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Giantfan13

Our Divina Cruise, the good and the bad

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Thanks for the review.

 

On friday nite was their a Shabbat Service? Was wine and challah provided?

 

There was an item in the bulletin about Friday night services. We did attend. Either MSC doesn't understand what is needed, but they had an electric Chanukah menorah, and NO challah or wine. We had about 10 people turn out and one very nice man brought his own prayer book, so he led us in the service. One of the women there was a travel agent and she said she would inform MSC about the other requirements for a Sabbath service. Whether or not they comply, one shall see.

 

Oh, the service is held in the library, just so you know. It doesn't state that in the daily paper.

 

Cheers

 

Len

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This is not meant to criticize but point out some things you may have overlooked in your summary!

You stated you are 'budget conscious' cruisers who usually cruise in an inside cabin!

1)Would it be worth cruising again on the Divina when it goes on sale (recently $349. balcony)where Divina Balconies are the price of other cruise lines inside cabins?

2)Would you really rather cruise another ships inside cabin then a Divina balcony?:confused:

3)Have you looked at MSC's loyalty Club, and how it works, (adding cruise points by counting on board spending), how quick you can reach their top tier which would give you '20%' off already super low balcony sale prices?:eek:

Imagine a future $349 balcony sale, and then get 20% off in loyalty club savings, you'd really still rather go on another cruise line in an inside cabin?

 

As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for, and in our opinion,,,

1) there is no better bang for your buck then cruising, and

2) the Divina is the best overall bang for your buck in the Caribbean right now! Balcony cabins on a beautiful ship routinely on sale for the price of inside cabins on other cruise lines!:)

We'd agree with RICLOP, if food is most important to you, the Celebrity might be a better overall fit, but you'll pay a lot more!

 

AB

 

We did think about getting the balcony, and we almost did. It wasn't a question of money, more the space in the handicapped room. I did call MSC about changing to a balcony room, but there were no handicapped rooms available in the balcony category at that time, so we decided that the extra space was more important.

As I said in my original thread, if we ever do cruise on the Divina again, we will have to have that balcony.

 

As for the best bang for your buck, not if you aren't having a good time. Again, I never said the cruise was terrible, but some of the things that we value when cruising weren't there for us. I would assume 2000+ other people on the cruise had a blast. That's fine. maybe this just wasn't for us.

 

Cheers

 

Len

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OP

 

This is not a critique but (I am Jewish also):

 

Did they offer the prepackaged kosher meals?

 

You said you are budget conscious, so I am assuming you paid less tha $50/pp/day. If you go out for a salmon dinner in a decent restaurant, it would probably be about $20 before tax/tip/beverage/dessert....so you would expect a bill for that meal to almost total your cost for an entire day at sea!

 

On the criuise you're paying for a more economical method of food preparation than a restaurant on land.

 

Again...you don't get what you don't pay for.

 

We HAVE tried Kosher meals when cruising, and they aren't really very good. You see, Kosher meals are more meant for people who will not eat anything that isn't Kosher. We eat other things, just not meat and shellfish. We eat off of the regular dishes and use all the silverware. We just avoid things that aren't considered Kosher under any circumstances.

And again, we have done 14 other cruises and have eaten this way on all of them and we have never encountered fish dinners prepared as poorly as these were. Many people we spoke to had the same opinions of several of the regular dishes. They were just dry, and fish just isn't supposed to be that way. As I said, we did enjoy some of the pasta dishes, and believe me we didn't starve. :):):):)

 

Cheers

 

Len

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In his opinion it was inedible. Maybe it just wasn't prepared the way he's used to.

 

If it was so bad...why did he continue to order it? There had to be other options other than meat.

 

I"d go into all the "people trying to keep kosher in a non-kosher environment" I've had over the years....but it's way off topic. :)

 

Let's be clear here. When I said the fish was inedible, it WAS inedible. It was dry, chewy, and just tasted overcooked. I know when a fish dinner is good and when it is not. You want a good fish dinner, come on over, I prepare them every week. If you like your salmon, dry, chewy and overcooked then you will think the fish is superb. I don't like it that way, so it was inedible.

 

Why did I continue to order it? After the first time, I specifically told the waiter to have it undercooked. What I got instead was fish that was not undercooked, but overcooked, and inedible. After complaining to the Maître 'D, I was assured that the next time I ordered it, it would be to my liking. It WAS better, but still not near to what a fresh salmon dinner should be like. We never ordered it again after that.

 

And anytime you want to discuss try to be Kosher in a non Kosher environment, please let me know. I would be more than happy to take you up on that. We have never had a problem on 14 other cruises, so why was this so different?

 

Cheers

 

Len

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There are those that would argue the style of service on MSC is actually more sincere, maybe just lacking the saccharin veneer of the US lines?

 

Andrew

 

That could very well be. But we still felt the communication was poor between staff and passenger. In our section of the MDR and at other times during the cruise, we tried to understand what the staff was saying and it was hard. And I do believe they have the same hard time understand everything we say. Most passengers have accents from where ever they are from, even us NYers (hard to believe, right :D:D:D:D), so I can understand. I wasn't really knocking it, just making note of how we felt. I am sure others on this sailing had different experiences dealing with the staff. I was just making note of our experience and what others who will cruise MSC MIGHT experience.

 

Cheers

 

Len

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Thanks for the review, I do find it amusing that it took 6 people, 30 minutes on hold, etc to put a bar of soap in the trash. I think I would have done it myself in 2 seconds. :rolleyes:

 

Maureen

 

We did consider this, but we also wanted MSC to know about it.

 

If you enter you cabin for the first time, and find it dirty, do you pick up a rag and start cleaning?. We just thought it would be a simple thing to get I t cleaned up, not a major event. Maybe if the room steward were around when people are finding their rooms, introducing themselves to the passengers, it would have been a minor event. But it didn't play out that way. Do you think we were being overly critical on finding a used bar of soap in our shower when the rooms are supposed to be cleaned?

 

Again, we just wanted MSC to be aware of this mistake.

 

Cheers

 

Len

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You can request bar soap. Also, we had ta or coffee each night after dinner so I am not sure why the OP could not. Cookies were in the buffet at night if you want something sweet. You could always ask for the fresh pasta each night without the meat. If you told them of the special diet someone would give you the menu the night before and you would pre order anything without the meat. They have the best lasagna( you could have asked for meatless), and their egg plant parm is fantastic. You could have asked for any appetizer as a main dish. I have found MSC to be very accommodating for anything asked of them. As far as the 30 minutes on hold... a bit long but it was the first day and they are always busy and the room stewards are all busy getting luggage to each cabin ( earlier than any other cruise line).

Also, your wait staff may not have been as good as someone elses, does not mean they are all like yours. We had horrible wait service on our X cruise and on HAL. It was our server not everyone.

All shows are now as short as they are on MSC. Part of their niche is the full stage production with the acrobatics and all the other most unusual talent woven into the main production.

You did not mention all the live music all over the ship. Did you get to enjoy that? Did you go to any of the dance lessons? Did the wonderful entertainment team dance with you or you wife and engage in conversation with you like the golden age of cruising? All these elements make MSC different and very unique. Did you go to any of the games? They are always fun, and did you notice the wonderful cruise prizes given out are not like the other cruise lines that give out a pen?

If there is a next time, pls contact msc beforehand and let them do a special diet for you. It will work out well and you will not have the extra stress. Did you enjoy their wonderful salad bar in the buffet? We also love their pizza. Hope you give them another try, they are worth it!

 

Seriously, were you on the same cruise I was. Obviously NOT.

 

First of all, I never said we couldn't have coffee or tea. Please try reading what I wrote before you comment. I said we weren't offered coffee or tea, we had to ask for it, if we wanted it. I also wanted to know if this was a common thing on cruise ships that did not cater to an American passenger.

 

Let's move on. We attended the buffet every night after the regular buffet was closed and there were NO cookies, or anything else that was sweet there. Never, not once in the entire cruise did they have cookies there. In fact, they never had cookies at the regular dinner buffets. They had desserts there and they were very good, but they never had cookies.

 

Now, let's move on to the Eggplant parm. If you saw that on any menu, I would surely like to know where you ate it or evens aw it. Eggplant Parm is my all time favorite meal, and if it was on the menu, I would have ordered it. Yes they did have some sort of eggplant dish, but not eggplant parm. As for the Lasagna dishes. I did sample one in the buffet for a lunch. It was not very good. And how can I request that they make me a meatless lasagna when the entire dish is made for the ship with meat already in it. Yes, they may try to be accommodating, but they surely aren't going to change an entire menu item, start over and make it for 2 people. .Most of the sauces, that go on the pastas, were of a meat base or had meat in it, so we couldn't eat them.

 

Once again, since you failed to read my OP, I think I mentioned I am slightly handicapped. I walk with a cane most times and dancing lessons are a bit out of the question. We did spend some very nice time at the piano bar lounge and like the two people performing there very much. And winning a ship's prize isn't really why I cruise. We did partake in some of the trivia. My best was at the movie trivia where we got 7 of the 10 questions right, but alas, no award.

 

Cheers

 

Len

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GIANTFAN13

 

The Yacht Club has it's own 1/2 a deck forward on deck 17

 

If you can find deck 17 in the yacht club on Divina I'll pay for B2B cruises of your choice on DIvina!!!!!!!!!!!

 

If you can find any cabin number ending 17 eg 10017 or 8117 i'll pay for a 17 night cruise in the YC on Divina :D:D

 

The one deck in the Yacht club is on Deck 18, YC cabins are on decks 16, 15, and 12.

 

Pete

Edited by Skier52

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Cam, Were the lasagna and the eggplant parm on the buffet or in the MDR? This is the first I have heard of them, two of my favorite things! Three, if they have chicken parm!

 

Maureen

 

There were NO eggplant parm dishes on the menu. Yes there were a couple of lasagna dishes in the buffet, but trust me, they weren't very good. Mostly pasta and a heavy cream sauce. No REAL Italian lasagna as we know it.

 

Cheers

 

Len

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If you can find deck 17 in the yacht club on Divina I'll pay for B2B cruises of your choice on DIvina!!!!!!!!!!!

 

If you can find any cabin number ending 17 eg 10017 or 8117 i'll pay for a 17 night cruise in the YC on Divina :D:D

 

The one deck in the Yacht club is on Deck 18, YC cabins are on decks 16, 15, and 12.

 

Pete

 

I knew there wasn't a deck 17 because the Italians believe 17 is an unlucky number,,never knew none of the staterooms didn't end in 17 either!!! Thanks Pete for that info!!!

Interesting story behind this as well:

 

In Italian culture, the number 17 is considered unlucky. When viewed as the Roman numeral, XVII, it is then changed anagramtically to VIXI, which in the Latin language it translates to "I have lived", the perfect tense implying "My life is over."

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I knew there wasn't a deck 17 because the Italians believe 17 is an unlucky number,,never knew none of the staterooms didn't end in 17 either!!! Thanks Pete for that info!!!

Interesting story behind this as well:

 

In Italian culture, the number 17 is considered unlucky. When viewed as the Roman numeral, XVII, it is then changed anagramtically to VIXI, which in the Latin language it translates to "I have lived", the perfect tense implying "My life is over."

Oh dear you mean Giantfan13 won't get a free cruise after all, and there was me ready to distribute my massive lottery win from last weekend, Oh well i'll just have to spend it on the wife.

 

Anybody know if you can get a cruise for £7.40 :D:D:D

 

 

Pete

 

 

PS Thanks Len (Giantfan13) for a well balanced review, good reading

Edited by Skier52

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If you can find deck 17 in the yacht club on Divina I'll pay for B2B cruises of your choice on DIvina!!!!!!!!!!!

 

If you can find any cabin number ending 17 eg 10017 or 8117 i'll pay for a 17 night cruise in the YC on Divina :D:D

 

The one deck in the Yacht club is on Deck 18, YC cabins are on decks 16, 15, and 12.

 

Pete

 

Pete

 

First of all, please try to read what I wrote

 

The Yacht Club has it's own 1/2 a deck forward on deck 17, I believe, and deck 18 is what is known as the Solarium,

 

I said Deck 17, I believe. I wasn't positive about it. And really does that make a real big difference. I wrote an entire essay on my cruise and you picked that nugget to question me on. WOW.

 

Oh, and if you do reply to me, please try to at least get my screen name correct. It is Giantfan13.

 

Cheers

 

Len

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Pete

 

First of all, please try to read what I wrote

 

 

 

I said Deck 17, I believe. I wasn't positive about it. And really does that make a real big difference. I wrote an entire essay on my cruise and you picked that nugget to question me on. WOW.

 

Oh, and if you do reply to me, please try to at least get my screen name correct. It is Giantfan13.

 

Cheers

 

Len

 

I'm very sorry if I've caused any offence at all, it was just maent to be a little bit of light hearted banter, but can we agree to say the English have a strange sense of humour.

 

I apologise for getting your screen name wrong but I make a lot of typo as I find typing very difficult as I have Parkinson's disease and don't have full control of my fingers and thumbs

 

Pete

 

PS you missed my PS on my eralier post

 

Thanks Len (Giantfan13) for a well balanced review, good reading

PPS if you check my posts i think you'll find i managed to correct your screen name in the time allowed for editting

Edited by Skier52

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Oh dear you mean Giantfan13 won't get a free cruise after all, and there was me ready to distribute my massive lottery win from last weekend, Oh well i'll just have to spend it on the wife.

 

Anybody know if you can get a cruise for £7.40 :D:D:D

 

 

Pete

 

 

PS Thanks Len (Giantfan13) for a well balanced review, good reading

 

Check the Carnival website Pete!!

Edited by Mikesa1721

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Thank all of you for responding and I tried to respond to most comments.

 

As I said, I wasn't trying to knock MSC on most things, just trying to point out some things that we found 'a bit different' good or bad. Many of the things can easily be corrected, but if most of the passengers didn't find these things to be objectionable, why would they bother.

 

I was trying to make note of things that happened to us. Yes, some of the things, like the soap, for instance; probably won't happen to most of the passengers, and if we had poor service, that might also not happen to most of the passengers. But some of these things DID happen to us and they might also happen to other cruisers. That was more the jest of my report. To let people know what they MIGHT encounter, and some of our experiences.

 

A few other tidbits that have entered my mind that might be of interest to others.

 

In the buffet, they have drinks like juice, flavored water thru the day, until dinner. After that it's just water or iced tea. BUT, each area where you get the drinks may have a different selection. Like, I enjoyed cranberry juice, (watered down but still good) but I knew exactly which section had that in it's dispenser. Others had pineapple juice, others mango flavored water ( I also enjoyed this) and several other choices. You just have to search them out and remember which have which if you have a favorite.

 

Speaking of the buffet. When we did eat there, head for the back of the ship. there are wonderful tables that look out at the stern, where there are far less people. They also have the same food at stations in the back so no need to stand on line for it.

 

I think it was mentioned that they have soft serve ice cream from 2-5 every afternoon, not in the buffet, but by the pool. Just a suggestion, they only have very small cones for the ice cream and if you are out in the heat, it does get messy. We took coffee mugs and spoons from the buffet to put the ice cream in. It wasn't really that good, but on a hot day, it was very cooling.

 

Another thin I wanted to mention was the duty free liquor shop. ON some items, their prices were excellent. For instance, they had liters of Myers Rum for, I believe $12.50 and Captain Morgan's Rum, also about $12.00. I thought their price for Bacardi's was a bit high. We were basically interested in Rum, so I don't remember other selections. We did buy our alcohol in St Marteen. We found a shop, downtown, that was selling most major brands of liquor, 2 for $20. We bought Finlandia Vodka/$10, Bacardi's Select/$10, Capt Morgans/$10. As I said in previous posts, we usually don't drink, but these made the perfect gifts, for now or for the holidays. We only bought the 4 bottles as we had to fly home and getting them in our luggage was a major accomplishment. if we were traveling by car we would have bought much more. But, as I said, prices on the ship were also very good.

 

In the daily bulletin, they have things where certain groups of people can meet up in the silver lounge. They had a cruisecritic meeting, which we got there a bit late for. They also had a veterans meeting. I am a Viet Nam Vet and I always attend these things when they have them. We only had about 8 vets turn up, but we had a great time sharing stories. I know there were more vets on board as I saw several wearing hats saying so, but they either didn't know about this or didn't care to attend. They do have other group type meetings, usually on sea days.

 

that's all I can think of right now. If anything else crosses my mind, I'll be sure to inform you all.

 

Cheers

 

Len

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You must remember that gratuities are part of your on board spending, so getting to $200. isn't that hard!:eek:

 

Agreed- but $400 is. One point is nothing to get excited about when you were talking 20% discount for top level.

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Originally Posted by Skier52 viewpost.gif

Oh dear you mean Giantfan13 won't get a free cruise after all, and there was me ready to distribute my massive lottery win from last weekend, Oh well i'll just have to spend it on the wife.

 

Anybody know if you can get a cruise for £7.40 :D:D:D

 

 

Pete

 

 

PS Thanks Len (Giantfan13) for a well balanced review, good reading

 

 

Check the Carnival website Pete!!

 

 

Now I find that VERY FUNNY, but then I've got a strange English sense of humour (or do i have to spell it Humor?)

 

Pete

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There was an item in the bulletin about Friday night services. We did attend. Either MSC doesn't understand what is needed, but they had an electric Chanukah menorah, and NO challah or wine. We had about 10 people turn out and one very nice man brought his own prayer book, so he led us in the service. One of the women there was a travel agent and she said she would inform MSC about the other requirements for a Sabbath service. Whether or not they comply, one shall see.

 

Oh, the service is held in the library, just so you know. It doesn't state that in the daily paper.

 

Cheers

 

Len

 

thanks for the explanation.

 

i will talk to CD dept and see if they can arrange a wine and challah and proper candle lights.

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Agreed- but $400 is. One point is nothing to get excited about when you were talking 20% discount for top level.

1 point can be very important.

Msc miscalculated my on board spend from my last cruise and credited me with a total of 99 points.

 

I had to fight hard to get than 1 point and so get my black card

 

that 1 point was worth an extra 10% off my upcoming cruise in November

Edited by Skier52

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Now I find that VERY FUNNY, but then I've got a strange English sense of humour (or do i have to spell it Humor?)

 

Pete

 

I understand English humor very well Pete!!! We met a fantastic family from Manchester last week,,the stories they told had us crying in laughter!!!! Thank God we exchanged contact information,,,,,we all could use a good laugh every now and then!!:):)

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Seriously, were you on the same cruise I was. Obviously NOT.

 

First of all, I never said we couldn't have coffee or tea. Please try reading what I wrote before you comment. I said we weren't offered coffee or tea, we had to ask for it, if we wanted it. I also wanted to know if this was a common thing on cruise ships that did not cater to an American passenger.

 

Let's move on. We attended the buffet every night after the regular buffet was closed and there were NO cookies, or anything else that was sweet there. Never, not once in the entire cruise did they have cookies there. In fact, they never had cookies at the regular dinner buffets. They had desserts there and they were very good, but they never had cookies.

 

Now, let's move on to the Eggplant parm. If you saw that on any menu, I would surely like to know where you ate it or evens aw it. Eggplant Parm is my all time favorite meal, and if it was on the menu, I would have ordered it. Yes they did have some sort of eggplant dish, but not eggplant parm. As for the Lasagna dishes. I did sample one in the buffet for a lunch. It was not very good. And how can I request that they make me a meatless lasagna when the entire dish is made for the ship with meat already in it. Yes, they may try to be accommodating, but they surely aren't going to change an entire menu item, start over and make it for 2 people. .Most of the sauces, that go on the pastas, were of a meat base or had meat in it, so we couldn't eat them.

 

Once again, since you failed to read my OP, I think I mentioned I am slightly handicapped. I walk with a cane most times and dancing lessons are a bit out of the question. We did spend some very nice time at the piano bar lounge and like the two people performing there very much. And winning a ship's prize isn't really why I cruise. We did partake in some of the trivia. My best was at the movie trivia where we got 7 of the 10 questions right, but alas, no award.

 

Cheers

 

Len

 

They do have cookies every night but not until about 8-9pm. We were offered coffee or tea every night even though we do not drink either and even on the last night we were still offered it.

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I understand English humor very well Pete!!! We met a fantastic family from Manchester last week,,the stories they told had us crying in laughter!!!! Thank God we exchanged contact information,,,,,we all could use a good laugh every now and then!!:):)

You have to have a good sense of humour if you live in dull, dreary rainy Manchester.

oh my goodness that description fits Wales as well, except Wales has more sheep. (I'm an Engishman living in Wales)

 

Pete

Edited by Skier52

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In his opinion it was inedible. Maybe it just wasn't prepared the way he's used to.

 

If it was so bad...why did he continue to order it? There had to be other options other than meat.

 

I"d go into all the "people trying to keep kosher in a non-kosher environment" I've had over the years....but it's way off topic. :)

 

In my book, in edible IS IN FACT in edible.

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Maureen

 

There were NO eggplant parm dishes on the menu. Yes there were a couple of lasagna dishes in the buffet, but trust me, they weren't very good. Mostly pasta and a heavy cream sauce. No REAL Italian lasagna as we know it.

 

Cheers

 

Len

 

Len-

 

If you are on an Italian ship, and they are serving lasagna...this is real Italian lasagna....the way Italians eat it (or at least one of the ways).

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