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What can we expect on MSC Divina?

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While I appreciate and I know it is not the fault of MSC, I still find the system at fault and archaic in the way it is carried out. Transatlantic`s that stop at St Thomas have US immigration onboard and everyone on the ship is seen by them before they can disembark for the day due to it being the first stop on US soil.

As I posted above the same can be done on a turnaround B2B by all those who will be on the next cruise waiting in a given lounge and being seen by Immigration officers while the rest of the passengers disembark, this has the same effect as making everyone get off.

Edited by sidari

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That particular transatlantic trip does indeed sound awful, though I would think the immigration issue was not on MSC. 

 

We sailed led her from Miami in March 2017 and will be sailing again later this year. Can’t wait. 

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Each trip can be different but based on last years cruise expect a clean ship with helpful staff.  I found the overall atmosphere more reserved than Carnival or Norwegian.  Show were shorter but more elaborate ranging from opera to a Michael Jackson tribute show.  Food was varied and quite good.  Service time was a bit slow but at least they did not interrupt dinner with waving napkin show.  Not much for nightlife.  Seemed like many passengers were in bed by 10PM and bars began shutting down by 11PM gradually leaving the pool bars left.

 

It was good enough for me to be sailing the Divina again this year but decision is based more on cost and ports than the ship itself.

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Geez.  I'm getting weary now.  We're booked on a TA from Genoa to MIA in November 2019.  Our first US port will be San Juan.  Is that where mayhem might occur, with the ship having to be vacated by all, or as Sidari suggests, immigration niceties might occur on board?  I really don't mind immigration niceties in the TopSail...

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On our last TA we all had to go to meet US immigration in the theatre when we arrived in the US Virgin Islands, we we're all given a number and a time to go and clear through. You're then allowed to leave the ship. 

MSC coordinated everything very well, no one was allowed to queue jump. It was very busy but reasonably painless. We were on a ship excursion so we we're called early, as i recall if you're not you can be waiting a while. 

 

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Okay...so what of the Meraviglia sailing out of NYC to Canada and back in 2019? Closed loop....

 

I hope this isn't considered Thread Hijacking....if so just tell me and I will post separately....You all seem to know the ropes so I thought a good place to ask...

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Z173 ... If San Juan is your first stop on USA soil then it will likely be carried out as CF27 and myself have described, not sure why it could not be done the day before because it can cause issues on the day for people who have booked private tours and cars etc.

This is something MSC failed to tell people when you book so at least you can work with or around it.

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11 hours ago, HLR said:

Okay...so what of the Meraviglia sailing out of NYC to Canada and back in 2019? Closed loop....

 

I hope this isn't considered Thread Hijacking....if so just tell me and I will post separately....You all seem to know the ropes so I thought a good place to ask...

 

At present I'm not sure anyone knows as it's new itinerary, although this has been discussed on the roll call for the sailings. We are booked for this sailing too.

 

The first sailing on the 8th, there is no issue if you're on the 10 night sailing as it's Canada and back to the US. 

Passengers that are on the B2B will have to clear US customs again in NY. How this is completed, on or off this ship, no idea.

 

The sailing on the 18th docks back in Portland, US after the visit to Canada, there will need to be customs clearance at this point. How this is completed, on or off this ship, no idea.

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4 hours ago, CruisingFox27 said:

 

At present I'm not sure anyone knows as it's new itinerary, although this has been discussed on the roll call for the sailings. We are booked for this sailing too.

 

The first sailing on the 8th, there is no issue if you're on the 10 night sailing as it's Canada and back to the US. 

Passengers that are on the B2B will have to clear US customs again in NY. How this is completed, on or off this ship, no idea.

 

The sailing on the 18th docks back in Portland, US after the visit to Canada, there will need to be customs clearance at this point. How this is completed, on or off this ship, no idea.

 

Thank you Ms. [or Mr.?] Fox. I think the key to a happy sailing for the TA and first passengers in the USA like us: Bring a book! 

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

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.

Well said. The cruiser makes their cruise. Sometimes there are some issues but if you alert management in a polite manner the issues usually go away. Our Divina January 10, 2019 sailing will be our 49th cruise and first with MSC. We are looking forward to being on this gorgeous ship for 10 days (cigar lounge looks awesome).

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5 hours ago, miataman19 said:

Well said. The cruiser makes their cruise. Sometimes there are some issues but if you alert management in a polite manner the issues usually go away. Our Divina January 10, 2019 sailing will be our 49th cruise and first with MSC. We are looking forward to being on this gorgeous ship for 10 days (cigar lounge looks awesome).

 

 

Thank you miataman.  A funny story about the cigar lounge...and yes it is as beautiful as it looks.  I was in the lounge and I lit up a fine cigar that I had purchased in Jamaica.  It was so relaxing and so quiet that I dozed off for about 15 minutes...LOL. 

 

The Cigar Lounge is next to the casino yet it is completely closed off with beautiful doors.  The room is totally underused.  I wrote a letter to MSC management and suggested they turn the lounge into a “High Roller” room.  It already has a long bar.  If they removed the furniture and put in a craps table in the center of the room and placing slot machines around the walls.  They could also put in a Texas Holdem table.  The nightly entry fee would be something like $150 which would be converted into chips that could only be played in that room.  It would probably be a hotter venue than the formula one racer!  LOL!

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Don't give them any ideas. The cigar lounge is one of the highlights on the Divina, and not everyone can afford what you are proposing.

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9 hours ago, miataman19 said:

Sometimes there are some issues but if you alert management in a polite manner the issues usually go away.

 

That is so true! On my first MSC cruise, aboard the Orchestra many moons ago, my laptop adapter died on me. I know some people like to "unplug" on a cruise, but I am the opposite, and I appeared at the customer service desk- on the verge of hyperventilating. The agent behind the counter actually went to her own cabin to retrieve her personal laptop adapter to see if it would work. (It didn't, but I got mine to actually work- it was the plug)

 

I will never forget that act of kindness... and it went a long way to form my opinion of MSC.

 

BTW, miataman19... as a UT alum and fan, I could do without that Gator flag in your signature!  :classic_biggrin::classic_biggrin::classic_biggrin::classic_biggrin:

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I am currently on Divina, returning to Miami tomorrow.  It's my first time on MSC.  We booked Bella in a tiny balcony on deck 9 with the basic Drinks On Us package.

 

Haven't done any shows so can't comment on those. 

 

Service has been great, with one of the best room stewards we've ever had.  We have had the occasional hiccup, thankfully resolved without the huge, slow-moving customer service line.

 

We are seasoned cruisers, and this has been the best bang for our buck in recent memory.

 

The buffet isn't all that great, and it is crowded and loud. Celebrity and RCCL buffets are similar IMHO.

Unfortunately, food temperatures are just wrong.  

 

The main dining room was very good, hot food hot and cold food cold. Eataly was also good.

 

TV is lacking, but it often is.  We brought an HDMI cable from home, hooked it to the cabin TV, and watched the movies I had preloaded on my laptop.

 

Just our experience,. I would definitely sail with MSC again.

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2 hours ago, KayakingGirl2 said:

  Thanks for the great review.  I am excited to go.  I guess you were in Nassau,  Did you go to Atlantis or the Straw Market?

 

In Nassau I have gone three times to the Ardastra Zoo...small but fun! Either take the jitney or walk...I think it is the most underrated attraction close to the cruise port!

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14 hours ago, ukbecky said:

I am currently on Divina, returning to Miami tomorrow.  It's my first time on MSC.  We booked Bella in a tiny balcony on deck 9 with the basic Drinks On Us package.

 

Haven't done any shows so can't comment on those. 

 

Service has been great, with one of the best room stewards we've ever had.  We have had the occasional hiccup, thankfully resolved without the huge, slow-moving customer service line.

 

We are seasoned cruisers, and this has been the best bang for our buck in recent memory.

 

The buffet isn't all that great, and it is crowded and loud. Celebrity and RCCL buffets are similar IMHO.

Unfortunately, food temperatures are just wrong.  

 

The main dining room was very good, hot food hot and cold food cold. Eataly was also good.

 

TV is lacking, but it often is.  We brought an HDMI cable from home, hooked it to the cabin TV, and watched the movies I had preloaded on my laptop.

 

Just our experience,. I would definitely sail with MSC again.

 

 

Great to hear this, we board the Divina a week from Sunday for the first time.  Not worried about CS since I always go around 5 or 6 in the morning when no lines, and tv, well rarely turn it on when on a cruise.  Can't wait to try the MDR and Eataly.

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Sounds like they cut back on the TV options.  When we were on in Aug 17 they had a ton of channels.

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Watching TV is about as far down my list of Things To Do on a cruise as it can get, so that won't be a problem for me!

 

And having the bars close relatively early is probably good for me.  I tend to stay up much later when I cruise, and that's often because I'm at the club/music venue and end up drinking too much! :classic_blush:

 

I rarely eat from a buffet.  Is there a sandwich/deli area?  I imagine there's the usual burger area, right?  Not that I want to eat a burger for lunch every day, but prefer that to a buffet line.  My go-to for lunch on Carnival is the deli; on NCL it's O'Sheehans; on HAL its the burger place.

 

I started a thread yesterday with casino questions, so if anyone can answer those, I'd appreciate it.  Don't want to hijack this thread.

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On 11/5/2018 at 5:30 AM, sidari said:

Z173 ... If San Juan is your first stop on USA soil then it will likely be carried out as CF27 and myself have described, not sure why it could not be done the day before because it can cause issues on the day for people who have booked private tours and cars etc.

This is something MSC failed to tell people when you book so at least you can work with or around it.

I think the reason it can't be the day before is because there are no immigration officers on the ship. 

Pat

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I get what you say but they could fly out by helicopter the day before not too difficult in this day and age.

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9 hours ago, NCTribeFan said:

Watching TV is about as far down my list of Things To Do on a cruise as it can get, so that won't be a problem for me!

 

And having the bars close relatively early is probably good for me.  I tend to stay up much later when I cruise, and that's often because I'm at the club/music venue and end up drinking too much! :classic_blush:

 

I rarely eat from a buffet.  Is there a sandwich/deli area?  I imagine there's the usual burger area, right?  Not that I want to eat a burger for lunch every day, but prefer that to a buffet line.  My go-to for lunch on Carnival is the deli; on NCL it's O'Sheehans; on HAL its the burger place.

 

I started a thread yesterday with casino questions, so if anyone can answer those, I'd appreciate it.  Don't want to hijack this thread.

 

 

There is a burger station with bins of cooked burgers, buns, fries etc. and pre-made sandwiches and wraps.

 

Many, many stations and everyone just walks up to what they want (which I much prefer to the stand-in-endless-line method when I just want some olives or whatever). The problem was the sheer number of people and noise, not lines.

 

5+ different pizzas were very good. 

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On 11/2/2018 at 5:57 PM, HLR said:

 

Hi Karen!

 

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

 

HLR

This is not an MSC issue but simply the US  CBP authorities enforcing their normal zero-out procedure.  Blame the passengers that refuse to follow rules and leave the ship.  This can happen on any ship and once happened to us on Celebrity when a Mom and baby could not be found for hours.  The Mom simple said rules did not apply to Moms with infants.  Folks like that should immediately be tossed from the ship

😧

 

Hank

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We were on a 5 night Pacific Coastal on NCL Bliss last month starting in Vancouver down to LA. We had to do immigration in SAN Francisco, everyone had to disembark deck by deck, it took over 4 hours! People who had booked their own tours missed them due to this, we went under the Golden Gate Bridge at 6.30 am and finally got off at 1pm.

Also we flew into Seattle to do this cruise and immigration there took 3 hours. 

The people who are doing the immigration checks seemed to be asking stupid questions which took time, eg from the ship “how long are you staying in San Francisco for?” And in Seattle the best ever “I see you are wearing red nail polish, are you going to Las Vegas”...

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