MSC Seaside (Photo: MSC Cruises)

MSC Seaside vs. Seaview

MSC Cruises' Seaside Class launched in late 2017 with the debut of MSC Seaside, a ship whose onboard experience is aimed squarely at the North American market. As part of the cruise line's ambitious plan to launch a dozen vessels over a nine-year period, MSC Seaview, sister ship to Seaside, rolled out less than a year later as the second in its class and offers many of the same features, including an outdoor boardwalk-type space, where waterfront dining and sweeping views of the ocean are highlights. It is aimed at the South American market and will homeport in Brazil. Below, we break down the similarities and differences (of which there are only a few) to help you better decide which of these two near-twins is right for your next sailing.

Updated September 7, 2018

Stats

These mega-ships each have 20 decks, 2,066 cabins and share almost identical layouts with room for 4,132 passengers at double occupancy. Both vessels are registered in Panama.


Dining

Here's what you can expect in terms of dining on these two ships.

  • Two main dining rooms: offering set-seating and anytime dining
  • Two buffets: rare for a ship, featuring a main buffet and a more family-friendly one
  • Asian Market Kitchen by Roy Yamaguchi: Asian-fusion, sushi and Teppanyaki for a fee
  • Butcher's Cut: extra-fee steakhouse
  • Venchi 1878 Chocolate Bar: homemade chocolates, hot chocolate and other sweets for a fee
  • Venchi 1878 Gelato & Creperie: added-fee alfresco gelato and crepes

One major difference between the two vessels is that, while both have specialty seafood restaurant Ocean Cay, only Seaview's outpost boasts a menu created by renowned chef Ramon Freixa. Although the Michelin-starred chef has been tapped to create dishes for the main dining rooms and MSC Yacht Club on other ships in the fleet, he will have a dedicated restaurant on Seaview featuring a number of dishes including his personal favourite -- signature roast sea bass with rosemary salt.

Another difference is that Seaside's for-fee French eatery, Bistrot La Boheme, is dubbed L'Atelier Bistrot onboard Seaview. Although the names differ, the experience is similar, if not identical.


Bars

Passengers craving a cold one, a glass of wine or a cocktail won't have to venture far, no matter where they are on either of these ships. Here's a list of the onboard bars on both ships

  • Seaside Bar: atrium bar
  • Shine Bar: atrium bar
  • Champagne Bar: Champagne bar
  • Garage Club: Nightclub/disco bar
  • Haven Lounge: bar for the ships' secondary theater
  • Seaview Lounge: bar serving the Seaview Lounge
  • Sports Bar: bar and lounge area featuring booze and televised sports
  • Top Sail Lounge: exclusive lounge and bar area for passengers booked in the MSC Yacht Club
  • Wine & Cocktails: bar located at the center of the ships' specialty restaurant hub
  • Aurea Bar: pool bar serving Aurea spa passengers and those booked in the MSC Yacht Club
  • Miramar Bar: juice bar also offering ice cream sundaes and panoramic views

In an effort to make Seaview a bit less North American than its sister, some of the pools and bars will have different names:

MSC Seaside

  • Miami Casino Bar: casino bar
  • South Beach Bar: bar serving the South Beach Pool
  • Miami Beach Bar: bar serving ice cream (and alcohol) by the Miami Beach Pool
  • Jungle Bar: jungle-themed bar serving the Jungle Pool


MSC Seaview

  • Platinum Casino Bar: casino bar
  • Sunset Beach Bar: bar serving the Sunset Beach Pool
  • Panorama Beach Bar: bar serving ice cream (and alcohol) by the Panorama Beach Pool
  • Jungle Beach Bar: jungle-themed bar serving the Jungle Beach Pool


Find a Cruise

Cabins

 MSC Yacht Club Royal Suite on MSC Seaside

In addition to standard cabin types like inside, outside, balcony and suite, both ships in the Seaside Class have added some twists.

  • Flexible Modular Cabins: connecting cabins ideal for families or groups traveling together
  • Terraced Balcony Cabins: cabins with balconies similar to terraces that overlook the promenade
  • Aft Corner Suites: beach condo-like suites, featuring large balconies with panoramic views
  • MSC Yacht Club: exclusive-access cabins with a private dining room and 24-hour butler service

Entertainment & Activities

Cruisers wanting to stay busy can check out a Formula One simulator, dual-lane bowling alley, 4D cinema and an arcade on both ships.

In addition, both vessels showcase the line's newfound commitment to technology with their stunning atrium areas and the MSCForMe app and wristband system, which functions like a room key and onboard charge card and even allows you to track your children and make reservations for shows and dinner.

What's different, though, are the ships' theater productions. Each vessel offers seven shows on a rotational basis; here's what you can expect.

MSC Seaside

  • Peter Punk: a funky, updated spin on the classic "Peter Pan" tale
  • The Dream: a trippy steampunk-fairytale hybrid where performers sing Disney songs
  • My Life in Music: a compilation of famous movie soundtracks, performed on stage
  • The Wizard: stunning illusions, wrapped in a dark atmosphere
  • Timeless: travel to different eras, past, present and future via a mad scientist's time machine
  • Fly: rhythm and amazing music, accompanied by singing and dancing
  • Butterflies: abridge version of Puccini's "Madame Butterfly"


MSC Seaview

  • Simply the Best: rock, pop and soul tribute to Tina Turner
  • Eclipse: Pink Floyd tribute with a psychedelic feel
  • Bizarre: acrobatics meets singing, with a French flair
  • Animalia: an enchanting performance with an animal theme
  • Fantasia: a celebration of the imagination and all things dreamlike
  • Illusion: flamenco with a modern twist
  • Emozioni: an elegant performance of popular Italian music


Outdoor Fun

The ships feature five waterslides each, including two racing slides and one that offers slideboarding (where passengers use their boards to select colors that light up inside the slide as they glide through it, sort of like Guitar Hero or Dance Dance Revolution). There's also a climbing structure for kids, similar to a ropes course; an outdoor movie screen; two of the four longest ziplines at sea (two on each ship); and the Bridge of Sighs, a viewing platform that looks out over the aft of the ship and ties in with the Seaside Class' high ratio of outdoor to indoor space.


Children's Programming

Seaview has seen the continuation of MSC's partnership with children's brands LEGO and Chicco, which also appear on Seaside as the primary outfitters of onboard toys. Both ships' children's facilities feature colorful, modern spaces and activities (think scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, 3D printing, video games and dance parties) that rival what's offered by some of the cruise industry's most well-known cruise lines. MSC mascot Doremi and his family also make appearances on both ships.


Itineraries and Pricing

MSC Seaside sails Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages from Miami, while Seaview cruises to the Mediterranean from Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona in summer. In the winter, it travels to South America from Brazil.

Fares are reasonable for both ships, considering their size and relative newness. However, the final price tag will depend on itinerary length and where you live versus where you're hoping to sail from. For example, if you live in Europe, it will likely cost you more to fly to the U.S. go on a Seaside sailing in the Caribbean than if you were to book a Seaview sailing of comparable duration from the Med, even though Seaview is newer.

Popular on Cruise Critic

8 Best Luxury Cruise Ships
The moment you step aboard a luxury cruise ship, a hostess is at your arm proffering a glass of bubbly while a capable room steward offers to heft your carry-on as he escorts you to what will be your home-away-from-home for the next few days. You stow your things (likely in a walk-in closet) and then emerge from your suite to get the lay of the ship. As you walk the decks, friendly crew members greet you ... by name. How can that be? You just set foot onboard! First-class, personalized service is just one of the hallmarks of luxury cruise lines. You can also expect exotic itineraries, varying degrees of inclusivity in pricing, fine wines and gourmet cuisine as well as universally high crew-to-passenger ratios. That being the case, you might think any old luxury cruise ship will do, but that's not quite true. Like people, cruise ships have their own unique personalities -- and some will be more suited to your vacation style than others. Lines like SeaDream might not offer the most spacious suites, but their intimate yachts can stealthily visit ports that large ships can't manage. Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises are owned by the same parent company but Regent offers a completely inclusive vacation experience, while Oceania draws travelers with a more independent streak. Take a look at Cruise Critic's list of best luxury cruise lines and ships to see which one resonates with you.
How To Choose a Cruise Ship Cabin: What You Need to Know
Your room on a cruise ship is called a cabin (or stateroom) and is akin to a hotel room, but typically much smaller. Choosing a cruise ship cabin can be fun and challenging at the same time, and not just a little bit frustrating on occasion. Cabins fall into different types or "categories," and some cruise lines will present as many as 20 or more categories per ship. Before you get overwhelmed, it's helpful to remember that there are essentially only four types of cabins on any cruise vessel: Inside: the smallest-sized room, with no window to the outside Outside: a room with a window or porthole (a round window) with a view to the outside, often similarly sized to an inside cabin or a bit larger; also known as oceanview Balcony: a room featuring a verandah that allows you to step outside without going up to a public deck Suite: a larger cabin, often with separate living and sleeping areas, and a wide variety of extra amenities and perks It's the permutations (size, view, location, amenities and price, for example) of the four basic cabin types that can make choosing difficult. In addition to knowing your cabin options, you need to know yourself: Do you tend to get seasick? Do you prefer to nest peaceably on your balcony rather than hanging with the crowd around the pool area? Conversely, is your idea of a stateroom simply a place to flop into bed at 1 a.m. -- no fancy notions necessary? Are there certain amenities you are willing to splurge on, or can you simply not justify paying for unnecessary perks? The answers will help guide you toward selecting the best stateroom for your money. If you're feeling overwhelmed by choice, we'll help you get started with this guide to choosing the best cruise cabins for you and your travel party.
6 Cruise Ship Cabins to Avoid
You might expect loud noises, close quarters and crazy maneuvers in the dance club onboard your cruise ship -- but not in your cabin. Even if you don't plan to spend much time there, it should be a restful and private place so you can maintain that much-needed vacation stamina. To help you do so, we've compiled a list of cabins you'll want to avoid booking if closet-like dimensions or scraping chair sounds overhead aren't appealing to you. Heed our advice, and you might be feeling a bit less claustrophobic and a tad more refreshed come disembarkation.
Onboard Credit: How to Get It, Where to Spend It
Free. Money. Are there two more beautiful words in the English language? While money doesn't grow on trees, increasingly it can be found somewhere else -- on the high seas. Call it an incentive, call it a bonus; whatever you want to call it, onboard credit lets you spend more freely with less guilt. You've paid your cruise fare, and now you can splurge on those enticing extras -- Swedish massage, specialty restaurant, an excursion to snorkel among shipwrecks -- without busting your budget. Not many need convincing as to why onboard credit -- money automatically deposited into your onboard account-- rocks, but finding out exactly how to get it and where you can spend it is a bit trickier. We found eight ways to hit the OBC jackpot and offer even more suggestions on how to burn through it, although you probably have your own ideas already.