By Annick Dournes & Frederic de Poligny
The MSC Bellissima at Sir Bani Yas Island
Discovering the Arab Emirates aboard a cruise ship is getting more and more successful. Indeed it’s a very pleasant and relaxing way to visit exuberant Dubai, cultural Abu Dhabi, authentic Doha or paradise island Sir Bani Yas. MSC proposes 3, 4 or 7-day cruises to take you to these exotic places. On board, few high-end guests will enjoy the luxury experience of the MSC Yacht Club. The Yacht Club is often seen as a cruise ship inside a cruise ship.
Modern Doha capital city of Qatar
After a summer break due to the overwhelming heat of the desert the cruises will resume in November and you can combine your cruise with a stay in Doha for the Football World Cup. They are circular cruises starting and ending in Dubai but you can choose to get on board at any stop of the circuit and built your own tailor made trip.
Yacht Club gastronomic restaurant
Ultimate luxury at the MSC Yacht Club
The Yacht Club experience begins even before you get on board. You will be welcomed at dedicated reception desks to avoid queuing for your check in formalities and get your Yacht Club bracelet that will give you access to all the club privileges. Your personal butler dressed in an elegant grey tail coat will then lead you to the Yacht Club set at the front of the ship from where cabins have the most beautiful view. You will discover the information desk open 24/7, the huge Top Sail lounge bar with floor to ceiling bay windows from where a spectacular Swarovski stairway climbs up to the gastronomic restaurant serving “à la carte” breakfast, lunch and dinner only to the Yacht Club members.
Yacht Club dedicated swimming-pool
Next, you’ll discover the private swimming pool and Jacuzzis surrounded by a vast sundeck with relaxing deckchairs, armchairs and elegant cabanas for those seeking a little privacy. Next to the pool a bar proposes all day drinks and snacks. Like in no other part of the ship there is plenty of place for the few lucky members of the Yacht Club.
Yacht Club Deluxe Suite
Most of the cabins are Deluxe suites, all with a big balcony. The luckiest guests will book a Royal Suite with even more space and amenities, or one of the duplex suites with a private Jacuzzi on the balcony. Whatever your choice you will find in each vast suite a king size bed (with memory mattress and Egyptian cotton sheets), a large seating area with a sofa and armchairs, plenty of room to store your clothes, a mini-bar with included daily refill, a tea and Nespresso coffee set. The lovely bathrooms with complimentary Bulgari beauty set are very spacious compared with the usual cubicle you get on a cruise ship. All Yacht Club members have an included Premium Extra package with “no limit” soft drinks and juices, cocktails and Champagne…
Yacht Club all day bar
Staying at the Yacht Club provides many privileges! The concierge service or your butler will help you book a table in any restaurant of the ship or any excursion. Drinks and snacks are available all day long at the club bars. Call room service to enjoy breakfast on you balcony of your suite. Free Internet access for two devices is also included. You also have free access to the MSC Aurea Spa (of course you will be charged for extra treatments)… Not to forget a complimentary bottle of Champagne, Prosecco or wine of your choice served in your cabin.
Fabulous shows on board MSC Cruise ships
Of course, you can also take advantage of all the activities and entertainment available on board. Each MSC ship is a floating holiday resort with numerous shops, bars and restaurants, kid and teen clubs, video game arcade, several pools, a bowling alley, Formula 1 simulators, a vast fitness room. When night comes you can try your luck in the casino or enjoy a show at the theatre.
Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum
Several excursions are available at each call of the cruise. Once again Yacht Club members get preferential treatment with easy booking and separate electric shuttle boat to the shore. Enjoy a SUV trip on the dunes in the desert, climb to the top of Burj Kalifa Tower in Dubai, visit Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum, go shopping in traditional Doha souks… You will have plenty to do and see. Don’t miss the stop at beautiful Sir Bani Yas Island.
Dedicated Yacht Club beach at Sir Bani Yas Island
At Sir Bani Yas Island, the ship docks on a long pier giving direct access to the long private sandy beach for a whole day and you will be able to visit the vast nature reserve sheltering many desert species and also enjoy the beach with plenty of water activities. Once again Yacht Club members will enjoy an included special lunch and all day drinks on a reserved space of the beach.
This report was made on board MSC Bellissima in April 2022 at the end of the cruise season in this region. For next winter season, to enjoy a MSC Yacht Club cruise, it will be on board the brand new MSC World Europa. The MSC World Europa will sail from December 21st 2022 till Mars 18th 2023, last departure. Depending on dates, you will have the option to add stops southward in Oman or northward in Saudi Arabia,
More information and booking at www.msccruises.co.uk
Text © Frederic de Poligny & Annick Dournes
Photos ©Frederic de Poligny
Bar Grill on Yacht Club sundeck perfect place to relax
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