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MSC Divina review May 10-17

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Divina Review May 10-17

 

Just got off the the Divina from a 7 day western Caribbean sailing.

 

This is our second MSC cruise, having sailed on the Poesia last April while it wintered in the Caribbean. Previous cruises have been on Princess and Carnival.

 

My sister and I flew into FLL on Friday, rented a car from Thrifty, and proceeded to drive to our Miami hotel. Spent Friday night having dinner at a local restaurant Catch of The Day, then drove over to Wal Mart for some last minute items.

 

Got up early on the Saturday, went over to South Beach in the morning. Dropped off our luggage on the way back from South Beach. Luggage drop off was very quick and fast and we were not harassed to tip- yes we did tip. Proceeded to drop off our car at MIA, and grabbed the complimentary shuttle back to the Cruiseport. We arrived at the Ship by 1:00 pm

 

Embarkation:

Quick and efficient. A water station was set up as soon as you entered. Sparkling and still water as well as orange and pineapple juice. Check in was fast, no line ups, from start to finish it was about 30 minutes. My sister brought on a 12 pack of water with no problems, I had my bottle of wine confiscated.

 

We arrived on board, went directly to our cabin to see it it was ready. It was. Our beds were put together, which needed to be changed over to 2 singles. As we were leaving our cabin, was greeted by a maintenance person who enquired if everything was all right. Explained our bed situation and he told us he will get our steward on it to fix it.

 

Proceeded to the casino to pick up our pre paid for Escape drink coupons. We had a 3 booklets in the envelope when we only ordered 1 booklet. Went to the front desk to get this rectified. As the MSC website is glitchy and does not allow you to only order 1 booklet I had to call in and speak with a reservation agent personally and pre pay for my drink package. The reservation agent did not cancel my 2 booklets that was in my 'shopping cart' and even through my credit card was charged the $72.00 it did not show up on my folio. I only received a booking summary when I requested my updated invoice. All my information was sent off to MSC's Head Office and was told that it will be rectified by Monday. Lesson learned- always print off credit card statements and insist on an updated invoice when any financial transaction takes place. This was definitely an agent error.

 

By this time, it was well past 2:00 pm and our plan to see get off the ship and explore Miami was not going to happen. We made our way to the buffet and had lunch. After lunch we went up to Deck 15 Garden Bar to meet up with our unofficial roll call meet and greet. Deck 15 became my favourite place to hang out for the remainder of the week.

 

Muster was at 5:00pm, easy and painless, yes they did use the word crotch when instructing how to properly put on the life jacket.

 

Went back upstairs to Deck 15 for a drink and took in the sites of the Miami skyline.

We had late dining, so we went to the show first then dinner.

 

We had dinner on the upper level in the Black Crab, our table mates consisted of a Mother and Daughter from British Columbia and a married couple from Rhode Island.

Having sailed previously on the Poesia, some of the Poesia staff were onboard the Divina. Met our Poesia MDR server Cornell who is now a Head Waiter on the Divina.

 

Service:

MDR service was on the slow side, but they did try their best to serve us efficiently. Service greatly improved throughout the week. We ended up losing our Rhode Island couple on the second night and we were blessed with a wonderful couple from Montreal Canada as our tablemates for the remainder of the cruise. The MDR service improved greatly and little things such as having red wine glasses on our table instead of the smaller white wine glasses, an extra plate of the focaccia bread on the table. IMHO dinner is an event and is not meant to 'get in get fed get out'. We usually left the restaurant by 10:30 or so. Good food, good company, good conversation. Something that is lacking in today’s society.

 

The service throughout the ship was overall good. Had no problems getting service on Deck 15, the servers were not in your face asking if you wanted a drink every 5 minutes which was appreciated. Everyone you came across said hello to you. The only observation I did have, was that the staff looked tired and exhausted. We were told that the ship lost appox. 400 staff due to Visa issues as the ship was headed to Brazil to become a floating hotel for the FIFA World Cup on the next voyage.

 

The Big Bacon Debate:

All this talk over bacon I was determined to get the correct answer. No- the bacon was not raw.

It was somewhere between still rubbery to crispy -but not like shrapnel. There was still some soft texture to it. Will post pictures. The only time I saw 'raw' bacon was the sliced pancetta on the lunch buffet. Perhaps that is where the confusion lies.

 

Buffet and MDR Food:

Food is very subjective and we all have different palates. I enjoyed the breakfast buffet- french toast, pancakes, waffles, lots of fresh fruit. Over easy eggs and pre made omellettes. Bacon, sausage, hash browns. No, there was no smoked salmon on the buffet but I survived. Muslix was available. The orange juice was not Tang it was regular restaurant style orange juice. Cranberry and grapefruit juice was also available. The coffee is the best I ever tasted on a cruiseship. Better than the syrup crap you get on other cruiselines.

 

Lunch on the buffet was also very good, The pizza was true Italian pizza- thin crust without being loaded down with all the additional toppings. The pre-wrapped cheeseburgers were surprisingly good. The carving station always had a different meat offering, the ethnic section in the back of the ship had some really amazing dishes. There was a wide selection of food available to please all palates.

4:00pm is when the cookies come out on the buffet.

 

We had dinner in the MDR everynight. Had awesome tablemates. We usually had 2 appetizers, main course and of course dessert. The only 'bad meal' was on our last night 3 of us ordered streak, all three steaks was full of gristle. It was not the fault of the kitchen, it is the particular cross cut of meat.

 

Shows:

The shows were awesome and not to be missed. As it is constantly stated on these boards, the MSC shows are the best at sea, very Cirque du Soleil It is a shame that people do not make their way down to the theatre to watch the performances.

 

Islands:

We called on Falmouth Jamaica,- MSC organized a hop on hop off shuttle service to take people to Montego Bay. The Shops at Rose Hall, Margaritaville and Drs. Cave were the 3 stops. The cost for the shuttle service was $22.90 per person. This was a surprise as this service was only announced in the daily the evening before going in to port and was never offered in the excursion listings.

 

Grand Caymen:

This was a tendered island, we had to go to Eataly Steakhouse to pick up our tender voucher and wait until our letter was called. Very quick and organized. MSC used their own boats for the tender process.

We booked a stingray and snorkel excursion with Captain Marvin. Did not get a chance to experience the 7 mile beach due to our excursion.

 

Water, pineapple and orange juice were available while we waited to board the tender.

 

Cozumel:

My least favourite port. Whether is was because of our third port day in a row,the pushy annoying shop barkers, or that there was no breeze and very hot, we did not enjoy Cozumel. We wanted a shopping day and heard the shopping was good. We lasted about 3 hours in port before heading back to the ship.

 

Great Stirrup Cay:

This port was cancelled due to the deteriorating weather conditions making the afternoon tenders unsafe. We docked in Nassau instead.

 

Disembarkation:

We had to change our time to 8:15 am as our shuttle was picking us up at 9:00am. Disembarkation was very smooth, the luggage came down through a carousal, instead of being all out in a luggage hall. The only slight delay was going through U.S. Customs. It took us approx 40 minutes from start to finish.

 

Observations:

The ship is very clean, does not matter what time of day it is, you will find someone cleaning. Not a sticky railing was to be found.

 

I did not get the full ship experience due to the Yacht Club being in the front of the ship. One of my favourite places is being in the front of the ship while the ship is coming into port. It's a small thing but it did make a difference.

 

No decent promenade the lifeboats overshadowed the promenade and made it uninviting to stroll along the promenade.

 

Rooms were a decent size we had a B2 cabin # 11181. Perfect location, mid ship, last cabin on the bump out so it felt like we only had one neighbour.

 

We did not have bathrobes in our cabin, but we did not ask for them to be delivered as they are too bulky and heavy. We did have facecloths in our bathroom. The shower stall needs a foot rest installed to make it easier to shave your legs and wash your feet. Since there is no shower curtain, we were not able to use the toilet as a foot stabilizer.

 

Front Desk- only certain agents had a cash box. Very frustrating to exchange or breakdown currency. Most times did not have an adequate float of small bills to even breakdown a $20.

 

The sailing had 58 nationalities , some language barriers as English was not spoken by some. As like any other cruise you are going to find the pushy 'all about me' people who make pigs of them self. This was especially evident in the buffet. We were raised to take what you are going to eat and if you want more go back for some more. Lots of food was wasted, or certain items ran out as some people decided to take the last dozen cookies for themselves.

 

Public Restrooms: located throughout the ship. Ladies is on the Starboard side, Men on the port side.

 

Will definitely sail and recommend MSC.

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We had to change our time to 8:15 am as our shuttle was picking us up at 9:00am.

 

Is that the MSC transfer for the airport? If yes, is it the earliest one?

 

Thanks

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If I order only one aperizer, the main course and dessert, and others a table order 5 services, should I expect that all have their dish before mine?

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The Big Bacon Debate:

All this talk over bacon I was determined to get the correct answer. No- the bacon was not raw.

It was somewhere between still rubbery to crispy -but not like shrapnel. There was still some soft texture to it. Will post pictures. The only time I saw 'raw' bacon was the sliced pancetta on the lunch buffet. Perhaps that is where the confusion lies.

 

Ah, well done, you may single handedly have solved the bacon debate! The raw stuff is the stuff that's meant to be raw!

 

Thanks also for the detailed review. Very enjoyable read.

Edited by AmoMondo

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If I order only one appetizer, the main course and dessert, and others a table order 5 services, should I expect that all have their dish before mine?

 

We all pretty much ordered the the same number of appetizers. BTW the chicken caesar salad was a huge hit at our table. Our server did bring one of our table mates 2 appetizers at once to try and balance out the courses

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We all pretty much ordered the the same number of appetizers. BTW the chicken caesar salad was a huge hit at our table. Our server did bring one of our table mates 2 appetizers at once to try and balance out the courses

 

If we eat each service, seems to me much!

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The Big Bacon Debate:

All this talk over bacon I was determined to get the correct answer. No- the bacon was not raw.

It was somewhere between still rubbery to crispy -but not like shrapnel. There was still some soft texture to it. Will post pictures. The only time I saw 'raw' bacon was the sliced pancetta on the lunch buffet. Perhaps that is where the confusion lies.

 

Sheer brilliance!!! Here we have the definitive answer! Thank you!

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Thanks for the review. Can you tell me, please, what time was the early and the late seating in the MDR for dinner? I've read so many conflicting reports about this.

 

And was the MDR open for a sit down lunch on port days?

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Divina Review May 10-17

 

 

Will definitely sail and recommend MSC.

 

 

Sounds like you had a good time. I am a little surprised at the change in port stop. I thought if they skipped a port they just cruised around a bit to use up the day then headed for the next port of call.

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Thanks for the review. Can you tell me, please, what time was the early and the late seating in the MDR for dinner? I've read so many conflicting reports about this.

 

And was the MDR open for a sit down lunch on port days?

 

Early seating for dinner is at 7:00pm and late seating is at 9:00pm. I can't speak for the lunch on port days as we were on a 3 day cruise. I'm sure there are others who can answer that part of your question for you though.

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Lunch was served in the Villa Rosa Dining Room from 12:00- 2:00 pm

 

Our dinner times were:

 

First seating 6:00 pm

Second seating 8:45 pm

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If I order only one aperizer, the main course and dessert, and others a table order 5 services, should I expect that all have their dish before mine?

 

 

No!

We asked for and got a table for 2, but sitting next to other large tables it was easy to see not everyone ordered every course, and the waiters tried to keep something in front of you! When some finished, they said goodbye, and left, while others stayed and had coffee, etc.!:)

Example, my wife ordered soup, pasta, and the entree, I ordered an appetizer, the entree, and desert, and we finished at the same time!:eek:

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Sheer brilliance!!! Here we have the definitive answer! Thank you!

 

 

Whatever theanswer, the Bacon was great, I ate a 'huge' bacon sandwich everyday of our 2 cruises, 14 days straight! It was great!:D

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Sounds like you had a good time. I am a little surprised at the change in port stop. I thought if they skipped a port they just cruised around a bit to use up the day then headed for the next port of call.

 

We were surprised as well, we thought for sure we were going to have a sea day, but Nassau had an open slip so it was a win win all around. 4300 unexpected guests in Nassau dropping in for the day, a chance for MSC to re-coop some of their money lost with the cancelled excursions by offering excursions for Nassau.

 

Even though it was our third time in Nassau in the past year and a half, we were happy.

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No!

We asked for and got a table for 2, but sitting next to other large tables it was easy to see not everyone ordered every course, and the waiters tried to keep something in front of you! When some finished, they said goodbye, and left, while others stayed and had coffee, etc.!:)

Example, my wife ordered soup, pasta, and the entree, I ordered an appetizer, the entree, and desert, and we finished at the same time!:eek:

 

did you ask the table for 2 day boarding ? Thank you.

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Thank you for the review! We are looking forward to our cruise, on the Divina, in October.

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Disembarkation: We had to change our time to 8:15 am as our shuttle was picking us up at 9:00am.

 

We wondered what happened to y'all! We enjoyed the cruise as well. I think we enjoyed our before time in Miami so much, however, we've decided to go with a land vakay next year.

 

Some at our table didn't order all the components of dinner. The waiters were very good about pacing when they removed the plates so no-one was left just watching others eat. My favorite thing was the pasta during dinner. Big thumbs up from me!!

 

Sam

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did you ask the table for 2 day boarding ? Thank you.

 

We were on a waiting list for a table for 2!

All you have to do is when you board the ship, go to the dining room, and there will be 2 gentlemen there taking, and filling as many requests for dinner as possible!

 

As I've said on other listings, the Divina crew will do what they can to please you if you're polite, but if you act like an ass, you'll get treated like one!:D

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Muster was at 5:00pm, easy and painless, yes they did use the word crotch when instructing how to properly put on the life jacket.

 

Islands:

We called on Falmouth Jamaica,- MSC organized a hop on hop off shuttle service to take people to Montego Bay. The Shops at Rose Hall, Margaritaville and Drs. Cave were the 3 stops. The cost for the shuttle service was $22.90 per person. This was a surprise as this service was only announced in the daily the evening before going in to port and was never offered in the excursion listings.

 

Loved your review, but I think you owe me a new computer screen. I don't know if I can get the ice tea off, lol! Apparently, they haven't taken my survey advice. ;)

 

I did not catch this info about the HOHO shuttle in Falmouth. What a great idea! Glad you had a good cruise.

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Loved your review, but I think you owe me a new computer screen. I don't know if I can get the ice tea off, lol! Apparently, they haven't taken my survey advice. ;)

 

I did not catch this info about the HOHO shuttle in Falmouth. What a great idea! Glad you had a good cruise.

 

Ahhhh. You caught that reference:D As soon as I heard that my sister and I laughed and thought of your review.

 

This was the first we heard about the HOHO shuttle being offered. That was our biggest issues was how we were going to get to Drs. Cave and back. We heard some horror stories of cabs taking your money and not picking you up at the return time. I was the first in line when the excursion desk opened the following morning to get our tickets.

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