Cruising opportunities to the Caribbean have increased with the introduction of the MSC Seaside—a 4,132 passenger ultra-modern, high-tech ship sailing out of Miami on a year-round basis. It will join MSC Divina’s seasonal offerings out of Florida to The Bahamas and Caribbean. And the European-based company will continue to add to its U.S. sailings in October 2019 when it brings its 2,244-stateroom Meraviglia to Miami joining the Seaside for year-round cruises to the Caribbean.
Entering the market with a star-studded naming ceremony right before the first of the year, the Seaside was conceived and constructed to undoubtedly offer something for everyone—from families with children to honeymooners, as well as adventure seekers and even those wanting an upscale relaxing experience.
“The Seaside adds another dimension of quality and variety. It’s different and revolutionary,” boasts veteran cruise executive Rick Sasso, MSC’s North America chairman. “It was built for warm weather Caribbean cruising with the most outdoor space of any new ship.” He also points to an exclusive Seaside innovation—a lower deck Promenade that encircles the entire ship. There’s also an upper deck single glass-bottomed path that leads out from the ship, allowing guests to view the ocean and, according to MSC, bring them “closer to the sea.”
In addition to Seaside’s innovative design, the ship has many high-tech features, including one guests on large ships would definitely appreciate—a digital way finder that not only provides information but can help guests find their way around the mega-ship. Add to that feature the MSC for Me wristbands, which, among a host of tech-driven features, enables parents and staff to “locate and monitor children aboard the ship.”
Continuing MSC’s efforts for family group sailings, six distinct clubs cater to children of varying ages—from the Baby Club (up to 3 years old) to the Teen Club for the 15 to 17 set. And to bring families together, there’s the DOREMI Studio, a lounge for family entertainment and activities.
While there are special features for children, Seaside caters to all age groups with entertainment, shopping, a casino, multiple bars, a spa, a gym and biking shore excursions.
The ship’s 934-seat Metropolitan theater hosts a variety of Broadway-style shows nightly; some of the 14 bars and lounges have entertainment and dancing; there are surprise shows throughout the cruise in the atrium; there’s an interactive XD cinema; a spot for billiards; a sports bar with TV; and the Forest Aquaventure Park on the top decks with four water slides, including two high-speed racing slides with clear loops extending over the side of the ship. And, according to MSC, for the first time on a cruise ship, there’s “interactive slideboarding technology.” In addition, for the thrill-seekers, there are two 344-ft.-long ziplines from the very top of the ship ending at the back of the ship. Three pools (and sun decks) and a whirlpool enhance the fun and relaxation.
Clients will be impressed with the almost 26,000-sq.-ft. Aurea Spa, featuring 22 massage rooms, a thermal area, saunas, steam rooms, special showers, and indoor and outdoor relaxation areas, plus beauty salon, nail boutique and barbershop. And, venturing to the 19th deck, cruisers will find the adults-only solarium offering spa service and a bar menu. For the fitness buffs, Seaside has a 9,300-sq.-ft. gym with state-of-the-art Technogym cardio and strength training equipment. On the top deck, there’s an outdoor sports area for basketball, soccer and other sports. And, escorted tours and activities, including bicycle tours, are available during port stops.
And then there’s one of the most popular aspects of cruising—dining. Seaside’s main restaurants have both early and late seatings and offer favorites and fine dining, as well as vegan and vegetarian options. Offering breakfast and lunch alfresco is a poolside restaurant & buffet, plus a popular dining spot is the Marketplace Buffet, with over 22,000 sq. ft. featuring multiple stations with everything from appetizers to desserts. Here, 13 food stations are designed with open kitchens so guests can interface with cooks as they serve pizza, carvings, Mexican taco wraps and other ethnic dishes, paninis, vegetarian dishes, and prepared salads. Tea, coffee and fruit drinks are available at numerous stations.
For a change of pace, there are six specialty restaurants—a bistro with French classics; a steakhouse; Ocean Cay for seafood; and the Asian Market Kitchen by renowned chef Roy Yamaguchi. Oh, did we fail to mention the Venchi chocolate bar and its mouth-watering Italian candies and gelato?
Accommodations For Everyone
Seaside has more than 2,000 suites and cabins of all shapes and sizes with ocean views, balconies, private terraces and modular connecting rooms (there are accommodations for guests with disabilities or reduced mobility, as well).
The ship’s VIP retreat, the Yacht Club, features 86 suites for those who want privacy and special amenities, which include butler service, two dedicated rooms at the spa, a dedicated restaurant, all-inclusive private bar, and private pool and sundeck with two whirlpool baths. Sasso says that this “ship within a ship” concept gives guests the upscale small ship cruise experience, plus the opportunity, if they wish, to partake in all the other features of the entire ship.
MSC Seaside: msccruisesagent.com