MSC Cruises Yacht Club offers exclusive luxury
There’s no better time to write about an experience than when you’re totally immersed in it. Such was my week aboard the beautiful MSC Splendida, cruising a classic Mediterranean itinerary; tasting, exploring and thoroughly enjoying seven glorious days and six new, exciting ports.
For this cruise, I was a “member” of the MSC Yacht Club class – a private, “members-only” category of staterooms. Quite exclusive, very elegant. Very wonderful. Imagine having your own private lounge where you are greeted by name upon entering. Or a lovely tea-time to relax and unwind after returning from a busy day spent visiting amazing ancient and historic cities? Wouldn’t it be nice to stretch out on a deck chair that you didn’t have to “stake out” at 7am? Your private sunning and pool/whirlpool area is accessible only to Yacht Club members. Yes, this is all possible.
Since I often travel solo, a conspicuous table for one amidst a sea of hundreds of other tables for four, six or eight is generally expected. As a Yacht Club guest, the specialty restaurant, L’Olivo, is not only complimentary, it is a gracious retreat far from the madding crowd. Since other guests must pay to dine here, it is quiet, relaxed and comfortable. Choosing L’Olivo over the main dining venues, I have had incredible Mediterranean cuisine every night. Each night as I gazed out of the picture windows, I’d watch in amazement as an incredible crimson sun would slowly disappear into the azure Mediterranean Sea.
Did I mention your own private butler? Every Yacht Club stateroom includes a professionally trained butler at your beck and call. Having a butler is wonderful; seems he can’t do enough to make your cruise as pleasant as possible. While always available, they are never intrusive or bothersome. Whether replacing items from my complimentary mini-bar or just choosing a different pillow from the pillow menu, Vinod, my butler, is delightful, polite and intent on doing his “butlering.” Despite my protests about not having to re-tie the sash on my bathrobe that he neatly hangs up every morning, he happily goes about his tasks.
The MSC Splendida is a large ship, right between Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and the Carnival Dream. At full capacity the Splendida can carry up to 4300 passengers. The Yacht Club has a mere 99 cabins, all located forward on various decks. As a member, you have access to the private lounge, a private area in the main dining room (should you choose to dine there), a private sunning and swimming area and a private elevator to whisk you to the spa or to the lower floors I’m on deck15 and highly recommend deck 15 or 16 for close proximity to the concierge and Top Sail Lounge.
The Top Sail Lounge is open 24 hrs and at various times during the day there is a light breakfast and lunch, tea time, pre-dinner snacks, light dinner and midnight snacks. The One Bar at the private pool is open from 7am – 7pm and you can enjoy the same light meals and beverages out there as in the Top Sail Lounge.
If you are planning a Mediterranean cruise and want to experience a slice of real Europe, reserve a cabin in the Yacht Club aboard either the Italian-owned MSC Splendida or the MSC Fantasia. You’ll be pampered and privileged as on no other mass market cruise line. The MSC Yacht Club; a small ship feel with big ship’s amenities.
I’m editor and creator of CruiseMaven.com and a solo traveler who cruises the world on waves and wheels. As an avid cook, I collect recipes along the way from ships and places. I hope my articles, reviews, news and photos entertain, advise and inspire you to try solo travel and see the world without flying. Take a breath… stop for a meal and a glass of wine along the way.