Upon arrival to our balcony cabin on the MSC Divina on my recent 3-night Bahamas cruise, I was more than pleasantly surprised. Granted, we had asked for the beds to be separated and they weren’t, but our cabin steward, Shetty, attended to that immediately. Did you know that most full-size beds on cruise ships are two twin beds pushed together? The overall design and style of the room was comfortable and yet, luxurious. I instantly loved it. The headboard was soft suede surrounded by wood and everything from the linens to the artwork and furniture fit perfectly with the overall styling of the cabin. Additionally, there was ample lighting throughout the cabin from the overhead lights, to the small pot lights over the bed, to the bedside lamps.
Balcony cabins on the MSC Divina range in square footage from 182-317 square feet plus have a balcony that ranges in size from 34-124 square feet. Although I cannot locate the exact square footage of our cabin, I can tell you that it felt like the industry standard size cabin, but was laid out in such a way that it felt spacious. The desk area wasn’t at the foot of the bed, which always bothers me as it becomes impossible to use this area. Given that a woman (me!) will be in the cabin, that desk generally gets used as a hair and makeup area and when you have to get up every five seconds to let your spouse get by, someone can get irritated quickly. Here it was on the opposite side of the cabin near the balcony door with a huge mirror opposite the bed.
Opposite the desk area and the mini-bar fridge was this small couch and table, which was a comfortable seating area and a nice change from just sitting on the bed or a hard chair. In case you missed that I said mini-bar fridge and not just a refrigerator. It was cold and not room temperature and was filled with water, soda, beer, juice, mini bottles of liquor, nuts, and potato chips.
Of course, if you get a balcony cabin, you get it for the balcony. The balcony was nice although definitely on the smaller size, but did accommodate two chairs and a footstool. You can assume that aft-facing balconies as well as those in suites are considerably larger. The balcony door was a sliding glass door with a handle, but not the kind that flips up to open and close. Instead, there are buttons at the center of the door to lock or unlock it and the door simply glides open and shut. The balcony light switch resides on the desk console in case you go searching for it.
The bathroom was also industry standard size, but laid out in a way that helped to maximize space. For example, the shower doors opened inward and stood in the corner leaving the rest of the bathroom to feel far larger than it actually was. I was a little worried about the shower doors opening inward as I felt if you pushed them too hard by accident they could catch on something and smash – I’ve heard many a horror story about shower doors exploding. However, they actually worked really well and didn’t catch at all. The shower head was a large rain shower type head and the water pressure and temperature was better than I get at most hotels and definitely better than what I get at home. Inside the shower were two holders for toiletries and two dispensers for shampoo and bath gel. Bath towels had their home over the toilet while hand towels and washcloths were located next to the sink.
The other side of the bathroom had a vanity with shelves on the wall and a soap dispenser although a soap caddy was affixed to the wall next to the toilet paper holder. Something of a strange location, but perhaps the idea is to prevent things from sliding and falling if the ship is in turbulent water. In addition, the garbage was located under the sink as well as additional storage, although we had no real need for it.
When you enter the cabin, to the left is the bathroom and to the immediate right is the closet. Now generally there is never enough space when my husband and I travel, but when two women travel — forget it. However, there was not only a safe and six drawers on one side but a large closet to the right of this area.
Inside the closet was an abundance of hangers. It was if I had died and gone to hanger heaven! I’ve gotten into the habit of bringing plastic hangers with me and then leaving them with the crew, but I forgot to do that for this cruise. When I opened the closet door I was pleasantly surprised at the abundance of heavy-duty plastic hangers. Thank you MSC Cruises for helping a girl out!
There was a table topper on the small table next to the couch for pizza delivery. Now we aren’t talking frozen pizza delivery, but yummy, delicious fresh baked pizza delivered to your stateroom starting from $8. As someone trying to seriously reduce her carbs, I lived vicariously through others that I saw chowing down on the cheesy slices of goodness, secretly wishing for just a small bite. But for those of you able to consume pizza guilt-free, consider pizza delivery while onboard.
Our cabin wasn’t in my typical high rent district of mid ship on the MSC Divina. In fact, we were so far aft on the ship and fairly high up. To go anywhere required walking through a maze of hallways to get to our final destination. And the hallways aren’t long, straight shots, but require a meandering through long and short hallways to get from one end of the deck to the other. I developed a crazy game that I’m sure if security was watching, they must have thought I’d gone crazy. For every short hallway that was about ten steps, we had to do lunges. Let me rephrase that; I did lunges while Anna laughed at me for doing lunges. But if I was going to walk that far, might as well throw in a few little extra exercises.
Next time I’ll cover my favorite venue on the MSC Divina: Eataly!