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MSC Divina Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,756 Reviews

All Style and No Substance

MSC Divina Cruise Review by kesko

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Apr 2018
  • Destination: the Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom

I'll try to keep this as simple as I can. The ship is clean and beautiful. Great Mediterranean itinerary. We liked our balcony room and very nice steward. It was noisy and not a lot of sound proofing, but I expected that. Food was not great, usual crowded cattle buffet, usual cruise ship food that never really knocks it out of the park unless you pay extra for a specialty restaurant. Not sure what all the complaints of "rude Europeans" and different language announcements are about. That was not an issue for us, and I enjoyed being around passengers from different places. What's the point of traveling!?That is where the positives stop. I gotta say, should have heeded the reviews. I thought everyone giving negative reviews of Divina were just hard to please and too picky since we had a great time on other negatively-reviewed ships. Well, this time they are right.

This cruise line advertises the Divina as a large ship with an endless amount of activities, lounges/venues, and dining options. That's all well and good, but they DO NOT have the staffing or QUALITY of staff to pull it off, aside from entertainment. Everyone seemed to only sort-of know what they were doing and were unable to answer or solve passenger questions, even simple ones like, "Hi, can I use my drink coupon here?" Yes, we researched where we could use our coupons and what was included, but once on the ship a lot of things were ambiguous. And no it was not a language barrier. All the spaces were too busy and obviously overwhelmed the staff. And why have visible bar/server spaces if you don't want people to walk up there for a drink? Sorry, but no one came to us after 30 minutes so we thought we were supposed to go up to you! In the end, I felt bad for THEM, not for me. It must feel awful to want to do your job, but not be provided with the resources to do so. I think this is what leads to less smiles and poor service, not that they are "European" as some reviewers theorize.

Excursions: We received tickets for excursions each evening with ambiguous instructions. You had to read your ticket AND refer to the daily program to get the info, and then get even more information at your meeting place. Even then some important details we only overheard. Just put all the info with the ticket and where to show up outside the ship like Royal Caribbean. No crowds or groups herded out all at once. This is one of MANY counter-intuitive processes on this ship.

Another sour note was watching an elderly couple asking to go just a minute ahead of our disembarkation group because she had mobility issues. Nope, wouldn't accommodate (or the employee wasn't practical/knowledgeable enough to make that call) and they were herded out in the huge crowd. Just let them go! When staff know what they are doing and are confident in the processes, they know when to make exceptions.

The website is a whole other issue. I canceled a couple of excursions and internet packages well before the cruise for both of us and only got reimbursed for one person. It's been 2 months and 4 phone calls and they still haven't refunded as promised.

Compared to other big-ship cruise lines, MSC has a LONG way to go to sort out their processes and staff quality. Staff deserve good training, and paying passengers deserve well-trained staff. Come on MSC, step it up. If you can't, then put a disclaimer in the booking that states you can't promise the services advertised.

kesko's Full Rating Summary
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