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8 La Spezia (Cinque Terre) MSC Cruises MSC Armonia Cruise Reviews

Embarkation was very good, our luggage was in our room quickly.this being a nice ocean view cabin. We went straight to dinner in the Marco Polo restaurant on early sitting, the service was excellent from our waiters, but we found the ... Read More
Embarkation was very good, our luggage was in our room quickly.this being a nice ocean view cabin. We went straight to dinner in the Marco Polo restaurant on early sitting, the service was excellent from our waiters, but we found the food to be bland, fish undercooked and in general of poor quality, but there was always something you could eat. We had chosen the all inclusive drinks package which was excellent the wines at dinner were good, cocktails and every drink available were first class in all bars. The theatre was not to our taste and we only visited once, we chose to use the piano bar and outside bars which had great ambience,and 2 good party nights. Breakfast and lunch were busy but the choice was very good, burger pasta and pizza stations which were all cooked fresh and also on late at night. The outside area was clean with 2 swimming pools and fabulous children's area,plenty of sunbeds even on the day at sea. The staff could have been friendlier, what happened to service with a smile? Our cabin was lovely kept very clean plenty of space 8032. Overall i would recommend this cruise great value for money visiting many good ports. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My husband and I were offered this cruise at a very good price, of which we were a bit sceptical, but we need not have worried. We also took out the Allegressimo package for our drinks, a must if you like a drink or two. We booked a ... Read More
My husband and I were offered this cruise at a very good price, of which we were a bit sceptical, but we need not have worried. We also took out the Allegressimo package for our drinks, a must if you like a drink or two. We booked a balcony cabin but on receiving our tickets were pleasantly surprised to have been given a suite! Our cabin steward I Made Awan (Madie) was excellent. Only disappointment no animal towels. We were on Deck 10 and had some of the best views of being in port and were able to watch the pilot leave the ship on a few occasions. Having been upgraded to the suite also meant we were upgraded on our restaurant and were given La Pergola restaurant with anytime dining. This I am sure contributed to our overall expierience. The food here was excellent. The wine on the package that is offered here in the restaurant is also very palatable. I particularly liked the sparkling and the Merlot. The service from the waiters was of a high standard with some being nicer than others. Entertainment comes in various locations on the ship and I would say caters for most tastes, with a continental leaning. We did not visit the theatre but understood from fellow passengers that the booking system left a lot to be desired together with the variety of the shows and that they were short in duration. Deck 11 and 12 are the outside areas and the pool deck I felt was one of the best I have seen. Sunbeds were always available even on days when you had been ashore. Shore excursions rarely entice us in, but given we were docking at Salerno we did do the Amalfi coast tour by sea. Otherwise we just did our own thing, but felt that the shuttle bus charges were on the high side. I would certainly cruise with MSC again . Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our first venture with MSC, having cruised 4 times previously with Royal Caribbean and was the first time we have cruised without our son. I don't recall the eureka moment that steered us onto this booking but, book we did ... Read More
This was our first venture with MSC, having cruised 4 times previously with Royal Caribbean and was the first time we have cruised without our son. I don't recall the eureka moment that steered us onto this booking but, book we did and having worked a lot of hours this year we were so looking forward to it. We live in the Lancashire area but the flights provided by MSC were from Gatwick, 240 miles away. No great problem so we booked the Sandman Signature hotel at Three Bridges, Crawley. Highly Recommended. The flight was BA to GENOA and then a coach transfer of 1.5hrs to La Spezia. The booking in process consisted of passengers leaving their coach and entering a building, being given your cruise card and having your photo taken and then getting onto another coach to be taken to the ship. Embarking onto the ship my first thought was what a miserable bunch the Security Staff were, to the point of being obnoxious. The main decks are 5 and 6 where Reception and Excursions and Restaurants and Bars were situated. Deck 11 was the main outside and that included the buffet area and 2 bars. We had a look around the ship, which took all of 10 minutes, and then began to realise that this was not going to be the best decision we had made for our cruise. I titled this review as "A Functional Ferry" and that was a fair description of a dated and tired looking vessel. Cabin We were in an inside cabin on deck 9 with our cabin worker Jose. The sleeping area of the cabin was fine. The shower and toilet area was not. A tiny shower with a shower curtain that wanted to wrap itself around you giving the feel of being left unclean. It was so bad that I dispensed using the shower curtain and just let the water spray wherever it wanted and then mopped it up with the dirty towel afterwards. The cabin was cleaned daily and the beds made up. No towel animals or any sort of extra bit of caring from Jose I'm afraid. Dining Although I didn't know what the “eureka” moment was that decided this booking, one of the overriding factors was the famous Italian cuisine. We chose the first sitting in the Marco Polo on Deck 5. To say we were disappointed with what was served up to us does not quite cover it. Disgusted rather than disappointed perhaps? Minute portions served lukewarm or cold. We attempted, twice, to use the buffet at the rear of the ship, which is straddled either side by a Pizza place and a Burger joint. The buffet was ill prepared for the hoards’ in fact I’d say the whole ship appeared to be overwhelmed when it came to dining. When the buffet was being over-populated we went to Marco Polo only to be greeted by over-population again. Twice we left the ship to eat as there were no places onboard. Overall Dreadful and for an absolute certainty we would never return to MSC. I’d venture to say that their container ships had better facilities than this ferry. The best night of entertainment and I use that term loosely, was the band that played in the pool area on one night. The bar staff, for the most part were friendly but disorganised, especially the waiting on staff. There were clearly signs on the ferry about where you were allowed to smoke. As none smokers we ensured we were at the opposite side but that didn’t matter. People were openly smoking in those areas, without being challenged. If you are considering an MSC cruise, and on this experience I would urge a rethink, then use a different vessel to the Armonia – The Functional Ferry. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our first cruise ever. We are seniors and were on a month long vacation of Europe. The excursions were the reason that we booked this cruise. The excursions were wonderful and what we expected. The excursion person that we went to ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever. We are seniors and were on a month long vacation of Europe. The excursions were the reason that we booked this cruise. The excursions were wonderful and what we expected. The excursion person that we went to was Mahmoud Ewes and he was great and always set us up on the correct excursion for what we were looking for. The food was OK but nothing great. Service in the main dinning room was great. Our waiter Michael Janner was great. The ship was clean. Our room was very nice and clean. Our housekeeping person Gladwys was great. Always right there to take care of the room. We as Americans learned that we are too kind and passive. We were trampled, shoved, elbowed, stepped in front of while in lines. The ship had the rudest people we have ever encountered. Entertainment on board was not good. Shows were short and not much to them. There was a band on one level that played 60 and 70's music that was very good. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
The newly rennovated ship was done very well - superb. We did find however that the staff weren't quite so accommodating and helpful / friendly as on previous ship (MSC Lirica 7 days prior to this one). Food was great. ... Read More
The newly rennovated ship was done very well - superb. We did find however that the staff weren't quite so accommodating and helpful / friendly as on previous ship (MSC Lirica 7 days prior to this one). Food was great. Entertainment - we didn't experience a lot of it due to the huge time gap between finishing dinner (early sitting) and the shows which didn't start until 10pm. We feel that is way too late as we were out from dinner by 8.30pm, hence booking on the early dinner so we could go to shows!! We have been on 7 other cruises and have to say our biggest complaint was the fact that there was no 'adult only' pool for swimming or even a time scheduled for adults only. All other cruise lines we've been on have had specific areas for adults only for swimming. Due to the fact it was high season (only time we could go) there were a huge number of families on board. Due to the heat we were swimming daily but it certainly wasn't a pleasurable experience. All we encountered were children jumping into the pool all over the top of you grrrrrrr!!!!!! There should definitely be designated areas / times for adults only. All in all we enjoyed the cruise, however we did anticipate there being more English speaking guests on board but in saying that it may have been due to the area we were cruising in and not the cruise line for the reason that there were such a small percent of English speaking people on board. Cruises are a great way of meeting people when travelling just as a couple but not in this case due to language barriers. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was my first cruise and I have to say, I'm off to a good start! The cruise route sailed around the Med calling in La Spezia, Mallorca, Ibiza, Olbia and Slareno, and lasted 7 nights. First things first, we were welcomed onto the ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I have to say, I'm off to a good start! The cruise route sailed around the Med calling in La Spezia, Mallorca, Ibiza, Olbia and Slareno, and lasted 7 nights. First things first, we were welcomed onto the ship and pointed in the right direction towards our cabins which were kept very well clean and tidy, with plenty of room. We headed out to explore the ship and there was a floor plan of every floor in every stairwell, making it essentially impossible to get lost and easy to navigate. We were booked into the restaurant Marco Polo, which served a decent range of high end, very good food. The waiters were incredibly pleasant and attentive. The shows in the theatre Fenice were of good quality, and just seemed to get better each night! There was a different themed party each night, either in the Bar del Duomo or by the pool, and the events were fun and creative, although it would have been ideal to know the themes before we left as we could have packed appropriately, eg all white for the 'white party'. The entertainment staff were great and always kept a smile on your face. Most of the bar staff were good at their job, however a few had there favourites, and weren't very subtle about it either, and would serve their mates before the bar-long queue, one fellow repeatedly did this in the disco, and would serve all the pretty young girls who had just walked up (this was quite irksome as I waited around half an hour at the bar at one point). The disembarkation was relatively smooth, however there was only one attendant jumping between 2 coaches trying to load up which made things take a lot longer than necessary. The last fault I found was not necessarily the staff's fault, but some of the customers were incredibly rude and seemed a bit dull, an example of which was when I was reading a map a couple just walked in front of me to read it themselves, blocking my view. Kids were talking in the theatre and their parents seemed to just leave them to it. Again, there isn't much staff can do in all of these situations, it just seems to be a European thing. The excursions would be on every day except Wednesday when we were sailing, and gave you the option of coach journeys to landmarks. They seemed a bit pricey for what they were, and in Ibiza found a boat taxi next to the port which took us straight to the town for a much lower price. I wasn't too sure as to whether the drinks package would be worth it, however after counting up all my receipts I'm definitely glad I bought it! It made the holiday a lot less stressful as I never had to worry about forking out extra for drinks, and saved just under half the price of the package as a result. The best part I would say was the animation team, who had events and competitions running a lot of the time, and were great at crowd pleasing. Overall, it was one of my favourite holidays to date, and I would very well consider it again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I will start by saying this was our 57th cruise and the first time on MSC. Never again. Definitely not the kind of cruise we are acustomized to. Although we did pay a really fair price for the cruise please beware. They will nickle and ... Read More
I will start by saying this was our 57th cruise and the first time on MSC. Never again. Definitely not the kind of cruise we are acustomized to. Although we did pay a really fair price for the cruise please beware. They will nickle and dime you to death. They did not even give you free coffee or water with your dinner. You had to pay extra for both. The excursions were quite pricey and they really didnt give you much time at port. They fail to tell you that in the 4 hour tour 2 hours of it is spent on the bus. The food was of poor quality. Tough beef, runny eggs, watered down juice, mud coffee , same menu in the restaurant at lunch everyday and not too many choices on the dinner menu. Very boring.... The shows were lame and very short. Very amateur singers and dancers. Our room steward did a great job and was friendly however the rest of the staff was not. They just were not helpful. I was very disappointed. My husband and I go on approx. 3 cruises a year and unfortunately MSC will not get any more of our money. Do yourself a favor spend a few extra bucks and sail Royal Caribbean or Princess they dont disappoint. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
My wife and I are back from a wonderful cruise on MSC Armonia. What a pleasant surprise, given some of the reviews. We wanted to try a European cruise line with more Europeans than Americans on board, for a change of pace. (My 13th ... Read More
My wife and I are back from a wonderful cruise on MSC Armonia. What a pleasant surprise, given some of the reviews. We wanted to try a European cruise line with more Europeans than Americans on board, for a change of pace. (My 13th cruise.) Itinerary was excellent. Marseille, Mallorca, Malta, Sicily, Southern Italy, then back to La Spezia. (We flew into Milano, and took train down.) Embark/Disembark was very easy and well done by MSC. Price was remarkably reasonable. Ship, first to undergo MSC's make-over a few months ago was attractive in a classic way, slightly under 70,000 tons. Cabin with balcony was fine, typical cruise cabin. Staff was friendly and helpful for everything we needed. Music on board was very good in all lounges. The shows perhaps sometimes catered more to European tastes, but we enjoyed a couple very much. Excursions were well done and smoothly run. One guide was a little boring, but others excellent. Given most days in port, limited activities on board compared with larger ships we've been on, but that was fine. The food was really outstanding. Given that we were "Fantastica" class, we apparently had a bit more choice on the menu, and we had a "dine when you like" policy. Excellent pasta and fish, actually just about everything was quite good. I'm not sure that I can pick out a ship with notably better cuisine in my experience. Waiters were efficient and friendly. The buffet had a bit fewer choices than on a big boat, but all was good. Pizza was excellent, and they even had hamburgers and hot dogs. Wine list was good and inexpensive. We focused on the Italian white wines we hadn't tried before. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
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 3.2
Enrichment 3.0 2.9
Service 4.0 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.5

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