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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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our 9th cruise and we chose Seaside because of its design. We wanted as much outdoor space as possible. Tired of the old "Food Court" atrium designs. The outdoor seating for food and drink was beautiful. There was so ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise and we chose Seaside because of its design. We wanted as much outdoor space as possible. Tired of the old "Food Court" atrium designs. The outdoor seating for food and drink was beautiful. There was so much outdoor space the ship holds true to its motto, "Follows the Sun"! At times, we had difficulty finding shade, but no big deal. We upgraded to a larger cabin 14003 way up front on deck 14. Space was nice, balcony was disappointing. It was a full size balcony but only half available to look out due to the steel support wall for the corner of the ship. We were directly under the bridge so it was nice not having sunlight glaring in our eyes or camera lens for photos. My wife loved the complete privacy of it so I guess it has its pluses and minuses. The Mirror and chrome design was stunning. Absolutely gorgeous, especially the crystal stairs. People couldn't take enough pictures of them. However, due to all the mirrors, there is a place on deck 6 were we almost walk into them several times. The signage is very limited. When elevator doors open, its hard to see what deck you on on. We found out, after a couple of days, that the deck number is on the left post of each elevator door frame. But, because of the chrome, its hard to see. There are large deck numbers on the wall opposite elevators, but not always visible when doors open, and again in bright chrome. Yes, there is always the digital read out and voice in the elevator! The App is the true shinning star on this ship. Very well done. You have access to daily activities, you own personal list of things you checked and, easy show reservation as well as checking you account balance any time. Food was very good, especially in MDR. Appetizers and soups were hit or miss but main course was awesome every night. Contrary to what we have read, the buffet had many changes daily, pre-made sandwiches were different everyday and the carving station in the back was awesome. They were carving roast beef, lamb, pork, turkey, ham, etc.Yes, they had pizza and burgers everyday but what buffet doesn't? Broadway style shows were unbelievable, the best we have ever seen. Outsourcing to a theater company is definitive the way to go. The ships activities crew was top notch, they were everywhere and easily accessible. A really great bunch of kids. Service is probably the only place this ship falls flat. After being in the US for 15 months, you would think the service crew would have the understanding of "Where is the soda machine, toilet, towel exchange or can you make me this drink??" Boy, they do have a lot of teaching to do, not just because of the language barrier, which we were stunned as to how you do not understand simple words such as Coke or Ginger Ale or Sprite, but overall how many of the staff did not know where things were. Training, training, training is what is seriously lacking in this area. Our MDR waiter was difficult to communicate with the first few days, but by the end of the week, they knew exactly what we were looking for, this should have been the case by day 2. I had a bartender give me Scotch because he could not find the Seagram's 7, and he thought I would not notice. I have been drinking 7&7s ever since Tony got me started on "Saturday Nigh Fever". We did notified the Bar Manager and he assured me they would look into it. (not the movie, the problem). Management was always willing to listen and correct the situation, if possible. We wound up receiving Champagne and Chocolate covered strawberries (which we gave both to our neighbors) for one problem, and a tray of pastries for the bar debacle (also gave to the neighbors). Stop trying to put out fires guys and train your staff! We did manage to find an awesome bartender, Julius, at the Miami beach bar. He made the best Mudslides with ice cream, yes, they have a Gellato bar right in the middle of the pool bar. We also found Ron down on deck 5 at the Seaside bar. This is their flagship bar in the atrium. This is the place to go see and be seen. Ron was such a talented mixologist and always smiling. He was so willing to please and always went above and beyond. His section of the bar always had a crowd, I'm surprised the ship did not tilt in that direction. My wife was not feeling well and he made her the most fantastic hot chocolate ever! She kept going back for more. The Thermal Spa was, how does Scar in "Lion King" put it..."To Die For"! I'm sorry we did not opt for the weekly pass, instead we purchased a day pass with massages. This place is awesome, Jun the manager was the best. Jamaica was sad, Grand Cayman was beautiful and Cozumel, well, it's Cozumel. We spent the day in the spa while in port at Nassau. Would we sail MSC again? Probably, but not in the near future. I would prefer an Eastern Itinerary and lets see how well Management does their training. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I have to say after some of the bad reviews we were a little concerned, but honestly the Seaside exceeded our expectations on every level. We had a great time onboard, and in fact, are now planning another MSC cruise out of Miami. The ... Read More
I have to say after some of the bad reviews we were a little concerned, but honestly the Seaside exceeded our expectations on every level. We had a great time onboard, and in fact, are now planning another MSC cruise out of Miami. The buffets and the four dinners we had in the MDR were fine. The buffet breakfast was terrific - there was never much of a line for the omelette stations. We had three dinners in the specialty restaurants and were very happy with all of them. However, they do need to turn down the lighting in the Ocean Cay seafood specialty restaurant. We had no service or communication problems with any of our wait staff. Our balcony cabin, Bella experience, was adequate but as noted in many reviews showers are small and more drawers would be welcome. Our steward kept it clean, well stocked with towels and every day refilled our ice bucket. We enjoyed the international feeling and met some great people and made friends we who plan on cruising with in the future. Entertainment - don't miss the great shows! The best we have seen at sea. They are performed three time each night and are about 40 minutes long. You have to reserve in advance for which time you want to go - do this ASAP when you get on board. The two later shows fill up as word of the quality of the entertainment gets around. The sea day "Butterflies" opera show was also over the top. One of the highlights for us was the "Behind the Magic" tour of the ship. A full three hours of walking through all the areas you don't normally see. The tour even included a peek in a crew cabin, crew lounge and crew dining room, as well as the regular kitchen, yacht club area, and laundry. If you are up to the walking you will not be disappointed with this tour booked through the excursion desk. Again, we had a great time and would gladly go on the Seaside again. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
About the Reviewer: I’m a 36-year-old male who sailed with his mother for the first time on MSC Seaside (9/29/18). I’m now a seasoned cruiser with this first MSC cruise being my 45th cruise overall. Over half my cruises have been on ... Read More
About the Reviewer: I’m a 36-year-old male who sailed with his mother for the first time on MSC Seaside (9/29/18). I’m now a seasoned cruiser with this first MSC cruise being my 45th cruise overall. Over half my cruises have been on Norwegian Cruise Line with the remaining being on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and a handful on Carnival. When sailing on a new cruise line, it’s hard not to compare it with past experiences so you may see some comparisons throughout. The review is written in chronological order. I hope you enjoy it! DAY 1 – Embarkation Day – Miami, FL It was a simple enough drop off at the newly built Terminal F for MSC Cruises. Porters were outside to greet you and take your luggage. While signs are posted tipping is not required, I usually throw them a buck or two for faster delivery. Upon entry to the terminal, the queue for security was empty and this was at 11:15AM. I was astonished it was so empty as other Carnival cruise ships down the way had lines out the door. There was no wait at the check-in counter. The pre-registration photo we had uploaded for security wasn’t in their system, so they had to re-take the photo. We were given our cards, explained the procedure of how to link the card when we got on the ship and given a map and welcome aboard brochure. The nice lady also gave us the black boarding card pass. We were status matched as I’m Platinum Plus on NCL to Black Card status on MSC. When they called black card members to board the ship, we did so and were one of the first across the gangway. Upon entering the ship, we found the kiosk right away to link the credit cards and took care of that first. It was a simple process if you’re accustomed to using a POS device in a retail store. Just follow the instructions on the screen and there’s many languages to choose from to walk you through it. There are several devices around the atrium area on Deck 5 and on Deck 6 as you enter the ship. Afterward, since the ship was still so empty we decided to go to the Ipanema restaurant and see about getting the assigned time changed. We were given a 7:15PM dining time. This was too late for mom, so we asked to be switched to the 5:15PM seating. We were told we could show up by 5:30PM when it was switched and did so for the cruise. We were assigned a two-seater for both dining times. This worked out well. I still prefer the flexible dining on NCL versus the assigned times and while MSC offers it under the Aurea experience, I don’t want or need any of the other stuff in the Aurea experience to pay that kind of money for it. It was off to lunch in the Marketplace Buffet on Deck 8 aft. This expansive buffet has a salad station to the right and a pizza station to the left to greet you. A fresh fruit station is by itself on the right as you enter. The buffet wraps around the kitchen and features a Mediterranean station, Ethnic station (largely featuring Spanish and Mexican dishes along with Stir Fry and rice for the Asian market). I was impressed with the selection of items all the way around. We sat outside under the overhang for the suites above and looked down at the Deck 7 aft pool. While eating lunch I loaded the MSC for Me app and booked all our shows for the week. It was fairly quick and simple to do. If you don’t have a smart phone, just utilize your stateroom TV or the TVs on the walls at the elevators to book your shows. Ship Tour and Thoughts: We strolled the ship afterward and I was impressed with her size and layout. Unlike the Breakaway and Breakaway Plus ships on NCL, the Seaside doesn’t have a lot of choke points. She has a great flow to her. The main atrium is expansive and always alive with energy. On embarkation day they had a DJ playing there and the music was AWESOME!! I was very excited to see the rest of the ship. It’s modern décor with a lot of white, off-white and greys. Different venues help to change out the color scheme and while shiny metal is abundant, it’s not done in a tacky way like you’d find on a Carnival ship. My favorite venue besides the atrium was the Garage Club. It’s based on a 70s drive in and the bar is quite long, the DJ booth is an actual car you can get into and out of using the driver’s side door. The décor also included a jukebox and old soda fountain-type seats. My mom loved the décor in this room too. She even managed to get herself for a picture on the scooter they have by the aft entrance. The chocolate bar was tucked away but when we found it, I could see what other cruisers were raving about. The walls just rain chocolate! The amount of chocolate in there would give the best chocolate lover a tummy ache! Be sure to catch this gem on Deck 6 midship. It also serves chocolate as well as non-chocolate coffee drinks. If the atrium bar (Seaside Bar) is backed up, head up one deck and grab your drink there. The best feature my mom enjoyed was the Waterfront Boardwalk. Unlike NCLs boardwalk which is tight, and you can’t walk past people too easily on it, the Seaside’s is expansive and wide open. The added feature of walking on the Infinity Bridge which sticks out over the side of the ship on the port and starboard side is also nice. In the aft part, you can sit on the boardwalk as part of the buffet dining experience. It’s not for an upcharge or fee like it is on NCL. Plus, there’s plenty of seating for guests along the boardwalk, something NCL has never done correctly. MSC really took this concept to the next level and did a GREAT job with it! For interior cabins, this is a perfect place to connect to the ocean and get some shade too if you don’t want to sun on the pool deck. The pool deck is expansive and while they do have a very large kids play area, it doesn’t occupy the entire main pool area like it does on the NCL Breakaway class. This is another big thing MSC did right on the ship design. The Miami Pool is the main pool and it’s aft. There is so much seating around this pool and just aft of it by the Bridge of Sighs. If you want a more secluded feel and not as much sun, the Jungle Pool with its interesting décor is more midship. I was really impressed with the pool deck layout on this ship. Stateroom 12147 – Fantastica Balcony At 2PM it was announced the rooms were ready. Our balcony room was situated on the port side about midway between the aft and forward elevators. The room itself had a huge seating area and couch with the beds by the balcony door. The balcony was large! NCL has shrunk the balconies to the size of a postage stamp. These were quite roomy and I’m tall. I could sit facing the ocean and not have my knees in the glass where the railing was unlike on NCLs new builds. The room had plenty of counter space and the sofa could be used as well for staging some items, mostly backpack storage and to put the pillows on that weren’t being used. The bathroom sink was quite interestingly designed as it comes to a point where the drain is in more of a deeper contour than on any ship I’ve sailed on. However, this quirky sink actually turned out to be the best sink I’ve used on a ship when it came to cleaning out my water canteen used ashore. It fit perfectly! There was ample storage with two shelves and the sink shelf itself. The toilet was in an awkward place where at my height I needed to sit sideways on it. The shower was spacious enough but the automatically closing door on it was annoying sometimes. My only big drawback to the room was the amount of storage in the closet. You had three shelves which were fairly deep and two drawers. The rest of the closet was for hanging items. I brought hangars with me but the room only had about 10 hangars total supplied in it. For any future ships based in America, MSC might want to consider re-designing their closets. Tip for guests, bring your own lightweight wire hangars and to hang your own stuff. Otherwise, the rest of the room was fantastic and spacious! My luggage was already in the hallway by the crew door when we went to the room. After looking at the room, I went down the hallway and grabbed it and delivered it to the room myself. MSC does state it can take up to 7PM on the first day for the luggage to be delivered. I had unpacked and stowed the luggage underneath the bed but mom’s luggage didn’t come before muster drill. Our muster station was in the casino. The early birds got the seats and the late comers had to stand. They repeatedly announced people to get to the muster stations as they scan your card to show attendance. It was another real time technology item which this ship had a lot of. After the muster drill had ended we circled back to the room and her luggage was finally on a trolley in the crew stairwell. I pointed to it from the hallway and the worker delivered it to the room. It was a brief unpacking before heading up to the cast-off party on deck. ENTERTAINMENT: Welcome Aboard Dance Party with Cruise Staff This was the Seaside’s version of a sailaway party. The ship doesn’t leave Miami until 7PM so they have the party just before the dinner service starts. We went up to the Miami Pool on Deck 16 aft by the large TV and hung out. There was no one up there. I don’t know where people were, but they weren’t there for the party. Two cruise staff members came over to try and get us out on the dance floor to dance but instead chatted with us when we said there was no way we were going to do it! Wang from China and Johnathan from New Jersey both introduced themselves and told us a bit about how the entertainment would flow for the week. I asked about how the White Party was and both assured me it was THE party of the cruise if I loved electronic dance music. We stayed at the party for 25 minutes before hurrying off to the first seating dinner. They brought the flags through and the Doremi children’s characters out. DINING: IPANEMA RESTAURANT Our table 685 was on the starboard side along the walkway to the kitchen. Our head server was Ian and his assistant’s name began with a R. Ian greeted us and welcomed us to the Ipanema Restaurant. He presented us with the menus and upon inspection, minus a few extra pasta dishes… they were like NCL’s main dining room fare. I was very surprised with this and wondered if the food quality would be the same. I ordered the spring rolls and it was nearly identical to the ones on NCL. Mom asked for a special request which couldn’t be accommodated since they had to order it from provisioning below decks, but it was accommodated every night thereafter. Service tonight ran a little long. It was weird to have them turn on the lights so bright to get people out but they did at 6:45PM when we didn’t have our dessert yet. The first day is always chaotic for both crew and passengers alike. It was the longest dinning time we experienced of the whole cruise. After dinner it was back to the room just in time to watch the ship sail off from the channel in Miami. We made it back to our balcony to wave to the folks on the port side at the restaurant located along the jetty. We stayed out on the balcony until the pilot disembarked and then headed for the evening’s show at 8PM. ENTERTAINMENT: Frank Forever – Production Cast MSC really knows how to produce shows. The amazing talents of the male vocalists sounded spot on with tunes from Frank Sinatra. What wowed me even more was the costuming. The backdrops were done by LED projection to save space but MSC used it all with the costuming for their productions. Tonight’s kick off with Frank Sinatra tunes had me excited to see what was to come. After the show we returned to the room and then things kind of fell apart again, we couldn’t get through to room service. It was the first day, so I was sure things were busy for them. We had tried before the show to get them unsuccessfully and earlier in the afternoon before the party. Finally, I thought it would be good to go down to Guest Services to see if they could get them. When I told them what I wanted, a pitcher of ice water, I was sent to my restaurant Ipanema. The lovely restaurant manager there named Daniela helped me out by repeatedly trying room service until she got them. She told them I needed a pitcher of ice water delivered. I went back to the room with hopes it would arrive. What happened next was not to be expected. First, we had a bottle of water delivered. We already had one in our mini-bar so we didn’t need another. The pitcher was all that was needed. The second time we had an ice bucket filled with warm water delivered. The third time it came with ice in the ice bucket with water. The fourth time was when the room service had changed shifts and someone there figured out to use a coffee urn or hot water urn to deliver the water. This went on for about a hour. Looking back, it was hilariously funny for the different interpretations but in the moment it was really annoying. The lady who delivered the correct item at the end agreed to setup a nightly delivery. I was very thankful for her to do that. Sadly, I never got her name. She did deliver it the next two nights and then suddenly it stopped. When we called, they were aware of the order and sent it up but we could get through and that shift knew what we were talking about. DAY 2 – SEA DAY We had placed the card outside the room for the in-room breakfast from room service. A time was chosen and they were early but I was already awake. Mom prefers to have a leisurely breakfast on the balcony which is why I chose the Fantastica experience when I booked. I didn’t need the drink vouchers and she didn’t drink that much regularly so I knew she would have difficulty in using them all. Anyway, the room service order arrived but the order was wrong. Soy milk which the ship had wasn’t there and whatever the juice was that was delivered, it wasn’t straight orange juice. It was some sort of orange juice mixed concoction. MSC’s room service wasn’t leaving a good taste in my mom’s mouth and was starting to dampen her experience. The buffet was four decks down so I offered to go down here and try and rectify the issues. She declined. I went up to the pool deck in the morning to grab some sun and read. We were on the sunrise side of the ship but I wanted to check out the vibe at the main pool and more importantly see if there were any deck chairs available. There were a lot of people up there but there were plenty of deck chairs available for 9:30AM. On most North American lines, the chair hogs are out in full force. On MSC there weren’t nearly as many. I think the diverse international crowd helped to stop it from happening. The pool deck had activities going on all morning long. Cruise staff and the fitness instructors were getting people engaged. They were doing a much better job and working harder than I’ve seen any other cruise staff in recent memory. Meanwhile mom went for her walk around the ship to get her exercise in while I was getting sun. She said she was impressed with boardwalk and how easy it was to walk it compared to the Breakaway-class NCL ships. Mom and I went to lunch at the Seashore Restaurant on Deck 5. When I went to enter the dining room, a lady stopped me and told me I couldn’t enter because I had a muscle shirt on (sleeveless but not a tank top). She told me I wouldn’t be allowed in. As I went to figure out what to change into and head back to the room, a lady walked past me wearing a string top from the pool deck and could be seated! I wasn’t too happy. When I came back with the t-shirt, the lady thanked me for changing and promptly sat us by the window. When I went in, there was a guy with a tank top on. After having jogged up 7 flights of stairs to change in a hurry, I wasn’t too happy about it. I didn’t see any dress code requirements in the daily newsletter in the room either. The lunch service was leisurely, and the food served was good. After lunch I stopped by guest services again, this time I was asking to see if I could talk to Yannis – the Seaside Hotel Director. In the morning, I happened to watch the navigation channel and it had the pictures of the senior officers displayed. When I saw Yannis face pop up, I instantly recognized him. I sailed with him a few times on NCL. He was very personable and I wanted to congratulate him. The guest services representative asked me tersely why I wanted to speak to him. When I told him I knew him from NCL, he persisted and asked me if something was wrong and I told him things were fine… well not room service. He took it that I was going to complain to Yannis about the room service and stated that he would send him an email to get in touch with me. I later learned the guest services person never sent the email. I went back to the room and changed to head back out to the pool deck and we had our shore excursion tickets delivered. A difference is they don’t deliver the pre-purchased shore excursion tickets until the first sea day along with the folks who did the first day purchases on their TVs. It’s a difference from all the other cruise lines so one worth noting so you don’t end up queueing on day 1 for no reason. I spent the rest of the afternoon on the pool deck until it was time to freshen up for dinner. Wang spotted me and tried to get me to do the men’s water polo. It was 4:15PM and told him I couldn’t due to timing. He was having a hard time getting people to get involved but he was trying as were the rest of the cruise staff. The pool area was crowded too but loungers were still available! I was amazed! Dinner tonight was in Ipanema. Mom’s special request was delivered, although in a huge quantity. Sergio Texeira, section supervisor, came over to get the order quantity right and he made a note. He saw to it and delivered it every night personally. He did outstanding service on the cruise. The menu for the night was pretty good. Food presentation and taste were good too. After dinner we decided to check out the atrium a bit and see what was going on. It was just after 7PM and the place was bustling with activity. The captain was out taking photos and there was a queue. We just went to see what was going on and observe the action on all decks. We met a nice couple there and saw them later on. The ship was just alive with music in every venue. We strolled around before heading back to the room and off to the show. ENTERTAINMENT: The Dream – Production If I thought the first show of the cruise was fantastic, this one was phenomenal. The incredible cast had specialty acts intertwined with vocals so good they would send shivers down your spine. How two guys can balance themselves like they did was just jaw dropping. There were just so many specialty acts within this production that you left not noticing it was shorter than the average cruise ship production but just do darn good! Don’t miss any shows on this ship! MSC knows entertainment! Tonight’s Theme was Gatsby. Some cruisers really got into the spirt of things and dressed in appropriate period clothing. The cruise staff gave away prizes for the best dressed as well. There was a Gatsby party in the Haven Lounge on Deck 7. While waiting for the Gatsby festivities to start, we watched the Love Game Show. It was entertaining and helped pass the time while waiting for the Gatsby party to begin. After the party was over, mom went to bed and I stayed up to experience the Garage nightclub. The music was good. Outside on the Deck 7 aft pool they had the Brazilian night and Brazilian music playing. It was well attended. DAY 3 – SEA DAY Today we decided to give room service a break and went to the dining room for breakfast instead. The service was great. The food was exactly what was ordered. We sat next to a nice couple from Miami who we would see all over the cruise ship for the rest of the cruise. Daniela, the restaurant manager, came over to ask us how things were, and we told her the story of what happened with room service. She couldn’t believe they would do that and said there must have been a language issue. She apologized for it. I went up to grab some sun for the day and mom went for her ship walk. I was still surprised at the number of deck chairs available! Mom and I met for lunch in the buffet. The buffet selection seemed about the same as the first day minus the carving stations. After lunch, I went to check out the gym to see if I wanted to do a workout as it appeared cloudy and possibility of rain outside. When I entered the gym, the trainer asked to see our cruise cards. He had me wondering if I had gone into the spa instead. He presented us with forms for a waiver for using the gym. I just wanted to look around. He made sure mom didn’t use any equipment as she didn’t sign the waiver. I signed the waiver. I decided to return afterward in proper gym clothing to use the equipment. When I did, I noticed everything was in kilograms not pounds. Take the weight and times it by 2.2 for your pound measurement. I also had to hunt for towels and was completely baffled by the lack of them. The trainer saw my confusion and asked if I wanted one and he handed me one. They also had the sanitizing spray at the counter to clean the equipment. All the wipe dispensers were empty. It made me wonder how clean the gym was. The shower area didn’t have any towels either. When I asked the trainer, he said to bring the beach towels and use that. How silly! There were plenty of towel storage areas built into its gym and shower area but not stocked. He said it was because people were stealing the towels. If this is the case, they should setup a specific towel station by the spa to change them out. If the trainer is busy, no one is available to hand the towels out and they’re not bath towels either. I never went back to the gym after this. I just continued cardio throughout the ship by taking the stairs to most floors and walking the Boardwalk at other times. I went back to the room to freshen up and get ready to split myself into three pieces. The Cruise Critic gathering was scheduled for 5PM in the Haven Lounge as there were over 140 people signed up for it. However, the schedule also had the first and only solos, LGBTQ and 20-40 somethings meet and greets at the SAME time! I went to the Cruise Critic gathering first and finally got to meet Yannis Kazalis, the Hotel Director and congratulate him on his promotion and movement to MSC. I told him I wanted to sit down and talk with him and catch up but because of scheduling, could we do another time. He happily obliged and gave me his handy phone number on his business card. I sat down for a brief minute and then took off to the LGBTQ meet up at the Seaview lounge. I never made it to the singles event before I had to go to dinner at 5:30PM. I talked to Yannis about the timing of these events and why they were on day 3 of the cruise versus day 1 and explained to him about why it’s important for solo cruisers to be able to make connections the first day of the cruise so they don’t dine alone if they don’t want to. I explained how NCL’s solo program works and suggested something similar be implemented on Seaside to help those guests. I also said the LGBTQ meet up didn’t need to be hosted either but suggested it also be held the first day for cruisers to connect. ENTERTAINMENT: The Wizard – Production Show The female vocalist stole the show in this production. The costumes of this Broadway style show were just astounding to look at. The specialty acts built into the show were also daring and breathtaking just the same. I can’t even begin to tell you how truly amazing the Seaside shows are. Don’t miss any of them! It was country western theme night and I passed on it. I was waiting for the silent disco to open so I went up to the Miami Pool and watched a Celine Dion video of her tour. It was good but long and I left to go to the silent disco at the aft pool on Deck 7. The headset channels 1 and 2 were latin based and the third channel was stuck in the oldies genre. When I checked out the headset I had to scan my keycard and to scan it back in. When I went into the garage club, DJ Tony was playing the EDM music I liked so I stayed in there for a bit before heading to bed. DAY 4 – ST MAARTEN We decided to give room service another go today and again the orange juice was the other concoction. I gave up trying to get it and mom’s cereal order wasn’t right either. We dined leisurely as the ship tied up in St. Maarten on the balcony. I went ashore briefly to look around in the port shops and went back on the ship. Make sure you take off your baseball cap for scanning before entering the ship. They don’t want you to wear it through the metal detector, it must go through the xray. This was something new to me and unique to MSC. MSC EXCURSION: ST BARTHS ON YOUR OWN Our tour departure time was 10AM. When we got to the theater, it was us and one other tour that was left to get off the ship. We went ashore and to the water taxi platform where Dutch immigration authorities were waiting to inspect our passport before we boarded the taxi. When we arrived in St. Barths, the immigration officials stamped our passport for entry. We arrived to St. Barths around 11:15ish. Most of the shops in town were in the process of closing for their lunch period by the time we found the souvenir ones. If you wanted to take an island tour, the taxi operator would charge a flat fee of $120 for a full taxi. It was up to the guests to figure out who was going to go with whom. People had taken all the spots with good leg room and being tall, I couldn’t and wouldn’t sit in the middle seat. We opted to do the walking tour we had from a Caribbean tour book instead. Others went to the beach in another taxi. When we started walking around we discovered everything was closed including museums, shops and the information center. At a place we stopped at for lunch, the lady told us the season doesn’t pick up until October when there’s more ships in town and when the hurricane season is over. She said a lot of shop keepers take their vacations during this time or have limited morning hours. She was right about this. The major museum was under renovation as it had been damaged by the hurricanes from the prior year. The other museum in town was also just closed for the day when we got to it. Had we known about the lunch break the islanders take, we would’ve reconsidered doing this tour. I wouldn’t recommend this tour if you’re a history buff or want to see anything outside of an island tour or go to the beach. Shell beach is within a good walk from the ferry terminal. We didn’t get back to the ferry dock in St. Maarten until 5PM and back on the ship until dinner time. On the way to the room, I stopped off as I climbed the stairs and told Sergio we wouldn’t be able to make it as we had just boarded the ship from a tour. He said no problem and to have someone come down to the dining room to obtain the special request. We went to the buffet after watching the sunset and the ship cast off. Initially the worker stated she couldn’t accommodate the request and wouldn’t find Sergio. When pressed she got her supervisor who sent another worker down to Ipanema. We ate dinner and Sergio came up and delivered the request in hand, finding us in the buffet! What excellent customer service! ENTERTAIMENT: MY LIFE IN MUSIC – Production Tonight’s show was by far the best production of the cruise for me. While I didn’t always understand or recognize some of the Italian favorites being sung, the female vocalist did an outstanding job once again. The show closer, Time to Say Goodbye from Andrea Bocelli was done perfectly by all the vocalists both male and female. I was so moved I shed a tear. I thought I might have been exhausted but it really was good. I was one of the first to give the production cast a standing ovation. I was exhausted so I did turn in early and didn’t stay up for tonight’s 70s themed disco party. DAY 5 – SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO I slept so well that I was awake for the embarkation of the pilot on our side when we approached entrance to San Juan. I opened the curtains and dazed in and out of sleep as we rounded the fort into San Juan. We were the first ship to come in. I saw two more on the horizon as we went around. Room service arrived and the order was wrong again. I made it a point to find time to call Yannis and follow up to setup a meeting time with him on the sea day. We disembarked and headed for the Starbucks. I needed a matcha powder fix badly. Hint hint MSC, get a green tea latte or any type of tea latte going on your ships. I’d buy it for sure! The only latte available on the ship was a coffee based one. At Starbucks there was a map of old San Juan. We ordered and looked at the map and decided to go for a walk. I said we hadn’t been to the museum of San Juan history that was on the map so we went for a walk there. The museum was larger than I thought and quite helpful. Some of it was in English but all of it was in Spanish too. If you know some words you can figure out what the signs say. The museum does close at noon for one-hour lunch. On the way back, we passed a maritime museum on San Francisco street. While it is not as extensive as the other museum, if you like nautical history, you should check it out as it has a collection of items which are unique and intriguing for the small admission price. We headed back down to the ship just as the clouds in the distance looked threatening. We did some photos in front of the ship and got on just as the Harmony was pulling out. The three separate gangways the ship had helped to speed up getting guests back on the ship from port. The mid ship gangway didn’t have any stairs so it was perfect for my mom to use. People with handicap difficulties were encouraged to use that one while others were instructed to go to the back one which had stairs up to Deck 5 entrance by Guest Services. Tonight, we dined in Ipanema restaurant with Ian checking in on us and knowing my double meat order. The portions are a bit small on the Seaside and I knew that going in so I just asked for more food. I didn’t want to double up on desserts, so I did on the entrée. ENTERTAINMENT: Timeless – Production Another incredible show featuring specialized artistic performances and song numbers by the cast. The stage design was great too. The usage of props in this show was good too. Unfortunately for some strange reason they fogged the entire room heavily causing me to go into a coughing fit and lose my voice. The show itself was great but one suggestion is tone down the fog effect. ENTERTAINMENT: WHITE PARTY This is a signature event on NCL and on MSC, it’s pretty much the same. It’s a big party under the stars where liquor is flowing, line dance songs are playing, conga lines are forming, and people are just staying out late having a good time. The party kicked off with a DJ set in the atrium and a small show by the cruise staff before heading upstairs to the pool. The party was off to a typical start with the line dance songs lasting longer than NCL and then it flipped to EDM format. It was good until the party stopped and everyone was sent to the garage club on Deck 7. It was hideously packed and hot in there. The doors were propped open but the body heat was just too intense to stay in there. I ended up strolling the ship with some new cruise friends. It was also easier to order drinks from bars away from the main venues as the bartenders were overwhelmed. DAY 6: AT SEA It was a leisurely morning at sea with room service once again delivering the wrong cereal and orange juice product. I was left scratching my head on this one. I don’t know how they can’t figure out what dispenser they’re taking the juice from. We walked around the ship a bit until the Mega Day Sales event in the gift shop. Mom wanted to get there early for selection and as expected, the place was full of people. It didn’t help they were raffling off some prizes so more people walking through stayed around. When it opened it was a crazy free for all with pushing and shoving. Goodness me, I can’t stand shopping as it is but this was just crazy! Thankfully I provided protection for mom so she didn’t get pushed and shoved. Today I also got to sit down with Yannis, the Hotel Director and talk. We got caught up and talked shop and how I ended up on MSC after so many cruises with NCL. He wanted feedback on how the cruise was going and what needed improvement too. I told him about the room service being the weak point for my mother this trip and it was really starting to make her mad. The daily mess ups for something we had to pay extra for (Fantastica is needed for room service as Bella doesn’t have it and that’s base fare pricing). He took down notes and asked why I didn’t call him earlier. I always feel bad calling, especially when you’re responsible for 80 percent of the crew on the ship! I also told him about moving the gatherings around or at least not having all three at the same time (Cruise Critic, LGBTQ and Solos / Singles). When I explained why the latter two should be on the first sea day, he could see the sense in it. Americans are about connections and wanting connections. For solo travelers and single travelers, they want to meet and especially want to find dinner buddies (if they want) so they don’t sit alone at dinner. I cruise solo frequently and the worst part of it is dining alone at dinner. People stare at you and it makes you feel uncomfortable. I’m happy to see a change will be implemented for this. I told him about the white party and it being longer up on deck as the garage club can’t hold a crowd that size, especially with a sea day the next day and more people wanting to party. Yannis took copious notes based on my feedback. I hope it helps enhance future guest’s experience on the ship – especially for the 20-40 somethings solo/single folks and the LGBTQ audience. It was great to sit down and catch up as well. Yannis is just what the Seaside needs to polish itself up in the American market. ENTERTAINMENT: FLY – Production This production truly meant to fly around the world in song and dance. The costumes were elaborate. The performers from Africa finally made their presence known in a truly astounding act of tricks ranging from stacking themselves up to the ceiling and then collapsing much to the gasps of the crowd. The talent this entire cast is downright amazing and something I’ve never seen at sea. It was a short 35 minute production but action packed. If you blinked you could miss something! ENTERTAINMENT: QUEST GAME SHOW If you’ve seen the Quest Game show on other cruise lines, this is MSC’s take on it. While the end of the quest game show is the same, there’s two parts of the show… the first section is where you run up with the item they’re seeking and who does it the fastest gets the most points. The second part is well… more amusing depending on your take of it. I won’t spoil it but go anyway and have a good time. I floated around the ship with the Beattles tribute in the atrium while waiting for the garage club to open. The aft pool deck was playing Latin music. I chilled in the garage club but largely sat in there alone for one hour sipping a drink. A few folks came in ordered drinks and left. Finally, I just walked around the ship once more to find something going on and went back to bed. It was a quiet night. DAY 7: NASSAU, BAHAMAS Eureka! Room service arrived and it was 100 percent correct! I’m beyond thankful for this. It saved a rough start to the day with mom. We pulled straight in to the pier today. On a last minute whim, mom and I booked a shore excursion the prior night with a 15% off discount offer. MSC EXCURSION: Glass Bottom Boat This excursion got us off the ship at 9AM and on a ship headed for the reef. On the way out to the reef, the tour guide told us about all the houses we were passing on Paradise Island and who they belonged to from the likes of Chuck Norris to Oprah Winfrey to singers. When we arrived at the reef we headed downstairs to the viewing area and saw lots of fish. The reef itself was nice and there were smaller fish hanging out in the more intricate areas of the reef. The guide told us what the fish were. We stayed there for about 20 minutes before making our way back to the ship. When we came back to the pier we had to dock on the other side of the ships and by the straw market. For the price paid, it was a decent short tour. Where the boat disembarked us by the straw market meant we were getting swarmed with vendors trying to sell things from handicrafts to weed. I’ve been to Nassau many times before and if it wasn’t for my mom wanting to try this excursion, I wouldn’t have gotten off the ship. Ok, well maybe to go to Starbucks which I did do but after that I would’ve gotten back on and relaxed. We walked around a bit until I finally had enough and told mom I wasn’t leaving her out there alone as I don’t trust Bahamians. Nassau is full of violence from muggings, pickpocketing to murders. Always be on your guard in Nassau and never do any unlicensed taxis or tours for your own safety. We returned to the ship for lunch. I went up on deck and caught some sun for a bit. Wang finally roped me into playing a game show game up at the Miami Pool. I only agreed to it because there was only a handful of people sunning up there. The ship was leaving and people were in other places watching it. The musical game was fun but I couldn’t get any of the tempos I was hearing as quite a few were Latin based. The two I knew someone else ran over to do. I did win the prize for best dancer in merengue. I’m clueless as to how I did that! It was the farewell dinner in Ipanema with Ian, his assistant and Sergio. It was a great last dinner service. I wish I could’ve brought them home! Ha! After dinner ended it was time to listen to some smooth electro in the atrium for a small bit. I loved the music in the atrium. The beats were always good there. ENTERTAINMENT: PETER PUNK – Production If you’re thinking it sound like Peter Pan, it’s because it is! It’s an adventure featuring pirates, a dinosaur, the tumbling troupe, the balancing boys, the hoola hoop guy and many more. It was an elaborate production and my second favorite out of all of them. This is not to mean that any show was bad because they were all outstanding. I finished packing and put the bags out and went to check out the pirate party in the Haven Lounge. A lot of people turned in early so the pirate party was more of getting caught up and saying goodbye to some friends made along the way including some cruise staff. DAY 8 – MIAMI, FL – DISEMBARKATION MSC likes to start things a bit too early. The ship was docked early and disembarkation started at 7AM with the express walk offs. I don’t know who went that early but clearly folks did. We were to go at 8:15AM. All guests were to be out of their rooms by 7:45AM which was the earliest I’ve ever been out of a room. With a too leisurely breakfast in the dining room, we didn’t make it and just headed for the gangway when we finally did get out of the room at 8AM. Our luggage tag had already been called and getting off the ship was super easy. The uber to the airport was immediate and I had really kicked myself for not booking the Noon flight. I didn’t want to rush mom but MSC did that for me! Conclusion: The entertainment on this cruise was unparalleled by any North American cruise line. I was in awe of the performances I saw. I give a shout out to the talented cast who perform the shows THREE times a night and don’t miss a beat! The ship itself is impressively designed and passenger to space ratio is good. You don’t feel the crowd even though the sailing had some 4600 guests. The crowd was about 50 percent international and 50 percent American. The international mix made the ship exciting albeit somewhat challenging to communicate with other folks. MSC is doing their best to cater to both markets on the ship and I can tell the effort is there. Service everywhere outside of room service and the two guest services staff members was amazing. When the shift lead at Guest Services helped us on the last day, we got the change we needed for tipping and tipping envelopes with a smile and promptly. I wish I had dealt with that gentleman the previous two times! These members of the ship’s crew and staff are to be commended for their excellence in customer service: Ian (Waiter) and his assistant waiter who remembered my mom’s wine order by the third night and served it without us asking. Sergio Texeira for handling a special request every night and going above and beyond to see it through. Daniela for handling the room service issue for me the first night of the voyage and being a friendly face around the restaurant. Marie Leonnel, our stateroom stewardess from Madagascar, who cleaned our room with both speed and efficiency and kept everything well stocked including the ice. Her attention to detail is to be commended. Wang and Johnathan on the cruise staff who did their best to get me engaged and for being friendly faces about the ship. A big thank you to Yannis for taking the time to sit down with an old friend and for hearing my feedback. Hopefully some of it will be instituted on upcoming sailings. If any NCL cruisers out there are reading this, Yannis Kazalis is now with MSC on the Seaside! In the end, I will return to MSC. I’m not sure I will do the Fantastica experience again unless mom sails with me. I would be content with the Bella service. Having to pay so much more for the Aurea experience to have anytime dining is not worth it for me. In that sense, NCL still wins for flexibility of dining but NCL needs to watch out… MSC is right on their heels with this beautiful ship. Just a little bit more polishing of the crew in some areas and they’ll kick NCL to the curb. I look forward to trying the Seaside again as a solo traveler and perhaps other ships as their itineraries are far more interesting in some regions of the world! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This ship was chosen for a number of reasons. It was new (still under construction) when it was booked and we had never sailed MSC, having sailed on Carnival and NCL previously. We were initially booked into the Yacht Club in an inside ... Read More
This ship was chosen for a number of reasons. It was new (still under construction) when it was booked and we had never sailed MSC, having sailed on Carnival and NCL previously. We were initially booked into the Yacht Club in an inside cabin. However, as the cruise date approached, a friend expressed interest in joining us and there were no Yacht Club cabins left that could accommodate three persons. I called MSC and they booked us into a Fantastica cabin on deck 13. It looked like it would be in a great spot. And then the ship launched and out came all the bad reviews and all the problems. And it seemed like cabins were being dumped in droves. And to my surprise, one of the aft balcony Aurea suite cabins that held three persons became available. So we switched again from a Fantastica cabin to an Aurea suite at the back of the ship, overlooking the aft pool. So the Aurea level of service came with a lot of perks which we enjoyed including the massage. I had read on other boards to book your massage if you're in Aurea as soon as you board or all the good massages and times are taken up. So that's what we did when we first got on the ship, and we each received a one-hour amazing massage in the spa. Granted, it was early in the day (930 or 10am I think), but still, it was amazing. When the hostess printed off the receipt for the massages, it was almost $500 reduced to $0 because of the Aurea package. We were also seated in a special area of the Seashore dining room. We had only experience Your Time Dining once on NCL, and this was similar. You showed up and got a table. We never waited. And because I know the relationship between guest and waiter is an important one, we always asked to be seated in the same section with the same waiter so he came to know us. It made for nice continuity with dinner. The Seashore Dining Room was lovely. I don't understand all the beefs (no pun intended) about the food. It was perfectly fine - not five star gourmet, but dare I say very to excellent and I'm pretty picky. I don't remember having to send anything back to the kitchen once because it was overdone or underdone. The waiters did seem a little harried, but were always polite and courteous. Remember people - this is a European line! Dining in Europe is an 'event', not something to be scarfed down in 15 minutes - so yes - it took a while but we enjoyed our meals and had great conversations while we enjoyed various breads before our appetizers arrived. The shows were good but strange. We went to all but one, and none seemed to really be what the title said it was going to be. The theater is small so go early if you want a good seat. You do have to book your shows in advance if I remember correctly. We never had an issue with ordering drinks at any of the bars. The bartenders were efficient and we always received the drink we ordered. With the Aurea package, the drinks are included, but we decided to upgrade to the Premium package. This was the only problem we had consistently on the cruise. We had to remind the waitresses and bartenders we had the Premium package when we ordered Premium drinks and were told consistently we did not. I had to gently remind them and ask them to open up the reservation and they always were able to find the upgrade and so we received our premium drinks at no charge. It was more annoying than anything else, especially after gone to Customer Service who also had to go into our reservation to see we had upgraded to the Premium Drinks package. I was told then that there should have been a sticker applied to the front of the card with a code on it, indicating the upgrade. The customer service agent give me three blank white stickers, and told me what to write on it, which I did and gave one to each of my traveling companions. Even with that sticker on the card, I had to gently prod the waitresses and bartenders to open up the reservation to see the upgrade. It became less of an issue as the week passed, because the bartenders came to know us, and knew we had the upgrade. Embarkation was a little confusing. When we arrived, there were two lines - one for the Aurea guests and one for everyone else (Yacht Club I believe went in a different door). Yet there was no signage, so initially, we got into the big line, until one of my travelling companions asked what the shorter line was for. So we asked, and they looked at our tickets, and said the shorter line was for us. But if we hadn't asked.... Once upstairs, at check-in, we were told there were no wrist bands, and we had to get them on the ship, yet we saw folks in the lounge wearing them! So we were able to get them on the ship, but then our reservation disappeared entirely. Again, an irritant that was quickly solved by going to Customer Service and it was all sorted out in a matter of minutes and we had our wrist bands and they worked just fine. We had also purchased the specialty dining package (three meals) and were told when we booked it included the Teppanyaki. We were slightly disappointed to find out the Teppanyaki restaurant was included in the 'other' specialty dining package (for Roy's), not the one we had purchased which included the steakhouse, the seafood house and Roy's (but not the Teppanyaki). The other issue we had with the specialty dining, was the wording of the menu which was very confusing. The waiter in the steakhouse which was our first specialty dining experience on board, was somewhat surly, when I said I wanted two appetizers and an entree and no dessert, and he said he would have to charge me for one of the appetizers. I replied and told him the wording of the menu said I could choose three courses from any of the following - it did not specify I had to order ONE appetizer, ONE entree and ONE dessert. We spoke to the manager, but he was firm and wouldn't budge. So again, we made the best of it. The food was very good in the steakhouse but not as good as the steakhouse on Carnival. We also ate in the seafood restaurant. The crab appetizer was enormous (5 different types of crab) and was included in the specialty dining package, even though that appetizer alone was something like $39! We tried eating in the Asian restaurant for lunch one day because they were booked up for dinner but it was a rough sea day so we didn't get to eat there. I would say this - if you're planning on eating in any of the specialty restaurants, go immediately to see them once you're on board if your PVP hasn't already made the reservations for you. This is the second thing we did after embarkation, after securing our massages. Overall impression of the ship - it's beautiful and glitzy. The outdoor space is amazing all over, given the wide decks and the ability to eat al fresco. We never had a problem finding a seat in the buffet. I would say this. I really feel the interior spaces have been sacrificed for the addition of more cabins and all the out door space, so the inside spaces felt small and cramped. The casino is ridiculously small for the size of the ship. I will also say this about the muster drill and something to keep in mind if you're a North American. Because it's a European line, the announcements are made in six languages, so it can take a while. Be patient. It's for your own safety. The one thing I did find a little disappointing as a gay man, was there was only one LGBTQ meeting on the second night. On NCL and Carnival, they have more than one, so if you missed it, you missed your only opportunity to connect with other LGBTQ cruisers. However, the MSC staff member that facilitated the meeting was wonderful and charming and engaging, and got us all talking. So it was well worth the effort for us to attend. Would I sail MSC again? Yes. I would. I'm looking at the Meraviglia in 2020. Again, your vacation is what you make of it. Nothing in this world is perfect. And while I agree you should get what you pay for, we are all human and mistakes can happen. Go with the flow, and deal with issues when they arise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This is listed on CC as a 14 day but this was a 7 day on the Western Caribbean. Absolutely stunning. Great staff. Staff always cleaning. Very organized. Some of the best shows at sea!!!! Lots to do. Food was very good. Our ... Read More
This is listed on CC as a 14 day but this was a 7 day on the Western Caribbean. Absolutely stunning. Great staff. Staff always cleaning. Very organized. Some of the best shows at sea!!!! Lots to do. Food was very good. Our cabin (12081) was well appointed and beautiful. Very comfortable bed. Nice big balcony. Key wristbands to get into your room and purchases was a great convenience!!! Only $5 extra if not included in your room choice. Most activities that were other than normal was only $10 but you could by passes that gave you more than what you paid for. Zip Line, Billiards (30mns) F-1 simulator, 5 D theatre, and Bowling (price is per lane not persons) Only a few negatives.... small theatre under 1000 seats 3 shows nightly and almost 5000 guests. Most of the shops on board were pricey, Pushing the steak house and other restaurants during breakfast was a bust for me it was annoying. Photos are pricier than other lines unless you bundle or purchase packages 60% of passengers were European. Most of them were rude.... They do not believe in excuse me, Please or Thank you and would rush the elevators before we got off and most of them would push and cut waiting lines. Ports of Call: Ocho Rios Jamaica, Georgetown Grand Caymen, Cozumel Mexico, & Costa Maya Mexico. All very nice stops. Embarkation and Debarkation was smooth and uneventful. public rooms are very modern This ship does not have typical ship feel. Very boutique Hotel ambiance. Lavish in every way. Most beautiful ship I have ever been on. Over all I would do this again and was very happy with this cruise. MSC is striving to take business away from some of the other lines. If other lines are not careful MSC can do some damage especially with their loyalty match program!!!! Pay NO ATTENTION TO the bad reviews that are posted. They are bogus. I have been on most all lines and this one so far has been my favorite. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Wanted my first cruise to be on a very large ship, the room were great excellent customer service, ports were good, the food on the buffet everyday was excellent however the food in the restaurant was prepared well but had no seasoning ... Read More
Wanted my first cruise to be on a very large ship, the room were great excellent customer service, ports were good, the food on the buffet everyday was excellent however the food in the restaurant was prepared well but had no seasoning very bland...and needed better deserts like red velvet cake, carrot cake, some American deserts. overall Excellent I would choose MSC again ! I feel activities were very good it was so much to do and see at each port, it was just amazing everyone was nice and polite, the experience for myself and my friends, I will stay in the state room on the top floor next time, would of like to met the captain and seen the ships from the steering room, we all felt very safe ! I just think it was so fascinating that a ship of it's size able to float and move as fast as it does....note would like to see better internet service and wifi with no additional charge.....over all simply amazing can't wait until the next one will booking soon for October ! Captain Nice work you and the crew ! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
The ship is impressive. Beautiful with gorgeous details such as granite in buffets, bathtubs in some rooms and gorgeous spacious balconies. This high tech higher touch cruiseliner is worth trying out. I plan to make it my go to cruise for ... Read More
The ship is impressive. Beautiful with gorgeous details such as granite in buffets, bathtubs in some rooms and gorgeous spacious balconies. This high tech higher touch cruiseliner is worth trying out. I plan to make it my go to cruise for the future. Get the app as it’s is helpful to plan and book shows. I recommend booking all your shows around your dinner as reservations are priority over last minute attendees. Great original shows. Very “cirque de soleil” in style. Singers, dancers, acrobatics Lots to do for keen. Many pools. Great to have kids areas. Best food. I will call this the pizza cruise as the pizza was amazing. Casino is small but very friendly staff. Didn’t make it the gym...too far from buffet (lol) but I went once nd it is nicely equipped. Medical visit to see dr is $95 in morning and $125 after lunch. Suggestions: bring hair conditioner and skin lotions. Also many extras available to buy yoga classes $11, Zip line $5, 5d cinema $10, shops, gelato, cappuccino, drinks if not on a package, etc. Overall rating: luxury and wonderful ***** Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I had previously been on 7 cruises on 3 different lines. I had never sailed with MSC so a group of three decided to cruise the new line on their new ship, Seaside. MSC was an outstanding cruise line and the ship was amazing. What was ... Read More
I had previously been on 7 cruises on 3 different lines. I had never sailed with MSC so a group of three decided to cruise the new line on their new ship, Seaside. MSC was an outstanding cruise line and the ship was amazing. What was GREAT: We had the Aura package that included a balcony, two free massages, the beverage package, and a private sun deck and bar. The bar package was unlimited, not X number per day like other lines; The ship was beautiful and designed so that you never really realized there were 4800 people on the ship; Up-To-Date - everything was state of the art on the ship. What was not so good: 1. There were three in out state room. The Aura package came with on-board social media, but only 2 devices could be connected - even though we all three paid the same price. 2. The nightly shows were OUTSTANDING - almost Broadway quality BUT the performers lip-sinked and the Re-Verb was set so high you could not really hear the performance; 3. We had to ask for soap to be added in our state room and our room steward never made towel animals for use (I though this was standard when cruising). 4. Photos - we bought the Digital package which advertised that you owned the digital pictures - But you can not blow-them up for printing. You still have to pay MSC for the pictures if you want prints - RIP OFF!!!!!!!!!! and Lies!!!!!!! This was the best of the 4 lines I have sailed and I would definitely go again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I was on the Seaside Jan 13th to the 20th 2018. Excellent service, crew were great...we did have a little issue with the toilet system as many people have written complaints here in cruise critic BUT we must remember that this is a brand ... Read More
I was on the Seaside Jan 13th to the 20th 2018. Excellent service, crew were great...we did have a little issue with the toilet system as many people have written complaints here in cruise critic BUT we must remember that this is a brand new ship... I am an experience cruiser... it is totally normal to have issues on a new ship... overall MSC Cruises puts to shame other cruise lines... their shows are outstanding something I've never seen on a cruise ship. We liked it so much that we are already booked once again in September and October.... we are Diamond Plus and Elite Plus in Royal Caribbean and Celebrity so that can give you an idea how much experience we have.... we are very impressed with MSC... I must admit .. there are a lot of room for improvements but they are working on it.... this is a family owned Cruise Line not a Corporation like the other companies who only care about MONEY... MSC is very generous and flexible with perks and much more... cant say enough in this review... hope you have a wonderful time in MSC once you try it... remember this is an European Rich Cultured cruise line and is very proud of it. I cant wait to go back. 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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