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We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Cuba and accepted that the MSC Armonia was not going to offer all the facilities of some of the other cruise lines mega ships, but the price we paid reflected this and we also had 2 complimentary Cuba excursions included in the price. Embarkation at Miami was swift though do ignore the stated check in time, ours was 4.15pm but from reading previous reviews you could board far earlier than this and we were on board by 1.30pm. Our cruise had 650+ Weight Watchers on it, so the same cruise as a previous reviewer but our experience was totally different. We have travelled with MSC in Europe so had some idea what to expect on board in terms of staff, facilities, food and drinks etc, though the large number of Americans on board made for a friendly cruise, as they were polite, knew how to stand in line and are the opposite of our European cousins who push and shove and never say thank you when holding a door open for them. We never went hungry and you could always find something good to eat in the buffet, our Marco Polo dining room was good but we do know that MSC food portion sizes might not sit well with some US guests. Our servers were great and after telling them our drinks preferences on the 1st night every time we sat down for dinner they delivered 2 glasses of wine, a beer and a bottle of water to get us started and these were topped up as required. We had purchased the Easy Drinks Package which worked well for us, we had no extra charges added and apart from the lack of a brandy as a spirit option, we never went short and it saved us a considerable sum since you don't pay the 15% service charge. Our cabin was an Ocean Obstructed view (7098) and a look at the deck plan when booking seemed to indicate that we would have just the very back of the lifeboat in view, this was the case and a small metal walkway but we could clearly see the sea and it let in plenty of light. This was compact and there is a lack of cupboard space, but for 2 people it was fine and the bed was large and comfortable, for 7 days it was fine, since it was clean and everything worked and our cabin lady was always smiling and ready to talk. The cruise director, Miquel was excellent with frequent updates on what was happening around the ship and when docking, I think he was ex-Disney Cruise Line and it showed and unlike Europe there were plenty of sun beds around the pool, as guests took their towels away when they left as opposed to leaving them all day on the beds. We visited Belize City, which involved a 5 mile tender ride which was very well organised, Costa Maya which is a man made tourist trap with prices far higher than in Cozumel where we docked right by the town and this gave you the opportunity to explore the area if you were not on an excursion. Cuba was great. We enjoyed a lovely sail in under blue skies and then we had 2 free excursions that involved visiting government sponsored locations with the inevitable stop off at souvenir shops. The 2nd one where we visited the fortress across the bay and then enjoyed a trip around Havana with a stop off for a rum drink was the best and it gave us a taste of Havana, we then had 3+ hours to wander around on our own. As ever, it's a taster and you can then decide if you want to return at a later date for a longer stay. Bearing in mind the large number of people on these excursions, with different language tours it can become a little busy as the meeting point is often the theatre, but if you follow the instructions and chill a bit then you are soon on your way and our guides were both good and their English was fine for us, far better than my Spanish. So, if you have done all your cruising with RCL, DCL, NCL or Carnival then you may find this ship too small and not American enough in terms of service and food, but remember how much you actually paid and also this was the chance to step back in time and visit a country pretty much unchanged since the 1960's, If this means the odd 1st world problem along the way then just get over it, before you know it you are back in Miami where nobody moves for less than an 18% tip. Happy sailing.

Another good cruise with MSC

MSC Armonia Cruise Review by jezzaR

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Cuba
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview Stateroom – Bella
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Cuba and accepted that the MSC Armonia was not going to offer all the facilities of some of the other cruise lines mega ships, but the price we paid reflected this and we also had 2 complimentary Cuba excursions included in the price.

Embarkation at Miami was swift though do ignore the stated check in time, ours was 4.15pm but from reading previous reviews you could board far earlier than this and we were on board by 1.30pm.

Our cruise had 650+ Weight Watchers on it, so the same cruise as a previous reviewer but our experience was totally different.

We have travelled with MSC in Europe so had some idea what to expect on board in terms of staff, facilities, food and drinks etc, though the large number of Americans on board made for a friendly cruise, as they were polite, knew how to stand in line and are the opposite of our European cousins who push and shove and never say thank you when holding a door open for them.

We never went hungry and you could always find something good to eat in the buffet, our Marco Polo dining room was good but we do know that MSC food portion sizes might not sit well with some US guests. Our servers were great and after telling them our drinks preferences on the 1st night every time we sat down for dinner they delivered 2 glasses of wine, a beer and a bottle of water to get us started and these were topped up as required.

We had purchased the Easy Drinks Package which worked well for us, we had no extra charges added and apart from the lack of a brandy as a spirit option, we never went short and it saved us a considerable sum since you don't pay the 15% service charge.

Our cabin was an Ocean Obstructed view (7098) and a look at the deck plan when booking seemed to indicate that we would have just the very back of the lifeboat in view, this was the case and a small metal walkway but we could clearly see the sea and it let in plenty of light. This was compact and there is a lack of cupboard space, but for 2 people it was fine and the bed was large and comfortable, for 7 days it was fine, since it was clean and everything worked and our cabin lady was always smiling and ready to talk.

The cruise director, Miquel was excellent with frequent updates on what was happening around the ship and when docking, I think he was ex-Disney Cruise Line and it showed and unlike Europe there were plenty of sun beds around the pool, as guests took their towels away when they left as opposed to leaving them all day on the beds.

We visited Belize City, which involved a 5 mile tender ride which was very well organised, Costa Maya which is a man made tourist trap with prices far higher than in Cozumel where we docked right by the town and this gave you the opportunity to explore the area if you were not on an excursion.

Cuba was great. We enjoyed a lovely sail in under blue skies and then we had 2 free excursions that involved visiting government sponsored locations with the inevitable stop off at souvenir shops. The 2nd one where we visited the fortress across the bay and then enjoyed a trip around Havana with a stop off for a rum drink was the best and it gave us a taste of Havana, we then had 3+ hours to wander around on our own. As ever, it's a taster and you can then decide if you want to return at a later date for a longer stay.

Bearing in mind the large number of people on these excursions, with different language tours it can become a little busy as the meeting point is often the theatre, but if you follow the instructions and chill a bit then you are soon on your way and our guides were both good and their English was fine for us, far better than my Spanish.

So, if you have done all your cruising with RCL, DCL, NCL or Carnival then you may find this ship too small and not American enough in terms of service and food, but remember how much you actually paid and also this was the chance to step back in time and visit a country pretty much unchanged since the 1960's, If this means the odd 1st world problem along the way then just get over it, before you know it you are back in Miami where nobody moves for less than an 18% tip.

Happy sailing.
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Cabin Review

Oceanview Stateroom – Bella
Cabin O1 7098
Compact with a shortage of hanging space, but is was very clean, everything worked and the bed was very comfortable. We had an obstructed ocean view but only had a the very end of a life boat and some metal steps in view, so we could see plenty of the sea and it let in lots of light.

Our cabin lady was excellent.
Topazio Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins