Jump to content
gambee

!!! DIVINA !!! Eastern Caribbean ^_^ The Ultimate Review and Complete Pictorial Guide

Recommended Posts

 

For Menus, Drink Lists, Dailies, Drink Packages and more visit my blog Cruise With Gambee

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Google+

As always, I have a lot of material to share with everyone.

My reviews are loaded with fun times, great pictures and as always an unbiased point of view.

I have been told that I have a critical eye for detail, and it will be all here for you to enjoy.

Again, I welcome all of my previous readers and new ones as well. Thank you kindly for being a part of this ^_^

 

I invite you to come and sail with us on Aboard The Dazzling MSC Divina!!!

 

 

Introduction

 

Hello everyone, last you saw me I reviewed the Carnival Breeze, and had an amazing time! I can't believe I waited so long to try out Carnival. But I guess I allowed the best of me to get jaded by negative reviews. Goes to show that only you are the one who will know if you will like a product or not. But anyway, we are all here to talk about Divina and not Carnival, so let's get into it.

 

As always I start the reviews with a little insight about myself, and how/why we booked the cruise. If you follow me, you're aware that this year has been particularly rough on us. For those of you who are new readers, I will explain briefly. At the begging of this year my grandmother got diagnosed with cancer, it was at a very advanced stage and we had no intentions on making her last months on this earth uncomfortable for her. The decision was made to try to provide the best quality of life for her, and avoid chemotherapy since there was no realistic chance of improvement. My mother moved to our home country to take care of Grannie, during those months to do so. I was also able to see her in fairly good health while on a brief visit. My grandmother passed away a few months later. She was a fighter until her last breath. Words cannot describe the impact that her passing took on us. For me personally it was so devastating that I started loosing hair at an alarming rate, I am in the process of attempting to get that under control. Mom is back in the states and we are trying to resume to our normal lives again. Beyond that, there have also been additional family members diagnosed with a similar prognosis. Like I said, this year could easily be described as the worst year of our lives.

 

Let's try to move away from the sadness, I just needed to set the base as to why this cruise was so important to us and why it meant so much. This cruise main meaning was to celebrate my grandmother’s life, and everything that she did for us. It would be one cruise that no matter in which ship we were in; it would stay in our lives for the rest of life. She had all along been the root of our existence.

 

When booking this particular cruise I was looking at price more than anything, aside from the previously mentioned money is not on my side year. I have started school again, and I had to reduce my hours at work by more than half. In addition to that mom has been out of work for over 6 months, so we needed to keep our eye on the expenses.

 

Another very important factor about this cruise was that my uncle would be coming along. While he grew up in small boats, he had yet to sail on a cruise! And we all know how much fun it is traveling with first timers. Well, technically I didn't, this was my first time traveling with a first timer :D. I wanted a cruise that would flow perfectly, for all of us. I needed mom to be well rewarded for her incredibly hard and amazing work that she did for my grandmother. Mom was in need of a vacation more than ever. Those months had taken a huge toll on her and I could hear it in her voice. I also wanted my uncle's first experience be one that he would seal in his heart forever, and also something good for him to keep from this year. That was a tough call to do, especially while on a budget. Then again we are very reasonable and easy to please. So any of the cruises I had been on previously would do that for us.

 

Grammar Criticism

 

As you can imagine I work very hard on these reviews. I really try to deliver a satisfactory product, and one that will please most of my readers. Recently I received some criticism on my grammar on a social networking site. I would just want to remind my readers that English is my second language, and one that I continually struggle to improve.

 

Also bear in mind that there are only about a handful of writers that attempt at writing 60+ page reviews. I do all by myself, I have no editors or anything, this all entirely my work. This work is done entirely out of my heart and the will to share our experiences with you.

 

I try very hard to entertain everyone, and I like to think that I am doing well at it. But I also want to keep these reviews fun for me as well. They are not exactly easy or fast to compose. I do this while maintaining two full time jobs, and going to college. I will try harder to improve my writing, and deliver a better product. But just keep this in mind.

 

Thank you :)

 

 

 

Cruise Details

 

Booking this cruise was a little tricky due to uncertainty with the exact days; I did research as always and there were a few options but nothing great. It was later on that I reached out through a social media site and a friend contacted me with a deal on MSC Divina that was beyond hard to believe. I always had Divina on my sight; as a matter of fact, I had a cruise booked on her that I had to cancel earlier this year. I was extremely excited to see that kind of offer, and decided to make a move on it.

 

I won't go into details, but we basically got 2 balconies for 4 people for 7 days, (initially it was 4 of us, but my cousin bailed out) for the same price as the 3 day Norwegian Sky cruise that started my addiction. The deal was incredible, by far the best deal that I have gotten on a cruise. My mom could not believe it. It was great news for her because we were even considering going with an interior cabin to stay within budget. So as far as price goes, we got a great deal on this cruise! I always try to review cruise ships with that in mind, it makes for a balanced review. Basically sums up to the price paid VS experienced received, which makes it fair for all cruise lines, no matter which price range they are in.

 

The cruise itinerary was by no means perfect; as a matter of fact the Carnival one that I was considering had a MUCH BETTER ONE. However, in the end MSC had a way better price and I wanted to try a new cruise line. The ship stopped in St. Maarten, San Juan and Great Stirrup Cay. I was thrilled about St. Maarten and San Juan, but GSC is just very basic and plain in my opinion. Then again, it had been two years since I was there and I was curious to find out what changes they had done to the island.

 

YP1Z_zps18ab2991.jpg

 

 

 

 

Stateroom Selection

 

There is not much to say about the room selection, since this was a balcony guarantee reservation. Overall, we ended up getting 1 astounding room and one good room. I will go into details later on. One thing that I am not very keen about Divina is that the ship has lots of sections on the outside. This blocks the view for a lot of rooms. Nothing that will ruin your cruise, but still not something I like. When I book rooms one of my main focus is not having any views blocks, after all, isn't that the main point of a balcony?

 

Do your research before booking a balcony; make sure the walls and such does not obstruct the views.

 

 

MSC Horrible Website

 

MSC has by FAR! The WORST website that I have ever used out of all the cruise lines I've sailed. The website is simply put, inoperable! I was never able to log into my online reservations. I was told that it was because of the way I booked it, which by the way I booked directly with MSC, so can someone please explain that to me... I was however able to check-in through another link, but that was another nightmare as MSC kept telling wrong booking number, I had to switch browsers to make it work??? And after I was in I kept getting error messages each time I tried submitting. Our luggage tags had to be requested, because they never came in, etc...

 

Anyway, I won't go more into details. The main point is that at this point that website is a joke. It mainly works as a sales portal. OH, I forgot, all the reservations have to go through their principal office in Italy. So even researching for prices could take you what seems like an eternity. The same goes for phone calls, you always experience very long wait times just for someone to answer.

 

From what I heard MSC recruited some high profile executives from other lines to open their US operation. I just cannot fathom why have they not improved this yet? We are in the age of technology, let's face it, and we want things done fast and efficiently. MSC is seriously behind in this very important field, a lot of work has to be implemented. Then again this is just my opinion ;)

 

The only thing that saved my life was because I was working with Dave Rowland, my cruise account manager at MSC. He was a sincere pleasure to work with and I could always get a quick answer with him. I am not sure that my experience would have been so pleasant had I not had him.

 

 

 

Welcome Aboard the Gorgeous MSC Divina!!!

 

MSCDivinaDay7-26_zps4d84adcd.jpg

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last Minute Changes

 

Well, as you all read my cousin bailed out on us, that meant that either he had to pay for that empty spot or we had to find someone to cover his spot. I tried my best to get one of my friends to go, but finding someone at the last minute was kind of hard. None of my friends could make it and I also needed someone who would not throw the group dynamic out of balance. In the end, we decided to just leave the spot open and my cousin would pay for his portion.

 

A few days passed and my mom realized that we had completely ignored one person, my aunt. Well, technically she is not my aunt, but you know how Spanish families go, we are all related to each other one way or another, lol. OMG that sounded racist, anyway… So yeah, that actually interests me, why you ask? Well, we knew she could not pay for the cruise fare, but she could pay for the air ticket from her home country. That meant that someone had to cover her cruise ticket to make it happen. The main reason why this interested me was because she is just PLAIN FUN! She makes fun out of boring situations; I have to admit that there are scarce people that carry this kind of personality trait. I knew she would be an excellent addition to the cruise. In addition to that, mom clicks with her very well, and I could see it in my mother's eyes, she really wanted her to come.

 

After all that had happened to our family this year, and more specifically to my mom, adding my aunt to this cruise would make this trip so much better. That night I sat down and went over my finances. It would not be particularly easy to make it happen. I not only had to pay for her cruise fare, but add to that shore excursions, drinks (she does not drink much), and extra expenses, it all added up. Plus August was a heavy month for me, as I had to pay for the fall college semester. Ummm, you do the math; Gambee would have to go into his savings to make this happen.

 

Long story short, there was no question about it. SHE HAD TO COME! Once I told my mom, you could hear it in her voice. It was just what we all needed; my aunt was the perfect person to fill in the vacant spot of the cruise. Mom proceeded to call her and inform her. She could not be happier! I think the entire cruise changed that day; it would be an entirely different experience. Now you had a loud and obnoxious Spanish family boarding a very luxurious Italian vessel.

 

For those who have followed me since the beginning, you might actually know my aunt. Do you remember that my mom took a second cruise on the Norwegian Sky without me? Well, that cruise she took with my aunt. And from the pictures that I got back, I can only tell you that the cruise is among my moms favorite ones. So yes, all in all, I did this for my mom.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Budgeting

 

 

So, as I have already explained my budget on this cruise was a little bit tight so I had to keep that under control the entire cruise. Plus, when you are paying for four people is hardly an easy task, nonetheless it was done.

 

 

Specialty Restaurants

 

I am known for venturing out of the MDR experience and trying out all that each cruise line has to offer with their specialty dining venues. On this cruise, I had no intention on paying extra for food. We basically only ate at the free dining venues during the entire cruise.

 

MSC Divina has 3 specialty restaurants, Tex Mex, Galaxy and the Steakhouse. The prices of the venues seemed reasonable, but I could not consider them this time around. One thing to consider is that the steakhouse has an a la carte menu. There is also a sports bar with a menu of some snacks that you would find in US based sports bars, which is also A la Carte.

 

 

Mixed Drinks, Wine & Soft drinks

 

MSC offers an incredible amount drink packages, by far the most that I have seen out of any cruise line. They offer the usual unlimited package that needs to be purchased by everyone in the cabin. But in addition to that they offer an extensive amount of options tailoring to everyone. The odds are that you will find a package that fits you the best with this cruise line. Not only, that, but the amount of drink lists aboard MSC Divina is just ridiculous! I have not previously seen so many drink lists on a ship.

 

Our personal favorite package was the "Allegrisimo Escape" this is a voucher package. For $72 pre-cruise, you get 15 drink vouchers to use on the ship. The vouchers are good for pretty much 85% of drinks you usually find on cruises. If you want brand drinks, they will not work. Nonetheless, all in all with this package each drink comes out to $4.80, not a bad deal. However, it gets even better; if you look for the daily happy hours you can get 2 drinks for one voucher!

 

 

Wi-Fi

 

WIFI is something that I can no longer ignore; I need Internet access to ensure that there are no issues with my blog while on a cruise. Internet access on MSC Divina is by far the best I have used on a cruise ship. I will run through the details and explain why. This time around I purchased 1hr for $29.99. That comes to around $0.50 per minute, and goes along the lines of the cruise line prices. They had other packages as well. I will comment on them later as I come across the pictures.

 

 

Gratuities

 

Gratuities aboard MSC Divina will run you $12 per person per day. I usually tip more on drinks and food, as I know how much the crew works at making the cruise a perfect vacation for everyone. One thing to note is that MSC does not charge gratuities on the packages you pre-purchase, they call it a discount! That is outrageous, please explain to me how taking money away from the staff is a discount from the company?!?! This infuriates me. I will comment on this more as the review evolves. I saw a few issues here and there with this issue. I know many will want to put me under fire here, but please note that this is nothing more than my opinion. And yes, I was told about the discount by MSC themselves. Someone argued that the passengers were making that up.

 

 

Trip Insurance

 

When I buy trip insurance for my cruises, I go to Insure My Trip and shop around for travel insurance. On this trip I went for Atlas insurance, you really can’t say no to an insurance plan that covers 100k medical and costs you less than $15. Also includes bag loss and medical evacuation, that is just a simple no brainer. Bear in mind that the price changes with age, my mom's is a little more expensive than mine. By the way, we almost had used the insurance this time :(

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Camera Equipment

 

 

I change camera equipment often, and after the Carnival Breeze results with the RX100 I decided it was time to look into something new. Since I truly loved the results of the NEX-F3 I decided to stay within the same line of cameras, plus I could also use all my existing lenses. The NEX line was re-branded and now they are all called alphas.

 

 

Main Camera

 

I purchased the Sony Alpha A6000, while she is slightly larger and heavier than my old NEX, that is about the only negative that I can think about. Overall the camera is a great performer, with tons of bells this will be the first cruise that I use it on, so I guess I will let the pictures speak for themselves. Oh I forgot she is also the fastest camera of its kind, and since I am constantly shooting this camera helps a lot of cutting down in focusing time.

 

These are my lenses I own:

 

The Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar 24mm F1.8. What can I say about this lens? It is great for low light situations and produces very sharp pictures with great contrast. This is a true quality piece of glass that I use often during my cruises, due to a lot of low situations that I find myself in. It is just not very flexible with a fixed focal range.

 

The Sony Zeiss Sel1670 is my new lens that I added to the family. I have never truly had a midrange lens, since I never used the kit lens. Sony finally decided to make a decent Zeiss mid range zoom lens and this is it. It also has a constant aperture of F4, so it works great to get some nice bukeh pictures at 70mm. I used this lens much more than any other lens, mainly because of its versatility and great picture quality.

 

The Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 is my only zoom lens. It is a pretty basic lens and nothing really special to write about here. As long as there is enough light it performs pretty well, however, it does tend to struggle when light becomes scarce. Hopefully, Sony will soon release a faster zoom lens, but until then I am very pleased with this one!

 

The Rokinon 8mm F2.8 Fisheye lens is just a really fun toy to work with. I am a fan of fisheye pictures and this lens produces very sharp results.

 

untitled-1_zpsa741c4d5.jpg

 

 

Underwater Camera

 

I purchased the Olympus Stylus TG-2 iHS Digital Camera prior my Disney Dream cruise as well. I keep a very high standard for my pictures, and in a way I compare all my pictures to my A6000 camera results. I know this is not fair as the sensor of the cameras simply don’t even compare in any possible way, but still it is just something that I do. Not only does this camera offers good picture quality. But she is also a dream to operate! Everything about her is just PERFECT! I guess you would have to play with it to really see what I am talking about. I highly recommend this camera for those days when you find yourself in a shore excursion on a boat, or snorkeling around in your favorite island. Oh, I forgot the GPS in this camera is possibly the BEST one that I have ever used to date! Not to mention that it has a really fast F2.0 lens. That allows you to shoot pictures with poor lighting without a flash. If you’re looking for an all around fantastic rugged camera that is a blast to use, this is your baby!

 

81CN4KBBi1L_SL1500_2_zpsa2168694.jpg

 

 

Software & Image Hosting

 

For most of my picture editing, I use Lightroom, like I said I am not a pro. I use this software for some light color correction and sharpening. It is also great at compressing 5mb files into 400kb files with minimal quality loss. For collages, I use Picasa and Paintbrush for adding arrows and text to some images. All these images are hosted by Photobucket, I have the 20gb account and pay $3 a month, I don't really need the 20gb, but I do however need the unlimited bandwidth as I use a lot of it.

 

 

Videos

 

I will be posting a few videos in the process, to view the videos, just click on the SMALL pictures or click the link. If some you are only looking at pictures, keep in mind that any small picture will be a video. Once on YouTube don't forget to change the quality of the video to 720p or 1080p HD. It makes the video so much better.

 

 

Here is an example:

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Week Before the Cruise

 

The week before the cruise was very exciting! How do I explain this? Well, my uncle arrived in the US for the first time in decades, so words cannot explain how excited he was to be here! Especially given the previously mentioned circumstances. Mom had lots of fun planned for him, Key West, Orlando, Miami, Marco Island, etc. My aunt also arrived on that Tuesday and she joined them in some of the fun.

 

I want to be able to say that I joined in all the fun, unfortunately I had to pay for the cruise and I had to work, lol. So I was with them on a few of their trips, but mostly I my time at work. I also had finals in college, so even if I had the cash for it I could not have gone.

 

I do however have to say to that I made it to Orlando the Sunday before the cruise. This was the first time that I went to Orlando in over 6 years! I am a Disney fanatic, but as some of you know, my ex was not. So I put Disney on the back burner for a few years. I cannot describe how much fun I had in Orlando! I am planning on going back, possibly in October, just have to set some days for it :)

 

Even though we went for just one day, we (coworkers) had an amazing time. It was almost as if it was my first time there! It had been too long since I made it there, that I just could not believe that I able to go again. Like I posted on Facebook several times. August was an overall amazing month! Words cannot explain!

 

untitled-1_zps048337cd.jpg

 

 

Mom also went on a shopping spree, since she discovered that my aunt was going. She went out and purchased a bunch of silly items, like tiaras and other stuff. Mind you I am not I am not entirely supportive of them, but I was not going to get in the middle of mom having the fun that she wanted to have. On the Norwegian Sky cruise she had a bunch of these, I think they were in nearly every picture I saw of them :D. Yikes, more on this later.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

logo_zps2da81121.jpg

 

 

Ok, so let’s talk Ripple Cruise Communicator. I was able to test this new iOS application right after it came out, on my MSC Divina cruise. At the time of this review the application costs $0.99. Overall, I was very impressed with the application. Up until now we have been relying on cruise line–specific ways to communicate on the ship, and Ripple offers a completely new way to communicate with others aboard the cruise ship.

 

For My Full Ripple Review Click Here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Purchase Ripple Click Here.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Signed up to follow along....and thrilled about it! Thanks for all you do Gambee!

 

Hello there, nice to see you again :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Following along, we may be going in April - or we may not depending on how this review goes. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 1

 

 

Well, let's get this party started. This was a day that we had all waited for a long time, and it was finally here. Everyone woke up early and finished packing, personally I had yet to start packing all my electronics so I started by gathering them. I also did a quick weight check. I am trying to track down how much weight I gain in each cruise and see if I can keep it to a minimum. Originally I actually wanted to lose weight in the cruise by going to the gym every day, but as you can imagine the only day that I actually made it to the gym was on day 1 for the tour :D.

 

DivinaDay1-1_zps2b935994.jpg

 

We got ready and finished packing and headed out rather early. I think it was around 10:30 or so. We had 4 ships in port that day, not a bad lineup considering that it's summer.

 

DivinaDay1-2_zpsbe4055b7.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-3_zps2edcf686.jpg

 

Originally I had asked my friend Sarah to drive us to port, but mom wanted to take her own car. We had quite a bit of bags with us and I don't think that we would have fit nicely. So mom decided to reserve parking in one of the parking garages available around Miami. Personally, I was not very keen on the idea. I had read all the mixed reviews. But she insisted and we would be taking her car and not mine so I agreed. She ended up booking Premiere Cruise parking. Be aware, there are 2 premiere lots. One is horrible and the other is ok. I recommend the one we used. Other than the wait for the van. The parking garage is actually quite nice. We even got one of the covered areas and the car was under the shade the entire time.

 

After we dropped off the car, we boarded the van towards the port. The ride was brief and quick.

 

DivinaDay1-4_zps624ff253.jpg

 

And there she was. Divina is truly a magnificent ship. She is kept completely clean at all times. I tried really hard to spot rust from the outside, but you can tell that they really commit to keeping sparkling clean. The same is reflected in the inside. The crew is continuously cleaning the vessel.

 

DivinaDay1-5_zpscc2c5059.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Following along, we may be going in April - or we may not depending on how this review goes. :D

 

Lol, that's funny. Welcome aboard, glad to have you here :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The terminal is very nice and organized. My family was very excited. Remember this was my uncle's first cruise. He was taking pictures at a faster rate than I was. Funny note one of the security officers asked him to stop and she personally erased the pictures that he took there. Meanwhile, hundredths of people walked by taking pictures of everything. It is impossible to keep control on that. People will take pictures no matter what. After all, it is the beginning of the vacation!!!

 

Guess where mom is?

 

DivinaDay1-6_zps85b8f3fe.jpg

 

They had a delightful stand there with water and juice, the ironic part is that it was not offered at any of the ports while boarding the vessel again. Personally, I much rather have the drinks after a very hot day at the port!

 

We all had a drink. I mixed the pineapple juice with some Pellegrino.

 

DivinaDay1-7_zps78276d7e.jpg

 

It was early in the morning, so the line went by quickly.

 

DivinaDay1-9_zps83b37f9b.jpg

 

Checking in was really amusing! My family is quite loud, and everything that happened was an event. For starters the new Colombian passports are a mess and they don't work half the time. So we were all joking around about it, the lady at the counter told us that we were going to be a fun group. Later on 3 of our nationalities changed to Cameroon, she said that I must have messed up. Um, there is no way in hell that I would have messed up. I triple check everything for errors and I printed the check-in paper like 5 times over the issues with my cousin. Not a big deal, she just had to modify it. I just found it funny that she blamed me, after we all know how useless their website is...

 

After we checked in we found 3 empty chairs and mom took possession of them. She proceeded to give everyone their motion sickness medicine. I declined. Honestly, there was no reason to take them so early. The ship was scheduled to leave port at 7pm. Either way I bought a coke for them and they all took them.

 

There was a nice window there and my uncle and I went to get some pictures.

 

DivinaDay1-10_zps57cfccf1.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

You can see some of the crew there catching up with their families. I wonder if they purchase US phones for the season? Metro PCS would be a cheap method, plus it works in San Juan as well.

 

My uncle could not believe the size of the ship. He kept on saying "Excellente!" LoL

 

DivinaDay1-11_zps1870ae85.jpg

 

We noticed everyone started boarding, and my family was anxious to board. We had boarding pass #12, it went by quickly and before we knew it, it was our turn.

 

DivinaDay1-12_zps9af09280.jpg

 

Like I said the terminal is really nice, and well appointed.

 

DivinaDay1-13_zps800ee445.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-14_zpsaa18b68f.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-15_zpsdb234298.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-16_zps27a77ae5.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm all on board and looking forward to another wonderful review!:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahh so excited!!! I followed you on Facebook while you were away and now i can't wait to read your thought's!!! Also great job on the website, Its very informative and a great resource for my cruise addiction!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We got on-board through the back entrance, so it was rather dull. But if you enter through the main entrance, the first thing you see is the gorgeous Atrium! My uncle was like a child boarding the ship. His smile was priceless. My uncle is loud and proud of it. He has no shame :D.

 

The promenade is very enclosed and lacks the sea views that we all cruise for. It is also not a full wrap around and does not even go around the aft of the ship. There are some open spots that you can see the ocean, but they are rather limited.

 

DivinaDay1-17_zps6191029f.jpg

 

Once we boarded the first thing we did was headed up to the buffet to get some food. No one of us had breakfast that morning and it was already 12:20. We were in need of some food.

 

We decided to head all the way to the aft of the ship and grabbed a wonderful table. The glass is slanted outward and you can see straight down to the water. It is very neat. Unfortunately, and I don't know why. This was the only time that we got a table all the way back. Maybe it was due to the long walk there, who knows.

 

DivinaDay1-21_zps0c8f21e1.jpg

 

The buffet is really nice, I enjoyed the wooden look to it. They also use red curtains that act as walls, they look really neat. Just don't try to lean on them while intoxicated, like I did :D LoL

 

Notice the curtains fold and become like a type of roof, very neat!

 

DivinaDay1-18_zps3e3d2963.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-22_zpseb9999dc.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I told them to look for food, I stayed behind to guard our belongings. I had all my camera equipment and computer in my bag. It was heavy as hell and I did not feel like leaving it unattended. By the way, on the captain Q&A, one lady said that her camera bag was stolen during the cruise. They tried to look for the thief with the ship cameras, but they could find him, or the belongings. I had stuff stolen from me in past cruises and I am now very careful with my belongings.

 

They came back with their food.

 

DivinaDay1-23_zps20db3ad9.jpg

 

The was the first of many plates that my uncle would enjoy on Divina. I am not a fan of mixing so many flavors together, but you can tell he has no issues with it, lol.

 

DivinaDay1-24_zpsabd93e5d.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-59_zps8c01e14a.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-60_zpsa582fc85.jpg

 

And now it was my turn to get some food.

 

Here is a picture tour from the buffet options.

 

DivinaDay1-31_zps2e2840a6.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-32_zpsf83ed9d1.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DivinaDay1-33_zpsee40a35c.jpg

 

They have some really nice desserts.

 

DivinaDay1-34_zps3e199b5b.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-35_zpsc37f5a55.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-36_zps4abf0625.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-37_zpse8ed1deb.jpg

 

They all said the ribs were awesome! I am not a fan of ribs, they are too messy for my personal taste.

 

DivinaDay1-38_zpsf3624f21.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Gambee,

We were on the August 16 th Divina sailing. I follow all your reviews. We were on breakaway last year. Looking forward to your review. I agree completely with the website analysis and I had mixed results with the telephone customer service.

 

 

Send from Danny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm all on board and looking forward to another wonderful review!:D

 

Thank you for following along, very glad to have you here :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Signing up!!! Love your reviews! Thanks for posting

 

 

You're very welcome, I hope you like the review as much as my other ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ahh so excited!!! I followed you on Facebook while you were away and now i can't wait to read your thought's!!! Also great job on the website, Its very informative and a great resource for my cruise addiction!!!

 

Thank you kindly for following me, happy to see you here :)

 

My site is a work in progress, but I am happy to know that it is being useful to many.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Gambee,

We were on the August 16 th Divina sailing. I follow all your reviews. We were on breakaway last year. Looking forward to your review. I agree completely with the website analysis and I had mixed results with the telephone customer service.

 

 

Send from Danny

 

I spoke to several people that complained about the website, they really need to get that fixed. It is really annoying.

 

Thank you for following along :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DivinaDay1-39_zpsaa76b850.jpg

 

As you can expect from an Italian cruise line, there are lots of pasta choices.

 

DivinaDay1-40_zps8005b50d.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-41_zps5dce0fd0.jpg

 

The pizza aboard Divina is absolutely fantastic!

 

DivinaDay1-42_zpsb1f9e1fa.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-43_zps82e8964a.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-44_zps820b8f14.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They have some really nice salad here from time to time, you can also add more items to them from the salad bar.

 

DivinaDay1-45_zps44d415da.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-46_zps5c28b032.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-47_zps2638e746.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-48_zpsebd4032c.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-49_zps5446c391.jpg

 

That buffet was kept impeccably throughout the entire cruise.

 

DivinaDay1-50_zps722ef144.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those who don't know me, I am a big cheese lover!!! Unfortunately, I am lactose intolerant, but with the help of medicine I am able to eat moderate amounts of it. Divina had a really nice cheese selection on the buffet.

 

DivinaDay1-51_zps3d3c63b5.jpg

 

Lamb curry. I am not a fan of curry, but this one was actually pretty tasty. I think my mom got a little.

 

DivinaDay1-52_zpsf94e074c.jpg

 

I actually found some really good items in the kids section. I suggest you go there and check it out, don't be shy, lol. There were a lot of adults there throughout the cruise.

 

DivinaDay1-53_zpsce54ed79.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-54_zps38a98f31.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-55_zpse12e1bad.jpg

 

Ironically, the only shrimp that you will see on the buffet are in the children's section by the form of popcorn shrimp. You can see them there. They were really good, I just wish more seafood was available in the buffet.

 

DivinaDay1-56_zpsd6f7f4a0.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow nice start to the review looking forward to more.

 

Thank you, more coming :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ugh, I can relate with the European websites! When I was living in Italy last year, it was such a pain in the butt using the European versions of OTAs and company sites. I booked Disneyland Paris on their website which is far behind the Walt Disney World website already... add to that the Italian version. And I had the lesser version of the NCL website when booking the Epic. I did end up using a VPN to access the US-version of NCL, but I was really surprised at how far behind Europe seems to be in website development (though that was what our websites looked like 3-5 years ago). I bet Europe would be a great relocation option for a computer science major.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good start. Thanks for the review, keep it coming :)

 

That app it's quite interesting

 

The app worked pretty well for us, I would like to see how it evolves.

 

 

Thank you for the nice comment :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ugh, I can relate with the European websites! When I was living in Italy last year, it was such a pain in the butt using the European versions of OTAs and company sites. I booked Disneyland Paris on their website which is far behind the Walt Disney World website already... add to that the Italian version. And I had the lesser version of the NCL website when booking the Epic. I did end up using a VPN to access the US-version of NCL, but I was really surprised at how far behind Europe seems to be in website development (though that was what our websites looked like 3-5 years ago). I bet Europe would be a great relocation option for a computer science major.

 

 

Hmmmm, I have never considered that. I guess I should consider myself that I live in the US. Thanks for input Victoria, it is really nice to see you here :).

 

You can see your logo in my sig :D

 

Thank you once again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, that buffet review is extensive! The desserts on our cruise on MSC Fantasia were very good as well. My partner also loved the ribs. And I agree that cheeses were so good :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DivinaDay1-57_zps576adebb.jpg

 

Ok, so let's talk buffet food. I will just try to be as honest as possible. I found out it to be ok. A lot of reviewers say it's fantastic. Others say that it is inedible. I thought it was to be just about average. Definitely a much larger selection than I find at home :D, but not up to par with all the other cruise lines that I have sailed on. The main problem that I found was the absence of variety, especially for breakfast. They have about 5 stations with the same eggs and bacon. There was also never eggs Benedict and smoked salmon, you could only get it in the main dinning room.

 

The taste of the food was good on some items, while others not so much. Personally, I did not care for the burgers at all, the meat-tasted kind of funny and they just seemed like they sat on the heater for too long. Needless to state that the only burger that I tried was that one, and one on Great Stirrup Cay.

 

The pizza is absolutely PHENOMENAL!!!! The problem is that one cannot live on pizza for 7 days, especially when you have a lactose intolerance problem like myself.

 

The pasta was good for the most part, but I think I can pull off a better fettuccine Alfredo than the one they have aboard.

 

The meats are good, tasty and tender, just wish there were more of them.

 

Fish is rather limited and a lot of the days, and finding tilapia and swai fish is very common. A few times they had mahi mahi and other options. By the way the swai fish smelled horrible, I got a picture of it. No one touched the tray. I think there was one piece missing. Everyone avoided, personally I would not have put that fish out there.

 

Seafood… Good Luck… Rare sightings, I found calamity once, and like I said popcorn shrimp in the kid’s section.

 

All that said, you just have to come back and realize how much I paid for the cruise. It was good food, you cannot board a ship of this price and expect the food that I have received in say Disney or Celebrity. The main problem here is that the ship is absolutely gorgeous, it is one of the nicest ships that I have sailed on. So when you have such an amazing ship, with this type of food, it has a tendency to throw you off guard. Well, at least that is what I think. Because the food was somewhat comparable to my NCL Sky food, but for the Sky it was decent food. MSC Divina is in an odd bracket. I will try to talk more about this. They are trying to please too many people from different cultures and ethnicities and that in itself is almost an impossible thing to do. Like I said I will approach this later on.

 

Oh, by the way the president of MSC USA was aboard our sailing. I never saw him, not a knew what he looked like on the first place.

 

 

Here is my food. Everything was enjoyable, but the burger, I took 1/2 a bite and that was it.

 

DivinaDay1-58_zps7e0d5b21.jpg

 

We sat and ate our lunch, my uncle and aunt also got more food. Their personal opinion was that everything was phenomenal. I am simply sharing this detail. Mom knew me better, she asked me how everything was, but she already knew how I was about to answer.

 

That terminal reminds me of the Airport in Denver, very neat!

 

DivinaDay1-61_zpsf1e8e67b.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The terminal is very nice and organized. My family was very excited. Remember this was my uncle's first cruise. He was taking pictures at a faster rate than I was. Funny note one of the security officers asked him to stop and she personally erased the pictures that he took there. Meanwhile, hundredths of people walked by taking pictures of everything. It is impossible to keep control on that. People will take pictures no matter what. After all, it is the beginning of the vacation!!!

 

Guess where mom is?

 

DivinaDay1-6_zps85b8f3fe.jpg

 

They had a delightful stand there with water and juice, the ironic part is that it was not offered at any of the ports while boarding the vessel again. Personally, I much rather have the drinks after a very hot day at the port!

 

We all had a drink. I mixed the pineapple juice with some Pellegrino.

 

DivinaDay1-7_zps78276d7e.jpg

 

It was early in the morning, so the line went by quickly.

 

DivinaDay1-9_zps83b37f9b.jpg

 

Checking in was really amusing! My family is quite loud, and everything that happened was an event. For starters the new Colombian passports are a mess and they don't work half the time. So we were all joking around about it, the lady at the counter told us that we were going to be a fun group. Later on 3 of our nationalities changed to Cameroon, she said that I must have messed up. Um, there is no way in hell that I would have messed up. I triple check everything for errors and I printed the check-in paper like 5 times over the issues with my cousin. Not a big deal, she just had to modify it. I just found it funny that she blamed me, after we all know how useless their website is...

 

After we checked in we found 3 empty chairs and mom took possession of them. She proceeded to give everyone their motion sickness medicine. I declined. Honestly, there was no reason to take them so early. The ship was scheduled to leave port at 7pm. Either way I bought a coke for them and they all took them.

 

There was a nice window there and my uncle and I went to get some pictures.

 

DivinaDay1-10_zps57cfccf1.jpg

 

Hi Gambee, Have been waiting for your review & here it is today! You & Chris both do the best ones. I'll feel like I am cruising on the Divina & looking forward to your family fun with relatives- Linda:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The pizza was incredible! I couldn't believe it was that good and was available almost 20 hours a day. We also got a pizza in La Cantina di bacco. It was a step above for a reasonable up charge.

 

 

Send from Danny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The corridors are like a maze, there are so many turns and twists. It was kind of funny. We kept turning and cracking up. Anyway, I much rather the long hallways, they look nicer and make the ship easier to navigate.

 

DivinaDay1-62_zpsd5a3880a.jpg

 

After lunch, we decided to head back down to the room and check out the rooms.

 

Mom had a fantastic handicap sized room. It was very spacious and great views. The room itself had less storage than my room, I am not quite sure why, but no one was complaining. The decor of the room was nice and it had an elegant feel to it. It reminded me of the Celebrity silhouette stateroom. The TV was on the small size, and hard to see from the bed.

 

Like I said the rooms are really nice!

 

DivinaDay1-63_zps249bcb70.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-64_zpsb871b5e7.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-65_zps90de5aec.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-66_zps479e9813.jpg

 

DivinaDay1-67_zpsa9090000.jpg

 

I did take two videos of both staterooms, but I have no idea where they are...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow, that buffet review is extensive! The desserts on our cruise on MSC Fantasia were very good as well. My partner also loved the ribs. And I agree that cheeses were so good :)

 

Lots more to come, I review food thoroughly. Thank you for following along :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Victory Cruise Lines Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win a free 9-night cruise on Victory II
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2018
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×