A lovely MSC Cruise, but room for improvement with food.
STEPHEN HOLLOWAY | November 28, 2022 | MSC Cruises | MSC Seaview
My fourth cruise with MSC, this time on the MSC Seaview was a 5-night Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona. Overall there were a lot more positives than negatives and cannot wait to sail with MSC again. Embarkation in Barcelona was very smooth and quick, we had an allocated time of 1pm, we joined the small queue to drop off luggage at around 1250 and on board in less than 15 minutes. The main dining room closed at 1pm, so we headed straight to the buffet for lunch. The Seaview has 2 buffets, the larger Marketplace buffet on deck 8, with lots of outdoor seating around the promenade deck and the smaller Ocean Point buffet on deck 16. We decided to head to deck 16, but as it was smaller we did find this quite crowded and very busy, but we did get a nice window table and had plenty of good food, even if you did have to queue a little at each station, in hindsight and from visiting the larger Marketplace buffet on other days we found this was a better option as there were multiple food stations so it felt less crowded and more choice of tables both inside and out. After lunch our rooms were ready. I had an inside on deck 12. The room was spotlessly clean, plenty big enough for just me and would be ok for 2 with adequate wardrobe space and as always, room under the bed to store even large suitcases. The shower room was perfectly adequate, with plenty of storage and the glass shower doors meant there was no sharing your shower with the curtain. My room “12111” was quiet, chosen with cabins all around, and did not feel any movement for the whole trip, though I should add the sea was very calm throughout. The ship itself is beautiful, though having been on Virtuosa previously I did get lost a few times and found it not to flow as well as the Virtuosa in some places, but exploring is part of the fun! The service in the bars was great, we loved the Seaside Lounge and the wonderful staff in there got to know our drinks before we had even sat down and were so friendly. We also liked the Sports bar and the Haven lounge and didn’t ever find it difficult to get seats and a table in a bar at any time. The entertainment on board was brilliant, with great singers in the Seaside lounge and a great band in the Haven Lounge. The shows in the theatre were truly spectacular, they were full every night, so it is necessary to book on the MSC for me app or on the touch screens throughout the ship to guarantee you a place, I cannot stress just how fantastic all of the shows were. The weather was pretty good for November, with around 22 degrees most days being warm enough for al-fresco eating in the daytime and sunbathing, however, all of the pools were quite cold, I was the only 1 braving the outdoor pool and the hot tubs were also only lukewarm, which was a shame. Please turn them up to the same temperature as the Virtuosa! Now to the only area that really let MSC down on this occasion, food quality in the main dining room. We had breakfast in the main restaurant on just one morning, it was very disorganised, half our table of 4 not laid properly and when we got served we seemed to only get half served, for example, 2 of the 4 of us would be offered juice, then rather than walking to the other side of the table the server went to a different table, same with the coffee, half served coffee but then not offered any milk. Two of our party ordered the MSC Express hot breakfast and they were both cold and not very tasty, the hashbrowns were soggy and two of us ordered eggs benedict and I am very sorry to say they were both inedible. We enjoyed the pastries and the yoghurt, but that was it. I had room service breakfast or went to the buffet the other days and found that to be adequate, lovely pastries and yoghurts, though the cereal was missing any milk to go with it on one day. Dinner in the main dining room was variable, the service we had from our waiter was outstanding, Aniket is an absolute credit to MSC and he really made every evening enjoyable. However, the quality of the food in our main dining room restaurant “Golden Sands” was variable, some dishes were outstanding but some dishes were unfortunately inedible, probably a ratio of about 20% outstanding, 65% ok and 15% inedible, which is a shame, but I hope something they can work on just to make sure everything leaving the kitchens is subject to the same quality control. Overall, it was a great cruise, amazing value and I will be booking another MSC cruise very soon.
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