I am a former cruise staff with two other cruise lines. Have spent four years at sea working on ships. My wife and I discovered MSC in 2016 for our Honeymoon. We have sailed on the MSC Divina twice and this is our second cruise on the MSC ... Read More
I am a former cruise staff with two other cruise lines. Have spent four years at sea working on ships. My wife and I discovered MSC in 2016 for our Honeymoon. We have sailed on the MSC Divina twice and this is our second cruise on the MSC Seaside. We will sail again on the Divina in March.
We have loved our three previous cruises with MSC and this, our fourth, exceeded every expectation! And, not only was this a New Year's Eve Cruise, but we also celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary. And, everything was perfection!
As Aurea guests, we enjoyed priority embarkation, which saw us in the front of the line the morning on Miami day. The previous cruise's disembarkation seemed a bit longer than we have experienced, but we were still on board by noon. We enjoyed a light lunch, made our massage and specialty restaurant reservations, stowed our gear in the spa locker room, and headed to our favorite hot tub. The perfect start to our cruise.
The first and second days of the cruise were lovely, full of shows, activities, fun, and wonderful food! The third day, we made it to San Juan in the evening and enjoyed exploring the city at night, something we have not yet been able to do. We found the coolest place to hang out, the Hotel Casablanca, and highly recommend going there for drinks and a visit to their roof! You will love the views!
The fourth day of the cruise, we went to St Thomas, but chose to ferry to St. John. We had a lovely day at Honeymoon Beach snorkeling and enjoying the sun and had the best hoagie at the North Shore Deli ever! When you go to St John, you have got to go to this deli! But, we took the ferry back to St Thomas, cab back to the ship, and were on with time to spare.
That night, we celebrated the New Year with the entire ship out on the pool deck. The NYE Party was out of this World and so much fun! Everyone was in such good spirits, the champagne was flowing, and the crew were fire! A perfectly incredible way to ring in the new year.
Day five found us back at sea and celebrating our Anniversary. I worked with the wonderful Alessandra, International Hostess, and the Events Manager to surprise my wife with the Martha Stewart Anniversary Package at our sea day brunch at Butchers Cut. The look on my wife's face was worth the price of the cruise alone! We had an absolutely lovely day celebrating our Anniversary and enjoying more of the ship.
Day six we were in Nassau Bahamas. We have been to Nassau a number of times so we take that day to do a tour of the pools on board. As Aurea guests, we enjoy the Top 19 for laying out most of the cruise. But, Nassau days are perfect days to visit all of the other pools on board. That night was also the White Party, which is my favorite party of any MSC cruise. It did not disappoint! What a great night!
Day seven found us in Ocean Cay Marine Reserve. We have been dreaming of visiting this island since first hearing of it two years ago. Ocean Cay is beautiful! There are great shops to get those perfect souvenirs including a shop for the MSC Foundation that you must visit and support. The beaches closes to the ship were gorgeous with great wave action. The lagoon was calm and perfect for snorkeling! We even say rays and nurse sharks! And, the beaches opposite the ship were great for laying out and swimming in the ocean. The bars served us speedily and the food trucks were awesome! Best burger I have had in a long time! And, the lighthouse light shows at night with the beach parties were out of this world! Best day ever!!! On the best cruise ever!
Day 8, we were back in Miami with joy in our hearts and feeling so rested and loved after another cruise with MSC. Disembarkation was super smooth. We got our luggage in the black ticket area for Aurea, quickly went through customs, and Ubered back to our hotel for a lovely post cruise day, capped by a fun visit to South Beach.
The food was outstanding this cruise, with even steak and lobster in the MDR on New Years Eve. And, they have added a Classics section to the menu with things like French Onion Soup, Steak, etc. for folks that enjoy those simpler, yet delicious meals.
Our Captain Francesco Di Palma was friendly and engaging and evidence of his wonderful leadership was evident across the ship. The Cruise Director Sinan was incredible! And, officially, our favorite MSC Cruise Director now. Alessandra was a great help the entire cruise and just a delight to be around. Yamila Monte, dance instructor, was great once again. We love cruising with her! The Entertainment team of Carlos, Graham, Rebekah, Eugene, etc. we all wonderfully engaging and so much fun! It is very evident to see why MSC Cruises won the award for Best Night Life this year! Ralph, Jayson, Made, and Maya took such great care of us at the bars. And, Richard, was exceptional in our stateroom. Marvin was wonderful in the Seashore Restaurant as well.
We enjoyed the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle on the morning of the first sea day and also had a fab time at the Welcome Back Cocktail party for Voyagers Club.
Overall, the MSC Seaside was once again the sparkling jewel of a ship that we remembered her to be. The crew are continuing to take such great care of her! She is spectacular!
MSC Cruises remains the perfect destination for the "curious traveler and sophisticated voyager!" And, this, our fourth cruise with MSC, was the best by far! We can't wait to be back on the MSC Divina in March! Read Less