Last week Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, condemning this Midwesterner to six more long weeks of winter. But having just returned from a week cruise in the Caribbean on the MSC Divina, I can face this cold fate with new resilience.
The MSC Divina is the perfect girlfriends getaway choice. Named and christened by the ultimate diva herself, the legendary Sophia Loren, the Divina is the youngest and most modern vessel in MSC’s fleet. She is also one of the largest, sharing the title with her sister ship, the MSC Fantasia.
And make no mistake, she is a diva! Her elegant and stylish features impress as she shows off Swarovski crystal staircases, glass elevators, Italian marble finishes, an infinity pool, an adults only exclusive deck, and even a private Yacht Club members option for those who want the smaller ship experience with all the perks of a large vessel, complete with a suite designed by Sophia Loren herself!
When traveling with one of your girlfriends or with a pack of divas these 6 things are Must Do’s:
Prior to boarding the ship, be sure to pick out your spa package at the MSC Aurea Spa. This saves money on treatments and ensures you get a bit of alone time on a ship with over 1700 staterooms. The spa treatment rooms have some of the best real estate on the ship with wall to ceiling windows showing off the expanse of the Caribbean from your massage table. The spa boasts dressing rooms, large showers, a relaxation room, steam and sauna. As an added bonus, when purchasing a spa package, you also receive unlimited access to the thermal spa for the duration of your cruise.
With over 20 restaurants and bars on board the MSC Divina, food and drink is ever-flowing and room service is offered 24 hours a day. When traveling with your gal pals, be sure to sleep in and then start the day proactively in the Aurea Spa workout center. Situated at the very front of the ship with wrap around wall to ceiling windows, you can run on the treadmill, hike the elliptical machine, or lift weights all while gazing over the Caribbean sea to the horizon. With classes such as aqua cycling, yoga, and stretching available there is no reason to not start your days gearing up for a wonderful day of foodie and cocktail indulgences.
For days at sea, be sure to reserve your spot on Divina’s Top 18 Exclusive Solarium for adults-only. This private deck at the very top of the ship, is an exclusive area boasting premium deck space, comfortable cocoons, a bar menu, complimentary fruit skewers, as well as a specially tailored menu of express spa treatments. While the other decks are teaming with passengers and the pools are overflowing with kiddos, you and your girlfriends will enjoy the quiet of Top 18, relaxing in the hot tub with never ending glasses of Prosecco delivered by the friendliest of staff!
Known for late night entertainment and dining options, cruising is the perfect way to have maximum fun with minimum effort! Choose the later seating for the dining room, attend a show in the theater, hit the casino and stay up way too late. I’m not a big casino goer, but when cruising with girlfriends the casino is a fun way to get to know other passengers, crew members, and to let loose and have a good time. When sailing on the Divina, it is my humble recommendation to try the Italian liqueur, Lemoncello, while placing bets. Trust me, its good luck.
Cruising can be a highly scheduled experience, which has both it’s positives and negatives. When arriving or leaving a port of call, make sure to have your time correct and your schedule organized so the ship doesn’t leave without you. And yes, it really will. Theater shows, spa treatments, classes, even bingo games run on a tight schedule. All these are necessary and fun, but when traveling with the girlies be sure not to forget to be spontaneous. Skip dinners in the dining hall if you feel like it and eat piles of French fries, pizza, and gelato on one of the outdoor decks instead. If you park there long enough, along with your Prosecco, you will be treated to much conversation, laughter, and an impressive sunset over the Caribbean ocean followed by some of the most beautiful starry nights you’ll ever see.
Get your gils wet. C’mon, if this Midwest girl can hop on a power raft and zip around St. Maarten Island and go snorkeling in some pretty big ocean swells, anyone can do it. (Never mind the critters you’ll find in the beautiful waters!) When you and your girlfriends are at a port of call, be sure to do more than just lay on the beach and shop. Take advantage of the many excursions and try something you wouldn’t normally do. Be adventurous. The experiences you share and the memories you make together will seal the deal for a great girlfriends getaway!
Biggest thank you to MSC Cruises for hosting our week long girlfriend’s getaway to the Caribbean. All opinions are our own!