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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My wife and I do a couple cruises per year but this was the first for MSC. We took the Seaside August 31, 2019. I was a little hesitant after reading some of the negative comments in other reviews but our experience was great. Would ... Read More
My wife and I do a couple cruises per year but this was the first for MSC. We took the Seaside August 31, 2019. I was a little hesitant after reading some of the negative comments in other reviews but our experience was great. Would definitely do it again. We usually sail the larger ships of NCL, Royal Caribbean, etc and this ship seemed to be a perfect size. The Seaside is the most elegant ship we have ever been on. It is done in a very contemporary style and was very clean. The Grand Piazza was spectacular with four levels of grandeur including curved stairways with Swarovski crystal stair treads. Amazing. They have also done a fabulous job of utilizing outside space. Both buffet restaurants had lots of outside seating with great views. The buffet food was okay and varied. Most evenings we ate in the main dining room which was beautiful. We had very friendly waiters but again the food was just average compared to other cruise lines. The speciality restaurants were all in one place and very difficult to find.... plus expensive. We did hibachi one night and the bill was over $40 each with no drinks. It was also...just average. It did have a few quirky things... like the main adult pool was small and the whole pool was 6.5 feet deep with no steps so you have to hang onto the side all the time. It was salt water which was really nice but I still couldn’t just float like some other people. It was on the back of the ship and we had great ocean views from our chairs. .. and the lounge chairs had a built in pillow which made them very comfortable. They also have a great kids area with lots of water slides, pools, zip lines, etc. Our room was just a basic balcony cabin and was very beautiful. It had a desk and large sofa. The bed and pillows were very comfortable... the bathroom however was quite small. Our shower was only 24” by 24”. When you book the cruise they give you three different amenity levels. We choose the middle one which added about $150 to the total but it allowed you to choose your cabin. I think it is worth it since some balcony cabins have obstructed views or metal railings instead of glass. And now to my favorite part... the entertainment. I was not expecting very much and was totally pleasantly surprised. There was various entertainment venues around the ship with something going on most of the time but the nightly theater shows were spectacular. They had a different show every night with usually three times to pick from. They were only about an hour long each but was high energy from start to finish. It included large stage props, music, dancing, costumes, magic, comedy, and some unbelievable Cirque type acts. Embarkation and debarkation was also very organized and getting on and off was less than an hour. We are looking forward to cruise the Seaside again or try some of the other MSC ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise mainly because of the interesting ports of call and the ship itself. We had sailed with MSC before, on the Divina, which we found to be so we decided to go back and to try the Yacht Club and booked an interior Yacht ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly because of the interesting ports of call and the ship itself. We had sailed with MSC before, on the Divina, which we found to be so we decided to go back and to try the Yacht Club and booked an interior Yacht Club suite, The whole experience in the Yacht Club was extremely good. Embarkation: we dropped of our bags at a special “Yacht Club” drop off point and were promptly guided to security (priority access); afterwards we were guided to a lounge and had do the formalities (check-in, cruise cards) and were offered some snacks and champagne. Once you were ready, you could board the ship whenever you wished. All in all, we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes and had a drink and some snacks - great start! Interior Suite: our stateroom was lovely, spacious, enough storage, good linen and towels - good bathroom was the MSC shampoo & body wash. However our room had no windows, no balcony it felt lovely and cozy. A welcome bottle of Prosecco was waiting in our room upon arrival. Nightly turndown was provided. Yacht club : we were blown away by the service provided by all YC Team Members - nothing was too much trouble. The private Yacht Club only spaces (pool, restaurant, hot tub, top sail lounge) are well decorated, luxurious, never overcrowded and always accessible. You have a separate concierge desk for all requests, so no need to go out of the YC if not wished. The Yacht Club Grill is lovely, and serves great food next to the pool. Top Sail Lounge is very relaxing with live music every evening. The restaurant serves a very fine cuisine and has good portions. Entertainment: lovely shows (including the famous Michael Jackson show), live music is never far away. I have tried the zipline and it was great! Pools and slides were cool. Hot tubs were perfect - not too hot. Overall experience : amazing experience with attention to detail. We would definitely do this again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This was my fourth time on the Seaside . Each time has been a great experience. I’ve already booked it for February. Let me be clear about the passengers before going on about the cruise . The makeup is mostly foreign with I’d say ... Read More
This was my fourth time on the Seaside . Each time has been a great experience. I’ve already booked it for February. Let me be clear about the passengers before going on about the cruise . The makeup is mostly foreign with I’d say only about 30% American. The environment of the ship is culturally different . Manners and politeness are often missing . Cabin : The size more than adequate though closet space is limited and not enough drawers. The way to get around this is to bring magnetic hooks to place on walls ( hang hats, bags, bathing suits etc ). Bring a velcro hanging shoe bag for the closet for shoes or clothing. Food : enough choices to find something you like . There’s always a chicken, steak or fish option if you don’t like the menu of the day. I found Tiramisu to die for one day on the menu. My husband had two shrimp cocktail every day . Specialty restaurant: Butchers Cut has filet mignon you can cut with a fork it’s so soft and rack of lamb prepared exactly like I like it. Entertainment: The cruise Director Eric is top notch. Humorous, energetic and involved. Shows : the best I’ve ever screen on any cruise . We normally sit in the rear in case we don’t enjoy the show . On this ship we get to the show as early as possible to get front row seats . Staff everywhere are helpful and engaging even when English is not their first language . With that said go with an open mind and book it. It’s well worth it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
AWESOME SERVICE AND STAFF, ENTERTAINMENT WAS LOVELY AHMED WAS ONE OF KIND ABSOUTLEY LOVED HIM HIS PERSOANLITY , VERY OUTGOING ATTENTIVE SERVICE FROM ALL STAFF WAS ALWAYS ON POINT AND SO WAS THE SINGER OF THE NIGHT FOR THE BAR/CAFE ... Read More
AWESOME SERVICE AND STAFF, ENTERTAINMENT WAS LOVELY AHMED WAS ONE OF KIND ABSOUTLEY LOVED HIM HIS PERSOANLITY , VERY OUTGOING ATTENTIVE SERVICE FROM ALL STAFF WAS ALWAYS ON POINT AND SO WAS THE SINGER OF THE NIGHT FOR THE BAR/CAFE Argentino leoandro loved him beautiful voice and the spanish band as well. AWESOME SERVICE AND STAFF, ENTERTAINMENT WAS LOVELY AHMED WAS ONE OF KIND ABSOUTLEY LOVED HIM HIS PERSOANLITY , VERY OUTGOING ATTENTIVE SERVICE FROM ALL STAFF WAS ALWAYS ON POINT AND SO WAS THE SINGER OF THE NIGHT FOR THE BAR/CAFE Argentino leoandro loved him beautiful voice and the spanish band as well. I recommend them , i look forward to cruising with them next year 2020. Barcadi station was the spot. every night we were there housekeeping was great Atmosphere nice crowd. my family and I love every minute of it I must say I was sick for the 1st 2day (motions) Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Background This was my 80th cruise overall, with most of them being on Celebrity in the past, followed by Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Cunard and Carnival. We found an incredible offer back in February on this 7-day ... Read More
Background This was my 80th cruise overall, with most of them being on Celebrity in the past, followed by Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Cunard and Carnival. We found an incredible offer back in February on this 7-day cruise and could not pass it up. My partner and I went and traveled with a close friend of ours who booked a solo cabin. Pre-Cruise We started our journey in Miami. We actually flew into Fort Lauderdale the day before, picked up a rental car and enjoyed lunch before heading to Miami. We checked into the Holiday Inn Seaport and then returned the rental car. We took an Uber into South Beach for dinner before retiring for the night. We checked out at 11am and headed to the port via an Uber, which was very inexpensive. The Ship We arrived at the port and were onboard before noon. The entire process was easy. The ship is stunning. Magnificently constructed, although the gray and burgundy theme inside was not my favorite color palette, it was gorgeous. The layout was fun and different than any ship I had been on. The majority of the fellow passengers were from Europe, and we loved it. Our stateroom was on the 13th floor, a balcony aft. We had booked an inside guarantee and the upgrade fairy gave us a kiss... the first time ever for me to have this kind of upgrade! Also, MSC did a status match of my status with Celebrity, which was amazing. We loved the aft elevator being right outside our door and gave us quick access to the upper pool deck on 16 or the adult only pool on deck 7. Also, the buffet on either deck 16 or deck 8. Our stateroom was very spacious and perfect, I could not have asked for anything different. Food is always subjective. I have to say in my opinion, MSC does a very good job. The buffets for breakfast and lunch had a beautiful array of foods with a lot of variety. Overall everything was very good and we were always more than happy with what our choices were. At dinner, we had the 7:30pm seating on deck 5, table for 3. The food was very good, I still give Celebrity tops, but I have to say I think that MSC rivals the food that the rest of the lines offer. Service in the main dining room lacked a bit, our team had 3 other large tables of families, and they were all high maintenance, but we were patient and enjoyed. They do three seatings in two different dining rooms. Very courageous, but they pull it off.. the thought is exhausting to me if I were a server! The shows were excellent. We saw two, which we booked from an interactive screen onboard. We saw Wizard and Starwalker, both excellent. Just like the dining times being divided into 3, so are the shows. The theater is small and intimate, I think the smallest I have encountered. I did notice the missing orchestra pit and musicians, which I did really miss. Overall a great experience. The onboard entertainment was excellent. There was always something going on, and the live musicians were all very good. There were theme nights throughout the cruise that for the first time I have ever seen... people participated with vigor! They brought outfits and all. I have to say, I do not know how they knew about them as I never saw anything about them other than the white party, which I saw a post on Instagram about. The ports were great, although I would like the port times to be tweaked, but I understand the logistics with the 7-day itinerary. We were in San Juan first, from 5pm-1am. We walked into town and did dinner and had some cocktails. Next up was St. Thomas from 7am-7pm, we went to Secret Harbor and had a fabulous day of snorkeling and lounging. The restaurant there is not great and expensive, but the rest of the day was perfect. Third stop was St. Maarten from 7am-2pm, which is really too short if you want to go to Maho or across to Orient Bay, so we just walked into town and enjoyed our time. Last stop was Nassau from 12pm-6pm, where we went to Junkanoo beach which was just a few minute walk and we had a great day there. The chair hogs were out in the most amazing display I have ever seen. During peak times on days at sea I would say that 80% of the chairs were sitting empty with towels on them. Horrible. And nobody policing them. This is where the line needs to step up their game. The adult pool was great, although it was very deep at 6'5"... so be aware. It is salt water, which I loved. We had the easy package included with our stateroom and it was fantastic. They let you get two drinks at once, so we would often do doubles as their pours are small. If you want a foo-foo drink that is over the limit, they let you order one as a virgin with a shot on the side ;-). The internet was the best I have ever experienced. Instead of charging by the minute they charge by the GB. I loved it. I had a 3GB package included with the room and I worked every day and only used 1GB of it. If you avoid social media, videos and pics you are golden if you need to work. It was fast, too. Very happy. In the end.. MSC, you have us. We loved it and cannot wait to return. The value for the money is amazing. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We took 7-nights from 8-17 to 8-24 Eastern Caribbean Cruise. After getting in line for our original Aurea Experience spa balcony room with priority embarkation, we were pulled out of line and taken to The Yacht Club lounge for embarkation ... Read More
We took 7-nights from 8-17 to 8-24 Eastern Caribbean Cruise. After getting in line for our original Aurea Experience spa balcony room with priority embarkation, we were pulled out of line and taken to The Yacht Club lounge for embarkation because we had submitted a bid for an upgrade and found out we got it right then. WOW. We never expected it, but it was so wonderful. The private Yacht Club suite comes with a butler who was at our beck and call 24-hrs a day. Our mini suite was stocked with liquors of our choice and we could have it restocked daily for entire cruise. Also, instead of using breakfast door menu, we got up whenever and ordered what we wanted and it arrived in less than 10 minutes. Also, we ate dinner in The Yacht Club restaurant each evening, the Top Sail lounge for snacks, or the Yacht Club Grill & Bar on private Deck 19 pool area. Everyone treated us like valued members and cruisers even though it was our first cruise on MSC. Just like first class compared to coach on an airplane, it would be hard to ever go back to anything less than The Yacht Club experience on MSC. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We picked this cruise because the price is reasonable/cheaper than Carnival. 1. The embarkation and disembarkation were smoothly. 2. Ship is new and clean 3. Cabin is small just like any cruise ship cabin. The shower area seems ... Read More
We picked this cruise because the price is reasonable/cheaper than Carnival. 1. The embarkation and disembarkation were smoothly. 2. Ship is new and clean 3. Cabin is small just like any cruise ship cabin. The shower area seems small. 4. Breakfast/ lunch is good. Formal dining at night is good (way better than Chili’s, TGI Friday’s, Applebee’s . Comparable to Red Lobster but fewer selection. 5. Entertainment is great. Quality of shows is excellent. 5 stars to Steve Young (director of entertainment). All of the family shows are great, Peter Punk, Butterfly, Michael Jackson. But all adults shows perform by a group of 4 person is just ok. Would like to have few standup comedians shows. 6. Service is good. 7. Port and shore excursions have good timing. Except Saint Martin 7am to 2pm. We would like to go again. MSC going to have new ships in 2022, definitely looking forward to this one Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I love MSC, I am number 1 fan of this cruise line. The crew members are adorable, friendly, professionals and very helpful. Embarkation and disembarkation are just perfect. The Seaside is a beautiful and elegant Ship. The Spa is so ... Read More
I love MSC, I am number 1 fan of this cruise line. The crew members are adorable, friendly, professionals and very helpful. Embarkation and disembarkation are just perfect. The Seaside is a beautiful and elegant Ship. The Spa is so amazing. They have to have more Latin Food, Caribbean Food, variety. The Casino spectacular and the Waiters at bars and restaurants excellent. I am not to happy with The ports of calls since they are the same since MSC Cruise came in 2014, so we are so tired of the same ones already. They are more ports like Puerto Plata, La Romana, Dominican Republic, More of Aruba, Curacao, etc. Also the entertainment actives are great. Thank God they are having more latin DJs. The most beatiful thing are the shoes, The Broadways styles shows, they are amazing. The Welcome back to the ship in some of the ports are so great! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
With all the negative reviews we were scared, but did it anyway. The ship is amazing and beautiful. We saw so many reviews of the staff being horrible, but they were amazing. We never had a problem getting a drink at any of the bars. ... Read More
With all the negative reviews we were scared, but did it anyway. The ship is amazing and beautiful. We saw so many reviews of the staff being horrible, but they were amazing. We never had a problem getting a drink at any of the bars. My favorite was the Venchi bar. The drinks are amazing and so tasty. Our room was a typical balcony ship room. The bathroom is tight and 6 more inches would have done wonders, but very workable. We had 3 large suitcases that after being unpacked fit perfectly under the bed. No storage issues at all. Our waiter in the MDR, Melvin, was wonderful. He made wonderful suggestions and the one time that I did not like the dish, he got me a new meal very quickly. He was very attentive. The show's are amazing with the acrobats and singers. Just amazing. I love that they are short so that it keeps the attention of my little one. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We have sailed on Holland, Disney, Carnival, Norwegian and Royal. MSC by far out performs and outshines all of the previous cruises we have taken. We we nervous taking this trip after reading so many negative reviews online. After ... Read More
We have sailed on Holland, Disney, Carnival, Norwegian and Royal. MSC by far out performs and outshines all of the previous cruises we have taken. We we nervous taking this trip after reading so many negative reviews online. After sailing on the MSC Seaside, I don’t know what cruise the negative reviewers were on but they obviously weren’t on the same ship we were on. No cruise line is perfect so let’s start with the negatives: 1) The elevators- There isn’t enough of them, they are small and slow. You have to pack your patience pants and just wait for them. 2) The hot tubs aren’t very hot and they close when the pools close around 10. 3) The buffet on 16 is only open for breakfast and lunch. 4) The time in some of the ports is too short. We were in St. Martin for 5 short hours and we were the only ship in port. We should have stayed for at least 7 hours. 5) The in-cabin television choices weren’t the best. No movies on a loop like other lines. That’s it for the negatives. On to the positive 1) The ship is beautiful and clean. 2) MSC has the highest safety rating in the Caribbean. 3) Our room was taken care of twice a day by a fabulous room steward. 4) Marco is the guy in charge of the special events and drawings for the shops. He’s a great guy both fun and funny. 5) The MDR staff was fantastic. Two members of our party of four have pretty severe food allergies, one to coconut and one to tree nuts. We had a cross contamination coconut scare one night. He was fine but we kind of scared our head waiter. After that she personally checked with the chef to make sure our main dish and dessert choices were safe for us. Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty! She made sure that no one at the table had tree nuts or coconut on our dessert plates to keep us safe. 6) Bar Service: Yes, the bars are busy with 5,000 people on board expect to wait a bit. We had the easy drink package and the bartenders were VERY generous with their pours. The only bar that was stingy with their pours was the main bar on 5. The bartenders will let you know if what you ordered is or is not in your drink package. 7) The casino was small but very nice. The machines payed well and were awarded a free cruise based on the points accumulated. On other lines you have to pay port fees and taxes if you win a free cruise. Not on MSC, free means free. We were also invited to sail on the Meraviglia’s first cruises in the Caribbean as a casino VIP without cost to us. 8) We bought the 10 photo package before we left and that was worth the money. We were confused when we found our embarkation photos in the room and didn’t see the letter that told us we would be charged if we didn’t return them by Tuesday evening. We easily had those charges reversed. 9) It was so nice to see the rules for adult only areas being enforced. The pool on deck 7 is for 16 and up only. On several occasions the lifeguard told younger children to get out of the pool, much to the irritation of their parents. In the casino there was a family that allowed their 4 or 5 year old to play on a machine and the casino host quickly put the entire family out of the casino. Who lets their 5 year old to gamble in the casino? 10) Embarkation and Debarkation were the smoothest and easiest we have ever had. We were able to get our room keys and security photos taken quickly and onto the ship in a flash. I highly recommend traveling with a passport because they use facial recognition technology for going through customs. We carried off our luggage and were through customs and in our car in record time. We had a fantastic time and will definitely be back on a MSC ship in the future. Quick tip, if you have to sign for something you are being charged for it. While in St. Martin, go to the Lazy Lizard for drinks and lunch! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We have sailed on more than 40 cruises over the past 20 years. Carnival, NCL, Royal Caribbean and MSC. MSC has become our favorite. We are lucky and have stayed in the MSC Yacht club and NCL Haven. I have to say comparing NCL Haven and ... Read More
We have sailed on more than 40 cruises over the past 20 years. Carnival, NCL, Royal Caribbean and MSC. MSC has become our favorite. We are lucky and have stayed in the MSC Yacht club and NCL Haven. I have to say comparing NCL Haven and MSC Seaside Yacht club there is no comparison. MSC is head and shoulders above NCL. This cruise was possibility the best yet. Food amazing, service amazing, staff amazing. Everyday the executive staff greeted us. Met the Captain 4 times by the end of the cruise he knew our names. Restaurant staff top shelf made us feel like they were waiting for us to arrive every night. Butler and butler assistant were the best. We were fortunate enough to have the same butler and assistant as we had the last cruise. Another great experience. Can’t say enough about MSC they are our go to luxury vacation Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
My family traveled on the Divina 5 years ago and enjoyed it immensely. We cruise a lot and wanted to try a different line so we chose MSC. This time we took 20 guests for our 60th wedding anniversary, 12 of them I paid for myself. We ... Read More
My family traveled on the Divina 5 years ago and enjoyed it immensely. We cruise a lot and wanted to try a different line so we chose MSC. This time we took 20 guests for our 60th wedding anniversary, 12 of them I paid for myself. We liked the new ship, free drink package, price was good as I booked early. Embarkation was very smooth. disembarkation was a chaos because of waiting on transportation but not the ship's fault. The ship is just beautiful and so many areas to choose from. Entertainment was awesome with aerialists, particularly the Michael Jackson show. Super! Food wasn't the best we have had on ships and varieties were limited and somewhat bland but we aren't ones to complain about things like that. Cheesecake and a nice fish would have been nice each night. The children's areas are fabulous and our two little ones loved it all, particularly Kids Club. We loved everything about the Seaside except the ship did not recognize our 60th anniversary and 20 people in any way.That disappointed me since we were returning guests from 5 years ago. We liked the bars to get your own drinks and not wait on a waiter. No tissues are in the rooms now, had to ask for them. Only 2 washcloths but we had a wonderful room steward. The best part was Melvin, Head Waiter, from Hungary? He was wonderful, funny and danced with me two nights. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were in the Mac hatch club, so this experience is very different if you were not in the hatch club. It was a nice, quiet, and fun experience. We had a deluxe sweet on the 18 floor. It was good size and sleeps 5. The yatch club gets ... Read More
We were in the Mac hatch club, so this experience is very different if you were not in the hatch club. It was a nice, quiet, and fun experience. We had a deluxe sweet on the 18 floor. It was good size and sleeps 5. The yatch club gets butlers, unlimited food, and drink, and gets escorted to shows, dinner, and off the ship. You have a private deck, pool, lounge, restaurant, and bars. Only around 150 other people so it is nice and not crowded. You get a priority elevator which skips all other floors. Also you get priority boarding at each port. Our butler helped so much. And I would recommend getting a cabana on the top deck for 100$. It comes with a cooler filled with any drink, food delivered the whole day, and a nice shaded and private area. The shows are great. (Michael Jackson show is a must, tickets sell fast). For shows the hatch club has private seating in the theater and don’t need to book tickets. But tickets if you are not in yatch club sell fast. Awesome cruise and only way to cruise. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We choose MSC for the price and the perks they were offering. We booked through vacations to go, it helped that our agent knew the ship and he was able to set us up for exactly what we were looking for. We selected the fastantica package ... Read More
We choose MSC for the price and the perks they were offering. We booked through vacations to go, it helped that our agent knew the ship and he was able to set us up for exactly what we were looking for. We selected the fastantica package which gave us all drinks up to $6.00 This worked well for us as the selection of drinks had what we normally drink plus a couple more we tried. I would also like to note, I am in the customer service industry, I get rated also, I have had 5 stars, and I have had 1 star. I read a ton of reviews right here on cruise critic, as you can see they are all over the place. The Ship. The Seaside is both stunning inside and out. You really don’t see how big it is until the first port at the dock. It seems like the terminal at Miami hides it a little. The inside is a bit overwhelming at first, but once you explore a little you see it’s true beauty and everything she has to offer. There are mirrors, chrome, glass, and marble everywhere. We arrived at the terminal at noon. I found the outside to be very busy, remember there are at least 5 other ships there at the same time. Once exiting the Uber in front of terminal F, people were there to take our luggage. We entered the terminal, went through security, and proceeded upstairs to check in. Check in was a breeze, there were at least 80 to 100 people behind the counter checking people in. From there we went up to a waiting area with a number. They were calling numbers every few minutes and taking a group onto the ship. We did not wait long at all. From arrival to our first steps onto the ship was exactly a half hour. That was impressive considering the cruise was sold out. Upon entering on floor number 6 there were people everywhere, it felt like everyone took 6 steps onboard and just stopped. We pressed through and went to find a kiosk to register the credit card. There was a long line at customer service, but there was staff working their way through the line to see if they could help faster, and this was the case for us, she came up to us, we asked where the kiosks were and she took us right to one. From there we went up to deck 18 to get away from the crowd. It looked like most people went right to the buffet on deck 8. We ate before we got on so we were able to explore. Don’t plan on getting on an elevator quickly on the first few hours, but we found elevators towards the front ( right off the casino) that were not too busy. State rooms are not ready until 2pm, so find a place to hang out and relax or explore during that time, I would avoid the atrium during that time. Once rooms are announced as ready it tends to calm down and doesn’t feel like there is 5000 other people around. The Staterooms We had an interior state room on deck 14. Again, ive read reviews where people complained that the state rooms were too small. Well they aren’t large but they are fine for the purpose. Your in your state room to sleep, shower or get dressed. They are the same on all cruise lines. Your not on a ship or on vacation to sit in your room all day. We met our room attendant Colette the next morning. She always smiled and greeted us anytime we saw her. Rooms were cleaned every morning, and our bed was turned down every night. She replaced our towels every time also. All in all no complaints whatsoever on the room. Our dining time was wrong on the first night, we had requested 7:30, but they had us at 5:30. No big deal, we ate at 5:30 and saw the maitre’d on the way out. The next day we had a letter on our door and he was able to accommodate us and got us the 7:30 dining time. We were put at a table with 3 other couples, not a big deal and actually I was very glad to meet all of them. The Food The food was not bad at all on both the Dining room. They allow you to order whatever you want and any amount on the menu. There is a different theme every night. Other reviews complained the portions were too small, they aren’t huge but there was an appetizer, salad, main course, and dessert. I was always full after leaving the dining room. The buffets were great, a lot of selection. Other reviews complained the selection was the same every day. To a point that is true, the staple foods were the same. Hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, salad, French fries, etc. Everything else changed up daily. There is also a meat carving station towards the back of the buffet, there were different carvings daily. We went every morning to the buffet on deck 8 for breakfast and ate outside on the deck. Hint, the pizza on deck 8 was thin crust, but the pizza on deck 18 was thick crust. The Pools. Miami Beach pool was where we were the whole time. Yes people reserved chairs early, however there were enough of them and there was never any issues up there. South beach pool was the adult only pool and we did hear of some issues with chairs down there. We would eat breakfast no later than 8am and then go up to Miami Beach and there was always chairs. After lunch chairs would clear out, and more would be available. The entertainment staff kept it alive with activities every day, especially on sea day. I don’t care how old you are, hit the water slides at least once. Hint, if your racing someone, the slide on the right is faster when your facing them. We are 42 and 43 and it got quite competitive. The Bars Yes bars can get busy, I never found them understaffed at all, did it take a few minutes? Yes, sometimes. There are also plenty of waiters and waitresses around the pool deck on sea days. Flag one of them down and they will check in on you all day. Our favorite was Miramar bar on deck 19. We went there every night, there are comfortable chairs and always a nice breeze, never crowded either. Be sure to go there and meet Sergio the bartender, he keeps it fun and has an array of his own concoctions he makes. The Crew and Staff Everyone was always kind, gave you a smile and greeted you depending on the time of day. We went to the cruise critic meet and mingle. Captain DiPalma asked for reviews both good and where they can improve. He personally made his way around to greet everyone, and claimed he baked the cake. Every staff member was helpful, some made recommendations, especially at the chocolate bar. My Summary For having 5000 people on a ship it hardly ever felt like it. There is so much outdoor deck space or somewhere else to go relax. Our toilet did break one afternoon, it was fixed within 2 hours. The shows were of perfect length (40 minutes) they have some excellent talent in that group. We went every night except on Thursday. Two small issues I noticed. The restrooms are hard to find, they are there tucked away, but the signage could be a bit better. There are also aren’t a lot of waste cans, there’s a few recycle cans, but given I don’t leave my bottles and stuff lay around, I found this to be difficult. There are guests from all over the world on this cruise, remember it is very popular in Europe, in fact I think this particular cruise was about 40% American. Very diverse, many were fun and great to talk to, some were kind of pushy, not rude, but they would get in front of you to get what they wanted first. Kids had their own areas and activities. Many people dressed up for formal nights. The photographers on board are top notch, we purchased a package to bring home and the prices really weren’t bad at all. Our friends and family were waiting on our opinion and experience. I can tell you this; we have found our cruise line! We booked our next cruise on board on Wednesday night.As of right now we reserved 3 rooms for next June. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We booked this cruise to celebrate our anniversary, but had never heard of MSC prior to this trip. Not knowing the line made us nervous, however we did plenty of research and reading of reviews prior to sailing so we had no surprises. ... Read More
We booked this cruise to celebrate our anniversary, but had never heard of MSC prior to this trip. Not knowing the line made us nervous, however we did plenty of research and reading of reviews prior to sailing so we had no surprises. Embarkation was a breeze and were on the ship less than 30 min from stepping out of our Uber. We knew to register our credit card, which we didn’t see right away but a crew member saw we were lost so walked us to the right location to get that completed. We were then free to grab a drink and explore the ship until our room was ready before 2pm. Our luggage was delivered to our room by about 4. There was a mistake in our dining selection time, as we requested late dining but was assigned a 5:30 time. We were told it would not be a problem and to request a time change with the maitre’d, which we did, but learned the wait list was over 100 people deep. Although frustrated we just decided it would not ruin our trip. Much to our pleasure, we received notification the next day our change was compete with our desired time. The food in the main dining room was very good. Dishes were small, but you could order additional if desired and they were very accommodating if it was something you didn’t like. I used this as a way to try something I would not order at home. On theme nights they had a short song/dance which we enjoyed. The food in the buffet was also very good, although it can get crowded with pushy people who push in front (but you get that anywhere). They did have pizza (get the white pizza at least once) burgers/hot dogs all the time but the other options changed. I saw many reviews with complaints that selections were the same every day, but I did not notice that although I always eat the same thing for breakfast every day regardless. We only did the buffet for breakfast/ lunch and rarely eat in between meals so we had plenty of choices for something different every day. When we did want a snack we loved the selection of meat/cheese available. Our room attendant, Colette, was very sweet. They have lights above the door so she knew when we were in room or not which we appreciated. (They do have a do not disturb button to select as well). We had one day where the toilet would not flush so we let her know. She called the plumber and it was fixed by the next time we were back in the room. The shows were very good, but had repetitive acts. The talent reminds you very much of a Cirque De Soleil show. I did enjoy them all, and none were over 40 minutes so it was a nice way to relax after dinner. The ship does get more formal after 6pm, which we enjoyed. We did hear from others who didn’t care to dress up (which was totally fine as well) but most stuck to the “theme” within reason. After dinner/show we ended up at the Miramar bar on the 19th deck every night. We loved that it was a quiet place with outdoor sofas and the best bartender, Sergio, on the ship. All the bar staff up there were great, non intrusive if you wanted a quiet evening, or kept the conversations going between guests at the bar. I am pretty confident this was one of our favorite places on the ship and we looked forward to it every night. During the day we enjoyed the 16th deck pool. There was a good mix of entertainment and time with just music. Being American we, especially, enjoyed the mix of different countries music. The entertainment staff spoke many languages and included everyone. We absolutely loved the fact that so many different cultures were enjoying the same thing together. We also enjoyed that the crew was very good about keeping children with parents, so they did not invade others space. It seemed that the kids kept mostly to the Jungle Pool and the kids area, although there were families on deck 16 as well. We noticed many times if a child was running around unattended the staff would escort them back to their parents or made them point them out so they knew they were not alone. Bar service at the pool could get busy, but it was easy to track someone down from your chair who would bring you something. The port of call times were unusual, but we did get into port early every time. This was our first Caribbean cruise together so we opted to explore on our own vs booking excursions. We noticed that St Thomas and St Marteen still have not recovered fully from the hurricane so we stuck to the shops and Maho Beach in St Marteen. Puerto Rico was a pleasant surprise as we were apprehensive of being there only at night, but never felt unsafe and loved the culture. Bahamas was beautiful and we enjoyed the public beach by Atlantis. (Pebble beach I believe). A taxi was only $4 per person each way, and we were able to get a taxi within the gate of port so it was very safe. I would highly recommend getting a drink package as bottled water/soda/juice and cappuccino is not included. We knew this and had the Easy Package purchased ahead of time. One thing to note is that the Easy Package includes select alcohol, drinks and coffee/tea to $6. A frozen alcohol drink, poolside is $11 so not part of the easy package. With that said, you can order two drinks per person (in cabin) at a time. The bartenders will help you get what you want. We ordered many “Virgin strawberry daiquiri’s with vodka” :) After a few days the staff learns your preferences and makes what you want. (Within reason of course). Overall we enjoyed our trip very much and already booked for next year. If you enjoy meeting people from all over the world you will love MSC. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Despite the negative reviews I had read, I was tempted to try MSC by the status match (Diamond on RCCL matched to Gold on MSC) and the price - and I'm so glad that I did! The Seaside is absolutely gorgeous, the crew were polite and ... Read More
Despite the negative reviews I had read, I was tempted to try MSC by the status match (Diamond on RCCL matched to Gold on MSC) and the price - and I'm so glad that I did! The Seaside is absolutely gorgeous, the crew were polite and accommodating, entertainment was excellent, and I achieved my goal of rest and relaxation! Embarkation was fast - arrived at the port around 1:30pm, was on the ship by 2pm. I was in an Aurea balcony, room 9030 - cabin steward (Angela) was friendly and efficient, room was kept spotless! Loved the extended balcony and having a full size lounge chair to nap in. As others have mentioned, there is not a lot of storage space - only 2 drawers and a few shelves in addition to some hanging space - it was fine for just me but would have been challenging for 2 or more in a room. The shower is also small (if you drop anything you have to really maneuver to pick it up!), but does have a glass door instead of a shower curtain. I had the Easy Drink package as part of Aurea booking, but I don't drink alcohol so only took advantage of the non-alcoholic offerings (and frozen virgin drinks were included in the package). Gelato and specialty coffees/drinks at the chocolate bar were not included, but the gelato was so good it was worth paying the $6 for a cup every now and then! The spa and thermal suite were outstanding, so much better than what RCCL ships offer, and on par with what NCL offers on Breakaway class ships. I scheduled 2 massages that were excellent - and there was absolutely no effort made to sell me product afterward! I ate some meals in the buffet - I thought the offerings were similar to what you would find on RCCL, and also found that if you traveled to the back of the buffet you could find things that were not on offer at the front - it was also much less crowded at the back, and there are plenty of tables to eat at both outside and inside, I never had difficulty finding a table. I had anytime dining in the Seashore room, never waiting more than 5 minutes for a table and the service was always efficient, dinner never took more than an hour, and I enjoyed most of the dishes I chose. The nightly shows were excellent, especially the Michael Jackson show on the last night. They were all relatively short (30-40 min) and extremely well done - great singers, dancers, acrobats! I did only 1 shore excursion - coffee tasting and walking tour in San Juan - it was just OK, the guide was very informative but we only stopped at 2 places for coffee and did not have choice on what to have, and very little information presented. In St. Thomas and St. Marten I just walked around and did some shopping (have been to both of those islands many times before). In Nassau, I visited the Ardasta Zoo and Gardens (home of the marching flamingos) on my own and had a wonderful afternoon, highly recommend! I thought that the crew was friendly and efficient - I was very happy with the service I received throughout the cruise. I also did not experience any "rudeness" from fellow passengers as mentioned in many reviews - I met a lot of interesting and friendly folks from all parts of the world! My only disappointment was the casino for 2 reasons - no craps table, and too smoky. I will be sailing on MSC again in October on the Bellissima - can't wait! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
This is my sister and I second experience sailing on seaside along with my nephew and his girlfriend for my sis 59 birthday. The trip didn't disappoint and hold up to our great pervious experience. Embarkation was a breeze and the ... Read More
This is my sister and I second experience sailing on seaside along with my nephew and his girlfriend for my sis 59 birthday. The trip didn't disappoint and hold up to our great pervious experience. Embarkation was a breeze and the line moved from the port lobby very quickly to get us onboard in no time. The staffs were great and friendly as well as the other cruisers who did speak English. Please keep in mind majority of the cruisers are from abroad therefore English is not the first language but you will get a smile with no words. I am ok with that. The shows on Seaside are entertaining and holds your attention the entire time. I am a average cruiser total 15 ytd on RCCL and NCL and I can gladly confirm, Seaside shows are the best at sea. The food are above average and taste the same. Nothing to write home about here. It's cruise food so we made the best used of it. The public areas are kept clean with plenty of bathrooms around but 2x I found 2 of the smaller bathrooms out of toliet paper. So always check for toilet papers first before undressing. Words of wisdom. The room Stewart Manuel is a ninja at keeping the cabin clean and stocked. Our restaurant hosts were also friendly. The ports were nothing to write home about since I am also from the Caribbean and have done the Eastern routes more than once. I have learned very quickly to enjoy the cruise ships life and not the destination since I live in Fl. This was my floating home for the week. My overall experience was great and booked another MSC Experience for Nov 2020 on the next new ship coming to Miami. Looking forward to another week of R&R next year on MSC. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
After choosing the cruise we were abit worried as the size of it and the amount of passengers. Not the case though. Embarkation was effortless and quick. Ship so clean and felt spacious. Never had to queue for bar, toilets etc. ... Read More
After choosing the cruise we were abit worried as the size of it and the amount of passengers. Not the case though. Embarkation was effortless and quick. Ship so clean and felt spacious. Never had to queue for bar, toilets etc. Never felt crowded in any areas on the ship. The staff were very attentive and always had a smile. Ipanema restaurant food was delicious and staff were great. Big shout out to the entertainment staff who every night entertained and danced with the passengers too. Ports were great I would say the only port which was abit of disappointment was San Juan as we arrived at 5 and left at 1 and it gets dark about 7 so you couldnt see very much. Disembarkation was also quick. Our only issue was our flight was at 5pm so we booked an excursion so we had somewhere with our bags, as there is no where you can leave your baggage. That is something I think would benefit alot of passengers. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Second time on this ship. Easy embarkation and disembarkation. Had dinner in the Ipanema dining room.....our waiter was very personable and food was always hot when served . Cabin....very little closet space - would like to have more ... Read More
Second time on this ship. Easy embarkation and disembarkation. Had dinner in the Ipanema dining room.....our waiter was very personable and food was always hot when served . Cabin....very little closet space - would like to have more drawers or shelves. Love the Swarovski embedded stairways!!!! Pool area gets very crowded when at sea...........get there early to get your lounge chair! Bar service was slow at all bars......could have used more bartenders. Had the lowest internet/wifi package and service was spotty at times. Take he Behind the Ship Tour offered later in the week....very interesting and informative. Onboard shops were OK' Would book another MSC cruise in the future.....maybe a Mediterranean - depending on cost/amenities. Onboard photographers were good with varied scenes and poses. Pool on Deck 16 had lots of activities going on during the day for the kids and families,,,and good place to meet others. All said and done I would recommend MSC cruises to other friends/travelers. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose the Seaside first based on cost. We've been to E. Caribbean many times, and Hubs is getting over medical problems, so we knew we would primarily stay on the ship. Embakation was a snap because he was using a walker, so ... Read More
We chose the Seaside first based on cost. We've been to E. Caribbean many times, and Hubs is getting over medical problems, so we knew we would primarily stay on the ship. Embakation was a snap because he was using a walker, so they offered him a wheelchair, which we gratefully accepted. We also had an accessible inside cabin, which was great. Lots and lots of room and large equipped bathroom. The ship was absolutely beautiful and never felt crowded, even with 5,000 passengers. What we especially liked were the many places to sit and gaze outside and listen to music or people-watch. We had the Fantastica experience which allowed us to choose our dining time, but for medical reasons we chose early dining. We had a very nice table for 2 but in a line of 5 tables, so you actually had 8 to 10 persons to converse with at times. We found the food to be good and adequate, not great, but certainly good enough for us to be pleased. Yes, portions are a little smaller, but you can order more than one from each course. Dessert is ordered when you order your main meal. The buffet on Deck 8 was also good, but not great. As many have already said, lots of repeats every day, but the salads and soups were quite good, as well as very tasty pizza available almost round the clock, We are black card, so we chose Butcher's Cut for our one included special dinner, and it was wonderful! What a treat! The filet mignon was melt in your mouth, and Hubs had the rack of lamb, which he enjoyed, as well. To sum it up, we were very pleased with MSC and will definitely sail with them again. We wish they would put a ship at Port Canavaral so we wouldn't have to drive to Miami. We live just north of Tampa, so it is a 5 hour drive, but next time we will plan it better and stay the night before in a hotel. Disembarkation was just as smooth. We literally walked off the ship and did not have to stand in an endless line. What a wonderful week!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Pls be warned, this is our first ever Cruise, our review is NOT a cruise line to another or a ship to another ship, but simply our experience on this sailing and compared to our own expectation in travel hospitality. Little background, ... Read More
Pls be warned, this is our first ever Cruise, our review is NOT a cruise line to another or a ship to another ship, but simply our experience on this sailing and compared to our own expectation in travel hospitality. Little background, we base in US, travel quite often, been to over 40 countries, typically fly 100-150k miles leisure travel a year. First learned about cruising and MSC Yacht Club form Cruise Critic (a guy mentioned this site in another frequent traveler site). Watched many youtube videos, and found YC was an amazing deal to travel in style, and time for a change. Thanks to many helpful cruisers on MSC board, answered my newbie questions. Special thanks to Cruisergal1208, who I met on board, gave me a lot of useful tips! Not sure if I could use your real name, but anyhow, really great to see you and your husband! I would like to give back what I learned and hopefully could benefit others in the future. My review is mainly focus on "first sail day" and "butler service" which has been highly advertised, because many other things could be figured out once on board. This is Not a complaint (vent maybe), but just want everyone has the right expectation. If you read my "vent", pls make sure you also read my conclusion. My overall experience is VERY positive. I got status matched from Hilton lifetime Diamond to MSC black, my wife matched from Hilton Diamond to MSC Gold. We booked for the spring break for our children. Initially we only booked 2 rooms in yacht club in May 2018, I think we took the last 2 rooms. Yacht club has been sold out almost 11 months out! Several months later, we booked 9 additional rooms for family and friends in other cabins. So, my first suggestion is, if you're interested in Yacht Club, make sure you book early ! it will sold out very early on! If you based in US, you are in luck, US has the most consumer friendly cancellation policy (full refund before final payment), also note, for Yacht Club, they recently changed to 120 days instead of 90 days. Sailing Day Many others has mentioned this! Pls try to arrive a day early, or at least arrive very early. We have a couple experienced flight delay due to weather, caused missed connection, Fortunately, they were able to catch next flight and arrived 3:15pm, with all on board time at 3:30pm! Cutting way too close... Anyway, as we arrived in different times, for the group of 9 including myself, we booked super shuttle private van, we use promo code spr10 get 10% discount only pay $58 including Tax for 9 persons and 9 checked bags. I tipped the driver separately. Embarkation Embarkation was a breeze, Yacht Club Tent was very visible. All we need to do is to toll the bags to YC tent, they took care of the bags. I read the review here, if you are in YC, no need to do the baggage tag that you printed from boarding pass, they are going to rip it off and replace it with Gold tag anyway. A butler then escort us to immigration and to lounge in no time. During check in process, check in agents are extremely helpful. Everyone has the cruise card on hand in less than 5 mins. Another butler came bring everyone to Top Sail lounge. We were told our butler will came to us later and explain more about the ship to us and bring us to our room. Since restaurant was opened, we went straight to the restaurant. First interaction was not positive (but much better afterwards, will cover later). I told the restaurant manager we were group of 9 (4 young children), the manager said, it's better for us to use the buffet in deck 19, he said it's better suit our group. I don't see many guest in the restaurant, and I don't know what he means, but I do felt offended, and told him, we would like to stay here in lunch, he complied but mumbling something to the hostess that I don't understand (and I don't care). Anyway, first lunch was a mess, very busy.... took LONG time to get what we had. Going back to think of the situation, maybe buffet was really a better option due to first sailing day. We finished lunch at almost 2pm, we wandered around to find our room. Luckily both our rooms are ready, and we settled in quickly. We had prebooked many spa items, so we went to concierge to secure the time we want. Holy moly! All the good times we wanted has been fully booked! It's just 3:30pm in the first sail date. I regret that we did not follow our initial plan, which was booked everything first before we went to lunch. Now, we could only book the less desirable time, which made our scheduled plan really messed up. Interaction with our Butler Around 5:30pm when we are planning to walk around the ship. We "bumped" into our butler in the corridor. He asked if I was staying in Room xxx. I said yes, he introduced himself, saying he has been butler for many years, and showed us around the room, placed his card on the phones etc... He asked me if I need anything. We had 3 requests, 1) we don't drink much alcohol, he could replaced them with sprite and the fruit juice and lots of pringles. 2) we need 20 extra hangers, 3) we would like the Jacuzzi set up at 10pm every night. He said no problem on all requests. BUT, turns out, 1) he gave us 14 extra hangers, 6 short, no explanation. 2) he never took away the alcohol, he put 4 more sprite and 2 more juice and 3 extra pringles. 3) when we back to room around 7:30pm, he was in the room doing turn down service, the Jacuzzi has already set up, which means the water will be cold when we came back from the show. He told me, its very easy to add water, and taught me how to open and close the water. I smiled to him, said thank you and let him go. As expected, he did not set up Jacuzzi afterward. The towel on the lounge chairs were only replaced after first night, it has never replaced since, so we wasted the area for the rest of the cruise. One day, I told my butler, there was another person's cruise card with same sail date in my room! I expressed to him this could be a security concern. He told me, this is probably the cleaning person use the key card as power and forgot to take it away. I told him, why would the cleaning person took someone else card away in the first place? He never answered me, he then apologies, and said "this is just a minor issue, you don't need to worry about it". wow... I told him, okay, I just want to make sure nobody come to my room without my permission. He assured me such. We would like to secure the MJ show 8:30pm, I expressed our concern of not getting a seat to our butler, he told me to wait for him 20 mins prior to show at concierge desk, we waited, and waited, finally, another butler was escorting a couple, he asked if we are going to the show, he volunteered to bring us. Breakfast room service I ordered breakfast in room twice. First time, I ordered via concierge desk, the order came within 20 mins, pretty impressive. My butler delivered the order to me, he told me I could have just order from him, he told me the best time to order is around 8:30-9:15am, I said ok, I will order thru him next morning around 8:30-9am. Next day, I called his extension around 8:45am, he showed up about 20 mins later, I thought he would have bought the breakfast, he was actually came and ask me what do I need (didn't we talk about this yesterday?). Okay, I told him what I need, and the breakfast arrived 1 hour 15 mins later, which was after 10am, my son and daughter can't wait, already went to the buffet AND back. While it sounds nice to have breakfast on bed, but I wouldn't bother anymore. Show We've been to the theater every night! Both my wife and my son LOVE the shows. I agree someone said sometimes, they are repetitive. However, they are very talented. Day 1 and 2 were very similar show, if you can to either one. Day 3 & 4 were Broadway style shows, VERY Good indeed. Day 6 is more fun Broadway show. Last day was MJ show, while many many ppl waiving about how good was the show, but not JUST because of the MJ part, my wife was MJ fan, said the same thing, we saw much better MJ impersonator"s". Well, again, it didn't make this a bad show, we just came in with very HIGH expectation. There was another opera "butterfly" in one of the afternoon, I kinda like it, my sister and my wife said boring, my son felt asleep, but my mom almost in tears, so YMMV. Cabin Nicely decorated. Funny thing was the US electric plugs were side by side, when you use one plug, the other will be "blocked". Shower area was very nice, power pressure was adequate. Btw, as I mentioned before, the balcony lounge chairs towel were never replaced. There was other "funny situations", 1 night, there was missing lotion, 2nd nights missing conditioner, another night the toilet paper was out. They only gave me 1 hand soap, which was never replaced on the entire cruise, which was completed out. Basically I need to call 3 out of 7 days to restock. HOWEVER, they put like 6 shampoo, 7 body wash 8 lotion after I called them, but they can't replace the hand soap? Kids Club We went there, they were packed, PACKED with kids. very busy, staff are very professional. In a very short stay there, many parents came in and out, I was amazed, when the staff saw the parent coming, the staff already recognized who were their kids... They also put up some nice shows at night for parent performed at seaview lounge. Unfortunately, we did not let our children went there, but we did see it's well organized. Aqua Park All the young ones loves this place.... no need to say more! If you want zip line, you need to buy the "badge/pass" in deck 18 , where you sign the waiver, you can use any time if zip line is open. My son tried it, it's around 30 sec, pretty fun. Me and my wife went there on the last day, it's closed due to too windy. So, do it sooner rather than later if this is in your to do list. Arcade If you have fun pass, make sure you use the money sooner rather than later. They will booked out as well. Don't wait until last day. In my sailing, the bowling was allowed to be booked days in advance, not same day others reported, but again, YMMV. 4D cinema will also booked out, due to everyone trying to use up their fun pass credit. We are the one eventually used it on air hockey... YC restaurant We found the restaurant staff were amazing!! Our waiter was only his first week, but he did very good job to us. Try very hard to accomplish our demanding requests, always offered for us to eat more. Food qualify is Good to GREAT. Not all dishes were good though, some fish are overcooked, the lobster was WAY overcooked. but overall, we all loved the restaurant. I tried butcher's cut, it's good, but I don't see a need to eat other than YC. Because if I don't like the food, I could always ask them to prepare the new one, and to my liking. Bars We are not heavy drinkers, so our bar crawl with limited drinks. Mostly experienced fast service, with top sail lounge being the best mojito to our taste, miami pool bar (deck 7 aft) pour the most liquor. Casino Very limited table game...... only spent some time on first day and thats it. Venchi This is my go to place before AND after show. Deck 7 near Miami pool has Crepe, they are amazingly good! Also they have Vanilla ice-cream which Deck 6 doesn't carry. If you order Vanilla ice-cream milk-shake, they will give you some sort of "vanilla cream" milk shake. Just keep that in mind. Otherwise, this place is HAVEN. Also, I confirmed with MSC guest service manager, Venchi manager, they are no longer offer to any drink package booked after Nov 2018, YC is also excluded. But they will honor those booked before, the system will picked up. One Deck Pool I used the cabana 6 out of 7 days, from 15 mins to 2 hours. No one ever came to ask me how am I doing or to take drink order. I always go to bar myself. One time, a butler even cut the line and just "shout out" his order. I am not in rush, so I don't care, but seriously ? I learned my lesson, I should just sit down, and waive him to the table. He was just being robotic, wanted to service his customer "on a table" asap. Concierge Desk The three ladies, Eva, Trisha and Barbara are just amazing. During the first shore excursion, she took the time explaining the procure to me, and advised me NOT to bring passport to shore, and offered to help me make copies of the passport. They are my go to persons. We ordered pizza almost every night, like many people said in the past, they are different in a good way..... we ate so many of them. They never felt being bothered, and always remind me to order pizza when I passed by, lol! They are the angels on the cruise. Disembarkation I told our butler we had car serviced booked for 10am, I clearly told him we need to be escorted by 9:30am, of course no show in the top sail lounge, so we all went concierge desk, and he seemed surprise to see us there, asking are we ready? That was 9:40pm, but he did bring us down afterward. Btw, as usual, he addressed me as "hi", I guess he couldn't remember our names? Anyhow, once we went thru the immigration, they will be directed to collect your bags. There was another hiccup. We were directed to go sharp right after the elevator, even in the middle, we asked another staff, he just told us keep going, go all the way to the end. AFTER A LONG WALK, found out YC (gold tag) was NOT there, we have to go all the way back, and we should go straight (passed the first intersect), then you will see the gold tag area, then turn right to exit. REMEMBER, do not go into the first "room". To MSC, put up a SIGN right after the elevator PLEASE ! Conclusion. While I had some issue with my butler, those are minor issue, at least to me. I came here to enjoy my vacation, not to dictate others what they want to do or not. Good news is, MSC has backup system, I can find help with other butlers or concierge desk, end of the day, none of my issue remain. I had many experience with butler service in hotels, they did much more than cruise line butler. My experience are, butler are here to do things for me, not teach me how to do things. In a small conversation with a butler in top sail lounge, the butler told me if a butler asked me what I need, he was being lazy, he shouldn't be told what to do, but offer assistant to what I need. I felt relief, at least some butlers are well trained, I was just unlucky. To my interaction with other butlers, they were very happy to do things for me, even they were not assigned to me, ie escort me to show, escort me to shore, etc... MSC Seaside has MANY good things to offer, the ship itself was beautiful, most places were clean. BTW, I did not smell the odor that others reported. MOST staff were very nice and very patience. I found out, sometimes you will find surly faces, not because they were rude, they just need some time to adjust into English conversation, after short while, most conversation will ends with smile. They were mostly hard workers. The Master were really trying to present in many occasions. I had twice short conversations with him (nothing serious), and he was very engaging. Good food, good people, good service, good price, what else do you need? Just remember, don't expect perfect, you will be very happy sailing with Seaside. I would not hesitate to recommend MSC Seaside to anyone, especially in YC. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The 7-day Seaside 3/30 departure was our 52nd cruise. We’re Princess Elite, Royal Caribbean Diamond, Carnival Gold. This was our second MSC—previously on Divina summer 2017. Other than a lengthy embarkation in Miami, an enjoyable ... Read More
The 7-day Seaside 3/30 departure was our 52nd cruise. We’re Princess Elite, Royal Caribbean Diamond, Carnival Gold. This was our second MSC—previously on Divina summer 2017. Other than a lengthy embarkation in Miami, an enjoyable cruise. We booked an inside Fantastica experience and got the 12 drink coupons by showing boarding documents to a friendly guest services agent. Our room was nice and clean and room steward was great and friendly. The main dining room was good and service quick and friendly. The Butchers cut steak specialty restaurant was great. The buffet on 8 had a good food selection and the outside seating overlooking the sea generous and provided a great view. Bar service was good. Entertainment was fine though a little bit operatic for my taste. The onboard app was great and equal to the best of others. Excursion to Trunk Bay on St. John was executed flawlessly. The pools and water slides were great. We appreciate MSC matching us to Black card and received all the benefits. The Cruise Critic Party was fantastic—the best on any cruise line. MSC prices are hard to beat given our great experience. We’ll continue to sail MSC when their prices and itineraries fit and find they are working hard to provide a great cruise experience in a competitive market. Disembarkation was quick and orderly. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose a seven-day cruise on MSC Seaside for several reasons—new ship with groundbreaking design, relaxing itinerary, and excellent price. My husband and I have done 52 cruises on various lines, so we’re experienced cruisers. We ... Read More
We chose a seven-day cruise on MSC Seaside for several reasons—new ship with groundbreaking design, relaxing itinerary, and excellent price. My husband and I have done 52 cruises on various lines, so we’re experienced cruisers. We found the ship to be gorgeous—very “glitzy” finish. MSC Seaside was also very well kept; public areas were very clean, and our cabin steward did an excellent job. We booked the Fantastica package, which included 12 drinks each. We could choose from standard cocktails such as rum and Coke, the daily drink special, fruit smoothies on Deck 19, or yummy gelato shakes at the Venchi chocolate bar. Sodas, juices, coffees, and hot chocolate were also included in the package. Very nice benefit! The food in the main dining room was very good—perhaps not “wow,” but certainly tasty. Our waiter and assistant waiter were super fast and attentive. Portions were a bit smaller than on some cruises, but I appreciate that so I don’t go home impersonating a whale! Butcher’s Cut specialty steakhouse was marvelous. The buffet might not have been quite as extensive as some ships’ spreads, but the pizza was fantastic, and the Mac and cheese was superb. Outdoor seating for the buffet on Deck 8 was abundant and very pleasant. My only complaint was that soft serve ice cream was only available on Deck 16 at the smaller buffet during open hours. I missed my “on demand” chocolate cone! Entertainment on MSC is more Cirque du Soleil than storyline, but it was still good. The Michael Jackson show was outstanding! MSC put on a fantastic Cruise Critic party—the best we’ve ever experienced. Embarkation was kind of a hassle with long lines, but disembarkation was a breeze. I believe a lot of the criticism aimed at MSC Seaside lately has been really unfair. We had a great experience and found all staff members to be friendly. We will definitely sail MSC again, and we heartily appreciate the company’s loyalty match program. 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose Seaside twice because it is a beautiful, billion dollar ship at a huge discount.. Yes, there are negatives, but way fewer than there used to be. The positives far outweigh the negatives. Just go. Better still, go Yacht Club. ... Read More
We chose Seaside twice because it is a beautiful, billion dollar ship at a huge discount.. Yes, there are negatives, but way fewer than there used to be. The positives far outweigh the negatives. Just go. Better still, go Yacht Club. We are doing that next year. The 5000 people are way too many at the first buffet, and on the sea days. Get past that. There are always deck chairs available. No idea how or why, but in two cruises, this is true. Get back early on Port days, and you have the beautiful Seaside to yourselves. Pure joy.. The Aurea level is a must. The Spa (included) is so fabulous, and the outside space at the Spa is the best lounge area on the ship. The 19 deck Aurea only space works too. The real reason to pay for Aurea is the choice dining. THAT is huge, and the one mistake MSC makes is forcing eating times on the rest of the ship. This was NOT clear to us the first time, and it angers many cruisers. They should section off the two dining rooms into four, with different designs, and different times. Give some flexibility to all. Tip: Get on board, get a wrist watch as your room key and charge pass ($5), and book ALL the shows every night. They sell out fast, especially the Michael Jackson Skywalker last night, so book early, and arrive twenty minutes ahead for seats for every show. They check your watch/sea pass card for both reservations, then let anyone without reservations in fifteen minutes ahead. Go early. The shows are excellent for all the different languages (65 countries on board ) . They are 35 minutes long, fast paced, and varied for all. The performers are absolutely excellent, and cirque gets sprinkled into musical numbers to keep all happy. They need to print out the specific beverage packages, so you can see if your favorite beverage is included. Many cruisers we met were wild that their drinks included such limited (usually none) choices. Their premium package is WAY too expensive (we got it anyway), but it is impossible to figure out what you are getting ahead of time. Gelato included? Sorbet? Chocolate? Good luck. Bad website info, and customer service reps vary wildly with incorrect info. You are left to simmer once on board. Not right, but they WILL fix it, as they have fixed everything else you read about. Well run company. The rooms are not large, but they aren't in Europe either. The balconies sure work. In fact, everywhere you go on the ship, the water is literally part of the ship. Beautiful, smart design. Brings the outside in. Even in the Specialty restaurants, and in almost every bar. Open to the sea. Outstanding. The design of the ship gets kudos for keeping kids away . There are kids on the ship, but not all over the place. The areas for kids are that good. We talked with a couple bringing their kids for their third MSC cruise. Think about that. They are totally free (when you figure the total cost per person, this is a winner). There is SO much for kids to do, you just don't see them as you do on other ships. Plus, no college kids on break who ruin the pool decks. They aren't there. How good is that? So next year, we skip the lines and crowds, and go to Yacht Club. MSC is such a bargain. 1/3 the cost of our Crystal next year. We'll see........ Read Less
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