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1,136 MSC Cruises Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews

I find myself disappointed in all the negative reviews. We have gone on about 10 cruises, with RCL, NCL, Carnival and last March for the first time on Seaside. We enjoyed Seaside so much booked again this March. Although the cruise was a ... Read More
I find myself disappointed in all the negative reviews. We have gone on about 10 cruises, with RCL, NCL, Carnival and last March for the first time on Seaside. We enjoyed Seaside so much booked again this March. Although the cruise was a bit out of the ordinary because of Covid-19, I feel we can give it an accurate review, having been on it two years in a row, a first for us. First off, the cruise line did an excellent job with managing the passengers during a difficult time. Everything was super clean, someone was on hand at every food venue, theater show, and on and off ship to personally distribute hand sanitizer. The crew must have been upset by all the goings on, but acted professionally the whole time, giving us the best possible experience under the circumstances. Now for the cruise in general. I'd like to address some of the most cited criticisms. For us, customer service was perfectly fine. Last year we had an issue with drink package, which meant standing in a long line and a little frustration, but it worked out perfectly in the end. All of the crew members we had contact with were polite and helpful. If someone approached us about adding a package, they'd leave immediately when we said no thank you. Drink packages--we did extensive research both cruises. Last year we had drink vouchers, 12 each, as our promotion which worked out great for us. They no longer offer that promotion, though, so we did the math and found we could drink as much as we liked and still not come up to the cost of any drink package and that's including gratuities. We don't drink wine at dinner, which many with the packages did, so if you do, you might benefit from a package. When we cruise, we have two drinks before dinner with a beer or two in the afternoon or late evening. We came out way ahead for not having purchased a package. Dining room food--it is not as good as we've had on RCL or NCL. I thought it was better than Carnival, but those kind of comparisons are so subjective and food quality on ships changes over time, I'm sure. My favorite dish this cruise was the salmon from the everyday menu, which I ordered several times. My husband also had the steak from that menu a couple of times and it was very good. We had a couple of less than stellar meals when we veered from our favorites, but there was always something delicious and we enjoyed the dining room atmosphere, our waiter, and the people we met at nearby tables. Buffet--we found it to be the best buffet food of any previous cruise. While there are some dishes that are the same or similar each day (rotating fillings for sandwiches, same bread, for instance), there was always something new to try or another option to pursue. I thought the most variation came with the ethnic choices. We ate breakfast and lunch at one of the buffets every day. There were always made-to-order omelets in the morning and a meat carving station at lunch and dinner, excellent salad bar and fruit options, and favorite standbys, like burgers, hot dogs, pizza, sandwiches. One thing I think more unique with MSC than other ships we've been on is the way they use public space. You really can custom make your cruise. There are sections of the ship to suit everyone. My husband and I like to keep to ourselves a bit more, play games, read, etc. Others find it more fun to be around a lot of people and have music. Both can be found easily on Seaside. Our daily routine included outdoor games under the overhang at the South Beach pool, afternoon games at Le Bistro, drinks at Seaview bar before dinner, swimming at the Jungle pool after dinner (very few people there and two hot tubs), late night snack and sometimes games in Marketplace buffet at night. Stops--I agree that 5 pm in San Juan is very impractical. It was raining when we went and there was really nothing to do or see. We found a pizza joint a ways away that was quieter and had a rum drink and a beer, but that was about it. St. Thomas was fine, we just walked around in the sun. Nassau was our favorite of the three. We did a walking tour and saw some sights and some churches, stopped at John Watlings for a drink. Ocean Cay--I can't say enough good about this. The same section-for-everyone concept was evident on this island. There were large lagoons with festive music and lots of people, a shallow lagoon for families with kids, and several quieter beaches away from the crowds for people like us. All beautiful. We followed the advice I read on cruise critic for the quietest spot and went straight to Paradise Sands beach. We rented an umbrella and stayed all day. We swam, read, walked the paths, ate at the closest food truck, had a fun drink at a nearby bar. It was such a wonderful day, I would do the whole cruise again just to experience it again. The weather was perfect that day, which I know can't always be counted on. If we went again and it was rainy or we couldn't stop that would be a huge disappointment, but not the fault of the cruise line. We didn't see the main buffet near the main pools, so I can't comment on that. Rooms--last year we had Fantastica Suite, this year we opted to save some money and did a Bella balcony. The balcony and room were a bit smaller, but we didn't find the difference in size to be worth the difference in price. I love that MSC offers a balcony for such a low price. We sat and read on that balcony every day and just enjoyed having the option of open air any time we wanted. The closet is indeed small, but we knew that ahead of time and packed light. Shows--last year we didn't attend a single one, but did two this year--Madame Butterfly and the Michael Jackson show. Both excellent. There were some extremely talented singers and dancers. We can't know the future of cruising at this point, unfortunately, but if the opportunity arises, we will definitely sail on the Seaside again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Well first of all I want to say that the Coronavirus did not impact our cruise whatsoever. We didn't even know about the chaos at home until we disembarked from our cruise on March 14. We booked this "spring break" ... Read More
Well first of all I want to say that the Coronavirus did not impact our cruise whatsoever. We didn't even know about the chaos at home until we disembarked from our cruise on March 14. We booked this "spring break" cruise with the intention of giving our two granddaughters a new experience. It was a new experience for them. My husband and I normally cruise on Royal Caribbean and this was our first MSC cruise. Here are the pros and cons of our vacation. Pros: Getting on the ship was a breeze Cabin was nice and sleeping accommodations adequate (we had a balcony mid ship) Our cabin attendant, buffet employees, head waiter in dining room were friendly, professional and yet personal. Snorkel excursion booked thru MSC in the Bahamas was great! Cons: Food was average in all eating facilities There were an unusual amount of rude guests on this ship. I'm a first generation American. Most of these people were European. I was raised overseas. I'm not sure why these people acted this entitled but it was ridiculous. The pool areas were too small and the kids pool area was shut down most of the time. My 9 year old granddaughters were bored and didn't want to go to kids club because it was boring. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This was our 4th cruise with MSC and again I checked reviews to see about our ship and what people had to say. We were on the sister ship last year in Europe and it was excellent. My only complaint about this ship is that it is so ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with MSC and again I checked reviews to see about our ship and what people had to say. We were on the sister ship last year in Europe and it was excellent. My only complaint about this ship is that it is so similar to the Seaview it was almost like being on the same ship twice. Which just took away from the initial exploring but since we were with our daughter (21) and her friend it was like a new experience. The reviews for this ship were similar to other times I've checked,not stellar but that only bothers me because so many people are missing out on a GREAT experience. Let me start by saying that your experience on the ship may differ depending on what level experience you purchase. For the last 2 cruises we have been Aurea level. the level just below the yacht club. So with it comes some perks, the first is your own line during embarkation, it took us longer to walk through the terminal than it did to get checked in. We were on the ship in less than 15 minutes. We grabbed a drink, dropped our travel bags did a quick change and met our daughter and her friend to grab a bite to eat and explore. Timing is everything on a cruise and I can see where some people may have issues. We got on the ship at 2 and had plenty of time before muster, there were several groups that were not so pleased about the fact that they were turned away from the buffet and/or bar, but the ship has rules they must follow and it is not the staffs fault. i saw one man get so angry but the staff was just doing their jobs. The ship is absolutely beautiful and the staff was great too. I think the difference is that not everyone was sooo friendly, but I find that at restaurants or bars at home as well. We found the bartenders that were. Shout out to Isaiah and Jahil in the lobby bar. We were met with a smile and a drink several times a day from them. ( Aurea level also comes with an all inclusive drink package for drinks up to $6. which included what we drink vodka & soda, whiskey & coke, wine and beer. ) If you want great cappucinos and bloody mary's then visit Joey and Mary in the Seaview lounge. The weather on our cruise was NOT the best, and that limited being out by the pool for the first few days. Lots of wind, rain and rocking. We had a beautiful balcony that we couldn't really use until day 3. Our bed was comfortable and the room was always kept clean. I did have to ask for kleenex and wash clothes but Marianne our steward was happy to oblige. We did not have the same contact with her as we did on past cruises but she was very efficient. Here's my take on the food. Aurea level gets to eat whenever we feel like it, which works for us. We met some people we played cards with and they had to eat at 530. That would not work for us so again happy to be Aurea level. We ate in the main dining room several of the nights. Is the food to die for no, are there somethings that are really good, YES YES YES, were there are few things that I didn't love yes, but Nico and Alan in the Seashore dining room were very happy to accomodate us and bring another choice. The buffet for breakfast and lunch are great. Remember this is an Italian cruise line, there are many european choices for breakfast and lunch that you might never have seen before but there are so many choices you have to be able to find something. Some mornings we had made you omelets other days something light before heading off the ship. The pizza is amazing and lots of good cheeses. I was sad that on this cruise there were not capers or hearts of palm like on European cruise. (I got spoiled there). With the Aurea level you also get a massage and free use of the thermal spa as often as you like. We did make our appointments on the first day so that we were able to get the day and time we were looking for. We used the spa several days even if it was just for a half hour. MSC and me app. We downloaded this before we got on the ship and my husband had us signed up for all sorts of activities ( we didn't do most of them) within the first 2 hours. The activities and entertainment staff are amazing. They really get the party going. The white party was so much fun! The 2 bar areas in the back of the ship were very fun at night as well. The shows in the evening were good entertainment. Yes a bit repetitive but still impressive. The Michael Jackson show is not to be missed and we went to the improv show 2 nights in a row because it was so funny. i didn't even know we liked improv. We bought WIFI was it great no, but it was fine. I needed help with it once and I had to wait about 15 minutes for help I didn't think that was bad. We used the casino a bunch and although I wasn't a big winner I thought their slots were great. It is a bit smoky but nothing too bad. We did not use their excursions, but we had a great time in each of the ports. Obviously docking at 5pm does not give you tons of time in Puerto Rico but we walked around and found a great restaurant and had some mojitos. We purchased the specialty dining and I would say that was the only downfall of the cruise. Our drinks were not able to be used there.(in europe they were) and the staff in both were not my favorite. I will not purchase this on our next cruise. If we want to go we will just do it a la carte next time. Now here comes the sad part of the review. We were on the last cruise before all sailings were halted due to Coronavirus. The staff found out at about 3pm on our last day that they would not have jobs after our cruise, needless to say things really changed on the last night. The bars were getting shut down, no entertainment staff no DJ in the back bar. We felt so bad for them, but at the same time we were also stripped of a last great night. We did follow up with Isaiah and he and Jahil are safe back in St. Lucia. We love MSC, is there room for improvement absolutely, is it a mix of a lot of different people (Europeans are different than Americans , I love that about this cruise line) We talked to all sorts of people and people watched all sorts of people, I sat down and played dominos with 3 guys from Dallas (I'm an Eagles fan) We played cards with people from Chile. That is what MSC is about. Have an open mind and enjoy this beautiful ship. Especially after being quarantined!! We travelled with our daughter (21) and her friend. They had an inside Aurea level room that was very spacious. We will definitely be cruising with MSC again in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We did not listen to all of the bad reviews. Next time we will. Food bland and terrible. Menu never changed. Buffet worst ever. Room so small you could not unpack or move around. Workers on the ship so be tried but the ones in ... Read More
We did not listen to all of the bad reviews. Next time we will. Food bland and terrible. Menu never changed. Buffet worst ever. Room so small you could not unpack or move around. Workers on the ship so be tried but the ones in charge could have cared less about our problems or comfort level. We have been on many cruises and this one we could not wait to get off the ship and go home. That so called island was a joke. Sand dirty and hard to walk on. We rented a cabana for the day which should have been all day. Well we weren’t allowed off the ship until mid day and then the bar didn’t open until 1200 and then closed at 4.00 . Well so much for all day use what a waste of 239.00. Please I beg you do not use this cruise line as you will be so said. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Beautiful decor but bad design. Front of ship is off limits unless you paid extra to be in their elite class. Ship had many passages to nowhere. Our cabin steward was above average which was only good part of cruise. Cabin size was ok ... Read More
Beautiful decor but bad design. Front of ship is off limits unless you paid extra to be in their elite class. Ship had many passages to nowhere. Our cabin steward was above average which was only good part of cruise. Cabin size was ok but then I had a handicapped room which was probably a little larger. Constant noise in cabin all night long. Food was barely passable--not American fare; everything tasted a little off. Only had karaoke 3 nights and then at times that weren't convenient. Shows had limited talent and not much variety. No quiet areas on ship. No special help to go through buffet when in a wheelchair; in fact some crew members were rude; 3 people watched me struggle but none offered to help the whole week I was there. Some doorways were too small to fit through on my electric scooter, and I tore open my arm on one; no one seemed to care. Guest Services was a waste of time; went there with my arm all bloody and they basically gave me a bandaid and told me to go back to my room. Shore excursions overpriced; much better to do them on your own. Had rude treatment on the private island; the driver of one of the ship's gold cart called me names because I couldn't get out of his way fast enough. The ship was so carbon-neutral that they did not have Do Not Disturb signs nor was there any kleenex type tissue in the cabin. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this ship because of the price and itinerary. Embarkation and disembark went well. For disembark we met in the theater, sat with our color assignment and we're escorted directly along to our luggage and transfer shuttle. ... Read More
We chose this ship because of the price and itinerary. Embarkation and disembark went well. For disembark we met in the theater, sat with our color assignment and we're escorted directly along to our luggage and transfer shuttle. We booked an inside cabin and found it quite spacious compared to other ships we were on. We ate at the main dining room twice and the deck 8 buffet for all other meals. We loved the food. The theater shows each night were enjoyable, however predictable as it was the same acts just performing different tricks each night. Very talented bunch and the dance couple... just wow. There are no quiet spots on the ship, there's always a line up for drinks and food. It's a 5000 passenger ship with 1500 crew. We have never been on such a large ship and now we know that we won't sail on one again. The staff we're all great. Good service. Port times were not ideal. Puerto Rico at night was not as much fun as it sounds, Unfortunately it was too cold at Ocean Cay to enjoy the island. St Thomas was great, we took the taxi to Magen's Bay... was our best port day. We stayed on ship in Nassau, was nice having less people to on board. Our overall impression is that this is a party ship. Very clean, with hand washing stations at all the restaurant entrances. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I was a little apprehensive before embarking on this cruise due to the numerous negative reviews posted in January. However, none of my fears materialized. One review stated that they waited 2 hours for their food to arrive at dinner. ... Read More
I was a little apprehensive before embarking on this cruise due to the numerous negative reviews posted in January. However, none of my fears materialized. One review stated that they waited 2 hours for their food to arrive at dinner. I am not sure what happened with them, but we were attended to quickly, the food arrived within a nice span of time, and the serving staff was friendly and attentive. Our head waiter, Akash, was amazing. He was friendly, funny and made us feel like a close friend. In addition, the food was very good, and they were able to make any personal changes to a dish if requested. Just about every staff member was courteous and friendly. Our cabin steward, Ramond, wanted us to feel like we were at home. There are a few negatives that I must impart about the cruise. First, there should have been more hand sanitizer stations available. There should be one at every elevator bank and stairwell. Second, they should be more vigilant with keeping people who smoke off of the pool deck at night. Third, they should have informed everyone that there was a Vegan/Holistic convention going on on the ship. They monopolized the pool deck every night. You could not go up there to just relax. They always had something loud going on. Finally, I think there should have been more thought given to our stop in Puerto Rico. We arrived at 4:00pm on a Sunday night. Just about everything was closed for the evening. So, why did we stop there? All in all, we had a enjoyable time. The excursions offered by MSC were great. Would definitely recommend MSC to others. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our second MCS cruise and it didn’t disappoint! Great crew, food, shows and ports! I loved the SPA and got several massages. Also used the laundry service and it was excellent! Going on another MSC this month. The only news ... Read More
This was our second MCS cruise and it didn’t disappoint! Great crew, food, shows and ports! I loved the SPA and got several massages. Also used the laundry service and it was excellent! Going on another MSC this month. The only news channel was CNN and we did not like this. Don’t understand why they would only have them. Many others also made comments about this. Really not enough time to eat at 6:00 seating and make the 7:00 show. We skipped dessert and jumped up and zoomed to see the show. (Didn’t need dessert anyway) however several nights we got to our cabin and our waiter had sent dessert to our cabin! That was very thoughtful! All of the crew members we encountered were friendly, helpful and happy! They were cleaning the ship constantly and of course hand sanitizer was plentiful. Our excursions booked thru the ship were great also. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My wife and I have traveled throughout Europe, South America and the Caribbean and have experienced some of the finest cruises available throughout the world. The cruise we just completed was a tremendous disappointment. Here are our ... Read More
My wife and I have traveled throughout Europe, South America and the Caribbean and have experienced some of the finest cruises available throughout the world. The cruise we just completed was a tremendous disappointment. Here are our thoughts: * The ship itself was absolutely beautiful. Very nicely furnished, spacious room (we had a cabin with a balcony). But the flow was a nightmare. Like most cruises we've been on, it takes a good week to really get to know your way around. We left still feeling confused on how to get from one spot to another because of the stairway/elevator system. Some got you to some floors and not others. Only one deck (7) allowed you to traverse the entire deck. Others we chopped up and you had to know what stairway to take to get to another spot on another floor. * The food was mediocre at best. The dining room menus were very limited and the food was OK. Nothing spectacular. The buffet on the 14th deck was absolutely atrocious. The same thing day after day. And there was something really strange about how they wet out the food. e.g., At at the salad buffet they started out the with salad dressing, then the chopped up lettuce that always lacked the appearance of freshness, then the toppings followed. Huh? ^ They don't know how to move people. From the time we arrived until the time we left, the lines were terribly long. So expect long waits, especially upon arrival, the buffet lines and disembarkation. * I don't know about the other reviews and question the authenticity of them because we were not alone in our assessment of the cruise as we spoke with other people who were onboard with us. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We booked with Holistic Holidays at Sea for their annual vegan cruise. We were keen to see the speakers they were featuring. One of them we were looking forward to just didn't show up yet a substitute was provided. Regardless, we ... Read More
We booked with Holistic Holidays at Sea for their annual vegan cruise. We were keen to see the speakers they were featuring. One of them we were looking forward to just didn't show up yet a substitute was provided. Regardless, we were disappointed that Chef AJ didn't make it. The embarkation was a nightmare. At least an hour long wait in line to get thru the security scanners. Some of that time was time that no scanning was happening. We found out why after we passed the checkpoint and went upstairs to check in. There was another huge line and another hour wait to get to an agent. There was no place for anyone to sit if they had knee or back issues. Disembarkation went well until we got off the ship when we had transfers to the airport. The buses were not there yet. Another hour wait standing in the cold until the bus arrived. Once the bags were loaded and passengers boarded we got to the airport in a timely manner. Due to this being a theme cruise for vegans there were approximately 2,000 vegan passengers. They offered only a single seating in the Black Crab dining room. The lines to get in there was very long also. We decided to eat all our meals in the buffet. The food choices were varied with some repeats but the vegan options were often far too salty and/or too oily. There were big lines for the buffet (on the vegan side). By the time you got to your seat your food was cold. Our cabin was decent as was our room attendant (Percy). We had D9114 which was a balcony cabin. This cabin is a connecting cabin with D9112. We could easily here conversations in the next cabin thru the door. We could also see light from their cabin under the door. Because of the above things we didn't like we won't be booking another MSC cruise nor one with Holistic Holidays at Sea. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise for 2 reasons. First we had sailed on the Divina a few years ago and absolutely loved it. Secondly it was the right timing for our schedules (2 couples). We arrived at the cruise port for our embarkation time but had ... Read More
We chose this cruise for 2 reasons. First we had sailed on the Divina a few years ago and absolutely loved it. Secondly it was the right timing for our schedules (2 couples). We arrived at the cruise port for our embarkation time but had to wait 1 hour and even then our cabin was not ready. The cabin was not what we thought we were getting. It was quite small and there wasn’t a sofa (as depicted in the picture of balcony cabin). We had booked early dining but were told it wasn’t available. It was well past 10:00 pm when we finished dinner. After the 1st night, we did get changed to early dinner. The wait staff have too many tables to deal with. We were 8 people at our table and by the time the last person got their food, the first person was finished. The menu was not as good as it could have been. Very little variety and also items that you had to pay for (steak, lobster). The food in the buffet was mediocre at best. Always cold. We thought we would have breakfast in the dining room one morning and that was also cold. This cruise had over 2200 vegans onboard. We went to the theatre every night and the shows were good but not great. The entertainment throughout the ship was not the best. Same performers singing the same songs at the same time in the same place every night. We had the easy beverage package. It wasn’t worth it. Limited choice of drinks. You could get a Barcadi light rum but not a spiced rum. Last time I checked they both cost the same in the liquor store. I could get a virgin daiquiri but not one with rum (but I could order a shot of rum as well as a virgin drink). The service was not as good as other cruise lines, we have been on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Norwegian. My husband booked the sauna package and there were never any towels. We pre-booked the steak house. First our beverage package didn’t cover the wines available so we had to go to the bar outside and bring our wine with us. We were told that we could only order from one side of the menu and only one of each ( appetizer, entree and dessert). Anything else would be an extra charge, like a baked potato was $4.00. We definitely will not be cruising again with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have taken 6 cruises with 3 different cruise lines, This was our least favourite for multiple reasons MSC and our travel agent failed to inform us that there would be 2000 vegan cruisers on this cruise and they would be taking 100% ... Read More
We have taken 6 cruises with 3 different cruise lines, This was our least favourite for multiple reasons MSC and our travel agent failed to inform us that there would be 2000 vegan cruisers on this cruise and they would be taking 100% of the early dining. All other passengers were restricted to 8:30 p.m. dining. ( really who eats a meal at 8:30 p.m.? !!!! ) All of our documentation indicated that we would have 6 p.m. dining but fine print gives them the right to change it. The vegan cruisers booked one year in advance, MSC mislead us knowing that 6 p.m. dining was already booked up. The buffet served the same lame food every day, burger, fries, hot dogs and a few pasta salads. There was a pizza shop on board but it looked and tasted like cardboard. There was a great selection for breakfast but they had only one toaster for 4200 people. There was limited seating in the buffet area. Our cabin flooded from a pipe leak on the first and second night, there was not much effort put into the clean up and we were left with wet sour carpet for most of the trip. We got kicked out of our cabin on a sea day to try and address the problem with chemicals and a huge fan, why they didn't do this on a port day confuses me. Our suit case and some of our clothing got wet and had to be washed, our foot wear got wet and sour. They refused to move use to another cabin. Documents and web site indicated that room 12184 is approx 148sqf and balcony is 34sqf. We actually measure it to be 128sqf and 28sqft The announcements were annoying has they were announced in 6 different languages. English is not the main language. MSC is trying to cater to multiple cultures making it difficult for all cultures. Positives, This was the most beautiful ship we have ever sailed. The bar tending, drinks and drink packages was great. Swimming pools and the 8? hot tubs were always clean and never seamed to be over crowed. There was lots of seating on the decks and pool areas. The overall ship didn't seam crowded apart from the limited seating in the buffet area. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My husband and I specifically chose this cruise to participate in a Holistic (Vegan) Holiday at Sea. The cruise experience was mediocre at best, but from talking to others, not everyone felt the same way. However, probably 9 out of 10 ... Read More
My husband and I specifically chose this cruise to participate in a Holistic (Vegan) Holiday at Sea. The cruise experience was mediocre at best, but from talking to others, not everyone felt the same way. However, probably 9 out of 10 people we asked had opinions that echoed ours: the crowding, disorganization, and poor food were discouraging.This was my fourth cruise so I had a good idea of what to expect. Italians don't seem to like people very much. I experienced a general disdain at worst, and being ignored at best, by the Italian cruise staff. Staff did not seem to know how to handle a large crowd. There were huge lines to board and disembark. There seemed to be no organization or method. There was very little communication to the passengers as to what to expect. The dining experience was a disaster. There were long lines, the standard food was low in quality, the vegan food also missed the boat as staffers/chef did not seem to understand what "vegan" means. We were shuttled to the dining room when the lines at the buffet were too long. We Holistic Holiday at Sea guests were expected to wear a white armband 24/7, but it was never checked. I did not like having to eat/sleep and shower in the darned armband if it was not used to gain access to the lectures. It was my husband's first cruise and his parting words were "never again." The cabin was comfortable. The bathroom smelled like urine. There was dirt/dust caked under the mini-fridge. The cabin person was sweet and attentive. The high point of our trip was having a room with a balcony (although a doubling of the per-person rate was WAY too expensive), and I spent many an hour out there, because the ship was too crowded. All in all, I was disappointed in the experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Review of the annual Holistic Cruise from Feb. 21 - 28th. No, I'm not Holistic, see last paragraph. My 1st MSC Cruise was the 11 night over New Years. We had so much fun (see that review) that we had to go again before the ship left ... Read More
Review of the annual Holistic Cruise from Feb. 21 - 28th. No, I'm not Holistic, see last paragraph. My 1st MSC Cruise was the 11 night over New Years. We had so much fun (see that review) that we had to go again before the ship left the U.S. this March for a year. I have to be honest, I picked the Divina again because I've never in our previous 10 cruises seen any ship have the quality of entertainment in not only the theater, but with the entertainment staff that is all over the ship making me feel like a teenager again not to mention how they are so talented. Have to mention the Soul Solutions Band, never had I experienced a better band on any ship. They truly belong in Vegas. On both our cruises we were lucky enough to have some unbelievable staff available to us and I am going to name them because I know they go way out for Cruise Critic (you should be sure to go to the Meet and Mingle they put on for us) and hope they read this. Met the directors at the Meet & Mingle. They remember your name the rest of the cruise. Anna Werner, Cruise Director from Germany. How she does it I will never know. tireless is all I can say but the entertainment is 2nd to none. If people are saying they didn't like it, they don't know what talent is. Ziggy Lisowski, Hotel Director from Poland. Such attention to detail and asks people what is good and bad. Really makes you feel like MSC cares deeply about their guests. Great guy. Ramona Florea, Bar Director from Romania. Of course I met her because of the cigar lounge but her attention to detail on everything really impressed us. And such a nice sweet person. Visen David Seerputtee, Bartender in the Cigar Lounge & Buffet from Mauritius. This guy is the best person ever that could be in his position. His knowledge of everything is amazing. I can't say enough about him, but him being on the ship was a huge factor in our returning. Young guy and speaks at least five languages fluently. Giacomo Riviello, singer in the Pantheon Theater. How he's not on Broadway? I have no idea and neither do the folks I see posting on these boards. He has also been very nice when seen outside of the theater. The Redhead dancer in the Pantheon. Sorry, don't know her name or where she's from, but my goodness is she great and always with the most wonderful smile. Seen her off ship on both trips and was so nice. Like Giacomo, I seriously can't believe she's not on Broadway, although that could be said for all the talent on the shows. The, for lack of knowing what to call them, the roving entertainment staff is Just amazing at all hours of the day and night. MSC and them do it right. I'd like to point out Michelle Rosales and Natasha Van Heerden. I'm so happy they were still on this cruise as they are part of the package that, to us, that has made MSC the best cruise line we've ever been on. These bar attendants were always so kind and made and their friendliness was always a breath of fresh air. Keisha Richard from Saint Lucia and Crystalie ando Zamora from Philippines. One thing I really think MSC could've done to make this cruise better for most on the ship, was let people know before they booked, that if they weren't vegan or Holistic they weren't going to get the early seating and that there would be some minor inconveniences. I fortunately saw on the Cruise Critic Roll Call that it was a Holistic cruise and found out if there would be the regular food, but I requested early seating and a table for two. I got neither of those and when I went to guest services when we got on we were told, sorry, nothing is going to change. I heard more complaints about that. Why hide it? Most people not in that group did not even know it was a Holistic Cruise. I actually, other than the late seating, which worked out good, didn't find any inconvenience from having that organization cruise with us and MSC did an excellent job of not making us feel divided or missing out on anything other than the dining room early seating. Not a big deal. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Embarkation was slow, slow, slow, as was disembarkation. Disembarking the ship was 30 minutes behind after only 60 minutes. We decided to walk off before our time to make our travel connections and found no line, either getting off the ... Read More
Embarkation was slow, slow, slow, as was disembarkation. Disembarking the ship was 30 minutes behind after only 60 minutes. We decided to walk off before our time to make our travel connections and found no line, either getting off the ship or at customs. Music (live or otherwise) and a party atmosphere was no where to be found on deck and in the pool area. On stage cooking competitions, trivia contests and zumba was the norm. I'm 63 years old and I was bored as was our teenage granddaughter. Only after we checked in did we find out all 6:30 dinner requests were bumped to 8:30 so a 2000 person vegan group could dine together. Advanced notice would have been nice due to health concerns. One elderly couple had double booked a shore excursion and management basically told them they were out of luck, no refunds. Buffets and Dinners were not the quality of other ships we've cruised on. On the positive side, our balcony room was spacious and very nice. Employee's were friendly and very helpful in most areas of the ship. There were a lot of options for clubs etc. Our shore excursions were fun and well organized with the exception of being reprimanded by an employee for showing up 20 minutes early at our rallying point. She even highlighted the time and said to come back then. The theater shows were fun. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We wanted to get away for a week and thought we would try MSC. This was the most disappointing cruise we have taken, and we've been on several. The ship is beautiful, modern and clean. Our balcony room was spacious and comfortable, ... Read More
We wanted to get away for a week and thought we would try MSC. This was the most disappointing cruise we have taken, and we've been on several. The ship is beautiful, modern and clean. Our balcony room was spacious and comfortable, and our cabin steward was great. The show Starwalker was wonderful, even if you're not a MJ fan! But that is all the good we can say about the past week aboard the Seaside. We chose, after night two, to NOT return to the dining room for dinner. The service was poor and the food was awful. Such a shame since the two things people usually rave about are the shows and the food...not on this ship. Not a single employee seemed happy and we observed several uniforms torn, dirty, and faded. Very sad and disturbing. The itinerary was weird and deceiving, showing 2 days in San Juan when, in actuality, it was less than six hours after an extremely disorganized disembarkation...and arrival was at 6pm on a Monday. It was dark when we got off and you couldn't see any of the City in the dark. Such a waste. I do not recommend MSC, and will NOT give a different ship a try. We recommend that you spend your money on another cruise line. Please read some of the other reviews which are very similar to our experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Just finished our week on Seaside Aurea experience. If you are looking for a good perks but still reasonable price than Aurea is a good choice. It gives you the chance to get away from the crowds in a few different ways. We loved the Top ... Read More
Just finished our week on Seaside Aurea experience. If you are looking for a good perks but still reasonable price than Aurea is a good choice. It gives you the chance to get away from the crowds in a few different ways. We loved the Top 19 area which is just for Aurea guests. Its calm, has a bar and hot tubs, and is a great escape area. Found it to be very relaxing and we spent alot of time in this area. This perk alone was worth alot to me as many areas of the boat are busy. Aurea also gets access to some areas in the spa. I checked them out but didn't end up using them. Preferred top 19. Another good perk was being able to eat at anytime in the dining room. A 3 year old makes this a great perk. Now the food is a big problem. My wife is celiac (no gluten) and MSC over sells this point as being very capable. My wife struggled to find options and only real safe area was the dining room. Most of the food staff has no idea what celiac is and its unacceptable. You shouldn't lose weight on a cruise and be very limited to what you can eat. The staff also would get frustrated with my wife because she would ask alot of questions to make sure she didn't get sick. Again she has a health issue and people getting mad at her is not good. I did make MSC aware ahead of time and we found a few staff that were very helpful but most need training and MSC should remove their section about celiac approved until they really have it together in most eating areas. Room was good and staff kept it clean and tidy for us. Didn't feel like we needed anything larger and the balcony was a good size. One area I liked is the European flair. Boat had many cultures on board which I prefer. Get to talk to alot of people who look at things in different ways which is fun. Ye sometimes it was frustrating what others would do but who's to say my way is the right way! The MSC Ocean Cay island is beautiful. It was a tropical paradise and one of the prettiest places I have ever been. In summary my family had a good time and if you dont have a food allergy I think most would like. We won't go on another MSC cruise until they figure out the food allergy issue. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I really wanted to love this ship. The pictures of it are lovely and it is a beautiful, modern, new ship. That is where the positive things about this ship end. The layout of it is just horrible. The food is the same thing every day on ... Read More
I really wanted to love this ship. The pictures of it are lovely and it is a beautiful, modern, new ship. That is where the positive things about this ship end. The layout of it is just horrible. The food is the same thing every day on the buffet. The food in the dining room was hit or miss but our waiter Stewart and his assistant Danilo were awesome and they are the reason we went to the dining room for dinner every night except for one. The ports of call were ok but getting there at 5:00 pm is pointless. The room was a joke to say the least. It was called a suite but far from it. For the money I paid to go on the Seaside I paid the exact same on the Allure of the seas and got a real suite with a real bathroom, plenty of storage, a suite lounge, and a concierge. To say nothing of not ever seeing the cabin attendant much less knowing his name. I did find a shirt from the previous guest under the bed the night before we left which makes me wonder how wonder how well it was cleaned in the first place. At night you could hear things banging around and lots of excess noise especially considering how new the ship is. The Auera bar was hardly ever open and of course no one tells you that you can only order drinks from a menu. Getting off of the ship was a huge disaster taking over an hour to walk off of the boat with your luggage. I have never been on a ship that was so unorganized and mismanaged in all of my life, and I take a cruise every 6 months. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
It was our fisrt cruise and joyed it a lot. The service from the dinning room from Sandipan and Olvin was friendly and excelent. We had room service from a Madagascar women name Sofia that was very excellent also. The embarkation was well ... Read More
It was our fisrt cruise and joyed it a lot. The service from the dinning room from Sandipan and Olvin was friendly and excelent. We had room service from a Madagascar women name Sofia that was very excellent also. The embarkation was well done and for disembarkation we would had took express walk out because we were departing early in the morning for our flight since the luguage was only bring out from the boat to the warf . So we could had brouth them with us and it would had not make a big difference. Lots of activities and entertainements we love the show's at the theater. Our room was in the font of the boat but our package service and activities on the deck and buffet was all on the back of the ship.Made us made a lot of walking for getting anythings from the room. Was a big inconvenient for our friends into the next door room that had hips problem. The map for the ports and shore giving to us should had mark for sceanery site and visiting monument or old structure like fortification or so and not only expensive store. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We are experienced cruisers who have traveled many times to other continents, and the cruise on the Seaside was our third and fourth MSC cruise. This review is about two separately booked back to back cruises, but not much changed between ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers who have traveled many times to other continents, and the cruise on the Seaside was our third and fourth MSC cruise. This review is about two separately booked back to back cruises, but not much changed between the two weeks except the passenger composition and itinerary. We really like the Divina (a ten-day cruise in the Eastern Caribbean) and found the Grandiosa in Europe to be similar to the Seaside in many respects. Right up front, I’ll repeat another reviewer’s accurate observation: the ship is a good value for Yacht Club passengers and for bargain cruisers who purchase the cheapest inside cabin and do bare-bones travel. The experience can get pricey for everyone in between and for those with higher expectations. Embarkation Because we have Diamond status, the embarkation was very easy and fast as we had priority. The rep gave us cards with the wrong photos, so we had to stand in a long line later at Customer Service to fix this error. Disregard the time MSC tells you to board. In reality, you can come around 10:30 or 11:00 and no one checks or asks. We were told to come at 3PM but showed up at 11:00. Those who follow these silly instructions will feel cheated out of several hours of their cruise. MSC is just attempting to control the flow of passengers. We were on the ship around 11:30. You can go up to the buffet at noon and enjoy a lunch before you explore the ship. Passengers were allowed into the cabins at 2:00. Our luggage arrived right after the muster drill which took place in the Haven Lounge. The drill takes three times as long as it should because passengers don’t listen to the announcements. Maybe people tune them out because there are so many? Be sure to insist someone scans your card at the drill. We met a couple who attended, but the staff went AWOL, and they were made to return the next morning for another drill. The Public Areas The ship is absolutely beautiful, and most public areas are very nicely designed. Lounges that featured entertainment were too small (Haven Lounge, Seaside Lounge, and Piazza lounge) and too few for this large capacity ship. Most ships with a 2,000 capacity have this many and size lounges. No forward lounge as this area is taken up with the Yacht Club. The pools were jammed packed like people soup. The chair hogs were out in full force at about 6:30 each morning. We don’t lay out, so this didn’t bother us- just an observation. The buffets were never horribly crowded because many ate at the pool areas. Another reviewer mentioned that a lot of the ship’s property in the public areas on Decks 5 to 8 are dedicated to sales of merchandise. Display cabinets take up space in the middle and could be used to expand the lounges and other public areas. The EFFY store managers make frequent announcements and interrupt the entertainment at the Piazza Grande Lounge. Dining The selections in the MDR were generally uninspiring, and the entrees were bland. I am surprised that their Italian food is so ordinary. I ate in the Grandiosa’s specialty restaurant (which was excellent- none on the Seaside) and have dined in many fine Italian restaurants. I don’t have a drop of Italian blood in me, but can make much better than on the Seaside! The lasagna was like frozen Stouffers’ lasagna. I had to salt and pepper everything. On the first week, we were seated at a two-top. The people next to us never showed up until the last evening (they were delightful.) We asked to be seated at an English-speaking table for our second week and enjoyed very nice people at our table. Both waiters were very efficient and personable. A bottle of water is randomly put at the table for the entire table- sometimes not. All the staff in the MDRs seemed very good. We ate at the Butcher’s Cut and Ocean Cay. The Butcher’s Cut dinner was excellent, as was the service. Ocean Cay was quite a letdown, and it seems my opinion is the general consensus as there was only one other couple for the two hours we were there. The fish was very bland, and the crab cake was ordinary. We heard this opinion of Ocean Cay echoed by others who ate there (I wish I had heard this previous to going there.) The cheesecake was very good, as was the service. The restaurant itself is delightfully decorated, but the menu needs attention. Most desserts were ordinary, but the Italian Cream Cake offered for special occasions is outstanding. Also, the special back to back luncheon was excellent. They had a special dessert buffet each Thursday where very pretty cakes were offered, but they were usually just white cake with different decorations and not many flavor variations. At least they were pretty! The two buffet areas have plenty of seats as long as the weather is nice so you can use the outside areas. The pizza, like everyone says, is good as are the burgers. I appreciated that there was a selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, but the cooked food was uninspiring. I had to keep searching for something appealing. You won’t go hungry, but they need to improve the variety of appealing foods. The staff in the buffet generally did their jobs, but only a few made attempts to smile. I had a sense they were quite unhappy. This is in marked contrast to the usually pleasant demeanor on other cruise lines. There are premade omelets available at the morning buffets but no specialized ones. The breakfast selections are typical and were just fine. The Market place buffet on Deck 8 is the larger one and opened more hours. The buffet on Deck 16 has limited hours and a lesser selection. It was disappointing that the Seaside had no alternative small complimentary café as some of their other ships and cruise lines do. Cabin We had a rather large inside cabin, which was nice, but like others have said, the storage is minimal, and the bathrooms are very tight. I’m just 5’1” and pretty small, and I can only imagine the struggles a large person would have! The beds and pillows were comfortable. There were no cups in the bathroom, so we took some from the buffet. There were glass ones on the desk, but we didn’t want glass in the restroom. The TV was in an odd location- to the right of the head of the bed, so we couldn’t watch TV head-on. Not a big deal since the TV selection is so minimal. Our attendant took good care of the room and was pleasant and efficient. Cruise Critic Party I was so impressed with the CC Meet and Mingle on the Divina in 2019, but the Seaside’s was a bit of a step-down. The beautiful cake was such a nice feature on the Divina but was not on the Seaside. I heard it was because of increased sanitation due to the coronavirus. We did receive a group photo in our cabin for both meetups. We met many nice people, and the captain was very kind and pleasant as were his staff. Entertainment The theater performances are really a step above most other cruise lines, and MSC is to be complimented for this. No single entertainers are featured, and the same performers are seen frequently throughout the seven days. The highlight was the Michael Jackson Show called Starwalker. The impersonator was spectacular, as were the high energy dancers. That is one of the best ever, and I’m not a big MJ fan… The other shows had themes and were also well done. I saw each show two times because of being on both weeks, but there is so much going on that the repeat didn’t bother me a bit. The sets and costumes are exceptional, and I appreciated that most of the female dancers’ outfits were rather modest. Also, different talent is sprinkled through the thirty to forty-minute shows. A very talented roller-skating couple was my favorite. Several “Cirque de Sol” types of acts were far superior because they were just a few minutes each rather than a whole show of strong men, jugglers, gymnasts. Etc. I loved the huge T- Rex in Peter Punk. The male vocalists were exceptional. Butterflies, a shortened version of Madame Butterfly was featured in the afternoon. It was well done, and if you have never seen an opera, this is a nice introduction. There was an improv group that did a family and adult show. We didn’t particularly enjoy them and didn’t return for other performances. The lounge entertainment was a weak area on the Seaside, and our review is mixed. We enjoy dancing, but the groups except for the Duo Remedy didn’t have a diverse repertoire. No foxtrot or slow waltzes, etc. Duo Remedy was the only group who attempted to interact with the audience and try to access what was popular with the dancers. They even learned a fast waltz for one couple. • Two different guitarists who didn’t seem to attract much of a crowd. • Latin Fusion and Fusion Groove who were just fine for those who like Latin music but didn’t have much of a repertoire beyond that. They generally played in the largest lounge, the Haven. • Jazz n More played in the Seaview Lounge. They were good, but the lounge isn’t large enough, and the bar attracts lots of people who just want to drink and chat- nothing wrong with that, but the seating is very limited for those who want to listen or dance. One lady who wanted to listen complained to people who dared to have a conversation. Yikes. It got tense there. • A piano player didn’t attract much of our time. The entertainment staff was fine, but their dance instruction wasn’t very skilled. Teaching the Argentine Tango in twenty minutes with no partnering is worthless and having a woman start with the left foot is confusing. Typically, a woman begins to dance with her right foot backward in step one, and the man begins to dance with his left foot forward. Other cruise lines do this so much better. They were great at game shows and trivia, although they use many of the same questions in trivia from one week to the next. Maybe a little time doing research should be part of their job? MSC gave out much better prizes than most cruise lines. Kudos here! As dancers, we had an issue with little children on the dance floor by themselves while the parents sat at the table, taking photos of their sweeties. That was an effective way to clear the floor of adult dancers! After witnessing a running around two-year-old on the Grandiosa who caused a dancer to stumble over and injure a child, I’m not a fan of kids on the dancefloor by themselves. I think it is great when an adult holds hands with the child of any age and tries to dance with them, but letting your darling run back and forth is obnoxious. I was impressed when a young father reprimanded his mother for chasing her grandson all over the dance floor. “You’re just getting him all stirred up, and this isn’t the place, Mom!” Right on, Dad/Son! As is usual, the musicians and staff are put in a delicate situation, not wanting to enforce common sense and courtesy. I was impressed when a dance instructor called for the parents who were no where near their two-year-old to come and get her because she was a safety issue. This was on the Grandiosa, not the Seaside. Crew The staff is all hardworking and generally pleasant and efficient but seem overworked and a bit unhappy at times. I’ve only encountered one sour and incompetent crew member on all the cruises I have ever taken, but this crew seemed a little down. Perhaps many are worried about their families back home in Asia or the downturn in the travel industry and are worried about their jobs. Many of those returning get temporary jobs in the hospitality industry. They must be quite concerned about their futures. The one sour area were the females at customer service. My past two MSC cruises had outstanding staff at the CS desk, and one nice one on the Grandiosa even sent us special gifts (bags and caps) because we were so pleasant with them! These CS ladies on the Seaside were probably imported statues from Easter Island. Cold, rather rude, and curt making the passenger feel rather stupid (I overheard some conversations.) I asked questions of the two men at CS, and they were very pleasant and efficient. What is it with the women at the desk? Fellow Passengers MSC is a cruise line that attracts many non-English speaking passengers. Many Americans assume they are from Europe, which is generally not accurate in the Caribbean. The French speakers tend to be Canadians, and the Spanish and Portuguese speakers are generally from the USA or Central or Southern America. Many are in large family and friend groups. The Italians and Germans tend to be Europeans. You will see many more children on MSC cruises and lots of big strollers. Any week that coincides with a school holiday (even the one day off for Presidents’ Day in the USA) results in an explosion of school-age children (elementary and teens.) I asked a few families, and they generally said their child had Monday off, so they felt their kids could miss the other four days since they were such “good students.” So, they aren’t really on vacation, and they aren’t homeschoolers, but are missing school. This results in significant overcrowding because the cabins now have about four people instead of two. Your total passenger count will be much higher than typical, and concerns like no loungers on the pool decks, capacity in the theatre at each performance, etc. gets to be an issue. I enjoy being in different countries, but the announcements in five languages started to grate on my nerves. At one show, the CD asked for a show of hands as to how many passengers needed the five languages. Only one Portuguese hand went up. All that time, giving the announcements in Portuguese for one person? The back to back meeting was the worst as they gave all the directions that were written on a PowerPoint in the five languages orally. Then, we discovered, the information pretty much didn’t apply to us. Forty minutes lost. That meeting could have just been eliminated with a piece of paper given to the B2B passengers. BTW- why are so many people who need instructions in their own languages wearing shirts with English wording? Just a thought… ther features of the ship: The library had no books, and there are no games available. There was a sign in the cases that the contents had been removed for increased efforts in sanitation. We brought our own, so this wasn’t a problem. All the other amusement and entertainment areas cost extra: bowling, zip lines, pool table, F1 Race, etc. The gym was well equipped and very clean. Like most ships, it is busy in the morning. Ocean Cay Island We were fortunate on the first week to enjoy a full, sunny day at Ocean Cay. MSC has around a 60% chance of docking there because of winds and weather. There are many lovely beach areas, and the entire island is very walkable. It will be really lovely when the trees are mature. The area to the left has chairs and cushions only- no loungers. The few umbrellas there are free, but the rest of the island beaches charge $15 for one. There are plenty of chairs and loungers all over. The tram’s schedule is random and changes paths occasionally. Their pick up areas are not well marked. The buffet was really very good, and we arrived within the first hour of opening. After that, the lines were very long. Not many places to sit in the shade. Most passengers come on board around 5PM for dinner, and a few venture out after dusk for the parade and light show. The facilities, including the restrooms, are closed, so be aware of that! The lighthouse show is a really nice multi-media display that can be seen from many areas of the ship. On the second week, our time was cut short on the island. We were allowed island access at 9 AM and had to leave by 2:30. Good thing, since it started to rain, and the rest of the evening was rainy. The weather was very nice while we were on Ocean Cay and we had a lovely day. This time, we went back to the ship for the buffet to allow the new passengers to have two fewer folks in line. The rain continued into disembarkation in Miami the next morning. Lots of ship movement and pitching during the night. It must have been quite a storm out there! Communication The Daily Planner is delivered each night and provides good information. In addition, you can make dinner and theater reservations on the TV in the cabin or the many electronic boards all around the ship. Be sure to reserve your favorite seating time for the shows. They allow those without reservations in five minutes before the show. Usually, the early show can be accessed without a reservation. They scan your card before you enter. Some people found the MSC app difficult to access. We didn’t even try as we don’t seem to need that as it is just the two of us. We don’t get internet access because we use the internet at the port on our smartphones. Health and Sanitation The ship itself was kept very clean, and the first week seemed like the other passengers were quite healthy. That changed with the second week, probably because of the increase in school-aged children onboard. The ship made daily reminders about handwashing, but it was futile with the worst offenders who sneeze and cough into the air and avoid any attempts to wash their hands by the buffet wash stations or even use the hand sanitizers. The number of sick people became perceivably higher as the second week progressed. I just read a post on the Seaside Facebook group where a woman alerted others that her husband was just diagnosed with the flu and she suspects she now has it. She is convinced he got it from the cruise ship as his symptoms started on their return flight on Saturday. I don’t know how much more a ship can do to encourage better hygiene from their passengers and crew. I did note one crew member eating from her plate while standing in the buffet line (many crew are allowed to eat in the buffet on port lunch days.) Yuck. I confronted her directly about it. Heaven help the Caribbean countries if a cruise ship passenger sets off the coronavirus while visiting the islands. Excursions We didn’t take any excursions as we had been to most of the ports before. To be honest, I love the warm weather and sun but don’t find the Caribbean Islands all that interesting beyond the climate and natural beauty. We had just finished a very rigorous month in the Eastern Mediterranean in December and weren’t interested in lots of adventure. So, our travel goals to enjoy the sunny climate were achieved. Disembarkation Lucky us because we had a late flight and were allowed to stay in our cabin until 9:30 (Diamond Perk). Most passengers are told to vacate the cabin at 8AM. We just hung around the public areas of the ship until about 10:20 and then disembarked. There was still a bit of wait for immigration and customs. We grabbed an UBER to FLL and had a smooth and uneventful experience. Conclusion As I write the review, several countries are experiencing a real problem with the coronavirus. My current thinking is that even scientists don’t really understand the details, and it appears the incubation period is now longer than 14 days. With all of this instability, we are taking a break from all travel for a while until things settle down, and we know more. Observing my fellow passengers’ poor hygiene made me worry about how not serious some people are in doing the very basics. I’m a diligent hand washer who also follows other protocols, like not touching buttons with my fingertips, not eating finger foods, etc. I also have come to the conclusion that the Caribbean is not my favorite area to visit, so perhaps when we resume travel, we need to go to a part of the world where it is warmer in the winter. I also need to be more diligent in avoiding the times when lots of kids travel. I forgot about Presidents’ Day, but many parents have no hesitation in taking their kids out of school for a week-long vacation. Christmas, spring break and summer are no longer the only time you will find lots of kids, esp since so many internationals have very different school and holiday breaks. I need to select cruises longer than seven or eight days. The Seaside experience was also one of my least favorite cruise ships for many of the reasons stated above. It’s time for me to re-examine other cruise lines. MSC cruises are very inexpensive, but the experience was not that enjoyable compared to my other cruises, so paying more is worth it in the long run. I enjoy all sorts of tea flavors, some more than others, but MSC Seaside is one I would leave in the box from now on. Maybe you would love the MSC Seaside, but it just wasn’t our cup of tea. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We are experienced cruisers (18+) with five different cruise lines and trips to five continents. We choose this cruise based on a positive experience on MSC Meraviglia last year in Med. Beautiful ship, great itinerary. This year looked ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers (18+) with five different cruise lines and trips to five continents. We choose this cruise based on a positive experience on MSC Meraviglia last year in Med. Beautiful ship, great itinerary. This year looked at "sunny" options in Feb, with MSC, choose Seaside, great reviews, new ship out of Miami. Limited options were available, mostly same on two week cycle, we booked Back to Back to get our 14 day cruise. Ship was amazing, very clean, modern, family oriented and big. MSC needs to enhance offerings to build business out of Miami, lots more port options, need more 10/14 day cruise options as well. Back to Back was ok, but very repetitive, same menu in dining room, same shows, same daily activities and crappy sales. Highlight was private island, Ocean Cay. NO tenders, ship docks, beautiful beaches, best Private Cruise Island by far. Dining room staff were excellent, menu has good choices, food was good (not best ever, but very good). Theatre shows were well done, Michael was unbelievable, other shows good, but all had similar elements in several shows. Be prepared for announcements, introductions, etc in several languages, not a hugh deal, but can get to be a bit much at times. Itinerary was good, very impressed with Costa Maya, clean, lots of attractions right at port. Downside was Ocho Rios, docked at industrial dock, set the tone, not a inviting town at all. Excellent cruise for families, and lots on board, activities inclusding watersides, bowling ally, F1 car, zip line and tons more. Cabin steward was excellent, went above and beyond, overall ship has high cleanliness standards. Be aware Balcony room have limited storage, v small closet, pack light. Overall, MSC was good, we booked already for next year, have some issues to work on, but expanding rapidly. Macbear Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our 2nd time on the Seaside and our 4th cruise with MSC, but our 46th cruise since 2002. The ship is absolutely beautiful and clean. The hard working staff and crew were friendly as well as helpful and contributed to our ... Read More
This was our 2nd time on the Seaside and our 4th cruise with MSC, but our 46th cruise since 2002. The ship is absolutely beautiful and clean. The hard working staff and crew were friendly as well as helpful and contributed to our enjoyment of this cruise while we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. We did not get off the ship for the ports since we have done so many times before. Instead we enjoyed the pools and whirlpools on a virtually empty boat. The main flaw with the Jungle Pool on deck 18 is there is no towel exchange and you have to take your 1 wet towel to the back of the boat, go down an elevator to deck 6 and outside to the back of the South Beach Pool to the towel exchange counter and then haul back up to the Jungle Pool on deck 18. They have plenty of room to add a towel exchange on deck 18 and I have mentioned this in every review I did after each MSC cruise. This flaw makes it impossible for people with mobility issues, walkers or wheelchairs to replace wet beach towels (which you are only allowed one). I think more people have to bring this to their attention. We got off at their private island, Ocean Cay Marine reserve but did not stay too long there. This island should look very nice once it is completed and hopefully they will be able to run the trams more often as it was not possible to get on or off them because they were always full and did not operate them at regular schedules. The Yacht Club however had their own trams which ran quite regularly. It was a hard walk to reach any of the beaches, especially if you have mobility issues. Also, MSC makes you walk over to get beach umbrellas and carry it back to your lounge and charges $15. Since there is absolutely no shade from trees, they should provide these complimentary as other cruise lines do on their private islands. The food in the main dining room at dinner was very good and had a nice variety. However, the food in the Buffet was the same every day and night and was just ok, with the exception of their pizza, which was always good. The desserts looked great but really had no taste. I think they have to improve in this area. The entertainment was high energy and great in the theatre as well as the lounges with game shows that had everyone participating and having a good time. Wow! Such talented artists! Now you must remember that there are good and bad things on all cruise ships. Keep an open mind when reading reviews and I find if you check out ships on You Tube, you can make informed choices. I gave this cruise "Average" rating because the next choice was "Very Good" and I felt the cruise should have a rating of "Good" but it was not available. One great thing with MSC is the do a "Loyalty Match", which I wish other cruise lines did. Whatever your highest level on another cruise line, MSC will move you up to that level and along with the top "Diamond" category, you will receive many perks! We are going to take a break from MSC for now but we will return sometime in the future. Happy cruising and stay safe! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Very rude customer service. No one seemed to know anything. Many could not speak english. Very unorganized. Turned off water to all rooms without warning for hours! Foul smell on many floors in hall near elevators. Excursions are not worth ... Read More
Very rude customer service. No one seemed to know anything. Many could not speak english. Very unorganized. Turned off water to all rooms without warning for hours! Foul smell on many floors in hall near elevators. Excursions are not worth it. They were not organized. We had to wait for the boats/buses to arrive in the hot sun. Weary of thier internet. Food and housekeeping was good. They had to check our room key many times at dinner because they were very unorganized. They do not tell you that you can get all of the tea coffee and juice that you want without an expensive drink package. Shows were different but good. The Starwalker/Michael Jackson show was very good. The sky show was also very good. Turndown service was nice. Boat rocks extremely. Others had the very same complaints. Having no water in the bathrooms was the last straw! Never again!! I Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Our embarkment was horrible. I felt like cattle being herded in to a pasture. No orginization. When we got on the ship we went to the buffet. I was almost knocked down by 3 employees and they didn't care they just looked at you ... Read More
Our embarkment was horrible. I felt like cattle being herded in to a pasture. No orginization. When we got on the ship we went to the buffet. I was almost knocked down by 3 employees and they didn't care they just looked at you like they didn't want you on the ship. We got our meal and I asked two gentlemen who were at a table next to us and asked if they could wipe off the table. One of them said "Are you talking to me". There wasn't much to do on the ship during the day unless you wanted to hang out around the pool, casino, or take dance lessons. Some days they would have Bingo which cost $20 for a card with 3 on it. Playing fill card in 40 numbers for jackpot of $25,000 or 44 numbers for $10,000. They never increased the numbers. We were on there and the Super Bowl was playing and in one of the day event papers they had that you had to pay $50 to watch it in the sports bar and you got 4 beers with that. I went to the service desk and asked about it and was told that it was no charge and I told her that it was in their paper and she got really nasty with me and told me "I work here I should know" I then told her that maybe she needed to call and ask. She did and found out I was right. I asked about something else and she was nasty with me again and I told her I didn't want to talk to her anymore. she informed me she was the head one there and I would have to talk to her. So I went to the other service desk and the lady there was very nice, she told me that you could watch it by the pool, your room, or in the Black and White lounge free. She even sent Champagne and choc. covered strawberries to the room. I also talked with the head one of the service dept. and he asked me to give him another chance to fix how we were being treated and offered us to go to the Steak house on him. We did take him up on that but I also told him that wasn't necessary.Everyone on the ship was complaining about how rude the crew was not all of them but alot of them were that way. If you asked for something else in the dining room you were told that they don't do that, not even a salad. I was sitting in the casino one night and a lady from England came and sat by me and asked me how I liked the cruise, I told her I was disappointed. She then began telling me she was in the lounge one night and the crew came in and opened the draft taps and let them run and then began drinking and one of the crew stood behind the bar and peed. I told her you have got to be kidding she said no and that she had reported it and they told her that they couldn't find out who it was and she told them the time it happened and told them to check the cameras. If they are doing this in front of cruisers, what are they doing behind the cruisers back. As I said our room was OK. Our stewardess was wonderful. The room is full of mirrors and red and black curtains, couch, and bedding. It could be changed it was too dark. When people were disembarking a gentleman fell and no one from the ship would help. The imigration officials finally came to his need. He was taken to the hospital. All they were worried about was getting everyone off the ship. When we were in line everyone was talking about how rude the crew was and how they would never cruise with MSC again.. I agree with them I can find some other was to spend my money. Sorry but this cruise line has a long way to go to service American Cruisers. Our waitress and waiter was excellent, but cann't say much for the Matridee. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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