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Lots of Divina questions


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Hi all.  We just booked a 3-day cruise on Divina.  We've been on many cruises but this will be our first time on an MSC ship so I have lots of questions.

 

Dining - Is it possible to request a table for two?  MSC doesn't seem to have Any Time Dining like other cruise lines so we have main seating (6 o'clock?).  We prefer to dine alone over a large group of people we don't know.   Do we find out our table assignment when we get onboard?  Which dining venues do not have a fee?

 

Dress Code - What is the dress code at dinner?  Do people tend to be more formal than other lines going to the Caribbean?  Would there be a dressier night on such a short cruise?

 

Cabins - What time are the cabins usually available on embarkation day?  Is there soap or just shower gel?  Shampoo?  Robes?  We're in a balcony cabin.

 

Beach towels - Are the beach towels in the room or is there a towel stand by the pool?  Do you have to check them out with your room key?

 

Casino -  Is it smoky?  Are there any $5 or $10 Blackjack tables?

 

Easy package - I see the Easy Package includes lattes and cappuccino.  Where can I get these?  Only in the dining room?

 

If anyone has a copy of the daily programs, I would love to see them.  They don't have to be for the 3-day itinerary, I'd just like to get a general idea of what goes on.

 

Thanks in advance!

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Just sailed Divina (and MSC) for the first time Jan 12-17...so I will attempt to help! LOL.

 

Anytime Dining...I believe that this is part of one of the experiences. Aurea? It exists, but unless you have paid for the experience that includes it, it isn't an option.

 

We discovered our table assignment at embarkation with the assignment on our cruise card. After being unhappy with our table assignment on the first night, our group (along with many, many, many other people) requested a change in table assignment. Thankfully, we were given another table and were much happier after night 1. I don't recall seeing tables as small as 2? but I did see tables for 4, and I believe that I saw only 2 people at those tables.

 

Free dining includes the dining rooms (there are two, each with two decks, to which you will be assigned one), the buffet, and snacks/desserts in the piazza del dago (I think that's the name.)

 

I didn't pay attention to a dress code but I would say that people were dressed "smarter" than a typical USA-based cruise ship. IDK what the makeup will be for a 3-night cruise. Our cruise had a relatively small percentage of US passengers and so the dress on board reflected what I have experienced before with non-USA people. They don't wear oversized clothing. They don't tend to even think about shorts at dinner. And generally, their dress just seems to be "smarter" for lack of a better word. Formal is not what I would use. I wore dresses in the evening because I find them comfortable and easy to wear and feel put together...from a casual sundress to my cocktail dress...and I felt okay. I could have dressed fancier and still been in keeping with the crowd.

 

We had the Fantastica experience...no robes. The showers had shampoo and bath gel in wall-mounted dispensers. There was hand soap in a pump dispenser (like a typical public restroom) mounted on the sink edge. There were also shower caps and contrary to what I've read here, washcloths.

 

Beach towels are in the room along with an explanation of the beach towel service, which is basically that your room attendant will replenish your beach towels as needed. Your room is serviced twice daily, so great opportunity for new beach towels. Also, it wasn't difficult at all to see the room attendants as they seemed to be working a lot (servicing the rooms twice daily) so if you needed a beach towel replacement before having your room serviced...I'm sure that could happen relatively easily.

 

The casino is smoky. Sadly, the Luna Bar has a giant opening in the floor of it where it is open to the Casino below and so the Luna Bar reeks of smoke. We had to walk through the casino a couple times...and frankly, I've been in worse casinos in terms of smoke but if you are sensitive to smoke, then yes, it is smoky and the idea that there may be any non-smoking area (no idea if there is one or not) is a joke.

 

I didn't pay attention to the tables in the casino...can't answer that one.

 

In true European fashion, every single bar has an espresso machine. You can get lattes and cappuccinos all over the ship.

 

I have the daily programs from our cruise...and I could scan them in later...maybe tomorrow.

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Our experience was positive. Not everything was perfect, but it was a great cruise and I would cruise with MSC again, especially with the pricing being as low as our deal was.

 

Evening shows were something that I would say were very odd. Very, very odd. The first show will drag on a bit as a tremendous number of crew members are introduced in a rather long process, and then the captain makes his welcome speech in 6 languages. That was pretty impressive that he was able to do that himself...but still...the audience was palpably restless and it was awkward. 

 

Note...the first evening was not on embarkation day...probably because of the sail away time. So there were 4 shows on our 5-night sailing.

 

The first show, the Mystery Mask was a weird disjointed kind of makes no sense overall variety show. I didn't appreciate the lip-synced  parts at all, which felt very amateurish, but the parts where the singers were actually singing was good. The set was the worst. No real set for any show. There are multiple, moveable flights of stairs on the stage, with each riser having lights almost like rope lights to mark the riser's edge and these lights were constantly on during the show (changing colors, etc.) which made it difficult to focus on the performers. It was even worse when the lights would flash in strobe fashion...and there was no warning at all regarding these lights. I was traveling with a light sensitive person and so we skipped the second night's show because of the lights, but we heard from the group we traveled with that the show was just as disjointed as the first night and really odd that an operatic voice was singing Roxanne by the Police.

 

I HIGHLY recommend that you catch the 4:30 theater show, which was called Love Me. It is a condensed performance of Giuseppe Verdi's Il Trovatore opera with the major works being sung and ballet combined during chorus works to help tell the story. EXCELLENT. I really enjoyed this performance.

 

We went back into the evening show on Italian night. Predictably, not a single song on Italian night was sung in English, but this was an evening show that made sense! LOL. And there wasn't a single lip-synced songs sung...and the lights didn't ever strobe out.

 

On our last evening, we went back to the island to see the Parade and the lighthouse show, which I recommend. The parade is designed such that the band and dancers that form the parade will gather a following and everyone joins in on the parade to the lighthouse. OR, you can take a different path after the parade passes and grab a seat on the beach near the lighthouse to watch the lighthouse show. The lighthouse show was entertaining and I enjoyed it. There was a theater show but that conflicted with the island show, so we didn't see it.

 

The only theme night was Gala Night (formal night). The majority of the ship was dressed for the occasion, but we didn't notice any tuxedos. Italian night was another theme, but there was no passenger dress participation there...but the dining room staff was wearing Italian flag colors and all the napkins were Italian flag colors. I had hoped and prepared for a White Night, but our sailing didn't have one. 

 

For debarkation, we were in one of the last groups to be called. Gray at 10:20 AM. The calling of colors was generally on time the whole morning. They did announce a break in calling colors because "the terminal was full". By the time our color was called, the process was super fast. Easy to grab our luggage (among the few bags remaining) and the lines for customs/immigration were non-existent. It took longer for 5 women to have a bathroom break than it did to get through C/I. Prior to that, you are supposed to be out of your stateroom by 7:30 AM...we were able to find a table in the buffet where we basically hung out until we left the ship...having a leisurely breakfast, coffee, tea, etc., tag-teaming dealing with guest services etc.

Edited by Anita Latte
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Gelato has a charge. I didn’t partake but I recall the smallest size being around $3 give or take? Good selections.

 

On the pool deck there’s a gelato place that also has free soft serve. There were two soft serve machines. I didn’t partake of that either...lines were always queued up and I couldn’t be bothered. I did have ice cream or sorbet every evening in the dining room for dessert...both were always excellent.

 

I should get the dailies posted today.

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Here are the daily programs, planners, specials, etc...all informative literature...I didn't keep any of the promotional materials and flyers left in the room. And sadly, my roomie took off with the debarkation information sheet. I might be able to get that though...

 

Anyway...the sailing was a 5-night sailing, including ports Costa Maya and Ocean Cay and two Sea Days. Embarkation in Miami. Dates were Sunday, January 12, 2020 to January 17, 2020.

 

Embarkation. Miami. Sunday. Day 1.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FV8ggooP0iErknRN8NURCn6wCvGkDznI/view?usp=sharing

 

Sea Day. Monday. Day 2.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ale6_t3nPyhowh03O7E4q900BWk9YcUy/view?usp=sharing

 

Costa Maya. Tuesday. Day 3.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ttPmKlMrfXmp8cloikUti1MRFSUvU-IS/view?usp=sharing

 

Sea Day. Wednesday. Day 4.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1klR-xDZSgAiT7Bd01H4wSCfF0gYdRHkz/view?usp=sharing

 

Ocean Cay. Thursday. Day 5. It should be noted that our original itinerary was a 5:30 PM all aboard (as seen in the literature) with a 6:00 PM sail away. There was an announcement just before 10:00 AM (when the ship had been cleared) that because of our "good weather," the master of the ship had changed the itinerary to a 11:00 PM departure with a 10:30 PM all aboard. The literature with the written evening schedule was left in our stateroom later that day. The announcements DID talk about the parade and the lighthouse show though.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UXKlA9PiP1b9pwDwpbnHcPqQfHgSYw8O/view?usp=sharing

 

I think these links should work to bring up the pdf files. 

 

I feel like I'm borderline hijacking this thread...but if anyone else has any questions...I'm happy to answer to the best of my knowledge. I hadn't planned on a review because the Divina itineraries change so much...I wasn't sure about the usefulness of a specific review. The discussion started here seems more useful than anything specific...

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Thank you so much for posting the dailies!  It really gives me a better feel for the ship.  Of course, now I have even more questions. 🙂 

 

I saw there is a kiosk where you're supposed to register your credit card.  They don't do that at check-in?  How do you charge to your card until you register?

 

I didn't see anything about life jackets at the muster drill but I've read elsewhere that you're supposed to bring them.  Did you have to bring your life jacket?

 

The daily on Ocean Cay says you have to buy a special cup to be able to get water refills.  They really don't have free water for everyone?  What are the options if you don't buy the cup?  I normally avoid bottled water and bring my own reusable cup because I hate the plastic waste.  

 

In the section that has the bar hours, it says "Divina Bar (gluten free)".  What does that mean?  Does that bar offer snacks?  Is there a charge?  I'm having a hard time figuring out what is free and what isn't.  MSC seems to have a lot more charged items than other cruise lines. 

 

P.S. You're not hijacking the thread at all!  All your responses have been incredibly helpful and I appreciate you taking the time to answer.  There are so few Divina reviews so I'm soaking up every bit of information I can get.

 

 

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Thank you Anita for taking the time to answer all of our questions in such wonderful detail!! I really appreciate it.  I especially loved the tip regarding the 4:30 abridged opera show. If it is on our sailing, I will be sure not to miss it (I probably would have missed it if you didn't point it out to me). Sounds like the Mask show can easily be missed if there are conflicting activities. Glad to hear debarkation was easy. I heard of some chaotic, super long debarkations and I was wondering if they have improved (we have some post-cruise plans). Happy to hear you enjoyed your cruise!

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There are multiple kiosks where you can register your credit card. They are relatively small and located all throughout Deck 6 IIRC. Very easy to do and the screen walks you through the process. You are supposed to register a card to your sea pass card within the first 48 hours. You can link different credit cards to different sea pass cards in the same stateroom. You can also easily choose to link the same credit card to anyone you choose to link it to. Before you link up, your sea pass card is preauthorized for up to $300 of spending on board...pretty sure. The literature says what it is...could be $200. So you have some spending money available even before you link a card.

 

So no, they don't do the credit card at check in. We linked late at night...because we remembered and we wanted some steps...so we went back to the stateroom to get our credit cards and then take care of it. 

 

You are supposed to bring your life jackets to the muster drill. However, we weren't anywhere near our stateroom prior to muster so we were told not too worry about it, we would be given a life jacket during muster. Muster was the biggest cluster I have ever experienced on a cruise. Everyone was talking, doing whatever they wanted, the crew didn't care at all if you were putting on your life jacket or not...if you were paying attention or not. The announcements went on forever...as always in 6 languages...and at some point, some passengers were sick of it and just started to leave. The distress signal was given prior to the actual muster in an announcement that then called everyone to their muster station. The captain never made an announcement and the captain didn't dismiss the muster drill. It was the most chaotic muster I have ever attended and I have to say that because of that, I wouldn't sail on MSC on a Transatlantic itinerary! LOL. So...we didn't get our life jackets from our room, but many did...and we weren't given one to put on...our cards were scanned at the entrance, we just stood around and watched the craziness for a while, and left when the mass group decided we were done.

 

There is free water for everyone on the island. BUT...cups are in short supply on the island. I only went to the buffet once...just to check it out...and they were out of cups...so no one could get water or any of the free juice type drinks if they didn't have their own water bottle, or a purchased one. I brought my Nalgene onboard...I never go anywhere without it...and it was the best thing to have on the island. So whatever you have, bring that. They don't even sell bottled water on the island...I don't think...because they are plastic free on the island. There was an announcement about that.

 

The bar closest to the spa beach and the snorkel beach and the food truck for that area had a water refill station that anyone with a water bottle (whether purchased from MSC or brought) could have used except for the fact that it was out of order. No knowledge of that situation at other bars. At the buffet, I had my water bottle refilled. There are crew members filling drinks and working all the drink machines for the passengers. He filled a pitcher he had and then poured the water from the pitcher into my Nalgene. On board, I just used the water cups...filling one and then to my Nalgene...repeat, repeat, until full. I saw a crew member instruct someone to do the same when they were trying to fill their refillable directly from the dispenser. So bring your refillable water bottle.

 

I saw that Divina Bar (gluten free) in the daily and I was like...what??? No idea. I didn't see that. I actually sat in the Divina Bar one evening for a bit. It's to the side of the floor of whatever that area is that I have called the "centrum" on other ships...the piano is down there with lots of sitting areas and the sparkly crystal stairs go from floor to floor and several floors overlook that area. Anyway, it was a pleasant bar where we could have a conversation with the music still playing. I didn't notice any food though.

 

Complementary food is in the dining rooms, the buffet, and the piazza del doge (desserts and treats). I recall seeing a pizza counter attached to the coffee bar...but it seemed like it was pizza being boxed up? I'm not sure what the deal was there...every time I wanted pizza, I didn't think of that place. I hit the buffet. I really liked the pizza.

 

I love to talk...my mini-essays testify to the fact...so fire away on the questions. I'll let you know if I know...and even if I don't. LOL.

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1 hour ago, Travelinmaam said:

Thank you Anita for taking the time to answer all of our questions in such wonderful detail!! I really appreciate it.  I especially loved the tip regarding the 4:30 abridged opera show. If it is on our sailing, I will be sure not to miss it (I probably would have missed it if you didn't point it out to me). Sounds like the Mask show can easily be missed if there are conflicting activities. Glad to hear debarkation was easy. I heard of some chaotic, super long debarkations and I was wondering if they have improved (we have some post-cruise plans). Happy to hear you enjoyed your cruise!

 

It would be easy to miss the 4:30 show. In the daily, they don't make a big deal of it at all. In fact, it looks like it will just be a piano, a violin, a soprano, and a tenor doing a performance. No mention of the Verdi opera that the show takes from...no mention of ballet. It wasn't a well attended show, which I think was very unfortunate because it was such high quality. Especially by comparison to the other shows.

 

I would skip the Mask. I know cruise audiences tend to be dead ones...everyone just staring at the show...but there was more of a feeling of being dumbfounded in this audience. Could be lack of comprehension? The Italian night was definitely more rousing...and felt more fun to me. IDK. YMMV but I could've been more productive with my time than to see that show. All the costumes were great though...

 

I think the super long debarkations are related to when the ship ports in Columbia during the sailing.

 

We definitely enjoyed the cruise. We traveled with a group and we all had a great time. The ship had enough interest for everyone to be entertained with different activities with some things that we absolutely loved. The price was right, so it was easy to overlook those things that we found to be inferior to other lines we have sailed and just focus in on the good stuff.

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The aft pool is supposed to be adults only. I didn't spend any time there but walked past on several occasions...there are tables on one side and loungers on the other. The table side is a smoking section. The Garden Bar also had smokers. I saw kids in the area on embarkation day...not sure if the adults only was enforced at other times.

Edited by Anita Latte
Wrong info! LOL
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Last time we were on the Divina (Jan 2019) children were not permitted at the Adults only pool and it was enforced.  There are no pool towels available near the pools.  Only the ones placed in your cabin.  Believe  me....your account is charged even if you wait until the last moment to register your card.  We are sailing on the the Divina again in Feb 2020.  I'm hoping now you can just register your card at check in, but I don't think they've instituted that, yet.   There is comp soft serve ice cream available, but the really good gelato is for purchase. I think I notices a couple of tables for two in the MDR, but there were several table for 4 where there was only 1 couple sitting. I'm not big into the casino, so I can't answer any ???'s pertaining to it.  A lot of folks have not been complementary on thier reviews.  However, I found no issue with service, food, staff, etc.  This will be our 4th cruise with MSC and 3rd on the Divina.

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3 minutes ago, marco said:

Last time we were on the Divina (Jan 2019) children were not permitted at the Adults only pool and it was enforced.  There are no pool towels available near the pools.  Only the ones placed in your cabin.  Believe  me....your account is charged even if you wait until the last moment to register your card.  We are sailing on the the Divina again in Feb 2020.  I'm hoping now you can just register your card at check in, but I don't think they've instituted that, yet.   There is comp soft serve ice cream available, but the really good gelato is for purchase. I think I notices a couple of tables for two in the MDR, but there were several table for 4 where there was only 1 couple sitting. I'm not big into the casino, so I can't answer any ???'s pertaining to it.  A lot of folks have not been complementary on thier reviews.  However, I found no issue with service, food, staff, etc.  This will be our 4th cruise with MSC and 3rd on the Divina.

 

Thanks, marco!  I wonder if the tables for 4 only had one couple because the other people didn't go to the dining room for dinner.  I've found that happening more and more on other cruise lines - people are eating at the buffet or specialty restaurants instead.  I hope we can request a smaller table.

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Anita you are a gem for posting the Dailies. You are right, the opera/ ballet show is not well advertised. The show  was also at the same the as the snow party on deck (I heard was popular) which likely led to the low attendance in the theatre.

 

Marco, thanks for your additional information! 

 

I am getting more from this thread than from reading many of the reviews!

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33 minutes ago, CruisinCrow said:

I hope we can request a smaller table.

 

I feel confident that you can request a smaller table. I would say that the vast majority of crew we dealt with were so friendly and helpful. We asked after dinner on the first night, and several others did too. Our names were added to the list requesting changes. It was reasonable to expect that they might need time to sort it all out but it was sorted and we were satisfied. I'm sure that you can get it sorted.

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53 minutes ago, Travelinmaam said:

Anita you are a gem for posting the Dailies. You are right, the opera/ ballet show is not well advertised. The show  was also at the same the as the snow party on deck (I heard was popular) which likely led to the low attendance in the theatre.

 

What is the snow party?  Sounds intriguing.

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26 minutes ago, CruisinCrow said:

 

What is the snow party?  Sounds intriguing.

Can't tell you first hand but I saw a video review, and read from another, that it is a party on the upper deck that seems to involve fake snow. Couldn't tell if it is a party for everyone, or a focus on the younger ones, but since we get enough real snow, don't need the fake stuff 😉

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2 hours ago, CruisinCrow said:

W,hat is the snow party?  Sounds intriguing.

 

According to the daily:

 

SNOW PARTY. Enhance your MSC experience with a refreshing cocktail and join us at our snow party! Try a special Frozen Cocktails on your choice with a 20% discount! 4:00pm - 6:00pm, Aqua Park, deck 14 (mid)

 

*direct quote...grammatical errors and all. lol 

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