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Beamafar

Notes from Armonia Miami-Havana Jan 2019

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32 minutes ago, citizenfrank said:

Great review Bea, so much to benefit the cruisers pending this ship and itinerary. 

Love the fact MSC are bending over backwards (not your words I know) to court the US market.

The elegant ight menu was impressive.

Your fish and chips were no doubt much improved by champers...think I may suggest that here on friday ...early warning that the answer will be colourful and contain the word 'off' somewhere.

Those nuts must be a suppliers dream, the tin count would be impressive ....Im adcited to the cocktail ones with the walnuts, pecans, brazils and almonds! :classic_blush:

 

I can only click on the heart icon once, but I wanted the 'Like', 'Thanks' AND 'HaHa' for this post, Frank!

 

I love mixed nuts, myself, but we never use the cocktail nuts - are there dried chickpeas in the tin?  Whatever they are, we don't care for them at all.

 

A couple of the tins of choc nuts seemed to have made their way into our luggage;  we enjoyed them for 'dessert' last night LOL

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1 hour ago, sidari said:

Bea ... Glad you enjoyed your surprise, Pier Paolo said he was glad you had a good time ... 😀

 

Dave ... meant to tell you last week that I was watching an episode of QI on dave;  Stephen Fry was explaining what Sidaris were.  I assume you know what they are/were?

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I posted the following on another thread, but thought I'd share it here.  It's the Spa bar menu (though it was out on the pool deck.  



691e143d9fb2e9b8e10384b4ab72cc6b.jpg

The items are only included in Deluxe, Premium and Prem+ packages.

Here's the 'Red Berry Bliss':

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The following were introduced on Armonia the week we sailed (I never did get around to trying them out):

fd0a0463eb891377e8753e6301960282.jpg

ee3b636ee1f783676b401a79fcf5bf29.jpg



Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
 

 

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I found it very hard to adjust to the time difference and suffered with jet lag on this trip.  Most nights we were in bed by 9pm ... unheard of for us as we would rarely get back to the cabin before 1.30am on other cruises! This meant that we didn't get to any of the shows, nor did we get to enjoy much of the entertainment.  But we did get to enjoy White Night up on the pool deck which was a great night!  We met the most wonderful young couple that night  - he was from Italy and she from England;  he told us he was going to propose to her on the ship!  We met them later on and he had!

 

Apart from one 'Elegant' night and White night there were 2 other themed nights - 70s/80s and Pirate night.  We saw the entertainment team dressed for Pirate night but we missed the 70s/80s one.  The only themed night where passengers seemed to engage was White night.

 

Other activities, apart from dance lessons (they weren't attended in the evening in the Sinfonia lounge which was dead after early dining - having the dance lesson on then was probably a big factor) were Trivia (which was on twice a day sometimes), Karaoke, there was a Pub Quiz and a Country & Western game show on other nights.  They also had a Beatles tribute one night.  I can't comment on any of them as we didn't attend.  Keep an eye on the planners for these events (and others).
 

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I am a little confused about the food re   the menus that are posted - are they for the regular dining room or somewhere special for suite guests?

 

We are sailing on the Armonia at the end of April and I am hoping that I will have access to that menu - I like the look of it.    We are black status if that affects anything to do with the menu.

 

Thank you for all your informative posts.   I have enjoyed reading them.

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Hi ... yes, the menu is the same for the 2 MDRs.  I'll be posting more menus as I go along.  The only dinner menus I don't have photos of are the first night's and the Italian night one (we went to Surf & Turf - the speciality restaurant - that night).

 

Having Black status doesn't have anything to do with which MDR you dine in - it depends on the cabin you've chosen.  However, you will receive a voucher in your cabin for a complimentary meal for 2 in Surf & Turf.  I'll post the menu when I'm on my phone.

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13 hours ago, Beamafar said:

 

I can only click on the heart icon once, but I wanted the 'Like', 'Thanks' AND 'HaHa' for this post, Frank!

 

I love mixed nuts, myself, but we never use the cocktail nuts - are there dried chickpeas in the tin?  Whatever they are, we don't care for them at all.

 

A couple of the tins of choc nuts seemed to have made their way into our luggage;  we enjoyed them for 'dessert' last night LOL

Ha ...it was not intentionally funny! 

Yes they are chickpea bullet's but pick them out and it's nut heaven, several tins come home too!

Rest of your review is great, especially the photos.

I never realised there were so many 'big ship' features aboard ....As you know, I'm a big ship fan but the photos and your writing have convinced me that bigger isn't always better!

Yes there's a pun brewing, but I'll leave it as there are not enough buttons as you say :classic_ohmy:

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2 hours ago, citizenfrank said:

Ha ...it was not intentionally funny! 

 

 

How you expressed the response you'd anticipate, should you request champers with your fish n' chips, was funny!

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Thanks so much Bea for sharing your experience - as ever very useful information as well as the pleasure of living through someone else's holiday. 🙂

 

I must say the first lunch menu, although obviously 'Americanised', looks quite appealing to me - possibly the best MSC lunch menu to date for the variety and a lot of things I would enjoy.

 

The cabin looks very similar to the suites on Orchestra etc. despite Armonia being an older ship and cosmetically she seems fine, if not dazzling like the newer MSC ships.

 

As soon as I saw the Captain's name, I remembered the 'Mighty Cruise Ships: MSC Divina' episode and sure enough - he is TV famous. Sidari - he seems a lovely friend to have based on that episode and what a nice gesture for Bea.

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Thanks so much Bea for sharing your experience - as ever very useful information as well as the pleasure of living through someone else's holiday. 🙂

 

I must say the first lunch menu, although obviously 'Americanised', looks quite appealing to me - possibly the best MSC lunch menu to date for the variety and a lot of things I would enjoy.

 

The cabin looks very similar to the suites on Orchestra etc. despite Armonia being an older ship and cosmetically she seems fine, if not dazzling like the newer MSC ships.

 

As soon as I saw the Captain's name, I remembered the 'Mighty Cruise Ships: MSC Divina' episode and sure enough - he is TV famous. Sidari - he seems a lovely friend to have based on that episode and what a nice gesture for Bea.

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Indeed, Cap'n!

 

Yes ... the cabin reminded me of the YC cabins on Fantasia-class ships in terms of size and shape (though it wasn't as plush!)  The ship is in amazing condition, despite her age (though she was refurbished during the Renaissance project in 2015 - or around that time ... I really should have a read through the wonderful book we got on the subject  :classic_rolleyes:)  We even remarked it when we embarked.  I didn't go looking for rust but I did discover an overlooked spot on the window beside our table in Surf & Turf and that was only because I moved the heavy lace curtain to look out.

 

Unfortunately there was a rather nasty-looking stain on the carpet in our cabin which was a bit off-putting:

 

1152d853848863c6544b6a3b8eb5002d.jpg

 

Other than these 2 minor marks, everything else was spotless and the ship didn't feel in any way dated.

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I'll post the menus now for our second day at sea (which should have been the Jamaica stop) while I'm logged into Tapatalk (having problems with it).

Here's the breakfast menu; there was an insert each morning but I think it repeated a couple of times:

650a885452f1ef7775d433d9824f05a8.jpg

fce8ea7029e22b7a3e5c71ff3b7f5927.jpg

... and the daily specials:

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The smoked salmon was particularly good on this ship:

2749e3216013b1fbea0cc66f92103ea4.jpg

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

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The lunch menu for that day:

af3303c3ef4d29bd8bb65407c89f8d44.jpg

7c6d9c5689da8aec98b45375de43cedb.jpg

I was very adventurous and ordered the conch fritters ... very nice!

e56ef173c5cb98aa408dfb97258cbf19.jpg

DH had the mozzarella sticks

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We both had the Philly cheesesteaks (mine without the cheese!)

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Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

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The day before, we had received our Black Card bottle of bubbly & strawberries (the latter could be seen in the photo of the Black Card gift). We hadn't received this one before:

 

b4a83c3db14c967ec2e1d84c399c842b.jpg

 

On this day we received a very nice bowl of fruit (we'd already received our 'Welcome' one) plus another bottle:

 

f694c34534b0c50edd7bdd127ba040dd.jpg

 

There was no card with this (usually there is); we assume it came from our officer friend, the Director of Hotel Services, as, knowing him, he wouldn't include a card!

 

We also received the photo of the CC meet & mingle as well as the following:

 

b008143014611918f4c005ebbfc9c109.jpg

 

 

We really were being spoiled on this ship!

 

 

 

Edited by Beamafar

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Thanks for your review..I love reading them.

 

May I ask a silly question? We have never had breakfast at the MDR on our cruises.. Do you order the food all at one go please? And does the waiter bring everything together? Thanks

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Beamafar,

 

Your review is amazing!! I love the pictures and your fair and balanced look at the cruise. I am soooo excited to read more!

 

I can't wait to hear your thoughts on the specialty restaurant, Surf and Turf.

 

Me and my (soon to be) DH will be on the Armonia for our honeymoon on the 4th of March and are looking forward to trying the new restaurant 🙂

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It's not a silly question at all - none of us are born knowing things!  If you haven't experience and you never ask - you'll never know!

 

You can order all at once and tell the waiter in which order you would like to receive the items.  Other waiters circulate around the MDR with pastries, breads and 'juices' (flavoured water) as well as with pots of coffee, milk - either hot or cold ... hot can be used for chocolate - and hot water (for tea).

 

I'll add a caveat here ... service in the MDR for breakfast (and lunch) is more hit-and-miss than for dinner (though that wasn't the case in the restaurant for suite guests, apart from one particular waiter who, fortunately, we only experienced once!  Couldn't get an order right to save his life!).  I think there are fewer waiters, with more to do, than at dinner, hence the service isn't so good.  Just make sure they know what you want and how you want it - I often get the feeling that they don't really listen!

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Dear Maria ... hope you have a wonderful time on Armonia.  We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise - the atmosphere onboard was really great - we never even heard anyone complain when we were told that we'd be having another sea day instead of going to Jamaica - and that was on embarkation day!

 

I wish you both the very best of luck for your wedding day and your honeymoon.  😘

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So ... back to our (unscheduled) second sea day, in which the seas were rough and it was too windy to be outside.

The following are the desserts we had for lunch (forgot to post them earlier )

062d57c7c5852f4bb69903d1698fd58f.jpg

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Dinner that night had a Caribbean theme:

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f521788e1f1564e5c94be776c087aae2.jpg

Bread basket:c07536c1920bfd13b6d30f34db5f328a.jpg

... and the wine we chose (compliments of the captain):

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Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

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13 hours ago, Beamafar said:

The lunch menu for that day:

I was very adventurous and ordered the conch fritters ... very nice!

DH had the mozzarella sticks

We both had the Philly cheesesteaks (mine without the cheese!)

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
 

A cheesesteak without cheese? Sacrilege! If it's not CheezWhiz, it's not a cheesesteak. 😁

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1 minute ago, SeaTheW0rld said:

A cheesesteak without cheese? Sacrilege! If it's not CheezWhiz, it's not a cheesesteak. 😁

 

Yep! ... I was expecting to get that reaction!  😜

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7 minutes ago, Beamafar said:

 

Yep! ... I was expecting to get that reaction!  😜

 

I'm not from Phily, but I am in PA.  I suppose you like the Patriots, too.  :classic_ohmy:

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I'm having trouble with my connection on my phone, so dessert photos will have to wait.  In the meantime, I'll move on to the next day, which was our call to Georgetown, Grand Cayman.  This is a tender port.

 

Now ... I'll give you a tip for getting the first tender across to Grand Cayman.  Go to the talk about shopping in Georgetown and sign up to do the "tour" of the Diamond stores.  For our cruise, anyone signed up got to go on the first tenders across to the island (being Black Card, we didn't have to do this as we received Priority tickets in our cabin, anyway).   There's nothing to stop you heading off to do your own thing once you get across.  There are plenty of taxis and tour operators touting for business.  They are also incredibly friendly and respectful at the port.  We just enjoyed browsing in the shops in the port and were back onboard by about 10.30 or so that morning!

 

I posted this in another thread, to which CruisingFox responded: 

 

"The tour of the Diamond stores is going to be very popular now :classic_biggrin:

 

We did a beach club in Grand Cayman and had a fabulous day". 

 

Just thought I'd share it here, CF  😉

 

 

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