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MSC Seaside Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,109 Reviews

The worst cruise I've been on.

MSC Seaside Cruise Review by MadiL

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2020
  • Destination: the Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Fantastica Inside Stateroom

The ship is huge, beautiful and well decorated. We had an inside cabin, which was about the same size as on any cruise line, but there were only two very small drawers and we had to ask for Kleenex. There was no coffee cream and the "juice" as flavored water although you could get real juice from the bar waiters who circulate in the buffet area. The entertainment was mediocre although there were some talented acrobats. They did a late night improv that was repetitive and only marginally funny. Music was pretty good in the atrium and there was live music in the Seaview lounge every night that was OK but not great. There is no library nor internet cafe, and no sundry store, but there are several high-end shops selling jewelry, art, perfume and other non-essentials. The food was OK, but not memorable and the service was also OK so long as you tip. What I really hated, and have never seen on other cruise lines, was the constant commercialism. People were always approaching us to buy drink packages, wine packages, specialty dining, excursions, photos, etc, etc. One day at lunch we were approached four times. The man at the excursion desk tried to force us to check the boxes on the excursion receipt that allow them to send us marketing material. I called MSC prior to the cruise to ask about pre-booking excursions and was told we had to book on board, but the people we traveled with were able to pre-book online. When we booked on board one of the excursions we wanted was full. Prices were outrageous. Specialty dining was twice the price of other ships I've been on. Bowling was $25 per person per half hour! The f1 simulator was $10 for 5 minutes. One evening we found photos in our room with a sheet saying if we didn't want to buy them we could give them to our steward to return them. We did that but were charged for the package and had to get guest services to straighten that out. The private island was quite nice, but there are no change rooms; you have to change in the bathroom and there are only cold outside communal showers. The drink package that came with our cruise turned out to only cover drinks that cost $6 ore less; for a more comprehensive package the cost was $27 per person per day. I've cruised with four other lines. They all offer elite services for those who wish to pay premium prices but it is done discreetly. On the Seaside it was obvious most of us were "second class" guests and that "yacht club" people got better service all around. This was my first MSC cruise and it will be my last.


MadiL's Full Rating Summary
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Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Fantastica Inside Stateroom

Average cabin. Normal size compared to other cruise lines. Everything worked. Cabin was clean and our steward took good care of us. There was always hot water and the bathroom, although small, was larger than on some ships. There were lots of hangers but only two very small drawers. There was one chair and a small bench. Bed was OK; not really comfortable but passable. There was only a bottom sheet and a duvet; no top sheet. We had to ask for Kleenex. There were four pillows and our steward brought two more on request.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

San Juan

The ship got in at 6 pm and sailed at 11 pm leaving no time to see the island in daylight.

Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve

Best day of the cruise. The beaches were great and there was lots of food and drink available, but there were only cold communal outside showers and you had to change in the bathrooms.

See and Sea

Nice boat ride through the harbor with a friendly and funny guide. We went down into the bottom of a boat that was underwater with windows all around and were driven around for about half an hour to view the sea life and reef. It was interesting but the air got quite stuffy. Back on land we were taken on a short bus tour with a stop at the fort. A pleasant experience.

View All 40 See and Sea Reviews

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MadiL
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