Port of Tampa is getting another cruise ship to call its own when MSC Armonia arrives in late 2020. Tampa is a vibrant city positioned on a beautiful bay on Florida’s west coast near the Gulf of Mexico.
MSC Cruises is a fast-growing cruise line, with a number of new ships that have been introduced in recent years, including several big and bold vessels that make Miami their homeport. MSC Divina, MSC Seaside and MSC Meraviglia sail Caribbean cruises from Miami.
MSC Cruises has a long and storied history in the Mediterranean and throughout Europe and is working to expand its presence and raise awareness among North America cruisers for its affordable and stylish style of cruising. Tampa now gets in on the action with MSC Armonia.
Cruisers who can easily get to Tampa as a “drive-to” port will love being able to book fun getaways on another cruise ship available in their own backyard.
MSC Armonia was built in 2001 and received a “stretching” during a 2014 refurbishment that increased the size and passenger capacity of the ship. Still, the vessel is relatively small, carrying up to 2,000-plus cruisers, when compared with more recent mega-ships. MSC Divina, MSC Seaside and MSC Meraviglia, for examples, all can sail with more than 3,500 passengers.
Port Tampa Bay offers an attractive area for cruisers to enjoy prior to embarkation, with plenty of shopping, restaurants and activities nearby. Ybor City is Tampa’s historic Latin Quarter, and its 7th Avenue is designated as one of the “Great Streets in America” for its history, community and diverse character.
Channelside is a bustling development just across the street from the cruise piers, and the waterside entertainment complex dubbed Sparkman Wharf offers shopping, restaurants, a beer garden and live music events.
If you’re excited to give MSC Armonia a try for a cruise out of Tampa, here some more details you should know about the ship, which is sure to be nice low-cost option for family cruises to the Caribbean.
The ship offers plenty for the kids through MSC Cruises’ partnerships with toy and baby care brands Lego and Chicco. Kids and teen clubs, play spaces and an elaborate spray water park will keep the youngsters busy.
MSC Armonia has a distinct European feel in its design, restaurants and passenger makeup (a more diverse international set of travelers than on most major lines).
MSC Armonia features five restaurants, including two main dining rooms. One of the main dining rooms is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (the other is dinner only). La Brasserie is the ship’s buffet that offers a wide range of food and is open throughout the day, from early morning until late at night. Il Girasole is the pool deck grill and pizza place.
The ship has one for-fee specialty restaurant. Surf and Turf is a 38-seat intimate venue offering a prix fixe menu of appetizer, main course and dessert.
The ship features an English-style pub, cigar room, disco and cocktail bar The Red Room, among other bars and lounges onboard. MSC Armonia offers the Aurea Spa complex, with a thermal suite and relaxation area (day passes available).
The pool deck has an adult pool and a family pool, with nearby hot tubs. The Top 13 adults-only sun deck (day-pass fee) offers a serene retreat. It’s a mid-size and older ship, so the top-deck activities are limited to a mini-golf course and sports court. No rock-climbing walls, ziplines, ropes courses or simulated surfing experiences on this ship.
One of the best things about cruising on MSC Armonia is that it’s one of the ships that will visit the new Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, an eco-friendly private island destination packed with adventure opportunities and lined with pristine beaches and scenic lagoons.
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