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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I always wanted to visit Norway and the fjords as I am intrigued by the history of Vikings and of the scenery. This was our first cruise , it was our 25th wedding anniversary and my husband 's 50th birthday .There were a couple of ... Read More
I always wanted to visit Norway and the fjords as I am intrigued by the history of Vikings and of the scenery. This was our first cruise , it was our 25th wedding anniversary and my husband 's 50th birthday .There were a couple of things that bothered us like the wait to get on board the ship on the departure date we got there at 13.00 PM and had to wait 3 hours in the queue , we were tired and hungry and thirsty and that was not the greatest way to start our holiday. Secondly a fault that we found on the ship the only one I would say is that there is no, do it yourself laundrett , a must on a ship that carries 4500 passengers and 1200 crew members.On a 11 day cruise one needs to wash his clothes, I did manually but the rules on the boat say that no clothes are allowed to be hanged in the balcony, so that was a problem and last but not least as we are still suffering from a severe backache, the mattress in our room was very uncomfortable it needs changing, I should have mentioned this to my room attended, but never got round to it. As for the rest everything was great from the food to the service and the crew were excellent starting from our room attendant John Lerry Cuyos, who cleaned and took so good care of us always making sure we had clean towels and sheets and making up our bed even twice a day , so friendly and kind he always started my day with a smile bless him, and than our two favorite waitress Elena Gonzalez Gonzalez and Italjani, and last but not least our personal waiter Maskurin from Indonesia, they were all even others exceptionally kind, good at their job and friendly, I recommend this Holiday and MSC Preziosa but please anyone of the administration that reads this please take note of my request, as I am sure that in future alot of people will comment on this. Thanks again for our fantastic holiday, Anthony and Fiona Borg. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This cruise was chosen for its itinerary. The ship is a fancy barge where you pay extra for anything you may need. We were expected to pay for a glass of tap water in the formal restaurant. They do not provided any facial tissues in the ... Read More
This cruise was chosen for its itinerary. The ship is a fancy barge where you pay extra for anything you may need. We were expected to pay for a glass of tap water in the formal restaurant. They do not provided any facial tissues in the balcony stateroom. They allow open smoking in several areas inside the ship which permeayes the showroom and other bars! There are over 21 points for improvement with this cruise company. The entertainment us cheap, appears unrehearsed and karaoke like most nights. Embarkmemt required showing proof you were a real person I've 3 times and queuING each time. If you are a first timer cruiser this cruise may be good for you as you would not know how low a standard MSC is. Of course you may like to pay to have open dining but other crise companies have all the above plus more included in their offer Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
One reason I choose to Cruise was to have fun and try out new experiences, how is it like to be in a titanic a 5 star moving hotel. The first time you enter the ship the ship smells 5 star and looks 5 star all the way, the decorations ... Read More
One reason I choose to Cruise was to have fun and try out new experiences, how is it like to be in a titanic a 5 star moving hotel. The first time you enter the ship the ship smells 5 star and looks 5 star all the way, the decorations inside are amazing you even forget That you are inside a ship. The embarkation que is horrible, you can't wait for a while before entering the ship, and didn't like the fact that they only open few service desk during embarkation. The stuff members are super great and friendly especially the man responsible for our deck 8, even when most of them didn't know how to communicate in English but they tried. MSC is one hygienic cruise hotel I ever seen, every corner you turn there is sanitation thats what I loved. The food is super Healthy and they don't compromise on taste, everything I ate I could taste that it's quality food. The dinning areas I loved them because you get the opportunity to dress up and be fine and finned, only problem is you have to buy soft drinks all the time, I don't mind them selling alcohols wish they could have gave us maybe complimentary soft drink for every fine dinning meal or 5 drinks per Cruz then the rest you purchase. I loved Eric the voice from above the program director all his shows were fun and entertaining. The parties organized by stuff were super great problem they only last for an hour. Deck 13 buffet area was home to most cruises and would like to give blow to the stuff there at deck 13 because they are forever working, especially the pizza guy 24 hours pizza. Our cabin was in front so every wave the ship cut through we felt it, and you couldnt stand straight which resulted in sea sickness, so would advice you to book balcony center cabin. The excursions on the island were expensive hence did not do them. I hated the fact that we did not go to Pomene Island and they could not take us to a different island like Maputo instead of Portuguese Island which had nothing to see the second day and the waters were unclean to swim at them. Pomene has been giving them a problem why don't they start looking for an alternative to island or take it out on your markets because when I booked I saw two island and wanted to visit two not one island. The disembarking program failed them a bit, stuff was not properly assigned to guide people were they should go,whuch made things to go slower. The photo package is expensive and it would be nice if the price could go down or be included as our take home package because we got nothing as complementary everything you have to buy. Despite all the negatives would still go and advice people to go is an experience you don't want to miss. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Dates fitted our holiday window, so we gave it a go. Lead up all went good, emails and info supplied. Boarding was swift and free from issues. Met by friendly staff and went to our cabin. Cabin was small but found it to be cosy ... Read More
Dates fitted our holiday window, so we gave it a go. Lead up all went good, emails and info supplied. Boarding was swift and free from issues. Met by friendly staff and went to our cabin. Cabin was small but found it to be cosy and well equipped. We had our first evening meal in the Lobster restaurant. We had different meals and found the food to be far from restaurant fair. Mostly tasteless with "Michelin style descriptions" which we did laugh at. We were led to a table for 6 first, and expected to join total strangers, after me asking for a table for two, this was arranged with little effort. I don't mind the odd night with strangers, but this would have been set in stone for each and every night after. Due to the disappointment from the Lobster, we used the buffet on night two. Food average and fairly well laid out with a fairly good choice. Pizzas were fantastic without fail. Night three back to try the Lobster, food just as bad, completely tasteless and made up to be something to blow your mind, and really far from the descriptions again. The British head chef came out to meet everyone in the restaurant. I did make a joke to my wife,"If I was him I wouldn't show my face, service up that rubbish" I don't know if the chef is to blame, or the budget he has to work with. The entertainment was not great and had a distinctly European based feel, not really for the UK pallet. We do like a good drink and a dance to a good band. MSC did lack this for us. We had a bit of a culture shock regarding the general rudeness of the mixed European passengers, during leaving the ship on tours, particularly completely ignoring ques and just barging in anywhere. The same behaviour on the ship, while in the buffet and waiting for lifts. We generally don't do drink packages and usually buy as we go. The first night we ordered two beers with our meal and ended up with a bill for 14.95 Euros. This frankly is daylight robbery for two 33cl beers. We then filled our back pack with cans of beers during city visits and had no problem bringing these aboard, on our return. A bucket of ice and two cold beers later, then repeat. We also like a nice coffee, and found that the special coffees on offer were tasty, but very tiny and around 8.00 Euros for two. There is a lot on board that you find to your peril, after ordering, ending up with a larger than average bill for. There is also a charge of 14.95 Euros added to your room bill every day for tips, this does anger me as I have always been of the opinion that a tip is for service over and above the normal. We did remove all tips in the end, as felt that we were being ripped off at every turn by MSC, and felt this was our only form of getting our own back. We do give cash tips directly to staff who do give exceptional service. The ship is a stunning well equipped ship with as good as the best out there offer, however, we did feel that overall the mixing of several nationalities does tend to back fire to a large degree, the general poor quality of the food on offer and the very high prices charged for beverages does mark this ship/company down considerably. As we only went on this trip as a fill in break during Easter time off, and a break away, we did enjoy it generally, we did mange to laugh at the poor and miss described food, the rows and squabbles amongst passengers. The rip off prices, that led us to used plan B. The endless 6 language announcements that can grind you down. If you treat most things like water off a ducks back, then MSC is a great, different experience of cruising. Give MSC a go. If however you look for value for money, first class dining, a great time being entertained during your evenings with the drink flowing, without busting your wallets, I would leave MSC well alone and stick with the UK/USA ships instead. Happy Cruising....... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise was so wonderfull. The first time I went in the carribeans. Stops were so fabulous. About the ship : I have already cruise on the seaview, and it's exactly the same ship. It was plenty but, because of his design, you ... Read More
This cruise was so wonderfull. The first time I went in the carribeans. Stops were so fabulous. About the ship : I have already cruise on the seaview, and it's exactly the same ship. It was plenty but, because of his design, you don't feel there are too much people. Just sometimes at the buffet or restaurant. Embarkation and disembarkation wasn't a problem, except at Grnad Cayman where we should take a boat to go to he port, and it was a bit longer but not too much. It was a little bit long to be serve at the bar, depend on the server. But this is the same problem on the other boat of MSC. I have the "My choice dining", so we went dining all days at 9h00, after the show (8h30). And it was allways simple to find a table, no waiting. We can ask for the same server all along the cruise. For the breakfast we went 4 times to the restaurant, and it was great. The others time to the self. Finally, I have no little children, so I can't critik the children installation. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Good and Bads: Good: *Ship looks very nice and clean, staffs were friendly *Able to book shows easily, shows are great but some acts are repeated. *Pools and hot tubes are not very crowed especially the kids area. ... Read More
Good and Bads: Good: *Ship looks very nice and clean, staffs were friendly *Able to book shows easily, shows are great but some acts are repeated. *Pools and hot tubes are not very crowed especially the kids area. *Kid's water park is great. Bads: *Buffet is terrible and your only choice if you don't want to sit and wait for your food. Breakfast is nice with the usual everyday (same stuff daily). Bacon, eggs, pastry, fruit, milk, tea, coffee, and juice. Juice is only available for breakfast (should be all day long). Youtube information is not correct. Coffee is diner style, water down and tasteless. *Main dinning food is also not very good. Most of the dishes are just like buffet food. You have to pay for plain water. The only thing good is you can have ice cream for desert. If you have time and wait to be serve, it's okay. For my children, they just want to eat the ice cream and go swimming. *Food is terrible unless you pay for it by going to a paying restaurant or paying for coffee. Free stuff which is included with your stay is below par compare to other ships. They are so cheap that only half a slice of cheese is on a cheese burger. Pizza is good, but full of dough like Papa Johns but with virtually no meat of cheese. Kiwi fruit are small and sour. What's the point of having things that no body will eat. They cut the watermelon and leave it in the fridge and won't put it out until late night with there are less people. Cheap food, no shrimp or steak. Everyday is chicken that's well done and dry. Same food everyday, burger, pizza, fries, pasta, and hot dog that looks like it cost them 10 cents to make. *Children program are terrible too. They advertise many things to do like Lego and video games. However, it's all on a schedule. One hour of Lego, if you miss it, you have to wait for the next Lego time. It's more of babysitting than fun. Don't pay for it, save the money and just buy a set of Lego for them. *Water slide, table tennis, and hockey table are run terribly. You have to ask the staff for everything. There is no sign of what to do and where to go. To do the water slide, you have to sign a wavier at the paying center. To get the ball for the hockey table you have to get it from the water slide registration center. We ask the staff and they either don't know or can't communicate well. *Communication is not done well. Elegant night were not promoted well. You have to read the daily news and states elegant photo with the crew staff. No photo taken at dining room. I guess they knew the food is not that good. Overall, it's a below par ship experience. Many youtuber stated that buffet is terrible and it is with the same cheap food everyday. They don't want to make it good, otherwise the restaurant will be empty. Expect to pay for good food or eat like your in a US public school. Entertainment and children's free Aqua Park is very good. Everything else not so. Definitely won't pick MSC again unless it's hundreds of dollar cheaper. Use the hundreds to buy better food and drink. Maybe the MSC Yacht Club is worth it. Front and top of ship are limited to the Yacht club. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
-For my parents´ wedding anniversary we decided to sail on the Bellisima. After a night spent in Barcelona, visiting the Sagrada Familia, we took a taxi to the cruise terminal, which was quite far away from the city center (and the Sants ... Read More
-For my parents´ wedding anniversary we decided to sail on the Bellisima. After a night spent in Barcelona, visiting the Sagrada Familia, we took a taxi to the cruise terminal, which was quite far away from the city center (and the Sants Train Station). Embarkation was quite smooth and easy. Check-in was really fast, and doing it in the phone App is not really necessary. After 10 minutes of waiting, we could enter our cabin, guided by one of the butlers. -The ship itself is stunning. The Bellisima Promenade is absolutley fantastic. The stores are quite expensive, but worth looking at them, especially the Chocolaterie, with stunning chocolate sulpture. Eventhough a couple of days are needed to adapt yourself to your new home, the MSC for me App and the many screens displayed throughout the ship help a lot. -The Marketplace buffet was quite good. For breakfast there is a huge variety of Continental, English, Mediterranean, or even Oriental breakfast. There is free coffee, infusions and water at all times and free juice at breakfast. Our courtesy restaurant was Posidonia. The waiter was quite slow, and most days we took from 19:45 to 21:30, and we could not go to the 21:15 show. On one hand, the entries and main courses were Ok, not very tasty in most cases. But on the other hand, the desserts were extremely tasty and well made. -The animation crew, especially Borja Vila and Sebastiano Avola, did a fantastic job to organise the thematic parties every night and the rest of activities onboard. Everything was very well organised you could definitly feel a special ambient thanks to them. Live music was excellent too, not just for dancing but to listen to while looking at other things. The band `` Nearly a Band ´´, who plays every night before and after the thematic party, had two singers worth listening to. -The shows were the most special part of the cruise. Everyday, a diferent show performed for three times. All of the singers were spectacualr, especially Lindiwe Bugane, who had an amazing voice, pretty much like Jeniffer Hudson. The generes of the spectacles were very variated, anywhere from Opera, or Rock, to Shadow Puppets. -The WiFi service was quite expensive, so I took it as a chance to disconnect. Be sure to put your phone on airplane mode unless you want exra fees charged from your mobile company. The SPA and Massage services were also very expensive and not worth it. Room service was quite efficient and useful. Cirque de Soleil was totalyy worth the price and It´s a must for those who want to experience such a priviledged way of art. The pools and jacuzzis were climatised and confortable, but a bit overcrowded. Dance classes were very easy and the dance teachers were very nice. Gym was free, very good and equiped, and not very crowded. -The shuttle buses are very expensive, and you can get a shuttle bus and a tour for the same price, if booked with another company. Same with excursions. - Our children made friends in the Teen Club. Attention for them is provided throughout the day; but I must say they charge for many things such as the F1 simulator or the arcade. They also had a Kids menu in the Courtesy Restaurant which was quite an advantage for ``difficult´´ kids when it comes to eating. -I would go again and again. Everything was really special. When put together, everything made a truly unique experience, and I have no doubt that this has been one of the best experiences in my life. Thanks to all the crew for making it so special. MSC stands for its name and without doubt I can affirm that after sailing in the Bellisima. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Pre-Cruise in Miami We flew in a day before the cruise, as we had never been to Miami before. For our June cruise, we are actually flying in 2 days before and flying out 3 days after the cruise so that we can explore Southern Florida a ... Read More
Pre-Cruise in Miami We flew in a day before the cruise, as we had never been to Miami before. For our June cruise, we are actually flying in 2 days before and flying out 3 days after the cruise so that we can explore Southern Florida a little more. We flew Southwest from RDU into Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International and got a rental car to drive down to Miami. This was cheaper than flying into Miami. We had a short layover in Tampa, but that didn’t bother us as Cigar City Brewing (one of our favorites) has a taproom in that airport. We spent the day doing what we love to do when we travel – brewery hop. We hit up as many as we could, but two of our favorites were M.I.A. Brewing and J.Wakefield Brewing. We also hit up the Taco Stand for some great food (great Elote and Carne Asada fries!) We also hit up Growler USA-Wynwood. While this is a chain, we knew we could get some local beers on draft that we wouldn’t be able to reach in our short time there. Great service, and even better brews! We stayed in Doral, which was about 15 miles from the port. Friday, it took us about 45 minutes to get from Doral to close to the port due to regular traffic. Saturday morning when we woke up for embarkation, it only took us about 15-20 minutes. Crazy how that works! If you pick Enterprise and drop off at the Doubletree Grand, it can be a bit confusing. You have to park where the Ubers/Lyfts pick up, go inside to the hotel shopping area, and then find Enterprise. Woof. I’d recommend having Miami International Airport be your dropoff location and use their shuttle service. Embarkation MSC Seaside goes in and out of Terminal F at the Port of Miami. Traffic here is…terrible at best, especially when there are 6 ships in port. This isn’t necessarily MSC’s fault, but more the POM and the crew that controls traffic there. Once we were able to drop everything off, the Embarkation process was rather easy compared so some ports that we’ve been to. We arrived around 11am and were able to get through security in less than 5 minutes. The line for check-in was a little longer, but since we had the Aurea package (more on that later), we were able to skip most of the line. We proceeded to the waiting area, where they had water, orange juice, and pineapple juice available. We had to wait about an hour for clearance, and then we were able to get on the ship. Entering the ship Oh wow, is this ship gorgeous?! Guests enter into the atrium, which has 3 open levels surrounded by staircases filled with crystals. It’s rumored that each step is work $2,000. The atrium features a decent sized bar. It also is home to a screen that’s split up into three sections that rise the entire height of the atrium. They had fun backgrounds here, including waterfalls and even “fireworks” shows at night. Also surrounding the lobby is plenty of windows that provide spectacular views all cruise long. Bars MSC Seaside is home to many spots to get your favorite drinks. They vary in their efficiency however. At times, we had GREAT service. Others, they seemed to be overwhelmed. The Seaside bar in the atrium on Deck 6 forward is decent, but the highlight of Deck 6 is the Venchi Chocolate Bar. We tried one of each of the cocktails and liked most of them. They feature two different chocolate martinis (both of which were delicious), and a drink called “Bubbles and Chocolate.” This features champagne with Chocaviar floating in it. It’s quite fun! Other bars on the ship include the Casino bar on deck 7 (slow service at times despite the size of the bar), the Champagne bar on deck 7, the Garage Club on deck 7 (which didn’t open until later at night), the South Beach Bar on deck 7 aft, the Seaview Lounge on Deck 8 midship (smaller, more quaint bar), the Sports Bar across from Seaview on Deck 8 (a wide variety of beers and really good chicken wings for purchase – although the speed of service varied from really quick to dead slow), Bistrot la Boheme on Deck 8 midship (home to one of my favorite beers of all time – Desperados!), Marketplace Bar inside of the Marketplace buffet (usually filled in the morning with folks trying to get espresso – this bar continues outside as well!), Wine and Cocktails on Deck 16 (never actually found this one…), the Miami Beach Bar on deck 16 (always busy given that it’s on the pool deck), the Jungle bar on Deck 18 (a hidden gem in my opinion), the Miramar Bar on on deck 19 (usually a little less busy than Miami Beach), and finally the Aurea Bar on deck 19 forward (more on this later as well). The bar process is interesting in that you just simply give them your card or have them scan your wristband. If you have a drinks package, you rarely have to sign for it. Depending on the bar, they may have some service attendants that will take your order and scan your card, limiting what the bartender has to do. This SHOULD speed things up, but usually there was only 1 bartender at some of the bars and they were really overwhelmed. They still had good service, but just slower than normal. A note on drinks packages – make sure you know what you’re getting. From what I can tell, it’s best to upgrade before you go. The packages are actually different on board. Even if you bought a sailing that included “drinks on us,” know that it’s VERY limited. We called MSC directly before sailing and upgraded for about $180 per person for the whole week and got pretty much everything except cocktails over $13 and the super high-end liquors. Use this pdf to help you decide what package is best for you! Pools and Public Areas The Miami Beach Pool on Deck 18 is the main pool. It is home to the stage where activities go on all day. Finding a chair isn’t really that difficult, but finding one that has everything that you’d want (close to the pool, ability to see the stage, and not “cramped”) is hard to find. The pools are 6ft deep, which is different from most ships. Miami Beach features a large “beach” area where you can lay in the water without being in the actual pool itself. Connected to this is a little “waterfall” feature that’s nice. South Beach Pool on Deck 7 aft is the adults only section. It is overlooked by the Bridge of Sighs, which is not for the faint of heart. This pool DECK was usually pretty busy, but the pool itself wasn’t very crowded. If you can get there early enough, you can get a chair that overlooks the aft of the boat to get that view that you can only get on a cruise ship, the wake. The Jungle Pool is located on deck 18 midship. It’s usually filled with families as it’s closest to the water park. The water park has 2 racing slides that go over the starboard side of the ship (decently fast!), a tube slide that goes over the edge of the port side of the ship and has a nice drop at the end (you can ride doubles or singles), and a decent slide that is in the center of the ship. The splash area looked quite fun for the kiddos! The Casino was a little on the smaller side for what we’re used to when it comes to ship casinos. To me, the casino wasn’t pushed very much. There are probably around 50-75 machines and 10-15 tables for card games and roulette. As far as I can remember, there was not a craps table. Passengers are allowed to smoke in the Casino if they are currently playing games. It’s the least smoky of the casinos that we’ve been in, so that was a nice surprise. When we boarded, we thought the casino was smoke free because of how clean it smelled. There is a channel on your cabin/stateroom TV that is dedicated to the Casino where you can even play roulette (paying, of course). There were a few sessions of Bingo, but we never attended these. They didn’t offer my favorite Crazy Money machines, so we didn’t spend a whole lot of time in the casino. The Cabin Our view of our cabin will be a bit biased for this trip. We were in room 10003, which is quite large for an interior. It’s pretty much your standard cruise room outside of that. We didn’t spend a lot of time in the room, but it’s where we have our most gripes. The bathroom on cruise ships are tiny. This shower takes the cake. Seaside uses glass doors on their showers as opposed to curtains. While curtains fly away and can be messy, they at least have some give. We felt cramped all week in that tiny thing! It hosts a clothesline, which I used to dry our bathing suits and to hang my shirt to steam/dewrinkle after I was done showering. The closet had two shelves and a safe. It also had two drawers. The space for hanging clothes was decent. This, however, was the only storage that we had in this room. On our next trip, we’re going to bring an over the door organizer to put some of our clothes in. The bed was on the more “hard” side for our liking. Obviously, this is a personal choice. I tend to like my mattress a little on the soft side, so having this hard mattress wasn’t the greatest for me. The TV was a decent size and featured some “Smart” capabilities. You could check out the daily program from your TV (including signing up for shows) and even order movies on demand (a note on this: this includes adult entertainment – some of the “posters” for these videos are explicit and therefore should be monitored!) The Entertainment The MSC Brand is obviously centered around the Mediterranean/European clientele. Therefore, their shows are quite different from what you’d see on Royal or Carnival Ships. That’s not to say that they aren’t good, they’re just…different. Each of the shows featured acrobats, a juggler, champion dancers, and some singing. To me, there wasn’t really a storyline that these shows followed, but they had their own themes. The best show by far was the one that featured Michael Jackson impersonator at the end of the week. You can sign up for the shows as soon as you get on board (I recommend this…) We usually did the 8:30 show, as we had 5:30 dining. The shows only last about 30-40 minutes each. Outside of these shows, they featured Beerprov comedy. We’re used to going to see comedians when we cruise. We see as many as we can, so not having any on board was different for us. Beerprov is a troupe of comedians that mixes Beer and Improv. We went to all three 10:45 adult R-rated shows during the week. They were outstanding! We didn’t get a chance to make it to their 2:00pm Family Friendly show, but I have no doubt that it was great too. Gene Young was our cruise director, and while he was quite funny, he was probably the least visible of any CD that we’ve ever had. We saw him at the beginning of shows and a few other times throughout the week, but we never saw him out and about the ship. Anytime the Entertainment Staff was doing a dance lesson or amping up the crowd, we never saw him. We like our CD’s to be more visible, but some people don’t mind it! The rest of the entertainment staff was decent. He was a part of the Liar’s Club game show which featured Beerprov giving different definitions of words. We had to guess which definition was right. While this wasn’t advertised as R-rated, it would definitely say it was PG-13! The Quest Game show was pretty tame for shows that we’ve been to. One interesting thing to note is that for many of the announcements made during shows and on board, they’ll do the same announcement in about 6-7 languages. If you’re around to hear the Captain speak, he’s fluent in 5-6 languages himself. While I understand that need for this given the fact that over 100 nationalities were on board, it got to be a bit much at times. Also, it’s important to note that there is NOT a bar in the theatre. In fact, they have a sign outside that says “NO DRINKS,” but we were able to bring our drinks in as long as we were careful. They prefer that it not be in glass, so if you can get plasticware or be drinking from an aluminum can, they’ll be more lenient. CLOSEST place to get a drink would be the Casino bar, but it’s usually slow so make sure you build in time to get a drink before your shows! We would stop by any other bar that we could as to avoid the wait at the casino bar. Dining I’ll preface this by saying that we didn’t do any specialty restaurants, but we did hear from multiple guests that the Asian Fusion restaurant was outstanding. We’ll probably try that out in June when we sail on Seaside again. There are two buffets on board. The first is Biscayne Bay on Deck 16. This one consists of only one line that spans the width of the ship. It is BUSY because it’s the closest to the pool. Kids were constantly cutting me off, and people couldn’t get the concept of a line… The second, more vast buffet is the Marketplace Buffet on Deck 8 midship. This buffet was much more spread out and featured two pretty much identical sides. It has more of a variety than that of the Biscayne Bay buffet. It is also home to self-serve soda, Heineken, and wine dispensers. Simply tap your card or wristband and serve! The food at the buffets varied little throughout the week, but it was all pretty decent. We had My Time dining and chose to go at 5:30 every day as this worked for our schedule. The host offered us the option to do this and we’d get the same table every day. We got seated at a 2-top right by the window! Great views every single night. Our 7 night cruise offered two elegant nights (one of which included Prime Rib), an Italian night, and a Mediterranean night. The My Time dining was never full and offered quick service (we had a few appetizers, main course, and dessert within an hour each night). The food was pretty decent throughout the week, but nothing I’d say was outstanding. The only odd thing about the dining room was that we couldn’t really order alcoholic drinks outside of beer and wine. If we wanted liquor, they’d have to bring in a separate attendant to do this. Weird. We just stopped at a bar before dinner if we wanted anything for the rest of the week. They also poured fresh water from 1L water bottles – included in our drinks package. The Aurea Experience We decided to splurge this trip and went for the Aurea package. This meant that we got priority boarding, My Time dining, a free wristband that could be used as your cruise card to get into your room and make purchases (you needed your card to get on and off the ship and to get access to the Aurea bar) a 50 minute massage each, access to the Aurea only bar and area on deck 19, and access to the thermal area all cruise long. We aren’t usually into these kind of things, but loved every minute we spent in the spa. There were two dry saunas, a bright steam bath, a dark steam bath, a salt room, a snow room (oddly refreshing), an odd geyser room where cold water shot out from the floor, a decent sized hot tub, and plenty of seating to just relax. There were multiple showers that had overhead faucets that were extremely relaxing. The locker rooms had lockers that you used your wristband or card to lock and unlock (a plus to the wristband). The Aurea Bar was a great place to go and hang out. It had comfy chairs that were shaded near the bar, plus plenty of sun loungers and two hot tubs. It was right outside of the Yacht Club, which made us a little jealous. We never got to check out the YC, but maybe on a future cruise? The Aurea bar was a great place to go and hang out after we were done in the sun. It offered great views off the stern of the ship! Ports of Call This itinerary included a night stop in San Juan (5pm-1AM), plus stops in Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas USVI, St. Maarten, and Nassau. It was very different being in port in San Juan at night. We were able to get off and head to the home of the “original” Pina Colada – Barrachina. After this, we wandered around Old San Juan before deciding to take an Uber to a local brewery – Ocean Lab. If you like venturing to breweries when you travel, this is a good spot. It’s connected to a beach club, which was closed for the night. The beer was decent, and for $10 each way in an Uber, it gave us something to do. I’d like to see it during the day, as it looks awesome at night! Unfortunately, the brewery’s shop was closed, so we didn’t get to get any merch. We did a Catamaran Snorkel excursion in St. Thomas. The crew of the Castaway Girl was outstanding. The snorkeling wasn’t the best that I’ve experienced, but it was a pretty lengthy snorkel and a beautiful ride back. Rum Punch, Rum and Coke, water, and juices were provided on the way back for free. They sold t-shirts, of which I got one of the blue longsleeve dryfits that features SPF protection. Really nice shirt! The even took Venmo for it! Joleen, Marshall, and Patrick were all great! Once back in port, we went to Tap and Still and had lunch. They were delicious! The fries were fresh cut and the cheese dog was delicious (it came on a hamburger bun which threw us off, but it was great!). They’re connected with Rock City Brewing. We were able to get a beer there, PLUS their taproom and shop was right across the street. We asked about another brewery on the island and were told that some of their beers were featured at a restaurant right at the port. We stopped by the Smoking Rooster and tried out some Frenchtown Brewing. They were decent, but not as good as RCB. St. Maarten has always been a favorite stop for us. We paid $7 per person round trip to ride the water taxi across to town. You can walk around to get to town, but we weren’t feeling that. It was worth it. St. Maarten is home to Guavaberry Rum, which is a great souvenir. Lots of vendors have chairs and umbrellas for rent along the beach. We got two chairs, slow wifi, an umbrella, and 5 drinks for $20. This is a pretty standard deal all along the beach. Just pick one that looks good to you and go with it. This was a quick port, as we docked at 8am and left at 2pm. Nassau is good for one thing for us: Pirate’s Republic Brewing. They have a taproom that is right one of the main strips in town near the Straw Market. We stopped by in December and knew we had to come back. Their main bartender is the “Bahamian Tracy Morgan” and is a trip. They beer is really delicious and they have food, but we’ve never tried it…They had a deal for two beers and a shirt for $28, which we took. We also went to Twisted Lime, which was kind of hidden down an alley. This is a definite must as well. We got the Jerk Chicken Mac and Cheese. MAN was it hot! But it was that kind of spicy that you just can’t stop eating! Delicious! It was a huge portion for the price we paid. Their pizza looked outstanding, so when we’re back in July, we’ll definitely be stopping to try that! Disembarkation The most bittersweet part of any trip is the day that you leave. MSC follows the standard disembarkation procedure of luggage tags, which were placed in our stateroom. We opted to place our bag outside of our rooms by 11pm and lazily waited until we were ready to get up and disembark. There are assigned times to get off of the ship, but nobody follows or regulates them. We had Aurea, which was the earliest to leave, but left around 9am. This was the EASIEST I’ve ever seen a disembark go. We did a “passport” check when we got off the ship, got our luggage, and left. We didn’t have to wait in line for customs! It’s something new that they’re trying I guess. So nice! Traffic was just as awful getting off of the ship as it was getting on. Most of the rental car agencies have free shuttles to MIA airport. Check those out before committing to another company. There are plenty of shuttles available without having to reserve anything, however, for $10 per person to the airport. Conclusion While the MSC Seaside does have its faults, we absolutely loved our time on board. We are already booked for another sailing at the end of June, and even went ahead and booked a sailing for next spring break in our same Aurea stateroom. We’ll be in the Fantastica level for our June cruise, so I’m interested to see how things differ. We plan to purchase a cruise-long spa pass, however! It’s worth the $260 per couple before boarding! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Cruise critic, notes from the brand new MSC Bellisima... The newest of the MSC fleet, Bellisima is massive, wide, and very, very crowded. Ship. There are advantages to its size, but many disadvantages too! The price for its size, ... Read More
Cruise critic, notes from the brand new MSC Bellisima... The newest of the MSC fleet, Bellisima is massive, wide, and very, very crowded. Ship. There are advantages to its size, but many disadvantages too! The price for its size, comes as opposite to your logic, the balcony suites!! Shoe boxes, (better) have been reduced in width to accommodate more rooms (boxes)! The design has changed the interior to putting the bed near to the window and the sofa next to the heads. On that front, there has been no shortage of hot water, at night the sound of those rooms above, having a shower or running water, can be loud. Everything is bright and new, yet only weeks old, signs of blistering rust, fester in awkward places. The crew as always, are Great! really helpful and accommodating. Some we have known from previous MSC cruises, don’t like the larger ship. It has lost its personality. For the the girls, women and wives, there are plenty of shops! If your in the market for watches, some extremely expensive(€53k)!! Down to tacky 2x €40! This ship was designed specifically for the Med. and less dangerous seas, not for open seas, ask those who travelled out from Southampton! Not good. The shopping plaza will blow your mind! It’s roof is an LED, picture scope, changing scene every few minutes, similar to that seen on the Dancing on Ice back drops. A wonderfull sight to see! Truly beautiful. From previous cruises, the traditional leaving port to Andrea Botchelli and Sarah Brightman singing ‘time to say goodbye’ has been deleted, no longer to thrill the passengers as this Cruise Director ( probably the worst we have ever witnessed), refused to play it!? Andrew Botchelli was in Southampton for the christening ceremony with Sophia Loren, he will be less than enamerored, when he finds out! He was so pleased to learn of the accolade. Shame really, out loud on the tannoy, it fits well with the MSC image, as the ship leaves the port, the recording blasting away! Other cruise lines now do the same, but MSC was first! The food is Good, really good for bulk cooking. The most picky eater would not go hungry. I have no intention of being rude, but how some of the foreigners stack up their plates,only to ditch it 10 mins later. With such a very large passenger number, queueing for food is a nightmare. This very much is the same for getting on and off the ship! Long waits! Double the passengers, but not the staff or exits and it’s a disaster waiting to happen! As above, there are quite a few other matters that can apply too! The theatre, emergency practice, let alone forbid it should ever happen for real! Hey? Perhaps the captain will get off first! Costa on the rocks sir? With ice? One of the other nigly small items is the changing of the drinks packages. One thing other lines should have followed(Cunard)! Obviously MSC found they could screw you out of more money this new way! and the new fantastica package goes far less further than it did! The once formal evening has gone. Not one evening suit to be seen. Shame! Yes shame, we forget the ladies love to dress up! On the Gala night, shorts and tee shirts were seen on many! Bad news is, the staff did little or nothing to stop it. The ship! Yes too big! Too crowded, too many queues, oh yes! There was enough deck chairs, but no staff to organise how far they could go! Main areas were jammed in 2 cases. The ship? An absolute joy to sail in. Even the most sea sick person could manage! Very little roll or pitch! Well done the designer or ship architect. NOW YOU CAN TAKE YOUR MOTHER! There is some good entertainment on board. The nightly shows are well put together as are specialty shows like ‘Circ Du Soliel’, but the ad says, specify! Gourmet food. It is not! Wet, over cooked veg, hard over-baked specialty Potatoes are part of this act! Now in the bin. I did have cause to complain that one time, as my plate went back with no other replacement in sight. But those artists Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise as it was stopping at ports we wanted to visit on dates when we wished to be away. The Bellissima is a stunning looking ship and has something for everyone. Our cabin was on deck 10 midship and was lovely with a ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was stopping at ports we wanted to visit on dates when we wished to be away. The Bellissima is a stunning looking ship and has something for everyone. Our cabin was on deck 10 midship and was lovely with a balcony, reasonable space and being a new ship did not show any signs of wear and tear. Our cabin steward Genesis was attentive, friendly and always happy to see us. He maintained our cabin beautifully and recognised a particularly special date that we celebrated whilst on board ship. At this location on the ship it was difficult to know whether the ship was moving it was so quiet with no noise from adjoining cabins or fromthe engines. Our allocated restaurant was The Lighthouse on deck 6 excellent choice for us as we had a table for 2. The menu was varied and offered something different every day to suit most requirements. Meals were well presented and of good quality. Service was excellent and the staff who served us each day at table 479 were Carissa and Abdul and are worth a special mention for their professionalism and attention nothing was too much trouble and again went out of their way to celebrate our Ruby Wedding Anniversary. Breakfast and lunch served in the Marketplace was a challenge. There was plenty of choice and something for everyone but the shear numbers of diners at any one time made the experience quite stressful. The staff were as efficient and patient as they could be given the logistics of numbers and seats available at any one time. There were good shows on board and plenty of entertainment for all ages. The musicians who played in all of the areas were first class with music choices to suit all tastes we particularly liked the Jazz trio who played each evening on Deck 16. We purchased the Cirque Soleil show and dinner at 40 euros each which was very good value for money . The show was excellent, food very good and Alwyn and his team served everything beautifully so that dinner was served before the show commenced. We have scored food at 3 because of the breakfast and lunch experience. Weather whilst on board ship was not particularly good so consequently much of the outdoors facilities were not in use. They were however very clean and well presented with water facilities to suit all tastes the water park on deck 18 would be great fun for families. We enjoyed our holiday we would cruise again but not for cruising sake but to see particular places that are included in the itinerary. We did not book MSC excursions but instead booked with local providers in Naples we did a tour if Naples and went to Pompei in a small group of 6 with a very knowledgeable guide. In Messina we did the same and rode the cable car to the top of Etna and visited Tourmina. Again an excellent excursion with small numbers and a local guide. Every other port we did our own thing and really enjoyed. This cruise met our expectations and we would consider MSC in the future provided the itinerary met our requirements. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
4th cruise with MSC, first time divina. (before: music/fantasia/splendida). Always nice cruises, otherwise wouldn't have booked a 4th cruise :). Sailed from Genoa to Venice. Balcony state room fantastic (11094). Also booked the ... Read More
4th cruise with MSC, first time divina. (before: music/fantasia/splendida). Always nice cruises, otherwise wouldn't have booked a 4th cruise :). Sailed from Genoa to Venice. Balcony state room fantastic (11094). Also booked the premium drank package at 39€/day. The cabin: Room was like we knew from previous cruises but this time no curtain at the shower but a shower door. Improvement! The cabin steward who normally is somewhere around, especially on the boarding day, wasn't there. And in the end, we never saw him during the whole cruise. All other cabin stewards we saw daily, but ours...??? although room was kept clean and towels were changed twice a day, but room was never prepared for the night like we were used to have on previous cruises with MSC. (curtains closed/beds opened/towels replaced/last checks/...). And then the last night...nothing at all. Even no fresh towels. It was like if for MSC on the last night you are no longer welcome... Was this a big problem? No, but you except the same level of service for your entire cruise. Dinner: 1st thing to do was to change dinner seating. Dinner booked online on msc page: 2nd seating but cruise card mentioned 1st seating so up to the Maitre D to change into 2nd. Changed with no comment. Then it was time to use the cruise card/drink package. Bars: Premium package entitles you all drinks on the menu up to 10€. So let's start with a Paulaner Hefeweizen. After the first one asked for a second. "Sorry, out of stock". De bar on the other side still had one (or more...) So far no problem. Then ordered a prosecco superiore. This is not the standard prosecco you get with the easy package. "Sorry out of stock". This went on for the entire cruise. Not everything on the menu seems available in the bar...even if you ask for a mixer with a premium brand vodka/gin/whisky/...you should stay close to the bartender to make sure he uses the ordered brand. Is this a big problem? No, but if MSC sells you a package with the promise you can order drinks up to 10€ they should deliver. Otherwise it is wiser to stay with the cheap drink package. The daily shows: 1st I would like fellow passengers to remind that they have 2 x the same show a night in order to offer everybody to join a show before (for the 2nd seating) or after (for the 1st seating) dinner. So please don't join after the show has started and if you come late don't want to grab a chair in the middle of a line so you want people to stand up and let you pass. Thank you :) The show on the first night was a tribute to tina turner. Music and singing was OK. Dancers were doing their thing. The show on the second night were Italian songs. Same dancers. Became already a little annoying. The show on the third night: singing an the same dancers. We left after the third song and didn't return the rest of the cruise since the program mentioned singing and dancing again. Shows on previous cruises were beter: some singing/some dancing/some acrobatics/some magic/some theatre/...but not only singing and dancers. Is this a big problem? No, but variety is more then welcome?!? The dinners: We knew what to expect but this time food was really flavorless. And the problem with the wine was that they give you the wine menu (premium package, remember :)) but it is hard to get the chosen wine... We had the impression that the food at the buffet restaurant was better this time than in the restaurant. But the most inconvenient was the dinner on the night we were at Palma the Mallorca. Since the schip only left at 23:30 they decided for an open seating dinner. Thus: not at your table and maybe even not in your restaurant. The waiters couldn't follow at all since at once all passengers seemed to have decided to dine at around 20:30 or so...what a disaster! My advice to MSC: keep the seatings like they are. If yo are not on board for the time of your seating -> you go to the buffet. Easy no? Is this a big problem? No, but rather inconvenient and stress for as well waiters as for the passengers. All this made it a rather strange cruise. Did we enjoy it? YES, we were on holiday but we had made better experiences with MSC. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I don't normally complain. We love cruising and being on the ocean. There was nothing absolutely horrible. Nothing great either. Service is slow and poor. Had to wait forever to be served at the bar, or flag down bar service who ... Read More
I don't normally complain. We love cruising and being on the ocean. There was nothing absolutely horrible. Nothing great either. Service is slow and poor. Had to wait forever to be served at the bar, or flag down bar service who always seemed irritated to be asked. The main dining service was awesome. We had wonderful servers and was the highlight of each day. Julius in the seaside lounge bar was the only great, kind, friendly bartender. None of the shows were good, except the Michael Jackson show. Comedy was all vulgar improv. The food was fine, but the salad bar was literally lettuce and shredded carrots. We saw our cabin steward once. He never cleaned our shower or bathroom floor. It was nasty by day 7. This was our second msc cruise. Both have had a theme of poor service. Hoping they can use these reviews to improve in the future, as their ships are beautiful. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
To start I am no expert for traveling, and before travel i usually do so much research. When doing my research for this trip I literally spent HOURS searching through cruise critic page after cruise critic page to find all the ... Read More
To start I am no expert for traveling, and before travel i usually do so much research. When doing my research for this trip I literally spent HOURS searching through cruise critic page after cruise critic page to find all the information i needed. I will start from the beginning of my trip. ___________________________________________________ PACKING: I research "Marie Kondo" packing method, she has a youtube video showing how she packs her suitcase. Using her method helped keep things organized while living out of the suitcase. Traveling with children it is hard to figure out what you will need and what wont even get used. Here are a few things I packed: KIDS - 4 swim suits 2 rash guards 2 swimwear covers (girls) 2 Sunglasses 2 Sandals ( 1 pair of flip flops for the pool, 1 fashionable pair for dinner) Water shoes (so they can run around but wont fall with wet floors) 5 pair of shorts (the kids are mostly in their bathing suits) SPF rated Sun Hats (we use spf 50) 10 Shirts Life vest for swimming in deep pools (helped out because it isn't provided) 1 pair of sneakers GIRLS: Bring a dress for each night of the cruise, 2 camisole sweaters, cute bows and head bands BOYS: 4-6 Pair of pants (depending on the number of nights for your cruise) a button down or collar shirt for each night, a pair a dress shoes, 1 suit jacket for elegant night. Baseball cap for dry day activities. Things I packed and never used: Dramamine for kids Sickness Sea bands Toys MEN: 2 Pair of shorts (you probably wont event use these) 4-5 Bathing suit trunks 7 Tank Tops/Mussel shirts 3 t-shirts 1 Suit Jacket 7 going out shirts(dress collar shirts or t-shirts) (1 for each night) 4 pair of pants (for dinner) 1 pair of jeans 1 pair of dress shoes 1 Pair of sneakers 1 pair of flip flops 1 pair of fashion sandals (birkenstock) WOMEN: 1 pair of flip flops 1 pair of heels 1 pair of sneakers 2 pair of fashion Sandals 7 Dresses or Rompers (a mix of midi dresses and Rompers for dinner) 1 camisole 6 shorts 6 shirts (sporty/loose fitted) ______________________________________________________ Pre-purchased Add-ons: 1.Trio dining package -if you purchase on the boat, their current promo offered 4 dining reservations rather than the trio -If you don't like any of the cuisines you are allowed to double up on a restaurant -Our favorite was the Asian Market restaurant & Butcher Cut **Dining review that helped me: https://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/review.cfm?ShipID=994&pgtype=dining 2.We choose to book our excursions separate from MSC which was fine but I wish we did it with MSC for our Bahamas stop, so we can use the Atlantis shuttle rather than paying for a cab. ________________________________________________ A few days before embarking, everyone must have paper print outs of your itinerary. On your itinerary you will find a your cruise info, embarking time (it is not a mandatory time, you can arrive as early as you want), pre-purchased packages, & bag tags hat must be placed on any checked bags. ___________________________________________________ EMBARKING DAY: We arrived to the port in Miami at 3:30/4pm. You drop off your bags with the port crew members curb side (which can make you feel uneasy) and proceed to security. Security requires the same as in the airport, Passport and boarding pass ( located on itinerary printed). Once you get through security you will go up the escalator or elevator to the MSC customer service window. The MSC customer service member will take your passport information, they take a current photo & provide you with your key card. This key card is used to open your cabin door but also will be used at the bar each time you order a drink. Once you receive your key card you may enter the ship, the security will scan each key one by one and ask that the person he is scanning pass him. When traveling with kids its best to divide and concur. So I took my son through security and my husband took our daughter. __________________________________________________ ARRIVING TO OUR ROOM: Upon arrival our beds weren't set up the way we needed it. No biggie we just pushed the two twin beds to make 1 bed. We hung up our sweaters and dropped off our bags and we immediately left our room to begin exploring the ship. Stop #1: Guest Services There is always a long lone no matter what time you go. (I would suggest to go around 7pm it seemed to be the best time) At customer Service you are allowed to deposit cash but upon checking out you either have a bill waiting for you or they have to refund you. If you use a debit card you have to swipe the card again on the day of disembarkment. MSC crew members suggest adding a credit card on file as it is literally the easiest way to pay any tab you might have because you no longer have to go back to customer service.(unless you have a question in regards to a charge) **But one thing that they don't mention is YOU DO NOT have to stand in line to add a credit or debit card, there are 2 credit card machines in the customer service area to add your card. Stop #2: The Seaside Bar The Bartenders on level 5 is great, everyone is super nice and make great drinks. We had the "Drink on Us" promo package. This package had a few hidden fees and limitations, which wasn't a complete surprise. (considering nothing is free) The hidden fee was a service fee per drink order. (usually $1-3) So we upgraded to the premium package which is $530 for two adult, we didn't have to upgrade the kids because they had a drink package as well. The premium package is WORTH IT! priced at $33 per person/per day which is on average about the cost of 3 premium drinks and if you are out in the sun you can easily drink 3-4 Miami Vices (slushy mixed drink). Mimosas, slushy or mixed cocktails with good liquor and the best cappuccinos arent included in the drinks on us package. Stop #3: Dinner at the Seashore Restaurant - Level 5 The staff is amazing, so sweet and since it was the first night they allowed us to be in our shorts for dinner. The steak had a gravy that i wasn't a big fan of and the food was just okay. Stop #4: 8th floor deck to watch the sun set as well sailed away from the Miami port. We continued to explore the ship and found ourselves checking out the kids pool area on level 18, we found a great spot to watch the sun set and continue to watch our sail away from Miami on deck 19 (which is walking access only.) _____________________________________ As we continued to explore the ship we found the casino which is small but nice. We found the arcade (with 4 games total) & the 2 bowling lanes. _________________________________________ On day 3, we received a service charge and upon arriving to customer service they informed us that is the gratuity charge ($12.50 per adult/per day & 1/2 the price for small children/per day.) _____________________________________________ ENTERTAINMENT Staff: The entertainment staff was great, they definitely knew how to keep the party going. The all white party was on deck 16 and the 70's party was near the seaside bar and could be viewed from deck 5-8. ______________________________________________ Jamaica - Try your best to book an excursion or something to do. We went to Margaritaville where people asked if we wanted to smoke weed 1000x. Also try your best to avoid talking to anyone outside of the port, they all want to call you boss lady and take your money, even if they suggest it is only based on whatever you want to give them. Grand Cayman - This port is on the ocean, so there is a ferry boat to take you to and from the dock. You must pick up a ticket from level 8 first thing in the morning and they begin calling numbers by 8am (1-50). Once your number is called then you may enter the Haven night club, only to be let out of the night club to go down to deck 4 to disembark (which took a total of 2 hrs for us). The return ferry was much easier. we arrived to the docks around 2:30pm and were on one of the first two ferrys back. Cozumel - We scheduled snorkeling for this stop which was totally worth it!!! I highly recommend using: http://cozumelcruiseexcursions.net/snorkel-in-cozumel.html the photos on the website does it NO JUSTICE! we used biodegradable sunscreen SPF 50 and still got a little burned, dont forget to keep applying sunscreen the sun is strong. Bahamas- We booked Atlantis directly from its website, we took a $4 per person cab and had a wack driver. (i would recommend using MSC excursion for this one) When the ship docks at a port it usually empty's out, if you return back at a good time there are no lines for any of the slides or bars and the pools are empty. _________________________________________________ DISEMBARKING DAY: On the day we returned to Miami we had breakfast at the buffet and made our way to desk 7, which is where were allowed to leave from. We were told that we had to wait for your color to be called for people who checked bags but after arriving to to deck 7 we were told that all bags were already out and we could leave when ever. I would suggest bringing only carry on items as this might make leaving easier. _________________________________ Each day you will receive an itinerary of what the following day has to offer and on each of these brochures your will find the dress code. But just to get an idea this is what our cruise had. Dress code optional per nights: Night #1 - Smart Casual Night #2 - Elegant optional // Smart Casual Night #3 - Smart Casual Night #4 - All White optional // Smart Casual Night #5 - 70's Theme Party optional// Smart Casual Night #6 - Smart Casual Night #7 - Elegant optional // Smart Casual Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise ship because of the ports mostly. We were most interested in sightseeing, but got more than we expected. We used cruise shuttles and Hop-off/Hop-on busses arranged by the cruise, for reasonable price. We did not use ... Read More
We chose this cruise ship because of the ports mostly. We were most interested in sightseeing, but got more than we expected. We used cruise shuttles and Hop-off/Hop-on busses arranged by the cruise, for reasonable price. We did not use any excursions, explored on our own and found it to be very efficient. On the ship, the entertainment was outstanding. We planned to book a Cirque du Soleil but the free Broadway shows were so nice that we attended those instead (different one each night). The dancers and singers are talented to say the least. There kids camp was good, our girls (5 and 7) got to love it by the third time we dropped them off, it took some time for them to get used to kids speaking different languages. The pool area was beautiful, outdoor pool was heated but the weather was too cold for us. We used indoor pool and Jacuzzis (well kept and orderly, never overcrowded). The casino was quite small, always too close to the smoking area in my opinion, but overall we were happy we didn't get to gamble and loose money. There were some photographers, we took pictures and booked a digital package, which was a deal in my opinion. We booked 2 rooms: a balcony and an inside room. Both rooms were not very roomy, but everything well organized. The service to the balcony room was noticeable better (never missed a thing, courteous, pleasant) than to the inside cabin (pool towels were removed and not replaced on several occasions) for some reason. There were no towel animals, but the beds were made several times per day, always clean and tidy. The program was delivered every evening. We checked our account every evening and were never charged for anything we didn't authorize. The ship was beautiful, as expected, also very clean and well-organized. I was happy with the service provided by all the staff in dining rooms and bars. We ate at our assigned restaurant once, found it to be quite slow and continued to use the buffet instead. The buffet had a wide variety of dishes, tasty and appealing. We were given coupons for drinks, but overall the prices were reasonable as well. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze! Overall, we would cruise with MSC again, especially on Meraviglia. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We have traveled to Caribbean previously in 2017 on MSC Fantasia and had a wonderful time. It was a fly cruise. This time we flew out to Caribbean on Virgin Atlantic and this was a very pleasant experience. We decided to do a ... Read More
We have traveled to Caribbean previously in 2017 on MSC Fantasia and had a wonderful time. It was a fly cruise. This time we flew out to Caribbean on Virgin Atlantic and this was a very pleasant experience. We decided to do a different cruise in as much as we flew to Barbados and then after On our arrival in Bridgetown we had a very pleasant surprise. As we got off the aircraft we found coaches waiting for us at bottom of steps. We were taken directly to the ship and never touched our luggage until it arrived in our cabin. The cabin itself was a balcony cabin and was beautiful in every way. We chose a Fantastica cabin as it came with a drinks package. Our cabin steward, Erith could not have been more helpful and kept cabin spotless. We chose !st sitting dining in Golden Lobster Restaurant. The waiters were great and were very attentive including our waiter James ( name we used for him.) he left ship in Lisbon to fly home to Bali. His assistant waiter was called Abhishek Kumar from India and he went out of his way to make sure we had a fantastic holiday. He deserves the highest praise. The food was excellent although not to my taste all the time. The restaurant was spotless and well managed. The entertainment on the ship left a lot to be desired although the the trio with the pianist and 2 violinists we excellent and a pleasure to listen to. The service overall on the ship was first class and could not be faulted in any way. WE did not take any of the excursions and made our own arrangements. We found the islands very commercialized now and have got worse over the past few years. We took a taxi in Guadaloupe and the female taxi driver was the most dangerous taxi drive I have ever used. She was swerving all over road and reading phone texts and making nd taking phone calls. In Barbados was took a trip in a glass bottom boat which was most enjoyable and well worth the money. After leaving Barbados on 9th April we traveled 5 days across the Atlantic and it was a lovely smooth crossing to Tenerife which we enjoyed immensely. WE then visited Madeira which is a lovely island and I would recommend anyone visiting if you get the chance. The 3 visits to Lisbon, Vigo and Le Havre were not as good and as it was bank holiday most of town was closed. The appeared to be a lot of coughing on board which I hasten to add. I do not blame on ship. Our disembarkation in Southampton due to passengers who boarded in Le Havre did not attend the compulsory immigration procedures. This is the one complaint I have about MSC. It is used as a ferry service more that a cruise ship. Overall the ship and staff were perfect in every way and I would not hesitate to use MSC again although I would be more selective. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We selected this cruise line mainly because of the cost, value and rooms (balcony and interior) that we could get for the price. This was a Spring Break 2019 trip and the first time my family had cruised with all three children (two ... Read More
We selected this cruise line mainly because of the cost, value and rooms (balcony and interior) that we could get for the price. This was a Spring Break 2019 trip and the first time my family had cruised with all three children (two 15's and one 9 year old). We found the boat to be amazing (only second to the Oasis of the Seas from Royal Caribbean and that is only because of certain things we liked about that boat). The cabins were very nice, modern for a cruise line and worked for all parties. The weight room had everything you would need and the crowd faded as the week progressed, but I am typically a morning exercise person. The buffet on Deck 8 was the best cruise buffet that we have had on any cruise (this was our 6th). You do really need to walk the entire buffet before choosing though. We read this before and it holds true. The dining hall (formal dinners) were not overly impressive. My wife was not pleased at all and would rate it worse than I would, but I can always find something to eat. I got the sense that they were pushing people towards the extra dining packages, which I really think is a major focus on many of the cruise lines now. The pools were different than Carnival and Royal with the depth being something that we enjoyed. You are not allowed to bring drinks to the pool, which meant that you didn't have the standing adults in the pool with drinks, which is something I appreciated but may not be something for everyone. The boats layout was a major plus. We stayed mainly in the rain forest area, which was as nice as any area on any cruise boat we have ever found. It had a less crowded feel with sunshine, shade, comfort and access to the waterpark to keep track of the children. The slides were legitimate and crowded at times and not crowded at others. We didn't do many excursions, so we really focused on the boat, which was a highlight of the trip. We loved the Michael Jackson show and family improv comedy show (wish we would have stayed up for the adult version but we go to bed too late). The jazz in the Seaside lounge was wonderful and this was a regular night time area. This was the first time I have bought the upgraded drink package and I would certainly recommend it. The basic drinking package charges you a "tip" each time, which is not bad, but the premium does not plus you get almost every liquor you could want (lots of rum & bourbon on this trip for me). All in all, we had a great time and would suggest it if you don't mind foreign speaking guests (didn't bother us at all). The bars seemed understaffed at crowded times, but I have never really needed them before so I can not say if that is similar to other cruises. I did find the bartenders to be friendly and helpful, especially if you return to a couple throughout the trip (Ashton in the Rain Forest and Raul in Seasview Lounge were particularly awesome). One of the major differences is the service with your cabin. I am not a huge fan of people taking care of me, so it didn't bother me that my steward was not as visible as the other cruise lines. They cleaned your room when asked and needed, but don't expect the towels in shapes of animals, etc. Just a difference in lines. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
First off, the boat was beautiful. We had no problems with the cleanliness of our room and our cleaning lady was great except for the few times she didn’t give us face towels. When we boarded the ship there were staff from the few ... Read More
First off, the boat was beautiful. We had no problems with the cleanliness of our room and our cleaning lady was great except for the few times she didn’t give us face towels. When we boarded the ship there were staff from the few restaurants offering us a “deal” for dinner. So my boyfriend and I said sure why not. Later that night we decided we were tired and decided not to go. When I called to cancel, the man told us that it would be a $10 fee to cancel the reservation because we didn’t cancel 24hrs before our reservation time. How can I cancel 24hrs before if I have only been on the cruise for 3 hours?? That was the first annoying thing. The second thing was registering your MSC Cruise Card. You HAD to put money on it starting from $100 and up. We had no idea because that wasn’t in our paperwork and it was our frist cruise so we didn’t know if that was the norm. So he put $100 and that money went fast!! When we booked the trip we booked the Fantastica package which said it came with 12 free drinks pp but we never got those. We had to pay for allllll the drinks we got even soda. So we decided to just drink water. Then my boyfriend and I decided to treat ourselves and get a drink at the main bar. My boyfriend gave the bartender a $5 tip and we left. Then later that night we checked our bill on the TV and saw that we had already been charged a 15% gratuity on our drinks already. We had no idea that they did that otherwise my boyfriend wouldn’t have given him the $5. Then as we looked at our bill we say that there was a $25 dollar charge on his account. We couldn’t figure out what that was as we hadn’t bought anything but those two drinks. The charge was labeled “service charge”. So my boyfriend called the reception desk and they said that each person is charged a $12.50 service charge for “tips for all the crew members, cleaning staff, and dining staff.” We were extremely upset because were young and we were on a budget and we had worked so many hours to save up the money to go on this cruise just to find out that we had to pay an extra $200 between the two of us to tip people who had never even waited on us. How is that fair? I’d rather tip people who directly served us or cleaned our room. I think that was ridiculous. Then on like day 6 of the cruise, our toilet like stopped working. It took them like an hour to come and fix it and then the next morning we woke up to a loud noise and realized that our toilet had no water. They finally got it fixed but it was really annoying at the time. Lastly, disembarkation was a MESS. We woke up early to make any last payments on our accounts and packed up our stuff to leave. We got to level 6 and the line was SOOOOOOO long. We waited an hour in line to get off. When we got to the part where they scanned our cards to disembark, the man said he couldn’t let my boyfriend and I off the ship cause we still had payments to make. It’s a good thing I kept the receipts from the transactions because they were giving us a hard time about paying these fees. Overall, the cruise ship itself was nice, clean and most of the crew was pretty friendly. But the hidden fees and the unorganization on the ship was enough for my boyfriend and I to say were never going back on a MSC Cruise again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I've just got back from cruising with MSC Seaside. It was a terrible time to cruise with MSC. I had nothing to do on the ship. There was not much of entertainment. Maketplace Food buffet had not many varieties of food to offer. ... Read More
I've just got back from cruising with MSC Seaside. It was a terrible time to cruise with MSC. I had nothing to do on the ship. There was not much of entertainment. Maketplace Food buffet had not many varieties of food to offer. They had pizza, hamburgers, and hotdogs for the main food for you every single meal of the day: breakfast, lunch, after lunch snack, dinner, and midnight snack for 7 days straight that we were on the cruise. They would close the buffet on the dot, put all the food away, and only one or two counters left the serve the food. In my opinion, they were trying to upselling their dinner and drink package by forcing people not to have much choice for food on the buffet. Moreover; one time, I saw they were putting back fruits they put away from previous meal for you to eat. You know how the fruits that are not fresh cut and been refrigerated. Also, it's very annoying when they tried to sell you all those dinner and drink packages. This is definitely overrated. I didn't bother to go see the show of them. I'd walked around and saw people playing cards; even young kids, they played UNO. They must be very bored and had nothing better to do. There are not many shopping shops on the Seaside, so nothing much to check out. There is a screen TV at the aft of the ship. Unfortunately the choice of their movie on the night that I went to give a try was very boring "Spiderman Home coming." The cabin was so so, nothing fancy. The sheet, comforter, towels, and stuff were old, had a lot of lints It's very irritated to my skin. Towels were smells and ripped. One of the destinations was Puerto Rico, arrived at 5pm. What they want us to do at 5pm and we had to be on board by 1am. or 1.30pm, and there were nothing much to walk around and see either. It's not very impressive for the first time with MSC. I wanted to go home on the second day that I was on the cruise!!! Oh..there a good thing about MSC. Their desserts are pretty good. They are not extremely sweet like desserts on the main land in the US. They are good at creativity and recycling as well.They would use leftover fruits and nuts to make cakes and other desserts, very delicious indeed. I've heard pizza are very good too, but I'm not a huge fan of pizza. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I ended up on this cruise to celebrate my sister's 70th birthday. Young at heart, we wanted a cruise that suited our personalities. So with 25 adventurers ranging in age from 13 and up, MSC Seaside seemed perfect. Embarkation - ... Read More
I ended up on this cruise to celebrate my sister's 70th birthday. Young at heart, we wanted a cruise that suited our personalities. So with 25 adventurers ranging in age from 13 and up, MSC Seaside seemed perfect. Embarkation - It's a zoo. Imagine 5,000+ people trying to check-in. Our saving grace was the Aurea package (an upgrade). Trying to figure out where our check-in area was located was challenging. Once in line, a very nice young woman provided assistance. We returned to check-in three (3) times because our card didn't work. A non-walker's nightmare. Dining - The buffet, as one of our friends, said, "By the time you make it around the buffet to find what you want and get to your seat, your food is cold." Day 1: Try to get a soda from the pay as you go machine, good luck. Ridiculous. Sell drink cards like other ships. Organization of buffet, where is the jam? It's on the Wellness Bar. Where is the bread? It's next to desserts or sodas (depends). The staff working in the buffet area just stood around - no assistance unless you flagged someone. The staff in white uniforms - no purpose. The soda machine process, go figure. Evening dining -The dining room staff are unorganized. Try finding a waiter to take cocktail orders. The dining room show, yes we clapped for the staff but our waiters were working. Friendliness - No introductions, good morning, smile. What gives? I am a frequent cruiser, Princess, Viking, Royal Caribbean. This experience pales by comparison. The music, theatre shows, Aurea spa, and ship decor saved the day. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My family of 4 (ages 12 and 13) took a Spring Break cruise with a few other families and would definitely recommend the Seaside from MSC. The embarkation was a breeze and despite being told the check in time was 1:30pm, they allowed us in ... Read More
My family of 4 (ages 12 and 13) took a Spring Break cruise with a few other families and would definitely recommend the Seaside from MSC. The embarkation was a breeze and despite being told the check in time was 1:30pm, they allowed us in the terminal right when the doors opened at 10:30am. We checked in immediately, but when we sat down, I didn’t know we needed a Boarding Card. Luckily I made friends with someone who had a “4” card and he got an upgrade to a “1” card and gave me his “4” card. It only took about 10 minutes to be called to board the ship. As all the reviews have stated, the ship is absolutely beautiful. The Atrium was gorgeous and turned out to be a popular hangout for many of us. I am very glad we checked the best cruise hacks to be prepared with thebitems to bring aboard like the magnets, towel clips, over the door shoe rack, magnet night light, and shower curtain. The room was great for a family of 4 as the couch turned into a bunk bed. ***A word of caution. The top bunk has a metal piece that covers the light and could easily cause a nasty cut if you say up in the middle of the night and hit your head*** The food: we had the early seating (5:15pm) and it was a bit early, especially with some excursions, but the staff was great, the food was good (not a WOW, but good.). We did the 3 specialty restaurants (Ocean Cay for lunch and Asian Fusion and Butcher’s Cut for 2 dinners). They were very good, but thought it was weird we couldn’t get a glass of wine, but could only get a bottle and had to pay regardless of having the premium package. I would get this again as the main dining room’s food, as I said, was just “good” and have a little differentiation. The lunch was very repetitive and is my only negative comment for the entire cruise. Breakfast was good as they always had fresh fruits, veggies and pastries. We ate at the sit down (Seaside restaurant) restaurant a few times as they had “fresher” foods and different items than at the buffets. Onboard Activities: we hung out on deck 16 as much as we could, our son hung out at the sports bar and the arcade and our daughter explored all aspects of the ship without reservations. The slides were awesome, the zip line was fun (not worth doing more than 2x though) and the shows were fun. Definitely do the comedy shows (Beer Improv and the kids version) as they were awesome. The casino was fun, but very smoky, so if you are allergic to smoke or it bothers you in the slightest, it will definitely be a problem for you. There was always enough to do on the ship, but I wish there was better communication prior to boarding regarding when the formal night was going to be, when the white Party was, and what other specialty events (20’s party etc.) Ports of call: St Maarten and St Thomas were awesome. The excursions we took (Magen’s Bay swim and tour of the island) and (Golden eagle Catamaran) were tremendous. The catamaran trip was our second best excursion of all time, second only to a wall dive in Hawaii for our honeymoon. We docked into Puerto Rico at 5pm so only had an opportunity to have dinner and explore the night life a bit. You couldn’t see the Fort if you wanted to so don’t be too disappointed, but luckily we’ve already seen it so it wasn’t a big deal for us. For Nassau, we took a Jitney (line 10) to Cable Beach for $1.25 per person each way and spent the day at the beach for $200 less than we would have paid on an excursion. The beers and hot dogs were also half the price. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Chose this cruise as it was a fantastic deal - drinks on us, balcony for 1 week for 4 folks for $2300. Awesome: Cruise Critic Party - it was my best one to date- the passed hor d'oerves /drinks/ships crew, etc. They know how to ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it was a fantastic deal - drinks on us, balcony for 1 week for 4 folks for $2300. Awesome: Cruise Critic Party - it was my best one to date- the passed hor d'oerves /drinks/ships crew, etc. They know how to do it; special order Indian food - fantastic every night. Ship - just beautiful.... Room steward - she was amazing and did really hard work. Great: staff personality - casino, room steward, dining staff, entertainment staff; Also behind the scenes walkthru of the fancy restaurants - they were soo warm/friendly. Michael Jackson show was amazing; so was BeerProv - saw them 4x, got to meet the owner Jim at breakfast 1 morn; Alcohol pricing - 20% off of 2 bottles was better than I can get from Total Wine in GA; Lounge music in Haven was really really awesome every night; and bar service was great. Good: Timeless show; Entertainment staff - especially Gene (Cruise Director), Monica (Adult Ent. Director), and Tristan from South Africa. Bad: Entertainment: Evening shows were very very well constumed, but there was no storyline in the show or a discernable theme. Dining: every sitdown dining was 1.5 to 2 hrs long - its not like the wait staff wasn't working hard - poor Joli - but things just took forever. Food was average at best; only great dish I recall was the Prime Rib. No lobster tails (without upcharge) this cruise - guess I was used to getting them on Formal night at Carnival. Embarkaration at 2pm - 1.5 hrs - miserable... Itinerary - Celebrity was on same route as us, same week - they got into San Juan at 3:30pm; getting in at 5pm til 1am just isnt useful - you're onsore for a few hrs before heading back to ship. St. Maarten - 7a-2p - also terrible not enough time. Embarkation that day was really long. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I've seen mixed reviews on the MSC Seaside while doing lots of research. Having been on Princess, Celebrity, and Royal, this was my favorite. It's a gorgeous ship. The staff are comparable to other lines. But you get so much ... Read More
I've seen mixed reviews on the MSC Seaside while doing lots of research. Having been on Princess, Celebrity, and Royal, this was my favorite. It's a gorgeous ship. The staff are comparable to other lines. But you get so much for your money. That opinion might related to having the Aurea experience. But we felt this cabin and the deluxe drink package (obsolete after 11/19 bookings) were the best deal we've seen in quality and price. Even with the new drink package structure, we'll book this ship again. The best description I can make is this is a great combination of the refinement of Celebrity and the fun of Royal. The room - Most of the research I was able to do on this room, 12001, was watching the YouTube videos as I didn't see many of reviews of the cabin. That was motivation for this review. It has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a huge closet, a living room, and a forward-facing balcony. Here's the stuff you can't get from watching the video: - One bathroom is better for showering (the one with the bathtub) and one is better for everything else. We started with a kids' bathroom and an adults' bathroom and ended up using whatever we wanted by the end. - The main closet is large enough that you can get dressed in it, easier than getting dressed in the bathroom. That really helped when we were rushing to dinner. - There's plenty of storage in the 2nd bedroom as well so my daughter kept her stuff in there. - We loved this balcony. This was our first fully forward balcony, but we'd gladly do it again. It was wonderful coming into port (San Juan was incredible) and leaving. It was great for star-gazing at night. It was protected enough that it gave shade on hot days but still had a great breeze. We enjoyed napping on it. The breeze at sea was great for drying stuff from the day, which has been an issue on prior cruises. - The living room is larger and more functional than it looks in the video. We stuck the large suitcases in the corner and didn't notice there were there. When we weren't sleeping, we spent our time in the room in the living room. - The kids alternated between hanging out on the sofa and the balcony. Gluten-free experience - I received 2 pre-packaged treats in the room each day. I was able to take them off the ship for excursions. This was a really nice touch since I expected to be very limited in what I could take with me. - Pasta and risotto make me one happy camper. So I was happy all week! - For the most part, I did ok in the buffet. The staff would tell me how something was cooked if I asked. I stuck mainly with the items in the rotisserie section and had some great fish, rice, and vegetables. I ate the meringue cookies as my dessert with each meal. One day had chocolate mousse and it was incredible. After too many meals watching the family ooh and aah over the pizza, I hit a week spot after a day of heavy drinking and pulled the topping off of some slices. Was it worth the risk? Probably not. But I'll blame it on the mojitos and ciders. And I don't regret any of the mojitos I drank! - I received my own menu whenever I ate in the dining room. My food came separate from the others since it comes from a separate kitchen. For the most part, my food came within minutes of the others' dishes. I was served warm GF bread with every meal which - I devoured within minutes of it hitting the table. It's been a long time since I've had fresh bread! - I chose "Dessert of the Day" for each dinner. There were items on the regular menu that would have been GF (ice cream, flan, and others), but it just got to be routine to order it. A couple of times were an ice cream cake and a couple were ice cream. I wasn't overly impressed with the desserts, but then again the desserts weren't the star of the meal for me since I knew I could hit Venchi afterwards. - Interesting thing is that MSC is very cautious about labeling anything GF unless it comes out of that special kitchen. So there is plenty to eat that is GF but not certified, like the gelato. Other miscellaneous - The public areas are gorgeous, but the purple and grey in the cabin was not a color scheme I enjoyed. It eventually grew on me, but it took some time. - We were grandfathered into the deluxe package. Nothing we drank ever hit our bill. If MSC had kept that, we'd book MSC for life. I know they're in line with other companies now, but it's disappointing to know that you can't ever do that again. - On the 2nd sea day, make sure you get pictures taken on bridge of sighs. They're stunning. They are included in the digital photo package. - The free drink options in the buffet were surprisingly good. The lemonade had pulp in it, so they're actually using lemon juice to make it instead of a powder. The kids loved the grapefruit juice. My husband enjoyed all of the choices. - In the thermal area, people dropped their towels down on the heated loungers like they were reserving chairs. On the last day, we moved one lady's towels. She was miffed when she came back. We'd been in the area for 45 minutes before using the loungers and her towels had been there the whole time. She thought she could reserve 2 of the 3 heated loungers that long? Um, no. That was the only case of chair hogging that bothered me. - Aurea Bar was a fun respite. We'd go at the end of day and hang out. Service - I'd read so many complaints about the service when researching: service is not like xxx line, servers don't care, servers are overloaded, etc. We didn't find service to be different than other lines. We were greeted with smiles and hellos everywhere. For every crowded bar, we were able to find to another, less crowded bar (same thing when we had a drink package on Celebrity) with bartenders who entertained us. We had some stellar service: - Alora & Donald were the wife/husband team in Seashore who personalized our dinners and had perfect timing in serving us. - Fred (John Wilfred Lao) in photography took stunning photos. My kids sought him out every night. You should, too. - Roxane was our room steward. She made butterflies with the kids' pajamas. The kids joked that I was imagining her because I would see her but they never would. That meant that she struck the perfect timing of being there when we needed her but was never obtrusive. - Deion and Ashish Finu in the Aurea bar. I'm sure I'm forgetting people because so many went into making this an incredible cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Firstly this was our first cruise so we have nothing to completely judge against, however the things I will talk about was our experience. On arrival onto the ship we we’re badgered by staff wanting us to sign up to a drinks package ... Read More
Firstly this was our first cruise so we have nothing to completely judge against, however the things I will talk about was our experience. On arrival onto the ship we we’re badgered by staff wanting us to sign up to a drinks package which we had already sorted pre arrival. This also didn’t stop for a couple of days. ( by all means assist customers but make staff be seen but have customers approach staff ) We also were constantly bugged by the staff photographers constantly asking if we wanted our picture taken and even after a polite no they then pleaded ‘it will only take a few minutes ‘ whilst following us. My polite no’s were beginning to wear very thin towards the end. To add insult to injury the one time we gave in, we were then automatically charged £34.99 to our card before even seeing them. From the reception they told me it was down to me to say I didn’t want them to have the charge removed. So I was glad to keep an eye on my account on my tv in my cabin. Otherwise it would have been a shock on leaving. ( may be better for customers to say yes before charging). Each place we docked at we were badgered if we wanted taxi or sight seeing bus. All were stupid prices and you can do so much better sourcing your own public transport at great prices.... it got tiresome as they wouldn’t take no as an answer. I feel msc security/ dock security should monitor this and actively reduce this annoyance. Now the ship is an absolute beautiful design. Really took our breath away. The mid ship sky screen shows and displays were very good. The shows onboard were very very good and thoughly entertaining. And at 30 mins I feel it was too short but understand with time restrictions for the program it has to be that way. I had no issues with my premium drinks package and recommend this is purchased. The staff were all very friendly and pleasant and had no bad experiences in the dining room with food or waiting staff. The cabin ( we had a balcony) was a nice size and I would say it was a slightly smaller than the average Travelodge room but pretty much the same layout. Tv channels were slightly limited ( but who comes on holiday to watch tv ). The safe is quite tiny and we couldn’t put our iPads in it. But it was simple to use. The Bed was very comfortable with two pillows. Balcony size ok. Mini bar idea not so good. .... it is not covered on the drinks package. I think to enjoy the balcony it would be good to use from mini bar to save having to go to the bar for purchasing drinks to carry back. Most drinks in there can be from the bar anyway. ( just saves borrowing and restocking ourselves the next day early). The spa is amazing and well worth the visit. Spent most days in there for a couple of hours recovering from our days walking. However on the sea day it got very busy. Maybe it would be good if msc only allowed the package deal only people to access on sea days and offer no day pass. ( could earn more money for them and balance the numbers out for spa visitors). With the numerous relaxation areas jacuzzis and steam/ sauna rooms and ice room. Not forgetting the emotional showers there are plenty of places to relax and rest. Never gambled before and the casino was an awesome experience. Staff very friendly and when it was quiet we asked how to use tables and all was explained very well. There are serious gamblers there, and people like us who had fun with between 10-30 Euros per visit. We actually visited most nights and actually walked away with more Euro’s than we started with. The water slides were fun to use, and the pools were relaxing. And the external hot tubs on the deck were very nice also. Anyone in two minds about first time cruising, I think the ship will give you the experience that will help decide if it’s for you. And as for us......... we will stick with msc and look out for more locations this ship will visit and try out the other ships in the fleet. We have been converted to a life of cruising for sure. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Our cruise date was looming and we were going ready with trepidation, due to our last cruise with MSC being spoilt by both the illness of my wife and the rather bad service from the crew. Our cruise date came round the taxi collected us ... Read More
Our cruise date was looming and we were going ready with trepidation, due to our last cruise with MSC being spoilt by both the illness of my wife and the rather bad service from the crew. Our cruise date came round the taxi collected us and down to the harbour we went, MSC ground staff took our luggage straight from the taxi and whisked us to the wheelchair assist station and what a difference we were on board and seated by the pool within twenty minutes, compared with the one and half hours on our last trip. Holiday started no problems for the duration of the cruise apart from trying to get a room-service menu for breakfast, we asked at least four times on the first day (Monday) and it arrived late on Tuesday evening ready for breakfast on Wednesday that said and off my chest we had a really fantastic time from start to finish. Talking of food every meal we had was of the highest standard and a varied menu to cater for all tastes. Disembarkment went as smooth as embarkation and we had to wait for our taxi to arrive which we booked late due to the epic four hour adventure of our earlier cruise where they had to reopen customs and immigration to get us back on sovereign soil. Bottom line we have booked our next years cruise and are looking forward to being on board again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was the third cruise my family and I have taken with MSC. We have had positive experiences before but not this time on board the MSC Armonia. It started poorly with the embarkation process. A process that in previous Cruises had ... Read More
This was the third cruise my family and I have taken with MSC. We have had positive experiences before but not this time on board the MSC Armonia. It started poorly with the embarkation process. A process that in previous Cruises had been pretty smooth was a complete mess. The agent checking us in did not know the itinerary. Kept telling us different ports that we were not going to. Once on the boat we went directly to the room. It was an inside cabin. Small compared to other ships but I understand booking an inside cabin my expectations should be realistic. If you have more than 2 people staying in the room your items will not fit in the closet. The shower was no better, the curtain did not close all the way, water everywhere and the handle rail was broken and the handle to the water was also broken. The buffet left a lot to be desired. There was not much variety. Everyday it seemed to be roasted chicken, rice and vegetables. The Pizza, burgers, and hot dogs by far the best selections food wise. In previous ships the entertainment has been excellent but it seems like they use this ship for training or to tryout new performers because the shows left a lot to be desired. The rest of the entertainment was not great either. Other that the Newly Wed game the Cruise Director was non existent like previous ships. One worker specifically was very rude and lazy. He did not want to set up pool deck games unless there was a line of people waiting to play. He had little motivation and less energy getting people to get involved with the activities. When I questioned him about the games he got nasty and started arguing with me. I said to him part of what I payed for goes towards entertainment , his response was well I don't care I do not get paid tips. I complained to guest services and no supervisor would speak to me. Honduras stop was a mess. I understand tendering is an issue anywhere but on a 6 hour stop in Honduras it took over 2 hours to get out of the boat, leaving even less time to enjoy Roatan. Again went to guest services and was basically told too bad MSC guest that booked MSC excursion get priority too bad. There was very little to no empathy or sympathy for the guest. Not many activities for kids 10 to 13 year range. Most kids this age are past legos and coloring. Not enough activities in the sports deck for them. It wasn't all bad, our room attendant was great and the room was always clean. The bartenders on the pool deck were also very good. Very friendly and actually acted like they were enjoying themselves and liked their jobs. The restaurant experience was also great. Had a very friendly waiter and helper. It is unfortunate to have experienced this and would make it very difficult to book another cruise with MSC. Read Less
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