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Ex-vogue model

7 wonderful nights in Yacht Club on MSC Meraviglia Baltic Cruise

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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!! 🙂 🙂 

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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.  

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25 minutes ago, Georgia_Peaches said:

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.  

Your cruise card and YC bracelet are on the desk in your cabin on day of embarking. You don’t need to wear the bracelet. It is intended for opening the lock of the cabin door, authorizing on-board purchases, for the infamous “hijacking” of the priority elevators, registering with the photographers and access to the theatre (shows). Everything can be done with the cruise card as well. The bracelet is very light, made of silicon and easy to wear. You can not leave the ship just with the bracelet. Security need to scan your picture ID cruise card. Between me and my DW it is just a question of preference when to wear the bracelet. She doesn’t wear the bracelet on elegant night while I keep it on and cover with shirt.

Edited by SirWolf

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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.

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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?

 

 

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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. 🙂 

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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. 

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I thought it was mentioned somewhere that YC includes some sort of internet package....or maybe that's beginning in 2020?

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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.  

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16 minutes ago, Kwaj girl said:

I thought it was mentioned somewhere that YC includes some sort of internet package....or maybe that's beginning in 2020?

Beginning in 2020 - I bought the package prior to embarkation and it was about £60 each I think but well worth it.

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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.

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10 minutes ago, Captain-John said:

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.

 

Had a similar problem on Splendida last year for the first couple of nights (on a 28 nighter) so I went to the wine bar on the way to the restaurant for a couple of evenings and got my chosen wine there to bring to dinner.  I got the server to change it into a YC glass, which drew the attention of the sommelier.  He asked me why I was bringing wine to the restaurant and I explained that I preferred to choose my wine, rather than be confined to what was chosen to be opened.  From then, I got the wine I wanted every night!

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14 hours ago, Kwaj girl said:

I thought it was mentioned somewhere that YC includes some sort of internet package....or maybe that's beginning in 2020?

 

From September next year there will be an internet package included.

 

OP ... apologies for not acknowledging your review - I haven't had a chance to read it yet.  We're boarding Meraviglia this day 5 weeks, so am interested in your experience (though we've been in YC before on Mera and loved it!)

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12 minutes ago, Beamafar said:

 

Had a similar problem on Splendida last year for the first couple of nights (on a 28 nighter)

 

As I have far less time onboard than that, I'll be setting my expectations on day 1! Definitely going to be more 'assertive' on this cruise - paying a premium for it, after all. So things like this wine issue, as well as menu choices in the restaurant - I'll be sending poor dishes back (I'm thinking of the ribs and the vegetable burrito I had in May), and if nothing appeals, I'll be asking for a beef fillet or similar, which I know I will like. I'll certainly be more assertive if I get a grumpy barman like I did in May - I was unusually lenient thinking about it now.

 

 

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Dead right, Cap'n! I've learned to be very assertive onboard - it helps when you know what you're entitled to!😜  Thank Goodness for CruiseCritic!  😛

Edited by Beamafar

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21 hours 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.  

March on Mera?

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20 hours 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?

 

 

I posted the other day, think it was $42 US with dinner or $18 with just drink for sailings out of Miami.

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Thanks for sharing your experiences, ex-vogue model.  Great to hear that you enjoyed it so much.

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22 hours ago, Georgia_Peaches said:

 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.  

 

We thought the same thing when we received ours on Seaside last year, but once I put it on, I never took it off.  No more hunting for the room key to open doors or to pay for things.  (Once a bartender would see it on my wrist outside of YC, they wouldn't even bother to ask for the ship card since they knew the price was going to be free anyway). Goes in the pool no problem.  So lightweight that you don't even notice it on after a while.  Truthfully, we especially loved it for the elevators.  On Seaside it only works on a couple of elevators outside the YC area--not any elevator on the ship.  (We don't sail on Meraviglia until Nov, so not sure how it works there, but probably the same.)  The good thing on Seaside was that the elevators outside YC main entrance only led to YC and a couple of speciality restaurants on that floor. So, when we would leave YC to go somewhere else on the ship, there was never any non-YC passengers waiting for an elevator.  You just scan that wristband to the sensor next to the elevator button, the elevator comes quickly, scan it again when you step inside and push the floor you want--takes you right there.  (And no mean looks from others...)

 

I see you are from ATL, too.  If you enjoy cruising as much as we do regardless of the cruise line or where it's going, you will definitely LOVE YC on MSC.  This will be our 4th YC cruise coming up, and when we saw we could get another week of outstanding service and luxury for less than a week in a standard balcony room on Celebrity for the same dates, there was no debate--back to YC.  Hope you have a great time.

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33 minutes ago, EMc&DrS said:

I see you are from ATL, too.  If you enjoy cruising as much as we do regardless of the cruise line or where it's going, you will definitely LOVE YC on MSC.  This will be our 4th YC cruise coming up, and when we saw we could get another week of outstanding service and luxury for less than a week in a standard balcony room on Celebrity for the same dates, there was no debate--back to YC.  Hope you have a great time.

Wow!  Sounds pretty perfect.  Thank you for the information.  We are really looking forward to giving it a try.  After being in NCL's Haven (nice, but pricey) and Celebrity's Royal Suite (nice, but REALLY pricey) it will be nice to try a suite product that doesn't break the bank.  Go Dawgs!  😎

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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 🙂 .

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4 hours ago, Beamafar said:

Dead right, Cap'n! I've learned to be very assertive onboard - it helps when you know what you're entitled to!😜  Thank Goodness for CruiseCritic!  😛

Hi Beamafar, I have learned so much from Cruise Critic - it's an invaluable source of information so you know exactly what to expect before you board.  🙂 

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