Though MSC Cruises may not be on your radar when it comes to sailing with your family, it's actually a great option for people traveling with children. One of MSC's newest and largest ships, MSC Seaside, is especially ideal.
It was built with the American market in mind, so unlike most other MSC ships, English is the predominant language spoken onboard, there are a number of American dining options, cabin options include plenty of roomy suites, and Seaside's kids club benefits from a partnership with LEGO that is sure to please children of all ages. Plus, MSC offers deep discounts on fares for children traveling with two paying adults.
The kids club onboard MSC Seaside -- dubbed Doremi Land -- is truly special. There are separate rooms for different age groups from as young as 6 months up to 11 years old. Each is LEGO themed, and the facility is open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. (with a few short breaks throughout the day on sea days).
The options for entertainment include an interactive family room, a "lab" where kids can do experiments, access to a 3D printer and laptops, and activities for each age group led by the youth staff. Counselors can take children to the onboard splash park, escort them on parades around the ship and even take them to lunch and dinner at the buffet. In fact, if you arrange it ahead of time, your children can stay onboard and enjoy the kids club facilities while you explore the ports.
Teens can hang out in their own space and take advantage of video and board games, watch television or participate in group activities like lip sync battles and sports tournaments. This group is also separated by age: 12- to 14-year-olds and 15- to 17-year-olds.
Outside of Doremi Land, there are amenities for the entire family to enjoy together, including a ropes course and a well-equipped water park, complete with mini-slides and dunk buckets. Other onboard activities include family-friendly quiz games, discos and jaw-dropping production shows. There are even family-oriented shore excursion options.
Every restaurant on MSC Seaside has a dedicated kids menu. The ship also offers a dining option called Happy Dinners, during which children eat their dinners while their parents enjoy starters, and children are escorted back to the kids club by the entertainment staff so their parents can eat the rest of their meal at a leisurely pace.
MSC Seaside also boasts a host of suite options, including the cruise line's new duplex suites. Particularly well-suited to families, duplex suites feature two entrances, a living area with sofa bed, two bathrooms, a dining area, a bedroom and a balcony with its own hot tub. Additionally, there are a number of options for adjoining cabins.