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1,129 MSC Cruises MSC Seaside Cruise Reviews

I find myself disappointed in all the negative reviews. We have gone on about 10 cruises, with RCL, NCL, Carnival and last March for the first time on Seaside. We enjoyed Seaside so much booked again this March. Although the cruise was a ... Read More
I find myself disappointed in all the negative reviews. We have gone on about 10 cruises, with RCL, NCL, Carnival and last March for the first time on Seaside. We enjoyed Seaside so much booked again this March. Although the cruise was a bit out of the ordinary because of Covid-19, I feel we can give it an accurate review, having been on it two years in a row, a first for us. First off, the cruise line did an excellent job with managing the passengers during a difficult time. Everything was super clean, someone was on hand at every food venue, theater show, and on and off ship to personally distribute hand sanitizer. The crew must have been upset by all the goings on, but acted professionally the whole time, giving us the best possible experience under the circumstances. Now for the cruise in general. I'd like to address some of the most cited criticisms. For us, customer service was perfectly fine. Last year we had an issue with drink package, which meant standing in a long line and a little frustration, but it worked out perfectly in the end. All of the crew members we had contact with were polite and helpful. If someone approached us about adding a package, they'd leave immediately when we said no thank you. Drink packages--we did extensive research both cruises. Last year we had drink vouchers, 12 each, as our promotion which worked out great for us. They no longer offer that promotion, though, so we did the math and found we could drink as much as we liked and still not come up to the cost of any drink package and that's including gratuities. We don't drink wine at dinner, which many with the packages did, so if you do, you might benefit from a package. When we cruise, we have two drinks before dinner with a beer or two in the afternoon or late evening. We came out way ahead for not having purchased a package. Dining room food--it is not as good as we've had on RCL or NCL. I thought it was better than Carnival, but those kind of comparisons are so subjective and food quality on ships changes over time, I'm sure. My favorite dish this cruise was the salmon from the everyday menu, which I ordered several times. My husband also had the steak from that menu a couple of times and it was very good. We had a couple of less than stellar meals when we veered from our favorites, but there was always something delicious and we enjoyed the dining room atmosphere, our waiter, and the people we met at nearby tables. Buffet--we found it to be the best buffet food of any previous cruise. While there are some dishes that are the same or similar each day (rotating fillings for sandwiches, same bread, for instance), there was always something new to try or another option to pursue. I thought the most variation came with the ethnic choices. We ate breakfast and lunch at one of the buffets every day. There were always made-to-order omelets in the morning and a meat carving station at lunch and dinner, excellent salad bar and fruit options, and favorite standbys, like burgers, hot dogs, pizza, sandwiches. One thing I think more unique with MSC than other ships we've been on is the way they use public space. You really can custom make your cruise. There are sections of the ship to suit everyone. My husband and I like to keep to ourselves a bit more, play games, read, etc. Others find it more fun to be around a lot of people and have music. Both can be found easily on Seaside. Our daily routine included outdoor games under the overhang at the South Beach pool, afternoon games at Le Bistro, drinks at Seaview bar before dinner, swimming at the Jungle pool after dinner (very few people there and two hot tubs), late night snack and sometimes games in Marketplace buffet at night. Stops--I agree that 5 pm in San Juan is very impractical. It was raining when we went and there was really nothing to do or see. We found a pizza joint a ways away that was quieter and had a rum drink and a beer, but that was about it. St. Thomas was fine, we just walked around in the sun. Nassau was our favorite of the three. We did a walking tour and saw some sights and some churches, stopped at John Watlings for a drink. Ocean Cay--I can't say enough good about this. The same section-for-everyone concept was evident on this island. There were large lagoons with festive music and lots of people, a shallow lagoon for families with kids, and several quieter beaches away from the crowds for people like us. All beautiful. We followed the advice I read on cruise critic for the quietest spot and went straight to Paradise Sands beach. We rented an umbrella and stayed all day. We swam, read, walked the paths, ate at the closest food truck, had a fun drink at a nearby bar. It was such a wonderful day, I would do the whole cruise again just to experience it again. The weather was perfect that day, which I know can't always be counted on. If we went again and it was rainy or we couldn't stop that would be a huge disappointment, but not the fault of the cruise line. We didn't see the main buffet near the main pools, so I can't comment on that. Rooms--last year we had Fantastica Suite, this year we opted to save some money and did a Bella balcony. The balcony and room were a bit smaller, but we didn't find the difference in size to be worth the difference in price. I love that MSC offers a balcony for such a low price. We sat and read on that balcony every day and just enjoyed having the option of open air any time we wanted. The closet is indeed small, but we knew that ahead of time and packed light. Shows--last year we didn't attend a single one, but did two this year--Madame Butterfly and the Michael Jackson show. Both excellent. There were some extremely talented singers and dancers. We can't know the future of cruising at this point, unfortunately, but if the opportunity arises, we will definitely sail on the Seaside again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Well first of all I want to say that the Coronavirus did not impact our cruise whatsoever. We didn't even know about the chaos at home until we disembarked from our cruise on March 14. We booked this "spring break" ... Read More
Well first of all I want to say that the Coronavirus did not impact our cruise whatsoever. We didn't even know about the chaos at home until we disembarked from our cruise on March 14. We booked this "spring break" cruise with the intention of giving our two granddaughters a new experience. It was a new experience for them. My husband and I normally cruise on Royal Caribbean and this was our first MSC cruise. Here are the pros and cons of our vacation. Pros: Getting on the ship was a breeze Cabin was nice and sleeping accommodations adequate (we had a balcony mid ship) Our cabin attendant, buffet employees, head waiter in dining room were friendly, professional and yet personal. Snorkel excursion booked thru MSC in the Bahamas was great! Cons: Food was average in all eating facilities There were an unusual amount of rude guests on this ship. I'm a first generation American. Most of these people were European. I was raised overseas. I'm not sure why these people acted this entitled but it was ridiculous. The pool areas were too small and the kids pool area was shut down most of the time. My 9 year old granddaughters were bored and didn't want to go to kids club because it was boring. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
The ship is huge, beautiful and well decorated. We had an inside cabin, which was about the same size as on any cruise line, but there were only two very small drawers and we had to ask for Kleenex. There was no coffee cream and the ... Read More
The ship is huge, beautiful and well decorated. We had an inside cabin, which was about the same size as on any cruise line, but there were only two very small drawers and we had to ask for Kleenex. There was no coffee cream and the "juice" as flavored water although you could get real juice from the bar waiters who circulate in the buffet area. The entertainment was mediocre although there were some talented acrobats. They did a late night improv that was repetitive and only marginally funny. Music was pretty good in the atrium and there was live music in the Seaview lounge every night that was OK but not great. There is no library nor internet cafe, and no sundry store, but there are several high-end shops selling jewelry, art, perfume and other non-essentials. The food was OK, but not memorable and the service was also OK so long as you tip. What I really hated, and have never seen on other cruise lines, was the constant commercialism. People were always approaching us to buy drink packages, wine packages, specialty dining, excursions, photos, etc, etc. One day at lunch we were approached four times. The man at the excursion desk tried to force us to check the boxes on the excursion receipt that allow them to send us marketing material. I called MSC prior to the cruise to ask about pre-booking excursions and was told we had to book on board, but the people we traveled with were able to pre-book online. When we booked on board one of the excursions we wanted was full. Prices were outrageous. Specialty dining was twice the price of other ships I've been on. Bowling was $25 per person per half hour! The f1 simulator was $10 for 5 minutes. One evening we found photos in our room with a sheet saying if we didn't want to buy them we could give them to our steward to return them. We did that but were charged for the package and had to get guest services to straighten that out. The private island was quite nice, but there are no change rooms; you have to change in the bathroom and there are only cold outside communal showers. The drink package that came with our cruise turned out to only cover drinks that cost $6 ore less; for a more comprehensive package the cost was $27 per person per day. I've cruised with four other lines. They all offer elite services for those who wish to pay premium prices but it is done discreetly. On the Seaside it was obvious most of us were "second class" guests and that "yacht club" people got better service all around. This was my first MSC cruise and it will be my last. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We did not listen to all of the bad reviews. Next time we will. Food bland and terrible. Menu never changed. Buffet worst ever. Room so small you could not unpack or move around. Workers on the ship so be tried but the ones in ... Read More
We did not listen to all of the bad reviews. Next time we will. Food bland and terrible. Menu never changed. Buffet worst ever. Room so small you could not unpack or move around. Workers on the ship so be tried but the ones in charge could have cared less about our problems or comfort level. We have been on many cruises and this one we could not wait to get off the ship and go home. That so called island was a joke. Sand dirty and hard to walk on. We rented a cabana for the day which should have been all day. Well we weren’t allowed off the ship until mid day and then the bar didn’t open until 1200 and then closed at 4.00 . Well so much for all day use what a waste of 239.00. Please I beg you do not use this cruise line as you will be so said. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
NOT AMERICAN FRIENDLY, very few spoke English, and were told Ashley, a manager that they are not American friendly and if we had googled it we would have know, other passengers mostly European were were rude.my husband uses a blind cane, ... Read More
NOT AMERICAN FRIENDLY, very few spoke English, and were told Ashley, a manager that they are not American friendly and if we had googled it we would have know, other passengers mostly European were were rude.my husband uses a blind cane, they didn't care. Food horrible, not AMERICAN. RAW BACON, Luck, hamburgers Hot dogs everyday, maybe Mac and cheese and mashed potaoes.2x. Games were at the smoking pool. Atrium pool full of kids, music sucked. 4 ps. Band played no music you heard or could dance too, guy playing classical guitar, 2 ps. Playing Hispanic and another 2ps played and only new 2 songs the entire week. Music way to loud. no activities if you did not get off ship. Everyday from 10 til 3 it was about selling you stuff. DRINKS WATERED DOWN, App did not work, had WiFi in our package, after we paid for our cruise, they took the WiFi away. I will spread the word NOT TO GO WITH MSC CRUISE LINE Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
SIMPLY THE BEST! Of 250 + past cruises on six different major cruise lines, The Yatch Club was the BEST of LUXURY experiences of ALL past cruises! We have been blessed to be in wonderful suites on other ships and even SEASIDE, but ... Read More
SIMPLY THE BEST! Of 250 + past cruises on six different major cruise lines, The Yatch Club was the BEST of LUXURY experiences of ALL past cruises! We have been blessed to be in wonderful suites on other ships and even SEASIDE, but nothing compares to the EXCELLENCE in SERVICE from every single person on staff in the YATCH CLUB! The ATTITUDE of every MSC emplyee to us and to ALL Yatch Club guests was the BEST of 250+ cruises!!! Beyond belief was one of the Butler's personally escorting me off the ship all the way to the Ferry for my Cozemel Shore Excursion!!! By far the nicest Shore Excursion Experiences ever since cruising since 1983! Our Butler even got my husband a wheel chair to use during our cruise due to his past heart surgery and related ongoing issues that came up upon boarding! All helped wheel him around everywhere at their insistance, including to the SHOWS! In addition, the LOCATION of SEASIDE's Yatch Club Private Lounge and Private Dinning room was PERFECTION at the TOP front of the ship providing 180° PANORAMIC VIEWS at all times! Dinning was such a wonderful experience that we only wanted to be in Yatch Club! We only dined in one Speciality Restaurant the entire cruise. The lovely live evening entertainment in the Yatch Club Lounge was also enjoyed from our table as we dined! I could go on and on, but to put it simply, an MSC YATCH CLUB shall be my number one priority in booking future cruises along side of itenary! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My wife and I cruised on the MSC Seaside from Feb. 29th to Mar. 7th. This was my second cruise (went on Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas about 14 years ago) and my wife’s first. We usually go to Cuba in April for a week but after ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on the MSC Seaside from Feb. 29th to Mar. 7th. This was my second cruise (went on Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas about 14 years ago) and my wife’s first. We usually go to Cuba in April for a week but after seeing the deal offered by Sunwing Vacations we decided we could not pass up this cruise. We lucked out on direct flight from Toronto to Miami, inside cabin and Easy Drink Package for $895 Canadian Dollars per person including all taxes and transfers to and from the cruise ship. Yes $895!!! Assume this was the Covid-19 special. Boarding – The process was quite smooth. I think we were on board in under 30 minutes. Ship – The Seaside is a very large ship although is smaller than the biggest Royal Caribbean has to offer. We saw the Symphony of the Seas in Cozumel and it was absolutely huge. The Seaside in my opinion was very beautiful inside and out. The atrium was very impressive and always had a great vibe in the evening. The bars, lounges, shopping areas and main restaurants were all very nice. The pool areas were great. The decks could get crowded but that is the norm on most cruise ships. Everything was spotless. Cabin – We had an interior cabin on the 14th deck which was a great location just two decks below the main pool and buffet. The cabin was small as expected but worked fine for the two of us. There could have been more storage but what they had worked for us. The bathroom was compact (like most other cruise lines) but functional. Everything was spotless. Food – Food overall was good. There was a good variety at the buffet and we always found something we liked. I loved the French toast and cinnamon rolls for breakfast. The burgers and pizza at lunch were very good. The main restaurant was also good for the most part. I have read may other reviews and some have used the term “awful” to describe the food. That is just not the case. The food on the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas was better in both quality and variety. One thing that I felt was missing was a place to be able to go to anytime of the day to grab a quick bite to eat. The only option was the buffet. Other cruise lines have pubs/cafes where you can go anytime to grab a snack. Drinks – The Easy Package was included in our fare. It was pretty basic but it served our needs quite fine. We were able to get Miller Lite which was fine (although as a beer drinker it would have been nice to have a few more options), sparkling wine and Chardonnay which were both good. We are not red wine drinkers so did not try it. The package also had standard mixed drinks like rum and coke, rye and ginger ale, etc. We could not get any of the specialty drinks although we did get virgin Pina Coladas and Daiquiris and had them add a shot or rum. That could be done as part of our package. For us it was not worth spending an extra $250-$300 each to upgrade to the Premium package. Also the drinks are unlimited and you can order two at a time. Entertainment – The entertainment team were great. They worked tirelessly to keep everyone entertained during the day and in the evenings. The shows in the theatre were excellent. After seeing several Michael Jackson tributes over the years the Seaside one was hands down the best. The dancer who played MJ was amazing. Both the costumes and scenery in the shows were very well done. There was a good variety of singing, dancing and acrobatics in the shows. The pool activities were fun and I actually placed 2nd in the belly flop competition. If you were on the cruise I was the guy who belly flopped with the pants, dress shirt and tie. I would have won if not for the rather large gentlemen who was in the competition. Service – We had good service the entire cruise. Some people get frustrated about waiting five minutes for a drink. I am in vacation so five minutes is not a big deal to me. We never waited longer than five minutes for a drink anywhere. We would not hesitate to go on a MSC Cruise again. Hopefully we can get a deal like we got again but I doubt that will happen. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise for several reasons, 1. The price was great. 2. They were offering a special drink package, with wifi and $100.00 cabin credit. 3. They upgraded us to our highest level that we had with any other cruise line, and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for several reasons, 1. The price was great. 2. They were offering a special drink package, with wifi and $100.00 cabin credit. 3. They upgraded us to our highest level that we had with any other cruise line, and on top of that they upgraded our cabin. We have never cruised MSC before and were a little reluctant when we read some of the reviews about them, but those feelings passed after a few days. Our room steward, Marianne Ibarra, was there for our every need. The room was always clean and organized. She was always smiling and pleasant and asked every time we saw her if everything was fine. The food was great. People said they cater to the Europeans when it comes to the food they serve and it was somewhat true in the Buffet. There were odd things in the line that I would say most Americans don't eat, but there was enough choices that I was always very satisfied with what was served. To give credit to MSC I would say at least 3/4 of the ship were Europeans. We ate in the dining room every night and the choices and the food were amazing. Our waiters Mark Tansiongco and Jovencio Udani, Jr. were attentive to our every need. They took the time to speak with us out of their busy schedule. We learned so much about each of them and they in turn learned about us. The shows at night on the ship was probably the best I have seen on a ship in a long time. Every show the audience stood and gave a standing ovation. The entertainment was constant. My husband and I played a lot of trivia and were so impressed by crew member Kristine Plasabas. She was not only patient but she had a great sense of humor too! My only complaint was regarding the wifi. On the third day my wifi was not working so I went to guest services to see if they could figure out what was wrong. Unfortunately the person helping me was no help at all. When I got my phone back she had turned my airplane mode off (can't wait to see of that's going to cost me), and the app MSC for me was gone. Needless to say I had no wifi for the rest of the cruise. Another issue on the cruise and I had read about this on cruise critic was the smell of raw sewerage. I googled this and it looks like it's just something passengers are going to have to put up with on the new ships. It wasn't constant just occasionally as you walk down a hall you would occasionally smell it. I never smelled it in the cabin, dining room, buffet, function rooms or any outside area. Getting on the ship was well run. From the time we entered the terminal and stepped foot on the ship was less than 45 minutes. Getting off the ship was easier. We walked off with our luggage and was outside in about 5 minutes. Another thing that surprised me was for a big ship it was very easy to get around, and for the amount of people on the ship (approximately 4,500) it never felt crowded. I would highly recommend MSC Seaside. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
It looked great on the pics, and having done the Pacific Dawn prior to its update , we thought it will be a great experience. But at least the Pacific Dawn match the food according to what port they anchored. Restaurants are overrated ... Read More
It looked great on the pics, and having done the Pacific Dawn prior to its update , we thought it will be a great experience. But at least the Pacific Dawn match the food according to what port they anchored. Restaurants are overrated compared to the options in the Buffet restaurants. What really killed the mood was the constant smell of toilet around the lifts and the announcement of 5 languages every time we sat to watch a performance or just the general announcements. There is a general lack of proper spoken English from the bar staff . Be warned about Park West Art Auction, just a general rip off. But that is the same on all ships that cater for that. Apart from arriving late in port and not being able to do a tour , this is our one and last cruise with MSC. But that is just our opinion. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Beautiful decor but bad design. Front of ship is off limits unless you paid extra to be in their elite class. Ship had many passages to nowhere. Our cabin steward was above average which was only good part of cruise. Cabin size was ok ... Read More
Beautiful decor but bad design. Front of ship is off limits unless you paid extra to be in their elite class. Ship had many passages to nowhere. Our cabin steward was above average which was only good part of cruise. Cabin size was ok but then I had a handicapped room which was probably a little larger. Constant noise in cabin all night long. Food was barely passable--not American fare; everything tasted a little off. Only had karaoke 3 nights and then at times that weren't convenient. Shows had limited talent and not much variety. No quiet areas on ship. No special help to go through buffet when in a wheelchair; in fact some crew members were rude; 3 people watched me struggle but none offered to help the whole week I was there. Some doorways were too small to fit through on my electric scooter, and I tore open my arm on one; no one seemed to care. Guest Services was a waste of time; went there with my arm all bloody and they basically gave me a bandaid and told me to go back to my room. Shore excursions overpriced; much better to do them on your own. Had rude treatment on the private island; the driver of one of the ship's gold cart called me names because I couldn't get out of his way fast enough. The ship was so carbon-neutral that they did not have Do Not Disturb signs nor was there any kleenex type tissue in the cabin. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this ship because of the price and itinerary. Embarkation and disembark went well. For disembark we met in the theater, sat with our color assignment and we're escorted directly along to our luggage and transfer shuttle. ... Read More
We chose this ship because of the price and itinerary. Embarkation and disembark went well. For disembark we met in the theater, sat with our color assignment and we're escorted directly along to our luggage and transfer shuttle. We booked an inside cabin and found it quite spacious compared to other ships we were on. We ate at the main dining room twice and the deck 8 buffet for all other meals. We loved the food. The theater shows each night were enjoyable, however predictable as it was the same acts just performing different tricks each night. Very talented bunch and the dance couple... just wow. There are no quiet spots on the ship, there's always a line up for drinks and food. It's a 5000 passenger ship with 1500 crew. We have never been on such a large ship and now we know that we won't sail on one again. The staff we're all great. Good service. Port times were not ideal. Puerto Rico at night was not as much fun as it sounds, Unfortunately it was too cold at Ocean Cay to enjoy the island. St Thomas was great, we took the taxi to Magen's Bay... was our best port day. We stayed on ship in Nassau, was nice having less people to on board. Our overall impression is that this is a party ship. Very clean, with hand washing stations at all the restaurant entrances. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We had used MSC for our 10 year anniversary in the Mediterranean and I admit that it had been perfect on all points; staff, stopovers, shows, entertainment, quality of food served in the restaurants. We were therefore delighted to re-trust ... Read More
We had used MSC for our 10 year anniversary in the Mediterranean and I admit that it had been perfect on all points; staff, stopovers, shows, entertainment, quality of food served in the restaurants. We were therefore delighted to re-trust this company for our 20 year anniversary for a cruise in the Caribbean. On this cruise, the only positive points were the staff, kind, helpful and largely contributed to making this cruise bearable despite the limited means allocated to them. It was for us, what I ended up calling 'a shopping cruise'. This was mainly access to shopping, meeting about shopping, presentation of partners from whom it is absolutely necessary to buy, from them and no one else, VIP shopping card, invitation deposited in the cabin for shopping meeting, VIP shopping card available at MSC partners, shopping stops with MSC host ... And above all, do not forget to give the name of the ship and your cabin number (it would be terrible if they missed the opportunity to make a commission on all your purchases!) Most of the entertainment on board revolves around champagne cocktails, mimosas lottery for gifts in shops, jewelers, art gallery on the ship. The other activities: trivia, salsa lesson led by the entertainment team (excellent crew members, very resourcefull despite limited means) My son, creative, was only interested in the creative workshops where he signed up every day, proposed theme: design your own jewelry, creating a bracelet, creating a photo frame ... All canceled because they did not receive the material, the poor host had to do with what she had on board, paper, so origami workshop all week. We chose the fantastica atmosphere, and English as language preference when we booked, which gave us: Choice of table during dinner (subject to availability) Priority over the choice of service during the dinner We had asked early or mid evening, we ended up with a service at 9:15 p.m. (the last one) without the possibility of changing because 'the boat is full' seated with French families , without the possibility of changing because ' the boat is full 'and the daily program in French but it can be picked up every day in English at the' customer service ' we were told at custumer service. The food served in the restaurant (we were at IPANEMA) was frankly disappointing and equivalent to that served at Sodexo caffeteria (sorry for the analogy but that's what we felt). My husband has multiple sclerosis, resulting in perpetual pain that drains him completely and he arrives at the end of the day exhausted and rarelystay up without going to bed past 09/09:30 PM. We ended up giving up the evening dinner and favoring the buffet which allowed us to eat earlier for my husband and had a wide choice, which suited the child (Pizza, Burgers...), less for me as I have a gluten free diet and the buffet had no specificity for food intolerance (the restaurant has a gluten-free menu, but unfortunatly it's the same every night so you find yourself eating the same every day), so salad / vegetable and fruit for me all week which did not bother me at all really. The all-you-can-eat buffets have outdoor terraces, so super pleasant, especially if you can't stand the air conditioning (it's everywhere on the boat and very cold, Think of bringing a cardigan / shawls for those who are chilly, (we can lower it in the bedrooms fortunately) I don't know how often the sheets are supposed to be changed in the cabin but ours were not. Which bothered us from the 4th day because they were visibly dirty, although our fault (stain of lipstick, stain of sole placed on the bed by one of the children) but they have not been changed until the end of our stay, the beds were made every day but with the same dirty and crumpled sheets) The shows were really not great compared to those in the Mediterranean, except the BEERPROV which were original but at 10:45 pm on three nights. The 3rd evening we left before the end and we did not return. Basically, they take the same team, change the decor and costumes and we start again and the same show on two / three evenings. We really enjoyed the evening the evening of "MSC Crew has Talent", really great but at 11:30 pm. Organized and managed entirely by staff. The White Party evening was also good, very good atmosphere and management by the entertainment team. The Gala evening, nonexistent, there was, in fact, nothing, neither cocktail with the Captain, neither photo nor gala nor animation, nothing. Basically we crowded our suitcases with three costumes from Paris to sit and dine in a restaurant with a mediocre menu (sorry for my frankness). When I spoke to customer relations about it the next day, I was told that it was because of the Corona Virus and that the American authorities had recommended that it be canceled. Of course we are told nothing! Our table neighbors informed us the following day that they had received an invitation from the commander for cocktail Gala and photo with the captain ( they were staying on for two weeks, we were only there for one week). And strangely, the American authorities (although not in their waters anymore, recommended the cancellation of the Gala evening, but not the White Party, nor the 70's evening ...) The first day we registered our credit card for the expenses on board for the two cabins ( we had a balcony acabin and interior cabin for our sons), having a minor, I was widely recommended to get him a teenager card instead of just registering our credit card and to put 100 € aon it to cover his expenses on board , I ended up putting only 50 € not thinking that he would spend as much and I could always have added money on it if necessary. He ended up spending only the cost of a drink as didn't think he didn't think the zip line, bowling alley ... was really worth it. On thelast day, when I went to pay my card balance, I also asked for a refund of my son's card balance, I wa sthen told: sorry but the money put on the teenager card is not refundable. Of course I insisted, I find these shameful forced selling practices without full disclosure of the terms and conditions appaling. You would think this is the first think they should tell you. I accordance with the new MSC Policy I guess, like I said it's a Shopping Cruise! My 16 year old son enjoyed himself and participated in the 16+ activities, no details on what they did exactly but he said he had a good time and rarely came back to his cabin before midnigh :) The drinks packages are exorbitant I found, has to be bought by all member of one booking although having a minor therefore € 199 per person/week, for drinks not exceeding $ 6, basically for soft drinks (coke, water ...) and Miller Light beer, the only one at 6 €, all the others start at 6.5 $, the cocktails 9 $ and 11 $ and haven't seen any spirits at 06$ on they menus. In the buffets you have water, ice cubes, cranberry juice, pineapple, mango / kiwi ... juices. Plan to bring water bottles, so you can fill it up rather that having a small glass every time and ending going often. Usefull especially when by the pool or night time. The stops were also disappointing, Costa Maya is not a real city but an open air shopping center, intended only for cruise ship customers, nothing else to do than shopping if you did not take excursions, and above all, of course do not forget to give the name of your boat and cabin number. On the daily presentation, the recommended things to do are the MSC excursions and shops and restaurant for shopping, of course recommended by MSC, However, we learned it by repeat passengers ( afterwards of course) , that there are a small village 5/10 minutes by taxi called Mahahual, typical Mexican village with a superb beach, beach club, restaurants and bars and craft market. Information that would have been more than useful to communicate but hey there is no restaurant or shop recommended by MSC there, so ... George town, problem in the procedure for disembarking, we were to be there from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but the disembarkation with tender was so badly organized that we arrived at 1:00 p.m., just enough time to catch an excursion at 1:15 p.m., expected return at 4:00 p.m. but in fact late so we found ourselves there at 4:50 p.m., so had no time to see anything. The excursion swimming with stingraies and snorkelling was great so we did not lost everything. We didn't book it with MSC, paid $ 30 per person On each port you have touts for excursions, we did this on each port and worked out 3 times cheaper than MSC, so don't worry if you don't book or plan ahead, you will find your happiness on the spot. They are in port for those approved by the port authorities, you also have them at the exit of the port but these are not approved by the port. The highlight for us, the full day until 11:00 p.m. in Ocean Cay, an absolutely magnificent island, however we had a prematured departure at 3:00 p.m., for whether reasons, certainly reason beyond their control but disapointing for us, an additional event of disappointment. And it's a shame, it's heavenly. Bring snorkelling gears, it's really worth it. MSC rents them for € 29 a day but we bought them for $ 25 in Jamaica and we get to keep them ... The boat was full, but because the wheather was nice and the outdoor spaces were used, it didn't feel crowded. As for swimming pools, it's Just !, The jungle pool is more for children so noisy because playground, slide and children's club ... The Miami Beach is small so it’s impossible to really swim there, the decks are enough for sunbathing sessions with deckchairs everywhere, more are available on the deck when away from the pools. Fortunately, the entertainment team and the staff raised the level considerably, although without much, just their kindness, humor and professionalism. Compared to their colleague responsible for pushing for consumption which had all the means at their disposal, not cool ... And anyway thank you very much to them who helped make our stay a pleasant one. Thank you also for their honesty and objectivity with regard to the situation. We really felt like it put a big dent on our vacation and it's disapointing. I don’t think we’ll reiterate the MSC experience in the Caribbean. I did The caribean 8 years ago with my sister, on Norwegian and absolutely excellent in every way, next time I would probably try Royal Caribean ... FYI: we had two cabins, one with balcony and an interior for our children aged 18 and 16. The cabins are very nice, nothing to say on that front. For the famous obligatory tip, they will debit you automatically but you can request a refund, In our case we were debited € 350, a little much I think from the experience, so we asked for it to be refunded and individually left a tip to the staff of our choice (info provided by a member of staff so thank you to them). Basically I think this cruise is not well suited to the European standard, the Americans on the other hand seemed satisfied so I guess it is a question of standards Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Worst cruise experience ever. Have cruised several times on a number of cruise lines and would not recommend MSC at all. Service was poor, food was lousy - same thing every day and not that good. Ship was full of international ... Read More
Worst cruise experience ever. Have cruised several times on a number of cruise lines and would not recommend MSC at all. Service was poor, food was lousy - same thing every day and not that good. Ship was full of international travellers so you had to hear all announcements in about 4 languages - even interrupted shows at night for announcements. Aurea - had some nice things to buying this package --- bigger balcony if you booked on deck 9. Separate sunbathing area on 19. Use of Spa - massage. Big draw back - bar on Deck 19 for Aureau was never opened.... Then when it said it would open at 1pm -- the bartenders told us no - they weren't opening til 1:30. Casino is small. Entertainment is ok -- Michael Jackson show was the best. Evening activities were lacking compared to other ships. Speciality restaurants -- one evening in one of the speciality restaurants there were officers from MSC eating in it, swearing (F you etc) and bad mouthing Americans.... Totally unprofessional. They should be fired. Will not cruise on MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Last trip on MSC Divina we said, "never again". This was based on noisy, pushy crowed public spaces and on the awful food. This year on MSC Seaside we had a very good price point offer and felt we couldn't resist giving ... Read More
Last trip on MSC Divina we said, "never again". This was based on noisy, pushy crowed public spaces and on the awful food. This year on MSC Seaside we had a very good price point offer and felt we couldn't resist giving another chance. Nothing has changed. We found public spaces such as the elevators and all handrails to be dirty and smudged. The dining room floor was a mess. Impossible to get a lounge chair on the pool decks. The crowds for elevators, in the buffet, outside the restaurant and for disembarkment were rude and pushy. The comments regarding food as described by other guests-and we agree- "worse than fast food", "elementary school cafeteria", "slop", "swill". Some dishes were inedible and I hope that no one ever makes the wasteful mistake of ordering any soup or the steak--send it back if so--yuck. The only good meal was the beef tournedos, and somehow they got broccoli right. Everything else served lukewarm, chewy, unremarkable or just a plain insult, such as "jamaican stew" for entree and "bread pudding" for a gourmet dessert experience?! In the buffet, the waffles were limp and undercooked and the bacon was greasy and clumped. Underripe fresh pineapple and flavorless greasy stale taco chips. I do not appreciate having to self-serve beverages in the buffet. This means either the coffee gets cold while finding breakfast or the food gets cold looking for some ice water. Other cruise lines serve drinks; why not? Didn't get any warm feelings from any of the crew other than our servers and cabin attendant. This seems to be consistent with the experience of other cruisers. We cannot comment on the entertainment because we skipped it. Michael Jackson look-alike? No thanks. And not interested in opera, magic tricks or jugglers. But other guests said that was the best part of the trip, so take it from them..... It is our view that this Italian shipping line should stick to container cargo and skip the "luxury" cruises it advertises. Tacky decor, overly loud music in bars and atrium, ill-mannered loud and pushy peoples literally shouting and screaming in foreign languages--just too much. Please note: Our servers, Savio and Karen in the dining room and our cabin attendant Ronald made the highest positive impression on us and made the trip bearable. They should go work for another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My family hadn't been on a cruise and the Seaside looked like it would cater to us and our children. The food was in general good. Many choices for the family. We opted for the Aurea experience so had flexibility on the time in the ... Read More
My family hadn't been on a cruise and the Seaside looked like it would cater to us and our children. The food was in general good. Many choices for the family. We opted for the Aurea experience so had flexibility on the time in the dining room. They do have a very limited Gluten Free menu (which I needed). If you are GF, the buffet is somewhat challenging. Now the downsides: 1. Time in ports was minimal. Just enough time to do an excursion, no time to see anything else. The stop in Ocho Rios was a tourist trap...get off the boat and surrounded by a shopping community (hard to even find the exit). We felt trapped. Next stop was Cayman. We snorkeled and then it was time to get back on the boat. From there it was Jamaica. The boat pulled up to what appeared to be an industrial area. The walk to shopping was somewhat scary, with an abundance of people trying to sell you anything and everything. Even heard one man proposition a women for sex in front of my kids. We were quickly back on board. We were definitely not in the nice area. Last stop was Ocean Cay. We were scheduled to be there until midnight (then head back to Miami to close out the week). We left at 3:00 due to weather and had to deal with 50 mph gusts and a complete change of course. Weather was so bad it was hard to stand in our room. No communication from MSC regarding weather, safety or change of course. Terrible communication. With this weather change (call was made the day before), no changes were made to open additional restaurants or bars to accommodate the crowd. Just terrible. 2. Maintenance - One morning my family was preparing to head to the buffet for breakfast. My 14 year old daughter wanted to stay in the room, which was fine with us. Upon our return we found a sign on our balcony that said "wet paint". When we asked her about it, she said that three men were working on the balcony, and then proceeded to enter our room to exit into the hallway. I WAS LIVID!!!! Our Do Not Disturb button was also activated. When I went to reception to complain, they said they always send notices in advance of work being done. First, that did not happen. Second, why is painting happening during a cruise when the room is occupied, and third, why are they entering when the DND is active. When I said they legally didn't have a right to enter my room, WITH A MINOR present, they said they had EVERY right. Women apologized, but did nothing to try to make it right. 3. Clientele - This cruise was primarily Europeans and Italians. As Americans, we were the minority. We often felt de-prioritized over other patrons. We would wait several minutes to be waited on, over and over again. We will likely not cruise again as a result of this experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My wife and I decided to do our first ever cruise as we were celebrating a special birthday. We got a great deal through a tour operator for this seven night MSC cruise from Miami to Costa Maya, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios and Ocean Cay ... Read More
My wife and I decided to do our first ever cruise as we were celebrating a special birthday. We got a great deal through a tour operator for this seven night MSC cruise from Miami to Costa Maya, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios and Ocean Cay following a four night stay in Las Vegas. Because we booked the Fantastica Balcony package we were given the Premium Drinks package with it. Considering the prohibitive cost of buying this package, getting it as part of the deal was a great bonus for us - well done TourAmerica.ie!!! Because this was our first cruise and my obsession with planning we did a lot of research in the 11 months between booking and embarking. MSC seems to get a mixed response from reviewers but I found this was the case with every major cruise line so don't let that put you off. There are some great cruisers on these boards and on the TripAdvisor forums who were very helpful and generous with information for us. Stating with the ship layout and look - it is very impressive. The central atrium with it's bar and sparkly steps is a fine centrepiece. Plenty of guests had their photos taken on those steps (especially on the formal and dress up nights). There is a lot of the ship and so worth an exploratory walk or two on the first day to get your bearings. Theatre is an impressive size, casino is a decent size for a ship and there are dozens of bars and lounges. Decks 5-8 and 16-19 are where you will spend most of your no-cabin time as this is where the buffets, restaurants, bars, reception, theatre, shops etc. are. In between are the cabin decks. There are plenty of pools, and loungers, outside chairs for those who like to swim/sunbathe. This sin't for me but my wife wanted a morning in the sun and we didn't take long to find a free lounger for her (and this was on a sea day so everyone was on board). If you are bringing kids (and I think you are crazy to do so) there is plenty for them to do. Embarkation: Our biggest issue. We were not waiting for too long after the burly Miami porter who took our cases straight from our Uber and advised us to tip him. When we got to check we had an issue. The guy seemed annoyed we had not filled in the 'have you visited China' form properly and then forgot to actually take it. He also informed us we had a different cabin - this was after we had been sent our bag tags and attached them to our cases which were already gone. He seemed incredulous that we would even question this - i was concerned that the cases would go to the wrong room but he didn't seem bothered and told us to advise guest services when we boarded. We queued with the others are reception (very busy for the first two days - try and leave it longer before you visit if you can) and were told by the guest services woman that of course our bags would get to the right room - to be fair she was lovely and also sorted out our credit card for us at the same time so we didn't have to later use one of the machines to do so. However she was very wrong about the bags. Everyone was told bags should be at your cabin around 2pm - no sign of ours. We went and got something to eat and a drink and had an explore - still no bags. I rang down to reception - eventually got an answer and was told there were delays and we would get them soon. Still no bags. As we knew our previous cabin number we decided to go and see for ourselves if they were delivered to the wrong cabin - one case was outside this room so I spoke to a nearby worker and he told me the other one was probably sent back to reception as the guests in that cabin said it wasn't theirs. While we wondered why they didn't say that about both of our cases, we at least had one and took it down two decks to our own room. This journey was made more difficult by the fact that our lovely and expensive American Tourister hard shell case had obviously been dropped from a big height because we had an open crack in one side of it damaging the wheel and a large dent in the other. I rang reception again now informing them that we found one bag and did they have the other - also told them about the damage. U was told to come down to reception to see if they had the bag or else it would be delivered to the room. I headed down the 8 decks to reception -the queue had about 50 people so I went back up hoping it would be delivered after all .No sign of it by 730pm so rang again - this time (and for the first time) I was informed there is another place on deck 5 where lost and confiscated luggage is kept so i headed down again and lo and behold here was our other case - this one wasn't damaged but the tags were gone so it had ended up down here. I am guessing the tags went in the same way our other case was damaged through absolute carelessness either thanks to our burly Miami porter or when loading on to the ship (glad I gave that tip now). Eventually got to make our complaint about the damaged case on the third day when reception had died down a bit - the woman who dealt with us was lovely and advised it is quite common. They offered us €100 ship credit in compensation which I thought was great (less than the cost of the case but I had only expected some sort of form we would have to give to our insurance to claim back later. She also advised to check out cases on our stops as we may get a cheap one to tide us over. We found some but were not happy with the quality so struggled home with our broken one. The Cabin. We had a 'Fantastica' balcony room. I was impressed by the size judging by the reviews I read complaining about the size. I found the shower fine (many complain about the size but I am over 6 ft and not skinny and did not have an issue). Bed is really comfy and very large and you have a sofa too. We stored one case under the bed and another between sofa and wardrobe so they were no in the day. We brought far too many clothes but still managed to find hangers and drawer space for all of them. TV should not be required much but you have some news channels, food network, ESPN Caribbean and TCM (I find it nice to fall asleep watching a classic movie after a busy day). one excellent part of the cruise was our cabin steward (not sure if that is the correct term), Rose. She was really friendly, introduced herself on the first night and was exceptionally good at her job. She even left a lovely little towel elephant on or bed on my wife's birthday. While discussing the staff, I have seen a lot of reviews saying the staff are aloof and unfriendly - certainly NOT the case. For the most part (very few exceptions), the staff were extremely warm and friendly. Another common complaint from the reviews is that bar service can be slow. Sometimes this can be the case when it is busy - they are not great at knowing who should be served next (I made the mistake on my first day of advising them the English bloke beside me was ahead of me and did not even get a thanks or a look from him (so every man for himself after that). The drinks available on the premium package are excellent and although there was a mixed skill level when it came to making the cocktails, it was generally high quality and very friendly. They also have table service in a lot of the bars so this can help avoid the wait. Anyway you have a lot of bars to choose from so if one is busy (or has a really loud, drunk and obnoxious American woman holding court) you can always move to another one close by. If we did not have the Premium Drinks package I may not have enjoyed it as much - we both like a drink and as mentioned before I think buying this package is very expensive and the package below is very restrictive. Favourite bars were the piano bar (nice bit of music every evening/night) and the Sports Bar (nice booths for watching sport - unfortunately it only ever seemed to be basketball or golf that was on). Best service was in the casino bar - we got to know one of the girls there and she was great - knew our number so we didn't even need our card when she was on. The main atrium bar has music every night and sometimes a high cheese factor and also the Haven bar seems to be very interactive with a lot of dancing, gameshows and karaoke. If you don't like all of this the Sports Bar, Piano bar are the bars for you and the otehr music does not overlap. The smokers have their own bar outside if that is your thing. I mentioned the high cheese entertainment - some of it was quite bizarre. One night they had various characters in movie get up dancing and singing and mingling with the crowd. This is fine if you like that type of thing but one of them was done up as Hannibal Lechter strapped to a gurney (not really sure what was going on with that or how he was supposed to dance - we did not hang around to find out. We attended two shows in the theatre - the adult improv (decent enough) and what was called 'The Dream' which was billed as songs from musicals but was more like a song and dance pop cheesefest. The acrobats and dances were excellent but it is not my thing.They have plenty of shows and plenty of room - they also have bingo every day (you pay for), quizzes and shop sales. Plenty of reviewers (especially Americans) seem to have had nightmares with the buffets (there are two on the seaside - we mostly used the larger one on Deck 8). To be fair if you are expecting orderly queues and politeness you are better off out of there - it can be quite a cattle market. My best advice - our American friends need to be a little less polite and our continental European friends need to respect other people's space a bit more. The food I thought was OK - the everyday stuff was as bland as you would expect - burgers hot dogs etc. but I did think the changing ethnic menu was really good. Had a really nice Thai Green Curry one night, Indian butter chicken another and a lovely Jamaican stew on another - these were easily the best parts of the buffet. I read a lot of people saying the food didn't change - well it did every evening. The breakfast was hit and miss but fine. There are plenty of healthy options for breakfast and dinner. Had the pizza on the first day expecting an Italian company to have lovely Italian style pizza but it was awful - had the taste and texture of a frozen pizza so stayed away from it until our last night when i said I would try it again and this time it was as expected - delicious thin crust pizza. If you don't like the buffet you have the complimentary restaurants for breakfast and dinner or the specialty restaurants (pay extra). We tried the complementary restaurant for dinner once (our sitting was 930 and we had generally already eaten by then). It was fine. Good quick service, three courses were good - New York strip was good but not great. I would not put it way ahead of the buffet to be honest but if you hate the buffet it is fine. Fr breakfast, it was very similar fare to what was available in the buffet. We used the specialty restaurant 'the Butcher's Cut' one night - this was a steakhouse and was I think $47 per person for three courses. This really was worth the money - the steak i had here was way above the quality in the free restaurant and because the room is smaller and less busy it is just a nicer place to eat. Excursions and off-ship. Costa Maya in mexico was first stop. We had an external excursion planned with Tucan tours. Because it was external you had to walk quite a bit to find it but the tour itself (to the Mayan ruins at Chaccoben) was very good and worth the money. They take you back to the port and then on to beach for an hour if you wish. We did go down to the beach and had a couple of beers but you get hassled relentlessly by people trying to part you with your money all along the little strip at the beach. Second stop was Georgetown in the Cayman Islands - for this day we chose an MSC excursion as you have to get a boat to the Caymans rather than just walking off the ship as at other ports and I had read if you have an MSC excursion it is less hassle (this seemed true). The excursion itself (georgetown and the whitehouse) was a big waste of money. Driver was good but the trip itself is a trip to what is basically a resort type shopping area with a trip up to the highest point on the island - basically a few flights of stairs up to a viewing area where you get a view of rooftops .Then you are taken to the Tortuga rum factory - this is a total toursit trap but the rum cake and different rums are lovely and well worth picking up. You are then taken to the White House resort - an exclusive type resort on the beach where you have a couple of hours and a lounger on the beach. You do not even get a drink or a snack here - you have to pay (and it is far from cheap for a pretty rubbish cocktail). It is a lovely and very small private beach but for $80 plus per person i would expect a lot more from an excursion. Third stop was Ocho Rios in Jamaica - we did not do an excursion here, but instead took a stroll around the town. Again you are constantly hassled by people trying to sell you things, begging or offering taxis but it is still worth going to the town. Found a nice place to eat and a good bar. Fourth stop was Ocean Cay - the MSC private island in the Bahamas. Unfortunately because the weather was going to be bad the day was cut short from on board at 1125pm to on board at 230pm but it is a lovely spot and you can use your card for drinks and food here. Beaches and sea are lovely and plenty of loungers etc. We did not do any of the paid activities but had a few drinks at the Hemingway bar over at the fake ligthouse which is a really nice spot for a drink or two. Having already been in Vegas it is probably no surprise we spent a fair bit of time in the casino. It may be a surprise that we won and actually won well - I cam back from this 2 week holiday with more cash than I left with thanks to a couple of nice wins. Disembarkation - we chose to take our own cases so we could leave early and not be waiting around for them to lose or damage our reaming good case. This was a fairly painless procedure. All in all a really good time was had. Great ship, great staff, good food but the MSC excursion and the bag issue were the only downers. Would definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Just got off the MSC Seaside. We did 2 weeks (back to back) And here is my honest opinion. If you don't like what I I write so be it. First we are a french canadian couple in our mid 40's and we have cruised multiple ... Read More
Just got off the MSC Seaside. We did 2 weeks (back to back) And here is my honest opinion. If you don't like what I I write so be it. First we are a french canadian couple in our mid 40's and we have cruised multiple times on almost all major cruise lines. People from all over the world on this ship and it was awesome in my opinion. I just think that the public messages should be in Italian and English only based on the fact that the ship is an ITALIAN ship operating from the USA. They do it in 5 or 6 languages and it takes for ever!! This trip was simply not to par with anything else we have experienced on a CRUISE. In fact I would describe this stay on the Seaside not as a cruise but more as a cheap over crowded all inclusive resort that is taking place on a floating platform!! The ship was very clean and new and we paid a little over 4000$ usd for the 2 of us for 2 weeks wich is not much cheaper than any other lines. We had the easy package wich was ok. The pros: Easy embarkation Good quality entertainement as the shows were all excellent. Food in buffet was good with a lot of diversity. Staff was nice for most. The cons: the ship has a weird design and I undesrtood after 2 weeks that they did it so they could have so many cabins. In short they cutted on public areas sizes, theatre, main dinning room etc to pack more people. The ship can't simply have all those people with comfort without cutting somewhere. Atrium is small and so are the main dinning room and theatre. That is obviously confirmed by the fact that there is 3 seatings for dinner and also that you have to book shows everyday to make sure you have a spot. And I am not talking about the incredible lack of space and beds to lay under the sun on sea days. That situation was the worst I have ever seen. Food in main dinning room was also the worst we ever had on a cruise, service was good but the quality was not there at all. We often felt rushed to eat and they would bring plates at a frantic past. Have you ever had to order your dessert while giving your initial order??? Yup, that is what they do. Just like farm cows, eat and get out asap.. They push overpriced specialty restaurant like vendors on a Mexican beach all cruise long wich is also anoying. We went and tried the tapeniaky wich was excellent. The thing is they will not honor your (easy)drink package in those restaurant!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
OMG, can't say enough praise to all employees on the MSC SEASIDE.. This is our second msc seaside cruise that we talked two couples into going. They all loved it. Very quick embankment this cruise. Rooms were very clean and ... Read More
OMG, can't say enough praise to all employees on the MSC SEASIDE.. This is our second msc seaside cruise that we talked two couples into going. They all loved it. Very quick embankment this cruise. Rooms were very clean and always kept up to our satisfaction. Food was excellent as USUAL..!! Hand sanitizer available everywhere by employees..!! Theater shows every evening were all amazing , lots of talented singers, etc. Outside activities by pool were fun. Shows at all lounges were great. Personal dinner seating every evening was to perfection and selection topshelf.. At disembarkment my wife noticed that she left her purse up in our room while we were already awaiting our taxi to our motel where we left our vehicle. Talk to msc attendant and he called ship and someone rushed her purse down to us within 20 minutes. WOW, we were happy for their quick response to our emergency. MSC, WE WILL CRUISE AGAIN SOON #4..!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Pros and Cons with detailed review to follow. Pros: Beautiful, large, fun filled ship Friendly helpful staff and crew Entertainment Food and beverage selection Good value for your ... Read More
Pros and Cons with detailed review to follow. Pros: Beautiful, large, fun filled ship Friendly helpful staff and crew Entertainment Food and beverage selection Good value for your money Cons: Disorganized queuing system for tender ship port days Long lines most days and evenings for customer service Now for the review in detail..... This was my second time on Seaside. My husband and I brought along our teens this time. We fell in love with the MSC Seaside experience, and we wanted our kids to have a similar experience. Embarkation went smoothly again this time. From the moment we walked up to the porters with our luggage, until we stepped foot onboard took less than 40 minutes. The que lines moved quickly and efficiently. We obviously love the layout of the ship since we decided to sail again. One big draw for me is that there are so many outdoor areas for sun and shade. We aren't really swimming pool people so we didn't spend much time around them. The pool areas did seem crowded most days mid day. However, there were always plenty of other loungers and seating in different areas for us, day and night. The entertainment is spectacular. Wonderful singers, musicians, illusionists, dancers and other amazing talented performers (Similar to circque). There are many different venues onboard and entertainment is spread out all over. Food is very subjective. Our family found it to be very unique and delicious. The main dining room menu leans toward various European and Caribbean themed menu choices. In addition, they also offer traditional, steak, chicken, salmon, and basic pasta, soup and salad every night for those that aren't feeling adventurous. The deserts are phenomenal and not to be missed. The two buffets are well stocked with food for every taste. We did find them to be quite crowded during peek times and did our best to avoid that chaos. We liked the soda dispensers. Just swipe your card or bracelet and fill your cups. Each swipe would get you roughly two cups with ice and soda because the cups were relatively small for the ounces of soda dispensed with each swipe. We enjoyed all of our stops. Since ports are reviewed in other forums I will stick to talking about MSC’s private island, Ocean Cay. It is beautiful already and will surely be stunning once the vegetation has time to mature. Our day was cut short due to incoming severe weather, but we all enjoyed the time we had on the island. The lagoon was a great place to relax and for the kids to play. The variety of beach areas was nice. There were areas for everyone to find a place they liked. Umbrellas available for those that like shade. Lots of comfortable lounge chairs. We found the food trucks to be quick and have fresh hot burgers, hotdogs, fries and brownies. There were a few other items including vegetarian pasta salad, but we didn’t try those. The lines for the bars (Soda, water and alcohol) were very long and that was a bit of a frustration. The servers were working very hard to keep up, but they were just outnumbered by all of us. I am hopeful the management will be able to by either adding additional bar areas or by staffing them with more servers. They also will hopefully work through the kinks of getting glassware washed and turned over to prevent server delays like the day we were there. All in all another beautiful trip and a wonderful vacation on MSC Seaside! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We wanted to get away for a week and thought we would try MSC. This was the most disappointing cruise we have taken, and we've been on several. The ship is beautiful, modern and clean. Our balcony room was spacious and comfortable, ... Read More
We wanted to get away for a week and thought we would try MSC. This was the most disappointing cruise we have taken, and we've been on several. The ship is beautiful, modern and clean. Our balcony room was spacious and comfortable, and our cabin steward was great. The show Starwalker was wonderful, even if you're not a MJ fan! But that is all the good we can say about the past week aboard the Seaside. We chose, after night two, to NOT return to the dining room for dinner. The service was poor and the food was awful. Such a shame since the two things people usually rave about are the shows and the food...not on this ship. Not a single employee seemed happy and we observed several uniforms torn, dirty, and faded. Very sad and disturbing. The itinerary was weird and deceiving, showing 2 days in San Juan when, in actuality, it was less than six hours after an extremely disorganized disembarkation...and arrival was at 6pm on a Monday. It was dark when we got off and you couldn't see any of the City in the dark. Such a waste. I do not recommend MSC, and will NOT give a different ship a try. We recommend that you spend your money on another cruise line. Please read some of the other reviews which are very similar to our experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Just finished our week on Seaside Aurea experience. If you are looking for a good perks but still reasonable price than Aurea is a good choice. It gives you the chance to get away from the crowds in a few different ways. We loved the Top ... Read More
Just finished our week on Seaside Aurea experience. If you are looking for a good perks but still reasonable price than Aurea is a good choice. It gives you the chance to get away from the crowds in a few different ways. We loved the Top 19 area which is just for Aurea guests. Its calm, has a bar and hot tubs, and is a great escape area. Found it to be very relaxing and we spent alot of time in this area. This perk alone was worth alot to me as many areas of the boat are busy. Aurea also gets access to some areas in the spa. I checked them out but didn't end up using them. Preferred top 19. Another good perk was being able to eat at anytime in the dining room. A 3 year old makes this a great perk. Now the food is a big problem. My wife is celiac (no gluten) and MSC over sells this point as being very capable. My wife struggled to find options and only real safe area was the dining room. Most of the food staff has no idea what celiac is and its unacceptable. You shouldn't lose weight on a cruise and be very limited to what you can eat. The staff also would get frustrated with my wife because she would ask alot of questions to make sure she didn't get sick. Again she has a health issue and people getting mad at her is not good. I did make MSC aware ahead of time and we found a few staff that were very helpful but most need training and MSC should remove their section about celiac approved until they really have it together in most eating areas. Room was good and staff kept it clean and tidy for us. Didn't feel like we needed anything larger and the balcony was a good size. One area I liked is the European flair. Boat had many cultures on board which I prefer. Get to talk to alot of people who look at things in different ways which is fun. Ye sometimes it was frustrating what others would do but who's to say my way is the right way! The MSC Ocean Cay island is beautiful. It was a tropical paradise and one of the prettiest places I have ever been. In summary my family had a good time and if you dont have a food allergy I think most would like. We won't go on another MSC cruise until they figure out the food allergy issue. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I really wanted to love this ship. The pictures of it are lovely and it is a beautiful, modern, new ship. That is where the positive things about this ship end. The layout of it is just horrible. The food is the same thing every day on ... Read More
I really wanted to love this ship. The pictures of it are lovely and it is a beautiful, modern, new ship. That is where the positive things about this ship end. The layout of it is just horrible. The food is the same thing every day on the buffet. The food in the dining room was hit or miss but our waiter Stewart and his assistant Danilo were awesome and they are the reason we went to the dining room for dinner every night except for one. The ports of call were ok but getting there at 5:00 pm is pointless. The room was a joke to say the least. It was called a suite but far from it. For the money I paid to go on the Seaside I paid the exact same on the Allure of the seas and got a real suite with a real bathroom, plenty of storage, a suite lounge, and a concierge. To say nothing of not ever seeing the cabin attendant much less knowing his name. I did find a shirt from the previous guest under the bed the night before we left which makes me wonder how wonder how well it was cleaned in the first place. At night you could hear things banging around and lots of excess noise especially considering how new the ship is. The Auera bar was hardly ever open and of course no one tells you that you can only order drinks from a menu. Getting off of the ship was a huge disaster taking over an hour to walk off of the boat with your luggage. I have never been on a ship that was so unorganized and mismanaged in all of my life, and I take a cruise every 6 months. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
MSC Seaside was the worst cruise ship we have ever taken. This is our 9th cruise and first (and only) with MSC. The food was fair at best. We stopped going to the formal dining room after the third night because the food was so poor. The ... Read More
MSC Seaside was the worst cruise ship we have ever taken. This is our 9th cruise and first (and only) with MSC. The food was fair at best. We stopped going to the formal dining room after the third night because the food was so poor. The buffet was a better option. The room often had strong sewer smells especially when we were at port. Some crew members were unhappy and short with cruisers. They pushed eating in the special dining rooms $$ (we were approached at least ten times a day times 7 days). They advertise bowling, ziplines, water slides, and 5D cinema. Those all came at a high high cost. You basically get a room, fair food, and dinner show (if you reserve it). The ship cancelled our excursion because not enough people signed up for it and refused to give us a full refund. Best to go with a different cruise line!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
It was our fisrt cruise and joyed it a lot. The service from the dinning room from Sandipan and Olvin was friendly and excelent. We had room service from a Madagascar women name Sofia that was very excellent also. The embarkation was well ... Read More
It was our fisrt cruise and joyed it a lot. The service from the dinning room from Sandipan and Olvin was friendly and excelent. We had room service from a Madagascar women name Sofia that was very excellent also. The embarkation was well done and for disembarkation we would had took express walk out because we were departing early in the morning for our flight since the luguage was only bring out from the boat to the warf . So we could had brouth them with us and it would had not make a big difference. Lots of activities and entertainements we love the show's at the theater. Our room was in the font of the boat but our package service and activities on the deck and buffet was all on the back of the ship.Made us made a lot of walking for getting anythings from the room. Was a big inconvenient for our friends into the next door room that had hips problem. The map for the ports and shore giving to us should had mark for sceanery site and visiting monument or old structure like fortification or so and not only expensive store. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We are experienced cruisers who have traveled many times to other continents, and the cruise on the Seaside was our third and fourth MSC cruise. This review is about two separately booked back to back cruises, but not much changed between ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers who have traveled many times to other continents, and the cruise on the Seaside was our third and fourth MSC cruise. This review is about two separately booked back to back cruises, but not much changed between the two weeks except the passenger composition and itinerary. We really like the Divina (a ten-day cruise in the Eastern Caribbean) and found the Grandiosa in Europe to be similar to the Seaside in many respects. Right up front, I’ll repeat another reviewer’s accurate observation: the ship is a good value for Yacht Club passengers and for bargain cruisers who purchase the cheapest inside cabin and do bare-bones travel. The experience can get pricey for everyone in between and for those with higher expectations. Embarkation Because we have Diamond status, the embarkation was very easy and fast as we had priority. The rep gave us cards with the wrong photos, so we had to stand in a long line later at Customer Service to fix this error. Disregard the time MSC tells you to board. In reality, you can come around 10:30 or 11:00 and no one checks or asks. We were told to come at 3PM but showed up at 11:00. Those who follow these silly instructions will feel cheated out of several hours of their cruise. MSC is just attempting to control the flow of passengers. We were on the ship around 11:30. You can go up to the buffet at noon and enjoy a lunch before you explore the ship. Passengers were allowed into the cabins at 2:00. Our luggage arrived right after the muster drill which took place in the Haven Lounge. The drill takes three times as long as it should because passengers don’t listen to the announcements. Maybe people tune them out because there are so many? Be sure to insist someone scans your card at the drill. We met a couple who attended, but the staff went AWOL, and they were made to return the next morning for another drill. The Public Areas The ship is absolutely beautiful, and most public areas are very nicely designed. Lounges that featured entertainment were too small (Haven Lounge, Seaside Lounge, and Piazza lounge) and too few for this large capacity ship. Most ships with a 2,000 capacity have this many and size lounges. No forward lounge as this area is taken up with the Yacht Club. The pools were jammed packed like people soup. The chair hogs were out in full force at about 6:30 each morning. We don’t lay out, so this didn’t bother us- just an observation. The buffets were never horribly crowded because many ate at the pool areas. Another reviewer mentioned that a lot of the ship’s property in the public areas on Decks 5 to 8 are dedicated to sales of merchandise. Display cabinets take up space in the middle and could be used to expand the lounges and other public areas. The EFFY store managers make frequent announcements and interrupt the entertainment at the Piazza Grande Lounge. Dining The selections in the MDR were generally uninspiring, and the entrees were bland. I am surprised that their Italian food is so ordinary. I ate in the Grandiosa’s specialty restaurant (which was excellent- none on the Seaside) and have dined in many fine Italian restaurants. I don’t have a drop of Italian blood in me, but can make much better than on the Seaside! The lasagna was like frozen Stouffers’ lasagna. I had to salt and pepper everything. On the first week, we were seated at a two-top. The people next to us never showed up until the last evening (they were delightful.) We asked to be seated at an English-speaking table for our second week and enjoyed very nice people at our table. Both waiters were very efficient and personable. A bottle of water is randomly put at the table for the entire table- sometimes not. All the staff in the MDRs seemed very good. We ate at the Butcher’s Cut and Ocean Cay. The Butcher’s Cut dinner was excellent, as was the service. Ocean Cay was quite a letdown, and it seems my opinion is the general consensus as there was only one other couple for the two hours we were there. The fish was very bland, and the crab cake was ordinary. We heard this opinion of Ocean Cay echoed by others who ate there (I wish I had heard this previous to going there.) The cheesecake was very good, as was the service. The restaurant itself is delightfully decorated, but the menu needs attention. Most desserts were ordinary, but the Italian Cream Cake offered for special occasions is outstanding. Also, the special back to back luncheon was excellent. They had a special dessert buffet each Thursday where very pretty cakes were offered, but they were usually just white cake with different decorations and not many flavor variations. At least they were pretty! The two buffet areas have plenty of seats as long as the weather is nice so you can use the outside areas. The pizza, like everyone says, is good as are the burgers. I appreciated that there was a selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, but the cooked food was uninspiring. I had to keep searching for something appealing. You won’t go hungry, but they need to improve the variety of appealing foods. The staff in the buffet generally did their jobs, but only a few made attempts to smile. I had a sense they were quite unhappy. This is in marked contrast to the usually pleasant demeanor on other cruise lines. There are premade omelets available at the morning buffets but no specialized ones. The breakfast selections are typical and were just fine. The Market place buffet on Deck 8 is the larger one and opened more hours. The buffet on Deck 16 has limited hours and a lesser selection. It was disappointing that the Seaside had no alternative small complimentary café as some of their other ships and cruise lines do. Cabin We had a rather large inside cabin, which was nice, but like others have said, the storage is minimal, and the bathrooms are very tight. I’m just 5’1” and pretty small, and I can only imagine the struggles a large person would have! The beds and pillows were comfortable. There were no cups in the bathroom, so we took some from the buffet. There were glass ones on the desk, but we didn’t want glass in the restroom. The TV was in an odd location- to the right of the head of the bed, so we couldn’t watch TV head-on. Not a big deal since the TV selection is so minimal. Our attendant took good care of the room and was pleasant and efficient. Cruise Critic Party I was so impressed with the CC Meet and Mingle on the Divina in 2019, but the Seaside’s was a bit of a step-down. The beautiful cake was such a nice feature on the Divina but was not on the Seaside. I heard it was because of increased sanitation due to the coronavirus. We did receive a group photo in our cabin for both meetups. We met many nice people, and the captain was very kind and pleasant as were his staff. Entertainment The theater performances are really a step above most other cruise lines, and MSC is to be complimented for this. No single entertainers are featured, and the same performers are seen frequently throughout the seven days. The highlight was the Michael Jackson Show called Starwalker. The impersonator was spectacular, as were the high energy dancers. That is one of the best ever, and I’m not a big MJ fan… The other shows had themes and were also well done. I saw each show two times because of being on both weeks, but there is so much going on that the repeat didn’t bother me a bit. The sets and costumes are exceptional, and I appreciated that most of the female dancers’ outfits were rather modest. Also, different talent is sprinkled through the thirty to forty-minute shows. A very talented roller-skating couple was my favorite. Several “Cirque de Sol” types of acts were far superior because they were just a few minutes each rather than a whole show of strong men, jugglers, gymnasts. Etc. I loved the huge T- Rex in Peter Punk. The male vocalists were exceptional. Butterflies, a shortened version of Madame Butterfly was featured in the afternoon. It was well done, and if you have never seen an opera, this is a nice introduction. There was an improv group that did a family and adult show. We didn’t particularly enjoy them and didn’t return for other performances. The lounge entertainment was a weak area on the Seaside, and our review is mixed. We enjoy dancing, but the groups except for the Duo Remedy didn’t have a diverse repertoire. No foxtrot or slow waltzes, etc. Duo Remedy was the only group who attempted to interact with the audience and try to access what was popular with the dancers. They even learned a fast waltz for one couple. • Two different guitarists who didn’t seem to attract much of a crowd. • Latin Fusion and Fusion Groove who were just fine for those who like Latin music but didn’t have much of a repertoire beyond that. They generally played in the largest lounge, the Haven. • Jazz n More played in the Seaview Lounge. They were good, but the lounge isn’t large enough, and the bar attracts lots of people who just want to drink and chat- nothing wrong with that, but the seating is very limited for those who want to listen or dance. One lady who wanted to listen complained to people who dared to have a conversation. Yikes. It got tense there. • A piano player didn’t attract much of our time. The entertainment staff was fine, but their dance instruction wasn’t very skilled. Teaching the Argentine Tango in twenty minutes with no partnering is worthless and having a woman start with the left foot is confusing. Typically, a woman begins to dance with her right foot backward in step one, and the man begins to dance with his left foot forward. Other cruise lines do this so much better. They were great at game shows and trivia, although they use many of the same questions in trivia from one week to the next. Maybe a little time doing research should be part of their job? MSC gave out much better prizes than most cruise lines. Kudos here! As dancers, we had an issue with little children on the dance floor by themselves while the parents sat at the table, taking photos of their sweeties. That was an effective way to clear the floor of adult dancers! After witnessing a running around two-year-old on the Grandiosa who caused a dancer to stumble over and injure a child, I’m not a fan of kids on the dancefloor by themselves. I think it is great when an adult holds hands with the child of any age and tries to dance with them, but letting your darling run back and forth is obnoxious. I was impressed when a young father reprimanded his mother for chasing her grandson all over the dance floor. “You’re just getting him all stirred up, and this isn’t the place, Mom!” Right on, Dad/Son! As is usual, the musicians and staff are put in a delicate situation, not wanting to enforce common sense and courtesy. I was impressed when a dance instructor called for the parents who were no where near their two-year-old to come and get her because she was a safety issue. This was on the Grandiosa, not the Seaside. Crew The staff is all hardworking and generally pleasant and efficient but seem overworked and a bit unhappy at times. I’ve only encountered one sour and incompetent crew member on all the cruises I have ever taken, but this crew seemed a little down. Perhaps many are worried about their families back home in Asia or the downturn in the travel industry and are worried about their jobs. Many of those returning get temporary jobs in the hospitality industry. They must be quite concerned about their futures. The one sour area were the females at customer service. My past two MSC cruises had outstanding staff at the CS desk, and one nice one on the Grandiosa even sent us special gifts (bags and caps) because we were so pleasant with them! These CS ladies on the Seaside were probably imported statues from Easter Island. Cold, rather rude, and curt making the passenger feel rather stupid (I overheard some conversations.) I asked questions of the two men at CS, and they were very pleasant and efficient. What is it with the women at the desk? Fellow Passengers MSC is a cruise line that attracts many non-English speaking passengers. Many Americans assume they are from Europe, which is generally not accurate in the Caribbean. The French speakers tend to be Canadians, and the Spanish and Portuguese speakers are generally from the USA or Central or Southern America. Many are in large family and friend groups. The Italians and Germans tend to be Europeans. You will see many more children on MSC cruises and lots of big strollers. Any week that coincides with a school holiday (even the one day off for Presidents’ Day in the USA) results in an explosion of school-age children (elementary and teens.) I asked a few families, and they generally said their child had Monday off, so they felt their kids could miss the other four days since they were such “good students.” So, they aren’t really on vacation, and they aren’t homeschoolers, but are missing school. This results in significant overcrowding because the cabins now have about four people instead of two. Your total passenger count will be much higher than typical, and concerns like no loungers on the pool decks, capacity in the theatre at each performance, etc. gets to be an issue. I enjoy being in different countries, but the announcements in five languages started to grate on my nerves. At one show, the CD asked for a show of hands as to how many passengers needed the five languages. Only one Portuguese hand went up. All that time, giving the announcements in Portuguese for one person? The back to back meeting was the worst as they gave all the directions that were written on a PowerPoint in the five languages orally. Then, we discovered, the information pretty much didn’t apply to us. Forty minutes lost. That meeting could have just been eliminated with a piece of paper given to the B2B passengers. BTW- why are so many people who need instructions in their own languages wearing shirts with English wording? Just a thought… ther features of the ship: The library had no books, and there are no games available. There was a sign in the cases that the contents had been removed for increased efforts in sanitation. We brought our own, so this wasn’t a problem. All the other amusement and entertainment areas cost extra: bowling, zip lines, pool table, F1 Race, etc. The gym was well equipped and very clean. Like most ships, it is busy in the morning. Ocean Cay Island We were fortunate on the first week to enjoy a full, sunny day at Ocean Cay. MSC has around a 60% chance of docking there because of winds and weather. There are many lovely beach areas, and the entire island is very walkable. It will be really lovely when the trees are mature. The area to the left has chairs and cushions only- no loungers. The few umbrellas there are free, but the rest of the island beaches charge $15 for one. There are plenty of chairs and loungers all over. The tram’s schedule is random and changes paths occasionally. Their pick up areas are not well marked. The buffet was really very good, and we arrived within the first hour of opening. After that, the lines were very long. Not many places to sit in the shade. Most passengers come on board around 5PM for dinner, and a few venture out after dusk for the parade and light show. The facilities, including the restrooms, are closed, so be aware of that! The lighthouse show is a really nice multi-media display that can be seen from many areas of the ship. On the second week, our time was cut short on the island. We were allowed island access at 9 AM and had to leave by 2:30. Good thing, since it started to rain, and the rest of the evening was rainy. The weather was very nice while we were on Ocean Cay and we had a lovely day. This time, we went back to the ship for the buffet to allow the new passengers to have two fewer folks in line. The rain continued into disembarkation in Miami the next morning. Lots of ship movement and pitching during the night. It must have been quite a storm out there! Communication The Daily Planner is delivered each night and provides good information. In addition, you can make dinner and theater reservations on the TV in the cabin or the many electronic boards all around the ship. Be sure to reserve your favorite seating time for the shows. They allow those without reservations in five minutes before the show. Usually, the early show can be accessed without a reservation. They scan your card before you enter. Some people found the MSC app difficult to access. We didn’t even try as we don’t seem to need that as it is just the two of us. We don’t get internet access because we use the internet at the port on our smartphones. Health and Sanitation The ship itself was kept very clean, and the first week seemed like the other passengers were quite healthy. That changed with the second week, probably because of the increase in school-aged children onboard. The ship made daily reminders about handwashing, but it was futile with the worst offenders who sneeze and cough into the air and avoid any attempts to wash their hands by the buffet wash stations or even use the hand sanitizers. The number of sick people became perceivably higher as the second week progressed. I just read a post on the Seaside Facebook group where a woman alerted others that her husband was just diagnosed with the flu and she suspects she now has it. She is convinced he got it from the cruise ship as his symptoms started on their return flight on Saturday. I don’t know how much more a ship can do to encourage better hygiene from their passengers and crew. I did note one crew member eating from her plate while standing in the buffet line (many crew are allowed to eat in the buffet on port lunch days.) Yuck. I confronted her directly about it. Heaven help the Caribbean countries if a cruise ship passenger sets off the coronavirus while visiting the islands. Excursions We didn’t take any excursions as we had been to most of the ports before. To be honest, I love the warm weather and sun but don’t find the Caribbean Islands all that interesting beyond the climate and natural beauty. We had just finished a very rigorous month in the Eastern Mediterranean in December and weren’t interested in lots of adventure. So, our travel goals to enjoy the sunny climate were achieved. Disembarkation Lucky us because we had a late flight and were allowed to stay in our cabin until 9:30 (Diamond Perk). Most passengers are told to vacate the cabin at 8AM. We just hung around the public areas of the ship until about 10:20 and then disembarked. There was still a bit of wait for immigration and customs. We grabbed an UBER to FLL and had a smooth and uneventful experience. Conclusion As I write the review, several countries are experiencing a real problem with the coronavirus. My current thinking is that even scientists don’t really understand the details, and it appears the incubation period is now longer than 14 days. With all of this instability, we are taking a break from all travel for a while until things settle down, and we know more. Observing my fellow passengers’ poor hygiene made me worry about how not serious some people are in doing the very basics. I’m a diligent hand washer who also follows other protocols, like not touching buttons with my fingertips, not eating finger foods, etc. I also have come to the conclusion that the Caribbean is not my favorite area to visit, so perhaps when we resume travel, we need to go to a part of the world where it is warmer in the winter. I also need to be more diligent in avoiding the times when lots of kids travel. I forgot about Presidents’ Day, but many parents have no hesitation in taking their kids out of school for a week-long vacation. Christmas, spring break and summer are no longer the only time you will find lots of kids, esp since so many internationals have very different school and holiday breaks. I need to select cruises longer than seven or eight days. The Seaside experience was also one of my least favorite cruise ships for many of the reasons stated above. It’s time for me to re-examine other cruise lines. MSC cruises are very inexpensive, but the experience was not that enjoyable compared to my other cruises, so paying more is worth it in the long run. I enjoy all sorts of tea flavors, some more than others, but MSC Seaside is one I would leave in the box from now on. Maybe you would love the MSC Seaside, but it just wasn’t our cup of tea. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
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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