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APDMOM

My View: 14 Days of Chasing the Sun on Seaside

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Introduction:

We are about to embark on our 33rd cruise, but first time MSC!  We love Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, but have enjoyed all our cruise experiences, including Carnival, Costa and Celebrity.  We are definitely ‘glass half full’ people who are still amazed and grateful that we are able to afford cruising.  

 

I hope we will have enough wifi (2GB) for the duration of the cruise so that I can report daily.  I will try my best!  I don’t typically write a lot, and share most of our experiences in pictures.  If you have questions, please feel free to ask.  I will try my best to find answers during our 14 days on this beautiful ship!

 

We board tomorrow, and can’t wait to share the experience with you, in a virtual world.  

 

Our Itinerary:

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Awesome!!  Can't wait to follow along!  Have a wonderful cruise  (Also excited to see someone NOT in YC reviewing!  Thanks)

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2 minutes ago, #1cruiseaholic said:

We are thinking of trying MSC too. Will be interested to see what you think.

I hope we LOVE it, because we booked 2 weeks for next summer too... It is refundable, in case we decide against it.  The prices were just too good to pass up.  

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Speaking of great prices...

 

I like to keep an close eye on cruise prices to make sure we get the best deal possible.  This chart is not NEAR as impressive as my pricing charts from Royal, because the back to back cruise sold out quickly.  However, we got a great deal at $4470 for 3 in a Bella Balcony.  That comes out to $103 per person, per day (including taxes, but not gratuities).  Our average price on Royal is usually about $130 per person per day for a 3-person balcony.  

 

Included in this price are the following freebies:  house wines, soda and sparkling water for lunch and dinner; $25 onboard credit; and 2GB of free wifi.

 

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14 minutes ago, nycfa said:

Awesome!!  Can't wait to follow along!  Have a wonderful cruise  (Also excited to see someone NOT in YC reviewing!  Thanks)

😁I am with you!  There certainly are many YC reviews, and quite a drought for us stingy (I mean, frugal) cruisers.  Glad you are following along!

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13 minutes ago, Captain-John said:

Have a great time! Look forward to the pictures. 😄

 

Thank you! 

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Holiday Inn Express:

 

I don’t usually post too much about the hotels we choose, but we recently discovered the new and improved Holiday Inn Express.  Now, we have been staying at Hampton Inns for so many years that this may not be ‘new’, but I thought it would be worth posting two of my favorites for other habitual travelers who are looking for a change...

 

Keurig with real Half and Half:

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Bath and Body Works products:

B7ECB4DF-1C2A-4E16-A005-4071490816B0.thumb.jpeg.e1180cfba6f71887481af92e9bd2c436.jpeg

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Sailed Seaside on two occasions, the Inaugural at Xmas 2017 and April 2018, fabulous ship with lots of outdoor space. Neither cruise was in the YC.

Watch out for the mirrors or you will walk into them if you're not careful.

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Amazing...we do the exact same cruise in March 2020 in a fantastica balcony only we get two stops at the private island (hopefully)! Interested to hear what happens in Miami midway. As this is a single and/or B2B depending on how booked we are thinking of getting the thermal pass for the entire duration of the cruise but confused if it will be for the first 7 days only or the full 14 days! We got 2GB WiFi also and the premium package each on the book more:get more promo here in the UK! This will be our most expensive cruise as we are staying overnight in London then a few days in Miami beforehand. Being Irish we also get to spend St.Patricks Day in the Cayman Islands when we go. Staying deck 12 and really looking forward to your review...haven't done MSC or the Caribbean before...only have done RCCL and NCL in the Mediterranean.

Sent from my GM1913 using Tapatalk

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We will be joining you on the 8th for a two week cruise as well. Looking forward to hearing about your experiences. 

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15 minutes ago, dorts said:

Amazing...we do the exact same cruise in March 2020 in a fantastica balcony only we get two stops at the private island (hopefully)! Interested to hear what happens in Miami midway. As this is a single and/or B2B depending on how booked we are thinking of getting the thermal pass for the entire duration of the cruise but confused if it will be for the first 7 days only or the full 14 days! We got 2GB WiFi also and the premium package each on the book more:get more promo here in the UK! This will be our most expensive cruise as we are staying overnight in London then a few days in Miami beforehand. Being Irish we also get to spend St.Patricks Day in the Cayman Islands when we go. Staying deck 12 and really looking forward to your review...haven't done MSC or the Caribbean before...only have done RCCL and NCL in the Mediterranean.

Sent from my GM1913 using Tapatalk
 

I will definitely report back about the thermal pass... I purchased it, and it seems like it is for 14 days.  I like that MSC gives the option to book a “back to back” as one cruise.  It saved us a LOT of money.  When we looked at the 1-week price, it was around $3,100 for just one week.  So, the 14-day option saves about $1,800 vs. booking a back to back.

 

I will let you know how the thermal pass works out...

 

The private island was the reason we decided to book next June/July for 14 days too!  🙂 

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5 minutes ago, hloakes said:

We will be joining you on the 8th for a two week cruise as well. Looking forward to hearing about your experiences. 

Be sure to say hi if you see us on the ship!  We love meeting fellow CC members 🙂

 

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24 minutes ago, sidari said:

Sailed Seaside on two occasions, the Inaugural at Xmas 2017 and April 2018, fabulous ship with lots of outdoor space. Neither cruise was in the YC.

Watch out for the mirrors or you will walk into them if you're not careful.

 

Will do 🙂  Thanks for the heads up!

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Looking forward to your review.  We are sailing MSC for the first time in July.  We are also on the Seaside.

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Boarding Day!

 

True to tradition, I am awake early from excitement about our cruise.  Here she comes...

(Thanks to the Marine Traffic app, I always get notifications when my fleet of ships enter port)

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22 minutes ago, shipgeeks said:

Will be following!

Which Holiday Inn Express did you use?

 

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ft Lauderdale N - Exec Airport 

 

It is a convenient stop for us.  5 hours from home and only 45 minutes to the Miami port.  It was less than half the price of hotels closer to the port.

 

We also discovered a South African store with meat pies and sausage rolls (Meal in a Pie)!  Bonus for me 🙂

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We will be on board in three weeks.  If you plan on using the water slides, I would sign up for the waivers right after lunch today.  You can then avoid the chaos of the lines on the first sea day.  The table is in the jungle pool area towards the front of the ship.

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Posted (edited)

I hope your experience in the Seaview is a fabulous as mine was.  I absolutely loved the gorgeous ship, and the Spa was especially divine.  We were also Bella and were perfectly happy with the entire experience.  As a matter of fact I have booked the same category for the fall :classic_biggrin:  Bon Voyage!  

Edited by dznymom

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My View:  Day 1 - Miami:

 

 

FE23767F-848F-4B88-B0BC-02423D8CB80F.jpeg

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Timeline:

 

9:20 Left hotel in Fort Lauderdale

10:10  Arrived at the port and parked in Garage G

10:20 Waiting for security to open

10:33-ish Security started scanning and letting us through

11:00 Sitting and sipping pineapple juice in the boarding area

11:30 Boarded and looking for Marketplace Buffet

 

Tip:

We always take a picture of our luggage in case something gets lost.

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Driving to port and a first glimpse of our ship:

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Through the tunnel!  (I am like a kid that way...)

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Tip:

Black Card: When you get to the boarding area, you do not need a number.  You can do priority boarding.

D76904E9-BEC9-48AB-8E97-0F31790E1C6E.thumb.jpeg.3449274f72d542224c8d050f557437d3.jpeg

 

 

Status Match:

We applied for the status match online, as we are all diamond on Royal.  Mine went through without a glitch, and I got the black card. For some reason, my husband, who is also diamond on Royal, got matched as “gold card”... Not sure what that is about. We will try to figure it out onboard.

 

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Posted (edited)

Tip:

Marketplace Buffet:  When you enter, go all the way aft.  There are more small tables available, and it did not get crowded until much later.  We made the mistake of sitting closer to the entrance, and it quickly became crowded.

Also, if you have the lunch/dinner drink package from a promotion, you can get wine, soda, beer, and sparkling water from the aft area in the buffet.  No need to wait in line.  

 

Lunch: (Best embarkation lunch I ever had on a cruise - to the best of my recollection)

 

1CB713F0-7D2B-48D2-AFB8-9C1E259629A9.thumb.jpeg.0a5f712ec5aa891d8242c66cb35977b7.jpeg
 
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927EAEE0-521C-416E-9F78-7BD78DDF7043.thumb.jpeg.9e4797ff0cd437da5db3b660aba4bea9.jpeg
 
 
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That chicken was excellent - just a little bit of curry made it very tasty!  The wrap and sandwich were also worth a second serving.
 
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DS loved his pasta and rice with seafood
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I can eat meringues every day!
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Edited by APDMOM

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A few pictures inside and outside Marketplace buffet:

A424076F-2304-413B-AB69-E0BBEE680705.thumb.jpeg.578a691c4a2d9eb717c4bbf5b19b8419.jpeg

 

8BA831F4-00FA-45D7-BE95-86181E2D1290.thumb.jpeg.7c33cc7b5a755761b092f45660c35fd0.jpeg

 

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D7C70587-F6C0-4A9A-A067-C8115A782D76.thumb.jpeg.dd02c21210a2de30b771233b4ac08aca.jpeg

 

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