May 19, 2024

How MSC Yacht Club the 6th Largest Cruise Ship in the World Feels Like a Boutique Hotel

Mega cruise ships have so much to offer, like dining options, activities and entertainment of all kinds, but they can be overwhelming for luxury lovers who want to take advantage of all those things without being dealing with lines and crowds.

MSC has decided exactly how to appeal to those guests with The Yacht Club, its newest and largest onboard luxury ship to date, MSC World Europe. With a gross tonnage of 215,863 and the capacity to hold 6,672 passengers and 2,138 crew, the world class MSC Europa has already taken her place on the list of largest cruise ships, coming in at number six – but yet somehow the Yacht Club is. it still manages to provide the intimacy and exceptional service of a small boutique hotel.

With 21 fun decks, including the longest dry slide at sea, the ship is huge – which I don’t normally find appealing. I agreed to go with two of my friends on a week trip to France, Spain and Italy while we stayed at the Yacht Club, and it was a great experience. I was so impressed with the accommodations, the benefits and, above all, the service that I am ready to plan another trip. Here’s why:

Butlers and concierges of the Yacht Club

The amenities, from its extras to its exclusivity, are top notch but the Yacht Club’s best kept secret is its excellent service. Every single member of staff is dedicated to meeting the needs of their guests and ensuring they have the best holiday, and praise goes to Yacht Club Director Melania Mauro, for guiding them with professionalism and gracious understanding.

Each Yacht Club suite has its own butler and Khin was the main reason for the success of our trip. I still feel bad that we didn’t get to say goodbye properly and thank her for always being there longer and longer. She booked us reservations, walked us into sold out shows and even took a secret shortcut to personally escort my friend to her bus when she was running late. She thoughtfully decorated my other friend’s room for her birthday and made sure we all knew where we were going to be on time for activities and tours we signed up for. She was the gold standard you would expect in Yacht Club butchers.

The Yacht Club also has a concierge desk for any guest requests and let me tell you the people behind that desk have the patience of saints. Shout out to Jimmy for always answering our stupid questions with a smile, helping us work out schedules and miraculously having fully booked shore excursions.

Darwin, in the Yacht Club restaurant, made sure my friends’ vegan and vegetarian needs were met, always coming over to check in and chat. I wish we could send him his favorite Philly cheesesteak to say thank you.

Suites The Yacht Club Suites

My deluxe balcony room on the 16thth floor was large and well appointed, and casually elegant in neutral shades of brown and gray. The king size bed was just the right balance of firm and soft and I was able to choose my own pillow from an extensive menu.

There was a ton of closet space, with lots of shelves and drawers, and the fridge was refilled every day with my favorite drinks. I loved returning to a bowl of fresh fruit every day and night snacks and a square of chocolate on my bedside table in the evening. Yacht Club guests will receive a full-sized welcome bottle of their favorite wine or spirit.

Since my friends were in the room next to me, we asked for the partition between our balconies to be opened so that we could walk back and forth to see each other. We spent many nights sitting and talking together outside and it was one of the most special parts of our trip. This is something to consider if you are traveling with friends or family.

What is included in the Yacht Club

As The Yacht Club has its own restaurant, lounge, swimming pool and sun deck, it truly is an oasis. The private restaurant and lounge are connected by a stunning Swarovski crystal staircase creating a gorgeous two-story space with floor-to-ceiling windows and an open, airy feel. The lounge is a great place to enjoy afternoon tea, a cocktail or just the views.

A drink package is included for guests of The Yacht Club and, although Diet Coke was our drink of choice, we got a kick out of visiting the hidden speakeasy (sorry, you’ll have to score yourself an invite) and time to spent in the Raj Polo Tea House. The under-the-radar venue is a lovely place to settle in with a pot of tea and some freshly baked sweets, all included.

Another center we liked was the Aurea Spa. While massages and facials are extra (and well worth it), Yacht Club guests get free access to the Thermal Suite – a stunning area with everything from saunas to snow rooms to experience showers and a variety of pools and baths. We tried everything and spent a lot of time in the snow room because it’s hot in Europe in the summer! It was so lively.

On a ship as large as MSC World Europa, one of the best perks of The Yacht Club was our own pool and sun deck. We didn’t have to brave it before the crowds arrived because there was so much space, whether we prefer seats in the sun or the shade. It was a much more relaxed experience.

The benefits also continued off the ship, as we were given priority boarding and disembarking as well as priority shore excursions. We were escorted down to the buses, where we first boarded, and welcomed back by the Yacht Club’s dedicated butler, who ushered us in front of the security line. We felt like celebrities.

The food

The meals in the Yacht Club restaurant were delicious and plentiful but we also opted for a dining package which allowed us to try some of the ship’s signature specialty restaurants. We loved the casual vibe of Kaito Teppanyaki Grill and Sushi Bar and Hola! Tacos & Cantina and Michelin-starred chef Niklas Ekstedt’s green restaurant, Chef’s Garden Kitchen, which has the world’s first hydroponic micro-farm at sea, noticed them. I went all out, choosing a lobster and Wagyu dinner, and it was totally worth the extra fees.

We also made frequent stops at the aptly named Pizza & Burger and were too eager to get a slice or fries. Because it’s included in the cruise, it’s impossible to resist a quick bite.

The atmosphere

MSC is a European cruise ship company so it’s no surprise that World Europa was filled with mostly European guests. It was amazing to hear so many languages ​​being spoken and I loved listening to the songs they chose to sing during karaoke. I may have to create a new international Spotify playlist now.

The only downside to this is that, because smoking is more acceptable to Europeans than to Americans, there are more places to smoke on this ship – including an indoor bar – than on any other one I’ve come across before. We had to call the concierge many times when we saw guests smoking on their balconies (something that is not allowed at all cruise ship). We even saw a woman trying to sneak an e-cigarette during lunch in the restaurant. I understand that cultures are different but fire is universally recognized as a serious risk on cruise ships and that was disappointing. We were shocked to see one man throw his cigarette socks into the ocean – which goes against all MSC eco-conscious policies – and were pleased to see the people in charge taking our complaints seriously and alerts for those guests.

Sustainability

I understand that MSC is committed to promoting responsible cruising and has set a target of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Europe of the world It is MSC’s most sustainable ship yet, powered by cleaner fuel and integrating green technology – such as wastewater treatment and underwater noise-reducing propellers – throughout.

I’m already checking out new itineraries for another MSC cruise. The Yacht Club is available on many of their ships and I’m looking forward to discovering all they have to offer – and then going back to my little peaceful corner.

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