MSC Divina Cruise Review by Iamasinglecruiser
- Sail Date: February 2019
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
We met people from around the world: straight and gay couples; large and small groups, single guys travelling together with women, other guys, family and alone; single women travelling with other women, men and family. 30somethings to 80somethings and every age in between. A pair of really fun 33 y/o Canadian couples were our pool/party buddies most afternoons and we heard no less than six languages around us at any time. There were many repeat MSC cruisers and a surprisingly high number of repeat/frequent Divina cruisers. I've been on Seaside twice (February 3, 2018 and February 2, 2019) so I've learned MSC is an international crowd (refreshingly so most of the time), the food is overall great and it is as or more professionally operated as Royal, which is the only other line I've frequented. We all found things to do and people to talk to, reconvening for dinner in the dining room eight of the 10 nights. More on that later.
MSC Divina is a beautiful ship. I was forward portside oceanview room 8005. My kids were midship starboard interior room 8194. I had Wellness package and no drink package. I drank what I wanted and paid at the end. I heard many people talk about getting drink packages as free upgrades, even balconies as free upgrades so I will be asking for upgrades when I book in the future. We spent a lot of time at the Garden Pool. We choose there because it overlooks the stern and the ocean/water is so close and hypnotic. You also avoid all the social announcements, dance classes, sexy man/woman, BINGO, etc., going on midship at the big pool. Shhh...it's an amazingly quiet, secret spot. Even though all of us are repulsed by cigarette smoke there was virtually no lingering smoke from the Garden Bar smoking area, which is on Deck 15 right next to the Garden Pool. We staked out spots on the wooden decking, got buckets of Red Stripes (well I did anyway) and didn't bother fighting over a chaise lounge. BTW they were mostly gone by 8, scarce by 9 and gone by 10. And staying on Deck 15, we'd get ready for dinner and meet there for an aperitif...live music, stars/sunset and really no smoke bothering us. SMOKERS: this is your spot! There is also a very nice Cigar Lounge with decent cigars for sale onboard. There are far better cigars for sale in the Mini Mall, which you can then bring into the Cigar Lounge. BRING a lighter (safely and legally of course) as it can sometimes be very hard to find an extra flame onboard.
The ship has many unique areas, which allow music, dancing, social activities, kids activities, etc. to be going on in one area without dominating the other areas. I'd spent time gazing at deck plans and getting ready for "my turn" so I'd picked the pool and staterooms we'd hang out at. I tried to make advance reservations at Eataly but was told it was sold out. I had no problem making a reservation once onboard. We ate there Sunday night and it was above expectation although with small portions of pasta. The MDR was also above expectation. We enjoyed the menus, food, flexibility, quality of service and personalities of our service staff, beverage service, decor and people watching. Be prepared and plan ahead...if you have an 8:30 dinner like we did (too late for me), see the 7PM show (not me...I won't miss sunset...we all did our own thing before dinner) because dinner lasts until 9:30/9:45ish. We didn't find any dish in the MDR or buffet we didn't eat due to flavor or poor quality. Our conclusions: too much and too good to say no. The ship shows some signs of wear and tear (carpet in hallway was worn, edging around hot tubs is worn, etc.) so you'll see some things to complain about in that regard. However, it was was sparkling clean and everything worked all the time. Everything. Both cabins were better than expected and cabin service was personalized, friendly and helpful. We carried luggage on and off so em/debarkation were non-events. Wait here, queue there, just relax. It won't leave without you. We actually had breakfast at the buffet and sat in the sun for an hour on Sunday before leaving the ship so it helped extend our vacation a bit.
Hard to think of any complaints but I guess it's only fair so here we go: no comedy show.
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