After baking this cruise through a travel company, i got access to the MSC traveler website. it wasnt working for the first 3 weeks! At one point I called them, and they nicely told me they could only talk to me after my travel agent called them. Once the payment had been made in full, much of the information about the cruise disappeared from the website. 2 months before departure date, the itinerary appeared, showing the jamaica port had changed.
The MSC Armonia is a smaller ship, but is clean and not overly fancy. They work hard to keep it clean and it seems to work. The staff is very helpful and attentive. We had a fantasia suite which allowed us to have dinner at the La Fogolata (or something like that) restaurant at the same table each day. I like that. We had the same table and waiters the whole cruise. Speaking of food, the food is prepared well and presented nicely. The portions are fancy restaurant portions. However, you can have additional food, all you do is ask at no charge. The variety was good, plus they have standard food you can order if the selections of the day don;t interest you. The buffet is open all the time, except from around 2 a.m till around 630 a.m. The buffet has everything from soup and salad, to pizza, pasta and burgers and also fruit and desert.. Drinks are $6 each or more, if you want something specific, it will be around $10 each. The wait staff is very nice and friendly in the bars.
The fantasia suit is tight if there are more than 2 people in the room. There is a walk-in closet, with drawers and a shelf above the hanging space. There are built in shelves in the walls, hidden by doors, so there was plenty of clothing storage for 3 adults.(impressive) The bathroom is a typical size for a ship, however there is a deep tub. It would be tricky for someone with limited leg or hip mobility to get in and out. Lots of storage in the bathroom for toiletries.
We didnt go to any of the shows. It looked like they were acrobats. Not a fan of those, so we didnt try to go. One night the cruise staff sang broadway hits with scenery showing behind. I guess that may have been fun, but not to my taste.
We prebooked our excursions through the website, months in advance. The tickets were in our room the second morning. However, no description was provided. So, i remembered some of what was to be seen or done, but there was no info provided with the tickets. Once I went to the excursion desk to see if I needed a towel for the river rafting cruise, they guy assured me I wouldnt get wet! Its a river, so of course I would get wet. He didnt offer me the written info about that excursion, he just answered my question. The river tour on inner tubes was a nice way to spend the day, A few rapids, but nothing scary. And the tour guides were there to help even before you knew you needed help. great guys!
When we booked our cruise we were to go to Montego Bay and I booked the zip line tour for my adult son in Montego Bay. I had done that zip line and it was awsome. MSC changed the Jamaica destination from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios without advising us in advance. I had also been to Ocho Rios in the past and was not impressed. Prior to MSC changing that destination, I booked the excursions. The Ocho Rios zip line apparently is not worth the money, and had it not been for climbing the falls, that whole excursion would have been a waste of time (according to 42 year old son). I think MSC should have handled this better, We went on the Deluxe Beach break in Cozumel. Don;t waste your money. The bus drops you off and tells you they;ll pick you up at a specified time. You are on your own to find the beach, a chair, umbrella or cabana which apparently was not included in the $90 purchase price. The cabana is $55 with a $25 refund. The cabana is a mattress that has a rubber covering (like a baby mattress) and 2 pillows. The top of the cabana is shadecloth and the sides untie to provide more shade. Rubber and sweat and skin or sand is not a good combination. Snorkling is limited to a very specific area and their mayan ruins in the ocean is man made out of concrete. We got one free drink and never saw the waiter again. The food was a buffet (they said it had a value of $30) and it was pathetic. Chicken nuggets, like McDonalds serves, noodles with what was supposed to be alfredo sauce, tiny ribs, pulled pork, and rolled tortilllas that were supposed to have pork and cheese inside, but did not. Drinks at the buffet included 4 juices, probably generic koolaid.
In Havana, we did the Hemmingway and Rum tour. Interesting info about Havana and Hemmingway on the bus to the hhemmingway home. There was no guided tour of the Hemmingway estate, it was self led. The rum factory tour did not happen since the factories are closed on Saturday. We did go to a store where we could by rum and cigars. We also were taken to 2 bars for daquiri's Interesting and fun, but another MSC Cruise tour bus was also at the bars so it was really crowded and loud. Sunday we went on the Cigar and Rum tour. Remember, factories are closed on weekends. We did tour the Havana Club and they gave us a tour of the model of the rum factory. There were samples of rum. Then we went back to the store we had been to on Saturday for purchasing rum and cigars. We never got to see how cigars are hand rolled. Then, we went to one of the same restaurants from Saturday and learned how to blend cigars and rum into a delightful event. That was interesting.
The casino is small. The 11th floor pool deck is where a lot happens. It is loud and crowded in the evening. We stayed mid-ship on the 10th deck and could hear the bass while walking down the hall almost to our room. The last night, they cleaned the 11th floor deck, and it was loud in our room.
The cruise itself was nice, i was disappointed in their excursions and the way MSC ignored the changes to the excursions as described.
cabin was smaller than expected but they have a lot of storage in the cabin. If there is 2 people in the cabin, it would be fine. But 3 adults, there is very little space especially when the sofa bed is open.