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47 Miami MSC Cruises MSC Armonia Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
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
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise because it went to Cuba, having previously cruised only once with MSC on the Monterey in 2006. That ship sadly now no longer with us. The Armonia is a great ship with a smaller number of passengers, 2,400. We prefer ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to Cuba, having previously cruised only once with MSC on the Monterey in 2006. That ship sadly now no longer with us. The Armonia is a great ship with a smaller number of passengers, 2,400. We prefer the smaller ships so this suited us.The cabin, balcony, was slightly smaller than ships we have sailed with on Carnival. Our first impressions on boarding were it was a well kept ship with a friendly crew. The food was good in most eating areas and the dining room staff were excellent. The main part of the cruise for us was the Cuba visit. This was well organised and most enjoyable.We had booked the vintage car tour and the Tropicana night club. Both exceeded our expectations. We had the Wellness package which was a bit underwhelming! Communication with Spa and us was awful, and the endless amount of energy drinks sent to our cabin, overwhelming. Communication and service from the Spa need to be overhauled. Overall it was a good cruise although the Shows needed to be looked at as they were very musically repetitive.One show, The Addams Family, was so poor we walked out half way. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
A friend and I chose this cruise mainly for its price, timing and stop in Havana. We had each taken one cruise before on big U.S. ships but were not particularly impressed. Some of the reviews of the Armonia had us questioning our decision ... Read More
A friend and I chose this cruise mainly for its price, timing and stop in Havana. We had each taken one cruise before on big U.S. ships but were not particularly impressed. Some of the reviews of the Armonia had us questioning our decision but the lure of Havana was strong. All in all it was a fine trip and one we would sign up for again. We arrived in Miami the night before and had a comfortable stay and great dinner at the InterContinental near the pier. We showed up at embarkation about 90 minutes early but were boarded. (The terminal was crowded and there were lines, much like in a busy airport, but everything moved.) Our cabin and bath were very small but clean and well planned with more than sufficient storage and comfortable beds. (I am glad we opted for an outside cabin though.) Because a previous reviewer had warned about the shower curtain wrapping around legs, I brought three metal binder clips to weigh the curtain down which worked very well, even the night of ship was rocking. Our cabin was fine and the cabin attendant, Augus, a sweetheart. Every afternoon when we returned from port we found surprises: towels turned into softer sculptured animals wearing her reading glasses on her bed and my nightgown showing off dance moves I can no longer do on mine. The food on board was hit and miss. (We generally went to the buffet for breakfast and snacks and the main dining room for dinner.) Everything was okay and a few things exceptional. What made the dinner experience wonderful was our truly fabulous waiter, Islam. By the third night, I would just sit down and tell him to feed us and he would bring us whatever he thought were the best things on the menu that evening. (It worked.) I think those who didn't like the food were either ordering wrong -- like the woman who ordered a well-done strip steak -- or were expecting food cooked to American instead of European palates. (Desserts, for example, are not as sweet.) And the breads were excellent. We went to a couple shows, which were OK but not fabulous. The entertainers reminded me of school show choirs and the tech on this older ship was not as showy as on the other ships we had seen. Some of the kids were talented, however, and they tried hard. We explored the onboard shops but weren't tempted. We arranged private excursions for Havana and Grand Cayman and made short visits to Jamaica and Cozumel. (Neither of us are beach or tropics persons and we were not interested in expensive tours with a busload of people.) Havana was a delight, and Georgetown enjoyable, both because of excellent private guides. Jamaica and Cozumel were steamy and uninspiring. One thing I appreciated was the "welcome back" tent along the piers with cold towels and ice water. I especially enjoyed the contact with people from all over the world. The young men working onboard the ship were interesting, eager to share information about their home countries and general observations about ports of call and passenger trends. The other passengers were from an array of places, speaking many languages and were for the most part friendly and polite. (This is not the cruise-line for those who want to only hear English and have contact with older white Americans.) We somehow ended up with two drink packages which was funny as neither of us are big drinkers. The unlimited package came with the wifi package and probably would have sufficed as the standard table wines available with dinner were fine. Because we also somehow acquired 12-ticket packages that entitled us to cocktails, we explored the various bars. We learned different bartenders made the same cocktail differently and were amused by their observations about the drinking habits of our fellow passengers. My main concerns about this cruise are relatively trivial. First, wifi service is spotty and unreliable which can be irritating but then again this is a vacation. Second, in an effort to promote the ship's excursions in Havana (or perhaps an over-abundance of caution), I believe the information the ship's representative presented on restrictions placed on U.S. visitors going to Cuba under the "support for the Cuban people" status was incorrect. I had no problem whatsoever bringing medical supplies through Cuban customs and found the official regulations not nearly as scary as the ship's suggestions. Disembarkation was ridiculously easy and fast, especially compared to how tedious reentry to the U.S. is at airports. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
A group of 26 ladies from our hometown sailed on the Armonia for 7 days. Port stop of Cuba, price, and recommendation from one of the cruisers brought us to the Armonia. The ship was clean and the service in the restaurants and bar ... Read More
A group of 26 ladies from our hometown sailed on the Armonia for 7 days. Port stop of Cuba, price, and recommendation from one of the cruisers brought us to the Armonia. The ship was clean and the service in the restaurants and bar was excellent. The crew truly seemed happy to be there and wanted us to be happy. In terms of service, I would compare it to Azamara. We were able to go between the suite restaurant (Le Pergola) and the MDR (Marco Polo) due to our large group. The menu was the same so the only difference was in atmosphere. Much quieter and quicker in Pergola but we wanted to eat with our group at night so we ate in Marco Polo most nights. Food was better than I was expecting so I was pleased. Was it as good as Azamara and Celebrity? No, but it was good and I did not go hungry. We had $125 OBC from our travel agent but it was lost. MSC doesn’t split it between the 2 passengers. They put it on my roommate’s card and she did not spend $125. Silly us, we thought the credit card would be credited and then she was going to settle up with me when we got home. As we were exiting, my roommate was pulled over and told that OBC not used is lost. On other cruise lines, OBC from travel agents is credited back if not used. I spent money but because it wasn’t credited to me, I also lost my half. They would not move the OBC to me. Every announcement in 5 languages did get annoying but I was prepared for it. The production shows were excellent and the singers were very talented. Lots of music in several venues at night but it was all very, very loud. So loud, we ended up leaving the bars. Itinerary. Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Cuba. In our documents, it said to check in at 3:00 but we went about 12:30 and walked right on the boat. Sail away was always listed as 7 pm but at check in we were given a new itinerary which had sail away at 6 pm, Costa Maya instead of Cozumel, and arriving in Cuba at 2 pm instead of 1 pm. In Montego Bay, we booked an excursion with the ship for rafting down the Martha Brae River. It was a bit of a drive but the floating down the river on the bamboo rafts was cool however, the excursion made a stop for shopping at the small shop with no other choices around. We wasted an hour and returned at 7 which was the scheduled departure time. Bad way to end a nice trip. Grand Cayman was tendered and we arrived early at 7:30. We had been advised to wait until 9 to get off, letting the shore excursions to clear out. We went off at 9 and were at 7 mile beach at 10. Taxi took us to Calico Jacks and it was packed. Beautiful beach but way too many people. We had to be back on board at 2:30 so we left around 12:30 and back on the ship around 1:15. Would have been nicer to have a later departure. We were able to cancel our private reservation in Cozumel and planned to go to the fishing village in Costa Mayo. We were scheduled for 9:30 arrival but docked late due to high winds. We didn’t get off the boat until 11 so the group decided to just stay in the man made port. I have not been to this port in several years. It has turned into a tourist trip. Cuba, the reason we took the cruise. Guest Services contacted us and advised us that we needed to make a choice between our afternoon excursion and The Tropicana as there wasn’t enough time to do both. Disappointing. We cancelled the afternoon excursion and just walked about the old town. Going through the Visa process and exchanging money was very easy. Excursion to the Tropicana did not disappoint. Next morning, we did the Vintage Car tour and it too was an excellent excursion. Departure was organized and I was off the ship and in my car quickly. Overall, I had a great cruise because I was a part of a fun loving group of ladies. MSC was better than I was expecting and I might cruise with them again but only if The Yacht club is an option. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was my first cruise and last. Truthfully I am the type that enjoys this however want to say the staff was extrely good. From the bars to the table. A gentleman was st my table and he had issues with his meal and was immediately taken ... Read More
This was my first cruise and last. Truthfully I am the type that enjoys this however want to say the staff was extrely good. From the bars to the table. A gentleman was st my table and he had issues with his meal and was immediately taken care of. The captains on the floor was contumely checking over the floor. I enjoyed the food and it was nice not great. Many season cruisers complained. The room with the window was ok and I felt like I was in a trailer. Will say the bed felt wonderful and I slept great in it. If u want to drink alcohol then buy a package u will be glad u did. Rather lots of confusion getting to different ports. Mostly u get what u pay for. I most enjoyed Cuba. Not much reason to go to Jamaica. I did enjoy cosemel and there were nice shows Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Had a great time on this cruise cruise director gave a very informative talk about Cuba before we got off Cruise director and his staff were wonderful we had the best time of any cruise The cruise director staff is wonderful they go ... Read More
Had a great time on this cruise cruise director gave a very informative talk about Cuba before we got off Cruise director and his staff were wonderful we had the best time of any cruise The cruise director staff is wonderful they go above and beyond the ship did not feel small the bars and public areas are not cramped and very open we did not have any problems finding a table in the buffet thay had a nice variety cabins are a nice size had a balcony food in main dining room was lacking in flavor andtemperature surf and turf was wonderful got a lot for your money and the service was excellent we love MSC's entertainment best at sea the show 's were amazing Montego Bay was canceled went to Otis Rios but it rained we didn't get off the ship Grand Cayman it also rained but cleared up in the afternoon and we walked around a little and went shopping in Cozumel had a beautiful day went to playa Mia all inclusive drinks and food beautiful beach and absolutely wonderful service the spa was wonderful that have a beautiful thermal suite very good spa services now on to Cuba absolutely loved Cuba very interesting we did the Tropicana nightclub loved it the show was amazing had a nice bus to The show and back got to see Cuba at night The next day we did the vintage car tour had a great time it was very informative we enjoyed our daiquiri at the Floridita would highly recommend both of these tors The ship was spotless the Decour was very elegant for a ship of the size it was nicely appointed very comfortable and easy to navigate would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone Who wants to go to Cuba disembarkation was so easy had no problem getting on it off the ship great job MSC ☺☺☺ Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose MSC because of itinerary and also it’s price. Wanted to go to Cuba. We did not eat in any speciality restaurants. The food in the main dining room was ok. A 6 out of 10. The waitstaff were very nice but service took a while. ... Read More
We chose MSC because of itinerary and also it’s price. Wanted to go to Cuba. We did not eat in any speciality restaurants. The food in the main dining room was ok. A 6 out of 10. The waitstaff were very nice but service took a while. Getting a cocktail took very long. The shows that I saw were ok, I enjoyed some time in the Casino. The ship was very clean and the crew were all very nice. We had plumbing issues in our cabin which never got resolved but not for lack of trying, they were there quickly to fix our toilet , it did not flush adequately. Fortunately there was a public restroom next to our cabin so we went there. They sent us champagne and canapés for our inconvenience,which it was. My cabin mate and I made the best of it. If the itinerary was to my liking and price right I would Cruise MSC again. Cuba was amazing. I have to say the embarkation was fantastic, we literally got there, checked in and walked on the Ship, I have cruised many times and it was never that easy on any other cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This is a long review, but I hope it will help you to understand the MSC experience. Like most folks, we (my DH and I) selected this cruise for its destination of Cuba. We’ve cruised about 20 times, but this was our first on MSC. ... Read More
This is a long review, but I hope it will help you to understand the MSC experience. Like most folks, we (my DH and I) selected this cruise for its destination of Cuba. We’ve cruised about 20 times, but this was our first on MSC. Expectations were low due to the reviews; however, we were pleasantly surprised with our experience and in some cases liked MSC better than RCCL or other “American” cruise lines. Embarkation was quick and easy. Just like other cruise lines, complete the registration on line and have your tickets printed, filled out and signed when you arrive. Also, have the “Guest Certification for Authorized US Travel to Cuba” printed, completed and signed. To note – our etickets said we were to arrive at 4:15, but we like to be on board early, so we arrived about noon with no issues. I assume they do this to stagger the amount of people arriving at one time. The only unusual issue is you will not be asked for a credit card for onboard expenses until you get on the ship. Once on board, you need to go to an ATM-type machine and enter your credit card. There is a big queue when everyone is getting on board, but you can come back anytime within the first 48 hours to add your credit card which will save you time in the queue. Be sure to let your credit card company know you are traveling, as the ATM-type machine looks to them as an Italian purchase. Once on board, you are bombarded with the selling of drink packages and spa packages. We’ve never been on a ship that didn’t do this. We love the spa and they had a great deal if you bought 4 or 6 services. We bought 6 services (split between us) which got us 30% off and free use of the thermal spa area for the entire cruise. In the end, this was MUCH less than we usually spend at the spa! They also had a package for 20% off if you bought 4 services. Like any of the packages, you need to figure out if it will be saving you money or not. We did not buy the drink package. You will immediately notice most of the passengers are not Americans. I’d estimate about 30% Americans, mostly Europeans and 10% Asian. This means all the announcements are in at least 4 languages every time. We had an inside cabin - Bella experience. The cabin was typical inside cabin, but seemed to have more storage than some. There were about 8 decent-sized drawers next to the closet. I had forgotten to bring extra hangers, but our room steward brought some in the evening. The worst thing is the shower curtain. I had seen a tip of bringing clothespins to put on the bottom to “weigh it down” so it doesn’t blow around so much. This did help. I also brought bar soap. They do have liquid soap at the sink and shower gel and shampoo in the shower, but I prefer my own. The cabin was clean and functional. As many have commented, the ship is smaller than the mega ships which are so popular these days. If you’ve been on any of the other lines smaller ships, this is comparable, if not better. It was clean and the service was excellent. All the staff we came in contact with were friendly and happy. We did a status match with our Diamond RCCL and became “black,” which is their top tier. We got invited to a few of the private parties with the crew which were nice. We also attended the Meet and Mingle which was also nice. Every time we ran into one of the staff we met at the parties, they would stop and chat a bit to make sure we were enjoying our cruise. The food was mostly fine. We did like the pizza, although you can’t compare to “real” NY pizza, it was better than any other cruise. Of course, the gelato was excellent (what’s not to like!). The buffet for breakfast and lunch were adequate, but less selection than other cruises. We had dinner in the main dining room and with a few exceptions, it was fine. One night they had prime rib, which was by far the best thing we had all week! The service was excellent! One night we did eat in their specialty restaurant, Surf & Turf. This came free with our “Black” status. The lobster was much better than in the main dining room, but the filet mignon was lacking. This didn’t compare with Chops Grill or other special restaurants from other cruise lines. We didn’t attend any of the shows, so can’t comment. The casino is very small and never very crowded. They had 2 blackjack tables and one each 3-card poker, Dream 21, Texas Hold ‘Em, and roulette. The slots were all penny slots, which we did not play. The pool was typically crowded, but plenty of chairs. I never had any trouble finding a chair in the sun or shade. We loved the spa and went to the thermal spa to sit on their heated loungers every day. All the massages and treatments we had were heavenly! Havana is the main reason we took this cruise. Miguel, the cruise director, gives a great talk about what to expect the day before we arrived. It was very informative, and I would highly suggest you attend. MSC will give you the visa which needs to be filled out. You’ll be charged $75 per person. Miguel goes over how to fill this out, too; however there is a sample in the letter which comes with the visas. We had an excursion, so were first off the ship. As Americans, it seems intimidating to go through Cuban immigration, but honestly, it is a non-event. Show your passport, give your visa, they take your picture, stamp your passport and you’re on your way. Once you go through once, every time after, you just show your passport stamp and walk right in. Havana is a very interesting place. There is beautiful architecture and some restoration being done, but most of the areas were extremely neglected, dirty and crumbling. The people are very friendly and willing to answer any questions. Embarkation was quick and easy. Overall, we both had a good time and were pleasantly surprised at how much we liked the MSC experience. Go and enjoy and don’t worry Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
After reading reviews, we had fairly low expectations but chose it anyway since we really wanted to see Cuba. We found the cruise much better than overall ratings. What we liked: Quick and easy embarkation. We thought the ship, while ... Read More
After reading reviews, we had fairly low expectations but chose it anyway since we really wanted to see Cuba. We found the cruise much better than overall ratings. What we liked: Quick and easy embarkation. We thought the ship, while older, was in outstanding condition. It was always easy to find seats by the pool. Staff was very friendly and they had just the right amount of activities by the pool. We had the anytime seating and service was outstanding - we had the best waiter and assistant waiter - better than any other cruise. Food was okay but not great. Loved the fact that people were from all over the world and it was great meeting them. Two of the three excursions we took were very well organized and a lot of fun (Cozumel Beach and Havana tour). We had a suite which was just a tad larger than a balcony cabin on most ships but was very nice. My wife loved the walk-in closet. Never heard noise from other cabins. Cuba was the highlight of the cruise and we loved it - found a great restaurant with a waiter who spoke great English and really got to know him a bit - funniest waiter we ever had. What needs improvement: Guest reception was unresponsive and seemed like they had no systems for follow up so we had to call or stop by multiple times. Bar service is hard to find and slow, though the staff was nice. Entertainment a bit below most other cruise lines but not bad. The vintage car tour in Havana was disorganized and it was about an hour and a half before we were in the car. While not a tour, in Jamaica, they advertised in our nightly newsletter a $20 ride to a "hip shopping area" which we took only because the weather wasn't great. That was a long bus ride in horrendous traffic to a shopping center with about 25 overpriced stores. Overall, this was as good as any other cruise line we had taken. I had so wanted to see Cuba and enjoyed it even more than my high expectations. So this was really a nice combination of 4.5 relaxing days and 2 days of experiencing Cuba. I'd highly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I picked this cruise because is was affordable and went to Cuba. The ship was very clean; and although small, was fine! The staff and crew were great! The food was average! The wait staff at breakfast were clueless; but lunch ... Read More
I picked this cruise because is was affordable and went to Cuba. The ship was very clean; and although small, was fine! The staff and crew were great! The food was average! The wait staff at breakfast were clueless; but lunch and dinner better! My cabin was an ocean view and size was fine. Did have recurrent toilet issues; but thankfully my cabin was close to a women’s rest room; still I shouldn’t have to run to a common bathroom to...well you know! They did send plumbers and tried to fix the problem. And appeared to; on last day! The casino is small but adequate! Shows were okay. Have a small buffet; pizza was very good! I didn’t try burger grill near buffet. I think for price it was very good! If they had an itinerary I liked and price good; I would sail again with MSC That’s my opinion! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Chose this cruise because of Cuba port. Took two hours to disembark ship on first day in port, after that just walked off. All staff very friendly and accomodating. Had 12 drink coupons per person included with fare and was excellent ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of Cuba port. Took two hours to disembark ship on first day in port, after that just walked off. All staff very friendly and accomodating. Had 12 drink coupons per person included with fare and was excellent amenity. Could be used for frozen drinks, speciality coffees, mixed drinks. Ship had free gelato bar near pool with delicious gelato free! Food available 24hrs/day with delicioys pizza anytime. Only problem, both ice machines at pizza place and hamburger place did not work the whole cruise. Had first dinner seating, could order as many items off of menu that you wanted. Daily gratuity added to your cruise account was $12.50, which is less than other cruise lines. I really liked the ship plan, had plenty of outdoor dining space. Tables were bussed quickly. Excursions were well organized, went to Tropicana show in Cuba, I think entertainment onboard was just as good as that show. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise for the visit to Cuba and the price. The following are our comments on MSC Armonia Cruise to Cuba 1/ 14/19 to 1/21/19. Entertainment on the ship was in general very good. The dancers and singers were among the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the visit to Cuba and the price. The following are our comments on MSC Armonia Cruise to Cuba 1/ 14/19 to 1/21/19. Entertainment on the ship was in general very good. The dancers and singers were among the best we have seen on previous cruise Evening Shows. The evening shows should have had more variety and in one of the show the dancers overwhelmed the singers and they didn't add anything. But, overall they did a great job. The Entertainment staff was excellent. They had more energy then any other ship we have been on and really tried very hard to get everyone involved in their nightly events. Most of the evening shows were very well done but perhaps a bit redundant. Somehow, whatever the theme it tended to have a Latin flair. The professional cruise dance instructors did a good job teaching their dances and we really enjoyed their demos. However, teaching more latin dances then most people have ever heard of was clearly excessive and it would have been nice to used those sessions on more popular dances. Some of their lessons were also at times that didn't fit well into the night's events (Example Country and Rock and roll (Swing ) lessons were at times that either to close to Supper or the main show of the evening. ). But the first day at sea they did 5 or 6 classes and also did classes when at at port and it was hard to fit more lessons in. The latin band in the 5th-floor lounge was very good but clearly played VERY latin music and no other variety of dance. When I refer to VERY latin music I mean they didn't play much music you could dance ballroom type Cha Cha, or Rumba. The combo on the 6th lounge did play some different music and we started to that lounge, perhaps a bit too late, once we couldn't take any more Latin music that we couldn't dance to. It would have been nice to have a comedy show to provide a better mixture for those who didn't like all the dancing or wanted something different. As a combo they were OK. All our Tours were taken on the ship from MSC. We found out on the ship that MSC was only repeating US guidelines for departing Cuba on tours and MSC really didn't enforce them and you had the option to book a tour with MSC or a 3rd party company. We booked only the Cuba Tours since this is all we were interested in and had been to the other Caribbean ports often. The tours we booked were Architecture of Havana and it was very good. Tour was about 2 hrs of walking around old Havana (no cars allowed) and that was enough for us followed by about 2 hrs of bus touring. Since the ship got in a little late and it took us almost 2 hrs to get through customs with the tour returned about 7:15, it was cut a little short so we could have time to make the Trop tour at 8:15 departure. The guide was excellent. The Tropicana show was really very good and all tables received a glass of champagne and 2 bottles of rum for 10 people. The rum was good and so was the show, we didn't get back until after midnight. The vintage car tour wasn't that good since it rained for the first hour and we were in a caravan of about 10 cars with only a driver that didn't really speak much English. I think you would be a lot better off doing this off the ship since from friends who did it off the ship they had a good english speaking guide with them. Tours did sell out so if you wanted a Cuba tour its good to do it as early as possible off or on the Ship. The ship did provide VISAs for $75 and that was easy and convenient. If you didn't get off the ship in Cuba the ship would refund your Visa fee as long as you didn't fill it out. This was all very well explained in the Cruise directors talk on Cuba.It would have been nice if he took questions after his talk. As far as I could tell MSC really didnt check / (care) if you booked one of their tours or a 3rd party. You clearly needed the Visa to get through customs and it took almost 2 hrs. I', not sure if it would have been faster if you weren't with a ship tour but I got a feeling it wasn't. We took candy and some things for kids on the street but not one ever approached us for anything. We did give away some penciles but that was it. I hear they like toothpaste but again not one ever came up to us for anything. Food was a different story. I'll break it down in some detail. Breakfast,(Dining Room) in general, was very good and we enjoyed it. The procedure to get seated at a table was a mystery since most of the time no one greeted you as you walked into the dining room and showed you to a table. Each time we went in we had to look for one of the staff we taught would seat us. The fact that people are always walking thru the dining room probably has something to do with the seating service. Lunch (Dining Room) wasn't bad, but due to other events, we didn't use it often so I can't offer many comments on it. Dinner was another story and it didn't have a happy ending. This is probably how many people judge cruises and the dinners left a lot to be desired. The salad and french onion soup were very good but most of the other food needed help. Coffee cups were always only 1/2 filled and waiters never came back for a refill (Or fill ). As my wife mentioned there was not one dinner meal we could really say was good or one we enjoyed a lot. Most to our table agreed with that. BTW I wouldnt say it was bad but it clearly was a gourmay experience. I would hope MSC management realize that the Bulletin boards (Cruise Critic for example) have been very hard on this aspect of MSC and leave many past passengers saying they would never do another MSC cruise again. Upstairs on 11th Foor, the pizza was really very good and the ice cream Gelato was great. The buffet lunch was ok, I didn't have any issues with it. Ladies would be happy if they were served first. I didn't notice any lesson on how to play 3 card poker or ultimate texas holdem, other ships do this and have slot machine tournaments but none on this cruise as far as I could tell. I didn't notice any water events (water volleyball for example) planned. The talk on Cuba was done very well and informative but he should have allowed time at the end for at least a few questions. Leaving the ship was awful and completely unorganized. It sure didn't help that the ship arrived a couple of hrs late. We were hopping we wouldn't miss a bus we booked back to Orlando but it worked out OK with a bit or stress. The room was fine and the staff was good. It would have been nice if they introduced themselves to us. There was plenty of storage in the room for suitcases and clothes. All passengers we came across were very nice and there were no issues. Out table at dinner was for 8 all from US and it was very enjoyable. The staff went a little too far out of their way, I think, to seat at breakfast or lunch with their opinion of compatable passengers. We were able to find lounge chairs when we went to the pool area and it wasn't any more crowded then most other ships we have been on. Pool towels were vailable at the pools. One sentence summary is: If the supper meal improved and entertainment shows had more variety it would go a long way to improving MSCs cruise image. I do think you get good value for your money. Many of our cruise friends tell us we can't compare a MSC US cruise with one in Europe or Asia since the non-US cruises are going to have much worst meals and staff. I sure hope that prevalent negative comments we hear on those cruises aren't t true since we are looking forward to our planned 28-day cruise from Dubai to Toyko the end of March 2019. We sure hope the above-detailed comments on this cruise are improved on for that cruise or it's going to be a long cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
After reading a bunch of bad reviews about this ship I was expecting a horrible experience: rats in the hallways, flooding, pirates, etc. We were very pleasantly surprised and had a great experience overall. There are some areas that ... Read More
After reading a bunch of bad reviews about this ship I was expecting a horrible experience: rats in the hallways, flooding, pirates, etc. We were very pleasantly surprised and had a great experience overall. There are some areas that need improved. The food was average at best. The formal dining food was terrible. The fact that they sell the drink packages like a used car salesman is very annoying. The communication was not good. Nothing was really made clear and you kind of have to figure things out for yourself, which is relatively easy, but it would be nice if things were made more clear. Example: No one really explains the excursions so you just have to get in line and hope all goes well, which it did - mostly. None of the crew are from the US and many of them don't speak good English. It wasn't that big of an issue but it was sometimes a challenge to ask questions particularly if they were fairly detailed questions. I read on some reviews that the crew was rude. It think that just might be a language issue rather them being rude. Americans can be pretty rude too. Again on the US thing, there were not a lot of Americans on the cruise, which was kind of cool. Very many different languages being spoken. Our trip was to Jamaica, Cayman, Cozumel and Cuba. Jamaica: DO NOT got to the shopping plaza on the excursion - it is the very definition of a tourist trap. Go to Doctors beach and Margaritaville instead. Cayman: Definitely do the Sting Ray thing Cozumel: We just walked around and had a good time once we got away from the touristy area. Cuba: This is the reason most people go on this trip and it was amazing. eyeopening. Definitely do the American 50s car tour. The people to people program is not really a thing, I think it is designed to sell you on booking their tours. Once we signed the papers it never came up again. after the car tour we just walked around Havana. The areas near the cruise ship are nice and very European looking. get a couple blocks away and the scene is total poverty. It was interesting and we felt totally safe everywhere even though the areas looked rough. Day two in Cuba we just walked off the boat and walked around Havana for hours taking pictures. We were perfectly safe, even though they don't like Americans very much. All in all the Armonia was a great cruise and well worth the price. They do try to nickle and dime you a lot. the Wi Fi on the boat ended up costing us a bunch 2000 megabites flies by if you use it at all. There is a $12.50 per person per cabit "service charge" which is just kind of way to stick it to you again and keep the price of the cruise look lower than it is. But the cabin was kept clean each day - $25 worth of clean? Maybe not, but it was fine. The drink package is a pain. So we got 12 tickets per person for drinks with our booking. and buying drinks individually was $6.50 for beer and $9.00 for cocktails. everyone in your cabin has to buy the same drink package so do the math whether the drink package is worth it. Only water and juice is free, everything else costs. Hope that helps. I would recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We had a 2 for 1 pricing, and it was cruising to Cuba. We had read and re-read the previous reviews, after we had booked, but decided as we had been on a MSC cruise two years before, we would take your chances. Embarkation:- we ... Read More
We had a 2 for 1 pricing, and it was cruising to Cuba. We had read and re-read the previous reviews, after we had booked, but decided as we had been on a MSC cruise two years before, we would take your chances. Embarkation:- we arrived around 10.30, parked in the port parking, through check-in and having lunch at 12 noon, walked straight through, Cabin:- very small, the smallest we’ve ever been on a cruise ship. Queen bed and two bunk beds, imagine a cabin with a sofa bed, but take out the sofa area, this was the size of the cabin, okay for the two of us, but not enough room for four, even if they were children. Lots of draw and closet space, Bathroom:- Again very small, shower very small, we’re 130 and 150 lbs, and we had some problems. Dining:- we like to do “Any time dining” as we always eat early, we were seated on a table for 8, the first night, in the MDR, service very slow, it seemed to be everyone in that section came at the same time, and the crew were run of their feet, trying to keep up. The next nights we had tables for two and four with no problems. Buffet, we found great, always had breakfast and lunch there, with lots of choices. Entertainment:- We found excellent, singers, dancers and guest entertainers were comparable with over cruise lines. Crew and Officers:- In other reviews, cruisers stated they found the crew and Officers unpleasant, never smiling, not responsive when spoken to them. We NEVER experienced that at all, always pleasant. Ports and shore excursions:- Although we had intentions of going into Cuba, we didn’t, as my husband had a slight back problem. I did go into other ports just to walk around, as we’ve seen them before. Disembarkation:- We left the ship at 8.30, picked up our luggage, and walked across to the parking garage, and was on I-95 by 9.30. Meet&greet Party:- MSC decided to have the “Meet&greet party, it was excellent, they went out of their way, pity more people didn’t attend, 4 different cocktails, canapés and chocolate covered strawberries and a cake. They put other cruise lines to shame. We will definitely cruise with MSC again, and no we do not work for them. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
MSC Cruises is growing a lot, and we were on one of their older, smallest ships. I don't know how the experience would be on their modern megaships. The disadvantage for the MSC Armonia is the age. It doesn't have all the new ... Read More
MSC Cruises is growing a lot, and we were on one of their older, smallest ships. I don't know how the experience would be on their modern megaships. The disadvantage for the MSC Armonia is the age. It doesn't have all the new bells and whistles, and the age is showing if you look carefully (a couple ceiling panels in the theater out of whack, etc). It had two advantages, though: it's small enough to fit in Havana's cruise terminal, which is a holdover from the 50s and can't accommodate larger ships; and it had a "family cabin" that we were able to nab that was 65% larger than most for the same price (you can see the layout here: https://www.cruisemapper.com/cabins/MSC-Armonia-607). The Family Cabin is great if you can snag it, but there are only two of them on the ship. The availability of the cabin (combined with 100% refundability of the deposit and the Cuban overnight) are why we booked this cruise. It was really nice to have a separate room for the kids and for the adults - it felt like a comfortable hotel room, not a cramped ship cabin. The only downsides were that the hideabed sofa showed wear on its cushions, and the shower is _tiny_. Food and Drink: The food was fine. The buffet was acceptable, with gelato available by the pool, and pizza available 24 hours (the pizza is European-style, and I've seen some American reviewers dislike it). The restaurant food was good, but fancier dishes like surf and turf required an upcharge (except for the special menu on Christmas). We didn't do a drinks package, but the cabin level we purchased ("Fantastica") included 12 drink coupons apiece for the 7-day cruise. That was enough for us (especially with some free drinks thanks to the the CruiseCritic connection - see below). The biggest issue is that they were out of some wines and cocktails that were on the menu, but we were able to find alternatives. Passengers: The biggest difference between this and other cruises we've done (Holland America, Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean) is that the clientele was much more international. About 20% of the passengers were Chinese (which may have been a special group because of Christmas), and there were also large contingents from Italy, Brazil, and France (in addition to other languages). So, many announcements were in multiple languages, and the in-cabin TVs showed movies dubbed into other languages in addition to English. A practical effect was that the nightly entertainment de-emphasized words. We didn't have any magicians or comedians - it was all singing, dancing, and acrobatics. The acrobats were really impressive the first night, but they essentially repeated their acts with different costumes and music in the different shows, so it wasn't as impressive by the end of the trip. This sailing was only the 3rd sailing for MSC Armonia based out of Miami (previously based out of Mexico or Cuba). The one American cruise staff member said that she could tell that they were already changing the food to match the American audience instead of the Latin audience they were used to. Another change was adding trivia - that's apparently unique to American passengers. I suspect there will be other changes over time as they get used to the new clientele. Embarkation: Embarkation worked very smoothly for us. Our tickets asked us to arrive at 4:15, but they actually started boarding at 11:30. We split the difference and arrived at around 2:30, and there was barely a line at all. The only quirk was having to fill out an extra form because we were going to Cuba (I'll talk more about that later). But with that filled out, we boarded, and our cabin was immediately ready. Kids: There are kids' programs on board, but our kids have no interest in them. So, besides popping our heads into the room once on the first day and seeing kids dressed up for Christmas at the end of the cruise, we didn't experience it at all. Christmas: Christmas was celebrated on the ship with both a morning Catholic mass and an afternoon Santa party. There were also decorations around the ship and Christmas music playing a lot. The Santa party included a professional video about Santa waking up in the Italian Alps and racing to the ship. It was cute, and I suspect it was shown on a bunch of MSC ships. We could have received a gift of a Lego set, but the kids didn't care enough to wait. Overall, the Christmas theming and feel was stronger on a Holland America Oosterdam Christmas cruise we did two years ago, but it was fine. Special party: We had signed up for the Roll Call (https://www.cruisecritic.com/rollcalls/) in advance, and we learned about the Meet & Mingle (https://www.cruisecritic.com/rollcall/) through that. I advise signing up for that, if you go. The event was on the morning of the first full day of the cruise, which both happened to be a sea day and Christmas. We got some hor d'oeuvres and a couple glasses of champagne/mimosa apiece, and got to meet most of the senior staff. We had a nice chat with Claudio, the Cruise Relations manager, and he sent a bottle of champagne and some chocolate-covered strawberries to our cabin the next day (I think they usually charge $85 for that). I don't know if they do that for everyone from the Meet & Mingle, or if it was special because we talked with him. Either way, it was really nice to get a couple days of free champagne for just the cost of signing up for the Meet & Mingle! Stops: The first stop was supposed to be Montego Bay, Jamaica, but they announced the day before that we were going to Ocho Rios, instead. We didn't care, because we didn't have anything planned for that day. When we got there, we disembarked, walked through the gauntlet of taxi drivers, explored the tourist fake town a bit, and then found another taxi driver to take us to the Blue Hole (a series of waterfalls on the White River with places to play in the water). Everything (taxi drivers and Lonely Planet) said that the entrance fee would be $10, but it was $15 instead - we barely had enough cash on hand for that and for the driver. But it was a fun time there, and a decent exposure to Jamaicans having Boxing Day fun. The next stop was Grand Cayman. We booked an independent Stingray cruise with Captain Marvin's Watersports, and it went really well (and was cheaper than what the ship offered). We had booked a 10:30 outing because we didn't know when the ship would get in, but we were able to tender to the island by 8, and thus switch to the 8:30 trip instead. We really enjoyed meeting and feeding a large ray at the sandbar and then snorkeling at the reef. The third stop was Cozumel, which was the only stop we'd visited on previous cruises. It was also the only stop on which we bought a ship excurion - a trip to the Tulum ruins. We went with the ship on that one because the logistics of getting to Tulum were more complicated (two ferry rides and two bus rides), and we didn't want to risk being independent of the ship's responsibility for that. We were in the first group to leave the ship, the first ferry to the mainland, and the last ferry back to Cozumel - it really was a full day. The excursion itself was pretty good, with information about the Mayans and the site. We had time to use the beach, but the lack of a changing facility and the crowded beach dissuaded us. The only (minor) downside was the attempt by the guide to sell us customized Mayan jewelry. The last stop on the cruise was the main event - Havana. The 28-hour stop there was the original reason we looked at the MSC Armonia. Getting to Cuba is more involved that getting to the other countries. There's a $75/person visa to enter the country. The visa forms were delivered to the cabins, and the fee was charged automatically. If we hadn't wanted to use it, we could have turned the forms in for a refund, but only if the forms were not altered in any way - an accidental pen mark would be a $75 pen mark. And if you messed up the forms at all (by using a date format like 12 25 2000 instead of the Cuban format of 25 12 2000), you've have to pay for a brand new form. When we actually disembarked the first time, it was with the mad rush of hundreds of people, and we had to wait in line for about an hour, get our passports stamped, and then we were able to enter Cuba. Every time after that, we would just say "we've been off the ship before," and they would wave us through without looking at our passport. I'm not saying that you wouldn't necessarily need the visa if you just waited until the initial crush was complete, but it's possible. That was the Cuban side - there was also additional bureaucracy on the American side. Before we arrived, the Cruise Director had a meeting in which he said that he knew we might have heard online (like on these boards) that cruise excursions weren't necessary, but the only way he knew for sure that we wouldn't have problems re-entering the US would be if we bought an excursion from them and showed our ticket stub to US Customs and immigration. Well, we didn't do that. Instead, we bought a 3-hour walking tour of the Old City and a 4-hour driving tour of the rest of the city from havanacar.net (the guide was better with the car than with the walk), and we didn't have that ticket stub. Havanacar recommended that we enter "Support for the Cuban People" on our form at embarkation, so that's what we entered as we boarded, and we never saw the form again. And when we left the ship in Miami, the Customs agent just waved us through when we said we had nothing to declare, and the immigration agent looked at our passport and welcomed us back. So, in practice, there were no US restrictions on us at all. I'm not saying that everyone would have the same experience (we're a white family - maybe that helped; this happened during the partial government shutdown - maybe that had an effect), but we had nothing to worry about. For the visit to Havana itself, we had a great time. Unlike many Caribbean stops, Havana is a real city. It has 2 million people and 500 years of history. There's a lot of real local culture there. We were lucky that our overnight coincided with a free performance by the National Symphonic Orchestra of Cuba in San Francisco Plaza, and we loved watching the Cuban audience sway and dance with the music, even though we didn't know the music ourselves. Havana could easily be a place to visit for a week-long trip later on. Summary: Before we booked the cruise, I saw reviews that warned that we would likely be miserable on the ship, and that definitely wasn't the case. There were definite flaws (deferred superficial maintenance/trouble getting the right wines sometimes/etc), but they were minor in the overall scheme. I would sail with MSC again, and I would do the Armonia again as well. That said, I would go with Holland America instead if they had identical itineraries and prices - HA seems to just have everything pulled together better and is more luxurious. But if the Armonia continues to have the cheapest fares for Havana overnights and also continues to have the family cabins, I'd go for it again without question. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
MSC Armonia 12-24-18 Cuba Cruise Review The MSC Armonia is an old lady when it comes to cruise ships. Originally from 2001, she was refurbished in 2014. She does not offer the glitz of the new ships, but is in very good shape. ... Read More
MSC Armonia 12-24-18 Cuba Cruise Review The MSC Armonia is an old lady when it comes to cruise ships. Originally from 2001, she was refurbished in 2014. She does not offer the glitz of the new ships, but is in very good shape. Armonia still offers plenty of things to do, including space on the pool deck, even at full capacity. MSC is very popular in the European and Asian markets, so expect the passengers to reflect this mix. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Fast and efficient. It took us about 30 minutes from being dropped off at the port until our first cocktail at the pool bar. We walked off with our luggage and again the entire process took about 30 minutes from ship, through customs, to uber. Cabin We were located on the 9th floor in a forward facing Ocean View cabin, Fantastica Experience. Our cabin was very roomy and clean. There was plenty of storage space. Cabin service was offered twice a day. Our cabin stewart was very friendly and kept our cabin in top shape. We did not care for the very small shower, with clingy shower curtain. Shower gel and shampoo were offered and of nice quality. Note that the higher and forward your cabin is, the more you can feel the ship move. Food & Beverage We enjoyed all our dinners in the Marco Polo Main Dining Room. Our service team was very kind and efficient. Meals were well prepared and seasoned. Some did not look attractive, but had great flavors. It was nice to have meals matched to the ports of call. Choices are geared more towards European clientele. Do not expect traditional cruise fare. MDR Breakfast service was good, but not the always friendly. Again, meals were well prepared. We missed variety on the buffet for breakfast and lunch. All offered items were good, but they repeated every day. Pizza is probably the best at sea. It was always fresh and delicious. Burgers from the Grill were good as well. For one night we treated ourselves to specialty dining at Surf and Turf. The steaks were cooked to perfection. Appetizers, sauces and desserts were wonderful. Sides however lacked flavor. Service was friendly, but could have been more refined for the upcharge. MSC does a wonderful job with cocktails. They are always served in the proper stemware and with the right garnish. Bar service was very friendly. Remember that on MSC you should always order with a bar waiter, not the bartender. Pool cocktail service on the seaday was slow and more staff should have been servicing the area. Bars ran out of certain mixers during the cruise. Maybe the purchasing department is still getting used to the American market. Specialty Coffee is once again best at sea. Cappuccino’s, Lattes etc. are just perfect. Large format still and sparkling water bottles are a refreshing service element as well. Entertainment MSC is known for their lavish Vegas Style revues, and Armonia did not disappoint. There was also a small movie theatre. Live Music is being played in all venues. On this itinerary it was almost exclusive latin and we wished for a little more variety. Kevin and his team of entertainers really made this cruise so much more fun. They were friendly and engaging without being obnoxious. There were games during the day and nightly theme parties with matching décor and dances. The White Party was an absolute highlight for us. I don’t think I can ever dance on a ship in the middle of the ocean without a snow machine ever again. So much fun!!! Christmas on a ship Armonia offered subtle Holiday décor. Nice touches were the Christmas cookies being delivered to our cabin on Christmas eve and the entire staff in Santa hats. Cute. Santa Claus visiting the 500 kids on board and having a lego or chicco gift for each was impressive. The gala dinner in the MDR on Christmas Day offered a champagne toast and upgraded menu and décor. That night a special, very good show, was offered in the theatre. This was our fourth Christmas cruise, first on MSC, and we felt they did a very good job with this special Holiday. Cuba Most cruisers probably choose this ship because of the overnight stay in Havana. MSC arranges the visa for you. Your on board account is billed the appropriate fee. Very convenient. Getting off and on the ship was fast and easy. You can enter and exit as often as you wish. After your passport is stamped the first time the process is even faster. You do NOT need to arrange for a shore excursion through MSC. You also do not need to book a shore excursion for each day in Cuba. Upon entry back in the USA you will need to provide proof of one excursion. This can be a ticket stub, email confirmation number etc. We arranged our excursions through a third party. Havana was an amazing experience and we hope to return some day. Overall We had a wonderful time on Armonia with her global flair. Service was friendly. Food was good. The ship was very clean and entertainment was fun. Think about her as a well lived in resort, not new and shiny, but comfortable. We are looking forward to another adventure with MSC. Actually, we are already booked on the MSC Meraviglia for New Years. Happy cruising everyone! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
cabin was was great. fantasia food was fine entertainment boring and tacky staff were excellent the best ever they could not do enough some of the staff in white uniform were very arogant restaurant dining was not good ... Read More
cabin was was great. fantasia food was fine entertainment boring and tacky staff were excellent the best ever they could not do enough some of the staff in white uniform were very arogant restaurant dining was not good very slow excursion to cuba was very good try to make sure if you book this cruise you get in on an offer not much to do during the evening i do recomment this cruise its not a luxury cruise more emphasis on the ports than the actual cruise, its an older ship . i enjoyed the food alot of variety the staff work so hard and always with a smile i found customer service fine you do get what you pay for so dont expect celebrity quality as you would not have paid celebrity prices but we would at a push go on again if the ports are where we want to go and the price is right Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The reason for the cruise was to celebrate my 30th birthday. When looking for a cruise to match my birthday, MSC had the perfect dates , great itinerary and was quite cost effective for a 7 night cruise which are some of the other reasons ... Read More
The reason for the cruise was to celebrate my 30th birthday. When looking for a cruise to match my birthday, MSC had the perfect dates , great itinerary and was quite cost effective for a 7 night cruise which are some of the other reasons I chose the cruise. The cruise departed from Miami which meant us flying from Johannesburg in South Africa Via London to Miami. Having arrived a day before the cruise departure, we stayed at the Courtyard By Marriot hotel which was approximately 10 minutes away from the airport and offered a free shuttle between the airport and hotels which was very convenient. On the day of the cruise we made our way to the cruise port with uber which cost approximately 10 dollars with a promo code . Upon arrival at the MSC cruise terminal our bags were taken from us and we were directed into the cruise terminal building. Passing through security was quick and easy and it was not very busy, we then proceeded upstairs to check in area where our cruise cards were issued. This did take some time as there were quite a few people here still filling in paper work etc. After receiving our cruise cards , we were allowed to embark the ship but before that we took a group pic which we could view and purchase later on the ship. Once on board we eventually located our room as many people were running around doing the same. We had booked an inside cabin which was quite nice and spacious for 3 grown adults. The reason behind booking an inside cabin was because we spent most of our time out and about on the ship so did not make sense to book a balcony suite unless our plan was to just stay in the room. After dropping our bags were started exploring the ship and started trying to figure out what was located where and how to get there. This took a while and by then we were hungry so off to buffet we went. There was an array of things to eat , so we were really spoilt for choice. We had a vegetarian in our party , and she was quite pleased with the selection of food . Other than he buffet there was pizza place where we could get pizza 23 hours of the day so this also kept us quite happy.There was also a formal dining restaurant which were we allocated to as well called the Marco Polo. This was an option should you not want to eat at the buffet an face long queues . The food here was also quite good . Our pots of call included Montego Bay Jamaica, George Town Gran Cayman,Cozumel Mexico and Havana Cuba. For the first 3 ports of call we have a few hours shore to go around and explore, either on our own or with a excursion booked through MSC. When it came to to Cuba , we arrived early in the morning and only departed the following afternoon giving people lots of time to go into Cuba and have a real feel of what the place is like. The weather in most of these places was quite unpredictable due to it being the Caribbean but all in all it was quite nice. With regards to entertainment, each morning an daily itinerary is sent to each cabin detailing the event of the day from about 6 am each day until 11pm each night.There is something to please everyone , whether you want to dance, watch a game, watch a theater show or simply chill at the pool and just take it all in. The entertainment team do a great job and getting people to have fun and engage with others aswell. Disembarkation is also a lengthy process and it is done deck by deck . The night before , a seminar is held in the theatre detailing how disembarkation is done and what to do. this is quote handy as it avoids chaos and its done in many languages to avoid any confusion that could take place. according to the deck you are staying on, you are given a time and meeting place to disembark which moves the process along. As you disembark , you cruise card is scanned and you are on your way ,As a momento, you are allowed to keep your cruise card which i thought was really cool for those reminiscing moments . Once you disembark, your bags are color coded and waiting for you to pick them and make your way home after amazing 8 day cruise across the carribean Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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 2.9
Service 4.0 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.5

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