MOST UNIQUE CRUISE WE HAVE EVER BEEN ON

MSC Seaside Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 8

Overall rating:

3.7 out of 5
MSC Seaside

7 Night Western Caribbean & Bahamas (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: November 23, 2019

Ship: MSC Seaside

Cabin type: Oceanview

Cabin number: 5124

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

We enjoyed our time on the Seaside mostly because there were eleven of us. BUT if it had just been two of us we would not have. The language barrier between us and the crew, the size of the various smoking areas on the ship, the attitude of the various workers and the horribly cooked meats/dining room menu choices will definitely make us think twice or more if we will ever sail on MSC again.

Embarkation

2 out of 5
After standing in a very slow, never-ending line, we finally get to the desk to have a check-in person not be able to answer any of our questions and to take photos of us after we had spent a ridiculous amount of time inserting pictures at home, as the ship had asked us to do. Don't know if it was a language barrier we were dealing with or just not being trained.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

2 out of 5
We would have been screwed if we had not paid for the beverage package. We are huge water drinkers and finding out that we would have had to pay for water would have ruined the trip. The dining rooms and buffets are beautiful, as is the entire ship. Our waiter, Yogi was good, yet we had a language barrier that prevented him answering most questions on menu choices. He worked very hard for us, especially since there were eleven of us. His assistant was fantastic. He was sharp enough to get anticipated glasses of wine before we even asked. The menu choices in the dining room were pretty horrible. We are not picky eaters but nightly we "rolled the dice" on what to select. Half the group gave up early on and just kept ordering the regular items from the right side of the menu. After the cruise director had announced numerous times that an American Thanksgiving menu would be served, we were perplexed when just the regular menu was given to us. After many of us asked about that to our wait staff they then found a different one page menu that had the Thanksgiving Day meal, which I have to say was a fair try at it but with no stuffing served, and usual Thanksgiving Day items it was not very good. The bread in the baskets tasted as though it was made many, many days prior- not fresh. The buffets were excellent. They were better than the dining room food. Perhaps that was MSC's motive was to get more people to dine in the buffets to relieve the amount of people in the dining rooms.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
The waterslides were a real plus. Our family used them non-stop! As far as activities...well, we didn't see many and we wanted to. Honestly, our cruise director did a good job announcing the nightly shows but that was the only thing we saw him do. Maybe we were just in the wrong place when it came to him doing activities. We have no complaint about being entertained during the days. With a group of eleven we found we could be entertained being together.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
The shows were the absolute best we have ever encountered on any ship. We went to all the shows and were never disappointed. The Michael Jackson show was just as amazing as all of the rest. We wished each show was longer because we enjoyed them so much and didn't want to leave.

Children's Programs

4 out of 5
Any children in our group greatly enjoyed the water slides and children's area. None of them used the kid's club.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Our room steward, Goosey (?) was excellent, yet the room steward just down the hall, Randy, serviced us more often because he was constantly available and working hard. Any request we had Randy was right there to do anything we asked. The bartenders we encountered were obviously sick and tired of all of the requests. The attitudes we felt from most of the bartenders were hurtful. The worst situation we encountered though was in the chocolate bar. Most of our group had ordered hot chocolate after dinner, BUT because I couldn't have chocolate at night I saved my request for after breakfast one morning. The shop was open so I requested a hot chocolate. I was told that would not be possible to get at that time. I asked what time could I get it and was told try around lunch time. Also, she told me that I could always get it at the Seaside Bar (which I found out was not true). So, we decided to wait in the Chocolate Bar until lunch time to see if I could get it. We had half our group with me so you can imagine the noise and confusion while we wait. She asked that we leave and come back. I told her how important the one cup of hot chocolate was to me since I had nightly watched my group consume it. Finally my husband stepped in to ask to speak to her boss and suddenly she changed her tune. She said she had to make a phone call and asked all of us to step in to the lounge adjacent to the shop. We did, and within minutes she came out and said she would be allowed to make one cup of hot chocolate. I was delighted and my husband then tipped her. She brought it to me within a very short period of time. My group has not stopped talking about this incident. Things like this make it extremely hard for us to recommend this cruise line to our friends.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
The ship is gorgeous!!! The crystal staircases are amazing and we will remember them forever.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
We found the room to be comfortable and well laid out. Extremely clean. Only problem we had was there is obviously a plumbing problem where the pipes make a fog horn noise roughly every twenty or so minutes. I asked everyone else in our group if they had heard this noise, even though one room was on the 14th floor, where our two rooms were on the fifth, and all had the same problem.

Ship tip

I would recommend that no one sails without the beverage package or they will regret it.

Ports of call

Miami, Florida

5 out of 5
We live up the coast from Miami so it was very convenient for us to sail from.

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

5 out of 5
We had been to Costa Maya numerous times before and have always enjoyed it.

George Town, Grand Cayman

2 out of 5
The port is fine BUT the method MSC did the tender service was the worst ever. We could not understand why one would have to waste the time to stand in line to obtain tickets for the group, to then have the group stand in another line to get on the tender. Ridiculous!!!! The tickets were never needed - total waste of time. And then the tender line was outrageously long and poorly managed with people cutting in front of all of the time. People who had tickets that indicated letters that should have been behind us in line and they said they didn't care, they just wanted to get off. In theory and on paper, we are sure your way should work but it didn't.

Montego Bay, Jamaica

4 out of 5
We had a wonderful time taking a tour bus around the city and to the beaches.

Disembarkation

1 out of 5
What should have been a very easy process, especially since we were rolling our own luggage off and at a very early hour, was just the worst we have ever experienced. As previously stated, we were in a group of eleven and getting off the ship wasn't bad until the last person in our group was held and dragged aside for the mere reason that the ship owed him four dollars. Seriously? He was held back and separated from the group, which greatly upset his children to the point of tears and anxiety. He was greatly embarrassed because the crew made it appear that he was sneaking off the ship with owing them money. What a horrible method. He told them to keep the four freaking dollars than to do it this way. The crew shrugged it off as though this happens every cruise. It gave all of us a bad taste of MSC. And as you can imagine we will be sharing these stories via social media and word of mouth.
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