A group of 26 ladies from our hometown sailed on the Armonia for 7 days. Port stop of Cuba, price, and recommendation from one of the cruisers brought us to the Armonia.
The ship was clean and the service in the restaurants and bar was excellent. The crew truly seemed happy to be there and wanted us to be happy. In terms of service, I would compare it to Azamara. We were able to go between the suite restaurant (Le Pergola) and the MDR (Marco Polo) due to our large group. The menu was the same so the only difference was in atmosphere. Much quieter and quicker in Pergola but we wanted to eat with our group at night so we ate in Marco Polo most nights. Food was better than I was expecting so I was pleased. Was it as good as Azamara and Celebrity? No, but it was good and I did not go hungry. We had $125 OBC from our travel agent but it was lost. MSC doesn’t split it between the 2 passengers. They put it on my roommate’s card and she did not spend $125. Silly us, we thought the credit card would be credited and then she was going to settle up with me when we got home. As we were exiting, my roommate was pulled over and told that OBC not used is lost. On other cruise lines, OBC from travel agents is credited back if not used. I spent money but because it wasn’t credited to me, I also lost my half. They would not move the OBC to me. Every announcement in 5 languages did get annoying but I was prepared for it. The production shows were excellent and the singers were very talented. Lots of music in several venues at night but it was all very, very loud. So loud, we ended up leaving the bars.
Itinerary. Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Cuba. In our documents, it said to check in at 3:00 but we went about 12:30 and walked right on the boat. Sail away was always listed as 7 pm but at check in we were given a new itinerary which had sail away at 6 pm, Costa Maya instead of Cozumel, and arriving in Cuba at 2 pm instead of 1 pm. In Montego Bay, we booked an excursion with the ship for rafting down the Martha Brae River. It was a bit of a drive but the floating down the river on the bamboo rafts was cool however, the excursion made a stop for shopping at the small shop with no other choices around. We wasted an hour and returned at 7 which was the scheduled departure time. Bad way to end a nice trip. Grand Cayman was tendered and we arrived early at 7:30. We had been advised to wait until 9 to get off, letting the shore excursions to clear out. We went off at 9 and were at 7 mile beach at 10. Taxi took us to Calico Jacks and it was packed. Beautiful beach but way too many people. We had to be back on board at 2:30 so we left around 12:30 and back on the ship around 1:15. Would have been nicer to have a later departure. We were able to cancel our private reservation in Cozumel and planned to go to the fishing village in Costa Mayo. We were scheduled for 9:30 arrival but docked late due to high winds. We didn’t get off the boat until 11 so the group decided to just stay in the man made port. I have not been to this port in several years. It has turned into a tourist trip. Cuba, the reason we took the cruise. Guest Services contacted us and advised us that we needed to make a choice between our afternoon excursion and The Tropicana as there wasn’t enough time to do both. Disappointing. We cancelled the afternoon excursion and just walked about the old town. Going through the Visa process and exchanging money was very easy. Excursion to the Tropicana did not disappoint. Next morning, we did the Vintage Car tour and it too was an excellent excursion.
Departure was organized and I was off the ship and in my car quickly.
Overall, I had a great cruise because I was a part of a fun loving group of ladies. MSC was better than I was expecting and I might cruise with them again but only if The Yacht club is an option.
My roommate and I booked a suite for a nice price. With a suite you get Anytime dining, room service without a charge, but mostly a larger room. The room was nicely laid out, plenty of closet space, and room steward was good. There was not a table on the balcony so we couldn’t eat outside. There was a strong paint smell at times, we heard scraping of chairs above us at 6 am and late at night. When we were sailing in strong winds, a loud whistling sound came through the sliding glass door (most nights). We stuffed tissues along the door and mostly stopped it. Room service was advertised as free in a suite. That merely meant the service charge was waived but if you wanted eggs and meat, you had to pay $8. False advertisement in my opinion. Beds were very comfortable but towels were thin and not plush like we find in many suites.
Tour by Vintage Cars was excellentView All 251 City Tour Reviews
Excursions were good. Had to cancel a 3rd excursion due to a time issue on the ship's end.View All 82 Tropicana Cabaret Reviews
River Rafting was cool and but did not enjoy the shopping stop. We arrived back minutes late.