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The ship is new and shiny and staff is friendly and efficient and speak excellent English. Embarkation/disembarkation is efficient -- perhaps because guests embark at different ports which means there is manageable number of guests to check in and out at each port. We had a balcony on Deck 2 (2096) which was convenient and a wheelchair access interior cabin (9152) on Deck 9 (HUGE tiled bathroom the size of an entire stateroom). Cabin stewards were efficient and attentive without being intrusive. Dinner in main dining room was outstanding (if you order your meat "rare" you end up with a larger cut every time). Tip: if you like an appetizer or entree and don't feel you got enough or liked the looks of someone else's you can just ask for another and they will bring it to you! Breakfast is a problem for those who don't like "Italian Style" breakfast (cold cuts and fruit and pastries). As other guests have commented the only place where you can get an egg or hot breakfast is in Fiorintina dining room from something like 7 am until 8:30 am. I am not making these hours up. And don't get there at 8:31. No eggs for you! Many people grumbled about this and it seems rather stingy on part of Costa so maybe enough people complain they will change this and offer eggs, etc at main buffet or extend breakfast hours. We got all-inclusive drinks package -- a very good deal -- although they make you pay for the last day when you get off the ship at 9 am, so everyone pays for a day they don't drink much during. But still a deal. Spa is beautiful and treatments reasonably priced and of high quality. BUT just because you book a treatment at the spa doesn't mean you get to use the spa steam room or pool or whirlpool. No way! They charged 35 Euro a day to use spa facilities per person. A total rip off and be warned -- its crowded and therefore not relaxing. Costa should revisit its lease agreement with the spa and demand that guests be allowed to use spa facilities without charge if they book a treatment. Ship is large but lacks a sufficient amount of public space to accommodate the 5,000 guests. I assume public space has been turned into cabins and public space that would normally be, say a large lounge with panoramic views, are "specialty restaurants" that are largely empty because Costa charges a fortune for the upgrade and with quality of food in main dining rooms its unnecessary. Pool decks are small. There is not enough room for everyone, not enough deck chairs, etc and this does not bring out the best in people. That being said, cruise is an excellent value with excellent staff and great ports and we enjoyed every minute, but if feeling a bit crowded will ruin your vacation or make you cranky, then think hard. It took a day to get used to people always being in our "personal space" and bumping into each other, etc. Kudos to Costa on the "automatic" lavatory doors that slide open with a wave of hand -- very cool and sanitary once you figure out how they work. Ports: we are experienced travelers and the only "cruise excursion" we did was to Pompeii -- highly recommended bc ship leaves at 3 that day and timing is tight for self arranged tours. You have time to explore Naples a bit afterwards (don't bother to pay 6E to go into "castle" as there is nothing to see inside and its falling apart. Just take your photos outside. Archeological Museum is a must see if you have already seen Pompeii, etc because everything they found is in the museum. BUT this was not possible on this visit bc ship left at 3 pm. La Spezia: charming coastal town with market on Fridays (Diadema's usual day). See the town then go to Cinque Terre tourist office at the train station BEFORE 1:30pm (we got there at 1:33 pm and office was closed and we had to wait until 2 pm to talk to anyone). The tourist office that sells the rail cards to see Cinque Terre speaks English (and every other language) and will tell you where to go and help you plan schedule to get you to the towns and back in time to meet ship. We got a late start on train after 2pm and still saw 3 of 5 towns and got back in time for early dinner on ship! We tried to do a boat trip to the towns but we were out of season in March and they were not offered. Savona: this was our embarkation/disembarkation port and sadly we didn't really explore it because we were busy hightailing it to Pisa (highly recommended-- leaning tower became everyone's highlight of trip!) and Florence for the rest of the weekend. Marseille: we had a cold, wet day but walked everywhere. Just took the port bus from ship (they charge but its necessary) to center of town. All the major sights are free. Barcelona: Can't wait to go back. We took ship bus to hop on hop off bus (its right there where ship drops you) and had an AMAZING day. One day is not enough to scratch surface of this amazing and beautiful city. Palma: Again, ship bus to center of town. Beautiful island! It's a tiny gem (so clean and tidy!) in the middle of the sea. Cathedral and round castle are must sees (see Cathedral first then take taxi to castle and guy in ticket shop will call a return taxi for you when you are done). There is a hop on hop off bus here but we didn't take it. Please note the "pearls" they sell everywhere are NOT real. They are pretty and well priced but made of ground up shell paste -- so you are not buying pearls. Just so you know.

Loved Cruise but be forewarned, its a crowded ship!

Costa Diadema Cruise Review by tabarber99

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
The ship is new and shiny and staff is friendly and efficient and speak excellent English. Embarkation/disembarkation is efficient -- perhaps because guests embark at different ports which means there is manageable number of guests to check in and out at each port. We had a balcony on Deck 2 (2096) which was convenient and a wheelchair access interior cabin (9152) on Deck 9 (HUGE tiled bathroom the size of an entire stateroom). Cabin stewards were efficient and attentive without being intrusive. Dinner in main dining room was outstanding (if you order your meat "rare" you end up with a larger cut every time). Tip: if you like an appetizer or entree and don't feel you got enough or liked the looks of someone else's you can just ask for another and they will bring it to you! Breakfast is a problem for those who don't like "Italian Style" breakfast (cold cuts and fruit and pastries). As other guests have commented the only place where you can get an egg or hot breakfast is in Fiorintina dining room from something like 7 am until 8:30 am. I am not making these hours up. And don't get there at 8:31. No eggs for you! Many people grumbled about this and it seems rather stingy on part of Costa so maybe enough people complain they will change this and offer eggs, etc at main buffet or extend breakfast hours. We got all-inclusive drinks package -- a very good deal -- although they make you pay for the last day when you get off the ship at 9 am, so everyone pays for a day they don't drink much during. But still a deal. Spa is beautiful and treatments reasonably priced and of high quality. BUT just because you book a treatment at the spa doesn't mean you get to use the spa steam room or pool or whirlpool. No way! They charged 35 Euro a day to use spa facilities per person. A total rip off and be warned -- its crowded and therefore not relaxing. Costa should revisit its lease agreement with the spa and demand that guests be allowed to use spa facilities without charge if they book a treatment. Ship is large but lacks a sufficient amount of public space to accommodate the 5,000 guests. I assume public space has been turned into cabins and public space that would normally be, say a large lounge with panoramic views, are "specialty restaurants" that are largely empty because Costa charges a fortune for the upgrade and with quality of food in main dining rooms its unnecessary. Pool decks are small. There is not enough room for everyone, not enough deck chairs, etc and this does not bring out the best in people. That being said, cruise is an excellent value with excellent staff and great ports and we enjoyed every minute, but if feeling a bit crowded will ruin your vacation or make you cranky, then think hard. It took a day to get used to people always being in our "personal space" and bumping into each other, etc. Kudos to Costa on the "automatic" lavatory doors that slide open with a wave of hand -- very cool and sanitary once you figure out how they work.

Ports: we are experienced travelers and the only "cruise excursion" we did was to Pompeii -- highly recommended bc ship leaves at 3 that day and timing is tight for self arranged tours. You have time to explore Naples a bit afterwards (don't bother to pay 6E to go into "castle" as there is nothing to see inside and its falling apart. Just take your photos outside. Archeological Museum is a must see if you have already seen Pompeii, etc because everything they found is in the museum. BUT this was not possible on this visit bc ship left at 3 pm.

La Spezia: charming coastal town with market on Fridays (Diadema's usual day). See the town then go to Cinque Terre tourist office at the train station BEFORE 1:30pm (we got there at 1:33 pm and office was closed and we had to wait until 2 pm to talk to anyone). The tourist office that sells the rail cards to see Cinque Terre speaks English (and every other language) and will tell you where to go and help you plan schedule to get you to the towns and back in time to meet ship. We got a late start on train after 2pm and still saw 3 of 5 towns and got back in time for early dinner on ship! We tried to do a boat trip to the towns but we were out of season in March and they were not offered.

Savona: this was our embarkation/disembarkation port and sadly we didn't really explore it because we were busy hightailing it to Pisa (highly recommended-- leaning tower became everyone's highlight of trip!) and Florence for the rest of the weekend.

Marseille: we had a cold, wet day but walked everywhere. Just took the port bus from ship (they charge but its necessary) to center of town. All the major sights are free.

Barcelona: Can't wait to go back. We took ship bus to hop on hop off bus (its right there where ship drops you) and had an AMAZING day. One day is not enough to scratch surface of this amazing and beautiful city.

Palma: Again, ship bus to center of town. Beautiful island! It's a tiny gem (so clean and tidy!) in the middle of the sea. Cathedral and round castle are must sees (see Cathedral first then take taxi to castle and guy in ticket shop will call a return taxi for you when you are done). There is a hop on hop off bus here but we didn't take it. Please note the "pearls" they sell everywhere are NOT real. They are pretty and well priced but made of ground up shell paste -- so you are not buying pearls. Just so you know.
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