This is our 5th time on Armonia, and we never chose it because of the ship or the cruise line. The first time was because it sailed from and back to Las Palmas which is 20 minutes from our home so it was very handy. Prior to sailing MSC we have been with Royal Caribbean, P&O and Celebrity so we were comparing to these lines. We thought after the first time we would never do it again but we did the same cruise the following year. I wrote a scathing review about it after our second time and it was mainly based on the cold food and the lack of bar staff interaction and downright rudeness of the reception staff. We had a week 13th June this year and Armonia was the only cruise that fitted in with flights etc so we decided to go back and I suppose knew what to expect. But what a difference this time I am pleased to say. The waiting staff on deck were all smiles and even came to the table to ask if we wanted a drink. Two of them actually engaged in conversation. There was one continual grumpy git behind the deck bar. I was very pleasant to him saying good morning, how are you etc but he just ignored me. After a couple of days I lost it and asked him what his problem was and told him if his attitude didn't change I would be reporting him. I didn't and wouldn't have, but instantly he perked up and next time at the bar he said "beer sir?" Overall the crew seemed to be much more interactive and pleasant and we won`t hesitate going back if the right cruise at the right price comes up.
The food however isnt much to write home about, you won`t go hungry as there is something for everyone but it is generally luke warm. The guy who slices the meat joint must be shit scared to give anyone more than a slither...he is another one with a face like thunder, and when you ask for a bit more you'd think he was cutting a pound of his flesh! This cruise we were very laid back, if not lazy, and because we had been on it for 4 nights in April we didn`t go to any of the shows nor did we make the Pergola restaurant, we found that it was basically the same menu as was in the buffet so couldnt be bothered to dress up for the same fayre!
We were in what MSC call a suite, nothing wrong with the actual cabin, bigger bathroom with bath and shower over, but as others have said there is noise from above, we noticed it around 5am each day. We were just under the door leading from deck to the restaurant so we were also quite prone to hearing banging. This didn't spoil the cruise but we wont book one of these cabins again.
Lots of kids this time and it was busy, a mix of Italian, Spanish, French with just a handful of English and a few Germans.
We stopped comparing MSC to other cruise lines we have been on because it is just a different kind of cruise clientelle and service and we know now what to expect.