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What can we expect on MSC Divina?

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US and UK (Bermuda) immigration had nothing to do with the problems encountered on this ship.  It was all the fault and failure of MSC - their total lack of knowing how to organize 3K+ people to disembark a ship in an organized, safe, and timely manner.

 

MSC blamed the Americans for everything when it was their lack of knowing how to run a ship in a professional manner. 

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On ‎10‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 2:04 PM, fflashh said:

Two +/- 60 y.o. (a married couple) with about one dozen Caribbean cruises, wondering what to expect on our 20 Jan. 2019 sailing on the Divina for 11 days. We have done Carnival, Princess, HAL, NCL, Disney and Celebrity. Probably Celebrity was our fav. We have a "drinks on us" package, with a "fantastica" balcony. Sailing to the Southern and Western Caribbean this time. We enjoy relaxing, music shows, sea days (as we've been to most ports) partying and beach/pool time. What is the Divina like? She looks big and gorgeous to see in port, but what kinda "flavor " should we expect? Do tell. Thanks, so much for any input, fflashh

 

1 hour ago, travlinduo said:

US and UK (Bermuda) immigration had nothing to do with the problems encountered on this ship.  It was all the fault and failure of MSC - their total lack of knowing how to organize 3K+ people to disembark a ship in an organized, safe, and timely manner.

 

MSC blamed the Americans for everything when it was their lack of knowing how to run a ship in a professional manner. 

This was the worse cruise I have had in 32 cruises on almost all the lines. Traveling Duo is dead on in all the comments she has made. She may not have posted in the past but  many people read and don't post. I don't usually post on the boards but am an active roll call participant so I may show up as have not posted in  many years- who knows. I do know cruising and I do know a disorganized mess when I see one.

 The fact of the matter is  MSC is totally not prepared to enter into the American Market and Americans who travel  on them will soon see why. The service desk staff was so unprofessional and unable to handle even the simplest request. The bar tenders could not even make simple drink. The cabin attendants did not even do the basic tasks like placing toilet paper in the room. 

 

Their crew is unprepared, their procedures are unorganized and their food was frankly pretty disgusting on this particular voyage. I don't travel for the food, I travel for the destination so I go with  low expectations on the food and MSC could not even meet those expectations Their sanitary procedures are not what all of the other cruise lines practice and they admitted to us that they had failed  inspections due to some of these when we had conversations with their staff officers about problems we notices. We talked with not only many other travelers on the ship from many other countries but also their crew who agreed their were many many problems even those who had traveled MSC before agreed this was a new low. Having no TV and no alcohol in some ports is something that was foreseeable but deliberately not done. They chose not to pass the taxes for alcohol in the US and they chose not to provide TV via Satellite. They chose to arrive in Bermuda on  Sat after 5:50 when most everything is closed and they chose to be there on Sunday when everything was mostly closed. Thye ckose to leave on Monday midday when things were open but no time to really do anything. They chose to sell 2 day passes for the Bermuda Ferry even though it was not really usable on 2 days. 

Do they have the right to choose what they provide or ports timing?-  Sure they do but they have the obligation to inform the passengers who cruise that they will not be providing basic services like tv and purchased services like alcohol in advance.  These were not accidental or unexpected events. They knew it and chose  not to tell us.

 

I don't know about other ships in the fleet or other cruises they may do but this cruise was a 1 on a scale of 1-10.

 

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That's troubling if the inspection failure comments are true.   CDC scores have always been good in the past.

Their last CDC inspection was March and they scored 96.  Maybe things fell off the rails when they left US and returned to Europe for summer itinary.

 

https://wwwn.cdc.gov/InspectionQueryTool/InspectionResults.aspx

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18 minutes ago, Janedoe2012 said:

That's troubling if the inspection failure comments are true.   CDC scores have always been good in the past.

Their last CDC inspection was March and they scored 96.  Maybe things fell off the rails when they left US and returned to Europe for summer itinary.

 

https://wwwn.cdc.gov/InspectionQueryTool/InspectionResults.aspx

 

They spent the entire voyage transatlantic trying to get it cleaned up for the NY inspection. Have no idea how they fared on that but they were certainly not doing the same things ( gloves, harinets, etc ) before we left Europe where standards are way lower.

They never  were proactive with hand sanitizer for the entire 22 days.

 

Food handling was bad. Our last night we watched a gal on the buffet pick a turkey carcass clean with her hands  after they had sliced most of the meat off. She put the pieces into a container which they took back to the kitchen for reuse we assume since they didn't take the turkey bones. We saw lots of recycled food from one day to the next. The shrimp they served the last night was mealy mushy and clearly old and the prime rib looked like the bottom of a shoe- very old and very bad meat. Our table sent it all back on many nights.

 

One of our party was in the food business and he noted the fact that the food was not being monitored for temp. Cold foot was warm and hot food was cold. He noted that crew had personal food near the area where cruisers food was being served and many other health violations. We noticed that the day before we arrived in NY they had food thermometers out. This is only the 2nd time Divinia has been to the US.

 

 

Edited by Olivers Mom
additional info

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My family LOVED our cruise aboard MSC Divina last summer. We had only previously sailed with Disney, but now that the kids are in their early 20s and late teens we decided to try something different. And although attracted to MSC because of their price, we quickly found out that it was better than we could have imagined. We were in the Yacht Club, which I think made a big difference, but coming from Disney Concierge I don't think I would have enjoyed not cruising in the Yacht Club. Our Seaside cruise is June 2019, and we're already awaiting the arrival of the MSC Seaview to cruise South America in 2020.

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I normally don't jump into these things but this time I just can't help myself.  I know this will probably raise the hackles on some folks but just like you - the below comments are my opinions.  My point is this.  You're supposed to be on vacation so relax, enjoy, don't be so critical of things and you'll probably be more relaxed.

 

I've been following this thread primarily just to see what other people think about the Divina.  We've been on her 2 past times and are setting sail on her again in 30 days for a B2B.  Can't wait!

 

One thing I've learned from following this and many other threads is there are some really "ultra" picky people but in the world of freedoms and rights, you have that right.  Some of my comments are:

 

- if your focus is TV, why sail.  Stay home and watch hundreds of channels on your cable.

 

- if you say you don't sail for the food, then don't complain about it.

 

- NYC tax on alcohol - If you have been following any other threads you would have seen the discussions on this and would have been forewarned.  Wonderful NYC gov't decided to charge an exorbitant amount of tax.  If you needed alcohol that badly, get off the ship and go to a local pier-side bar.

 

- many of the previous postings are opinions.  provide some true egregious examples, not OMG, housekeeping forgot to put toilet paper in my bathroom or the bartender couldn't make a mixed drink.

 

- if you do state something - "This is only the 2nd time Divinia has been to the US."  Be sure of your facts.  Divina sailed the Caribbean from November of 2013 to April 2015 from Miami.  She has since spent the summers in the Med and the winters in Miami.

 

- MSC is a huge corporation and just like corporations, sometimes everything doesn't always go as planned or anticipated.  Here's what I mean.  MSC was rolling out new ships, primarily Seaside with a home port of Miami year round.  MSC did what I think was smart.  They transferred many of their "seasoned" employees to the Seaside.  American restaurant, bar, hotel, etc chains do the exact same thing when they open new stores.  Regardless of that, when you have new crew members it takes a few cruises for them to get used to things.

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22 minutes ago, dgakers said:

I normally don't jump into these things but this time I just can't help myself.  I know this will probably raise the hackles on some folks but just like you - the below comments are my opinions.  My point is this.  You're supposed to be on vacation so relax, enjoy, don't be so critical of things and you'll probably be more relaxed.

 

I've been following this thread primarily just to see what other people think about the Divina.  We've been on her 2 past times and are setting sail on her again in 30 days for a B2B.  Can't wait!

 

One thing I've learned from following this and many other threads is there are some really "ultra" picky people but in the world of freedoms and rights, you have that right.  Some of my comments are:

 

- if your focus is TV, why sail.  Stay home and watch hundreds of channels on your cable. (1. We were sailing with a couple that lost their home when hurricane Michael hit on October 10th. We didn't have TV at that point and they desperately were looking for any kind of news before, during and after the hurricane. 

 

2. I was sick in my cabin for two days and it would have been nice to watch something on the TV without have to buy an overpriced old movie)

 

- if you say you don't sail for the food, then don't complain about it. (We as humans need daily consumption of food to stay alive, to feel good, to get nourishment, to feed our minds. When the food is inedible or tainted, it's a pretty important thing. Especially on a 23 day cruise.  Can anyone go for 23 days without food??)

 

I don't cruise for the food either but certainly want to enjoy my dinner time, especially since I've paid for it.

 

- NYC tax on alcohol - If you have been following any other threads you would have seen the discussions on this and would have been forewarned.  Wonderful NYC gov't decided to charge an exorbitant amount of tax.  If you needed alcohol that badly, get off the ship and go to a local pier-side bar. (This is comical. I've been on over 15 cruises, multiple on MSC and scoured these pages for two years for my last MSC and this one and never had I heard this.)

 

-

I would just like to point out some rebuttals on these statements. I was on this sailing. And again, I am a lover of MSC BUT:

 

One of the things that was troubling for most people is that there was no transparency/communication with MSC to the passenger. NO ONE was told until we were docked in NY and was ordering a drink that they couldn't. Nothing in the daily or in paperwork or anything.

 

We were told repeatedly that were working on the TV knowing full well it wouldn't be fixed for the entire sailing.

 

This issue with immigration was almost unforgivable.  Especially those in YC. I was one caught in this.  We were taken off the ship with the promise from numerous employees and officers that we would just be getting our passports stamped and coming right back on. We were denied entry back on the ship. We had no coats, no proper shoes, no cell phones, no medications, numerous ill people were in wheel chairs, no wallets, no food/water, etc. Forced to sit in the terminal for 6 hours effectively loosing the entire day in NYC. We missed timed tickets and lunch appointments.

 

This wasn't an immigration issue, it was an MSC issue because of lack of transparency and communication.

 

Edited by karenlovesparis

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On 10/24/2018 at 12:04 PM, fflashh said:

Two +/- 60 y.o. (a married couple) with about one dozen Caribbean cruises, wondering what to expect on our 20 Jan. 2019 sailing on the Divina for 11 days. We have done Carnival, Princess, HAL, NCL, Disney and Celebrity. Probably Celebrity was our fav. We have a "drinks on us" package, with a "fantastica" balcony. Sailing to the Southern and Western Caribbean this time. We enjoy relaxing, music shows, sea days (as we've been to most ports) partying and beach/pool time. What is the Divina like? She looks big and gorgeous to see in port, but what kinda "flavor " should we expect? Do tell. Thanks, so much for any input, fflashh

You will have a fantastic time. The ship is so beautiful! By January, they will have all the kinks worked out from her time in Europe. 

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Karenlovesparis - notice I didn't comment on the immigration piece.  I have never had to experience that.  It sounds like a horrible incident and I agree everyone should have been notified about the procedure. 

 

I do hope there were some good times during your cruise.  Keep the faith with MSC.

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1 minute ago, dgakers said:

Karenlovesparis - notice I didn't comment on the immigration piece.  I have never had to experience that.  It sounds like a horrible incident and I agree everyone should have been notified about the procedure. 

 

I do hope there were some good times during your cruise.  Keep the faith with MSC.

Absolutely! We will sail them again. I would never do a regular cabin though. Once you are in YC,  you can never go with anything else!

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4 minutes ago, karenlovesparis said:

Absolutely! We will sail them again. I would never do a regular cabin though. Once you are in YC,  you can never go with anything else!

 

I am absolutely with you regarding the YC.  We won't sail any other experience.

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56 minutes ago, dgakers said:

I normally don't jump into these things but this time I just can't help myself.  I know this will probably raise the hackles on some folks but just like you - the below comments are my opinions.  My point is this.  You're supposed to be on vacation so relax, enjoy, don't be so critical of things and you'll probably be more relaxed.

 

I've been following this thread primarily just to see what other people think about the Divina.  We've been on her 2 past times and are setting sail on her again in 30 days for a B2B.  Can't wait!

 

One thing I've learned from following this and many other threads is there are some really "ultra" picky people but in the world of freedoms and rights, you have that right.  Some of my comments are:

 

- if your focus is TV, why sail.  Stay home and watch hundreds of channels on your cable.

 

- if you say you don't sail for the food, then don't complain about it.

 

- NYC tax on alcohol - If you have been following any other threads you would have seen the discussions on this and would have been forewarned.  Wonderful NYC gov't decided to charge an exorbitant amount of tax.  If you needed alcohol that badly, get off the ship and go to a local pier-side bar.

 

- many of the previous postings are opinions.  provide some true egregious examples, not OMG, housekeeping forgot to put toilet paper in my bathroom or the bartender couldn't make a mixed drink.

 

- if you do state something - "This is only the 2nd time Divinia has been to the US."  Be sure of your facts.  Divina sailed the Caribbean from November of 2013 to April 2015 from Miami.  She has since spent the summers in the Med and the winters in Miami.

 

- MSC is a huge corporation and just like corporations, sometimes everything doesn't always go as planned or anticipated.  Here's what I mean.  MSC was rolling out new ships, primarily Seaside with a home port of Miami year round.  MSC did what I think was smart.  They transferred many of their "seasoned" employees to the Seaside.  American restaurant, bar, hotel, etc chains do the exact same thing when they open new stores.  Regardless of that, when you have new crew members it takes a few cruises for them to get used to things.

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2 hours ago, dgakers said:

Karenlovesparis - notice I didn't comment on the immigration piece.  I have never had to experience that.  It sounds like a horrible incident and I agree everyone should have been notified about the procedure. 

 

I do hope there were some good times during your cruise.  Keep the faith with MSC.

 

We had an awful immi problems 3 years ago on Celebrity Eclipse after our T/A from UK to Boston. Absolute total chaos, not sure who was to blame, the ship's officers or the very slow immi officers. Or even the passengers, who all turned up en masse even tho we were all given timed immi appointments. Many people missed their Boston tours, even those booked on ship's tours. We made ours by the skin of our teeth, after literally begging several officers to let us jump the queue & see immi as per our original appt time.

So it is not just an MSC issue! 

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I can only comment to the OP on our experience, we've sailed on Divina 3 times now. Once from Genoa to Miami and twice out of Miami. All of our experience were very positive, beautiful ship, staff, food, service were all excellent. 

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I did have someone tell me that cruises with French or Italian chefs had better food. We did not have either. Good food would have helped but way too many other operational things going on that made the cruise a bad one. Long lines of people at the service desk  day after day  with a myriad of complaints were the first indications that all was not well.  Rooms not cleaned till after 1:00 in afternoon even though  clean room tags out by 9 tells me they were short staffed and the ones they had could not even replace toilet paper or  vacumn the floor  when they cleaned.  I could name more basic things but you get the drift.

 Maybe Thats okay for some cruisers but not this one. This was my 33 cruise and over 9 lines and never seen anything like it. Even Costa did. Better job than MSC.

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Are these latest reviewers on board Divina now or are they talking about some previous cruise?   This last time in New York?   They are at Sea now. Left Ocho Rios.  If so hope things improve.  

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1 hour ago, KayakingGirl2 said:

Are these latest reviewers on board Divina now or are they talking about some previous cruise?   This last time in New York?   They are at Sea now. Left Ocho Rios.  If so hope things improve.  

This was for the 23 day TA that just arrived in Miami on Sunday October 28, 2018.

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On 10/24/2018 at 7:17 PM, CGTNORMANDIE said:

Consider that 3500 people embark on Divina every week or so...and very few complaints.  Divina is a gorgeous ship and you will enjoy her I am sure.  You will be impressed with the design and decor everywhere you go.  The Divina exudes a luxurious atmosphere.  I find it more relaxing to go where the crowds are not.  Be sure to look in on the smoking lounge next to the casino.  The room is one of the best looking rooms onboard the ship and it is usually empty...well worth a peek even if you can’t stand smoke.  You can actually win in the casino...unlike some of the other mass market lines.

 

One of the best things on Divina is the nightly music in most of the lounges.  The lively international mix is a welcomed change.  If you are a people person you will be sure to meet some interesting people from all over the world.  If you enjoy your wine and cocktails then upgrade your drinks package.  And don’t forget the pizza and the gelato!  Remember the pizza place offers better pizza than the cafe.  

 

Enjoy...and don’t pay any attention to the nay sayers.  Every cruise is a great cruise.  It’s up to you to make it so.

 

Thank you for the info, CGTNORMANDIE

CGTNORMANDIE, would you be so kind as so send me the link of your Divina review? Thanks in advance . fflashh

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On 10/24/2018 at 2:04 PM, fflashh said:

Two +/- 60 y.o. (a married couple) with about one dozen Caribbean cruises, wondering what to expect on our 20 Jan. 2019 sailing on the Divina for 11 days. We have done Carnival, Princess, HAL, NCL, Disney and Celebrity. Probably Celebrity was our fav. We have a "drinks on us" package, with a "fantastica" balcony. Sailing to the Southern and Western Caribbean this time. We enjoy relaxing, music shows, sea days (as we've been to most ports) partying and beach/pool time. What is the Divina like? She looks big and gorgeous to see in port, but what kinda "flavor " should we expect? Do tell. Thanks, so much for any input, fflashh

We sailed on the Divina last year. It was our first cruise with MSC and had previously sailed on Princess and HAL. MSC, like every other cruise line has things that they do differently. The Divina is gorgeous ship and the staff did a great job of keeping her clean. Like most cruiseships we did find the pool area got quite crowded especially on sea days. We did not use the adults only pool area partially because it was near the smoking section and partially because we had our teenage son with us. 

 

The staff we found to be like most other lines, in general they were friendly and helpful but there were always a few exceptions. We did have a few problems with our booking and the front desk was able to easily sort it out for us. Yes, it meant standing in line for a while on embarkation day but I've yet to see a ship with a short line for the front desk on embarkation day. 

 

Our room was fine, we found it to be lacking in storage but not a big deal and our cabin stewart did a great job. However, we had upgraded our drink pkg to the deluxe pkg and found that as the cruise progressed the mini bar selection got less and less. There were certain items that they were unable to replenish which was a bit annoying. We also found this problem in some of the bars later in the cruise, for example there was no baileys on the ship so when I ordered a coffee with baileys from the coffee bar they couldn't make it for me. They were also out of bananas towards the end of the cruise.

 

The food was ok. It wasn't up to the level we are used to seeing on cruise ships and found it to be very inconsistent. One night I had ordered a steak medium rare and got one that was well done, the waiter got me a replacement one which ended up being rare and was an entirely different cut of meat, although they were both supposed to be the same. Often times we didn't find the desserts to be very interesting an would opt to go and have a gelato after dinner instead. The food was a bit disappointing and not memorable however it was definitely eatable and we never had difficulty finding something we liked, we just didn't find much that was great. 

 

I will say that MSC seemed to be acting on feedback and making efforts to improve. One thing we noticed was they had people setup in the buffet to seat you during busier times. They also had call buttons on the tables in the buffet so you could call a waiter if you wanted a drink. 

 

The evening entertainment, we found the shows good but repetitive. Most of the live music venues were to full to be able to enjoy and often just featured solo artists (which seems to be the way a lot of cruise lines seem to be going). We are not late night people and found that a lot of the more game show style entertainment started to late for us. We did find the spa prices to be quite reasonable and often cheaper than other lines. 

 

All in all the Divina has some things that you will like and some that you won't. For us, we found it wasn't our favourite cruise line but of the things we disliked none of them were to the point of ruining our vacation. We did decide to book another cruise on the Divina for this upcoming January because although it wasn't our favourite we felt you couldn't beat the value offered.

 

Hope that helps. Enjoy your cruise. 

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On 10/30/2018 at 12:57 PM, karenlovesparis said:

This issue with immigration was almost unforgivable.  Especially those in YC. I was one caught in this.  We were taken off the ship with the promise from numerous employees and officers that we would just be getting our passports stamped and coming right back on. We were denied entry back on the ship. We had no coats, no proper shoes, no cell phones, no medications, numerous ill people were in wheel chairs, no wallets, no food/water, etc. Forced to sit in the terminal for 6 hours effectively loosing the entire day in NYC. We missed timed tickets and lunch appointments.

 

This wasn't an immigration issue, it was an MSC issue because of lack of transparency and communication.

 

 

Hi Karen!

 

Why were you forced to sit in the terminal for 6 hours? What were they doing...or not doing? 

 

HLR

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1 hour ago, HLR said:

 

Hi Karen!

 

Why were you forced to sit in the terminal for 6 hours? What were they doing...or not doing? 

 

HLR

Not Karen but on now. Was told there were 11 pax that didn’t present themselves for  disembarkation .  After about an hour the number was down to five. They were called several times and even security was searching ship for them. They were finally found and taken off.  Then the ship was zeroed down and pax were allowed back on. 

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Could be made so much easier if they do a face to face onboard with those staying on the ship for a second cruise, those people could then stay in a lounge until all those getting off have left. But that would require common sense.

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15 hours ago, Cruisergal1208 said:

Not Karen but on now. Was told there were 11 pax that didn’t present themselves for  disembarkation .  After about an hour the number was down to five. They were called several times and even security was searching ship for them. They were finally found and taken off.  Then the ship was zeroed down and pax were allowed back on. 

 

MSC having to conform to the immigration rules, they have to disembark everyone.

Passengers not conforming to the disembarkation and immigration rules, this isn't MSC'S fault that some people are ignorant.

 

On our B2B in the US we did stay onboard until everyone had disembarked, unfortunately we also had to wait an extra time due to inconsiderate passengers.

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1 hour ago, CruisingFox27 said:

 

MSC having to conform to the immigration rules, they have to disembark everyone.

Passengers not conforming to the disembarkation and immigration rules, this isn't MSC'S fault that some people are ignorant.

 

On our B2B in the US we did stay onboard until everyone had disembarked, unfortunately we also had to wait an extra time due to inconsiderate passengers.

I agree this is not MSC's fault.  Last time we were on the Epic we were 3 hours late boarding because they could not find passengers that were missing (it was after the Holy Ship cruise and some were taken off on stretchers due to being passed out).  The ship has to be zeroed out before an is ally passengers are allowed back on the ship.  Happened to us many times on a b2b also. Inconsiderate and quite rude of the passengers that do not get off of the ship.

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