MSC Yacht Club Luxury Experience Aboard MSC Splendida

As our motor coach turned a corner in Toulouse, France, I had my first glimpse of the MSC Splendida. Eighteen decks tall, the ship towered over the private boats and yachts docked next to her. Somewhere high at the bow was the MSC Yacht Club, my home for the next week.

A street in Toulon, France with cruise ship.
A street in Toulon, France with cruise ship. SHERRY LASKIN/CRUISE MAVEN

MSC Yacht Club May Spoil You for Life

From a distance, MSC Splendida looked like any sparkling white, enormous cruise ship you’d see in most ports. This cruise, however, I wouldn’t be mixing and mingling with 4,000 passengers.

My stateroom, suite actually, was located in the luxurious and private Yacht Club area. That’s where the amazing difference begins between a standard stateroom and Yacht Club.

MSC Splendida docked in Toulon, France.
MSC Splendida docked in Toulon, France. SHERRY LASKIN/CRUISE MAVEN

MSC Splendida (along with 12 other MSC ships) sports an exclusive hideaway that rivals any small luxury ship afloat. If you haven’t already heard the term, MSC calls the Yacht Club concept, “a ship within a ship” and they couldn’t be more accurate.

MSC Splendida Yacht Club Experience

There are only ninety-nine Yacht Club staterooms on MSC Spendida, all located at the very bow of the ship, mostly on decks 15 and 16. Insert your keycard into the elevator and it’s a non-stop ride to your floor. As soon as you step off the elevator and into the Yacht Club, you’ll think you were transported to a small private yacht.

Exclusive Areas Only for Yacht Club Guests

The Top Sail lounge is your private retreat where you are greeted by name upon entering. This was by far my favorite hang-out for my week onboard.

MSC Splendida butler serving tea in Topsail Lounge.
MSC Splendida butler serving tea in Topsail Lounge. SHERRYLASKIN/CRUISE MAVEN

On this ship, the Top Sail Lounge is located on deck 15 and is open 24 hrs. At various times during the day there is a light breakfast and lunch, tea time, pre-dinner snacks, light dinner and midnight snacks.

You couldn’t ask for a more lovely location to relax and unwind after a busy day visiting amazing ancient and historic cities. Complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in hand, your view of the city from the Top Sail lounge at sailaway is breathtaking.

Sunset in the Med aboard the MSC Splendida
My first Mediterranean sunset from L’Olivo restaurant aboard the MSC Splendida. SHERRY LASKIN/CRUISE MAVEN

Dining in Yacht Club on Splendida

Since I generally travel solo, a conspicuous table for one or a seat at a table for 10 is generally expected. As an MSC Yacht Club guest aboard Splendida, the specialty restaurant, L’Olivo is exclusive, complimentary and a gracious alternative to any cruise ship main dining room.

Marco, my waiter, managed to hold a window-side table for me every night. Each night, a glass of wine was waiting for me at my table, even before I was seated. O’livo, is located at the very aft of the ship, overlooking the Mediterranean. At sunset, the view is spectacular.

Yacht Club Suite Advantages

Did I mention a private butler? Every Yacht Club suite 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.

My luxurious Yacht Club suite aboard the MSC Splendida.
My luxurious Yacht Club suite aboard the MSC Splendida. SHERRY LASKIN/CRUISE MAVEN

Insider tip:  Choose a Yacht Club stateroom located on the same deck or one deck above the Concierge Desk and the Top Sail Lounge, if only for the convenience of proximity.

Whether replacing items from my complimentary mini-bar (yes, complimentary!) or just choosing a different pillow from the pillow menu, Vinod, my butler, was delightful, polite and intent on doing his “butlering.” He even re-tied the sash on my bathrobe, which I had left hanging on a hook.

Yacht Club Size Advantages

MSC Splendida is a large ship, right between the size of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and the Carnival Dream. At full capacity MSC Splendida can carry up to 4300 passengers. But the Yacht Club, with only about 200 passengers, gives an entirely different feel to being on a mega-ship.

You’ll never have to search for a seat in the Top Sail Lounge or stake out your pool-side lounge chair at 7am for a place at The One Pool, your private outdoor pool area.

The One Pool also has The One Bar for an alfresco cocktail or even a morning bite, open from 7am to 7pm. Located on Deck 18 at the very bow, this spot also affords a perfect vantage point on a balmy sailaway evening.

You can enjoy the same light snacks and beverages out there as in the Top Sail Lounge.

The One Bar at the One Pool deck area aboard the MSC Splendida.
The One Bar at the One Pool deck area aboard the MSC Splendida

If you are planning a Mediterranean cruise and want to experience a slice of real Europe and travel in luxury without the typical luxury price tag, reserve a cabin in the MSC Yacht Club aboard the Italian-owned MSC Splendida or any of the other MSC ships with a Yacht Club.

The exclusive One Pool deck area aboard the MSC Splendida.
The exclusive One Pool deck area aboard the MSC Splendida. SHERRY LASKIN/CRUISE MAVEN

Why Book an MSC Yacht Club Suite

You’ll be pampered and privileged as on no other mass market cruise line. The MSC Yacht Club truly offers the elegance and intimacy of a small ship but with big cruise ship amenities.

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  1. Hi Graham,
    Thank you very much for reading my MSC Yacht Club article. IMO, the Yacht Club is worth every penny. And wow for you booking the duplex! Enjoy every minute! Thanks again!

  2. Excellent review. We have just booked one of the duplex suites on MSC Virtuosa in 2025. It looks amazing, luxury everywhere. Taken note of the butler will do all for you!
    Can not wait. Keep up the good work

  3. Hi Tina,
    Thanks for reading my MSC article. I think everyone would love a free upgrade! Happy cruising!

  4. Would love a free up grade….We are booked for 10th April but now we want to try the Yacht Club experience

  5. Hi Deann,

    Glad to know your MSC Divina experience was so good! And thanks for your honest assessment of your spa experience.


  6. Hi Michele,

    Thank you for reading the article and your enthusiastic comment! And thank you for the update on the age for the kids’ club.

    Best regards,


  7. Hi Colleen,

    Thanks for your nice comment. Yes…sign me up again, too! Truly an excellent experience and even better now since the Yacht Club dining rooms are only for Yacht Club guests now.

    Sherry/Cruise Maven

Comments are closed.