I recently returned from a cruise on the MSC Seaside. MSC makes my third cruise line overall and while there are a lot of similarities, there are differences that can make MSC your go-to cruise line.
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Ocho Rios, Jamaica
I wanna be honest here. We only came for the rum ?. We've been to Jamaica several times on cruises and all-inclusive resorts, so we didn't feel the need to do an excursion here. But, if you're looking for something to do, hop on over to my post on things to do in Ocho Rios.
We got off the ship and went to a nice little liquor store just outside the gates of the port. They had almost everything they sold available to taste. I'll admit, I got a little tipsy ?. I always buy Wray and Nephew, both the cream rum and white rum. I also like to try dark rums to put in my egg nog, so I ended up buying Blackwell Black Gold Special Reserve. Christmas is going to be awesome! LOL
Esquire has an ode to Jamaican rum, so I know I'm not alone in my love affair.
Mom bought a couple of bottles. She uses her rum in chocolate cakes and cheesecakes. Yum! ? We took a few photos and headed back to the ship.
For some reason unknown to us, we did not take photos that evening. Based on the number of photos we received, missing this one night still made the photo package well worth the money.
Ocean Cay Restaurant
This evening we dined at the Ocean Cay restaurant. The ambiance was great. I caught a beautiful sunset while waiting for our meal.
So, umm, we didn't get off the ship here. This was our third time doing this itinerary, so we've pretty much already done the excursions we're interested in. We spent this day relaxing and exploring the ship. I walked over the Bridge of Sighs. It was a little nerve-racking.
They also had a couple of demonstrations. Here's the hibachi demo.
Here are our photos from the evening.
Cozumel is always a fun port. There's always lots to do right there at the terminal. We got off just to walk around. Mom is always looking for good vanilla extract. Cozumel is also a great place to buy silver jewelry. This is the first time I've docked at Punta Langosta. Usually I'm at Puerta Maya which is a little south of downtown. It was nice to be located in the downtown area as there was lots to see just walking around.
Asian Market – Pan Asian by Roy Yamaguchi
This was my favorite restaurant by far. Everything was delicious and the service was superb!
Here are the photos from the evening.
It rained the entire day in Nassau. The only photo I was able to get here was from the covered deck of the ship. We usually get off here for conch fritters. Haven't had them? They are delicious! Here's a recipe by allrecipes.com. We usually find conch locally in a grocery store like Publix when we want a conch dish at home.
Sea Day 2
Ahhh, it's almost over. I always feel a sense of sadness on the last full day of the cruise. Sea days are meant for chillin', not packing ?. Because we are part of the #NoCheckedBag crew, there's less pressure for us to get the bags packed and outside the door by a certain time. We relaxed all day and had our last Pina Coladas. We dined in the main dining room this evening and the food was outstanding.
It was formal night again, so we got dressed up and took photos after dinner.
We had only been to one other show during the cruise and it was different than what we are used to on American cruise lines. It was more along the lines of Cirq du Soleil. I really enjoyed it. We'd heard so much about the final Michael Jackson show that I knew we couldn't miss it. It was everything and more! If you make it on to a MSC ship, be sure to see the Michael Jackson show on the last night!
The show ended with “We are the World” sung by the entire cast. It was a great way to end the night and the cruise.
I never sleep well the night before debarkation. I've spent the last seven days sleeping later than the law should allow, so I'm nervous that I'll oversleep. Can't I just stay on another week? I guess that's called a back-to-back cruise LOL.
Our flights are always after 12pm, so we are not in a hurry to get off the ship. We were at breakfast in the dining room by 8am and leaving the ship by 9am. Debarkation was a bit confusing to me. They had everyone wait in the theater for their area to be called, but there were no ship-wide announcements in case you weren't in the theater yet, so you could have missed your number being called. Since we were Aurea guests, we were able to debark whenever we were ready.
We did not receive a customs form to complete before we left the ship. Nor did we line up to see a customs officer for a brief interview. The customs portion of debarkation consisted of a photo of you being taken and matched. No passport or form needed. Mom's photo wasn't found, so she had to pull out her passport to prove her identity.
That's it! It was a great trip! I really enjoyed my MSC cruise and plan to do it again in the near future.
Have you cruised MSC? Tell me about what you liked below. Have questions about the MSC experience? Ask them below.