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Ex-vogue model

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  1. 19 minutes ago, Norwegian Cruiser 73 said:


    Thank you very much for your detailed comparison, appreciate it. You really confirmed my thoughts on Azamara. I don't think they will suit us as we prefer larger ships with more activities onboard. 

    In that case Azamara is definitely not for you.  I really can't see us doing anything other than MSC Yacht Club as the ship within a ship concept is just what we liked.  You can dib out into the big ship area to see the shops, shows and do a spot of gambling then return to the peace and quiet of Yacht Club.  Best of both worlds! 🙂 

  2. 58 minutes ago, Beamafar said:


    Good to know that there was a sommelier in YC;  there wasn't one on Seaview last week.  I hope there'll be one on our Mera sailing next month.

    He was really good and seemed to know his stuff.  I thought there'd be a sommelier in every YC on every cruise? Have a fabulous cruise - I'm very jealous!  Frantically looking now for future cruises to book 🙂 🙂

  3. 5 hours ago, Captain-John said:

    Glad you had a good time and thanks for your review! 🙂


    I loved being escorted to the front of the immigration queue in SPB too (although I couldn't bring myself to make eye contact with those we skipped!) - having been there the previous year with NCL and having to wait.


    How did you get on with wine at dinner - I had an awful difficulty in getting the wine I asked for - I would often ask for the Bordeaux and be forced to try the one that was open instead. Maybe 30% of the time I got what I asked for first time. Oddly, in the TSL I could always get the Bordeaux. I'm definitely going to refuse any wine I don't ask for on our next trip, as I had a couple of glasses I didn't fully enjoy because of the 'no, try this' attitude.

    Hi Captain John,  wine at dinner was really good.  For the life of me I can't remember what the name of the red I was drinking was called but it definitely was from Bordeaux and was delicious.  They also served a cracking Pinot Noir which I think was from Burgundy but I could be wrong.  The wines in general were very good and again I had an excellent Sauvignon Blanc from Chile but can't remember the name.  The sommelier was excellent - he was from Serbia and really knew his stuff.  All his recommendations were spot on (pity I can't remember them!!).  Yes, we couldn't make eye contact either at being escorted off but by goodness it was nice to feel important 🙂 .

  4. 26 minutes ago, Norwegian Cruiser 73 said:

    Thank you very much for your great review from the MSC Meraviglia and the amazing Yacht Club 😀 The Baltic Sea is a great destination for cruising. And welcome to the "club" of Yacht Club fans 👍😀 


    We have sailed the Yacht Club 11 times and it's a great way of cruising. You mentioned Azamara. We where tempted to go on a Azamara cruise next year but changed our plans. How would you compare the Yacht Club against Azamara? 


    Best regards from Norway. 

    We've been on Azamara twice - in a suite and in a verandah stateroom.  The suite experience on the Quest was excellent and compared favourably to Yacht Club with regards to service from the butler, continental suite which was amazing, access to the speciality restaurants and access to the spa area. We didn't pay full price for this cruise we got it on 2 for one and a half basis as I hate paying full price for anything.  No private pool but with just 600 odd people you didn;t really need it and there were no children. Great atmosphere and some great people. However the entertainment was shocking and more or less finished at 11pm.  The bar area shut at 11.30 and we were ushered out which was quite shocking! The age demographic is also quite old - we felt positively young again at 54 🙂 🙂 However, we booked with Azamara again but in a verandah stateroom on the Pursuit as the price was good. Totally different atmosphere on that particular cruise.  Strange mix of people.  Dreadful entertainment again, quite a rude pianist who refused to play a request and the DJ in the lounge area was obnoxious.   My husband refused point blank to do another cruise with Azamara so I was scratching my head as to how to come up with the goods.  We like entertainment and a spot of gambling (no casinos on Azamara).  We love Celebrity and have sailed in suites with them but their pricing is sky high.  I had heard about MSC but prefer the American cruise lines.  However, we decided to give it a go as the price was really good - 5% reduction and immediate Black Card with Voyagers Club.  We also got money off for early booking.  We really didn't know what to expect but we really loved the YC and preferred it so much more than Azamara and Celebrity.  I do hope this helps and it is our view only but we like good service, good food, good wine and good atmosphere and MSC YC went above and beyond on all of this.  

  5. 13 minutes ago, mafig said:

    I understand there are two Cirque shows.  Correct?  Which did you go to.  Can you explain the process for YC guests?  Make reservations?  Priority seating?  Price (or not).


    Also, did you have to make reservations for the shows?  We did last year on Seaside, but I have since read that it is not necessary in the YC.


    How was the food?


    Did the ship feel crowded?


    Three decks for Mera vs. two on Seaside and Divina in YC.  Which were you on?  Any noise there?



    Hi there Mafig, yes there are two Cirque shows.  We went to Sonar and it was excellent - last about 40 minutes.  Booked prior to boarding on the MSC website but you can book on the app once onboard. Butler meets you either at your suite or in the TS lounge and escorts you into the theatre to your sea. We had just the cocktail and show and it was around £15.00 sterling I think.  You can have a meal which costs around £30 I think.

    Food was excellent, no complaints at all.  Always hot and thankfully just enough of it so that you weren't overface or felt over full.  


    Ship didn't feel crowded - we were on deck 18 and we never felt overcrowded at all, even at peak times in the restaurant.  Hope that helps. 🙂 

  6. 26 minutes ago, Georgia_Peaches said:

    Thank you for this review.  We have our first MSC cruise in YC scheduled in March of 2020 and I am soaking up every YC review I can get my hands on.  Like you, we've done suites (and not suites) on other lines but are searching for something different.  Hoping YC can fit the bill.  Am wondering about bracelets that I've seen passengers wearing in videos.  Were you given a bracelet that you were required to wear?  If so, what was the purpose?  I'm just not fond of having to wear an issued bracelet.  

    HI Georgia_Peaches - sorry yes the bracelet is to call the priority elevators can you believe.  We used it when there was no one waiting as we didn't want to confuse or upset anyone!!  It also allows you access to your cabin and through the entry doors on each level of YC.  It's great if you want to get off the ship and go direct to Level 4 disembarkation, just press the bracelet against the activator by the elevator call buttons and away you go, straight down to 4 without stopping! If you are on level 18 like we were and n eed to get to 4 then it's a hell of a lot of stops down.  Have a fabulous time - you will thoroughly enjoy it.

  7. We are regular cruisers on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Azamara, however our cruise line of choice will now be Yacht Club on MSC.  Totally blown away by everything on this week long cruise around the Baltics. My husband has usually had enough by day 5 and wants to go home, however on this occasion he says he'd be happy to stay on the ship for another few weeks so it must be good!  


    Embarkation was a breeze, found the Yacht Club tent and our luggage was whisked away.  We were then escorted to the Yacht Club seating area and offered champagne, a paper and some nibbles.  We waited there for about half an hour until check in opened.  Our passports and tickets were taken off us for a few minutes, then returned and then we were escorted onto the ship by one of the butlers.  The Hotel Director welcomed us on board along with the staff in Yacht Club and we were then taken to our suite.  Great size, big bathroom, robes, slippers, nespresso  machine (there is a God!), welcome champagne and everything in the fridge was inclusive.  Spotlessly clean too with a great bed and bedding.  Lots of European and US outlets.  The MSC App was great as we could keep track of expenses, use the ship plan etc so it's definitely worth downloading.  The wifi was excellent.  We bought the package for both our phones as sadly we needed to do some business whilst away but 4G each was more than enough and I still had quite a lot of MB as I left the ship.  Fast too.  Our butler was lovely (from Bali but we can't remember his name sorry), we didn't see that much of him but when we needed him he was there.  Escorted us off the ship and direct to immigration in St Petersburg, Russia which was impressive, so we were through immigration within minutes.  Escorted us to the Cirque du Soleil show which was amazing.  Kept our suite immaculately clean and tidy and always arrived back to canapes, choc dipped strawberries, treats etc which was a lovely touch. The entertainment on this ship was fantastic.  Always something going on somewhere but nice to get back to the peace of the Top Sail Lounge or your suite.  We actually won at the casino which paid for our onboard expenses so that was great and the dealers in the casino were good fun.  The only thing I didn't like was the smoking but you can't have everything unfortunately. The dining room was beautiful and the food was great.  I liked most things on the menu and it was always well cooked and tasty.  The cheeses were great and  the wines were exceptional.  I was very impressed with a great Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc..  We took breakfast most mornings upstairs at the grill area which was always pretty quiet, probably due to the weather.  The lunch there and breakfasts were lovely and the coffee superb.  There was a great guy from Columbia who greeted us every day and was just good fun and provided excellent service.  In all, we had an amazing week with great ports of call, great people, superb food, drinks and exceptional service.  We will now be booking Yacht Club from now on - well done MSC you now have two new customers!! 🙂 🙂 

  8. Your review has been extremely helpful as my hubby and I are in YC on the Meraviglia at the beginning of September to the Baltics.  Your photos of the food and ship were superb, thank you!  I am certainly looking forward to it more now. I am grateful for the recommendation about obtaining the Bordeaux red.  I certainly won't put up with any old red, so a Bordeaux will do it for me.  Once again, thanks!

  9. 19 minutes ago, Captain-John said:


    Recently off Meraviglia and they ran out of the Mondavi on day 2 (I was curious to try it). I think that winery must have a deal with vacation type locations as I've seen it in the Sandals resort in Barbados too.



    Got off Meraviglia on Saturday after doing the Baltics on her in the YC - I'm currently downloading 1,554 photos but once they're transferred I'll start my 'review' so should give you a flavour of what to expect. 🙂

    Very much looking forward to your review!! Hope it’s all good!! 😊

  10. 8 hours ago, DrKoob said:


    It was amazing, wasn't it. If you are ever in Amsterdam, the Banks Mansion is the only place we have stayed that was better.

    Thank you for that - I'll make a note if we ever cruise out of Amsterdam or stay over there! 

  11. 10 hours ago, DrKoob said:

    Don't know your budget but the second best hotel we have ever stayed in was the Langham Hong Kong. Worth the splurge. An amazing hotel in the perfect spot. 

    Totally agree - we stayed there pre-cruise and it was superb, best service experienced anywhere but I kept my eye on prices and they did fluctuate so I got a good deal. Wouldn’t hesitate in recommending! 

  12. 12 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

    The 5 day before yours is an even better per night price. I may stay on for that one. Get off when you get on. 



    Tell me about it! We booked this last year and the prices now are ridiculously cheap - lesson learnt is to book nearer the time as there are numerous flights we can get to the Med from the UK.  I noticed that there are still lots of staterooms unsold too on this cruise. 😯😯

  13. 23 hours ago, villauk said:



    We’ve booked a B2B2B2 - couldn’t miss a bargain like that 😏 🤭.

    🤣🤣 I'll let you know how we get on with MSC Yacht Club in September. Too good a price to miss for the Baltics. Definitely looking at alternative cruise lines now.  We were looking at a week in the Med in June with Celebrity and it was hideously priced at something around £8k for the two of us.  I remember our first cruise 10 years ago when all four of us went for two weeks at Christmas with Royal Caribbean on the Jewel of the Seas in a balcony stateroom, flights included with an overnight in Miami for just on £5k and we thought that was expensive!  How times have changed 🙄

  14. 33 minutes ago, villauk said:



    And didn’t we have a wonderful time. We would also do this itinerary again 👍.

    Indeed we did!!  Can't believe it'll  be three years this December. I'd definitely do this again but in a month when I knew we'd have a bit more sunshine!! Seemed to rain quite a lot but didn't dampen a fabulous holiday!

  15. On ‎2‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 6:32 PM, emmas gran said:

    As we were on a different cycle to the rest of the ship there was no repetition of menu even on Gala night, our next trip is Dubai to Tokyo.

    Interesting itinerary so will be interesting to see the menu changes 

    Hey Emma, we've been looking at Japan for a while now and note that you are doing Dubai to Tokyo.  Is that with MSC or another cruise line?    We're in YC around the Baltics in September on the Meraviglia and thoroughly looking forward to it.  We are loyal to Celebrity but prices are getting silly and YC looks as if it hits the mark.  Thanks for your review!

  16. 1 hour ago, villauk said:



    Hi Gaynor,


    Let us us know how you get on 😉. We really enjoyed our Princess Alaska experience, so much so that we’ve booked another cruise next year. Tbh, it was a no brainer: 13 nights on Princess was less than 7 nights on X. We are enjoying trying different lines until I find a suitable deal on X to use my 2 placeholders. As you know, we have to travel at peak times and the increases to prices on X, during these times, have gone through the roof! I still have a Royal placeholder to use too 😄.


    DH still wants to sail Japan, so we may consider that for 2020; I’m loathed to book that through X though as it always appears to be one of the common sailings that are chartered and subsequently cancelled. This may be another one to consider on Princess.


    Hope all is well with the family 😘?


    Hi Jenny,


    I certainly will let you know how we get on.  So pleased you enjoyed Princess, it's a line we have never cruised with but would certainly consider. X are getting very expensive - we have a cruise on hold to Tonga in 2020 but will reconsider if MSC Yacht Club come up to scratch.  We also had a Japan cruise booked for next October and exactly what you said happened, they cancelled it for a charter and no other dates were suitable.  I was very annoyed to be honest as we got a really good price on it for a suite so I just got the refund.  We're doing Azamara in May 19 which I'm looking forward to - probably one of the best cruises we have been on was the Quest last year so I really recommend Azamara!  We are all good thank you and hope you are all too - keep on cruising!! :):)

  17. 2 hours ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:


    I believe you will find the experience in YC on the Meraviglia a bit different.  My understanding is that the YC areas are not all together as they are on Seaside.  Not sure about this, but I know they're spread out on the Divina.  So you may have to traverse the dreaded GenPop (general population) to get to where you're going.  It's just a whole different experience out in the GenPop.  WAY more people and no butlers running around to tend to your every need.  That just makes you appreciate the peaceful experience in the YC more on your return.  On Seaside, you need to venture out into the GenPop to enjoy the treats in the chocolate bar (well worth it) and the gelato (also well worth it).  The treats in the chocolate bar and the gelato are included for YC.  The chocolates themselves are extra charge.  Try a chocolate milkshake, but tell them to skip the whipped cream--way too much!


    Enjoy your cruise in the Baltic!  Fascinating area.

    Thank you Happy Cruiser! I am very much looking forward to the chocolate and gelato in moderation of course! 

  18. On 10/21/2018 at 7:28 PM, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

    I promised to come back and report after my first cruise in MSC's Yacht Club.  So, MSC Yacht Club vs. Celebrity suite experience:


    The boarding experience was excellent.  There's a special tent for YC passengers out front.  You drop your luggage and are escorted to the VIP lounge by a butler for processing.  Seating and refreshments available.  Once you are processed, you are escorted on board by a butler.  As we passed the Concierge Desk, the concierge informed us that our cabin was ready, so we were able to drop our carryons.  YC wins this one.


    Cruise Critic gathering:  champagne and other treats served.  Captain gave brief speech and introduced the other officers.  We had a group picture taken and all get a copy of it.  Special cake.  Plenty of opportunity to mingle with other guests.  MSC blows Celebrity out of the water on this one.


    The YC lounge is huge and is surrounded by windows to the sea.  In fact, the whole ship is oriented to being able to see the sea.  I liked that.  You can get any drinks here (all included in the fare) and there are refreshments available (which change, depending on the time of day.  Star of the show here is the live music!  We had a piano player who was excellent and a piano and violin duo who were sublime.  I spent a lot of time in the lounge listening to music.  The captain and the staff hold a special reception here and he goes around and talks to everyone.  If you don't drink alcohol, try a non-alcoholic pomegranate mojito.  Very refreshing.  YC definitely wins this one.


    Restaurant wasn't up to Luminae on Celebrity.  Service was iffy.  Food was so so.  The risoto and ice cream were excellent.  Don't order baked fish, they must bake it for hours.   I tried going to the restaurant for breakfast one morning.  The waiter finally showed up and took my order.  He then proceeded to chat with the folks at the next table for 10 minutes before going to place my order.  Really?  I didn't want to spend an eternity on breakfast.  Never went back.  Also never went for lunch.  Luminae is the clear winner here, both for service and for food.  Yacht Club restaurant and lounge did not have any non-alcoholic wine or champagne.  Celebrity has good versions of each.


    The private sun and pool deck were excellent.  Plenty of loungers available.  Tables and chairs and loungers also available in the shade.  Good place for lunch and breakfast.  Omelettes, pasta, and hamburgers made to order.  Other options available.  Excellent service from butlers and pool butlers.  The cabanas actually face the sea.  What a concept!  YC wins this hands down since Celebrity currently doesn't have a private sun and pool deck.


    The cabin was intelligently designed.  The balcony was a bit small and did not have a table.  Loved that there was lots of space between the bed and the furniture on the opposite wall.  Closet space a bit small for two people. Would be fine for one.  Real bedside tables with drawers.  Loved the light up rods in the closet!  And real hangers, not those dreadful things you have to slot into fixed hooks.  Bathroom was well designed and plenty of storage.  A seat in the shower.  Choice between excellent handheld shower or rain  shower.  Good water pressure.  Retractable  clothesline in the shower.  Shower door did not leak.  Shampoo and body wash in dispensers on the wall.  No conditioner or hand lotion available.  No cotton balls or Q-tips (not sure if those are supposed to be supplied).  Apparently a glitch in their supply chain.  They ship everything from Italy and apparently the container did not catch up with them.  Everything in minibar is free (including liquor) and what you consume is constantly replenished.  You can specify what you want.  Liked that they had salty snacks.  The chocolate covered peanuts were addictive.  Fruit bowl was huge and had lots of variety.  Replenished daily.  Nespresso machine in room.  Comparing a YC suite to a sky suite on Celebrity, would say the YC suite is a bit better.


    Rest of the ship:  would never sail in a regular cabin on MSC.  WAY too many people.  Lines.  Ventured out once to try the pizza (it was cold) and the gelato (excellent).  Staff not nearly as friendly.  Celebrity definitely wins this one for the rest of the ship.


    Newspaper:  Awesome!  Full replica of the Washington Post!  You get to choose the newspaper you want.  Loved it!  Delivered by the butler every morning.  YC blows Celebrity out of the water on this one.  Not sure if the newspaper is a Black perk or if everyone in YC gets it.


    Price:  less than $2,000/pp for a 7-night cruise.  YC the clear winner here.  And they status match, so I instantly became Black (which is their highest level).  That status entitles you to a free meal for two in a specialty restaurant (we went to Butcher's Cut, which was excellent) and many special treats.  Their chocolate ship is amazing, as is all the chocolate on the ship.


    So, would I do it again?  Absolutely.  As long as you don't care too much about the itinerary.  At the moment, they're only doing 7-nights out of Miami.  For Caribbean cruises--obviously, they have tons in Europe.  Have one booked for next November which improves on the current itinerary by going to their new private island.  The captain also announced that they will be building 4 new smaller ships (around 800 pax) which will be all Yacht Club.  More interesting itineraries, since small ships can go to ports that large ships can't.


    Will be happy to respond to questions (if I can find this thread again!)  The "new, improved" Cruise Critic leaves a lot to be desired.

    Really appreciate this detailed feedback. We are booked next September inYC around the Baltic’s on the Meraviglia. We booked mainly due to the pricing as Celebrity and Azamara are so expensive at the moment but to also try out the YC experience. Really looking forward to it and your review of YC has helped enormously, thank you! 

  19. I’ll be really interested to read Linda’s review on MSC YC when she’s sailed later in the year, and Grandgeezer’s take too as it could be another option to put into our pot ;).




    Good morning Jenny! Just to let you know and it’s a bit far out but DH and I are doing MSC Yacht Club next September around the Baltic’s. First cruise ever with MSC but they recognised our Elite status with Celebrity and immediately we were Black in Voyager Club and got nearly 10% off the price. So I’ll let you know how it goes but definitely one to consider. How did you find Princess?Can’t believe it’s nearly two years since our Asian adventure! Hope you and the family are well. Happy Cruising



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