We were two couples (3 guys and a gal) on this cruise. This was cruise number 9 for me and my second with Costa. We started our adventure in Rome for 2 nights and had a fantastic time.
We travelled to Venice on an overnight sleeper train and except for being delayed about 30 minutes and its kinda weird sleeping on the train it was a great way to travel.
9 May - Venice - Embarkation Day -
We arrived in Venice at 5:30 am after a short sleep on the train. We find a pretty deserted train station with nothing open, not even the toilets. But just 30 minutes later everything opened and we dropped our bags at left luggage and explored the city as it was our first time in Venice.
We explored the city for about 6 hours and really enjoyed it. We even experienced St. Marks's Square with no one in sight. We got a little lost in the city and somehow ended up by the port and saw the Fortuna for the first time. What a sight.
We headed back to the station to retrieve our bags and drag them to the terminal as we did not have pre printed bag tags from Costa we could not drop them at the station.
Venice has installed a People mover system from Piazzale Roma to the port which for a euro is great value and only takes a minute. Costa also provides a free shuttle from the bus stop in the same location.
We arrived at the port and started walking to the check-in area where we were directed to the bag drop in a different building. As we arrived at about 12:30 this place was crazy and after getting tags and dropping our bags we were given number 14 and sent to the waiting area. Here we waited for about 45min to an hour and after a few passport and Security Checks we make it aboard and it feels great!
After boarding we went straight to our room where our luggage was already waiting for us as well as our Costa card. We purchased the J2 package which is an all inclusive package. J2 includes all of your drinks up to €7 on the bar menu including cocktails, Wine and Beer. For us this was a great value.
We had early seating and enjoyed a great meal. Our servers Marlon Bando (Not lying) and Billy "the kid" were amazing, after the first night we had a standing order of drinks waiting on the table and great service throughout.
Costa now have a bunch of self serve credit card stations set up around ship so you can register your card for your onboard account.
This is so much easier. They also have screens around the ship that let you book excursions, see how much you have spent and check your Costa Club info amongst other things.
10 May - Bari -
We did Bari on our own and had a nice stroll around the city. Costa offer a shuttle bus (at €6 per person) but it’s only about a 5 min walk to the city centre. Bari has a castle which looks pretty impressive on the outside but has nothing on the inside. I suggest you do not pay the €2 euro entry.
After returning to the ship we had the life boat drill which is a real treat!
11 May - Katakolon –
We have been to Katakolon before and really not much here so a trip to Olympus is in order. We ended up needing to tender due to the wind an Ibero ship was in port already so it must have just kicked up.
We took a tender and joined the English tour to Olympus. After my previous ships tour on the Norwegian Jade I was a bit leery as it was horrible. I must say this was pretty good and we all really enjoyed it. As we were delayed arriving due to the weather and needing to tender we all arrived back at 5:30 which was all aboard.
After waiting in a massive line for about 30 minutes we made it aboard the tender and onboard.
12 May - Santorni -
We decided to go this one on our own and were really looking forward to it. However again due to the wind there was a real problem with the tenders. It took almost 3 hours for the tours to get off as it was unsafe. Once that happened we changed locations and for the next 3 hours they tried to get everyone else off stopping frequently. I was watching on deck and decided it was not worth the trouble to get off. It looked quite unsafe (I have video if anyone wants it) so we stayed aboard (Our tender number was called at 14:30 and with a back on board time of 17:30 it was not worth it and the seas were really choppy) and enjoyed a great day trying as many of the cocktails from the menu that we could.
13 May - Rhodes -
This was also my second visit to Rhodes and I loved it. The old city is walking distance and well worth a visit we enjoyed a few drinks (Beer in a boot what more do you need) and walked around. There is some great shopping to be had and you can even haggle a little bit.
There is Free Wi-Fi within the city and from the ship if you are lucky and the castle is well worth a visit if you have the time.
You will notice cats everywhere. They are pretty friendly but I still would not get too close.
There is also a decent duty free shop at the port.
14 May - Day at Sea -
Quite a normal day at sea. A Kitchen tour was offered and it was pretty cool.
It was lead by the English host who imho was not very good. She was very abrupt and kind of rude. She would not be my first choice for a host.
We also visited the Casino and all played roulette and came out ahead.
15 May - Dubrovnik -
This was a great port. Again due to the wind we had to dock a bit out if the city instead of tender. Costa provides a shuttle at €6 per person and whilst helpful I think it should have been free.
A Visit to the wall is a must as is getting some KUNE as that is the only way you will see the wall. Whilst on the wall there are a few cafes that are reasonably priced and give you nice break from your stroll around the wall. Allow about 90 minutes for the walk and wear comfortable shoes.
16 May - Venice - Debarkation day
We purchased the Costa Transfer to the airport for €20 per person. This also includes free left luggage at the terminal so you don't have to carry with you. We explored the city again and then returned for our transfer to the Airport.
The Fortuna is a great ship that I think is just the right size. The biggest issue I saw is just how it is laid out there are several areas where there is just a bottle neck during busy times and as on 2 indoor public decks span the length of the ship you can get a bit turned around at first. I also wish that you could walk all the way around deck 3.
If you enjoy your drink get the J2 and save a ton. The food was great in the MDR and the buffet was not too bad. Breakfast was a bit of a disappointment as I never got a fully coked omelette.
Overall this was a great cruise. If you can deal with an international feel and being a minority onboard (English was the fifth or sixth language in all announcements) you will enjoy Costa, I can't wait to book my next Costa Cruise.