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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This is our 2nd...and last on MSC! On Seaview in September...if I had not paid in full for this cruise I would have cancelled. Now for the reasons....both ships are beautiful but what let's MSC down is the downright rude staff on the ... Read More
This is our 2nd...and last on MSC! On Seaview in September...if I had not paid in full for this cruise I would have cancelled. Now for the reasons....both ships are beautiful but what let's MSC down is the downright rude staff on the main part of the ship. Only saving grace for me was that both times I have been In Yacht Club. A different world altogether. Every time we have ventured away from YC on both ships it has been a nightmare. The entertainment is abysmal..MSC are claiming today on FB that they had an award on CC for best entertainment. Can't see why that would be. One half hour show at night... repetitive most nights. Entertainment elsewhere on the ship is minimal. I thought that the US sailings would be good but not a great deal of difference to be honest. Cabins are nice but storage is non existent. 1 wardrobe in most YC cabins. Can't say how the rest of the ship is for space but MSC should take a look at other cruise companies. Sorry this has bee n mostly negative but it's hard to find any positives about this ship. One good thing to look forward to...NCL Bliss next Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We got a good deal and had never been on a cruise so chose the Seaside to celebrate a family birthday. It was a new ship and appeared exactly what we were looking for. We read the reviews before coming but arrived with an open mind... ... Read More
We got a good deal and had never been on a cruise so chose the Seaside to celebrate a family birthday. It was a new ship and appeared exactly what we were looking for. We read the reviews before coming but arrived with an open mind... First of all the service was SO bad! I have never experienced customer service like it. I’m only commenting primarily on the bar and waiting staff but for the majority they did not want to be there and it showed. They were extremely rude, visibly annoyed when you ordered drinks and on one occasion one of the waiters walked into me at speed elbowing me in the arm (which was very painful) and he scowled at me! It wasn’t just a couple of people; our whole party commented on the atmosphere. The entertainment staff always appeared in high spirits though. The food was not great. The buffet was OK and what you would expect; the dining in the formal restaurant was hit and miss. Certainly not to the standard of a 5 star ship I would say. We upgraded to speciality dining and I would definitely recommend it - the food here was fantastic! Not so much the seafood restaurant but the pan-Asian and Butchers Cut were very good. My last comment would be that the ship is not very child friendly - at all. For most of our trip the children’s pool was closed because it was too rocky which basically left very little for my son to do. He doesn’t like kids clubs and the indoor playground was mediocre to say the least... All in all a disappointing experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
The week in review: Pros: Our waiter and his assistant Jerald and Xander were phenomenal. The entertainers themselves were very good. Cons: Same (just ok) food everyday at Buffetts for 7 days - eating the same foods day ... Read More
The week in review: Pros: Our waiter and his assistant Jerald and Xander were phenomenal. The entertainers themselves were very good. Cons: Same (just ok) food everyday at Buffetts for 7 days - eating the same foods day after day. Lacks of choices for kids in the restaurant s. Charging for lobster, etc in dinning room, other cruises this was on the included list at least one night. Shows - lighting of stage and performs was terrible and shadowed. It was very hard to watch the details of the performance with the stage lighting shining into the audience and blending you throughout the entire act. The performers entertaining in front of the stage we’re not let it very difficult to see. I need to hire a lighting and sound consultant to come in as they definitely have the equipment in the stage in the theater if it was design and ran properly. The employees were very unapologetic and did not know their own MSC policies activities need additional training. Including the representatives at guest services is the expectation would be that they are highly trained and have knowledge about the ship the activities and Cruise. Guess services was severely understaffed. MSC also needs to hire a supply chain management and logistics consultant to review the design of their ship including where is the buffet bottlenecks at the corners where people cannot easily get through and create large congestion. They also need to look at the design of the bars and where the alcohol and other supplies for the bar are located. I noticed a bartender was making a drink and had to walk to the opposite end of the mark to add alcohol and then bring the drink back to the opposite end of the bar to serve it. They needed to add a third restaurant to the ship an order to have only two seatings for dinner instead of three. With three dinner services to dinner service was very rushed with limited interaction from the waitstaff and no wait staff entertainment during dinner. They need additional staff in the kids area and have a kids very open more of a time and you have a kids club opening at 8 PM the same exact time parents were trying to get to an 8 PM show. All of the kids ages three through 11 needed to attend the same activities and if the older kids wanted to stay back and do older kid activities they were not allowed to as they only had to attend the same activities they need to staff to allow younger older kids to stay back in the Kids Club area if they do not want to participate in that specific activity. All of the pools were the kids could go in are salt water pools, and we’re 6 feet deep. For any kids that could swim they did not like the taste of the salt water my recommendation would be to at least have one of the kids pools as a freshwater and the other one as a saltwater pool and not have all pools 6 feet deep. Speciality restaurants were way overpriced to be able to try them. The arcade area only has one car racing arcade in one motorcycle racing arcade game as well as an air hockey table I would not consider this an arcade. The F1 simulator in the 5D theater or not opened many of the times that we wanted to be able to use it I’m not sure if this is due to not the correct staffing. The softserve ice cream was only available during the lunch. And one of the buffet restaurant for only lunch. This is a big miss his many customers expect to be able to receive or get an ice cream cone throughout the afternoon or evening add a midnight snack. This is not a large expense and I’m not sure why they have chosen to set it up this way - I asked if I could even purchase a soft serve ice cream cones outside of the lunch hours and they said no. Very weird. Water slides and jungle pool area not open at many times when we wanted to use them. Not sure why - unstaffed. Staff, guess services, excursion desk, etc. unapologetic- not resolution or compensation offered. They made me feel like it was my fault or that’s just the way MSC does business- they care more about the company and not about the customer. This seems to be from the Top Down. Terrible culture for business and customer service. Technology issues with rust band systems, WiFi service was down for a portion of the cruise. NO way to track your kids on the ship, even though this is on their website and we were told to make sure we get the wristband at the port check and to be able to track our children and board when we got on board and spoke to the desk with the wristbands they said that service is no longer working. This was part of the reason we book this cruise so we could be able to track him communicate with the kids. There’s no way to communicate with other passengers unless you purchase their very expensive WiFi plans. This makes it very difficult to plan any activities or make changes to any of your family plans. I would recommend that anybody planning to Kruse with MSC for Me to make an advantages into Savannah just list against any other cruise line company. I think the choice will be clear on where you want to invest you’re dollars to have a great experience. For us we will cruise with any other cruise company other than MSC. I have cruised on about 15 cruises and about five other Cruise companies to have to relate this experience to. I know everybody has their own opinions and the purpose of this post is to educate and provide information so people can’t make informed decisions. I did speak to a few passengers with Kruse MSC in the past and will continue to push it in the future. I wish them well. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Last year we did the same week but on the Divina, Yacht Club. Enjoyed so much, we came home and booked a suite on Seaside. Arriving to the Port of Miami is nothing new to us but we passed the Yacht Club tent as it was now previous to ... Read More
Last year we did the same week but on the Divina, Yacht Club. Enjoyed so much, we came home and booked a suite on Seaside. Arriving to the Port of Miami is nothing new to us but we passed the Yacht Club tent as it was now previous to general luggage drop off. We parked and took our luggage to the tent. So much confusion, the "butlers", and that is a generous term, seemed harried. Off we went with another couple to enter the terminal and into the Black status security line. No special Yacht Club screening, which is fine but not what was previously experienced nor expected. Once through, we were shown into a large room with many other YC guests waiting around. Two desk personnel to check-in the YC guests. A group of about 16 were called together and shown onto the ship. From there we went into the YC cocktail area and told to be seated. This was well over an hour from when we first arrived to the terminal. It was getting late, so a waiter showed us to our suite so we could have time to have lunch before the DR closed. Our suite on deck 16 was very spacious compared to Divina. Gone is the W/I closet and that space is used to benefit the bathroom with large rainhead shower and long vanity counter. Huge mirror over cabin vanity with a matching TV, largest seen on a ship. A true king sized bed with a partition between bed and couch with oval table. Two closets so guests don't get in each other's way a plus, too. The balcony is much larger but wasted as there are two small chairs, without high backs, and one ottoman. No table. Nespresso machine a nice touch if that's your thing for Espresso. Mini bar adequately stocked to your desire. Unknown to us, 16015, has an access glass door to the hallway. It really didn't bother us as closure was a very soft bang and would only interupt the lightest sleeper. The pool area is very nice. The pool staff is probably best ever had on a ship. Two hot tubs, never really hot, are away from the pool so that's nice when kids are playing in the pool. Now there are Cabanas for rent. Seriously? We were comped one day by YC manager and although nice, not anything over the top. Don't waste your money. The YC Dining Room is over the lounge area. No more walking length of ship, but it is noisy. Service can be a hit or miss. Luckily David and Yulia interact and keeps things running best as possible. Some meals were awful and others fabulous. Lacks consistency. The food is now disappointing. Gone are the delicasies we heard of when ship was new or what we experienced on Divina. Seemed everyday some pork was offered. One lunch lamb chops were in a chaffer but by the time we desired lunch, they were gone. Line help rarely understood English and ordering became frustrating. A simple request for plain cooked pasta he just couldn't understand. The entertainment and shows we enjoyed again. But the theater is smaller than Divina and not as inviting. Our Butler, or her assistant, kept missing the mark on simple things. One evening, no wash clothes or bath mat replenished. Body lotion not replaced. Never did get a good foam pillow that was repeatedly requested. Divina had the best foam pillow that I wanted to take home with me! The spa on deck 8 we enjoyed. Nice large spa, dark and light steam rooms, a snow room and a Himilayan Salt Room. Butcher's Cut specialty we dined while in PR. Very good filet cooked to perfection but the asparagus was pencil thin, almost charred and tasteless. Service lacked as attention was given to officers who came in to dine. Plus our waiter said we were his last table and his friends were off ship, pointing to Old San Juan. What a way to begin a meal! Met a couple we cruised with on Celebrity Reflections 5 years ago. They had a 2BR, 2bath suite on deck 11. They told us it was dirty. They cleaned the bathroom and popcorn kernals were between couch cushions never to be cleaned after repeated requests. We found most general ship lounges and areas to be kept tidy and clean. Except for Atrium Bar. Sticky stainless counter left residue on martini class and my Grey Goose had to be remade as it was sweet. Seaside Lounge was excellent. Good bar staff and clean. Last year we couldn't wait to book and experience MSC YC again. This year we left the ship and not that excited. This was the general opinion of most guests we spoke to. MSC wants a US market. Get back to what you offered last year. Disembarking was fabulous. A butler escourted us to last security screeming and we were in our car within a half hour of leaving suite. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise ship for the decent pricing and because it was fairly new. We will never sail MSC again. We think of ourselves as pretty reasonable people but we honestly couldn’t wait to get off the boat and get home. ... Read More
We chose this cruise ship for the decent pricing and because it was fairly new. We will never sail MSC again. We think of ourselves as pretty reasonable people but we honestly couldn’t wait to get off the boat and get home. Complaints were many: -All inclusive drink package isn’t really all inclusive unless you get the premium package. Less than premium will limit the kind of alcohol you can order and charge you a fee for every drink. You also had to hunt for your alcohol if you drank any high end liquor. Not all bars served it and then would tell you they ran out. -The ship literally turned one yesterday and it looks like it’s falling apart. Loose door handles, bar stools crazy wobbly, bar parts falling off in several social gathering areas. -The wait staff is generally unfriendly with some exceptions. We had several very kind bartenders but our dining experience two out of the three nights we went was horrendous! Slow (two hours) service and order was wrong multiple times. The quality of dining room food was poor. Workers have the attitude that they were being put out if asked for something. Every cruise we’ve been on we’ve felt engaged and had lots of fun with the staff....not the case on this boat. -The buffet food was terrible quality and I ended up eating pizza almost every meal and I am not that fussy. -The clean up of the buffet and outside areas was dismal. Garbage, plates, cigarette butts, drinks....all would sit for a long time and workers would just walk right past them. -The clientele of the ship was generally RUDE....this may be a cultural issue but I was horrified how Europeans treated others and ESPECIALLY the wait staff. -The music piped in thru the loudspeaker,while at first relaxing, soon made me feel as if someone was trying to hypnotize me. It was awful and everywhere! -The ship rocks A LOT! This is our 5th cruise and I’ve never felt anything like it. We’ve been off the boat for 12 hours now and I still feel the effects. -The room steward DID do a good job of cleaning up several times each day. -if you’re into a fun crowd this is not the ship to be on. We are 50 and it was definitely and older crowd than we are. -Positive experience was it didn’t feel crowded . -There are almost no clocks on the boat except in your room so wear a watch if you are doing activities! -The positioning of the smoking area by the rear pool caused such a wretched smell between the spilled drinks, dirty ashtrays and the bathrooms I nearly vomited from it (and I’m an ex-smoker)! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
This was only our third cruise , so we are in no way experts. We booked 10 months ago and we were so worried that we spent a whole lot of money for a bad cruise according to the reviews we read. However, it was not horrible at all. The ... Read More
This was only our third cruise , so we are in no way experts. We booked 10 months ago and we were so worried that we spent a whole lot of money for a bad cruise according to the reviews we read. However, it was not horrible at all. The pros. It's an a spectacular ship as far as the beauty. The food in the buffet , the Seashore restaurant and the Butchers Cut restaurant was very good. The selection and attention to detail was amazing. Beside the water fountain were lemon slices for you to put into your water. Thought went into that. The staff for the most part, were friendly. We found that if you talked to them, asked a bit about where they were from and treated them like a person instead of a servant, they remembered you and were very attentive to you. There was no bad smell, no wait for the elevator as some complained. We had a whirlpool suite. I would advise, do not book the whirlpool suite on the 9th floor. That one gets ripped off a couple feet due to the layout. That's where we were , and when we were at port looking up at the cabins, we realized we have a tiny balcony compared to 10 and up. Our biggest, but not a deal breaker, complaints with this are these two. Cleanliness. When we checked in, our room was not so clean. Hadn't been vacuumed. Stuff on the carpet. Tiny bits of wrappers on the balcony. And my husband and I like to end the day in the bar. Always the tables were full of empty glasses, over flowing ashtrays,pineapple bits. The poolside bars were understaffed. The other thing that dampered our time a bit was the mattress. I have a bad back and I woke up almost on tears most nights. My husband does not have back problems , yet suddenly , he was up rooting around for Advil in the middle of night because his back hurt so bad. They tried to fix it with a mattress cover. Doesn't help. Overall, it was very fun, an amazing experience besides the little hiccups that bothered us. I think we got our money's worth . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise primarily to try out MSC’s Yacht Club experience (this was our first MSC cruise), and we were pleased with it across the board. Essentially, it’s comparable to NCL’s “ship within a ship” ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily to try out MSC’s Yacht Club experience (this was our first MSC cruise), and we were pleased with it across the board. Essentially, it’s comparable to NCL’s “ship within a ship” Haven experience but, at least when we booked, significantly more affordable. Embarkation - We felt the worth of the Yacht Club from the moment we arrived: the escalators at the Miami terminal had broken during disembarkation of the prior cruise, which had caused a backup in boarding passengers for our sailing and resulted in some pretty horrendous lines (not MSC’s fault, but waiting in line for hours just to board would certainly have started the cruise off on a frustrating note). But as Yacht Club guests, we had a curbside tent we could walk right up to, with butler service to greet us and escort us to a separate lounge inside the terminal where we could wait for the few minutes it took to check us in, and then an escort onto the ship to the Club’s private onboard restaurant and lounge. If you are a Yacht Club guest, look for that tent curbside! It wasn’t easy to spot with the enormous crowds everywhere, and if we hadn’t known to look for it, we might have missed it and added several long and unnecessary hours to our embarkation process. Last note on embarkation: I had read prior reviews that complained about announcements being made in several languages. My general take on that is, it’s an Italian line and has a fair number of European cruisers, so that’s to be expected. The only place I really noticed it was during the mandatory safety drill, which took longer than usual since they had to provide the same safety instructions in four or five languages. If you really think this will bother you, my advice would be, get there early, grab a seat (I think most muster stations were indoors in places like the casino, with chairs), grab a drink before they close the bars for the drill, and just relax and enjoy practicing your very rusty Italian (or French, or Spanish, or...?). The ship: The ship itself is (and feels) quite new - we actually celebrated her first birthday during our sail, complete with birthday cake and confetti. Onboard activities include a zip line that runs most of the length of the ship, several water slides, and an arcade area that includes interactive 3D movies and a race car simulator (where, depending on your skill level, you can get the feel of racing a Formula 1 car at 200 mph or, if you’re me, crashing it into a few walls, but either way, it’s a blast!). If cruising with people who enjoy these types of activities, go early and get a “Fun Pass.” Each experience (other than water slides, which are free) is $10 per person, and you’ll get credits the more you buy (ex., a $100 Fun Pass purchase got us $160 worth of rides). Lines were pleasantly not long, even on at-sea days. The evening shows were better than average, with more variety than just the usual singing and dancing (they included aerialists, acrobats, illusionists); just note that you’ll need reservations to attend. Can’t give a full review on dining, since we ate mostly in the Yacht Club (see below), but the general “Marketplace” buffet also had a good selection when we tried it. Our one specialty restaurant was Teppanyaki (an add-on cost, but the food was really delicious!). Onboard Yacht Club perks included: private restaurants (both indoor formal and outside buffet), private lounge areas (indoor and out), separate pool, designated elevators providing priority service (very helpful during port days), escorted walk-off/walk-on service in port, concierge service to handle reservations, shore excursions, etc., and complimentary beverages throughout the ship (very very nice not to be limited to free drinks just in designated club areas or at certain times; one caveat: if you’re picky about your wines, the selections outside the Yacht Club were sometimes more limited, and drinks that would cost more than $12 - think higher-end champagne, scotch, etc. - were not included). The service was consistently good. Our group’s consensus was that the Yacht Club nails it and is worth the extra cost. Cabin (18030) - No complaints at all here. It was slightly smaller than an RC grand or owner’s suite, for instance, but well-appointed, well maintained, and quite comfortable for our family group of three adults. Again, the perk was being in the Yacht Club, with all of its amenities no more than a short hallway or one flight of stairs away. Our butler Bridget and cabin steward Ana were friendly, attentive and consistently took good care of us. We were on the starboard side, and *might* have preferred port based on how we docked, but again, the Yacht Club comes through here, with multiple levels of windows and outdoor areas on both sides of the ship, forward and up high. Ports: San Juan - this was a late arrival (around 7 pm), so we didn’t have much time to explore but signed up through the ship for a harbor tour on the Amazing Grace, a sailing ship with a pirate theme and some homemade rum punch that’s definitely worth a try. St. Thomas - We had a full day here, and booked our own excursion aboard the Fury sailing ketch out to Buck Island to snorkel with sea turtles. We seemed to arrive a little after some of the cruise ship tours, which was a plus once they left and we had the cove almost to ourselves. One note here: unlike some other lines that always stay on ship’s time, MSC DOES change clocks when traveling through different time zones, so bear in mind when booking third-party excursions that the time on your ship’s itinerary is actually local time. In St. Thomas, be prepared to see some lingering effects of last year’s hurricanes in the form of some boarded up windows and storefronts, but by and large the island looks like it’s recoverong well. St. Maarten - We went with a ship-sponsored excursion here because of a fairly early all-aboard, which took us to Rockland Estate, which offers a gondola ride with incredible views, tubing, and several zip lines, including the steepest zip line in the world. The activities can be mixed and matched a bit, depending on your party’s thrill-level preferences, it was a bit pricy through the ship, but it was a blast and definitely offered some spectacular views. Nassau - We’ve pulled in here quite a bit, so kept it simple and did a third party jet boat ride, which offered the expected thrills, 360 turns, and the chance to get soaking wet. Again, you’ll see some storm damage if you know the island (the market area by the security checkpoint has changed, so prepare for some lines to get through). Disembarkation was also smooth (thanks again to the Yacht Club). Definitely a cruise we would do again! Admittedly, there may be less of a luxury feel for cruisers not in the Yacht Club, but the ship has a lot to offer in a beautiful setting. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
A great cruise for a family who wants to meet people from all over the world. Price was great. Got an indoor cabin for 2 adults, 2 kids, fantastica for $1500, cannot beat the price. And it came with a drink on us package. Yes, they ... Read More
A great cruise for a family who wants to meet people from all over the world. Price was great. Got an indoor cabin for 2 adults, 2 kids, fantastica for $1500, cannot beat the price. And it came with a drink on us package. Yes, they do charge a service fee for drinks but that does not add up so much. Embarkation was a bliss, fast, easy. Cruise cabin was small for 4 but with some organizational tips, very cozy. We do not spend much time there anyhow. Service was great and prompt. Our cabin attendant was very busy but took the time to greet us, tend to our needs. The food was great. Not blend as I had read in reviews. The food was diverse, desserts small but you can try more than one then. The restaurant food (we were assigned to Ipanema at 7:15pm) was great, not huge portions but well enough as fine dining should be. We were full every time anyway. We paid extra one night for the hibachi restaurant (our bill was in the $100 for 4, 2 adults, 2 kids). They do work hard in the restaurants, 3 servings so understandably, they want you out before the next service starts. To us, still plenty of time and there is always the specialty restaurants if you want to spend 2 hours dining. We purchased the spa pass for the cruise, at $270 for 2 adults. We used it almost everyday. Was a nice treat. Really worth it. The shows are short but that is a great thing and the quality is amazing. Feels like going to a Broadway show every night. The cruise director was American which goes along the goal of MSC to appeal to the American crowd. The entertainment team was awesome. When we got back on the boat in St Marteen, they had a special welcome back party right on the dock. Music, dancing and drinks. There were 3 other boats and their passengers look jealously at us, boarding the MSC. They sure made us feel special. We cruised on the one-year anniversary of the launch so there was a bday party with a huge cake, replica of the boat, free cocktails and dancing. My daughter (9) sort of made friends with the Master (Captain). She wrote a review note in the box at the reception and we as a thank you, we received a dedicated picture of him and her from a meet and greet and signed boat replica delivered to our cabin, which she will treasure for ever. Lots of cruises from Europe but I am French originally so I am used to other cultures. All together an awesome time. Disembarking was one of the easiest I have experienced too, you can tell they know how to do it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
MSC Seaside can be polarizing depending on the "experience" levels you booked. In one area you feel you are on top of the ship's world (quite literally), and yet in another area of the ship you feel you are being herded like ... Read More
MSC Seaside can be polarizing depending on the "experience" levels you booked. In one area you feel you are on top of the ship's world (quite literally), and yet in another area of the ship you feel you are being herded like cattle. I am referring to MSC's top product, Yacht Club, and comparing it to the rest of the ship. Before I take the deep dive, here is some background information about us. This MSC Seaside cruise is our fourth cruise in a little over two years. This is also our fourth cruise lines, the others were Norwegian, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. We like to try different cruise lines to experience and explore, and we may have found our favorite: MSC. MSC Cruises's booking system has two parts: cabin selection and "experience" (service inclusion) selection. Cabins consists the typical selection of inside, outside, balcony, suites, etc. The "experience" you select will have a bigger impact on your cruise than the cabin. Experience starts at Bella (bare bones - three meals a day plus all public areas), Fantastica (better cabin locations), Aurea (private sundeck, anytime dining, included drinks package), and Yacht Club (drinks, private lounge, sundeck & pool, butler & concierge, located on top of the ship). Our experience and this review is based on the Yacht Club (YC) cabin and service level. Your experience with cabin and service may vary. Embarkation We dropped off our luggage at the terminal then went to return our rental car. Upon our return, we went to the white tents set up for YC passengers and bypassed the meandering line of non-YC passengers. At the tent they asked for the boarding pass then a shore-based butler escorted us to security. There were about 20 people in front of us before the security checkpoint. The butler excused himself for a couple of minutes, then came back and told us to follow him. He whisked us all the way right to the security checkpoint, bypassing other passengers who had already been in line for who knows how long, all the while holding the YC sign high in the air so everyone can see. Was it embarrassing? Yes. I couldn't look at the passengers we bypassed. Did I feel I was special/VIP? Yes. The cruise had gotten off with a great start. After security, we were escorted to the YC check-in lounge and offered drinks. Drinks! Even before boarding the ship! The butler asked for our passports and boarding pass and said we would be called when the agent was ready for us. We only waited for about 10 minutes before we were called. The agent took our pictures and handed our cruise cards and wrist bands, and we were ready to board. Again, a shore butler escorted us all the way to the ship's scan-in point, then another on-board butler escorted us from that point on to YC's Top Sail Lounge. Embarkation process from the white tents to Top Sail lounge probably took 30 minutes and every step of the way we felt we were VIPs. Cabin After a short introduction with YC's director Alessandro, we went to our cabin (this was about 2:30pm) to drop off our carry-ons. Our butler for the cruise, Audrey, came by and introduced himself and asked if we had any checked luggage. It was at this time I realized I dropped off the luggage at the non-YC area. YC luggage are tagged with YC-specific tags and loaded on board first. Audrey assured us not to worry and he would track down our bags for us. Back to the cabin, we had the YC Deluxe Suite. It's not big at around 350 sq. ft. including balcony. Compared to the corner suite we had on Regal Princess, this cabin is about half the size. However, we never felt the need for more space. No, the bathroom does not have a tub. Regal's did. We only used that tub once then it became wasted space. Same with the "living room" on Regal: barely used. We feel Seaside YC Deluxe Suite strikes the perfect balance between size and utilization: you will use almost every part of the cabin you see. There are plenty of drawers for storage. There are two closets where we could hang longer dresses and suits. There were about 10 hangers provided and they were enough for us. Pretty sure the butler could provide more if asked. The bathroom has a walk-in shower, with a handheld shower head and a ceiling-mount rain shower. Bathroom floor is tiled with marble or marble-looking, non-slip material. The vanity counter is topped with marble as well. Seaside is an one year-old ship and there wasn't any plumbing issues (as expected). However, the shower's water temperature gets difficult to control during peak hours. It would get hot or cold if the neighbors decide to take a shower (or flush the loo) at the same time. It was annoying, but not a deal breaker. Balcony is a decent size and has two chairs and a small table/ottoman. It doesn't have room for a lounge chair though. Perfect place to tan if you don't want to go by the YC pool. Talking about the pool, the cabin we had was 18010 and it's located right under the YC pool area. While most of the time we don't hear anything, sometimes we could hear furniture dragging around the deck. The ages-old advice of "don't book a cabin below pool deck" holds true even here. Dining & Food We had all of our meals inside the YC area except for the one complimentary specialty restaurant dinner. Food is subjective and Seaside's food is a point of contention among cruisers. Some hate it, some love it. We are in the latter group. The YC restaurant's food was very good. While some may say it was bland, we say it was seasoned perfectly (contrast that with the overly salty, saucy, or sweet foods we find in the US). We had the best lobster from the YC restaurant. Why? Because they salted and marinated the lobsters before cooking. The freshly made pasta dishes were always al dente, the way we like them. The seafood was always fresh. If there's anything missing from the menus, it was duck. Didn't see duck on the menu during our cruise, but those pastas and lobsters made up for the missing duck. We had a few meals at the YC grill by the pool. For a small buffet, it was very good. We had made-to-order seafood paella and seafood pasta and they were excellent. We also tried the roasted pork shank, and it was surprisingly tasty. When we were not eating in the YC area, we were usually at one of the Venchi bars. There are two: one on deck 6 right by the shops and one by deck 7 all the way aft by the South Beach pool. Deck 6 Venchi bar serves alcoholic drinks, espresso coffees, milkshakes and gelatos. Dekc 7 servers milkshakes, gelato, and crepes. Given our limited time on board (only 7 days), we had not found one thing we didn't like from the Venchi bars. Note: Venchi bars were included in our YC experience on our cruise. I was told by our concierge that in the future Venchi will not be included with YC experience, however no cut-off date was provided. We also had a complimentary dinner at Ocean Cay. The food was excellent. Wife ordered a pasta with clams, and stated she finally found a match to the one she had on Regal Princess. She thought the one on MSC may even be better. If we were to pick bones with food on MSC, it would be their desserts. While the desserts are good, nothing really memorable. Regal Princess had those special chocolate desserts on formal nights. Seeing that Seaside had Venchi on board, it was a missed opportunity not to offer Venchi-branded or -designed desserts on formal nights. Ports and Excursions We visited San Juan (Puerto Rico), Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas USVI), Phillipsburg (St. Marten), and Nassau (Bahamas). We had never been to any of these ports except for Nassau, and we were excited. However, out of the 4 ports only Charlotte Amalie was schedule for a full day. The rest of the ports were all half-day visits. San Juan was the worst of all: We arrived at 5pm and the shops started closing around 9pm. While the restaurants were open, but the scheduling left a bad after taste. Due to the ship's horrible port schedule, we decided to book excursions with MSC instead of going out on our own. San Juan's excursion included coffee tastings. Overall it was good, but consisted of only two tastings. For St. Thomas, we booked a tour to St. John's island. For a full day port visit, this tour felt rushed. This tour could easily extend by another 2 to 3 hours by allowing more time at the Annaberg plantation ruins (we were allowed only 10 minutes, it could use 30 to 45 minutes) and 1 to 2 hours beach time (we drove by Trunk Bay, one of the best beaches in the world, without stopping). For a half-day tour, what made it worse was MSC did not publish what time the tour was starting on its website, which made planning difficult. After the tour we took a taxi to downtown Charlotte Amalie and spent about an hour there. Perhaps it was bad planning and lack of research on my part, but I felt a good part of the port visit was not utilized as well as it could be. St. Marten, we booked a tour by Jeep. Yeah, cliche I know. But I had always wanted to do this since forever. Now that I had, I can check it off my list. The tour itself was marketed as a highlight tour. However, if what we saw were the highlights of St. Marten I am not going back. We didn't even get to see Maho Beach (yeah it was petty much washed away after last year's hurricanes but still...). At least we were out and about for pretty much the entire half day we were there. The bus we were on arrived at the pier at 1:30pm with our all-aboard time at 1:30pm. I was joking that has anyone ever seen a full bus load of pier runners? We did not get off the ship at Nassau. Been there twice already and even the cruise without Nassau call stopped at Nassau due to a medical emergency. Since we were on an European ship, I guessed most passengers (Europeans) would still be off. I was correct. The Seaside was a ghost town for a good 4 to 5 hours (again, half day port call). Took that opportunity to shoot some videos and take pictures of the beautiful ship. The Ship Seaside celebrated its first birthday on 11/29/2018. They threw a party and made a cake in the shape of a cruise ship. That said, Seaside is beautiful. The decor is very bling bling with chrome and mirrors everywhere. I thought I wouldn't like it based on the pictures, but I loved it when I first got on board. Pictures can only capture so much. To experience it in person definitely changed my perception in a heartbeat. What I loved the most about Seaside is the outside area on deck 8. It's alongside both sides of the ship and offers areas to lounge and walk around while taking in the sights of open ocean and the sounds of waves. It makes me feel like I'm on a cruise ship instead of a floating shopping mall. The atrium has glasses on deck 7 and 8 and we were able to see the oceans from inside the atrium. Another feature that are not always on the newer ships. I applaud MSC for this design choice instead of squeezing in more retail spaces. The technology on Seaside is top notch with the MSC for Me app. You can connect to the Seaside's wifi (free, no internet) and see the daily planner on the app. You can then add the events to your personal agenda in the app to create your own calendar. The app also allows passengers to book excursions, make specialty restaurant reservations, and evening show reservations. It would be even better if I could order room service or make future cruise deposits on the app. As it stands, Seaside technology offering is heads and shoulders above the other cruise lines (disclaimer: NCL and RCL ships we were on were 20 years old, and Regal Princess at the time of our sailing did not have Ocean Medallion). We loved the Seaside. We feel it combines older ship's charm and design elements with brand-new ship's modern decor and technology. To us that's a winning combination. Evening Shows We went to every show except for the one night we were in San Juan. We felt MSC's shows were the best among the four cruises we had been on. Most of the shows combine some forms of signing, dancing, acrobatics, gymnastics, and magic tricks. There was an abbreviated opera Butterflies based on the Madame Butterfly opera. It was an one-time only show and the theater was packed. While we don't understand and lack the appreciation for opera, we appreciate MSC for at least staging the show. The comedian group, BeerProv, was hilarious. Towards the end of the cruise, their gigs have become repetitive. But given new materials (audience volunteers), there were always outrageous lines and jokes. Totally enjoyed their shows. Services This is where the polarization is on Seaside, or perhaps across MSC fleet. We were in YC. The attention we received were top notch. We would sit down in the lounge and not two minutes later, a server would stop by and ask if we need anything. The same service was present at the YC grill by the YC pool. A few times I would walk up to the YC pool bar and order drinks, a server would come by and say he/she would bring them to where I was sitting. We did not get that on Princess, even though we were in a suite as well. All throughout the YC area, everything was spotless. We did not see any empty glasses or dishes sitting unsightly on tables. The tables would be cleaned up almost immediately, and they were CLEAN. MSC really took the YC experience to another level. Disclaimer: We haven't been in RCL's new suites nor NCL's Haven, nor any luxury lines. The value proposition, which I will discuss further, is unparalleled. When we went to the Vench gelato bar by the South Beach pool, we have found the public areas somewhat sticky. The deck, one day, was sticky. The tables by South Beach pool and on deck 8 outside the buffet, were sticky most of the times. While the same was not true for interior spaces, the exterior spaces felt neglected. Even on deck 16 and deck 19 where the non-YC pool bars are, sometimes we just felt the overall cleanliness could be better. Also, the non-YC pool decks were always packed. There were usually no spaces between the lounge chairs. Aurea area was slightly better, but compared to YC area, Aurea area still felt like canned sardines. Going back to service. My guess is the crew-to-passenger ratio. Take the closest ship we had been on, Regal Princess, and compare it to Seaside. Regal has a passenger capacity of 3560 based on double occupancy with 1346 crew members. Seaside has a passenger capacity of 4140 based on double occupancy with 1508 crew members. On paper the crew-to-passenger ratio difference isn't big, but Seaside has the YC while Princess does not. In YC it felt like the crew-to-passenger ratio is 1-to-1, and outside it felt like 5-to-1. The excellent service in YC comes in the expense of average service for non-YC passengers. MSC YC Value Proposition At the time when I booked this cruise, the YC cabin was about 50% of the cost of a comparable cabin on Princess, NCL Haven, and RCL's new suites. Remember YC includes alcoholic drinks, Princess and RCL do not. That'd be another $500 per person for a week's cruise. Combined with the YC service and MSC's current value position, if you could swing it, book YC. Seaside even has inside YC rooms at even lower fares. If you are the type of cruisers who do not spend much time in the room, grab one of the YC inside room. You will receive everything in YC without paying a premium for the balcony. Will we be back on MSC in YC? Definitely. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Embarksion was the fastest/ smoothest ever! We loved the navigation screen around the ship which explained everything. Bars, restaurants, shows and daily programs. You can make reservations here by swiping your card. The elevators ... Read More
Embarksion was the fastest/ smoothest ever! We loved the navigation screen around the ship which explained everything. Bars, restaurants, shows and daily programs. You can make reservations here by swiping your card. The elevators displays where things were , events, ports and all aboard time. Kids club was amazing! The staff was friendly/ fun. Kids could wait to go! Main dining room had different choices every evening including dessert. We were given 9:15 time which doesn't work with children but was told to come at 530 every night and was seated then. The pools/ water slides were so much fun! Our kids favorite part. We would have liked to have live music by the pool. The cruise critic party was fabulous! We enjoy the drinks, chocolate covered strawberries and cake. Meeting the crew was fantastic. We loved the perks of being a black card member and will sail MSC again! Read Less
MSC Seaside Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 3.9
Dining 4.5 3.5
Entertainment 4.5 3.9
Public Rooms 4.5 3.9
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.5 3.4
Service 4.0 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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