WHY IT RATES: The recently refurbished MSC Armonia is to stay at Ocean Cay for 14 hours to allow guests to discover this new exclusive natural island destination; other highlights in MSC Armonia’s upcoming itineraries include Ocho Rios, Costa Maya, George Town, Key West. – Mackenzie Cullen, Editorial Associate
MSC Armonia, MSC Cruises’ Miami-based ship sailing the Caribbean, will start off its winter season (November 2019 – April 2020), with its maiden call to Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve just one week after the island opens. As part of an enrichment of her itineraries for Winter 2019 and Summer 2020, MSC Armonia will visit this exclusive natural island destination every week, as well as other exciting ports across the Western Caribbean.
Founded on a deep commitment to ecological principles, Ocean Cay will be a private island destination like no other, surrounded by protected waters rich in marine and coral life. It has been developed to immerse travelers in the natural beauty of the Caribbean and The Bahamas.
Snorkeling tours, scuba diving, stand up paddle boarding and kayaking are among the outdoor activities that MSC Armonia’s guests will be able to enjoy at Ocean Cay. Guests looking to relax can choose from eight white-sand beaches or select a treatment at the island’s new luxurious spa concept. Families will also have plenty to do, with a dedicated family beach and activities for all ages to not only have fun, but also learn about the environment. MSC Armonia will stay docked at the island from 9am to 11pm, allowing guests to easily enjoy activities during the day, retreat to the ship to freshen up, and then enjoy sunset and evening activities, like a traditional junkanoo parade.
Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO commented, “As we continue to grow our presence in the region, we have enriched MSC Armonia’s itineraries to offer our guests an even more immersive Caribbean experience. Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will be a key highlight, with a 14-hour call to let our guests explore and enjoy this beautiful island, and its surrounding waters, during the day and into the night. MSC Armonia will also visit other gems across the Western Caribbean, in Jamaica, Mexico, the Cayman Islands and beyond.”
From November 2019 to April 2020, MSC Armonia will depart on one-week cruises from Miami every Monday, giving long-haul travelers a unique opportunity to spend the weekend in one of North America’s most vibrant cities. Then, from April to November 2020, MSC Armonia’s departure from Miami will be moved to Sunday.
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TAKE IN THE GORGEOUS VIEWS OF JAMAICA’S COAST
MSC Armonia will regularly visit a range of exciting ports and destinations across the Western Caribbean region. In Jamaica, MSC Armonia offers three different ports of call depending on the itinerary. In Ocho Rios, guests can zip through the hillside on a Jamaican bobsled or climb the famous Dunn’s River Falls, with 600 ft. of natural limestone terraces cascading with cool, refreshing water. In Montego Bay, on Jamaica’s north-western coast, MSC Armonia’s guests can paddle through rapids in white-water rafting, tour an old plantation at the Good Hope Estate or learn about the mysteries of Rose Hall Great House and the infamous White Witch.
As of January 2020, MSC Armonia will also visit Falmouth on Jamaica’s north coast, home to the Glistening Waters, a glowing lagoon on the north coast of Jamaica. Cruisers visiting the luminous lagoon, where the Martha Brae River and the Caribbean Sea meet, will experience first-hand how these two bodies of water mix to create bioluminescent micro-organisms that glow.
DISCOVER THE BEST OF THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN
In addition to Ocean Cay and Jamaica, MSC Armonia will regularly visit Costa Maya, in Mexico’s Caribbean coast, where guests can choose between an array of cultural, outdoor and relaxation activities. In addition to Mexico, each week the ship will also visit George Town, Cayman Islands, offering crystal blue waters and flourishing sea life.
Next summer season (April to November 2020), Key West (Florida, USA) will become another regular feature in MSC Armonia’s itinerary. There, guests will be able to visit the Historic District at the Old Town, which includes the island’s most popular spots, such as Mallory Square, Duval Street and Fort Zachary Taylor, as well as the Southernmost point in the United States.
MSC ARMONIA’S ONBOARD DELIGHTS
MSC Armonia incorporates a range of features that turn the ship into a destination itself, having recently gone through a major refurbishment. In terms of food and dining, the new Surf and Turf Restaurant offers the best of land and sea, including tender filet mignon and buttery cold-water lobster tail. Bringing the Caribbean experience on board, the Rum Bar blends a range of cocktails, whether traditional or out-of-the-box. The White Lion Pub offers a complimentary menu featuring hand-helds like a Mojo Chicken Quesadilla, an Avocado and Tuna Salad Wrap and a Spinach and Artichoke Dip to share, along with a wide selection of beers, including Newcastle Brown Ale, Murphy’s Irish Stout and Lagunitas IPA.
In addition to MSC Cruises fan-favorite parties like the White Party and Silent Disco, a highlight of MSC Armonia’s entertainment offering is its evening theater entertainment, with an entire line-up of dynamic performances on board. Cruisers can marvel at a different, distinct show each evening. For families on board, MSC Armonia offers a dedicated LEGO kids area, through its partnership with the toy giant, as well as a splash park.
In November, MSC Armonia will undergo another dry dock operation at the Bahamas’ Grand Bahama Shipyard.
For more information and bookings for the Winter 2019 and Summer 2020 seasons, visit www.msccruises.com
SOURCE: MSC Cruises press release.