Alitalia bad! Costa better.: Costa Pacifica Cruise Review by brother_unknown

Costa Pacifica 3
Member Since 2009
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Alitalia bad! Costa better.

Sail Date: November 2009
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Rome (Civitavecchia)
Booking Alitalia to Rome was a mistake as even our Italian friends tell us. It is Western Europe's version of Aeroflot. We had only allowed six and a half hours until our cruise left. The plane was three late in landing. The first bag off the belt appeared 45 minutes later. After an hour and forty five minutes, we received two of our three bags. During the delay, we had tried several times to file a missing luggage report with Alitalia; they had always refused--"just wait five more minutes." Now, we had no alternative but to head for the cruise terminal (the shuttle cost E125, so much for our plan to take the train) without filing a report.

Boarding was simple—it always is when you're the last to board. We reported our missing bag to the Costa purser; they contacted Alitalia on our behalf with a full description of the bag; they gave us an overnight kit and slippers, loaned us two bathrobes, and comped out laundry (express service!) for our entire stay aboard. More

No,Alitalia has yet to return or reimburse us for our luggage; we've tried contacting the phone numbers and email addresses on their website, but all are out of service.

Cabin incredibly spacious; one of two diagonal-shaped cabins over fantail. We could and did sit in the window. Bed quite comfortable, firm mattress. Warm comforter. Excellent temperature control. Very helpful cabin stewardess. But woke one morning to the smell of bacon--and, alas, breakfast was not served for another hour.

Choice of buffet sit-down breakfast (with possibility of ordering over-cooked eggs) or buffet on upper level with truly wonderful omelets. Breakfast best meal of the day.

Dreadful pizza always available. Was it us or the Pizza? I asked an Italian passenger who said, "Pizza was dreadful." (Majority of passengers were European--Italians, French, German, Brits and made for interesting company.)

Entrees, appetizers and soups were almost always inedible. The exception were the wonderful Italian cheeses.

Serving staff surly and quick to forget requests for water or tea.

Music everywhere, afternoon and evening. We danced each night and many joined us on the floor--musicians excellent. (And after the ballroom dancers left, the discos opened).

No free in-room movies or lectures.

Our itinerary was excellent, but Costa, quick to sell their own tours, provided little aid on getting to town. The exception was free shuttle in Civitavecchia and $6 per person shuttle in Barcelona. Less

Published 11/23/09
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Cabin review: ov2574

Cabin incredibly spacious; one of two diagonal-shaped cabins over fantail. We could and did sit in the window. Bed quite comfortable, firm mattress. Warm comforter. Excellent temperature control. Very helpful cabin stewardess. But woke one morning to the smell of bacon--and, alas, breakfast was not served for another hour.

Port and Shore Excursions

Savona is readily accessible from port. Though still jetlagged, we walked through charming town
Read 65 Aarhus Reviews

It's a long, long walk from the port into Mallorca and I'd recommend that everyone take the city bus at the port (the bus is marked airport but it also stops at the center of the city). Still the walk took us along the yacht harbor and then up briefly to two antique windmills Quixote might have visited. From the city center, we took a E5 cab ride to the Pueblo Espaniol which features recreated architecture from the 13th century on for all parts of Spain and the Canary Island. Recommended.
Read 65 Aarhus Reviews

$6 pp shuttle brought us to the foot of the Rambla, where we followed a walking tour I'd found on the web. The expected buildings were there but so were large numbers of unemployed Morrocans. Then on to the Boquera (an extensive outdoor market) and a tapas bar where we had our best meal since leaving the States.
Read 1602 Barcelona Reviews

We took a bus tour of the Island (the only real stop was at a glass factory--warning: it take a good 10 minutes to get to the rest rooms from the factory) which left us at the entrance to Valletta (the ancient main city) perched high above the port. The entrance was lined with stalls, and although a McDonalds and Burger King were to be found within the walls, I led us back to a shack where all the bus drivers seemed to be ordering their meals. We had a superb stewed rabbit served with great bread.

Valleta was home to the Knights of Malta and their headquarters is not to be missed.

Map in hand, we headed for the principal sights only to come unexpectedly upon a museum of contemporary art, the high point of our tour! There is a great deal to see in the city, impressive buildings from the previous century and we were exhausted when we completed our uphill climb. This may explain why the way back to the ship led us into a narrow alley, home to an outdoor market with fresh fish and cephalopods of every description on display. The thing about narrow alley is that they immediately challenge the Italian driver to see how fast he can go (as in the movies) without actually hitting a pedestrian or overturning a stall.
Read 215 Palermo Reviews

A taxi is essential to get from the port to the Medina and the ruins of Carthage. The Medina consists of a maze of narrow alleyways lined by stalls on either side; one entire section is devoted to clothes, another to jewelry and so on. We were taken aside by an amiable conman who led us at breakneck pace to his friend the perfumer who offered to sell us for 20 euros, no 10, no 5, the rare essences of perfume. Our guide then demanded money for his children, five Euros, please. Thankfully, he did lead us to a lane which led out of the market before he ditched us. I gave him a $1 US which he looked at scornfully. (Actually everyone on our journey looked at $US scornfully.)

If you're not careful, your cab driver will take you not to the ruins of Carthage but to another outdoor market. Our driver did throw in a tour of the Presidential palace as well as the innumerable villas and apartments reserved for the President's cronies. By begging, we also got to see some ancient Roman era cisterns.

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