Discovering the MSC Seascape: My Initial 7 Impressions

Last December 7, 2022, I had the opportunity to attend the christening ceremony of MSC Cruises’ new ship, MSC Seascape, in Manhattan.

As part of the event, I spent about a day and a half on the ship, spending a night onboard and exploring the ship to see what it offers. Though it wasn’t a regular cruise, I did form some impressions of the vessel.

As a note about my experience with MSC’s Seaside class, I sailed a regular cruise on the very first ship in MSC Seaside. This month was my first time experiencing the evolution of that class, as Seascape is part of the Seaside EVO class.

While others may focus on the similarities and differences between this ship and her predecessor MSC Seashore, my first impressions on this ship will mainly focus on the EVO class.

Aerial view of MSC Seascape
Aerial view of MSC Seascape (Image courtesy of MSC Cruises)

1. There are various spots to take a dip

If you love swimming and have been dubbed a “fish” by your family and friends, MSC Seascape is an excellent ship. In addition to the main lido deck pool, there’s the family-focused Jungle Pool, with a retractable roof, and the stunning Infinity Pool located at aft.

There are also hot tubs scattered around the ship, including on the main pool deck, in the Yacht Club, and the massive Aurea Spa. Some suite staterooms even have hot tubs on their balconies.

I’m a massive fan of the water and love it when ships have many places to swim and relax in a hot tub.

Infinity pools are a huge cruise ship trend right now, and MSC does theirs well with a large, curved design that complements the shape of the Bridge of Sighs above it.

And having the dedicated Jungle Pool for families with kids makes sense, especially since the Pirates Cove Aquapark and kids’ clubs are nearby.

Interior view of Jungle Pool at MSC Seascape
Interior view of Jungle Pool at MSC Seascape

2. I love the specialty restaurant grouping

When I first boarded MSC Seascape and realized that nearly all of the specialty restaurants were grouped in a spot called “Chef’s Court” on deck 8, I wondered if that was a good thing — mostly because spreading out similar features on ships is better because it disperses the crowds.

But the more I thought about it, the more I think it’s genius to put these venues in one spot. Crowd dispersement for specialty dining isn’t the same concern that, say, it would be for a swimming pool.

And having them in one area makes it so easy because if you had dinner in Butcher’s Cut last night and are doing Teppanyaki tonight, you already know where you’re headed.

Plus, there’s a warm, cozy cocktail bar inside the doorway to Chef’s Court, perfect for meeting up with your friends and grabbing a pre- or post-dinner cocktail.

Chef's Court specialty restaurant area at MSC Seascape
Chef’s Court specialty restaurant area at MSC Seascape

3. ROBOTRON is a worthy addition

The significant addition of a top-deck attraction called ROBOTRON to MSC Seascape sets her apart from its sister ship MSC Seashore.

The robotic arm swings three riders around and upside down to the beat of various songs, set against the backdrop of an LED screen, with views of the ocean and pool deck below. Each ride is three minutes long, with three intensity levels.

This ride is a fun addition to the ship, especially since it doesn’t seem to be as much of a noise intrusion as the go-karts can be on NCL and the roller coaster on Carnival. But I’m not sure if $11 is well worth the price.

The unexpected aspects of the ride are fun because you don’t know exactly which direction you’ll be swinging next, unlike, say, a roller coaster where you can see what’s ahead. But it’s not as thrilling as other types of rides.

If you think the price is worth a try, go for it. But don’t expect the biggest thrill ever because I don’t think you’ll find that in ROBOTRON.

As a tip, I’d recommend riding at the first opportunity during your cruise to ensure you get at least one ride since the crew doesn’t operate ROBOTRON if it’s too windy.

View of ROBOTRON attraction on MSC Seascape
View of ROBOTRON attraction on MSC Seascape

4. Smart elevators are, well, smart

I’m pretty impressed with my first intelligent elevator experience on MSC Seascape.

If you are also new to smart elevators, let me quickly explain how they work. Instead of hitting an ‘up’ or ‘down’ arrow at the elevator bank, you’ll use a screen to select the same deck you’re headed to — before the elevator even arrives.

Once you choose, it will tell you — out loud — which elevator you’ll be taking (A, B, C, or D) and approximately how long it will take to get there.

After stepping inside, you won’t have to choose the floor or do anything because you already did that before the elevator arrived. This computerized, smart way of riding elevators is efficient, which is why it’s catching on across the cruise industry.

Sometimes, during hectic times such as embarkation or at the start of a big atrium party, the elevators would be in high demand; the screen would inform you that an elevator wouldn’t come for a few minutes.

This is frustrating but extremely helpful because if you don’t want to wait that long, you can either head to another elevator bank or take the stairs.

Smart elevator bank at MSC Seascape
Smart elevator bank at MSC Seascape

MORE: A Photo Tour of Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve

5. It’s full of sparkle and shine

If you’ve sailed with MSC Cruises before, you may be familiar with the glitz and glamour they incorporate into each vessel.

MSC Seascape continues the trend; while I was on board, a friend and I talked about how we’d never seen so many shiny surfaces on a single ship before.

Here, you’ll see dazzling Swarovski crystal staircases, which are a focal point on many MSC cruise ships. Each stairstep features thousands of dollars worth of crystals, and it’s practically an MSC rite of passage to take a photo on one of these staircases.

In general, the atrium — one of the spots where these staircases are located — is full of reflective surfaces that shine with various colors depending on the time of day.

Another glitzy photo op can be found in the aforementioned smart elevators, which feature mirrored walls.

The hallway between the atrium and Venchi and the rounded hallway leading into Le Cabaret Rouge is also photo-worthy spots.

A Swarovski crystal staircase in the MSC Yacht Club area
A Swarovski crystal staircase in the MSC Yacht Club area

6. The buffet space is enormous

MSC Seascape has one enlarged buffet located right off the family-friendly jungle pool.

Like most cruise ship buffets, the Market Place Buffet has two sides, one of which might be closed during slower times of the day.

I found the layout incredibly well-designed, and there are many food stations, including the ship’s yummy pizza.

While my time onboard was a special circumstance with fewer guests than a normal cruise would have, I still don’t believe that finding a table will be much of an issue for passengers on a normal sailing.

The entire buffet space was awe-inspiring to me, and I think guests will find its design easy to navigate, with plenty of room for enjoying a meal.

MSC Seascape's Market Place Buffet
MSC Seascape’s Market Place Buffet

7. Kids can do various things

MSC Seascape is brimming with amenities for kids and families. One of them is the Jungle Pool, which features a glass roof that can slide closed during inclement weather.

Just off the Jungle Pool are all the kids’ clubs, ranging from spaces for babies and their parents to teenagers.

Note, however, that if you’re sailing this ship with kids who love LEGOS, make sure they spend time in the kids’ club. MSC has a partnership with LEGO, with multiple LEGO-themed spaces.

Also nearby is the Pirates Cove Aquapark, a pirate and ocean-themed water play space for younger kids, complete with a rope bridge, slides, sprayers, and dumping buckets.

The ship also features multiple water slides for the whole family, which start at the top of the ship near the sports court and end next to Pirates Cove.

I was also impressed by the ship’s arcade, which features traditional arcade games alongside several virtual reality games, including a Formula 1 simulator.

What’s more, this space has windows. Usually, cruise lines tuck the arcade into an interior room because you won’t need a view when playing games.

Pirates Cove Aquapark at MSC Seascape
View of Pirates Cove Aquapark at MSC Seascape

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