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MSC Seaside Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,110 Reviews

Expected disappointment based on last trip--got what we expected

MSC Seaside Cruise Review by victoria20177

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2020
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Fantastica Outside Stateroom

Last trip on MSC Divina we said, "never again". This was based on noisy, pushy crowed public spaces and on the awful food. This year on MSC Seaside we had a very good price point offer and felt we couldn't resist giving another chance. Nothing has changed.

We found public spaces such as the elevators and all handrails to be dirty and smudged.

The dining room floor was a mess.

Impossible to get a lounge chair on the pool decks.

The crowds for elevators, in the buffet, outside the restaurant and for disembarkment were rude and pushy.

The comments regarding food as described by other guests-and we agree- "worse than fast food", "elementary school cafeteria", "slop", "swill". Some dishes were inedible and I hope that no one ever makes the wasteful mistake of ordering any soup or the steak--send it back if so--yuck. The only good meal was the beef tournedos, and somehow they got broccoli right. Everything else served lukewarm, chewy, unremarkable or just a plain insult, such as "jamaican stew" for entree and "bread pudding" for a gourmet dessert experience?! In the buffet, the waffles were limp and undercooked and the bacon was greasy and clumped. Underripe fresh pineapple and flavorless greasy stale taco chips.

I do not appreciate having to self-serve beverages in the buffet. This means either the coffee gets cold while finding breakfast or the food gets cold looking for some ice water. Other cruise lines serve drinks; why not?

Didn't get any warm feelings from any of the crew other than our servers and cabin attendant. This seems to be consistent with the experience of other cruisers.

We cannot comment on the entertainment because we skipped it. Michael Jackson look-alike? No thanks. And not interested in opera, magic tricks or jugglers. But other guests said that was the best part of the trip, so take it from them.....

It is our view that this Italian shipping line should stick to container cargo and skip the "luxury" cruises it advertises. Tacky decor, overly loud music in bars and atrium, ill-mannered loud and pushy peoples literally shouting and screaming in foreign languages--just too much.

Please note: Our servers, Savio and Karen in the dining room and our cabin attendant Ronald made the highest positive impression on us and made the trip bearable. They should go work for another cruise line.

victoria20177's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Fantastica Outside Stateroom
Cabin O2

Cabin was bare minimum. Pillows awful-requested extra. No room in bathroom to set cosmetics or grooming products next to sink. Shower was ok. Generic soap and shampoo provided in pump; bring your own products and bar of soap.

Bowl of unripe fruit provided on day I.

There was no table/coffee table if we had ordered room service. Eat off lap?

The couch was dirty. Not enough hangers in closet.

Towels changed daily and bed made up daily.

Difficult to access closet--up against couch.

OUR CABIN ATTENDANT RONALD WAS WONDERFUL! Sincere good nature and most accommodating. Beautiful smile and greeting every contact. Cannot say enough about how much he added to an otherwise lackluster trip.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Costa Maya

Pool with swim-up bar and adequate lounge chairs available by simply walking from the dock. A beachfront without access to the water.

Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Beautiful water--worth the $12.00 per person to private beach, then another $12 for umbrella and $7 for beach chair.

San Juan

No time for any excursion when arriving at 7 PM. Highlight was the Walgreens across the street from the dock. Loaded up on snack food to supplement the ship's sad dining experiences.

St. Thomas

Get a cab to a private beach and skip the several blocks of side-by-side jewelry "opportunities". There is nothing within walking distance worth the walking


Straw market shopping options consist of Made In China crap. Skip it and go get a beer back on board. Maybe there were places to visit by private cab; didn't wait around to find out--honestly it didn't feel all that safe there.


Embarkation went well, except person handing out needed questionnaires pointed us into line instead of distributing the page--had to return to get the page.

Ocho Rios

Docked next to cement factory. Other ships closer to the town. $10 cab to terrible "private" beach with unbearably loud reggae music, primitive restroom and tiny, rocky waterfront. Should have stayed on the ship.

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