Tales of the High Seas: Voyage on the MSC Seashore
November 17, 2022
My alarm went off at 5 am. I start my day trying to get ready. Eventually I make it to the Marketplace only to discover we are coming into dock at St. Thomas a few minutes past 6 am. The crowd has not appeared quite yet. I had a smallish breakfast because I did not know what kind of toilet facilities I would be facing on my MSC excursion. It consisted of a banana, a small bowl of fruit (mostly melon chunks) and a bowl of cereal topped with plain yogurt.
I had purchased a laundry package through MSC. Prolong your holiday by returning home with your family’s shirts and trousers washed, dried and ready to store.
This service enables you and the other occupants of your cabin to have your garments washed and ironed at any time during the cruise or even all together clean and ready to be packed the day before departure (max 20 items per cabin). Dry cleaning is excluded.
Items are collected before 10am and are supposed to be returned before 5pm the following day. Silk, wool, men’s suits and evening dress are excluded from the last day of the cruise option as they require special treatment.
I had my 20 pieces ready in my laundry bag in the morning, ready for my room attendant to whisk them off to be cleaned.
I had purchased the shore excursion from MSC, “champagne catamaran sail to St. John” before I took this cruise. My meeting time was approaching for my excursion, so I made my way to the deck which was near where we got off the ship. I was lucky and near an officer who guided me to where to get off the ship, which was different from the others waiting to get off. I was waiting for an announcement. I got off before it was made. I was among the first off the ship.
Soon the place where I needed to be appeared. In my queue directly in front of me was Lucia and Glynn from the Poconos (about 1-1/2 hours from me). We immediately hit it off and were fast friends. The conversation never slowed and still doesn’t to this day. We were brought to an open air vehicle which transported us 25 minutes to our waiting catamaran. Off came our shoes and we boarded the catamaran where we plopped ourselves onto a seat. The staff was awesome and clearly was concerned with safety, super friendly, and helpful. Big Mac was my driver. Do all excursion drivers have nicknames? Big Mac, Sexy Eddie? What’s the deal?
We saw Carol Burnett’s USVI house. Where’s my house? Where’s my super yacht? The catamaran crew provided me with a life vest, fins, and a snorkel with mask. I used my own snorkel and mask, instead. The way out to St. John was perfect weather. The day was full of sunshine and today’s high would reach 80°F/27°C. The snorkeling provided much appreciated exercise, not many fish or sea turtles. Glynn and I were snorkel buddies. Lucia stayed on board the catamaran. We tried to investigate a coral reef with poor luck. We were at St. John for about 1-1/2 hours, maybe another ½ hour on board the catamaran. Once the snorkeling was finished the crew broke out the portable Bluetooth speaker and the sparkling wine and other beverages. Bubbly plus a sprinkling of guava juice was very welcome. Light food fare was a nice surprise with slices of meat, crackers, and cheese. The party could now begin. Glynn, Lucia, and I talked a little bit about lunch, and I suggested escaping the zoo of the buffet and visit Central Park restaurant from noon to one pm.
Lunch included the starter of a vegetable Spanish omelet with a great balsamic vinegar sauce. My entrée was lamb with new potatoes and green beans. For dessert I had the nice sugary treat of a Boston cream pie. I wouldn’t change a thing. I just saw someone bring a plate filled to the brim with pizza. FIVE slices? Probably won’t be feeling guilty. But I’ve gotta say, this is the life. Due to all the talking we were one of the last to leave the main dining room. We discovered we all had reservations for the same restaurant that evening. After our meal we had them combined so we will all be eating dinner together at Ocean Cay restaurant. I’m planning a possible sea bass dinner.
Perfect relaxing lunch with oodles of chat. During lunch we followed each other on social media. Turns out they are travel vloggers at “OneWay2fun” or you can find them on “Lucia & Glynn”. Check them out, you could subscribe to their channels. I did.
After lunch, I took a few moments to try to freshen up my social media presence. The afternoon was spent on my own at the adult only infinity pool area. Is that Venchi chocolate gelateria calling my name? Do I want to take on that upcharge?
I was invited to the Captain’s reception at Cabaret Rouge at 5 pm. This was a small welcome back cocktail held at Le Cabaret Rouge as a private event to thank us for choosing MSC again. Dinner with Glynn and Lucia was planned for 6 pm. Tonight, is a white party so I will be finding my white duds and wearing that into Cabaret Rouge. I like to limit my costume changes. The captain regularly gives itinerary/weather reports each day. I’m expecting sunny to partly cloudy weather with occasional showers.
Dinner at Ocean Cay specialty restaurant was delicious! I think I just made a spoiler. It was the best meal on MSC Seashore. Conversation between Lucia, Glynn, and myself included many laughs. They have known each other since 7, but married other people. They found each other after 40 years old and are now together forever. Glynn has three adult children and Glynn and Lucia travel the globe rather frequently together.
My meal began with a Nicoise salad of tuna, anchovy, egg, green lettuce, and olives. My main was the highlight. I had a squid ragout with homemade potato gnocchi. I finished my meal with a wonderful tiramisu. No one does a tiramisu like the Italians, thank goodness I’m sailing with an Italian cruise ship line. That squid dish was warned by the server to be a bit spicy. I have a bland palette as I’ve mentioned before. But even, I, did not find it to be spicy. I would describe it as flavorful. Layers of flavor that was delicious was my squid ragout. The salad was my only choice of starters due to my food allergies. It was fine, serviceable. I find that most makers of tiramisum do not balance the flavors properly. For example, the espresso overpowers the other flavors. My tiramisu when I visited Firenze was perfection. The tirasmisu at this ship’s Marketplace was very well done. Ocean Cay aboard the Seashore did not disappoint with its homemade tiramisu. It was hard not to gobble it all up in a quick minute.
We still had a bit of time before the day’s main entertainment show, “Magical Forest”. The show was a pastiche once again with a silk performer, Chinese acrobats, a balance and strength duo, singers, and dancers all combined with a forest set. It all started with an English prologue that was not needed at all. The acts were uneven in quality. I suspect it all depended on your personal preferences. The costume design also was uneven. Overall, it was a fun romp. Glynn seemed to enjoy it even more than I.
We had time until the evening’s highlight – the White Party. I changed my top in a rare moment of wanting a costume change and then rejoined Glynn and Lucia. We had a pit stop at the Shine bar on deck 6 of the atrium. Lucia continued her sober journey with a Coke. She had over a year’s worth of sobriety under her belt. I had a yummy sea breeze and as I recall Glynn had a margarita. We made our way up to the top pool deck for White Party shenanigans.
There were cocktails, like my dessert, mudslides. There was dancing. There was picture taking. Lots of pictures with Glynn and Lucia doing their signature move where Glynn dips Lucia. The crowd was all in white, the music was pumping and I was way too sober despite a few cocktails. I realized I would have another early morning with my next shore excursion and headed back to my comfy bed.
NEXT: BEST shore excursion ever!