MSC will do a brief repositioning of the MSC Divina in May 2014 from Miami to Rio De Janeiro between May and July. A 19 day cruise, the southerly voyage will include Grenada and Trinidad/Tobago (among others) on the Reposition Cruise. Looks like a very interesting cuise and easily affordable!!
We will be sailing aboard (and looking forward to) the MSC Divina in March 2014...We have been intrigued with her exceptional appearance and décor.....her reviews are fairly good...she would represent a nice variation and change from the other lines We have cruised on! I think a nice Caribbean experience is a good way to start off......Our Wintering over in Europe is still a year off!! Once on the Med We shall be cruising on the European Lines.
I am so looking forward to your reviews on MSC. I have thought about going on MSC Divina to the Caribbean. You are right it is a nice way to experience that line. When you winter in Europe which other lines are you thinking about? I did really enjoy the River Cruise experience in Europe. I think for now in 2014 I am really thinking of giving Azamara a try to Norway and Iceland. Isn't it fun to plan and dream ?
MSC is an Italian style cruise line. They do have some very attractive pricing. I went on a 3-night cruise on MSC Poesia in 2010 specifically to try them out myself after seeing so many reviews saying the food and service were really bad. My cruise was to Key West and Bahamas and only three nights. The ship was beautiful. They do repeat announcements in several languages. I didn't feel the food was bad, but it was very different. Beef just never tasted quite right to me and was very over cooked. They use a lot of heavy sauces on a lot of things. I also wouldn't say the service was bad, but you did have to ask a lot for things. I felt more that it was an "Unobtrusive attitude", they just left you alone and if you wanted something then ask and they'll bring it. The shows I saw were all Cirque du soleil and aerobatics type of shows. No singing. I thought it was a bit strange, but concluded it may be because they have so many different languages on board.
Since my MSC cruise was only a three night in the Bahamas and Key West I'm sure a European cruise will be very different. I think you will have a lot of Europeans since that is who they market a lot to. I have heard in Europe they charge for some things that are included on American cruises, like coffee after hours. Of course, things may have changed. I think if you go knowing things will be different then you'll be ok.
Keep an eye on Viking Cruises. Viking River Cruises is coming out with an "Ocean" ship, the "Viking Star" in 2015. It will be all-inclusive, only 928 guests, all verandah staterooms 270-1,163 sq ft . Right now they have three very nice itineraries for 2015. They are: 15-day Viking Homelands from Stockholm to Bergen with an overnight in St Petersburg; 10-day Empires of the Mediterranean from Venice to Istanbul; and 13-day Mediterranean Odyssey from Barcelona to Venice. These cruises are very port intensive. These itineraries already have categories sold out for 2015.
We are actively reviewing a large number of European River Cruises/cruise operators for Our Euro Adventure. There are wonderful opportunities for both land and sea adventures several of which We do intend to enjoy.. We have been traveling much of Our combined lives and enjoy the cultural variances and gastronomical differences (and delights) (MMMM! I can taste those different wines right now) of other cultures. The same foods will inevitably taste different from region to region due to soil and grain differences! A good example is the differences in taste with food in Hawaii versus that in California or Massachusetts!
Another new one to the American Market is aRosa. Looks nice, they have taken 3 of thier River Ships and Americanized them. They are trying to draw in Americans. Nice reviews on Conde Nest they rated their food the best ( I am such a foodie)! One was parked next to us when we were on Uniworld, can't miss them big red lips with a red rose between them !! I just want to try them all LOL
I know someone who is in Europe on an Arosa cruise right now. I think the Arosa product will be right up there with the others. Also, Tauck River Cruises is another option to look at. At first they may seem pricier, but consider all that is included and the VIP opportunities. IE: they include gratuities, they include transfers whether you buy air with them or not. They have special events like a dinner show in a castle which with others would probably be an add on option. Tauck has four new itineraries coming out in 2014 that sound very exciting. I wish I could do them all! Me, being retired military and having an interest in WWII history; I'm very interested in two new itineraries in 2014 that visit Normandy. The one is 9-nights and it starts with 2-nights in Paris in a hotel with a balcony facing the Eiffel tower then your cruise to Normandy. The other 14nights starts with 2-nights in London, take the Chunnel over to France, do Normandy and end with 2-nights in Versailles. I need to start saving the pennies, too many great cruises out there!