Costa Mediterranea Cruise Review by Paul: First time Costa - better than expected
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First time Costa - better than expected
We were on the Costa Mediterranea for 11 nights from 3 to 14 September 2011.
This was our first time on Costa, having previously cruised with P&O, Princess and Thomson.
The cruise was a round trip from Sovana around the eastern Mediterranean.
As with most ships these days the cabins had a mini-bar, an ice bucket that was topped up daily, and a free safe.
There were six different nationalities onboard, the majority Italians, but with quite a few Brits.
I am going to do this review as pro's and con's, although one mans pro might be another's con and vice versa.
Basic price - we paid £74 pppn for a balcony cabin, including flights and transfers.
Good size cabins - one of the largest we have had on a cruise.
Evening dress code only recommended, not enforced, even on the three formal nights. Although shorts in the main dining room were frowned upon.
The ship was beautiful, especially More the interior (wow factor), which the wife described as opulent.
The ship was kept spotlessly clean.
Everything was well organised, and in the one port that was tendered (Santorini) we were very impressed with how quickly they got the passengers off.
Drinking water always available.
Plenty of sun beds and chairs.
Loads of bars and lounges, most with entertainment in the evenings.
Costa made sure the same nationality sat together during set dining in the evening. We had a table of eight, and luckily we all got on.
Despite all the different languages, the entertainment was pretty good, a lot of it visual, and if it included any singing, some of the songs were in English.
The grill bars by the pools were very good, with a much better choice than on P&O and Princess.
Smoking areas in most of the bars. This is pro to me as I smoke, but I realise that to many people this would be a con.
Compulsory gratuities - 6 Euros PPPN
15% service charge on drinks.
No tea and coffee making facilities in the cabin.
Only set dining in the evening with the buffet not open, although you could get Pizza in there.
Free tea and coffee was only available when the buffet was open - this was for most of the day until about 5pm. However, a free hot drink was available after dinner if requested.
No food or drink was allowed to be bought onto the ship, even in a suitcase. However, we had no trouble bringing a bottle or two of water onboard. Alcoholic drinks purchased ashore were taken from you and given back at the end of the cruise.
Only hair and shower gel and a bar of soap provided in the cabins, but could ask for complimentary body lotion, a shower cap and a sewing kit.
Announcements were made in up to 6 languages. This meant the muster drill lasted around 20-30 minutes, and there were two of them during the cruise.
Very few English channels on the cabin TV.
Films available, but they were pay per view.
No self service laundry or ironing facilities.
Overall we enjoyed the cruise and we would go again if the same sort of deal was available. Less
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