Beautiful ship, very different experience

MSC Seaside Cruise Review

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 17

Overall rating:

4.5 out of 5
MSC Seaside

7 Night Western Caribbean & Bahamas (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: August 10, 2019

Ship: MSC Seaside

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 9142

Traveled as: Large Group

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

A different cruise experience with international flavor. I read reviews before our trip to prepare myself for a negative experience, but it wasn’t negative, just different. It certainly gave me a greater appreciation of other cultures.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Embarkation was very smooth and quick. With an assigned onboard time of 1:00 pm, we were onboard by 1:15 pm and able to explore different areas of the ship.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Our MDR servers were Hansel and Rita - awesome in every way! They always greeted us with smiles, even when we saw them in port. We made individual requests (ice, tea, Tabasco, etc), and each night after they fulfilled those requests in advance. It was great getting to know them better and learn of their experiences on/off the ship. While the Marketplace Buffet on the 8th floor was convenient as it was only one floor down from our rooms, we preferred the Biscayne Bay buffet on the 16th floor for breakfast as it was less chaotic. We would have loved for it to have been open for dinner

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
We attended the White Party and the 70’s Party. The White Party was very energetic, but we didn’t really recognize any of the songs until around 11:30 pm. While it was held in the beautiful Atrium and visible to those standing at the glass on floors 6-8, it was difficult to truly dance/participate unless you were on the 5th floor just in front of the Seaside Bar. Apparently, the party moves to an outside deck later on for additional dancing, but it might be better to move it outside sooner than it did to encourage more participation. The 70’s party was also held in the Atrium, but our group enjoyed being able to sing along since we recognized more of the songs.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
The entertainment we experienced seemed to be geared towards the European culture for the most part. We attended the first karaoke night on deck, and half the songs chosen by passengers were recognizable as English, the other half were a mix of other languages. Not in a bad way at all, just something to share with new passengers so they’re aware. The adult improv comedy show had a few laughs here and there, but the Starwalker show on the last night was phenomenal and a great way to end the cruise! Highly recommend downloading the MSC for Me app before you depart so you can book any shows as soon as you embark. You will be able to see how many seats are remaining as well.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Everyone we encountered provided great customer service. Our MDR servers Rita and Hansel (table 746) were awesome. Our room steward (Tony) was always great as well. But the rock stars were the bartenders at the Sports Bar. After the second day, this became the favorite meeting spot for our group, and Rainon and the others looked out for our every need, always anticipating our orders and providing great alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. They were all very friendly and always greeted us with smiles, even when we recognized them when we disembarked for excursions.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
The ship is absolutely breathtaking, with so much to experience that we know we didn’t get to see it all. It was fairly easy to navigate with the maps provided at every elevator, but because the ship was moving so smoothly it was easy to get confused as to whether you were in the forward or aft of the ship without looking out at the water as a reference. We actually had a balcony right above the smoking area, but we didn’t even realize that until maybe the 3rd day when we happened to see someone smoking and using the innovative ash tray tower. We never smelled smoke even though there plenty of people utilizing the area

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
The cabin itself was fairly roomy, with the seating area between the bed and the balcony. The closet doors were a little tricky to maneuver, but we were able to store our 21” and 25” luggage in the compartments. The shelves and drawers were a nice touch and accommodated our packing cubes comfortably. The only concern we had about the cleanliness of our room was when we were going through a final sweep of the room to make sure we didn’t leave anything. We looked under the bed and found a bag of clothes from a previous guest. A little disconcerting, but the steward had kept our room immaculate otherwise.

Ship tip

Go with an open mind and be prepared for an immersion with multiple cultures outside of the US. Also, get the wristband ($5 with Bella) to use in place of the room key as it is much easier to keep up with and extremely convenient when entering the room, paying for purchases and more. The room key is still required for embarkation from ports, but we left it in the key slot that powers the room while we were on board.

Ports of call

Miami, Florida

5 out of 5
We stayed at the Embassy Suites Miami Airport the day before our departure. Check-in was delayed because it’s a popular hotel, but moved smoothly once rooms became available. The hot breakfast included an omelet station and many items not included at other hotels. The shuttle to the Port of Miami was $10/person.

Cozumel, Mexico

5 out of 5
No excursion, but we walked around after disembarking at Punta Lagosta. Lunch at Tacos y Tequila (where you can watch them make the tortillas) and shopping throughout the marketplace.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

5 out of 5
We booked the Konoko Falls tour through MSC. Great tour that also included lunch. We didn’t spend as much time at the beach, but it was a pleasant experience overall.

Nassau, Bahamas

4 out of 5
No excursion, but we walked around some before heading back to the ship.

George Town, Grand Cayman

5 out of 5
We booked an excursion through one of the vendors in the marketplace. Our guide took us to Hell & Dolphin Cay and provided insight about the economy and culture

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Once we found our luggage and found our designated path to the appropriate exit, the fastest ever! We were expecting to go through Customs and answer questions as we have done in the past, but we were literally outside at the port terminal within 5 minutes wondering if we had missed something.

Traveler Photos

Tacos y Tequila Tacos y Tequila Wristband for convenience White Party entertainment in the Atrium
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