Could it be any worse!

MSC Armonia Cruise Review to Cuba

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 14

Overall rating:

2.5 out of 5
MSC Armonia

7 Night Western Caribbean & Cuba (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: May 20, 2019

Ship: MSC Armonia

Cabin type: Oceanview

Traveled as: Large Group

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

I have been on 20+ cruises from Carnival, Royal Carribean, Celebrity, Norwegian & Princess. MSC Armonia is the WORST cruise ship I have had the misfortune to experience! TOURS: After ALL the inquires/clarifications before departure regarding MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS to purchase tours from MSC in order to go ashore in Havana, it turns out that there is NO such requirement, as advised by MSC staff! I believe travel agent/company & cruise participants have been duped & lied to, which I believe is fraudulent misrepresentation! This is a SCAM to get you to purchase excursions only from MSC at an inflated rate! Many uninformed folks purchased the same tours from online tour/travel sights at more reasonable rates. I have a lot of respect for travel agent/company over the many years we have done business & believe the responsibility for this unprofessional misrepresentation lies fully with MSC. I would appreciate you or your management investigating this important matter with MSC & look forward to your response. Many folks cancelled their pre-booked tours from MSC & received some sort of refund. I was not that fortunate because they always have a policy deadline for cancellation that is unreasonable & to their favor! NONE of the Havana tours stated a tour day, date or time. We booked 3 tours & could not specify a day/date preference. Once on board & only by checking with excursion desk, we are told that 2 of our tours are scheduled for the same day & time, which causes a conflict. We cancel 1 tour & book a different tour for Sunday for rum distillery museum & cigar factory tour, which starts at 8:30AM (a bit early/absurd for rum & cigar tastings)! Our Saturday tour was "Architectural Wonders" which was half walking tour of old Havana & bus tour of rest of Havana. It was NOT advertised or stated in tour description on MSC webite that it also included a stop at a rum museum & cigar factory! When we got back on board, we went to the excursion desk & complained about this & asked to cancel our Sunday tour with full refund, since we went to a rum museum & cigar factory on Saturday's tour. We were told there is a 24 hour cancellation policy, which had past, so we were forced to tour another rum distillery & cigar factory on Sunday! FOOD: The food was only fair/unseasoned & the service was poor. Carnival does a better job with more variety! Most ship breakfast has an omelet station, where you can also order fried eggs of choice (over easy) with cheese. Their was an omelet ONLY station & pre-cooked fried eggs were only offered in a pan on the serving line, which were overcooked! I have type 2 diabetes, so its important for me to read cereal & yogurt package labels for sugar content. Cereal was offered in large bulk containers w/o labels or identification. The cheerios I selected appeared ok, but after tasting, contained sugar coating, which I could not eat. Yogurt was also offered in bulk in a large bowl, w/o labels or identification. Bacon was not drained & wet with grease! Lunch did not offer much variety & was only fair. Dinner was also fair & it seemed as if food portions were rationed. Rack of lamb consisted of only 2 chops, where other ships usually serve 3-4. There was NO lobster nite! Instead there was a seafood grilled platter consisting of a SMALL 1/2 lobster tail, one medium shrimp & a scallop, which were pre-frozen & mushy, & poor quality rather than firm! I asked for NO SUGAR ADDED ice cream & was served sherbert! To be safe I ordered fruit plate for future desserts. PIZZA: All pizza was meatless, except for one style that had hot dogs on it (WHO DOES THIS?). For an Italian owned cruise line, this was culturally pathetic! NO pepperoni or sausage selection! Wait staff would take drink orders from some folks at table & disappear w/o asking rest of table if they would like a drink. Also they might refill water glass for a few at table & leave w/o checking if others needed a refill. Service was poor until we advised area captain of above issues & were moved to a different area with more attentive wait staff. CREDIT CARD: MSC had both my & my roommates credit cards on file, since we pre-booked tours, as per your instructions & payment was successfully processed & confirmed. At cruise terminal, during boarding process, I asked assistant if she needed to swipe my credit card for future onboard purchases, & was told NO, since it was already on file. Half way thru the cruise we are at an upper deck party, & roommate orders us both a drink. He is told that his MSC room card has been frozen from making any future purchases! Obviously an assumed oversite or glitch! I give roommate my card & it is also frozen & rejected! This was an EMBARRASSMENT, since we were with a group of friends. Although MSC has your credit card on file, they have an unknown policy to cut you off when purchases approach $300, without warning nor any limit alert from credit card company! We both had to leave the party & our group, go to customer service desk to hear about their unprofessional policy & have our credit cards swiped to reactivate MSC card. We expressed our embarasment & disappointment in their unprofessional policy. I told them they were not really in the cruise ship business, but in the business of separating me from my money, & that their absurd cut off policy was interfering with that goal. I explained I once purchased a new car & charged 1/2 of car cost on that card for $12,500 w/o a problem! I also told them that perhaps when they cut the ship in half & reconnected the sewage lines, they were misaligned, causing the sewage to flow to managements brains & possibly clouding & affecting poor judgement in policy decisions! MSC BUS from ship to airport: On Sunday, after return from our duplicate tour, we go to guest services to book shuttle to airport. We are told that all shuttle buses were fully sold out, & we could not book & that deadline was 24 hours before ship docks in Miami! I explain that 24 hours ago, Saturday, we were on an MSC tour of Havana & could not possibly have booked by deadline, which we were never informed of! What an absurd policy/deadline! Common sense would dictate at $24 p/p shuttle cost, it would be in MSC best interest to order more buses & make more money! Not on this ship! MSC FINAL PAYMENT: It has been my experience that other ships burser desk stays open past midnite so all guests can settle final payment. We were advised on Sunday evening that burser office was closed at 11PM & we would have to settle bill on Monday morning, as ship was docking in Miami & everyone scrambling to disembark! ABSURD!!! There is NO rhyme or reason or logic or common sense to this ships management, staff or policy making and/or customer service...only DIS-SERVICE & DISAPPOINTMENT! NEVER AGAIN!!!


1 out of 5

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

1 out of 5

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5

Service and Staff

1 out of 5

Ship Quality

3 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5

Ship tip


Ports of call


5 out of 5


1 out of 5
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