We booked a Norway cruise a year prior on Norwegian and they canceled our cruise three months later! We had used points for the flights and booked a longer vacation around this cruise so we had to scramble. Thankfully, the MSC Preziosa ... Read More
We booked a Norway cruise a year prior on Norwegian and they canceled our cruise three months later! We had used points for the flights and booked a longer vacation around this cruise so we had to scramble. Thankfully, the MSC Preziosa was doing a nearly identical cruise. A quick look showed limited restaurants and an overall heavy lean towards Italian preferences which was understandable. Thankfully, there was one cabin left in the Yacht Club category which provided us with the accommodations we would have received on Norwegian (and then some), so we booked it.
Yacht Club makes everything less stressful and luxurious. During embarkation, there is easy boarding where you are guided everywhere and chill with champagne and snacks in your own private little space at the port and then in the concierge lounge on-board. The cabin we had was unusually large for the category and as with everyone in Yacht Club, we had a balcony.
Unlike other cruise lines, the Yacht Club is a significant upgrade as compared with a suite on the three other cruiselines we have sailed on. At least on the Preziosa, Yacht Club cabins, deck area with pools & hot-tubs, bars and concierge lounge occupy a private (card access) area at the front of the ship. A private high-end restaurant is located in the rear of the ship with a nice view. Yacht Club space is huge compared to the number of cabins. There were 10 times as many lounge chairs as needed so you were never crowded - ever! Nobody putting their towel down to save a spot here and there were great views with large window screens to keep out the wind. Service was readily available in all the Yacht Club spaces where-as the rest of the ship, it looked like a lot of people trying to fend for themselves in very crowded conditions.
Le Palmeraie, the main Yacht Club restaurant was great. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and we took all of our on-board meals there. The menu varied daily with a list of tasty dishes. You could get a table whenever you wanted and we had many lovely chats with Victor, the ship sommelier. Victor was our unofficial personal guide during our cruise and made sure we didn't miss out on the important things like waking up at 4:30AM to see the ship quietly cruising through the fjords in the early morning light of Summer. This was something almost none of the other passengers got to see. Being in Yacht Club means you have a balcony, so sipping coffee and taking pictures for a couple hours in your pjs is a great way to wake up. Thanks Victor for making our cruise awesome!
Speaking of staff, I lost a bag and boarded the ship with little more than I was wearing on the flight from the US. We did some quick shopping on board, but the selection was very limited and they didn't have any dress clothes available for sail - which would be a real bummer formal nights. The concierge, Bahija Sabyr, did a wonderful job filling in these gaps. She found me socks and underwear (which wasn't available for sail on-board) and provide free daily laundry service. Our first port was Copenhagen and the British Airways website showed our bag en-route to the ship, so we enjoyed the port and returned to the ship 10 minutes before its departure. Sadly, there was no bag and we had a sea day and tiny ports in Norway the next few nights. Arrrggghhh! After listening to us vent about the situation for some time, Bahija upped her game and tried to alleviate my lack of clothes with jackets and shirts she pulled from lost-and-found. She even found me a suit! It was large, but I was able to do a bit of hemming for the pants and made it work. It was really sweet and made a big difference to my comfort on the cruise. Thank you, Bahija! We eventually made it to Bergen and did some clothes shopping for the last few nights, but thankfully the bag eventually showed up and we returned everything we borrowed along with some items that you can't find on-board for the next person in the same situation.
Disembarkation was the most relaxing I've ever had. We spent the morning lounging on the yacht club pool deck with drinks and new friends while my daughter enjoyed the pool. When it was time to go, we had our butler, Juan Carlos (who was also a great help on our trip) walk off us the ship to the bus back to the airport.
All-in-all we had a great cruise thanks to the crew and luxuries provided by the Yacht Club facilities. We spent the entirety of the cruise observing the difference between crowded public spaces and the luxurious quiet spaces that the Yacht Club provided. We would be happy to sail MSC again, but only with those accommodations. Read Less