MSC Armonia begins Cuba service from Miami with new touches

MSC Armonia in Havana MSC Armonia in Havana PHOTO: MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises is now carrying US citizens to Cuba for the first time as MSC Armonia embarked passengers at PortMiami on Monday. The seven-night sailings visit Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel before arriving in Havana on Saturday for an overnight stay.

MSC Armonia has been cruising to Cuba for some time, but without calling at the US. The ship kicks off its deployment with a new specialty restaurant, enhanced pub menu, new shows and free gelato.

Third MSC ship from PortMiami

'We are thrilled to be enhancing the opportunities for guests sailing from North America to explore the Caribbean in new ways, with MSC Armonia joining the revolutionary MSC Seaside and the elegant MSC Divina at PortMiami,' said Roberto Fusaro, president of MSC Cruises USA.

With two full days in Havana, MSC Armonia passengers can take excursions to explore local highlights, from music, art and architecture to classic cigar rolling, rum distilling and more.

An excursion in vintage American cars takes participants along the Malecón, to Plaza de la Revolución and Christopher Columbus Cemetery. During a rum and cigars tour, participants visit a factory to watch cigars being hand-rolled and the Havana Club Museum to learn how freshly cut sugarcane is distilled into rum.

One of the night tours visits the famous Tropicana Club for cocktails and a dance show with elaborate costumes.

Music, mojitos, new restaurant

During MSC Armonia’s overnight stay in Havana, local Cuban musicians will perform on board for dancing. The ship will transform one of its bars into a Havana haven with a wide range of mojito cocktails.

MSC Armonia is introducing the new 38-seat 'Surf & Turf' restaurant where diners can select an appetizer, main course and dessert from an assortment of gourmet options such as braised pork belly, lobster thermidor, and 18-ounce Angus beef bone-in ribeye and surf and turf, a six-ounce filet mignon with a seven-ounce cold-water lobster tail. The set fee is $35 per diner.

Enhanced pub menu

MSC Armonia’s White Lion Pub will introduce a new and complimentary menu featuring a Cuban sandwich, a mojo chicken quesadilla, an avocado and tuna salad wrap and spinach and artichoke dip. The pub will also continue serving a wide selection of beers, including four new additions—Heineken, Newcastle Brown Ale, Murphy’s Irish Stout and Lagunitas IPA.

MSC Armonia will now serve gelato free of charge. In the main dining room, lobster will be available as part of a seafood dish at no additional charge. And passengers who book the 'Aurea' experience will have the option to dine alfresco in a reserved area.

When it comes to entertainment, a new show will be performed each evening, including 'Abyss,' about a mermaid's adventures; 'The Time Of My Life,' inspired by the 1980s film 'Dirty Dancing'; 'Addams Family,' a satirical and ironic portrayal of the 20th-century American dream family; 'French Follies,' a variety show; 'The Greatest,' featuring Broadway hits; and 'Italian Touch,' showcasing famous Italian songs.

For families

MSC Armonia offers a higher ratio of staterooms that can accommodate third and fourth passengers in one room, and the line's 'Kids Sail Free' offer is available on many departures. During the ship's lengthening in late 2014, a a variety of new features for kids were added, including a splash park.

MSC Armonia will continue to sail year-round from Miami to the Caribbean and Cuba, with balcony stateroom prices starting at $1,169 per person.

Posted 10 December 2018

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review

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