Mediterranea, Magic or mayhem.
We have just returned from a 13 night cruise aboard the Costa Meditteranea.
We flew with Iberia from Madrid to Stockholm and had a few days in Stockholm before boarding the ship. Below is OUR opinion on ... Read More
Mediterranea, Magic or mayhem.
We have just returned from a 13 night cruise aboard the Costa Meditteranea.
We flew with Iberia from Madrid to Stockholm and had a few days in Stockholm before boarding the ship. Below is OUR opinion on the ship and cruise.
We arrived at Stockholms Fryhamnen cruise terminal using the metro system from Odenplan, a little after midday. We had stayed at the Ibis styles which was basic but clean and welcoming. The metro was very easy to use, even with 2 large suitcases and the walk to the terminal from the station is signposted and took us about 20 minutes.
Embarkation had already started and as we are Perla diamente members we were ushered straight through to the boarding/security area, had our photos taken for our cruise card and directed to the buffet to get something to eat. Our cabin would not be available until 2pm.
We are not really fans of buffets as we prefer to have waiter service and to take our time whilst having a meal. We had an Intendetore drinks package which meant we could have any drink costing 9 euros or less. Our cruise cards had not been collected as they were in the cabin but we just showed our reservation slip and were assured there'd be no problem.
There were plenty of tables available as we were the first group on board. We selected what we wanted to eat from a very limited hot choice and from a somewhat confusing layout where different stations serving cold items, desserts, self serve collection drinks area and tea and coffee area are scattered.
Donald had ordered a glass of wine which without the package would have cost 5.75€ inc 15% service charge and i ordered an iced tea 3.30€. Halfway through the meal a young lady server arrived and gave Donald a bill to sign which was charging for the iced tea. We again explained we were on the highest drink package level and we could have any drink for 9€ and less and showed her our reservation slip. She told us that it was for drinks by the glass only and as iced tea was served by the can, we had to pay for it.
We politely refused and asked to see a manager who re-iterated that in the buffet we could only be served drinks by the glass. To our suprise, other passengers were being brought beers, and other soft drinks, pepsi, orange, 7up etc which were in cans and bottles and nothing was said. We signed the bill but it was never ever charged to our account, so somewhere there was a lack of communication. We only used the buffet area 1 more time and found it to be like other cruise lines, mostly chaotic.
At a little before 2pm we went to see if our cabin was available. For the first time ever we were lucky enough to be able to get a fantastic deal on a grand suite including butler service. This was for less than the price it would have cost us for an inside cabin on an American/ British ship.
There was a longish hallway with huge long table which led to a seating area with settee and chairs. Fully stocked no charge mini bar which was replenished if you asked. One wall was covered in huge glass windows with ocean view with access to a huge wrap around balcony with 4 recliners and 2 chairs and a table. A seperate make up dressing area with dimmer switch lighting.The bathroom had his and her sinks with a hydromassage bath and overhead shower. The bedroom had a gigantic bed with plenty of wardrobe and storage space. Our first steward Fidel we found to be very pleasant and kept the room spotless but his contract was ending in 3 days. The replacement steward Ronald, was very personable and nothing was too much trouble for him, he looked after us very well. The Butler, Dave was also friendly and although we did'nt use his service much, he did leave a contact number. We did have occasion to call him for 2 emergencies.
1. Water was in the bathroom when we returned late at night,Within minutes 7 people arrived and dealt with the problem. Water had collected inside the outer cover of the bath and had overflowed.
2. On our last night, whilst packing, we noticed that some of our clothes were stained and damp. Water had dripped from a cooling vent inside the wardrobe. Dave arranged for this to be repaired and for our clothes to be immediatly laundered.
We arranged to have breakfast in the cabin on two occasions. This was delivered by Dave. Service was white glove and prompt and everything we ordered was delivered.
You could have all meals served in the suite at no extra charge.
Whilst we did enjoy the suite very much we felt that for us we would not have liked to have paid the full asking price so unless we get a very special deal again, i doubt whether we'll get a full suite again.
Because we have reached Costas top tier of their loyaly programme regardless of what cabin we choose, we get 1 Laundry service, free collection and delivery of luggage from our home (within western europe)
Breakfast at no charge in the cabin. Exclusive use for ALL meals in the club restaurant. 75€ obc, reserved seats at shows in theatre, day spa use (where available) plus some little extras. We feel this is good enough for us.
Restaurant and meals.
On the Costa Meditarranea we had most meals in the club medussa restaurant.
Breakfast was serve yourself from a cold buffet and/or a waiter service themed hot breakfast, choice of American Spanish Norwegian German Belgian or English style breakfasts. Omelletes and eggs cooked to order available.
Lunch was a help yourself cold buffet station with salads cooked meats cheeses and various seafood treats including on 1 day a delicious Lobster salad.
You then had a choice of several hot and cold starters, Mains and desserts.
Dinner consisted of waiter served hot and cold starters, Pasta, a selection of entrees, cheese, and desserts.
All of our meals whilst not high gourmet were better than what we would eat at home and there was always something you could eat. Food whilst not served really hot was not served cold and was very appetising. Service was fantastic and our Main servers Wyam, Trang and Karin were an absoloute delight, indeed all the staff in the Club medussa are a credit to Costa.
Most passengers in the restaurant were extremely friendly with a very international mix. French, German, Spanish, Swiss, Russian, Italian and a very few native British. We always looked forward to meal times and had so much fun with our fellow comrades.
You could of course always opt to eat in one of your other assigned reataurants or the Buffet, pizza or grill.
Buffet breakfast was continental only. Drinks are charged for unless you take a package. This includes Water tea coffee except for meal times in the buffet.
Bars and Drinks.
There were plenty of places to get a drink from however when the ship was reeally busy especially sea days, service could be a little slow but if you are patient somebody will come.
Drinks on average cost no more than in a 4 star hotel or theme park. We dont really drink a lot of alcohol but there are some delicious non alco cocktails which cost about 7€ plus 15% service on ALL drinks. In order to help with drink package versus pay as you go here is an approx example.
Based on some alco drinks
2 cappucino at breakfast 6€
mid morning coffee 2.24€
non alco cocktail 6€
Lunch and afternoon.
Glass of wine 5.50€
1ltr bttl water 3.50€
after lunch coffee 2.24€
alco cocktail 8.25€
pre dinner sherry 5.50€
glass of wine 5.50€
after dinner port 5.50€
total pay as you go 50.23€.
Brindiamo drinks package (ship branded drinks no alco cocktails) 26.99€
Pio Gusto package (ship branded drinks including alco cocktails) 29.99€
Intenditore Package (premium branded up to 9€ drink.) 45.99€
Prices are per person per day. Prices are inclusive of 15% service.
All of the bar staff we encountered in the lounges were friendly and all had a smile.
The entertainment team were very friendly and they had the usual ship board activities from craft classes to port talks during the day. Not as much as on the American/ British lines, but i can never be bored with people watching, chatting, reading and charity crochet.
Evening entertainment ranged from theatre production shows (very good)
guest artists (very good) Disco and musicians in various bars around the ship.We found all of the music on this cruise to be very good.
The Costa Mediterranea was kept spotlessly clean and the crew all worked hard constantly.British and American passengers may find the glitzy decoration a little overwhelming but it grew on us.
Meal times are a little later than these passengers may be used to especially second seating and the buffet closes earlier, which for us is a good thing (less waste) There is a compulsary 10€ pppd service charge that can't be removed. In all honesty we find this a fair system and dont begrudge paying this at all. We have NEVER received enough bad service to warrant removing this charge. You may encounter the odd person but this in no way should stop payment to the vast majority of the staff who look after you so well. The passengers on board are mainly from Western Europe and some may not speak english. A few local words and a smile and gestures will open conversation and you will be greeted with a wave and a smile should you next encounter them. We got really friendly with Maryvonne and Claude a delightful French couple who we hope will now be friends for life. We had such a laugh with them and looked forward to meeting up with them throughout the voyage.
Ports visited were Stockholm. Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Harwich, Le Havre, Vigo, Lisbon, Barcelona and Savona. As we had been to these ports on many occasions we only took 1 excursion. Hornfleur from Le havre. It was a charming town which we both fell in love with and would visit again in a heartbeat.
Was the Costa Mediterranea magic or mayhem. There was a little mayhem especially in the Buffet area but on the whole it was magic and we would sail on her again. It did'nt capture our heart as much as the Costa Neo riviera Our favourite ship. We have previously sailed with P&O and Princess and had very good experiences with them but we have grown to love the Costa brand and the glitz. We have never received bad customer service and any problems have always been dealt with efficiently and friendly service even from Costas sales office where Simona and Amanda have looked after us so well.
Our next cruise is back on the Diadema which is 2nd favourite and then we are giving the Costa Victoria a try.
Thanks for reading and whoever you sail with Happy Cruising. Read Less