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KSSS2013

Maybe somewhat live from the Seaside 11/9

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8 hours ago, DCGuy64 said:

Thank you for the photos. I don't remember the self-serve wine station when we were on the Seaside, but what a great idea! Like the hack for the DND light, my wife can't sleep if there's a bright light on so we may have to try that.

Tried it last time on Seaside.  One problem was my 12 year old son's card could get wine from dispenser.  Dont know if his was programmed wrong because we were in YC and beverage package is just loaded on card.  Wonder if that has been fixed to not let minors get wine and beer?

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 Last night was Italian night. It was very underwhelming. The rice balls were weird and orange in the middle. 

  I had the chicken parm. It was crispy, bit lacked flavor and they really didnt put any aauce on it. Halfway through I bit into a nasty piece of gristle so I was done. The pasta had a light butter coating. 

  The people that ordered the lasagna werent impressed, they said it was mushy. I dont think anyone finished theirs. 

   The osso buco was the star from what I heard. 

   The lemon cake was pretty good, tiramisu was just ok. 

  I really want to like the food but dinners are just fair. Breakfast is generally good, I like their omlettes in the MDR. 

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 Final night dinner. I had the Cioppino which was very nice. The wife had salmon which she enjoyed. One of our tablemates had the shrimp alfredo which was a tiny portion. He mentioned it the server who promptly brought out a double portion. 

 Dessert was blah. Nobody finished theirs. Ours was a bananna bread pudding which was just ickie. 

  

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Random shots of the ship at some of the ports and random stuff around the upper decks at night. 

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Edited by KSSS2013
Photos

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 Last morning on the ship. We are diamond, so we had an early luggage tag. The MDR was pretty much empty at 6:45, the menu is slightly limited compared to normal days. 

  I had the poached eggs for the first time, nicely done and the parmesan on top was a nice touch. 

  After breakfast we went to the theater and were off the ship, through facial recognition for customs and at our gate by 8:45. It was a smooth process, but I am guessing its more hectic as the morning goes on. 

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 Last night I decided to try the hot wings in the Sports Bar. I was impressed, the diablo wings were fairly hot but not overwhelming and they were nice and crispy. I do question MSCs match since the more wings you get, the more expensive they are??

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KSSS, you mentioned getting off the ship early because of being Diamond.  We are Diamond, but would prefer departing a bit later, as our flight isn't until 2:40.  Is that something you can request?  Do they ask for transportation times to help arrange the various departure times?

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 Their departure is different that any cruise I have been on. They depart by decks. So without diamond, ours was something like 10:30 or something. I dont see why you couldnt stay on later, your luggage will still ne waiting for you down under its color code. It looked like all luggage was ready to go when we left. 

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Welcome home! Thank you for taking the time to post...your photos are fantastic! Although the food seems to have left a lot to be desired, I hope you had an enjoyable and relaxing vacation!

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 So here are our final thoughts about the cruise. Just for background, we've cruised on NCL (primary), RCCL, and Princess. Keep in mind, food and entertainment is extremely subjective so my opinion can certainly differ from yours. We certainly enjoy good food, but aren't food snobs, but if I go to a high end restaurant, I have higher expectations than from Olive Garden.

 

 

  Embarkation: We were there around 10:30 and it was very smooth. We had to remind the check-in person to give us our priority boarding pass. There was a nice priority boarding area and we were on by 11:30ish. The main buffet didn't open until noon, but we sat at the back and it wasn't busy.

 

  Ship design: Amazing! MSC really did it right with this style. Overall it rarely felt crowded, there are multiple pools, and it's very easy to get a seat where you can view the ocean. The ship was clean and there were people out cleaning the public areas all the time. The buffet would get crazy at peak times, but that's pretty typical of any ship, if you'd go outside you normally could find a seat quickly.

 

   Room: We had 15177 which is a Fantastica interior. It was very spacious, but my wife commented that the storage seemed a bit more limited than other ships. The Miami Beach bar was right above us but we rarely heard any noise. There was some chair scraping late at night once or twice, but overall it didn't disturb us. The ship did move when it was windy/wave (normal) and our room creaked quite a bit which is something we never experienced on other ships. We asked out table mates at dinner and they experienced the same noises. Not a big deal, but just something to not. The bathroom was fine, the shower was a bit smaller than other ships we've been on, but at least it has a door instead of the shower curtain that Princess uses (ick).

 

  Staff: Overall the staff was really amazing on the ship, our room steward was outstanding. When we first got to our room, the keycard reader wasn't working right so the lights kept turning it off, we mentioned it to him and it was promptly fixed, he also followed up to make sure it was taken care of. When we walked down the hall, the other room stewards would always greet us. Service at the MDR for breakfast and lunch was friendly. Dinner was much more reserved, which I associate with European service. They were attentive but not chatty at all, I didn't see it as a problem, but it's good to set your expectations. We had an opportunity to meet some of the senior staff at an event (we skipped the Cruise Critic M&G), and they all wanted our opinions of the ship and service. The Captain was very friendly and we had a nice little chat with him. I found that bar service varied depending on the location, it was usually quicker to just get up and order directly at the bar.

 

  Food: This is a tough one. I will say their pizza really is the best I've had on a cruise ship. We tried the buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The cinnamon/caramel rolls get a special shout-out, there were very good. I felt that breakfast was good, I went for the omelettes which are made to order. Stay away from the corned beef hash though. The buffet at lunch was good, they had the staples, pizza, burger, salad, breads. The pasta area varied a little, and they had a carving station which was really good at lunch, plus some Asian options. We tried dinner one time and were really disappointed, they closed the side with the Asian and some other things, so the selection was limited. I understand why people complained about the lack of variety, I wouldn't eat there every day.

  We at at the MDR for breakfast/lunch/dinner most of the time. Breakfast overall was good, but service was inconsistent on things. Some days we would get water, other days not. When we ordered toast, you had to make sure you asked for butter and jam or you wouldn't get any. The coffee was really good for a cruise ship. Depending on the server, they would add milk automatically so you if want it black speak up before they pour. Lunches were enjoyable, we ate there twice and food was good both times. I found it funny that the pasta portions were larger at lunch than at dinner. Dinner is where we felt very let down. One issue was that we had a table for 8. We don't enjoy shared dining, but we had good table mates, we were all the same age range and got along well, my preference would have been to request a table for two, so that's on us. The food at dinner was just ok. There seemed to be one good dish per night, so hopefully you chose well. I want to point out that the prime rib on elegant night was very good, but they put gravy on it, which was a bit weird. Another really bizarre thing is that on the second elegant night, they announced a big surprise and brought out big platters of baked Alaska...but apparently it was just for show since they didn't actually serve it. Dinner service was fairly quick, we were typically out in 60-90 minutes depending on how slow we were to eat.

  We had our diamond meal in Butcher's Cut, it was VERY good, our steaks were done perfectly, and the multiple sauces they serve were all very good. Service was attentive and the restaurant has a great layout so it didn't feel crowded. I feel that it was probably the best steak at sea that I've had, and would rate it as a mid-range steakhouse at least.

 

  Entertainment: This was the biggest letdown for us. Yes, they had big shows in the theater every night, but while the performers were talented, they were repetitive, they would sing, ring guy would come out, then the contortionist, roller skaters, and pole guy. One night was good, but by night three it was a bit boring, but I will admit some shows were better than others. The Skywalker show was absolutely outstanding though, my wife does not like Michael Jackson at all, and even she thought it was really good...it almost fell apart when they brought out pole guy, but thankfully he wasn't on for long.

  The entertainment around the rest of the ship was disappointing, almost every night we couldn't find anything to do, MSC doesn't do very many of the typical game shows, and when they were scheduled, it usually overlapped our show times. There was a piano guy in one of the bars that was talented, but I seriously heard him playing the same song every night when we went by. He'd also play for 20 or so minutes, then take a 30+ minute break. We never really found anything else to do, the theme nights really weren't our thing. We love Karaoke, but since it's such an international mix, the songs usually weren't very good so we only went one time.

 

   Other passengers: We were aware that there is a large percentage of Europeans on the ship, so we expected announcements etc in multiple languages. Overall we never experienced any issues getting on/off elevators or people cutting in lines. It might have happened a cpl of times, but that's true of any ship.

 

   So in summary, while the ship and staff was great, we'll probably not do MSC again unless there's an amazing port-intensive itinerary. We can work with just ok food at dinner, but the lack of entertainment is really a deal killer for us. 

  

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