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Joining the Inaugural Caribbean Sailing of MSC Divina

The long-awaited MSC Divina found its way home in late November, and I was fortunate enough to take part in her inaugural Caribbean sailing through a travel agent education offer.

Pulling up to the Port of Miami, all 18 decks of the MSC Divina greeted us, towering over nearby ships. Vacation embraced us as soon as a friendly bag porter took care of my belongings, and we made way to explore our new home for the next four days.

With cabin keys in hand, we were ushered past pre-cruise photographers and terminal hallways to an elegant entry. Clusters of twinkling Swarovski crystals illuminated the staircase, surrounded by merlot-shaded furniture, two reception desks and busy bar areas. At the center of this space was a baby grand piano, in front of two glass-enclosed elevators.

After walking for what seemed like a mile (this ship is absolutely enormous), we found our cabin on deck 9. The room was modern and spacious, with a deep-purple color scheme throughout. The furnished balcony was almost triple the size of a typical one and it gave us a huge breath of fresh air (pun intended) on days spent at sea.

After dropping off our things, we rushed to the pool deck; rose Champagne was toasted as fireworks lit up the Miami sky, a colorful celebration in honor of the Divina’s first real sailing from its new year-round spot.

Highlights of the ship include:

  • The ship features an incredible infinity pool with panoramic sea views, accompanied by a Disaronno garden bar.
  • Entertainment on this ship was spectacular -- we never knew what to expect but were consistently impressed with talented singers, dancers, contortionists, acrobats and more. Do not miss "Pirates" or "Witches of Paris."
  • The casino was a popular place: the ship hosts free and paid tournaments, and I especially recommend some face time with the Blackjack table -- the dealers on this ship almost always take a third card and bust (a rewarding rarity).
  • If you have time in the day, sign up for a Winemakers course. For $15 per person or $25 per couple, guests spend about 1.5 hours tasting varietals and creating their own blend. There’s also the option to take home bottles of your own concoction.
  • If alcohol isn’t your thing, a juice bar borders the spa area and gym, which serves a bevy of fresh fruit and veggie concoctions.
  • After a good workout, (which you can get by walking from one end of the buffet to the other) load up on Italian delicacies. The tiramisu on the ship is light and fluffy, and the fresh, handmade pizza never disappoints.

This trip was paid for by the cruise line.

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Tips by
Allison

Deal Expert, Miami
Monday, December 9, 2013
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