COUNTDOWN BEGINS TO MSC ARMONIA’S FIRST CRUISE FROM MIAMI TO CUBA
• Beginning December 10, MSC Armonia will sail 7-night Caribbean itineraries with two days in Havana
• An enhanced on board experience for guests includes new dining and entertainment with a Cuban and American twist
Today officially marks the 60-day countdown until MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and leading cruise line in Europe, introduces MSC Armonia to Miami for the first time. Beginning December 10, 2018, MSC Armonia will offer unique 7-night Caribbean sailings departing from Miami and calling Montego Bay, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; and Cozumel, Mexico before arriving in Havana, the Cuban capital, on Saturday and staying overnight to Sunday.
MSC Cruises’ 7-night program to Cuba will include two days in the bustling city of Havana over the weekend. And, as excitement builds for this company-first, MSC Cruises will also introduce even more distinct culinary and entertainment features on board the ship to further elevate the guest experience, including elements of the Havana experience brought on board, a brand new specialty restaurant, original theater performances and more.
“We are thrilled that in 60 days MSC Armonia will join MSC Seaside and MSC Divina in Miami, further enriching our offer to guests sailing from North America,” said Roberto Fusaro, president of MSC Cruises USA. “Not only will we offer MSC Cruises’ guests a brand new attractive itinerary, but also a variety of enhancements to make the MSC Armonia experience that much more memorable. On board, guests will delight in fresh entertainment and new gourmet culinary choices, while on shore, an overnight in Havana will allow guests to fully experience the culturally vibrant city.”
Highlights of the Cuba cruise include the following.
NEW ON BOARD CULINARY ENHANCEMENTS
A new, mouth-watering specialty restaurant
MSC Armonia will introduce a brand new specialty restaurant to the culinary line-up. The 38-seat “Surf & Turf” will serve a delectable menu for $35, where guests can select an appetizer, main co.urse and dessert from an assortment of gourmet options.
For example, patrons can dine on an appetizer of Slow Braised Pork Belly, paired with Jalapenos, radish slaw and topped with a pineapple BBQ sauce. For main courses, the Surf & Turf offers the best of both worlds, with a 6 oz filet mignon and 7 oz cold water lobster tail. Additional entrée highlights include a Lobster Thermidor, baked in shell with a mushroom cream sauce, and the 18 oz Certified Angus Beef Bone-in Ribeye. Desserts are as varied as they are delicious with a Guava cheese cake, dressed in a warm Rum sauce, a Red Velvet Cake, and a Seven Layers Mexican Chocolate cake.
Havana-inspired Mojito Bar
Bringing the Cuban experience on board, MSC Armonia will transform one of its bars into a Havana haven, with a wide range of Mojito cocktails to choose from, whether traditional or out-of-the-box.
Enhanced Pub Menu
MSC Armonia’s White Lion Pub will introduce a new and complimentary menu featuring hand-helds like the befitting Cuban sandwich, a Mojo Chicken Quesadilla, an Avocado and Tuna Salad Wrap, and Spinach and Artichoke Dip to share. 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.
New included delights
MSC Armonia will also introduce a few items on board that come complimentary with the cruise experience. MSC Cruises is already known for offering some of the best gelato at sea, and now, every creamy bite comes included with the cruise, leaving guests plenty of opportunity to try every flavor on board.
In the main dining room, guests will be able to sink their teeth into cold water lobster as part of a special seafood dish at no additional cost. And, while dining on these elevated offerings, Aurea experience guests will have the option to dine al fresco, with a reserved outdoor area, featuring the open water as the backdrop.
NEW ENTERTAINMENT CONCEPTS
In addition to MSC Cruises fan-favorite parties like the White Party and Silent Disco, a highlight of MSC Armonia’s entertainment offering will be the addition of local Cuban music while in port in Cuba. Straight from the city of Havana, various musicians will join guests on board to play the best of local Cuban music during the Saturday evening of the ship’s overnight stay in Havana.
MSC Armonia’s evening theater entertainment will undergo a complete review, with an entire line-up of new performances to be introduced on board. Cruisers will marvel at a new, distinct show each evening. And, the shows will include dynamic, virtual sets with the addition of a central upstage LED screen to display a variety of vistas for each show. Shows include:
- ABYSS: A mermaid’s spectacular adventures under the sea.
- THE TIME OF MY LIFE: Inspired by the famous 80s film, Dirty Dancing, the show features songs, dances and a story that still captures audiences to this day.
- ADDAMS FAMILY: The famous quirky family stars in this hilarious show, inspired by the satirical and ironic portrayal of the 20th century American Dream family.
- FRENCH FOLLIES: An all-French variety show, with artists, dancers, singers that come together for an elegant and joyful show.
- THE GREATEST: Featuring the best of Broadway, guests are taken through the most iconic pieces of musical theater.
- ITALIAN TOUCH: True to MSC Cruises’ Mediterranean heritage, this show will feature Italian music and the most unforgettable Italian songs.
MORE TIME TO EXPERIENCE LA HAVANA
With an overnight stay in the buzzing capital of Cuba, MSC Armonia’s guests will be able to fully enjoy all that the city has to offer day and night. Cruisers will be able to fully immerse themselves in many aspects of Cuban culture, both during the day and in the evening, through a variety of unique excursions to choose from. Shore excursions will explore local highlights from music, art and architecture to classic cigar rolling, rum distilling and much more. Guests can:
- Ride in vintage American cars, a staple of the Havana experience. On this excursion, guests will tour the city in classic vehicles down the seafront Malecón boulevards and Quinta Avenida. Guests will stop for a historic photo opportunity at Plaza de la Revolución, and then head to the famous Christopher Columbus Cemetery. As the drive continues, participants will marvel at some of the city’s key landmarks.
- Sip on local rum and classic Habanos cigars to learn about a key part of Cuban culture. Guests will visit a cigar factory to watch highly-skilled torcedors as they hand-roll Cuban cigars. Then, cruisers will head to the Havana Club Museum to learn about how freshly cut sugarcane is distilled into rum and then try some of the final product.
- Dance at Havana’s largest nightclub, the renowned Tropicana Club. Founded in 1939 in Havana’s Marianao suburb, the Tropicana Club is an iconic celebration of Cuban culture with tropical surroundings. Visitors will listen to live music and see a variety of performers in vibrant costumes, while sipping on a local cocktail and dancing the night away.
Prior to these current on board enhancements, MSC Armonia was the first ship in MSC Cruises’ $250 million Renaissance Program, where the ship was stretched in late 2014, adding a variety of new on board features. The ship has been tailored with a wide range of amenities and services for families, including a brand new splash park for children; exquisite, varied dining offerings; outstanding, all-hours entertainment; a broad choice of relaxation and wellness options, and more, all with the European flair MSC Cruises is known for.
For more information on MSC Cruises’ Cuba program, MSC Armonia and to book, contact a preferred travel agent or visit www.msccruises.com/cuba.
To view images and a video on MSC Armonia’s arrival to Miami, see here.