Condo Cruising – MSC Seaside has the ultimate rooms with a view.

Monday Mantra

Under construction … Under construction … Under construction …

Condo Cruising

MSC Seaside has the ultimate rooms with a view.

There are very few cruise-related things that I have no desire to experience and I always believed a shipyard visit was one of them. I mean, yeah, it might be fun for about 20 minutes seeing a ship in its early stages but then I’d be looking around for a waiter with a tray of Champagne flutes and realize I’d have to wait about a year for him to materialize.

In the meantime, I’d be surrounded by blow torches and jackhammers, cables and all those wires that I’d likely trip over. The cranes soaring above my head would scare the hell out of me and the hard hat I’d have to wear would mess up my hair something awful.

MSC Seaside's upper deck and pool area, under construction. But recently, I saw photos of MSC Seaside under construction at Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, and I suddenly understood the allure of a shipyard visit.

It probably has a lot to do with MSC Seaside herself. Now, I’m usually a purist when it comes to what I consider a beautiful ship. I expect a ship to look like … well … a ship, small to midsize. I don’t want to sail something that looks like an office building riding the waves, and at 160,000 grt and a capacity of more than 4,000 guests, you’d think that MSC Seaside would fall into that category. And yet … I’m dazzled.MSC Seaside's towering high-rise apartments

Okay, I’ll admit it … it’s those 14 aft corner “beach condo” accommodations — they have me positively drooling. They look like those fabulous Miami luxury apartments advertised in the pages of Delta Sky magazine with “starts at $1.8 million dollars” in small print underneath. And even in their current skeletal form I can see myself standing on the balcony under the Caribbean sun, glass of wine in hand, staring at the ship’s hypnotic churning wake.MSC Seaside's skywalk... under construction.

If I should ever decide to leave my beach condo, MSC Seaside has other stuff that grabs me … her sea-level wraparound open air promenade, 20 bars, a ton of restaurants, and an interactive waterpark that, judging from MSC’s promotional video, looks like everything on deck has sprung a leak at the same time. Way cool.

I’m not sure that I’ll be trying out the 425-foot zip line or strolling along the overwater glass catwalks, but, hey, with those 20 bars on board, anything’s possible.

MSC Seaside is open for booking and will start sailing in December 2017 from Miami to the Caribbean … and for anyone who’s looking to buy me a Christmas gift, one of those beach condos — fully constructed — would be absolutely perfect.

Judi Cuervo

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Judi Cuervo is a New York City native who fell in love with cruising in 1976 during her first sailing aboard Carnival Cruises’ Mardi Gras. Twenty years later, she began her freelance cruise writing gig and, since that time, has covered mass market, ultra-premium, riverboat and expedition ships for regional, national and international publications as well as cruise websites.