MSC Armonia Cruise Review by B Sugarman: Good Value
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Having perviously cruised with MSC we knew what to expect, announcements in 5 languages, Italian food, and British in the minority, the ship itself is beautiful, sparking clean, we had a suite which was first class, large with a good size balcony with rattan furniture, an excellent bathroom with a bath and shower, our cabin steward Harry ( from Indonesia) was marvellous, nothing was too much trouble.
We ate in the LaPergola restaurant (where you dine each evening and your table number are allocated when you board) the food was good, plenty of choice, not large portions but quite acceptable, however no water is served with meals except bottled water at 2.60 euros a bottle. There is a buffet restaurant for breakfast and lunch also the Marco Polo restaurant is available for both meals, tea and coffee are served at meals and at afternoon tea ( between 4 and 5 each day) but at no other times, a tip though, you can order tea and coffee with room service twenty four hours at no More charge, they only charge for food, this I believe is a loophole that MSC have yet to appreciate once they do no doubt they will charge, I think that I was one of the few that ordered tea ----maybe it is British thing! There are no children's meals provided, MSC do not charge for children, I feel personally that reduced charge for children and therefore being able to provide a children's menu would be of benefit, as it was once the buffet was closed children were served the same menu as adults at the evening meals which proved difficult for those with young children.
The staff on the whole were the most morose crowd that I have ever encountered on any cruise, apart from a few exceptions they were most unhelpful and at times downright rude, they seem to be alright chatting to each other but passengers appeared to be an inconvenience, I got the impression that the Armonia was not a happy ship to work on, the reception was about the worst, no help forthcoming on anything, one of my cases were delivered to the wrong cabin, I was told that I probably lost on the journey to the ship, this after being told that I saw it loaded onto the quayside! I just got a shrug and it will turn up sometime! eventually it did, the person that it had been delivered to brought it to my cabin complete with the labels attached.
The entertainment in the theatre was poor, there was entertainment during the day, bingo, craft classes, aerobics, etc all in five languages of course but that was fine and to be excepted and people seem to enjoy themselves. The internet is very expensive, 4 euros just to log on, and extremely slow, far better to use an internet cafe ashore. No smoking on the balcony and strongly discouraged in the cabin.
Ports of call were interesting, Malaga, Lisbon, Vigo, La Coruna( a beautiful call well worth a visit) Casablanca ( worth seeing but do not try to tackle it on your own, taxi drivers very aggressive and want to take you to their "friends" shops) and Le Harve, the Cruise excursions are very expensive but that seems to be the case on all cruises. We had free parking at Dover, were bused ( all 10 of us!) to Gatwick, flew to Genoa, the flight was good and the embarkation onto the ship smooth, we sailed back into Dover where the staff at the port of Dover were first class in helping with luggage and a minibus back to our car, which was a real bonus. The cruise was excellent value for money and we enjoyed it, the weather was good, the Armonia is a beautiful ship, clean, towels changed twice a day, beds comfortable and linen charged every other day, bathrobes provided, pity about that the staff (apart from the few )let it down, I doubt if we will cruise with MSC again Less
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