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Yacht Club vs. Haven


mistertoaster
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Introduction:

 

We just got back from a cruise on the Divina. We booked the Yacht Club YC2 suite which has a living room, separate bedroom, walk-in closet and bathroom with both shower and bath. This was our first cruise on MSC. Prior to MSC, we have been regular NCL passengers usually in Haven suites. Since it appears MSC is targeting NCL, this review compares the ship within a ship areas of each cruise line. Last year we sailed on the Breakaway in a Haven family suite which compares in size and layout to the Divina's YC2 suite. Since both ships are approximately two years old, there is a good basis for comparison of each company's suites.

 

Price: MSC Divina won this category hands down. We paid $6,000 for the YC2 for four travelers. A similar Haven family suite at the time we made the reservation was $9,000+. Also, the Divina Yacht club included free drinks and free minibar in the Yacht club and also free drinks at dinner in Le Muse the Yacht club restaurant.

 

Room: The YC2 does not include a balcony. It is at the front of the ship and has wall to wall windows. Your view if basically the same as the captain's which is directly one deck above your room. We did miss the balcony, but the YC2 pool and lounge area is bigger than NCL's Haven and we had no problem getting space on deck 18. The rest of the room was more spacious than the NCL family suite. Overall I would give a slight edge to the Divina in this category.

 

Amenities: In addition to the drinks mentioned above, the Top Sail lounge is a very large lounge on deck 15 which served casual breakfast, and was always stocked during the day with small bites for snacking or a light lunch. NCL's lounge was much smaller and with few amenities including no free drinks. NCL did have their Haven restaurant in the same location as the lounge. Le Muse, the Yacht Club restaurant was at the opposite end of the ship. We did not mind the walk as we try to stay active during the cruise anyway to burn some of the calories. However, if you don't like traveling cross ship every day to the exclusive club restaurant, NCL is a better choice. One other amenity on the Divina that was very cool, was the daily delivery of a fully bound copy of the newspaper of your choice. Everything consider, we liked the amenities of the Yacht club better than the Haven.

 

Food: The Divina does not have freestyle dining. We dined at Le Muse every night. We missed trying other restaurants on the ship. The two pay restaurants on board were basically ghost towns most of the time. While the food on the Divina was excellent, I would give this catagory to NCL based on the variety of choices available to guests. Our butler indicated MSC's new ships will have free style dining, and will locate Le Muse to the front of the ship where the other Yacht club facilities exist.

 

Entertainment: The Divina had the best entertainment of any ship we have sailed. Opera, a Michael Jackson tribute, dancers, jugglers, aerialists, contortionists, you name it the Divina had it. On NCL, we saw Rock of Ages and Burn the Floor. Both are good shows, but once you have seen those two shows, there is very little entertainment left in the Main Theater. Entertainment goes to MSC by a wide margin.

 

Fitness: NCL's fitness center was about twice as large as the Divina's. Both venues had new equipment and classes of all types. However, the Divina's center was often crowded compared to the Breakaway's center. We did not use the spa on either ship. The fitness catagory belongs to NCL.

 

Recreation: This section of the Breakaway excels. My daughter and I did the ropes course twice, and is was unlike anything available on other ships. The water park was also excellent and lines were very short. Even the mini-golf was pretty fun for a cruise ship. The Divina has one water slide and the usually sports court, but nothing comparable to the Breakaway's offerings. This catagory goes hands down to NCL.

 

Embarking and Disembarking: Both ships are good in this area, but the Divina embarkation was the best we experienced. Unlike NCL, you never stand in any general boarding or security lines. You drive up to the Yacht Club canopy and the butler's take it from there. We were on the ship in 15 minutes which included all I.D. cards, room keys, accounting, etc. Disembarking on both ships was quick. MSC wins this category.

 

Service: The Divina has been maligned in several reviews regarding service. We did not experience this issue, and that includes service outside the Yacht Club. We try to be nice to the staff, as most have very difficult jobs, and the staff was pleasant in return. We had a few issues early on the cruise with our room, and they were resolved quickly. On the Breakaway, it appeared either the staff was new and still working on delivering reasonable service, or there was not sufficient staff for a ship of this size. The Divina wins the service category.

 

Conclusion: This was the best cruise we have experienced on any ship. The service and amenities were great value for money when compared with NCL's Haven. This is not to say the Haven is a bad experience. Anytime you sail in the suite section of any ship, you are likely to have a good cruise. However, when considering the price differential, the suite amenities and the overall experience, I would sail MSC again over a similar offering from NCL.

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Great comparative review - I found it very interesting as I've always believed when it comes to price MSC is hard to beat but what did other companies have to offer for the extra cost? You've given me a terrific insight into the differences between Haven and Yacht Club - thank you.

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Thanks for your review we are booked for a b2b in the yacht club in just over 5 weeks and really looking forward to it and after your review even more excited.

 

Judith

 

tigger89,,we are currently in a YC3 on Divina this week and so far the service and food has been nothing short of extraordinary!!! Our cousins and nephew who are sailing with us, were not staying in the Yacht Club, but since they were traveling with us,,they were invited to check-in with us in the Yacht Club area,,a great little touch to begin our vacation!!! I have the pics of all 5 of your staterooms by the way,,,will upload tomorrow when I'm not on the ship's wi-fi...

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tigger89,,we are currently in a YC3 on Divina this week and so far the service and food has been nothing short of extraordinary!!! Our cousins and nephew who are sailing with us, were not staying in the Yacht Club, but since they were traveling with us,,they were invited to check-in with us in the Yacht Club area,,a great little touch to begin our vacation!!! I have the pics of all 5 of your staterooms by the way,,,will upload tomorrow when I'm not on the ship's wi-fi...

 

Wow, what a way to set the tone for your groups cruise. Great service from YC!!

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I have been in the Haven on NCL at the time I thought it was the best, not until I tried the YC. While I enjoyed both I liked MSC better, I would like to go on the Breakway for its activities which seem amazing and I agree the choice of different dining is appealing. Thanks for you review.

 

Several questions based on reviews here.

 

A. Did you find the bar menu limiting?

B. How was the Afternoon Tea?

C. Did you miss a promenade?

D. Did the back of the TV bother you?

E. How was the seating in the Le Muse ? Other people have complained there was not enough room. Was it overcrowded?

F. Did the lack of fresh flowers impact your journey?

G. Were the pillows lumpy?

H. Did you find the corridors too crowded? Did you find the turns too Sharp?

I. Did you find the fixtures in the bathroom dangerous?

 

I am a big NO..... to the above . Just curious what people who have sailed in the YC think.

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Several questions based on reviews here.

 

A. Did you find the bar menu limiting? We are not big drinkers, but the bar menu, for complimentary drinks, presented to us was extensive. They also had higher end liquor for an additional cost

B. How was the Afternoon Tea? Afternoon tea was great. First time I ever did this on a ship. Large tea and cake selection.

C. Did you miss a promenade? I did not miss the promenade.

D. Did the back of the TV bother you? Not sure that I understand this question. The TV programs are mostly foreign language channels

E. How was the seating in the Le Muse ? Other people have complained there was not enough room. Was it overcrowded? We had the same corner table every night. Le Muse is large, and we never had any difficulties with seating.

F. Did the lack of fresh flowers impact your journey? No

G. Were the pillows lumpy? My pillow was fine, but they have a pillow menu if you like to select an alternative.

H. Did you find the corridors too crowded? We walked from front to back of the ship to Le Muse on several occasions. The 12th floor was fine, and the 7th floor was also fine. If you did not mind the breeze, you could also walk above deck on the 14th floor. Did you find the turns too Sharp? No

I. Did you find the fixtures in the bathroom dangerous? The bathroom was great. The fixture comment is baffling.

 

I am a big NO..... to the above . Just curious what people who have sailed in the YC think. __________________

Cruise Passenger

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The above questions were no doubt in response to a cruisecritic member who has not personally sailed in the Yacht Club but has seen fit to fixate on certain details that in their opinion are substandard or poor design. It's all rather baffling.

 

Having said that, their obsessive compulsion to document every detail, including the backs of the TVs, has been helpful to some members so I guess there is a place for most things - just not asserting opinion as fact, nor observation as experience.

 

I sailed Yacht Club on the Divina's sister ship and LOVED it. I agree with all your comments and found the comparison with NCL Haven to be very helpful and interesting. Thank you for taking the time to post.

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tigger89,,we are currently in a YC3 on Divina this week and so far the service and food has been nothing short of extraordinary!!! Our cousins and nephew who are sailing with us, were not staying in the Yacht Club, but since they were traveling with us,,they were invited to check-in with us in the Yacht Club area,,a great little touch to begin our vacation!!! I have the pics of all 5 of your staterooms by the way,,,will upload tomorrow when I'm not on the ship's wi-fi...

 

Thank you so much Mike but there is no hurry for the photo's there is plenty time upload them once your home. Enjoy your cruise.

 

Judith

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Thank you so much Mike but there is no hurry for the photo's there is plenty time upload them once your home. Enjoy your cruise.

 

Judith

 

tigger,,my favorite butler Johnny is only here till September 27th,:(:(:(:(We are upset that he may not be onboard when we sail again in January. Your Butlers name is Bruce,,I will get his full name as well as his country for you. I will find the butlers name for 15031 tomorrow.:) I'm trying to get some pics of one if the rooms for you,,but haven't had an opportunity to get a walk by pic while their cleaning the room.:eek:

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Several questions based on reviews here.

 

A. Did you find the bar menu limiting? We are not big drinkers, but the bar menu, for complimentary drinks, presented to us was extensive. They also had higher end liquor for an additional cost

B. How was the Afternoon Tea? Afternoon tea was great. First time I ever did this on a ship. Large tea and cake selection.

C. Did you miss a promenade? I did not miss the promenade.

D. Did the back of the TV bother you? Not sure that I understand this question. The TV programs are mostly foreign language channels

E. How was the seating in the Le Muse ? Other people have complained there was not enough room. Was it overcrowded? We had the same corner table every night. Le Muse is large, and we never had any difficulties with seating.

F. Did the lack of fresh flowers impact your journey? No

G. Were the pillows lumpy? My pillow was fine, but they have a pillow menu if you like to select an alternative.

H. Did you find the corridors too crowded? We walked from front to back of the ship to Le Muse on several occasions. The 12th floor was fine, and the 7th floor was also fine. If you did not mind the breeze, you could also walk above deck on the 14th floor. Did you find the turns too Sharp? No

I. Did you find the fixtures in the bathroom dangerous? The bathroom was great. The fixture comment is baffling.

I am a big NO..... to the above . Just curious what people who have sailed in the YC think. __________________

Cruise Passenger

Try this thread post#5 (on page 1) for the TV

 

and post #152 (page 8) for the bathroom fixtures

 

 

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2085097

 

 

Pete

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We have sailed on NCL Jade in the Owners Suite with access to the Haven and were considering both it and MSC Yacht Club for our trip this fall. We went with MSC for the reasons you give based on descriptions of the YC, so am very happy to hear that your reality is in line with my fantasy :D

 

Glad you had a great trip!

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tigger,,my favorite butler Johnny is only here till September 27th,:(:(:(:(We are upset that he may not be onboard when we sail again in January. Your Butlers name is Bruce,,I will get his full name as well as his country for you. I will find the butlers name for 15031 tomorrow.:) I'm trying to get some pics of one if the rooms for you,,but haven't had an opportunity to get a walk by pic while their cleaning the room.:eek:

 

Mike, can you please find out the butler for 15029 and if they will be there in November? Thanks a lot.

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Mike, can you please find out the butler for 15029 and if they will be there in November? Thanks a lot.

 

And could you please find out who the butler is for 15028 September 20? Thanks, Mike! Enjoying reading about your take on the YC. This will be my second time in cabin 15028, but I know my butler Aron from my March cruise is no longer there...I am so sad...he was nothing short of amazing!

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Most of us asking are hoping some of our past butlers are still on board.

 

Oh LOLOL. Well even if they are there and "plan" to be in several months, things change often. I'm not sure if I were on vacation I would want to go tracking down butler assignments. BUT he DID say he wanted people's questions so...not my circus, not my monkeys. Carry on. :)

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Oh LOLOL. Well even if they are there and "plan" to be in several months, things change often. I'm not sure if I were on vacation I would want to go tracking down butler assignments. BUT he DID say he wanted people's questions so...not my circus, not my monkeys. Carry on. :)

 

You will find on other cruise line forums similar questions about captains and cruise directors. Cruisers have their favorites. :)

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You will find on other cruise line forums similar questions about captains and cruise directors. Cruisers have their favorites. :)

 

I hope one day I have my favorites too!! We don't cruise enough yet. We like to take all kinds of different vacations with our son (now 15), but when he's off to college in a few years we will be cruising much more often (if I have any say).

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I have an absurd question for those aboard now (or with great memories) - is the Zacapa 23 rum ( priced on one of the menus at 8.25) available in the YC? Is it chargeable? Would it be included in Allegrissimo Premium? We're in 16008 in November, and Zacapa neat is my husband's 'thing'. As he has very few vices (and I have many), I like facilitate this one where I can!

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Thanks for your review we are booked for a b2b in the yacht club in just over 5 weeks and really looking forward to it and after your review even more excited.

 

Judith

 

Hey tigger: We're on that sailing in the YC. Hope to see you there!!:)

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