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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were in the Mac hatch club, so this experience is very different if you were not in the hatch club. It was a nice, quiet, and fun experience. We had a deluxe sweet on the 18 floor. It was good size and sleeps 5. The yatch club gets ... Read More
We were in the Mac hatch club, so this experience is very different if you were not in the hatch club. It was a nice, quiet, and fun experience. We had a deluxe sweet on the 18 floor. It was good size and sleeps 5. The yatch club gets butlers, unlimited food, and drink, and gets escorted to shows, dinner, and off the ship. You have a private deck, pool, lounge, restaurant, and bars. Only around 150 other people so it is nice and not crowded. You get a priority elevator which skips all other floors. Also you get priority boarding at each port. Our butler helped so much. And I would recommend getting a cabana on the top deck for 100$. It comes with a cooler filled with any drink, food delivered the whole day, and a nice shaded and private area. The shows are great. (Michael Jackson show is a must, tickets sell fast). For shows the hatch club has private seating in the theater and don’t need to book tickets. But tickets if you are not in yatch club sell fast. Awesome cruise and only way to cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
-It felt like the experience was cheapened by all the employees trying to get you to buy stuff even as you are just trying to board. It’s bad enough to be constantly accosted by hawkers as you get off the ship at different ports but we ... Read More
-It felt like the experience was cheapened by all the employees trying to get you to buy stuff even as you are just trying to board. It’s bad enough to be constantly accosted by hawkers as you get off the ship at different ports but we don’t need that on the ship. The captains excuse that it was being done because the website and app keep malfunctioning doesn’t cut it. Fix the problems with those instead of making all the workers run around trying to sell stuff. -The restaurant and room attendants were wonderful and worked super hard. -The food was ok (not great, but not horrible). The buffet on the 16th floor should stay open later than 3:30 and is the only one with soft serve ice cream at no extra charge. -having only 3 employees to actually sell pictures on the last night was just ridiculous. There were many more employees but only 3 dealing with orders so the line was over an hour long. -Every show DOESN’T need to be a (cirque de soléis) type show. A couple of the shows would have been much better without the contortionists and gymnasts, it felt like they had to earn the paycheck by forcing a performance where it didn’t make sense. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We went with family/friends. The ship is beautiful but is run very poorly. My room was dirty and I always bring Lysol wipes with me so I cleaned it myself. We saw the guy maybe 4 times and he was nice but not very thorough when ... Read More
We went with family/friends. The ship is beautiful but is run very poorly. My room was dirty and I always bring Lysol wipes with me so I cleaned it myself. We saw the guy maybe 4 times and he was nice but not very thorough when cleaning. (He left a plate with food on it for two days on the dresser). We were told out room was to have a see through balcony with glass and it had metal on the bottom so we couldn't see out unless we stood up. Very few people to help you navigate the ship and the signage is almost non existent. The maîtred in the ship restaruant was very good as was the mgr of the ship's buffet. The food was just okay; sometimes good and sometimes not so good. The ship has many drink packages and they screwed up most of them. The people on the ship including the employees complained where ever we went. More complaints than compliments. No need to get a drink package unless you plan to spend more than what you pay in drinks. Both with and without alcohol. The non alcohol package came with soft ice cream which they gave to anyone and it was rarely available but when the machines where working, it was very good. This package was supposed to come with flavored water etc... and they had no idea what this is. In other words we got screwed royally. The entertainment was good but very repetitive; acts were repeated each night to a different stage ie... lights, costumes etc... Some of them were very good and some seemed to need more practice as they were out of sync a lot when dancing. The stingray excursion in the Cayman's was excellent and I highly recommend it but it is less expensive going on your own than booking through the ship. The last day in the Bahamas was terrible as the ship failed to tell us that it was their labor day and most everything was closed so after walking around in the heat we went back to the ship's swimming pool. The pools are not big enough to accommodate the amount of people on the ship and not enough pool seating. The casino was just okay and I never saw all the games up and running at one time. Few personnel to take drink orders and fix machines when necessary. Not enough slot machines overall compared to other cruise lines. The bars were so understaffed that you had to wait and wait to just get a bottle of water. The people working there tried their best but they are so understaffed I can't express this enough. You wait forever to get someone to answer the phone when calling down to the desk. This ship is not ready for the American market. They cater to the European market. Americans expect to see people smiling and being nice, cleaning all the time and making sure you keep the germs to a minimum. This is not expected the European market I was told. I spoke with many people on this ship and only one person had all nice things to say. I am being very sincere and not exaggerating. I love to cruise but this is my first and last cruise on this cruise line. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
For a full picture review and menus, see forum thread: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2667495-my-view-14-days-of-chasing-the-sun-on-seaside/ **Favorite Things: Wrist band: Absolutely worth the $5. We got addicted to it ... Read More
For a full picture review and menus, see forum thread: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2667495-my-view-14-days-of-chasing-the-sun-on-seaside/ **Favorite Things: Wrist band: Absolutely worth the $5. We got addicted to it very quickly. It got to the point that we locked two of our key cards in the safe, and just went everywhere with the wrist bands! Aurea Thermal Area: I ended up loving the Thermal Area. I was alone in that hot tub every time I went there (7 of 8 times - one late evening it was already closed for sanitation). The outside area can be VERY windy on sea days, so it is not an ideal area to relax while the ship is moving. However, it is not utilized a lot, so it is a good option to get away from the crowds. I am not sure that I would pay for the Thermal Area again, as we receive 1 hour per week for free for the Voyagers Club benefit. However, the $109 for the two weeks was an excellent deal! I am just a bit too frugal to splurge on the luxury for another cruise. Shows: The Three Stooges, Zimbabwe Style I absolutely loved the 3 acrobats from Zimbabwe. They were so entertaining! They were featured in most of the shows. Shows in General: I definitely found these shows to be my personal favorites of the 34 cruises we have now completed. However, I don’t think anyone can say these are “the best”, as you can simply not compare a full Broadway production or an ice show or an intimate dinner show with these shows. I would not be comparing apples to apples if I tried to make that judgement. I can say that on this cast, I have found the best singers. They blend beautifully a majority of the time, the solos are practically flawless, and the intonation close to perfect. All I can think about is, “How can I get my mom and dad on this ship?” I am working on it! My personal favorite shows were “Fly” and “My Life in Music” Food: Buffet: Best buffet of all cruise lines we have cruised (Royal, Carnival, Norwegian, Costa, Celebrity, MSC) However, I am starting to see why people think the buffet food is “always the same”. I would rather say that it is “always similar”. However, we never ran out of new dishes to try during our two weeks onboard. For example, they had regular salted fries, salt and garlic fries, maple flavored fries (my favorite!), sweet potato fries, etc. There was a different pasta dish every day, often with seafood (lobster, crab, shrimp, respectively). They had chicken legs and wings every day, but they were prepared differently throughout the week. It was the most tender, best tasting chicken! They had a very wide variety of food, and there is no way anyone can say they only found pizza, burgers and hot dogs (only true between 3 and 5:15 p.m. but you always have free room service options). Some of my favorites included the couscous salads, Mediterranean Jellies, Fresh bread, Chilled soups in buffet, breakfast pizza with fried eggs on top, all chicken dishes (they were all great!), most pasta dishes, daily stir fried veggies, mashed sweet potato and mashed butternut squash. Main Dining Room: They had a good variety of options in the Main Dining Room. The food was similar to other cruise lines, when it comes to the MDR. However, except for the cream of tomato soup, nothing stood out as a dish I just HAVE to order again when we cruise on MSC again. Of course, I have not tried all the dishes, so next year is another opportunity to find That One Dish you remember a cruise line by. That Bloated Feeling? I don’t know what it is about MSC! Our friends from CC mentioned it first, and I realized it is so true! Where is “that bloated feeling” we often get on a cruise? She thinks they use better quality ingredients - maybe more natural/pure products. I must agree that this has been a cruise where I felt healthy and never bloated. They do use very good quality milk (seen on the cartons), so maybe they use better products for the European market? Just a theory, but it certainly feels true. BTW, I only gained 2 pounds in 2 weeks. I usually gain 2-3 pounds per week of cruising. Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle: Best of all the ships we have been on. Dining and Bar Service: Our dining team in the main dining room was excellent (Edison and Mark from the Philippines) - two of the best waiters we ever had. In the buffet, the service was also very good. The waiters cleared tables in a timely manner, except during peak times (like right before docking in port when everyone tries to stampede for breakfast). However, they constantly moved about and worked as fast as they could to clear tables. Bar service was never a problem, but we did not have the drinks package and just bought one or two drinks per day. **Minor Issues: Cabin: Small, but good value for the money we paid. Very narrow by the closet. However, I loved the slightly deeper balcony. Service: I think the room stewards are assigned too many cabins, or not utilized with the best planning. Although our room steward did a VERY good job and never just stood around talking, it takes a long time to get through all the cabins. We calculated if he only spent 20 minutes per cabin assigned to him, it would add up to over 7 hours of work. He is supposed to work from 8-12 for morning service, but he was often there past 2 p.m. It may be better to assign 2 room stewards who share more cabins - one who specializes in bathroom cleaning and thus becomes more efficient in one area, and one who specializes in cleaning the room itself. **Two Main Gripes of the Cruise: Balcony: I really did not care for the location of the balcony, and consequently the layout of the ship. I will have to research for a better location on this ship, but with the 14 days we had very limited options for cabins. Although deck 8 is a nice outdoor area of a majority of passengers, it really interferes with the relaxing atmosphere I would like to enjoy on the balcony. We frequently heard chatter, yelling, and music from deck 8. To make it worse (and I know this can happen on any cruise), one of our neighbors smoked on their balcony the first week. The second week, somebody on deck 11 listened to their personal music loudly over a bluetooth speaker, with what sounded like a crowd of friends. The next day, our direct neighbor blasted their choice of music on a speaker. We ended up calling it in, because we could not even take a nap, it was so loud. What was most disappointing is that the manager said our neighbors are their guests, just like we are guests, and they need to respect them too. They can only kindly ask them to stop playing the music. Thankfully, the neighbors respected the request. The thing that really bothered me about our encounter with the manager is that he also said they can not even implement the no-smoking-on-balcony-rule. They can only ask the passenger not to smoke, but there are no consequences if they continue. This is very disappointing, and I hope it was NOT an accurate statement by the manager. MSC still needs some balance with customer service. If they say “the customer is always right”, which customer? The one who plays loud music from their balcony, or the one who does not want to hear the music? They need a little common sense in their rule implementation, and consequences if they are serious about rules. This was 1 of only 2 gripes we had during the two weeks, and it will not keep us from sailing MSC again. The other gripe was related to the double charge for a drink, which was corrected and actually completely removed, so we ended up with a free drink. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
It took us 2 days to reach Miami as we were coming from Cape Town, South Africa, and it was well worth the trip. I slept 1 night in Miami before the cruise, and did the Topless Bus Tour around Miami Beach. We then boarded the MSC ... Read More
It took us 2 days to reach Miami as we were coming from Cape Town, South Africa, and it was well worth the trip. I slept 1 night in Miami before the cruise, and did the Topless Bus Tour around Miami Beach. We then boarded the MSC Seaside. We boarded around 14:30 and what a pleasure. We could get straight onto the ship. Our entire experience on this cruise was amazing, we loved it so much. Our balcony room was spacious, and Andrii our room steward was very friendly and always did a wonderful job in our room. I've read many posts about how boring the food is. And I must say, we loved the food. Yes the food isn't for everyones tastes, and they try to accommodate everyone, but for us it was great. You don't have to eat the exact same food all the time, mix it up. I didn't eat the same thing every day. The shows were brilliant in the Theater. However, I didn't enjoy the Silent Disco. Being non-smokers this Silent Disco was held in the pool smoking area, and the people were so spread out around the pool it felt like we were dancing by ourselves. In fact, we couldn't use that pool area at all in the day due to the smokers. The bars were always busy, but no real long queues to complain about. The one pool deck had a very long queue for the bar the one time, so we went to another bar. The Easy Drinks package was not worth our while. The cocktail portion of the menu isn't really cocktails, more Bourbon and Coke, or Vodka and juice. You could have a mocktail and add a tot of vodka, but what a mission everytime. It would have been nicer to have a couple proper cocktails on that menu aswell. We absolutely loved the Dance Classes at 9pm in the lounge. We had so much fun learning the new dances, and the main dance teacher, dont know what his name is, he was brilliant, and so interactive with the guests. He gave us such a workout each night, even our stomach muscles from laughing. We did 3 excursions which we bought through MSC, and that was amazing. We don't have to worry about finding taxis, or organising anything. All we had to do was pitch up at our spot at the time allocated. It was amazing. We would definitely recommend doing this. Our only downside on the Dolphin Swim excursion was the cost of the photos at the end. $120 for our 2 people photos is extremely expensive, since we have to multiply that price by 15 to get it into our local currency. We landed up just getting my dolphin photos for $70 and still almost cried at the price. The excursion itself was already expensive. This put such a huge cloud over the rest of that day for us. I experience terrible motion sickness, yet I did not feel a thing on this ship. I never once had to think of taking a tablet, or even just feel the ship move. I was so impressed with that. Overall, we absolutely loved this holiday. We traveled long and far for it, and a week later still recovering from Jetlag, but was so worth it. We are booked for MSC Orchestra in 8 months, it's a lot smaller and the one we can use that is local for us this next season, but am so looking forward to doing it with all my family. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Specialty dining was excellent. The buffet was very good. The dining room was marginal at best. Interior Fantastica room was great. It was awesome to go into the casino and ALL table games were non-smoking. Even in the smoking half ... Read More
Specialty dining was excellent. The buffet was very good. The dining room was marginal at best. Interior Fantastica room was great. It was awesome to go into the casino and ALL table games were non-smoking. Even in the smoking half of the casino, you really couldn’t tell it. The ventilation was awesome. Make sure to see Deon the waiter, in the casino, and he will take care of you! Never got to zip line because it would never stay open long enough. Constantly had issues. MAKE SURE TO BOOK YOUR BOWLING WITHIN THE FIRST 48 HOURS OR YOU WILL NOT GET A BOWLING TIME! We didn’t! Spend the money on getting the spa! It is awesome! I went into the salt room twice and it was so relaxing, that I fell asleep both times. You can book your shows as soon as you get on the ship. I suggest you book the Michael Jackson show ASAP. It’s the best show I have ever seen. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We loved the msc seaside! We had a fantastica balcony and enjoyed the size and location of it. The food was good and we never went hungry. Trivia was lots of fun. We don’t drink and didn’t have a drink package. It was exactly the kind ... Read More
We loved the msc seaside! We had a fantastica balcony and enjoyed the size and location of it. The food was good and we never went hungry. Trivia was lots of fun. We don’t drink and didn’t have a drink package. It was exactly the kind of vacation we planned on having. Embarkation was legit the best we’ve ever had. We thought our Disney cruise was decent for embarkation, but now compared to msc Disney needs to step it up. The entertainment was good. We loved most of the shows. We weren’t huge into the musicals but the acrobatics was jaw dropping amazing. We would easily go back on the seaside again. The ship was gorgeous and never once felt crowded. Even the port we had to tender in it wasn’t crowded. Our kids loved the kids clubs and miss them so much. Wish we woulda booked a 14 day cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Friends had went on this cruise a year ago. We needed a vacation and thought let's give it a try! First time cruisers, so we have nothing to compare it to. Beautiful ship, and scenery. Clean also. Unfortunately a lot of rude ... Read More
Friends had went on this cruise a year ago. We needed a vacation and thought let's give it a try! First time cruisers, so we have nothing to compare it to. Beautiful ship, and scenery. Clean also. Unfortunately a lot of rude guests. People can really be inconsiderate aholes. The staff we encountered, were all pretty friendly and helpful. Food was good but not fantastic. A lot repeated dishes. Expensive up charges for specialty restaurants. We had a drink package that didn't include much, so basically worthless and to upgrade was astronomical. Elevators, they should have built more into the ship. You would wait forever at peak times and even slow times. Excursions were fun. Unfortunately MSC found a way to screw the guest and make some money on our SXM atv tour. We booked single riders and when our tickets came in, they marked everyone as double riders. So the poor atv tour owner got an earfull but it wasn't his fault, it was MSC BEING GREEDY. The tour was so fun and awesome but was somewhat ruined by that situation. We are doing a beach day today in Nassau, hopefully they can't screw that up. Spa package was nice. Massages were amazing. Thermal area was busy and hard to enjoy, especially with the inconsiderate guests. Cabins were clean and kept clean daily. Bed was horribly firm and uncomfortable. We woke up everyday sore. I truly hope the yacht club people didn't have those beds. Over $4,000 a person with that bed, oh hell no! All in all, an ok experience for us. Not sure if we will do again. Pretty sure not on MSC. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Newer Ship caught my eye as well as price and itinerary. The bathroom is quite small and you can not sit on the toilet without your knee hitting the sink. The shower stall is hard to stand in if you're a little large. My GF baggage ... Read More
Newer Ship caught my eye as well as price and itinerary. The bathroom is quite small and you can not sit on the toilet without your knee hitting the sink. The shower stall is hard to stand in if you're a little large. My GF baggage was a little delayed eventhough we put our items together on the check in area. The dining room food was average at best and we ate most of our meals in the fee paying restaurants. I recommend the Surf and Turf roll in the asian market...delish. The on board shows were very nice and there were plenty of seating in the theatre. The ports were very nice but I do not recommend the Quad tour in St Martin unless you request a single rider vehicle. We books on the MSC website and it specifically says single rider and we were forced to take a double. Of course the business said blame MSC and MSC says blame the business. The Casino is below par...NO CRAP TABLES OR CASH POKER (only Beat the dealer poker) I would go on the ship again but at a better and lower price. 3 stars at best Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We choose MSC for the price and the perks they were offering. We booked through vacations to go, it helped that our agent knew the ship and he was able to set us up for exactly what we were looking for. We selected the fastantica package ... Read More
We choose MSC for the price and the perks they were offering. We booked through vacations to go, it helped that our agent knew the ship and he was able to set us up for exactly what we were looking for. We selected the fastantica package which gave us all drinks up to $6.00 This worked well for us as the selection of drinks had what we normally drink plus a couple more we tried. I would also like to note, I am in the customer service industry, I get rated also, I have had 5 stars, and I have had 1 star. I read a ton of reviews right here on cruise critic, as you can see they are all over the place. The Ship. The Seaside is both stunning inside and out. You really don’t see how big it is until the first port at the dock. It seems like the terminal at Miami hides it a little. The inside is a bit overwhelming at first, but once you explore a little you see it’s true beauty and everything she has to offer. There are mirrors, chrome, glass, and marble everywhere. We arrived at the terminal at noon. I found the outside to be very busy, remember there are at least 5 other ships there at the same time. Once exiting the Uber in front of terminal F, people were there to take our luggage. We entered the terminal, went through security, and proceeded upstairs to check in. Check in was a breeze, there were at least 80 to 100 people behind the counter checking people in. From there we went up to a waiting area with a number. They were calling numbers every few minutes and taking a group onto the ship. We did not wait long at all. From arrival to our first steps onto the ship was exactly a half hour. That was impressive considering the cruise was sold out. Upon entering on floor number 6 there were people everywhere, it felt like everyone took 6 steps onboard and just stopped. We pressed through and went to find a kiosk to register the credit card. There was a long line at customer service, but there was staff working their way through the line to see if they could help faster, and this was the case for us, she came up to us, we asked where the kiosks were and she took us right to one. From there we went up to deck 18 to get away from the crowd. It looked like most people went right to the buffet on deck 8. We ate before we got on so we were able to explore. Don’t plan on getting on an elevator quickly on the first few hours, but we found elevators towards the front ( right off the casino) that were not too busy. State rooms are not ready until 2pm, so find a place to hang out and relax or explore during that time, I would avoid the atrium during that time. Once rooms are announced as ready it tends to calm down and doesn’t feel like there is 5000 other people around. The Staterooms We had an interior state room on deck 14. Again, ive read reviews where people complained that the state rooms were too small. Well they aren’t large but they are fine for the purpose. Your in your state room to sleep, shower or get dressed. They are the same on all cruise lines. Your not on a ship or on vacation to sit in your room all day. We met our room attendant Colette the next morning. She always smiled and greeted us anytime we saw her. Rooms were cleaned every morning, and our bed was turned down every night. She replaced our towels every time also. All in all no complaints whatsoever on the room. Our dining time was wrong on the first night, we had requested 7:30, but they had us at 5:30. No big deal, we ate at 5:30 and saw the maitre’d on the way out. The next day we had a letter on our door and he was able to accommodate us and got us the 7:30 dining time. We were put at a table with 3 other couples, not a big deal and actually I was very glad to meet all of them. The Food The food was not bad at all on both the Dining room. They allow you to order whatever you want and any amount on the menu. There is a different theme every night. Other reviews complained the portions were too small, they aren’t huge but there was an appetizer, salad, main course, and dessert. I was always full after leaving the dining room. The buffets were great, a lot of selection. Other reviews complained the selection was the same every day. To a point that is true, the staple foods were the same. Hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, salad, French fries, etc. Everything else changed up daily. There is also a meat carving station towards the back of the buffet, there were different carvings daily. We went every morning to the buffet on deck 8 for breakfast and ate outside on the deck. Hint, the pizza on deck 8 was thin crust, but the pizza on deck 18 was thick crust. The Pools. Miami Beach pool was where we were the whole time. Yes people reserved chairs early, however there were enough of them and there was never any issues up there. South beach pool was the adult only pool and we did hear of some issues with chairs down there. We would eat breakfast no later than 8am and then go up to Miami Beach and there was always chairs. After lunch chairs would clear out, and more would be available. The entertainment staff kept it alive with activities every day, especially on sea day. I don’t care how old you are, hit the water slides at least once. Hint, if your racing someone, the slide on the right is faster when your facing them. We are 42 and 43 and it got quite competitive. The Bars Yes bars can get busy, I never found them understaffed at all, did it take a few minutes? Yes, sometimes. There are also plenty of waiters and waitresses around the pool deck on sea days. Flag one of them down and they will check in on you all day. Our favorite was Miramar bar on deck 19. We went there every night, there are comfortable chairs and always a nice breeze, never crowded either. Be sure to go there and meet Sergio the bartender, he keeps it fun and has an array of his own concoctions he makes. The Crew and Staff Everyone was always kind, gave you a smile and greeted you depending on the time of day. We went to the cruise critic meet and mingle. Captain DiPalma asked for reviews both good and where they can improve. He personally made his way around to greet everyone, and claimed he baked the cake. Every staff member was helpful, some made recommendations, especially at the chocolate bar. My Summary For having 5000 people on a ship it hardly ever felt like it. There is so much outdoor deck space or somewhere else to go relax. Our toilet did break one afternoon, it was fixed within 2 hours. The shows were of perfect length (40 minutes) they have some excellent talent in that group. We went every night except on Thursday. Two small issues I noticed. The restrooms are hard to find, they are there tucked away, but the signage could be a bit better. There are also aren’t a lot of waste cans, there’s a few recycle cans, but given I don’t leave my bottles and stuff lay around, I found this to be difficult. There are guests from all over the world on this cruise, remember it is very popular in Europe, in fact I think this particular cruise was about 40% American. Very diverse, many were fun and great to talk to, some were kind of pushy, not rude, but they would get in front of you to get what they wanted first. Kids had their own areas and activities. Many people dressed up for formal nights. The photographers on board are top notch, we purchased a package to bring home and the prices really weren’t bad at all. Our friends and family were waiting on our opinion and experience. I can tell you this; we have found our cruise line! We booked our next cruise on board on Wednesday night.As of right now we reserved 3 rooms for next June. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We booked this cruise to celebrate our anniversary, but had never heard of MSC prior to this trip. Not knowing the line made us nervous, however we did plenty of research and reading of reviews prior to sailing so we had no surprises. ... Read More
We booked this cruise to celebrate our anniversary, but had never heard of MSC prior to this trip. Not knowing the line made us nervous, however we did plenty of research and reading of reviews prior to sailing so we had no surprises. Embarkation was a breeze and were on the ship less than 30 min from stepping out of our Uber. We knew to register our credit card, which we didn’t see right away but a crew member saw we were lost so walked us to the right location to get that completed. We were then free to grab a drink and explore the ship until our room was ready before 2pm. Our luggage was delivered to our room by about 4. There was a mistake in our dining selection time, as we requested late dining but was assigned a 5:30 time. We were told it would not be a problem and to request a time change with the maitre’d, which we did, but learned the wait list was over 100 people deep. Although frustrated we just decided it would not ruin our trip. Much to our pleasure, we received notification the next day our change was compete with our desired time. The food in the main dining room was very good. Dishes were small, but you could order additional if desired and they were very accommodating if it was something you didn’t like. I used this as a way to try something I would not order at home. On theme nights they had a short song/dance which we enjoyed. The food in the buffet was also very good, although it can get crowded with pushy people who push in front (but you get that anywhere). They did have pizza (get the white pizza at least once) burgers/hot dogs all the time but the other options changed. I saw many reviews with complaints that selections were the same every day, but I did not notice that although I always eat the same thing for breakfast every day regardless. We only did the buffet for breakfast/ lunch and rarely eat in between meals so we had plenty of choices for something different every day. When we did want a snack we loved the selection of meat/cheese available. Our room attendant, Colette, was very sweet. They have lights above the door so she knew when we were in room or not which we appreciated. (They do have a do not disturb button to select as well). We had one day where the toilet would not flush so we let her know. She called the plumber and it was fixed by the next time we were back in the room. The shows were very good, but had repetitive acts. The talent reminds you very much of a Cirque De Soleil show. I did enjoy them all, and none were over 40 minutes so it was a nice way to relax after dinner. The ship does get more formal after 6pm, which we enjoyed. We did hear from others who didn’t care to dress up (which was totally fine as well) but most stuck to the “theme” within reason. After dinner/show we ended up at the Miramar bar on the 19th deck every night. We loved that it was a quiet place with outdoor sofas and the best bartender, Sergio, on the ship. All the bar staff up there were great, non intrusive if you wanted a quiet evening, or kept the conversations going between guests at the bar. I am pretty confident this was one of our favorite places on the ship and we looked forward to it every night. During the day we enjoyed the 16th deck pool. There was a good mix of entertainment and time with just music. Being American we, especially, enjoyed the mix of different countries music. The entertainment staff spoke many languages and included everyone. We absolutely loved the fact that so many different cultures were enjoying the same thing together. We also enjoyed that the crew was very good about keeping children with parents, so they did not invade others space. It seemed that the kids kept mostly to the Jungle Pool and the kids area, although there were families on deck 16 as well. We noticed many times if a child was running around unattended the staff would escort them back to their parents or made them point them out so they knew they were not alone. Bar service at the pool could get busy, but it was easy to track someone down from your chair who would bring you something. The port of call times were unusual, but we did get into port early every time. This was our first Caribbean cruise together so we opted to explore on our own vs booking excursions. We noticed that St Thomas and St Marteen still have not recovered fully from the hurricane so we stuck to the shops and Maho Beach in St Marteen. Puerto Rico was a pleasant surprise as we were apprehensive of being there only at night, but never felt unsafe and loved the culture. Bahamas was beautiful and we enjoyed the public beach by Atlantis. (Pebble beach I believe). A taxi was only $4 per person each way, and we were able to get a taxi within the gate of port so it was very safe. I would highly recommend getting a drink package as bottled water/soda/juice and cappuccino is not included. We knew this and had the Easy Package purchased ahead of time. One thing to note is that the Easy Package includes select alcohol, drinks and coffee/tea to $6. A frozen alcohol drink, poolside is $11 so not part of the easy package. With that said, you can order two drinks per person (in cabin) at a time. The bartenders will help you get what you want. We ordered many “Virgin strawberry daiquiri’s with vodka” :) After a few days the staff learns your preferences and makes what you want. (Within reason of course). Overall we enjoyed our trip very much and already booked for next year. If you enjoy meeting people from all over the world you will love MSC. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Despite the negative reviews I had read, I was tempted to try MSC by the status match (Diamond on RCCL matched to Gold on MSC) and the price - and I'm so glad that I did! The Seaside is absolutely gorgeous, the crew were polite and ... Read More
Despite the negative reviews I had read, I was tempted to try MSC by the status match (Diamond on RCCL matched to Gold on MSC) and the price - and I'm so glad that I did! The Seaside is absolutely gorgeous, the crew were polite and accommodating, entertainment was excellent, and I achieved my goal of rest and relaxation! Embarkation was fast - arrived at the port around 1:30pm, was on the ship by 2pm. I was in an Aurea balcony, room 9030 - cabin steward (Angela) was friendly and efficient, room was kept spotless! Loved the extended balcony and having a full size lounge chair to nap in. As others have mentioned, there is not a lot of storage space - only 2 drawers and a few shelves in addition to some hanging space - it was fine for just me but would have been challenging for 2 or more in a room. The shower is also small (if you drop anything you have to really maneuver to pick it up!), but does have a glass door instead of a shower curtain. I had the Easy Drink package as part of Aurea booking, but I don't drink alcohol so only took advantage of the non-alcoholic offerings (and frozen virgin drinks were included in the package). Gelato and specialty coffees/drinks at the chocolate bar were not included, but the gelato was so good it was worth paying the $6 for a cup every now and then! The spa and thermal suite were outstanding, so much better than what RCCL ships offer, and on par with what NCL offers on Breakaway class ships. I scheduled 2 massages that were excellent - and there was absolutely no effort made to sell me product afterward! I ate some meals in the buffet - I thought the offerings were similar to what you would find on RCCL, and also found that if you traveled to the back of the buffet you could find things that were not on offer at the front - it was also much less crowded at the back, and there are plenty of tables to eat at both outside and inside, I never had difficulty finding a table. I had anytime dining in the Seashore room, never waiting more than 5 minutes for a table and the service was always efficient, dinner never took more than an hour, and I enjoyed most of the dishes I chose. The nightly shows were excellent, especially the Michael Jackson show on the last night. They were all relatively short (30-40 min) and extremely well done - great singers, dancers, acrobats! I did only 1 shore excursion - coffee tasting and walking tour in San Juan - it was just OK, the guide was very informative but we only stopped at 2 places for coffee and did not have choice on what to have, and very little information presented. In St. Thomas and St. Marten I just walked around and did some shopping (have been to both of those islands many times before). In Nassau, I visited the Ardasta Zoo and Gardens (home of the marching flamingos) on my own and had a wonderful afternoon, highly recommend! I thought that the crew was friendly and efficient - I was very happy with the service I received throughout the cruise. I also did not experience any "rudeness" from fellow passengers as mentioned in many reviews - I met a lot of interesting and friendly folks from all parts of the world! My only disappointment was the casino for 2 reasons - no craps table, and too smoky. I will be sailing on MSC again in October on the Bellissima - can't wait! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
This is my sister and I second experience sailing on seaside along with my nephew and his girlfriend for my sis 59 birthday. The trip didn't disappoint and hold up to our great pervious experience. Embarkation was a breeze and the ... Read More
This is my sister and I second experience sailing on seaside along with my nephew and his girlfriend for my sis 59 birthday. The trip didn't disappoint and hold up to our great pervious experience. Embarkation was a breeze and the line moved from the port lobby very quickly to get us onboard in no time. The staffs were great and friendly as well as the other cruisers who did speak English. Please keep in mind majority of the cruisers are from abroad therefore English is not the first language but you will get a smile with no words. I am ok with that. The shows on Seaside are entertaining and holds your attention the entire time. I am a average cruiser total 15 ytd on RCCL and NCL and I can gladly confirm, Seaside shows are the best at sea. The food are above average and taste the same. Nothing to write home about here. It's cruise food so we made the best used of it. The public areas are kept clean with plenty of bathrooms around but 2x I found 2 of the smaller bathrooms out of toliet paper. So always check for toilet papers first before undressing. Words of wisdom. The room Stewart Manuel is a ninja at keeping the cabin clean and stocked. Our restaurant hosts were also friendly. The ports were nothing to write home about since I am also from the Caribbean and have done the Eastern routes more than once. I have learned very quickly to enjoy the cruise ships life and not the destination since I live in Fl. This was my floating home for the week. My overall experience was great and booked another MSC Experience for Nov 2020 on the next new ship coming to Miami. Looking forward to another week of R&R next year on MSC. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My wife and I decided to try out msc after reading decent reviews about them online. This was my 10th cruise (past 9 on RCCL) and first one on msc. When we booked our trip in January of 2019 we paid extra for the fantastica experience ... Read More
My wife and I decided to try out msc after reading decent reviews about them online. This was my 10th cruise (past 9 on RCCL) and first one on msc. When we booked our trip in January of 2019 we paid extra for the fantastica experience since it offered 12 drink vouchers which we thought was a great idea! Well we sure were wrong! When we arrived on the ship we entered the room and didn't see any vouchers. So later in the evening proceeded to guest services to see if they could resolve. We got told that "msc discontinued the vouchers" and that "if we received them it would say on our cruise ticket packet." If it doesn't there's nothing they can do. So, the following morning we spoke with the bar manager at the cruise critic meet and greet and he gave us positive news stating that if we paid for them, we will receive them and he said it was wrong of guest services to deny them. Well of course there was a catch and when we visited guest services later in the day to find out what was going on, no surprise the bar manager changed his tune and re worded what he said earlier in the day. The main dining room service was miserable for us on the first night. We were seated promptly and waited well over 20 minutes to receive menus, water, and a bread basket. All of the large tables around us had prompt service, and had their entrees before we even placed our order, and those tables had 8+ people sitting at them while it was just me and my wife. Oddly I looked around and the section the rest of the groups were sitting in had the same server named on their tables as we did, except we never got served by those servers! After asking for the head waiter to explain what was going on, a server ran and found a random server to take our order in which he never introduced himself, never asked if we had any allergies, and never asked if we wanted to order from the bar. Overall the ship is clean, it's different, it has a nice layout, the sports bar is beautiful, rooms are clean and a nice size, bed is comfy. But the rest of the experience has ruined my views of MSC and I will never recommend them to anyone. Also the muster drill was comical, absolute chaos and people were so loud and so over packed into one area it was nearly impossible to hear what was being said or see the demonstration. For me I don't personally care since I've seen plenty, but for someone new to cruising they would've left there clueless as to what to do in an emergency. MSC also doesn't seem to care nearly as much as Royal Caribbean does about washing your hands and staying clean. The hand sanitizer stations are sparse around the ship and NOBODY uses the hand washing stations (we were even getting weird looks when we used them) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We, as a family of five (three adults and two teens), decided to try a comparison cruise with MSC through the Caribbean, having had great past experiences with Holland America and Celebrity. As always, we went with a standard Veranda, but ... Read More
We, as a family of five (three adults and two teens), decided to try a comparison cruise with MSC through the Caribbean, having had great past experiences with Holland America and Celebrity. As always, we went with a standard Veranda, but enhanced it a bit with MSC’s “Aura Experience”. With one exception, I’ll explain later, it’s definitely worth every penny. Thanks to Aura’s priority embarkation we were aboard quickly—look for the PRIORITY sign off to the left as soon as you get inside the cruise port. We had intentionally arrived in early afternoon (for a 7pm sailing) and we’d barely gotten aboard (ducking the beverage card hawkers) when an announcement was made that our staterooms were ready. One of our family members required a wheelchair so I immediately made my way to the customer relations desk to arrange for one. I expected a long line, being departure day, and indeed it was fairly long, but I was in no hurry. It did surprise me that the desk wasn’t fully manned, I know this because I had to return the wheelchair on the final day and at that time the desk was full. Our steward did a wonderful job, replacing towels whether we’d left them on the floor or not, and other subtle touches. Sorry, for those who crave towel critters, there’s none of those here. Basic shampoo and soap were provided in the shower to wash the pool salt from one’s hair but, sorry, no conditioner. Stewards don’t have it nor do the stores… but then, we couldn’t find a store that sold any basic personal items like, say, hair conditioner or sun screen. But if you took the cruise to buy jewelry, you’re in luck. This was our first experience with a ship of this size and this many passengers, and there were some things that were somewhat frustrating. One has to believe that the ship’s architects must have considered traffic flow as one of their top priorities, and yet, all their effort goes for naught by the placement of two posts and a rope, or a locked glass pass-through. One such place is the large buffet where traffic is designed to flow around a large center island. All is well until a stretched horizontal ribbon sends the flow back on itself, and making those sitting a short distance beyond the no-man’s-land, to be detoured back through the whole circle. A smarter approach was sometimes used—simply stretching plastic across the offerings of a section that wasn’t ready. Another traffic oops was constantly taking place a few decks below our stateroom as we watched hapless passengers, like an ant colony, make their way along the deck to a locked glass door that wouldn’t allow them to go from aft to fore because, as near as we could figure, they’d be going past the windows of an exercise area. I could picture some poor architects pulling their hair out. But there was one traffic flow issue they did to themselves by the placement of the theater—nearer to mid-ship—forcing those who wanted to travel fore-to-aft to figure out the most efficient elevator rides up-and-over or down-and-under, over-stressing the elevators which are always unavoidable bottlenecks. The sole downside to the Aura experience (especially with a wheelchair) is that the staterooms are located forward, so we had a long trek to the main pool, buffets, dining room and everything else located aft. It probably wouldn’t have helped, but what I thought was a forward elevator when I booked our stateroom turned out to be a crew-only stairway—my bad. There was no far forward public elevator. Perhaps due to the size of the ship or the calm seas but throughout the entire cruise it barely felt like we were moving. If I hadn’t looked outside I’d not have known when we’d arrived or departed a port-of-call. The wristbands are not dead-on location-accurate but a definite step in the right direction. No need to take our cards when we went to the pool, the bar or wherever aboard ship—even unlocking our stateroom door. Very nice. Room food service was available but our wheelchair-bound person was disappointed in the selection. We assume that with so many to serve, unless we wanted to pay a pricey fee, the options were quite limited. Best was to inconvenience a family member to go to the buffet to make the self-delivery. If one leaves dirty dishes on the dresser the stewards will remove them—outside your room, they’re on their own but will eventually disappear in a day or two. The food options at the buffets were somewhat repetitive but, with minor exception, there were enough choices for our satisfaction. I found by the third day that the smaller buffet was the best-kept-secret way to do breakfast—especially on excursion days when the early crowds were heaviest. The smaller buffet had all the breakfast choices, but less crowed and therefore less competition for seating. By the last day people were catching on. I always find that chefs most always do an awesome job but, being chefs, they tend to make decadent desserts. I would prefer just a tasty slice of pie, a simple brownie, a dish of pudding or ice cream (there was none of the latter in either buffet). To their credit, attendants do try to serve the needs of those dining in wheelchairs, even running off to get food for them. The main dining room menu had multiple offerings for dinner. It’s a wonderful way to experience unfamiliar dishes. The service was friendly, fast and efficient. No complaints, here. There’s no way around it, the large pool is quite crowded on at-sea days. The main pool was 6.5 feet deep throughout but with it being a warm salt water pool it didn’t take much effort to stay afloat. And they did have a lifeguard keeping watch. I reminded myself that one does not walk on the wooden part of the deck near the pool in bare feet on a sunny day—ouch! But I did discover that I could grab a regular-size gelato on my beverage card at no charge. As usual, there were no lack of bars. If one was busy, it was never a long walk to another. Some cruise lines won’t allow ordering more than one drink at a time on a single card—not so with MSC. And, of course, if you replace anything drunk from the minibar there’s no fee. Excursions were excellent, most having various levels. Take the one that has the most entertainment value for your budget. Finally, de-embarkation was done quickly—using facial recognition at security greatly sped things along. Well, except for our 13-year-old whose picture looked nothing like it did in her 4.5 year old passport. Chuckles all around. Here, and throughout the trip we found the staff members we encountered were polite, respectful and willing to help. All said and done, after polling our family members, most would likely do MSC again, however some thought they’d opt for something smaller. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
MSC is building the most beautiful ships in the world right now and this may be the one. However. If you are used to the Carnival/Royal Caribbean style cruising and like it, think twice. This is a EUROPEAN ship run by people in ITALY, ... Read More
MSC is building the most beautiful ships in the world right now and this may be the one. However. If you are used to the Carnival/Royal Caribbean style cruising and like it, think twice. This is a EUROPEAN ship run by people in ITALY, not south Florida. You will only have a small percentage of people on these cruises who primarily speak English. MSC has a huge following around the world and their international customers come exclusively for the MSC experience they are used to in Europe and around the world. Announcements are in 5 - 7 languages one after another. People do have a few different ways of doing things. You will have 'other' kinds of music than the pop and Caribbean style music being played. Some of the food on buffets are a bit different than you are used to. No all night pizza and ice cream bar. As I said, if you want the Carnival experience and flavor, think twice. If you are open to a little different experience and want to do it on one of the most modern and beautiful ships in the world - here is your cruise! PS - BUY THE DRINK PACKAGE! You get what you pay for with the 'FREE' drink package. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose MSC Seaside Yacht Club (again) based on a pretty good experience last year - and a limited number of other luxury ship-within-a-ship opportunities - we looked at NCL Haven and Celebrity suite class. Based on availability and ... Read More
We chose MSC Seaside Yacht Club (again) based on a pretty good experience last year - and a limited number of other luxury ship-within-a-ship opportunities - we looked at NCL Haven and Celebrity suite class. Based on availability and price MSC won out. We selected and recommend a starboard-side room – the balcony is in the shade for almost the entire trip and it makes room service breakfast a wonderful experience (a real table on the balcony would help - there's only footrest). Our experience last year (https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=624033) wasn't perfect but it was pretty good - and with experience we felt we would enjoy YC even more, The really good news is service in the YC area is still exemplary - at the pool, on the sundeck, in the lounge and restaurant everyone is friendly, efficient and effective. We can't say enough good things. And the food in the YC restaurant is better than last year – always ask the server, they’ll know what’s good that night. We also thoroughly enjoyed our excursions booked through MSC: Jamaica - we did the Dunn's River Falls/Mystic Mountain Bob Sled combination. Not our first time to Dunn's River - but always quite an adventure climbing the falls. The Mystic Mountain Bobsled run was also a blast (don't use the brake - just push forward for a fast and smooth ride), and the sky-ride (chair lift) up the mountain gave some fantastic views (pic). Grand Cayman - Atlantis submarine (pic) - about an hour submerged going around the reef off Grand Cayman, down to 115 feet deep - lots of fish to see, even a turtle - quite a good time. Cozumel - MSC charters a ferry to take excursions to Playa Del Carmen - about 575 passengers so there's a bit of a wait for loading and unloading. We did the Chaak Tun cave (pic) "snorkeling" - snorkeling is in quotes because you don't need a mask or snorkel as you're in a life vest the entire time in the caves, and the water is so clear you don't need the mask. This is an absolutely wonderful experience and if you're up to it (there's a little climbing, and stooping low under rocks) we highly recommend it. There's about 90 minutes after the swim to shop or eat in Playa Del Carmen before you have to board the ferry - no way to go back early. Now the less than fantastic experiences - YC guests are supposed to have priority embarkation/debarkation. The YC butlers will escort you to the brow to checkout - here's where the problems have started - for some reason the polite security staff from our last trip are all gone - and their replacements didn't get etiquette lessons. While escorting a group of YC passengers to the brow one of the assistants shouted "I am in control here" and stopped the butler (we didn't see any reason - any reason to stop the group). The "priority" embarkation was being escorted to the same line everyone else waited in. And in all our interactions with security at the checkpoints, only once was there a polite greeting. Not at all like our experience last year. - YC Guests are supposed to have a priority system for the forward elevators. They system is still there, but it is not working. We discussed this with the YC Director, he seemed quite surprised, which seems strange since all the butlers knew the system did not work. - The spa. My wife went in to have a nail color change, waited for 2 ½ hours drying time - and the polish ran off in the shower! So she went back and got it fixed, waited over three hours, and it ran right off again. Don't know what they were using, but we contacted the spa manager and he personally scheduled an appointment for 7 pm to get it fixed again - and around 735 we got into the nail salon - but at least this time a sloppy French color job held when washed. For this, the elevator issue, and the security incidents, we were comp'ed a couples massage by the YC Director - scheduled with the spa - when we showed up the couples room was in use - "can you wait?" - we took separate massages. - Last year our Butler was simply fantastic - certainly one of the reasons we did enjoy YC - and in fact he was on-board again, but promoted to assistant chief butler, and the newly promoted butler assigned to our room just wasn't up to his standards - she's very nice, personable, but not up to our expectations, failing to re-stock the room/mini-bar on several occasions (until we discussed it with the YC Director), plus some other misses on services we had requested. - Service outside of YC on the ship was not up to the standards we experienced last year. Sat down at a couple of the lounges, waited 10 minutes - there were servers but they were apparently overworked. - We had dinner reservations at Butcher's Cut (premium dining) - we sat down, ordered, then left once we looked around as there was crumbs and other food residue on the table at the edges of the placemats, and enough dirt, food and dust on the window sill next to us to write "MSC" in the dirt and read it clearly (pic). If we were to speculate on the problems we saw this year - last year the Seaside was brand new – and perhaps MSC had all their best middle-managers onboard to give the ship a good start – but this year those managers are gone – and the current group is not paying as close attention to the details. We did have a discussion with the YC Director about our concerns, and he acknowledged problems and indicated they were getting a new chef in the YC restaurant, and updating their embarkation/debarkation polices to better serve YC guests – but improvements in the future don’t help current guests. We still recommend MSC YC and the Seaside – but with caveats - it's not as good as it could be. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Embarkation was easy, you don't have to wait till your scheduled time to board the ship. It's easy linking a CC to your account via the little kiosks around guest relations. Service in the main dining room was good, not Royal ... Read More
Embarkation was easy, you don't have to wait till your scheduled time to board the ship. It's easy linking a CC to your account via the little kiosks around guest relations. Service in the main dining room was good, not Royal Caribbean good but decent at least. That's about all the good I can say about this cruise line. The ship has no ATM on it, guest relations is absolutely worthless, food quality in the main dining room is absolutely awful as this may be the first cruise I've ever been on that I actually lost weight. The steaks are disgusting and full of fat. The elevators are always jammed packed. The level of rudeness of passengers is beyond ridiculous as well (not on MSC for this) but just saying the majority of passengers are not the typical American guests. The cabin was always clean, however if your not in a yacht club room get ready to not be able to sit on the toilet as your leg will go right into the cabinet below the sink. There was way too many bad things to write them all here, just take my warning of not booking this cruise unless it is $100 for 7 days I'll never sail with MSC again Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
New ship, great price point, included a drink package I've cruised Carnival, RCI, Princess - MSC Seaside was the worst for me. 100% horrible. I'm a travel agent. I took 125 people on MSC Seaside May 18, 2019. During our ... Read More
New ship, great price point, included a drink package I've cruised Carnival, RCI, Princess - MSC Seaside was the worst for me. 100% horrible. I'm a travel agent. I took 125 people on MSC Seaside May 18, 2019. During our group photo's they refused to take pictures. they said we had to book an appt and pay $100.00 up front. So they make you pay, but what if you didn't like the picture?? The MANAGER was soo incredibly rude, kicked my family off the staircase, because we didn't book an appt. We lost our precious opportunity which was soo hard to get. MSC does not care about family or family values. How does someone see a family group and kick them off? Where was his kindness or his ability to take pleasure in seeing a family so together taking their pictures. So nasty. I will never return to MSC or will I ever try and sell MSC. The photographers didn't care what the pictures looked like. They were annoyed and snapped without looking to see if the picture even came out nicely. I couldn't even buy any of my family photos!! Will NEVER sail MSC... EVER!! 125 people - yes it's a lot, but we were just as entitled as anyone else. We paid our money just like everyone else. After the club, we had no where to eat. There was about 20 of us and everyone is given a curfew - while on vacation??? You're treated like children. I've never been on a ship where it didn't provide food especially after the club!! 1am at the Marketplace where they had pizza / sandwiches, tea / coffee - with a many people still sitting and enjoying their vacation time even with each other - and everyone was kicked out!! HORRIBLE!! They said there was room service but they only provided sandwiches. At formal dining, you order a steak and their side order was french fries?? Don't mention the roasted chicken which look like a beaten peice of chicken breast serviced with fries during formal dinner - I could've gotten that at IKEA! Who does that at main dining?? Ridiculous food and presentation. The food was horrible, I order 2 meals each time in case one tasted worst than the other - horrible experience for food. Cruise lines are known for good food - not MSC. disappointing! On board shops - hard to find! Horrible layout of the ship. Very choppy. Great sportsbar! Only staffed by 2 people when it was packed during a playoff basketball game. Beautiful cabins - would be better if our washroom was thoroughly cleaned. Shower was disgusting with black mold!! Great price point. Included a drink pkg - unfortunately you pay for what you get. Not enough staff. Public bathrooms - disgusting! Floor covered in water. Family member slipped so bad and damaged her knee - NO she did not go after them for money, but was incredibly disappointed in ability to keep the ship clean. Event Coordinator Francesca was excellent. She assisted with a group space and was so kind to assist with whatever we needed. When I had the issue with the Photography manager, she tried to help but the damage was already done. Could you possibly imagine how hard it was to coordinate everyone for pictures, when its already hard to find them on a cruise?? Deck party - at the end, they just stopped the music. You didn't even know the party was over. They didn't even thank everyone for coming out or encouraging them to go to the club. They said nothing and started taking down the decorations. Embarkation - they don't take your CC upfront, then you need to do an extra step to go to a machine to add your CC to your account. Disembarkation is a hot mess, not enough staff, no signs. As a cruiser - thank goodness this was NOT my first cruise. I could've walked away not liking cruises because of them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Cruised on the MSC Seaside and it was the worst cruise I've been on (and I've travelled on Disney, Costa, Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Holland America). The seaside is a nice ship and the pool on the back of ... Read More
Cruised on the MSC Seaside and it was the worst cruise I've been on (and I've travelled on Disney, Costa, Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Holland America). The seaside is a nice ship and the pool on the back of the ship was very nice, but that where it ends. Worst food ever tasted on a cruise. Nobody eats all their plate in the dinning room because food is too bad... but the alternative of the buffet is so poor that you have nowhere else to go. The pastas are horrible (plain watery sauce red or white...). The buffet has always the same menu (except a few exceptions). Everything is way overcooked. Shows are bad. dancers are good but the shows are so eclectic and the costume and choreographies are very basic which makes a 40 min show difficult to watch completely. Customer service is bad. They are patronizing and dont seem to be even a little interested to help you. Not worth the price (even if not expensive, even with a beverage package). I'll never cruise with MSC again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Please do not waste your money, you will be very disappointed. The cruise ship itself is beautiful, but they are constantly charging extra for even the smallest things (Zipline, Gelato ice cream, a decent meal, etc) Our balcony cabin was ... Read More
Please do not waste your money, you will be very disappointed. The cruise ship itself is beautiful, but they are constantly charging extra for even the smallest things (Zipline, Gelato ice cream, a decent meal, etc) Our balcony cabin was very small and we had no hot water in the tiny shower. Asked for it to be fixed, it never was. Housekeeping was terrible. We were having to ask every day for fresh towels, and they do not provide bar soap.. only a terrible body wash. At the bar we waitied sometimes 45 min to get a drink. They are very under Staffed. The buffet food was disgusting, and they had no variety. If you wanted a decent mal you had to pay a fortune to go to the speciality restaraunts, and even if you bought the "dining Experience" package, you were left with 2-3 choices, and no opportunity to upgrade the meal unless you wanted to fork over another couple hundred dollars. Poolside on the 7th floor they refused to play any fun music they played elevator music, when I asked for more festive music and to turn up the volume a lttle, I was ignored. I left the ship in tears after saving for this "luxury Cruise" you are better off to book Carnival! The food is better and the ships are well staffed. I had planned on booking the MSC to Italy next year for my husbands birthday, but I now will NEVER Cruise with MSC again. Horrible experience Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Went with 30+ neighbors. Everyone was saying they should have had 500 less people and 500 more staff positions. First day was a nightmare. Door key wouldn't work; was told to go to guest services. Since it was day one and crowded ... Read More
Went with 30+ neighbors. Everyone was saying they should have had 500 less people and 500 more staff positions. First day was a nightmare. Door key wouldn't work; was told to go to guest services. Since it was day one and crowded we waited in line at least 30-40 minutes. It was a little before 2:00 p.m. so was told it should work now. Went back up and it didn't work. Asked room steward to let us in but he said we would have to go to guest services. Another trip and waiting in LONG line and they gave us new keys. Back up 9 floors and long walk to room (still carrying luggage we came on board with) - new key didn't work. Another ten minutes to get to deck five (elevators took 2 times to get onto due to crowd). Waited in line another half hour. Was told this time to go to room and they would have someone meet us there. Waited at our room for almost an hour. I even pretended to have had an issue and laid in the middle of the hallway hoping to have someone come to us instead of us going to them. After 20 minutes I realized cameras were of no value (except in Casino - lol). FOURTH time went down to guest services, waited in line a half hour and was told I probably had the wrong room or wasn't using key correctly - REALLY??? TRYING HARD to keep my patience (wasted 3-4 hours by now), so this time someone came up with us. Of COURSE he couldn't get into room and then determined it was the card reader and SOMEONE WOULD COME TO OUR ROOM AND FIX IT IN TEN MINUTES (we at least were FINALLY left into our room at this point). We waited two hours - phone didn't have any extensions to call and I think I hit about every extension possible to no avail). By the way, we were told the room steward had the afternoon off after getting our rooms ready (we found a housekeeper on another floor before we got left into our room and that is what she told us - after she came and tried our keys to no avail too). So finally our room steward returned and called for help on his phone. Someone came and HONEST TO GOD - SAID HE WOULD RETURN SHORTLY - I EVEN SAID HOW MANY MINUTES AND HE SAID GIVE ME 10-15. Well, NO ONE FREAKINIG RETURNED. We missed dinner and we were furious. Since we were there with 30+ neighbors they told us to let them know as they should at least offer us a specialty dinner or one day refund. After very nicely explaining what happened at guest services they let us talk to someone else and told us to stop down later or tomorrow and they would let me know what they would do. Stopped down the next day and nothing was done. The guy could see from the screen that we had issues and went back into a room and told us they would send something to our room. And guess what they sent for eight hours of NOTHING but aggravation - a simple bottle of champagne. Other than that, food was nothing like other cruise lines and elevators were atrocious - so crowded that most times it was impossible to get on first time. Buffet was a zoo - you couldn't even walk around to get your food. The ship was beautiful though. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We originally booked this cruise on black friday, as MSC was giving away the drinks on us promo, and a good price on a balcony room. I had done a bunch of research, watched a ton of youtube vids, and read a bunch of reviews. I have to ... Read More
We originally booked this cruise on black friday, as MSC was giving away the drinks on us promo, and a good price on a balcony room. I had done a bunch of research, watched a ton of youtube vids, and read a bunch of reviews. I have to say this helped out a lot, and prepared us for the week for the most part. Embarkation wasn't too bad..probably an hour from arriving to actual embarkation (we were there 2 hours before our assigned boarding time). The ship is absolutely stunning! From the infinity bridge and bridge of sighs, to the atrium and staircases, it's really a beautiful ship! We only ate in the main dining room (Ipanema) 3 of the 7 nights. The food was ok, but our server I think misunderstood us (and our table mates) on a couple of occasions. The food was hit and miss, with the breads, pastas, and seafood all pretty great. The prime rib was also very good, but the steak we ordered one night was a little too fatty for our taste. We did the Teppanyaki specialty restaurant the first night, since we sailed at 5pm, and our MDR time was 5:15. This way we could watch the sail away. I highly recommend the Teppanyaki!!! It was so good, we actually went again friday night with some friends we made the first night. As for the buffets....well, they were buffets. Just be prepared for it to be a total cluster, as everyone cuts in and out of line to get what they want/need. They will always have the standard pizza, hot dogs, burgers, salads, and breads, with occasional other fares. I was really looking forward to the pizza, as I know they make it from scratch...it is good, but was light on the cheese. I still ate it quite a bit, though. We spent most of the time at the Miami beach pool on deck 16. We avoided the South beach pool on deck 7, as all the smokers are there and we don't smoke. I thought the bar tenders were excellent! Only a few times (mostly on sea days) was it crowded and had to wait a while for a drink. The key for me was to tip a couple of the bartenders early on, so they remember you (Ruffy ALWAYS took care of me, called me by name, etc., while Happy, Nigel, and Leo all took care of me) The other key is to BE NICE to them! I know they can get a lot of pushy drinkers coming at them, so calling them out by name, saying hello, and generally being a good guest goes a long way to getting good service, IMHO. We don't have kids, but the kids pool area looked like a lot of fun for the kids that were there. I'm a big kid, so I can't count how many times I tried the waterslides! I also rode the zip line about 3 times, so I could get a good GoPro shot. Make sure when you get there, to sign the waiver for the waterpark and zip line early..especially before sea day when the lines are really long! Another tip: I registered my credit card to my shipboard card right after getting on the ship. There are several kiosks around that will let you so this, although you technically have 48 hours. You can also get a wristband that links to your shipboard account, which is $5. That way, you can tap your wristband to their point of sale tablets. Speaking of tech: The MSC for Me app is pretty good overall! It has an interactive ship map (although didn't always tell me the right floor I was on), and would give you access to your shipboard account summary...really useful to see how much you've spent on board! It would have been nice to have a chat feature build in, but that's why they push the internet packages so much I suppose. Speaking of which: we did NOT have the Wifi package, but we still kept getting regular app notifications on our phones, even though we were in airplane mode and mobile data turned off. To the best of my knowledge, we were not charged for that. We didn't do any of the shows, with the exception of Beer Prov (which I recommend...really funny!!). We heard from others that the shows were really good! I did go to karaoke out on the Miami Beach pool deck a couple of times, which I wish was longer (but that's just me). The white party is a lot of fun too, although we were pretty wiped from back-to-back shore days. So if you are of a certain age and want to go to things like the white party, take a nap! LOL. The entertainment in the atrium and various bars seemed to be the same musicians. I would have liked to see some different musicians play in the atrium, as it always seemed to be acoustic Chris (I wasn't a fan of some of his song renditions at times, but was ok). I heard they used to be mostly opera, so at least this is a little better. Speaking of shore days, the biggest beef I had was the itinerary. I knew what it was going in, and still booked it anyway. San Juan arrives at 5pm, and leaves at 1am, St. Thomas from 7am-7pm (was ok with this), and St. Maarten from 7am-2pm, which is WAY TOO SHORT!! MSC needs to extend this by a couple of hours at least. Nassau was 12-7pm. We walked around San Juan with some friends, and went to a place called Punto de Vista (which I had researched online before going, and highly recommend!). We booked the Panoramic shopping & Magen's bay tour through MSC, which was pretty good. For St. Maarten, we took a taxi to Maho beach. If you go: they have a large taxi stand just off the pier, where they have a a few taxi vans. I believe it was $16/pp, and they give you a colored wristband to show you have a pre-paid ride back to the cruise port (we were the only ship in port that day, BTW). I HIGHLY recommend going to Maho beach to watch the planes land low. Again, not enough time do this and see all the bigger jets land, so you have to leave around 12n to make it back on time. For Nassau, we didn't do any excursions, but just walked around town near the pier. I honestly could have done without Nassau, or would have preferred getting in early enough to try the Atlantis water park. Getting in that late in the day doesn't really make it worth the money IMHO, as it only works out to being a 1/2 day. Overall, my girlfriend and I had a wonderful time on this cruise! It definitely has a European flavor to it, as I heard a lot of German, French, and Italian cruisers around me. Again, be prepared for the buffet free-for-all, especially at the coffee stations in the morning! If you have anything above Bella experience, it might be worth going with room service for coffee, as we did for a couple of the days. Also, do your research on the drink packages before you buy one! We had the drinks on us, which honestly was just fine most of the time. We did pay for some of the frozen drinks at times, but stuck mostly to DOU. If you have the Easy package, again..know what's included and what isn't. Also, they will add the service charge (12.50/pp per day to your bill somewhere around the 4th day, so don't freak out when you see a large charge, they put it on your bill earlier, rather than at the end). Finally one other note: If you are staying towards the front of the ship, and want to go to Miami beach pool or the buffet, go to the midship or aft elevators. Otherwise, you end up a the specialty restaurants, and cannot go through unless you go up to 18 or down to 15 and cut across. Just remember...you are on vacation, so don't let little things (or people) ruin it for you!!! Enjoy yourselves!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
First of all let me start by saying that this was my 14th cruise and I've been on 7 different cruise lines. We choose this cruise strictly based on price. Overall, I guess we got what we paid for. The 'Easy Drink Package' ... Read More
First of all let me start by saying that this was my 14th cruise and I've been on 7 different cruise lines. We choose this cruise strictly based on price. Overall, I guess we got what we paid for. The 'Easy Drink Package' & 3 GB of data were included in our package and we had the 'Fantastica' experience with a balcony. The drink package worked out ok for us as we are wine & rum drinkers. The thing that mystifies me about this package is that you are very limited on the mixed drinks that you can get but you can get various 'virgin' drinks included. While on the ship, I mostly drank mojitos in the afternoon but my package didn't include alcoholic mojitos but I could get a virgin mojito and a shot of rum on the side so I would just pour the run into the drink before I left the bar... that made absolutely no sense to me. (You can do the same with Pina Coladas and several other drinks!) Even the bar staff agreed that it made no sense!! We found the food to be good in both the buffet & the main dining room. The only complaint there was that we felt a bit rushed as we had the 7:15 seating and there was another seating at 9:15. The staff in the Ipanema restaurant were beyond fantastic. Our waiters were fabulous especially Kelvin A. Gurley who was always right there with our wine as soon as we were seated (and returned several times during dinner to refill our glasses). Pande Putra was our server and he was also great.. although he did forget a few minor things over the course of the week but he was so sweat, we forgave him for that. We had the absolute best head waiter (Maitre d') that I have ever had the pleasure to meet and his name was Organ! It's been my experience that you meet the Maitre d' on the first night and don't see him again until the last night. Organ came to our table several times every night to make sure everything was how it should be. I saw him cut the steak for a challenged guest one night... that goes above and beyond in my opinion! I would definitely give the wait staff 5 stars. We didn't try any of the Specialty Restaurants so I can't comment on them. Now let me get to the main issues I had with this cruise. I very much enjoy having my coffee delivered in the mornings and sitting on my balcony for an hour or so enjoying the scenery. I only drink decaf coffee as caffeine upsets my stomach. The first morning when it was delivered.. it was instant coffee!! I hate instant coffee!! I mentioned it to our Head Waiter Organ, and he said it would be fixed and I would definitely get my decaf coffee for the rest of the cruise. He had arranged for someone from Room Service to go to the buffet and get me a pot of decaf coffee every morning. Through no fault of Organs, I never did get my decaf coffee. There was always an excuse! I would have to get dressed every morning and go to the buffet to get my cup of coffee and bring it back to the room. By the time I got back it was always cold because the elevators are so slow! (Plus we were in a Forward cabin & the buffet was Aft.) I was told by Room Service that there wasn't enough requests for decaf to warrant them having it available although every time I went to the buffet, the decaf dispenser was always empty... Go figure!!! Another issue for me was there was no table on the balcony. So when sitting out there enjoying the scenery I had to put my drink on the floor! (Minor issue for some I know but still a pain & definitely an easy fix to make guest more comfortable). Another major issue for us was the nightly entertainment. The shows in the main theatre were great for the first couple of nights but after that it became very repetitive... same acts in different costumes! The Beer Prov (very funny) and the Michael Jackson show were the best. The entertainment in all of the lounges was always Spanish. There was a group of young men entertaining in the Haven Lounge every night that sang in English but they finished around 11 and the lady that replaced them every night only sang in Spanish! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a bit of Salsa.. but not every night!!! Also, I want to mention the smoking issue on this ship. It appears that smoking is allowed everywhere in the outside areas on this ship and of course in the Casino!! Not a nice experience for non smokers. Other cruise lines have designated areas for smokers! Before I finish, I would also like to mention the timing at the Ports of Call. 5pm-1am in San Juan and 7am-2pm in St. Maarten is absolutely ridiculous! Arriving at 5pm in San Juan allows you absolutely no time to explore the island and having to be back on board at 1:30 in St. Maarten is just unacceptable. The next stop after St. Maarten was Nassau where we were docked from 12-7. I would prefer they shave some time off of that port and add it to St. Maarten which is a far nicer place to spend your day!! Now I'm going to touch on Disembarkation Day. We had to be out of our cabin by 8am (which is the norm for most cruise lines). After going to the buffet for breakfast I thought I'd make a quick stop at the Ladies before leaving the ship... WELL... There was a lineup at every ladies room on the several decks I tried. The reason for this was, the stalls had been cleaned in preparation for the new guests getting onboard and then the stalls were locked, leaving only one stall in every ladies room on multiple decks!! This gave me the feeling of.. 'We have your money so now you're not important to us.. get off the ship!!' I listened to many disgruntled guests in the lineups that morning!! Once off the ship, don't even think about stopping on the gangway or just outside the terminal. You will be shouted at by MSC staff to keep moving. I overheard one of the staff telling who I assume to be a new employee.. "Speak with Authority!!".. Really???? Mostly we enjoyed our cruise but the coffee issue and the lack of nightly entertainment would deter us from booking another MSC cruise. These things are an easy fix and I hope MSC makes an effort to fix them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My spouse and I along with 14 other friends and couples went on this Cruise last week. It was my first crusing experience but everyone else in the group has been on several cruises in the past. Ship overall was very clean. First 3 nights ... Read More
My spouse and I along with 14 other friends and couples went on this Cruise last week. It was my first crusing experience but everyone else in the group has been on several cruises in the past. Ship overall was very clean. First 3 nights of formal dining are table was the last to be served. We sat down at table before many other tables that were served before us. There were times when we were just getting our food and other tables were finishing up their dessert. The buffet had just about same food at each sitting the entire cruise. Food definitely needs Improvement. I had my clothes dry cleaned and laundered but did not get them back until a day and a half later than I was told I would receive them. I missed one formal dinner due to lack of communication and services. Each time I go down to customer service I would be greeted by an employee who did not speak clear English and feel that many employees do not know the meaning of many important words in English to adequately help assist you. My internet was turned off and when I spoke to agent at desk she told me that it's totally my responsibility to know that MSC charges based on Gigabytes. I am old school and had no clue what Gigabytes meant. The young lady said that MSC cruise is not responsible for my internet service being interrupted and that I "should educate myself more before using the internet" I stayed calm and did not yell or shout at any employer on cruise ship. Went to purchase picture package and one gentleman working behind desk was rude and not willing to help or assist us. Thankfully, we found the young Asian man who took our photos and he was very kind, patient, and professional. Due to this man's demeanor we bought couple hundred dollars worth of photos instead of walking away after first experience with other worker. The shows are good but very repetitive. The comedy improv show was my favorite while on this cruise. The 4 comedians were very Funny and professional. I give the improv comedians a 5 star rating. Overall, was fun time but lack of communication and food choices really need to be improved. Read Less
MSC Seaside Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 3.9
Dining 4.5 3.4
Entertainment 4.5 3.9
Public Rooms 4.5 3.9
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.5 3.4
Service 4.0 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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