MSC Seaside Cruise Review by max996
- Sail Date: June 2019
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Yacht Club Royal Suite
This was not our first cruise with MSC, and we had no reservations about the number of initial complaints that Seaside received on her first year at sea based on our past experience with MSC Cruises. Overall, this cruise surpassed our previous Divina cruises, and all other Disney Concierge cruises we have taken to date. The YC staff aboard Seaside really out performed all others in this category from the moment we arrived in the Yacht Club embarkation lounge, all the way until our butler personally escorted us off the ship down to customs a week later.
YACHT CLUB ENTRY & SECURITY
The Yacht Club Welcome / Entry at Terminal F consists of 3 white pop-up tents and a couple of folding tables. Our transport arrived to pick us up at our hotel (DoubleTree Biscayne Bay) at 10:45 a.m, and we arrived at Port Miami, Terminal F about 15 mins later. Three staff members were waiting at the White YC tents outside the terminal where they checked us in, tagged and took our luggage, then escorted us through security and into the YC embarkation lounge.
YACHT CLUB RECEPTION
Getting through security was easier than your typical trip through airport security – no need to remove our shoes or electronics from our carry-on bags. Our Yacht Club guide waited for us to get through the metal detectors and took us through the main waiting area and directly into the Yacht Club embarkation lounge. We quickly met with a representative who took our boarding tickets and passports, and directed us towards the bar where we collected a welcome drink and some light snacks. About 5 mins later, she called us up to the check-in desk took our photos, and provided us with our cruise cards and wristbands. We sat back down for about 5 more mins to enjoy a variety of pastries, donuts, chocolates, fruit, orange juice and champagne… as much as we wanted. It wasn’t long after that before a shoreside butler came and got us along with three other families for an escort up to the Top Sail Lounge aboard the ship.
We were guided by a butler on to the ship and to the Yacht Club priority elevator in the forward bank on deck 6 which took us straight to deck 16. Exiting the elevator, we were welcomed through the Yacht Club doors where I got to use my wristband for the first time, and then guided to the Top Sail lounge down an absolutely magical corridor – well it seemed magical on the first day. MSC Cruises really has the embarkation process down to a science. We were on the ship in less than an hour from the time we stepped out of our transport to the terminal.
Inside the Top Sail lounge, we were greeted by a waiter who asked us what time we'd like to eat dinner, and if we would be celebrating any special birthdays, etc. We sat down on the comfortable velvet couches and were offered our choice of beverages. I ordered a Sam Adams Boston Lager and a double shot of bourbon. There was also a small “buffet” of fancy snacks, sandwiches, and mini pastries. All for the taking - the vacation had truly begun at that point.
About 30 mins later (12:30-ish) our butler escorted us to our Royal Suite for the week and gave us a quick tour of the suite and all the services available to us. He later came back and got us to show us our pool-side cabana reserved for passengers staying in the Royal Suite. That was an amenity that I was aware of, but didn't think I would use very much because I do like to socialize with my fellow passengers during our family cruises, but it was a welcome treat that we enjoyed all week.
Back to the suite - it was magnificent with plenty of room for the two of us to spread out, unpack, store the luggage out of sight and truly enjoy the week that was to come. Our three daughters joined us on this cruise, but they were staying in the Yacht Club Deluxe suite next door (suite 16029). The suite included a large deck with a 6-person dining table where we enjoyed breakfast two mornings, and diner one evening. Other than that, it was a nice place to gather with the kids on those mornings as we pulled into ports and enjoy the scenery together. The deck also included a jetted hot-tub, two loungers, and two chairs. Our butler opened the partition between the decks so that our daughters could enjoy the space without having to knock on our door all week.
The Top Sail Lounge, as with other MSC ships with Yacht Club enclaves was one of my favorite places on the ship. And even with the tremendous amount of space we enjoyed in our suite, my wife and I still spent a good amount of time in there enjoying drinks, conversation, and the company of our fellow yacht club passengers. The yacht club pool deck was great, and featured a cooktop grill, buffet, and fully stocked bar. It was well used on our cruise by everyone cruising that week.
Overall the ship and crew were fantastic and we truly had another great time aboard the MSC Seaside. It has us eagerly anticipating our next MSC cruise aboard the Meraviglia departing on March 15, 2020.
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