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We recently were welcomed aboard MSC Seaside for our March Break vacation. There were a 8 families who traveled together and a total of 28 people. We booked this ship because it was new. My reviews tend to be a bit long but broken in to sections so you can read what you are interested in. I will first say that we are not frequent cruisers. Have been on a few but with a husband in the Navy it is hard to convince him to vacation on a ship when he works on one. Embarkation – This went quite well for us. We have a son who is on the Autism Spectrum and has challenges with lines and crowds. When we arrived in the terminal building we mentioned this to a gentleman and he moved us to the priority security line. Once upstairs we mentioned this to another gentleman who allowed us to check in at the priority counter. He then escorted us all the way to the final check point before boarding the ship. We really appreciated this as it made our transition on to the ship a smooth one. So big kudos to the staff for their understanding of our situation. The ship – what can I say, it is beautiful. It was kept immaculately clean. The crystal stairs were amazing and there were quite a few pictures taken there. We had no issues with any odd smells and the public washrooms were always working and kept very clean. The ship is huge and I am sure there are parts that I did not see in the week we were aboard. The water park was fantastic. The kids loved playing there and going down the waterslides. You need a bracelet to ride the waterslides. They are easy to get, just line up and fill out a waiver. Your kids need to be with you when you fill out the waver and adults need one as well if they are going to ride the slides. Now the not so great parts. The ship was really crowded. It was hard to get chairs near the pool but we did manage by getting up early and staking our claim. I found overall the common areas were not really large enough to accommodate the number of people on board. Cabins – we had a cabin on the 10th floor. It was nice and clean. The room stewards do an excellent job of keeping things clean. The beds were very comfortable. We had a queen for my husband and I and the kids had bunks. The bunk beds were very cool. The sofa converted in to bunkbeds. Both kids found them quite comfy and my son enjoyed the blanket fort we made for him on the bottom bunk. The bathroom was fine, I had not issues space wise but my husband who is 6 feet did fine he hit his knee while on the toilet. The bathroom had good storage with two shelves and an under counter cabinet which also housed the small garbage can. In terms of room storage this is where it was lacking. The closet was fine for hanging things, though I am glad we brought hangers from home. There are only three small shelves and two small drawers. I brought folding fabric cubes for my kids to put underwear and swimsuits, etc so that my husband and I could each have a drawer. There was room under the bed to put the suitcases which was very important for maximizing the limited space. Buffet – I actually thought the buffet had a nice selection of food. They had the usual burgers, hot dogs and fries but they had a lot of healthier options such as salads, sandwiches, cold meats and cheeses. We ate at the buffet for a couple of breakfasts and most lunches though I did prefer the dining room for breakfast. Dining room – we were in the Seashore dining room at the early seating. This time suited us fine but I kind of like the flexible dining we enjoyed on other cruise lines. Food wise it was pretty good overall. Everyone was always able to find something they liked. I will say my husband and I found the food kind of salty. We use salt in our cooking but we found a bit excessive amount used in the dining room dishes. It started not sitting well after a couple of days but we managed. The big positive in our dining experience was the wait staff and our main guy Andi. He was awesome! We had a drink package that included wine and beer at lunch and dinner. What they do not tell you when booking this package is that there is one kind of red, one kind of white, one kind of rose and one kind of beer. A friend wanted a different type of white wine which was the same price point on the menu and she could not get it. We argued with them that it was the same price but they would not allow it. We kind of felt this package was falsely advertised and were not impressed by that. Entertainment and shows – What we didn’t realize the first night is that you have to prebook your shows. It can be done through the app, on your cabin TV or on the many touch screens found around the ship. We booked for all of the shows on the second night for the entire week. We really enjoyed them. Some of them didn’t make a lot of sense to us but the background, costumes, dancing and singing was great. Other than that I will say I found the ship kind of boring. Because we went to the 8:30 show we were out early as well and I just found that most things started later at night. After being up all day with kids and roaming ports we were tired and none of the night activities interested us enough to stay up for. So we tended to sit and have an after show drink before heading back to the cabin. Even through the day we found the entertainment lacking. Kids Club – my son loves kids club so he was excited to go. I do not understand entirely why on at sea days kids club shuts down from noon until 4 PM. This was annoying to say the least. When we were at sea is when my son wanted to be at kids club and bugged us constantly to go. We had to walk him up and show him they were closed. Port days they were open all day until 10 PM. I understand some want to leave their kids while they go ashore but it would have been nice to have better hours while at sea. Class system – this is something that was prevalent and bothered me about this ship. If you were in one of the top two packages you had private areas of the ship. The pool in one of these areas was actually bigger than the pool the rest of the ship has to share. You can also have flex dining and rooms on higher decks. The last cruise I went on we didn’t have to pay for a special package to be on an upper floor or to have flex dining. I didn’t care for this “class” system that they built. Itinerary – we had stops in four ports, Ocho Rios, Georgtown, Cozumel and Costa Maya. This was too many port visits for a relaxing holiday. We likely will not do a cruise with that many ports again as we found ourselves always rushed feeling. We did not book any of the excursions through the ship electing to just book our own things for less money. Disembarkation – this was a bit of a nightmare. Our assigned time was 10 AM but we had to be out of the cabins by 7:15 AM so we decided to just to the walk off with our luggage. It took my husband a half hour to get an elevator down. I ended up squeezing in to one with my son earlier than that so was able to secure a place in the line. My husband ended up hitting the up elevator and then travelling back down. For the number of people who were exiting at that time they were pretty efficient in getting us all out. Overall it was a lovely ship and the weather was beautiful however I will not be sailing with them again and really would not recommend this ship unless you can afford one of the top packages. For my money I will go back to a resort or to another cruise company.

Review of the MSC Seaside

MSC Seaside Cruise Review by JennDixon74

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2018
  • Destination: Caribbean
We recently were welcomed aboard MSC Seaside for our March Break vacation. There were a 8 families who traveled together and a total of 28 people. We booked this ship because it was new.

My reviews tend to be a bit long but broken in to sections so you can read what you are interested in. I will first say that we are not frequent cruisers. Have been on a few but with a husband in the Navy it is hard to convince him to vacation on a ship when he works on one.

Embarkation – This went quite well for us. We have a son who is on the Autism Spectrum and has challenges with lines and crowds. When we arrived in the terminal building we mentioned this to a gentleman and he moved us to the priority security line. Once upstairs we mentioned this to another gentleman who allowed us to check in at the priority counter. He then escorted us all the way to the final check point before boarding the ship. We really appreciated this as it made our transition on to the ship a smooth one. So big kudos to the staff for their understanding of our situation.

The ship – what can I say, it is beautiful. It was kept immaculately clean. The crystal stairs were amazing and there were quite a few pictures taken there. We had no issues with any odd smells and the public washrooms were always working and kept very clean. The ship is huge and I am sure there are parts that I did not see in the week we were aboard. The water park was fantastic. The kids loved playing there and going down the waterslides. You need a bracelet to ride the waterslides. They are easy to get, just line up and fill out a waiver. Your kids need to be with you when you fill out the waver and adults need one as well if they are going to ride the slides. Now the not so great parts. The ship was really crowded. It was hard to get chairs near the pool but we did manage by getting up early and staking our claim. I found overall the common areas were not really large enough to accommodate the number of people on board.

Cabins – we had a cabin on the 10th floor. It was nice and clean. The room stewards do an excellent job of keeping things clean. The beds were very comfortable. We had a queen for my husband and I and the kids had bunks. The bunk beds were very cool. The sofa converted in to bunkbeds. Both kids found them quite comfy and my son enjoyed the blanket fort we made for him on the bottom bunk. The bathroom was fine, I had not issues space wise but my husband who is 6 feet did fine he hit his knee while on the toilet. The bathroom had good storage with two shelves and an under counter cabinet which also housed the small garbage can. In terms of room storage this is where it was lacking. The closet was fine for hanging things, though I am glad we brought hangers from home. There are only three small shelves and two small drawers. I brought folding fabric cubes for my kids to put underwear and swimsuits, etc so that my husband and I could each have a drawer. There was room under the bed to put the suitcases which was very important for maximizing the limited space.

Buffet – I actually thought the buffet had a nice selection of food. They had the usual burgers, hot dogs and fries but they had a lot of healthier options such as salads, sandwiches, cold meats and cheeses. We ate at the buffet for a couple of breakfasts and most lunches though I did prefer the dining room for breakfast.

Dining room – we were in the Seashore dining room at the early seating. This time suited us fine but I kind of like the flexible dining we enjoyed on other cruise lines. Food wise it was pretty good overall. Everyone was always able to find something they liked. I will say my husband and I found the food kind of salty. We use salt in our cooking but we found a bit excessive amount used in the dining room dishes. It started not sitting well after a couple of days but we managed. The big positive in our dining experience was the wait staff and our main guy Andi. He was awesome!

We had a drink package that included wine and beer at lunch and dinner. What they do not tell you when booking this package is that there is one kind of red, one kind of white, one kind of rose and one kind of beer. A friend wanted a different type of white wine which was the same price point on the menu and she could not get it. We argued with them that it was the same price but they would not allow it. We kind of felt this package was falsely advertised and were not impressed by that.

Entertainment and shows – What we didn’t realize the first night is that you have to prebook your shows. It can be done through the app, on your cabin TV or on the many touch screens found around the ship. We booked for all of the shows on the second night for the entire week. We really enjoyed them. Some of them didn’t make a lot of sense to us but the background, costumes, dancing and singing was great. Other than that I will say I found the ship kind of boring. Because we went to the 8:30 show we were out early as well and I just found that most things started later at night. After being up all day with kids and roaming ports we were tired and none of the night activities interested us enough to stay up for. So we tended to sit and have an after show drink before heading back to the cabin. Even through the day we found the entertainment lacking.

Kids Club – my son loves kids club so he was excited to go. I do not understand entirely why on at sea days kids club shuts down from noon until 4 PM. This was annoying to say the least. When we were at sea is when my son wanted to be at kids club and bugged us constantly to go. We had to walk him up and show him they were closed. Port days they were open all day until 10 PM. I understand some want to leave their kids while they go ashore but it would have been nice to have better hours while at sea.

Class system – this is something that was prevalent and bothered me about this ship. If you were in one of the top two packages you had private areas of the ship. The pool in one of these areas was actually bigger than the pool the rest of the ship has to share. You can also have flex dining and rooms on higher decks. The last cruise I went on we didn’t have to pay for a special package to be on an upper floor or to have flex dining. I didn’t care for this “class” system that they built.

Itinerary – we had stops in four ports, Ocho Rios, Georgtown, Cozumel and Costa Maya. This was too many port visits for a relaxing holiday. We likely will not do a cruise with that many ports again as we found ourselves always rushed feeling. We did not book any of the excursions through the ship electing to just book our own things for less money.

Disembarkation – this was a bit of a nightmare. Our assigned time was 10 AM but we had to be out of the cabins by 7:15 AM so we decided to just to the walk off with our luggage. It took my husband a half hour to get an elevator down. I ended up squeezing in to one with my son earlier than that so was able to secure a place in the line. My husband ended up hitting the up elevator and then travelling back down. For the number of people who were exiting at that time they were pretty efficient in getting us all out.

Overall it was a lovely ship and the weather was beautiful however I will not be sailing with them again and really would not recommend this ship unless you can afford one of the top packages. For my money I will go back to a resort or to another cruise company.
JennDixon74’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Ages 7 to 9
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Cabin 10148
Cabins – we had a cabin on the 10th floor. It was nice and clean. The room stewards do an excellent job of keeping things clean. The beds were very comfortable. We had a queen for my husband and I and the kids had bunks. The bunk beds were very cool. The sofa converted in to bunkbeds. Both kids found them quite comfy and my son enjoyed the blanket fort we made for him on the bottom bunk. The bathroom was fine, I had not issues space wise but my husband who is 6 feet did fine he hit his knee while on the toilet. The bathroom had good storage with two shelves and an under counter cabinet which also housed the small garbage can. In terms of room storage this is where it was lacking. The closet was fine for hanging things, though I am glad we brought hangers from home. There are only three small shelves and two small drawers. I brought folding fabric cubes for my kids to put underwear and swimsuits, etc so that my husband and I could each have a drawer. There was room under the bed to put the suitcases which was very important for maximizing the limited space.
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