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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We were looking forward to our first cruise but disappointed by our experience. When we embarked no one was interested in telling us the process. There appeared to a drive to sell the drinks package and when we said we didn't want ... Read More
We were looking forward to our first cruise but disappointed by our experience. When we embarked no one was interested in telling us the process. There appeared to a drive to sell the drinks package and when we said we didn't want one they were not interested in helping us. Customer service was inconsistent throughout. Some staff were very good but mostly staff presented as 'can't be bothered'. We paid gratuities upfront but were charged 15% on top of every purchase/service on top of that. When we brought it to the attention of admin they said it was a tax and not a service charge as it was described on their literature. The cabin itself was nice and bigger than we expected. Also very clean. There are plenty of bars with entertainment etc. However, the ship was very busy and over run by children and pushchairs and it wasn't possible to have a child free evening even in what appeared to be night club atmosphere. The only 'child free' area was a smoking zone but as we don't smoke this was not an option for us. We have since been told that MSC offer free child places and that explains why there were so many. We have nothing against children and families but if we had known we would not have chosen this cruise. It was a bit of a bun fight trying to get food and secure a table in the informal dining. Even the formal dining was noisy and service was very slow. We took advantage of a cut price pedicure. Reduced to a bargain price of 45 euro (plus the 15%). To say it was average is an understatement . Throughout the cruise there was a 'hard sell' of excursions, drinks packages and services that was not pleasant. The pool areas were chaos and there were no quiet areas. A bit like Butlins at Sea! This cruise might be good for families . But if you want to have a quiet drink, enjoy the entertainment, relax by the pool or enjoy fine dining this cruise is not for you. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our 4th cruise in Yacht Club. Although it still is a good experience we felt that it was not that good as before. The embarkation in Civitavecchia went smoothly as always. We were in the terminal already before 10 and had to ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise in Yacht Club. Although it still is a good experience we felt that it was not that good as before. The embarkation in Civitavecchia went smoothly as always. We were in the terminal already before 10 and had to wait until 10.30 that they opened the “lounge”. This is quite understandable. We were among the first to embark the ship but our luggage came first after 4 pm. The security drill is quite a torture in MSC as not all the people now it is mandatory or they time management is rather poor and they arrive almost 30 minutes late and everybody else need to wait for them. The cabin was good and the butler made all the changes we needed. That was actually all we needed her during the cruise. We are quite capable of walking alone to the restaurant or to the theatre or do not need to make us look important by walking around with the butler. By the week we noticed that it not the butler who takes care for your room but another person who is supposed to be invisible. The poor lady was almost scared to death when we managed to surprise her. She was still very lovely and polite always when we saw her afterwards. The butler herself was one day bringing something to the minibar and just entered the cabin without knocking with her key. That was a bit disturbing. The dinner in Le Muse was a bit chaotic. It was quite hard to get the table we wanted and although complaint the Maitre d´seemed to ignore us all the cruise. So no points for him. The food in Le Muse is very mediocre and the selection was not to our tastes every night. The waiters do their best but some of them seemed to be rather stressed and running and dropping things constantly. They serve each day couple of open wines, but quite often it was still too difficult for the waiter to now which wine you have been drinking. In the lunch time the selection by the YC pool is limited but beats the MSC public buffet which should be avoided by all means. The lunch is also served in Le Muse but we did not make but the first day. The own pool area is the real advantage of YC. In the older ships, like Divina, the layout is much better than for example in Seaview. The public pool seemed to be extremely crowded all the time. In Palma there is a dinner under the stars. That means just tables by the pool and a small buffet serving the same dishes they have served there for lunch. We hade the last table which meant that waiters did not find us to refill the wine glass. When we complaint it, the whole bottle was leaven in the table and we never saw them again. The captains cocktail party was this time a joke while the captain never made it. The officers and staff stood there for 15 minutes and disappeared like they were denied to speak if the captain is not present. No explanations given. For excursion the staff escorted you to the bus. In Palermo this worked and we were the first to enter the bus but in Marseilles it failed and we were the last to enter. The entertainment shows are very Italian. They really had no idea at all but the singers were exceptionally good and the dancers did their best with the strange costumes. We are still getting a bit bored with the standard acrobatic numbers which seem to be mandatory on every cruise. Yacht club has its own seating in the upper balcony with a staff member guarding it. We only used it once while the seats are not that good and there are always available seats in the theatre. The Yacht Club is still one of the best possibilities to enjoy some luxury for reasonable prices and we have already booked our next YC cruise. Without YC experience we would not recommend a MSC cruise. Our main wish for MSC is though that they would improve the kitchen in YC dinner restaurant. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I have been on royal caribean ,celebrity ,azamara princess and carnival . This is my first review here .Divina is a little too busy for me lots of non english speakers which is not a problem for me but it does make for a different ... Read More
I have been on royal caribean ,celebrity ,azamara princess and carnival . This is my first review here .Divina is a little too busy for me lots of non english speakers which is not a problem for me but it does make for a different experience.food was ok buffet a bit manic pool area very busy it takes a little longer to get served at some of the bars .our room was pretty good at the back of the ship nice big balcony .room cleaning was just ok again not a big problem but no turn down fyi.Most of the staff were great,but didn't seem as friendly as other cruises but i think maybe it's because they don't know where you are from so are not sure how to greet you? .The ports were all good palermo cagliari palma valencia marseille genoa cittevetchia and a reasonable price too.If you don't like too busy a balcony is a must.not my best cruise but would do MSC again if the itenary was right .Entertainment a little cheesy for me seen better but i cruise for the stops . Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
The service on board is ok as long as you are not requesting anything. If you are not in the yatch club or apeeding a lot of $$$$ on extra you will not recieve anything. Here are some example: - my daughter found a metal tack in ... Read More
The service on board is ok as long as you are not requesting anything. If you are not in the yatch club or apeeding a lot of $$$$ on extra you will not recieve anything. Here are some example: - my daughter found a metal tack in her chicken, their only reaction was to replace the chicken lno other excuse, letter of excuse - the bar by the pool is often out of cold draft beer, if you want a beer you need to buy bottle more expensive - the buffer is only offering water and coffee, juice is only available during the breakfast - restaurant and bar often out of sodas - have to wait to get out of the ship (docked) because only one exit is open or because the decide to put everyone on hold the exist excursion using the same exit at the same time This cruise was my u in e yeard and 3 rd with msc.... MSC never again Karl Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We choose this cruise based on 1. Itinerary, 2. date, 3. expense. Meet all our requirements. Compare with other cruise line such as Royal Caribbean, Princess or Carnival, the food choices with MSC is limited, but with the money you ... Read More
We choose this cruise based on 1. Itinerary, 2. date, 3. expense. Meet all our requirements. Compare with other cruise line such as Royal Caribbean, Princess or Carnival, the food choices with MSC is limited, but with the money you saved, you can eat whatever you are missing on the shore and even better. The cabin is spacious and clean, there is always dancing class going on, the gym is one of the largest I have seen on the cruise ship. One thing to note about Marseille port, it's a LONG walk to the free shuttle bus, and it's not very enjoyable walk, so take the taxi or cruise ship shuttle out. The embarkment process is the best I have ever been to, everything moves swiftly, we were boarded at no time. The disembarkation process has little glitch, two people from our party were stopped at the exit, apparently computer has flagged them for balance not cleared, even we paid the night before. I find this strange, even if there is a balance, they should charge us the balance using the card on record, not stopping us. This actually caused us to missed the train. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Cabin was very nice, adequate cabinet and cupboard space. Mattress was very hard with 2 different thicknesses. We didn’t have an issue with the room or the room steward. My appointment was with the organization of details. We ... Read More
Cabin was very nice, adequate cabinet and cupboard space. Mattress was very hard with 2 different thicknesses. We didn’t have an issue with the room or the room steward. My appointment was with the organization of details. We boarded an headed directly to the buffet as we had been traveling for the past 24 hrs and were very hungry and thirsty.. Our cruise cards were incorrectly coded as we had paid for the ‘easy drink’ package well in advance.. We were served with beverage charges as our drinks were being served. We were advised by the beverage manager we would have to go to customer service and have our cards properly coded.. The lineup took approximately 30 minutes to have this issue corrected.. Next issue, we go to enter our cabin.. cruise cards would not open our room, back to customer service and another 20 min wait.. All fixed again.. We wanted to disembark for a few hours In Civitavecchia.. to our disbelief, we were denied.. Card was still improperly coded, and for the third time back to customer service. This all happened within the first 2 hours of boarding.. Not a good start.. That evening our dinner seating was 7 pm.. we arrived slightly after 7 to once again have an issue with the maitre d, he was very rude and abrupt saying we would have to come back for the 9:45 seating.. My wife is very persistent and eventually we were seated.. We were not happy with the customer service and it would be very difficult for us to recommend MSC to anyone. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were visiting from Illinois and chose this cruise because it fit our schedule and the price seemed reasonable. We did spend additional money on entertainment and drinks, but in the end it was still a good value, especially with kids. ... Read More
We were visiting from Illinois and chose this cruise because it fit our schedule and the price seemed reasonable. We did spend additional money on entertainment and drinks, but in the end it was still a good value, especially with kids. Weather was great! Pluses: Nice looking ship with a variety of live entertainment, shops, bars, and activities. Great itinerary with interesting ports. Wide stairways made it easy to skip the elevator wait. Getting on and off the boat was generally smooth. The kids loved the mini-bowling. The cabin had adequate room even with the sofabed opened up. Beds were comfy. Minuses: Quite a few maintenance issues. Among the things which did not function for most or all of our cruise were one of the bowling alleys, the racecar simulator, some of the indoor hot tubs, several treadmills, and the air hockey games. The cabin bathroom was rusting in parts and smelled faintly of sewage. The pools tended to be overcrowded. There is a lack of public toilets, mainly due to poor design (one toilet stall covers a ridiculously large amount of area, even with a full sink inside!). Mixed: - The food. Breakfast was fine but repetitive. The buffet was OK but seafood and fresh fruit tended to disappoint. Snacks and desserts were often the best items. Main dining meals were slow to arrive and not consistently high quality, although they were sometimes good. We got the Fantastica package which offers free bottled water in the main dining room. When in Europe we are used to paying for water, Americans who complain about that forget that even a 15% tip is now considered stingy stateside. - The ship design. It takes some getting used to, although there are maps everywhere. Lots of zigs and zags. Among the more confusing areas are the buffet, the virtual world, and Deck 5 (where you have to wander among cabins to find the reception). Service: We found all the staff friendly and polite, and room service was very prompt. However, the customer service procedures were often baffling. I sometimes was bounced around between places to get charges dropped, and it would usually take about 5 minutes of a staff person pecking away at their keyboard to get even simple account changes made. Communication with guests could certainly be improved. I suspect one reason the lines are reception are long is that the onboard systems are poorly integrated. Ports: We did not do any excursions, and avoided the paid shuttles. Going independent did make things a bit harder, especially when the port was in an industrial wasteland, but when the official bus costs more than a taxi it doesn't make much sense to use the bus. We encountered a number of MSC-organized tours, and given the large group sizes and lack of English we don't feel we missed much. It's definitely worth buying an internet package if you're going independent, you will need to do a lot of searching and mapping. Passengers: Mostly Italians, but a fair number of French and Germans too. It's Europe so people smoke on the balcony. Lack of a common language made it harder to strike up casual conversations, and we didn't really get to know anyone the entire time. I can imagine this could be a drawback for the kids club, though to be honest our kids tend to shy away from kids clubs anyway. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Where to start: First, we have sailed nineteen times and experienced an array of American AND European cruise products from RCCL, Princess, Costa, P&O, NCL, Holland America etc. The experiences of these diverse products have ... Read More
Where to start: First, we have sailed nineteen times and experienced an array of American AND European cruise products from RCCL, Princess, Costa, P&O, NCL, Holland America etc. The experiences of these diverse products have collectively informed my opinion of our MSC experience. MSC is NOT for the American market share rather, this European line is clearly after the sustainability of the European market share. American products by and large, do not charge a consistently high price for the cruise and then, charge clients for water while on board. Yes... MSC does this. Not even Costa does this. We paid over 3k for our cruise (similar and consistent to what we have paid for with other products like RCCL, Costa, Princess etc.) but while on board the MSC product we were charged for water.... we were amazed, perplexed and terribly disappointed. Its also important to note -what MSC USA sold us was not what we experienced onboard. When we pointed out the discrepancies on board we were told to take it up with MSC USA when we got home. We did, they did nothing to satisfy or settle our issue. We purchased the Fantastica experience, were told drink packages were included - then they somehow were not included. When we argued they were - we were told we had to buy a drink package which we did for our two children (non alcoholic package) and 1 adult alcoholic package. Only to get on board and be told we shouldn't have done that in fact it was included in our package and when we asked to have the initial prepaid packages we purchased refunded they said - sorry it wasn't included... The only thing which we felt was consistent was the inconsistency between what was sold and what we expected to what we actually experienced onboard. Other things we felt were important to note. The excursions - expensive but of little to no substance; again, representing to us an imbalance between what we paid for and what we actually experienced. We purchased several excursions through MSC - and quickly spent MORE TIME transiting to the excursions than we actually did enjoying the place we were visiting. This happend to us in both Arles France and Portofino. In Arles, we spent 3 hours on a bus to experience the town for only an hour. While in Portofino, same things - we paid a fortune to go to Portofino and spent three hours transiting there only to spend an hour IN Portofino... Very little value for money. Similarly, MSC twice docked at a port which they charged a fee to go from the Port facility to the town.... We were left shaking our heads and again, having the experience of other lines, this was an anomaly we felt was important to note for others who are considering this line. The ship itself was clean, comparatively clean to other lines and with cabins which were much larger than the typical stateroom found on other lines. That was about the only two bonuses on this line. Our experience of the ship was in one word -- exhausting. Terribly overcrowded and with clearly overwhelmed staff who continually treated us with discourtesy and disregard. The staff appeared as exhausted of the overcrowded conditions as we were. This was consistent from the bar staff to the dinning staff -- totally overwhelmed and continually discourteous and seemed exhausted..... The common centers on the ship were jammed daily elbow to elbow with people and loud music - wasn't a quiet spot on the ship to be found... ever. The smoking is an experience not commonly found with American products, on European lines - smoking is everywhere and something we found terribly intrusive and distasteful. Imagine placing the ONLY soft serve ice cream station for kids on the ship in the smoking section of the ship... kids actually have to endure cigarette smoke while waiting for their ice cream (which was eventually closed down due to being broken). This careless disregard for children - alone, made us not want to return to this product... ever. We have sailed many ships (19 cruises to date) and several of those other European products. First time we were ever on a ship and product we couldn't wait to leave... first time. The cost of this product comparatively is similar to other lines - RCCL, Princess Holland America - but what you get for your money is wholly inconsistent and as a result, we could not in good conscience recommend this product, especially for families. While MSC is trying desperately to break into the American marketshare, we believe this is going to be extremely difficult as people with experiences such as ours, share our impressions with others. This was an honest and unbiased account of our experience. We hope it is taken seriously so the product may be improved for others going forward. For us, we will not use or recommend this product in the future. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Here is some info about me: I'm 48. Live in USA. have cruised 51 days with Carnival, 14 days with princes, and now 7 with MSC. Have cruised a lot of Caribbean, one Norway, one Alaska, and now one Mediterranean. We started and ... Read More
Here is some info about me: I'm 48. Live in USA. have cruised 51 days with Carnival, 14 days with princes, and now 7 with MSC. Have cruised a lot of Caribbean, one Norway, one Alaska, and now one Mediterranean. We started and ended our cruise in Genoa. Before the cruise, I registered myself and my husband for the status match program. NOT user friendly, i must say. Make sure your photo that you upload with your other cruise-line info is a small data file. It took me several tries, but i finally got it done. we got silver level by providing our carnival info. Other than a bowl with 4 pieces of fruit in our cabin, not sure we noticed much difference. I was the one in our group of 16 friends/family that did the research and planned most of our trip. i went into the cruise having read MANY reviews. Having read the reviews, i would say that i agree with many of them. 1. very nice ship. clean inside. nicely decorated. clean. 2. entertainment above average. they had 3 lead singers who sang to a prerecorded soundtrack. they sang well. the dancers danced well. there were a couple of songs that they had one of the dancers (very obviously) lip-sync. I would have preferred that they did not do that. they were far better at dancing than lip-syncing. Just let the dancers dance!! 3. food....... a. dining room. Although our wait staff was very friendly, i did not feel the same level of personal involvement or level of attentiveness with them as i have felt with previous cruises. They just didn't seem to "have it all pulled together". some in our 2 tables of 8 did not get things that they ordered and it did seem to take a long time for one of our tables, who had a different waiter. as far as the food goes, well...... as many other reviewers have said, the selection is lacking compared to other cruise lines. maybe 5 options for starters (soups, salad, etc). another 5 for main dishes. then maybe 4 or 5 desert choices. they did have something like 3 items that are on the menu every night, but i can't say that i looked at them more than once. they did not seem very interesting. the food was NOT awful as some in my group claimed and some reviewers have claimed. Yes, i have had better. I think if they had more selection, the complainers in my group might have been happier. Maybe if the food had been catered to Americans, maybe they would have been happier.....i just don't know. Maybe i just had low expectations because of the reviews i read before the cruise, but MAYBE I had more realistic expectations since I have been to Europe many times and know to expect things to be a little different than in a cruise that caters to Americans. The fact is that on this cruise you can expect to be surrounded by lots of french, german, spanish, and italians. English speakers were by far in the minority. Not a problem, but something to be aware of. Of note, we went to the dining room the first 3 nights, then never went back. we found that the food on deck 14 was just as good and a lot quicker. we had 7pm dining. if we ate in the dining room, we had to go to the 945 show. a little late for me. b. informal dining......breakfast and lunch were perfectly adequate. lots to choose from. they did a good job trying to have selections that cater to different cultures. they had the bacon (actual bacon, not British bacon that is actually ham), but the link sausages were more British than American. lots of pastries, different types of eggs (scrambled, etc), pan cakes, etc. I very much enjoy experiencing what other cultures eat. some in my group are not what i would call cultured. they just thought some of the items were bad....in reality, the food items were that way, not because they were bad, but because that's the way other cultures eat them. Of note, as other reviewers have said, the pizza was very much above average for cruise pizza. it was nice to not have to wait in a long line for mediocre pizza like you do on carnival. Of note, I expected the dinner in the casual dining to be at least a small step up from what you get in there for lunch, but i did not find that to be the case. 4. Drink packages...... most in our group chose to purchase drink packages. my husband got the $10 per drink max package for $39 per day. I got the $19 non alcoholic package, and my son got the $14 per day non alcoholic kids drink package. Of note, i only got mine because i had to have a package for my son and husband to have one. I think they might have gotten their money's worth, but i'm not sure that i did. I don't like to drink a lof of sugary drinks or ones with artificial sweeteners. Large bottles of mineral water were like 2.50, so not crazy bad without the package. It was nice that I was able to go to the bar and order 2 cappuccinos and a mineral water at the same time and not have to wait or come back for the others. I think you have to wait 15 min between the alcoholic drinks. You could also get soft serve ice cream with the non alcoholic packages, but not with the alcoholic packages. Had i not gotten a package, the free drink selections would have been fine with me. Of note, no decaf coffee that i could see for free.....i found that strange. lots of different flavors of tea bags to choose from. 5. staff members.....including the dining room staff, i found the staff to be very friendly. they were very good about making eye contact and greeting you. most of them that I encountered, spoke a good amount of english. I was pleasantly surprised by that. 6. excursions...... we did not choose to book any excursions through the cruiseline, although a couple in our group did. My mom was pleased with the cave trip and another tour she and her friend took. What we did pay for was 3 transfers! No tendering with free shuttle for this cruise line. we paid $12.99 per person for 2 of them and like $16 for Marseille. I did read about the other options (hop on hop off close to port, free shuttles, and city buses), but we decided that our time and lower amounts of frustration from having to find where to go made it worth it for us to just fork out the dough. We just weren't up for the adventure of all of that. 16 people is a lot to have to wrangle up. 7. transfers. we used a company called www.airportstaxitransfers.com to get us from the genoa airport to the hotel in genoa, hotel to ship, ship to milan, then hotel in milan to airport in milan. highly recommend them. extremely punctual, we had not hitches with any of the four segments. with our number of travelers it was very cost effective. something like 50 euros total each for all 4 segments. door to door service. Of note, we spoke to an Australian couple who were on the last of 3 consecutive msc cruises. they nearly missed the ship because the transfer that was arranged through the ship didnt work out. they had been told a later time for it and so they missed it. it cost them 1000 euros to take a cab from venice and made it there with 1 hour to spare. the cruise line was going to reimburse them for the 1000 euros and the ship's employees were very apologetic to them and seemed to be very interested in making it right for them. I would have written that bad experience off as a 1-off, but we got word that the cruiseline had also messed up their transfer at the end of our cruise. they had them going to germany, instead of to the airport. Not sure how that all came out, but im sure it was frustrating for them, considering the other snafu...... Not saying dont use the cruiseline for transfers, but just make sure that you check all of the details very carefully. 8. nickel and diming..... Yes, it did seem that they charged extra for A LOT of things. We heard one passenger wondering if they were going to be charged extra for toilet paper! What I would say about that, though, is that you get what you pay for. This was, by far one of the least expensive 7 day Mediterranean cruises that i could find. If we had booked with one of the others, maybe some of those things would have been included....maybe not... Maybe the food would have been better, probably so. But if you are doing well to just get yourself in the door of this ship (financially speaking) and you need the lower price, then you may have to just understand that some things won't be included in the base price. At least they give you the option of having a less expensive trip if you are willing to not use the things that cost extra. 9. I do want to tell you about an excursion that we booked on our own in Cagliari. we booked it through www.sardiniadreamtours.com before the cruise. you can find them on youtube and instagram. highly recommend this company. This tour was the highlight of our cruise. we got in 4x4 landrovers and went off-roading to some awesome lookout points in the mountains, then spent time at two beaches (chia was one of them). it cost us about 60 euros each and it lasted the whole time we were in port. they even took us on a quick trip through the historic area just before returning us to the ship. Francesco was awesome! They all went above and beyond. 10. The fact that each of the stops can be your start/end of your cruise. .....as i mentioned, we started and ended in Genoa. we were told that about 900 passengers boarded and disembarked with us. we found it to be pretty stress free, having done the same with 3000 passengers on other cruises where you feel like cattle. we carried our luggage on and off, and it was pretty easy. prior to cruising, i wondered if it would be a pain in the butt having them do a safety drill every day. i have to say that i hardly noticed it, other than the announcement and a few people around the ship with live preservers in their hands. Of note, once you board on your embarkation day, you cannot leave the ship until the next day. If you want to spend more time in that city, do it before you get on. we chose to spend that day in Genoa and board at around 3:30 instead of earlier in the day since we wanted to have a little more time in genoa. we breezed right through the boarding process, since most everyone had already boarded for the day. Our room was ready, we walked right in. Also of note, they put your key in the room and the door will be open when you get there. *****Be sure to go register your form of payment of on-board purchases. they have kiosks by the reception desk that make it pretty easy. you do not have to wait in line at the reception desk to get that done (lines ALWAYS long at the reception desk) 10. would I do it again if I had the choice? I would say yes. some in my group might say no. again with the unrealistic expectations...... I would just tell the nay Sayers to just fork out the big bucks for the other cruise lines next time if you want better food, etc. If they can't afford more, then maybe consider a land vacation or a Caribbean cruise. Just my 2 cents worth..... Hope that this helps you in some way, Cathy Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose the MSC Divina cruise in the Mediterranean because of its unique itinerary for a seven night cruise and because of the opportunity to have a choice of ports from which to embark. Both of these were different from the other cruise ... Read More
We chose the MSC Divina cruise in the Mediterranean because of its unique itinerary for a seven night cruise and because of the opportunity to have a choice of ports from which to embark. Both of these were different from the other cruise line's offerings and paid it off. Also, since we were flying from Los Angeles to Europe, we wanted to see as much as we could each day, so no days at sea was exactly what I was looking for. We chose to board in Marseille since my husband wanted to spend a couple days in Paris prior to the cruise. As for the cabin, we paid for an inside guarantee with the "Fantastica" experience and were very surprised to be upgraded to a mid-ship balcony. Although the ship is a bit dated, it was very clean, the service was excellent across the board and the balcony cabin was very roomy. Our cabin attendant - I Putu Kertajaya, was excellent, and honored our requests. The itinerary included Marseille, Genoa, Civitavecchia (for Rome), Palermo, Cagliari, Palma de Mallorca, and Valencia. We were fortunate weather-wise with only two days of rain and good weather for the rest of the ports at the end of May, and to have calm seas. Previously having sailed many times with Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Disney, and Carnival, I was curious about what differences would exist with MSC, so I read many Cruise Critic reviews. I learned that there would be differences from the above mentioned cruise-lines in the food and entertainment offerings so I was not surprised to find this to be the case. Both the buffet and the dining room menus have less entree options. Also, our "Fantastica" level of service included water bottles at meals in the dining room, (we found out late into the cruise) all who had not paid for this had to purchase water at lunch and dinner in the dining room just to get a glass of water with the meal. We were accustomed to being served free water at lunch and dinner in the dining rooms prior to this experience, so this was an unusual difference for us. Also, the entertainment in the theatre was not innovative or inspired and had the nightly repetition of the same talent, unlike others we have sailed with, but I was aware this would be the case from the reviews I had read. A variety of styles of music and dancing could be found in the lounges for those who enjoy that. The ports were all very pleasing and we explored most of them on our own taking trains and buses with the exception of two ship's excursions. Since people were embarking and debarking each day on this itinerary, it was hard to get a Cruise Critic meeting or Meet & Mingle party together. Also, with no days at sea, time was limited. We received a note in our cabin that the meeting date was cancelled, but then rescheduled for dinner in the Asian Fusion (new) Galaxy lounge/restaurant. This was a delightful sushi dinner with two ship's officers and just four of us Cruise Critic members. It was a very special evening for us on the ship and the two officers were extremely friendly and personable. This was one of the highlights. We had a really good week with the knowledge that this experience would be different in terms of food and entertainment. If you are accustomed to the cruise-lines mentioned above or the luxury lines, you will have a good time IF you are aware of differences and change your expectations...it's all in the expectations and this was a great daily itinerary. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and because we wanted to try a European line after having cruised over 25 times on the mainstream American lines. Here goes: First: this itinerary allows passengers to start and end the cruise in ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and because we wanted to try a European line after having cruised over 25 times on the mainstream American lines. Here goes: First: this itinerary allows passengers to start and end the cruise in any of the 7 ports. So the embarkation process was quick since we didn't have to deal with all 4200 people getting on at the same time. Second: the ship is absolutely gorgeous! Real marble, beautiful lighting, every nook and cranny was more attractive than the next! Stateroom: we had a rear-facing balcony . The room had so much storage space and was very well appointed. But, no robes unless you asked for it and, they wanted to charge us for them. As for the balcony, it was huge and contained both chairs and lounges. Problem was, we hardly sat outside because the fellow passengers were smoking on their balconies and the smoke wafted into ours. That was horrible . We made several calls to the concierge but they were evidently powerless to do anything. Food: very good in the main dining room. Beautifully prepared and very tasty. The portions were small which was fine with us, and you could always ask for more. By the way, they do not have iced tea so we resorted to ordering a bucket of ice and hot tea and made our own. Entertainment: the production shows were the best we have ever seen on any cruise line. The performers were unbelievably talented . The choreography, lighting and costumes were better than first rate. The orchestra was also fabulous! There was always music in the public areas and lounges so anywhere you went, you were entertained. Staff: everyone we encountered was well-trained, accommodating and eager to help. We are not demanding passengers but we witnessed several rude, demanding passengers who were handled with patience and finesse by the staff. Now, for the bad: this cruise line allows children to travel free. We have nothing against children. But, the parents left the children unattended to run around, pushed them in strollers into passengers who were trying to walk in public areas, and it was absolute chaos to get from one place to the next. There was an absolute disregard for fellow passengers. I even witnessed a baby crawling on the floor in the buffet, who was about to be trampled by people with full plates of food. I swooped him up and handed him to his mother to avert what could have been a tragedy. . . The mother didn't seem to care! Yes, not MSC's fault but, if the "children travel free" policy remains, we will never travel with MSC again. In addition, they definitely need to make sure that passengers don't smoke on the balconies. At least, put up " no smoking signs" ON each balcony .. and then enforce it. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
People often ask what was my worst cruise and I answer I've never had a bad one. I can still say that after my mediocre experience cruising the Mediterranean from Rome (Civitavecchia) last week on MSC Divina. Had it not been for the ... Read More
People often ask what was my worst cruise and I answer I've never had a bad one. I can still say that after my mediocre experience cruising the Mediterranean from Rome (Civitavecchia) last week on MSC Divina. Had it not been for the complimentary balcony upgrade I would have given them a "Poor" rating. Overall it is a nice ship and most of the staff friendly with good entertainment. Nice workout facility and plenty to do on board. Unfortunately the food was barely a step above your local buffet restaurants, that included the sit down dinners. Perhaps that is why they were constantly walking through promoting the specialty restaurants while you were in the main restaurant or buffet. Quite often the hand sanitizer machines were empty, though the ship was mostly clean. The boarding process seemed a little informal without giving you much direction on what to do next. We were sent to our room where the door was opened and only one key card on the bed. We had to go to the reception desk to request the other card. We had to visit guest services a few times because promotions offered to us weren't made clear without having to ask for them repeatedly. Also the bedding configuration wasn't as requested. They corrected that before bedtime. The destinations were great, though sometimes difficult for people with mobility issues. You could always catch free or low cost shuttles outside the ship if you're willing and able to walk. Otherwise you may want to consider purchasing the shuttles provided by the ship. I've actually sailed this exact ship before from Miami years ago. Perhaps that is the difference. Maybe it's the European culture where iced tea is not served. I'm okay with that. But finding out the only free beverages are small cups of water from the ice machine, coffee, or hot tea didn't go over well compared to other cruises. They do have free juice from machines at breakfast. Our first dinner in the Black Crab restaurant was a bad experience when we asked for water and tea and the waitress explained there was a cost for it since they only served bottled water and hot tea (though canned ice tea was also available for purchase). Turns out I had some kind of promotion that made the bottled water and hot tea free at lunch or dinner in the restaurant. So that was fine. But it got worse. The first course I discovered hair in the food. They were very apologetic, asked for my room number, and gave us free sodas and wine with lunch or dinner the rest of the trip. I realize the hair thing is likely an isolated incident. And the free water is minor in the whole scheme of things. Vacations cost money. I suspect if MSC spent more time trying to please the customer rather than saving themselves money, it would have been a more pleasant journey. I am used to cruise ships nickel and dining you, but this time they seem to go to far. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Having read the reviews prior to booking I was a bit apprehensive. No need to be. Embarkation in Civitavecchia was very easy and swift. Just be sure if you're travelling to the City by train to validate your train ticket, we ... Read More
Having read the reviews prior to booking I was a bit apprehensive. No need to be. Embarkation in Civitavecchia was very easy and swift. Just be sure if you're travelling to the City by train to validate your train ticket, we accidentally didn't and were fined by a conductor. I imagine its a common revenue raiser. So we were in a bad mood due the train experience but were very pleased we could board the ship upon our arrival. The cabin was excellent, a lot larger than I expected (outside Bella cabin 5071). During our stay it was cleaned probably twice each day, we had a fantastic cleaner. The ship itself is excellent. We didn't find it too hard to get around and work "things" out. The elevators are often busy and easier if able to sometimes take the stairs. We quickly worked out that waiting in line for your turn musn't be a common European/Italian trait. This was most evident at the Ports queuing for hop on hop off buses. But it's something we got use to and just had to take in our stride (and nothing to do with the ship - they can't teach manners). We found the service on board was excellent. Only very minor things like asking for the price of a bourbon and coke at dinner was met with "I don't know" by the waiter. And she didn't find out -so saved me some money by not buying one. But again no big deal. The food in the Balck crab was great. We only ate there twice purely as we were often too busy to make the dining times and the buffet was more convenient. We didn't try any of the extra pay restaurants. We didn't take the drink packages as they were very expensive in Australian dollar terms. Particlularly as we had 4 in the cabin, my wife and a 4 and 9 year old that would all have had to take the package. Our children don't drink soft drink, my wife doesn't drink much. The sports bar was a favourite spot. You could order burgers, nuggets hot dogs etc. whilst watching world sporting events. The staff were exceptional. Whilst we cruised, there was a 10 beer for 25 Euro beer special. This was the best value/deal we could find for drinks on board by a long way. The theatre shows were excellent. We went every night and the kids also loved them. We played bingo a couple of times which again the kids loved, but I thought this was overpriced given the prize. I read some reviews abot the buffet. The whole family thought the range and quality was excellent. Though busy at times, you could always find a table. We rarely needed lunch on shore after the excellent breakfast. The access times to food on board should mean you'll never be hungry. Before cruising we probably had high expectations of the kids club. We didn't really give it a chance as when we signed the kids up, they basically seemed to be doing craft and drawings (it seemed a bit like baby sitting). My 9 year old and his friend pleaded with us not to stay as they basically wanted to play soccer on deck every spare moment. The kids that were there seemed very happy, just wasn't for our boys. The on deck soccer pitch was excellent. My son went on the waterslide, not sure why but it was too slow. He stopped in it a couple of times. Might have been water flow? Anyway he went on it a couple of times, but thought it average. The pools looked fantastic. We used the spas near the basketball court they were a bit quieter than the main ones. I tried the pool but it was a little too cold for me. We never did any of the cruise organised tours, made our own way on shore. Never used the boat shuttle as there was generally cheaper options at the port. It was greatly appreciated when on departure they waived the gratuity fee when requested. we preferred to tip direct and the gratuity fee is significant money in Australian dollar terms due the exchange rate. My wife gets very sea sick normally. This was a major concern and risk when we booked. Thankfully she was completely fine as were our kids with no ill effects whatsoever. Our friend unfortunately did and does suffer motion sickness so she spent some time in her cabin unwell. The boat and the ocean was very stable and smooth sailing. When organising our next holiday cruise, MSC would be my first choice based on value and quality. When booking this cruise part of the reason we chose MSC was the price so I was concerned the cheaper price would be reflected in service, quality or "somewhere", I was happy to find this not the case. I'd happily recommend the Divina to anybody looking for an excellent family cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We purchased the fantastica package directly from the MSc website. On that site it states you get 12 free drinks. We didn’t read the fine print wherever that was that says it’s only for earlier sailings. Not sure why it was still on ... Read More
We purchased the fantastica package directly from the MSc website. On that site it states you get 12 free drinks. We didn’t read the fine print wherever that was that says it’s only for earlier sailings. Not sure why it was still on the website then? So we didn’t get any drinks. Also with that package came a free photo. No one tells you that that photo is only available on one night at a certain place. So we also didn’t get our photo. Customer service was terrible. Front dest did nothing. Basically said you have to read the fine print. I asked for a supervisor and they said no! Maybe it’s just a European thing but they don’t give you water or anything to drink at the dining room. You have to buy bottled water every night. Also they give you no information about ports. Our port in France they pushed a 16 euro per person bus ride from the ship to the city. Not telling anyone there is a free bus a block away from the ship that takes you to the same place. We felt like they really nickel and dime you wherever they can. Very disappointed and will never cruise on them again. I have been on carnival, Holland America, and Disney and all of those where much better. If you do cruise on MSc read everything because they will try to get over on you and the front desk will do nothing for you. The only thing from the fantastica package we where able to use was the room service that’s only available in the morning and only included coffee juice cereal and bread. Not much for room service compared to any other cruise I’ve been on. Long lines everywhere. Good luck getting into an elevator without having to push your way past other people. Crew and employees are rude. We had a officer and his family sit down in our dinning section 15 minutes after us. They treated them like royalty. We didn’t see the waiter for 15 minutes while they where getting there drinks apps and meal. It was the weirdest thing id ever seen. Never again on MSc of us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This is our 4-th cruise and we chose it mostly because of the ship, since the itinerary is not the best. Palma de Majorca and Valencia are nice, but the other places are not worth the trip. They offered shuttle buses for the city that ... Read More
This is our 4-th cruise and we chose it mostly because of the ship, since the itinerary is not the best. Palma de Majorca and Valencia are nice, but the other places are not worth the trip. They offered shuttle buses for the city that were more expensive than travelling with taxi. We wanted a new ship, that offers better comfort and instead we ended up in a crowded, smelly, full of leaks and unsanitary place. The worst thing was that they gave us spoiled food for dinner and my daughter got seek. When we tried to see the ship's doctor they wanted to charge us 100 Euro. They refused to give us any medication, or even a thermometer and the farmacy on bord had nothing helpful. The service was terrible. We waited a long time for our food at dinner, hence the ice cream was always brought melted. The food was terrible and always the same. All the areas of the ship are very crowded, we felt like sardines. None of our request were answerd, although they were simple ones, for example we asked for the children's bed to be folded during the day, since we couldn't move around it in the room. The ship has a systemic liking problem in the hallways and that also made the water pressure very low. The water in the public restrooms is only dropping. I found that very unsanitary. The only good thing was the evening shows. The artists put a lot of work into them and we enjoyed them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose this particular cruise because it was a repositioning cruise visiting ports we wanted to visit. We were to visit Bermuda after departing NYC but we’re unable to do so due to weather. Of course weather is not controlled by the ... Read More
Chose this particular cruise because it was a repositioning cruise visiting ports we wanted to visit. We were to visit Bermuda after departing NYC but we’re unable to do so due to weather. Of course weather is not controlled by the cruise line. Rather than spend two days in Bermuda we were taken to Tenerife for a partial day. We were offered no compensation for reduced port fees or anything else. The buffet is a joke. Crowded at all times with food one might expect to find in a substandard college dorm cafeteria. The food in the Black Crab was uninspired and of average quality at best. Our waiter was the best part of our dining experience. The crew were un-informed and could not answer basic questions. Most of the staff were downright rude! I have ever had a cruise line require me to pay for transportation into the port. We were charged anywhere from 10 euros to 30 euros per person to visit the ports. The entertainment was was OK but by the time the introductions were made in five languages we were ready to go to the bar. There is a cigar lounge but the smoke permeates the area close by, and the smoke from the casino was terrible. That entire part of that deck was smoky. When trying to leave the ship for tours, chaotic is the only word I can use to describe the experience. The time allowed for port visits was ridiculously limited. I resent the gratuity policy and refused to pay it. I tipped the crew members I felt went above and beyond. The best part of this cruise was the four days spent in Genoa and Milan after the cruise was over. Never again on MSC. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise based on the value for the price and the ports of call. The ship itself was nice although there was extensive leaking on the 9th floor the duration of the cruise. The main areas were well maintained and quite clean. ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the value for the price and the ports of call. The ship itself was nice although there was extensive leaking on the 9th floor the duration of the cruise. The main areas were well maintained and quite clean. The staff was very nice although it seemed that they could use more wait staff in the various bars. The wait time for pool side drinks was quite long and it appeared that there were only 2 waiters on duty at the pool each afternoon. The food left a lot to be desired. We tried eating in the main dining room once and it was a horrific experience both for service and food quality. The buffet was better although there was not a lot of variety. Also lunches were superior to breakfast and dinner. Often there were wait times to get into the buffet both at breakfast and lunch time. Entertainment was very cheesy including their show which was a tribute to Jim Carey’s “The Mask”. After the first day my 10 year old son refused to go to the kids club due to a lack of fun age appropriate activities. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
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
8 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
Sail Date: April 2019
wanted to try the yacht club experience and do not regret! The only thing we missed was an indoor pool or indoor Jacuzzi for the Yachtclub. We also found the yachtclub restaurant way to far from the yachtclub cabins.You have to walk all ... Read More
wanted to try the yacht club experience and do not regret! The only thing we missed was an indoor pool or indoor Jacuzzi for the Yachtclub. We also found the yachtclub restaurant way to far from the yachtclub cabins.You have to walk all the way to the other side of the ship. Food was very fine, but not realy special. The gala night had a very simple menu. The waiters are very friendly in the Muze! The ship is beautiful, The staff very friendly. The shows are good but just not that good as the MSC seaside. The decoration of the shows is quiet simple. The Casino is great. Very little smell from the smoking area. We didn't do any organised excursions. In Palermo. The hop on Hop of that was great to see the city. In Cagliari we just took the bus up the hill to Porcel to visit the beautiful kathedral and walked all the way down. We have already been to Rome. A good alternative for Civitavecchia is taking a taxi to the Tenuta dell'Argento restaurant at 10 minutes drive from the city. It is a farm in the countryside we you have the best fresh meat restaurant. If I would go again on a cruise with Msc, but always in Yachtclub. All the rest is to crowded. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
A Med cruise seemed attractive, as seemed the price. The experience was of living in a big city. Very slow embarkation, a process repeated at every port, i.e. every day with airport-style security on leaving and returning. Despite the ... Read More
A Med cruise seemed attractive, as seemed the price. The experience was of living in a big city. Very slow embarkation, a process repeated at every port, i.e. every day with airport-style security on leaving and returning. Despite the excellent staff, mealtimes were often a stressful time. We could never be certain that a table would be available in the only restaurant open to us but we knew for a fact that the self-service buffet would be crowded, no seats, no tables, sometimes not much choice. There was always a feeling of imminent chaos as the restaurants were not able to plan for numbers ashore, new passengers and those remaining on board. Restaurant table meals were beautifully presented and served in pleasant surroundings. The menus looked exciting but the meals turned out rather bland. Our drinks package was adequate but disappointing. Our deal gave us up to 6 Euros for drinks but anything slightly more interesting was at least 6.50, so the package was largely worthless. The Californian Cab-Sauv red was actually pretty good, however, and there was a range of budget cocktails but anything other than lager was off package. Entertainment was done by accomplished artistes but each show looked & sounded a bit like the previous one. The cabin was fine, the housekeeper was discreet and skilful, nice linen and towels, fairly quiet. A balcony is only any good if you are in the sun, which was not often, we found, but that's the itinerary, not the ship's fault. Our main gripe was the dishonest way MSC presented shore visits. They promoted their own excursions but by omission, misdirection and wilful deception managed to keep the free transfers and shuttles a well-guarded secret at each port. In Palermo we followed a line under large sign for "SHUTTLE BUS", only to find after 30 mins it was an 18 euro tour, not the free shuttle which was hidden behind a building beyond it. The same stunt was pulled in Valencia, where the free city bus took you to the bus-stop for the 1 euro 50 trip to the city, but only if you avoided the MSC staff attempting to lure passengers on to another 12 euro trip to town. 12 euros isn't a lot , but if you are a family of 4...? Overall the big downer was the vast population of passengers tied to timetables for visits, shows, eating and drinking, getting on and off, all happening at the same time for everybody. This will be our last cruise on a big ship. The central activities were over-eating and over-boozing, but that's not really what I had in mind when I booked. Gala nights were spotty as most passengers preferred to stay casual, almost as if they were on holiday..! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The Divina is a beautiful ship, for sure. Clean, elegant, spacious. Definitely NOT American. And that's not a bad thing. We have plenty of "American style" cruiselines and to have another option is a plus. We've ... Read More
The Divina is a beautiful ship, for sure. Clean, elegant, spacious. Definitely NOT American. And that's not a bad thing. We have plenty of "American style" cruiselines and to have another option is a plus. We've recently returned from a 20 day Transatlantic journey and over the course of the cruise I've formed many opinions of this ship and the cruiseline in general. I'll start from the beginning. Sit back and relax- this may be information overload, but a lot of questions will be answered. Embarkation. Your cruise ticket will have a recommended time for your embarkation. Ignore that and get there when you want to. 11:00 am is fine. They will not turn you away. We did, however, have to wait awhile because as we found out once onboard, two crew members jumped ship in Miami. Defected. Left. So of course, immigration was investigating. We didn't have to wait long, however. We were onboard by 1:00 pm. Once we crossed over the gangway to the ship we noticed a lot of the ship was cordoned off and we had to go up to the Buffet- along with everyone else. So of course, it was crowded. Embarkation day- that's to be expected. No worries. We got our food, found a table and enjoyed our first Divina meal. The buffet is very large and the food is plentiful, varied and good. You do have to look around because there are different options around every corner. Burgers, hot dogs, wraps, pizza, salad and fruit can be found in the center area between Manitou and Calumet buffets. Fruit juices, tea and coffee are available all the time. They tend to run out of creamer a lot, though. Daily specials and desserts will be on either side. Just wander around a bit to get your bearings. Window tables are, of course, the most popular. They do have too many handicap accessible tables- they are usually all empty. Sit at one if you must, but be prepared to move if necessary. After lunch we checked on our cabin, which our amazing cabin steward, Maskur, told us was "almost ready." We were able to drop off our backpacks and go explore a bit. It was when we dropped off our bags that we noticed that our balcony cabin was small and had nothing more than a bed, a desk and two nightstands. No sofa. Quite a shock and disappointment considering they did not show a picture or diagram of our cabin style anywhere on their website. Balcony cabins are shown to have a sofa. This was a major issue for us- especially for a 3 week cruise. We waited a day to address this with guest relations because the we know the first day or two is so hectic for them. When we did go to inquire about the sofa we were told sorry- nothing we can do, the ship was sold out. Not wanting to give up so easily, we went back the next day to talk to a different agent. He seemed more sympathetic and understood that we didn't feel that we got what we paid for and said he'd contact us once we left New York City to see if there was another cabin available and if not he'd see what he could do. He never contacted us so we returned to him. Sorry- there was nothing he could do. We asked for a supervisor and he went behind closed doors to speak to his supervisor. The supervisor told him he had spoken to me at the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle and I had told him or cruise was great. Partly true- I had actually said everything was great but we were disappointed in our cabin, which, of course, was brushed off. We were bewildered and disappointed but decided to shake it off and not let it ruin our cruise. So just beware- there is a very large percentage of balcony cabins that have ONLY a bed, two nightstands and a desk. No sofa, as is pictured on their website. Deceptive advertising. Issue number two is do not purchase anything online prior to your cruise. If you do and want to cancel or change your order once onboard- you won't be able to. We purchased a photo package on their website prior to sailing. Once onboard we decided that we did not need 10 photos of ourselves so we asked to cancel. Sorry- you purchased online you have to cancel online. Okay. We paid for 10 minutes of internet service to cancel our package. Since we'd already set sail we could not access our online account! Back to the photo department. Sorry. Nothing they could do. Sigh. Okay... well- we purchased the package, we'll choose some photos in a few days. You have to purchase all 10 at the same time. We went to the photo department to choose some pictures and found 7 that were decent so we asked them to hold those 7 until we posed for more photos on Italian night. When we returned and chose a few more pictures to complete our order- they had lost the original 7!! We had given them our chosen photos and our cabin number. Anyway- long story short- we ended up getting the manager involved. End result- they reprinted some (some were never found on the computer) gave us about 14 pictures instead of 10 and we're supposed to get a full refund because of all the time we had to spend going through all the photos multiple times. Haven't seen the refund come through yet. We did receive an email that it is being processed. Muster drill- a waste of time. You could not hear or understand what they were saying. Had there been an emergency it would have been total chaos. Television- on a 3 week cruise the ONLY channel we could access in English was a British news channel. Can we say "Brexit overload?" One or two days they did offer a few free movies, but the test of the time your choices were to pay for movies, watch British news or turn it off. Okay- enough with the problems we had personally. On with the good. As I said the ship is beautiful. And clean! Our room steward- Maskur- was amazing. Our waiter and his assistant were both wonderful. The staff in the buffet worked very hard. They will interact with you and converse with you if given a chance. They are far from home and missing their families. Ask about their family! They will beam as they tell you about their home. Food- The food in the buffet is plentiful, varied and good. We chose to eat there on several evenings when we didn't want to dress up for dinner. It was always great. The Black Crab is a beautiful restaurant. The variety is somewhat limited in my opinion but there was always something I could find and the portions are big. I never had anything that wasn't hot and good. The best kept secret is the Sports Bar. Hamburgers, Reuben sandwiches, fish and chips, Ceasar Salad, wings- all complimentary and all good! Finding a table is sometimes a challenge though. There are only a few tables and people tend to gather there to play cards or just chat without ordering food. And you have to eat your food there- you can't order and take it anywhere else. The Piazza del Doge has complimentary cookies, cakes and sandwiches throughout the day and night. Gelato is $3.50 for a small cup or $5.50 for a large. They also make Sundaes and shakes for $6.50- $7.50. I can't speak to any drinks packages- we never buy those. Not worth it for us. There are always juices, tea and coffee available in the Buffet. The bed- comfortable enough for me. A bit on the firm side but I slept well. Activities- Dance lessons, origami lessons, craft sessions, trivia games, scavenger hunts, bingo, exercise classes, yoga, etc. are available throughout the day. The entertainment team is busy and energetic all day long. Shows - Mostly music. Singing, dancers, a ventriloquist one night. As with any ship- we enjoyed some shows and didn't care for others. That's up to individual tastes. Ports- we booked the cruise for the ports. This was a 20 day Transatlantic repositioning cruise with incredible destinations. NYC, Bermuda, Azores, Portugal, Malaga and Valencia, Spain, Marseilles and Genoa. Overnight in 4 of the ports, which was amazing! NYC- was way too cold for these Florida people! We stayed onboard on a nearly empty ship, which was nice. Bermuda ended up being canceled due to weather.... from what I heard this was the 3rd time in a row Bermuda has been cancelled- but that could be hearsay. We ended up in Tenerife in the Canary islands. A bit of a RIP off many felt, because we were supposed to have 2 full days in Bermuda, instead we got an extra sea day, and a not so great alternative port- and no refund on lost port taxes for Bermuda. It would have made more sense to give us extra time in one of our shorter ports- as we only had 6- 7 hours in several of our ports. I do understand, though, that there could be scheduling problems. Finally- MSC is a fine cruiseline and the Divina is a beautiful ship. The big area that MSC needs to improve on is communication. Talk to 3 different people about an issue and you will get 3 different answers. They are not consistent. Know this before you sail and you will be fine. Their website..... well- I'll just say it needs work and I'll leave it at that. Will I choose MSC for future cruises? Probably not. Crystal staircases and pretty decor can't make up for poor customer service and lack of communication. MSC is privately owned, answers to no one and simply does not appear to care about their guests. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
To be completely transparent about my review, we booked this cruise about a month before we set sail. We took advantage of MSC's status match, which only put us at the silver level. We paid for a very inexpensive inside guarantee ... Read More
To be completely transparent about my review, we booked this cruise about a month before we set sail. We took advantage of MSC's status match, which only put us at the silver level. We paid for a very inexpensive inside guarantee room, but when we were assigned a room, we were upgraded to an aft-facing balcony. The upgrade was so unexpected, and the room was so awesome, the cruise already turned out way better than we could have hoped. As for the actual cruise, as stated in many reviews, MSC has a very European flair. We quite enjoyed meeting so many Europeans on board, but this does make the experience slightly different than many mainline US cruises. Dinners in dining room are a little slower. The entertainment is a little more classical. We really enjoyed the Italian opera. The buffets can seem quite crowded, and since people take a little longer to eat, it can be hard to find a table, and not everybody has the same idea of what a line is. We found the ship to be beautiful, with many different types of lounges and public areas. The pools were quite large compared to some ships we've been on, with a water slide, an adults only area, a solarium, and many hot tubs. The gym was well appointed, but always crowded. It may be because the weather was not great. We really enjoyed the lecture that was given by a very interesting crew member about each upcoming port. It really helped us in our understanding of the places we visited. We found the service to be outstanding. Every crew member we interacted with was very helpful, polite, and interesting. We've read lots of reviews about the food being of poor quality, but we found it to be just fine. There was always something interesting to eat. Portions seemed just right, and our service at dinner was very responsive. An area that could use much improvement was the disembarkation process at ports. Lines to get off the ship were usually non-existent, and usually just turned into a mob. There was usually little or no supervision of this. Also, for some reason, our ship was always at the furthest dock. This meant that after fighting the crowd to get off the boat, you had to fight another crowd to get on buses that would take you to the port entrance. In some instances, MSC actually charged for some bus rides. We usually took the long walk to avoid the crowds, but in some ports we weren't allowed to walk. Though we stopped at a lot of ports, many stops were for 8 hours or less which made exploring the ports difficult. There also didn't seem to be many interesting excursions to choose from through MSC. Our room was very nice. It was relatively large with a nice couch seating area. The TV was pretty useless, but we didn't watch it anyway. The balcony was huge. There were 2 lounge chairs, 2 regular chairs, a table, and still plenty of room. Bathroom and shower were very comfortable. Overall, we had a great time on our first transatlantic cruise to Italy. We would recommend it to anyone, and would definitely hope to cruise on MSC in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This cruise was our 50th wedding anniversary celebration. We sailed in the Yacht Club category. Overall, we had a good time (not a great time), but as usual the lasting impression was the last impression. We pre-booked a post-cruise ... Read More
This cruise was our 50th wedding anniversary celebration. We sailed in the Yacht Club category. Overall, we had a good time (not a great time), but as usual the lasting impression was the last impression. We pre-booked a post-cruise excursion that would give us a drive-by tour of Rome before dropping us off at the airport. We were expecting them to handle our luggage, see the sites and experience a stress-free ride to the airport. By dinner time on the evening before disembarkation day, we had not yet received our disembarkation instructions. When we inquired, the Yacht Club concierge pulled an envelope out of a stack of envelopes and gave it to us. I looked at it and there were no instructions for the excursion so I asked about it. He informed us then and only then that the excursion had been canceled because so few people had signed up for it. OMG!! When I asked what alternative arrangements had been made for us, he dismissively said, "Oh, sir, you can just take a taxi." Cancellation of the excursion was totally unacceptable, but his attitude shook me to the core. This is the concierge for the exclusive Yacht Club telling me to go find a taxi. Really? At dinner in the exclusive Yacht Club restaurant Le Muse, I asked to see the Yacht Club Director. He earned his pay with me and my group as we explained what had happened and told him we needed an alternative. Bless his heart, he was back in just a few minutes (obviously he knew about the problem before-hand) and said they had arranged a private mini-van transfer to the airport. The problems with this solution were that it cost more than the pre-booked excursion (which of course was refunded to our account) and there was no tour of Rome. The next morning, we found our mini-van and delightful driver waiting for us. We were able to arrange a drive-by tour of major sites in Rome for an extra 100 euros per couple. All told, then, the alternate excursion cost $152 more per couple. To my way of thinking, that expense should have been covered by MSC. It was not. We are not likely to sail with MSC again, but will pend a decision on that to see if MSC responds to this review. Read Less
MSC Divina Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.3
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 1.0 3.2
Service 4.0 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 5.0 3.7

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