1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. MSC Cruises
  4. MSC Armonia Review
  5. MSC Armonia Cruise Reviews
4 Helpful Votes
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
7 Helpful Votes
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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Traveled on MSC Armonia Dec 2018, visited Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Cuba. Let me first start off with the old, moldy smell in the hallways on cabin floors as soon as you get off the elevator. Open my cabin door to find one bed ... Read More
Traveled on MSC Armonia Dec 2018, visited Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Cuba. Let me first start off with the old, moldy smell in the hallways on cabin floors as soon as you get off the elevator. Open my cabin door to find one bed instead of two, open the curtains to see my “ocean view” to only find a big rusty life boat there. So much for my “Oceanview room” that I paid 1,300 for!! Got no help from guest services at all with this matter, I was better off with a inside cabin and saving $600!! I am 6’0, 175 pounds and I could barely fit in the shower. I have never spun so much in a shower, half the bathroom floor was wet!! The food in the buffet was the same EVERYDAY, instead of the carvery station. The food sucked and had no flavor AT ALL. The drink machines were either empty or all juice selections were only water. The coffee was cold 90% of the time and most lines for the buffet were out the door to the pool area due to only one side of the buffet open. Many people had to wait after certain dishes were finished, there was no sense of urgency at all for the servers to quickly replace empty dishes. The dining room was a horrible experience which is why I never returned after day 1. I asked my server where our bartender was so I could order a beer with dinner, and he looked at me like I had 2 heads. He told me the bar was too far for him to get me anything, I had to get up from my table and walk out of the dining room to a bar to get drinks!! There were no decent activities during the day at sea to keep people busy, the casino was about the size of my garage with 5 tables only. I only enjoyed my last 2 days, due to the fact that were in Cuba and I was OFF THE BOAT! Only used MSC to shower and nap!! There are NO ATMs on board, guest services will force you to take a “cash advance” then charge you 5% fee from the transaction. They charge a fee for room service for many items that are not sandwiches and if ordered after 11pm. Most of the tv channels are not in english so you are limited if you decide to relax in your room. I would never EVER travel with MSC again, I wouldn’t even take a free cruise with them if offered. I will stick with Carnival for a great cruise experience. If you are going on MSC only for Cuba, save yourself the 5 day agony before hand and just fly into Cuba instead!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was my very first cruise and apparently MSC’s first departure out of Miami for this specific cruise (Jamaica - Grand Cayman - Cozumel - Havana). So take all this with a grain of salt Pros: • The staff is unfailingly nice, ... Read More
This was my very first cruise and apparently MSC’s first departure out of Miami for this specific cruise (Jamaica - Grand Cayman - Cozumel - Havana). So take all this with a grain of salt Pros: • The staff is unfailingly nice, except for that one guy working the Marco Polo restaurant • The balcony suite was wonderful - perfectly sized, clean, comfortable. We spruced it up with battery-powered Christmas lights on the balcony and our own bluetooth speaker for tunes. • Embarkation was quick and smooth, supported by an army of MSC staff welcoming us and making sure we didn't stray from the path to the ship. • Meal portions in the dining rooms were European sized (aka "smaller"). • Coffees in the Cafe San Marco were great and the staff was nice. • Definitely make an appointment for a facial and massage. But if you do it in advance via MSC's phone center, re-confirm it with the spa folks right when you get on board because somehow our reservations didn't make it into the system. • The Aura spa package is worth the price, if only for the spa and access the the lounge area at the front of the ship. • The staff working the main desk on board the Armonia were sharp. • Mahmoud at the Excursions desk came through for us, reimbursing us (and everyone else in the bus) for the river tubing excursion in Jamaica when the bus got stuck in a traffic jam and we turned around knowing we couldn't get to the launch site and get back to the ship before the scheduled departure time. • Our cabin steward was awesome and a master of the folded towel animal • The Surf 'n Turf restaurant was good (you need to make reservations). The other scheduled dinner restaurants were good. Buffet was average. • El Dorado (the formal night photographer) is awesome and if you have photos taken, have him shoot them. Cons • An instruction card in the room says to press the "Room Service" button on the phone to get room service. There is no Room Service button on the phone. (We later learned you need to press "99", which did work. • Many of the staff were new, like the bartender at one of the pool bars who needed to review the drinks menu to remember ingredients for a Greyhound. Also if you were an attractive young woman, you got served first. • A one hour departure delay out of Miami "wasn't our fault", the Captain announced over the loudspeaker. • Upselling on everything - granted was my first cruise, but dang. • It was a very international cruise and passengers had different ideas about queuing up for the dining room, excursion desk, and pretty much everything else. • The pools and jacuzzis close at 9 p.m. What's up with that? • Despite repeated assurances by the MSC phone staff that Vitamin (aka "Smoothie" Bar is part of the drinks package - it is not. (Kind of annoying since I don't drink alcohol). On the last day of the cruise, we learned that they actually were part of the package and the other staff member had misspoken. • Departures on the excursions were almost always behind schedule. • Dining staff probably needs more time to familiarize themselves with the menu. My partner asked for orange juice and the staff member brought juice and said it was "orange". (It was probably a mix, but it definitely had pineapple juice in it. • The ship often smelled of fresh paint or varnish (as in it was being painted during the cruise. • It rained both days in Cuba (and most other days on the cruise). No big deal, but particularly in Cuba because you're supposed to book excursions, we bailed on them within the first 15 minutes and did our own thing for the rest of each day, and that was cool. • In Cuba there is absolutely no reason to visit Hemingway's bar hangout where the daiquiri was apparently invented. It is an overcrowded tourist trap. • My partner appears to have been repeatedly been bitten by bedbugs (they bite in a particular pattern and these bites fit it). I will definitely do another cruise, but definitely select a different cruise line. (And not go in rain season). We will definitely be going back to Cuba. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Day 1 - Embarking Miami; smoothest embarkation ever.NO lines at any point during the process. Our stated boarding time was 4:00-5:00, but we showed up at 2:30 and went right through. I had wine in a tetrapak in my checked luggage, which ... Read More
Day 1 - Embarking Miami; smoothest embarkation ever.NO lines at any point during the process. Our stated boarding time was 4:00-5:00, but we showed up at 2:30 and went right through. I had wine in a tetrapak in my checked luggage, which was not confiscated. We wandered through the ship to get comfortable with the layout. We walked through the spa and gym ( no tours or specials offered), walked up to the day pass sun deck (nothing special) and went past the specialty restaurant, which was not open for viewing. Lunch was being served in the buffet and the grill and pizza station were both active. The luggage showed up at our room at 6:15, so we quickly changed and went to dinner in the dining room. Our Fantasia package drink tickets were delivered to the room - I wish the credit was on our room card instead; it wasn't very convenient dragging the coupon book around for the week. Dinner was "fine". No one came by to take orders for drinks/wine. The food was unremarkable for the most part. Portions are fairly small, which I appreciated as I like to order several courses and don't care to overeat. The "snickers cake" was pretty awful. It didn't have much flavor and the filling (which was caramel, I suppose) was extremely gritty and full of undissolved sugar. The apple tart was weirdly served with pistachio gelato, and that gelato was the highlight of the dinner! We went looking for the gelato station afterwards, but it closed at 7:00 p.m. (Gelato is now free; I understand there used to be a surcharge). Day 2 - Sea Day; We had breakfast in the buffet at 8:30 and it was quite full. No dishes seemed to be highlighted as daily specials (and in fact, breakfast did not really change throughout the week). Items that are more typically European breakfast fare (sliced meats, cheeses, veggies) were offered in addition to American standards. Baked beans seemed to be the only the only British breakfast item. During breakfast hours, the pizza station served breakfast baked items such as waffles, pancakes, doughnuts, and breakfast pizza (both sweet and savory). After breakfast we attended the Cruise Critic meet and greet, held in a midship bar, which was roped off. There were only 10 of us, and we were each given our own banquette, each table attractively set with canapes and chocolate-dipped strawberries. Waitstaff circulated with fruit juice, sparking wine, mimosas, and bloody Marys. Senior staff circulated and we had several pleasant conversations with them. We learned that fast-growing MSC (adding 2 new ships every year!) is breaking into the American cruise market and recognizes Cruise Critic as influential. A special Cruise Critic cake had been decorated, and group pictures were taken (we received a copy later in our stateroom). Disappointingly, the special cake was the same Snickers cake from the evening before, with the same, terrible gritty filling. In the morning, we had left a note that the safe didn't lock and tht the bathroom sink sprayed water all over, and by the time we returned to the room from the meet n greet, both had been repaired. We literally never saw the cabin steward the entire week of the cruise, but the room was always clean and well cared for. I spent the next several hours working on a research project and found a great space to work in the deck 12 disco lounge, which seemed to be only used at night. It was completely empty and offered lovely panoramic views from the rear of the ship. I had checked out the library, but it was just a nook in one of the bars, not even separated by a door. There were very few books but there were plenty of games, and every time we passed by the area through the week, games were out and being played. We had a fairly decent lunch in the dining room. Service was quite slow, but we weren't in a hurry. Sadly, they had run out of pistachio gelato in the dining room (which we all had ordered, based on our fond memories of the night before). That evening, we saw the French Follies show, which proved to be nominally French. It seemed as if they took stock of their performers' skills and tried to find a "French" way of showcasing their specialties. You are supposed to reserve spaces for the shows (although this was never checked), using a fairly intuitive interactive board. It would have been nice to have more information on the content of the shows. One was titled "The Greatest", which turned out to be Broadway tunes, but how was one to know? Day 3 - Montego Bay; We arrived early and we allowed to disembark early as well. There is a free shuttle from the dock to outside port, from where you can grab a taxi or shared van to town. MSC offered a shuttle to town for $20 a head, also from the dock. Inside the port there were two lines, one for each shuttle option and it was confusing to figure out which line we needed. We chose the free shuttle, and there was a stream of taxis and shared vans waiting to whisk us to the Hip Strip for $7 each. Locals were fairly pleasant but often approached tourists with an offer of something to sell and could be a bait aggressive. We were not impressed with the Hip Strip, and elected to pass a few pleasant hours at Doc's Beach. Despite the early arrival, our time in port seemed short. For dinner that night, I had the seafood trio, which included grilled lobster, one very large whole shrimp, and a piece of fish. All of it was somewhat overcooked, as was the shrimp cocktail. After dinner, we watched the show (the aforementioned The Greatest). It wasn't very good - performances were fine, but the show was very choppy, with no continuity and no storyline. The pacing seemed to presume that the audience had ADHD as it whirled from song to song, spending less than a version on any one song and sometimes less than one line. A grant total of two measures of music were devoted to Jesus Christ Superstar, for example. Other oddities included an arrangement that also forced songs into odd keys, and the umbrella props for Singin' in the Rain were also unaccountably used when the song became a number from West Side Story. Day 4 - Grand Cayman; This was the only port where we needed tenders to reach the shore. And it did take a while. You had to get a number, wait for the number to be called, then join another queue to the tenders and wait again. There were 6 other cruise ships in Grand Cayman, which proved to be a quaint, charming town. We all agreed that we would like to return some day. Locals were not hustling or hassling tourists and there were plenty of activities on offer upon leaving the port. We took a public bus (a van really) to the beach. To get to the bus stop, go inland a few blocks to the public library. We sent out to Calico Jack's, which was a nice beach with chairs and umbrellas for hire, public flush toilets, showers, and a few food trucks. There was also a bar/restaurant a few steps away on the sand. Lines were very long to get back on the ship at the end of the day. Return tenders bounced around quite a bit in the wind and waves, but we were safely delivered back to the ship. We were the only ship lucky enough to get out of the area and outrun an incoming storm. We dined that night on some very good meatballs, lovely asparagus (which was served warm and not chilled as the menu stated) and the best crepes Suzette that I have ever had. Later that night, we relaxed in the nearly-empty rum bar (a new addition to the ship), which served a variety of rum-based cocktails. The adorkable server Spaik (Spike) was extremely knowledgeable, not only about the rums, but he also had an almost encyclopedic knowledge about the ship and others in the MSC fleet. Evening events on the ship seemed lightly attended, as bars were fairly empty and activities appeared lightly attended. Overnight we could feel the movement of the ship quite a bit. The ship held its position pretty well, pitching and rolling but no grinding or groaning noises. Day 5 - Cozumel; We were delayed getting to port because of the storm and high winds. We snagged a taxi after exiting the port. We planned to go to Uvas Beach Club, based on the recommendation of a cruiser from another ship that we met on the beach in Grand Cayman. The taxi driver mentioned that the water was quite choppy on that side of the island, due to the winds. We pulled up to Uvas in the taxi and one look at the water was enough for us to change our plans. We put our faith in the driver, who said he could take us to a beach on the other side of Cozumel, where he promised the water was calm and swimmable. He was right. It took us a while to get out there and we passed through some fairly remote areas but finally pulled up to Chin Rio Beach, which was simply lovely. This public beach had no entry fee and was beautiful with clear water, soft sand, and not too crowded. There was also a restaurant and flush toilets (with toilet paper and soap). Many taxis awaited customers at the beach, with passengers often paying the driver 1/2 of the return fare up front as assurance to come back. Our driver gave us his name, cell number, and taxi number, and another driver offered to call him for us when we were ready to leave. FYI, you cannot take shells back onto the ship. Mine were confiscated before leaving the port. This was poorly explained in the ship's literature, which stated that plants, food and shells could not be taken off the ship. It was Italian night in the dining room, which proved to be quite the treat! I had the osso buco, which was incredibly tender and tasty, and a divine lemon cream, made with limoncello. This was the night where the dining room staff was recognized. The show was also Italian-themed. It was pretty good; the best we saw on this MSC cruise. The singing was good and the paired dancing was top notch and elevated the show and gave it energy. Day 6 - Havana; we had the morning aboard ship before reaching Havana. I ate an early lunch of amazing ship pizza. It had just come out of the oven, which I think made it extra amazing, and there was no line. The pizza with prosciutto and red sauce was exceptional and the white pizza with black olives and onions was very good. The ship was late getting to Havana due to the storm. Disembarking in Havana was the single worst experience of the cruise. MSC disembarked only people on MSC tours first, which wouldn't have been such a problem if the ship had reached port on time. Staff did not announce where people not on MSC tours could line up and several made remarks in passing about there being enough time to see Havana. It didn't seem to occur to staff that some people (like us) had made plans with a tour company not connected with the cruise line. There was eventually a mob of people jamming a long hall near the gangway and periodically lines of tour groups would be shoved through. There were no directions provided orally or with signage and no ropes were set up to create order. IT TOOK US 90 MINUTES JUST TO GET OFF THE SHIP from the time we joined the waiting mob (which was not right away, due to the lack of directions). That is not including time for entry into Cuba, that's 90 minutes just from the time we got in line on the ship to the time they scanned our MSC cards at the gangway. Consequently, we were an hour and a half late for our private tour. I had budgeted an ample 2 hours after arrival before the start of the tour and it still wasn't enough. Given our limited time in Havana, it was frustrating. I arranged our private tour through Strawberry Tours. Cesar greeted us with a hug, exclaiming that he worried we weren't coming. I was so glad he waited for us, as our ship had docked rather late. Our 6 hour tour began with a walking tour of Old Havana, followed by a classic car tour, accompanied by Cesar, who was excellent. We saw so much! It didn't feel hurried, despite our late start, and we saw so much. Havana is an amazing city. Cesarr and the driver dropped us off at a paladar for dinner, and then we walked to The Tropicana, where we ended the evening. I booked The Tropicana online, directly with the theatre and it was quite a show. It was so over the top in the very best way. Ladies were presented with a flower upon entry and gents received a cigar. Admission also came with a welcome drink of sparkling wine and two half-bottles of Havana Club 1-year rum for the four of us, along with four Cuban colas and little dishes of salted peanuts mixed with raisins. A bottle of 7-year Havana Club rum was later plopped on our table; we were able to take the leftover rum with us. The dancing, singing and musicians were all quite good, and the dancers were performing everywhere. Any other show would have taken it too far when the ladies came out wearing actual chandeliers on their heads, but at The Tropicana, it was just another part of the show. The only downside was the persistent cigarette smoke throughout the evening; I just don't have a tolerance built up for that. Day 7 - Havana, day two; In the morning we left the shipand walked into town for the food tour, arranged through Strawberry Tours. We were the only English-speaking guests, so we had a guide all to ourselves! We strolled Old Havana with Alex sampling many fine examples of Cuban food. He was disappointed that neither of us drinks coffee, so we started with a superb Cuban sandwich that included chorizo made in the shop. We also tried corn on the cob (which was field corn, but had tasty toppings), churros and ice cream - and then we had lunch. We lunched on the rooftop patio of an unassuming, restaurant and could see all along a several block stretch in Old Havana. Alex was a warm and gracious host. After the tour, we wandered over to the ware house artisan/souvenir space on the waterfront, where we purchased several small original prints and then took a coconut 3-wheeled taxi back to the ship. You can change money in the cruise terminal, even on Sunday, and change it back again before boarding. Also in the terminal is a small store - this is where I purchased the rum I brought back, so that I didn't have to carry it through town. Dinner aboard ship that night was good, and the peanut butter pie was outstanding! Day 8 - Miami; breakfast on the ship featured the same selections as other days, and they were giving our juice that normally was available only for a surcharge. Disembarkation ran ahead of schedule. All passengers were invited to leave the ship by 9:45 a.m. Luggage was easy to find and customs was a breeze. All in all, it was a lovely trip, and a great price. I was charmed by the international clientele on the ship - I have never heard less English aboard a cruise ship. I would definitely cruise with MSC again! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Let's talk about the ship; * This ship is old and every corner you go to the carpets are worn down and moldy. * At times there was water leaking through the hallway not sure it was the ac or another source. * Getting around ... Read More
Let's talk about the ship; * This ship is old and every corner you go to the carpets are worn down and moldy. * At times there was water leaking through the hallway not sure it was the ac or another source. * Getting around was a bit frustrating. Not all of the elevators go to the top decks so you have to go DOWN to cross to the front or back of the ship to then go back up. * There are some really nice places just to hang out. For example, the Rum bar was neat and so was the Armonia lounge which offered nice seating to relax. However, since it's at midship, you would get lots of traffic if you did not have a secluded table everyone walking is in your space. * The Bar De Duomo was where most of the fun activities were done however it would get hot. So if you were dancing it was like a musty gym. * The Pool Deck were nice however the floor was abnormally slippery even when it was early morning mist you saw passenger slip and almost fall. * You only get 15 minutes in the jacuzzi and they have staff sitting poolside taking time. * The gym is tiny and machines are always taken. * I was never offered to visit the spa so I can not speak of it. * The front desk staff was nice however it seemed that many were either new or had to continue asking other for information. Embarkation Was easy, for this Havana Cuba cruise you do need a passport otherwise they won't let you on the ship even if you are not going to get off in Cuba. We had some friends sent home and lost all their money for this miscommunication on MSC behalf. Call them and they will tell you otherwise. Pool Deck windows are not maintained they were dirty all cruise inside and outside. Cabin We had an ocean view. Like the rest of the ship its old. We had a door falling off the hinges, there was rust on the bathroom door. Caulking all over the place. The bathroom is smaller than usual. I am a big person but don't consider my self huge I had to leave the shower curtains rolled to the side otherwise they would stick to my body.. yuck! We had no hand soap and halfway during our cruise we had no shower gel. When they unite the twin beds there is a middle gap so if you are going to snuggle with your partner you will feel it. The Bars First and foremost the most annoying thing is on day 1 they offer you drink packages but by day 3 there is ZERO bar service where you are sitting critical at poolside! The drinks are ok, not the same mix at all bars. Sometimes you must specify what mix, for example, Moscow Mule is Vodka, Lime Juice, Ginger Beer or Ginger Ale. However, some bars would put Vodka, Lime, Sprite. or Vodka and Ginger Ale. That's just one example of many. The unlimited packages are overrated. First, you must get the package for every adult in the room. The packages range anywhere from $30-75 a day So if you are going to have at least 8-9 drinks per person a day the packages are not worth it in my opinion and that's if when you want a drink there is a bartender around. Shows Flat out the worst shows I have seen on an MSC cruise line. Out of sync, same routines, performers falling, dreadful sounds from the speaker. You know its not you when day 3 they are making announcements for people to show up. All around the worst part of this cruise. Dining The assigned dining was nicely decorated. The service was slow. Although by the six night they had improved a bit. But every single night we had to wait at least 30 minutes before a bartender showed up and another 20 minutes before we would get water down drinks. The food was good. A very good selection every night. Buffet If you enjoy good burgers and pizza for lunch you are in for a treat because that was the only good things for lunch everything else was awful and the same damn menu always! Breakfast Not much to say here other than it was the same eggs, same bacon, same sausage, same cheeses Ports Havana NO, YOU DO NOT NEED TO BOOK A SHORE EXCURSION WITH THE BOAT. Just say you intend to and you will get the Visa. With the Visa, you are good to go. Cuban government wants their money. However, we did the Hemingway excursion it was ok MSC gave us priority off the boat which was a plus. Definitely not worth the asking price. We also negotiated a ride on the convertible old cars rented a car with a driver for $100 for the day. That was fun! The people are super nice. Take some caramel candy and they will love you for it! This place is stuck in time. It was absolutely really fun to walk around and see this old building as if they were in the 1900. Exchange money with the locals. We did it with our taxi driver. For example, the Exchange office was giving us 0.87 CUC for 1 US Dollar but the driver gave me 0.95 CUC for 1 US Dollar. Granted they are not going to have thousands. And barter with the locals. You will be surprised at what they would do for a pair of Nike Jordans. Jamaica Montego Bay Dirty! The port where they drop you off is far from the town. MSC will try to book you on a taxi ride round trip for $16.99 that was a waste all you need to do is walk or grab a shuttle to the "transportation terminal" located about 5-10 minute walk if the port lets you or do what we did wait 10 minutes for the complimentary bus to the terminal and got a $5 dollar ride to town. If you leave the terminal and negotiate you will get a better price. Be careful it is not located in a great part of town however we did not feel unsafe at any time. Grand Cayman Getting off the boat to the tender was an absolute mess. There were no clear instructions where to get the tender tickets. You had passengers showing up to get on the tender and then sent to another place to get tickets for the tenders. After two hours of waiting, we finally got to land. There just negotiate your excursion, for the most part, everyone has the same price. You can never go wrong with a 7-mile beach. We also went to the Royal Palm Club which has a pretty decent menu for foods and drink. Just like everything else on this island it is expensive at an average of $15 a drink. Cozumel Here you can just get off the boat pretty straightforward. Go to the Duty-Free shops and just at the outside gates we rented two jeeps for $75 a day. Rode around the island, stop at the tequila tasting, YES THEY ARE FREE. Please have a designated driver if you go down this route. We went to the south of the island much better beaches. If you are looking for alcohol and better rates go to Sherdavi or Mega just ask the locals. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our fifth cruise with the MSC company. We have done the MSC Divina and the MSC Poesia twice. We chose this cruise for the itinerary, especially the night in Cuba. The cruise is a smaller ship with about 2500 cruisers. We liked ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with the MSC company. We have done the MSC Divina and the MSC Poesia twice. We chose this cruise for the itinerary, especially the night in Cuba. The cruise is a smaller ship with about 2500 cruisers. We liked that, because you would run into the same people over the week and it never felt crowded on the ship. Also, the embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze due to the size. We had no wait whatsoever. The ship is decorated very modern with many lounges and seating all over the ship. Since our cruise was a December cruise, every lounge, dining area, etc. had a beautiful Christmas tree. The ship was decorated very festive for the season. Because the ship is older, there is no large atrium in the middle of the ship with the glass elevators. Who needs that, anyway? One area that we really liked was the pool area. It was spread out with the pool, hot tubs, great splash area for younger ones that was enclosed. Plenty of pool seating around the outside decks and the entertainment crew always had something fun going on to get the crowd active. Our room was a balcony view located on the ninth floor (room 9143). The location was convenient to everything. We loved our cabin. My daughter (12 years old) had a bunk-bed at the end of our king bed. From the king bed, you could see the water easily. I loved being able to read in bed and see the water. It was very relaxing. Our cabin attendant (B) was very sweet, thorough and kept our room really clean. We had the anytime dining and usually arrived at our same table around 7:00. The food was excellent and our wait staff was very attentive and accommodating. We sat at the same table all week next to a really sweet couple from Switzerland. We ate a few times at the buffet, which had many options to chose from at breakfast and lunch. We also had lunch in the dining room a few days. The food was excellent! The shows were phenomenal! The entertainers were really talented and put on a great show. Due to the size of the ship, they do have you reserve the seats in advance. They have big screens located throughout the ship, you scan your ship card and reserve a spot. Two of our favorite shows was "The Adams Family" and "French Follies". Overall, great shows with singing, dancing, and various performers. The entertainment crew (Graham, Kaitlan, Gary) on this ship worked really hard to make sure that everyone had a great time. They have a flower power night, white night and many other events that were fantastic. We loved all of our ports (Grand Caymen, Conzumel, and Cuba), except for Montego Bay. We had been to Montego Bay on the MSC Poesia about 8 years earlier and it was vibrant and happening. The port now has all the shops closed and to do shopping you go on a shuttle a long way through the city that is littered with trash. The shopping is past the airport in the resort area that is cleaned up. We walked through the shopping area in a bout 10 minutes and chose to go back on the shuttle to our ship. One reason for this was because our driver was so entertaining on the way there, so we figured we should ride back with him. We picked up some people that had gone to the beach and they were not impressed. Maybe the people that went on the excursions had a different experience and a good time in Montego Bay. The highlight for us was Havana, Cuba. We did the walking/bus tour on the first day. Our tour took us through the four squares. Our guide was very knowledgeable and informative. He loved his city. One interesting highlight was an exact replica of Cuba in miniature that we were able to see. We also visited a cigar/ coffee store. The bus tour took us to Plaza de la Revolucion (Square of Revolution). Where we boarded the bus was also a spot where all the classic cars are parked. What a trip to see so many brightly painted cars from the 1950's. The tour was about seven hours. The next day, we did the classic car tour. WOW!!!! I would highly recommend this tour. We were in a 1952 Chevy with the original paint and many other car parts! Our driver was really personable and shared pictures of his daughter, wife, home, and dog. We went to a really cool artsy area with neat bars and restaurants. The ride ended with a visit to the Floridita Bar which included a free pina colada. What a great place! Crowded but fun and the absolute best pina colada ever. There is a nice statue of Hemingway at the end of the bar, apparently, that was one of his favorite bars. Also, one of the most art-deco buildings is located a block from the bar. The old Bacardi building is amazing. At the top, is the Bacardi bat, with such great architecture. The one tour that we really wanted to do was the dance/nightclub performance. Due to my daughter's age, we could not participate. The minimum age is 18. It actually worked out fine, because MSC brought on the ship a great Cuban band and a dance performance that was first rate and very entertaining. We loved the show! It was nice to be sitting on the ship in Cuba watching a Cuban band perform and then to see an amazing dance performance. Lastly, Captain Scala was amazing. He spoke about 15 different languages. He made sure to welcome all nationalities to the ship on the first night of the show. He also walks around the ship and talks to the cruisers. Both days when we returned from Cuba, he was there to greet the passengers and ask about their adventures in Cuba. We actually had the privilege to sail with him on the Divina both times. On the last night, he speaks to the guests and does a top ten that is really entertaining. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My family was so excited to be sailing on the Armonia for the Christmas cruise to Cuba. When I booked this cruise I advised the MSC ticket agent that my daughter suffers from Celiac Disease and would require a gluten free meal plan. At ... Read More
My family was so excited to be sailing on the Armonia for the Christmas cruise to Cuba. When I booked this cruise I advised the MSC ticket agent that my daughter suffers from Celiac Disease and would require a gluten free meal plan. At no point in the conversation did the rep advise me that accommodating my daughters dietary issues would be a problem. You see I have previously traveled with MSC and was aware that many of your ships have dedicated gluten free kitchens. My daughter's selections for meals were extremely limited; had this information been convened to me at the time of booking I would have selected another ship. You see my daughter is very fussy and there was no pasta, pancakes or even something as simple as individual containers of yogurt. I do believe the kitchen staff did there best to accommodate my daughter. Nevertheless, not conveying the information about how limited my daughter's options for food would be on Armonia is not acceptable. In many ways I feel that this cruise was sold to me fraudulently. Additionally, another big issue was the disembarkation in Cuba. The crew made an announcement that people who booked third party excursions had to be off the ship by 12:20. As such, many of us who met this criteria disembarked from the ship early only to wait on a line for over an hour as Armonia crew allowed all of their excursions to go through Cuban customs prior to third party excursions. This experience made all of us feel like second class citizens. Why tell us to leave earlier only to force us to watch your excursions all go through first. We all had an agenda in Cuba. A few other things were overlooked. I did advise that I would be celebrating my birthday on this cruise, and that was never even addressed. Also, failure of cabin stewards to introduce themselves at the beginning of cruise, all of these little details matter. One final note, the change of port to Ochos Rios was disappointing as we were never given a really good reason for why the destination was changed. In summary, I spent a lot of money for my family to enjoy themselves, and this cruise failed to live up to expectations. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
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
So we chose this cruise as the places visited were amazing. We have cruised before but never with MSC and I have to say we will never choose MSC again. The only positives were the embarkation at the start which was very organised and the ... Read More
So we chose this cruise as the places visited were amazing. We have cruised before but never with MSC and I have to say we will never choose MSC again. The only positives were the embarkation at the start which was very organised and the places we visited. 1. The ship itself was old and needs updating. There is nothing grand about the ship whatsoever. We hoped that with it being Christmas there would be lots of things to do but it felt like a summer holiday. There was nothing special with it being Christmas which was very disappointing. In fact it didn't even feel like Christmas! 2. Food was poor. Breakfast was cold every morning and lunch was the same menu pretty much. No variety whatsoever. Dinner was not great either and one meal a hair was found on my plate! 3. Excursions - one word chaos. 4. Customer service was poor. I could probably count on my hand the amount of staff who had a smile on their face when serving us. In fact, one of the waiters was extremely rude when he told us it was an open dining that night so because we didn't get to our table until 8.30pm (the time of our meal sitting as nobody had told us it was open dining) he said we needed to hurry up and order as the restaurant was closing at 9pm! This was despite us having to wait nearly half an hour to be seated the first few nights of the cruise. 5. During the cruise it was my sons birthday. He received a certificate to say that there was a free gift waiting for him but when he went to reception nobody knew about who had given him the certificate and they were extremely unhelpful. 6. Entertainment was poor and there was very limited activities on the ship. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Our Christmas cruise started on Christmas eve with Christmas day at sea. The entertainment team really went the extra mile with the Christmas spirit. The theater had a Christmas show that was a full stage production with fantastic ... Read More
Our Christmas cruise started on Christmas eve with Christmas day at sea. The entertainment team really went the extra mile with the Christmas spirit. The theater had a Christmas show that was a full stage production with fantastic acrobats...it's amazing what they can do on a rocky ship! The white party had a foam machine that made it seemed like it was snowing at 85 in the Caribbean! Christmas spirit was decorated throughout the ship, include the ginger bread village created by the pastry team! The food on the ship was better than other ships I've sailed, although there was only 3 dining options (the main dining room, a surf & turf, and the buffet). The hours for dining started early and lasted late into the night (always a pizza or burger available). I was mixed on the ship overall. I thought the pool area and bar areas throughout the ship were very relaxing and not overly crowded, and the entertainment crew was always throwing fantastic parties. The room itself was very disappointing as it wasn't clean and was the smallest room I've had at seas by far! The ports were great (Montego Bay, which we were diverted to Ocho Rios, Cayman, Cozumel and Havana overnight). As much as MSC tries to threaten you, you don't need to book an excursion with them. As of 2018, U.S. citizens need to qualify for one of 12 categories. The cruise ship offers a people to people category, same as what a third party excursion company would offer. There are other categories (i.e., family, journalist, etc.) so it's worth doing a little research to know the laws. You can exchange cash at the currency booth at the port terminal. They were open when we left mid-afternoon, so it was easy to convert back to your currency. The port in Havana let out into San Francisco Plaza. The biggest setback on MSC was the service. It started as soon as we booked. The online system kept crashing and the login wouldn't register us. We eventually purchased a couple of excursions through MSC, but we couldn't view online and they only sent a receipt for one. We contacted MSC customer service 3 times (one agent was flat out rude, another didn't know what they were talking about, and the other just lied to say that we needed to contact our travel agent to obtain). Embarkation was good. We didn't see the cabin stew until the next day (they are always in the hall when you first arrive). Bar service was dreadfully slow as they didn't have enough bar tenders. One bar we had to order 3 drinks (no ginger beer for a mule on their menu, no curacao for the drink of the day, and the best...neither jack nor diet for a jack and diet...they ran out day 2). We were told by MSC multiple ways that we had MyChoice dining, which the crew wouldn't honor and gave us some bs response with the paperwork that we evidenced, they just flat out lied to us (and we just gave in to avoid ruining the moment). There were soooo many rules throughout the ship (the best was the hot tub where they time you and kick you out after 15 minutes). Many people we ran into shared similar experiences. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this Cruise because of its itinerary to Cuba. Embarkation was excellent. It took less than 10 minutes. Disembarkation went smoothly also. Entertainment The theatrical entertainment lacked variety. Basically the same acts ... Read More
We chose this Cruise because of its itinerary to Cuba. Embarkation was excellent. It took less than 10 minutes. Disembarkation went smoothly also. Entertainment The theatrical entertainment lacked variety. Basically the same acts and performers each night, just different music and theme. The seating in the theater needs adjustments. Additional chairs were added to increase the capacity. However, when someone is seated in these chairs, it blocks the view of the person behind them on the same row. Additionally, there were numerous types of dance lessons throughout the week. Dining Dining at the buffet was a challenge. Not due to the crowds, but trying to determine what you were eating. The sign/label was often missing to tell you what food/meat you were attempting to eat. The operational times for the buffet for lunch was 12-3:00. So if you went to port and returned after 3:00, your choices were only pizza, hamburger, or hot dogs. The buffet did not open again until 6 or 6:30. Dining in the restaurant was often tasteless and cold. I gave up after the 3rd try (lobster was served without seasoning or butter). Excursions The only excursion we took through the ship was the Tropicana Experience. It was a very good show. The ship is older and it shows the wear and tear of it age. The hallways are narrow making it difficult for two people to pass simultaneously, especially near the columns. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
MSC cruise lines said they are not responsible to reimburse a passenger who books a tour through them when the tour does not provide services as advertised, shortens the tour to 1-1/2 hrs from the advertised 3-1/2 hrs & does not ... Read More
MSC cruise lines said they are not responsible to reimburse a passenger who books a tour through them when the tour does not provide services as advertised, shortens the tour to 1-1/2 hrs from the advertised 3-1/2 hrs & does not furnish the passenger a guide in their native language, i.e. English as advertised. If you like to waste your time & money on a tour that doesn't complete as sold & advertised, this is your cruise. MSC employees do not act in making sure the kids running around their ship do not put seniors in harms way by their actions, don't take any roll in disciplining the kids - since the foreign travelers don't manage their kids at all - example is kicking back of chairs in the theater, pre-teens putting their feet up on the chairs making it where adults can't sit or spreading themselves out as to limit seating, then get up and leave within the first 15 minutes of a performance, rushing into an elevator before it unloads, cutting in buffet food lines, running in and around someone in a wheelchair, using their hands to grab food at the buffet instead of using a utensil, butting in or into an adult in the food line, and so much more. If you have kids, and enjoy turning them lose on the ship while you don't provide supervision then this is the cruise for you! If you don't mind dining with foreigners who will totally ignore you if you speak English, while they obviously can, and act like you don't exist, this is your cruise. Several of their 10th & 11th floor elevators had operational issues, and were not repaired during the entire 7 days even after notice to customer service desk. One never knew if they would get stuck, or the elevator would even operate once inside. Upon embarkation you were one of several hundred whose cabin key cards did not work and only solution was to wait in long lines to get to the desk so your key card could be either activated or replaced. These passengers were among the mix of others who had various issues rather than getting the key card people into another line to expedite resolution. Customer Service not allowed to think out of the box to expedite problem solving issues. The ship is very nice, well decorated, and the cabins and common areas are well maintained. My cabin steward barely offered any services the last 3 days of a 7 day cruise. Prior to this cruise I sailed on the MSC Divinia so found the buffet on this ship exactly the same food - barely above institution quality food. At least dining room service was better because it was so bad on the Divinia that my co-table mates and I decided after the first 3 days of a 10 day cruise not to return to the table and we were not allowed to be seated elsewhere. Service was very poor, and we were lucky if we got the menu item we ordered. FYI - the coffee served throughout the dining rooms and buffet is not freshly brewed coffee. You must go to a coffee bar for fresh brewed. The other brown liquid is a knock off of coffee being a mix of who knows what! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because of the amazing itinerary (Jamaica,Grand Cayman,Mexico and Cuba out of Miami) and the price was fairly good. We were a family of four although our "children" are adults. We sailed with the fantastica ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the amazing itinerary (Jamaica,Grand Cayman,Mexico and Cuba out of Miami) and the price was fairly good. We were a family of four although our "children" are adults. We sailed with the fantastica experience in a ocean view cabin that included 12 drink coupons. This cruise left on New Years eve and was pretty full, so we knew right away that there would be a lot of people on a fairly small ship. That being said, the only time we really felt the overcrowding was in the buffet, where it was difficult to find a seat and in the ports, where the excursions would take upwards of an hour or two to get off the ship and actually onto a bus. We had never sailed MSC but we have cruised 15 times on 6 other lines so we were confident that we could traverse this cruise line as well. There were both things that we enjoyed and things we didn't and I will share with you our experience. Embarkation: Although they asked us to embark at 4:10pm, we chose to arrive at the port at 1:00 pm. We chose a very popular time and waited about an hour to get on the ship. As we were entering the ship, the people showing up at 2:00 really didn't have a line at all, so next time I will show up a little later. Cabin: We had two outside cabins on deck 9. They were very typical of any other cabin. They were neither better or worse then any other outdoor cabins we have ever had.Unfortunately our cabin steward wasn't great. We waited until 6 the first evening for him to finish. Sometimes we got a daily planner and sometimes we didn't. In Jamaica we were supposed to get a supplement in our cabin for the shuttle but it never came. These little things made little difference in our cruise but left a bad taste for the steward crew. Dining: We dined in the dining room as well as the buffet, pizza place, and the grill. The dining room was great. The service was the best we had ever experienced. I enjoyed the food, and always found something good to eat. The buffet was fair, the food wasn't great but typical buffet foods served in large crock pots. The worst part of the buffet was the seating. It is difficult to find a seat indoors. The pizza and gelatto (Free) were great but the grill was not good at all. The hamburgers tasted like the kind you used to get in the school cafeteria. The service at all of the food places was good. Bars: All of the bars were good. The busiest bars are the two on the pool deck. It may take some time to get a drink there. Luckily there are plenty of bars so it wasn't an issue to go downstairs. We liked the Pub ,for a shanty and some food, the best. The drink coupons were super easy to use. Simply hand the waiter your cruise card and coupon and they deliver back a receipt and your drink. There is no place on the receipt to add a tip and I don't remember having to even sign it. Entertainment: The entertainment on this ship could use some help. The boy band they brought on were excellent and the performers on the ship are good, the shows seem to be almost identical with different themes like "Paris" or "Under the Sea". There will be some singing, dancing and some feats of strength then you will see it again the next night. Excursions: We took 5 excursions on this trip so it was excursion heavy due to the Cuba visit. This area needs help! They are so disorganized. I honestly don't think I was on one excursion that had the same bus number on my sticker/ticket that was on my actual bus! It was crazy. You sit in the theater for anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half, then they call 6 or 7 numbers, Hundreds of people get up and try to shove their way to the front. We were on one excursion and we were the only 4 on the excursion. It was a nightmare. Only one employee knew where we were supposed to be. Unfortunately it wasn't the lady in charge so she kept telling us we were in the wrong place. She would send us to a location where we would be told to go back to the first location where she would promptly tell us we were wrong. We finally ended up going on our own and someone later told us to go on their tour and they would take us to the location. This was the worst part of our trip. Disembarkation: This was the easiest disembarkation we have ever had. It was easy and organized, well done! So while I loved some aspects of this cruise like the captain, who was by far the most personable captain we have ever met and the cruise director who deals with all of the craziness with style and grace,the service in the dining room and most of the food, there were also parts that were really not good like the execution of the excursions and the difficulty finding a table at the buffet. Be prepared for announcements in 6 different languages and rarely sitting by someone who speaks English.MSC is breaking into the US market in a big way over the next few years with the addition of several ships and I believe they can be successful, but if they want to tap this market, they will need to tweak a few things. I would sail with them again if the itinerary was good and the price was right again, but honestly I would look at another line first. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The food on the ship was excellent. i have never used the buffet in previous cruises but was very happy with the selections. things changed every day. Msc ships including the armonia was as clean as a ship can be. they were constantly ... Read More
The food on the ship was excellent. i have never used the buffet in previous cruises but was very happy with the selections. things changed every day. Msc ships including the armonia was as clean as a ship can be. they were constantly repainting areas and cleaning even the elevators. someone would be cleaning them as you used them. the shows were excellent. the cabin seemed to have plenty of room for 2 people. lots of storage areas in the cabin which was 02, oceanview room. customer service lines were not long because it was a smaller ship. the staff listened to every thing you might say to them and i received chocolate covered strawberries for just suggesting something to the matre d. the photo department was well run and all the areas of the ship always had things going on. the casino was a great place to hang out at the bar in the casino. this cuba sailing was a very good itenarary and we will be back on there in november of this year. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was my 7th Cruise. I have previously cruised 3 times with Carnival, twice with Norwegian, and once with Holland America. I selected MSC based on price and itinerary. I wanted to visit Havana, and MSC offered a great price and ... Read More
This was my 7th Cruise. I have previously cruised 3 times with Carnival, twice with Norwegian, and once with Holland America. I selected MSC based on price and itinerary. I wanted to visit Havana, and MSC offered a great price and itinerary out of Miami. The overall quality of the cabin, service, and food was not significantly different from my previous experience with other Cruise lines. Let me be perfectly clear here...I would NOT purposely choose MSC for quality of food and service, nor would I reject MSC for food and service quality. In my opinion they are the same as Carnival, Holland America, and Norwegian. What did MSC do that stood out to me as better? The embarkation process was fast and organized. What stood out as noticeably poor to me? The evening dining room service, food quality, and food portion made the buffet a better option. If evening dining experience is key to your cruising value proposition, you may want to look elsewhere. If you want great port calls and a good price out of Miami, check out MSC. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
From top to bottom, bow to stern, this ship and MSC in general fail. No, that's not true. Jason in the dining room and one guy at the coffee bar were good. The rest of the crew are all relatively indifferent to service while ... Read More
From top to bottom, bow to stern, this ship and MSC in general fail. No, that's not true. Jason in the dining room and one guy at the coffee bar were good. The rest of the crew are all relatively indifferent to service while the management is downright hostile. Food is consistently bland, lacking in choice and not usually the correct temperature. The Surf and Turf specialty restaurant left my brother-in-law puking all night. Staterooms are the smallest I have seen on any ship in more than 30 cruises. Bathrooms are worse. Common areas are too small for the number of guests. The buffet uncomfortably packed, pool deck impossible to find a chair and theater over full. Cruise staff activities are few and far between amd several times were cancelled without notice. Theater shows were dreadfully sung. The acrobatics were entertaining, however. Internet didn't work in our cabin, but MSC wouldn't give a partial refund. Room Service was supposed to be included, but family was charged. Drink packages are not uniformly implemented. Debarkation locations amd times changed, procedures randomly changed, etc. No clear communication about anything except sales or other $$ items. MSC is trash, their staff doesn't care about their guests and their competition is literally better at everything. Enjoy your vacation, cruise with someone else. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The overnight stay in Havana was why I chose this trip. The itinerary was good for a seven day cruise. MSC is a low cost cruise line that I have never sailed on before. This was my 24th cruise. You should not expect great food or ... Read More
The overnight stay in Havana was why I chose this trip. The itinerary was good for a seven day cruise. MSC is a low cost cruise line that I have never sailed on before. This was my 24th cruise. You should not expect great food or entertainment. The ship although older, is in great repair, it is very clean throughout. There was no rust found anywhere on this ship. It is very well kept. The balcony stateroom 9097 was the smallest room in our cruising experience. Yes the bathroom is tighter than most. Electrical outlets (two) are inadequate for todays cruiser. The phone system does not allow messages be sent to other guest rooms. WIFI is very slow and not always easy to connect to. In port in Cozumel on my balcony I had one bar showing with a poor signal while I saw four bars and a strong signal from the NCL ship docked next to us. Announcements are made in five languages and one tour in Jamaica an English speaking island did the tour mainly in French. The ship and its food and music seems to favor non Americans. Most music was with Latin beat. The food was adequate but tasteless. Nothing seemed to be seasoned except with salt. The LaBrassiere dining layout is not well layed out. If you get toast, there is no butter or jellies in the vicinity. Staff was lacking to clear and clean tables and there was no one providing refills on juice or coffee.The Pizza that some rave about must never had really good pizza as the sauce was tasteless and always slightly undercooked. Dining room staff were slow and unengaging. They never introduced themselves and did offer any dining suggestions. On board customer service was the worst we have experienced. Our embarkation information told us not to board until 4:15PM. Thought this was odd but followed the instruction. Arriving at the terminal found it mostly empty and no one to take our luggage. We had to bring it onboard ourselves and found that the ship had been available for boarding since 11:30AM. Effectively we lost lour first day. After waiting 45 minutes in line at customer service I was told it was not MSC's issue but Expedia that provided incorrect information. They said the look into igt as we were the fourth guest to mention the incorrect boarding info. After two days of waitng we received no compensation for our lost day Our excursion to Negril which I booked with MSC on 12/21 was to include Rick's Cafe to see cliff diving as well as the beach at Margaritaville. It was to be a five hour excursion. When our tickets were received we were advised there was an itinerary change but no explanation as to what it was. Taking the letter to the excursion desk and waiting 35 minutes resulted in the first agent after showing him the letter unable to tell us what the change was. This prompted him to ask a supervisor that said we must have booked this a long time ago (three weeks) and the had dropped Ricks as there was not wnough time. When I asked for a reduction in price was told there were no refunds given and we could only rebook a different tour which we had no interest in. They changed the intinerary without notice but were not willing to offer a refund. Very poor customer service. To top it off we went on the tour leaving the port at 1:15PM but after getting into downtown Montego Bay we returned to the ship to pick up five additional passengers that missed the bus. By the tiome they boarded it 1:55PM and then an 80 minute ride to Negril. Since there were more French speking people on the bus despite being on an English speaking island the bulk of the tour was offered in French. We arrived at Negril at 3:15PM and were told to be on the bus by 4:20PM. Stragglers did not finally board until 4:35PM. We then drove a quarter mile and stopped for thirty minutes at a liquor store for people to sample and buy Jamaican rum. We did not return to the ship until 6:20PM. Without a rum stop and returning to the port to pick up tardy passengers ther was clearly more than enough time to go to Rick's Cafe. I never signed up for a stop at a liquor store and have had tour go back to pickup late passengers. The next day the Excursion desk did not even offer an apology. Not a recommended tour! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
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
5 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted an overnight in Cuba, and the price was very reasonable.. The Armonia is well maintained,and very clean.The decor / color palette on the ship is quieter and more soothing than other ships we've ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted an overnight in Cuba, and the price was very reasonable.. The Armonia is well maintained,and very clean.The decor / color palette on the ship is quieter and more soothing than other ships we've been on. We had an inside cabin on the Ninth floor, The room was more square than rectangular, which made it feel roomier. There was ample closet and drawer space. The bathroom was small, but adequate. The food in the Marco Polo dining room was great , Half of the Menu (5-6) main dishes were the same each day, a beef choice, a fish choice, a chicken choice, a vegetarian choice and one or two more. The other half of the menu varied by day, I liked the Italian Day best, I had chicken parmigiana, and my husband had lasagna. both were outstanding. The food in the buffet was very nice, but of course not the variety available at the main dining room. Our cabin steward was efficient and discreet. When we put the "do not disturb" sign out, he let us sleep. Other times, he kept the room tidy. Things I wish I knew beforehand. They had a "white-out" evening where everyone tried to wear a white shirt or blouse. They had a 2-3 minute show where the children sang a super hero song, before the professional show. Many kids wore a super hero T-shirt or cape that evening. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
I choose the Armonia for two reasons. The first was the stop in Cuba. The second because I've sailed the MSC Seaside numerous times and was so impressed with MSC at that point. The Armonia was an older refurbished vessel and it ... Read More
I choose the Armonia for two reasons. The first was the stop in Cuba. The second because I've sailed the MSC Seaside numerous times and was so impressed with MSC at that point. The Armonia was an older refurbished vessel and it was very clean and well laid out. I enjoyed the smaller size but can only rate the café as average. They really needed more variety for those who dine there exclusively. As a single traveler, I seldom utilize the dinning rooms. So, I can NOT provide an opinion on them. The evening theater entertainment was well performed but sadly very repetitive. There were six professional dancers and four singers. That was it for the six days performances. They did different venues but only those ten performers. The really need different varieties of entertainment in the theater. For those who like to spend some time in the gym, the exercise machines provided no distractions such as TV broadcasts or videos on the machines. 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

Find a MSC Armonia Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise