The Seaside Class of ships also has the largest ratio of outdoor to indoor space of any class in MSC's fleet. The line has said its aim is to bring passengers closer to the sea through elements like a boardwalk, alfresco dining, aft-facing glass elevators, a special glass-bottomed viewing platform that overlooks the wake, new aft cabins modeled after beach condos, and plenty of outdoor entertainment, including three pools and the aforementioned waterslides and ziplines -- the longest at sea.
These ships are also some of the most technologically advanced vessels afloat, allowing passengers to tailor their cruise experiences through wearable MSC for Me bracelets that also function as onboard charge cards and cabin keys. (Note that you'll still have to have your regular keycard with you when exiting and reboarding your ship.) The bracelets can also be tapped against digital onboard signage to make reservations for dinner or shows. Additionally, they can be used to track children, who are automatically given bracelets when they board. Passengers can choose to preload their preferences onto the bracelets online, prior to sailing, in order to create a more seamless, personalized experience. These offerings are rounded out with the MSC for Me mobile app, which allows cruisers to see the ship's daily schedule, plus anything they've booked.
The ways in which Seaview differs from its sister are minimal, mainly encompassing name and color palette changes for several venues, but their overall purposes and ambiance remain the same. The biggest change, however, is that Ocean Cay (which also has an outpost onboard Seaside) now has a partnership with Michelin-Starred chef Ramon Freixa, who has used his knowledge of seafood and Spanish cuisine to create a new menu for the eatery.
Overall, the vibe onboard is elegant and sophisticated, but the ship doesn't take itself too seriously. Large amounts of chrome and crystal ensure just about everything shines, and there's no such thing as overdressed when it comes to formal night, but that's balanced with elements like an impressive all-ages arcade, two Venchi locations selling chocolate and gelato, nightly performances in which men juggle hats and women pole dance, and a disco called the Garage Club, where the DJ booth is housed in half of a classic car and passengers dance until the sun comes up.
Seaview offers 14 aft corner suites modeled after beach condos; terraced balcony cabins, which have sea views and overlook the promenade below; cluster cabins designed for families or larger groups; and suites with outdoor whirlpool tubs.
All are comfortable and well-appointed, featuring welcome touches like a surplus of USB charging ports, including a couple bedside, as well as magnifying mirrors in the bathrooms and showers with glass walls instead of clingy curtains. Shampoo and shower gel, provided by in-shower wall-mounted dispensers, are MSC's own Aurea Spa brand.
Storage space is plentiful, with two small bedside tables for pajamas and drawer space in the closet for things like underwear. However, the closets in standard cabins are a bit awkwardly designed, with two sliding doors that overlap to block the middle section of interior space from being used. Each closet's proximity to either the bed or sofa in each cabin can also make access difficult when hanging clothing.
Each cabin has code-operated safe, a wall-mounted TV with a variety of channels (including news, ship-centric stations and a selection of for-fee on-demand films), a mini-bar that will be locked unless you request otherwise, and a hair dryer that's hidden in a hard-to-find drawer under the desk area. (It's a weak one, and you'll have to hold in the button the whole time, so if you have thick hair, we recommend bringing your own.)
Cabins on Seaview differ from Seaside in color only; where burgundy appeared on its sister ship, passengers will now find hunter green on Seaview. The one exception is the MSC Yacht Club, the ship's exclusive area, which offers larger cabins and suites, butler service and express elevators, as well as access to a private restaurant and lounge, pool and sun deck. In Yacht Club rooms, the color scheme consists mainly of neutral browns and tans.
Seaview has 10 restaurants onboard, featuring two main dining rooms and two buffets (one that's family-friendly), as well as added-fee specialty restaurants with a variety of cuisine, including the Butcher's Cut steakhouse, which has an American South-inspired menu; seafood eatery Ocean Cay, with a menu designed by Michelin-Starred Spanish chef Ramon Freixa; and Roy Yamaguchi's Asian Market Kitchen, which is split into three areas within the same space, offering Asian-fusion, teppanyaki and sushi. Passengers will also find L'Atelier Bistrot, which serves French fare.
While the for-fee restaurant fare is delicious, we found the dining room offerings to be a bit lacking, with no "always available" options for picky eaters. Portion sizes often seemed questionable, as well, with one plate of risotto containing enough for two meals and other selections, like fossa cheese-stuffed pasta, leaving us still feeling peckish.
The ship also boasts 20 different bars and lounges, where passengers can choose from a large selection of wines, cocktails and an impressive beer list, as well as gourmet coffee beverages and nonalcoholic mocktails.
Throughout the day, passengers will find plenty to hold their attention, including trivia; a library with a self-leveling pool table; a top-deck sports court; onboard shops selling everything from cigarettes and alcohol to clothing and logo items; and an arcade with video games, air hockey, a Formula One simulator, a 4D cinema and two full-size bowling lanes.
Cruisers can also enjoy live music and dancing. Performances in the atrium are generally outstanding, and theme nights add to the fun.
The aqua park has five waterslides, including an interactive Slideboarding tube, which combines video games, lights and music with a 367-foot waterslide; two high-speed racing slides with clear loops that extend over one side of the ship; the Aquatube, an innertube slide; and a pint-sized flume-type slide for the little ones. Other water park features include an AquaPlay and AquaSpray park for kids, featuring spray cannons and dump buckets.
Passengers can also climb high on the Adventure Trail, a ropes course, mainly for children, that has cruisers ducking spray cannons.
The ship also has two of the four longest (426 feet/130 meters) ziplines at sea. (Seaside has the other two.)
Like Seaside, Seaview offers seven production shows -- one for each night of a weeklong sailing, with three performances per night -- but the shows differ from one vessel to the other. MSC has traditionally been synonymous with quality productions and spares no expense to bring phenomenal -- and largely non-verbal, due to the many languages of the line's international clientele -- entertainment onboard. Jugglers, acrobats, contortionists and even a pole dancer join the ranks of Seaview's immensely talented cast of singers and dancers. Combining spectacles like flips, twirls and feats of strength with elaborate makeup and colorful, impeccably crafted costumes, these shows are where the ship shines especially brightly.
On our short sailing, we saw "Bizarre," which features acrobatics and singing alongside high-kicking Cancan dancers, and "Fantasia," during which toy soldiers and a ringmaster dance and sing to a strange medley of songs from movies like "The Addams Family" and "The Greatest Showman."
Spa & Fitness
The Aurea Spa offers a plethora of treatments, including massages and facials, at a fairly standard industry price point, while an attached salon and barber shop features hairstyling and nail services. The spa's thermal suite houses a salt relaxation room, a thalassotherapy pool, light and dark sensory steam rooms and even a cold room with real snow.
The adjoining fitness center hosts a variety of classes that include TRX and spinning, as well as yoga and personal training. The gym is outfitted with Technogym equipment, and although the space is small for a ship of Seaview's size, the facilities are advanced.
MSC's latest ships, including Seaview, now rival some of the major cruise industry players, featuring large, colorful play spaces for babies, kids and teens, as well as partnerships with two big name-brand toy companies -- LEGO and Chicco.
The Doremi Land kids club comprises five age groups: Baby Club (12 to 35 months), Mini Club (3 to 6), Junior Club (7 to 11), Young Club (12 to 14) and Teen Club (15 to 17). A list of age-appropriate activities for each group is scheduled daily and might include things like arts and crafts, game show nights, scavenger hunts, video game play and even 3D printing, allowing kids to create and print their own LEGO blocks.