This week I’m sailing aboard MSC Divina for four-night cruise to Cozumel, Mexico. I first sailed Divina in 2013 when it debuted in Miami. At the time of the sailing I wasn’t impressed. Back then (and now) the ship was beautiful, but the service and food left a lot to be desired.
Let’s explore day one.
I made the drive from Orlando to Miami in about 3.5 hours and got to the ship around 12:45. PortMiami charges $20 per night to park at the pier; with this only being a four night cruise, I paid the $80 to leave my car. It was more convenient.
The first thing we did was drop our bags off with the porter, went to park, and walked to the embarkation terminal. We went through the lines rather quickly from passport check, security, embarkation, and making our way onto the ship. From curb to ship was 20 minutes.
We were told the rooms weren’t ready until 2:30, but we went by to drop the bags at 1:30 and they were completely done.
The last time I was onboard, the food wasn’t anything to write home about. I couldn’t pronounce or eat half the things served. But this go around its a different story. So far, the food is fabulous.
The buffet area is located on the aft part of deck 15. There were plenty of selections, including burgers, salads, carved meat stations, tacos, Indian food, and pastas. I took a small sampling of as much as I could and was blown away. Multiple times during the meal I kept complimenting the food and how attentive everyone has been. Well-done MSC!
I have the More for Less classic adult drink package ($45 per day) on this sailing; the bottles of mineral water and the cups of premium coffee will be worth it alone.
It goes without saying that we had to participate in the lifeboat drill before we left the dock. As you could imagine with nearly a dozen nationalities onboard, the lifeboat drill was interesting. Every step of putting your life vest had to be said in every language before moving on to the next step. It didn’t bother me because I understand that everyone has to be covered and informed. Next time I will find a seat somewhere. The drill was held in a lounge, not in the Miami humidity. That was an added bonus.
Sail away happened at 7:45 and, per usual, the Miami skyline at sunset was spectacular.
We are assigned second seating dining in the two-story Black Crab dining room. It was your typical four-course meal with an appetizer, soup or salad, main entree, and dessert. I went with shrimp cocktail, clam chowder, herb crusted lamb, and finished with a cannoli. The service team and food was spot on, again.
The 10:30 pm show in the Pantheon Theater (which is beautiful by the way) was called Treasure Island. It was a pirate themed show with stunts, singing, and acrobatics. The stage setup and effects were spot on! I’m not sure exactly how to explain it, so I’ll stick with calling it a whimsical pirate show – very reminiscent of Pirates of the Caribbean. It was about 35 minutes long.
Tomorrow is the first sea day, (out of two) so I’m going to call it an early night.
Question: Can you smoke anywhere aboard MSC Divina?
With the exception of the Cigar Lounge, there is no smoking allowed inside the ship. Not in the casino, not in the sports bar – nowhere. It’s quite refreshing being able to walk around the ship and not smell smoke of any kind. Outside the ship, the only areas you can smoke are on the starboard side.
Doug, thank you for doing a daily blog on this. I am very interested in sailing MSC at some point so having a review from someone I trust will help decide on whether or not to book down the line. Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip.
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