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1 Costa Mediterranea Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to Caribbean - Eastern

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
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 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.9

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