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MSC Armonia Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
388 Reviews

Not a family ship!!!

MSC Armonia Cruise Review by mhankiewicz

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Nov 2013
  • Destination: the Mediterranean

we were not informed at the time of the booking that the child activities start at the age of 3, which was the main driver for us to book this type of package. We were informed that our daughter (at the time of the cruise 2 years and 10 months old, fully independent, attending daycare since she was 4 months old) can participate in the activities, when we are in the room with her. We tried it once, but all staff spoke only Italian and Spanish, and was not even engaging her in any of the games. We felt as we were not there.

Also, during the cruise, we were not informed about other inclusions in the package (for example, in the brochure we received on board mentioned that after the Italian dinner, we will receive a surprise, when we reported to the photoshop, we were informed that as we did not participate in the Italian dinner (1st or 2nd sitting), we will not get pictures taken during this evening, when we suggested replacement surprise, the hostess promised to speak to management about it and come back to us, and she never did).

During the sailing days, it was impossible to use the swimming pool. 

Before even departing we were misinformed about the embarkation procedure. We bought airport-harbour transfer, and we were told that after landing at 9:00 we will be transferred to the ship, and we will be able to use our cabin straight away. When we arrived, we were told that we can wait in a waiting room (with plastic chairs) until check-in at 13:00. When we reported at 12:00 with sleeping child in our arms, asking whether it would be possible to check-in earlier, or enter the ship, we were told to wait, and sent to waiting room. We waited until 13:00, and when we came downstairs, it turned out that there is a line for 30 minutes waiting. I find it appauling that knowing our situation (sleeping child, etc.) nobody was even able to direct us to priority line (which we found ourselves).

In general the ship is not really prepared to receive children. There are no safe railings at the outside decks. We looked at other ships in various harbours, and it was obvious that they are better prepared (so child cannot even stick a head out of the railing). Also, the space for children in the mini club was too small for the group that was there, and guardians were not paying attention to children running around. shouting and jumping on one another. This is not what I would call a family friendly environment.

Food OK, better in the self-service buffet than during served dinners. Entertainment like from 80s, but our daughter loved as MSC calls it " Broadway like" shows (she is not even 3 though :))). International dancers really have to go...

Buffet staff very nice and in general helpful, same with bars,but reception behaves like you are not there. When a girl could not explain me the disembarkation procedure (after each of my questions, there was a different version of it, that did not cover what was written in a daily news we received), she went to the last resort - " Are you first time at the cruise", and after I said yes, she rolled her eyes. In perspective it was funny, as she was sooooooo helpless poor thing...

The ports of call were very far away from the city, especially ones in Morocco. It took us around 30 minute walk in Casablanca, walking around industrial zone...Not nice experience.

In general, not very recommended, although in Canary Islands there are nice places to see and visit, and this made this trip worth it!

mhankiewicz's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Clean, a bit outdated, but in general OK.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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