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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
I was really excited to get back and give Costa Deliziosa a proper review. I am not sure which cruise most folks that have had issues with this cruise sailed on though my experience was completely opposite. So yes I have been on about ... Read More
I was really excited to get back and give Costa Deliziosa a proper review. I am not sure which cruise most folks that have had issues with this cruise sailed on though my experience was completely opposite. So yes I have been on about 10 cruises in The U S and one out of Rome. Also I used to work on a ship (Everyone a large vessel is not a boat. It is a ship) years ago. Pre registration was super easy and the port personnel shared that I was one of the first people he encountered that actually read and filled out all of the needed paperwork before reaching the port. Our ship didn’t leave port until 11 p.m. I showed up around 12:30 p.m. Check In was about 5 minutes. I sat down and waited for my group # to be called. It was called about a 1/2hr after I checked in. On this cruise (Keep in mind this may change) your actual stateroom key is not given to you at check in. It is on your bed in an envelope. I did a quick check of my room, said hello to my stateroom host and went exploring the ship. A tip. Walk around the ship if you arrive early and take pictures of the different decks, spaces and areas. Just about everyone else is at the buffet so you will get some amazing unobstructed pictures. After the pictures I went to the buffet. I was pretty surprised due to the bad reviews. The food was good. There is something for everyone. Obviously yes there was pasta though lots of proteins, salads, cheeses, breads, soups, etc. There is free pizza and hamburgers and fries for lunch each day at the buffet. Yes there is an additional charge if you wanted to partake in a special experience of them at night though it is a larger portion and presented in a meal function vs. self serve. My bags were delivered to my room about 2 hours after I boarded. I did receive a drink package with my room though choose to upgrade it to the highest tier. Honestly there was no need for me to do that because the drink I had for the 10 days was included in my initial package. Oh well Update as of February 2019 (This may have changed by time you are reading this). The Samsara regular cabins only get access to the spa area stairs/elevator, spa rooms (Not included are massages and services). You do not get access to The Samsara Resturant anymore and need to make a reservation like everyone else and pay the extra charge. Samsara Suites do get all of the above privileges along with a drink package minus the massages and services. First thing to do is join Costa Club. It takes seconds and is free. Your new club number may not show up online on your reservation if you get the number after you book the reservation though it will be noted and recognized on board. There are quite a bit of perks along with 50% of the specialty restaurants on board along with discounts on certain drinks, shops and spa. A couple I met are loyal members and receive major discounts on their cruises along with upgrades. Shared it was for sure worth it. The buffet was so good I ate lunch and dinner there everyday except for dinner in the dining room on my first night. I did meet a cool cruise mate the first night and build a friendship for the next few days. I travel by myself and it was nice to have company for a few days. He was on a work trip and left after 4 days. Out of the numerous crew members I encountered only one was a bit grumpy. Came to find out he had a newborn at home and had months left on his current contract. This didn’t give him the excuse not to be “on” though it sort of made sense. He did lighten up a bit as the cruise came to a close. So I had an absolute great time on my first 10 day Costa Cruise. I made friends with a few of the crew members. If you do eat at the buffet do read the hours in the daily guide. For some odd reason the hours changed on the 8th night and create some unhappy moments. I shared with the staff that was simply silly and moved on. I opted to take my bags off the ship in Ft Lauderdale. Lined up about 15 minutes before the published times. Was about 15th or so in line. Cleared Customs in 5 minutes. There was a van directly outside the exit hall that took about a dozen of us to the airport. I am getting ready to head out on another cruise on a different line in a few weeks though will have Costa on my mind for some time. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I have traveled to many places all across the world, but this vacation was my absolute best yet! The Costa Diadema is a huge(really, really Huge) ship with things to do for people in every age. From going to the Daily show att 9.30 PM to ... Read More
I have traveled to many places all across the world, but this vacation was my absolute best yet! The Costa Diadema is a huge(really, really Huge) ship with things to do for people in every age. From going to the Daily show att 9.30 PM to playing bingo, there's something for everybody on this ship! The staff on the costa Diadema is well trained and always put you first. The service is outstanding. We ate dinner in the Fiorentino Restaurant and the food there was amazing! There is a new menu every day where you can choose four different courses. You have the same table and server every night which gives you a "luxurious" feeling. At all the ports you could chose from going on an excursion(which comes with an extra cost) or just take the shuttle bus to the city you where in. We went on several excursions and att all of them there was a professional tour Guide who told us about our different destinations. The cabin was spacious and very clean. You could choose from getting your room cleaned once or twice a day, and during the morning or the evening. Great experience and would love to go again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Our embarkation was in Guadeloupe which does not give you many options from Canada. But learning that it is a French island flights from Montreal are direct and worth going. Costa did not offer transfers from airport to ship but a taxi ... Read More
Our embarkation was in Guadeloupe which does not give you many options from Canada. But learning that it is a French island flights from Montreal are direct and worth going. Costa did not offer transfers from airport to ship but a taxi ride was 20. Euro and if you can share it's a good deal. I did not explore Guadeloupe as much as I wished, perhaps next time, the taxi ride from the airport to the ship was easy and I was able to connect to others going my way to share a ride. Embarkation was smooth enough although we had to wait because they would not let us on until 3:00 pm so we waited an hour or so. Cabin 2437 was clean and welcoming. My luggage came shortly after but in time to change for supper. Dining Service was excellent and food was good. I had the late seating which ended up being too late so I switched to first and that worked out better. The self service buffet was plentiful and gave a good variety if you didn't chose to go to the dinning rooms. The guests were mixed with some young families to middle and older couples but many singles on board as well. A very good mix along with many nationalities which is nice to encounter. This was my first re positioning and I am hooked I will definitely do it again. Perhaps it had to do with the weather being just perfect every day, calm and sunny, or the group of friends I met on board as a single woman I felt it was just what the doctor ordered. With Costa you have the ability to embark in different locations as was the case on this ship. I look forward to my next transatlantic. I do recommend the "piu gusto" beverage package if you like your cappuccino in the morning and expresso after lunch and a few cocktails during the day and evening. The freedom of not having to sign every time you want something to drink will be enough without the anticipation of that dreaded final bill. At the end of a cruise it is the service that makes your cruise. I can definitely say the staff was fantastic, the bartenders made my day, everyday with a never ending smile and greeting. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We are from the UK and after previous cruises on Princess Royal Carribean NCL Carnival we were worried about the sailing we had booked on the Costa Facinosa from previous reviews we had read we got a great deal for £399 each in an ... Read More
We are from the UK and after previous cruises on Princess Royal Carribean NCL Carnival we were worried about the sailing we had booked on the Costa Facinosa from previous reviews we had read we got a great deal for £399 each in an inside cabin for the South America Transatlantic cruise back to Europe . We had no need to worry at all the ship was one of the best we have sailed on she is pure elegance and the inside cabin was the largest we had stayed in and the bathroom was huge with a large shower .Plenty of storage space in both and the bed was so comfortable. The ship was spotless and the elegant quality of the furnishings and lighting truly amazed us. The crossing was so smooth and we had hot sunny weather most of the way. After reading previous reviews that no one spoke English this was a complete load of rubbish. All staff spoke English the daily update was printed in English and the Captain gave updates in English too. After reading reviews there was nothing to do during the day again a load of rubbish there was something to do from 10:00 to 18:00 every day. We joined in pool games quiz afternoons dance lessons art and craft lesson all with English speaking staff and there were many more activities to choose from. The food and quality was some of the best we had eaten on any ship the quality of the Italian hams cheeses bread pizza meats soups salads etc etc were of a really good standard. Every evening we had a different five course evening meal in the restaurant on Deck 3 and during Gala Nights the meal was also excellent.Lots of people did wear elegant outfits for the Gala Nights. We enjoyed the shows on an evening so much variety acrobats dancers opera singers magician illusionist and many more . We would highly recommend the ship and really enjoyed the South America Transatlantic crossing we had so much value for money and would not hesitate to book another cruise with Costa . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
I preferred to try an European Line after have done many cruises with British and American Lines. I specially liked the food. The cabin was excellent as well as the cabin service. Entertainment and features of the ship very enjoyable. ... Read More
I preferred to try an European Line after have done many cruises with British and American Lines. I specially liked the food. The cabin was excellent as well as the cabin service. Entertainment and features of the ship very enjoyable. What really stood out for me and made my holiday very special was the Hungarian Latin Dance Group. They were four outstanding professionals and kind human beings. The two bands playing in the Grand Piazza were superb. I would like to do another cruise with Costa mainly because of them and the Entertainment Team, formed by Italian, Spanish and Brazilian nationals. Nothing was too much trouble for them. The one disappointment was Ingrid, the Hotel Officer. My wallet was stolen in the Port of Savona just before starting the Cruise. She just was not interested in my problem and frustration. With the help of my son from Britain I could get money sent to the next Port: Barcelona. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
Firstly, my first time flying with Emirates, but guaranteed it won’t be my last. I got a requested upgrade to fly out Business Class at what looked to be a heavily discounted price. What an experience- it’s the first time I’ve ever ... Read More
Firstly, my first time flying with Emirates, but guaranteed it won’t be my last. I got a requested upgrade to fly out Business Class at what looked to be a heavily discounted price. What an experience- it’s the first time I’ve ever been on a plane, had a holiday and could not wait to do the return flight! The added bonus was that Business Class also entitled me to a free chauffeur driven car from my home 70 miles away to Gatwick and back, as well as return Chauffeur transfers both ways in Dubai. Add that into the amount of lovely free champagne and booze I quaffed and it started to look like a bargain! Virgin and ESPECIALLY BA need to look to their laurels regarding this competitor- I recently flew longhaul with BA Premier Economy and it was awful… From what I can ascertain, Emirates Business Class is easily equivalent to BA and Virgin First Class. Anyway having arrived in Dubai a couple of days early, I spent some time just getting used to the warmth of the sun on the creaking bones again- wonderful- I’d not considered the Emirates as a winter destination before but at between 6.5 and 7.5 hours direct flight it’s nearer than the Caribbean, and from what I have experienced of both, the weather seems more dependable.. They laughed at me in Dubai when I mentioned snow, saying they only get about 4 days rain a year! Anyway, onto the cruise… there is not much about the destinations because I picked up bronchitis the day I left home, so this ended up being a very laid back chill holiday..because I KNOW I’m going back! Another rather wonderful thing- I had booked a balcony but found just before going that Costa had upgraded me to a mini-suite- as a solo traveller I don’t tend to get such nice upgrades, so well done Costa! Day 1 & 2 First impressions- strangely wonderful embarkation process- walk up to the deserted check in desk, they put a room number sticker on your passport,and fill in the health questionnaire- you walk through to the ship, they take questionnaire and your passport which you don't see again until the end of the cruise ( I think! If anyone spots a dodgy looking Deco wandering around Dubai, you'll know it's not me!), and you go to your cabin where your cabin key awaits. Painless.And no queues. I did spend the first few days chuckling at what I thought was the Captain’s name - "Cordiali Saluti" , until it was pointed out to me that his welcome signed off with that greeting, followed by the words “Cordiali Saluti”! Doh! The cabin is great and spacious- can't fault it at all. Nice touch that every door had a Christmas tree decoration.Slept perfectly when I eventually got to bed. The room has a coffee pod machine which is nice, if I can work it out- you only get 2 free pods however, so I shall be selective when I use them.. I live life to the edge eh?! Nice that the cabin had a bath as well as a shower, and more storage space than I’ve ever seen in a cabin before! It's very eerie getting on Costa ships because people embark quite leisurely..our embarkation time was from between 3.30pm and 07.30am the following morning- no queues to embark or disembark. But it does the impression of a ghost ship at times! Last night I unpacked and headed to the bar, to test out the all inclusive drinks package, which at 19€ a day still works out at the best drinks package at sea, incorporating coffees, teas, alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks. It seems impossible to walk more than about 20 feet without finding a bar with music playing, which is nice.Last night they must have felt they were playing to the guests of the Marie Celeste! I'm sure tonight will be busier as we are at sea through the night. I've just been down to the a la carte restaurant for breakfast expecting it to be heaving with people.. There were maybe 15 guests, and approximately 25 waiting staff! Needless to say, no sooner was I seated than this procession of people appeared- the bread man, the croissant and pastry lady, the assorted juices lady, the cereals man, the coffee man, the man who took my breakfast order.. If it carries on like this, I'll be dead impressed! I'm more used to avoiding the buffet breakfast scrums on most ships! As most of you know, I tend to be a 2 meal ( breakfast and dinner) person onboard, so I settled for a very beautifully cooked cheese and herb omelette which should see me through to dinner. This ship has done away with early and late sittings so at meal times, the choices are buffet- which I had last night, ( tasty and fresh salady stuff mostly) , a Pizzeria with a small additional charge ,or open seating in the main restaurant . Looking at the restaurant this morning, it seems mostly set up with smaller tables, but I did like the fact that in the daily programme, there is an option to meet others who don't wish to dine alone ,at 6.30 each night. Having said that,knowing my luck, I'd get paired up with Fred Munster and Nigel Farage.. So maybe for tonight at least, I'll dine with my trusty Kindle for company! Currently it's 9.30am here and I'm waiting for the lifeboat drill to occur in about 10 minutes, before we depart Dubai for Bahrain at 10.30. Just heard the first of the obligatory 5 language cabin announcements, but as it's for the safety drill, I guess they can't afford to miss anyone out! Well that was fun- I've never been on a ship where we had to line up in groups before- "and move to the left, move to the right".. I was expecting to be asked to do-si-do! I'd lost the will to live by the time we'd reached the 5th translation! However, it's done now. After this, only the essential announcements are relayed to cabins in all 5 main languages. Ok- 20 minutes later and I'm out by the pool- it's deserted!!! Hurrah! Unless they all know something I don't.. Bye bye Dubai, bring on Bahrain... I was sitting right by the ship's hooter when it went off!!! Jump?!!!! How high?!!!!!! Now to chillax.... Later that day… A nice day in the sun- the ear that wasn't affected by my headcold has now been wind blasted within an inch of its hearing life- being ever the resourceful Brit, I resorted to wrapping my caribbean kaftan thing round my head to protect what's left of my hearing- I actually really don't CARE what it looked like! It worked. Deck entertainment that I saw ( there was more but I only write what I see) was a deck side morning disco masquerading as an aerobics class-Gangnam Style was never Jane Fonda(!) and later they dragged a few holiday makers up, presented them with about 15 ingredients and challenged them to come up with the most innovative cocktail.. Lolol! Class or what?!!! Funny to watch the reaction of the tasters. Got slightly distracted on way back to cabin by a coffee / tea bar offering 16 different teas ( yawn!) but a variety of coffees including Marzipan infused! Well, that was lunch sorted, together with my lemsip/ whisky hot toddy.. Decided to a la carte the dinner tonight - no problem getting a table although I think allocating me table 111 for 1 was rubbing it in a bit! 5 courses on offer- went for just 3- roast beef with artichoke, italian cheese and finally, "diplomatic cake"... I was really hoping that was a dessert telling me to embrace my curves and eat more.. Sadly this turned out not to be the case, but as a non pud eater it was luvverly!! Cream and some sort of pastry thing with a nod to health by the addition of a strawberry. On to the show "Made in Italy" prefaced by an introduction to the international hostesses- German, French,Spanish, and finally Hannah,the english hostess who spectacularly announced that she is the language interpreter for every other language than French, Italian Spanish and German- good luck with that luv! Still for my Costa doubting cruise friends, I think it's a really good facility to have. Showtime was great- a mixture of all things italian from opera to dance to pop- including a v innovative Formula One dance to The Race.. I'd forgotten the joys of "applauso applauso " on Costa ships- it just makes me smile. Sitting in one of the many lounges now, awaiting the "70s explosion"... Should be fun! Bahrain tomorrow and I'm afraid I've opted ( on most of this cruise) for beach resort days- hey ho. Day (non existent 3) & 4.. Oh well, after a fairly uneventful day 3 to due to this stupid cold, it looks like I shall be on board Xmas Day and Boxing Day- finally succumbed to the Doc today and he advised not to do my planned trips for next two days-bronchitis. Ho hum. At least he didn't confine me to cabin!!! Well at least I shall get to see Costa Christmas in all its glory- and let's face it, if you are going to be ill, you may as well be ill in the sun!! Not too impressed with his nurse that jumped back about 8 feet when I coughed!!!!! Although as backwards long jumps go, it was probably very proficient! So, yesterday - as said earlier, a peg out day by the pool which was fine. The show was an entertaining comedy acrobat team who did some amazing human "slinky" thing, which thankfully did NOT involve them tumbling down the stairs- which was the only thing I could do with my slinky! Back to the room last night to find this big box of panettone waiting- that and the prosecco will be coming home with me, otherwise I might explode before xmas day! We arrive in Abu Dhabi at 13.30 today and depart tomorrow at about 16.30, so I guess there will be a mass exodus this afternoon.Some are doing an overnight desert trip involving tents camels and bedouins. I don't think I was made for camels.. And I'm fairly sure they aren't made for me- girl has to know her limitations! My plan ( in the absence of shore trips!) is to enjoy the day in the sun- temperature is a lovely 25 degrees, and then tackle the Christmas Eve Dinner- I am interested to see what we receive- then the Hip Hop Burlesque Show ( there's a juxtaposition!) followed by the Midnight Mass if I'm still awake. I did this last year and it was lovely - mostly the Filipino staff and a few of us Roman Candles- it's about the only time of year I go to church and I must admit I do enjoy it. Signing off for now- I hope everyone has a happy and peaceful day- I may update later on Day 5. Costa NeoRiviera Firstly- MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Thoughts for the day: 1) The hygiene and elf n safety standards on this ship are impeccable. I was watching today in the outdoor buffet area- if someone so much as drops a chip, someone is there to pick it up. The floors are constantly being mopped and all the buffet food has individual pick up tongs to reduce contamination 2) Sea water pools puts women like me at a severe disadvantage as regards swimming with any type of dignity.. No sooner am I in there then let's say my natural buoyancy takes over and the Mae Wests float to the top.. So you either go with that and float on your back looking like two atolls adrift at sea, or you fight it and people assume you are drowning... Just cold water showers poolside then for me.. 3) The quality and freshness of the food I've encountered on here surpasses anything I have had on the "posher" lines.. I did wonder if Costa Serena was unique in this, but no, seemingly not. 4)The entertainment has been fine for coping with so many nationalities- if I want a West End Show I'll go to London. But for what you get, the professionalism of the dancers and singers is top notch, the humour is by necessity " in yer face"( which I'm fine with!) and it is wonderful to sit in a theatre that is never more than 70% full with massive legroom and little tables for your drink(s)! 5) This has rekindled my love of smaller ships- it has about 1600 passengers and 900 rooms.. You can walk end to end in about 5 minutes flat. You don't need to queue for lifts, and despite the rumours about "foreigners" not queuing, I have not seen even one instance of anyone pushing in.The rumours of Costa ships being smoke filled dens appears to be unfounded too! 6) The beds are "awesome" on here and I have slept like a log! Aside from the fantastic unexpected free upgrade to a mini suite, the cabins are well fitted out, clean and well maintained. I have never had a cabin with so much storage space! I found another cupboard yesterday when I pressed the hairdryer button my mirror- only for the whole mirror to swing open to produce a further huge cupboard housing a safe ( I had wondered where that was!) as well as says hairdryer! I have not forgotten my P&O balcony complete with blue plastic webbing, rusty rails and paint flecks all over it! That was the same cabin where the handle came off in my hand if you recall! 7) Their inclusive drinks package is the best at sea, and means that since I've been on here, aside from a bottle of Cloudy Bay which I treated myself to for yesterday and today , and a packet of crisps ( because I could!) I have no other onboard spend at all. 8)I wasn't a fan of freedom dining, preferring to inflict myself on others at dinner, but actually it's been ok. I think it's led to me meeting less people than normal, but I also believe the vast array of nationalities by definition makes that harder. I've enjoyed the freedom to eat when I choose as opposed to when it's prescribed and as long as I have my Kindle, I've been a happy Billy No Mates in the corner! 9)Here's the thing... For all of the above plus more, I am starting to think that Costa may be my favourite cruise line.. I still have a lot to try out, but for value for money , I find them hard to beat. I'm interested in other opinions from fellow cruisers , and for non cruising friends, I'll shut up now!!!!! Today is a people watching day- it is the first time that I've seen the decks fairly full- this is a definite advantage of having almost every day as a port day- people clear off to explore! Having said, as I say, today ( at least for the next couple of hours) the world and his wife are here.. Yes there are plenty of children but they are "contained" reasonably within a) a children's pool on deck 12 with slides and stuff and b) in one of the two adult only pools.. Well, it's Christmas eh? And they are all being well behaved if a little noisy... The assorted deck walkers are funny to watch- there are the Sophia Loren and George Clooney beautiful people, the Middle aged stomach suckers-in squeezed into budgie smuggler speedos , the self conscious but willowy latinesque teenage beauties,giggling in little gaggles,and eying up the sullen moody boys, the sock wearing white hat & sandal brigade desperately seeking shade ( I wonder where they can be from?!), the dedicated yompers marching determinedly around the deck in anticipation of the Christmas dinner to come, eyes front and no deviation , the weary mothers who just look relieved that the sun is out and their children have playmates of all nationalities to play with, the teenage lads who really DO seem lost on here, and tend to sit quietly in corners scowling gently,pretending they can't see the giggly girls, the long suffering bar staff with their enforced uniform of Xmas hats which they wear with aplomb and a smile, dads pretending to read their papers and discreetly watching the girls go by without attracting the attention of their wives, who are watching them like hawks regardless anyhow..All the world is here.. I hear French, English, German, Arabic,Spanish, Italian as a gentle cacaphony of voices melding with the Christmas deck music.. It's strangely soothing.. I'm not a crowd lover, but even within all of this, it seems calm and peaceful... They say no man is an island.. I feel a little like one here, but surrounded by other islands, so it could be worse. Language is not hugely a barrier- smiles are universal and people are friendly enough. I'm not sure if I miss the big group table at dinner or not- I've met some interesting people by dining that way in the past, but actually , a table for one has been ok on this cruise.. Sad but true. I have my reindeer deely boppers ready to go tonight; bring it on! Day 6&7 Day 6 passed in a blur of sun sleep and .. Well that's it really! Oh except for the fact that I decided against my better nature to try italian Bingo.. Oh that's fun.. You push holes in the paper as opposed to using your dobber.. And you'd think , THINK, that with repeating each number in 5 languages, you'd have time to read a book Inbetween... Oh no sirree!!!! It was bloody hard to keep up and when I actually WON ( yes WON!!) I was so surprised and so slow that I nearly missed it! As it was, I had to go up front to "applauso applauso" in bare feet because I'd taken my shoes off... You could hear the tuts from the Jimmy Choo and Loboutin brigade.. I don't care- my tootsies looked lovely courtesy of my friend Angela at Image Salon so who cares?! Probably just jealous of my winning! The show "Myths & Legends" wasn't probably going to be my thing so I pottered off to see the Arabian Night floor show. Highly entertaining if very basic humour, culminating in the crowning of Mr NeoRiviera... I rather like this sort of simple humour- you look around the room and everyone is laughing- similar to the first time I watched Penguin Racing on Fred Olsen.. There's not a lot more designed to make me cry laughing than grown men strapped to 6 foot tall MDF penguins whilst assorted punters throw the huge dice to get their penguin over the finish line.. Call me childish but I LIKE that sort of thing! So, back to Mr Costa NeoRiviera.. Round one, basically a " You can take your hat off " routine to whittle from 20 down to 3.. Well a blind man could have worked out all 3.. There's been a fantastic Egyptian man who throws himself into everything, ( he really can dance like an Egyptian!), there was the obligatory italian stallion who just KNEW he was, ( not that I'm complaining!) and then this little tubby long haired grandad who was just hysterical to watch.. Ok.. So I guess before round two, you can already guess the winner? The game was to drag 3 (un ) willing women from the audience to act as Jane, to each man's Tarzan.. There was ONE extremely happy Jane there.. Then Tarzan had to beat up the cannibal with his fred flintstone cosh (applauso applauso) and swing through the jungle to rescue his jane.. Ok.. Silly but.. Egyptian man had either never heard of Tarzan or he'd been really badly dubbed in Egypt , as his cry came out like a cat with his bits caught in a mangle ( bye bye!), the Italian Stallion was so busy looking beautiful he forgot to act.. So step forward Mr Costa NeoRiviera- who threw himself into the part with what can only be described as gusto, and he looked totally in shock when he won .. Even though the animateurs had hoisted his Jane up between them and deposited her in his arms! Bloody funny- you had to be there to appreciate it! Last night,there was ( boring but worth mentioning for potential Costa cruisers) an offer to wash and iron up to 25 items for a total cost of €20.. Normally this is €11 an item and so REALLY not of interest.. But €20 to get 9 dresses and 2 tops returned ready to pack? Oh yes! Returned to my cabin at 6pm tonight and straight in the case.. Thankyou Costa! Dinner was tasty and I leave the ship at 9.30 tomorrow- interestingly at the disembarkation talk, you can keep your cabin on here until 3pm at no extra charge and even then you can continue to use the ship's facilities inc the restaurants until whatever time you are due to disembark. To sum up, this is my second Costa cruise, and no they're not the poshest but I do seriously believe they are fun.. Life is what you make it.. Holidays are what you choose to make them.. I didn't see any of the Emirates because of this bronchitis, but I had a totally relaxing chilled holiday in the most beautiful weather.. The cabin was the best designed and most spacious of any ship I've been on, and the staff can't do enough to help. And I KNOW I will be back here. With Costa too. For non cruising friends, I hope this hasn't bored you too much.. For cruise lovers friends, I hope you find this a useful honest review. Ciao!!!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2013
Firstly I have to say I had a really nice time. I booked the cruise last minute, and read reviews afterwards. This made me nervous, but I actually enjoyed my experience a lot. I have never been on a cruise before, and had no idea ... Read More
Firstly I have to say I had a really nice time. I booked the cruise last minute, and read reviews afterwards. This made me nervous, but I actually enjoyed my experience a lot. I have never been on a cruise before, and had no idea what to expect. I had a week off from work, and wanted to be somewhere it didn't snow and wasn't grey, but didn't have a lot of money to spend. Through last minute booking websites I found this cruise, and thought the ports were really interesting. There was no way i could have traveled to so many places organizing my own transport. Plus it was basically the same price as a last minute deal to Egypt or Turkey. I booked a cabin (single supplement) for £373 which I think was really good value. I booked the flights myself, and had to organize the transfer going myself (coming back i used costa transfer which was great and much cheaper), but otherwise it took very little effort and was pretty idiot proof. Food: I loved the food. I am gluten free, and I don't think I have ever eaten so well. You need to let them know when booking, and also reconfirm when you are on the ship but they can provide gluten free food. For breakfast and lunch you go to New York restaurant, and they have a special gluten free area. They are the same staff each day, so you get to know them quite well. At breakfast you get given gluten free bread and croissants, plus info about what was safe to eat from the buffet (i.e. eggs, specific yoghurts and also the meats/cheeses). At lunch time you were given a gluten free menu with choices! so you could chose what you wanted. At dinner everyone is given a specific table (not necessarily in New York - I was seated in My Way). Here you are given a gluten free menu, and again can chose what you wanted. The menus both had 7 courses, so there would definitely be something you wanted. The pastas were amazing, and generally overall i thought the food was really good. The only slight disappointment were the desserts - it was basically the same 3 cakes and fruit. But they had croissants at breakfast so I don't think I should complain about this at all! Also at dinner you had to order from the maitre'd which sometimes meant your food came at different times to others on the table. But I was a solo traveler so didn't find this too odd. And to be honest its better this than getting ill. There were also various buffets on deck 9. they had no gluten free food here (and the staff weren't sure about ingredients), so they do tell you to avoid. I did try the grill (chips, and salmon and hotdogs were eaten with no ill effects), but they do say you should eat in the restaurants. Entertainment: I went for a quite time really and didn't drink a lot. There were lots of bars, with different types of music and atmospheres. it was quite a party ship, and I think if you want lots of these kind of activities its a good chose for you. I went to the shows in the theater each night and enjoyed them. it wasn't the west end, but all shows were fun enough to be enjoyed. The circus night was amazing, and not to be missed. Unless you are a huge Bee Gees fan, the tribute night is nothing special Ports: the main reason I chose this holiday, was the interesting ports. I loved Barcelona, and Sardinia. In each port their are excursions, and also shuttle buses if you don't want to do an excursion. I just did the shuttle buses and at 9 euros return, I thought this was a very cheap option. The bus took you to the center of the town, so it was an idiot proof way to wonder round Information sheets: Each night, you were given an information sheet in your room about the following day. this included info about temperature, when the ship arrives/left, details of the shuttle bus, and the entertainment activities for the day. it also gave timing for the restaurants. Beware, the restaurants aren't open exactly the same time each day - so check the sheet!!!! Cabin: It was bigger than i expected. I had an inside cabin, and I understand why people say go for outside. The room was fine, but it was very confusing trying to work out the time of day with no outside light. There is only 1 plug, and it is European. So make sure you take an adapter (oddly they don't sell them on board which i thought was weird). Shower was great, and my cabin steward was fantastic. When i arrived on my first day, i found lunch and a big bow of fruit waiting for me (I think it was because i was gluten free and couldn't eat in the buffets) Announcements: there were some in 5 languages, but not a lot. they were mostly the safety ones, which to be honest i would want everyone on-board to understand. It is a Costa rule that everyone in the staff had to speak English. So for the minority on board we were really lucky French were by far the majority of guests. Children: there were children on board (which I am not a fan of) but they didn't bother me. they had children's clubs, and i stayed away from the pool (wehre they seemed to live). What i didn't like: overall i thought information was extremely poor. i booked online, and received next to no information before my trip. The website was useless, and as a first time cruiser I had no idea what to expect. On the ship it was no different, and for example I dragged my suitcase through the embarkation process, not realizing (and not being told) they will take it off you and helpfully deliver it to your room. Also I didn't realize until booking that drinks aren't included. Whilst I understanding not having alcohol indued, I did think it was odd you didn't even get a soft drink with you meal. I have no experience of other ships, so perhaps this is standard. but it was a surprise to me. On this point i have seen discussion about whether the drinks inclusive rate is good value. i wasn't drinking much, and so i spent about 50 euros over the week. this included a soft drink each night, a couple of hot chocolates in the chocolate bar, and a couple of cocktails. if you are going to drink a lot of alcohol each night the drinks package is good value. if however you plan just to drink water (and the 'tap' water is free) and have the odd drink, don't bother. Some of the staff in the restaurant seriously need some common sense help. Most of them were amazing, but my first lunch time experience actually made me want to cry. i walked into the restaurant and a staff member recognized me from the night before. She helpfully sat me in the gluten free section. Another waiter then came and told me I couldn't sit there and i should follow him. i did only to lose him, and asked another waiter where i should sit. he told me i couldn't sit where he was taking me because there was a step and the step would be a problem for me (?????????) and told me to sit somewhere else. i did this, asked for tea and the gluten free menu. the waiter said 'your gluten free?' and walked off. He then got a really helpful waitress (who it turned out was lovely, and in charge of the gluten free area). She took me back to where I was originally sitting. Bloody hell!!!!!!! That kind of thing drives me insane. The Spa i thought was expensive, and I had an average manicure (nothing special, but nothing truly terrible) My entire trip including transfers was around £650. For this money, I had a great time (and would recommend). if however i had paid full price (i think around £1300 for my cabin) I would be very disappointed. Its a good fun resort on a boat, but nothing luxurious or overly special. Nice week away but if i spent £1300 i would expect many more frills. Read Less
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