MSC Cruises

MSC Seashore (2024)

Sail Date: March 28, 2024
Duration: 3-night
Departure Port: Port Canaveral, Florida

Since we decided on taking a short cruise this year in the Spring, before resuming our latest yearly (pre-COVID) extended vacation, Port Canaveral seemed the perfect choice. Whenever we can, we like to try different cruise lines and ships. So, we looked into MSC Cruises, specifically the MSC Seashore 3-night sailings out of Port Canaveral.

If you follow many of the cruising vloggers on YouTube, you might be convinced that MSC is the last cruise line you would ever choose for a cruise in the U.S. I can recall videos covering complaints ranging from cold tasteless food to rude cruise staff. That might have been true in the past but not today…at least not the same complaints.

We booked our cruise as usual directly through the cruise line’s website. Yes, I’ve heard you can get better deals through travel agents, but I don’t like dealing with middlemen. Besides, if I don’t need hotel/car/flight arrangements, I can deal with making my own cruise reservations. Our booking was for portside balcony cabin #13121 mid-ship near a four-lift elevator bank. Yes, there is a Deck 13 on the MSC Seashore but not a Deck 17. MSC is a European cruise line and in some cultures (Italy included) the number 17 is considered unlucky according to superstition.

Even though I didn’t book through a travel agent, the cost of the 3-night cruise in a balcony cabin cost $1,030 not including extras purchased on-board and $60 for the Browse & Stream Cruise Package for 1 device. My wife spent hours streaming YouTube videos without any issues.

MSC is an Italian-Swiss global cruise line founded in 1989 in Naples, Italy but now based in Geneva, Switzerland according to Wikipedia. The MSC Seashore was built in 2021 by Fincantieri S.p.A. an Italian shipbuilding company based in Trieste, Italy.

Since this was our first experience cruising with MSC, I’m providing our impressions of the MSC Seashore as compared with ships from our previous cruises.

First the positives:

  • Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve – Ocean Cay is MSC’s private island in the Bahamas. Ocean Cay is located 20 miles south of Bimini and 65 miles due east of Miami. Before MSC took control of the island, it was a site for the industrial excavation of sand but now the island is being restored along with the ecosystem (ref. 24 Things to Know About Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve (cruisehive.com)). So far this is the best cruise line private island I’ve visited, beating out Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at Coco Cay and Norwegian’s Great Stirrup Cay.
  • Shows and Entertainment – the shows we attended were Live from MSC Seashore, Encore, and Rock Royalty. Rock Royalty being the best of the three. The shows were only 30 minutes long and not as acrobatic as some shows on other cruise lines particularly shows on the Carnival Mardi Gras. Nevertheless, the shows were entertaining, and you could always find live music near most bars and the atrium.
  • Specialty Restaurants – during our first night in one of the atrium lounges, we were approached and offered a specialty dining package for Kaito Teppanyaki and Butchers Cut for $116/person. Our four-course dinner in the Kaito Teppanyaki included sashimi/sushi appetizer, soup, main course, and dessert. Butchers Cut served an excellent sirloin steak.
  • Browse and Stream Wi-Fi Package was reliable for the entire cruise.
  • Friendly Cruise Staff.

Now for some of the negatives:

  • Buffet – most days the buffet lines were very long, the only exception being the last day. Since the buffet area was so spread out, it was hard to tell where the different stations were located. Also, the drink stations were not easy to find. I wouldn’t say the pizza was as good as you would get in Italy, but it was okay.
  • Elevators – the elevator (lift) bank closest to our cabin was very slow most of the time. There are touch pads at each lift bank where you select your deck and it then assigns your lift car: A, B, C, or D. Once you enter the lift car you have to go where it is going or else you need to get off at the next stop and reenter your deck selection on the touchpad.
  • Public Restrooms – the public restrooms were not easy to find and seemed few and far between. Strangely enough, those restrooms only had one stall.
  • Stateroom Bathrooms – our stateroom bathroom was very tight, especially the shower.
  • Demographics – this may or may not be considered a negative but then again it probably depends on your demographic. This cruise definitely had more kids and teenagers than any other cruise we’ve taken. If you don’t like cruising with kids and teenagers, then I recommend taking an exclusive Viking cruise along with other pretentious adults.

Despite the few minor inconveniences listed, overall, the cruise was enjoyable. The ship is new, clean, and very modern. Some would describe the ship’s interior design as glitzy but officially it’s described as “Italian elegance.” The motif chosen for the interior spaces is based on a New York theme which includes the MSC signature Swarovski crystal stairs in the atrium. We really didn’t do much shopping on this trip, but I did pick up a ship model for my collection from the MSC Logo Shop. It interesting to note that the ship model is made in Italy, as was the ship it represents, which adds a touch of authenticity.

©2013-2024 Gerard Sczepura. All rights reserved.