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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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this Cruise because we saw the ship coming off of our 12th Anniversary to Jamaica and we decided then and there, we wanted to do this ship for our 13th Anniversary. The price we paid for our Cruise was great. The food on the ship ... Read More
We chose this Cruise because we saw the ship coming off of our 12th Anniversary to Jamaica and we decided then and there, we wanted to do this ship for our 13th Anniversary. The price we paid for our Cruise was great. The food on the ship was good but it can be better. When we bought our Cruise last year, the tourist who helped us said it was a different experience and it was. Just like she said, MSC caters to the Europeans! It's like nobody else matters but our money spends the same. The staff, mainly the ones dressed in white are stuck up with nasty attitudes! Never saw the Captain not one day! The only entertainment we enjoyed was the Michael Jackson show. That was the worse KARAOKE I've ever seen on a Cruise and it was just one night! MSC Seaside never starts any shows, bands, games, etc. on time. It's like they wait til the last minute to show up and set up. The music groups are amazing. Seaside has some Awesome singers but they only cater to certain people with their music and that's not right! When you advertise R&B SOUL, then that's what you need to be performing is R&B SOUL!! When you advertise Old School Jams, then perform Old School Jams! Their entertainment can use a lot of adjustment. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Pros: Crew members - always friendly and helpful. Our room steward, Christian, went beyond normal. Some crew members gave us free drinks or moved us to the front of the line without us requesting the favors. Cleanliness of ship ... Read More
Pros: Crew members - always friendly and helpful. Our room steward, Christian, went beyond normal. Some crew members gave us free drinks or moved us to the front of the line without us requesting the favors. Cleanliness of ship (with the exception of plates in the hallway for over a day) Cabin Entertainment (except as noted below) We met some very nice people (expecially at the Meet & Greet) Cruise Critic Meet & Greet was our first and an unexpected joy Balcony experience Things not outstanding: Food (both MDR and buffet) 360 degree tour of St. Maarten (about half of it was disappointing) Cons: Does not really cater to the American market Embarkation was my worst ever Disembarkation (self-disembarkation) was my worst ever Comedy improv show stunk; almost just left Some overseas passengers think nothing of cutting in front of you Some overseas passengers think nothing of bumping you around Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
The ship was beautiful but the food was just ok. You cruise for the food & for an Italian line the food was very disappointing. I was also amazed how small the pools were, you couldn’t even get in due to overcrowding. This is my ... Read More
The ship was beautiful but the food was just ok. You cruise for the food & for an Italian line the food was very disappointing. I was also amazed how small the pools were, you couldn’t even get in due to overcrowding. This is my first & last time with MSC. The crew were not very friendly and definitely not over accommodating. Even our cabin guy was not personable. I had premium package & still had to pay for gelato, everything seemed to be extra. Getting our pictures was a major ordeal. We ordered & was told to return in 8 hours (10:30pm). Was told to come back in an hour. I really wanted to give MSC a chance but unfortunately it’s my first and last time. I received a good deal but when on the ship I had to upgrade because I didn’t receive what I expected. Royal Caribbean I’ll be back! Read Less
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
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
First, we have been on three MSC cruises so far. This is the second time on Seaside. Originally tried MSC due to the price and have found that it offers most everything that lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean offer at a much better ... Read More
First, we have been on three MSC cruises so far. This is the second time on Seaside. Originally tried MSC due to the price and have found that it offers most everything that lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean offer at a much better price. Did Seaside for a second time as I felt that it would be a very good, fun cruise for my boys, 13 and 15, to do for there first cruise. It was. They loved it. Had a lot for them to do on board, they did go to the teen club a few times but found that the kids there had more interest in things that my boys were not interested in so that was not a big sell for them. But a lot of kids were there. The ship itself was full of kids of all ages. It is truely a family cruise. Food: Buffets: there are two and they do it a little different than other cruise lines. Though they are changing a little. They have a huge selection of food for you to choose from, from hamburgers and hotdogs to Mediterranean and Mexican. Also a great pizza station. But the selection does. It change much throughout the cruise. This did change a little between the first time we cruised and this time. Some stations changed things out. They put aditional sausages in the hamburger/hotdog area like Italian one day, kielbasa anothe ecf. The hand carved station had a different meat each day and I believe that the Mexican food also changed. As did the deserts. They even had a all cake day on the last day at sea. MDR: did not eat a lot here for dinner. Only twice this time. Did specialty restaurants mainly this trip. However at most meals at the MDR the first cruise. They have, generally 4 appetizers to choose from 3-4 main courses and 3-4 deserts. Similar to most other cruise lines. Food is good as is the service. Food is a little more Mediterranean than other lines and I liked that. Italian night rocked. You always have the option every night of salmon, NY strip and another main course if you do not like that nights selection of meals. Specialty restaurants: they were great. Tepenyaki was fantastic. The cooks were fun and made the meal what it was. It is nearly a two hour event so make sure you are aware of that. Pan Asian: of all the restaurants this was our least favorite. Though food was very good, just not as good as the rest. Boys were not impressed. Believe the food was a little out of there wheel house. Ocean Cay: seafood. Had a great sea bass. Boys had oysters and everyone enjoyed them selves. Would have gone back for another dinner in an instant Steak house: boys tried and loved the bone marrow. Must say, it was incredible. We went here twice and my oldest got it twice he liked it so much. The fillet minion was superb, one son had the NY Strip both nights as he liked it so much. Another had the lamb. I had a bite and it was excellent. Lava cake for desert was incredible. I know it is Carbivals signature dish. But this beats it hands down. Ship: the ship is in incredible. Extreamly clean, shines with all the crystal. Have to love things like the bridge of sighs and the staircases in the atrium. Just makes the ship a thing of elegance and splendor. Large but never felt like there were 5000 people on board. Pools are, like other ships, using water from the ocean and not heated. Fun in the summer but can be a little cold in winter. Also, be prepared for the pools to have an incredible number if people around them. They have three main pools for guests and a fourth for the YC guests. The three main pools were always full when at sea. Also the pools are all 5-6 feet deep. So just standing in the pools is not an option. Actually helps to get some people out of the pool after so many minutes. Like on there lines, people come down and place there towels on the chairs and leave. However, if you see this, tell a pool attendant. They will put on a note to the chair noting the time and if the note is still there 45 minutes later, they will remove it. Shows: enjoyed them immensely. They are about 30 minutes long and include singing, dancing, acrobatics and magic. A little for everyone. The Michael Jackson tribute is incredible. Best shows I have seen on the seas. Embarkation and debarkation. This is a new terminal and they did it right. Both getting on the ship, including security check and checkin was a breeze. And leaving the following week was the fastest I have done on any cruise line. Didn’t even have to have my passport as they are all set up to use facial recognition now and so you just walk up, stop and then proceed. People: the ship was nearly 1/2 from the USA. Another 20% from Canada and the rest from Europe and other countries. You will find that you will hear many different languages and deal with many different customs. Be prepared to accept that. This is part of this experience. If you want a cruise with mainly Americans and when you walk around you hear only English, this is. It the cruise for you. Also, I found that there is a lot more smoking on this ship than others. They have two main designated smoking areas. If you do not like smoking, make sure you do. It get a room on the left side of the ship when looking forward, and near the back. One of the largest smoking areas is on Deck 7 in the back on that side. Again, many people are not from the US and they are nit used to not being able to smoke indoors or anywhere they want. The first day or so we found some people smoking inside the ship and even going into the elevator smoking. This quickly was eliminated as the crew was quick to talk to those people and tell them they could not smoke but in designated places. We also had to call guest relations as people next to us on both sides were smoking. On all ships this is a big no. Both people never smoked on the balcony again the entire trip. Had the same thing happen on Carnival magic two years back. Those people refused to stop. Sorry but smoking is a big deal to me so it is something I pick up on quickly and have no issue telling someone to put out there cigarettes. Overall the Seaside is a great vessel. We would sail her again and are looking at booking another cruise on MSC soon as we very much like there cruise line, appreciate cruising with other from outside the US and really love the prices. There are good and bad things about every cruise, but MSC I find to be a little better than most. They are not as much a party ship as Carnival or as plastic as they appear. The ship is in the same class as some of the larger Royal Caribbean cruise ships but at a much lower price point. Went to four islands on the seven night cruise. Again, loved that it was not just a three island stop. That is why I go on a cruise, and yes I would and will cruise Seaside again 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I’m a travel agent and this trip was a personal trip although used it to meet captain, cruise director crew, and experience the ship it first hand After reading & watching al sorts of pro & con reviews of this ship,I walked ... Read More
I’m a travel agent and this trip was a personal trip although used it to meet captain, cruise director crew, and experience the ship it first hand After reading & watching al sorts of pro & con reviews of this ship,I walked in with an open mind. I was truly impressed. The Haven Lounge nightly activities & music was the best! The family night delish spread of snacks & deserts. Main dining meals were a hit & miss - my waiter wasn’t as attentive as if he was bothered to serve us Room steward Christian was very courteous & attentive Need More varied teens activities Italian night after tasting food in the MD went to buffet better pasta & seafood ; noticed that people were eating more at the buffet Overall my son & I enjoyed ourselves ; I would recommend it to my clients & we would go again but we’ll wait for newer ships The cruise critic meet & mingle was super! viva Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We are just back from 1 14 day back to back cruise on the MSC Seaside and wanted to share our thoughts. I am a very critical person when travelling. Firstly I am not going to compare the Seaside with any other cruises we have sailed on ... Read More
We are just back from 1 14 day back to back cruise on the MSC Seaside and wanted to share our thoughts. I am a very critical person when travelling. Firstly I am not going to compare the Seaside with any other cruises we have sailed on which include Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean as I believe all have their good points and not so good and it is unfair to compare. The Seaside is a lovely, clean and very impressive ship. There are not many times you feel like you are onboard with 5000 passengers let alone another 1500 crew. We experienced only a very positive interaction with crew members with many taking time out to say hello and a general friendly approach especially to our 2 grandchildren who got lots of attention and high 5's. Embarkation and debarkation was very smooth and quick . Cabins - we had a balcony cabin and whilst cosy for 2 adults and 2 children it was comfortable and clean. Space can be a little tight but we adapted with bringing over the door organisers. I cannot comment on the room steward who whilst wasn't very visible always kept the room clean. Kids Club - our 2 grandchildren loved it and although we wanted to spend some good quality time with our 2 grandchildren on board it was nice to get those couple of hours to ourselves once in a while. Shows - a little confusing at times and some acts repeat over other shows later in the week but they are very professional and enjoyable. The Starwalker Michael Jackson tribute and show end on the Friday is a must see. You get a bit of everything at the shows, singing, dancing and Cirque de Soleil type performers. The beer prov children rated comedy show was very funny and a good watch. Food - we ate in the buffets for breakfast and lunch and the main dining room for dinner. This was probably our biggest disappointment. The buffet is a little repeatative and sometimes a little lacking in choice but the pizza is great and the late night cookies at the snack station were wonderfully soft and delicious. we ate in Ipanema main dining room and the waiting staff were friendly including the maitre d's even dancing with our granddaughter and always asking if we were ok and had a good day. service was a little slow on occasions and the very odd dish was not great but we felt the food could have been better overall. Guests - it is a very multi cultural guest list is the most polite way of putting it but again with 5000 guests from 120 nations you are going to get some who do not share your manners, standards and etiquette. Don't be put off by the completely negative comments you read about the MSC Seaside, I am very critical and would describe our experience as positive overall and YES I would sail with MSC again. 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My husband and I sailed on Seaside 8/3/19 for our 20 year anniversary.  It was our first time cruising so we weren't sure what to expect.  I scoured the message boards here to prepare myself the best I could prior to the cruise.  I ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on Seaside 8/3/19 for our 20 year anniversary.  It was our first time cruising so we weren't sure what to expect.  I scoured the message boards here to prepare myself the best I could prior to the cruise.  I was able to get a lot of helpful hints that came in handy.   Our boarding time wasn't until 2 pm but after reading the boards, we decided to show up at 10;30 am and we were on the ship before noon.  We immediately went and got our wristbands, registered our credit card and found the maitre d' to request a table for 2 in the dining room (which was granted) to avoid the lines later.  We then went and had lunch at the buffet and then found a cozy spot in the Seaview lounge and had a drink.   I"m so glad I found those recommendations here because they really saved us time later.   One thing I have read on cc from many people is how rude the staff is.  That was not our experience at all.  We felt the staff went above and beyond for us.  We had the easy drink package and my favorite wine wasn't on it.  No biggie, I made due with what was available to me.  However, when we showed up for dinner on the night of our anniversary, a bottle of my favorite wine was chilling at the table and we weren't charged for it.  At the end of our meal, about 10 waiters showed up and they all sang "I swear" by All for one.  The entire song.  It was embarrassing and amazing at the same time.  lol   This is just one example and there are so many more.   We did encounter 2 staff members that were a little rude but we just avoided them after that.   We paid for the 1 day pass for the thermal spa and felt that it was really overrated.  We ended up spending 2 hours there before leaving. There just wasn't enough to do to spend the whole day there.  We each got a massage as well.  My husband said his was amazing while I felt mine was just ok.   Even before getting off the massage table my therapist was trying to sell me other services.  It was very annoying.  After telling her no about 5 times, she gave up.  There are staff walking around the ship trying to sell different services and dinner add-ons but saying no once does the trick.   We saw 3 shows while on board.  The Beer comedy one for families, Butterfly and the starwalker (the Michael Jackson one in case I didn't get the name correct).  The comedy was hilarious, the Michael Jackson one was phenomenal and Butterfly wasn't for us (just not opera fans I guess).  We had the Bella package and upgraded our stateroom to a balcony room.  The balcony really made the room in my opinion.  We enjoyed sitting out on it in the evening with a drink before bed.   We felt there were enough hangers for our clothes and enough space for all of our other items.   The pool areas were very loud and crowded.  People would sit around the edge of the pool making it very difficult to even get in.  It wasn't for us so we would find a lounge chair in another part of the ship and relax in peace .   We only scheduled one excursion with the ship and that was in St. Thomas. It was ok but not worth the money. All in all, we had a good time. The service was exceptional and if we were to ever sail with MSC again, that would be the reason. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
It's the culture on NO, of close, of it's too late, of I can't, of it's your problem. This european need to understand the American customer service, if not, then they need a crash course with Carnival, NCL, Royal ... Read More
It's the culture on NO, of close, of it's too late, of I can't, of it's your problem. This european need to understand the American customer service, if not, then they need a crash course with Carnival, NCL, Royal Carebean. They should go back to cargo. The cabin people has to ask for permission just to find a pillow to mattress to put the two single bed together. Two days to get the mattress. Cabin people don't pick up trash, used cups. All personell with bad faces all the time. As if they were doing a favor. The pictures were bad quality. The paper is better at my local pharnacy photo section. Fo not recomend this cruise. No ice cream cone at all times or soda, just a certain time of the day, and one person dispatching it, so long line of course, of course, the European way, just this is what it is. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was my first time on MSC we normally cruise Carnival. We booked this cruise with a group of people because their travel agent loved this ship. For our family we had issues from the start. Before the cruise calling into customer ... Read More
This was my first time on MSC we normally cruise Carnival. We booked this cruise with a group of people because their travel agent loved this ship. For our family we had issues from the start. Before the cruise calling into customer service you need to be prepared to have an hour because the hold times are crazy! Things I was told on the phone were never completed. I will say boarding the ship was effortless and ran very smoothly. But once on the ship we realized that the drink package that was included was only on 2 of our rooms not all 4. So we had to wait in a very long line for customer service. It appears that a lot of other people had issues as well. The drinks on us package is a bit confusing. They charge you a service charge every time. For example for a bottle of water is was a dollar for them to hand it to you.. (not really free) Now let’s talk Fun pass I had my 4 kiddos and after looking at the website of all the activities I bought 2 fun passes. ($200) that was disappointing. The zip line wasn’t open very much and the arcade well it has 3 games and 5 claw machines that are $3 each the claw machines aren’t included in the fun pass so my kids not taking time to read signs charged some to my card for that... My 2 youngest went to the kids club once and both said please don’t make me go back.. The shows were great! The entire family really enjoyed them! The cruise critic party was very nice and I really enjoyed meeting the officers there. The buffet was pretty good. The only thing is sometimes they would only have one open and it was be very crowded. When at port the pools were closed that was a bummer for people who didn’t want to get off the ship. There are plenty of places to just sit and enjoy yourself. They are trying to grow their North American fleet but my personal opinion is they are no where close to the service you get from Carnival. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Having read many reviews about this ship I felt I should also write a review. Embarkment quick however the safety drill chaotic notifications received advising we failed to attend plus reminders when we did undertake this briefing staff ... Read More
Having read many reviews about this ship I felt I should also write a review. Embarkment quick however the safety drill chaotic notifications received advising we failed to attend plus reminders when we did undertake this briefing staff just forgot to scan our cards. Food average buffets the same most days and evening dining plus getting a drink from your drinks package slow. No separate fast food areas besides going into main buffet areas. Entertainment in the day and evening great. Shows incredible, silent disco, white party, nightclub etc. We felt the ship catered for all ages including my 21 year old son and daughter of 19 years. Since we smoke decks 19, 7 and 8 catered for our needs and I thought the easy drinks package which we purchased was fantastic. Two drinks at a time, could then straight away reorder the staff were more than helpful and no big queues. Easy to get sunbeds , staff generally helpful, ship clean. I agree elevators a little slow but you could use the stairs. Room made up twice a day. On occasion, staff seemed overworked , were not overly enthusiastic except a guy called happy on 19th deck. We all thoroughly enjoyed the ports and the excursions I booked myself. Value for money and photography excellent. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I embarked on a 7 night cruise on the MSC Seaside, leaving from Miami and going to San Juan, Charlote Amalie, Phillipsburg, and Nassau. While I have been on a few cruises before, this was a first cruise experience for my wife and I chose ... Read More
I embarked on a 7 night cruise on the MSC Seaside, leaving from Miami and going to San Juan, Charlote Amalie, Phillipsburg, and Nassau. While I have been on a few cruises before, this was a first cruise experience for my wife and I chose it because of the size of the ship and an expected smooth ride for my wife, as well as the ports and the appearance of the MSC Seaside. My impression with MSC began before I boarded while I was preparing for my cruise. I ran into issues with the MSC web site and customer service which have been discussed in this post, https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2674801-msc-website-bugs-and-support-experience/?tab=comments&source=122648#comment-57780603 . Now that I have cruised on the MSC Seaside, I'll share my onboard experience. The Embarkation and boarding experience started off excellent, it lost excellent status with baggage delivery and I'll come back to this. Have you ever gone into a super market, motor vehicle office, or other service area, looked at the long line and wondered why so many stations were unstaffed and things were't operating optimally? This was NOT the case with MSC embarkation. I was amazed to see every station was staffed, some with more than one person. We walked right up and found the staff knowledgeable, polite, and efficient. We did have priority boarding with the Aurea experience, but every station was staffed and they were prepared to operate at full efficiency. Bravo MSC, I could not imagine this process running any better. Since we got on so fast and early, our room wasn't ready but no complaints here as it wasn't supposed to be ready yet. We ate lunch, had a couple of drinks, and were then notified that our room was ready an hour before it was supposed to be. When we got to the room three out of our family's five bags were delivered. This was not an issue at first because bags were still being delivered. This became an issue several hours later, after dinner, when the two bags were still not delivered and the ship had left port. My wife was worried as one child had no clothes other than what she had carried on for that day and she didn't know if the bag made it on the ship. We returned to our room again about 8:00 pm and a note was on the door saying a bag needed further security scanning and we need to pick it up at the luggage center. Here's where MSC can use some help with communicating. We look in the MSC App which contains the ship map and you can find out how to get to things onboard and there's no "luggage center" found. We check the ship map by the elevator and there's no luggage center. A few other passengers show up with the same note and are having the same problem, nobody knows where the luggage center is. We go down to deck 5 which is where customer service is and of course the line is really long being the first day onboard. It looked like about an hour more wait by the number of people and the rate at which things were moving, but I will say every station was staffed again. A few of us wandered around looking for the luggage center and eventually came across a crew member in the hall, asked about it, and he took us to a room we would have never found on our own. Our largest bag was there but another was still unaccounted for. The bag was flagged by security for containing a surge protector. Security flagged it but the ship allows it onboard. I read on here to bring one but it was not necessary and ended up causing me some grief. Keep this in mind if you bring one. I now had to get this large fifty pound bag from the luggage center on deck 5 to my room at the front of the ship on deck 12 with ship activities in full swing and people everywhere finding their way around on the first day. Delivery luggage late at night through a crowds of people wasn't how I wanted to be spending my first night onboard. If they cleared the luggage, why couldn't the crew just deliver it. After all, we still had another bag that we were told was being delivered. That second bag showed up at about 10:00 pm and caused a bit of a panic. My advice is to just know that bags can come pretty late. Carry on what you need for the first day and just be patient. There's a lot going on. We had booked an Aurea Grand Suite (SE3) for the family and were expecting a separate bedroom for us parents, and a couch that converted into bunk beds for the kids, a table, and four chairs. This is how the room was laid out in pictures and seemed like a pretty nice cabin for a cruise. MSC does state that furniture may vary in rooms and it did. Instead of bunk beds we had a couch that folded out to a double bed, no table, and one chair. Furthermore the room had a techno gym attached to the wall in the living room. This may sound like a nice bonus to some but this thing was a monstrosity and room space is very valuable on cruises. We didn't want that, never saw anything saying it would be there, it was unappealing, and in the way. My wife waiting on the long customer service line to see what could be done about it and that didn't go well. I talked to our cabin steward (who was wonderful) and her boss. My wife was told someone would come by to fix it, the steward boss told me it couldn't be fixed. One look at it and I knew we'd be stuck with that we had there. There was much back and forth with several people and my wife was not having a good first cruise experience. We were told the room was a wellness suite and came with the gym. We didn't book a wellness suite, we booked an Aurea Grand Suite, and it was not feeling very grand. The steward boss called his boss at one point and had the call on speaker phone. The woman says "he has the big room with a gym, what else does he want?" Well, I didn't want a gym in my room, I wanted bunk beds for the kids, table, chairs, and staff that listens to the problem. The room was what it was and there was nothing that could be done about it. The kids had to share a bed and get on with our vacation. The other disappointment was that we were so far forward that our balcony had a steel wall instead of glass. When you sat down on the balcony, the water could not be seen and instead you look up at the sky or at the steel wall. It was nice though if you stood up. Pay close attention to where your room is on the ship and what your experience will be. On the 2nd day of the cruise we had a Cruise Critic meet and greet with senior officers of the ship. The cruise director, Gene Young, came by to chat with us and see how things were going. I shared my pre-boarding experience with the web site and my onboard experience so far. Gene seemed very sincere and listened to what we had to say. He was glad to hear that some things were going very well and that we loved the ship, he was sorry to hear some of the negative experiences. Gene told us that he would talk to the senior officers of various departments and he himself would give us a call back. Gene did in fact call us the next day. Of course he couldn't fix the furniture or get the monstrosity out of our room but Gene and staff did offer us a few things to help smooth things over and make up for the disappointment. Ideally the cabin experience should be very clear. The wellness suite experience with a techno-gym in the room is very different than what was expected. We're grateful that he listened and the staff did what they could. Cruises are known for eating and the food on board was very good, but I also expect it to be very good. Both the buffet and dining room met expectations and I was satisfied with all of my meals. Lots of people rave about the pizza onboard the MSC Seaside and being a native New Yorker, I'm a bit of a pizza snob. Us New Yorkers tend to think we're authorities on pizza and have our expectations. I'm enough of a pizza snob to know the best NY pizza is not in Manhattan but instead in Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island. Now that I established myself as having strong opinions on pizza, I made it one of my first orders of business to go to the buffet and try this famous MSC Seaside pizza. I sampled the pepperoni pizza, some plain cheese, and a white pizza and the verdict is, thumbs up. I really didn't expect to like the pizza on the ship but it was genuinely good pizza, even by my tough standards. For those who like some simple grilled foods, you can always get a good burger at the buffet. Most of the carving stations were very good too, although I did find a pork loin to be a little bland. It was from a buffet though, so it is what it is. One more note on the buffets, the traffic flow is very chaotic. I'm not really sure how to solve this, but their must be someone on the MSC payroll who deals with these problems. It becomes a real challenge to get through there without getting a plate of food dumped on you or dumping yours on somebody else. There are lots of people going in every direction trying to load up as much as they can on their twelve inch plate. I don't know if I can fault MSC for this, but it would be nice if they can study it and find some way to improve the traffic flow. The dining room meals were excellent whether it was meat, pasta, or seafood. The famous Butcher's Cut steakhouse on board was a disappointment and I do not recommend it. I've been to some pretty nice steak houses in the same price range, and this one does not compare. I thought the NY Strip I got in the main dining room was better than the rib eye I had at Butcher's Cut and the Butcher's Cut steak was no better than any supermarket steak that I cook myself. The atmosphere didn't help either when one family was in there with their kids running around and screaming like they're in Chuckie Cheese. You can't always blame the restaurant for guests behavior, but the food just was't up to par either. We went to the theater four nights and were impressed with every show. The performers were very talented although you do see some of their acts get recycled and repackaged from show to show. Something that was oddly enjoyable was how they rebrand things and mix aspects and music from different shows together. After the first show we thought "that was good, but doesn't make any sense and we don't really know what they were trying to do". Things just don't seem to fit together. However, think of the movie "Moulin Rouge" and see if if you haven't before attending a show on a this cruise. Somehow that helped me to get it. They're reusing music, sometimes basing a character on another character, and creating their own show. It's not an attempt to perform a story you know, especially one with copyrights, they're instead creating their own show using some elements that you've seen and heard before. MSC has rolled out bracelets which can be used in place of a cruise card except for leaving and boarding the ship. Unfortunately, these bracelets which could be great are another negative story. The first problem you run into is just putting the bracelets on, which is really difficult without help from another person and this is unacceptable. Watches have been in use for a long time and we now have many successful wristband models from smart watches, and sport bands. There have been so many easy to use bands, that I don't know how MSC managed to roll out something so difficult to put on. Get one when you go on their cruise and you'll see what I mean, it's just absurd. The next problem, is they don't work everywhere onboard as they're supposed to. Most places no problem, every now and then you get a drink and you're told "I need your cruise card, I don't have a reader for the band", and they sometimes seem annoyed to have to tell you that. In MSC's propaganda and their app they mention how you can track every member of your party to know where each other are. This can be a great thing when you want to split up to do different things onboard and just find each other later. Nowhere does it tell you than this tracking doesn't work with the Aurea experience bands you get when you board. Instead you're given some instructions to setup people that can't be completed because the band doesn't have the QR code. I gave up on it thinking it was more trouble than it was worse but happened to ask someone at the game room when I saw they were selling another band for this purpose. We were told when we checked in that one daughter would get a kids band that is free and allows tracking, and the band would be in our room. The band was not in our room, my wife had to wait online in the kids center for over an hour to get it, the setup was confusing and cumbersome, and towards the end of the cruise a $15 charge showed up for it when we were told it was free. The kids band also stopped working one day. My wife went to customer service and was told to go do the kids center and they would need to set it up again. There were about twenty other people there with the same problem and more on the way. The poor guy working there was pulling his hair out and telling people it is a system wide problem, he couldn't do anything about it, and he doesn't know why people are being sent to him. This lack of communication between departments and passengers being sent from one place to another is a common theme onboard. The crew knows who has the kid bracelets and they know what room they're in. They also have daily announcements that come out every day from our good friend and cruise director, Gene Young. It seems they could've just came out and told people via an announcement or another letter left on the door that the kid bracelet tracking was offline. That would have saved passengers a lot of time from trying to get it resolved and saved a lot of crew member stress and time dealing with the issue. The bracelets are a great concept with some great features, but it wasn't a great experience. I'd like to know get back to some positives. The ship was immaculate. Every space was very clean and it seemed rather effortless for them to maintain it. With 5000 people onboard you expect things to get messed up but they didn't. Everywhere was clean and you rarely saw the staff cleaning it. They just popped out like little elves, took care of it and vanished. Whenever the ship was in port, there would always be people swinging into action to paint or clean things, but you really had to look for it to see it happen. Our room steward was excellent and one of the sweetest women we ever met. I often had to wait a while to get a drink, even at our exclusive Aurea deck bar, but the wait was not any different than I'd have anywhere else. If you go to a busy bar, or any pool bar at a hotel, you're not going to be the only one there and you'll often have to wait your turn to get a drink. The staff was always polite, friendly, and happy to help once they got to me. Early reports of the ship mentioned an odor that they encountered onboard. We did not experience any such odor. Disembarkation was orderly and impressive. They staged us in groups waiting to disembark. All of our luggage was waiting for us and easily found. I can not think of anyway they could have made this process go smoother. I'll likely travel with MSC again, but I don't know if my next cruise will be on an MSC ship. I think they're doing some really great things, but there needs to be more focus on the customer experience. This experience starts with the purchase, continues during the pre-cruise period, onboard, and leaving the ship. I think MSC will have a growing presence in the cruise industry and will be a major player, but customer experience needs to be emphasized in everything they do. Just accepting something as being what it is or expecting that customers will figure out that something isn't working or where some place is, is not good enough. Every experience needs to be stress free, pleasurable, intuitive, and impressive. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our first cruise with MSC, having previously cruised with Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. The Seaside is a beautiful ship and we had a great cruise, but MSC do fall short in some critical areas. Embarkation and disembarkation in ... Read More
This was our first cruise with MSC, having previously cruised with Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. The Seaside is a beautiful ship and we had a great cruise, but MSC do fall short in some critical areas. Embarkation and disembarkation in Miami was fast and easy. Our bags were delivered on and off the ship very quickly - leave it to the porters. It’s baffling to me how many people drag huge luggage around with them on the first and last day. The Seaside is beautiful. The Bridge of Sighs is very popular on the first day, go up at sunset for some great photos whether you’re in port or not. We liked dropping into the Sports Bar (the most inviting of any we’ve found on a ship) before or after an evening meal. There’s also a nice spot to relax on Deck 8, outside between the Sports Bar and La Boheme bistro. You’ll also find yourself taking a lot of pictures of the Atrium. The balcony stateroom, 14240, was an alright fit for three people. The bathroom was a little small but the balcony was a good size. Dining - This was our first experience with having a formal dining time on a cruise and we were more okay with it than we thought we would be. 7:30pm meant we had enough time in the late afternoon by the pool but still time to catch an evening show afterwards. Yudi & Karen in the Seashore restaurant were fantastic throughout. The one night we got to try Ipanema (the other complimentary restaurant) we found it a much nicer room. We were seated with other diners (most people weren’t, it seems), but thankfully this was fine because, well, they were fine, however we would always prefer to dine by ourselves. The food every night was good, nothing particularly outstanding. If you normally order steak medium, get it medium-rare. They really push the speciality dining but none of it tempted us. Would be nice to see some clear allergen information at the buffet as there isn’t enough of it. Entertainment - MSC falls short here. We only really experienced the evening ‘showtime’ shows. You can skip most of these because the vast majority are near-identical shows every night. Traditional European/Italian variety shows - opening number, dance, circus acrobatics, maybe a magic trick or two and a big closing number. The shows are billed as being vastly different in their synopsis, they’re not. Timeless, The Wizard, The Dream, Fly… you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all with different costumes. A bit of research finds they are all productions by the same company. My advice would be to see The Wizard, Peter Punk (as it’s slightly different) and Starwalker, the Michael Jackson tribute, which is (thankfully) a different sort of show and the best of the lot. Starwalker is the only show which reaches the standard of entertainment we’ve come to expect from other cruises with NCL & RCI. The line-up of shows is disappointing and, quite honestly, lazy on the part of the entertainment commissioners. It contrasts their performers who clearly work hard every night. BeerProv and the opera didn’t tempt us. Would’ve been nice to see some stand-up. MasterChef at Sea was a fun way to kill an hour during a Sea Day. Ports of Call - We stopped at San Juan, Charlotte Amalie, Philipsburg, and Nassau. All of these are worth getting off for, however the time we were in all bar Charlotte Amalie felt way too short. It felt like the cruise should’ve been done in a different order (so we had longer in each port) as we were only in San Juan in the evening and had to leave Philipsburg at 2pm. My top recommendations are Magens Bay in Charlotte Amalie and Maho Beach in Philipsburg (you can either Google this beach or be surprised at its USP). Some miscellaneous notes - I’m not big on shopping but grab the port shopping maps for some free souvenir coupons (largely no purchase necessary). The MSC for Me app & wristband are really useful and worked with no issues. The ship map & ability to book shows through it are handy (on that note, book all your shows on the first day of the cruise). Bistro la Boheme is not really used for anything and the bar next to it didn’t seem to be open much, I expect it to be revamped come refit time. I do appreciate the number of tannoy announcements being small compared to other ships - not being bothered by the casino, excursions, shopping, future cruise team etc. We were surprised at the things that cost extra such as billiards and the zip wire, and how ludicrously expensive most of these extra activities were. The casino is also on the small side. A rather important note - of all the ships I’ve been on, this is the one I’ve felt the ship’s movement on the most by far. On all the others you’d feel it for a few seconds every once in a while, on this ship it’s frequent, more or less constant whilst sailing, and particularly noticeable when you’re lying in bed (on deck 14, at least). It doesn’t bother me so much but I know it has bothered other passengers, and it does put me off travelling on this ship again in case we face choppier waters. At one point during MasterChef at Sea, the host remarked “your spaghetti is vibrating”. Our coat hangers also crashed about in the night, and we’re fairly sure it’s not paranormal activity. Overall - our Eastern Caribbean cruise on the MSC Seaside was enjoyable. The ports of call were great but I wish we’d had more time in them. The ship is, again, beautiful but unfortunately MSC do lack in some areas - speciality dining didn’t appeal to us (but we have done this with other cruise lines), the cuisine and price weren’t attractive, and the entertainment needs dramatic improvement. We won’t be hurrying back to MSC, but if you want a change from the likes of NCL & RCI, certainly consider getting on board the Seaside (though maybe not if you get seasick). 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Mixed review of the MSC Seaside. The Seaside is a beautiful ship overall. However it struggles with certain amenities and service levels. For example, their are Four Banks of Elevators that cannot adequately handle 5000 ... Read More
Mixed review of the MSC Seaside. The Seaside is a beautiful ship overall. However it struggles with certain amenities and service levels. For example, their are Four Banks of Elevators that cannot adequately handle 5000 passengers. Waits can be up to 10 - 15 minutes at peak times. Be aware that, if you get a room that has a door to an adjoining room, it is not "soundproof". They do leak sound and I would never take an adjoining room again. Rooms are small for a new ship especially the bathroom and shower. If you are tall with long legs, you will likely have to sit at an angle to avoid hitting your knee on the sink cabinetry. Shows are top rate BUT YOU HAVE TO BOOK in advance. Otherwise you see no show at all except for a recording of it on the tv. Food is consistently good but not great except for the pizza. The choices on the buffet are not as varied as Celebrity or NCL. They have vegetarian choices that are nicely labeled but they are very limited on vegetarian hot proteins. This is mainly because their Asian and Indian choices are limited due to the small numbers of people of those cultures who cruise with MSC. The food in the dining Room is also consistently good and occasionally very good. However, unlike Celebrity, NCL and RCL, there is no special night for lobster or steak. Both lobster and steak do appear on the menu every evening but for an additional price of up to $24. Some of the ports have strange arrival times. For example, the ship arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, at 5 PM on a Monday when many stores are closed. This departed at 12:30 am. Forget about museums or Segway tours. The ship arrived in St Maarten at 7 am and passengers had to be back on-board at 1:30 PM. That leaves precious little time for the beach or touring the island. Staff tends to be disinterested and not nearly at the level of service as Celebrity, NCL or RCI. Dining room staff are overworked and about 1/3 of the staff you get on Celebtity. This causes long delays between courses, sometimes taking almost 2 hours for the meal. It is important to understand that dining Room seating is not separated into an early and late seating like most ships. Instead, there is a seating at 5:15 p.m, 7:15 p.m. and 9:15PM in one dining Room and 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. in the 2nd dining Room. If you ask for early seating, be aware that you may have to enter the dining room at 5:15 PM and, possibly, not be seated after 5:30 PM. The shows start at 7:15 p.m. 8:15 p.m. and 9:15 p.m., also causing havoc when people cannot get to their dining appointments on time or it takes too long for them to finish their meals. Keep in mind that every evening show has to be booked in advance and seats do run out. The performers are amazing. They do the same show three times per night and they are action-packed, highly physical shows. The only really attentive staff we had was the cabin attendant. If you're looking for a romantic dinner table for two, be forewarned; there are very few of them that are truly away from other tables. Most tables for two are just a 3 table system separated by about 6 inches which is essentially the same as having no separate table for two. Finally, MSC has no concept of how to manage crowds. For example they had a tasting party for the Specialty Restaurants to promote their menus. It was attended by about 200 - 300 people squeezed into a small area. As a result it was nearly impossible to get close enough to sample any food in at least 2 of the restaurants. In addition, the layout of the ship on the 16th floor is not good. Only one set of elevators goes to the Specialty Restaurants. If you get on the wrong elevator you have to get off on the 15th floor and hike to the stairs or the second set of elevators. In addition to having over crowded elevators in general, 2 elevators in the front are designated for yacht club members which means that, when they use their card, they control the elevator. You have a lot of people pressing both up-and-down buttons when they want to go up hoping that they can travel down in an elevator so that they can actually find room going up again! Perhaps the worst elevator problem occurred on embarkation. There were literally hundreds of people waiting for elevators for 15 minutes to half an hour. Many people decided to walk up the steps carrying heavy luggage. Again, this was not a good system for controlling passenger embarkation. There did not seem to be any problem upon disembarkation for the ports, however. I think, overall, that MSC is good value for the money but it could do much better in service, food, and crowd control. 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
The ship is pretty, the food is good, the crew is pleasant. BUT There is constant pressure to buy "Specialty Dining" packages at inflated prices, excursions at inflated prices, jewelry, perfume, art and spa treatments. Very ... Read More
The ship is pretty, the food is good, the crew is pleasant. BUT There is constant pressure to buy "Specialty Dining" packages at inflated prices, excursions at inflated prices, jewelry, perfume, art and spa treatments. Very insistent pressure. If you cruise at the "Bella" experience (cheapest "level"), there are parts of the ship you cannot access and the bar staff will be much less interested in serving you if you have a drink package. Your table in the dining room will be by the aisle and traffic flow, and they won't be happy about changing it. It will be difficult to get an elevator to ro from your deck. The free drink package we had made no sense, with some items not included that cost less than included items. There is a 15% service charge for every item you get, so it's really not free. This is in addition to the 12% pp per day service charge. The room stewards are incredibly good and efficient. Service desk helpful. Dining room waitstaff top notch. Dining room menus offered great selection and almost everything tasted good. Buffet had a wide selection of interesting items, but had the same items every day. Drink station not well organized, with cups and glasses hard to get to and no traffic flow marked. Entertainment was below average. Nightly shows, while flashy, make no sense and all the music is canned, most vocalists lip-synching. Why is there a juggler and aerialist in every theater show? Lounge entertainers were awful and used karaoke type backing tracks all the time. The only actual "band" was not well rehearsed, and had to play country one night, islands music another, 70s stuff another. Waterslides were fun but always had long lines during limited open hours. Pools closed nightly at 7 or so. No night time swims or hot tubbing. Would we go again? Not at the Bella level, and not with the Drinks on Us package. Higher levels pricing negates using this cruise line, so probably not. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This is my ninth cruise and this was the worst one I have been on. The good parts of it was loading and unloading passengers it was quick and easy. However, Lets start with the ship, when the ship started moving there was no party like ... Read More
This is my ninth cruise and this was the worst one I have been on. The good parts of it was loading and unloading passengers it was quick and easy. However, Lets start with the ship, when the ship started moving there was no party like there was on the other ones. The pools closed as early as 10 o clock. There were not as many parties and the music for them was really bad. The parties also ended at 2 o clock so afterwards there was nothing to do after and everything is about money. My daughter had a fun pass that I purchased and when I went to the deck to get her the bracelet the guy was trying to charge me twice for it. The site did not specify that the fun pass had credit and was not unlimited either. We also purchased an internet package which was 3 GB's for two devices. They charged me 300 dollars when I had bought 100 dollar package. When I went to guest services I had to argue with them and they only took off 100 dollars but gave me 5.5 GB's. We were charged an extra service fee of 87.50 per person as the tip for the people working and we were not informed that it was not included in the booking they put it on afterwards. For the photos they were very disorganized and when I asked for help the person working told me to "calm down" so my daughter yelled at him. It was very rude. During dinner the same waiter kept taking my daughter to dance to the music they had in the restaurant but would not keep it professional and asked for instagram and he continuously kept messaging her. The guy cleaning the rooms did a horrible job cleaning the room and the room always smelled strange he never took out the trash and on the last day my daughter forgot her license in the room so she went back to go get it and she found the guy who was cleaning our room smoking a cigarette on the balcony of our room. In a non smoking room. The cabin is extemely small compared to the ones on the other cruise ships I have been on. The timing of the ports was also horrible. We arrived at Puerto Rico at 5 PM on the third day and left at midnight which there was not much to see cause it was night time. On the fourth night we arrived at Virgin Islands at 7 AM and left at 6 which was good timing. On the fifth night though we arrived at St Maartin and didn't have time to do anything because we arrived from 6 AM to 1 PM. On the sixth night we were still at sea. Then the seventh night we arrived at the Bahamas from 7 AM to 6 PM and it was a disaster since it was the day before we left so we had to leave the island early to get our photos and pack our luggage up, every other cruise I have been on we would be at sea on the day before leaving the ship. The food was the same in the buffet we did not get any changes and it was awful. Me and my friend ordered the same food in the restaurant and got food poisoning from it. The only thing there was to do on the ship was swim during the day and drink at night. The only night club there was, was filled with younger people as young as 18, there were not multiple clubs like there was on the other ships. I would never sail with MSC again and it was triple the price of Carnival which is the best ship line I have sailed with. Also I called 4 times for more hangers and I did not get them till I told one of the people working outside I needed them. I came on this ship to relax but this was anything but relaxing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
went on this cruise as a family of 4 2 adults a 15year old and a 4 year old. Embarktion was quick and easy on within 20 minutes. Ship was stunning.Everything was new and sparkly, very modern. Our cabin was 10262 deck 10rightat the back ... Read More
went on this cruise as a family of 4 2 adults a 15year old and a 4 year old. Embarktion was quick and easy on within 20 minutes. Ship was stunning.Everything was new and sparkly, very modern. Our cabin was 10262 deck 10rightat the back with a metal railing. We found this location great very quiet and right next to the glas elevators which where always empty unlike elsewhere on the ship which could take a while. Dining was good buffet had great pizza and burgers aswell as the usual salads, breads, pasta. Think there could of been a bit better selection for people not wanting pasta and pizza every night maybe another meat dish. The main dining room was nice portions were quite small but service was quick although it seemed to be a problem if you wanted anything to drink other than beer or wine.They had to go to another bar for that and sometimes we had finished 2 courses before the drinks showed up.Food was nice enough but nothing particularly stood out as amazing. The only shows we seen were peter punk which was good my 4 year old really liked it because there was a dinosaur in it and michael jackson on the last evening which was amazing! All the staff we encountered over the week were lovely very friendly and helpful. We didnt find anyone rude or unhelful in the slightest. Our son only visited the kids club once which seemed ok the kids seemed to just play with the toys rather than have any activities arranged. Overall we had a fab time on this cruise and think for what we paid it was excellent value with good ports and we would definately sail with MSC again. 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
MSC Seaside Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 3.9
Dining 4.5 3.4
Entertainment 4.5 3.9
Public Rooms 4.5 3.9
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.5 3.4
Service 4.0 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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