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texasmom121

Seaside Yacht Club newcomer questions

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So, our family has been loyal to Royal (Caribbean) for several years and love the Oasis class ships, but after doing some research, I feel like we just can't beat the value of staying in the yacht club.  We've stayed in a suite on Disney cruise line and were very happy with it, but suites are not typically in our budget.  We've never cruised on MSC, so I have a lot of questions that I can't seem to find good answers for here.  We've just booked a two week Caribbean cruise on the Seaside in late May/early June, and I am so excited!  I cannot wait to try out the YC!   Any help you can give this planner (affectionately called the "cruise director" by her family) would be greatly appreciated!

 

1) Do you have to pay for the specialty restaurants (besides the YC one)?  If so, are there any discounts for YC?

2) Are any of the amusement activities (zip line, bowling, etc.) included or do we need to buy packages for them? 

3) Will MSC reach out to me at some point before the cruise to set things up or ask about our preferences or will we just need to wait until we get onboard?  I only ask because the Disney concierge team emails you a couple of months ahead of time to start working on your plans.

4) How is the internet onboard?  If we are going to be gone for two full weeks, my husband will need to check in on work a few times.  Is that included in YC or should we pre-buy the premium internet package?

5) If anyone has cruised recently, how is the dress for teenage boys, particularly on formal nights?  I've seen a few different answers, and I know my son would love it if he could wear shorts most nights, with the exception of something nicer on formal nights.  I would expect we will eat most of our meals in the YC restaurant, based on all of the wonderful reviews I've been reading. 

 

I'm sure I'll come up with more as I go, but this will help get me started.  Thank you in advance for any help you can give me. 

 

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23 minutes ago, texasmom121 said:

So, our family has been loyal to Royal (Caribbean) for several years and love the Oasis class ships, but after doing some research, I feel like we just can't beat the value of staying in the yacht club.  We've stayed in a suite on Disney cruise line and were very happy with it, but suites are not typically in our budget.  We've never cruised on MSC, so I have a lot of questions that I can't seem to find good answers for here.  We've just booked a two week Caribbean cruise on the Seaside in late May/early June, and I am so excited!  I cannot wait to try out the YC!   Any help you can give this planner (affectionately called the "cruise director" by her family) would be greatly appreciated!

 

1) Do you have to pay for the specialty restaurants (besides the YC one)?  If so, are there any discounts for YC?

2) Are any of the amusement activities (zip line, bowling, etc.) included or do we need to buy packages for them? 

3) Will MSC reach out to me at some point before the cruise to set things up or ask about our preferences or will we just need to wait until we get onboard?  I only ask because the Disney concierge team emails you a couple of months ahead of time to start working on your plans.

4) How is the internet onboard?  If we are going to be gone for two full weeks, my husband will need to check in on work a few times.  Is that included in YC or should we pre-buy the premium internet package?

5) If anyone has cruised recently, how is the dress for teenage boys, particularly on formal nights?  I've seen a few different answers, and I know my son would love it if he could wear shorts most nights, with the exception of something nicer on formal nights.  I would expect we will eat most of our meals in the YC restaurant, based on all of the wonderful reviews I've been reading. 

 

I'm sure I'll come up with more as I go, but this will help get me started.  Thank you in advance for any help you can give me. 

 

 

Good evening! I have been in the YC 4 times now, and just got of the Seaside YC last week.  Here are the answers to your questions: 

 

1) Yes, you have to pay for the specialty restaurants (unless you have a black card in which you will be given 1 complimentary specialty restaurant dinner).  Since the food and especially the service in the YC restaurant is very good, I doubt you will really want to eat elsewhere.  The YC restaurant has a pretty decent variety of food every night. 

2) No, you will need to purchase those separately.

3) No, they will not reach out to you before.  Once you are on board, you can communicate directly with your butler and he or she will be glad to set up everything how you want it. 

4) The internet is pretty good.  You can purchase several different options of internet which give you certain amounts of gigabytes.  For example, we purchased a 3.5 gigabyte package that lasted us for the entire cruise. 

5) I think nice shorts will be OK for them on the casual nights and pants (khakis or something like that) on formal nights.  The dress code seemed pretty lax to me, but I did notice most everyone wearing pants on formal night.  I saw very few men in suits on formal nights. 

 

Let me know if you have any other questions! 

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Have you applied for status-match?  Depending on what level you're at with RC, you may match to MSC's highest level of Black, which would give you (among other benefits) a complimentary meal for 2 in one of the speciality restaurants.  Even if you don't match to Black, you would still receive a 5% discount off your cruise price for matching to any level of Voyagers Club.

 

There are no discounts in SRs for YC guests.

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6 hours ago, texasmom121 said:

So, our family has been loyal to Royal (Caribbean) for several years and love the Oasis class ships, but after doing some research, I feel like we just can't beat the value of staying in the yacht club.  We've stayed in a suite on Disney cruise line and were very happy with it, but suites are not typically in our budget.  We've never cruised on MSC, so I have a lot of questions that I can't seem to find good answers for here.  We've just booked a two week Caribbean cruise on the Seaside in late May/early June, and I am so excited!  I cannot wait to try out the YC!   Any help you can give this planner (affectionately called the "cruise director" by her family) would be greatly appreciated!

 

1) Do you have to pay for the specialty restaurants (besides the YC one)?  If so, are there any discounts for YC?

2) Are any of the amusement activities (zip line, bowling, etc.) included or do we need to buy packages for them? 

3) Will MSC reach out to me at some point before the cruise to set things up or ask about our preferences or will we just need to wait until we get onboard?  I only ask because the Disney concierge team emails you a couple of months ahead of time to start working on your plans.

4) How is the internet onboard?  If we are going to be gone for two full weeks, my husband will need to check in on work a few times.  Is that included in YC or should we pre-buy the premium internet package?

5) If anyone has cruised recently, how is the dress for teenage boys, particularly on formal nights?  I've seen a few different answers, and I know my son would love it if he could wear shorts most nights, with the exception of something nicer on formal nights.  I would expect we will eat most of our meals in the YC restaurant, based on all of the wonderful reviews I've been reading. 

 

I'm sure I'll come up with more as I go, but this will help get me started.  Thank you in advance for any help you can give me. 

 

 

Just to add, if you are on a B2B, which is the 14 night cruise, you can get a coupon for 20% off for the specialty restaurants on the Miami port day - Day 8

 

We took advantage of that, as the YC restaurant effectively repeats for the second week

 

We also found the Wi-Fi to be good enough to stream video (although expensive) if that is any indication

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Hi. We are recently off a B2B in the YC on the Seaside. I just wanted to give you some feedback on the YC restaurant.

 

When we boarded, we waited in the Topsail Lounge for our cabin to be ready. The YC director visited each of the groups waiting and gave us some general information. He mentioned that long pants were requested in the YC dining room at dinner, but he said it with a bit of a wink so it was apparent to us that as long as you dressed within reason, you would not be turned away. We saw a lot of people in shorts at dinner, especially on port days. On formal nights, we saw a few tuxes and suits, but mostly dress shirts and slacks, with or without ties.

 

About the specialty restaurants, we status matched to Black and had two free dinners. We went to Ocean Cay and Butcher's Cut. We found the food in the YC to be excellent and we missed our waitstaff and the personalized service we received! If we had it to do all over again, we would have skipped the specialty restaurants and enjoyed the laid back fun atmosphere of the YC. 

 

~Denise

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Thank you all so much for the information.  That helps a lot.  I did do a status match but we weren't quite high enough to get matched to Black yet.  Guess I'll have to take a few more cruises...  :classic_biggrin: I know we're still almost six months out, but I am just so excited I want to figure everything out!

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2 hours ago, Sundiego said:

Hi. We are recently off a B2B in the YC on the Seaside. I just wanted to give you some feedback on the YC restaurant.

 

About the specialty restaurants, we status matched to Black and had two free dinners. We went to Ocean Cay and Butcher's Cut. We found the food in the YC to be excellent and we missed our waitstaff and the personalized service we received! If we had it to do all over again, we would have skipped the specialty restaurants and enjoyed the laid back fun atmosphere of the YC. 

 

~Denise

 

Hi Denise - wonder if you could clarify - did you have 2 B2B cruises booked or one 14 night cruise, or was it simply a week's cruise and you are both Black card therefore both got a meal?

 

My understanding (per booking) is 2 Black cards = 1 meal, unless there are two separate bookings etc. But knowing MSC I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't consistently applied!

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We originally came to the MSC Yacht Club from Disney Concierge because of the price. We've since been on four cruises in the Yacht Club and I can say that we will never go back. Our daughters are older now, so we don't need the kid magic that Disney provides (better than anyone else I might add) - but, the Yacht Club is the best luxury value in cruising, in my opinion. The Top Sail Lounge is probably 4-times the size of the Concierge Lounge aboard the Disney Fantasy, and you get access to a private pool when you're in the YC. Any even though MSC doesn't offer a Shoreside Concierge, it is still worth the price of admission - and then some. 

I will say that MSC Cruises has the WORST website and pre-cruise customer support apparatus in the industry, but once you arrive at the port as a Yacht Club passenger everything changes and you're treated like pure royalty. My wife and I love it, and will continue to cruise in the Yacht Club across their fleet. We do have our eye on a cruise aboard the Celebrity Edge, but I just want to see that ship. You will not be sorry with your Seaside Yacht Club cruise. My wife and I are embarking aboard in June 2019 and can't wait!

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9 minutes ago, Captain-John said:

 

Hi Denise - wonder if you could clarify - did you have 2 B2B cruises booked or one 14 night cruise, or was it simply a week's cruise and you are both Black card therefore both got a meal?

 

My understanding (per booking) is 2 Black cards = 1 meal, unless there are two separate bookings etc. But knowing MSC I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't consistently applied!

 

We booked two separate 7-day cruises so we could receive twice the perks (travel agent obc, MSC obc, internet promo for both weeks). 

 

You are correct, 2 Black cards = 1 meal. So week #1 we received a card in the stateroom for one specialty dinner for 2. And then the following week we received a 2nd card in the stateroom for one specialty dinner for 2.

 

Also, breaking up the 14 days into two separate weeks, we received two bottles of champagne (one each week) for being in the YC. We also received two bottles of Prosecco (one each week) for being Black card. We received 4 chocolate ships! And we each received a Black card gift each week (they were lame... week one we each got an MSC notepad shaped like a large block, week two each got a ballpoint pen with a floating ship in it).

 

Hope that helps!

 

~Denise

 

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5 minutes ago, max996 said:

We originally came to the MSC Yacht Club from Disney Concierge because of the price. We've since been on four cruises in the Yacht Club and I can say that we will never go back. Our daughters are older now, so we don't need the kid magic that Disney provides (better than anyone else I might add) - but, the Yacht Club is the best luxury value in cruising, in my opinion. The Top Sail Lounge is probably 4-times the size of the Concierge Lounge aboard the Disney Fantasy, and you get access to a private pool when you're in the YC. Any even though MSC doesn't offer a Shoreside Concierge, it is still worth the price of admission - and then some. 

I will say that MSC Cruises has the WORST website and pre-cruise customer support apparatus in the industry, but once you arrive at the port as a Yacht Club passenger everything changes and you're treated like pure royalty. My wife and I love it, and will continue to cruise in the Yacht Club across their fleet. We do have our eye on a cruise aboard the Celebrity Edge, but I just want to see that ship. You will not be sorry with your Seaside Yacht Club cruise. My wife and I are embarking aboard in June 2019 and can't wait!

 

Hi Max - high praise indeed. I presume there is an upper cost limit that, despite you liking the product so much, you wouldn't cross. My fear is, with all the rave reviews for YC and its increasing popularity, that the prices will get out of control. If for example the YC was priced the same as Disney, would you feel the same?

 

At some point the prices will be so high that they bear no resemblance to the underlying product - yet some people will continue to pay whatever rate is asked. I won't, but I am curious to see what big fans of the YC think about this?

Edited by Captain-John

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3 minutes ago, Sundiego said:

 

We booked two separate 7-day cruises so we could receive twice the perks (travel agent obc, MSC obc, internet promo for both weeks). 

 

You are correct, 2 Black cards = 1 meal. So week #1 we received a card in the stateroom for one specialty dinner for 2. And then the following week we received a 2nd card in the stateroom for one specialty dinner for 2.

 

Also, breaking up the 14 days into two separate weeks, we received two bottles of champagne (one each week) for being in the YC. We also received two bottles of Prosecco (one each week) for being Black card. We received 4 chocolate ships! And we each received a Black card gift each week (they were lame... week one we each got an MSC notepad shaped like a large block, week two each got a ballpoint pen with a floating ship in it).

 

Hope that helps!

 

~Denise

 

 

Thanks Denise - looks like MSC are being relatively consistent in applying their own policy - would you believe it?!

 

 

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Just now, Captain-John said:

 

Thanks Denise - looks like MSC are being relatively consistent in applying their own policy - would you believe it?!

 

 

John, I never put MSC and "consistent" in the same sentence lol. But agree with everyone, once you get the booking accomplished, the YC is awesome!

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14 minutes ago, Captain-John said:

 

Hi Max - high praise indeed. I presume there is an upper cost limit that, despite you liking the product so much, wouldn't cross. My fear is, with all the rave reviews for YC and its increasing popularity, that the prices will get out of control.

 

However, at some point the prices will be so high that they bear no resemblance to the underlying product - yet some people will continue to pay whatever rate is asked. I won't, but I am curious to see what big fans of the YC think about this?

Absolutely there's an upper limit. For me personally, I'd say when the cost of a YC cruise is within 5% of the cost the competition then I'll start my cruise search somewhere else. 

I think with MSC's price point, the new ships they have introduced into the American market, and where I am personally in life - it is just the right fit for me and my family. We sailed in a 1-bedroom Concierge suite for 7-nights aboard the Disney Fantasy in June 2014 at a cost of over $30K. For our cruise next year aboard the Seaside, my wife and I have the Royal Suite and our daughters are in the YC Deluxe suite next door for 7-nights - the cost of those two cabins combined is still not even half of what Disney is charging for that 1-bedroom suite these days. 

Sure, MSC will raise the prices of their cruises as they gain a bigger foothold in the market and when they do the market will adjust accordingly. Right now though, I'm loving the Yacht Club at these prices! 

I do want to sail in the Iconic Suite aboard the Celebrity Edge - but $50K+ for 7-nights is a little more than I want to spend for it.

I like your question though.

Edited by max996

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20 minutes ago, Captain-John said:

 

 My fear is, with all the rave reviews for YC and its increasing popularity, that the prices will get out of control.

 

They're already heading that way, Cap'n.  We have 2 YC bookings for next year (a total of 30 nights onboard between the 2);  they yet be our last YC sailings the way prices are going.

 

I'm not sure that MSC is going to continue be the great value product it once was and things haven't improved enough in the 7 years we've been sailing with them to justify the price hikes we've been seeing in the last 2 years.  For example, you could get a Fantastica balcony cabin for €55 pppd on a repo up 'til about 2-3 years ago;  the price is now around €110 or more - that's double the price minimally, yet the ships still aren't fully stocked on the crossings, despite customers paying the "full" fare now.  YC prices used to be in, or around, €1900 pp for a 7 nighter in the Med;  more often than not I'm seeing approx €2600 pp now. 

Edited by Beamafar

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23 minutes ago, Captain-John said:

 

Hi Max - high praise indeed. I presume there is an upper cost limit that, despite you liking the product so much, you wouldn't cross. My fear is, with all the rave reviews for YC and its increasing popularity, that the prices will get out of control. If for example the YC was priced the same as Disney, would you feel the same?

 

At some point the prices will be so high that they bear no resemblance to the underlying product - yet some people will continue to pay whatever rate is asked. I won't, but I am curious to see what big fans of the YC think about this?

 

The last statement is exactly what is happening on the other cruise lines.

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32 minutes ago, max996 said:

I do want to sail in the Iconic Suite aboard the Celebrity Edge - but $50K+ for 7-nights is a little more than I want to spend for it. 

 

I've seen it for mid to high $30s....

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21 minutes ago, max996 said:

Absolutely there's an upper limit. For me personally, I'd say when the cost of a YC cruise is within 5% of the cost the competition then I'll start my cruise search somewhere else.

Sure, MSC will raise the prices of their cruises as they gain a bigger foothold in the market and when they do the market will adjust accordingly. Right now though, I'm loving the Yacht Club at these prices!

I like your question though.

 

Thanks Max - great insight. With the ever growing popularity of cruising, there's a bigger 'pool' of people who are willing and able to pay increasing prices. So that begs another question - not to put words in your mouth-  but you feel the YC is great value for money at present, compared to your Disney experience, and are happy with the prices you are paying, which I understand. I do feel though there is a tipping point - where the 'mass market' won't be able to support pricing above a certain level, and the 'premium' market won't pay a premium price for what's being offered  - then the market would need to adjust back downward again.

 

I don't think there is ANY correlation between price and the underlying experience, though. People pay more for a 'lesser' experience than the YC on other lines for example.

 

16 minutes ago, Beamafar said:

 

They're already heading that way, Cap'n.  We have 2 YC bookings for next year (a total of 30 nights onboard between the 2);  they yet be our last YC sailings the way prices are going.

 

I'm not sure that MSC is going to continue be the great value product it once was and things haven't improved enough in the 7 years we've been sailing with them to justify the price hikes we've been seeing in the last 2 years.  For example, you could get a Fantastica balcony cabin for €55 pppd on a repo up 'til about 2-3 years ago;  the price is now around €110 or more - that's double the price minimally, yet the ships still aren't fully stocked on the crossings, despite customers paying the "full" fare now.  YC prices used to be in, or around, €1900 pp for a 7 nighter in the Med;  more often than not I'm seeing approx €2600 pp now. 

 

Bea - I'm with you there. I absolutely do not mind paying a higher price, if the quality of the offering increases to match the price. But that's where the disconnect is. Unfortunately, as above, the bigger the 'pool' of cruisers, the bigger chance of finding those with deeper pockets who will happily sustain paying higher prices.

 

What it really needs is for people to be more discerning with their 'vacation dollar' - but more people can afford to take a holiday, and cruising's profile is ever increasing, so that's not going to work. I think that another financial crisis, for example, would rapidly adjust cruise prices downwards, although it's not an outcome I'd wish on society! Actually, I think something like that would be catastrophic for the cruise industry, as the current volume of very high capacity (4K + pax) ships they're pumping out (and the future order book) could mean a huge inventory of unsold cabins in that economic scenario.

 

I guess the question is - up 'till now - have you (and I, and many others) been benefitting from artificially low prices, and now things are catching up? I don't think so - because to me the YC isn't worth €2600 p.p for a week for the underlying product. But others would argue that the economics of running a cruise line might mean that the previous fares we've paid have been unsustainably low compared to the cost of the ship to build, fuel and crew. 

 

This is the kind of conversation for the TSL with a drink or three!

 

10 minutes ago, grandgeezer said:

 

The last statement is exactly what is happening on the other cruise lines.

 

Yes - I find the prices for NCL Haven to be 'optimistic' - although I know a lot of people end up in there as part of the bid process. But even a standard balcony room is looking steep, for some sailings, compared to what you're getting for it. Eastern Med on Star for example can be £2,300 p.p for a week. Likewise a 10 or 11 day Canary Island cruise on Spirit (a 20 year old ship!) can be very expensive for what it is (and what it used to be!).

 

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14 minutes ago, Captain-John said:

 

Thanks Max - great insight. With the ever growing popularity of cruising, there's a bigger 'pool' of people who are willing and able to pay increasing prices. So that begs another question - not to put words in your mouth-  but you feel the YC is great value for money at present, compared to your Disney experience, and are happy with the prices you are paying, which I understand. I do feel though there is a tipping point - where the 'mass market' won't be able to support pricing above a certain level, and the 'premium' market won't pay a premium price for what's being offered  - then the market would need to adjust back downward again.

 

I don't think there is ANY correlation between price and the underlying experience, though. People pay more for a 'lesser' experience than the YC on other lines for example.

 

I think the price correlation exists with specific brands. Disney exclusive cruisers, for example, know that they are paying for that "Disney Magic" (not the ship, but the actual magic) that comes with the Disney product. However, across various lines I would tend to agree with you Captain that there's no correlation otherwise. 

I do think the YC product is a great value for the money at present. And as some have already noted, MSC has already started to increase the price. And I can't blame them for that. I'm sure they use similar mathematical formulas as everyone else for determining the price point for their offerings. When the price for 7-nights in the Royal Suite crosses the $20K barrier for two people (in the summer), I think that's when I'll start looking somewhere else. 

Edited by max996

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