This was our first cruise with MSC and we have previously sailed on over 20 cruises with various cruise lines (Princess, Carnival, NCL, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Oceania). We booked 2 Yacht Club deluxe cabins as my husband and I travelled with his son and daughter (ages 30 and 34).
We chose Yacht Club because we wanted to have the privacy and personalized experience of a small ship but still have access to all of the amenities and activities of a larger ship.
Pros: Embarkation in Barcelona was smooth. We were escorted by our butler to the Yacht Club lounge. The registration process was very fast and we were escorted to our cabins within 30 minutes. Luggage was delivered immediately.
The cabin was beautiful, immaculate, spacious and had plenty of storage. Balcony was large as was the bathroom.
Service was very good and staff was friendly but it was not better than what we received on other lines.
Yacht Club lounge and dining room are bright with fantastic views as it is located at the front of the ship.
The food was average to good but not excellent. I will not compare it to Oceania because they excel in their cuisine however, it was on par with MDR of other lines. If you enjoy fish and seafood, there are plenty of options on the menu daily.
We did not try the Yacht Club buffet on deck due to the weather. It was either too cold, windy or raining. The upper deck doesn’t have an enclosed area.
We tried the buffets on decks 8 and 16 for a couple of lunches but the food was average to below average in quality. Pizzas are very good.
Unfortunately, some passengers aren’t hygienic and were grabbing food with their hands. This is where Holland America and Oceania excel because staff serve the food to passengers at their buffet restaurants to avoid this situation.
Entertainment was excellent. We attended all shows and they were of professional quality as well as the entertainers in various lounges.
Cons: We purchased 2 shore excursions with MSC in Cinque Terre and in Rome. This is where things didn’t go well.
Cinque Terre: We were 45 minutes delayed in leaving for reasons unknown. First stop was a 45 minute stop in Portovenere which was beautiful and then we boarded a ferry to the Cinque Terre. The tour only included a stop in Monterosso however, the ferry service was not direct and therefore, we only had 1 hour to see the town . This was very disappointing because after spending most of the day travelling to get there, we had little time to visit.
Rome: The ship was delayed by 2 hours docking in Rome which meant that this impacted the tour. The description of the Grand Tour of Rome is deceptive. Our son and daughter said that they only spent 30 minutes at the Colleseum and didn’t have free time to see St. Peter’s Basilica. They were rushed through most points of interest and were asked to sign a waiver as the tour didn’t have time to go to the Trevi Fountain. Basically, they should have purchased tickets for the hop on hop off bus for a cheaper cost and they may have seen more on their own. The ship stayed in port longer to make up for the delayed arrival therefore, we couldn’t understand why this tour was so rushed.
We raised our concerns about both tours with the Yacht Club Concierge and it appeared that they were understanding and stated they would raise the matter with the shore excursions desk. We had asked for a partial credit. The concierge suggested we speak with the shore excursions manager as they were unable to resolve the matter.
This is where things declined for us. The assistant manager with shore excursions was very rude and argumentative with us. This resulted in us losing our temper as we were unable to resolve the issue in a calm and respectful manner. In all of our years of cruising, we have never had an employee speak to us in such a rude manner. We walked away and when we walked passed the concierge staff in Yacht Club, everyone avoided eye contact with us. This remained the situation until the last day of our cruise.
Bottom Line: in our opinion Yacht Club wasn’t worth the extra cost we paid in comparison to a mid luxury line such as Oceania and we had better food and service on Holland America last year on the Nieuw Amsterdam at an average cost.
Beautiful and spacious and plenty of storage.
We stayed in Barcelona for 2 days at the Gallery Hotel before the cruise and took an excellent half day city tour with Barcelona Day tours.
We took the train to Santa Margherita for 6 euros round trip and explored on our own as we had already been there. Lovely seaside town and you can take the local bus to Portofino which is only 10 minutes away.View All undefined undefined Reviews
National Park of the Cinque Terre- see above remarks.
See above remarksView All 349 City Tour Reviews
Private Tour with our excellent and informative guide, Dorothy.
We had a five hour tour of Cannes, St. Paul de Vence and Mougins. St. Paul is so beautiful and quaint. The views are fantastic and Dorothy provided very informative information and history of the town. We had additional time to have lunch and shop. There are many interesting shops and art galleries and everyone is very friendly and pleasant.
Mougins is quieter and less tourists but equally as pretty and charming.
We highly recommend this tour and Sunshine Riviera Tours. Robert Dahan was extremely professional and helpful during our booking process. All tours can be tailored to your interests and their drivers are licensed guides which only enhances the entire experience. Price was excellent and very good value.View All 13 St. Paul de Vence Walking Tour Reviews
We hired a taxi driver as we attempted to take the Hop on hop off bus but the line ups were too long. We managed to see some points of interest such as the Cathedral and Palace and downtown area. Palma is lovely and very walkable.