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

Avoid MSC

MSC Seaside Cruise Review by ReeRee_457

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Nov 2018
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Fantastica Inside Stateroom

We booked this cruise through Omni Tours. The ship is absolutely beautiful. We have always gotten a balcony stateroom before but decided to book and inside stateroom as we wanted the enhanced liquor package. Our room was spacious, quiet, and our bed was extremely comfortable. Our room attendant was very attentive and tidied our room every time we left it. We found one bar on the ship where we received outstanding service, and one bar waitress that was incredible. That, is all I have to say good about the ship.

Now, the bad:

1. Organization for the lines to get our room key before we boarded was a mess and took longer than it should. There were several lines but with each stateroom checking in, the attendant had to go into a centralized room to obtain our check in package. He just handed it to us and didn’t explain it. I had to ask him to explain what the different numbers meant as I was watching other people checking in having their room keys explained to them.

2. Changing of codes on room key. There were several of us who booked our liquor packages at different times through the year and they changed the number code. This added issues as the wait staff never truly understood that we all had top shelf unlimited access to the bar, to the exception of the one bar waitress.

3. Good luck getting a drink at dinner. The restaurants only serve beer, wine and water. That’s right, want a soda or mixed drink, better bring it with you from the bar, before you enter the restaurant. If you as the winter, he will bring a bar attendant over, but double up on your drinks, as seeing that person is a one time shot.

4. Plain and simple, the food was average to poor. In the main dining rooms, You were lucky if it was served tepid. If you wanted to add butter to your baked potatoe, it never and I do mean never, would melt. They had staples of American cuisine every night. However, if you think you are safe ordering steak, think again. Order and extra thick cut, because that’s the only way you will get a steak 1/2”thick. Order your steak medium rare for medium, too. Their attempt at different cultural cuisine was a joke. Ozzo Bucco, they were only going to give me slices of meat, I explained to my waiter I wanted the whole shank and as soon as he said he would try, everyone at my table go the Ozzo Bucco. It was the best meat I had with them in the restaurant, however they served it with cheesy processed risotto, nasty. No lobster, unless you wanted to pay extra. The seafood we learned quickly was horrible. As it was placed in front of you you could smell the fishy smell. I never got it, but I watched everyone at my table and surrounding tables return their “New England clam chowder” for the same reason. I has sitting at the table with a Lobsterboat captain and his wife who stated that the seafood was not handled correctly. On Italian night, my friend ordered Chicken Parmesan. It was a spoon full of marinara sauce, witha 2”X 3” piece of processed. breaded chicken with a slice of white cheese melted on top, with speghetti on the side, no sauce. He commented on McDonald chicken is bigger and more tasty. I don’t know how many times we asked for salted butter only for our table, and that request was granted on the last night. I have three words for the chef, Crack A Cookbook!!!!

5. The buffets, same food, different locations. Average food, period. Breakfast was horrible. The bacon was limp. The sausages were cooked, then steamed, then allowed to cool. Fresh fruit, nope, the pineapple was canned. The biscuit and gravy were not even warm. It was if they took it out of the refrigerator and set it out on the warmer. The made to order omelets were never cooked entirely through, because they didn’t flip them. The sliced ham was served with way too much pineapple juice and tasted mostly like textured pineapple. The last day they had baked beans, on the breakfast bar...Yuck! Lunch, the hot dogs and hamburgers were always reliable. Dinner, was always reliable as you could get salad and a meat that they were carving that night. We skipped the zoo at the restaurant one night and were delighted to have Turkey off the bone. It WAS the best meal on the ship.

6. Don’t pay extra for the liquor package. If you can get anyone to wait on you, it takes them 5-10 minutes to make your drink. If you don’t go to the bar, another 5 minutes for them to bring it to you. I was in one bar and asked for a Jack Daniels and Coke. I took one taste, and knew it wasn’t J.D., but tasted more like V.O. I had my husband taste it. He concurred. I said to the bartender that was not Jack Daniels. He brought the bottle over to me, and poured me another drink. It was the same, but not Jack Daniels. Which means that some one was pouring filling the bottles with cheaper liquor and passing it off as shelf. Good thing I didn’t request a vodka drink as I am allergic to some vodkas and could have gotten violently ill. Unless you are a serious alcoholic don’t order this package.

7. The daily service charge is $12.50 per person. You can dispute that, which we did and gave only those who deserved a gratuity and really good one.

8. SAFETY. The lifeboat drill was a joke. We had meeting areas, ours was the casino. They swiped our card and showed us how to put on our life jackets. THAT WAS IT. If the boat was really sinking, no one was told where we would go or where we would get our life jackets (because they weren’t in the staterooms). I don’t even know what number our life boat was. Friends of ours were sitting right next to us during this drill. They did not swipe their room cards before they went into the casino, so they had to go the next day to observe again, how to put their life jackets on.

9. The shore excursions were not long enough in all but St Thomas. They allotted 5 hours in Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten, and Nassau. Puerto Rico was got into port at 5pm. By the time the excursion groups got off, that left us with 3 1/2 hours. One tour group went to the fort. The fort was closed so they could only walk around outside the fort. Sint Maarten, we got into port at 7am. The stores didn’t open until 10, and we had to be back on the boat at 1:30. Naussau we got in at 12, couldn’t get off the boat until 1:30, and we had to be back on the boat at 6. We planned our own excursions and were glad we did. They were cheaper and we got to our destinations and back in a timely manner.

ReeRee_457's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Fantastica Inside Stateroom
Cabin I2 13099

Darin was our stateroom attendant. After dealing with all the crap listed above, we could consistently know that he would be in our hallway to greet us and get us what ever we needed. Our stateroom, was always tidied up when we left it, so we never had to really bother him, except when my room key was deactivated. (Then I had to go back down to customer service and wait in line for an hour). Our bed was comfortable, the towels were sandpaper at best.

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