My husband and I went on this cruise with our two children, aged 9 and 12. We really enjoyed cabin 9003, which was like a suite at oceanview pricing. We chose this cruise both because of this cabin, and because of the kids sail free pricing, which made it a much better deal for us than a comparable cabin would be on another line. We also liked the itinerary, which took us to Italy, Croatia, and Greece.
My older daughter was the right age for Young Club, age 12-14, but we never could find anything going on with that age group. Our understanding was that they combined this age group with the older teens due to low numbers, but my 12 year old was not at all interested in or comfortable with hanging out with kids that much older. Instead, she preferred to hang out with her sister and the younger kids, which they allowed. Even so, she still felt too old for that group and wasn't particularly happy with the kids club because she is at an awkward in-between age. I think that my youngest would have really enjoyed the kids club more if her sister had been more enthusiastic, but instead they preferred to hang out together on their own. This ship was a good opportunity for them to practice this kind of independence, and we felt comfortable letting them roam around together without us. My youngest really liked the splash pad area, and both kids were crazy for the gelato.
Most nights, we went to the shows without the kids and we did enjoy the interesting acts. We brought the kids to the one with pop music, which they really enjoyed. My daughter asked me, "Is that really Taylor Swift?!" haha. I did feel that the female dancers in the shows were often dressed unnecessarily sexy, and there were times that I felt glad that my kids were not at the shows because of it.
Another activity that my older daughter really liked was Master Chef at Sea. She likes to watch these types of TV shows, and was excited to watch one live.
My husband enjoyed the fitness area and thermal spa every day, so I am glad that I paid for spa access for him even though I only went once, as it is more his thing.
We ate in the MDR each night and our waiter quickly learned our preferences and anticipated our needs. We had drink vouchers due to the Fantastica experience, 12 alcohol ones for each adult, and 12 non-alcohol ones for each kid. Since I do not drink alcohol, my husband used all 24 of the alcohol vouchers, and the kids and I shared 24 the non-alcohol vouchers. This worked out perfectly for our family, and we used most of our non-alcohol vouchers for gelato or virgin daquiris. We also had a bottled water package, which we used to get water to take with us for the excursions. In the end, we had too many of these vouchers though, so I don't think it was really necessary considering that we already got complimentary bottled water at meals with our package.
We went on the ship excursion in Split to Krka for the waterfalls, and this was a great excursion and really beautiful. We brought swim suits and got in the water at the falls, which was cold, but still nice. The bathrooms/ changing area at the top of the hill by the parking are free, but the ones at the bottom by the falls charge to use them, so it may be preferable to change at the top.
For the other ports, we did our own thing. In Santorini, we took a private excursion to Oia that was available right where we got off the tender boat. We took a boat to Oia, then a bus to Oia town, then walked around there. Then we took another bus back to Fira, and then waited in the long line for the cable car back to the tender boat back to the ship. While Oia was worth seeing, most of our day seemed to be spent in some sort of transport. In Mykonos, we took the public bus to town and just walked to the windmills and around town briefly. This port was at night, and since we were with the kids, we didn't stay out late. In Dubrovnik, we took a taxi straight to the cable car first, and then walked around in town. We were going to do the beach excursion in Ancona, but it was cancelled due to weather. We ended up finding our own way to the beach and left when rain started around 2pm.
We really enjoyed this experience and we have decided to rebook with MSC on the Seaside next year.
My husband and I went on this cruise with our two children, aged 9 and 12. We had cabin 9003, which is priced just like a regular oceanview cabin, but is substantially larger. It basically has a living room and a separate bedroom with a door in between. My kids slept together on the pull out couch in the living room, and the adults took the bedroom, giving us some privacy when the kids went to bed earlier than the adults. There was also room for a 5th person in a pull down bed in the bedroom. The pull out couch would not have been particularly comfortable for an adult, but the kids didn't mind it at all. This is a perfect family cabin, at oceanview cabin pricing!
As this cabin is at the very front of the ship, you can hear noise when the ship is docking.
We hired a family friendly private tour of Doge's Palace and other locations of interest. We took the water bus and met our guide at Doge's Palace where she gave a very nice tour. My usually shy younger child was very talkative and asked many questions! After Doge's Palace, we also walked to other points of interest nearby. We had had a busy day and my children were pretty tired of walking by the end.View All 43 Doge's Palace Reviews
We went independently by water bus to the island of Murano. We walked around and looked in many beautiful shops at all of the lovely glass items. Then we returned by water bus. We originally intended to also see Burano, but we ran out of time.View All 63 Murano Island Reviews
We took a bus ride for an hour to Krka and our guide pointed out some points of interest along the way. The park was beautiful. We walked along boardwalks through the forest until we came to the falls. There were some spots with a series of steps down, but most of it was flat getting to the falls. At the end, there are a lot of steps to get back up to the parking area. I did hear some people complaining that they could not handle the steps though, so that might be something to consider if you have mobility concerns.
The falls themselves were very beautiful and we enjoyed taking a dip. We should have changed into our swim suits at the beginning because the restrooms at the top are free, but the ones by the falls charge a fee. Most of the souvenir and food shops by the falls only take Kona, so be prepared with the proper currency.View All 35 Krka National Park Reviews
When you get off the tender boat, there are several tour operators that will take you to Oia by boat. We took one of these boats to Oia, then a short bus ride to the town. We were able to walk around there for a while, and then we took another bus ride back to Fira, and then waited in the long line for the cable car back down to the tender boat. It was beautiful, but I felt that we spent a lot of the day in transport.View All 255 Oia Village Reviews
We arrived at this port at about 8pm, and it got dark shortly after. The ship offered transport to the town for about 8 euro per person, but we took the public bus for 1.50 per person instead. I think it was closer, faster, and cheaper! We walked to the other side of the town to the windmills, but by the time we got there it was quite dark outside so we couldn't see a lot. We didn't stay long because we wanted to get back and go to bed after a busy day with 2 ports.View All 15 Windmills Walking Tour Reviews
We took a taxi directly to the cable car station, and beat the crowds that way. After we did the cable car, we went into the city and just walked around and explored before taking a taxi back. We did get a little bit confused and were almost late back to the ship!View All 51 Cable Car Reviews
We planned to take the beach excursion from the ship, but it was cancelled due to expected bad weather. We took a taxi to a beach instead. Even though I had asked if it was a sandy beach, when we got there we found it was not a sandy beach. It was a rocky/pebbly beach. My kids still had a nice time, though one of them hadn't brought her water shoes and wished she had. It started raining around 2pm, so we packed up and took a taxi back to the ship. Overall, it was my least favorite port, even though my kids were still happy to have had a little beach time even with what it was.