VERY Pleasantly Surprised!!
MSC Divina Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
Sail Date: October 18, 2014
Cabin Type: Inside
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 2 years ago
We have been so excited to come home and write this review since we were apprehensive after booking and reading other reviews about MSC. If you are booked on MSC and have not yet been on your cruise, relax!! You have an amazing cruise experience ahead of you! We have cruised 10 times with 4 different cruise lines and this experience was just as good as some and better than others.
I will comment first about the negative things I had read and was concerned with. First of all, Customer Service was outstanding!! Dining staff, room steward, and general staff went above and beyond in every respect. Not a single issue with anyone being rude, nonresponsive, or "stuffy".
Secondly, the food.....there are not enough words to use to tell how positively divine every meal was. I think throughout the entire cruise, there were 2 things that any member of our party of four did not just rave about. Every single item was top quality, fresh, beautiful, and delicious! We have never been on a cruise with better food. You have to try the cheesecake and the key lime pie at the Express Dining Lunch in the main dining room. Exquisite!! Variety was tremendous! I cannot say enough about the food (but my expanding waistline could speak volumes). We had read that there was a charge for room service, but found out that it was only between the hours of 11 pm and like 5 am.
Entertainment was top notch. Not much of the "Vegas Style Show", but some really quality performers! Our favorites were the Pirate Show (with the exception of thong clad dancers), and the Operas. The tenor was incredible! Overall, the music throughout the ship was better than any we've experienced on a cruise ship--every genre you can think of (We are musicians.) The costuming for the shows was good for the most part, however, during a few of the shows, the dancers were wearing nothing more than a thong and sheer tights under a short skirt or jacket. I would have been mortified if I had my children with me. As it was, my husband chose to do a lot of reading during some of the shows because it was too uncomfortable for him. If this is bothersome for you, avoid the "Frank Forever" show and the Pirate show.
The negatives: We experienced on this ship, more than any other, having to pay for extras (gelato, American Diner, etc.) That being said, prices were reasonable and there was no reason to have to pay to eat. Gelato was served in the main dining room and there were plenty of other options. Also, we were not traveling with kids, so this wasn't an issue for us, but it didn't seem like there was much going on throughout the day as we have experienced on other ships. The ship itself, though beautiful, did not boast much in the way of activities that were free. The water areas were great, but nothing like some of the newer Carnival, Disney, or Norwegian ships. There was bowling, but it cost.
On the morning of departure, we did not feel rushed out. We were free to loiter, eat, and relax by the pool until 10 am with no overhead announcements telling us to get off. It was a nice change.
Neither good nor bad: Lots of Europeans on the Cruise. Most staff spoke 4-5 languages to accommodate this. We enjoyed the cosmopolitan feel of the cruise and spoke with some nice people, but swimwear (or the lack thereof) was a bit shocking. No one was topless, but we saw LOTS of thong bikinis, and speedos. Not attractive.
Overall, this was an excellent cruise. We have decided there is always someone willing to complain about anything, but how bad can it be when you are on a cruise ship in the Caribbean? We would cruise with MSC again in a heartbeat. For us it is always about the bottom dollar, but we would be thrilled if we end up on and MSC ship again!!
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Some of the best desserts we had was at the Express Lunch in the Black Crab. Hot tubs were not crowded from about 8-10PM. On the back of the ship, there were staircases that went top to bottom outside and were the best least crowded views. We rarely saw anyone but employees in these locations.