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62 Venice MSC Cruises MSC Armonia Cruise Reviews

The cruise ship was average quality but the customer service is horrible. Service - The customer service on the ship was terrible. Any issues we had were met with excuses and lies. They would tell us one thing & then do something ... Read More
The cruise ship was average quality but the customer service is horrible. Service - The customer service on the ship was terrible. Any issues we had were met with excuses and lies. They would tell us one thing & then do something else. Their systems are so poor that you should not prebuy any package before the cruise as you cannot change the package on board. Their system does not allow them to make any changes. We bought a cheers package and the wine offered was so horrible that it made me sick and there was no way to change it, They even told us that we can choose to take a cruise with another company in the future - and we were not being unreasonable at all. I escalated the matter with guest relations manager and he was too rude and was lying about 'he will solve it'. They don't care & it majorly shows in the way guests are treated. He asked me to visit the doctor on ship who charged Euro 80 just for seeing me. Food: The food in restaurant is bland and all tin food, it was terrible to survive on all tinned food, junk and not even have possibility to get fresh juice, juice is made with powder and only water!!! The waiters in Marco Polo restaurant made faces and looked like somebody who had been kept in prison for his whole life. We were in ship Armonia 08th August. Complete waste of money, had to go everyday to pick up food from outside. The only good aspect was the entertainment and kids club, this staff put up a good show. The restaurant manager in buffet was very kind, he saw us in this state with food and went out of his way to cook some dinner for us personally. The remaining experience was horrible... Gaurav Mishra   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Just returned from a fantastic family holiday on the MSC Armonia. The itinerary was outstanding, the highlights being the arrival and departure from Kotor, departure from Venice and Santorini and Mykanos in one very long day. Embarkation ... Read More
Just returned from a fantastic family holiday on the MSC Armonia. The itinerary was outstanding, the highlights being the arrival and departure from Kotor, departure from Venice and Santorini and Mykanos in one very long day. Embarkation was perfect. We were met by a MSC rep immediately when we cleared passport control, and on the bus within 15 minutes. We arrived at the port terminal at about 11am with embarkation not due to start until 2pm, but they let everyone on anyway with very little waiting so we were on deck enjoying lunch before noon. The drinks package is excellent value with a wide variety to choose from. White and red wine included is decent table wine, and the sparkling wine was very good. At mealtimes they would give us a bottle of wine rather than serve us by the glass which is sometimes the case on other cruise lines. Food in the buffet was excellent and varied with plenty of room to sit at most times, with fresh pizza available at all times and fresh pasta being cooked to order on deck at times. Food in the restaurant was very good also with a great choice of interesting fish dishes which is my favourite. Entertainment in the theaters was very good but limited to dancing, acrobatics and singing due to the wide variety of languages spoken on board. Plenty of activities on the pool deck to keep everyone busy if that is what you enjoy. Also, some very good parties in the nightclub. Passengers were mainly Italian families, but quite a few Brits and other nationalities and everyone seemed to get on fine together. All age groups were represented but it was a very young and lively ship. We took two excursions. Jaz Beach in Kotor was lovely but the MSC rep seemed to be more interested in chatting with the bar-staff who should have been serving free drinks to their guests at their seats. We had no drinks at all despite asking four times, and other bar-staff would not serve you at your seats as you had to be served by the MSC appointed staff who were too busy chatting. The Katamaran trip to Brac from Split was superb and well worth the high cost. The MSC rep could not have been any better and we were well looked after. The only drawback of the cruise was that service was sometimes slow or rushed. The staff were fantastic and tried their best, but there were not enough of them to cope at peak times. The restaurant staff looked after so many tables that you rarely had time to talk to them or have any relationship, and the bars on the pool deck got extremely busy. Disembarkation was very efficient but we were in the airport for 10:30am for a 4:00pm flight!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We travelled with friends as a group of four and sailed on the Armonia in July 2014. Ports were Venice ,Ancona, Santorini, Mykonos, Kotor and Split. Overall the cruise line itself is pretty average . The ports were fabulous - especially ... Read More
We travelled with friends as a group of four and sailed on the Armonia in July 2014. Ports were Venice ,Ancona, Santorini, Mykonos, Kotor and Split. Overall the cruise line itself is pretty average . The ports were fabulous - especially Kotor and Split so it is worth doing this cruise just for the destinations you will visit . The big thing on this ship is that it is dominated by large groups of Itallian famillies - so it can be very noisy at times . The noise levels in the main dining room made a conversation almost impossible . The staff are pretty average - most do not seem particularly interested in passengers. The waiters were ignorant and slapped food in front of you in the main restaurant. Cabin staff are average. The gym is well equipped with lots of CV equipment - however it is heavily used and the staff will limit usage of CV equipment to 20 minutes during busy periods . Overall you get what you pay for with MSC.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
I have been on many cruises lines. Celebrity, Carnival, Princess, Costa, Norweigan, Royal Caribbean but this is my first cruise on MSC. The procedure to embark was a joke. It took almost 2 hours to get on the ship. They had 7 agents for ... Read More
I have been on many cruises lines. Celebrity, Carnival, Princess, Costa, Norweigan, Royal Caribbean but this is my first cruise on MSC. The procedure to embark was a joke. It took almost 2 hours to get on the ship. They had 7 agents for over 2000 people. The girls outside attempting to coordinate entry to the ship were rude and made most of us stand outside in the 90 degree sun for over 45 minutes because they couldn't handle the baggage properly. Getting off the ship to destinations that required tenders was even more ridiculous. It took up to 3 hours to get off the ship because they ran 4 tenders to shore. A fight almost broke out in the waiting area because people were frustrated at the extremely long wait to get onto a tender. They have no idea how to operate at ports that require tenders. If you buy a shore excursion from them, you get to exit the ship first. The food was marginal at best in the dining room. We ended up eating at the buffet which was actually better than the sit down dinners. They make their staff work 11 hours a day 6 days a week. Perhaps that's why the service was substandard, the people we talked to who worked in the dining room and the room service were not happy. I had the opportunity to talk with one of the officers who also complained about the way they treated their employees. They treated their customers not much better. Waited at the pool bar for 2 pina coladas for over 50 minutes. No one seemed to care that the service was slow, but this is not the way cruising should be nor is it the way other cruise lines operate. The entertainment was juvenile, amaturish and unimpressive. There is no coffee or tea served in the dining room as there is on every other ship. No one ever asked if everything at our table was satisfactory. There was no maitre 'd. My son got sick onboard due to people sneezing, and coughing so that put a damper on things. Went to the ships doctor and it cost $80 euro just for the visit without any services being provided. Ships Dr. was from Ukraine and complained that the United States hasn't done anything to help his country since Russia invaded it, as if it was our responsibility to save the world. The ship was outdated and we were told they were going to renovate it in a few months. This ship was nothing special and if you are english speaking avoid going on this ship. They are not very accomodating nor friendly. Everything they did they had to repeat in italian, spanish, german, english and french. I found this ship to be a throwback to the ships in the 1990's, from the ambiance to the service being just so-so. If you want a marginal crusing experience then MSC is your line. If you want something else, go somewhere else. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We travelled from Venice via N Africa, S Spain and then round the Canaries/Madeira before ending the cruise at Tenerife. We had an outside suite the first week and an outside cabin the second week. Plus points: The ship was very nice ... Read More
We travelled from Venice via N Africa, S Spain and then round the Canaries/Madeira before ending the cruise at Tenerife. We had an outside suite the first week and an outside cabin the second week. Plus points: The ship was very nice with excellent meals, clean cabins and the staff (with some exceptions - see below) were very friendly and couldn't do enough for you. Negative points: We were on the ship for two weeks. However the menus and entertainment repeated on the second week so it was a bit like groundhog day! Some variety would have been nice. The trips were overpriced and not good value for money. We booked to go to Carthage - and the Medina for shopping. We only stopped for 30mins in Carthage but we did get taken to a carpet factory for over an hour - no mention of that in the brochure!! - The medina was a whistlestop tour with no time to look at the shops but we did get taken to an overpriced shop where the guide was obviously on commission for anything bought by his tour group. In subsequent ports we found it cheaper and better to arrange our own excursions. When we complained to MSC about the poor quality of the excursion they totally ignored us, and have done even since we contacted them on our return home!! The on-line tour guide said that the daily service charge was levied to ensure that all staff members received a fair share of customers tips. We talked to several members of staff who told us that they did not receive these monies, just the basic wage, so we elected not to pay the charge (IT IS NOT COMPULSORY) We tipped those staff members who we received good service from, rather than swelling MSC's profits. The shipboard excursion staff were most unhelpful when we wanted to make a complaint about the Carthage trip and as I said we are still waiting for a reply some 5 weeks later!! The Accounts staff were dismissive when we said we did not want to pay the Service charge and we had to return the second week to say we did not want to pay again. The reception staff suffered a lot of complaints from many passengers and one in particular responded like a "pitbull". She had obviously failed the customer service course. In summary - the price we paid was very cheap for the two weeks and we thoroughly enjoyed it - just wish someone had told me a bit about what to expect before we went.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
The food is terrrible, it is luke warm and totally tasteless, I have never experienced anything like it, mass catering on a very low budget is the only way I can describe it, do not bother to complain about anything at reception they have ... Read More
The food is terrrible, it is luke warm and totally tasteless, I have never experienced anything like it, mass catering on a very low budget is the only way I can describe it, do not bother to complain about anything at reception they have no interest in anything you have to say, they do not respond to any requests other than to say they will contact you ' we are still waiting to be contacted about the cabin upgrade we requested when we actually booked the cruise and the 4 attempts we made whilst on the cruse' Reception seem to think that so long as they know what is going on why should they tell the guests, I have never met such an incompetent organisation, they all blame each other and do not put any problems right, this was our first cruise, the ship itself is very nice, our itinerary was excellent but it is all totally let down by the management, the hands on staff, (cabin, general housekeeping and restaurant) are very good. The only interest the management have is how much money can they get out of you with thier 'service charges', The ship can carry around 2000 passengers, we were automatically charged 6 euro's a day each, I calculated out that that is roughly 100.000 euro's in services charges per week, this does not include the 15% service charge that is automatically added to all purchases of food, drink and transport charges to get ashore, there are around 700 crew, this would equate to a 'tip' of around 1200 euro's to each crew member each week!! Suprise suprise the lad's working on the decks and restaurants did'nt see anything like this amount, it all went to the management!! A quick tip to anyone unfortunagte unough to have booked this cruise ship you can tell them that you are not prepared to pay this service charge, they don't like it and the smiley facade that you are met with melts visably, but stick to your guns and refuse to pay it. This is an excellent cruise ship with third rate chef's and entertainment and a management company that are only interested in ripping you off with all of the extra charges that they make whilst they have you trapped on board. We tried to fly home early but could'nt find any flights at a reasonable cost at such short notice, if we could have we would have left the ship asap. Value for money is something that this cruise line has not understood. Yes you can add extra costs whilst your customers are on board but there is a limit!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
I joined the Armonia on 25/10 for a 7 day Mediterranean cruise after being discommoded from the Red Sea Cruise of 23 days. many people were disillusioned that the cruise had been so drastically changed. i took up the option of only doing ... Read More
I joined the Armonia on 25/10 for a 7 day Mediterranean cruise after being discommoded from the Red Sea Cruise of 23 days. many people were disillusioned that the cruise had been so drastically changed. i took up the option of only doing the first 7 days and then go to Genoa to do another cruise on the Lirica. My 7 days were pleasant and enjoyable. The tours by MSc I found were mostly rides on buses with short stops at destinations. The mixing of nationalities on tours was confusing, as the other languages were explained in a long winded way and so those of us with English often missed some of the interesting points while the other language was used. the other nationalities were often talking when the english commentary was on so we missed some of the points because of the rudeness of other passengers. The food was offered with a variety of dishes. I would say the food needs to be hotter when it reaches the tables. Also no liquor was allowed to be purchased during dinner other than what was available from the menu. no coffee or tea was offered after meals. Organisation for tours was chaotic to say the least and getting on board initially was like being in a pig pen. We got herded from one area to another and some passengers were rude and pushy which to the Aussies is a no no. Ocean view cabin adequate for one person but would be crowded for 2. showers were very small and hard to manoeuvre in. Overall I would say this was an enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
in writing this review. I have taken into account the poor weather ,which does have the effect of confining guests (I use the tem lightly felt like we were invisible to some staff) joining the ship was smoothe enough. ,if you don't ... Read More
in writing this review. I have taken into account the poor weather ,which does have the effect of confining guests (I use the tem lightly felt like we were invisible to some staff) joining the ship was smoothe enough. ,if you don't mind being pestered to take out packages whilst in the que, could have been a more relaxed exp. if the let you sit down and called you across . On board cabin nice and clean. And was kept so the whole cruise. No chocolate when bedding turned down .had a problem with our door and this was fixed once reported only one plumbing malfunction Which was fixed quickly but only after our friends were spoken to rudely by the receptionist . Excursions. And tenders were organised. Well.we made our own way to most places nice touch was a warm towel provided to dry off after a really wet excursion in a thunder storm . Some of the ports of call were for only a few hours. ,we would prefer less for longer but agin that a personal preference. Didn't take drinks package as felt you would have to be draining a lot to make it worth wile but that personal choice.Getting served at the bars was amazingly difficult unless you were sat right by a bar the staff seemed to ignore you and often then got the drink order wrong Again service in the restaurant was very hit and miss. They were not very attentive , eg didn't poor wine check if you needed anything else asking for more bread was a criminal offence. Very little interaction which we had not experienced before on previous cruises. food quality a bit hit and miss fish was good but some meat too fatty or tough. Again never had food like it on other ships. Salad was basic one every. Night. Came with dressing already put on. So often drenched . During the day buffet usually good selection but layout of the buffet turns into a bun fight. Again poor weather did make it. Hard to find tables as no one sat outside. Teas and coffee. Appeared always to have some thing missing. Either milk or stirrers. Just got annoying walking around to either get food or cutlery for different sides. And the staff were again very slow to clear tables and just ingnored you if you tried to catch their attention. This was also the first time on a cruise that water and coffee was not served to us at the end of the evening meal. Can't sea reason for this as if you were eating in the buffet it was available . As mentioned on other revies. Entertainment is a generic format and cope well with the language issues ,but the shows are early and after second sitting dinner there is very little atmosphere on board. Now home and on reflection feel we won't go with msc again. Didn't feel they buy into caring about their guest as much as othe companies .   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We booked this cruise purely for the ports as it sailed to all the places we wanted to see and had no days at sea. It was our first family cruise and we went expecting the worst after reading previous reviews. We were pleasantly ... Read More
We booked this cruise purely for the ports as it sailed to all the places we wanted to see and had no days at sea. It was our first family cruise and we went expecting the worst after reading previous reviews. We were pleasantly surprised. The ship is kept spotlessly clean and our cabin was bigger than we thought it would be. The ship was very quiet and you could never tell whether you were sailing or in port as it never seemed to move. We booked the drinks package and saved a fortune. We worked out that we would probably have spent double + 15% service charge if we had paid individually for drinks. Our kids loved the idea of going to the bar and ordering their own kids cocktails and showing their cruise card. We sat with 2 other English families at dinner and were very well looked after by our waiter. He was constantly filling our glasses and getting drinks for the children. The food in the restaurant was "interesting",plenty of choice and courses, so if you weren't keen on one course you could move on to the next. The buffet restaurant on deck always had plenty of choices and we usually had breakfast and lunch up there. We never experienced any fighting for sunbeds !! and always found beds by the pool even at times when everyone was onboard. We found the entertainment was a bit odd and the shows were not really what we had expected. Hardly "West End" ,but the Italians seemed to love them. Our only complaint was that if you book the MSC bus into a port it usually cost much more than a taxi :( We paid $12 each to Dubrovnic X4 of us and a taxi was only $10 each way. Most ports have local buses or taxis so don't book one on the ship. Overall though we had a fabulous time and will cruise with MSC again Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
As 1st time cruisers, we were very hessitant, knowing that the majority of North American cruisers are more interested on the ships amenities rather than the ports of call and the cultures that await beyond the ship. We were totally ... Read More
As 1st time cruisers, we were very hessitant, knowing that the majority of North American cruisers are more interested on the ships amenities rather than the ports of call and the cultures that await beyond the ship. We were totally amazed with this cruiseline, MSC, five different languages were spoken and everyone was European and were so friendly and interested in the ports of call. We ate in the restaurant, buffets are not a novelty unless in a hurry, and we enjoyed being waited on by pleasant staff. Language was not a problem and the food was amazing. Loved the small portions and the local Italian flavors of the day. The ship was in a different port every day ( we did not want a day at sea, no cultural experence there) We didn't use the ships travel excursions as we enjoyed going into each town and finding our own small tour escort for 10 euros. The ship was so organized and we experienced no lineups getting off or on ship. The evening shows were fun, we did not want an American broadway performance, so quite enjoyed the local talent. We did not partake in the ships drink package, as we figured we would have to have approximately 7 drinks a day to justify it, and we would rather have local drink in taverna in towns daily and order a special drink or glass of wine with evening show was less expensive. We had wine/beer in our cabin which would suffice for pre-dinner drink while getting ready for our dinner. Food was exceptional, did I mention small portions, so one could partake in all 4 courses and dessert. I am a foodie so can attest to how great the meals were. MSC was a great experience if you crave different cultures and don't expect American flair.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
MSC ARMONIA 27/09/2013  04/10/2013 Cabin 1070 Being frequent cruisers my wife and I have just returned from a cruise aboard the MSC Armonia with four other members of our family. I am writing this letter of complaint about the ... Read More
MSC ARMONIA 27/09/2013  04/10/2013 Cabin 1070 Being frequent cruisers my wife and I have just returned from a cruise aboard the MSC Armonia with four other members of our family. I am writing this letter of complaint about the appalling food and general service on board. The food choices at breakfast were limited, under cooked and cold. The toast was inedible-one of our party chipped a tooth whilst attempting to eat it. When requesting brown toast we were served with warm bread! At lunch and evening meal times the choices in La Brassiere were limited. The main meals were overcooked and tasteless. The vegetables were lukewarm with only a choice of green beans and potatoes cooked in oil and rosemary, the mash potatoes were soggy, runny, and almost inedible, properly cooked it should be light and fluffy. The salad choices were repetitive as were the cold meats and cheeses. The desserts were the same every day, there were no hot desserts available. (hasn’t the chef heard of custard) no additional cream was available to use with the drier desserts. Food in the Marco Polo restaurant was poorly presented with no garnish or sauces to enhance the dining experience. When requesting meat we were not asked how we wanted it cooked, rare, medium, well done, it was served however the chef decided to cook it. The bar service in La Brassiere and on deck was non-existent if we wanted a drink we had to go to the bar ourselves to get one and you have the nerve to charge a 15% service charge. The waiters in the Marco Polo worked very hard but didn’t have time to serve us any additional drinks after our initial request. Beer was available in the restaurant but we were not served any spirits because you didn’t serve spirits in the restaurant. Water should be free in the restaurant we shouldn’t have to pay for it. We did complain at the time and for the Maitre ‘D’ to bring the waiter to the table whilst we tried to explain was very unprofessional, and embarrassing for the table of ten and the waiter. The Marco Polo restaurant was very under staffed, whilst our waiter did his best and was a very pleasant young man, the work load was far too much, causing our dissatisfaction with the service. The bar service in the other bars was extremely slow (even when there was no one else in the bar), waiting 10 to 15 minutes before being served and a further 10 minutes before the drinks arrived. We took advantage of your drinks package which included draft beers. Murphy’s Red Label which ran out after 3 days and was not replaced, and the Newcastle Brown Ale which ran out 2 days later and this also was not replaced, which only left a limited choice of Lager Heineken and Amstel. If it hadn’t been for the company we were with, we would have disembarked on the second day. We will not be travelling with MSC again and would not recommend MSC to any of our friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
been on a few cruise lines...and overall this wasn't bad for the money.its not the same class as celebrity...but you don't pay the prices either. we upgraded to a balcony cabin...still good value.room was large and very ... Read More
been on a few cruise lines...and overall this wasn't bad for the money.its not the same class as celebrity...but you don't pay the prices either. we upgraded to a balcony cabin...still good value.room was large and very tastefully set out.the only prob being that nearly all balcony cabins are on deck 10....above is the open pool deck...and u get woken every morning about 7am with the crew moving the sunbeds around cleaning. same about 5pm in the eve..and you can hear people waliking abouy....ok at night though. if ur gona have a balcony cabin...go for the few there are on deck 12...avoid the problem.did see other cabins...they were v small and basic. food overall was good...never go hungry. but the food was never the top quality u get on some other ships....cuts of meat for eg where usually the cheaper ones.but there was lots of choices. staff were goog and ship was clean. wouldn't bother with the drinks packages they try and sell you..unless you intend to drink all day! we did take a premium wine package...for a bottle with dinner each night. wasn't worth it....they give u a booklet with the wines in it. when u come to order it...they usually say they've run out and offer u another one...annoying!! much better to choose what u wan each evening. overall I would go with them again....but only on a balcony cabin....which by the way ive never had on any other ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Date of departure: 27th September 2013 I travel with my elderly Dad and disabled son, we are frequent cruisers as cruise ships (and crews) are geared up for the elderly and disabled. We always share a triple berth cabin. We chose this ... Read More
Date of departure: 27th September 2013 I travel with my elderly Dad and disabled son, we are frequent cruisers as cruise ships (and crews) are geared up for the elderly and disabled. We always share a triple berth cabin. We chose this cruise for the itinerary - Ancona, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Gythion (we had to omit because of bad weather),Cefalonia and Kotor. All ports access to World Heritage sights - and despite reading adverse reviews of MSC were prepared to give them a go. We flew from Newcastle direct to Venice with Jet2, and had a night in Ca` Formenta hotel pre-cruise, a lovely hotel that we`ve used before. Easy to walk from the hotel to the Arsenale vaparetto stop where we picked up the public Alilaguna boat which took us straight to the port for embarkation. Embarkation time was 14.00, but we arrived early and after queuing (standing) for 30 minutes were through to check-in. Not sure who the "Priority Boarding" is for, but it certainly isn`t for elderly or disabled people, though I didn`t make a fuss at the time as I was too frazzled. Once onboard we navigated ourselves to our cabin only to find that 2 of the beds we pushed together to make a double. After reporting this 3 times, they were finally separated at 10 p.m. The cabin was just OK - very clean but nothing special about it. We could hardly see out of the windows because they were so dirty on the outside, and I object to paying almost '£100 pp more for an outside cabin, only to find that we can`t see out of the windows. The soap dispenser in the bathroom didn`t work at all, despite our cabin stewards best efforts to fix it. I asked if we could have a bar of soap instead, but this never materialised. Looked forward to getting to bed (although I have the top bunk and at nearly 60 I`m getting too old to use a top bunk!) I was horrified to find that the sheets smelled faintly of vomit. I complained about this the next day and the sheets were changed. Same thing happened, so I guessed it must be the mattress and asked at reception for a clean mattress. "Right away" they said, but that also did not materialise. I spent the rest of the week sleeping between the top blanket and the spare blanket, well away from the mattress / sheets. We always use the buffet restaurant on ships, but the food in La Brasserie was the worst food I`ve ever had on a cruise ship. It seemed that the quality of the food itself was poor, and the hot food was nearly always lukewarm. We are not gluttons,but do like to eat well when we are away - the sea air gives you an appetite! The kitchen service was excellent, but with the exception of a couple of boys, the waiter service was terrible. However, as mentioned in other reviews, the staff were overworked and looked worn out and disheartened. Although there was a hand sanitizer at one of the doors to the buffet, the machine was empty several times, and on the penultimate day we arrived at breakfast to find no machine at all. I asked where it was, and was told that there was no more hand sanitizer! Euw :( I thought that the entertainment team was fantastic. Yes, the shows were just a re-hash every night with a different theme, but the team worked so hard, and were always helpful and pleasant when met elsewhere on the ship. We also used the casino as my son is a whiz on roulette. The staff were helpful and very friendly. Ports - outstanding for me were Corfu and Kotor. In Corfu we walked from the ship towards the centre of town and picked up a horse and carriage. We then had a very pleasant 30 minute drive around both the old and new towns with full commentary from our driver for €40, which I thought was great value. Kotor is like a mini medieval Dubrovnik in a stunning setting, but I was disappointed that we only had half a day to explore. Disembarkation: We have never had to leave the cabin at 7.30 before, which I felt was unnecessary. We then transferred to another hotel, Ca` Angeli, for 2 more days in lovely Venice. To summarise: This was the cleanest and most stylish ship we have been on - with the exception of the hand sanitizers, badly let down by the quality of the food and the shortage / attitude of service staff. Our cabin steward worked very hard, but seemed to have more than the usual numbers of cabins to cover. I have written a letter of complaint to MSC, so far no reply. We would not use MSC again.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We sailed from Venice in September for a week on the MSC Armonia. We were kept waiting at the airport for a while until other flights arrived then we were bussed to the ship. Check in was a bit slap dash with the left hand not knowing what ... Read More
We sailed from Venice in September for a week on the MSC Armonia. We were kept waiting at the airport for a while until other flights arrived then we were bussed to the ship. Check in was a bit slap dash with the left hand not knowing what the right one was doing. We got onto the ship and there were staff members at every corridor to show us to our cabin which was fine for our needs. This is one of the cleanest ships I have been on with lots of mirrors every one shining which is more than could be said for the outside of the windows of the cabins and public areas, all of which were filthy. The food was average unless you do not like tomato and being Italian there was plenty of that. We shared a dining room table with a couple from Manchester and the lady had the same surname as us. Not sure if that was just chance or nice planning by MSC. The bar service is the worst I have ever seen on any ship I have been on ,including North Sea and cross channel ferry's. Most of the bar staff are young and lack proper training. They are badly supervised and poorly managed and lack focus and when the bar gets busy, they panic. It was my birthday during the cruise and I got a card from the ship, so nice touch there. We were told at the end of the cruise that the ship could not moor at the terminal and we would be bussed but we did moor at the terminal. Disembarking was colour coded but they stopped using the tannoy to call the colours and this led to a shambles, We got our luggage and were herded into a car park for about a hour with coaches ,trucks and taxis dodging round people, no shelter from the sun and not very safe. We were under the care of 3 young girls who had not got a clue what was going on or what coach people were supposed to get onto. If I was to compare MSC cruises to a supermarket it would come in about the level of LIDL. I would use them again in the hope they get better organized and provide better staff training. We booked with cruise.co.uk and I must compliment Anne who dealt with us for the smashing service she gave us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
MSC Cruises oh dear, they are not great or at least this cruise wasn't. Booked flights separately and flew in to Treviso, quite simple to get to Venice Port, catch the bus to Venice (Piazzo de Roma) then the Sky Shuttle to the port ... Read More
MSC Cruises oh dear, they are not great or at least this cruise wasn't. Booked flights separately and flew in to Treviso, quite simple to get to Venice Port, catch the bus to Venice (Piazzo de Roma) then the Sky Shuttle to the port (1 euro) or you could walk instead of the Sky Shuttle about 10-15 mins. Service is pretty horrendous, staff look miserable but then again I am not surprised the way they seem to be treated. Entertainment is a joke, pretty much the same every night, the only thing that changes is the theme. Other than the show for the evening there is a casino & bars, that is it. Food in the buffet, well if you like it almost cold, and pretty much no flavour then this is the place for you. Main dining was a bit better, but still not what I would call great. Fresh Pizza though was nice. Didn't bother with the drinks package, not a big drinker but expect to pay between 3 euros for a small beer up to about 7 euros for a premium drink plus your 15% tax, the drinks package was about 23 euros per person per day, just work it out for yourself what option works for you. Coffee, Tea & Water is supplied free all day from the buffet and Juices for Breakfast. The MSC Armonia is a mid sized ship, nice and clean but dull. Oceanview cabin was an okay size and clean. Ancona is a nice Italian port, easy to get off the ship and just walk straight in. Dubrovnik is again very nice, about 20-30 min walk from the cruise port, or MSC offer a shuttle service for about 13 euros return. Corfu Town seems to be a dump but some people like it, I didn't have been much nicer places. But about a 20 min walk from the dock, wouldn't really bother with the MSC paid for shuttle if I'm honest. Gythion was a surprise, nice little port town, very traditionally greek, loved it. Tender to the dock, don't do the beach excursion offered by MSC, they charge about 13 euros per person return, taxi from Gythion is 10 euros return. Kefalonia not impressed, again a tender to dock, didn't do an excursion, Argostoli wasn't anything to write home about, Island is one of those that is probably best explored by car. Kotor completely blows Dubrovnik out the water, beautiful little old town, not nearly as crowded as Dubrovnik, nice picturesque setting, leaving the port and sailing out is like being in the Norwegian Fjords for a little while anyway. Shame you only get to spend a few hours here, would have given Corfu & Kefalonia a miss for an extended stay at Kotor. In summary MSC Cruises seem to be pretty poor, especially talking to others who have been on other cruise lines. If you are used to American ships & standards, then don't do MSC.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We booked with an internet agency who we could not fault for their organisation. We had decided on MSC Armonia. Although it said 4 restaurants we have been more used to having a couple of restaurants that although you pay extra for it ... Read More
We booked with an internet agency who we could not fault for their organisation. We had decided on MSC Armonia. Although it said 4 restaurants we have been more used to having a couple of restaurants that although you pay extra for it enables you to have maybe a "special" meal. Our first night in the Marco Polo restaurant was spoiled by a very rude arrogant and impatient Italian waiter. we met two lovely couples at the table whom we were introducing ourselves to each other. This waiter was intent on getting our orders in to the extent that while my husband was talking to the couple on his right the waiter took mine and then said I will just order the same as you to which I replied No, please wait. He did the same to the other two ladies. The food was practically thrown at us and no sooner had we put our cutley to the side of our plates they were whisked away and the next course thrown down. This continued to the end of the service. The Maitre 'D did come and speak into his ear but this did not make any difference. Needless to say this was a massive put off as we have never been treated like this on any other cruises we have been on. The second night we spoke to the Maitre'd who then arranged that all six of us be moved to the other side of the restaurant. This waiter was not removed from the restaurant and by all accounts continued to act in a disgraceful way. I and the other thought the quality of the food very poor. I have had better food and display of food at pubs. This was another factor of the disappointment. The risotto was stodgy and tasteless and the consistency of rice pudding. Risotto is supposed to be a speciality of the Italians, this was not! The main courses were also a disappointment and the desserts no better. One of the couples whom we met was celebrating a 25th Wedding anniversary. We mentioned this to the Maitre'd, he didnt seem interested but did manage to pass our table and stop and congratulate them just before we were due to leave the restaurant. On other cruises we have experienced a better lack of interest in the cruisers and if there is a special "something" a little gesture i.e. desserts with congratualtions written on plate or even a complementary glass of fizz, MSC did nothing. The entertainment on board was also poor. We had a couple who played guitar and an electronic organ, who managed to clear the room. The band were good but were not on long enough. We were second sitting which by that time they were starting to finish off their evening! The entertainment on deck during the day was very juvenile, kicking a football through the legs of 6 chairs, this was for adults only and no children were allowed to play!!!! The other entertainment on the deck was "The Italians doing what they do best, showing off". This came under the umbrella of dance lessons which was more of a "look at me". Oh and then came the 1st of the days Bingo session!! This was translated so many times that it was so boring, at night they also played bingo! it was dire!! The Casino did not generate any interest or atmosphere and we only visited twice! Usually this is a big part of our Cruise experience and our holiday gambling time. The guys on the bars did not remember what you drank which was again very disappointing not only for us but for them as they were not left extra tips. On any other cruises we have gone on the waiters and barmen make a point of knowing your name, where you generally come from and most importantly remember what you drink. This does not happen on this ship. The cabin was nice and spacious and it was lovely to have a balcony, the rooms are very well sound-proofed although we diud have a French person next door who was intent on letting us know that he could hear even a murmur who felt it necessary to come to our cabin and push and threaten my husband, he also claimed that we had woken his baby, who as it turned out was 10 years old and did not waken up. The joys I suppose of cruising, there is always One (or two if you count his screaming wife!) Overall the Italians and others on the ship did not bother us at all, in fact I can safely say they did not even feel the need to be friendly and try and interact with us. Thank goodness the couple we met at our table from South Africa and Sweden made our cruise worthwhile. The overall feel from the six of us was that we will not be sailing again with MSC on any of their ships. We will stick to the ones we know we can trust, Royal Carribean, P & O, Princess. Our advice would be is to leave MSC to the Italians, they want the ship to themselves and their children. As British people we consider ourselves to be considerate and polite unlike the passengers on board this ship who are rude, arrogant and pushy. Never again!!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Booked this cruise 4 weeks before we travelled. We still enjoyed a the "free" kids price and got a 5% discount as this was our second MSC cruise and had joined their cruise club last year. The only compromise was that we ... Read More
Booked this cruise 4 weeks before we travelled. We still enjoyed a the "free" kids price and got a 5% discount as this was our second MSC cruise and had joined their cruise club last year. The only compromise was that we couldn't get a balcony cabins as they had all been sold so we opted for an oceanview on deck 8. The itinerary was Venice-Ancona-Dubrovnik-Corfu-Gythion-Cephalonia-Kotor-Venice. Time in each port was ok with one exception, Kotor was far too short as you need longer. Venice is a great port to embark any ship. The airport is nearby and if time allows I recommend you get the water bus from the airport to the cruise terminal. It costs 15 Euro each, takes 2 hours but is a great introduction to Venice and delivers you straight to your ship. Armonia was a great ship. It is smaller than the Musica we sailed on last year but amenities were just as good and we found the smaller ship less busy and friendlier. As always with MSC the ship was always clean and well cared for. The ship is easy to find your way around although not all the lifts and stairwells access all floors.Our cabin was small. It would be ok for two people but we had our 14 year daughter with us too. Thats said it was comfortable enough and the weather was great so we didnt have to spend too much time in the cabin. Cabin was clean and serviced twice a day. Lots of storage space (even for 3 of us) but the room lacked a safe and I never got to the bottom of whether or not this was the case in every cabin or just ours. Food in the main dining room and buffet was generally good quality; we only had one bad dish. Like all buffets on larger ships it was manic at times but with careful planning you could find a seat easily. The pizza station was really popular and the guy making the pizza deserved a medal as he made pizza 13 hours a day non-stop and as fast as he made it it was eaten! Drinks were reasonably prized and comparable to the ports we visited. We bought the DoReMi kids drinks vouchers (28 Euro for 10) as they allowed you to have all soft drinks including non-alcoholic cocktails, smoothies and ice cream. Service on Armonia was better than Musica but still not 100% perfect. Bar service could be painfully slow particularly in the two pool bars, even when youve waited to order it could take up to 15 minutes for the drinks to arrive! Thats said service was friendly and English is well understood. Excursions were expensive as a 14 year old pays adult prices on MSC. The two we took were ok but the one in Kotor was excellent thanks to our guide. Entertainment on MSC is fun but not great. Passengers are from many countries so shows have to be visual in nature. Armonias entertainment team worked hard but its not West End standard. The night time pool parties on deck 11 were always fun and rounded off a good day. Disembarkation worked well. We booked a St Marks Square shuttle boat with airport transfer. This worked easily but you will arrive at the airport by 4pm so if your flight back is later this may prove too early for some (we had to wait 5 hours for our flight). Overall a great cruise. MSC wont be to everyones taste but for a family looking for a relaxed cruise in the sun we feel you cant beat them. Well done MSC and thanks.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
This was our first ever cruise and having read some awful reviews about MSC Armonia, I was dreading this but the price was just too tempting. Besides I had booked directly with MSC and the sales agent was really helpful and prompt in his ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and having read some awful reviews about MSC Armonia, I was dreading this but the price was just too tempting. Besides I had booked directly with MSC and the sales agent was really helpful and prompt in his response. I shot him at least 50 emails before and after booking and he replied promptly each and every time. Now on to the cruise...We had opted for the fly n cruise option. MSC executives were waiting outside Venice airport and we spotted them easily. We were asked to wait in a waiting area which was just outside the airport terminal. After about 10 mins or so we were all asked to walk to the bus accompanied by few executives. They sat us in the bus and explained to us the embarkation procedure. The transfer to the cruise terminal is about 20 min bus ride. On arriving there, they walked us through and we were told to leave our luggage and check in. Again check in was simple and quick and embarkation started in about 20 min. We wanted to visit Venice and there were people to explain to us how to get there and places to see. The ship was neat and clean. I was told it is fairly small. However it was our first cruise and I did not have anything to compare with so I cannot comment on that. Ours was an inside room; it was a bit on the small side but then we hardly spent any time in the room. It was a bit dated but neat and clean. The only thing I did not like about it was that shower area is a bit small and no matter how small you are, you cannot prevent the shower curtain from sticking to you. Apart from that, no complains. We had gone for the all inclusive option at £20 per person per day and it is well worth the money. It includes red, white, rose' and sparkling wines, more than 10 cocktails, a wide range of spirits, ice creams, fresh juices, canned juices fizzy drinks, water, smoothies, drinks from the vitamin bar. A very very wide range indeed. Besides, you do not pay the 15% service charge you would pay otherwise. Drinks are priced at the same rate at any restaurant in the UK so even if you had 3 drinks and a bottle of water, the all inclusive option is worth going for. We had taken second seating which starts at 9pm. The service of the staff especially of those in the al a carte restaurant (Marco Polo) was really good. The guy serving us was called Deyan and he was from Bulgaria. He was a star!! Such a nice guy! When he came to know we were vegetarians, he went and spoke to the head chef and from the next night onwards, we got special vegetarian Indian dinner which obviously was not even on the menu. We were the only 2 Indian passengers among 1500 on board and to be given that kind of service, we were really touched. I cannot fault those guys. They did not have to do that. There were other vegetarian options on the menu. Even in the various bars, as soon as you finish a drink, they come to you to take your next order in spite of knowing we were all inclusive. I had thought we would be treated differently but that was not the case. Their service is really good! I read people moaning about how crowded the buffet gets. It does but what do you expect during peak hours? The buffet has many options to choose from (though not that many for us) but there's fries and pizza all day. They serve pizza from 12 pm till 11 pm I think and it was good - no complains. The pool area  some people say place is a bit noisy with music playing all the time. I don't know what else to expect. It was good with music playing, for us at least. The pool is a little small and the water seemed quite cold even in Aug when the temperature was almost 30 deg or more. But that is me; I can't stand cold. There are 2 Jacuzzis and there is an attendant all the time to make sure that everyone gets the chance to use it. The entertainment  The entertainment team is pretty good. There are people on the ship who come from different countries and speak different languages so they have to make sure that it appeals to people from everywhere. They did a good job. Also the evening shows'we attended it only once and it was really good. Now to the excursions the cruise excursions are a bit on the expensive side. It's worth mentioning though that the excursions have nothing to do with MSC. I presume it has been outsourced. We took one excursion in Gythion to a beach which was for around 15 and two transfers - one in Dubrovnik to the old town for  11 and another in Corfu to the town for around 9. Old town in Kotor, Montenegro is literally few yards from the port. We did not go out in Ancona and in Cefalonia. We were having a good time on the ship. If I had to complain about something, it would be the disembarkation. We had to vacate our rooms by 8 am or so but disembarkation did not begin until 11.30. That's so many hours of doing nothing. We had slept late the previous night (wanted to make the most of our time and not waste it sleeping) and then woke up early. Then once we disembarked, we thought we will be able to get on to the bus. But we had to wait for more than 2 hours and no one to let us know how much longer it was going to be. I was getting worried as our flight was at 4 pm or so. But eventually the bus arrived and dropped us. If I had to fault anything, it would be this. Apart from this little thing, this was a fabulous holiday.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Having read reviews from fellow cruisers it's clear we all like different things. We chose this cruise because we had a stop every day. On Royal Caribbean there are two days a week at sea. The embarkation process started 2 hours ... Read More
Having read reviews from fellow cruisers it's clear we all like different things. We chose this cruise because we had a stop every day. On Royal Caribbean there are two days a week at sea. The embarkation process started 2 hours before the 2 pm time we were given so were able to embark after under 30 minutes queuing.During this time we signed up to the all inclusive drinks package with the stewardess sorting it out while we stayed in the queue. Our cabin was supplied throughout with clean bedding and towels. All the staff were polite, greeting you when passing. Our agent had incorrectly put on the first dinner sitting. This was easily changed for the second night and we sat with a delightful young Austrian couple who spoke good English. Not many English speakers passengers and that just added to the feeling of being on holiday. We had no problem with the children or fellow passengers, mainly Italian and French. Like another reviewer said-go with the flow. At the ports where we had to use a tender, this was well organised both ways. The food was not up to Royal Caribbean standards but the cruise was cheaper so we were not surprised. Still very good though and served by a friendly, efficient waiter. Entertainment in the theatre was made all the more enjoyable by the enthusiasm of the Italian passengers who were tremendously appreciative of all acts. We had a great time! Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We have just returned from a week long cruise on Armonia from Venice to Ancona,Dubrovnik,Corfu, Gythion, kefalonia & Kotor. We booked direct and had seen reviews of the ship so knew what to expect. flights were booked as part of the ... Read More
We have just returned from a week long cruise on Armonia from Venice to Ancona,Dubrovnik,Corfu, Gythion, kefalonia & Kotor. We booked direct and had seen reviews of the ship so knew what to expect. flights were booked as part of the package and were with BA from Gatwick. Transfer was included but lacked information from MSC staff on arrival. It was a bare minimum welcome. A bit more info on check in/embarkation would of been helpful. Arrived after short transfer at Venice port, off loaded from coach, dropped luggage then directed to cruise terminal for chaotic check-in. Despite having done the on line check-in we queued for approx an hour in a hot stuffy terminal building with what felt liked a thousand other cruisers. There were just five desks checking-in all guests then there were more queues if you wanted to embark the ship. We opted to go into Venice. We had three hours so concentrated on St Mark's square and grand canal. Easy to find monorail gets you to water busses on Grand Canal. Water bus was expensive 15 euros per adult return on number 2 line to St Marks square. Water bus is a great way to see the grand canal. Be aware the time it takes to get on the water bus back from St Marks Square. So many tourists! Absolutely crammed but a great experience if you take it in your stride. This is your first lesson to think like an Italian! Embarkation was straightforward and we had our first of many photos taken as we stepped on board. Cabin was good, plenty of space for three and lots of storage. Very clean and In good condition. Bags took a while to arrive so a bit rushed before dinner. We had first sitting at 18.45 in La Pergola restaurant. We were seated with a lovely family also from South Wales. Not sure if that was by chance but well done MSC if it was planned. Dinner menu was good. 7 courses each night if you wanted it but we picked and chose from the different courses and there was always steak and chips or chicken as alternatives if nothing appealed. Service was extremely friendly and efficient. Our waiter was very polite and helpful. We were not impressed with the bar service throughout our cruise. With a few exceptions the bar staff were not friendly and lacked service training. Table service on the lido deck was seldom available despite there being staff that liked to hover around the bar! We did complain to the bar manager who shrugged off the comments so I complained formally at reception on day 3. We chose the all inclusive drinks package at 161 euros. Well worth it as you don't need to drink constantly to make a saving. Typically a beer was 4.90 euros, bottle of house wine 18.00 euros, sprite or fanta 2.70 and cocktails 6.50 euros. Plenty of choice and non alcoholic cocktails for children. Another advantage of the package is that the service charge of 15% is also included. Breakfast was taken on the lido deck which was busy and chaotic. Lesson two of being like an Italian in the buffet queues! Go with the flow and expect an Italian or French guest to push in or shove in front of you. Quality of food in buffet restaurant generally good with plenty of choices. There was a constant supply of pizza, burgers, hot dogs and chips each day as well from the grill. Ports of call were very good. Ancona - easy short walk from port into town. Nice traditional indoor fruit and veg market and outdoor clothes market. Dubrovnik - we took the shuttle bus as the port Is approx 30 mins from the city. 12.90 euros but efficient. Dubrovnik was very busy so we headed for the cable car trip first. Fantastic views not be missed. Dubrovnik was lovely but crowded. MSC had well marked pick up in main square amidst the chaos of dozens of cruise shuttles. Corfu - the port is a 20 minute walk from town but easy and you can't get lost. Great for browsing and shopping and locals so friendly. We got a taxi back to ship. Gythion - tender service to the shore was efficient and quick. Pretty fishing town with a few bars. We took a dip in the sea from the small beach. Kefalonia - lovely port. Easy walk to town. Look for the turtles in the harbour. Good shopping and browsing. Kotor - beautiful stunning scenery. Good tender service to shore. Tip - ignore your ticket time and jump on an earlier tender. Nobody checks tickets. Lovely old town. We didn't go on he organised excursions and were happy with the itinerary. There was plenty to see in a few hours at each port. At some ports the ship sailed quite early but we liked being able to relax on the sun deck with a drink or cocktail. In the afternoons the pool was busy but more peaceful on the upper level. We watched one show after dinner which was very visual but no singing etc as so many different languages spoken on ship. Pretty average quality but ok. Check out / disembarking was good. Luggage collection chaotic but go with the flow Italian style again. Good transfer to airport. Overall a good cruise. An experience mixing with lots of nationalities on the ship but that added to the fun and was educational too. Good for families. Not a top end cruise so go with realistic expectations and you will enjoy. We had a great holiday. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
MSCs 'Children go free' option make it an excellent cost effective holiday option, typically paying only about £100 port taxes per child, if you share a 4 berth cabin. This is our third MSC cruise and we largely we knew what to ... Read More
MSCs 'Children go free' option make it an excellent cost effective holiday option, typically paying only about £100 port taxes per child, if you share a 4 berth cabin. This is our third MSC cruise and we largely we knew what to expect: Good: Food was Italian orientated and always top notch. An army of very able and friendly waiters,bar staff and hotel services, many were Balinese. Great itinary, plus Venice itself, Kotor, Santorini and Dubrovnik are the best stops in our view, but all are worthwhile. 4 berth cabin had just enough space to be comfortable, The ships overall are excellent well maintained and if you want some peace you can find some ( Card room + rear decks ). Enjoy sailing with a big mix of passenger nationalities. Bad: Entertainment a bit too sequins and feathers for our liking. Italian staff often appear aloof and unfriendly. Poolside gets very crowded. Don't rely on MSC to entertain your children or teenagers - they can't. Do join their members club as if you intend to cruise with them again you get some good perks.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Our fifth Cruise - 3 on Ocean Village, 1 on P&O (Oceana). Not sure what to expect from an Italian line. However, as you might tell from the 'hint' above - we were totally satisfied, and would not hesitate to go again with ... Read More
Our fifth Cruise - 3 on Ocean Village, 1 on P&O (Oceana). Not sure what to expect from an Italian line. However, as you might tell from the 'hint' above - we were totally satisfied, and would not hesitate to go again with MSC. The language was not a problem at all. To be fair, we were watching our budget, and got an extremely good deal, but even at 'normal' prices, I would consider the cruise very good value for money. We booked Cruise Only, and made our own way to Venice, staying at the Albergo Marin - ideally situated, and again, very good value for money.(See Trip Advisor) We even walked to the cruise terminal - then a courtesy bus took us from there to the ship. Check in was extremely efficient. We took up the offer of a soft drinks package, but declined all excursions, as we were comfortable with making our own arrangements at the ports of call. We had a balcony suite,(first balcony experience!) and had to pinch ourselves as we sailed away from Venice - we were on the left(port?) side of the ship, so on the best side to see St Mark's Square etc - what a view! As we had opted for early sitting (18.45) we missed the meal in the restaurant first night so that we could make the most of the balcony view of Venice. Of course we did not miss out on a meal entirely, as we went to the self service Brasserie instead. Late sitting would have been 21.00, and that seemed a little late to us. Every night there were 7 courses available: Entree, Soup, Salad, Pasta, Main, Dessert, Cheese and Biscuits. I defy you to say there's nothing to your liking! Our room was bigger than anything we had had before - balcony, sofa, chair, coffee table, 2 bedside cabinets, huge bed (ok, 2 singles pushed together), walk-in wardrobe, desk, dressing table and bathroom with shower over. Concealed safe, hairdrier and mini bar. Alas, no tea making facilities for the Brits, but plenty of tea always available at drink stations. The ship is beautiful - spotlessly clean - this may sound funny, but I was impressed that never ever did I come across toilet rolls or hand towels empty in public toilets. There's a lot to be said for that! We particularly liked this itinerary: Venice, Ancona, Dubrovnik, Gythion, Corfu, Kefalonia, Kotor. A port of call EVERY day. We did our own thing at all of them - i.e. walk round, quick dip in the sea if possible, stop for a cold drink/ice cream. Back on board well before last call, then settle down on one of the numerous sunbeds to enjoy the afternoon Med sun. I'm rambling - probably losing your interest by now - so as for the rest: Entertainment - a bit corny for my liking. Lots of dancing, strength and balancing acts. A tribute act or two would have been nice. Not quite comparable with P&O and Katherine Jenkins this year! But hey, the theatre is a good space, and you csn see from everywhere. The entertainment team are good fun and work hard. Can't comment on the spa or gym - I've got those where I live and don't want to waste holiday time in them! Not interested in the casino. Staff - all are wonderful - but a special mention for the cabin steward and waiters - so friendly helpful and respectful. Tender service - extremly efficient, tickets were issued with a time, to prevent clogging up the stairwells, but we always got straight on. Very smart arrangement with gazebos and flags on quayside. Start of the school holidays, so lots of children around - thay didn't get in our way - if that's an issue for you - go in June! Overall, I hope you have gathered that we had a great time. The crunch - would we cruise with MSC again? - unequivocally (hope that makes me seem educated!) YES!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We arrived in Venice early however we were able to leave our suitcases at the port and join a trip organised by MSC to go into St Marks Square, 15 Euros per person return. Once we arrived back at the port the embarkation process was very ... Read More
We arrived in Venice early however we were able to leave our suitcases at the port and join a trip organised by MSC to go into St Marks Square, 15 Euros per person return. Once we arrived back at the port the embarkation process was very easy as we had booked in on-line before leaving the UK. Our cabins were spacious and clean with a lovely balcony with table and chairs. We went to explore the ship and was very impressed with the cleanliness and layout of the restaurants and bars etc. The choice of cocktails was fantastic, (I would recommend the drinks package as tax is already included in this price, 20.00 a day for adults and 10.00 for children). There was unlimited ice cream, vitamin drinks, cocktails etc., the service was good even when very busy, the staff were always happy to assist us, we did not come across one rude member of staff, they were all lovely. There was always burgers, chips, hot dogs and freshly made pizza available, including a good selection for vegetarians. The buffet lunch was varied, one day there was even a hog roast!! Deserts were plentiful as well as fresh fruit, tea and coffee. The evening restaurant, we were in La Pergola, was wonderful. The waiters were so attentive, and by the second night, they already had our glasses full having remembered what we liked to drink! 7 courses each evening with an excellent choice of food. There were plenty of bars to choose from, including our favourite chocolate and coffee bar. We did not do any ship excursions, preferring to arrange our own on shore, the excursions were quite expensive if there are more than 2 in your party, therefore I would recommend speaking to the local taxi drivers who will give you the same tour for half the price. Overall it was an amazing holiday, I really cannot fault it at all. I have worked in the travel industry for over 30 years and travelled all over the world however this has to be one of my favourite holidays ever, I am even contemplating booking again next year.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We just finished our fourth cruise with MSC. The first was in 1999 when few Americans had heard of MSC. We loved it! The cuisine, the shows, the demographics, the waiters, came together for a very European experience. Since then we ... Read More
We just finished our fourth cruise with MSC. The first was in 1999 when few Americans had heard of MSC. We loved it! The cuisine, the shows, the demographics, the waiters, came together for a very European experience. Since then we have always particularly enjoyed our cruises with MSC. But this time things were very different. The cruise we took on the Armonia was largely in the Adriatic. The ports were fine and so were the excursions. So we enjoyed that part of it. The shows are still slightly wacky, fun and decidedly non PC. Enjoyed that too. The food, however, was substandard. I have been on quite a few cruises with different companies and this was the worst. It is a deal-breaker. Presentation was lovely, dining rooms too, but most of it was either overly-salted or utterly tasteless. How can anything so pretty taste so bad? We took to eating in the ports of call or ordering extra courses to see if there was anything we would want to eat. We are definitely not finicky eaters. It was clear that MSC is cutting corners. Part of what a passenger looks forward to on the cruise is the food. Not here. Also, no midnight buffets, everything including ice cream on deck had a price (didn't used to be that way), virtually no activities onboard. Passengers were left to entertain themselves with cards and board games and an occasional dance class. I have never been on such an uninspired cruise. I used to love going on MSC cruises. Not going with them again. Uh uh. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
It was with some intrepidation that we finally decided to cruise with MSC. Several telephone calls were made to the MSC office in England in January & February but each time we were put on hold and could never get through to the ... Read More
It was with some intrepidation that we finally decided to cruise with MSC. Several telephone calls were made to the MSC office in England in January & February but each time we were put on hold and could never get through to the reservations department. In desperation we went to our local travel agent to see if they could do any better. Unfortunately they could not. They eventually made contact the day following our booking enquiry only to find that flights from Gatwick in June were not available. We did not wish to travel to Heathrow. On checking the BA website ourselves we were able to select morning flights to Venice from Gatwick for the date required and for the return. Rather than book this ourselves we went back to the Agent who booked return flights for us. Eventually cruise was booked with separate BA flights. On checking out our cruise details some two weeks later we found that Gatwick flights were then available and the timing of these were identical to those booked with the Agent. We then requested bus transfer between airport and the Seaport but were advised by MSC that all seats were already booked. We then arranged a private taxi transfer for the return journeys. The e-mail and telephone service between customer & MSC office is very poor and urgently needs to be updated to cope with enquiries. Our travel agent agrees with this. On arrival in Venice everything went smoothly although we could not check in to the ship until 2.00 p.m. We were able to put our luggage into a secure area and we set off to see some of Venice. The People Mover Monorail is about a 15 minute walk from the MSC check-in and well worth using for just a 1 Euro fare. There is a free bus from ship to Monorail but we were not advised of this. Five minutes on the Monorail and you are not far from the Grand Canal. Well worth using this mode of transport. Check in went smoothly and when we got to our cabin our luggage was there for us. All the crew were extremely polite and helpful. Having cruised on this ship about 10 years ago when it belonged to Festival Cruises and was called "European Vision" it didn't take us very long to find our way around the decks. Late lunch was available followed by afternoon tea. The drinks package at 20 Euros per day per person was well worth it and we were surprised to have a choice of wine by the bottle at dinner. The package covered most drinks as well as ice creams, tea, coffee and cocktails. The only downside of the cruise was the crowded swimming pool area, very noisy and music blaring out most of the time. About 4.00 p.m. there is one game of Bingo which takes a long time as numbers have to be called in 8-9 languages. We tried to give this a miss and take tea & scones in the buffet area. Our ports of call were varied but interesting. Kotor was the highlight of the cruise. (A jump-on jump-off bus is available at Kotor port, or taxi drivers try to grab you with high price fares, however when you walk away from these guys the price is usually halved. Another fun way to see the old city is to tske a ride in a buggy. Dubrovnik port to Dubrovnik City walls by transfer bus is not a free journey. It is now about 5 miles from the new port to the city. The return fare is 12 euros. Likewise in Corfu a transfer bus is available again for about 12 Euros. These fares are charged to your cabin account. Overall the cruise was good value for money, we have no complaints. The choice of food was excellent at all mealtimes, although breakfast can be a bit of a crush as everyone seems to arrive together. Our balcony cabin on Deck 10 was very clean & comfortable. Announcements over the tannoy were not intrusive. We will certainly consider travelling with MSC again and just hope that their communication service improves as poor communication makes for poor service.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
MSC Armonia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.7
Dining 2.0 3.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.2
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 5.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.2
Enrichment 3.0 2.9
Service 4.0 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.5

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