I started off this trip by traveling to Orlando/Disney. We spent a night at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I chose to do this because not only did I want to extend my vacation, but airfare was cheaper flying into Orlando. We rented a car and drove to the Pembroke Pines Hampton Inn. We Iove the freedom of having a car the day before a cruise so that I can shop and pick up some last minute items. Many Florida car rental companies do not have a one way fee for instate travel. We rented from Avis through the Hilton Honors website and got a great deal. The night before the cruise was a Saturday night, so the hotel was not cheap. We paid $199 a night. However, the hotel was clean and the breakfast the next day was nice. We took the car to the Miami airport to return it and paid $27 for a taxi to the port. Avis has a free shuttle but we prefer the cab as we tend to pack heavy and enjoy having help with the luggage. The taxi driver dropped us off in front of the white Yacht Club tent where the butlers and porters immediately assisted us with the luggage and escorted us onto the ship to the Yacht club waiting area. Upon entry to the waiting area, we were given champagne, canapes and chocolates while we had a short wait to get our sea card and wrist band. The butlers then escorted us onto the ship to the top sail lounge where our personal butler Mevin took over. He was amazing. He showed us to our room. Asked us what our preferences were for the week. He restocked my minibar with all of the Coke Zero I could drink (I am an addict) and filled the fruit bowl with my husband's favorite fruits. Through the week, he restocked these daily. In addition, every night he brought us special treats like chocolate covered strawberries and Macarons. During the course of the week, we mainly dined at the Yacht Club restaurant and at the grill on the private pool deck. Staff were very attentive. In addition, we ate at Butcher's Cut, the steak house. I highly recommend it. It was one of the best meals of the week. During the course of the day, there were always delicious snacks and chocolates available in the top sail lounge. We only left the Yacht club area most days for shows or restaurants. It truly is a relaxing experience and a ship within a ship. Being a person who enjoys the Haven on NCL, I would contend that the yacht Club product is better and more reasonably priced. We went to both Cirque shows. I enjoyed them both. I would say that you should really only do the cocktail show. The dinner part of the show was not great. If you sail in the Yacht Club, your butler will take you past the lines right before the show and seat you. The nightly shows were very good. The quality of the talent was superb. We stopped at Roatan where we went on an island tour and stopped at Daniel Johnson's monkey and sloth preserve. I got to hug a sloth. It was a bucketlist experience. Truly amazing. We did not get off the ship in Belize but stayed on the ship and spent much of the day in the thermal suite, There are 2 bubble pools, multiple saunas, rain showers and relaxation rooms. It was very nice but not as good as the breakaway Class thermal Suites on NCL. The Yacht Club pool area is nice. The pool is great. It is about 4 and a half feet. There is one whirlpool on this deck as well. There was plenty of seating. If you can't find an open seat, one of the butlers will take care of it for you. In Costa Maya, we went on the Nohoch Cay beach break. The food was good. The servers were attentive. However, the drinks were obviously made with not top shelf liquor. The chairs were broken down and uncomfortable. There was a lot of cigar smoking going on making it difficult to breath. I would not go back or recommend spending the money for anyone to buy this beach break. We have been to Maya Chan twice in the past and feel that their product is far superior. Our last stop was Ocean Cay, the private island. We got off the shi. We were escorted to a tram and dropped off in the yacht club area. The butlers provided us with an umbrella and towels at our lounger. Our drink package extended to the island. The butlers also waited on us throughout the day. We ate lunch at the yacht Club restaurant on the Island. The food was good. At the end of the day, they took us back to the ship. The island is beautiful. There are several beaches with activities for everyone. I loved it. Debarkation was fast and easy. We grabbed a porter who assisted with our bags. He got us a taxi and back to reality. If you can afford it, the yacht club experience is the way to go. MSC will status match you from other cruise line. In addition, if you are a government employee, they will give you an extra 5%. The one thing you should also know, this is a European line. As a USA citizen, you may be in the minority and will hear all messages in multiple languages. There is no comedy also because of this. I found the difference in travel to be refreshing.
I have seen people complain that the cabin is small. It is smaller than the NCL Haven rooms and the bed is a queen instead of a king. The bed was very comfortable and sheets were luxurious. They will bring you whatever kind and amount of pillows that you want. We liked having the couch in the room. The balcony was a decent size though the chairs a bit uncomfortable on the balcony. The butler will bring extra hangers if you need them. Me and my husband over pack and had plenty of space. The room had an espresso maker that my husband loved. There was a rain shower in the bathroom. Yacht club provides shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotions in little containers on the sink area. In the shower, there are shampoo and soap dispensers. I brought my own conditioner and used it as I didn't think there conditioner detangled my hair well enough.
We booked through Charlie Miller Tours. We were supposed to do the beach and Daniel Johnson's Money and Sloth Preserve. The weather was bad so our tour guide took us to Daniel Johnson's and then on a city tour. It was a private driver which was great. he stopped when we wanted him to stop and waited for us when we were visiting with the monkey's, Parrots and sloths. This was a truly amazing experience. I help a sloth!!!!. The animals were well cared for. The staff there was responsive. The place was clean. Daniel Johnson's was wonderful Would highly recommend it. I would recommend this company to anyone. Very good service.