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MSC Seaside Review

4.5 / 5.0
1,308 reviews
See all photos
Editor Rating
4.5
Very Good
Overall
Ashley Kosciolek
Contributor

MSC Seaside is lively and fun, incorporating jaw-dropping entertainment, lots of outdoor spaces (it's a sun worshipper's paradise!) and family-friendly activities that include a 4D cinema, bowling, ziplines and a large water park.

But what really sets this vessel apart from other ships sailing in the Caribbean is its European flair and service, and the international mix of cruisers onboard.

The MSC Seaside ship’s interior showcases glitzy Italian design, meals in the dining room are European-style (read slow, sometimes taking more than two hours) and service from waiters and bartenders usually comes minus the smile many North Americans expect. Don't get us wrong, most of the MSC Seaside cruise ship crew are pleasant and generally helpful; just don't expect the over-the-top friendliness you often find on other cruise lines.

The one exception to this can be found in the MSC Seaside Yacht Club, a suites-only enclave for the ship's highest-paying passengers. Here, service is friendly, attentive and efficient, and many Yacht Club passengers spend the bulk of their time onboard within its confines, whether in the spacious lounge or on the exclusive Yacht Club sun deck with accompanying pool.

The MSC Seaside Cruise Layout Allows for Good Passenger Flow

With a capacity of over 5,000 passengers, a tonnage of 153,516, and the size of three-and-a-half American football fields, MSC Seaside is an imposing vessel. It would be easy to think that with that many passengers the ship would feel crowded and chaotic. While you may not be able to find many places onboard to be perfectly alone and in absolute peace and quiet, the layout makes for good passenger flow.

MSC Seaside deck plans are well designed, with separate levels for public spaces and staterooms. The lower four decks pack in restaurants, bars, the lively atrium, general services, and the Aurea Spa and Fitness Center. Cabins are housed all together on decks 9 through 15, with the Yacht Club located on Deck 16 along with the main pool and a few restaurants. There are also a handful of cabins on Deck 5.

The best cabins on MSC Seaside for light sleepers are those on decks 10 to 14, as they are sandwiched between other cabin-only decks and get virtually no noise from public spaces.

Decks 18 through 20 are the place to go for some thrills and family fun. The kids’ and teens’ clubs are here, as are the water park, the zipline, the sports arena, and a few areas exclusive for Yacht Club guests. (Note: Be prepared to pay extra for most of the onboard activities, including all of the oversized arcade-style attractions – 4D cinema, Formula One racecar simulator, bowling, etc. – and outdoor activities like the zipline.)

MSC Seaside Cruises Draw a Mix of American and International Passengers

MSC Cruises’ Seaside is a popular pick among guests hailing from Europe and the American Southeast. To cater to the ship's largely 40-something English- and Spanish-speaking passengers – many of whom live within driving distance of the ship’s home port of Port Canaveral – most announcements on Seaside are only made in English and Spanish.

In the theater, however, you'll hear about five languages, and there's usually a large contingent of passengers from several European countries, including Italy and Germany. MSC Seaside Caribbean cruises are particularly popular among an international crowd, as are Mediterranean itineraries.

There are plenty of opportunities to make new friends from all over the world, with anywhere from 50 percent and up of your fellow passengers from outside of North America.

Pros

Ample outdoor space draws passengers outside to enjoy the ship's Caribbean surroundings

Cons

With so many areas dedicated to the outdoors, interior public areas can feel crowded during inclement weather

Bottom Line

This bright, elegant and technologically advanced ship is great for North Americans

About

Passengers: 4132
Crew: 1413
Passenger to Crew: 2.92:1
Launched: 2016
Shore Excursions: 616

Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • · Accommodations

  • Meals in the ship's two main dining rooms and two buffets

  • Most entertainment, including all theater shows (exclusions below)

  • Most daily activities (exclusions below)

  • Use of the onboard fitness center

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • · Dining at the ship's alternative restaurants

  • Items from the two onboard Venchi chocolate outposts

  • Use of the bowling alley, 4D cinema, video games and Formula One simulator

  • Use of the onboard zipline

  • Daily gratuities for the ship's crew

  • Spa treatments and gratuity

  • Sodas, specialty coffees, alcohol and gratuity (unless you've purchased a beverage package)

  • Shore excursions

  • Wi-Fi access

  • Organized classes in the fitness center

MSC Seaside Dress Code

Daytime: Dress is casual, with people sporting everything from jeans and T-shirts to bathing suits and flip-flops.

Evening: In the evenings it's dressier, but more smart casual than formal. Jackets for men (tie optional) and dresses or pantsuits for women are appropriate, but the code isn't enforced. You may wonder if this means that MSC Seaside doesn’t have any formal nights. The answer is there are nights where passengers are suggested to dress smarter, but the dress code is elegant rather than formal. However, while suits, tuxes and ball gowns are not necessary, many passengers do wear them, particularly on "Meet the Captain" night.

Not permitted: T-shirts and shorts are not allowed in the ships' public areas in the evenings. No swimwear is allowed in main dining rooms. Jeans are not allowed in the dining room on elegant nights.

Read more about MSC Cruises dress code.

Find an MSC Seaside Cruise from $49

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More about MSC Seaside

Where does MSC Seaside sail from?

MSC Seaside departs from Genoa, Marseille, Valencia, Rome, Civitavecchia, Palermo, Fort de France, Guadeloupe, Barbados, Malaga, Miami, Barcelona, Livorno, Livorno, Naples, and Lisbon

How much does it cost to go on MSC Seaside?

Cruises on MSC Seaside start from $49 per person.

Is MSC Seaside a good ship to cruise on?

MSC Seaside won 3 awards over the years.
MSC Seaside Cruiser Reviews

Pleasantly Surprised!

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I sailed from Port Canaveral, FL to the Bahamas on MSC Seaside. The embarkation process was quick and seamless.Read More
Ariannes35

couple2-5 Cruises

Age 30s

MSC Was Great For Me

Despite the negative reviews of MSC I chose to cruise on the Seaside because the Caribbean/Antilles itinerary was exactly what I was looking for. 6 Islands in 7 days.Read More
Pippin2011

couple2-5 Cruises

Age 69s

AWESOME

But, I felt with the Seaside, I got WAY more than I paid for. I met one person that had been on 233 cruises, 120 of them MSC. The loved MSC.Read More
SLT2008

many10+ Cruises

Age 67s

Long review of a short sailing, five years after our first Seaside cruise

Our first Seaside sailing was in January, 2018 when the ship was new. We sailed 14 days in a Yacht Club interior. This was our fourth booking on Seaside and 9th cruise with MSC.Read More
Boschmann

many10+ Cruises

Age 50s

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