One Last Mediterranean Day at Sea in the Caribbean

Sunrise aboard MSC Cruises' MSC Divina as we spend our last day at sea on our weeklong Eastern Caribbean voyage. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Sunrise aboard MSC Cruises’ MSC Divina as we spend our last day at sea on our weeklong Eastern Caribbean voyage. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Friday, February 13, 2015

Yes, you read that right: today is Friday the 13th around the world, just as it is here aboard MSC Cruises’ MSC Divina as she slowly makes her way back to Miami. But I’m of the opinion that Friday the 13th is a lucky day, and things would certainly seem that way. After all, how bad can things be when you’re sailing aboard the massive MSC Divina, bathed in the warmth of the Caribbean sunshine?

One of today's more popular pastimes: Aqua Cycling fitness classes at the Infinity Pool, Deck 15 aft. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

One of today’s more popular pastimes: Aqua Cycling fitness classes at the Infinity Pool, Deck 15 aft. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Today is bittersweet because it is our last day here onbard the MSC Divina – a ship that has consistently surprised me since I first embarked nearly one week ago. The things I had heard about MSC Cruises could not have been more inaccurate, at least as of right now. I don’t see them regressing, either; they’ve finally got a handle on the North American market and its likes and dislikes.

But I’ll tell you what I like the most about MSC: I like that they’re individual. They’re not trying to play copycat to any other cruise line. They march to the beat of their own drummer, and that’s to their credit.

I also took the time to use the onboard internet center on Deck 5 to print a few things off...Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

I also took the time to use the onboard internet center on Deck 5 to print a few things off…Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

...wander the ship...Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

…wander the ship…Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

...and admire the view! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

…and admire the view! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Take, for instance, the massive (and beautiful!) Pantheon Theatre on Decks 6 and 7 forward. The cruise was half-over before I realized that there no drink holders to accompany the velvet-red theatre-style seating. Not only that, but there were no waiters making the rounds, harassing guests into buying a beverage for the show.

The reason? MSC feels that a theatre should be just that – a theatre. Not a place to milk onboard revenue out of guests. It’s a policy that makes total sense: if you’re at the theatre in a major city like New York or London, you don’t have drink service in the theatre; you have an intermission with drinks in a separate bar adjacent to the theatre. So MSC was willing to forgo potential onboard revenue to ensure that the atmosphere and spirit of the theatre didn’t become muddled.

Executive Chef Attilio Ascione demonstrates...Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Executive Chef Attilio Ascione demonstrates…Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

...how to make...Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

…how to make…Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

...a sumptuous, freshly-made Eataly Italian pizza using Italian ingredients. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

…a sumptuous, freshly-made Eataly Italian pizza using Italian ingredients. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

There’s much more to tell about MSC Divina and MSC Cruises, but I’m going to save some for a roundup here the week after next. In the meantime, I think it’s most important to highlight a question that you’re surely all asking yourselves: should I sail with MSC?

Click here to continue reading!

Our Live Voyage Report aboard MSC Cruises’ MSC Divina has sadly come to a close…but our next Live Voyage Report begins tomorrow evening from Galveston, Texas! Be sure to follow along on twitter by following @deckchairblog or the hashtag #LiveVoyageReport.

 

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