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Sail Date: April 2014
There have been mixed reviews for this cruise line so I was cautiously optimistic when we boarded. Staff: Let me first say that the staff was friendly and helpful. They would stop what they were doing and gave us their full attention. ... Read More
There have been mixed reviews for this cruise line so I was cautiously optimistic when we boarded. Staff: Let me first say that the staff was friendly and helpful. They would stop what they were doing and gave us their full attention. Rooms: We had a room with a veranda which was larger than I was expecting (having been on other ships)The room was very clean. Every time we left the room and came back, there were fresh towels. Drinks: We purchased the drink package which was very economical for our group. There was never a wait for the drinks, and they didn't skimp on the alcohol. Food: This was the only disappointment. Cruise lines boast about the dining experience. This was mediocre at best. The dining room was loud and busy and reminded me more of a cafeteria setting than a fine dining experience. I struggled to find items I wanted to eat and was left wanting something better. The gala dinner was also a disappointment compared to my Royal Caribbean experience. The best meal we had was on the upper deck. The buffet breakfast and lunch was so much better than the main dining room. This is now a non-smoking ship with a couple areas allocated for those that have to smoke. I have also read some reviews about how rude the Europeans were on the ship. As an American who lives in Europe, I might have a different perspective but I think there are rude people where ever you go. Do not let it ruin your experience. This is a great way to see some beautiful cities in Europe and soak up the culture. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
We were very impressed with the ship when we boarded. This went rapidly down hill when we realised Costa had such a bad Smoking Policy. All areas had smoking areas, but the problem was that non-smokers were overwhelmed by the smoke from ... Read More
We were very impressed with the ship when we boarded. This went rapidly down hill when we realised Costa had such a bad Smoking Policy. All areas had smoking areas, but the problem was that non-smokers were overwhelmed by the smoke from these areas. Every night we went to our cabin smelling of smoke. I caught a cold after a couple of days, which was made worse by cigarette smoke. To add to our distaste withe the public areas, in the 2nd week there was an overwhelming smell of sewage! Particularly in the region of the bar in the Atrium, the Casino and the Bar Electra, where the majority of the activities were held. I was not impressed with the lack of eating choices in the evening. If you didn't want to eat in the dining room, the only other option was buffet pizza with grown, wilted green leaves. However, the waitress served pizza after 9.30 pm was good. There were a choice of 4 individual pizzas, but no sides were available. Cabin was spacious and well-appointed. It was class as a premium cabin which cost £45 pp extra. This gives you free room service and choice of dining time. But once you chose your dining time either Early or Late, there was no further choice. So to say you could chose when you eat is nit accurate. On the plus side, the staff were excellent. Everyone was pleasant and helpful. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
First, if you are American and prefer to sail largely with other Americans you need not read further. We may have been the only Americans aboard the Luminosa on our journey and found the experience rewarding and exciting, albeit with a few ... Read More
First, if you are American and prefer to sail largely with other Americans you need not read further. We may have been the only Americans aboard the Luminosa on our journey and found the experience rewarding and exciting, albeit with a few glitches. Embarkation in Barcelona was a breeze. The entire process took about ten minutes. Costa leaves the rooms open with your key card on the bed so you simply make way to your room and find the room keys inside. You will need to "activate" your key by assigning a credit-card to it within 48 hours but this is quite easy at one of the automated stations on board. Part of the reason for the ease of embarkation was that this ship loads and unloads passengers at three different ports, with Savona being the lead port. Barcelona, in contrast, had relatively few cruisers beginning their journey. Food on board was pretty much standard cruise-line food. As I am not really a foodie I will not comment on the gourmet qualities, or lack thereof, but my wife and I found the food more then adequate. Cruisers who elect to have breakfast in the dining room should be aware that although there is largely a buffet style, you can order off a menu if you make a point of it. Ports. In Palma, it was possible to walk to the end of the pier in about 10 to 15 minutes and from there catch a bus or taxi. The ship offered a 9 Euro round trip transport from the pier to the heart of town- a distance of about 1.5 miles. It is somewhat annoying to find out that you are, indeed, so far from the town that transportation must be arranged. We took a taxi to the Miro museum and then a public bus (1.5 Euros) to the heart of town. Miro loved Palma and spent the later part of his life at his hill-top workshop and you will see why if you visit. Corsica. Here you simply walk off the ship to the heart of town. Be sure to see the Napolean monument. Marseille. Increasing popular it seems so a new cruise port was built- and its about 5 miles from town and totally un-walkable. You can count on spending the 9 euros for the round-trip bus for sure. Savona. Yes! Just a few hundred yards from the heart of town, and a long day for Costa cruises since the bulk of the passengers boarded here. The town can easily be explored on foot and its proximity to the ship allowed us to enjoy lunch on board before heading back out. Getting out, though, was quite a task as the inbound luggage-carrying group were required to use the same ship entrances as the smaller group trying to get off. We were told by a Costa employee to use our elbows to shove our way through- an Italian custom? Tours. We could not take any tours as two of the three we requested were cancelled due to lack of English-speaking guests. The third, a trip from Savona to Monte Carlo was cancelled, we were told, due to lack of time to make the journey. Why list it then? Shipboard. Frankly there was not all that much to do on board but the port-intensive schedule meant there was not really all that much need. No shipboard art auctions, no lectures on shore activities. The evening entertainment- mostly dancing and singing to accommodate the variety of on-board languages, was more then adequate. We attended every night. Debarkation. In Barcelona, we pretty much had to figure this one out on our own. We have cruised many times before so we knew the drill, but finding our way off was a bit of a challenge as we never really received any specific information. In the end though we were in our Barcelona Hotel within one hour of the ship's arrival and really can't complain about that. Ship Notes. The Luminosa was launched in 2009 and its still quite new. The best feature is that the main pool area has a movable roof that makes for year-round, climate-proof availability.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
I traveled with 3 girlfriends out of Barcelona and we were pleasantly surprised. I was hesitant to book after finding few reviews and quite a bit of negativity here on the boards on all aspects of both the line & ship. I have to say, ... Read More
I traveled with 3 girlfriends out of Barcelona and we were pleasantly surprised. I was hesitant to book after finding few reviews and quite a bit of negativity here on the boards on all aspects of both the line & ship. I have to say, we booked it for the value and tried not to set expectations too high, but were thrilled. We booked two premium balcony cabins that were very spacious and extremely clean. Our room attendants remembered our names from the first meeting (even though we don't go by what's on our passports) and always made sure we had everything we needed, including finding robes for all four of us, and allowing us to pass chairs over the side all to one balcony so we could sit together at night since due to the wind they couldn't open them to adjoin like the booking agent said we could. Embarkation was a breeze, although you don't get your sea passes there and it's not very nice, with no computers or fancy waiting areas. We were on board and in our cabins earlier than promised. We all bought the drink package & had assigned dining, which was great. Both our waiters were very attentive and brought us things to try without asking. The wine selection was great and they kept bottles coming if needed. The food in MDR was as good as I've had on Celebrity, Princess & Holland. I will say that the buffets lacked much variety, but were always clean, with fresh food, and some of the best pizza I've encountered on a ship. We seemed to be some of the only American women on board, but they did seat us at dinner between two parties that spoke English, one from UK and the other Australia. It seemed the crew all enjoyed practicing their English with us, then again, we're from the South, they likely had fun listening to us. I'll post about our excursions on the port of call boards, as we did all of those on our own and not through the ship. My only shocker, especially after the Concordia tragedy, was the lack of enforcement of the safety drill. We were given red cards along with our sea passes in our cabins, and our room attendants mentioned it to us, so we took our life jackets to our assigned station in the main theater. After more than 15 minutes of sales pitches in several different languages, pushing the spa, shops & shore excursions, we left. We did receive a letter on the 3rd day that it was mandatory that we attend the one as we were leaving Italy, our last evening on board, and we had to listen to the entire drill while packed like sardines at our respective muenster stations in all 5 languages. They took our red cards from us at this drill and didn't leave port until we were done. I can see how confusing it could become with so many different sets of instructions if there was a true emergency. Only truly negative thing we found, was the unfriendliness of the concierge desk. We had 3 occasions to need them, along with picking up our passports the last morning. The ladies there acted as if you were a bother to them each time we stopped by. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
As a prelude to our CIE eight-day bus tour around Great Britain, my wife and I recently decided to do a short Mediterranean cruise and booked what seemed like a good deal from Costa Cruise Lines. I generally like to arrive at least a day ... Read More
As a prelude to our CIE eight-day bus tour around Great Britain, my wife and I recently decided to do a short Mediterranean cruise and booked what seemed like a good deal from Costa Cruise Lines. I generally like to arrive at least a day in advance to rest and recuperate from jet lag before embarking on a scheduled tour, and I thought a few days on an ocean liner would give us the perfect R&R to rejuvenate us for the trip to come. Unfortunately, the cruise was not nearly as relaxing as we'd hoped. We flew into Nice from LAX, with a layover in JFK, totaling about 20 grueling hours of transit time from home to the hotel. We arrived about 11am, which would have given us barely enough time to make our scheduled 12:45pm Costa shuttle from Nice to Savona. If we missed the shuttle, we'd have to take a very expensive taxi ride to Savona, Italy, where our cruise was to begin. That connection was too close for comfort, so for our peace of mind, we chose to come a day early and just relax at our hotel for the night. The next day we went back to the airport and boarded our Costa shuttle and took the two-hour ride to our ship, the Costa Luminosa. The porters took our bags from the shuttle and had put them in our room by the time we checked in. Very convenient, and about the best service we got on this particular voyage. I’ve taken at least 15 cruises all around the world, and Costa’s check-in process was the strangest I’ve seen. We got a group number when we exited the bus and had to wait until our group was called before we could get in line to check in. As they got closer to our number, we sat by the entrance to the line and watched a bunch of people queue up that did not have the correct number. We they finally called our number, we fought our way into the line, and the desk clerks checked our tickets and passports before sending us to a table where they kept our passports. They offered us no room keys or literature on policies and provided no place to file our credit card information to pay for incidental expenses. At last, we made it to our room and found our keys waiting there for us along with our luggage. By then, the crew was about to begin the emergency drill, so we took our life jackets and tried to find our assigned section. There were no employees to direct people, and passengers wandered around aimlessly trying to find out where to go. After a meandering search, we finally found our section, which was empty except for the crew. It took another 15 minutes or so for other passengers to locate the meeting area, and the protracted drill process began. There were long announcements in several languages, which killed a great deal of time before we were at last dismissed and able to head back to our room. This disorganization worried us, given the deadly ordeal with the Costa Concordia, the liner that sank last year. I can now see why there were so many casualties. If one of these ships goes down again, the situation would be pretty much "every man for himself," since the crew offer little guidance or assistance in preparing passengers for emergencies. Overall, we found that most of the staff rarely smiled, were not friendly, and were not very helpful in general. There’s no documentation on tipping, on the pricing of the premium restaurants, or other basic facts passengers should know. The food is adequate, nothing great; I would rate the cuisine a little below that of a Carnival weekend Mexico cruise. It seemed like the wait staff lacked help, or perhaps Europeans simply serve their meals at a much more leisurely pace than I'm used to. I don’t think the waiter ever smiled, and he never spoke except to take our order. We actually preferred the buffets since we could eat without waiting a long time for our food to come out, and the food was about the same quality as in the main restaurant. The worst part of the cruise was getting off the ship to visit Barcelona. The exasperating lines were made worse by the fact that many of the European passengers (mostly Italians) did not respect the etiquette of the queue. If I didn’t block off the space next to me, someone would cut ahead in line. The cutters would push their way forward as far as they could go until the front of the line became so clotted that no one else could squeeze past. We became so incensed that we were on the verge of head-butting people to hold our place. Sorry, old lady, but maybe you’ll learn some manners after an elbow to the face! The second port of Marseille proved a better experience because we waited 15 minutes until the lines had dissipated. We then took the shuttle bus into town and queued up for a shuttle tour of the city. The shuttle service was evidently a very small operation, for the driver himself opened the ticket booth after dropping off the previous passengers. To no surprise, another family of Italians cut their way in front of us and ended up taking the last four seats together on the shuttle. After that, it was no more Mr. Nice Guy! I became determined to cut in front of everyone else in all future lines, since that’s evidently the way things are done along the Mediterranean. As they say, "When in Rome, do as the rude Italians do!" We stopped at Notre Dame to take a look around--that's the Basilica de Notre Dame de la Garde, not the cathedral in Paris with the Hunchback--and I got some really nice shots of the city of Marseille and the coast below. When we returned to the shuttle area, there was a huge line, way too many people to fit on the next shuttle. We cut our way near the front of the line and waited. Once the shuttle arrived, most people in line ran to get seats, and the whole crowd yelled at them. Apparently, cutting is only okay to the Europeans if they're the ones doing the cutting. Nevertheless, the shuttle driver loaded the shuttle with people from the front of the line, and since we cut near the front, my wife and I were able to get seats together. We were rewarded for being as obnoxious as the Italians! I'd read other reviews from Americans who'd had similar complaints, and most said that seven days of such frustration was too much. I figured a three-day cruise would be tolerable, and this one fit our schedule and was very inexpensive. On the positive side, we were able to see some nice cities along the Mediterranean, but the quality of food, service, and passengers left much to be desired. Without question, the highlights of the cruise were the ports of Barcelona and Marseille. They’re both beautiful cities, with much more to see than we could do justice to in the six hours we had during our shore leave from the ship. I hope someday to spend at least three to five days in each city. We may be spoiled from our recent Viking and Uniworld river cruises, which each had under 200 passengers. With about 3000 people, a good percentage of whom were pushy and rude, this voyage just wasn't as pleasant as a nice, quiet, and relaxing river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
Having cruised with P&O many times, Princess and Thomson cruises and having already booked a South America transatlantic crossing with Costa for next March,the oppurtunity to take a mini cruise around ports in the Med presented itself. ... Read More
Having cruised with P&O many times, Princess and Thomson cruises and having already booked a South America transatlantic crossing with Costa for next March,the oppurtunity to take a mini cruise around ports in the Med presented itself. The price was very good and included a drinks package and although we were a little wary after reading some of the views, we went ahead and booked it as it also gave us the chance to become members of the costa club. This review is our opinion on what we experienced and therefore only represents our views,other opinions may vary.Please also do forgive any spelling and grammar mistakes. Embarkation. We flew into Barcelona airport and spent the night before in a hotel and then used the Metro to get down to the port.The weather was'nt kind and we had torrential rain.There was a little confusion on where to get the shuttle to take us to the cruise terminal but once we found it we boarded the coach at a cost of 3 Euros and were dropped outside the costa cruise terminal at about 3 15pm.We were given health declaration forms to fill in and then went through to the departure lounge where we were given our cruise cards and directed to the ship.We were welcomed on board and asked what language we preferred to communicate in (Italian,English,French,Spanish,German and Russian) Told where our cabin was and then told that the buffet restaurant was open for snacks and that our safety drill was to be held at 5pm in the theatre. So far so good,Embarkation went smoothly and efficiently (9 out of 10,1 point deducted for lack of signage to the shuttle coach) Cabin. We had chosen an inside cabin towards the rear of the ship as i like almost total darkness to sleep. Plenty of hanging and cupboard space,very comfortable beds and pillows, a nice touch was a colored pillow case with a bed runner for daytime use. Bathroom was a little dated, with shelves for toiletries and no cabinet,but it was functional. Johnny our steward was extremely friendly and efficient and kept everything spotlessly clean. You could have Room service in the cabin for an additional charge. TV showed mainly international channels and if you wanted a movie there was a charge. (9/10) Bars. So many different bars to choose from, all kept clean and tidy and all had different entertainment, some of it not to our taste, but they did an incredible job of trying to diversify. As i stated before, we had a drinks included package but here are some of the prices for drinks if you wished to buy them individually. Free tea and coffee and jugs of water available from the buffet restaurant during opening hours I'll leave you make up your own mind about drinks prices but in our opinion considering the price paid for the cruise we found them comparable to hotel prices.(10/10) Restaurants Buffet restaurant. breakfast 7am-10. always lots of choice and no trouble locating a table. We can't tell you what b'fast was like as we didnt use it for b'fast. Main Dining room. diff opening times anywhere between 7am till 9.30. If you like to stay in bed then chances are for breakfast you wont use the MDR. We are fairly early risers and so headed for the Turus rest every morning. You are shown to a table and then you have a choice. You can head to the extensive buffet tables with a selection of breads,pastries,cereals meats cheeses fruits yoghurts and a hot selection of bacon, sausage eggs. Please dont expect english bacon or sausage,the bacon is what the english call streaky and the sausage is continental,small spicyish sausage that i personally found very tasty. none of the buffet hot items were very hot.IMO food served on the continent is never served piping hot. you can aso elect to have a fresh to cook order breakfast. bacon ,sausage ,eggs, pancakes, waffles, smoked haddock, oatmeal etc but do bear in mind that there will be a wait. Waiters bring round tea, coffee and juice. Lunch. buffet noon-4pm. always a good selection of dishes as well as a pizza station.I'm not normally a lover of pizza but i did try and ended going back up for more.Theres also a grill serving hot dogs and bugers.Again no problem finding a table. Taures MDR. You are shown to a table and given the days menu. There is a choice of 6 courses. starter, soup, pasta. main course, cheese and dessert. None of the portion sizes are huge but you can ask for more and the waiters are very obliging. After the first days lunch we knew not to take all courses,there was more than enough for us. Afternoon tea,buffet restaurant. 4-5pm a small selelection of rolls and pastries.not a huge choice but very tasty.The pastries were very light and crumbly. the savoury rolls are spread with flavoured Mayo not butter. Dinner. buffet restaurant and pizzareria 6pm-9pm For those noy wanting a waiter served main meal there are slices of pizza available and a very limited selection of meals from the dinner menu available, All guests are encouraged to use the MDR for dinner. Taures MDR.1st sitting 6.45pm 2nd sitting 9.15pm This is an Event,nothing else can be used to describe it. You are shown to your table on the first night and then eat at the same table every night. a 7 course menu is offered. starter, soup, pasta.salad.main,cheese.dessert. Water is available by the jug if you ask. Coffee was never served after the meal. What can we say, Do not expect a sedate dining experience.There is a buzz from different nationalities all seeeming to converse at the same time.The waiters perform different rituals every night as well as having a different style of apparel.Diners are encouraged to join in with the fun,if you are prepared to do this,believe me, you'll have a fantastic time.Dinner was certainly the Highlight of the cruise. There was no Lobster, Snails etc for formal night but every meal we had was most enjoyable. Service was speedy and Efficient and Cielito our waiter,was an absoloute delight,nothing was too much trouble. I'm hoping that you arent finding this review long and boring.Having looked for an extensive latest review and not finding one i decided to make this as complete as possible. Here is the Gala Night menu. Starter. prawns served on a bed of mango and rice with a fruit sauce Terrine of Rabbit with an apple compote and brioche Cold andalucian soup Soup. oxtail consomme with juliene carrotts Pasta. papadelles with a seafood sauce gnocchi italiano Salad mixed salad Mains. Hallibut with cherry tomatoes and a tagliatele of vegetables beefsteak with roast potatoes herbs and vegeatbles roast pork in mustard jus with peas and pumpkin mousse millefluer of vegetables in a cheese sauce Cheese. edam, gouda and feta served with nuts,raisins,strawberry marmalade and bread dessert. light fruit sponge covered in marshmallow fondant cream ice cream or sorbet. the only minor complaint is that although there were lots of tables for 2 all tables were so close together (9/10) At 11.45pm in all lounges a diifferent themed snack would be brought around Entertainment. During the day there were different things to do,from flower making to aqua aerobics, quizzes and poolside games. not as much as on a p and o ship but still enough to break the day up. evening entertainment we felt timings were much better. theatre shows 7.30pm for 2nd dinner guests and 9.30pm for 1st sitting guests. the resident group in the theatre were the starlight dancers who performed 3 different shows.(all dance so no language barrier.) colorful costumes and spectacular laser lighting. they did very well there was also a chinese acrobatic troupe who got a very well deserved standing ovation. musiians in most bars. The Ship. has speciality restaurants for an extra cover charge. is very easy to navigate with deck numbers by all the stairs.The use of subtle covered lighting throught the ship was very pleasing on the eye. staff were always smiling and cleaning,they were all a joy. outside areas were kept clean. pools although on the small side were perfectly adequate, Children were kept amused in their various zones and were never a problem. One of the issues we were most concerned about was the Smoking. Although Smoking is allowed in ceratian areas of the ship,passengers never abused the non smoking areas.There was a smell of smoke coming from the casino area but it was never very intrusive. The library has a very small collection of english language books. The announcements are made in a rotation of languages but we found that there were less announcements made on here than on any other ship we have been on. There is an english speaking rep on board available to speak to every day but to be honest most staff do speak english anyway.The daily Today programme is delivered every evening in your cabin so you know whats happening when and where. There is a cocktail of the day every day You do have to pay shuttle charges at most ports of call eg costs. Ship to ibiza town return or you could walk in but it is a good 2 miles each way. Marseilles return, a good 20 minutes drive. Savona dock in town and a very easy walk. The english speaking passengers are very much in a minority, it is predominantly Italian,however we had a very enjoyable cruise and have no hesitatation in reccomending a Costa cruise. For us the Costa Luminosa was Illuminating and we look forward to our next one. Read Less
Costa Luminosa Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 3.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 2.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 3.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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