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First time cruisers from Canada, celebrating a milestone birthday with family. Our boarding was in Rome so we could potentially see this great city both before and after the cruise. We loved the itinerary, didn't know much about Costa so I read lots of reviews. Don't believe half of them, any cruise is only as good as your preparation and expectations. Yes, this is a very European cruise line, so expect children everywhere, lots of hustle and bustle. However the staff were great, the food was amazing, the shows very enjoyable. Boarding was smooth - we told the very first person we met that it was our first cruise and we didn't know anything. The desk staff were so friendly and helpful, and it was a smooth process. They even told us to try and hurry and we might still be able to get lunch, as we were just boarding right at 4pm. We made our way to Corona Blu (buffet) and the food was amazing! What's more, as they started to clear the staff told us we could go to the other side if we still wanted more food, as the Tea time was starting - sandwiches, desserts, tea and coffee. I had read the reviews complaining about lack of coffee and water, I can only assume they didn't buy a package. Coffee and tea were available at breakfast, tea time and dinner; however, we had the Intenditore included in our package at booking and we enjoyed espresso/cappuccino anytime. As others have said, we expected to know when we were departing but we didn't feel a time - after that first time, I made sure to head to the proper deck and enjoy "Con te Partiro" with each departure (as well as a new drink each time). We lost track of time after enjoying a great show, and the maître d' was gracious in allowing us into the second seating, which we set as our default after that! Wine selections provided by the friendly staff were amazing; food was plentiful with excellent choices, quality comparable to a Michelin restaurant. We were fortunate to dine at the Club Diadema, again was part of our booking, and we felt no interest in dining anywhere else. The staff got to know us and our preferences, and we had a constant supply of anything we'd want. One evening our mother was not feeling well and asked for a simple rice dish - staff went to another restaurant just to accommodate her request. As for excursions, we had quite a mix. In Savona, we simply milled around port and town, did some shopping and enjoyed the lovely town. Marseilles we took the Easy Bus Tour, loved it! Did same in Barcelona, Mallorca, and Sardinia - nice to have a half day tour, not have to get up too early, saw many sights while not stressing too much. I'd read a review that said (especially for first timers) to not try to do too much and end up stressed out by the end of your 'vacation'. Took it to heart. We have raved about this cruise to many people and hope they will enjoy as much as we did. We've caught the bug and will try another cruise sometime, maybe a different cruise line, and then we'll have something to compare. But don't let a few negative reviews impact your choice - find the points that are consistent across reviews and go with a positive expectation!

Do your research, read lots of reviews but don't believe half of them!

Costa Diadema Cruise Review by feedguy

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2018
  • Destination: Western Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Mini Suite with Ocean View Balcony
First time cruisers from Canada, celebrating a milestone birthday with family. Our boarding was in Rome so we could potentially see this great city both before and after the cruise. We loved the itinerary, didn't know much about Costa so I read lots of reviews. Don't believe half of them, any cruise is only as good as your preparation and expectations. Yes, this is a very European cruise line, so expect children everywhere, lots of hustle and bustle. However the staff were great, the food was amazing, the shows very enjoyable. Boarding was smooth - we told the very first person we met that it was our first cruise and we didn't know anything. The desk staff were so friendly and helpful, and it was a smooth process. They even told us to try and hurry and we might still be able to get lunch, as we were just boarding right at 4pm. We made our way to Corona Blu (buffet) and the food was amazing! What's more, as they started to clear the staff told us we could go to the other side if we still wanted more food, as the Tea time was starting - sandwiches, desserts, tea and coffee. I had read the reviews complaining about lack of coffee and water, I can only assume they didn't buy a package. Coffee and tea were available at breakfast, tea time and dinner; however, we had the Intenditore included in our package at booking and we enjoyed espresso/cappuccino anytime. As others have said, we expected to know when we were departing but we didn't feel a time - after that first time, I made sure to head to the proper deck and enjoy "Con te Partiro" with each departure (as well as a new drink each time). We lost track of time after enjoying a great show, and the maître d' was gracious in allowing us into the second seating, which we set as our default after that! Wine selections provided by the friendly staff were amazing; food was plentiful with excellent choices, quality comparable to a Michelin restaurant. We were fortunate to dine at the Club Diadema, again was part of our booking, and we felt no interest in dining anywhere else. The staff got to know us and our preferences, and we had a constant supply of anything we'd want. One evening our mother was not feeling well and asked for a simple rice dish - staff went to another restaurant just to accommodate her request.

As for excursions, we had quite a mix. In Savona, we simply milled around port and town, did some shopping and enjoyed the lovely town. Marseilles we took the Easy Bus Tour, loved it! Did same in Barcelona, Mallorca, and Sardinia - nice to have a half day tour, not have to get up too early, saw many sights while not stressing too much. I'd read a review that said (especially for first timers) to not try to do too much and end up stressed out by the end of your 'vacation'. Took it to heart. We have raved about this cruise to many people and hope they will enjoy as much as we did. We've caught the bug and will try another cruise sometime, maybe a different cruise line, and then we'll have something to compare. But don't let a few negative reviews impact your choice - find the points that are consistent across reviews and go with a positive expectation!
feedguy’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mini Suite with Ocean View Balcony
Cabin MS 1207
Cabin was lovely, 3 people in the suite, lots of storage, loved having the balcony.
Star of India Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • City Tour
    Beautiful city, La Sagrada Familia is a must see and we regretted not touring the inside.
    View All 247 City Tour Reviews
  • Marseille Tour
    First booked excursion, didn't want to risk too much walking, beautiful bus tour which touched all the main sights, optional spots to walk, gorgeous cathedral, great restaurants and marina.
    View All 66 Marseille Tour Reviews
  • City Tour
    Read in advance that the port is one of the stops of HOHO, so was very convenient to take this rather than an organized tour (plus we are not 'sit on the beach' people). What I didn't know is that the HOHO is cash only, make sure you have enough for your group. The sights and tour were great, city is beautiful, but the HOHO itself was actually quite bad - TWICE we had to get off the bus, operator said there was a problem with the bus. Even worse, the second time it happened we waited for the next bus and there was such a large crowd bustling to get on, we thought we would simply wait for the next bus. Unfortunately, there was no next bus - we didn't know that the HOHO stopped at 8pm on Sunday. We waited half an hour before calling the operator number, who informed me of the hours and said their was nothing they could do. We weren't far from port (nothing is REALLY far in Mallorca) and taxi cost was not a big deal - just very frustrating that another bus would not have been sent under the circumstances of one bus breaking down and the next bus/last bus that would obviously be overloaded.
    View All 64 City Tour Reviews
  • Historic Tour
    On boarding day our flight was delayed so it was straight to port and boarding, which was very smooth. However the cruise line was gracious to allow us to take an organized tour on our return to Cit, even holding our luggage for safekeeping. What a tour! Guides were amazing, saw all the best sights and took our time but resulted in us not visiting Trevi and the Spanish steps. Made it back to port just in time but well worth the craziness!
    View All 47 Historic Tour Reviews
  • Cagliari City Tour
    Loved Cagliari, beautiful city, the guide was fabulous, local lady who gave excellent information during the tour. Again, we are not beach people, so this tour was perfect for us.
    View All 23 Cagliari City Tour Reviews
  • Savona
    Stayed in Savona, lovely town and quaint port area, some great shopping.
    View All 27 Savona Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Savona Cruise Port Review