May 2015 - MSC Divina to Europe - Western Mediterranean
Having been on Divina already (See my other review) I was looking forward to another great trip. My wife and I have spent a lot of time in the European ports and we were looking forward to sharing them with my In laws and our daughter. We had inside stateroom and my father-in-law had an accessible room. The staterooms were very good and I would highly recommend our, #9175 as it was a bit larger than the norm. The service on board seemed to take a bit of a hit since our cruise in November. While there were some excellent staff, there were some real disappointments. My wife and I had thought of doing a Renewal of Vows on board. The only program that MSC offers is a full wedding planner at the bargain price of over $600. All we really wanted was maybe a small cake, some champagne and maybe an offer to join us. We would have been willing to work with them but they had no interest in anything but the full package.Oh well. I also was very disappointed with the fees for the shuttles in Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona. In both ports we opted to take a cab and it was significantly less expensive. At least a complimentary shuttle to the port entrance would have been nice as we were docked a long way from there. But, so be it. The thing that really had me quite angry was the transfers that came along with our cruise. While I realize that these were handled by a vendor, MSC is an Italian line and should have nothing but the best in their home country. We waited an hour and fifteen minutes for the bus upon our arrival in Rome. Having arranged transfers for a cruise line in the past, I know this can happen so I took it in stride. When we disembarked at the end of the week, we were suppoosed to get off at 10:00am We had a Vatican tour scheduled at 1:00pm so we figured that would give us plenty of time. Well, the bus was a little late, understandable again. but they sent one bus for 30 people who have been on a ship for 7 days. The luggage compartment was full after 18 people. Even if people had packed a little light, there was no way 30 people plus luggage were going to fit on one bus. The six of us along with another party of six were left for another bus. which too TWO hours to arrive! We reached Rome an hour late for our tour. Fortunately, I used one of my old port agents to arrange the tour and the fully accommodated us. The final straw was the transfer to the airport where the bus arrived 15 minutes before the transfer time and left after waiting FIVE minuted and with only 6 out of the 30 people on the transfer list! No room calls, no waiting until the appointed time, NOTHING. Because there were six of us with luggage for 10 days of travel, we had to get a van and a taxi to take us to the airport. Then they charged us double what was quoted, and dropped us at the wrong terminal. We finally arrived at the Alitalia check in two hours before the flight left. And there was a huge line. I cannot say enough about how great Alitalia handled our problem. They got us checked in and escorted us to the gate to make sure we made the flight. They really came through. In the end, MSC reimbursed our cab fare "as a gesture of goodwill." Anyway, I am glad it happened to me and not to a client I had booked on this trip.