One of the newest ships to grace our shores, the lovely MSC Seaside, which debuted in December 2017, is a ship specifically developed and designed for the North American market – and it’s a winner.
The bold and innovative design, with a wrap-around promenade on Deck 8 offers guests many choices for outside dining and relaxing. Deck 7 aft has a small “South Beach” pool and bar but it’s the Miami condo look – unusual but attractive – that sets it apart. With two panoramic elevators set between two towers of rooms it’s quite impressive and topped by a catwalk dubbed “the bridge of sighs” affording phenomenal views.
Interactive screens and live music create a vibrant atmosphere in the Atrium.
The Seaside is ultra-glam but also has many attributes that will suit a wide and varied audience – including families of all ages. One of the most magnificent spots is the mid-ship four-level Atrium anchoring decks 5 through 8 and connected by two sets of gorgeous, swooping Swarovski staircases. This space is vibrant and buzzing – the heart of the ship essentially. With a
variety of bars and lounges created on each level, an ever-changing, fabulous backdrop of LED screens and a small “stage” for live musical entertainment, or a DJ playing favorite tunes, this is the place to be – at any time of day.
The Atrium is just one example where MSC has really upped their game in the overall ship design and décor of the Seaside. For the most part, the public spaces are attractive and appealing with virtually no jarring notes. The ship flows well throughout the interior, while the upper, outside decks are full of all kinds of fun for everyone.
The alternative restaurants on Deck 16 clustered around a welcoming and romantic cocktail lounge, include a Steak House, the really charming Ocean Cay for Seafood and the three-in-one restaurant space located on one side of the ship, created by celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi. His Asian Market Kitchen offers a Teppanyaki room, a Sushi Food Bar and a main Pan- Asian venue. This is an alluring space with fabulous décor and a wide range of menu choices at reasonable prices. All dining spots on this deck are by reservation and each charges a fee – but they are well worth it.
Of course there are two large main restaurants and two casual buffet areas, with the smaller one dedicated to families – a great idea. The two main restaurants have also recently introduced three set times for evening dining rather than just two, which affords less crowded space and a more leisurely dining experience as well. As in all new ships, especially in the first of a class (the second ship the Seaview comes later this year), there are always tweaks being made by the cruise line to ensure guest satisfaction.
Seaside features the longest zipline at sea.
This is a natural ship for families, with lots to do; the kids will love the bowling alley, the two ziplines, the fantastic water-park with its variety of slides, plus the terrific Jungle Pool and play area. Naturally there are Kids Clubs for all ages and a babysitting program as well.
And there’s more – much more. The Sports Bar, the French Brasserie, the Champagne Bar and the elegant and popular Venchi, a coffee bar, Cioccogelateria (chocolates and ice cream) and creperie that is delicious in every way. Add to this a wide range of award-winning entertainment in the theater every night plus music of all kinds in various lounges throughout the ship. There’s a spacious Spa and the Yacht Club, the ship-within-a-ship concept is larger and even better than on other ships. A key factor here is that the restaurant for the Yacht Club guests (special key-card entry) is now contained within the several decks that this ship category occupies rather than being out in another area. For those discerning guests who want a more rarified on board atmosphere, consider the Yacht Club with its suites and many benefits and inclusions.
There is a wide variety of staterooms, many with balconies and they are comfortable, have all the amenities necessary and most of all, the prices are very attractive. For a marvelous week of Caribbean cruising, this ship is a great choice.
The MSC Seaside is not just a ship that follows the Caribbean sun from its home port of Miami on a year-round basis, it is a beautiful ship that is basking in the glow of a warm and bright sun and one that will appeal to many Canadians for years to come.
IF YOU GO The Seaside sails year round from Miami on two different 7-day Caribbean cruises. Ask your travel agent for information, pricing and special offers from the cruise line.
Written by Vanessa Lee. Originally published in Cruise & Travel Lifestyles Spring/Summer 2018 issue. Photos courtesy of MSC Cruises.