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Sail Date: May 2019
We chose MSC Seaside Yacht Club (again) based on a pretty good experience last year - and a limited number of other luxury ship-within-a-ship opportunities - we looked at NCL Haven and Celebrity suite class. Based on availability and ... Read More
We chose MSC Seaside Yacht Club (again) based on a pretty good experience last year - and a limited number of other luxury ship-within-a-ship opportunities - we looked at NCL Haven and Celebrity suite class. Based on availability and price MSC won out. We selected and recommend a starboard-side room – the balcony is in the shade for almost the entire trip and it makes room service breakfast a wonderful experience (a real table on the balcony would help - there's only footrest). Our experience last year (https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=624033) wasn't perfect but it was pretty good - and with experience we felt we would enjoy YC even more, The really good news is service in the YC area is still exemplary - at the pool, on the sundeck, in the lounge and restaurant everyone is friendly, efficient and effective. We can't say enough good things. And the food in the YC restaurant is better than last year – always ask the server, they’ll know what’s good that night. We also thoroughly enjoyed our excursions booked through MSC: Jamaica - we did the Dunn's River Falls/Mystic Mountain Bob Sled combination. Not our first time to Dunn's River - but always quite an adventure climbing the falls. The Mystic Mountain Bobsled run was also a blast (don't use the brake - just push forward for a fast and smooth ride), and the sky-ride (chair lift) up the mountain gave some fantastic views (pic). Grand Cayman - Atlantis submarine (pic) - about an hour submerged going around the reef off Grand Cayman, down to 115 feet deep - lots of fish to see, even a turtle - quite a good time. Cozumel - MSC charters a ferry to take excursions to Playa Del Carmen - about 575 passengers so there's a bit of a wait for loading and unloading. We did the Chaak Tun cave (pic) "snorkeling" - snorkeling is in quotes because you don't need a mask or snorkel as you're in a life vest the entire time in the caves, and the water is so clear you don't need the mask. This is an absolutely wonderful experience and if you're up to it (there's a little climbing, and stooping low under rocks) we highly recommend it. There's about 90 minutes after the swim to shop or eat in Playa Del Carmen before you have to board the ferry - no way to go back early. Now the less than fantastic experiences - YC guests are supposed to have priority embarkation/debarkation. The YC butlers will escort you to the brow to checkout - here's where the problems have started - for some reason the polite security staff from our last trip are all gone - and their replacements didn't get etiquette lessons. While escorting a group of YC passengers to the brow one of the assistants shouted "I am in control here" and stopped the butler (we didn't see any reason - any reason to stop the group). The "priority" embarkation was being escorted to the same line everyone else waited in. And in all our interactions with security at the checkpoints, only once was there a polite greeting. Not at all like our experience last year. - YC Guests are supposed to have a priority system for the forward elevators. They system is still there, but it is not working. We discussed this with the YC Director, he seemed quite surprised, which seems strange since all the butlers knew the system did not work. - The spa. My wife went in to have a nail color change, waited for 2 ½ hours drying time - and the polish ran off in the shower! So she went back and got it fixed, waited over three hours, and it ran right off again. Don't know what they were using, but we contacted the spa manager and he personally scheduled an appointment for 7 pm to get it fixed again - and around 735 we got into the nail salon - but at least this time a sloppy French color job held when washed. For this, the elevator issue, and the security incidents, we were comp'ed a couples massage by the YC Director - scheduled with the spa - when we showed up the couples room was in use - "can you wait?" - we took separate massages. - Last year our Butler was simply fantastic - certainly one of the reasons we did enjoy YC - and in fact he was on-board again, but promoted to assistant chief butler, and the newly promoted butler assigned to our room just wasn't up to his standards - she's very nice, personable, but not up to our expectations, failing to re-stock the room/mini-bar on several occasions (until we discussed it with the YC Director), plus some other misses on services we had requested. - Service outside of YC on the ship was not up to the standards we experienced last year. Sat down at a couple of the lounges, waited 10 minutes - there were servers but they were apparently overworked. - We had dinner reservations at Butcher's Cut (premium dining) - we sat down, ordered, then left once we looked around as there was crumbs and other food residue on the table at the edges of the placemats, and enough dirt, food and dust on the window sill next to us to write "MSC" in the dirt and read it clearly (pic). If we were to speculate on the problems we saw this year - last year the Seaside was brand new – and perhaps MSC had all their best middle-managers onboard to give the ship a good start – but this year those managers are gone – and the current group is not paying as close attention to the details. We did have a discussion with the YC Director about our concerns, and he acknowledged problems and indicated they were getting a new chef in the YC restaurant, and updating their embarkation/debarkation polices to better serve YC guests – but improvements in the future don’t help current guests. We still recommend MSC YC and the Seaside – but with caveats - it's not as good as it could be. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Embarkation was easy, you don't have to wait till your scheduled time to board the ship. It's easy linking a CC to your account via the little kiosks around guest relations. Service in the main dining room was good, not Royal ... Read More
Embarkation was easy, you don't have to wait till your scheduled time to board the ship. It's easy linking a CC to your account via the little kiosks around guest relations. Service in the main dining room was good, not Royal Caribbean good but decent at least. That's about all the good I can say about this cruise line. The ship has no ATM on it, guest relations is absolutely worthless, food quality in the main dining room is absolutely awful as this may be the first cruise I've ever been on that I actually lost weight. The steaks are disgusting and full of fat. The elevators are always jammed packed. The level of rudeness of passengers is beyond ridiculous as well (not on MSC for this) but just saying the majority of passengers are not the typical American guests. The cabin was always clean, however if your not in a yacht club room get ready to not be able to sit on the toilet as your leg will go right into the cabinet below the sink. There was way too many bad things to write them all here, just take my warning of not booking this cruise unless it is $100 for 7 days I'll never sail with MSC again Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
New ship, great price point, included a drink package I've cruised Carnival, RCI, Princess - MSC Seaside was the worst for me. 100% horrible. I'm a travel agent. I took 125 people on MSC Seaside May 18, 2019. During our ... Read More
New ship, great price point, included a drink package I've cruised Carnival, RCI, Princess - MSC Seaside was the worst for me. 100% horrible. I'm a travel agent. I took 125 people on MSC Seaside May 18, 2019. During our group photo's they refused to take pictures. they said we had to book an appt and pay $100.00 up front. So they make you pay, but what if you didn't like the picture?? The MANAGER was soo incredibly rude, kicked my family off the staircase, because we didn't book an appt. We lost our precious opportunity which was soo hard to get. MSC does not care about family or family values. How does someone see a family group and kick them off? Where was his kindness or his ability to take pleasure in seeing a family so together taking their pictures. So nasty. I will never return to MSC or will I ever try and sell MSC. The photographers didn't care what the pictures looked like. They were annoyed and snapped without looking to see if the picture even came out nicely. I couldn't even buy any of my family photos!! Will NEVER sail MSC... EVER!! 125 people - yes it's a lot, but we were just as entitled as anyone else. We paid our money just like everyone else. After the club, we had no where to eat. There was about 20 of us and everyone is given a curfew - while on vacation??? You're treated like children. I've never been on a ship where it didn't provide food especially after the club!! 1am at the Marketplace where they had pizza / sandwiches, tea / coffee - with a many people still sitting and enjoying their vacation time even with each other - and everyone was kicked out!! HORRIBLE!! They said there was room service but they only provided sandwiches. At formal dining, you order a steak and their side order was french fries?? Don't mention the roasted chicken which look like a beaten peice of chicken breast serviced with fries during formal dinner - I could've gotten that at IKEA! Who does that at main dining?? Ridiculous food and presentation. The food was horrible, I order 2 meals each time in case one tasted worst than the other - horrible experience for food. Cruise lines are known for good food - not MSC. disappointing! On board shops - hard to find! Horrible layout of the ship. Very choppy. Great sportsbar! Only staffed by 2 people when it was packed during a playoff basketball game. Beautiful cabins - would be better if our washroom was thoroughly cleaned. Shower was disgusting with black mold!! Great price point. Included a drink pkg - unfortunately you pay for what you get. Not enough staff. Public bathrooms - disgusting! Floor covered in water. Family member slipped so bad and damaged her knee - NO she did not go after them for money, but was incredibly disappointed in ability to keep the ship clean. Event Coordinator Francesca was excellent. She assisted with a group space and was so kind to assist with whatever we needed. When I had the issue with the Photography manager, she tried to help but the damage was already done. Could you possibly imagine how hard it was to coordinate everyone for pictures, when its already hard to find them on a cruise?? Deck party - at the end, they just stopped the music. You didn't even know the party was over. They didn't even thank everyone for coming out or encouraging them to go to the club. They said nothing and started taking down the decorations. Embarkation - they don't take your CC upfront, then you need to do an extra step to go to a machine to add your CC to your account. Disembarkation is a hot mess, not enough staff, no signs. As a cruiser - thank goodness this was NOT my first cruise. I could've walked away not liking cruises because of them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Cruised on the MSC Seaside and it was the worst cruise I've been on (and I've travelled on Disney, Costa, Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Holland America). The seaside is a nice ship and the pool on the back of ... Read More
Cruised on the MSC Seaside and it was the worst cruise I've been on (and I've travelled on Disney, Costa, Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Holland America). The seaside is a nice ship and the pool on the back of the ship was very nice, but that where it ends. Worst food ever tasted on a cruise. Nobody eats all their plate in the dinning room because food is too bad... but the alternative of the buffet is so poor that you have nowhere else to go. The pastas are horrible (plain watery sauce red or white...). The buffet has always the same menu (except a few exceptions). Everything is way overcooked. Shows are bad. dancers are good but the shows are so eclectic and the costume and choreographies are very basic which makes a 40 min show difficult to watch completely. Customer service is bad. They are patronizing and dont seem to be even a little interested to help you. Not worth the price (even if not expensive, even with a beverage package). I'll never cruise with MSC again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Please do not waste your money, you will be very disappointed. The cruise ship itself is beautiful, but they are constantly charging extra for even the smallest things (Zipline, Gelato ice cream, a decent meal, etc) Our balcony cabin was ... Read More
Please do not waste your money, you will be very disappointed. The cruise ship itself is beautiful, but they are constantly charging extra for even the smallest things (Zipline, Gelato ice cream, a decent meal, etc) Our balcony cabin was very small and we had no hot water in the tiny shower. Asked for it to be fixed, it never was. Housekeeping was terrible. We were having to ask every day for fresh towels, and they do not provide bar soap.. only a terrible body wash. At the bar we waitied sometimes 45 min to get a drink. They are very under Staffed. The buffet food was disgusting, and they had no variety. If you wanted a decent mal you had to pay a fortune to go to the speciality restaraunts, and even if you bought the "dining Experience" package, you were left with 2-3 choices, and no opportunity to upgrade the meal unless you wanted to fork over another couple hundred dollars. Poolside on the 7th floor they refused to play any fun music they played elevator music, when I asked for more festive music and to turn up the volume a lttle, I was ignored. I left the ship in tears after saving for this "luxury Cruise" you are better off to book Carnival! The food is better and the ships are well staffed. I had planned on booking the MSC to Italy next year for my husbands birthday, but I now will NEVER Cruise with MSC again. Horrible experience Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Went with 30+ neighbors. Everyone was saying they should have had 500 less people and 500 more staff positions. First day was a nightmare. Door key wouldn't work; was told to go to guest services. Since it was day one and crowded ... Read More
Went with 30+ neighbors. Everyone was saying they should have had 500 less people and 500 more staff positions. First day was a nightmare. Door key wouldn't work; was told to go to guest services. Since it was day one and crowded we waited in line at least 30-40 minutes. It was a little before 2:00 p.m. so was told it should work now. Went back up and it didn't work. Asked room steward to let us in but he said we would have to go to guest services. Another trip and waiting in LONG line and they gave us new keys. Back up 9 floors and long walk to room (still carrying luggage we came on board with) - new key didn't work. Another ten minutes to get to deck five (elevators took 2 times to get onto due to crowd). Waited in line another half hour. Was told this time to go to room and they would have someone meet us there. Waited at our room for almost an hour. I even pretended to have had an issue and laid in the middle of the hallway hoping to have someone come to us instead of us going to them. After 20 minutes I realized cameras were of no value (except in Casino - lol). FOURTH time went down to guest services, waited in line a half hour and was told I probably had the wrong room or wasn't using key correctly - REALLY??? TRYING HARD to keep my patience (wasted 3-4 hours by now), so this time someone came up with us. Of COURSE he couldn't get into room and then determined it was the card reader and SOMEONE WOULD COME TO OUR ROOM AND FIX IT IN TEN MINUTES (we at least were FINALLY left into our room at this point). We waited two hours - phone didn't have any extensions to call and I think I hit about every extension possible to no avail). By the way, we were told the room steward had the afternoon off after getting our rooms ready (we found a housekeeper on another floor before we got left into our room and that is what she told us - after she came and tried our keys to no avail too). So finally our room steward returned and called for help on his phone. Someone came and HONEST TO GOD - SAID HE WOULD RETURN SHORTLY - I EVEN SAID HOW MANY MINUTES AND HE SAID GIVE ME 10-15. Well, NO ONE FREAKINIG RETURNED. We missed dinner and we were furious. Since we were there with 30+ neighbors they told us to let them know as they should at least offer us a specialty dinner or one day refund. After very nicely explaining what happened at guest services they let us talk to someone else and told us to stop down later or tomorrow and they would let me know what they would do. Stopped down the next day and nothing was done. The guy could see from the screen that we had issues and went back into a room and told us they would send something to our room. And guess what they sent for eight hours of NOTHING but aggravation - a simple bottle of champagne. Other than that, food was nothing like other cruise lines and elevators were atrocious - so crowded that most times it was impossible to get on first time. Buffet was a zoo - you couldn't even walk around to get your food. The ship was beautiful though. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We originally booked this cruise on black friday, as MSC was giving away the drinks on us promo, and a good price on a balcony room. I had done a bunch of research, watched a ton of youtube vids, and read a bunch of reviews. I have to ... Read More
We originally booked this cruise on black friday, as MSC was giving away the drinks on us promo, and a good price on a balcony room. I had done a bunch of research, watched a ton of youtube vids, and read a bunch of reviews. I have to say this helped out a lot, and prepared us for the week for the most part. Embarkation wasn't too bad..probably an hour from arriving to actual embarkation (we were there 2 hours before our assigned boarding time). The ship is absolutely stunning! From the infinity bridge and bridge of sighs, to the atrium and staircases, it's really a beautiful ship! We only ate in the main dining room (Ipanema) 3 of the 7 nights. The food was ok, but our server I think misunderstood us (and our table mates) on a couple of occasions. The food was hit and miss, with the breads, pastas, and seafood all pretty great. The prime rib was also very good, but the steak we ordered one night was a little too fatty for our taste. We did the Teppanyaki specialty restaurant the first night, since we sailed at 5pm, and our MDR time was 5:15. This way we could watch the sail away. I highly recommend the Teppanyaki!!! It was so good, we actually went again friday night with some friends we made the first night. As for the buffets....well, they were buffets. Just be prepared for it to be a total cluster, as everyone cuts in and out of line to get what they want/need. They will always have the standard pizza, hot dogs, burgers, salads, and breads, with occasional other fares. I was really looking forward to the pizza, as I know they make it from scratch...it is good, but was light on the cheese. I still ate it quite a bit, though. We spent most of the time at the Miami beach pool on deck 16. We avoided the South beach pool on deck 7, as all the smokers are there and we don't smoke. I thought the bar tenders were excellent! Only a few times (mostly on sea days) was it crowded and had to wait a while for a drink. The key for me was to tip a couple of the bartenders early on, so they remember you (Ruffy ALWAYS took care of me, called me by name, etc., while Happy, Nigel, and Leo all took care of me) The other key is to BE NICE to them! I know they can get a lot of pushy drinkers coming at them, so calling them out by name, saying hello, and generally being a good guest goes a long way to getting good service, IMHO. We don't have kids, but the kids pool area looked like a lot of fun for the kids that were there. I'm a big kid, so I can't count how many times I tried the waterslides! I also rode the zip line about 3 times, so I could get a good GoPro shot. Make sure when you get there, to sign the waiver for the waterpark and zip line early..especially before sea day when the lines are really long! Another tip: I registered my credit card to my shipboard card right after getting on the ship. There are several kiosks around that will let you so this, although you technically have 48 hours. You can also get a wristband that links to your shipboard account, which is $5. That way, you can tap your wristband to their point of sale tablets. Speaking of tech: The MSC for Me app is pretty good overall! It has an interactive ship map (although didn't always tell me the right floor I was on), and would give you access to your shipboard account summary...really useful to see how much you've spent on board! It would have been nice to have a chat feature build in, but that's why they push the internet packages so much I suppose. Speaking of which: we did NOT have the Wifi package, but we still kept getting regular app notifications on our phones, even though we were in airplane mode and mobile data turned off. To the best of my knowledge, we were not charged for that. We didn't do any of the shows, with the exception of Beer Prov (which I recommend...really funny!!). We heard from others that the shows were really good! I did go to karaoke out on the Miami Beach pool deck a couple of times, which I wish was longer (but that's just me). The white party is a lot of fun too, although we were pretty wiped from back-to-back shore days. So if you are of a certain age and want to go to things like the white party, take a nap! LOL. The entertainment in the atrium and various bars seemed to be the same musicians. I would have liked to see some different musicians play in the atrium, as it always seemed to be acoustic Chris (I wasn't a fan of some of his song renditions at times, but was ok). I heard they used to be mostly opera, so at least this is a little better. Speaking of shore days, the biggest beef I had was the itinerary. I knew what it was going in, and still booked it anyway. San Juan arrives at 5pm, and leaves at 1am, St. Thomas from 7am-7pm (was ok with this), and St. Maarten from 7am-2pm, which is WAY TOO SHORT!! MSC needs to extend this by a couple of hours at least. Nassau was 12-7pm. We walked around San Juan with some friends, and went to a place called Punto de Vista (which I had researched online before going, and highly recommend!). We booked the Panoramic shopping & Magen's bay tour through MSC, which was pretty good. For St. Maarten, we took a taxi to Maho beach. If you go: they have a large taxi stand just off the pier, where they have a a few taxi vans. I believe it was $16/pp, and they give you a colored wristband to show you have a pre-paid ride back to the cruise port (we were the only ship in port that day, BTW). I HIGHLY recommend going to Maho beach to watch the planes land low. Again, not enough time do this and see all the bigger jets land, so you have to leave around 12n to make it back on time. For Nassau, we didn't do any excursions, but just walked around town near the pier. I honestly could have done without Nassau, or would have preferred getting in early enough to try the Atlantis water park. Getting in that late in the day doesn't really make it worth the money IMHO, as it only works out to being a 1/2 day. Overall, my girlfriend and I had a wonderful time on this cruise! It definitely has a European flavor to it, as I heard a lot of German, French, and Italian cruisers around me. Again, be prepared for the buffet free-for-all, especially at the coffee stations in the morning! If you have anything above Bella experience, it might be worth going with room service for coffee, as we did for a couple of the days. Also, do your research on the drink packages before you buy one! We had the drinks on us, which honestly was just fine most of the time. We did pay for some of the frozen drinks at times, but stuck mostly to DOU. If you have the Easy package, again..know what's included and what isn't. Also, they will add the service charge (12.50/pp per day to your bill somewhere around the 4th day, so don't freak out when you see a large charge, they put it on your bill earlier, rather than at the end). Finally one other note: If you are staying towards the front of the ship, and want to go to Miami beach pool or the buffet, go to the midship or aft elevators. Otherwise, you end up a the specialty restaurants, and cannot go through unless you go up to 18 or down to 15 and cut across. Just remember...you are on vacation, so don't let little things (or people) ruin it for you!!! Enjoy yourselves!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
First of all let me start by saying that this was my 14th cruise and I've been on 7 different cruise lines. We choose this cruise strictly based on price. Overall, I guess we got what we paid for. The 'Easy Drink Package' ... Read More
First of all let me start by saying that this was my 14th cruise and I've been on 7 different cruise lines. We choose this cruise strictly based on price. Overall, I guess we got what we paid for. The 'Easy Drink Package' & 3 GB of data were included in our package and we had the 'Fantastica' experience with a balcony. The drink package worked out ok for us as we are wine & rum drinkers. The thing that mystifies me about this package is that you are very limited on the mixed drinks that you can get but you can get various 'virgin' drinks included. While on the ship, I mostly drank mojitos in the afternoon but my package didn't include alcoholic mojitos but I could get a virgin mojito and a shot of rum on the side so I would just pour the run into the drink before I left the bar... that made absolutely no sense to me. (You can do the same with Pina Coladas and several other drinks!) Even the bar staff agreed that it made no sense!! We found the food to be good in both the buffet & the main dining room. The only complaint there was that we felt a bit rushed as we had the 7:15 seating and there was another seating at 9:15. The staff in the Ipanema restaurant were beyond fantastic. Our waiters were fabulous especially Kelvin A. Gurley who was always right there with our wine as soon as we were seated (and returned several times during dinner to refill our glasses). Pande Putra was our server and he was also great.. although he did forget a few minor things over the course of the week but he was so sweat, we forgave him for that. We had the absolute best head waiter (Maitre d') that I have ever had the pleasure to meet and his name was Organ! It's been my experience that you meet the Maitre d' on the first night and don't see him again until the last night. Organ came to our table several times every night to make sure everything was how it should be. I saw him cut the steak for a challenged guest one night... that goes above and beyond in my opinion! I would definitely give the wait staff 5 stars. We didn't try any of the Specialty Restaurants so I can't comment on them. Now let me get to the main issues I had with this cruise. I very much enjoy having my coffee delivered in the mornings and sitting on my balcony for an hour or so enjoying the scenery. I only drink decaf coffee as caffeine upsets my stomach. The first morning when it was delivered.. it was instant coffee!! I hate instant coffee!! I mentioned it to our Head Waiter Organ, and he said it would be fixed and I would definitely get my decaf coffee for the rest of the cruise. He had arranged for someone from Room Service to go to the buffet and get me a pot of decaf coffee every morning. Through no fault of Organs, I never did get my decaf coffee. There was always an excuse! I would have to get dressed every morning and go to the buffet to get my cup of coffee and bring it back to the room. By the time I got back it was always cold because the elevators are so slow! (Plus we were in a Forward cabin & the buffet was Aft.) I was told by Room Service that there wasn't enough requests for decaf to warrant them having it available although every time I went to the buffet, the decaf dispenser was always empty... Go figure!!! Another issue for me was there was no table on the balcony. So when sitting out there enjoying the scenery I had to put my drink on the floor! (Minor issue for some I know but still a pain & definitely an easy fix to make guest more comfortable). Another major issue for us was the nightly entertainment. The shows in the main theatre were great for the first couple of nights but after that it became very repetitive... same acts in different costumes! The Beer Prov (very funny) and the Michael Jackson show were the best. The entertainment in all of the lounges was always Spanish. There was a group of young men entertaining in the Haven Lounge every night that sang in English but they finished around 11 and the lady that replaced them every night only sang in Spanish! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a bit of Salsa.. but not every night!!! Also, I want to mention the smoking issue on this ship. It appears that smoking is allowed everywhere in the outside areas on this ship and of course in the Casino!! Not a nice experience for non smokers. Other cruise lines have designated areas for smokers! Before I finish, I would also like to mention the timing at the Ports of Call. 5pm-1am in San Juan and 7am-2pm in St. Maarten is absolutely ridiculous! Arriving at 5pm in San Juan allows you absolutely no time to explore the island and having to be back on board at 1:30 in St. Maarten is just unacceptable. The next stop after St. Maarten was Nassau where we were docked from 12-7. I would prefer they shave some time off of that port and add it to St. Maarten which is a far nicer place to spend your day!! Now I'm going to touch on Disembarkation Day. We had to be out of our cabin by 8am (which is the norm for most cruise lines). After going to the buffet for breakfast I thought I'd make a quick stop at the Ladies before leaving the ship... WELL... There was a lineup at every ladies room on the several decks I tried. The reason for this was, the stalls had been cleaned in preparation for the new guests getting onboard and then the stalls were locked, leaving only one stall in every ladies room on multiple decks!! This gave me the feeling of.. 'We have your money so now you're not important to us.. get off the ship!!' I listened to many disgruntled guests in the lineups that morning!! Once off the ship, don't even think about stopping on the gangway or just outside the terminal. You will be shouted at by MSC staff to keep moving. I overheard one of the staff telling who I assume to be a new employee.. "Speak with Authority!!".. Really???? Mostly we enjoyed our cruise but the coffee issue and the lack of nightly entertainment would deter us from booking another MSC cruise. These things are an easy fix and I hope MSC makes an effort to fix them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My spouse and I along with 14 other friends and couples went on this Cruise last week. It was my first crusing experience but everyone else in the group has been on several cruises in the past. Ship overall was very clean. First 3 nights ... Read More
My spouse and I along with 14 other friends and couples went on this Cruise last week. It was my first crusing experience but everyone else in the group has been on several cruises in the past. Ship overall was very clean. First 3 nights of formal dining are table was the last to be served. We sat down at table before many other tables that were served before us. There were times when we were just getting our food and other tables were finishing up their dessert. The buffet had just about same food at each sitting the entire cruise. Food definitely needs Improvement. I had my clothes dry cleaned and laundered but did not get them back until a day and a half later than I was told I would receive them. I missed one formal dinner due to lack of communication and services. Each time I go down to customer service I would be greeted by an employee who did not speak clear English and feel that many employees do not know the meaning of many important words in English to adequately help assist you. My internet was turned off and when I spoke to agent at desk she told me that it's totally my responsibility to know that MSC charges based on Gigabytes. I am old school and had no clue what Gigabytes meant. The young lady said that MSC cruise is not responsible for my internet service being interrupted and that I "should educate myself more before using the internet" I stayed calm and did not yell or shout at any employer on cruise ship. Went to purchase picture package and one gentleman working behind desk was rude and not willing to help or assist us. Thankfully, we found the young Asian man who took our photos and he was very kind, patient, and professional. Due to this man's demeanor we bought couple hundred dollars worth of photos instead of walking away after first experience with other worker. The shows are good but very repetitive. The comedy improv show was my favorite while on this cruise. The 4 comedians were very Funny and professional. I give the improv comedians a 5 star rating. Overall, was fun time but lack of communication and food choices really need to be improved. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I was offered a deal for this trip which included alcohol and some beverages. The price was not to bad. With that said, here are the bullet points. I will list the bad first so we can end this on a good note for MSC. I had heard that ... Read More
I was offered a deal for this trip which included alcohol and some beverages. The price was not to bad. With that said, here are the bullet points. I will list the bad first so we can end this on a good note for MSC. I had heard that getting on and off the ship was quite difficult. We didn't have to much trouble except they had two men double booked into our room with my fiancé and I. They didn't take them off but just said not to worry about it. We kept seeing their names of everything we did for about 3 days and then were removed from the list. At most ports they only had one person doing disembarkations even when there were 3 stations. We did see them use 3 people twice and when we left the ship on the last day. The first thing that happened which was not the way to set the mood was that I went to the bar and asked for a glass of prosecco or champagne (our drink package included all beer and wine and bottom shelf cocktails up to $6) and was told quite rudely that it wasn't included in my package. After paying for a glass I went to a different bar and was told the same thing. At dinner they brought the wine list and there was champagne for $6. I asked and the waiter said, of course its included, with a very nice smile. This continued for the next few days with one bartender saying yet and one saying no. At the CC cocktail event I asked to speak to the bar manager. A not so very pleasant individual who said there must be a lack of understanding and communication and walked away. Not sure if he said anything to the staff but I didn't have that problem again. The room was clean and well furnished but with only a chair in the room and two small draws like sock draws there was no place to put our clothes. We had to live out of our luggage for 8 days which we had to put on the chair and the two small nightstands we had to bring around for that purpose. Food, While I wasn't impressed with the food it wasn't terrible. Not what I would expect from a European cruise line, especially the Italian items. The tiramisu was nothing but sponge cake with not lady finger to be found. The chicken parm, I don't even know what to say about that. We left dinner without eating and went to the buffet, on ITALIAN NIGHT, on an Italian cruise line!! I am posting some pictures to show some of these things as well. WE did pay for the upgrade to two dinners. What is called the duo. We chose the steak restaurant and the Asian restaurant. We didn't really see anything on the menu that came in the package but was told that if we want to upgrade we would only pay half of the listed price, remember, on top of what we paid which was about $35 a person per meal. We upgraded to a tomahawk steak for two and two main lobster tails (see picture of tails and menu). these were not Maine lobsters but warm water tails. The steak was cooked almost to perfection but wasn't seasoned to much. Kind of bland. The tails ( we ordered 2) were quite small. When the bill came they had charged us full price for the tails and half price for the steak. They said that only one item would be reduced, of course. The bill was about $159 plus what we paid already and we were about $230. Little steep in my book Entertainment reviews were not very good. Complaining that there was a lot of opera. Not on this cruise. Entertainment wasn't bad. Not a big as other lines I've been on but ok. Its not a very big theatre so not very big shows. Mostly circus type theatre. Acrobatics on the stage with singing. I do not understand why they put a platform in the middle of the pool deck. I see the big H (helicopter) on it so it may have been required by law but to cut your pool deck by more than half was a mistake. It was very hard to find a lounge chair and if you went up to the other levels they allow smoking, including cigar smoking. We had to move quite a few times. The itinerary for the ports was done poorly. We got to Puerto Rico at 5 PM and left at 11:30pm. Not much you can do or see at night. St. Thomas was full day and our best port. St. Marteen was another half day from 11:30-5:30. Nassau was also a half day. Maybe loose a port and stay longer. For the first 4-5 days there are people trying to sell you upgrades to both dinners and drinks. It was a little much after the first day. With all that negativity here are some pluses. Our cabin steward was awesome. Always there and if we had a request he was right on it. The ship was clean and neat, if not laid out to get from one end to the other without changing floors. The food in the buffet was decent, not great, but not bad. At the Cruise Critic cocktail event the captain honestly told us the reason for the cocktails and cake was so we would all write wonderful reviews. I'm glad for his honesty but that's a little much. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
MSC- Money Sucking Cruise When my friends invited me on a 8 night 7 day cruise (this being my first time ever going,) I was highly estatic and filled with excitement at the possibilities of seeing sights and enjoying myself on a ... Read More
MSC- Money Sucking Cruise When my friends invited me on a 8 night 7 day cruise (this being my first time ever going,) I was highly estatic and filled with excitement at the possibilities of seeing sights and enjoying myself on a beautiful ship. First off, some background info is due. I am a military vet and I also have around ten years of experience of clientel, service, sales, and management. From our first step on the boat my party was offered dinning and drinking packages, understandable it being the first day (we all received a basic drinkers package and 3gbs of wifi with our itinerary,) but the sales NEVER STOPPED. When I say never, they were trying to sell us packages on our last day while we were eating dinner! Putting salesmanship behind me, my party was very much looking forward to night swimming and enjoying ourselves when all the kids were in bed. Negative. MSC closes their pools 6pm regardless if the sun is still up. Don't ask me why or how, but if they are lacking night time lifeguards they can sure use those salesmen offering us stupid packages! Which brings me to my next point: if you want to be served at the bar, expect those "free" 14 alcoholic drinks (which are limited basically to gin and coke, mosquitos, and long islands ONLY,) expect them to come in little fake plastic glass cups, be warm and roughly 30 minutes late. Don't like the drink? My friend MSC has your back! Go to another bar and it'll be served completely different and also in a different sized cup. First stop, the wonderful and beautiful streets of Pureto-Rico. We landed roughly around 6:30 and we were due back around 12 am...guess we are drinking again tonight fellas because everything else was closed! The majority of the food? Required reservations ahead of time (if you do find yourselves in the happy lands of heat and music, please order a Mofongo from your boy, thank me later). Our first day at sea in my opinion was a wonderful experience...thats only if you enjoy pools (that close at six mind you!) and sun. The waters were warm and I believe from the ocean since they were salty (I prefer cold water to refresh me when I swim personally,) and we found ourselves multiple times searching for a spot to sit and raise a flag for it was crowded. Beware of the main pool on deck 16! Looks like a giant pool but half of it is ankle deep? What?! When the sun became bothersome I found myself in the wonderful MSC casino..if you are a gambler like me, I hope you enjoy one blackjack table and one table of 3 card poker against dealer...besides that there are slots... enjoy! Oh and no smoking unless you enjoy facing the corner wall!!! Our other stops (St. Thomas, Bahamas, Virgin Isles,) I highly recommend you walk off port and find your own "extersion" we hired a driver for 20 dollars a person and received a 3 hour tour of one of the isles and it was wonderful. In comparison I paid 89 dollars to touch a sting Ray for five minutes then sat on the beach on one of the Bahamas islands...you do the math. Now we get to some juice, put on your reading glasses folks (if you haven't already, sorry for the long review!) because here is where it gets good in the third act. You. Will. Be. Charged. 87 dollars and 50 cents for room service. Even if you don't use them / call them / need them (like my party,) not in the paperwork you say? Say no more! Step on board and welcome to MSC! May I offer you one of our wonderful and expensive food packages while you are enjoying your dinner with your family? Please note, all of the above was told to 3 staff members and one manager who ended our conversation with "If you have any problems call customer service" and literally ran away to hide from me without wishing me a good day or sorry for my troubles (I spoke sival, lucid, and clear where the manager clearly didn't speak English.... properly.) Money Sucking Cruise gets one fat star for the beauty, the music at the nightlife (after 11pm the Disco room behind the arcade that is NEVER used is the place to be (25 dollars for 30 minutes of bowling what?!)) and they also get one star for a wonderful server and waitress who provided 5 star performance at dinner (buffett only had hot dogs and burgers from 11-5pm what?!) before their manager told them to stop socializing with us (which we resented him for) So please don't choose MSC...please don't... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My friends and I wanted to try a new cruise line for my birthday. We decided to try MSC seaside since it had quite good overall reviews. But... The food was terrible. Even the buffet was terrible - and no different from day to day. I ... Read More
My friends and I wanted to try a new cruise line for my birthday. We decided to try MSC seaside since it had quite good overall reviews. But... The food was terrible. Even the buffet was terrible - and no different from day to day. I was surprised for a European company, I sure was expecting better. The food was absolutely tasteless. The entertainement was boring and eclectic. It looked like a low budget entertainement. They wanted to include everyone in the entertainement crew, but it didn’t even fit in the storyline. Plus, during the day, there were minimal to no entertainement at all. The only good part of their entertainement was the « adult comedy show ». Improv-like and funny. Almost no crew members were smiling. And absolutely no customer service what-so-ever. My friend was told to fetch himself all sorts of things and no one offered to help him out. Seriously, I’m never going on a cruise with MSC again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We were on the Seaside with 4 other families. Prior to sailing, their website was difficult to navigate. Embarkation was fast and room was ready before 2pm. Food at the buffets and all specialty restaurants were really good. Specialty ... Read More
We were on the Seaside with 4 other families. Prior to sailing, their website was difficult to navigate. Embarkation was fast and room was ready before 2pm. Food at the buffets and all specialty restaurants were really good. Specialty restaurants have the best service. But the nightly complementary restaurant needs improvement. Food choices were similar to buffet items and kids menu was unappetizing. They also have a lot of staff just standing around while there is only one person that can handle your bar drinks and took our friend 3 times to get the staff over to order our drinks. The Spa staff are super friendly and the thermal spa was a cool experience. Our housekeeping guy Antonio was very attention to details and our rooms are always cleaned to perfection. It was difficult to get service at the bar when it’s busy. They tend to service the men and European guests first. Women do order drinks too you know. So after a couple tries, I decided to just not bother with the bars. The nightly show became repetitive after 2nd night as they were the same performers but staged differently. The same guy goes on doing the same trick every night. My kid was really excited about the LEGO club on the day we board. However, after 2 days of kids club, we realized the staff are fully Spanish and Italian speaking and tailored to the European kids mainly and neglected the English speaking kids. So after 2 days, none of the kids wanted to go back to the kids club anymore. Even during the family activities, the staff were playing games in Spanish. Having been on a few different cruise lines, I think MSC does have better food but their customer service needs improvement. I understand they are a European cruise line but if you are sailing from Miami, you are bound to have a lot more English speaking passengers. So it would make sense to have your staff pay some attention to your English speaking passengers. Throughout the trip, I’ve seen a lot of European manager positions staff talking to their European guests. But we’ve never had a manager spoke with us or asking how things are except one manager at the complementary restaurant who was from India. He noticed our daughter wasn’t enjoying her mini burger was it was really dry and brought her something else which was very sweet. In comparison, it was the lower ranking staff that are friendly with any guests from any country. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
After choosing the cruise we were abit worried as the size of it and the amount of passengers. Not the case though. Embarkation was effortless and quick. Ship so clean and felt spacious. Never had to queue for bar, toilets etc. ... Read More
After choosing the cruise we were abit worried as the size of it and the amount of passengers. Not the case though. Embarkation was effortless and quick. Ship so clean and felt spacious. Never had to queue for bar, toilets etc. Never felt crowded in any areas on the ship. The staff were very attentive and always had a smile. Ipanema restaurant food was delicious and staff were great. Big shout out to the entertainment staff who every night entertained and danced with the passengers too. Ports were great I would say the only port which was abit of disappointment was San Juan as we arrived at 5 and left at 1 and it gets dark about 7 so you couldnt see very much. Disembarkation was also quick. Our only issue was our flight was at 5pm so we booked an excursion so we had somewhere with our bags, as there is no where you can leave your baggage. That is something I think would benefit alot of passengers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
My wife and I (mid 30's) had a perfectly nice time on Seaside. The staff was friendly and engaging, although there was occasionally a language difficulty. The cabin had plenty of space for two people, although the bathroom was quite ... Read More
My wife and I (mid 30's) had a perfectly nice time on Seaside. The staff was friendly and engaging, although there was occasionally a language difficulty. The cabin had plenty of space for two people, although the bathroom was quite small. Dining was perfectly fine. Buffet was average but convenient for breakfast/lunch. Dinner in the dining room was quite good, I had one entree the entire week which was not made well. The appetizers/desserts were all high quality. Dinner at Butchers Cut one night was very good. Venchi was outstanding. Didn't have any crowding issues at the pools, yes they were busy, but we found places to sit at the Jungle and deck 16 pools every time we went. Bar service was slow, but I'm guessing it is because most of all of the frozen drinks on the menu which take a while to make. I don't speak Spanish, and I never had a problem being served in order. I would definitely spend more for the Aurea again for a few reasons: Anytime dining (we got a table for 2 each night with zero waiting)...the Aurea sun deck was never busy and had a convenient bar/whirlpools...and the time we spent at the thermal area/spa was excellent. The MSC app was fantastic, we reserved everything we were going to do (except a massage) on the app within the first half hour of boarding. It had full schedules, dinner menu's, etc on your phone/tablet. If you like being near the water, I would definitely suggest this ship. We docked next to a RCL and Disney ship at one port, and you could see being able to be outside on deck 8 (and 7 aft) on Seaside makes a huge difference. Chairs were plentiful for the sun or in the outdoor buffet seating. Excursions were fine. Nothing too exciting, but they were well organized and efficiently run. No issues with figuring out where we should be, should go, or getting to/from the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
This was a MOTHER/DAUGHTER yearly adventure. I chose this cruise because of the ship. I had already cruised with Carnival and RCCL and wanted to explore other options. MSC Seaside is a beautiful ship. She shined from the first step to ... Read More
This was a MOTHER/DAUGHTER yearly adventure. I chose this cruise because of the ship. I had already cruised with Carnival and RCCL and wanted to explore other options. MSC Seaside is a beautiful ship. She shined from the first step to the last. The crew does a wonderful job by wiping all the glass and mirrors throughout the day and night. We did late dining - 7:30 pm in the Seashore, table 314 - Ivan & Jessie did an amazing job. Nightly shows were entertaining - reserve your seat(s) as soon as you get on ship WIFI. If you enjoy the Casino, they had several table / slot options. Bar service was great - Randy & John were attentive. And I can't forget about Venchi - THE CHOCOLATE BAR - it was absolutely delicious and had reasonable prices. Service was excellent throughout the ship. In my opinion, I would sail with MSC again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our 5th cruise but our first MSC. We chose this cruise because it was a new ship and had many activities for our 2 boys (11&13). But did not know that there was an extra cost for zip lining, bowling or arcade room! We had the ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise but our first MSC. We chose this cruise because it was a new ship and had many activities for our 2 boys (11&13). But did not know that there was an extra cost for zip lining, bowling or arcade room! We had the Aurea pkg, which was a higher end pkg that they do not provide any longer so there was a lot of confusion on board. From the moment we stepped onto the ship we encountered small issues but were annoying. Staff was very pushy as we took our first steps on board in regards to specialty dining and drink pkgs! and continued through out the week. Ship was very understaffed, private functions constantly held at the sports bar and we could not enter. sports bar only had 4 draft beer out of a list of 17!!! Some staff were rude, if you spoke Spanish or were European you were treated and served quickly. Ship was very crowded, poor service at bars. My boys were turned away at captains dinner night because they were not in long pants(nice dress shorts and button up dress shirt) we later found out people were at dinner wearing shorts and jeans! My boys were last ones served at bar for ordering pop because they were kids, only served quickly when I was present. We were on 14th floor with balcony, nice room but very small bathroom especially shower. Entertainment was a mishmash of dancing, singing and acrobatics...no real theme. Michael Jackson night was better. We witnessed someone in a scooter be denied access off ship because too difficult to visit Island....so wrong! as well they have no priority disembarkation protocol for wheel chairs, people just pushed forward to get off. Thermal spa was fantastic. Embarkation & disembarkation was quick only because we had priority in both. MSC you are a beautiful ship but boy do you have a lot of learning to do!!! we have decided to take a break from cruising and once we return it will Be ROYAL CARRIBEAN. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
MSC really not for the USA market. Have cruised many operators globally (RCCL, Carnival, NCL, Celebrity, Disney, Windstar ......). MSC pricing to attract USA travellers appears to be good value, very good at first sight. Till you get ... Read More
MSC really not for the USA market. Have cruised many operators globally (RCCL, Carnival, NCL, Celebrity, Disney, Windstar ......). MSC pricing to attract USA travellers appears to be good value, very good at first sight. Till you get onboard. All-inculsive package you get charged 15% service for each drink, even with a package if your drink is over the basic allowance, you pay the full drink price not just the difference/upgrade amount. Even premium dining was not great and was expensive. Food was the bland. the all in drinks package is a real work of genius. If you can get a drink of any description at any bar in less than 25 minutes even if the bar is empty, you are doing well. Worst of all was the attitude of at least 90% of staff is unacceptable in my view Ship public areas are a mix, some impressive, some cramped. Cabins are smaller than most modern ships but adequate. No towel animals or nice touches, its basic. You get what you pay for. They forget or not care you are paying for a vacation, staff are patronising, arrogant, lazy, aggressive and struggle with many basic polite communication skills. Will never sail with them again. based on my first MSC experience. To top things of they appear to have a lack of hygiene policy as sanitizers did not work in most areas and shampoo/body wash was watered down in cabins and struggle to get fresh towels. Entertainment was mixed also. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We were a bit unsure about this cruise it was our 2nd cruise and our 1st on sapphire princess had been amazing. The internary was great loved all the ports the excursions we booked through msc were very good well organised. We were ... Read More
We were a bit unsure about this cruise it was our 2nd cruise and our 1st on sapphire princess had been amazing. The internary was great loved all the ports the excursions we booked through msc were very good well organised. We were impressed with the organisation of the tender at grand Cayman. The ship has excellent facilities we particularly enjoyed the thermal spa and got a good deal pre cruise. However for us the ship was just too big it lost that personal touch. The queues at all the bars were ridiculous lots of complaints from fellow passengers. The service in the main dining room at night was not very good, no care taken. We felt rushed to be out for the next sitting. Personally we prefer anytime dinning. Breakfast in the main dining room was a much better standard. The food at the buffets was surprisingly good at times better than the main restaurants but it was just too busy. The shows were excellent especially the adult comedy shows. We enjoyed the cruise but we now know a smaller ship is more suited to us. Embarkation and disembarkation were extremely well organised very impressed very little queing although we did have to go hunting for a suitcase not sure why it wasn't delivered. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Second time on this ship. Easy embarkation and disembarkation. Had dinner in the Ipanema dining room.....our waiter was very personable and food was always hot when served . Cabin....very little closet space - would like to have more ... Read More
Second time on this ship. Easy embarkation and disembarkation. Had dinner in the Ipanema dining room.....our waiter was very personable and food was always hot when served . Cabin....very little closet space - would like to have more drawers or shelves. Love the Swarovski embedded stairways!!!! Pool area gets very crowded when at sea...........get there early to get your lounge chair! Bar service was slow at all bars......could have used more bartenders. Had the lowest internet/wifi package and service was spotty at times. Take he Behind the Ship Tour offered later in the week....very interesting and informative. Onboard shops were OK' Would book another MSC cruise in the future.....maybe a Mediterranean - depending on cost/amenities. Onboard photographers were good with varied scenes and poses. Pool on Deck 16 had lots of activities going on during the day for the kids and families,,,and good place to meet others. All said and done I would recommend MSC cruises to other friends/travelers. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose the Seaside first based on cost. We've been to E. Caribbean many times, and Hubs is getting over medical problems, so we knew we would primarily stay on the ship. Embakation was a snap because he was using a walker, so ... Read More
We chose the Seaside first based on cost. We've been to E. Caribbean many times, and Hubs is getting over medical problems, so we knew we would primarily stay on the ship. Embakation was a snap because he was using a walker, so they offered him a wheelchair, which we gratefully accepted. We also had an accessible inside cabin, which was great. Lots and lots of room and large equipped bathroom. The ship was absolutely beautiful and never felt crowded, even with 5,000 passengers. What we especially liked were the many places to sit and gaze outside and listen to music or people-watch. We had the Fantastica experience which allowed us to choose our dining time, but for medical reasons we chose early dining. We had a very nice table for 2 but in a line of 5 tables, so you actually had 8 to 10 persons to converse with at times. We found the food to be good and adequate, not great, but certainly good enough for us to be pleased. Yes, portions are a little smaller, but you can order more than one from each course. Dessert is ordered when you order your main meal. The buffet on Deck 8 was also good, but not great. As many have already said, lots of repeats every day, but the salads and soups were quite good, as well as very tasty pizza available almost round the clock, We are black card, so we chose Butcher's Cut for our one included special dinner, and it was wonderful! What a treat! The filet mignon was melt in your mouth, and Hubs had the rack of lamb, which he enjoyed, as well. To sum it up, we were very pleased with MSC and will definitely sail with them again. We wish they would put a ship at Port Canavaral so we wouldn't have to drive to Miami. We live just north of Tampa, so it is a 5 hour drive, but next time we will plan it better and stay the night before in a hotel. Disembarkation was just as smooth. We literally walked off the ship and did not have to stand in an endless line. What a wonderful week!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We had a balcony room and was very excited for this cruise. Room and ship was nice. Mattress was uncomfortable to me but I'm pretty particular about whatI sleep on. Buffet food was ok but it was literally the same EVERY night for a ... Read More
We had a balcony room and was very excited for this cruise. Room and ship was nice. Mattress was uncomfortable to me but I'm pretty particular about whatI sleep on. Buffet food was ok but it was literally the same EVERY night for a week. Dining room food was terrible and always served cool. I only liked one night of the dining room food. My table mates also didn't care much for it. The shows were nice although somewhat repetitive. They decided to wash the balcony room glass banister while in St.Thomas. This actually made my balcony area dirtier than before. Had all kinds of hair and dead bugs on my balcony that wasn't there before. Plus it soaked all of the outside eating area on deck 8 so there wasn't any seats left inside during the lunch rush after returning to the ship after a day on the island. Just horrible planning. There were more issues but I think anyone can see how this cruise went. I did like how they are not in your face to take pics all the time but they are always pushing their specialty dining restaurants and drink packages. The ship is understaffed. Maybe it will be better when they get fully staffed. Hopefully food will get better. For now I'll stick with Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, or Carnival. Oh and twice during our trip their were toilet issues so toilets on our floor wouldn't flush. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I have very mixed feelings about my 4/27 cruise aboard the MSC Seaside (my first MSC cruise). I had great service and I had substandard service. I was impressed by the appearance of the ship and disappointed by inconsistent policies and ... Read More
I have very mixed feelings about my 4/27 cruise aboard the MSC Seaside (my first MSC cruise). I had great service and I had substandard service. I was impressed by the appearance of the ship and disappointed by inconsistent policies and procedures. Let's get the bad out of the way first. Food quality and selection. I am in no way what I would call a foodie, but I was highly disappointed in the quality of the food in the main dining room (I ate in the Ipanema dining room each night with friends so I can't speak to the pay dining venues). I have no argument with the quantity as some have complained about and I'm sure I came back heavier than when I embarked. There were 13 of us in my group and most were dissatisfied with their meals. Many were sent back and other selections ordered. Now the wait staff was outstanding. They were engaging, informative, and very accommodating to our many requests. Even the Maitre D' made it a point to have a good Greek salad prepared daily for one in my group after she complained about the first one she was brought. I had read reviews from other Seaside cruisers who complained about the lack of variety of the breakfast buffets so I wasn't surprised. There were salads and bread aplenty, but I would have appreciated some change in the menu. Some good Canadian bacon, or even English bacon would have been a nice addition. Other lines are able to provide a variety in the buffets. A minor nit for me involved the Customer Service desk. This being an Italian line, I figured I could easily exchange some left over Euros I had from a Mediterranean cruise I had taken. The desk rep had to call someone else and then told me I had to take a penalty to exchange the money. I declined, went to the Casino and had it exchanged in less than a minute with the exchange rate in my favor. With all the Europeans on board this must have come up before. The desk was going to give me $10 U.S. for my 15 Euros! The only other complaint, and it was minor, involved extremely slow service in the Sports bar. I, and others, were surprised at the lack of attention. I'm not normally invisible, but I was beginning to think so, especially when other customers who came later were served first. I surmised these workers were exhausted. I watched other cruisers walk out when they weren't served in a reasonable period. Now for the good. Unlike the Sports bar, the service in the Champagne Bar was excellent. So good, in fact, I stopped there daily even though champagne is not my normal drink of choice. They took the time to educate me on different varieties and make recommendations. More importantly, two workers engaged me lengthy conversation daily regarding my home, sailing experience, thoughts on the ship, and telling me about themselves. One of my best interactions in more than 20 cruises. What can I say about the Creperie and the Gelateria. The gelato was excellent. I wish I had discovered those locations earlier in the cruise. It helped that I had the Premium All Inclusive package. The Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle was also another plus. We didn't get some minor officers stuck with the job, we got the Captain himself and he took the time to tell us how important we were to the cruise line. He might not think so after reading the first half of this missive. Plenty of drinks and hors d'oeuvres were available. I thought this was one of the better events even though there wasn't a lot of roll call participation, or programs scheduled. Every roll call is different. Finally, the entertainment. I took in all but one of the shows in the main theater. Yes, we saw the same acts in each of the shows, but for the most part they were excellent. As advertised, the Michael Jackson finale was worth waiting for. I didn't see the opera some folks complained about. Kudos to those who informed me about the status match program (Gold), and about upgrading to the Premium All Inclusive program before the packages changed last year. I had a much better enjoyment factor than some of my friends who complained about paying for everything. LOL I upgraded in early December when I learned the program was changing. I had to personally call the customer service line to get the upgrade from DOU. It took two calls, but I got it done and got the old Deluxe All Inclusive package. No questions on board regarding gelato, crepes, minibar, or any other drinks. Bottom line, would I sail MSC again? I think so if the price was right. While I was disappointed in some aspects, I would try it again with lowered expectations. I may give the Meraviglia a try when it arrives knowing that some things would be different from what I'm used too. I would have to try the Specialty Dining package and buy the Premium Plus plan. Not so my friends. We talked at length about sailing the line again, but they were turned off by the food and lack of variety of the entertainment. I expect MSC to keep tweaking its programs as it tries to increase its presence in the North American market to better suit these customers. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose the cruise mainly for price and itinerary. Ship is beautiful inside and out. Embarkation was a breeze, self embarkation was as easy as I have ever experienced. Bar service with the Premium Package was very good. Drink/liquor ... Read More
Chose the cruise mainly for price and itinerary. Ship is beautiful inside and out. Embarkation was a breeze, self embarkation was as easy as I have ever experienced. Bar service with the Premium Package was very good. Drink/liquor selection was excellent. Nighttime music around the ship left a lot to be desired, the dance classes in the evening at The Haven seemed to go on forever.....ate twice at the Sushi Bar without reservations in the evening....was very good. Had steak house reservations, dinner there was very good. Ate off the ship in Puerto Rico one evening...did not dine in the main dining room. Room service twice for breakfast was on point and on time. Balcony Cabin was as expected, bathroom was small compared to the Mini Suites on the NCL Away Class Ships..I missed that. Room steward was fine, always kept plenty of ice in the ice bucket, etc... Pool on the rear of the ship was nice, but the smoking area you had to walk through to get to the restroom was pretty thick.... All in all, I would rate it a step below NCL on entertainment, (the Bride and I missed the nightly outdoor parties on NCL), and a step above on drinks/bar service, especially considering the prices of the drink package. I was very pleased with this...cruise came with The Easy package, upgrade to Premium was $27 PP PD...very reasonable, IMHO. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our second voyage on the seaside within the last year. MSC Cruise lines was kind enough to give us discount credits since we were on the divina during hurricane Irma. I didn't care where the ship was going, I live in South ... Read More
This was our second voyage on the seaside within the last year. MSC Cruise lines was kind enough to give us discount credits since we were on the divina during hurricane Irma. I didn't care where the ship was going, I live in South Florida and Hawaii so I get my full share of palm trees! The seaside is an absolutely beautiful ship and very very well kept. The staff has come to understanding how to work on that ship and things flow very nicely. The drink packages and Internet packages that are offered by the cruise line are hard to beat. Even the easy drink package which doesn't give you top shelf liquor will do the job and get you all the soda, quality coffees, and sparkling water that you want. The best part of the cruise for my wife and I were at the dance classes and activities. Every morning on sea days there was an aerobics class and several dance classes available all the way into the evening hours. Also a highlight are the production shows. They are not your typical production show song and dance popular songs. They are elaborately costumed events involving singing dancing music and circus. I would say it is similar to a Cirque du Soleil with a different theme every night. And there is the Opera, it is shown in the afternoon during a sea day so if you're one of those that wants to oil yourself up and be shoulder-to-shoulder with a thousand other people on the pool deck you are more than welcome. However if you want something totally different that is extremely emotional and beautiful, go to see the Opera. The only thing that was disappointing throughout the entire cruise was the dining experience. The marketplace buffet is absolutely boring. It reminded me of my days in the Navy seeing hamburgers hot dogs and Pizza with overcooked meats every day over and over. There was always a mystery white fish available and some sort of sauce but it was always hard as a rock and tasting just like one also. The experience in the restaurants was a bit better. The foods were served up timely and presentation was very nice, however there was nothing ever really exciting about it. There was never that food item that said "I want to try that"! All in all it was adequate and it was put together pretty well, but it was not really a memorable experience. Overall for the price point it is very difficult to beat the MSC experience. I would only hope that they would liven up the food venues a little bit more so that it isn't so boring. Read Less
MSC Seaside Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 3.9
Dining 4.5 3.5
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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