Cruise Costa Luminosa 1st – 8th July 2017
We have just returned from our first cruise on Costa. After reading lots of negative reports I did go with some trepidation. However the whole cruise exceeded my expectations and wonder if I was on the same cruise line as the people complaining. Now this is a positive report so if you are not into that then best stop reading.
The whole package was booked through an online travel agent far cheaper than booking direct. There was four of us me, hubby, two daughters age 23 and 16. We chose a premier balcony cabin with drinks package. We had cabin 6339 in the middle of the ship.
We really liked our cabin the room was made up for 4 sleeping and was left that way the whole cruise. This was perfect for us as if we all wanted a nap we all had somewhere to sleep. There was loads of storage two big wardrobes and one shelving unit. There was also a small chest of drawers, a cupboard and two small bedside cupboards. We could fit two of the cases under the bed but the others we stacked in the corner of the room. If we weren’t using both wardrobes then I assume we could have put them there. The cabin was very clean and kept that way the whole cruise. There was a fridge which we used for some snack items. However be aware that on the last night they lock the fridge and not sure what happened to the cake I had in there! I didn’t want it but wondered if there was something else then would it be lost. The balcony was a great size but with 4 in the cabin could do with 4 chairs. However every cruise line we have been on only gives 2 chairs.
Well I totally fell in love with Venice, even in the heat of July. It exceeded my expectations in every way. Yes it was crowded in the very touristy spots but a few streets away you could find yourself in an empty square or ally. We bought the Rick Steves guide book and did the walking tours that took us to areas that we never would have found. Well worth buying lots of tips. The food was not as expensive as I had imagined we used trip advisor to find out of the way restaurants and wine bars. We ate where the locals ate and it was fabulous. We added 3 nights onto our cruise to do Venice which allowed us to do the islands of Murano and Burano. Both well worth the boat trip. We bought 3 day travel cards which were needed as our hotel was outside the city. We decided to stay in a 3 star hotel in Mestre a lovely old Italian town. This proved really good as we got off the ship onto the people mover off on the number 2 bus right outside our hotel door. If we had chosen to stay in Venice it would have involved quite a lengthy walk with cases. From Mestre station we took the coach back to Marco Polo airport.
This was lovely little town and since the shipped docked at the town was easy to walk around yourself. We walked up to the castle and views were fantastic. We didn’t really do much else in the this port just enjoyed our first cruise port.
I had done my homework and knew that there would be a local bus to take us into town or we could walk. Since it was only a 4 hour stop we elected to catch the bus there and look to see the walk was ok. Costa claimed 4K to town centre, not true it is about 2.5 km and a nice easy 25 min walk. The local bus charges 1.7 euros each to the centre. Costa wanted something like 11 euros return! There is a free shuttle bus from the ship to the coach / bus area or you can walk. We tend to walk where ever we can as it is much nicer. Corfu doesn’t need an excursion at all you can wander around the town and enjoy the atmosphere. Since we arrived after 4pm into Corfu all the museums etc. were shutting so if you are interested in the forts then you will be disappointed in the timings. We just wandered bought a couple for nik naks and then stopped for a drink and mixed starter platter. We don’t normally eat off ship but we knew that we would miss dinner (early sitting ) and thought it made up for it. We had a snack when we got back on in the buffet. Lovely port but could have done with coming earlier and staying a little longer.
Since we had an overnight stop arriving at midday we decided to walk into Dubrovnik. Now on google maps it said 45 mins, and yes it is a long walk up hill! Really regretted doing it as it was so hot. We walked back as well in the eve but it was downhill and much cooler. The next day we took the local bus at 12 Kuna single ride each person. We bought the tickets at the bus station as it was 3 Kuna cheaper than buying on the bus. Dubrovnik is a great city but on hot days it seems hotter. We explored the town the first afternoon stopping for a drink at the harbour side. Quite expensive in the city for drinks and food. The next day we paid to walk around the walls and it was 150 Kuna per adult and 50 Kuna for under 18s. Well worth doing and is about 1hr to walk. We then explored the city some more and found off a main square a little supermarket. Bought cold drinks and ice creams in there for vastly reduced prices. You are not frowned upon sitting on the steps drinking. There was a little market on and I bought some lovely lavender oils and Rose oil from a stall. Glad we had the extra time as the ship wasn’t originally set to dock until the morning.