We had looked at taking a cruise on the MSC Divina. When we researched the Divina, we saw reports that the ship was beautiful, but that the food and friendliness of the crew was not up to other cruise lines.

When we had the opportunity to take a short 2 night cruise on the Divina, we decided that this was a chance to check out the ship without risk. We booked the cruise for $99 per person (plus taxes and port fees which were almost as much as the cruise fare.) The booking was for an inside guarantee. When we were assigned a cabin, it was an oceanview.

It had been several years since we had sailed from Miami. We used to have to drive through downtown Miami to get to the port. However, a tunnel has been constructed to allow easier access to the port. The port can now be reached by taking the I-395 east exit from I-95. The tunnel is reached from the left land of I-395. It takes traffic from I-395 directly to the center of the port and makes it unnecessary to drive through Miami.

Port Miami Tunnel entrance from I-395 (video)
Port Miami Tunnel exit to port (video)

Parking, however, was not as easy. The Divina was docked at the west end of the port. We turned to the west, but stayed in the left lane. The surface lot was closed, so we had to drive around again and tried going to the right. However, this put us on the road back into downtown Miami. It was easy to get back to the port, and this time we stayed more to the left. We got to the parking garage, but it was closed. The sign said Garage Full, but there were a lot of available spaces visible just on the ground level.

So we had to drive around again. This time, as we were passing the surface lot (again), they opened the lot and we were able to park there. It was still a fair walk back to the Divina. What we did not know at the time was that there is a free parking shuttle. But even so, we don't know where the pick-up point is.

When we got to the Divina, there was a very long line outside the building. After getting into the building, we found that there was an even longer line inside. Although it took nearly 2 hours before we were able to board, it is not the worst delay we have experienced. At least it was well organized. It just took time to get everyone processed.

In fact, not even the worst delay in that building. The wait for Explorer of the Seas in October 2005 was much longer. And there was no organizing. People were jumping in line outside the building with no one there to manage the line. Inside, they were backed up and at one point sent so many people up one side that they cut off the priority line from the check-in agents.

Once we got on board the Divina, it was too late for lunch. In fact, it was only 30 minutes to dinner. We also missed the safety drill.

We went to our cabin and were pleasantly surprised by the size of the cabin. There was much more room to move around than we were used to, and more storage space as well. We usually book balcony cabins, and that might account for some of the size difference. The balcony space was probably added to the cabin size, and placement of the bed along the outside wall might account for some of the additional space.

Cabin 5064

Ports

The cruise was just from Miami to Nassau for one and back to Miami again. The Divina was the only cruise ship in Nassau. Because of that, it was possible to get unobstructed views of the Divina. Also there were not a lot of tourists shopping on Bay Street. We found out later that January 12 was Majority Rule Day. Other cruise lines may have adjusted their schedules that week to avoid being in Nassau on the holiday.

Since we had missed the safety drill on Sunday due to the delayed boarding, we were required to attend a make-up briefing on Monday. We were required to take our life jackets to the theater where the safety briefing was held. During the briefing, we were required to put on the life jackets.

The focal point of the interior is the Atrium. The atrium has beautiful and has staircases with embedded Starwoski crystals. They are almost too beautiful to walk on.

Atrium

The entertainment center is the Pantheon Theater. On the 2 night cruise, we had two production shows: The Witches of Paris and a Michael Jackson tribute show.

The Witches of Paris was a Paris style variety show: dancing, singing, acrobatics, comedy, etc. The show was outstanding, one of the best I have seen. But I don't understand what it had to do with witches.

The Michael Jackson tribute featured a perform who looked and sounded like Michael Jackson. The choreography of the all the performers was great. They were well coordinated.

Pantheon Theater

There are 2 buffets, The Calumet and the Monitou. They are basically the same, but the Calumet appears to be the primary buffet. The Monitou is at the back of the ship and has a good view. It opens earlier, closes later than Monitou, and does not have some serving stations. But because of this, there are often open tables in the back.

Buffet

The spa and fitness area is located on deck 14 forward.

Spa and Fitness Center

The Daily Planner is provided in 5 languages. The link below shows the program for Day 1 in 3 languages: English, Portugese, and Spanish.

Daily Planner



Bowling Alley
Date and time = 2015:01:11 21:31:42
GPS location = 25 deg 56' 51.05" N, 79 deg 42' 31.77" W
Altitude = 6 m Below Sea Level
Candy Store
Date and time = 2015:01:12 20:06:13
Casino
Date and time = 2015:01:12 15:27:36
Casino
Date and time = 2015:01:12 15:26:42
Casino Stairway
Date and time = 2015:01:11 21:29:10
GPS location = 25 deg 56' 14.52" N, 79 deg 43' 40.23" W
Altitude = 13.5 m Above Sea Level
Casino Stairway
Date and time = 2015:01:12 15:27:10
Casino Stairway
Date and time = 2015:01:12 21:14:37
Children's Area
Date and time = 2015:01:12 12:33:17
GPS location = 25 deg 4' 54.36" N, 77 deg 20' 31.22" W
Altitude = 53 m Above Sea Level
Covered Pool
Date and time = 2015:01:12 09:01:01
GPS location = 25 deg 4' 52.95" N, 77 deg 20' 28.77" W
Altitude = 12 m Below Sea Level
Covered Pool
Date and time = 2015:01:12 09:01:26
GPS location = 25 deg 4' 53.44" N, 77 deg 20' 26.77" W
Altitude = 77 m Below Sea Level
Covered Pool
Date and time = 2015:01:12 09:01:50
GPS location = 25 deg 4' 53.18" N, 77 deg 20' 26.24" W
Altitude = 76 m Below Sea Level
Doge
Date and time = 2015:01:12 19:56:48
Elevator Lobby
Date and time = 2015:01:11 21:32:38
GPS location = 25 deg 56' 50.45" N, 79 deg 42' 27.67" W
Altitude = 8 m Above Sea Level
F1 Simulator (cost $9) d time = 2015:01:12 09:07:42
GPS location = 25 deg 4' 52.83" N, 77 deg 20' 30.60" W
Altitude = 69 m Above Sea Level
Funnel
Date and time = 2015:01:12 12:32:19
GPS location = 25 deg 4' 54.36" N, 77 deg 20' 31.22" W
Altitude = 53 m Above Sea Level
Games area
Date and time = 2015:01:12 09:06:48
GPS location = 25 deg 4' 54.52" N, 77 deg 20' 29.91" W
Altitude = 86 m Below Sea Level
Gelato
Date and time = 2015:01:12 19:56:19
Hot tub and lounges behind funnel
Date and time = 2015:01:12 12:30:34
GPS location = 25 deg 4' 54.62" N, 77 deg 20' 33.45" W
Altitude = 41 m Above Sea Level
Infinity Pool
Date and time = 2015:01:12 08:56:46
GPS location = 25 deg 4' 54.60" N, 77 deg 20' 32.47" W
Altitude = 65 m Below Sea Level
Infinity Pool
Date and time = 2015:01:12 12:30:18
GPS location = 25 deg 4' 54.62" N, 77 deg 20' 33.45" W
Altitude = 41 m Above Sea Level
Lobby
Date and time = 2015:01:11 21:40:10
GPS location = 25 deg 56' 50.45" N, 79 deg 42' 27.67" W
Altitude = 8 m Above Sea Level
Pool Deck
Date and time = 2015:01:12 08:59:10
GPS location = 25 deg 4' 52.95" N, 77 deg 20' 28.77" W
Altitude = 12 m Below Sea Level
Pool Deck
Date and time = 2015:01:12 09:00:18
GPS location = 25 deg 4' 52.95" N, 77 deg 20' 28.77" W
Altitude = 12 m Below Sea Level
Pool Deck
Date and time = 2015:01:12 12:34:06
GPS location = 25 deg 4' 54.36" N, 77 deg 20' 31.22" W
Altitude = 53 m Above Sea Level
Pool Deck from Elevator
Promenade
Date and time = 2015:01:11 21:28:15
GPS location = 25 deg 56' 12.86" N, 79 deg 43' 43.03" W
Altitude = 17.5 m Above Sea Level
Promenade
Date and time = 2015:01:12 10:16:44
GPS location = 25 deg 4' 52.31" N, 77 deg 20' 33.83" W
Altitude = 24 m Above Sea Level
Sport Court
Date and time = 2015:01:12 12:31:27
GPS location = 25 deg 4' 54.62" N, 77 deg 20' 33.45" W
Altitude = 41 m Above Sea Level
Video Games
Date and time = 2015:01:12 15:28:22
Window Washer

What we had heard about the Divina was correct. The ship was beautiful, comparable to a Celebrity Solstice class ship. The staff was not very friendly. Not that they were rude, just that on Royal Caribbean, if you pass a crew member, they will usually greet you. On the Divina, they would tend to avoid contact and not say anything if they did make contact. The food was not particularly my style and I ordered a steak from the alternative menu. It was good, but not up to other lines or land steak restaurants. I looked at the dinner choices in the buffet and would have been happier there. The second night, I did not find anything on the menu that interested me and I didn't want to have a steak again. So I went to the buffet and was quite happy with the choice there.

The bottom line is that I would consider booking another cruise on MSC. But I would probably plan to eat more dinners in the buffet than in the main dining room.