We drove from Georgia to Florida the day prior and overnighted in Fort Pierce, about an hour and a half from Ft Lauderdale. Arrived at the pier by 10:30 am, unloaded our luggage and parked in the parking garage next to the pier. Very Easy. After check-in we waited until 11:45 to begin boarding.
This was our second cruise on Costa. We sailed the Mediterranea last March and enjoyed the european atmosphere. We have sailed on 18 cruises: Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Holland America,and Celebrity. While I can say we have never had a bad cruise experience, Carnival is my least favorite and Holland America my most favorite. Royal Caribbean is great with all the kids and grandkids.
We sailed with two other couples on the first week and just my husband and myself on the second week. So we explored late night fun the first week and rest and relaxation on the second. We had two different staterooms, the first was a balcony cabin at the very back of the ship the second was an oceanview forward. We found good things about both. The balcony aft was enjoyable while sailing, watching the ship's wake from here late at night is so peaceful. One drawback is while in port if the wind is blowing the soot toward the back of the ship it does fall onto your deck and deck chairs so beware. The other drawback is vibration, we had two days of rough seas in the beginning and experienced alot of vibration at the back of the ship during this time. Our other cabin was convenient to the elevators and on a lower level. Both cabin stewards were attentive and did a great job in maintaining our cabins.
Since we were a group of six in the dining room we all sat together and had the best waiter and assistant, Patrick the waiter and Greg his assistant. Patrick's suggestions were right on and they both were very attentive. Our second week we requested a table for two and had very good service again. However, when at a table for two it seems you wait a little longer to order and between courses because the waiters take the orders in groups, I think. But we always had water or other beverages replaced frequently at both tables.
The Italian night festivities in the dining room are great fun. Don't miss them. A word about the buffet, the design of this area causes a jam up of people. You need to navigate around it by utilizing the other areas where the buffet is placed. However, if you like PASTA, you will not go hungry. At lunch there are at least three different pasta dishes offered on the Lido, along with a hot meat carved to order and Pizza of course. You'll find the cookies served at tea time,3:45pm in the Lido. The dining room meals for dinner offered nice selections and good desserts.
Costa does offer a children's program but there are other cruise lines better suited for families with kids. The international blend of passengers may not be enjoyable for children sighting communication differences.
I must comment on the passenger participation onboard Costa ships, I have never seen so much passenger participation in the activities held on board. We never laughed so hard as we did on the oldies night. Great Time!!
Just a word about the Ship's design, deck 5 is the only deck you can walk from front to back inside. Unless, you walk a cabin deck, like deck 6 or 7 through. We also liked the tiered top decks for lounging. We never had a problem finding a deck chair up on deck 11 or 12. In addition, the Fortuna offers many areas of piano and other music. These were very comfortable and we enjoyed them each evening.
While a Costa cruise is not for everyone, it is all in what you make it. Each line has its niche and Costa offers a European experience close by. Listening to all the various languages is a part of the experience. We enjoy cruising Italian Style!!! and will do so again.