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MSC First Timer on Seascape (Yacht Club) - A Review

By momofmab , December 10, 2023 in MSC Cruises

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Hello fellow CC'ers!

I'm just back from Seascape (Miami/Cozumel/Grand Cayman/Jamaica/Ocean Cay).  I've learned so much from the reviews on here and want to pay it forward with one of my own - from a MSC first-timer perspective.  Plus, it seems that the other "Sea" ships get reviewed more often than Seascape.  No pics, sorry.  I'm a "live in the moment with my own two eyes" person.  There was a lot of "great" to this cruise and some "hit-or-miss/needs improvement", which I will highlight below.  Overall though, a nice, relaxing cruise.

My husband and I are in our mid 50's, recent empty nesters. We cruised heavily when our kids were young and were relegated to the typical crowded U.S. school break weeks.  With the kids launched, it's been nice to be able to be flexible about when we travel.  We've mostly traveled suite class (Royal, Owner's, Penthouse) on NCL & Royal (although we took a few years break from cruising to accommodate my younger daughter's travel sport schedule, so our suite experience is pre-Haven/Genie).  Our most recent cruise, prior to MSC, was in an IV balcony on X's Beyond (also our first time cruising them) and a generational family Christmas cruise in a junior suite on Royal's Brilliance.

A note about MSC's "Sea" ships - the "shore", "side" and "scape" names are so similar that after booking, I kept forgetting which one we were actually on.  Prior to our cruise, I'm pretty sure I joined the wrong roll calls and FB groups several times.  I had to keep reminding myself which "Sea" we were booked on.  Even while ON the Seascape (I think that's the one we were on...) and meeting cruisers from other ships in port, who would ask me what ship I was on, I still stumbled - "We're on the Sea....shore/side SCAPE, that's it, SeaSCAPE!"  The name struggle was real for me!

Having heard so much about the YC experience, we were excited to try it, particularly since it was not much more than the cost of our recent Beyond cruise in a balcony cabin and much less than the Retreat & Haven cruises that I was also looking at (we still want to try those and will continue to search, possibly in vain, for palatable pricing).  Also, Seascape is a new ship and we've decided to focus on newer ships only across all the lines we want to travel on).  We drove to Miami the day before (about a 9.5 hour drive for us, depending on 95 traffic) and parked in the port garage across from where the ship docked - super easy.  Since my husband drives a large truck, they let him park on a big spot on the ground floor (bonus!)

Embarkation was easy - there's a YC tent, my husband dropped me and the luggage off and porters were right there to tag the luggage and direct me where to go for YC.  You could also bypass the porters and drop your luggage off at the YC luggage tent, where staff will tag it for you.  I never mind having to tip the porters who whisk my luggage away for me the minute I step out of my car.  Once we entered the YC area, the waiting butlers welcomed us, quickly processed our paperwork, gave us our YC bands, and whisked a group of us onboard.  A word about getting onboard that first day as YC'ers:  the butlers do push through the llooonnngg line of non-YC embarking cruisers waiting to board to get you to the head of the line.  There was some grumbling from the non-YC cruisers along the way.  My advice is to keep your sunglasses on, your head down and don't make eye contact  🙃   Once onboard, we were taken up to the Yacht Club and escorted to our cabins.  Very easy!

Cabin:  we were in a grand deluxe balcony on deck 19.  Beautiful cabin, large walk-in closet, TONS of storage throughout (almost too much storage for two people - we barely used the two armoires as all of our stuff fit in the closet.  A "needs improvement" note on the cabin - I wish that they had more of the cabin lighting on individual switches.  Other than the bedside task lighting and the mirror lighting, it was an "all or nothing" with the lights.  It would have been nice to have an entrance light by the door that could be turned on separately and if the lights over the small couch could be operated separately.  In the mornings, I used the light from the bathroom to see in the cabin and not disturb my still-sleeping husband.  Also, only two US plugs that were grouped so close together, it was hard to plug more than one thing in (we did have a non-surge protector multi-use plug with us, which solved the problem). Balcony was large, with 2 chairs and a small table/footstool.  While it could accommodate a lounger, I can see why they may cringe when asked to move one from another location and maneuver it down through the Yacht Club common areas and down the halls into a cabin.

OK - in an effort not to make this a very long single post, I will go ahead and post and then continue down below in this thread.

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Review continued....

On to the "Great": 

The ship is shiny and new, very modern design with lots of black & white marble, crystals, polished chrome, glass & mirrors (the floors do get slippery when wet, so beware).  The Yacht Club area is stunning!  I loved the lounge and how it was open to the YC restaurant above.  Comfortable seating and tastefully decorated, neither the lounge nor the restaurant ever seemed crowded despite a pretty full YC sailing (or so we were told by our butler).  The nightly entertainment in the lounge was a perfect addition to drinks and dinner - not overwhelming so that we could still have a conversation.  We were even treated to one of the YC guests who took a turn on the piano a couple of times - great fun!

The YC pool area was wonderful!  Very large with many loungers.  A big enough pool and a couple of large hot tubs.  Not much shade, as others have attested but depending on the time of day, you can find smatterings of shade.  In the morning, the loungers on the risen area by the pool are shaded and some of the loungers on the side of ship where the sun has not yet hit, are shaded.  There are also the unreserved cabanas, which have a woven roof and fabric sides that you can put down to block some of the sun.  If there was a breeze, the sun was tolerable.  I appreciated not having to get up before dawn to reserve a lounger!  By maybe 11am on the first sea day it was pretty full, but it is a pretty big area with not only loungers and cabanas, but also tables & chairs and these double-bed-looking loungers that didn't look like they were adjustable, but rather more of a sleeping/sunbathing option.  The padded loungers were in good condition and very comfortable.  During the week I saw the staff changing out the lounge covers, so they must get washed or replaced.  It was clean up there and the staff never let dishes or glasses pile up anywhere.

Service at the pool was ok (better on sea days when they had extra staff on hand).  I will say that if you chose to go up to the bar and get a drink, they immediately asked where you were sitting, and would bring the drink to you.  Once they knew where you were, they were good at coming around to ask if you wanted anything else.

Another "great" was the YC pool buffet for breakfast & lunch.  My husband, bless his heart, LOVES a buffet - anything where he can have his food on a plate in 5 minutes or less, so he was in Heaven!  I am less of a buffet person (it's an ongoing struggle in our 33-year marriage, every time we choose a place to eat out, but I digress), BUT I was very impressed with the lunch offerings in particular.  Many fish, chicken and pork selections, a great variety of salads and side items, and they would also make burgers and hot dogs to order.  The only thing that could have improved it was a pizza oven!

(continued...)

More "Greats"

This cannot be overstated enough - how wonderful all of the YC staff are!  Friendly, talkative and always asking if everything is good and offering to provide service.  The lounge and restaurant staff were amazing, the pool staff - everyone went above and beyond during our week.  Our butler was very nice and met with us on the first day to square all of the mini bar and room requests on the email questionnaire that everyone fills out and sends, but MSC never receives or circulates.  We are not high maintenance and didn't need to be escorted anywhere, so while appreciated having a butler there if we needed him, we didn't end up seeing him very often except in passing, when he would stop and ask us how we were doing and if we needed anything.  Our assistant butler kept our cabin clean and well stocked.  The YC staff clearly work very hard to enhance our experience but I never saw it reflected on their faces or in their attitudes (except for once, at the concierge desk, which I will mention later).

The other YC guests who we met were a very friendly and amiable group.  Obviously we didn't meet everyone but those that we did were super nice!  Several who were also on their first MSC/YC cruise and had the same overall impressions that we did.  I would say that YC had a fairly even mixture of Americans and guests from other countries.  It's pretty cool to be surrounded by so many languages other than English - it really gave more of a feeling of being in a foreign country rather than a US-based cruise ship.  Not many young kids, as this was a week that most would be in school.

Stay tuned for "Needs Improvement" stuff...

500+ Club

Still Dreaming

Thank you. Considering this ship, first time MSC also. 

3,000+ Club

morpheusofthesea

30 minutes ago, momofmab said:   Stay tuned for "Needs Improvement" stuff...

Can't wait for the other shoe to drop.

Haha

Two Wheels Only

1 hour ago, momofmab said: A note about MSC's "Sea" ships - the "shore", "side" and "scape" names are so similar that after booking, I kept forgetting which one we were actually on

Don't forget SeaVIEW.  😛

1 hour ago, momofmab said: A word about getting onboard that first day as YC'ers:  the butlers do push through the llooonnngg line of non-YC embarking cruisers waiting to board to get you to the head of the line.  There was some grumbling from the non-YC cruisers along the way.  My advice is to keep your sunglasses on, your head down and don't make eye contact 

Nah, there's no need to feel embarrassed. Enjoy one of the amenities of being in the Yacht Club. 

For as little as $5, you can get your escort to walk you through the terminal and chant....

So the nitpicky "miss" or "needs improvement" stuff:

The YC seating in the theatre:  this is merely the last 2-3 rows in the back of the theatre (some seats are blocked by giant posts).  It is not marked for YC other than a velvet rope at one end or the row and the poor butler who draws the small straw and has the duty of checking for YC wrist bands and shoeing out the non-YC interlopers.  On the night that we utilized this seating, non-YC'ers were bypassing the rope and jumping over the backs of the seats to get in the rows.  The poor butler had to run from one row to another to get them out (this was also our first experience with seeing some interesting behavior outside of the YC).

On other mainstream lines, the reserved suite seating is in a much more desirable location and is clearly and properly designated as reserved suite seating.  When we gave this feedback to the concierge, he did not receive it well and quickly shut us down by telling us to "put it on the survey".  Not that he could have done anything about it in that moment, but he could have been more pleasant in his reply.  I will, as he suggested, "put it on my survey".  On subsequent trips to the theatre, we opted to find our own seats, closer to the stage.  The theatre seems a bit small for the size of the ship.  It's only one story as opposed to the multi-story theatres on other big ships.  On the subject of the entertainment, it was also hit or miss.  They seem to shy away from big production numbers and instead do shorter mixes of comedy, music and some theatrical stuff.  The descriptions in the daily planner were rather vague, so each night was somewhat of a surprise.  I would rate MSC at the end of the list behind X, NCL & RCL for quality entertainment.  That said, we don't book a ship based on entertainment so if we happen to be pleasantly surprised by great entertainment, then YAY!

YC restaurant food choices, specifically the "Classic Favorites":  Ok, food is subjective, this we know.  I also know that my husband is a "meat & potatoes" guy - not a fancy ingredient food lover.  I knew this going in but felt confident in the always available "classics" that I saw on the dinner menus (plus, he had his beloved YC buffet for breakfast & lunch, so we'd be ok, right?)  Well, the classics need some tweaking, IMO.  The grilled chicken breast was a naked breast, no seasoning or sauce, with a side of fries and the "filet" I would give a "C" to, in terms of quality - it was a very thin filet and was served with an odd mixture of grilled eggplant and peppers, and was always overcooked.

Some cc reviewers have said "No need to go to Butcher's Cut because filet is always available in the YC restaurant!"  to them I would say, "nay-nay".  The filets served in Butcher's Cut are incredible and not at all comparable to the filets in YC.  My husband had the YC filet several times and it was the same experience.  Thankfully, we did go to Butcher's cut.  I just think they need to do better on some of the classics and the side items they offer with it.  It would also be nice to see a classic Cesear salad be on the "always available" menu.

For my experience, I almost always went with the pasta selection on the YC menu (because they make their own pasta, duh!) and it was incredible every time.

35 minutes ago, momofmab said: The filets served in Butcher's Cut are incredible and not at all comparable to the filets in YC.

This is another one of those variable factors from ship to ship it seems, and probably from cruise to cruise...

We were certainly in the 'No need for Butcher's Cut' camp in June on Divina, we'll get to see if that is still true when we return to Divina in Feb...

Another slight disappointment was that the concierge had no pull in getting us a same-day seat at Hola.  This sounds snooty, I know, but in our experience in suites on other lines, specialty restaurants would hold a couple of tables for suite guests that the concierge could obtain.  Obviously they can't handle a party of 12, but two people for lunch?  We've had concierges in land hotels get difficult restaurant reservations, tickets, etc., so this made me wonder what the YC concierge can do.

Another minor, completely superficial "miss" were the shops on board.  I rarely buy anything (to clarify, on a cruise ship) but nothing even warranted a walk-about except that I did peruse the perfume and cosmetic shop but quickly left because I felt like the staff person was tracking me.  I don't know if they have a problem with shoplifting, but I felt like she was eyeballing me too much.

Finally, the YC beach at Ocean Cay.  How they looked at that beautiful island and stuck a pin in the area that they did and claim it for their suite passengers is a mystery.  To be clear, the island is gorgeous and the other beaches, most of which surround calm, easy-entry lagoons, are amazing as well.  The YC beach is on the ocean, which was very rough when we were there and the beach walking up to it is full of large pieces of coral, so it's a bit hard to navigate.  We watched a gentleman fall trying to get out of the surf and had to be helped by the lifeguard.  The lunch at the YC restaurant was very good (lobster roll - YUMMY!) but there's only one, single bathroom, resulting in long lines.  They do have a restroom trailer somewhat nearby but the lack of restrooms for suite guests in the suite beach/restaurant area is a head-scratcher.

Ocean Cay was beautiful and I loved how they had food trucks and bars positioned throughout.  One of the nicest cruise-owned islands that we've been to.

Disembarking from YC was super easy.  Off the ship in minutes.  Being escorted past the seemingly endless line of non-YC'ers waiting to get off, made the cost of the YC instantly worth it!

A couple of other things I just remembered:

-Can confirm that all-day nibbles are back in the YC lounge

-Nuts and Toblerone bar in the suite but no Pringles (I did see cans of Pringles for sale in the Duty Free shop on board)

-Don't miss the high tea in YC!  I missed it and will forever regret it!

-They have a very limited "sundries" on board (meds, deodorant, shaving, shampoo, that kind of stuff).  I had to ask where it was because I was curious to see what they had, and it's just a couple of small shelves in the back of the Duty Free, so don't forget anything.

-We didn't book any MSC-sponsored excursions so I can't speak on those.

All in all, a fun, relaxing cruise.  While I would consider MSC YC again, we will likely gravitate toward some other lines that we are curious to try.  Overall, I believe YC is a good value for the price point.

LMK if anyone has any questions (spoiler alert - I don't know who the YC sommelier is 😉 )

1 hour ago, momofmab said: The YC seating in the theatre:  this is merely the last 2-3 rows in the back of the theatre (some seats are blocked by giant posts).  It is not marked for YC other than a velvet rope at one end or the row and the poor butler who draws the small straw and has the duty of checking for YC wrist bands and shoeing out the non-YC interlopers.

A little known perk is that seats (such as front row) can be held for Yacht Club guests. The reserved section is more of a backup plan so that YC guests will have a seat in case the rest of the theater is filled. 

1 hour ago, momofmab said: On other mainstream lines, the reserved suite seating is in a much more desirable location and is clearly and properly designated as reserved suite seating. 

On NCL, the Haven section is generally off to the side. It's not great but it is better than the Yacht Club reserved section. On some MSC ships, the reserved section is near the front and in the center. Just one of the MSC inconsistencies...

22 minutes ago, momofmab said: Another slight disappointment was that the concierge had no pull in getting us a same-day seat at Hola.

I've noted this in my reviews, too. It helps to be persistent with requests and sometimes, the concierge will come through for you. It's hit or miss.

3 hours ago, momofmab said:     Cabin:  we were in a grand deluxe balcony on deck 19.  A "needs improvement" note on the cabin - I wish that they had more of the cabin lighting on individual switches.  Other than the bedside task lighting and the mirror lighting, it was an "all or nothing" with the lights.  It would have been nice to have an entrance light by the door that could be turned on separately and if the lights over the small couch could be operated separately.  In the mornings, I used the light from the bathroom to see in the cabin and not disturb my still-sleeping husband.  Also, only two US plugs that were grouped so close together, it was hard to plug more than one thing in (we did have a non-surge protector multi-use plug with us, which solved the problem).  

We just boarded the Seascape on our second YC cruise (first was Meraviglia in Jan 2020) yesterday and are on deck 16 and agree with your comments on lighting and electrical outlets.  I’m glad I brought a nightlight for the bedroom area and 2 tea candles to light the bathroom at night.

2 hours ago, momofmab said:   The ship is shiny and new, very modern design with lots of black & white marble, crystals, polished chrome, glass & mirrors (the floors do get slippery when wet, so beware).  The Yacht Club area is stunning!  I loved the lounge and how it was open to the YC restaurant above.  Comfortable seating and tastefully decorated, neither the lounge nor the restaurant ever seemed crowded despite a pretty full YC sailing (or so we were told by our butler).  The nightly entertainment in the lounge was a perfect addition to drinks and dinner - not overwhelming so that we could still have a conversation.    The YC pool area was wonderful!  Very large with many loungers.  A big enough pool and a couple of large hot tubs.  Not much shade, as others have attested but depending on the time of day, you can find smatterings of shade.  In the morning, the loungers on the risen area by the pool are shaded and some of the loungers on the side of ship where the sun has not yet hit, are shaded.  There are also the unreserved cabanas, which have a woven roof and fabric sides that you can put down to block some of the sun.  If there was a breeze, the sun was tolerable.  I appreciated not having to get up before dawn to reserve a lounger!  

Today was a port day (Nassau which we have been to before).   We walked deck 8 outdoors and then enjoyed the breakfast buffet.  After a short walk ashore to see the finished port area we returned to the pool deck but got rained out just at lunch time.  There is no protection from the rain since the sun shades are not solid - there are gaps between the shades.

2 hours ago, momofmab said:   This cannot be overstated enough - how wonderful all of the YC staff are!  Friendly, talkative and always asking if everything is good and offering to provide service.  The lounge and restaurant staff were amazing, the pool staff - everyone went above and beyond during our week.  Our butler was very nice and met with us on the first day to square all of the mini bar and room requests on the email questionnaire that everyone fills out and sends, but MSC never receives or circulates. 

On our first YC cruise our butler was mostly missing in action.  Our current butler and his assistant are totally different.  They seem to be everywhere.  Our requested bottle of champagne was on ice in our cabin and 3 pillows each were on the bed.  

1 hour ago, momofmab said:   The YC seating in the theatre:  this is merely the last 2-3 rows in the back of the theatre (some seats are blocked by giant posts).  It is not marked for YC other than a velvet rope at one end or the row and the poor butler who draws the small straw and has the duty of checking for YC wrist bands and shoeing out the non-YC interlopers.  On the night that we utilized this seating, non-YC'ers were bypassing the rope and jumping over the backs of the seats to get in the rows.  The poor butler had to run from one row to another to get them out (this was also our first experience with seeing some interesting behavior outside of the YC).   YC restaurant food choices, specifically the "Classic Favorites": Well, the classics need some tweaking, IMO.     Some cc reviewers have said "No need to go to Butcher's Cut because filet is always available in the YC restaurant!"  to them I would say, "nay-nay".  The filets served in Butcher's Cut are incredible and not at all comparable to the filets in YC.  My husband had the YC filet several times and it was the same experience.  Thankfully, we did go to Butcher's cut.  I just think they need to do better on some of the classics and the side items they offer with it.  It would also be nice to see a classic Cesear salad be on the “always available” menu.    

I agree.  The theater seems awfully small but it is hard to believe that the YC section is actually better located than that on the Meraviglia.  On that ship the theater has 2 aisles IIRC so you didn’t even have seats near the center of the theater rather they were on the far side of the left aisle.

We have a reservation for lunch at BC on our last sea day.  While we aren’t big meat eaters we do like a good steak.  I had a Caesar salad from the “always available” menu with shrimp (other choices were chicken or tofu) at lunch today.  I will check tonight to see if it is on the dinner menu.

We have greatly enjoyed the food thus far.  Having lived in Italy for five years we love pastas and risottos. The entrees (fish, veal, vegetarian couscous) and the desserts have been wonderful.

35 minutes ago, momofmab said:   -Nuts and Toblerone bar in the suite but no Pringles   LMK if anyone has any questions (spoiler alert - I don't know who the YC sommelier is 😉 )

We had Pringles in our suite upon arrival and when we returned from lunch today there was a lovely box of 4 macaroons on our desk.

We met the sommelier at lunch yesterday.  His name is Christopher and is from the United States.  Last night our dinner the waiter asked “red or white wine?”  I don’t particularly like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc that he offered and asked for a wine list.  He said “we don’t have everything on the list.”  I found a Caymus Conundrum and a Danzante Pinot Grigio and said either would do.  I was going to ask to talk with Christopher if they weren’t available but he returned with the Conundrum.

31 minutes ago, capriccio said:     We just boarded the Seascape on our second YC cruise (first was Meraviglia in Jan 2020) yesterday and are on deck 16 and agree with your comments on lighting and electrical outlets.  I’m glad I brought a nightlight for the bedroom area and 2 tea candles to light the bathroom at night.         Today was a port day (Nassau which we have been to before).   We walked deck 8 outdoors and then enjoyed the breakfast buffet.  After a short walk ashore to see the finished port area we returned to the pool deck but got rained out just at lunch time.  There is no protection from the rain since the sun shades are not solid - there are gaps between the shades.       On our first YC cruise our butler was mostly missing in action.  Our current butler and his assistant are totally different.  They seem to be everywhere.  Our requested bottle of champagne was on ice in our cabin and 3 pillows each were on the bed.         I agree.  The theater seems awfully small but it is hard to believe that the YC section is actually better located than that on the Meraviglia.  On that ship the theater has 2 aisles IIRC so you didn’t even have seats near the center of the theater rather they were on the far side of the left aisle.   We have a reservation for lunch at BC on our last sea day.  While we aren’t big meat eaters we do like a good steak.  I had a Caesar salad from the “always available” menu with shrimp (other choices were chicken or tofu) at lunch today.  I will check tonight to see if it is on the dinner menu.   We have greatly enjoyed the food thus far.  Having lived in Italy for five years we love pastas and risottos. The entrees (fish, veal, vegetarian couscous) and the desserts have been wonderful.     We had Pringles in our suite upon arrival and when we returned from lunch today there was a lovely box of 4 macaroons on our desk.   We met the sommelier at lunch yesterday.  His name is Christopher and is from the United States.  Last night our dinner the waiter asked “red or white wine?”  I don’t particularly like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc that he offered and asked for a wine list.  He said “we don’t have everything on the list.”  I found a Caymus Conundrum and a Danzante Pinot Grigio and said either would do.  I was going to ask to talk with Christopher if they weren’t available but he returned with the Conundrum.    

I drank the Danzante at dinner all week!  Loved the daily boxes of treats and the nightly chocolates!  Enjoy your cruise!

We had Pringles in our cabin on our Seascape Thanksgiving Cruise as well as afternoon/nightly treats. I agree with your comments on the shops. I couldn't find a hat!! In speaking to a sales associate I was informed they had not received any recent shipments to restock!!  I surmised...the retail element is not important to MSC. Not much was offered even for the so called "sales" at the tables in the walkways outside the stores

Itchy&Scratchy

Itchy&Scratchy

On 12/10/2023 at 1:23 PM, momofmab said: On the night that we utilized this seating, non-YC'ers were bypassing the rope and jumping over the backs of the seats to get in the rows.  The poor butler had to run from one row to another to get them out (this was also our first experience with seeing some interesting behavior outside of the YC).

wow, poor butler. We were on Seascape 2 weeks ago and didn't witness this behavior. These would have been our preferred row if we had been in YC. We weren't, but we sat as close as possible to these premium rows. They were released to general public right at the start of the show.

On 12/10/2023 at 1:23 PM, momofmab said: the reserved suite seating on other lines is in a much more desirable location and is clearly and properly designated as reserved suite seating. 

see, this would have been our most desirable location. 🙂

On 12/10/2023 at 1:23 PM, momofmab said: So the nitpicky "miss" or "needs improvement" stuff:   The YC seating in the theatre:  this is merely the last 2-3 rows in the back of the theatre (some seats are blocked by giant posts).  It is not marked for YC other than a velvet rope at one end or the row and the poor butler who draws the small straw and has the duty of checking for YC wrist bands and shoeing out the non-YC interlopers.  On the night that we utilized this seating, non-YC'ers were bypassing the rope and jumping over the backs of the seats to get in the rows.  The poor butler had to run from one row to another to get them out (this was also our first experience with seeing some interesting behavior outside of the YC).   On other mainstream lines, the reserved suite seating is in a much more desirable location and is clearly and properly designated as reserved suite seating.  When we gave this feedback to the concierge, he did not receive it well and quickly shut us down by telling us to "put it on the survey".  Not that he could have done anything about it in that moment, but he could have been more pleasant in his reply.  I will, as he suggested, "put it on my survey".  On subsequent trips to the theatre, we opted to find our own seats, closer to the stage.  The theatre seems a bit small for the size of the ship.  It's only one story as opposed to the multi-story theatres on other big ships.  On the subject of the entertainment, it was also hit or miss.  They seem to shy away from big production numbers and instead do shorter mixes of comedy, music and some theatrical stuff.  The descriptions in the daily planner were rather vague, so each night was somewhat of a surprise.  I would rate MSC at the end of the list behind X, NCL & RCL for quality entertainment.  That said, we don't book a ship based on entertainment so if we happen to be pleasantly surprised by great entertainment, then YAY!   YC restaurant food choices, specifically the "Classic Favorites":  Ok, food is subjective, this we know.  I also know that my husband is a "meat & potatoes" guy - not a fancy ingredient food lover.  I knew this going in but felt confident in the always available "classics" that I saw on the dinner menus (plus, he had his beloved YC buffet for breakfast & lunch, so we'd be ok, right?)  Well, the classics need some tweaking, IMO.  The grilled chicken breast was a naked breast, no seasoning or sauce, with a side of fries and the "filet" I would give a "C" to, in terms of quality - it was a very thin filet and was served with an odd mixture of grilled eggplant and peppers, and was always overcooked.   Some cc reviewers have said "No need to go to Butcher's Cut because filet is always available in the YC restaurant!"  to them I would say, "nay-nay".  The filets served in Butcher's Cut are incredible and not at all comparable to the filets in YC.  My husband had the YC filet several times and it was the same experience.  Thankfully, we did go to Butcher's cut.  I just think they need to do better on some of the classics and the side items they offer with it.  It would also be nice to see a classic Cesear salad be on the "always available" menu.   For my experience, I almost always went with the pasta selection on the YC menu (because they make their own pasta, duh!) and it was incredible every time.

This sounds like us!  I do not like food with ingredients I am not familiar with plus I don't eat seafood, shellfish, nuts, or mushrooms.  So I usually stick to plain dull fare which is starting to look like it could be interesting on my upcoming Divina YC cruise.  (We also don't book for entertainment so we like to be pleasantly surprised if its good).

Definitely a decline in YC food.  We sailed Mera twice in Feb then eleven nights in October.  Go to filet awful.  Only three of seven good.  BC held normal high quality.

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msc seascape yacht club review

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I tried a ship-within-a-ship cruise experience and it was worth it for the endless perks—here’s why

The MSC Yacht Club affords travelers a totally different cruising experience, but you’ll have to splurge.

Erica Lamberg

I heard tales of luxury from people about the ritzy MSC Yacht Club , the ship-within-a-ship concept where discerning passengers enjoy their own area of the cruise ship that includes a dedicated restaurant, private lounge, separate pool and sundeck as well as private butlers and concierges to take of any whim while cruising. The elevated Yacht Club boasts priority everything while sailing MSC.

I sailed on a four-night cruise on the new MSC Seashore, a glitzy ship with Italian flair intermingled with references to New York City at every turn. Although the ship was well-appointed and had amazing dining, drinking and entertainment venues, and a bountiful Top Sail main buffet, thousands of passengers made the ship feel crowded at times, elevators were slow, and as I strolled through the general pools, they were boisterous and crowded.

RECOMMENDED: 10 things about cruising on an adults-only ship that might surprise you

Switch gears to MSC Seashore’s Yacht Club, passkey-protected for lucky guests, and is a 180 from the ship’s general spaces. Once you scan your handy Yacht Club wrist badge, or your room key, you’re instantly given entrance to a breathtaking retreat of 131 staterooms and suites. All this luxury does come at a price. Cruise fares will vary based on destination, time of year, and cabin category, but generally speaking you can expect to pay double for the Yacht Club. And from my experience, it’s worth it. Read more about why you should splurge.

You’re fast-tracked through everything

The Yacht Club’s exclusivity and impeccable service standard started from the moment I got dropped off at the Port Canaveral cruise terminal. There were hundreds of people waiting to board at 1pm on embarkation day. I saw in the distance a canopy that said MSC Yacht Club. My husband and I wheeled our carry-on luggage to the representative under the canopy. I gave her my name and within two seconds, she gave me a sticker to wear and up we ascended on the escalator to check in. Just five minutes later, I was directed to the dedicated check-in area for Yacht Club guests. To my right, I saw about 1,000 people serpentine through ropes to do general check-in. I felt a sense of relief; who wants to wait in that line? Five minutes later, a butler from the Yacht Club insisted on wheeling my luggage to board the ship and I was in my room in a total on 12 minutes from the time I stepped foot out of the car to my stateroom in the Yacht Club.

Relaxing and streamlined

In addition, Yacht Club guests have the freedom to get off the ship first for excursions. Your butler will happily escort you off the ship with a smile. Guests also can disembark on the last morning first, which is a big convenience. Your butler walks you right to the place you disembark, bypassing crowds and hassles. Port Canaveral is about an hour away from Orlando International Airport, and we took a 10 am flight home. We didn’t have to linger around until the afternoon for our flight home.

Another perk is that there’s a special seating area in the theater for shows. All the shows were excellent during my voyage. All other ship passengers have to make reservations in advance for shows but that’s not the case for the privileged Yacht Club passengers. As long as you arrive about 10 minutes before any show you choose, a crew member from the Club will allow you entry into a special roped-off section. Again, no rushing through dinner—you have the flexibility to plan your evenings your way.

MSC Seashore

Your Yacht Club package is packed with remarkable value

The price tag may sound daunting, but there’s lots of value there. All Yacht Club cabins and suites include a premium drink package that covers beverages up to $15. You can use this perk both in the Yacht Club and throughout the ship. In addition, your package includes a two-device Wi-Fi package, which worked well during my sailing. Finally, you get access to the thermal spa suite, which is a place to indulge after a day in port or a sea day. Commonly, there’s a taboo regarding mini-bars, but not in the Yacht Club. It’s stocked each day with the beverages you want; just tell your butler and consider it done.

You get perks ashore too

If your sailing includes a call to Ocean Cay, MSC’s private island, Yacht Club guests get an elevated experience there too. Yacht Club guests enjoy a private area, and a dedicated restaurant called the Ocean House. While other ship guests were hosted to a buffet of predictable fare, I enjoyed a lobster roll, and my husband chose carne asada. In my opinion, one thing that could be improved was the tram service to the Yacht Club’s private area. We were told the last tram back was 3:30pm if we didn’t want to trek a 15-minute walk in the heat. Since we were docked in Ocean Cay for the evening and weren’t sailing, I was a bit dismayed by this logistical quirk. I felt like I was keeping an eye on my phone to make sure I didn’t miss the last tram.

You have private areas with curated food and drink and outdoor spaces

Within the Yacht Club complex, there’s the Yacht Club Restaurant, Top Sail Lounge and the One Pool Buffet, which are all exclusive to Yacht Club guests. Obviously, the food and service are steps above other dining venues of the ship, I can vouch for that. Although the food is delicious, if you don’t want to pay extra to dine at the specialty restaurants or fuss in the main buffet, eating three meals a day in the Yacht Club restaurant can get a bit monotonous. The breakfast is the same daily, and lunch and dinner offer a menu with daily specials plus a few standby selections like a hamburger or pasta each day. Although the Yacht Club Restaurant concept is desirable, I would strongly suggest dining in other venues on board, especially for dinner. I thoroughly enjoyed specialty dining in Ocean Cay Restaurant, Butcher’s Cut, and Kaito Teppanyaki. I also want to mention that late afternoon high tea is offered daily at the Yacht Club Restaurant. It was one of the nicest I have experienced at sea.

MSC Seashore

Also available exclusively to Yacht Club passengers is the Top Sail Lounge, which offers panoramic water views and has chef-curated selections from morning through late night. We enjoyed popping into the lounge at all hours to try finger foods and sweets. The One Pool Buffet offers a more casual option for breakfast and lunch by the pool. The buffet has grilled fish, sandwiches and lots of delicious options if you want to dine outside.

There’s also an exclusive area with a private pool and two whirlpools for Yacht Club guests only. The sun deck loungers are very comfortable and I never had to worry about finding a lounger, there are ample. One issue I had was that there was almost no shade on the sun deck; there were shaded day beds for Royal Suite and Owners Suite guests, but beyond those, I couldn’t find any shade, which was disappointing.

You can justify the price at the end of your cruise

Overall, the best way to explain my enthusiasm for my MSC Yacht Club experience is this: it’s better to book an interior stateroom in the Yacht Club than a luxe cabin outside the Yacht Club. It’s worth the splurge and you return home feeling truly pampered and it’s money well-spent. And I make this prediction: Once you try a ship-within-a-ship concept like the MSC Yacht Club, you won’t want cruise any other way. Bon Voyage!

Been there, done that? Think again, my friend.

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This Brand-new Ship Has One of the Largest Yacht Clubs in Its Fleet, Endless Adventure, and a Glass-bottomed Bridge

MSC Seascape just set sail — here's what it's like on board.

msc seascape yacht club review

Christine Burroni

The MSC Seascape may share many similar — or even identical — features with its predecessors, but when it comes to luxury, the fleet’s newest vessel certainly leveled up. The new ship sailed on its inaugural journey with guests from Rome to New York City this past weekend and will go on to sail out of Miami to the Caribbean for future trips.

While the European cruise line has become known for its luxury ship-within-a-ship concept, called Yacht Club , the Seascape boasts one of its largest clubs with 131 suites — with five categories to choose from — taking up 32,000 square feet. Located at the front of the ship, most exclusive Yacht Club spaces, like the private dining area or pool deck, are afforded sweeping ocean views.

Courtesy of MSC Cruises

In addition to a private restaurant with a regularly changing menu, and both indoor and outdoor lounge space, passengers who make a Yacht Club reservation are treated to expedited embarkation, 24-hour butler and concierge service, and access to the spa’s Thermal Suite where a sauna, steam room, and whirlpool awaits. Members will also have access to the ship's Top Sail Lounge for coffee, tea, and light bites at any time of day.

Yacht Club guests also enjoy the ship's premium drink package, an unpacking or packing service, a morning newspaper delivery of their choice, and the ability to select a specific pillow for customized comfort.

Sailing the blue water of the Caribbean while tucked in a super-exclusive setting may seem exceptionally relaxing, but the MSC Seascape also offers just the opposite for those looking for a bit of an adrenaline rush — with an extreme thrill ride and virtual reality experiences.

Adrenaline junkies can take a ride on the ship's Robotron , an attraction unique to the ship that will bring riders nearly 175 feet above water and flip upside down, moving in all directions to offer unobstructed 360-degree views. 

Those looking to keep their feet on the ground can still get their adventure fix with a walk across the Bridge of Sighs, a 72-foot-high glass-bottomed bridge.

The MSC Seascape is also home to a variety of virtual reality experiences. Riders can choose from Formula 1 racing, a flight simulator, and motorcycle riding.

“ MSC Seascape is an exciting addition to our fleet of Seaside Class ships with its elevated onboard experiences that will surprise and delight all ages," Ruben Rodriguez, President, MSC Cruises USA exclusively told Travel + Leisure. " From one of the largest and most luxurious Yacht Clubs in our fleet to interactive, high-tech experiences like the first Robotron at sea and immersive VR experiences, MSC Seascape brings unparalleled entertainment and thrills to our guests.”

Elsewhere on board, the ship’s interior is very similar to that of MSC’s other vessels, like the line's one-year-old MSC Seashore, including its Times Square–inspired décor, Swarovski crystal–adorned staircases, and Atrium space where live entertainment takes place.

Fans of the ship's fleet will also recognize its signature restaurants including Butcher's Cut steakhouse, Ocean Cay seafood restaurant, and more. Its lively sports bar is the perfect spot to catch any game around the world — and there are 18 other bars and lounges on board, some of which offer live music.

MSC Seascape journeys set sail from Miami to the Caribbean where passengers can visit the company's private Bahamas island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.

Related Articles

All Things Cruise

MSC Seascape: Yacht Club Feels Like ‘Ship Within a Ship’

For a wonderful week, Mary Sanz seemed almost like a best friend. She would accompany me to dinner, escort me to the theater, made sure I got a great seat. She would share little tips about upcoming events and shortcuts around the ship.

One time, she even carried my camera for me. I was walking down the hall with my camera in hand to capture a sunset. Hearing Mary’s familiar voice behind me, I turned to see her hurrying to catch up and take the camera from my hand. Believe me, my camera is not heavy and is usually safely tucked in my purse. But it is an example of Mary’s ever-watchful care.

Mary was my Yacht Club butler and she was excellent at her job. Mary seemed to be everywhere and could answer any MSC Seascape questions I had. Of course, she never ate with me or enjoyed a Chora Theater show with me but she made sure I was where I wanted to be, then she headed on to the next passenger she was helping.

I was booked in Stateroom 18049 on Deck 18 in the Yacht Club. Mary explained that the Yacht Club is almost like “a ship within a ship.” And she was right.

For my last post about my terrific voyage aboard the MSC Seascape, I’d like to share some of the joys of cruising in the MSC Seascape Yacht Club.

Great Yacht Club Benefits

msc seascape yacht club review

The two-story Top Sail Lounge is a popular spot in Yacht Club

MSC Yacht Club on board MSC Seascape features 131 cabins spread across decks 16 to 20 on the forward of the ship. Yacht Club also offers its own pool, solarium, panoramic whirlpool, premium drinks, premium Internet package, MSC for Me wristband, newspaper of choice delivered to cabin, luggage packing/unpacking service, access to the spa’s thermal suite, pillow menu, a concierge, assistance booking dinner reservations and shore excursions, shopping help and that popular 24-hour butler service.

My cabin fridge was restocked every day with beer, wine, juice, water and soft drinks. When I first arrived, a bottle of prosecco was chilling in an ice bucket on my cabin table. Chocolates, nuts, chips and other snacks waited nearby on the desktop along with a coffee maker.

The Top Sail Lounge is one of my favorite places on the ship. Located in the front of MSC Seascape, Top Sail Lounge has large two-story windows with great ocean views. The Lounge offers creative cocktails, beer and wine, plus snacks and live music. On my cruise, we have had a pianist and singer plus a guitarist who sings.

msc seascape yacht club review

The Yacht Club restaurant serves delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner

The Yacht Club also has special experiences when the Seascape docks at Ocean Cay Reserve, MSC’s private island in the Bahamas. At Ocean Cay, Yacht Club members can enjoy Ocean House Beach, an exclusive area with a private bar and premium food with butler service.

I’ve already written about how my butler Mary helped me board the ship so quickly when I arrived. She also will help me quickly disembark when my cruise is over. That is a huge benefit. Mary knows how to cut through long lines. She also totes my carry-on luggage and backpack. Not necessary but that is Mary’s insistence.

msc seascape yacht club review

The Yacht Club restaurant is above Top Sail Lounge

Exclusive Yacht Club Eateries

Yacht Club also has a buffet-style eatery called the One Pool Grill & Bar on the exclusive pool desk on Deck 19. I ate lunch there a couple of times to enjoy the outdoor breeze, sit at a shaded table and watch the ocean roll.

The cooked-to-order lobster at One Pool for lunch was terrific as was the staff. About the time I decided I would have another cold drink, a server appeared and asked what I would like.

msc seascape yacht club review

Creative touch from Top Sail Lounge bartender

If the Yacht Club Restaurant above Top Sail Lounge were the only benefit of paying extra to cruise in the Yacht Club, it would still be worth it. The Yacht Club dining room is a very short walk from my cabin and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with menus changing daily.

msc seascape yacht club review

Waiter adds balsamic vinegar to caprese salad in Yacht Club restaurant

The Yacht Club Restaurant is quiet with wonderful ocean views. Needless to say, I’ve been enjoying many of my meals in the restaurant. In addition to seeing what tempting choices are on the menu, I also like to read the “Deliciously Healthy” notes.

For example, a menu note asked, “Did you know? Red vegetables, such as tomatoes, contain two phytochemicals: lycopene and anthocyanins, which are both powerful antioxidants. Red vegetables also contain vitamin C, which aids the production of collagen, maintains blood vessels, stimulates the immune system and increases the absorption of iron from plants.”

Appropriately, the menu that evening offered buffalo mozzarella caprese with ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. I ordered it and savored every bite.

msc seascape yacht club review

Yacht Club restaurant sommelier Bogdan Gheorghe pours wine

Another night, the Deliciously Healthy note asked, “Did you know? A common scene in the Greek islands is octopuses hanging in the sunlight from a rope, just like laundry from a clothesline. They are often caught by spear fishing close to the shore.

“The fisherman brings his prey to land and tenderizes the flesh by pounding the carcass against a stone surface. Thus treated, they are hung out to dry and later will be served grilled, either hot or chilled in a salad.”

The menu that evening offered steamed octopus carpaccio with potato caper salad and basil oil. I don’t care for octopus so passed on that one.

msc seascape yacht club review

Seafood pasta in Yacht Club restaurant

Other menu highlights include veal ossobuco, pan-seared swordfish, broiled filet mignon, breaded chicken breast kiev, lemon-scented creamy oyster risotto, grilled lobster tail, roasted prime rib, duck ragout, seared diver scallops, surf & turf and so much more.

msc seascape yacht club review

Private Yacht Club pool

msc seascape yacht club review

Yacht Club restaurant entree

Special Key Card Entrance

Of course, a special key card is needed to enter Yacht Club. The key card also can be scanned when calling for an elevator anywhere on the ship. With the Yacht Club key card, the elevator provides an express ride bypassing any other deck on the way to my destination. Mary pointed out that Yacht Club perk when I first boarded MSC Seascape.

On my cruise, Seascape was home for a week to 4,200 passengers and 1,648 crew members. Even though the ship is big and filled with passengers, when I walked into the Yacht Club and was greeted by Mary, it felt as though I were on my own private yacht to be royally pampered. Indeed, I was.

msc seascape yacht club review

MSC Seascape

Photos by Jackie Sheckler Finch

See sailings here:  All MSC Cruises (cruisecompete.com)

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msc seascape yacht club review

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MSC Seascape

msc seascape yacht club review

Courtesy of MSC Cruises |

msc seascape yacht club review

Find a Cruise on MSC Seascape

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Traveler Reviews

A ship’s traveler rating is provided under license by Cruiseline.com , which manages one of the largest databases of cruise reviews and ratings by travelers. A total of 186 guests have reviewed MSC Seascape , giving it a rating of 4 on a scale of 1-5.

Cruiseline Travel Rating:

Reviews by traveler type, most recent reviews.

MAC Seascape Western Caribbean

Jul 16th, 2024

Great western Caribbean cruise in beautiful ship.

Traveler Type

Family (older children)

Caribbean Celebration

Seascape is a great ship, and I would do it again in the future. We were a small group of friends who enjoyed and had the best time on this cruise.

Singles/Friends

Amazing Caribbean cruise

Jul 9th, 2024

Beautiful ship, I would do it again in the future. For me everything was perfect. Love to cruise with MSC

2-3 cruises

Good cruise but can be better

Jul 2nd, 2024

Food, shows were great, buy Wi-Fi packages before cruise, they are even more expensive on cruise. Get fresh clothes to avoid hefty laundry charges.

MSC Starting to Get Greedy

Jun 26th, 2024

The bathrooms in the cabin are so small. Everything else on the ship was fine and on par with other MSC cruises we have done. The dining room left some to be desired but for the most part, it was a great trip!

Large Group

Amazing YC Experience

MSC has been stepping up their game and is our new favorite line! If you can afford Yacht Club that is the way to go! It’s a quarter to half the price of NCL Haven or Celebrity Retreat and worth every penny. We booked another cruise for August 31st on Seascape while on board and got huge savings, on board credit and 3000 Voyagers Club points!

Decent experience but not at the level we expected

Jun 25th, 2024

Nice ship, great staff, excellent main dining and Aurea package is worth it for the solarium access and flexible dining, but not much else, it really should offer more value.

Amazing, amazing customer service and awesome people that made my trip a wonderful time.

It was amazing. The staff were very, very nice and always available. There was always a schedule and information available. The food was AWESOME, always fresh and amazing. They need to play more music in the pool area. Very easy to navigate around the ship. The stops were very cool.

1 cruise (first)

SHIP WONDERFUL/ PEOPLE WITH CHILDREN NO CONTROL

Jun 24th, 2024

Guest services immediately took off my gratuities. Man gave me 30% discount for specialty restaurants. Had suite facing back of ship. Room fantastic. They should throw in a couple of movies on their television instead of irrelevant things. Steward was excellent. Room service doesn't understand word well done. Had to send back 3 times and then each morning was fine. Ate breakfast buffet once. Chaotic with kids and people talking very loud and hard to find a table. Parents think it's their living room. Also, kids running around on the stairs. Specialty restaurants butcher's block and sushi conveyor belt I ate every night between the 2. Steak to perfection with five dipping sauces and sides. Sushi was all you can eat for 45 minutes with great fried rice and ice cream included. What an incredible value. Besides this I spend my money on casino. Was told before cruise no crap table but they did have one. My game. Only other thing was Karaoke which was almost every night. Some excellent singers. Only negative was limited songs, and not long enough one hour and 15 minutes, and for this reason people running it should talk less and not sing as it's for the guests. It was in a beautiful lounge with a stage. Some of the people running crap table were nice and a couple not so friendly. Also drove the formula 1 car, of which now I have the upmost respect for the drivers after setting a record for crashes that will never be broken! Basically, never got off the ship rainy or cold. Rained in Jamaica. No cayman Island which was disappointment because of wind. Wanted to play golf in Cozumel, but found out golf course was too far, and private island was too cold for beach. I love a nice balcony, but because of wind couldn't spend a lot of time out there. Not the ship's fault weather wise but wouldn't go again in December. When we left it the day and night it was constant downpours in Miami. If only I had known, I wouldn't have spent the extra money for the room and balcony. You live and learn. Went to the place for ice cream which was closing and they gave it to me for free. They know how to score points. I'm not an early riser, but on ships you have to be out of your room very early. I know how it can be if you get off with everyone, so instead of standing I sat for 30 minutes and then got off with very little problem. They need security to be a little tougher at the adult pool in the back. People don't read the daily that states after one hour your lounge can be taken if you're not back. They have beds also which are nice. Came very close to having physical confrontation who demanded I get up after 1hour and a half. Security guy was called over by me who explained to them the deal and they still came at me. It was a newer ship so to me it was beautiful. When I book a cruise If I leave a message to call me back, don't tell me you will and then don't follow thru. Had to change agents 3 times. All in all, I give the Seascape 5 stars because you can't do anything about the weather and the people. To end I will share an embarrassing situation for me. The cabin doors close quickly, so when I opened it to retrieve my luggage, I didn't think I needed my key, so all of a sudden, I'm in my underwear calling for help for 10 minutes. Thanks to a man who came out and got someone to open the door I survived, but wouldn't you know they sent a woman!!!

Great cruise

Jun 21st, 2024

Nice ship and great service specially in the main dining room

Disclaimers about ship ratings: A ship’s Health Rating is based on vessel inspection scores published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If a ship did not receive a CDC score within 22 months prior to the calculation of its Overall Rating, its Health Rating appears as N/A; in such a case, the ship’s Overall Rating is calculated using the average Health Rating of all CDC-rated ships within the cruise line. All ship Traveler Ratings are based on ratings provided under license by Cruiseline.com.

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1st impressions of MSC Seascape: 9 things I liked and didn't like about MSC's 4th Seaside-class ship

Ashley Kosciolek

I've sailed all four of MSC Cruises' Seaside-class vessels , and MSC Seascape is the best one yet.

Apart from a few restaurants with different names, it's a near carbon copy of older sister MSC Seashore, which debuted in 2021 as the first vessel in the line's Seaside EVO (short for evolution) sub-class.

That said, there are still several noteworthy aspects that caught my attention. From major kudos to minor niggles, here's what I liked — and didn't like — on this glitzy 18-deck marvel.

For more cruise guides, news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .

What I liked

msc seascape yacht club review

Robotron , a robotic arm amusement ride on deck 19, sounded like a gimmick at first, but it's actually a lot of fun.

The ride holds three people and offers three speeds — slow, medium and fast. It lifts riders into the air, twisting and turning them to the beat of the music they select beforehand.

Not only is it more thrilling than I expected, it runs for about three minutes per ride and provides nearly 360-degree views of the ship's outdoor surroundings. It's well worth the $10-per-ride price tag.

The Yacht Club

msc seascape yacht club review

For the first time, I stayed in MSC's Yacht Club, a private suite area you can only access with a special keycard.

I was blown away by the sheer elegance and high level of service, with my butler delivering daily newspapers and specialty coffee, handling spa reservations and escorting me to dinner each night.

A stay in the Yacht Club comes with extras like more cabin space (all cabins are suites) and an exclusive restaurant, lounge and sun deck with a pool and hot tubs.

In addition to nicer digs and semi-private facilities, cruisers also receive priority embarkation and disembarkation, butler and concierge services, unlimited in-cabin mini-bar beverages, free alcohol in the Topsail Lounge, an elevated dining menu, one free bottle of spirits, private elevator access, reserved theater seating and other perks.

Americanization

msc seascape yacht club review

One of the biggest pain points for MSC Cruises in recent years is its seeming inability to understand what Americans want as the line continues to build ships specifically geared toward the North American market. I'm excited to say I think MSC Seascape represents a pivotal change in that area.

In addition to shorter dinners and larger portion sizes in the onboard restaurants, the level of service also feels elevated, even outside of the Yacht Club. Waiters are more attentive, the folks at guest services are more friendly, and I noticed more smiles from crew members all around.

That's not to say the service is bad on other vessels, but it's decidedly European. That means dinners routinely take two to three hours, waiters check in less frequently during meals to see what you might need, and service throughout is generally more brusque, bordering on aloof.

It seems MSC has, perhaps, begun training crew in a more American style of service.

Familiarity

msc seascape yacht club review

Because this is the fourth Seaside-class ship and the second in the Seaside EVO sub-class, the vessel is familiar.

Those who have sailed on the others, particularly MSC Seashore , will find that MSC Seascape feels like home. You'll board knowing exactly where to go, which means you won't have to spend time learning your way around before enjoying your vacation.

You'll also find your favorites — the Jungle Pool, waterslides, kids club, arcade, Bridge of Sighs, buffet and restaurants — in all the same places.

msc seascape yacht club review

Speaking of favorite returning venues, I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shoutout to Venchi.

The chocolate-themed bar on Deck 6, named for its partnership with the famed Italian chocolatier, reprises its role on MSC Seascape. It offers some of the best coffee and hot chocolate beverages (with or without alcohol) I've ever tasted, along with both fresh sweets and wrapped chocolates for purchase.

Even more impressive are the chocolate sculptures the crew craft by hand for all sorts of special occasions. On my sailing, they constructed a bonsai tree, an anchor, a slightly creepy Santa Claus and a likeness of Doremi, the cruise line's mascot.

Venchi also features an adorable seating area with high-top tables and stools that look like chocolate sandwich cookies. It can be loud during peak times, but often is a nice place to meet friends, check email or simply relax with a drink.

What I didn't care for

Near-constant noise.

msc seascape yacht club review

In line with MSC's standard of decor, MSC Seascape is elegant to the max. It drips with chrome and crystal. However, the glamour clashes hard with the noise level just about everywhere on board.

On one night of my voyage, I was eating dinner at Hola!, a specialty Mexican restaurant, which is just off the atrium. My dining companion and I jumped out of our seats when an atrium show abruptly started at a ridiculous volume that, frankly, made it impossible to have a conversation as we finished our meal.

Elsewhere, it's difficult to find a quiet place to read or work, as all lounges seem to either feature live music or tunes that are piped in at decibels that feel wildly inappropriate.

msc seascape yacht club review

Smoking on board is allowed only in designated outdoor areas and in the casino. However, the air filtration isn't great in the latter, which means the smell wafts out into the atrium, making for a somewhat unpleasant experience for anyone who doesn't light up.

Additionally, given the casino's central location, passengers are forced to walk through it to get from one end of Deck 7 to the other unless they choose to go up or down a deck.

With the smoke as bad as it is in that area, I smelled like cigarettes for the rest of the night after spending just 15 seconds passing through on my way to the theater.

Capacity issues

msc seascape yacht club review

Even though my sailing wasn't at capacity — there were just 3,065 passengers out of a possible 5,632 when all berths are full — many spaces felt crowded and seemed incapable of handling the number of cruisers on board.

For example, the Times Square lounge, just beyond Venchi on Deck 6, hosts multiple trivia sessions on sea days, but there are never enough seats for everyone. Twice, I had to walk around the corner and sit at one of the tables at Venchi as I filled out my answer sheet.

In addition, the ship has the same type of digital elevator buttons that MSC Seashore implemented when it debuted.

The system, which forces you to select your floor before boarding and then assigns you a particular car based on traffic, didn't work on Seashore, and it doesn't work on Seascape, either.

On several occasions, the screen would tell me to expect my car to arrive in 20 seconds and then, inexplicably, update to read it would be two minutes.

In one particularly frustrating instance, I was forced to walk from Deck 15 to Deck 6 — nine decks, 18 flights of stairs — in high heels because my estimated wait time for an elevator was an astounding four minutes.

Single-use items

msc seascape yacht club review

I'll admit that I'm not always as environmentally conscious as I should be. However, with how much cruise lines have been touting their green initiatives, I pay special attention to things like single-use items when I sail.

MSC Cruises makes a point of advertising its green efforts through The Foundation, the line's charitable arm, which aims to protect oceans and wildlife, among other things.

The line has also used its Ocean Cay private island as a marine cleanup project and made a pledge to become carbon neutral by 2050 as part of a larger industry effort organized by the Cruise Lines International Association, a cruise industry advocacy organization.

However, I noticed on MSC Seascape that daily programs are still printed and left in each cabin nightly, along with shore excursion brochures, spa price lists and more.

Plastic straws are still used for drinks, and single-use pats of butter were provided in the dining rooms during meals.

I was also rather shocked to discover that the Hola! Mexican restaurant on board provides cloth napkins but doesn't reuse them. Instead, they're thrown away after they're used. (A new one came with each course, so I had five of them by the end of my dinner.)

Bottom line

Overall, MSC Seascape provides lively elegance at a reasonable price point but also offers over-the-top accommodations for those seeking a higher level of exclusivity and service.

Even though it's not much different from MSC Seashore, there's plenty to love about the ship, and it truly feels like MSC has finally come close to cracking the code in terms of what Americans want.

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The Traveling Steve's

Our traveling adventure blog.

The Traveling Steve's

The Steve’s Review of MSC Seaside’s Yacht Club

Steve (DOS) and I sailed MSC’s Seaside cruise ship for the first time this past week; October 15 – 22, 2023 for a 7 night cruise to MSC’s Ocean Cay (MSC’s private island in the Bahamas), Costa Maya, and Cozumel Mexico. As this was a new cruise line for us, I’ll detail my/our experiences here in a bit more detail, similar to what I did when we first sailed Virgin Voyages this past July. Warning: this is a long post with lots of photos! (Sorry in advance for any typos!)😀

msc seascape yacht club review

First some quick ship stats: for the MSC Seaside (per Wikipedia)

  • 153,516 Gross Tons
  • Length: 1,059 Feet
  • Beam: 141 Feet
  • Total Cabins: 2,067
  • Passenger capacity: Max 4,961
  • Entered Service: December 2017
  • Cost when built in 2014: €700 million Euros
  • Country of Registry: Valletta, Malta
  • Current number of cruise ships in MSC fleet: 23

DRIVE TO THE PORT: As we live in the Orlando, FL suburbs, the Port of Cape Canaveral (where the Seaside is currently sailing from) is only an hour drive from our house, which make it super convenient. Not only that, but Cape Canaveral, in my humble opinion is one of the easiest embarkation/debarkation points we have sailed out of. It is not the closest port, however, to the airport as it’s an hour’s drive via car or shuttle bus, unlike Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) which is a short distance from the FLL airport terminal.

msc seascape yacht club review

ARRIVAL AT PORT CANAVERAL: MSC currently leaves from terminal 10, which is the former Royal Caribbean (RCL) Cruise terminal. We saw RCL’s Wonder of the Seas docked further down the terminal channel, so I guess they needed bigger space for their mega series of ships.

msc seascape yacht club review

We arrived at Port Canaveral Terminal 10 around 10:45am, and the luggage drop off and parking were a breeze, thanks to the good signage and uniformed port staff providing directions. There was very little car traffic at this hour, and the tour buses coming from the airport had a drop off point just for them, so they weren’t interfering with the flow of traffic. We parked on the ground level of the garage (shaded area), took a photo of where we parked, and walked the short distance to the terminal with our carry-on luggage, taking a selfie along the way of us with the giant ship behind us. One huge thing that at least the Port Canaveral Terminal Garage 10 does, is collect the parking fee upon entry via credit card. This really expedites the traffic flow upon debarkation, something other port garages such as Miami do not do, which caused lengthy exit delays when we sailed out of there in late July on Virgin’s Scarlet Lady. Ideally Miami’s garage should at least have an EPAS exit, as their garages handle multiple cruise lines out of the same garage, with various lengths of cruises, so pre-paying is perhaps not an option there.

msc seascape yacht club review

Once at the terminal, we quickly found the Yacht Club (YC) tent area where we were verified for YC, and then sent thru a quick security check line. From there we were directed to a dedicated large conference-type room in the terminal, where we would then check-in for our cruise. We had already completed the paperwork and had downloaded the MSC app, but we still printed out our travel documents per MSC’s website guidelines, which makes it easier should the phone need re-charging or an update when you’re trying to check-in. (I’m old fashioned I guess, but I always print my boarding pass for the airport for the same reason; don’t always trust the phone and/or app when I need it most.)

msc seascape yacht club review

The check-in process was very quick and we were given a glass of champagne as we entered the room. We then received our room card key which indicated YC access. They did not have the blue wrist bands available at check-in, (which will also allow you to open your stateroom door), but we picked up our complimentary bands two days later onboard at the photo gallery. While we waited a few minutes for our boarding to commence, we sipped our glass of pre-boarding champagne together with the other YC guests, and toasted to an awesome cruise ahead!

msc seascape yacht club review

After a short wait in the pre-boarding area, we were escorted in small groups aboard the ship where we were led directly thru the main lobby atrium. Here we met our personal shipboard Butler Agus, who assisted us from there. Agus helped us with our carry-on luggage and escorted us from deck five thru a few public areas, until we reached the forward elevators which took us to our “ship within a ship”, the Yacht Club section. The Yacht Club occupies the forward third of the 16th, 18th, and 19th decks aboard the Seaside. (There is not a deck 17 on this ship as it is an Italian ship, and 17 (like 13 in the US) is considered an unlucky number.)

Once in the Yacht Club, we had a seat in the Top Sail Lounge, which is the huge main cocktail lounge exclusive to the 200 Yacht Club passengers. We had yet another glass of the complimentary Champagne in the Lounge (actually Prosecco to be technically correct), and met some of our fellow passengers, while we again sipped our Bubbly. (And it’s not even 11:30am yet!). There was a nice assortment of snacks, nuts and pastries as well, but we skipped over those for now as lunch was in the near future for us. In a few minutes, we were gathered with a few other guests for a quick orientation of the Yacht Club’s services, amenities, meal hours etc, which was lead by the lead Concierge staff person, Raj. After the 10 minute or so orientation, we went to our cabin, which was just down the hall, also on deck 16. We knew from the moment we boarded that the Yacht Club was truly special, and this would be an awesome cruise!

msc seascape yacht club review

STATEROOM : After the orientation in the Top Sail Lounge, DOS and I headed to our stateroom which was just down the hall. Our room was 16014, with 16 being the deck number, and 014 the room number. The room was quite comfortable, and categorized by MSC as a “Superior Yacht Club Suite”. While our room was not what I would consider a full suite, it was a nice sized Jr. Suite in size, similar to those on other cruise lines and quite spacious enough for us. We had a King sized bed, half open-sided wall adjacent to the bedroom, dividing off the living room sofa, a large bathroom (no tub) with decent sized shower and a large single sink vanity. Robes were provided for use onboard, and the large towels and bed linens were of very good quality.

msc seascape yacht club review

The outlets for electronic devices were a bit lacking as they weren’t located on either side of the bed, but on the long table with pull out drawers. We brought a cruise-allowed power adapter (not a surge protector which are banned on all cruise ships) we bought on Amazon which is cruise-safe, and handled our other devices, such as our iPhones, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac Book. The is also a European power outlet under the TV, as well a couple USB outlets.

msc seascape yacht club review

FIRST MEAL ABOARD: LUNCH! After briefly settling into our cabin and unpacking our carry-on items, we headed up to Deck 18 (only one level up due the “skipping” of the 17th floor per Italian superstition) to the Yacht Club (YC) Dining Room. I’ll talk at length about the Yacht Club further down in this post, but for now the relaxing lunch with wine made for quite a friendly welcome aboard and literally a taste of what was to come over the next 7 days. We met our waiter and assistant waiters, who would expertly serve us throughout the cruise.

msc seascape yacht club review

EXPLORING THE SHIP: After lunch in the Yacht Club, it was time to venture out of the YC exclusive area, and explore a bit of the rest of this mammoth ship. I say “a bit” as even by the end of the cruise we felt like we had only seen some of the major ship venues, and never quite learned our way around the ship, even with the lighted ship maps located near the elevators and elsewhere.

msc seascape yacht club review

The layout in some places could be a bit strange, such as on Deck 16 towards the mid/aft of the ship, where you needed to go down or up a deck to cross all the way to the back of the ship (due to a galley blocking part of the passageway) or the plethora of mirrors aboard in some corridors that had us saying hi to the “other people” coming towards us, only to realize we were saying hi to ourselves! LOL! 😂

msc seascape yacht club review

Part of the fun of going on a new ship, however, is getting lost finding your way around; it really is a beautiful ship with so many sectional venues that it will take some time to explore even the main parts of the ship by day and night.

MAIN LOBBY : At the centerpiece of the ship are the beautiful Swarovski decorated crystal staircases located in the ship’s main atrium. These staircases lead to several levels, and flank either side of the multi-level stage areas that are used for various musicians throughout the day and evening, as well as on the main open air bottom level of the lobby. The backdrop of the atrium is an ever changing myriad of colors and scenes, depending on the occasion.

msc seascape yacht club review

There is a huge semi-circular bar which is visible from the staircases and overlooks surrounding them, and serves as a focal point entertainment venue for the numerous onboard events and parties. We even saw Elvis, and Michael Jackson one night!

msc seascape yacht club review

ELEVATORS: The ship has two primary banks of elevators; one towards the forward of the ship; and one a bit past the middle of the ship. The main elevators are “smart” elevators, although I would say the “smart part” needs a bit of tweaking to them. The idea in theory is great, provide more efficient elevator access by matching groups of passengers going to the same floors, although at peak times that doesn’t work the best. Basically by each elevator there is a mini iPad type device where you select your floor, which is also indicated by the deck’s name; i.e, Miami Beach deck.

msc seascape yacht club review

The elevator then calculates which elevator will be the quickest, and tell you the elevator (via letter and number, i.e. G5) and the approximate wait time. During slow periods, these worked fine, but when several hundred people got out of a show at the same time or returned from a busy port of call, things got a bit more hectic. Ideally each person in their group, say four people, should enter the floor number, not just one person from the group, so the elevator can calculate the capacity as 4 riders instead of 1. Unfortunately this is not obvious, and I don’t recall seeing signage to tell people to do this which at busy times can be quite crowded and confusing with multiple groups of people trying to ride as a single passenger, instead of their actual group size.

Busy periods aside, though, I really love this concept, as busy elevators on these mega ships in general (most other lines included) face the problem of over-crowded elevators, and people riding up to go down, and not getting off at the correct top or bottom floor; instead just getting on to secure their space in the crowded elevators. These “smart” elevators do not have any floor buttons once you are on board so you can’t change your mind or better yet, don’t have kids pushing every floor button of the elevator!

There is also one small bank of two elevators in the aft area of the ship by the aft pool, which are not the “smart elevator” type. There is also an elevator inside the Yacht Club for exclusive use of the YC passengers, but it only operates on the YC floors 16 – 19.

msc seascape yacht club review

LOUNGES/BARS: According to the MSC website there are some 19 bars and lounges onboard! And, no we didn’t try all of them out on our seven day cruise! While we primarily used the Top Sail Lounge in the Yacht Club, as well as the YC’s pool bar, we did go to several of the other bars and lounges in the main part of the ship as well. We were concerned the main bars/lounges outside the YC would be jam packed all the time, but that really was not the case most of the time. While many were busy, with the exception of the large main atrium bar, and main and aft pool bars, we didn’t have trouble finding seats or barstools at some of the other bars and lounges. We tried the Sports Bar, which had a large selection of drafts (but oddly no IPAs such as Lagunitis here or elsewhere on the ship I could find), the Seaview Lounge, and the Haven Lounge, both of the latter offered live entertainment, as well as the main atrium lounge.

msc seascape yacht club review

We didn’t try out the Champagne Lounge on the upper level of the main atrium, but walked by it several times as well as the Chocolate Bar; both of which looked nice but not overflowing with crowds.

msc seascape yacht club review

There is also a small bar (more of a to-go bar) in the buffet area on deck 8 which is open late while the late night buffet is being served until 1am, which is fine for grabbing a brewski or drink to your table while munching on the midnight food and snacks.

GAME ROOM: We didn’t utilize the game room, but did pass thru the Game Room Arcade a few times when walking towards the back of the ship. There was a Formula One Race Car simulator, complete with an actual size car that can be “driven” around the large virtual screen track directly in front of it. It looked pretty realistic, and we watched a man probably in his early 40s having a ball with his racing skills!

There is also a two lane bowling alley in the arcade room, but we never saw anyone bowling, although we weren’t there very much other than just passing thru. I was hoping to video someone bowling as it must be quite tricky on a moving ship; I’m sure there’s lots of curve and gutter balls even from experienced bowlers!

msc seascape yacht club review

There are also other video games as well, all of which required payment or a game pass of sorts via the ATM like kiosk or pre-pay on the cruise card.

msc seascape yacht club review

SPA Area: We’re not spa kind of people (i.e. don’t get massages, use the treatment rooms etc) so we can’t speak for the Spa, other than it was quite large, and people we spoke to really enjoyed their massage and even the “mud treatment”. (I’ve always wanted to try that seaweed wrap treatment but DOS says “that’s phooy”, you’ll gain your weight back as soon as you drink water or alcohol! Possibly, but it does sound like fun!)

Any passenger on the ship can book the “The Thermal Suite Pass” (which is complimentary for Yacht Club Members), and provides access to the Thermal Suite area and and spa deck area; a private section of deck 16, just prior to entering the YC section. We did not use the Thermal Suite on this trip as we seemed to be too busy on this cruise (not sure what we were doing other than relaxing, but we seemed busy all the time!) We did walk thru the spa outdoor deck area on our daily walks around the ship for exercise, which is shown in the next couple of photos, which never seemed to be busy, and was a nice wide area of the deck as well.

msc seascape yacht club review

We did like the cold towels the Spa staff handed to all guests when they came back from port, on the dock area near the entrance to the ship. The white washcloths were chilled (like Celebrity Cruises and Princess does), but also sprayed with an exotic Eucalyptus mixture that smelled divine. Of course they sell the bottled mixture in the Spa if you like it!

msc seascape yacht club review

POOL FUN : The main (non Yacht Club) portion of the ship has several pools, divided into different sections. There is an adventure pool area that has a kiddie pool and other water activities, while there are 2 racing water slides that go out over the starboard side of the ship, while on the port side there is a similar, but larger twisting water slide that uses a raft to ride the slide down to the bottom. Scrunched in-between, in the center of the Adventure Club area, is another twisting slide that finishes on the bottom deck of the Adventure Club pool area. None of the slides were overly busy and were complimentary, although you had to sign a waiver and get a wrist band prior to riding them. Adults as well as kids seemed to be enjoying themselves! I’m sure in peak summer or holiday periods there would be hundreds more kids using these facilities, though on our mid-October sailing it was not overwhelming.

msc seascape yacht club review

SAIL-AWAY PARTY: Sure enough, as quiet and empty as the ship was when we first got on and started exploring the ship, it quickly filled up by sail-away time. There was a big sail-away party at the aft pool deck area, but it was a bit too busy to see the entertainment staff, and a bit too noisy for us to enjoy, so we retreated back to the quite calm of The Yacht Club. I told Steve (DOS) at times leaving some of the crowded main areas of the ship was like being in a busy airport terminal, and then suddenly entering the calm of an airline’s international First Class Lounge! Not really an exaggeration either, as a couple of fellow Yacht Club passengers said something similar.

msc seascape yacht club review

SHOPPING GALLERY : As expected for a ship of this size, there are several shopping areas aboard the ship, ranging from logo items, to duty free liquors and other items, to Swarovski crystals, jewelry, cosmetics, to men’s face creams to make you look ten years younger. Maybe I should have bought two of the face cremes to shave 20 years off my age!🤣

msc seascape yacht club review

We’re not big shoppers except for souvenir type items, but we did purchase the ship’s Seascape model (which I try to collect of ships we have taken), which was priced at $56, and was a nice quality metal model on a wood base. I wanted an MSC cap, but oddly enough they were out of them, and I didn’t see any nice logo T-shirts that I cared for, so we settled for just purchasing the ship’s model.

msc seascape yacht club review

We had the same issue on Virgin Voyages recently where they were out of their logo caps, and like on MSC, this was only on the second night. Don’t know if ships are having supply-chain issues or people are gobbling them up right away (I think the former as you they would want to advertise their product), so if you see something you want in the gift logo shop, I would buy it early on in the cruise.

msc seascape yacht club review

CASINO: While we’re not gamblers, we did stroll thru the casino after the theater shows let out, as it was a passageway towards the mid to the aft of the ship, and you really couldn’t avoid it. Although MSC allows smoking in the casino, it really was very well filtered, and this comes from someone who is very sensitive to second-hand smoke. There were definitely plenty of slots for every type play you like, as well as many table games as well.

msc seascape yacht club review

The huge bar served as a functional and aesthetically pleasing circular sports bar as there were TV monitors mounted from the ceiling pointed down to the bar below.

msc seascape yacht club review

YACHT CLUB EXPERIENCE: Wow oh Wow! What can I say about this? The Yacht Club (YC) is an exclusive area for 200 or fewer passengers, which makes up only 5% of the ship’s capacity, yet offers the best service, food, and amenities aboard. The YC occupies the forward 1/3 of decks 16, 18, and 19, with YC cabins on decks 16 and 18 (there is no deck 17 on these Italian ships due to superstition of the number 17). The YC offers mostly similar “Superior Suite Balcony” cabins, although there are 2 Royal Suites, and a few inside cabins as well, all which receive the same Yacht Club service, although the Royal Suites do get a reserved onboard pool-side cabana and much larger suite. (There are other cabanas in the YC available complimentary to YC passengers, on a first-come basis, and can be reserved onboard.)

msc seascape yacht club review

Note there are actually several categories of larger suites aboard the Seaside that are not in the Yacht Club area, and these do NOT include the 5 star Yacht Club admittance and perks; they are basically larger cabins located throughout the ship among the masses of other passengers. Even though we’ve had very large suites on other lines, the room on MSC was almost secondary as the service and amenities in the public Yacht Club areas were far superior than being in a large suite in a non-Yacht Club area, although the larger space would be good for families needing extra space. All of the rooms in the Yacht Club are in the same key-only accessible area, and it was like being at a Country Club as it was such a small group of passengers with such a high staff to passenger ratio. It was easy to meet most of the fellow YC passengers over the course of the cruise, and it really was like a family between the staff and passengers by the end of the cruise.

msc seascape yacht club review

The Yacht Club is entered via a key-carded entry door, where the 24 hour Concierge desk and staff are located, and glad to answer any questions, assist with shore excursions, specialty dining, and any type special request you may have.

The long hallway internal to the YC is mirrored on both sides, a common design theme used throughout the ship; lots of mirrors everywhere! On the starboard side where our cabin was located, there is also another keyed entrance door which bypasses the Concierge, and lead down a couple hallways to our room.

msc seascape yacht club review

At the end of the hall on deck 16, is the Top Sail Lounge, a large and elegant cocktail lounge exclusive to the YC passengers. It faces the front of the ship and has plenty of seating on chairs, sofas, and at the bar area as well. It is here where (well actually anywhere in the YC) you can truly relax away from the mass market crowds of passengers in the main parts of the ship. No loud music and shouting, although there is a piano player/singer who entertains in the evening and special events such as the Captains cocktail party, High Tea, etc, and one night there was a saxophone player entertaining as well.

msc seascape yacht club review

During other times of the day and night there is light and soft jazz or supper-club type music piped in thru the speakers, which makes a subtle background effect, without being overwhelming, even in the pool lavatory! There are always plenty of staff serving the YC, and there is never a wait for a drink, be it bottled water or your favorite cocktail, wine, or beer, and all but the most premium wines and liquors are included both here and throughout the ship (with two exceptions, the chocolate bar and the gelato bar in the main areas of the ship.)

msc seascape yacht club review

Meals Aboard: Unlike the main part of the ship which has 3 seatings in a couple of dining rooms, which require a reservation time, the YC is open seating, and offers 3 waiter-serviced meals a day, in addition to the YC buffet which is available until 7 -10 am for breakfast and normally 12 – 3pm for lunch. We usually ate at the outdoor buffet for breakfast and lunch as the service hours were later and longer than the restaurant, and it was quite an extensive buffet you could enjoy around the pool, or outdoor seating area.

msc seascape yacht club review

We did have lunch in the Yacht Club Dining Room the first day, and breakfast in the Dining Room on Debarkation Day; both of which were leisurely and wonderful, but we preferred the casual poolside buffet most days for breakfast and lunch. (The YC buffet is not open for dinner, although they have hors d’oeuvres in the Top Sail Lounge for a pre or post dinner snack.)

msc seascape yacht club review

We always had dinner in the YC Dining room, which was truly a treat! Dinner is served nightly from 6pm to 9pm, and is open seating with no reservation required for whatever time you like to dine between the posted hours. We requested the same section each night so we had the same wait staff, and normally dined around 7:30pm. The menu selections changed each night with the evening’s theming, but they always had a few classics you could order from if nothing was to your liking, which including a Filet Mignon, Salmon, Cesar Salad etc.

msc seascape yacht club review

Unlike other mainstream US cruise lines, there are 3 courses offered instead of the usual four on RCL, Celebrity, Princess and others. The portion sizes are also a bit small than other lines, but we thought this was actually a positive thing as many times cruise lines oversize their portions, although that too has changed since COVID in serving size portions. MSC offers a choice of several starters, entrees, and desserts (including selections from the cheese cart which I loved.). If you wanted another entree or like Steve (DOS) another or different starter, the wait staff was only too happy to oblige. As drinks were included, we tried several different wines with different food pairings over the week cruise, and one night the sommelier surprised us with a Beaujolais to try with our starter. We never would have guessed what it was (he didn’t tell us initially) as it was quite complex; like a more full-bodied Pinot, than a Beaujolais which is usually a young and more simple wine. Our wine of choice however, was the French Medoc they freely poured, or the Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon.

msc seascape yacht club review

The food, presentation, and service were truly outstanding in the YC, and the Chef visited us table-side a couple evenings, while the Maitre D’ always stopped by to check on us. Our waiter and assistant waiter were absolutely some of MSC’s best!

msc seascape yacht club review

Outdoor YC Pool Area/Bar/Buffet: On deck 19 was the YC Sun Deck, pool, and bar/buffet and outdoor seating area and cabanas. This was a large area, although most of the lounge chairs were not shaded unfortunately. As the YC’s sundeck was in the very front of the ship, umbrellas would probably not work due to the wind, although the area was quite protected by full length window panels, which mostly blocked the wind. On the downside, the large window panels created a bit of an obstacle for taking photos, although for sunset photos or in-port photos such as MSC’s private island, we could get good and unobstructed photos from our room’s balcony, as the window panels did not block the view as they did on the sundeck.

msc seascape yacht club review

The YC saltwater pool was deeper than it looked, at around 5 feet deep, although the sign said 4’8″. The pool was a fun place to socialize and cool off, and we used it most days due to the great weather.

There are also two whirlpools located a bit further forward of the sectionally partitioned YC club, which are on the forward part of the YC sundeck.

msc seascape yacht club review

Little extras mean a lot: The Yacht Club includes so many little extra touches with attention to detail, which makes it so extra-special. Your choice of daily newspaper: Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, and others, which are condescended versions of the papers, and printed daily on site.

msc seascape yacht club review

Evening chocolates on the pillow, and some type of surprise treat each evening, such as white chocolates in a plexiglass box, a bottle of Prosecco one evening, a box of 4 sampler chocolates in a gift box the last night, replenishment of your mini-bar beers, water, sodas per your request etc.

msc seascape yacht club review

Butler Service is included along with your room attendant, and the Butler will escort you anywhere on the ship and even to the exit for port days and debarkation. This was a huge benefit, especially being led to the reserved Yacht Club section for the Theater production shows. The High Tea service was especially nice and classy, and served in the Top Sail Lounge.

msc seascape yacht club review

Production Shows: There were FIVE Production shows on this 7 night cruise! (Most 7 and even 10 night cruises only have a maximum of three, filled in with other acts on the other nights). Each show was different and some were better than others, but were all energetic with 4 main singers and 9 dancers, with additional specialty-act performers on some of the shows, such as the Peter Punk and Michael Jackson show.

msc seascape yacht club review

The show theater itself while very large with two aisles and a center section (with stadium type seating allowing for great views), seemed a bit under-sized for a ship this large, sailing with 4,300 passengers on our sailing, so a couple of the most popular shows actually had 3 seatings (7:30, 9:30, and 10:30pm) instead of two most nights, due to the capacity requirements.

msc seascape yacht club review

Unlike most other cruise lines, the Cruise Director did not make an announcement forbidding photography or even video taping at each show, and it seemed like quite a few people discretely videoed some of the performance number highlights, including myself, which I have included a few short segments below of some of the shows.

We enjoyed all of the shows, although we did not go to the two comedy shows on the non-production show nights, with the Circus Spectacular and the final night’s Michael Jackson show really extra well-done.

PORTS OF CALL : MSC OCEAN’s CAY was without a doubt our favorite port stop on this cruise. Like other cruise lines, MSC has their own private island in the Bahamas, however on our itinerary we were docked at Ocean Cay overnight, allowing for two full days on their private island, something other cruise lines do not do.

msc seascape yacht club review

The island is also reachable via a dock area, so there is no need to tender to the port. As our cabin was on the starboard (right) side of the ship, we had an awesome view of the private island, including the landmark lighthouse, which has a light show at night, overlooking the beach party there.

msc seascape yacht club review

We absolutely loved MSC’s Ocean Cay, and as DOS and I both agreed, it reminded us of Royal Caribbean’s (RCL’s) Coco Cay, before they turned the quiet island into a “theme park” with gigantic waters slips, a hot air balloon, zip lines etc. Not that there’s anything wrong with that if you want a bit of adventure for the whole family, but we much prefer the more pristine and natural look of a tropical island without all the added frills which we could do onboard or at a waterpark back home if we wanted to.

msc seascape yacht club review

As there is no tendering required, it’s quite easy to debark the ship, and quickly explore the island. Our ship was the only ship in port both days, so it really did feel like a private island without the crowds. As passengers in the Yacht Club, we were escorted down to the exit, and once on land directed to a golf-cart tram, which transported us to the other side of the island, to the exclusive Yacht Club compound on the private beach.

msc seascape yacht club review

The Yacht Club section includes the only air-conditioned passenger building on the island for the club house bar. There was really no reason to access the bar most of the time though, as the service was exceptional, both on the beach as well as at the adjacent Yacht Club Ocean Restaurant. We did go in there a couple times for a quick bottled water or drink if we were passing by there for a restroom stop or to cool off a bit.

msc seascape yacht club review

As lunch the first day was from noon to 2pm, (11:30am – 1:30pm on the second day), we were a bit early for lunch, so headed to the gorgeous private beach just steps aways from the restaurant/bar area. The private beach area was huge, and offered plenty of lounge chairs with umbrellas (complimentary). We had read that the beach itself could be a bit rocky, so we brought some waterproof beach shoes which were great for not only the water, but walking on the hot beach.

In addition to the complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas, beachside cabanas could be pre-reserved as well for a fee. As the service was so good to everyone, we really didn’t see a point in getting a cabana, and were quite comfortable with our beach chairs and umbrellas, as servers were constantly coming by on the beach to provide us beverages. The beach chairs were actually closer to the water as well. The Bahamian water was so crystal blue and clear, it invited most passengers in for a refreshing dip.

msc seascape yacht club review

Snorkeling was not offered at the Yacht Club beach, possibly as there was no protective netting there (more in a moment – yikes! 😱), but it was offered at the non-Yacht Club main beach areas for a fee.

We went to lunch around 1pm at the Yacht Club outdoor Ocean House Restaurant, which is covered in most areas, along with ceiling fans to cool off. The food has different menus both days, and unlike a Buffet for the non-Yacht Club areas we passed on the way in, the YC section has full waiter service. It is served by the same wait staff on the ship, so it’s nice they know you, and you know them for the service they provide with a smile.

msc seascape yacht club review

Steve (DOS) had always wanted a lobster roll (served on the second day on the island) but doesn’t like mayonnaise, so he told that to the waiter, who in turn talked to the chef, and DOS got his lobster roll without mayo and loved it! Later on in the cruise, the chef actually came by our table one evening at dinner and asked him how he liked the lobster roll without mayo! Outstanding service, and passenger memory preferences as well!

msc seascape yacht club review

After a leisurely lunch, we headed back to the beach to relax for a while and enjoyable the beautiful mid-October day in the Bahamas. We actually got more than we expected, with some “wildlife” viewing, swimming around in the water. Yes, we saw a few sharks really close to the shore! 😱 These were sand sharks, and I guess when everyone was at lunch and the water was empty of beach goers, they decided to swim close to the shore and feed on the tiny needle or other fish. I could not believe how close the sharks got to the shore; literally in a foot of water! 🤪😜🤔😱

We, along with most our fellow passengers at the beach took photos and video of the sharks swimming around, although I don’t think anyone else got back in the water that afternoon. There is a lifeguard, and he cautioned people about the sharks, but it didn’t take much caution for us to avoid the water after lunch!

msc seascape yacht club review

The next day, we didn’t see the sharks though, and it seemed safe to go back into the water. I looked up sand sharks when we got back to the ship and Wikipedia had this article on them. They are normally “docile” to humans and are not aggressive unless provoked. They are usually more active at night, so I guess we “got lucky” by seeing them in the afternoon!

In the evening of our first day at MSC’s Ocean Cay, there were two lighthouse shows, and a huge beach party on the sand. We intended to get off the ship and go to the party, but after a big dinner and a few drinks we felt a bit lazy, so watched the show and party from our 16th floor balcony; actually probably the best view from anywhere.

msc seascape yacht club review

The beach party was adjacent to the lighthouse, and in full view for us as seen from our balcony, looked lively and fun as well. The beach party, and island “curfew” lasted until 11:30pm, at which point everyone rebounded the ship until the next day, while the “island people” who live there freshened up the island overnight.

msc seascape yacht club review

There were two different light shows; one at 9 and one at 10pm, and in between the shows were rotating light effects; i.e. MSC logo, different color lights etc, and coordinated with music as well.

The second day on Ocean Cay was basically a repeat of the first day, but without any shark sightings.😀 It was nice to sleep in a bit, have breakfast aboard the ship, and then head back to the Yacht Club Beach Resort; it had a feel of staying at a nice Caribbean land resort. DOS had his lobster roll for lunch, while I had the lunch tournedos of beef, and an ahi tuna salad.

msc seascape yacht club review

We sailed from Ocean Cay on our second day there, at 5:30pm for our next port, Costa Maya, which we would arrive in two days, after a day at sea on the way there.

COSTA MAYA, MEXICO: This is a newer Mexican port as far as tourism goes, but already it has gotten quite popular, and unfortunately crowded. The day we we docked here, there were a total of 4 mega ships in port, (RCL’s Adventure OTS, Allure OTS, Carnival Pride, and our ship MSC Seaside) and as the ships shared the two long dock areas, it was quite busy just walking down the long perpendicular dock ramps to the Costa Maya cruise entrance.

msc seascape yacht club review

Once there, it felt perhaps a little less busy than Mardi Gras, with most passengers wandering around aimlessly watching the free show in the town square, going to the many bars there, shopping, some even swimming in the huge pool there, or like us heading down to the “swim with the dolphins” area to have a look.

msc seascape yacht club review

We skipped on doing Costa Maya’s “Spa Treatment”, which consisted of women (and even some men) soaking their feet in an aquarium filled with tiny fish. Supposedly the fish gently chew on your dead skin, and somehow this “reduces stress” and “makes skin smooth and soft!”. I don’t know, but I got stressed just watching these ladies with their feet getting chewed on by those little fish! To each his own I guess; hey they’re in Mexico enjoying themselves. (At least the lady on the right. The lady on the left kept looking at her watch, like “how much longer do I have to have my feet in this horrible tank!”

msc seascape yacht club review

We did not do a shore excursion or tour here on our own, as we stopped here last year in March 2022 on a Princess cruise and had gone into town on that trip. While there were mega ships in that day as well, as it was still the trailing part of the COVID pandemic, most of the ships were only sailing half full then, so while the port was busy in places (such as the taxi stand), the port itself was more like a ghost town compared to this trip’s visit to Costa Maya. The one part that was busy then was when we took a taxi into town, and it was a bit of a free-for-all getting a cab. The town itself wasn’t as busy as the hectic cruise port, and offered massages on the beach next to one of the many ocean front beach bars and souvenir shops. The town was worth a look if you hadn’t been, and it had much more of a feel for the “real” Mexico with its rustic sea-side village. You can view our stop in Costa Maya last year on this Princess post if you want to see the village town of Costa Maya.

msc seascape yacht club review

COZUMEL MEXICO: We’ve been to Cozumel several times over the years, and always enjoy the stop there. While there were three or four ships in port the day we were there, Cozumel has several docks which are spread out by a couple miles, so it’s not nearly as overwhelming with crowds compared to Costa Maya, where the docks are all in the same area. We were docked at the International Cruise Port Terminal, which is the preferred terminal as it’s in town and the port area has some of the fun places to visit; i.e. Margaritaville and Señor Frogs among others. We had no excursions booked here, so basically wondered around the port area and into town for some exercise and bought a souvenir hat, being the big spenders we are!🤣

msc seascape yacht club review

I first went to Cozumel in 1987 on my very first cruise, Bahama Star Line’s Veracruz, when Cozumel was not a well known port of call, and the ships that did stop there were much smaller than today’s mega-monsters. That first 5 day cruise on the Veracruz, got me hooked on cruising for life, and I have fond memories of the 3 cruises I took on her the first two years alone, eventually expending my cruise repertoire to now over 75 cruises on various cruise lines with different cruise lengths and regions of the world That tiny ship, the Veracruz was only 10,000 tons or so with perhaps 700 passengers, and there were no balconies, specialty dining, internet (Internet! 🤣🤣🤣 It wasn’t even invented yet!🤣🤣🤣), but it brings back great memories to this day, and many former passengers and staff have commented on my Veracruz post from a few years back with their stories down memory lane on her as well.

msc seascape yacht club review

Anyway, sorry I digress down memory lane. What reminded me of Cozumel and the Veracruz, was the Hotel that you see in port, at the International Terminal where we were docked on the MSC Seaside. That Hotel has been there for years, although has undergone many renovations (even now) due to hurricanes and general upkeep and modernization.

msc seascape yacht club review

It was formerly called “El Sol”, Spanish for “The Sun”. I never stayed there, or even visited the property, so DOS and I toured the lobby of the hotel and grounds, which although under partial renovation, looked very nice. Even though it was so close and just across the dock area from the cruise ships, it had a secluded feel to it, with a nice pool facing our ship, a nature walk with outdoor spa, whirlpool, bar etc, and was tropically landscaping as well. DOS even went to inquire on room types and rates at the Front Desk before we left, which is now called “El Cid La Ceiba”.

msc seascape yacht club review

In my younger, “Veracruz” days, (pre-DOS) I would take the old Fiesta party boat as a shore excursion to a private beach, with unlimited rum punch and a piñata party and dancing on the way back to the port.

msc seascape yacht club review

I’m sure they have something similar to the Fiesta boat now, but we skipped the party scene on this return trip to Cozumel, although did have a look in at Margaritaville and Senior Frogs. I settled for my souvenir cap from Ron Jon’s Surf Shop in Cozumel, and we made our way back to the ship for lunch. It was a beautiful day in Cozumel while we here on the MSC Seaside in mid-October 2023.

msc seascape yacht club review

MISC/OTHER Onboard Experiences : On MSC Seaside, there were several other optional tours and events, wine tastings, backstage tours, Bingo, Slot Pulls etc you could signup and pay for, although we did not do any of them; not so much out of lack of interest, rather there were so many other activities to do, and hanging out by day at the Yacht Club pool area was one of them! 😀

Behind-the-Scenes Tour: I would have loved to have taken MSC’s Behind the Scenes Tour, but it was quite an extensive tour and required lots of walking up stairs and other areas of the ship (per their description) and as I’m still recovering from my heart surgery last year and I didn’t want to over-exert myself, although I’m doing fine walking on level surfaces. The backstage tour includes off-limits areas to guests including the Engine Room, Galley, Bridge, and Backstage of the Main theater among others. The Backstage Theater tour was always my favorite on Celebrity Cruises, and I’m sure this all inclusive Behind-the-Scenes tour would fail to disappoint as well.

Wine Tasting Events: Another event that sounded promising was one of the wine tastings. We walked by the display table for the wine tasting event that was setup adjacent the Butcher Cut (Specialty steak dining venue), and it looked quite elegant with various size Riedel glassware and fine wines. We’ve done many ship wine tastings on many different ships, and have always enjoyed them, so from the descriptions of the wine tasting it sounded very nice; again it was more of a timing thing for us. We enjoyed one wine tasting event on Celebrity Cruises years ago, that got us hooked on the Riedel glassware and use it to this day (after breaking a few glasses over the years and replenishing them obviously!)😱 A proper wine tasting with Riedel should include a different type glass for each varietal tasted, noting the differences and shapes in the stemware, paired with the appropriate wine for the glass from which you are sampling.

msc seascape yacht club review

Caviar Tasting : We did not do this, but met a couple of ladies in the Yacht Club who did, and loved it! I believe the cost was $50 for this tasting, which is held at Butcher’s Cut Steakhouse at various times.

Specialty Dining : There are several Specialty Dining venues on board, including the Butcher’s Cut, an Asian Restaurant, and a Seafood Restaurant. The Butcher’s Cut especially looked wonderful for me Steve (UNO) as I’m a steak and potatoes kind of guy, and the cuts of beef (and wines) are on display adjacent to the Specialty Restaurant’s Lounge and worth at least having a look. /

msc seascape yacht club review

We actually enjoyed the Yacht Club Restaurant so much we didn’t even make it to one of the Specialty Dining’s Restaurants aboard (although I would have chosen The Butcher’s Cut if we had gone) as we had an included complimentary Specialty Restaurant dinner with my (status match) Diamond status on MSC. Passing up on a complimentary meal at Butcher’s Steakhouse tells you how much we enjoyed The Yacht Club’s restaurant. (Actually though, I was getting a bit Filet Mignon’d out by the fourth day!)😀

Optic Eye: This was unique to us, and again we didn’t do this, but it was interesting, at least in concept. According to MSC, “it’s all the rage in Europe”, although we’ve never heard of it there either. Basically they scan your eyes with a device similar to one at an optometrist office, and it creates a colorful artwork design of your eyes, enlarged to make a poster, photo, canvas etc. I don’t know maybe it’s me, but I don’t think I would want my eyes staring at me all the time at home in the living room, but it is a unique conversation piece.🤔

BINGO! Everyone knows Bingo and if you play it, you know it! Onboard every cruise ship.

Zip Lining! This is one activity I definitely wouldn’t do, but was hoping to watch. They only offer it certain times of day, and unfortunately the last sea day was a bit windy so it was closed. I just wanted to video the brave souls that soared high over mid ship’s top deck toward the aft pool area. The zip line, (after you sign your life away waiver) costs $11 a zip. No thank you from the Steve’s, although it’s probably a blast if you’re an adventurer type.

msc seascape yacht club review

I’m sure there are many other paid events and experiences aboard, but these caught my “eye” so to speak, out of interest even though we didn’t do them. There were plenty of free activities as well such as trivia, karaoke, dance classes, beach parties, pool parties, sail-away parties, etc, etc, etc. Whatever you do, you won’t be bored or run out of things to do, and you certainly won’t go hungry.

Farewell Day at Sea: The last day of the cruise is traditionally sad for us, as you have to pack up and realize the cruise is ending early the next morning. On this cruise, most likely due to the Yacht Club service, accommodations, easy itinerary and mostly casual clothes, we were really able to relax the last day.

msc seascape yacht club review

Traditionally the first and last night of a cruise are very casual with the idea being passengers just arrived and/or have not unpacked their luggage, or on the last day have already packed up their luggage for the trip home. On MSC in the YC at least, about 50% of the passengers dressed up in semi-formal attire for the farewell Italian dinner on the last night of the cruise. This was the only night I wore shorts to the dining room as we had already packed and were only traveling an hour home to Orlando the next day. I felt a bit uncomfortable although quite a few other Floridians and others were wearing shorts as well. Some of the passengers also wore shorts to dinner on the port days, but mostly it was dress casual aboard except for the one formal night, which was not the last night of the cruise.

We spent a good part of the day by the pool area, having lunch as usual at the outdoor YC buffet. As a nice afternoon treat, the waiters come by and pass out your choice of ice cream too!

msc seascape yacht club review

For dinner, it was Italian night, and all of the waiters were dressed in tuxes with the Italian flag colors for the tie and vest. Even the tables had alternating colors of red, white, and green of the Italian flag.

msc seascape yacht club review

Disembarkation: We had our farewell breakfast in the YC Restaurant at 8am on disembarkation day, as the regular pool-side buffet breakfast was not served on the last morning. Having the full breakfast and not being rushed on Debarkation Day was especially nice vs the normal Continental Breakfast you get on some lines as you’re in a hurry to get off the ship and avoid crowds.

msc seascape yacht club review

After breakfast, we waited for a bit with the other YC guests in the Top Sail lounge as we waited to be called; rather escorted down to the exit one last time. The “walk off” guests were called first; i.e. those passengers aboard the ship (everyone, not just YC) who were carrying their own luggage off the ship (as opposed to checked luggage), which must have been a few hundred passengers. No rush for us though as we were comfortably seated in the lounge area.

We disembarked around 9:10am, and were escorted all the way to the exit, following a roped off line so the passenger mix wouldn’t get in with our flow of YC traffic. Our luggage was waiting for us in the terminal, and we got a porter to assist us (very smart move!), who wheeled our luggage thru Customs and all the way to our parking spot in the parking garage. We were on our way home by 9:30am, and home by 10:35am; quite an easy disembarkation and trip home. Welcome Home!

Final Thoughts on the MSC Seascape after our first sailing:

  • Certain areas of the MSC Seascape (more so than allowed on most other cruise lines) allow smoking. This seemed to be the main pool on the starboard side, but even the YC allowed smoking on the front portion (away from the pool though) starboard side. I don’t recall anyone smoking in the YC area however, so it wasn’t a problem for us, although on the main pool area starboard side there were quite a few smokers. The casino allows smoking but it is really filtered well, so wasn’t terrible just walking thru it, as we don’t gamble.
  • YC is truly a class by itself, and is so worth it if you can afford it. Compared to booking a suite on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, or Princess, it’s quite a bit cheaper as well, and RCL doesn’t include the drink package with all but the very top suites, nor their Beach Club access on their private island (an extra $200 a person for the one day there!)
  • The production shows in the theater do not allow you to bring a drink into them. Not a huge deal though as the shows are typically 30 -35 minutes. There were actually 5 production shows on this 7 night cruise, plus two comedy shows. The shows were shorter, except for the Michael Jackson show which lasted about 45 minutes vs 30 minutes for the others.
  • YC service includes Butlers who will escort you anywhere on the ship, and for disembarking in port as well as final debarkation. While we normally only used this service for the theater shows and going off the ship, it really does save lots of time, and makes it much easier to attend the shows, as you don’t need a reservation for the reserved YC seating area. Main passenger guests need to make reservations for the shows and queue up, while YC passengers are escorted by a butler 10-15 minutes prior to show time in a dedicated seating area which always had seats for us and others, even on the full shows.
  • YC guests do not need a reservation for dinner as it’s open seating in the YC Dining Room. Other guests must make reservations for dinner, and depending on the fare level you paid, you may not be able to pre-reserve your dining preference at one of the three seatings.
  • To us it seemed a bit of an oddity, but there are ATM-like credit card verification kiosks several places aboard the ship, where you needed to verify your credit card to enable charging on your account. We just thought it was a given to charge your credit card on file, but I guess some people put down a cash deposit, and need to have a card cover their excess charges on board. We just provided a credit card and “activated” (that’s what MSC calls it) when we boarded, and we were good to go for any incidentals.
  • The YC covers all meals, 2 internet devices per person, virtually all alcoholic and other drinks, Butler and Room Attendant services, complimentary room service (you can even order a whole pizza to your room!), dedicated Concierge service, nightly turn down service (with chocolates!), daily choice of newspapers, pillow menu, etc: so worth it all! Best of all are the dedicated spaces for it’s own restaurant, lounge, private pool and sundeck area, and the YC Beach section at Ocean Cay, as well as complimentary access to the Spa Thermal Suite.
  • The YC does NOT include daily staff gratuities, shore excursions, spa, or gift shop items.
  • MSC will “status match” their frequent quest program to another cruise line or an elite Frequent Flyer or Hotel Program. I got status matched with Hyatt Globalist which gave me Diamond status with MSC. It’s not a huge benefit, but provides a 5% discount, and one specialty dinner aboard. The YC restaurant itself was so good, however, we didn’t even go to one of the specialty dining venues, even though we had a complimentary meal at the speciality restaurant of our choice.
  • At least on the Seaside out of Port Canaveral, the shipboard announcements were not as many in quantity as we expected. It’s possible these (except for emergency or Captain’s announcements) were muted in the YC area, but we didn’t hear any more than you would on a Princess or RCL ship. This would be different in Europe I imagine due to the many nationalities boarding there, as well as the different length of cruises, even within the same 7 or 10 day itinerary (people may disembark in one port, vs taking the whole roundtrip cruise like on the Seaside out of Port Canaveral).

Finally, If you’re still here reading this; thanks for sticking around! I’ll finish this lengthy post with the finale the MSC singers and dancers concluded the Michael Jackson show with on the final night of the cruise. This song was a fitting sendoff to everyone, and in effect the ship itself is a bit of the United Nations itself with the multiple nationalities from both crew and passengers, that make up this floating city. The video is taken from the back of the theater, so it’s not the best quality, but it gives a happy and bittersweet moment for the end of show and cruise. Thanks for reading, and God bless the crew members here and worldwide that work so hard for us, and are away from their families for months at a time, so that we may enjoy our cruises. Take care everyone, and safe and happy travels!

  • ← Welcome Aboard the MSC Seaside’s Yacht Club!
  • Happy Birthday to Steve DOS from DISNEY SPRINGS! →

8 thoughts on “ The Steve’s Review of MSC Seaside’s Yacht Club ”

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Steves, thank you so much for taking the time to write this exhaustive description of your experiences. It is chock full of useful information that I will make good use of.

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My pleasure! We enjoy sharing our experiences and tips with others. Thanks for your comments!

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Hi both We are booked on MSC SEASHORE which I presume is mostly identical in October. Yacht Club….. I can’t wait for this top notch experience. Your review brought it to life especially the private island. Your writeup of the boarding experience was very informative and will mean hopefully we wont wait in the wrong queue with no fizz! Excellent and thanks

Hi Graham, glad you enjoyed my post on the Yacht Club. While we haven’t taken the Seashore, from what I’ve read (as it’s based in North America) it should be a very similar experience. As the Yacht Club is such an intimate and enhanced experience, you’ll meet many of your fellow YC passengers there, and everyone we met said they would only do the YC on MSC again it was so wonderful! Enjoy your trip on the Seashore!

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Thank you so much for this really detailed review. We were suggested Yacht Club by our travel agent but we haven’t yet made a final decision based on so many negative reviews of both MSC and the Yacht Club. Your review makes me much more likely to give it a try this coming October!!

You will love the Yacht Club if you do it. Yes, MSC itself has had some negatives; mainly due to the ‘nickel and diming’, required reservations for shows etc in the basic MSC lower, non YC cabins.. The Yacht Club, however is in a totally different league. There are only about 200 passengers in the YC, and it feels like a “country club” setting. You are free to explore the ship ship anywhere, however it feels so special coming back “home” to the YC. I really think you will like it. We’ve sailed many cruises on many lines, and we were quite impressed with the level of service and attention to details. Enjoy!

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We have been dedicated Celebrity cruisers for a few years now. One of our sons got employed by MSC last Fall, and we took advantage of a “Family & Friends” program to cruise on MSC SEASHORE in March for four nights. Balcony cabin was nice, ship was beautiful, staff was great, but certainly not Celebrity level.

We are going back on SEASHORE in June for ten nights in The Yacht Club, then on Seaside in November out of Miami, and SEASHORE again next April. All Yacht Club, which we can do for the price of a regular balcony on Celebrity.

Really enjoyed this great review, and really looking forward to the MSC Yacht Club.

We have enjoyed the upscale Celebrity experience as well over the years, and are going on the Beyond for the first time in August. We were quite impressed with the service level on MSC’s Yacht Club, and felt it was more personal than many ships we’ve sailed. For the price point you’re absolutely right; the YC is less than a balcony on Celebrity, plus for the Caribbean itineraries at least, many offer an overnight at MSC’s private island which is wonderful! Enjoy your upcoming cruises!

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  • MSC Cruises

Seascape Yacht Club Pool Deck

SHREKFIONA

By SHREKFIONA , May 10, 2023 in MSC Cruises

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25+ Club

Good Morning

This will be our first MSC cruise in March 2024.  We are booked in cabin 18019.  I have a few questions if anyone can help.

1.  Is there shade/umbrella's on the Yacht Club Pool Deck

2.  Does cabin 18019 have a walk in closet

3.  When do you book Specialty Restaurants

4.  Do you need to book times to eat at the Yacht Club Restaurant

Thanks in advance for any help you can give, pictures would be a plus.  Please feel free to add comments about what you liked/disliked

about this cruise.  We are usually Royal fans but wanted to try something new.

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26 minutes ago, SHREKFIONA said: 1.  Is there shade/umbrella's on the Yacht Club Pool Deck

Seashore/Seascape are basically identical.....

...and you can see the tables/chairs that are in the shade. You can also drag (or have an attendant drag) a lounger to the same area for some shade. 

31 minutes ago, SHREKFIONA said: 2.  Does cabin 18019 have a walk in closet
31 minutes ago, SHREKFIONA said: 3.  When do you book Specialty Restaurants

When you are on the ship, speak to the Yacht Club concierge as soon as possible. 

32 minutes ago, SHREKFIONA said: 4.  Do you need to book times to eat at the Yacht Club Restaurant

No, you just show up. They may ask you what time frame that you would prefer just to make it easier for them to plan ahead but you are not tied to any time. Don't be surprised if your butler asks if he/she can escort you to dinner every evening. 

Like

Thank you so much for your response and the pictures you sent.  So excited to try

MSC for the first time.  Since I cannot sit in the sun I will be moving my lounger.

One change that was made on Seascape as far as the Yacht Club pergolas is that on Seashore, you would have to use towels to build (or have an attendant build) a shield to block out the sun. On Seascape, there is a more permanent solution for the pergolas....

IMG_2587.thumb.jpg.37f31bfe26ae41b63f7c5

I still prefer the old cabanas that Seaside/Seaview have but the white roof/curtains on Seascape is better than the towel solution on Seashore. 

SpareBrew

There isn’t much shade on the pool deck.  Plus, the majority of the cabanas are reserved.  But more are available on port days.

Great crew and buffet!!

IMG_3024.jpeg

Thank you everyone for your responses

We'll also be on Seascape, March 2024 (1st time on MSC and YC as well). Maybe we're on the same sailing (3/30 Eastern)

Hi! I'll be sailing in a Yacht Club Interior Suite in March (MSC Seashore). Will I be able to reserve a pergola ? 

1 hour ago, FLchick3 said: Hi! I'll be sailing in a Yacht Club Interior Suite in March (MSC Seashore). Will I be able to reserve a pergola ? 

If you're not in a Royal Suite or an Owner's Suites, they are (I believe) first come, first serve.

Oh, that would be good news. I'm an early riser. 

1,000+ Club

There are no loungers in the shade, except for about 6 pergolas open to a first come first served basis. The others are reserved for Owners Suites, only.

We found this to be a real problem on the Seascape. They really should address this issue, because everything else about the Yacht Club experience was excellent.

5,000+ Club

47 minutes ago, LewiLewi said: There are no loungers in the shade, except for about 6 pergolas open to a first come first served basis. The others are reserved for Owners Suites, only. We found this to be a real problem on the Seascape. They really should address this issue, because everything else about the Yacht Club experience was excellent.

Just another reason I’m glad they invented sunscreen, and hats, I like nice hats. 

1 hour ago, LewiLewi said: The others are reserved for Owners Suites, only.

Royal Suites also have a reserved pergola.

7 hours ago, PTC DAWG said: Just another reason I’m glad they invented sunscreen, and hats, I like nice hats. 

But for people who have to avoid the sun, or just don’t want to be in the sun, this is a real problem. NO SHADE AT ALL. There should be a way for them to address this issue.

3,000+ Club

morpheusofthesea

1 hour ago, LewiLewi said: But for people who have to avoid the sun, or just don’t want to be in the sun, this is a real problem. NO SHADE AT ALL. There should be a way for them to address this issue.

We found that to be a problem on the Divina our first time in RS, no pergolas reserved. But we all did notice this group of four 'repeaters' that brought their own attachable umbrellas having experience the One Pool Deck many times. We bought a couple in anticipating returning to the Divina one day, but switched over to the Sea....class of ships with  bigger RS and bigger balcony and reserved pergolas. 

Just added info on sun rays passing through glass like a solarium. According to the following, the most harmful UV-B rays are blocked going through glass. “Standard window glass, according to the International Ultraviolet Association, will allow UV-A to pass through while almost 100% of the UV-B and UV-C light is blocked. Therefore, some UV light will enter your home and potentially affect your skin. UV-C rays penetrate the body the least, mostly effecting weak points such as the eyes. UV-A rays can only penetrate the first layer of skin, while UV-B rays can penetrate to the middle layer of skin and cause deep cancerous spots known as melanoma.

Is there a charge for a pergola or cabana on the YC pool deck?

3 hours ago, Linda W. said: Is there a charge for a pergola or cabana on the YC pool deck?

Depends on the ship.

47 minutes ago, Linda W. said: Seascape

FCFS complimentary

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msc seascape yacht club review

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    MSC Cruises. Good Morning This will be our first MSC cruise in March 2024. We are booked in cabin 18019. I have a few questions if anyone can help. 1. Is there shade/umbrella's on the Yacht Club Pool Deck 2. Does cabin 18019 have a walk in closet 3. When do you book Specialty Restaurants 4.