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MSC Seaside v Norwegian Epic


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Hello All,

I've done a few cruises over the years - mainly around 10-15 years ago on smaller ships (Explorer of the Seas was the biggest I had done back then).

A couple of years ago I then done the Norwegian Epic - loved it although it wasn't without its faults but on the whole loved the cruise - the entertainment, the amount of restaurants, the number of things to do on board etc.

 

I'm now looking at MSC Seaside and noticing it has a higher capacity (~5100 v ~4200) however, a lot less restaurants (Epic = 20 (7 complimentary), Seaside = 7 (4 complimentary) and possibly even less swimming pools too?

 

So... has anyone done both? What do you think? How do they compare? What would be the pros of doing the Seaside over Epic?

 

Thank you all!

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Seaside has more/better outdoor space. The "Waterfront" on Seaside is better than the NCL Waterfront (which Epic doesn't have).

 

Epic has more dining options and more dining "freedom". NCL's Freestyle Dining is better than the more traditional dining on MSC. You can dine anytime on MSC but only if booking a more expensive/higher "experience".

 

Based on your post, I think that doing Epic again would be better since MSC is "different" even for seasoned cruisers. Some people like the differences, some don't, and some don't really care. 

 

Epic is also "different" but those differences didn't seem to bother you much. If booking NCL, I'd look to ships built after Epic or after Getaway if looking for a large ship with more to do. 

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 We have done both. 

 

 Epic=No sea views

 Seaside=Amazing sea views/water access.

 

 I didn't feel that the Seaside was overly crowded. MDR for breakfast and lunch were never bad at all. Dinner was fixed seating so you were stuck where they put you. I felt that dinners in the MDR on the Seaside were just fair, we never had an entire meal that was really good. Pizza in their buffet is amazing though.

 Some people loved the shows on the Seaside, I felt that they were just ok, and were repetitive (IE Dancers, Skater Guy, Gymnast people, Pole Dancer guy etc). The rest of the entertainment fell flat, they had to cater to so many nationalities I think that it made things challenging.

  Service was great on both lines. But, we have no plans to do MSC again unless they're is a screaming deal.

 

 

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45 minutes ago, Two Wheels Only said:

Seaside has more/better outdoor space. The "Waterfront" on Seaside is better than the NCL Waterfront (which Epic doesn't have).

 

Epic has more dining options and more dining "freedom". NCL's Freestyle Dining is better than the more traditional dining on MSC. You can dine anytime on MSC but only if booking a more expensive/higher "experience".

 

Based on your post, I think that doing Epic again would be better since MSC is "different" even for seasoned cruisers. Some people like the differences, some don't, and some don't really care. 

 

Epic is also "different" but those differences didn't seem to bother you much. If booking NCL, I'd look to ships built after Epic or after Getaway if looking for a large ship with more to do. 

Thanks, that's really helpful!

I think we will end up with Seaside - I like something new/different so think we will give it a go.

The dinner thing does bother me - seems very old school now to have a set time for dinner. Can I just confirm - if I booked the early dinner and decided against it are you saying I wouldn't be able to eat in the MDR that night or would I just have to wait 10/15mins?

 

We were totally treated on the Epic as it was our honeymoon so they gave us (free of charge) 3 dinners in paid for restaurants of our choice and the dinner circus show so 4 out of 7 nights we had amazing dinners. Even if we done Epic again we wouldn't get that so Seaside it is I think!

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  You are correct, if you miss your dining time you're out of luck. The only exception to that is if you book the Aurea Experience, that one comes with My Time Dining.

  We did a status match to Black on MSC so we received one free specialty meal, we had the Butchers Cut and it was very, very good, but big bucks if you wanted to pay for it.

 

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2 hours ago, amurray88 said:

We were totally treated on the Epic as it was our honeymoon so they gave us (free of charge) 3 dinners in paid for restaurants of our choice and the dinner circus show so 4 out of 7 nights we had amazing dinners. Even if we done Epic again we wouldn't get that so Seaside it is I think!

 

Depending on what you book with NCL, you'll probably have the option of 3 specialty meals (for a 7 nighter) as a promo. You would just pay the 20% service charge on the 3SDP. 

 

You will probably also have the option of taking the Premium Beverage Package (PBP) as a promo (also paying the 20% service charge on the package). 

 

You might get both promos or even those 2 plus some more.  It would depend on what type of stateroom you book or if a "Take All Promos..." type of situation is happening when you book. 

 

You can also skip all promos and pay for things a la carte if that works out better for you financially. Sail Away rates are lower but don't have promos and you don't choose your stateroom. Not every stateroom type has a Sail Away option, though.  

Edited by Two Wheels Only
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