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dznymom

Seaside 10/5/19 Review

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I haven't done an actual review for awhile, but I thought I would give it a whirl this time.  This was my second cruise on the Seaside but I have over 50 cruises on most of the mainstream lines, so I think I have a pretty good point of reference.

 

This was an excellent cruise with many, many positives and only a couple of little negatives.  I will definitely sail again with MSC

  

Embarkation could not have been better.  We left the Intercontinental a few minutes after 11 and we were onboard sipping our first cocktail (after purchasing our beverage packages) at 12:07.  

 

Staterooms were ready a bit before 2, I think.  I booked a Bella Outside guarantee but a couple days before the cruise we got assigned to a Balcony with an oversized balcony (I think it was classified as Aurea?) right over the Spa area.  Our friends booked a Bella Balcony guarantee and were upgraded to a little suite with a whirlpool on the balcony.  We were all thrilled with the upgrades, and it started things off on a high note.  I found the storage in the balcony was adequate for 2 women with lots of stuff, although I was glad I brought the over the door shoe holder for lots of our odds and ends.

 

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We all got the easy drink package.  It was a non-issue ordering pina coladas, frozen margaritas and other frozen concoctions.  After specifying once that we would have the non-alcoholic version with the booze on the side, they just mixed them for us.  It was delightful!  I think that package is a great value for most people.  My only complaint is that I love decent wine and I could not abide either of the reds, and the whites were barely palatable.  But I suffered through.  The prosecco was okay, especially with a splash or cranberry or OJ.  And we drank tons of water and sparkling water, so we definitely got our money's worth.

 

We are smokers and spent lots and lots of time in the smoking area on Deck 7 at the South Beach Pool Bar.  The bartenders and servers were exceptional and kept us fully hydrated all week.  It's a pleasant enough area and is covered, so works well when the weather isn't great.  

 

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We ate most breakfasts and lunches at the buffet.  I think it compares favorably to most of the cruise buffets I have encountered, although there are some that are a step or 2 above in variety.  The food was fresh and good and we sure didn't go hungry.  The carving station was usually very good, and varied between roast pork, roast turkey, beef, fish and chicken from day to day.  I loved the mediterranean station, and the grill and pizza were very good.  Desserts were hit or miss, but that's the case on every cruise I think.  Breakfast was the usual.  There were ample omelet stations and I never had more than 2 people in front of me, although I avoided the buffet on port mornings during "rush hour".  One afternoon after it rained in port, I made the mistake of hitting the buffet with every other person on the ship, and it was a mob scene.  This was the one place I encountered rude people from time to time, but I kept reminding myself that I was on vacation and to shrug it off.  

 

We had early dining in the Ipanema dining room.  We had a terrific serving team, and enjoyed all of our dinners.  After the first night they brought us 2 bread baskets every night because my buddies were decimating it!  For entrees rack of lamb, duck, chicken parmesan and prime rib particularly stood out.  There were some fabulous appetizers - Crispy pancetta with asparagus and hollandaise, mushroom and leek quiche, a mushroom tarte, and a lovely charcuterie plate were my favorites.  I never had to resort to the everyday menu as something else always appealed to me.  Desserts were good but not exceptional, but we were usually stuffed by then.  We got our drinks quickly and I had refills of wine most evenings.  The only thing that took some time was cappuccino, but I think our guy must have had to go somewhere else to get it.  All in all, the MDR food was very good.

 

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Butcher's Cut was exceptional.  We had a wonderful server and our steaks and sides were all cooked perfectly.  Desserts were also fabulous.  We were able to use our drink package there, although I thought I had read that you couldn't.  I splurged for a beautiful pinot noir though, and it was worth it.  Sadly, I forgot my camera this night as the food was beautiful and the sunset was spectacular.

 

I had a spa pass and throughly enjoyed my time there.  It was never crowded and I used it most days.  I love the heated loungers, the salt room and the therapy pool, but my favorite is the hot tub on deck.  I only shared it once, so it was heavenly out there.  My roommate showered there everyday instead of in the room, since it was so convenient to our room, so that was nice for both of us.

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We were booked on a casino offer, so we spent too much time in there.  Truthfully, the casino is far too small with too little variety for such a large ship.  But the drink service in there is crazy good, and having the casino drinks as part of our deal, I was able to get some better wines and liquors in there which was nice.  Bernie was one of the best servers I have encountered anywhere!  We won't talk about the payouts (or lack thereof) haha.

 

I actually went to 2 shows which is rare for me, but I enjoyed them both.  Peter Punk was pretty bizarre (must have been a stoner that put that one together!) but quite an enjoyable spectacle.  Moonwalker, the Michael Jackson tribute, was one of the best shows I have ever seen at sea.  Really, really good.  We didn't do any other activities, but there seemed to be plenty to do.  

 

We loved that the pools were so deep as we were actually comfortable getting in them and swimming a bit, as opposed to the Human Stew pools on other cruises where people stand in them shoulder to shoulder drinking all day (yuck).   We loved the South beach pool as it didn't seem nearly as crowded as the Miami Beach pool on 16.  We walked through the Jungle Pool area one port day and there were only a handful of people in there, and it is a really cute area. We had good intentions of doing the waterslides, but we were always too lazy.  They seemed to be very popular though.

 

Gelato was amazing.  The kiddie portion at $3.50 is plenty because it is so rich, so well worth it for such deliciousness.  My favorite was a hazelnut swirl with chocolate topping - Oh my heaven! 

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I forgot to mention that I got all of my Black Card benefits.  Also, we really enjoyed the Cruise Critic eat and Greet.

 

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Disembarkation was so simple it was crazy.  Never have I experienced one that ran as smoothly as this one.  

 

I have to say, this was another great cruise and I think MSC offers a product that works very well for me and my friends.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by dznymom

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I just want to add that you don't need to book the Yacht Club to have a wonderful cruise on MSC.  At no time did I feel like I was missing anything, and we were all amazed by how fabulous the crew was in every situation.  

 

I didn't mention the ports as we only got off twice because we loved having a nearly empty ship to ourselves.  We did an independent Sting ray City & Snorkeling excursion in Grand cayman and it was excellent.  

 

In Cozumel, we just got off and went to Pancho's Backyard, my very favorite restaurant, and then did a bit of drunk shopping before getting back onboard before most everyone else.   

 

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7 hours ago, dznymom said:

I just want to add that you don't need to book the Yacht Club to have a wonderful cruise on MSC.  At no time did I feel like I was missing anything, and we were all amazed by how fabulous the crew was in every situation.  

 

I didn't mention the ports as we only got off twice because we loved having a nearly empty ship to ourselves.  We did an independent Sting ray City & Snorkeling excursion in Grand cayman and it was excellent.  

 

In Cozumel, we just got off and went to Pancho's Backyard, my very favorite restaurant, and then did a bit of drunk shopping before getting back onboard before most everyone else.   

 

Absolutely true.

But it's nice for the ones that can/will/do ...One of the best high end offerings at sea, but the experience sailing 'regular' is still a joy and a pleasure 99% of the time.

So glad you enjoyed 

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16 hours ago, dznymom said:

 

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Thank you for your review.  Sounds like you had a very good cruise...

Wondering if you could answer a few questions...

1- What cabin were you in?  Balcony looks great!!

2 - The above picture - Is that part of black card perks -> It looks great.  Presentation is top.

3-  Which bar did you enjoy the most?  Which bar did you order the frozen drinks with a shot on the side at?  We will be doing this several times.

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31 minutes ago, tcmagnum said:

Thank you for your review.  Sounds like you had a very good cruise...

Wondering if you could answer a few questions...

1- What cabin were you in?  Balcony looks great!!

2 - The above picture - Is that part of black card perks -> It looks great.  Presentation is top.

3-  Which bar did you enjoy the most?  Which bar did you order the frozen drinks with a shot on the side at?  We will be doing this several times.

 

I almost always have a very good cruise!  I am there to enjoy myself, and that is what I do!!

 

We were in 9044.  I really liked the location due to proximity to the spa and it was a reasonable distance from the stairs/elevators.  Plus we had a really good room steward.  

 

Actually, that picture was from the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet.  They had one of those on each table plus some chips and other munchies.  They brought around trays of drinks which were much more interesting than I have encountered on other ships, but you could also order anything you like.   The prosecco bucket was from Black card along with a plate of chocolate covered strawberries & a chocolate ship which appeared in our stateroom on the Jamaica day.

 

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We had our best luck at the South Beach Bar for speed of service, ability to improvise and overall friendliness.  They also had a cappuccino machine there, so we were able to get those in the morning and later in the day with a coffee drinks with a shot of fun.  I think it was the Shine bar in the Atrium that was good too, but we didn't spend much time there.  We were creatures of habit from the moment we stepped onboard it seems!

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19 minutes ago, dznymom said:

A little more thought on the stateroom.

We were in 9044.  I really liked the location due to proximity to the spa and it was a reasonable distance from the stairs/elevators.  Being on deck 9, we used the stairs much more than the elevators as so much of what we liked to do were between decks 6 and 8.  Plus we had a really good room steward.  Our friends had a nicer room up on 15 (15185) but I much preferred our location, although they were close to the buffet and activities on deck 16.

 

 

 

Edited by dznymom

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I really appreciate your review! We have always sailed on small ships with 2600 or fewer pax, as I get anxious in crowds. We have booked Yacht Club on Meraviglia to test the big ship waters, but have gaurantee, connecting Fantastica balconies on Seaside next September. Your review took away my worries about that trip! I'm so glad that you had such a positive experience! We also will have the easy package for the September trip and I was so glad to hear that service and selection were good, with the exception of the wine. Thanks, again, for taking the time to share!

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On 10/17/2019 at 6:38 PM, dznymom said:

We all got the easy drink package.  It was a non-issue ordering pina coladas, frozen margaritas and other frozen concoctions.  After specifying once that we would have the non-alcoholic version with the booze on the side, they just mixed them for us.  It was delightful!  I

 

I don't understand this bit about ordering non-alcoholic drinks with booze on the side.  Why?  And then why be delighted when they just started to mix them for you?  There's something I'm not understanding here.

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45 minutes ago, mnocket said:

 

I don't understand this bit about ordering non-alcoholic drinks with booze on the side.  Why?  And then why be delighted when they just started to mix them for you?  There's something I'm not understanding here.

Because we got the Easy Drink package it does not include the frozen alcoholic drinks.  However, we are entitled to any of the mocktails which includes the frozen virgin drinks, and we are also entitled to the house liquors.  So, it's a way to work around the restrictions of the Easy Drink package.  Since each person in the room has to get the same package, and my roommate doesn't drink much alcohol at all, it would not have  been worth it to her to pay for the better package.  Because the Easy Drinks are only a few dollars more than the non-alcohol package, she didn't mind paying for Easy Drinks even though she mostly drank water, sparkling water, soda and coffee drinks. SO this is a way to work around the restrictions.

 

If you google your cruise girl msc easy drink you will find a great explanation of the package.

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On 10/17/2019 at 9:04 PM, dznymom said:

I just want to add that you don't need to book the Yacht Club to have a wonderful cruise on MSC.  At no time did I feel like I was missing anything, and we were all amazed by how fabulous the crew was in every situation.  

 

I didn't mention the ports as we only got off twice because we loved having a nearly empty ship to ourselves.  We did an independent Sting ray City & Snorkeling excursion in Grand cayman and it was excellent.  

 

In Cozumel, we just got off and went to Pancho's Backyard, my very favorite restaurant, and then did a bit of drunk shopping before getting back onboard before most everyone else.   

 

 

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Just now, cmdchiefthom said:

 

I'm curious as to where the Seaside docked during your port call?  I've been spoiled by docking directly downtown so many times, but am wondering if because of the size of the Seaside, it might be docked at the south end of town.😉  

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26 minutes ago, cmdchiefthom said:

I'm curious as to where the Seaside docked during your port call?  I've been spoiled by docking directly downtown so many times, but am wondering if because of the size of the Seaside, it might be docked at the south end of town.😉  

 

We were right downtown.  I was surprised when I saw that in the itinerary, and half expected to be at the far end, but we did indeed dock at Punta Langosta.  It is so much nicer than the ones in the south end if you just plan to wander around downtown!

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6 hours ago, dznymom said:

Because we got the Easy Drink package it does not include the frozen alcoholic drinks.  However, we are entitled to any of the mocktails which includes the frozen virgin drinks, and we are also entitled to the house liquors.  So, it's a way to work around the restrictions of the Easy Drink package.  Since each person in the room has to get the same package, and my roommate doesn't drink much alcohol at all, it would not have  been worth it to her to pay for the better package.  Because the Easy Drinks are only a few dollars more than the non-alcohol package, she didn't mind paying for Easy Drinks even though she mostly drank water, sparkling water, soda and coffee drinks. SO this is a way to work around the restrictions.

 

If you google your cruise girl msc easy drink you will find a great explanation of the package.

 

I didn't know this.  Very clever👍

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Do they offer a house tequila with the easy package?  I have not been able to find this information out anywhere. Also thanks for the wonderful review! 

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54 minutes ago, cruisepro927 said:

Do they offer a house tequila with the easy package?  I have not been able to find this information out anywhere. Also thanks for the wonderful review! 

Nope. The list is at the website in the description. It's a bit surprising, given a Long island ice tea is covered, bit there's no tequila in the Easy package, so no tequila shots, or virgin margarita with shot on side, etc. 

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On 10/18/2019 at 2:04 AM, dznymom said:

I just want to add that you don't need to book the Yacht Club to have a wonderful cruise on MSC.  At no time did I feel like I was missing anything, and we were all amazed by how fabulous the crew was in every situation.  

 

I didn't mention the ports as we only got off twice because we loved having a nearly empty ship to ourselves.  We did an independent Sting ray City & Snorkeling excursion in Grand cayman and it was excellent.  

 

In Cozumel, we just got off and went to Pancho's Backyard, my very favorite restaurant, and then did a bit of drunk shopping before getting back onboard before most everyone else.   

 

We are looking at booking the stingray and snorkel, did you do the one on wave runners, if so who did you go with 

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5 hours ago, stoneman56 said:

We are looking at booking the stingray and snorkel, did you do the one on wave runners, if so who did you go with 

 

No, we did a traditional one with Captain Marvin.  It was perfect for us, but pretty tame if you are the wave runner type :)

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