MSC Seaside Cruise Review by OfficerGator
- Sail Date: April 2018
- Destination: Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Bella Balcony Stateroom
Embarkation was done well. We were quickly on the ship with a minimal wait time. This was the first and one of the only positive experiences. Short of the ship sinking, I expect almost everything to go wrong on day one. I understand how hectic it is and give little thought to problems and frustration.
At dinner, on day one, my wife asked a question of the Maitre D and his response was short as he snapped at her that this was day one. While unprofessional, we wrote this off to being day one frustrations. My second experience with the Maitre D was the final day of the cruise. I was served yet another dish of old seafood. I brought this to his attention, to which he picked up the dish and walked away. In full view of our friends, he began mocking me and laughing. This was not behavior I would expect from someone in a leadership position and had he been any one of my employees to mock a complaint by a customer, I would have fired him on the spot.
Dinner throughout the cruise, in the main dining room, had both positive and negative aspects in regards to the other staff and the food quality. There were certain dishes that were prepared exceptionally well. Fish served on the first couple of days was fresh and delicious. As the cruise entered days 3-6, it became obvious that the fish and other seafood was getting old. One particular dish was the swordfish and prawns. There were numerous other guests that we saw in our proximity that all had the same reaction I did, as the seafood was so old that it was inedible and downright disgusting. Several times we came to the dining room to find the table was not properly set and we had to ask for silverware and other items. The response from the waiter was anything but professional at times. He appeared to be bothered by our requests for a knife or a plate for bread.
On day two we ate lunch at the buffet. Our friends were excited to be on a cruise and wanted to eat at a table outside. While we were eating the wind began to pick up. We were careful to keep items on the table, but the wind was strong enough to start blowing plates, cups, and food off the table. At the end of our meal, I had my wife and friends hold the plates and cups while I began bussing the items myself. Two MSC buffet staff watched as I bussed the entire table by myself, at no point offering to help. One was actually leaned against the table where they were bringing used plates to scrape into the trash watching me the entire time.
The first port of call was in Jamaica where we went ashore, taking our MSC beach towels with us. Upon returning to the ship, we hung the towels in the bathroom to dry. It was not until the following morning that we realized the towels had been removed and had not been replaced. The following morning we were in Grand Cayman and had booked a scuba diving trip that required us to be off the ship as early as possible. I spent half an hour attempting to obtain two towels, with negative results. Needless to say, we did not have towels for that trip. When I found our room steward that evening, I addressed this with him and he quickly dismissed my complaint and walked away. There were towels in our room when we returned from dinner that night. Upon returning from dinner each night we found numerous advertisements for shopping and ship events for the following day. The daily planner, which included the time we would arrive in the next port, was never delivered until late at night, after 2200 hours, when we were asleep. This made it very difficult to plan a time to wake up the next day, or plan events for the following day on the ship. The room steward kept the bed made and did clean the room each day. While this is expected, he did nothing more beyond that. I felt as if we would have had any requests, we would have needed to leave a note, as we rarely ever saw him.
The ship’s decor was done very well, however, it was difficult to find our way around at times. The layout was a bit confusing, especially when trying to get from aft to forward on most levels. The railings inside the ship as well as the elevators seemed to rarely be cleaned and appeared disgusting and unsanitary. One positive note was the addition of hand washing stations in the buffet. This was a feature I have not seen on other ships and cruise lines and was a welcome sight.
There was one positive note about our trip that requires mentioning. While walking through the buffet we encountered a crew member by the name of Cornell Ilie. Cornell had been our Maitre D in the dining room on Divina. Cornell stopped us, as he remembered us eight months later. He remembered our names, that we were from Florida, and that our trip on Divina was our wedding anniversary. He remembered the seafood dishes he introduced us to on that trip, as well as other fond memories we had. I was impressed that he remembered such detail almost eight months later with the number of new people he comes into contact with each week.
In closing, our experience on Seaside was one of disgust, disappointment, and embarrassment. The negative experiences far outweighed the positive experiences that I truly feel as if the trip was a waste of both my time and my money. This trip ranks as the worst cruise experience I have ever been subjected to. My wife and I cruise twice a year, and while we will not recommend MSC to friends and family in the future, I do not believe I will risk being subjected to such as bad experience again in giving MSC another opportunity
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