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MSC Seaside Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,109 Reviews

The peasants were revolted

MSC Seaside Cruise Review by Prodigaltravelers

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2017
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Bella Inside Stateroom

There are growing pains -and then there is bone-deep hell. This was our first MSC cruise and probably our last. In all of our cruising, we have never seen a cruise ship filled with so many pi**ed off customers. I'll list the pros and cons for easy reading:


1) Long elevator waits/multiple elevators consistently not working

2) Lack of ship hygiene and access to hand sanitization (if you did find dispensers, they were empty) -people were very sick. DIshes were always dirty. I'd have to go through 5 plates before finding a clean one and forget about a clean coffee cup.

3) We had the self-serve soda and beer beverage package but had a very difficult time using it (long waits for any drinks when we were forced into the small buffet).

4) The main dining room would not accomidate a handicapped person even though there were plenty of tables open and free (would not switch seating time, seat location, or offer available seats during main seating). Literally, we couldn't eat at the dining room, during dinner.

5) The dining room during breakfast and lunch had atrocious service and food. We only used it 2x during the whole cruise. Orders were incorrect, missing items, flavorless, cold and undercooked food. Multiple requests to correct issues were ignored. It also took 2 hours to get through the meal which was a waste of time for bad food/service.

6) A quarter of the way through a 15 night cruise, they shut down the main buffet to try and get people to go back to the dining room. People were choosing the buffet instead of dining rooms bc of the food and server issues. A large number of passengers were crammed into the family buffet (Biscayne-1/3 the size of the main buffet) which was half regular food and half kids food.

7) Beverage dispensers didn't work and no one would fix them. You literally couldn't get a glass of water at the buffet -this went on for days.

8) Lack of customer service at the excursion desk. Employees didn't know the excursions and the excursion experiences were very overpriced and poor.

9) There was nothing to do during the day. Other transatlantics offered a variety of entertainments and activities -there were very few offered on this ship.

10) Although they ignored it and hoped we didn't notice, they skipped one of the planned stops. No explanation was given.

11) Getting back on the ship at ports was very slow

12) Getting off the ship at the custom's stop was EXTREMELY unorganized and not handicap-friendly. Staff were harried and some very rude. We missed a good part of our excursion.

13) The company doesn't care if you're cheated out of expensive excursion time, even when it is their fault. This also happened at one other stop.

14) Sometimes the food in the buffet was good, othertimes it was awful. Some nights the best offering was chicken nuggets from the kiddie buffet. The main breakfast buffet was consistently either out of food, or the pans had obviously been siting out way too long.

15) Poor climate control. This ship was very humid when we moved into the carribean.


1) They matched another cruise line's loyalty program level and as such, we recieved several perks, which shows they take care of their higher loyalty customers

2) Our room attendant, loyalty ambassador, and customer service attendants were great

3) The room was nice. The bed was firm and they had a variety of pillows for choosing comfort.

4) They offered a rotating selection of free movies in your cabin during the long stretches at sea.

5) Disembarking and embarking was fast and easy.

6) Water park, water slides, and zip line were great. Although expect long waits on the zip line.

Prodigaltravelers's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Bella Inside Stateroom

The cabin had several pillows to choose from of differing firmness. Our cabin attendant was excellent. Good storage and layout.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


We were in Barcelona for a few days before the cruise. We recommend visiting Montserrat if you have the time. Just off the Ramblas you can find some delicous food choices.

Cadiz Walking Tour

The excursion was very nice, our guide was fun and informative. We arrived a bit late to see the market, but all in all a fine excursion.

View All 17 Cadiz Walking Tour Reviews
Island Tour

This excursion had three parts, wine tasting, the cable cars, and the botanical garden. The views from the top at the cable cars is breath taking, the botanical garden was interesting. The wine tasting left a bit to be desired. It was a tiny half shot of wine in a store. Fyi it is a lot of walking for this excursion......

View All 57 Island Tour Reviews

The ship got us off late to start the excursion and we encountered heavy traffic further delaying us. Even though there was plenty of time before castoff this time was not "reimbursed". Very nice area to walk around and see some sights. Good views for some great photos.

View All undefined undefined Reviews

Besides the extremely hot weather, there wasn't anything to see here. Lots of people coming up to you offering to sell you all manner of things. Best to just skip it.

City Tour

Our guide was very good and friendly. The old fort has several interesting things and the views from the top are excellent. The bus portion really showed you San Juan, and our guide supplied us with fun facts and history of the island. The free time at the end was pleasant. We had a nice drink and walked around downtown for a bit.

View All 262 City Tour Reviews

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