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We chose MSC Seaside Yacht Club (again) based on a pretty good experience last year - and a limited number of other luxury ship-within-a-ship opportunities - we looked at NCL Haven and Celebrity suite class. Based on availability and price MSC won out. We selected and recommend a starboard-side room – the balcony is in the shade for almost the entire trip and it makes room service breakfast a wonderful experience (a real table on the balcony would help - there's only footrest). Our experience last year (https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=624033) wasn't perfect but it was pretty good - and with experience we felt we would enjoy YC even more, The really good news is service in the YC area is still exemplary - at the pool, on the sundeck, in the lounge and restaurant everyone is friendly, efficient and effective. We can't say enough good things. And the food in the YC restaurant is better than last year – always ask the server, they’ll know what’s good that night. We also thoroughly enjoyed our excursions booked through MSC: Jamaica - we did the Dunn's River Falls/Mystic Mountain Bob Sled combination. Not our first time to Dunn's River - but always quite an adventure climbing the falls. The Mystic Mountain Bobsled run was also a blast (don't use the brake - just push forward for a fast and smooth ride), and the sky-ride (chair lift) up the mountain gave some fantastic views (pic). Grand Cayman - Atlantis submarine (pic) - about an hour submerged going around the reef off Grand Cayman, down to 115 feet deep - lots of fish to see, even a turtle - quite a good time. Cozumel - MSC charters a ferry to take excursions to Playa Del Carmen - about 575 passengers so there's a bit of a wait for loading and unloading. We did the Chaak Tun cave (pic) "snorkeling" - snorkeling is in quotes because you don't need a mask or snorkel as you're in a life vest the entire time in the caves, and the water is so clear you don't need the mask. This is an absolutely wonderful experience and if you're up to it (there's a little climbing, and stooping low under rocks) we highly recommend it. There's about 90 minutes after the swim to shop or eat in Playa Del Carmen before you have to board the ferry - no way to go back early. Now the less than fantastic experiences - YC guests are supposed to have priority embarkation/debarkation. The YC butlers will escort you to the brow to checkout - here's where the problems have started - for some reason the polite security staff from our last trip are all gone - and their replacements didn't get etiquette lessons. While escorting a group of YC passengers to the brow one of the assistants shouted "I am in control here" and stopped the butler (we didn't see any reason - any reason to stop the group). The "priority" embarkation was being escorted to the same line everyone else waited in. And in all our interactions with security at the checkpoints, only once was there a polite greeting. Not at all like our experience last year. - YC Guests are supposed to have a priority system for the forward elevators. They system is still there, but it is not working. We discussed this with the YC Director, he seemed quite surprised, which seems strange since all the butlers knew the system did not work. - The spa. My wife went in to have a nail color change, waited for 2 ½ hours drying time - and the polish ran off in the shower! So she went back and got it fixed, waited over three hours, and it ran right off again. Don't know what they were using, but we contacted the spa manager and he personally scheduled an appointment for 7 pm to get it fixed again - and around 735 we got into the nail salon - but at least this time a sloppy French color job held when washed. For this, the elevator issue, and the security incidents, we were comp'ed a couples massage by the YC Director - scheduled with the spa - when we showed up the couples room was in use - "can you wait?" - we took separate massages. - Last year our Butler was simply fantastic - certainly one of the reasons we did enjoy YC - and in fact he was on-board again, but promoted to assistant chief butler, and the newly promoted butler assigned to our room just wasn't up to his standards - she's very nice, personable, but not up to our expectations, failing to re-stock the room/mini-bar on several occasions (until we discussed it with the YC Director), plus some other misses on services we had requested. - Service outside of YC on the ship was not up to the standards we experienced last year. Sat down at a couple of the lounges, waited 10 minutes - there were servers but they were apparently overworked. - We had dinner reservations at Butcher's Cut (premium dining) - we sat down, ordered, then left once we looked around as there was crumbs and other food residue on the table at the edges of the placemats, and enough dirt, food and dust on the window sill next to us to write "MSC" in the dirt and read it clearly (pic). If we were to speculate on the problems we saw this year - last year the Seaside was brand new – and perhaps MSC had all their best middle-managers onboard to give the ship a good start – but this year those managers are gone – and the current group is not paying as close attention to the details. We did have a discussion with the YC Director about our concerns, and he acknowledged problems and indicated they were getting a new chef in the YC restaurant, and updating their embarkation/debarkation polices to better serve YC guests – but improvements in the future don’t help current guests. We still recommend MSC YC and the Seaside – but with caveats - it's not as good as it could be.

Seaside Yacht Club Was Better the First Time Around

MSC Seaside Cruise Review by MiramarQM

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Yacht Club Deluxe Suite
We chose MSC Seaside Yacht Club (again) based on a pretty good experience last year - and a limited number of other luxury ship-within-a-ship opportunities - we looked at NCL Haven and Celebrity suite class. Based on availability and price MSC won out. We selected and recommend a starboard-side room – the balcony is in the shade for almost the entire trip and it makes room service breakfast a wonderful experience (a real table on the balcony would help - there's only footrest). Our experience last year (https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=624033) wasn't perfect but it was pretty good - and with experience we felt we would enjoy YC even more,

The really good news is service in the YC area is still exemplary - at the pool, on the sundeck, in the lounge and restaurant everyone is friendly, efficient and effective. We can't say enough good things. And the food in the YC restaurant is better than last year – always ask the server, they’ll know what’s good that night.

We also thoroughly enjoyed our excursions booked through MSC:

Jamaica - we did the Dunn's River Falls/Mystic Mountain Bob Sled combination. Not our first time to Dunn's River - but always quite an adventure climbing the falls. The Mystic Mountain Bobsled run was also a blast (don't use the brake - just push forward for a fast and smooth ride), and the sky-ride (chair lift) up the mountain gave some fantastic views (pic).

Grand Cayman - Atlantis submarine (pic) - about an hour submerged going around the reef off Grand Cayman, down to 115 feet deep - lots of fish to see, even a turtle - quite a good time.

Cozumel - MSC charters a ferry to take excursions to Playa Del Carmen - about 575 passengers so there's a bit of a wait for loading and unloading. We did the Chaak Tun cave (pic) "snorkeling" - snorkeling is in quotes because you don't need a mask or snorkel as you're in a life vest the entire time in the caves, and the water is so clear you don't need the mask. This is an absolutely wonderful experience and if you're up to it (there's a little climbing, and stooping low under rocks) we highly recommend it. There's about 90 minutes after the swim to shop or eat in Playa Del Carmen before you have to board the ferry - no way to go back early.

Now the less than fantastic experiences

- YC guests are supposed to have priority embarkation/debarkation. The YC butlers will escort you to the brow to checkout - here's where the problems have started - for some reason the polite security staff from our last trip are all gone - and their replacements didn't get etiquette lessons. While escorting a group of YC passengers to the brow one of the assistants shouted "I am in control here" and stopped the butler (we didn't see any reason - any reason to stop the group). The "priority" embarkation was being escorted to the same line everyone else waited in. And in all our interactions with security at the checkpoints, only once was there a polite greeting. Not at all like our experience last year.

- YC Guests are supposed to have a priority system for the forward elevators. They system is still there, but it is not working. We discussed this with the YC Director, he seemed quite surprised, which seems strange since all the butlers knew the system did not work.

- The spa. My wife went in to have a nail color change, waited for 2 ½ hours drying time - and the polish ran off in the shower! So she went back and got it fixed, waited over three hours, and it ran right off again. Don't know what they were using, but we contacted the spa manager and he personally scheduled an appointment for 7 pm to get it fixed again - and around 735 we got into the nail salon - but at least this time a sloppy French color job held when washed. For this, the elevator issue, and the security incidents, we were comp'ed a couples massage by the YC Director - scheduled with the spa - when we showed up the couples room was in use - "can you wait?" - we took separate massages.

- Last year our Butler was simply fantastic - certainly one of the reasons we did enjoy YC - and in fact he was on-board again, but promoted to assistant chief butler, and the newly promoted butler assigned to our room just wasn't up to his standards - she's very nice, personable, but not up to our expectations, failing to re-stock the room/mini-bar on several occasions (until we discussed it with the YC Director), plus some other misses on services we had requested.

- Service outside of YC on the ship was not up to the standards we experienced last year. Sat down at a couple of the lounges, waited 10 minutes - there were servers but they were apparently overworked.

- We had dinner reservations at Butcher's Cut (premium dining) - we sat down, ordered, then left once we looked around as there was crumbs and other food residue on the table at the edges of the placemats, and enough dirt, food and dust on the window sill next to us to write "MSC" in the dirt and read it clearly (pic).

If we were to speculate on the problems we saw this year - last year the Seaside was brand new – and perhaps MSC had all their best middle-managers onboard to give the ship a good start – but this year those managers are gone – and the current group is not paying as close attention to the details. We did have a discussion with the YC Director about our concerns, and he acknowledged problems and indicated they were getting a new chef in the YC restaurant, and updating their embarkation/debarkation polices to better serve YC guests – but improvements in the future don’t help current guests.

We still recommend MSC YC and the Seaside – but with caveats - it's not as good as it could be.
MiramarQM’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Yacht Club Deluxe Suite
Cabin YC1 18006
We chose a starboard side cabin as it has shade on the balcony in the morning and we have room service breakfast on the balcony every morning.

The cabin is very roomy, lots of closet space, lots of drawers - we were able to get extra (wire) hangers from our butler.

The bed is comfortable, but in the queen configuration there was a bit of a dip between the two separate mattresses. Pillows were comfortable, bedding clean and changed frequently.

The head area is quite larger, with a large shower with rainhead and handheld shower heads. Plenty of counter top space and some shelves. The sink faucet leaked and wouldn't completely turn off some times - we asked for a plumber to fix it and it was improved - but it was an annoyance for most of the cruise.

The balcony is large - with two chairs and a footrest - this is the only complaint - that footrest is not an effective table - a table would help with dining on the balcony. The only complaint here is the rail height on the balcony is just about eye level when you're seated - hard to see the horizon.

There's fruit and a bottle of champagne in the room when you arrive, and bathrobes and slippers.
Playa Paraiso Deck Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cozumel
    MSC charters a ferry to take excursions to Playa Del Carmen - about 575 passengers so there's a bit of a wait for loading and unloading. We did the Chaak Tun cave "snorkeling" experience - snorkeling is in quotes because you don't need a mask or snorkel as you're in a life vest the entire time in the caves, and the water is so clear you don't need the mask. This is an absolutely wonderful experience and if you're up to it (there's a little climbing, and stooping low under rocks) we highly recommend it. There's about 90 minutes after the swim to shop or eat in Playa Del Carmen before you have to board the ferry - no way to go back early
    View All 13,278 Cozumel Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Cozumel Cruise Port Review
  • Submarine Tour
    About an hour submerged going around the reef off Grand Cayman, down to 115 feet deep - lots of fish to see, even a turtle - quite a good time.
    View All 41 Submarine Tour Reviews
  • Bobsled Tour
    The Mystic Mountain Bobsled run was a blast (don't use the brake - just push forward for a fast and smooth ride), and the sky-ride (chair lift) up the mountain gave some fantastic views.
    View All 72 Bobsled Tour Reviews
  • Dunn's River Falls
    Not our first time to Dunn's River - but always quite an adventure climbing the falls.
    View All 251 Dunn's River Falls Reviews