I was really excited to get back and give Costa Deliziosa a proper review. I am not sure which cruise most folks that have had issues with this cruise sailed on though my experience was completely opposite.
So yes I have been on about 10 cruises in The U S and one out of Rome. Also I used to work on a ship (Everyone a large vessel is not a boat. It is a ship) years ago.
Pre registration was super easy and the port personnel shared that I was one of the first people he encountered that actually read and filled out all of the needed paperwork before reaching the port.
Our ship didn’t leave port until 11 p.m. I showed up around 12:30 p.m. Check In was about 5 minutes. I sat down and waited for my group # to be called. It was called about a 1/2hr after I checked in.
On this cruise (Keep in mind this may change) your actual stateroom key is not given to you at check in. It is on your bed in an envelope. I did a quick check of my room, said hello to my stateroom host and went exploring the ship.
A tip. Walk around the ship if you arrive early and take pictures of the different decks, spaces and areas. Just about everyone else is at the buffet so you will get some amazing unobstructed pictures.
After the pictures I went to the buffet. I was pretty surprised due to the bad reviews. The food was good. There is something for everyone. Obviously yes there was pasta though lots of proteins, salads, cheeses, breads, soups, etc. There is free pizza and hamburgers and fries for lunch each day at the buffet. Yes there is an additional charge if you wanted to partake in a special experience of them at night though it is a larger portion and presented in a meal function vs. self serve.
My bags were delivered to my room about 2 hours after I boarded.
I did receive a drink package with my room though choose to upgrade it to the highest tier. Honestly there was no need for me to do that because the drink I had for the 10 days was included in my initial package. Oh well
Update as of February 2019 (This may have changed by time you are reading this). The Samsara regular cabins only get access to the spa area stairs/elevator, spa rooms (Not included are massages and services). You do not get access to The Samsara Resturant anymore and need to make a reservation like everyone else and pay the extra charge. Samsara Suites do get all of the above privileges along with a drink package minus the massages and services.
First thing to do is join Costa Club. It takes seconds and is free. Your new club number may not show up online on your reservation if you get the number after you book the reservation though it will be noted and recognized on board. There are quite a bit of perks along with 50% of the specialty restaurants on board along with discounts on certain drinks, shops and spa.
A couple I met are loyal members and receive major discounts on their cruises along with upgrades. Shared it was for sure worth it.
The buffet was so good I ate lunch and dinner there everyday except for dinner in the dining room on my first night. I did meet a cool cruise mate the first night and build a friendship for the next few days. I travel by myself and it was nice to have company for a few days. He was on a work trip and left after 4 days.
Out of the numerous crew members I encountered only one was a bit grumpy. Came to find out he had a newborn at home and had months left on his current contract. This didn’t give him the excuse not to be “on” though it sort of made sense. He did lighten up a bit as the cruise came to a close.
So I had an absolute great time on my first 10 day Costa Cruise. I made friends with a few of the crew members. If you do eat at the buffet do read the hours in the daily guide. For some odd reason the hours changed on the 8th night and create some unhappy moments. I shared with the staff that was simply silly and moved on.
I opted to take my bags off the ship in Ft Lauderdale. Lined up about 15 minutes before the published times. Was about 15th or so in line. Cleared Customs in 5 minutes. There was a van directly outside the exit hall that took about a dozen of us to the airport.
I am getting ready to head out on another cruise on a different line in a few weeks though will have Costa on my mind for some time.
Perfect size and view from balcony