The ship that gets you closer to the sea…
The concept of MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview is to get you closer to the sea and provide a completely different cruise experience compared to other ships that can often be quite inward looking, for example NCL Epic and MSC Meraviglia.
We boarded the maiden voyage of MSC Seaview in Genoa, having spent the evening prior watching the fireworks from the Piazza Principe train station. What a spectacle!
Embarkation was efficient, as Black Card holders we were among the first passengers onboard… First impressions count and only one word is needed to sum up this ship… WOW
The spectacular central atrium with it’s glistening Swarovski stairs and balcony over the bar that acts as a stage where a band were playing to welcome passengers onboard.
As we walked around the ship we met a number of crew we know from previous cruises - many of them had worked on the launch of MSC Meraviglia and MSC Seaside - presumably their experience with launching a new ship is a great asset to the company.
We headed to the buffet on deck 8 for a spot of lunch - there was an excellent variety of food available, from the usual burgers and pizzas to fresh rotisserie chicken, beef carvery, curries and ‘Med corner’ with delicious meats and cheeses.
One of Seaview’s most handsome features, and in my opinion a game changer is the Boardwalk promenade on Deck 8 - there are several seating areas which can be reached from the multitude of bars and the buffet restaurant. Our thoughts on this are that the ‘norm’ on the cruises we have completed previously is that you’re either sat in a lounge within the ship or you’re on the top deck - having this outside seating area is a fantastic addition to the cruising experience.
Our balcony cabin was ready for us early, and what a luxury to set foot in a room that had never been slept in. The cabin is a decent size and the balcony feels deeper than previous ships we have been on. It was certainly well thought out - the only criticism I have is that drawer space is somewhat limited - there’s enough for most needs, however this could be a problem for longer cruises.
Muster at 5:30 - this was efficient and no need to lug a life jacket round as they are now stored at the muster stations rather than in your cabin - this is a great improvement as it negates the need for all passengers to be using the stairs and lifts to take their jackets back before carrying on with the rest of the day.
We spent some time on deck and also in the Sports Bar where we were very happy to see Francisco - one of the fantastic bartenders we have met a number of times - he’s an awesome guy with a great personality and attitude.
Our allotted dining time was 8:15pm in the Silver Dolphin restaurant on deck 6. The restaurant was nearly an hour late opening - as it was the first night there’s no wonder that there will be some delays and teething issues. In all honesty our waiter wasn’t too great either, service was slow and not delivered with a smile; we missed the theatre show due to the amount of time it took, so rather than be on a downer we spoke with the Maitre d’ who changed our table for the following evening.
The rest of the night was spent exploring the multitude of bars, chatting with friends and having a really great time! There was a fabulous party band in one of the bars, and Andy and I found ourselves jiving!
The next morning we went for breakfast in the Golden Sands main dining room and were seated at a table for two. We were sat for a long time patiently waiting to place our order (about half an hour in total) and eventually gave up hope and decided to grab something from one of the buffets.
On our way out we saw one of the crew, Camila, from our cruise on MSC Meraviglia in November. She was genuinely pleased to see us. We spoke with her about our two poor experiences up to that point and were delighted that she offered us a table in her restaurant on the ‘My Choice’ (anytime dining) section.
This to me is a brilliant example of the great service we get from MSC - sometimes things do go wrong, but it’s about addressing any problems and putting things right.
We came in to Naples at lunch time and took our excursion to the beautiful island of Capri… As we’re currently in Malta waiting for the gun salute I’ll cover more of the details of the cruise when I get back!