Launching with her maiden voyage in November 2022, MSC Seascape is one of the cruise line's newest gems. With cruise lines continuing to grow and the ships themselves constantly getting bigger as well, it's hard to decide which ones are worth exploring for you and your family.
Here are 9 things you should know before booking with MSC Seascape.
Let’s start with the basics
If you’ve cruised frequently with MSC already feel free to skip ahead to the next section but if this is your first time with the Italian company there are a few things you should know going in.
- It will be vastly different from your experience with any American Cruise line.
- The ships are beautiful
- The announcements are LONG.
- The food will be different than what you typically eat on other cruise lines. A very Mediterranean palate is to be expected.
- Unfortunately due to all the nationalities onboard cultures do tend to clash.
- Patience is a must as problems seemed to be solved slowly however they do seem to be slowly adapting more and more to the American market
All in all, MSC is a company well worth trying as long as you go in with an open mind but make sure to read "What to know before your first cruise with MSC" before booking that first cruise with the company. (And of course, subscribe to this blog for all the latest MSC and Cruising Updates 😉)
Now let's get into Seascape!
1. The Ship Is Massive
Though not the biggest ship of the MSC fleet MSC Seascape still impressively holds over 5,000 passengers each week. This may be a pro or a con for you. Between all the lounges, bars, pools, aqua parks, arcades, and spas…it can be quite fun to explore and find new spaces each day of your vacation.
That also means it can be very confusing. It is very easy to get turned around and forget which direction is forward. The Chora theater, (deck 6 and 7) gym, and spa (deck 8) are all the way forward and the Cabaret Rouge (deck 7) and Uptown Lounge (deck 8) are all the way aft!
Pro Tip: Try walking back and forth on decks 6, 7, and 8 on your first day onboard to try to get a good lay of the land!
2. The Buffet
The group consensus and potentially the biggest complaint I heard murmured from everyone aboard the ship was problems with the buffet. The food itself received high regards but it is just impossible to stay away from the masses during prime meal times. People tend to cut, push, and shove their way through the lines with absolutely no respect. The buffet has a sharp closing time and doesn't seem to reward those who are trying to be patient and wait for their proper turns. If you can avoid prime meal times I would recommend it, however, I know that’s not always possible.
Pro Tip: Restaurants seemed to be a lot more organized and are not only for dinner! Try skipping a breakfast in the buffet and enjoy a service-style experience a couple of times during your cruise
3. Embarkation and Disembarkation
Another issue that comes from the sheer crowds of people onboard is the embarking and disembarking of the passengers. Once docked in a port people tend to crowd the exits. Security does a decent job of scanning people through quickly but the lines still tend to back up. In my experience, it changed from cruise to cruise in how bad that crowding could be.
And for the love of all that is cruising please remember your cruise card. You will need it EVERY TIME you leave the ship, even on the private island.
Pro Tip: Oftentimes there are up to 4 exits to get off the ship. Consider asking a crew member about other exits/entrances and you just be able to sneak out before the clogged-up masses.
4. Read That Program
There is so much going on it is very easy to miss events and parties onboard. If you request, you can still get the daily program to the cabin but you also can read it on the MSC for Me App, or any of the smart screens around the ship. There are main shows in the theater but specialty music in each of the lounges starting in the evening. The main theme parties on board take place all around the ship from the atrium to the pool deck so read carefully each night so you don’t miss the fun.
Pro Tip: The theme parties are a lot of fun especially if you come dressed up in the night attire! Here's a list of all parties currently running onboard MSC Seascape
5. The Cabaret Rouge
A secret gem on the ship and maybe one of the prettiest lounges at sea, the Cabaret Rouge sits at the aft of the ship and is lined with windows around the entire backside. Absolutely breathtaking during the day and surprisingly quiet during navigation. I highly recommend spending some time looking out at all the views when you can.
At night the curtains close and there is almost always some kind of live entertainment. Singers, a full band, oftentimes magicians or hypnotists...the Cabaret carries its own style. Later in the evening, it turns into the ship's nightclub with a live DJ each night.
Pro Tip: A close second up in the secret gem category are the dueling pianos in Times Square lounge. Make sure to check out one of the talented pianists' lively sets at least once during your cruise!
6. Ocean Cay
One of the perks of the itinerary of Seascape is you get to visit the company’s private island in the Bahamas, Ocean Cay. Ocean Cay is a beautiful little paradise to say the least but the biggest perk is not having to share the island with anyone else other than your fellow cruisers. There is a buffet out on the island along with some bars and food trucks that you can use your cruise card at when they’re not included. For more on this private island, check out "The Pros and Cons of Ocean Cay."
Pro Tip: The best snorkeling to see lots of colorful coral and marine life is always the Light House beach!
7. Poolside Space
There are 3 pools onboard MSC Seascape so if the main pool onboard, The Marina, seems a little bit crowded (which it will be ESPECIALLY during navigation) try to check out the other options.
The Jungle Pool is located just one deck below the Marina and is considered the indoor pool onboard due to its roof that can open or close depending on weather conditions. Super, super cool if you ever catch it in action but the pool area does tend to be hot and humid when it is closed so make sure to get some gelato right at the pool entrance.
The Infinity Pool, my personal favorite, is the adults-only pool onboard. There is a smoking area on one side but if you don’t want to be around the smoke it really does stay pretty well contained. The pool is small and more for wading than swimming but will make for some beautiful photos as it seems to connect to the Ocean.
Pro Tip: If you walk through the uptown lounge there are automatic doors that open up to the pool that everyone seems to walk right past! (Or even take the beautiful glass elevators down from The Marina Pool (deck 18) right into The Infinity Pool (deck 8)
8. The Elevators
In very close running to the most problematic issue onboard alongside the buffet...The elevators are a whole pain of their own. There are only 4 sets of elevators and one is reserved for only the upper decks of the Yacht Club. That leaves 3 sets of VERY busy elevators. Patience is very much a virtue when it comes to waiting for your elevator. If you can handle a few flights the stairs may be your best option.
It is especially bad during the safety drill onboard as most of them shut down and the stairs themselves get overcrowded and messy.
The elevators are set up to call the floor you need from the outside. That means once you’re inside you have no control of where it stops if you didn’t hit your original button. The concept would be beautifully orchestrated if people didn’t just shove into the first elevator that opened and then end up confused again on the wrong deck. The only recommendation I can give you is to try to walk away from the center elevators and take the rides on the front and or back of the ship which seems to be a little less crowded.
Pro tip: Try to find the glass elevators at the back of the ship in your first couple of days before everyone else does. You can access them from Uptown Lounge: They go all the way up to the pool deck with stupendous views and typically shorter waits since they’re a little bit more tucked away than the other elevators onboard.
9. The Ship Is Absolutely Breath Taking
There is not a space onboard that isn’t perfect for a photo op. Beautiful artwork is on every single wall and each lounge has its own style.
The atrium is absolutely breathtaking and the Swarovski stairs cascade all the way down from deck 8 to 5.
Not to mention the outside walking decks. Deck 8 has multiple doors where you can walk around the outside of the ship and a few bridges that have glass bottoms that you can either look to the lower decks or straight into the ocean. (The other glass bridge you’ll find on deck 16 near the Sky bar!) You can’t help but marvel at the ship's ornamentation.
Pro Tip: Want to take some of the ship's magic home with you? Make sure to visit the ship's art gallery on Deck 8 and bring home a masterpiece with you!
If you can handle the crowds and are willing to be patient with long lines in and out of the exits and eating areas you may just fall in love with the charm that Seascape has to offer.
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If you've cruised on Seascape before I want to hear about YOUR EXPERIENCE in the comments below!
Sending love from the Caribbean <3