MSC Divina Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Contributor Level: Purser

Experience
1 cruise (first)

Review
1

Helpful Votes
5

4 out of 5

Very Happy for Most Part

Sail Date: March 26, 2016

Reviewed: 8 months ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Balcony

The MSC Davina was my first cruise after about 28 years. So I don't have a lot to compare it to. The ship was beautiful and very clean. The common area was always very clean. We had a balcony room that I just loved. The balcony was my favorite part. I loved to have the door open and hear the water lapping against the ship at night. They kept the rooms very clean. Came in twice a day and cleaned.

 

I was traveling with my 12 year old daughter. We were very disappointed in the teen group. They had too wide a range of age. They lumped the 12-14 in with the 15 -17 age group. She was intimidated when she went up to the teen hang out. Said it was all older kids sitting on their phones. There were no planned activities for the kids so they just sat there and did not approach anyone or make friends. My daughter took a Disney cruise last year and raved about the teen group. She could not get enough! She met new friends and they had all kinds of fun activities planned. The MSC Davina needs to split the 12-14 off in their own group and have planned activities for the kids that push them to interact and make new friends. I was disappointed because I had hoped to have more 'adult time' with my daughter off making new friends. But instead I was her only friend and I spent my whole cruise keeping her entertained. Also there was not enough 'kid friendly' foods for picky eaters. She ate bread and pizza for 7 days straight.

 

Another complaint I have it the pool chairs. The days we were at sea, people got up at 7 am and put towels on all the chairs to reserve them for the whole day. It states that reserving chairs for the day if not being used was not allowed. But no one enforced this. I watched people knot their towels on the chairs at 7 am and not come back to use them until 2 pm... I had to stand or sit on the ground all day when at the pool. I think that small kids should not have a lounge chair.  I saw families with 3 or 4 small children under the age of 6 reserve a chair for each child... the child never really sat in the chair as they were playing in the pool. But there the chairs sat unused with a towel knotted on them. This was very frustrating to me and angered me.

 

Also the back infinity pool should be adult only or at least 13 and older. There were 3 pools. The inside pool was ALL kids and there was no way I was going to swim in that pool. The main pool was filled with screaming and splashing kids too. So I did not swim in that pool much either. The kids were all over the hot tubs in this area too. So I went up to the back infinity pool. I assumed this would be mostly kid free... or at least older kids that were not running and splashing. WRONG. Filled with very little kids whose parents were not watching. I wanted to sit on the shallow area and get some sun. The little kids were running and splashing and making it very miserable. I really think MSC should make the back pool 14 and older. We need a place to relax. I am not a hater of kids, I have my own. But that does not mean I don't want to be away from other peoples screaming kids when I pay for a vacation.

 

Food was fantastic for the most part. I never went hungry. The dinner at the Black Crab was really nice. But there was not enough kid friendly foods. My daughter ate plain noodles and bread all 7 nights. But she is very picky. Our waiter, Nova was fantastic! He was so nice and I really enjoyed being served by him. I do think that soft drinks at dinner should be included. It is very expensive to pay $2.50 every time you want a can of pop. For sure next time I am bringing some of my own soda onto the ship. I was not aware that you could do this.

 

The entertainment for the night shows was really good. I did not find a lot of things to do on the ship during the day. There were some little things going on here and there but nothing that really sounded fun. Especially for the teens. I found I was getting a little bored on the 2nd sea day.

 

Nights were better. Live music everywhere. The ship was beautiful all lit up at night. Staff really nice. There was a language barrier at times. Most of the staff did not speak much English so I found it difficult at times. But I made it work.
 

I think the drinks were very expensive. $7.50 for every drink be it a beer or a fancy drink is excessive. Even soda cost $2.50 for each can. I think a beer should be less than a fancy drink and soda should be included. You really rack up a bill for the end of the trip. Also there is a $12 service charge for each adult at each dinner and a $8 per child. So at the end of 7 days you had 7 $32 charges on your bill for dinner tip. This was over $200 and add this into your drinks and you have a big bill on your door at the end of the trip. I don't know if other cruise lines charge a surcharge at dinner or how expensive drinks are. But I know Disney did not charge the kids for soda or smoothies and ice cream.

 

But all together I give MSC Davina a 4 star rating. I really enjoyed our cruise and everyone was really nice and the ship was immaculate and clean.

Cabin / Stateroom
Great! Clean, comfortable and lots of storage to put you clothing in. I also really liked the fact that I had a safe in the room. I have no complaints about the cabin at all. Very happy.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Ship Quality
My only complaint is that there were not enough pool lounge chairs. People put towels on the chairs at 7 am and held them all day even when not using the chairs. The MSC staff said that they would enforce the rule of not hoarding chairs... I never saw this enforced! I did not get a lounge chair once. I watched families with small kids hold 6 chairs, one for each child and the kids never used the chairs. I think the chairs should be for 13 and up only and no one can hold a chair for the whole day if not using it.
Destinations and Excursions
Nassau was dirty and icky. We took the tour to Atlantis and it was way over-priced. $150 a person for an over-crowded water park. We only got to go on 4 rides because they ran out of tubes and the lines were so long. Also the big tube ride conveyer belt broke down twice when we were in line. So I do not recommend Atlantis. We did some shopping in town (Nassau) and the vendors were very aggressive and the town was dirty and smelled like pee. I felt uncomfortable in the town too. The items for purchase were either very high-end and expensive or very tacky junk. Nothing in between that I would think of purchasing. I will not go back to the Bahamas on a cruise again. San Juan - great! St. Thomas - great!
Onboard Activities
Children's Programs
My 12 year old was disappointed. They lumped the 12-14 age group in with the 15-17 age group. No planned activities for the kids. She went up a few times to the teen club and came down very disappointed. She said that there was never any actual activities. So the kids did not interact and form friends. I ended up entertaining my daughter for the full 12 days. I was very disappointed because I did not get enough 'adult time' since the ship did not plan anything for the 12-14 year olds to keep them happy and entertained.
Entertainment
The big shows at night were mostly great. A little too much vocal and not enough comedy. But I did really enjoy every show. But not enough stuff to do during the day when at sea all day. If not swimming I was bored at times.
Service and Staff
Food and Dining
Miami, Florida
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Nassau, Bahamas
Dirty and smelly. The vendors were aggressive and stuff was either high-end and expensive or just plain junk. Also Atlantis was way over-priced. We paid $150/person. Only got on 4 rides for the whole day! Just too crowded and expensive.

Tip

If you are traveling with a teen I would not go on the MSC Davina. I would find a ship that was more teen-friendly. But as an adult I would highly recommend the MSC Davina. I felt special - the staff treated me like royalty . Do bring on a 12 pack or two of soda to have in your room.



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