Merilyn, our room steward was wonderful and sweet. She learned our routine quickly and never bothered us and the room was always excellent.
The passengers were mostly Italian and Portugeuse and Canadian and French. They were LOVELY! I did not encounter one rude Italian! Listening to my fellow passengers speak in French, Spanish and Italian was music to my ears. Every time an Italian lit a cigarette, one was offered. Every time I caught a European's eye, a smile was returned. Every time I approached or retreated from a table, the European's stood. Their children were all lovely and gracious and I was thrilled to be traveling with such a diverse cultural group of people. The only rude people we encountered was a couple from Ohio and a loud American yelling at her children on Magen's Bay. Other than that the people were lovely.
The crew were mostly Italian and Spanish and Asian. They, too, were lovely. They learned our names, they went out of their way to be sure we were happy and they taught us to count in their languages.
The food was excellent! The pizza and pasta on the buffet was some of the best I've ever had. The restaurant was great as well and the room service was speedy. Every morning they delivered croissants and coffee to our room and they were never, ever late.
Puerto Rico was fantastic - we ate in the square at a Middle Eastern restaurant, bought soap from a New Jersey native and drank in the clubs. The live music in the clubs was wonderful. St Thomas was Magen's Bay, breathtaking but crowded. Private island in DR was gorgeous and La Roma was beautiful but dark and quiet. Even though we were warned how could we not leave the ship? We asked the crew for advice on what to do and we took a taxi to the Marina where luxurious yachts were docked, ate the best sushi in the world, outside, overlooking the yachts ($70 for two - sushi, chinese, cocktails, coffee), bought great coffee and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Nassau we had cocktails and beer at Cafe Europa and shopped a bit.
We didn't go to any shows and although we looked at the fitness area, and it was lovely, we didn't have time to utilize. My friend had a spa service and was very pleased with her massage and with Argentina, her masseuse, who by the way was so sweet and spoke 7 languages!! The Fortuna was gorgeous, the officers in the smoking lounge were fantastic and taught us about the ship and the stabilizers. El Capitan was very gracious and always had kind words.
It was the trip of a lifetime!
When in Rome, do as the Romans. If you're not interested in other cultures, aren't willing to embrace all things Italian, and have no sense of adventure, this trip is not for you.
Thank you Costa for your gracious hospitality!