September 2016 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on MSC Divina
1st Time on MSC
Was looking for an interesting cruise. Had heard of MSC from others who used them overseas. Looked at over five websites on peoples opinions of this one ship currently operating in the US. They offer four levels of service of service. I chose the Fantastica Experience Level. From various websites i chose a extra large balcony that did not cost any additional fees. Just before departing I received an email for an upgrade package to the highest level, the MSC Yacht Club Level. It cost a lot less than the higher levels found on NCL , Princess and Royal Caribbean. And it also not at the same level of of those mentioned above. I hate to say but when comparing their online cost as compared to the upgrade I would not pay full boat up front. The majority of those i met echoed the same sentiment.
The service was great. Unlimited drinks while in the designated yacht club area.
Language issue. Most staff tried to converse in English, but when had a hard time when you asked complicated questions that they had a hard time translating back to you. I speak a second language and most of the staff really spoke at a very basic level. We had a designated restaurant for meals. The meals were good, but the portions were small. They need to address meals more for US personnel.
By the third night most people decided it was best to order a meal to the room so they could get a more american flare. They served prawns one night with oysters. Most of the people had no idea how to eat prawns and the other half were not into oysters, nor the different cold soup or tar tar (cold meat) for a meal. The wait staff was excellent, MSC wants to move into the US Market and they need to address US food. Liked the pizza, being from the Midwest I had expectations of pizza with various toppings, Mainly they had a slight variation of cheeses pizzas. One day I asked for a cheeseburger and the staff was literally at a loss!
The Yacht club rooms were nice but small. They talk about the tub in the bathroom. It is short but deep. We used the shower. They did have hot water all the time. They tried to have a US type breakfast by the pool. I had better at Marriott Hotels as it was the same breakfast with a few small items on the side.
I am a milk drinker and that was something to get. I had to ask for pillows from sheet that I had read about about that no one mentioned when i got to the room. They do have a walk in closet. very small. Bring extra hangers. Their drawers were about 12 inches wide and about 16 inches in depth. Their is extra space on a mirror just inside the door. If you did not look and see the slot to pull a side of the mirror open you would not know that you had an additional 6 shelves. I had told this to others who never realized the extra shelf space after three days. The bed was great. The mini bar was so so. Made sure that I made a formal request of what I wanted in the mini bar and they accommodated.
When I arrived at the port I had to find the Yacht Club entrance. Make sure you take a PASSPORT!! They did take us up to a waiting room. A glass of Sparking Wine was offered along with (hate to say) hard cookies and treats. A few couple that came in with us asked for soda and they said we do not have any. Water was then made available. We went through security quickly and to our rooms. I did purchase soda and coffee coupons that could be used through out the ship. They were worth it. The pool area outside the yacht club was usually standing room only. The drink prices outside the club were not that bad. We had a small pool. 8 people and you were crowded. We had two two people hot tubs. They said for four. Had to be for very small people. One thing I will say it does not pay to have kids in the club. The couple of families who had kids found that they spent more time outside the club than in it and that the kids after one meal in the designated restaurant wanted to eat at other places on the ship. The shows were excellent. The seating in the main theater is strange. If you sit in the stadium type seats the seat in front of you is very close. if you go to the floor with the closet seats to the stage you get about a foot+ more space. I would also say that the average age in the Club was about 55. And Around the ship in general 30 to 50 outside the club.
Mostly everything shuts down at 10:00PM. They start closing the pools with covers. They do try to have things going most of the evening. They had nice outside movies but hardly anywhere to sit. The buffet area was small, in comparison to other cruise lines I have sailed on. MSC is bringing a new cruise ship in in 2017 and they state that it would address alot of concerns voiced on the
Divina. They will have to really up it game to get people to pay for the Yacht Club.
They really have to increase wit staff if your using the main dining room. I heard from numerous (over 15 people) about cold food, lack of wait staff, not having enough of a menu item to go around, and they really need to address US tastes .