10 Essential Experiences Onboard MSC Seaside

The incredible attractions onboard MSC Seaside will actually have you looking forward to those "At Sea" days on your cruise itinerary.

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MSC SeasidePhoto: MSC Cruises

10 Things to See and Do on MSC Seaside

When MSC Seaside debuted in December 2017, it marked somewhat of a sea change in ship design. Throughout the ship, there's an emphasis on maximizing outdoor space, from the sprawling sun decks to the fact that around 70 per cent of staterooms have private balconies. From virtually any position on board, the 5,100-odd passengers are truly immersed in the Caribbean, free to marvel at its seemingly endless stretches of luminous blue sea while basking in the radiant tropical heat. Of course there are plenty of other onboard features that make this massive vessel one of Miami's most in-demand. In fact, these incredible things to see and do on MSC Seaside will actually have you looking forward to those "At Sea" days on your cruise itinerary.

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MSC Seaside - Swarovski crystal staircasePhoto: Brett Walther

Make an entrance on a Swarovski staircase

Fitness experts are always telling us to take the stairs more often; well, here's a chance to do it in style. Linking each of the decks that open onto MSC Seaside's mid-ship Atrium are a series of sweeping staircases with transparent risers that aren't just illuminated, but also embedded with thousands of glittering Swarovski crystals. Even if you're in shorts and sneakers, descending this dramatic design feature, you can't help but feel like a movie star.

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MSC Seaside AtriumPhoto: MSC Cruises

Marvel at the massive Atrium

Swarovski staircases aside, the Atrium on MSC Seaside is a wonder to behold. Spanning four decks, and stretching the full width of the ship, it's a vast, glittering well of mirror, glass and crystal that draws passengers like moths on a nightly basis. Whether they're grabbing drinks at the Seaside Bar on the Atrium floor, or lining the balconies to watch live performances on the multi-tiered stage, this is where everyone ends up after dinner to either wind down for the night, or get their parties started.

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MSC Seaside MSC Yacht Club PoolPhoto: MSC Cruises

Upgrade to Yacht Club on MSC Seaside

Sometimes you've just got to treat yourself, and an upgrade to Yacht Club on MSC Seaside definitely qualifies as a worthy splurge. Essentially MSC Cruises' "first class," Yacht Club not only entails a premium stateroom, but also priority embarkation at every port—a perk that allows you to make the most of every minute on your island excursions.

In what MSC refers to as a "ship within a ship," Yacht Club members also have access to exclusive areas including the Yacht Club pool (shown here), bar and sun deck on Deck 19, as well as the stunning Top Sail Lounge on Deck 16 forward. It's here that members flock to be wined and dined by immaculately-suited servers, accompanied by the gentle tinkling of the glossy grand piano and sweeping views of the Caribbean. As was succinctly put by one Yacht Club butler (yes, you'll get one of those as well), "Why would you go anywhere else onboard?"

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MSC Seaside Aurea Spa - thermal spaPhoto: MSC Cruises

Pamper yourself at the Aurea Spa

Need to cool down after sweating it out under the blazing Caribbean sun? Head to Deck 8's Aurea Spa, where—in addition to the standard menu of health and beauty treatments—you'll find an impressively equipped thermal area. Purchase a pass for the duration of the cruise (or opt into Yacht Club or Aurea Experience accommodations) for unlimited access to gems like the bracing snow room (shown here)—an innovative way to beat the tropical heat. Gently bring your body temperature back to normal in the light- and dark-sensory steam rooms, then soak away any aches and pains in alternating cold and warm rain misting showers.

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MSC Seaside - waterslidesPhoto: MSC Cruises

Take the plunge down a waterslide

With no fewer than five different waterslides onboard MSC Seaside, you don't have to wait for the first port of call to make a splash. Although the inner-tube slide tends to be popular with the wee ones, you'll find kids of all ages lined up for the ship's two racing slides. These semi-transparent tubes extend over the side of the ship, sending brave souls hurtling down a dizzying corkscrew in a race to see who ends up at the bottom first. The only question is, is your cruising companion up to the challenge?

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MSC Seaside - ZiplinesPhoto: MSC Cruises

Ride the longest zipline at sea

If waterslides aren't enough to send your heart rate soaring, venture up to Deck 20 for a guaranteed shot of adrenaline. Here you'll find the MSC Seaside's two 425-foot long ziplines, which hold the record as the longest ziplines at sea. From the highest point on board the ship, you'll fly over the entire aft section—including the ship's main outdoor recreation area, the Miami Beach Pool and Sundeck—dropping a height of two decks along the way. Although it's a thrilling ride, the bird's-eye view it affords of those legendary Caribbean blues stretching off in every direction is no less impressive.

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MSC Seaside Bridge of SighsPhoto: MSC Cruises

Snap the photo of a lifetime on the Bridge of Sighs

If you don't take a selfie on MSC Seaside's Bridge of Sighs, were you even *there*? This infinitely Instagrammable glass-floored bridge is an architectural marvel that stretches across the aft section of Deck 16. Although it's genuinely thrilling to peer through your feet at swimmers in the South Beach Pool nine decks below, the big attraction here—as mentioned—is the photo opp. Have a buddy climb the stairs to the deck above for a truly magical shot of you, suspended over the Caribbean sea, with the foamy white wake of the ship stretching off into the distance. You're welcome.

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Butcher's Cut Restaurant on MSC SeasidePhoto: MSC Cruises

Book a table at Butcher's Cut

If you're stepping up your style game for formal night, you might as well step up your dinner plans as well. Boasting dark wood panelling, cowhide upholstery and moody, subdued lighting, Butcher's Cut is MSC Seaside's American-style steakhouse—and the perfect setting for a romantic dinner for two. The menu specializes in melt-in-your-mouth angus beef, making your main of surf-and-turf a no-brainer. Paired with a bold New World wine, it's a meal to remember on a ship that's already renowned for the quality of its cuisine.

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MSC Seaside - Venchi 1878 Chocolate BarPhoto: MSC Cruises

Indulge in artisanal treats at Venchi 1878 Chocolate Bar

Given that MSC Cruises was founded in Naples, it's only natural that MSC Seaside should boast an entire bar devoted to creamy, decadent Italian chocolate. Whether you're craving a sweet treat, or simply want to check out the walls (they're literally flowing with liquid chocolate, and are attractions in themselves), the Venchi 1878 Chocolate Bar is worth tracking down on Deck 6. (Psst—a box of truffles makes a great gift for the poor schmucks you left back home.)

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Puerto Rico facts - San Juan turns 500 in 2021Photo: Shutterstock

Explore the Caribbean on a Martha Stewart Excursion

There's a great deal of truth in the old cliché that the best way to learn about a culture is through its cuisine. When you've only got a limited time to explore a destination—a port of call on MSC Seaside's itinerary, for instance—a culinary tour is one of the most efficient ways to get a true taste (if you'll pardon the pun) of life in that corner of the world.

In an exclusive partnership with MSC Cruises, legendary domestic doyenne Martha Stewart has designed a series of excursions to highlight the "hidden gems" of the Caribbean. On these largely culinary-oriented excursions, travellers will sample popular local drinks and dishes while gaining a great deal of insight into the port's unique culture. Find out what you'll learn on MSC Seaside's Martha Stewart Tour of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Check out the MSC Cruises website for more on MSC Seaside.