I (25 years) have just been on a cruise in the Baltic Sea with my mom (62) for 8 days. We are from Denmark and travelled in July.
Overall we were very pleased with the cruise, and would recommend it to friends and family.
Before we went I read a lot of reviews online, and not many of them were very positive. As always it might be because satisfied people don’t write reviews. Therefore I have a need to comment on some of the things, and tell you about our experience on Costa Luminosa.
First of all: the staff is just great! They are fun, friendly and do their jobs very well. That goes for both the staff at the bars, pools, cabins and restaurants.
I read many reviews that complained about the food, both the quality and the quantity. In our opinion the food was really great. There was a wide and fresh selection for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Maybe especially for lunch, there had 6-7 different buffets with pizza, pasta, seafood, More
hamburgers/sausages, salad, and much more. Everything was made fresh through the day by chefs standing in the buffet. But also breakfast was, I my eyes, impressive. We had dinner at the ‘free’ restaurant Taurus every night except one. The menu changed every day. I read a lot of reviews saying that the portions were too small, and that people left hungry. Yes, the portions are small, but there is no reason to leave hungry! First, it is an Italian ship, and the menu is planned so that you can eat 5-6 courses or more if you like (starter, pasta, main course, cheese, dessert). If there is one thing you want more of, you just tell your waiter (which btw is the same the whole week) and he will make sure you get at bigger portion, or get you two servings of that course. Many nights I ordered 3-starts because I like starters and my mom several desserts. We had dinner with 9 other Danes and talked to a lot more during the week, and not any of us had complaints about the food. We did meet some Americans who were very unsatisfied by the food, though, but I blame that on Americans and not the ship :)
We had the all-inclusive drinks, and loved it. The coffee, the drinks and the wine was delicious and the service great. There was a lot included (everything we wanted during the week including many funny and classic drinks) and you could use it in all the bars and restaurants onboard.
The ship was very clean, both the public areas and the cabins. The cabin staff was very nice and helpful. We lived in the inside cabin, and it was all fine. When we arrived my mom and I found our beds side by side with only one duvet. We thought that might be a little too cozy for us. We asked our cabin-staff if we could get two duvets, and of cause that was possible, and if we liked she would also move the beds, so it would be to singles with the nightstand in between. It was all done within the hour, even though they were busy with all the new passengers.
So the ship was great. My biggest complaint about the cruise was that a couple of weeks before we had to go, they changed one of our ports. Instead of going to Stockholm, we were going to some port 58 km outside of Stockholm. Therefore we booked an excursion over the webpage. When we came onboard, we were told that the port was changed back to Stockholm. Since we were now going to Stockholm again, we were not sure if we wanted the excursion (since we are Danes, we don’t really feel like tourists in Sweden). But it was no problem to get it refunded when we asked, and we ended up taking the excursion after all.
They also changed the order of the ports, which was a little annoying, but really didn’t matter that much.
If I should say something negative about the ship, it would be, that I thought it a shame that they had closed the roof over the central pool (the roof goes on and off). I thought I very warm and moist to be in there, but looked like a lot of people enjoyed it. And I just used the pool in the back. Also, I read a lot of positive remarks about the shows in the evening, I wasn’t blown away. But might be I had to big expectations after having seen a lot of London and Broadway shows. The other Danes were quite impressed.
Besides all of this we had really great weather all week.
All in all we were happy, impressed and very satisfied with our cruise! Less