in the dining room sometimes took well over an hour. We understood this was an international clientele aboard, but the maitre'd would usually seat you with anyone and it usually wound up being with people you had no common language with. Its very awkward to be sitting across from a couple you can't communicate with and doesn't enhance the meal for either pair. One day we went to the specialty pizza joint and ordered a pizza with sausage on it for which we paid around $19. It arrived with cut up hot dog weiners on it! Never seen such a cheap ingredient on a pizza before. Ship is beautiful. Huge amount of wasted spaces devoted to the spa area and then the gym is tiny. Never a bike or treadmill free. Shower with glass doors in the cabin was a nice touch. For a 19 day repositioning cruise we would have expected a couple of trivia quizzes per day but there was never more than one per day. You really had a sense that the entertainment staff would rather be doing anything else than entertaining us. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
The Divina is a beautiful ship, for sure. Clean, elegant, spacious. Definitely NOT American. And that's not a bad thing. We have plenty of "American style" cruiselines and to have another option is a plus. We've ... Read More
The Divina is a beautiful ship, for sure. Clean, elegant, spacious. Definitely NOT American. And that's not a bad thing. We have plenty of "American style" cruiselines and to have another option is a plus. We've recently returned from a 20 day Transatlantic journey and over the course of the cruise I've formed many opinions of this ship and the cruiseline in general. I'll start from the beginning. Sit back and relax- this may be information overload, but a lot of questions will be answered. Embarkation. Your cruise ticket will have a recommended time for your embarkation. Ignore that and get there when you want to. 11:00 am is fine. They will not turn you away. We did, however, have to wait awhile because as we found out once onboard, two crew members jumped ship in Miami. Defected. Left. So of course, immigration was investigating. We didn't have to wait long, however. We were onboard by 1:00 pm. Once we crossed over the gangway to the ship we noticed a lot of the ship was cordoned off and we had to go up to the Buffet- along with everyone else. So of course, it was crowded. Embarkation day- that's to be expected. No worries. We got our food, found a table and enjoyed our first Divina meal. The buffet is very large and the food is plentiful, varied and good. You do have to look around because there are different options around every corner. Burgers, hot dogs, wraps, pizza, salad and fruit can be found in the center area between Manitou and Calumet buffets. Fruit juices, tea and coffee are available all the time. They tend to run out of creamer a lot, though. Daily specials and desserts will be on either side. Just wander around a bit to get your bearings. Window tables are, of course, the most popular. They do have too many handicap accessible tables- they are usually all empty. Sit at one if you must, but be prepared to move if necessary. After lunch we checked on our cabin, which our amazing cabin steward, Maskur, told us was "almost ready." We were able to drop off our backpacks and go explore a bit. It was when we dropped off our bags that we noticed that our balcony cabin was small and had nothing more than a bed, a desk and two nightstands. No sofa. Quite a shock and disappointment considering they did not show a picture or diagram of our cabin style anywhere on their website. Balcony cabins are shown to have a sofa. This was a major issue for us- especially for a 3 week cruise. We waited a day to address this with guest relations because the we know the first day or two is so hectic for them. When we did go to inquire about the sofa we were told sorry- nothing we can do, the ship was sold out. Not wanting to give up so easily, we went back the next day to talk to a different agent. He seemed more sympathetic and understood that we didn't feel that we got what we paid for and said he'd contact us once we left New York City to see if there was another cabin available and if not he'd see what he could do. He never contacted us so we returned to him. Sorry- there was nothing he could do. We asked for a supervisor and he went behind closed doors to speak to his supervisor. The supervisor told him he had spoken to me at the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle and I had told him or cruise was great. Partly true- I had actually said everything was great but we were disappointed in our cabin, which, of course, was brushed off. We were bewildered and disappointed but decided to shake it off and not let it ruin our cruise. So just beware- there is a very large percentage of balcony cabins that have ONLY a bed, two nightstands and a desk. No sofa, as is pictured on their website. Deceptive advertising. Issue number two is do not purchase anything online prior to your cruise. If you do and want to cancel or change your order once onboard- you won't be able to. We purchased a photo package on their website prior to sailing. Once onboard we decided that we did not need 10 photos of ourselves so we asked to cancel. Sorry- you purchased online you have to cancel online. Okay. We paid for 10 minutes of internet service to cancel our package. Since we'd already set sail we could not access our online account! Back to the photo department. Sorry. Nothing they could do. Sigh. Okay... well- we purchased the package, we'll choose some photos in a few days. You have to purchase all 10 at the same time. We went to the photo department to choose some pictures and found 7 that were decent so we asked them to hold those 7 until we posed for more photos on Italian night. When we returned and chose a few more pictures to complete our order- they had lost the original 7!! We had given them our chosen photos and our cabin number. Anyway- long story short- we ended up getting the manager involved. End result- they reprinted some (some were never found on the computer) gave us about 14 pictures instead of 10 and we're supposed to get a full refund because of all the time we had to spend going through all the photos multiple times. Haven't seen the refund come through yet. We did receive an email that it is being processed. Muster drill- a waste of time. You could not hear or understand what they were saying. Had there been an emergency it would have been total chaos. Television- on a 3 week cruise the ONLY channel we could access in English was a British news channel. Can we say "Brexit overload?" One or two days they did offer a few free movies, but the test of the time your choices were to pay for movies, watch British news or turn it off. Okay- enough with the problems we had personally. On with the good. As I said the ship is beautiful. And clean! Our room steward- Maskur- was amazing. Our waiter and his assistant were both wonderful. The staff in the buffet worked very hard. They will interact with you and converse with you if given a chance. They are far from home and missing their families. Ask about their family! They will beam as they tell you about their home. Food- The food in the buffet is plentiful, varied and good. We chose to eat there on several evenings when we didn't want to dress up for dinner. It was always great. The Black Crab is a beautiful restaurant. The variety is somewhat limited in my opinion but there was always something I could find and the portions are big. I never had anything that wasn't hot and good. The best kept secret is the Sports Bar. Hamburgers, Reuben sandwiches, fish and chips, Ceasar Salad, wings- all complimentary and all good! Finding a table is sometimes a challenge though. There are only a few tables and people tend to gather there to play cards or just chat without ordering food. And you have to eat your food there- you can't order and take it anywhere else. The Piazza del Doge has complimentary cookies, cakes and sandwiches throughout the day and night. Gelato is $3.50 for a small cup or $5.50 for a large. They also make Sundaes and shakes for $6.50- $7.50. I can't speak to any drinks packages- we never buy those. Not worth it for us. There are always juices, tea and coffee available in the Buffet. The bed- comfortable enough for me. A bit on the firm side but I slept well. Activities- Dance lessons, origami lessons, craft sessions, trivia games, scavenger hunts, bingo, exercise classes, yoga, etc. are available throughout the day. The entertainment team is busy and energetic all day long. Shows - Mostly music. Singing, dancers, a ventriloquist one night. As with any ship- we enjoyed some shows and didn't care for others. That's up to individual tastes. Ports- we booked the cruise for the ports. This was a 20 day Transatlantic repositioning cruise with incredible destinations. NYC, Bermuda, Azores, Portugal, Malaga and Valencia, Spain, Marseilles and Genoa. Overnight in 4 of the ports, which was amazing! NYC- was way too cold for these Florida people! We stayed onboard on a nearly empty ship, which was nice. Bermuda ended up being canceled due to weather.... from what I heard this was the 3rd time in a row Bermuda has been cancelled- but that could be hearsay. We ended up in Tenerife in the Canary islands. A bit of a RIP off many felt, because we were supposed to have 2 full days in Bermuda, instead we got an extra sea day, and a not so great alternative port- and no refund on lost port taxes for Bermuda. It would have made more sense to give us extra time in one of our shorter ports- as we only had 6- 7 hours in several of our ports. I do understand, though, that there could be scheduling problems. Finally- MSC is a fine cruiseline and the Divina is a beautiful ship. The big area that MSC needs to improve on is communication. Talk to 3 different people about an issue and you will get 3 different answers. They are not consistent. Know this before you sail and you will be fine. Their website..... well- I'll just say it needs work and I'll leave it at that. Will I choose MSC for future cruises? Probably not. Crystal staircases and pretty decor can't make up for poor customer service and lack of communication. MSC is privately owned, answers to no one and simply does not appear to care about their guests. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The food was so salty i was swollen the entire trip and thats with a special no salt diet! Food in specialty restaurant was amazing.Had to change our table after 3rd nite due to view of waiters stationNew table was amazing rt at the ... Read More
The food was so salty i was swollen the entire trip and thats with a special no salt diet! Food in specialty restaurant was amazing.Had to change our table after 3rd nite due to view of waiters stationNew table was amazing rt at the botton of staircase. Svc was slow for us never figure out how everyone got there after us but somehow left dinning room before us and we had put our dinner selection in the nite before.. for the no salt which was loaded with msg anyhow which was worse. Overall the entertainment was totally amazing and got to meet the cast at white nite which made my nite cuz they were great.. the male singers especially. Had a great time!!! Would do it again! Devina is warm ship Seaside a lil cold. I prefer the Devina but most likely will do both again lol live in florida its easy to jump on Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I chose this cruise as well as the last seven day cruise of the Mediterranean of the season which gave me 28 days on board. The ship is very modern and was kept in immaculate condition whilst on board e.g. The balcony was hosed and ... Read More
I chose this cruise as well as the last seven day cruise of the Mediterranean of the season which gave me 28 days on board. The ship is very modern and was kept in immaculate condition whilst on board e.g. The balcony was hosed and scrubbed four times in 28 days. The interior design of passageways was a bit confusing with dark wall panelling and large mirror inserts which tries to give the feeling of space but when turning a corner into a dead end corridor to be confronted by a large mirror was a problem. I would not like to be finding my way out in an emergency. The Aurea balcony cabin was the usual size and layout and the bedding was very comfortable, I would not pay the extra cost for the Aurea over the Bella if I used MSC again. Cabin steward was very helpful, respectful and pleasant. I must admit that on the seven day cruise I was upgraded to Yacht Club and unfortunately cruising will never be the same again. A more finely appointed cabin, butler, dedicated concierge, quite lounge and food area, pool deck and bar, restaurant and preferred embarking and disembarkation was a bonus. The entertainment on the Mediterranean sector was excellent but once we departed for the Atlantic crossing the quality of the entertainment was not as good and I ended up not attending a show every night. Maybe I was spoilt by my first week in Yacht Club but when I returned to my original cabin on deck 12 and used the buffet which was huge, I was disappointed by the cluttered layout of the seating and the quality of the food in comparison to Carnival, RCI and Princess, MSC should take a look at Voyager and Radiance of the Seas to see what I mean. The main restaurant was very nice, the service good and the food was OK but all beef dishes were a bit on the tough side. Bar service was excellent and drinks were in the usual price bracket. Shore excursions were good, value varied from port to port with the usual problems of transporting forty odd people in a coach. Talking to passengers from Europe and the USA confirmed my thoughts on the lack value for money that Australian passengers received in comparison,discounted fares and free drink packages were the the norm for them. My last gripe and I was aware of this before I booked was the multi language messages on the PA which became irritating after a few days. This was my first experience with MSC and unless they can offer more for the Australian consumer I don't think I will sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Most of our cruising has been with Holland America (over 300 nights), but we have also sailed with Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Swan Hellenic (of blessed memory). We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience a big ... Read More
Most of our cruising has been with Holland America (over 300 nights), but we have also sailed with Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Swan Hellenic (of blessed memory). We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience a big ship, and we liked the itinerary (Genoa, Italy to Miami, FL, via Civitavecchia, Marseille, Barcelona, Cadiz, Lisbon, Azores, Bermuda, and New York City). Unusually for a trans-atlantic repositioning cruise, we had three overnight stays (Tenerife, Bermuda, and New York City. A hurricane over the Azores caused a diversion to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spanish Canary Islands.) The Divina has a capacity of 4,345 passengers, but we were 3,335 upon arriving in Tenerife. Even with the ship only 77% full, it always felt extremely crowded in the public areas, and especially on the sun decks, the restaurants, the bars and lounges, and the theatre. One problem with bigger and bigger ships is the fact that more and more people still have to leave and enter the ship via a couple of gangways. This can lead to long waits in the ship and/or on the quay. The food was average or below average (my wife's evaluation) to good (my own evaluation). We succeeded in obtaining freshly made, consistently hot dishes at breakfast and lunch in the Black Crab restaurant by insisting (we were frequently told that he was not on duty, but this was true on only one occasion) on being seated with a particularly attentive waiter, Mr. Arturo de Leon, from the Philippines. His consistently excellent service to us, and to some other passengers who sought him out, seemed to provoke jealousy, rather than emulation, on the part of several of his colleagues. Our evening dining in Villa Rosa was also enjoyable, as we shared a table for 8 with two other Canadian couples, and were served by a trio of excellent waiters: Rusdi (Indonesia); Rohan (India); and Gabriel (Romania). My favourite meals were the fish dishes and the desserts. Our cabin steward (Ronald, from the Philippines) was also very efficient, and almost always managed to service our room while we were away at breakfast or dinner. The fuse for the thermostat burned out, and it took several days to get it repaired. The fitness centre had only two elliptical machines, was crammed full of people, and had the music cranked up to the maximum. Apart from the (mostly initial) entertainers (a living shadow artist; a mime; a ventriloquist; and four superb flamenco dancers), we found the dancing and singing acts to be excruciatingly loud, and gave them a pass, after several tries. The very, very worst "entertainment" were the Bermudan drummers and dancers: unbearably loud and incredibly repetitious. Several guests (usually, the same ones) disregarded the order to refrain from recording the shows on phones and laptops. The prohibition was never enforced by staff. There was only ONE solo recital of classical music, by the accomplished pianist on board. MSC's idea of classical singing is to have a third-rate tenor screaming "O Sole Mio" as if he was being burnt alive. Alma Duo gave two great tribute concerts to ABBA and the Beatles. The fashionista and his towering model were good. The "library" is the worst on the high seas: frequently closed (without warning) because of "staff training," it had the smallest selection of books in any of the five languages used during the cruise (English, Italian, French, Spanish, and German), and not a single reference book (atlas, travel books, almanacs, etc.). The trivia quizmaster was by far the most obnoxious staff member I have ever encountered on a cruise ship. He treated contestants as if we were half-witted kindergarteners. Many staff appeared to be poorly trained, and some were observed smoking and drinking on the non-smoking 7th deck (port side), and tossing their butt ends and empty cans overboard. I mentioned this on my feedback sheet, halfway through the 23-day cruise, but received no followup. The future cruise consultant offered limited office hours, and NO cruise brochures were freely available. I asked for a loan of a brochure in English; was promised one "in your cabin, in a few days," but was never sent one. One good aspect of MSC cruises is their willingness to match one's status on competing cruise lines or hotels. Even though this was our first (and might be be our last) cruise with MSC, our 4-star Mariner status with Holland America got us Black-card Voyagers Club status (the highest of 5 levels) on MSC. This enabled us to receive various perks throughout the cruise, which made up for some of its less pleasurable aspects. Our favourite meal on board was the sushi tasting menu on deck 15, which was most enjoyable, and one of the aforementioned Black-card perks. Lastly, it was wonderful to meet a large group of Cruise Critics on board, visit their cabins, and socialize. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Food was dreadful and allways delivered to the table luke warm or cold. Restaurant Menu very basic and repetirive Very limited variety Waiters friendly and helpful but maitre de's dusmissive of any complaints Buffet was ... Read More
Food was dreadful and allways delivered to the table luke warm or cold. Restaurant Menu very basic and repetirive Very limited variety Waiters friendly and helpful but maitre de's dusmissive of any complaints Buffet was chaotic and the food wss exactly the same every day for 23 days Bar staff and cabin cleaning staff friendly and polite Drinks included in the package purchased were very limited Reception, excursion and managerial staff wrre rude and unhelpful dealing with any complaints (and the queue of ppl complainting every day at reception was long) Entertainment / animation/ activities were rare and what was provided was poor and shows were mediocre Inteenet package purchased was slow and on several sea days not working at all. In cabin movies (pay per view) did not work and froze Announcements on the ship were overly loud and in multiple languages Shops on bpard very expensive and items for sale never changed in 23 days with no cheaper items or sales Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Sailing from Genoa on a transatlantic that arrived today into Port Miami. Crew is very hardworking and trying to work with what they have. Biggest issue with this ship is that there is a total lack of leadership and communication. ... Read More
Sailing from Genoa on a transatlantic that arrived today into Port Miami. Crew is very hardworking and trying to work with what they have. Biggest issue with this ship is that there is a total lack of leadership and communication. Virtually no announcements when the ship is cleared, inconsistent information regarding ports, transportation and shore excursions. This bred a toxic environment among guests. Often shoving, pushing and swearing in multiple languages. A mess!!! Food was inconsistent quality and either overly salted ( Chef smokes???) or completely devoid of flavor. Steaks were tough and grisly and inedible. Servers are rushed and literally grab menus out of your hand when you’ve finished ordering. Be prepared to wait significantly betwee courses especially entrees even when you order immediately after being seated for your seating time. Best food items on the ship were Pastries and desserts in the dining room, fruit plate in the dining room at breakfast. Eat breakfast in the dining room, lunch in the buffet or off the ship and take your chances on dinner in the dining room. Daily program was often incorrect. Library was closed for training staff/ crew as they approached the US market for the season. So a 22 day voyage which had over 5 sea days often we couldn’t access he library! Lounge entertainment was good but theater located entertainment was 35 minutes max and if you like opera you should enjoy this cruise ship. Not the best quality. Dancers might be compared to your local dance classes back home. 22 day transatlantic cruise with many stops in Europe. Once we departed Tenerife satellite TV ended. Daily inquiries netted multiple excuses including we are working on it, we are transitioning to the US version and finally my personal favorite was, madam we can’t posaibly get tv in the Atlantic Ocean. Completely crazy! So NO TV for more than half the cruise including all the sea days making the crossing while Major breaking news was occurring in he US. No news whatsoever onboard and no compensation via complimentary WiFi time was offered. I appreciate that you don’t go on a cruise to watch TV but having access to news is important on a long voyage. They did offer some free in room movies but did not say they were “ free” until about day 5 without Tv so everyone thought they would be charged for the 8 or so movies offered. None of which were first run!! Disembarkation at most ports ( Marseille and Bermuda, NY and Miami) were terrible. Virtually NO announcements made. Ship never arrived in time and left NY nearly two hours later than stated but they DID NOT make an announcement re the delay for 45 minutes and then finally sailed away nearly 2 hours after. In Miami at the end of the cruise guest who were told to depart ship at 8:15 spent ONE HOUR STANDING IN THE TERMINAL WAITING FOR THEIR LUGGAGE. Their timing, organization and communication is VERY POOR. Just remember you get what you pay for and this cruise line that focuses on the European market has much to learn about customer service, communication and hospitality. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My second transatlantic cruise. I had a great experience last year on another company. This year friends invited me to go back on a transatlantic and experience MSC Divina. Could not been worse. To start with there was a lot of people ... Read More
My second transatlantic cruise. I had a great experience last year on another company. This year friends invited me to go back on a transatlantic and experience MSC Divina. Could not been worse. To start with there was a lot of people with a very bad cold. I got a cold. The doctor on the sheep was kind of okay. The nurse touch my prescription tablets with her bare hands. The food from the “food court” was so boring. There was a mix of food smells that was very unpleasant. The egg station iwas so egg smelling. I eat and like eggs. However did not eat any because the smell was so strong. The paid restaurants are all italians. Entertainment? maybe two or three nights at the theater were okay. The service on the cabins and the waiters was good. The employees at the guest service could not been more rude. I had a very derespectful person when I went to ask them to take out a case of wine out from my billing because i did not bought any wine. He was defiant and made me feel like I had no right to make a complain. I do not have space here to write about my friend’s walker that did not make to the ship from Fort Lauderdale port. They underestimate the passagens capacity and/ or intelligence. Did not enjoy at all. I do not recomend and now I do not want to go even in another cruise line because I am afraid to have the same bad experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Excellent pricing on Transatlantic Crossing. Currently sailing the MSC Divina Transatlantic Cruise and have been receiving many questions regarding the ship, the journey and the experience so far. Internet service is quite slow and ... Read More
Excellent pricing on Transatlantic Crossing. Currently sailing the MSC Divina Transatlantic Cruise and have been receiving many questions regarding the ship, the journey and the experience so far. Internet service is quite slow and intermittent so I will condense this to bullet points. 7 days left on the cruise, hopefully some of these issues will be fixed. I'm hopeful! The Good: MSC Divina is a beautiful ship. Modern decor and amenities... a beauty to be sailing on. Diamond stairs!!!! Embarkation was smooth, well organized and efficient. Ship is very clean, and constant cleaning / painting is observed. Balcony washed frequently. Nice fresh smell all around. Captain Francesco Di Palma did an excellent job navigating us through the winter weather in New York and high seas to Bermuda keeping us all safe. Public restrooms clean and well stocked. Stateroom is average size ( balcony larger than NCL and approx the same as Princess) Flat screen Interactive TV in cabin Room for 2 chairs and footrest/ ottoman on balcony Cabin steward is professional, friendly and efficient. Room kept immaculate Good variety and tasty options at the buffet Hot food hot, hint: find a table and claim it before getting your meal. It cuts down on the time trying to find a table while your food cools. Cover your plate with another to help keep food hot. The entertainment is top notch. And so is is the Entertainment team. They work their butts off and seem to enjoy doing a fantastic job. Sandwiches,light snacks available complimentary on 6th fl. Snacks, like chicken wings available in sports bar, complimentary but must consume there - Not available to take to your room The solarium is a great place to hang out, with the glass ceiling covered. toasty warm hot tubs and pool. Awesome job making announcements in all major languages. Ice tea, lemonade and tropical drinks available throughout the day Self serve ice cream machines from 12 noon till 10pm. Excellent attention to guests with mobility challenges. Plenty of deck space and deck chairs to lounge on all decks. Heated pools Excellent pizza!!!! The Bad: A high percentage of staff and crew pass guests without a greeting. No nod of the head or a smile. Communication needs improvement! Many issues can be solved by communicating at the point of contact rather than waiting for the issue to escalate TV in cabin is tiny! Way tooo small. It's hard to view it, lying in bed. The chair is on the same side of the wall as the TV, so not able to sit and watch TV. Must sit or lie on bed. Shower curtain looks dirty and moldy on the hem... no rubber mat for tub to minimize falls No bath soap/ gel or lotion provided. Shampoo and conditioner in dispenser only. Food in dining room is marginal. Service is excruciatingly slow. Staff ratio to diners is too high. Staff in dining room is so rushed they have no time to interact with diners. Rush, rush, rush. Issues brought to staff attention takes a while to be resolved. No communication regarding issues brought to attention unless expressed again. Buffet is very crowded, and looks like many guests choose to have dinner there rather than in the sub par dining room service. Buffet closes down between 12-1230pm and after 9:30 pm There should be a venue open throughout the night, only room service is available for a fee. Buffet closes at 9:30 pm. There's a charge for room service. Snacks, like chicken wings available in sports bar, complimentary but must consume there. Not available to take to your room. At NY the signs for disembarkation were sparse to non existent, trying to get off the ship took at least 15 minutes trying to find where to disembark. Ponta Delgado was much better! No MSC app (on mobile phone) for on board use, to check daily schedules or dining times. It's available in the Caribbean only, I was advised. There's a miniature bowling alley which charges $8.00 per game. The Very Ugly: Guest Services staff not empowered to solve issues. Passing of the buck, blame placed on another department and no responsibility or recommendations to solve the problem. The internet streamer plus package I pre purchased, came with 20% bonus. When I inquired on board about the bonus, was advised the packages were changed, and no additional bonus would be issued. Unable to contact Guest Services via email or phone without using your own dime! Advice to complete post-cruise form regarding issues experienced while on board. Opportunities exist to fix the issues but no concern shown on how to fix the issues. On Transatlantic Crossing... no TV service for 5 days. Understandable since we are far from any land and satellite service but on arriving in Portugal, got the same statement that no satellite service for TV but the internet service works! On further inquiry, advised they are manually resetting the TVs and should be completed by midnight. It's midnight the following day and on follow up, advised TV will be set to international satellite on arrival in Genoa, which is 8 days away and the end of the cruise. Advised that some TVs are working, but not all, It would be great if one of the TVs working was in the public area, like the sports bar or one of the other TVs that constantly show excursion information. I asked at reception desk for additional mbs on my internet plan so we could at least check the news or sports scores and was advised they were unable to do it. Guest services advised they have a news service, but would not be able to give a complimentary issue so we could be informed on news or sports. When asked for customer service email or phone number, was given info on how to complete a post cruise survey. No opportunity to fix issues until AFTER the cruise. As of noon today, still waiting for an appointment to speak with guest services manager. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
While the ship's public rooms are awesome, it's not enough to make up for the cramped cabin, less than average food, loud and obnoxious travelers, limited activities and the incessant announcements at the most inappropriate times ... Read More
While the ship's public rooms are awesome, it's not enough to make up for the cramped cabin, less than average food, loud and obnoxious travelers, limited activities and the incessant announcements at the most inappropriate times in 5 different languages. This ship is so noisy and loud, you'll be begging for a place to go for just a few minutes of peace and quiet. Oh, yeah....you'll find refuge In that tiny cabin. The MSC model is clearly designed to get you to spend as much money as you can because everything is extra and there are lots of rules that seem to change depending on who you talk to or what day of the week it is. Prepare to be flexible and roll with it or you're going to be very unhappy. We upgraded to Fantastica because I like room service in the morning..just coffee and toast and maybe a hard boiled egg. Well forget the egg, can't have it. And, as for toast, no can do gluten free because you can only get that kind of bread in the DR, but yet they say they'll accommodate GF diets. Not really. And no write-ins, that's a no, no. Entertainment was mostly opera, which was okay, but ten times! The stage presentations were average and somewhat hokey, but the dancers were exceptional. The other entertainment (ventriloquist, and a couple of singers) were substandard C Level acts, and can't help but think they were hired because they could speak more than one language. And forget the cruise director, what a loser. On the positive side, we had a wonderfully amiable cabin steward and our waiter and assistant were great. Also, the GF menu in the DR was much better than the regular menu. Our table mates were envious. The staff at the reception desk were exceptionally helpful and cheerful despite long lines and lots of queries. This was the second time for us on MSC and have to say it will be our last. The value vs. experience just isn't worth it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We love cruising, are seasoned travelers and active seniors from California. We chose this cruise on the Divina for the itinerary -- some places we haven't been, the relaxing sea days crossing the Atlantic, a great ride to Italy. As ... Read More
We love cruising, are seasoned travelers and active seniors from California. We chose this cruise on the Divina for the itinerary -- some places we haven't been, the relaxing sea days crossing the Atlantic, a great ride to Italy. As expected, the ship was stunning, spotlessly clean, comfortable, and had a variation of venues inside. We'd sailed once before with MSC, and of course we'd read all the warnings -- but we recognize that crabby people don't like anything, always complain. In all but one area (embarkation) this was a fabulous experience! Our balcony cabin, Aurea experience, was clean and stylish and efficient, with a cabin steward who didn't bug us all the time, but was always available and amenable. The dining room was a highlight -- from the seating hostess who greeted us with a smile every day, to the waiter who was fun and helpful and knowledgeable, to the bus boy who always smiled and kept our table spotless. The menus were varied, there were some "interesting" dishes, but plenty of choices, including comfort food. The food was hot, the servings were not huge but we were always satisfied -- just right. The buffet was pretty standard, though seating areas are larger, which helps. The pizza place was special (about $7 per pizza), cooked to order, with wines/beers well-chosen. The large central snack area had an ever-changing mix of small sandwiches and pastries (complimentary), gelato, coffees and fun drinks. We all four bought the "drink package" so we tried everything/everywhere -- coffees, smoothies, cocktails, wines and beers; we met for pre-dinner drinks in a different bar/lounge every night, always greeted courteously -- smiles, little conversations about the ship or the port, tasty drinks served quickly and cleanly. All the dining and drinking venues were gorgeous -- beautifully decorated, thoughtfully furnished, unusual but not weird. We loved that there were a lot of places to visit after dinner with music, some for dancing and some for listening, all comfortable and friendly. (We wished for more rock-n-roll, but the disco didn't start up until almost 11:00. This is a good place to say that Europeans seem to have dinner and parties later than we're used to, it's just a difference.) The big theater shows varied widely, from opera to Sinatra to costume productions, so sometimes we said, "no way" and sometimes we said, "can't miss," all seemed pretty well attended, and the variety was key. Another big plus on MSC is that they're not in your face all the time selling stuff. As mentioned, the only negative part of this cruise with MSC was embarkation -- it was a mess! We joined in Miami and it was awful -- they need to get their staff out front, communicate with them and through them. The other thing that gets complaints for MSC is the many languages spoken, every message in five languages, queueing with all those people who don't speak your language -- Americans are not tolerant of this, but it is a European experience, and a silly thing to complain about. We had a great cruise on a great ship with great service, great food, great ports! We'll sail with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I went with some friends who were going on this cruise and they also had a bad time no tv for over 2 weeks the food was terrible the serve was terrible and the the show were all 2nd rate people bush and shove and were rude the only thing ... Read More
I went with some friends who were going on this cruise and they also had a bad time no tv for over 2 weeks the food was terrible the serve was terrible and the the show were all 2nd rate people bush and shove and were rude the only thing god was the beauty salon even the staff did not like the food 1st cruise i every went on where u has to pay for Coffee at dinner time and pay for lobster and surf and turf , I will never cruise with this cruise line again and yes i have been on many cruises over the last 20 yrs. I can not say enough about the bad food when we docked in New York City I took a cab to Little Italy and had a wonderful meal the pasta was all dente not like the ships which most of the time was not cooked enough and was hard never never again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Out of 21 days on the cruise I had to stay in my room for 18 days because of an injury, After 10 letters, different calls to main office, they were willing to give me a discount of 20% on a next cruise. They said that I refused at first ... Read More
Out of 21 days on the cruise I had to stay in my room for 18 days because of an injury, After 10 letters, different calls to main office, they were willing to give me a discount of 20% on a next cruise. They said that I refused at first to see a Dr. When you fall in front of everybody, the first thing you say is I am ok and do not touch me, I did not even know my name after the fall, so even if after 1 hour I decided to go and see the Dr. It was to late for them. So If I go back and see someone get injured, will tell them, see the Dr and decide afterward. It did cost me $400 in Dr's fee on that ship. Do not know if that is worth it Will be sailing on Jan 8th with Celebrity Being Elite on that ship I know their ships and safety measures. On the Divina, the Cafeteria is really dangerous, I was told that 1 person falls every trip Half of the staff did not speak English Embarkation in Barcelona took 4 hours, nobody knew what to do and we could not hear them Italian ship but their pasta was the worst To go for dining you had to take 2 different elevators, located in a space not easy to find Waiters at the dining were beginners and only one out of 10 understood some English, so we often did get surprises in our choosing. At least they were nice enough to go back if you did not like what you had. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
My wife and I were on an 18 day Repositioning cruise from Barcelona, Spain to Miami, USA with 8 Ports of Call (including Miami) from Oct. 25 to Nov. 11 2015. Pros:1- Exceptional itinerary. 2- The MSC Divina is , for sure, a beautiful ... Read More
My wife and I were on an 18 day Repositioning cruise from Barcelona, Spain to Miami, USA with 8 Ports of Call (including Miami) from Oct. 25 to Nov. 11 2015. Pros:1- Exceptional itinerary. 2- The MSC Divina is , for sure, a beautiful ship, super clean and spotless. 3- Our cabin, with balcony, was spacious and roomy. 4- The staff delivered a commendable service and they were most accommodating. 5- The shows were mostly OK but 2 were outstanding. 6- And those 5 days in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean was a peaceful and relaxing experience. We have enjoyed every minute of it. Cons: 1- The food in the Main Dining room was average... or below. Mostly tasteless and barely warm. Nothing fancy! We would expect better for the cost of such a cruise. 2- The buffet - deck 14 - was OK but almost the same, day after day. Nothing fancy there too. There were so many people in that room that you need to look all around if you don't want to bump on people or be hit. When you finally got your plate filled, good luck to find a table!! I'm not sure how, but there must be a better way to handle such a crowd. Look for Disney for clues! 3- Internet: if it was for free, I would have said it's an absolute disaster!. But for half a USD a minute, it's a steel! Not only was it slow when near the coast but it cost me my last 14 min. to send a simple text message just to realize that it was never sent! And to top it all, ABSOLUTELY NO SERVICE during the 5 days crossing the ocean! I repeat: INTERNET IS A STEEL! 4- The chairs on the decks: If you're not up by 6 A.M. forget it. Rules are that if you leave your towel unattended on your chair for more than 30 min. it will be removed and the chair will become available for others. But this rule is not enforced. 5- The excursions: If you do not take the MSC excursions, you are almost left in the dark! They should provide some basic information on what you should know and see BEFORE disembarking and come up with a decent map to help you prepare your own excursion. It was even more important considering that you could not make your own research on Internet, (Please refer to #3) 6- Unless you are a heavy drinker, do not take the booze package: much much too expensive. The fact is that while waiting for the ship to duck, many employees from MSC sell you (not to say PUSH) the drink and whine package like as if it was the hottest deal in town. They manage to make you think it is going to cost you a fortune if you don't buy the package. Believe me, it's the other way around. Would I do this cruise again? Of course I would but most likely not with MCS. I've been on cruises with other cruise liner and to my regret, MSC quotes last on my list.. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We just returned from an 18 day transatlantic cruise on the msc divina and it was the cruise from hell!!! We are experienced cruisers and this was, by a mile, the worst company we have ever sailed with. Although we could write a book about ... Read More
We just returned from an 18 day transatlantic cruise on the msc divina and it was the cruise from hell!!! We are experienced cruisers and this was, by a mile, the worst company we have ever sailed with. Although we could write a book about our experience, we will give just a few instances of what we put up with. The many people we spoke with aboard ship agreed that msc is not a cruise line they would use again. First, and most important, the lack of sanitation standards in areas where food is available was frightening. This ship is ripe for a norovirus! We witnessed very few people attempt to use the hand sanitizers before entering a restaurant or the buffet. There was one hand sanitizer available at each door to the buffet but 90% of the time they were either empty or broken. We witnessed people reaching into the buffet and picking up food by their hands. We witnessed people using the tongs to pick up the food and then laying the tongs back onto the food. We witnessed officers reach into the covered pasty stand at the café italia and take pastries using their hands rather than the tongs available. Second, msc stands for mediterranean shipping company and from the first to the last day we were treated as cargo by the staff. In particular, the employees of guest services are extremely rude and unprofessional, and would rather not be bothered by the passengers. For example, we witnessed a passenger discussing an issue with a front desk staff person. He was treated rudely and was not offered any assistance. The front desk person then turned to his peers and began loudly, laughingly and expressively mocking the guest. Each time we talked with a staff member at guest services we were made to feel as though we were imposing upon them. For example, the most serious issue we brought to their attention was the noxious smell of very strong fumes from the use of deck cleaning solvents and painting being done on the ship the last 9 days of the cruise, particularly in our hallway on deck 9 and in our room. We reported the issue on the second of the 9 days and were informed that no painting was being done. We returned to guest services the following day to report that we saw where painting was being done and solvents were being used only to be told that the chemicals were non-hazardous. In speaking with a number of guests and crew, all responded that they were bothered by the fumes as well. By the final day of the cruise we found it impossible to find an area within the ship where we could not smell the fumes. Third, the staff did nothing to manage the disembarkation process at ports, which resulted in people shoving, pushing, crowding, and coming from all directions to use the two gangplanks, which were simultaneously used for embarkation. It was extremely stressful and unnecessary chaos! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The MSC Diving is an absolutely beautiful ship and all of the ports of call were wonderful - if only things on the ship were as good. Cons: 1. The food in the buffet - deck 16. The catering is for the European clientele and not for ... Read More
The MSC Diving is an absolutely beautiful ship and all of the ports of call were wonderful - if only things on the ship were as good. Cons: 1. The food in the buffet - deck 16. The catering is for the European clientele and not for Canadians, British and American. Food is heavy and sits in pools of oil. Very difficult to find food to eat. Also noted that the food handlers did not use gloves. Passengers were not encouraged to use Purell. The buffet area was congested during the lunch - 4:00 pm hours - people were actually fighting over food, no seats available. The coffee is pathetic as is the iced tea. 2. Communication to passengers on the ship: Almost non existent except for emergency announcements that did come through to the cabin. If the cruise director was speaking, you had to open your door to hear what was being said. Not much communication from the Bridge - no information re " we are approaching the port of ....and passengers will disembark on deck .... For disembarkation we simply had to guess what deck to go to or just follow those walking down the stairs also looking for the exit. 3.Stateroom - well the bathroom was the best part. The rest - well - needs updating. The couch, carpet and bed have seen better days. The bed linen/pillows need to be replaced. The sheets are thread bare and not clean. The duvet cover smelled like it had not been changed from the last passengers. 4. Staff at the guest services - often rude and non accommodating. Stateroom attendant: Not very effective - never knew when he was going to show up - didn't always tidy up the room very well - was rude to me at the end of the cruise and we did not give him a personal tip. 5 .Michael the Shopping Consultant - really? Does everyone really have to line up to get a letter from him for the shops - particularly in Barbados - we had been five days crossing the Atlantic and people were anxious to get off the ship. We were all backed up at the exit due to people getting letters from Michael signed so they could shop in stores that apparently would give you a discount with his signature. Must be a better way of doing this. Pros: 1. Ports of Call: Barcelona, Malaga, Funchal, Barbados, St. Martin, Martinique, St, Thomas & San Juan - all exceptional choices - wonderful experiences at each port of call. 2. The ability to self assist at the end of the cruise - easy and seamless. 3. Lounge Staff - especially those who are working on the ship and are far from home - we met two lovely young people on Deck 5 - they were friendly and most accommodating to our needs and also loved to chat with us. 4. Safety - passengers did the mandatory training on embarkation and also the staff did their safety training on a regular basis. Very impressive. The coast guard also did inspection of the ship - also impressive. We felt very safe and knew what to do and where to go in an emergency situation - fortunately did not need to do so. All went well. Just as a comment, I know cruise lines have their own excursions for the various ports - but having some information on what is available locally would also be of great assistance. You do not get this information until you are off the ship and meet with the local tourist folks or individual vendors. It would have been helpful to have a map and some information so informed decisions could be made prior to arriving at Port. Definitely this cruise line, as are others, are in the money making business, but it certainly would enhance the customer service level. We have used other cruise lines and will definitely not use MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My wife and I are both MSC veterans with many cruises over the past ten years. This, however, would be the first time we cruised in Yacht Club and the first Transatlantic. I’m an American and she Italian and both well over 65. I ... Read More
My wife and I are both MSC veterans with many cruises over the past ten years. This, however, would be the first time we cruised in Yacht Club and the first Transatlantic. I’m an American and she Italian and both well over 65. I realize that our YC experiences were for the most part vastly different from those enjoyed by the passengers in aurea, fantastica, and bella classes. Embarkation: We live in Rome so we took the early morning Frecciabianca train to Genoa where the Divina was to board and sail from. Arriving at the Piazza Principe station I elected to take a taxi to the ship rather than lug four suitcases down to the port. There were several other MSC passengers doing the same thing (both the Divina and her sister ship Preziosa were boarding that morning) but after a short wait it was our turn and the taxi (€15) drove us right to the Divina boarding point. I had the driver drop us at the white Yacht Club tent where the porters took our bags and a YC butler tagged them. We then had to wait a few minutes for another butler to arrive who escorted about ten of us to the YC check-in desk in the passenger terminal where pastries and drinks were available. After a prosecco and a pastry we were called to the counter where our cruise documents were checked, passports swiped, and cruise cards issued. A butler then escorted us through security and onto the ship to the forward elevators and up to the YC concierge desk. I believe the entire process from baggage tagging to the concierge took about 40 minutes. We were welcomed by our two very pleasant and efficient concierges, Lucia Taloti from Italy and Ovidiu Moldovan from Romania, and the chief butler, Kamil Mustapa from Indonesia. The maitre d’ from the Le Muse restaurant, Giuseppe DI Nardo, was also on hand to ask our dining preferences for dinner. After this we were free to go to our cabin. The Ship: The 139,072 ton Divina was built in 2013, third in the Fantasia class of now four MSC cruise ships which include the Splendida and the Preziosa. It has a total of 18 decks of which 13 are for passengers and has a capacity of over 4,000. The crew numbers more than 1,300. The regular cabins are mostly found on decks numbered 8 through 13, the vast majority with balconies. Much has already been written about this beautiful ship so I won’t elaborate more. Yacht Club in General: The exclusive Yacht Club area is on decks 15, 16, and 18 at the bow of the ship and consists of 70 suites plus the Top Sail Lounge and bar. Above on Deck 18 is its private pool, Jacuzzis, bar and sun deck. Entry into the YC area is by the same key card that opens the cabin door and serves as a personal passport for exiting and reentering the ship. YC members have their exclusive restaurant, Le Muse, on deck 15 at the stern of the ship. This requires a bit of a walk outside along deck 15 which is fine in good weather but when it’s raining, cold, or very windy, the only other option is to go to a lower deck to the aft elevator and stairs and climb back up to 15. Most go down to deck 7 but this is usually quite crowded with lounges, shops, and the photo area. Deck 14 means fighting your way though the chaotic self-service buffet. The speedier way is to walk the cabin-lined corridor of deck 13. For the Spa, there is a private elevator to the rear of the Concierge desk. A well stocked library is also behind the Concierge. Top Sail Lounge: This is the area most YC members gathered to relax and intermix with other members. It is basically a very pleasant and comfortable lounge spaced all along the front of the ship with an expanse of glass that lets you see from one side to the other, truly spectacular. Private areas of comfortable divans, easy chairs and small tables allowed both large and small groups to socialize. Toward the rear of the lounge is a well-stocked bar, and a small self-service buffet offering little tidbits to eat throughout the day and evening. Pastries, cereals and fruits for breakfast, sandwiches and desserts at lunch and throughout the evening. Waiters (called junior butlers) bring you anything you want from the bar, as well as carrying it to your cabin should you so desire. The wait staff was efficient and absolutely wonderful. I would specifically cite May from Myanmar, Gianna from Madagascar, and Agus from Indonesia as those we had most contact with. The chief butler Kamil and his assistant Dani Agung were nearly always present supervising either in the lounge or up at the pool bar. Aside from some premium liquors and cocktails, all drinks are free whether it be coffee, water, aperitifs, cocktails, whiskies, etc. On many days we chose to take our breakfasts and/or lunch in the lounge instead of walking to the restaurant. The One Bar and Pool: The private YC elevator behind the Concierge desk lifts between the Spa on Deck 14, and the pool deck, deck 18. The exclusive pool/lido area consists of adequate sun loungers for every YC member on board. Never is there a problem finding one with distinctive blue beach towels (the rest of the ship has orange colored towels). Exiting the lift on the port side are showers and the smokers’ area (the only one in YC) with tables, umbrellas and sun loungers. Walking to the right (towards the bow) are the elevated two Jacuzzis and salt water pool with all the other sun loungers directly ahead. Walking around the pool to the starboard side is the bar and covered table area where one can drink, eat and read in the shade. There is also a small buffet that has food for breakfast and lunch. Again, everything is free. The rear of the pool area looks down on the lido area for the general population. Le Muse Restaurant: The YC dedicated restaurant has its own kitchen with a chef and a half dozen cooks and assistants and served the most wonderful food. The chef is Giovanni Chiaramonte from Calabria. The dining room was supervised by the maitre d’, Giuseppe Di Nardo from Bari assisted by the fine sommelier Luigi Fusco from Caserta. We ate in Le Muse each evening at dinner and most lunches as well. I splurged with an American breakfast two or three times. All in all we enjoyed both the food, the atmosphere, and the great staff who couldn’t do enough to make our dining experience wonderful. The menus offered much more international fare than the predominantly Italian we’ve been used to on MSC cruises but we had no problem finding items to our taste. The seafood served, while necessarily from the freezer, was excellent including the smoked salmon plates we frequently ordered. The dessert menu at lunch had a New York cheesecake to die for! We had the same waiter throughout who was both friendly and extremely competent – Wady Nurdin from Bunaken Island, Indonesia. Wady brought us anything we asked for, whether it was on the menu or not, and kept our water and wine glasses filled. We usually went to dinner around eight or eight-thirty and Giuseppe always had a table waiting for us. The Suite: Ours was number 15010 on the starboard side of deck 15, very convenient to the Concierge area and the Top Sail Lounge. Not much larger than a standard balcony cabin, it was more luxuriously outfitted and had a walk-in closet as well as the normal divan and desk. The bath was larger as it had a tub. The balcony was standard size with two chairs and a footstool. The niceties were many, the bottle of prosecco (actually two bottles since we’re black members), chocolates, fruit, 24 hour free room service, as well as our favorite newspaper hung on the door each morning. The minibar was stocked with various beverages and of course free. Other amenities included YC bathrobes and slippers, and special bath products. Our butler was a very fine fellow, Adam Mandjra from Madagascar who attended to our every need. Our very friendly cabin steward was Donald from Jamaica. Passenger Mix: Our 140 fellow YC passengers were different from what we’ve experienced on other MSC cruises in that they were probably 80% English speakers mostly from the US and Britain. The remaining 20% was made up of several German and Italian couples as well as family groups from Spain and Turkey. Entertainment: We had a wonderful American piano player every evening in the Top Sail Lounge named Alan. Aside from that we had very little contact with the ship’s animation team and did not frequent the other bars or lounges. Evening entertainment on the other hand was the Theatre at 7 pm where we went most days. We found practically all of the shows very good, some with themes we had seen before on other cruises but very well performed. The dancers and particularly the singers were all very good with shows ranging from Italian and Neapolitan favorites to opera and classical themes. Other: I had six very nice massages down in the Aurea Spa by a cute Balinese lady named Ratna Dewi. The ship was spotlessly clean as are all MSC ships and smoking was not a problem. The entire YC area was smoke-free except for one small area on the pool deck. On this ship even the casino was smoke-free. My wife was very proud to have taken six hours of English language lessons taught by a British couple in a conference room. Weather and Climatic Conditions: We experienced cold rainy weather the first few days of the cruise but the sun came out when we reached Funchal, Madeira and stayed with us for much of the remaining days. In the Caribbean we had heavy rain the day we docked at Martinique and for much of the time we were on St. Thomas. Temperatures during our five day Atlantic crossing went well over 30 degrees Celsius making it a bit uncomfortable out on the open decks. Port Calls and Shore Excursions: We remained on board during the stops at Barcelona and Malaga, having visited these cities on numerous occasions. At Funchal we went ashore and took a ride around the city on the red city sightseeing HoHo bus. At Bridgetown, Barbados, I had booked a five-hour catamaran cruise with Cool Running which was very nice. We had opportunities to snorkel with hundreds of multicolored fish (like in the Red Sea) and were fortunate to swim alongside a large sea turtle. We stayed on board at Martinque due to the rain. On St. Maarten and St. Thomas we took round the island excursions organized by the ship. We had two more ship’s excursions at San Juan: The El Yunkee rain forest in the morning and a country pig roast fiesta about an hour away at Cayay in the central area of Puerto Rico. The rain forest was excellent but the pig roast we could have done without. It was expensive, loud, and the food was only so-so. At least we mixed with local Puerto Ricans and saw how they party. Disembarkation: A piece of cake as they say. My credit card voucher was on the cabin door and I signed it for the concierge. After a relaxing breakfast in the Top Sail Lounge, we were in the first group to disembark at Miami. Led by our fantastic chief butler Kamil, we bypassed all the other passengers and were taken directly to our luggage. The customs inspectors merely gave us a glance and we were out on the street and into a taxi that took us to the Avis rent-a-car office. Conclusions: It was a great cruise which we thoroughly enjoyed. If our future MSC cruise itineraries will be on one of the Fantasia class ships, we will definitely go in Yacht Club. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
MSC Divina Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.5 3.3
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 1.0 N/A
Service 4.0 3.6
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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