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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose MSC and this particular cruise because the itinerary Ports of call, suited the half term break for the UK Schools, we booked an Air Cruise, so MSC booked our flights on British Airways, the downside of this, is our flights were ... Read More
We chose MSC and this particular cruise because the itinerary Ports of call, suited the half term break for the UK Schools, we booked an Air Cruise, so MSC booked our flights on British Airways, the downside of this, is our flights were booked on a group ticket, therefore, you cannot check in independently on BA website, on day of departure, early morning flight from LHR, we got shunted around Terminal 5, looking for customer advisors to book us in, the matter got sorted out eventually, but we were disappointed and considered it a bad start. On arrival in Milan, we were transferred ok by coach to Genoa to embark the Armonia, we were bemused by the Italian officials who kept pushing bits of paper around, and bemused at the fact you do not get your cruise card issued at check in, you are pushed on to the ship, only to have to go to your cabin and pick up your cruise cards, then have them activated at electronic data points around the ship, and attach a credit card authorisation up to £250.00 with further authorisations as necessary. So far so good, then on 1st day the life boat and muster drill went ahead, but no one told us we had to scan our cards with the lifeboat attendants, subsequently, we were reprimanded by letter for not attending when we had attended, again another trip below decks to deck 5 to tell reception we had attended, which they promptly promised to rectify, on day 3 we were asked to do the same again. The Ship carries about 2500 passengers and about 700 crew, the majority of the crew are Indonesian, Bars, Buffet, cabin attendants, The ships facilities, and we understand this ship has been refitted it has to be said is exceptionally clean, below decks, the public areas are nice and the Cafe San Marco, the Bar Duomo, etc, and other bars are fairly nice, but this ship is not the RCI Harmony of Seas, or similar, its a much smaller vessel, and the entertainment caters for mainly the Italian Cruise crowd, overtime an announcement is made its in 4 languages, which does kind of give you a headache, secondly, the entertainment on board is limited to the Teatro Le Fenice, with mainly Gymnastic style shows, hand standing, and rather bizarre cabaret acts, we did not use the fine dining areas as the buffet seemed quicker and more accessible, however at peak times, seating is an issue, although there is more seating outside in the Pizzeria, and the Burger and Fries areas, plus you have Italian Gelateria, and Juice bar outside, thats a plus, the Burger and Fries area is open all the time for snacks, as is the pizzeria, although I have to say don't expect Dominos or Pizza Express quality pizzas, they are in the main Margherita's with a bit of this and that on top. The MSC Drinks package policy is rather difficult to get your head around at first glance, since if there are 2 of you sharing a cabin which is the most likely scenario, you must purchase 2 sets of unlimited beverage packages which can be a waste if one of you does not drink, secondly, its pricey, as much as 50 Euro a day per person, or 26 Euro Per day per person if its just unlimited drinks at meals. You can purchase a coffee package for 14 coffees or water package, or soda package, again this to me is bizarre because you are given a book of tickets, which for me is back to school...anyone remember it, every occasion you order a coffee or soda, or ask for water, you have to find the relative book of tickets, to which you must carry them around, and then prefer your cruise card, and sign for the receipt on delivery, again, time consuming, when Norwegian just scan your card and thats the end of it. We used the Thermal Spa area, which for E120.00 plus 15% tax, seemed attractive until you find that there are no Jacuzzi's only, a Sauna, a Laconic room, and some Thermal beds, however having said that at some times we were the only people in, and on a basis that it costs E39.00 per day per couple it works out fairly good value if you use it 4 times in the week. Also unlike other cruise lines, there was only cold tea, and not juice and water as we had experienced elsewhere. The Buffet was our main point of dining, after 2 days my wife started to predict the menu, its mainly caters for Italian customers, lots of Salads, Pasta, some meat, but the menu did not have theme nights as seen on RCI or Norwegian or similar, we were getting fed up with the food after day 3, and started to cut down on what we had, and to be truthful we were disappointed with the food, after having a Scandinavia and Russia cruise with RCI in May, where we experienced the food choices there, this was at best underwhelming. Service on board was fairly good, there did seem to be a lack of drinks waiters during peak meal times, but on deck in the smoking area, we were well looked after with plenty of staff to take our order for drinks, the Cabin attendant was attentive and the rooms made up well every day, and beds put down at night, also one thing I liked was that we had fresh towels every day, the only negative about our ocean view room is that the shower is far too small for most people over a certain body size, the shower has a curtain which sticks to you, every time you go in, which is irritating, I ended up on 2 days going to the Thermal spa area to have a proper shower, however this maybe due to the cabin size, there is sufficient room under your bed for 2 suit cases, but their seemed to be a lack of hangers in the wardrobe, whereas on other cruise lines there has always seemed to be an abundance. Embarking from the ship at the close of the cruise seemed to work ok, our bags were taken on the green tag, and we left the ship within 25 minutes of sitting in the theatre, we were directed outside to our transfer coach, and that seemed to work very well, the only problem again with doing flights through the cruise line is that they drop you off at the airport straight away, which means you have not got time to do anything, and we sat all afternoon in Milan Airport in a private lounge waiting to check in, we understood other passengers from other ships on the same Cruise Line, had been there since 9am for a 17.45pm flight. The itinerary was good, which was Genoa-Marseille, Marseille-Port Mahon Balearic Islands, Port Mahon-Cagliari Sardinia - Cagliari - Malta - Malta - Messina - Messina Naples, Naples - Genoa, we initially booked an excursion to Arles in France, but found out after we had booked the tickets, that they cancelled it, because lack of interest, we were offered an alternative, but asked them to cancel, as we were not interested in any other excursions, In the end we took the transfer at 15 Euros per head to Marseille as the ship docks about 25 minutes away, Port Mahon doesn't require any transfer, the port is just in front of the ship, it can all be done by walking, and Cagliari is walkable as well, we took an excursion for Taormina and Messina, and finally on the last day, Naples to Pompeii, this is an excellent excursion although rushed !!! and lots of hanging around waiting for the tour guides to count up the passengers on the tour at every twist and turn, plus lots of walking, around cobbled streets, however, the opportunity to see Pompeii under Vesuvius is not to be missed. All in All, I think MSC has not caught up with other Cruise operators, in terms of choice, and needs to improve its offerings, it caters mainly to Italians, and the excursions for english speakers is mixed in with German speakers, which means all your tour guide announcements are made in English, then you have to sit and listen on a headset to the same in German, if you speak German and English great, you get to hear it twice, if you only speak German or English, its going to give you a headache, Would I go again with MSC, sadly, whilst some aspects of the cruise were great, i.e. the Ports itinerary, No I would not, and that isn't because I think MSC is that bad, I just think its not as good as what you can buy elsewhere, for a little more money, so for me its a value for money issue, and other cruise operators just do it so much better and have more choices, with better facilities, to me MSC is a no frills cruise, with limited offerings both in Dining and Entertainment. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
booked this cruise online with iglu travel looked good liked the itinerary but should have taken more notice of some of the reviews ,booked outside with balcony, shower+wc very small, food very very average but service was ok, ... Read More
booked this cruise online with iglu travel looked good liked the itinerary but should have taken more notice of some of the reviews ,booked outside with balcony, shower+wc very small, food very very average but service was ok, excursions expensive ,found the crew helpful but mostly poor English, theatre entertainment was good but deck entertainment consisted of a deck game and teaching people various dance routines which seemed all the same to me, this ship is not one I would recommend for British cruises,we only met one other British couple on the last day ,if you French ,Italian , Spanish ,that's fine I'm sure you will love it, it was stated that a supplement would be added to your ship bill for tips at the end of your cruise I was not expecting a bill for 167 euros,was not told this was optional until we queried it,and I cancelled it, Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise as it suited our dates and the destinations sounded nice, Marseilles, Mallorca, Ibiza, etc. Genoa was our embarkation point. We arrived late and stressed due to a flight delay at Stansted airport. Our group was all ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it suited our dates and the destinations sounded nice, Marseilles, Mallorca, Ibiza, etc. Genoa was our embarkation point. We arrived late and stressed due to a flight delay at Stansted airport. Our group was all English speaking, two adults and two teenagers. This was my first cruise and we booked in March for July. There were no balcony cabins left so we opted for a cabin with a window. I was underwhelmed to put it mildly when we walked into the room with all our bags. It looked like an Irish Ferries cabin and that's not to insult Irish Ferries as I travel with them annually for a wine trip but seriously, this was for a whole week and there were four of us. Anyhow, a deep breath and some rational thinking and we decided there was nothing to be done, make the most of it. We went for dinner as we were up since 6am with two flights and feeling tired and hungry. We discovered the 8.30 sitting we booked is actually a 9.30 sitting as its Italian time, rather than UK time that should have been quoted on booking. No accommodations could be made so we just sat in the bar and waited. We had paid for a drinks package but our cards didn't reflect that so we were denied the free drinks we ordered and had to pay. This was rectified the next day but no refund was issued as we hadn't kept the receipt. In the restaurant the same non-sensical stuff goes on with the drinks package, with some plonk being covered and most of the wines not allowable. They charge the full amount if you choose a different wine rather than the difference in price. The orange juice is not covered for breakfast, the charge is nearly 4 euro per person. All of the entertainment was in Italian practically. Our TV had Italian movies and despite trying to reset the language it just didn't work on our TV. The internet packages are very expensive so no streaming is possible. I advise you download your movies before you travel if you enjoy that. The ports we stopped off at were lovely. A word of warning, they charge you 10 euro per day per person service charge in a big bill at the end of the cruise so that was 280 euro for our group. We felt annoyed by this as it was never mentioned before that. The 50 euro cruise credit ('Free') is a joke as the service charges wipe it out and more in the end so don't make the mistake we made by spending it to use it up!! On a positive note the food was perfectly fine. There is a buffet for breakfast and most of the day with some interruptions for preparation. However, we had no induction of any kind and didn't actually find the real buffet area until 3 days into the cruise. It sounds silly but there is an indoor area and a connected outdoor area with double doors in between. We didn't discover the indoor area for 3 days. The dinner portions are for a mouse but at 9.30 maybe that's all you need. My son aged 17 asked for another main on 2 nights and the waiter brought it so I assume you can do that if you like. I wouldn't travel on this ship again as I would rather more English speaking people and entertainment. The staff try their best and clearly work hard. The sheer numbers of people looking for service must be overwhelming for them at times and expect long queues for a drink in the outside bars near the pool. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We picked this cruise on itinerary. When we got on board we felt like we were on a cruise in 1975. The ship was very very dated and drab. The staff were very unfriendly and were tired and pretty grumpy. There were some Balinese staff that ... Read More
We picked this cruise on itinerary. When we got on board we felt like we were on a cruise in 1975. The ship was very very dated and drab. The staff were very unfriendly and were tired and pretty grumpy. There were some Balinese staff that were nice. We were shocked each time at port returning to the ship we couldn't even get a hello or smile from the staff. The ramp up to the ship was very old and there was a very old scanning system. The casino was prehistoric. The buffet was very busy as expected but very few staff to get drinks or clean up plates. If you wanted a drink near the pool,it was extremely slow. The toilets near the pool male and female were filthy at all times. This was the poorest cleaning standards we have every experienced in 17 cruise with many different cruise lines. I would not recommend msc to anyone. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This cruise was chosen purely for the itinerary,it was the only one with any cruise line that called at the ports that we wanted.We had cruised with MSC before and we said then NEVER AGAIN but relented due to the the places visited. ... Read More
This cruise was chosen purely for the itinerary,it was the only one with any cruise line that called at the ports that we wanted.We had cruised with MSC before and we said then NEVER AGAIN but relented due to the the places visited. This time it is definitely NEVER AGAIN. The crew were helpful and attentive but at busy times the numbers of waiters and bar staff was totally inadequate. The cabin was clean and comfortable and our cabin steward was excellent although not very proficient with languages. The general opinion seems to be that after a cruise most people need to diet as most have put on weight,we on the other hand lost five or six pounds each. The menu was repetitive and unappetising with coffee often tepid and tea not as we know it and seating in the buffet was sometimes difficult to find. Although no closing times were published we did observe the pool attendant on a occasions staring fixedly at occupants of the jacuzzi when he wanted to finish. Finally if you are claustrophobic or slightly more than large you will not like the shower. As i said NEVER AGAIN. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Being a mainly European Ship, very few English speaking people on board. We did not find this a problem. We were seated in the dining rooms with other English speaking passengers. All Announcements are made in 6 languages, you learn to ... Read More
Being a mainly European Ship, very few English speaking people on board. We did not find this a problem. We were seated in the dining rooms with other English speaking passengers. All Announcements are made in 6 languages, you learn to tune out to the non English announcements. Entertainment is always visual rather than spoken. Food was very good. We chose this cruise for its ports, we had also been on the Armonia previously. MSC are fun ships due to the number of languages spoken on board it is not possible to have entertainment that includes lots of talking. Every night there was an excellent show by the singers and dancers including acrobats etc, they were excellent. Other entertainment and games are visual based and fun, rather than spoken word. The cabin was well appointed, as was the bathroom. The crew we had dealings with spoke English. We are a mature retired couple travelling without any children. We would definately travel with them again. Value for money paid The ports were excellent, and the passengers were able to disembark quickly. We had booked a transfer from Milan to Genoa and as we came out through customs there was a notice with out name on it and we were transferred to Genoa by MSC straightway, embarking at 11.30 and went straight to our cabin. Bags delivered quickly. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise because it covered the ports that we wanted to see around the Med, unfortunately there was too little offshore time in some ports, especially when we cleared immigration later than the published time, and we still ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it covered the ports that we wanted to see around the Med, unfortunately there was too little offshore time in some ports, especially when we cleared immigration later than the published time, and we still embarked on time thus reducing onshore excursion time. The rest of the cruise was memorable for all the wrong reasons. The attitude of the staff in the dining room and buffet was surly and they obviously wanted to be somewhere else and not serving passengers. At lunch one day in the buffet a lady slipped and dropped her food, the staff looked on as other passengers picked her and her food up, finally a senior person arrived on the scene and got the other staff members to clean up the mess and phone for the ship's doctor. We only ate in the dining room once because of the staff's attitude, and they do not even provide water on the table, you have to buy a bottle. There are plenty of no smoking signs on the back balconies and you can find these easily because the passengers stand right underneath them and smoke, and staff walk by and don't say anything. There are signs in 5 languages on the water dispensers in the buffet saying don't refill bottles because its a health hazard, yet everybody does it and the staff look on and say nothing. We had to complain one day when one of the staff touched the food in the buffet without any gloves on, his supervisor reprimanded him and gloves were put on, but this should never have happened. The desserts in the buffet were repetitive and boring, everyday a cake slice of some sort but with a different flavoured cream filling, and ice cream was never available in the buffet, if you wanted one you had to walk up stairs and buy one in the gelato bar. Bedtime sleep was interrupted on several nights with unsupervised kids running up and down the corridors to midnight. The shows were put on by the staff and were mediocre, too much dancing to piped music because they did not have a band, and there was not enough singing. Only one of the celebrity acts was worth seeing, the remaining ones just filled up time. The only positives were that the cabin was a good size and the cabin boy smiled each day and said hello and did a good job maintaining the cabin, and for the most part the ship was kept clean. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Chose this cruise as I particularly wanted to sail into Valetta. Have sailed with MSC before. This time boarding took over 2 hours in Genoa. I met people who said they had taken 4. This meant the cabin was ready as soon as we boarded. I ... Read More
Chose this cruise as I particularly wanted to sail into Valetta. Have sailed with MSC before. This time boarding took over 2 hours in Genoa. I met people who said they had taken 4. This meant the cabin was ready as soon as we boarded. I had booked a table for two at dinner and as always we were on a table for 8. This was an anniversary cruise and a rare opportunity for my wife and I to spend time only in each other's company. I asked to be moved but was told 'not possible' even though restaurant was only about 60% full. Fixed this the following day with helpful Maitre D. Our unhelpful waiter then rejected my 30e bottle of wine orders saying he would bring something much better naming a wine I do not know. I asked how much and in an incredulous tone clearly designed to embarrass me into silence said " you want to know how much it is?" I am too old (and mean to fall for this so said yes. Rather sheepishly he pointed to the wine on the menu at 99e a bottle. I refused and he got his own back with dreadful service all night. Luckily the change of table brought a change of staff and the two new waiters were friendly and attentive. Oveall a ship with a great atmosphere. Plenty of happy children around. Many nationalities of staff and guests. Entertainment of good standard every night. Destinations GENOA: Fabulous visits on our own to palaces in the town. Town to ship easily reached by public transport. MAHON; Did not stop due to bad weather. MARSEILLES: Pouring with rain.Recommend you use the MSC transport to town. Free shuttle takes ages, there is a disorganised crush to get on and it does not drop you in town, just outside the port. It is not possible to leave the port on foot. Had used the Petit Train and the big wheel on a previuos visit which were excellent. CAGLIARI: Used tourist land train but no good for photos. Streets are narrow and the low roof made photos impossible. VALETTA. Be on deck for arrival, its amazing how they navigate into the harbour. Great views. Plenty of tourist busses on the waterfront or take a short walk to the lift that takes you up to the city. I love Malta and its' people. MESSINA. Go to Taormina to see Etna. If using the train and buying a ticket from a machine, validate you ticket in one of the small separate validation machines before boarding the train . NAPLES: Can use the Metro to get to the city. Same advice about the tickets. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Stopping at places we wanted to see and the prices seemed okay. Embarkation went very smoothly. Cabins were clean and well looked after. Having said all that we were very disappointed with the food in both dining restaurants and buffet, ... Read More
Stopping at places we wanted to see and the prices seemed okay. Embarkation went very smoothly. Cabins were clean and well looked after. Having said all that we were very disappointed with the food in both dining restaurants and buffet, very poor quality. 2nd sitting was far too late at 9.00 pm as were not finishing until around 10.30/10.45. Could have swapped but first sitting was too early at 6.30 pm. and were offered anytime dining but wanted to charge extra per person per night. Also wanted to charge to use the thermal rooms which should have been free in our minds. Staff at the excursion desks were very unhelpful. When trying to book one of the excursions we were told it had been cancelled and when we tried another there were no English speaking guides available. Staff on board were very friendly but not enough of them. Entertainment was pretty poor compared to other cruises we have been on, shows only lasting around 45 mins. All in all this Ship caters for all European's other than English, wouldn't recommend it. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We gave MSC a second shot having previously sailed on Musica and not rated it highly BUT this cruise was cheap and went to some interesting ports. Flight from Gatwick with BA was brilliant, a quick and easy transfer from Genoa and we ... Read More
We gave MSC a second shot having previously sailed on Musica and not rated it highly BUT this cruise was cheap and went to some interesting ports. Flight from Gatwick with BA was brilliant, a quick and easy transfer from Genoa and we were soon aboard and exploring. Food was awful in buffet, the same choices each day- not much better in the Marco Polo main dining room where dishes were hit and miss. They allow smoking anywhere on the ship despite there being designated areas which the Europeans completely ignore !! Main public area around the pools is noisy and packed with loud screaming Italians who push and shove their was to the front of any Q with little regard to anyone but themselves. Entertainment was OK, just 1/2 hour dancing and acrobats to cross all the 5 languages spoken on board - listen carefully for the English version !! Ports of call were the main reason for choosing this ship, a quick taste which certainly gave us a flavour of the place, many of which we will return to. Would we use MSC again ? We think not - we would rather pay a bit more and get better food and more civilised travel companions. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This is a review about the MSC Ammonia cruise around the Mediterranean Islands for 7 nights from the 28th of May 2016. The ship holds around 2,600 passengers and is considered medium sized. The clientele are European, Italian, French ... Read More
This is a review about the MSC Ammonia cruise around the Mediterranean Islands for 7 nights from the 28th of May 2016. The ship holds around 2,600 passengers and is considered medium sized. The clientele are European, Italian, French & German, with around 5% (max) English speaking Embarkation – after all the horror stories, this was really easy and there were no queues or fuss, maybe we were lucky? Arrived at Genoa airport, directed to the coach, apart from the coach being very warm inside everything went smoothly and arrived at the port around 10-15 minutes later. Short walk to hall and very easy process of getting cards. As per usual, immediate pressure of selling extras. We bought 15 coffees on board. Found our cabin easily our luggage arrived around an hour later. This could be likened to a ferry as people embark at nearly every port, therefore there is a safety drill every day (you only attend one). Rating: Good The cabin – double, with balcony, not large, but big enough, can see why some have said balconies are small, may not be considered deep enough by some, but fine for us. Shower in bathroom all well laid out though again small. No comfy chairs/settee in room, but safe behind mirror (opens on left hand side). Enough hanging space and cases under bed. Friendly steward keeps it nice and clean. Rating: Average Food – firstly with one of us being a vegetarian the choices were exceedingly limited and sometimes there are no choices at all. There are three options main dining, buffet, in room (pay for depending on board/ room choices). We were in La Pergola on floor 6, a table for 2 and had an allegro drinks package (5 wine, 7 water) with evening meal that was fine for us. If you are in the main dining room on deck 5 Marco Polo it is much noisier and seemed frenetic, especially as it had the kids in there. In main dining room, squashed in, not a lot of room between tables, not seated next to other English speaking people, we had Germans either side and couldn’t really talk as our German is non existent and their English was not great, we/they tried. There was an American couple diagonally opposite us and it would have been great to sit next to them. The waiters were helpful and friendly. The food delivery was interesting. They took your order from 6 courses, no coffee: Appetisers, soup, pasta/risotto, salad, main, dessert. You had one or two choices for each and did not have to have them all. However they arrived two at a time, so if you ordered 4 of 6, and your partner 3. You were eating your main course when they were having desert. The waiters served a dish to everyone in their area at the same time! The food generally was reasonable but only occasionally hot. For us only a few dinners were good all the way through. The room service has a limited selection and may have a charge – depending on your grade. The main buffet area is on deck 11 and the actual seating area is very limited and around the food counters can be a crush! The best buffet bit for us was the fresh pizzas and the pasta. Hamburgers not great but OK. At meal times this area was just too busy. Water is available here, but you are not supposed to fill up any bottles but lots do, as there is a charge for water otherwise. Breakfast is either in the buffet or room service or main dining deck 5. Unless you have booked the top grade then this is buffet too. There is a coffee shop but it is a charge. Sit at a table and wait for the waiter, hopefully they will come quickly. If you ask at the counter you get put behind all the table orders and can wait ages. They also do small pastries here. There are bars but we didn’t frequent them. Be aware as the non-smoking policy is different, in certain areas smoking is allowed, e.g. the English bar/pub. Rating: Poor Onboard Activities – very limited if you don’t want to baste yourself all day in the sun (this is what is expected). There are dance classes, fun and games for children, bingo, table football & tennis and others. A number of pools, kids water area etc. The mini golf was our favourite. They had a number of quizzes but even on rainy days only a few people participated. The main theatre is curiously laid out with two sets of seats per tier, in order to see clearly you need to be in the front set so arrive early as these get busy very quickly, the shows only last half an hour and are mainly visual, but good. Three shows per night. Rating: Poor Excursions – our comment about English is relevant to 2 of our excursions being cancelled, due to “lack of interest” this means not enough English speaking people wanted the tour, first MSC staff blame the tour operators, then lack of guides, when you point out the contract we have is with them and not their sub-contractor, they then quote the small print at you. We selected another tour on one occasion, yet that was run in dual language, English and German, so why couldn’t they do this for the one we originally booked? Also they know beforehand that some tours in certain languages are not likely to run e.g. English so put this warning on the web site especially the msc.co.uk one! As we booked this cruise because of the destinations and wanted specific excursions that “were not available” and MSC don’t give a fig! When we tried to find out times and runnings of other excursions again it is a lottery what they say and whether you can believe them. When we were speaking to the manager, after one had been cancelled, I asked that due to our weak walking capacity, could we reserve the front 2 seats which he said he would do immediately. The next day we walked slowly to the bus and found there was no reservations! When asking his staff later they said we had to take that sort of requirement up when we collected our numbers from the relevant staff at the time, this would then be called through to the coach!!! The manager obviously doesn’t care so neither does his staff. In total 3 of the excursions we wanted to go on were cancelled and the number that were offered and then cancelled virtually every day was ridiculous. Totally unacceptable and unlike the other cruises we have been on where they got overbooked. We ended up on a Rome on our own excursion, went to see the Forum. After a day out, we arrived back at the coach for the allotted time, however a group of "fat" Italian ladies were nearly 45 minutes late. This was despite being told by the MSC rep, the guide, both in several languages, what the time back was (16:45) and given a piece of paper with it on plus a phone number to call if they were going to be late. They had decided to go on the hop-on hop-off bus and arrived back late. We were left just waiting and the passengers were getting very agitated. When they finally did arrive, no apologies or anything, even to the guide. So rude! The driver got us back to the ship only 10 minutes late for departure. There should be a fine for making us late, say over half an hour that should be given to charity? The local guides on Minorca and Sicily were great. Ratings: MSC Staff and "fat" Italian ladies - Absolutely Terrible! Local guides and drivers - Excellent. The staff – the reception and excursions staff, clearly could not care about you. They have set things they can do and if you ask outside of those parameters they can’t /won’t help. The excursion manager lied to us and so did a number of the staff, just to stop dealing with us. I would go as far as to say they were rude. This is just not the sort of service to be expected. Had word with Houcine, who is the English/French guest relations person on board. Only found this out when attending disembarkation talk on the second from last day. On the daily sheet it says hospitality person and he said at the briefing no one had come to talk to him, that is because we didn’t know what he was. Stated about excursions and lack of choice for my wife as a vegetarian, he talked to the restaurant management and they added another option for that night and were attentive, however it was back to normal the final night, with just soup a salad and a main. Went back and saw him after final meal to point this out again. The restaurant waiters are great and very friendly/helpful. Rating: Terrible – apart from waiters ( good) Disembarkation – pink luggage labels, on main bags and outside door for 01:00. Had to leave cabin by 07:00 even though docking at 09:00. Suppose it was due to the 1,000 plus guests departing at Genoa, but even so seemed early. Supposed to be bag drop off area for hand luggage, but couldn’t find it, so ended carrying hand luggage around. Disembarkation at 09:45 from main theatre. Announcement made at 09:45 for pink, exited ship, found luggage and coach to airport. Again couldn’t have been more straightforward. Rating: Good Conclusions – if you want good food and decent entertainment do not come on an MSC cruise, unless you like lying in the sun all day, which you can do cheaper elsewhere. Being in a minority as English speaking also makes a difference, not that it should be an issue, apart from the cancelled excursions. If you want politeness from the majority of crew and passengers, again this is in short supply – people barge into lifts before you get out and they will fill a lift up even if it is going in the wrong direction, plus requests for them to wait simply don’t apply to them, this is probably a European culture issue. We’re told by Houcine that new ships and ethos in for 2017. It has a long way to go, to get us back on an MSC cruise. Have filled in email for getting survey and been promised this will be taken seriously, we shall see! Overall we would place this experience as the worst so far of our 4 cruises (others being Oceania 5*, Celebrity 4* and Royal Caribbean 3* – in that order). MSC would get no more than 2* at best. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Never cruised the Med, some calling points we had never visited. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and slick The ship layout was excellent and we found it very easy to find our way around, the cabin was clean and well laid ... Read More
Never cruised the Med, some calling points we had never visited. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and slick The ship layout was excellent and we found it very easy to find our way around, the cabin was clean and well laid out although the shower was very tight on space. Dining was excellent we used the restaurant for breakfast not the buffet everything was served efficiently and freshly cooked. We used the buffet for luch which offered a very large choice of menu with both hot and cold dishes on offer. We shared a table with two other couples at the first sitting. We had never met the others before but our 'dinner parties' were excellent which was helped byFabio our superb waiter who did everything to please with a constant smile on his face. The maitre D always stopped by every evening and was excellent There was a wide choice of good quality entertainment in comfortable surroundings We went ashore at each port but as seasoned cruisers we went our own way at each port and therefore cannot comment about shore excursions Hopefully whilst we remain fit enough to cruise (jsut turning 70 years of age) we will use MSC again. Probably trying a Caribbean cruise Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
every cruise line has a care of duty to their staff and their guests, they must never put you in danger, they must be helpful, have patience, be understanding, use common sense, have the time to talk to the guests, have the decency to say ... Read More
every cruise line has a care of duty to their staff and their guests, they must never put you in danger, they must be helpful, have patience, be understanding, use common sense, have the time to talk to the guests, have the decency to say good morning, and above all, make you feel welcome. MSC does none of this, in fact, they do the absolute opposite, let me explain. 1, msc arranged our transfer from genoa airport to the ship by coach, after 45 mins the coach was filled with smoke, and we were stranded for 90 mins on the dual carriageway, putting the passengers in danger. 2, there was no msc rep on the bus, the driver could only speak Italian, not very helpful. 3, on reaching the ship, we had to unload our own luggage while the porters watched, we were then hurried onto the ship, only to be met by security, meanwhile on the port, suitcases were being dropped. 4, after 7 hours of having no food or drink, were offered a glass of water, really? 5, customer services did not want to know about our problems, they had enough of their own, like trying to work out how they managed to put two sisters on the wrong coach, the wrong ship, and have nowhere for them to sleep, you couldn't make this up. 6, trying to get a smile out of the security staff, or the bar staff in the starlight disco, was like pulling teeth. 7, my wife and I were on the ship for 7 days, and we only got to know 5 members of staff who took the time to make us feel welcome, joceline, Ismael, rantiasa, med;e, and maria. 8, the ship is quite small compared to others we have been on, theres not really a lot of activities to do, unless you like dance lessons, the restaurant service is quite quick, and the food is good, there was a minimal selection of excursions, our ocean view cabin was quite pleasing and very clean, entertainment was nothing to write home about, and getting off the ship was a chore in its self, I was looking forward to a nice relaxing week off work, didn't happen, my summary of the msc armonia is this, regimental, and unhappy staff, I wont be going again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This was a first time cruise for my mother (early 60's) and I (mid 30's) and we were both very impressed. The cabins were immaculate and spacious, we had a large window on the 7th floor which I would thoroughly recommend as you ... Read More
This was a first time cruise for my mother (early 60's) and I (mid 30's) and we were both very impressed. The cabins were immaculate and spacious, we had a large window on the 7th floor which I would thoroughly recommend as you can enjoy the sunrises and sunsets from the comfort of your bed. The food in the marco polo was first class and delicious every single night. Hats off to the chefs and to our waiters as the service was impeccable. The buffet restaurant is busy and can be hectic but if timed right, can be reasonably quiet. The bar staff were all friendly and we found at busy times you only have to wait a few minutes to be served. Which is as reasonable as being served in your local. We choose the drinks package which is extremely good value for money and saves counting and worrying how much your bar/juice/coffee/ice cream bill will be at the end of the trip. The evening shows were excellent, something different on every night. I would thoroughly recommend this cruise and can't wait to go back for our second cruise trip. The only negative is that in certain locations (approx 3 places), you have to pay for a shuttle bus to town as the ship docks about 15 mins away from the city centre, this was a surprise to us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
Well if your British and like a cruise where by you can dress up each night forget this one. If you like a cruise where men expect the wife's to dress up and they just can not be bothered, or the none English passages do not want to ... Read More
Well if your British and like a cruise where by you can dress up each night forget this one. If you like a cruise where men expect the wife's to dress up and they just can not be bothered, or the none English passages do not want to mix with you and are rude this is for you. Entertainment if you speak English you have to be very quick to hear the one or two english words they use. It was basic. As for food the buffet can be a bit of a crum to get into. The lunch time dinning is sit where you want again none English passers looked down on use and not want to have us sit with them. Quality of evening meal was average. Cabin was an inside was OK nothing special on tea coffee making but OK to sleep. Ports of call you see lots but each one you feel rushed as have no time in each. All in all a cheap cruise not to be repeted. Sept 2016 we are going P&O Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
We were looking forward to the inaugural cruise on Armonia in November it promised to be such a great cruise .The moment we embarked we could see a lot of the work was not completed places closed off. In our cabin little things not working ... Read More
We were looking forward to the inaugural cruise on Armonia in November it promised to be such a great cruise .The moment we embarked we could see a lot of the work was not completed places closed off. In our cabin little things not working the soap dispenser the toilet worked sometimes and didnt work other times ,the tv didnt work for 3 days, the partition between the balconys was not fixed properly so it rattled all nigth so annoying . Thats the the little things that really you could live with but every night after 11pm they started to sand deck 11 as our suite was on deck 10 this noise was right over our heads very hard to sleep the smell of paint every where and maintance men every where druning the whole cruise still working on the ship . We had anytime dining and while it was great not to be stuck to a time the food was so dissapointing the meat was brought to the table every night cooked very rare we sent it back but still happened again and again we complained and the matre di and head waiter came to our table in front of all other 6 guests to ask us why we complained they both promised it would never happen again and while they were still at the table the meat arrived as rare as it could possibly be .. The lifts were constantly out of order on deck 6 there is a theatre ,coffee bar ,2 bars and a restuarant and only 1 set of public toilets and they were often closed .The entertainment was very bad nothing happened during sea days all very little at night .We have cruised 6 times with Thomsom ,Royal Carribean and Msc we have always enjoyed cruising this made it so much more dissapointing we feel so let down by Msc some of the staff at reception were very rude others were helpful there was little they could do the ship was just no ready to sail . The day we disembarked was dreadful we were late arriving because of bad weather no problem but in the departure hall the Msc staff did not have clue we asked a girl about our transfare to the airport her answer was roday it is crazy do what you like . I would always recomend Msc to others but i will not recomend them anymore and we will not cruise with them again . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2008
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 ... Read More
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 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 Read Less
MSC Armonia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.7
Dining 2.0 3.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.2
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 5.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.1
Enrichment 3.0 3.0
Service 4.0 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.5

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