A member of MSC Cruises’ Seaside class, MSC Seaside is, fittingly, the lead ship in the class and the first of her kind. A relatively new ship, she was launched in 2017. As such, cruisers can expect a wide array of up-to-the-minute attractions and world-class amenities on the new vessel.
In the past, MSC Seaside has sailed around the Caribbean and from Florida, with stops in such popular destinations as the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Mexico and Miami. MSC Cruises intends to move the ship to the Mediterranean in 2021.
If you’re planning on taking an MSC cruise aboard the cruise ship, what can you expect and what do you need to know about this ship? What are the facts that you need in order to make your trip as memorable and enjoyable as possible?
We’ve pulled all the info together for you. Here are the 10 must-know things to learn about the MSC Seaside cruise ship.
1. MSC Seaside premiered as the 14th largest cruise ship in the world in 2017.
When MSC Seaside was delivered in December 2017, she was the 14th largest cruise ship in the world, following Norwegian Epic. The ship was also the largest ship ever constructed at the Italian shipyard, Fincantieri.
So just how big is this mammoth vessel? It boasts a gross tonnage of 153,516 GT; a length of 1,060 feet; and 18 decks. It can hold 4,132 passengers at double occupancy, and 5,119 passengers at maximum capacity. She carries 1,413 crew members, during a normal sailing.
However, MSC Seaside was actually intended to be larger. When MSC Cruises placed the order for their two initial Seaside ships, they placed the order for a 154,000 GT ship. Instead, both initial Seaside-class ships came out under this, at 153,516 GT each for MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview, which entered service in June 2018.
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The other two Seaside-class cruise ships are significantly larger, at 169,380 GT, but neither have debuted yet. MSC Seashore is set to debut in 2021, and the yet-unnamed final and fourth Seaside-class ship is scheduled to debut in 2022.
Each of the two initial Seaside-class cruise ships cost $700 million euros each.
While MSC Seaside premiered as the 14th largest cruise ship in the world, where does she stand now, in 2020? Both MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview jointly hold the 22nd spot, still right behind Norwegian Epic.
2. MSC’s Seaside class was based off a long-awaited prototype.
MSC Seaside was based off the shipbuilder’s Project Mille, a cruise ship prototype that was conceptualized more than a decade before it was actually put into use, when it came to building MSC Seaside.
As such, MSC Seaside was touted as offering a cruising experience “unlike any other.”
What exactly did the prototype entail? Diesel generators at mid-ship; a wider hull; and, possibly most noticeably to passengers, the relocation of the most popular public areas to lower decks, which impacts the ship’s center of gravity.
Other notable changes to the public areas included a wider promenade, a custom-designed water park and a five-deck Yacht Club VIP area.
3. MSC Seaside’s VIP area really goes above and beyond.
Speaking of that Yacht Club area, it truly does offer a lot more than what you’ll find in other VIP sections of other cruise ships, with other cruise lines.
The Yacht Club is restricted to premium passengers who pay for better suites and amenities. Typically, on other cruise ships, you can expect the VIP area to offer larger, nicer staterooms, possibly a restaurant or two and maybe a private pool.
However, the Yacht Club VIP area aboard MSC Seaside is particularly expansive. It covers five decks, and offers a themed restaurant, as well as a private theater, private pool and a private bowling alley.
4. The dining options aboard the ship are limited, but the overall dining experience more than makes up for the lack of options.
While some cruise ships offer you tons and tons of dining options, with dozens of restaurants and bars or lounges combined, MSC Seaside focuses on quality versus quantity.
As such, the offerings are limited, but all are well worth trying. Expect a very European experience at most of the dining venues, with leisurely, experiential meals taking a few hours and the food being heavy on the homemade and fresh, from the seafood to the pasta.
Within the cost of your cruise, you’ll enjoy access to the two main dining rooms and then two buffets (which is a nice addition, considering many cruise ships only have one buffet).
Aboard MSC Seaside, the two main dining rooms are Seashore Restaurant and Ipanema Restaurant; the buffets are Marketplace Buffet and Biscayne Bay Buffet.
Do note that none of these are open 24/7, but they do alternate opening times in such a way that you can always find something to eat when you’re hungry, even if you can’t pick from all four options at all times of the day.
If you’re an MSC Yacht Club passenger, you’ll have additional access to that private restaurant as well. The food is a bit higher quality than what you’ll find in the main dining rooms.
Other for-a-fee restaurants include Asian Market Kitchen, for various styles of Asian cuisine, including Chinese, Teppanyaki, pan-Asian, Japanese and Hawaiian; Ocean Cay, for nautical stylings and seafood dishes; Butcher’s Cut, a classic steakhouse; and Venchi Cioccogelateria & Coffee Bar, for all of your sweet treats and coffees.
5. The entertainment is absolutely top-notch.
This is true for many MSC cruise ships and it holds true aboard MSC Seaside: the entertainment is truly top-notch and well above what you might expect with another cruise line.
There’s a 4D cinema, cirque-style entertainment, aerialists, magicians, comedy and more. The theater shows are definitely not to be missed. You can also find live music and dancing during the evening.
Do note, however, that shows aboard MSC Seaside are on the shorter side, and in a smaller theater, which may be different from what you’ve experienced on other cruises. The good thing is, there are a range of shows each night, so you can usually find one to fit your schedule.
For daytime fun, you won’t be left wanting, either. There are lots of activities, ranging from games to seminars, as well as the arcade and billiards area (with its self-leveling pool tables!), and the casino.
6. When it comes to watering holes, the options are plentiful.
While you might be limited on choices when it comes to where to dine during your MSC Seaside cruise, that’s not the case when it comes to choosing where to drink. There are lots of spots to grab a frosty beverage.
The Seaside Bar is the central, atrium-style watering hole; Shine Bar is similar, with great views; Venchi 1878 Chocolate Bar serves specialty cocktails with a dessert focus; the Champagne Bar is exactly what you’d think, of course; Garage Club is a 50s style drink and dancing venue; the Seaview Lounge is a quieter spot for a beverage; the Sports Bar combines bar snacks with an expansive beer list; Top Sail Lounge is reserved for MSC Yacht Club passengers only; and lastly, Miami Beach Bar offers tropical-style cocktails, as well as ice cream.
7. There are lots of ways to catch some rays aboard MSC Seaside.
Whether you want to take a dip in the pool or just soak in the sun, you won’t be left wanting for options when it comes to outdoor space on this ship.
There are four pools in total on MSC Seaside, as well as four water slides. The main pool can get crowded, and is surrounded by lots of seating and flanked by a movie screen.
There are three hot tubs near the main pool. A secondary pool is open to swimmers 16 and up, and has a smaller number of seats surrounding it; you can smoke in this area.
Another pool with a retractable roof is nearer some of the children’s areas, making it a good fit for those who want to keep an eye on the kids while still enjoying the water. Lastly, there’s a private pool for the MSC Yacht Club passengers, with cabanas.
The water park area features four water slides, a wading pool and water features suitable for the kids.
Don’t want to get your hair wet, but still enjoy the outdoors? You can take a stroll across the Bridge of Sighs, a glass-bottomed walking path that shows you the ocean underneath. If that’s not thrilling enough for you, there’s also a zip line. Outdoor fun is provided via some gaming tables.
8. The spa offers a wide range of treatments and experiences.
If you’re a frequent spa-goer, both at home and when you travel, you won’t want to miss a trip to the MSC Seaside spa.
There’s a huge menu of treatments to choose from, as well as a thermal suite, sensory steam rooms, saunas, a thalassotherapy pool, a cold room with snow, a private spa sun deck, two whirlpools, cabanas, a hair salon, a nail salon, a tanning booth and a barber shop.
In addition to the spa, you’ll find a fitness center, with lots of equipment and plenty of space to spread out from your fellow sweating cruisers. Classes are available for a small fee. The fitness center also, conveniently, includes locker rooms and showers, as well as saunas.
9. Kids are treated to the latest gadgets and toys, thanks to MSC Seasides’ programming for children.
The children’s programming options are varied and extensive. There are groups for just about every age group, from 1-year-olds to 17-year-olds. Plus, MSC partners with notable toy brands like LEGO to provide children with the latest and greatest in toys and experiences.
Every child enjoys age-appropriate activities and social fun, and sometimes families are invited to participate in the programming, such as with dance parties or scavenger hunts.
Teenagers will appreciate the plentiful tech and gaming options in their spaces, as well as areas to simply lounge and hang out. Teens are split into two groups, the Young Club, which is for 12-year-olds to 14-year-olds, and the Teen Club, which is for those ages 15 and up.
10. The staterooms are exactly what you’d expect from a newer, updated ship.
Even when you stay in your stateroom, you’ll enjoy MSC Seaside’s world-class amenities. The ship features open, modular connected staterooms for large families or groups (up to 10 people); balconies in the majority of the staterooms (73%); luxury suites with private hot tubs and gardens; and select balconies with a terraced design for extra sunlight.
MSC Seaside FAQ:
MSC Seaside can hold 4,132 passengers at double occupancy, and 5,119 passengers at maximum capacity. She carries 1,413 crew members, during a normal sailing.
Daytime dress is extremely casual, so feel free to wear normal beach and vacation attire. Evening dress is business casual, except for two formal nights, during which cruisers are invited to wear suits and dresses, and jeans are not allowed; some go all out and wear tuxes and ball gowns.
T-shirts and shorts are not permitted in public areas during the evening hours; swimwear is never permitted in the main dining rooms.
MSC Seaside boasts a gross tonnage of 153,516 GT; a length of 1,060 feet; and 18 decks. When MSC Seaside was delivered in December 2017, she was the 14th largest cruise ship in the world, following Norwegian Epic.
The ship was also the largest ship ever constructed at the Italian shipyard Fincantieri. Now, both MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview jointly hold the 22nd spot for largest cruise ship in the world, still right behind Norwegian Epic.
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