Posted April 25th, 2018, 09:01 PM
Food is a highly subjective topic. Ask 10 people about the same dish and be prepared for 10 different responses. For this reason I won’t spend too much time on it. Overall I found the food on Seaside to be adequate but nothing special. There were some standouts, like steak, pastas, deserts, and bread. I found all those to be fairly exceptional especially the steak we enjoyed in Butcher’s Cut one evening. The variety could sometimes be lacking and other more American-centric lines do offer more nightly choices on the menu. None the less no one will starve and you could always find something that interested you. Within the Yacht Club, we enjoyed our own restaurant that was open seating and available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Essentially you dine when you want (within the open hours) and with whom. Funny enough, we ended up dining at the same 2 to 3 tables the entire cruise, always in Arthur’s section who was one of the best and most entertaining waiters in all my years of cruising. Wow did we luck out getting him our first night onboard, although I’m sure the other Yacht Club waiters were exceptional as well. Other options within the Yacht Club were a small buffet adjacent to the Top Sail Lounge bar, and the Grill up on Deck 19 by the pool. I enjoyed the fresh grilled specialities at the Grill, yes even lobster and lamb chops, but oddly enough if I wanted a simple burger I had to dine in the more former indoor restaurant or go to the general buffet for the ship. My cravings for a burger did lure me more than once to the Marketplace Buffet, where I found them pretty good along with excellent fries. In the main buffet we never had a problem finding a seat and the option to sit outside was welcomed in great weather. Towards the back of the buffet they had dispensers for soda, beer, and wine. All automated. Just wave your card or wrist band over the control panel and it would activate. Because we were in the Yacht Club all our beverages were included, but were they not you would have been charged at that point. One feature MSC has deployed to gain market share in North America is a status match program. Before your cruise just submit your highest status at a cruise line or hotel chain, and MSC will match it. My Elite status on Princess was matched with Black on MSC, currently their highest level. This entitled us to a complimentary dinner in a speciality restaurant. We chose Butcher’s Cut being steak lovers, and we were not disappointed. It was an excellent dinner beginning to end. Another favorite option sometimes after dinner or even in the afternoon was Venchi the chocolate bar onboard. Many chocolate items (such as the chocolate ships) are made right onboard, and it’s fun to watch them getting made. There is even a wall of chocolate, although it was never working the entire cruise. My favorite was a chocolate/strawberry milkshake made with their excellent gelato. Just decadent especially with the fresh and real whipped cream on top. The best part, it was all included being part of the Yacht Club. Service generally goes hand and hand with any dining experience, so I’ll mention that overall I found the service to be excellent. This was especially true in the Yacht Club where everyone was beyond polite and helpful, and always seemed willing to do whatever it took to make you happy. Around the rest of the ship service was great as well, with a crew that smiled and generally seemed happy to assist you. Another nice feature of the Yacht Club was our own Concierge Desk. They basically handled any request, so there was never a need to wait in the line at the general Guest Services or Shore Excursion desks.