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MSC Cruises: MSC Armonia

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MSC Armonia Review

Built in 2001 for Festival Cruises and christened European Vision, Armonia was purchased and rechristened by MSC Cruises when the original owner ceased operations in 2004. A sister ship to MSC Sinfonia, she was completely refurbished for family cruises.

Though these four sleek, medium-sized ships are almost exactly the same dimensions and differ only slightly in basic layout, Opera holds almost 200 more passengers typically and has almost 100 extra cabins. Light and bright by day, intimate and sophisticated by night, the contemporary design may not measure up to the sizzle expected by those North American passengers who don't appreciate more understated European tastes.

Public rooms are spacious and uniformly elegant, with grand touches of marble, brass accents, and lots of wood. The refreshing lack of glitz is more than compensated for by the sparkle of glass and a mixture of primary and neutral colors. With most public areas on the lower two passenger decks, getting acclimated is a breeze. Near the elevator and stairway, lobbies make even vertical movement less challenging.

Space around the Lido pools feels particularly lavish, with two swimming pools and hot tubs.

More widely known as one of the world's largest cargo shipping companies, MSC has operated cruises with an eclectic fleet since the late 1980s. When the line introduced two graceful, medium-size ships in 2003 and 2004, it ushered in an era of new shipbuilding that has seen the fleet grow faster than any other European cruise line. This line is growing into a major player in both Europe and the Caribbean.

MSC blankets the Mediterranean nearly year-round with a dizzying selection of cruise itineraries that allow a lot of time in ports of call and include few if any sea days. In summer months, several ships sail off to northern Europe to ply the Baltic. Itineraries planned for repositioning sailings visit some intriguing, off-the-beaten-track ports of call that other cruise lines bypass.

No glitz, no clutter—just elegant simplicity—is the standard of MSC's seaworthy interior decor. Extensive use of marble, brass, and wood reflects the best of Italian styling and design; clean lines and bold colors set their modern sophisticated tone.

MSC adopts some activities that appeal to American passengers without abandoning those preferred by Europeans; however, regardless of the itinerary, be prepared for an Italian-influenced experience. Also expect to hear announcements in several languages.

What You Should Know


  • Specialty coffees and alcoholic beverages are reasonably priced
  • Extravagant midnight buffets are worth attending
  • High above the stern, the disco is a cozy place to sit until the volume and action crank up


  • Oddly, only the forward and aft elevators and stairwells reach all decks
  • There are no aft-facing cabins with balconies
  • Meal times are designed according to European tastes and begin late when ships are in the Mediterranean
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 700
  • Entered Service 2004
  • Gross Tons 58,600
  • Length 824 feet
  • Number of Cabins 777
  • Passenger Capacity 1,554
  • Width 94 feet

By jane_CR

  • New

Jan 17, 2015

canaries and morrocco

We enjoyed our holiday as it is what you make it, however I had to complain to get basics such as bedding and soap. Overall if you haven't booked yet then I would advise you not to. Buffet not as good as other MSC cruises, less choice than others we have been on, however evening restaurant meals were a better standard. little activities for adults We didn't take excursions as we like the freedom to arrange our own in

our own time. We rang MSC prior to sail concerned about reviews about the Armonia and were told tough!!!!, either go or loose 80% of your money, if you have problems go to guest services. Therefore we went daily about the following complaints. We were a party of 5 adults sharing 2 rooms, there were adequate beds but one of the beds was not made up. In short we complained about this every day and it was finally sorted on day 5. We managed to beg borrow bed linen on a daily basis from the cleaners but when I rooms were cleaned every morning the staff removed it again without replacing it so we were back at square one every day. We had no soap in one of the rooms which also took 5 days to be filled. As a party of 5 we could not find adequate seating at busy times eg between 7pm and 10pm and had to pull any spare chairs to the windows so a couple of us could sit on the window sills. On an overnight stay in Casablanca the staff had a party in the nightclub so it was closed down. On this evening there were very little seats as guests were confined to fewer bars. There are still inadequate staff numbers as per previous reviews, getting a drink takes a very long time which is frustrating as we paid 1,000 euros on the drinks package. Even when you make a order staff take your card and do not return with your drinks for up to 45 minutes, so you can't move on to another bar as you have no card to order an other bars. If you go to the bar yourself the waitress comes to you to take your order anyway and you are back at square one. There is only one bar man on each bar so waitresses have been increased but they are just leaving a backlog of orders. On the positive side the Armonia is a very clean boat, (room toilets a little tired and smelly). Buffet not as good as other MSC cruises, less choice than others we have been on, however evening restaurant meals were a better standard. We had a good time as a holiday is what you make it. I wouldn't go on the Armonia again and may think twice about MSC. We never got an apology and I was made to feel uncomfortable by guest services as I felt bad going everyday asking for bed linen as if I was being unreasonable. On the 5th day I advised that I would put a review on and my issues were sorted. If you are going then I would advise you to say the same. I hope Management read this and do something about it. Overall if you haven't booked yet then I would advise you not to.

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  • New

Apr 22, 2013

Red Sea Cruise

This was our first cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed it on MSC Armonia. A little doubtful at first because we appeared to be outnumbered by other foreign guests (mainly German) who could not speak English and are rather rude, but we soon met with some wonderful couples to enjoy meeting up with. The staff could not do enough for you. When we dined staff were on hand without any delay and the same when we went in the bars. We had an indoor cabin

which was smallish but very clean and had everything in we needed with cabin staff attending to the cabin at least twice a day. The ship itself was very clean with lovely decor throughout, plenty of amenities with a gym, sauna, steam rooms and therapy rooms. The only downside was the evening entertainment was mostly performed for the German guests who only know how to line dance to everything. But once we found the piano bar to relax in which we really enjoyed they performed plenty of entertainment for ourselves. Food was fine with plenty to eat throughout the day. Some of the evening meals were a bit bland but 98% were fine. If you did not like something you could opt for another choice. Excursions seemed a little pricey so we opted to do our own. Thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to others. At one port there was a Thompsons cruise ship docked which I commented looked a bit drap compared to the MSC Armonia. Were told later by guests on the Thompsons ship that the ship itself was a bit basic but they were having a good time. We had the luxury of both on the Armonia.

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  • New

Jun 30, 2011


The only good thing about this cruise was the ports. Very few employees of the ship spoke english. We had a hard time communicating and when some of the cruise members found that you spoke english they were very rude. The lady at the excursion desk threw my excursion tickets at me and said "ariva derche" almost like get out of here and goodbye. The food was awful and they charge you for every little thing. The internet connection is ridiculously

expensive and very very slow. I think they keep it slow so they can continue to charge you fees for usage. I will never take a cruise with MSC again and if you can deal with rude service then the beautiful ports are worth it. I will say the ship was very clean and that the ONLY good thing about it. Customer service is clearly not a high point. I would suggest sailing with another cruise line.....its not worth the bad customer service experience. When I say bad, it was REALLY bad. Nasty food with no great variety. Dont pay for the expensive excursions. You can get off at a port and get a land based excursion by the locals for a way better price. You can even venture out by yourself and see everything the cruise excursions offer for a fraction of the price.

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  • New

Nov 30, -0001

Buenos Aires - Angras dos Reis -Rio

Our overall experience was bad. The only good thing of this cruise is the itinerary and the cabins (we took balcony cabins on the uppermost floor). Service was VERY poor, particularly from the European crew members. Latin Americans were much more friendly. The food and table service was the worst of all the cruises I have ever taken. This was the poorest point of this cruise. Eating times were very short and food quality was very low. Dinner times

extended over periods of 1.5 hrs (late seating) due to poor service-logistics. At some points (specially tea-time) lines were so long, the buffet closed before your turn, and the crew simply removed the platters in front of your face. This was the best part of this cruise. My stateroom (1212 and 1214) were quite large, LCD TV, couch, queen size bed and balcony with chairs and a table (we used to play cards). Room service has charge and not even the water is free. In fact, they only allow you to get free drinking water at meal time. Did not take part of any, but people seemed to enjoy them much. My first and last cruise with MSC

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