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DCGuy64

Meraviglia interior YC for non-seafood lovers - is it worth it?

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So here's the thing: my wife and I were booked on the Armonia but are now weighing other options since Cuba is out of the picture. By chance I happened to see an inside cabin in the Yacht Club on the Meraviglia for just a bit more than our Aurea balcony cabin on the Armonia. It's a newer, bigger and by all accounts nicer ship. However, we love balconies and the YC cabin is an interior cabin. Also, my wife is a vegetarian and I'm not a fan of seafood. I have read so many good reviews of the YC but people go on and on about the fish dishes, clams, etc. which we don't eat. So is it worth it for us to be in the YC given those parameters? The YC suites are out of our budget. The one thing I do see over and over is that getting drinks is really quick in the YC. Last year on the Seaside, we used the Aurea Top Deck Solarium a lot, but even there we had to wait for drinks a lot of the time. The regular bars and restaurants were sometimes terribly slow when it came to getting cocktails, and that's a definite pet peeve for me. 

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We've booked YC insides for our next 2 cruises - 7 nights on Seaview in Aug/Sept and 23 nights on Meraviglia Oct/Nov.   We've always had balconies before, but, as you say, the YC balconies - especially on the newer ships - are very pricey.  However, I'd rather be in YC in an inside than any other category in the rest of the ship!

 

Neither I, nor DH, are seafood lovers and manage perfectly well with food offerings.  When in YC, they will go above and beyond if the menus don't appeal.  Have a word with the (asst) m'D in the restaurant if you're having problems and certainly discuss the fact that your wife is vegetarian.  There's always a vegetarian dish on the menu, anyway.

 

Service in the Top Sail Lounge can be slow, depending on how busy it is and how lazy the butlers on duty are.  We've had some amazing butler service on some cruises and real doozies on others.  Same goes for service on the One Pool deck. 

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I'd echo Bea's thoughts. YC food (of any variety) will almost certainly be a grade above the 'regular' food in the MDR. As Bea mentions, part of the YC premium you're paying will mean you can be more specific in your requests and they are likely to be granted as far as dining options go.

 

I was waiting 20 minutes to be served in the TSL one day, and when I approached the bar, I was barked at by the barman to sit down. So no guarantees of quick service, although broadly we had a drink within 5 minutes of sitting down 90% of the time.

 

Being in the YC complex on Meraviglia would be a wise move I'd say.

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2 hours ago, DCGuy64 said:

So here's the thing: my wife and I were booked on the Armonia but are now weighing other options since Cuba is out of the picture. By chance I happened to see an inside cabin in the Yacht Club on the Meraviglia for just a bit more than our Aurea balcony cabin on the Armonia. It's a newer, bigger and by all accounts nicer ship. However, we love balconies and the YC cabin is an interior cabin. Also, my wife is a vegetarian and I'm not a fan of seafood. I have read so many good reviews of the YC but people go on and on about the fish dishes, clams, etc. which we don't eat. So is it worth it for us to be in the YC given those parameters? The YC suites are out of our budget. The one thing I do see over and over is that getting drinks is really quick in the YC. Last year on the Seaside, we used the Aurea Top Deck Solarium a lot, but even there we had to wait for drinks a lot of the time. The regular bars and restaurants were sometimes terribly slow when it came to getting cocktails, and that's a definite pet peeve for me. 

 

After a very good culinary experience in the YC in the Med on Divina I was VERY disappointed in my recent YC culinary experience in the Baltic/Fiords on Meraviglia.  Like you I am not a big seafood eater plus I strictly limit my carbs.  As a result there was rarely more than one menu item I would even consider.  Everything else was seafood, pastas, and risottos.  And even when something looked like it would be good, it wasn't.  The first night I had a 'breaded' veal chop that was all fat and gristle. 


I ended up ordering off the everyday part of the menu, most nights, but that was no panacea, because out of about a half dozen filets exactly 0 were cooked properly.  I ordered medium rare every time, and got everything from done to shoe leather to blood rare.  Not one was cooked properly.  And the meat itself was nothing special.  I get much better steaks, cooked properly every time, at the local Texas Roadhouse for 20 bucks.  

Sadly the inability to prepare a steak properly extended to the Butcher's Cut.  We are there twice, and both times the steaks were WAY underdone - to the point where I sent them back, which is something I NEVER do.  The only decently cooked steak I had was in the teppanyaki restaurant - which turned out to be our favorite dining venue.

We do this thing when we travel where we each say what the best bite of food we had each day, and for the 3 best bites of food on the cruise as a whole.  For example, on the Divina cruise my best bite was a Beef Tataglia made with Piedmontese beef.  Until the last 2 days, when we ate in the teppanyaki restaurant and I had a delicious scallop, one of my three best bites was the hotdog at the Pub.  Which was kind of sad.  

As to getting drinks in the Top Sail Lounge, if your cruise is like ours was you will do plenty of waiting.  The butlers on Meraviglia did not deliver the level of service we had experienced on Divina.  While part of it may have been a lower staffing level, the training for many of them was lacking.  Standing at the bar with their back to the lounge, tunnel vision, looking down at the floor rather than scanning the room, etc.  Some of the butlers were outstanding, but some were pretty lame.  The inconsistency was very surprising.  I was even wondering if some were new, since there had been a short drydock right before our cruise.

Anyway, lest I discourage you, none of these things ruined our cruise.  Life in a substandard Yacht Club still beats the tar out of non-YC accommodations.  I probably would have thought the Meraviglia YC was splendid, had I not had recent experience in Divina's YC.

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1 hour ago, Captain-John said:

I'd echo Bea's thoughts. YC food (of any variety) will almost certainly be a grade above the 'regular' food in the MDR. As Bea mentions, part of the YC premium you're paying will mean you can be more specific in your requests and they are likely to be granted as far as dining options go.

 

I was waiting 20 minutes to be served in the TSL one day, and when I approached the bar, I was barked at by the barman to sit down. So no guarantees of quick service, although broadly we had a drink within 5 minutes of sitting down 90% of the time.

 

Being in the YC complex on Meraviglia would be a wise move I'd say.

Hmm. Waiting 20 minutes for a drink and then being barked at is not exactly my idea of fun. I will take that under advisement. Thanks for your perspective. 

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44 minutes ago, Toofarfromthesea said:

 

After a very good culinary experience in the YC in the Med on Divina I was VERY disappointed in my recent YC culinary experience in the Baltic/Fiords on Meraviglia.  Like you I am not a big seafood eater plus I strictly limit my carbs.  As a result there was rarely more than one menu item I would even consider.  Everything else was seafood, pastas, and risottos.  And even when something looked like it would be good, it wasn't.  The first night I had a 'breaded' veal chop that was all fat and gristle. 


I ended up ordering off the everyday part of the menu, most nights, but that was no panacea, because out of about a half dozen filets exactly 0 were cooked properly.  I ordered medium rare every time, and got everything from done to shoe leather to blood rare.  Not one was cooked properly.  And the meat itself was nothing special.  I get much better steaks, cooked properly every time, at the local Texas Roadhouse for 20 bucks.  

Sadly the inability to prepare a steak properly extended to the Butcher's Cut.  We are there twice, and both times the steaks were WAY underdone - to the point where I sent them back, which is something I NEVER do.  The only decently cooked steak I had was in the teppanyaki restaurant - which turned out to be our favorite dining venue.

We do this thing when we travel where we each say what the best bite of food we had each day, and for the 3 best bites of food on the cruise as a whole.  For example, on the Divina cruise my best bite was a Beef Tataglia made with Piedmontese beef.  Until the last 2 days, when we ate in the teppanyaki restaurant and I had a delicious scallop, one of my three best bites was the hotdog at the Pub.  Which was kind of sad.  

As to getting drinks in the Top Sail Lounge, if your cruise is like ours was you will do plenty of waiting.  The butlers on Meraviglia did not deliver the level of service we had experienced on Divina.  While part of it may have been a lower staffing level, the training for many of them was lacking.  Standing at the bar with their back to the lounge, tunnel vision, looking down at the floor rather than scanning the room, etc.  Some of the butlers were outstanding, but some were pretty lame.  The inconsistency was very surprising.  I was even wondering if some were new, since there had been a short drydock right before our cruise.

Anyway, lest I discourage you, none of these things ruined our cruise.  Life in a substandard Yacht Club still beats the tar out of non-YC accommodations.  I probably would have thought the Meraviglia YC was splendid, had I not had recent experience in Divina's YC.

Wow, it just gets better and better. LOL. We'll think about it, but now I'm thinking we'll be fine with an Aurea balcony like we had last time. I'm concerned that all of the fanfare over the YC might have made for unrealistic expectations, which is understandable given the higher prices. Thanks for weighing in. 🤔

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57 minutes ago, Toofarfromthesea said:

 

 


As to getting drinks in the Top Sail Lounge, if your cruise is like ours was you will do plenty of waiting.  The butlers on Meraviglia did not deliver the level of service we had experienced on Divina.  While part of it may have been a lower staffing level, the training for many of them was lacking.  Standing at the bar with their back to the lounge, tunnel vision, looking down at the floor rather than scanning the room, etc.  Some of the butlers were outstanding, but some were pretty lame.  The inconsistency was very surprising.  I was even wondering if some were new, since there had been a short drydock right before our cruise.

Anyway, lest I discourage you, none of these things ruined our cruise.  Life in a substandard Yacht Club still beats the tar out of non-YC accommodations.  I probably would have thought the Meraviglia YC was splendid, had I not had recent experience in Divina's YC.

 

I am surprised about your comments onMeraviglia's YC.  I've been thinking of booking her, just trying to get around the itineraries …. I really dislike the ports of both of them.

We had very good service in theYC in both Divina and Seaside (probably a little  better in Divina, but I liked the ship overall better on Seaside.  I would be very disappointed (like you) if I found Meraviglia's service to be "lame."  

Thank you for your remarks.😀

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2 hours ago, Captain-John said:

 

I was waiting 20 minutes to be served in the TSL one day, and when I approached the bar, I was barked at by the barman to sit down. 

 

I am easy to please (as long as they give me Champagne...) but I should defenitely not accept that! I should continue to the bar, order my drinks there and tell them why I didn't wanted to sit and wait.

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Just to add more context to my experience, the full extract taken from the review I posted a few weeks ago:

 

"Before all that though, I have quite an unpleasant experience of a bartender in the TSL to relay. I've forgotten his name (and probably wouldn't publish anyway, we all have bad days?) - but the service the day prior to disembarking (last sea day), in the afternoon hours, was shocking.

 

Given the inclement weather, the TSL was busier than usual. Still, we entered and after 20 minutes we had not been attended to despite trying to catch the attention of the one butler working the whole lounge. I approached the bar to place an order, only to be barked at - 'Sit down, someone will come for your order' - I said 'Who?' as the lounge was now devoid of any butler or waiting staff. He again barked that someone would come and shooed me away from the bar. Another 5 minutes passed and I again approached the bar to order as no-one came.. I managed to get the order out this time, but he did not allow me to wait for it - he said it would be delivered. I was a bit miffed at this point, and I explained the whole mess to him. I advised someone should be calling for extra assistance if TSL was busier than usual. He dismissed me.

 

Again I returned to my seat and 30 minutes after entering, we were served our simple drinks order. Going for a second round later (there were 2 or 3 butlers by this point, but I had been out at the toilet or up getting a snack - near the bar in any event) so I placed another order at the bar - to be grunted at again.

 

OK, he was having a bad day - but a total contrast to Alex who, I'm sure, if faced with the same circumstances would have handled it with better grace.

 

Anyway - I'm sure the grumpy barman was glad to see the back of us on disembarkation day, as we were him!"

 

Alex was a fantastic barman who more than cancelled out the poor experience offered by this guy.

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2 hours ago, Toofarfromthesea said:

 

After a very good culinary experience in the YC in the Med on Divina I was VERY disappointed in my recent YC culinary experience in the Baltic/Fiords on Meraviglia.  Like you I am not a big seafood eater plus I strictly limit my carbs.  As a result there was rarely more than one menu item I would even consider.  Everything else was seafood, pastas, and risottos.  And even when something looked like it would be good, it wasn't.  The first night I had a 'breaded' veal chop that was all fat and gristle. 


I ended up ordering off the everyday part of the menu, most nights, but that was no panacea, because out of about a half dozen filets exactly 0 were cooked properly.  I ordered medium rare every time, and got everything from done to shoe leather to blood rare.  Not one was cooked properly.  And the meat itself was nothing special.  I get much better steaks, cooked properly every time, at the local Texas Roadhouse for 20 bucks.  

Sadly the inability to prepare a steak properly extended to the Butcher's Cut.  We are there twice, and both times the steaks were WAY underdone - to the point where I sent them back, which is something I NEVER do.  The only decently cooked steak I had was in the teppanyaki restaurant - which turned out to be our favorite dining venue.
------
As to getting drinks in the Top Sail Lounge, if your cruise is like ours was you will do plenty of waiting.  The butlers on Meraviglia did not deliver the level of service we had experienced on Divina.  While part of it may have been a lower staffing level, the training for many of them was lacking.  Standing at the bar with their back to the lounge, tunnel vision, looking down at the floor rather than scanning the room, etc.  Some of the butlers were outstanding, but some were pretty lame.  The inconsistency was very surprising.  I was even wondering if some were new, since there had been a short drydock right before our cruise.
 

 

We're recently off Meraviglia too, and definitely don't limit our carbs. We did have a few 'misses' in terms of YC meals, which was disappointing. I did have some excellent beef in both the YC restaurant and Butcher's Cut - thoroughly enjoyed our experience there and the steak was cooked exactly as I asked. Really looking forward to Butcher's Cut again on Preziosa. The one take away I learned was that I'm going to ask for exactly what I want in the restaurant - 'off menu' - in future, although I note you didn't have much luck with your requests. Sometimes I wasn't happy with the choices on the menu, but opted for the 'best' of the bad bunch - and those usually turned out to be the poorer meals of the cruise. I'd rather have something of my choosing, poorly executed, than a choice I didn't really want to make - I think. :S

 

We're sailing on Preziosa next which should deliver an experience closer to that of your Divina experience.

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1 hour ago, Captain-John said:

 

We're recently off Meraviglia too, and definitely don't limit our carbs. We did have a few 'misses' in terms of YC meals, which was disappointing. I did have some excellent beef in both the YC restaurant and Butcher's Cut - thoroughly enjoyed our experience there and the steak was cooked exactly as I asked. Really looking forward to Butcher's Cut again on Preziosa. The one take away I learned was that I'm going to ask for exactly what I want in the restaurant - 'off menu' - in future, although I note you didn't have much luck with your requests. Sometimes I wasn't happy with the choices on the menu, but opted for the 'best' of the bad bunch - and those usually turned out to be the poorer meals of the cruise. I'd rather have something of my choosing, poorly executed, than a choice I didn't really want to make - I think. :S

 

We're sailing on Preziosa next which should deliver an experience closer to that of your Divina experience.

 

You were on the cruise after ours, so maybe ours suffered a bit being first out of drydock, and they smoothed some things out for your cruise.  I was astounded at their inability to cook a steak properly since there are so many ways to do so accurately.  Especially in the BC.  I'm glad you had a better experience.
 

I think itinerary plays into the menu - the Baltic menu was much different than the Med menu.  I don't know where you will be sailing on the Preziosa, but if the Beef Tataglia with Piedmontese Beef shows up on the menu, get it.  The one I had on Divina was the best meal I've had at sea.

BTW, I enjoyed reading your review and looking at your pictures.  Cheers!

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To those who have been in the YC (on Meraviglia or otherwise), is it possible to sit with other folk or are all of the tables intended just for those in the same cabin? One of the things my wife and I enjoy is meeting and dining with other passengers, which is why we're usually seated at a large table in the MDR. We love getting to socialize but I wonder if the setup in the YC restaurant doesn't allow for that. 

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7 minutes ago, DCGuy64 said:

To those who have been in the YC (on Meraviglia or otherwise), is it possible to sit with other folk or are all of the tables intended just for those in the same cabin? One of the things my wife and I enjoy is meeting and dining with other passengers, which is why we're usually seated at a large table in the MDR. We love getting to socialize but I wonder if the setup in the YC restaurant doesn't allow for that. 

We did both, but when we dined with others we had previously socialised with them and agreed to eat together. If you mean do they ask if you want to share, then no that is not the procedure.

 

Incidentally we sailed Meraviglia inside cabin YC, and would not hesitate to do so again....because of the YC experience. Sure, it wasn't all perfect, and I can relate to a very few of the comments posted. Our Fillet beef/steak orders in both YC and BC were sublime, but I agree the menu at times left us somewhat 'whelmed'. A few months later we sailed Preziosa YC, and the service and restaurant menus were half a notch better. Would we do same in Meraviglia again?.....yes in a heartbeat.

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2 minutes ago, hamrag said:

We did both, but when we dined with others we had previously socialised with them and agreed to eat together. If you mean do they ask if you want to share, then no that is not the procedure.

 

Incidentally we sailed Meraviglia inside cabin YC, and would not hesitate to do so again....because of the YC experience. Sure, it wasn't all perfect, and I can relate to a very few of the comments posted. Our Fillet beef/steak orders in both YC and BC were sublime, but I agree the menu at times left us somewhat 'whelmed'. A few months later we sailed Preziosa YC, and the service and restaurant menus were half a notch better. Would we do same in Meraviglia again?.....yes in a heartbeat.

You're from Auld Reekie? *swoon* 😄Anyway, thank you and it's especially good to know you were in the same class of cabin we've booked. We've cruised on Carnival, Costa, MSC, and Royal and honestly have always had excellent food. I think the YC restaurant will be fine for us. I'm not a picky eater per se, but it sounds like YC will be great no matter what. I was just wondering whether tables will too far apart for you to have a conversation with others. And if we do meet other YC'ers and want to eat together, it sounds like that's OK. Thanks! 

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1 minute ago, DCGuy64 said:

You're from Auld Reekie? *swoon* 😄Anyway, thank you and it's especially good to know you were in the same class of cabin we've booked. We've cruised on Carnival, Costa, MSC, and Royal and honestly have always had excellent food. I think the YC restaurant will be fine for us. I'm not a picky eater per se, but it sounds like YC will be great no matter what. I was just wondering whether tables will too far apart for you to have a conversation with others. And if we do meet other YC'ers and want to eat together, it sounds like that's OK. Thanks! 

 

We have 44 cruises, on 14 different cruiselines and the YC restaurant food is def better than MDR food on any of those lines....it is not quite up there with the best of the specialty restaurants, probably above mid-point between the two.

 

The tables for 2 are close enough for interaction with the neighbours which was mostly how we got to know, and arranged to eat with, others some evenings....and lunch on a couple of occasions. Lunch in YC restaurant is definitely worth having, we did so each sea day and anytime we were on the ship at lunchtime. On most other cruiselines we usually just do buffet for lunch.

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Ok-Here's my thoughts.

My husband and I were on the Seaside and now thinking of booking Meraviglia.

 

My husband is a vegetarian [only eats seafood] and I do not eat seafood. I am actually a fan of comfort food. Although we could almost always find something in the YC restaurant-there were a few time we did not like any of the offerings. Solution to this was checking what they were serving in the MDR as sometimes they had a more appealing menu to our taste. The concierge at the YC desk will make your reservation in the dining room that caters to anytime dining so you can walk right in when you would like to eat!! Also-I know many put their noses up to this but we ate in the buffet one night and really liked it.

We  also ate in the butchers cut one night as that was one of the perks to having a  black card  and even with the limited menu choice offered to you with this perk, we thought that the food was really good!!

 

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35 minutes ago, Debde said:

Ok-Here's my thoughts.

My husband and I were on the Seaside and now thinking of booking Meraviglia.

 

My husband is a vegetarian [only eats seafood] and I do not eat seafood. I am actually a fan of comfort food. Although we could almost always find something in the YC restaurant-there were a few time we did not like any of the offerings. Solution to this was checking what they were serving in the MDR as sometimes they had a more appealing menu to our taste. The concierge at the YC desk will make your reservation in the dining room that caters to anytime dining so you can walk right in when you would like to eat!! Also-I know many put their noses up to this but we ate in the buffet one night and really liked it.

We  also ate in the butchers cut one night as that was one of the perks to having a  black card  and even with the limited menu choice offered to you with this perk, we thought that the food was really good!!

 

Thank you! I was wondering whether YC guests might have the option to dine in the MDR if they so chose to. That's very good to know. Do you happen to know if YC passengers can use the Aurea sundeck area if they wanted to? I know that the Aurea SPA is open for us but didn't know about the other area. Furthermore, it's my understanding that the YC section of Ocean Cay won't be open until 2020 and as our cruise is in December, that won't be available yet. So I wonder if YC guests will be able to get free food and drink on the island. My reading of the current rules is that drink packages onboard don't transfer to Ocean Cay. (but that could of course change between now and December).

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54 minutes ago, DCGuy64 said:

Thank you! I was wondering whether YC guests might have the option to dine in the MDR if they so chose to. That's very good to know. Do you happen to know if YC passengers can use the Aurea sundeck area if they wanted to? I know that the Aurea SPA is open for us but didn't know about the other area. 

Sorry-can't help with that question. Never needed to stray from the beautiful sundeck offered to us on Seaside!! It was a slice of heaven! Oh-and I think you will love the outdoor grill as my research tells me Meraviglia has one. 😊  We had almost all of our breakfast and lunches out there.

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15 hours ago, Debde said:

Sorry-can't help with that question. Never needed to stray from the beautiful sundeck offered to us on Seaside!! It was a slice of heaven! Oh-and I think you will love the outdoor grill as my research tells me Meraviglia has one. 😊  We had almost all of our breakfast and lunches out there.

 

Aurea deck is available to YC guests but, as you say, why would you?! The outdoor grill on Meraviglia is fab, especially for lunch where they will cook fresh your order of e.g. lamb/beef/king prawn/salmon/chicken...all superbly cooked!

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I'd most definitely go for YC over an Aurea balcony. The service and benefits of YC outweigh Aurea. The food options are going to be similar, in the sense of choice, regardless of seafood. We do love seafood but do not think the menu is heavily weighted towards it, it will be an option but there will be lots of other options too.

 

If that is your only concern, book YC.

 

We've not yet sailed on Meraviglia so I can't comment on service. We've received sporadic random service eveywhere not just, MSC, or YC. We are booked to sail on Meraviglia later this year, if the service is slow or random in the TSL, I'll be pointing it out to them, although I'll probably be in the queue behind Bea 🤨

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