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The ship is pretty, the food is good, the crew is pleasant. BUT There is constant pressure to buy "Specialty Dining" packages at inflated prices, excursions at inflated prices, jewelry, perfume, art and spa treatments. Very insistent pressure. If you cruise at the "Bella" experience (cheapest "level"), there are parts of the ship you cannot access and the bar staff will be much less interested in serving you if you have a drink package. Your table in the dining room will be by the aisle and traffic flow, and they won't be happy about changing it. It will be difficult to get an elevator to ro from your deck. The free drink package we had made no sense, with some items not included that cost less than included items. There is a 15% service charge for every item you get, so it's really not free. This is in addition to the 12% pp per day service charge. The room stewards are incredibly good and efficient. Service desk helpful. Dining room waitstaff top notch. Dining room menus offered great selection and almost everything tasted good. Buffet had a wide selection of interesting items, but had the same items every day. Drink station not well organized, with cups and glasses hard to get to and no traffic flow marked. Entertainment was below average. Nightly shows, while flashy, make no sense and all the music is canned, most vocalists lip-synching. Why is there a juggler and aerialist in every theater show? Lounge entertainers were awful and used karaoke type backing tracks all the time. The only actual "band" was not well rehearsed, and had to play country one night, islands music another, 70s stuff another. Waterslides were fun but always had long lines during limited open hours. Pools closed nightly at 7 or so. No night time swims or hot tubbing. Would we go again? Not at the Bella level, and not with the Drinks on Us package. Higher levels pricing negates using this cruise line, so probably not.

Caste system in effect

MSC Seaside Cruise Review by epdouglas

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Bella Outside Stateroom
The ship is pretty, the food is good, the crew is pleasant. BUT

There is constant pressure to buy "Specialty Dining" packages at inflated prices, excursions at inflated prices, jewelry, perfume, art and spa treatments. Very insistent pressure.

If you cruise at the "Bella" experience (cheapest "level"), there are parts of the ship you cannot access and the bar staff will be much less interested in serving you if you have a drink package. Your table in the dining room will be by the aisle and traffic flow, and they won't be happy about changing it. It will be difficult to get an elevator to ro from your deck.

The free drink package we had made no sense, with some items not included that cost less than included items. There is a 15% service charge for every item you get, so it's really not free. This is in addition to the 12% pp per day service charge.

The room stewards are incredibly good and efficient. Service desk helpful.

Dining room waitstaff top notch. Dining room menus offered great selection and almost everything tasted good.

Buffet had a wide selection of interesting items, but had the same items every day. Drink station not well organized, with cups and glasses hard to get to and no traffic flow marked.

Entertainment was below average. Nightly shows, while flashy, make no sense and all the music is canned, most vocalists lip-synching. Why is there a juggler and aerialist in every theater show?

Lounge entertainers were awful and used karaoke type backing tracks all the time. The only actual "band" was not well rehearsed, and had to play country one night, islands music another, 70s stuff another.

Waterslides were fun but always had long lines during limited open hours. Pools closed nightly at 7 or so. No night time swims or hot tubbing.

Would we go again? Not at the Bella level, and not with the Drinks on Us package. Higher levels pricing negates using this cruise line, so probably not.
epdouglas’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Bella Outside Stateroom
Cabin O1 5050
Roomy, clean, well organized. Large porthole window. Stewards very good.
Cape Cod Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins