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10 Costa Mediterranea First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

I am a single older lady with mobility difficulties (I use a stick to walk) and I must say I had the most wonderful time on my Christmas cruise aboard this beautiful ship. This was my first cruise with Costa Mediterranea. From the ... Read More
I am a single older lady with mobility difficulties (I use a stick to walk) and I must say I had the most wonderful time on my Christmas cruise aboard this beautiful ship. This was my first cruise with Costa Mediterranea. From the booking procedure through to the last day of the cruise, this was an excellent experience. The Ship is stunningly beautiful. The crew members, each and every one of them, were delightful. Friendly, helpful, kind and although they work hard and long hours and seem to have no days off, they didn't seem as if they were working at all. They just seemed to be enjoying themselves serving guests. It was like being the most important member of a lovely, warmhearted family. Thank you so the Spa salon staff who looked after me with massage (Maria Antonia is a fantastic massage therapist!) with hair (Dea is one of the best stylists I've ever met!) and lovely Lycel who did my nails on the first day. My cabin Steward (Sidney) was just lovely, and always there to help whenever necessary. The restaurants were excellent. I am coeliac, so it is very important that I follow a strict gluten free diet. The Costa Mediterranea catering department takes this very seriously and have their own designated gluten free kitchens! I had my own waitress (Thank you Maria!) and my own gluten free menu. The food was, in the main, really delicious. Nothing was too much trouble. Service always with a smile. The entertainment was great too, although I didn't see all of the shows available. What I did see was really good and I enjoyed it immensely. The bars are great. Thank you to Francis, who served drinks after dinner each evening. I was alone, but met another English lady of a similar age to myself on the first day and we had a really great time together. We didn't go on any excursions because most of them were unsuitable for people with mobility disabilities, but we went off on our own and explored and thoroughly enjoyed each port of call we visited. I think the only negative aspect was the unfortunate attitudes of some (British!) passengers - who go on a Mediterranean cruise on an Italian ship and expect to be served the junk food they eat at home. I was embarrassed to be British at times... But it was easy to ignore such uneducated, self-limiting people as everything else was absolutely lovely and I can't wait to go again! I do hope readers will find my review helpful and go on - what are you waiting for? - Book that cruise on the beautiful Costa Mediterranea. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Staff are wonderful, Food superb (lots of choice from Buffet - several different service statons offering different sorts of meals - so wander around first before you decide!! (preferred it to main restaurant as two sittings one is very ... Read More
Staff are wonderful, Food superb (lots of choice from Buffet - several different service statons offering different sorts of meals - so wander around first before you decide!! (preferred it to main restaurant as two sittings one is very early (18:30) and one is very late (21:15)). Gym excellent and Pilates and Yoga also on offer. Security very good. Everyone speaks english though some of the entertainment is in italian. Organisation of every part of your experience from arriving to leaving is first class and trouble free (unless you try to take an iron on board -they will find out and confiscate it!) Recommend you - buy a drinks package. Tea, Coffee, Juice available for breakfast but only water for other meals. If you dont have a package you have to pay. The paid card makes so much more sense (you can check on line what you will get - trust me it is value for money) Recommend you DONT book any excuisons before you board. For example - on your own Palma - local bus outside port (much cheaper than their shuttle), tourist office near Cathedral for maps. Ship says 5 km walk - dont think it was when we walked back along the marina and stoped off for a coffee on the way. Palermo - We took a really kitch train (you get a map) for 10 euros and then retraced the steps to have a better look at things we liked. Savona - Tourist office at Port gate - get a very good map with a tourist route around the town. Valencia - do spend your euros on a trip to the aquarium, absolutely fabulous. most undercover so good plan if rains. WIFI is available but expensive and does not work terribly well with Apple products. However, in port most cafes have free WiFi so just caught up each day over a cup of coffee on land. Anyway you are supposed to be on holiday not checking your emails!!! Quite a lot of things laid on but if you just want to chill is an incredible place to do it. Leaving port to music playing is amazing - we have a short video we took of leaving palma and still smile and cry when we watch it. As you will have gathered we had a wonderful time on this completely over the top boat - she really didnt need the Christmas decorations. We will certainly be using Costa Cruises again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Was on the CM this last week and had an awesome time! We were due to embark in Venice and flew in the day before and stayed at the best western olimpia in P. Roma. Very beautiful hotel and I highly recommend it. Only one bridge to cross ... Read More
Was on the CM this last week and had an awesome time! We were due to embark in Venice and flew in the day before and stayed at the best western olimpia in P. Roma. Very beautiful hotel and I highly recommend it. Only one bridge to cross with luggage. The ship didn't dock in Venice the morning we were supposed to embark due to fog. We went early to the terminal to see what we were supposed to do and they put us on a bus to Trieste. Was a nice ride about an hour and a half. All very well managed and I actually really enjoyed the extra time in Trieste since I've never been before. Once on the ship we found our cabin. We booked an interior but were upgraded to a balcony..nice. I'm so glad the reviews on here didn't put me off from going with Costa because it was a really great trip and awesome value. We have spend 3x as much at mediocre resorts so this was really a surprise. So you know where I'm coming from...I'm American and my husband is Italian, I have lived in Italy and France the last 10 years just to give you an idea of my background. I thought the food was great (I wasn't expecting Michelan star fare though) and even my husband who is the worlds biggest food critic (thanks to his mamma) loved it too. Sure it isn't 5 star but it's good. The breakfast buffet isn't your American brunch but I didn't have trouble finding something to eat at all (donuts, croissants, fruits...) if you do want American stuff get room service. I did it one morning just to try and got a huge amount of French toast, pancakes and eggs Benedict for just 5 euro. The best lunch was when the chefs set us a pasta demonstration near the central pool. There was 5-6 different pastas and all were soooo good. I found you do have to look around the different buffets to find different things. I didn't eat breakfast or lunch in the mdr so I can't comment on them. The drink package is defintely worth it even if you don't drink tons of alcohol. I had no problems paying for a few bottles of water here and there for the room, but could easily get glasses of water free with my drink package from any bar or in the mdr. I did not have the USA water thing because I didn't book through the us site. I didn't notice the "lack of personal space" or rude cultural differences everyone always mentions in Costa reviews, but maybe after living here so long I don't notice it. Everyone stayed in the lines and were patient. The staff were awesome! Everyone always smiling and greeting you by name. That was impressive. I do wonder if I had a better time because I speak Italian and French though. I got to know a lot of people and staff because of that. But there were other English only speakers around and seemed to be having a great time too. We also had no problem asking the maitre d to change us to late dinner when we saw we were assigned to the early seating. He also happily changed us to an Italian speaking table (you can request anything language wise or just a table for 2). The gala night was fun and people dressed up in everything from gowns to just nice pants/ dress shirts or even just normal clothes. It was a great time. The only bummer was the club medusa. We paid to eat there one night with our table mates from the mdr and the food was just ok...I actually liked the menu in the mdr a lot more, so I don't recommended it. Everything else was fabulous and we booked our next cruise on the diadema the 3rd day in on this cruise lol. I say you need to try it for yourself..some of the reviews on here sound so crazy after I have actually been on the ship now. Someone said on here people must have hugh and unrealistic expectations to leave such extremely negative reviews. It was my first cruise but not my last with Costa! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We found this cruise at a very convenient price but the topics we are reviewing we understand that no matter how much you pay are good to be aware. Positives: Food was good for Italian and Spanish but Americans or British may suffer ... Read More
We found this cruise at a very convenient price but the topics we are reviewing we understand that no matter how much you pay are good to be aware. Positives: Food was good for Italian and Spanish but Americans or British may suffer without a cooked breakfast or egg options. Staff is friendly and attentive what indeed makes it better. The cruise is kept clean and you can see staff cleaning constantly. The entertainment is good and the organizers are respectful when people do not want to participate and the events are family friendly. We have been told that kids only 30 euros what seems really good. Pizza restaurant for dinner was excellent Negatives. We booked a cabin with a window and got and internal one. you will receive millions of emails check them a be sure that it reflects your booking. Embarking was not very good organized but if you arrive early you will no t have much delays. First language is Italian. Even thought they translate you will have to be patient. Some of the girls in costumer service are not very nice to address problems and bring solutions. We needed to use the internet which didn't work well in the business area, we were charged double and have to wait until the cancellation of the overcharged was authorized. ( half day) If you register to use internet be aware 3euro hidden charge. If you buy the all inclusive package as well be careful 36 euros per service surcharge never disclosed. Food in the buffet is good but people do not queue and it is very busy. Probably cultural clash but it can be stressful Adults only pool was full of kids but in the second day they controlled more. First two days almost impossible. If you want to have a chair to lay down it is impossible. Most of Italians put their towels to reserve the space 4 hours prior actual use. The best way I to skip a day in the port and enjoy the quiet Hope this is useful for you and if you are patient and want a good value costa is the way to go but expect places to be busy and mostly check the charges before accepting payment. The itinerary was good and I enjoyed the music and the sit downs dinners. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I booked my first cruise with Costa and came back with happy memories. I'll try and cover all points and tips which I hope would be useful especially for first time cruisers! Positive notes: - Embarkation from Trieste, Italy was ... Read More
I booked my first cruise with Costa and came back with happy memories. I'll try and cover all points and tips which I hope would be useful especially for first time cruisers! Positive notes: - Embarkation from Trieste, Italy was easy. There is parking available very close to the gate if you're being dropped off by loved ones. You drop off your luggage and then proceed to security where they check passport and boarding pass. Once you pass this, their photographer takes a photograph of you so don't forget to smile for the Camera! You then board the ship and take the lift straight to your deck and find your room. Even numbers are located on the left of the ship for example 5114 and odd numbers are on the right (i.e. 5113). Your room keys will be in your cabin so no need to queue anywhere to collect these. - Corridors are narrow but cabin size of an Ocean view with Balcony cabin's big! Bathrooms are narrow too but adequate. I recommend a cabin with Balcony as you'll wake up to a beautiful view each morning. You an even have a sandwich and soak up the sun whilst enjoying the view! - Once you witness the ship leaving the port whilst waving to passerbys, you can make your way to the main restaurant located on Deck 2 where you'll be welcomed by the friendly staff and be taken to your table. You sit at the same table each evening but the seating will change for lunch. The first night may feel busy and you may find queues going into the restaurant but it will be pleasant thereafter. Tip: there are vegetarian dishes on the menu but if you want something specific if you're a veggie, they accommodate your request. If you booked your dinner for later (2nd seating), you can go to the Theater to enjoy the show they have lined up for you. If your dinner is early, you can go to the Theater after dinner. Shows are worth watching. They're amazing! Excursions: - Alberobello, Bari is worth a trip booking with Costa. The tour guides they use are not that great for English speaking tour. The Costa rep(s) will be with you at all times to ensure you get back to the ship on time. This is the case for any excursion you book with Costa. - Corfu's good too - Our Mykonos tour with Costa got cancelled as there weren't many joining the English speaking tour. We were offered 20% discount on another tour or asked if we wanted to join the same tour in another language. We opted to take the refund and glad we did as we enjoyed a relaxing stroll in the town centre. They have a small sandy beach so you can take a beach towel if you want. They have lots of restaurants, ice cream parlours and lots of shops. You can book a shuttle bus with Costa to get to the town for 10 Euros each return but we saw some guests using the sea ferry which costs 2 Euros each. You can walk too but need to be fit as it's not a straight road and it's uphill. Remember to get back to the ship on time! - Santorini as you probably know is absolutely beautiful. We booked the Oia Village morning trip with Costa and it's absolutely stunning. The ship will stop in the middle of the sea and you'll be taken to the shore by boat and back again. You will have plenty of time to shop or have ice cream! It's quite a way to get to the top to get the cable car so probably not ideal for those who don't like walking uphill! - We didn't book a trip for Split but they had a tour bus right outside the ship and you can have a city tour for around 17 Euros each. They will drop you back 10 minutes walk away from the ship. If running late, you can take a taxi back to the ship for 5 Euros. If you don't want to go on the City tour, the Diocletian Palace is 10 minute walk and you'll find shops and stalls too! Tips/Useful info: - You can register your Costa Card which is the key to your cabin with your credit card or cash. This will be used to pay for drinks/shopping on board. - Food is included. If you book premium cabin, any food that they deliver to your cabin is also included. - WiFi is available but you're better off buying 2 or 3 hour prepaid package rather than pay as you go. You an use these hours through your stay on board. - Take formal wear and different coloured outfits such as white, red, green as they have themes for dinner. You don't have to follow if you don't want to and some guests wore casual clothes but it's nice to be a part of it! You will find a programme delivered to your room every evening. This will give you all info about the next port of call. - Turn on the TV in the cabin to see info about weather, camera view from the bow and aft, news from the world if you want! Overall, a great experience and staff are extremely helpful and friendly. Enjoy your holiday. Bon Voyage! :) Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Everyone who complained about the cruise ( mostly the food ) said I couldn't really be objective about this ship as I was a newbie to cruising, therefore I had nothing to compare it to. While that might be valid I truly felt that it ... Read More
Everyone who complained about the cruise ( mostly the food ) said I couldn't really be objective about this ship as I was a newbie to cruising, therefore I had nothing to compare it to. While that might be valid I truly felt that it would be hard to find a more beautiful ship to cruise on. Nay sayers be darned! As mentioned it was our first cruise. Found a great lot to leave our car ( Safe Parking Miami) and boarding was easy. Stayed in Coconut Grove for two nights before cruise at a B+B which was close enough to the port. Liked the fact that even though we didn't sail until 10 pm we boarded by 3 and had lunch and a tour of the ship, so excited to be on board! First night on board took some getting used to.. vibration and slight swaying of ship, my husband wore acupuncture bands on wrist and he was fine. We have been on many large ferries etc. but nothing compares to being on a large cruise ship with its opulence and services. THE PEOPLE: Mostly European passenger i.e: Italians with a smattering of other nationalities, very few North Americans. We were basically in the minority as Canadians. All officers appeared to be Italian with rest of crew from basically all over the world. If you want to feel like you have arrived in Europe the Costa line is the way to go. A friend on board said Americans did not want to cruise on a ship that had any connection to the Costa Concordia. One aside was the presence of many Guadaloupean passengers. They were dropped off and picked up in Gaudaloupe, they got a seven day passage with a cheaper rate. Liked the fact that there were at least some Caribbean folk on the ship, but got the sense that crew wasn't too impressed with them, although they appeared to be bread and butter passengers for the ship as they formed a sizeable group on board. There was an incident of a fight between two family groups but it was quickly quashed. It happened just up the hall from our room. Security came quickly and I never felt it was a huge thing, just a lot of loud noise for about half an hour. Glad we made friends with some American people as it was hard to converse with most people as they did not speak English at least around us. Several other people we met were travel agents who got a special rate, said they probably wouldn't have taken this line if the price wasn't right for them. ACTIVITIES: We didn't participate in very many activities. Mostly spent days on shore and days at sea we spent swimming, eating and visiting with our friends. Attended the theatre twice, entertainment okay but after just being in Cuba at a resort the entertainment seemed pretty generic. One of our friends did enjoy the disco but we never went. We did walk through the bar areas, casino and disco but didn't partake as by the time our second dining sitting ended we were ready to just chill in our cabin or on our balcony. One thing we did do was use the gym every night before dinner. This was a good time to use it because most people were at first sitting for dinner and staff weren't there. The steam room/ sauna was great ( women's was quite musty unfortunately). Lots of equipment in gym, on your own for sanitizing as never any wipes and didn't like smell of chlorine or steamy effect as there was a giant hot tub in middle of area, not sure why they would put it there. Had a foot and head massage from Renata, which was heavenly. Her, Alex and Diana were all great to deal with in the spa. Also found the running track pretty small but still if you wanted to walk around at night on top decks hardly ever any people and the view of the moon on the water was pretty spectacular. THE NOISE LEVEL: Wanted to mention this before I went any further. The level of sound for most events was unbelievably loud. The noise at the bow end by the gym and outdoor pool was absolutely ridiculous. Often it might be for a dance contest or other activity but it was always cranked up so loud that I can't even imagine why no one complained. I just couldn't swim in that area when events were going on. Even at night for several of our gala dinners they had recorded music at a really high decibel level. For passengers it was only a few days of it but for the crew I can't imagine how a health and safety review wouldn't have put limitations on the noise for the staff. Why do people think loud noise equates with great entertainment? End of my rant about noise levels. SERVICE: Our hotel steward was great, didn't feel need for turn down service every night so often just put Don't Disturb sign on door if we didn't want to be bothered. Always had buffet for breakfast and lunch so not much to write about service there. Our evening waiter Rigaberto and his assistant were great. When we had questions about other things went to service desk where they were okay. Did find when we disembarked in Miami and there was a big delay with no announcement to explain why, the service desk was not very helpful or nice. I know many ships were letting off passengers at the same time but a polite announcement about delays would have been a good thing. Tip: Take the early disembarkation, we would next time. PORT/SHORE EXCURSIONS: We did not do any ship excursions except a snorkelling one in Grand Turk. (Which was good). Found most of the beaches we went to by taxi or bus had many people from the cruise there. Some complained that they were whisked there and back much quicker than we were as we had the option of staying longer without someone herding us back on a bus. Unfortunately we felt that because we did not use the ship excursions we were left to our own devices for information about the ports and activities on shore. The English guide John Patrick told us that he only gave out information about excursions, not what happened or was available on shore. I certainly was glad I had done research ahead with a Fodor and Lonely Planet Guide. Ship excursions seemed to concentrate on touring, boating and shopping at ship authorized stores etc. No mention of being dropped off at museums or other historic locales. When we landed at the port there really wasn't much in information at most locations. Some tourist booths had maps etc. but you had to be prepared so you knew ahead what you wanted to do and then you had to deal with taxi drivers, rates and distance to where you wanted to go. Taking more ship excursions might have been a good idea but still suspect about rates and time spent loading and getting there, would have to do more research before doing more ship excursions. MONEY MAKERS: As I had not been on a cruise before it was a bit of an adjustment to the level of selling that went on. We knew it wasn't like an all inclusive so we were prepared to pay for drinks etc. ( drinks didn't cost a lot more than at a Canadian bar) but not used to announcements being made over PA about buying items on the ship e.g. jewellery, etc. Poor spa staff even had to shill special rates for massages etc. when you came back on board from shore. They even charged 55 dollars for an insider tour of the ship. Seemed a bit excessive! Generally though felt for what we paid through Vacations To Go we got a good deal. DINING: My husband and I found the food okay. As I don't eat any meat but fish I did find the choices for evening dining a little limited. The breakfast, lunch choices were okay, most of the problem was the number of people getting food at the same time. Too bad there wasn't a better way to configure the way food was presented so there would be less lining up. I know people who have travelled on other lines talk about the great choice, the 24 hour dining, the free room service and that the newer ships have more restaurants but for me it was adequate. I've heard new ships will soon have bakery restaurants etc. but I don't want to gain ten pounds on a cruise and it would be more tempting with more food choice. One thing that the Costa line has is special gala nights with Italian music and presentations by the waiters etc. I found that was fun. Presented with beautifully printed menus on those nights. We usually had the snack at five to tide us over to the late evening sitting. Can see how some lines that offer any time sitting would be a good idea as second sitting was so late. THE STAR: This ship was the star to me. The ship designer who does all the newer Costa and Carnival ships Joe Farcas has certainly created a surreal, beautiful palace of a ship. I never got tired of looking at the details from Italian glass to fanciful pottery lighthouses. Every surface was embellished. It was interesting to see into the crew areas, kitchens etc. and see how plain it looked there. SUMMARY: Not sure if I would go on another cruise but now that I'm not a first time cruiser I will be able to compare a possible future cruise to this quite enjoyable trip. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We were so impressed by the friendly staff on this cruise who always greeted and smiled. Nothing was too much trouble. The attention to detail was amazing. I am a very large lady and the arm chair in restaurant degli Argentieri was ... Read More
We were so impressed by the friendly staff on this cruise who always greeted and smiled. Nothing was too much trouble. The attention to detail was amazing. I am a very large lady and the arm chair in restaurant degli Argentieri was slightly tight. My husband asked for soft bread due to a mouth problem. The second night without me asking they had found a chair without arms, soft bread for my husband and our drink preferences were remembered. As we do not drink alcohol we choose not to take the drinks package. On the 9th deck there are coffee and tea machines, There are water machines there as well. Breakfast is served with tea / coffee and juices. In the restaurant degli Argentieri you can ask for a jug of water - free (not bottled) and this comes with loads of ice. The food was amazing - six course dinner with adequate choice for each course. There is so much good quality food you do not need to eat during the excursions - just come back the the wonderful ship. The singing and dancing in the dining room were much fun. Up on the 9th deck there were other food choices available. Entertainment was really great and we enjoyed the shows. Did our own thing in port and did not go on the excursions. Being November it rained most of the time so we did not have much time on the open deck or try out the swimming pools. Our room was kept clean and we were well looked after. We will definitely do another Costa Cruise and are already working towards the next one.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We have just returned from 7 nights on the Costa Mediterranea. This was our first cruise and we were really nervous. WOW, We have no problems whatsoever. The whole experience was fabulous. We embarked at Heraklion Crete (Not Yokohama as ... Read More
We have just returned from 7 nights on the Costa Mediterranea. This was our first cruise and we were really nervous. WOW, We have no problems whatsoever. The whole experience was fabulous. We embarked at Heraklion Crete (Not Yokohama as above Crete not on the list of options) and sailed to Santorini,Israel, Turkey, Cyprus and Rhodes before arriving back in Crete. The ship was spotless. It certainly looks impressive and does have the wow factor. Food was excellent. We ate in the buffet at breakfast and lunch times but in the main restaurant in the evenings. The evening meals are very small, so we just ensured we had a larger lunch (and Afternoon tea which was also very good). Evening meals are in 2 sittings 7pm and 9.15 we prefer to eat earlier so was pleased to be allocated the 7pm slot. Lots of different bars to wander around I am sure there is one to suit everybody. The Bar staff are very friendly and we had no problems getting any drinks. We have prepaid the all inclusive drink package for 19.50 Euros per person and we certainly used our moneys worth! If I had any criticism to make it would be that the sun beds are far too close together, so you do feel you are lined up waiting to be shot!!! But most days when passengers get off it was fine. Overall we had a brilliant experience on our maiden voyage and totally loved it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We have decided to go on a cruise for our first time. We checked the internet and found this very interesting deal. We embarked in Savona and observed that the ship was half empty, which was great for us. Generally the check in process was ... Read More
We have decided to go on a cruise for our first time. We checked the internet and found this very interesting deal. We embarked in Savona and observed that the ship was half empty, which was great for us. Generally the check in process was very smooth, the luggage was delivered promptly to our cabin which was quite comfortable, or at least better than what we expected. Or route had its first destination in Malaga, which is a nice town. We have decided not to waste the money on Marbella and our neighbors confirmed how right we were... We had only a few hours so we just relaxed in the old town, had a glass of wine and some delicious tapas. As a general rule I would say to be cautious in selecting the tours offered on board. They are quite expensive and some are really not worth the while. The second destination was Funchal, Madeira. Lovely! Then Teneriffa; we missed La Laguna and Teide but got ourselves at least some good deals on clothes as the VAT is very low in Teneriffa. Casablanca, is a nightmare, Marrakesh, as well... got a new carpet now :-) Then Barcelona, Wonderful; Marseille, very good as well but spending a day in Marseille on a Sunday is not quite smart as all shops are closed. Now to the Ship again: We are swiss and hence speak a lot of languages, English, french, german and italian are no problem. So we understood what the others were saying and the information the others got. It was quite upsetting that the information in the various languages is quite selective, to put it diplomatically. The majority was italian, which has its charm, given the fact that the German were like bees all over the place. The food in the restaurant was quite good given the vast amount of food that needs to be prepared every day. Our wait staff and room attendants were mainly, indonesian, philippinos, indian or peruvian and they were excellent! That needs to be said and they are a real credit to costa. Without them, I would never travel with them again. The reason is the management. I have never seen such arrogant staff in my life. I am a hotelier and I am very sensitive with these things. I have complained on the spot, asked to see the hotel Manager (which I haven't seen during the entire cruise except on a picture), the executive chef was smoking on the guest floors with his buddy the main Maitre D' etc. the list goes on and on. They would not greet, not smile, not leave the floor when guests are passing. They were generally walking with their chin above their nose. I have written a long list of "recommendations" as I am not a complainer per se. I just try to give feed back. Unfortunately, I have never received a feedback. I have even tracked down the corporate Quality improvement man who hasn't replied either. Anyway, I would recommend the tour and the company again but with keeping in mind that the management is very, very poor. I just consider ourselves very lucky as we have always good staff around us, fantastic table-mates at dinner, whom have become friends and interesting destinations discovered while returning back to work very relaxed :-) Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Our first joint adventure on the high seas started at 0700HRS on the 22st July 2011 at Gatwick. It was booked through Virgin Cruises and was a Costa package cruise. This is what happened. We flew from Gatwick to Rome Leonardo Di ... Read More
Our first joint adventure on the high seas started at 0700HRS on the 22st July 2011 at Gatwick. It was booked through Virgin Cruises and was a Costa package cruise. This is what happened. We flew from Gatwick to Rome Leonardo Di Vinci, great flight (BA) under 2 hours. Arrived at Rome and our baggage arrived one hour and 20 minutes later. There were no seats at the airport and it was HOT! Found the Costa reps and they seemed happy enough to just chat amongst themselves. Finally we got our luggage and then we all galloped with our big cases, cabin cases and hand luggage to the taxi cabs waiting for us. We then travelled to Civitavecchia all snuggled up nice and tight and very hot, but excited! We arrived at the embarkation port. First real Costa criticism coming up, the 'helpfull' staff were patronising and next to useless, it was hot pacjked and there was only orange juice to drink. We finally got on the ship, straight to cabin, it's now 1500HRS. Tipped the porter who hovered around saying 'is there anything else I can do?' untill we got the message. Then we unpacked. Absolutely fantastic looking ship at first glance and the cabin was roomy with loads of storage and a surprisingly comfy, big bed. Mini bar was open so got a drink and sat on the balcony, phew! We had arrived. Fantabulosious ship (needs a new descriptor to explain the decor), very decorative and very big and well, very very big and decorative! The non Italian staff and customers were superb in everyway and we had alot of fun and laughter. This laughter often became subdued because of all the dead pan looks from a certain majority on board, initially, this bothered us. After four days the non Italian speakers were ganging up. It only mattered that you were not Italian, we where French, Spanish, German, Swiss, Irish, Icelandic and British, language was not a barrier to fun and puns! We had a purpose! That purpose was to refuse to change our manners. We would still smile and thank people in lifts, hold doors, move out of the way, make room even though this would never be reciprocated. So we spoke for them, thankyou! Your welcome! Have a nice day! which floor? Pardon me! Sorry? Can I help you get up off the floor? Thankyou for letting your 6 teenage sons stamp all over my feet while you look the other way, that kind of thing, we learned these phrases in another language. We learned from our new social techniques teachers all around us how to intimidate people out of your favorite spot. How to jump in front in a line and avoid eye contact. We bribbed people too! And then we all had a really great time! Seriously the food was generally very good, lots of choice. Coffee, cocktails and icecream very good! Breakfast in your room really nice sat on the balcony at 0700hrs with your coffee, and selection of pastries and cereals, juice and preserves. Lovely jubbly! Apparently the theatre entertainment was soso to bad, but we never went so it did not matter. Lounge music was generally very good. Casino was a casino and we learned new types of black jack. The decks were never too busy with loungers always available. J2 all inclusive package great, especially for multiple speciality coffees and, well everything fluid, nothing was off limits. Very little fluid of any description is available free. Itinerary very good, but its just way too hot in the eastern med during July and August. Everything was really well cleaned all the time, never a fingerprint on the shiny chrome, which was everywhere! Would we go Costa again? Yes we would because the new guests from Italy came aboard in Savona when the others left, and they were a completely different set of people. However, there was two disembarkation meetings, Italians and basically others. I was sent to ours and hubby stayed slumped in the cabin. So he decided to watch the event on TV instead. What he watched was the one before ours, the Italian one. He asked as I came back, did we win anything? or anyone we know win? Confused I watched the other meeting. Envelopes had been secreted under the chairs with prizes in them. If you had an envelope you where presented with your prize on stage by the cruise director and other notables. Word of outright discrimination soon spread, it was the principle, official complaints started going in. One person complained about this to customer services and was asked ' were you offended?' Like he would be complaining if he was not and he was a man of the cloth! Then when complaints really spread, because we were all on for another day and had plenty of time to get angry, they shut off the TVs and said it never happened LOL! Then the really horrid bit that left us needing another holiday. We disembarked at 0900hrs and our, and others peoples flights started leaving at the earliest at 1810hrs. We asked if we could have the 1230hrs or 1500hrs disembarkations made available for some, but got a flat no! We were all stuck in Rome airport all day and some people had children. So - yes even after being ethnically discriminated against we would go with Costa again, but not in the med in July or August (too hot to enjoy the ports), not embarking in Italy and not as a package arranged through Costa ;) Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Costa Mediterranea Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.2
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.4
Enrichment 1.0 2.9
Service 4.0 3.7
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.9

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