Travel agents usually have unique relationships with cruise lines, tour companies, and hotels. This is why they are able to get such good prices and give endless reviews on such things. Which is also why they call travel agents “the experts”.
When a new ship is about to be released to the public, travel agents are the first to know! We are able to book space for our groups, and that way we can sell it to our clients for the absolute cheapest price possible. When the MSC Seaside was launched, we did just that. MCH Vacations held cabins for almost every month of its debut year. On top of that, I was invited on the inaugural sailing…pretty exciting!
I decided to go for a week on a separate sailing so I can really get a sense for the ship and all that it has to offer. I wanted to see how the rooms there were, how the service was, a first hand review on the food and entertainment, because let’s be real these are the things that matter when you’re on a 7 day cruise.
The ship as a whole is absolutely beautiful. MSC cruise lines have taken luxury to a whole other level. Personally, I’m not a fan of loud colors and bright lights everywhere you go. MSC has decorated the ship in subdued tones but there’s still a luxurious feel. I mean, for the lobby stairs are made out of Swarovski crystals goodness sakes!
Now let’s go on to the question I get asked the most: How’s the food???? MSC Cruise-line had strategically set up restaurants and buffets on 2 separate floors so that everyone is able to eat their meals and not feel rushed or crowded. There’s a buffet on the 8thfloor that serves lunch during the day and then there’s the buffet on the 16thfloor that is constantly serving “snacks” which include pizza, sandwiches, pasta, a children’s menu and soft serve ice cream… my favorite! Now here’s a little secret, the days at sea you can have lunch at no extra charge in the dining room if you want to take a break from the buffets.
In order to serve everyone during the 4 hours that are designated for dinnertime on this ship they have separated 3 different dinner areas. The restaurant that pertains to you all depends on the category in which you are booked under. There is a designated dinner seating on the 8thfloor where the buffet is held during the day, and then there are the 2 main restaurants on the 5thand 6thfloors. The category in which you are booked under also determines the priority in which your table is assigned.
Entertainment: MSC Cruises pride themselves on their entertainment staff and rightfully so! There is constantly something going on throughout the cruise ship. Every evening as you’re walking throughout the ship, there’s all types of live music playing. On days at seas, they have constant activities. Every evening starting at 6:00 p.m. there is a show in the theatre and the run every 45 minutes so everyone gets a chance to check out the shows every night.
A little heads up, the first day you board the ship be sure to reserve your seats, as they require a reservation in order to attend the shows. I felt like I was watching a Broadway show every single night.
Now for you party animals out there, every night on the 7thfloor there’s a party until the wee hours of the morning. Then of course, if you’ve ever cruised before you know about the white party! The white party is when the ship gets decorated with white decorations everywhere and everyone wears white, from the staff to the entertainers to the guests. Usually the white party is held on the pool deck however, depending on the weather the party is moved to the main lobby as it was on our cruise. This just made it that much better since the MSC Seaside has 3 floors that look into the lobby and were able to participate and still be comfortable.
MSC Cruises are extremely affordable because they are trying to stay competitive in the North American market. They have unique itineraries since they are smaller ships, so they are able to fit into ports that are much smaller that other cruise ships don’t fit into. They are also European based, that means you are able to experience an Italian based cuisine while you’re there.
MSC Cruises provides a break from all of the American cruise lines that we have become so accustomed to. All in all, it was a great trip. It was an affordable cruise and we really couldn’t ask more for our trip on the Caribbean.