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About us – We are a family of 4 from the upper Midwest USA, mid-40’s with 11 and 8 yr old boys. This is my wife and I’s eighth cruise over a span of nearly 20 years… 5 taken as a couple, then a pause of about 9 years for kids, now 3 with them along. Also, this is cruise line #6, having done Princess x2, RCI x2, Carnival, Disney, and NCL prior. Yacht Club deluxe suite (18013) Room was fantastic for us and our 2 boys. There was more storage space than I have ever seen, with a two-door closet for hanging (just not enough hangers, but had brought some along), a 2nd closet with half for hanging and half with drawers, bed-side stands with drawers, under-bed storage easily fit our 6 pieces of luggage, and the shelving divider between the bed and where the kids slept (full size sofa sleeper with murphy bed above) for things like sunscreen, electronics, and packing cubes we brought along. I also very much liked our room location up on 18 – a straight shot to the jungle pool area, the waterslides, kids club, and YC restaurant, and just up a flight of stairs to the YC pool area or down a flight to the YC lounge. We had really no noise from above (YC pool area). Since the deck under – 16 – is not a through-deck as it runs into the specialty restaurants, I preferred everything about the 18th floor. The ship LOVED the Seaside! The use of chrome and mirrors on walls and ceilings made passageways feel larger and more open, plus the overall feel was very modern. I also feel that the amount pool area, spas, and deck space was better than like-sized vessels. Not even counting the YC pool area, since we didn’t visit it all that often, having the jungle pool, the aqua park area/splash pool, Miami Beach pool, and South Beach pools really spread out the crowd well. Also enjoyed the 4-floor atrium area with all the assorted bars in the vicinity; a nice place to people-watch, and catch some of the entertainment acts. Very seldom did it feel crowded – other than breakfast at the main buffet. Activities/Entertainment Waterpark – The tube slide was pretty fun, though it probably was more fun with the mats that it was designed for. The tube line was usually a bit too longer for us in relation to the actual amount of fun that it was – and it surely could benefit a bit with better signage, as the queue breaks into two for double and single tubes without that being marked, and with lots of people who do not understand each other, it can get a little chaotic. The racing body slides were probably my favorite, as they were plenty long, smooth, and fast to be enjoyable, plus the lines were never bad and moved quickly. The last slide – the brown, open slide, was also decent for less adventurous, though it was also a plenty long and twisting ride. Zip-line – Just the novelty of it was worth trying. We’ve done enough traditional jungle zip-lining, so in comparison, this was not tall, long, or fast. But still a unique ship-board experience. Arcade area – as with my zip-line comment, being able to bowl on a ship is more about the novelty of being able to. Otherwise, it’s probably not really worth what they charge, even though we enjoyed doing it. We did 2 of the XD Cinema rides – werewolves and zombies. They were ok. A couple of the 3D jump-out-at-you moments were a bit intense/scary for the 8 yr old. My 11-yr-old did the F1 simulator, and had a good time, but found it a bit difficult to keep on-road. Spa – as a YC perk, we had to carve out time to see what the spa was about. We are too on-the-go to do spa, but hearing how great the Seaside’s was, we visited for about an hour on our last sea day just to give everything a quick try. They really do have the hot/cold theme going with snow room to saunas, to cold/hot alternating geyser station. We gave everything except the salt room (it was full) a 5-minute try. While I can see this being a great way to spend some quality relaxation time, for us it wasn’t really the ‘wow, we’ve got to come back here’ kind of place. But chalk that up to mostly just too much to do and not enough time! Theater shows – We went to all 7 nights’ shows. The best part to me was the length – mostly right at 30 minutes, though a couple may have gone 5 or 10 minutes longer. Many acts incorporated (and repeated in other shows) that are similar to the ‘America’s Got Talent’ type show – juggling, pair roller skating, magic, strength and flexibility – mixed in with the Broadway-style show song and dance numbers, and generally impressive costuming. As mentioned plenty in reviews, there’s not much of a plot-line anywhere. Least favorite by a mile was ‘My Life in Music’ as it was less of the acts and mostly singing, and songs I didn’t care for at that. On the opposite end was the Michael Jackson show ‘Starwalker’ on the last evening. I grew up in the MTV era, and always have enjoyed Michael’s dance moves, as well as the more iconic songs from the 80’s, so I thought this show was amazing! It even included my #1 favorite of his – the anti-gravity lean in Smooth Criminal. Dining We ate YC breakfast once at the outdoor buffet and found it just too limiting for us and the kids; plus it had pretty much the exact same things every day. The remainder of the time, we hit the main buffet for breakfast, which was a bit chaotic, but great choices. When not off the ship at port, we had a couple lunches at the YC grill area or the main buffet. Again, the YC was limited but good, and the buffet had good options – enjoyed the pasta selections. For dinner, we ate at YC restaurant 4 evenings and very much enjoyed each meal there. However, due to the length of time required for that (and more of a feeling of obligation to dress a bit nicer), we opted for buffet dinner the other nights. Ports/itinerary: Generally enjoyed the itinerary, even though we’ve seemingly done these ports to death. Jamaica – this go-around, we went to the Blue Hole followed by river rafting through Dr Fun,which we lined up ourselves. The Blue Hole was amazing! Grand Cayman Island – probably my least favorite port. I can’t stand the tender process. But we made a beach day out of at 7-mile-beach. Busy, but a hot, sunny day at the ocean… that’s a good day. Cozumel – We returned to Paradise Beach. We love that it has about everything we want individually… nice spot to lay in the sun with great bar service, decent beach for the kids, the inflatables to play on, the biggest and nicest pool (the water is warm, which makes my wife happy), tasty food – our discussion that day ended with a ‘wouldn’t mind just coming back here every Cozumel visit’. Nassau- the downside was the early departure time of 3:30, because we like to visit the Atlantis waterpark. Even so, we made the most of it and enjoyed our 5 hours there. Mostly spent on a tube on the rapid river! Summary: We LOVED our week aboard the Seaside. A year ago, we did an NCL Getaway cruise, and we had the best vacation ever with a fabulous time on the ship and great port activities – I said it was nearly unable to be topped. Well, this one gave a pretty good run for that title, though throwing in the Yacht Club experience gives a slightly unfair comparison to our typical balcony stateroom cruise. Only, we just didn’t utilize the Yacht Club aspects all that much, with all the time spent off at ports, doing family activities onboard, etc, so perhaps not as unfair a comparison as if we had stayed in the relatively secluded confines of Yacht Club. I will probably score this one a very high 9 out of 10. Random thoughts: - TOO MUCH TO SEE AND DO! We did get off at all four ports, went to every nightly show, had lots of pictures taken with the digital package purchased, and tried to get in plenty of waterpark, arcade, zip-lining, etc…. just wanted to at least sample as much as we could, and there just isn’t time in 7 days to get it all in (and take just a few hours to actually sit and relax). Not a complaint at all. Really more of a compliment that I would have loved spending another week. - Biggest waste of space headscratcher to me was the Bistro-le-boheme area of Deck 8. With all the times passing through there, I never saw anything going on – ever. - Biggest disappointment – the bar service of yacht club pool area. It wasn’t every terribly busy there, but for some reason, we just could not get a drink on several occasions, especially when having breakfast or lunch there. - Drinks! Every cruise, I kind of gravitate to a particular drink or two, whatever I find they do well. I typically want a tropical/Caribbean rum cocktail. I really like a good Bahama Mama, but their interpretation of that on MSC – well, the one I had anyway, as I got a blank stare trying to order one from a different bar to compare – was terrible. Next attempt was a simple pina colada – which came on the rocks and not blended, and was not very good either. Next up was a mojito – which was great and was then the staple for the duration of the cruise, along with the occasional MSC Bellini from Champagne Bar, random beer, or Venchi latte or martini. - The yacht club lounge snacks were a huge hit. They change it over 5 times a day (breakfast/snack/tea/aperitif/night temptations) so we all made multiple trips daily, just to look. From mini burgers to stuffed puff pastries, to desserts and chocolates – it was a great perk!

Family cruise - Great time!!

MSC Seaside Cruise Review by mgrieger

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Yacht Club Deluxe Suite
About us –

We are a family of 4 from the upper Midwest USA, mid-40’s with 11 and 8 yr old boys. This is my wife and I’s eighth cruise over a span of nearly 20 years… 5 taken as a couple, then a pause of about 9 years for kids, now 3 with them along. Also, this is cruise line #6, having done Princess x2, RCI x2, Carnival, Disney, and NCL prior.

Yacht Club deluxe suite (18013)

Room was fantastic for us and our 2 boys. There was more storage space than I have ever seen, with a two-door closet for hanging (just not enough hangers, but had brought some along), a 2nd closet with half for hanging and half with drawers, bed-side stands with drawers, under-bed storage easily fit our 6 pieces of luggage, and the shelving divider between the bed and where the kids slept (full size sofa sleeper with murphy bed above) for things like sunscreen, electronics, and packing cubes we brought along. I also very much liked our room location up on 18 – a straight shot to the jungle pool area, the waterslides, kids club, and YC restaurant, and just up a flight of stairs to the YC pool area or down a flight to the YC lounge. We had really no noise from above (YC pool area). Since the deck under – 16 – is not a through-deck as it runs into the specialty restaurants, I preferred everything about the 18th floor.

The ship

LOVED the Seaside! The use of chrome and mirrors on walls and ceilings made passageways feel larger and more open, plus the overall feel was very modern. I also feel that the amount pool area, spas, and deck space was better than like-sized vessels. Not even counting the YC pool area, since we didn’t visit it all that often, having the jungle pool, the aqua park area/splash pool, Miami Beach pool, and South Beach pools really spread out the crowd well. Also enjoyed the 4-floor atrium area with all the assorted bars in the vicinity; a nice place to people-watch, and catch some of the entertainment acts. Very seldom did it feel crowded – other than breakfast at the main buffet.

Activities/Entertainment

Waterpark – The tube slide was pretty fun, though it probably was more fun with the mats that it was designed for. The tube line was usually a bit too longer for us in relation to the actual amount of fun that it was – and it surely could benefit a bit with better signage, as the queue breaks into two for double and single tubes without that being marked, and with lots of people who do not understand each other, it can get a little chaotic. The racing body slides were probably my favorite, as they were plenty long, smooth, and fast to be enjoyable, plus the lines were never bad and moved quickly. The last slide – the brown, open slide, was also decent for less adventurous, though it was also a plenty long and twisting ride.

Zip-line – Just the novelty of it was worth trying. We’ve done enough traditional jungle zip-lining, so in comparison, this was not tall, long, or fast. But still a unique ship-board experience.

Arcade area – as with my zip-line comment, being able to bowl on a ship is more about the novelty of being able to. Otherwise, it’s probably not really worth what they charge, even though we enjoyed doing it. We did 2 of the XD Cinema rides – werewolves and zombies. They were ok. A couple of the 3D jump-out-at-you moments were a bit intense/scary for the 8 yr old. My 11-yr-old did the F1 simulator, and had a good time, but found it a bit difficult to keep on-road.

Spa – as a YC perk, we had to carve out time to see what the spa was about. We are too on-the-go to do spa, but hearing how great the Seaside’s was, we visited for about an hour on our last sea day just to give everything a quick try. They really do have the hot/cold theme going with snow room to saunas, to cold/hot alternating geyser station. We gave everything except the salt room (it was full) a 5-minute try. While I can see this being a great way to spend some quality relaxation time, for us it wasn’t really the ‘wow, we’ve got to come back here’ kind of place. But chalk that up to mostly just too much to do and not enough time!

Theater shows – We went to all 7 nights’ shows. The best part to me was the length – mostly right at 30 minutes, though a couple may have gone 5 or 10 minutes longer. Many acts incorporated (and repeated in other shows) that are similar to the ‘America’s Got Talent’ type show – juggling, pair roller skating, magic, strength and flexibility – mixed in with the Broadway-style show song and dance numbers, and generally impressive costuming. As mentioned plenty in reviews, there’s not much of a plot-line anywhere. Least favorite by a mile was ‘My Life in Music’ as it was less of the acts and mostly singing, and songs I didn’t care for at that. On the opposite end was the Michael Jackson show ‘Starwalker’ on the last evening. I grew up in the MTV era, and always have enjoyed Michael’s dance moves, as well as the more iconic songs from the 80’s, so I thought this show was amazing! It even included my #1 favorite of his – the anti-gravity lean in Smooth Criminal.

Dining

We ate YC breakfast once at the outdoor buffet and found it just too limiting for us and the kids; plus it had pretty much the exact same things every day. The remainder of the time, we hit the main buffet for breakfast, which was a bit chaotic, but great choices.

When not off the ship at port, we had a couple lunches at the YC grill area or the main buffet. Again, the YC was limited but good, and the buffet had good options – enjoyed the pasta selections.

For dinner, we ate at YC restaurant 4 evenings and very much enjoyed each meal there. However, due to the length of time required for that (and more of a feeling of obligation to dress a bit nicer), we opted for buffet dinner the other nights.

Ports/itinerary:

Generally enjoyed the itinerary, even though we’ve seemingly done these ports to death.

Jamaica – this go-around, we went to the Blue Hole followed by river rafting through Dr Fun,which we lined up ourselves. The Blue Hole was amazing!

Grand Cayman Island – probably my least favorite port. I can’t stand the tender process. But we made a beach day out of at 7-mile-beach. Busy, but a hot, sunny day at the ocean… that’s a good day.

Cozumel – We returned to Paradise Beach. We love that it has about everything we want individually… nice spot to lay in the sun with great bar service, decent beach for the kids, the inflatables to play on, the biggest and nicest pool (the water is warm, which makes my wife happy), tasty food – our discussion that day ended with a ‘wouldn’t mind just coming back here every Cozumel visit’.

Nassau- the downside was the early departure time of 3:30, because we like to visit the Atlantis waterpark. Even so, we made the most of it and enjoyed our 5 hours there. Mostly spent on a tube on the rapid river!

Summary:

We LOVED our week aboard the Seaside. A year ago, we did an NCL Getaway cruise, and we had the best vacation ever with a fabulous time on the ship and great port activities – I said it was nearly unable to be topped. Well, this one gave a pretty good run for that title, though throwing in the Yacht Club experience gives a slightly unfair comparison to our typical balcony stateroom cruise. Only, we just didn’t utilize the Yacht Club aspects all that much, with all the time spent off at ports, doing family activities onboard, etc, so perhaps not as unfair a comparison as if we had stayed in the relatively secluded confines of Yacht Club. I will probably score this one a very high 9 out of 10.

Random thoughts:

- TOO MUCH TO SEE AND DO! We did get off at all four ports, went to every nightly show, had lots of pictures taken with the digital package purchased, and tried to get in plenty of waterpark, arcade, zip-lining, etc…. just wanted to at least sample as much as we could, and there just isn’t time in 7 days to get it all in (and take just a few hours to actually sit and relax). Not a complaint at all. Really more of a compliment that I would have loved spending another week.

- Biggest waste of space headscratcher to me was the Bistro-le-boheme area of Deck 8. With all the times passing through there, I never saw anything going on – ever.

- Biggest disappointment – the bar service of yacht club pool area. It wasn’t every terribly busy there, but for some reason, we just could not get a drink on several occasions, especially when having breakfast or lunch there.

- Drinks! Every cruise, I kind of gravitate to a particular drink or two, whatever I find they do well. I typically want a tropical/Caribbean rum cocktail. I really like a good Bahama Mama, but their interpretation of that on MSC – well, the one I had anyway, as I got a blank stare trying to order one from a different bar to compare – was terrible. Next attempt was a simple pina colada – which came on the rocks and not blended, and was not very good either. Next up was a mojito – which was great and was then the staple for the duration of the cruise, along with the occasional MSC Bellini from Champagne Bar, random beer, or Venchi latte or martini.

- The yacht club lounge snacks were a huge hit. They change it over 5 times a day (breakfast/snack/tea/aperitif/night temptations) so we all made multiple trips daily, just to look. From mini burgers to stuffed puff pastries, to desserts and chocolates – it was a great perk!
mgrieger’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Ages 10 to 12
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Yacht Club Deluxe Suite
Cabin YC1 18013
Room was fantastic for us and our 2 boys. There was more storage space than I have ever seen, with a two-door closet for hanging (just not enough hangers, but had brought some along), a 2nd closet with half for hanging and half with drawers, bed-side stands with drawers, under-bed storage easily fit our 6 pieces of luggage, and the shelving divider between the bed and where the kids slept (full size sofa sleeper with murphy bed above) for things like sunscreen, electronics, and packing cubes we brought along. I also very much liked our room location up on 18 – a straight shot to the jungle pool area, the waterslides, kids club, and YC restaurant, and just up a flight of stairs to the YC pool area or down a flight to the YC lounge. We had really no noise from above (YC pool area). Since the deck under – 16 – is not a through-deck as it runs into the specialty restaurants, I preferred everything about the 18th floor.
Playa Paraiso Deck Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Beach
    We LOVE Paradise Beach! It was a return trip for us, and we likely will continue coming back. The kids love the beach and the inflatables, and the whole family loves their great pool. Service is also very good, as is the food. About the only thing that was lacking was the snorkeling - not too much to see.
    View All 598 Beach Reviews
  • Grand Cayman
    Having to tender at Georgetown makes this a bit more miserable of a stop. This one was just a beach stop for us, so took public bus to Seven Mile Beach and rented a couple chairs and enjoyed the beach and ocean. Fabulous beach, but quite crowded.
    View All 3,376 Grand Cayman Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Grand Cayman Cruise Port Review
  • Atlantis Resort
    LOVE going to Atlantis Aquaventure! The only negative was the chaotic line to get your day pass wristbands... the pre-paid line should move much faster than it did, but many folks are in the wrong line and/or not very prepared. Luckily, we got there very early, so did make it through the line prior to the 10am actual opening. The rapid river tube ride is a family favorite, and we spent most of our day on it and the connected tube slides at the Power Tower. Would have been nice to have had a couple more hours in port to enjoy a bit more.
    View All 671 Atlantis Resort Reviews
  • Ocho Rios
    The Blue Hole was one of the best adventures we have done on a cruise. Our 11-yr old son did all the jumps - as did his dad, while 8-yr old and mom were not quite as brave to scale down the larger waterfall, but had fun on the shorter jumps. We did want the 'paparazzi' for capturing family pics along the way, and purchased the disk at the end. After the Blue Hole, we went river tubing, which was much more laid back and relaxing - a few small rapids areas that the kids enjoyed. A stop mid-way to buy a beer and some jerk chicken.
    View All 12,409 Ocho Rios Cruise Port Reviews
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