May 12, 2022
MSC Virtuosa – A Yacht Club Experience for any special occasion
Are you having trouble with what to do with your well-earned holidays for this year or next? Tired of the same oversubscribed holiday spots? Well, it may be time to make room for a mini-break aboard the high-seas with the Yacht Club MSC Virtuosa cruise – the perfect trip for cruising novices to experienced cruisers.
One of Luxuria Lifestyles’ travel writers and I jumped on board to enjoy a unique stay from Southampton to Guernsey and are here to get you cruise savvy by sharing the ins and outs.
The MSC Virtuosa arrived in the port of Southampton where we boarded. Things were a little chaotic at the port so if, like me, you are not a fan of swimming in crowds, we would highly recommend The Yacht Club butler and concierge service. It offers priority boarding with a personal butler to whisk you straight through with no questions asked.
Upon checking into the room, we were delighted to find chocolate strawberries and prosecco waiting. But my favourite part had to be the private balcony overlooking the shimmering sapphire sea. For a moment we almost forgot we were in the UK. With ample space for two to sit and enjoy the sun and a moment of peace and tranquillity with a book, the trip was off to a great start.
We settled in and set off for lunch visiting HOLA Tacos & Cantina. The street food dining concept offers a selection of delicious Latin American and Mexican-inspired dishes and drinks to be shared and enjoyed. Naturally, we decided to start our holiday the right way, with a jug of Margaritas, accompanied by guacamole and tacos to share and a main to ourselves.
After lunch, we took a tour of the cruise, getting to sample all the activities and entertainment on offer, and I was impressed.
Pro tip – explore the cruise and check out their daily planner at the beginning of your trip to browse the activities available so you don’t miss out.
If sports are your thing, then the huge 390m2 sporting area is a must with ample basketball, volleyball, football, and tennis facilities. Or why not head to one of the ship’s lounges for a dance class or sing your heart out at a karaoke session.
If none of those appeal the pool deck with its very impressive aquapark (at sea?!) and an innovative Himalayan Bridge where guests can attach themselves to a rope course and cross the ship. A truly unique experience for adults looking for a bit of adventure. Alternatively, you can try your luck at Virtuaosa’s Red Gem Casino, where you have a selection of 164 slot machines, 12 tables and the latest gaming technology to choose from.
If you’re a fitness fanatic like my guest and I, you will be impressed with the fitness space MSC Gym had to offer. Kitted out with state-of-the-art high-quality Technogym equipment. We had a fab time doing partnered workouts, perfect for those still looking to stay in shape while on this unique experience.
The concept of the Yacht club is for it to be a “ship within a ship” for those seeking exclusivity and privacy within a world of choice. And we certainly felt this throughout our first day, ending with being wined and dined in the private restaurant, over a delicious three-course meal.
The next day started a little differently, with us deciding to treat ourselves to a rare and cherished moment of relaxation after busy weeks of work by getting a massage at the MSC Aurea Spa, followed by a post-massage soak in the jacuzzi overlooking the ocean.
In the afternoon we were spoilt with afternoon tea and prosecco at the Yacht Club. This was accompanied by gourmet La Via del Tè teas and a very experienced waiter to take us through the origins of the selections. This was a lovely touch that made it a very personal experience. The highlight was definitely the Jean Philippes macaroons, a truly melt-in-your-mouth experience. You may have a plate or five of any of your favourite afternoon tea selections.
If you are a Japanese food lover, I’d highly recommend dinner at Kaito Teppanyaki. Be sure to make a booking as there are limited seats for this intimate experience. The chef was interactive and delivered an entertaining culinary show.
The highlight of the trip had to be the Arkymea show in the Carousel Lounge, an intimate state-of-the-art venue. The stage and production of the show were magical, as it featured breath-taking acrobatics, dance and music, from aerial acts to diabolo and more, to create a multi-sensory entertainment experience. It had a unique 360° rotating stage, with the carousel in the middle of the lounge, and a wall to display custom-made graphics, which all made it feel as if I was in dreamland.
We made friends on the cruise, and The Hologate Arena was the perfect group activity as it transported us into the immersive world of virtual reality to fight robots, zombies, and dragons. The futuristic technology attracts young adults onto the cruise.
The age demographics varied from young adults on a hen-do to families with kids and grandparents. The 2-night all-inclusive trip can appeal to young adults to get away for a boozy party, or relax during and spa weekend. With the variety of kids’ entertainment, it’s no surprise parents would pick a cruise to keep their kids occupied whilst they can enjoy a holiday at the same time. We also met a heart-warming family in the Yacht Club, who were of three generations, with the cruise being the perfect place for a reunion as guests can enjoy an intimate luxury holiday whilst everything is in the palm of their hands in a safe environment.
Tempted after reading this piece?
We’d highly recommend MSC Virtuosa as a perfect mini cruise or maxi cruise of course! The mini cruise is a 3-night sailing to Rotterdam and is perfect for the first-time cruiser who wants a taste of a holiday at sea, or an experienced cruiser looking to make the most of a long weekend away. Cruises depart on 27th May & 24th September.
Prices start from £259pp in an interior cabin in the main part of the ship or in the Yacht Club £1049pp. After that Yacht Club experience, there’s no way we could turn back.
Fancy a longer trip?
The 14-night Meditteranean cruise is perfect for families with departures on the 16h and 30th July, these no-fly adventures offer action-packed itineraries allowing you to explore seven different ports including a late sail from the fabulous Palma de Mallorca. Prices start from £1299 per adult with children travelling at reduced rates, or £4459 in the Yacht Club.
For more information or to book now visit here, see your local travel agent or call 0203 426 3010.
Written by Vanessa Hoh for Luxuria Lifestyle London and International