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Captain-John

Meraviglia YC Experience - Baltic Itinerary

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Now by very special request...... the route from TSL to the YIN cabins!! For all of those on the trip in October - you will be able to do this with your eyes shut by the time the cruise comes around - and if you have the whisky tasting you're trying to set up Bea, you'll need to be very familiar with the route - upside down and back to front. 😉

 

I think I paced it out at 40 strides the long way and 17 the short..... I did have a nightcap or three just prior to doing this exercise though, which meant I didn't feel as self conscious as I should have walking past the concierge's desk. 😛

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Actually the built-in video host on CC doesn't look great - the videos appear horribly for me. Lucky I wasn't relying on videos for the bulk of the review. I tried..... 🙃

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You are an absolute legend Captain. 

Thank you very much indeed. 

Can’t wait for Bea’s and CF’s reaction!

The videos are great on my iPhone and I think even after a whiskey tasting, I could make it back ok the long way round 😂😂😂😂

 

Fantastic review and thank you for all the effort you have put in. Loved the photos and commentary of the food and snacks. 

 

Its ok to say “only in the Yacht Club”. It even backs up what I picked up from Bea’s review when she sailed on Meraviglia. I certainly wouldn’t want to sail on her outside of the YC. May think differently when I can leave my business for more than once a year though, also with the prices going up in YC so much. 

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21 hours ago, thecruisers6 said:

You are an absolute legend Captain. 

Thank you very much indeed. 

Can’t wait for Bea’s and CF’s reaction!

 

 

Couldn't agree more!  Cap'n ... you went above and beyond for us.  I shall play those videos 'til the routes are firmly embedded in my mind;  then I won't have to worry about finding my way back to my cabin after our whiskey-tasting event (hic!)  😂 😂

 

(The reason for the delay in responding/reacting was because I had caught sight of my post count and realised that I was close to #8888 and wanted that number post to be the one to say a huge THANK YOU, CAP'N for your wonderful review.)

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What a lovely review with stunning photos from both the ship and the destinations visited. Very nice to read and see. Excellent that you had a gread cruise in the Baltic on the MSC Meraviglia. We sailed on her in the YC on the maiden voyage from Le Havre in June 2017. Lovely cruise in all aspects. As you, we found it rather strange with only one whirl pool on the YC pooldeck. The Seaside Class and Fantasia Class have two. In 2013 we did a Baltic cruise from Copenhagen on the MSC Poesia. We visited Stockholm instead of Helsinki. Loved your photos from Helsinki, one of my favourite cities. 

 

Thank you for you great trip report 😃

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, thecruisers6 said:

You are an absolute legend Captain. 

Thank you very much indeed. 

Can’t wait for Bea’s and CF’s reaction!

The videos are great on my iPhone and I think even after a whiskey tasting, I could make it back ok the long way round 😂😂😂😂

 

Fantastic review and thank you for all the effort you have put in. Loved the photos and commentary of the food and snacks. 

 

Its ok to say “only in the Yacht Club”. It even backs up what I picked up from Bea’s review when she sailed on Meraviglia. I certainly wouldn’t want to sail on her outside of the YC. May think differently when I can leave my business for more than once a year though, also with the prices going up in YC so much. 

 

Oddly, the videos on my phone look great too but on Firefox on my PC look terrible.

 

Had I thought about it, I would have left some luminous tape down tracing the route, just in case!

 

Very kind of you to say. It has been quite enjoyable reliving the experience (and the new CC format makes it easier to upload photos which was a big help).

 

Indeed - I don't make an apology for having that point of view, as I'd happily sail in 'steerage' (and have done so many times) on other ships in the fleet.

 

1 hour ago, Beamafar said:

 

Couldn't agree more!  Cap'n ... you went above and beyond for us.  I shall play those videos 'til the routes are firmly embedded in my mind;  then I won't have to worry about finding my way back to my cabin after our whiskey-tasting event (hic!)  😂 😂

 

(The reason for the delay in responding/reacting was because I had caught sight of my post count and realised that I was close to #8888 and wanted that number post to be the one to say a huge THANK YOU, CAP'N for your wonderful review.)

 

I notice I'm outnumbered on whisky vs whiskey point but I sincerely hope you will all try a variety sourced from far and wide. 😄

 

I am honoured that I get to share this momentous occasion with you and I'd like to return the thanks for your massive contribution to these boards, from which I've learned so much. Although we've been members for roughly the same amount of time, your contribution has been 13x times the greater!

 

28 minutes ago, Norwegian Cruiser 73 said:

What a lovely review with stunning photos from both the ship and the destinations visited. Very nice to read and see. Excellent that you had a gread cruise in the Baltic on the MSC Meraviglia. We sailed on her in the YC on the maiden voyage from Le Havre in June 2017. Lovely cruise in all aspects. As you, we found it rather strange with only one whirl pool on the YC pooldeck. The Seaside Class and Fantasia Class have two. In 2013 we did a Baltic cruise from Copenhagen on the MSC Poesia. We visited Stockholm instead of Helsinki. Loved your photos from Helsinki, one of my favourite cities. 

 

Thank you for you great trip report 😃

 

Thank you very much. We were in Stockholm last year as well as Helsinki, with NCL. I'd return to Stockholm for a city break too. We were blessed with the weather given the time of year which no doubt helped my overall assessment of the cruise!

 

I absolutely need to make it to Norway and cruise the Fjords - although I might need to rob a bank first..... 😈

Edited by Captain-John

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Just a great review with lots of pertinent information for me; thank you!

 

In the YC Restaurant, is it possible to request a special entree?  For example, Lobster Thermidor or Dover Sole.

 

Why would one  try a specialty restaurant, such as BC, when one can dine in the YC Restaurant? 

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12 hours ago, Captain-John said:

 

I notice I'm outnumbered on whisky vs whiskey point but I sincerely hope you will all try a variety sourced from far and wide. 😄

 

 

 

It'll be a whisky-tasting as there is no whiskey in the top shelf offerings.  😡 😪 (I just have a difficulty in spelling whiskey whisky even where I know I should 🙄)

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8 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

In the YC Restaurant, is it possible to request a special entree?  For example, Lobster Thermidor or Dover Sole.

 

Why would one  try a specialty restaurant, such as BC, when one can dine in the YC Restaurant? 

 

If there is nothing on the YC menu that you want, they will certainly do their best to offer something off-menu.  However, it certainly wouldn't be anything as fancy as Lobster Thermidor or Dover Sole.

 

A lot of people will go to a Speciality Restaurant to enjoy their Black Card benefit of a complimentary meal for 2 and Butcher's Cut seems to be the firm favourite, judging from reports on here.  We've loved it on the occasions that we've been.  So much so that we've booked a tryptic package for our 23 night cruise on Meraviglia which means we'll get to visit BC twice (once as Black Card members).  It would be very monotonous to dine in the YC MDR every night, otherwise.

 

Also, the menus that have been posted here are less than appealing to me and I'm hoping that we'll be offered better on our Seaview YC sailing in the Med in August.  I expect that the menus will differ a little on Meraviglia when we board her in New York as the food offerings tend to be better on US sailings.

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26 minutes ago, Beamafar said:

 

It'll be a whisky-tasting as there is no whiskey in the top shelf offerings.  😡 😪 (I just have a difficulty in spelling whiskey whisky even where I know I should 🙄)

Well Captain and Bea as a guardian of the Glenlivet I should know better. 

Predictive texting - off

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9 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

Just a great review with lots of pertinent information for me; thank you!

 

In the YC Restaurant, is it possible to request a special entree?  For example, Lobster Thermidor or Dover Sole.

 

Why would one  try a specialty restaurant, such as BC, when one can dine in the YC Restaurant? 

 

Thanks very much. I did see a gentleman beside me request the beef fillet 'off menu' and this request was obliged. Perhaps this was possible because it was something they had offered a few nights previously and didn't require much thought for them to create.

 

As Bea mentions - it was to use the Black Card benefit. Also, at least 2 of our meals in the YC Restaurant failed to hit the mark - albeit that wasn't possible to know in advance. For a longer cruise, I'd say trying a speciality is a must, for variety if nothing else.

 

The quality is better again than the YC offering - or it certainly was for us in Butcher's Cut.

 

55 minutes ago, Beamafar said:

 

Also, the menus that have been posted here are less than appealing to me and I'm hoping that we'll be offered better on our Seaview YC sailing in the Med in August.  I expect that the menus will differ a little on Meraviglia when we board her in New York as the food offerings tend to be better on US sailings.

 

I had thought the menus would be revamped by then, with Martha Stewart's touch?

 

30 minutes ago, thecruisers6 said:

Well Captain and Bea as a guardian of the Glenlivet I should know better. 

Predictive texting - off

 

🤣 - they've got until October to load another pallet of it - I finished the last one off single-handed.

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3 hours ago, Beamafar said:

 

If there is nothing on the YC menu that you want, they will certainly do their best to offer something off-menu.  However, it certainly wouldn't be anything as fancy as Lobster Thermidor or Dover Sole.

 

A lot of people will go to a Speciality Restaurant to enjoy their Black Card benefit of a complimentary meal for 2 and Butcher's Cut seems to be the firm favourite, judging from reports on here.  We've loved it on the occasions that we've been.  So much so that we've booked a tryptic package for our 23 night cruise on Meraviglia which means we'll get to visit BC twice (once as Black Card members).  It would be very monotonous to dine in the YC MDR every night, otherwise.

 

Also, the menus that have been posted here are less than appealing to me and I'm hoping that we'll be offered better on our Seaview YC sailing in the Med in August.  I expect that the menus will differ a little on Meraviglia when we board her in New York as the food offerings tend to be better on US sailings.

@Beamafar

 

Wondering if you can clue us in...

 

We are sailing Meraviglia in YC in spring 2020. 

Do you know what the MSC meal rotation is--fleetwide?

Meaning do all ships have the same meals planned regardless of journey (Carib vs Med vs Asia etc) Are these menus Nikki is posting from her Med sailing what we'd see in the Carib?

 

For example Celebrity ships have a meal rotation and whether you are in the Carib or on a TA--the meals are planned by corp and that Exec Chef. The Exec Chef on board executes. 

 

IS it a 2 week rotation or will we doing 2 7 day B2Bs have the same dinner offerings over the course of those 2 weeks.

 

Clear as mud?

TYIA

 

 

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On 5/23/2019 at 9:09 PM, Captain-John said:

...At exactly the halfway point of the trip and therefore at the halfway point of this review - hopefully my next statement will be met with at least some sadness. My next post won't be until Tuesday 28/05 - as I fly out tomorrow morning for the Monaco GP, and won't be taking anything with enough computing power to allow me to keep going with the review....

 

 

Wow....we were there also, tendered from Monte Carlo bay race day only on a 6 night Crystal Serenity cruise. The GP was an amazing experience, I am sure you would agree.

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On 5/29/2019 at 6:22 PM, Captain-John said:

.....I'm not detracting this from MSC, but on a personal note, having done two Baltic cruises with identical stops, I'd be looking for more variety (Riga, Gdansk?) for the next one....

 

We have the YC to look forward to again in October aboard Preziosa in any event, and we've booked Celebrity for next April so it will be a while before I'm looking at the next cruise after that in any case...

 

We are cruising the Baltic in a few weeks with Cunard, so it was incredibly interesting to read your port reviews....and also to relive our amazing 19 nights on Meraviglia last year! We did a Baltics cruise a decade ago, with Celebrity, but this Cunard cruise has 4 ports which are new to us....doesn't do Helsinki or Stockholm which almost all do.

 

You mentioned someone had posted some time ago about the lack of cushions in YC sundeck on the older ships, that was me. The solution for us was to purchase a couple of very light blow up camping cushions for our Preziosa cruise, they weighed half a kilo each and folded into the size of a ladies small clutch bag. If you are interested in purchasing same, let me know and I'll look back details etc. Got them from Amazon, and they are not expensive. We lost count of the people on Prez who said they wished they had them!

 

Our experience was that the food, and service, in Prez restaurant was half a notch better than Meraviglia.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to post all of this, it certainly stirred memories and reminded me of the Baltic highlight points for our upcoming visit there. 

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1 hour ago, hamrag said:

 

Wow....we were there also, tendered from Monte Carlo bay race day only on a 6 night Crystal Serenity cruise. The GP was an amazing experience, I am sure you would agree.

 

 

Absolutely was. We saw the cruises about a year ago that would take in the stop and we did consider doing it that way, but opted to stay on land instead. We got a seat in the grandstand at the casino/Hotel De Paris. Weather could have been better but all in all, a great day. How did you find doing it by ship?

 

IMG_20190526_095724.thumb.jpg.920ca535263f97567ce20d35df2f270c.jpg

 

Although, I couldn't help myself - I was spying on the cruise ships too.

 

IMG_20190526_122041.thumb.jpg.072289fb0fc8d9951db2d286ca828748.jpg

 

 

59 minutes ago, hamrag said:

 

We are cruising the Baltic in a few weeks with Cunard, so it was incredibly interesting to read your port reviews....and also to relive our amazing 19 nights on Meraviglia last year! We did a Baltics cruise a decade ago, with Celebrity, but this Cunard cruise has 4 ports which are new to us....doesn't do Helsinki or Stockholm which almost all do.

 

You mentioned someone had posted some time ago about the lack of cushions in YC sundeck on the older ships, that was me. The solution for us was to purchase a couple of very light blow up camping cushions for our Preziosa cruise, they weighed half a kilo each and folded into the size of a ladies small clutch bag. If you are interested in purchasing same, let me know and I'll look back details etc. Got them from Amazon, and they are not expensive. We lost count of the people on Prez who said they wished they had them!

 

Our experience was that the food, and service, in Prez restaurant was half a notch better than Meraviglia.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to post all of this, it certainly stirred memories and reminded me of the Baltic highlight points for our upcoming visit there. 

 

Ah, have a fantastic cruise when it comes, if we don't speak beforehand. The new ports would definitely appeal to me when we make it back to the region.

 

Indeed, I remember now - I even remember checking them out on Amazon at the time. I still find it a startling oversight. I'll need to have a bit of a stern word around where we can find the extra kilo in our luggage allowance - I'm thinking you only need two pairs of shoes for an 11 day trip - although not sure DW would agree.

 

Also remember your comments about Preziosa and we are very much looking forward to her YC. Cabin will be smaller but if that's offset by better food and service, and given we're only on her for a week, no big deal. I do think I'll enjoy going back to the layout of Preziosa too - as I mentioned I find Meraviglia too 'centralised.'

 

If you need any more up to date information on the ports before you go, I'll do my best. 🙂

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5 minutes ago, Captain-John said:

Absolutely was. We saw the cruises about a year ago that would take in the stop and we did consider doing it that way, but opted to stay on land instead. We got a seat in the grandstand at the casino/Hotel De Paris. Weather could have been better but all in all, a great day. How did you find doing it by ship?......

 

......Indeed, I remember now - I even remember checking them out on Amazon at the time. I still find it a startling oversight. I'll need to have a bit of a stern word around where we can find the extra kilo in our luggage allowance - I'm thinking you only need two pairs of shoes for an 11 day trip - although not sure DW would agree......

 

We were in the K1 grandstand at the harbour area, with a clear view of tunnel exit and chicane. We were opposite all the yachts and the atmosphere in that area was buzzing before, during, and after the race. We saw the incident, and smelt the rubber, where LeClerc hit the barrier and punctured.....amazing to witness that. Doing it by ship was perfect, although the tender was choppy and took us into the smaller bay behind the palace 'cliff' where all tenders from the cruise ships and huge private boats went. This necessitated a 30ish minute stroll into the race area, enabling us to max up the whole atmosphere. We were in our stand from about mid-day, so got the warm sunny weather pre-race....TBH, we were glad the cloud came over before the start as direct sun would have been too intense in our location.

 

The rolled up camping mats fitted one in each of the front pockets in the jacket I was wearing....no problem at all, easy to transport and highly recommend.

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5 hours ago, Fogfog said:

@Beamafar

 

Wondering if you can clue us in...

 

We are sailing Meraviglia in YC in spring 2020. 

Do you know what the MSC meal rotation is--fleetwide?

Meaning do all ships have the same meals planned regardless of journey (Carib vs Med vs Asia etc) Are these menus Nikki is posting from her Med sailing what we'd see in the Carib?

 

For example Celebrity ships have a meal rotation and whether you are in the Carib or on a TA--the meals are planned by corp and that Exec Chef. The Exec Chef on board executes. 

 

IS it a 2 week rotation or will we doing 2 7 day B2Bs have the same dinner offerings over the course of those 2 weeks.

 

Clear as mud?

TYIA

 

 

 

On regular itineraries the menu is usually a 7 day one (which means it'll be repeated if you do a B2B).  On longer cruises (including repos) they do try not to repeat the menus, though one or two items may appear more than once.

 

Until Meraviglia actually begins sailing from US ports, it's not possible to predict what the menus will look like.  There are number of factors that come into play at the moment - the 'arrangement' with Martha Stewart and the recent arrival of a new VP for food and beverages.  For an idea of what's being offered on US cruises at the moment you need to follow reviews of Seaside.  Here's a link to a review I did of Armonia, which includes the menus and food we had when sailing from Miami:

 

2631573-notes-from-armonia-miami-havana-jan-2019

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@Beamafar

 

Thank you!

Will look for a Seaside thread/review.

Have been following Nikki's to see how YC is run

 

Our B2B is sold as a 14 night or a 7 and 7. We are seeing corp differences from our usual line

 

Looking fwd to all of the new experiences. So many positive reviews of YC.

 

Interesting that food would differ from Med to Carib as other lines have fleetwide menus.

We'd prefer more regional menus if possible--- realizing food safety etc and provisions are brought in from approved vendors etc

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We'll be on Meraviglia for 23 nights in YC from Oct 18th next;  I'll probably post menus and photos of food, etc, (though it may not be a 'Live' report) so you'll get some idea of what to expect.

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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!

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Thank you so much for all of the great information. We are sailing with our daughters on the July 7th sailing from Copenhagen round trip. It is always great to get first hand information. We are in YC and also are Black members so this was great to read all of this. 

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It’s really unfortunate you weren’t able to tour the Church of the Spilled Blood. We went 3 weeks after you and were able to (on a different cruise line and using TJ Tours). There was some scaffolding outside, but all was normal inside. 

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I want to thank Captain John for this absolutely stellar review! The photos alone were worth it for me, to say nothing of the very detailed descriptions of life onboard, the videos, the details about the ports you visited, and so on. Simply delightful, again especially the photos! We are cruising on the Meraviglia in December and are hoping we run into Alex, the excellent barman (though I don't know if the same crew that serves the Northern European routes does the Miami-based ones, too.) If Beamafar happens to read this, maybe she can shed some light on that. Captain John also mentions the Preziosa and we have a cabin booked on that ship for next May. I know I'd be delighted to hear about your trip on that ship, as well. Once again, many thanks.

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The crew do get moved about, DCG, rarely mid-contract (though that can happen, too), but they get assigned to different regions all the time.

 

We're booked on Preziosa for this time next year - it'll be our 3rd on her (2nd in YC).  If it's even half as good as our first YC experience on her, it'll be a fantastic cruise.

 

We're heading off in the morning for our Seaview cruise on Wednesday (overnighting in Rome) then it's Meraviglia in October.

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3 minutes ago, Beamafar said:

We're heading off in the morning for our Seaview cruise on Wednesday (overnighting in Rome) then it's Meraviglia in October.

 

Bon Voyage!

 

As far as October is concerned, still disappointed we will not meet you....we cancelled due to MIL 90th birthday, even my wife overlooked that when we booked. Instead we are sailing two B2B 7 nighters on Azamara in the Caribbean, which are replacement cruises for ex-Cuba itineraries at incredibly reduced prices and loads of OBC. All designed to entice and certainly hooked us for our first time on Az.

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