Bring the family… and let the fun begin! Child-friendly cruising on a ‘palatial’ ship with Swarovski crystal staircases, five water slides and a multi-storey aqua park
Here I am shooting clowns as if my life depends on it. Scary, demented clowns pop up in the most unexpected places: on a roller coaster, in a dodgem car, behind a carousel.
My heart is racing and the boy next to me is screaming his lungs out. Minutes later, he’s back in the queue for another round.
We’re in the Interactive XD cinema on palatial cruise ship MSC Seaview, and having a ball. It’s day two and my partner’s son Oliver, 12, hasn’t looked at the games on his phone, or the ‘rectangular child minder’ as his dad likes to call it. He hasn’t even realised it’s locked in the room safe.
Pictured is MSC Seaview’s stunning atrium, which boasts Swarovski crystal staircases
‘The adrenaline-fuelled thrills lure us repeatedly to the entertainment area,’ Rebecca reveals
Guests on board can lap up the ship’s excellent facilities, which include a multi-storey aqua park (pictured)
Accommodating over 5,000 passengers, MSC Seaview was built for warm climates, and the Mediterranean itinerary which David, Oliver and I are on sails to Italy, France and Spain.
‘It’s ginormous, the coolest thing ever!’ Oliver had exclaimed when we arrived at our floating home for the week, docked at Genoa cruise terminal.
Our shipmates are noticeably younger than on many other cruises and in true European style, they also stay up later.
Families, couples and multi-generational groups from the UK, Europe, the U.S., Canada and Australia are on board lapping up the excellent facilities, including a multi-storey aqua park, four pools, ten dining venues and five water slides. Built to bring guests closer to the sea than ever before, the style is Miami beach condo and we love the glass panoramic lift that sweeps you from the sunset pool on deck seven to the main pool on deck 16, Swarovski crystal staircases and the ‘Bridge of Sighs’ glass walkway that’s positioned 131ft (40m) above the ocean.
Out and about, it’s clear that deck 16 is the place to be: activities range from daytime dance classes for all the family (and presented in four different languages) to kids’ parties under the stars.
One of the four pools aboard the MSC Seaview – which Rebecca says was ‘built for warm climates’
There’s a real family atmosphere on the ship. There are five dedicated kids’ clubs catering for tots to teens.
Young Club (for 12 to 14-year-olds) activities include tech challenges, discos and bowling in the full-size alley, and it’s easy to sign up once on board.
If you’re worried about them getting lost, tracking wristband devices are given free to guests staying in Aurea premium accommodation and the Yacht Club.
Slide away: Kids can whizz down five different water slides, which are part of the multi-storey aqua park
Popular with families, couples and multi-generational groups, the ship offers attractions for all ages. Pictured is the MSC Aurea Spa
All in all, there are ten dining venues on the MSC Seaview – pictured is speciality restaurant L’Atelier Bistrot
Diners at L’Atelier Bistrot can gaze at the atrium. Of all the restaurants on the ship, Rebecca and her family are particularly enamoured by the Marketplace buffet
Oliver makes friends quickly and is soon asking to escape the dinner table each evening so he can hang out with his new buddies.
We are staying in a veranda stateroom with a double bed and a large sofa bed for Oliver — and taking young ones on a cruise needn’t bust your holiday budget, as children up to the age of 18 who share a cabin with their parents on Seaview travel free of charge.
When we aren’t ashore strolling along the Cannes’ Croisette or nibbling €2 cones of salty jamon at Barcelona’s Santa Caterina Market, we’re working our way through the ship’s excellent Marketplace buffet.
Pictured is one of the cruise ship’s suites, equipped with a whirlpool and ocean views
A glass panoramic lift sweeps guests from the sunset pool to the main pool on deck 16. Pictured is the ship’s Panorama Pool
Pictured is the snow room, which is one of the many facilities on board the ‘palatial’ MSC Seaview
Pictured is one of the bars on the ship. Rebecca finds the guests tend to ‘stay up later’ on MSC Seaview, compared to other cruises
But it’s the adrenaline-fuelled thrills that lure us repeatedly to the entertainment area — we all love the interactive cinema, while Oliver and David enjoy flexing their skills in the F1 simulator.
After a session destroying werewolves with his Canadian friend Russell in the cinema on the last night, it’s with some reluctance that we drag Oliver to bed.
‘I don’t want to go home,’ he declares. We have to agree.
A seven-night, round-trip cruise in the western Mediterranean on MSC Seaview, calling at Marseille, Genoa, Naples, Messina and Valletta, departs Barcelona on June 3, 2022, from £929 pp based on two people sharing cabin. (msccruises.co.uk, 0203 426 3010).