MSC Cruises gets a lot of negative feedback from cruisers

However – some people really enjoy the experience MSC Provides. Based on my recent Seashore experience, I can understand why.

But let’s be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of MSC. That’s why I’m quite happy about the experience on the Seashore. Having sailed on the Meraviglia and Lirica (and soon the World Europa), my expectations were low.

A Look at the MSC Seashore

Having recently concluded a surprisingly delightful seven-day voyage aboard the MSC Seashore, I’m eager to share my insights and experiences. This perspective, while grounded in my personal encounters, also reflects conversations with fellow passengers, offering a well-rounded view of what to expect on this beautiful cruise ship.

MSC Seashore Quick Stats:

  • Gross Tonnage: 169,400 GT
  • Length: 339 meters
  • Decks: 20 total, 15 guest decks
  • Passenger capacity: 5,877
  • Number of cabins: 2,270
  • Crew members: 1,648 
  • Launched 2021

The cabins on the MSC Seashore

The MSC Seashore, a testament to modern cruise ship design, offers an array of amenities and experiences. Its accommodations are a standout feature, meriting a solid 10/10. The rooms are not only spacious but also feature contemporary furnishings and all necessary conveniences. Housekeeping services, offered twice daily, ensure a consistently clean and comfortable environment. Storage space is ample, with a sizable closet, a safe, and multiple drawers. The mini-fridge, while it comes with an additional charge for drinks, is convenient. The balcony is equipped with expected basic chairs and a table and provides a nice private outdoor retreat. In-room amenities like a hairdryer, and eco-friendly shampoo and shower gel refills, are basic but suitable. ** Note: there is no conditioner provided! The shower gels aren’t the best – so if you’re a shampoo and conditioner snob, bring your own!

TIP: The stewards are a bit stealthy and aren’t always visible like on other cruise lines – so if you need something like extra hangers, don’t wait too long! The cabin stewards are usually around more on embarkation day.

Setting Sail on the MSC Seashore: An honest critique of a 7-day journey 1
msc seashore bathroom

Like all other modern MSC Ships, there is a selection of Suites available.

Suites on this ship are categorized into MSC Yacht Club suites and Aurea suites.

Aurea suites offer special amenities like welcome gifts, round-the-clock room service, and exclusive access to the Aurea sun deck. Select Aurea suites feature whirlpool baths on their balconies and ample storage space, with some including a bathtub in addition to a standing shower.

The more compact Junior Aurea suites resemble an Aurea balcony cabin, distinguished by their significantly larger balconies. Meanwhile, the MSC Yacht Club represents the epitome of luxury suite options on the MSC Seashore. These suites surpass all others in opulence and come with an array of extensive benefits.

The suites are spacious, and contemporary, and vary from interior suites with additional living space to the extravagant owner’s suite, which boasts a spacious terrace with a balcony and an outdoor dining area.

MSC Yacht Club privileges encompass complimentary WiFi, 24-hour concierge service, priority spa access, round-the-clock butler service, and exclusive access to certain areas not available to regular passengers.

This includes a private panoramic lounge that blends indoor and outdoor spaces, two exclusive restaurants, and two private swimming pools, all reserved solely for MSC Yacht Club guests.

Entertainment options onboard

The shows and entertainment are diverse and cater to a wide range of preferences, rightly deserving a 10/10 rating. The ship has multiple bars and lounges, each with its unique ambiance. Live music is a regular feature in at least three venues every night, offering everything from jazz at the Brooklyn Cafe to piano duels at Times Square. Dance enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of classes, while the nightly dance parties keep the energy high. The 35-minute shows at the theater showcase exceptional talent. The ship also fosters community through various meet-ups, catering to different interests and backgrounds. Morning yoga sessions and an array of day-long activities led by the animation team ensure that there’s never a dull moment.

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The Fitness Facilities, pools and chill out areas of the MSC Seashore are exemplary

The fitness and relaxation facilities are a big surprise. The gym is spacious and well-equipped, and the complimentary sauna is a nice touch. For anyone inspired to workout while on a cruise vacation, my hat is off to you. But those who are looking for top-notch treadmills, weight machines, and exercise space will be very happy with what the Seashore has to offer.

Expert tip!

Many people don’t realize there is a free sauna on the MSC Seashore. There is a completely separate access from the back of the gym where the cables workout is. There you will find locker rooms and a free sauna. (no steam room – that is in the Aurea Spa)

The ship has multiple pools, including the striking Infinity Pool on Deck 8 and the Jungle Pool on Deck 16, surrounded by whirlpools and ample lounging space. The Hall of Games and the sports arena offer active entertainment, while the Aurea spa provides a range of services, including a barber shop.

Jungle Pool MSC Seashore

The Dining on the MSC Seashore

The dining experience onboard MSC Seashore presents a mixed bag. While specialty restaurants like the Sushi Bar and the Butchers Cut Steak House have garnered positive feedback, the main dining options have a lot of room for improvement, particularly in terms of consistency and quality. Food is subjective of course, but it was universally underwhelming in the main dining room. In all fairness, some fellow passengers were commenting that they were just happy to not be at home doing dishes and cooking. So if that is the measure of how good the experience is, you’ll be fine. Just don’t expect anything special and you’ll likely not be disappointed.

The Marketplace Buffet is a more reliable choice for many but it’s always extremely busy and sometimes downright frantic – like a full panic where you’d think it was the end of the world and there was no more food left. Puzzling really. You can’t beat the pizza served, even though it was a bit repetitive.

Included restaurants on the Seashore:

  • 5th Avenue Restaurant, one of the three main dining rooms, serving sit-down, classic cruise fare
  • Tribeca Restaurant, another main dining room
  • Central Park Restaurant, the third and final main dining room
  • Manhattan Restaurant, the main dining room only for Aurea guests
  • The Yacht Club Restaurant, only open to Yacht Club guests
  • The One Pool Grill & Bar, also only open to Yacht Club guests 
  • Marketplace Buffet, a classic cruise ship buffet

Room service is available and depending on your cabin type, there may be a fee involved.

Additional cost & specialty restaurants on the Seashore:

Drinks & Drink Packages

We’ve spent a lot of time trying to explain the MSC Drink Packages. They can be confusing.

The Easy drinks package, including coffee, bottled water, and a selection of cocktails, offers good value but keep in mind if you plan on making use of the specialty dining restaurants, the Easy package does not work in those. You’ll need to upgrade to the Easy Plus package, which in the end is also a great value given the much larger selection of beverages available.

Bars included on the Seashore:

  • Brooklyn Cafe
  • The Champagne & Wine Bar
  • The Cocktail Bar (basically the lobby bar)
  • Jungle Pool Beach Bar
  • Le Cabaret Rouge
  • MSC Signature Casino Bar
  • Seashore Bar
  • Shine Bar (dining room-adjacent)
  • Sports Bar
  • The Wine Cellar
  • Uptown Lounge
  • Infinity Bar, one of two poolside bars
  • Long Island Pool Bar, poolside outdoor bar
  • MSC Aurea Bar, the Aurea-specific sun deck bar
  • Sky Bar

The Service on the Seashore

Service aboard the MSC Seashore, unfortunately, falls short of expectations in some areas. The attentiveness and responsiveness of the bartenders and servers could be enhanced, possibly through additional staffing or improved training. But these guys and girls work hard, it’s obvious. It makes me think they really just need to add staff for a better guest service experience.

It’s worth noting that people who cruise from America often feel that throwing tips at a bartender will get better service, and it often does…. on other cruise lines. However, the culture is slightly different on MSC. While the bartenders appreciate the tips, it doesn’t seem to motivate them like you’d see on other major lines. So it might be best to keep that cash to yourself and reward someone at the end if they provide excellent service. Bottom line: bribing doesn’t work like it used to! 🙂

In summary, the MSC Seashore scores a 7/10 overall in my opinion. It’s an ideal choice for large groups, seasoned travelers, and those who appreciate a multicultural atmosphere. The ship’s design and facilities exude luxury, though there’s potential for improvement in culinary offerings and service. For families, the MSC Seashore represents great value and is recommended for clients who value a blend of relaxation, entertainment, and a touch of luxury at sea.

Do you have a comment?

Did we miss something? Have you had a different experience? Did we get it wrong?

Additional Details about the MSC Seashore

Design and Ambiance

  • Innovative Design: MSC Seashore, the flagship of MSC Cruises, stands out with its elegant, modern design. The ship is part of the Seaside EVO class, showcasing an enhanced architectural style that blends indoor and outdoor areas seamlessly, allowing guests to enjoy the sea environment to its fullest.
  • Spacious Public Areas: The ship features one of the highest ratios of outdoor space per passenger of any cruise ship, providing ample room for relaxation and activities.
MSC Seashore Outside View


  • Variety of Cabins: The ship offers a wide range of cabin categories, including interior, ocean view, balcony, and luxurious suites. The MSC Yacht Club suites provide an exclusive, upscale experience with private facilities and personalized services.
  • Family-Friendly Options: Families can benefit from modular cabins that can be interconnected to accommodate larger groups.

Dining and Cuisine

  • Culinary Choices: MSC Seashore hosts over 10 dining venues, each offering distinct culinary experiences. This includes international buffets, fine dining restaurants, and casual eateries.
  • Specialty Restaurants: Enjoy culinary excellence in specialty restaurants such as Butcher’s Cut (American steakhouse), Ocean Cay (seafood), and HOLA! Tacos & Cantina (Mexican cuisine) and Kaito Sushi/Teppanyaki.

Entertainment and Activities

  • Broadway-Style Shows: The state-of-the-art theater presents Broadway-style performances, featuring international talents.
  • Family Entertainment: With partnerships like LEGO and Chicco, children’s play areas and activities are designed to entertain and engage the younger guests.
  • Water Parks and Pools: The ship boasts one of the largest and most interactive water parks at sea, complete with multiple slides, attractions, and pools.

Amenities and Services

  • Wellness and Relaxation: The MSC Aurea Spa offers a wide range of treatments, a thermal area, and a beauty salon.
  • Shopping and Leisure: Guests can indulge in a variety of shopping options, from high-end boutiques to souvenir shops.

Technology and Sustainability

  • Advanced Environmental Technology: MSC Seashore incorporates the latest environmental technology and energy-efficient systems, emphasizing MSC Cruises’ commitment to sustainability.
  • The MSC for Me App: This app enhances the guest experience through personalized services, information, and the ability to book activities. It’s a little buggy, but works better than many other cruise line apps.

Itineraries and Destinations

  • Diverse Routes: MSC Seashore typically sails in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and to the MSC private island Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas.
  • Shore Excursions: The ship offers a vast array of shore excursions, catering to various interests and activity levels. Compared to other major cruise lines, the excursions are relatively inexpensive.
Setting Sail on the MSC Seashore: An honest critique of a 7-day journey 3
Setting Sail on the MSC Seashore: An honest critique of a 7-day journey 4

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