We have cruised many times before but never with MSC. We had heard mixed messages regarding MSC but as this fitted in with our dates that we wanted to visit Cuba, we thought we would give it a try. We had a night in Havana and were joining the ship the next day. We were being picked up at 12 from the hotel, which was only about 10 minutes from the cruise terminal. Once we had arrived at the terminal, we were told that we could drop our bags and come back at 17.00 to embark. We were happy with this as we wanted to spend some time out exploring Havana. We arrived back at the terminal about 16.15 happy to wait until 17.00 but were told we could embark straight away which was quite an easy process. We were asked by the ship photographer if we would like a photo before we stepped onto the ship and said yes we would but we were with another couple that were with us and would like one with the 4 of us. We were told that as we were not in the same cabin we couldn't! WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT? We declined on having one done in couples! We found our rooms and wandered around the ship to get our bearings. By 20.00hrs we had still not received our luggage (bearing in mind we had left them 8 hours ago and had to go to dinner with clothes on that we had been in all day. Not great! Our cases appeared when we returned to our cabins about 2 hours later. We had a balcony cabin which was clean and adequate for our needs. The food served on the ship was "OK". Nothing special and certainly not we have experienced on other cruises. The buffet at lunch can only be described as bland. The food was cheap and nasty, lots of pasta with no taste and basic salad. There was also a pizza bar and burger/hot dog bar which we chose most days. The best bit was an ice cream stall which was always busy and had very good choices. The general toilets smelled and didn't seem to get cleaned daily. There didn't seem to be many staff around, serving in the bars and many times you had to wait ages to get served. There were many different nationalities on board and we heard many people complaining about having to deal with the pushing and shoving in lifts and the no queue regime when waiting to get a drink or sit down for dinner! We did not have the time to attend any evening performances so cannot comment on these. We did a trip at every port we stopped at and these were absolutely brilliant. Once off the ship, they were well organised and great fun. Disembarkation was easy and on the whole, we were happy to leave. We were told that Armonia is one of MSC's old ships but this does not excuse the cleanliness and the poor choice of food. We paid a lot of money for this holiday and we would not sail with MSC again. There are far too many cruise companies out there to choose from!
Cabin was smaller than other cruise ships, but was ok for the amount of time you were in there.
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