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1,058 MSC Cruises Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews

I write this on the very day I returned from the 11/16 Caribbean sailing while all is still fresh in my mind. Save for a relatively low price for deck 12v balcony cabin with the upgraded Fantastica Experience there is little positive to ... Read More
I write this on the very day I returned from the 11/16 Caribbean sailing while all is still fresh in my mind. Save for a relatively low price for deck 12v balcony cabin with the upgraded Fantastica Experience there is little positive to write about this cruise. The nightly production numbers in the Metropolitan Theatre is the single noteworthy exception. The food, both in the morning/afternoon buffet and the evening dining room was well below par. We ate in three specialty restaurants, which were for the most part empty. Definitely not worth the price and only slightly better than the main dining room. The service throughout our cruise was equally below what we had expected from our 35+_ previous cruises. We are not newbies to the sea. Our cabin attendant, Jesse, was the sole bright spot. Certain foods at the breakfast buffet, e.g. smoked salmon, were not served every day. Same for English muffins, which were absent on the cruise's final day even by request. The ship carried approximately 4100 passengers of its 5000 passenger capacity, mostly non-English speaking foreign nationals. Being an Italian cruise line you might expect a European imbalance but not to the extent that the theater's opening was delivered in four languages, none of which was English. The several pools are far too small for the number of passengers, particularly on sea days. Same for the number of available deck chairs. Not enough! As for the ports, we arrived in San Juan, our first stop at 5 p.m. and left at 1 a.m. Inconvenient, to say, the least, if you had dinner plans or reservations to see the main show. In Tortola, which was inserted at the last minute because a scheduled port was unavailable, we arrived at 7 a.m. and back on board time ws 1:30 pm. In short, every corner that could be cut was, in fact, cut. The extras and constant sale of T shirts, perfume, jewelry, watches and specialty dining was served up at all times when not in port. Extras, extra, extra. The Spirit Airlines business model played out on the high seas. Too many people packed into too tight a space, lured to Miami and the Caribbean by a relatively low fare for mainly Europeans. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
After sailing Carnival, Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean, I chose to try MSC for a Caribbean cruise. I had heard many bad things about the ship here on Cruise Critic. Most specifically, bad food, rude passengers, poor ... Read More
After sailing Carnival, Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean, I chose to try MSC for a Caribbean cruise. I had heard many bad things about the ship here on Cruise Critic. Most specifically, bad food, rude passengers, poor customer service and lacking entertainment. Before we boarded, we were made aware of an itinerary change. Our original plan was San Juan, St Thomas, Nassau, and their new private island of Ocean Cay. They canceled the Ocean Cay stop because the island wasn't ready for visitors yet. I was OK with another day at sea in exchange for an on-board credit or $100 per stateroom. When we boarded, we were informed via letter in the stateroom that Nassau had been canceled as well. They added stops to Tortola and Puerto Plata. We still received the $100 credit. I was OK with the changed stops, although I have already been on those stops before. I think that reading all the bad reviews really lowered my expectations from this cruise. I was prepared for a less than stellar cruise. Here's my thoughts below: The ship - this is the largest ship that I have ever been on. It is very nice. I could see the European influence all over the ship. Because of an injury that I received a week before the cruise, I didn't partake in the activities I usually would have tried. The ropes course, the water slides and the zip line all looked fun. I spent some time at the adults only pool on the back of the ship. It was nice, although all the pools are deep (6.5 feet I think). There are 3 glass bridges that were interesting. MANY bars and places where activities and music were happening all the time. The service and crew - I thought that they did a fine job. The first and last day, the customer service desk line was very long because of MSC not allowing people to set up their onboard account before they arrive at the ship. They had people assisting people at these terminals where you could register your credit card. If you wanted to put a cash deposit, use a debit card or had trouble with the credit card function, you had to get in line. I didn't have a problem with my CC so I found it pretty easy. Still... I believe that you should be able to set it up before you board the ship. The food - I am NOT picky AT ALL when it comes to food. If you are, best to skip this part of the review. I thought the Buffet was fine. I exclusively ate there. Being a solo cruiser, I tend to shy away from the regular restaurants. Even then, once I got to talking to other Americans on the ship, the regular sit down restaurant didn't receive great reviews. So, I felt OK just in the buffet. There was a regular staple of burgers, dogs, fries and pizza plus many rotating sections of food. Only one night did I walk around and not find anything to my liking. It wasn't knock your socks off food, but as good as any of the other ship line buffets I've eaten. The drink package - I purchased the Easy Drink Package (the cheapest one). I'm a rum and coke or a beer guy. I don't get too fancy. I found it to be a good package for me. The price of $35 per day made it easy for me to feel like I was getting value. The self serve beer tap, soda tap and wine taps in the buffet were real nice touches. The entertainment - The cruise entertainment crew was working hard. They had many events. They weren't really to my liking, but were always well attended, so I won't knock them as they worked hard to get people involved. With the multi-national passengers, they tried to say everything in a few languages. It was annoying at first, then I got used to it. Still, saying everything 3 times means less time for music, games, etc. The evening shows were... interesting... European entertainment for sure. I liked most of them, but I'm easy to please. Except for their comedy act. It's 4 comedians that perform improve comedy. The first night I went, it was packed, by the time I walked out many people had left before me. I tried one other night for about 10 minutes and left. MSC should use comedians like the other lines do. The improv wasn't working the nights I went. Fellow passengers - it was definitely a multi-national crowd. Italian, Spanish, Brazilian, Portuguese and Eastern European groups were all over. It felt like only about 25% of the ship's passengers spoke English. I learned that there are jerks in every country... but I didn't find the groups to be annoying, just about the same number of jerks that are on a primarily American cruise :) It really was different walking around and not hearing English a lot. Internet/app - I purchased the cheapest package for basically travel and social sites. It worked well all over the ship, I had no problems with it. The app was nice, as most are, with schedules of the entertainment, the ability to book excursions and I saw a function for messaging that you could set up with other cruisers, but I didn't try that... Sailing as a solo cruiser - The high ratio of non-English speaking cruisers made it more solitary for me. Some folks tried to talk with me, but not many as the language barrier made it quite a chore for both side of the conversation. I did find the English speaking cruisers and talked to them a bit. Still... made for a quieter, almost boring trip. If there were single/solo travelers get events, I only found one, the two nights before the trip ended. I know that there wasn't any set up the first 2 nights of the cruise because I looked on the schedule for them. Also, traveling solo, I found that I wasn't ever approached for anything like the spa, or even a photo. Not one... The end result - I had an OK time. I would not go as a single/solo cruiser again. I would go with a group of people. Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
OVERALL- we enjoyed the cruise. This was our 2nd MCS. We would likely return to MSC Divina over Seaside. Chose this for the price. booked a month before sailing with a guaranteed balcony cabin Bella. Their website even says that cabins ... Read More
OVERALL- we enjoyed the cruise. This was our 2nd MCS. We would likely return to MSC Divina over Seaside. Chose this for the price. booked a month before sailing with a guaranteed balcony cabin Bella. Their website even says that cabins will be assigned at least 14 days prior to sailing. Didnt receive room assignment until 3 days before sailing. This created a lot of unneeded stress as we made several phone calls to MSC, with many different promises, eg. It will be assigned this weekend, if not assigned by Monday to call back and they will expedite. Called back Monday and was told it would be done that week. The next week called back (7 days before sailing) and was advised that they may not be assigned until we show up for disembarkation. They even said that we would have to lug all of our luggage up to the boarding process, get our cabin assignment, then take our luggage back out to the porters (If we didnt want to carry around all day). Note that each time you call MSC, the average hold is 30 minutes. I believe that these late assignments are caused by MSC trying to upsell rooms with their auctions/ bidding for upgrades. The late assignment also CAUSED US TO MISS the CC M&M as MSC cuts off registration 7 days before sailing (and you cant register without a cabin #). EMBARKATION- very smooth, dropped off luggage at porters at 1015 then went and parked in the parking garage. Walked back over and was in line to go through security for about 20 minutes before the opened up, quickly through security, then to waiting room with chairs, they also have water & juices for you here. We were on the ship by 11:30. There was 1 error here, when you get your room key the attendant is also suppose to give you a boarding card (group number), but I believe we had a new guy and we didnt get one. This is how you board the ship (think Southwest Airlines boarding groups). Fortunately when asked a nice couple said they are with us. DINING- We requested to be seated at a large table for the late dining. We were given a table for 2 in the middle dining time, 7:15 (1st time is 5:15, late is 9:15). The waiters had too many tables and had a hard time keeping up. They didnt remember our drink preferences (always the same) until Thursday. Food was OK, nothing outstanding. The best was the swordfish, chicken parmesan and prime rib.Very hard to get anything different, ordered a baked potato instead of french fries, received it after steak was eaten. Never offered any toppings for it. Had the chocolate brownie stack or cake and both were very dry, thankfully we ordered some vanilla ice cream with it. On one night, we didnt get to Puerto Rico until 5pm (We have been there several times and were not going ashore for the night), when we showed up for dinner, we were informed that all dining was now anytime dining so they took us to a different 2 top table. I hope they were using that night to train new wait staff. They literally brought the soup & salad at the same time. They only cared about getting you out as quickly as possible. The main buffet on deck 8 is where we ate most breakfast & lunches. We were always able to get a table outside. Food was OK, not much variety. On first sea day they put out the real parmesan cheese. On last sea day they have a dessert extravaganza with hundreds of different cakes and pies. Not advertised or in planner. POOLS- The first day we went to the adult pool at back of ship, deck 7. Nice, they wont allow children in at all.Problem is that it is where the smoking section is. We then went to the jungle pool, deck 18. This also has the top they close at nights and if weather is bad. Fortunately we had great weather all week. Enjoyed it the most, mostly adults, quiet area, except for 2 foosball tables near the kids water park area, is very noisy. The water park area is neat and slides are fun. The main pool on 16 gets very crowded and is where all the activities are. ENTERTAINMENT- We enjoyed the shows every night. Many of the shows have similar routines, just different costumes. They incorporate most of all the different talents in each show. The skill of these performers is phenomenal. I also liked that they didnt have waiters trying to sell drinks through the show, so make sure you bring a drink with you. We also went to Beerprov which was entertaining. Also saw The Marriage game and the Quest. Have seen these numerous times, always good laugh. The emcee for the Quest has a very heavy accent and was very hard to understand. We participated in their theme parties (White night, 70's party, western),These are always a lot of fun. We knew about these and brought outfits to wear. MSC could do a much better job communicating these events to passengers before sailing. We had many folks tell us they wish they had known so they could have participated. We also enjoy listening to music in smaller venues. Found someone most evenings. We really enjoyed Rob at the Piano bar (Seaview lounge), but MSC does not communicate well again with guests. There were 3 occasions, when the daily planner showed him at a certain time but when we arrived, the venue (Seaview lounge) was closed for a private party. When we did see him we enjoyed very much. We also enjoyed the jazz band, and there were a couple other duos that we really enjoyed. The band that also regularly played at Haven lounge - we also enjoyed. EXCURSION- St Thomas, We did the Kayak, Hike, Snorkel eco-tour. We enjoyed this tour and was a good value. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and we learned alot about the mangroves, plants, animals. The snorkel part was just ok, if you hung out near the guide she brought animals up to show you, otherwise there is no reefs, youll see a few fish. If you want the true snorkel experience take the catamaran tour.. LUGGAGE-Day 1, 3 of our 4 bags were at our cabin when they opened the rooms up around 2pm. My bag didnt show up all night. I went to the luggage office where they had luggage with contraband (as 1 previous cruise we had a power strip- dont bring any more). It want there, Around midnight went back to customer service , where the agent spent close to a half hour looking for it. They said that they were sending someone down all the halls to look for unattended luggage, left at wrong cabin (there was another gentleman looking for his also). My wife & I also walked every floor looking for it. Didnt sleep well, so got up early and went to reception desk. After a few minutes the clerk took me to the security office where they had my luggage. I had forgotten a pocket knife in it. My main comment was the LACK OF COMMUNICATION. If they had simply told the office staff that they had the luggage , it would have saved hours of peoples time and anxiety. DISEMBARKATION- The absolute best experience aside from we were assigned a late time,10:15. Not a big deal as we are just going to drive home. We made the best of it, had a nice breakfast, outside, then waited on deck 18, outside the jungle pool area, couches, to sit or lay on. There was no one else there. It was actually very relaxing, then when our color was called, took elevator down and walked right off, customs was there before we got our luggage and we waited less than 2 minutes. got a porter for our bags, and he took us right to our car in the garage.From the time our color was called, we went from deck 18, through customs, got luggage and was in car in 15-20 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The ship is beautiful, and we enjoyed the balcony suite. The food was meadeocre at best, and there was an almost animal feeding frenzy at meal time. the people were very rude and jumping in front of you. i am 72 guess that didn't ... Read More
The ship is beautiful, and we enjoyed the balcony suite. The food was meadeocre at best, and there was an almost animal feeding frenzy at meal time. the people were very rude and jumping in front of you. i am 72 guess that didn't count for anything, and i move kinda slow. Breakfast was the best meal the rest were ho hum about the same thing everyday. carnival has burgers by the pool and barbq on the outer deck every thing is spread out on the seaside it was all jammed up. their are 18in support post within 2.5 ft of serving line that made it hard for two people to stand side by side, found the soft serve icecream and the 4th day it is behind the counter. Only one toster for bread and it is at the end of the line blocking everything. The excursion was a farce, we docked at puerto rico at 5pm we started the tour a 5:30 by six we were a the bracardi plant it was dark we sat around 30 min before gaining entrance to the meseum which consisted of 4 one was a courtyard the next was an old still, the 3rd was a reproduction of bracardi's office, and the last a reproduction of a havanah bar. BY THE TIME WE LEFT IT WAS DARK AND ALL THE SHOPS WERE CLOSED, NO SHOPPING BYE PUERTO RICO Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I’ve cruised once before on this line and about 25 other times on other lines. This was by far the most disappointing. I’m on the ship now on day 4 of our 7 day cruise. The food is terrible. The food choices at the buffet sub par. ... Read More
I’ve cruised once before on this line and about 25 other times on other lines. This was by far the most disappointing. I’m on the ship now on day 4 of our 7 day cruise. The food is terrible. The food choices at the buffet sub par. The shows are similar night over night with the same cast appearing in each show. Little variety. Tonight they repeated two of the acts. I will likely never cruise MSC again. There is nothing special about this ship other than the pool area. It’s a bit bigger than others I’ve been on. It isn’t spectacular and the entertainment during the day is not really there. We signed up for the thermal spa. This spa while it offers a variety of options with the exception of the sauna the areas are small and limited. The gym is decent. That’s about it. Wouldn’t return. I wasn’t impressed and didn’t like 3 levels of drink packages. It’s either you have it or you don’t. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
To begin, I have a love hate relationship with MSC. If you wish to find more details, you can search MSC Comedy of Errors on cruise critic's MSC forum for more information. I'll detail a few of them before I get into the meat ... Read More
To begin, I have a love hate relationship with MSC. If you wish to find more details, you can search MSC Comedy of Errors on cruise critic's MSC forum for more information. I'll detail a few of them before I get into the meat of the review: 1. Booked a 4 night cruise out of Barcelona. We had sailed on Divina out of Rome 2 years prior. MSC changed the itinerary to a much longer cruise out of Brazil, but never informed us in any way about the change. No letter, no e-mail, no text, no phone call. When I finally found out, I called MSC, asked about losing status since the change was their fault and not mine. They told me I wouldn't lose status and then took away all of my Voyager's Club points. 2. Booked this cruise on Seaside. Package showed to be free drinks, but for some reason my sailing only included drinks at dinner. Later, better promotion including drinks anytime appeared. Was told I could change to the new promotion and keep the same nice midship balcony cabin. Moved to the new promo and they moved the cabin to a far less desirable room, very front of the ship, so less desirable location, apparently smaller, with a steel balcony (rather than the usual glass), and obviously it's hard to see through steel. Took months and an Act of God to get the problem fixed. Again, you can search through the rest of post as noted, but MSC's customer service has been hit and miss, with more miss than hit. That aside, we think their newer ships are beautiful and generally represent a good value, if you can get past the nagging customer service issues. Pro Tip: Once you have the cruise you want, try to avoid calling MSC customer service. They'll screw things up as often as not, if not more so. Now, onto the cruise review. MSC Seaside is a beautiful ship with some similarities to Bellissima but distinct differences as well. I'll touch upon some of those in the body of the review. Cabin: 4 stars. Quite comfortable, but not quite as good as Bellissima. Usually quiet, but we were on the 15th deck in Cabin 15113 right under the smaller Biscayne Bay buffet and during the day it was very noisy due to chairs being moved around. Fortunately it was quiet at night. There were some stains on the upholstery, but for the most part the room was in good shape. We found it to be a bit on the small side, like Bellissima, but it was large enough for our purposes. The cabin was mostly kept clean. However there were 2 nights where it was not cleaned and I'm still not sure why that was. Dining: I thought the food was quite good, better than on Bellissima or Divina. We were given lamb chops that were so wonderfully seasoned and cooked just perfectly. The same with respect to prime rib, just a perfect medium rare. I sent compliments to the chef on both occasions. The menus were often stained with oily food stains which was not so great. There was a heavy gasoline smell that permeated the Ipanema restaurant which I found to be quite foul. I asked staff about it. They said the smell came from a "diesel compressor" and it was the 2nd week that they'd had the problem. Not good. We found the Seaside restaurant to be nicer than Ipanema, which my girlfriend thought looked like a Denny's. The restaurants were nicer and restaurant service were better on Bellissima (which we sailed on in May out of Barcelona), but I think the food was better on Seaside. We enjoyed the food in the buffets and found it to be fresh and the variety reasonably good. Be aware than you may have a less crowded experience in the smaller Biscayne Bay buffet on the 16th deck. Less variety, but for breakfast it was similar to the larger buffet, but not as many people to fight your way though. Pro Tip: Things like New York steak, shrimp cocktail, Caesar Salad and salmon were available every night on the right side of the menu. The salmon was excellent as was the small but very fresh shrimp cocktail. The New York steak was pretty good, so if you don't see something you like on the left side, check out the "standard" options on the right side. Embarkation: We've had rapid and smooth embarkation and disembarkation experiences on all 3 of our MSC cruises. I think they do this very well. 5 stars. Entertainment: Entertainment was a mixed bag. Generally, we felt that the shows were disjointed and lacking in theme and quality. It seems like they said, "Hey, we've got a good guy who rolls around in a hoop and a couple of good roller skaters, so let's build shows around them". While I felt the Michael Jackson show was very good and the performer who played Jackson was excellent, many of the other cast members of all shows were just okay. The shows were much, much better on Bellissima. Also, I believe Seaside had recorded music in their shows where Bellissima had a live band. It made a big difference. We saw various other performers live throughout the ship. Not bad, but probably the worst of my 3 MSC cruises. On Divina, some of the performances and performers were amazing. I'm not a big opera guy, but there was an opera singer who was fantastic and a pianist who was incredibly talented. We didn't see much of that on Seaside. We thought they did a nice job on the Halloween party. Not as many passengers dancing as Bellissima, and the music could have been better. That might have played into things. Pro Tip: If you don't have a reservation for the show, you'll have to wait until the last 5 minutes to be seated and there won't be many seats left. So reserve the shows in advance. Fitness and Recreation: While I didn't use the gym, we did check it out and it appeared to be of a very high quality. Onboard Experience: Not sure what they're looking for, but I'd have to say that generally it was very good. We did have an engine failure our of St. Maarten which lasted for nearly 1 hour, but fortunately that didn't alter our schedule. Public Rooms: For the most part, spotlessly clean. They aren't as elegant as Divina or Bellissima, but generally pretty nice, in my view. I think Divina has the best soaring atrium, but they did have a fairly high atrium on Seaside. While Bellissima didn't have a soaring atrium, it does have that great promenade with a high-resolution ceiling, which was missing on Seaside. I think future ships should add the same promenade but also feature the soaring atrium where the lit elevators glide gracefully up and down the various decks. Service: Staff: On Divina, we had a snotty Eastern European staff who seemed like they hated their life, hated their jobs and hated their passengers. Things had improved on Bellissima and the service level was quite high. My girlfriend is from the Philippines and I've suggested that they should hire more Filipinos. They are a hard working people and very naturally friendly, for the most part. They did just that. While frankly, I thought the service was a bit better on Bellissima, the staff was super friendly on Seaside, which made for a more enjoyable experience. In terms of the bars, they couldn't make a decent cocktail on Bellissima. The same drink tasted wildly different from one bar to the next. On Seaside, the drinks were sometimes on the weak side, but at least the quality was consistent. Pro Tip: If you don't like your restaurant assignment, see the Matire 'D and see him early. We had a 5 pm dinner seating which I changed to 9:30 pm. The Maitre 'D on Seaside was a nice guy, but on Bellissima he was a total jerk. A Gripe and Suggestion: We had the easy drink package that provided basic drinks. If you wanted something fancier, you had to pay for the entire cocktail. I suggest that MSC allow credit for the basic drinks towards the fancier ones. So if the general limit for an easy package drink is $6 and one wishes to buy a drink costing $10, charge the customer $4 rather than the full $10 since they do have a drink package already in place. Shore Excursions: We only did one of MSC's shore excursions and that was the "Sweet St. Maarten, Maho and Marigot". For the most part, this tour was enjoyable and was a good value. But I could have skipped the visit to the ice cream shop, where you had to buy your own ice cream. I guess it did give one an opportunity for a restroom break. While I did enjoy the tour, our bus broke down in sweltering heat. So we're sitting diagonnally in the middle of the road, largely blocking both lanes of traffic. Oh, and no air conditioner either. And if that wasn't bad enough, everyone was honking their horns at us and police had to be called to direct traffic around our disabled bus. They did eventually get us another bus, but it was an uncomfortable experience and limited my ability to shop in the ports. In fact, I lost a dress I purchased for my girlfriend, in part, because I was rushed due to the bus' mechanical failure issue. Normally I'd give our excursion a 4 rating, but I'll knock off 1 star and a 3 is generous in light of the bus breakdown. Value for Money: I'd probably give it 5 stars. As noted, the newer MSC ships are gorgeous, the service was pretty good, food is getting better. I think that if you can put up with some funky customer service issues and a glitch here and there, MSC represents a very good value. We currently have a cruise booked next year and in 2021. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I chose this cruise line based on a friend's recommendation. I've never been on a cruise before so I followed her advice. What an incredible experience! I traveled with a friend and no children. This is a fantastic cruise line. ... Read More
I chose this cruise line based on a friend's recommendation. I've never been on a cruise before so I followed her advice. What an incredible experience! I traveled with a friend and no children. This is a fantastic cruise line. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly at every port. Tables were set up with cold water and towels at our return from the islands, which was very thoughtful, as well as music and entertainment. The ship in itself is marvelous, the decor and the way it is organized and set up is fantastic. Multiple bars and entertainment on each floor. We had a balcony cabin which we found was vey spacious for the two of us. It had a magnificent view and we could see the most beautiful sunsets. Our steward was very diligent and kept the room spotless all the time. The food at the Marketplace was delicious as well as our restaurant. A variety of delicious food at the buffet, we could always find something to eat. At the Seashore restaurant, the choice of menus was delicious. Every night they had a different cuisine, french, italian, etc and american dishes in case you did not want the chef's choice. The service was superb. The waiters, stewards, bartenders, photographers, etc. What a magnificent group of people! Attentive, nice, helpful, well informed, always doing their best to make you feel good. The entertainment department of this ship is marvelous. Every one of them was great! The shows are mind blowing. The crew is very talented and definitely keep you entertained. We did a couple of shore excursions and we had a great time. One thing that I did not like was the fact that we had to wait for the catamaran to take us to St john for 20 minutes in the heat. It was hard for the children and the eldest. They should have been more organized like the one at St Maarten 360. That one was well organized, went very smoothly. I attended the Cruise Critic meet and greet. It was very well organized. We met the captain and officers of the ship. Every one was very nice and attentive. We had a fantastic time on the Seaside. I will definitely recommended MSC and it is my cruise line of choice from now on. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I was a last minute substitute to go with my sister who had booked with her husband. Work changes did not allow him to go. I am an experienced cruiser with close to 20 cruises under my belt on 7 different cruise lines. I was looking ... Read More
I was a last minute substitute to go with my sister who had booked with her husband. Work changes did not allow him to go. I am an experienced cruiser with close to 20 cruises under my belt on 7 different cruise lines. I was looking forward to this cruise. When we checked in and went through the embarkation process I was impressed. That is where it ended. Staff I encountered, except for my cabin stewardess PIKA who was wonderful, was rude and couldn't care less if I was there. Not helpful, no service or terrible service. No personal service in the dining room, food was just OK, nothing to write home about. I don't expect 5 star restaurant quality with 4200 passengers but it basically had no flavor, with no acknowledgement that we were there at the table, never checking back to see if we needed anything. Never a welcome when we sat down, no hello, just walk up to the table, and "What do you want" no ask if we wanted a drink or anything. I can't decide if the service issue is too many tables/not enough help or trying to rush for 3 sittings. I walked away from the bar on several occasions after waiting 20 minutes to get a drink. I just gave up, I didn't have drink pkg because I am not much of a drinker. Definitely not enough bartenders and frankly most of them were too busy talking amongst themselves and laughing. I went to guest services on the first day to try and find my second suitcase. I was told wait, wait, wait. I understand that. When I went down to ask, I was told to continue to wait. When I did push I was finally told there was a room, with confiscated luggage, and some other undeliverable luggage. If I hadn't pushed I wouldn't have know that was on the same floor as guest services. My luggage wasn't confiscated, since as an experienced cruiser, travelling with my Travel Agent, I know what can't get brought. More guest servic e issues. I registered my credit card, by through out the cruise, paid cash down because I didn't want to have my CC charged. I tried to pay the final balance on Friday morning and she wouldn't let me, said if I did she would shut my account down. My card was not a debit card, it was a Discover Credit card. I told her I didn't want to close my account merely pay my balance. She said shutting it made it easier for her and didn't want to have to work so hard. I finally paid most of it and left a 3.12 cent balance. Then I asked for change and she gave me 5 20's for my $100 bill. When I asked to break the 20 she said she didn't have any change to do that. I asked if she could get some from another person she said no, and go get to the end of the line and try someone else. So I did. The other person was not happy to make change. she said she would have to unband counted $$$ and they didn't like to count their drawers out with those things, so they would tell people they couldn't make. change. Lazy and rude. Disembarkation was the worst thing I have ever experienced in my entire cruising career. We were doing express walk off, with our luggage, as we always do. Went to get in the line @ 7:05. LIne had obviously started forming before that so we followed the line and walked for 20 minutes to find the end in the theater. Unfortunately, there were multiple hallways to join this line, so people were cutting into the line, rather than go to the end of the line, tempers were flaring a lot, verbal and almost physical altercations were taking place, body slamming into people to keep them out of line. Not a crew member to be seen or heard from. This issue was a life and safety issue. I have never felt so unsafe, and seen such a mess in my entire life. This issue alone, would make me NEVER cruise MSC again, and not recommend it, not even considering everything above. AND when I posted something on the Facebook page, MSC removed it. Truth hurts. But that is ok, I can use tripadvisor, google, cruise critic and this loser cruise line can't delete those reviews. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I went on the seaside previously and it was much better than it is now. The previous review I read pretty much summarized it... CONS -ports of call times were poorly thought out and not conducive to actually seeing anything ... Read More
I went on the seaside previously and it was much better than it is now. The previous review I read pretty much summarized it... CONS -ports of call times were poorly thought out and not conducive to actually seeing anything -buffet food was same every day and night -dinner food was ok, but all cuts of meat were the cheapest and layered in fast and gristle -unlimited photo plan is a joke, they didn't take any pictures at ports, and opened up the on ship booths while we were at dinner every night. and now, they have lost my pictures and no one from msc is getting back to me. Now I know why I waited on hold 30 mins just to get a room upgrade, too many customers calling in to complain. -room was falling apart and bed was hard as a rock. Shower leaked and water would randomly go cold or burning hot in the middle of the shower. Closet door piece broke off. -MSC App was badly designed. Hard to maneuver through, cut out constantly and no notifications for chat when with families. Bring your iphones, you can just text on there. -Room service so severely limited, offered like 4 wraps and a cookie and everything else you had to pay for. PROS -Room steward was excellent. -Food staff was kind, friendly, and accommodating. -Kids staff were friendly and they had plenty of activities (for kids >3). -Cruise critic meet and greet was brief but had good drinks and food. -Shows were good but very much the same thing every night just to different music. Showtimes were good and could be easily worked around dinners. MIXED -Original ship price was reasonable, but then paying $500 to get a room when my 3 year old isn't on a top bunk bed is ridiculous. -Continental breakfast came 30 mins early nearly every day, but food was ok. Unpaid offering limited, as with everything room service related on this boat. -Deck layout. Who puts a buffet restaurant on a floor that is half locked off to yacht club? So many times I had to go up a floor, go across and go back down (dumb). Not many open areas like royal, so you def feel like you are on a ship all the time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Beautiful ship. Best entertainment of any cruise I've been on. Food in dining room sub standard. Terrible service in dining room. Over 5000 on cruise & they were understaffed. Customer service was terrible. Room was nice wit ... Read More
Beautiful ship. Best entertainment of any cruise I've been on. Food in dining room sub standard. Terrible service in dining room. Over 5000 on cruise & they were understaffed. Customer service was terrible. Room was nice wit balcony but comforter was torn. Was supposed to get onboard benefits with signup but didn't. Lack of channels on tv & many times they didn't work. No counter space in bathroom. I have been on over 20 cruises & many different cruise lines & I put this at the bottom. However, it was a good price for 2 weeks. I don't believe they can compete with other cruise lines to satisfy American cruisers. Like to play bingo but unlike other cruises the program was expensive for only one game. Onboard shops were expensive & lacking. The friendliest & best wait staff on ship was Ketut Muliati. She was so friendly & helpful. She was exceptional & the only one found on ship. We had terrible diesel smell in our dining room & couldn't eat there for several nights. We complained & asked to change tables but they refused even though there were many empty ones. Went to customer service & they were very rude & offered nothings to stop love this problem. Overall not a good experience! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. However the port times were not very long. Embarkation in Miami was smooth. The ship is gorgeous and very clean. Too many things are lacking. First of all customer service needs a huge upgrade along ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. However the port times were not very long. Embarkation in Miami was smooth. The ship is gorgeous and very clean. Too many things are lacking. First of all customer service needs a huge upgrade along with the food. If you like bland food with no variety this is the cruise for you. First stop in San Juan pr we arrived at 5pm took a tour to the Bacardi distillery. That was nice but your tour is at night everything is closed downtown by 10pm. Our tour was over at 930pm so we found one restaurant open to get some Puerto Rican food. Next stop st thomas. We did the Megan's bay tour n shopping overrated. Beach is small someone had a heart attack n died right in front of us .emergency services took over 20 minutes to arrive .That was a sad day. Next stop was st Martin. Did the maho beach tour. What a rip off 500 passengers packed on a very small beach waiting for airplanes to fly over. The food was overpriced. Next stop Nassau. There's nothing to do here at the port. Stores with overpriced junk. Back to the ship. The same food was served every day at the buffet for breakfast lunch n dinner. The specialty restaurants were very good well worth extra cost. The shows were the same acrobats with different themes. Not too many activities to enjoy poolside. First and last cruise with MSC. Back to Norwegian we go. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I was extremely disappointed in the level of service on the Seaside after having experienced the Divina in October 2014. One of the bigger issues that I had with the ship was in terms of service was I felt as if MSC was more interested in ... Read More
I was extremely disappointed in the level of service on the Seaside after having experienced the Divina in October 2014. One of the bigger issues that I had with the ship was in terms of service was I felt as if MSC was more interested in selling me package upgrades rather than servicing me. The two prime examples would be drink packages upgrades and dinner packages. We had barely settled in on the ship in the Champagne Bar area waiting for our cabin to be available when someone comes by flashing the cards for drink packages upgrades and dinner packages followed by more people. There were at least three people who came by to sell its drink packages before anybody came by to sell us a drink. This was worse on Deck 16 in the area around the whirlpools as I saw a multitude of people trying to sell me drink packages up until Tuesday (Day 4 of the Cruise) but I never saw anyone come back to sell a drink. In regards to dinner I find it annoying (as I dislike discussing feelings but in many ways that's is exactly what MSC is selling you are selling a feeling/an experience, in fact they do not hide the fact that they selling experiences by selling the various experiences levels) but in regards to dinner again there was no lack of people trying to upgrade me into the pay dinners but what annoys me is that MSC says my dinners are complimentary like they were doing me a favor by providing feed. Does that mean that MSC at some point in the future is going to just start charging for all food on board the ship like alcohol that is how that comes across when they term food as complimentary. My “Drinks On Us Package” was a glorified soda package and I understood that. What I explained to Joseph (F&B Director) and Katherina (Bar Manager) while on board what was truly annoying in addition to trying to get someone from the bar staff to sell a drink not just a package was paying three different prices for the same drink because the staff did not understand the program since it was explained you had actually terminated it. Ironically one bartender charged me two different prices for the same drink. The day after I spoke to Katherina in the Seaside bar there were two women who appeared to be there to serve the tables however, they would just clear glasses and avoided making eye contact with passengers. While I understand that is may be a cultural norm for their homelands it is not for bar staff on a cruise ship designed for Americans. I say this as a corporate trainer who taught soft skills at a Fortune 100 company and now am a Trainer for Multinational Corporation. For a ship that is touted as being designed for the American audience in my opinion MSC does not know who we are.While I still had a good time because I was off and I was on a cruise I would have to rank this as my least favorite Cruise (this is #10). Carnival used to hold that spot MSC took it up with this Cruise. I was extremely excited to be on MSC again however after this experience I would be reluctant to cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had a great time in the Yacht Club! Embarkation was easy once they opened up the YC tent. We were escorted to the YC by a butler, our cabin was ready, and we began our vacation immediately. The cabin was nice, bed sagged in the ... Read More
We had a great time in the Yacht Club! Embarkation was easy once they opened up the YC tent. We were escorted to the YC by a butler, our cabin was ready, and we began our vacation immediately. The cabin was nice, bed sagged in the middle a bit and the carpet was a bit dirty. We told our butler about the bed, and he fixed as best as possible. Service in all areas of the YC was great. If we ever had a problem, we informed the proper people and things were corrected as best as possible. The food in the YC restaurant was good. The chef would accommodate most special requests that we had. Entertainment is the only thing I would rate as poor. The shows just didn't make sense and there was no flow to them. The only one worth seeing IMHO was the last night, Skywalker show. Ports were your typical eastern Caribbean ports. We did not get off in either San Juan or Nassau. We had been to these ports multiple times and did not feel the need to get off. We enjoyed St. Maarten, only wish the ship docked there longer. Having to be back on board by 1:30 was a bit of a bummer. We waited til 9:30 to disembark on the last day. Our butler escorted us to the ship disembarkation and it was a breeze. This was my first MSC cruise, they definitely have room for improvement in the US market, but I will sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First time with MSC. we have been sailing with Celebrity,Costa, Carnival. we selected this cruise because the itinerary (we had 2 sea days, most others had 3 sea days) and the variety of activities for young people and the price- we ... Read More
First time with MSC. we have been sailing with Celebrity,Costa, Carnival. we selected this cruise because the itinerary (we had 2 sea days, most others had 3 sea days) and the variety of activities for young people and the price- we received the easy pack and internet on board. we traveled with my daughter and boyfriend (24 y) and 2 sons (21.16) so we had 3 cabins. the boys were on inside cabin 11021 - quiet .spacious , my daughter was in a balcony 14054 and we were in room 14262- the aft suite- what can i day... beautiful cabin with a big window looking at the sea... although not very quiet - heard the engines pretty good. EMBARKATION - we arrived Miami airport at 1200 (returned smoothly our car at Alamo -excellent ) and went to wait for the shuttle- it takes time so come on time- we arrived the dock at 1315 - the porter was unpleasant - asking for tip...entered the building and it was super quick in compered to other ships..maybe because we arrived at 2 pm... FOOD- the buffet on deck 8 and 16 (quiter there) was very good. very good organized in comparative to Costa , and always find a place to seat -the 6 of us. Dinner - arrived and found we were near the entrance and asked PAULO the Mitre assistant to change places- the next evening we had a great place and very quiet. the food was OK plus - its not a gourmet but good enough. the service was officiant although our waiter was not the smiling type... CABIN- clean ans we had a great steward- Regee. everything Asked -I received. ACTIVITIES- was very important because of our party- we bought the FUN PASS - 100 dollar and recived the value of 160 dollar- great.went twice to 4D (great) , formula (difficult), bowling (good), zipline (good ,a bit slow) and of course the slides (great), plenty to do and had a great time there ,especially in sea days. Entertainment- well...the theater isn't as big as in other ships ...the Entertainment crew is really nice and good but the shows are pretty the same with acrobats (very good) - there isn't other activity like magician. there was a comedy group that was good. the youth club was good, i recommend to do do some activities to 20-30 - like parties and etc. had interesting lectures in the art gallery , recommend more lectures about history - especially in the Caribbean region that is full of history. the disembarkation was going smoothly every time we went to shore nut on the last day there was a Chaos because of the express check out ..... the service in bars (especially in the main was fast and excellent) in the casino a bit slow. The easy pack was great- just what we needed and the internet also enough - a bit complicated but there are guys that can help you. the chat is a bit limping.... summary- had a great cruise , for the price and amenities we received its 10/10!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Cruising from Miami on the MSC Seaside was going to be something new for us, we have only done RCC before now. The ship is beautiful inside and out, lots of sparkle and very glitzy. Although getting around took some time to master, public ... Read More
Cruising from Miami on the MSC Seaside was going to be something new for us, we have only done RCC before now. The ship is beautiful inside and out, lots of sparkle and very glitzy. Although getting around took some time to master, public spaces where plentiful and well furnished. The shows where as good as any we have seen on any cruise ship probably better. That's the good stuff. The cabin was a let down, metal balcony wall, so no view when sat down on the balcony.(we paid to upgrade to this) The first night when getting into bed pulled back the sheets to find a blood stain and hair (the sheets had been washed). but still not a good start. When I went to complain the customer service dept had a stand up argument on who was going to serve me. One clicking her finger and the other refusing to acknowledge I was there. Another person came out from the back and disciplined them verbally then served me herself. The outcome was a change of bedding. and some chocolate strawberries. (they delivered lots of these). Staff where rude in many area's, pool service was none existent for most of the time. Queuing to get drinks at the bars, not enough bar staff. No smiles or greeting from cabin crews in a morning. It just wasn't the happy environment we have come to expect when cruising. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Quick hits: --Food was good, not great --The boat rocks and vibrates more than you'd expect of a ship that size. --Doing a cruise with such a heterogeneous passenger population is tough, and there may not be anything MSC can ... Read More
Quick hits: --Food was good, not great --The boat rocks and vibrates more than you'd expect of a ship that size. --Doing a cruise with such a heterogeneous passenger population is tough, and there may not be anything MSC can do to work out the kinks. The main lobby of the ship, and the nearby lounges are gorgeous, and everything from top to bottom is well-maintained (as you might expect on a 2-year-old ship). We spent a lot of time on the outdoor space on Deck 8. It's very wide, but still has some shaded areas. But because it's so wide, you can see up into the balcony cabins on decks 9-15 (especially the corner ones with whirlpools). Our cabin was mid-ship where the outdoor platform narrows, so it wasn't an issue, but watch out when choosing your stateroom. One thing we noticed, and heard other cruisers commenting too, is that especially at full speed (e.g. the at-sea days) the ship has a lot of sway to it both side to side and fore/aft. We could put a hand against the wall and feel the vibrations. I took some precautionary dramamine, and didn't have any issues with seasickness, but be advised. Dining was hit or miss with regards to quality of the food. We had dinner in the main dining room every night. Italian night was surprisingly disappointing for an Italian cruise line, but French night was awesome. The Buffet food itself was perfectly acceptable, but I think different passengers have different ideas about what polite procedure is in the line. My wife was shoved around on 3-4 occasions. Service-wise, I wasn't too impressed with the dining room staff. My waiter and I had trouble understanding one another. I think we're both soft talkers with accents and the din of the room didn't help. Be prepared to be offered the drink special by a separate crew member 3 times each night. But the housekeeping staff was excellent, diligent and friendly. I rated the enrichment activities low, mostly on quantity rather than quality. The ship absolutely shuts down when in port. It would be nice to have a few things happening for people not going on shore for the full time in port (especially toward the end of the time in port). We did the standard Trivia stuff and skipped the dance classes. Several of the activities were art-oriented, and I enjoyed them, although I fully realize the auctions are a scam, so I drank my champagne, took my free samples and declined to buy anything. We did a specialty restaurant sampling and it was a disorganized mess. Just way more people that they planned, and they didn't change their plans to accommodate the extra people. My wife did the waterslides and rated them both 'fun'. And apparently the wait wasn't bad. There are multiple pools, including one indoors and one at the back of the ship on deck 7 which is nice, but has a lot of smokers around it. There were more smokers than I remember on our last cruise with a more American-heavy clientele. It doesn't seem like MSC closely polices their own rules about where you can smoke. And they certainly don't police the dress code rules. So whatever MSC says about dress code in the buffet line or the dining room, you can safely ignore it. The show we went to (the Dream) was nice and it was fun. The lead singer had a great voice, but you could tell the cirque-du-soleil-style performers were limited by the lack of space on the stage. I went to the improv show and it was... meh. It's better than a college troupe, at least. We did one shore excursion through MSC, on St. Maarten (the sweet St. Maarten, Maho and marigot tour). It was a good overview of both halves of the island, but the bus was in a sorry sorry state of repair and had a lot of trouble on the hills. And call me an ugly American, but I didn't like that it was a bilingual tour, and it was obvious there was some information in German not spoken in English and vice versa. Embarkation was the standard chaos, but disembarkation was a bit of a mess. There was a delay getting off the ship and the announcements were only mildly helpful. I was honestly checking for different flights home in anticipation of a long delay, but once the backlog of people was cleared, about two hours worth of groups were called to queue up in about 5 minutes. Hopefully when MSC opens their shiny new Miami terminal, the walk to and from the ship won't be on such a labyrinthine route. Getting on and off the ship at the ports of call was about as painful as it is on any ship. They do a pretty good job of queue control, but it could probably be a little better and assign an extra person for that duty. We went to the cruise critic cocktail hour, and MSC put out a nice spread. But it might have been better to do it a little later in the cruise, so that we'd have some more comments and so that it was more fresh in our minds when writing the review after the cruise. Bottom Line: it was worth what we paid for it, but If there was a cruise from another non-budget line at a similar price point, we wouldn't choose MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This post is not a review per-se. It is simply our observations and experiences on a recent cruise aboard the MSC Seaside. We’re a fairly well travelled middle aged couple and we have a fair amount of cruises under our belt, across many ... Read More
This post is not a review per-se. It is simply our observations and experiences on a recent cruise aboard the MSC Seaside. We’re a fairly well travelled middle aged couple and we have a fair amount of cruises under our belt, across many different lines. We’re not demanding, we’re open-minded and pretty much go with the flow. We’ve only cruised on MSC once before. That was on the maiden voyage of the Divina in 2013. Draw your own conclusions, but it took six years for the memories to fade before we decided to give MSC another try. FYI: both cruises were the Bella experience and those six years made a difference. MSC has come a long way in six years with regard to the guest’s experience, but they still have a ways to go, especially in the Customer Service department. On this singular cruise, I visited the front desk more times than all of our other cruises combined. However, our interactions with the rest of the crew and staff were delightful. While the cruise was mostly enjoyable, there were some striking differences from the contemporary cruise lines that cater to mostly North Americans. We enjoyed meeting people from other cultures and having announcements in several languages was no big deal. Actually, nothing, in and of itself, was a big deal, but added together, they diminished our overall experience. The cruise didn’t start off under ideal conditions. We were assigned a stateroom that had a horrendous creaking noise in the ceiling. Every time the ship moved, the ceiling sounded like a bowl of Rice Krispies on steroids; Snap, Crackle and Pop. I tried calling the front desk, but some reason, no one answered our call. So, I went to down to Guest Services at 3:30AM to voice my concerns. The gentleman at the desk assured me that the sounds were “normal” because of the ships movement. I emphatically begged to differ. After a protracted back and forth session, he eventually said someone would come up to investigate. So, back to the room I go. After about 30 minutes, a more sympathetic gentleman entered our room to observe the commotion. He called the front desk and told them it was very loud and it would be difficult to sleep. He told me he would check out some other cabins to find a more suitable environment. After about another 30 minutes, he returned and took me to another cabin for approval. I happily accepted, as it was now 4:30AM. I was relieved and appreciative, until I was told we could “sleep” there for the remainder of the night. We were then told there were no assurances that this would be the stateroom we would be moved to. That decision was to be made by a Supervisor at 9:00AM. Trips to Guest Services would become a recurring theme. At least we finally got some sleep. Fast forward to 9:00AM. I once again tried calling the front desk, again to no avail. So, yet again, I go down to Guest Services to wait in a very long line to find out our fate. FYI, the line is much shorter at 3:30AM than at 9:00AM. OK, so we’re getting somewhere. I speak with a “representative” of the Supervisor who informs us we can indeed move into the new “quiet” room. All we have to do is pack our own bags and move our own stuff by ourselves, AND return the card keys in person. Oh Boy! Another trip to the front desk after we move our own belongings to another cabin at the opposite end of the ship! With that episode behind us, at least we have the remainder of the cruise to look forward to. Sort of. Unlike the other cruise lines we been on, it was clear from this episode, and a couple of other incidents that the personnel at the front desk can’t resolve any issues, until it’s approved by a supervisor. Unfortunately, this resulted in repetitive and redundant interactions with Guest Services to resolve even the simplest of issues. On to the next observation. As I stated above, we had the Bella Experience, so I can’t unequivocally address whether or not this relates to the other experiences that MSC offers. So, back to the cabin we go. In no particular order here are three conspicuous things that are different on MSC. First: I always thought that “short sheeting” was just a prank. On MSC it seems to be standard operating procedure. There was no top sheet on our bed. The bed was topped with only a comforter. I don’t know if they are replaced after each guest vacates the cabin, but, by all appearances, it looked like it has been in direct contact with a plethora of other people’s skin. To put it bluntly, it was gross. This was not an isolated incident either. We travelled with two other couples and they reported the same thing. What’s up with that? Second: They do not automatically provide wash cloths. Third: They also do not provide facial tissues. We asked our cabin steward to put a top sheet on the bed and to provide some tissues and washcloths. Unlike Guest Services, our request was handled immediately and in a friendly and professional manner. Thank you Antonio! This observation concerns “something got lost in the translation”, or, a distinctly different way of thinking. Once again and at the expense of being repetitive, these aren’t gripes, but our reflections of the way MSC does, or does not do things. Frank Sinatra and MSC have something in common; they both do things their way. Here’s a case in point. As on other cruise lines, MSC offers a Continental Breakfast for no charge. Sort of. They have the typical door hangar card with selections for complimentary breakfast items on one side of the card. On the other side of the card, they also offer hot breakfast items for a $7.95 fee. So, the first morning of the cruise we ordered a continental breakfast. It was delivered right on time and the order was correct. So far, so good. But, when we reviewed our on board charges there was a $4.05 fee for the continental breakfast. Well, since I’m now on an almost first name basis with the front desk, (still no answer on the phone) I went to inquire about the charge. I was informed that the charge is listed in the “full” room service menu. Well, they got me on that one. I was told it was my fault for not reading the full room service menu. Because, you know, it’s in there! OK, now I get it. It’s caveat emptor for breakfast. From now on I’ll be sure to read the fine print in the full room service menu buried behind a stack of sales brochures, instead of the prominently displayed door hanger menu. In their defense, they said the charge could possibly be removed, if I came back and spoke to a supervisor. Now I’m in a quandary. Do I wait in line AGAIN to resolve a dispute over $4.05? Nope, I instead went to the commissary and bought antacid tablets to soothe the case of heartburn that suddenly came on. Ok, so let’s move on to the Photo Desk. We were assigned Gold Level on the MSC status match. Along with other benefits, there is a 20% discount on individual pictures. Sort of. We inquired at the Photo Desk and they confirmed that “Yes” we get the discount. So, we go over to the kiosk and select a picture, complete the transaction and return to the desk to request the discount. The person then proceeded to tell us that if we order from the kiosk we don’t get any discount. I thought he was kidding, because this all transpired in fewer than 5 minutes. Nope! He told us there was nothing he could do, because we had to order the picture directly from him, although he didn’t mention that pesky little detail until after the fact. So, yep, you guessed it; I could go to the Customer Service desk and try to get it rectified. This, my friends, is customer service by attrition. Now, where did I put those antacid tablets? Here’s the last observation and some unsolicited advice. DO NOT use a Debit card to secure your onboard account. In case you missed the last sentence, DO NOT use a debit card to secure your onboard account. MSC does make it easy for a customer to use a debit card and select a debit amount of their choosing in increments of $100. However, if you have any funds remaining on your account after it’s been settled, you have to go to the Customer Service desk to have the funds returned to you in cash. They will not credit your account. They also will not return the funds on the spot. We found this out the hard way. You will have to wait until after 6:00pm to complete the transaction, along with 200-300 other people waiting in line. They actually distribute boxes of currency to the customer service reps to process refunds. Not exactly the epitome of efficiency or very customer centric. But, while you’re waiting in a line that snakes all the way back into the elevator vestibule, you’re being entertained by people gleefully singing karaoke with the PA at full volume in the adjacent atrium. Some of the singers were okay, but I didn’t particularly like the woman that sounded like a cat was being scalded in boiling water. In closing, we made the best of our cruise experience. The ship was flashy, shiny and new. We always enjoy engaging with the crew and staff, and almost all of them were friendly, warm and approachable. The food was decent. The bar and restaurant service was good. Aside from the Customer Service hiccups, it wasn’t much different than the other contemporary cruise lines we’ve been on. Will we go on another MSC cruise? Ask us in six years. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The price was excellent and included the beverage package and wifi. We had an inside cabin and ate early seating for dinner. Getting on the ship went smoothly and easily. This is the second time on this ship and we really enjoyed ... Read More
The price was excellent and included the beverage package and wifi. We had an inside cabin and ate early seating for dinner. Getting on the ship went smoothly and easily. This is the second time on this ship and we really enjoyed ourselves. The bar service in the Sports Bar was excellent. We did our exercise walk every day around the basketball court and found out that 10 laps equal a mile. All of the ports were great but we didn't get off the ship in Nassau. The shows were excellent and I enjoy all the Cirque du Soleil type acts that they incorporate into the music. They even have a condensed version of the opera Madame Butterfly. We didn't care for the Beer Improv show though. Everything went well but we were really disappointed with the debarkation. That is the reason they didn't get a rating of 5. It was a terrible way to end a beautiful cruise. We were told to meet in the theater at 7:40 and wait for our tag color to be called. They were making announcements around the ship but not in the theater. No one (including the crew) seemed to know what was going on. There was no organization and total chaos. MSC didn't have any control over the crowd and people just pushed and shoved in the line because they got so frustrated trying to figure out when to get off. We finally joined the chaos on our own at 9:30 when we faced the fact that they were never going to call us to get off the ship. We finally got off and in our car around 10:30. This would be the only reason I would rethink about taking another MSC cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Wanted to to try a larger ship and this one was beautiful, a lot of mirrors, chrome and glitz. We normally do not get off the ship, we like to sit around the pool and enjoy the ship, however, we noticed on port days, there were no ... Read More
Wanted to to try a larger ship and this one was beautiful, a lot of mirrors, chrome and glitz. We normally do not get off the ship, we like to sit around the pool and enjoy the ship, however, we noticed on port days, there were no activities nor any music around the pool. Our handicap accessible cabin was comfortable. We were in an inside cabin/midship/15th deck/Fantastica Experience. Loved sitting at the atrium bar people watching. Once the bar servers knew you, they kept the drinks coming. (We did tip every time we got drinks, which helped for quick service) The only show we saw was Starwalker. The others did not appeal to us. Food on the buffet was always hot and plentiful. Embarkation was quick and easy as we have noticed since hubby is in a mobility scooter. We checked both pieces of our luggage and it was at our door at 2pm, which is the time everyone was allowed to go to their cabins. We did early debarkation (7:30am) and took our luggage with us. Going through the terminal was a breeze. Would we do Seaside again...probably not....ship too large for us and the age group seemed to be 30's-40's. We are looking into doing a smaller MSC ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife, 8 month-old son and I sailed an Eastern Caribbean itinerary in the MSC Seaside Yacht Club. The Yacht Club is every bit as amazing as all the reviews on here state. I don't know how anyone can give it less than 5 stars. ... Read More
My wife, 8 month-old son and I sailed an Eastern Caribbean itinerary in the MSC Seaside Yacht Club. The Yacht Club is every bit as amazing as all the reviews on here state. I don't know how anyone can give it less than 5 stars. We sailed in the Yacht Club on MSC Divina in 2017 and we have not wanted to cruise with anyone else since because of the Yacht Club. They have made the product even better on the MSC Seaside. The biggest plus being that the Seaside Yacht Club restaurant is actually inside the Yacht Club instead of on the opposite end of the ship such as it was on Divina. We also liked the wristband cruise card replacement. Embarkation was very smooth with priority check-in and butler assistance from the curbside all the way to the stateroom. It took us about 15 minutes from the arriving at the port to be on the ship in our stateroom. Disembarkation was also as smooth and we were escorted off the ship by our butler at our leisure. The ship is fantastic. It is a sight to behold and all areas are clean and modern. The internet wifi worked perfectly. We pre-paid for the unlimited package and we were never without fast internet service. It was well worth the cost. The Yacht Club Deluxe Suite cabin was clean, spacious and always made up and clean by our outstanding Butler Primas. Primas was also always more than willing to escort us to dinner, anywhere on the ship and off the ship on shore days. The shower was especially spacious and there was plenty of room for our luggage. The food was excellent. We mostly dined in the Yacht Club restaurant or the Grill by the Yacht Club pool and every dish was a gourmet experience. Some people complain about the food because they are accustomed to heavily salted, sugary and fried foods in the U.S. I think this is where a lot of MSC food complaints come from. MSC prepares fresh food more in a more European style than a U.S. style. If you leave your American chain restaurant food expectations behind and are open to new experience the food is great. We tried the Marketplace Buffet for lunch one day and I thought it was great as well. There was a lot of variety and it all tasted as good as anything on other cruise lines. The pastries/bread/pasta are all made fresh on-board and they are all the best I have had on any cruise ship. We tried the Teppenyaki specialty restaurant and it was great. The food was very good and the chef was entertaining. The kids splash area was adequate and not overcrowded. We tried all the waterslides which were fun and the lines were never very long. We tried the bowling alley on a sea day and I while I am not the greatest bowler it seems the ship rocking a little bit will put the ball right into the gutter. I would bowl on a port day if you are serious about keeping your score high. The most outstanding part about our cruise was the service provided to our son. On our first night they had our pack-n-play crib ready without us even asking. The Kids club provided us a stroller to use for the entirety of the cruise. Every crew member went out of their way to entertain our son and make sure he always had everything he needed. They always had a high chair ready for us at the restaurant and would provide pureed food for us if we requested. Primas (our butler) always made sure we were stocked with plenty of bottled water so we could make formula. The courtesy and friendliness was not limited to the Yacht Club, we experienced this no matter what part of the ship were at. I can't thank MSC enough for making our first vacation experience as parents so smooth for us. The Eastern Caribbean ports were mostly very good. Our favorite stop was St Thomas where we went to Megan's Beach. We have cruised MSC, Carnival, NCL and Costa and our best experiences have been on MSC. I think the uniqueness of going on MSC is getting a European-esque experience out of the Florida cruise market. If you go on MSC thinking they are just another Carnival, RCL or NCL you will probably be disappointed. Don't get me wrong, those lines are all great for that type of product. However, if you go on MSC with the attitude that all cruise lines are striving to be that same product and that is your baseline for expectations you will be disappointed. I am not a high class "bougie" person making this statement. I am middle class from Texas and I like Applebee's, Denny's and Golden Corral as much as the next guy but I also like a break from that and a different experience. For a great cruise vacation I can't speak highly enough about MSC. The great customer service experience, great food and amazing ship will keep us coming back to MSC. I don't think MSC needs to adjust to the U.S. Market as many people state. I think they are doing a fantastic job on the unique product they are providing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise because of the awesome ports and wanting to give MSC a try. The price was really good too. Embarkation was extremely quick and smooth. I had a balcony room on the 14th floor. Spacious room with the smallest shower I ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the awesome ports and wanting to give MSC a try. The price was really good too. Embarkation was extremely quick and smooth. I had a balcony room on the 14th floor. Spacious room with the smallest shower I have ever seen. This was my first solo cruise and I enjoyed it so much that I already have the next one booked. The ship is absolutely beautiful. The staff is extremely friendly. I had heard that the food is just okay and I agree. I didn't do any specialty restaurants. The cruise critic meet and mingle was great. The following day there was another get together for travel agents as well as a question and answer session with the captain. I saw the captain alot. He was very nice and took lots of pictures with people. The excursions were very nice and occurred just as advertised. The transportation for the one in St. Thomas was very uncomfortable. Puerto Rico and St. Maarten were well organized and comfortable. The costumes and talent in the onboard shows was awesome. Show content was a little weird at times. Pole dancers at weird moments. I heard two really good singing groups island notes and the magic duo. Disembarkation was a complete nightmare. The price would have to be really good for me to try MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I cruised with a group of 12 other friends, 4 of which had been on MSC previously. They were impressed with the shows and the fact that MSC had the loyalty match. That also appealed to me, as I at the top on another line. The perks were ... Read More
I cruised with a group of 12 other friends, 4 of which had been on MSC previously. They were impressed with the shows and the fact that MSC had the loyalty match. That also appealed to me, as I at the top on another line. The perks were VERY nice. I am not a newby at cruising, having upwards of 50 or more under my belt. The ship was, or is beautiful and very large. I actually did not realize how large until we boarded and heard there were over 5000 passengers, ugh. I was surprised that things basically flowed very well. The cabin was extremely small. Very little storage space and had a large sofa, which prevented us from even getting to the closet . The bar staff was not the friendliest, and at times rude. On one occasion, I ordered a glass of wine and my friend ordered a beer. My friends beer came in an aluminum screw top can. The bartender sat the beer on the bar, unopened and sat my wine down and proceded to hold up a tablet it seemed. I did not know what he wanted and then he grabbed my cruise card out of my hand to pay for the drinks. Would I sail MSC again, probably Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I've cruised Carnival, RCCL, Norwegian, and Disney Cruise Lines over the past 20+ years so I wanted to try MSC Seaside. Overall it was a great cruise. Very fast embarkation process (35 minutes from entry to terminal F to on the ... Read More
I've cruised Carnival, RCCL, Norwegian, and Disney Cruise Lines over the past 20+ years so I wanted to try MSC Seaside. Overall it was a great cruise. Very fast embarkation process (35 minutes from entry to terminal F to on the ship). Very Beautiful ship. Cabin was good size (9216 Aurea Suite) with a very large belcony. Buffet on decks 16 & 8 were good but almost identical in food choices and serve 95% of the same food choices ever day. Deck 16 Bascayne buffet has the only free ice cream machine, deck 8 Marketplace Buffet is much larger. Nightly dinner in the Seashore Resturant was excellent And Melvin our head waiter and Lindsey our assistant were were outstanding (Thank you so much for the great service if you sre reading this). I did not try any of the specialty resturants but my friends did and the reality enjoyed them and I did not use the fitness center.The Easy Drink package was perfect for me, it had all the different drinks I enjoy. The ship was always spotless and very clean. The staff were always very polite and enjoy talking to you if you let them. There was a very large number of foreign travelers from outside the USA and it was great talking to them and learning about there countries and culture. The showes were all excellent every night. Venchi Chocolate Bar was outstanding especially their Chocolate Martini. There was always plenty of activities going on day and night (Thank you and Great job to Eric our cruise director, you did a fantastic job) The only real downfall was that the in app (MSC for ME) texting did not work well at all for me and any of the others I was traveling with. No towel animals. I did not like having to have a bracelet on the entire cruise just to be able to use the water slides (I am 52 years old, I am not a child except for at heart). I did not care for the 5pm arrival at San Juan (everything was closing or closed, I wanted to do the fort tous but the were already closed. I also would have liked more time in Saint Martin 7a-1:30p was not enough time to do any real tours because alot of places were not even open yet when we arrived and by the time they did open it was time to leave. The few downfalls did not by any means ruin my cruise. Overall it was an Outstanding Cruise at a very fair price. I would definitely cruise with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Well, we just got back home from our first Crouse with MSC Seaside. I tell you we had the best time ever. They got me upset at first because of some ship rewards in the Casino. But I got over it the service's was great the ppl on the ... Read More
Well, we just got back home from our first Crouse with MSC Seaside. I tell you we had the best time ever. They got me upset at first because of some ship rewards in the Casino. But I got over it the service's was great the ppl on the ship were good. Our Balcony stateroom had a tub and shower so we were delighted. The food was alright but the steakhouse was awesome. The drink pkg was worth it we just had a good time. I know I did I even jump on a 70 dance box on the 70's night. So I know I had a good time Lol.we won in the Casino , the drinks were great, Carmen in guest Services was the reason my whole trip turn into great. She was a great help to us. So the next time we decide to go we will think about MSC. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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