Coronavirus be damned...my daughter has scheduled us a cruise, on our FAVORITE cruise line, for September of this year! I'm actually feeling confident that this might happen. I CANNOT WAIT! Happy Mother's Day to me!
We are now going to travel on the MSC Seaside. We are hitting up Puerto Rico and Bahamas, both of which we've been to before. This time we also get to see USVI (St. Thomas) and the MSC private island. She splurged for the FANTASTICA experience, which is the second tier of the MSC experiences. We have a full alcohol package and a balcony stateroom. We are hoping to do the mother / daughter spa experience. If you have not been on an MSC cruise, I suggest you book one ASAP. The ships are amazing, the value is incredible, and the staircases are indescribably gorgeous. Trust me on this.
Since we've booked WAY in advance, we were able to get a really good stateroom. We are close to the top of the ship, in the center of the ship. We are "kind of" close to the elevators...That means we are close enough to have a short walk, but far enough to avoid the noises of the drunken shipmates stumbling to their cabins at 3 am. We booked early enough that we were basically able to choose the exact cabin we want. Last cruise, we chose the 5th level, but that was still so close to the action that is was pretty noisy on the balcony. This time, there are no busy levels right under us, so we will have an easier time with quiet.
We are looking for things to do on our trips. We've been to Nassau, Bahamas 5 times now, so I'm actually thinking about not even getting off the ship (although I do like the fun photo ops right off the ship...). Emily loves the Bahamas and tries to make at least an annual trip, but her last few forays have been to Bimini Island. She, too, is just kind of bored with Nassau. The last time we went, we didn't even really enjoy the straw market. WHAT?!? Same for Puerto Rico. We will be there from 5 pm to 7 am, and aren't really thrilled about being in our area that late at night. We've decided to hop off and walk 2 blocks to a couple of places we really want to see, then heading back to the ship. Emily is considering the bioluminescent bay tour, which sounds amazing, but like way too much walking for me. We considered the Bacardi tour, but it closes about half hour before we get there, so that doesn't work.
I'm really excited about USVI. I've had this on my bucket list for a LONG time. We will be in St. Thomas, which is so exciting to me! I am excited to see Emancipation Park, Bluebeard's Castle, etc...and hearing local legends of Blackbeard and other pirates! Emily found a tour of an ice castle that we are considering. I typically purchase one piece of NICE jewelry from one of the ports, and since I've never been to St. Thomas, I think that's where I will shop. The port shopping area is called Main Street, and from what I see, there tons of really cool places to shop.
We are also visiting the MSC private island, the Ocean Cay Marine Reserve. I haven't exactly figured out what the reserve is about, but the island is beautiful and I'm excited to see it. Coco Cay, the Royal Caribbean private island. While there, we were snorkeling, and suddenly were whisked away by a strong undercurrent. Emily and I made it to a rock where the lifeguards were, but we couldn't find Darren and the boys. We looked over and saw Darren holding each boy's head up, while seemingly treading water. We signaled the lifeguard, and they took the wave runner out and rescued the boys. We didn't find out until later that evening that Darren was actually standing on a rock. Still, we are not looking for that kind of excitement this time around!
Have any of you ever cruised on MSC Seaside? What did you like, and what should we avoid? I'd like to know!