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Yearly cruisers with two children(13 and 10), our usual line in NCL, but have also cruised Carnival, RC and HAL. I will give you a realistic review of this ship and hit on common complaints in these reviews. EMBARK/DISEMBARK-- Super quick and easy. Off and on in less than an hour. We had to wait about 20 mins to get off at San Juan because we wanted off right away. People were losing their minds having to wait a few minutes and were yelling at staff members! Get a grip folks! 4000 people trying to get off a ship at the same time is going to take a min! We got off quickly at St. Tom and St. Mar, but we didn't get off until about 10:30am. SHIP-- Gorgeous! CABIN BALCONY--11229 Average size room and bath. Storage is fine for 2 people, but it was difficult with the 4 of us. Nice size balcony. However, if you have more than two people, DO NOT book this room as there isn't a bunk. The sofa pulls out into a bed and is in between the master bed and door/bathroom. Once open, you cannot get past it, so we had to crawl over our sleeping children at night and in the mornings. Our neighbors next to us had a bunk, so I'm not sure why we didnt. Check room layouts before you book if you have more than two guest. POOL DECK- It was great having 3 pools spread out as it dispersed people over the ship. We only hung out at the jungle pool as its was the only covered area out of the sun and its closest to the slides and kids pool. Very nice pool area! I appreciated that the pool Police was very serious about his job. There was no jumping into the pool splashing people and they actually held people out of the hot tubs when they were full. It was nice to sit in the hot tub without loads of small children swimming in the middle! Dude was blowing his whistle all day. I called him the fun killer ;) Get up early to get your chairs or they will be gone. This is the same on every cruise I've ever been on. This is my husbands sole job of the cruise. However, if you don't plan on being in your chairs, don't throw your stuff on them and leave! FOOD-- For the love of pete, stop leaving reviews on how there is only 1 small buffet that's not open for dinner!!! There are TWO buffets, the large main one on 8 and a smaller option on 16 so wet people are wondering though the ship while at the pool. The buffet has constant items that didn't change, but also had main entrees and other small items that changed daily. Yes, there is always hamburgers and hot dogs, as is with any cruise line ive been on! On deck 8 buffet, make sure you walk all the way round to the back past the family and kids section as that;s where the carving station is. Most people didn't even look back there, then would complain that theres only hot dogs! The buffet food was the most flavorful of any cruise line i've tried besides HAL. The desserts were disappointing except the lunch one time when they had all the fancy cakes. They all tasted good, but minimal choices. Only deck 16 has soft serve ice cream and is only available for lunch, that sucks! Would of liked to have an ice cream option on both decks for lunch and dinner. We didn't do the dinning rooms as we feel they are a waste of time, but some friends did and they said it was okay, but took a long time. The roast beef at the carving station was outstanding! Yes the pizza is fabulous and I ate about a 1000 meringues. Wait times in line were not bad at all and were no longer or shorter than any other cruise. I don't get why people complain about having to wait a few mins?! Maybe they aren't use to mega ships? The coffee at the chocolate bar on deck 6 was the best I've ever had in my life!! It is different than the coffee items you can get at the bar, so wouldn't work on our drink package, but it was inline price wise with starbucks, but a thousand times better! ENTERTAINMENT-- Where to start, lol.... it is like they polled the staff for special talents and incorporated them into each show. It was like a variety show with elaborate costumes and music. They were all extremely talented and we were blown away by some of the stuff they did. The shows were very entertaining, but started to lose it's luster a bit towards the end. My biggest complaint is these are not G rated shows! There is pole dancer with a thong on who slides spread eagle down the pole as well as a gal who comes out of the ceiling in a ring who also goes spread eagle with a tiny thong. These were in every show. Would of been better if their butt wasn't out. Was embarrassed taking my kids. Although, there are several gals in thongs around the pool, so I guess it really wouldn't of mattered. A gal even took her clothes off and changed into her swimsuit right on the pool deck as well as a gal who went topless at Megan's Bay which isn't a topless beach. I was very thankful my son wasn't a teen boy! I know there is a difference between American's and Europeans(half the ship was AM/CAN and the other half euro) when it comes to modesty, but one would think when no one else has their top off, that you'd catch a clue!! Needless to say, we saw more buns on this trip to last us a life time. The Michael Jackson show was fantastic and yes, they found a way in incorporate a pole dancer into it! Get there super early as seats go fast for this show. I felt there wasn't a lot of night time entertainment options once you saw the show. The only things mostly, were to go to a bar and listen to music. Would of been nice to have evening trivia or other game shows like family feud, battle of the sexes, etc. Most of these kinds of activities took place during the day. Went to bed pretty early each night for lack of entertainment. BAR-- Lots of them, but understaffed. It did take quite a long time to get a drink. The drink packages were confusing. You couldn't get a pina colada, but you could get a virgin one with a shot on the side. They have a great non alcoholic menu which the kids and I enjoyed greatly! Bar tenders aren't friendly, but they are being yelled at all day by angry mobs who don't want to wait their turn. Except, Zoe at the jungle pool, he was the bomb. STAFF-- All were nice. We never really saw our room steward. He was the slowest at getting the rooms made up/down, but he might of had more rooms than others on previous cruise lines. KIDS- Loved the pools/slides and shows. Kids club was small and lame so my 10 year old didn't want to go. My 13yo and her friend tried the teen gathering one night and found it lame as well and never went back. I think they would of had more fun had they been in the older age teen group. They are at that awkward middle school age. HELPFUL INFO-- download the MSC for ME app. It was nice to be able to check daily activities and book shows right from your phone. It works by connecting to the ships hotspot which they provide for free to run the app. You cannot get on the internet, but for some reason, it allowed for messaging. We were able to imessage each other as well as family back home. I was also still getting groupME messages and others said they were getting snap chats. If you want to stay connect and find each other easily on the ship and you don't all have iphones, download the groupME app before you go. Get the waterside wrist bands day one as soon as you can. We purchased to keycard wristband and for $5 was pleased. It was nice not to have to keep track of your key card, especially for my kids. The 5D cinema show was neat, but was too short for the price. Get a mango Mojito! All in all, I found our experience on this ship to be the same as all of our other cruises, minus the partial nudity. I would cruise again as well as NCL or RC based off who has the best deals for the itinerary and time we want.

THE ONLY REVIEW YOU NEED :)

MSC Seaside Cruise Review by salt2515

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2019
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Fantastica Balcony Stateroom
Yearly cruisers with two children(13 and 10), our usual line in NCL, but have also cruised Carnival, RC and HAL. I will give you a realistic review of this ship and hit on common complaints in these reviews.

EMBARK/DISEMBARK--

Super quick and easy. Off and on in less than an hour. We had to wait about 20 mins to get off at San Juan because we wanted off right away. People were losing their minds having to wait a few minutes and were yelling at staff members! Get a grip folks! 4000 people trying to get off a ship at the same time is going to take a min! We got off quickly at St. Tom and St. Mar, but we didn't get off until about 10:30am.

SHIP--

Gorgeous!

CABIN BALCONY--11229

Average size room and bath. Storage is fine for 2 people, but it was difficult with the 4 of us. Nice size balcony. However, if you have more than two people, DO NOT book this room as there isn't a bunk. The sofa pulls out into a bed and is in between the master bed and door/bathroom. Once open, you cannot get past it, so we had to crawl over our sleeping children at night and in the mornings. Our neighbors next to us had a bunk, so I'm not sure why we didnt. Check room layouts before you book if you have more than two guest.

POOL DECK-

It was great having 3 pools spread out as it dispersed people over the ship. We only hung out at the jungle pool as its was the only covered area out of the sun and its closest to the slides and kids pool. Very nice pool area! I appreciated that the pool Police was very serious about his job. There was no jumping into the pool splashing people and they actually held people out of the hot tubs when they were full. It was nice to sit in the hot tub without loads of small children swimming in the middle! Dude was blowing his whistle all day. I called him the fun killer ;)

Get up early to get your chairs or they will be gone. This is the same on every cruise I've ever been on. This is my husbands sole job of the cruise. However, if you don't plan on being in your chairs, don't throw your stuff on them and leave!

FOOD--

For the love of pete, stop leaving reviews on how there is only 1 small buffet that's not open for dinner!!! There are TWO buffets, the large main one on 8 and a smaller option on 16 so wet people are wondering though the ship while at the pool. The buffet has constant items that didn't change, but also had main entrees and other small items that changed daily. Yes, there is always hamburgers and hot dogs, as is with any cruise line ive been on! On deck 8 buffet, make sure you walk all the way round to the back past the family and kids section as that;s where the carving station is. Most people didn't even look back there, then would complain that theres only hot dogs! The buffet food was the most flavorful of any cruise line i've tried besides HAL. The desserts were disappointing except the lunch one time when they had all the fancy cakes. They all tasted good, but minimal choices. Only deck 16 has soft serve ice cream and is only available for lunch, that sucks! Would of liked to have an ice cream option on both decks for lunch and dinner. We didn't do the dinning rooms as we feel they are a waste of time, but some friends did and they said it was okay, but took a long time. The roast beef at the carving station was outstanding! Yes the pizza is fabulous and I ate about a 1000 meringues. Wait times in line were not bad at all and were no longer or shorter than any other cruise. I don't get why people complain about having to wait a few mins?! Maybe they aren't use to mega ships?

The coffee at the chocolate bar on deck 6 was the best I've ever had in my life!! It is different than the coffee items you can get at the bar, so wouldn't work on our drink package, but it was inline price wise with starbucks, but a thousand times better!

ENTERTAINMENT--

Where to start, lol.... it is like they polled the staff for special talents and incorporated them into each show. It was like a variety show with elaborate costumes and music. They were all extremely talented and we were blown away by some of the stuff they did. The shows were very entertaining, but started to lose it's luster a bit towards the end. My biggest complaint is these are not G rated shows! There is pole dancer with a thong on who slides spread eagle down the pole as well as a gal who comes out of the ceiling in a ring who also goes spread eagle with a tiny thong. These were in every show. Would of been better if their butt wasn't out. Was embarrassed taking my kids. Although, there are several gals in thongs around the pool, so I guess it really wouldn't of mattered. A gal even took her clothes off and changed into her swimsuit right on the pool deck as well as a gal who went topless at Megan's Bay which isn't a topless beach. I was very thankful my son wasn't a teen boy! I know there is a difference between American's and Europeans(half the ship was AM/CAN and the other half euro) when it comes to modesty, but one would think when no one else has their top off, that you'd catch a clue!! Needless to say, we saw more buns on this trip to last us a life time. The Michael Jackson show was fantastic and yes, they found a way in incorporate a pole dancer into it! Get there super early as seats go fast for this show.

I felt there wasn't a lot of night time entertainment options once you saw the show. The only things mostly, were to go to a bar and listen to music. Would of been nice to have evening trivia or other game shows like family feud, battle of the sexes, etc. Most of these kinds of activities took place during the day. Went to bed pretty early each night for lack of entertainment.

BAR--

Lots of them, but understaffed. It did take quite a long time to get a drink. The drink packages were confusing. You couldn't get a pina colada, but you could get a virgin one with a shot on the side. They have a great non alcoholic menu which the kids and I enjoyed greatly! Bar tenders aren't friendly, but they are being yelled at all day by angry mobs who don't want to wait their turn. Except, Zoe at the jungle pool, he was the bomb.

STAFF--

All were nice. We never really saw our room steward. He was the slowest at getting the rooms made up/down, but he might of had more rooms than others on previous cruise lines.

KIDS-

Loved the pools/slides and shows. Kids club was small and lame so my 10 year old didn't want to go. My 13yo and her friend tried the teen gathering one night and found it lame as well and never went back. I think they would of had more fun had they been in the older age teen group. They are at that awkward middle school age.

HELPFUL INFO--

download the MSC for ME app. It was nice to be able to check daily activities and book shows right from your phone. It works by connecting to the ships hotspot which they provide for free to run the app. You cannot get on the internet, but for some reason, it allowed for messaging. We were able to imessage each other as well as family back home. I was also still getting groupME messages and others said they were getting snap chats. If you want to stay connect and find each other easily on the ship and you don't all have iphones, download the groupME app before you go.

Get the waterside wrist bands day one as soon as you can. We purchased to keycard wristband and for $5 was pleased. It was nice not to have to keep track of your key card, especially for my kids. The 5D cinema show was neat, but was too short for the price. Get a mango Mojito!

All in all, I found our experience on this ship to be the same as all of our other cruises, minus the partial nudity. I would cruise again as well as NCL or RC based off who has the best deals for the itinerary and time we want.
salt2515’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
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