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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We were ill for several weeks after the cruise. Our stomach problems really stared on the plane after leaving the ship on the last day. We had only eaten on-board while on the cruise. We are convinced that we caught a bug whilst on board. ... Read More
We were ill for several weeks after the cruise. Our stomach problems really stared on the plane after leaving the ship on the last day. We had only eaten on-board while on the cruise. We are convinced that we caught a bug whilst on board. After 3 Visits to the doctors my wife now seems to be a lot better but still has stomach problems. We were contacted by a passenger stayed on the ship for a further week after us. This was her comments:- There were lots of people on the ship (passengers and crew) with low-grade food poisoning but the medical team and ship were misreporting it so they would not be investigated by the port authorities. Whole tables were having problems -7 out of 8 on our table with just my partner being OK. The last 2 days they actually started taking action and cleaning handrails, enforcing the hand gel when going into the restaurants and when getting on the ship. The cruise was bad. The cabin was so narrow that to get into bed we had to bend down and shuffle sideways, it was not comfortable at all. The passengers on board were mainly Italian. We had been on board only an hour when this middle aged Italian ran into my wife almost knocking her over. If you used the lifts you had to fight your way out as the other passengers would rush into the lifts giving you no chance to get out. The quality of the food was very poor. The main restaurant was OK if all you wanted was pizza, pasta or burgers. The formal restaurant was slightly better but the portions were poor and the preparation variable. I asked for a medium steak but it arrived raw inside. After sending it back twice I gave up. The staff were generally polite but I heard reports of someone swearing at a passenger and the waiting staff having a “bun fight” during dinner one night. When we arrived back in the UK we spoke to friends of ours that had been on a different MSC cruise shortly before and they state that they would never go on another. We went to see customer services on the last night. The fist girl I spoke to was very polite and friendly. She told me I would have to speak to a manager who was very impolite and so was his manager, all they did was quote company policy and were not interested in sorting our problem out. The ship was terrible. Passengers were allowed to smoke in the bar area even though there was an enclosed smoking area next to the bar. On arriving back I tried to contact MSC customer services, only to be told that I could not speak to anyone, they only responded to email. I sent an email, which was returned days later because I had not used the correct customer services address. I had to send it again. Why the person could not have forwarded my email I do not know. I received a reply back to say they would contact me within 28 days. I did not receive an email for over a month. I truly believe that any company that only deals with emails for customer services and sets a response date of a month, do not really care about customers. Never again MSC. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
After reading the reviews on here we were almost scared of what was in store if we booked this cruise, however we went ahead due to the interesting port calls. I can honestly say the ship is fine, unless of course you’re expecting a big ... Read More
After reading the reviews on here we were almost scared of what was in store if we booked this cruise, however we went ahead due to the interesting port calls. I can honestly say the ship is fine, unless of course you’re expecting a big American style liner, which it is not. The interiors of the ship may not be minimalistic fresh style found on newer ships but it has a charming almost “Royal Yacht” feeling, which we found cozy and warm. It had traditional interiors but it was not dated or dusty or unclean like it was stated here, infact cleaniness was very high onboard both in public spaces and in cabins. The one thing we do agree on with other reviewers is that food is bland. We found the dining room was awful on the one night we used it but buffet had enough to eat and there was always something but it requires more poking around than we experienced on the American liners. Honestly with such hot weather not having extensive amounts of food to eat didn’t bother us, interestingly on the flip side desserts were nicer than we had on other liners and resorts. The bars really made up for what was lacking in dining, they all had nice ambience and great staff (staff in general were friendly just not in that hyper American way) and the drinks were good and strong (though cocktails were stronger on Deck 5 than 11). This cruise is adequate and isn’t the disaster pit made out here but don’t expect it be like Royal Carribean where the ship is the destination, it isn’t but the ports of calls are amazing and the ship is comfortable and had a nice latin ambiance that matched up with the region. We can’t comment on shows or excursions as we didn’t attend them or book with MSC for the latter. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We decided to take a cruise in the last minute and the MSC Armonia was the only one available. As soon as we entered our room there was a leaflet stating that the times of the disembarkation and embarkation in the visiting ports were ... Read More
We decided to take a cruise in the last minute and the MSC Armonia was the only one available. As soon as we entered our room there was a leaflet stating that the times of the disembarkation and embarkation in the visiting ports were changed. For instance : Valleta which should be the highlight of this cruise was from 3 PM to 7 PM. All the attractions were closed and all the people returned to the ship at the same hour. We waited over an hour to get in while everybody was pushing and shouting. Another place was Napoli: we arrived at 7 AM and left at 12 noon. What place of interest or shoping are opening before 10 AM ??? Our friend set at a table for breakfast and waited for us. the staff came and shouted at him that he must get up and wait for us outside the restaurant ! The Theatre entertaiment was very poor and very short. I am writing this critic because we are taking many cruises and can compare with other companies. We never had such a bad experience Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Things they don’t tell you: No complimentary tea/coffee after dinner. You will have to pay extra for luxury food (e.g. lobster) on formal nights. You will have to share a table if you go into the Marco Polo Restaurant for ... Read More
Things they don’t tell you: No complimentary tea/coffee after dinner. You will have to pay extra for luxury food (e.g. lobster) on formal nights. You will have to share a table if you go into the Marco Polo Restaurant for breakfast or lunch i.e. no tables for two. No free ice cream in the buffet If you are English on a Mediterranean cruise, it is likely your shore excursion will be cancelled due to lack of English speaking guests No free flavoured waters with meals in the buffet. No decaffeinated coffee in the buffet Overcrowding at breakfast and lunch in the buffet and difficulty finding a table Swivel chairs installed in the theatre due to lack of proper seating. Lack of toilets in public spaces. Go for a suite - great room, cabin stewards wonderful, good view (a nice sanctuary after the push and shove in the public areas and on shore excursions) Be careful that the shore excursion you are given the tickets for on board is the shore excursion you have booked! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Recently returned from a Mediterranean cruise aboard the Armonia. We chose the cruise for the different ports of call and were pleased with all the destinations.Our one excursion to Pompeii was very good. The food on board at the Le ... Read More
Recently returned from a Mediterranean cruise aboard the Armonia. We chose the cruise for the different ports of call and were pleased with all the destinations.Our one excursion to Pompeii was very good. The food on board at the Le Pergola restaurant on the ship was good and the waiters that looked after us were excellent. Our cabin was lovely and clean and well looked after. However, the buffet breakfast in the restaurant was a free for all, lots of waiters but no service to speak of! Self service was the order of the day and also at lunch time. There was no organisation and a poor choice - the same every day. The staff in the Marco Polo and throughout the ship were sullen and unhelpful, we had to go find a waiter to get a drink and they didn't feel it necessary to smile at all. The buffet/restaurant staff were the same and not at all what we are used to. Our airport transfers were inconvenient, expensive and not tailored to us as guests at all, I would not used them again. This was our sixth cruise and the biggest let down. The ship is nice enough but the activities were very limited and the productions in the theatre were dire. We enjoyed our cruise despite the inefficiency and lack of service not because of it!!! The guests were definitely not put first. I will not be MSC cruising in the near future. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We were a party of 10 and we booked 5 staterooms with balcony 1 year in advance for the 50th wedding anniversary of my parents in law .once onboard they told us that my parents in law got another stateroom ,they got an upgrade. We asked of ... Read More
We were a party of 10 and we booked 5 staterooms with balcony 1 year in advance for the 50th wedding anniversary of my parents in law .once onboard they told us that my parents in law got another stateroom ,they got an upgrade. We asked of it was a balcony stateroom, and they said yes but it's on deck 10 instead of deck 9 where we all had our staterooms.they went to there (upgrade)stateroom and it was an ocean view stateroom .we went immediately to guest services and they told us there was a overbooking,and that the ship was fully booked.what was ment to be a week of happiness became a week of stress.we al paid €380 extra for a balcony stateroom.after a few days MSC suggested a refund of €300 and a 20% discount one a following cruise vallid within the year,REALLY?? After two days MSC raised the compensation to €600 with no further discussion.we had to accept this because otherwise we could end up with nothing.we accept but were not agreed with this settlement,we didn't accept the 20% discount. Overall experience of the ship was verry poor. The staff and crew was not friendly, with exception of our stateroom host and our waiters for dinner.the choice and variety off the food was also very poor. We had booked the beverage package Alegrissimo , but it always took a long time to getting our drinks. Every day there were people getting off the ship and others back on, so every day they held a safety drill (OK for me) but during the safety drill all services stopped ,you couldn't order a drink although the bartender was behind his bar . One day we've booked a shore excursion, this was total chaos, we booked a tour 'Rome on our on' but it was already noon as we arrived in Rome and we had to be back at 4 pm at the bus. the entertainment was every day the same ,the shows in the theatre were amateuristic. MSC will never ever see us again. This was our 10th cruise but the first time with MSC. We normally always cruise with Disney Cruise Line. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
While holiday int in Europe for our 30th wedding anniversary, we chose a shorter cruise to gauge how we feel about cruising in general, this being our first one. We also wanted to pack in as many ports as possible and we only spent one ... Read More
While holiday int in Europe for our 30th wedding anniversary, we chose a shorter cruise to gauge how we feel about cruising in general, this being our first one. We also wanted to pack in as many ports as possible and we only spent one full day at sea which bored us. The food, service and cleanliness of the ship was great. We felt cheated being sold a beverage package for only meal times which meant if we wanted to drink at other times, we had to pay. We were sold this at the port before embarking on the ship and later found out that we could have bought separate water, coffee, alcohol or soft drink packages which would have cost us one third of what we paid. Also as I am not a drinker, I had to buy the same package as my husband just to get water and soft drinks! (Obviously they think I would have drunk my husband's alcohol as it was unlimited during meal times) The other major gripe was all the packs of children roaming and running around the ship without parental supervision. These children were allowed into the bars at night and took over all the seating and dance floor so we missed out on dancing as well. Parents were even taking babies around in prams in the bar/lounge areas. It really needed to have some dedicated adult only areas. We both have a European background and are euro citizens as well.. We understand the European attitude to full inclusion of families but this was ridiculous. There was no where to get away from them and I was told by a very smart alec 8 year old that we had taken his and his friends seats while they were dancing! MSC needs to make sure parents monitor and take responsibility for their children and provide adult only relief to its other passengers. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This cruise was for my 30th birthday. We have been on numerous MSC cruises before, on both Fantasia Class (MSC's largest ships) and Lirica Class, to which Armonia belongs. Our previous cruise on Lirica was pre-stretch (MSC's ... Read More
This cruise was for my 30th birthday. We have been on numerous MSC cruises before, on both Fantasia Class (MSC's largest ships) and Lirica Class, to which Armonia belongs. Our previous cruise on Lirica was pre-stretch (MSC's Renaissance Program involved cutting and shutting the ships to add more cabins and public space). Embarkation was fairly quick. MSC have changed their check-in procedure so that at the initial check-in desk you just fill in some forms and they check your passport. You're then ushered towards the ship where security staff then take your photograph. Your cruise card is waiting in your cabin. This seemed a little strange at first, but in hindsight it probably speeds up check-in as there isn't quite so much for the staff to do with each passenger. As always with MSC we found the ship to be spotless, and although Armonia is aging, all the public areas and cabins are kept immaculate. I dare say you wouldn't realise how old she is if it weren't for the styling of things like the atrium and some of the fixtures and fittings which do look a little dated. We had a suite, which we found absolutely lovely. There was a bathroom with glass shower screen over the bath - no annoying curtain! A large walk-in wardrobe offered plenty of storage - both hanging space and drawers. If you were to consider a long cruise with MSC on one of these ships, I'd recommend the suite! The bed was ever-so comfortable, a nice sitting area and what could be described as a sideboard with a couple of cupboards and the mini bar. If you have the premium drinks package the contents of the mini bar are free - we found this very useful for juice in the morning and a night-cap before bed! We normally only have the standard drinks package, but decided to treat ourselves to celebrate! On this class of ship, if you have a balcony cabin or suite dining is 'my choice' in the La Pergola Restaurant which offers some excellent views from the back of the ship. We were lucky to have a table by the windows every day. The menu in this restaurant was also different to the main dining room for other passengers. We had some beautiful meals in the evening; the service was always top-notch. Th extensive wine list included with the drinks package was also an added bonus! In many reviews of MSC people say they didn't enjoy the food. My advice here would be to go with an open-mind. MSC is an Italian line, therefore the food is Italian style. Every dinner menu has a couple of appetizers, salad, soup, risotto / pasta, main courses and desserts (sometimes cheese as well!) If you can't make a meal out of that then I do wonder what people eat at home! In comparison to other lines, there isn't steak every night but the rest of the food in my opinion is lovely. My partner and I tend to use the Main Dining Room for breakfast and lunch. Here is where I think the expansion of Lirica Class ships has not worked. Owing to the increase in passenger numbers breakfast and lunch is a mix of buffet and a la carte. This was a slight disappointment to us as we're not fans of buffets and much prefer the high level of service we are used to. I think the waiting staff were too stretched at these key times and this had an impact on service, which was a shame. The entertainment was up to the usual standards of MSC, with some excellent deck parties during the day and at night! We had a wonderful time! We went to some of the shows, Fantasticats and Dirty Dancing really stood out and were great fun. We didn't take any ship organised excursions as we did some research beforehand so did our own thing. The ports of call were Majorca, Ibiza, Sardinia, Livorno and Genoa. In Livorno we got the train to Pisa - this was a bargain at just a couple of euro for the train tickets. The train station is a long way from the port in Livorno. You can take a bus. We had a taxi back to the ship from the train station which cost 20 euros, which was quite reasonable for the distance. We really enjoyed the cruise and already have two more MSC cruises booked in. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was our 30th cruise and 3rd on MSC. We like MSC, but it is definitely a little behind some of its competition. You really need to know what you are getting into the ships are not like travelling on American, British or Scandinavian ... Read More
This was our 30th cruise and 3rd on MSC. We like MSC, but it is definitely a little behind some of its competition. You really need to know what you are getting into the ships are not like travelling on American, British or Scandinavian Lines. But MSC van be a lot of fun due to the chance to meet a lot of non-North Americans, with great itineraries at very reasonable prices, especially if you have kids under 12. We chose this trip because it was a good deal (about $450 for a 6 day cruise inside cabin, about $100/day for a balcony) with an amazing itinerary that included a new interesting (and sometimes unusual) port every day, including Marseille, Genoa, Corsica. Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona. I would say the ships passengers were 40% Italian, 35% French, 15% Spanish, 5% British, 4% other and less than 1% American. This has been pretty much the mix on all the Mediterranean MSC cruises we have been on. The itinerary is unusual in that passengers can embark this 6 day cruise at any of the 5 ports, as long as they stay the whole 5 days. This gives this cruising group more the feel of fairy travelers than co-travelling companions, since people come and go every day. Like all European ships, the crowd is younger (average age 40, though there all ages from 1 to 100 are well represented), so it definitely doesn't feel like a nursing home. We embarked in Marseille and were annoyed to find that, after a grueling 24 -hour flight the boarding would only be after 3 pm. Many ships say this but usually let you board at 11. On MSC, no matter what time you arrive they don't take your luggage till 1pm, then you sit in a big ugly uncomfortable room waiting for several hours to board. This ship is quite plain compared to ships you are used to from Carnival, Royal Caribbean or Princess. The walls are all plain and there are no fancy chandeliers and no art. Some might call it understated elegance, but that would probably be a stretch. Speaking of stretch, the ship was lengthened at its last refurbishment and we were in one of the nice new cabins in the middle section. The cabin was spotlessly clean and cozy, but at 110 square feet, was the smallest cruise ship cabin we have ever been in. The bathroom had the usual tiny shower but with excellent water pressure and very good appliances. No outlet was available in the bathroom. The toilet was quieter than on most ships. The cabin staff often forgot to refill the soap and Kleenex dispensers and the products were of just ok quality. No robes were offered. Although we had a minibar, we were never given a key. An ice bucket was in the room, but no one (including the cabin staff) seemed to know where to get ice. It was nice that they upgraded us for free from an inside to an obstructed view outside cabin but the view (unlike on Princess or HAL ObsView cabins) was 99% lifeboat. Somewhat annoying that the entire middle of the 7th floor is closed off and accessible only to crew due to the Medical Center strangely being place there. Lots of kids present, even though it was not spring break in any of the countries the passengers came from, as MSC offers free fair for kids travelling with parents. When we finally boarded at 4 pm, the only food option available was hamburgers or pizza and we were starving from waiting to board all day. Dozens of "supervisors" stand around while one lone guy tries to make and serve 30 pizzas per hour in the pizza restaurant. Why can't some of the folks standing around be cross-trained to help him out so we don't have to wait 40 minutes for a pizza at 4pm when everything else is closed? We also were told we needed to vacate our room by 7am on disembarkation day, when we were not even allowed to leave the ship until 10:30 pm. Fortunately, since we only had hand luggage, we were able to sneak out. Unlike other Americans, however, we found many of the staff charming, and the entertainment (especially the high quality shows), top notch. They are a cross between Cirque De Soleil and Broadway, and if you like those venues, you will probably love the MSC shows. Nice that the actors come out in costume to mingle with the audience after the show. Since the ship is so multi-lingual, there are almost no adult activities, but it was nice not to be relentlessly hounded to play bingo, etc. The internet was above average and reasonably priced. The Israeli security staff was great. The itinerary was great and we loved being in a new, relatively less-frequented port of call each day. The pier is Marseille is very fair from town and is the only so, so dreary port on this otherwise excellent cruise. Palma, Genoa, Corsica and Barcelona are all wonderful day ports and most had fantastic free walking tours available (not from the Cruise Ship). Skip the cruise ships overpriced shuttle service in each port and take a taxi or the public bus. Read Cruise critic for fun things to do without overpaying for mediocre ship shore excursions, though MSC's trip to the Drach Caves in Palma is highly rated and is hard to do on your own. I will go again with MSC, but it has to be a great itinerary and less than $75 a day, which can be hard to do with other cruise lines. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This was my 7th cruise and my husband and I knew what we were getting into prior to traveling. We only selected this ship because A) price and B) it was the most convenient way to see the places we wanted to see in Europe without changing ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise and my husband and I knew what we were getting into prior to traveling. We only selected this ship because A) price and B) it was the most convenient way to see the places we wanted to see in Europe without changing hotels every day. From the beginning they try to push the drink package on you. We did not do it because we knew as Americans we would get free bottled water with dinner and chose to drink when we wanted and where we wanted to, and not feel as if we needed to drink the entire time. Rooms are small, is to be expected. I got in a fight with the shower curtain on a daily basis. The food is alright, dinner takes over two hours and most nights we weren't done until 11:30 (23:30) which is WAY too late in my book to finish dinner. Things I cannot look past: - Shore excursion cancellation. 3/4 of our cruise-booked excursions were cancelled. Are you serious? Just no excuse. What do you do if you don't have a back up plan? We are paying a fortune for these excursions and they just get cancelled? Luckily, we printed out maps and other things to do in the area and were able to visit Cinque Terre, Valletta and Taormina on our own. It was probably for the best since we ended up paying 75% less for this than the cruise price. There was a particular woman at the shore excursion desk that added much unnecessary grief to this already bad experience. We knew what we were getting in to being one of the few Americans on this cruise. I just could not believe how many people would cut in front of us and the workers did not think anything of it. By the 7th day I was ready to lose my mind. English was a problem on the ship, and I speak Spanish fluently and know enough Italian and French to get myself in trouble but no one seemed very interested in trying to understand us if it was not French. Overall I can't say I would cruise with MSC again. Everything was just sub-par. They do offer the best ports in the Mediterranean in my opinion though. **TIP: There is a British pub in the back of the ship that has B1G1 drinks. 6 Euro for two grey goose drinks is unbelievable! Drink prices overall on the ship are much more affordable than Caribbean cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
It was not our first Cruise, but our first one with the children. However I was expecting more... The Buffet restaurant was nothing special, actually I found it poor. Same items almost every day. The MArco Polo Restaurant was good ... Read More
It was not our first Cruise, but our first one with the children. However I was expecting more... The Buffet restaurant was nothing special, actually I found it poor. Same items almost every day. The MArco Polo Restaurant was good (thank God). I have to say that we had the better employee of the restaurant the brazilian Luana. She was very helpfull and also very friendly with everyone. My children wanted to take her home with us. We had no time to see her on the last day and they were very upset and kept saying that they wanted Luana... The public areas were a bit old. Public WC had some broke things as taps etc. The pool area has very slippery deck. I saw some people slip and fall. Very dangerous. the deck chairs were reserved very early though nobody occupied them for hours. The crew should have that in mind. Some people went on excursions but reserved deck chairs! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
I do have to give myself kudos for my logistical planning as far as arriving at the port and getting back home but our experience on board the Armonia was AWFUL. I read as much info/fine print as I could about the cruise and this ship but ... Read More
I do have to give myself kudos for my logistical planning as far as arriving at the port and getting back home but our experience on board the Armonia was AWFUL. I read as much info/fine print as I could about the cruise and this ship but was sure that the bad reviews weren't accurate; I was wrong and wish I had saved our money to do a Disney cruise instead. Children are free to stay and it certainly shows in the limited choices of children's activities on board. Our tickets were fairly cheap since I booked through a 3rd-person site which gives big/awesome discounts for military families. In all, mine and my husbands tickets were just under $700 which we thought was amazing for a cruise! I did read in the fine print that there were surcharges for services on board but I was NOT expecting to pay around 8euro every time we bought coffee, ice cream or had anyone hand us something that we couldn't get ourselves...on top of the price of whatever we bought. I would highly suggest, if you do decide to use this particular cruise line, to do some research on your destinations and book your own excursions instead of booking through the ship. I researched our destinations (Marseille, Palma de Mallorca, Corsica) and wrote down the addresses and places we were interested in seeing. If you can help it, take a taxi versus using the transportation services provided by the ship. They charged almost 20euro for adults and 12euro for children to use the bus for transportation to and from the dock at every destination but we ended up paying way less by just paying for a taxi ride. Once inside the cities, utilize the hop-on/hop-off buses or the little tourist trains which are minimal in cost and you get to see all of the highlights of the place you're in. If you have business to attend online, the wifi charges are absurd. We bought one hour of time for almost 17euro to check our email periodically since that was the only line of communication with family/work. You can't honestly tell me it costs that much money to have wifi aboard a boat, especially at the prices they charge for everything. Boarding: When we arrived at the port, we registered fairly quickly since we had already checked in online and printed a confirmation. They wouldn't allow us to keep our passports, which made us very uneasy since we are a military family and have always been told to NEVER allow our passports to be out of our possession. They in turn gave us a key-card for our trip which would get us on/off the boat and was linked to my husbands credit card to pay for anything we got on board since NO CASH is taken (which is stupid because we pulled out almost 1,000 euro in cash specifically for this purpose). They wouldn't allow us to take our luggage with us when boarding (which were only small carry-on suitcases since we traveled with Ryanair and didn't want the hassle of checking-in suitcases). We sat in our room waiting for our luggage to be delivered to freshen up after a 6 hour commute (which was just sat outside the cabin doors and several people lost their luggage due to thievery this way). Since we were starving by this time, we just left to get something to eat. Dining/buffets/bars: Our first night of dining was horrendous. After traveling all day, waiting on our luggage to be delivered and searching for the dining room, we were turned away at the door to the Marco Polo dining facility because we were "first seating" and arrived literally 15 mins late even though the itinerary says from 7-9pm. We were starving and our 5y/o child (who almost never eats) was crying he was hungry. No one pointed us in the direction of the buffets upstairs even after we told them that we had traveled all day and hadn't eaten since 11am that morning. We didn't get to eat until almost 10pm that night; that in itself was upsetting. The food was the biggest portion of our trip that I was looking forward to because it was a Mediterranean cruise, I'm expecting fabulous seafood and new dishes that I hadn't tried before! What we got was mostly fish, some extremely chewy sliced leg of lamb and veal. Since the menu is set up to be a 6-course meal, the portion sizes are very small and we figured this out the first night when I left still hungry! The only dessert choices are all COLD and consisted of ice cream (my son had no qualms with this choice), cold chocolate cake which was more of a brownie consistency and a very runny "coconut/pistachio cake" which didn't even hold it's form on the plate. The breakfast choices weren't much better and consisted of cold waffles with NO syrup, "raisin/cinnamon" french toast which had NO raisins or cinnamon and came out burnt with some sort of runny excuse for syrup and literally consisted of one piece of bread with the crust cut off. The juice is so watered down, it tastes like juice-infused water, my son wouldn't even drink it. It's almost as if they water it down just to make it go farther. The coffee is HORRIBLE!!! If you're a coffee connoisseur like I am, you will not appreciate this mud-water. It tastes like coffee flavored water with a slightly burnt aftertaste. I feel like they do this just so you will pay to buy coffee from the coffee bar on board. Oh, don't forget that 15% surcharge for a 4euro cup (literally 1/2 cup) of cappuccino with 2 inches of foam on top, so about 5 drinks of actual coffee...still makes me mad. We didn't find the upstairs buffets (on the 11th floor) until 3 days into our trip. The best food was the freshly made pizza buffet which was open at all hours. The Brassiere was okay, most of the choices were cold meats/cheeses/breads with a few "hot" items like rosemary potatoes, green beans or some sort of sausage/onion mix..we spent most of our meals at the pizza buffet. They have mugs and mud-water (coffee) and hot water with a selection of tea bags. The only FREE water you will get on board is the tap water in the machines at the buffets upstairs. You have to pay for every.single.thing. you drink except in these areas. Activities on board: For adults, if you like to gamble and drink, that's all there is to do. But this, of course, entails spending more money which they highly encourage. The shops (pharmacy, gift shop, clothing store, toy store) is extremely overpriced and has a very small selection of what you need. Almost every bar area allows smoking so the fact that a "cigar room" was in one of these areas was confusing if smoking was allowed in almost all areas of the boat. My husband and I couldn't enjoy our drink while watching the live band one evening because smoke was being blown on us from the casino which opened into the area we were in. Smoking areas are designated but aren't followed or enforced. We signed my son up for the daily activities for his age group but the only things for him to do in this small room was play with Legos, color printed out pictures and watch movies in a language that he doesn't understand. Needless to say, he went twice for about 2 hrs each time, and said he didn't want to go back. It broke my heart because I wanted him to enjoy our vacation but he ended up staying in the room with us, watching cartoons on the laptop and playing on the iPad. The nightly shows were all the same, just different costumes and music. It also would have been nice if the theater played movies during the day since they had the capability to do so. We didn't use the spa services because frankly, we couldn't afford it after discovering all the hidden charges that were forced upon us. The public areas were kept clean but all looked alike. The ship is full of glitz/glam but lacks real substance, in all honesty. Photographers were set up all throughout the 5th and 6th floors in the evenings and harass you as you walk by to take your picture. After the 3rd time, we just flat out refused and walked away, leaving them talking and begging us to take more pictures. Pools: The very small children's water area was extremely slippery, my son fell on one occasion and hit the back of his head. Some of the water toys didn't work and there was no actual kiddie pool for the kids to play in, just water streams to run through. The adult pool was no bigger than a king size bed, and that's no exaggeration! I never saw anyone in it other than a couple of teenagers jump in and climb back out. The two hot tubs were the only points of interest for everyone and with so many ppl getting in and out, I passed. I don't like sitting in other people's urine. The staff we encountered were very nice and all spoke English. Our waiters were always wonderful to us so we have no complaints with those who worked on board. Our biggest complaints would be the poor food served, the many surcharges that we were left with after it was over and being kicked out of our room at 8am and sitting around for almost 3 hours to disembark. Our bill that was left on the door was over 300euro and more than half of those charges were just surcharges, which is absolutely pathetic to me. After being kicked out of our room, we were told to sit in one of the lounge/bar areas until our designated time to meet (according to floor number) to leave the ship. Luckily, we held onto our luggage instead of letting them transport it for us back to shore so as soon as we walked off the ramp (couldn't happen fast enough for me) we grabbed a taxi and went straight to our train station. Overall, our experience was horrendous. The only reason I give this rating a 2/5 is because of the cleanliness of the boat and the friendliness of the staff. Other than that, it was a sorry excuse for a first-time experience in taking a cruise as a family vacation. Read Less
MSC Armonia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.7
Dining 2.0 3.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.2
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 5.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.1
Enrichment 3.0 3.0
Service 4.0 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.5

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