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Please note that English is not my native tongue so excuse me any grammar or syntax error. We booked this cruise (7 nights, 8 days Caribbean) in february 2019, in Uruguay, South America, through a travel agency, with a MSC "early booking" offer. We were 28 travelers with ages ranging from 8 to 73 years old (9 families, 9 cabins). I was the "project leader" of this trip :) What we paid: Bella Balcony 2 adults and 2 teenagers (15 and 18): US$ 2.618 Bella Balcony 3 adults and a child (8): US$ 2.443,oo Bella Balcony 3 adults and a teenager (15): US$ 2.917,oo Bella inside 3 adults and a child: US$ 2.197,oo Bella Balcony 2 adults: US$ 2.268,oo Bella inside 2 adults: US$ 1.548,oo The "early booking" offer was valid until april 2019, then the prices went up for about a 15%. We booked paying only 25% of the fare and we made the final payment about 45 days before sailing date (saturday january 18). After the final payment the travel agency sent us the cruise boarding tickets. Of 28 tickets, 18 came with mistakes regarding citizenship countries, date of birth, emergency contact or gender (hey, MSC employee, ¡wear your glasses man!). So, first advice: read, check and re-check EVERYTHING you receive from the travel agency. There were a couple of tickets that they had to send them to me 2 or 3 times, because when they fixed something, other error magically appeared. Along with the cruise tickets you get one luggage ID label per passenger for you to print and attach to the bag (or bags) you want to check-in. Important: if you are traveling with a group, and want to have dinner all together, please ask your agent to link all the reservations and choose the same dinner time (late dinner time for us, there are 3 dinner times: 5:30, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.). I do not know why, but if you book your cruise with a travel agency, you cannot do the cruise web check-in in MSC web page (but you don't need to). Just print the cruise tickets your travel agent sent you. The cruise was scheduled to sail a 7 p.m. on saturday january 18; and the printed boarding time in our tickets was 3 p.m. We got to terminal F of Miami Cruise Port around 12:30. There is a bus parking drop-off zone in front of this terminal and the luggage handlers are waiting for your tagged bags in order to take them to the ship. Have one dollar ready for each bag for tipping the luggage handler. Say goodbye to your bags, they will be waiting for you when you arrive to your cabin (or not, sometimes you have to wait until one or two hours after sailing before the luggage shows up. Once you enter the terminal F building, have your id (or passport) and cruise boarding pass ready to clear security. One family traveling with us forgot to bring the printed boarding passes but they showed the security agent the mail they got from our travel agent with the attached boarding passes and voila!, no problem at all. Once you clear security you have to go to the second floor in order to check-in with an MSC agent that takes your picture and gives you the cruise card that you will be using for opening your cabin door, paying all cruise expenses and disembark and embark after visiting Jamica, Cayman Island, Cozumel and MSC Ocean Cay island. In this card you also have the dinner restaurant that was assigned to you (there are three) and dinner time. Then you can enter the ship (no matter the "boarding time" that is printed in your ticket). All this process (since you left your checked-in luggage, clear security, checking-in with MSC agent, took us about 45 minutes). Around 1.15 pm we all were on the ship and... ¡oh boy! it's fantastic, gorgeous, luxurios, a dream come true (you can see that we are entering the land of personal opinions now...) Once you enter the ship some officers and MSC employees welcome you and you can immediately go to the buffet in order to eat. The view of Miami from the buffet area is breathtaking and the food is excellent: pizza, pasta, ethnic food, mediterranean cuisine, asiatic food, fast food (pizza, burgers, hot-dogs), soups, all kind of fruits, desserts, no sugar pastries, ice-cream (only in the buffet at floor 8) etc. I have read reviews about the "repetitive food". Hey man, let me tell you something: YOU are the one who pick the food... pick wisely!!! :) Seriously, I have been in many 5 stars hotels around the globe and I can truly tell you that the flavor, variety and presentation of food in breakfast, lunch or dinner is superlative!!! No issues with food here. Period. DRINKS PACKAGES Well, MSC does not have drink packages by the quantity as COSTA does. I mean, in Costa Cruises you can buy a package of 40 soft-drinks and water, this is not the case in MSC. In MSC you only have "unlimited" drink packages that everyone sharing the cabin with you must buy. "Easy Package": US$ 35 /day/passenger Unlimited consumption of drinks up to US$ 6 value (includes soft-drinks, juices, beer, hot chocolate, expressos, bottled water, wine by the cup) "Premium Package": US$ 62 /day/passenger Unlimited consumption of drinks up to US$ 12 value (includes soft-drinks, juices, beer, liquors, hot chocolate, expressos, bottled water, wine by the bottle, white wine, champagne) "Premium Plus": US$ 79 /day/passenger Unlimited consumption of any drinks (includes soft-drinks, juices, beer, liquors, hot chocolate, expressos, bottled water, wine by the bottle, white wine, champagne) including the drinks in your cabin mini-bar. “No alcohol adults”: US$ 29 /day/passenger "No alcohol kids": US$ 17 /day/passenger Example: You like to drink two or three beers a day, your wife does not drink alcohol, and you travel with 2 kids. For you and your wife you have to buy the EASY package, and for your kids the "No alcohol kids" for both of them. Total for a week: US$ 728,oo. I know. Now the good news: the buffet is open 20 hours a day (from 6 am to 2 am) and you ALWAYS have the cold/hot water, and juices dispensers working. You also have coffe, assorted tea and the following fruit juices: orange, lemmon, grapefruit, strawberry, pineapple, cranberry. My advice: if you can live a week drinking just water, coffee, tea, and fruit juices, YOU DO NOT NEED TO BUY ANY DRINK PACKAGE. If you wanto to drink a beer or a bottle of wine some day, just buy it at the regular bar price (I will attach the prices). INTERNET PACKAGES Standard Internet (SIN57YO) - US$ 93 - 4 Gigabytes, up to two devices. Unlimited Internet (UIN57BO) - US$ 180 - Unlimited internet for ONE device (no streaming video) Premium Internet (PIN57YO) - US$ 147 - 8 Gigabytes, up to 4 devices. Tip: you can share the Premium Internet package among many cabins, I mean, if just one person in a group of 4 different cabins wants to access internet, you can buy the Premium Internet package and have in each cabin one device with internet access. Can you comment this post? Okay, thank me in your comment. THEATER SHOWS Please write down 100 times: I will not miss the theater shows. I will not miss the theater shows. I will not miss the theater shows. Got the idea? You HAVE to reserve your place in order to go to the theater. You can do this with your cruise card on any of the touch screens you will find all around the ship. The shows are fantastic, awesome lights, sound, production. DO NOT MISS A SHOW CALLED: "STARWALKER". Well I am a little bit tired of writing, this is my first review here, but I suppose you can ask questions about it, so feel free to ask anything, I will try to answer ASAP. Please, drop any prejudices you may have about cruises (they are boring, they are for older people, they are expensive, etc.). I have heard many of these sentences in the group of 28 travelers before the trip, now they are asking me when are we going to sail again.

All I wanted to know before the travel, and now I can tell you.

MSC Seaside Cruise Review by mrclinker

14 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2020
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Bella Balcony Stateroom
Please note that English is not my native tongue so excuse me any grammar or syntax error.

We booked this cruise (7 nights, 8 days Caribbean) in february 2019, in Uruguay, South America, through a travel agency, with a MSC "early booking" offer. We were 28 travelers with ages ranging from 8 to 73 years old (9 families, 9 cabins). I was the "project leader" of this trip :)

What we paid:

Bella Balcony 2 adults and 2 teenagers (15 and 18): US$ 2.618

Bella Balcony 3 adults and a child (8): US$ 2.443,oo

Bella Balcony 3 adults and a teenager (15): US$ 2.917,oo

Bella inside 3 adults and a child: US$ 2.197,oo

Bella Balcony 2 adults: US$ 2.268,oo

Bella inside 2 adults: US$ 1.548,oo

The "early booking" offer was valid until april 2019, then the prices went up for about a 15%. We booked paying only 25% of the fare and we made the final payment about 45 days before sailing date (saturday january 18).

After the final payment the travel agency sent us the cruise boarding tickets. Of 28 tickets, 18 came with mistakes regarding citizenship countries, date of birth, emergency contact or gender (hey, MSC employee, ¡wear your glasses man!). So, first advice: read, check and re-check EVERYTHING you receive from the travel agency. There were a couple of tickets that they had to send them to me 2 or 3 times, because when they fixed something, other error magically appeared. Along with the cruise tickets you get one luggage ID label per passenger for you to print and attach to the bag (or bags) you want to check-in.

Important: if you are traveling with a group, and want to have dinner all together, please ask your agent to link all the reservations and choose the same dinner time (late dinner time for us, there are 3 dinner times: 5:30, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.).

I do not know why, but if you book your cruise with a travel agency, you cannot do the cruise web check-in in MSC web page (but you don't need to). Just print the cruise tickets your travel agent sent you.

The cruise was scheduled to sail a 7 p.m. on saturday january 18; and the printed boarding time in our tickets was 3 p.m. We got to terminal F of Miami Cruise Port around 12:30. There is a bus parking drop-off zone in front of this terminal and the luggage handlers are waiting for your tagged bags in order to take them to the ship. Have one dollar ready for each bag for tipping the luggage handler. Say goodbye to your bags, they will be waiting for you when you arrive to your cabin (or not, sometimes you have to wait until one or two hours after sailing before the luggage shows up.

Once you enter the terminal F building, have your id (or passport) and cruise boarding pass ready to clear security. One family traveling with us forgot to bring the printed boarding passes but they showed the security agent the mail they got from our travel agent with the attached boarding passes and voila!, no problem at all. Once you clear security you have to go to the second floor in order to check-in with an MSC agent that takes your picture and gives you the cruise card that you will be using for opening your cabin door, paying all cruise expenses and disembark and embark after visiting Jamica, Cayman Island, Cozumel and MSC Ocean Cay island. In this card you also have the dinner restaurant that was assigned to you (there are three) and dinner time. Then you can enter the ship (no matter the "boarding time" that is printed in your ticket). All this process (since you left your checked-in luggage, clear security, checking-in with MSC agent, took us about 45 minutes).

Around 1.15 pm we all were on the ship and... ¡oh boy! it's fantastic, gorgeous, luxurios, a dream come true (you can see that we are entering the land of personal opinions now...) Once you enter the ship some officers and MSC employees welcome you and you can immediately go to the buffet in order to eat. The view of Miami from the buffet area is breathtaking and the food is excellent: pizza, pasta, ethnic food, mediterranean cuisine, asiatic food, fast food (pizza, burgers, hot-dogs), soups, all kind of fruits, desserts, no sugar pastries, ice-cream (only in the buffet at floor 8) etc.

I have read reviews about the "repetitive food". Hey man, let me tell you something: YOU are the one who pick the food... pick wisely!!! :) Seriously, I have been in many 5 stars hotels around the globe and I can truly tell you that the flavor, variety and presentation of food in breakfast, lunch or dinner is superlative!!! No issues with food here. Period.

DRINKS PACKAGES

Well, MSC does not have drink packages by the quantity as COSTA does. I mean, in Costa Cruises you can buy a package of 40 soft-drinks and water, this is not the case in MSC. In MSC you only have "unlimited" drink packages that everyone sharing the cabin with you must buy.

"Easy Package": US$ 35 /day/passenger

Unlimited consumption of drinks up to US$ 6 value (includes soft-drinks, juices, beer, hot chocolate, expressos, bottled water, wine by the cup)

"Premium Package": US$ 62 /day/passenger

Unlimited consumption of drinks up to US$ 12 value (includes soft-drinks, juices, beer, liquors, hot chocolate, expressos, bottled water, wine by the bottle, white wine, champagne)

"Premium Plus": US$ 79 /day/passenger

Unlimited consumption of any drinks (includes soft-drinks, juices, beer, liquors, hot chocolate, expressos, bottled water, wine by the bottle, white wine, champagne) including the drinks in your cabin mini-bar.

“No alcohol adults”: US$ 29 /day/passenger

"No alcohol kids": US$ 17 /day/passenger

Example:

You like to drink two or three beers a day, your wife does not drink alcohol, and you travel with 2 kids. For you and your wife you have to buy the EASY package, and for your kids the "No alcohol kids" for both of them. Total for a week: US$ 728,oo. I know.

Now the good news: the buffet is open 20 hours a day (from 6 am to 2 am) and you ALWAYS have the cold/hot water, and juices dispensers working. You also have coffe, assorted tea and the following fruit juices: orange, lemmon, grapefruit, strawberry, pineapple, cranberry.

My advice: if you can live a week drinking just water, coffee, tea, and fruit juices, YOU DO NOT NEED TO BUY ANY DRINK PACKAGE. If you wanto to drink a beer or a bottle of wine some day, just buy it at the regular bar price (I will attach the prices).

INTERNET PACKAGES

Standard Internet (SIN57YO) - US$ 93 - 4 Gigabytes, up to two devices.

Unlimited Internet (UIN57BO) - US$ 180 - Unlimited internet for ONE device (no streaming video)

Premium Internet (PIN57YO) - US$ 147 - 8 Gigabytes, up to 4 devices.

Tip: you can share the Premium Internet package among many cabins, I mean, if just one person in a group of 4 different cabins wants to access internet, you can buy the Premium Internet package and have in each cabin one device with internet access. Can you comment this post? Okay, thank me in your comment.

THEATER SHOWS

Please write down 100 times: I will not miss the theater shows. I will not miss the theater shows. I will not miss the theater shows. Got the idea?

You HAVE to reserve your place in order to go to the theater. You can do this with your cruise card on any of the touch screens you will find all around the ship. The shows are fantastic, awesome lights, sound, production. DO NOT MISS A SHOW CALLED: "STARWALKER".

Well I am a little bit tired of writing, this is my first review here, but I suppose you can ask questions about it, so feel free to ask anything, I will try to answer ASAP.

Please, drop any prejudices you may have about cruises (they are boring, they are for older people, they are expensive, etc.). I have heard many of these sentences in the group of 28 travelers before the trip, now they are asking me when are we going to sail again.
mrclinker’s Full Rating Summary
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