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We booked this cruise to scape from cold Canada and enjoy the Caribbean while exploring for the first time a cruise experience. I will divide the review by sections for easier reading and to find information faster (I had too many unsolved questions when booked the cruise). I will also add menus and prices so you can make a more educated decision when buying (or decide not to) the different drink package available. THE SHIP What I loved: At some point in the trip the ship was parked next to other 4 cruises and yet it looked more impressive than any other (outside). I cannot compare from the inside but the amenities and facilities are amazing as you can expect from a new luxury ship. The are many areas to explore and enjoy, all of them looking as a 5 star hotel. What I did not love: Many of the enjoyable areas are outside (which is great) but it forces people to go in when it rains making the indoor areas too busy to enjoy. The most difficult part of the experience was the elevators. Although there are many elevators they are not enough (or maybe not fast enough) for the capacity of the cruise. We find ourselves way too many times waiting over 10min for an elevator or just going by stairs which is not convenient when moving with a toddler. CABIN: We thankfully chose balcony, the room and view was incredible. Some people don´t recommend it when traveling with kids but if you are careful enough it shouldn´t be any risk (a kid won´t easily be able to open the door to the balcony). The room was well distributed even giving room for a pack and play provided by the ship. The room service was outstanding, they kept everything clean and organized in the room and the person in charge of our room was always there for us to help us with anything. I loved everything from the room. DINING: The food was amazing in general although some of the restaurants were too busy at some hours making it a bit challenging to find a table. They always provide high chairs and keep the tables clean right after people leave. The buffet and the included dinner never disappointed us. You can easily go with that (is included) and have a great experience. We paid for the Seaside Dining Experience which includes 3 restaurants packages and were very disappointed. Let me explain why: Ocean Cay Restaurant They describe this restaurante in the package as "an exclusive venue offering signature seafood menu". This exclusive seafood menu didn´t have oysters neither includes shrimps, lobster, or any other seafood rather than crab and fish. We left the restaurant after looking at the menu as it didn´t match our expectations. Asian Market They describe this restaurant in the package as "offering exquisite sushi, sashimi and tempura created by famous Chef Roy Yamaguchi". Well, the food included in the package doesn´t include sushi at all (only an avocado roll as a starter). The food wasn´t bad, we had tuna as an entry and was good, but again they played with our expectations on the description and was not met. Butcher´s cut Steakhouse Nothing bad to say about this one, the food was amazing, and yes, the menu included 2 different cuts, my wife and I ordered one each and both were amazing. I will add some photos of the menus for your convenience. DRINK PACKAGES at MSC Seaside (should I buy it or not) We debated for ours about wether or not to pay about the drink packages. We decided not to buy them and we don´t regret. Even when we called in advance they told us there were no drinks at all included in any meal or whatsoever and that ended up not being true. The breakfast and lunch (and buffets open 20h a day) do offer water, juice, regular coffee and tea. During the dinner you do have to pay for drinks but if you are taking many excursions and you don´t drink too much it may be worth not paying the USD$55/day it cost the all-inclusive drink package, at least that was our experience. One thing that makes difficult to make a decision is not having an idea about the individual drink costs so I took photos of the drink menus (not available in any MSC communications) and will upload them on this review. SERVICE I left with a mixed feeling. The staff at the room service, reception, main areas and restaurants were excepcional and provided with an amazing customer service. However, the staff at the excursions and photo services were rude and misinformed. They couldn't help with anything and were not trained in very simple information such as directions. TRAVELING WITH KIDS One thing I loved from the MSC Seaside is that they partnered with brand Chicco so there are many activities depending on your children age. I love that they divide them by age so they can share with kids with similar interests. Also the facilities looked high tech, clean and the staff was friendly. They take care of your children certain hours a day and provide you with a phone in case they need to reach you. I found that convenient and amazing although we only use the service one time. All restaurants have high chairs (chicco brand) and were installed by the same staff. Most of the staff (expect the excursion and photo team) were extremely friendly with my kid, they always interacted with him and made him feel good. EXCURSIONS The excursion team was misinformed and poorly trained, it may be something that will improve in the future but you can do most activities by your own just by stepping out of the ship. We took the Jeep and Snorkel package in Cozumel and by phone they told me that was not available for kids (my son is 2) but I had bought the package already so I waited to get in the ship and they couldn't confirm or cancel the package as they didn't have the information. As a precaution I brought my own car seat which ended up being a waste of time and effort as they Jeep excursion company did accept kids and even provided with those car seats. I hope the information is useful. Enjoy your trip!

Overall review from a small family (couple with a toddler)

MSC Seaside Cruise Review by jimmybattaglia

47 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We booked this cruise to scape from cold Canada and enjoy the Caribbean while exploring for the first time a cruise experience. I will divide the review by sections for easier reading and to find information faster (I had too many unsolved questions when booked the cruise). I will also add menus and prices so you can make a more educated decision when buying (or decide not to) the different drink package available.

THE SHIP

What I loved: At some point in the trip the ship was parked next to other 4 cruises and yet it looked more impressive than any other (outside). I cannot compare from the inside but the amenities and facilities are amazing as you can expect from a new luxury ship. The are many areas to explore and enjoy, all of them looking as a 5 star hotel.

What I did not love: Many of the enjoyable areas are outside (which is great) but it forces people to go in when it rains making the indoor areas too busy to enjoy. The most difficult part of the experience was the elevators. Although there are many elevators they are not enough (or maybe not fast enough) for the capacity of the cruise. We find ourselves way too many times waiting over 10min for an elevator or just going by stairs which is not convenient when moving with a toddler.

CABIN:

We thankfully chose balcony, the room and view was incredible. Some people don´t recommend it when traveling with kids but if you are careful enough it shouldn´t be any risk (a kid won´t easily be able to open the door to the balcony). The room was well distributed even giving room for a pack and play provided by the ship. The room service was outstanding, they kept everything clean and organized in the room and the person in charge of our room was always there for us to help us with anything. I loved everything from the room.

DINING:

The food was amazing in general although some of the restaurants were too busy at some hours making it a bit challenging to find a table. They always provide high chairs and keep the tables clean right after people leave. The buffet and the included dinner never disappointed us. You can easily go with that (is included) and have a great experience. We paid for the Seaside Dining Experience which includes 3 restaurants packages and were very disappointed. Let me explain why:

Ocean Cay Restaurant

They describe this restaurante in the package as "an exclusive venue offering signature seafood menu". This exclusive seafood menu didn´t have oysters neither includes shrimps, lobster, or any other seafood rather than crab and fish. We left the restaurant after looking at the menu as it didn´t match our expectations.

Asian Market

They describe this restaurant in the package as "offering exquisite sushi, sashimi and tempura created by famous Chef Roy Yamaguchi". Well, the food included in the package doesn´t include sushi at all (only an avocado roll as a starter). The food wasn´t bad, we had tuna as an entry and was good, but again they played with our expectations on the description and was not met.

Butcher´s cut Steakhouse

Nothing bad to say about this one, the food was amazing, and yes, the menu included 2 different cuts, my wife and I ordered one each and both were amazing.

I will add some photos of the menus for your convenience.

DRINK PACKAGES at MSC Seaside (should I buy it or not)

We debated for ours about wether or not to pay about the drink packages. We decided not to buy them and we don´t regret. Even when we called in advance they told us there were no drinks at all included in any meal or whatsoever and that ended up not being true. The breakfast and lunch (and buffets open 20h a day) do offer water, juice, regular coffee and tea. During the dinner you do have to pay for drinks but if you are taking many excursions and you don´t drink too much it may be worth not paying the USD$55/day it cost the all-inclusive drink package, at least that was our experience.

One thing that makes difficult to make a decision is not having an idea about the individual drink costs so I took photos of the drink menus (not available in any MSC communications) and will upload them on this review.

SERVICE

I left with a mixed feeling. The staff at the room service, reception, main areas and restaurants were excepcional and provided with an amazing customer service. However, the staff at the excursions and photo services were rude and misinformed. They couldn't help with anything and were not trained in very simple information such as directions.

TRAVELING WITH KIDS

One thing I loved from the MSC Seaside is that they partnered with brand Chicco so there are many activities depending on your children age. I love that they divide them by age so they can share with kids with similar interests. Also the facilities looked high tech, clean and the staff was friendly. They take care of your children certain hours a day and provide you with a phone in case they need to reach you. I found that convenient and amazing although we only use the service one time.

All restaurants have high chairs (chicco brand) and were installed by the same staff.

Most of the staff (expect the excursion and photo team) were extremely friendly with my kid, they always interacted with him and made him feel good.

EXCURSIONS

The excursion team was misinformed and poorly trained, it may be something that will improve in the future but you can do most activities by your own just by stepping out of the ship. We took the Jeep and Snorkel package in Cozumel and by phone they told me that was not available for kids (my son is 2) but I had bought the package already so I waited to get in the ship and they couldn't confirm or cancel the package as they didn't have the information. As a precaution I brought my own car seat which ended up being a waste of time and effort as they Jeep excursion company did accept kids and even provided with those car seats.

I hope the information is useful. Enjoy your trip!
jimmybattaglia’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Cabin 10167
I love the cabin, very well organized so you can have all your things and yet enjoy moving around. Please always chose balcony, you won't regret it. We enjoy the view every single minute in that room. About the specific location of the room we were told the movement was less so we took it and indeed it felt less than other parts of the ship.
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