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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
1 Helpful Vote
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 chose the Seaside again because of the beauty of the ship, the lovely staff including approachable, interesting, kind officers. The opera singers and all of the other entertainers are amazingly good. I like opera to a degree. Sometimes ... Read More
We chose the Seaside again because of the beauty of the ship, the lovely staff including approachable, interesting, kind officers. The opera singers and all of the other entertainers are amazingly good. I like opera to a degree. Sometimes it puts me to sleep, but that is just me. I sit close to an aisle.lol. We decided to check out some of the family entertainment. MSC-Seaside really bends over backwards to make families with children feel welcome. I watch. I see. I think my grandchildren ages 1 to 18, would have a wonderful vacation on this ship. There is just so much to do. The food is so good! I/we read some of the negative reviews and we ask ourselves what do these people eat at home? There are so many choices both in the dining room and at the buffets. I am on a very restricted diet. MSC-Seaside is taking such good care of me. Gluten free, vegan(I eat fish) and dairy free. I am being pampered by all the attention. My husband is on a regular diet and enjoys the meals. The cruise critic community was treated to a special time with the officers. Drinks, snacks and a special cake was served. Thanks everyone! PS.. No sponsered excursions this time for us. We chose to stay on the ship and enjoy the food and drinks and the swimming pools. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Pls be warned, this is our first ever Cruise, our review is NOT a cruise line to another or a ship to another ship, but simply our experience on this sailing and compared to our own expectation in travel hospitality. Little background, ... Read More
Pls be warned, this is our first ever Cruise, our review is NOT a cruise line to another or a ship to another ship, but simply our experience on this sailing and compared to our own expectation in travel hospitality. Little background, we base in US, travel quite often, been to over 40 countries, typically fly 100-150k miles leisure travel a year. First learned about cruising and MSC Yacht Club form Cruise Critic (a guy mentioned this site in another frequent traveler site). Watched many youtube videos, and found YC was an amazing deal to travel in style, and time for a change. Thanks to many helpful cruisers on MSC board, answered my newbie questions. Special thanks to Cruisergal1208, who I met on board, gave me a lot of useful tips! Not sure if I could use your real name, but anyhow, really great to see you and your husband! I would like to give back what I learned and hopefully could benefit others in the future. My review is mainly focus on "first sail day" and "butler service" which has been highly advertised, because many other things could be figured out once on board. This is Not a complaint (vent maybe), but just want everyone has the right expectation. If you read my "vent", pls make sure you also read my conclusion. My overall experience is VERY positive. I got status matched from Hilton lifetime Diamond to MSC black, my wife matched from Hilton Diamond to MSC Gold. We booked for the spring break for our children. Initially we only booked 2 rooms in yacht club in May 2018, I think we took the last 2 rooms. Yacht club has been sold out almost 11 months out! Several months later, we booked 9 additional rooms for family and friends in other cabins. So, my first suggestion is, if you're interested in Yacht Club, make sure you book early ! it will sold out very early on! If you based in US, you are in luck, US has the most consumer friendly cancellation policy (full refund before final payment), also note, for Yacht Club, they recently changed to 120 days instead of 90 days. Sailing Day Many others has mentioned this! Pls try to arrive a day early, or at least arrive very early. We have a couple experienced flight delay due to weather, caused missed connection, Fortunately, they were able to catch next flight and arrived 3:15pm, with all on board time at 3:30pm! Cutting way too close... Anyway, as we arrived in different times, for the group of 9 including myself, we booked super shuttle private van, we use promo code spr10 get 10% discount only pay $58 including Tax for 9 persons and 9 checked bags. I tipped the driver separately. Embarkation Embarkation was a breeze, Yacht Club Tent was very visible. All we need to do is to toll the bags to YC tent, they took care of the bags. I read the review here, if you are in YC, no need to do the baggage tag that you printed from boarding pass, they are going to rip it off and replace it with Gold tag anyway. A butler then escort us to immigration and to lounge in no time. During check in process, check in agents are extremely helpful. Everyone has the cruise card on hand in less than 5 mins. Another butler came bring everyone to Top Sail lounge. We were told our butler will came to us later and explain more about the ship to us and bring us to our room. Since restaurant was opened, we went straight to the restaurant. First interaction was not positive (but much better afterwards, will cover later). I told the restaurant manager we were group of 9 (4 young children), the manager said, it's better for us to use the buffet in deck 19, he said it's better suit our group. I don't see many guest in the restaurant, and I don't know what he means, but I do felt offended, and told him, we would like to stay here in lunch, he complied but mumbling something to the hostess that I don't understand (and I don't care). Anyway, first lunch was a mess, very busy.... took LONG time to get what we had. Going back to think of the situation, maybe buffet was really a better option due to first sailing day. We finished lunch at almost 2pm, we wandered around to find our room. Luckily both our rooms are ready, and we settled in quickly. We had prebooked many spa items, so we went to concierge to secure the time we want. Holy moly! All the good times we wanted has been fully booked! It's just 3:30pm in the first sail date. I regret that we did not follow our initial plan, which was booked everything first before we went to lunch. Now, we could only book the less desirable time, which made our scheduled plan really messed up. Interaction with our Butler Around 5:30pm when we are planning to walk around the ship. We "bumped" into our butler in the corridor. He asked if I was staying in Room xxx. I said yes, he introduced himself, saying he has been butler for many years, and showed us around the room, placed his card on the phones etc... He asked me if I need anything. We had 3 requests, 1) we don't drink much alcohol, he could replaced them with sprite and the fruit juice and lots of pringles. 2) we need 20 extra hangers, 3) we would like the Jacuzzi set up at 10pm every night. He said no problem on all requests. BUT, turns out, 1) he gave us 14 extra hangers, 6 short, no explanation. 2) he never took away the alcohol, he put 4 more sprite and 2 more juice and 3 extra pringles. 3) when we back to room around 7:30pm, he was in the room doing turn down service, the Jacuzzi has already set up, which means the water will be cold when we came back from the show. He told me, its very easy to add water, and taught me how to open and close the water. I smiled to him, said thank you and let him go. As expected, he did not set up Jacuzzi afterward. The towel on the lounge chairs were only replaced after first night, it has never replaced since, so we wasted the area for the rest of the cruise. One day, I told my butler, there was another person's cruise card with same sail date in my room! I expressed to him this could be a security concern. He told me, this is probably the cleaning person use the key card as power and forgot to take it away. I told him, why would the cleaning person took someone else card away in the first place? He never answered me, he then apologies, and said "this is just a minor issue, you don't need to worry about it". wow... I told him, okay, I just want to make sure nobody come to my room without my permission. He assured me such. We would like to secure the MJ show 8:30pm, I expressed our concern of not getting a seat to our butler, he told me to wait for him 20 mins prior to show at concierge desk, we waited, and waited, finally, another butler was escorting a couple, he asked if we are going to the show, he volunteered to bring us. Breakfast room service I ordered breakfast in room twice. First time, I ordered via concierge desk, the order came within 20 mins, pretty impressive. My butler delivered the order to me, he told me I could have just order from him, he told me the best time to order is around 8:30-9:15am, I said ok, I will order thru him next morning around 8:30-9am. Next day, I called his extension around 8:45am, he showed up about 20 mins later, I thought he would have bought the breakfast, he was actually came and ask me what do I need (didn't we talk about this yesterday?). Okay, I told him what I need, and the breakfast arrived 1 hour 15 mins later, which was after 10am, my son and daughter can't wait, already went to the buffet AND back. While it sounds nice to have breakfast on bed, but I wouldn't bother anymore. Show We've been to the theater every night! Both my wife and my son LOVE the shows. I agree someone said sometimes, they are repetitive. However, they are very talented. Day 1 and 2 were very similar show, if you can to either one. Day 3 & 4 were Broadway style shows, VERY Good indeed. Day 6 is more fun Broadway show. Last day was MJ show, while many many ppl waiving about how good was the show, but not JUST because of the MJ part, my wife was MJ fan, said the same thing, we saw much better MJ impersonator"s". Well, again, it didn't make this a bad show, we just came in with very HIGH expectation. There was another opera "butterfly" in one of the afternoon, I kinda like it, my sister and my wife said boring, my son felt asleep, but my mom almost in tears, so YMMV. Cabin Nicely decorated. Funny thing was the US electric plugs were side by side, when you use one plug, the other will be "blocked". Shower area was very nice, power pressure was adequate. Btw, as I mentioned before, the balcony lounge chairs towel were never replaced. There was other "funny situations", 1 night, there was missing lotion, 2nd nights missing conditioner, another night the toilet paper was out. They only gave me 1 hand soap, which was never replaced on the entire cruise, which was completed out. Basically I need to call 3 out of 7 days to restock. HOWEVER, they put like 6 shampoo, 7 body wash 8 lotion after I called them, but they can't replace the hand soap? Kids Club We went there, they were packed, PACKED with kids. very busy, staff are very professional. In a very short stay there, many parents came in and out, I was amazed, when the staff saw the parent coming, the staff already recognized who were their kids... They also put up some nice shows at night for parent performed at seaview lounge. Unfortunately, we did not let our children went there, but we did see it's well organized. Aqua Park All the young ones loves this place.... no need to say more! If you want zip line, you need to buy the "badge/pass" in deck 18 , where you sign the waiver, you can use any time if zip line is open. My son tried it, it's around 30 sec, pretty fun. Me and my wife went there on the last day, it's closed due to too windy. So, do it sooner rather than later if this is in your to do list. Arcade If you have fun pass, make sure you use the money sooner rather than later. They will booked out as well. Don't wait until last day. In my sailing, the bowling was allowed to be booked days in advance, not same day others reported, but again, YMMV. 4D cinema will also booked out, due to everyone trying to use up their fun pass credit. We are the one eventually used it on air hockey... YC restaurant We found the restaurant staff were amazing!! Our waiter was only his first week, but he did very good job to us. Try very hard to accomplish our demanding requests, always offered for us to eat more. Food qualify is Good to GREAT. Not all dishes were good though, some fish are overcooked, the lobster was WAY overcooked. but overall, we all loved the restaurant. I tried butcher's cut, it's good, but I don't see a need to eat other than YC. Because if I don't like the food, I could always ask them to prepare the new one, and to my liking. Bars We are not heavy drinkers, so our bar crawl with limited drinks. Mostly experienced fast service, with top sail lounge being the best mojito to our taste, miami pool bar (deck 7 aft) pour the most liquor. Casino Very limited table game...... only spent some time on first day and thats it. Venchi This is my go to place before AND after show. Deck 7 near Miami pool has Crepe, they are amazingly good! Also they have Vanilla ice-cream which Deck 6 doesn't carry. If you order Vanilla ice-cream milk-shake, they will give you some sort of "vanilla cream" milk shake. Just keep that in mind. Otherwise, this place is HAVEN. Also, I confirmed with MSC guest service manager, Venchi manager, they are no longer offer to any drink package booked after Nov 2018, YC is also excluded. But they will honor those booked before, the system will picked up. One Deck Pool I used the cabana 6 out of 7 days, from 15 mins to 2 hours. No one ever came to ask me how am I doing or to take drink order. I always go to bar myself. One time, a butler even cut the line and just "shout out" his order. I am not in rush, so I don't care, but seriously ? I learned my lesson, I should just sit down, and waive him to the table. He was just being robotic, wanted to service his customer "on a table" asap. Concierge Desk The three ladies, Eva, Trisha and Barbara are just amazing. During the first shore excursion, she took the time explaining the procure to me, and advised me NOT to bring passport to shore, and offered to help me make copies of the passport. They are my go to persons. We ordered pizza almost every night, like many people said in the past, they are different in a good way..... we ate so many of them. They never felt being bothered, and always remind me to order pizza when I passed by, lol! They are the angels on the cruise. Disembarkation I told our butler we had car serviced booked for 10am, I clearly told him we need to be escorted by 9:30am, of course no show in the top sail lounge, so we all went concierge desk, and he seemed surprise to see us there, asking are we ready? That was 9:40pm, but he did bring us down afterward. Btw, as usual, he addressed me as "hi", I guess he couldn't remember our names? Anyhow, once we went thru the immigration, they will be directed to collect your bags. There was another hiccup. We were directed to go sharp right after the elevator, even in the middle, we asked another staff, he just told us keep going, go all the way to the end. AFTER A LONG WALK, found out YC (gold tag) was NOT there, we have to go all the way back, and we should go straight (passed the first intersect), then you will see the gold tag area, then turn right to exit. REMEMBER, do not go into the first "room". To MSC, put up a SIGN right after the elevator PLEASE ! Conclusion. While I had some issue with my butler, those are minor issue, at least to me. I came here to enjoy my vacation, not to dictate others what they want to do or not. Good news is, MSC has backup system, I can find help with other butlers or concierge desk, end of the day, none of my issue remain. I had many experience with butler service in hotels, they did much more than cruise line butler. My experience are, butler are here to do things for me, not teach me how to do things. In a small conversation with a butler in top sail lounge, the butler told me if a butler asked me what I need, he was being lazy, he shouldn't be told what to do, but offer assistant to what I need. I felt relief, at least some butlers are well trained, I was just unlucky. To my interaction with other butlers, they were very happy to do things for me, even they were not assigned to me, ie escort me to show, escort me to shore, etc... MSC Seaside has MANY good things to offer, the ship itself was beautiful, most places were clean. BTW, I did not smell the odor that others reported. MOST staff were very nice and very patience. I found out, sometimes you will find surly faces, not because they were rude, they just need some time to adjust into English conversation, after short while, most conversation will ends with smile. They were mostly hard workers. The Master were really trying to present in many occasions. I had twice short conversations with him (nothing serious), and he was very engaging. Good food, good people, good service, good price, what else do you need? Just remember, don't expect perfect, you will be very happy sailing with Seaside. I would not hesitate to recommend MSC Seaside to anyone, especially in YC. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
To start I am no expert for traveling, and before travel i usually do so much research. When doing my research for this trip I literally spent HOURS searching through cruise critic page after cruise critic page to find all the ... Read More
To start I am no expert for traveling, and before travel i usually do so much research. When doing my research for this trip I literally spent HOURS searching through cruise critic page after cruise critic page to find all the information i needed. I will start from the beginning of my trip. ___________________________________________________ PACKING: I research "Marie Kondo" packing method, she has a youtube video showing how she packs her suitcase. Using her method helped keep things organized while living out of the suitcase. Traveling with children it is hard to figure out what you will need and what wont even get used. Here are a few things I packed: KIDS - 4 swim suits 2 rash guards 2 swimwear covers (girls) 2 Sunglasses 2 Sandals ( 1 pair of flip flops for the pool, 1 fashionable pair for dinner) Water shoes (so they can run around but wont fall with wet floors) 5 pair of shorts (the kids are mostly in their bathing suits) SPF rated Sun Hats (we use spf 50) 10 Shirts Life vest for swimming in deep pools (helped out because it isn't provided) 1 pair of sneakers GIRLS: Bring a dress for each night of the cruise, 2 camisole sweaters, cute bows and head bands BOYS: 4-6 Pair of pants (depending on the number of nights for your cruise) a button down or collar shirt for each night, a pair a dress shoes, 1 suit jacket for elegant night. Baseball cap for dry day activities. Things I packed and never used: Dramamine for kids Sickness Sea bands Toys MEN: 2 Pair of shorts (you probably wont event use these) 4-5 Bathing suit trunks 7 Tank Tops/Mussel shirts 3 t-shirts 1 Suit Jacket 7 going out shirts(dress collar shirts or t-shirts) (1 for each night) 4 pair of pants (for dinner) 1 pair of jeans 1 pair of dress shoes 1 Pair of sneakers 1 pair of flip flops 1 pair of fashion sandals (birkenstock) WOMEN: 1 pair of flip flops 1 pair of heels 1 pair of sneakers 2 pair of fashion Sandals 7 Dresses or Rompers (a mix of midi dresses and Rompers for dinner) 1 camisole 6 shorts 6 shirts (sporty/loose fitted) ______________________________________________________ Pre-purchased Add-ons: 1.Trio dining package -if you purchase on the boat, their current promo offered 4 dining reservations rather than the trio -If you don't like any of the cuisines you are allowed to double up on a restaurant -Our favorite was the Asian Market restaurant & Butcher Cut **Dining review that helped me: https://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/review.cfm?ShipID=994&pgtype=dining 2.We choose to book our excursions separate from MSC which was fine but I wish we did it with MSC for our Bahamas stop, so we can use the Atlantis shuttle rather than paying for a cab. ________________________________________________ A few days before embarking, everyone must have paper print outs of your itinerary. On your itinerary you will find a your cruise info, embarking time (it is not a mandatory time, you can arrive as early as you want), pre-purchased packages, & bag tags hat must be placed on any checked bags. ___________________________________________________ EMBARKING DAY: We arrived to the port in Miami at 3:30/4pm. You drop off your bags with the port crew members curb side (which can make you feel uneasy) and proceed to security. Security requires the same as in the airport, Passport and boarding pass ( located on itinerary printed). Once you get through security you will go up the escalator or elevator to the MSC customer service window. The MSC customer service member will take your passport information, they take a current photo & provide you with your key card. This key card is used to open your cabin door but also will be used at the bar each time you order a drink. Once you receive your key card you may enter the ship, the security will scan each key one by one and ask that the person he is scanning pass him. When traveling with kids its best to divide and concur. So I took my son through security and my husband took our daughter. __________________________________________________ ARRIVING TO OUR ROOM: Upon arrival our beds weren't set up the way we needed it. No biggie we just pushed the two twin beds to make 1 bed. We hung up our sweaters and dropped off our bags and we immediately left our room to begin exploring the ship. Stop #1: Guest Services There is always a long lone no matter what time you go. (I would suggest to go around 7pm it seemed to be the best time) At customer Service you are allowed to deposit cash but upon checking out you either have a bill waiting for you or they have to refund you. If you use a debit card you have to swipe the card again on the day of disembarkment. MSC crew members suggest adding a credit card on file as it is literally the easiest way to pay any tab you might have because you no longer have to go back to customer service.(unless you have a question in regards to a charge) **But one thing that they don't mention is YOU DO NOT have to stand in line to add a credit or debit card, there are 2 credit card machines in the customer service area to add your card. Stop #2: The Seaside Bar The Bartenders on level 5 is great, everyone is super nice and make great drinks. We had the "Drink on Us" promo package. This package had a few hidden fees and limitations, which wasn't a complete surprise. (considering nothing is free) The hidden fee was a service fee per drink order. (usually $1-3) So we upgraded to the premium package which is $530 for two adult, we didn't have to upgrade the kids because they had a drink package as well. The premium package is WORTH IT! priced at $33 per person/per day which is on average about the cost of 3 premium drinks and if you are out in the sun you can easily drink 3-4 Miami Vices (slushy mixed drink). Mimosas, slushy or mixed cocktails with good liquor and the best cappuccinos arent included in the drinks on us package. Stop #3: Dinner at the Seashore Restaurant - Level 5 The staff is amazing, so sweet and since it was the first night they allowed us to be in our shorts for dinner. The steak had a gravy that i wasn't a big fan of and the food was just okay. Stop #4: 8th floor deck to watch the sun set as well sailed away from the Miami port. We continued to explore the ship and found ourselves checking out the kids pool area on level 18, we found a great spot to watch the sun set and continue to watch our sail away from Miami on deck 19 (which is walking access only.) _____________________________________ As we continued to explore the ship we found the casino which is small but nice. We found the arcade (with 4 games total) & the 2 bowling lanes. _________________________________________ On day 3, we received a service charge and upon arriving to customer service they informed us that is the gratuity charge ($12.50 per adult/per day & 1/2 the price for small children/per day.) _____________________________________________ ENTERTAINMENT Staff: The entertainment staff was great, they definitely knew how to keep the party going. The all white party was on deck 16 and the 70's party was near the seaside bar and could be viewed from deck 5-8. ______________________________________________ Jamaica - Try your best to book an excursion or something to do. We went to Margaritaville where people asked if we wanted to smoke weed 1000x. Also try your best to avoid talking to anyone outside of the port, they all want to call you boss lady and take your money, even if they suggest it is only based on whatever you want to give them. Grand Cayman - This port is on the ocean, so there is a ferry boat to take you to and from the dock. You must pick up a ticket from level 8 first thing in the morning and they begin calling numbers by 8am (1-50). Once your number is called then you may enter the Haven night club, only to be let out of the night club to go down to deck 4 to disembark (which took a total of 2 hrs for us). The return ferry was much easier. we arrived to the docks around 2:30pm and were on one of the first two ferrys back. Cozumel - We scheduled snorkeling for this stop which was totally worth it!!! I highly recommend using: http://cozumelcruiseexcursions.net/snorkel-in-cozumel.html the photos on the website does it NO JUSTICE! we used biodegradable sunscreen SPF 50 and still got a little burned, dont forget to keep applying sunscreen the sun is strong. Bahamas- We booked Atlantis directly from its website, we took a $4 per person cab and had a wack driver. (i would recommend using MSC excursion for this one) When the ship docks at a port it usually empty's out, if you return back at a good time there are no lines for any of the slides or bars and the pools are empty. _________________________________________________ DISEMBARKING DAY: On the day we returned to Miami we had breakfast at the buffet and made our way to desk 7, which is where were allowed to leave from. We were told that we had to wait for your color to be called for people who checked bags but after arriving to to deck 7 we were told that all bags were already out and we could leave when ever. I would suggest bringing only carry on items as this might make leaving easier. _________________________________ Each day you will receive an itinerary of what the following day has to offer and on each of these brochures your will find the dress code. But just to get an idea this is what our cruise had. Dress code optional per nights: Night #1 - Smart Casual Night #2 - Elegant optional // Smart Casual Night #3 - Smart Casual Night #4 - All White optional // Smart Casual Night #5 - 70's Theme Party optional// Smart Casual Night #6 - Smart Casual Night #7 - Elegant optional // Smart Casual Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
I feel i need to write this review due to the many negative reviews i have read. This was by far the best cruise we have been on, having previously sailed with Norwegian, Carnival and Marella. The ship is absolutely stunning and ... Read More
I feel i need to write this review due to the many negative reviews i have read. This was by far the best cruise we have been on, having previously sailed with Norwegian, Carnival and Marella. The ship is absolutely stunning and offers a real flare of class. 6 adults and 5 children made up our party. We had the yacht club experience which we couldn't fault in the slightest. It well and truly exceeded our expectations. Embarkation was a breeze, after our glass of champagne we were escorted onto the ship, the whole process took less than 30 minutes. Our cabin was perfect for the 4 of us with ample storage. Food is a huge part of our holiday and the food on this ship did not disappoint, it was gorgeous. We spent the majority of our time in the yacht club however we did spend time in the buffet restaurants. These are busy on sea days but what else would you expect?! We were always able to find a table and they had a huge variety of food to choose from. The service was exceptional and the staff couldn't do enough for you. As i finished my drink another would appear!! All the staff around the ship were friendly and polite, we didn't come across anyone who was rude. We watched two shows: The Wizard which we all enjoyed & The Michael Jackson show which is by the far the best show we have seen at sea, it is a must see. The children aged 4,7,8,8 & 10 didn't use the kids club so i can't comment on that, but as there were so many other activities for them they were constantly kept entertained. This is why we loved the ship so much as it has the perfect mix for both adults and kids. This ship is a must if you want to experience true luxury and a holiday to remember!!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose a seven-day cruise on MSC Seaside for several reasons—new ship with groundbreaking design, relaxing itinerary, and excellent price. My husband and I have done 52 cruises on various lines, so we’re experienced cruisers. We ... Read More
We chose a seven-day cruise on MSC Seaside for several reasons—new ship with groundbreaking design, relaxing itinerary, and excellent price. My husband and I have done 52 cruises on various lines, so we’re experienced cruisers. We found the ship to be gorgeous—very “glitzy” finish. MSC Seaside was also very well kept; public areas were very clean, and our cabin steward did an excellent job. We booked the Fantastica package, which included 12 drinks each. We could choose from standard cocktails such as rum and Coke, the daily drink special, fruit smoothies on Deck 19, or yummy gelato shakes at the Venchi chocolate bar. Sodas, juices, coffees, and hot chocolate were also included in the package. Very nice benefit! The food in the main dining room was very good—perhaps not “wow,” but certainly tasty. Our waiter and assistant waiter were super fast and attentive. Portions were a bit smaller than on some cruises, but I appreciate that so I don’t go home impersonating a whale! Butcher’s Cut specialty steakhouse was marvelous. The buffet might not have been quite as extensive as some ships’ spreads, but the pizza was fantastic, and the Mac and cheese was superb. Outdoor seating for the buffet on Deck 8 was abundant and very pleasant. My only complaint was that soft serve ice cream was only available on Deck 16 at the smaller buffet during open hours. I missed my “on demand” chocolate cone! Entertainment on MSC is more Cirque du Soleil than storyline, but it was still good. The Michael Jackson show was outstanding! MSC put on a fantastic Cruise Critic party—the best we’ve ever experienced. Embarkation was kind of a hassle with long lines, but disembarkation was a breeze. I believe a lot of the criticism aimed at MSC Seaside lately has been really unfair. We had a great experience and found all staff members to be friendly. We will definitely sail MSC again, and we heartily appreciate the company’s loyalty match program. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I've seen mixed reviews on the MSC Seaside while doing lots of research. Having been on Princess, Celebrity, and Royal, this was my favorite. It's a gorgeous ship. The staff are comparable to other lines. But you get so much ... Read More
I've seen mixed reviews on the MSC Seaside while doing lots of research. Having been on Princess, Celebrity, and Royal, this was my favorite. It's a gorgeous ship. The staff are comparable to other lines. But you get so much for your money. That opinion might related to having the Aurea experience. But we felt this cabin and the deluxe drink package (obsolete after 11/19 bookings) were the best deal we've seen in quality and price. Even with the new drink package structure, we'll book this ship again. The best description I can make is this is a great combination of the refinement of Celebrity and the fun of Royal. The room - Most of the research I was able to do on this room, 12001, was watching the YouTube videos as I didn't see many of reviews of the cabin. That was motivation for this review. It has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a huge closet, a living room, and a forward-facing balcony. Here's the stuff you can't get from watching the video: - One bathroom is better for showering (the one with the bathtub) and one is better for everything else. We started with a kids' bathroom and an adults' bathroom and ended up using whatever we wanted by the end. - The main closet is large enough that you can get dressed in it, easier than getting dressed in the bathroom. That really helped when we were rushing to dinner. - There's plenty of storage in the 2nd bedroom as well so my daughter kept her stuff in there. - We loved this balcony. This was our first fully forward balcony, but we'd gladly do it again. It was wonderful coming into port (San Juan was incredible) and leaving. It was great for star-gazing at night. It was protected enough that it gave shade on hot days but still had a great breeze. We enjoyed napping on it. The breeze at sea was great for drying stuff from the day, which has been an issue on prior cruises. - The living room is larger and more functional than it looks in the video. We stuck the large suitcases in the corner and didn't notice there were there. When we weren't sleeping, we spent our time in the room in the living room. - The kids alternated between hanging out on the sofa and the balcony. Gluten-free experience - I received 2 pre-packaged treats in the room each day. I was able to take them off the ship for excursions. This was a really nice touch since I expected to be very limited in what I could take with me. - Pasta and risotto make me one happy camper. So I was happy all week! - For the most part, I did ok in the buffet. The staff would tell me how something was cooked if I asked. I stuck mainly with the items in the rotisserie section and had some great fish, rice, and vegetables. I ate the meringue cookies as my dessert with each meal. One day had chocolate mousse and it was incredible. After too many meals watching the family ooh and aah over the pizza, I hit a week spot after a day of heavy drinking and pulled the topping off of some slices. Was it worth the risk? Probably not. But I'll blame it on the mojitos and ciders. And I don't regret any of the mojitos I drank! - I received my own menu whenever I ate in the dining room. My food came separate from the others since it comes from a separate kitchen. For the most part, my food came within minutes of the others' dishes. I was served warm GF bread with every meal which - I devoured within minutes of it hitting the table. It's been a long time since I've had fresh bread! - I chose "Dessert of the Day" for each dinner. There were items on the regular menu that would have been GF (ice cream, flan, and others), but it just got to be routine to order it. A couple of times were an ice cream cake and a couple were ice cream. I wasn't overly impressed with the desserts, but then again the desserts weren't the star of the meal for me since I knew I could hit Venchi afterwards. - Interesting thing is that MSC is very cautious about labeling anything GF unless it comes out of that special kitchen. So there is plenty to eat that is GF but not certified, like the gelato. Other miscellaneous - The public areas are gorgeous, but the purple and grey in the cabin was not a color scheme I enjoyed. It eventually grew on me, but it took some time. - We were grandfathered into the deluxe package. Nothing we drank ever hit our bill. If MSC had kept that, we'd book MSC for life. I know they're in line with other companies now, but it's disappointing to know that you can't ever do that again. - On the 2nd sea day, make sure you get pictures taken on bridge of sighs. They're stunning. They are included in the digital photo package. - The free drink options in the buffet were surprisingly good. The lemonade had pulp in it, so they're actually using lemon juice to make it instead of a powder. The kids loved the grapefruit juice. My husband enjoyed all of the choices. - In the thermal area, people dropped their towels down on the heated loungers like they were reserving chairs. On the last day, we moved one lady's towels. She was miffed when she came back. We'd been in the area for 45 minutes before using the loungers and her towels had been there the whole time. She thought she could reserve 2 of the 3 heated loungers that long? Um, no. That was the only case of chair hogging that bothered me. - Aurea Bar was a fun respite. We'd go at the end of day and hang out. Service - I'd read so many complaints about the service when researching: service is not like xxx line, servers don't care, servers are overloaded, etc. We didn't find service to be different than other lines. We were greeted with smiles and hellos everywhere. For every crowded bar, we were able to find to another, less crowded bar (same thing when we had a drink package on Celebrity) with bartenders who entertained us. We had some stellar service: - Alora & Donald were the wife/husband team in Seashore who personalized our dinners and had perfect timing in serving us. - Fred (John Wilfred Lao) in photography took stunning photos. My kids sought him out every night. You should, too. - Roxane was our room steward. She made butterflies with the kids' pajamas. The kids joked that I was imagining her because I would see her but they never would. That meant that she struck the perfect timing of being there when we needed her but was never obtrusive. - Deion and Ashish Finu in the Aurea bar. I'm sure I'm forgetting people because so many went into making this an incredible cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The 7-day Seaside 3/30 departure was our 52nd cruise. We’re Princess Elite, Royal Caribbean Diamond, Carnival Gold. This was our second MSC—previously on Divina summer 2017. Other than a lengthy embarkation in Miami, an enjoyable ... Read More
The 7-day Seaside 3/30 departure was our 52nd cruise. We’re Princess Elite, Royal Caribbean Diamond, Carnival Gold. This was our second MSC—previously on Divina summer 2017. Other than a lengthy embarkation in Miami, an enjoyable cruise. We booked an inside Fantastica experience and got the 12 drink coupons by showing boarding documents to a friendly guest services agent. Our room was nice and clean and room steward was great and friendly. The main dining room was good and service quick and friendly. The Butchers cut steak specialty restaurant was great. The buffet on 8 had a good food selection and the outside seating overlooking the sea generous and provided a great view. Bar service was good. Entertainment was fine though a little bit operatic for my taste. The onboard app was great and equal to the best of others. Excursion to Trunk Bay on St. John was executed flawlessly. The pools and water slides were great. We appreciate MSC matching us to Black card and received all the benefits. The Cruise Critic Party was fantastic—the best on any cruise line. MSC prices are hard to beat given our great experience. We’ll continue to sail MSC when their prices and itineraries fit and find they are working hard to provide a great cruise experience in a competitive market. Disembarkation was quick and orderly. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose Seaside twice because it is a beautiful, billion dollar ship at a huge discount.. Yes, there are negatives, but way fewer than there used to be. The positives far outweigh the negatives. Just go. Better still, go Yacht Club. ... Read More
We chose Seaside twice because it is a beautiful, billion dollar ship at a huge discount.. Yes, there are negatives, but way fewer than there used to be. The positives far outweigh the negatives. Just go. Better still, go Yacht Club. We are doing that next year. The 5000 people are way too many at the first buffet, and on the sea days. Get past that. There are always deck chairs available. No idea how or why, but in two cruises, this is true. Get back early on Port days, and you have the beautiful Seaside to yourselves. Pure joy.. The Aurea level is a must. The Spa (included) is so fabulous, and the outside space at the Spa is the best lounge area on the ship. The 19 deck Aurea only space works too. The real reason to pay for Aurea is the choice dining. THAT is huge, and the one mistake MSC makes is forcing eating times on the rest of the ship. This was NOT clear to us the first time, and it angers many cruisers. They should section off the two dining rooms into four, with different designs, and different times. Give some flexibility to all. Tip: Get on board, get a wrist watch as your room key and charge pass ($5), and book ALL the shows every night. They sell out fast, especially the Michael Jackson Skywalker last night, so book early, and arrive twenty minutes ahead for seats for every show. They check your watch/sea pass card for both reservations, then let anyone without reservations in fifteen minutes ahead. Go early. The shows are excellent for all the different languages (65 countries on board ) . They are 35 minutes long, fast paced, and varied for all. The performers are absolutely excellent, and cirque gets sprinkled into musical numbers to keep all happy. They need to print out the specific beverage packages, so you can see if your favorite beverage is included. Many cruisers we met were wild that their drinks included such limited (usually none) choices. Their premium package is WAY too expensive (we got it anyway), but it is impossible to figure out what you are getting ahead of time. Gelato included? Sorbet? Chocolate? Good luck. Bad website info, and customer service reps vary wildly with incorrect info. You are left to simmer once on board. Not right, but they WILL fix it, as they have fixed everything else you read about. Well run company. The rooms are not large, but they aren't in Europe either. The balconies sure work. In fact, everywhere you go on the ship, the water is literally part of the ship. Beautiful, smart design. Brings the outside in. Even in the Specialty restaurants, and in almost every bar. Open to the sea. Outstanding. The design of the ship gets kudos for keeping kids away . There are kids on the ship, but not all over the place. The areas for kids are that good. We talked with a couple bringing their kids for their third MSC cruise. Think about that. They are totally free (when you figure the total cost per person, this is a winner). There is SO much for kids to do, you just don't see them as you do on other ships. Plus, no college kids on break who ruin the pool decks. They aren't there. How good is that? So next year, we skip the lines and crowds, and go to Yacht Club. MSC is such a bargain. 1/3 the cost of our Crystal next year. We'll see........ Read Less
MSC Seaside Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.5 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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