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64 Venice MSC Cruises MSC Divina Cruise Reviews

Did our first cruise ever, and it was fantastic. The Cruise ship was huge. We stayed in Venice a few days prior to boarding the MSC Divina for our 7 day cruise in the Mediterranean. We had a balcony room on the 12th deck. I was a little ... Read More
Did our first cruise ever, and it was fantastic. The Cruise ship was huge. We stayed in Venice a few days prior to boarding the MSC Divina for our 7 day cruise in the Mediterranean. We had a balcony room on the 12th deck. I was a little concerned about being on a ship and sea sickness but it wasn't a problem and you could hardly feel the movement on the ship. Food was in abundance and entertainment was great each night. The ports we visited were, departure from Venice, Italy, Bari, Italy, Katakolon, Greece, Izmir and Istanbul, Turkey, Dubrovnik, Croatia and back to Venice. Pre booked our shore excursions before we left Australia, not sure if this was a good thing or not but it worked for us. Didn't do to much on the ship as we disembarked at each port but there was plenty happening. Cabins clean and serviced daily. The dinner seating for us was at 9pm which was a little late but we could have changed it to an earlier seating at 6.30pm but decided not too. It was formal dinning, service was excellent and food was a 3 course meal daily. They had a Gala night but it was up to you if you wanted it to be formal or not. Themed nights were also on offer but it was up to you to participate. Overall highly recommend this cruise line had a wonderful time. So now l am planning another cruise to Hawaii on the Pride of America in March 2015 hoping that this will be just as wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was the maiden voyage of the Divina from Venice to Miami, 18 days aboard luxury. Well this was our third Cruise with MSC,and upon walking aboard at Venice, we were pleasantly amazed. We check internet rates,Repositioning cruises ... Read More
This was the maiden voyage of the Divina from Venice to Miami, 18 days aboard luxury. Well this was our third Cruise with MSC,and upon walking aboard at Venice, we were pleasantly amazed. We check internet rates,Repositioning cruises and do a lot of trolling cruise lines before deciding,but have found MSC have certainly upped their game since our first cruise on the Armonia. The Divina is in a class of it's own. We were originally a bit hesitant about being so low down on deck 5, but this turned out to be one of the best decks to be on. Ok if you have plenty of money and are wanting a balcony or suite,but we just like an outside room so we can see arrivals in ports, and apart from that,who wants to spend all their days cooped up in their cabin anyway We arrived at the port at about 2pm and were straight on Board and enjoying our first drinks within the hour. The terminal at Venice is very comfortable, and the processing speedy. Train takes you from the bus terminal to the berth. The Divina is a fantastic ship,as soon as you step aboard she has you memorised.and although we were a little concerned about being on a ship with over 4,000 passengers,we did not feel crowded at all.You were meeting new people each day that were elsewhere on the ship that you had not disovered. With the Divina, what we had an exceptional crew.A lot of the staff are from Bali and have the spirit and friendlyness of Indonesia,but they are worked hard for the money they get and are treated poorly by those in authoritve roles.This is why I asked to have my gratuities rescinded so I could pay those who made my trip worthwhile rather than the money go into the big pot and those at the top taking the cream. We had exceptional service from the bar persons and waitresses,always smiling, and as I have certain alergies to certain foods,the The assistant Maitre D’ checked my choices every night, and bought a menu for the following night so I could choose. The helpfulness and personal touch certainly made our trip a memorable one. Food in the dining rooms was a let down,maybe because we had had such good meals on the last cruises made us more critical,but one night we had lamb,which was sent back by the majority of those who were served it. the meals lacked variety.Chef needs a wake up call. But saying that, the buffet meals were varied and plentyful,although we only discovered the different selections on going to other parts of the massive self serve areas there was Chinese,Italian,Indian,Greek,vegetarian etc. We booked the Allegrissimo drinks package at $44 per person per day,and although expensive due to the fact my wife did not drink that much,and you had to have two per cabin. But, it was nice not to have to worry about how much it was going to cost for every drink, and there were nice wines for the evening meals as well. One did not have to worry about the 15% surcharge per drink,and speciality coffees were included. Being in the center of the ship has it's advantages,less rocking,and when we boarded it was only a short walk to our cabin. The Autrium rose up 9 floors and along with piano playing and the bars dotted around, this became quite a focal point for people to meet. tt was nice after an evening meal to congregate and indulge in a cocktail or two before retiring. There were several bars and entertainment areas around the ship to suit all tastes. We agree that the entertainment was absolutely first rate! The shows that they put on were well done, but they had a fasination with violin players,and going by the lack of patronage,it should have signalled that the customers wanted more shows and variety. A bit more of the singers and a Italian opera would have gone down better. Those that they did,were well attended. The one annoying aspect we found on the poolside,was the continued showing of MSC propoganda on the big screen,day in day out.It would have been nice to maybe have scenes from the previous days entertainment on board or movies at night . One let down was lack of buses when the ships hit a port,one would think that the companies plying the tourists would be well prepared and lay on extra services to accommodate the crowds. We really felt we were treated to a holiday and despite our misgivings of last cruises would happily sail with MSC again. One good thing is they look after repeat customers,with discounts for future travel. In fact we are booked to go on our next cruise in November on the Orchestra Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
I cannot believe the moans I have encountered during this cruise and some of the ridiculously negative reviews I have read upon returning . Facts the ship is beautiful the staff that I encountered were all very nice people yes some of the ... Read More
I cannot believe the moans I have encountered during this cruise and some of the ridiculously negative reviews I have read upon returning . Facts the ship is beautiful the staff that I encountered were all very nice people yes some of the food could have been better, particularly in the main restaurant and if i put my mind to it I could find little things to nit-pick on about. it seemed to me that throughout this cruise many people spent the holiday in some sort of weird competition to see who could gather the most negative notes instead of actually enjoying their surroundings and their holiday. I believe ,though I may be wrong, that most of the passengers on this ship got a very good deal on the price of the cruise in fact i doubt if they could have stayed in a travelodge for the price per night equivalent. However despite that I heard complaints about the staff not being able to speak "proper english", "too many foreingers on board" and many more unbelievable statements. The ship is international I am ashamed that I have never bothered to learn another language and certainly do not expect my waiter and cabin steward to speak half a dozen languages fluently In fact if they could I think they would be looking for a better job! I met some lovely people from all corners of the world on this cruise and enjoyed every minute of their company. A smile speaks a thousand words. I have cruised with most of the major lines RCCL, HAL,Celebrity ,NCL etc and I could have pointed out faults with them all if scrutinised enough. I have had great food with RCCL on some of their ships and mediocre food on some of their ships ...it depends entirely on the guy who is running the kitchen. I never felt under pressure to purchase anything on this ship whereas on my last few cruises with the other lines I was sick of the hard sell mentality on-board. I would personally like to thank MSC for a lovely holiday. I was travelling solo and am grateful that MSC offer such great deals on solo occupancy of cabins I would have no hesitation on cruising with them again . Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Divina Transatlantic cruise Venice to Miami November 2nd 2013 This was our third cruise with MSC in Twelve months and our second transatlantic, despite all the issues with MSC since booking way back in early January we had high ... Read More
Divina Transatlantic cruise Venice to Miami November 2nd 2013 This was our third cruise with MSC in Twelve months and our second transatlantic, despite all the issues with MSC since booking way back in early January we had high expectations of the Divina which is basically a stretched Musica class ship. Embarkation. We arrived at the port of Venice at around 11-45 am handed over our cases and went upstairs to find one area to our right very crowded and one to our left where people were in queues waiting for the check in desks. MSC club said that there was preferential check in at Venice for Silver, Gold and Black card members (this has now been removed from the current club member benefits) so we went over and asked one of the staff who told us it was for Gold and Black card members only, we took ourselves over to one of the information desks and asked the same question and were then lead to a separate area and were on the ship within twenty minutes. For some reason it had been decided that Credit card details would be obtained on the ship rather than at check in and it was left to passengers to go to customer service to register their card. Once again we were never required to fill in a health questionnaire. We headed up to our room which was a Balcony on the back of the ship on Deck 10, the cabin was similar to the one we had on Poesia the year before but slightly larger with a Balcony of some Fourteen feet in length that contained two chairs and a table as well as two sun loungers, the bathroom has two opening doors to the shower rather than a curtain which was great. Wardrobe space again was similar to Poesia with a three-door robe one containing the safe and draw storage space; there is also a 2 drawer bedside cabinet on each side of the bed and two on the vanity unit. The Fridge is also housed in this unit with the TV and a shelf above. The furniture is a dark walnut colour whereas the Poesia had been a much lighter material, we found the bedside lamps were a little to dull for reading with the main lights switched off. Red carpet and Bed headboard covering and two large mirrors, table and two seat settee completed the room. Our cabin was looked after by Nengah, who did a great job and left a note for me on my Birthday this was unexpected, and a really nice gesture. We headed up to the buffet for lunch having left our carry on cases in the cabin, after around twenty minutes there was a total loss of power for around five minutes, we have no idea as to why or if it was only the buffet that was affected. A problem with Deck 12,11 and 10 balconies is that when they wash the large panoramic windows of the back of the buffet on deck 14 these balconies get the water from it so every morning the balcony was wet and stayed that way until the room was cleaned, a further problem is that if they overfill the aft Infinity pool and forget to drain it back before leaving port these three decks get soaked as the ship makes its turns which is due to the water escaping from the contained area One of the White shirted crew/officers came to check out the problem and confirmed the water was from the pool but it was never cleared away, a possible design flaw, others on these decks also had to ring customer service about the water issue. The sliding doors to the balcony cannot be latched while out on the balcony which means that if the ship is rolling from side to side the door slides open and closed with quite a thud, dangerous if you happen to be going in or out and are caught unawares. For a somewhat new ship this area suffers from a lot of vibration during ship maneuvers being above the propellers and even small sea swells made the rolling of the ship worse, Divina rolls around quite a lot more than a big ship should do and this was noticeable in other parts of the ship. The sign that tells you that you cannot smoke in the cabin was hidden behind the curtain on the fixed pain of glass, about halfway through the cruise it was moved to the sliding panel after complaints about people smoking on their balconies. The meet and greets for the roll call were arranged by Ken who worked hard on arranging them and were somewhat interesting and a disappointment, the first one for thirty minutes was attended by Andre who was the new cruise director who was shadowing Maddie who was to leave the cruise once in Miami, I think Andre was taken by surprise at the comments being made. Only water was provided at the meeting. A second meeting was arranged so that people on the roll call could meet and talk to each other due to the short time of the first one, sadly this clashed with the re arranged time of the world quiz for us, and again I believe no refreshments were provided. Andre once again attended a third meeting and gave us an insight into how MSC intended to move forward in the Caribbean, the disappointment comes in because there were a host of senior MSC management people on the ship by this time and not one of them could be bothered to grace us with their presence nor any of the ships officers! Once again only water was provided. We have heard it said before that MSC need to stop thinking of their passengers as Cargo. Our thoughts on the Divina … The Divina is a nice very clean big ship but with small areas and what seems to be less space than on the Poesia and it does have some annoying design traits, the Villa Rossa dining room is located on Deck Six at the back of the ship and can only be accessed by Lift or by stairs from Deck Seven, to go from Villa Rossa to say Deck Five you have to go up and across Deck Seven and then down again. The Atrium of Divina is possibly the best part of the ship in our opinion and looks great and it also looks like where most of the money was spent, especially the staircases. Public toilets have no Hot water! And most have just two toilets in them, there also appeared to be a lack of them around or close to the Aqua Park. Pools are Salt water as is the water slide, the Spa area is nice and the staff always greeted you with a smile, you need to watch you do not walk into the tall mirrored glass that are next to the walkway to the sauna, changing rooms and steam rooms which were free to use on this cruise unlike on Poesia last year. At the bars we had no problem getting drinks although on busy nights in some it can get a little slow with not enough servers. The Jazz bar colour looks as though it has been imported from Costa and is not the usual MSC style, this bar is the only way to go forward to the theatre on this deck even if you come through the sports bar and many times people were walking past right in front of the singers despite the main route being to the left. There are two rows of three glass mirrors on each side prior to the buffet entry when coming from the lifts on Deck 14, no idea what the reason is for this although the theme of mirrors was replicated all over the ship especially on the staircases. The Buffet design although light and airy also suffers from lack of walking space between the tables and the food areas, with two of the beverage areas in the worst place possible next to a door leading to and from the kitchen. If you want salad be prepared to walk from one side to the other to get all you need unless you get the prepared stuff in a bowl from near the bar at the main entrance. At the back of the buffet opposite the bar are some bench seats that are not fixed down, be prepared to get stuck in there as we saw one guy did and could only get out when one waiter forcefully pushed the bench away after the people on the other side refused to moved despite being asked by the waiter his wife and four of us sat close by. Also be aware of the small kids food area with its little plastic railing and entrance frame which one man walked into and knocked over! Not quite sure why he was in the kids food area. Despite information to the contrary there were some people who still went into the buffet in swimwear and bathrobes! Hot water for Tea and Coffee is stored in containers and ran out on numerous occasions so you had to wait for a member of staff to change them over or go elsewhere, not sure why they do not have them plumbed in as some other ships are. The only passageway between the Black and White lounge on Deck Seven to the Theatre without going outside onto the Deck 7 boat deck has the photo shop and cruise pictures which means there is always a bottleneck of people coming from First dinner seating and the Black and White lounge to the theatre going against those heading to Second sitting dinner or coming from the theatre or other bars. The boat deck may well be a spoiler for some people because apart from a few small areas forward and aft of the lifeboats you cannot stand at the side rail and gaze out to sea due to the design of the lifeboat stowage. There is very little deck space between the pool and the small stage used by the Animation team and for those doing the dance exercises which means you have people dancing in between the sun beds around you. On Deck 15 there is very little room between the two rows of sun beds in many areas and people are constantly falling over them or kicking them as they go by, this area is also used by those jogging or walking. We did not have any problems finding a sun bed during the whole cruise. The Black and White lounge is the biggest lounge on the ship but is way too small for the number of people who wanted to use it and also had a lack of seating, it also possibly has the most uncomfortable and worst seats of the whole ship. The theatre is a mix of Red seating and Silver paneling and poor lighting on the stage that made it difficult at times to see what was going on during the shows some of which were the same ones from the year previous on Poesia. On the nights we visited the theatre it was never full. Anyone hoping to get to the front of the Divina for a view will be disappointed as this space is taken up by the Yacht club which houses around 4% of guests on the whole ship. Shops … The ship has the usual range of shops like the Logo shop, wristwatches and sunglasses, jewelery, handbags and duty free. The Disco appeared to be very under utilized in the evenings on this crossing, maybe it will get more use in the Caribbean. Food … This is always a difficult one because what one person likes another one may hate, the buffet food was the same as the previous years repo cruise on Poesia and at times lacked taste and was quite bland, the new size burgers were just meat and no flavour. Offerings for sweets at lunch and dinner were the same for the whole 18 days of the cruise and very unimaginative. The breakfast smoothies were one of the things to look forward to with Mango and Strawberry being our two favourites. Look out for Jennifer at breakfast who will have you one there in no time and they are best mixed by Kevin behind the bar. The Dining room on the first night was late for second sitting with people going in at 9-30 instead of 9 pm and at 9 pm the next night instead of 8-30 but the following nights seemed to sort themselves out at 8-30. Food in the evening also suffered from up and down syndrome, one-day good the next poor with the odd really good one thrown in, there appeared to be a problem of consistency from night to night. Of the Four Gala nights again it was a case of 1 really good, 1 not bad and 2 poor. Towards the last five nights the Dining room was maybe only half full. Tables in the Villa Rossa dining room were mainly for between 6 and 8 people and it seemed that there were not enough tables for two people. The Majority of people seemed to observe the dress code in the Dining room especially on Gala nights. The Cold fruit soups were once again one of the best foods served. Lamb shank one night was a big order by many in both the Black Crab and Villa Rossa; it was also possibly the most returned or left meal due to the meat being tough. The Duck that night also suffered the same fate although later in the cruise the Duck a`lorange was possibly one of the best meals of the cruise. The steaks went from wafer thin to be replaced mid cruise by decent thick tasty ones although we are still baffled as to how one arrived part well done and part pink inside! The after dinner sweets were again somewhat lackluster and on a few occasions we headed to the Café Del Doge for the better tasting offerings though there is a charge. Iced water was served from jugs without being asked for and coffee was available after dinner for those who wanted it. There were complaints of slow service in some areas of the dining rooms which may have been down to the fact that one kitchen serves one deck of the Black Crab dining room while the other one served the Villa Rossa and the other floor of the Black Crab, it may also be because the assistant waiters are away getting drinks while the waiters are busy doing everything else. Smoking is allowed on Deck 14 on the port side where you come out of the buffet and the bar with the Gelato is also on this side! A bad move in our opinion by MSC, they should have moved the smokers over to the other side. Entertainment... Many of the staff are from Poesia and have worked the Caribbean before, the Animation team lead by Claudio (ex Poesia) with Brendan, Zac, Yves, Sean, Adam, Julio and the others work their backsides off to get people involved in the games but were it seems handicapped by management on this cruise for some reason in the Black and White lounge in the evenings. The main band (ex Poesia) also seemed to have their hands tied singing the same set in the same order almost every night in the Black and White lounge where 95% of entertainment was dancing. It would be helpful if before they cruised MSC advised guests that there are to be theme nights on their cruise, Divina had a White party but had to be cancelled on the outside deck due to rain, a smaller version took place inside. Then there was a /60`s/ 70`s/80`s night which was the actual dress code for that night along with a Carnival and Red White and Green night. There were Four Gala nights onboard, Two casual, a 60/70/80`s, Green White and Red, Carnival, Casual or White and Eight Informal. The water slide was available for anyone to use despite a sign saying teens only and we made full use of it on a few days, the 4D cinema was good though a cost is incurred of $7 per film, the F1 racing simulator costs $9 a go, the Shuffleboard court yes just the one is virtually unusable when there are sun beds on either side and also the entry canopy to the Top 18 solarium ($10 a day for a sun bed) at one end. Surely someone must have noticed the issue of putting the court there? During the Five day sea crossing with no satellite signal MSC announced that the pay films would be available for Free, what they failed to say was the system was only able to accommodate 500 TV’s and each day the system crashed. They were upgrading the system with the new TV programmes as we sailed to Miami from San Juan that meant a visit to every TV on the ship to re programme them all. Cruise cards seemed to be a problem this year for some reason and between us we had them replaced 11 times for various reasons including bar machines not reading them and failing to open the cabin door, plus the original ones not having the drink package code on them. Other people we knew onboard had similar issues with their cards. Customer Service Desk … Very helpful staff although it did take Four visits over Six days to get the first days bar charges taken off our account due to not having the drink package code on our original sea pass cards. Ports Visited … Malta way too short only around Five hours, Malaga 5 1/2 hours, Madeira Full day, St Maarten Full day, St Thomas Full day for some due to US immigration, San Juan Full day. Getting off the ship at a few of the ports was a scrum at times because only one exit was used which was off the Atrium and having so many people in such a small space looked like disorganised chaos. Cruise highlights … The Ports visited, the best theatre show that we saw was Wonderland. Meeting many of the crew from the Poesia again especially Wayan our waiter from last year, Claudio from the Animation team, Sylvia in the Bacco bar and all the others. Meeting those roll call members we had chance to along with many others, taking part in the various quiz rounds and games. Visiting the two remaining ports on the itinerary that we had not been to, a visit to the everglades and our two days/nights in Miami despite the storm on the last night, meeting Police Officer Sergeant Bello of the Miami Beach police department who was one of the officers keeping an eye on the two buildings being built on South beach for an Art exhibition. Cruise Lows … The big one of losing a port day and arriving a day early in Miami for an advertising day by MSC just so the Divina could be the only ship in port on the 19th of November! Not what we paid for and being fed a constant stream of excuses as to why it was being done, the worst of all making out that it was so passengers could enjoy an “Exciting” day in Miami! Many of who had already made plans to stay for 2 or more days already. Plus there were people on the ship who live in Miami and Florida. Some Theatre shows were the same as the Poesia repo cruise last year but with different singers and dancers who were not as good, very much the same menu and food as last year with a few changes. The Captain and Hotel Manager were also from the Poesia along with Cruise Director Maddie. Disembarkation … We were told by staff that around 1500 passengers got off the ship on the 19th rather than stay on an extra night. You have to vacate the cabin by 7am. We will never understand the Italian way of organization of sending people to the farthest point when there is a shorter route, being on the back of the ship our allocated lounge was the theatre! We queued at the gangway exit for around Thirty minutes during which point people were told that there was an issue with the elevated walkway! The very same one that had been used all the previous day and night and was being used by the people in front of us who had already left the ship. The real reason was the slow baggage handling that was going on down below us, have these people learned nothing ? Tell people the Truth of what is happening and stop making up stories in order to cover up the problems. Having left the ship with other people we had sailed with last year we headed to the baggage claim area which was three halls with a conveyor belt unlike most other places we had been to where cases are stored in their respective colours tag wise and you go and collect them. The bags came through very slow and we waited around sixty minutes for ours, one German man had been waiting over two hours! Others waited longer. Conclusions … We would count ourselves as liking big ships over small ones having sailed the Oasis, Mariner of the seas and Ruby Princess and while many people will like Divina for various reasons we cannot see ourselves traveling on any of the other three Fantasia class ships of MSC. One reason being that there is no access to the front of the ship other than for those staying in the Yacht club. The Musica class of which Poesia belongs in our opinion has more wow factor than the Divina and has better-allocated space; any future cruises with MSC will likely be on this class of ship. To quote one lady who has been on all the MSC class of ships including twice on Divina, “Divina is all show and no substance” her preferred ship is the Sinfonia. Any cruise day at sea is always better than a day at work and some cruises are more memorable than others, sadly this cruise will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. After three cruises we are able to say that MSC although only being Twelve years old and young in terms of cruising compared to the likes of Carnival etc have a good product but it is let down by inconsistency in food in various areas and poor management especially those of the land based operations.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My parents and i were on a 9 week holiday from Australia and we were traveling with 5 other people. We had already done a 14 night Adriatic/ Greek island cruise on ncl Jade a week earlier. I was really looking forward to sailing on MSC as ... Read More
My parents and i were on a 9 week holiday from Australia and we were traveling with 5 other people. We had already done a 14 night Adriatic/ Greek island cruise on ncl Jade a week earlier. I was really looking forward to sailing on MSC as i had already seen footage on you tube of how beautiful it was. We organized a private taxi to drop us at the terminal and we when we arrived the staff were at the waters edge ready to take all bags off us which was awesome as with ncl we had to take them ourselves. Check in was fairly smooth and fast. My first impression when boarding the was OMG! This ship is absolutely beautiful and anybody who says otherwise is kidding themselves. The bars are all beautiful as are the eating areas. I really enjoyed the pools and the gym as well. I had my own cabin on board and it was an outside cabin on the 5 level. It was beautiful and massive. I have never seen a cabin this big and i had it all to myself. My parents had a balcony cabin although it wasn't as big as mine it was still very nice. My cabin steward was very friendly and always made the effort help anyway he could. My parents girl was also lovely. We ate in the Villa Rosa every night except for 1 when we went to Eataly. We had the late seating which we find a lot better than the early. The first night was a schmozzle. Instead of eating at 830 we didn't get in till 930. There was a lot of new staff that started that day as it was embarking on the transatlantic cruise to America. We understood that there was going to be a few hiccups so that didn't really bother us. What did bother us was the attitude of the 1st seating, some of them just blatantly refused to hurry and leave even when it was 930. We had excellent waiters on our trip. Their names were Frankie and Kurniwan. They always had our drinks waiting and always had a joke with us even if they didn't quite get the Australian sense of humor. I found the food every night beautiful. My parents and their friends often sat at the bar on the 7th floor near the atrium. The drinks waiter Darwin and Sevastina were great. Always having a joke and being funny. i found all the staff on Divina although run off the feet with obvious cut backs on staff to be very friendly and attentive. I enjoyed the food in the buffet, however made to order omlettes should be a must on cruise ships so i was definitely disappointed with that. the dessert in the buffet were awesome. Now for some negatives. My two main complaints were HANDWASHING and entertainment in the bars. In regards to these i did make complaints while i was on board and did have a meeting with the pursers about this. In all restaurants and bars there are the dispensers for people to wash their hands however people would just walked past them and not use them which really pissed me off. As much as i don't want to say it, it was mostly Europeans that didn't use them and as you can imagine it was a majority of Europeans on board. How there wasn't an outbreak of gastro ill never know. All i ask is for someone to be stationed at least at the main dining rooms and buffet and spray peoples hands as the go in. Ncl do this on all their ships so i know it can be done. Entertainment was very boring. The stage shows were great but in the bars not so much. A lady and her husband in the back bar were quite good but opera and violins every night is really annoying. Don't get me wrong they are good at what they do but when you are in the Caribbean its not something you want to hear every night. Music around the pool was non existent and there were no sail away parties. It was quite sad when you were in the Caribbean and you could hear the music on the other ships and nothing on ours. I saw the cruise directors and asked them one night why there was nothing on and happening and they said the get too manly complaints from the Europeans about loud music. I told them you do realize that you are going to the Caribbean and going to be going out of Miami all the time which means Americans, Canadians, Australians and British to name a few will not stand for boring cruises in the Caribbean They want Fun, upbeat cruises. As this cruise was about 6 months ago i understand that things may have gotten better which i really hope they have as it is a beautiful ship and the staff were amazing. The staff and the ship are why i will cruise Msc cruise Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This was our first cruise with MSC and after praise from a TV show about the ship we had high expectations. Once on board initial impressions were good. We had an inside cabin on deck 5 which was one deck below the casino and on the same ... Read More
This was our first cruise with MSC and after praise from a TV show about the ship we had high expectations. Once on board initial impressions were good. We had an inside cabin on deck 5 which was one deck below the casino and on the same deck as the main lobby for enquiries and help desk. The lobby/atrium was quite impressive spread over three decks with the famous swarowski crystal stair cases and several bars. Bar staff, waiters and servers were all excellent with a good mix of nationalities and most with very good English. The coffee bars and ice cream parlors were very good. Ice cream cup $2.10 12 + flavours, double cappuccino $4.10. There is a good choice of bars with most cocktails costing around $7.25 e.g. Manhattan, Pina Colada etc. Wines by the glass from$5.50 to $8.50 and bottles from around $24 upwards. Beer $5 or $6. We had pre purchased the Alligrissimo Drinks for £20 per person which was also on sale at embarkation but for the price of $44 per person in a cabin, considerably more. It is quite difficult to drink $44 of alcohol and ice cream each day for 18 days especially with days ashore. We did have problems with ordering wine as some of the more popular wines such as the Shiraz and Californian Cabernet Sauvignon ran out early in the cruise. My recommendation is to drink when you feel like a cocktail or a glass of wine and the occasional ice cream or coffee and save your money. The design of the ship is somewhat different from standard cruise ships. There is no full walk around promenade deck. You can walk outside along the port and starboard sides of the ship on deck 7 but to go from one side to the other you have to go inside past the lifts for and aft. You cannot access the front of the ship on the top deck unless you are a Yacht Club member, i.e. effectively a first class passenger. We have cruised on nine other cruise ships from five cruise lines and never have we not had access to the front of the ship on one of the top decks. You can look out of the front of the ship on deck 10 from inside the Gym through two sets of glass windows and shields. Although you could theoretically walk around the top deck 15, but without access to the front of the ship, this was made difficult by the many many sun loungers always filled with sun bathers during the day.The weather was very good fortunately for them. If you wanted to walk or risk jogging around deck 15 this could only be done early in the day or after dusk when the sun worshippers had retired to the bars or restaurants. Walking around the deck also involved negotiating the top deck Bar at the rear on the port side, which was also a popular spot for the smokers who also inhabited a long section on deck 14 port side where they had ash trays. There was no where to sit on the outside top deck 15 accept on a sun loungers apart from in the port side rear bar where you have to share with the smokers. There was plenty of room in areas on deck fifteen where chairs and tables could have been placed. We found food in the main dining room very disappointing with limited choice. Meat tended to be over cooked and portions very small with very few vegetables. Food in the Buffet on deck 14 was good for breakfast if you could find a seat to eat it at. Lunch had a reasonable choice of dishes but again was very busy. If you decided to eat later when the buffet was quieter, you risked the choice being reduced as food ran out. The evening buffet was always very disappointing with only one side of the restaurant being open and a very poor selection on offer. There was always pizza and burgers, pasta and grilled chicken again usually over cooked, but that was pretty much all. Lunch time specials like sweet and sour pork or curry and a meat joint were never offered in the evening We saw two shows both good. The story of Ben Bones and very good, the Michael Jackson tribute. Getting off the ship on port days varied from reasonably successful to totally shambolic. If you had chosen to go on a ships trip you were escorted off from decks 4 or 5 usually. Every one else who was on an independent excursion, or who just wanted to go ashore, had to leave from deck 7 mid ships through the atrium which meant everyone converging either from deck 6 coming up the swarowski staircase or from one of four corridors on deck 7 into one large scrum trying to file through one exit with two scanners for cruise cards all at the same time. Given the tendency for Europeans not to understand the concept of an orderly queue, this inevitably lead to chaos. Having said all of this, the ports of call were outstanding. Valletta in Malta, an amazing sail in through a spectacular harbour, albeit watched from the side of the ship, the front not being available as mentioned above. Malaga in Spain, Funchal in Madeira, Philipsburg in St. Maarten, Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas and San Juan in Puerto Rico before arriving in Miami for an overnight stay before disembarkation, another shambles. As mentioned by other critics you have to leave you cabin by 7 in the morning only to sit around on the ship. In our case we sat in the theatre and waited for our assigned colour and number to be called. However nothing was happening. We were supposed to get off the ship as 9 a.m. our allotted time, but nothing was happening and no numbers were being called. One guest complained at the front desk and a member of the entertainment department to come to the front and explain what was happening. Apparently a problem with immigration authorities or customs, even though every one had cleared Homeland Security in St Thomas and many had also been off the ship the previous day happily wondering around Miami. So what was going on? To summarise: A large ship with some strange design features, large state rooms, excellent staff, but poor organisation, disappointing food, great coffee and tasty ice cream. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Much misinformation about what was to take place in this maiden transatlantic crossing of MSC's Divina. I must say that the ship is gorgeous. Good looks are, however, deceiving. The disorganization starts at the top and filters down ... Read More
Much misinformation about what was to take place in this maiden transatlantic crossing of MSC's Divina. I must say that the ship is gorgeous. Good looks are, however, deceiving. The disorganization starts at the top and filters down to all aspects of the cruise. As cruising is relative, the relationship is based on what you have experienced before and the anticipation that you are embarking on something similar or perhaps even better than you did before. I must admit, I made the mistake of ignoring the reviews I read as the ramblings of disgruntled previous passengers (they are the most likely to write where passengers that appreciated their trip tend to dismiss it as having gotten what was expected). Unfortunately those who complained in this case understated the reality. It took me 15 of the 19 days of this cruise to even find out the basis upon which the voyage was initiated. "We are going to bring a taste of the Mediterranean to the Caribbean to allow those in that area to experience it w/o the extra travel." Okay, fair enough but the taste left from this cruise would tell me that I would not want to experience more which is simply not true. If one loves travel, Italy and the Greek Isles should be high on the priority list, especially their culinary offerings. MSC Divina did not come close to the mark there. They awarded their own Pizza chef as the best in Italy. I think their pizza was adequate but noting to write home about. Unfortunately it appears that their head chef was promoted from the Pizzeria and should be put to whence he came. Overcooking and over salting foods was the norm. And heavy gravy for Au Jus - it is supposed to be a sauce, not a gravy. No problem, the English cut prime rib that was smothered by this foul presentation could not have hurt or helped it anyway. Lest you think that this is an example, it was carried on throughout the dining experience. Lobster butterflied and left in the shell (not even removed and then replaced - still attached). It tasted more like lobster flavored rubber. Two of my favorite dishes ruined, uneatable! I do know good food. Being a former restaurant owner and qualified chef give me a right to critique foods with some authority. And, comparison to other cruise lines culinary gives me another rating system to use in case I was to consider my own skills to be more than what they are. Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America, and Princess all offer way better culinary skills. OK, Costa fell below MSC but I will not cruise with them again either. It was so bad that I felt sorry for the dining room staff that was a go between having to deal with the abuse that so often is misdirected toward them because of lack of quality that they are required to present. The bright spot in the dining room was the fine effort made by the staff there and their efforts to do well despite the insurmountable odds against them. This, I might say, was also true of our cabin steward. Meeting all our expectation and providing little extras was his mission. He too did a spectacular job. It is a shame that those were the high lights of this cruise experience. I did have a meeting with the guest relations manager wishing to see this beautiful ship be successful in its transitional efforts. I fear, however, that little of what I had to say was even a consideration. MSC will not make it in the Caribbean!!! Especially if they continue with a line of arrogant stupidity and misinformation. And speaking of misinformation, we received information almost continuously via loud speakers on all the sales, and offerings that should have been handled on a want to know basis. And in five languages no less. In preparation for their entering the U.S./Caribbean market (they will be home based in Miami for the next two years) they were required to meet U.S. coastguard standards. They drilled their crew daily, especially when we were in ports of call. If anyone stayed aboard or came aboard after being out and about, they were blasted with crew drills over the loud speakers (at least they too were not in five languages). I have had and expect preparatory pre sailing drills for the passengers before but this is required and appreciated for all who want to wonder the deep blue seas. The incessant crew training drill needs to be done elsewhere or quietly so as not to disrupt the peaceful respite that one has paid for. And, it overflowed into almost every other aspect of their disorganized presentation. I am guessing that 30% of the crew came newly aboard in Malaga. Needless to say, they required the training that was given to them as we sailed away. Yes, some of it got better as the time passed but I will have a hard time forgetting the cappuccino served to me in a demi-tasse or the 1/2 filled demi of espresso. One bartender training five newbies while customers waited an hour for their miss-made drinks. I was told by another English speaking French Canadian that I spoke with that he had over heard a cruiser from Belgium speaking about the "stupid Americans that got what they paid for and considered fine dining to be hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza". Well this "stupid American" had fine dining tastes that were not met in any way, shape or form. Even the sommelier who visited us during our evening meal was frustrated when he spoke about the ship running out of wines that were offered. Apparently, they did not anticipate that so much wine would have been consumed (an Italian ship with a 4200 passenger capacity that had 3300 aboard for 19 nights wouldn't expect large consumption of a product in which they take so much pride - yes it is good and does rival the best of the French but???) Just another glitch in their organized chaos. Oh, and paying for what you get. I have paid less for far more with others that did not try to nickle/dime me for the "not included" Unless you were U.S or Canadian, you even paid for your bottled water - poor Australians and Brits. Oh heck, we even were required to pay for coffee with our evening meals, Never mind any on board. They too were pay as you go and pricey at that. 6 Euros each for a game of mini bowling. Mom was charged $15 per book for their used (left behind) book from their library - okay, they returned the funds when the books were returned but what an ultimate insult to one's integrity. Might have been more acceptable had they advised that they would assess a charge if they were still on your ship's card and not returned prior to disembarking but... The list is far more extensive but I am as tired of writing this as you are of reading it if you have gotten this far and I think if you have, you get the picture. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
The Divina is a beautiful ship. I like the staterooms. In the staterooms I especially like the folding shower doors that give extra room when you're not in the shower. Departure from Venice was very unpleasant. You have to walk, ... Read More
The Divina is a beautiful ship. I like the staterooms. In the staterooms I especially like the folding shower doors that give extra room when you're not in the shower. Departure from Venice was very unpleasant. You have to walk, dragging your luggage from the people mover to the ship. Thank goodness it wasn't raining! It's about one mile... honestly a mile. Regarding the food I always found something I liked. The "Ethnic" corner was a go to place to tasty dishes at lunch time. At breakfast, it's basic. There wasn't any fresh pineapple, and there were canned fruits everyday. And, someone has got to tell the chef that both baked beans and baked apples actually need to be baked! In both cases they were passed by the front of an oven. Dinner upstairs in the buffet is basically the same every day with really minor changes. MSC wants you in the dining room. Many passengers were upset that MSC canceled a scheduled stop in Nassau so they could have a publicity stunt with Fiat 500 cars, and have a travel agent inspection day. There was typical MSC confusion (everything goes to Sorrento, to Geneva, back to Sorrento, to Miami, and then back to Sorrento all over again) regarding the canceled day. Some passengers got off, some didn't. Everything was last minute and completely confused. But, MSC saved the worst until the last minute. After the big good-bye production on stage, after the helicopters in Miami, and after we filled out the questionnaires, MSC forgot to offload the luggage... Yes, that's right, they didn't have the luggage on the dock, it was all still on the ship in the morning. There was chaos in the luggage hall. People standing around, no luggage. Local staff could only say that they had never seen anything like this. Absolutely NO MSC staff anywhere! Luggage was coming out with all the colors on all of the carousels. People who got off first were still waiting for their luggage THREE HOURS LATER. And, I might add that's three hours of STANDING AND WAITING, for their luggage since there was no place to sit. Some passengers were telling local staff that MSC could send their luggage since they were not going to miss their flight. I waited over two hours for my luggage, which came off on the wrong carousel. I like MSC but this certainly left a very bad impression. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Such a beautiful ship it's a shame it will get torn apart unless undergoing a lot of changes whilst in America, Whilst agreeing with an awful lot of what has been said in reviews which I have read I feel some people have been quite ... Read More
Such a beautiful ship it's a shame it will get torn apart unless undergoing a lot of changes whilst in America, Whilst agreeing with an awful lot of what has been said in reviews which I have read I feel some people have been quite harsh and petty with their comments. Yes the service onboard in the dinning room was a bit hectic but this was mainly due to understaffing, 2 hours 40 minutes on early dinning is far too long and puts 2nd sitting far later than stipulated but things did improve after the first week when staff got used to running around tables overcrowded a little quicker, felt sorry for some of the waiters. Paying for water & coffee in the dinning room is unacceptable which was soon realized by the management once the American visitors joined the cruise, never happened to myself before. Our cabin boy must of been invisible although he did keep the cabin clean & tidy was never to be found when needed only for a wave from the end of the corridor. Films on the television were a joke able to watch half of four films and only saw the finish of two other films due to constant breakdown during the screening, nothing to watch whilst crossing the Atlantic. Entertainment in the beautiful theatre was a big letdown, five good shows out of nineteen days cruising unless you liked opera which judging by the amount of persons walking out during these shows would suggest didn't. The cast which worked hard when appearing were very good but even their shows only lasted at most 35 minutes, shame that shows couldn't of been made to last longer with some other form of entertainer. The cruise was changed last minute which meant we never visited the port of Nassau I believe that this was due to the big show put on for our entrance into Miami harbour which was spectacular but didn't warrant us missing what ports we'd paid to see when booking. Things were all about to change after we disembarked, for the following three days when travel agents and the media got invited to a three day complimentary cruise when over a thousand were treated to top level entertainment, fireworks and no doubt better service & food, its a shame that paying cruise customers weren't treat the same, but I feel certain that MSC should of learnt a lesson if not then this cruise will be coming home earlier than they anticipated. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Divina...November 2-20....Trans Atlantic...Venice to Miami This was our second cruise with MSC....first one a 14 day New England to Quebec City...and this one an 18 day repositioning from Venice to Miami.....right off I must say that ... Read More
Divina...November 2-20....Trans Atlantic...Venice to Miami This was our second cruise with MSC....first one a 14 day New England to Quebec City...and this one an 18 day repositioning from Venice to Miami.....right off I must say that “we WOULD sail again with MSC ”..that statement is for those who think that any sort of criticism is bad-mouthing the company and its ships.... We had just finished two 7 day B2B’s on the Splendour of the Seas...RCCL around Greece, Croatia and Turkey....that ended on Nov 2 so had fresh memories to compare things between RCCL and MSC....it was our first time on RCCL The Ship and Demographics..... The ship was almost sold out....apparently it had been heavily marketed in Europe and Turkey for a cruise with air package.....so according to the front desk and CD there were over 900 Swiss/Germans and 700 Turks and the rest from all over Europe and Britain....a minority were the 100 Canadians...most from a package from Sunquest...200 or so from Australia...a package with air and Las Vegas...their package was interesting as it included the 7 days before this cruise, the 18 days and then the 3 day intro with all the travel agents from USA..... and lastly perhaps 75 from USA...(an Australian review would be very interesting to read as it would highlight three different cruises on the same ship) The ship is beautiful and fairly well laid out.... deck #7 allows you to go from one end of the ship from the Black and White Lounge area in the aft to the Theatre at the bow....the others go part way so you have to go up or down stairs to deck 7....there was no way to go to the bow of the ship outside unless you were a Yacht Club customer...this is kind of a negative as it is nice to go to the bow area ......the ship is spotless and well maintained....could not believe the number of crew members we saw cleaning all times of the day and night....they also appreciated a comment that showed some interest in what they were doing...ie vacuuming, polishing, cleaning windows...etc....the bars and lounges were well designed and packed at night with lots of entertainment....each lounge had a band or singer night after night for listening pleasure and dancing if you wanted.....there were 17 of them.....probably too many but with 4000 passengers you have to have places to go at night......pools in the day were crowded as the weather was hot and sunny....far too many people would get up early...stake out their loungers, put out their orange towels and leave....and come back hrs later... it was like a contest to get the best positions...for 18 days the same people were in the same spots....the pools were nice and warm and filled with salt water....after the whole day of use the water was not as clear as in the AM....suggestion is to change some of the water as the day goes on.......currency on board was in US$....which came into effect the day we boarded...so some strain on the staff to adjust so fast....casino went from Euro to $ also....some machines still had the Euro symbols....a fun place but we thought the slots were tight......gratuities were the least expensive at $8 per day....we had a Cruise Critic group and had some meetings...if you do some digging you can find comments about that process.....Andre, the new Assistant Cruise Director attended the meetings and was very candid....which was a good thing.... Ports... Venice, Malta, Malaga, Madeira, St Maarten, St Thomas, San Juan, Puerto Rico and supposedly (Nassau) which was exchanged for an extra day in Miami....we loved all of them....sunshine, hot, and interesting places, easy to move about and sightsee....our favourite was probably Madeira....beautiful location...did the Hop–on, Hop-off bus for an overview of the area, the gondola up the Monte, then lunch and a leisurely walk about the main part of town and back to the ship.....never took a ship tour in any of the ports as we did our own thing which was very easy...most of these ports you could just walk off the ship and were right in the middle of things..... Cabin We had an aft balcony cabin....11266....quite large, full sized couch, queen bed, flat screen 24”, desk area, fridge....(mini bar), nice sized bathroom with glass/plastic doors for shower, robes, two large closets, balcony with two loungers, two chairs and a table.....excellent to while away the 18 days.....cabin steward gave great service and did little extras for us....we liked chatting to him and he appreciated it....we kept getting fruit bowls...who knows from where as there never was a note....there was a slight problem with the balcony...if you do some research you can find out why as it was under the aft pool.....there was hardly any rumble from the engines.....so fairly quiet........and no loud neighbours......sometimes smelled smoke in the hallways but apparently some nationalities were not told about the new smoking rules....signs for no smoking showed up on the balcony door two days before the cruise ended....... Dining We had fixed seating at 6pm (don’t like to wait until 8:30) in the Black Crab....deck 6....table for 6 by a window in the port aft section of the restaurant.....great table mates.....two from Belgium and two from Ontario....looked forward to going to dinner each night as had so many nice chats and laughs....sometimes this makes the cruise in our opinion.......our waiter and assistant were fantastic.....after a few days the wine, water, bread, etc was always waiting for us when we arrived......service was off and on but no fault of the waiters....it was due to back-ups and problems in the kitchen, new menus and new ways of doing things......ice water was available at the table (something new).....as we were from NA we had free vouchers for bottled water, gas or no gas....so we used them up....a nice perk...(at $3.25 natural or $4.75 for San Pelligrino) ..and shared the water with our new friends from Belgium....they thought that was great.....we had the NA wine package of 7 bottles for $85....very nice house wine.....Trebiano Rubicon and Grillo Tratt....both white.....(there are also two reds and one rose to choose from )...buy before you go on the cruise and save the service charge....also had the NA beer package at $52 for 14 bottles or cans... had the odd MGD 16oz...cost at $5 each in the bars and restaurants....Food....well that is always subjective.....in our humble opinion it was fine....when compared to RCCL which we had just come off for 14 days, we felt the food and variety was better on MSC....you could have 5 or more courses each night.....appetizer, soup, salad, pasta, mains, dessert.....who would starve?....food preparation was usually good but you could never tell....if we did not like it just asked for another course and got it really fast.....gelatto was always available for dessert so would usually order a dessert and gelato....super......beef could be ordered by cooking style now....rare, med-rare, etc....previously you could not do that.....and cuts were thicker.....had lobster one gala dinner....nice and ordered the steak also to go with it......delicious....we never starved.....Breakfast in the buffet was hectic but lots of choice.....however, the stations never changed for the whole cruise.....major problem was that fresh fruit was only at the front station which was quite the hike from the back of the buffet...... better to have a quiet breakfast in the dining room.....service was fast.......Lunch in the buffet....again hectic....and repetitive.....we started eating in the dining room as was more civilized......most stations had the same stuff day after day....there was an ethnic station and things did change there..... salad was only in the front station....again a major flaw in the design.....they should have had a mirrored design front and back....would clear up many problems as most people were rushing back and forth.....so for 18 days all was fine....the staff tried hard with all the new menus and serving style....and yes....we had coffee each night with our dessert....waiters got into the flow and got the coffee cups ready as dessert was served....never went to the pay eating venues...mostly they were empty....MSC never had any outside eating areas or barbecue which was too bad as the weather was great each day....perhaps they will do that later on the Caribbean cruises.... Entertainment I think the shows were geared to an audience that speaks different languages.... hence no comedians, English production shows etc......mainly impressive visual shows, dancing, acrobatics, juggling, physical stunts etc. with names such as “Billy Bones”, “Wonderland”, “Mime Mix”, “Il Sole Mio”, “Elvis Tribute”, “Starwalker”, “The Best Of”, “Frank Sinatra” ...some were loud and impressive with costumes and activities.....the best one that we liked was “Starwalker” which was a take on Michael Jackson music and dancing.....the theatre holds 1670 people on three levels.....so really no problem getting a seat....arrived sometimes 5 minutes before the show at 9pm.....they did two shows usually, one for late seating and one for early seating.....Introductions by the CD took forever as they repeated things in 5 languages and then sometimes 6 for all the Turks.....I wonder if they will just stick to English for the Caribbean ones. The Black and White lounge was the hub of activity after the shows....with the Entertainment/Animation crew doing their stunts.....each bar also had music...really liked the couple that sang in “La Luna”.....Shops and Shopping......lots of them...most we have ever seen on a ship.....even a candy store.....final thoughts....well for five days in a row we also had “Opera Shows”....good for some but the theatre was half empty....and the big production shows had the same stunts but with different music and costumes.....so lost some of the thrill after seeing the same thing over and over.....as there was no TV for several days there was no entertainment or news in our staterooms...some problem due to the change-over of satellite feed from Europe to North America...should have been addressed sooner than it was On/Off Great embarking in Venice....dropped off our tagged luggage and checked in....on ship in probably 15 minutes....MSC had this port down pat.....Miami....well another story.....perhaps there were problems as it was the first time...but....we were to be off the ship at 8:45 to pick up luggage but were still waiting for it 2 and half hrs later.....lots and lots of unhappy customers missing planes etc.....major concern....did not see one MSC officer trying to help out and explain the problems...I think they were getting ready to have the 3 days of Travel Agents aboard..... .....only people about were the Port of Miami helpers and employees...mainly women.... and I felt sorry for them...they did their best Summary We had a good cruise....great dinner mates, nice table location, good wine, fantastic weather for 18 days, interesting ports of call, and a new, well looked after ship.....and the food...well no one would starve....there was always something to eat and if it was not what you expected or felt was not up to snuff, just order another dish......and excellent service from our waiters and cabin steward.....what can you want! Sure there were minor/major glitches depending on your point of view...organizational skills of the senior management, luggage problems, lack of information, having to call 4 different head offices before someone could make a decision, chaos at the buffet at times, loud multi-language announcements, few English books in the library, pool lounger hogs, dropping Nassau without giving a reason, misinformation as no one really knew what was going on at times. All in all we will remember the great time as the positives outweighed the negatives. We hope MSC will address the issues that caused concern and upset for many of the passengers and succeed in the North American market. As a line they cannot put their image ahead of the things that most passengers expect. A case in point would be the fantastic arrival in Miami with helicopters, fireboats, “Fiats” and Diva sunglasses followed the next day by the disembarkation and luggage retrieval fiasco. That left most people with a bad taste and that was unfortunate as the last thing they remember of the cruise..... Thanks for reading....   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We normally cruise with Thomson and I know that is thought to be the budget end of the cruise industry. This time we chose MSC and the new ship Divina, so 4 of us (2 couples) eagerly boarded the ship in Venice. Embarcation was long but ... Read More
We normally cruise with Thomson and I know that is thought to be the budget end of the cruise industry. This time we chose MSC and the new ship Divina, so 4 of us (2 couples) eagerly boarded the ship in Venice. Embarcation was long but reasonably well organised. We were very impressed by our Balcony cabin. Also the whole ship was more glamorous that we were used too so we were very happy. That is where it ended, the Ports were very remote..we never arrived at them on time or left them on time. No information given when arriving at the ports except for MSC excurtions. Never had much time to do anything. Then came the mealtime experience. Wow I have never seen so many people at one time trying to clamber for food. Coffee, food and utencills were very often missing in action. Once at breakfast I could find no coffee at any of 3 stations so asked at the bar, I was very rudely told "go to the machines" while he served only the chosen few with fresh coffee..he could not have liked my face. I complained to one of the Manager types and to his credit he got us coffee himself. I have never come across such rude,greedy and arrogant people in any of the cruised I have previously gone on. Food quality I felt was very poor, even in the supposedly fine dining room, one night we had deep fried pork chop and chips!!!. Stage shows were good,but everywhere on the ship we went there was constant noise, loud music from every lounge, loud people as well so the combination did not make for relaxation. I am glad we tried another cruise line it has made us realise that the so called budget end has a lot going for it especially the food, the previous cruises had us looking forward to our evening dining experience, I am afraid this one had us dreading it. Last comment, we resented being told what to fill in on the questionnaire. Please put excellent and not just good was the cry of the day. Sorry but I prefer to be honest. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We have done some 26 cruises and not all were great but most were but nothing could be worse than an MSC cruise. I would never ever cruise with MSC unless it was free. To start with we left Venice on a cruise to Miami and virtually none ... Read More
We have done some 26 cruises and not all were great but most were but nothing could be worse than an MSC cruise. I would never ever cruise with MSC unless it was free. To start with we left Venice on a cruise to Miami and virtually none of the crew could speak English, there was no service at any of the pools for the first seven days. The food was the most boring and tasteless. We went to the dining room for 8.30pm and would not get in until 9.30pm a lot of the nights. My partner ordered a chicken dinner, it came out late and it was cold and all she got was a small piece of rubbery chicken and a few chips and there were no vegetables or salad, I went and grabbed the Maitre dey and all he was lost for words after mine. The buffet meals were terrible also. We had a suite which was fantastic. There was no one to complain to about anything as they just didn't care and didn't speak much English.. The ship was nice but there was nothing else on the outside decks but two pools and a couple of spa pools, no mini golf. Every time the cruise director made an announcement it was repeated in 8 languages, it was a novelty the first day but it got on every ones nerves pretty quick. For 25 days there was no entertainment on the deck at all, but when we arrived in Miami there was fireworks and entertainment for the next three nights because there were a couple of hundred travel agents sailing for the 3 nights. The food never improved but the service was a little better. If you are thinking about the MSC Divina think again and go on one of the other cruise lines. The best thing the ship had was the drinks package $28.00 a day. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This was our third cruise on MSC. Unfortunately it didn' t go as smoothly as the previous ones. The main reason: The human factor. The attitude towards the passengers is simply too laid back. The ship is beautiful and very well ... Read More
This was our third cruise on MSC. Unfortunately it didn' t go as smoothly as the previous ones. The main reason: The human factor. The attitude towards the passengers is simply too laid back. The ship is beautiful and very well maintained. The cabins (balcony) are somewhat smaller than on the older MSC ships (e.g. Lirica), but still nice and comfortable, Embarkation and disembarkation in Venice went smoothly, especially if you are an MSC Club member and use the priority lines. Otherwise you should expect to spend som time in lines. The food in the restaurant and cafeteria is good and tasty, especially if you choose the Italian dishes. The real challenge on this ship is the lack of service management and management of the passenger flow. When all 4.000 passengers return to the ship (all the excursions return at the same time) and go to the cafeteria there is simply not enough room. Twice we gave up finding a table. If you do find a table, then you will have to hunt for cutlery, plates, coffee and by the time you have found most of it, half of the food is gone. We had to go to 5 different drink stations just to get hot water. This can be done much, much better ! From the second day we were delayed. No reason or information was given. If you asked, you were simply misinformed by the crew. In Katakolon we arrived more than one hour late. Nevertheless we were told to be in the meeting place for the tour at 7 am. At that time we were still saling at open sea at full speed ! If you asked, why you should get up this early, the standard answer was: We wil be there in 10-15 minutes. It took more than one hour before we could se Katakolon.... Same story in Istanbul, just in reverse order. All must be aboard 4:30 pm. We didn´t leave until 6:30 pm. No reason was given. But we could easily have spent 2 hours more in this exciting city. By the end we of course arrived late back in Venice, For the first time an expanation was given: Due to heavy fog the port was closed. Strangely enough this socalled closure didn´t affect NCL Jade or RCCL Splendour who both have arrived on time back in Venice.... Finally a word of advise: If you buy any packages , e.g. the laundry package aboard, that are not swiped, make sure to get a receipt. We were charged for all our laundry at full price, as the accounting office couldn´t find the package order slip in their apparent mess. The rude and arrogant answer to my complaints - twice ! - was to imply that I was lying and never had turned in the order slip. Customer service may need a new name to more correctly reflect the attitude of the staff. All in all a mixed experience. This might have been our last cruise on MSC. We will return to NCL and RCCL... Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Overall, the MSC Divina is an enjoyable ship. The ship is simply the most elegant ship we've been on, but service is where MSC seems to be lacking. The ship needs more open deck space, especially at the buffet area. There was never ... Read More
Overall, the MSC Divina is an enjoyable ship. The ship is simply the most elegant ship we've been on, but service is where MSC seems to be lacking. The ship needs more open deck space, especially at the buffet area. There was never anyplace to sit during breakfast/lunch. I'd never experienced this problem on Carnival and we were on a full ship on the Breeze in the Med last fall, so I'm pretty sure it's related to ship design or perhaps due to the fact that Europeans don't eat and clear a table as quickly as an American audience and this causes backlog in table availability. Embarkation in Venice was about on par with other embarkations we've done. Getting so many people on a ship just takes a lot of time. The ports (Bari, Katakolon, Izmir, Istanbul, and Dubrovnik) were all great destinations with something to do at every one. It's nice that the more low key Bari and Dubrovnik ports bookend the more hectic activities that are available at Katakolon, Izmir, and Istanbul. The only problem I have with the itinerary was the fact that the port times were rather short (ex. only 5 hours in Dubrovnik). I'd have rather lost a port day in Bari in exchange for longer port times in Katakolon or Istanbul. MSC excursions are well run and enjoyable if you're willing to pay for the most expensive ones. Disembarkation is a little irritating because they want you to vacate your cabin at 0700, which seems early since they don't start unloading passengers/baggage until 0830 at the earliest. Overall, a great cruise as far as the ship, cabin, and itinerary are concerned. Now, the problem that we had on the Divina centered around the service. We are Americans living in Europe, so we are used to the less personal service provided at dinner. You can expect the dinner service on the Divina to be very impersonal. We felt like the server was just there to do a job, which I guess he is, but we missed the connection that we had with our servers on previous cruises on different lines. This extended to the cabin steward and other servers as well. I realize service is a very personal thing, but we were fairly put off by the lack of service above and beyond the expectation. The major issues on our cruise that would make us choose to not sail MSC again center around the Mini Club (Kids center) and the poor dinner service. We had quite a bit of trouble just getting the proper dishes that we ordered on the cruise and were often rushed to order our entire meal mere minutes (five at most) after being given the menu. It felt like a crap shoot as to whether we would receive what we ordered or not. The Mini Club was terrible. We had booked excursions based on the availability of the Mini Club to watch our 3 year old son during the one port day in Istanbul. The MSC website is clear that Mini Club only accepts children 3 and over, and is available for port excursion days. What they neglect to inform you of is the fact that your child must be fully potty trained in order to participate and they refuse to assist in any way. So, we were forced to purchase an excursion ticket for him onboard for the full day trip in Istanbul as they wouldn't refund our excursion that we had already purchased. Now, I understand that policies are what they are and the reasoning behind the policy (molestation liability, etc.) but I would have greatly appreciated MSC explaining the entire policy on their website up front so we could have planned accordingly. Additionally, when we did take him and our daughter to the Mini Club on the sea day, they weren't welcoming to our son (he cried out of apprehension in the new environment and they chose to simply ignore him) and the staff neglected to explain directions to our daughter in English, even after asking to be spoken to in English (a language they support, by the way). So, our son didn't participate at all and our daughter was not interested in returning after the two hours she spent there. I would definitely state the Carnival's Camp Carnival is much better because they will assist with bathroom visits and actually try to welcome the child. Unless your child speaks Italian, they may not do well in MSC Mini Club. Conclusion-Great ship and itinerary. Thoroughly enjoyed most parts of the cruise, but the lack of quality service at dinner and the Mini Club would make us choose another line in the future. If you don't have kids, I would definitely recommend. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We sailed on the Divina a few weeks ago. The ship is beautiful and huge. We have sailed with Holland Amer, RCL, Celebrity,and NCL but not MSC before. A few things we noticed: People smoke everywhere. Not used to that in North America. Very ... Read More
We sailed on the Divina a few weeks ago. The ship is beautiful and huge. We have sailed with Holland Amer, RCL, Celebrity,and NCL but not MSC before. A few things we noticed: People smoke everywhere. Not used to that in North America. Very few english speaking passengers so a very multicultural experience which we quite enjoyed. Embarkation was chaotic and took much longer than it should have. The cafeteria was always crazy busy so we ate in the dining room almost every meal. Because you are in port for such a short time, we always had time to eat there. The food was very good and we found the service to be very good. Our cabin was fine, as spacious as expected and very clean. The evening shows were very good particularly the can can, pirate, opera, and Michael Jackson. We were surprised by how much we enjoyed them. The reason for the cruise was the ports of call for us. Bari was fine, a nice walk about and a little shopping. Interesting to see the tomb of St Nicholas. Katakalon was our gateway to Olympia and we enjoyed it. Izmir allowed us to see Ephesus and that was amazing. Istanbul was fantastic. Wish we had a week to spend there. We also loved Dubrovnik. Could easily go back there. We did not book any tours with the ship, we did them on our own, prebooking private tours that were very convenient and less expensive. It was a very nice cruise for a very reasonable price. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
My husband, myself and our 14 year old daughter booked a back to back cruise of the western and eastern mediteranean. This was our 2nd cruise. We booked with MSC mainly due to the good price. The first ship we embarked on was the Divina, ... Read More
My husband, myself and our 14 year old daughter booked a back to back cruise of the western and eastern mediteranean. This was our 2nd cruise. We booked with MSC mainly due to the good price. The first ship we embarked on was the Divina, the second the Splendida. We loved both the ships, they were bright, spotlessly clean and just so beautiful. If I had to chose one, I would choose the Divina though, mainly due to the nicer colours used and it being just a little bit newer! Our balcony room was great, perfectly adequate space for the 3 of us. It was cleaned twice a day by our lovely cabin man Aurelio (Divina). He surprised us one day with a lovely towel animal, so we did one back for him - a long towel snake with paper eyes and ribbon tongue! After this he just got better and better, with one day us even finding a monkey hanging from a coathanger on the ceiling! Took us a day or so to get used to the layout of the ship, but once we had it, it was easy to get about. We ate mainly in the restaurant, which was very beautiful and we had two lovely waiters who catered to our every need. The food was always nice and warm and beautifully presented. I felt that the food was probably catered for 'the masses' in that it was never very spicey and never had very strong flavours, but I think that is what you need to do to suit the majority of people. We did enjoy everything that we ate. There was a big selection of entree, soup, salad, main plate, pasta or risotto, desert, cheeseboard etc etc. There is no way anybody could say they were hungry or that there wasn't enough selection! Our waiters on the Splendida, Wayan and Putu, were gorgeous and loved to talk a few words in Indonesian with us!! All the bar staff were also very attentive and it was no problem to order a drink. We did occasionally eat in the buffet. This area was very busy but we did always manage to find a table within about 5 minutes. There was plenty of very quick easy food just in the main entrances, eg. hamburgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, pizzas etc. for those wanting a quick snack around the pool. There was also of course selections of pasta, meats, salads, fish, ethnic foods and deserts. It could sometimes be a little difficult to move from station to station holding a plate and a drink and cutlery as the walkways were busy with people doing the same thing. We noticed a lot of food wasteage on the tables, I think people just put too much on their plates!! I have been told by others that this happens on most cruise lines tho! We did go to most of the shows and we really enjoyed them. The entertainment team and the stage entertainers were spectacular! We thought they were a little better on the Divina than the Splendida!! The shows only go for about 40 minutes, which was just perfect. We really enjoyed some of the Italian opera singing - something that I wouldn't go and see if it was a 2 hour show, but the 40 minutes was so enjoyable, and you knew that even if you didn't enjoy the show that night, it wouldn't take the whole night!! There was also the Michael Jackson show, a pirate show, a hand shadow show, acrobatic shows, dancing shows, singing etc. etc. All spectacular! We did a couple of excursions, Ephesus, Tunisia and Rome on your own. They were very well organised, you received your tickets about a day or so before, it told you what time and location to be at, then you just registered at the desk and were given a number. When your tour number was called, you followed your leader out of the ship to your bus to meet the tour guide. Simple!! The tour in Ephesus was a little difficult as there were 39 people in the group, and we didn't have the ear pieces, so had to try and get in close to hear the guide. Was okay, you just needed to make sure you stayed close! The sights were amazing. Was a little sad seeing some of the cats and dogs in poor condition. In Tunisia our guide would give us a bit of a run down of the area and then give us free time to explore and tell us where and what time to meet, this worked very well. Rome on your own was easy, they provided transport to and from Rome. We ended up at the 'go home point' about 40 minutes early, and they had buses there already and started departing early, so that was nice after such a busy day walking Rome! You could catch a MSC shuttle bus from the ship into the main centre of each destination, but the costs all added up, so we usually just made out own way, either by walking, public transport or taxi. Unfortunately MSC don't let you know about any of the free services the port might provide, eg. I think it was in Marseille that there is a free bus service from the port into town every half hour, but we only found out about it from the taxi driver (taxi cost 30 euro)!! Probably best to do a little research before you cruise to know the best way to get into each location centre. We enjoyed time spent in the hot whirlpools, swimming pools and also just lounging by the pool. The hot whirlpools were very hot! I think they were 37 degrees. This was good, because you couldn't spend too much time in them, so there was a high turnover of people in them, which meant you could always get into one without too much 'hanging around'! The pool water was quite cold, so only my daughter and husband went in the pools, but they were never over busy. The 'zen' pool at the back of the ship was a lovely area. It is adults only, but our 14 year old was never stopped. She was always nice and quiet though, so not a noisy teen! In fact the only one of us to 'get into trouble' was my husband, who jumped straight in instead of entering the water quietly (it wasn't a big bomby!), and was told off! That was good though, as it meant the staff were keeping the area nice and quiet, ha ha!! The bigger pool in the middle always had plenty of activity around, some games, music and dancing all organised by the entertainment team - was fun to watch! We never used the indoor pool area. Sometimes you had to walk around a little to find a couple of pool lounges together, but was never too difficult. Only day that was hard was the sea day. Benefit of a balcony was that we always had sometime to go and sit quietly if we needed. There were plenty of areas and bars to enjoy a drink or a quiet time. We had the Allegrissimo drinks package. It was definately worth it, as we drank more than what the package had cost. Although we both said that we were not sure that we would get it again, as we felt it made us drink more to get our moneys worth! The price of drinks on board were reasonable, and we probably would have spent less than the package cost if we were drinking 'normally' eg. just a wine with a meal and maybe a cocktail in the afternoon or evening. You could get free coffee, tea and water in the buffet area. We didn't have any trouble with big groups of teenagers or yelling kids, maybe because they were all back at school only the fortnight before. Our 14 year old tried on a few occasions to see if anything was happening in the youth area, but there never seemed to be much or anyone there. That made it a little bit hard for her, as she was really hoping to meet other young ones. The italian kids seemed to be made up of big family or friend groups, so they seemed to keep to their own little groups. Of course the language would be a bit of a barrier too. Our last cruise (P&O) we never saw her, and had to make her come to lunch and dinner with us, after which she was just itching to get back to the kids club!! If I was travelling with young children I would definately consider this as a negative with MSC. There didn't seem to be as many activities for the adults as well, if that is important to you. We were just happy to do our own thing, so this wasn't too much of a concern to us. On every other level, we were totally happy with MSC, their staff and their organisation. The ships (Divina and Splendida) were beautiful. The ports visited were wonderful. Would we use MSC again? Definately if we were looking for a good family holiday for a good budget price and weren't too worried about the use of kids clubs. Hope this all makes sense, am typing with jetlag, so not sure!! Enjoy your cruise with MSC, because we certainly did!!   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We arrived at the port to board the ship, DISASTER. We had to wait and wait for our bags to be checked in.There was some cover, but a lot of people had to stand in the blazing sun and this included many elderly people.After checking in our ... Read More
We arrived at the port to board the ship, DISASTER. We had to wait and wait for our bags to be checked in.There was some cover, but a lot of people had to stand in the blazing sun and this included many elderly people.After checking in our bags we were left to make our way to check in, no signs to show you the way, with the result you had people walking around the port looking for the check in, not a great start to your cruise. When we got to check in, another long wait, and your not finished there, another wait to get through security. At last we were on board, told where our room was and that was it.Lucky for us we were on the Fantasia last year and both ships are about the same inside so we knew where to go.We had just entered our room when there was a knock on the door, it was our cabin stewart, Aldo, to inform us that there was some damage in our room caused by the previous occupants and would be fixed asap.We went for a coffee, returned about an hour later, everything was fixed.Well done Aldo. The cabin was small,the saying "couldn't swing a cat" springs to mind. We were greeted every morning by Aldo with a big smile and a "Good Morning". If we met him in the evening again we got the big smile and a "How was your day".Aldo kept our room spotless during our cruise.The whole ship is kept spotless by a crew of cleaners,who you can see at work every minute of the day and night. Having cruised with MSC before we knew all about the buffet crowd and we timed our arrival so it wasn't that difficult to get a seat.We found the food hot and tasty We had the second seating at the Villa Rossa restaurant, service was excellent, food was great, good selection and hot. Every member of staff we came in contact with were very nice. As other reviewers have said, get the drinks package and don't do the ships tours, they are too expensive,do some research before you go(log on to TripAdvisor). Every port had a tour bus at the gate that you could just hop on. Some of the stays are very short,in Istanbul the traffic was terrible and the official tour buses returned to the ship with 5 minutes to spare, so again research is very important when you are getting a tour. Finally getting off was not as bad as getting on,but with the ship docking at 8 and passengers having to be out of their rooms by 7, everybody going for breakfast at the same time I would hate to see what happened in the buffet restaurant. We had breakfast in the restaurant we dined in,although they only open have the restaurant the service was very slow. We had to assemble in different part of the ship according to the coloured and numbered labels the gave us for our luggage,when the staff held up our number we followed that member to the gang way, got off the ship at the terminal where our luggage was waiting.All in all it was a great cruise, would we go with MSC again,yes we would, but next time we might try another company just for a change.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Having just returned from our twelfth cruise with the eastern Mediterranean route on the MSC Divina, we are stumped at the abundance of negative reviews we had read in advance. Our experience was just the opposite. No cruise is perfect but ... Read More
Having just returned from our twelfth cruise with the eastern Mediterranean route on the MSC Divina, we are stumped at the abundance of negative reviews we had read in advance. Our experience was just the opposite. No cruise is perfect but the MSC Divina came pretty darn close for us. Yes, we had some reservations prior to our departure. First, we've always been most comfortable on ships averaging 1,500 to 2,000 passengers (MSC Divina carries around 4,000). Second, we've been spoiled in the past by lines catering almost exclusively to the American passenger. But the allure of the MSC Divina design coupled with the Venice base and very appealing ports including Izmir, Istanbul and Dubrovnik clinched the deal for us. The ship is a beauty. Sleek, understated, elegant and full of surprises (and after a year, still with the feel of a sparkling, brand new ship). The MSC Divina feels very Italian and yet very international all at once. The staff, somewhat reserved (but as you get to know certain members of the crew, you'll find some great, friendly personalities), is always right on top of your requests and always striving to be as accommodating as possible. The crew is just as international as the passenger roster, unique to most cruise lines - you'll find nametags from Bali to Bosnia, South Africa to Scotland. Some of the bartenders weren't always at the top of their game - but with so many bars and so many attendants, just hop over to the next; you'll soon have your favorites (and they are quick to recognize you after a day or two). Embarkation in Venice was a snap. Of course, it helped that we took a private water taxi to the dock from our hotel (the wonderful A Tribute to Music hotel) to the private dock located next to the ship (great tour and what a way to arrive, all for about 70 euro). Your luggage is immediately tagged at the private water taxi dock so you skip the long lines to check in luggage at the terminal and immediately head up to registration. It's a quick confirmation at registration -- just make sure all information such as dinner seating time and any drink packages are printed on your cabin card. Mention that you arrived by private water taxi and instead of waiting for your boarding number to be called (group numbers are handed out at the crowded luggage check-in), you are immediately shown to the front of the line to board the ship. Embarkation with registration was a matter of 20 minutes for us - and after we boarded and grabbed a quick bite, we were amazed to find our luggage already at our cabin door in less than an hour. Our MSC Divina cabin 13038 could not have been better. Designed in beautiful dark brown, orange and gold tones, the cabin seemed a bit more narrow than other cabins we've had (from our favorites with Holland America, Celebrity and NCL to the "unique" Costa Fortuno to the not-so-hot Carnival) but certainly more comfortable. Plush sofa, ample storage and cabinets, compact but convenient bathroom (exceptionally clever design to fold in the shower doors when not in use to expand the bathroom space), thick carpeting, beautiful lighting options and comfortable seating on what seems to be a bigger-than-usual veranda with jaw-dropping views (and ideal privacy dividers from your neighbors). And the bed - the bed! - wow, just about the most comfortable bed we've ever had on any cruise. It was a plus that the forward cabins on the 13th Cupido deck are on hallways that dead-end with the captain and upper management rooms, so the hallways and cabin are dead quiet. Just ideal. Not sure how they did it - or when they did it - but our cabin was always clean, bed made, spotless bathroom, ice bucket filled, and turn down service with next-day information packets always waiting for us no matter the hour we returned at night. Our balcony and large windows were thoroughly scrubbed down twice on two port days. The best deals on the MSC Divina, as frequently mentioned, are absolutely the all-inclusive allegrissimo drink package (which also includes fantastic gelato from various stations) and the laundry package (20 items per cabin during the cruise cleaned for 25 euro total, and all came back to our cabin on the same day). While many cruise lines seem to be scaling back on entertainment and shows, MSC pulls out all the stops on the Divina in the sophisticated Pantheon Theatre with lavish and large (very large) productions. No live orchestra means more performers, singers and dancers on stage. I can't remember the last time we went on a cruise and went to every evening performance. On the Divina, the highlights for us included a spectacular Moulin Rouge Cadeaux show, mind-blowing Michael Jackson tribute and beautiful Sogno Italiano of Italian arias and operas. Astounding that in one week we saw everything from "Swan Lake" to Cirque-like aerials, can can dancers to electronic violinists, swashbuckling pirates to Italian tenors, all spectacular! The MSC Divina has a wide variety of bars, each with distinctive decor and entertainment in the evening. Our favorites turned out to be the Golden Jazz Bar (still amazed at the unique glass bubble chandeliers), Black and White Lounge (terrific dance band) and of course, the atrium bar with those gorgeous Swarovski crystal staircases and an ever-changing entertainment line-up from a concert pianist to a chamber orchestra to opera singers. We opted for our usual late dinner seating and chose the smaller of the two dining rooms, the Villa Rossa. It's an elegant room of deep reds with black and gold trims, and surrounded by panoramic windows - and have to say the Villa Rossa was far more elegant and not as cramped as the "signature" dining room called the Black Crab (don't get me wrong - it's a beautiful room but the Crab seemed crowded, somewhat claustrophobic and very understated in black and very muted plum and gold colors). Service in the Villa Rossa was of course impeccable and friendly, and that dining crew works darn hard to keep your meal flowing and anticipating your needs. The menus were varied, interesting and extensive. Sure there were some misses (our dining captain could tell I was having a tough time with a certain dish, whisked it away and immediately replaced it with another choice), but for the most part all the selections ranged from good to great. I am still dreaming of an incredible smoked gouda risotto'loved it so much I had a second helping and then for dessert, a third serving! Somewhere along the line, the MSC Divina got a reputation for serving dishes only lukewarm to cold. Not in our case - every hot dish was just that - hot! Amazing, by just our second night, our favorite bottles of wines, dishes of ice and favorite breads were waiting for us every evening. The big (and I mean BIG!) grand buffet sprawling over the Calumet and Manitou wings can be overwhelming. I would guess it extends about a third the length of the ship of the 14th floor deck, and you will be blown away by the selections of entrees, Mediterranean and international specialties, salads, wide variety of pizzas and pastas, meat carvings, unique Italian sandwiches, desserts, and expansive and truly fantastic cheese selections. Yes, the buffet can get very crowded - name one ship when a breakfast or a specific lunch period isn't crowded - but just take a breath and keep proceeding to the rear of the buffet into the Manitou sections (with stylish American Indian motifs). This buffet is smartly designed and selections continue to repeat themselves throughout the wings -- you'll find the rear portions much less crowded (and quiet) with more than ample window and booth seating. The MSC Divina is a marvel of not only design but also management of a large passenger ship. The many pools and tiered decks were never overly crowded (you'll always find outdoor seating - the attendants go out of their way to find comfortable spots for you). To escape the action of the unique Aqua Park, head aft to the Infinity Pool and hot tubs (always pretty quiet). The MSC Divina interiors have a variety of easy, comfortable seating (loved the silver two-person banquettes in the Black and White Lounge as well as lounging on the large full-body cushion sofas of the Golden Jazz). Exiting at ports was a breeze -- just wait ten minutes after port doors open so that the excursion groups can pour out first. I might guess tendered ports could be a bit challenging with so many passengers, but fortunately we didn't have to deal with any tendered ports. The only time the ship felt somewhat crowded was that hour or so between the 1st dinner seating/1st show and the 2nd dinner seating/2nd show. The beautiful and oh-so-comfortable 1,600 seat Pantheon Theatre is located at the front of the ship and the two dining rooms at the rear, so of course there is the intersecting flow from end to end during that evening interval (and there can be some gridlock pending the great opera singer or dance band in a lounge, or how good someone is bowling in the sports bar, or a jackpot being hit in the casino). Some good (and some not) surprises we discovered aboard the ship: - This is one spotless, sparkling, always white glove clean ship, at all hours of the day or night. Like others, we couldn't help but marvel at how the crew was always subtly cleaning every inch of the ship (never before seen attendants appearing from nowhere with handheld vacuum cleaners). - We are not fans of the White Party, but the MSC Divina's is so different: all ages having a great time, dancing with crew members and performers, fantastic bands, wonderful service and just a great spirit that is so inclusive of all ages, all nationalities, all types of folks (at one point I was dancing all at once with a very senior woman from Stockholm, a Japanese businessman and one of the reception desk attendants). - The Aurea Spa is one of the most elegant spas you'll ever see. We took a tour and were blown away - and had every intention to indulge (we were so intrigued by the coconut and opium saunas) but simply ran out of time. - Do not miss the 4D HD theatre - it is a hoot! We took in the "canyon ride" film and were hollering and grabbing the sides of our seats! Loved it! It's a six euro charge for the wild ride. - The first gala night is definitely a dressy affair (this international passenger roster took it seriously!) - the second gala night was a bit more subdued when it came to the 'glamour' quotient. - If you attend one of the 20-minute daily cooking demonstrations (interesting watching the chefs create dishes, but alas, no sampling), you'll qualify for a 15% discount at the upscale Galaxy restaurants or the Sacramento TexMex steakhouse. We opted for the Galaxy one night and found the dishes somewhat interesting but the setting and service lacking anything close to "upscale" or special (we definitely do not recommend it). The Galaxy is just the very hip Galaxy Disco's adjoining bar made over for the dinner hour. We were going to try the Sacramento TexMex steakhouse one evening but 1) it always seemed empty, which we didn't take as a good sign; and 2) we were simply enjoying the Villa Rossa dining room too much. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. No matter the ship, parents of all nationalities (yes, that includes you American parents, too) have a tendency to let their little monsters run loose now and then, thinking it's cute and that others will also enjoy the dancing tyke sprawled on a dance floor or pounding their spoon against a table. Just smile, shake your head and move away. - The MSC Divina doesn't push photo opportunities (too much), and there are mostly fixed positions for photo sittings and not cameraman climbing all over the decks. And give it a try - have to admit this ship's photographers are very stylish, very creative and very professional with some truly great photography! A word about the ports (and they can be short - but then again, every port stop is too short when you are truly enjoying yourself): Bari, Italy: fascinating old town and some glorious cathedrals to visit - then wander into the old town neighbors, down colorful alleys, and you'll glimpse Italy from decades gone by (and on this Sunday, there were local bands playing on hidden corners throughout old town Bari). Easily accessed from the port by taxi, bus or on foot. Katakolon, Greece: we wisely skipped Olympia (knowing Ephesus lay ahead the following day) and enjoyed the quaint town right on the port with some fantastic (and very reasonably priced) shopping. Also loved an open air tourist train ride from the town into the Greek country side, with fantastic views and stops at a beautiful vineyard and a breathtaking beach resort. Izmir, Turkey: we're not one for the ship excursions but prefer to book private (and much less expensive) tours. We scored big time with booking a private tour of the astounding Ephesus and Artemis along with a fantastic buffet lunch through Gizem Gencer at www.ephesustours.biz (and insist on Erman Gokbora as a guide - wonderful, knowledgeable and gracious guide). Istanbul, Turkey: once again, the massive mass ship excursion were not for us, so we booked a sensational private Byzantine tour and lunch with Ender Boz at www.privatetoursinistanbul.com. Regret to say we can't recall the name of our wonderful hostess, but we saw all the major historical sites of Istanbul in a knowledgeable, whirlwind tour tailored to our interests (and our guide knew how and when to maneuver past long lines and avoid the crowded mass tour times). Dubrovnik, Croatia: so this was our one trip-up. Had booked a private tour through Pero Klaic at pepoklaic@yahoo.com and his www.dubrovnikshoretrip.com. He was a no-show (luckily we had no deposits with him - definitely a tour service to avoid!) and were about to panic when we luckily discovered that for only 50 euro (compared to Pero's 150 euro trip), we could get a private one and a half hour taxi tour of the views, historical sites and then the jaw-dropping old town and walled city of Dubrovnik. Just hail any taxi at the port gate and make the request. And finally, disembarking in Venice. Well, all good things come to end. And all good procedures, too. This is where the MSC Divina stumbled a bit - disembarking was a chaotic mess. No one seemed quite sure where to go, when to go, who was to go, etc. We were one of the lucky ones (sort of), as all cabins on the 13th floor Cupido are for some reason marked as Gray One for priority disembarking. The 8 am disembarkation time became 9 am and then finally, finally, Gray One group was allowed to leave (and yes, our luggage was right there waiting for us as we departed). Now in all fairness, there could have been good cause for the confusion and concern that morning. There were massive and disruptive news-generating protests all day long by Venetians, protesting the arriving and departing cruise liners as being destructive to the Venice environment. Seeing how many (there were nine ships in port on our arrival in Venice) and how close these ships sail to the Venice docks and canals, I somewhat agree with the protestors that there are just too many that are sailing too close for comfort. And the MSC Divina seems to be always singled out of all ships by the protestors because of her enormous size and her namesake "godmother' Sophia Loren (many are demanding their beloved Sophia have her name removed from the ship). So we are privileged to offer a counter to those negative reviews of the MSC Divina and instead marvel at and appreciate the extraordinary experience aboard this glorious ship. We're excited to now be MSC Club members!   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
My husband and I are just back off the MSC Divina Eastern Med cruise. We had read all the reviews before we left but our experience was nothing bad like the reviews. We travelled without our kids so the family areas we didn't venture ... Read More
My husband and I are just back off the MSC Divina Eastern Med cruise. We had read all the reviews before we left but our experience was nothing bad like the reviews. We travelled without our kids so the family areas we didn't venture into at all. The boat is magnificence and we had a lovely balcony room on deck 12. The way the boat is done is amazing - every light fixtures on the boat is a statement piece. We loved every minute of our cruise. The staff were very helpful and the boat from top to bottom (at ALL times) was immaculate. I don't know how they kept every single area so spotless. We opted for dinner on a table of 8 and we were very lucky and had a super table. We never laughed so much and we all became good friends. We ate in the Tex Mex one night and the food was delicious. The food in the Villa Rosa was very hit and miss which was a disappointment but we found the buffet superb. We did the excursions ourselves and we didn't get out in Bari or Izmir (nothing there and a waste of a stop). The absolute highlights are Istanbul and Dubrovnik. We got up at 6:30am the morning we came into Istanbul and watched the sun rising from our balcony and the Mosques were all shimmering - its a sight we will remember forever - magic!! Dubrovnik - the boat was delayed so we only had 4 hours there and we hopped in a taxi from port and paid him 60 to bring us around the sites for 1.5hrs (well worth the money). He brought us to amazing view points and a gorgeous sleepy fishing village called Hilini and then he dropped us off at the walled city to walk around. This place is magical and will definitely return to explore it further. Highlights of the Cruise - the boat is stunning; room was fabulous, spotlessly clean everywhere; staff were great and always there to offer waiter service; entertainment is great; drinks package is great (cocktails are heaven) Negatives of the Cruise - Bari and Izmir should be taken off and give double the time in Istanbul & Dubrovnik. Its very disappointing to have so little time. We cruise the Med with Celebrity Cruises before and the stops were much longer (7am-10pm in Santorini for eg). The food was far superior on Celebrity but the gluttony on this boat was vile with obese Americans eating like pigs. As MSC is an Italian company a lot of people were Italian and German. Not too many English speaking (which was fine with us) but I never saw the gluttony on MSC like on Celebrity. I thought the ship was much nicer on MSC and very swanky with stunning swaroksi staircases and lifts. I would highly recommend MSC Divina. My advice is that you make your own Cruise. Don't get hassled by people pushing or being rude (nothing any Cruise ship can do about that). Enjoy your surrounds and where the boat is travelling you to and from. The scenery is amazing. There was great fun on the boat. There is something for everyone on the boat of all ages. The three opera ladies playing in the reception was beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
This was our 1st time on a cruise having spent 2 wonderful days in Venice. The day of embarkation was not pleasant, disorganized and at times chaotic! We finally boarded at around 3pm (should have been 12.30)and to compound things even ... Read More
This was our 1st time on a cruise having spent 2 wonderful days in Venice. The day of embarkation was not pleasant, disorganized and at times chaotic! We finally boarded at around 3pm (should have been 12.30)and to compound things even more a suitcase did not arrive until 9pm. Staff on reception not at all helpful when we tried to ascertain what had happened to our luggage! However, after this the experience was great, lots to do, fantastic food but avoid the buffet as with 4,000 people on board it can be a most unpleasant experience. eating in allocated restaurants much more pleasant and waiters lovely. Do book the drinks packages they are excellent value for money and wines of good quality. Don't book excursions as expensive and much better to do your own thing. A range of options when you get off at each port as all destinations are used to cruise ships coming in. Also a great way to get to meet locals and really experience the culture rather than on an organized tour. Overall a great experience and would definitely cruise again but perhaps with different company!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Very nice new ship, but a poor design. There is very poor separation between smoking and non smoking areas. For example you have to walk right through the Casino or bar above that is open to the Casino via a large stair case to get to the ... Read More
Very nice new ship, but a poor design. There is very poor separation between smoking and non smoking areas. For example you have to walk right through the Casino or bar above that is open to the Casino via a large stair case to get to the Theatre and sitting in the theatre the smoke drifts through, yuck. They have no areas that are adults only even bars, unless you are prepared to pay a lot more for access to exclusive areas. People grab all the chairs around the pool early in the morning despite rules saying if just leave towels on chairs they will be removed, nobody enforces it, so you can't get a good seat or lounger near the pools. The buffet restaurant is too small, and you can't get a table a busy times, then they close off all the drinks stations about 9am, to force you to buy drinks. The formal restaurant was very nice, except don't order the duck, it was so overcooked you couldn't even get a fork into it, and the waiter said yes that happens every cruise. (went on the MSC Splendia following week the duck was perfect, after we explained what happened and ordered beef, he also brought us duck to show it was good. It was perfect) Overall e felt the whole aim of the staff on board was to extract as much money from you once they had you on board, you couldn't even bring back on board a half finished bottle of water. Excursions were extremely expensive, often where local taxi's or buses were available at much less. Basic advise, Use Celebrity or Princess in preference. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Fantastic ship, very clean and cabin/excursion/resturant staff very helpful and polite. We went on our first holiday without our children and did not expect to be on a ship overun with other people's children. As a primary ... Read More
Fantastic ship, very clean and cabin/excursion/resturant staff very helpful and polite. We went on our first holiday without our children and did not expect to be on a ship overun with other people's children. As a primary schoolteacher I love children but do not want them running riot in the evenings in EVERY area of the ship. There are no adult only areas unless you pay for Top 18 which we did but you still have to put up with the awful noise coming from around the pool - the Italian DJ never shuts up!!! During the very good entertainment in the bars in the evening we had groups of children throwing toys/flip flops to each other as well as bouncing on and off chairs and nobody stopped them. The food is adequate but rarely hot. The evening entertainment is brilliant. We did not buy the excursions as you can do them all on your own for half the price. We chose MSC because of the ports that were visited but not enough time is given in each port. The cabin was fantastic and the cruise good value for money but lack of activities during the day and the huge amount of children on board means we will never sail with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
I'm on the MSC Divina right now and I must say it's a nightmare. People are rude, and I remain very polite using that term. They push you away to get in a lift (elevator), push you away to get trough a hallway, and never ... Read More
I'm on the MSC Divina right now and I must say it's a nightmare. People are rude, and I remain very polite using that term. They push you away to get in a lift (elevator), push you away to get trough a hallway, and never ever they will say sorry or any form of excuse. Forget about the rule that reserving seats isn't allowed, after 9h it's impossible to find a free seat around the pool and the people watching the pool don't remove the towels thrown there to reserve the seats. The "relax - zen" pool is anything but relax or zen, kids shouting all over the place and jumping in the pool, while it's not allowed. When I made the remark I have been told that I could go to deck 18 where there is a paid relax zone with no kids allowed, so because other don't respect the rules I would have to pay 50€???? Dinner time is like feeding time for pigs, people jump on the food, take all the last pieces away in front of you without even eating them. I have never seen so much food being thrown away. They don't seem to respect the dress policy either, no swimsuits in the restaurants, well .... forget about it, they'll come in with the swimsuits still wet, no t-shirts or anything and hang with their sweaty arms over the food. And it's not only the people in the restaurants, it's also the food. I'm Belgian, so I'm used to a large variety of food styles, and I do like most of them, but here I can't find anything that looks like worth trying, and it's every single day the same food. It became so bad that over the last 2 nights the optional restaurants, for which you have to pay a supplement, have been overly crowed, all people like us that can't stand it anymore and are willing to pay extra to get some decent food in a normal restaurant. On a positive note I do have to say that the Tex-Mex restaurant is really good, the waiters are nice and will do anything they can to serve you, which can't be said of any other waiter in the bars or restaurants. The rooms are also very nice and clean with nice living space and great balconies. I could go on for hours but bottom line is you won't see me on a MSC cruise ever. Although this is my first cruise I will cruise again, I love the concept but I'll probably be using other companies then MSC. So my advice, stay away from this ship !! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
After years of my friends and sister (all with many years cruise experience) trying to get me to on a cruise I finally gave in on the 13th july 2013 and sailed on MSC Divina. We sailed from Venice and getting on the ship and to our room ... Read More
After years of my friends and sister (all with many years cruise experience) trying to get me to on a cruise I finally gave in on the 13th july 2013 and sailed on MSC Divina. We sailed from Venice and getting on the ship and to our room was easy even though I am a quadraplegic and completely confined to a wheelchair and have no balance at all. Our room was for three people (me and my two sisters),we had two singles and a pull out double sofa bed which our cabin boy attended to every evening and put away every morning. All beds were comfy and room was very spacious and clean with a large balcony. Our emergency evacuation drill resulted in us being told that yes we had used the lift this time from deck 11 to 7 for the life boats BUT in a proper emergency my sisters would have to try give me a piggy back down four flights of stairs as the lift would be out of bounds !! Yes you read that correctly , it would probably have been easier to throw me over the side of the balcony to land on top the lifeboat which was below !! We had requested second seating for our eveing meal to be with four other friends but were given first sitting so had to use the buffet on the first evening. Well we had difficulty first of all trying to find something we liked (we are not fussy honest) and then what we chose was cold. We were disappointed and hungry when we left. Theres no midnight buffet , usually they are putting out fresh food at this time as I have been informed so we had a cup of tea and went to bed. The amount of time spent in ports is very short. Sometimes arriving at 10.30am and leaving again at 3.30 - 4 pm. Getting on and off the ship was easy and well organised and the staff were very helpful. The staff in the black crab restaurant and in the Divina bar were very friendly and helpful. we took the allegrissimo drinks package and easily passed the 21 euros a day each we paid with the coffees , ice creams and cocktails and bottled water. we didn't go crazy either and weren't greedy. If you are a big drinker then it is worth doing. The service in the black crab restaurant was VERY slow , the food not what we liked so ended up quite a few times with chicken and chips for our main. the rissottos and soups were good. No coffee offered at the end either. Most staff around the ship looked unhappy but it makes you feel sad then , you think they don't want to be there. we wanted to go deck 18 for the adults only (payable) but there was no lift for the wheelchair so ended up on deck 16 which was quite quiet. Around the pool during the day was like butlins (YMCA , the conga etc) quite a few people seemed to really enjoy it though. Not for us . We spent one afternoon there and had people striding over our beds, not what we wanted when they were wearing budgie smugglers !! Waiters for drinks service were very scarce and had to go get own drinks most times. Most on the cruise would just push in front and leave us stood there with the wheelchair and refuse to let us in . sometimes they were only going up or down one floor too !! we were starting to consider piggy backs at one point . we decided to stoop to their level and just plough in to them , this seemed to work but we did get a few dirty looks. We went to the casino and was very surprised to see children as young as eight in there , not playing the games though , just with their parents. The ship was very nice , well maintained and clean. It was just the food and the ignorant people really. we had a good time and enjoyed our own company , did get excited one evening with the promise of a 60-70-80's disco , which lasted about 40 mins then went back to european line dancing , birdy song type disco. At this point we had to leave. I think I will try cruising again but not with MSC and hopefully get a better result. going to try NCL or Royal Caribbean.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We went on this cruise with great expectations. Wow a trip to the Mediterranean on the Divina! New ship ... Sophia Loren launched it. What could go wrong. Notes for the future: do not cruise in the summer holidays. Rude kids. Extra rude ... Read More
We went on this cruise with great expectations. Wow a trip to the Mediterranean on the Divina! New ship ... Sophia Loren launched it. What could go wrong. Notes for the future: do not cruise in the summer holidays. Rude kids. Extra rude parents. Kids put their hands all over the food. It is a great ship in size. Perhaps too big. 3,000+ pax. Lifts were often full. Buffet on 14th deck was often full, no matter where you tried to sit. Few speak English ... mainly Italians. Restaurants better. Service good especially when you try to speak Bahasa. But for us Aussies there were a few Aussies to talk to on our restaurant table ... they were a good mob. Excursions were expensive. Some were good. Others were terrible. Bari we did our own thing. Katakolon we did an ok tour of Olympus. Izmir we did a tour to Efasis and Mary's house and an ambush at an artisan centre; but interesting. Istanbul and another ambush at a carpet sales place (be prepared to spend a lot of money) but the lunch and Bosporos Cruise were good. Then came the problem day ... The second last day of the voyage the ship birthed in Dubrovnik. We were booked on tour DUB09  Dubrovnik and its old city walls. This was supposed to be a 3 tour. The tour went for 2 hours. We registered well before the prescribed time. We were then told to follow the excursion customer service officer. However, she was lost in the crowd trying to exit the ship. My wife and I were separated and she was told to exit from another exit on the ship while I was stuck in a crowd which was not moving. This, in itself, was quite a frightening experience because I could see the Occupational Health and Safety Risk had anything untoward happened. After 40 minutes, I exited the ship and was told where the bus was. As I was moving to where the bus was supposedly waiting, my wife found me and told me the bus had departed. My wife explained to me that she advised the Customer Service Officer (CSO) that I must have been held up but the CSO said the coach has to go now! A frantic discussion occurred with several CSOs. Finally, we were told that we should catch the general shuttle bus into the Pila Gate where someone (no name given) would be waiting for us and would direct us to our excursion group. We caught the shuttle to the Pila Gate. When we arrived at the Pila Gate, there was no CSO waiting anywhere. Then we started searching for our group both outside the gate and inside the walls. It took about 20 minutes of searching both sides of the Pila Gate before we found the tour. My estimate is that we lost 40 minutes of the tour through this and we were very lucky to find it. The MSC Divina CSO assigned to this tour refused to make eye contact with my wife or me after we joined the tour. Once the tour had been completed and we returned to the ship, I went to the Excursions Desk. I spoke to a senior CSO and she was a very superior, arrogant and quite rude. Initially she was not very interested in hearing my complaint. After she finally relented to hear my issue, she blamed me for not getting to the tour coach on time, even though I explained that getting off the ship was impossible and a risk. This CSO then said that she was supposed to be our contact at the Pila Gate. She was not at the Gate. No one from the MSC Divina was at the Gate. She, begrudgingly, finally took down the details of my complaint, advised me that she would have to contact MSC head office and promised me that she would contact me before the end of the cruise. I am still waiting. I have written to CS in Australia requesting a refund for the tour but it has been pushed on to headquarters so I do not expect any result.My wife's luggage was mislaid after disembarking at Venice; before coach transfer to Genoa to embark on MSC Splendida cruise. We approached two Divina CSO's to advise them that the baggage was missing and that we would not board the coach until the luggage was found. They did not know that our friends had advised the coach driver that they would not allow the coach to leave until we were on board. The CSO's attitudes were did you put the luggage outside our cabin on time? [We had at midnight!]; did you put the blue tag on? [I did]; did you check the blue labeled tagged bags again? [we did many times.] The CSOs walked away from us providing no further help! I then asked one of the ship's officers for help. He asked the same questions and suggested that we should board the coach. We refused! He then, at least tried to find out where the luggage was. We were then looking at green coloured labels when we noticed a bag which looked like hers. The blue tag on our bag had been ripped off. The white tag for our next cruise for the Western Mediterranean on the MSC Splendida was still on the bag. This is really not a good look for MSC. Excursion customer service is really poor. Help with our lost luggage was non-existent.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
MSC Divina Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.5 3.3
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 1.0 3.2
Service 4.0 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 5.0 3.7

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