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We selected this cruise line mainly because of the cost, value and rooms (balcony and interior) that we could get for the price. This was a Spring Break 2019 trip and the first time my family had cruised with all three children (two 15's and one 9 year old). We found the boat to be amazing (only second to the Oasis of the Seas from Royal Caribbean and that is only because of certain things we liked about that boat). The cabins were very nice, modern for a cruise line and worked for all parties. The weight room had everything you would need and the crowd faded as the week progressed, but I am typically a morning exercise person. The buffet on Deck 8 was the best cruise buffet that we have had on any cruise (this was our 6th). You do really need to walk the entire buffet before choosing though. We read this before and it holds true. The dining hall (formal dinners) were not overly impressive. My wife was not pleased at all and would rate it worse than I would, but I can always find something to eat. I got the sense that they were pushing people towards the extra dining packages, which I really think is a major focus on many of the cruise lines now. The pools were different than Carnival and Royal with the depth being something that we enjoyed. You are not allowed to bring drinks to the pool, which meant that you didn't have the standing adults in the pool with drinks, which is something I appreciated but may not be something for everyone. The boats layout was a major plus. We stayed mainly in the rain forest area, which was as nice as any area on any cruise boat we have ever found. It had a less crowded feel with sunshine, shade, comfort and access to the waterpark to keep track of the children. The slides were legitimate and crowded at times and not crowded at others. We didn't do many excursions, so we really focused on the boat, which was a highlight of the trip. We loved the Michael Jackson show and family improv comedy show (wish we would have stayed up for the adult version but we go to bed too late). The jazz in the Seaside lounge was wonderful and this was a regular night time area. This was the first time I have bought the upgraded drink package and I would certainly recommend it. The basic drinking package charges you a "tip" each time, which is not bad, but the premium does not plus you get almost every liquor you could want (lots of rum & bourbon on this trip for me). All in all, we had a great time and would suggest it if you don't mind foreign speaking guests (didn't bother us at all). The bars seemed understaffed at crowded times, but I have never really needed them before so I can not say if that is similar to other cruises. I did find the bartenders to be friendly and helpful, especially if you return to a couple throughout the trip (Ashton in the Rain Forest and Raul in Seasview Lounge were particularly awesome). One of the major differences is the service with your cabin. I am not a huge fan of people taking care of me, so it didn't bother me that my steward was not as visible as the other cruise lines. They cleaned your room when asked and needed, but don't expect the towels in shapes of animals, etc. Just a difference in lines.

Depending on what you want from a cruise, this may or may not be perfect for you

MSC Seaside Cruise Review by SSrhine

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Bella Balcony Stateroom
We selected this cruise line mainly because of the cost, value and rooms (balcony and interior) that we could get for the price. This was a Spring Break 2019 trip and the first time my family had cruised with all three children (two 15's and one 9 year old). We found the boat to be amazing (only second to the Oasis of the Seas from Royal Caribbean and that is only because of certain things we liked about that boat).

The cabins were very nice, modern for a cruise line and worked for all parties. The weight room had everything you would need and the crowd faded as the week progressed, but I am typically a morning exercise person.

The buffet on Deck 8 was the best cruise buffet that we have had on any cruise (this was our 6th). You do really need to walk the entire buffet before choosing though. We read this before and it holds true.

The dining hall (formal dinners) were not overly impressive. My wife was not pleased at all and would rate it worse than I would, but I can always find something to eat. I got the sense that they were pushing people towards the extra dining packages, which I really think is a major focus on many of the cruise lines now.

The pools were different than Carnival and Royal with the depth being something that we enjoyed. You are not allowed to bring drinks to the pool, which meant that you didn't have the standing adults in the pool with drinks, which is something I appreciated but may not be something for everyone.

The boats layout was a major plus. We stayed mainly in the rain forest area, which was as nice as any area on any cruise boat we have ever found. It had a less crowded feel with sunshine, shade, comfort and access to the waterpark to keep track of the children. The slides were legitimate and crowded at times and not crowded at others. We didn't do many excursions, so we really focused on the boat, which was a highlight of the trip.

We loved the Michael Jackson show and family improv comedy show (wish we would have stayed up for the adult version but we go to bed too late). The jazz in the Seaside lounge was wonderful and this was a regular night time area.

This was the first time I have bought the upgraded drink package and I would certainly recommend it. The basic drinking package charges you a "tip" each time, which is not bad, but the premium does not plus you get almost every liquor you could want (lots of rum & bourbon on this trip for me).

All in all, we had a great time and would suggest it if you don't mind foreign speaking guests (didn't bother us at all). The bars seemed understaffed at crowded times, but I have never really needed them before so I can not say if that is similar to other cruises. I did find the bartenders to be friendly and helpful, especially if you return to a couple throughout the trip (Ashton in the Rain Forest and Raul in Seasview Lounge were particularly awesome).

One of the major differences is the service with your cabin. I am not a huge fan of people taking care of me, so it didn't bother me that my steward was not as visible as the other cruise lines. They cleaned your room when asked and needed, but don't expect the towels in shapes of animals, etc. Just a difference in lines.
SSrhine’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Bella Balcony Stateroom
Cabin B1 13212
Everything you could want. My daughter had a twin daybead and we had enough space (typical for a cruise line).
Mondello Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews