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shipgeeks

Seaside, January 11-25, Five Stars!

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I am posting my review here to allow for comments and questions.  I'll try to keep my paragraphs short!

We are a senior couple from US; we had done 43 cruises prior to this one, on X, RC, HAL, Cunard, Premier, and one each, years ago, on NCL, Carnival, Princess, Fred.Olsen, and MSC.

MSC is our new favorite cruiseline.

 

We chose Bella experience because we wanted set dining, and we don't use room service.  It was a good fit.

We had applied for Status Match over a year ago, and received Diamond level on MSC.

We booked two 7-night cruises/B2B, and were very glad we did.

 

The CC Meet & Mingle events were excellent.  We spoke with a number of officers, and the French, English, and German hosts.  All were very warm and welcoming, and open to hearing our impressions of the ship and the cruise.

 

We had cabin 9025, a balcony.  Very comfortable, roomier than RC cabins, with excellent service from Adrian, our cabin steward.  Yes, we did have wash cloths, tissues, toilet paper, and all the other amenities.

 

Overall, we thought the food was good to excellent.  We always say we will go to MDR for at least one breakfast and one lunch, but after a few days in the buffet, we knew we were hooked. Muesli with fresh fruit, congee, bacon, Sticky Buns!  It was nice to eat outdoors when the weather was good.  The buffet is set up in separate sections, with dishes and cutlery between, so there was never a long line at any point.

Late night pizza! 

MDR dinners were fine.  We were able to keep our excellent servers, Savnell and Merian, for our second week.  They knew our preferences after the first night, and always provided.

 

We attended all eight shows (7 evenings, plus one matinee) the first week, and most of them the second week.  For the most part, very entertaining, and a refreshing change from the usual Rock and Broadway-themed shows on so many other ships.  I would have liked to know more about the cast!

 

The ship:  Beautiful!  Nice flow from one public venue to another, lots of big windows with views of the sea and sky.  Deck 8 outdoor walkway is fabulous!  The only downside is that it is not open all the way around, as spa uses part of it.

The ship design makes it very stable.  We missed two ports due to high winds, but never felt more than an occasional shudder; no rocking and rolling whatsoever.

 

Fellow passengers:  Of 4500 or so passengers, fewer than 700 were Americans.  With Canadians and UK, English-speaking are still a minority.  We really enjoyed that.  It felt like a real travel experience, not just another hometown.  We didn't experience any of the rudeness that some have commented on; in fact, quite the opposite.  It was humbling to be able to talk with Europeans and South Americans and hear their very competent English.

 

Ocean Cay:  Paradise.  We hope they don't ruin it by building a theme park.

 

Music:  Good variety, all around the ship.  It was nice to not be bombarded with "Margaritavile" and "Sweet Caroline". 

 

In short, we enjoyed it so much that we came home and booked two more weeks on MSC for April/May, relinquishing a RC future cruise credit.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Glad you enjoyed MSC and the Seaside.  My first trip coming up shortly. Did you use your free thermal day pass or the free tasting dinner.

Edited by ebonybee

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Yes, we did.  Actually, an hour in the thermal spa, although I don't think they set a timer on us.  It was pleasant.

Butcher's Cut was also pleasant, although as a semi-vegetarian, it wasn't my favorite meal.

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8 hours ago, shipgeeks said:

I am posting my review here to allow for comments and questions.  I'll try to keep my paragraphs short!

We are a senior couple from US; we had done 43 cruises prior to this one, on X, RC, HAL, Cunard, Premier, and one each, years ago, on NCL, Carnival, Princess, Fred.Olsen, and MSC.

MSC is our new favorite cruiseline.

 

We chose Bella experience because we wanted set dining, and we don't use room service.  It was a good fit.

We had applied for Status Match over a year ago, and received Diamond level on MSC.

We booked two 7-night cruises/B2B, and were very glad we did.

 

The CC Meet & Mingle events were excellent.  We spoke with a number of officers, and the French, English, and German hosts.  All were very warm and welcoming, and open to hearing our impressions of the ship and the cruise.

 

We had cabin 9025, a balcony.  Very comfortable, roomier than RC cabins, with excellent service from Adrian, our cabin steward.  Yes, we did have wash cloths, tissues, toilet paper, and all the other amenities.

 

Overall, we thought the food was good to excellent.  We always say we will go to MDR for at least one breakfast and one lunch, but after a few days in the buffet, we knew we were hooked. Muesli with fresh fruit, congee, bacon, Sticky Buns!  It was nice to eat outdoors when the weather was good.  The buffet is set up in separate sections, with dishes and cutlery between, so there was never a long line at any point.

Late night pizza! 

MDR dinners were fine.  We were able to keep our excellent servers, Savnell and Merian, for our second week.  They knew our preferences after the first night, and always provided.

 

We attended all eight shows (7 evenings, plus one matinee) the first week, and most of them the second week.  For the most part, very entertaining, and a refreshing change from the usual Rock and Broadway-themed shows on so many other ships.  I would have liked to know more about the cast!

 

The ship:  Beautiful!  Nice flow from one public venue to another, lots of big windows with views of the sea and sky.  Deck 8 outdoor walkway is fabulous!  The only downside is that it is not open all the way around, as spa uses part of it.

The ship design makes it very stable.  We missed two ports due to high winds, but never felt more than an occasional shudder; no rocking and rolling whatsoever.

 

Fellow passengers:  Of 4500 or so passengers, fewer than 700 were Americans.  With Canadians and UK, English-speaking are still a minority.  We really enjoyed that.  It felt like a real travel experience, not just another hometown.  We didn't experience any of the rudeness that some have commented on; in fact, quite the opposite.  It was humbling to be able to talk with Europeans and South Americans and hear their very competent English.

 

Ocean Cay:  Paradise.  We hope they don't ruin it by building a theme park.

 

Music:  Good variety, all around the ship.  It was nice to not be bombarded with "Margaritavile" and "Sweet Caroline". 

 

In short, we enjoyed it so much that we came home and booked two more weeks on MSC for April/May, relinquishing a RC future cruise credit.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for your very nice review.  We (DW Pat and I), with our daughter and son-in-law, April 25 and May 2.  Daughter and s-i-l will only do the first week, but DW Pat refused to pack suitcases for anything lesws than 2 weeks.  Are these the same dates you'll be sailing?

 

We were on the Seaside in Feb 2018, and found some real shortcomings.  I think they were mostly teething-pains, and MSC has learned the American market since then.

 

Hoping to get together onboard.

 

Stan

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AZ Stan, We will be on Armonia next, April 20 through May 3.  I'm sorry we will miss you!  I'm pretty sure we will be on Seaside again before too long, though.

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Thanks for the review. We are new to MSC.My DW and I would like to try MSC but find the experiences difficult to fiquire out. We just want a OV or balcony room. Drinks included. We like to have cocktails and not have to worry about the bill. Do not do the SPA or gym. Just looking for a basic cruise. Like entertainment as well in the evening. Do they have a casino?We like Celebrity with the Martini Bar if Seaside has something like that.

Other question is It looks like all sailings are out of Miami..UGH! We drive down from Daytona Beach. Does anyone have any ideas on getting to Miami without having to drive in that horrible traffic to port? Such as Sunrail or something like that.

any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Yes, there is a casino on Seaside, and a number of bars in different parts of the ship, with different atmospheres.

There is a show in the theatre each evening, about 40 minutes long.  If you have seen the Celebrity shows such as "Life" and "Elysium", the style will be somewhat familiar; less Rock or Broadway, and more story-free entertainment.  There are three presentations each night.  There are also late-night theme parties, and music and dancing around the ship throughout the evening.

I agree about Miami traffic!  In our case, we fly to FL, stay in a hotel there overnight, then take a shuttle to POM.  Perhaps some Florida people can offer suggestions?

Re the different experiences, the important factor to us was dining.  Bella and Fantastica have a set dining time; Aurea has anytime dining.  Supposedly Fantastica has better dining times and better cabin locations; we had Bella and were quite satisfied with what we had.  There is a chart near the top of the MSC page that sets out the differences.

Someone else will have to comment on drink packages.  I gather it is a bit complicated!  Buying drinks as we wanted them worked for us.

I hope you can get all your questions answered, and that you will someday have an equally wonderful MSC cruise!

 

 

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11 hours ago, cheeseheads4ever said:

Thanks for the review. We are new to MSC.My DW and I would like to try MSC but find the experiences difficult to fiquire out. We just want a OV or balcony room. Drinks included. We like to have cocktails and not have to worry about the bill. Do not do the SPA or gym. Just looking for a basic cruise. Like entertainment as well in the evening. Do they have a casino?We like Celebrity with the Martini Bar if Seaside has something like that.

Other question is It looks like all sailings are out of Miami..UGH! We drive down from Daytona Beach. Does anyone have any ideas on getting to Miami without having to drive in that horrible traffic to port? Such as Sunrail or something like that.

any help would be greatly appreciated.

Have you ever tried the Megabus?

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Was there any issue with noise from the Sports bar below?  Which dining room/time did you have and was it the time you requested, thoughts on the dining room?

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No noise issues from Sports Bar at all, and in retrospect I do know there were several well-attended and lively game evenings!  

 

We were in the Seashore Restaurant for our dinners.  We were assigned 5:30 seating.  We requested a change to 7:30, and that was granted, after some maneuvering by the head waiter. (The other dinnertime there was 9:30.)

We enjoyed all our dinners there.

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