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1 Helpful Vote
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
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Just finished an MSC cruise on the Armonia to Cuba...I will never be sailing with MSC again. The ship is looking "long in the tooth:" dirty stained carpets, worn finishes, and just all-around looking tired and old. Cabins ... Read More
Just finished an MSC cruise on the Armonia to Cuba...I will never be sailing with MSC again. The ship is looking "long in the tooth:" dirty stained carpets, worn finishes, and just all-around looking tired and old. Cabins didn't have enough outlets, and the crew - while generally "fine" - was not exceptional in any way. In short, there was nothing on this cruise the blew my socks off: not the entertainment, not the accommodations, not the food, not the service. Everything was just kind of "meh." The food in the restaurant was unexceptional at best, and thrown-together at worst. Buffet: way too small for the size of the ship. Entertainment, especially the shows, was mediocre compared to other cruise lines. None of the crew - including the entertainment - appeared happy to be on this cruise, and everyone was simply going through the motions. Worst: we sat on the tender boat to get back on the ship for 45 minutes because their re-boarding process is INCREDIBLY inefficient. MSC isn't ready to do battle with Carnival PLC's cruise lines or Norwegian or RC. Won't be making this mistake again...! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I picked MSC because if the price and I’ve never sailed with them before. I chose the Fantastica room level. Embarkation was super easy and fast! You have to go to a kiosk to put your credit card on your cruise card, just explore the ... Read More
I picked MSC because if the price and I’ve never sailed with them before. I chose the Fantastica room level. Embarkation was super easy and fast! You have to go to a kiosk to put your credit card on your cruise card, just explore the ship and when you see one of the kiosk free pop on. It’s super easy and fast. Food: Food was plentiful and tasty. Mind you, buffets are buffets. The food is not piping hot by the time you find someplace to sit. The dining rooms food wasn’t piping hot either. I think I had one meal that let off a little steam and I was so happy. But despite the Luke warm food, it was all still very tasty. In the dining rooms if you didn’t like something, our wait staff would get you something else quickly. They were trying to make sure we enjoyed our meals. Our water glasses were always full of cold water too (but I think that depends on which area you get). Rooms: I had an ocean view room and it was spacious! I’ve been on 14 cruises and this was by far the roomiest ocean view cabin I had. Plenty of storage spots, if it looks like a cabinet it was. Bathroom was ok - plenty of toilet space and sink space. Shower is tiny with not so fresh shower curtain. Bring your own $1 liner and put it up. Not gross when it’s a fresh new liner trying to get close and personal during your showers. Drinks: with the fantastica package you get drink vouchers. No where on any paper work does it tell you to take the one piece of paper that says **Fantastica Drink ... to guest services. Make sure you do this on embarkation day so your literal vouchers are delivered to your state room. Those vouchers get you one non-premium drink per. I’m not a big drinker so it’s all I needed. Water: bring a stainless steel water bottle and fill up (with one of the cruise cups) with ice and water daily. Tastes great. Or use a voucher for the $5 bottle of mineral (spring) water or sparkling water. Entertainment: I’m going to be honest, the regular theater singers are not that great. If you’re easily pleased you may love it. We started skipping shows because they were poorly directed and cast. The acrobats were excellent, wish there was more of them. Examples... a single dancer or pair of dancers would have made the karaoke like performances pop, some solo songs had all dancers on stage doing nothing and that was a shame, the acrobatic parts were weaved around the staff dancers/ singers which was often distracting and off-putting. The bands/acts in the loungers were amazing! So much better, just pick a type of music you love and stay in that lounge. The onboard event staff were all super friendly and trying real hard to make sure everyone was having a good time - do the events with them. They were great. Cuba: the ship makes it seem you have to do one of their excursions in order to get off in Cuba. This is not true. As long as you are spending money on people to people activities you can get off. Customs doesn’t check that, they only want your passport and visa. The people to people requirement is more for USA citizens. If you get off the ship in Havana, directly across the street from the port is a hotel, in there they have amazing excursions to beaches and all the fun stuff not offered by the cruise line. You can take these! Get Cuban cash before leaving the terminal, there are exchange places at the bottom of the stairs with no lines. Unless you have a credit card that does not originate in the USA you need Cuban dollars for everything. Take that into account when getting your travel cash. Oh and Canadian money didn’t exchange higher than the American dollar the day we were there (people with us were not happy with their Canadian exchange). All in all it’s a small ship with some nice distractions. It’s very relaxing and clean. If you’re looking for a ship with constant activities and partying pick another ship. If you’re looking to relax and just go with a good flow, this ship is a good choice. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I've sailed several times on the Divina and Seaside and was a little hesitant to sail on the Armonia due to her age. Boy, was I wrong! What a great ship! It was absolutely in tip top shape and the staff were all so friendly and ... Read More
I've sailed several times on the Divina and Seaside and was a little hesitant to sail on the Armonia due to her age. Boy, was I wrong! What a great ship! It was absolutely in tip top shape and the staff were all so friendly and helpful. Our cabin steward Jasna seem to work none stop in keeping our cabins clean and stocked. The food was fantastic and the NY Strips were thick cooked perfect. The only thing I was disappointed in was the shrimp Cocktail's. Our waiter Rony gave us great service and made recommendations that were always right on the money. The main entertainment was mostly musical's, not really my cup of tea, but the skill of the performers was top notch!! I'm more a set in the Bar and listen to a singer or small group. That's where I spent most of my time. I went to Guest Service's several times with a question or request an they handled them all very quickly. I have sailed about 16 times and for me this size ship is what I like best. I have always enjoyed RCCL's Grandeur but this may be my new favorite. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
MSC Armonia vs MSC Meraviglia, old vs new, small vs large, Caribbean vs Mediterranean So far this year I have taken two MSC cruises -- on the beautiful new Meraviglia in the western Mediterranean and on the nicely refurbished Armonia in ... Read More
MSC Armonia vs MSC Meraviglia, old vs new, small vs large, Caribbean vs Mediterranean So far this year I have taken two MSC cruises -- on the beautiful new Meraviglia in the western Mediterranean and on the nicely refurbished Armonia in the Caribbean (including Cuba). Both cruises were very enjoyable, and each ship has its strengths and weaknesses. This review is a brief comparison of both. The bottom line is that I prefer the newer larger Meraviglia for transatlantic and other itineraries with many sea days because of its stability and numerous onboard venues; and I prefer the older smaller Armonia for port intensive itineraries because of the excellent personal service in the dining room and public areas. The Armonia is the oldest and smallest ship in the MSC fleet. It was enlarged some years ago and was nicely refurbished more recently. Like most older ships, the cabins are a bit smaller and there are fewer balconies than on the newer ships. The fewer number of passengers on the Armonia is a definite advantage in the public areas and theater. More important, the service is more efficient and more personal, especially in the main dining room. Although the menus are comparable, the quality of the ingredients is better in the Caribbean than in the Mediterranean, probably because good meat and produce are so much cheaper in the USA (Miami) than in Europe (Genoa). The exception is fish, which was always the best item on the menu in Europe but was cooked until dry (American style) in the Caribbean. Both ships suffer from an old-fashioned buffet layout, with straight cafeteria-style lanes that make for slow going. The Armonia buffet area is too small for a ship of its (later enlarged) size, but extra dining areas have been set up on the open decks. The dining room service on the Meraviglia was disappointing not because of the wait staff but because of the enormous size of the dining rooms. My table was so far from the galley that delivery was quite slow -- I tended to order fewer courses than on other ships just to save time. Also, passengers in Europe did not respect the dining start times, but wandered in gradually during the first half hour. As a result, the Meraviglia waiters did not even take orders during the first 20 minutes, and this was further slowed by the waiters' bulky touch screen order pads. In addition, the wait staff work station for my table on the Meraviglia was located up some stairs and around a corner, so I was invisible to the wait staff during most of the meal. Last but not least, passengers on the Meraviglia are not allowed drinking water with dinner -- if you want anything at all to drink with your meal, even water, you must buy it. That would cause a mutiny in US waters. Both ships have MSC's philosophy of unbundling services and charges, to the point of having different levels of service and different fares for otherwise identical cabins. Airlines now do the same, so this is not surprising. For economy-minded cruisers like myself, this is fine. One related frustration that I experienced on both ships was that delivery of a pre-purchased drinks package (coupons) was delayed for two days on each cruise and was proffered only after a few calls and visits to the reception desks. Make sure you take your pre-cruise documents to prove what packages or services you paid for prior to your cruise. Perhaps my favorite thing about both cruises is that MSC offers reduced prices to solo travelers and very reduced prices for late bookings on some itineraries. You may get a little less gourmet dining than on some cruise lines, but the pleasure of a MSC cruise is equal to almost any of the ten other cruise lines I have sailed. In summary, MSC offers great values on very enjoyable cruise ships. Give it a try if you find the right itinerary at the right price. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Ironically, MSC never sent me a post cruise survey, and I am truthfully not surprised. The first big red flag for me was the cleanliness of the ship. My stateroom was not as clean as it could have been. I had to take my sanitizing wipes to ... Read More
Ironically, MSC never sent me a post cruise survey, and I am truthfully not surprised. The first big red flag for me was the cleanliness of the ship. My stateroom was not as clean as it could have been. I had to take my sanitizing wipes to wipe down my room, as their was some sticky substance on the desk. I also noticed that the buffet table servers on this ship NEVER wipe down tables after people are done eating in preparation for the next group to sit down. They would always remove the dirty plates and cups but NEVER wiped the table down with a sanitizing substance. Cleanliness is not a priority on this ship! The bed was like sleeping on a cot. The air conditioner in my room was also not working, so 5 out of 6 nights I woke up in a night sweat. The thermostat said 65 degrees, but it was more like 74 degrees. This was extremely frustrating, especially after being in the Cuban sun all day. Second, the food is gross, and there is minimal variety day to day. The lasagna looked like dog food, smelled like fish food, and tasted unlike anything I ever put in my mouth. Just gross!! The food in general had no seasoning and very bland. The Margherita Pizza is really the only thing that has potential. Other than that, you will be eating pizza with Tuna or Vienna Sausages on it. And the soups come in many unique flavors, such as Peach Soup…Never had it in my life, but it was disgusting too. Even the French Fries lacked flavor. The piglet roll (never heard of it, and no it is not a pork loin) tasted like a wild boar. Bottom line, unless you want to eat a salad 3 meals a day for 6 days, you will be VERY hungry by the end of this cruise. The hostess' in the dining room had terrible attitudes. If you asked them anything other than the location of your table, you got a nasty response. #horriblecustomerservices You will never know what time it is on this ship. I only saw 1 clock on the entire boat, which is by the bar, outside the buffet. No clocks even on the elevators. I flipped through every channel on the television looking for the ships time. Usually the a cruise director will even include time changes in the announcements… NOPE. The casino is also horrible. One of the first red flags was there are no ticket cashing machines, which means the only way to get your money is to go to the cage. This is a sign that they never plan on paying out any money, and you know what… they did not. I played almost every night of the cruise, and never saw 1 jackpot being paid out. I also played (and lost) over $2,600 in this casino and still had to pay for coffee. Only casino players understand my complaint here. Most ships will at least comp small purchases such as coffee if you play over a certain amount in their casino. Instead I got 30% off my next cruse with a $200+ credit to use within the next 9 months. Why would I pay 70% for a cruise to have a dirty room, starve, only to loose thousands of more dollars? No thank you! Only plus for this cruise were the shows and the shore excursions. The production shows were nice. But other than that, nothing else to do on this ship except play BINGO for $20... and that only gets your 1 game. The shore excursions were nice, and I feel I got great value for my money. Bottom line, pay the extra $200 to go to Cuba on another cruise line and enjoy yourself. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This review will be long. I am an experienced cruiser; with this being my 14th cruise. First time and last on MSC. I have cruised in the past with Carnival, Holland, Norwegian, Royal Carribbean and Windjammer. I travel frequently and ... Read More
This review will be long. I am an experienced cruiser; with this being my 14th cruise. First time and last on MSC. I have cruised in the past with Carnival, Holland, Norwegian, Royal Carribbean and Windjammer. I travel frequently and generally expect some hiccups when traveling by air, boat, or car. I would describe myself as pretty tolerant and not difficult to please. We cruised from Miami on the MSC Armonia on 4/2/19. I booked this cruise and paid in full in January 2018 and we chose the Fantastica package based on the offers with it (drink vouchers, free room service and room choices). I booked directly with MSC by phone. We choose room 7055 with the category of ocean view. Embarkation was fast and smooth. I was impressed we had very little wait time and were on our ship quickly. We were told our vouchers for drinks would be in our stateroom. Staterooms were available by 1:30 pm. That where the disappointment started. No drink vouchers in the room. Our room was very tiny. That is ok, we don't spend much time there. The problem is our ocean view window was in actuality an obstructed view. Clearly the deck plans and category is listed (and priced) as ocean view (indicated on the plans as dark green) and not an obstructed view. Armonia has installed a large net off the bottom of the 8th floor that extends down and across our entire view from our room on the 7th floor. It was clearly there for a long time. I will try and attach picture. This net made it impossible to take any pictures from our window. The bed was large and comfortable. The shower was ridiculously small, with a shower curtain that "sticks" to your body when you shower. The hair dryer was useless, not enough power to dry your hair so bring your own. Those small issues we ignored. The room view I was unhappy with so we went to the desk to voice our complaint. We initially had a long line, but a guest services agent asked us in line what she could do to help. We gave her our issues with not receiving drink vouchers. I had called about this with MSC the day before departure. My fantastica experience was supposed to include 12 vouchers per person. I guess they are discontinuing these on 3/31. Well when I purchased it was advertised. It also was clearly listed on my eticket I had just printed a week before departure as "included in your cruise". I showed this to the first agent we talked to. Her name was Nadia. She said she would take care of the issues and check back after 6pm. Long story short it took 2 days to get the drink vouchers and MULTIPLE trips to the front desk where we had to explain all over again what the issues were. First you get met by a blank stare, then "I don't see any of these issues documented", then the longer you stand there they "find it", and tell you "to come back later, another day, no rooms left etc. It took 4 days and multiple trips to come to a conclusion. At one point on day four just as we are about to leave ship for port we were contacted and told we could move to another ocean view room 7001. Thankfully I insisted on seeing before packing everything up. After waiting 40 min for someone to open the room for a look I discovered this new "ocean view room 7001" didn't even have a window in it. No door to outside, it looked just like an interior room. What a waste of time. Eventually they offered 100.00 in compensation credit. We balked because I already knew the obstructed view rooms were 100.00 less per person. I paid 200.00 more to get that ocean view that really wasn't. By that evening on day four we were told that they would compensate 200.00 total for our cabin. We were told multiple times the ship was full and no other rooms available but met a couple who told us on embarkation that they were asked if they would like to upgrade to balcony rooms. I feel we were lied to multiple times and put off in hopes we would just give up. Our rooms was kept spotless by our steward. We appreciated that. The shows I saw prior on this forum were rated as poor. We actually really enjoyed them. The acrobats and entertainment were amazing. The bands in bars and public areas were frequent and enjoyable. We really enjoyed the variety night by the crew. The pool was clean and temperature comfortable. The hot tub was a disappointment as well. There were two onboard. They held 4 people each for a ship of 2000 that was not sufficient. The last two days on board one hot tub was drained and never refilled. We did not buy any MSC excursions. We purchased our own directly from a vendor before departure. We took an old car tour while in Cuba. There is paperwork you have to fill out in advance for Cuba. You do have to pay 75.00 pp to get a visa to be allowed to disembark in Cuba. We enjoyed Cuba very much and were overnight in that port. Some confusion on if cigars are allowed back into the US. Law says yes but I saw a couple stopped when boarding by the Cuban officials telling them they were confiscating them because they were not allowed. Money is easy to exchange as soon as you get off the ship in the terminal. You can change it back again if you have any left over. Cozumel with spent the day relaxing at Chankanaab Park. 12.00 for two people in a cab to get there. Cab drivers like to gouge and charged the same ride back 15.00 for two people. Grand Caymen we spent the day at Royal Palms beach club. 2.00 entrance fee pp. 5.00 pp taxi ride there. Very nice beaches there, but you will pay 15.00 for a chair and 15.00 for an umbrella. Now, the food. I am not a picky eater. My husband is. But even I felt the food was very poor in the buffet in particular. It was often seen two days in a row. The food choices were not huge. The buffet items were often empty. The carved meats were doled out in the size for a child. The breads were good. The pizza was excellent. The grill was the staple for my husbands cruise. The dining room was better, but not a huge menu either. The service in the dining room was excellent. The buffet area was too small for the number of passengers. It was always crowded and hard to find a seat and if you did the table was dirty and you had to wait for someone to wipe it off. The staff in there seemed overwhelmed most times. We never got a visit asking for drink orders in the buffet area unless we sought one out or went and got it from the bar ourselves. Once I got a waiter for a drink on the pool deck when I stopped one. Otherwise, we had to go to the bar and get our own drinks. Other ships I have been on have multiple wait staff walking around getting orders on the pool deck. The fantastica package says free room service. Literally the only thing free with that was 3 sandwiches, 2 salads, 1 soup, cookies, brownie, fruit plate or continental breakfast. I ordered mild and cereal and my milk cam heated up in a teapot. ? The full breakfast and dinners came with additional 7.95 service charge. I didn't use it. Not sure why fantastica has "free room service" on their offer. There does not seem to be many public bathrooms on board and those we did use were not kept clean frequent enough. The most used ones definitely smelled like urine. Sinks not kept tidy and papers on the floors. Disembarkation was smooth and quick, we carried off our own luggage. All in all the ports and entertainment we enjoyed. I will not cruise with them again, due to the issues that took too long to resolve. There is no reason to book a higher level experience if they do not deliver on the benefits. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first cruise with MSC, had been on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess before. We chose this cruise for the Itinerary, Havana. We also found this cruise less expensive than other cruises to Havana. We came with our ... Read More
This was our first cruise with MSC, had been on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess before. We chose this cruise for the Itinerary, Havana. We also found this cruise less expensive than other cruises to Havana. We came with our children and small grandchildren, age 1 and 3. First, the Ship: It is a smaller ship to be able to get in the Cuba port. We chose the Fantastica Package which put us on the 8th floor with a Window. I liked that the window had a bay and right over the bed so nice to look out in the morning with our coffee. Room was spacious, similar to most of the cruises we were on, bed exceptionally comfortable. Had frig with mini bar. We bought the Easy Package for alcohol which is worth it, included well drinks, Heineken and Miller beer, house wines, bottled water, fruit juice and cappuccino. The pool area was very nice with plenty of chairs. They had a splash pad for the kids which was same area as pool so it worked to enjoy the pool and stay with the kids. The Food: We found the food to be very good. We ate in both the dining room and the buffet. Nice variety of options for dinner. The grill was very popular. Enjoyed the pizza, hotdogs and hamburgers. I had lobster the last night which was additional $20.00, was not that great. Would probably just stick with the regular menu next time. The Service: I found the service on the ship exceptional, everyone smiling and helpful. Our cabin steward Carlos was excellent. We did not find any wait getting drinks as I saw in previous posts. The waiters in the restaurant exceptional. The SHOWS: We saw two shows that were probably the best we have seen on any ship. In Havana, a local band and dancers came on the ship and the music and dancers were exceptional. The Itinerary: We came primarily to see Cuba. The ship arrived around 2:00 pm. We had pre-booked a tour with MSC, the Cultural Sightseeing & San Jose Market. We book in advance which saved 20% which is worth it. We chose this because we had read so much about taking the MSC tour versus on your own. You do not have to do an MSC excursion but I feel this gave us a very good view of the city. We were on a bus all through the city with several stops for picture taking. Very nice large air conditioned and well organized. After the tour we stopped at the market which is walking distance to the ship. We could have stayed out till late but chose to come back after the tour. The next day, we were pretty oriented to the area and our group of 6 got in a 1955 convertible taxi for $25.00 to the city center. We walked down Obisbo street which was loaded with shops, tourists, restaurants and found this the highlight of Havana. The people in Havana are very friendly. It is a very poor country but residents can now own businesses so we enjoyed supporting the people. Overall, this was a top rated cruise Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We selected this cruise specifically because we wanted an overnight in Havana Cuba. This ship sailed out of Miami with stops in Honduras, Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, and Havana. Havana did not disappoint. We took a classic car ... Read More
We selected this cruise specifically because we wanted an overnight in Havana Cuba. This ship sailed out of Miami with stops in Honduras, Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, and Havana. Havana did not disappoint. We took a classic car tour around the city. It was great to see. We had been to the other stops in the past so not quite as special, but we really had fun on the Fury Snorkeling Catamaran excursion we booked in Cozumel. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise, the crew, the food/entertainment, and the excursions. We had a balcony room which allowed us to be in a more intimate dining room. The Dining Room manager and servers MADE the cruise for us! Very attentive and provided fantastic recommendations and personalized service. We found all the staff to be great. We never waited long for service and they were always pleasant. For the constructive feedback, the ship is well maintained, but it's age/size is reflected in fewer options for dinner, small casino, and small gym with no dedicated space for fitness classes. The only significant disappointment was the Honduras BFK Beach Break excursion. The time was cut in half due to tender/transport issues resulting in many crabby customers. We will look for an opportunity to cruise MSC again in the future! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise for the 2 day stop in Havana Cuba and because the price was so low. We loved the ship size, the excellent entertainment and great food. The staff was friendly and attentive and the inside cabin was the right size. For ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the 2 day stop in Havana Cuba and because the price was so low. We loved the ship size, the excellent entertainment and great food. The staff was friendly and attentive and the inside cabin was the right size. For an older ship it was in great shape and well cared for by the crew. Look forward to our next cruise on MSC. You can’t beat this cruise line for the price. Lots of activities on the pool deck. One evening they brought aboard entertainment from Havana that was excellent. The ship also had free gelato on the pool deck. Many menues with music and games thruout the ship. We attended and enjoyed all the entertainment in the theatre. The ships staff put on a variety show that was very funny and entertaining. We met many guests from around the world and enjoy talking with them and learning a little of their country. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
To start, I would be consider myself a cruise junkie. I booked this cruise for the Cuban experience. Cuba was what I expected. Something of a visit back in time. Just a caveat, everyone seam to have a different opinion than me. Most ... Read More
To start, I would be consider myself a cruise junkie. I booked this cruise for the Cuban experience. Cuba was what I expected. Something of a visit back in time. Just a caveat, everyone seam to have a different opinion than me. Most travelers I spoke with seem to like Cuba. I didn't like nor dislike Cuba. Cuba was indeed different. I would consider myself someone who appreciate differences in cultures so the fact that it was different in many ways was enough for me to conjure up enough enjoyment to give it a passing grade. Cuba doesn't take the dollar nor do they accept credit cards. It has two types of currencies with two different values. As for the Armonia. I booked room 1106, This is a suite on the 10th deck. The first thing I noticed was if had an an obstructed view which was not advertised when I selected the room. The balcony does not have a functional handle to re open the sliding door once out on the the balcony. My wife had to leave the door partially open so she could get back into the room. I took two excursions. The dune buggy (Roatan, Honduras) tour which advertised "two" to a buggy. At the excursion we were told the excursion was oversold and 4 had to share 1 buggy. I conceded. The next day was a classic car tour "Cuba". The excursion advertise 3 to a car maximum. We were told at the start of the tour 4 had to share a car. The one absolute negative was the experience I had in the bar made so famous by Ernst Hemmingway. It was overcrowded and no regard to fire codes. I spent approximately 5 minutes in the bar and MSC tours kept bringing tourist in. It wasn't safe. I suppose MSC sanction these excursions and wonder if the're aware what their subjecting their passengers to. I didn't confront MSC staff about the issues. I simply relented. Again most the passengers seem to enjoy the overall experience. My enjoy came from the wonderful staff working so hard for my enjoyment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This is the 2nd time we sailed MSC. We have sailed many other cruise lines and this was definitely not our favourite. The ship is dated and really needs to be updated. There is a lot of sitting areas which is a plus. The buffet area is ... Read More
This is the 2nd time we sailed MSC. We have sailed many other cruise lines and this was definitely not our favourite. The ship is dated and really needs to be updated. There is a lot of sitting areas which is a plus. The buffet area is very small and not much variety in the selection if meals. The food was not very good there and it was very hard to find seating. The dining room food was much different and the food was very good and always hot. The interior stateroom was very small and the shower was unbelievably small. We had a great chambermaid and did an awesome job. I find the ship is geared toward European travelers and I believe that this will have to change if they want to become popular with the Americans and Canadians. It was very annoying to have things said in so many languages. I have been on board other cruise lines that don’t do this. We did not do any excursions so I cannot comment on these. The pool area is very large. This is a plus as many of the newer ships are getting smaller pool areas. All in all it was a very relaxing cruise but there are many things that can be improved. I hope that with the newer MSC ships, there are improvements. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Calling on Havana Cuba was a plus. Ship personnel did a very good job explaining what to expect from Cuba's government authorities when ship arrived in Havana. MSC must concentrate on improving quality of buffet offerings plus ... Read More
Calling on Havana Cuba was a plus. Ship personnel did a very good job explaining what to expect from Cuba's government authorities when ship arrived in Havana. MSC must concentrate on improving quality of buffet offerings plus dinner menu items. Quantity without quality will not cut it. MSC can turn an average cruise into awesome by focusing on improving the meals. I give the ship high marks for having a wide choice of activities throughout the day. Entertainment was fair because there was no special entertainment such as a comedian, magician or a person or group with exceptional musical talent. Cabin was clean with comfortable bedding. Generous storage space. I have nothing but praise for the wait staff, guest relations and bar service in public lounges. Many public places to hang out. Writers of reviews must have eaten some extremely sour grapes. I have taken forty five cruises using at least eight cruise ship companies and while MSC does not a five or six star rating I will consider a MSC cruise in the future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Many people have criticised this ship, I say trust website’s summary ... more accurate than the negativity, of which there is so much we almost didn’t go. Given it’s one of the few with a Havana stopover we decided to go, and I’m ... Read More
Many people have criticised this ship, I say trust website’s summary ... more accurate than the negativity, of which there is so much we almost didn’t go. Given it’s one of the few with a Havana stopover we decided to go, and I’m glad we did. Not the most modern ship but the facilities are good, the staff helpful and kind, the cabins very comfortable and clean, the dining areas painstakingly cleaned several times times a day, and although the food was hit and miss some of it was actually very good particularly lunches with lots of healthy options like fresh and crunchy salad. This is a budget cruise and you get what you pay for. So I’d say almost 10 out of 10 for value for money and a great cruise itinerary. Favourite place we’re the stern decks, very peaceful as main pool deck could be a little noisy. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
There are many cruise ships that sail to Havana but not all spend an over night in port. We checked the fares on all ships and MSC was the most reasonable. Plus I just had a friend who came back from this same cruise who could give me ... Read More
There are many cruise ships that sail to Havana but not all spend an over night in port. We checked the fares on all ships and MSC was the most reasonable. Plus I just had a friend who came back from this same cruise who could give me insight. Even though all the reviews said this was an old ship, it was clean and staff very friendly. It is a smaller ship and with that you do have less amenities. Since the ship was not crowded this was not too much of a problem. We did not have kids with us but there was a lego playroom and a spray pool water area for kids to play in. Other ships have more amenities for kids but this didn't concern us. Our only complaints would be the size of the shower in the ocean view staterooms. They are tiny and we hated the curtain sticking to us. The other complaint was the lack of dinner seating options. Since we were only "fantastica" level, we could not have any time dining. Apparently if we were the next level higher we could have dined any time. So we had a choice of a very early sitting around 6:15 or a late seating at 8:30. We chose the later one so we could spend more time in the ports and watch the sunset as the ship sailed away. The sittings coincided with show times but we found we were only able to eat dinner 3 times in the dining room because of our sitting time. The shows were entertaining and even though this is an Italian ship, most crew knew enough English. It was interesting hearing the announcements in several different languages. Most staff were fluent in several languages. The only excursion we took through MSC was the Tropicana in Havana. It was a bit pricey but we were glad we did. There were several busloads of MSC passengers and our seats were not bad. In fact the dancers came right down our aisle and my husband posed with one of them. We also got a bottle of rum per 4 people and a can of coke each. Several people had told us we could just take a taxi there and pay the entrance fee. It took awhile to get there and street lighting was very limited. We were glad we had booked the tour. The ship provided us with the visa forms and tourist cards which all Americans must have. The fee for Americans is $75 each. However since this ship departed from Miami, it was considered an American tour ship. This meant non-Americans had to pay a fee also but it was reduced to $40. We booked a 6 hour tour of Havana through Blexie tours which I would recommend. Our guide Rollie spoke perfect English and his uncle drove us around in his '58 Chevy. We saw a lot of Havana which is larger than we thought. Very interesting city to visit. Bring small cuban coins to use bathrooms and convert American dollars into CUC since some places do not accept American dollars. I would sail on MSC again. They also match your cruise rewards from other ships which was a perk for us. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our family's first cruise. We chose MSC due to the itinerary. The sailing dates matched nearly perfect with our high school kids spring break, and we were going to be able to visit one of our bucket list destinations, ... Read More
This was our family's first cruise. We chose MSC due to the itinerary. The sailing dates matched nearly perfect with our high school kids spring break, and we were going to be able to visit one of our bucket list destinations, Havana, Cuba. Arriving in Miami around 1:00 pm, embarkation began for us immediately. The bag drop service was very simple and quick. Entering the terminal, things were very organized, signs and employees directing you, answering questions, and providing general help. We entered the long line, but it moved very quickly, about 20 minutes until we were at a window checking in for our week. Prior to stepping on the ship, we pass through security, and our kids cards were mixed up. The security officer told us that we needed to go to guest services on the ship and have new cards printed (he kept their cards). Once onboard, we were a bit confused as where to go, but after a quick question to one of the eager crew members, we were directed to guest services and the problem was solved. Once we found our cabins and unpacked, we decided to explore the ship. We had read that this ship is MSC's oldest in their fleet. We have nothing to compare it to, but the only thing that looked as though needed some updating was the carpeting. The ship is not a "mega-ship" which we were excited about, as we didn't want to be onboard with 5000+ people. this ship was only approximately 2000 guests and 600 crew we were told. The ship to us seemed to be a “no-frills” ship. There were several bars, a small casino, two small pools, a splash pad for little kids, a basketball court, and a mini golf course. If you’re looking for water slides, rock climbing walls, etc, this is not the ship for you. The ship was always kept clean. I was amazed at the fact there was never any garbage lying around. However, it seemed as though there were no garbage cans for public use anywhere except the restrooms. When you had something to throw away, you needed to either carry it with you to the restroom, or drop it off at either a bus station in the restaurants or bar. The poolside bars were convenient to grab a drink, but they were extremely slow. I did not see any bar staff taking drink orders and bringing drinks to you on the sundecks. Many times we waited longer than 7 minutes for a drink. Unless you were ordering an unmixed drink (vodka on the rocks for example), the drinks had a very light pour. We did not purchase a drink package, but we did book the “Fantastica” and were given a book of drink tickets (12). After the tickets were gone, we used our cruise card to purchase the drinks. We saved about $160 for our cabin and another $400 for our children’s cabin. The casino bar had much faster service. The Bar del Duomo was fun as well, as a lot of different parties and activities were centered here. Again, bar service was slow, even if the bar was nearly empty. I fully understand that the typical “frozen drink” takes time to make, but a 6-7 minute wait time for a vodka/soda is a bit absurd. We did not drink in the Bacardi Rum bar. We did not drink in the Coffee Bar with the exception of one cup of regular coffee. The shows in the Teatro La Fenice were good. The shows were a variety of different shows, singing and dancing, acrobatic, comedy, audience participation. Each night had multiple showings at least 2, sometimes a third different show later to accomodate all who wanted to see a show. Food: We had read many reviews prior to cruising that the food was mediocre at best. I disagree. For us, living in Chicago, it is difficult to travel and get the same quality of food that is available for us in the restaurants here, so we do not expect much when we travel. Additionally, my wife has dietary restrictions (gluten free) that need to be maintained. Pizza Bar: My kids and I all thought this was good. They serve pizza from immediately after the breakfast hours until approximately 1:00 am. They serve a variety of thin crust (NY Style) pizza that are good. The one exception that I experienced was the pizza with cut up hot dogs on it that they attempted to pass as a “sausage pizza”. For breakfast hours pizza bar served forms of a breakfast pizza (did not try), pancakes, waffles, donuts. Burger Bar: Again, my kids and I thought this was great. Same hours as the pizza bar. Burgers, Cheese Burgers, Chicken Sandwiches, fries, and all the toppings all day long. For breakfast hours, burger bar served made to order omelets. Buffet: The buffet seemed to always be open. Two sides to it, during breakfast and lunch both sides open. During dinner, only one side was open to serve. Many options for all meals. Lots of fresh breads, salads, sliced meats, hot choices, a carving station. We all found food to enjoy at the buffet. Desserts were also very good here. Marco Polo Dining Room: We ate here all nights except one. Two seatings, we chose the 2nd seating (8:30 pm, local time whatever time zone you’re in for the day). Food here was mostly good. The wait staff were slow to start the cruise, but it did improve. Our table seemed to be slow, and we found out later it was because one person was new, and didn’t know the routine yet, and they were also short staffed by a body for that area as well. The wait staff were able to allow my wife to choose her meals for the next night the day before so the chef could ensure they were gluten free. The menu had choices which were on it each night, in addition to items specific for the theme of the night. Portion sizes were very appropriate. Be prepared when ordering to order your appetizer, entree, and dessert all at the same time. The crew members of Armonia are all or at least appear to be extremely happy, ALL the time. The energy level of the entertainment crew is unmatched by anything I’ve ever seen. The long hours they work, and the energy they bring to the parties, shows, and general attitude of the ship is truly amazing. Excursions. Since this was our first cruise, we decided to book all excursions through MSC. After cruising once, I would rethink that. Each excursion in each port had a meeting time and place where the crew members would organize the groups and get you to your ground transportation. Relatively simple process, but did seem to run slow. In Roatan, the ship provided a tender boat service, so that took a bit longer since people were being taken off the ship only about 120/boat. In Roatan, Honduras, we opted for the BFK Beach and Lunch. This was to include a 30 minute bus ride to a boat, where we’d be on the boat 5 minutes. The bus ride turned into over an hour long ride due to road construction. At one point, i observed our tour guide give the bus driver some money, and all of a sudden the driver was making a much better effort to move us forward. Once we got to Big French Kay, lunch was served which was very good, and we enjoyed the beach experience. The long bus ride gave us limited time at the beach (only about 2 hours instead of 3 as advertised) before it was time to get back on the boat. The bus ride back to the ship was much quicker, only about 30 min as the road construction had stopped for the day. Costa Maya, Mexico we opted for the Mayan Ruins at Chacchoben. This tour was a full motor coach bus with wifi and air conditioning. The hour long bus ride, followed by a 2 hour tour of the ruins, and then a hour long bus back to the ship was just too long for our family. We felt that we could have rented a cab for the drive, walked the grounds for 30 min, and then driven back in the cab again, and saved ourselves 90 minutes. The pyramids are interesting, and big, but the time to value ratio just wasn’t worth it in our opinion. Back near the ship, Costa Maya is full of tourist type shops and restaurants. We overpaid for a lunch (about $100 for for of us with NO drinks at all). We were told by other cruisers that they took a cab to town, at lunch and ordered a bucket of 10 beers for $65. Rookie cruiser mistake here. We would have gladly forgone this stop for extra time later in Havana. Cozumel, Mexico we decided on the “National Geographic Snorkel”. We had heard the waters near Cozumel were great for snorkeling, so that’s what we decided on. At first glance, the boat was certainly nothing fancy. I was expecting a larger catarman, but ended up with an older “pirate style” boat. On board, the crew were very nice. Equipment was provided and instruction given on how to use the equipment. The excursion included three stops to dive in, as well as drinks after we were done. While the water was extremely clear and warm, the snorkeling was average at best. Havana, Cuba was our family’s favorite stop (and I am guessing the rest of the ship as well). Day one in Havana, we opted for the Hemingway tour. This was disappointing as the Cuban government and American governments were not allowing Americans at the Hemingway house. We were able to see the rest of the tour though, included to bar stops with drinks included, and a bit of a walking tour. Our tour guide was great and gave a lot of information about Cuba and it’s history. Day two we opted for the Classic American Car tour. This tour was a bit misleading. We thought we would be in a car, with a driver touring around Havana for 3.5 hours. In reality, we were in a car (all 4 of us, plus a driver), and part of a smaller group of cars. In one of the other cars was an English speaking tour guide. We made 4 stops along the tour, where we would get out of the cars and walk a bit. The guide had great information, but we would have preferred driving a bit more to different sites. If we did it again, we would have not booked through the ship, found a vintage car we liked, negotiated a price (usually between $20-30 per person per hour), and gone on our own. We would have wanted an English speaking driver though. Havana seemed to be a very beautiful, safe and friendly city. There is however, a lot of garbage around the city. We would definitely go back. As our tour guide said on day one, “In Cuba, you will see poverty, but you will not see misery.” Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this Cruise due to it being 8 days and having 2 days in Cuba. I had cruised on MSC before but my friend Ann had not. We chose a Balcony room with the Fantastica package which was great. The room was spacious though the bathroom ... Read More
We chose this Cruise due to it being 8 days and having 2 days in Cuba. I had cruised on MSC before but my friend Ann had not. We chose a Balcony room with the Fantastica package which was great. The room was spacious though the bathroom was small and the Fantastica package was perfect. It gave us the flexibility to have a great coffee from the specialty coffee area in the AM and an adult beverage at night. Embarkation was a real breeze (as long as you have your paperwork completed). We arrived at the port around 11:30 and were on the ship by 11:45. This is the fastest I have ever gotten on a ship. Upon arriving we walked around the ship a little and found an empty Kiosk to set up our account. You have 48 Hours to process your account and the Kiosks are in numerous areas so you do not need to stand in line at the 1st one you see. After getting some lunch and exploring a bit our room was ready at 2:00pm. We spent a good bit of time in the Spa as we had purchased the Thermal Package. Also we sprang for acupuncture which was amazing. Dr. Randy is the best. My friend has constant back pain due to a medical issue. After 1 treatment the pain went away and did not return the entire trip. I was in a state of complete relaxation after having it done. We wanted to bring Dr. Randy home with us. The food was good and plentiful. A couple of days we had lunch in the main dining room which was a great treat. It was quiet and the food was excellent. The rest of the trip we ate at the Bistro upstairs as we wanted to just relax and not be on a set eating schedule. As it was we ate around every 3 hours. Our only complaint is there were not enough Cream Puffs. We wanted them every day. The Bread Pudding at the Afternoon Tea was one of our favorites. The ports were all interesting. In Roaten, Cozumel and Costa Maya we walked around town and shopped as we had planned 2 excursions in Cuba. The shopping in Costa Maya was the best. I can’t say enough about how much we enjoyed Cuba. It was very clean, safe, colorful, and chocked full of interesting architecture. The excursions we took were “The Hemmingway Tour” and the “Havana Cultural Sightseeing and Handicraft Market”. They were both well run with excellent busses and guides. Of the 2 we enjoyed the Cultural tour the best” as it took you to an Art School for special needs children that was fascinating. We did not attend any of the shows but we did enjoy the Music in the Bar areas, especially Sun and Salt. They were great. Overall it was one of the best cruises I have ever taken and I have taken over 20. As the ship is older it is smaller but lovely with staff that were friendly and extremely helpful. You never feel that you are being pushed to purchase something or herded like cattle. The Armonia has a much more sophisticated feeling than all the other Mega Ships. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are a couple from Puerto Rico 63/58 y/o, 38 cruises and counting. After reading negative reviews we were worried, but the itinerary with two days in Cuba was perfect. It was one of the best cruise experiences we’ve ever had. If ... Read More
We are a couple from Puerto Rico 63/58 y/o, 38 cruises and counting. After reading negative reviews we were worried, but the itinerary with two days in Cuba was perfect. It was one of the best cruise experiences we’ve ever had. If the ship and gourmet dining is your thing, find something else. If overall value and cruise experience is for you, MSC Armonia won’t disappoint you. The ship: clean and beautiful. The cabin: standard - the shower area is one of the smallest we’ve ever seen. Food is good to excellent. Dining service and ambience is good but noticeably second-rate. Entertainment and Activities: close to the best we’ve ever experienced. Excellent bands, musicians and shows. The entertainment team was full of life. Pool parties: the best and loudest, with a heavy Latin Caribbean touch. Beer $7, drink $9 Roatan: taxi 20 min to West Bay beach $4, ask for a hotel/bar with clean bathroom. Costa Maya: taxi 20 min to the beach $4, Tipsy Turtle Restaurant, clean bathroom, $10 includes chair, umbrella, snorkel/mask, beer $3, drink $5 Cozumel: shopping and Senior Frogs crazy party La Havana: a fascinating world in itself. Did not book any excursions on the ship (as warned), just walked out. Took new taxi for a long ride around the city $40 2hrs+, Old 1958 taxi to the Spanish fort areas $30 1/hr, Show El Guajirito with live 10-piece Latin band, $60 with food and 3 drinks, wonderful. Small bars with music at 2am, back to the ship on a taxi bike and it felt very safe. Embarkation/Debarkation: a breeze, got lucky because we left on Monday and returned on Tuesday, low cruise traffic days. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise for two reasons...we have cruised a lot but we had not been to Havana (or any place in Cuba). We saw an add in the Orlando Sentinel newspaper, which offered an inside cabin on this sailing for a really inexpensive ... Read More
We chose this cruise for two reasons...we have cruised a lot but we had not been to Havana (or any place in Cuba). We saw an add in the Orlando Sentinel newspaper, which offered an inside cabin on this sailing for a really inexpensive price. We decided to give it a shot! We had a really small inside cabin (with a TINY shower), but it had tons of storage and the cabin steward was great! We found the service in the dining room, and the food in general, to be just okay, (how can a Mediterranean cruise line NOT know how to make great pasta!!!) with some notable exceptions...the gelato and desserts were wonderful. The Grill (burgers, etc.) was good. The Surf and Turf Restaurant was outstanding! The final gala evening also was, finally, a very good meal. Also the Caffe Lounge was wonderful. The cruise director was charming and enjoyable. The entertainment staff was also fun and engaging. The entertainment was good and was different each evening. The front office staff was pleasant and helpful. And we found their shore excursions to be well run, interesting, and moderate in price. All of the trips that we chose were smaller groups...15 to 20 people, at the most, which made for a more enjoyable excursion. The guides were interesting and informative. The ship had matched our 4 Star Mariner status with their vacation club, giving us a top tier "Black" membership level. They gave us champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, invitations to 2 cocktail events, 2 chocolate ship replicas, and other gifts. In addition, we got priority tendering and disembarkation. All of this was an unexpected pleasure and made the trip nicer. Finally, the "Meet and Mingle" that the ship organized for our Cruise Critic group was delightful....the nicest we have ever attended! It was held in the Red Lounge/Rum Bar on the morning of our first sea day. We were greeted by the head of the hotel department and several other officers. The lounge was set up with clusters of padded chairs surrounding cocktail tables. Each table was set with a martini glass filled with chocolate covered strawberries and surrounded by fancy little canapes. Servers circled the room with champagne, mimosas, bloody Marys, and non-alcoholic drinks. A fancy cake was served, photographs were taken, music was playing...all in all, a very nice event! To sum up, we had a great time in spite of the ways in which we found some areas of the ship wanting. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was the third cruise my family and I have taken with MSC. We have had positive experiences before but not this time on board the MSC Armonia. It started poorly with the embarkation process. A process that in previous Cruises had ... Read More
This was the third cruise my family and I have taken with MSC. We have had positive experiences before but not this time on board the MSC Armonia. It started poorly with the embarkation process. A process that in previous Cruises had been pretty smooth was a complete mess. The agent checking us in did not know the itinerary. Kept telling us different ports that we were not going to. Once on the boat we went directly to the room. It was an inside cabin. Small compared to other ships but I understand booking an inside cabin my expectations should be realistic. If you have more than 2 people staying in the room your items will not fit in the closet. The shower was no better, the curtain did not close all the way, water everywhere and the handle rail was broken and the handle to the water was also broken. The buffet left a lot to be desired. There was not much variety. Everyday it seemed to be roasted chicken, rice and vegetables. The Pizza, burgers, and hot dogs by far the best selections food wise. In previous ships the entertainment has been excellent but it seems like they use this ship for training or to tryout new performers because the shows left a lot to be desired. The rest of the entertainment was not great either. Other that the Newly Wed game the Cruise Director was non existent like previous ships. One worker specifically was very rude and lazy. He did not want to set up pool deck games unless there was a line of people waiting to play. He had little motivation and less energy getting people to get involved with the activities. When I questioned him about the games he got nasty and started arguing with me. I said to him part of what I payed for goes towards entertainment , his response was well I don't care I do not get paid tips. I complained to guest services and no supervisor would speak to me. Honduras stop was a mess. I understand tendering is an issue anywhere but on a 6 hour stop in Honduras it took over 2 hours to get out of the boat, leaving even less time to enjoy Roatan. Again went to guest services and was basically told too bad MSC guest that booked MSC excursion get priority too bad. There was very little to no empathy or sympathy for the guest. Not many activities for kids 10 to 13 year range. Most kids this age are past legos and coloring. Not enough activities in the sports deck for them. It wasn't all bad, our room attendant was great and the room was always clean. The bartenders on the pool deck were also very good. Very friendly and actually acted like they were enjoying themselves and liked their jobs. The restaurant experience was also great. Had a very friendly waiter and helper. It is unfortunate to have experienced this and would make it very difficult to book another cruise with MSC. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
MSC in General: We received horrible customer service when booking our cruise, and then within 3 weeks of our sail date they added $27 to our balance (after our total balance had already been paid 5 months prior). We got a letter stating ... Read More
MSC in General: We received horrible customer service when booking our cruise, and then within 3 weeks of our sail date they added $27 to our balance (after our total balance had already been paid 5 months prior). We got a letter stating that if we didn't pay the remaining $27 within 48 hours they were going to cancel our cruise. I spent the next 2 days trying to get a supervisor on the phone, but it never happened. Finally, on the second day, the charge magically disappeared and everything was fine again. Ship: The ship is older and smaller, but a smaller ship is necessary to get into Cuba. It is clean, but does not offer many options. They recently added a specialty restaurant (they previously did not have any), so there is now another option for dinner other than the main restaurant and buffet. Cabin: The cabin was not ready when we were told it would be, so we waited. An hour later we went back and the bed was made, but there were no pillow covers on the pillows. I had to hunt someone down to get them. After that it was kept clean and made up every day. Dining: The food was just ok. There was nothing spectacular except for the Surf & Turf Restaurant. It was fabulous. I eat my steaks well done, which can often leave them a little tough sometimes. My filet could have been cut with a fork. It was cooked perfectly and very flavorful. The buffet was also just ok, but most of them are. The room service breakfast was cold. Not just room temperature, but cold, including the eggs, bacon, and waffles. Don't go on this cruise for the food unless you plan on paying extra for the Surf & Turf Restaurant every night. Entertainment & Activities: Because it is a smaller ship, the activities are limited. The white party was fun, but other than that it was hit or miss. The shows were awkward and cheesy, but this isn't the only cruise ship we've been on where that was the case. Service: We had exceptional service on the ship, other than the initial pillow case incident in our stateroom. We had to deal with the excursions office several times, and they were wonderful each time. I thought that they would get sick of us for sure, but each time they were happy to accommodate us. Our waiter was fabulous, and the entire staff was friendly. Ports and Shore Excursions: We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Cuba, but we were also looking forward to Mexico, Jamaica, and Grand Cayman. The port for Jamaica was changed at some point from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios. No one told us. It turned out to be okay and they booked us on a great replacement excursion, but we had no idea. It would have been nice to know ahead of time. We didn't make it to Grand Cayman because the seas were too rough to run the tenders. The decision was made for the safety of the passengers (which I truly appreciate), but it would have been nice to go. Because we skipped Grand Cayman, we arrived in Mexico early, which was nice. We had the chance to do some shopping before our excursion and had a great time. Cuba was amazing! We were there for 2 days - Saturday and Sunday - and we had no problem getting into restaurants, bars, or the market either day. We had read some other reviews about long lines and wait times for getting off the boat, but we followed the directions of the excursion staff and we were off the boat, had our visas, and were through customs in less than 30 minutes. Overall: MSC customer service is not great. The cabin was standard, but the service on board was good. The food leaves a little to be desired and the entertainment and activities could be better with more variety. The ports were the main attraction, and Cuba made it worth it. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We basically chose this ship because of the itinerary. Cuba is a must see. First off, MSC, you need to update your website. Its difficult and disappointing trying to get any information from MSC. We overall had a great time on the ... Read More
We basically chose this ship because of the itinerary. Cuba is a must see. First off, MSC, you need to update your website. Its difficult and disappointing trying to get any information from MSC. We overall had a great time on the ship. There's more than 7 languages spoken and the Captain spoke almost all of the languages "very impressive" our cruise director Seanon was great also, very funny and welcoming. The shows were like any other ship shows. Our Cabin was clean and well maintained throughout our cruise. The food on the ship was different from American food "example" breakfast pizza was a first for me "sweet and fruity" they had hot milk and the coffee is not strong. I personally like my coffee dark. There's lots of entertainment on the 11th floor "pool deck" their gelato is delicious " 11th floor foward". The burgers are good and the pizza is good also. We had high seas so our Cayman islands stop was canceled, but we weren't disappointed because we've been there several times. There we a lot of people disappointed though. The night after leaving the Cayman islands "which we missed" our visa forms was put in our cabin, we filled it out and when we docked in Cuba, we had no problems with immigration or customs, was a nice experience, there's the bank and kiosk where you can exchange your money and what you don't use just exchange it back to US dollars, there's the CUP money which the local uses, 25 CUP equals 1 US and there's CUC which is equal to 1 US dollar tourist use the CUC and locals uses the CUP....you get back the taxes also. It was a nice cruise, a pleasant experience with MSC and we'll definitely cruise with them again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this ship because of the itinerary (specifically the two days in Havana) and the benefits for traveling with two young children. I am so glad we ignored the negative reviews of this ship. We had a wonderful time. We loved spending ... Read More
We chose this ship because of the itinerary (specifically the two days in Havana) and the benefits for traveling with two young children. I am so glad we ignored the negative reviews of this ship. We had a wonderful time. We loved spending a couple of days in Miami before embarkation. We stayed in an ocean view cabin and loved our large window that our boys sat in to see the scenery. The fold down bed worked well for our older son and the ship provided a crib for our toddler. The staff onboard were especially helpful and very friendly.The baby club and kids club were a much appreciated break for us and the boys loved playing with the legos and spending time with other kiddos. I won a massage the first night onboard and it was an excellent massage. The gym and spa areas were both clean and adequate. There are two pools as well as a splash pad for the kids. My son's favorite activities included mini-golf and foosball. There were also ping pong tables. We did not get a chance to see any of the nightly shows because of our schedules, but we did enjoy the performers that played in the bars and pool area. The Cuban show on the last night was awesome! Because we traveled with children we ate mostly from the buffet and found the food to be good. The dining room food was fine the couple of times we ate there. The pizza and gelato available in addition to the buffet were nice perks as well. Regarding the itinerary, we were on a seven night cruise while others on the ship were continuing on as part of a longer itinerary. Unfortunately we did not get to see Grand Cayman because of rough water that morning, but we did enjoy our other ports. We took an excursion to a beautiful garden and beach in Ocho Rios and to a great beach/park in Cozumel. The guided tour was informative in Havana and we also enjoyed walking around the old town on our own. We would definitely consider sailing with MSC again! 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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