MSC Divina Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Contributor Level: Third Mate

Experience
2-3 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
8

1 out of 5

Run away!

Sail Date: March 26, 2016

Reviewed: 7 months ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Balcony

This was a terrible experience overall.  The only nice thing about this cruise was the three times we were able to get off the ship.  The staff, at absolutely every level on this ship, is incredibly rude and clearly unhappy about being there.  They have zero interest in making you feel welcome or even in being pleasant in any way towards you. The children's program was horrible. We specifically sought a ship with a children's program. If you have a 7 year old -do not go on this cruise (for this and many other reasons).  Our child was too old for the younger children's group (3 to 6), so put with the 7 to 11 yr olds who are in the teen room (graffiti disco).  It is constant loud dance music and video games. With no apparent structure/planned activities other than the occasional "parade" around the ship to loud dance music.  We were not at all comfortable leaving her in that environment, nor did she want to be left there. The ship has a big slide, but you have to be 8 years old, so she was too young for that.  So the deck pools seemed filled with the 7 to 10 year old set - too old for the kids program and too young for the teen room.  

The evening dining experience was not much better.  Our waiter was clearly unhappy to be there.  The orders were always wrong and or the courses brought out of order (one evening brought the kids (we were seated with another family) ice cream before their entree!)  I asked for a glass of wine when I placed my dinner order, but was told I was too late as the waiter for the bar had already come around.  The food was okay. Not terrible.  Desserts were very good.

The food buffet is a zoo.  Difficult to find a place to sit. We ended up eating in shifts as one would find a table and hold it while the others got their food and by the time the one holding the table got their plate, the others were done eating.  Long lines for the food and a lot of pushing and shoving to get to the food (I found that weird behavior too).  It was really uncomfortable.

If you wait until after 10:00 to go to any of the decks, it is near impossible to find a deck chair or table. We never once were able to sit or lay out in the sun unless we sat on the edge of the pool (and we did get out there on some mornings well before 10:00).  The water in the pool is set at a very low temperature and was too cold to swim, but given all the stuff floating in it, I still would not have gone in. The kids seemed to be fine with the temperature and I kept my fingers crossed my child did not get sick!

If you order the drink packages of any type, you receive paper coupons you have to carry with you. We found this cumbersome and we would often be out and realize we forgot the coupons in the room.  Other cruises just have it tied to your room card account.  We would be at the dinner table in the evening counting out our coupons for the waiter at the end of the evening (if we ordered water bottles or sodas for the kids too).

This is the first time (3rd cruise) we booked excursions through the cruise line. That was a mistake.  They would not give us information about the time of the excursions until the night before - so made it difficult to plan anything else but the one excursion. On my last cruise I was able to plan two excursions per port.  We were told, in St. Thomas for example, that maps would be available in the morning when we got off the ship.  Unfortunately, there were no maps to be found. Same message in San Juan. We walked to a shop in town and found a map there. If you booked your excursion through the ship, you meet in the theatre where you can wait up to an extra 45 min/hour before you actually go on the excursion - again, taking away valuable time at the location.  I would not recommend booking through the ship.

We also had our 17 year old son with us. He did not do the youth program as it appeared the teens were younger than he is and he did not particularly like the loud screaming music (you could not talk to anyone it was too loud).   He did enjoy the Formula 1 simulator - but it does cost each time you do it and only last for a few minutes.  He was too big for the slide (or at least he thought so!)  Since he is 17, he sleeps past 9:00 so no place in the sun on the deck left available for him. He spent most of his time in the room watching tv. There were lots of activities on the ship (i.e. ping pong challenge, soccer challenge, etc.) but they stipulated 18 and over, so he could not do those. 

 

We will never cruise this line again. It was a terrible waste of money and vacation time. Not relaxing at all!!!  We were so frustrated about little things, every day, that should not have been issues at all (i.e. being told there would be maps, but none to be found, not given times for excursions until evening before, constant rude behavior by staff was just so energy zapping - dreaded ordering a drink because I knew I would either get barked at for something (i.e. not my station) or simply treated with indifference, not once having our child in a program so we could go for dinner or night cap on our own).  

Cruise Photos

Cabin / Stateroom
Room was a bit smaller than expected but it was fine. The decor is dated and dark. Sheets were torn/frayed and the carpet appeared dirty (that surprised us), I was surprised to find it is only 4 years old as it seemed more 70's style to us. There was not enough hangers/drawers and we had to keep our clothes in suitcases and slide under bed (we shared a room with our two children).
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Ship Quality
Destinations and Excursions
Destinations were nice - do not book excursions through ship. Not well planned.
Onboard Activities
Pools were cold. Hot tubs always full. Child one year too young for slide. Looked like those who participated in some of the games on the main deck were having fun.
Children's Programs
They do not know how to entertain children (7 to 11) with age appropriate activities. Not enough staff - seemed worn out and miserable. Heard one lady yelling at a 3/4 yr old to "stay on the left side." Pretty sure he does not know left and right. Not to mention I do not expect my child to be getting yelled at in a kids program on a cruise ship! Staff, again, unhappy and miserable.
Entertainment
Shows in theater were fine. Movies on the deck were good and kids enjoyed. I was hoping to go to Jazz bar, but every time we went they were not playing jazz (i.e. pop night). Did not hear any jazz the whole time on ship.
Service and Staff
Absolutely terrible! These people do not want to be on this ship. Treat customers with contempt. In no way cared if we were comfortable or having a good experience. Did the minimum possible required to complete their jobs.
Food and Dining
Desserts are wonderful! Food was okay. Nothing great and not terrible. Pretty much same food on buffet that is served at evening formal dining room. Wait staff/service not good - random order to bringing food. Some nights our daughter would get children's entree a good 30-45 minutes before we had our main course. Buffet lines are long, crowded and loud and messy.
Miami, Florida
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
San Juan, Puerto Rico
We did not purchase an excursion as the ship ports right at Old Town and it is a beautiful walk around the area. The trams are free - so take advantage.
Nassau, Bahamas

Tip

Don't waste your money.



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