My husband and I flew from New Orleans.We stayed for 1 night at the Comfort Inn Air/Cruise Ports and we were very happy with the free shuttle service. We were impressed with Costa's quick and easy check in service and went right up to the buffet for lunch. The buffet was satisfactory,but limited in choices. We had plenty of time to explore the ship before sailing and I must say it is a beautiful ship with marble floors and many works of art. We booked the cheapest cabin,but it was very nice. Larger than the cabins on Royal Caribbean and identical to the cabin we had on Carnival Conquest(4A). The mandatory drill was long since the announcement had to be made in several languages. There were many Europeans on board and they weren't as courteous as the North Americans and the Brits.The Italian crew was very nice and I enjoyed the socializing with the entertainment crew.
This was a very sedate cruise,however.Bring a book and a deck of cards.The shows were very amateurish-actually pathetic. As for the food,steaks were usually good,desserts were mediocre,pastas were usually undercooked and seafood dishes would sometimes have squid and octopus in them.Food is not available 24 hours a day like Carnival so check the schedule or you may go hungry for awhile.My favorite part of the ship is the gym which is very well equipped. Another favorite was having espresso deliver to my cabin every morning free of charge.
Our first stop was in Nassau and the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island is a quick hop over by water taxi.It's an impressive resort with a casino and Aquarium.Then we went to Bermuda where we were met by the first tropical storm of the season.The ship must have great stabilizers because it hardly rocked.So we docked a day late and amazingly they still did the Dolphin Encounter in the rain and cold-I wouldn't recommend it even in good weather.It was in the Maritime Museum which had an ugly depressing wall around it.After several days at sea,we arrived at the Azores.We hired a taxi and for 100euros he took us all over the island.We had the best adventure of our trip at a fraction of what the ship was charging.By the way,the ship also charges in euros-in the casino,in the shops,for the excursions,for drinks and per diem tips.A few more days at sea and we reached Le Harve.I took the excursion to the Louvre Museum with lunch on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower-156 euros-expensive,but worth it.It's Paris!My husband took the Normandy excursion-115 euros-he loved it.Don't miss your shuttle bus or they will leave you to find your way back.We left a family in Paris because they were late.Although the ship went to Copenhagen,we wanted to spend more time in England,so we disembarked in Dover.We tried to exchange currency before leaving the ship,but the ships bank was closed and they scheduled our disembarkment before it opened.
No problem going through British Customs and we found a place to exchange currency at the port.Took a taxi to Dover Priority train station,6pounds.Bought tickets to London Victoria Station,15.90 pounds each And about a 2 hour ride.It came as a surprise to me that I'd have to pay to use the restroom at Victoria Station-20 pence.I bought a travelcard in London which gave us unlimited use of the bus,subway,&trains in London.We stayed at a nice B&B called the Grange for 65 pounds a night.Nice,but a little out of the way.Everything went great on our vacation until we reached the airport when British Airways cancelled my reservation.I bought round trip ticket that cost less than one way,but since I didn't use the fist half,they cancelled the whole thing without a refund.So we had to buy another ticket which made our vacation very expensive.We'll never use British Airways again.