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We have never cruised MSC before but have experience many other cruise lines including a few of the premier lines. Our favourite cruise line has been Celebrity but due to their ever increasing prices have been drawn to MSC. We were offered Black Card membership due to their loyalty match although the only valuable element was the 5% discount, all other perks were meaningless for people in the Yacht Club. We choose a Preziosa Yacht Club cruise - 14 nights in the fabulous Caribbean with no sea days. The cruise included return charter flights from Gatwick operated by Virgin Atlantic which allowed for twilight check in between 5 pm and 9pm the evening prior. Flight seat selection was not available and was pre allocated by MSC and issued at Virgin check-in. Our outgoing flight was delayed by almost 2 hours and the return flight was the notorious VS610 quarantined flight mentioned in the media. Virgin Cabin staff had contracted norovirus prior to boarding the flight and we all suffered massive delays as a consequence. We had good seats in the upper deck of a 747-400 and the next time we saw our luggage was in our cruise cabin. On landing we went straight to awaiting buses direct to the ship without entering Barbados Airport terminal. Being in Yacht Club we were fast tracked aboard with no queuing which the general crowd had to endure. Everyone had the same seats on the return flight. Barbados Immigration was processed onboard at 9.30 on the final day of the cruise without any queing chaperoned by our bulter. The Yacht Club is a select area at the front of the ship with keycard entry comprising of about 70 cabins with a maximum occupancy of 160 people. It has a separate lounge and a sun deck with a small pool, two jacuzzis and a bar which also serve an extremely small buffet. The lounge also has a small area with a few snacks mostly crisps, peanuts, small pastries and fruit. This lounge provides a continental breakfast service whilst the pool deck expands on this with scrambled eggs, bacon and saugages. A full breakfast service was available in the Yacht Club restaurant which was at the opposite end of the ship which we found to be very poorly attended, maybe too far to walk for many. Lunch service was available at the same restaurant, also an extremely poor self service buffet was available at the One Pool deck bar. The accomodation was of a high standard although most YC1 suites were no bigger than a standard balcony cabin on most cruise ships. A big let-down was the shower being over the bath with an inadequate glass screen which resulted in water everywhere unless you reduced the water spray to an unacceptable level. The cabin facilities included a well-stocked free mini-bar and a small screen TV which was never used as channel choice was the worst we ever experienced. The bed and pillows were extremely comfortable as was the couch and the balcony although small was adequate for our use. Smoking is a major issue on this ship as the people smoked almost everywhere and compliance with the rules seldom enforced, including on balconies. The Yacht Club sun deck is large with plenty of hard loungers without any cushions which can be uncomfortable. There is a hand full of tables and chairs near the pool bar with most of the tables having a parasol cover but there is little or no shade for the loungers except near to the four shower cubicles on the port side which provides limited shade when the ship’s position allows but this is a no-go area as it is in a smokers paradise with shaded tables and chairs, always full of chain-smokers. During our cruise the sundeck was seldom used by most of the clientele. The Yacht Club ‘One Lounge' is a great space for relaxing, reading the paper with an excellent bar service. The design offers superb panoramic views of the ocean although sitting in the window seats can become very uncomfortable during the day and early evening hours due to the hot sun. A positive change by MSC is that the lounge is now smoke free and a great place to have a pre-dinner drink before the long track to the Yacht Club restaurant (Le Palmarie). There are two primary routes to the restaurant, one via deck 15 on the outside deck which is unappealing due to the wind and sometimes rain. The other is via deck 7 which is like engaging in a maul, fighting your way through the masses of people especially near the popular photo shop/gallery. Deck 7 design is rather poor in that you have to pass across a dance floor and along narrow link corridors between smoke ridden lounges/bars, a nightmare most evenings to get to the restaurant. You also need to get used to the ‘humming' body odour and take long breaths sometimes which we have never experienced to this level before, maybe the shower over the bath has a lot to answer for….! The Le Palmarie restaurant is said to be anytime dinning but in reality you have 2 choices either 6.30/7.00 or 8.30/9.00. We prefer the later time and on many occasions had to wait for table. The table service in the restaurant was of a poor standard due to inexperienced staff forever getting things wrong, sorry was a word often heard echoing around the room. The food in Le Palmarie was good and served at the mostly the correct temperature, sometimes excellent with a great choice of wines and off menu items were always available. The Maitre’D (PePe) is an extrovert with a great personality and always did his utmost to accomodate people’s wishes, he moves to pastures new at the end of the month so this restaurant could fall apart at the seams. Breakfast and dinner met our requirements but lunch at the One Pool was a disgrace and a major letdown. The alternative speciality restaurant onboard (Eataly) was always empty and looked like a cafeteria with uncovered white plastic tables and chairs. It was so uninviting that we never bothered with the complimentary meal offered to us, shame real. The other restaurants and buffets on the ship were so crowded that no way could it be classed as an enjoyable experience. Our 14 night Caribbean itinerary had no sea days which was very appealing, a new island everyday except Saturdays and Sundays. The cruise had three basic home ports where passengers embarked and disembarked, Barbados , Martinique and Guadeloupe. On our cruise the major passenger changes occurred at Martinique where masses of black French people embarked many local residents of Martinique which became a booze cruise, we were glad for the seclusion of the yacht club. We discovered that MSC had put out a promotion on Martinique to fill empty spaces at very discounted rates which obviously encouraged the many. Most of the Islands we had visited many times before and remain enjoyable except for Trinidad and Dominica where we stayed aboard. We really enjoyed the cruise and met great company. Finally, the question ‘Would we cruise MSC again' - Definitely not in the general part of the ship, it is too crowded with a serious clash of cultures with many shortcomings. As for the Yacht Club again probably not, the main negatives for us are MSC’s liberal approach to SMOKING and the lack of shade on the deck which is a major design flaw of this class of ship. Both could be rectified but MSC being an Italian company seams unable to adapt, so default to the status quo which will be their downfall in the British and American markets.

Yacht Club - room for improvement

MSC Preziosa Cruise Review by mickey89

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Yacht Club Deluxe Suite
We have never cruised MSC before but have experience many other cruise lines including a few of the premier lines. Our favourite cruise line has been Celebrity but due to their ever increasing prices have been drawn to MSC. We were offered Black Card membership due to their loyalty match although the only valuable element was the 5% discount, all other perks were meaningless for people in the Yacht Club.

We choose a Preziosa Yacht Club cruise - 14 nights in the fabulous Caribbean with no sea days. The cruise included return charter flights from Gatwick operated by Virgin Atlantic which allowed for twilight check in between 5 pm and 9pm the evening prior. Flight seat selection was not available and was pre allocated by MSC and issued at Virgin check-in. Our outgoing flight was delayed by almost 2 hours and the return flight was the notorious VS610 quarantined flight mentioned in the media. Virgin Cabin staff had contracted norovirus prior to boarding the flight and we all suffered massive delays as a consequence.

We had good seats in the upper deck of a 747-400 and the next time we saw our luggage was in our cruise cabin. On landing we went straight to awaiting buses direct to the ship without entering Barbados Airport terminal. Being in Yacht Club we were fast tracked aboard with no queuing which the general crowd had to endure. Everyone had the same seats on the return flight. Barbados Immigration was processed onboard at 9.30 on the final day of the cruise without any queing chaperoned by our bulter.

The Yacht Club is a select area at the front of the ship with keycard entry comprising of about 70 cabins with a maximum occupancy of 160 people. It has a separate lounge and a sun deck with a small pool, two jacuzzis and a bar which also serve an extremely small buffet. The lounge also has a small area with a few snacks mostly crisps, peanuts, small pastries and fruit. This lounge provides a continental breakfast service whilst the pool deck expands on this with scrambled eggs, bacon and saugages. A full breakfast service was available in the Yacht Club restaurant which was at the opposite end of the ship which we found to be very poorly attended, maybe too far to walk for many. Lunch service was available at the same restaurant, also an extremely poor self service buffet was available at the One Pool deck bar.

The accomodation was of a high standard although most YC1 suites were no bigger than a standard balcony cabin on most cruise ships. A big let-down was the shower being over the bath with an inadequate glass screen which resulted in water everywhere unless you reduced the water spray to an unacceptable level. The cabin facilities included a well-stocked free mini-bar and a small screen TV which was never used as channel choice was the worst we ever experienced. The bed and pillows were extremely comfortable as was the couch and the balcony although small was adequate for our use. Smoking is a major issue on this ship as the people smoked almost everywhere and compliance with the rules seldom enforced, including on balconies.

The Yacht Club sun deck is large with plenty of hard loungers without any cushions which can be uncomfortable. There is a hand full of tables and chairs near the pool bar with most of the tables having a parasol cover but there is little or no shade for the loungers except near to the four shower cubicles on the port side which provides limited shade when the ship’s position allows but this is a no-go area as it is in a smokers paradise with shaded tables and chairs, always full of chain-smokers. During our cruise the sundeck was seldom used by most of the clientele.

The Yacht Club ‘One Lounge' is a great space for relaxing, reading the paper with an excellent bar service. The design offers superb panoramic views of the ocean although sitting in the window seats can become very uncomfortable during the day and early evening hours due to the hot sun. A positive change by MSC is that the lounge is now smoke free and a great place to have a pre-dinner drink before the long track to the Yacht Club restaurant (Le Palmarie). There are two primary routes to the restaurant, one via deck 15 on the outside deck which is unappealing due to the wind and sometimes rain. The other is via deck 7 which is like engaging in a maul, fighting your way through the masses of people especially near the popular photo shop/gallery. Deck 7 design is rather poor in that you have to pass across a dance floor and along narrow link corridors between smoke ridden lounges/bars, a nightmare most evenings to get to the restaurant. You also need to get used to the ‘humming' body odour and take long breaths sometimes which we have never experienced to this level before, maybe the shower over the bath has a lot to answer for….!

The Le Palmarie restaurant is said to be anytime dinning but in reality you have 2 choices either 6.30/7.00 or 8.30/9.00. We prefer the later time and on many occasions had to wait for table. The table service in the restaurant was of a poor standard due to inexperienced staff forever getting things wrong, sorry was a word often heard echoing around the room. The food in Le Palmarie was good and served at the mostly the correct temperature, sometimes excellent with a great choice of wines and off menu items were always available. The Maitre’D (PePe) is an extrovert with a great personality and always did his utmost to accomodate people’s wishes, he moves to pastures new at the end of the month so this restaurant could fall apart at the seams. Breakfast and dinner met our requirements but lunch at the One Pool was a disgrace and a major letdown. The alternative speciality restaurant onboard (Eataly) was always empty and looked like a cafeteria with uncovered white plastic tables and chairs. It was so uninviting that we never bothered with the complimentary meal offered to us, shame real. The other restaurants and buffets on the ship were so crowded that no way could it be classed as an enjoyable experience.

Our 14 night Caribbean itinerary had no sea days which was very appealing, a new island everyday except Saturdays and Sundays. The cruise had three basic home ports where passengers embarked and disembarked, Barbados , Martinique and Guadeloupe. On our cruise the major passenger changes occurred at Martinique where masses of black French people embarked many local residents of Martinique which became a booze cruise, we were glad for the seclusion of the yacht club. We discovered that MSC had put out a promotion on Martinique to fill empty spaces at very discounted rates which obviously encouraged the many. Most of the Islands we had visited many times before and remain enjoyable except for Trinidad and Dominica where we stayed aboard.

We really enjoyed the cruise and met great company. Finally, the question ‘Would we cruise MSC again' -

Definitely not in the general part of the ship, it is too crowded with a serious clash of cultures with many shortcomings.

As for the Yacht Club again probably not, the main negatives for us are MSC’s liberal approach to SMOKING and the lack of shade on the deck which is a major design flaw of this class of ship. Both could be rectified but MSC being an Italian company seams unable to adapt, so default to the status quo which will be their downfall in the British and American markets.
mickey89’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Yacht Club Deluxe Suite
Cabin YC1 15004
Ridiculous to be called a Suite - its a normal balcony cabin by cruising standards.
Balcony adequate and has metal lower half below balustrade.
Shower over the bath is a terrible due to inadequate shielding for water spillage.
Great fully stocked free mini-bar
Poor choice of TV channels with a extremely small sized TV
Bed and pillows extremely comfortable
Push carpeting and very comfortable furnishings.
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