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American Just Off Armonia


Cruiser933
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Cruiser933 Thanks so much! The Ship review was great! We are truly hoping NOT to have to take a tour on our 'full day' in Cuba. Hopefully we can just walk off and go into town. The Cruise line makes it makes it sound difficult to do but in 'talking' with people like you and others they all have said they just got off the ship and went out on their own with no problem. I have Euros (from European travel) that I will bring for exchanging for CUC. Like you we are not planning to spend much, maybe a local food sample or a drink at a bar. As to the other stops we aren't planning any excursions. Just getting off and walk around or maybe have some local 'lunch'.

If anything else comes to mind that we should be aware of PLEASE continue to update. It is most useful!

 

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Thank you for posting this! I am debating between booking this cruise for my family (husband and myself + two kids, ages 3 and 9), or the Carnival Sunshine. Our main purpose in going is to see Cuba! It's like comparing apples and oranges at the moment. The 5-day in an aft balcony on the Sunshine is the same price as the 7-day on the Armonia in an oceanview! 

 

I'm finding the details in your review to be helpful in making a decision!

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Cruiser you're the best! I have  been able to get a better understanding of MSC and especially Cuba, from your posts than anyone else I have heard from or read a post from! Clear, concise and to the point.

We are fully retiring this summer and will be living in Barcelona for a few months. We will be taking another MSC cruise out of Venice in September on MSC Musica. (Greek Islands, Albania and Croatia). Your review has helped me understand MSC a little better. Then in November a TransAtlantic on Rhapsody of the Seas, RCL, from Barcelona back to Tampa.

Thanks so much!

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5 hours ago, Cruiser933 said:

Bottom line - Would we take MSC again?  Yes, if the price and itinerary was right, we definitely would.  I wouldn't call it our favorite cruiseline, but we had a really good time.

Try the seaside .a lot more flavors of gelato since the ship is much bigger.lol.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/27/2019 at 6:23 PM, Cruiser933 said:

There were production shows every night with dancing, singing, and acrobats.  Although each night had a different theme and music, some guests may find the shows to be a bit repetitive, so some people may not want to go to all of them.  I really think this format probably works best given the number of languages spoken on board.  Reservations were not required for any production show.

 

There was also a Cuban dance group brought on board the evening in Havana.

 

There were also a lot of other activities on board including ping pong tables, foosball tables, a splash park for children, basketball/soccer court, shuffleboard, mini golf and a large fitness center.

 

There was always plenty to do and we were never bored.

Thank you for the wonderful review. Did you watch the Cuban dance group which was brought on board? If so, can you give some information about it and how it was? We are debating between this or going to a show onshore. 

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As someone on Armonia right now, who’s also been on Divina and numerous CCL and RCCL ships and cruises, I have found the Armonia to be quite pleasant. 

While a small ship, it doesn’t feel like a shoe box, the balcony cabin suites on 12 are more spacious than any other balcony cabin I have been in. Never saw a bathtub before or a walk in closet. There is more storage in this cabin than I’ve ever seen. Can easily accommodate 4 people or family and store everything neatly. 

Food is hit or miss, I’ll grant that, not the greatest, but you’re not going to die. The pizza is damn good. 

Mid you have to find a complaint about the ship, due to its size, is people congregating in lift areas and doorways blocking people...but, that’s just people

being inconsiderate (seems to be mostly Euros, sorry)

 

Amonia packs more punch in a small ship than people would think. 

 

Id like casino to be larger

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EngIceDave: If I could buy you a drink I would! Great reviews and tips! Have never had reviews or commentary on any ship done quite so succinctly yet very informative - especially great pics. The Cuba info is great - what a cramp having to stay by room waiting for VISA though! I will do like your wife and wait in hallway! I can't wait to find out if we can get off easily without having to do a ship or local tour. I'm happy to hear that the Armonia is better than what seems to come across on other cruisers reviews. Again, thanks for taking the time!

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No problem and thank you. 

Im not the kind of person to do the funky chicken poolside of belly flop contest. I like being online and reading. 

 

In the Cuba meeting he said that no one checks if you have a tour or not, it’s basically an honor system. 

 

I did notice that one of the 12 things on the list of permissible reasons to be there was religious purposes, so just claim you’re going to church or to visit a church. Look up a church name in advance if really concerned. 

 

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We did see the Cuban show on board. It was outside near the pool, a tight space. I would have preferred to have it in the theater. It was fine. It appeared more African influenced than I would have expected. Watching dancing really isn’t my thing.

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4 hours ago, Europe Cruiser 05 said:

Thank you for the wonderful review. Did you watch the Cuban dance group which was brought on board? If so, can you give some information about it and how it was? We are debating between this or going to a show onshore. 

Hi! I may add something here,

I saw this show, and may say that it explains the african roots of Cuba dancing, very well executed and entertaining, but, it has nothing to do with Tropicana Show, which is more "artistic".

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57 minutes ago, JP Medina said:

Hi! I may add something here,

I saw this show, and may say that it explains the african roots of Cuba dancing, very well executed and entertaining, but, it has nothing to do with Tropicana Show, which is more "artistic".

Thank you JP Medina! I haven’t been able to find out any information about this, more than it exists. I really appreciate you responding! Now we can make a more informed decision. We are leaning towards going to Tropicana but a bit worried about the smoking people have complained about. 

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1 hour ago, Cruiser933 said:

We did see the Cuban show on board. It was outside near the pool, a tight space. I would have preferred to have it in the theater. It was fine. It appeared more African influenced than I would have expected. Watching dancing really isn’t my thing.

Thank you Cruiser933! I really appreciate the information.  I think we will get off and try the Tropicana! 

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We were on the Armonia last week - first time on MSC.  After almost 50 cruises, I have a few additional comments:

- The dining room for the suite guests was most enjoyable.  Plenty of space and good views, without the excessive noise and background music that I detest on other ships.  On the other side, I found the buffet to be too cramped - although their pizza is quite good.

-  Overall, the ship's service and cleanliness were on par with the others.

-  The quality and selection of food was not quite as good as most other cruises.  

-  The dancers for the shows were very good but were repeated in "different" shows every night with no resident orchester.  The Cuban show on the ship was not for me.

-  If not planning one of the big shows in Havana, consider going into town and having a drink at one of the bars with entertainment.  For a few dollars you get to hear some "real" music and experience the local culture.  

-  I highly recommend a private guide for Havana.  It's cheaper than the ship's tours and much more personal.

-  I always enjoy getting a rental car in Cozumel.  It's easy driving and beautiful.

 

 

-  

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Thanks for the reivew. We go July 1st. Do you remember the excursions offered in Cozumel? Specifically, a tequila tasting and chocolate making one? We are in a S2, Fantastica suite so looking forward to the anytime dining in that one MDR. That space you mentioned was only for certain guests... do you know which guests? The haven like area...

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On 2/26/2019 at 6:39 PM, PTC DAWG said:

Thanks for the review, sailing Seaside in April....first timer on MSC...have The Easy drink package, if you had any experience with that, or saw any, any info appreciated.  Thinking of upgrading to Premium.  

 

How were dining times handled?  I'm used to NCL freestyle.  Or just HIT the buffet.  

Upgrade the drinks, no question about it. The buffet on Seaside is rubbish. Very little choice in the evening, basically what is put out for lunch. Do the MDR. 

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I am not sure which guests had access to the higher deck.  I just know we had Fantastica OV and it wasn't us.

 

We had booked our Cozumel excursion prior to the cruise so I didn't pay a lot of attention to the book.  To the best of my knowledge there weren't any additional excursions that could only be booked onboard beyond what was offered online prior to the cruise.

 

In Havana we did the revolution tour on the afternoon we arrived, did a car tour early the next morning, and then the historical walking tour after that.  All through Strawberry Tours.

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Thanks for all the info!  Taking January 2020 cruise.  All in all, almost everything described I’ve had experience with.  Just a clarification, did you find water and milk, coffee free in the buffet?  and speaking of coffee, how did you find it?   Understand coupons will inc. gelato and cappachino.

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On 3/23/2019 at 10:42 AM, AerynSun_JohnCrighton said:

Thanks for the reivew. We go July 1st. Do you remember the excursions offered in Cozumel? Specifically, a tequila tasting and chocolate making one? We are in a S2, Fantastica suite so looking forward to the anytime dining in that one MDR. That space you mentioned was only for certain guests... do you know which guests? The haven like area...

 

Aurea guests have free access to the Top13 Solarium (as the private deck is known).  For others, there's a daily charge (it's €10 pppd on cruises where the currency onboard is Euros, so it'll probably be about $10 - we never checked as we were given complimentary passes).  There's usually a promotional price of 2 for 1 on port days, and half-price (€5) for afternoon access (from 3pm).

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