Arrived in Rome from Australia on 30/1/09 and stayed near the Railway station in Rome. Then on 31/1/09 travelled by rail to the port very easy to do and cheap. Walked from the Railway station to the port about 4 blocks you can see the boat as you arrive by train. As you enter the port there are free shuttle buses that took us to the ship. Once at the terminal you are directed where to leave luggage and then take a seat and wait to be called to go onto the ship. Boarding time is from 1pm onwards but we got there at 2pm and they were still waiting for the police before allowing anyone onto the ship. We were on by about 2.40pm. The ship is truly amazing and even though i had read some bad reviews I cannot say anything bad about the ship. We only speak english and were looked after extremely well. The announcements are in about four languages and yes english may often be last but then we are in their country. On the first day there is a meeting and lecture from the english guide from the ship(she was extremely informative and was very approachable "Kate") We had a balcony cabin on Deck seven and it was great. The cabin staff all spoke reasonable english and we never had any problems gaining what ever we asked for. The food I was a bit worried about after reading the reviews but I can only say good things about it. It there was something you didn't like they replaced it with another course. We had the X1 drink package and it worked well except you don't get any choice in the wine other than red or white it is what ever they serve you. The beer was okay though. Every night as you got to the the table the waiter had a beer and red wine waiting for us after the first night. Great service. The Maitre de "Edwarduo" was exceptional. A top itinerary and a top cruise. All staff were there to serve you. We had an error on our account (laundry charged when not used)and it was rectified within the hour with an apology. A great cruise and would travel with Costa again. Only complaint was the night time entertainment was very average but then we were tired most nights anyway with excursions the next day. A big trip and a lifetime memory.
Great cabin with ample room, plenty of storage space and the balcony was good. The cabin was quiet with a great bathroom with lovely hot shower. Deck seven was ideal as it was two floors from both the eating places and also the main entertainment areas
Olympia and the Flavours of ancient Greece - Took the tour to Olympia and wasn't disappointed. amazing ruins and the guide was exceptional with the amount of information. Our tour also included local music and dance along with drinks. Ouzo in large bottles for those wanting to try. Young Japanese girl in our group thought it was water she soon learnt different. Katakolon is only a smal town and for those not taking a tour there is not much there, plenty of little shops selling knick knacks.
Glad I did this trip in the cooler months. We did the trip to the acropolis and then to Cape Sounion. Beware at the acropolis of the sellers they are extremely persistent. Lot of walking to see the sights, but worth it.
In this port we chose the tour to "Ephesus". What ever you do don't miss going to Ephesus it is amazing. Won't spoil it but there is a lot to see. Including the toilet blocks for the fellas. WHen we got back from the tour we had time to walk around Izmir and had a meal on the waterfront. Our english got us through and we had a great local meal. Wasn't expensive. The shopping in the small streets was also quite cheap and a large range. the shops are within walking distance.
Ah the island of Rhodes a magic island where you must visit Lindos it takes about an hour to get to but worth the time. The small hill is steep but worth the climb. We returned from there and then had time to go into the old city of Rhodes and had lunch. Beware you know the costs of your meals as they can be expensive. They have beer they serve in a glass boot very nice it was and very friendly and trusting people. The jeweler left us his shop while he took one of our group to show them the toilets.