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Sail Date: February 2019
The Ship was amazing, we were well impressed with the Shows, the food was lovely and a good choice but it was never more than lukewarm which was a shame, the staff work so hard and are so friendly. We bought one of the middle drinks ... Read More
The Ship was amazing, we were well impressed with the Shows, the food was lovely and a good choice but it was never more than lukewarm which was a shame, the staff work so hard and are so friendly. We bought one of the middle drinks packages it and proved to be a godsend as the drinks were expensive. We did find it hard work getting back on the Ship after a trip. I also slipped up on deck 10 near the Lido Buffet and had to see the hospital doctor who's bill was €352.00 of which €100 was for a BANDAGE which is a bit extreme by any standards, really thought I would at least be able to use my EHIC as it was an accident onboard , this then spoilt my holiday as I had badly damaged my knee so was in a wheelchair for the 4 days out of 7 and unable to take the wheelchair on shore. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
So a group of 7 girls decided to go on a cruise for one of our friends 40th birthday, only 2/7 people has done a cruise before so it’s an amazing idea on something different to do. We boarded at Barcelona, everything went very smooth, ... Read More
So a group of 7 girls decided to go on a cruise for one of our friends 40th birthday, only 2/7 people has done a cruise before so it’s an amazing idea on something different to do. We boarded at Barcelona, everything went very smooth, the check in staff were helpful and informative, so sat at the bar waiting to be called. After looking at the info the check in desks give we head into our room, collect the cards and walk out. We then go to reception get a drink, go for an explore, then head to the top deck. That’s when it goes slightly downhill, no one knows what to do next, we didn’t know about the entertainment information or the timetable as we were so excited to go exploring we seemed to miss the little pigeonhole right next to the door, I finally understood on the last night. Not Costas fault but it’s not explained very well once onboard the ship. Also being a group on girls on a birthday weekend I think there was a few more drinks flowing than normal. At 6.30 there was a safety demonstration which lasted about 20 odd minutes, then off to dinner for 9.15pm, that was a definite eye opener so very busy, the waiter we had wasn’t at all friendly (although we later found out they can work up to 8 months and that’s without a day off), even I don’t think I could plaster a smile on my face everyday. While dining in the main buffet Michael Jackson started blaring on the loud speaker, then up out of no where all the waiters start jumping about dancing. That was amazing as it comes out of nowhere!! Food was good, although the menu can get confusing as the waiter never did explain that you can order anything and everything if you choose. We all dance the night away and that was a great first night. Next morning with a slight hangovers and an early morning wake up call as someone managed to get locked out of their room and went off with another friend in another cabin, we all shower and up we get for a buffet breakfast. I can see from the choice of breakfast that they do try to cater for different nationalities but the breakfast isn’t great to be honest. I try some pancakes and bacon and that’s it. The coffee also isn’t great as unlike the bars where they have a machine and a milk frother they don’t have in the buffet, so water or orange juice is the way forward, also they don’t have a toaster, and the bread is rock solid. You could kill a bird with it. Off we go to marseille, hmmm next time I won’t bother as there’s not overly a lot to do there, walked around, saw some buildings, forced an alcoholic drink down our neck and back on the boat. lunch at the buffer, again it wasn’t too great, rock hard bread again, some warm focaccia, pasta, and a big lump of beef with potatoes, not great if you’re a vegetarian (I’m not, but 2 of our friends are). Go to dinner at 9.15pm, this time the waiters dance to some latin songs, ver well done again. Then another repeat of the night before, more drinks and dance the night away). The 3rd morning head off to the buffet again, this time no pacncakes, I don’t eat eggs so not a lot to choose from, I grabbed 2 pieces of French bread with cinnamon and some pineapple, that will do. We get off at Savona, 1 MASSIVE tip, other than supermarkets everything else shuts at 1.30 and opens back up at 4.30, unfortunately we have to be back on the ship by 4.30 so we spent an hour walking in a group of 7, with different people trying to find a restaurant just so we can get a pizza, it didn’t go down too well but got there in the end. Back on the ship, more drinks, a lot more passengers so the bar on deck 9 was a complete nightmare, then off we go again. Down to shower, off to the 9.15pm dinner, waited until 10pm to ask the waiter what time will the dancing be on tonight, he tells us there won’t be any, shame, so we all thanked him, 3 went off to bed, 4 of us decided to pop off to the casino. Within half hour our 50€ was spent and off to the bar we go. A few more drinks down our necks an the conversation turned to the bar staff. When we took 5 minutes out of our busy lives to see the amount they work, the stuff they have to put up with, and the hours they work on a daily basis, I’m so grateful for my life. The amount of time they’re away from home, they don’t see their families for months and months at a time. While we go on holiday they’re there at our beck and call when we want a drink or service. So thank you Henry and Danny for that night. So last morning just before we go to Barcelona, we set our alarms to make the restaurant breakfast. I do wish I’d gone there before but to be there by 9 is a bit of a deal breaker, unfortunately again we had a not so friendly waiter and had to be called about 3 times before he would come over to serve, at least it was nice. Back to the room to get our stuff as we had to be out by 10. We decided to go back to deck 9, as we started off from there a few more Prosecco to finish up the holiday, and off we go to the shops, pay our bill at the desk and get ready to leave. As they bleep mine and my roommates cats and unfamiliar buzz goes off, we’re not allowed to leave but everyone else disembarked, so back off to the desk to sort the cards out. Cards done and out we go. The 2 of us are last to pick up our luggage go through everything and my friend realizes she’s had some money stolen from her case. Do not leave any money in your case. There’s signs around saying the same so I don’t know what was going through her mind at that time when she left the case outside the door the night before. You HAVE to leave your cases outside of the room the night before for them to collect it. They advise to leave the cases the night before by 12 midnight and no later than 1am, but I witnessed them not coming until 3.30 am. Do not leave anything valuable at all. There’s always people workers and non workers wandering the hallways so could have been anyone. I also had stuff taken but luckily not money. Anyway other than the little hiccup at the end it all went well. I also missed the last day lunch as I was too busy booking my next cruise onboard. This time as a family, so hopefully the next one will be a little less partying and a little less hangovers. On the last note, be aware that if you suffer from rocking on land, It’s been 48 hours and I still don’t feel great and I’m still rocking and swaying. Maybe I was a little hasty in booking the next one but I’m sure I’ll be over it then. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise especially for the weather in this region at this time of the year. We traveled with a group of sixteen people. Four families with children between 15 and 23 years old.The procedure for boarding and disembarking was ... Read More
We chose this cruise especially for the weather in this region at this time of the year. We traveled with a group of sixteen people. Four families with children between 15 and 23 years old.The procedure for boarding and disembarking was childishly simple and hardly time consuming. You can see that the ship comes at age but everything was in excellent condition. And the staff were visibly busy with her duties throughout the day. As if it were a military operation. Every day I put a fingerprint in the elevator, but within a few hours it was polished away. The ship is equipped with a diesel-hybrid propulsion. This results is an almost vibration-free experience. Noticeably better than all other cruises that we have previously made. And; no soot on the stern as we have experienced on previous cruises. Our cabin (Standard Balcony Hut) was fine, clean and had a spacious balcony. A few more wall sockets may be installed; there is only one wall socket installed at the desk. The dinners and other food on board are of excellent quality and you have more than enough choices. In any case much better than most of us eat at home! What is annoying is that there are many times that all restaurants are closed at the same time for several hours. You can not get anything to eat on the entire ship. This is especially difficult for our children who came out of bed late. You get the impression that it seems to have something to do with cost savings. That is a serious flaw of this ship and different than we have experienced on all our other cruises. In terms of entertainment, there is enough choice for everyone. Nothing special, however. An average experience compared to previous cruises. In general; the staff on board is fine. We had a not so customer-friendly cleaner at our cabin. If we wanted to go to our cabin during cleaning, this man was very irritated to us. The other participants from our group luckily did not have this experience. The Italian staff at the reception was not particularly friendly and helpful. But luckily we did not need that much. Our route took us to Dubai, Muscat, Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Due to a rough sea we unfortunately could not disembark to Sir Bani Yas Island. After a sea day, that was a minor disappointment. The ship therefore immediately headed for Abu Dhabi where we had an extra evening. In Abu Dhabi buses were ready to take us to a shopping center for free. Our children have had a great time on board. This was partly because we were with a group ourselves. I do not think we will choose this ship again for a next cruise. But if it just happens to have the right itinerary for us, then we do not doubt and we choose Costa again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Grabbed this cruise first the balcony price was great and second for the opportunity to scuba dive in some warm waters, forget it about it! The strong cold front chased us all the way down to Belize, the only spot Millie and I got to get ... Read More
Grabbed this cruise first the balcony price was great and second for the opportunity to scuba dive in some warm waters, forget it about it! The strong cold front chased us all the way down to Belize, the only spot Millie and I got to get wet at, Grand Cayman and Roatan were weathered in. By the time we got to Cozumel both of us had congested heads. Must complain about the dive operation Cozumel they kept our deposit NEVER again will we make a deposit ahead of time without refund ability. Roatan without scuba diving gave us time to visit a nature refuge with sloths, monkeys ande parrots that climb all over you, really cool place to visit while at Port. Costa Maya we took our own tour for a 2 hour drive each way to some Mayan ruins that most do not get to with large faces chiseled in stone. I like dancing for some reason the disco did not open until 12:45 no way! The first day at sea we all were informed that there was no ice cream on this cruise, the screaming was unbearable and a mandatory headcount was ordered to make sure nobody had jumped overboard. Group of formal dancers took up some to rooms perhaps this is why disco was late? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose this cruise because due to the location we knew it would be cool weather wise.This was correct..nice and cool.Itenerary was Stockholm/Helsinki/St Petersburg/Talinn/Stockholm.Absolutely loved all the ports except St Peterburg.Would ... Read More
We chose this cruise because due to the location we knew it would be cool weather wise.This was correct..nice and cool.Itenerary was Stockholm/Helsinki/St Petersburg/Talinn/Stockholm.Absolutely loved all the ports except St Peterburg.Would not recommend going there.And if you do my advice is if your there 2 nights as were were only sign up for one day of excusions.Many people had booked both days and wished after the first they had not.You cant get a refund if you book both.Also avoid walking tours in St Petersburg...terribly crowded in summer and street level grim and dangerous w pick pocketing.Be prepared for all the tours in St P to be extremely crowded.Your main concern will be not losing your tour guide.On this cruise the best place to shop is Talinn pricewise.We were very pleased with the Luminosa.Service was great food was good.Biggest complaint which is significant is no free wifi.Its crazy paying extra for wifi and we didnt but our trip would have been easier if we could have.Also wish they would have been better about keeping kids out of the adult pool.Other wise we were happy with our cruise. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We start our cruise from Dubai. I called before it and checked when embarkation starts to Costa hot line. They confirmed at 8 om so we stayed in our hotel and arrived 7.30 pa. No lines, very quickly registration and we got our cabin ... Read More
We start our cruise from Dubai. I called before it and checked when embarkation starts to Costa hot line. They confirmed at 8 om so we stayed in our hotel and arrived 7.30 pa. No lines, very quickly registration and we got our cabin immediately. I was surprised as before with MSC or Royal Caribbean we had to wait for a while. Cabin not big but very comfortable and well organised. So we 2 adult and kid with 3 big languages felt of. I expected all bad from Costa as I read lots of negative reviews, and choose that cruise only of ports of call. And I was surprised in good way. Very good food at 11 deck restaurant. Very good bar service there. We went few times to 5 deck resturant but i was disappointed - too many time to wait dinner some days took near 3 hours. So we stopped to go there and visited only 11 floor. Food was same but more variety, better service and smiling su- chef Edgar always recommend what is better to try. Our kid is very bad in eating - there he ate all without any problem. Yes you can not have coffee or tea at lunch or dinner, but it's not very useful in the evening and was avaliable 4- 5 p. All staff was very friendly, smiling, saying hello and bye. Ready to help. Even busy managers played with my son and you feel like big friendly family all around. Quality of drinks very good, we ordered some cocktails sometime in the evening. We're served very quickly. Thank you Jose ))) I took cappuccino ever morning at pool bar - when it opened, and it was delicious - love illy. Thank you bar staff - still remember sun raise ))) I like animation team. Every morning - gymnastic, games, tournaments. We participated in most of activities and have great fun. Shows were good. Not the best I see, but not bad. Some of them are very nice. Even my son participate in one with muppets. Till today he is reminding that and laughing. Few times we went to disco and dance. But they were just few people there, so not too funny. Very clean everywhere. I made gymnastic very early and see how pool boys clean all. Same in the cabin, and all over the ship. Good music in bars. Only dancers from Grand bar were not very friendly, like doing hard boring job (only one minuse). And main- we have late flight in the evening and they let us stay!!!! Till 11.30 p.m. and that is great. As be very hard to stay so long in airport. And lots of people departure late. So main- I was ready for average cruise according review I read. But it was amazing. Friendly staff, good service, tasty food, fun animation team, not bad shows. Good music, bars and restaurant. It was amazing cruise, with very interesting ports of call. And I will try with Costa other cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We booked this cruise because of its destinations and reasonable price. Having been on Costa before on several occasions, we were aware of the potential problem with few english speaking passengers but this did not detract from our ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of its destinations and reasonable price. Having been on Costa before on several occasions, we were aware of the potential problem with few english speaking passengers but this did not detract from our enjoyment. We travelled as a group of 8 younger pensioners into dancing and activities, all of which were excellent. Even the six days at sea from Tenerife to Buzios in Brazil were busy, dance classes, Stretch classes and the entertainment team were excellent. The decor of the entire ship was top class and the cabin, [an outside one for the first time] was well worth the extra. The buffet area was often a bit too hectic for us and we ate in the restaurant on most occasions. The food was certainly not as described by some reviewers and the menu changed constantly. We were more than happy with the quality and the service. We found that the shore excursions were way overpriced as is every cruise ship we have ever been on. Being fairly resourceful people, we just get outside the docking area and find a mini bus or similar and negotiate with the driver a price for where we wish to go. Invariably, the price is around one third of the book on board price. All in all an excellent cruise at a good price which is apparently going in reverse in March/April. Look for a deal!!! Read Less
90 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
Hi all, I would really like to share with you guys my cruise experience with Costa Cruise (Victoria). I went on 3 Dec 2015 with my family, cruising to destinations such as Penang and Phuket. (Malaysia, Thailand) Service: I felt ... Read More
Hi all, I would really like to share with you guys my cruise experience with Costa Cruise (Victoria). I went on 3 Dec 2015 with my family, cruising to destinations such as Penang and Phuket. (Malaysia, Thailand) Service: I felt very welcomed when I first entered the ship. All the staffs, officers and captains were there to welcome us. The staffs then led us to our room (Deck 4,Nabucco). As for room service, the staffs were excellent and skillful in their job; they tidied our room when we were out for breakfast & dinner and spent the fastest time to complete their job to make sure that the room is neat and tidy before we come back. The guest service was very helpful for us, as my grandparent's room' air conditioning was faulty, I called the guest service to send men to repair, and immediately the workers were here to fix it as fast as possible. Staffs were polite towards everyone and helpful to guide us and help us throughout the cruise journey. Dining: We all know that the origin of Costa Cruises is Italy. So maybe you guys will be wondering: Would the cuisine be Italian? My answer is no, there are all varieties of cuisine such as Chinese and Malay. For my case, I am a 13 year old Chinese boy (Singaporean) and I was worrying about the food, will it be close to Chinese food? But when I got on board the ship, it was quite a shock to me that it wasn't all Italy food, but International cuisine. The bolero buffet (Deck 11, Rigoletto) serves rice, fruits, pasta for sure and other international delicacies. Tip 1: Try not to go to the A La Carte restaurant at Deck 5, Boheme (Fantasia & Sinfonia) because the dishes are all the same as the Buffet on Deck 11, so might as well go to Deck 11 with unlimited servings. Tip 2: If you do visit the Bolero Buffet on Deck 11, you would notice that there are 4 sections divided throughout the restaurant (International/Halal/Vegetarian). But there are actually more dishes avaliable at the end of deck 11. So don't miss the chance! Cabin: The cabin is spacious and neat. The room service is twice a day in order to keep the room tidy. The staffs who help you to make up your room will often use napkins/towels to form animals/plants. The air conditioning's temperature can be manually controlled. The overall rating for the cabin is excellent however, the design is a little weird. The window is located above the beds, so in order to view the scenery, you might have to climb up. *Note: The room card is in your room* Embarkation: Singapore I was thinking that it would take very long for us to board the ship because I have read other reviews from other users that we were given a pass/queue number and had to wait for a long period of time, just like my Star Cruise, Gemini experience last year. To my surprise, after siting at the waiting area of 10mins, we could check in and board the ship already. Tip 1: Try to board the ship as early as possible to prevent "human jam" Embarkation: Phuket The ship travelled 2 days to reach this destination. The ship will anchor at the "mini port" at the entrance of Phuket. Therefore, to get on shore, there will be boats to ferry us to Patong Beach. Patong Beach is a place for relaxation for everyone, they have many activities along the beach such as water skiing, rides on speed boat. For my family, we went with the shroe excursion that costa: Highlights of Phuket and Island Safari. Island Safari is similar to Singapore Zoo, there were performances by Monkeys and Elephant. We even had a chance to ride on elephant, it was an enjoyable moment riding the elephant with my Dad. We also went to the famous temple in Phuket, Wat Chalong. Afterwards, we visited the first cashew nut factory in Phuket. We bought many dried fruits/nuts there and we went back to the ship. Our tour guide, Pao, he's an awesome person, he took care of my grandparents throughout the journey, sharing his life experience on the bus, chatting with us went we were bored. *Note: There are more choice of excursions* Embarkation: Penang After leaving Phuket, we headed for Penang. This time, my Dad did not book any shore excursion because my grandparents were not feeling well. So it was a Sunday, my family was walking along the streets, and happened to see many people at the street market nearby the port. It is on every sunday and the shop owners offer a reasonable price for their merchandise. It was quite troublesome before we had to walk one big round around the port to get out of the port. I suggest everyone to download the offline map of Penang in Google Maps. *Note: There are shore excursion available too* Tip 1: There will be taxi drivers outside the port waiting for you. Embarkation: Singapore (End) The had to wait till 3pm to disembark the ship although the ship reached Singapore at 2pm. There will be a colour tag for you to tag on your luggage and the colour will decide the time of disembarking. At 10am, we were requested to leave our room already. This is something I don't really like, there's still 4 hours to reach Singapore, and yet we have to leave our room so early. I had nowhere to rest but under the hot sun at deck 11, beside the pool. Entertainment: There are lots of entertainment on the ship, like Casino, Mini Arcade, Festival theatre for performances, the main hall of the ship for party and Deck 11, Pools. The Casino is only available for certain ages however the arcade is for all. Performances were held in the Festival Theatre such as "Angiolino&Janette La Fracci in Surreal Circus Comedy" and "Michael Jackson Tribute Show". The parties like "The Carnival of Venice Party" and many more are held at Deck 5. There are 4 pools of jacuzzi and 2 rather deep swimming pools. **Note: THE WATER OF THE SWIMMING POOLS IS SALTY** In a nut shell, I feel that Costa Victoria is worth the money and very suitable for family. There will be many activities for you to participate on board and board games/ balls (e.g. Basketball)/rackets (Table Tennis) can be rented by deposit. ***PLEASE DO NOTE THAT ALL MONEY SHOULD BE PAID IN US CURRENCY*** Tip: Register your credit card upon boarding the ship because at the end if the journey, you will be paying a service charge of US$48, because if you don't register your credit card, on the last day, you will have to pay US$48 and requested to queue up. I hope you like my review of Costa Victoria. Do ask me anything regarding the ship and I will try to answer it. Do share your experience with me! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2013
Note: this review was originally written in response to a query from a dance group sailing on Costa Luminosa, with comparisons to other ships we have sailed on. The photos referenced are not included. From the deck plans, the Deliziosa ... Read More
Note: this review was originally written in response to a query from a dance group sailing on Costa Luminosa, with comparisons to other ships we have sailed on. The photos referenced are not included. From the deck plans, the Deliziosa and Luminosa should be very simlar. The Atlantica/Mediterranea have same basic design, but the Fincantieri builds (which include Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth) have some important internal changes. Three dance floors have been deleted. The theatre, formerly decks 2-4, has been dropped one deck, to decks 1-3. The deck 1 lounge has been deleted, which is a serious concern for a group like Stardust. Restaurant now has a Samsara open seating dining area, where the disco used to be. The disco is now decks 2-3. Dance floor deck 2 aft in front of the restaurant has been deleted (although there's a tiled area that can be used), bar area deck 3 aft reduced. Lobby dance floor deleted, replaced by big hood ornament. You'll know what I mean when you see it. There was still a piano player, playing some decent music. Restaurant seems to have a better layout, with enough room for waiters to move between tables. Menu was Costa standard, I always found something I liked and never went hungry, but you do have to watch opening times. There was a buffet some evenings. Excite Piano Bar- Deck 3 bar midships (Florian on Atlantica). It does have a piano but is a regular lounge, capacity about 150. The dance floor is roughly semi-circular, 19' radius from stage. Rectangular area about 22' x 10', total area about double. The area is fully enclosed and non-smoking. There was a very good keyboard/singer duo, plus a violin duo. Sharazad disco floor is 3' plexiglass panels, oval about 20' x 30'. DANGEROUS- raised 6" Mirabilis lounge- Has a strong family resemblance to the Fortuna. The staircase is moved to the side, giving a more open feel. The dance floor has pillars, about 16' x 40' between pillars, 30' x 50' overall. The furniture does not crowd the floor as much as it appears on the Luminosa photo, you can dodge around the pillars quite easily. There was a 5-piece group plus a duo, both were very accommodating. Cafeteria Sugar is actually the chocolate bar. Stardust will probably use the deck 9 TV screen area for their private parties. I don't have a picture, I think the publicity photo is pretty accurate. Smoking- There were at most 20 hard-core smokers, with maybe 200 casual ones. I never saw more people smoking at once than would fit into the cigar lounge. Smoking seems to be mostly banned in Western Europe now and a lot of people were shunning the smoking areas. The big problem was far too much space was designated as smoking area, far more than actually needed. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
In September/October 2011, Costa LUMINOSA is sailing on a pretty new route: 10 days/9 nights from Savona to Malaga, Casablanca, Cadiz, Lisboa, Valencia, Barcellona, and back to Savona. Everywhere there was sufficient time for the ... Read More
In September/October 2011, Costa LUMINOSA is sailing on a pretty new route: 10 days/9 nights from Savona to Malaga, Casablanca, Cadiz, Lisboa, Valencia, Barcellona, and back to Savona. Everywhere there was sufficient time for the land-excursions (which we did individually); only in Barcellona a few hours more would have been appreciated. Fantastic weather (26° up to 33°), very calm sea and ocean. We already knew Costa DELIZIOSA, and this one is just the twin-sister. Beautiful ship. Plenty of space on the various decks for sunbathing. Food was good but not extraordinary. It seems that COSTA has started a cost-saving programme (at least on this ship). An insufficient number of waiters was attending the seated lunch and dinner guests (75' for lunch and 120' for dinner is too long). The majority of the waiters were inexperienced and spoke hardly any English or Italian. Since I have already booked 2 cruises with COSTA in 2012, I hope very much that the outlined quality deficiency is just an exception, and is not about to become the rule with COSTA. Otherwise we can recommend this ship and this cruise to everybody. Since we paid in EURO (and not in Swiss Francs) the cruise cost turned out to be reasonable. A last word on the buffet (for lunch): very poor, bad quality, a real "factory canteen". Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
We were booked for the Taste of Health, Holistic Holiday at Sea which is a vegan/sugar free group. My husband and I are vegetarians and thought that being with this group would be a great experience. Here we were wrong. The food with this ... Read More
We were booked for the Taste of Health, Holistic Holiday at Sea which is a vegan/sugar free group. My husband and I are vegetarians and thought that being with this group would be a great experience. Here we were wrong. The food with this group was not what we had expected and there we were sadly disappointed. (they served miso soup for breakfast, seriously) Once we realized that we could order from the regular menu we were quite happy with the food. The service was great. The waiters work very hard to ensure that you are happy and are ready to entertain you. Italian night was great fun in the dining room with the staff performing during dessert. Toga night was a blast. My husband had a costume toga and I used a bedsheet which was left for us in the room with an instruction sheet. Our cabin was comfortable and always neat and clean. Our cabin steward, "Gusti" was very nice and polite. All of the crew that we encountered were polite and ready with a smile. No towel animals, but Gusti made us welcome with chocolates one night, cookies another night, etc. We had read some reviews that said the ship was not easy to get around and we didn't find that it was difficult at all. Ship maps were all over the place, including right outside our room door. Just pick where you need to go and go straight to that elevator bank from your cabin deck. The only decks that you can't go all the way through are 3 & 4. Just go up or down a deck and walk straight through. When in doubt, check the map. Going to port was always pretty simple as we didn't go during the rush. One tip is to go to the Rex Theater where they sell bottle water to take ashore for $2.00. We also grabbed some fruit from the buffet to take ashore so we wouldn't have to spend money for food. (We saw some clever ladies making sandwiches from the breads, cheeses and deli slices from the buffet before wrapping them in napkins and shoving them into their bags. Great idea, next cruise I go on I will have an insulated lunch bag packed with me for situations just like this. why pay for food ashore when you've paid for food already onboard ship) The only complaint I had about this entire cruise was being an American on a ship full of Europeans. The announcements were in 5 languages, Italian and English were usually first. It seemed as if Europeans have no concept of personal space so expect people to bump into you or just shove their way through the buffet without the slightest "excuse me". While some of the Europeans were delightful, most of them were rude, pushy and selfish. (I had this wonderful woman from Ohio, see me in distress over the rudeness and she just made life better with her kindness...thank you. You brought a smile to my face every time I saw you and I can't thank you enough) On the days at sea, get up early and find a chair in the sun. If you wait until 10am to go looking for a chair, you'll be out of luck as people go up to the sun deck and save chairs for the rest of the family. We found tons of chairs that just had a spread towel and not one person near it, but if you try to sit down, you'll get yelled at in italian by the people holding the chairs. This was frustrating and made us VERY thankful to have our private balcony to enjoy the sun and surf and relax. Just a note about the balcony doors. Our balcony door didn't seem to close securely unless you slammed it and locked it. Sometimes this made the wind whistle through the door, which can hinder sleeping. (I wear earplugs anyway, so I wasn't bothered in the least) Overall, having the balcony was worth a little whistle every now and then. Overall we had a great time. The ports were wonderful and we had a lovely anniversary cruise. Read Less
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