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ccw2891

MSC Armonia Questions or in general - Thanks

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Hello All - This will be our first cruise with MSC and I have been searching the reviews and boards for some clear answers to a few question. I appreciate anyone that can help answer these questions. Thanks

 

1. How early have you checked in for embarkation? Our flight arrives FL @ 10am our check in time for MSC assigned is 4:15pm - I have nothing planned in between this time and have no vehicle so I wanted to get to port asap and check in. Will we just be stuck waiting in the cruise terminal? What has been your experience? 

 

2. I have been reading that formal nights do not have to be suit and tie or tux. So I'm assuming for ladies a sundress or blouse and skirt & slack with a collared shirt for men will do?

 

And lastly - 3. We are budget cruising as we got an excellent deal on the airfare and because of the itinerary change our cruise was very affordable - but were are looking for suggestion on inexpensive things to do at ports besides just gift shop browsing. Ship excursions and third party excursions are pricey so we are going to try and wing it this trip. So any suggestions of free / low cost things to do in Isla de Roatan Honduras, Costa Maya Mexico, Cozumel Mexico, Key West Florida I would greatly appreciate your suggestions. Thanks ♥️

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1. If it were us we would simply take our time getting our luggage, grab an Uber, and head to Port. We have embarked on an MSC cruise as early as 11:15. 

2. Formal nights - yes, that would be acceptable. There is quite a variety of “ensembles.”

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Key West is very walkable and if you want more, take one of the Ho-HO tours.  Costa Maya has a pool inside the shopping complex.  For the others I would suggest a visit to the Ports of Call here for the Caribbean.  EM

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6 hours ago, ccw2891 said:

 

 

1. How early have you checked in for embarkation? 

We checked in at 11 and were on the ship by 11:30am

 

2. I have been reading that formal nights do not have to be suit and tie or tux. So I'm assuming for ladies a sundress or blouse and skirt & slack with a collared shirt for men will do?

Yes, thats' fine.  You also do not HAVE to dress up if you don't want to.

 

 

 

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Key West has a free loop bus, as well as being quite walkable on your own.

We always enjoy Cozumel just walking on our own.

Costa Maya has a market, pool, bars, etc. right at the port.  

IMO, no need to do an excursion in any of these.

Lots of info in the Ports of Call section of CC, under Key West and Caribbean.

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If you want a nice place in Cozumel, Paradise Beach Club is an amazing beach club with all the facilities you could need - a pool, a spacious beach area, bathrooms, changing facilities, food/drink, and wifi - all for a $3 admission price. They just ask you to spend $10 while on the complex in food/drink, so you could easily do this with drinking. Taxi rate should be about $20 total.

 

But, if even that is still a lot, you could still have a nice beach day in Roatan by taking a taxi to West Bay Beach ($25 roundtrip) and laying out towels. That is what my friend and I did on the Armonia earlier this summer when we went, because this was a nice cheap way to spend the day. And, since we were there from about 1PM-5PM, 4 hours was the perfect amount of time to just be laying on a towel and not have the towel get soaked/start to feel uncomfortable.

 

Beware of Costa Maya though, aside from shopping at the cookie cutter stores or chilling at the pool area they made, there isn't a very "cheap" option (aside from maybe a beach day or a trip to the local city of Mahaual). I really don't like this port for that reason.

 

Others have stated above about Key West's walkability and free bus for tourists that will take you to the tourist areas. Key West can be a great port for staying on a budget!

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17 minutes ago, OceansOfTravels said:

If you want a nice place in Cozumel, Paradise Beach Club is an amazing beach club with all the facilities you could need - a pool, a spacious beach area, bathrooms, changing facilities, food/drink, and wifi - all for a $3 admission price. They just ask you to spend $10 while on the complex in food/drink, so you could easily do this with drinking. Taxi rate should be about $20 total.

 

But, if even that is still a lot, you could still have a nice beach day in Roatan by taking a taxi to West Bay Beach ($25 roundtrip) and laying out towels. That is what my friend and I did on the Armonia earlier this summer when we went, because this was a nice cheap way to spend the day. And, since we were there from about 1PM-5PM, 4 hours was the perfect amount of time to just be laying on a towel and not have the towel get soaked/start to feel uncomfortable.

 

Beware of Costa Maya though, aside from shopping at the cookie cutter stores or chilling at the pool area they made, there isn't a very "cheap" option (aside from maybe a beach day or a trip to the local city of Mahaual). I really don't like this port for that reason.

 

Others have stated above about Key West's walkability and free bus for tourists that will take you to the tourist areas. Key West can be a great port for staying on a budget!

Thank you so much ! Such great info....

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My favorite for Cozumel is to rent a car.  It is easy to drive around the island and car rentals are cheap.  While driving around the island there are some beautiful beaches and interesting places to stop and have a snack, etc.   Just a pleasant way to spend the day.

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Costa Maya is my favorite port.Don't stay in the  cosmetic port  village that you will see at so many ports.  Take a  open air tram to the Mercado. I think it was either $3 or$5. The Mercado is a cement boardwalk about 3 miles way.  It is right along the beach and ocean and is incredible.  Why is it incredible? It is like the old Mexico quaint towns used to be.Only one AMERICAN shop- Senor Frogs   All the rest are quaint local shops restaurants, bars and little boutique hotels   You can rent a bike.  We went to the end of the line on the shuttle and walked the entire Mercado.Just so awe sum  You tube will have a video of some people riding their bikes on the Mercado.  Quick visit this before the cookie cutter stores like Diamonds International, Del Sol and the like take it over!

Edited by goldrusher

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