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tcmagnum

Seaside 2-01-2020!!!

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My hubby (who hates crowds and who I had to talk into this cruise).  My sister and her boyfriend (who wasn't sure about a cruise either). 

We are mid-40s to 51.  My sister and I both love cruising.  We've been on RC and Celebrity both in Caribbean and in Europe/Mediterranean.  

 

 

Aurea experience. 

Cabins…

9245 (DH/I)

10003 (Sister/Boyfriend).

 

Got to port at around 10:00am.  Mixed up and parked in lot E not the lot for terminal F, but no big deal.  Walked across street/up short distance to ship. Damn she is big!!  Porters we helpful and cheerful.  Great start!!!

 

Priority embankment had us up in small waiting area within 5 minutes and within 10 minutes we boarded.  We've never been in a ship to fast or early.  Amazing!!

Before you board they did a ‘non-touch temperature scan’.  It was a full body scan and if they aren’t busy they will actually show you what your scan looks like.  It was fast and very interesting (not busy so I asked to see my scan).

 

First stop is the spa to book our free massages with the Aurea experience.  Not very impressed with this - only 9:00am or 5:00pm on sea days available.  I called shortly afterwards in ship phone and acted like I was buying a massage and any time was open.  I called their bullshit and they said sorry that's the policy.  So yes it's nice you get a free massage but times available suck.  We got our shows booked with touch screen board (love these)!  Registered our credit card - easy peasy.  Go to casino area...not open in port so no one down there and no line. 

 

 

Time to try out our easy drink package.  Worked great.  Order a drink and they scan your card or wrist band. No papers to sign. 

 

 

Headed to buffet to grab a bite to eat.  Normal craziness in buffet but food was very good.  Best damn pizza!!!!  Always hot and fresh!!  

 

 

Announcements were made the cabins were ready so we split up and will meet later in the Sports Bar (which will turn into our bar).   

 

 

Cabin 9245...Normal small bathroom but nice.  Normal size room but again nice.   WOW!!! Balcony was huge. We had one of the extended balconies.  We had heard people saying you have no privacy.  But we never felt that was.   And we were out in the balcony morning/day/night.  We loved our balcony.  And never smelled amy cigarette smoke - with having asthma I was worried about that since I'm so sensitive.  But no issues.  And the room was very quiet...we never heard our neighbors (we know we had neighbors as we said hi to them in the hall way and a few times pulling out of ports on the balcony.  Great location being one floor up from the buffet - never heard any noise but easy to jump down for coffee or snacks.  

 

 

First evening on the ship and we found our favorite bar - The Sports Bar.  Great group of guys for bartenders - Leo being the best!!!  Yes we did tip a few dollars each time we had change with us.  Not to show boat but because we had all waited on tables before and we knew that a few dollars wouldn't make or break it but it did lift your spirits.  So we did...The sports bar had perfect chairs/tables to play dominos at. And we played dominos there almost every night!!  Tried to eat dinner in the MDR Seaside but nope.  Too crowded with it being the first night. So we went to buffet on 8th floor.  Loved the pizza and wonderful variety.   And the self serve soft drinks/wine area - genius!!  Swipe your card and you go.   More dominos and drinks in sports bar and then bed time.  

 

 

First sea day...Did my free massage for Aurea experience. It was ok but she was pretty pushy about over selling. Finally had to say a firm No.  My husband also had left a room service order for coffee for 6:00am. On time and hot/good coffee.  Breakfast buffet was good...plenty of choices.  Hit deck 19 Aurea deck for some sun time.  Then nap. Shower.  We went to the afternoon show for Wizard and we all thorough enjoyed it.  This was my husband's pick and he even enjoyed it.  Dancing/juggling/aerobatics.  Drinks/dominos in Seaview bar since Sports Bar was closed for a $$$ Super Bowl party.  We did enjoy the Seaview bar.  And the piano player was very good - Rob Duncan.   

 

We did go to the Seaside MDR for dinner.  My poor husband tried new things and did not pick correctly.  I don’t remember what he ordered, just remember a lot of laughing about his choices.  My steak off the ‘everyday menu’ was cooked perfectly!!  More drinks/dominos and then we hit the Rate ‘R’ adult Improv show.  Surprise!!  There was 2 families in the front row with 2 children ages 8-12.  Really??  Dumbasses!!  It states ‘not suitable for children’ in the guide.  The family did get up and leave after the first few F bombs where dropped.  And they were bitching as they left.  Some people just don’t get read the information on the shows or don’t believe the information.  Thoroughly enjoyed the improv – I loved the guy who kept laughing at him own jokes.  Time for bed!!

 

First port day…Ocho Rios Jamaica.  First time here for us and I was excited.  Problem was my husband woke up with a sore throat but decided to go on the excursion.  We had booked the Kayak/Dunn’s River trip with MSC.  We met in one of the lounges and were off the ship pretty fast and in our van.  Our guide Tavi was a blast!!  He kept us laughing the whole day.  But…They were not ready for us when we got there.  So they added birds/iguana holding onto our tour to delay 45 minutes.  Then when we get to the kayaking beach…Wow!!  It was so windy with lots of waves.  The four of us (and another couple) decided not to do the kayaking part (no issues as they come back to where we were).  Then to Dunn’s River Falls.  Wow!!  I would do this again.  So beautiful almost looked fake.  The guide decide I would be first and grabbed my hand and started.  I really didn’t want to go first, but I’m glad I did as we had a blast with this guide.  Melbourne #43!!  He also kept us laughing the whole time.  So much fun!!  Then to a shopping center were you could shop or eat.  We ate – food was ok.  Service was soooooo slow.

 

By the time we got to the ship we were exhausted and late getting back.  Our 4.5 hour tour lasted almost 7 hours.  We showered and then hit the buffet – except my husband.  He took Tylenol and laid down.  I brought him some food and OJ back to the cabin.  Poor guy didn’t leave the cabin for almost 2.5 more days.  We could tell he wasn’t going to be up to the excursion the next day so I went down to the excursion desk.  Libby from the UK…was amazing!!!!  She cancelled both of ours and we got 50% back (didn’t think we would get anything back with the notice we were giving them since it was already 7:30pm).  Then Libby got me booked on my sister’s excursion so I wouldn’t be alone.  My sister and I met up and went to the MDR for dinner but didn’t stay.  We were sat at a table right next to the waiters’ station.  Within 5 minutes I had been bumped 2 times.  And the dining room was 80% empty!!  We looked at each other and said HELL NO!!  We got up and let and went to the buffet for more delicious pizza!!  Her boyfriend found us for drinks (loving the drink package) and more dominos.

 

Second port day was Georgetown Cayman Islands.  We were booked on the MSC catamaran/stingray city excursion.  We met in the theatre and very quickly we were off the ship (tender) and on port.  Libby from the excursion desk went on this excursion with us.  After our driver got loss (and argued with the guide in the van) we finally made it to the Catamaran.  Such a beauty!!  Took off our shoes and got situated and our 45 trip out to stingray city began.  I could live on a catamaran!!  The shades of blue…Wow!!  Once we got there, we grabbed our snorkel gear and got into the water.  We are pretty strong swimmers so we actually swam from our boat to the furthest boat (and back) a few times.  So much fun!!  The stingrays ranged in small to pretty damn big.  I really enjoyed this excursion because if the stingray didn’t want to be near you, they could swim away.  No cages!!!  There was some drama with a passenger who was part of the Yacht Club.  Only reason we knew this is because several times he complained about having to be ‘with people like us’.  He complained often and loudly.  He complained in the van ride over.  He complained several times on the catamaran.  He even got on one of the female employees of the catamaran so much that the other 2 workers told her to ignore him completely and they would deal with him from then on.  Never saw him smile one time, kind of sad…

 

Sad – If you can’t be pleasant/respectful to all, you need to not go on the excursion – I don’t care which experience you booked.  No one has the right to act like that – Bella, Fantastica, Aurea, or Yacht Club.

 

Once back on the ship, I went back to the cabin to check on my hubby.  Still not feeling good.  Sister/boyfriend and myself went to dinning room and it was very good.  Fresh made pasta was excellent!!  I took dinner from MDR back to my hubby in his cabin.  He also enjoyed the food.  Dinner and dominos again and then an early night. 

 

The next day was Cozumel.  No excursions to change/cancel for us.  My hubby and I were just going to go into port and wonder around.  I went up to the sun deck for a few hours.  Then my hubby and I went into port and ate a delicious lunch at one of the local places.  Back to cabin for a nap.  Then I met my sister/boyfriend for you guessed it…Drinks and dominos.  My hubby stayed in the cabin as being out in the sun really wore him out.  Early night for all of us.

Final sea day.  Captain announces that we would not be going to Ocean Cay because of the weather which was heading that way – too windy/stormy.  We had already figured that would because we were watching the weather also.  Glad we didn’t have anything booked on Ocean Cay.  Going to Nassau Bahamas instead.  My sister met me for yoga.  It was 50 minutes long and just what I needed.  Nice stretching.  Breakfast.  Nap.  Sun deck.  And O. M. G.  Who do we see – but my hubby!!  He is finally feeling so much better (still has a cough) but feels great.  Thank goodness!!  After a short time on the sun deck for him we go to see my sister/boyfriend’s cabin.  Wow…Cabin 10003 is an inside room with Aurea experience.  This room is huge.  You could literally fight another queen size bed next to the one already in the cabin.  This cabin also had a couch and a bed that comes down from the ceiling.  But this cabin is all the way in the front of the ship (has a mirror cabin next to it).  So you do hear the anchor and it can take 30 minutes for it to go up/down.  But they said they would book this cabin again in a heartbeat.  Note we are all the way in the back (aft) of the ship on deck 9 – so a 10 minute hike.  Lol…

 

We met up in the Sports Bar for some drinks/dominos.  We actually played a few hands of rummy but switched back to dominos.  Dinner in the MDR was very good again tonight.  I’m sorry to say I didn’t get the waiter’s name, but his section is on the left side of Seaside MDR by the windows.  He took great care of us.  He brought the table a cheese plate to start with.  Then our appetizers.  Then fresh made pasta again – mmm mmm!! Prime Rib was on the menu – and 3 of the 4 order the prime rib.  My hubby asked for extra gravy and they didn’t just put a little extra on the plate – they brought him a gravy bowl.  My steak off the everyday menu was excellent again!!!  Then desserts…So much food.  More drinks/dominos.  Three of us went to the Michael Jackson show and it was great!!

 

Nassau Bahamas.  No official plans.  My husband and I took a taxi to Atlantis.  We grabbed breakfast in the little café (expensive but a gentleman gave us 2 coupons for free bottles of water).  We checked out the aquarium and then we hit the casino.  We stayed in the casino for a few hours and only loss $100.  Not bad.  We then walked over to beach and enjoyed the sun and water for 2 or 3 hours.  Just wonderful.  Taxi’d back to ship.  Then my husband hit the duty free shop and scored!!  First I bought hand painted wine/margarita glasses for my girls’ back home (and for me!!).  My husband is a comic book collector.  He favorite is Fantastic 4 -> The Thing.  There was a 4 foot Thing statue in this store.  Let me tell you, he was in heaven!!  You can’t find items like that in the states.  Asked the price and was told $155.  I was like – no, hell no.  He agreed  but I could tell he really wanted it.  Since he had such a sucky cruise (being so sick) - I told him if he would haggle and get it under $100, then buy it.  10 minutes later they were wrapping it up.  He haggled them down to $55!!!  I didn’t even know my husband knew how to haggle.  Next was security to get back onto the ship.  I got my glasses and bottle of tequila through security no issue.  But when ‘The Thing’ went through the security guy looked at us and said (with the funniest face) ‘What is this??’.   I just started to laugh and pointed to my husband.  I walked around and you could see on the screen it was ‘The Thing’.  My husband told security it was ‘art’ and they let us through.  Lol…Up to our room and showered and nap.

 

We all met up and went to the chocolate bar for our chocolate martinis.  Thank goodness we didn’t try these until the last night or I would have had one every night!!!  Heaven!!  Delicious!!  We then went to the Seaview lounge to find the piano player Rob Duncan again.  And of course play some dominos.  Ate dinner in the buffet.

Disembarkment day…We kept our luggage and did self-disembarkment.  We were downstairs and in line by 6:30am.  By 6:55am they started to let passengers off.  We were off the ship and in our car (parked in the lot before the terminal F lot across from ship) and on the road by 7:25am.  Easy as that.  But we did get turned around in the port area and had to do a u-turn, but finally made it to expressway.

 

Couple odds/ends…

Aurea package…Very glad we did this package.  Priority embarkment went great.  We were in a much shorter line that we would have been.  We were also some of the first 20 people on the ship after Yacht Club.  Not bad at all…Easy Drink Package – we’ve never had a drink package before and we will definitely be looking at always getting one going forward.  We never wanted a drink that wasn’t on the easy drink package.  And we drank a lot.  The unlimited bottles of water was great!!  Massage was good, not great.  Didn’t use the thermal area as we were so dang busy.  Just ran out of time.  We loved LOVED our extended balcony on aft deck 9.  We loved the extra space.  We were out on the balcony morning, afternoon, and evening.  We never thought we didn’t have privacy (some people were asking about that).  And never smelled any cigarette smoke on our balcony (I have asthma and very sensitive to cigarette smoke) – I was worried about this.

 

Food…MDR was hit or miss.  We started to look at the menu before we went in.  If nothing grabbed us, we went to the buffet.  Other than the one night (that we didn’t stay), any time we ate in the MDR – the service was great.  Take your wine or alcoholic drink in with you.  First night we ate there the bar service was a little slow.  Buffet….We thought the food was always plentiful and a variety.  Pizza is the best we’ve had!!  So good…The only complaint is the other passengers – So damn rude.  There was an older gentleman in a wheelchair trying to get around a tight corner and people kept cutting him off.  I watched as he sat there literally a good 10 minutes.  I finally got up and did the school crossing guard and stopped people.  One lady actually told me to move and I finally raised my voice and told her to STOP (an officer actually heard me and came over and help me at that point).  She’s lucky I didn’t deck her.    By the last day I was so tired of getting body slammed by rude children and adults – I actually tightened up my body and didn’t let any give in my body when I was getting bumped.  I just couldn’t take it anymore.   I am one of the nicest people most of the time, but the amount of rude people really got to me by the last night.  Also go around the back of the buffet for more selections and less crowds.  And sit outside and towards the back – quieter and less people. 

 

I went to customer service 3 or 4 times during the cruise for little things (like help with the MSC app) and never ran into a rude person.  So helpful.  

Photo area – we had gotten the Anniversary package which included a free 5x7.  So we went to look at the photos.  Found one but it was an 8x10.  The gentleman didn’t want me to have to wait so he let me have the 8x10 for free!!  Love it…

 

Registering your credit card was very easy.  We went to the casino area and used the machine there (no wait since casino isn’t open).  Very easy instructions.  And we had no extra charges show up on our account.  I think they put a hold of $250 on the card, but it disappeared by the time we got home.

 

Martha Stewart Anniversary Celebration...

4 cupcakes (very good).  Bottle of wine - we took home. 5x7 frame.  Coupon for a free 5x7 picture taken/printed off on ship.  Canvass beach bag - huge & very strong/durable and so cute.  I thought this package was very worth the cost for what we got.

 

Pools…This is where I was extremely disappointed.  The main pool on 16 was 1000% too small.  The adult only pool on deck 7 but very crowded, but also way to smoky because of the smoking area on the starboard side.  The jungle pool was cut but way to many kids and so loud.  The aurea deck 19 doesn’t have a pool and that is a huge downfall.  We had to shower off to cool down while we were enjoying the sun deck.  Hot tubs weren’t hot – they were warm/cool.  The pool situation is the one item that will probably get me to book another cruise line – Celebrity – over MSC.  Especially if I cruise the Caribbean again.

Cabin attendants…From Saturday to Tuesday we have a gentleman named Francis.  I had left him a note with a few request and he had them done by the time we came back to the cabin after dinner.  Perfect.  He then went home on Wednesday and we were assigned a new gentleman.  As much as I liked Francis, I really liked and appreciated everything Noor did for us.  He was such a friendly guy from the start to finish!!

 

We didn't get the internet package on ship.  But iphones are able to text on the wifi without buying the package.  It was great since 3 of the 4 of us have iphones.  We have T-Mobile and were able to use our phones in ports (free text and unlimited data 2g & 20 cent minute phone calls).  Not bad and great way to check in on our older parents while we were in ports.

Edited by tcmagnum

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Did they do the body scan with a handheld device or was it a camera and they would see your image on a big screen? Just curious. I'm not sure I want to see my image though. 

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