I am heading out for Miami in the morning and will board MSC Divina on Wednesday for a special 3-night cruise. This will be the inaugural cruise for the ship from it's new homeport of Miami. While it is a revenue cruise, there will also be many of us from the travel media, agents, and other VIPs aboard to check it out and report about the ship.
I'll be tweeting from the Divina as well as posting updates here and on Facebook. A comprehensive review will be posted when I return.
MSC Cruises has a big challenge ahead. A single ship sailing out of south Florida full time, with all the competition from the big 3 of Caribbean cruises....Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean.
I can't wait to read your review. I want to see that staircase ! Also Dave want to hear about the food, I think I would love it but it gets so many mixed reviews. The cabin that was designed with Sophia Loren, tell us about that one too !!
My understanding is the Sophia Loren suite will be available for us to view.
MSC has done a lot to make the Divina more 'palatable' to American tastes. Hand picked crew with a requirement to be fluent in English. Menus modified. They say they are improving the quality of ingredients they purchase. The Sports Bar has been revamped. There is a steak house. But they also have the Eataly franchise aboard featuring Italian cuisine.
From the photos I've seen the ship is stunning and about the same size as a Freedom class Royal Caribbean ship.
We've got Our fingers crossed for a great review of the Divina.....We look forward to every comment and critique since We have been booked aboard her for nearly 9 months now...We just have to wait till March to head out on her!!! We loved her entry into Miami with her small fleet of the waterborne Fiat 500's all around her!!! I understand they now offer individual drink packages similar to RCCL's latest offerings!!
I wrote a five paragraph report and the ship's internet logged me out and it never posted it here.
I'll do it later using my own AT&T account since we are in Port Canaveral. Beautiful ship. Food is 'good' overall. Ship is dark with muted fabrics and dark woods. Not too easy to get comfortable with the deck plan because of the layout and lack of interior corridors - public rooms flow from one to the next which makes noise carry over. Cabin noise was annoying. I could hear the guy next door 'tinkle' and flush.
We were supposed to be at NCL's Great Stirrup Cay today but, as is often the case for that private island, the sea swells were too high and tendering would have been dangerous. I knew it would be this way last night, when our transit from Port Canaveral southward was in 40+ knot winds with 12 foot seas. We were riding with the cold front sweeping southeast. So, a day aboard the ship before we leave in Miami tomorrow.
Yesterday was a food festival for the press. They had the 'grand opening' of the Eataly Steakhouse and we had an exclusive luncheon. Excellent prosciutto appetizer, seafood pasta, and one of the top 5 steaks I've ever had on a cruise ship. Stuffed from all of that, I was hesitant about dinner but I went anyway and was not disappointed. On day 1, our dinner was not too good. The service was poor and the food so-so. They made up for it last night. Service was impeccable. The food as good as any I've had in a ship's dining room. Seared scallops in risotto, chilled watermelon soup, ravioli stuffed with a savory-sweet pumpkin puree, and then a nice-sized lobster tail that was very good - tender and not over cooked. Then they had a Baked Alaska parade - with real flames! This Baked Alaska was excellent. It had hazelnut and vanilla ice cream inside. Yum.
WOW we missed going to CoCo Cay on the Grandeur too. I was disappointed but the Crew was very happy they did not have to lug all the supplies over for the barbeque ! I had been dreaming of swaying in a hammock with a nice cold libation in my hand for weeks :O(