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Derbie

Considering MSC sailing with kids first time

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Hello all,

 

We are looking at cruises for October and considering the MSC Seaside.  We would be sailing with our son and his family; which include, four kids-age 4, 10, 12 and 14. We have been on Carnival and RCCL with this group.  My husband and I have been on probably 20-25 cruises in the past on Carnival, RCCL and Norwegian (telling our age here and Big Red Boat).  We have never sailed on this line before.  Could you just advise the pros and cons of going on this cruise line?  Should we take a sailing ourselves, before taking a family with younger children?  The differences? More costly once on board, in additional services?  Is there are an issue with language barriers?  Just any general observations, and all suggestions and comments are much appreciated!

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We have only sailed MSC once in the Mediterranean, with our then 6 year old. He loved it. There were only a couple other kids who spoke English, but he still had a great time playing with the other kids. I assume Caribbean sailings would be more geared toward Americans. We have two Caribbean sailings booked this year with MSC because it can't be beat for value. I fully expect we will all have fun, kids included.

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Seaside is a beautiful, newer ship.  Our kids are older and haven't done kids club on MSC.  That being said, they have large clubs for kids age groups just like NCL.  MSC family owned and dsc is currently $12.50 pp pd going up I believe slightly VS NCL what now?  $15?

 

Drinks are much more reasonable than NCL, like 1/2.  Slides and Waterpark free, zipline $10.  There is a nice covered pool area called bamboo.

 

Pizza is best at sea.

 

We were on SS twice last year and it was great.  Language issues, no.

 

Sign up for mg.

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We were in YC and my 16 year old son only came in YC to eat and sleep.  He very much enjoyed meeting other kids from all over the world.  He still is in contact with kids from New York to Ireland, France, Italy and beyond.

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1 hour ago, dexddd said:

Seaside is a beautiful, newer ship.  Our kids are older and haven't done kids club on MSC.  That being said, they have large clubs for kids age groups just like NCL.  MSC family owned and dsc is currently $12.50 pp pd going up I believe slightly VS NCL what now?  $15?

 

Drinks are much more reasonable than NCL, like 1/2.  Slides and Waterpark free, zipline $10.  There is a nice covered pool area called bamboo.

 

Pizza is best at sea.

 

We were on SS twice last year and it was great.  Language issues, no.

 

Sign up for mg.

Thanks for the great information.  Color me dense on this Sunday, but what is mg?  

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Cruise critic meet and great.  Top of the page is sign up.

 

Usually first sea day at 10 or 10:30.

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23 hours ago, Derbie said:

Hello all,

 

We are looking at cruises for October and considering the MSC Seaside.  We would be sailing with our son and his family; which include, four kids-age 4, 10, 12 and 14. We have been on Carnival and RCCL with this group.  My husband and I have been on probably 20-25 cruises in the past on Carnival, RCCL and Norwegian (telling our age here and Big Red Boat).  We have never sailed on this line before.  Could you just advise the pros and cons of going on this cruise line?  Should we take a sailing ourselves, before taking a family with younger children?  The differences? More costly once on board, in additional services?  Is there are an issue with language barriers?  Just any general observations, and all suggestions and comments are much appreciated!

 

I'm in the process of booking a large group including children and I will not be using MSC. Don't get me wrong,  I do like MSC as an excellent value choice, but for a larger group with kids, I want a line that demonstrates much more consistent service.

 

The number one pro of MSC is price. I consider this line a budget cruise line and choose to sail with them when I'm looking just to get-away. I've also found their ships excellent (and also clean). I have another MSC cruise coming up in April. This will be my third, so I do like the line. However; I keep expectations in line with price paid. 

 

IMO, The cons of MSC are quality and consistency. They have to cut corners somewhere when offering prices 50% less than the competition. Food is subjective, but the two most consistent complaints about MSC are food quality and service. I tend to agree. 

 

With the ages of kids you are taking, we are looking at the Oasis or Voyager class on RCL and  Breakaway class on NCL because they offer so much more in terms of all around activities for the family.  If anything, I do think it may be a good idea to take a cruise on MSC before you take a large group. 

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On 1/19/2020 at 10:35 AM, Derbie said:

Hello all,

 

We are looking at cruises for October and considering the MSC Seaside.  We would be sailing with our son and his family; which include, four kids-age 4, 10, 12 and 14. We have been on Carnival and RCCL with this group.  My husband and I have been on probably 20-25 cruises in the past on Carnival, RCCL and Norwegian (telling our age here and Big Red Boat).  We have never sailed on this line before.  Could you just advise the pros and cons of going on this cruise line?  Should we take a sailing ourselves, before taking a family with younger children?  The differences? More costly once on board, in additional services?  Is there are an issue with language barriers?  Just any general observations, and all suggestions and comments are much appreciated!

We went last summer on Seaside with kids 14, 8 and 7. It's a great ship for kids that age. The waterpark is great and our kids spent the majority of the time there. They have 4 water slides that are intense enough for the older kids and safe enough for the little ones. They have a large area for small kids within the waterpark area also so parents can watch all the kids in one area. There's also a treehouse type rope maze that is fun as well. They have both indoor and outdoor pools also and the sports court for free. Other kids activities for a charge on the ship are the zip line, bowling alley, 4D movies, F1 race car simulator, and arcade. The zip line was $11 and very cool. 

  As for the kids clubs, I'm not a huge fan of them, but it's not really my kids thing to do on vacation either. They're not really consistent with the schedule and you have to ask if your kids want to do a specific activity because they might have moved the time or call it something else. Our kids did the cooking pasta with the chef and the talent show in the theater. I would rate the kids club lower than RCCL but the activities on the ship higher than what our kids did on Adventure of the Seas. 

  Hope this helps and glad to answer any more questions you might have

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On 1/19/2020 at 10:35 AM, Derbie said:

Hello all,

 

We are looking at cruises for October and considering the MSC Seaside.  We would be sailing with our son and his family; which include, four kids-age 4, 10, 12 and 14. We have been on Carnival and RCCL with this group.  My husband and I have been on probably 20-25 cruises in the past on Carnival, RCCL and Norwegian (telling our age here and Big Red Boat).  We have never sailed on this line before.  Could you just advise the pros and cons of going on this cruise line?  Should we take a sailing ourselves, before taking a family with younger children?  The differences? More costly once on board, in additional services?  Is there are an issue with language barriers?  Just any general observations, and all suggestions and comments are much appreciated!

Your choice is right: MSC Seaside (currently a Headway Ship). Nothing else but the Seaside (Seaview).

Pros: Best ship for budget cruises with kids in the Caribbean.

Cons: Lowest food quality. Accept this. Focus on the ship, the sun, the sea, the islands, the entertainment. Class segregation.

No language barrier.

Some extra fees apply (zip line, spa).

 

Happy cruising!

 

P.S. 

Make sure you choose this itinerary, not the other ones!

7 Days Caribbean-Western

MSC Cruises • MSC Seaside

Miami, Ocho Rios, Cayman/George Town, Cozumel, Ocean Cay, Miami

2 departure dates: Oct 10, 24 2020

Edited by ronbe65

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We did the Seaside two years ago and have also sailed Carnival, Royal and Disney many times. We are booked again for Seaside this summer. Hands down my kids tell us how awesome the MSC kids club was. They cried every time we came to get them to go back to the cabin for showers and bed haha! I think you'll get many opinions but we found the ship to be stunning. Sports bar was awesome. Kids club and activities were great. I actually found that they stuck to the schedule pretty well. Have your kids at least try it. A lot of kids are timid to go to a kids club but these counselors know that and really did a solid job keeping everyone engaged. I enjoyed the fact that the kids weren't stuck in the club all day either. They took them around the ship some days. Rehearsed a big song and dance routine that they performed for their families later in the week and just did fun stuff. My kids liked the fact that they got to walk to a dining area just for them where they all sat together with counselors but it was only kids. On carnival you drop off in the restaurant and then race to your dinner and Disney feeds them in the kids club. Also, all the lego stuff was a treat. Food was honestly on par with other lines. Seriously. We live in a big city and have many restaurants to choose from. We are foodies if you will but I don't recall coming across anything disgusting like other people have mentioned. I did notice that one chicken dish I had was labeled maybe chicken piccata but was a thick cut of chicken. Almost, like their version of it I guess? It tasted good though! And the specialty restaurants were fabulous. There was such a large selection that we didn't have any qualms about the food. The shows were great for all ages and the Aurea perks of the thermal spa area, 2 massages and the private sun deck area added to the perks. Our kids still aren't big enough for the ships with bumper cars and roller coasters so the fun water park and stuff was plenty for them to stay entertained for a week. Give it a shot. I think you'll like the beauty of the ship too. New and modern. I truly can find something to complain about on all of our ships we've been on. Mega ones to the old ones. Even Disney! But from our personal experience, we really had a wonderful vacation. 

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On 1/20/2020 at 9:37 AM, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

I'm in the process of booking a large group including children and I will not be using MSC. Don't get me wrong,  I do like MSC as an excellent value choice, but for a larger group with kids, I want a line that demonstrates much more consistent service.

 

The number one pro of MSC is price. I consider this line a budget cruise line and choose to sail with them when I'm looking just to get-away. I've also found their ships excellent (and also clean). I have another MSC cruise coming up in April. This will be my third, so I do like the line. However; I keep expectations in line with price paid. 

 

IMO, The cons of MSC are quality and consistency. They have to cut corners somewhere when offering prices 50% less than the competition. Food is subjective, but the two most consistent complaints about MSC are food quality and service. I tend to agree. 

 

With the ages of kids you are taking, we are looking at the Oasis or Voyager class on RCL and  Breakaway class on NCL because they offer so much more in terms of all around activities for the family.  If anything, I do think it may be a good idea to take a cruise on MSC before you take a large group. 

Thanks.  We sailed with them last year on the Oasis of the sea, and they had a great time.  Just trying to count my pennies this time.  DH and myself have two cruises in the next five months; one being, a two week land and cruise in Alaska. I think we will hit this ship next year alone.  

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