On MSC Seascape, food options vary from acceptable to excellent. The cruise line's predilection for traditional dining settings on this ship endures, with hardly any place to get a grab-and-go bite, although the vast Marketplace buffet serves as MSC Seascape's most informal eatery. Eleven restaurants make up MSC Seascape's dining offerings. The buffet and the main dining room's four restaurants comprise the complimentary options, and five specialty restaurants round up the pay-to-dine choices. The MSC Yacht Club features its own exclusive restaurant and buffet.
Green Wave Restaurant, Cala Jondal Restaurant, Aegean Restaurant and Skyline Restaurant: MSC Seascape's main dining room is split into these four restaurants located on decks 5, 6 and 7, a concept borrowed from sister ship MSC Seashore. Green Wave on Deck 5 is the largest, followed by Cala Jondal on Deck 6, and Aegean and Skyline on Deck 7. This layout helps provide a more intimate experience for diners, and although you will have an assigned seating time and restaurant, if you're curious to try a different restaurant you're welcome to try as a walk-in. Just keep in mind that the menus are identical on all restaurants and that Skyline is exclusive to passengers staying in one of the Aurea category cabins.
On the two separate occasions that we dined in Aegean, we found the experiences to be inconsistent. Service was attentive and swift on one night, but slow and intermittent on the other. The food was decent on both opportunities, if unremarkable, and the menus try to cater to the tastes of North American passengers by adding items like surf and turf.
Marketplace Buffet: With capacity for 1,169 diners, MSC Seascape's buffet on Deck 16 is by far the largest eatery on board. Despite its vast size, the buffet was never overwhelmingly crowded during our sailing. Seating was also plentiful, and the space boasts a handsome Parisian bistro look that adds to its charm. Moreover, the buffet extends to the aft of the ship where you can enjoy al fresco dining.
The Marketplace Buffet is where MSC Seascape makes the strongest culinary appeal to mainstream American palates, with options like burgers, hot dogs and chicken sandwiches among the choices.
The quality of the food here was also hit or miss, but not unlike what you find in the buffet eateries of other mainstream cruise lines. As one would expect from a cruise line with Italian roots, pizza (the four cheese slices in particular) and burrata were some of the highlights, but some pasta dishes left a lot to be desired.
Room Service: On MSC Seascape, lower-level cabin categories incur a delivery fee of $4.99 for room service. But if you're staying in an Aurea or Yacht Club cabin, this service is free. Some menu items are complimentary while others are available for a fee, and room service is available 24/7. A popular option for room service on MSC Seascape and MSC
One of the best perks of the MSC Yacht Club is having your very own a la carte restaurant that's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a buffet on the suite complex's private sundeck. The Top Sail lounge, located just below the Yacht Club Restaurant, also serves canapes and bites all day long, as well as afternoon tea.
Yacht Club Restaurant: If the Yacht Club Restaurant was the only perk available in MSC Seascape's suite complex, it would still be well worth the money. The restaurant is like an epicurean sanctuary perched on Deck 18, worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the public areas of the ship. Featuring all the markings of an upscale restaurant, the service is faultlessly attentive and personalized, and the menu -- brimming with top of the line options -- changes daily.
The One Pool Grill & Bar. As the name suggests, this buffet-style eatery is located within the Yacht Club's exclusive pool deck on Deck 19. During our sailing, the buffet lines were never crowded, and food is served throughout the day until sundown.
MSC Seascape's specialty restaurants are all excellent choices and well-worth the price of admission. It can get expensive to try them all, however, so we recommend getting a specialty dining package, which entitles you to a pre-selected three-course meal. Tip: if you purchase your package ahead of your sail date, you can save up to 40%. The package limits your included choices to certain items or meals on the menu, but you do have the choice to select anything else by paying 50% of its cost. (Note: the Unlimited Dining Experiences and Five Dining Experiences packages are not available on MSC Seascape)
All five restaurants are conveniently located on Deck 8 towards the aft of the ship, turning this corner into a 'restaurant district' of sorts that exudes a nightlife charm. This location also allows one of the restaurants -- Butchers Cut -- to have outdoor seating area, which is perfect for a serene sunset meal.
Butchers Cut ($$$; brunch, $$): The largest and most popular of the specialty restaurants, Butchers Cut manages to flawlessly replicate the vibe of land-based steakhouse. The aroma of leather is alluring, and the décor is elegant and unpretentious. Then there's the food… The baked goat cheese appetizer we had here was so deliciously decadent that it almost eclipsed the filet mignon main course. Other no less impressive items on the Dining Experience list included a burrata and beet salad, foie grass deviled eggs and a duo of lamb chops, while the a la carte steaks ranged from a 16 oz bison steak to a 36 oz. tomahawk. We didn't get to try it, but the menu also included brunch selections available on select days from 10 am to 2 pm.
Ocean Cay ($$$$): Of all the specialty restaurants, Ocean Cay felt like the most upscale option. Intimate and stylish, this would be our top choice for a date night dinner. It's also the most expensive of the five specialty restaurants. We kicked off proceedings with generous crab cake appetizer that clicked all the right buttons. For the main course, we had the spaghetti with wild clams, which had an enticing proportion of about 75% seafood to 25% pasta, but other similarly enticing dishes included a squid ragout, roasted black cod with eggplant caviar and mullet bottarga with linguine.
Kaito Teppanaki ($$$, kids menu available): The second largest of the specialty restaurants, Kaito might be one of the most spacious Teppanyaki restaurants at sea. The setup is standard for this type of eatery: you sit around the iron griddle table with your fellow diners while the chef puts his knife skills to the test, cracking silly jokes and dishing out everyone's meals. We had the Sencho Dining Experience, which consisted of a plentiful parade of dishes, including sushi and sashimi, miso soup, salmon, prawns, sirloin and fried rice, plus spiced pineapple with matcha ice cream for dessert.
Kaito Sushi (a la carte, $): A more informal option than the previous eateries, Kaito Sushi Bar consists of a conveyor belt that rolls covered small plates of sushi and sashimi and you choose dishes to your heart's content (or your wallet's allowance). The dishes are color coded by price and range from $6 to $14, so you can have an idea of what your final bill will look like. We liked the quick and casual nature of Kaito, and if you prefer cooked items like tempura and soup, you can also order them.
Hola! Tacos & Cantina (a la carte, $): While still located on Deck 8, Hola! Tacos & Cantina sits away from the main specialty restaurant cluster and closer to The Atrium. With a menu inspired by Mexico City's street dining scene, we were impressed by the authenticity of the offerings here. While the festive decoration can sometimes border on overwhelming, it does work in service of the restaurant's general ambiance. The guacamole is a must, but don't sleep on the other salsas. One drawback is that the margaritas served here are not included in your drink package, but they are well worth the extra expense.
Venchi 1878 Chocolate Bar and Gelato Stations: Though more of a shop than a restaurant, we would be remiss to leave Venchi 1878 Chocolate Bar out of the list of MSC Seascape's specialty eateries. Located on Deck 6 among duty free shops, Venchi's chocolate confections, specialty coffee and mouthwatering gelato are worth checking out. And the gelato also makes an appearance at the Infinity Pool on Deck 8 and the Jungle Pool on Deck 16, in case you crave a yummy cold treat by the pool.
In terms of food quality and service, MSC Seascape's specialty restaurants deliver consistency across the board. On our voyage, we were particularly impressed with Butcher's Cut and Ocean Cay as two superb traditional dining experiences, but you simply can't go wrong with any of the choices. Although five restaurants doesn't sound like a lot, there is plenty of variety among them and your taste buds will have abundant cuisines to explore.
Passengers with dietary restrictions traveling on MSC Seascape can rest easy knowing that they ship has separate galleys for vegan and gluten-free food preparation. You will be asked to flag any dietary restrictions when you check in, but it's always recommendable to let the main dining room's maitre'd know if you have any food allergies.
The menus in the main dining room and the Yacht Club Restaurant label their vegan, vegetarian and no sugar added options. Oddly, this isn't the case in the specialty restaurants, although you can usually infer which menu options fall under the aforementioned categories (or better yet, ask your server). On all restaurants that we visited, however, our server asked us if we had allergies or dietary restrictions.