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1,073 MSC Cruises Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for the promo. EZ drink package, wifi and OBC. We flew directly to Miami on sailing date and were met at the airport by shuttled arranged by MSC. It was a short ride to the port and we were checking in very shortly. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the promo. EZ drink package, wifi and OBC. We flew directly to Miami on sailing date and were met at the airport by shuttled arranged by MSC. It was a short ride to the port and we were checking in very shortly. \ We found the Armonia to be a very well organized ship. We found our cabin (we had booked Interior Guaranteed} and were upgraded to an Oceanview. The cabin was bright and though not spacious it was sufficient for two people. I was surprised at the closet space, having been on the Meraviglia where space was limited. We were assigned first seating dining and shared a table for 6 with one other couple. We enjoyed the variety of foods offered and found the portions to be adequate. Our waiter was Landi and he did an excellent job taking care of us. We found there was a variety of activities to keep us busy when we wanted to be busy and just relax when we wanted to do that. We are older and don't stay up late so we didn't do many shows. But heard a lot of good things about the shows. The service was extraordinairy. I had to stop by Guest Service our first day and get help with my wifi. Arpy was very helpful. I accessed my messages and found that my daughter had passed away suddenly the night before. My first thought was to fly home so I went back to Arpy and explained i needed to find out how to arrange a flight. She calmly said she would put through a call to my family and I could speak with them and decide what I needed to do. This was accomplished in just a matter of minutes. After talking with my other daughter it was decided that things were under control and to stay on the cruise as it was only a week long. Thanks to having been able to talk to family I felt able to finish the cruise. With the threat of the Coronavirus and knowing we would be around family we stayed aboard while in port. We had been to Jamaica and Grand Cayman before. Our hearts went out to the crew when it was announced by the Captain that this would be the final cruise for the ship and the crew would be returning home. And although we prepaid our gratuities we tipped our waiter and wait staff knowing they were losing income. We will definitely be booking with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Definitely a more European feel, so maybe not suitable for American families with young kids. The food was wonderful with a buffet running most of the day and several dining rooms. We were in the Marco Polo dining room which had amazing ... Read More
Definitely a more European feel, so maybe not suitable for American families with young kids. The food was wonderful with a buffet running most of the day and several dining rooms. We were in the Marco Polo dining room which had amazing and tasty food each night. The waitstaff doesn't bend over backwards for their guests, which I assure all you boomers is not actually rude, and a lot of them speak limited English, so just be smart about how you order things, and don't expect them to run around the ship getting you fancy drinks that aren't available in the dining room, get them yourself. The pool felt a bit crowded on the days at sea but get yourself a spot on the upper side decks with a view of the ocean and it's absolutely amazing. The bars are quite nice and well placed outside of the dining areas and theater. I think the entertainment and nightly shows were my favorite part. The shows usually featured signing and dancing and the acrobatics were very good. If you get a chance to see the Addams' Family show definitely go for it as it absolutely blew me away. The entertainment staff is a lot of fun and definitely works super hard to make your time not in port a memorable one. Again, just keep in mind that this is a more European feel if you're an American boarding for a Caribbean cruise and all will be perfectly fine. Also the guest relations are some of the most resilient people I've ever met, so don't expect a room upgrade under any circumstances; my cruise was during the COVID-19 outbreak with a much lower number of guests than usual and even so the best we got were chocolate covered strawberries after asking 3 days straight haha. All in all this was an absolutely amazing cruise and I think next time I'll skip out on Carnival and Princess and go for an MSC cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I'm an avid cruiser being on at least 40 Cruise's since 1983. Having cruised on RCCL (diamond member), Princess, Carnival, NCL, HAL, Celebrity, Red Boat, Admiral I have a reasonable idea what makes for a good cruise. I booked an ... Read More
I'm an avid cruiser being on at least 40 Cruise's since 1983. Having cruised on RCCL (diamond member), Princess, Carnival, NCL, HAL, Celebrity, Red Boat, Admiral I have a reasonable idea what makes for a good cruise. I booked an inside cabin and pre purchased the Thermal Spa pass in place of a balcony. This usually works out great on NCL and Holland since they have great spas with large window views. Due to the Covid19 virus I called to see if I could postpone my cruise. I was told sure no problem. They took all the information made it sound like everyone is doing this not to worry. Then I was transferred to the "response team." Well he was just another customer service rep who said no you can only cancel trips to Asia. I then asked how much to upgrade to a balcony just in case we get stuck at sea for awhile. I was told it would be an additional $1477. I passed on the up grade since it would have been cheaper to cancel loose all my money and rebook for less. (They were giving balconies away for $299pp 7 days at that point). I call again the next day to make sure they knew what they were doing. The svc rep said no to canceling so I again asked about upgrading. After a few minutes she comes back on the line and says okay your new room is xxxxx and we can bill you $400 for the upgrade. I told her I just wanted a quote and no I'll stay with my inside room. Of course now she had to change everything back puts me back on hold and after 10 minutes tells me I lost the room and can't get it back. She did give me 5 other's to pick from. When I asked her where these rooms were she had no idea and told me to pull up MSCs web site. She also said she never cruised on MSC? Wow... Now I had to boot up the laptop and start over picking a room closest to the Spa which she also had no idea where it was located. When all was said and done a total of 2 hour's was wasted between the two calls and I had to reprint everything again. So we were off to a bad start. Got to Miami around 12:30 to check in. Got on line which was doing okay and then it just stopped for about 20 minutes. One agent was taking guest the other 15 were just standing there. Nobody said anything we were all looking at each other confused. They could have made up something like we're sorry the computer's are down anything would have be reassuring. Finally got on the ship and went to the room. Had a bad smell in the bathroom like cat piss. Waited on purser desk line almost an hour to report the room problem and ask about an upgrade to balcony. I was quoted $240. I said great I'll take it to be told we'll get back to you tommorow. They sent a cabin attending to the room to clean the bathroom again. A supervisor came by and everything seemed okay till the next morning when it stunk again. I ended up opening the vent over the shower and got rid of the problem myself. So for the rest of the week I had to listen to the vent blowing like a wind tunnel to keep the room smelling good. The room is a terrible layout. Bed is against the back wall instead of the side. The TV is located by the bathroom wall so far away that unless you get out of bed and walk up to it you can't read much. Only 2 draws for your clothes. One shelf. Just a poor design for such a new ship. Announcements will drive you crazy since everything is in 5 or 6 launages. Especially the muster drill. Buffet was just okay. Same exact food ever day. Never really changed. Burger, hotdogs,salad, tacos,desert,bread, just nothing special. And forgot the late night food. Literally more like midnight scrap's than midnight buffet. Pizza, leftover fruit and leftover small sandwiches. Thermal Spa was another poor design. I pre paid $140 pp per week. No windows anywhere. The hot tub had 6 spots to lounge in. There were only 3 heated loungers never available. Another hot tub without built-in loungers usually no more than 3 or 4 people would go in at the same time. Any more and you would feel like your sitting in someone's lap. 3 rooms with regular lounge chairs. Also thin towels in the bathroom only. No robes or slippers (not included). No water station. And I pre paid so those who paid on the ship were probably charged $150 or more each. If you want a great thermal Spa experience try NCL or Holland America for the same price. They have whirlpools with plenty of room and lots of heated loungers. Restaurant service was great but I was surprised at how poor the food quality was for an Italian line. Stakes were half fat and had veins running through it so a lot went in the garbage. No surf and turf night unless you paid extra. Just not all that good. Even the lasagna was just okay. The ship is beautiful, new and clean. The shows were great. And the new private island was great. Only problem there was the food line. Which was long and hardly moving so I decided to skip and went back to the buffet on the ship. All said and done I'm sorry to say I probably won't be going on another MSC cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This was my third MSC Yacht Club Cruise and my first Solo Cruise. A last minute work conflict prevented my wife from accompanying me this time. We have sailed all the major lines and have determined that the MSC Yacht is the best value and ... Read More
This was my third MSC Yacht Club Cruise and my first Solo Cruise. A last minute work conflict prevented my wife from accompanying me this time. We have sailed all the major lines and have determined that the MSC Yacht is the best value and the standard for outstanding service. We have booked another Yacht Club cruise in October 2020. Embarkation was quick and painless. On the ship in about 30 minutes, including the temperature check. Having sailed on the Seaside several times, I found the Meraviglia a beautiful ship with some differences in the layout that some like and others don't. I myself believe that the crew makes the difference, not subtle differences in the layout. I personally like the Yacht Club layout of the Seaside better. But, when I saw my friend Justin behind the bar and Arthur, the Head Waiter, it fell like home and the comparison went out the window. They took very good care of me, which compensated for me being solo. The Suites are laid out a little different. However, they are very open and spacious. There seems to be less storage space. But, it seems be plenty adequate for two people. My butler wasn't on par with the other butlers we have had in the past. He and his assistant kept the room was spotless and fulfilled each and every request. However, he didn't anticipate my needs and follow-up, as I have grown accustom to. Not a bad butler, just different. In the Top Sail Lounge Justin, Mary and the rest of the crew provided excellent service and made each visit to the bar fun throughout the week. I ate all my meals at the Yacht Club Restaurant. Can can't say enough how I enjoyed a week of service by Arthur. The food was excellent. However, a little more European than the food on the Seaside. I was never hungry or disappointed. I must say, if you don't dine internationally, you may be a little shocked at the menu. However, they feature steaks and etc. daily. Also, if you don't see what you want, ask your server. They try to be very accommodating. Even with the circumstances of the cruiselines shutting down and many of the crew left uncertain about their futue, they were extremely professional and made it a magnificent trip. I seldom left the Yacht Club. But, I saw a good bit of this beautiful ship. Disembarkation was excellent. I was at the Miami airport in less than 45 minutes after being escorted off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I chose this cruise line because they advertise in my TV area of Texas and after a total of eight cruises Cunard and Holland American Cruises I thought I would try a different line. Booked and paid for $2,100.00 for balcony aurea all ... Read More
I chose this cruise line because they advertise in my TV area of Texas and after a total of eight cruises Cunard and Holland American Cruises I thought I would try a different line. Booked and paid for $2,100.00 for balcony aurea all inclusive package. Did western Caribbean cruise and was not accommodated with easy access tours. Was told I am too old (age 76) and disabled to cruise the Caribbean, they are poor counties and not set up to accommodate the people confined to a scooter. Not allowed anything but water in your stateroom, if you want a soda or drink you are expected to purchase it out of the minibar in the refrigerator in the room, even if you have an all you can drink card. Can only order 2 items per person through room service. You have to pay extra for iced coffee drinks, gelato and juice bar.Thermal spa has no water feature, only outside whirlpools that require climbing steps to get in and out. Hard to get scooter over threshold of doors. Food is under seasoned and undercooked. Main stage shows are uninspired and boring and there is no harmony of the voices and they only have a week of rehearsal so the dances are less than exciting. The only good thing, and it is really good, is the staff and crew. They are really friendly, helpful to the point allowed by corporate, and always greet you with a smile. If you sail this line do not miss the crew show, it is better than any other entertainment on the cruise. My personal experience was hurtful, disheartening and disappointing. I feel I was deceived by the company and feel I did not get the value for the money I paid, and taken for a fool. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We chose the cruise because of the sailing dates... and the price seemed reasonable. But the dates were the deciding factor. I had never cruised with MSC before. This was a 7 night Caribbean cruise. Ship is old and service is ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of the sailing dates... and the price seemed reasonable. But the dates were the deciding factor. I had never cruised with MSC before. This was a 7 night Caribbean cruise. Ship is old and service is subpar. The employees are friendly enough, but for the most part, inept. Our waiter at dinner seemed new so I asked him. He said he worked 5 years for RCL but left because they were too demanding. Haha, RCL is not even a premium cruise line so you can understand how bad our service was. Long wait time between courses and dirty plates not removed, water glasses not refilled, coffee served luke warm, ice cream half melted, food so so. We tried their premium restaurant, Surf and Turf for an extra $35 a person. DO NOT spend your money. They bill this as a fine dining experience. Complete Fail. There was a group of 12 seated behind us who acted like it was their office party and were shouting at each other the entire meal. Across from us was a family with a small baby who cried off and on the whole time. A man at another table walked in with a collarless t shirt and shorts. Our reservation was at 6:45 and it was half full. The lobster tails were tiny and the steak was bland. They never brought the bernaise sauce or refilled our water. Oh, and if you have the Easy Beverage package, and not the Premium Beverage package, you can’t even order wine ....or bottled water for that matter, without paying for it. Believe me, the dinner was no fine dining experience. Getting back on board when they use tenders is a nightmare. They made us wait in lines for 30-40 minutes because they only opened one scanner and one xray machine. No excuse. Casino is old....it’s filled with smoke because smokers use it since there are only 2 other places you can smoke. You will see smokers sitting at slot machines, not playing, smoking and drinking. They take up machines that others want to play and blow smoke in others faces. It’s one big ashtray. I’ve sailed on RCL, NCL, Celebrity, Holland American, Princess, Costa, and UniWorld so I’m familiar with how cruises should be. This cruise line and this ship are at the bottom. I would never go on any of their ships again. You will be frustrated the entire time.....it’s just one thing after another. I don’t have time to mention everything. And even if they try to do something nice, they are inept. Our AC wasn’t working at first so as an apology they delivered to our cabin a plate of chocolate covered strawberries. They did it on a port day so by the time we returned to our cabin they had melted and were soggy....plus one of us is allergic to strawberries and the other is on a diet. What a Fail. . Complete waste of money on their part and only aggravated us because if they had asked, a better option could have been delivered when we were in our cabin. That would have made us happy and would have been appreciated. They try, they just are inept. Again, do not be fooled by the price. You will be miserable. Oh, and the ship does not have the newer stabilization technologies, the ships rocks a lot. Another reason to avoid this ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This cruise was on sale which was the main reason I booked. I've been on MSC before had had a good idea of what to expect. The ship is the oldest and the smallest in their fleet, so it does not have all the newest features. The ... Read More
This cruise was on sale which was the main reason I booked. I've been on MSC before had had a good idea of what to expect. The ship is the oldest and the smallest in their fleet, so it does not have all the newest features. The ship was not originally built to handle the amount of passengers that it currently carries. Sometimes in the common areas it was a bit crowded, and that was with the ship at about 80% capacity. Remembering that the line is European and caters the that clientele, the food was good and well prepared but I thought bland. But I am told that is that way that it is preferred there. It's better to prepare food for 2000 people on the bland side so they can spice it up on their own, as compared to the other way around. We had an interior cabin which was small but adequate, once again we were going for price. The crew was very concerned about the cleanliness of everything and hand washing was encouraged everywhere. The entertainment was good. I am already looking for another cruise for next year. I did not do any shore excursions so I am only giving that a medium score. We went with several friends and we all had a good time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We like MSC, wanted to try the new ship and was not disappointed (except for cancelling Ocean Cay but can't do anything about the weather). In spite of some reviews, the crew is friendly and accomodating, there is toilet paper, ... Read More
We like MSC, wanted to try the new ship and was not disappointed (except for cancelling Ocean Cay but can't do anything about the weather). In spite of some reviews, the crew is friendly and accomodating, there is toilet paper, tissues, and washcloths, food is as good or better than most cruise lines, the buffet has a lot of variety. It's a personal thing, but wish that MSC did not stray from their Italian roots. While the pizza in the buffet is the best NY-style available outside of NYC, and the buffet includes Italian cold cuts like prociutto and cheeses like asiago and grana padano, there is not an Italian restaurant on board or the pizza bar like on the Davina. Also, the food in general is under-seasoned but that is the trend trying to appeal to a wider market. The ship is beautiful and well maintained. We only had 3,800 passengers (capacity is 5,600) and never seemed crowded, even on sea days. Entertainment was excellent. Three theater shows per night allowed for easy scheduling and the MSC for Me app made reservations easy. Except for the magic show, the performances were primarily singing and dancing with a variety of music over the week instead of the more acrobatic shows on other cruise lines that we have been on. There are two Cirque shows but we did not attend. Getting the MSC for Me app is highly recommended and is cost-free. Not only for reservations, but you can check your bill, view the daily schedule and dining room menus, and communicate by text to your travel companions. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Our background: My Husband and I are in our mid 60’s and have enjoyed approx 35 cruises on various lines: Carnival, Princess, RCL, Celebrity, MSC, NCL. Majority of our cruises have been in the Caribbean & Mexico. We chose the ... Read More
Our background: My Husband and I are in our mid 60’s and have enjoyed approx 35 cruises on various lines: Carnival, Princess, RCL, Celebrity, MSC, NCL. Majority of our cruises have been in the Caribbean & Mexico. We chose the MSC Meraviglia because she is a pretty new ship & we have enjoyed our time on the MSC Divina & Seaside. We wanted to go back to Roatan, one of my favorite ports and our itinerary included this port. Embarkation was one of the fastest ever. We arrived at 11:30, dropped our bags with the Porter and checked right in (no line at the Aurea desk) we walked right on to the ship from there. We chose the Aurea package & stayed in cabin 11011. I can’t say enough about this stateroom. It was a suite with separate bedroom & had one of the largest balconies on the ship. We were on the front of the ship with a balcony that included our own Jacuzzi❤️ Best decision ever!! We had one of the Best room Stewards, Emmanuel. We saw him everyday & he always had a smile & a kind word. I hope we meet again on a future cruise❤️ We enjoyed eating in the Panorama restaurant 4 of the 7 nights. We had anytime dining & sat at the same table for 2 near the window in the back of the ship. Ravi was our waiter every night & always made recommendations for us. He greeted us every night & had our selected wine delivered right away! Anna Maria the Dining Room Director stopped by every night to be sure we were enjoying ourselves & asked for feedback of their service & food. I wasn’t disappointed in the food, I actually enjoyed trying new things. Our package included a dinner & Cirque show. I was worried about the seating arrangements if you had the dinner/show combo based on previous reviews, well I think we had the best table in the room. It was a corner table for 2 with excellent viewing for the show. As I looked around I didn’t think there was poor seating if you have the dinner/show package & I thought the dinner was great! The Salmon was excellent. You did have to pay for wine, you couldn’t use your drink package (if you have one). We ordered a delicious half bottle of Toscana Bianco, it was perfect with our meal. Our show was Viaggio, it was high paced and raucous. We went to the theater on 3 evenings & always made a reservation. Seemed to be plenty of seats available in the event you didn’t make reservations. We enjoyed the shows. The Cruise Director Gene did a Great job. Ship days we enjoyed the Top 19 deck for relaxation & walked around trying drinks at a variety of bars which never seemed crowded. We had massages at the Aurea Spa. The massages were great but we were disappointed in the thermal area. The thermal area was small in comparison to the Seaside & the whirlpool was weird. I enjoy Casinos on cruise ships but MSC’s casinos are on the small side & don’t offer enough table games, ex; Let it ride. Played, had fun, could’ve been better Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We choose this cruise because of the beautiful ship, price and itinerary. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. We were able to board the ship at the time of our scheduled arrival. The disembarkation was amazing. We could stay ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the beautiful ship, price and itinerary. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. We were able to board the ship at the time of our scheduled arrival. The disembarkation was amazing. We could stay in our rooms until 8:00am and then had access to a full buffet breakfast. We could also go anywhere on the ship until it was time to get off. The ship was awesome. It was spotless and the crew was constantly cleaning it. Our cabin fit our family of four very well. Our children are 11 and 13 and they slept in the bunkbeds. The bunkbeds were awesome because each child used them as her designated space. We also had a balcony on the 11th floor. We loved it and used to to relax and play card games. We ate in the Waves dining room for all but one dinner. The staff was outstanding. We had Christian as our main waiter and Nicole as the assistant waiter. They put sparkling water on the table for us each night, since our girls loved it. They knew our preferences and were amazing with our cocktail orders and dinner selections. We enjoyed the food. The portions were very reasonable and not overwhelming. I loved the variation in menus each night. Most of our table tried something from the local menu each night, but my 11 year old stuck with the pasta and ceasar salad most of the time. We did eat dinner in the buffet one night and ate outside, overlooking the water. Again, the food was great and the pizza was amazing. The entertainment was good and there are some very talented people onboard. We liked the music and performers outside of the Broadway Theatre. Since there are so many people from so many different places, the big stage productions didn't include a lot of spoken word. They were a little cheesy and we left in the middle of two. There was a staff talent show during our trip and it was AMAZING. Staff from all over the ship performed and I've never seen anything like it. The ship butcher sang an Italian opera, two waiters sang outstanding show tunes, and one crew member even performed a standup routine. The highlight was when the Samoan firefighters performed their native dances. The show was a hightlight of our trip. Gene the cruise director did a one man show one afternoon. It was amazing and a lot of fun. He shared some funny and touching stories. He does have an amazing voice. I suggest attending if he offers this on an upcoming cruise. Our kids loved the kids club. It gave them a place to go and hang out with other young people. My 11 year old was allowed to go to the Young Club with her 13 year old sister. We just had to sign a waiver. They had a blast playing board games and doing activities with other teens and preteens. We also knew they were in a safe, supervised place while we enjoyed music in the pub or lounge. We loved the Cirque show onboard the ship. We've seen a lot of them in Las Vegas and with a local troupe in Minnesota. The performers were very talented and the show was a lot of fun. Service throughout the week was outstanding. We ate breakfast most mornings in the buffet and had the Easy Drink package. The morning buffet crew could make excellent cappucinos and fancy coffees. Breakfast was outstanding and had many selections from all over the world. The Easy Drink package was great for our family. All of the wines were pretty good, but we are not super big winos. My husband seemed fine with the mixed drinks. Our children liked getting sodas and frozen drinks whenever they wanted them. We loved our shore excursions. In Costa Maya we took a taxi to the little nearby town and went to 40 Cannons Beach Club. It was $40 a person for lunch, non-alcoholic drinks and a beach chair. We loved our Belize City trip to the Crystal Caverns and Ziplines with Peter from Chukka Excursions. We booked through the ship and the service was outstanding on that trip. In Roatan we rode horses on the beach and had some beach time. The service was very good and we booked through the ship for this activity as well. I suggest booking through the ship for Belize City and Roatan. Travel is pretty slow and if you are late, they have to wait for you if you booked through the cruiseline. If you were late on your own, you'd be stuck in that city. Our kids loved the ship and we prepurchased a fun pass. We didn't get to go to Ocean Cay because of weather and the fun pass was a lifesaver! The virtual games, bowling and aviation ride were a big hit with our family. My 13 year old competed in the Junior Master Chef at Sea and it was awesome. She was technically too old for it, but lots of big kids from the kids club did it with her. We received a big refund from the cancelled stop at Ocean Cay. We had to wait in line for two minutes to get the refund. They gave it to us in cash. The crew kept us up to date on the weather and changes to our cruise, but they didn't yammer on and on over the intercom. We attended the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle. They made us feel very special and shared some good tips about how to best experience the ship. We went to the casino a few times but didn't gamble. It can be very smoky. The pools were fine, but we prefer to swim in the ocean so we didn't spend a lot of time there. We loved the Bamboo Pool and hot tubs best. The kids loved the water park and ropes course. Even on the at sea days we didn't have long lines. We enjoyed spending time on the decks, but stayed away from the smokers' area. There is hardly any ventilation and the air is terrible for non-smokers. Our room steward, John, was fabulous. He kept everything very neat and tidy and we barely saw him. He was very fast and efficient! We are pretty easy going people and really loved this cruise. We liked MSC's ala carte way of business.We felt like we didn't ahve to pay for things we didn't use. We travel overseas a lot and enjoyed spending time with people from all over the world. I look forward to seeing the new MSC terminal in Miami in a few years! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
My wife and I cruised on the MSC Seaside from Feb. 29th to Mar. 7th. This was my second cruise (went on Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas about 14 years ago) and my wife’s first. We usually go to Cuba in April for a week but after ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on the MSC Seaside from Feb. 29th to Mar. 7th. This was my second cruise (went on Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas about 14 years ago) and my wife’s first. We usually go to Cuba in April for a week but after seeing the deal offered by Sunwing Vacations we decided we could not pass up this cruise. We lucked out on direct flight from Toronto to Miami, inside cabin and Easy Drink Package for $895 Canadian Dollars per person including all taxes and transfers to and from the cruise ship. Yes $895!!! Assume this was the Covid-19 special. Boarding – The process was quite smooth. I think we were on board in under 30 minutes. Ship – The Seaside is a very large ship although is smaller than the biggest Royal Caribbean has to offer. We saw the Symphony of the Seas in Cozumel and it was absolutely huge. The Seaside in my opinion was very beautiful inside and out. The atrium was very impressive and always had a great vibe in the evening. The bars, lounges, shopping areas and main restaurants were all very nice. The pool areas were great. The decks could get crowded but that is the norm on most cruise ships. Everything was spotless. Cabin – We had an interior cabin on the 14th deck which was a great location just two decks below the main pool and buffet. The cabin was small as expected but worked fine for the two of us. There could have been more storage but what they had worked for us. The bathroom was compact (like most other cruise lines) but functional. Everything was spotless. Food – Food overall was good. There was a good variety at the buffet and we always found something we liked. I loved the French toast and cinnamon rolls for breakfast. The burgers and pizza at lunch were very good. The main restaurant was also good for the most part. I have read may other reviews and some have used the term “awful” to describe the food. That is just not the case. The food on the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas was better in both quality and variety. One thing that I felt was missing was a place to be able to go to anytime of the day to grab a quick bite to eat. The only option was the buffet. Other cruise lines have pubs/cafes where you can go anytime to grab a snack. Drinks – The Easy Package was included in our fare. It was pretty basic but it served our needs quite fine. We were able to get Miller Lite which was fine (although as a beer drinker it would have been nice to have a few more options), sparkling wine and Chardonnay which were both good. We are not red wine drinkers so did not try it. The package also had standard mixed drinks like rum and coke, rye and ginger ale, etc. We could not get any of the specialty drinks although we did get virgin Pina Coladas and Daiquiris and had them add a shot or rum. That could be done as part of our package. For us it was not worth spending an extra $250-$300 each to upgrade to the Premium package. Also the drinks are unlimited and you can order two at a time. Entertainment – The entertainment team were great. They worked tirelessly to keep everyone entertained during the day and in the evenings. The shows in the theatre were excellent. After seeing several Michael Jackson tributes over the years the Seaside one was hands down the best. The dancer who played MJ was amazing. Both the costumes and scenery in the shows were very well done. There was a good variety of singing, dancing and acrobatics in the shows. The pool activities were fun and I actually placed 2nd in the belly flop competition. If you were on the cruise I was the guy who belly flopped with the pants, dress shirt and tie. I would have won if not for the rather large gentlemen who was in the competition. Service – We had good service the entire cruise. Some people get frustrated about waiting five minutes for a drink. I am in vacation so five minutes is not a big deal to me. We never waited longer than five minutes for a drink anywhere. We would not hesitate to go on a MSC Cruise again. Hopefully we can get a deal like we got again but I doubt that will happen. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
NOT AMERICAN FRIENDLY, very few spoke English, and were told Ashley, a manager that they are not American friendly and if we had googled it we would have know, other passengers mostly European were were rude.my husband uses a blind cane, ... Read More
NOT AMERICAN FRIENDLY, very few spoke English, and were told Ashley, a manager that they are not American friendly and if we had googled it we would have know, other passengers mostly European were were rude.my husband uses a blind cane, they didn't care. Food horrible, not AMERICAN. RAW BACON, Luck, hamburgers Hot dogs everyday, maybe Mac and cheese and mashed potaoes.2x. Games were at the smoking pool. Atrium pool full of kids, music sucked. 4 ps. Band played no music you heard or could dance too, guy playing classical guitar, 2 ps. Playing Hispanic and another 2ps played and only new 2 songs the entire week. Music way to loud. no activities if you did not get off ship. Everyday from 10 til 3 it was about selling you stuff. DRINKS WATERED DOWN, App did not work, had WiFi in our package, after we paid for our cruise, they took the WiFi away. I will spread the word NOT TO GO WITH MSC CRUISE LINE Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise for several reasons, 1. The price was great. 2. They were offering a special drink package, with wifi and $100.00 cabin credit. 3. They upgraded us to our highest level that we had with any other cruise line, and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for several reasons, 1. The price was great. 2. They were offering a special drink package, with wifi and $100.00 cabin credit. 3. They upgraded us to our highest level that we had with any other cruise line, and on top of that they upgraded our cabin. We have never cruised MSC before and were a little reluctant when we read some of the reviews about them, but those feelings passed after a few days. Our room steward, Marianne Ibarra, was there for our every need. The room was always clean and organized. She was always smiling and pleasant and asked every time we saw her if everything was fine. The food was great. People said they cater to the Europeans when it comes to the food they serve and it was somewhat true in the Buffet. There were odd things in the line that I would say most Americans don't eat, but there was enough choices that I was always very satisfied with what was served. To give credit to MSC I would say at least 3/4 of the ship were Europeans. We ate in the dining room every night and the choices and the food were amazing. Our waiters Mark Tansiongco and Jovencio Udani, Jr. were attentive to our every need. They took the time to speak with us out of their busy schedule. We learned so much about each of them and they in turn learned about us. The shows at night on the ship was probably the best I have seen on a ship in a long time. Every show the audience stood and gave a standing ovation. The entertainment was constant. My husband and I played a lot of trivia and were so impressed by crew member Kristine Plasabas. She was not only patient but she had a great sense of humor too! My only complaint was regarding the wifi. On the third day my wifi was not working so I went to guest services to see if they could figure out what was wrong. Unfortunately the person helping me was no help at all. When I got my phone back she had turned my airplane mode off (can't wait to see of that's going to cost me), and the app MSC for me was gone. Needless to say I had no wifi for the rest of the cruise. Another issue on the cruise and I had read about this on cruise critic was the smell of raw sewerage. I googled this and it looks like it's just something passengers are going to have to put up with on the new ships. It wasn't constant just occasionally as you walk down a hall you would occasionally smell it. I never smelled it in the cabin, dining room, buffet, function rooms or any outside area. Getting on the ship was well run. From the time we entered the terminal and stepped foot on the ship was less than 45 minutes. Getting off the ship was easier. We walked off with our luggage and was outside in about 5 minutes. Another thing that surprised me was for a big ship it was very easy to get around, and for the amount of people on the ship (approximately 4,500) it never felt crowded. I would highly recommend MSC Seaside. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
SIMPLY THE BEST! Of 250 + past cruises on six different major cruise lines, The Yatch Club was the BEST of LUXURY experiences of ALL past cruises! We have been blessed to be in wonderful suites on other ships and even SEASIDE, but ... Read More
SIMPLY THE BEST! Of 250 + past cruises on six different major cruise lines, The Yatch Club was the BEST of LUXURY experiences of ALL past cruises! We have been blessed to be in wonderful suites on other ships and even SEASIDE, but nothing compares to the EXCELLENCE in SERVICE from every single person on staff in the YATCH CLUB! The ATTITUDE of every MSC emplyee to us and to ALL Yatch Club guests was the BEST of 250+ cruises!!! Beyond belief was one of the Butler's personally escorting me off the ship all the way to the Ferry for my Cozemel Shore Excursion!!! By far the nicest Shore Excursion Experiences ever since cruising since 1983! Our Butler even got my husband a wheel chair to use during our cruise due to his past heart surgery and related ongoing issues that came up upon boarding! All helped wheel him around everywhere at their insistance, including to the SHOWS! In addition, the LOCATION of SEASIDE's Yatch Club Private Lounge and Private Dinning room was PERFECTION at the TOP front of the ship providing 180° PANORAMIC VIEWS at all times! Dinning was such a wonderful experience that we only wanted to be in Yatch Club! We only dined in one Speciality Restaurant the entire cruise. The lovely live evening entertainment in the Yatch Club Lounge was also enjoyed from our table as we dined! I could go on and on, but to put it simply, an MSC YATCH CLUB shall be my number one priority in booking future cruises along side of itenary! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
First of all, we had an absolutely fabulous cruise! It was impressive enough that my husband and I are seriously considering doing a back-to-back next year. I can honestly say it was one of the most enjoyable cruises I've sailed. ... Read More
First of all, we had an absolutely fabulous cruise! It was impressive enough that my husband and I are seriously considering doing a back-to-back next year. I can honestly say it was one of the most enjoyable cruises I've sailed. Our upgrade bid was accepted and we were assigned Suite 16051. - MSC Seaside February 29, 2020 - 7 night sailing. There were a few issues/concerns, 2 of which were very annoying, unfortunately there is nothing that can be done. there are also a couple of others that do need to be mentioned. I'm listing these first, then will get to everything else that was excellent/impressive. 1. Some of the other "guests" were beyond rude; racist, nasty in their comments, and physically pushy. I heard more than one crewmember being verbally abused; this is unprofessional and unacceptable. 2. At one of the ports, the Disney vessel as docked right across pier. It was so close, I could have sailed a paper airplane over to it. Unfortunately, their speaker system was so loud that we not only heard their announcements in out suite (yes, the door was closed), my husband and I had to shout to hear each other. This was not just when they had announcements, it continued during their deck music, entertainment, movies, etc. We definitely could not enjoy being in the suite and certainly not our balcony when they were in port. 3 (and this is the one that needs the most attention!) There are issues with the Photo Department. On several of ports, there was no photo staff there when we disembarked; no, we were neither the first not the last ones off. So, no pictures there. Several of the photo kiosks did not work, or were very inconsistent. Lastly, while most of the staff were friendly, some photographers seemed very impatient and not open to different style poses. We are just not into the staged stock type photos. On the last night, we went to purchase photos and could not find them all. We tried the kiosk, however it was not working. I asked for assistance from one of the "gentlemen". He responded with a loud exasperated sigh and an actual eye roll! He pushed me aside and did something with the kiosk, some of the photos came up; but not all. I asked him about the ones were were missing and he told me, "you'll just have to figure it out". I was shocked at how rude he was. We left without purchasing any photos at all. 4. On Ocean Cay, the beach in the Yacht Club area needs serious attention. It is way too rocky and has way too many sharp broken shells to be able to walk without hard soled shoes. I ended up having to wear my sandals just to get to/from the water. Even with the sandals, I ended up with a cut foot. (Not too bad, just needed a few Band-Aids and was irksome.) And that's IT for the "not-so-great" comments! Very short list and I realize that no vacation will be perfect! On to the positives! The crew is exceptional! Embarkation: Quick, personable, and professional. The Yacht Club Lounge was a treat while we were waiting to embark. Being the first people met, they all certainly started the cruise in a very positive manner. Dining room - Huge kudos to the entire staff from the Chef, to the Maitre D', Bartenders, and Serving staff. The food was extremely high quality and presented beautifully. Great beverages, it did not take the bartenders long to remember our preferred drinks. Serving Staff - After the 1st night, we requested Yoven Nunnen's and Zishan Mansoory's section. They were THAT good. Very friendly, and professional. They knew how to pace the meal, kept the water glasses and bread plates full, and had wonderful food and beverage suggestions. They were around when we wanted them, however were never intrusive. In the Yacht Club Lounge, Doris Songa, Chandy Nixon, and Ronald Marqueza were delightful; always around to make sure our drinks were cold, correct, and not needing to be refilled. They all were very enjoyable conversationalists. Also in the YC Lounge, the Elegant Duo (2 ladies, pianist and violinist) were a true treat. We made sure to be in the lounge to hear them nightly. Butlers: We were very pleased with the team of Mungroo Rakesh and Nilesh Kashyap. They both went above and beyond to make sure everything as perfect and were very proactive. The suite was kept very clean, any requests were handled correctly and promptly, and they made sure we were escorted to the shows, for disembarkation at the ports and in Miami, etc. They also made excellent suggestions for activities. No matter how busy they were, they took the time to have a nice conversation and make sure we were happy. Rakesh also took great care of us on Ocean Cay! Concierge Desk. Perfect team, very quick, knowledgeable, and patient. Always smiling and friendly. Shows: All were very high quality and entertaining. My Life In Music was my personal favorite. We're very happy we also saw Butterflies, Peter Punk, and Starwalker. These were quite different that the other cruise lines shows. The preshow entertainers were absolutely hysterical! Ocean Cay: By far, this was the port highlight of the entire cruise! We had pre-purchased an Ocean Front Cabana in the Yacht Club area (#4) and it ended up being a great shore excursion. The cart transfer from/to the front was definitely pleasant and handy. Rakesh once again took exceptional care of us; always making sure we were well fed and watered. Champagne is always a nice way to start the day! The food, especially the Lobster Roll, was as excellent as found anywhere. Drinks were cold and refreshing. The beach mats and snorkel equipment were quite handy. I highly recommend this cruise and look forward to returning. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The cruise was a great deal. Nightly entertainment was excellent. Especially enjoyed the opera singers. Food was a bit of a disappointment. Service at restaurant dinners (other than specialty restaurant) were very slow, food was often ... Read More
The cruise was a great deal. Nightly entertainment was excellent. Especially enjoyed the opera singers. Food was a bit of a disappointment. Service at restaurant dinners (other than specialty restaurant) were very slow, food was often cold or barely warm when served. Butcher's Cut was excellent! Little disappointed in drink package. Too often not enough chairs were available on the decks. . and no cabanas at all. No ice cream cones available without cost??? Seriously? We felt that the staff did a great job keeping the ship clean in the wake of the Corona Virus. Disappointed that we did not make all our ports but appreciated the Captain's concern for our safety. The smoke from the casino wafts up into the La Luna Lounge. . it would be great if there was some way to correct that. Some of the lounge entertainment were better than others. Better service is needed in the Sports Lounge. Better TV stations are needed in the cabins. . .CNN really? Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this ship divina because we sailed twice before on it and we loved it. Also this ship had the best itineraries for a longer cruise (11 nights) that we were interested in. There has been changes made since our first cruise 4 years ... Read More
We chose this ship divina because we sailed twice before on it and we loved it. Also this ship had the best itineraries for a longer cruise (11 nights) that we were interested in. There has been changes made since our first cruise 4 years ago to now. The main change is the food in the dining rooms. It has gone downhill in taste and quality. Also you have to fight for a table for two as ,Msc always tries to put you with a table of eight. They also give you a cheaper cruise rate but then try to charge for everything they can. Also we were quite disappointed as we were supposed to cruise to MSC new island ocean cay but the captain decided the water was too rough and. Didn’t want. To try to dock the ship. so the captain just cruised round the ocean to give us another sea day. We felt that we could of docked at ocean cay and. Didn’t think the waves were that bad. Also the ship should of went to the Bahamas instead of just dialing around in the ocean for mother day.( Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Chose this cruise due to very reasonable price. Never sailed with MSC before and heard that they had fantastic food. Our experience was that food in main dining room was mediocre at best, and not up to par with Norwegian or Princess ... Read More
Chose this cruise due to very reasonable price. Never sailed with MSC before and heard that they had fantastic food. Our experience was that food in main dining room was mediocre at best, and not up to par with Norwegian or Princess cruiselines. Had a steak fiorst night, it was tough as shoe leather. Buffet selections were OK, but scrambles eggs were cold every day. Stage performers worked very hard but show not up to standards of other cruise lines. Embarkation process was very smooth. The disembarkation process was worst and slowest of the 12 or more cruises we have taken. A lot of wasted time and seemed very disorganized.. The sttaff tried very hard to please, and several staff members were outstanding. This ship did not have as much staff as other cruise lines, and could definitely use more.. Overall, I would not recommend this ship to anyone expecting a fantastic voyage. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My husband and I received a status match to the Voyager's Club Diamond Card last January 2019 when we were on MSC for the first time, sailing on Divina. In order to keep the status we needed to sail again within 18 months, and so we ... Read More
My husband and I received a status match to the Voyager's Club Diamond Card last January 2019 when we were on MSC for the first time, sailing on Divina. In order to keep the status we needed to sail again within 18 months, and so we chose this cruise. We had been to Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman before, but it was a while ago so that was fine. We had a very early flight into Miami, so we were quite pleased that we were able to get on the ship by 11am. Doors for the embarkation process opened at 10 but they did not start moving people through the scanners until 10:30, and that was a little frustrating. I would think if you open the doors, you should be ready to roll and not make people stand in one place for that long. I did appreciate the fact that they did a thermal scan of all passengers with the idea that if anyone had a fever, they would not be allowed to board the ship. Once we got to the check in counter, it only took 10 minutes to process us and we walked on board and right up to the buffet line which was great because I was starving! Food selection was good and the food was hot and tasty. We LOVED this ship! Yes it is small and yes it is older, but we accept that as part of her charm. She is classy and pretty, and very clean. The staff and crew were all fabulous. MSC shines for service and entertainment. The food is good, and some food items were awesome. The Surf & Turf Specialty Restaurant managed by the sweet Brenda was fantastic, and we were lucky to have two meals there. Lobster & Filet, oh my! Try the Mexican Chocolate cake for dessert. You're welcome! We were also very lucky to be assigned to "Your Choice" dining at the Pergola restaurant, a smaller dining room strictly for Fantastica and Aurea passengers. I love to have the option of having dinner whenever we want to. Service is a little slow, but we were never in a hurry so it didn't matter. We are non-drinkers, so I can't tell you much about the bars, though we did usually buy the "non-alcoholic cocktail of the day" which is advertised daily in the newsletter. Make sure when you order, you tell them you want the $4 no-alcohol cocktail of the day, and don't order by the name. If you don't say it that way, they will charge you the regular price! It's really easy to get around on the ship because of its smaller size. I never saw huge lines at excursions desk or guest services, so I think they have adequate staff. The shops were cute and set up well. My hubby bought a watch. I didn't buy anything on the ship. The Casino manager Jeffrey was great and gave our cruise critic meet up folks a really good time at our slot pull, and awarded prizes for the winners and gave us merch just for participating! That was unexpected and very sweet! My hubby ended the week up by a couple hundred bucks on the slot machines. Pretty unusual for a ship casino! We loved all the shows and went to almost every one. The dancers were fabulous and the singers very good. They also had acrobats that participated in most of the shows. The shows were geared to young and old, and the costumes were wonderful! Pretty high tech lighting and visual effects, and lovely video backgrounds were included in each show. I participated in karaoke a few times, and the staff were very nice, and continued to chat with me about my performance whenever I saw them around the ship. The entertainment staff headed by Cruise Director Miguel were terrific and energetic. They really made sure everyone enjoyed themselves! Miguel was so personable and authentic and you can really tell he loves his job. The captain was also very personable and quite funny whenever he made his twice daily announcements. "Wash wash wash your hands, and always compliment the staff". We had an early dinner one night, so we had pizza around midnight, and it was SO GOOD!! Highly recommend! They also do free hard ice cream on deck 11 forward, and not just soft serve. I have never seen that before. We ordered continental breakfast delivered to our room one morning, and ate it on our balcony. That was great. One of the perks of the Diamond card is an hour in the thermal area. DO NOT PASS THAT UP! Loved it, and the hour flew by! The service in the spa is terrific, and it's a beautiful place to spend time. Of the three excursions we booked with the ship, I highly recommend the Turtle Hatchery on Grand Cayman and the beautiful Chacchoben ruins in Costa Maya. I do not recommend the Miami bus tour, although the Everglades portion was a lot of fun. The rest of the tour was boring and a waste of time, and they had trouble with the PA system which was very annoying. Take a hop on/hop off or just do the free trolley and take a separate trip to the Everglades if you have never been. Best part of that excursion was they took us to the airport afterwards. We did not book an excursion in Ocean Cay, but you do not need to. It's the most relaxing and beautiful private island we have ever been on. Once all the plantings take hold, it will be outstanding. The lighthouse light show was very cool, and the Junkaroo parade was cute as heck. Do an excursion in Jamaica so you don't get hassled by all the taxi drivers. It's like running a gauntlet if all you want to do is walk into town. We did see a cool little public park called Turtle River Park and chatted with a lovely park ranger who really knew his stuff. Otherwise, Ocho Rios is a bit shady, and really rundown. Be careful there. The BEST port town is Costa Maya, by far. You can have a blast just by walking off the ship and hanging in the little town right there. You can also find some good deals. Got a very pretty dress for $10. You can use their pool for free and spend the whole day if you want. I was quite surprised. Keep in mind that you have to take a tender boat in Grand Cayman, which is a bit of a pain, but as long as you know it, you know you have to be patient. The very worst part of the trip was leaving. Disembarkation was pretty typical, but Miami airport sucks. It was ridiculously crowded, takes forever to get through security in terminal D, and with hundreds of people trying to check luggage with American Airlines with only two people on the counter it was a real nightmare. My husband was furious, which took away some of the glow of the terrific trip we had just went on. There's a rumor that MSC is changing their operation to a different port, and we hope it is true. So that's my review! Overall it was very fun, and I'd sail with Armonia again in a minute! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our third sailing on the MSC Armonia. We needed a handicapped cabin and were fortunate to get one on this cruise. It makes it so much easier on my husband so he does not have to climb a step into the bathroom every time he ... Read More
This was our third sailing on the MSC Armonia. We needed a handicapped cabin and were fortunate to get one on this cruise. It makes it so much easier on my husband so he does not have to climb a step into the bathroom every time he enters the bathroom. The bars around the shower were very helpful and having a chair in the shower was wonderful. Our cabin steward, Mohammed, was amazing. Our room was kept so clean and neat, everything in its place. We had a sleep timer on our remote control, just a little hard to use since it was in a foreign language. Our cabin steward always asked if there were any special needs whenever we saw him. He provided us with distilled water for our Cpap machine, extra blankets to keep us warm at night and he even filled my ice bag every night. We went to the life boat drill and were glad we did not have to stand during the drill. We went to our Sail Away Party that I had set up thru Cruise Critic after the drill was over. Not too many showed up but we celebrated our voyage by going to the Gelato Bar and had free cones of gelato with sprinkles. We met about 6 cruisers from our roll call. Difficult to talk because the band was so loud. We all compared notes about the Meet and Mingle Party that I had set up for the first sea day at 10 AM. So glad the ship stayed on our time to avoid confusion. The Meet and Mingle Party was spectacular. Robert Moik, The Hotel Manager arranged for the party to be held in a large lounge. Robert had a sax player entertain us before the party started with some beautiful songs. Miguel, our cruise director, opened the party and spoke to the over 41 roll call members who attended the party. He was a true delight and very informative. Miguel had me on stage and asked me to speak to the crowd and welcome them to our cruise. I was completely unprepared but somehow the words just came to me and I was so overwhelmed by the reaction of the crowd. Robert had a beautiful strawberry shortcake sheet cake prepared for the Cruise Critic Group and served free drinks to all who attended. At least ten officers attended the party and we all posed together around the cake while a photographer captured a photo of the entire group. Robert had an 8 x 10 photo sent to everyone who signed up for the party. What a great party. Immediately after the party we went to the casino for a Slot Pull Party that I had set up with Jeffrey, the casino manager. Jeffrey was so helpful planning the party. He awarded prizes to the top 3 cruisers who had the highest scores and he also awarded souvenir bags from the casino which also contained souvenir baseball caps from the casino along with 2 floating keychains to all who attended the slot pull. Since we were Diamond Card Members we were invited to dinner in the Surf and Turf Restaurant. Brenda, the manager of the Surf and Turf Restaurant, arranged a large table for the 7 of us who decided to have dinner together. The service and food were excellent. Brenda, surprised us with a sheet cake as an extra dessert. The food in the main dining room was good. Our waiter, Kishawn Wilkerson, was excellent. The best service we ever had on a ship. This was his last week on the ship and we do hope his contract will be renewed. The pool was too cold for us. The pizza on the pool deck is the best on the high seas. The hot dogs were great as well as the burgers. The buffet was very crowded and the food was not that appealing except for the wraps. They were yummy. We really missed the stracciatella gelato that was always there on our last 2 voyages. Best flavor of gelato!! We had to settle for the chocolate. How do like that “Settle for Chocolate”. We played trivia 3 times a day and enjoyed every minute of it playing with Tom and Gerry (the most travelled cruisers with MSC Armonia) and our friends from Florida, Doris and Gene whom we met years ago on another MSC Ship the Poesia. We also played the Pub Trivia game which was a real challenge. We came in second place. Very disappointed with the prizes that were awarded for this week long game. Only gave a prize to the first place winners (champagne) but nothing for 2nd and 3rd place. Surely they should have been given a token gift for all the dedication to appear every night for a week. The shows were very good. Abyss was the best show and so was The Time of Your Life. Did not care for the Adams Family. The Crew Talent show was excellent. The ushers with the bowler hats were hysterical before the last show (Abyss) And finally the Armonia has the best staff upon the sea. What a great cruise! Overall we had a great time. Well done MSC Armonia. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My husband and I herd wonderful things about the MSC cruises. We decided to go on one for our honeymoon. We have cruised several times before on royal Caribbean and carnival. When we first walked in you didn’t get that “wow” ... Read More
My husband and I herd wonderful things about the MSC cruises. We decided to go on one for our honeymoon. We have cruised several times before on royal Caribbean and carnival. When we first walked in you didn’t get that “wow” feeling...it was either u turned left or right like you were coming back onto the ship from a cruise port. There was no one directing us where to go or how to tell where our room was... we finally got to our room after 20 mins of searching...the ship is so big it is actually ridiculous how far we had to walk from the elevator to our room. We payed for a balcony and it was nothing impressive... the balcony was dirty and sandy and the bathroom had makeup all over the wall and sink... we then ventured to the buffet and it was ok... had dinner at the formal dining restaurant that night and didn’t go back... cheap pieces of steak and meat...very disappointed... we sat in the middle of two other couples and were very uncomfortable.. mind u we had our own table but it was just that close together... our first stop was Jamaica.. unfortunately we couldn’t get off the ship because one of the crew members had Flu A... ok fine that happens.. we were bummed but moved on.. next port.. can’t get off again.. now we are over it... the activities on this cruise are awful... you have to make reservations to see any kind of show and if u don’t have a reservation you can’t go unless they have room at the very end... the circ de soile performance was absolutely terrible.. I’ve never been so disappointed... and this we had to pay for extra... most of the activities like bowling, 4D cinama and stimulation rides you have to pay for as well.. $20 and up.. that’s crazy! I’ve never been on a cruise where u pay for most of the activities they offer... they had a handful of specialty restaurants we thought we would try since we didn’t like the original one... nope they are full and we need a reservation... we had to call 3 times for them to come and get us a queen bed... we originally had twins... also went down to customer service a few times for them to refill our mini bar... we also payed tips before we embarked and they charge u an additional tip for everything! My husband got a chocolate bar from the store and they charged him a $2 service fee. What!!! For a chocolate bar! They offered to give us invites credit for the time we didn’t get off the ship but that doesn’t hit until the next day! We are very disappointed with this cruise and will not be back.. we will stick to carnival or royal Caribbean.. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our first time sailing MSC, and while I want to give a detailed and honest review of our cruise; keep in mind our cruise was the one that made the news when both Jamaica and Grand Caymans would not let us disembark for fear of ... Read More
This was our first time sailing MSC, and while I want to give a detailed and honest review of our cruise; keep in mind our cruise was the one that made the news when both Jamaica and Grand Caymans would not let us disembark for fear of flu as such I will not be able to provide any information on how shore excursion or disembarkation worked (except to say Many Thanks to Cozumel for letting us off (the testing took over 12 hours, but getting clearance to disembark and be able to get off in Miami was worth it) We decided on MSC after a just ok cruise on Norwegian. We looked at other lines and were enticed by what MSC was offering; this ship and the chance to have our own large room with private balcony/hot tub for a great price was too good to pass up (also they do offer military discount, which we were able to take advantage of), we booked this 2 years ago and decided to not do so during spring Break in the hopes of missing out on a lot of teens/young adults (nothing against this age group, I work for a college and sometimes your vacation needs to be away from the people you deal with) MSC does 'experiences' so given our room choice we got the Aurea this came with the following: Drinks Package, 2 complimentary massages, full access to the thermal spa, access to Deck 19 private solarium, My Choice Dining in the Panorama Restaurant, Priority Embarkation Aurea Experience: Priority Embarkation – This by far rocked our world, literally 15 minutes from dropping off luggage to getting on the ship! Once on board we were directed a certain way, so we followed those prompts to the nearest bar and had a drink. We located our room, not ready but our Steward allowed us to leave the carry on in the room. Thermal Spa – We enjoyed access to this area- both the dry spa and the dark sensory (eucalyptus infused) were our favorites. We also enjoyed both hot tubs. Access was easy- show up give them your card they give you a key on a bracelet lock your stuff in a locker and relax. The massages are not transferable (although given the fact that our cruise almost went no where but sea, I was able to talk with guest services and get them to transfer my husband’s massage to me) I did the Bali Massage and the Himalayan Sea Salt, both were good but hands down the Himalayan Sea Salt was one of the best massages I have had. (during the massage they take heated blocks of the salt and massage over the areas) Upgrades When we initially booked we had a better drink package, but at some point MSC changed this to the ‘Easy Drinks’ which is everything $6 and under. My husband prefers cocktails (I will also drink these) and I prefer Sauvignon Blanc or Champagne and there was very little information on what wines were included in the ‘easy drinks’ so we decided to do the upgrade to the ‘Premium Plus’ this did not actual get billed as an upgrade and we ended up paying for it out right, but I will say we got our monies worth, while not huge drinkers we made our drinks count! Also this allowed me to have a glass or 2 of Matua every night in the dining room with dinner. Add Ons: Fun Pass – this was strictly for my husband, he had $100. worth of fun Vinotherapy Facial, Body Scrub and Massage – worth it! 2 hours of bliss my first day at sea, my skin looked and felt better. Cirque Du Soliel Drink+ Show: Sonar (early show) Viaggo (late show) both of these were spectacular, we booked one early time slot and one late time slot. The drinks were ok, they make then en masse and you take in, nothing to write home about but the shows were amazing! The early show with drink gives you a much better view and seating. (The early showing does the dinner option, so those with just drinks got the first 5 rows- the late show we were much further back at a table facing forward so not as great as row 4) Regardless both were amazing performances and when we sail again on MSC we will check out the other ships shows. Because of the setbacks (no stops at Jamaica or Grand Cayman) we added a couple of onboard extras: Hola! Tapas restaurant for lunch and a haircut at the Spa for myself to make our days more fun. Hola! Tapas – We tried this for lunch one day Amazing food and service – upon hearing that I had the Premium Plus Package and discussing my wine tastes, the server suggested a glass of Torres Milamanda ($24/glass) We did a few tapas and then ordered the Langostinos Al Ajillo and the Basque Burger. Haircut/Style at the Spa – I was a little skeptical about getting my hair cut on a ship; I read reviews before hand and there were no horror stories, plus I was overdue for a trim so at $37, I figured why not. Denilson came out to greet me, asked what I wanted (about 3” off the back, no layers and trim up the bangs) wonderful shampoo/conditioner and then during the blow dry discussed that my hair was pretty dry and did an up sale that equated to buying an Aveda hair mask for $49 and get the cut free. I agreed to this, because not only was it a great deal I was very aware at this time that we were being refunded 100% and also it’s a vacation and that is my time to splurge. Original Excursions Jamaica – Green Grotto Caves (until things simmer down and we can do this cruise again, we’ll never know) Grand Caymans – Best of Grand Cayman I am probably most bummed out by this one because I really was looking forward to getting my passport stamped with Hell and to visit the Rum Cake Factory and by a rum or 3. Cozumel – Mixology Session Chocolate and Tequila (to date we have never had a successful excursion in Cozumel, which is why we decided to book something that was not beach/snorkeling related, but alas it is just not meant to be) Ocean Cay – we originally booked a deluxe cabana – the first night of the cruise we got a notice on our door that these were not available and that other cabanas were, but it was limited. So we headed down to the Excursion desk to find out what are options were. These cabanas will eventually get food service – we were not interested in that as much as a place to store our things, the beach mats and snorkel gear that came with this choice. The attendant, Détári Dora – explained this and then listened to our concerns, asked questions, made a call and then refunded our original reservation, booked us for a regular cabana and added scuba gear – so while we did not get to go to the Cay we were very happy with how the Excursion Desk initially dealt with this issue. Major props to Ms. Dóra for not simply dismissing us but actually listening to why we wanted the cabana and then making it happen. Panorama Dining Room – The food was good, they have several ‘classic’ options that are the same each night, add ons (steak/lobster, lobster) and then a rotating choice. Some of the portions were small (pastas, kabobs) but you could always order an additional one no issue. We really enjoyed the Salmon, Steak Tournedos as entrees. Our waiter was Sudarta – he was simply the best! After the second night he knew what we wanted to drink (Matua and Bubble Water) and laughed at the fact that I ordered the shrimp cocktail appetizer every night (sometimes 2) Market Place Buffet – we did some breakfasts and lunches here- the roasts (beef and pork) were most excellent, great selection of breads, cheeses, fruit was always abundant, Pizza was delicious, the salad bar could of used more toppings (as an American I have a salad bar notion in my head) Pastries were good and my husband really enjoyed the desserts. Private Solarium Deck 19 This area overlooked the main pool and deck and came with a large hot tub/pool that overlooked the area. There was an attendant who got the door, offered towels and basically you got to keep your seat even if you left. (This was nice because if you wanted to grab a bite or head back to your room, you were not taking chances) the also had a small mini bar set up and you could get drinks and they did send someone to take drink orders from time to time so we were able to get better frozen drinks. Other Pools/Areas The main pool area was always busy/crowded, the Horizon Pool deck area was crowded and had smokers but the pool was less crowded and nice. The bar here was always busy but I managed to get waters as needed. We did not try the bamboo pool- which is covered this was a very family friendly area. Skylight Lounge – A few times this was closed for private events, which was sort of disappointing because we enjoyed the space. Great drinks, nibbles and good places to sit and have a conversation. This was our nightcap spot. Music – we listened exclusively to 2 bands during our cruise: the trio from Brazil and a quartet (not sure where they were from) – both were amazing, entertaining, played exceptionally. Can’t say enough about how great they were! My only complaint is I wish the quartet had cds for sale because we would of bought one. Casino - Small casino, but ok. I played a few slots and came out about $20 on top. Champagne Bar/Lounge – they ran out of Veuve Cliquot which was sad but up until that point I had a glass or two a night and felt like I got my monies worth. This was a good lounge for hearing the music below and people watching. Gelato Bar – they did not have gelato until the second to last night! This was an actual gripe, because you can’t boast a gelato bar then not have it! But when we did get our gelato fix on it was delicious! Shopping – gift shop for MSC, Duty Free liquor, make up/perfume/watches and general supplies. Good selections – bought a few souvenirs for folks. Chocolate shop – excellent chocolates bought a variety of items to hand out. Swarkovski Crystal store with some beautiful items jewelry and trinkets. Higher end shopping – Guess, Armani Exchange, Izod, Calvin Klein. Water Park/Ropes Course – both of these were enjoyable! The water park has 2 slides one uses tubes and you must queue up at the bottom to get a tube, the you go feet first and end up in a basin, we enjoyed riding these, the surrounding water park area is mostly kids/families and everyone looked like they were having a great time. The Ropes Course requires closed toe/ankle shoes, shorts and shirt (only go pros allowed) and was exceptional – great view of the aft and you could look down on everyone in the water park having fun. It was challenging but not super difficult. Seating – the seating in the various bars was ok, but not great and this is one place where I think MSG could improve. A lot of them just were not comfortable or like with the stools were sized tall person only. Communications On our first excursion day, we ate breakfast then headed down to the theater to get our numbers and wait to disembark. After about 30 minutes Gene (activities director) announced that we were still waiting to clear customs, this happened again with the suggestion to not sit around exits or line the hallways. Not the best news, but I grabbed my book and headed to deck 19, after the second hour the Captain came on to explain what was going on. (Announcements like these were repeated in several other languages, with Gene always finishing in English for those of us that are less cosmopolitan) We would not be stopping in Jamaica because Jamaica has refused to let us disembark because one crew member had the flu (the regular flu) and that we would be reimbursed for our cancelled excursion and be given a $100 per stateroom shipboard credit. Our next notification came to say that Grand Caymans was also refusing us- again the Captain stepped up and made this difficult announcement. Excursions were to be refunded, we now had a $200 per stateroom credit, 30% off our current cruise and 20% off a future cruise. (also made in writing and at our door) We were told that Cozumel would let us dock and we were heading there to allow us excursions, however rough seas that night meant we could not dock and the next morning it turned out that Mexico wanted to test the now 2 sick people- so no Cozumel excursion and some very what the heck moments. It was at this point we were told our cruise would be 100% fully refunded and that internet would be made available to everyone that day. It was not until 12:34 am that we were told we could disembark in Cozumel. This of course sadly meant no Ocean Cay. It says a great deal about the integrity and professionalism of the Captain to get on the speaker and make these sorts of announcements; none of what he had to say was easy or good news but he did it and that counts for a whole lot! Proper communication is the golden key (yes we were unhappy with the unforeseen events, but we got over it and made the best of a beautiful ship and wonderful crew) Overall thoughts – I am not sure if we will do the Meraviglia again; the ship itself was beautiful but the layout seemed a little off and neither of us enjoyed the acoustics in the galleria when there was a band playing or dance lessons. Theme nights were a little to late for our tastes, but we did enjoy formal night not only dressing up but people watching. The spa was great, I will say book early! And when you do know your excursions because the front desk has a list of times and can tell you when you should expect to be back at ship, which I found quite useful. This was also our first thermal spa pass ever and something we will do again. There were plenty of ship activities for folks (bingo, crafts, scavenger hunt, poolside games and it seemed like extras when it turned out it was just us and the sea.) Since this was 2 years in the planning I did a lot of research prior to our cruise and I think MSC is trying very hard to listen to the US Market- our room came equipped with tissues and wash cloths, which were two items that were points of contention for several cruisers. People – as Americans we were in the minority on this cruise, nothing to complain about just an observation. Some cultures are more loud than we are used to, but when you are on an international cruise line; you learn when to find a quiet table or when to tell someone to button it. I will also say that because of this, there were a lot less smoking violations than on other cruises. There was a designated area and those that smoked, stuck to it, and I can not stress how much this was a major plus! We met some lovely folks during our trip (Danes, Canadians, Norwegians, French and Lithuanians.) Consensus was everyone loved the Cirque shows and for those that attended the Broadway shows were really good. Above all the crew and musical entertainment are why we will sail MSC again. It is not easy dealing with what we experienced, but no one was unprofessional, in fact they all went above and beyond to make the best of the situation. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I “survived” the pseudo-coronaviris scare on the MSC Meraviglia and I can still say I had a great vacation even though we missed 3 ports. The staff remained friendly, and the cruise line did great damage control by giving us a 100% ... Read More
I “survived” the pseudo-coronaviris scare on the MSC Meraviglia and I can still say I had a great vacation even though we missed 3 ports. The staff remained friendly, and the cruise line did great damage control by giving us a 100% refund and $200 ship credit per stateroom. Prior to leaving, one of our rooms got upgraded from an interior to a balcony. The shows and live music were great, there was always something to do, and the ship itself is modern, clean, and absolutely beautiful. Not sure what these other reviews experienced but my experience was not that. My only critique was the food. The dinner was a hit or miss. Breakfast and a la carte lunch was good, but the best thing was the in-house pizza and mozzarella. AMAZING. Even after what I experienced, I would still travel with MSC. The staff was overworked especially with the unexpected days on ship yet they still were friendly and professional. Again, there was always something to do for all ages, and even till the wee hours of the morning. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Had an opportunity to do a cruise this year. This was a deal with Sunwing vacations. First of all I’ve been on other cruises to the Caribbean on Holland, Princess and Carnival. Most of our vacation south are at 4.5-5 star resorts so we ... Read More
Had an opportunity to do a cruise this year. This was a deal with Sunwing vacations. First of all I’ve been on other cruises to the Caribbean on Holland, Princess and Carnival. Most of our vacation south are at 4.5-5 star resorts so we are familiar with quality and standards. This cruise even with a few issues along the way with no stopping at Jamaica or Cayman Island ( this one I really wanted to stop and see) we still made the best of the situation. The meals we had in the restaurants and buffet were good. The drink package was fine for what they offered. The staff and it didn’t matter if they were the early morning cleaning crew, the cabin staff, restaurant servers or bartenders, everyone was very pleasant and always said hi with a greeting. After reading some of the negative comments posted from this trip I talked to my wife and friends we travelled with and we didn’t see the same issues. Matter of fact the complete opposite and wondered if we were on the same ship. It’s funny to see that many on the complaints people had I didn’t see too many of them mentioning that this trip got $200 credit on their account plus a “FULL” cruise refund. Really how big were their issues? So when people read comments about trips sometime you have to review many of the negatives and also the positive ones to help you determine a choice of how and where you spend your vacation. I felt MSC went above and beyond on satisfying their guests for this trip. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise to celebrate my birthday. We traveled with 3 other coupled. There were quite a few children on board but we didn’t have any with any of us. Unfortunately we had a crew member that got the flu and prevented us to ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate my birthday. We traveled with 3 other coupled. There were quite a few children on board but we didn’t have any with any of us. Unfortunately we had a crew member that got the flu and prevented us to visit 3 of our schedule stops. The crew did a great job keeping the ship clean and sanitized and encouraging everyone to wash your hands often. The captain and his staff did all he could to try to get us off at Cozumel. They finally did get us clearance for a whole day at Cozumel. The crew did all they could to entertain everyone and make the most of everyone’s vacation. The company MSC did a very good job compensating us for disappointing cruise. We were up dated on what was happening and most of the passengers were understanding as it was an unfortunate situation. The ship is beautiful and was very clean. We had a balcony stateroom and our cabin attendant was friendly and did a good job. The food was good and the service was excellent. The entertainment was good but not to everyone’s liking or style. We have done several MSC cruises and won’t let the problems on this cruise keep us from going again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
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