Here’s our review and guide to cruising on MSC Cruises new ship – the MSC Seaview, launched in June 2018. We took a one week cruise around the Mediterranean in July, taking in the ports of Genoa, Naples and Messina in Italy, Valetta in Malta, Barcelona in Spain and Marseilles in France.

We took a four-berth family cabin in the MSC cruise line Fantastica class, which we booked via the MSCOnline website. This MSC Seaview review details everything you need to know about a family holiday on an MSC Mediterranean cruise.

MSC cruises 2018 out of Genoa


NEW: We’ve learned how to save hundreds on shore excursions – click here to find out how you can too!


About the ship

Mediterranean Shipping Company massive Seaview cruise ship

MSC cruise ships newest vessel is massive – while not the biggest cruise ship in the world or even the biggest MSC cruise ship, it’s the largest ship ever built in Italy. The ship can holds 4,000 passengers, is over 1,000 feet long, 20 stories high and has 1,400 crew taking care of the passengers.

We found it quite mind-blowing – the MSC Seaview is literally a floating town on water. Some of the incredible facilities include:

-2,066 cabins

MSC cruises reviews
Fancy ‘hanging out’?!

-Four swimming pools and 13 whirlpool style pools, along with three waterslides – some which hang over the side of the ship –  including one interactive rafting game

Keep an eye out for MSC cruise specials and you could also be racing down this zipline!
The zipline running high above the top of the ship

-The longest zipline at sea that runs the length of the ship (additional charge)

MSC cruises UK can book you a holiday to view this amazing ship!
The Odeon Theatre

-A 934 seat theatre showing fabulous Broadway-style shows three times per night

msc seaview reviews
The pizza bar – absolutely delicious!

-Two buffet style restaurants and three a la carte options (included in the price) and six speciality restaurants (additional charge)

MSC cruises 2018 Jungle Bar pool
The Jungle Pool bar

-20 (!) bars

-A 26,000 ft spa complete with treatments such as acupuncture, botox, a Himalayan salt room, massages and saunas

MSC Seaview facilities
The basketball/football court

-A full-sized basketball and football court

-A gym with all the latest equipment and classes (additional charge)

Ideal for purchase if you're on an MSC world cruise?
One very expensive statue for sale – stand back kids!

-An art gallery (including a 750,000 euro Salvador Dali statue if you’re wanting the ultimate travel souvenir from your cruise!)

MSC Cruises USA can book you onto this amazing ship!
Checking out the amusement arcade

-An amusement arcade with an F1 simulator, 5D theatre, and bowling alley and LEGO playroom for younger kids. Teens have their own hangout area too.


Want to know what to bring on your cruise? Click here to view The Ultimate MSC Seaview Packing List – How To Pack For Your Cruise and get a free downloadable packing list!


It took us around an hour from arrival at Genoa port to get onto the ship for our MSC Mediterranean cruise, and it was a mostly well-oiled machine given the logistics of getting several thousand people onto a ship at once must be huge!

Upon embarking at the trip you’re given a cruise card which is basically your golden ticket to get around the ship. It operates as your room key, charge card and security access on and off the ship. Within the first 24 hours of the cruise you’re asked to visit one of the card activation points on the ship to load 200 euros onto a credit card as a deposit for any on-board spending.

One of the cruise card activation points all around MSC new ship.
One of the cruise card activation points all around the ship.

If you don’t want to carry a card around with you, you can pay 5 euros for an ‘MSC For Me’ watch-type strap that you wear, however you still need to take your cruise card when getting on and off the ship.

Children are also immediately given an ID bracelet with a barcode that they must wear at all times, so if they get lost parents can be located. It also is colour-coded as to which kids club they can attend.

Because the newest ship in the MSC fleet is so huge, it can take a while to get your bearings, particularly when coming out of the elevator. A couple of times we did take a wrong turn and get lost! However there are lots of interactive maps located all over the ship to help you find what you’re looking for.

These massive cabin corridors on MSC cruises Europe can sometimes be confusing!
These massive cabin corridors can sometimes be confusing!…


MSC cruise line reviews
…But the interactive maps located everywhere help to find your way.

Our cabin

Msc seaview cabin photos
A Fantastica class four berth cabin

We booked a four-berth Fantastica class cabin on the 11th floor – mainly because this was all that was remaining once we had decided to book a cruise! However this turned out to be a great choice.

The cabin was much more spacious than we thought it would have been, with sleeping arrangements of a good sized queen bed with bedside tables and a set of bunks for the kids.

Plenty of room in our Fantastica class cabin

Amenities included a TV, desk with multiple power sockets for electronics, a phone to contact different departments of the ship, a small fridge complete with mini-bar, good sized closet to put clothes with drawers and hangers, a safe, and decent floor to ceiling mirror. The bathroom was also more spacious than expected, with toilet, reasonably sized shower, basin and good space to put personal toiletries.

A larger than expected bathroom in our MSC Seaview balcony cabins
A larger than expected bathroom

There was a good triangle spaced area beside the queen bed to put suitcases which kept them out of the way of the main living area.

MSC Seaview cabins balcony view
The view from our balcony!

The best thing of all about the room however was the balcony – which has spoilt us for life for cruising, I’d really hate to compromise on this in future as it was just wonderful. The views of the sea were perfect, and with two chairs and a table it was lovely to sit outside after the kids had gone to sleep and enjoy a glass of wine while cruising along.


MSC travel agent can help you book a cruise
The view from our balcony when arriving at Naples with Mt Vesuvius in the background


MSC Seaview pictures arriving into Malta
Early morning arrival into Valetta, Malta from our balcony

In the mornings we would wake up and lie in bed watching the arrival into a new port, which was an absolute highlight for us.

MSC Seaview rooms are promptly made up daily and the standard of housekeeping was high. As the ship is brand new, all the facilities in the room were in great condition. Two pillows are provided – a hard and soft one and a pillow menu is available also if none of these suit.

The TV has multiple channels available in English, Italian, French, German, Mandarin, along with a selection of movies available to purchase for 7 euros, and lots of information about the ship and destinations we were visiting.

MSC Sailing Schedule information is delivered every day to your room.
A daily programme is delivered to your room every evening.

Each night a Daily Program is delivered to your room which has details of the port you are next visiting, landmarks to look out for along the way, brief facts about the destination, entertainment highlights for the day, important information, and opening hours for all of the restaurants, bars and lounges. This information is also available via an MSC Seaview app which you can download.

The restaurants and food on board

MSC cruise lines review of the wonderful food on board
Enjoying the fabulous food aboard MSC Seaview

One thing is for sure on the MSC Seaview you will not go hungry! Food is pretty much constantly available at a number of different outlets and it’s all generally high quality. The food served was a wide variety of dishes available, but generally with an over-riding Italian theme. The logistics of feeding over 5,000 people every day to that high standard are quite incredible – as an example the ship goes through four tonnes of basil a week!

The Buffet Restaurants

There are two main complementary buffet restaurants on board the MSC Seaview – the Marketplace Buffet and Ocean Point Restaurant and Buffet.

Breakfast aboard the new MSC cruise ship
Breakfast cereal and yoghurt


Fresh fruit breakfast aboard MSC company Seaview ship
Fresh fruit galore


Hot breakfast aboard the MSC vessel Seaview


All this amazing food also on board MSC Caribbean cruise


Cold cuts on board the MSC boat cruise Seaview


Pastries served on board our MSC sailing


Cakes on board our MSC boat cruise
Cake for breakfast!!


The Marketplace Dining restaurant

Breakfasts consisted of continental style cereals, yoghurt, beautiful fresh fruit, a wide selection of pastries, cakes (in true Italian breakfast style fashion) and breads, cold cuts and cheeses, with the hot breakfast section offering eggs done all ways, sausages, tomato, pancakes, waffles, potatoes, hash browns. I would say it had the greatest selection of food of any hotel I’ve ever stayed at and it was very tasty.

Lunch was a variety of salads, rotisserie/grill selection with chicken, beef, fish, vegetables, sandwiches with beautiful fresh bread, cheeses, a whole dessert bar and more amazing fresh fruit. Being an Italian ship there was always a few pasta dishes available and more pizza than I’ve ever seen in my life and it was delicious!

Amazing food is on offer with MSC Cruise packages
Delicious fresh baked bread

The buffet style dinner as an alternative to the main ship restaurants was more of the same, but always of a wide variety with lots of dishes to choose from. The biggest issue is that your stomach won’t be big enough to try all the amazing food on offer.

The amazing dinner buffet on MSC European cruises
Rotisserie section at the dinner buffet


Dessert and pastries on our MSC sailing
Dessert and pastries at the buffet

Our kids actually preferred dining at the buffet restaurants during dinner due to the large selection on offer. They found the hamburger/pasta and hotdog offering of the main a la carte restaurants a bit bland!

MSC Seaview food
Enjoying baby octopus at the buffet!

Our eight year old loved piling up her plate with salad and fruit – I would venture to say she ate more healthily than at home!

Hygiene standards are very high – all of the staff wear gloves and are particular about how they are handling food. There are hand washing stations at the entrance to all restaurants.

Drinking facilities on our cruises MSC
Ice, water, tea and coffee dispensers

At the buffet, there is always water and ice available along with tea and coffee. At breakfast time juice dispensers are also available. You pay extra for all additional beverages.


The two main complementary dining restaurants are the Golden Sand restaurant and Silver Dolphin restaurant. You are allocated to one of these on arrival, and given a dining time that you choose at time of booking.

MSC cruises Italy Golden Sand restaurant
The entrance to Golden Sand restaurant

For the Golden Sand restaurant these are 5.45pm, 7.45pm and 9.45pm

For the Silver Dolphin restaurant these are 6.15pm. 8.15pm and 10.15pm

We chose early dining given we are travelling with our kids and are all a bit jetlagged, so got allocated the 5.45pm slot at Golden Sand restaurant. The menu is a la carte, with a choice of entree, main and dessert.

The menu from MSC Seaview restaurants
A la carte menu at Golden Sand restaurant

A kids menu is also available – catering for babies as well as younger children.

The kids menu aboard our MSC cruises cruise
The kids menu at Golden Sand restaurant

Again the food is of a high standard, and there is generally a choice of 4-5 different entrees, mains and desserts. The restaurant is more formal than the buffet dining ones, but there isn’t strictly a dress code as such.

Starter aboard the MSC new ship 2018
Tomato and mozzarella starter


MSC Seaview photos of salmon starter
Salmon starter


A sample starter aboard MSC 2018 cruises
Beef carpaccio salad


Beef main course aboard MSC cruises 2018 Mediterranean
Beef main course


A prawn main dish served on MSC European cruises
Prawn main dish


MSC cruises pictures of lemon dessert
Lemon delight dessert

If large mass scale dining isn’t for you, then there is the option of five speciality fine dining restaurants for an additional charge. These include:

-Pan Asian Kitchen by Roy Yamaguchi

-Ocean Cay Restaurant

-Butcher’s Cut Steak Restaurant

-Teppinyaki Restaurant by Roy Yamaguchi

-Atelier Bistro

Atelier Bistrol aboard MSC Cruises new ship 2018
View of Atelier Bistro


We didn’t try any of these however as we were happy with the complimentary restaurant options and with kids we found them to be better options for us.

Staff would walk around selling dinner packages or you can book directly with the restaurants.

MSC Italian cruises have a Venchi store onboard
Venchi – look at those handmade chocolates!

The Venchi chocolate and ice-cream bar had drool-worthy offerings – the ship has a partnership with the 140-year-old Italian confectionary legends, and the gelato is made fresh on board.

The bars

There is a wide range of bars onboard the MSC Seaview, all with different themes and vibes. These include:

Watching Wimbledon live aboard the MSC cruise boats Seaview
Watching Wimbledon live at the Sports Bar

The Sports Bar – showing different sporting fixtures from around the world on huge screens or in intimate booth style settings with comfy beanbags. The bar is decorated with sporting memorabilia.

MSC Cruise Company Champagne Bar
The Champagne Bar


Comfortable sofas and stunning views from the Champagne Bar.

The Champagne Bar – probably the best indoor bar on the ship in terms of ocean views. Lots of different varieties of champagne available to drink on chrome bar stools or comfy leather lounges.

Sunset Pool Bar – out the back of the ship, offering great views of the ocean

Mediterranean Shipping Company bars
The car at the Garage Bar!

Garage Bar – a 50’s Americana style themed bar complete with disco floor, half a Chevvy car and Lambretta scooter.

Looking down on The Main Reception Bar where you can enjoy a drink and watch the nightly performances aboard the best MSC cruise ship.
Looking down on The Main Reception Bar where you can enjoy a drink and watch the nightly performances.

Main Reception Bar – Right at the heart of the ship where you can enjoy your drink while gazing at the Swarovski crystal staircase

The casino, also available on MSC USA cruises
Entrance to the casino and bar area

Casino Bar – In the middle of the casino, also one of the bars you can smoke at.

Jungle Pool Bar – Near the Treehouse adventure zone and waterslides, it also has gelato for sale.

The two buffet restaurants also have bars in them to order drinks from.

Drinks packages

MSC cruise packages are available to purchase for extras such as drinks, the spa and excursions. We pre-booked our drinks packages from home and purchased a water and wine package which provided 7 bottles of water and 4 bottles of wine, and a soft drink package for the kids.

In hindsight we probably didn’t need to do this as you can purchase on board, so there’s not really any advantage in pre-purchasing as the prices are the same. There were a few times when it was super hot and we would have preferred a beer to a wine!

Alcohol prices on the ship were reasonable and in-line with what you would pay in a bar or restaurant, definitely no additional price gouging going on which was nice to see. There are a huge range of cocktails also available at the various bars around the ship.

The pools

MSC Seaview pools
The main pool on deck 19

There are three swimming pool areas – the main pool on deck 19 which has the majority of sun loungers and is very popular. There are also some whirlpool jacuzzis but these were always very crowded so we didn’t use them!

msc mediterranean shipping company pools
The Jungle Pool

Just below this is the Jungle Pool area next to the Treehouse adventure area and waterslides. This was our favourite pool although it was smaller as it tended to be less crowded and the kids could swim then jump on the adjacent waterslides as they wanted. It has a roof over it but this was opened up most days. There is also a jacuzzi in this area also.

MSC seaview swimming pools
The Aft Deck pool complete with happy seal!


MSC Seaview fotos
The Aft pool on Level 7 as viewed from the glass elevator

On Level 7 is a pool on the back of the ship, right beside the panoramic lift that travels the height of the ship (definitely worth taking a ride in, it’s spectacular)

For Kids and Families

There’s lots to do on board for kids on this MSC new cruise ship. It’s so big that exploring it will take up a big chunk of time!

MSC Seaview photos
Exploring the ship – walking over the glass Bridge of Sighs


Swarovski Crystal staircases onboard MSC Seaview
Checking out the Swarovski Crystal staircases


MSC Seaview family travel
Having a boogie at the disco!

Our favourite was the incredible Adventure Treehouse area which is a huge splash pad area that’s easily as good as any we’ve paid to play in before.

MSC Seaview with kids
The incredible splash pad and water play area onboard MSC Seaview

There are three different waterslides (note there is a minimum height which our 6 and 8-year-olds easily met, and you need to sign a waiver before letting the kids loose on them!) Two of the waterslides hang out the side of the ship which makes for a great adventure as you zoom down.

The Adventure Treehouse is also a rope course that runs above the splash pad area but it’s all very safe and our kids felt comfortable using it.

MSC Seaview playground
Adventure rope playground area


MSC Seaview with family
Indoor play area next to the Jungle Pool

There are three kids clubs on board in the Doremi fun area on Level 18 – one for teens, one for 7-12 year olds, one for 3-6 year olds and a baby kids club as well. Because our kids were split between two age groups they weren’t keen on going into the kids club, and because we’ve all been so busy in the lead up to this trip our focus was on spending time together, so we didn’t actually leave the kids in the club.

We did go up to the kids club area one day though to check it out. The area was a bit smaller than I expected it to be and I think would feel a little cramped if you had lots of kids in there. But there was tonnes of Lego, a couple of football tables, and board games to choose from.

MSC Seaview kids club
Playing with Lego at the kids club

As part of our Fantastica package we were given a mini-chef lesson for the kids, but when we turned up to use it there were literally hundreds of kids crammed into one of the disco floors and it was pretty chaotic, hot and loud so we didn’t hang around. From what we could see each child had a piece of pizza dough, so we presume it was a pizza making lesson?!

Entertainment and facilities

There’s so much to do on board the MSC Seaview that a week almost isn’t long enough to experience everything on offer.

The daily programme and MSC app have all the details of what’s on around the ship – lots of fitness activities which are a combination of free and paid, from the afternoon and evenings there is always a number of DJ’s bands and singers in different areas of the ship.

If you like a flutter then the casino has hundreds of slot machines and as mentioned the fun arcade area has lots of activities available.

MSC Seaview bowling alley
The four lane bowling alley


Formula One simulator on MSC Seaview
Formula One simulator

But the highlight for us was the nightly Broadway style show presented at the onboard Odeon Theatre.

We saw two shows – Bizarre and Fantasia, both around an hour long and featuring singing, dancing, acrobatics, magic and theatre. It was extremely professional and the kids in particular were spellbound the whole time.

Theatre show on MSC Seaview


MSC Seaview entertainment


Book MSC Cruise online to experience fabulous entertainment


Book with MSC Cruises nz to experience amazing entertainment

There were four different shows on offer during the week and you could attend each one once during your cruise.

Internet is available on-board – but for a price. There are a few different packages you can purchase but it is expensive. However given that it’s satellite internet the whole time (even when you’re in port) it’s understandable. A great excuse for a digital detox!

MSC Excursions

MSC cruise itinerary will take you to places like Pompeii
The kids on our Pompeii excursion


So while the ship is amazing, it’s also good to get off and actually take a look at the places you’re visiting while on an MSC European cruises! There are a huge variety of excursions you can do that you can either book before you leave home or from the on-board excursion desk.

The bonus of booking MSC cruises shore excursions is that it’s so easy – you literally step off the ship onto a bus and don’t have to worry about any of the logistics of getting around. Also there is a guarantee that if the excursion you are booked on is running late, the ship will wait for you to return.

The downside is the cost – they are very expensive and it quickly adds up if there is a family of four or more travelling. Some of the options looked amazing but were hundreds of US dollars and outside our budget!

We’ve learned how to save hundreds on shore excursions – click here to find out how you can too!

So we were a bit selective and chose two excursions at MSC cruises ports, then chose to do our own thing for the remaining ports.

Naples – Pompeii – we took a tour from the port of Naples to Pompeii, the site of the ancient town that was covered in ash from the massive Mt Vesuvius eruption nearly 2,000 years ago.

MSC tours to Pompeii
Incredible Pompeii

There were a lot of people doing this excursion so it was a bit crowded getting off the boat, but once we found our way to our bus (over 18 coach loads of people doing this tour!) it was fine. Our guide was excellent and extremely informative and we really enjoyed our 1.5 hour tour.

MSC latest cruise ship takes you to Pompeii
Jack re-enacting the Pompeii eruption!

The kids also very much enjoyed it and while the timing was short it was very hot, so that was about their limit anyway.

On the way back to port we did an annoying stop at a cameo factory – using shells that came mostly from South America (!) We’re not big fans of stop-offs for the sake of shopping so it wasn’t really our thing, but some of the passengers clearly enjoyed it and were purchasing.

Sicily – Taormina

In Sicily we berthed in Messina – an ok port city, but we had been recommended to visit Taormina which was more pretty and had an ancient Greek theatre.  We mainly booked the transfer excursion because of the distance away – 45 minutes, so we were a bit worried about seeing what we wanted in the short amount of time and making it back to the ship.

MSC cruises image of a Sicily excursion
Aboard the bus to Taormina.

The drive to Taormina took us down the the Sicilian coast, with great views and also interesting commentary from our Italian guide keeping us entertained on the journey.

We exited the bus at the bottom of the town and then had a guided walk through the very pretty town, heading along the Corso Umberto, taking in the numerous piazzas and streets as we made our way to the Teatro Antico di Taormina – the ancient Greek theatre at the top of the town. Entrance to this site was included in the tour, and it gave us a spectacular view of the bay – definitely worth the 1.5km walk! 

MSC cruise photos of Sicily
Amazing views of the theatre

Along the way we had time to stop for a very good gelato, and once we had reached the ancient theatre, we then had an hour or so to work our own way back to the bus at the bottom of the hill. We filled in the time easily with a little shopping and managed to try a couple of delicious arancini (deep fried stuffed rice balls) from Antica Rosticceria da Cristina, just down from Piazza Duomo.

MSC Mediterranean itinerary takes you to Sicily
The view back to the MSC Seaview docked in Sicily

The remaining ports we did our own thing.



Mdina Cathedral MSC cruises Malta
The cathedral at Mdina in Malta

We stepped off the ship straight onto a hop on – hop off bus that took us to Mdina and then back to Valetta with plenty of time to spare. This cost us 30 euros (kids were free) instead of paying much more for an excursion – we actually saw many of our shipmates while we were out and about.

MSC cruises port Malta
Exploring Valetta in Malta


MSC cruises Barcelona port
Visiting Parc Guell in Barcelona

In Barcelona, we anchored at the cruise port Terminal A which was around a 30 minute walk to the beginnings of the city and tourist area. Rather than paying the transfer bus through MSC we walked 10 minutes over the bridge to the port and got an Uber, probably saving us 50%.

Again we had ample time to explore the city on our own.

Barcelona port MSC cruises
Yummy treats at La Boqueria market in Barcelona


In Marseilles we were even further away, around a 20-minute drive from the city centre, so we took the MSC transfer which cost 50 euro for the 4 of us.

Vieux Port at Marseilles (the centre of town, not where the cruise port is!)

As we had visited Marseilles before, we chose to go and have a long lunch at Chez Fonfon just outside the city centre and experience some amazing bouillabaisse, the famous dish of the region.

Marseilles port MSC cruises
The pretty inlet in Marseilles where Chez Fonfon is based.

What we liked

There was a lot to like about our MSC line cruise on the MSC Seaview and overall we were very happy with the ship, facilities, quality of food and the itinerary.

The ship is absolutely in top condition given that it is brand new, and the fit-out is something else, we could not fault it. It definitely had a luxury feel about it and as first-time cruisers we really enjoyed it. Overall the staff were very helpful and friendly.

We were pleasantly surprised by the spacious size of our cabin, and the housekeeping was excellent with twice daily serviced room.

The facilities were great – in particular the Treehouse adventure/splash pad/waterslide area was fantastic and what you’d expect from a top notch water theme park let alone a cruise ship.

MSC Seaview cruise ship reviews
Exploring the ship was so much fun!

We really enjoyed the shows we watched, the style was pitched really well and just long enough to hold our kids’ attention.

We loved waking up each morning coming into a new port – to see a new destination from the water was really quite spectacular and quite different to flying in to an airport or coming via a smelly bus or train station.

MSC Seaview Genoa
Arriving and leaving ports like here at Genoa was simply spectacular.


naples port MSC Seaview
Beautiful sunset leaving Naples

Embarking on and off at ports was a relatively straight forward and easy process – we had been warned by others that there is a lot of queuing when you’re on a cruise but we found it surprisingly straight forward and well managed (other than the Naples/Pompeii excursion but to be fair there were 18 bus loads of people to get off the ship at once).

Security was excellent and we always felt safe. Bags were scanned every time we embarked and we walked through metal detectors, as well as our photo ID on our cruise card being checked each time.

MSC Seaview cruise
Queuing to go through security after an excursion

The food was wonderful – a great variety of choice – you could be as healthy or gluttonous as you wanted! It really exceeded our expectations and we enjoyed all of our meals.

MSC Seaview food
The food like this delicious aubergine and pesto was great!

On reflection, we feel our cruise was actually reasonable value for money given that it included travel to the destinations, accommodation, food and entertainment. While it seemed a lot of money when we paid the balance months ago, on reflection it’s on a par with previous trips where we have done similar travel but independently.

The itinerary was great – we found seven nights to be enough and the destinations we visited were all interesting.

What we disliked

Please note: These are extremely picky points as overall we were very happy with our experience.

However at times, the ship did feel a little crowded particularly on the at sea day and early mornings and evening when trying to get around for excursions. The buffet restaurants were crazy on the at sea day and it almost felt as if they needed to stagger the service times.

At peak times it was sometimes difficult to get an elevator as they were always crowded – a positive is taking the stairs helped us to walk off some calories from all that delicious food! However for those who are less mobile it could be a problem.

The cost and need of transfers from the port in Barcelona and Marseilles perhaps could have been highlighted earlier – this was effectively another 150 euros worth of cost for four people that we hadn’t budgeted for (if we had opted to use the Barcelona transfer rather than getting our own Uber).

Similarly there is a daily service charge of 10 euros per adult and 5 euros per child that’s added to your bill, that you receive on the last morning. We found the service to be very good on-board and as it was in lieu of tipping we were happy to pay. However this information is buried quite far down in the terms and conditions of your booking – we were aware of it prior – but we feel like it could be better if MSC were more upfront about it as it feels a bit like a hidden charge.

Finally we thought the kids menu in the main a la carte restaurants could have perhaps been a little more adventurous. Our kids got bored of the choice of a hot dog or hamburger so we ended up eating more often in the buffet where they could indulge in mozzerella, a variety of salami, olives, salad and fruit bar, octopus, and patisserie style dessert (rather than a bowl of ice-cream with sprinkles) – basically all the things we have to pay a fortune for at home in New Zealand so they don’t experience very much. To be fair though they are relatively adventurous eaters, so the standard kids menu probably works for the majority of children.

The verdict

We had a fantastic trip on the MSC Seaview and overall really enjoyed ourselves. It made for an easy holiday – unpack once for the week and not have to think too much about logistics of visiting four countries in a week.

The facilities were fabulous, truly top-notch quality and we had lots of time together creating some wonderful family memories. As first-time cruisers, we can see why people love it as a holiday option. Is it the best MSC cruise ship for families? Quite possibly yes due to its amazing facilities and elaborate interiors.

Every time we saw the ship from port we kept commenting how massive and extraordinary it was, so from that perspective it was really great to experience what it was like sailing on a mega-ship.

Would we do it again? In a nutshell perhaps, although it is a hard sell for us given our history of more independent, slower travel. We really do like doing our own thing a bit more and having the time to really explore a destination in-depth rather than only for a few hours.

However if you only have limited time, want a hassle-free fun family holiday then we’d highly recommend it.

Keep an eye our on the MSC website as they often advertise great MSC cruise specials and the MSC cruise prices can have big discounts (including MSC Cruises 2 for 1 deals or MSC Cruises last minute deals). There’s a wide range of MSC cruise destinations – after a summer in Europe the MSC Seaview is heading down to Brazil!


Want to know what to bring on your cruise? Click here to view The Ultimate MSC Seaview Packing List – How To Pack For Your Cruise and get a free downloadable packing list!

What the kids say – by Sophie (aged 8)

I think that the MSC cruise was really fun and cool. I really liked all of the shows and the pools. My favourite thing to do in the pool was the water slide. I liked all of them and we saw 2 really cool shows called Bizarre and Fantasia. I also liked the food it was really really good.

I loved my time on MSC Seaview cruise and definitely recommend it for any travellers with kids.


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  1. Looks amazing! And interesting to compare to the Meraviglia. I was shocked at those shuttle prices too! We found it substantially cheaper getting taxis so I didn’t really care in the end but they could try to not rip people off so much! We ordered normal meals for the kids in the main restaurants when they wanted them. I also was taken by surprise with the tips added. We have done a lot of cruises so are used to this from the US ones but I hadn’t expected it on an Italian line in Europe – they really should make that clear.

    Many years ago hubby and I got upgraded to a balcony cabin and it totally ruined me – they are so good!

    1. Hi Sharon, yes I had a good read of your Meraviglia article before we booked! Ugh the shuttles, I think people are just in holiday mode so they don’t care? It’s annoying though. I don’t know if I could do it now without a balcony, ruined for life alright! I see MSC have a new route coming up in 2019 for Greenland and Iceland, soo tempting! 🙂

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it and found our review useful! You will have a wonderful time I’m sure, it’s truly a great experience!

  2. Thanks for this great and informative blog. Me, my wife and my 4 year old daughter sail on the Seaview next June and can’t wait!

  3. Great review and very useful and informative comments. We will ride on this cruise this Sep and this is our first family cruise trip. May I know if we can bring snacks and drinks onto the ship when we take off to the city for sight seeing? Thanks a lot for everything you shared!

    1. Hi Florence, glad you found it helpful! I think if you had maybe one or two bottles of water and some small snacks that would probably be ok. What they are looking out for is people trying to get alcohol on board (because they will lose sales if people bring their own alcohol on board!) To be honest there is amazing food available around the clock from the buffet, and water always available, plus an onboard store selling snacks for reasonable prices so you wouldn’t need to bring too much on board with you. Hope that helps!

  4. wow fantastic review, enjoyed every bit of it. thank you so much for taking the time to write it up. pictures were great, and I’m very glad you and your family enjoyed your trip. I’m looking forward to our family trip the end of june 2019 as we”ll be celebrating my son’s graduation and going off to university. this probably will be my last holiday for a while 🙂
    again thank you.

    1. Hi Nadi, thanks for taking the time to write, I’m glad you found our article useful! Have an amazing trip, I’m sure you’ll love your time on MSC Seaview, and congratulations on your son’s graduation, what a special time for you all to celebrate and doing it in such style!! That’s fabulous.


    1. Hi there, there are definitely pools on board that are suitable for kids, they were about knee depth on our 6 and 8 year olds. Some of the adult pools however would be over their head so will need adult supervision/floatation devices. From memory the pools aren’t heated, but when we were on board in early July it was certainly warm enough and no-one felt the cold! Hope that helps.

  6. HI! My extended family and I are going in July 2020 and finding this blog was GREAT! Thank you for all the tips and pics! Did you find that smoking was an issue? I have severe allergies so knowing the places to “avoid” is great! Thanks again!

    1. Hi there, glad you enjoyed it!! We’re not smokers either and didn’t find that it bothered us very much at all. The one place I do remember people smoking was on the bottom deck at the bar area there, but we just didn’t stick around! There are small designated smoking areas on the ship, but they’re few and far between, certainly doesn’t affect your overall enjoyment we found. Hope that helps!!

  7. Hi, thanks for the very informative review; it was wonderful. My cruise on the Seaview is next month. How long did it take for you to disembark at each port of call, particularly if you didn’t go on an MSC excursion? Thank you!

    1. Hi Francisco, you’re welcome! The only time we ever had to wait around was on an MSC excursion for around 40 minutes to disembark while they got everyone organised and into their groups. The rest of the time we literally walked off the ship. There’s a small queue as you’re getting off while they record your card and details for security purposes and to document that you’ve left the ship, but other than that we came and went no problem. Hope that helps!

  8. Hi,
    We have booked on MSC Seaview for 2020 and am wondering if they have the usual games during the day, ie: trivia, bingo etc as these can provide great ways t o meet other guests.

    1. Hi Lynette, to be honest we don’t remember if these particular activities were offered as such, however an on-board schedule is delivered the night before with all the activities happening on the ship (you can find it on the in-room TV screens also). There was always SO much to do and plenty of opportunities to mix and mingle with other guests.

  9. Hello
    thank you very much for your post. It is very very informative and should help us to get ready for our JULY Cruise. :-))

    1. Hi Barbara, you’re so welcome, glad you found it useful! Enjoy your upcoming cruise!!

  10. Hello, I have a few questions and ope you can answer them for me. With regards to the water park, slides, and zip line, are these included in the cost of the cruise or do you have to pay extra for them? I know the bowling has a charge as well as the cinema etc but Do you know what the age restrictions are on the zip line? You also mentioned the transfers in Barcelona, was this to get from the port to the main city centre? Or from the airport to the cruise port?

    Thanks for your help. x

    1. Hi there, so the water park and the basic slides are included as part of the cruise cost. The water slide that has boards that you use to surf down is an additional cost, as is the zip line. Apologies, we’re not sure of any age restriction on the zip line – from memory it was more a height restriction than age and we don’t recall seeing any younger children on it, more teens and adults. Yes the transfers in Barcelona we mention were from the port to the main city centre. Hope that helps!!

      1. That is great, thank you. Do you remember the approximate cost for the surf slide and zip lines? I find the MSC website very difficult to find specific details. You said you got an Uber to Barcelona, how much was that approx? Thanks again.

        1. Hi Tursha, I’m so sorry but no I can’t remember the exact cost for the zipline and slide, however I do remember thinking the slides were quite reasonable but the zipline was quite expensive for what it was…our Uber into Barcelona wasn’t much at all, maybe 10 euros max? Sorry I can’t be more specific!

  11. Thank you for the amazing review. Q:do they allow kids to stay in the kids club alone or the parents should accompany them.. specially for the younger ones? Am going this July with 3 kids

    1. Hi Alexandra, glad you found it helpful. From memory, there is an age limit on the kids club for children staying alone without parents, I don’t think you can leave under ones there. Hope that helps!

  12. Fantastic information am cruising on this Ship November 2020, really appreciate your detailed description of the Ship and Ports 🙂

  13. Thank you so much for all the information you have posted, much better than the Msc brochure! I will be cruising on Seaview later in the year and now looking forward to that,I was a bit concerned about the bad reviews that I read but after your information I am much happier.

    1. Glad you found it helpful Pauline. Sometimes people can be very critical I think, we had a great time and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Safe travels!

  14. Thank very much for information me and my husband will go next may 2020 for my 25 year anniversary we book deck 9 with bacony I hope we chose right one thank so much I wish your family all way happy

  15. Thank you for a great review, you have answered many questions for me regarding our up and coming cruise on the Grandiosa, launching this September, it is also a Mega ship with over $6000 guests. We had read very poor reviews like the person above, you have put our mind at ease thanks.

  16. Thank you. I am about to book this ship next June for a first time cruise after London with chidden aged 8 and 11. Your review was so thorough and honest. I have been so unsure after a child free life of independent travel. I especially love your detail about the room- I am now definitely getting a balcony room.

    1. Glad you found it helpful! Yes it can be a challenge to go from independent travel to travelling with kids, we definitely relate! Having a balcony room was lovely and I definitely think worth the extra money. Enjoy!

  17. Thanks a lot for your blog, it helped me a lot on what to expect and not to expect in our cruise. We will have our Mediterranean Cruise starting Oct 8 until Oct 12.

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