MSC Seaside Blog
We sailed on the MSC Seaside and had a great Thanksgiving holiday cruise in 2018. There were 1100 children on this cruise which made for a very crowded ship at times. The cruise director said that this sailing was the youngest crowd they have ever had on board. We are a family of 3, with one child aged 9. We also sailed with my parents.
We had a Fantastica balcony on deck 14, with a sofa bed that was used as a bed by our 9 year old. The cabin was clean, and enough space for the 3 of us. Was only just enough storage, so I’m not sure if we had a fourth person in the cabin we would have enough space. Room steward was great and very friendly. The Bathroom was good size and they supplied shower gel and shampoo.
The evening entertainment was good, we went every night. Most of it was music based, with some general theme, similar to a cirque du soleil performance. By the end of the week we felt they were a bit repetitive and like we saw the same type of thing every time. You had to make reservation, which was easy via the TV in your room or mobile app. There are three show times to choose from per night. We also went to family BeerProv, where they did family improv comedy. There was also an adult edition, which sounded fun, but we did not attend.
Overall, the food was average on board. We were placed at the Ipanema, on deck 7. We ate there only three nights of the seven. We have sailed on other cruise lines where the wait staff greets you by name. All three nights our waiter(s) on the Seaside we not very friendly.
We ate breakfast and lunch in buffet on deck 8, there is also a buffet on 16 but the hours are more limited. There was a good selection, but the items were little repetitive from day to day with not too much variety. It got crowed during peek times and it was difficult to find a seat. We did like the outdoor seating and sat outside for most meals. Pizza was great, but that is to be expected on an Italian cruise ship. Desert was very good as well. There was a carving station, kid’s station, desert station, fruit station. Ice cream was only variable on deck 16 at lunch times.
Getting on and off the ship was easy. Our bags arrived at our cabin without issue. Our son went to the juniors club (7-11) and enjoyed it. They did various activities such as dodgeball, basketball, and soccer. They also took the kids down to the 5D cinema. Which is an interactive game, where you wear 3D glass and shot things with a run. The club was based around a Lego theme and they have a bunch of Lego and foosball tables. They also have PS4 and Nintendo Switch times on their schedule. You can opt to have the kids eat lunch with the kids club. They take the kids to the buffet each night, at 6:30. The kids club was open until 11pm every night.
The pools and the kids Forest Aquaventure pool and slides were great. There is an adult only pool at the back of the ship and a couple other family pools. There are also hot tubs spread around the pools. There are 3 waterslides, the most fun was the slide with the raft. And a blue and a green slide. You have to sign a waiver for the slides and also the zip lines. We got the fun pass prior to boarding which gives you $180 worth of credit for $100. It can be used in the arcade, the F1 simulator, bowling, 5D cinema and zipline. I believe its still the longest zipline at sea and was great fun.
With 5,000 people on the ship you might think that it would feel crowded, but there are lots of open areas and outside area that we never felt crowded or that we didn’t have enough room. There are also many bars and no shortage of places to get drinks. There is an MSC app, to see daily schedules and make reservations for shows, but it lacks messaging so it can be hard to keep in contact with other members of your family on the cruise. However, you can use imessage, on your iPhone without purchasing the internet package.
The ports we stopped at were Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We did the Dunn’s River Falls and Dolphin Encounter. The falls was very challenging and I don’t recommend for small children or older guests. The Dolphin encounter was great, but they don’t let you take pictures and the cost of the dolphin encounter pictures were ridiculous. In Grand Cayman, we did the two hour best of Grand Cayman tour. There were a few stop along the way, Hell, the Turtle center and Tourtuga Rum Cake factory. Our driver also made a stop at the 7 mile beach. Overall the tour was good. In Cozumel we opted to go to Tulum, it was a fantastic tour and our tour guide was very informative. Our final stop was in Costa Maya, and we elected to just hang around the ship and check out the shopping at the port.
Overall this was a great cruise!
January 21, 2019