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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: September 2018
I'm pleased that we didn't read some of the previous reviews because we may not have booked this and then we would have missed out on an amazing time. The ship was brilliant - we were on the all-inclusive drinks package (part of the ... Read More
I'm pleased that we didn't read some of the previous reviews because we may not have booked this and then we would have missed out on an amazing time. The ship was brilliant - we were on the all-inclusive drinks package (part of the deal we picked up via a newspaper) and this entitled us to a very wide range of unlimited drinks , including cocktails and most spirits/liquers. Also a wide range of ice-creams. The buffet was open 20 hours a day for anyone concerned about portion sizes in the restaurant (we thought that they were fine and the quality was very good). We used the buffet for breakfast every morning and found the choice (and the view from the window) excellent. The staff through the cruise were all very friendly (and the 10 euro a person a day grat charge covers all tips - cabin, waiters etc - there is no need to tip again) All the trips and travelling went smoothly from the flights from Gatwick to Venice, to an amazing two night stay at Hotel Gabreili where we paid to upgrade our room to a lagoon view - well worth it (especially to see Poesia sail past our window!). We loved seeing Bari on our own - an easy 20-minute walk into the town and then a leisurely wander around - a lovely gentle first day. Olympia we took the tour to the site (just wished we'd agreed with the tour guide a time to meet her back at the site entrance and then we could have gone round at our own pace and not had to hear the commentary in English and French) The trip to Magna Grecia was fun (wine and olive tasting, a Greek plate and dancing Mykonos saw us on another guided tour - this time of the island, and then we were pleased to have some time in Mykonos town at the end. Athens was a 'cheat' - we have family living there so had our own personal tour guides. Albania - we took the coach trip headied 'Albanian Riviera' - mistake! If you have motion sickness this trip may not be for you! We hadn't realised that it involved long spells of driving through mountain roads (very twisty and turny) but the trip and stops were interesting. Dubrovnik on a Friday was very busy but we enjoyed time on our own getting a reasonably priced taxi there and back. And finally back to Venice for a few hours before our flight- we didn't realise that we could leave our bags at the boat, which would have been helpful, and instead took them to a luggage office Piazzale Roma and then got a taxi back to the airport.(worked fine but would probably have been easier to leave them at the ship) Would definitely go with MSC again (although we sometimes found it hard to get answers from them before we travelled) Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This is my 1st true cruise (other than day cruises to the Bahamas). I was with well-seasoned cruisers. My experience was better than theirs beciase I had nothing to compare it to. Here are my pros and cons: Pros: The ship is lovely. ... Read More
This is my 1st true cruise (other than day cruises to the Bahamas). I was with well-seasoned cruisers. My experience was better than theirs beciase I had nothing to compare it to. Here are my pros and cons: Pros: The ship is lovely. It is not a huge ship but large enough. The staff was wonderful. We were especially grateful to our waiters, Wira and Eduardo, our maitre 'd, O'Neill, and our room steward, Marion. I enjoyed my excursions, although the meal on the Flamm trip was fair. The Flamm train excursion was well worth it (although my brother was not impressed). The meals were ok. They were not fabulous. A few were very good however. Food was plentiful and if you are hungry, you are an extremely picky eater. The shows were ok, not great but were definitely something to do. (Last night show was a "con" being at 8 pm when yiu would be in the dining room. Ship was very clean. They were constantly cleaning all over the ship. The room was comfortable and clean. Cons: If you want anything to drink beyond tap water you have to get drink packages and you are nickled and dimed. You can get bottled water and wine at lunch and dinner with one package. If yiu want any sodas, bottled water, drinks, coffee, including espresso and cappuccinos and gelato all day, get another package. Premium drinks are a higher level package. They sold lobater and steak dinners separately. This has nothing to do with the ship, but I'd never met so many rude people in my life. Pushing and shoving to go anywhere. A man actually took me by the waist to push me aside beciase I wasn't moving fast enough for him. There were few English speaking people on the trip and those of us that did, American, New Zealand, and Australia, all thought the people on the trip were quite rude. The lounges were very crowded. I did not use the pools. They were crowded however, especially the indoor pool as it was cool out The people smoked even where they were, even where they are not supposed to - balconies, on non-smoking decks. The smoke in the casino was horrible. Unfortunately you can smell the smoke from the casino area in non-smoking lounges 1 and 2 floors up from the casino. I was 2 floors up and could smell the smoke at the elevator banks. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Beautiful ship, lots to do although a lot at an extra charge ie bowling, buffet restaurants offer lots of choice although not particularly hot, main dining room (golden sands)was terrible both for food and customer service, no ... Read More
Beautiful ship, lots to do although a lot at an extra charge ie bowling, buffet restaurants offer lots of choice although not particularly hot, main dining room (golden sands)was terrible both for food and customer service, no conversation or interaction waiters took your order in silence and walked away. Food then served in silence. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean and staff are first class, MSC could learn a lot from them. Be wary of tickets coming into cabin for excursions next day, in Malta we did the open top bus ourselves which was on an ancient, dirty, crowded bus, MSC are selling this tour, and by coincidence I overheard several couples on board complaining at reception about the terrible bus, after that I had no faith in MSC regarding these excursions. Overall we had a nice enough time, we are easy going people and don't complain often but for me the 2 main things that let the ship down is the poor dining room and the customer service, next cruise we will go for Royal Caribbean again Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
After reading bad reviews I was hesitant to take this cruise but my mother and I had a great time without any issues with the ship, staff or excursions. We chose this cruise because of all the ports and it was a good time for us. My mom ... Read More
After reading bad reviews I was hesitant to take this cruise but my mother and I had a great time without any issues with the ship, staff or excursions. We chose this cruise because of all the ports and it was a good time for us. My mom and I booked our cruise without any problems and we had the drinks package as well as a few excursions making a nice mix. Embarkation went well it was actually pretty easy. After getting to the terminal we left our luggage and sat for about an hour in the terminal, went through security and were let onto the ship in a pretty quick process. We were on board at 1230 but couldn't get into our room until after 2pm. The ship did however offer a buffet lunch which had a large variety of foods that were very good and plentiful. Our room was big enough and we kept our lugging in the closet area out of the way. The drawers were little but large enough we did not have to live out of the suitcase. The ship itself is dated and does not have a huge atrium or reception area but it is very clean and easy to navigate. The pool area was large enough and I could always find a lounge chair. The formal dining was very good, the portions are small but most European meals are on the small side. We didn't watch the shows preferring to stay on the balcony and watch the world sail by us at a leisurely pace. The service was very accommodating especially our steward Bruno he was very thoughtful bringing us ice twice a day without fail. The service from all staff was with a smile The bar staff were busy but got to all customers in a timely manner and were always professional. The gym was good and had enough equipment but I wish the staff would have kept people to the 20 minute maximum on the machines some people would hog the treadmills/ellipticals by resetting their times so it looked like they weren't on that long. The ports in Italy, Greece, Albania and Croatia were very good. I would have liked more time in Croatia but we had a good time on our own touring the old city. Albania was a big disappointment to a lot of people but I loved how proud the people were of what little they had. The country is up and coming and I'm glad I supported their tourism effort. The highlight was seeing dogs round up and walk goats down the national road amongst the cars. The Blue Eye Springs is not what most people would call a big attraction but for Albania it's huge, the spring itself is small with a rushing river leading to and from and that's about it. They do have a restaurant which we sat at almost the entire time, after you see the spring there isn't much else to do at all. The excursion on Mykonos to the beach is just that the beach is all there is with no bars (open early at least), shopping or way to get out of the heat. My mom suffered for this I love the beach and heat so I had no problem, please be aware of the heat. The beach is crystal clear but pebbly not sandy, bring water shoes. We spent a little time in the town of Mykonos after the beach and that was nice. We also took the shore excursion to Venice after the cruise and it was hot, when you're meeting the water taxi you have to stand in the sun, again uncomfortable for my mother not a problem for me. Our only issue was actually with the other cruisers. Some were very rude, let their children run all over the ship without supervision and acted like the food would run out if they didn't take all they could at one time. I saw one person berate a bar server because she tripped over a toy his son had left on the floor. He berated her for almost breaking the toy, really! All in all it was a great cruise and we would do it again any day. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
REVIEW OF MSC SEASIDE The following is my impression of our 7 day cruise from Miami to St. Maarten, San Juan, and Nassau in September 2018. Embankment: Pro: Simple, efficient and easy. Cons: No one looked at or cared about our ... Read More
REVIEW OF MSC SEASIDE The following is my impression of our 7 day cruise from Miami to St. Maarten, San Juan, and Nassau in September 2018. Embankment: Pro: Simple, efficient and easy. Cons: No one looked at or cared about our check in times. Rooms were ready by 2:00pm Room: We had an interior on the 12th floor. Pro: Roomy and well lit. Multiple electrical sockets and USB ports to charge devises. Con: Shower could have been a little larger. Ship: Pro: Beautiful ship. Well laid out. Con: Not enough elevators. Waits were too long. We had to go “UP” many times to go “Down”. Also we couldn’t get to the front of the ship for viewing. The front was reserved only for their Exclusive Yacht Club Passengers. Entertainment: Pro: Different show in the main theater every night and they were amazing! Multiple rooms on the ship where music was playing at all times. Main Pool side entertainments were very good (the usual belly flop contest, Miss Ocean Queen, etc) Con: Don’t forget to make main Theater reservations on the ship via their Wifi (more on this later) or on many of their information boards on the decks. Seats “sold” out quickly. Some passengers commented that the shows were actually the same every night except for the customs. They were referring to the same 4 singers, the same acrobats, (Roller skaters, hula hoop guy, man doing stunts with a large ring, two very flexible-contortion- women). I found them all to be beyond cruise ship standards, so I didn’t mind watching them again on every show. Other comments where that much of the music played was Latino and therefore sung in that language. Pool Area: Pro: Enough chairs to go around. Although the entertainment was “noisy” for some around the main pool, one could go other places for peace and quiet. Hot tubs were not always available. I was happy to see a pool lifeguard and attendant to keep inconsiderate passengers from jumping into the pools, and to keep the hot tubs capacity under control. Most hot tubs held 9 people, and the life guard will monitor that and ask people to leave if that was exceeded. Con: The main pool is over 6 feet deep!!! Whose idea was that? People were clinging to the sides while in the pool. It was easy to float because of the large salt content, however, who wants to do that? I do not know if the other pool located in the back were the same depth. Buffet: Pro: Two buffets. A smaller one on the 16th floor, and one larger one on the 8th. The 8th had a wide variety to choose from, and for the most part the food was good and at least warm. Con: Everyday was the same food. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in the buffets were the same every day! Also they ran out of ice, coffee, coffee cups, drink cups, didn’t clean the tables in a timely manner. This just didn’t happen once, it happened often. Dinner: Pro: We only did the complementary dinners, and for the most part food was fair to good. Quantities were smaller, but enough. Con: No lobster night! And not enough staffing!! (More on this later) Service was slow, and it took a full 1 ½ hours at least to eat dinner because of the slow service. No individual attention and we had the same table/waiter every night. Wifi: Pro: Excellent idea where passengers were able to hook up to the ship Wifi and not be charged as long as they used it for booking excursions, shows, dinners, etc. It also showed your agenda for the day or week included all the reserved shows, ship itinerary etc. Con: Not user friendly!!! Took me at least two days to figure out how to use most of its features. Great idea, but not easy to use. Bars: Pro: Everywhere you looked or turned there was a bar. Con: Not enough staffing. Most had two bar tenders to a bar and it wasn’t uncommon to wait 5-10 min for a drink. They were not lazy, but overwhelmed!! Excursions: Pro: Easy to reserve, just us the Wifi. Excursion desk never had a line. Con: I usually do most excursion reservations with off ship vendors. However, this time I reserved thru the cruise line since this was a last min cruise. I was sorry I did. The descriptions weren’t accurate and they were expensive. I have other reviews on this site that describe my unsatisfaction. Disembarkment: Pro: Easy. We didn’t do the walk off. Everyone was supposed to be out of the room by 7:45, but we overslept and left the room at 8:30 with no problem. Our luggage tag showed that we will be called to leave the ship at 9:50, and it was correct. Con: None. Overview: A beautiful designed, well maintained ship, and excellent entertainment. The cruise director was funny and always seen. Many passengers were not happy that when an announcement was made over the Public Address system, that the crew repeated the same message in at least 5 languages. Since most people understand English, after the first message, people started talking, no one listened, so it became ignoring. Their biggest issue is staffing. Our waiter did an excellent job trying to keep up serving 30 people in our group. And it wasn’t just our group, but others in the dining room experienced the same. I miss the individual attention that waiters on cruise lines gave their passengers. Staffing at the bars, unacceptable. And running out of cups, coffee, ice, not cleaning tables (many tables were outside and in port the seagulls were eating the food off the tables) was unacceptable. No one enforced “washy washy” at all! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Worse cruise EVER!! Huge waste of money!! Staff very rude EVERYWHERE!! Very under staffed for the amount of people on the cruise!! Entertainment sucked!! Nothing but a bunch of Opry music in different languages! Had to beg for clean linen. ... Read More
Worse cruise EVER!! Huge waste of money!! Staff very rude EVERYWHERE!! Very under staffed for the amount of people on the cruise!! Entertainment sucked!! Nothing but a bunch of Opry music in different languages! Had to beg for clean linen. Salon ruined my hair!! Had to have it colored three times to fix what they messed up then and now my hair is fried!! Still got charged for the cut even though they screwed my hair up!! Food sucks!!! Hot tubs close at 9:00!! Room service is not complimentary. Beds feel like boards!! Hard to find anyone that speaks english!! Guest service not helpful. Rooms were stuffy hot at night. No storage space in the cabins. Only three pools on the whole ship and they were super small. The only thing we enjoyed about the cruise was the ports. I have sailed with just about every cruise agency and have never had this bad of an experience!!Will NEVER go on MSC Again!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Although the Seaside is a beautiful ship, the layout is entirely wrong for the amount of passengers. Our cabin was spacious, although it lacked closet space. Our biggest disappointment was the meals. Went to the dining room at our ... Read More
Although the Seaside is a beautiful ship, the layout is entirely wrong for the amount of passengers. Our cabin was spacious, although it lacked closet space. Our biggest disappointment was the meals. Went to the dining room at our assigned time, 7:15. Ordered the roast chicken which was so dry I had to order extra gravy. After the meal, dessert was served, but no offer of coffee or tea. In the middle of dessert, the overhead lights came on to indicate that we needed to finish up because they needed to serve the next dinner seating. After that, we decided to try the grill - went to the 16th deck where they had devices on the table to order drinks. We pressed the button, waited 20 minutes and no one took our order. We flagged down someone who told us our request wasn’t registering and they would send someone over. Waited another 15 minutes and had to flag down the banquet manager to get our drink order in. The next night we went to the cafe on the 8th deck. Had to walk all around the buffet area to find silverware. Then took our trays outside to eat and were greeted by several dirty tables. We cleared one off ourselves and even when we finished, no one had come out to clear the tables. If you didn’t get to the desserts early, your only choice every night was fruit tarts - the same ones every night. If you come for breakfast be prepared to look for coffee cups and juice glasses as they run out fast. They only have two pools for 5100 passengers. One pool, on deck 7 is near the smoking area, so if you are a non smoker, I wouldn’t recommend it. Overall, too many passengers, too small common areas and cafes, gym is also too small and a long wait for machines and free weights, and not enough help to keep the deck areas clean and beverage service is non existent unless you go to the bars yourself. Very disappointing cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This is our 3rd cruise with MSC (the second cruise in the Yacht Club) and it was just an average cruise. MSC has tried to fit into the American market so much that they have lost the Italian flair that made them stand out from every other ... Read More
This is our 3rd cruise with MSC (the second cruise in the Yacht Club) and it was just an average cruise. MSC has tried to fit into the American market so much that they have lost the Italian flair that made them stand out from every other cruise ship going out of Florida. Just seems like a rip off of Carnival and Royal Caribbean now. Embarkation was chaotic, which is shocking for the Yacht Club. We got moved from one line to the next about 4 times before we were finally put into a line to get us through security and into the Yacht Club waiting area. The service provided in the Yacht Club, from the butlers to the waiters to the bartenders is what made this cruise good. Fortunately, MSC still delivers that. The food in the Yacht Club restaurant was just okay. Nothing stands out as being exceptional. The menu was so bad one night that we ordered a plate of french fries for something filling! We went to the buffet for pizza one day. It was greasy and cold. Needless to say, we never went back for that. Gelato was delicious and located in many pool areas, which was convenient. The Top Sail Lounge in the Yacht Club was a relaxing area to hang out. In the evening musicians would play, which we enjoyed. The Yacht Club pool was hot! As in there was very little shade. When I wanted to hang out at a pool, I went to the Jungle Pool, which had shade. One area that we did really like was the spa thermal area. MSC did a good job creating a unique experience there. Overall, this was just an average cruise. We will stick with MSC for just European cruises from now on. If we want a watered down American cruise, we will just go with Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise at the last minute because we had a week open and the veranda rate was only $599! We chose the guaranteed balcony and got assigned a suite with the jacuzzi on the veranda room 12067. The room was obviously over the top ... Read More
We chose this cruise at the last minute because we had a week open and the veranda rate was only $599! We chose the guaranteed balcony and got assigned a suite with the jacuzzi on the veranda room 12067. The room was obviously over the top for our needs and I didn't think we would use the Jacuzzi much, but we did! I have never written a cruise review before this one, so why start now? The entertainment on the MSC Seaside is so far above other ships it's Broadway worthy! So you might think I don't know Broadway or that I have not cruised before. I have seen multiple musicals in London, New York and other cities. I have 30 cruises in my past history with Carnival, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Costa. I was blown away with this group! I can only think that MSC is trying to develop the Miami market and loading this ship with amazing productions. Whatever you like, they have it embedded in their productions. Phantom of the Opera, Disney, Big Andrea Bocelli songs - it's all here. Standing ovations every night! The theater only holds 1000 people and they do three shows each night. We booked all of our shows within 2 hours of boarding from one of the many interactive screens on board. It took us 5 minutes and we were set for the week. No big deal! The food was very good in the main dining room. The first night was my favorite with lamb chops! The couple next to us ordered one evening from the 'additional price' section the surf and turf for an extra $25. They loved the lobster tails and fillets. We thought about it, but it was not needed since the regular food was great. We ate breakfast the first morning in the full service dining room which was typical of all other ships. The best experience in Seaside is to have breakfast on deck eight and go on the shaded side on the ship outside. Tables were available every morning! The regular coffee sucks! The food is good, but more like a buffet quality on deck eight. I read a review about the selection of food for American's....there was food from every corner of the planet you can think of and for you bacon lovers like me, it's all you can eat!!! MSC - your coffee is weak!! Did I say that already? Very disappointing for an Italian company. The coffee in the bars and at the chocolate bar are great!! Ship design...This ship was designed with 100% tinted glass for rails in ALL the sitting or relaxation area on all the decks. I cruise to sit on a chair or lounger and look out seeing the beautiful blue water. Carnival has decks with iron rails making it easy to 'see' the ocean clearly from a lounger or chair as it appears naturally. Every view on this ship is like looking through a tinted car window, here is no escape other than standing up the entire day to see over the wooden rail which is inconveniently placed at eye level for most people when in a lounger. Waste of space and restricted forward...MSC has made the top two floors towards the front of the ship restricted space for their Yacht club members and another member group/club. If you are not part of the elite club, you will not be given access to go anywhere close to the front of the ship on the upper decks. You will not be able to feel the ocean breeze blowing over the front or stand on top of the bridge giving you a great view out front. In general, the regular cruisers are restricted to midship and back on the top decks. You will have the noise of a constant loud vibration coming from the ships smoke stacks or loud music and yelling from the Miami beach deck area. Most ships allow passengers seeking peace to have locations forward to escape the noise.....this is only for the elite passengers on Seaside. The is no place to get peace and quiet on the upper decks unless you choose to sit behind 8 feet tall tinted windows with little to no airflow. The cruise staff...the best overall cruise staff! The dining room people were happy, accommodating, friendly. They really appeared to love their jobs and I know they work hard all day. It's hard to explain, but the atmosphere was positive with ALL the staff in all positions being very friendly. Claudia in the chocolate/latte bar smiled, talked and befriended us and everyone else. She has that special personality. Read Less
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