First cruise but very pleasantly surprised, fantastic ship
Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
After reading the reviews on this website I was expecting the worse. This was my first ever cruise, but my partners 3rd or 4th, however we paid an absolute bargain price so we didn't mind all the bad reviews we had read, we knew we couldn't complain and still looked forward to it.
We expected poor food and bad service...
however we were totally surprised. Even my partner who had been on a couple of cruises before was pleased with everything.
The ship itself was decorated very high quality...yes the decor was over the top, but that's what I expected from cruises, it was still all very high quality finishings. The cabin was nice and spacious. It did take a while to find our way around the ship but it was easy once figured out.
The service was fantastic. We went to the restaurant every evening and the waiters could not have done more for us, they made our trip (thanks Dennis!). The shows in the restaurant were a nice surprise and made the holiday special. We were More
served quickly, and we could order as much as we wanted so I don't know how people can complain about quantity. The quality was also excellent too.
We quickly found our favourite bar which we went to every evening, with a fantastic pianist on called Alex. The bars were all impressive and every night some sort of food was brought round at midnight.
All the ports were perfect, with enough time in each, and there was no problem getting on and off. Dubrovnik was our only port which required a tenure boat and this all happened very smoothly.
We went on one organised trip to Ephesus, this was also fantastic and went completely smoothly. The guide was absolutely brilliant.
To sum up, this was everything I expected from a cruise and much more. The food, service, ports and ship itself were all better than I expected, a complete luxury experience.
I will definitely travel with Costa again (I hope!). Less
Read more Costa Favolosa cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic's Costa Favolosa Review >>
Port and Shore Excursions
Unfortunately we experienced very, very heavy rain in Bari so we only stayed for about 10 minutes! You can walk to the centre from the ship which was handy, so we did despite the rain, however it was just too wet to spend any time there so we had to come straight back to the boat. It did seem like a very interesting and pretty town though and I'd love to go back in better weather.
This port was the prettiest on our trip. Like Istanbul, this is another port which must be one of the top ports to arrive in, it looks fantastic and a perfect photo opportunity. We had to get a boat to shore, but this all happened very smoothly. As soon as we arrived we headed to the wall, you have to pay an entrance fee but it is definitely worth it, you walk around the wall and there are just endless photo opportunities, it is definitely the best way to see the place.
This was one of the best ports to arrive in, with a fantastic view from every side of the boat, i think that the best way to see the city was from the water.
It was a bit confusing when we got off the boat as not much signs etc, but we just walked in the direction which seemed right (keep walking left as you come off the boat) and after about 5-10 minutes we found a tram stop. The tram was very easy, you bought a token at a a machine at the tram stop, all just one price for a single trip, and then we got off at Sultanahmet which was were the Blue Mosque is. We then were surprised to find the city quite easy to walk around. We walked from there to the Grand Bazaar, then the spice market, and then over the bridge towards the boat again.
I definitely hope to go back to Istanbul.
Archaeological Site of Ephesus
The actual timings etc all ran smoothly and the excursion was made very easy.
The tour guide, Murat, was absolutely fantastic. He was Turkish but spoke fluent English, and he was very knowledgeable and funny which kept us interested.
Ephesus itself was incredible. I did not think I would be that interested as it's not usually my sort of thing, but it was such a wonderful big site that you can't help but me amazed.
We decided to stay in Katakolon rather than take the trip to Olympia, and we were pleasantly surprised. The ship stopped right in the port, so you walked right off the boat and into the town. The town is only very small however it was bigger than I expected and has a lovely atmosphere. There is one main street full of shops, all bustling and lively. It has a nice feel to it. Then there is another strip behind the shops facing the sea, with a line of cafes all with seats right up to the water. We had a quick walk around and then sat outside a cafe and took advantage of the free wi-fi.
This was a lovely friendly quick stop.