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18 Night Mediterranean Cruise from Miami

18 Night Mediterranean Cruise from Miami

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MSC Divina
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Miami
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    New York (Manhattan)
  • Day 5
    New York (Manhattan)
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 7
    King's Wharf
  • Day 8
    King's Wharf
  • Day 9
    Cruising
  • Day 10
    Cruising
  • Day 11
    Cruising
  • Day 12
    Cruising
  • Day 13
    Ponta Delgada
  • Day 14
    Cruising
  • Day 15
    Lisbon
  • Day 16
    Cruising
  • Day 17
    Valencia
  • Day 18
    Marseille
  • Day 19
    Genoa

MSC Divina

MSC Divina - MSC Cruises

Pros

Excellent entertainment options and fun that lasts late into the night

Cons

Not much dining variety, compared to other mainstream cruise lines

Bottom Line

Family-friendly fares and Italian touches make Divina a good choice


Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: April 2019
Chosen as first family cruise experience, departure dates and location fit with school holidays. Embarked & disembarked Valencia, Itinerary (Valencia, Marseille, Genoa, Civitavecchia, Palermo, Cagliari, Palma, Valencia.) Aurea Spa ... Read More
Chosen as first family cruise experience, departure dates and location fit with school holidays. Embarked & disembarked Valencia, Itinerary (Valencia, Marseille, Genoa, Civitavecchia, Palermo, Cagliari, Palma, Valencia.) Aurea Spa experience package with Premium Drinks package upgrade. Deck 10 Forward Suite with Panoramic window. PRE-BOARDING As others have noted MSC Website coded by a ten-year-old, post booking was impossible to complete web check-in as site rejects valid date and address formats. NB Even once given over phone to customer support, you will randomly change sex or your passport details will again disappear! Different customer support telephone operators will give you different excuses and explanations. One stated each passenger had to have different emergency contact details! (not true) In total, Travel booker and MSC regenerated booking confirmation over a dozen times. Four days before embarkation still no e-tickets; took travel booker an hour on the phone to ensure these were indeed generated and dispatched. EMBARKATION We flew into Valencia day before, stayed on land overnight and took sometime time to see Valencia. Taxi to Ferry Terminal for embarkation at scheduled timeslot. (Driver was unsure where MSC cruise embarked, but this was correct, MSC tent and flags outside) No queue at priority check-in, quick check of e-tickets, luggage handed over, upstairs for Orange juice and water, check of travel documents, through security, on to transfer bus to ship, board ship, photos for security, wristband for youngest child, staff upsell of drinks package not required, upwards to cabin, cruise cards ready on table. Went for quick familiarisation stroll of the ship, after second drinks purchase, it became apparent that card code didn't have the upgrade and extras in room were also missing. Visit to reception recoded the card and room extras appeared the next morning. Whilst at reception pre-authorised credit card on the terminal and opted out of the daily service charge option. (Our preference was to tip steward and waiter directly). DINING Had 'My Choice' dining in Black Crab rather than first or second sitting; chose to reserve for 8pm each night which gave enough time to finish and stroll to 9:45 show. NB Without reserving you may well have to queue or be told to come back later. (On In port night, was one show and anytime dining for all) Menus choices were excellent; even youngest preferred it to set kids’ menu options. Portions were sensible European size. Typically, two vegetarian starters and mains, soup, meat, fish, fruit, cheese and desserts; emphasis on Mediterranean cuisine and sea food; bread, side veg and simple grilled chicken or fish if nothing else takes your fancy. (Main buffet is self-serve for food with simpler fare) Wines by the glass in restaurants; didn't get to see the bottle, so never quite certain whether it was what was requested. Sometime waiters presumed we were on easy house wine package which is best avoided, (‘premium’ wines were acceptable and grapes recognisable, but not outstanding.) Wine and beer selection in La Cantina differs from restaurants and other bars and was noticeable better. Formal night, white night, floral night, dress how you like, didn't notice anyone unsuitably attired for restaurant vs. buffet. HINT: Black Crab has breakfast and lunch menus in addition to buffet and is quieter than the rear buffet. Piazza has early continental breakfast and all-day cakes & sandwiches, although they were quite dry. Tasty fancy coffees in Piazza, Cafeteria coffee in bars and buffet. Sports bar serves food from 2pm till late for anyone who skipped lunch or dinner. Boys liked Hot dogs, burgers, onion rings and fries;( freshly made and noticeable better than buffet premade ones. Although fries pre-salted.) ‘Eataly’ chargeable restaurant was closed couple of days into cruise, as being refitted as Butchers Cut. We weren't advised in advance, but weren't bothered as stuck to our prepaid package options. ENTERTAINMENT We took in the show every night; enjoyable mix of song, dance and acrobatics. Particularly enjoyed Queen and Tina Turner tributes. Principal dancers were excellent, Lead singers good, some of the backing dancers less skilled. Invited dance schools also put on performances. On Sunny days, we took advantage of 'Top 18' deck once found! Much calmer than the main pool area, although no waitress service and nearest toilet at Aft bar and pool. Rattan beds are extra charge. NB 'Top 18' is not adults only, although 'Garden Pool' is. All pools are seawater and take a while to warm up during the day, even the indoor one. Jacuzzis are hot and popular on chillier days, decks get hot in sun so bring along some footwear; avoid the Smokers corner on deck 14 and near Casino on deck 6. Check out Black and White lounge for evening pre-show dance lessons and post show fun if you have the time and energy. Other bars have mix of jazz, Latin, piano and guitar live performers, with particular emphasis each evening. i.e. Beatles / Abba/ 60s. Gym open from early to late, only busy in afternoon pre-dinner. Extensive range of fixed weight machines plus free weights, half a dozen treadmills and fixed bikes, stretching area. All in working order. Towels and water available. TIP: Running on lifeboat decks better option than deck 15 which has too many sunbeds and other obstacles. Our package included Spa access and a massage; eldest son could use gym and spa, but not under 12. For us and other European couples having separate saunas and steams for sexes was unexpected, particularly since swimwear is mandatory, so we mostly ignored it and mingled. Massage treatments were competently delivered and at the pressure requested, although if not included in your package, overpriced; look for daily promotion discounts. NEG: Drinks in Spa bar not covered by Premium drinks package. SERVICE Room was cleaned every day and beds made up every evening whilst at dinner. Choice of pillows available. We were all comfortable on the mattresses and pillows provided. Aircon kept a consistent temperature without disturbing sleep. Especially impressed with lack of noise from adjacent cabins, bathrooms or corridor. Far superior to many hotels. Entry and exit for onboard and embarking / disembarking passengers was well managed. Only queued onetime when arrived at same time as excursion returned. DOWNERS Safety drill announcements hard to avoid and daily; need ear plugs, plus bar service reduced during drills as staff involved. Couldn't control temperature / humidity in Sauna or turn off music. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise for a great deal and because the ship looked great. We were keen to find another cruise line to widen our options. Sadly, this was not to be. Firstly, there is a long list... only 5 people checking in about 300 ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a great deal and because the ship looked great. We were keen to find another cruise line to widen our options. Sadly, this was not to be. Firstly, there is a long list... only 5 people checking in about 300 people between 330pm and 430pm at the port of Civitavecchia - rude staff and it took forever. We were so late on board (520pm not 430pm) we had to go straight to our room for our life jackets (yes really!) and go to our muster point. Staff talked to themselves and ignored the cruisers. They were hopeless. We were there almost an hour -gasping for a drink and totally fed up after 2 long waits. Eventually we got to our cabins - highlight - cabins are lovely and very clean. Then we tried to sort out our dinner reservation having found out that MSC had changed our 830pm to 930pm - far too late to eat. We had no luck so ate at the buffet - this was ok but no better. Alot of pizza and pasta - so much for MSC aiming to broaden their appeal and market. The next day arrived in Sicily. Breakfast buffet was fine but always the same - no variety. Lunch buffet back on board was again ok at best. Limited options again if you didn't want Italian fair. There were huge pizza, pasta and salad areas. Two dessert options- both the cheap, cream filled sponge finger cake option. Common at all times.. I saw nothing else in terms of hot puddings, creme brulee/mousse type thing. Disappointing.Later on we tried to book our earlier evening meal in Black Crab - the manager could not be less bothered. Rubbed his head and said fully booked earlier - you'll have to come and queue - this is all because THEY changed our time! When we did get to the dining room it was such an anti-climax. The food choices on the menu we had in the Black Crab were poor- 4 options - I only eat fish so two were out. But the meals were unappetising and poor quality e.g lasagne night - only a lump of lasagne about 4x5 inches on the plate!! No vegetables! Nothing else. It looked dried out and unpleasant. I had risotto - it was ok but no better. When we sat down on nights 2-4 there was no bread or butter - we had to ask. Glassware had not been replaced either. Basically the wait staff were lazy and self obsessed - they were having a great social time whilst cruisers waited for drinks, orders and food!! It was shocking. We had to ask twice for drinks one night and even then the white wine was warm!! Appalling experience. We were only told about the fixed menu and the lobster/fish options in the speciality restaurant when we were honest about how we had found the dining room. Then there was the embarking after days out expereince - the queues to get back on were awful - such slow service and no greeting, no banter with cruisers. So poor. Finally, disembarkation - told we could get off in Valencia and then they kept us all on lower level 4 in a stairway for an hour!!!!! People were fuming as they had connections to make. We were also told there was a bus for luggage (?) so as we got off we prepared to use it to suddenly see taxis - were told no taxis by MSC!!!! Shocking. Customer service is non-existent. Entertainment was awful -- nothing going on during teh day and poor shows - all very Italian focused - not one of the good shows mentioned in other reviews. The Luna bar had a good double act who were lovely. The singer in the main area for entertainment at night was ok but did the same songs each night!!!! The CD - never met - never saw and never heard about!! The Master Chef at Sea - 30 minutes of a stupid quiz to find contestants - beggared belief. Hygiene - forget it. Never saw one person clean a thing except two giggling young men scraping the metal on the stairs. Never saw anyone wiping down lift buttons, stairway rails or anything. No one in the buffet checking the cleansing fluid is used. No reminders about cleaning hands. I saw people taking food with hands eg a man took a handful of almonds!!! Just shocking all round. Noro virus risk is high on board for sure. In short - go on here for poor food and to be ignored. Would never go with MSC again - the ship and cabins are lovely - what a missed opportunity MSC. Get some decent chefs and train your staff what customer service is. At every opportunity if it could go wrong by them, it did. Heartbreaking we spent hard earned money on this and it was my sister's first cruise. Wish we hadn't bothered. We read the American reviews and thought it was fussy American critics - sorry, no! Do not book this ship. You can do better with your money - even Costa was better than this, as we told them when we found our bill miscalculated - we had someone else's - we had drinks packages! Even that they got wrong. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
4th cruise with MSC, first time divina. (before: music/fantasia/splendida). Always nice cruises, otherwise wouldn't have booked a 4th cruise :). Sailed from Genoa to Venice. Balcony state room fantastic (11094). Also booked the ... Read More
4th cruise with MSC, first time divina. (before: music/fantasia/splendida). Always nice cruises, otherwise wouldn't have booked a 4th cruise :). Sailed from Genoa to Venice. Balcony state room fantastic (11094). Also booked the premium drank package at 39€/day. The cabin: Room was like we knew from previous cruises but this time no curtain at the shower but a shower door. Improvement! The cabin steward who normally is somewhere around, especially on the boarding day, wasn't there. And in the end, we never saw him during the whole cruise. All other cabin stewards we saw daily, but ours...??? although room was kept clean and towels were changed twice a day, but room was never prepared for the night like we were used to have on previous cruises with MSC. (curtains closed/beds opened/towels replaced/last checks/...). And then the last night...nothing at all. Even no fresh towels. It was like if for MSC on the last night you are no longer welcome... Was this a big problem? No, but you except the same level of service for your entire cruise. Dinner: 1st thing to do was to change dinner seating. Dinner booked online on msc page: 2nd seating but cruise card mentioned 1st seating so up to the Maitre D to change into 2nd. Changed with no comment. Then it was time to use the cruise card/drink package. Bars: Premium package entitles you all drinks on the menu up to 10€. So let's start with a Paulaner Hefeweizen. After the first one asked for a second. "Sorry, out of stock". De bar on the other side still had one (or more...) So far no problem. Then ordered a prosecco superiore. This is not the standard prosecco you get with the easy package. "Sorry out of stock". This went on for the entire cruise. Not everything on the menu seems available in the bar...even if you ask for a mixer with a premium brand vodka/gin/whisky/...you should stay close to the bartender to make sure he uses the ordered brand. Is this a big problem? No, but if MSC sells you a package with the promise you can order drinks up to 10€ they should deliver. Otherwise it is wiser to stay with the cheap drink package. The daily shows: 1st I would like fellow passengers to remind that they have 2 x the same show a night in order to offer everybody to join a show before (for the 2nd seating) or after (for the 1st seating) dinner. So please don't join after the show has started and if you come late don't want to grab a chair in the middle of a line so you want people to stand up and let you pass. Thank you :) The show on the first night was a tribute to tina turner. Music and singing was OK. Dancers were doing their thing. The show on the second night were Italian songs. Same dancers. Became already a little annoying. The show on the third night: singing an the same dancers. We left after the third song and didn't return the rest of the cruise since the program mentioned singing and dancing again. Shows on previous cruises were beter: some singing/some dancing/some acrobatics/some magic/some theatre/...but not only singing and dancers. Is this a big problem? No, but variety is more then welcome?!? The dinners: We knew what to expect but this time food was really flavorless. And the problem with the wine was that they give you the wine menu (premium package, remember :)) but it is hard to get the chosen wine... We had the impression that the food at the buffet restaurant was better this time than in the restaurant. But the most inconvenient was the dinner on the night we were at Palma the Mallorca. Since the schip only left at 23:30 they decided for an open seating dinner. Thus: not at your table and maybe even not in your restaurant. The waiters couldn't follow at all since at once all passengers seemed to have decided to dine at around 20:30 or so...what a disaster! My advice to MSC: keep the seatings like they are. If yo are not on board for the time of your seating -> you go to the buffet. Easy no? Is this a big problem? No, but rather inconvenient and stress for as well waiters as for the passengers. All this made it a rather strange cruise. Did we enjoy it? YES, we were on holiday but we had made better experiences with MSC. Read Less
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