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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
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
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife and I recently completed our cruise aboard the MSC Seaside in the Yacht Club Royal Suite. This was not our first cruise with MSC, and we had no reservations about the number of initial complaints that Seaside received on her ... Read More
My wife and I recently completed our cruise aboard the MSC Seaside in the Yacht Club Royal Suite. This was not our first cruise with MSC, and we had no reservations about the number of initial complaints that Seaside received on her first year at sea based on our past experience with MSC Cruises. Overall, this cruise surpassed our previous Divina cruises, and all other Disney Concierge cruises we have taken to date. The YC staff aboard Seaside really out performed all others in this category from the moment we arrived in the Yacht Club embarkation lounge, all the way until our butler personally escorted us off the ship down to customs a week later. YACHT CLUB ENTRY & SECURITY The Yacht Club Welcome / Entry at Terminal F consists of 3 white pop-up tents and a couple of folding tables. Our transport arrived to pick us up at our hotel (DoubleTree Biscayne Bay) at 10:45 a.m, and we arrived at Port Miami, Terminal F about 15 mins later. Three staff members were waiting at the White YC tents outside the terminal where they checked us in, tagged and took our luggage, then escorted us through security and into the YC embarkation lounge. YACHT CLUB RECEPTION Getting through security was easier than your typical trip through airport security – no need to remove our shoes or electronics from our carry-on bags. Our Yacht Club guide waited for us to get through the metal detectors and took us through the main waiting area and directly into the Yacht Club embarkation lounge. We quickly met with a representative who took our boarding tickets and passports, and directed us towards the bar where we collected a welcome drink and some light snacks. About 5 mins later, she called us up to the check-in desk took our photos, and provided us with our cruise cards and wristbands. We sat back down for about 5 more mins to enjoy a variety of pastries, donuts, chocolates, fruit, orange juice and champagne… as much as we wanted. It wasn’t long after that before a shoreside butler came and got us along with three other families for an escort up to the Top Sail Lounge aboard the ship. BOARDING SEASIDE We were guided by a butler on to the ship and to the Yacht Club priority elevator in the forward bank on deck 6 which took us straight to deck 16. Exiting the elevator, we were welcomed through the Yacht Club doors where I got to use my wristband for the first time, and then guided to the Top Sail lounge down an absolutely magical corridor – well it seemed magical on the first day. MSC Cruises really has the embarkation process down to a science. We were on the ship in less than an hour from the time we stepped out of our transport to the terminal. Inside the Top Sail lounge, we were greeted by a waiter who asked us what time we'd like to eat dinner, and if we would be celebrating any special birthdays, etc. We sat down on the comfortable velvet couches and were offered our choice of beverages. I ordered a Sam Adams Boston Lager and a double shot of bourbon. There was also a small “buffet” of fancy snacks, sandwiches, and mini pastries. All for the taking - the vacation had truly begun at that point. About 30 mins later (12:30-ish) our butler escorted us to our Royal Suite for the week and gave us a quick tour of the suite and all the services available to us. He later came back and got us to show us our pool-side cabana reserved for passengers staying in the Royal Suite. That was an amenity that I was aware of, but didn't think I would use very much because I do like to socialize with my fellow passengers during our family cruises, but it was a welcome treat that we enjoyed all week. Back to the suite - it was magnificent with plenty of room for the two of us to spread out, unpack, store the luggage out of sight and truly enjoy the week that was to come. Our three daughters joined us on this cruise, but they were staying in the Yacht Club Deluxe suite next door (suite 16029). The suite included a large deck with a 6-person dining table where we enjoyed breakfast two mornings, and diner one evening. Other than that, it was a nice place to gather with the kids on those mornings as we pulled into ports and enjoy the scenery together. The deck also included a jetted hot-tub, two loungers, and two chairs. Our butler opened the partition between the decks so that our daughters could enjoy the space without having to knock on our door all week. The Top Sail Lounge, as with other MSC ships with Yacht Club enclaves was one of my favorite places on the ship. And even with the tremendous amount of space we enjoyed in our suite, my wife and I still spent a good amount of time in there enjoying drinks, conversation, and the company of our fellow yacht club passengers. The yacht club pool deck was great, and featured a cooktop grill, buffet, and fully stocked bar. It was well used on our cruise by everyone cruising that week. Overall the ship and crew were fantastic and we truly had another great time aboard the MSC Seaside. It has us eagerly anticipating our next MSC cruise aboard the Meraviglia departing on March 15, 2020. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We just got off a week-long Eastern Caribbean cruise on the MSC Seaside. This was my third cruise (I’ve done Holland America and Disney previously) and my husband’s first. I’ll break my review into categories to make it easier to ... Read More
We just got off a week-long Eastern Caribbean cruise on the MSC Seaside. This was my third cruise (I’ve done Holland America and Disney previously) and my husband’s first. I’ll break my review into categories to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. THE SHIP The ship is absolutely immaculate. It is easy to navigate, super clean, and glamorous. There are TVs all over that have an interactive map, allow you to book shows, and show you daily activities. There are tons of lounge areas and bars, a little something for everyone. We never felt the boat rocking (our room was on the 14th floor). There are several pools. We actually had the best luck at the jungle pool. We also enjoyed the adults-only South Beach pool. The Miami Beach pool is packed most of the time. My husband and I both with there were more hot tubs, ESPECIALLY in the adults-only pool section. Hot tubs are typically overrun by kids. I also wish they stayed open past 9! FANTASTICA EXPERIENCE AND ROOM (14th FLOOR INTERIOR) With the loss of the 12 drink vouchers, Fantastica basically gives you the option of “better” rooms and dining time choice. However, our room location wasn’t anything special and we requested early dining and were assigned a 9:30pm dinner time. Yes, we could have changed that, but who wants to wait 45 minutes in the dining room to change their dinner time when you just arrived? Not us. Unless you REALLY care about your room location. Speaking of room, we were in interior room 14044. I thought our room was great. It was cleaned twice a day. We utilized some storage hacks (like the over the door hanger and pop-up laundry hanger) and I suggest doing the same. Water pressure was amazing. Splurge for a balcony if you can, but don’t worry if you can’t. Having an interior room makes you get out and explore the ship. FOOD As is pretty typical of cruises, the food was good, not great. I know a lot of people complain about the buffet options, but honestly there are TONS of options, they just don’t change very often. The pizza is AMAZING. I also loved the cinnamon rolls at breakfast. The Marketplace buffet (deck 8) is way bigger than Biscayne Bay (deck 16). Plenty of places to sit; we liked to sit outside and enjoy the view. I wish drink classes were bigger; the cups for water were practically shot glasses haha. I would suggest bringing your own bigger cup. We only ate in the MDR once. We dressed “smart,” but there was literally a guy in a tank top and hat…so clearly not strict on dress code. The food, again, was good, not great. The couple sat along with us at our table said they also had the fantastica package and requested the early dining time and were also assigned the latest time. DRINKS ON US We received this package as part of an Expedia promotion. Be aware: despite what you may have read in this group, this is NOT the “old version of the easy package.” It includes different things. The good part is it includes a wide range of beers (which Easy doesn’t.) My husband was happy about this. But it only includes basic mixed drinks made with well alcohol (vodka soda, rum and coke, etc.) and absolutely nothing blended. If you want blended drinks, you pay full price. You will pay a 15% tax on all drinks (even ones “included” on DOU.) MSC would be smart to just change over everyone’s DOU package to easy to avoid this continuous confusion. SERVICE We were blown away by the MSC staff. There are over 2000 staff on board and they all work VERY hard literally all the time. There is never an idle worker. There is a reason the ship is so immaculate. They will go out of their way to help you. One thing that bothered me is that on several occasions I saw the crew members dressed in the white official looking outfits (I have no idea what their title is) harshly reprimanding staff members for minuscule things. I saw one of them yelling at the poor kid who makes pizzas for 29384 hours a day because he had the tongs in the wrong spot and then at this super adorable, fun kitchen worker who was laughing (along with us) at the birds coming on the boat and trying to take the food. I understand that they are trying to make sure the boat is pristine, but I also don’t support that type of management of people who work incredibly hard, especially in front of guests. I will say that bar service is very slow. However, this is NOT because the servers/bartenders themselves are slow. They work their butts off! They just need WAY more people working behind the bar. Often times during prime pool hours there were only 1-2 bartenders responsible for all at-bar orders AND orders placed by bar maids. MSC needs to put more bartenders behind the bar. Good news is that their pours were VERY heavy  THERMAL AREA/SPA We booked the experience that included two 30-min massages and week-long passes to the Thermal Area. The massages were nice (my husband had never had one and was VERY skeptical, but he said he would do it again) but not the best I’ve ever had. We visited the Thermal Area 3 times. It was nice, but honestly I probably would have been fine with one day. It was nice to get away from crowds and relax. I loved the steam room with the cold showers. It felt SO refreshing, as did the showers with the “rain storm,” “cold mist,” etc. The snow room was unbearable to me, but neat. The Jacuzzi honestly wasn’t worth it because it was more warm than the hot Jacuzzi experience I was looking for. There is a private deck area with a small hot tub and some sun chairs that only Thermal Area-goers can use, which was really nice. We were always the only ones out there. However, again, for some reason the hot tub out there was also just slightly warm. ENTERTAINMENT I thought, overall, the entertainment was great. There were a couple bands and some solo singers that all sounded great. The only thing I’ll say is that it got kind of repetitive by the end. The entertainment staff who put on the parties and lead the dance classes were AWESOME. You MUST go to the White Party dance party at Miami Beach Pool. They put a cover on the pool and have an awesome party until 1am, and TONS of people go. This was the only theme we dressed up for, and trust me…you want to bring your white outfit! Everyone dressed up. As far as shows, we went to the R-Rated Beerprov show and Starwalker. We were DYING laughing at Beerprov. We wanted to go to the other shows they put on but it just didn’t work with our schedule. Starwalker was very good as well. I feel very conflicted because, well, I’m not about to be cheering for Michael Jackson after all that has come out, but I just decided to appreciate the music and dancing, which was awesome. The entertainment staff CLEARLY love their jobs and make sure everyone has a great time. PORTS OF CALL Puerto Rico – This is kind of an odd day because it is a basically a sea day combined with a port day. We got in at 5:00 and walked up to a nearby fort. However, all of the forts closed at 6:00, so if you want to see them you better hurry! We walked to dinner and had a pina colada (they were invented in PR, you have to have one!) and then strolled around. Although charming, this was probably our most boring stop. St. Thomas – We did the Sail and Snokel experience on Castaway Girl 3. We had a great time! We didn’t see many fish and not other aquatic life, but it was fun nonetheless. On the way back you are given rum punch and we leisurely return to the port, just enjoying the ride. After that we went to the Fat Turtle by the port and drank beers and chatted with locals. If you want a beach you will need to take a taxi. Sint Maarten – Ugh, such a gorgeous port. Leave the shopping area, take a left and keep walking until you reach the sign for the beach. About a 10-15 min walk. Beautiful beach, lots of shops and bars/restaurants. Find a deal for lawn chairs/umbrella. Most about $20 for 2 beach chairs, umbrella, 5 beers OR 2 frozen drinks, and wif. We got that deal sans the alcohol for $10 a ways down the beach. Do be prepared for lots of locals trying to sell hair braiding, massages, bags, etc. Just say no thank you and they will move on. This is a short port day (7am – 1:30pm) so I suggest just making it a beach day. Nassau – If you want to pick a day to spend on the boat while in port, this is that day. If not, I suggest finding an excursion or riding to another beach. We went to Junkanoo Beach, and….well, it has Junk in the name for a reason. It’s a very rocky beach with lots of glass, at the top of the beach there is lots of trash, and the drinks and food are crazy expensive. We stayed for a short while and just took a dip and then walked to the Twisted Lime for some delicious cold drinks and then went back to the boat and enjoyed some breathing room while others were in port. INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE As many have mentioned, this is a very diverse boat. Having lived abroad, I loved being immersed among all of the different language and cultures. The ONLY drawback is that many things we consider polite or appropriate behavior is not the case in other countries. Lots of cutting in line, lots of talking/talk-yelling in public areas, and just what seemed to be a general unawareness of anyone besides themselves. This, of course, is not the fault of MSC, but is just a reality to be aware of. BILLING I highly suggest hooking up a CREDIT card to your account. You can easily do this on a kiosk the first or second day there. If you use a credit card, you don’t have to settle your bill at guest services. I can’t even imagine waiting in that line to settle my bill! I know some people have had charges on their account that were wrong. We didn’t have that happen, BUT we did have on two occasions the bartender pass us their little machine to sign only to see that they were charging us for four drinks instead of two (remember, we had the DOU package so each drink had about a ~90cent service charge added.) When we refused to sign they took it off, but it was still sketchy. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We choose this cruise because we were looking for a cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We got a great price on a Fantansica experience balcony deck 12. With the easy drink package. We stayed overnight in Miami at the Hampton ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we were looking for a cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We got a great price on a Fantansica experience balcony deck 12. With the easy drink package. We stayed overnight in Miami at the Hampton inn Blue Lagoon. Very nice and convenient hotel. We parked our car at an offsite parking lot called safe cruise Miami. Great price to park, dropped off and picked up quickly. Their shuttle is free so i can't complain about the ride. If you want to experience Miami I would stay at a downtown hotel or Port of Miami hotel it will cost more for that. Embarkation was amazing!! Fastest I've ever got on a ship. Disembarkation the same! Maybe because they have the face scanners I D going through customs! The seaside is a beautiful ship! our cabin was very nice. A little more storage space and a little bigger shower would have been perfect. The balcony was very large, so that made up for the smaller shower! Our room steward was amazing, Roxanne. She greeted us and asked us our names! Always made it a point to greet us using our names everyday. I found it interesting the room stewards were woman, I have never had a women room steward before. The dining room was ok. We have become use to anytime dining,so the first night everyone waiting for the dining room to open created a big line,and people going up and cutting in front of you. After the first night, we just arrived 10 minutes late and avoided the mad rush to your tables. Unfortunately we encountered a lot more people that would not be considerate of others. Alot of passengers from other countries is all we could figure. The food in the main dining room did not leave a lasting impression on any of us. We did enjoy the buffet. Again the food was more Mediterranean then American. The pizza was very good and the burgers were the best I had on a cruise. i ordered a pizza from room service one day, for a charge, it was well worth the price to have a fresh pizza, delicious! We were never hungry. We never had a problem finding a place to sit outside. Only by the main pool if you wanted to see an activity. We didn't find much to do for us in the daytime on a sea day. A lot of shopping events not enough entertainment events on the sea day afternoon. So I enjoyed relaxing outside with a coco loco with rum on the side. They really need to change up the drinks available, it was easier for the bartender to make a frozen drink with the alcohol then give a shot of alcohol on the side. The service on the ship was very good We didn't do any excursion with MSC we just explored on our own. The port times were not enough at some of the stops and too much time at other ports. The cruise critic meet & greet was very nice that MSC put together for the group. The captain expressed wanting to hear the American feedback since they are moving into the United States with more ships. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
It took us 2 days to reach Miami as we were coming from Cape Town, South Africa, and it was well worth the trip. I slept 1 night in Miami before the cruise, and did the Topless Bus Tour around Miami Beach. We then boarded the MSC ... Read More
It took us 2 days to reach Miami as we were coming from Cape Town, South Africa, and it was well worth the trip. I slept 1 night in Miami before the cruise, and did the Topless Bus Tour around Miami Beach. We then boarded the MSC Seaside. We boarded around 14:30 and what a pleasure. We could get straight onto the ship. Our entire experience on this cruise was amazing, we loved it so much. Our balcony room was spacious, and Andrii our room steward was very friendly and always did a wonderful job in our room. I've read many posts about how boring the food is. And I must say, we loved the food. Yes the food isn't for everyones tastes, and they try to accommodate everyone, but for us it was great. You don't have to eat the exact same food all the time, mix it up. I didn't eat the same thing every day. The shows were brilliant in the Theater. However, I didn't enjoy the Silent Disco. Being non-smokers this Silent Disco was held in the pool smoking area, and the people were so spread out around the pool it felt like we were dancing by ourselves. In fact, we couldn't use that pool area at all in the day due to the smokers. The bars were always busy, but no real long queues to complain about. The one pool deck had a very long queue for the bar the one time, so we went to another bar. The Easy Drinks package was not worth our while. The cocktail portion of the menu isn't really cocktails, more Bourbon and Coke, or Vodka and juice. You could have a mocktail and add a tot of vodka, but what a mission everytime. It would have been nicer to have a couple proper cocktails on that menu aswell. We absolutely loved the Dance Classes at 9pm in the lounge. We had so much fun learning the new dances, and the main dance teacher, dont know what his name is, he was brilliant, and so interactive with the guests. He gave us such a workout each night, even our stomach muscles from laughing. We did 3 excursions which we bought through MSC, and that was amazing. We don't have to worry about finding taxis, or organising anything. All we had to do was pitch up at our spot at the time allocated. It was amazing. We would definitely recommend doing this. Our only downside on the Dolphin Swim excursion was the cost of the photos at the end. $120 for our 2 people photos is extremely expensive, since we have to multiply that price by 15 to get it into our local currency. We landed up just getting my dolphin photos for $70 and still almost cried at the price. The excursion itself was already expensive. This put such a huge cloud over the rest of that day for us. I experience terrible motion sickness, yet I did not feel a thing on this ship. I never once had to think of taking a tablet, or even just feel the ship move. I was so impressed with that. Overall, we absolutely loved this holiday. We traveled long and far for it, and a week later still recovering from Jetlag, but was so worth it. We are booked for MSC Orchestra in 8 months, it's a lot smaller and the one we can use that is local for us this next season, but am so looking forward to doing it with all my family. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Friends had went on this cruise a year ago. We needed a vacation and thought let's give it a try! First time cruisers, so we have nothing to compare it to. Beautiful ship, and scenery. Clean also. Unfortunately a lot of rude ... Read More
Friends had went on this cruise a year ago. We needed a vacation and thought let's give it a try! First time cruisers, so we have nothing to compare it to. Beautiful ship, and scenery. Clean also. Unfortunately a lot of rude guests. People can really be inconsiderate aholes. The staff we encountered, were all pretty friendly and helpful. Food was good but not fantastic. A lot repeated dishes. Expensive up charges for specialty restaurants. We had a drink package that didn't include much, so basically worthless and to upgrade was astronomical. Elevators, they should have built more into the ship. You would wait forever at peak times and even slow times. Excursions were fun. Unfortunately MSC found a way to screw the guest and make some money on our SXM atv tour. We booked single riders and when our tickets came in, they marked everyone as double riders. So the poor atv tour owner got an earfull but it wasn't his fault, it was MSC BEING GREEDY. The tour was so fun and awesome but was somewhat ruined by that situation. We are doing a beach day today in Nassau, hopefully they can't screw that up. Spa package was nice. Massages were amazing. Thermal area was busy and hard to enjoy, especially with the inconsiderate guests. Cabins were clean and kept clean daily. Bed was horribly firm and uncomfortable. We woke up everyday sore. I truly hope the yacht club people didn't have those beds. Over $4,000 a person with that bed, oh hell no! All in all, an ok experience for us. Not sure if we will do again. Pretty sure not on MSC. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Newer Ship caught my eye as well as price and itinerary. The bathroom is quite small and you can not sit on the toilet without your knee hitting the sink. The shower stall is hard to stand in if you're a little large. My GF baggage ... Read More
Newer Ship caught my eye as well as price and itinerary. The bathroom is quite small and you can not sit on the toilet without your knee hitting the sink. The shower stall is hard to stand in if you're a little large. My GF baggage was a little delayed eventhough we put our items together on the check in area. The dining room food was average at best and we ate most of our meals in the fee paying restaurants. I recommend the Surf and Turf roll in the asian market...delish. The on board shows were very nice and there were plenty of seating in the theatre. The ports were very nice but I do not recommend the Quad tour in St Martin unless you request a single rider vehicle. We books on the MSC website and it specifically says single rider and we were forced to take a double. Of course the business said blame MSC and MSC says blame the business. The Casino is below par...NO CRAP TABLES OR CASH POKER (only Beat the dealer poker) I would go on the ship again but at a better and lower price. 3 stars at best Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We choose MSC for the price and the perks they were offering. We booked through vacations to go, it helped that our agent knew the ship and he was able to set us up for exactly what we were looking for. We selected the fastantica package ... Read More
We choose MSC for the price and the perks they were offering. We booked through vacations to go, it helped that our agent knew the ship and he was able to set us up for exactly what we were looking for. We selected the fastantica package which gave us all drinks up to $6.00 This worked well for us as the selection of drinks had what we normally drink plus a couple more we tried. I would also like to note, I am in the customer service industry, I get rated also, I have had 5 stars, and I have had 1 star. I read a ton of reviews right here on cruise critic, as you can see they are all over the place. The Ship. The Seaside is both stunning inside and out. You really don’t see how big it is until the first port at the dock. It seems like the terminal at Miami hides it a little. The inside is a bit overwhelming at first, but once you explore a little you see it’s true beauty and everything she has to offer. There are mirrors, chrome, glass, and marble everywhere. We arrived at the terminal at noon. I found the outside to be very busy, remember there are at least 5 other ships there at the same time. Once exiting the Uber in front of terminal F, people were there to take our luggage. We entered the terminal, went through security, and proceeded upstairs to check in. Check in was a breeze, there were at least 80 to 100 people behind the counter checking people in. From there we went up to a waiting area with a number. They were calling numbers every few minutes and taking a group onto the ship. We did not wait long at all. From arrival to our first steps onto the ship was exactly a half hour. That was impressive considering the cruise was sold out. Upon entering on floor number 6 there were people everywhere, it felt like everyone took 6 steps onboard and just stopped. We pressed through and went to find a kiosk to register the credit card. There was a long line at customer service, but there was staff working their way through the line to see if they could help faster, and this was the case for us, she came up to us, we asked where the kiosks were and she took us right to one. From there we went up to deck 18 to get away from the crowd. It looked like most people went right to the buffet on deck 8. We ate before we got on so we were able to explore. Don’t plan on getting on an elevator quickly on the first few hours, but we found elevators towards the front ( right off the casino) that were not too busy. State rooms are not ready until 2pm, so find a place to hang out and relax or explore during that time, I would avoid the atrium during that time. Once rooms are announced as ready it tends to calm down and doesn’t feel like there is 5000 other people around. The Staterooms We had an interior state room on deck 14. Again, ive read reviews where people complained that the state rooms were too small. Well they aren’t large but they are fine for the purpose. Your in your state room to sleep, shower or get dressed. They are the same on all cruise lines. Your not on a ship or on vacation to sit in your room all day. We met our room attendant Colette the next morning. She always smiled and greeted us anytime we saw her. Rooms were cleaned every morning, and our bed was turned down every night. She replaced our towels every time also. All in all no complaints whatsoever on the room. Our dining time was wrong on the first night, we had requested 7:30, but they had us at 5:30. No big deal, we ate at 5:30 and saw the maitre’d on the way out. The next day we had a letter on our door and he was able to accommodate us and got us the 7:30 dining time. We were put at a table with 3 other couples, not a big deal and actually I was very glad to meet all of them. The Food The food was not bad at all on both the Dining room. They allow you to order whatever you want and any amount on the menu. There is a different theme every night. Other reviews complained the portions were too small, they aren’t huge but there was an appetizer, salad, main course, and dessert. I was always full after leaving the dining room. The buffets were great, a lot of selection. Other reviews complained the selection was the same every day. To a point that is true, the staple foods were the same. Hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, salad, French fries, etc. Everything else changed up daily. There is also a meat carving station towards the back of the buffet, there were different carvings daily. We went every morning to the buffet on deck 8 for breakfast and ate outside on the deck. Hint, the pizza on deck 8 was thin crust, but the pizza on deck 18 was thick crust. The Pools. Miami Beach pool was where we were the whole time. Yes people reserved chairs early, however there were enough of them and there was never any issues up there. South beach pool was the adult only pool and we did hear of some issues with chairs down there. We would eat breakfast no later than 8am and then go up to Miami Beach and there was always chairs. After lunch chairs would clear out, and more would be available. The entertainment staff kept it alive with activities every day, especially on sea day. I don’t care how old you are, hit the water slides at least once. Hint, if your racing someone, the slide on the right is faster when your facing them. We are 42 and 43 and it got quite competitive. The Bars Yes bars can get busy, I never found them understaffed at all, did it take a few minutes? Yes, sometimes. There are also plenty of waiters and waitresses around the pool deck on sea days. Flag one of them down and they will check in on you all day. Our favorite was Miramar bar on deck 19. We went there every night, there are comfortable chairs and always a nice breeze, never crowded either. Be sure to go there and meet Sergio the bartender, he keeps it fun and has an array of his own concoctions he makes. The Crew and Staff Everyone was always kind, gave you a smile and greeted you depending on the time of day. We went to the cruise critic meet and mingle. Captain DiPalma asked for reviews both good and where they can improve. He personally made his way around to greet everyone, and claimed he baked the cake. Every staff member was helpful, some made recommendations, especially at the chocolate bar. My Summary For having 5000 people on a ship it hardly ever felt like it. There is so much outdoor deck space or somewhere else to go relax. Our toilet did break one afternoon, it was fixed within 2 hours. The shows were of perfect length (40 minutes) they have some excellent talent in that group. We went every night except on Thursday. Two small issues I noticed. The restrooms are hard to find, they are there tucked away, but the signage could be a bit better. There are also aren’t a lot of waste cans, there’s a few recycle cans, but given I don’t leave my bottles and stuff lay around, I found this to be difficult. There are guests from all over the world on this cruise, remember it is very popular in Europe, in fact I think this particular cruise was about 40% American. Very diverse, many were fun and great to talk to, some were kind of pushy, not rude, but they would get in front of you to get what they wanted first. Kids had their own areas and activities. Many people dressed up for formal nights. The photographers on board are top notch, we purchased a package to bring home and the prices really weren’t bad at all. Our friends and family were waiting on our opinion and experience. I can tell you this; we have found our cruise line! We booked our next cruise on board on Wednesday night.As of right now we reserved 3 rooms for next June. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We booked this cruise to celebrate our anniversary, but had never heard of MSC prior to this trip. Not knowing the line made us nervous, however we did plenty of research and reading of reviews prior to sailing so we had no surprises. ... Read More
We booked this cruise to celebrate our anniversary, but had never heard of MSC prior to this trip. Not knowing the line made us nervous, however we did plenty of research and reading of reviews prior to sailing so we had no surprises. Embarkation was a breeze and were on the ship less than 30 min from stepping out of our Uber. We knew to register our credit card, which we didn’t see right away but a crew member saw we were lost so walked us to the right location to get that completed. We were then free to grab a drink and explore the ship until our room was ready before 2pm. Our luggage was delivered to our room by about 4. There was a mistake in our dining selection time, as we requested late dining but was assigned a 5:30 time. We were told it would not be a problem and to request a time change with the maitre’d, which we did, but learned the wait list was over 100 people deep. Although frustrated we just decided it would not ruin our trip. Much to our pleasure, we received notification the next day our change was compete with our desired time. The food in the main dining room was very good. Dishes were small, but you could order additional if desired and they were very accommodating if it was something you didn’t like. I used this as a way to try something I would not order at home. On theme nights they had a short song/dance which we enjoyed. The food in the buffet was also very good, although it can get crowded with pushy people who push in front (but you get that anywhere). They did have pizza (get the white pizza at least once) burgers/hot dogs all the time but the other options changed. I saw many reviews with complaints that selections were the same every day, but I did not notice that although I always eat the same thing for breakfast every day regardless. We only did the buffet for breakfast/ lunch and rarely eat in between meals so we had plenty of choices for something different every day. When we did want a snack we loved the selection of meat/cheese available. Our room attendant, Colette, was very sweet. They have lights above the door so she knew when we were in room or not which we appreciated. (They do have a do not disturb button to select as well). We had one day where the toilet would not flush so we let her know. She called the plumber and it was fixed by the next time we were back in the room. The shows were very good, but had repetitive acts. The talent reminds you very much of a Cirque De Soleil show. I did enjoy them all, and none were over 40 minutes so it was a nice way to relax after dinner. The ship does get more formal after 6pm, which we enjoyed. We did hear from others who didn’t care to dress up (which was totally fine as well) but most stuck to the “theme” within reason. After dinner/show we ended up at the Miramar bar on the 19th deck every night. We loved that it was a quiet place with outdoor sofas and the best bartender, Sergio, on the ship. All the bar staff up there were great, non intrusive if you wanted a quiet evening, or kept the conversations going between guests at the bar. I am pretty confident this was one of our favorite places on the ship and we looked forward to it every night. During the day we enjoyed the 16th deck pool. There was a good mix of entertainment and time with just music. Being American we, especially, enjoyed the mix of different countries music. The entertainment staff spoke many languages and included everyone. We absolutely loved the fact that so many different cultures were enjoying the same thing together. We also enjoyed that the crew was very good about keeping children with parents, so they did not invade others space. It seemed that the kids kept mostly to the Jungle Pool and the kids area, although there were families on deck 16 as well. We noticed many times if a child was running around unattended the staff would escort them back to their parents or made them point them out so they knew they were not alone. Bar service at the pool could get busy, but it was easy to track someone down from your chair who would bring you something. The port of call times were unusual, but we did get into port early every time. This was our first Caribbean cruise together so we opted to explore on our own vs booking excursions. We noticed that St Thomas and St Marteen still have not recovered fully from the hurricane so we stuck to the shops and Maho Beach in St Marteen. Puerto Rico was a pleasant surprise as we were apprehensive of being there only at night, but never felt unsafe and loved the culture. Bahamas was beautiful and we enjoyed the public beach by Atlantis. (Pebble beach I believe). A taxi was only $4 per person each way, and we were able to get a taxi within the gate of port so it was very safe. I would highly recommend getting a drink package as bottled water/soda/juice and cappuccino is not included. We knew this and had the Easy Package purchased ahead of time. One thing to note is that the Easy Package includes select alcohol, drinks and coffee/tea to $6. A frozen alcohol drink, poolside is $11 so not part of the easy package. With that said, you can order two drinks per person (in cabin) at a time. The bartenders will help you get what you want. We ordered many “Virgin strawberry daiquiri’s with vodka” :) After a few days the staff learns your preferences and makes what you want. (Within reason of course). Overall we enjoyed our trip very much and already booked for next year. If you enjoy meeting people from all over the world you will love MSC. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Please do not waste your money, you will be very disappointed. The cruise ship itself is beautiful, but they are constantly charging extra for even the smallest things (Zipline, Gelato ice cream, a decent meal, etc) Our balcony cabin was ... Read More
Please do not waste your money, you will be very disappointed. The cruise ship itself is beautiful, but they are constantly charging extra for even the smallest things (Zipline, Gelato ice cream, a decent meal, etc) Our balcony cabin was very small and we had no hot water in the tiny shower. Asked for it to be fixed, it never was. Housekeeping was terrible. We were having to ask every day for fresh towels, and they do not provide bar soap.. only a terrible body wash. At the bar we waitied sometimes 45 min to get a drink. They are very under Staffed. The buffet food was disgusting, and they had no variety. If you wanted a decent mal you had to pay a fortune to go to the speciality restaraunts, and even if you bought the "dining Experience" package, you were left with 2-3 choices, and no opportunity to upgrade the meal unless you wanted to fork over another couple hundred dollars. Poolside on the 7th floor they refused to play any fun music they played elevator music, when I asked for more festive music and to turn up the volume a lttle, I was ignored. I left the ship in tears after saving for this "luxury Cruise" you are better off to book Carnival! The food is better and the ships are well staffed. I had planned on booking the MSC to Italy next year for my husbands birthday, but I now will NEVER Cruise with MSC again. Horrible experience Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I was offered a deal for this trip which included alcohol and some beverages. The price was not to bad. With that said, here are the bullet points. I will list the bad first so we can end this on a good note for MSC. I had heard that ... Read More
I was offered a deal for this trip which included alcohol and some beverages. The price was not to bad. With that said, here are the bullet points. I will list the bad first so we can end this on a good note for MSC. I had heard that getting on and off the ship was quite difficult. We didn't have to much trouble except they had two men double booked into our room with my fiancé and I. They didn't take them off but just said not to worry about it. We kept seeing their names of everything we did for about 3 days and then were removed from the list. At most ports they only had one person doing disembarkations even when there were 3 stations. We did see them use 3 people twice and when we left the ship on the last day. The first thing that happened which was not the way to set the mood was that I went to the bar and asked for a glass of prosecco or champagne (our drink package included all beer and wine and bottom shelf cocktails up to $6) and was told quite rudely that it wasn't included in my package. After paying for a glass I went to a different bar and was told the same thing. At dinner they brought the wine list and there was champagne for $6. I asked and the waiter said, of course its included, with a very nice smile. This continued for the next few days with one bartender saying yet and one saying no. At the CC cocktail event I asked to speak to the bar manager. A not so very pleasant individual who said there must be a lack of understanding and communication and walked away. Not sure if he said anything to the staff but I didn't have that problem again. The room was clean and well furnished but with only a chair in the room and two small draws like sock draws there was no place to put our clothes. We had to live out of our luggage for 8 days which we had to put on the chair and the two small nightstands we had to bring around for that purpose. Food, While I wasn't impressed with the food it wasn't terrible. Not what I would expect from a European cruise line, especially the Italian items. The tiramisu was nothing but sponge cake with not lady finger to be found. The chicken parm, I don't even know what to say about that. We left dinner without eating and went to the buffet, on ITALIAN NIGHT, on an Italian cruise line!! I am posting some pictures to show some of these things as well. WE did pay for the upgrade to two dinners. What is called the duo. We chose the steak restaurant and the Asian restaurant. We didn't really see anything on the menu that came in the package but was told that if we want to upgrade we would only pay half of the listed price, remember, on top of what we paid which was about $35 a person per meal. We upgraded to a tomahawk steak for two and two main lobster tails (see picture of tails and menu). these were not Maine lobsters but warm water tails. The steak was cooked almost to perfection but wasn't seasoned to much. Kind of bland. The tails ( we ordered 2) were quite small. When the bill came they had charged us full price for the tails and half price for the steak. They said that only one item would be reduced, of course. The bill was about $159 plus what we paid already and we were about $230. Little steep in my book Entertainment reviews were not very good. Complaining that there was a lot of opera. Not on this cruise. Entertainment wasn't bad. Not a big as other lines I've been on but ok. Its not a very big theatre so not very big shows. Mostly circus type theatre. Acrobatics on the stage with singing. I do not understand why they put a platform in the middle of the pool deck. I see the big H (helicopter) on it so it may have been required by law but to cut your pool deck by more than half was a mistake. It was very hard to find a lounge chair and if you went up to the other levels they allow smoking, including cigar smoking. We had to move quite a few times. The itinerary for the ports was done poorly. We got to Puerto Rico at 5 PM and left at 11:30pm. Not much you can do or see at night. St. Thomas was full day and our best port. St. Marteen was another half day from 11:30-5:30. Nassau was also a half day. Maybe loose a port and stay longer. For the first 4-5 days there are people trying to sell you upgrades to both dinners and drinks. It was a little much after the first day. With all that negativity here are some pluses. Our cabin steward was awesome. Always there and if we had a request he was right on it. The ship was clean and neat, if not laid out to get from one end to the other without changing floors. The food in the buffet was decent, not great, but not bad. At the Cruise Critic cocktail event the captain honestly told us the reason for the cocktails and cake was so we would all write wonderful reviews. I'm glad for his honesty but that's a little much. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We originally booked this cruise on black friday, as MSC was giving away the drinks on us promo, and a good price on a balcony room. I had done a bunch of research, watched a ton of youtube vids, and read a bunch of reviews. I have to ... Read More
We originally booked this cruise on black friday, as MSC was giving away the drinks on us promo, and a good price on a balcony room. I had done a bunch of research, watched a ton of youtube vids, and read a bunch of reviews. I have to say this helped out a lot, and prepared us for the week for the most part. Embarkation wasn't too bad..probably an hour from arriving to actual embarkation (we were there 2 hours before our assigned boarding time). The ship is absolutely stunning! From the infinity bridge and bridge of sighs, to the atrium and staircases, it's really a beautiful ship! We only ate in the main dining room (Ipanema) 3 of the 7 nights. The food was ok, but our server I think misunderstood us (and our table mates) on a couple of occasions. The food was hit and miss, with the breads, pastas, and seafood all pretty great. The prime rib was also very good, but the steak we ordered one night was a little too fatty for our taste. We did the Teppanyaki specialty restaurant the first night, since we sailed at 5pm, and our MDR time was 5:15. This way we could watch the sail away. I highly recommend the Teppanyaki!!! It was so good, we actually went again friday night with some friends we made the first night. As for the buffets....well, they were buffets. Just be prepared for it to be a total cluster, as everyone cuts in and out of line to get what they want/need. They will always have the standard pizza, hot dogs, burgers, salads, and breads, with occasional other fares. I was really looking forward to the pizza, as I know they make it from scratch...it is good, but was light on the cheese. I still ate it quite a bit, though. We spent most of the time at the Miami beach pool on deck 16. We avoided the South beach pool on deck 7, as all the smokers are there and we don't smoke. I thought the bar tenders were excellent! Only a few times (mostly on sea days) was it crowded and had to wait a while for a drink. The key for me was to tip a couple of the bartenders early on, so they remember you (Ruffy ALWAYS took care of me, called me by name, etc., while Happy, Nigel, and Leo all took care of me) The other key is to BE NICE to them! I know they can get a lot of pushy drinkers coming at them, so calling them out by name, saying hello, and generally being a good guest goes a long way to getting good service, IMHO. We don't have kids, but the kids pool area looked like a lot of fun for the kids that were there. I'm a big kid, so I can't count how many times I tried the waterslides! I also rode the zip line about 3 times, so I could get a good GoPro shot. Make sure when you get there, to sign the waiver for the waterpark and zip line early..especially before sea day when the lines are really long! Another tip: I registered my credit card to my shipboard card right after getting on the ship. There are several kiosks around that will let you so this, although you technically have 48 hours. You can also get a wristband that links to your shipboard account, which is $5. That way, you can tap your wristband to their point of sale tablets. Speaking of tech: The MSC for Me app is pretty good overall! It has an interactive ship map (although didn't always tell me the right floor I was on), and would give you access to your shipboard account summary...really useful to see how much you've spent on board! It would have been nice to have a chat feature build in, but that's why they push the internet packages so much I suppose. Speaking of which: we did NOT have the Wifi package, but we still kept getting regular app notifications on our phones, even though we were in airplane mode and mobile data turned off. To the best of my knowledge, we were not charged for that. We didn't do any of the shows, with the exception of Beer Prov (which I recommend...really funny!!). We heard from others that the shows were really good! I did go to karaoke out on the Miami Beach pool deck a couple of times, which I wish was longer (but that's just me). The white party is a lot of fun too, although we were pretty wiped from back-to-back shore days. So if you are of a certain age and want to go to things like the white party, take a nap! LOL. The entertainment in the atrium and various bars seemed to be the same musicians. I would have liked to see some different musicians play in the atrium, as it always seemed to be acoustic Chris (I wasn't a fan of some of his song renditions at times, but was ok). I heard they used to be mostly opera, so at least this is a little better. Speaking of shore days, the biggest beef I had was the itinerary. I knew what it was going in, and still booked it anyway. San Juan arrives at 5pm, and leaves at 1am, St. Thomas from 7am-7pm (was ok with this), and St. Maarten from 7am-2pm, which is WAY TOO SHORT!! MSC needs to extend this by a couple of hours at least. Nassau was 12-7pm. We walked around San Juan with some friends, and went to a place called Punto de Vista (which I had researched online before going, and highly recommend!). We booked the Panoramic shopping & Magen's bay tour through MSC, which was pretty good. For St. Maarten, we took a taxi to Maho beach. If you go: they have a large taxi stand just off the pier, where they have a a few taxi vans. I believe it was $16/pp, and they give you a colored wristband to show you have a pre-paid ride back to the cruise port (we were the only ship in port that day, BTW). I HIGHLY recommend going to Maho beach to watch the planes land low. Again, not enough time do this and see all the bigger jets land, so you have to leave around 12n to make it back on time. For Nassau, we didn't do any excursions, but just walked around town near the pier. I honestly could have done without Nassau, or would have preferred getting in early enough to try the Atlantis water park. Getting in that late in the day doesn't really make it worth the money IMHO, as it only works out to being a 1/2 day. Overall, my girlfriend and I had a wonderful time on this cruise! It definitely has a European flavor to it, as I heard a lot of German, French, and Italian cruisers around me. Again, be prepared for the buffet free-for-all, especially at the coffee stations in the morning! If you have anything above Bella experience, it might be worth going with room service for coffee, as we did for a couple of the days. Also, do your research on the drink packages before you buy one! We had the drinks on us, which honestly was just fine most of the time. We did pay for some of the frozen drinks at times, but stuck mostly to DOU. If you have the Easy package, again..know what's included and what isn't. Also, they will add the service charge (12.50/pp per day to your bill somewhere around the 4th day, so don't freak out when you see a large charge, they put it on your bill earlier, rather than at the end). Finally one other note: If you are staying towards the front of the ship, and want to go to Miami beach pool or the buffet, go to the midship or aft elevators. Otherwise, you end up a the specialty restaurants, and cannot go through unless you go up to 18 or down to 15 and cut across. Just remember...you are on vacation, so don't let little things (or people) ruin it for you!!! Enjoy yourselves!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
After choosing the cruise we were abit worried as the size of it and the amount of passengers. Not the case though. Embarkation was effortless and quick. Ship so clean and felt spacious. Never had to queue for bar, toilets etc. ... Read More
After choosing the cruise we were abit worried as the size of it and the amount of passengers. Not the case though. Embarkation was effortless and quick. Ship so clean and felt spacious. Never had to queue for bar, toilets etc. Never felt crowded in any areas on the ship. The staff were very attentive and always had a smile. Ipanema restaurant food was delicious and staff were great. Big shout out to the entertainment staff who every night entertained and danced with the passengers too. Ports were great I would say the only port which was abit of disappointment was San Juan as we arrived at 5 and left at 1 and it gets dark about 7 so you couldnt see very much. Disembarkation was also quick. Our only issue was our flight was at 5pm so we booked an excursion so we had somewhere with our bags, as there is no where you can leave your baggage. That is something I think would benefit alot of passengers. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose the cruise mainly for price and itinerary. Ship is beautiful inside and out. Embarkation was a breeze, self embarkation was as easy as I have ever experienced. Bar service with the Premium Package was very good. Drink/liquor ... Read More
Chose the cruise mainly for price and itinerary. Ship is beautiful inside and out. Embarkation was a breeze, self embarkation was as easy as I have ever experienced. Bar service with the Premium Package was very good. Drink/liquor selection was excellent. Nighttime music around the ship left a lot to be desired, the dance classes in the evening at The Haven seemed to go on forever.....ate twice at the Sushi Bar without reservations in the evening....was very good. Had steak house reservations, dinner there was very good. Ate off the ship in Puerto Rico one evening...did not dine in the main dining room. Room service twice for breakfast was on point and on time. Balcony Cabin was as expected, bathroom was small compared to the Mini Suites on the NCL Away Class Ships..I missed that. Room steward was fine, always kept plenty of ice in the ice bucket, etc... Pool on the rear of the ship was nice, but the smoking area you had to walk through to get to the restroom was pretty thick.... All in all, I would rate it a step below NCL on entertainment, (the Bride and I missed the nightly outdoor parties on NCL), and a step above on drinks/bar service, especially considering the prices of the drink package. I was very pleased with this...cruise came with The Easy package, upgrade to Premium was $27 PP PD...very reasonable, IMHO. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise to experience new ports alongside being able to do back to back 14 nights. Our aim was to have a lovely, romantic escape. We upgraded to the Aurea experience especially so that we could escape to the ‘exclusive ... Read More
We chose this cruise to experience new ports alongside being able to do back to back 14 nights. Our aim was to have a lovely, romantic escape. We upgraded to the Aurea experience especially so that we could escape to the ‘exclusive sundeck’ that promised to offer ‘complete tranquility’ - but more of that later. Firstly, there are some things about this ship that are amazing. The thermal spa area which, with the Aurea package, you have unlimited access to provides steam rooms, aromatherapy, sauna and jacuzzi. We weren’t brave enough to try the snow room ! But we utilised the spa area virtually every day and on some days as a tactic to escape the chaos on board. The staff are friendly, helpful and genuinely welcoming. Excellent! The service and the jazz in the Seaview Lounge (deck 8) were excellent. Highly recommended! Similarly, the Sports bar (deck 8) turned out to be a find - the chicken wings are scrumptious (extra cost). Also novel and useful were the interactive screens (mainly located near the lifts) that enable you to find out the day’s activities plus book online for shows and restaurant tables using your wrist band. We also enjoyed the shows, live entertainment and ambience of the champagne bar. Sadly, not everything about our cruise was a delight. The Aurea sundeck (deck 19) on the first sea day was unbearably overcrowded and the staff simply unable to cope (I queued for 30 mins to get a drink). It was also crowded with chain smokers who seemed to care little about staying in their designated area. The pool staff ultimately had to act as bouncers ensuring that only those who had paid the Aurea upgrade were let in. They were certainly kept busy! And there were fights for seats / sun beds. Hardly the tranquil experience as advertised! There is a lot of commentary on this site about the food. And I concur. It was bland and, at times, inedible. How can an Italian cruise liner get risotto and osso bucco so wrong? The former was undercooked and inedible, and the latter seemed to have missed the gremolata entirely. Note - The elegant evening menu (ie. formal) does not include lobster unlike other cruise lines. And also as mentioned on this site, the Marketplace menu is the same each day. The freshly baked pizza is a safe and delicious option. More worryingly from a health and hygiene perspective is that the hand sanitizers in the public areas and restaurants never seemed to be full (I ended up using my own) and the toilets in the public areas that are supposed to be auto-flush often didn’t seem to work. Our cabin was okay but certainly smaller than other cruise ships and was already showing signs of wear and tear. The wardrobe / cupboard space was only just adequate for the two of us but again, much less generous than other cruise lines. The worst aspect was that we had to query two transactions on our bill that were erroneously added. We, along with many others, seemed to spend quite a while queuing at customer services, One charge was for a bottle of wine we didn’t consume. The other charge was for photos we didn’t have taken. Note - check your online account carefully every few days and certainly before you disembark. The back to back process was chaotic - no one seemed to know where we should go or the process (we felt like the lost tribe of B2Bs!). But, in the end, we were back on board and enjoying a well earned cocktail! Overall, we won’t be sailing with MSC again. Other cruise liners offer better service, better quality dining options and better overall experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose the Seaside again because of the beauty of the ship, the lovely staff including approachable, interesting, kind officers. The opera singers and all of the other entertainers are amazingly good. I like opera to a degree. Sometimes ... Read More
We chose the Seaside again because of the beauty of the ship, the lovely staff including approachable, interesting, kind officers. The opera singers and all of the other entertainers are amazingly good. I like opera to a degree. Sometimes it puts me to sleep, but that is just me. I sit close to an aisle.lol. We decided to check out some of the family entertainment. MSC-Seaside really bends over backwards to make families with children feel welcome. I watch. I see. I think my grandchildren ages 1 to 18, would have a wonderful vacation on this ship. There is just so much to do. The food is so good! I/we read some of the negative reviews and we ask ourselves what do these people eat at home? There are so many choices both in the dining room and at the buffets. I am on a very restricted diet. MSC-Seaside is taking such good care of me. Gluten free, vegan(I eat fish) and dairy free. I am being pampered by all the attention. My husband is on a regular diet and enjoys the meals. The cruise critic community was treated to a special time with the officers. Drinks, snacks and a special cake was served. Thanks everyone! PS.. No sponsered excursions this time for us. We chose to stay on the ship and enjoy the food and drinks and the swimming pools. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Second time been on this cruise. After last year MSC became the cruise line of our choice and for the second year in a row they did not disappoint. We have now booked to go on the Seaview next year leaving out of Barcelona. We will ... Read More
Second time been on this cruise. After last year MSC became the cruise line of our choice and for the second year in a row they did not disappoint. We have now booked to go on the Seaview next year leaving out of Barcelona. We will book MSC cruises in the future. The cuisine is great. The additional dining options are superb but having meals in the regular dining room were also fantastic. The buffet is also varied and you have a lot of choices which is great for children. The pizza is very traditional Italian and pizzeria quality. The coffee bar with specialty coffees are as good as any chain, (move over Starbucks). We had a drink package which included sodas and wine at dinner which was perfect for our needs as we do not drink that much. The 2 of us each had a couple of cocktails a day which we paid above the drink package and for us that was less and didn't make us wish we had a better drink package. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The ship is beautiful, but that's about it. Don't be lured by the pretty pictures and attractive pricing. The only way I would ever sail on this ship again is if it's sold to either Norwegian or RCI. The staff are all ... Read More
The ship is beautiful, but that's about it. Don't be lured by the pretty pictures and attractive pricing. The only way I would ever sail on this ship again is if it's sold to either Norwegian or RCI. The staff are all either rude, incompetent, or just plain stupid. It's like they have had ZERO training. The buffet is a complete nightmare with no order or directions. The other guests (approximately 70% Italian) will just push their way in anywhere. They bump into you and don't even acknowledge it, let alone apologize. We bought the drink package, but it was only good for draft beers for us. My wife drinks Captain Morgan, but this is considered a 'premium' liquor so it cost $9/drink. No- they don't just charge the difference in price- they charge $9. The food in the main dining room was embarrassingly bad. It was pure slop and served by the most dismissive staff I have ever encountered. The food in the premium restaurant was good- but guess what? Everything costs extra there as well. The only steaks included in the dining package are an 8oz filet or a sirloin. Sirloin. When's the last time you saw that on a menu? The ribeye was great, but cost $48. Avoid MSC at all costs. If you have already booked, I would cancel. Otherwise you will be sorely disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We booked this family cruise for a family anniversary . They were first time on msc but had cruised before . We had done msc divina twice before . I had told them how great the food was and ship . We watched a channel 5 program on this and ... Read More
We booked this family cruise for a family anniversary . They were first time on msc but had cruised before . We had done msc divina twice before . I had told them how great the food was and ship . We watched a channel 5 program on this and was expecting great things The atrium is grand and beautiful just as the divina had been . The staff as on another review left allot to be desired many on the food court deck 8 were nothing short of lazy and certainly it was not kept to levels you would expect . Mum even commented are we in mcds clear it yourself n dirty tables . After few days we complained . Various family me,beers encounter filthy toilets disgusting in fact . Some were even showing signs of wear and it's a new ship ! Mum got locked in toilet after handle fell off !! Our cabin a balcony certainly was smaller than divina . Sliding wardrobe at side of bec a larger person would struggle to get down . No life jackets in wardrobe . We thought marks on floor were dirt it was wear already ! Signs of rust on shower cubicle Dining room was very disappointing . The divina is by far nicer ambience . Staff as in previous review were not great nor was the food . Positives one staff me,ber guest services Andreas . As someone else mentioned issues drinks package my brother had same issues . He couldn't even have Budweiser n pay difference had to my whole amount or have miller . His wife had similar issues her drinks . We had water package to be told only at meal times ... and still found it billed !!!! Bar staff on deck 8 were rarely attentive but were to their own staff eating on same deck The spa and hair salon were definitely positive experience . Thankful for that as by day 4 I was happy to have got off n flown home ! We were not only passengers tired seeing dirty tables and resorted to clearing it and gelling it with antibacterial ourselves . After seeing tables left unlearned and piled up for almost an hour we decided to do ourselves . Speaking to senior staff they admitted were issues that were going to be looked into and reported . We pointed out that with 5000 passengers surely hygiene standards was paramount ! Definitely felt whilst certain areas were beautiful cheaper materials and workmanship in other areas Would be interested to see if the problems we raised are sorted or it stays at same level Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband talked me into a cruise after 20 years for our Anniversary. I was nervous going into the adventure but soon wished we hadn't waited so long. The MSC Seaside provided an amazing cruise experience and exceeded our ... Read More
My husband talked me into a cruise after 20 years for our Anniversary. I was nervous going into the adventure but soon wished we hadn't waited so long. The MSC Seaside provided an amazing cruise experience and exceeded our expectations. To begin with, embarkation was ridiculously easy and speedy. We were moved from area to area quickly and with no problems and were enjoying a welcome drink before we could believe it. Once on the ship we were pleased to find our balcony cabin was spacious, comfortable and clean. The room staff did a wonderful job of keeping everything tidy and replenished without ever being intrusive or in the way. The ship was beautiful and easy to navigate. We did some exploring the first day and had our bearings by the second day. We found there was something to please everyone. We enjoyed the shopping, pools/watersides, zip line, thermal spa, movies at night, dancing, people watching and so much more. We loved that there were so many wonderfully staffed bars and lounges. You were never more than a few steps from a refreshing beverage. Only on rare occasions did we have to wait more than a few minutes for service. Much of the time we were served as soon as we approached. We were also overwhelmed by the amount of wonderful outdoor seating in various areas of the ship. We were always able to find a nice quiet spot to get away and just relax. The buffets kept us full and satisfied all hours of the day and night. From numerous American and international food choices to the decadent desserts and treats, we never lacked in options and never went hungry. It was great to have so many new foods to try and so comforting to see traditional buffet favorites when I wasn't feeling as adventurous. We also enjoyed the food and servers in the Ipanema dining room. From traditional steak or seafood to international dishes such as duck or paella , the food was always well prepared and served by very kind waitstaff. We were very impressed by the entertainment and enjoyed the talent of all the performers as well as the musicians we caught at some of the smaller performances. We also enjoyed the theme parties and dances, although we wish we had been informed of them prior to boarding so we could have prepared by bringing outfits to be more immersed in the fun. Regardless of dress, we still had a blast and found every event well planned and led by enthusiastic staff. You could participate as much or as little as you cared and never feel out of place. The few times we had questions or concerns we were assisted immediately. The cruise director even helped us with our internet question instead of sending us to another floor for tech support when we asked him in passing who could help us. We enjoyed each port of call and participated in both ship sponsored excursions as well as privately booking some for ourselves. The ship excursion was especially helpful in Grand Cayman since it was a tender port. We were given priority on the tender boat and didn't risk missing our excursion meet up. Stingray City was a phenomenal excursion and on our "to do" list for the next trip as well. Overall we were impressed with the diversity of the Crew and staff as well as the diversity of the travelers. So many families, couples and single people from so many varied backgrounds. It was wonderful to hear different languages be exposed to so many cultures while never once having a communication barrier. The Crew and staff all spoke English in addition to other various other languages and we were able to communicate with everyone efficiently and without any trouble. We can't wait to go back in 2020 and share the experience with our teenage children. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Check in was quick, although we were not advised on using our VIP status, and just told to go and wait in the waiting room. Extremely cold and very loud, during the wait. Once boarded, we were swamped immediately by sales...beverage ... Read More
Check in was quick, although we were not advised on using our VIP status, and just told to go and wait in the waiting room. Extremely cold and very loud, during the wait. Once boarded, we were swamped immediately by sales...beverage packages, dining packages, photos...no one volunteered where the dining was. Found our way. The ship is very shiny and sparkly. Food was average and service was well below average. Self service beverages in buffet...4 wine dispensers, each with a red and a white tap. None dispensed both. 4 taps for beer, one was light. 2 kegs were empty by 3rd day and not replenished. Went from lots of "glasses" to no disposable, then no tumblers ( for soda) then, people using beer glasses for all beverages and finally, by the end of the week, only wine glasses were in evidence. Lots of staff walking around in the dining area but not helping with any dining experience. Finding out which beverage were part of our package was a joke. Lines at guest services were ridiculous, most of the time. I was quite surprised, when attending the Cruise Critic "party" how many kids were there running around. It was nice to meet some of the senior staff. Each staff member we spoke with made us feel very welcome. Kids were at the "food tasting" as well. Kids should not be allowed at these adult functions. The adults pool...small and well monitored to ensure that children were not in/around it. However, there were smokers EVERYWHERE around the pool. The ship could use a cleaning. There were fingerprints and dust that were in the same place all week. There is NO self serve laundry or irons. The cabins are a decent size. Could use more hangers in the closet. Which, like everyone says, are in an awkward spot. Beds are comfy and bathroom was nice. Loved the abundance of outdoor space. Kudos on this! Loved the status match. Loved the easy "black card" embarkation at ports. And the welcome when we were docked next to the TUI ship. All that singing and dancing at the gangway...well done, MSC. You should have seen the guests on that ship, as well as staff, coming to watch what was going on. We were given a "chocolate Seaside" as a gift and put it in the minifridge to keep it cool. Who was to know it got locked in the final night and we had to leave it behind. All in all...I am a huge believer in "you get what you pay for" and we did. For the same $$ I would cruise MSC again:) Entertainment was great. Michael Jackson...we have seen hundreds of these shows all over the Caribbean but this one was SO good, I got goosebumps and tears in my eyes! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
2 week cruise. We arrived in Miami and boarded the ship. Embarkation was smooth after a long journey. That was appreciated. Didn’t like the mandatory photo as we arrived on board. We looked awful after such a long journey. The ship ... Read More
2 week cruise. We arrived in Miami and boarded the ship. Embarkation was smooth after a long journey. That was appreciated. Didn’t like the mandatory photo as we arrived on board. We looked awful after such a long journey. The ship was beautiful and staff did an immense job keeping it clean. The ship was so glamorous. We enjoyed that. We felt privileged. The cabin, IMO, was somewhat tired and unclean. The vent was coming away from the wall and bits were poking from the corners of the wardrobe. The sofa was stained after heavy use. It wasn’t the quality I was expecting. We had to clean the drawers and wardrobe as bits of rubbish and crumbs were left from the last guest. Under the bed could’ve been hoovered also. The headboard had inches of dust gathered and the carpet was full of sand and dirt, it looked so dull. The balcony was covered in salt. We had a lot to clean before we unpacked. Our neighbours had similar issues and they showed me their towel. It was black with dirt. So we gathered these cabins already needed a mini face lift. Our maid hoovered and cleaned the next day and after that we did not have to clean again as she kept it really tidy but then we are not messy and ensure we did not leave a mess. We were fantastica level. Our first dining time was 9.15pm. We were told by our travel agent we could change it when we booked. We could not until the 2nd week. The entertainment was amazing. That was a welcome treat. So sophisticated. We enjoyed every show. Seats were comfy too and it was always clean. We absolutely loved the dance classes in the Haven lounge and the onboard impromptu dancers. Always something to see and do. White party was a lot of fun. The bar service was atrocious. We struggled to get a drink in the evening. We were glad we didn’t buy a drinks package. More staff is needed. I didn’t enjoy the cocktails. Too sweet and some are ready made. My beloved stuck to LIITea. The chocolate martini was a revelation. The port excursions, we gathered, was just a way to obtain money from cruisers once ashore. We chose mostly panoramic tours which were pretty much the same at each port. A drive round the island, witnessed poverty and devastation and taken to over priced gift shops where we were expected to haggle for a good price. Mostly were over priced. The port sides were mostly manufactured for cruisers and felt and looked fake. Some were better than others. Most parts of the beaches were private and you needed to pay an entry then another fee for the sun bed and umbrella. Could cost you $70 before you even buy a drink. Photos were a disaster. They photo shopped the life out of my partners handsome face. We were devastated. We prefer the natural look. The queues for the photo were somewhat long and tiresome. We could not see any roving photographers and had to go hunting for them. The photo desk was absolutely abysmal. No organisation whatsoever. We cancelled our photo package. In general we will do another cruise but 1 week as opposed to 2 weeks as certain aspects of the cruise we didn’t enjoy but that was no fault of MSC. Such as people and food wastage. Why take 3 boiled eggs and not eat any? Why do people take so much food only for them to leave most of it on their plates? Crazy. 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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