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MSC Armonia Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
387 Reviews

Our first Caribbean cruise was enjoyable but we may try another cruise line next

MSC Armonia Cruise Review by jolynnschmidt

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2019
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom

This was our second cruise with MSC. As we live in Southwest Florida, it was wonderful being able to arrive early to begin the embarkation process. Once we used the self-service machines to load money onto our board account, we wandered around the ship a bit before grabbing lunch at the buffet. The buffet was chaotic and the food was not to our tastes. My husband is European and I am American and we dined at the buffet at least once, if not twice, a day during our entire seven-night cruise and we both found the food to be bland and unappetizing. Food that should be warm was room temperature and food that should be cold was room temperature.There also always seemed to be an unpleasant smell radiating throughout the buffet dining room. The one positive, however, was the wait staff working the buffet were usually friendly, despite the everyday chaotic work environment.

For the price of our balcony cabin on deck 9, the room was more than adequate. Our cabin steward, Marion, was so kind and friendly! We found that on both of our cruises with MSC, the cabin stewards are the hardest workers and the friendliest staff onboard. Practically every cabin steward would greet us, morning or evening, with a smile and greeting. The only issue we had with our cabin was a nauseating smell that we sometimes encountered. MSC should replace the cleaning agents and soaps with a citrus scent to help. We encountered a few rough sea days and the sewer smell certainly did not help with motion sickness.

The pool area was large and clean but crowded. Many guests would leave their towels on the sun loungers for the entire day, without ever having used the loungers. The ship only had two hot tubs and they were also always crowded.The dance lessons by the pool were entertaining. We also went to the theater five of the seven nights. We found most shows entertaining, but compared to our cruise last May on the MSC Musica, the entertainment was not as enjoyable. On every night but one, we dined at La Pergola restaurant and Amil was our waiter. He was fantastic! However, most of the food was very bland. We would recommend choosing the salads, Indian dishes and ice cream.

We traveled to four ports of call: Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico and Costa Maya, Mexico. We enjoyed the ports, especially Ocho Rios and Cozumel. We booked a snorkeling excursion through MSC in Georgetown and that was enjoyable. We also booked the Chacchoben Mayan ruins excursion and that was also fun.

All in all, our cruise was a good value for the money but we will probably cruise with a different cruise line with better food offerings and friendlier guests onboard.


jolynnschmidt's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom

For the price of our balcony cabin on deck 9, the room was adequate. Our cabin steward, Marion, was so kind and friendly! We found that on both of our cruises with MSC, the cabin stewards are the hardest workers and the friendliest staff onboard. Practically every cabin steward would greet us, morning or evening, with a smile and greeting. The only issue we had with our cabin was a nauseating smell that we sometimes encountered. MSC should replace the cleaning agents and soaps with a citrus scent to help. We encountered a few rough sea days and the sewer smell certainly did not help with motion sickness.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios is a lively port of call with a beautiful atmosphere. Hired a private taxi for $30 per person for the day. He took us to the Blue Hole, the Taj Mahal shops, a public beach, a scenic lookout and he gave us a small informational tour of the city.

Snorkeling

Our original shore snorkel excursion was cancelled so we booked the Reef and Wreck snorkel excursion. Our guide was friendly and it was a great first-time snorkeling experience. However, compared to our spontaneous snorkel trip that we ended up booking right on the pier in Cozumel, this excursion seemed over-priced and we enjoyed the snorkel tour in Cozumel more. After the excursion, we walked around Georgetown for a few hours and did a little souvenir shopping before returning to the ship. For us, Georgetown was a "once and done" port of call.

View All 340 Snorkeling Reviews
Cozumel

Beautiful port of call with very friendly and hospitable people. Plenty of shopping and dining opportunities. We absolutely loved snorkeling with the Amigos snorkel company, located right off the pier!

Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

Our tour guide, Letizia, and our driver were wonderful. Our tour bus was brand new and the excursion was very well-organized (in contrast to our previous MSC excursion last year in Athens, Greece). We always wanted to visit Mayan ruins and this was the perfect port of call to do so, as we found the rest of Costa Maya too touristy and inauthentic.

View All 418 Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Reviews

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jolynnschmidt
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