Pasta & Pizza, with hoards of children!!!: Costa Pacifica Cruise Review by Broadsword

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Pasta & Pizza, with hoards of children!!!

Sail Date: May 2010
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Barcelona
My wife and I have cruised with Costa before so we knew before embarking in Barcelona what to expect.This cruise company offer a well packaged holiday particularly for families with children, Pacifica was no different with lots and lots of them.This was accompanied with the usual loud music so you can imagine the subsequent noise levels, and tough if you are a light sleeper!!

Barcelona is one of the better ports to join a ship as it is very accessible but unfortunately we had the ongoing problem of volcanic dust with our flight having been cancelled, so a hasty plan B was initiated! Can I make a special mention to Maria at Costa customer services for arranging alternative flights when all others abandoned us at Edinburgh Airport,if not for Maria we would not have caught the sail away at 7pm.

Our balcony cabin on deck 6 had adequate storage,spacious and was well appointed with a large comfortable Queen-sized bed. I was a bit disappointed with the clingy shower More curtain you have a wrestle with when showering. There was also those awful shampoo/body wash on the shower wall along with those small bars of soap.I thought that this was not in keeping with this grade of cabin or even the age of this ship which is just a year old.

Entertainment was very European which we expected, lots of slapstick and speciality acts as well the revue-style shows with the resident on board singers and dancers which were fabulously glitzy and stunning with lightening costume changes. There was also a quite brilliant illusionist called "The Great Mago Martin" who performed a quite stunning "Metamorphosis" absolutely breathtaking, and a must see. The theatre had three levels with an ornamental style with garish colours. There were also quite a few bad sight lines.

This ship has a musical design theme with musical symbols and instruments on the public doors. The passenger flow was not that good particularly in the evening prior and after dining. There were far too many passengers for the size of the ship, too narrow low roofs and claustrophobic with nearly 3,800 passengers. We have been on ships with a larger tonnage with a lot less guests.

The bathing areas have magrudrome glass roofs that open and close for your convenience but again extremely noisy and chaotic as well as having many more large smoking areas than normal!

There are two main restaurants { New York New York and My way } with two fixed seatings 7pm and 9.30pm. They operate a open seating at lunch times but it is worth pointing out that meeting new friends is somewhat of a challenge if you are English speaking only!! One comfort, you can always have a conversation with one of the waiters as most can speak or understand 5 languages!!! We have always preferred second sitting dining but not at 9.30!! far too late so we plumped for first. The cuisine on offer is traditional Italian fare but they do have an alternative dining option the Blue Moon which requires a reservation. This gourmet signature restaurant has a wonderful location at the stern under a huge glass dome at a cover charge of 20 euros. We did try this elegant dining room but I have to say we were disappointed with our selection. We found the food bland and tasteless with the service not much better. Maybe the reason for this was not taking advantage of their outrageously overpriced wine list.

We found the Pacifica quite frustrating and complicated trying to find our way around. Countless times over the first 3 days we found ourselves having to stop and ask a crew member directions, even to the nearest toilet!!! THe restaurants on decks 3 and 4 for example could not be accessed on that level if walking. It was either a direct elevator or go up to deck 5 and then walk along and then down to the lower decks!!!

The Captain`s cocktail party and formal nights on Italian ships are a bit different from other cruise companies we have sailed with. Chino`s and an open neck shirt with the posing draped polo jersey over the shoulders is the European idea of dressing up for these formal nights { and that is just the women !!! only joking } My wife and I were very resplendent in our evening attire but felt way overdressed. It is a pity as there is not a better sight on a formal evening than to see the ladies in all their splendour.

This cruise line is suitable for those who like to enjoy the party atmosphere are prepared to cruise with families and hundreds of children, full bars and lounges with glitzy and baroque style decor. Noisy and the love of all things casual even on the so called formal nights!! Less

Published 05/31/10

Cabin review: 6328

Port and Shore Excursions

Our most favourite Island Malta,where Britain meets Italy meets North Africa from the history of the walled capital city Valleta to the quaint bus which transports you around the island. Malta has a long and association with britain, drive on the left and Valleta had a great strategic importance. During world War 2 its heroic resistance to air siege and bombardment led to the award of the Georgre Cross. If History is not your thing then Gozo and Comino are smaller islands which can be reached by ferry and is well worth a visit.

Did not really have enough time on this island to really appreciate its highlights. Left at 1 pm !! Have been many times before so we relaxed on the ship.

Did not enjoy this port at all and felt very ucomfortable! I think it is advisable to take a ships tour. We decided to walk into the town centre from the ship which took around 15 minutes. it does have a resonable sea front promenade with some small restaurants to stop and have a coffee, but be warned there are no prices on display and you will be ripped off. I got the feeling that the cost was made up on the hoof that they could get away with!! I am embarrassed to admit it but we were charged over 5 euros for 2 regular coffee`s!!! Out of curiosity we checked out the prices in a local hotel for a coffee and surprisingly that just over the 2 dinars { around a pound } Would not rush back!!!

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