I was looking for something special for my birthday trip but had specific dates.
I searched and found the Havana Cha Cha Fly Crusie from Melbourne, with three nights in Mexico City including the Pyramids and City tour all flights, the cruise and one night on land in Havana.
It was perfect, places we had not visited, the right dates and price.
After booking, I was concerned after reading some very negative reviews, I gave MSC right of reply and they said not to worry, the ship is good, some minor technical issues due to Havana being a third world port but enjoy the experience, so we boarded with an open mind.
The ship is lovely! very clean, lots of different bars and cafes, something to suit everyone from a party on the Lido to a quiet martini in bar Duomo, where we were given snacks and amuse Bouche before dinner.
As on all ships they were doing painting and maintenance every day, it is a small ship but it was very good.
Now I confess we had a suite and we felt it was one of the best suites we have had on a cruise, it had a walk in robe and a bath tub! (we have cruised with many cruise lines in many countries).(I am not comparing to the 5 star cruiselines) My only gripe here is the only amenities in the bathroom are hand soap, shower gel and shampoo on the shower wall and a shower cap, none of the nice little extras.being in a suite we had robes and slippers.
Another big gripe for most people was that the water is not potable but unless you have the top beverage package you have to pay for water in your room.
Having the all inclusive package we took water up from the bar, but I do feel drinking water should be a given.
We spoke to people in Balcony cabins and they were happy with theirs too.
There were two restaurants The Pergola on deck 6 where we were allocated with "My time dining" for dinner and the Marco Polo on deck five where we had breakfast.
The wait staff were mainly Indonesian and lovely. The food was good, not gourmet and this could be due to lack of fresh supplies in the area.
The buffett is chaotic like most are but there was a nice selection of fresh salads, and vegies and if you missed the breakfast in the restaurant there is a fresh egg station and pancake and waffle station just outside the buffet so you dont have to brave the actual buffet. They also have nice pizza and decent hamburgers and fries all day, so plenty of selection.
There was lots of entertainment and fun on the Lido Deck, a couple of shows each night in the theatre (Only drawback, the compare says everything in five languages which is why there are no comedians or movies!!)
I would say the passengers were 50% Italian, 25% Hispanic, and the rest a mix of French and German with a few Brits and even fewer Aussies. Made for fun conversations using sign language.
The crew all were multilingual and very helpful and cheery.
The cruise itinery was a bit dissapointing, Havana is amazing and a must visit but Montego Bay and George Town were not much and could have been skipped. I would have rathered been docked for two or three nights in Cozmal instead, as we did the full day trip to Tulum (amazing) and didn't get to go snorkling or do other activities there.
So I have no problems recomending MSC, and the Armonia, not sure I would recomend this itinerary though.
Like verything you get what you pay for, MSC is not a five star cruise line, and very good value, and we would travel with them again, but as with this cruise opt for the suite.
Large cabin with walk in robe and a bath tub. Clean and comfortable.
King size bed, sitting area and desk and balcony