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OVERALL- we enjoyed the cruise. This was our 2nd MCS. We would likely return to MSC Divina over Seaside. Chose this for the price. booked a month before sailing with a guaranteed balcony cabin Bella. Their website even says that cabins will be assigned at least 14 days prior to sailing. Didnt receive room assignment until 3 days before sailing. This created a lot of unneeded stress as we made several phone calls to MSC, with many different promises, eg. It will be assigned this weekend, if not assigned by Monday to call back and they will expedite. Called back Monday and was told it would be done that week. The next week called back (7 days before sailing) and was advised that they may not be assigned until we show up for disembarkation. They even said that we would have to lug all of our luggage up to the boarding process, get our cabin assignment, then take our luggage back out to the porters (If we didnt want to carry around all day). Note that each time you call MSC, the average hold is 30 minutes. I believe that these late assignments are caused by MSC trying to upsell rooms with their auctions/ bidding for upgrades. The late assignment also CAUSED US TO MISS the CC M&M as MSC cuts off registration 7 days before sailing (and you cant register without a cabin #). EMBARKATION- very smooth, dropped off luggage at porters at 1015 then went and parked in the parking garage. Walked back over and was in line to go through security for about 20 minutes before the opened up, quickly through security, then to waiting room with chairs, they also have water & juices for you here. We were on the ship by 11:30. There was 1 error here, when you get your room key the attendant is also suppose to give you a boarding card (group number), but I believe we had a new guy and we didnt get one. This is how you board the ship (think Southwest Airlines boarding groups). Fortunately when asked a nice couple said they are with us. DINING- We requested to be seated at a large table for the late dining. We were given a table for 2 in the middle dining time, 7:15 (1st time is 5:15, late is 9:15). The waiters had too many tables and had a hard time keeping up. They didnt remember our drink preferences (always the same) until Thursday. Food was OK, nothing outstanding. The best was the swordfish, chicken parmesan and prime rib.Very hard to get anything different, ordered a baked potato instead of french fries, received it after steak was eaten. Never offered any toppings for it. Had the chocolate brownie stack or cake and both were very dry, thankfully we ordered some vanilla ice cream with it. On one night, we didnt get to Puerto Rico until 5pm (We have been there several times and were not going ashore for the night), when we showed up for dinner, we were informed that all dining was now anytime dining so they took us to a different 2 top table. I hope they were using that night to train new wait staff. They literally brought the soup & salad at the same time. They only cared about getting you out as quickly as possible. The main buffet on deck 8 is where we ate most breakfast & lunches. We were always able to get a table outside. Food was OK, not much variety. On first sea day they put out the real parmesan cheese. On last sea day they have a dessert extravaganza with hundreds of different cakes and pies. Not advertised or in planner. POOLS- The first day we went to the adult pool at back of ship, deck 7. Nice, they wont allow children in at all.Problem is that it is where the smoking section is. We then went to the jungle pool, deck 18. This also has the top they close at nights and if weather is bad. Fortunately we had great weather all week. Enjoyed it the most, mostly adults, quiet area, except for 2 foosball tables near the kids water park area, is very noisy. The water park area is neat and slides are fun. The main pool on 16 gets very crowded and is where all the activities are. ENTERTAINMENT- We enjoyed the shows every night. Many of the shows have similar routines, just different costumes. They incorporate most of all the different talents in each show. The skill of these performers is phenomenal. I also liked that they didnt have waiters trying to sell drinks through the show, so make sure you bring a drink with you. We also went to Beerprov which was entertaining. Also saw The Marriage game and the Quest. Have seen these numerous times, always good laugh. The emcee for the Quest has a very heavy accent and was very hard to understand. We participated in their theme parties (White night, 70's party, western),These are always a lot of fun. We knew about these and brought outfits to wear. MSC could do a much better job communicating these events to passengers before sailing. We had many folks tell us they wish they had known so they could have participated. We also enjoy listening to music in smaller venues. Found someone most evenings. We really enjoyed Rob at the Piano bar (Seaview lounge), but MSC does not communicate well again with guests. There were 3 occasions, when the daily planner showed him at a certain time but when we arrived, the venue (Seaview lounge) was closed for a private party. When we did see him we enjoyed very much. We also enjoyed the jazz band, and there were a couple other duos that we really enjoyed. The band that also regularly played at Haven lounge - we also enjoyed. EXCURSION- St Thomas, We did the Kayak, Hike, Snorkel eco-tour. We enjoyed this tour and was a good value. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and we learned alot about the mangroves, plants, animals. The snorkel part was just ok, if you hung out near the guide she brought animals up to show you, otherwise there is no reefs, youll see a few fish. If you want the true snorkel experience take the catamaran tour.. LUGGAGE-Day 1, 3 of our 4 bags were at our cabin when they opened the rooms up around 2pm. My bag didnt show up all night. I went to the luggage office where they had luggage with contraband (as 1 previous cruise we had a power strip- dont bring any more). It want there, Around midnight went back to customer service , where the agent spent close to a half hour looking for it. They said that they were sending someone down all the halls to look for unattended luggage, left at wrong cabin (there was another gentleman looking for his also). My wife & I also walked every floor looking for it. Didnt sleep well, so got up early and went to reception desk. After a few minutes the clerk took me to the security office where they had my luggage. I had forgotten a pocket knife in it. My main comment was the LACK OF COMMUNICATION. If they had simply told the office staff that they had the luggage , it would have saved hours of peoples time and anxiety. DISEMBARKATION- The absolute best experience aside from we were assigned a late time,10:15. Not a big deal as we are just going to drive home. We made the best of it, had a nice breakfast, outside, then waited on deck 18, outside the jungle pool area, couches, to sit or lay on. There was no one else there. It was actually very relaxing, then when our color was called, took elevator down and walked right off, customs was there before we got our luggage and we waited less than 2 minutes. got a porter for our bags, and he took us right to our car in the garage.From the time our color was called, we went from deck 18, through customs, got luggage and was in car in 15-20 minutes.

Seaside 11/16/2019, MIXED some good some bad

MSC Seaside Cruise Review by basyedad

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2019
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Bella Balcony Stateroom
OVERALL- we enjoyed the cruise. This was our 2nd MCS. We would likely return to MSC Divina over Seaside.

Chose this for the price. booked a month before sailing with a guaranteed balcony cabin Bella. Their website even says that cabins will be assigned at least 14 days prior to sailing. Didnt receive room assignment until 3 days before sailing. This created a lot of unneeded stress as we made several phone calls to MSC, with many different promises, eg. It will be assigned this weekend, if not assigned by Monday to call back and they will expedite. Called back Monday and was told it would be done that week. The next week called back (7 days before sailing) and was advised that they may not be assigned until we show up for disembarkation. They even said that we would have to lug all of our luggage up to the boarding process, get our cabin assignment, then take our luggage back out to the porters (If we didnt want to carry around all day). Note that each time you call MSC, the average hold is 30 minutes. I believe that these late assignments are caused by MSC trying to upsell rooms with their auctions/ bidding for upgrades.

The late assignment also CAUSED US TO MISS the CC M&M as MSC cuts off registration 7 days before sailing (and you cant register without a cabin #).

EMBARKATION- very smooth, dropped off luggage at porters at 1015 then went and parked in the parking garage. Walked back over and was in line to go through security for about 20 minutes before the opened up, quickly through security, then to waiting room with chairs, they also have water & juices for you here. We were on the ship by 11:30. There was 1 error here, when you get your room key the attendant is also suppose to give you a boarding card (group number), but I believe we had a new guy and we didnt get one. This is how you board the ship (think Southwest Airlines boarding groups). Fortunately when asked a nice couple said they are with us.

DINING- We requested to be seated at a large table for the late dining. We were given a table for 2 in the middle dining time, 7:15 (1st time is 5:15, late is 9:15). The waiters had too many tables and had a hard time keeping up. They didnt remember our drink preferences (always the same) until Thursday. Food was OK, nothing outstanding. The best was the swordfish, chicken parmesan and prime rib.Very hard to get anything different, ordered a baked potato instead of french fries, received it after steak was eaten. Never offered any toppings for it. Had the chocolate brownie stack or cake and both were very dry, thankfully we ordered some vanilla ice cream with it.

On one night, we didnt get to Puerto Rico until 5pm (We have been there several times and were not going ashore for the night), when we showed up for dinner, we were informed that all dining was now anytime dining so they took us to a different 2 top table. I hope they were using that night to train new wait staff. They literally brought the soup & salad at the same time. They only cared about getting you out as quickly as possible.

The main buffet on deck 8 is where we ate most breakfast & lunches. We were always able to get a table outside. Food was OK, not much variety. On first sea day they put out the real parmesan cheese. On last sea day they have a dessert extravaganza with hundreds of different cakes and pies. Not advertised or in planner.

POOLS- The first day we went to the adult pool at back of ship, deck 7. Nice, they wont allow children in at all.Problem is that it is where the smoking section is.

We then went to the jungle pool, deck 18. This also has the top they close at nights and if weather is bad. Fortunately we had great weather all week. Enjoyed it the most, mostly adults, quiet area, except for 2 foosball tables near the kids water park area, is very noisy. The water park area is neat and slides are fun.

The main pool on 16 gets very crowded and is where all the activities are.

ENTERTAINMENT- We enjoyed the shows every night. Many of the shows have similar routines, just different costumes. They incorporate most of all the different talents in each show. The skill of these performers is phenomenal. I also liked that they didnt have waiters trying to sell drinks through the show, so make sure you bring a drink with you.

We also went to Beerprov which was entertaining. Also saw The Marriage game and the Quest. Have seen these numerous times, always good laugh. The emcee for the Quest has a very heavy accent and was very hard to understand.

We participated in their theme parties (White night, 70's party, western),These are always a lot of fun. We knew about these and brought outfits to wear. MSC could do a much better job communicating these events to passengers before sailing. We had many folks tell us they wish they had known so they could have participated.

We also enjoy listening to music in smaller venues. Found someone most evenings. We really enjoyed Rob at the Piano bar (Seaview lounge), but MSC does not communicate well again with guests. There were 3 occasions, when the daily planner showed him at a certain time but when we arrived, the venue (Seaview lounge) was closed for a private party. When we did see him we enjoyed very much. We also enjoyed the jazz band, and there were a couple other duos that we really enjoyed. The band that also regularly played at Haven lounge - we also enjoyed.

EXCURSION- St Thomas, We did the Kayak, Hike, Snorkel eco-tour. We enjoyed this tour and was a good value. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and we learned alot about the mangroves, plants, animals. The snorkel part was just ok, if you hung out near the guide she brought animals up to show you, otherwise there is no reefs, youll see a few fish. If you want the true snorkel experience take the catamaran tour..

LUGGAGE-Day 1, 3 of our 4 bags were at our cabin when they opened the rooms up around 2pm. My bag didnt show up all night. I went to the luggage office where they had luggage with contraband (as 1 previous cruise we had a power strip- dont bring any more). It want there, Around midnight went back to customer service , where the agent spent close to a half hour looking for it. They said that they were sending someone down all the halls to look for unattended luggage, left at wrong cabin (there was another gentleman looking for his also). My wife & I also walked every floor looking for it. Didnt sleep well, so got up early and went to reception desk. After a few minutes the clerk took me to the security office where they had my luggage. I had forgotten a pocket knife in it. My main comment was the LACK OF COMMUNICATION. If they had simply told the office staff that they had the luggage , it would have saved hours of peoples time and anxiety.

DISEMBARKATION- The absolute best experience aside from we were assigned a late time,10:15. Not a big deal as we are just going to drive home. We made the best of it, had a nice breakfast, outside, then waited on deck 18, outside the jungle pool area, couches, to sit or lay on. There was no one else there. It was actually very relaxing, then when our color was called, took elevator down and walked right off, customs was there before we got our luggage and we waited less than 2 minutes. got a porter for our bags, and he took us right to our car in the garage.From the time our color was called, we went from deck 18, through customs, got luggage and was in car in 15-20 minutes.
basyedad’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Bella Balcony Stateroom
Cabin B1
Liked the additional USB outlets, 1 on each side of bed & 2 at vanity adjacent to the 2 110V electric outlets. Didnt even use extension cord with 3 outlets. There is also 1 outlet in bathroom.
Least amount of storage of any cabin in last 15 cruises. Divina has more. only 2 drawers in closet (and one under desk/vanity). The 2 in the closet have 3 shelves above (1 of those has safe) & housekeeping used top of it for what appeared to be bed cover, but was never put on the bed the entire week. There is space for a 3rd drawer at bottom but it appears that it is used for return air vent. The closet has 1/3 shelves/drawer/ 1/3 with 2 racks - upper and half way down (which both are to short to use. shirts hung on top, get caught by hangers hung on bottom and bottom one your shirts drag on the ground) Also to narrow as clothes get shut in sliding door. The 1/3 that has full length is only accessible with 4" on shelf side and 6" on the split hanger side.
Most ships have storage spaces next to the vanity mirror and in bathroom.
There is 2 very small night stands with 2 bins in each..
Mondello Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins