Small Ship, Big Benefits...

MSC Armonia Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 10

Overall rating:

4.3 out of 5
Verified Review
MSC Armonia

7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: January 06, 2020

Ship: MSC Armonia

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: 1122

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 2 months ago

Review summary

MSC Armonia is a nice, small ship for a week cruise in the Caribbean. All the staff, except for Customer Service Desk staff, are super friendly and welcoming. Stick to the buffet for food, and definitely visit The Pizza Bar (WOW), and of course the Gelato Bar - neither disappoints. Too many days at sea though if you skip a port, which is very tough on a smaller ship, but we made to. $2200 for two on a balcony suite is totally steep compared to other companies, but this Italian ship is good for traveling Italians. Their private island, Ocean Cay, truly is THE BEST PRIVATE ISLAND IN THE BAHAMAS! Small ship, big benefits!

Embarkation

5 out of 5
If you arrive close to close-out time (4pm for this cruise and we arrived 330pm), it is smooth sailing at check-in. I cannot comment on arriving with probably 1,000+ people earlier (lol), but can say that the check-in staff were SUPER FRIENDLY!

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
For an "Italian" ship, and I cruised with my Italian husband and 25 other family members who came to Miami from Naples, Italy to jump on this cruise, we were quite disappointed with the dining room meals. The buffet meals were actually better! The dining room staff that took care of us were SUPER FRIENDLY AND VERY SERVICE-ORIENTED!! So, THAT part was awesome.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
I did not go to the gym. There is no rock climbing. The Cruise Staff was AWESOME...Very friendly, very involved, and truly went out of their way to make guests feel cool and welcomed. There could have, however, been more activities than just dancing.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
The night shows were MOST IMPRESSIVE.....So, Kuddos to that!!! Two thumbs up.

Children's Programs

5 out of 5
Our youngest daughter attended only one night, and her older cousins even went to for the Teens Disco Party and they raved about it!

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
ALL BUT the Customer Service Desk Staff are FRIENDLY! The Customer Service Desk Staff at MSC needs some people skills training. Like, a LOT. For that, I cannot do 5-starts.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
For a ship they claim was "recently renovated", I didn't see it, and I am in construction, so I know. Additionally, the public bathrooms in common areas are NOT properly maintained. MSC needs to do a much better job at keeping those clean. The Design is also not the friendliest to navigate with so many floors not going through, no real "main" elevator, etc.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Size is a plus. Comfort was extra plus because of the expansive storage spaces, wow. Our Room Stewardess, Alvin, kept it immaculate. We loved our cabin. Perfect for a couple.

Ship tip

Keep your expectation low on the food in the dining rooms. Definitely visit the Pizza Bar because that definitely did not disappoint the 26 Napolitanos I traveled with!

Ports of call

Miami, Florida

5 out of 5
My Port Miami is awesome. I built its tunnel and I love the Port, plus my City is the best!

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

5 out of 5
Very easy, smooth in and out. Way too crowded with taxi drivers but hey, they gotta hustle, LOL.

George Town, Grand Cayman

5 out of 5
You gotta tender in, which is kind of inconvenient, but the in and out process is smooth. Walk past all the taxi hustlers and walk towards the library where you can find public transportation to all beaches and tourist spots for a fraction of the taxi prices. Yep!

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico Did not visit port

The Captain announced that the seas were too choppy to approach, and we were just outside the port. It was very sad not to visit and we were only credited $16.50 per person for not going. Boooo.

OCEAN CAY MSC MARINE RESERVE, BAHAMAS

2 out of 5
My client built this island and boy was I not disappointed. As far as private cruise line islands go, and I have visited five, THIS ISLAND IS THE BEST! Featuring an actual port where the ship can dock, so you do not have to take a tender in, this island has plenty of beaches, hang out areas, shops, locals, bathrooms, quiet zones and kids areas. It is simply THE BEST ISLAND!!!

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
MSC disembarkation was disappointing in that other liners I have cruised on, including Royal, Carnival, NRC, Holland America, have a much smoother disembarkation process. The process moved way too slow, and, because it is a foreign ship with plenty of foreigners (not your typical American cruisers), Customs Agents take longer interviewing each guest, and THAT holds up the lines. I am all for safety and national security, but, come on, it's a cruise! Do better.
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