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MSC Divina
"So Divine"

by Linda Coffman

Kid Stuff
With MSC Cruises’ Kids Sail Free program (children 11 and under are free and children 12 to 17 as the 3rd and 4th occupants in a stateroom are $99 each), a cruise is a great value for families and there were many multi-generation family groups on board during our week-long sailing. Good news for parents who want to take advantage of a shore excursion without their children is that the Kids Club is open on port days for most destinations.

"I Puffi (The Smurfs)" Club Facilities for children and Graffiti's for teens include dedicated play/club rooms, outdoor play spaces, a kiddy-pool, and a video arcade. Activities for younger cruisers included games, arts & crafts, and activites, including ping-pong and foosball, and soccer in the sports court. Teens had pizza parties and disco dancing on their schedules. There is even a kid-sized area in the buffet restaurant.

Not surprising, the most popular spots on board for kids and their parents during our cruise were the ping pong and foosball tables and the twisty water slide. When we did see them, the kids were having a blast with their families and staff counselors.

Top 18

Just For Adults
MSC Divina's Aurea Spa gets high marks for one of the most tranquil settings at sea. In addition to a full menu of treatments that range from salon services to relaxing Balinese massages and body treatments, there is acupuncture to relieve anxiety and stress, pressure point therapy, treatments designed specifically for men, and even a healthy juice bar. If you can't tear yourself away from the pool, the massage therapists come to you—offering poolside mini-massages.

Naturally, those services come with a price, but there is a complete fitness center that is complimentary (to enter, you must wear gym shoes and that requirement is strictly enforced). Most exercise classes are also complimentary, but there is a nominal charge for some. Unique to MSC Divina is Aqua Cycling in the infinity pool. Spa/fitness facilities also feature a hydromassage pool and complimentary saunas and steam rooms.

While the ultimate in privacy aboard MSC Divina is naturally within the confines of the exclusive Yacht Club, there is another spot where serenity is available at a much more budget-friendly daily price. Out of the way on Deck 18 (and almost difficult to find) is Top 18, the adults-only sun spot high atop the ship. Furnished with fashionable cushioned rattan sun beds, regular lounging sun beds with flip up shades at the head, and a large whirlpool, the area is a haven of solitude and quiet. As you’d expect, there’s also a small bar within Top 18 for refreshments. Towels are provided, so just bring your tanning lotion and catch some rays.

Aqua Park Pool
Piazza del Doge
The Atrium with Crystal Staircases

For Passengers of all Ages
MSC Divina has a whopping nine hot tubs and three swimming pools for watery enjoyment. The main Aqua Park pool has a children's splash pool located alongside it and features a waterfall and numerous water jets and sprays in the splash area. Under a sliding magrodome roof that can be closed when the weather is uncooperative, is Le Sirene Solarium with a swimming pool that also features a small waterfall and a fountain with lights that change color. The Garden Pool aft is more adult-oriented with its Zen area for lounging that creates an "infinity" pool atmosphere. Nearby is Le Prue, more secluded areas on either side of the deck, each with a hot tub. Other hot tubs are located near the Aqua Park and Le Sirene pools. Bars with roving waiters are located near each pool area to provide refreshments.

Activities & Entertainment
From a solo saxophone, a rocking duo, and classical trio, to dueling pianos, bands for dancing under the stars, and high energy production shows, there’s music all around aboard MSC Divina. In the reception lobby and on the decks surrounding it above we enjoyed classical favorites performed on piano and strings. Pianist duos duel it out playing audience requests in the Golden Jazz Bar and musicians fill La Luna Piano Bar with some of the most beautiful songs ever written. In the Piazza del Doge and a variety of lounges, other artists fill the dance floors with their hot Latin, rock, Motown, and Island sounds. International music with a Caribbean flavor in Black and White Lounge and live bands on deck poolside round out dance music. And that’s just a sample of the talented artists that entertain nightly aboard MSC Divina.

Nightly shows in the Pantheon Theatre focus on performances created for the international audience onboard with heavy emphasis on visual entertainments—including amazing Cirque-style acrobatics, dance troupes, and adagio teams that perform along with talented singers. Production show themes include a tribute to popular operatic arias, Michael Jackson, and Frank Sinatra, as well as pirate stories, Wonderland (as in Alice and other characters from Through the Looking Glass), and the Witches of Paris, French variety at its best.

All shows are beautifully executed, but a personal favorite during our cruise was “Simply Italian,” featuring the songs of Italy and a surprise for the American guests on board MSC Divina. Toward the end of the show the stairs behind the lead male vocalist lit up in red, white, and blue as he executed a stunning rendition of The Star Spangled Banner. When those of us from the United States stood in honor of our national anthem, many of the guests from other countries did so as well, making it a heartwarming experience. Of course the show ended with the emotional Con te Partiro, known to English speakers as Time to Say Goodbye and, for most Americans, probably the most recognizable of Italian songs.

And there’s even more. Other entertainment includes Cinema al Fresco—poolside movies and recorded concerts under the stars—as well as late night adult comedy and dancing into the wee hours in the Galaxy Disco.

Many daytime activities are scheduled poolside with early morning aerobics, mid-day trivia, dance lessons, and crafts classes. Mixed in are silly pool games and shuffleboard and ping pong tournaments. Bingo is, of course, a cruise staple, as is gaming in the casino. Fruit and vegetable carving and cooking demonstrations were also on the schedule, along with wine and whiskey tastings and cocktail demonstrations. Italian language lessons are as popular as eating pizza on board.

We can't praise MSC Divina's highly energetic Entertainment Team enough. From early morning until the wee hours they led activities at a pace that we could only dream of following and kept everyone engaged.

Some things deserve special mention and one of them in the Internet age is communication access. We travel with a personal laptop, which enables the Cruise Diva Blog to be published "live from sea" during cruises, and usually connect to the Internet utilizing ships' wireless systems. Aboard MSC Divina we found excellent service offered in several packages and the speed was almost as fast as some broadband connections ashore.

A virtually non-smoking ship, MSC Divina restricts smoking in all accommodations and balconies. Guests who smoke cigarettes, cigars, and pipes are invited light up in the dedicated Cigar Lounge on Deck 6, on one side of the Aqua Pool on Deck 14, and at an outside area behind the Library on Deck 16, all designated by signage. In the Casino, management may designate certain slot machines and/or table games where guests are permitted to smoke cigarettes only while they are playing.

Itineraries & More
With only one ship homeported in Miami, MSC Divina covers the Caribbean, offering alternating Eastern and Western itineraries that can be combined for a two-week voyage.

Back to Part One

Images ©

Cruise Diva's "Live" Blogs from MSC Divina:

At Home Aboard MSC Divina
MSC Divina at Sea
“Top 18” Aboard MSC Divina
MSC Divina: Delicious Dining 
MSC Divina: Divine Entertainment
MSC Divina Visits Ports of Call 
MSC Divina’s Yacht Club 
MSC Divina Visits Great Stirrup Cay

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