MSC-not a good line to take if you are American!

MSC Seaside Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 28

Overall rating:

3.2 out of 5
Verified Review
MSC Seaside

7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: April 20, 2019

Ship: MSC Seaside

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 9166

Traveled as: Large Group

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

NONE of our party will EVER use this line again!!!!!

Embarkation

5 out of 5
The embarkation went smoothly and was very fast. This was the best part of the cruise and it went downhill quickly from there!

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

2 out of 5
From the moment we got onto the ship, we spent countless hours trying to work with the bars and customer service to get the bar package we were promised 6 months ago when we booked our cruise. It finally was mentioned by one of the bartenders that the line had revamped their bar packages within the last few months, and discontinued a lot of the plans they offered when we booked last year. They would not grandfather us in to our original plan, and also would not allow us to pay the difference for more expensive drinks. The only thing they offered was a plan upgrade, which 2 of the 4 rooms from our group of 12 decided to take. It cost them over $ 400.00 per room, PLUS the line charges an additional 15% charge which they, I believe, call a "service fee". Since I could not afford this, I was stuck with a plan that I could not use as it did not have any of my favorite drinks on it. The food was the worst of any cruise I have been on. There are only 2 free buffets and 2 sit down dining rooms to choose from. The choices consisted of a lot of filler foods, such as pasta with sauce, potato salads, and such, high in carbs, low in quality. The desserts on the buffets were also low cost and very small pieces (around 2" x 2" pieces) all cut up on small little doll size plates. There was no quality here either. Lots of jello, etc. The only decent meal was breakfast each day. The sit down restaurants that were included were a little bit better, but the quality of the food was hit or miss, no consistency, and often the description was misleading. Case in point, they advertised on night Sea Scallops with Lobster Sauce. What they gave me was a sloppy bowl of overcooked egg noodles floating in lobster sauce, and 4 small (bay scallops or small pieces), the size of a small pill, that I had to search to find among the noodles. Not even a bite! The menus in the sit down restaurants cater to non-Americans, with the descriptions misleading and not indicative of what we received at all. In the sit down restaurant that was included, part of my group tried to order sirloin steak several nights. Each time, ONE person received a suitable steak, the rest were all fat and grizzle and not eatable. We all ended up on most nights filling up on the rolls because we knew they would probably be the best part of the meal. Traveling in a group of 12 people, with children included, we had to train our waiters on what chocolate milk was for kids. They could only imagine it as hot milk and melted chocolate (as served in other countries). The first night we ate at the steak house, which was additional money. Although our steaks were good, only a couple were cooked right. The children's menu was so misleading, mentioned chicken fingers, when it finally came, the kids were starving, and it was thin slices and broken pieces of chicken, sauteed in probably oil. 2 of the children ate it, 2 would not. We questioned our waiter, who did not understand English at all, and he said this WAS what we ordered. When I explained what chicken fingers are to kids in the US, he was baffled. He offered to bring them calamari, which of course, the kids would not ever eat. Again, the line and the staff are trained and catering to Non-US guests, and have no idea what works in the US! If this ship wants to continue to attract US people they need to learn what US people like and need! If the ship wants to cater only to Non-Americans, they need to move their ports elsewhere and not expect to attract Americans who have traveled with other cruiselines in the US without these multitude of issues.

Onboard Activities

2 out of 5
Popular events and places were far too crowded, and the non-US passengers were very rude and jumped in front of us in lines, and spoke so loudly around us, we could not even hear what we needed to, such as with the evacuation drill the day we left the port. I have never been on a cruise where the passengers were so rude to the staff that they talked over them, laughing and loud, and turned their backs even on the staff while the rest of us came to hear the instructions. It was the rudest thing I have ever seen! We had non-US adults jump in lines in front of the children, take water floats away from them, after the children and their mother waited in line for an hour, all the time with no crew there to stop them. The ratio of crew to guests was a joke! You had to practically stand on your head to get the attention of a crew member when you needed them.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
The live shows in the theater each night were good. They used the same performers for all shows, just changed the theme for each night. We saw the same "acts" at each show, for instance, magic show type performers would perform their same act each night, but just in a different costume. Same juggler, acrobats, pole performers, dancers, etc, were in each show with the same moves. Although they are good at what they do, it would have been nice to see new faces in some of the shows, such as comedians, bands, etc, like we have seen on other cruises. The kids clubs were not fun for our children. Only 1 child chose to go there, and then they asked to leave when they got there because things were so out of control and the "supervisors" were difficult for the kids to understand,.S

Children's Programs

1 out of 5
See above. Although they advertise great kids programs, they are not catered to the US guests.

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
The staff, "worker bees", were all very attentive and tried to help as much as possible. ALSO, I discovered when I returned home that MSC had actually taken a $ 250.00 security deposit off my charge account that I left on file with them. They did not simply get the charge pre-authorized and let it sit dormant in case there were problems with my paying my bill, like other cruiselines do!! They actually TOOK the $ 250.00 as a charge, and now, I guess, I will have to report it as an unauthorized charge and fight to get it back!! This cruiseline seems quite dishonest in the way they do business, between the changes they made to our drink packages, withholding the information that the My MSC app would not work and had been shut down, to now taking $ 250.00 out of my charge account after I paid my bill in advance and in full!! I don't trust them at this point!

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Again, the workers worked diligently, but because the ship is understaffed, it was very hard for them to keep up. The ratio of crew to passengers was very low, actually, the lowest we have ever seen.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Although it was small, or attendant was there often and tried to keep up with the cleaning and replacing of towels.

Ship tip

Don't do it!! One other thing that was misleading, MSC advertised a My MSC app that we could all download so that we could keep track of our group. This never worked at all! MSC knew it was taken down and would not work but never informed us. We had many times that as a group, we had to go our separate ways on the ship as we did not have wifi and therefore only had the room phones to keep in touch. Since you do not spend much time in your room, we had many times when we missed connecting up for meals and shows and other events together. This was very upsetting, not only for those with children but for myself as I ended up doing things alone a lot of the time because I could not find my group. We again rented 4 rooms, several excursions from MSC, and

Ports of call

Miami, Florida

3 out of 5
I prefer to travel out of Boston or NY city in the future. We did get an excursion on the day we left the cruise, as we had a lot of time before our flights. We contracted this on our own, not through MSC.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

3 out of 5
We did an excursion and enjoyed it, although we booked it on our own and not through MSC

George Town, Grand Cayman

3 out of 5
We enjoyed the beach, but it was too crowed with another cruise ship in port at the time. We had a long and hot wait to get back on the boat, it was not set up well, and we stood in lines for almost an hour, with most of it in the hot sun directly.

Cozumel, Mexico

4 out of 5
We booked this ourselves and spent time at a dolphin park.

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

4 out of 5
Again, we went to a park, it was fun. We had activities such as ziplining and water slides, as well as swimming. The water in the pools, lazy river etc was extremely dirty though. We also had to pay $ 25.00 each for a "buffet" which was limited and not very good.

Disembarkation

3 out of 5
A little confusing, but we got off all together. They set us up for different times to disembark, but we stayed together and it was ok, since there is not enough staff to watch everyone anyway.
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