MSC Divina April 19, 2014 - The Worst Cruise Ever!
MSC Divina Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
Sail Date: April 19, 2014
Ship: MSC Divina
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: 12130
Traveled As: Family (young children)
Reviewed: 3 years ago
Review SummaryPlease DO NOT book a cruise on the MSC Divina. You will be very disappointed, and I don’t want to have to say “I told you so”! Heed my advice and take your business elsewhere.
Let me start with the good, just in case someone reading this is already booked and can’t cancel!
The ship itself is beautiful, boarding went smoothly, and….ah…there was nothing else that was good. Oh wait, the coconut shrimp and the lobster and most soups were good.
The Bad, The Bad, The Bad, The Bad and The Bad
The food on this cruise was atrocious! I would say that 60% was inedible and the rest was middling at best. The food quality was far below any chain restaurant in the USA. I did poll my fellow passengers and 9 of 10 were in agreement with me. We basically lived on the salad bar, pizza and fries from the buffet. Two members of our group were Vegan and the chef did modify Vegetarian selections to be Vegan for them. Some of it looked better than the “normal” menu. We basically came to sit down dinner every night, ordered food that could not be consumed (think gray steak, raw bacon, mushy chicken) and then ate at the crowded “fight to get a seat” buffet.
It is difficult to rate the dining service as there was none. Many of the waiters did not have a good grasp of the English language. All of the waiters we encountered from Indonesia (like our dinner waiter) had extremely bad breath. The courses came with no logic that I could determine. Many nights, some of our family would be done, while others were waiting for their main course. Much of the food went uneaten and the waiter never once asked if anything was wrong or if you wanted something else. He just cleared the full plates. Sometimes the table was so full of plates that we had to stack them ourselves to make room for food and another time, I picked up my coffee and the waiter cleared the saucer! Go figure!. My 88 year old Mom uses a walker. Upon arriving at the dining room she was told to leave her walker and go to a table halfway across the dining room! She refused. What did they think the walker was for? Another time, Mom ordered coffee and after it came she asked for water. The waiter poured water into the coffee! The dining staff needs to speak English and needs to be trained in what customer service is all about.
In any case, the food and dining service were extremely poor and not what I would expect on a cruise ship.
I had a balcony cabin and could not open the door. It took 4 calls and 2 days to get this fixed.
We felt nickel and dimed at every turn. The “free” room service had a $3.50 service charge. The 3D virtual reality ride cost me $17 for 3 people and lasted 5 minutes. Bowling was $7 per person per game. You could not purchase a drink card unless everyone in your cabin bought one. So if I wanted a soda card, my husband would have to buy one (whether he drinks soda or not) as would my son (he would be required to buy a kids drink card). Really??? Unbelievable! If you needed shade on the private island, it was $29 for a clamshell and 2 chairs stained with bird poop.
This is a sore spot with me. I think having tips added to the bill has brought about the demise of service.
At MSC tips are added automatically and if you tell them to remove the tips, you are told OK, but that they cannot be removed until the last night of the cruise. This was the first cruise ever that I did not even give them my credit card as I had no trust in tips being removed! I still give cash tips based on service.
At MSC, Customer Service has an attitude, and it is not a good one. Seemed the customer was always wrong or being ridiculous. It appeared as if every request was a burden to the staff, instead of their job. This is a very bad way to run a business.
The Ugly, The Ugly, The Very Ugly and The Very Very Ugly
NO DRINKS AT THE TENDER
On the day of the private island stop it was extremely hot and sunny. I was looking forward to a drink of water before boarding the tender back to the ship. In over 30 cruises I have never encountered a company that does offer a drink upon tender boarding. Well, MSC has water for employees, NOT for guests! How rude & inconsiderate.
BIRD POOP AND BROKEN CHAIR
As there was no shade on the private island, I paid $29 to rent 2 chairs and a clamshell sunshade. The chairs were covered in bird poop and one of them did not recline. I asked the person collecting my ticket (showing I had paid for the chairs/clamshell) to please clean the chairs and find one that functioned. I was told that there was nobody who could do this! Again, how rude & inconsiderate!
FOOD SHORTAGE ON PRIVATE ISLAND
The private island was open for 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Food was ONLY offered from 12:00 to 2:00. I got on line with my two small children at 1:40 PM. There was a long line in front of us and a long line formed behind us. Much of the food was already gone and was not being replaced. I managed to grab some fries and the last 2 burgers. There was no catsup or ice tea left, and water was only available in one spot and there was another long line. At 2 PM prompt, with a long line of people who had gotten on line before 2 PM, the staff began to put away all of the remaining food! Excuse me, that was just craziness. I can understand closing the line at 2 PM, but at least serve the people on line prior to 2 PM. It is not their fault that the line is so long and the food is slow to arrive, if at all. MSC should be ashamed!
HANDICAPPED BULLDOZED AT ELEVATOR
Coming back from port stops, there was always a crowd waiting for elevators. Those of us in my party who could, walked upstairs and across the ship to less busy elevators. My Mom was in a wheelchair and had to take the elevator. One day it was taking forever to get the elevator as people were pushing to get in and ignoring folks in wheelchairs or with babies in strollers. My daughter asked a staff member for help and was told, “It is not my fault passengers are rude. There is nothing I can do about it”. What a load of crap! I guarantee that if that staff member stood in front of the next elevator to arrive and announced that it was for handicapped passengers and those with babies, the “rude” passengers would have stepped aside. MSC should be quite embarrassed with the failure of the staff to offer help to handicapped folks. In fact, the last day of the cruise we were waiting and waiting on floor 12 to go down to floor 6 to disembark. All the elevators that stopped were completely full. I walked to floor 6 and got an empty elevator going up. At each stop, I announced that the elevator was picking up wheelchair passengers. Nobody tried to get in. I arrived on floor 12 with the empty elevator to pick up Mom in her wheelchair and the baby in the stroller. Had I not done this, we would have missed our plane.
BALLOON MAN LEAVES KIDS CRYING
OK, one last incident. There was a staff member making balloon animals for kids from 4 to 5 PM. At 5 PM there were three toddlers left in line. Rather than quickly making balloons for them, the staff member got up and left, leaving three small crying children and several bewildered parents in their wake. This kind of behavior is totally shameful and should not be tolerated.
PLEASE DO NOT SPEND YOUR HARD EARNED DOLLARS ON MSC!