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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
After many cruises on the Fantasia Class and Musica Class of MSC Cruises we this time booked the much smaller MSC Armonia for our winter getaway. We were very excited about the refurbishment and lengthening of ship and was looking forward ... Read More
After many cruises on the Fantasia Class and Musica Class of MSC Cruises we this time booked the much smaller MSC Armonia for our winter getaway. We were very excited about the refurbishment and lengthening of ship and was looking forward to the cruise to Morocco and the Canary Island. We booked the new balcony cabin category and had the cheers drinkpackage included. Very smooth and easy embarkation in Las Palmas and our adventure could start. Our cabin on deck 9 was soon ready and I have to say, I loved it. Even if they are rather small, they had everything we needed. Very comfortable bed and nice interior and plenty of wardrobe space. Nice balcony with two chairs and a small table. Flat screen TV. Minibar and safe. Bright colors and mirrors make the impression of the cabin larger. Suite and balcony cabins guests are allocated to the La Pergola Restaurant, one of two main dining rooms on the ship. They offer My Choice Dining time in the restaurant which is very nice. And I have to say, we really loved the food and service in the restaurant. Plenty of tables for two persons. New table every evening. Couldn't have asked for more. The waiters were excellent and the quality of the food and the presentation was excellent. The menu and the food on the Gala evenings and the Italian evening really impressed me. I have sailed the MSC Yacht Club several times and I have to say, the food in La Pergola was very close to the quality served there. Nice atmosphere as well. They also have a new concept for lunch in the restaurants on board, the Pronto Bistro. Also excellent and on the disembarkation day we had breakfast in the La Pergola, so quiet and plenty to choose from. A far better experience than the buffet breakfast which can be stressfull. The buffet is open 20/24 and also have nice outdoor sitting. Pizza, pasta and burger stations are outside, great for a quick lunch. The quality of the burgers have improved a lot compared to earlier cruises on MSC. Inside the usual buffet offerings but the restaurant itself is a bit to small. Hard to find seats in the busy hours. Plenty of bars and lounges to choose from. Three shows each night, reserve your seat on the interactive monitors placed around the ship. We only attended two shows, one which was quite ordinary, songs from Italy. Nothing special. It seems like the barservice had shortage of staff as waiting time for drinks was too long sometimes, especially on the pooldeck and in the lounges in the evening. In Casablanca we booked the MSC Shuttle bus to the Morocco Mall. Very convenient, In the other ports we did our own tours ashore. The ship itself is beautiful. It's a more classic cruiseship than today giants of the seas. She has a bright and nice interior which give a very cozy and intimate atmosphere. Very large and roomy outerdecks. My favourite was the Red Bar with live music and Cafe San Marco with pastries and coffee specialities but why close so early as 23PM? The bars on the the pooldeck are also open until midnight. Note that the pools are not heated, they are icecold.....jacuzzis hot. The usual cruisehip shops like duty-free ( good prices ), logo shop, jewellery and perfumeshops are on board. The staff and crew are mostly very helpful and serviceminded. Disembarkation was a breeze, we left our cabin by 0830 AM, had breakfast in La Pergola and the walked off the ship, picked up out suitcases in the terminal and got a taxi to the aiport. We have a lovely cruise and even the weather was quite warm and good. The ship and service on board impressed me a lot and I would love to go back on the MSC Armonia. Highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Sailed with great friends, it was my 60th birthday surprise to my delight. Had to write this review in defence of negative comments that I have read. Everything was first class, food in the Pergola restaurant was equal to if not better ... Read More
Sailed with great friends, it was my 60th birthday surprise to my delight. Had to write this review in defence of negative comments that I have read. Everything was first class, food in the Pergola restaurant was equal to if not better than the more expensive cruise liners that we have cruised with. The service was excellent, second to none, nothing was too much trouble for them, any request was acted upon with pleasure. The suite we had was above our expectations. All the staff that we encountered were polite and friendly. Would certainly sail with MSC again in the future. Thanks.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
We booked this cruise and flight independently so arrived after a great flight on British Airways in the afternoon, the driver of our pre-arranged Sun Transfers met us as arranged in the arrivals hall and within minutes we were on our way ... Read More
We booked this cruise and flight independently so arrived after a great flight on British Airways in the afternoon, the driver of our pre-arranged Sun Transfers met us as arranged in the arrivals hall and within minutes we were on our way to the cruise ship. On arrival at the port, embarkation was swift and in next to no time we were in our cabin! A seamless start to the cruise. We had sailed on the Armonia in 2013 and were keen to see the changes since the refit. The intimate feel of the ship is still intact, and apart from being longer didn't seem a lot different. The casino and Marco Polo restaurant are better than before and the outside areas are still impressively large for a smaller ship - pools are great if a little cool. I swam every day but only a few others seemed to venture in. The new splash area designed for kids is probably a good idea during the school holidays, but a bit of a waste of space otherwise. I am not sure how many accidents there will be with 50 kids or so running around splashing and spraying - I can see a lot of adults getting a free water skiing lesson. The disco at the top of the ship was unchanged and still great fun. The only disappointment was the lack of tables and chairs outside the buffet restaurant at the back of the ship. On our cruise in September 2013 this was our favourite area for eating breakfast and lunch in the fresh air with great views of the sea behind. Maybe it was just because this was a winter cruise? However we were really lucky with the weather around the Canaries and Madeira with good sunshine most of the time and daytime temperatures in the 18 - 23c range. Food was excellent in the Marco Polo restaurant in the evening and the service impeccable. We were on the allegrissimo drinks package and our waiters were there constantly offering wine top ups when the glasses were approaching empty. Incidentally, I think the all inclusive drinks package on MSC is the best at sea, with good wine and genuine brand spirits and many liqueurs available, as well as water by the bottle and cappuccino coffees. Breakfast and lunch buffets were also very good, and I don't understand why some reviewers are so down on this. Yes the buffet areas are busy (as they are on P&O, Cunard, Royal Caribbean, NCL and probably most other cruise lines) but we always managed to find a table. The choice at lunchtime was a little limited compared to other ships, however the food available was generally tasty, of reasonable quality and there were variations in the menu every day so it never got boring. I fail to see how anyone could not find something to their taste. At times the food wasn't piping hot but that suits me as I normally wait for the food to cool down before eating anyway. It was never cold as some reviewers seem to suggest. The staff and service on board were excellent and I have always found the hard working crew on MSC ships and standards of cleanliness to be exemplary. I did witness some extremely rude English and German (I speak and understand German) customers talk to waiters and bar staff as if they were not worthy of existence and yet still polite service was provided (couldn't blame the staff for not being friendly to them!). These are probably the same people who write in complaining about poor levels of service. However we were lucky to meet a group of people of a similar mind set i.e. on holiday and looking to have a good time and we engaged and laughed with the staff who responded with the friendliest and most efficient service and hospitality. Another fun and fantastic cruise on MSC! If you are happy to embrace and enjoy different European cultures then you will not be disappointed with a cruise on the lovely Armonia. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
It was my first time cruising with family, son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter 16 and grandson 10. Having cruises previously with different cruise lines, it was my first time with MSC and they did not disappoint. From the moment the music ... Read More
It was my first time cruising with family, son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter 16 and grandson 10. Having cruises previously with different cruise lines, it was my first time with MSC and they did not disappoint. From the moment the music started in Bar Duomo each night, I was danced off my feet by the wonderful entertainment team. Can't wait to get back on board!!! The ship was beautifully decorated for Christmas with Festive music playing in the background. The staff without exception, were wonderful and friendly. I didn't see a sad or lonely face at any time. Embarkation was very smooth and we were on board within 10 minutes. Bags were delivered within the hour. My cabin was a balcony cabin which was really adequate for only 1 person, and the balcony was on the small size. There was plenty of storage space and my bag slipped under the bed quite easily. The bathroom was small but everything worked and I had plenty of hot water at all hours, with good pressure in the shower. I was glad to see that I had a shower enclosure instead of the dreaded curtain! The bed was just as comfortable as my own, with pristine white linen and the whole place was clinically clean. There were plenty of sun beds on the upper decks and in the adult areas. The only fault that I found was in the Marco Polo dining room. The food let the ship down! It was beautifully presented by wonderful waiters, but left a lot to be desired. However, in the buffet there was plenty variety and I was never hungry. I purchased the drinks package and gave that a good rattling!!! However, I did come off the ship 3lbs lighter. My teenage granddaughter joined the teens club and made some nice friends, with whom she had a blast, and the grandson was like a little gentleman, strolling around, using his card!!! At night the entertainment was varied and good, with a few different little bands playing in different bars and venues. We didn't take any of the shore excursions as we had holidayed on each of the islands, but did get off in Funchal which was magical, and went to Church on Christmas day in La Palma. Disembarkation was in turmoil, I got separated from the others, with the result that they were waiting on the pier for over an hour, while I hunted throughout the ship for them. Eventually a phone call or two by one of those lovely young Italian gentlemen and all was sorted!! All in all, it was a fabulous cruise and I can't wait to get on board again! A Beautiful ship with a wonderful crews. Thank you all. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We chose to spend our Christmas on msc Armonia, and we had a wonderful week. First let me point out the not so good aspects: the transfer and flight we had from Rome was very bad: time, transfer and flight itself with Meridiana from Rome ... Read More
We chose to spend our Christmas on msc Armonia, and we had a wonderful week. First let me point out the not so good aspects: the transfer and flight we had from Rome was very bad: time, transfer and flight itself with Meridiana from Rome were extremely unconfortable and ill planned. Also, the entertainment was below the average we have come to love on our cruises: of the evening shows, only the spanish dancers were superb. Apart from that, the cruise was perfect: great service at dinner (thanks Mohammed), our cabin was kept perfectly clean at all times, the ship facilities were always a pleasure to use: I particularly enjoyed the gym and the spa, both with a wonderful sea view. The itinerary is great, and we loved the night stop in Madeira, with plenty of time to visit the beautiful island both during the day and at night. I really cannot understand people complaining about the food and service: we beleive both are far better than NCL and Carnival, which we tried before. Every single crew member was friendly and helpful (by the way many many thanks to Giusy at the reception, if you read this, you were great!) The ship never felt crowded, and even if it's true that sometimes we felt some movement while at sea, we never found it terribly disturbing.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
I have been on all the major mid-priced cruise lines for a total of nearly 40 cruises. I’ve never written a review here just because I always got the experience I was expecting and they never seemed overly special enough to write about. ... Read More
I have been on all the major mid-priced cruise lines for a total of nearly 40 cruises. I’ve never written a review here just because I always got the experience I was expecting and they never seemed overly special enough to write about. I booked a bargain 7 nights on the MSC Armonia because of the Canary Island itinerary and after reading reviews of the line and the ship itself, I had prepared myself for a less-than-average experience with the ports as the only highlights. But both MSC and the Armonia impressed me at every turn. Check-in was very orderly and efficient, and from the moment I stepped onto the ship, every single staff and crew member I encountered was extremely friendly and wanting to please. My balcony suite was large but basic. Nothing luxurious about it but very functional and well planned. I actually loved that the bed just had a top sheet and a thin blanket to use as covers as opposed to the luxurious duvet other lines provide that end up soaking you with sweat because you can never get the cabin cold enough to warrant their use. Temperature control worked flawlessly, I always had an abundance of hot water and pressure, and the walk-in closet and adjacent cabinetry had tons of storage space. I quickly got in the habit of lying on my little sofa in the late afternoon so I could look out the glass door to relax and eventually doze. Dinners in the main dining room were admittedly, not especially inspired, but the service from my waiter and assistant waiter was top-notch, despite the seemingly large number of tables under their care. I always enjoyed everything I ate and always ate all of it. The all-inclusive alcohol package provided what I thought was a huge savings and I never had any trouble being promptly and happily served everywhere I ordered drinks, wine, specialty coffees and bottled water. I found breakfast and lunch from the buffet to be rather typical cruise line fare. I’m more of a salad-and-slice-of-pizza-for-lunch kind of guy. The Armonia scored big points for both their wonderful assortment of items on their salad bar (so much more extensive than most ships I’ve been on) and the incredible pizza at the pizzeria. Shore excursions (I took three) were always well organized and the staff seemed to take great care in seeing that the wide variety of nationalities on board were accommodated with the appropriate tour guide for their respective language. There were very few English-speaking passengers on this sailing but I still had a wonderful time just immersing myself in the flurry of different languages and cultures around me. I enjoyed some spa treatments that were actually very reasonable and very well executed, Not the usual sales pitch for products either. I used the fitness center daily and it was very well equipped with a good variety of cardio machines, strength training machines, and free weights. The spinning, yoga, and pilates classes I usually enjoy on cruises were not offered--perhaps because of the very port intensive itinerary. Oddly enough, the Internet service on the Armonia was the best I have ever experienced at sea. The packages were relatively inexpensive, the service fast, and the login and logout screens on both my iPad and iPhone were very well designed and highly functional. The balcony suites have an Ethernet connection that you really have to hunt for. It’s inside the cabinet on which the TV sits. I had an Apple AirPort Express and created my own secured wireless network in my cabin. Internet service is only advertised as being available in the Internet cafe and wirelessly in specific public areas. But the biggest surprise on the Armonia was the nightly production shows. Other than the final night, there was a production show each and every night. A very talented and (and for the size of the Armonia) large cast puts on spectacular shows that because they are heavy on dance and Cirque-type performances, appeal to an international audience. I see shows on Broadway often but every night on the Armonia, I marveled at the incredible costumes and talent I was treated to. Entertainment excellence! I have to say they were the most creative shows I’ve ever seen at sea. My week on the Armonia ended with a quick and orderly disembarkation. And much sadness. It was one of the best overall cruise experiences I’ve had and I truly was made to feel at home on the very welcoming ship.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
This was our first ever cruise and as a repositioning cruise, it was very reasonably priced. When we booked, there were no single person supplements so we decided to book one balcony room and an inside room to save money and to compare. ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and as a repositioning cruise, it was very reasonably priced. When we booked, there were no single person supplements so we decided to book one balcony room and an inside room to save money and to compare. The balcony room was twice the size of the inside cabin, although still an adequate size if you plan on only using it for sleeping, showering etc the inside cabin is adequate but it is nice to sit on your private balcony especially when arriving/disembarking although there are plenty of decks to that too. The main differences aside from balcony and overall size were the extra storage space, bath (rather than shower) and a sofa/coffee table in the balcony cabin. Both cabins had a mini bar and safe. I future, I will stick to a balcony room. The rooms as well as the public area were very clean. Disembarkation was quick and efficient. Service on board was excellent overall, most of the staff were professional and friendly. Entertainment was very hit and miss. Not helped by the cruise director speaking only in Spanish when he realised the Spanish audience cheered louder than the majority (German, Norwegian, British etc). This was a reflection of the overall pandering of the staff to two groups of Spanish youngsters who, like many youngsters from anywhere, were loud, disruptive, sat around in the stairwells etc - very disappointing that the cruise director in particular encouraged this behaviour at the expense of other guests's enjoyment. Food in the main dining room was generally of a high standard, although you could not rely on the general description in the menu. Food in the buffet was very disappointing, cold and tasteless - although the deserts were excellent. They seem to run out of fruit towards the end of the cruise as well as prosecco. The organised activities and shore excursions did not appeal, although many others seemed to enjoy them. The itinerary (Las Palmas, Casablanca, Cadiz, Malaga, Tunis, Valletta, Kefalonia, Dubrovnik, Split and Venice) was excellent, although it would have been nice to spend a bit more time in Tunis - not very touristy, nice to mingle with locals in the old town. The booking process was very laborious and it was disappointing that MSC changed the itinerary which was on sale before we were informed but the onboard experience was fantastic - the allegrissimo drinks package was excellent value and added to the experience.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Cruisingiscool member says it all really in their review. I was on other side of ship in 1216... It was my first cruise and I hadn't really known what to expect. Why MSC? The price, they had discounted the balcony cabin to £250 per ... Read More
Cruisingiscool member says it all really in their review. I was on other side of ship in 1216... It was my first cruise and I hadn't really known what to expect. Why MSC? The price, they had discounted the balcony cabin to £250 per person, so at £500 + £280 for all inclusive drinks package, this was much cheaper than other cruises available.I think the reviews possibly should be split into two, for those who have cruised before and those that have not. My feeling is that first timers would rate it highly than those who have cruised before. Discussing the cruise with others on board who had been on other ships they thought it wasn't as good. I stared in disbelief at them thinking what else could be bettered, my prior background of holidaying in all inclusive hotel resorts was the only thing I could grade it against. I'd embarked at las Palmas after getting the bus from airport. Its only a five minute walk from bus station to ship. Arrived for earliest 1pm embarkation time, however others had same idea, so wondered if arriving at 2pm may have avoided some queues to get on board. Once on board and in room, I couldn't believe how large it was. Full size bath, walk in wardrobe, king size bed, couch, and balcony. Room was kept clean by room attendant, but his second early evening visit had me spitting feathers as my misses expected me to tidy up the room before his arrival...sort of defeated the point. He also had a habit of taking misses nighty from under pillow and making it into a fan shape. To get my own back I put my XXL large undies (clean) under pillow, expecting him to fan those out as well, but he didnt!! shame i needed the laugh. he did have a habit though of moving my clothes from A to B as if to prove the point he was doing something. The all inclusive option is great, you must go for it.. Think it is £140 each and I got a pre bill approximately half way through cruise which showed we had had about 600 euros worth of alcohol/drink. I know what your thinking, I was blinding legless every night, but not so.. Bottle of wine and water was 20 euros during dinner, and a drinks round for 2 would cost between 11 and 12 euros, so it soon adds up if you have a couple of drinks before evening meal and 3 drinks each after. We did see the shows and they were either ok or very good. worth watching, but i take on board others comments as the multi language of passengers meant the shows were mostly dance based with acrobatics thrown in. We also had continental breakfast in the room on a few occasions, but only when I found out it was free. Service charge... I was determined not to pay this before I went. 98 Euros for two of us.. I was intent on getting it removed, however I just couldn't fault the service, sure I had to wait a couple of minutes just too long in ordering drinks, but this was just on the odd occasion. Based on drinks bill reaching 7-800 euros, and great service I've paid the service charge... I did have an issue with getting a table for two in the main restaurant during lunchtimes, but you can take plates outside to eat in the brasserie area on deck 11. I attended the set dinner meals and I thought the food and service was very good. I would go cruising again based on this experience, but don't think I could find a better priced deal than the one MSC offered. Id definitely cruise with these guys again. Read Less
MSC Armonia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 2.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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