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My (very) long review of MSC Divina, plus YC, 1/17-1/28


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Please feel free to ask any questions. Our biggest complaints were passenger rudeness and food. This will be several parts; I wrote a ton.

 

Our first MSC cruise experience (and also Yacht Club,) was very nice. While I have several negative things to say, mainly about passenger rudeness and food, it didn’t really detract much from the experience itself, since we cruise to unwind and unplug, we let issues roll away easily. Once we got the issues in our cabin resolved, the rest of the cruise was mostly wonderful, with a series of “little things,” that will be noted in my review. It would have to be filled with nightmare problems for us to have a bad time on a cruise. We've done several Princess cruises and have also cruised NCL and RCLL. We've never had a first class experience, so this was doubly unique.

 

I think the YC is as almost as good as advertised, though I do feel like we didn't get the full treatment, but maybe I set my expectations too high, based on what I had read.

 

Embarkation / Day 1 - I was looking for the MSC check in tent. We saw the "luggage drop off," tent and passed it by, since our luggage was being handled by Brightline. When we realized that was actually "the" tent, we went over to check in. From the time we checked in until the time we were in our cabin was about 90 minutes. Much of this was taken up by security scanning, re-scanning, re-re-scanning, etc., bags going through the XRay. The security staff must have been new, because we've never had that experience before. One minor annoyance, was sitting in the YC library, going through training and waiting for everyone to tell their preferred dining time, and then waiting to be escorted to our cabins individually. We were the last out of the library, so that was probably part of it. We would have loved the option to go unescorted to our cabin after providing our dinner preference, since we knew where it was, but it wasn't an option. (We tried.) We got into our cabin around 2.

 

Our luggage didn't arrive until well after dinner, so we had to get special permission to show up to Le Muse in our shorts. They accommodated us, but were very clear that this was a special exception and shorts would not be permitted for dinner for the rest of the cruise. I've read people say it doesn't matter, but it did on this cruise. (Not an issue; we had planned for that already.)

 

We had been looking for our butler all day, because our safe was broken and our television didn't work. After dinner, a man stopped us in the hallway to say hello. We asked if he was our butler, and his response was, "Oh, you haven't met your butler yet?" He seemed surprised. Our butler finally stopped by around 7:30 p.m.

 

I told him the safe wasn't working and he proceeded to give me a demonstration on how a safe works. (LOL.) When he realized it was broken, he said he'd get it fixed ASAP. It finally got fixed around 10:00 p.m.

 

I told him the television wasn't working and he proceeded to give me a demonstration on how the tv works. (LOL.) This didn't get fixed until 8:00 p.m. on day 2, and that’s after we started complaining to the concierge. This was frustrating, because while we don't watch much tv on a cruise, most of that watching happens on day 1, in the evening, when we are trying to wash away the stress and decompress.

 

Once we got our luggage, we started to unpack and had our things spread out on the bed. Our butler came in and introduced the junior butler and then asked (prompted) us to remove all of our things from the bed so the junior butler could turn the room. We asked if he could wait until we had unpacked and the response I got indicated that no, not really an option. We threw everything quickly back into the suitcase, shoved it onto the couch and left the room for 1/2 hour. The butler knew we were unhappy about this. I didn't get fully "nested" until the next day, which was annoying for me, personally. This seems like it should be their accommodation to make, not ours.

 

Note about our butler: Once the tv was fixed, we saw him only a few times over the next 9 days, but only for a few moments each time, and not every day. Based on what I had read, I thought there would be more interaction, but it was very minimal, limited to mostly hello, goodbye, how was your day, type of conversations. Any real needs were met by the junior butler. Our butler did escort us (and a large group,) to one excursion and he did escort us off the ship at the end. Those were our longest individual interactions with him after the first day. Note that this isn’t a serious issue, because we don’t like being “fussed over.” It’s simply not the experience we were expecting.

 

Muster was a hot mess. There was no requirement to actually listen, so the lounge was extremely noisy. I tried to listen, even though we've been through muster numerous times, to hear if there were any special rules we should be aware of. We couldn't hear anything over the non-stop chatter, which only got louder and louder as muster went on. We didn't even know it was over until people started leaving.

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Yacht Club

 

Our room

The balcony cabin in the yacht club is wonderful. There is so much extra storage that we didn't even use it all. The bathroom is stunning, and I appreciated the "thirsty" robes, the tub, the handheld showerhead and the large towels very much.  

 

Once our preferences were known, we always had ice available, and anything we used out of our fridge was replaced immediately, including the snacks. We never actually even ate the pringles, but a second package showed up mid-cruise anyway.

 

The concierge

The most helpful spot on the entire ship. This staff is knowledgeable, friendly & helpful. I can't say enough nice things about these people. They make the cruise issues disappear like magic and if they don’t know the answer, they find it quickly.

 

Escorts off the ship

I thought this would be a useless feature, but it’s actually a neat perk. One of the butlers escorts you to your excursion meeting point, and uses the elevator override to ensure there’s no stops on the way down to deck 4. After that, we get escorted quickly to the front of the line to get off the ship and taken directly to the excursion meeting point. There’s a claim that there is priority boarding after port, too, but we never found this to be true. There was nobody checking cruise cards to get into the “priority” line.

 

Topsail lounge

What a great spot. This is so cozy, there's always a variety of Amuse-bouches laid out. These alternate between sweet & savory. Many of them were very tasty and a perfect bite to tide over until the next meal. There's very little crowd in here and very little noise. There's often a piano player accompanied by a violinist or singer, but never so loud it impairs normal tone conversation. We spent a lot of time in here, chatting, playing cards staring out at sea and listening to the music. The staff in this lounge is quick and helpful. I also loved that the Le Muse menus were available to browse before each meal.

 

One Deck

This seems like an underutilized space. We went several times in search of food, but it was not appetizing at all. Our first impression was lifting up the pasta fork in the chaffing dish and the entire contents came out in our fork in one giant lump. Blech. A server quickly came over to try and loosen it up to make it appear more appetizing. Through our 11-days, we only got one drink from this bar, as it closed at 7:00 p.m. Disappointing, but we could have outdoor/evening drinks in the regular pool area. We didn't eat anything except fruit from the One deck. The breakfast offerings were a very trimmed down version of what was in the buffet, so we opted for the buffet instead, since our preferred choices were there.

 

The hot tub was also very nice. We did that several times. We’ve never used the hot tub on other cruises, as they are always too crowded, usually with small kids. Every time we used the hot tub, we had it completely to ourselves. We rarely saw anyone in the hot tub or the pool.

 

There are not very many shady spots on the one deck outside of the eating area, but there are lots and lots of loungers, for those who enjoy the sun. It was never crowded up there.

 

First class service - Our only complaint about first class service is that it is service "their" way, and not the way we prefer.  Sometimes, we just wanted to run to the topsail and grab a drink and go back to our room or go on walkabout, but we were either required to sit down and wait, or return to our room to wait for it there. I don't know why they have barstools in the Topsail; we weren't really allowed to use them, “please go sit down and wait, madame.” We couldn't even grab the drink at the cabin door; we were required to let them in and drop it off on the table. We then had to take it from the table and leave our room. A few times one of us had to hide in the closet, since we weren't dressed, and the other couldn't just take the drink and close the door. No matter how many times we asked, we were told no, we have to let them bring it in. Very strange policy.

 

All that said, having things easily available by a quick phone call is a wonderful way to go through a cruise. The little annoyances are just that; little. In almost every other way, they tried to accommodate. Almost everything we asked for arrived quickly and with a smile.

 

This was incredibly nice in the morning, where a cup of coffee was a phone call away, and my husband’s diet Coke was available in the fridge.

 

Le Muse.

We were mostly underwhelmed by the food, with some very notable exceptions. I had the best fish/seafood stew in my life in Le Muse. The broth was richly flavored and I wish the person who created that would work the magic on the other dishes. It was absolutely sublime and I gave that feedback to the restaurant manager.

 

Portions - one thing I see repeated in reviews is that the portion sizes are too small. We didn't find that to be the case. Most were perfect size. (We normally have to send uneaten food back, since the portions are so large.) The problem for us was the lack of sauce, everywhere. Three shrimp as an appetizer needs more than a decorative dot of sauce. A skewer of meat needs more than a very short, thin line of sauce.  Even all the pasta dishes contained little to no sauce. In a pasta dish, I should have enough sauce to have a small amount with every noodle, at least.

 

Pasta - We were expecting amazing Italian food, but it was not good, at all. The pasta either arrived crunchy or gummy and there was almost no sauce at all. What little sauce there was, was so bland that even salt didn't really help. We had our best luck with steak & seafood options.  We eventually gave up on the pasta dishes and stuck with what we knew would be good.

 

Soup - soup is my favorite appetizer, with one exception being anything bean related. During our 11-days, I believe a different bean soup was served 10 of them. There are so many other options of soup, so this was confusing. That said, there were plenty of nice appetizers to choose from most of the time. I did ask if they were planning on French Onion Soup for one meal, and the answer was, "we will ensure you have it by tomorrow or the next day." That day never came.

 

In general - some of the food was outstanding or very good, most of the food was just okay or good with salt added, and some of it (mostly the pasta dishes,) was horrible.  

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The rest of the ship

 

Other food:

Buffet - this is the Walmart of the seas. It's crazy in there. People literally shove you out of the way so they can get to what they want, NOW. We refuse to behave like that so it was a never-ending lesson in patience. I grabbed a hamburger. The buns were right next to it. I walked to the buns (two steps) and got pushed away and three more people jumped ahead of me. This type of thing happened every time we went to the buffet. Madness. Outside of needing salt, most of the food in the buffet was as good as any other cruise line's buffet. (Except sauce; MSC has a policy against sauce. lol) We ate there a few times; mostly at breakfast.

 

I think "bland" is the perfect word to describe most of the food everywhere on the ship. Generally, it was not as good as Princess and NCL, but far superior to RCCL, where we actually lost weight because the food was so bad.

 

Sports bar

We found the sports bar food to be quite good and we ate there a few times. It's regular sports bar stuff, burgers, dogs, wings, etc. Two very odd things. The first time I ordered a hamburger, I asked for mustard and was told there was no mustard available in the sports bar. When I pointed out that the Chicago dog came with mustard, she appeared confused and disappeared until we left. The other odd thing is that salt was a mystery. Every time we got fries, we asked for salt, and they acted like it was the oddest request they'd ever heard. It always took awhile, but we always got a few salt packets, AKA fast food restaurant style.

 

Room service

The most uninspired room service menu we've seen at sea, but edible. One exception - we ordered breakfast sandwiches before an excursion, once. It was supposed to be an English muffin with ham, cheese & egg. (Basically an egg McMuffin.) It was not. It was some sort of congealed butter/powder sauce that looked like Hollandaise, but tasted like powder. Very odd and quite gross. We each ate one bite.

 

Spa

We had the spa included with our YC experience, and I had read it was a Thallasso therapy spa, so I assumed a pool was there. This is not a Thallasso spa; there is only a steam room and a sauna; nothing else. We didn’t use the spa at all.

 

Casino

The casino is smaller than most we've seen, but it's a lot of fun. The slots were looser than any we've experienced. We won a lot of big pots, but also lost a lot. By the end of the cruise, we were about even. We were able to spend a lot of time here, because the slots made it fun and didn't kill the wallet.

 

My husband did come out ahead on Blackjack. The dealers for these tables were good. Minimum table was $5, which is nice. One night, they had a $3 minimum option for a couple of hours.

 

Announcements that smoking was only for active players were frequent, but it didn't seem to have any impact. There was no real enforcement; almost every non player who was smoking completely ignored the announcement. All in all, though, the smoke wasn't too bad, and it was not really noticeable on the non smoking side.

 

AFC & NFC Championship games

This was odd. We've been on several cruises during the football playoffs and have never had an issue. The AFC game was available in our cabin and in the sports bar. In the sports bar, they wouldn't turn the sound up and they were playing Christmas music. (not a typo.) We watched that game in our cabin. They didn't show the NFC game; they showed tennis, instead. We were disappointed about that. Note that we did ask the concierge if we could have something in the YC for those games. The answer was no. This wasn’t a big deal – there are no tvs in the YC areas and we weren’t expecting it to happen.

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The other lounges

We found the other lounges in the public areas of the ship to be super crowded and noisy. We have always had luck finding quiet areas with an open bar on other ships, but outside of Topsail, these don't exist on Divina. We didn't get to spend much time in these at all.

 

The Black & White lounge was almost never available, as it was reserved for a jazz enthusiast group aboard. This may have been the reason the other lounges were always so crowded.

 

Decor

This ship is beautifully decorated and we loved walking around, taking it all in. One exception is what we dubbed, "That 70's Lounge." The decor was brown, orange and harvest gold, and looked like the kitchen I grew up with in the 70's. There's room for improvement, here.

 

Promenade

There are no views from the promenade, as they are all blocked with the lifeboats. That said, we walked along the promenade several times. The upside to no view is that there are also very few people, so there was an absence of rudeness out there and we could stroll at our leisure.

 

Upselling

Most cruises spend a lot of time trying to convince you to go to the spa, or buy jewelry, or whatever. Princess can generate a reem of paper per room in one 7-day cruise, due to all the promotional paper that comes to the room each day. This was not the case on MSC. There was very little paperwork, and what was provided, was valuable information. We loved this!

Once exception was for the steak restaurant. We were hounded, numerous times a day, to buy this. Once in the sports bar, they came by three times in less than 5 minutes to offer this upcharge restaurant to us. What MSC should learn is that other cruise lines don't have to work to sellout their upcharges. On NCL, if you don't reserve early, you don't have many options at all. We reviewed the menu at the steakhouse - the prices were insane. For a $33/person upcharge, you can get a piece of broiled chicken and a bowl of soup. Any steak you want is much more expensive. The meal I would have chosen would have been around $90 over the $33 base charge. There was no way we were going to pay that.

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Fellow passengers

This is our biggest complaint and there's not much MSC can do about it, except discourage it. Passenger rudeness was the single biggest point of pain on the cruise. Everything else is a distant second, including food quality. Passengers push, shove, invade personal space, line jump and do whatever it takes to ensure they get theirs. I was often shoved to the corner of the elevator, even though there was plenty of room in the elevator for everyone to have breathing room. We were actively prevented from getting on and off the elevator a few times, and several times, people pushed me out of the way to get to the cashier, or bartender, or whoever, before me. The international clientele/multiple languages did not bother us; only the rudeness.

 

The Staff

I read many complaints in reviews about staff rudeness, but that was not our experience, at all. In fact, the one super bright spot in the buffet area was the staff helpfulness. They are always quick to ask if you need anything, and if you want a soda or a beer, it’s just moments away, unlike other cruise lines where you may finish your meal before they ever show up with your soda. The staff on the Divina are fantastic people. We didn’t run into any staff rudeness at all, so I’m not sure what other people are experiencing. At the bars, even if they are rushed, the staff don’t act like it.

 

It’s noticeable everywhere. In the shops, they don’t hover and try to explain why this particular piece of jewelry is a fantastic deal, or shove a piece of paper at your face about a silly scavenger hunt or a massage offer. There’s none of that, except for the specialty restaurants.

 

The staff of Divina are a great selling point. One exception would be the sports bar, where the staff seemed confused all the time. Still nice, but confused about what the offerings in the sports bar actually are.

 

Shows

We didn’t see any shows. We went into the theater on the Queen tribute night, but they were singing a Frankie Valli song. On another night we stopped by, but it was a comedian in a language we don’t speak. On another night, it was some sort of Latin dancing, which didn’t intrigue us, either. One thing I wish the daily planner included was a description of the shows. The titles are pretty vague and usually didn’t give any indication of what type of show to expect. We stopped by a few times but never saw anything that compelled us to sit down.

 

Medical

We’ve never needed to use a ship’s medical center before, so when my husband’s gout flared up, we were nervous about the cost. We went anyway; that’s how bad his foot hurt.

 

What a great experience! The doctor spent about 20 minutes with us, going through what was wrong and a resolution. He agreed that a steroid shot would get the job done, and it did. Our total cost for the medical center was $150. If we’d have been at home and needed MD Now, or some other quick clinic, it would have been much, much more than that.

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Ocean Cay

We were escorted off the ship to the YC waiting area on Ocean Cay. We waited quite some time for a tram, so many of us just got up and walked. By the time we reached the YC part of the island, two regular trams had gone by, but no YC trams.

 

It was extremely windy and pretty cold, so while sitting outside we wished we had brought our sweaters. (That’s on us, but we didn’t know all the restaurant seats were outside.) They brought us our beers, and they were warm.

 

The ceviche appetizer was really good, though it needed salt and there was none to be found. We ordered the skirt steak and waited a very long time for it. When they brought it, it was ice cold, like it had come right from the fridge. It was seasoned well, but again, could have used some salt.

 

When we left the restaurant to wait for the return tram, we noticed that all the food was cooked in food trucks across the path; this is why all the food was cold. They should get some cloches, so that food can stay (at least,) warm between the truck and the table.

 

The wait for the return tram was long, so I waited in line for the bathroom. I jumped out of line to catch the arriving tram, which dropped people off and left without taking on any new passengers. I got back in line for the restroom. We ended up walking back to the ship, so we never got to use the tram service.

 

Note there is only one real bathroom in the YC area, but they have installed three additional outhouses, which are very nice. I didn’t know they were there, though, so I was standing in line for what I thought was the only available bathroom.

 

We heard from other YC passengers that this was unusual, and that their previous experience at OC was wonderful. We believed them. They are still working out the kinks.

 

The island itself is really laid out well, and once the landscaping grows in, it will be really beautiful.

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Overall impression

This was a fun cruise, despite the complaints. Once we got accustomed to passenger rudeness, we sort of just disappeared into our own bubble. Not having to converse with strangers due to a language barrier was not necessarily a downside. We were into each other and that was nice. We had a lot of much needed alone time, away from the stress of our everyday lives. There are a lot of places to go and see and we spent a lot of time on our balcony watching the sea go by. (This is always our favorite part of any ship.) Will we sail MSC again? I think if we hadn’t been in YC, the answer would be a firm no, because the food quality in Le Muse is supposed to be superior to the offerings in the other dining rooms, so I can’t imagine the quality in those dining rooms. Also, if there were no way to escape from the madness/rudeness, it would have proved to be a completely different cruise. So, we may try the Seaside at some point, but only if the price is right and if we can be in the YC.

 

 

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Wow...this is one of the best, if not *the* best reviews I've read. Thanks so much for writing it. I'll be on Divina in YC on Friday so was very interested in what you had to say.

 

I'm glad you didn't let the problems ruin your vacation - many people would not be able to get over that.

 

I've experienced the stuff with the butlers before (on Seaside). I had to be very firm and just stand my ground to get them to not "wait" on me. That is really my only complaint about the YC...sometimes the butlers do too much. But that is such a minor and (really) silly complaint it isn't worth dwelling on.

 

After sailing the Seaside we liked it so much, we booked 4 MSC cruises for this year - and I don't even really like to cruise 🙂 But sailing on MSC is different to me.

 

Hopefully you'll try MSC again.

 

Kevin

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Thanks for the review.  So sorry you had less than a perfect experience with your butler.  We've been so lucky on each YC cruise to have had incredible service from all of our butlers and their assistants.  Can't believe they asked you to let them clean the room while you were in the middle of unpacking--that should never have happened.

 

I'll agree with you about muster drills on MSC.  I'd hate for there to ever be a real emergency--no one would know what to do.  This has been the case on all 3 MSC ships we've sailed, but Meraviglia was a little better.  Where did you have to go for your muster station?  Also, what cabin were you in?  

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2 hours ago, alyssamma said:

 I'm glad you didn't let the problems ruin your vacation - many people would not be able to get over that. 

When I read some of the things that ruin people's cruises, I just have to laugh. Anyone going into "anything" looking for it to be perfect is bound to be seriously disappointed. We always go in to anything expecting that some human along the way is going to be human and make a mistake.

 

We've never had the perfect cruise, and yet, they all end up being perfect in our memories. It's not what's offered, it's what's received that is important.

 

How lucky are we that we have the time and resources to go on a cruise so we can complain about some annoyances on a cruise? First world problems, indeed.

 

1 hour ago, EMc&DrS said:

Thanks for the review.  So sorry you had less than a perfect experience with your butler.  We've been so lucky on each YC cruise to have had incredible service from all of our butlers and their assistants.  Can't believe they asked you to let them clean the room while you were in the middle of unpacking--that should never have happened. 

That was probably the biggest turn off - I was quite appalled and I think our butler knew that. Since it was day 1, I didn't want to be on edge with our butler, so we just complied. It all washed away by day 2, and I only remembered it when I reviewed my notes to write the review. It will probably all be forgotten again once this thread drifts into CC history. Remember the good and leave the bad behind, knowing something else that's sub optimal will come along soon to annoy. 🙂

 

 

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19 minutes ago, bespin said:

Thanks so much for this detailed review! We’ll be on the Divina in March (our first MSC experience), and this is all welcome information.

I would love for you to post your thoughts and let me know so I can compare. We all experience things so differently. Have fun!

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2 hours ago, EMc&DrS said:

  Where did you have to go for your muster station?  Also, what cabin were you in?  

La Luna Bar. 15007 - a few steps away from that wonderful Topsail entry door. Fantastic location - we never heard a thing.

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Great review...we sailed 1/12 to 1/17.

 

We did NOT sail YC...we were in an aft facing balcony. I totally agree with the muster chaos. Never experienced the like before...totally nuts.

 

We used the sauna and steam rooms and loved them. We brought product with us and had fun in the rooms which most people must pass on because we were usually the only ones in the room we were in or, at most, there would be 1-2 other people. I saw a sign on a door or two saying Thalassotherapy...so thinking that there might have been a bath or something that was extra $$.

 

We ended up in the Black Crab dining room. We really relied on our server for what to order. He was usually somewhat embarrassed to serve the food. He said that the chef staff was newer on the ship and working at figuring out the food prep. He said that the previous group had included chefs from Honduras who really knew how to prepare some of the dishes (Caribbean night for instance, IIRC) and he said that the diners sent so much food back because it was too spicy hot...the servers were steering the diners clear of those items and he said that the crew ate REALLY well that night because they were able to eat their food cooked properly. Our server was from St Vincent.

 

So yes, some of the food was really bland. Excellent for one soup that was SO SALTY...it was supposed to be a Lobster Bisque but it was brothy and not bisque-y at all...I couldn't' eat it and I wasn't the only one.

 

Mom experienced the same bumping and lack of respect for personal space, especially at the buffet. Weird but I didn't experience it at all. My thoughts were that you really needed to maintain some distance on the buffet unless you really knew what you wanted. You couldn't just dilly dally and hem and haw...if you were trying to make up your mind...stand a person's distance from the food. Queues don't exist...just jump in and get what you want. 

 

Too bad about the Black and White lounge...that was the hot spot on our cruise with events in there every night. 

 

The music in all the bars was extremely loud...we felt the same way...couldn't really hang out and have a conversation. When we were involved in the dancing...this wasn't bothersome. And there was some GREAT dancing on Divina!

 

Yes...EXCELLENT staff.

 

I enjoyed the decor...but often I felt the ship was just SO SHINY...OMG...the mirrors ALL OVER...the bright lights everywhere...there were times when we had to literally put our hands forward to make sure we weren't headed into a mirror.

 

I don't think I would ever choose to do YC because IIRC it is forward on the ship? I'm banned from booking any more forward cabins...DH has motion sickness issues. We stayed in an aft facing balcony and really enjoyed the wake and the larger balconies back there. That was our refuge when we needed to escape the hustle and bustle of the ship. I would totally sail Divina again.

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41 minutes ago, Anita Latte said:

Great review...we sailed 1/12 to 1/17.

 

We did NOT sail YC...we were in an aft facing balcony. I totally agree with the muster chaos. Never experienced the like before...totally nuts.

 

We used the sauna and steam rooms and loved them. We brought product with us and had fun in the rooms which most people must pass on because we were usually the only ones in the room we were in or, at most, there would be 1-2 other people. I saw a sign on a door or two saying Thalassotherapy...so thinking that there might have been a bath or something that was extra $$.

 

We ended up in the Black Crab dining room. We really relied on our server for what to order. He was usually somewhat embarrassed to serve the food. He said that the chef staff was newer on the ship and working at figuring out the food prep. He said that the previous group had included chefs from Honduras who really knew how to prepare some of the dishes (Caribbean night for instance, IIRC) and he said that the diners sent so much food back because it was too spicy hot...the servers were steering the diners clear of those items and he said that the crew ate REALLY well that night because they were able to eat their food cooked properly. Our server was from St Vincent.

 

So yes, some of the food was really bland. Excellent for one soup that was SO SALTY...it was supposed to be a Lobster Bisque but it was brothy and not bisque-y at all...I couldn't' eat it and I wasn't the only one.

 

Mom experienced the same bumping and lack of respect for personal space, especially at the buffet. Weird but I didn't experience it at all. My thoughts were that you really needed to maintain some distance on the buffet unless you really knew what you wanted. You couldn't just dilly dally and hem and haw...if you were trying to make up your mind...stand a person's distance from the food. Queues don't exist...just jump in and get what you want. 

 

Too bad about the Black and White lounge...that was the hot spot on our cruise with events in there every night. 

 

The music in all the bars was extremely loud...we felt the same way...couldn't really hang out and have a conversation. When we were involved in the dancing...this wasn't bothersome. And there was some GREAT dancing on Divina!

 

Yes...EXCELLENT staff.

 

I enjoyed the decor...but often I felt the ship was just SO SHINY...OMG...the mirrors ALL OVER...the bright lights everywhere...there were times when we had to literally put our hands forward to make sure we weren't headed into a mirror.

 

I don't think I would ever choose to do YC because IIRC it is forward on the ship? I'm banned from booking any more forward cabins...DH has motion sickness issues. We stayed in an aft facing balcony and really enjoyed the wake and the larger balconies back there. That was our refuge when we needed to escape the hustle and bustle of the ship. I would totally sail Divina again.

High up and forward on a ship does get the most movement. People who prefer a smooth(er) ride want to be as close to midship as possible, on the lowest deck.

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11 hours ago, Kmkub said:

La Luna Bar. 15007 - a few steps away from that wonderful Topsail entry door. Fantastic location - we never heard a thing.

 

I have that same cabin reserved for a solo Divina YC cruise next March.  Hopefully the butlers turn over by then, but like you, I can't imagine it being more than a minor issue.  Very glad to hear that the location is good!

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11 hours ago, Anita Latte said:

 

 

I don't think I would ever choose to do YC because IIRC it is forward on the ship? I'm banned from booking any more forward cabins...DH has motion sickness issues. We stayed in an aft facing balcony and really enjoyed the wake and the larger balconies back there. That was our refuge when we needed to escape the hustle and bustle of the ship. I would totally sail Divina again.

I'm surprised he's bothered by fore and not aft. To me, they are approximately the same, though fore is a bit "worse." We love both, because the extra rocking is comforting and makes it easier for us to sleep. We also  prefer aft because of the wake off of our balcony, and anywhere else but MSC YC, that is where we park ourselves.

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11 hours ago, Anita Latte said:

I enjoyed the decor...but often I felt the ship was just SO SHINY...OMG...the mirrors ALL OVER...the bright lights everywhere...there were times when we had to literally put our hands forward to make sure we weren't headed into a mirror.

 

 

This comment was really funny.  Except now I'm going to be paranoid and walk around the ship waving my hands in front of me. 😄

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We also just got off the January 17-28th sailing of the Divina and we couldn't agree more for most of the review.  We were a lowly inside cabin but got good enough service from our room steward.  We met several incredibly friendly crew members around the ship who absolutely loved our kids and gave them free gelato on a few occasions.  We made fast friends with several waiters/waitresses and they always made time for us.  As friendly as the staff was, the passengers were the opposite.  We met rudeness at every turn but we took it as cultural differences instead of people being openly hostile, once we adjusted to that we were good to go.

 

We found the deserts to be really poor in the Black Crab but all of the entrees and appetizers were from average to good (more dishes were on the average side, the prime rib was really good however).  We thought the buffet was tasty enough as far as buffets go but we found it was arranged strangely and thought that the ship as-a-whole suffered from not having a grill at the pool, forcing everyone to dine inside at the buffet making it shockingly busy at prime-time eating hours.  We still ate at the Black Crab every night since it was one of the main times that our party of 8 could all get together and discuss the day.

 

The other thing we noticed was that at certain times the ship felt "dead" for lack of a better word.  It felt like the ship was just mildly under-staffed making many of the lounges and bars empty spaces where there were neither performances or an open bar to bring people in.   Like the buffet problem above, this means that when there was performances (the ABBA performance in the atrium comes to mind) that everyone was crowded into one space instead of spread around the ship at different activities.  All that meant is that we had to make our own fun if there wasn't something appealing going on which was fine, we were happy to get "a fancy coffee drink" and chat.

 

As for the entertainment, we found the shows were good except they were quite short (compared to NCL) and the attempt to appeal to a wide-range of languages meant you either spent the show not understanding what was being said at all or waiting for constant translations (comedian/ventriloquist comes to mind).  Again: we still went to the show practically every night and enjoyed it for the most part.  

 

We will absolutely cruise the Divina again and next time we will enjoy it even more considering we will know exactly what to expect.  We are normally NCL cruisers and for the price difference I think MSC is a no-brainer.

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56 minutes ago, CruisinCrow said:

I keep reading reviews where the luggage doesn't show up until after dinner.  Is that normal on Divina?  We've been on many cruises and have always gotten our luggage before sailaway and definitely before dinner.

This was our 10th cruise and it's the latest we've ever gotten our luggage. It was waiting for us when we got back from dinner around 7:15, so I don't really know what time it arrived. (After 5:45.)

 

Many people had their luggage way sooner. I did hear a report that it was so windy, that they were prevented from bringing more on board, but I don't know enough to explain why wind hinders luggage movement. 

 

The beginning of this cruise was insanely windy - we experienced 50~ish knots for the first few days.

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