MSC Divina Review - 11 night Caribbean from Miami Jan 2018
I will start this review by saying that we are very experienced cruisers. This however was a first for us - MSC. They have an excellent deal on at the moment where they "status match" you to the top tier level you have already made with any other cruiseline - hence we were status matched to their top tier - Black.
So, with that in mind, I shall proceed.......
The ship :
Fabulous! What a beauty. We were lucky enough to bag an Aft cabin and it was fantastic, spotless and well appointed. The public areas of the ship were never crowded despite its massive size - I believe there were 3500 passengers onboard for our sailing just after New Year.
Crew : The usual, Phillipino and Indian waiters and cabin stewards. Could not fault them, excellent indeed. Entertainment crew were from allover, the cruise director was British, so at least I could understand him haha
Entertainment / shows : Erm......dire? This ship caters for a lot of non English as a first language passengers ( more of that later ). As such it has singers who do not have English as a first language singers.. the shows in the main theatre...well if you like Queen, DON'T GO! Feddie Mercury sounded like a strangled cat, in a foreign accent. Michael Jackson show was billed as the best on the high seas... Michael could dance, his backing dancers could dance but could he sing? Nope! He lip synced.
The other shows were just not to our taste, or to the taste of a lot of the North American/English speaking other passengers - La Traviata, Paris night, Italian Classics night and a Frank Sinatra night.
Food : Very good, I am not a foodie but there was something for everyone and no complaints from our table. They still have the old fashioned and in my opinion out dated 2 sittings though - 6pm and 8.30pm. I much prefer anytime dining where you can just turn up.They do have a version of this but only if you pay for the "Wellness" experience, which is seriously annoying! The buffet was well set out, no long lines and a large variety of food to choose from, the pizza is superb indeed and pretty much available 24/7.
Perks: if you are lucky enough to get Black status then I must say MSC are up there with the best when it comes to perks.. they give you stuff all the time! It really was a little embarrassing to us as first timers - 3 bottles of champagne, 3 plates of chocolate strawberries, free speciality meals,free spa treatments, mouse mats, solid chocolate replicas of the ship ( a foot long! ), cocktail party with unlimited drinks, free pictures.. the list goes on. MSC have got 10/10 for that.
General comments: Passengers! I would guess that there are 30% native English speakers onboard MSC Divina. There are French, Germans, Italians and a LOT of Russians. I don't care much for Russians after this cruise, they are extremely rude and travel in very large groups – 50 or 60 strong. We switched dining tables twice in attempt to get away from them – they have children running about the dining room totally uncontrolled and do not care one little bit. The Maitre D was unwilling ( and possibly unable ) to get them to control their kids and as such the dining room experience was one best forgot.
To sum up : the ship and crew are outstanding. Do I think it appeals to the average UK/North American/Canadian/Australian cruiser? No. It is a big change from the Princesses, the Royal Caribbeans, NCL's and Carnivals of the word. A big change. MSC have the new ship MSC Seaside and they are actively marketing it to North Americans - we will monitor the reviews and look to see if they have more English orientated things on there. If they do, we will consider them again.
If they do not, we will be sticking to other cruiselines.