We were looking for a Mediterranean cruise to take the middle week of a three week vacation. After reading a lot of reviews, we booked this cruise on the Costa Diadema with a little bit of trepidation as it seemed a majority of the reviews were either four star or one star.
From the very beginning, we knew we were going to love this cruise.....checkin at Civitavecchia was seamless -- we showed our tickets and passports and were boarded without a wait....have never had that happen on any cruise ship, yet alone one that had close to 5,000 passengers on it!
The cabin was nice sized with very comfortable bed and ample room to move around. Our cabin steward was outstanding the entire week. Since we had been on vacation for a week already, we had laundry needs, and Costa was the best, with a laundry special of 25 pieces for a flat rate of $20 euros, washed and folded. The cabin was made up each morning and evening.
Dining was a great experience every evening in the Fiorentino Ristorante. Our waiter, Ajid, was the best we've ever had on a cruise. The menu was fantastic, with three or four special choices in each category, plus a standard Italian fare always available. My wife and I both cook gourmet recipes, and this food was five star in every respect; choice, presentation, flavor and service. Being from USA we had bottled water at our table each evening free of charge. Sparkling for me, still for my wife, with full bottles sitting on the table when we sat down. We were never rushed, nor did we ever wait too long. We ate at the Teppanyaki Grill one evening and it was a fun show and marvelous Japanese food, right down to the Miso soup and Asian ginger salad. We had lunch one day at the Lido buffet, and like most cruises, found it to be a feeding frenzy, although the food was better than we've had on other cruises. Most mornings we opted for breakfast in our cabin at no charge, as we had paid a little extra for premium services.
The excursions were well planned and reasonable, as cruise ships go. We appreciated the fact that Costa forewarns customers which excursions might be difficult for mobility impaired passengers. We took three 'easy' tours, which were perfect and still let us enjoy the major sights of each port....
Disembarking was just as easy and flawless as getting on the ship! No long waiting for our time slot, we were out of the cabin at the required 8:00 a.m. time, went to breakfast, retrieved our passports and left the ship to find our luggage waiting.
Would we take Costa again? In a heartbeat! We have decided that all the negative reviews come from people who do not understand European service. While many of the passengers seemed rude and would brush by you, that is just the way they are. Announcements were always made in several languages and easy to understand. The 10 euro daily service fee is below that of most other cruise lines, and in fact we tipped both our room steward and waiter additional before we left the ship. Ship crew was not indifferent as many people have said, but were attentive to and responsive to all of our needs.
Well done, Costa Diadema, and thank you for a wonderful experience!
Wonderful, great service, clean, outstanding room steward. Cabin made up in the morning and before bedtime.
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