We chose this cruise at the last minute for a New Years Cruise, our first of this nature. The ship is beautiful, the cabin spacious, entertainment and activities are above average for a cruise of 7 days. BUT, this ship is really BEAUTIFUL, Murano glass, marble floors and highly polished interiors make the Luminosa a spectacular ship.
We had booked this cruise, allowing the cruise line to assign our room which turned out to be not that bad.
Embarkation was relatively painless, as was debarkation. We opted to walk off, a quicker way to exit the ship.
The bar staff is very well trained and energetic, however, timing should be redone to schedule more bartenders prior to dinner times as a crowd usually start to amass 30 minutes before assigned dinner seating's.
If you are going to enjoy cocktails, cappuccino, coffee, wine with dinner etc....it is recommended that you purchase a beverage package. We opted for the piu gusto. But be prepared to purchase water at cruise stops, less expensive.
Our cabin steward was fantastic, our room was always clean and he always had a pleasant hello when seen in the hallway.
Entertainment was wonderful, colorful, and everything I expected. The New Years Show was excellent. We opted for the Vueve champagne package which came with a private table on the upper deck during the festivities and was well worth the $69 paid.
Now for the sad part....I am of Italian descent, groomed in a kitchen and taught to cook at a very young age. That being said, our dinner menu leaves much to be desired.
On one seating, dinner served was "shrimp salad" appetizer (this was ridiculous as I was served 6 / 16-20 shrimp cold on 3 leaves of arugula) Granted, shrimp salad should be cold, but I expected somewhat more in a presentation and quantity.
Another seating, risotto with snow crab cluster was served (and by cluster I mean is should have said snow crab garnish) Not only was the snow crab cold, it was not prepared correctly as the meat could not be extracted from the shell without a fight. Additionally, no steel cracker, nor small fork was given to extract meat either.
On another night, a guest seated next to me laughed at the choice of his dinner which was hot dogs on a skewer....amazing even to be on the menu on an Italian Cruise Line.
The buffets were mundane at best....serving italian slice meats, runny scrambled eggs, and grilled pork chops....and that was breakfast.
Lunch is a similar buffet, bar the eggs, but still not spectacular.
Their waitstaff needs to visit a Disney Cruise Line and be trained in salutation and food delivery. No one I encountered in the buffet area, as far as staff, bothered to ask if everything was satisfactory, or if I needed any water or coffee. Smiles to not exist here.
Staff is barely present in the dining room, having one poor waiter taking care of about 30 diners. (Along with one back waiter)
The gelato bar is only open for a small window of time, so make plans to visit, it is wonderful.
Food is usually served cold and barely palatable. So much for the Michelin chef.
Moving on and off the ship are done very nicely with the utilization of your Costa Card, which is your payment card while on the ship.
Do not be drawn in by sales while on the ship, the merchandise is vastly overpriced to begin with, and even with a "sale" barely a deal. I purchase an iTouch smart watch, priced at $99, on sale for $69 only to find out later, that Amazon has the same watch with free shipping for $39. As the saying goes...."Let the buyer beware"
Ports of call are a plus on this ship, as Grand Turk, Amber Cove, Nassau, and Key West are nice stops. Be ready to experience the t-shirt extravaganza at all ports. I have been to most of these ports before and knew what to expect. That being said, I have my favorite vendors in most ports, especially Nassau.
We opted to rent chairs and an umbrella in Grand Turk and had a great time at the pool. $45 covers your rental all day and includes a solar powered cooler for your beverages...a nice touch.
In Key West, if you have never been before, opt for the hop-on hop-off trolley. A nice excursion around the town with narration on the history of this great town. Do the Duval walk about and be charmed at what Key West is all about....you will love it.
In Amber Cove, we took the excursion to Puerta Plata and surrounding area to include the cigar factory, the Don Fernando ranch, and the chocolate factory. Some hype about each of the factories products, but we purchase cigars and chocolate just the same. Lunch was provided at the ranch and was wonderful.
On a closing note, the cruise line should be aware of families travelling with small children and NOT seat them at the second seating of dinner (8:30pm) as they are usually cranky and run amuk in the dining room, or cry through most of dinner, not impressive.
I hope this review help you in your choice of cruise lines for your next vacation.
Cabins are well laid out, with plenty of room to move around. We like the ability to open the doors and have fresh air available. If you have the chance, book one of the balcony rooms. Be warned, deck 5 is just above the life rafts and as such, has the lights on all night which take away from the quiet ocean view.
There is plenty of storage space available, and laundry services are available if you need them.
The bathroom is well planned but only one area to include both toilet and shower.
Puerto Plata tour of the cigar factory, Ranch, and chocolate factory was entertaining with a wonderful lunch.View All 60 City Tour Reviews
Love this port....I have been several times and know what to expect and where my favorite vendors are located.
Rented chairs and umbrella at the Margaritaville pool and had a great time.
Puerto Plata tour of cigar factory and ranch was a big hit....lunch was wonderful.
Our guide, BOB, did an amazing job. His knowledge of Key West was a testament to his job.View All 176 Trolley Tour Reviews