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No issues with embarkation or disembarkation. Although more people chose to walk off the ship with their luggage than any previous cruise. The line was long even very early but moved quickly. The ship is beautiful. The cabin was good. Shower is very small as others mentioned but was not an issue for us. We had plenty of storage, we did have to ask for more hangers but got them quickly. Our cabin was near the back of the ship on deck 13. Booked Bella but got cabin upgrade to Fantastica. I felt the movement of the ship more often than not and more than on other cruises, could just be the water condition in the Caribbean this time of year or stateroom location. I would recommend however if you don't like the motion or get sea sick from it, a cabin in the middle might be better for you. We were initially assigned the early dining which was 5:30 and way too early for us. We got it moved to 9:15 which was probably too late but better. The dining room doors open exactly at the time your reservation is so don't expect to get in early. Entertainment was very good, highly recommend seeing the shows. Some of the better ship entertainment I've seen. Food was good. Pizza is almost always available for snack. Buffet good, dining room good. Service in dining room was excellent. Service at all bars including adult pool bar is TERRIBLE. They are making tons of frozen/mixed drinks with lots of ingredients and it takes forever. Need more staff. Not only more staff, but staff that has some energy and motivation. Some of the bartenders were working their tails off and slinging drinks left and right. Others were just working at a snail's pace and would put out one drink to others 5 drinks. Perhaps they need a line for beer/wine and another line for frozen/mixed drinks. It's always easy to say they are understaffed but perhaps just some training/re-organizing would be helpful. All bars had the same issue...just very slow service The drinks on us package is VERY limited. We upgraded on the first day. You basically get budweiser and bud light and maybe one wine and that's it. The upgrade was worth it but cause all sorts of issues. We continued to get ask to sign for our drinks meaning they were charging us the tax/service charge for them (which happens with the drinks on us package) We would have to tell the servers/bartenders each time that we upgraded in which case they would see the sticker they placed on our card and then re ring everything. Some servers didn't know how and this prolonged an already too long of a process to get a drink. When we called to get all the service charges/taxes for the drinks removed they didn't understand what we were talking about and ended up removing our tip/gratuity service charges. We ended up just letting it go and tipping our cabin steward and restaurant server separately. We went to guest services twice and called twice to try to get it sorted out but had no success. I always ask myself after every hotel/cruise would I do it again. In this case absolutely. I knew going in the service was bad at the bars so it was no surprise. Not only the service but they would let drinks, bottles, cups, etc. pile up by the chairs on the deck all day. Some of those dairy based creamy drinks just left out in the blazing Caribbean sun all day. Gross! There is really no drink service other than going to the bars. They have a few people walking around that will take your order if you ask but no one is going to volunteer to come around and help you. Again there were a few exceptions and a few really hard workers but unfortunately the bad apples spoiled the good. We didn't do any excursions through the ship so can't comment on that. The specialty restaurants were just ok. It was nice to have something different but glad we didn't pay a lot. We got the trip package BEFORE boarding at a reasonable price. The price once you get onboard is not worth it in my opinion. The exception would be Butcher's Cut...it was excellent! I am from Texas and we have some great steak houses and I really enjoyed Butcher's Cut. As mentioned the theater shows are top notch however they try to do these mini shows in the main atrium/tiered "lobby" area that are sometimes just down right cheesy. For example they have a 70's themed party one night...fine! But they bring out these terribly tragic cardboard cut out of 70's dressed men/women and prop them up on the tiered stages. Mind you this is right next to the Swarovski crystal staircases. Let's leave the cheesy props and games for the main pool area. Which by the way there were plenty of the usual resort/cruise cheesy games and obnoxious contests if that's your thing. The adult pool was nice in that it was adults only but the area where the pool is is NOT adults only. I don't think there is such an area that is adults only. Just the pool. If there is, I didn't see it. They were however very strict about no kids in the adults pool. Also there are no drinks allowed in the pools. There is a pool attendant that sits guard all day and monitors drinks/kids. Didn't use spa or gym however did walk in the gym and it was very nice! The ship is huge but never felt crowded. We also didn't have excursions booked so it may have felt crowded getting off at a certain time each morning but we didn't experience that. Getting on was never an issue. We cruised on the Epic a few years ago which is a very large ship but smaller that Seaside and it felt very crowded and always packed with people so it was nice to know that there are larger ships that don't feel this way. Lots of smokers on board. The bar by the adult pool was always packed with smokers. Smoking allowed in casino as well. Do your research before you go, enjoy the ship. So long as you know what you're getting into and don't try to compare it to other ships/companies then you'll enjoy your time. I'd love to try the Yacht club on any future cruise on this ship.

Beautiful ship, great shows, good food, terrible bar service

MSC Seaside Cruise Review by Luke82580

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2018
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Fantastica Balcony Stateroom
No issues with embarkation or disembarkation. Although more people chose to walk off the ship with their luggage than any previous cruise. The line was long even very early but moved quickly. The ship is beautiful. The cabin was good. Shower is very small as others mentioned but was not an issue for us. We had plenty of storage, we did have to ask for more hangers but got them quickly. Our cabin was near the back of the ship on deck 13. Booked Bella but got cabin upgrade to Fantastica. I felt the movement of the ship more often than not and more than on other cruises, could just be the water condition in the Caribbean this time of year or stateroom location. I would recommend however if you don't like the motion or get sea sick from it, a cabin in the middle might be better for you. We were initially assigned the early dining which was 5:30 and way too early for us. We got it moved to 9:15 which was probably too late but better. The dining room doors open exactly at the time your reservation is so don't expect to get in early.

Entertainment was very good, highly recommend seeing the shows. Some of the better ship entertainment I've seen.

Food was good. Pizza is almost always available for snack. Buffet good, dining room good. Service in dining room was excellent.

Service at all bars including adult pool bar is TERRIBLE. They are making tons of frozen/mixed drinks with lots of ingredients and it takes forever. Need more staff. Not only more staff, but staff that has some energy and motivation. Some of the bartenders were working their tails off and slinging drinks left and right. Others were just working at a snail's pace and would put out one drink to others 5 drinks. Perhaps they need a line for beer/wine and another line for frozen/mixed drinks. It's always easy to say they are understaffed but perhaps just some training/re-organizing would be helpful. All bars had the same issue...just very slow service

The drinks on us package is VERY limited. We upgraded on the first day. You basically get budweiser and bud light and maybe one wine and that's it. The upgrade was worth it but cause all sorts of issues. We continued to get ask to sign for our drinks meaning they were charging us the tax/service charge for them (which happens with the drinks on us package) We would have to tell the servers/bartenders each time that we upgraded in which case they would see the sticker they placed on our card and then re ring everything. Some servers didn't know how and this prolonged an already too long of a process to get a drink. When we called to get all the service charges/taxes for the drinks removed they didn't understand what we were talking about and ended up removing our tip/gratuity service charges. We ended up just letting it go and tipping our cabin steward and restaurant server separately. We went to guest services twice and called twice to try to get it sorted out but had no success.

I always ask myself after every hotel/cruise would I do it again. In this case absolutely. I knew going in the service was bad at the bars so it was no surprise. Not only the service but they would let drinks, bottles, cups, etc. pile up by the chairs on the deck all day. Some of those dairy based creamy drinks just left out in the blazing Caribbean sun all day. Gross! There is really no drink service other than going to the bars. They have a few people walking around that will take your order if you ask but no one is going to volunteer to come around and help you. Again there were a few exceptions and a few really hard workers but unfortunately the bad apples spoiled the good.

We didn't do any excursions through the ship so can't comment on that.

The specialty restaurants were just ok. It was nice to have something different but glad we didn't pay a lot. We got the trip package BEFORE boarding at a reasonable price. The price once you get onboard is not worth it in my opinion. The exception would be Butcher's Cut...it was excellent! I am from Texas and we have some great steak houses and I really enjoyed Butcher's Cut.

As mentioned the theater shows are top notch however they try to do these mini shows in the main atrium/tiered "lobby" area that are sometimes just down right cheesy. For example they have a 70's themed party one night...fine! But they bring out these terribly tragic cardboard cut out of 70's dressed men/women and prop them up on the tiered stages. Mind you this is right next to the Swarovski crystal staircases. Let's leave the cheesy props and games for the main pool area. Which by the way there were plenty of the usual resort/cruise cheesy games and obnoxious contests if that's your thing.

The adult pool was nice in that it was adults only but the area where the pool is is NOT adults only. I don't think there is such an area that is adults only. Just the pool. If there is, I didn't see it. They were however very strict about no kids in the adults pool. Also there are no drinks allowed in the pools. There is a pool attendant that sits guard all day and monitors drinks/kids.

Didn't use spa or gym however did walk in the gym and it was very nice!

The ship is huge but never felt crowded. We also didn't have excursions booked so it may have felt crowded getting off at a certain time each morning but we didn't experience that. Getting on was never an issue. We cruised on the Epic a few years ago which is a very large ship but smaller that Seaside and it felt very crowded and always packed with people so it was nice to know that there are larger ships that don't feel this way.

Lots of smokers on board. The bar by the adult pool was always packed with smokers. Smoking allowed in casino as well.

Do your research before you go, enjoy the ship. So long as you know what you're getting into and don't try to compare it to other ships/companies then you'll enjoy your time.

I'd love to try the Yacht club on any future cruise on this ship.
Luke82580’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Fantastica Balcony Stateroom
Cabin B2 13126
Near back of ship. Even on ship this size there was considerable motion. More days/nights than not you can feel the ship moving.

Clean cabin, felt a little cramped compared to other ships. Shower very small.
Venice Beach Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cozumel
    Been several times on cruise and week long trips. Really enjoy Cozumel. One of the few Caribbean stops that I feel continues to pump money into not only the port area but the entire town. We rented a jeep for $85 for the day and drove around the Island as we've done in the past.
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  • Miami
    Always love Miami. Great beaches, great food, great people watching. We didn't spend much time here this time however after the cruise was over we did take an Uber to the Mondrian South Beach hotel. We found online that they allow the use of their pool for $50 minimum purchase per person so we thought we could do that for a couple hours before our afternoon flight. We called the hotel and they told us they were sold out and generally on those days they don't sell passes to their pool but could never get a straight answer on whether or not we could use the pool. We went there anyway. They allowed us access to the pool and because it was super early we were the only ones at the pool. She initially told us they wouldn't store our luggage because of liability issue but a bellman overheard and offered to store for $10 which was nice. The pool ended up being PACKED by noon. Typical South Beach scene. It was fun. Not sure how they monitor day guests but there were security once the pool started getting busy so I am guessing they turn people away but because we got there early we were in. Also not sure how they ensure day guests spend the minimum. We had lunch and several drinks so we certainly met the minimum. Just a suggestion looking for something to do after a cruise and before the airport. Keeping in mind you may have to keep your luggage with you if you can't fine a bellman to break the rules :)
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  • Nassau
    Have been to Nassau once for long weekend but never on cruise. We took a questionable at best boat over to Paradise Island to to go Atlantis. As a cruise guest you have very limited access to Atlantis. There are shops and a few restaurants and a casino but it's not terribly exciting and I can't say I would recommend it.
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  • Ocho Rios
    We wanted to do a day pass here at a resort. Found Sandals wasn't too far away and decided to walk there. Probably not the best choice. You can walk there, it's a long walk however and it was HOT. We were dripping wet by the time we made it. Also you walk through several local areas. We were 2 white (gay) guys walking the streets of Ocho Rios. Probably not smart, luckily I'm typing this so we made it! :) We were approached by tons of people wanting to give us a taxi, marijuana, cocaine, etc. I would highly recommend a day pass at Sandals but would recommend taking a taxi there!
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