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maureencruiser

Solo on the Divina 09/20/2014

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Hello everyone! This is my fourth review here on Cruise Critic and I hope I can answer a few questions some of you might have. I usually sail on Royal Caribbean, but, I've been looking for more bargain cruises lately, which led me to MSC Divina. I had already stepped out of my comfort zone this year with Carnival Sunshine, which I loved, so, why not try a whole new line? :)

 

I enjoy cruising in the Spring and Fall when there are less kids and the prices are lower. Thank You, Hurricane Season! My birthday is in late September, when all the precious darlings are back in school, so, that is a perfect time for me to go. Kids sail free on MSC, so, that was especially important on this cruise. ;)

 

MSC has basically been giving away cabins in the Caribbean this year, so, even though I was traveling solo and paying double, I still managed to get an inside cabin for $500. MSC offers various alcoholic drink packages, as well. Originally, my plan was to get their 15 pack of vouchers which cost $72. That works out to $4.80 per drink. The foo-foo drinks on Divina cost 7.25, so, if I drank those, I would be getting quite the deal. MSC has 14 Signature Cocktails, so, my plan was to try each one, 2 a day then get my favorite again on the last day. :D

 

The closer I got to sailing, the more I was reading about the Divina and I decided to upgrade to the Allegrissimo Premium package described here which cost $57 per day.

 

ALLEGRISSIMO PREMIUM ADULT

Unlimited consumption of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages including wine (from the "by the glass" menu), draft and bottled beer, soft drinks, mineral water, hot drinks and all drinks from the bar (including champagne cocktails, single malt whiskies, superior brandies and other premium spirits), drinks from your minibar and mineral water in your cabin, as well as all items from the 'Gelateria' menu and Pastry Shop and food from the Room Service menu. :eek:

 

I have to admit, it was the Gelateria and Pastry shop which put me over the edge. You wouldn't know it to look at me, :eek:, but I enjoy eating and I decided I was going to splurge and make this an all eating, all drinking cruise (like all the other cruises weren't?) :p

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For some reason, like a jackhole, I insist on putting off my packing until the last minute, which usually results in overpacking and panicking and running around like the aforementioned jackhole. This cruise would be no exception.

 

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I packed the dinosaur, the cat packed herself. :p

 

I flew out of Lynchburg International :rolleyes: Airport on Friday. It decided to pour just when I arrived there, so, I have no pictures of it. I sat it out for a while in the car, but, since I was arriving at the last minute (JACKHOLE!), I finally had to get out in the rain to make my way into the airport.

 

The flight was uneventful, I made my transfer in Charlotte, running from Terminal B to Terminal E, as always :mad: While heading for my gate, I found a drivers license on the floor and gave it to the gate agent. She paged the woman and luckily, her plane hadn't boarded yet. You're welcome, Erin from Okemos, MI! When I got home I googled Okemos and discoverd they make glue for pasties there! :eek: Maybe she should have put some of that glue on her hands so she wouldn't drop her license. :p

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I finally arrived in Miami around 3pm. I was staying at the Hyatt House on Blue Lagoon Dr, so, I called them to come pick me up.

 

The company I work for requires us to say, "Be well" to every customer. If you've shopped there, you've heard it. Be well, be well, be well.....:rolleyes: When I arrived at the Hyatt, I thought my company had taken over the hotel.

 

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I have to be honest, the hotel was a little dingy and run down, but, it was fine. The room I had was a two bedroom, two bathroom suite. I guess I wanted a big room to prepare me for my spacious accommodations on the ship. :D

 

Here is the living room.

 

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The bedroom I didn't use.

 

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The bathroom I didn't use.

 

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The bedroom I did use. This is where the magic happened. :p

 

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The bathroom I did use. Things happened here, but, they sure weren't magic. :cool:

 

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Here is the kitchen, they had all the supplies you would need if you were staying for a while and cooking.

 

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This just made me giggle. Really? Packets inside the shakers? Tell me again how that is supposed to work?

 

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One nice thing they do there is have a manager's reception at night with beer, wine and food. The only problem for me was they don't do it on Friday nights. The menu was posted in the kitchen, a thoughtful touch.

 

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I probably would have just eaten there if i could, but, as it was, I had to venture out. I tried to convince them to take me to the Longhorn Steakhouse, but, they weren't having it. :( They said if I headed out, to the right, there would be "plenty " of places to eat.

 

I suppose they were right, that sure is one big-ass Burger King!

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I suppose I could jump in the river and go fishing with my teeth.

 

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Well, my "plenty" of choices ended up being a strip mall with a Wendy's or something and a Cuban restaurant, Casa Juan. Being the world traveler that I am, I went for the Cuban place.

 

The bread was really good and I was dying of thirst after flying all day.

 

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Somewhere under that cheese was chicken and ham.

 

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It was just OK.

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The salad came after the entree and had avocado on it, it was very refreshing. The black beans and rice was fabulous.

 

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The chicken came with three sides, so, I had French Fries, as well.

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It wasn't the greatest meal, but, it filled me up. Back at the hotel, it was time for arts and crafts.

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Brush well!

 

I could have used a pair of scissors, maybe if i didn't wait till the last minute, I could have done this at home. (JACKHOLE!)

 

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The final result, a little ragged, but, it did the trick. :cool:

 

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Maureen!I've been waiting for this review.

 

You know, I was looking at my Allure review and you were the first person to comment on that, too! Villain, my biggest fan! :D Unfortunately, I'm tired and going to bed, should be able to post more tomorrow, I'm off from work.

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You know, I was looking at my Allure review and you were the first person to comment on that, too! Villain, my biggest fan! :D Unfortunately, I'm tired and going to bed, should be able to post more tomorrow, I'm off from work.

 

Haha! Yes. Looking forward to the rest.

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I packed the dinosaur, the cat packed herself. :p

 

 

I love your dinosaur! I hope he will appear more during the review!:)

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My art project complete, I watched a little TV and drank 2 of my wine juice boxes I had brought with me. I had gotten up early, so, soon I was off to sleep. Reviews of my hotel said they have a made to order omelette station. Alas, they did not, just my luck. So, I settled for scrambled eggs and sausages, a few of my favorite things to eat for breakfast.

 

I had asked at check-in if they had a shuttle to the pier and they did. They said it was $10 and asked which time I wanted, I chose noon. At about 11:45, I headed down to the lobby with my luggage. Another cruiser must have been there, because a bottle of wine had broken in someone's suitcase and what a mess. I was getting high from the fumes. :D The hotel did a good job cleaning it up, though. The wine reminded me that I had another juice box in the fridge. It didn't seem worth it to get my key back to go get it, so, I left it for housekeeping. I hope they got to enjoy it.

Edited by maureencruiser

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Oops, sorry, I hit the enter key sooner than I meant to. I must still be high from the fumes. ;)

 

So, at noon, we all climbed aboard the shuttle, there were about a dozen of us. The driver arranged our suitcases in the order we would be arriving at the pier. With my usual Irish luck, I was last. I'm telling you, if it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all. :p

 

At 12:12 (see what a good note taker I am, in the beginning of the cruise? The last three days, I didn't take any notes. Oh, I'll remember everything, I said. :o), we arrived at a Norwegian ship, the Breakaway? the Getaway? the Piscataway? Whatever it was called, it was a real cluster in front of the terminal. Hundreds of people out there, piles of luggage. Oh, the humanity!

 

Next up were two Carnival ships, they seemed a little better organized. Now, it was just me and the driver. Anticipation was building. He dropped me off at 12:40 and I was onboard at 1pm.

 

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Look at me, how happy I am. Clearly, the world is my oyster.

 

The first thing I see upon entering the ship are the Swarovski staircases.

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Pictures do not do them justice.

 

 

 

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They say the stairs cost 25,000 euros for each step. Quick, somebody do the conversion for me, the world is my oyster, I can't be expected to do math.

 

I wasn't hungry and didn't want to deal with the crowd at the buffet, so, I did what any self respecting Irishwoman with an all inclusive drink package would do.

 

I took a mini tour of the ship! :p

 

 

This is the Piazza del Doge, you can get pastries and gelato here and sometimes at night, a band plays.

 

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I don't know what lounge this is, but, those couches sure look comfy.

 

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The theater from the balcony.

 

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Now, when I say I took a mini tour of the ship, that might be a misnomer.

 

In truth, I was looking for a place to get a drink. I had to get my $57 worth, after all. I have my receipts and I am going to add them up to see how much I spent everyday. So, I ended up back at the Piazza. See how it sparkles?

 

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Remember my plan to work my way through their signature cocktails?

 

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First one up was the Traveler.

 

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Now, maybe my tour didn't last as long as I thought it did. My receipt says I got this at 1:19. It was OK, not my favorite. I had a drink once on a cruise with Elderflower and I think it has a funny aftertaste. I was starting to doubt my plan.

 

The pastries sure did look good, though.

 

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The cupcakes looked good, too and they were only $1.50. Spoiler alert, I never did try the cupcakes. :(

 

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The gelato wasn't looking too shabby, either.

 

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Cones full of chocolate dipped strawberries! What's not to love?

 

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I never saw anybody get any of the cakes.

 

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Finally, I started feeling a little hungry, cabins weren't going to be ready till 3, so, I meandered my way towards the buffet.

 

One of the whirlpools in Le Sirene.

 

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The main pool area.

 

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This part of the pool was a kiddie splash area, maybe 3 inches deep. The kiddos seemed to love it.

 

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It was an overcast, sprinkly day in Miami.

 

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Finally, I arrived at the buffet.

 

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Some nice looking salads. Pffft! Salads are for wimps!

 

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I thought this was a crab, now, I think it is a turtle.

 

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Finally, what I was looking for, some pasta!

 

 

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some more pasta!

 

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A little more pasta!

 

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And, finally, pasta!

 

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I knew I needed more than pasta, so, I made my way to the carving station. This man was carving what he called a Chicago Roast. I've never heard of it, but, it looked good.

 

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My lunch, two kinds of pasta and the Italian Roast. It was all fabulous!

 

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Free iced tea and lemonade are for wimps! I had to flex my drink package! :D

 

After lunch, I went to see if I could get into my cabin. Unlike Americans, Italians are not superstitious about the number 13, so, there is a Deck 13 and of course, my luck being what it is, I was on it. :rolleyes: Turns out the number Italians are afraid of is the number 17, so, of course, I had cabin 171. No matter which way you look at it, it's 17.

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Hi Maureen.....I've been waiting for this review! Great start to what I know will be a wonderful and fun review! Hope you had a fabulous time:)

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Maureen, did you happen to see if there was any pasta at the buffet?

 

:D:D There was some when I got there, but, it was all in my belly when I left! :D:D

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