MSC Divina: The Ship!

As we’ve mentioned in past posts, this was our fourth sailing on the Divina. Our first trip, back over Christmas of 2015, was our only other non-Yacht Club sailing, so while we did miss some of those amenities, it was nice to get back on in normal rooms and get a feel for the parts of the ship we may not have frequented in the Yacht Club sailings.

Let’s start with the rooms! We’d originally booked two insides for this sailing back in April, but upon logging in a couple months before departure, noticed we’d been upgraded to two balcony rooms. Awesome! The specific rooms assigned were cabin 10275, an aft balcony, and 9054, a port side forward cove balcony. We’d made the decision to put Jen and her mom in 10275 and Bayley and I in 9054, and I admit I was a bit jealous initially, as I fell in love with the views an aft balcony provides back when we sailed the Celebrity Summit to Bermuda. That jealousy subsided a bit after we got on the ship and checked out the rooms. It’s not that I didn’t like the room or balcony itself, it’s that an aft balcony tends to get little to no airflow, even at sea, and as a result, it’s really humid this time of year on that balcony. I did end up spending more time on mine than theirs as a result. Don’t get me wrong, we very much appreciate the upgrades, and 10275 is a beautiful room with an amazing balcony that’s nice and deep, and including chairs and loungers is a really nice touch. Additionally, both rooms had plenty of storage, and ours came with plenty of hangars! Jen usually brings extras, as most rooms tend to be a little light on them, but Bayley and I had no need for extras in 9054.

Enough talk, let’s take a virtual tour of both rooms with these 360 degree photos! Hit play on each one, and drag your way around to check out each room and balcony!

10275


9054


Moving on, the ship itself is still just as beautiful as the first time we sailed her. The layout and decor are a large part of what make the Divina one of our favorite ships. Frankly, after sailing a couple of other lines between our last Divina sailing and this one, we’ve come to appreciate the Divina’s theater that much more. It’s got some of the best sight-lines of any ship-board theater we’ve sat in, and the seats are pretty comfortable compared to others we’ve used. One thing they’ve added since our last visit is reserved seating for Yacht Club, a nice addition that some of the other lines also do for their suite guests. The location’s a bit questionable though, as they’ve blocked off the entire starboard side section in the upper deck. I’d have expected a lower level section near the front, but I’m sure there were reasons for the location.

Take a look around the Divina’s theater!

On a related note, we were happy to see there have been changes to some of the shows. We do enjoy their entertainment, and while the overall show lineup was pretty close to what they had on previous sailings, there were some changes to the songs and visuals in The Mask, the pirate show, and the Michael Jackson show. All were still excellent! Additionally, they’ve added one musical show, a tribute to the band Queen. We were pretty excited about this one, but admittedly left this one underwhelmed. Bohemian Rhapsody just didn’t have the punch we expected, and one thing we heard more than one passenger say: “How can you do a Queen show without performing Fat Bottomed Girls?”. Outside of that, however, we still thoroughly enjoyed the shows. Keep in mind that with such a mix of passengers and languages, they work to make their shows appeal in more of a visual manner, with a reduced focus on spoken story telling, and in our opinion, they do a pretty solid job of it!

Bayley and I each also took a couple of turns in the F1 simulator, one of my personal favorite things about the ship considering I’m a big open wheel fan. In addition to the F1 simulator, they also have a 4D theater and mini bowling (in the sports bar on deck 7) for those wanting to do something a little different. Note that, as of the time this was written, the pricing for a single turn at each is:

  • F1 simulator: $9.90/pp
  • 4D theater: $8/pp for adults, $6/pp for kids 13 and under
  • Mini bowling: $8

Or you can buy a per-cabin pass for $85 that allows everyone in the cabin to use those three things as much as you want! Frankly, that doesn’t seem like a bad deal to me if you’ve got a cabin full of kids, or simply want to make use of these things yourself.

One of the other things about the Divina that we love is still intact, the smoke-free casino. Of all of the ships we’ve sailed that have casinos, this is the only one that’s not covered in the smell of smoke, which is really nice for non-smokers. Here’s a 360 degree view of the casino, as seen from the awesome staircase in the center!

I think that about covers what I wanted to talk about this time around. I’ve gone over the ship a lot after our past Divina sailings, so I don’t want to repeat too much of that again, but if you want to check out those past posts, I’ve got them organized here:

Additionally, feel free to take a look around some of the other areas of the ship I took 360 shots in! She really is a beautiful ship!

The lobby, in all of its sparkly splendor 🙂

Piazza del Doge

The amazing view from the upper decks (shot in Nassau)

MSC Divina: Day 6 Recap – Christmas Eve Edition!

In addition to being our last sea day, it was also Christmas eve. Having never spent Christmas on a ship, we weren’t sure what to expect, but MSC didn’t disappoint.

We spent most of the day bouncing back and forth between the various activities indoors, despite the excellent weather outside. We started the fun off with a Pictionary win, and followed that up by tying for the win in the first round of Christmas trivia! I said it yesterday, and I’ll say it again, the entertainment staff is outstanding. I really don’t know how Jaime is able to keep up with it all, but we’ve enjoyed every round of trivia we’ve participated in.

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Lunch found us back at the buffet, which we’ve been somewhat disappointed in over the course of the week. Breakfast seems to offer the most stations open, along with the largest selection of items. When we’ve eaten lunch in here, half the stations are generally empty. It’s definitely a change from other lines we’ve been on. The other buffet related item that’s somewhat annoying is that they only have lemonade at the beverage stations during lunch. At dinner, it’s just water and tea. My irritation with the lack of buffet selection was tempered by our view of the ocean as we ate, though :).

After lunch and a bit of time resting, we headed back down to play Scattergories. Fun, but there were a large number of teams, which made it run a bit long, causing Jaime to be late to the final round of Christmas trivia. We all knew this because the guy I mentioned in my day 3 recap that promised to correct Jaime at every turn walked in loudly and rudely reminding Jaime that he was late. Seriously, you’re on a cruise, relax and enjoy yourself. We did head in to that final Christmas trivia round when Scattergories was done, but lost that one by 3 points.

After trivia, we headed to the theater for a special event. MSC had secured a visit from Santa and Rudolph, and had them set up on stage taking pictures and giving out presents to every single child on the ship. You read that right. Every last one who came in and waited in line got a gift. It wasn’t just small MSC logo items either. The presents were things like small Lego sets for boys, art kits for girls, and a couple of other types of presents I never got a good look at. We were in there the entire time, and that line was really, really long at the start, snaking from the stage up to the back of the theater, and back around again. It took just over an hour, but they got through everyone and still had a pretty good pile of presents left. I have to say, we were very impressed, MSC obviously knows how to do Christmas at sea the right way!

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That took us in to dinner in the MDR, where we had a special 7 course Christmas eve meal. Things started off really slowly, as we only had the initial course before the first hour elapsed. They appeared to take notice of that, as things started coming out a lot faster, and all of the tables around us ended up losing out on one course, the pallet-cleansing sorbet set to arrive right before our entrees. While it would have been nice to have things a little more relaxed and in the proper order, we wanted to make it to the final bingo at 7:45, so we weren’t complaining. My dinner:

  • Beef Carpaccio
  • Festive Holiday Salad (no pic of that, however)
  • Chilled Three Melon Soup
  • Fresh Pasta
  • Honey-Baked Virginia Ham
  • Traditional Panettone Slice for dessert

All of it was pretty good, although the carpaccio was a little drier than it generally should be.

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We made it to bingo on time, and enjoyed one last performance by the Bingo Boys. Seriously, this is the best entertainment staff we’ve had on any cruise we’ve been on. If you’re sailing the Divina any time soon, don’t miss bingo, even if you don’t play.

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Since we’d been in the theater for bingo, we already had great seats for the show, and the special Christmas performance didn’t disappoint. It was a mix of singing, dancing, and some acrobatics. Great stuff!

We capped off our night by blowing some time (and a small amount of money) in the casino while waiting for the midnight buffet. I have to say, I love that the casino is smoke free.

It’s been a while since we’ve been on a line that still did a midnight buffet, and frankly I just assumed no one did it anymore. MSC proved me wrong, and in a big way. Every single station was open, with a mix of finger foods, bread, and a ton of yummy desserts. They also had a few carved watermelons, and different bread sculptures. We could see that a lot of time and effort went in to this, and were glad we stayed up for it. I swear there was more food in the midnight buffet than they actually have out on the lunch or dinner buffets. It was great stuff and worth the wait!

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That about covers day 6. Our final day here on the Divina will be in port in Nassau for Christmas day. We were here last month on the Escape as well, and we’re really hoping that we don’t get all the rain we did on that last visit!

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