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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.

A Functional Ferry

MSC Armonia Cruise Review by dannysdad

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
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.
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