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MamatoJack

Meraviglia or Seaside, which to choose?

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I am looking at booking a Western Caribbean cruise on MSC for next year. The price is very similar, with Seaside being a few dollars more, both on the same week. I travel with my son who will be 10 and likes water slides, ropes courses and soft serve ice cream (and cruise ship buffets). Would either ship be better for us? We have cruise Carnival and RCL, preferring Carnival (kiddo does not like the kids club on RCL but does on Carnival so that wins!) The itineraries are different, and we are doing the same ports as the Seaside cruise in December on Carnival but we've been to them all before so it's not a big deal with way, I don't think. We like beaches and snorkeling. So, does it matter? Should I save the $70 and book Meraviglia? 

 

Meraviglia - Costa Maya, Belize, Roatan, Ocean Cay

Seaside - Ocho Rios (actually the only port we haven't been to but we have it booked for December), Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Ocean Cay

 

It would be an insides, fantastica probably with the All Inclusive (internet and easy drinks for me, alcohol free for him). I have booked and cancelled with MSC 3 times now, can't seem to commit to trying them. But the prices and inclusions are looking really good, and these two ships seem to have water slides and lots of stuff for kiddo to do. 

 

Thanks!

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A couple of things about MSC:  You are booking an experience, and within that, cabin type.  Unless you opt got Aurea experience, or the Yacht Club you will have only fixed seating/traditional dining - unless you opt to eat in the buffet, which your son likes.  But I would like to make a suggestion as to your cabin choice.  When I was looking to book on Seaside, I read that if you book an OV gty cabin, you are almost guaranteed to be upgraded to a balcony.  On Seaside, there are 80 OV cabins, about equally divided between Bella and Fantastica.  There are around 1300 balcony cabins.  I booked a Fantastica OV gty, and was given a Fantastica balcony.  Meraviglia has 122 OV cabins, and nearly 1300 balconies.  If I were booking Meraviglia, I would gamble on the OV gty again.  Of course, if I got the OV cabin, I would still be happy.  Think about it.  EM

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There are a lot of questionable balcony cabins on both ships and even if you are only expecting and ocean view some balconies can be worse.  I would always advise to book the cabin you are comfortable with, guarantees are not for everyone.  I haven't sailed Meraviglia yet, but going based on reports unless you want some specific feature of the Meraviglia, like the Cirque shows or itinerary, for the Caribbean I would book Seaside primarily due to Meraviglia's "crowded" feeling and Seaside's "openness".

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After my terrible experience with a Divina inside room, I would never book MSC inside or Guarantee again.

It's daily non-stop banging and wall shaking from 11am-3pm, 10pm-1am because of a service elevator behind my room.

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Hi MamatoJack,

Ship: Seaside by a mile.

Itinerary: Same thing (itinerary is subjective).

 

Happy cruising!

 

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21 hours ago, Essiesmom said:

….  But I would like to make a suggestion as to your cabin choice.  When I was looking to book on Seaside, I read that if you book an OV gty cabin, you are almost guaranteed to be upgraded to a balcony.  On Seaside, there are 80 OV cabins, about equally divided between Bella and Fantastica.  There are around 1300 balcony cabins.  I booked a Fantastica OV gty, and was given a Fantastica balcony.  Meraviglia has 122 OV cabins, and nearly 1300 balconies.  If I were booking Meraviglia, I would gamble on the OV gty again.  Of course, if I got the OV cabin, I would still be happy.  Think about it.  EM

  Have only taken 1 cruise before (RC on Empress of Sea).  What does "OV gty" mean? We are looking at Seaside or Armonia (sp?).  

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6 minutes ago, busiaof4 said:

 What does "OV gty" mean?

OV = Ocean View

GTY = Guarantee

You book a Experience & Cabin type and the cabin will be assigned by MSC.

They can even upgrade you to a superior Experience.

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2 hours ago, SirWolf said:

They can even upgrade you to a superior Experience.

In most cases when upgraded you get the higher level cabin but the experience level remains what was originally booked.  Yacht Club upgrades are a little fuzzier.

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On 7/6/2019 at 1:00 PM, ronbe65 said:

Hi MamatoJack,

Ship: Seaside by a mile.

Itinerary: Same thing (itinerary is subjective).

 

Happy cruising!

 

Reason being? Have you sailed both? Interested to hear differences that are so pronounced. 

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6 hours ago, SailBreakaway said:

Reason being? Have you sailed both? Interested to hear differences that are so pronounced. 

Doubt you will find anyone who has sailed both yet, as Seaside sails exclusively in the US, and Meraviglia in Europe until Oct.  EM

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Hi. We were on the Seaview last year from Barcelona. I guess this is almost the same boat as Seaside. And we are om Meraviglia now. Just docked i Finland. 

I would say that Seaview is better. Less crowded, 2 buffet restaurants, sunbeds in the solarium. 

On Meraviglia now, i think it is really crowded and people seems to end up in the same places. The waterslides for the kids is more far away from the other pools, so our kids had some trouble finding them without us. Really crowded in the buffet at breakfast, hard to get a table. 

The main pool is bigger on Meraviglia. 

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On 7/5/2019 at 11:48 PM, thetaro said:

After my terrible experience with a Divina inside room, I would never book MSC inside or Guarantee again.

It's daily non-stop banging and wall shaking from 11am-3pm, 10pm-1am because of a service elevator behind my room.

do you remember the deck and cabin number, please?

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11 hours ago, Itchy&Scratchy said:

do you remember the deck and cabin number, please?

 

yes 10066.

I have no idea how they can sell that room without expecting complaints especially for Mediterranean where embarkation is done every day . It's simply unbearable and last for hours. It's like I was sleeping in a UPS truck, the driver constantly throwing heavy packages while loading/unloading the truck for hours. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, thetaro said:

 

yes 10066.

I have no idea how they can sell that room without expecting complaints especially for Mediterranean where embarkation is done every day . It's simply unbearable and last for hours. It's like I was sleeping in a UPS truck, the driver constantly throwing heavy packages while loading/unloading the truck for hours. 

 

 

thanks!

We got 8029 on Meraviglia (there was no choice of cabins), but I can't find any reviews for that particular room, but my search has not been super extensive at this time. This cabin backs to a big white space, but on deck 9 this big white space is filled with cabins. But not on deck 8. 

Edited by Itchy&Scratchy

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I have sailed on both the Seaside and the Meraviglia!

 

We did the Caribbean last year on the Seaside and are just back from doing a Baltic cruise on the Meraviglia.

Both ships are spectator but we preferred the Seaside. My teenagers thought that the aqua park on board the Seaside was better

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Posted (edited)

We did Seaside in April and doing the Meraviglia  in February. 

 

I booked the Meraviglia over the Seaside because i wanted to try a new ship. The Seaside itinerary is more appealing though. We did super family last trip, but none available on either ship as sold out. We booked 2 side by side balcony cabins so we can still go they the balconies to get to each other’s room. 

 

Now I’m m concerned about the crowds you mention. We are 2 adults and kids ages 17,16,12 and 9. 

Edited by Traj

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I think it's a safe bet to say they're both wonderful ships and you'll enjoy your time on which ever you choose.

We made the Jump to MSC and tried the Seaside last year for the very first time, and it was amazing. 

With that said, we chose to go on her again in January, but also try the Meraviglia in March.

I would think they would have more in common than differences.

Happy Cruising. (Sorry, I know I didn't answer the question.. just because I don't think it would be fair to chose on over the other ) 

🙂

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Posted (edited)

We're trying Seaview (Seaside's sister ship) the week after next.  We've already sailed on Meraviglia and will be on again in October.  While I won't know which of the two I prefer until 10 days' time, it's safe to say that they are very different ships.  Seaside-class was built "to follow the sun" and has a lot of outdoor spaces;  Meraviglia is an all-weather ship (she's currently based in Northern Europe - that should tell you something!) so most of the focus is on the indoor spaces.  There's a main atrium area on Seaside, whereas there is a Galleria (central promenade) on Meraviglia.  Also, Cirque has its own theatre at the aft of Mera.

Edited by Beamafar

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We were just having the same exact discussion as OP.  We sailed Seaside last year and loved most things about it.  Decided to book Meraviglia for a different ship.  We’ve read lots of reviews and people seem to love the Meraviglia.  We've done both itineraries so that wasn’t a consideration.  One thing to note for the OP, the Seaside offers a zipline (which our family loved) and the Meraviglia offers a ropes course.  Also, Seaside has an outdoor basketball court versus an indoor court on Meraviglia.  Just in case those things matter to you as it does our family.  I don’t think you can go wrong.  We’ve sailed NCL, RCCL, Carnival and truly enjoyed MSC as well.  Not in the YC by the way!

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I have been on both ships. Fantastica Balcony on Seaside and YC inner cabin on the Meraviglia. The layout of the ships is completely different. Even the Yacht Club area is different. I like the the YC restaurant and the Spa area on the Merviglia. The Seaside has an edge on the rest.

 

Now you are thinking how I got access to the YC with a Fantastica experience ? Well we met one of the senior officer on Cruise Critics meet and mingle party and it turns out he was living very close to our hometown. The officer invited us for a dinner in the YC restaurant and it happens that night they serve lobsters in the YC restaurant. We stayed the whole evening in the lounge enjoying our free drinks.

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The best description I have seen about the two classes...

 

The Seaside was built to encourage everyone to be outside.  There is a huge focus on creating more outdoor space for people to use in either the Waterfront walkway or the extensive deck space up top.  It is a ship that was designed to primarily sail in the Caribbean and to allow the passengers to take advantage of the Caribbean weather.

 

The Meraviglia was built to encourage people to enjoy the inside of the ship.  Between its beautiful features and the amazing Promenade with the video screens running the length of the ceiling, its a ship that is designed to wow you from the inside.  It is a ship that was designed for sailings in areas where passengers will still be incredibly entertained when the weather might not cooperate like it does in the Caribbean.

 

Either way, you can't really go wrong.  But that's probably the best differentiation between the two.  The Seaside wants you to enjoy the weather.  The Meraviglia wants you to enjoy the ship.  And they are both great ships to sail on.

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On 8/21/2019 at 3:32 PM, Jaco5NC said:

We were just having the same exact discussion as OP.  We sailed Seaside last year and loved most things about it.  Decided to book Meraviglia for a different ship.  We’ve read lots of reviews and people seem to love the Meraviglia.  We've done both itineraries so that wasn’t a consideration.  One thing to note for the OP, the Seaside offers a zipline (which our family loved) and the Meraviglia offers a ropes course.  Also, Seaside has an outdoor basketball court versus an indoor court on Meraviglia.  Just in case those things matter to you as it does our family.  I don’t think you can go wrong.  We’ve sailed NCL, RCCL, Carnival and truly enjoyed MSC as well.  Not in the YC by the way!

was the ropes course free?

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We thoroughly enjoyed the Seaside, sailed her last October (NB: it was our first experience with MSC, so completely new to the brand). We had the Aurea experience, which we loved. Thought the food was excellent, the crewmembers really nice, the gelato and pasta dishes were INCREDIBLE, the ship immaculate and stunning. The only negatives I'd mention were that the crew seemed overwhelmed at times by the number of passengers, and getting lounge chairs in the regular sections of the ship was difficult (we stayed in the Aurea Solarium nearly the whole time due to this), occasionally drinks took a while due to what seemed like understaffing, and I remember a couple of instances in which I ordered something at the bar, only to be told they couldn't make it due to lack of ingredients (I mentioned this to the captain). Loved the champagne bar, loved the News café in the morning for my 2 (yes, two) cappuccinos. LOVED the gym, looked brand spanking new and even the personal training classes were cheap (they've since been raised, alas). We are booked on the Meraviglia this December and are highly excited about it, especially since it'll be our first experience with the Yacht Club. To me, the crew makes or breaks a cruise and the MSC staff we met were fantastic, always smiling, remembering our names, etc. We're big MSC fans now!

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