MSC Seaview | Italian Grandezza in XXL

With a capacity of 5,300 passengers she is currently one of the biggest cruise ships afloat. And while being designed for the European mass cruise market, sailing onboard MSC Seaview proved to be quite a pleasant experience as we found out during our latest Mediterranean cruise in November 2018. Let me show you around …

She is huge. Over 323 meters long, 20 decks high and cost around 950 million US-Dollars. A ship that does not only overtop most other cruise liners when being docked in port, but which also counts literally as a floating village itself. 5,300 people on one ship? Is that something I would like?

IMG_6859

I have to admit, since we had started cruising back in 2009, I personally have evolved to become a more classic cruiser with a preferred tendency to a ship size between 1,000 and 2,500 guests. This had proven to me to guarantee a personalized and luxurious cruise experience while still having enough freedom and space to escape the crowds without seldomly having to retreat to the own cabin.

Until MSC Seaview, the largest ship that I had been on so far was the Norwegian Epic a few years ago, which levels around 4,500 passengers. I am not so sure wherever I ever want to try out the Oasis Class vessels, even though we have mostly heard positive feedback.

Seaview frontal

To me, the cruise itself is still in the spotlight. I enjoy a ship to be state-of-the-art, but it is not my primary holiday destination. We focus on the places that we visit and enjoy getting there the most comfortable way possible. But for this November holiday, we were simply looking at a cruise that would fit perfectly into a week without having to travel around the globe to get to it. And, I did not mind it being a good deal.

And this is where MSC comes in. In my opinion, they offer the best price-value onboard their beautiful ships in direct comparison with the awful clientele and design of the hideous Costa brand. You get what you pay for, nothing more, nothing less. And being a Black Member of their bonus program, you can be sure to receive a few sweet extras that surely add to a pleasant experience, even onboard a ship of this size.

Seaview Valletta

But enough said, let´s go on board, shall we?

Like on every ship from every cruise line, the main Atrium is the beating heart of the operation. The one on MSC Seaview reaches over four decks and is a popular social meeting place due to an array of bars, an elevated stage and is also used for a number of activities or shows, as well as MSC Voyager Club celebrations. Deck 5 also hosts Guest Services and the Future Cruise sales desk.

Atrium
Seaside Bar in the evening
Atrium Bar
Seaside Bar during the Day

Atrium 4Atrium 2Atrium 3

Off the Atrium, you will find Emotions – The Immersive Gallery and the Art Gallery towards the front of the ship.

Art Gallery 2
Looking for your photo? You will find it at Emotions …

Emotions

Art Gallery
All artwork at the Art Gallery can be purchased

The last public space on Deck 5 is the Golden Sand Restaurant, the first of the two main dining venues onboard.

Golden SandGolden Sand 2

Just one deck up, the second main dining room, Silver Dolphin, covers the same amount of space. Both restaurants offer sea views and daylight and an elegant dining experience.

Silver DolphinSilver Dolphin 2

Heading back to the atrium on Deck 6, the Shine Bar and MSC Excursions spread around it.

Shine Bar
Shine Bar with fantastic sea views
Guest Services
The Excursion desk and one of the credit card registration points
IMG_7251
Corridor towards the shops

A bit further towards the front, the Piazza Grande closes up with a variety of shops and boutiques, as well as the Venchi 1878 chocolate factory where chocolate candies are handcrafted on a daily base.

Piazza Grande
Piazza Grande

VenchiVenchi 2

IMG_7137
Black members of MSC Voyager Club receive these chocolate ship models during the cruise, hand-crafted onboard
Boutique
Shops on board

Boutique 4Boutique 3Boutique 2

And, at the very front of Deck 6, Odeon Theatre. I have to say, that shows and entertainment on MSC Seaview were both of great quality!

Odeon Theatre 2Odeon Theatre

Odeon Theatre 3
The remake of the “Greatest Showman” was truly well done! Great voices

On Deck 7, you will find the modern and state-of-the-art Platinum Casino, as well as one of my favorite bars onboard: The Champagne Bar with wonderful views onto the sea or into the atrium.

Casino Bar
Platinum Casino
Casino Bar 2
Platinum Casino
Casino
Platinum Casino
Casino 2
Platinum Casino
Casino 3
Platinum Casino
Champagne Bar 2
Champagne Bar
Champagne Bar 3
Champagne Bar
Champagne Bar
Champagne Bar

The Haven Lounge is another public lounge with dance floor and bar which is was also used for the Black member gathering with free drinks and snacks. Behind, the Billiard Room and combined mini library.

Haven Lounge
Haven Lounge

Haven Lounge 2

 

Pool Billiard : Library
Billiard Room

On the port side, you may entertain yourself with bowling or the Formula 1-simulator (extra charge). Or dance the night away in the Garage Club.

Bowling
Arcade Games & Bowling
F1
Drive like a pro on the F1-simulator
Garage Club 2
Garage Club
Garage Club
Garage Club
Garage Club 4
Garage Club

All the way at the stern of Deck 7, the beautiful hideaway close to the ocean, Sunset Beach Pool. Even though you have the Sunset Beach Bar and the Ice Cream Shop here, this is the place you want to retreat to when looking for a bit of peace and quiet.

Sunset BeachSunset Beach 3Sunset Beach 2Sunset Beach 5Sunset Beach 4

Gelato & Creperia
Gelato & Creperie

Sunset Beach 6

 

This is also the starting point for the famous Boardwalk Promenade that almost encloses the entire Deck 8 (apart from the bow section). It features bars, lots of seating and sun loungers as well as an outdoor area of the Marketplace Buffet for al fresco dining.

Waterfront Boardwalk 3Waterfront Boardwalk 2Waterfront Boardwalk 5Waterfront BoardwalkIMG_6878

The Infinity Bridge is also a landmark on the Waterfront Boardwalk. The floor is see-through and a selfie hotspot.

Infinity Bridge 2Infinity Bridge 1

Infinity Bridge 3

Nestled at the rear of Deck 8 is the extra-large buffet restaurant Marketplace. Even though this space is designed to accommodate the most passengers, there is always a free seat as the extensive Waterfront Boardwalk and the terrace at the stern double the seating capacity.

Marketplace 2MarketplaceMarketplace 3

MSC Cruises had always been a little far behind with the offering of speciality dining venues. The newest ships offer an array of options, such as the French inspired L´Atelier Bistro. I will feature a designated post about speciality dining onboard MSC Seaview at a different time, but this particular one will not be included as its walk-through layout was too appalling to us.

Le Bistro 2
L´Atelier Bistro
Le Bistro
As people walked through constantly, the least recommendable dining experience for an intimate and romantic dinner

The Sports Bar and Seaside Lounge close up to the front before the forward section of Deck 8 is completely dedicated to the MSC Gym and the Aurea Spa and Thermal Suite with Sun Deck.

Seaside Lounge
Seaside Lounge
Seaside Lounge 2
Seaside Lounge
Sports Bar
Sports Bar
The Piazza
The Piazza on Deck 8

The Piazza 2

 

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Corridor on Deck 8

The MSC Gym is equipped with the latest TechnoGym equipment, truly set for a fantastic workout. It was a bit unusual to use the treadmill while watching people outside on the promenade, but then on the other hand, time passed much quicker as there was always something to look at :). And lots of daylight!

GymGym 4Gym 3Gym 2

The Aurea Spa is one of the biggest wellness areas currently offered on the MSC fleet. A wide selection of treatment rooms are rounded up by a large Thermal Suite offering a wide array of relaxation options, including a Snow Room. Black members enjoy one hour of complimentary access once during the cruise. We took happily advantage while the ship was in port in Messina, Italy.

Aurea Spa
Aurea Spa reception
Aurea Spa 17
Aurea Spa
Aurea Spa 18
Aurea Spa
Aurea Spa 16
Shower cabin inside Aurea Spa
Aurea Spa 2
Mens Locker Room
Aurea Spa 3
Shower cabins inside Aurea Spa
Aurea Spa 4
Snow Room
Aurea Spa 5
Aromatherapy Steam Room
Aurea Spa 7
Steam Room
Aurea Spa 6
A unique shower experience
Aurea Spa 10
Finnish sauna
Aurea Spa 11
The Hammam
Aurea Spa 13
The Salt Room
Aurea Spa 9
Thalasso Pool

Aurea Spa 12Aurea Spa 14

Aurea Spa 15
Relaxation Area
Aurea Spa 8
Aurea Spa outdoor area with whirlpool
Aurea Sonnenterrasse
Aurea Spa cabanas for rental

Decks 9 till 15 are allocated to staterooms only. Next I will give you an insight into a balcony cabin on Deck 12 forward where we stayed in.

Cabin
LED lighting scenarios, USB ports at the night stands, pillow menu and lots of storage make the cabins a beautifully appointed and comfortable environment
Cabin 4
The level of design and the fittings make MSC a superior choice towards Costa
Cabin 3
MSC Seaview is an eco-friendly ship which is designed to save energy by LED lights and energy-saving installations
Cabin 2
Luxurious design in the bathrooms with glass door showers and amenities. Luscious bathrobes and slippers are provided for MSC Black members
IMG_6874
Beautiful views from the balcony

Up on Deck 16, one of the ship´s most photographed places: The Bridge of Sighs. Truly spectacular!

Bridge of SighsBridge of Sighs 3Bridge of Sighs 2

The Panorama Pool does offer panoramic views all over, but is too crowded for my personal taste. This is where usually the families hang around, so try to avoid during sunny sea days.

Panorama Pool 2Panorama Pool 3Panorama Pool 4Panorama PoolIMG_6877

Very close, the Biscayne Bay Buffet restaurant. This place is much smaller than the Marketplace down on Deck 8, but constantly overcrowded.

Biscayne Bay Buffet

There is a secret way from the Biscayne Bay buffet to the speciality dining restaurants located ahead, but as this leads directly through Butcher´s Cut Steak House, those who open the door will immediately be sent back. So the easiest, if also a bit laborious way to get here is the mid staircase.

Luxury Bar
This luxurious bar is also the reception for the three different speciality venues
Asian Market
Asian Fusion kitchen is served in the Asian Market Kitchen by star chef Roy Yamaguchi
Asien Market 2
Asian Market Kitchen by Roy Yamaguchi
Teppanyaki
Teppanyaki inside Asian Market Kitchen by Roy Yamaguchi
Butcher´s Cut
Butcher´s Cut Steak House concentrates on Prime Beef
Ocean Cay 2
Ocean Cay focuses on fresh seafood
Ocean Cay
Ocean Cay Restaurant

While having not been able to get a tour of the MSC Yacht Club (the all-suite private area reaching from Deck 16 to 19 forward), Deck 18 midships features the solarium pool called Jungle Pool Lounge. As this area lies closely connected to the Aquapark and water slides, this pool is loud and busy with families and children at any time while it is opened.

Jungle POol
Jungle Pool Lounge and Bar

Right behind, the Forest Aquaventure Park with Zip Line, pools and slides.

AquaventureIMG_7149

Deck 19 forward holds the private MSC Yacht Club Sun Deck as well as a private sun deck reserved for passengers traveling in the Aurea category, called Top 19 Solarium. Day passes can be obtained from Guest Services at extra cost.

Top 19 Aurea Sun Deck
Top 19 Solarium reserved for Aurea guests
Sun Deck 19
Port side of Deck 19 is available for all passengers for sun bathing
Miramar Bar
Miramar Bar with views over the Panorama Pool is a full smoking environment
Sports Arena
And the highest you can get onboard MSC Seaview: The Sports Arena and Zip Line on Deck 20

So, as you can see, MSC Seaview is quite an eye-catcher in terms of design and fittings. And after having sailed on her a week through the Western Mediterranean at full capacity, I was actually surprised on how well the crowds spread while the ship was at sea. Due to the intelligent layout of the vessel, the masses distributed evenly over the 20 decks. Just a little bit of planning during port days was necessary to not get stuck in the bubbles of people returning back from excursions. But being a Black member sometimes even helped with that.

All in all, a fantastic price performance in terms of quality offered. Just the right choice if you are looking for a contemporary and casual cruise in-between, without having to compromise on style and comfort on the ship. Well done, MSC!

 

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