19 Havana Family Cruise Reviews

My EXCELLENT rating of this adventure is not indicative of luxury, rather a unique opportunity to experience Cuba and to do so aboard a mega-yacht. This was our third Cuban trip in six years. Booking this ship/itinerary allowed us to visit ... Read More
My EXCELLENT rating of this adventure is not indicative of luxury, rather a unique opportunity to experience Cuba and to do so aboard a mega-yacht. This was our third Cuban trip in six years. Booking this ship/itinerary allowed us to visit locations we had not seen previously and would have had difficulty getting to on our own. The Variety Voyager could be classified as an expedition-style ship (Galapagos, Arctic, Antarctic) in some ways, but I suggest it's contemporary, sleek flair places it in its own category. This was our first time aboard a large scale yacht although we have cruised more than 45 times aboard ships of all sizes and in all parts of the world. The booking experience was simple; we received all information promptly. Our flight to, and pickup at, Havana airport was efficient, as was embarkation (and seven days later) disembarkation. Service on board was without fault. All staff and crew were helpful and friendly. Buffet breakfast/lunch had enough choices to keep it from being repetitive. Dinners were from a menu with several courses and choices. Passengers wore comfortable warm-weather clothing throughout the day and evening. Some wore a nicer shirt, top, dress for dinner but it isn't required or necessary. We chose to pack light and never felt underdressed. Captain Constantine, Hotel Manager Stefanos, George, Marina, Christian, Vick, Vilim and their fellow staff/crew were attentive, pleasant and helped us to enjoy our adventure. It would not have been the same without them! Please see cabin comments below. This mega-yacht is a UNIQUE way to travel. It is not meant to be a cruise ship experience. In fact several passengers had never cruised. It is a relaxed atmosphere onboard with enough space to spread out if necessary. The décor is clean, contemporary and attractive. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I cruised the Montego Bay-Havana itinerary with my husband and three twenty-something children. We're from Colorado. We've traveled a lot together and are avid sightseers. We took this cruise mainly to visit Havana. Our ... Read More
I cruised the Montego Bay-Havana itinerary with my husband and three twenty-something children. We're from Colorado. We've traveled a lot together and are avid sightseers. We took this cruise mainly to visit Havana. Our cruise passengers were about 1/3 North American, 1/3 South American and 1/3 European and other. All ages were on this cruise, from tiny infants in arms to elderly people in wheelchairs. There were many family groups and fewer couples. I had expected an international and child-centered passenger list, which I thought would be charming, but instead felt chaotic. If you're mainly interested in sightseeing and view the cruise as a means to get from place to place, you might be unhappy with this cruise. If you view the cruise as your primary entertainment and visiting the ports as secondary, you'll probably like it. This is a party boat -- loud music, pastel blender cocktails and Brazilian beachwear is the atmosphere. If you're taking this cruise because you're part of a family group or can't afford a more upscale cruise and you're concerned about the party atmosphere, I'd recommend spending the extra money on a balcony cabin. You'll have a quiet place to hang out that isn't claustrophobic. We did that, and it was a lifesaver. Other random observations: The ship seemed really clean and we were 100% healthy the entire cruise without being picky eaters. Our cabin steward and waiter in the dinner dining room were smiling, hard-working people. The other crew members we encountered were more of a mixed bag. The dress code in the dinner dining room isn't enforced. There were beautifully dressed diners and diners wearing sweats and cut-off short shorts. Shopping is hugely emphasized on this cruise. If you shop as a passtime rather than to acquire stuff you need, you'll probably like this cruise. The pool bars are an organizational disaster. Even if you bought a drink package, you have to get bottled water or soda at a bar. The bartenders do everything, from making pastel blender cocktails to handing out water and soda, and each item has to be rung up on a computer. The bars are mobbed during the day. As a result, you have to wait 20 minutes to get a soda with lunch. It would be so simple to have a few pop-up stands at peak times to hand out the bottled drinks. MSC really needs to work on this problem. Another problem is long lines to disembark for shore visits. Shore visits are surprisingly short (pay attention to this detail if you're a sightseer). The long lines subtract valuable time from the already short shore time. There's also rampant line-cutting. I saw entire families cut the line, which I'd never seen before. Finally, cost. This cruise is like flying on Frontier airlines. You pay extra for EVERYTHING, drinks, wi-fi, excursions, gratuities. It adds up, especially if you're taking your children. You might be better off paying a higher cost up front if more items are included in that cost. I hope this info helps you make a decision about your next cruise vacation. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Beds are comfortable and the room was very clean. Elias who was our cabin steward was very friendly and helpuful. Too bad the rest of the cruise crew had a terrible attitude, they were all super rude. The food at the buffet was ok, but ... Read More
Beds are comfortable and the room was very clean. Elias who was our cabin steward was very friendly and helpuful. Too bad the rest of the cruise crew had a terrible attitude, they were all super rude. The food at the buffet was ok, but they don’t serve a lot of options. The restaurant food was terrible, bland and small servings. The staff at the restaurant was super rude, and had a terrible artitude, up to the point we avoided asking for things. If you have a food intolerance forget about this cruise, they don’t take questions about what they are serving. We traveled with 3 adults on wheelchairs and they had a lot of trouble moving with them around the ship because cleaning carts blocked the hallways and we got yelled at when we tried to move them. One of the elevators did not work for almost 2 days and that one was the one we could reach. We asked for assistance and they completetly ignored us and they told us “we didn’t need the service” I wouln’t recommend this cruise if you have trouble moving arround. The entertainment was poor, and we could hear the music in our cabin until 1 am. Overall I think this cruise was way too expensive for the service and quality of meals. I wouldn’t recommend this ship to anyone unless you want to pay to get yelled at. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our first time on an MSC ship having previously cruised with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Cunard & Princess. It's safe to say they do things a bit differently on MSC but this cruise was a lot cheaper than our previous ... Read More
This was our first time on an MSC ship having previously cruised with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Cunard & Princess. It's safe to say they do things a bit differently on MSC but this cruise was a lot cheaper than our previous cruises and the itinerary was unique and the main attraction for this holiday. Overall it gave us value for money, especially the pre-booked drinks package and photo package although the wifi package was a bit expensive and we still had a poor reception. I would say most guests were Italian and Spanish with a high number of Germans and South Americans. About 5% British and no Americans that I was aware of. It was quick and smooth to actually embark onto the ship early afternoon. The problem for me was that you then had to wait until early evening before the rooms are ready. I have never come across anything like this before. The rooms are normally ready when you embark, certainly by mid afternoon. Not ideal after a long travel day! The ship is very old by modern standards, it has no atrium, no speciality dining areas, small pools and just your normal basic choice of bars (Pool bar, pub, piano bar, coffee etc) and a nice small theatre. The ship has been stretched (cut in half and added a bit in the middle!) but it doesn't flow very well getting around the ship, no big spacious areas (apart from top deck!) and everything felt a bit cramped inside and around the outside decks. I don't think this ship has long left for modern day cruising. The ocean view cabin was OK. A family of four in any cabin is always going to be a tight fit but we managed. It was clean, the beds were comfortable but not good for English speaking TV. Again, because of the age of the ship there are not many balcony cabins and I don't think any are available for a family of four. We had the early sitting for evening dining which was at 7.15pm, quite late compared to other ships but this suited us. The late sitting of 9.15pm sounded very late to me but maybe that is just a British thing. The food was OK, nothing special and lacked any wow factor. I felt the portions were small so on a few occasions I ordered either 2 starters or 2 deserts. The main dining room was also open for breakfast and lunch with a quite limited menu available. Keep an eye of the opening hours as they do change on different days. We never did the upstairs buffet in the evening but it was good for breakfast and lunch with a decent amount of choice, Like most ships, the buffet area got very busy at peak times. Their pizza station was a big hit at lunch times. The entertainment and activities on board the ship was very basic and is obviously aimed at it's main passenger nationalities. Coming from the UK and being very much in the minority on this cruise, it wasn't really our thing. We were quite happy just sitting back and relaxing while enjoying our drinks in the various bars but the theatre productions, the singers and games round the pool just weren't for us. The Cuban party on the top deck was a nice evening, as was the White Night. The pools were small and used mainly to just cool down. The Jacuzzi's had a funny smell that put us off a bit. A game of crazy golf was as good as it got. The level of service overall was a bit mixed. It was very difficult getting a drink round the pools. Whether you tried to get one via the waiters/waitresses or by going to the bar yourself, you had to queue up a lot. You could also have the same problem in some of the bars in the evening and sometimes in the main dining room. I felt the main problem was that they just didn't have enough staff. All the staff were working hard but just struggled to keep up with demand. Maybe that is why this cruise seemed so much cheaper than previous ones, less staff, less costs for the cruise company. I might be wrong but I also felt a lot of the staff were new to the ship. The dining room staff really struggled the first few days but did improve as the cruise went on. I don't know if they have a high turnover of staff but they certainly need to employ more staff if they want to keep all their passengers happy. The staff tried to be friendly but a lot of the time they were just too busy and stressed doing their job to spend time with passengers. The photography team were more relaxed and were all very friendly. They would chat to you about anything and always made time to talk to our children. Dress Code - Well, there isn't one really. Before the cruise we spent a lot of time researching into the ships dress code and theme night details so we were prepared for the itinerary. We shouldn't have bothered. The "suggested" dress code for each evening on the daily planner was just ignored by most passengers and we were very much in the minority on the gala evenings when we did dress up. I was amazed to see people in the main dining room in shorts and flip flops on a gala night. No one was turned away. It was the White Night evening that seemed to be the most popular when it came to the dress code. Otherwise it was shorts, t-shirts and flip flops all the way. Maybe it's a cultural thing but disappointing all the same. The main attraction to this cruise was very much the itinerary. The only ship that currently gives you a lot of time in Havana and then calling at the excellent ports of Cozumel, Belize, Grand Cayman and Jamaica make this a cruise well worth doing. (We never docked in Honduras). Our children never want to go to the kids clubs and prefer to spend their time with us (which is nice!) They love cruising but said they preferred the other ships we have been on to this one. (fair!) Another problem on this cruise that seemed to make it more chaotic (and probably more stressful for the staff) was the large number of people constantly embarking and disembarking. You could do this cruise as a 7 or 14 night cruise from Havana so obviously you get a large turnover of passengers every 7 days in Havana. What I didn't realise until on the cruise was how many people embark and disembark in Cozumel as well. When we returned to the ship the second time around in Cozumel we had to queue for over 45mins just to get back onboard it was that chaotic. Meanwhile, the NCL ship at the side of us with twice as many passengers all just casually walked back on board their ship without any problems. PORTS - HAVANA - The main attraction to this cruise. It was great to spend so much time exploring this fascinating city. We booked a tour with a local company for our first day to help us get our bearings. It was outstanding and much cheaper than anything the cruise ship could offer. I would love to come back here. Maybe spend some time outside Havana as well. MONTEGO BAY - We were told before our arrival there was a state of emergency due to unrest in the city and to keep to the tourist areas. We had arranged a tour with a local company to take us to Bob Marley's Nine Miles museum and then we went to a beautiful beach in Falmouth. Need to come back here again too! GRAND CAYMAN - We did the ships Dolphin & Stingray City excursion. The whole family loved this. It was amazing but not cheap. Come prepared for buying expensive photos! COZUMEL - This is a great place. We did a lovely beach club on our own for our first visit and then when we returned we did the ships VIP Save a Turtle trip which is one of the best excursions I have ever done. Make sure you book well in advance for this as there was only 14 places available when we did it. We also visited a very interesting Mayan village. I would love to come back here again. Lots to see and do on such a small island. COSTA MAYA - Not a great place really. You get off the ship and walk into a port that was modern but had a fake feeling to it which had been created by the cruise companies with lots of (overpriced) shops, bars and restaurants. We got a taxi to the beach but they are struggling with a lot of seaweed on the beach and it was very cramped. We cut our loses and went back to the ship. I won't be coming back here again. BELIZE - We split up here. Me and my youngest daughter did the ships horseback ride in the jungle (which was fantastic) while my wife and eldest daughter just did a small tour round Belize City calling off at a rum factory amongst some of the attractions. A very enjoyable day had by all. HONDURAS - (Port cancelled due to swells making it unsafe to tender) Ever since this ship crashed into the port and making significant damage, the port authorities have asked the ship to tender. I'm not sure of there is a bit of politics going on between the port and the cruise company but the swells didn't seem that bad. Some of the Italian passengers were not happy and organised a protest in the reception area. It came to nothing, no compensation or any sort was received (unlike other cruises I have been on) I think the title for this review sums it all up. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The excursions, terrible and very expensive. We have not been able to enjoy a "Caribbean beach". The ones we were taken to were so artificial and crowded. We returned from the excursions, organized by the same cruise, and the ... Read More
The excursions, terrible and very expensive. We have not been able to enjoy a "Caribbean beach". The ones we were taken to were so artificial and crowded. We returned from the excursions, organized by the same cruise, and the restaurants were closed, deplorable. You had to queue up for over half an hour to finally get a piece of pizza, or a hamburguer. Meal times not adapted to the different nationalities. There were times when, except for the pizzeria, everything was closed. Security measures, countless, both to get on and off the ship, especially in Havana. The boat, clean but very simple. The service, correct without more. I did not like anything. Very expensive for the service offered. They had spoken to me very well of MSC but in this cruise, which would be to show off, they have crashed, counting on the opinion of other fellow travelers who had done more cruises with this company. Without a doubt, I will try not to travel with MSC, if I have alternative Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise because of the unique itinerary, which included 2 nights spent in Havanna, Cuba. We loved the route (Havanna-Montego Bay-Cayman Islands-Cozumel) and found MSC Armonia to be a cozy ship. Sure, the ship shows signs of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the unique itinerary, which included 2 nights spent in Havanna, Cuba. We loved the route (Havanna-Montego Bay-Cayman Islands-Cozumel) and found MSC Armonia to be a cozy ship. Sure, the ship shows signs of wear and tear but we actually enjoyed sailing on MSC's smallest (and oldest ship). The public areas and restaurants never got crowded and it did not take many hours to learn what is located where on the ship. We ate most of our meals in the a la carte restaurant. Service and food quality was excellent. Lots of options to choose from and for breakfast there was both a la carte and buffet options inside the main dining room. Good and Italian-inspired food also in the buffet restaurant, but the options were quite limited at least for dinner, so we enjoyed the main dining room. All staff members we met were genuinely happy and provided great service. Our ocean view cabin was clean and our cabin attendant was a great guy, gave us tips what to do and see in Cuba, etc. For the price paid, I would 100 % recommend sailing on the MSC Armonia. Just don't expect to find the ziplines, waterslides and crazy activities that can be found on most of the newest ships. A cruise on Armonia is like cruising in the "good old days". Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Several issues with this cruise - entertainment on a weekly programme, if you're there for two weeks you get the same twice - no comedy shows (assume because of language issues) - no cinema, although the so called business ... Read More
Several issues with this cruise - entertainment on a weekly programme, if you're there for two weeks you get the same twice - no comedy shows (assume because of language issues) - no cinema, although the so called business centre is crying out to be a cinema - very little to do on sea days - all activities seem to be dancing or exercise, no lectures/talks - no information on ports of call apart from a flimsy photocopied map. The talks about ports was confined to selling the ship's trips which we thought were hugely expensive. No account was taken of people who wanted to do their own thing. - no ship's newspapers in different languages or crosswords of sudokus which we have had on different cruises =- no possibility of swapping to freedom dining unless you were in a balcony or above cabin - no quiet pool without music or children. very noisy on pool deck and difficult to find an "untowelled bed" - very good classical music entertainment - very good value all inclusive drinks package - - food okay but not very special - service very slow in the bars Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We booked this MSC Opera cruise because of its Havana (Cuba) focused itinerary, and it didn’t disappoint us. It was our third MSC cruise in 4 years and our 12th cruise (we did it with various cruise lines - Celebrity, Princess, Royal ... Read More
We booked this MSC Opera cruise because of its Havana (Cuba) focused itinerary, and it didn’t disappoint us. It was our third MSC cruise in 4 years and our 12th cruise (we did it with various cruise lines - Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, NCL, and Costa). MSC Opera is the smallest ship we have ever been, and probably the oldest as well (it was built in 2004). However the ship was clean, well maintained, and the friendly staff and crew made our vacation a memorable one. Our flight to Cuba arrived quite late due to heavy snow in Toronto. Our check-in at 2:00am was quick and without any issue. The buffet restaurant was still open to wait for the late arriving passengers, about 20 of us. MSC Opera docks in Havana for 2 days, so the late flight arrival didn’t cause too much problem other than a very long and exhausting day. To our surprise the inside cabin was quite small, it was probably around 12sqm or 120sqf. Much smaller than other popular cruise ships we have been in. However it was clean and have all the amenities such as generous closet space, safety box, hair-dryer, telephone, and a small TV. The bathroom was typical size, however the shower was quite tight even for smaller person like me (178cm, 70Kg). Some reviewers mentioned about shower curtain sticking to our legs during shower, that’s true. Despite the smaller size ship (2200 max passenger) we find the ship was comfortable and didn’t feel small (other than the inside cabin). There were ample table in the buffet during breakfast and lunch. During busy time, there are attendants in the entrance who guided us to a table, so finding spot to enjoy breakfast and lunch was never a problem. Also, there were always many available tables towards the swimming pool where we can enjoy breakfast and lunch despite the fully booked cruise. Staff in the buffet were quite friendly and always try to help. The food was typical popular cruise line and comparable to the like of Royal Caribbean and NCL ships, however the selection was inferior compared to Celebrity or Princess Cruise. We did try breakfast in the main dining room in Deck 5. Again, table was always available and service and selection were pretty good compared to those in the buffet restaurant. Dining in the main dining room was good. Service and food selection was acceptable for this type of cruise, however service was rather slow at times. The only issue that bothers me was the room temperature in our table no. 390. It was quite warm and was quite uncomfortable during the gala night (because of the formal attire). Due to size of ship, there was no specialty restaurants which was fine with us. However there were many lounges to enjoy live music and drinks. All public areas were clean and in good condition despite the age of the ship (14 years old). Service is the bar and lounges were excellent. Theatre was a bit smaller and to be expected, however finding seats were not a problem. The nightly show was at 8:00pm and 10:00pm which we find a little late, but we had fun. The shows were mostly musical and dance due to many languages spoken among the passengers, so it was quite understandable. We were always confused every time the cruise director spoke because he talked so fast in probably six languages – Italian, French, German, Spanish, English, and Portuguese. It was a challenge to notice when he starts and finish talking in English. But it didn’t bother us at all since it was fun to be part of so diverse group of people who were there to have fun. Despite the challenges, we find the shows were comparable to other popular cruises. We did use the customer service desk several times because the ship TV doesn’t have interactive feature for accounting to track our spending during the cruise. We also needed their help when the seas was a little rough. Customer Service desk always have supply of motion sickness medicine when the going is rough. The staff was always polite, friendly, and helpful, especially the dude from Romania. Regarding the itinerary, the Havana stop was our main focus and it was excellent. The ship docks at the Sierra Maestra terminal and it is right across the street from the Old Havana. Tourist is always respected and we feel very safe even at night roaming around the old Havana. I guess tourism is Cuba’s main source of income. Old buildings in Old Havana were clean and reasonably well kept for us to enjoy. The streets were clean and we walked all the way to the Capitol building (El Capitolio) which was about 20 minutes from the cruise terminal via old Havana cobble stone narrow roads. There are many things to see along the way so the walk was enjoyable. We also enjoyed the vintage car tour and the walking tour that we booked online. Despite of years of trade embargo, we find Havana to be surprisingly vibrant and reasonably lively for us to visit. Most importantly we feel very safe everywhere including walking in poorer areas which normally are not safe to do in other countries. The rest of the itinerary were stops in Montego Bay (we didn’t go out due to safety concern), George Town, Cayman Island, and the beautiful Cozumel, Mexico. We disagree with MSC’s security warning on Cozumel. Cozumel is totally safe and we should not worry too much spending time in this beautiful Mexican resort city. The ship arrived back in Havana at 1:30pm and we departed the shipat around 2:30pm. Disembarkation was easy and well organized, however it took a little longer at the Cuban immigration. All in all we were very satisfied with our cruise. Our thanks to Sunwing (Canada) and MSC Cruise for offering this beautiful Havana cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience more of Havana - and we got two full days in the amazing city of Havana! The ship is in port right in Old Havana so it was super easy to get to town and back to the ship. To make things ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience more of Havana - and we got two full days in the amazing city of Havana! The ship is in port right in Old Havana so it was super easy to get to town and back to the ship. To make things even better we spent New Year's Eve on the ship and enjoyed an excellent dinner and on deck party complete with Cuban dancers, champagne and midnight buffet under the stars. I can't say enough about how incredible the entire cruise experience was for us. The service we received was excellent across the board, from waiters, to housekeeping, to bar staff, to activities and excursions and more. We found the dining to be top notch in both the buffet and the dining room. Many food selections are available to meet all palates and tons of fresh salads, vegetables and fruit which you don't always see. In particular the buffet was one of the best we have encountered. Our experience in the dining room was 10/10. Our waiter, Permana, looked after our every wish as if he were a family member. There was nothing this guy wouldn't do to please us. And always smiling. The quality of the food, and the variety on the menu (that changes every night, I might add) was just excellent. We left dinner every night completely satisfied and happy. The overall hygiene of the boat was very good too. This is not always easy to do with over 2,000 guests but the MSC staff worked magic to make sure that common washrooms were cleaned regularly, decks were washed down every night, and carpets and floors were clean. House keeping did a great job of making sure our messy room was cleaned and tidied every day. While we were at dinner, our wet pool towels were replaced with dry ones without fail. We did not encounter ANY of the issues I read about in the many other reviews (rude staff, pushy guests, smoking infringements, bad food, etc.). In fact we found the exact opposite - friendly, helpful staff and polite and guests. Throughout each port: Montego Bay (Jamaica), and Cozumel (Mexico) we found that the ship worked like clockwork. We were not able to get off the ship in Georgetown (Cayman Islands) due to high seas, and this was explained to us over the intercom in detail. The captain's decision ruled in favour of our safety. Although this was a disappointment, we appreciated the care that was shown, and the staff did not miss a beat by making sure there were extra on board programs and service was stepped up to meet the demand of all passengers on board. All five of our family agreed that we would do this cruise again, perhaps even next year. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I would never book another cruise with this company ever again. Due to the recent hurricane, our flight got cancelled and we were stranded at Charles De Gaulle airport with little or no information for nearly a full day. MSC were ... Read More
I would never book another cruise with this company ever again. Due to the recent hurricane, our flight got cancelled and we were stranded at Charles De Gaulle airport with little or no information for nearly a full day. MSC were extremely unprofessional in dealing with the hundred or so passengers that were supposed to be flying out on 9th September 2017. We eventually joined the ship in Cozumel (supposed to be Havana) and were excited to start our holiday. There is nothing wrong with the ship itself, but the food was terrible. Extremely repetetive, often luke warm and the portion sizes in the main dining room wouldn't even satisfy a small child ! I know it is an Italian ship...but we got sick and tired of pizza and pasta...every single day. Do the Italians really eat this sort of stuff EVERY day ?! The burgers and hot dogs were the lowest possible quality, that I have ever had the misfortune to eat....as was most of the food to be honest. Everything seems to be done on the cheap. The cocktails have very little alcohol in them, and we were given warm glasses most days.They also give short measures. The staff try their best, but they are also nowhere near as good as many of the cruise ships staff, we have travelled with before. The "entertainment" if you could call it that, was awful. Mainly geared to the Italians, French and Germans...we Brits were really not catered for. The dancers lacked enthusiasm, were always out of sync with each other and NEVER smiled. All in all....very dissapointing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Having sailed with MSC before with little problem we chose this cruise round the Caribbean to 'fill some gaps' in the list of islands we hadn't visited. Firstly let me say that due to Hurricane Irma the cruise was ... Read More
Having sailed with MSC before with little problem we chose this cruise round the Caribbean to 'fill some gaps' in the list of islands we hadn't visited. Firstly let me say that due to Hurricane Irma the cruise was altered to be in Cozumel for 2-3 days instead of Havana, and i have no gripes there. Safety first, after all! To the cruise................................. The ship was......ok, but the 2 pools often left you with nowhere to dip, let alone swim. The shade was a premium item and reserved 'German style' very early on with towels on the best positioned sun (or should that be shade) beds. Food.... simply put it was atrocious, the roof panels shed copious fine dirt and was collected in the gaps between each panel dropping onto tables and food. The service was awful with lots of talking and laughing between staff rather than serve and clean tables. Not good. The food, for an Italian ship was not good at all. the meat was mainly second rate, with even tender meat being like chewing leather. Ice cream had to be paid for and the pizza guy doesn't know how to make a pizza with the centre 3-4 inches being wet mush everytime. Pasta? for gods sake its an Italian ship and they cannot do pasta!!! i stayed relatively safe with salad for the fortnight, and a cooked breakfast consisting of not properly cooked fried eggs, very poor bacon etc although they did have a cook station outside for omelettes or 'proper' fried eggs. Drinks packages were pushed morning noon and night, and we literally turned 1 person away and another standing 5 foot away and watching turned up to hassle us. I did think i might want one but they aren't even very good value! Never got near any Gym equipment due to the crowds in there morning, noon and night despite a polite notice asking for 25 mins per piece of equipment. no one and no CCTV looking after safety around the 'main' pool, and little notice taken to diving in over people already in the pool, and smoking while in the pool too! Excursions! Steer clear, they are very overpriced and there is not 1 place you call at you cannot get the same tours cheaper. For instance, in Belize we went to see the Howler Monkeys etc and for 4 of this saved UK£130.00 overall when compared to the MSC trips. The MSC ones are a definite money making exercise, with little to recommend them. We paid for a cabin with a balcony, but for 4 whole days we didn't have the use of it due to painting, maintenance, then a revisit from maintenance because they actually forgot to do their job the previous day, then cleaning. Why cannot this be done in port during changeover? I lost the use of what i paid for, for 4 days without even an apology. Steer clear of the coffee place around deck 6. What a rip off, surly staff, poor drinks and they don't do complaints well! I ordered 1 hot coffee and 3 frapachinos, and all 4 drinks were about room temperature. Complain that the chilled drinks should be just that, and you get 'well that's the way they come' from the staff! Staff attitude in general Well as i never met the bus driver i cannot say about his attitude, but the staff directly under him and below them should be fired and replaced by performing seals as they would do a better job in customer service and being courteous and polite. For example, coming from the upper restaurant one night, 4 of these 'upper deck' guys pushed through us all as a group while jabbering to themselves. no apology, no recognition, we just didn't exist. Apart from the room staff, and the lower deck guys and girls keeping the ship going i think this is truly the worst ship i have ever been on (and yes i've done the Thompson Destiny and a Costa ship). It needs a root and branch hiring, firing, and training regime going in there before it hits the Med in a few weeks, to at least try and put things right. Oh and don't get me started about the lack of visa information needed in Havana, or the seemingly constant P.A. announcements below decks. This has put us all off MSC and unless something comes up where we really want to go on, i'd steer clear of them in general and this ship like the plague. Come on MSC, What happened to Italian Style, grace, manners and decent food? I'ts not present on the Opera and is replaced by trying to get every penny out of the traveller who's already spent high to travel with you? AVOID! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
2 weeks cruise with had a very good itinerary inc 4 days in Havana Cuba. Also stops at- Belize City, Roatan Island Honduras, Costa Maya Mexico, Cozumel Mexico, Grand Cayman & Jamaica We thought Havana Cuba was brilliant and the ... Read More
2 weeks cruise with had a very good itinerary inc 4 days in Havana Cuba. Also stops at- Belize City, Roatan Island Honduras, Costa Maya Mexico, Cozumel Mexico, Grand Cayman & Jamaica We thought Havana Cuba was brilliant and the other destinations were all worth a short visit with some interesting sights inc Mayan Temples. The itinerary was 4* The ship however was a weak 3* overall This was our 5th cruise and had by far the poorest standards compared to any previous cruises We were a bit worried re cruising in the Caribbean in Sept being their hurricane season and certainly when we found that Hurricane Irma (one of the most powerful ever Atlantic hurricanes) was following part of our route. Whilst the TV news-feeds gave grave warnings about the potential destruction that this hurricane would bring there was no communication from the ship crew until 2 days before our disembarkation date which we thought was really poor as most passengers were worried. I did speak to some of the officers when seeing them at a bar but they were dismissive of the danger and said there would be announcements when MSC has some specific info. We did ascertain that hurricanes move at around 10 to 15 miles per hour and a cruise ship can do 25+ miles per hour so should be able to outrun a hurricane. It would have been nice if the ship had announced this to help unnerve the passengers MSC did arrange for our return flight to Gatwick to be diverted from Havana (where the hurricane was due to strike on the day of our flight) to Cancun in Mexico The return journey was however complete chaos where whilst MSC did provide boats to the Mexican mainland then buses to Cancun the only communication was in Spanish after we left the ship. The return journey took 27 hours and we arrived without our luggage. Of the 500+ passengers departing on our date I think no more than 5% were British. Most were Spanish & Italian with some German & French- hence the communication difficulties with nobody from MSC coming with us on the journey from the ship to Cancun Airport where we also had no tickets. We didn't receive a questionnaire after our holiday so I sent in a letter nearly 3 months ago covering many issues on the cruise. I have chased for a response 3 times and each time they advise a full response would be received 'in a few days' but in Mid Dec I still have only received an acknowledgement letter See below for our ratings We thought that the entertainment was awful all being dance based with some singing. Like something from a 1970s TV 'Summertime Special@. Dining varied between good and awful. Evening mealtimes were late at 'Mediterranean' times eg 2nd sitting for dinner allowed entrance to the restaurant at 9.30 so by the time all 10 people had arrived at the table and chosen food it was often 10.30 before the starters were served.Main courses were served between 11 and 11.30. Most days it was after midnight that we left the restaurant. Staff were generally very pleasant but there were far too few for the number of passengers in all areas inc restaurant, bars, reception etc Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Chosen as we are family of 5 so budget important + itinerary. Did two weeks (back to back 7 day cruises which around 20% of the passengers die). We have cruised around 11 times before but limited to 4 Royal Caribbean cruises (our ... Read More
Chosen as we are family of 5 so budget important + itinerary. Did two weeks (back to back 7 day cruises which around 20% of the passengers die). We have cruised around 11 times before but limited to 4 Royal Caribbean cruises (our favourite), 6 Costa cruises and one previous MSC cruise (chosen again due to great ports not catered by others). Flight out by Iberia was smooth. We did not book transfers but hooked up seamlessly with the MSC transfer bus for a discounted fee. Great that the ship was in dock for the first two days in Havana as felt no rush getting settled in and exploring Havana and staying out to 1am enjoying the music and promenade. The locations were fabulous and I arranged tours directly at each port in advance with local agents. Similar to the cruise ship offerings but around 30-50% cheaper and generally private tours so more comfort and flexibility. Having said that if you were single or a couple doing the cruise ship cruises would be affordable and fun. The food was ok (not as good as some I am sure) but no issue with the timings, seatings and staff all of whom from attendants, bar staff and customer service were excellent. There was a hard sell on drinks packages on the first day but after that felt the staff were relaxed, responsive and pleasant. We gave individual tips and asked for the automatic service charge to be removed at the end which was done quickly and in a pleasant way. The announcements were not intrusive or excessive and generally done in 4 or 5 languages if important but usually English and Spanish. The guests were a mixture of Spanish speakers, Italian speakers, French, German and English speakers and as a rule we found people smart, pleasant, healthy appearing and well mannered. Shows were not really our cup of tea but we did not feel the ship was too loud or too quiet and enjoyed what there was including the fitness areas and the spa and the shopping areas. Clearly being a smaller ships activities are limited. We had two outside cabins and found them spacious. well laid out, everything worked including the air con and great showers and plenty of storage including under the bed. Relaxed attitude to towels as well. What more can you want. We find that bigger ships in general across different companies are similar and we do prefer the larger ships and MSc have those but not covering the routes we wanted. To that extent we missed the better shows, speciality restaurants, different pools and physical activities. We would travel with MSC again if a suitable itinerary came up and in budget but would prefer the bigger ships. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I wanted a cruise that was basically exclusive to Cuba. The people to people program was very rich although I was disappointed that a cigar factory tour, Castro's grave and a rum factory (not just the store) were included. The ... Read More
I wanted a cruise that was basically exclusive to Cuba. The people to people program was very rich although I was disappointed that a cigar factory tour, Castro's grave and a rum factory (not just the store) were included. The staff on the cruise were exceptional at every level. They made the entire cruise enjoyable. This is an older ship without many amenities but it was worth taking for the port stops. The ship is not kid friendly. They have a few hours for small kids on the sea days and an hour of Wii time for teenagers. That's all. There is a ping pong table and a gym or the very small salt water pool (max 10 people). So my kids - ages 14, 17, 18 didn't have a lot to do on non trip days. The only problem I had was that food was limited and getting drinks was complicated. The ship was 1/2 full so there was only 1 place to eat for each meal, and the time span was short. This was limiting especially when we disembarked for tours. You can only order drinks on their very limited menu. Even if all of the ingredients were available, they would not make a drink not on the menu. If you are ok with limited amenities I would recommend the ship because it was worth all of the time spent off of the cruise to have an authentic experience. Would recommend upgrading to a suite or you will be very, very cramped in the cheap rooms. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We were sold the Aurora package which we were led to believe it included everything all food extra dining etc. We paid significantly more for this package. As soon as we boarded we were hit up to pay extra for the complete drinks package. ... Read More
We were sold the Aurora package which we were led to believe it included everything all food extra dining etc. We paid significantly more for this package. As soon as we boarded we were hit up to pay extra for the complete drinks package. The package we purchased onl provided house wine and basic beer. I would advise anyone going on a MSC cruise to not buy any package until the board the ship a this will save you a lot of money. Also the food is very average at best. And for the extra money all it provided was one different restaurant and whilst it was ok I dont think it was worth it. There is almost no entertainment on board other than the shows. All shows were in Spanish so there isnt really anything provided to cater for English speaking guests. Overall this trip was poor value for money. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We choose this cruise, to see Havana, as it was docked for two night followed by several islands. Good : We had a all inclusive, so the unlimited drinks were great. The food variety at dinner was ample. Embarkation was good. ... Read More
We choose this cruise, to see Havana, as it was docked for two night followed by several islands. Good : We had a all inclusive, so the unlimited drinks were great. The food variety at dinner was ample. Embarkation was good. Cabins were fine, mattress was fine, storage space was fine. Staff were nice. Bad: Saltiest food I have ever tasted, blech ! We were rushed at dinner; lights were turned on bright to rush us out for the next seating. There was never coffee served after dinner. Breakfast was monotonous. The entertainment was not the greatest, this is likely due to so many non-English speaking guests, that all entertainment was non-dialogue. Announcements were in 5 languages, and this got a bit tiring by the end of the trip. For my daughter, the choices of Gluten Free food was dismal, no pasta, no pizza.. My other daughter complained that the teen club (the younger age group) never had any activities, she never saw any staff there doing activities. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We choose the cruise because it was essentially the only way we could see Cuba in a family group. That said, we got to see much less of Cuba and much more of the cruise than we hoped. This was through no fault of the cruise however. We ... Read More
We choose the cruise because it was essentially the only way we could see Cuba in a family group. That said, we got to see much less of Cuba and much more of the cruise than we hoped. This was through no fault of the cruise however. We were supposed to spend an afternoon at a snorkle beach (something like Punta Frances) and the Cuban government closed the port so we spent an extra day at sea. We also got into Havana 3 hours later than expected so we did not get to walk around much there either. That said, the cruise did a very nice job attempting to keep us entertained. I cannot say enough about the amazing and sweet percussionist from the Buena Vista Social club named Lazaro. Be sure to visit with him - he will give you lessons! Also loved the band leader Nidia who plays bass and sings like an angel. I got a kick out of the performers who put together some very respectable shows with multiple props and costume changes considering how challenging their acts let alone on a swaying stage. I would also suggest you go to the cooking demonstrations - both Cuban cooks were a delight. The restaurants are way better than the buffet. We loved our waiters - a delightful team from Indonesia - Wayan. They also performed in an incredible crew talent show that they must repeat if possible.I also got a kick out of the dance lessons. Another nice feature were the on board lectures (for example about rum or cigars or music) and films about Cuba they showed. All of the staff was very sweet and our chamber maid was lovely - Dunia also from Cuba. Our kids (ages 6-13) liked the entertainment - the crew was very nice with them playing Wii and teaching them napkin folding, paper flower making, and fruit carving. Mahelys spent time entertaining my daughter and making a souvenir book with her. We liked our excursions to see 2 Cuban cities but again, would have benefited from spending more time on shore and less time on board. Also our toilet was not functioning optimally but the rest of the cabin was fine. Daniel the cruise director was super organized and helpful. Ultimately, it was a very nice family get together with some fantastic music and art on the side. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Service was good but was not told that the tip of the restaurants in the hotel and paid separately. The ship had a lot of activities, games, dances, shows. Got to eat a lot and well, drinking well as the allegrissimo drinks package. ... Read More
Service was good but was not told that the tip of the restaurants in the hotel and paid separately. The ship had a lot of activities, games, dances, shows. Got to eat a lot and well, drinking well as the allegrissimo drinks package. The ship is very clean. And the sun deck was great! Also concerts and performances were great! Since Christmas was, it was also a corresponding mood board. Tours were incredible and well organized. Internet connection was good. Very proud of the crew of presentation, as well as the presentation of chefs, which was also my honor to be present. Cooks and waiters are there really level, as well as kajuteenijad. Festive clothes are worth to take, because there are a lot of style evenings. Every evening the cabin the next day's program, which is also written dress code. I do not regret that I was in a cruise, I recommend it to all! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Considering the negative reviews I read on this ship, especially for Greece, I was concerned about taking this cruise at all. But my brother talked us into it & I am so glad! It was an excellent way to see parts of Cuba without ... Read More
Considering the negative reviews I read on this ship, especially for Greece, I was concerned about taking this cruise at all. But my brother talked us into it & I am so glad! It was an excellent way to see parts of Cuba without staying on a resort for a week. It was a very busy schedule - a tour at every port (5) & lasted four hours or more. No lunch was provided as it was so extensive stopping at various spots. But we managed to survive, eating in the buffet when we returned to the ship each afternoon. I enjoyed the stop in Cienfuegos the best; our tour guide was very helpful & informative & kept an eye out for stragglers. We had two 'free' drinks on this tour; one on the rooftop of a fancy hotel, originally owned by one family. Then we stopped at a yacht club for a relaxing hour, with rum punch & a Cuban band entertaining us even with mambo dancing lessons! We compared notes with others & found our guide had been exceptional. We also enjoyed Santiago de Cuba with many stops; our guide was a retired history professor who shared his knowledge of his country's history & was always eager to answer any questions. The ship is older but in constant repair & cleaning. Our stewardesses were very cute & helpful & kept our cabin spotless. The dining room was good some days but not always happy with the choices on the menu. The service was excellent though; everyone was polite & friendly. The buffet was adequate but nothing special. The entertainment was excellent; the dancers were amazing - different show each night. The cruise directory, Danny, is a 'gem'. Hopefully they appreciate him. He can speak 8 languages fluently & was always so personable. Only 'con' review I would give to the tour guide in Havana whose English was spotty & we lost her at one point - taken to a bar that Hemmingway frequented for a free daiquiri. By the time we found the group, there were 4 bus loads jammed inside. We opted to stay outside & sight see. I called her on waiting for slower people at the next stop & was rewarded with a strange look....spoiled an interesting tour. Was glad to return to the ship. Other than that, every other tour guide was excellent & informative. I would heartily recommend this cruise to anyone looking for a challenging busy tour of Cuba before it changes. And what made it memorable for me was sharing it with my brother & his wife. Excellent trip! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click