Costa Diadema, November 2015, 7 day Western Mediterranean.
Costa's newest, largest and glitziest ship. a version of Carnival's newest Fantasy class. Ports included Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma, Naples and La Spezia. ... Read More
Costa Diadema, November 2015, 7 day Western Mediterranean.
Costa's newest, largest and glitziest ship. a version of Carnival's newest Fantasy class. Ports included Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma, Naples and La Spezia. Each port had some passengers joining and leaving, which provides a better atmosphere than the highly regimented, everybody on-everybody off one gets in the Caribbean. Seyne sur Mer, near Toulon, was substituted for Marseille on my departure with a coach transfer provided.
I had an inside Classic cabin, I don't care about any of the benefits of a Premium cabin. I did not book with Costa USA and therefore did not have a waterusa package, but I knew this when I booked, I simply added the cost of a water package to the quoted price. The Hotel Service Charge is also part of the Terms and Conditions in Europe.
Demographics. Costa is known as a family-friendly cruise line but this trip had few children. There was broad age range, but definitely skewed towards “retired”. Still, a bunch of fun-loving people, not a good choice for anyone who wants Holland America style “relaxing” and “in bed by 8 PM”.
Muster. Certified for indoor muster stations. Yes! No more standing on deck.
Entertainment. Five rooms with live music, three had double groups, continuous music. Each room has a different theme, but overall, for quality, variety and duration, the music was among the best I have heard on a cruise ship for a decade. None of the dance floors are exactly rectangular, dimensions approximate.
Grand Bar Orlov.
Double height, into Deck 5. More open feel and much better air circulation. Fake stalactites as decoration, limiting sight lines, as far as I could did not conceal anything like air ducts, just a waste of money. Unlike Cunard's Queen Victoria and Elizabeth where I believe this idea was pioneered, there is a staircase between floors and the upper deck would be prime revenue space if better laid out. The seating is curved in towards the floor, instead of outwards as on Deliziosa, and the open area follows this curve. An excellent idea, needs better implementation.
The floor is 52' x only 16'. A nice length but far too narrow for this size of ship, for no really good reason, grossly inadequate for a ship this size. Floorcraft consists mostly of waiting for off-peak times, there is no room to maneuvre around others.
The dance team was two very well qualified couples from Hungary (their English was better than their Italian), who focused on Latin, and who put on performances good enough to have won first place at a dance competition. Their classes were technically very good, but I found they were not too familiar with social dancing in Western Europe and Costa had not really told them exactly what experience they wanted for the passengers. While there were no dance hosts per se, the team danced with passengers in the lounge most nights.
46' x 15' (10') . Used for a variety of themes on different nights, somewhat underutilised.
Atrium Elio Doro
24' x 12' A new group came on board in Savona, playing little besides salsa, the area was empty within a few minutes. Costa musicians have a tradition of playing to please the passengers, hopefully they will be modifying their mix.
Country Rock Club- Country & Western theme
24' x 12' Good choice for the C&W fans.
16' x 16' Surprisingly good music for a piano bar.
Pietra di Luna Disco
36' x 20' Tile but not raised, far safer than on other ships. I did not bother going to the disco.
Perla Nerla deck area
60' x 30' Used for various themes and an Argentine Tango private dance party. Not a good dance floor for pivoting or turning.
Theatre- I did not go to any of the shows, but I noticed extra staging, I expect the shows would be a bit more Broadway-ish than usual.
Food. Overall, good but not spectacular. I rate it as “4” largely because of very limited choice after 9 PM. I do not not want a large MDR meal early in the evening, I prefer a light meal later.
Italian continental breakfast buffet, 0700-1100. Even at 10 AM, still busy, no one seemed to think the choice inadequate. Cooked meal available in MDR.
As well as the buffet, one dining room offered table service, another self-serve. The buffet was again good but not spectacular.
The lack of choice after 9 PM is by far Costa's weak spot. There was no evening buffet on this trip and the English host did not know of any plans for a change.
The Corona Blu area, 500 seats, was used as an open seating alternative, same menu, 5 euro surcharge. It was always busy while the MDR was only half-full for both sittings, a clear passenger preference which hopefully will be noticed in Genoa.
Bar prices were comparable to shore prices. On the last night freshly printed menus made an appearance but I did not see any price changes.
Cabin 1351. One of the oddly-shaped cabins on this class of ship, with only upper and lower berths (the upper stows into the ceiling). Technically a double, excellent value for a single. Sold as a classic, but I consider this to be one of the best-located cabins on the ship.
Customer service, There were agents in front of the counter to handle minor questions. As well as credit card terminals, there were cash machines to accept cash payments.
Interactive TV. There is a messaging system which greatly reduces paper (ignored by the spa with its endless hard-copy advertising) but the message-waiting icon is very small and easy to miss.
Casino wasn't very busy. Since I invested 20 euros in the slot machines and got back less than 5, I can understand why.
Laundry prices seemed reasonable. There was a Magic Bag special but it was timed for Savona passengers and the trip was too short to be worthwhile for me.
At the price I paid, excellent value. Overall I was impressed and have recommended my travel agent sell this ship aggressively. Read Less