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MSC Seaside Review

4.5 / 5.0
1,259 reviews

Trying out MSC - Nice Change of Pace

Review for the Eastern Caribbean Cruise on MSC Seaside
10+ Cruises • Age 50s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Dec 2018
Cabin: Aurea Balcony Stateroom

Background Information

We originally booked Seaside on 3/24/16 for the 1/20/18 sailing, when we thought Ocean Cay would be ready. When they announced the first year delay of the island opening, we rebooked on 4/12/17 for this sailing. When they announced the second year delay for Ocean Cay, we opted to keep the 12/8/18 booking since my husband Scott decided he wanted to celebrate his 50th birthday on Seaside. The ship was definitely more important than the itinerary - Scott had been obsessed with this ship ever since the artist renderings came out! We also took advantage of MSC's aggressive status matching program - with our Platinum status on Princess, we qualified for Gold level on MSC.

Travel to Embarkation Port

Cabin Review

Aurea Balcony Stateroom

Cabin B3

Room configuration had bed by the balcony sliding door, sofa, fridge/desk with one center drawer/flat screen TV unit, under desk stool instead of a chair, small hanging closet/three open shelves/2 drawers plus the safe. Three hooks on the wall by the door. Shower was glass door enclosed. Otherwise standard bathroom setup.

On-demand video library is all for pay and no music channels. Limited selection of live channels - with several European options not surprisingly. If you like to watch movies/TV in your cabin, this isn't a strong point for MSC Seaside.

Hair dryer is attached in the desk drawer. It’s the hold down the button type.

Desk has two US power outlets, two European power outlets, and 2 USB ports. One of the bedside light switches also has a USB port.

Suitcases fit under the bed. Each side of the bed has a nightstand with two open shelves. Each side has a light and a mini reading light.

Mattress was comfortable though not overly cushy. Bedding was on the warm side - no top sheet, duvet only. I'm not sure if you could request alternative bedding.

Usable size balcony with two chairs and a footstool.

Port Reviews


We walked around Miami Beach/South Beach and took the free trolley. Stayed one night pre-cruise at the Hilton Garden Inn Miami South Beach. Had great meals at Yardbird and Morenos Cuba.

San Juan

Since we were only there in the evening, we just walked around through Old San Juan and most of the Paseo del Morro. We had an excellent dinner at Barrachina.

St. Thomas

Since we were in port for 12 hours, we decided to do Trunk Bay on St. John DIY.

We were docked at the Havensight cruise terminal. Got to taxi stand area by 8:15, but our taxi made multiple pickups, and we didn’t get out of the port itself until nearly 8:25 for Red Hook. Fare was $10pp. Traffic congestion was bad, and it was looking doubtful we’d make the 9am ferry. But our driver drove quite aggressively, and we made it to Red Hook just a couple minutes before 9am. Fare is $8.15pp one way. Buy round trip so you can avoid the return ticket line at the Cruz Bay ferry terminal.

After a 20 minute ferry ride, we arrived at Cruz Bay on St.John and then immediately took a taxi to Trunk Bay. Fare was $6pp. We arrived at Trunk Bay about 9:30am.

Chair rentals are $6-$15 depending on style. You can also rent snorkel gear.

Restrooms are maintained by National Park Service so they are full facilities not porta potties. Shower facilities also available but no food/drink so bring your own (still recovering from the 2017 hurricanes so the former snack bar has not been replaced). No fee to access the beach as of Dec 2018.

Left Trunk Bay around 1:45pm and took a return taxi to Cruz Bay. Had drinks & apps at Woody’s Seafood Saloon and did a little shopping in town.

Took 4pm return ferry which only took 15 minutes coming back. Left Red Hook via taxi at 4:20pm and got back to the ship around 5pm.

If you have a long day in port, I’d recommend the DIY option for Trunk Bay (or any other beach of your choice on St. John).

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