Cruise Ship Tour and Review: The Caribbean’s New Diva, the MSC Divina
By: Lynn Elmhirst
Beginning this season, the MSC Divina is making Miami her year round home port. Cruise and Travel Lifestyles’ Vanessa Lee and I were on her maiden voyage. Watch the video for our ship review and highlights.
Italian Lifestyle meets Caribbean Cruising
Having a 4000-passenger cruise ship year round sailing from the port of Miami is a big commitment to the Caribbean; sailing once a week, that’s a LOT of passengers to lure to the MSC way of cruising – in the Caribbean!
So how is the Divina different from the many other cruise ships plying the Caribbean? All the trappings of a mega cruise ship are there: multiple restaurants, bars, and pools, a water slide, and other activities for the young and young at heart like a race car simulator, ‘4-D’ theatre, bowling alley, and a Smurf theme for the kiddies.
What’s different is this Italian cruise line bringing Italian lifestyle at sea – to the Caribbean. We first got a hint of this with the dramatic, endearing arrival of the MSC Divina to her new home port, surrounded by ‘Fiats at Sea’, those adorable tiny Italian cars, frames mounted on jet skis scooting and splashing the waters around the majestic ship.
On board, the most touted Italian connection must be Eataly, the Italian culinary phenomenon that’s come state-side and charmed even cynical New Yorkers who line up at the NYC franchise. The Divina’s Eataly is all modern Italian: spare, minimal design that included Philipe Starck-esque transparent chairs, hits of red, posters of Italy as regional cheeses or salamis… and organic wine, sulphite-free wine that all the Italian execs on board said were reminiscent of the wines of their youth.
The Italian love of cuisine springs up throughout the ship: For morning hits of caffeine, the Segafredo coffee bar overlooking the glamorous atrium with its sleek white, chrome port-holes, Swarovski crystal staircases and palm trees, delivers perfect Italian cappuccino and all the variations so loved by North American coffee culture. The famed Italian confectioner Venchi does the gelato bars, and there’s a Nutella corner and treats for the kids.
End of day cocktails in the Disaronno Bar, featuring the Disaronno margarita, a delightful twist on a tropical North American classic cocktail, overlooking the only infinity pool we’ve seen at sea. And the glamorous, art-deco-meets-classic-cruising-meets-Palm Springs La Luna bar offers an exclusive Martini cocktail menu.
The MSC Yacht Club
If indulging in the good life is your way of travel, the unique MSC Yacht Club is a fascinating concept: an exclusive ship-within-a-ship area with 24 hour butlers, its own topsail lounge complete with all-day foraging, its own restaurant, pool deck, and suites. One suite is designed by the ship’s Godmother, Italian style and glamour icon Sophia Loren, and it’s complete with sculpted red velvet headboards, a Hollywood style lit makeup table, and black and white photos of the star in her heyday.
Matching Cruise to Traveler
So what kind of cruise traveler is a perfect match for the MSC Divina?
Anyone who likes the mega ship sailing experience, with endless bars, restaurants and entertainments, and who appreciates touches of Mediterranean and especially Italian culture.
In addition, cruise travelers who love the luxury, small ship experience will identify with the exclusive access MSC Yacht Club.
This is an ideal ship for multi-generational cruise travelers, where families with kids and young people can be kept entertained round the clock, while older members of the family can spend serene, pampered days in the Yacht Club and join the fun on the rest of the ship when they wish.