Since MSC launched its exclusive Yacht Club, the ‘ship within a ship’ concept has taken flight, with lines like Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises quick to launch their own versions of these private, members-only areas.
But is it worth splurging your holiday spends on access to these elite inner sanctums? And what can you expect when you get inside? Here, we peek within the private clubs of the world’s foremost cruise lines, giving you a glimpse of VIP life on the high seas.
Yacht Club, MSC Cruises
Where else to start than Yacht Club, the original members-only cruise club? Decked out with plush furnishings and floor-to-ceiling windows, MSC has designed its members enclave to offer the utmost in comfort and luxury. Members can enjoy complimentary drinks and canapés, as well as light lunches in the Top Sail lounge. There’s even a private pool and al fresco dining area, so you needn’t mingle with the masses when in need of a cool off.
The great thing about Yacht Club is that it’s simple to access; book a Yacht Club cabin and you’re all set.
Michael’s Club, Celebrity Cruises
If the scrum of a buffet breakfast sounds effort in the AM, the relaxed pace of Celebrity Cruises’ Michael’s Club provides a more peaceful start to your day. Available to passengers in Signature, Royal, Penthouse and Reflection suites across the Celebrity fleet, Michael’s is an elegant lounge where you can enjoy breakfast, drinks and pre-dinner tapas at no extra cost. With a concierge on hand to help with dinner reservations, excursion tickets, and general enquiries, Celebrity’s members club takes every ounce of stress from your trip, so you’re free to sink into a wingback and put your feet up.
Neptune Lounge, Holland America Line
Think of Holland America Line’s Neptune Lounge as your own living room — a place to unwind and relive the wonders of the day. Tucked away from the hubbub of the ship, this private area is stocked with books and newspapers, so you can catch up with current affairs or delve into a page-turner while savouring a range of speciality coffees. Open from 7am to 8.30pm, the Neptune Lounge serves light meals and offers an extensive concierge service, so its members can deal more swiftly with day-to-day tasks like car hire and billing queries. To qualify, you’ll need to stay in a deluxe verandah or penthouse suite.
Concierge Lounge, Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises’ Concierge Lounge provides tranquil, adults-only respite from the rest of the ship, so you can unwind with a glass of your favourite vintage without interruption. Available to suite passengers travelling onboard Royal Princess and Regal Princess, Concierge Lounge offers snacks and beverages 24 hours a day, as well as a concierge service which operates from 7am to 10am, noon to 2pm, and 5pm to 8pm every day. On disembarkation day, the lounge remains privately available to suite guests, so you can enjoy a relaxed end to your holiday with none of the usual queuing.
The Haven, Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line operates several VIP members areas across its fleet, which all fall under the umbrella of Haven. Stay in NCL’s ‘The Haven’ all-suite area, and you’ll get access to a concierge desk and cocktail bar, as well as a private restaurant on board the Norwegian Epic, Getaway and Breakaway. Haven-class passengers will also enjoy an exclusive, adults-only sun deck, complete with pool, daybeds and hot tubs. You’ll even benefit from priority disembarkation on port days and the last day of the cruise, making Norwegian’s members club one of the most tempting at sea.