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7 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise from Miami

7 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise from Miami

MSC Seaside (Photo: MSC Cruises)
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MSC Seaside

MSC Seaside - MSC Cruises

You'll love MSC Seaside if you enjoy large ships with a European flair, jaw-dropping nightly entertainment, lots of outdoor activities and an international passenger base.

MSC Seaside is not for you if you want a fully American-style cruise experience with announcements only made in English, and service that is fast and friendly.

Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: February 2019
This was a cruise of firsts for us, the trip was to celebrate our first anniversary, it was our first time cruising with MSC, our first time in Yacht Club, and our first time in the Royal suite. This cruise was beyond fabulous. The ... Read More
This was a cruise of firsts for us, the trip was to celebrate our first anniversary, it was our first time cruising with MSC, our first time in Yacht Club, and our first time in the Royal suite. This cruise was beyond fabulous. The service in the yacht club is amazing, day in, day out they make sure you want for nothing. Our butler and cabin steward were amazing people. The Seaside is a gorgeous ship. It is designed very well and the decor is smart and elegant. We really enjoyed the yacht club lounge, restaurant, and one pool/grill area. Lunches at One pool are amazing, great selection of favorites and a different option at the carving station each afternoon. A perk of the Royal suite is the inclusion of a cabana on the One pool deck. We spent hours up there, protected from the sun but just steps from the pool. The pool area itself was seldom crowded. We enjoyed the food in the yacht club restaurant, loved that the menu changed each day, and we even had dinner at the Captain's table in the Ocean Cay restaurant one evening. We had amazing weather all week, just a mild sprinkle in the AM on our day in Jamaica, other than that sunny skies and favorable winds. We are not big on shows, we did go to one and we were very impressed with how talented the performers were. We hit the bowling lanes, F1 Simulator, and 4D theater which were all a lot of fun, one nit pick I have is that the hours of these amusements seem to be very limited, I wish they were open more often. Our suite was spacious and well appointed. Tons of storage, stocked mini-bar, very comfy king sized bed and an enormous balcony with Jacuzzi tub are part of this suite. The only real drawback is the lack of privacy on the balcony itself. All things considered this has to have been our most favorite cruise. Service, food, ship all top notch - we can't wait to travel on Seaside again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
About us – We are a family of 4 from the upper Midwest USA, mid-40’s with 11 and 8 yr old boys. This is my wife and I’s eighth cruise over a span of nearly 20 years… 5 taken as a couple, then a pause of about 9 years for kids, ... Read More
About us – We are a family of 4 from the upper Midwest USA, mid-40’s with 11 and 8 yr old boys. This is my wife and I’s eighth cruise over a span of nearly 20 years… 5 taken as a couple, then a pause of about 9 years for kids, now 3 with them along. Also, this is cruise line #6, having done Princess x2, RCI x2, Carnival, Disney, and NCL prior. Yacht Club deluxe suite (18013) Room was fantastic for us and our 2 boys. There was more storage space than I have ever seen, with a two-door closet for hanging (just not enough hangers, but had brought some along), a 2nd closet with half for hanging and half with drawers, bed-side stands with drawers, under-bed storage easily fit our 6 pieces of luggage, and the shelving divider between the bed and where the kids slept (full size sofa sleeper with murphy bed above) for things like sunscreen, electronics, and packing cubes we brought along. I also very much liked our room location up on 18 – a straight shot to the jungle pool area, the waterslides, kids club, and YC restaurant, and just up a flight of stairs to the YC pool area or down a flight to the YC lounge. We had really no noise from above (YC pool area). Since the deck under – 16 – is not a through-deck as it runs into the specialty restaurants, I preferred everything about the 18th floor. The ship LOVED the Seaside! The use of chrome and mirrors on walls and ceilings made passageways feel larger and more open, plus the overall feel was very modern. I also feel that the amount pool area, spas, and deck space was better than like-sized vessels. Not even counting the YC pool area, since we didn’t visit it all that often, having the jungle pool, the aqua park area/splash pool, Miami Beach pool, and South Beach pools really spread out the crowd well. Also enjoyed the 4-floor atrium area with all the assorted bars in the vicinity; a nice place to people-watch, and catch some of the entertainment acts. Very seldom did it feel crowded – other than breakfast at the main buffet. Activities/Entertainment Waterpark – The tube slide was pretty fun, though it probably was more fun with the mats that it was designed for. The tube line was usually a bit too longer for us in relation to the actual amount of fun that it was – and it surely could benefit a bit with better signage, as the queue breaks into two for double and single tubes without that being marked, and with lots of people who do not understand each other, it can get a little chaotic. The racing body slides were probably my favorite, as they were plenty long, smooth, and fast to be enjoyable, plus the lines were never bad and moved quickly. The last slide – the brown, open slide, was also decent for less adventurous, though it was also a plenty long and twisting ride. Zip-line – Just the novelty of it was worth trying. We’ve done enough traditional jungle zip-lining, so in comparison, this was not tall, long, or fast. But still a unique ship-board experience. Arcade area – as with my zip-line comment, being able to bowl on a ship is more about the novelty of being able to. Otherwise, it’s probably not really worth what they charge, even though we enjoyed doing it. We did 2 of the XD Cinema rides – werewolves and zombies. They were ok. A couple of the 3D jump-out-at-you moments were a bit intense/scary for the 8 yr old. My 11-yr-old did the F1 simulator, and had a good time, but found it a bit difficult to keep on-road. Spa – as a YC perk, we had to carve out time to see what the spa was about. We are too on-the-go to do spa, but hearing how great the Seaside’s was, we visited for about an hour on our last sea day just to give everything a quick try. They really do have the hot/cold theme going with snow room to saunas, to cold/hot alternating geyser station. We gave everything except the salt room (it was full) a 5-minute try. While I can see this being a great way to spend some quality relaxation time, for us it wasn’t really the ‘wow, we’ve got to come back here’ kind of place. But chalk that up to mostly just too much to do and not enough time! Theater shows – We went to all 7 nights’ shows. The best part to me was the length – mostly right at 30 minutes, though a couple may have gone 5 or 10 minutes longer. Many acts incorporated (and repeated in other shows) that are similar to the ‘America’s Got Talent’ type show – juggling, pair roller skating, magic, strength and flexibility – mixed in with the Broadway-style show song and dance numbers, and generally impressive costuming. As mentioned plenty in reviews, there’s not much of a plot-line anywhere. Least favorite by a mile was ‘My Life in Music’ as it was less of the acts and mostly singing, and songs I didn’t care for at that. On the opposite end was the Michael Jackson show ‘Starwalker’ on the last evening. I grew up in the MTV era, and always have enjoyed Michael’s dance moves, as well as the more iconic songs from the 80’s, so I thought this show was amazing! It even included my #1 favorite of his – the anti-gravity lean in Smooth Criminal. Dining We ate YC breakfast once at the outdoor buffet and found it just too limiting for us and the kids; plus it had pretty much the exact same things every day. The remainder of the time, we hit the main buffet for breakfast, which was a bit chaotic, but great choices. When not off the ship at port, we had a couple lunches at the YC grill area or the main buffet. Again, the YC was limited but good, and the buffet had good options – enjoyed the pasta selections. For dinner, we ate at YC restaurant 4 evenings and very much enjoyed each meal there. However, due to the length of time required for that (and more of a feeling of obligation to dress a bit nicer), we opted for buffet dinner the other nights. Ports/itinerary: Generally enjoyed the itinerary, even though we’ve seemingly done these ports to death. Jamaica – this go-around, we went to the Blue Hole followed by river rafting through Dr Fun,which we lined up ourselves. The Blue Hole was amazing! Grand Cayman Island – probably my least favorite port. I can’t stand the tender process. But we made a beach day out of at 7-mile-beach. Busy, but a hot, sunny day at the ocean… that’s a good day. Cozumel – We returned to Paradise Beach. We love that it has about everything we want individually… nice spot to lay in the sun with great bar service, decent beach for the kids, the inflatables to play on, the biggest and nicest pool (the water is warm, which makes my wife happy), tasty food – our discussion that day ended with a ‘wouldn’t mind just coming back here every Cozumel visit’. Nassau- the downside was the early departure time of 3:30, because we like to visit the Atlantis waterpark. Even so, we made the most of it and enjoyed our 5 hours there. Mostly spent on a tube on the rapid river! Summary: We LOVED our week aboard the Seaside. A year ago, we did an NCL Getaway cruise, and we had the best vacation ever with a fabulous time on the ship and great port activities – I said it was nearly unable to be topped. Well, this one gave a pretty good run for that title, though throwing in the Yacht Club experience gives a slightly unfair comparison to our typical balcony stateroom cruise. Only, we just didn’t utilize the Yacht Club aspects all that much, with all the time spent off at ports, doing family activities onboard, etc, so perhaps not as unfair a comparison as if we had stayed in the relatively secluded confines of Yacht Club. I will probably score this one a very high 9 out of 10. Random thoughts: - TOO MUCH TO SEE AND DO! We did get off at all four ports, went to every nightly show, had lots of pictures taken with the digital package purchased, and tried to get in plenty of waterpark, arcade, zip-lining, etc…. just wanted to at least sample as much as we could, and there just isn’t time in 7 days to get it all in (and take just a few hours to actually sit and relax). Not a complaint at all. Really more of a compliment that I would have loved spending another week. - Biggest waste of space headscratcher to me was the Bistro-le-boheme area of Deck 8. With all the times passing through there, I never saw anything going on – ever. - Biggest disappointment – the bar service of yacht club pool area. It wasn’t every terribly busy there, but for some reason, we just could not get a drink on several occasions, especially when having breakfast or lunch there. - Drinks! Every cruise, I kind of gravitate to a particular drink or two, whatever I find they do well. I typically want a tropical/Caribbean rum cocktail. I really like a good Bahama Mama, but their interpretation of that on MSC – well, the one I had anyway, as I got a blank stare trying to order one from a different bar to compare – was terrible. Next attempt was a simple pina colada – which came on the rocks and not blended, and was not very good either. Next up was a mojito – which was great and was then the staple for the duration of the cruise, along with the occasional MSC Bellini from Champagne Bar, random beer, or Venchi latte or martini. - The yacht club lounge snacks were a huge hit. They change it over 5 times a day (breakfast/snack/tea/aperitif/night temptations) so we all made multiple trips daily, just to look. From mini burgers to stuffed puff pastries, to desserts and chocolates – it was a great perk! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
• We sailed on the MSC Seaside, leaving Miami February 23rd 2019, returning to Miami March 2nd, 2019. There were 6 adults and two 10-year old children in our group. • Upon first arriving on the ship, there were tables for ... Read More
• We sailed on the MSC Seaside, leaving Miami February 23rd 2019, returning to Miami March 2nd, 2019. There were 6 adults and two 10-year old children in our group. • Upon first arriving on the ship, there were tables for registering for kids club, or so we thought. The confusion was clearly not isolated to just our family as most families with children were crowding the tables. The table placement created a huge bottleneck of all cruise guests because it was the first thing you encountered, IMMEDIATELY upon boarding. Then we discovered that we have to go to the 18th floor to actually register for kids club and even that we couldn’t do until 2pm. • The few times we actually dropped our 10 year old son at the kids club, they watched movies and played indoors. He was old enough to check himself out but not old enough for the kids club staff to take them to the Jungle Pool or other kid-friendly activities? I assumed that’s why the kid-themed pools/activities were located on the same floor? • Along those same lines, he could check himself out of kids club but not get a wrist band to get into our cabin because he was under 12. Poorly thought out. • Our cabins weren’t ready for several hours forcing us to wander around the ship with carry-on items. It’s hard to explore (and for that matter, relax) when you’re forced to carry around your family’s small luggage. Even more troubling is the amount of time it took us to get a drink during our initial embarkation. The bar at the Atrium was the first place the guests naturally flowed into and there were maybe 3 bartenders on duty? I’m looking for my first drink to kick off my week-long vacation and I have to wait to flag someone down? That whole area should’ve been filled with staff ready and willing to provide drinks. • We also waited another 30 minutes in the Customer Service line just to get wrist bands. Another 30 minutes I wasted on my vacation waiting in line for another poorly staffed area. At least the employees were helpful and friendly when we actually arrived at the counter. • There was an extreme lack of trash cans all over the ship. We can only assume this was for appearances but is insanely impractical. • The main cabin elevators were another giant waste of our time. We felt like we were constantly waiting for one, they were clearly not programmed properly. • There were not nearly enough restrooms near high traffic areas, i.e. pools, buffets, theater. As a woman, I expect to wait in line at times but not on a cruise. Even then, there were only two stalls in most of the restrooms. At the pool on deck 16, there are seats for hundreds of people but only 2 bathroom stalls in the ladies room? Many women had their children with them which made a tiny bathroom even more ridiculous. Poor planning for a family friendly ship. • One of our biggest complaints was the constant harassment for signing up for the dinner packages. Those poor staff members were EVERYWHERE. Everywhere we went, the pool, the buffets, the bars, the sitting areas, we were harassed about it, up until the last day of our trip. We were asked numerous times even while sitting in one location for a half hour. I hate to be rude because the staff was doing their job but this is just an unacceptable business practice. I don’t want a sales pitch every time I sit down for a meal or a drink. To our family, it’s the equivalent of a traveling salesman ringing our doorbell at dinner time. • Our absolute biggest complaint and the main reason we will NEVER take another MSC cruise was the service. I estimate I wasted about 8 hours cumulatively waiting at a bar to get a drink which ultimately leads me to this dismal review of MSC cruise overall. If there is one underlying theme about my whole review, it’s that YOU NEED DOUBLE THE STAFF at the very least. Deck 16 has a huge pool and movie screen, many of the family friendly daytime activities took place here. The bar to support that area should have been 3 times the size. • Deck 7 was the other incredibly disappointing area. Since the pool was adults only, that bar should have been at least 3 times the size. I might have been able to overlook the size if it was staffed properly. At all of the bars, it seemed that half of the items the staff needed to retrieve were “in the back” or they didn’t have it close at hand. • Dinner at the Seashore restaurant every evening was painful and incredibly inefficient. The two waiters we had were responsible for getting our drinks and food as well as waiting on how many other tables. Numerous evenings they took the drink orders of the half the table and then didn’t return to take the drink orders for the other half until the entrees were served. Our party included two 10-year old boys so it was frustrating when we couldn’t even get a refill of water. We were always rushing to finish our food because it took so long for the courses to come out and we were never eating the same course at the same time as others at our table. The staff was friendly but by the second night, it was hard not to take our frustrations of poor and inefficient service out on them. • Our first night aboard, my husband planned to go to the Sports Bar on level 8 and watch an ice hockey game. He was shocked to learn that they only carry ESPN 1 and 2. A sports bar that only carries two sports channels? Another giant disappointment. • The MSC for Me app stopped working two days before we disembarked which made it hard to see the daily agenda. We relied on it during the week and then suddenly it wasn’t there. • We were so disappointed overall, we requested our daily service charges be removed. I rarely write reviews but since all of the items outlined above were a common theme among other guests we met, I wanted to make sure others are aware so you can remedy some of these complaints for future guests. I wish I could get a partial refund for the amount of time wasted, poor service, and inefficiencies. The ship was beautiful and the schedule was prompt. Our particular hall staff was incredibly kind and helpful, his name was Andres and he was probably the most engaged staff member we met. Read Less
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