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MSC Seaside can be polarizing depending on the "experience" levels you booked. In one area you feel you are on top of the ship's world (quite literally), and yet in another area of the ship you feel you are being herded like cattle. I am referring to MSC's top product, Yacht Club, and comparing it to the rest of the ship. Before I take the deep dive, here is some background information about us. This MSC Seaside cruise is our fourth cruise in a little over two years. This is also our fourth cruise lines, the others were Norwegian, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. We like to try different cruise lines to experience and explore, and we may have found our favorite: MSC. MSC Cruises's booking system has two parts: cabin selection and "experience" (service inclusion) selection. Cabins consists the typical selection of inside, outside, balcony, suites, etc. The "experience" you select will have a bigger impact on your cruise than the cabin. Experience starts at Bella (bare bones - three meals a day plus all public areas), Fantastica (better cabin locations), Aurea (private sundeck, anytime dining, included drinks package), and Yacht Club (drinks, private lounge, sundeck & pool, butler & concierge, located on top of the ship). Our experience and this review is based on the Yacht Club (YC) cabin and service level. Your experience with cabin and service may vary. Embarkation We dropped off our luggage at the terminal then went to return our rental car. Upon our return, we went to the white tents set up for YC passengers and bypassed the meandering line of non-YC passengers. At the tent they asked for the boarding pass then a shore-based butler escorted us to security. There were about 20 people in front of us before the security checkpoint. The butler excused himself for a couple of minutes, then came back and told us to follow him. He whisked us all the way right to the security checkpoint, bypassing other passengers who had already been in line for who knows how long, all the while holding the YC sign high in the air so everyone can see. Was it embarrassing? Yes. I couldn't look at the passengers we bypassed. Did I feel I was special/VIP? Yes. The cruise had gotten off with a great start. After security, we were escorted to the YC check-in lounge and offered drinks. Drinks! Even before boarding the ship! The butler asked for our passports and boarding pass and said we would be called when the agent was ready for us. We only waited for about 10 minutes before we were called. The agent took our pictures and handed our cruise cards and wrist bands, and we were ready to board. Again, a shore butler escorted us all the way to the ship's scan-in point, then another on-board butler escorted us from that point on to YC's Top Sail Lounge. Embarkation process from the white tents to Top Sail lounge probably took 30 minutes and every step of the way we felt we were VIPs. Cabin After a short introduction with YC's director Alessandro, we went to our cabin (this was about 2:30pm) to drop off our carry-ons. Our butler for the cruise, Audrey, came by and introduced himself and asked if we had any checked luggage. It was at this time I realized I dropped off the luggage at the non-YC area. YC luggage are tagged with YC-specific tags and loaded on board first. Audrey assured us not to worry and he would track down our bags for us. Back to the cabin, we had the YC Deluxe Suite. It's not big at around 350 sq. ft. including balcony. Compared to the corner suite we had on Regal Princess, this cabin is about half the size. However, we never felt the need for more space. No, the bathroom does not have a tub. Regal's did. We only used that tub once then it became wasted space. Same with the "living room" on Regal: barely used. We feel Seaside YC Deluxe Suite strikes the perfect balance between size and utilization: you will use almost every part of the cabin you see. There are plenty of drawers for storage. There are two closets where we could hang longer dresses and suits. There were about 10 hangers provided and they were enough for us. Pretty sure the butler could provide more if asked. The bathroom has a walk-in shower, with a handheld shower head and a ceiling-mount rain shower. Bathroom floor is tiled with marble or marble-looking, non-slip material. The vanity counter is topped with marble as well. Seaside is an one year-old ship and there wasn't any plumbing issues (as expected). However, the shower's water temperature gets difficult to control during peak hours. It would get hot or cold if the neighbors decide to take a shower (or flush the loo) at the same time. It was annoying, but not a deal breaker. Balcony is a decent size and has two chairs and a small table/ottoman. It doesn't have room for a lounge chair though. Perfect place to tan if you don't want to go by the YC pool. Talking about the pool, the cabin we had was 18010 and it's located right under the YC pool area. While most of the time we don't hear anything, sometimes we could hear furniture dragging around the deck. The ages-old advice of "don't book a cabin below pool deck" holds true even here. Dining & Food We had all of our meals inside the YC area except for the one complimentary specialty restaurant dinner. Food is subjective and Seaside's food is a point of contention among cruisers. Some hate it, some love it. We are in the latter group. The YC restaurant's food was very good. While some may say it was bland, we say it was seasoned perfectly (contrast that with the overly salty, saucy, or sweet foods we find in the US). We had the best lobster from the YC restaurant. Why? Because they salted and marinated the lobsters before cooking. The freshly made pasta dishes were always al dente, the way we like them. The seafood was always fresh. If there's anything missing from the menus, it was duck. Didn't see duck on the menu during our cruise, but those pastas and lobsters made up for the missing duck. We had a few meals at the YC grill by the pool. For a small buffet, it was very good. We had made-to-order seafood paella and seafood pasta and they were excellent. We also tried the roasted pork shank, and it was surprisingly tasty. When we were not eating in the YC area, we were usually at one of the Venchi bars. There are two: one on deck 6 right by the shops and one by deck 7 all the way aft by the South Beach pool. Deck 6 Venchi bar serves alcoholic drinks, espresso coffees, milkshakes and gelatos. Dekc 7 servers milkshakes, gelato, and crepes. Given our limited time on board (only 7 days), we had not found one thing we didn't like from the Venchi bars. Note: Venchi bars were included in our YC experience on our cruise. I was told by our concierge that in the future Venchi will not be included with YC experience, however no cut-off date was provided. We also had a complimentary dinner at Ocean Cay. The food was excellent. Wife ordered a pasta with clams, and stated she finally found a match to the one she had on Regal Princess. She thought the one on MSC may even be better. If we were to pick bones with food on MSC, it would be their desserts. While the desserts are good, nothing really memorable. Regal Princess had those special chocolate desserts on formal nights. Seeing that Seaside had Venchi on board, it was a missed opportunity not to offer Venchi-branded or -designed desserts on formal nights. Ports and Excursions We visited San Juan (Puerto Rico), Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas USVI), Phillipsburg (St. Marten), and Nassau (Bahamas). We had never been to any of these ports except for Nassau, and we were excited. However, out of the 4 ports only Charlotte Amalie was schedule for a full day. The rest of the ports were all half-day visits. San Juan was the worst of all: We arrived at 5pm and the shops started closing around 9pm. While the restaurants were open, but the scheduling left a bad after taste. Due to the ship's horrible port schedule, we decided to book excursions with MSC instead of going out on our own. San Juan's excursion included coffee tastings. Overall it was good, but consisted of only two tastings. For St. Thomas, we booked a tour to St. John's island. For a full day port visit, this tour felt rushed. This tour could easily extend by another 2 to 3 hours by allowing more time at the Annaberg plantation ruins (we were allowed only 10 minutes, it could use 30 to 45 minutes) and 1 to 2 hours beach time (we drove by Trunk Bay, one of the best beaches in the world, without stopping). For a half-day tour, what made it worse was MSC did not publish what time the tour was starting on its website, which made planning difficult. After the tour we took a taxi to downtown Charlotte Amalie and spent about an hour there. Perhaps it was bad planning and lack of research on my part, but I felt a good part of the port visit was not utilized as well as it could be. St. Marten, we booked a tour by Jeep. Yeah, cliche I know. But I had always wanted to do this since forever. Now that I had, I can check it off my list. The tour itself was marketed as a highlight tour. However, if what we saw were the highlights of St. Marten I am not going back. We didn't even get to see Maho Beach (yeah it was petty much washed away after last year's hurricanes but still...). At least we were out and about for pretty much the entire half day we were there. The bus we were on arrived at the pier at 1:30pm with our all-aboard time at 1:30pm. I was joking that has anyone ever seen a full bus load of pier runners? We did not get off the ship at Nassau. Been there twice already and even the cruise without Nassau call stopped at Nassau due to a medical emergency. Since we were on an European ship, I guessed most passengers (Europeans) would still be off. I was correct. The Seaside was a ghost town for a good 4 to 5 hours (again, half day port call). Took that opportunity to shoot some videos and take pictures of the beautiful ship. The Ship Seaside celebrated its first birthday on 11/29/2018. They threw a party and made a cake in the shape of a cruise ship. That said, Seaside is beautiful. The decor is very bling bling with chrome and mirrors everywhere. I thought I wouldn't like it based on the pictures, but I loved it when I first got on board. Pictures can only capture so much. To experience it in person definitely changed my perception in a heartbeat. What I loved the most about Seaside is the outside area on deck 8. It's alongside both sides of the ship and offers areas to lounge and walk around while taking in the sights of open ocean and the sounds of waves. It makes me feel like I'm on a cruise ship instead of a floating shopping mall. The atrium has glasses on deck 7 and 8 and we were able to see the oceans from inside the atrium. Another feature that are not always on the newer ships. I applaud MSC for this design choice instead of squeezing in more retail spaces. The technology on Seaside is top notch with the MSC for Me app. You can connect to the Seaside's wifi (free, no internet) and see the daily planner on the app. You can then add the events to your personal agenda in the app to create your own calendar. The app also allows passengers to book excursions, make specialty restaurant reservations, and evening show reservations. It would be even better if I could order room service or make future cruise deposits on the app. As it stands, Seaside technology offering is heads and shoulders above the other cruise lines (disclaimer: NCL and RCL ships we were on were 20 years old, and Regal Princess at the time of our sailing did not have Ocean Medallion). We loved the Seaside. We feel it combines older ship's charm and design elements with brand-new ship's modern decor and technology. To us that's a winning combination. Evening Shows We went to every show except for the one night we were in San Juan. We felt MSC's shows were the best among the four cruises we had been on. Most of the shows combine some forms of signing, dancing, acrobatics, gymnastics, and magic tricks. There was an abbreviated opera Butterflies based on the Madame Butterfly opera. It was an one-time only show and the theater was packed. While we don't understand and lack the appreciation for opera, we appreciate MSC for at least staging the show. The comedian group, BeerProv, was hilarious. Towards the end of the cruise, their gigs have become repetitive. But given new materials (audience volunteers), there were always outrageous lines and jokes. Totally enjoyed their shows. Services This is where the polarization is on Seaside, or perhaps across MSC fleet. We were in YC. The attention we received were top notch. We would sit down in the lounge and not two minutes later, a server would stop by and ask if we need anything. The same service was present at the YC grill by the YC pool. A few times I would walk up to the YC pool bar and order drinks, a server would come by and say he/she would bring them to where I was sitting. We did not get that on Princess, even though we were in a suite as well. All throughout the YC area, everything was spotless. We did not see any empty glasses or dishes sitting unsightly on tables. The tables would be cleaned up almost immediately, and they were CLEAN. MSC really took the YC experience to another level. Disclaimer: We haven't been in RCL's new suites nor NCL's Haven, nor any luxury lines. The value proposition, which I will discuss further, is unparalleled. When we went to the Vench gelato bar by the South Beach pool, we have found the public areas somewhat sticky. The deck, one day, was sticky. The tables by South Beach pool and on deck 8 outside the buffet, were sticky most of the times. While the same was not true for interior spaces, the exterior spaces felt neglected. Even on deck 16 and deck 19 where the non-YC pool bars are, sometimes we just felt the overall cleanliness could be better. Also, the non-YC pool decks were always packed. There were usually no spaces between the lounge chairs. Aurea area was slightly better, but compared to YC area, Aurea area still felt like canned sardines. Going back to service. My guess is the crew-to-passenger ratio. Take the closest ship we had been on, Regal Princess, and compare it to Seaside. Regal has a passenger capacity of 3560 based on double occupancy with 1346 crew members. Seaside has a passenger capacity of 4140 based on double occupancy with 1508 crew members. On paper the crew-to-passenger ratio difference isn't big, but Seaside has the YC while Princess does not. In YC it felt like the crew-to-passenger ratio is 1-to-1, and outside it felt like 5-to-1. The excellent service in YC comes in the expense of average service for non-YC passengers. MSC YC Value Proposition At the time when I booked this cruise, the YC cabin was about 50% of the cost of a comparable cabin on Princess, NCL Haven, and RCL's new suites. Remember YC includes alcoholic drinks, Princess and RCL do not. That'd be another $500 per person for a week's cruise. Combined with the YC service and MSC's current value position, if you could swing it, book YC. Seaside even has inside YC rooms at even lower fares. If you are the type of cruisers who do not spend much time in the room, grab one of the YC inside room. You will receive everything in YC without paying a premium for the balcony. Will we be back on MSC in YC? Definitely.

Seaside - A Tale of Two Ships

MSC Seaside Cruise Review by Selion

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2018
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Yacht Club Deluxe Suite
MSC Seaside can be polarizing depending on the "experience" levels you booked. In one area you feel you are on top of the ship's world (quite literally), and yet in another area of the ship you feel you are being herded like cattle. I am referring to MSC's top product, Yacht Club, and comparing it to the rest of the ship.

Before I take the deep dive, here is some background information about us. This MSC Seaside cruise is our fourth cruise in a little over two years. This is also our fourth cruise lines, the others were Norwegian, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. We like to try different cruise lines to experience and explore, and we may have found our favorite: MSC.

MSC Cruises's booking system has two parts: cabin selection and "experience" (service inclusion) selection. Cabins consists the typical selection of inside, outside, balcony, suites, etc. The "experience" you select will have a bigger impact on your cruise than the cabin. Experience starts at Bella (bare bones - three meals a day plus all public areas), Fantastica (better cabin locations), Aurea (private sundeck, anytime dining, included drinks package), and Yacht Club (drinks, private lounge, sundeck & pool, butler & concierge, located on top of the ship).

Our experience and this review is based on the Yacht Club (YC) cabin and service level. Your experience with cabin and service may vary.

Embarkation

We dropped off our luggage at the terminal then went to return our rental car. Upon our return, we went to the white tents set up for YC passengers and bypassed the meandering line of non-YC passengers. At the tent they asked for the boarding pass then a shore-based butler escorted us to security. There were about 20 people in front of us before the security checkpoint. The butler excused himself for a couple of minutes, then came back and told us to follow him. He whisked us all the way right to the security checkpoint, bypassing other passengers who had already been in line for who knows how long, all the while holding the YC sign high in the air so everyone can see. Was it embarrassing? Yes. I couldn't look at the passengers we bypassed. Did I feel I was special/VIP? Yes. The cruise had gotten off with a great start.

After security, we were escorted to the YC check-in lounge and offered drinks. Drinks! Even before boarding the ship! The butler asked for our passports and boarding pass and said we would be called when the agent was ready for us. We only waited for about 10 minutes before we were called. The agent took our pictures and handed our cruise cards and wrist bands, and we were ready to board. Again, a shore butler escorted us all the way to the ship's scan-in point, then another on-board butler escorted us from that point on to YC's Top Sail Lounge. Embarkation process from the white tents to Top Sail lounge probably took 30 minutes and every step of the way we felt we were VIPs.

Cabin

After a short introduction with YC's director Alessandro, we went to our cabin (this was about 2:30pm) to drop off our carry-ons. Our butler for the cruise, Audrey, came by and introduced himself and asked if we had any checked luggage. It was at this time I realized I dropped off the luggage at the non-YC area. YC luggage are tagged with YC-specific tags and loaded on board first. Audrey assured us not to worry and he would track down our bags for us.

Back to the cabin, we had the YC Deluxe Suite. It's not big at around 350 sq. ft. including balcony. Compared to the corner suite we had on Regal Princess, this cabin is about half the size. However, we never felt the need for more space. No, the bathroom does not have a tub. Regal's did. We only used that tub once then it became wasted space. Same with the "living room" on Regal: barely used. We feel Seaside YC Deluxe Suite strikes the perfect balance between size and utilization: you will use almost every part of the cabin you see. There are plenty of drawers for storage. There are two closets where we could hang longer dresses and suits. There were about 10 hangers provided and they were enough for us. Pretty sure the butler could provide more if asked.

The bathroom has a walk-in shower, with a handheld shower head and a ceiling-mount rain shower. Bathroom floor is tiled with marble or marble-looking, non-slip material. The vanity counter is topped with marble as well. Seaside is an one year-old ship and there wasn't any plumbing issues (as expected). However, the shower's water temperature gets difficult to control during peak hours. It would get hot or cold if the neighbors decide to take a shower (or flush the loo) at the same time. It was annoying, but not a deal breaker.

Balcony is a decent size and has two chairs and a small table/ottoman. It doesn't have room for a lounge chair though. Perfect place to tan if you don't want to go by the YC pool.

Talking about the pool, the cabin we had was 18010 and it's located right under the YC pool area. While most of the time we don't hear anything, sometimes we could hear furniture dragging around the deck. The ages-old advice of "don't book a cabin below pool deck" holds true even here.

Dining & Food

We had all of our meals inside the YC area except for the one complimentary specialty restaurant dinner. Food is subjective and Seaside's food is a point of contention among cruisers. Some hate it, some love it. We are in the latter group. The YC restaurant's food was very good. While some may say it was bland, we say it was seasoned perfectly (contrast that with the overly salty, saucy, or sweet foods we find in the US). We had the best lobster from the YC restaurant. Why? Because they salted and marinated the lobsters before cooking. The freshly made pasta dishes were always al dente, the way we like them. The seafood was always fresh. If there's anything missing from the menus, it was duck. Didn't see duck on the menu during our cruise, but those pastas and lobsters made up for the missing duck.

We had a few meals at the YC grill by the pool. For a small buffet, it was very good. We had made-to-order seafood paella and seafood pasta and they were excellent. We also tried the roasted pork shank, and it was surprisingly tasty.

When we were not eating in the YC area, we were usually at one of the Venchi bars. There are two: one on deck 6 right by the shops and one by deck 7 all the way aft by the South Beach pool. Deck 6 Venchi bar serves alcoholic drinks, espresso coffees, milkshakes and gelatos. Dekc 7 servers milkshakes, gelato, and crepes. Given our limited time on board (only 7 days), we had not found one thing we didn't like from the Venchi bars.

Note: Venchi bars were included in our YC experience on our cruise. I was told by our concierge that in the future Venchi will not be included with YC experience, however no cut-off date was provided.

We also had a complimentary dinner at Ocean Cay. The food was excellent. Wife ordered a pasta with clams, and stated she finally found a match to the one she had on Regal Princess. She thought the one on MSC may even be better.

If we were to pick bones with food on MSC, it would be their desserts. While the desserts are good, nothing really memorable. Regal Princess had those special chocolate desserts on formal nights. Seeing that Seaside had Venchi on board, it was a missed opportunity not to offer Venchi-branded or -designed desserts on formal nights.

Ports and Excursions

We visited San Juan (Puerto Rico), Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas USVI), Phillipsburg (St. Marten), and Nassau (Bahamas). We had never been to any of these ports except for Nassau, and we were excited. However, out of the 4 ports only Charlotte Amalie was schedule for a full day. The rest of the ports were all half-day visits. San Juan was the worst of all: We arrived at 5pm and the shops started closing around 9pm. While the restaurants were open, but the scheduling left a bad after taste.

Due to the ship's horrible port schedule, we decided to book excursions with MSC instead of going out on our own. San Juan's excursion included coffee tastings. Overall it was good, but consisted of only two tastings.

For St. Thomas, we booked a tour to St. John's island. For a full day port visit, this tour felt rushed. This tour could easily extend by another 2 to 3 hours by allowing more time at the Annaberg plantation ruins (we were allowed only 10 minutes, it could use 30 to 45 minutes) and 1 to 2 hours beach time (we drove by Trunk Bay, one of the best beaches in the world, without stopping). For a half-day tour, what made it worse was MSC did not publish what time the tour was starting on its website, which made planning difficult. After the tour we took a taxi to downtown Charlotte Amalie and spent about an hour there. Perhaps it was bad planning and lack of research on my part, but I felt a good part of the port visit was not utilized as well as it could be.

St. Marten, we booked a tour by Jeep. Yeah, cliche I know. But I had always wanted to do this since forever. Now that I had, I can check it off my list. The tour itself was marketed as a highlight tour. However, if what we saw were the highlights of St. Marten I am not going back. We didn't even get to see Maho Beach (yeah it was petty much washed away after last year's hurricanes but still...). At least we were out and about for pretty much the entire half day we were there. The bus we were on arrived at the pier at 1:30pm with our all-aboard time at 1:30pm. I was joking that has anyone ever seen a full bus load of pier runners?

We did not get off the ship at Nassau. Been there twice already and even the cruise without Nassau call stopped at Nassau due to a medical emergency. Since we were on an European ship, I guessed most passengers (Europeans) would still be off. I was correct. The Seaside was a ghost town for a good 4 to 5 hours (again, half day port call). Took that opportunity to shoot some videos and take pictures of the beautiful ship.

The Ship

Seaside celebrated its first birthday on 11/29/2018. They threw a party and made a cake in the shape of a cruise ship. That said, Seaside is beautiful. The decor is very bling bling with chrome and mirrors everywhere. I thought I wouldn't like it based on the pictures, but I loved it when I first got on board. Pictures can only capture so much. To experience it in person definitely changed my perception in a heartbeat.

What I loved the most about Seaside is the outside area on deck 8. It's alongside both sides of the ship and offers areas to lounge and walk around while taking in the sights of open ocean and the sounds of waves. It makes me feel like I'm on a cruise ship instead of a floating shopping mall. The atrium has glasses on deck 7 and 8 and we were able to see the oceans from inside the atrium. Another feature that are not always on the newer ships. I applaud MSC for this design choice instead of squeezing in more retail spaces.

The technology on Seaside is top notch with the MSC for Me app. You can connect to the Seaside's wifi (free, no internet) and see the daily planner on the app. You can then add the events to your personal agenda in the app to create your own calendar. The app also allows passengers to book excursions, make specialty restaurant reservations, and evening show reservations. It would be even better if I could order room service or make future cruise deposits on the app. As it stands, Seaside technology offering is heads and shoulders above the other cruise lines (disclaimer: NCL and RCL ships we were on were 20 years old, and Regal Princess at the time of our sailing did not have Ocean Medallion).

We loved the Seaside. We feel it combines older ship's charm and design elements with brand-new ship's modern decor and technology. To us that's a winning combination.

Evening Shows

We went to every show except for the one night we were in San Juan. We felt MSC's shows were the best among the four cruises we had been on. Most of the shows combine some forms of signing, dancing, acrobatics, gymnastics, and magic tricks. There was an abbreviated opera Butterflies based on the Madame Butterfly opera. It was an one-time only show and the theater was packed. While we don't understand and lack the appreciation for opera, we appreciate MSC for at least staging the show.

The comedian group, BeerProv, was hilarious. Towards the end of the cruise, their gigs have become repetitive. But given new materials (audience volunteers), there were always outrageous lines and jokes. Totally enjoyed their shows.

Services

This is where the polarization is on Seaside, or perhaps across MSC fleet. We were in YC. The attention we received were top notch. We would sit down in the lounge and not two minutes later, a server would stop by and ask if we need anything. The same service was present at the YC grill by the YC pool. A few times I would walk up to the YC pool bar and order drinks, a server would come by and say he/she would bring them to where I was sitting. We did not get that on Princess, even though we were in a suite as well. All throughout the YC area, everything was spotless. We did not see any empty glasses or dishes sitting unsightly on tables. The tables would be cleaned up almost immediately, and they were CLEAN. MSC really took the YC experience to another level. Disclaimer: We haven't been in RCL's new suites nor NCL's Haven, nor any luxury lines. The value proposition, which I will discuss further, is unparalleled.

When we went to the Vench gelato bar by the South Beach pool, we have found the public areas somewhat sticky. The deck, one day, was sticky. The tables by South Beach pool and on deck 8 outside the buffet, were sticky most of the times. While the same was not true for interior spaces, the exterior spaces felt neglected. Even on deck 16 and deck 19 where the non-YC pool bars are, sometimes we just felt the overall cleanliness could be better.

Also, the non-YC pool decks were always packed. There were usually no spaces between the lounge chairs. Aurea area was slightly better, but compared to YC area, Aurea area still felt like canned sardines.

Going back to service. My guess is the crew-to-passenger ratio. Take the closest ship we had been on, Regal Princess, and compare it to Seaside. Regal has a passenger capacity of 3560 based on double occupancy with 1346 crew members. Seaside has a passenger capacity of 4140 based on double occupancy with 1508 crew members. On paper the crew-to-passenger ratio difference isn't big, but Seaside has the YC while Princess does not. In YC it felt like the crew-to-passenger ratio is 1-to-1, and outside it felt like 5-to-1. The excellent service in YC comes in the expense of average service for non-YC passengers.

MSC YC Value Proposition

At the time when I booked this cruise, the YC cabin was about 50% of the cost of a comparable cabin on Princess, NCL Haven, and RCL's new suites. Remember YC includes alcoholic drinks, Princess and RCL do not. That'd be another $500 per person for a week's cruise. Combined with the YC service and MSC's current value position, if you could swing it, book YC. Seaside even has inside YC rooms at even lower fares. If you are the type of cruisers who do not spend much time in the room, grab one of the YC inside room. You will receive everything in YC without paying a premium for the balcony.

Will we be back on MSC in YC? Definitely.
Selion’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Yacht Club Deluxe Suite
Cabin YC1 18010
We had the YC Deluxe Suite. It's not big at around 350 sq. ft. including balcony. Compared to the corner suite we had on Regal Princess, this cabin is about half the size. However, we never felt the need for more space. No, the bathroom does not have a tub. Regal's did. We only used that tub once then it became wasted space. Same with the "living room" on Regal: barely used. We feel Seaside YC Deluxe Suite strikes the perfect balance between size and utilization: you will use almost every part of the cabin you see. There are plenty of drawers for storage. There are two closets where we could hang longer dresses and suits. There were about 10 hangers provided and they were enough for us. Pretty sure the butler could provide more if asked.

The bathroom has a walk-in shower, with a handheld shower head and a ceiling-mount rain shower. Bathroom floor is tiled with marble or marble-looking, non-slip material. The vanity counter is topped with marble as well. Seaside is an one year-old ship and there wasn't any plumbing issues (as expected). However, the shower's water temperature gets difficult to control during peak hours. It would get hot or cold if the neighbors decide to take a shower (or flush the loo) at the same time. It was annoying, but not a deal breaker.

Balcony is a decent size and has two chairs and a small table/ottoman. It doesn't have room for a lounge chair though. Perfect place to tan if you don't want to go by the YC pool.

Talking about the pool, the cabin we had was 18010 and it's located right under the YC pool area. While most of the time we don't hear anything, sometimes we could hear furniture dragging around the deck. The ages-old advice of "don't book a cabin below pool deck" holds true even here.
Playa Paraiso Deck Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Walking Tour of Old San Juan
    It was walking tour of Old San Juan with Coffee Tasting. Tour was informative and consisted of two coffee tastings. Would like to have more tastings included.
    View All 152 Walking Tour of Old San Juan Reviews
  • St. Maarten
    Felt we didn't see the highlights. Yes, we were shown and drove around the island, but nothing really stands out. Last hour of the tour was spent at a bar by a beach. No, it wasn't Maho Beach. We didn't get to see Maho Beach or even drive by it. The Jeep was in horrible shape with CEL on, torn cloth on seats, and even the steering wheel's vinly covering was peeling off.
    View All 13,608 St. Maarten Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Maarten Cruise Port Review
  • St. John Tour
    St. John's tour with Annaberg Ruins - felt too short and MSC didn't state the starting time on their website pre-cruise, which made planning the rest of the day difficult since this was a half day tour. Definitely could use more time at Annaberg, and maybe 1 to 2 hours at one of the amazing beaches on St. John.
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