Beautiful ship and great amenities but customer service needs some work

MSC Seaside Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 33

Overall rating:

3.7 out of 5
Verified Review
MSC Seaside

7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 15, 2018

Ship: MSC Seaside

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 10151

Traveled as: Large Group

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

I sailed with MSC in the Med and received stellar services in all areas. I preached to others about how good the service and food were and tried to talk American friends into giving MSC a try. Based upon the spotty food and service on this cruise, I may need to reconsider my choices.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Easiest embarkation ever. The staff was well-placed to direct the crowds, and everyone was on their game.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
I only went to the Market Place buffet for breakfast and lunch and had all of my dinners in the Seashore Restaurant. The buffet had a great selection of food and was very clean. The food was varied and delicious, but the service was spotty. I wanted ketchup for my French fries. It was at the end of the hamburger/hot dog line. I tried to go to the end to get just ketchup, and an officer (yes, officer) YELLED at me to get to the end of the line. I asked if I needed to stand in the line and let my fries get cold when I just wanted ketchup. He then chastised me to "calm down and relax." The main dining room had impeccable service, but the food was hit or miss, which was not the waitstaff's fault. Both of my risottos and my pasta were undercooked. One fish dish was too pungent to eat. The menu did not clearly identify the types of ice cream inside the Baked Alaska, and I found out too late that one was mango (to which I am allergic.) The upcharge for the surf and turf was steep for just "OK" food, but at least it was cooked correctly. Truly, the pizza and bread selections are the stars of the ship.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
The pools and hot tubs were crowded on at sea days, but when I returned from an excursion, I was able to get right into both. The Name That Tune, Trivia, Scavenger Hunt, and Scattergories were great fun. The casino had a great selection of slot machines/video poker and table games. The house did not always win. ;)

Entertainment

4 out of 5
The theatre shows in the evening had amazing talent, but the descriptions of the shows were random. They would have been better billed as variety shows. For the life of me, I can't figure out the connection between a Viennese Waltz, the Aztecs, and a roller skating husband and wife team. They were all VERY talented, but I had no idea what I was signing up for each night. The BeerProv group is crazy talented and should not be missed.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Again, the service staff was hit or miss. Our room steward did nothing extraordinary and even forgot to ask for the wall adjoining the decks to be opened. After the second day, we had to call the main desk to have someone take care of it. The room steward did, however, appropriately ask both parties if opening the partition was desired. There were no towel animals, and one day we didn't get a bath towel replaced, so I had to dry off with a pool towel. The waiters in the Seashore Restaurant were stellar. Marsui is attentive to detail and very accommodating. Tristen ran some of the trivia/scavenger hunt type games and has an amazing personality and wit. He made everyone laugh and have a good time. Anna in the photo shop was knowledgeable and accommodating. She knows good customer service. So does Andry in bar services. Some of the staff in the Marketplace Buffet seemed put out when we asked for drinks that weren't available at the fountains, and I still can't get over the officer who yelled at me. I am extremely disappointed with the lack of separation of charges for our cabin. When we boarded, my cabinmate and I used the kiosk in the lobby to register separate credit cards for our purchases. For the first part of the week, the MSC for Me app showed the separate charges. Somewhere near the end of the cruise, all charges showed only under my cabinmate's name on the app. I checked the bill under our door on the last day, but there was no indication that all of it was going to be charged to one card and not the two that we had registered. When we got home, we realized that only his card was charged for everything. I had purposely used a credit card which would have given me a significant amount of award miles with an airline, but I was cheated out of those miles and must now reimburse my cabinmate for my share of purchases. What if some of those purchases had been gifts? I would not want him knowing what I was getting for him, but the shops showed up on his account. When I called the MSC customer service phone number, I was told that my cabinmate must have changed the charges to his card at some point during the week. He most certainly did not, and we are grateful he had sufficient room on his card for both charges. I did not receive any acknowledgement or concern about how I was cheated out of my airline miles. MSC needs to do better than sua sponte charging a card that was not authorized to be charged.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
The ship is spectacular. For such an enormous ship, everything seems to be centrally located, and it is very easy to navigate. I was impressed the level of cleanliness in the common areas and the attention to keeping them clean.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
The bed was very comfortable, but there was a serious lack of storage. The closet was too close to the bed for my husband to be able to get easily in and out. The cabin was always kept clean, and we otherwise had plenty of room to move around.

Ship tip

Check your bill before getting off the ship.

Ports of call

Miami, Florida Did not visit port

We left out of Miami, but we did not do any activities here.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

3 out of 5
The Chukka River Tubing Safari was an exhilarating and enjoyable time. The guide was knowledgeable and friendly, and we had a blast. From what I saw of the port, however, I'm not sure I need to go back.

George Town, Grand Cayman

5 out of 5
We rented a private boat for the day, and the 8 of us had a blast feeding the stingrays, snorkeling, and seeing the starfish. It was much better than being on a crowded tour.

Cozumel, Mexico

3 out of 5
We went to a private restaurant to visit a friend of a friend. It was an amazing, authentic day. The port area is teeming with the typical tourist shopping and activities. I'm glad I can say that I've been, but I'm not sure I need to return.

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

3 out of 5
We signed up for the Funky Party Bus to take us to a resort for the day. The bus was a blast, but we were taken to a different resort than listed in the description. There was no buffet or pool. Instead, we were given a whole fried fish for lunch. It was hard to eat on one's lap on a lounge chair, and was completely inedible to a few of our group. We specifically booked so that our diverse group would have choices at the buffet. The waiter was good with service to start, then he forgot to bring guacamole and more drinks. We just left early and went back to town.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
We took our own bags off the ship. It was easy and quick.
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