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About xznwfd

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  1. For the room alone, I would pick the aft suite on the Escape. For everything else, MSC Yacht club would be my choice. I found the food in the YC restaurant much better than the Haven (showing how subjective food is), and prefer having a new menu every meal vs. the same menu throughout the cruise as the Haven restaurant does. I also thought the service in general was much better on MSC. The Top Sail Lounge is also much nicer than the Haven lounge, and the snacks there are much more varied. We also really enjoyed the buffet available on deck 19 for breakfast/lunch - nothing similar was available in the Haven. Overall for me, MSC Yacht Club wins. Cathy
  2. I've stayed in the aft penthouse suite on the Escape, and a regular YC balcony suite on Seaside. The Escape room was much larger and the balcony was huge! I loved having a separate bedroom and living room but it was a very long walk to the Haven area, and our butler was pretty scarce - we rarely saw him all week. On the Seaside, the room was smaller but fine for 2. The Yacht Club itself was MUCH better, better views, better service, and loved the restaurant. Menus changed every day, every meal, and everything was delicious. Our butler, Glen, was amazing - he couldn't do enough for us. We loved the escort on and off the ship, especially when we disembarked. The Top Sail lounge was amazing, so pretty and I've never had better service anywhere. My vote would be for MSC Yacht Club (and I'm booked on Meraviglia in February!). Cathy
  3. I also booked the Sports Massage for $77 before our cruise and it was wonderful! The therapist was one of the best I've had, and I get monthly massages at home for just $7 less. I agree with Howard, this is by far the best price I've ever seen for a massage on a ship (Seaside). Cathy
  4. We had Glenn as our butler as well, and loved him. My husband got a bad cold as well, and Glenn offered to escort him to the medical center and bring him hot tea with lemon and honey. Better service than he got from me! 😉
  5. LGA is under long term construction and is miserable. We just flew out of there 2 weeks ago, and received an email recommending we arrive at least 3 hours ahead of our flight. We allowed 4 and were very glad we did. Traffic to drop off and pick up is gridlocked due to all buses, shuttles and cars having to use one lane between terminals. Once you are your terminal you will be fine, but do allow extra time to get there! We have decided to skip LGA until all construction is finished (2-3 more years)!
  6. Dr. Cocktail! I sure do miss your sense of humor - love the quotes above. 😄 I was so interested to read your review of Celebrity - I've sailed them a few times but not in the past 10 years or so. I always loved their food, sounds like that has gone downhill a bit. Have to agree with you that the Yacht Club is the best value out there, and hope we meet up with you and D in another lovely YC lounge!!! Cathy and Joe
  7. loves2crooze, if you liked the Haven (and who wouldn't?) you will LOVE the Yacht Club. We did them just a year apart so the details were still fresh, and the YC was hands down better all around. Enjoy!
  8. We felt the YC restaurant was much better than the Haven one. We really liked the new menu for lunch and dinner every day, and our service was perfect. We loved the bread; they always had a whole grain option and we never missed receiving bread with our meal. Our waiters made recommendations for our selections and everything they recommended was fabulous. Agree the YC rooms are much smaller, but perfectly comfortable for 2. Really enjoyed the mini bar being free, and our butler would bring us each a glass of nice Cabernet every night to drink before we went to bed. The whole butler experience was much, much better on MSC (Seaside) than what we had in the Haven (Escape). For the price especially, YC can't be beat! Cathy
  9. Hi Peter! I never knew you were the famous Dr. Cocktail, I've read many of your posts! We had such fun talking with you both, you are a wealth of knowledge. The MI and I are finally better, although I had to do 5 days of steroids to get rid of the coughing (I have asthma). Still had a fabulous time. 🙂 Cathy
  10. We did see people ordering and receiving Champagne in the bar on the 19th floor, so it is possible on the Seaside!
  11. There was a smoking section on the outside portion of the Top Sail Lounge, but not inside. There was noticeably more smoking on the Seaside than some other cruise lines, but not so that it bothered me (and I'm allergic). The casino was smaller and I did notice the smoke there.
  12. Chocolate martinis were included, they did scan our card (wristband) because we weren't in the Yacht Club proper. Did not try the gelato - I know, crazy! - so can't answer that. Don't miss the shows, do try the chocolate martini and if you like salmon, the smoked salmon in the Yacht Club lounge is fantastic!
  13. Last year, my BFF and I tried a week on the NCL Escape in the Haven. This year, my Significant Other the MI (Melancholy Italian) and I had a week on the MSC Seaside in the Yacht Club. It was our first MSC cruise, and I did a lot of research before hand on these boards, so wanted to pay it forward a bit. I won't cover every detail, but did want to make some comparisons between the 2 cruise lines and the 2 ship within a ship concepts. Embarkation/Disembarking Both YC and Haven have nice private lounges for boarding with expedited service. Both offered snacks and drinks, and both escorted you to the lounge bypassing all lines. Where MSC shone was in disembarking, our butler took us past every line (which were HUGE) and we were off the ship in less than 5 minutes. MSC wins this first round! Room Last year we had an aft penthouse suite. The room was huge, with a real bedroom and 2 bathrooms, and the balcony would have been perfect for ballroom dancing. This year, we had a deluxe suite on MSC, which was more like a mini suite on Princess. There was no division between the living area and the bed, and the bathroom, while lovely, was quite a bit smaller than the Haven bathroom. Have to give this round to NCL. Butler No comparison. Our butler this year was Glen, and he was an absolute delight. He was always trying to think of things to do for us, including keeping the fridge stocked with a glass of Bailey's for the MI's morning coffee, and 2 glasses of Cabernet every evening for us to enjoy before bed. Both the MI and I got dreadful colds (I blame flying into Orlando with dozens of sick kids on the plane) but he offered us hot tea with honey, offered to escort us to medical for cough medicine, and escorted us on and off the ship at every port and when we left the ship on Sad Saturday. Last year we hardly saw our butler and he really did almost nothing for us. MSC and the Yacht Club won this round hands down. Private restaurant MSC hands down again. The staff was amazing, we had the same waiters for most meals and they quickly learned our preferences. I loved that the menu changed every day for lunch and dinner, vs. the same choices every day in the Haven restaurant. The Yacht Club homemade rolls, pastas and fish were all outstanding - better than anything I had in the Haven last year. Really flawless experience. Private lounge MSC all the way. The views from the lounge were amazing, where as the Haven was completely enclosed with no view. Service was outstanding, we never waited more than one minute after sitting down for someone to offer us a drink. The bar was huge, and they could, and did, make anything we asked for. We also loved the little snacks available all day, not just candy like I saw in the Haven last year, but little sandwiches, fantastic salmon sushi, and things like cake pops and pastries. The space is so large and open and very comfortable, and there is outside seating as well. We spent a lot of time just relaxing here and enjoyed every minute. Private pool deck MSC again. Lots of loungers, and the buffet area was great. We had breakfast and a couple of lunches here and everything was fresh and good. There wasn't much shade if you wanted a lounger, but there were shaded areas at the bar and tables so we were fine. Again, excellent service all around. Mini bar Loved having the mini bar free in the Yacht Club. We enjoyed the nuts and Pringles, and any kind of soda was free as well. They serve Coke products, which would have made my BFF very happy (only Pepsi on NCL). There was also unlimited still and sparkling water and we enjoyed that a lot. There was also fresh fruit and nice little treats at night, along with real champagne when we arrived in the room. Once again, MSC wins the round. Room steward She was a ninja - rarely saw her, but our room was always immaculate and she was delightful when we saw her in the halls. Our steward last year in the Haven was equally stellar so a tie for this round. Staff all around the Seaside were warm and friendly, I never passed any staff member in the halls that didn't say hello and smile. Ship itself We loved the atrium, so beautiful and bright. The crystal stairs were fabulous, and the LED screens were amazing. The ship was crowded, but so was the Escape last year. Everything was clean and beautiful. Shops were nice, but it was odd that there was no place to get small sundries you forgot (like cough syrup!). The Venchi bar was fantastic - the #2 chocolate martini was one of the best drinks I've ever had. The MI tried the F1 flight simulator and had fun, but didn't need to do it more than once. We did not try the bowling but saw a lot of kids having a great time. MSC wins again! Entertainment Best Shows On Any Cruise I've Been On! (Celebrity, Princess, RCL, HAL and NCL). The shows were fantastic! The singers had wonderful voices, and the stunts and dancing were absolutely amazing. I loved the shorter length and didn't notice any accents that detracted from the songs. Really, really well done. They made the shows on the Escape look like high school musicals (no offence to high school musicals). Thermal Spa This was NOT included in the Haven, but was free for Yacht Club members. It was beautiful, loved the salt room and heated loungers. I had a massage (only $70 booked ahead of the cruise) and it was one of the best I've ever had, with no hard sell afterward. The spa on the Escape was equally lovely, but since it wasn't included in the Haven we didn't get to enjoy it. I had given the MI 3 sessions with a personal trainer as a gift but he was only able to use one due to being under the weather. He really enjoyed the one session he did do, and wished he could have done all three. Once again MSC for the win. Fellow passengers We really enjoyed the international mix on the ship. We met wonderful people from Canada (shout out to the delightful Peter and David from Toronto), Germany, Italy, Spain, and Brazil. We didn't mind the announcements in 5 languages because they were infrequent and not invasive. Almost everyone was polite and friendly. It never felt like a booze cruise, but we did always welcome our return to our sanctuary in the Yacht Club. MSC again! Excursions We had 2, one on St. Thomas (kayaking, hike and snorkel) and a boat ride to the beach by the airport in St. Martin. Both were fine, and were enhanced by being escorted off the ship by our wonderful butler. We bypassed all lines and had a private entrance when we came back to the ship. Really well done and worth the money. Price NO comparison! We paid 1/2 of what I paid for the Haven last year. It was an absolutely amazing experience for the money, and I can't recommend it highly enough. I hope to be back in the Yacht Club next year, and every year after that, God willing and the crick don't rise. 😉 I'm happy to answer questions, but wanted to put anyone who hasn't cruised the Yacht Club yet at ease - it was a wonderful, wonderful experience! Cathy and The MI
  14. Looking forward to your review!! We love Princess, especially the Royal and Regal, love Celebrity and are taking our first MSC cruise on the Seaside next month in the Yacht Club. Thank you for doing this. 👍
  15. Following, we will be on the Seaside in Yacht Club in February - first time on MSC. Can't wait to read your review and thank you for doing this! Cathy
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