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I've seen mixed reviews on the MSC Seaside while doing lots of research. Having been on Princess, Celebrity, and Royal, this was my favorite. It's a gorgeous ship. The staff are comparable to other lines. But you get so much for your money. That opinion might related to having the Aurea experience. But we felt this cabin and the deluxe drink package (obsolete after 11/19 bookings) were the best deal we've seen in quality and price. Even with the new drink package structure, we'll book this ship again. The best description I can make is this is a great combination of the refinement of Celebrity and the fun of Royal. The room - Most of the research I was able to do on this room, 12001, was watching the YouTube videos as I didn't see many of reviews of the cabin. That was motivation for this review. It has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a huge closet, a living room, and a forward-facing balcony. Here's the stuff you can't get from watching the video: - One bathroom is better for showering (the one with the bathtub) and one is better for everything else. We started with a kids' bathroom and an adults' bathroom and ended up using whatever we wanted by the end. - The main closet is large enough that you can get dressed in it, easier than getting dressed in the bathroom. That really helped when we were rushing to dinner. - There's plenty of storage in the 2nd bedroom as well so my daughter kept her stuff in there. - We loved this balcony. This was our first fully forward balcony, but we'd gladly do it again. It was wonderful coming into port (San Juan was incredible) and leaving. It was great for star-gazing at night. It was protected enough that it gave shade on hot days but still had a great breeze. We enjoyed napping on it. The breeze at sea was great for drying stuff from the day, which has been an issue on prior cruises. - The living room is larger and more functional than it looks in the video. We stuck the large suitcases in the corner and didn't notice there were there. When we weren't sleeping, we spent our time in the room in the living room. - The kids alternated between hanging out on the sofa and the balcony. Gluten-free experience - I received 2 pre-packaged treats in the room each day. I was able to take them off the ship for excursions. This was a really nice touch since I expected to be very limited in what I could take with me. - Pasta and risotto make me one happy camper. So I was happy all week! - For the most part, I did ok in the buffet. The staff would tell me how something was cooked if I asked. I stuck mainly with the items in the rotisserie section and had some great fish, rice, and vegetables. I ate the meringue cookies as my dessert with each meal. One day had chocolate mousse and it was incredible. After too many meals watching the family ooh and aah over the pizza, I hit a week spot after a day of heavy drinking and pulled the topping off of some slices. Was it worth the risk? Probably not. But I'll blame it on the mojitos and ciders. And I don't regret any of the mojitos I drank! - I received my own menu whenever I ate in the dining room. My food came separate from the others since it comes from a separate kitchen. For the most part, my food came within minutes of the others' dishes. I was served warm GF bread with every meal which - I devoured within minutes of it hitting the table. It's been a long time since I've had fresh bread! - I chose "Dessert of the Day" for each dinner. There were items on the regular menu that would have been GF (ice cream, flan, and others), but it just got to be routine to order it. A couple of times were an ice cream cake and a couple were ice cream. I wasn't overly impressed with the desserts, but then again the desserts weren't the star of the meal for me since I knew I could hit Venchi afterwards. - Interesting thing is that MSC is very cautious about labeling anything GF unless it comes out of that special kitchen. So there is plenty to eat that is GF but not certified, like the gelato. Other miscellaneous - The public areas are gorgeous, but the purple and grey in the cabin was not a color scheme I enjoyed. It eventually grew on me, but it took some time. - We were grandfathered into the deluxe package. Nothing we drank ever hit our bill. If MSC had kept that, we'd book MSC for life. I know they're in line with other companies now, but it's disappointing to know that you can't ever do that again. - On the 2nd sea day, make sure you get pictures taken on bridge of sighs. They're stunning. They are included in the digital photo package. - The free drink options in the buffet were surprisingly good. The lemonade had pulp in it, so they're actually using lemon juice to make it instead of a powder. The kids loved the grapefruit juice. My husband enjoyed all of the choices. - In the thermal area, people dropped their towels down on the heated loungers like they were reserving chairs. On the last day, we moved one lady's towels. She was miffed when she came back. We'd been in the area for 45 minutes before using the loungers and her towels had been there the whole time. She thought she could reserve 2 of the 3 heated loungers that long? Um, no. That was the only case of chair hogging that bothered me. - Aurea Bar was a fun respite. We'd go at the end of day and hang out. Service - I'd read so many complaints about the service when researching: service is not like xxx line, servers don't care, servers are overloaded, etc. We didn't find service to be different than other lines. We were greeted with smiles and hellos everywhere. For every crowded bar, we were able to find to another, less crowded bar (same thing when we had a drink package on Celebrity) with bartenders who entertained us. We had some stellar service: - Alora & Donald were the wife/husband team in Seashore who personalized our dinners and had perfect timing in serving us. - Fred (John Wilfred Lao) in photography took stunning photos. My kids sought him out every night. You should, too. - Roxane was our room steward. She made butterflies with the kids' pajamas. The kids joked that I was imagining her because I would see her but they never would. That meant that she struck the perfect timing of being there when we needed her but was never obtrusive. - Deion and Ashish Finu in the Aurea bar. I'm sure I'm forgetting people because so many went into making this an incredible cruise.

Best deal in the cruise industry on a 2-bedroom suite

MSC Seaside Cruise Review by cathep

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
I've seen mixed reviews on the MSC Seaside while doing lots of research. Having been on Princess, Celebrity, and Royal, this was my favorite. It's a gorgeous ship. The staff are comparable to other lines. But you get so much for your money. That opinion might related to having the Aurea experience. But we felt this cabin and the deluxe drink package (obsolete after 11/19 bookings) were the best deal we've seen in quality and price. Even with the new drink package structure, we'll book this ship again. The best description I can make is this is a great combination of the refinement of Celebrity and the fun of Royal.

The room -

Most of the research I was able to do on this room, 12001, was watching the YouTube videos as I didn't see many of reviews of the cabin. That was motivation for this review. It has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a huge closet, a living room, and a forward-facing balcony. Here's the stuff you can't get from watching the video:

- One bathroom is better for showering (the one with the bathtub) and one is better for everything else. We started with a kids' bathroom and an adults' bathroom and ended up using whatever we wanted by the end.

- The main closet is large enough that you can get dressed in it, easier than getting dressed in the bathroom. That really helped when we were rushing to dinner.

- There's plenty of storage in the 2nd bedroom as well so my daughter kept her stuff in there.

- We loved this balcony. This was our first fully forward balcony, but we'd gladly do it again. It was wonderful coming into port (San Juan was incredible) and leaving. It was great for star-gazing at night. It was protected enough that it gave shade on hot days but still had a great breeze. We enjoyed napping on it. The breeze at sea was great for drying stuff from the day, which has been an issue on prior cruises.

- The living room is larger and more functional than it looks in the video. We stuck the large suitcases in the corner and didn't notice there were there. When we weren't sleeping, we spent our time in the room in the living room.

- The kids alternated between hanging out on the sofa and the balcony.

Gluten-free experience

- I received 2 pre-packaged treats in the room each day. I was able to take them off the ship for excursions. This was a really nice touch since I expected to be very limited in what I could take with me.

- Pasta and risotto make me one happy camper. So I was happy all week!

- For the most part, I did ok in the buffet. The staff would tell me how something was cooked if I asked. I stuck mainly with the items in the rotisserie section and had some great fish, rice, and vegetables. I ate the meringue cookies as my dessert with each meal. One day had chocolate mousse and it was incredible. After too many meals watching the family ooh and aah over the pizza, I hit a week spot after a day of heavy drinking and pulled the topping off of some slices. Was it worth the risk? Probably not. But I'll blame it on the mojitos and ciders. And I don't regret any of the mojitos I drank!

- I received my own menu whenever I ate in the dining room. My food came separate from the others since it comes from a separate kitchen. For the most part, my food came within minutes of the others' dishes. I was served warm GF bread with every meal which - I devoured within minutes of it hitting the table. It's been a long time since I've had fresh bread!

- I chose "Dessert of the Day" for each dinner. There were items on the regular menu that would have been GF (ice cream, flan, and others), but it just got to be routine to order it. A couple of times were an ice cream cake and a couple were ice cream. I wasn't overly impressed with the desserts, but then again the desserts weren't the star of the meal for me since I knew I could hit Venchi afterwards.

- Interesting thing is that MSC is very cautious about labeling anything GF unless it comes out of that special kitchen. So there is plenty to eat that is GF but not certified, like the gelato.

Other miscellaneous

- The public areas are gorgeous, but the purple and grey in the cabin was not a color scheme I enjoyed. It eventually grew on me, but it took some time.

- We were grandfathered into the deluxe package. Nothing we drank ever hit our bill. If MSC had kept that, we'd book MSC for life. I know they're in line with other companies now, but it's disappointing to know that you can't ever do that again.

- On the 2nd sea day, make sure you get pictures taken on bridge of sighs. They're stunning. They are included in the digital photo package.

- The free drink options in the buffet were surprisingly good. The lemonade had pulp in it, so they're actually using lemon juice to make it instead of a powder. The kids loved the grapefruit juice. My husband enjoyed all of the choices.

- In the thermal area, people dropped their towels down on the heated loungers like they were reserving chairs. On the last day, we moved one lady's towels. She was miffed when she came back. We'd been in the area for 45 minutes before using the loungers and her towels had been there the whole time. She thought she could reserve 2 of the 3 heated loungers that long? Um, no. That was the only case of chair hogging that bothered me.

- Aurea Bar was a fun respite. We'd go at the end of day and hang out.

Service -

I'd read so many complaints about the service when researching: service is not like xxx line, servers don't care, servers are overloaded, etc. We didn't find service to be different than other lines. We were greeted with smiles and hellos everywhere. For every crowded bar, we were able to find to another, less crowded bar (same thing when we had a drink package on Celebrity) with bartenders who entertained us. We had some stellar service:

- Alora & Donald were the wife/husband team in Seashore who personalized our dinners and had perfect timing in serving us.

- Fred (John Wilfred Lao) in photography took stunning photos. My kids sought him out every night. You should, too.

- Roxane was our room steward. She made butterflies with the kids' pajamas. The kids joked that I was imagining her because I would see her but they never would. That meant that she struck the perfect timing of being there when we needed her but was never obtrusive.

- Deion and Ashish Finu in the Aurea bar.

I'm sure I'm forgetting people because so many went into making this an incredible cruise.
cathep’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Aurea Grand Suite
Cabin SD3 12001
The room -
Most of the research I was able to do on this room, 12001, was watching the YouTube videos as I didn't see many of reviews of the cabin. That was motivation for this review. It has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a huge closet, a living room, and a forward-facing balcony. Here's the stuff you can't get from watching the video:
- One bathroom is better for showering (the one with the bathtub) and one is better for everything else. We started with a kids' bathroom and an adults' bathroom and ended up using whatever we wanted by the end.
- The main closet is large enough that you can get dressed in it, easier than getting dressed in the bathroom. That really helped when we were rushing to dinner.
- There's plenty of storage in the 2nd bedroom as well so my daughter kept her stuff in there.
- We loved this balcony. This was our first fully forward balcony, but we'd gladly do it again. It was wonderful coming into port (San Juan was incredible) and leaving. It was great for star-gazing at night. It was protected enough that it gave shade on hot days but still had a great breeze. We enjoyed napping on it. The breeze at sea was great for drying stuff from the day, which has been an issue on prior cruises.
- The living room is larger and more functional than it looks in the video. We stuck the large suitcases in the corner and didn't notice there were there. When we weren't sleeping, we spent our time in the room in the living room.
- The kids alternated between hanging out on the sofa and the balcony.
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