My wife and I cruised on the MSC Seaside from Feb. 29th to Mar. 7th. This was my second cruise (went on Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas about 14 years ago) and my wife’s first. We usually go to Cuba in April for a week but after seeing the deal offered by Sunwing Vacations we decided we could not pass up this cruise. We lucked out on direct flight from Toronto to Miami, inside cabin and Easy Drink Package for $895 Canadian Dollars per person including all taxes and transfers to and from the cruise ship. Yes $895!!! Assume this was the Covid-19 special.
Boarding – The process was quite smooth. I think we were on board in under 30 minutes.
Ship – The Seaside is a very large ship although is smaller than the biggest Royal Caribbean has to offer. We saw the Symphony of the Seas in Cozumel and it was absolutely huge. The Seaside in my opinion was very beautiful inside and out. The atrium was very impressive and always had a great vibe in the evening. The bars, lounges, shopping areas and main restaurants were all very nice. The pool areas were great. The decks could get crowded but that is the norm on most cruise ships. Everything was spotless.
Cabin – We had an interior cabin on the 14th deck which was a great location just two decks below the main pool and buffet. The cabin was small as expected but worked fine for the two of us. There could have been more storage but what they had worked for us. The bathroom was compact (like most other cruise lines) but functional. Everything was spotless.
Food – Food overall was good. There was a good variety at the buffet and we always found something we liked. I loved the French toast and cinnamon rolls for breakfast. The burgers and pizza at lunch were very good. The main restaurant was also good for the most part. I have read may other reviews and some have used the term “awful” to describe the food. That is just not the case. The food on the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas was better in both quality and variety. One thing that I felt was missing was a place to be able to go to anytime of the day to grab a quick bite to eat. The only option was the buffet. Other cruise lines have pubs/cafes where you can go anytime to grab a snack.
Drinks – The Easy Package was included in our fare. It was pretty basic but it served our needs quite fine. We were able to get Miller Lite which was fine (although as a beer drinker it would have been nice to have a few more options), sparkling wine and Chardonnay which were both good. We are not red wine drinkers so did not try it. The package also had standard mixed drinks like rum and coke, rye and ginger ale, etc. We could not get any of the specialty drinks although we did get virgin Pina Coladas and Daiquiris and had them add a shot or rum. That could be done as part of our package. For us it was not worth spending an extra $250-$300 each to upgrade to the Premium package. Also the drinks are unlimited and you can order two at a time.
Entertainment – The entertainment team were great. They worked tirelessly to keep everyone entertained during the day and in the evenings. The shows in the theatre were excellent. After seeing several Michael Jackson tributes over the years the Seaside one was hands down the best. The dancer who played MJ was amazing. Both the costumes and scenery in the shows were very well done. There was a good variety of singing, dancing and acrobatics in the shows. The pool activities were fun and I actually placed 2nd in the belly flop competition. If you were on the cruise I was the guy who belly flopped with the pants, dress shirt and tie. I would have won if not for the rather large gentlemen who was in the competition.
Service – We had good service the entire cruise. Some people get frustrated about waiting five minutes for a drink. I am in vacation so five minutes is not a big deal to me. We never waited longer than five minutes for a drink anywhere.
We would not hesitate to go on a MSC Cruise again. Hopefully we can get a deal like we got again but I doubt that will happen.
No complaints about the cabin. Great location. Comfortable bed. Clean.