November 2014 - MSC Divina to Caribbean - Eastern
This was our 6th cruise - the first on MSC and we would DEFINITELY cruise with them again. The ship is relatively new (2 years), beautifully maintained and beautiful overall. The staff is friendly, but in some cases has a hard time understanding English. We found the food delicious and the portions were normal sized portions (not Americanized huge portions). If you want more, ask for it. The buffet had different choices everyday and the food was very good but it is very spread out - the pizza is to die for! The breads were absolutely fantastic! Entertainment on board was fabulous - the shows were well done, professional and different than most you see on a cruise ship. The entertainers in the Divina Lounge in the evenings (the Amsterdam trio (violin, cello, piano) were fabulous and the piano player Luis was wonderful as well. Highly recommend. There weren't bar staff attacking everytime we sat down. They would ask if we wanted anything, and if we said no, they would leave us alone.......what a breath of fresh air. The drinks were reasonably priced. They did not have silly poolside games everyday (another refreshing change) but they did have plenty of activities to keep people busy. Our steward was fabulous - we couldn't have asked for better service. The overhead announcements were few and far between - and only when necessary - another pleasant change. They didn't announce every little thing going on - they left some of that up to the passengers. They weren't trying to sell something everytime you turned around. They had plenty for sale, but announced it in the daily paper and kept it all contained where is wasn't in the main area where passengers are trying to walk. Disembarkation was a breeze - other lines should take lessons from MSC.
There are a few negatives - the embarkation process is extremely disorganized and wall to wall people pushing to board when it's not time for them yet. Guest services on embarkation day kept closing down stations while the line was getting longer and longer. The advertised a piano bar (la luna) but it was actually two karaoke singers with a click track. Yes, there is a piano, but they never used it. The jazz bar advertised jazz music that was really reggae. The "adults only" area was an additional charge of $10.00 per day but that wasn't made known until later. There was a show we wanted to see that was to start at 4:15, but the group using that lounge ran over by 15 minutes making everything else late. It seemed the crew (including officers) that were walking around the ship had no desire to communicate with the passengers. They rarely said anything unless the passengers spoke to them first. This may be a European thing, but it was bothersome for me. In some cases, bar staff was hard to find, but I'd rather have it that way than to have them hawking every 10 seconds.