We've just gotten back (hubby and I) from a really wonderful 7 night cruise on the Italian cruise line MSC on board their ship called The Divina, who sails in the lovely Caribbean now. We docked out of Miami, and WOW, what an incredible port!
MY QUICK REVIEW:
It was a great ship overall, we had a terrific time. If you love authentic fresh Italian pasta and pizza and top of the line Broadway style shows-then this ship is for you! You must realize that MSC is a European Cruise Line, so the ship definitely has a European Flair and European Style of doing things. If you can understand this going on the ship, you'll have a fabulous time!!
OUR AMAZING BALCONY ROOM-
We had a balcony stateroom, that was so fabulous!! The views were stunning, and we truly spent tons of time on it. I loved having coffee on the balcony in the a.m. and a glass of wine on the balcony in the evening. Then arriving into ports, I was able to take some incredible pictures! The room was plenty big enough for 2 people, the bathroom was pretty standard (as compared to most cruise lines).
THE SHIP'S AMENITIES-
MSC Divina had pretty decent amenities. It had plenty of shops, many lounges, a water slide and 4 pools. We noticed several hot tubs (not always packed which was nice) and lots of areas to walk. We spent a lot of time walking the ship and it was easy to see how a full ship didn't feel full at all when we were going places (which was pleasant). The only real lines were the first and last days on the ship (embarkation and final debarkation). Otherwise it truly didn't feel crowded or miserable. I didn't feel like I was "herded along".
The wine bar on board was really wonderful, we spent a lot of time in here, with a fabulous, exhaustive list of wine from all over the world. We did a few small wine tastings that were well worth the $9 price which included 3 wines and some appetizers to complement these. I recommend purchasing the drink tickets, their is a real money value in doing so. They were great prices for drinks!
My favorite place on the ship was the Infinity Pool area. It was quiet, the pool was beautiful and felt like it was on the edge of the ship. It had shallow areas where you could sit (or lay) and get the cool water running over you, yet not be submerged in a large body of water. The "lounge chair issue" also seemed to be prevalent on the ship, it was always a challenge on sea days to find 2 chairs together. The last sea day we ended up getting one chair, and dragging another close to it, in order to be able to sit together. I don't think many people on the ship realized this little bit of heaven existing on this ship....so shhhh......don't tell people about this "secret spot"!
We enjoyed the Serenity Area (top deck) that was nice, but beware there is sometimes a charge to be up here. We had a discussion with one of the staff regarding allowing us one day up there for free and then the next day, wanting to charge us a fee, plus asking for tips. It's a nice area with pods to lay in, lounge chairs and a hot tub. This area is very quiet and serene, and worth being in! Just beware, it's the top deck and topless bathing is a common-place here!
The music was very nice and relaxing on the ship, we checked out several lounges, they had dance lessons (which were a lot of fun) some crafts, and then of course, the normal poolside contests. There was some variety for people to enjoy.
I didn't feel like it was overbooked (the schedule) and wished they had a few more activities to pass the time. If you wanted to simply relax and not have pushy wait staff on top of you 24/7, then this is the ship for you! The Broadway style shows were very much TOP NOTCH! The costumes were gorgeous, the staff was really fantastic and didn't miss a beat. You will definitely want to check out a show or 2. What is nice is they have the shows twice each evening, so both dining times can catch a show. So, don't miss the last night's show: the Michael Jackson Tribute, was unbelievable!!!
If you enjoy very leisurely (time wise) dining, then this is the ship for you. It took about an hour and a half to get through all of dinner (to include dessert and coffee). The food was wonderful on the ship, and we took advantage of as much time eating in the dining room (go there on sea days for lunch and breakfast too) as possible. While the buffet was good overall, it did get old after 7 days of eating it. Good varieties and lots of cultural food to choose from.
The staff is very international, as well as the passengers. The one part that got old, close to the last day, was hearing the announcements being repeated in like 6 languages. I wish (since the ship is based in the US right now for sailings) that English would have been the main language.
The MSC Divina was a real treat to sail on, I'd recommend this ship time and time again. I hope to sail on her again real soon, as well as bring a big group on board, this could be my new favorite ship to sail on!!
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