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emmas gran

Celebrity v MSC Yacht Club

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We have recently returned from a Yacht Club cruise for 2 weeks on Preziosa in the Caribbean. It was a flight included deal by MSC UK 

Previously we have cruised in Sky suites on Solstice class and Millennium class as well as a couple of RS and 1 CC on Constellation and Millennium. Our most recent trip was on Equinox in Aqua for 10 days followed by B2B in a sky suite, this was probably the best set of officers we had sailed with in all 23 Celebrity cruises.

MSC is very good for Yacht Club guests however I do not think we would cruise in any lower category, somewhat different from X in many ways. A lot of people on this cruise were new to MSC from UK and we heard comments of rudeness from other passengers. A lot of people boarded in Martinique and Guadeloupe so we did a 5 days cruise, a week cruise and 2 day cruise as we (440 people from UK) boarded in Barbados. There were a few Americans and Canadians on board but the majority were European, this was born out by the in room tv there were only 2 English speaking channels namely CNN and Euronews.

We loved a newspaper delivered to our room daily around 7.30 am , our bathroom had shower over the bath and bath sheet sized towels, much better than the size on X. 
No kettle available for use in the morning but Top Sail Lounge has coffee from 7 am, room service doesn’t start until 7.30 am. Very attentive service and they got used to us wanting 2 teabags in the pot for 2 people when we had tea.

Food is subjective and I have to say it’s OK but not Blu or Luminae class, the soups were not as good. The YC restaurant was open every day for Breakfast Lunch and Dinner again service was good but maybe we have been spoilt with Luminae as it did seem lacking in comparison.The Yacht Club includes drinks and the wine choice is Italian Sicilian or a couple of Spanish at dinner we had a choice of 2 red and 2 white wine every evening. As a drinker of heavier Australian wines I did find some lighter wine that I liked.
There is a light continental breakfast in Top Sail lounge and  at the YC pool bar you can get hot food sausage /eggs where again service is very good and staff very attentive.

 

The shows are introduced in 5/6 languages and because of the different languages on board shows tend to be visual, there is a lot of music around the ship every evening which seems something for all tastes

Smoking in Yacht Club is restricted to a small area on the pool deck

We enjoyed our trip and have another coming up soon again in YC, it will help having done this trip as the next is 28 days . If Celebrity prices were the same as MSC YC we would stick with X , but we got what we think are good deals for our 3 MSC trips and the prices make it better  value at the moment.

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Is Preziosa a new MSC ship?

 

We've been on Divina and Seaside in the YC and really enjoyed it.

What was your reason for going on Preziosa out of Barbados vs. Miami for Divina and Seaside (I realize you're from the UK, just curious).

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We thought it was worth trying YC

Preziosa is sister to Splendida and about 5 years old.

As I said the deal was with air from Uk and Barbados avoids Miami Immigration which we did in October 2018 and will do again this year 

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We recently tried MSC's Yacht Club (21 days on the Divina) and thought the overall experience blew Celebrity out of the sea (pun intended).  The YC facilities and service can not be matched on Celebrity (we cannot include the Edge in this comment since we have not been on that vessel).  At one time we would have put Celebrity's cuisine way above MSC's...but with all the Celebrity cut-backs this is no longer the case.  And consider that Le Muse (the YC's dedicated restaurant) was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.....even when in port.  We also liked having an expansive private (YC only) pool deck, pool deck buffet, huge YC lounge (with nightly sedate entertainment), etc.  When inside the YC one never needs to even show their cruise card.  You simply ask for something and it is provided :).

 

Hank

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We have a 7-night cruise in YC on Seaview coming up in late summer, and are really looking forward to it.  But I have a question about these longer cruises on MSC:  most of the itineraries I see are continuous loops, so if you are on for 28 days you will repeat every port 4 times [and I assume the menus will repeat every seven days as well].  That's the main thing that makes us willing to pay more for Azamara.

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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 

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2 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

We have a 7-night cruise in YC on Seaview coming up in late summer, and are really looking forward to it.  But I have a question about these longer cruises on MSC:  most of the itineraries I see are continuous loops, so if you are on for 28 days you will repeat every port 4 times [and I assume the menus will repeat every seven days as well].  That's the main thing that makes us willing to pay more for Azamara.

 

We are doing a 14 day Caribbean cruise on the Seaside starting October 5. Besides Miami, the only port we are repeating is Nassau. No big deal as we don’t even get off in Nassau, our least favorite port.

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9 hours ago, Hlitner said:

We recently tried MSC's Yacht Club (21 days on the Divina) and thought the overall experience blew Celebrity out of the sea (pun intended).  The YC facilities and service can not be matched on Celebrity (we cannot include the Edge in this comment since we have not been on that vessel).  At one time we would have put Celebrity's cuisine way above MSC's...but with all the Celebrity cut-backs this is no longer the case.  And consider that Le Muse (the YC's dedicated restaurant) was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.....even when in port.  We also liked having an expansive private (YC only) pool deck, pool deck buffet, huge YC lounge (with nightly sedate entertainment), etc.  When inside the YC one never needs to even show their cruise card.  You simply ask for something and it is provided :).

 

Hank

 

I agree, Hank.  Only thing that's better on Celebrity is the rest of the ship.  Luminae is nice, but it's usually closed for lunch.  Loved that real newspaper!  And of course, there is the price difference.

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I’ve sailed in the YC on Divina several times.  I am Elite Plus with Celebrity but have not sailed in a suite.  There are many comparisons to be made between Celebrity and MSC but, at least for us, the price difference is a huge one.  To celebrate a big birthday in 2020 I can do 14 days in the YC on MSC Seaside for less than a 7 day suite on Equinox...never mind prices on Edge or Apex.

 

 

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MSC has truly stepped things up since the last time we sailed on them in 2016 aboard the Divina. We sailed in the Mediterranean aboard the Meraviglia a few months ago (their largest ship built in 2017), and even though we were not in the YC, we did book an Aurea Duplex Suite (a 2 deck, loft style villa with 2 full bathrooms, bedroom and dressing room / walk in closet upstairs, living room and dining area downstairs with Nespresso machine, and large balcony with our own jacuzzi tub). And the ship was beautiful and absolutely wonderful. It truly lived up to its name. 

 

Even though our suite wasn’t in the YC, we still enjoyed a generous list of perks including priority boarding, unlimited access to the spa’s thermal suite, free massages, drink package, access to a private solarium deck for suite guests, reserved area in the MDR with open dining, and enhanced room service menu. The main things the Aurea experience lacks are a butler / more personalized service and upgraded toiletries. 

 

The BEST part about it though was price. For this amazing suite we paid half what we had paid for a standard balcony in the Caribbean on another cruise line the previous year. Looking at Edge pricing for next year, the best we can do for the same price as this suite is an oceanview stateroom. Hard to justify those accommodations when MSC offers so much for the same price. 

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We are doing infinity in March on suite then seaside in yacht end of November really love. Celebrity suite perks but yacht club sounds even better.

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The Yacht Club Experience is quite unique because a cruiser does not have to spend really big bucks on a large suite to get those perks.   MSC really tapped into an entirely new market which are those that are willing to pay more for lots of perks but do not see the need to spend even more for a large suite.  For us, a large suite (while nice) is a waste of money since we spend very few waking hours in our cabin.  With the YC, we got a very nicely appointed cabin that we would categorize as a deluxe balcony cabin (MSC does call it a suite...which is a real stretch of their imagination).  The cabin served us well, but the YC's huge (and beautiful) Top Sail Lounge was only a few feet from our cabin door.  That Lounge was staffed 20 hours a day, always had a small buffet, and nightly sedate entertainment.  If we got tired of that lounge we could take the private YC elevator up to the "One" Pool deck which was an expansive deck area (with a food service area where you could get breakfast or lunch).  These options suited us much better then isolating ourselves inside a large suite.   On the newest ships they even have a few inside cabins that are part of the YC.

 

Hank

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Does the drink package include all alcoholic drinks, or just the 2 red and 2 white wines? Hank, could you give me a ball park figure for what you paid per person, please?

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I've checked a few MSC Cruises from time to time, but the one thing that really turns me off is the size of the ships!  For me, about 2500 pax is the max size I like to sail.

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1 hour ago, 39august said:

Does the drink package include all alcoholic drinks, or just the 2 red and 2 white wines? Hank, could you give me a ball park figure for what you paid per person, please?

Thought I would reply as just checked in on thread

Drinks are included in all YC areas I drank Grey Goose vodka pre dinner and VSOP post dinner. The wine choice I was referring to was with meals in the YC restaurant, there is a sommelier and wine list available if you don’t like the offerings you can buy wine 🍷 to your taste. We only found 1 Australian red available so stuck with what was offered. 

Presseco is also widely available. We visited the casino and had to sign for drinks but there was a nil charge against it on the account.

As we are from UK our deal is published in newspapers regularly by a travel agent here 

Hope this clarifies the drinks position 

 

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I'm not Hank.:classic_laugh:  However, we paid about $2000 per person for Seaside and a little less for Divina for 7 days in the YC Balcony.   This is with the 5% discount.  YC Interior staterooms can also be had (on some ships) for less.

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55 minutes ago, mafig said:

I'm not Hank.:classic_laugh:  However, we paid about $2000 per person for Seaside and a little less for Divina for 7 days in the YC Balcony.   This is with the 5% discount.  YC Interior staterooms can also be had (on some ships) for less.

 

In December, we booked a 14 day Caribbean cruise on the Seaside, it sails this October 5. For less than $2700 p.p. We got a Yacht Club Deluxe Suite, prepaid gratuities, internet, and drink packages that include the minibar. This includes the 5% discount for the loyalty match to “Black”, being Elite Plus on Celebrity. We did this exact cruise this past September, for a couple hundred dollars more and thought is one of the best cruises ever.

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MSC loyalty match

We were told that they no longer match to top level ie Black card the highest is now Gold

but not heard officially

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On 2/10/2019 at 9:37 PM, mafig said:

However, you still get 5% regardless of your level match.

....and an extra 6.5% from our TA (total 11.5% discount on MSC published prices) although the deposit is non refundable.

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On 2/10/2019 at 10:23 AM, 39august said:

Does the drink package include all alcoholic drinks, or just the 2 red and 2 white wines? Hank, could you give me a ball park figure for what you paid per person, please?


All alcohol, in or out of the YC (other than the few double asterisked 'super premium's brands) all day and night - not just at meals.  Although they pour 2 reds and 2 whites each night, I had no trouble getting something else if I asked.  

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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!

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Sincere thanks for posting this review of your experiences. Very useful to read...

 

We love the X product and would have no wish to try other lines if it wasn’t for the cost! I guess the question for us is cruise more often or for longer on a different line or stick with X....

 

We have two X cruises booked at present but will continue to follow with interest X cruisers experiences on other lines...

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Hello again --our next trip is on MSC Splendida which is a sister ship to Preziosa (our first YC) We are doing Maraviglia late October NewYork to Miami via ABC islands. Meraviglia does have Inside YC if people do not want the balconies.

Although we missed some X perks (wash & fold + internet hours as Elite Plus) the packages are not OTT to buy, 20 items washed and pressed £21 sufficient for 2 weeks and £39 for 40 items. There is a line over the bath-tub so small items can be washed by hand. 

Internet was £61 for 2 devices 3.5 gigs-- for our upcoming 4 weeks internet is £99 I think 6 gigs --both are pre purchase and they are more expensive onboard .

 

Hope this helps further

Liz

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