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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Opted for this cruise based on itinerary and price. Had a balcony mid-ship. Most everything was as expected. Only downside was a service issue in dining room. We ordered cocktails and it took 30 minutes for them to deliver. Learned to get ... Read More
Opted for this cruise based on itinerary and price. Had a balcony mid-ship. Most everything was as expected. Only downside was a service issue in dining room. We ordered cocktails and it took 30 minutes for them to deliver. Learned to get cocktails BEFORE entering dining room. One menu item said a pasta with sea scallops. I expected the scallops to be regular sized scallops(about as round as a quarter). Turned out they were small bay scallops, barely the size of a BB. Other than that, food was very good. Also didn't care much for how some lounges worked, where a wait staff would take your order, and then go behind bar to make your drink. Again, sometimes this got to be quite a wait. Took one MSC excursion. They do a good job getting you from ship to excursion and back again. No problems. One port I was disappointed in was Nassau. There were 5 ships in port that day with over 18,000 tourists....way to crowded trying to move around. Lots of activities on board especially on sea days. Not so much on port days. Great pool areas, water slides, zip lines, and a water park for kids that from what I saw, everyone was having a great time there. They also have a teen area that looked like it would be fun. The entertainment was average. A musical cast that did a variety of shows. Mostly dancing, etc. Other cruises I've been on have had more variety, i.e. magicians, comedians, etc.... We did the express disembarkation. Carried all our bags off. Left our cabin at 0730 and was off ship and thru customs by 0900. For U.S. citizens, customs was just a facial recognition screen where they look at you and send you on your way...no forms to fill out....very fast. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Ship was okay Cabin with balcony was great Dining in the restaurant was horrible. However buffets were better with plenty of variety Charged for any/all activity . Expensive. Attacked by so many staff members pushing drink ... Read More
Ship was okay Cabin with balcony was great Dining in the restaurant was horrible. However buffets were better with plenty of variety Charged for any/all activity . Expensive. Attacked by so many staff members pushing drink packages. Embarking and disembark were very long for the elderly to walk. However the luggage at disembarking was very well organized Did not feel enough time for excursions or at each port. Pool experience was bad. Guests saved all the lounge chairs with pool towels and left to use the gym or spa or dining room and not return for hours. Management was well aware and decided to do something about it on day 5 of a 7 day trip. Found pool mgr to be very unfriendly and annoyed at guests Will not be returning on this line . Overall experience was not up to par. Most of the staff was very hard to understand due to language barrier although They tried very hard to communicate Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Before leaving I read many of the negative reviews of this ship but I am here to say, do not believe them. We had the Aurea class of service. The embarkation was quick and we were able to get on board by 11:30 am. The ship is absolutely ... Read More
Before leaving I read many of the negative reviews of this ship but I am here to say, do not believe them. We had the Aurea class of service. The embarkation was quick and we were able to get on board by 11:30 am. The ship is absolutely beautiful. We have cruised on many Norwegian, Celebrity and Princess cruises and this one was just as nice. The shows were great, the staff was very friendly and helpful, and the food was very good. There was a lot going on during the day by the pools and that was a lot of fun. The only problems we encountered was actually before we left. The website really needs a lot of work. We were not able to see any of the bookings we had made for the specialty restaurants or the times we had booked. It was very difficult to navigate. Also the different drink packages was confusing. It would be better to have just one package.Lots to do for every age group.We were pleasantly surprised and will cruise with MSC again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
First time on MSC; cruised Feb 2-9 from Miami. Took advantage of the status match from Royal Caribbean Diamond to MSC Black Card. Booked Aurea balcony; at the time of our booking, this package included the Premium drink package, which is ... Read More
First time on MSC; cruised Feb 2-9 from Miami. Took advantage of the status match from Royal Caribbean Diamond to MSC Black Card. Booked Aurea balcony; at the time of our booking, this package included the Premium drink package, which is basically any drink up to $12. If you book now, the drink package includes the lower "Easy Package" but we were grandfathered in to the higher one, which included frozen drinks, a lot of the martinis (Grey Goose, Cointreau, as examples of brands included). We were VERY happy with the package, but the ability to actually use the package and get service was an obstacle course of exhausting difficulty every single time at every single bar, every single bartender. As embarkation and cabin were basically the same to us as RCCL, i'll skip the detail there... A+ for cabin comfort and cleanliness and B+ for embarkation efficiency... sort of confusing pathways, and both getting on and off, one escalator was down, but still pretty quick. There wasn't a ton of "night life" on board... live entertainment was OK but not much for dance music. A lot of old standards and easy listening. Casino was OK, but hubby wanted to play craps and there are no craps tables... played blackjack instead. Quality of food was excellent; the casual buffets were much better executed on MSC. While Windjammer was always jam-packed and very hard to find a seat, with too many people for the size, the Seaside had two buffet venues with plenty of seating. Used the 8th deck Marketplace Buffet for most breakfasts and lunches. We thought the food was better quality; much of it was exactly the same, but the hot items seemed better, from the burgers and pizza to the chicken, fish, pasta, breads, and desserts. Nice touch of having self-serve beer and wine available; just use cruise card or wristband to pay at convenient beverage stations. Many more non-alcoholic beverage choices also, not just water, coffee, tea, lemonade as on RCCL. Buttons on tables allow you to call a server over if you want to order specialty coffee or cocktails - super efficient! Also loved that as you enter the buffet, they have hand-washing stations on both sides... huge improvement over squirting your hands with smelly sanitizer... actually washing your hands right before entering is a much better idea! A+ for the buffet restaurants! Specialty restaurants were a mixed experience; food was generally from very good to really fantastic, so A+ again for food quality. Service was spotty and inconsistent -- C. The packages we booked were also disappointing and misleading... we were fine with what we ultimately ended up with, but annoyed that the packages were sold under misrepresentation. We booked the "Trio" on line a few weeks before the cruise, taking advantage of the "save 20% by booking ahead" offer. Nothing mentioned about this offer having restrictions on the menu, it was only touted as "save by pre-purchasing" and also "save by booking all three" vs one at a time. Paid $89 per person for three nights; one in Asian Fusion, one in Ocean Cay Seafood, one in Butcher's Cut steakhouse. Considering that the price of the cruise already includes DINNER, and then we paid another roughly $30 per person, i did not expect to be shown a menu with a little box on the left side for my choices... turns out that if you buy this package, you don't get to order from the regular menu, you only have certain selections available. As Asian Fusion, we were very happy with what we had - no complaints other than feeling like a second-class citizen despite paying for an upgraded dinner. No complaints at the steakhouse; the filet i wanted was one of the options. The seafood restaurant was ridiculous though. All of the items that i thought we could order were not available on the "package". Sorry.... thought i bought the seafood restaurant package, but no... for entrees, we could choose from Mediterranean Sea Bass (not anything like Chilean in case you love that like we do), Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab (fried spiders in my opinion) or "Warm Oysters" which were sort of blech... and the fourth entree was a vegetarian mushroom pasta. Seriously. Two additional entrees not available, and even one dessert not available, priced at a lofty one additional dollar over the ones we could order. Gee. Could I get that dessert if I give you another single? Just seemed ridiculous. As for service, in the steakhouse, despite the server punching our order into his hand-held tablet and then reading it back to us correctly, we were served wrong appetizers. Exact same thing in seafood restaurant... server read it back to us exactly as we ordered, then brought the wrong entree to hubby, and seemed thoroughly bewildered when he asked for the sea bass he ordered. Weird. We also purchased the Asian-trio, which was another night in Asian Fusion restaurant, one teppanyaki (excellent all the way around) and one night sushi. Same restrictions... here's the menu, and here are the items you can choose from. Four sushi rolls to pick from, with another 5 or 6 that were not available to us. As i said, we ended up being OK with what we ordered, but I think the way they pitched and sold the dinner packages was very dishonest and misleading. My final criticism is for the abysmal bar service. OMG it could not have been worse under any circumstance. We are easy bar customers and we tip very well; made a point to get cash for tips ahead of time, as you can't add a tip to your check at the bar or in the restaurant. From sitting at an empty bar waiting 5-10 minutes for the fruit-cutting, glass-polishing, beer-can-stocking bartender to saunter past us 4X before making eye contact to being completely ignored for 15 minutes... i really felt i was in a hidden camera video testing customer tolerance. Early on, we started to suspect that our wristbands, which were given as part of the Aurea (drinks included) package might have marked us as either "non tippers since their drinks are included" or "drinks included, so serve them as slowly as possible to keep their consumption down". I have been a bartender and a server in several places in my past, and have managed restaurants, bars, resorts for many years. i have never witnessed such consistent apathy, lethargy, nearly passive-aggressive behavior from bartenders. They acted like they could not have cared less for our satisfaction. It felt like they were playing a game to see how many minutes could elapse before they had to interact with us... even after we ordered our drinks, they would wander all over behind the bar, making the whole process just a maddening show of inefficiency. Despite the crappiest service we have ever received, we tipped cash anyway, hoping they would maybe pay attention to us when our glasses were totally empty, or maybe when we came back the next night, but this really did not happen. After getting my drinks wrong several times and drinking them anyway, i finally just started ordering vodka on the rocks. This alone will probably make the difference when we book our next cruise... we enjoy having a drink or two before dinner every night and this was a very negative buzz-kill no matter which bar we tried. Grade F on bar service. We embarked on Feb 2, so the SuperBowl was the next day. We were excited about going to the sports bar for this, as they had a ton of TV's and a big screen... thought this would be great fun! Instead, the only way you could go to the sports bar to watch the game was to purchase a package at $130 PER PERSON, which included free drinks (which we have already paid for in our package) and "American favorites" snacks (aka bar food). So basically, since we can get those same American favorites in the buffet restaurant all day, every day, and since our drinks are already included in the package we paid for, the $130 per person is for a seat in the bar. no thank you. they advertised this numerous times over the PA system, "... only a few seats left... purchase your SuperBowl package now before it's too late!!!!!" Huge marketing gaffe by MSC... we walked by the bar a few times during the game... looked like they sold MAYBE 10 packages, so the bar was virtually empty... 15-20 empty barstools, empty tables, etc. Felt very sorry for the 8-10 people that gave them another $130 for that. We had the Aurea package, and the spa experience was excellent! Massages were fantastic, as were pedicure and facial... excellent service by everyone in this area. Used the thermal area several times; great experience! The jacuzzi/spa in this area was explosive and powerful; great for sore muscles. The sauna and steam rooms were very good, although every day one or more of these rooms were out of service for one reason or another. Interesting line up of hot and cold aromatherapy showers, a fun snow room for a few seconds if you can stand it, and the Himalayan salt room, which we didn't spend any time in as the lounges weren't comfortable. Everything kept very clean and inviting, and mostly in working order -- A- As compared to RCCL, i thought the ship was very clean and well-maintained, maybe slightly better. Wish there had been more options for a quiet pool experience... there was one adult pool (yay) but it was very tiny. The jungle pool was for kids, and the large outdoor pool in the middle was extremely crowded and loud with announcements/games. Much has been said about the other passengers on this line... as far as friendliness, I felt most seemed as friendly as any other cruise we've taken, they just spoke different languages, so there wasn't a lot of conversation with others for us... we heard a lot of Spanish, French, German but rarely did we hear other passengers speaking English. Didn't bother us at all, just missed some of the fellow-passenger chit chat in the restaurants, lounges, poolside, etc. Overall, a great week. Ship was beautiful, never really seemed crowded, and food was really good. Only real negatives were the bar service and feeling a little tricked by the dining packages, but still glad we tried MSC. Will probably go back to RCCL or Celebrity for next one though. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted to try another (better) italian company instead of Costa. The "italian" on MSC was only the pizza. The rest was just poor. the food was everyday the same, almost no fish. The ceremony with waiters bringing in ... Read More
We wanted to try another (better) italian company instead of Costa. The "italian" on MSC was only the pizza. The rest was just poor. the food was everyday the same, almost no fish. The ceremony with waiters bringing in the desserts during the last elegant evening dinner was just ridiculous. They brought someting in on their trays, were dancing in front of us a little bit and ...than they brought everything away! Was it plastic? Probably. Together with Aurea we had booked the Easy Drink Package. The white wines from this paclage were terrible. Only 2 alcohol drinks were allowed: Moscow mule and Long Island Iced Tea. But you could order every alcohol free drink and the alcohol on the side. That was included in the package. So we were ordering "Nohito" and white rum on the side. And the stuff was looking at us like we would try to steal something. The staff spent more time on their smartphones like trying to do the job. The final point was the loud alcohol crew party running just beneath our balcony. And that at 2am!!! Never again :( Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
This is my first and my last cruise. Cruising is lame. If you’re a close talking person that likes to get in peoples personal space, then cruising is for you. I’ll never do it again. We’re in the Caribbean so it would be nice to be ... Read More
This is my first and my last cruise. Cruising is lame. If you’re a close talking person that likes to get in peoples personal space, then cruising is for you. I’ll never do it again. We’re in the Caribbean so it would be nice to be outside but there are no chairs left after 10am for the rest of the day. So many people you can hardly walk about. We purchased the WiFi package, it didn’t work. We purchased to unlimited fun passes for bowling and arcades only to find out they were in fact limited to the dollar amount we paid. The food wasn’t great and the drink packages are ridiculous. Our only fun was hanging out with our friends and exiting the ship for excursions. I would rather spend the same money and rent a house on a beach with our own pool with 4 of our good friends. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
1st Cruise did a lot of comparisons on line. The Ship was very nice state rooms were nice as well. The food was mediocre. The complimentary restaurant (Impenema) was very generic. Food was never hot. Taste was plain. The buffets were ... Read More
1st Cruise did a lot of comparisons on line. The Ship was very nice state rooms were nice as well. The food was mediocre. The complimentary restaurant (Impenema) was very generic. Food was never hot. Taste was plain. The buffets were plentiful, but he again the food was very mediocre. Same stuff over and over. It felt like they were trying to appease the American pallet with hamburgers and hot dogs at every meal. One highlight was the pizza was fantastic. Went on several excursions. They were very nice with the exception on Nassau. What a dump!! MSC Staff was very friendly an accommodating. Saw several shows and they were not fantastic except the final show. The Michael Jackson tribute. It was excellent. Definitely get the drink package before the cruise. We did and it pays off. My biggest complaint is the smoking. You can not go anywhere on the deck and get away from smokers. The staff does not enforce the smoking in allowed areas only and I found it to be a big reason we will not return to this ship(maybe even cruise line) Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Oh boy....where do I start? Food: The food in the buffet was repetitive and unimaginative. The same deserts were circulated each day with ZERO options for diabetics. The staff did their job but were distant and aloof, There was no ... Read More
Oh boy....where do I start? Food: The food in the buffet was repetitive and unimaginative. The same deserts were circulated each day with ZERO options for diabetics. The staff did their job but were distant and aloof, There was no lobster night in the dining room (unless you want to pat for it). There was only one soft serve ice cream machine and it was only available on the two sea days at lunch in the spill over buffet on deck 16 (seriously?). Entertainment: The theater decor was plain and drab, they served no drinks in the theater or had any glass holders on the arm rests. The shows were kind of ok but each one had the same cast members doing the same routine in different settings. You got a variation of this each night: Two flexible Asian girls, two Russian guys who did strength type things, a guy in a giant hoop who also spun a huge box around and three guys who did gymnastic flips around the stage. I must admit, the Michael Jackson tribute show on the last night was top notch. The comedy show was pathetic. It was an improv show that required audience participation. Activities: Everything came at a cost so I did absolutely nothing. The zip line (which is free on RC) was $10. Pass. The bowling alley and race car simulator cost money. Pass. There was no miniature golf course and the gym was too small for the amount of people on the ship. Pass. There was literally nothing to do but watch the same old variations of the "sexist man" contest or their take on the "love and marriage" show. Summary: This cruise line failed to meet my expectations. I eagerly awaiting the survey email that you normally get (as you are walking out the door sometimes) promised to us by the cruise director but, still to this day, nothing. They couldn't even get that right. As a matter of fact, we were handed slips of paper in the dining room the last night for an "internal" survey. Seems kind of shady to me. One and done. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The three most important things about a cruise to my wife and I are dining, entertainment and cleanliness. The MSC Seaside gets an F in all three. There were good things about this ship but these three items being so poor make this ship ... Read More
The three most important things about a cruise to my wife and I are dining, entertainment and cleanliness. The MSC Seaside gets an F in all three. There were good things about this ship but these three items being so poor make this ship our worst cruise ever(actually our only bad cruise out of 9 total). If you choose to ignore all the bad reviews on this ship and take the Seaside it will probably be your first and last MSC cruise as it is ours. Dining: We chose second seating 7:15-7:30 and that is what our paperwork from MSC said but when we arrived our room card said 5:15. We spoke with the front desk and they told us to speak with the Maitre d at Ipanema (our assigned dining room). My wife went there and I stayed in the room. About 30 minutes later she came back to the room in tears. She told me that he told her there was no chance of switching dining times and she said “what if we don’t eat at 5:15” and he replied “well than you just don’t eat”. I went down to Ipanema with her at 5:15 and the Maitre d denied saying this, really just calling my wife a liar. We ate every dinner in the buffet on this cruise because of this experience. We did eat a lunch in the dining room on a sea day but the dining room is not open for lunch any other days. The buffet was the smallest, strangest buffet ever. They have two buffets on this ship but there is usually just half of one open. They serve the same stuff every day. At breakfast they have just one kind of sausage and just one king of potato really no variety at all. As you walk around the buffet it just repeats itself. They do have good pizza but the same four kinds every lunch and dinner. It was so terrible and we were so very disappointed. We refused to eat at the specialty dining because of the huge price tag. After all you subsidise the cost of specialty dining with the thousands you pay for a cruise. We have eaten at every specialty dining on every ship we have ever been on and never had to pay hundreds on an a la cart menu. We ate a few breakfasts in the dining room and the menu never changed. The tables are very close together and it was super loud. We were served coffee but no milk or there was no sugar on our table. My omelet was supposed to come with hash brown potatoes but did not on our first visit, on another day I ordered an omelet again and this time it did come with their version of a hash brown. Some processed junk. Definitely fast food like something you would get from McDonald’s. They never, not once got our meal right.We sat in the café and ordered large cappuccinos. They brought them to us in drinking glasses. We tried to use them but they were burning our hands. We asked the server why and she said they don’t have large mugs and the large size is just for takeout. She brought us paper cups to put over our drinking glasses and told us this usually cost extra. No kidding. I have more to say on dining but I will include it under cleanliness and you are not going to believe this but it is 100% true. Entertainment: In the theater the shows are 30 minutes max. They make no sense and are very karaoke. Recorded music and a few average singers. Every show has circus acts thrown in here and there and you would see the same juggler doing the same stuff one day and then the next as well. Some guy with a giant hoop would reappear one show after another. On more than one occasion they even lip synced songs. We went to a bar for Country night and a Haitian Caribbean band played such country favorites as Let it be (yap the Beatles) and don’t worry be happy. No I’m not kidding they actually did not play one country song…really. They had a DJ that played in the atrium regularly, actually they paid two that I counted. This is not your DJ that plays at your friend’s wedding, playing familiar songs from yesterday and today…nope. This was a record scratching dial turning DJ playing melodic sounds that never seemed to end. This would be ideal for teens at a rave on Ecstasy but I’m 58 and really didn’t get it. I will finish with this on entertainment, there isn’t a saxophone, trumpet, trombone on this ship. MSC is unbelievably out of touch with reality. Cleanliness: In our room as in every room, they do not use a top sheet. I have never slept in a bed without a top sheet, not on a cruise ship or a hotel, bed and breakfast not in any country. What’s with that? We insisted on one and they put one on our bed but it was never changed. OK this is crazy but absolutely true. We sat at our table for breakfast and our server walked over to a table nearby that somebody had recently left. He grabbed the bread basket off that table and placed it on our table. Really, he did this. It contained a few breadsticks and one bun. We were disgusted and shocked that they would do this right in front of us, as though it is common practice. We also watched as they made up a dirty table and left cutlery that appeared clean on the table for the next seating. A server that was walking around with a tray of Danishes and such approached a nearby table to offer them some. The gentleman sitting at that table did not have a side plate. The girl with the Danishes reached over to the next table and grabbed a plate and placed it on his table. He looked at her in shock and instructed her to get a clean plate as this plate was taken from a dirty table. Well that is what we saw with our own eyes. The menus were never wiped down and on the last visit to the dining room for breakfast our menu had bits of food stuck to it, yuck. So I’m not going to tell you what I liked because who cares about the things MSC did right when they can’t get these basic things right. Enjoy your next cruise, whoever you choose to cruise with. Our next is in Alaska with Princess and we know it will be way, way, way better than our MSC disaster. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Good food excellent waiters and waitresses in the restaurants. The worst bar staff by far on any ship plus your first experience when you board is being attacked by the crew selling upgrade liquor packages. Getting off the ship at ... Read More
Good food excellent waiters and waitresses in the restaurants. The worst bar staff by far on any ship plus your first experience when you board is being attacked by the crew selling upgrade liquor packages. Getting off the ship at different ports was a nightmare. Long lines and wasted time. Bathrooms on the balconies are tiny and towels are like sandpaper. I do want to say we saw the best shows ever. Anyway don’t think we will be going back in the future. An Italian cruise line with no specialty Italian restaurant !! Best pizza ever. The staff including the officers were not overly friendly like on other cruise lines. In most cases if you don’t say hello to them they won’t say hello to you. Especially the officers. The cruise director Gene was off the charts. He was one of the best I’ve ever seen and kept things exciting. 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 3.5
Enrichment 3.5 3.4
Service 4.0 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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