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Despite the negative reviews I had read, I was tempted to try MSC by the status match (Diamond on RCCL matched to Gold on MSC) and the price - and I'm so glad that I did! The Seaside is absolutely gorgeous, the crew were polite and accommodating, entertainment was excellent, and I achieved my goal of rest and relaxation! Embarkation was fast - arrived at the port around 1:30pm, was on the ship by 2pm. I was in an Aurea balcony, room 9030 - cabin steward (Angela) was friendly and efficient, room was kept spotless! Loved the extended balcony and having a full size lounge chair to nap in. As others have mentioned, there is not a lot of storage space - only 2 drawers and a few shelves in addition to some hanging space - it was fine for just me but would have been challenging for 2 or more in a room. The shower is also small (if you drop anything you have to really maneuver to pick it up!), but does have a glass door instead of a shower curtain. I had the Easy Drink package as part of Aurea booking, but I don't drink alcohol so only took advantage of the non-alcoholic offerings (and frozen virgin drinks were included in the package). Gelato and specialty coffees/drinks at the chocolate bar were not included, but the gelato was so good it was worth paying the $6 for a cup every now and then! The spa and thermal suite were outstanding, so much better than what RCCL ships offer, and on par with what NCL offers on Breakaway class ships. I scheduled 2 massages that were excellent - and there was absolutely no effort made to sell me product afterward! I ate some meals in the buffet - I thought the offerings were similar to what you would find on RCCL, and also found that if you traveled to the back of the buffet you could find things that were not on offer at the front - it was also much less crowded at the back, and there are plenty of tables to eat at both outside and inside, I never had difficulty finding a table. I had anytime dining in the Seashore room, never waiting more than 5 minutes for a table and the service was always efficient, dinner never took more than an hour, and I enjoyed most of the dishes I chose. The nightly shows were excellent, especially the Michael Jackson show on the last night. They were all relatively short (30-40 min) and extremely well done - great singers, dancers, acrobats! I did only 1 shore excursion - coffee tasting and walking tour in San Juan - it was just OK, the guide was very informative but we only stopped at 2 places for coffee and did not have choice on what to have, and very little information presented. In St. Thomas and St. Marten I just walked around and did some shopping (have been to both of those islands many times before). In Nassau, I visited the Ardasta Zoo and Gardens (home of the marching flamingos) on my own and had a wonderful afternoon, highly recommend! I thought that the crew was friendly and efficient - I was very happy with the service I received throughout the cruise. I also did not experience any "rudeness" from fellow passengers as mentioned in many reviews - I met a lot of interesting and friendly folks from all parts of the world! My only disappointment was the casino for 2 reasons - no craps table, and too smoky. I will be sailing on MSC again in October on the Bellissima - can't wait!

Excellent solo cruise on the Seaside!

MSC Seaside Cruise Review by utopiahereicome

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Aurea Balcony Stateroom
Despite the negative reviews I had read, I was tempted to try MSC by the status match (Diamond on RCCL matched to Gold on MSC) and the price - and I'm so glad that I did! The Seaside is absolutely gorgeous, the crew were polite and accommodating, entertainment was excellent, and I achieved my goal of rest and relaxation!

Embarkation was fast - arrived at the port around 1:30pm, was on the ship by 2pm.

I was in an Aurea balcony, room 9030 - cabin steward (Angela) was friendly and efficient, room was kept spotless! Loved the extended balcony and having a full size lounge chair to nap in. As others have mentioned, there is not a lot of storage space - only 2 drawers and a few shelves in addition to some hanging space - it was fine for just me but would have been challenging for 2 or more in a room. The shower is also small (if you drop anything you have to really maneuver to pick it up!), but does have a glass door instead of a shower curtain.

I had the Easy Drink package as part of Aurea booking, but I don't drink alcohol so only took advantage of the non-alcoholic offerings (and frozen virgin drinks were included in the package). Gelato and specialty coffees/drinks at the chocolate bar were not included, but the gelato was so good it was worth paying the $6 for a cup every now and then!

The spa and thermal suite were outstanding, so much better than what RCCL ships offer, and on par with what NCL offers on Breakaway class ships. I scheduled 2 massages that were excellent - and there was absolutely no effort made to sell me product afterward!

I ate some meals in the buffet - I thought the offerings were similar to what you would find on RCCL, and also found that if you traveled to the back of the buffet you could find things that were not on offer at the front - it was also much less crowded at the back, and there are plenty of tables to eat at both outside and inside, I never had difficulty finding a table.

I had anytime dining in the Seashore room, never waiting more than 5 minutes for a table and the service was always efficient, dinner never took more than an hour, and I enjoyed most of the dishes I chose.

The nightly shows were excellent, especially the Michael Jackson show on the last night. They were all relatively short (30-40 min) and extremely well done - great singers, dancers, acrobats!

I did only 1 shore excursion - coffee tasting and walking tour in San Juan - it was just OK, the guide was very informative but we only stopped at 2 places for coffee and did not have choice on what to have, and very little information presented. In St. Thomas and St. Marten I just walked around and did some shopping (have been to both of those islands many times before). In Nassau, I visited the Ardasta Zoo and Gardens (home of the marching flamingos) on my own and had a wonderful afternoon, highly recommend!

I thought that the crew was friendly and efficient - I was very happy with the service I received throughout the cruise. I also did not experience any "rudeness" from fellow passengers as mentioned in many reviews - I met a lot of interesting and friendly folks from all parts of the world!

My only disappointment was the casino for 2 reasons - no craps table, and too smoky.

I will be sailing on MSC again in October on the Bellissima - can't wait!
utopiahereicome’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Aurea Balcony Stateroom
Cabin B3 9030
I was in an Aurea balcony, room 9030 - cabin steward (Angela) was friendly and efficient, room was kept spotless! Loved the extended balcony and having a full size lounge chair to nap in. As others have mentioned, there is not a lot of storage space - only 2 drawers and a few shelves in addition to some hanging space - it was fine for just me but would have been challenging for 2 or more in a room. Underneath the balcony on deck 8 is the outdoor spa space with cabanas and a whirlpool and a few lounge chairs - it was very quite, I never saw anyone use the cabanas during the cruise. Because deck 8 sticks out quite a bit, you cannot look straight down from the balcony and see the water.
Venice Beach Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Ardastra Gardens
    Beautiful grounds, not a typical zoo - many of the animals here were rescues or abandoned. Several parrot species including a lory enclosure where you can feed them apples, Macaws on open perches, 2 African greys, a pair of gorgeous Moluccan cockatoos, a pair of beautiful peacocks roaming the grounds, a Capybara, and of course the famous marching flamingos that put on a precision drill show and then are just wandering around for close up photos! There is also a snack place and bathrooms. You can see that the animals are very well cared for although the cages and enclosures are not fancy or state of the art. Every employee was friendly and knowledgeable. This was a great place to spend a few hours, short cab ride from pier.
    View All 65 Ardastra Gardens Reviews