We embarked in Barcelona for the ships first visit round the med after its transatlantic sailing from Brazil. We arrived into Barcelona the day before so had plenty of time to explore and relax before boarding.
MSC had allocated us a 1430-1600 check in time, so we caught the port shuttle to the ship around 1400 and were greeted by 2 of the longest lines.
1st line was for bag drop off, so we were in line around 1415 and we dropped our bag off at around 1510, we were then handed a boarding card and had to join another line to go through security to get into the terminal, once in the terminal luckily our boarding group had already been called, but we saw people hanging around with groups about 10 up from us so that would have been at least another hour. Checked in at 1615 we headed up to the ship for another hour wait to board, eventually on board at around 1730 we dumped our hand baggage and was pleased to see our cases waiting for us outside our cabin.
Safety drill was due at around 1700 but as half the ship was yet to board this was delayed we headed to the buffet on deck 8 for some food and grabbed what we could before they pulled the shutters down ready for the drill. It was a long embarkation day, which i guess wouldn't normally be so bad had not the majority of the ship left, and a full ship was trying to board for Easter.
The Seaview is an beautiful ship, and being less than a year old everything was still new and worked well. The main stair case is a amazing and great to see. Lifts can be a bit hit and miss sometimes, rather than calling for the lift you select what deck you are heading to and it will allocate you one from the bank. We waited for ages for lifts to come sometimes and when it showed up it was full then you had to go over the process again.
We used the interactive screens dotted around the ship to book entertainment which needs to be done a couple of days before. With entertainment the singers/musicians in the main atrium where great to sit and listen to, we then only really bothered with the show in the evening, we booked onto the 2230 show every night and even though this was the 3rd show of the evening it was still full every show. The shows them selves were good mainly singing or variety acts, with little spoken word as would be hard on a ship so multi cultural.
Our cabin was good, located on deck 12 mid ship with a balcony, big enough for 2 of us, with a sofa and big wardrobe. Cleanliness wasn't great as we found a bag of rubbish in the wardrobe, hairs on the cushions on the bed and nail clippings on the balcony. Bathroom was nice and modern with no dreaded shower curtain,just nice clean glass.
Staff were friendly enough and everyone i spoke with was cheerful and helpful. On other cruises i have been on the cabin attendant will get to know you by name and is good for a chat, on the Seaview i am not sure if it is done differently but i had no idea who was looking after our cabin and saw the odd cleaner down the corridor. As others have said every announcement is done in 5 different languages so can take a while, we didn't hear or see the captain once during the cruise apart from in the theatre on formal night.
Food was good majority of the time, we stuck to the main buffets on deck 8 and 16 and could always find something to eat, pizza's are amazing and best on ship pizza's i have had and they bake breakfast goods as needed in a morning which was nice. I did find it weird that the ship would run out of certain items during our cruise and considering we had no days at sea i would have thought it would be easy to source items. But we had no tomatoes on board for the 5 days and they ran out of fanta and sprite by day 2, so were left with non branded versions.
We only took one excursion and that was at La Spezia to see the little towns in the hills, which was good value at EUR50 each and was a full day. At the other ports we did our own thing as you could easily pick up an open top bus tour for a fraction of the cost of the ships excursions.
Overall i would go back on the Seaview again, we did have a great time and really enjoyed our holiday.
Excellent location on the ship, very little noise from the surrounding cabins. Cabin is large enough for 2 adults
Excellent value for money, ticket office is around 5 min walk from the port. euro for 1 hour on the open top bus taking you through the city and round the beaches
Booked city sightseeing, there were a couple of their reps after you step out of the cruise port, cost €18 each and was hop on and off around the city. stop to meet the bus is around a 5 min walk from the port, but you may have to wait for a couple of busses to get on the top deck as can get busy.View All 36 City Tour Reviews
We purchased the Cinque Terre on your own from the excursions desk on board, cost €50 each and was a boat that took you from the port around the towns. The 3 stops were Vernazza, Monterosso, and Porto Venere. Where you had free time in each to wonder around.