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13 things I loved and hated onboard MSC Seashore

MSC Split Hero

After ten cruises (eight with Royal Caribbean and two with Disney Cruise Line), I just took my first with MSC Cruises! I spent 7-nights aboard MSC Seashore sailing to Italy, Spain, and France. 

MSC Seashore is a Seaside EVO ship, meaning that she is different from the first two ships in the cruise line's Seaside Class. 

With a gross tonnage of 169,400, she is 10% bigger than MSC Seaview and can accommodate a little over 5,800 passengers. In comparison, MSC Seaview, the first ship in the class, has a maximum passenger capacity of 5,336. Likewise, her gross registered tonnage measures 153,516. 

Read more: All about MSC Cruises Seaside Class of ships

As with any vacation, there were things that I both liked and disliked about my trip. Overall, however, I was pleased with the value and would definitely sail with MSC again! 

Here are 13 things I loved and hated onboard MSC Seashore.

I loved MSC Cruises' status match program


Before I booked my cruise, I utilized MSC's status match program. Currently, I am an Emerald Crown & Anchor member, meaning that I knew I would be able to transfer my status to MSC's Voyagers Club and become a Gold member. 

While not their highest tier, it was neat that I was able to sail as the second highest tier in their loyalty program without having ever even stepped on an MSC ship! 

My benefits began during the booking process, as I was able to receive a 5% discount off of my cruise fare. My two favorite perks, however, were the free one hour in the thermal spa, welcome back cocktail reception, and complimentary MSC Voyagers Club drawstring bag. 


During the welcome back party, I was greeted with a complimentary glass of champagne, as well as light refreshments, including potato chips and nuts. There was even a non-alcoholic cocktail for children and other passengers who did not want to drink at 11:30am. This was a popular event, as you are eligible to attend after only one cruise with MSC.  

I hated the internet

MSC wifi

For my cruise, I bought the "Browse and Stream" wi-fi package, and I am close to certain that it was the worst internet I have ever had while at sea! Truthfully, I cannot imagine the speeds of the basic package. 

I did a speed test on my iPhone and found that I was able to download 2.36 megabits per second (mbps), while my upload speed was only 0.95mbps! 


When I ran the same test on my laptop, I found the download rate to be similar, with the results yielding 2.56mbps. The download rate, however, came in at 0.33mbps! In comparison, Cruise.Blog writer Allie is currently on Jewel of the Seas sailing to Iceland, and she told me that her download test came in at 9.68mbps, while her upload speed was still only 0.76mbps. 

In addition to slow internet speeds that made communicating with friends and family ashore frustrating, MSC Cruises does not allow you to rotate between devices, meaning that whatever device you initially register the package on will be the only device that is able to access wi-fi for the duration of the cruise. For that reason, I ended up purchasing two packages, so I would be able to use my phone when I did not have my laptop on me. 

I loved the elevator system


Most of my cruises have been onboard Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class ships. These are the largest passenger ships in the world and can carry over 5,700 guests at double occupancy. Of course, you can imagine that means that the limited amount of elevators feel crowded most of the time. 

On MSC Seashore, however, I loved how you had to select a deck via a screen before boarding. Once you selected which deck you wanted to go to, you would be assigned a specific elevator to get on. 

Plus, there were a few days where we were informed that the ship was sailing close to maximum capacity! For this vessel, that meant nearly 5,880 people were onboard. At double occupancy, MSC Seashore has a capacity of 4,540 passengers.  

There were only a few times during the entire cruise that the elevator was packed. Most of the time, there were no more than five or six people on at the same time as me.

I hated the lack of complimentary dining options


Having sailed on the world's largest cruise ships multiple times, I am used to have a variety of complimentary dining options. In fact, my family had a rule growing up that we would only eat at one specialty restaurant per cruise, as there were so many other options that my parents did not feel the need to pay extra! 

Outside of the buffet and main dining room, I found that there were not any other included venues. I was really missing Sorrento's and Cafe Promenade for late-night pizza and sweet treats! 

I loved the port-intensive itinerary

Elizabeth selfie

This was my first European cruise, and I truly enjoyed being able to visit three different countries via cruise ship! It was a difference experience compared to my past Caribbean and Bahamas cruises. 

With only one sea day, my schedule was busy from sun up to sun down every day! I boarded the ship in Genoa and woke up in Civitavecchia (Rome) the next morning, followed by a day in Palermo before the one and only sea day. After that, the ship visited Ibiza, Valencia, and Marseille before returning to Genoa. 

While I wish that I had more time to explore each port, it was a great time to get an overview to see what each had to offer! Now that I have been to these places, I know which ones I would consider spending extended time in during a land-based vacation. 

I hated MSC's shuttle buses into each port


With the exception of Palermo and Genoa, the cruise ship pier was not within walking distance of the towns' centers. While I appreciate that they did offer transportation, I found it to be relatively unorganized, and of course it was not included in the cost of the cruise fare! It could, however, be billed to your onboard account, meaning that you did not have to pay in cash.

In Valencia, for instance, it cost €14 for the thirty-minute ride into the city. When I got off of the ship that morning, I had to wait about twenty just for a bus to arrive! 

At €19 per adult, the price for the shuttle into Marseille was even more. Thankfully, I had arranged a separate excursion through the cruise line that cost €65 and included transportation to and from Aix-en-Provence! I am glad I made this decision, as the extra €45, to me, was worth spending for a tour. 

The cost for the bus into Ibiza was €14, too. 

Read more: 10 tips for getting the best cruise shore excursion values

I loved lounging in the adults-only Infinity Pool


Located on deck 8 in the aft of the ship is the adults-only Infinity Pool. I found this to be a great escape from the crowds at the Long Island and Jungle Pools. The wake views from the pool were nothing short of breathtaking!

There was no loud music playing, and when I was there, the pools were not even half full. 

The only negative I found, however, was that due to the pool's location, it was a bit chilly, as the sun was blocked by the ship's higher decks in the afternoon. 

The best part? There was gelato available (for an extra fee) just steps from the pool! 

I hated the theatre performances


Personally, the theatre performances onboard MSC Seashore fell flat. I saw Gravity, French Follies, and Allegro, and while the specialty acts (i.e., acrobats, contortionists, etc.) were pretty great, I disliked the singing and dancing. As an audience member, I could clearly see dancers looking at one another for cues, and because of that, they were never truly in sync. 

When it came to the theme, it was hard to follow any sort of "plot." Perhaps, though, there was not meant to be one? Overall, I was not just impressed by the original productions.  

Because there was a different show each evening, each of them were only thirty-five minutes in length. They also had three show times, with the beginning close to 7:30pm. 

I will admit, though, I thought the costumes were fun. 

I loved the food onboard 


A common complaint that I have heard about MSC Cruises is that the food is below average. On this sailing, however, I found that to be far from the truth! 

In my opinion, the buffet was better than some of the Royal Caribbean ships that I have been on. I never had any difficulty finding something to eat and was pleased the the variety. Throughout the week, I was able to try different pastas, pizzas, a beef short rib, various meats and cheeses, rice and lentils, breakfast pastries, and the salad bar. 

Of course, there were more traditional Americans offerings, such as burgers, hot dogs, and fries, but I was not too interested in them since I was in Europe!

When it came to the Central Park Main Dining Room, I enjoyed the rotating menus. I only ate there three times while on the cruise, but I was never disappointed! I can see how some of the options might have been more adventurous, such as the beetroot risotto that I had on the first night, but I personally like trying new dishes! My favorite dish that I had was the tomato bisque with lobster on gala night. 


Moreover, I had the opportunity to eat at two specialty restaurants: Kaito Teppanyaki and HOLA! Tacos & Cantina. The total cost for both was less than €50! As I mentioned earlier, I do not eat in specialty restaurants a lot due to the cost. Teppanyaki alone on Royal Caribbean can cost upwards of $50 per person, so I appreciated being able to make my money go further. 

I hated the complimentary coffee


By the third day of my seven-night cruise, I was purchasing specialty coffees each morning at the Seashore Bar located in the atrium of the ship. Personally, I found the complimentary coffee offered in the buffet to be lacking. I was surprised that they did not advertise a premium brand, like Royal Caribbean with Lavazza! 

Regardless, I found the $3.00 splurge to be worth it. My stateroom was located on the same floor as the Seashore Bar, so I found this to be a more relaxing way to start my morning, instead of going all the way up to deck 16 to be immersed in a large crowd of hungry families! 

I loved how spacious the ship felt


I know, a cruise ship feeling spacious?! Unless I was in the buffet during peak hours or passing through the Long Island pool deck, I really did not feel like I was on a ship with thousands of other passengers. 

Perhaps this was because the sailing was an interport cruise, meaning that people were embarking and disembarking in each port of call. Even on the sea day, though, I did not feel like I was overwhelmed with large masses of people like I have on other cruises. 

Speaking of this being an interport cruise, I found that to really speed up the embarkation and disembarkation procedures. I arrived at the port an hour earlier than my scheduled embarkation time, and I was still onboard within thirty minutes of getting out of the cab. 

Likewise, my group was called to disembark at 9:15am, and I was at the train station in Genoa by 9:45am. There were no long lines or groups of people hanging around all throughout the ship. I did find it odd that nobody checked my passport upon leaving the ship, though. 

I hated the lack of complimentary water available 


On Royal Caribbean ships, I am used to complimentary water being available throughout the ship, not just in the buffet and Main Dining Room. Onboard MSC, however, outside of a few complimentary locations, you were charged for still and sparkling water. 

When I ate at Kaito Teppanyaki, I was charged around €4 for a bottle of still water. They would not pour water by the glass. Had I been eating at Izumi, I know that I would have only been charged if I ordered a soda or alcoholic beverage, not water!

Because of this, I found myself pretty dehydrated on this trip. When I was in port, I'd take the opportunity to drink as many €1 and €2 bottles of water as possible before returning to the ship! Next time I cruise with MSC Cruises, I will definitely get, at least, the non-alcoholic drink package. For €29 per day, I find this price to be worth it, especially if you drink as much water as me!

I loved the live music


While I was not a fan of the theatrical performances, I loved the live music throughout the ship. There was one in particular that I enjoyed the most: Solo Pianist Paul. 

Each evening, he could be found in "Times Square" playing covers of songs from different decades. On the first night of the cruise, for instance, he played old time rock n' roll, while on the last night of my sailing, he focused on the hits of today. My favorite night, however, was when he played covers of songs from the 90s and 2000s! 

Not only did I enjoy his musical abilities, but I enjoyed the venue, too. It was bright and lively, with families passing by and stopping in for a song or two. In other words, Paul was not tucked into a confined space, like the nearby Brooklyn Cafe. 

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