Disorganized cruise line with very poor service, but wonderful ports of call

MSC Divina Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 18

Overall rating:

3.1 out of 5
MSC Divina

11 Night Caribbean & Antilles (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 27, 2019

Ship: MSC Divina

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 12207

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

Our MSC cruise was only enjoyable when we weren't dealing with MSC staff and crew. We chose the cruise based on the ports of call. The ports were all fun and we had a great time on the excursions. The MSC cruise line is very disorganized and the entertainment on the ship is not as nice as other cruise lines. The disembarkation process is the most disorganized that I have ever been a part of on any cruise line. We will not be back on any MSC cruise ever again.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
We arrived at our scheduled embarkation time and the process took about 15 minutes. This was the fastest embarkation that we have had on any cruise line. Our check in agent had excellent customer service, but some of the cruise terminal employees were very rude.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
We never went to the main dining room because we were scheduled the late sitting. The buffet had decent food selections from around the world. There were always hamburgers for the non adventurous. The buffet area was always clean. However the drink stations were never well maintained. Half of the drink stations were always closed causing the few that were open to be over used and out of stock of juice and coffee. We could hardly find half and half at any of the stations. Other cruise lines do not close the drink stations and I have never had as many outages on juice and coffee as I did on this cruise. It was my feeling that MSC wanted you to buy a drink instead of having the juice and coffee well stocked.

Onboard Activities

2 out of 5
We went to the casino which is much smaller than the casinos on other cruise ships. The bar service in the casino is slow and very understaffed. The Sports Bar is a complete joke. We tried to get food at the Sports Bar twice and left both times because there was only one server to service all the tables. MSC canceled multiple activities because the weather was "too cold" aka below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This was amusing but also absurd since MSC told guests to bring warm clothes on their website. Overall the onboard activities did not meet my expectations from what I have had on other cruise lines.

Entertainment

2 out of 5
The first show we went to was a tribute to the movie The Mask. The performers lip-synced most of the songs and the choreography was not as good as other ships that I have been on. The acrobats were the most entertaining part of any of the shows. The Tina Turner tribute was the most professional of the shows that we went to see. The three main vocalist appear to be classically trained and did an outstanding job with opera, but fell short with pop music. The live bands that they had each night in the bar areas were decent performers and I enjoyed listening to them.

Service and Staff

1 out of 5
The room stewards were the friendliest staff members on the ship and did an excellent job maintaining the room. The rest of the staff seemed like they hated thier job and did as little as possible to help with issues or questions.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
The ship is well maintained and has a very similar layout to most of the cruise ships that I have sailed on.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
The cabin had less shelf and closet space than any other cruise ship I have been on. The cabin stewards were the nicest crew members that I had interactions with aboard the Divina.

Ship tip

Be prepared to wait in unorganized lines and bring cash to tip the staff if you want to be served in a reasonable amount of time.

Ports of call

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

4 out of 5
We have been to Jamaica three other times. So we walked around the shops in Ocho Rios and ate at Margaritaville. We did not do an excursion.

Cartagena, Colombia

4 out of 5
This was our first time to Colombia and we wanted to see some of the city, but also have a good time. We did a Chiva Party Bus tour, which is a tour with alcohol to drink along the way. The tour includes rum and Coca-cola plus a beer towards the end. We had a great time and got to see some of the tourist highlights of Cartagena.

Colon, Panama

4 out of 5
We wanted to come to Panama to see the Panama Canal. We did an excursion that sailed on a ferry through the canal. The experience was awesome and we got some great photos as we cruised along the canal.

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

5 out of 5
Costa Rica was our favorite port. Costa Rica is BEAUTIFUL and the people are very friendly. Pura Vida! We did the Veragua Rainforest & Aerial Tram excursion. The rainforest was beautiful and we got to see a few sloths along with some exotic birds in the wild. The Veragua Reserve has many exhibits with more elusive reptiles and the butterfly area was awesome. I highly recommend this excursion if you enjoy nature.

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

5 out of 5
Costa Maya was our second favorite port on the cruise. We did the Kohunlich Mayan Ruins excursion. The Mayan ruins were some of the best that I have visited and our tour guide was fantastic. The Kohunlich ruins have the Temple of the Masks that is awe inspiring. The cruise terminal has a huge shopping and beach area if you do not like doing excursions. I would love to visit Costa Maya again and explore more of what it has to offer.

OCEAN CAY MSC MARINE RESERVE, BAHAMAS

4 out of 5
Ocean Cay is MSC's brand new private island and ocean reserve. I think in a few years this will be a highlight for any MSC Caribbean cruise, once the cruise line works out the logistics of getting the island ready for guests. We had a relaxing day in the sun and there is plenty of beach space so you are not on top of other guests. We stayed on Sunset beach until the sun went down. It was a beautiful sunset.

Disembarkation

1 out of 5
This was the WORST disembarkation that I have ever experienced. The disorganization and incompetence of the crew during the disembarkation process caused me to miss my flight back home. I have never had as much trouble disembarking from a cruise as I did on the Divina. I chose to do the "Express Walk Off" option. This meant that you had to convey ALL of your luggage to exit of the ship on the morning of disembarkation. I have do this on Carnival three times and never had a problem getting off the ship in a timely manner. I was in line standing in the Golden Jazz Bar at 6:30 AM. The crew only let passengers disembark from the "Express Walk Off" line for fifteen minutes from around 7:30 to 7:45. I estimate less than 100 people got off the ship before the crew started letting the preferred passengers and then the prearranged color zones off the ship before everyone who was standing in the line with their luggage! I would have never done the "Express Walk Off" option if I had known that MSC would halt the line at 7:45 and start disembarking the color zones. I plead with three crew members about my flight that was at 10:15 and I needed to get off the ship. I was told "Everyone has a flight to catch!!" I have never been treated with such callous disregard! Everyone who chose the option to "Express Walk Off," and had all their luggage with them, should have been first to disembark the Divina before any passenger who allowed the porters to convey their luggage. Passengers were shoving and screaming at each other and the crew just stood and watched. It was a TERRIBLE way to end an already mediocre experience on the Divina.

Traveler Photos

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas View from the party bus. A sloth in the rain forest. Sunset at Ocean Cay One of the masks at the Kohunlich Mayan ruins. The jungle along the path at the Veragua Rainforest Centennial Bridge
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