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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.

Birthday cruise on the Diadema

Costa Diadema Cruise Review by bazbov

15 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2018
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Premium Inside
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.
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Cabin Review

Premium Inside
Cabin IP 8271
Cabin 8271 at the aft of the ship, only 1 cabin next door and next to a mini suite. Very little vibration. Plenty of storage and serviced by the wonderful Marie.
Hortensia Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins