Despite the vast size of this ship, there are really only four types of cabins -- Interior, Exterior, Balcony and Suite, with variations within these category types. There is also an exclusive suite complex, MSC Yacht Club, though this does not contain all the suites onboard. There are also a number of accessible cabins across category types and family cabins.
Seaview's cabins are modern and stylish with muted colors of brown and deep purple, almost three-quarters of which are have outside views or a balcony. We liked the modern touches -- USB ports by the bed, fully interactive TV, keycard-controlled power -- and we loved the fact that the sofa beds easily convert into bunk beds.
All standard cabins feature the following: two single beds that can be pushed together to form a queen (they are high enough to get several standard-size suitcases under); bedside tables with a couple of shelves, fixed lights and a nice touch this -- USB ports, ideal for charging your phone overnight. Beds are comfy, and the pillows are firm (there's even a pillow menu if the ones you find on your bed are not quite to your taste), a sofa that turns into a bunk bed, fixed desk/vanity area, low chair that doubles as somewhere to put your room service tray; safe, hair dryer and mini-fridge stocked with for-fee water, soft drinks, juice, beer and snacks; and a phone. There is a flat-screen interactive Samsung TV that you can pull out and angle, and which features MSC for Me, an interactive service that allows you to book spa treatments, restaurants and shows via the TV; on-demand movies (7 euros) and CNN International, Bloomberg Europe, CNBC, BBC World News, Euronews and a number of foreign channels in other languages.
Closets have sliding doors, and depending what type of cabin you're in, are very close to the bed (there's about a foot of space between them). Each closet has two bars on which to hang your clothes -- a long, high one and a smaller one about halfway up -- with hangers, but we found one side difficult to access. There are two drawers and four shelves.
Shower rooms feature a shower with variable sprays, a glass door, clothesline, foot rest for shaving, a sink with a trash can below, toilet and a few shelves for toiletries. Products are the omnipresent MSC Med fragrance (which you'll find pumped into the main atrium), which come from fixed dispensers in the shower and by the sink.
A couple of things to know: Cabin lights must be turned on with your keycard (you can't trick it with your credit card), which is great for the environment, not so good if you want to keep your cabin cool or charge any devices while you are out). Buttons near the door indicate whether you'd like your room made up or wish not to be disturbed.
Accessible cabins include five suites in the MSC Yacht Club, and 47 cabins across interior, ocean view and balcony categories. There are no solo occupancy cabins onboard.
Also worth noting -- MSC's cabins are attached to bookable "experiences," such as Bella (basic ship inclusions), Fantastica (free room service delivery, flexible bookings), Wellness (fitness and healthy eating amenities), Aurea (spa inclusions) and MSC Yacht Club (private ship within a ship area). Certain cabins can only be booked if you choose one of the higher-cost experiences, each of which offers a list of amenities and, usually, multiple cabin types.
Interior: Seaside has 411 inside cabins across the Bella, Fantastica and Wellness categories, as well as in the MSC Yacht Club. These range from 150 to 301 square feet (the size difference is due to the sub-categories within the Inside category and where on the ship the cabins are). As well as the aforementioned amenities, there is a chair instead of a sofa. (It's worth noting that even if you would never normally consider an inside cabin, by booking one in the MSC Yacht Club you do get access to an awful lot of amenities, including a private lounge, dining room, pool, sun deck and hot tubs. See MSC Yacht Club, below.)
Oceanview: The ship's 80 outside cabins are each 183 square feet; you'll find these on the lower decks. We loved the large portholes, which are recessed slightly back into the wall and so have a window seat with a cushion -- ideal for kids. This category, though the same square footage as the balcony cabin, has a different shape -- long and thin, rather than square. The result is there is more space beside the bed and the closet. The bathroom is exactly the same.
Balcony: There are 1,312 non-suite balcony cabins ranging in size between 172 and 269 square feet (not including balconies). They each include everything above, plus a 54-square-foot balcony with two upright chairs and a small drinks table. Some cabins in this category also have showers with bathtubs. They feel a little cramped in parts; there is hardly any space between the closet and one side of the bed.
Suites: There are six different types of suites on MSC Seaside, three of which are located in the suites-only MSC Yacht Club. All suites, regardless of location have bathtubs and balconies, unless otherwise noted. They also all include bathrobes for use on the ship and additional MSC Med-branded toiletry items including shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and shower gel.
Standard Suite: These range from 183 to 301 square feet with 97-square-foot balconies that have two loungers, two upright chairs and two drinks table. There are 88 of these across the Fantastica and Aurea categories. It's worth noting that the two suites in this category at the front of the ship on Deck 9 have slightly smaller cabins (182 square feet), but have larger, wraparound balconies (longer but also narrower) almost the same size as the room -- 172 square feet, with high walls on either side -- overlooking the crew pool and the front of the ship, which makes for some really wonderful views. The room also has a fun porthole window. Cruisers staying in these suites do not have access to the Yacht Club.
Grand and Wellness Grand Suites: These are available with Wellness and Aurea experiences only and there are just 14 of them. They range from 344 to 527 square feet with up to 226-square-foot balconies that hold several upright chairs and a couple of drinks tables. Each also offers an indoor dining table with five chairs, a sofa and small glass table and a walk-in closet. Note that suites 11001, 12001 and 14001 have two bedrooms (sleeping a total of four) and two bathrooms, and come in at the higher end of that square footage size.
Jacuzzi Suite: Utilizing the "hump" of the ship (where it juts out), MSC has installed 28 of these special cabins either side of the ship, with said Jacuzzi on the jutting out bit of the balcony rather than in the bathroom. They come in at 301 square feet apiece, and there are 28 of them for passengers who book the Aurea experience. As well as large balconies (75 square feet) with upright seating and a small drinks table, they also include a sitting area with a sofa that converts into a bunk bed, and a walk-in closet. Bathrooms feature tubs, rather than just showers.
MSC Yacht Club: The ship-within-a-ship MSC Yacht Club has come to its perfectly realized conclusion on Seaside-class ships. Featuring 86 suites (including Insides), the keycard access-only area at the front of the ship also features a lounge with a bar with plenty of seating and double-height glass windows affording wonderful views, a dining room and a top deck with a pool, two hot tubs and a buffet area.
You'll find three types of suites in the Yacht Club: Interior, Deluxe and Royal.
Interior: The 12 interior suites come in at 226 square feet, which is bigger than many balcony cabins. They have one chair but no table; the rest of the features are the same as a standard cabin. Note the bathrooms are the same as a standard cabin. Even though these rooms lack any natural light, they could be a good (and more affordable) option if you are happy spending time making the most of the Yacht Club's many amenities.
Deluxe Suites: There are 72 of these 269-square-foot cabins, which feature sofas with a chair and a small table. Balconies measure 86 square feet and have two upright chairs and a drinks table. Bathrooms have more counter space and shaving/makeup mirrors, as well as larger showers (shower-only).
Royal Suites: There are just two of these, which at 667 square feet are the largest cabins aboard and feel more like small apartments. They feature a large living room with two sofas and two plush chairs and a coffee table, large picture window looking out onto the balcony, a bar setup and a huge flat-screen TV attached to one wall. Sliding-glass doors lead out onto a large balcony (355 square feet, bigger than many cabins onboard) with a private hot tub, two loungers, a drinks table and two upright chairs. The balcony is also accessible via the bedroom, which features a king-sized bed that actually lifts to store luggage underneath; a huge mirror on the opposite wall; and another flat-screen TV. The bathroom has a tub and shower, and marble decor. There's also a walk-in closet area and a door leading back into the living room.
Family: MSC makes a big play for the family market and there are a number of cabin types specifically designed for families:
Aft Family Cabin: Coming in at 290 square feet, there are 14 of these, two each per deck, in a great spot right at the back of the ship, each with a wraparound balcony. The layout is as follows: a small corridor leads to the main room, which features a double bed and two closets, rather than the one in a standard balcony cabin. There is a large picture window above a long desk, which has plenty of drawers and table top space. The living area has a sofa that converts into a bunk bed. Double doors lead out to the 161-square-foot balcony, which has the requisite table and chairs, and wraps around the back of the ship giving you views to the pool below, the glass elevators to one side and, of course, the wake. Bathrooms are a different layout (more rectangular), and so a little bigger than what's found in a standard balcony.
Super Family/Super Family Plus: These are multi-connecting rooms designed specifically for large family groups. They are formed simply by combining two (Super) or three standard balcony cabins (Super Plus), with interconnecting doors and balconies. You'll find these on Decks 9 to 15 and on Deck 18.