MSC Seaside Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
Sail Date: March 03, 2018
Ship: MSC Seaside
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: 11195
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 1 month ago
Review SummaryWhile a large ship, we never felt crowded. Anyone that has an issue with walking may find the size a problem, as would be with of the mega-ships. We prefer the more intimate Divina rather than the open, more modern Seaside.
We have read reviews that criticize additional costs for some activities and services, or lack of services, but when you compare the cruise cost to other lines, MSC is a bargain. If you want more individual service, mints and towel animals on your pillow every night, or other luxuries, then you can pay for them by booking on another line.
Food and Dining
There are two main dining rooms and you will be assigned to one. We were assigned to the Ipanema which was arranged with square tables that can be combined to accommodate a range of dining parties. While some travelers like to dine with random other travelers, we prefer a table for two and this arrangement allows that. If we wish to converse with other travelers, tables are close enough to do so. Since MSC caters to a wide range of international travelers, it is not always easy to converse if we were seated together.
Food variety was good, portion sizes were adequate (you do not feel stuffed, but if you want more you can order multiple portions). Some had issue with the length of time it takes to eat but we are not in a hurry, wanting to relax and enjoy our meal rather than rush. Dinner usually took 90 minutes and if you are in a hurry you can tell your waiter; ours would make sure that you made your show or other schedule. Our wait staff was friendly and efficient.
Dress was smart casual except for the two “Elegant” (formal) nights. Dress code was not strictly enforced though we did see one couple turned back on a formal night—not sure of the specific reason. Some have complained that it is not enforced but we feel that it does not affect us.
We did not go to any of the specialty restaurants.
There are two buffets: a smaller one on Deck 16 near the pool, and the Marketplace Buffet on Deck 8. We only used the latter as it is larger, dining there for breakfast and lunch. There is plenty of variety, comparable to other ships that we have been on. We never experienced long lines or overcrowding, even on sea days. We never had a problem getting a table, th
HINT: We did not realize that you can make show reservations for all days. We had the 5:30 seating for dinner and it could be tight to make the 7:00 show (though our waiter said that he could get us out in time). The 8:15 show seamed to be the most popular and filled up quickly.
There were additional shows with themes like Italian, opera, etc. that were scheduled for 10:30 PM that is a little late for us, though we would have attended them if they were scheduled earlier.
Entertainment in the various bars seemed to be geared to a younger audience.
Service and Staff
Common areas were clean and well-maintained.
Cabin / Stateroom
Beds are firmer than we would like but they are new, and this is a more subjective view as many may like a firmer bed. Pillows are comfortable, 4 per cabin for two people.
The bath area may be considered small by some, but is comparable to many ship cabins in this category. We had a close-to standard-size tub.
Balcony was of sufficient size for two.
Our cabin was mid-ship near the elevators closest to the atrium. Since the banks of elevators (2 banks, each with 4 elevators) are separated from the cabins by wall, there was not an issue with noise from guests using the elevators. Noise from the hallway or from other decks above or below.
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