When MSC Cruises first made a serious play for the US cruise market back in 2017 with the introduction of MSC Davina to Miami, passengers found the European nature of the cruise line to be a bit of a culture shock.
So when the Italian cruise line’s newest and most advanced cruise ship to date, MSC Seaside, was homeported in Miami for year-round Caribbean cruises, MSC made a number of changes in on-board processes and services to better suit the North American cruise market.
According to Cruise Critic, the 4,132-passenger vessel has seen a significant investment in crew training so that the service on-board is more attuned to what American passengers are used to.
The company set about improving three factors. The ship was understaffed when it arrived in Miami from its European inaugural, so more crew were assigned to the ship, crew were better trained on the ship’s layout and crew were given more training in English and American service standards.
On-board public announcements aboard MSC Seaside are also different to those aboard every other MSC ship. In the rest of the fleet, Italian is the language used first, followed by English and several other European languages.
Aboard Seaside, however, passengers only hear multiple languages during the muster drill (and then only to describe how to put on a life jacket), and at the start of each night’s show. Beyond that, all public announcements are made in English only.
The dinner-time buffet has also been expanded. Previously, it was held in the smaller Deck 16 Biscayne Bay Buffet & Pizza location, but that has now been switched to the Deck 8 Marketplace, cutting down on wait times for food and tables. Both locations are open for lunch.
In a nod to the American preference for drinking beer with dinner and coffee with dessert, MSC Seaside now offers a handful of beers and coffee, including espressos, during the dinner meal service, along with cocktails and wine.
MSC has also increased the number of dinner seatings in each of the main dining rooms from two to three, allowing passengers to more easily synch up with when they’d like to see the evening production shows.