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MSC Yacht Club versus Oceania?


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I’ve booked MSC Seashore next year in Yacht club for 7 days. I can get a 10 day on Oceania Serena for essentially the same price. I’ll have to add a beverage package on Oceania if I choose it. I understand the advantage of a large ship versus small one as it pertains to space, activities and entertainment. Probably won’t even bother getting off the ship during port days. Need service,quiet,relaxation and great food. 
 

The most important part of the cruise for me is the food. How does YC dining compare to Oceania? Any additional advice or considerations are greatly appreciated. 

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1 minute ago, jayl65 said:

 

I’ve booked MSC Seashore next year in Yacht club for 7 days. I can get a 10 day on Oceania Serena for essentially the same price. I’ll have to add a beverage package on Oceania if I choose it. I understand the advantage of a large ship versus small one as it pertains to space, activities and entertainment. Probably won’t even bother getting off the ship during port days. Need service,quiet,relaxation and great food. 
 

The most important part of the cruise for me is the food. How does YC dining compare to Oceania? Any additional advice or considerations are greatly appreciated. 

Sitting back with a glass of wine to witness this comparison. I think the biggest challenge will be to find Oceania passengers who would do an MSC cruise.

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I haven’t been on MSC. I think you have to factor in accommodation to this as well, Sirena is an R class ship and much smaller than MSC ships, so due diligence with regard to grade of cabin and expectations.

 

if it’s peace and quiet you want and good food, then Sirena will meet that in abundance. 

 

If I had the choice you are describing, there would be no contest.

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I did a 2 night mini cruise on Magnifica a few years back.  The ship didn't have a Yacht Club, but the ship was well fitted, decor was (mostly!) tasteful & I remember the risotto I ate one evening to be better than any I had eaten in Toscana.  I would have no qualms about sailing on them in Yacht Club.  The fact that they are family owned seemed to carry over to the crew.....no mean feat with such a large operation.  I love "O", but actively avoid Sirena due to the Tuscan Steak/Red Ginger combo, which for me really doesn't work.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, jayl65 said:

 

I’ve booked MSC Seashore next year in Yacht club for 7 days. I can get a 10 day on Oceania Serena for essentially the same price. I’ll have to add a beverage package on Oceania if I choose it. I understand the advantage of a large ship versus small one as it pertains to space, activities and entertainment. Probably won’t even bother getting off the ship during port days. Need service,quiet,relaxation and great food. 
 

The most important part of the cruise for me is the food. How does YC dining compare to Oceania? Any additional advice or considerations are greatly appreciated. 

 

We haven't yet sailed Oceania, the best 3 of the 15 cruiselines we've sailed are (in order) Crystal, MSC YC and Azamara. That is the context to my following comments.

 

Often we read that Oceania and Az are comparable products, being the two major (only?) lines classified as 'premium'. Most say, although no Azamite would agree, that Oceania food is better than Az. From our experience, that wouldn't be difficult in terms of MDR and it was the specialty restaurants that vastly improved our Az experience....they are wonderful.

 

Now to MSC Yacht Club, and note it is Yacht Club the OP is asking about....the standard MSC product is average, but YC is superb in our experience. It is not quite Crystal, they operate as lead-in to the luxury cruiselines, but definitely better than premium and sits a little below luxury...so, Premium ++ if you like.

 

The YC dining room food is excellent, not quite specialty restaurant standard. The YC enclave, for a maximum of 200 passengers, is palatial. It is a ship within a ship experience, and has it's own dedicated restaurant, lounge with bar, and sundeck with pool and bar and grill food area.

 

For us, apart from the YC itself, the thing we love about it is that the rest of the (huge) ship is available to you when you want it....and then, after a few hours (mainly in the evening for us) you retreat back to the YC lounge for a couple of nightcaps. Incidentally, the included drinks are available even outwith the YC and are extensive including most premium brands....but excluding true top shelf drinks, which are available by upgrading at a cost of £13pppd or $17pppd.

 

One final note for those thinking it will be a nightmare getting off the ship for excursions and back on again....not so, YC guests have priority and go right to the front of any line thus boarding quickly after a tiring day sightseeing. Same for embarkation and debarkation. The YC butlers attend to all of that, and any other whim you may have.

 

The main thing which lets it down, compared to the premium and boutique luxury lines, is itinerary repetition. Because of the new ship sizes, they cannot access smaller ports. But for that, MSC Yacht Club would be our cruise of choice after 47 cruises on 15 different cruiselines.  

 

I would strongly recommend Yacht Club, and staying on board for ports would enhance the experience even more....and negates my comment in relation to itinerary repetition, in your case. Go for it!

Edited by hamrag
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Posted (edited)

We have been on both. Our opinions - YMMV:

 

Food - Yacht Club is better than mainstream lines like Celebrity and Princess but the Yacht Club Dining Room does not measure up to Oceania especially when factoring in specialties and Waves on O and there is nothing to compare to Horizons (which we love) - the MSC buffets are average at best. 

 

Service - Hands down, Yacht Club by quite a bit. It wasn't flawless but it was generally very good or better. Many of the staff will recognize you after a day or two and then the service becomes more personalized.

 

Ambience - Again, hands down Yacht Club. It is less crowded and generally quiet and relaxing although there is always the inevitable self absorbed, self important travelers who can have a negative impact e.g. loud, demanding and sometimes just being good at being obnoxious. But we found those folks on our O trips as well. We were on a TA and there were no kids in the Yacht Club. If there were kids in the Yacht Club, that could change things quite a bit.

 

If we had your decision, the 10 days would be the deciding factor and we would go on Sirena. If they were both the same duration and same price, we would go on Yacht Club.

 

The MSC production shows are quite a bit different them anything else we have seen on a ship. We really enjoyed them but some hate them. Worth researching.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Croooser
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13 hours ago, jayl65 said:

 

I’ve booked MSC Seashore next year in Yacht club for 7 days. I can get a 10 day on Oceania Serena for essentially the same price. I’ll have to add a beverage package on Oceania if I choose it. I understand the advantage of a large ship versus small one as it pertains to space, activities and entertainment. Probably won’t even bother getting off the ship during port days. Need service,quiet,relaxation and great food. 
 

The most important part of the cruise for me is the food. How does YC dining compare to Oceania? Any additional advice or considerations are greatly appreciated. 

What room are you looking at on Oceania?

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For future reference about MSC:  they recognize that their 7-ports-in-7-days repeating itineraries are a turnoff for repeat customers, and are planning to develop new itineraries with fewer ports, longer stays and overnights.  [See the last paragraph of this interview: https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/24769-msc-cruises-takes-leadership-role-in-itinerary-planning.html]

This puts MSC Yacht Club back on my radar.

 

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2 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

For future reference about MSC:  they recognize that their 7-ports-in-7-days repeating itineraries are a turnoff for repeat customers, and are planning to develop new itineraries with fewer ports, longer stays and overnights.  [See the last paragraph of this interview: https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/24769-msc-cruises-takes-leadership-role-in-itinerary-planning.html]

This puts MSC Yacht Club back on my radar.

 

Absolutely, me too, it's the current repetitive itineraries that prevent us sailing MSC YC more often. In the short term, somewhat stir crazy after being dry docked for 15 months, we'd not really care where we go just to get back on board again!

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Thanks everyone for your input. 
 

The MSC Yacht Club is definitely on my to do list. It was appealing because of the ship within a ship concept and on the new MSC Seashore is currently being purpose built for this concept. It will have the largest most spacious YC of any of the fleet. Approximately 6 acres of space dedicated to 200 YC passengers. I found out today my deposit for YC is non refundable. So I used it to book another MSC cruise on the Davina.

 

I’ve also booked the Sirena for 10 days in November 2022. 
 

I’ll be booking YC again in the future. Had to sacrifice it this go round to get my Oceania dream. 
 

 

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6 hours ago, jayl65 said:

Thanks everyone for your input. 
 

The MSC Yacht Club is definitely on my to do list. It was appealing because of the ship within a ship concept and on the new MSC Seashore is currently being purpose built for this concept. It will have the largest most spacious YC of any of the fleet. Approximately 6 acres of space dedicated to 200 YC passengers. I found out today my deposit for YC is non refundable. So I used it to book another MSC cruise on the Davina.

 

I’ve also booked the Sirena for 10 days in November 2022. 
 

I’ll be booking YC again in the future. Had to sacrifice it this go round to get my Oceania dream. 
 

 

If I had the choice of ship within a ship I would choose Celebrity or the Haven on NCL they are both perfection..

Jancruz1

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The Yacht Club is certainly a great experience. As others have said, service and ambience are fine. One thing against is it the lack of storage space in cabins. It's quite substantially less than expectations; it's rather surprising in my view, so go prepared.

 

On the food question, well, the breakfast is OK but not as good as Oceania. Lunch and dinner are different rather than better or worse. There are less heavy meat dishes, more fish, and plenty of pasta and risotto. If you like "gelato", you'll definitely enjoy it. The YC also has a first-class cheese selection which is always available.

 

For such a small number of passengers, the space available in the lounge and outside deck is enormous. Getting used to a monstrous ship after intimate Oceania takes a bit of getting used to, but the ship is really one boat with two systems.

 

Our experience was on MSC Meraviglia in 2018 from Hamburg to Svalbard and return, a great itinerary, which should surely determine which we take.

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Haven’t found the right itinerary for them yet, but we have friends that have done the YC 3-4 times along with Oceania. I believe their comments echo what most have said here.

 

Their bottom line is this. When they choose to see a full stage entertainment production, it’s there for them on the YC. When they choose to hit a high(er) energy casino with more options it’s there on the YC. When they choose more peace and quiet it’s available on both. They were miserable on a Nautica cruise because it was sooo sleepy in the casino and the shows so amateurish. They do enjoy the O Class ships but will never sail an R again. For them, the difference in food quality doesn’t make up for the lack of amenities on a R ship when compared to the YC. Itinerary does drive their cruise selection.

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18 hours ago, pinotlover said:

Itinerary does drive their cruise selection.

Apparently only within limits. 

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22 hours ago, pinotlover said:

Haven’t found the right itinerary for them yet, but we have friends that have done the YC 3-4 times along with Oceania. I believe their comments echo what most have said here.

 

Their bottom line is this. When they choose to see a full stage entertainment production, it’s there for them on the YC. When they choose to hit a high(er) energy casino with more options it’s there on the YC. When they choose more peace and quiet it’s available on both. They were miserable on a Nautica cruise because it was sooo sleepy in the casino and the shows so amateurish. They do enjoy the O Class ships but will never sail an R again. For them, the difference in food quality doesn’t make up for the lack of amenities on a R ship when compared to the YC. Itinerary does drive their cruise selection.

If we want “Broadway” entertainment, we go to Broadway.

Seriously, at least biannually, we choose a cruise with NYC as a start or end port with an extended land stay to OD on Broadway, see old friends, etc. Likewise, when we do a cruise out of Southampton, a few days of London (including the West End) is in the mix.


I’m not saying that big ship production shows don’t work for some folks. But, IMO, it pales in comparison to the food/service/ambiance and port accessibility that comes with an R ship.

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On 4/29/2021 at 4:09 PM, Host Jazzbeau said:

For future reference about MSC:  they recognize that their 7-ports-in-7-days repeating itineraries are a turnoff for repeat customers, and are planning to develop new itineraries with fewer ports, longer stays and overnights.  [See the last paragraph of this interview: https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/24769-msc-cruises-takes-leadership-role-in-itinerary-planning.html]

This puts MSC Yacht Club back on my radar.

 

Interesting.  The first time we cruised in the Yacht Club we were blown away by the roomy facilities and terrific service!  The food was adequate but somewhat of a disappointment.  As to their very port intensive itineraries we find that no problem as we always have the ability to stay on the ship during a port day (which we often do on their Caribbean itineraries).  I should add that after only a few days of our first YC cruise we quickly booked a 2nd and a 3rd.  The YC is not prefect, but it is the best value in all of cruising.  For about $300 per passenger day I get the service and facilities I would expect on one of the ultra luxury lines which can cost nearly $1000 per passenger day.  Now, if we could only get them to improve the food :).

 

Hank

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10 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

If we want “Broadway” entertainment, we go to Broadway.

Seriously, at least biannually, we choose a cruise with NYC as a start or end port with an extended land stay to OD on Broadway, see old friends, etc. Likewise, when we do a cruise out of Southampton, a few days of London (including the West End) is in the mix.


I’m not saying that big ship production shows don’t work for some folks. But, IMO, it pales in comparison to the food/service/ambiance and port accessibility that comes with an R ship.

Oh, I so agree with you. Let's face it the shows in NYC and London are going to be the top stars but not on a cruise ship.

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42 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

Interesting.  The first time we cruised in the Yacht Club we were blown away by the roomy facilities and terrific service!  The food was adequate but somewhat of a disappointment.  As to their very port intensive itineraries we find that no problem as we always have the ability to stay on the ship during a port day (which we often do on their Caribbean itineraries).  I should add that after only a few days of our first YC cruise we quickly booked a 2nd and a 3rd.  The YC is not prefect, but it is the best value in all of cruising.  For about $300 per passenger day I get the service and facilities I would expect on one of the ultra luxury lines which can cost nearly $1000 per passenger day.  Now, if we could only get them to improve the food :).

 

Hank

FWIW:

Among our future cruises is a 45 day CPT-NYC itinerary on a true “premium” line (differentiated from its “luxury” sister line only by the amount of inclusive items). The line features among the best crew and space-to-passenger ratios in the industry and among the top five cruise industry budgets for food per passenger (with meal quality to match). The net per person cost to us for a balcony cabin on this cruise is $305/day. And, of course, that’s before any TA perks/rebates/etc.

As is often the case with all sorts of savvy shopping, the best items need not cost more than the wannabes. 

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