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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Our first cruise on Costa was great. We took 4 children and everyone had a great vacation. All food was included - there were no "excluded" items for extra $ such as lobster. There was all the ice cream you wanted. You ... Read More
Our first cruise on Costa was great. We took 4 children and everyone had a great vacation. All food was included - there were no "excluded" items for extra $ such as lobster. There was all the ice cream you wanted. You could eat pretty much any time you desired. I am not a cruise snob but I have now been on 9 cruises on 6 different cruise lines both with and without children. My expectations are not unreasonable, simply based on previous experience. Unfortunately Costa has changed and not for the better. For example, There is no "free ice cream" available. Many of the best food items you now have to pay extra for. The dishes offered were definitely not as good as on the previous trip. The buffet closes prior to ending time and runs out of food. Much of the food is the same every day. However our waiter, Joey, in the dining room was wonderful. Very attentive, trying constantly to please. Internet/wifi costs an exorbitant fee and many at the hospitality desk are not very helpful. However, Matteo was the epitome of what an ideal customer service representative should be. The evening entertainment (singers not including the opera soloist) was less professional than on previous cruises. The on shore excursions were pricey. And a heads up to those who have not cruised before. There is a "service fee" every day on your account which you may or may not be made aware of until check out. You can opt out but it is a major undertaking to get this accomplished. Conflicting information and requirements from different employees at the same hospitality desk. Thank you again Matteo for your help. We had a good time doing out own agenda on shore, the food was adequate and the employees mentioned, along with help from Jessica, (the english liason), made it a good trip for our family. However I think I will be looking at other cruise lines in the future unless Costa Cruise Line makes some major modifications to their current policies. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Let me start off by saying I am neither a complainer nor a pushover. I like to say things as they are and to hell with what the majority or otherwise might say. Nor am I a happy clapper willing to give out praise where it not due. That ... Read More
Let me start off by saying I am neither a complainer nor a pushover. I like to say things as they are and to hell with what the majority or otherwise might say. Nor am I a happy clapper willing to give out praise where it not due. That out of the way, let me proceed. As seasoned travellers myself and my wife have been most places in the world and often several times over. However, until now we have resisted the urge to cruise. Don't ask me why, I have no logical reason, other than liking to be in charge of my our own day to day lives and what we decide to do with them, which is best suited to a holiday where we set the daily itinerary. I was often put off by the choice available, the often very high prices, and unfortunately, the high prices upfront to fly to some of the departure ports from Northern Ireland. For instance, the Caribbean felt a good option several times, but paying up to £700 each for flights just to get to Miami and then the cost of the cruise on top was a turn off. Deep down I also had a fear that I would get cabin fever, and also harboured an illogical feeling that a cruise ship was merely a tarted up ferry and I would know it inside out and back to front within an hour. This proved to be unfounded. So this year we decided it was time to break our mould and book a cruise. The Western Med seemed a safe bet, and being slightly off season in March we wouldn't have spent a Kings ransom if it turned out we really were not up for cruising at all. If we liked it, then spending a lot more in some sunny summer exotic destination would be less of a worry. After an evening of internet research, I arrived at the Costa website, and we finally decided on a Western Med 7 night cruise on the Costa Diadema out of Barcelona. We booked an exterior room with a balcony. We also booked the Piu Gusto all inclusive drinks package including Cocktails. So off we set in early March 2018 In the midst of severe arctic weather as a result of the polar vortex over Ireland and the UK in late feb early March 2018, and we duly arrived in Barcelona on a rather pleasant saturday afternoon. Our cruise wasn't due to leave until Monday night, so we decided it would be good to book a hotel for 2 nights in Barcelona as well. This was a great decision, we had 2 lovely days in the city, and our hotel was right by the cruise port which meant a 2 minute transfer from hotel to Ship on Monday afternoon. Monday came quick enough and a quick taxi run saw us arriving at a modern fresh Cruise terminal purpose built by Costa. The Diadema in all its spotless glory was tied up alongside. Our labelled bags were whisked away, and an hour later, we were called to board. On entering the ship the lavish design is the first thing that hits you. This was no glorified ferry! The ship is beautifully fitted out and spotlessly clean. We made out way to room 2037 on deck 2 and were pleasantly surprised at the size of the room, the bed and balcony. Our two Cruise cards were awaiting us on the bed. These act as your boarding card/ ID at port stops, your payment method whilst onboard, and your door keycard for entry to your room. The idea is you "pair" your credit card to the cruise card at one of the multiple terminals onboard. You then no longer use personal cards or cash on board. Any accrued cost, you settle the night before your trip ends. Of course, the card also holds details of your drinks package, so all your drink 'purchases' are free. You will be called to a meeting point an hour or two after boarding, resplendent with life jacket for a compulsory drill. All in all it took about 20 minutes. This is taken extremely seriously by the crew members and they expect you to treat it as seriously and pay attention to all that you are told. Common sense, and no more an interruption on your cruise than the flight attendant instructions at the start of a flight. At this point, I'll explain go back and explain the drinks packages. There are several, from water only, kids soft drinks, meal only wine packages, wine only all areas, main spirits wines and beers, everything inc Cocktails (but not absolute premium brands) this is the package that we had , and the everything you want package including the very top brands like 20 year old Brandys. Note: everyone travelling on the same booking must have the same package for adults. This is to prevent the card holder 'buying' drinks on the all inclusive package, and passing them to others who haven't paid for the package. Incidentally, I saw this once with a group of 30 something men. The barman saw it happening and immediately refused further service to the whole group. They were then escorted from the bar. I don't know if their cards were confiscated, but on the literature it does say that this could happen if abused. Simply, do the right thing and you are fine, if caught, the bar staff take it seriously and will take action. All the bars on ship serve the same range of drinks and the extensive drinks menu is at every bar. You simply look at the coloured dot that represents your package on the front page of the menu, and any drink that has your colour dot (yellow in our case) then that drink is included. Our package was hugely inclusive and only about 3 cocktails and a selection of like 20 year old brandies were excluded. It included dozens of top brands. Martell, Johnny Walker, Baileys, Smirnoff, Gordons, Martini, Bacardi, Canadian Club, and loads of liquors and beers, coffee, soft drinks and juices.. The Cocktail menu was to die for, with about 30 on offer. (Try the Bahama Mama!!) At €8.20 a cocktail, it would be an expensive night if you were paying by drink. Our package was €175 each. We each drank about €70 of cocktails etc on the first night! :-) Suffice to say, the drink package is worth it. When you consider it includes your wine at dinner, soft drinks etc at lunch time, all your Illy coffees on board. I estimate our tab would have been not much shy of €1000 for the 8 days onboard. (you can avail of your breakfast, lunch and drinks package on departure day as well!) Stay away from the minibar in the rooms as usual over priced. Now for all said above, heres the anomaly. This company (Costa) has a real bee in its bonnet over drinking water! Yes, the stuff you need to stay alive. It is not included free in the room (€3.50 a litre from the mini bar.) It is only dispensed from water dispensers to cup in the buffet area, and by glass only in the restaurants. If you want chilled bottled water, you have to pay extra! even with a drinks package, unless you take out the actual water drinks package! So Martell VSOP brandy and €9 Cocktails are included on your package, but chilled bottled water isn't even though they would likely stock it at about 10 cents a bottle! Very strange, and it seems to irk a lot of people going by comments here and elsewhere. It also seems unique to Costa. So, sort it Costa, really silly policy and one which needs addressed. I cannot for the life of me understand having an all inclusive drinks package and not having the cheapest and most basic form of drink available on it! However that said, I don't remember gasping for water onboard, it is available from dispensers 24/7 and we kept a litre in the room at all times. Moving onto dining. I can genuinely say that If I had have believed some of the ridiculous reviews left by some people here and elsewhere, I may have cancelled the trip. What it did do was leave us with some doubts as to what the food would be like. There must be a lot of people out there with very low tolerance levels, or very delicate palettes . This is an Italian cruise ship. There is no escaping it caters mainly for Italian, Spanish, French and German peoples. In fact English was the 3rd or 4th language translated for announcements. I am not a picky eater at all, but I admit enjoying the typical UK/ Irish diet. Everything from fish and chips, roast beef, a good curry etc. But I also enjoy rice dishes etc. I wouldn't say I am a big lover of the classic mediterranean diet, but I would have a go anyway. Suffice to say, the food will be different than the UK or Irish traveller might be used to. But its of very high quality. In a nutshell, both my wife and I were bowled over with the quality of food on offer. The Italian chefs onboard created dishes each night that were just amazing. From basic spaghetti and pasta dishes, to the beef, lamb, chicken and pork offerings. We were blown away. It was so satisfying too, as our expectations had been lowered so much by these reviews!. I have to say to some of the reviewers on this site, some of you must be serial complainers or just unfortunate, because the experience we had all over the ship was of a serious effort to provide top class food and experience and I don't think we were let down once. You will be allocated a dining room on day one, with either sitting 1 or 2. We were in the Fiorintino restaurant on deck 3/4 for first sitting. Some reviews said staff were nasty and overworked, food arrived cold and took hours. I think you are reviewing the wrong boat. Our waiter was prompt, wine bottle in hand before you had even warmed the seat. The 5 course menu browsed, a nibble at the constant supply of fresh breads, and the first course arrived within 10 minutes. We never spent longer than 1 hour to 80 mins in the restaurant unless chatting to people. It was a lovely experience in 5 star surroundings. The waiting staff were warm and friendly and nothing was too much for them. The food was superb, resented like a top restaurant and cooked perfectly. Now, if you didn't want the sit down 5 course meal, or you decided to eat later, the Buffet on floor 10 was available up until well after 9. If you have experienced all you can eat buffets before, this will be of no surprise to you, but it was no where near the problem some have posted. Its busy, but we never found it crazy busy. You may well have to look around for 2 or 3 minutes to get a seat in the actual buffet area, but never longer than that. Also the area directly outside the buffet has hundreds of seats and tables to eat at also. The buffet runs along 3 sides, and is split into Oriental (Chinese type dishes, rice, fried rice, noodles, ribs, chinese chicken pork etc,) Italian, spaghettis, pasta, lasagnes, ravioli, then a big area serving roast beef, chicken etc. A large salad area and a dessert area. Again, for a buffet, the food is very good and you can have a really nice meal here. One review I read actually said, "most of the food available in the buffet is cold"! what absolute rubbish! This is also the location for your continental breakfast. Cooked breakfasts are at your designated restaurants. In addition to this, there are 3 or 4 "prestige" restaurants, costing about €25 per person per head over and above your inclusive package. There is the Tarayaki, The Ferrari and another. We never bothered, as the food inclusive was so good. You also have an Italian Pizzeria and a burger bar available (at a cost) to about 1.30am, or room service 24 hours at a cost of course. The Pizza is to die for, seriously. We had a full cooked breakfast in bed one morning for €10 all in. (Full UK style) So thats the food aspect. We were really delighted. I expect in review columns like this, it is natural that people will come to complain more than compliment, but I really must say a big congratulations to Costa for service and food. So on to the ship itself. Wow. Its a bit of an assault on the senses. The sheer size of it is the first thing that hits you. It is vast. 16 floors high, numerous bars restaurants etc. A shopping mall, casino, cinema, theatre, disco, nightclub, 2 pools, jacuzzis, country club, Ice cream parlour, spas. Just about everything you would expect. I understand its one of if not the biggest currently on Mediterranean duty. The shops are typical of cruise liners. Tommy Hilfiger, up market watches, and the typical Boots type perfume and lotions shops. Not really our thing but nice enough to kill an hour or so. Do be aware, they run 'sales and promotions' most nights, but in reality the prices are rubbish and its easy to get sucked in when in holiday mode. You will pay at least what you will pay at home, sometimes a lot more! Suffice to say, ignore the 75% off luxury watches promos. Ripoff. But I am sure you are not cruising for the shops on board. Each night, you will receive the ships "newspaper" detailing all of the next days activities and the port of call. This is excellent because you know whats on the ship at any time. We enjoyed a show one night in the vast theatre, and shows change nightly. But we found our home in the country club where a terrific cover band called Royal Alligators played Dire Straits,Queen, Toto, Police, and all the old classics until the early hours. They were very talented and pulled big crowds each night. Other than that, it was nice to just drift about the ship in and out of venues to see what was on, you really can lose yourself walking about the many decks and bars. The bar and lounge areas are all slightly different but designed beautifully, and its lovely to sit in any of them and just take in a bit of entertainment. And this is non stop. This is a dancing boat! Morning noon and night, there are couple Cha cha'ing or Latin dancing to their hearts content. There are free classes on constantly, with bands, singers, musicians, comedians, and dancers doing different shows every night. The public areas are busy, but not frantic. Italians do tend to converse loudly and shout rather than talk, but I don't remember ever feeling that the Ship was rowdy or boisterous. Just happy! You would have thought the waiting and bar staff would be trained to slow down the drinks intake of all those all inclusive passengers to save the company money, but its quite the opposite. The staff will arrive as soon as your glass is empty to fetch a refill. The service is excellent. In fact, the attention and service of staff all over the ship is really exemplary. They are courteous, well trained and efficient. There are always people polishing stair rails and glass partitions, cleaning surfaces etc. You will not see a fingerprint on this ship. I'll not dwell on the ports called at. Suffice to say, we stopped at Palma, Palermo in Sicily, Rome, Savona, Marseilles and back to Barcelona. I cant comment on the tours, but we booked the bus transfer to Rome and it left and came back on time, and the same in Palma. On early arrival back at Barcelona, we had breakfast. Our cases were left outside the room the night before to be transferred to the terminal for collection (saves you carting them through he ship on exit). We were told we could stay on board until about 1 pm which we did, availing of lunch and a few more Cocktails! So an excellent trip with 5 star service board and food. We will definitely cruise on the Diadema again. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We have just returned home from a weeks cruise around the Med on the Costa Diadema. This was my annual birthday cruise and we have cruised on the Diadema before, this was our 3rd time. I shall post comments on how we found our cruise ... Read More
We have just returned home from a weeks cruise around the Med on the Costa Diadema. This was my annual birthday cruise and we have cruised on the Diadema before, this was our 3rd time. I shall post comments on how we found our cruise experience to be but this will be a lengthy review. I shall be posting menus, and current drinks prices as well as extracts from the daily whats on programme. For those who do not like detailed lengthy reviews you have been warned (Grin). As we are Perla Diamente (top level tier Guests) one of the perks is that our cases are collected from our home and delivered to the ship (only within Europe) so armed only with hand luggage we set off from Alicante train station to Barcleona the day before the cruise departed. The journey takes 5 hours on the fast train and it is a comfortable ride. We stayed this time at the Crowne plaza fira centre, only 2 stops from Sants which is one of the main hubs and from the hotel is only 3 stops from Drasanes which is the cruise terminal metro stop. The Crowne Plaza was a comfortable stay and we had booked an executive room which was very comfortable. The following day we departed the hotel and made our way to the cruise port. There are shuttles running from near the colombus monument whch drop you off outside the terminal at a cost of 3€ single or 4€ return. On the shuttle bus we met a couple of Italian people who recognised us from our last cruise, This happened quite a lot of times on this cruise both with passengers and staff and was a wonderful surprise. Outside the cruise terminal, you showed your travel documents and you were given an embarkation number, ours was number 1 (another perk) you then made your way inside the terminal where you filled out a health questionaire form. You then went to check in where you handed in your health check form and tickets, your photo was taken and you were then told that your cruise card would be on the bed in your cabin and given a time when embarkation would begin. We were then escorted to the VIP lounge (another perk) dont get too excited, it was just a smallish room with a table of snacks (crisps,(chips) biscuits, (cookies) various soft drinks, (soda) and water. We were told that somebody would be up to escort us to the ship embarkation point at 1.30pm. We were the only people in the VIP lounge and if i'm honest, i did miss the hustle and bustle of the other passengers, but unfortunately because of current health issues i now don't do well in crowds especially when people tend to push and shove or dont concentrate on where they walk. It doesn't take much for me to lose my balance, so i tend to wait until crowds disperse. Anyway a few minutes before 1.30pm we were indeed escorted to the embarkation line where crowds of people were standing around waiting to be boarded. Even with the anouncements that boarding would begin with number 1 followed by 2,3,4,etc people were still trying to board with higher numbers, to no avail, The young lady who was escorting us made it quite clear that they had to sit down and a clear path was made for me. I think i would have fallen if this had not have happened, so thanks Costa for this definate improvement. The obligatory ships embarkation photo was next and then we were on board. Our cabins were ready and we went to the cabin to collect our cruise cards, then up to the restaurant club diadema (yet another perk where all perla diamente and suite guests get to take all their meals on board.) Because this cruise was so busy they had to allocate 2 seating times instead of dine as you please, 1st seating was at 6.30pm and 2nd at 9.15pm. We were 2nd seating but if you got peckish beforehand you could always have a little something from the buffet area. Justine was the Maitre'D in the club Restaurant and we are old friends, we have watched him grow through the rank and file and he has now been promoted again to assistant Matre'D throughout the whole ship. We are thrilled for him and for those of you who know him, i'm sure you'll agree his promotion is richly deserved, for those who don't know him, if you ever get the chance to meet him, you are in for a treat. He and his team looked after us (again) so well, and we are proud to call him a friend. I did take some menus and i will copy what was available under another heading. This may take some time as i have not mastered the art of thumbnailing and pasting, so i'll have to type everything. The rest of the afternoon was spent reaquainting ourselves with the ship, some parts have been re-decorated, The ship is very big and glitzy but she does feel very welcoming. I have taken a video of the ship and for the first time i will attempt tp post it on a very well known video web site (LOL) this will be my first attempt, so please do be kind and patient. We then got ready for evening dinner and went to the show in the theatre, reserved front 3 rows for Diamente and Suite guests up until 5 minutes before the show starts, this is now rigourously enforced and you will be asked for your cruise card. It is amazing the number of passengers who when challenged argue with the host/ess even though it is clearly marked. I would'nt want their job for the world and i take my hat off to them. A nightcap after the evening meal and then bed. Goodnight day 1. Ports of call. Because we have sailed this route many times, we decided to mainly enjoy the ship. The majority of passengers do tend to go ashore and on port days you do feel as if the ship belongs to you, at least for a little while. Costa tend to embark and disembark passengers at the vast majority of points called, which makes it easier for passengers to embark at a point thats closer to where they live. Their main hub is savonna in Italy. So on this cruise it's like a loop. Savona, Italy, Marseille (France) Barcelona (Spain) Palma de Mallorca (Spain) At sea. Palermo (Sicilly Italy) Civatevecia for Rome, (Italy) and then back to Savona. We chose to embark and disembark in Barcelona. This time the only port of call we got off, was in Marseille, The ships shuttle bus cost 10.95€ return journey. We only got off here because we had arranged to meet some French friends of ours who we met on our last cruise. They live about 2 hours from Marseille and kindly met us. We had a fantastic time catching up on all the news and had a wonderful meal in a restaurant sat outside on the terrace. The weather was very kind to us with clear blue skys and a warm temparature of about 20c, 68-70f. Cabin. Because we were only on board for a week we opted to stay in an inside cabin in a premium category. It was perfectly acceptable and had plenty of storage space, 2 large suitcases fit under the bed. Our cabin steward Marie looked after us very well and it appears that Costa too are now trying to slowly introduce the Morning, Evening, or both cabin service. Their explanation is they are trying to reduce the effect of detergents on the environment. Marie made the choice for us and put both. We are very tidy people and try to make the cleaning staffs job as easily as possible, they work incredibly hard and for very long hours. Whilst walking up and down the cabin corridor we are often horrified at the way some passengers leave their cabin, the words pig sty come to mind. At the moment Costa charge a service fee of 10€ per person per day, this is shared out between all non salaried staff from the person who cleans the public areas up to your dining room attendants. It is clearly stated that this is NON removable and so it is easy to factor this into the cost of your holiday. Believe me, these guys and girls are worth every penny of this service charge. For us, these cruise staff make our holiday and we appreciate every single one of them. Every single staff member we encountered were hard working and friendly. A smile and a cheery greeting goes a long way and we gained an insight into the lives of these dedicated people. Entertainment. Entrtainment ranged from spa and health talks, excercise classes, games on deck, dance classes and quizzes during the day. Perhaps not as much as on an American /British ship but there is something for everyone. For me, i'm a people watcher, i find people of different cultures and countries fascinating. It doesn't matter if i can't understand what people are saying. It's how they interact with each other that speaks volumes. I can easily spend the day just watching people. I also have some home hobbies and can often be seen doing some crochet. Evening entertainment consists of different bars having musical bands, duos and solos. On this cruise every single entertainer was very good with a good choice of music style. The various dance floors always had people dancing and enjoying themselves. The theatre shows were a good mix ranging from production shows, Tenor, a one man circus show and a sort of balletic acrobatic show which had the audience on their feet, including us, for a standing ovation, seriously it was that good. There is also the late night disco which always had a crowd, unfortunately that doesn't really get going until well after midnight and because of health issues or too much food(LOL) i usually have to retire by then. I did stay up for the white night party and that was amazing fun but i did suffer for it the next day(grin). I will type some of the activities from the daily Diario in another segment so please be patient. Food and Drink. For the price we paid for the cruise (just over 50 pounds a day) remember you get Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon snacks and dinner, plus your accomodation,your different ports of call and your entertainment, this offers incredible value for money and nobody in their right minds could expect Gourmet meals for this amount of money. We have cruised with Costa a lot now and for us they are now our preferred cruise line. We don't know what they have done but certainly on this cruise the food went up another level. We were astounded at the quality. I don't know if it was the same in the main restaurant but certainly in the club diadema and the food from the buffet had certainly improved. It was average to good before but this time for us it was good to excellent. In the club restaurant you only get the Italian experience whilst the buffet has a more international choice, for me when i'm on holiday,i do like to be waited on and have the gleaming cutlery on white table cloths. Sometimes however i do fancy a little something different especially Asian food, but i don't like waiting in line. Justine (Maitre'D) must have over heard me and to my horror but delight he came over and told me not to order anything from the menu as he had sent 1 of his waiters to get me a selection of Asian food from the buffet, it was delicious, yet i was a little embarrassed that 1 of the waiters walked to the buffet to get me it. That's going above and beyond. On another occasion i had chosen the lamb from the menu and was saying to Donald (my darling other half) that if i was at home i'd be gnawing on the bone (grin) It was so tender and sweet. Again i must have been overheard because lo and behold a plate with 2 extra double cut chops appeared in front of me. On the final night of my cruise it was my birthday and as another perk of the loyalty club you receive a birthday cake, it was huge. Imagine my surprise when another birthday cake appeared, this time from the chefs and staff of the club restaurant decorated with the words “we will miss you” The chefs and staff of the restaurant then toasted me with champagne. I was extremely humbled and touched (i cried) again thats going above and beyond, and i thank them all. We enjoyed every single meal. Some people criticise the high cost of drinks which can work out expensive especially if you do like to drink. However you can't expect to pay the same amount of money for a drink as you would pay in your local pub/bar. Prices are comparible to a 4 star hotel. We are not really heavy drinkers of alcohol but we do like an occasional drink and i discovered the delights of Hugo Spritz rosa (elderflower syrup topped up with prossecco and some sort of red liqour) so i'd have a couple of those as well as soft drinks water tea and coffee. Donald would do the same but he liked tha black russian. We had reserved a piu gusto package at 29.49€ per person a day. Remember we are not huge drinkers but we kept a list of all we drank and if we had not purchased the package we'd have spent 822€. by purchasing the package we spent approx 398€. please remember that 15% has to be added to all drinks purchased and the prices shown do reflect this. I will type the menus and drinks list in a seperate section. Disembarkation. As another Diamente perk we get laundry up to 25 items washed, dried and folded. We also get the luggage delivered back home. The luggage does have to be wrapped in cellophane and i really hate doing that. When i had done it and called for it to be collected from the cabin, i was asked why i hadn't let them wrap it for me, apparantly i'm the only person on the ship with top level status who did this and i hate it, so i know what to do next time (giggle) We had a leisurely breakfast and Lunch on board and then sans luggage made our way back to Barcelona Sants to Alicante. The train left at 4pm and we were back in the house at 10.30pm. The cruise is over and we do miss it. We had a fantastic time and can't wait for our next one aboard the Costa Victoria in June. I hope you enjoyed reading this. As i said Menus, drinks and entertainment will appear soon. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
My first cruise and it did not scare me off from going on others. It did however cement our resolve never to cruise with Costa again. A bedlam of constant noise, either from the clientele (if you do not enjoy Italian style of ... Read More
My first cruise and it did not scare me off from going on others. It did however cement our resolve never to cruise with Costa again. A bedlam of constant noise, either from the clientele (if you do not enjoy Italian style of communications... don't go! Just sayin!) or from the very frequent announcements. If if wasn't the daily safety drill (yes, this cruise is a rolling cruise... peep embark and disembark on every port, you can imagine the impact on atmosphere on board, very unsettled, felt like a ferry most days) it was crew only announcements (what an actual?) or super super bingo bingo et al entertainment war cries. There is no area for quiet chilling and since no blankets were provided relaxing on the deck with a book was not possible. Only place to get some peace would have been our cabin.... nearly lost my mind on the at sea day of the cruise! Food was a mixed bag. I'm not going to dwell on the buffet horrors, the food was mediocre (and mostly cold) at best, the brutish feeding frenzy of the clientele was too much for me to deal with but luckily there was the sit down option. Dinners in Fiorentina were the highlights of our cruise. The early seating was the most peace we found on our cruise and the food was pretty good too! Unbelievably coffee and tea were not available freely outside breakfast and the 4-5pm afternoon snack time. Entertainment in the main theater was on amateurish side (apart from last night, the Russian acrobat duo was proper good!) and being amused by enthusiastic ball room dancing civilians can only keep me amused me so long. Staff were OK, we didn't really get involved with demanding anything from them... kind of gave up on expecting anything special upon realization at what kind of cruise this was. Gym was full of loud teens despite no under 16 should have been allowed. I saw one bambino stood on a table by the water machines, no one, not parents nor the staff batted an eyelid. A lot of people were making piles of sandwiches from breakfast tables to have later, that kind of crowd...! The one Costa 'excursion' we took was the coach only to Rome from Civitavecchia: Departure from port was delayed by 45 mins due to broken down coach, 15 mins were added in Rome..... no apologies, no gestures of anything (customer service does not come naturally from this lot!). Both ways our driver (different) was busy one-hand driving down motorway whilst happily (and, typically for region, loudly chatting on his mobile phone). On our way back our guide (a German) lady joined in on the act. I'm certain I'm not alone in NOT enjoying listening to unnecessary mobile conversations of others... not to mention the safety aspect! To recap: Future cruises will not be on Costa. I do not get my kicks from being sleep deprived and successful holidays are not made of feelings of claustrophobia, not to me anyway. If you enjoy your cruise as an opportunity to travel between cities in style and comfort, whilst being entertained, Costa is not for you. In fact, I'm a rather unclear as to whom the Costa experience is aimed at! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
So to tell the story, my father and I hired a travel agent last minute to make a trip to Spain for New Years. We decided to go for a cruise that goes to some of the Italian coastal cities, so based on our budget, we went with Coastal ... Read More
So to tell the story, my father and I hired a travel agent last minute to make a trip to Spain for New Years. We decided to go for a cruise that goes to some of the Italian coastal cities, so based on our budget, we went with Coastal Diadema. Checking in and getting into our cabin was fairly easy and the New Years celebration was a lot of fun since you could go to different areas in the cruise with different music genres. I very much enjoyed that. Once the cruise departed from the coast, that's when trouble started coming. We had booked a tour in Rome for the Sistine Chapel in Spanish two weeks prior to the trip. They notified us to go to the tour offices and we assumed it was to confirm the tour. It was to tell us that they cancelled it. First of all, the language barrier was an issue with the staff because most of them were Italian and their understanding of other languages was a huge stress for us; they could not understand us and it was the same vice versa. They were not helpful when it came to trying to book us another tour. We had to constantly be going to their offices to see if we could fix the situation but we kept getting responded with "I don't know"s; as in "I dont know what we have" and "I dont know what to do". We had to schedule with their manager in order to have anything done who thankfully fixed the situation. This was in a span of three days. Oh! They also cancelled our tour in Savona, Italy as well. Apparently they have a lot of problems reaching the minimum amount of people for the tours. So my advice, book outside the ship. This agency is too unreliable. Speaking of bad service, most of the staff were cold and robotic when it came to customer service. Just overall rude. We honestly thought it was a culture thing because even a lot of the tourists were rude as well. The cruise. was. dirty. As in there was an issue with the ventilation and cleanliness of the cabins, to the point that HALF OF THE CRUISE GOT SICK. Including me and my father. We both had fever and horrible coughs for days. Could barely sleep. We both had to go to the emergency clinic where we found out how many people were actually sick. It was only after we keep leaving the cruise when we began feeling better. Entertainment was pretty enjoyable. I liked the fact that you had bands and singers in different parts of the cruise singing various languages and genres, so you had a lot of variety. There were activities that I did not find family friendly, specially for a "family" cruise, but still enjoyable. The breakfast food was horrible. Anything bread was harder than a rock and they only serve you fruits. If you had eggs they were always underdone and tasteless. The buffet for lunch and dinner were pretty good tho. Including the food from the restaurants. Pizza is delicious, Samsara restaurant was good, hamburgers are great. Honestly, AVOID the dining at all cost. If you have a scheduled time to go to a restaurant for dining, just dont go. The food has literally no flavor. The buffet is soooo much better. Honestly, no. I would not go again. Not at all. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I called Costa Cruise in Miami to find out information before getting on the ship regarding payments onboard and other pre boarding questions. Each question was answered incorrectly and when we boarded we were in for many surprises. On ... Read More
I called Costa Cruise in Miami to find out information before getting on the ship regarding payments onboard and other pre boarding questions. Each question was answered incorrectly and when we boarded we were in for many surprises. On the first night of the cruise, were were FORCED to purchase a drink package for each of our three children on the ship who were staying in their own cabin. Two were full alcohol and the third was the soda/water package. On the second morning of the cruise one of our kids had a few bites on his neck. The next day another child had several bites on his stomach. That child had seen and killed a bug on his brother's bed. We immediately reported the incident to the Hospitality desk. They took all the kids clothes and luggage and washed them and sent the kids to the ships hospital where they proceeded to give a cream treatment to the child that had more bites. Turned out that child was allergic to the detergent used on the ship and had to return a second time to the hospital where he received a shot of steroids and more medication. From there the trip went downhill and as much as the staff thought they were doing for us to make this right, anything that was done was more to benefit Costa Cruise Lines. Since child number 2 was not able to use his drink package while on the medication the other one that is old enough did not drink either(its not fun to drink alone). The ship would not refund all the drink packages they forced us to purchase, only the one for the child on the medication. The first dining room could not accommodate the five of us at the same table so we had to find the maitre d' for the second night to change our dining option since its the one week per year we get to spend together. They gave us the second seating in the dining room which was 9:00pm. The service was so slow we did not finish dinner until almost midnight. We then decided to try the anytime dining. Because we changed our dining option after the first night, we were charged per person for the change. The restaurant manager couldn't have been nicer though and the rest of the cruise did not charge for the change. The food on the ship was very mediocre and to eat gluten free anything as my diet requires, the only option I was given was to eat in the dining room. None of the buffets during the day or even room service has gluten free from what I was told. Basically I had one meal per day! Having adult children, they were looking for nighttime entertainment in the disco or other areas of the ship. The disco had 13-17 year olds enjoying their time leaving our children feeling uncomfortable to be in the same disco. They were very underwhelmed having very little 21-25 adult activity. The communication was poor across the board. We had to search for ourselves to get any information about the ships activities or entertainment. We felt as though we were a very unwelcomed group of travelers as well as other travelers that fit our profile, we all felt the same way. The overall attitude of the staff was disinterested in doing anything to work when all we were looking for was help. The rolling of their eyes when we approached them and poor bodily language was a reinforcement of their behaviors. This is not a ship we would recommend to any of our peers! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Wanted a exclusive dining experience for Christmas. Got Hell Costa Diadema Christmas in the 'Med' 18th Dec to 31st Dec 17 B2B. The term 'never again' comes to mind unfortunately we have already booked this ship again for five ... Read More
Wanted a exclusive dining experience for Christmas. Got Hell Costa Diadema Christmas in the 'Med' 18th Dec to 31st Dec 17 B2B. The term 'never again' comes to mind unfortunately we have already booked this ship again for five weeks' time. Making allowances that it was the lead up to Christmas we expected a full ship & lots of children, fair enough we have been with Costa lots over this period, so knew what to expect, or so, we thought. What we got was the EXCLUSIVE dining experience in the club restaurant ruined by children running amok bumping into waitresses carrying hot plates while their parents chatted on mobile phones, a menu of just two choices which was repeated the second week. Track suits where on show as was shorts on three days. Now I love the club restaurant but this was something akin to a motorway service area on a bank holiday, certainly so far from exclusive dining as you could get. So bad that on four nights we wear unable to choose anything from the menu that was to our liking, having tried the other choice on the first week. We resorted to paying for the Samsara twice (same menu) and the Teppanyki once (wonderful) & even the buffet, (better choices than the Club EXCLUSIVE restaurant.) Choosing a suite now for the privilege of fine dining now appears to be a total waste of money. The second most annoying thing was the sheer volume of the music in every bar, even our favourite Piano bar which you even had to shout orders to the waiters over the din (music) we resorted to the Pizza area seating just to allow us to talk to guests we had met on board, even the shows were exactly the same as the first week, so in fact our second week was a total repeat of the first week from menus to shows. The casino has doubled its stake on every machine & it seems pays out very little, according to several people we spoke to. Once again very po treatment of Perla Diamante members & Suite guests boarding at Barcelona, On the plus side, well, fabulous staff very helpful, very clean & tidy cabins and about the ship. Good treatment of the children on Christmas day, present for each from Santa. Although ship was full it did not feel crowded, fairly easy to walk round even at our very slow pace, apart from end of the shows. Nice to have two rows saved in theater, however no check was ever made making this perk again unworkable & useless. Would these B2B cruises make us think about sailing with Costa again? Yes, I guess it would if it was the Diadema over the winter months only. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
It's a pity I only read the reviews about Costa after I have booked its Mediterrean cruise. Turned out the negative reviews of most critics are true! Indifferent restaurant service, overcrowded and messy restaurant with mundane food, ... Read More
It's a pity I only read the reviews about Costa after I have booked its Mediterrean cruise. Turned out the negative reviews of most critics are true! Indifferent restaurant service, overcrowded and messy restaurant with mundane food, chaotic restaurant seating arrangement, below average night shows, confusing ship facilities layout, poor communication regarding embarkment & disembarkment etc., all made our experience with the cruise under-whelming. The buffet was always too jammed with insuffucient seats & you had to be quick to grab a table & sat almost shoulder to shoulder with another fellow passenger. On a postive note, the premium insde cabinet was large enough for 2 persons with sufficent storage space. It was also clean & tidy. If you go to the breakfast on the third floor where eggs and bacons are served, you are allocated to sit with others without any sense of logic. We are a couple & there are plenty of small tables with 2 seats. Why are we allocated to a big table where similar couples are forced to sit together? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
The crew on the hospitality area aren’t friendly. Their smiles are very expensive. I am reluctant to fall in line as if I am about to be punished for a mistake i have done. The Filipino waiters are so sympathetic on Ristorante ... Read More
The crew on the hospitality area aren’t friendly. Their smiles are very expensive. I am reluctant to fall in line as if I am about to be punished for a mistake i have done. The Filipino waiters are so sympathetic on Ristorante Florante. They are the ones who are ready to help. Our cabin in-charge is also sympathetic and very smiling. It perked our day whenever we met him everyday on the alley. The shuttle buses are on time. I didn’t appreciate the Crew Members entertainment night. Of course their efforts are appreciated but using Teatro Emerald for Amateurs didn’t commensurate my expectations. The embarkation and disembarkation is alright. I didn’t appreciate so much the food at the restaurant. I prefer the food on windjammer. Hygiene is not strictly implemented. We can still see people getting water using used bottles from the juice and water dispensers despite the signages. The antibacterial dispensers aren’t displayed where people can see them. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise mainly because of the price being £250 for 7 nights. We have been to all the destinations before but are happy being on any ship in the sun and not having to tear around sightseeing made for a relaxing time. ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly because of the price being £250 for 7 nights. We have been to all the destinations before but are happy being on any ship in the sun and not having to tear around sightseeing made for a relaxing time. This is our third Costa cruise this year. One has to ask how you can fault anything at this price but I'll try to be critical bearing in mind some will pay a lot more. Embarkation was smooth in all ports. A little half hour queue in Barcelona for intitial embarkation. Food was really superb in buffet and restaurant. Only criticism here was that service in the dining room was sometimes slow. The buffet coped well with the large numbers and queues were rarely more than a few people. Problems arose early evenings when a large part is closed off to become part of the main restaurant. Seats were in short supply. This needs attention. Staff were friendly and helpful without exception. We were surprised, being the flagship and newest of the Costa fleet that we much prefered the decor of the much older Luminosa and Magica. It just doesn't have the wow factor that these ships have. It is largely brown, beige and gold with some orange thrown in. It all felt a little dated and dull to us. Some outside chairs are orange plastic like the seventies. I wouldn't want to do a sunshine cruise on this ship. It lacks a 'focal point' pool on deck. The main pool has a sliding roof and the second pool is on the back deck and small. That is all there is. There are however many hot tubs and jacuzzis and we liked the heated pods on promenade deck where you can sit inside on cooler days and look out to sea. Perhaps Costa only do colder areas/seasons with Diadema(?) , in which case it is fine for purpose. The shows were superb. Top class and as good as we have seen on any cruise ship. Many excellent musicians and bands around the ship. The atrium was a great place to sit in the evening watching the life on the dance floor Cabin (inside) was comfortable if a little bland. Some of the seating around the ship is very uncomfortable, especially in the Country and rock venue and Atrium. Daft designs. This is a Costa cruise so expect it to be busy with very few Brits and lots of lively Italians and Spanish. It is very different from a P & O experience. All in all very enjoyable and perfect for what we wanted. Read Less
Costa Diadema Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.2
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 3.7
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.3
Family 4.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.0
Enrichment 2.0 2.9
Service 4.0 3.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.2
Rates 3.0 N/A

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