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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We are one of the people who were affected by the travel ban to Cuba. We had booked a 7 day cruise with MSC for ONLY the reason that they offered a 2-day stop in Cuba. Of course, it wasn't their fault that travel to Cuba was banned ... Read More
We are one of the people who were affected by the travel ban to Cuba. We had booked a 7 day cruise with MSC for ONLY the reason that they offered a 2-day stop in Cuba. Of course, it wasn't their fault that travel to Cuba was banned 2 weeks before our cruise but while other cruise companies offered full refunds and other great options (like moving your itinerary AND getting 50% off your cruise), MSC's "fix" was not anywhere as generous. We could have changed our itinerary (but with no fantastic perk like 50% off) and seriously considered it as other than Cuba we were not excited about our itinerary and had just done a similar itinerary last year with another cruise company. However, my husband was excited about a 48-hour excursion we had booked and paid for, so we decided to go ahead and give the cruise a try. The excursion, which was the only reason we continued with the cruise after Cuba was off the table, ended up being cancelled at the very last minute and the excursion desk at MSC was rude and cold in their response to our disappointment. At one point, my husband and I had 3 excursion employees shaming us, holding up a print out of their excursion policy and making us feel terrible. And this was after my husband had been very calm, concise and articulate ~ we weren't attacking anyone, we just wanted to salvage our cruise experience. No one at MSC expressed any concern for our disappointment and instead blamed us and made us feel stressed. We did try to keep our chin up and found a way to enjoy our time together but we will never use MSC again and encourage others to think twice before spending your hard-earned money and vacation time with a company that works with an attitude that does not put customer's enjoyment first and foremost. My husband truly feels our vacation was wasted :( and that is not a great feeling. On the bright side, the day-to-day staff on the boat was kind and helpful. They always had very good fresh fruit and bottled water was complimentary with our drink plan. The other vacationers were wonderful and many where as disappointed as we were so we at least had some sympathetic ears. The boat is small and not good for people who suffer from sea-sickness. The boat is also older, shabby and not-updated. The food was mediocre and sometimes less than mediocre. We heard many great things about other cruise companies like Royal Caribbean, Princess and Norwegian (even Carnival). All of these companies offered generous compensation to customers who had booked itineraries to Cuba and helped disappointed customers adjust to the unexpected and disappointing changes in their vacation plans. Save your money, increase your chances of a positive and fun cruise experience ~ Do Not Use MSC! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My experience on MSC was different from what I typically experience on other cruise lines but I still had a good experience. Getting on and off the ship was very easy and quick. The staff was always friendly and helpful. It was very ... Read More
My experience on MSC was different from what I typically experience on other cruise lines but I still had a good experience. Getting on and off the ship was very easy and quick. The staff was always friendly and helpful. It was very easy to navigate the ship but sometimes you had to walk through one of the dining rooms during dinner to go from point A to point B which was a bit strange. Food in the dining room was good. I was able to try new fish I had never been offered on other cruise lines. We also enjoyed the pizza and gelato. I did miss the chairs on the lower deck which is where I typically hang out. I also missed watching movies poolside. I did not observe people being chair hogs. MSC has everyone with a scheduled excursion to report to the theater. It was very chaotic and not clear what you were supposed to do when you arrived. In Ocho Rios, we did the Brimmer Hall Plantation Tour with Beach & Lunch. It was an hour drive to the plantation. The demonstrations were interesting but rather than pull us around on a trailer they could do those near the house. The plantation itself wasn't very impressive nor was the beach or lunch. I enjoyed the Best of Caymen in Georgetown. We visited a turtle farm, Hell, and a rum store. The Best of Cozumel was OK. After the English guide presented his info, the Spanish guide then repeated it all. We spent too much time at the history museum and not enough time at the chocolate museum. At the tequila store, they actually gave everyone a taste of 5 different kinds. I did not schedule an excursion in Costa Maya. It's a nice port for shopping and hanging out. I did not attend any of the evening shows. They were all music and dancing type productions. I had put in a request online for an extension cord and distilled water for my CPAP but never received any response so I brought my own. While sailing with MSC was a different experience than with other cruise lines, I enjoyed my trip and would sail with them again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Embarkation/Disembarkation: We chose this cruise because of the overnight in Havana and because we had a very good previous experience with MSC. We were celebrating our 30th anniversary. We left out of Miami and it was the fastest and ... Read More
Embarkation/Disembarkation: We chose this cruise because of the overnight in Havana and because we had a very good previous experience with MSC. We were celebrating our 30th anniversary. We left out of Miami and it was the fastest and easiest embarkation we've experienced. Our assigned check-in time was 2:30, but since we had to be out of our hotel room at 11:00, we arrived at 11:30. We dropped off our luggage, parked the car, and walked across the street to terminal F. We had priority embarkation with our Aurea experience, but it wasn't necessary. Before noon, we were on the ship sipping a drink. we sat at the forward pool bar with the best bartender at sea, Ryan Felix! Disembarkation was just as smooth as embarkation.We were in the first group called because we chose the Aurea experience. We walked off the ship, picked up our luggage and headed to our car. We had to meet with customs the morning of Key West, so there was no customs stop in Miami. Drink Package: We had the Premium Plus package which is the most inclusive package. While we may not have drank our money's worth, and I didn't bother to do the math, it was so nice to get water, specialty coffees, smoothies, specialty bottled juices, mini bar items, and any alcoholic beverage with no worry about paying a bill. I will definitely do this again. You also save the service charge when you purchase the package prior to embarkation. An extra 15% really adds up. We gave an additional cash tip to our regular bartenders at the end of the week. Spa: After our drink, we headed to the spa to book our appointments. We each had a massage included as part of the Aurea experience and I had pre-booked the Golden Jasmine package. I definitely recommending booking spa services in advance. Even with some specials thrown in during the week, the advanced purchase prices were significantly lower. We had massages or other treatments by 4 different spa staff, and each one was excellent! The only negative I have concerning the spa is the thermal area. There is not much there and it is quite small compared to other ships. One steam room was functioning correctly along with 4 heated loungers. We usually visit this area everyday when we cruise. We only visited once on this trip. When we told staff in the spa that several features were not working they pretty much said. "Oh, well. We get it fixed and it works for little bit and then breaks down again." At least they're honest? This and the Top 13 Private Solarium are the only areas where MSC really needs to upgrade and the only real disappointment on the Armonia. My husband used the gym daily and said that it was adequate. Cabin: At 2:00 an announcement was made that we could enter our staterooms. We headed to 1225, Aurea Suite. The cabin was spacious and comfortable with a tremendous amount of storage space. We loved the walk in closet and additional cabinets. There was plenty of room to store our belongings out of sight. I still would call this a deluxe balcony, not a suite. Our stateroom attendant, Emmanuel, was excellent! He kept the ice bucket and mini bar full and our stateroom immaculate. The bed and furnishings were in good shape and very comfy. The bathroom was average, but did have a bathtub. The balcony felt slightly larger than the norm, but we wished for more comfortable chairs. The dividers rattled at night and we remedied that with a little duct tape! It is an older ship and these little things give that away. There were very loud noises from the solarium above at night that interfered with sleep. On the last day I asked one of the solarium attendants, Sean, about it and he told me that they move all of the chairs at night and clean. He seemed very concerned and said that they are to move the furniture very quietly. That night, I didn't hear a sound. I only wish that I had said something after our first night! Anytime we mentioned a concern the staff was eager and efficient in trying to resolve it. I would choose this stateroom again. I gave it a 4 rather than 5 rating because of the balcony noise and chairs and the fact that it was not a true suite. Emergency Drill: This was fairly quick and easy. We needed to carry our vests from our cabin but were not required to wear them. Guests who did not attend were required to complete it the following morning. Dining: We ate in La Pergola restaurant for dinner every night. This is the anytime dining venue for Fantastica and Aurea guests. The hostess, Brenda, was wonderful. The first evening we had dinner at 8:00. It was very busy and the tables for 2 are nearly touching. My husband has poor hearing and we could not have a conversation. I spoke with Brenda on the way out and she promised a quiet, more intimate table if we could arrive at 6:00 each night. We did and it was perfect! If you like a quiet dinner, 6:00 is a great time to eat. Our waiter was Anil. He was very attentive and efficient. He always knew to bring our bottled water and favorite wine as soon as we entered the room. He made wonderful suggestions and made sure that we were happy with everything we ordered. You are always free to order more or to change your selection if you do not enjoy your selection. The servings are smaller than on most ships serving the Caribbean, but every meal was more than I could eat! I have read complaints about both the quality and quantity of food on this ship, but we did not find that to be the case. Each meal was delicious, from start to finish. If the portions are not adequate for you, you can simply order more food. We also want to mention the restaurant manager, Gochell. Hopefully I spelled that correctly! He stopped by the table each evening to see if there was anything we needed and to ensure that we were happy with our meals and service. He was very personable and had an excellent rapport with his staff. We discovered that he will be on the Meraviglia with us in November and can't wait to see him again! Most of our meals were eaten in La Pergola. Breakfast and lunch were very good. If it was closed we ate at the buffet or had pizza. The buffet had great salad, fruit, smoked salmon sandwiches, and wraps for lunch. We didn't really eat much there. It always seemed so busy and guests served themselves. I loved the way HAL served guests at the buffet. One of the few things that can ruin a vacation is getting sick. The fewer people touching the food and utensils the better! We enjoyed the pizza, but tried the burger and fries one day and didn't care for them. The gelato was good and a nice touch on a hot afternoon! We gave dining a 4 rating rather than 5 because of the up-charge on the menu for steak and lobster as well as other items that used to be included. The regular dining room menus should be all inclusive. We also took into consideration the buffet service. Bars: The forward pool bar and staff were awesome! Be sure to ask Ryan for the world's best Bloody Mary! It really was the best one we've had! The staff will concoct just about anything you can imagine. Just ask! Some of the same crew worked at the Rum Bar in the evenings. The Rum Bar had wonderful drinks, service, and entertainment. We are early birds and light drinkers, so we didn't venture out too much at night. The San Marco Coffee Bar was also excellent. We had coffee here every morning before breakfast. They also have wonderful chocolate croissants! There is also a smoothie and juice bar located just outside the spa on the pool deck. This was often breakfast or a snack. We loved being able to grab something healthy after all of the overindulging we did! Entertainment: We almost skipped out on the shows because we had read some really harsh reviews. Don't listen to reviews!! I know that sounds funny coming from someone who is writing a review! The nightly shows in the theater were absolutely fantastic! The singers brought tears to our eyes and the acrobats were incredible. They were so good that we went twice one evening! I wouldn't miss it. It can get crowded, so get there a few minutes early. They were not taking reservations as we had read prior to our cruise. We had use of the Top 13 private solarium which came with the Aurea Experience. You can also purchase daily or weekly passes. It was OK. We love quiet and hate fighting for pool chairs, so we did appreciate knowing that we could always find a lounge chair. There was usually staff there who would get you towels or bar service. Sean was one of the attendants and was wonderful! He was eager to assist and he was such an interesting guy! There were only about 6-8 chairs in the shade at any time during the day, so it was hot! You had to arrive early to grab a spot in the shade. They need to put up some type of cover. There were only showers to cool off and handheld spritzers. Another odd thing was that we could smell sewage at times. It depended on the wind. On our last cruise with HAL, we rented private cabanas at the top of the ship. These were covered and offered 2 loungers, a table and 2 chairs with views of the water. We had an attendant and additional chairs on the sundeck for sunning. The butlers brought you beverages, food, and cold towels. They really spoiled us! We really missed this space on Armonia. As far as activities, we missed the art auctions and wine, etc. tastings that we usually enjoy on a cruise. Ports: We took this cruise to go to Cuba. We booked a private tour guide and driver for Saturday and a food tour for Sunday through Strawberry Tours . Two days into our trip, it was announced that US citizens were no longer permitted to travel to Cuba. It was very sad. I cried for 5 minutes and then decided to continue enjoying our wonderful vacation. We were shocked by the behavior of some of our fellow passengers following this announcement. They were yelling and threatening the crew. The cruise director, Miguel was physically attacked. His attacker was arrested when we arrived in port. Some passengers started a petition and lawsuit against the cruise line. We were stunned. On any cruise we know that the itinerary can be changed for any reason. It certainly was not the fault of the crew! It's just part of the deal. Cuba was a bucket list item for us and we were very disappointed, but we were on a lovely ship, eating great food, and enjoying amazing service. MSC gave each passenger a $400.00 OBC, extended our stay in Cozumel, and added Key West. That was generous and it was done quickly. I was so impressed by how well the staff conducted themselves. You could see the stress in the customer service desk staff and the shore excursion staff. They were really being abused by some guests. We only got off the ship in Cozumel. We took a cab, did a tequila tasting, and visited a few beaches. There was so much seaweed that we didn't go in the water. We like our beaches in Florida much better! We did some shopping at the port and headed back on board. We love staying on the ship in port. It's so nice and quiet! No lines for anything! Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle/ Welcome Back Party: This was the best Meet and Mingle! Miguel, the cruise director, and Carlos, the activities director, hosted. There was such a nice selection of finger foods and drinks, as well as a beautiful cake. It was nice to meet some of the staff and the new cruise critic friends we talked with online. We were glad to bump into familiar faces during our vacation. I definitely recommend that you take part if there is a Meet and Mingle on your cruise! Miguel and Carlos had a group picture taken and gave each of us a copy as a gift. The welcome back party was also very nice. There was plenty of champagne, photos with the captain, and wonderful live jazz music. The saxophone player was so talented! I'm sure that was just too much information, but I tried to answer the questions that I had before our cruise. We really enjoyed both of our MSC cruises and are looking forward to sailing on the MSC Meraviglia in November. It will be our first Yacht Club experience and we are really looking forward to it! I wouldn't hesitate to sail on this ship again! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Imran was amazing. My first cruise and they made it very enjoyable especially since we didn’t make Cuba. Food was amazing and the crew was Fantastic. We did have a couple minor issues however the staff and corporate made it right. I ... Read More
Imran was amazing. My first cruise and they made it very enjoyable especially since we didn’t make Cuba. Food was amazing and the crew was Fantastic. We did have a couple minor issues however the staff and corporate made it right. I will be traveling again on the Armonia on October 7, 2019. This will be my second cruise. Food was amazing. Someone said the Lobster was over cooked and mushy. Well over cooked Lobster is like RUBBER. SO that is a false statement. FOOD WAS FANTASTIC AND WE ARE MSC FANS. Costa Maya was probably our favorite spot. Beach excursion was Fantastic. Laid under a palm tree with Tequila and snakes. Wife and I are doing the same cruise itinerary for the most part. Honduras, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Grand Cayman. Highly recommend MSC. Small ship however made it very perfect for a Romantic experience. Will let you know how the second cruise is on MSC. Sure It will be Fantastic Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I continue to read negative reviews of this cruise and I’m left scratching my head. I guess each trip is what you make of it but MY experience on Armonia was excellent. The ship was spotless, classy, and not a spot of rust to be seen. ... Read More
I continue to read negative reviews of this cruise and I’m left scratching my head. I guess each trip is what you make of it but MY experience on Armonia was excellent. The ship was spotless, classy, and not a spot of rust to be seen. The crew was attentive and courteous and our cabin stewardess constantly kept the cabin clean. The food was the best that I have ever had on a cruise and the drinks (I had the Easy package which included drinks up to $6) were excellent. The itinerary was fantastic since it included two days in Havana. Cuba is a magical place with friendly people, old American cars, and beautiful Spanish architecture. I believe that MSC has made a customer for life. I would not hesitate to book this same cruise again or any other MSC ship. Don’t believe the negative reviews and experience it for yourself! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We had an amazing cruise. I give a 5 star for everything. If I had listened to some of the reviews, I would have missed out on this amazing experience. We were the last cruise that was able to go to Cuba and I can express how fortunate we ... Read More
We had an amazing cruise. I give a 5 star for everything. If I had listened to some of the reviews, I would have missed out on this amazing experience. We were the last cruise that was able to go to Cuba and I can express how fortunate we were. We were given a really great room that had a window at the front, and a window at the side. There was a king and a pull down bed in the front room and a sofa bed in the other. The entertainment was top notch. Our teenagers insisted that we go to the shows each night (we didn't miss one). There were all good but our favorite was the Adam's family show. The food was amazing. Seriously, I think the pizza was the best I ever had. The gelato was amazing. We ate in the Marco polo dining room every night and the dining staff took great care of us. Our housekeeper kept our room spotless. If someone has a complaint about this ship, the food, the entertainment, the staff, or anything else, they really don't deserve to go on a cruise. What I liked most was that this was full of people from all over the world-who all went to see Cuba. Arriving in Havana was one of the most exciting experiences of my life (and I travel a lot) They had to translate into 5 different languages, and I like that. We made new friends from Australia and the Philippines. We enjoyed the pub quiz. Karaoke was fun too- the multi talented staff speak so many languages! I wish i had done the dance lessons that the entertainment staff hosted. We missed not having comedy, but you can't make it funny if you have to translate it so I didn't mind that there was no comedy. We did the Hemingway Tour in Havana, and it was so interesting. Our guide was terrific. We got to see outside of Havana, Hemingway's house, and the village where he fished and you do start to understand how poor the people are in Cuba so I am sad that cruises from the USA won't be going there any more. (if you ever get to go- bring money to be generous with! The average Cuban lives on $20 a month! And bring cat food for the street cats you will see, toiletries because people need it, toys for the kids, crayons, whatever- the people appreciate it!. We gave a young man a soccer ball that we brought with us. He was so happy to get one!). The ship may be a bit older but it is fine. I went on Norwegian epic on spring break and did not enjoy it any more than I enjoyed this cruise. It was different but also amazing (I have cruised on Carnival Paradise, Carnival out of Jacksonville, Norwegian Epic and Bahamas celebration, and I loved every cruise I have been on, but this was a particularly special experience. If you are spoiled and a difficult person, don't go on this cruise. The staff are too nice and you don't deserve it. But if you are an adventurous person who likes to meet people from different cultures, and you are a nice and easy going personality, then go! I nearly cancelled our trip because of some of the reviews, and I would have been so sorry if I had. One of our top 10 trips ever! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Decided to try MSC because I liked the sail/stop schedule. Big mistake. HUGE. The ship belongs in the bone yard. Very tired. Balcony doors don’t open. Air conditioning doesn’t work. TV and Internet is a joke. Entertainment is ... Read More
Decided to try MSC because I liked the sail/stop schedule. Big mistake. HUGE. The ship belongs in the bone yard. Very tired. Balcony doors don’t open. Air conditioning doesn’t work. TV and Internet is a joke. Entertainment is horrendous. The food is terrible all the way around, only second to the deplorable, disingenuous leadership of the ship who have no interest in hearing about your issues let alone resolving them. Avoid this ship and cruise line at all cost. It was a complete and utter nightmare from making the booking to settling the bill. This company should stick to transporting what they are good at and it’s not people. Service is clearly not in their DNA. I would not sail with MSC again if it was free. Traveling with a group. We all share the aforementioned sentiments. It was so disappointing to meet up each evening as a group and to have nothing but horror stories to share. I don’t typically write bad reviews but felt compared to share. This should have been one of the most memorable trips for the books. Unfortunately, the memories will not be as I’d hoped. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We booked the cruise because of the 2 days in Havana and we enjoyed the full cruise as well. We had sailed on the Poesia a couple of years ago and we liked the Armonia cruise more. The food was definitely better on the Armonia. The ... Read More
We booked the cruise because of the 2 days in Havana and we enjoyed the full cruise as well. We had sailed on the Poesia a couple of years ago and we liked the Armonia cruise more. The food was definitely better on the Armonia. The Hotel Director on the Armonia went above and beyond and most of the Senior Staff were very friendly and outgoing. Our cabin steward did a good job and we liked our cabin. A major problem I had was with the layout of the ship. I have a small mobility scooter and between different areas of the ship there are a lot of raised bars on the ground. Each time I drive over one it jolts my body and I ended up with a really painful back and really sore spasms. I had to take pain pills and muscle relaxants the whole time. I tried going on the outside deck to get from one end of the ship to the other but it was often blocked off for some reason. The doors are not automatic either and I often had to wait for someone to come along so I could go to the buffet or to get to an elevator. When I told the Hotel Director he was sympathetic and was aware of the problem. He did send me a nice souvenir to cheer me up. Can't beat the value of MSC. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
My first cruise but my wife's seventh we chose this at fairly short notice because we wanted to visit Cuba. Getting on and off the ship were a breeze, we boarded early it took us a total of about 20-30 mins from when we entered the ... Read More
My first cruise but my wife's seventh we chose this at fairly short notice because we wanted to visit Cuba. Getting on and off the ship were a breeze, we boarded early it took us a total of about 20-30 mins from when we entered the terminal until we were on the ship. Just please remember it's a small ship not a mega ship, a great place to unwind and de-stress, having said that there are enough things for kids to do as well. It was a wonderful first cruise for me and my wife said the best she's been on by far, she been on them all. There were a lot of Europeans, South Americans and Aussies on board which made it more fun for us, learning about them and their Countries. MSC converts we are, can't wait for the next one, sooner rather than later i hope. Cabin was nicely laid out, bathroom was large with a bath and the balcony was a good size. Everything was spotlessly clean from day 1 until we left the ship. Our cabin steward, Anna, was amazing nothing too much trouble and always had a smile on her face. We dined almost exclusively in La Pergola which was very good, praise to the Manager and Host Brenda who were brilliant all the time. The food was excellent every meal, in fact after the 3rd Day we had trouble choosing, the Manager asked if we trusted him? We did and he chose our meals almost every day from the on and he didn't disappoint us once. We ate at the buffet on the day we got there and the roast beef was very good. All bars and other eating areas looked to be good as well. The shows were good and thankfully kept fairly short, which in my opinion was all the better for that. Now to the Service we had an extraordinary experience with all staff on board. They were so nice, helpful and happy even when people gave them a hard time for seemingly nothing. There are several people who deserve a special mention, Manooj one of the Officers, Anil Singh and JackyLou Natagoc from the Bar Service staff were all outstanding .They really made the cruise that bit more special with their attitudes, happy faces and outstanding personalities and service. Ports and excursions were all great from cooking Jerk Chicken in Ochos Rios and Mayan Tour in Cozumel. The best port by far for us was Havana, the people were wonderful and really made the place a joy to visit. We did a Hemmimgway Tour which was informative and a lot of fun we had a blast. The second day we did a Classic Car ride in a pink 50's Bel Air again this was great and our driver Jesil took us all over the city. The Architecture of the older buildings in truly wonderful, the Russian era buildings were not as beautiful, of course, however the gave a great insight into how people lived. The Flea Market is a must do it's a short walk from the ship, out of the Port turn left about 5 blocks. There are some wonderful souvenirs here paintings, leather goods, t-shirts and so much more. Don't forget some cigars and rum from a legitimate source. Also please take some candy for the kids there, you give one piece out and 20 more show up. We are also going to take some kids clothing on our next visit. Havana, Cuba and it's citizens have their problems but what a joy they were to meet. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We went on the 7 day RT cruise from Miami. Never cruised with MSC before and actually had pretty low expectations from the reviews, but thought we would go with an open mind because we really wanted to see Cuba and it was a good price plus ... Read More
We went on the 7 day RT cruise from Miami. Never cruised with MSC before and actually had pretty low expectations from the reviews, but thought we would go with an open mind because we really wanted to see Cuba and it was a good price plus we got the Easy drink package and WiFi for free. They will match your status with other lines, so be sure to do that before you go. We flew into Fort Lauderdale and used the ships transfer to Miami. FLL is a Southwest hub and the prices were better than Miami. We had to wait at the airport for a while before they had a full bus to take to Miami. Next time, I would probably just taken a taxi or Uber. One thing I want to note here is that the porters at the Port of Miami are extremely pushy regarding tips. Our bus driver told us the porters would pick up the luggage after it was unloaded and we didn't have to do anything. The porters made us bring it to them and put it on the cart for them and then held their hands out for a tip to "make sure it got to the cabin safely". This sounded like extortion to me and it does not make the cruise lines look very good (even though the porters are Port Authority employees). Our dinner mates were from London and they were appalled by how the porters acted. Embarkation in Miami was super smooth, walked right on the ship around 1:30 pm. This was the easiest embarkation we've ever experienced. I think it helped that they did not process your credit card at embarkation, which was different than I'd experienced before, there was a machine on board that you used to link your card with your room, again super easy, just different. This cruise was only 25% Americans so there were many languages spoken. All announcements were made in at least 5 languages. Also, a lot of people did not show up for the mandatory safety drill, which was frustrating waiting for the crew to round them up while we waiting for them outside in the heat. We had ocean view cabin 9271, it seemed similar to OV on Royal Caribbean's smaller ships. The bed was only a double, I would have liked to had a king, but it was fine, and we knew this before we boarded. The air conditioning in this room did not work very well, I had to contact customer service multiple times to get it fixed, but it did get fixed, and they sent us a bottle of wine and strawberries to apologize, which was a nice touch. Our room steward was very efficient and was friendly. A plus was that we were near the rear of the ship and there was a deck with seating close to our stateroom. We had first seating in the main dining room. Since this is an Italian cruise line, I was expecting good Italian food, but I was disappointed. My husband got the New York strip steak on the standard menu every night, he said it was very good. I got different things, but nothing stands out as my favorite. The service was ok, some nights were better than others, be prepared to order dessert with your meal. We had breakfast in the dining room and it was standard, same thing every day, nothing great. We found the buffet to be always crowded and the choices very limited. But don't miss the pizza out on the pool deck, while some of the toppings were a little crazy at times (like hot dogs, tuna, and many other oddities), the cheese pizza was great, best I've ever had on a cruise. As far as shows, we only went to one and walked out, they are kind of quirky because of so many languages spoken on board. In Cuba, the ship brought in dancers that were similar to the Tropicana, which was nice for people that didn't go on the excursion. We didn't participate in many activities or entertainment. It looked like they had a nice kids program, but we didn't have any kids with us. Overall, the staff was friendly and helpful, very much the small ship feel. They are a family owned cruise line and I got that vibe. They seem to really be trying to win the American market. They are employing experienced people from other popular US cruise lines, which seems to be helping. We only took one excursion from the ship and that was a tour of Grand Cayman, it was fine, no problems, small van with good air conditioning. We went to the sea turtle farm, Governor's beach, the town of Hell (which was disappointing, just a tourist trap), and Tortuga Rum Cake factory. We loved Cuba and were so happy we were able to experience it before the travel ban went into affect. Will definitely go back if it is lifted. Disembarkation was fine, well organized. Our luggage was neatly lined up and waiting for us to pick it up when our color was called. It is important to wait until your color is called, many people did not, so they had to stand there waiting for their luggage, which caused some congestion. We took the ship's shuttle back to FLL, which was very easy since they had crew directing people at the door going out. We went into this cruise with low expectations, but it ended up being a good cruise. We like MSC better than a couple other popular US lines. As long as they have good deals, we will be back. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I Chose this boat because of all the ports it went to. First of all they give you like a 6 hr window for each island, but I said let me just go for it anyways. Embarking was smooth and pretty easy but to disembark it was a hassle. First of ... Read More
I Chose this boat because of all the ports it went to. First of all they give you like a 6 hr window for each island, but I said let me just go for it anyways. Embarking was smooth and pretty easy but to disembark it was a hassle. First of all the ship got to Miami like at 7am which everyone typically is sleeping or just waking up and all you hear is the loud speaker already telling you the process of leaving the boat and what color tags goes first ( I would have liked to wake up to a nice announcement of the typically thank you for choosing us and blah blah) but they basically are rushing you out. The boat on some floor smells like a wet rag like moldy.. My bathroom smelled like sewer or maybe the pikes were old. Overall the cabin was okay and my housekeeper was "GREAT". The food SUCKED, Your best bet was the pizza, hamburger, and hot dogs on the ship. I had the basic beverage package which included some alcoholic bevs but not all the ones I wanted to so I upgraded and they charged me a extra 15% service fee for it apart from the service fee that they charge at the end of your stay. For the drinks I had to say please put enough alcohol in it because u can tell the alcohol was watered down or idk but it just tasted like juice to me (I am not a heavy drinker) but everyone who came with me on the cruise said the same thing. Without exaggerating maybe 80% of the staff was pretty rude or maybe they just didn't like working there. A good handful of the staff that stood out just because they were so attentive and nice. (Deck 11 by the pool, Deck 5 the Bacardi bar, some of the waiters in the "Marco polo") On Sunday morning the crew members had a fire drill exercise and ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL of the announcements were made in the passengers cabins which was VERYYYYYYYYYYYYY annoying. I could keep going on about complaints but I think I've pretty much covered all the things that bothered me the most. Hope this is helpful for people who are considering Armonia. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Like many Americans, I have always wanted to see Havana, mostly because we weren't allowed to travel there. When that changed, I started making plans to find a cruise that had a overnight stay there. The Armonia sailing was 7-nights ... Read More
Like many Americans, I have always wanted to see Havana, mostly because we weren't allowed to travel there. When that changed, I started making plans to find a cruise that had a overnight stay there. The Armonia sailing was 7-nights with an overnight in Havana for less than 5-night sailings on other lines that didn't even include an overnight stop. Having just taken my first MSC cruise last December on Divina, and enjoying that one, I decided to go ahead and book. I'm glad I did because I fear that the powers in Washington will again close travel to Cuba, which would be a real shame. I hadn't been on a ship this small since my first couple of cruises, but I still managed to stay lost half the time! I really like the personal feel of the smaller ships. I'm not a fan of ships so large that you don't even have the time or energy to explore. With having only one sea day, I knew that a small ship would be perfectly adequate. Yes, the buffet is small. No, there's no separate adult-only pool area. But the inside cabin was large enough for my adult daughter and I. The shower was extremely tiny with the result that the shower curtain kept getting pushed out of the way and water soaking the bath mat (we are not super-large women). But it certainly not anything that would keep me from booking the ship again. I didn't not get a drinks package. DD isn't much of a drinker so we figured we wouldn't come close to getting our money's worth. I stuck to mostly beer during the day and wine with dinner. DD had a few frozen drinks. For such a small buffet, the selection was decent. I tend to not eat from a buffet for lunch, so usually had a burger or pizza with both being quite good. Dinner in the MDR was just OK. Nothing really great but nothing that I felt I didn't want to finish. I would've preferred another sea day, as I've been to the other ports multiple times. But I always get off the ship, and since DD hadn't sailed in over 6 years (since her honeymoon), she wanted to get out and do things. But, of course, the real purpose of this cruise was to see Havana. It was everything I'd hoped for. Beautiful architecture juxtaposed with crumbling infrastructure. Gorgeous, classic cars that, on closer look, appeared to be held together with bondo and paint. Good food; friendly people. I loved it and would go back tomorrow if I could. Actually, since I don't have any cruises booked between this October and the next, I've just spent all morning researching and pricing sailings to Cuba for next April or May. I'm just afraid that the travel window to Cuba will be slammed shut and I won't be able to return. So, if you're an American interested in Cuba, I highly recommend that you book now and go as soon as you can because we don't know what's going to happen in Washington. We did ship tours in all the ports except Havana. I typically do not do this, but we wanted to climb Dunn's River Falls in Jamaica, so booked that. Then, DD's husband wanted to buy excursions for us in Grand Cayman and Cozumel, so we did the amphibious bus in Grand Cayman, and the Best of tour in Cozumel. I'd rate both about 3-1/2 stars. For Havana, I booked all our tours with Strawberry Tours. I booked a classic car tour for Saturday afternoon and reserved the entire car (they hold 5 pax) for $99, which was less than MSC wanted for one person. We had a Barbie-pink Chevy convertible. The driver didn't speak much English, but they do point out that you're getting a driver, not a tour guide. If that's what you want, you can add that person for an extra charge. After the ride, we walked back to the ship (only getting mildly lost), showered and changed, and went for a quick dinner (it's open seating on this evening). Then back out for our "free" Nightlife tour. We went to three different bars and had a Salsa dance lesson at the second. It was a fun way to spend the evening. Drinks ranged in price from 3 CUCs to 6. Back to ship before midnight where we all went up and had pizza before bed. The next morning, we did a 3-hour walking tour of the old city, visiting 4 different public squares. It was very hot out there! I personally would've preferred a more leisurely walk with more time to stop and take photos and then less of a history lesson standing out in the sun in the squares, but our guide did try to keep us in the shade when possible. Overall, for the 2 free walking tours, it was a real bargain. I believe I tipped the guide 10 CUCs for the bar crawl and 20 CUCs for the walking tour, which involved a lot more information. I would certainly book with them again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I’ve traveled on MSC Divina out of Miami and loved it, I can honestly say that MSC brought a new level of elegance to cruising in south Florida, but the Armonia is just not up to the standards that Miami cruisers are use to. Even the ... Read More
I’ve traveled on MSC Divina out of Miami and loved it, I can honestly say that MSC brought a new level of elegance to cruising in south Florida, but the Armonia is just not up to the standards that Miami cruisers are use to. Even the cheaper Carnival lines out of this port are better. The air conditioning didn’t work for 2 days Not just in our room but all the rooms in our section. The ship has no insulation to keep out noise. You could hear all the noise from outside your stateroom. Especially from the buffet room above us. We literally had to be given another room just to sleep in one night due to the heat and noise. For this I do give them credit. The Food was always cold and the service is not up to standards that I personally loved about MSC. Unlike the Divina, the cigar bar in the Armonia has no bar, so you have to go out looking for a waitress to get you a drink and bring it back to the cigar room. I’m in the entertainment business and my wife and I loved the shows on the Divina. Totally 1st class. The shows on the Armonia remind me of a refined high school play. This ship needs to be retired or sent to another port where the standards are not as high. We will not be cruising on the Armonia again and don’t expect to refer anyone else either. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I decided to book MSC Armonia because of the itinerary and great price.After reading the reviews I hesitated about this cruise but for my surprise it exceeded my expectations. I had a great time with the Entertainment crew, they were ... Read More
I decided to book MSC Armonia because of the itinerary and great price.After reading the reviews I hesitated about this cruise but for my surprise it exceeded my expectations. I had a great time with the Entertainment crew, they were awesome! Every night was a party, very happy, good vibes cruise. My 9 years old boy was in love with all the Youth activities, this girls were amazing and my kid loved all of them. He cried the hole morning just because he had to say goodbye. He enjoyed every dinner, show and activities with all the kids. My waiter Dewa and his team, the best ever! Good menu and tasted delicious. Beverages had a good price if you do not by the package and you will find different kind of beverages, coffee, tea, milk, juices...all included on the package. Itinerary was excellent and all ports too. Dolphin swimming at Cozumel and all silver shopping at the Costa Maya beach was the most I enjoyed. Cuba is an experience you need to have and make your own opinion. What I liked about this ship is that is was not boring at all, it was a happy environment, like a big family. If you don't like tropical music, dancing and having a good time please, do not waste your money booking this cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We selected this ship because it went to Cuba and our favorite (royal Caribbean) was booked out. I read the reviews of MSC and they were not very good. But we enjoyed the Armonia. Our cabin attendant was excellent - the dining room servers ... Read More
We selected this ship because it went to Cuba and our favorite (royal Caribbean) was booked out. I read the reviews of MSC and they were not very good. But we enjoyed the Armonia. Our cabin attendant was excellent - the dining room servers were also excellent. It is a small ship - therefore the entertainment options are smaller than on the bigger ships. Although the shows used ‘canned’ music the young performers were excellent. They put everything they had into the performance. We had a ‘Fantastical’ cabin ( I think that was what it was called) that was quite large - a full bathtub shower and a balcony. I would recommend this ship to anyone who is looking for good value for the money. The dining room food was average but tasty. The gym was excellent. It lacked a good walking deck but this was due to the ship being small. We liked the excursion options - they suited us. Cuba was our reason for choosing this ship - we did the Hemingway tour and the architectural tour. Both were great value. Although my favorite ship is still the Royal Caribbean I would not hesitate to cruise on the Armonia again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
The ship is obviously older and doesn't have all the bells and whistles as a new big ship. That, being said, the ship is beautiful and well maintained. We have never been on any ship with such outstanding service all around. The food ... Read More
The ship is obviously older and doesn't have all the bells and whistles as a new big ship. That, being said, the ship is beautiful and well maintained. We have never been on any ship with such outstanding service all around. The food was fantastic is the dining room and the wait staff and maitre d's were always on top of everything. Even the Captain and his executive staff were always around, visible, friendly, and very approachable. For the affordable price we paid, this may have been our best cruise yet. The ship is small and easy to navigate. We have never been on a ship where the boat arrives early to the ports, giving us extra time to explore. The ports, Roatan, Costa Maya, Cozumel, and most of all, Havana are all excellent. Havana was clean, safe, friendly, welcoming, and amazingly fun. The overnight there afforded us a memorable walk and an unforgettable night. We want to go back to Havana someday. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We liked the idea that in 7 nights there was only one full sea day with a 30 hours as our last stop in Havana. Havana was the highlight of the itinerary and probably the best port to visit in the Caribbean. The ship docks in the harbor ... Read More
We liked the idea that in 7 nights there was only one full sea day with a 30 hours as our last stop in Havana. Havana was the highlight of the itinerary and probably the best port to visit in the Caribbean. The ship docks in the harbor and it's steps away from the old town galleries, bars and restaurants. The people are very entertaining and welcoming without being overwhelming. Although there is poverty there is no begging and we never felt unsafe. Fellow pax, whose Cuban from Miami, went out with a bunch of gold necklaces and bracelets without fear. Some American pax on a photography adventure, having been there previously went with their expensive equipment without worry. We enjoyed great lunches at about US$60. 2 daiquiris and 2 national beers were $10. The National Hotel terrace should be on everyone's itinerary. There is a HOHO bus that you should use to get acquainted. Armonia is an older ship without grand interior spaces. It has a long pool deck and the loungers and pools did not seem crowded. The entertainment team was energetic and the productions were entertaining. Food was good but not impressive. We had open dining on the Fantastica package. Our servers, Francis and Pravesh were very professional friendly and attentive, excellent team. We Booked about 5 days prior and got an UG from Balcony to suite. We had the basic drink package of up to $6 included. It was good for my partner as he doesn't drink. I UG to premium package and probably broke even since we were in ports for so many days. Either package included water and gelato, I think only mine included espressos and Red Bull and top shelf liquor, some of which got scarce at certain bars. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
This was my first cruise. I chose MSC Armonia due to the itinerary and I am so glad that I did. The moment we stepped foot on the cruise ship, everybody seemed to be smiling and happy and the crewmembers were very helpful. We had one ... Read More
This was my first cruise. I chose MSC Armonia due to the itinerary and I am so glad that I did. The moment we stepped foot on the cruise ship, everybody seemed to be smiling and happy and the crewmembers were very helpful. We had one little hiccup, which was our drink vouchers. When we booked our cruise, it was under the “Fantastica” which included a book voucher for 12 free drinks. We did not receive it at first, however another guest had the same problem and told us to just bring the original paperwork down to guest services and they would correct the issue. After dinner on the first night, we took the paperwork down to guest services and immediately we had are drink vouchers. Other than that, everything was smooth sailing. Our cabin was good size; we had four adult women staying in one cabin. We had two twin beds and two fold down beds and it worked perfectly. The cabin had a nice large unobstructed window and plenty of storage space. It had a small desk area and a mini fridge with beverages that you could buy, we did not buy any of the stuff in the mini fridge but it was there. The bathroom had a small shower, so if you are a large person that could be an issue. However, for the average person it should work fine. Our cabin steward Kavesh, got us extra sheets, pillows and blanket for the room. Kavesh seemed to work non-stop in keeping our cabin, nice and tidy. He was fantastic! La Brasserie Buffet on Deck 11: We ate there mostly for breakfast and lunch. It was pretty much the same foods each day but there were many options to choose from, I had no complaint with the buffet and enjoyed eating there. Also on 11th deck was the Gelateria Italiana – it was where we would go for gelato Ice cream, always refreshing after a hot excursion. Usually there was only three choices to choose from, but still good. Le Piscine Pool area: There were two small pools, two hot tubs and a spray park called Doremi for small kids. There were two ping-pong tables and three foosball tables. The ping-pong tables and two of the foosballs were on the starboard side and one foosball table was on the port side. I did use the gym, which was very nice. The equipment seems to be in good shape and I had no problem using it. It can be very busy at certain hours. I went earlier in the day or later in the evening and it was not busy during those times. They also have a power walking/running track that I used. Again, you want to do this early in the day or later in the evening. If you are looking for water slides, rock climbing walls, etc., this is not the ship for you. Marco Polo Dining Room on Deck 5: We dined here every night except for one night in Cuba. I found the food to be good (not great but good). However, I do think that it does depend on what you ordered. Several of my shipmates had the lasagna one night and none of them liked it. However if you did not like something, our waiter, Edwin, would get you something else very quickly. Edwin tried to make sure we enjoyed our meals. The drinks steward always had our water glasses filled full with cold water and was quick to get any drink you wanted. He also always had a smile on his face. Cafe San Marco on Deck 6: Had very good hot chocolate and coffee. They allowed us to use our 12 free drink vouchers there, if you do not have the vouchers or some kind of drink package you will have to pay extra for it. Going ashore/Excursion: We had no problem and never stood in line for more than 5 to 10 minutes at the most. Even going through customs in Cuba, it was only about 10 minutes to get through. Even though our cruise director did say, it could take up to 2 hours, depending on how many customs officers were at work that day. Isle de Roatan – The MSC Armonia actually docked in Isle de Roatan, the Cruise director had told us before that they had been tendering in but that we would actually dock in Roatan. That made getting off the ship quick and easy, no problems. I did the Mayan Eden excursion; it is a little animal park with a guided tour. Costa Maya – Chacchoben Mayan ruins Excursion Cozumel – Did not stay on Cozumel, took the ferry over to Playa de Carmen and did the Chaak Tun cenote excursion. Cuba – Classic car Excursion and walking excursion. The MSC Armonia is not a “mega-ship” which is something I liked about it. The ship was also kept clean and in good repairs, the crewmembers where also very nice (at least the ones I interacted with). I love the fact that it had so many passengers that were from other countries; it was a lot of fun meeting them. I would say that the ratio was maybe 25% from the USA and the rest from other countries, on our cruise. I would recommend the MSC Armonia. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I did read the reviews but I choose this cruise because of it’s Cuba itinerary. Most Americans reviews don’t like MSC because it’s too European. While I find that to be the same for me, there was other negatives which were more for ... Read More
I did read the reviews but I choose this cruise because of it’s Cuba itinerary. Most Americans reviews don’t like MSC because it’s too European. While I find that to be the same for me, there was other negatives which were more for my experience. These negatives were the following: Food (worse cruise food ever and I have been on a lot of cruises). They had the same items for every meal time at the buffet. The main dinning room wasn’t any better. I tried the speciality dinning $35 plus gratuity (Surf and Turf) wasn’t any better. I had the lobster and it was too much salt. Wasn’t any better. I eat pizza and ice cream a lot. I loss weight on this cruise ( first time ever). I made sure I eat off the ship at every port stop ( which I don’t normally do on a cruise). Staff and Service - the worse I have experienced on a cruise so far. The feeling I got from most of the staff was unfriendly honestly. I honestly believe that MSC needs to take a page from some of the other cruise lines that provide the totally package cruise experience ( just saying) The ship - although dated I didn’t mind that. I liked the design at the aft with the outside public balcony area. The buffet area too small, very difficult to find a table to eat most times. Cabin - I had an interior cabin which very okay except for bathroom too small. MSC doesn’t provide the cruise experience I am looking for when I cruise, so no more MSC cruise for me in the future. Worse cruise experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have cruise 50 plus times on various lines (Carnival, RC, Princess, Cunard, Celebrity, Costa) and this will be our first on MSC. We were a little apprehensive about MSC after reading reviews and this being one of the oldest ships in ... Read More
We have cruise 50 plus times on various lines (Carnival, RC, Princess, Cunard, Celebrity, Costa) and this will be our first on MSC. We were a little apprehensive about MSC after reading reviews and this being one of the oldest ships in the fleet. However all that went away as we checked in for our cruise. We arrived early at the port around 10:30am(we had an early flight). Check in was fast and efficient. We went to the waiting area and after about 30 minutes we were allowed to board the ship. The ship is in great shape and we never saw areas that were run down like others have stated. The decor is what I would call as country club elegant. We headed to deck 11 and the Il Griesole bar (are hangout during daytime). We ordered our drinks and at that point were told we have the wrong drink code on our cards(we had upgraded from easy to premium before the cruise). So I took my paperwork and went to guest services and had new cards printed with the new code ( no problem getting it fixed ). The service all around the ship was fantastic , the bar service was some of the best we have ever experienced . We never waited more than a couple of minutes for our drinks at any bar. The servers walking around the deck were great our glasses were not even empty and they were bringing us another drink (we did tip the first day and I am sure this helped). Christine, Benson, Albert and Rom made us feel special. We had 2nd seating for dinner and on the first night it was 8:45pm and all other nights it was at 8:30. The night in Havana was open seating. There was only one Elegant night (the guests were pretty casual on this trip). I went to see the Matre'd to get a table for 2 and after a tip he said he would do what he could and that our new table assignment will be sent to our room. When we we arrived at our cabin after 2pm our new table as requested was there. We had table 450 and John was a great server very fast fast and efficient.The food we though was some of the best we had on a cruise. ( The pasta was the weak link so be warned). We had an outside cabin and is was small but plenty of room for the 2 of us. The shower is small and the curtain likes to get close and personal but after a minute or 2 you figure out how to menuver around. We have been to all the ports befor so the only port we had arranged anything was Havana. We arrived early around 11am and our tour was to meet at 12:45 and at 12:45 we were leaving the ship waited about 10 minutes to get through passport control, security. We exchanged money (euros) this took all of about 10 minutes. Our ship tour the (Hemmingway tour) was good and took about 6 hours. The next day we went on our own and hired a driver in an old car at the port. He took us to the Hotel Nacionale and showed us other areas we paid $60.cucs for 1:30 minute tour. MSC knows what they are doing and do it well and we can't wait to sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise line for the itinerary. But that did not make up for the terrible experience we had before and during the cruise. We had many smaller issues, but I'll stick with the three biggest. #1 - I paid for the cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise line for the itinerary. But that did not make up for the terrible experience we had before and during the cruise. We had many smaller issues, but I'll stick with the three biggest. #1 - I paid for the cruise upfront, but MSC didn't book me that way and I didn't notice they hadn't charged my credit card. Shortly before the cruise they emailed that they had canceled our booking. When I called, they said I hadn't paid and this is their standard procedure - to just cancel with no notice. Luckily I was able to rebook. #2 - On two separate phone calls, they offered me a cot for my toddler to sleep on. When we arrived in our cabin it was not there. In talking to the reception desk staff, one man told me my daughter should just sleep in bed with my husband and I. After quite a bit of complaining, another woman was able to move us to a room with a pullout couch. #3 - We paid for transfers between the airport and port, both ways. Getting to the ship was fine, but somehow our transfer back to the airport wasn't logged correctly and they had no service for us getting back. I'm still working with them to get reimbursed for services not received. As I said, there were other smaller issues from general cleanliness of the ship to small rooms to internet issues, but these three really made the experience pretty bad. I will not cruise with MSC again, and I would not recommend them to others. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The ship is not giant which I liked, not brand new but clean and in good repair Cabin was good size with king bed and unobstructed window-lots of storage space. In room fridge with beverages to buy-we didn’t but there. We had a ... Read More
The ship is not giant which I liked, not brand new but clean and in good repair Cabin was good size with king bed and unobstructed window-lots of storage space. In room fridge with beverages to buy-we didn’t but there. We had a really comfortable bed/pillows/pleasant room-service on the room was great. Shower that many have made comments on- we did not have a problem-small but just watch the curtain The spa lash pad. Servers were attentive and there were no long waits for bar service, and servers were generally very pleasant. Food- pizza very good, grill hamburgers and hot dogs, fries also very good, buffet I will give a good but leave off the very mostly because I don’t care for buffet food and the hustle around serving yourself. Seated dinner, was well served, good food not gourmet. But considering the price.... you can upgrade but we didn’t Pool area- two pools with deeper areas and section for shallow kiddie splashing-very clean. There is also a great little splash area for little ones fun. Several nice bar areas some with musicians- we liked the rum bar and Carib music. Casino plenty large and some times with lower minimum for betting3-5 dollar blackjack. Casino staff were all pleasant. We went to two evening shows and choose not to spend additional time at them. They were okay not my thing. Activities were available during the day for those who did not go to the shore. We did not partake of any spa service so I cannot comment on them. Going ashore- like many cruise ships precedence is given to those who booked through the cruise line so expect that. In Cuba we got in line an hour ahead of time with plans for a private tour and were shuffled in with those who had a msc excursion so that was nice. I am an American so used to when you stand in line you take turns..with a large group of people with different cultural backgrounds you see the differences here. People cutting in or pushing ahead. MSc staff tried to control bu there are just some who think they should take priority over everyone else and these tended to be non-Americans, sorry but that is my observation. I enjoyed the different cultures all the time except when waiting in line. We met some very nice people. In Mexico be aware people will ask for and expect tips. Ports-costa maya private beach day booked outside of cruise, very quite, very secure, small private resort- included transportation paid ahead of time and bonus no one trying to sell you stuff. This was really a great day. I spoke with someone else who did not have the same experience at another beach resort with the taxi driver demanding a $100 Tip to take them back to port at the end of the day, so play close attention when booking Cozumel-private excursion, discover dive, rum tasting, lunch and Jeep tour-nice dive,, lunch okay, tequila tasting fun but high prices. We bought but probably paid more than it was worth. The guide told us the weather was bad on the other side of the island and kept hinting that the tour would be shorter due to weather. We insisted on the tour anyway and surprise there was no rain or wet roads when we got there. So we ended up a little suspicious about a desire to cute the event short. There is beautiful ocean views and very nice to get away from the tourist area. It was so nice that we are pretty sure that my husbands iPhone decided to stay on the beach there or in the Jeep. It was time to upgrade anyway. Cuba- the reason we booked this cruise. Havana was very interesting and again we booked privately, having the same guide for two days. Don’t miss the classic cars, jazz club, local restaurants. Souvenirs seem to have pretty much set prices. We came away with Panama hats and rum. You will take a hit when exchanging American dollars for CuC. Every one treated us pleasantly and Cuba was a great experience. I would recommend this cruise to others and hope my comments help others.. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary which included an over night in Cuba. We did the 7 day cruise. For starters, embarkation, was smooth with the exception of security in Miami. I had outside food with me and one guy said it ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary which included an over night in Cuba. We did the 7 day cruise. For starters, embarkation, was smooth with the exception of security in Miami. I had outside food with me and one guy said it was ok to go through with it. Then someone else stopped me and said I couldnt go through with it. We told her the other guy said it was ok, they went back aNd forth,then let me get theough with my food only to have someone else come again and say i couldnt. Get it together people yes or no. I got annoyed and threw it away. Everything else went smoothly. The crew was awesome. They interacted a lot with the cruisers.They were entertaining and put on a good show. We went to three shows and we enjoyed each one. Don't expect Las Vegas quality but it was still fun and entertaining. There were other activities like bingo and trivia. Linking room card to credit card was easy via a kiosk located on two decks. No lines. For us the music was excellent. We love salsa, merengue,bachata and there was plenty of that. Ports of call were amazing especially Cuba. No issues with disembarkation except Disembarking in Cuba took a little longer than expected. Money exchange was quick and easy at the port in Cuba. My least favorite thing was the food. We ate at the main buffet and mdr. Food was just ok. Edible. The pizza and burgers were pretty decent by the pool area. Pizza is ItaLian style not Amercan style. Which I enjoyed but wished there was more selection,toppings. One other thing I didn't like was the smell in the bathroom (balcony cabin deck 9). It wasnt always there but sometimes when toilet lid was open it stunk and shower was extremely tiny. I don't know how a bigger person can fit in there. But overall we enjoyed our cruise and would cruise on Armonia again. Service was excellent. Thank you Armonia. Read Less
MSC Armonia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.7
Dining 2.0 3.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.2
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 5.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.2
Enrichment 3.0 3.0
Service 4.0 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.5

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