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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Private Yacht Club pool

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

Photos by Jackie Sheckler Finch

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

 

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