Updated: Dec 28, 2020
MSC Divina...Cruise ship extraordinaire!!
This cruise liner is “la piece de resistance” of this Italian cruise line fleet and one of the most luxurious and largest passenger cruise ships in the world.
Divina was originally going to be called Fantastica, but nearing completion of her build was renamed in honour of the exotic looking iconic Italian actress, Sophia Loren of the Hollywood golden era after she suggested to her good friend and MSC owner that a fantastic experience was fleeting, “but a divine experience gives you memories that would last forever.” Isn’t that so beautiful?! Ms Loren is renowned for launching a dozen of MSC’s ships hence becoming the Godmother to the fleet. Divina boasts a suite (The Sophia Loren Suite) in gratitude to her in the exclusive on board Yacht Club for passengers with a pretty penny to spend.
Boarding her is an adventure all on its own. Way before you set sail!
We were embarking on a fourteen night, eight port Caribbean cruise extravaganza which began with an over night stay in the mighty, buzzing, Miami, but that’s another blog story. To be honest, I can’t think of a better place to travel to before continuing on an epic nautical journey.
The excitement truly begins as you’re driven along the straight where all the ships are docked to your left awaiting their eager clientele. They all have their own unique identification markings, so it’s a game of spot your ship. 🤗🤗 I remember my wife and I being totally bowled over when Divina came into view. She looked so majestic amongst the others and really long in length. A jaw dropping moment!
We thought that the thrill of flying to Barbados to pick up our first Caribbean cruise a couple of years previously couldn’t be beaten, but oh wow, this was something else and we hadn’t even boarded yet. Arriving at the cruise terminal, our baggage, pre labelled, was whisked away. The next time we’d see it would be when it’s delivered to our cabin. The whole boarding procedure was orchestrated with precision. With MSC, it’s all about the passenger experience from dockside to your first cocktail,🍹🍹or two.
Walking onto Divina for the first time was dreamlike. The first thing that strikes you is how plush she truly is. The realisation that this was going to be our home for the next fourteen nights was exciting. Walking through, very slowly, your brain tries to comprehend the enormity of what it wasn’t accustomed to. We walk up to the spell binding Swarovski Crystal clad staircase with mouth agape in awe. It’s an amazing sight from top to bottom glistening in what could so easily be mistaken for diamonds but were in fact, draconian crystals.
We never tired of walking up and down that staircase, it’s truly beautiful! 🤩🤩
We were so busy exploring the vast reception area that we totally forgot that we hadn’t even seen our cabin yet, so into the elevator (one of sixteen) and up we go to deck 12, Aurora landing. Finally, we’re in our cabin and one of the first things you notice as you walked through the door, is the big sliding glass doors leading out onto the balcony with the magnificent Miami skyline and crisp azure cloud free blue skies just looking back at you. God, take me now!! 😁😁
If you are going to go on a cruise like this, or any cruise for that matter, a balcony cabin is essentially the way forward. Even if it means doing a few double shifts to make it happen.
Our State room, as it’s actually called, was beautifully decorated, bright, airy, and just perfect for two. We just dropped our hand luggage down, grabbed a couple of drinks from the mini bar, and ventured out onto the balcony to continue taking in the wonderful views of the city from our own private quarters. It really is a surreal moment that will forever be etched in our memories! Romantic too. 🥂✨💫
The State room consisted of a queen size bed, two seater sofa and living room table, flat screen tv, fully stacked mini bar, (contents of which are optional unless you’ve purchased a particular drinks package) and most importantly, a safe for your passports and valuables. The bathroom is snug but more than ample enough to do your thing. There is a varied selection of complimentary toiletries to hand also. Basically, Divina is one giant floating luxury hotel with the added feature of affording you a different spectacular exotic location everyday. What more can one possibly want.
Every cruise has a sail away party on the top deck where the champagne 🍾 and cocktails 🍹 are flowing. MSC Divina was no different. Those who wanted to, did just that as the ship eased away from port into the sun that was setting over the horizon. Wifey and I opted to watch it all unfold from our own personal vantage point. Not because we have social insecurities, 🤣🤫 but simply because why not. We had everything we needed right there on our balcony and it was fabulous!!
So, as we sail deep into the darkness of night, it’s time to enjoy a nice refreshing shower and prepare to set out in search of our pre arranged restaurant for dinner, The Villa Rossa.
Just imagine having everything within walking distance of your living quarters, it’s delightful! Divina has three specialty restaurants to choose from, as well as the main restaurant, and, of course, the Calumet cuisine buffet restaurant which is 24hr non formal dining for your every desire. 😋😋 If you opt to stay in your cabin to watch a movie under the covers with bae, then room service is also available to you 24hrs. A cruise in general is just the most amazing way to enjoy a vacation, but on this particular cruise liner, Divina, it just feels extra special. Dinner though in the Villa Rossa was always really nice as you have the designated time slot and table with the same guests who you become very acquainted with while you swap stories over dinner and a nice glass of Red. 🍷
Some guests are randomly chosen to join the captains table for dinner which is also a wonderful opportunity to don your finest attire ie; tux and Bow tie, and evening dress for the lady. Let me tell you, walking down Divina’s Swarovski Crystal staircase dressed to the nines is a special moment to treasure.
Walking through the ship after dinner reminded us of the walk throughs of a Las Vegas hotel. There’s so much to see from the beautiful artwork adorning the walls to the bright lights and vibrancy of the Veneziano casino. Shops, so many shops from high end to quality souvenir offerings. Absolutely everything you could think of is on board. Fortunately for us, we had fourteen nights in which to explore this magnificent vessel, so we just headed to the 1600 seater Pantheon theatre for the show of the evening, a Cirque Du Soleil creation.
When on your travels, there’s nothing like that first breakfast in your hotel. Our first morning on Divina was no different except we were on what you might call, a luxury floating hotel in the middle of the Caribbean ocean. This fact actually adds a little extra flava to our sitting. Something that I seldom have at home but love when I’m travelling is an omelette, stacked and well done. Spanish every time too. It’s so, so easy to want to grab everything and put it on your plate, you’re spoilt for choice. But restraint is the key to retaining your waistline on a cruise ship, that plus it doesn’t look very classy to have a mountain of food piled high on your plate for all to see. 😳😳🤣
Just chilling in new surroundings taking in the ambience of it all is real nice. There’s nothing that isn’t easy on the eye. The decor of the buffet restaurant really lends to a great feel good factor and start to your day of exploration on this first sea day.
Divina is so ginormous that it will take a few days to become fully acquainted with her, so what better place to start than a walk around the top deck and burn off some of those breakfast calories in the process. We only went around once then headed straight to the inviting ice cream parlour for large double scoops. 🤪🤪 Screw the best intentions, we’re on vacation!🤣😂🤣
Divina has four swimming pools, one of which is an infinity pool. That one was our fave by far as it was the least crowded. I may have used that word crowded a little too loosely there, because although the ship was fully loaded, no where on board seemed like an area to avoid due to the volume of people. It certainly didn’t feel like you were one of over 3000 passengers sharing amenities. Even the jacuzzis, one day we spent close to an hour in one of the ship’s two huge bubble havens and weren’t joined by anyone else. It was amazing although we made ourselves a little nauseous by staying in it for so long. 🤮😫 Classic example of having to much of a good thing!
Fancy rolling some balls in the Ten Pin bowling 🎳 alley? How about just chilling in the jazz lounge/bar 🎷🎹🎺🥁 listening to a live jazz band with a cool drink? Every taste is catered for. Damn, Divina even boasts a state of the art formula one 🏎 race car simulator for every lewis Hamilton wannabe on board. Of course I was going to check that out, are you kidding!! I’m a mad F1 fan, and this was just crazy cool, I was in my element!! I had wifey on the video camera recording my efforts for prosperity. 😁😁
In between sea days, the main point of a cruise vacation is to visit and soak up some of the culture of the islands you disembark on. Excursions are readily available in the ship’s foyer but can be expensive. Don’t feel that you have to purchase one of these as once you go ashore they’ll be an array of local tour/taxi guides dockside who would be more than happy to take you at half the price to anywhere you choose to go. They all have prearranged itineraries also for your pleasure and are, for the most part, genuine and safe. Unless you wish to pay for a private tour, most of these well organised local guides would generally wait to have a full taxi for obvious reasons. Passengers are encouraged to use reputable tour guides with understandably good reason hence booking your tour guides on board, so the choice is obviously yours. On that note, I would definitely recommend if booking an attraction, that you do so on board where there’s less room for disappointment.
With specialty coffee lounges, pizzeria restaurant and fine dining should you please, MSC Divina is a classy cruise liner with impeccable service. Add into the mix, some truly exotic port of calls, and you have a vacation that is hands down spectacular!
Thank you, #mscdivina We promise to treat ourselves to a fortnight in your Yacht Club when we next cruise with you! ✨