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The Divina Disaster and Disappointment


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Just finishing an 11 day cruise, my first ever.  Completely underwhelmed and its put me off cruising altogether.  Meant to sail to Curacao, Aruba, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios then Ocean Quay.

Ocho Rios cancelled, went to Cozumel, Grand Cayman changed to half a day, so two excursions had to be cancelled, then today, because of the weather, Ocean Quay cancelled, so back off to Miami.  

Not impressed to say the least!

 

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13 minutes ago, Nerjagirl said:

Just finishing an 11 day cruise, my first ever.  Completely underwhelmed and its put me off cruising altogether.  Meant to sail to Curacao, Aruba, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios then Ocean Quay.

Ocho Rios cancelled, went to Cozumel, Grand Cayman changed to half a day, so two excursions had to be cancelled, then today, because of the weather, Ocean Quay cancelled, so back off to Miami.  

Not impressed to say the least!

 

 

So somehow mother nature has ruined cruising for you?  Because MSC, or any cruise company, surely has some control over the weather 👌

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Sorry to hear of the disappointments you experienced. An 11 days cruise is pretty long for a first voyage. This darn Corona virus has everything messed up. Don't give up on cruising. My wife and I love it. 30 cruises and counting. The best thing we like is once you park your bags you settle into a slow relaxed routine. Not always reaching for your wallet, not wondering where will we eat and how do we get there. Give yourself time heal and forget, then give it another try. We cruised Tahiti and that trip is etched in our fondest memories. Regards, Jim

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Sorry to hear that you had a bad experience. I'm fairly new to cruising myself and really just found the experience of being literally away from it all in the middle of the ocean to be relaxing. No stress once your on the ship since everything is there for you. Food, accommodations, entertainment, etc. all provided. But, sorry to hear about your ports, but if you got to Aruba and Curacao then those are the highlights of that itinerary. You can book a ton of different cruises to hit Jamaica and Ocean Cay. Don't give up just yet! 

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4 hours ago, Nerjagirl said:

Just finishing an 11 day cruise, my first ever.  Completely underwhelmed and its put me off cruising altogether.  Meant to sail to Curacao, Aruba, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios then Ocean Quay.

Ocho Rios cancelled, went to Cozumel, Grand Cayman changed to half a day, so two excursions had to be cancelled, then today, because of the weather, Ocean Quay cancelled, so back off to Miami.  

Not impressed to say the least!

 

 

If you are looking for certainty in the experience then cruising isn't for you.  Things happen at sea.

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Cruising isn't for everyone and a lot of people don't realize that when you cruise, the ports aren't guaranteed.  Things can happen like bad weather or an engine problem that slows the ship down.  In your case, you had the bad luck to cruise when the coronavirus started taking off outside of China so Jamaica refused your ship.

 

Personally, my husband and I prefer land vacations over cruises.  Fewer people, more space to spread out.  But there are many aspects to cruising that we do enjoy.  Maybe you'll give cruising another chance or maybe you won't.  If you do, I hope you have a better experience next time!  And as someone else mentioned, you might want to try a shorter cruise. 🙂

 

Edit: Just wanted to add that your cruise does sound disappointing but not a disaster.  I'd save disaster for the poor people on the Princess ship who are now facing a quarantine or worse, are seriously ill.

Edited by CruisinCrow
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On the same cruise and loving it.  MSC scrambled to add Cozumel as a replacement for Ocho Rios - Adding Cozumel meant a shorter time in Cayman Island due to length of travel time. Blame Jamaica not MSC.  
 

And weather solely responsible for missing Ocean Cay.  So enjoy the lovely sea day - make the most rather than the worst of it!

 

this is a common “hazard” of cruising. If you can’t roll with it, probably not the right vacation for you. 

Edited by TrinaLC
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Hi folks.  I know, I over reacted this morning,  and I am well aware that people are in a worse situation than me.  Just really disappointed that our of 5 destinations we could only enjoy 2 original and 1 new one.  I paid for Mum and Dad too and just wanted it to be perfect for them, and Beardface...Have you actually been to these places?  IMHO Curacao was a bit of a dump, and was underwhelmed with Cozumel, as where a lot of my fellow cruisers who had visited here before.

A lot of people stayed on the ship.  The town was like Blackpool with a bit of sun.  Full of tat.  When we got off the ship, we had a mile to walk, or you could take a bike with 2 seats on the back. 

Then when you got out of the port, you had to walk nearly in a semi circle past a load of shops in a mall. 

When we wanted to board the ship at the end, they wouldnt let us in before we had to go back round the shopping centre in the semi circle to get back on the ship.  Mum cant walk very far and found it really hard. 

Cruisers and people who cant walk very far, I hope this info is useful.  Rant over!

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Potsie57.  Yes.  Loved the ship.  We stayed in the Yacht Club, which has spoiled me for anything else now.  We found the food in the YC dining room superb, and the food on deck 18 and Top Sail bar lovely, but after speaking to other Cruisers, they said the Maraviglia is far far better food, and the Divina is poor in comparison, and that the Divina is a much older ship, and another thing Mum found difficult was the YC Dining Room was on Deck 15, so you had to either go down to deck 7 walk right across the ship, then go back up in the lift, or walk down or lift to Deck 15, walk outside right across to the other side of the ship, then go back in.  Apparently, the Meraviglia and the Seaside are all together

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8 minutes ago, Nerjagirl said:

Hi folks.  I know, I over reacted this morning,  and I am well aware that people are in a worse situation than me.  Just really disappointed that our of 5 destinations we could only enjoy 2 original and 1 new one.  I paid for Mum and Dad too and just wanted it to be perfect for them, and Beardface...Have you actually been to these places?  IMHO Curacao was a bit of a dump, and was underwhelmed with Cozumel, as where a lot of my fellow cruisers who had visited here before.

 

 

I get that.  It is disappointing when you've looked forward to something a long time and spent a lot of money and it doesn't come out the way you expected.  I think we are more critical too when we take other people with us because then we feel responsible for their enjoyment.  

 

It doesn't sound like you've spent much time in the Caribbean.  My experience is that you have to get away from the port areas to really experience the countries.  I know that's harder to do when you end up in an unscheduled port or if you're with people who have mobility issues.  

 

I'm sure your parents were just happy to have the time with you.

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8 minutes ago, Nerjagirl said:

 Beardface...Have you actually been to these places?  IMHO Curacao was a bit of a dump, and was underwhelmed with Cozumel, as where a lot of my fellow cruisers who had visited here before.

 

I just got off the Seaside on Saturday where our itinerary was Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Ocean Cay

 

Ocho Rios was a wash because all excursions were canceled after they delayed our disembarkation 6 hours. (also why MSC pulled the plug on your sailing causing you to miss out... we were inconvenienced so you wouldn't have to be).  Without an excursion booked, that port is fairly worthless, and there are too many cases of taxi drivers scamming you and taking you to the wrong place to trust anyone who isn't booked through the cruise line.

 

Cozumel and Grand Cayman were wonderful ports.  Weather was beautiful and the excursions were great.

 

Ocean Cay was nice, but the weather didn't exactly cooperate.  Rained on us while we were on the island, and a line of storms came through that cut our stop short (all aboard at around 3), so we missed all the evening activities that the island is built for.

 

So the only difference between your trip now and mine last week was Curacao and Aruba for you, and a wasted port of Ocho Rios and a trip that weather cut short to Ocean Cay.  Believe me, your alterations were nothing worth claiming "disaster" over.

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7 hours ago, Nerjagirl said:

Just finishing an 11 day cruise, my first ever.  Completely underwhelmed and its put me off cruising altogether.  Meant to sail to Curacao, Aruba, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios then Ocean Quay.

Ocho Rios cancelled, went to Cozumel, Grand Cayman changed to half a day, so two excursions had to be cancelled, then today, because of the weather, Ocean Quay cancelled, so back off to Miami.  

Not impressed to say the least!

 

I feel your pain my friend. I had similar situation back in 2014 when we traveled to Egypt. I dont remember the exact situation (it was connected with a revolution) but we were stuck in the hotel and all our tours were canceled. We could not leave the hotel and had to stay inside and enjoy the beach by the hotel. And the worst thing was that we were not refunded cause all the tours were prepaid and there is no such a thing in Egypt as a refund lol. In any case we enjoyed ourselves even in those conditions.. even though it was kinda boring and we didnt see the Pyramids for which we actually did travel to Egypt. In any case hope your next tour will be better and you wont suffer bad weather and other stuff. Good luck my friend 

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Essiemom.  Aruba was amazing.  Booked a 5* Hotel for the day.  Best one of all the trip.  Booked a beach club in Curacao.  Very nice, but didnt care for the place itself.

Beardface.  I want to sincerely apologise.  I completely over reacted, and just wanted it to be perfect for Mum and Dad.  They cancelled Ocho Rios because of the problems you had had and 2 other ships, and didnt want to spend 6 hrs only to be turned away. I'd booked a beach club at Grand Cayman, but had to be back on ship for 2pm sailing instead of 6pm.  Mum and Dad are in their 80's now, and it felt like disaster to me this morning because of them.  Once again, my apologies.  Really recommend the Yacht Club though.  That's been fantastic.  Off to check the Meraviglia out....after this virus calms down

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8 hours ago, Nerjagirl said:

Just finishing an 11 day cruise, my first ever.  Completely underwhelmed and its put me off cruising altogether.  Meant to sail to Curacao, Aruba, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios then Ocean Quay.

Ocho Rios cancelled, went to Cozumel, Grand Cayman changed to half a day, so two excursions had to be cancelled, then today, because of the weather, Ocean Quay cancelled, so back off to Miami.  

Not impressed to say the least!

 

Were you offered OBC and partial refund for missing ports?

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54 minutes ago, Nerjagirl said:

Potsie57.  Yes.  Loved the ship.  We stayed in the Yacht Club, which has spoiled me for anything else now.  We found the food in the YC dining room superb, and the food on deck 18 and Top Sail bar lovely, but after speaking to other Cruisers, they said the Maraviglia is far far better food, and the Divina is poor in comparison, and that the Divina is a much older ship, and another thing Mum found difficult was the YC Dining Room was on Deck 15, so you had to either go down to deck 7 walk right across the ship, then go back up in the lift, or walk down or lift to Deck 15, walk outside right across to the other side of the ship, then go back in.  Apparently, the Meraviglia and the Seaside are all together

 

Why do you think that Meraviglia has better food? Other cruisers opinions may differ from your and the difference in food is probably more from cruise to cruise than a difference between ships. I don't know this for sure but assume that the menu is the same, or at least almost the same, on every MSC ship cruising in the same region.

 

I agree with you that the YC dining room has a better location on Meraviglia than on Divina but you should have researched that before  you booked the cruise.

 

We prefer the newer ships and have a cruise booked on Seashore but if Divina is the ship doing longer cruises in the Caribbean when we shall cruise there next time we prefer that over a short, one week, cruise on a newer ship.

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8 hours ago, Nerjagirl said:

Just finishing an 11 day cruise, my first ever.  Completely underwhelmed and its put me off cruising altogether.  Meant to sail to Curacao, Aruba, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios then Ocean Quay.

Ocho Rios cancelled, went to Cozumel, Grand Cayman changed to half a day, so two excursions had to be cancelled, then today, because of the weather, Ocean Quay cancelled, so back off to Miami.  

Not impressed to say the least!

 

Did you make it to Aruba and Curacao?    They are beautiful islands and usually have perfect weather.

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37 minutes ago, sfaaa said:

Were you offered OBC and partial refund for missing ports?

I think MSC has only been refunding the port fees/taxes for missed ports to US and Canadian bookings. Even then you might have to ask for them.

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1 hour ago, Nerjagirl said:

Potsie57.  Yes.  Loved the ship.  We stayed in the Yacht Club, which has spoiled me for anything else now.  We found the food in the YC dining room superb, and the food on deck 18 and Top Sail bar lovely, but after speaking to other Cruisers, they said the Maraviglia is far far better food, and the Divina is poor in comparison, and that the Divina is a much older ship, and another thing Mum found difficult was the YC Dining Room was on Deck 15, so you had to either go down to deck 7 walk right across the ship, then go back up in the lift, or walk down or lift to Deck 15, walk outside right across to the other side of the ship, then go back in.  Apparently, the Meraviglia and the Seaside are all together

 

I've been in yacht club on both the Meraviglia and Divina, and for me Divina was superior in every respect except for the dining room being aft when everything else was forward.  I'm hoping that when we are on Seaside in November they will combine the food and service we experienced on Divina with the vastly more convenient dining room location.

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Nirjagirl, my opinion as an experienced cruiser:

 

16 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

I agree with you that the YC dining room has a better location on Meraviglia than on Divina but you should have researched that before  you booked the cruise.

 

You unintentionally made an error that frequently is made by first time cruisers.  You did not thoroughly study the ship's deck plans prior to booking.  Since your Mum has walking issues (as do I now have), considering the distances from where your family needed to go from YC to other areas of the ship that needed to be accessed ought to have been a consideration.  Until one cruises, I guess, this is an issue that seems to be rarely considered by many.  

 

1 hour ago, Nerjagirl said:

I paid for Mum and Dad too and just wanted it to be perfect for them

 

I understand.  I did the same thing for my Mother.   It was her first cruise (a Hawaiian cruise RT from Los Angeles including First Class air (her first flights) to Los Angeles).  Our experience went as planned.  Really, I am sorry that your plans did not work as well as you hoped.

 

6 hours ago, Reds4life said:

I'm fairly new to cruising myself and really just found the experience of being literally away from it all in the middle of the ocean to be relaxing. No stress once your on the ship since everything is there for you. Food, accommodations, entertainment, etc. all provided.

  

These reasons are why I value the cruise experience.  Just to be out in the middle of the ocean and view the night time sky in all its glory:  thank God for his handiwork and that I am able to enjoy it!

 

1 hour ago, Nerjagirl said:

IMHO Curacao was a bit of a dump, and was underwhelmed with Cozumel

 

Disagree with your opinion of Curacao, but entirely agree with your reporting about Cozumel.  Cozumel was a one time visit and once was enough.  (Those who enjoy beach time, however, usually enjoy it.)  Curacao, I have always thought has its own different "Dutch" charm in comparison to Bonaire and Aruba.  Maybe the Market in Curacao was not operating when you were there.  I find it interesting to browse and interact with the vendors.

It is too bad that your visit to Ocean Cay could not happen.  Your MSC cruise is not the first that has had that problem due to wind/sea conditions.  Ocean Cay is literally a "work in progress".  What is already in place is very good and its promise for the future is good, I think.

 

I was a first time YC guest on Meraviglia in January.  Service, cuisine in the YC dining facilities, the Pizza in the area near the mid-ship pool:  no complaints.  The ship's entertainment that I attended and the live music available throughout the ship:  I was pleased.

 

Don't give up on cruising.  It sounds like you experienced some positives.  Allow what you have learned to guide you for your next cruise experience.  

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