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Old 23 May 24, 08:54 PM  
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#1
2point
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MSC Weekend Yacht Club Tryout

We are sailing on Sat 25th May from Southampton on MSC Virtuosa.

It's our first MSC (cruised P&O, Disney, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Cunard), we've plucked for our first premium experience going in the Yacht Club.

Will complete report on Monday evening.
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Old 23 May 24, 09:11 PM  
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Cutiepie
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Enjoy looking forward to reading about your experience.
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Old 23 May 24, 10:10 PM  
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Hudson
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Looking forward to your report too.
We've sailed MSC a couple of times on Divina (Caribbean and Bermuda) and enjoyed it. However, we sailed on Virtuosa out of Liverpool around UK during covid and wasn't really impressed. The ship was lovely but we thought that even only half full it was short on seating in venues and the added covid restrictions impacted the experience.
We have another MSC cruise booked for July on Seascape out of Miami and have booked Yacht Club so will be interested in your thoughts on the YC aspect in particular.
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Old 25 May 24, 10:15 AM  
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TORIMS
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We are going on Seascape from Miami in August. All our other cruises have been with Royal Caribbean so interested to see what MSC are like.
Will be interested to hear your views 😉

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Old 26 May 24, 06:47 PM  
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jules2002
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I am looking forward to hearing how it went we just got of Virtuosa on the 25th after 1 week in Yacht club doing the Fjords with my husband a teenage son. We all had a great time and we were absolutely spoiled for those 7 days, all the staff were so friendly, and the escort on and off at ports and to the theatre was also hugely beneficial.
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Old 27 May 24, 05:58 PM  
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2point
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Well we're back.

We drove down to Salisbury to the Premier Inn the night before, very easy drive from the Midland. Just past Newbury satnav took us cross country through some lovely countryside with no traffic. Being bank holiday Friday we were expecting some holdups but didn't have any.

Did consider stopping on the way in some of the lovely looking pubs but pressed on. The Premier Inn retaurant wasn't accepting any walk-ins due to low staff number so we went into town. Had a lovely meal in the Ox on the market square. We were still both tired from California so headed for a earlyish night.



Only 23 miles down to Southampton, got parked up with JustPark on a driveway then ubered to Horizon terminal. Man the ship looked huge, didn't get a photo as we were too close to it. Went straight to the Yacht Club tent and got ticked off the list, time 09:59.



We were walked into the terminal to a sectioned off area for some snacks and of course, Champagne (prosecco?). It was lovely anyway.

We chatted to another couple who mother henned us through the process. They'd been on all the weekend Virtuosa cruise and were booked for next weekend too!

Our keycards were handed to us and our wristbands sorted. Our butler then appeared and walked us on board. It was all a bit surreal. We'd never went for this level of service before.

He took us on board and ushered us a few other couples to the lifts near the theatre. We were all taking photos and trying to soak in the bling and atmosphere of a new ship. Time 10:20



He scanned my card into the lift and zipped us directly to deck 16, where we entered the lounge and were force fed yet more champagne. It was a tough gig, but we powered through. The 10:23.



There were canapés to choose from and we were told our rooms would be available shortly. We sat chatting to our new friends and just soaking it all up.

Our room was ready so we dropped down 1 deck to get changed for the pool.

Went up onto he deck and found very comfy loungers, only a single hottub, but it was nice and hot. Warning - the jets are brutal - felt like Id had a pummelling.

Got some lunch from the buffet up there. Good quality selection, buffalo mozzarella with my salad was perfect. The service on the deck was faultless, nothing was too much trouble. Included in the fare is the top level drinks package, we didn't have our bands scanned once for drink, room number was asked a few times but no actually signing for anything.

Weather turned out lovely so we caught some sun and felt like we'd been on board a week rather than a few hours!





We were laughing that we'd be happy to sit in Southampton for the whole trip(we had no intention of getting off in Cherbourg - been there loads of times before)

Got back to cabin for a SSS then back into the lounge for pre dinner drinks.

With Yacht Club there is no set dining time, you just go up to the restaurant above the lounge when you ready. We were seated immediately and noticed the level/standard of service. It was up there with Disney, servers who knew what they were doing, were attentive and knowledgable.



My wife has a nut allergy. MSC were fantastic in this regard. We had the restaurant manager come over and go through the allergy. They took it extremely seriously and we were totally assured by the professionalism and care taken.



The food was excellent. Not huge portions but well put together. Standard wise, about the same as Disney, better than P&O by a country mile.

We had cheese and biscuits with port, excellent selection of cheese that had great texture and flavour. The view from the restaurant was perfect (well if you like ports anyway!). It was still sunny and could imagine what this would look like in some of the more scenic destinations (although Southampton is surprisingly green, so many trees and greenery).

We took a tour of the ship, have a peek into how 'general population' were getting on. It's loud and proud out there! It's a little bit overwhelming, lots of people, high powered music and lots of bustle. We'd now set sail, you couldn't tell we were moving unless you looked out the many windows (there is a lot of glass on this ship).



We tried out the robot bar (not included in package but you do get to keep the glass). The drinks were pretty good!



Went along to the theatre and were surprised to find no drinks allowed in. As we had only just bought them we didn't fancy necking them and going in so we returned to the promenade and checked out the shops and other views.



This weekend was for my wife's birthday (it's on Wednesday), so of course that cost me another bag from the shop on board!

We headed back to the lounge, as soon as you come through the doors the atmosphere changes. The madness of the rest of the ship slips and away and the serenity starts. Much quieter, loads of seats and a talented pair on the piano playing/singing.

Again the service in here is excellent, good quality branded drinks.



We'd heard the comedian on board, Tucker, was good. We stayed up to 11:45 for his show. Excellent. He was really funny, both with his comedy but also his stage presence. He picked on a couple of the many hen parties on board. One bride said her man to be was having his stag do in Amsterdam. She did not get off lightly with that one!

In bed at 00:45. Lovely day.

All good plans etc?
We missed breakfast completely, partly due to the clock rolling forward an hour, partly due to us having bad jet lag from California only a few days ago, mostly due to the champagne!

Having an inside cabin has some drawbacks. One is not knowing what to wear, we stepped out on the pool deck to find it soaking and post rain burst! Had a quick drink then nipped back to the room (which when in Yacht Club all rooms are at the dorm over a couple of decks).

When we came out of our room our butler/room attendant greeted up. Had a nice chat with him. A room 2 doors away was open and we could see it was pretty special. We asked if we could have a look in. It was the Royal Suite (there are 2 on board). A huge lounge, bedroom off to one side, two doors out to the massive balacony (77sqm) the room was 55sqm (for comparison our cabin was 17sqm). The balcony wrapped around the front corner of the ship. Huge hottub to the side and an 8 seater table round the other with comfy sun loungers. Wowsers. Didn't take any pics as it was actually someones room (that sounds really bad doesnt it!). Priced it up and for a 2 night cruise it's £3000 for 2.

Had another tour around the ship, with so many people ashore it was so much calmer. A lovely ship with some nice details. Very blingy!



Back up to the deck, the sun had broken through so we managed to sit out in relative warmth all afternoon. Our new friends joined us and we had a great time just chatting and having a good laugh. Such a lovely couple.



Jeff had forgot his hat, being a solar powered guy my wife fashioned him one. The food selection on the buffet constantly changes, I worked my way few a couple of selections, the highlight being thick lamb chops. OMG. Worth it for these alone!

We'd been talking and I was mulling over whether we should go back next weekend. Jan and Jeff were going to be onboard so it was a bit of a easy decision. Over dinner I got on the MSC site and booked us back in. Our daughter and my mother in law are coming too, my treat, to continue the party for my wife's birthday.

Dinner was lovely, no pics as I was busy using my phone to book. Before we got board i'd booked one of the speciality venues (similar to Cirque). We went to the concierge desk and our butler came to take us to the theatre. He put his gloves on so obviously meant business. Again he used the keycard to get us directly to deck 7 then escorted through the ship to the theatre at the back. It certainly gets you some attention/looks!

We got into the show just as it started, drinks sorted. The show, Ajedrez was based on chess. It was amazing, some highly skilled performers in a theatre that's like something in the Avengers. Really atmospheric and superb sound system in there. For an extra £9 each it was fantastic value.

There was an Abba show at the main theatre at the other end of the ship. We scooted along there and sat ourselves in the Yacht Club area. There are no bad seats in the the theatre and it only holds 1000. A really good high energy production with quality vocalists. They encouraged the dancing, clapping, audience participation thing. Great show.

We returned to the lounge, again tranquil and a world away from the madness elsewhere.

We'd arranged to meet Jan and Jeff for the white party, we'd forgot to pack our white stuff but hey, what can you do.
It was fun, lots of hen parties getting into it. It was a bit chilly, so we dropped back into the lounge after a while. The English Channel isn't like being off the coast of Turks and Caicos the last time we did a white party!



Up early for breakfast. It was busy so not quite as good service but that's expected on the last morning.

When we were ready to leave our butler again took us down in the express lift to deck 6, escorted us to the front of the huge queue, through checkout, into the boarding hall. A couple of minutes.

We felt this whole experience from start to finish was excellent. I know we were in YC so didn't experience some of the poor service we'd read about MSC. The service was excellent, attentive and personalised when needed. The little perks were great, the tranquility of the YC was even better. That is priceless.

I did consider going general population next weekend but on reflection it was a no brainer, we're back in YC. This time it will be a deluxe suite. Our daughter and MIL have not idea what they are coming to, all we've said it's a 2 night cruise. They will love it!

Edited at 05:59 PM.
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Old 27 May 24, 10:25 PM  
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anna68
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We disembarked apex this morning sat alongside virtuosa. Good to read your review. I’m tempted by MSC but only doing YC so this was an insightful read thank you! Do you know can children also be on YC?
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Old 27 May 24, 11:24 PM  
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2point
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Originally Posted by anna68 View Post
We disembarked apex this morning sat alongside virtuosa. Good to read your review. I’m tempted by MSC but only doing YC so this was an insightful read thank you! Do you know can children also be on YC?
We saw the Apex (doing Beyond in May next yr so interring to see how 'small' she looked next to Virtuosa)

One thing we found outside of YC was how loud/busy it was. There seemed to be a lack of seating and definitely a lack of seating in areas to get away from the crowds.

YC does allow kids, in the lounge, dining room and pool deck. We did have a couple of kids in there, they were well behaved and didn't detract from the experience.
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Old 29 May 24, 08:43 PM  
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Cutiepie
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Sounds like a great weekend break unfortunately we live too far away to take advantage of a weekend cruise.

Have fun this weekend too
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Old 30 May 24, 10:49 AM  
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Slabgood
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My wife and I were on this cruise as cattle class, last minute cheap weekender... yes it was busy, lots of queues for everything but we enjoyed it. Noted many more hen/stag groups then you'd normally see on a cruise but didn't bother us.

We boarded early and got a nice place by the pool Saturday, nice chill day. Lunch buffet was busy, but found tables straight away. Disappointed with the lack of people washing their hands before buffets, this seems to be enforced much more on Royal Caribbean. Saturday night dinner restaurant dinner was yummy, welcome show was okay.

Sunday got up buffet breakfast, no queue, stuffed ourselves. Walked into Cherbourg and bought a few bits from Carrefour, started raining so returned to the ship. Because of the rain indoor area was crazy busy, just chilled between bars and our room. Sunday night restaurant dinner again yummy, Abba show was good.

Monday offboard day we knew that lots of people would leave their cabins at the latest time of 7:30, so left our cabin at 7:15 and got a table no problem. As predicted when we left there were crazy queues for the buffet, lots of angry people!

Overall we had a good time, we didn't pay much for the weekend so no complaints. We had done a weekend cruise on RC Anthem a few weeks back and everything was better but it was more expensive. We also did a weekend cruise with Virtuosa' sister ship with the kids earlier in the year, that was also better, think it was just less busy...
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