AD: This cruise on MSC Virtuosa was organised and paid for by MSC Cruises. All opinions are my own. Have a question? Leave a comment or send me a message.
Described as a ‘ship within a ship’, The Yacht Club is MSC Cruises take on the luxury cruise market. Yacht Club passengers have exclusive access to a section of the ship – including a private sundeck, restaurant and lounge.
MSC Cruises: Background
MSC Cruises is a privately owned company founded in Italy, ships like MSC Virtuosa exude glamorous Italian style and cater to the whole family.
On MSC Virtuosa you’ll find Swarovski crystal staircases and a Galleria which has a flavour of Milan and Venice in its design with an innovative 93m LED screen across the ceiling and the largest shopping area at sea (tied with sister ship MSC Grandiosa).
Related: Watch my ship tour video of MSC Bellissima
With 21 bars and lounges, an aqua park and a 390m2 sports area, there’s a lot to keep everyone busy and entertained on MSC Virtuosa, and the facilities for children look the best at sea with a huge 700m2 of space dedicated just for them.
Top Left: Robot Bartender, Top Right: Masters of the Sea, Bottom: Hola! Tacos & Cantina
MSC Virtuosa was built with several environmental technologies and is their sixth ship to have MSC for Me, the smartphone app helps you plan and manage many aspects of your cruise experience.
MSC Yacht Club guests can of course experience all of the ships offerings, but benefit from having their own space to escape to. The service here was a noticeable step up, the staff were incredibly polite and attentive, even during the busyness of embarkation the process was made more comfortable with a seating area and refreshments.
Related: An Eastern Mediterranean Cruise
MSC Yacht Club: Suites
The Yacht Club has 103 suites over 3 decks with 24 hour butler service and concierge service. The largest are the two Royal Suites that come with their own private whirlpool on the balcony. I stayed in a spacious deluxe suite with a comfortable bed, sofa area and balcony. The room also had a stocked mini bar and cupboard with cutlery, plus tea and coffee making facilities – great for British passengers sailing from Southampton.
MSC Yacht Club Deluxe Suite
MSC Yacht Club: Top Sail Lounge
The Top Sail Lounge is a tranquil area at the top of the ship with tall glass windows flooding the space with natural light during the day.
Here you can relax in a plush armchair with a coffee or cocktail, accompanied by scrumptious finger food, or indulge in a Champagne Afternoon Tea which was one of the best I’ve had on both land and sea.
MSC Yacht Club Afternoon Tea
The Afternoon Tea was served on a traditional three tier stand containing light and fluffy sandwiches, scones and delicate melt in your mouth pastries, all accompanied by a glass of champagne and freshly brewed loose leaf tea that was presented and explained to you before making your selection.
I was very impressed that an Italian cruise line would offer a traditionally British experience like this and do it so well!
MSC Yacht Club Restaurant
The Yacht Club restaurant is where staying guests can enjoy their main meals, it’s more of an intimate experience than Virtuosa’s main dining rooms and feels like you could be in some glitzy restaurant in London.
There are a couple of speciality restaurants (with an extra charge) onboard Virtuosa that would appeal to all passengers desiring something different from the dining rooms, particularly Teppanyaki where you can have an interactive dining experience with a Chef, Butchers Cut for a remarkably good steak, and Hola! Tacos and Cantina which offers all you can eat Mexican cuisine.
Above: Breakfast and Dinner in the Yacht Club Restaurant
If you’re on a longer cruise I’d highly recommend checking out the packages for speciality dining, I’ve tried the restaurants above and the experience was quality.
The Aurea Spa
The Aurea Spa is another area to explore when booking a cruise on Virtuosa, I can’t think a better way of unwinding than with a relaxing massage, and there’s over 20 massages to choose from which you can enjoy before or after a thermal area experience – plus Yacht Club guests have complimentary access to the Thermal Suite.
I was very impressed by the Yacht Club experience and the ship itself, there’s plenty onboard to keep you entertained. I booked a cruise on MSC Virtuosa after this trip in a balcony cabin and had a great time.
For a 3 night cruise on MSC Virtuosa prices range from £259pp for an interior cabin, and £1049pp for the Yacht Club for the 2022 season in Southampton.
If you’re looking to cruise out of Southampton with MSC in 2023, MSC Grandiosa will be coming to Southampton and is a very similar size and design to MSC Virtuosa.