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My wife and I (both active 60-year old’s) have been on a couple of Carnival Cruises, first time on Costa. We sailed mid-January on the 10-day cruise out of Fr. Lauderdale. We chose this cruise due to the length of time and price. It was dirt cheap and we had very low expectations. I had read all the reviews and was worried about coffee, water, drinks, and food. On top of all that, I am very fussy, not much patience with sloppy effort and cleanliness, but was determined to be mellow and go with the flow. Getting on and off the ship was incredibly easy both at check-in, port stops and debarking to leave. The cabin: we were on the 7th floor and had a balcony. We brought way too much luggage, 4 suitcases, and 2 backpacks. I had 12 items on hangers from the cleaners and enough clothes for a month. Everything fit easily in the closets and draws; I was shocked by how much space there was. There is a great safe in the room. Easy to use and in the closet. The room was 275 sf, a queen bed, and a couch. The bed was comfortable enough and the pillows were OK. We wanted 2 extra pillows and asked. They came within an hour. There is a small end table with a light on both sides of the bed, there is a coffee table and a full couch. Lots of counter space and ONE American style plug. I had brought and an extension cord with multiple plugs on the end and it was fine. There is a hard-wired blow dryer in one of the draws, which worked well. There is a small fridge which is stocked with drinks and snacks at an extra charge. We took everything out, stored it, and loaded it up with our own stuff. The balcony was awesome. Big, two nice chairs and a coffee table. Did not smell cig or cigar smoke. About halfway thru cruise, we got a note they were going to be washing the balconies at the next port. While in port, they cleaned all the glass on the outside balconies amazingly clean. The surface was hard and scaly, can’t believe how clean they got the glass. We spent much more time on the balcony when cruising than expected. The bathroom: They have a corner shower stall that was more than large enough. I’m 6’3, 240 and had more than ample room. Add the water pressure was great and hot water endless. Really surprised. Plenty of shelves on each side of the mirror. Our attendant cleaned it spotless every day and provided plenty of fresh towels. There are also 2 beach towels in the closet to take off the ship and to the beach. Overall the cabin and everything in it exceeded our expectations; by a lot. Food: I am the king of food an on several FB pages posting reviews and pics and flood my own page with food every day. We eat at 5-star restaurants as well as Taco Bell. I always insist wherever I eat its hot and fresh, even taco bell. We must remember we are on an Italian ship and the food is going to be a little different. And it was. Buffett: Free Coffee and Free Water available in multiple stations almost 24/7. Coffee was GREAT, the water was good. Both exceeded expectations as well as cruise reviews that said there was none. It was everywhere. Breakfast: the first time I ever saw fresh eggs over easy, hot, at a buffet. Bacon, the ship made sausage, and a little bit of everything from fish, to cold cuts to roast half tomato. I loved it. Plenty of stations and plenty of food. Sanitation station at the start of each buffet station. Clean clean clean. Buffett Lunch and Dinner Food Food Food. Not typical American buffet where way too much food is out and exposed with lots tossed out every sitting. Costa provides many choices, its all hot, it's all fresh and it's all good. I ate everything in sight and tried everything. Deserts, pastries, cheese, rolls, bread. If you can’t be satisfied with the offerings, I suggest staying home, your too fussy. Pizza: I read pizza was and extra charge. Out of Florida, it was not. It was included and it was great. Guy cranks them out continuously. Coming back from a port in the afternoon, they are ready and cranking them out. I ate pizza every day; multiple times. Snacks: At the buffet stations they do snacks from 3-4:30. Cold cut sliders, cookies, deserts, all fresh and perfect when your off-ship all day in port. Pizza also going at the same time. Salad Bar: They have an area with salad, hamburgers and hot dogs that goes until 2 in the morning. Dining Room: Included with ticket We had second seating and sat with an American couple the entire cruise, With the exception of one oddball European entrée, everything was good to great. Its seven-course meal and takes about 90 minutes. Service was adequate and we did not need anything. The first night the waiter asked what kind of water we wanted, and he proved each couple with a cold 2-liter bottle every night. If we ran out, he got another bottle. We have coffee a few nights and had no issues at all. Dinner exceeded expectations. Poolside Food: Every day at lunch they set up a huge spread of food. From pasta to fruit to sandwiches. Food everywhere. I gained 9 pounds on the cruise Paid Dining and High-End Pastry/coffee shop. We intended to try a couple but found all the offerings better than expected and never paid extra. I got a couple of gelatos from the coffee shop; they were good and only 3 bucks (American) Beverage Service and packages: Multiple packages. We did not buy. There were ample water and coffee and we opted to buy drinks when we wanted them. Beer consisted of Heineken or some other European beer. Not a fan of them but were cold and reasonably priced. You want to join Costa Club for free. Drinks are automatically discounted, like 10-25%. Worth it and free. The service was excellent. If you wanted a drink a server would quickly get it, if you wanted to order from a bar, it was simple and fast. Very impressed with service. Everyone is happy to help you. When we were at our first stop, we bought a dozen spring water bottles at a dollar each and brought them on board. Casino Lots of slots and about 15 table games. Unlike an American ship, there was not a lot of action. Maybe not a big attraction for European people? Shows: Each night in the grand theater at 7:15 and 9. Singing, Dancing, something different every night. Most of the singing is in Italian. All shows satisfactory. Probably no TV pilot will emerge, but they were decent. Ship Piano Bars. I think there were 2/3, we stuck with one and they were GREAT. Above average and excellent. Main lounge on Level 2. 2 bands playing non-stop from 4 or 5 until 1 AM. One band would play their set; when they went on break, the other band took over. One band was 3 pc and 2 great singers, the other was one piece and one singer. Seamless, smooth and way above average voices and entertainment. Crew Entertainers: The jewels of the ship. About a dozen staff members. Doing contest, teaching dancing, starting dancing and showing a good time for everyone. They were genuinely trying to ensure everyone was having fun. Classy. I saw both male and female staff dancing with passengers with the utmost respect. Passengers were appreciative and you could see how good they felt with individual attention from the staff. And let me tell you, these staff members can dance, and they have endless energy and smiles. I enjoyed watching them interact and work hard. And they were funny as heck. BRAVO !!!! Ship staff; No issues, everyone trying hard. Exceeded expectation. Ship cleanliness and upkeep. The ship was in almost perfect condition and was spotlessly clean. Sanitary, spotless. Exceeded expectations. At every port, they were whitewashing the ship. Every port they washed the ship !!!!!!!!! Port Excursions: We did not buy any excursions. We researched ahead of time and went out on our own so we cannot comment on this; however, I did cross reference many of the excursions offered vs buying them on your own and there was not much markup. If I wanted an excursion, I would have booked with the ship. Ports: Freeport: They have a large area where the ships come in that are fenced off and controlled. Food, shopping, plenty to do here for a few hours. If you want to leave the port and head downtown, there is a taxi stand when you need to wait until there are 10 passengers. The wait is 5-30 minutes and is 10 dollars per person. There are literally 30 cabs waiting and they will not let a cab leave with 2 people unless you pay a steep premium. Instead, they all sit there with a fraction of the business they could have. Not a good system and the taxi porter that day was a (not nice person). My suggested cure for this is for the cruise ships to forget Freeport and go somewhere else. Ocho Rios This was a good stop* The ship was docked at an industrial dock used for loading sand onto barges. They have been working on the port to bring in more ships and they are doing a good job. There are lots of beaches and the port is fenced in to keep the locals out. You need to walk out of the fenced-in port to get in town or to the beaches. ** Warning. There is a literal gauntlet of cab drivers and “tour guides” you need to walk through to exit and at the exit. Like at least 150 semi-aggressive guys. This goes on for about 500 feet from the gate and once you clear them, it’s a beautiful walk downtown along the ocean. We walked about a mile and a half to the far end of town, did some shopping, had something to eat at an open-air restaurant and it was decent. Lots of high-end shops and lots of dirt-poor places selling goods which are open to old fashioned bartering. People openly smoking ganja was comical. We walked back to the original Margaritaville and it was great. Right on the ocean, our ship in the background, (see pics) nachos, drinks and the best gift shop of the entire trip. Ironically, when we were downtown, we mingled with a group on an excursion from our ship…(LOL). However, if you’re not good at saying no to aggressive locals at the exit port, the excursion route is the way to go. Wi-Fi is available at any place you but a drink and is free. Rotan, Honduras Shockingly, the best stop on the 10-day cruise! Carnival has invested millions in this port, and it shows. Luxury landscaping, shopping, Mahogany Beach all within walking distance. $5 all-day Wi-Fi (pic) at the start of the shopping plaza and a short walk to the beach. They have a tram for $14 each to the beach…….it’s a very short walk without taking it. The beach was the best on the cruise and the ship was right next to it. (pic) Food and drink at the beach, lifeguards and security everywhere, can’t get over how nice it was. Cozumel 9 ships in port the day we were there. We walked along the coast to downtown. It was hot and a mistake. 3 miles. Cabs everywhere and a fixed price is the way to go. We had lunch downtown, free Wi-Fi___33 and a very nice place. Felt safe. Progresso, Mexico the port is very nice with shopping and restaurants, after that it’s all downhill. They have free buses which take you to downtown and meet up for excursions or just drop you off at a shopping market. You can get to a beach from here also. We left the drop-off point and heading in town. There was a funky tour bus we did not get on (see pic) but heard it was fun from a fellow passenger. We walked about 2000 feet into downtown and turned around. Although it felt safe, it’s just a very poor old country downtown. Not really a tourist place to walk around. We went back to the drop-off point and the bus operator also offers direct excursions (I had read about this), so we booked a trip to the Mayan ruins 30 min away. We traveled in a nice minivan with 6 other passengers for $36 each. It was half the price for the same booking through the ship. The Mayan ruins were great and I’m glad we went, I highly recommend. We had a drink at a port bar next to the ship and it was pretty good. Nassau It’s a good stop, something for everyone. We walked to the beach, ate at a great place, drank beer and had fun. Right next to the ship. Free internet at the bar, lots to see and lots of shopping along the walk.

Exceeded expectations, I want to go back !!!!

Costa Luminosa Cruise Review by ddandreo

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2020
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Classic
My wife and I (both active 60-year old’s) have been on a couple of Carnival Cruises, first time on Costa. We sailed mid-January on the 10-day cruise out of Fr. Lauderdale. We chose this cruise due to the length of time and price. It was dirt cheap and we had very low expectations. I had read all the reviews and was worried about coffee, water, drinks, and food. On top of all that, I am very fussy, not much patience with sloppy effort and cleanliness, but was determined to be mellow and go with the flow.

Getting on and off the ship was incredibly easy both at check-in, port stops and debarking to leave.

The cabin: we were on the 7th floor and had a balcony. We brought way too much luggage, 4 suitcases, and 2 backpacks. I had 12 items on hangers from the cleaners and enough clothes for a month. Everything fit easily in the closets and draws; I was shocked by how much space there was.

There is a great safe in the room. Easy to use and in the closet.

The room was 275 sf, a queen bed, and a couch. The bed was comfortable enough and the pillows were OK. We wanted 2 extra pillows and asked. They came within an hour. There is a small end table with a light on both sides of the bed, there is a coffee table and a full couch. Lots of counter space and ONE American style plug. I had brought and an extension cord with multiple plugs on the end and it was fine. There is a hard-wired blow dryer in one of the draws, which worked well. There is a small fridge which is stocked with drinks and snacks at an extra charge. We took everything out, stored it, and loaded it up with our own stuff.

The balcony was awesome. Big, two nice chairs and a coffee table. Did not smell cig or cigar smoke. About halfway thru cruise, we got a note they were going to be washing the balconies at the next port. While in port, they cleaned all the glass on the outside balconies amazingly clean. The surface was hard and scaly, can’t believe how clean they got the glass. We spent much more time on the balcony when cruising than expected.

The bathroom: They have a corner shower stall that was more than large enough. I’m 6’3, 240 and had more than ample room. Add the water pressure was great and hot water endless. Really surprised. Plenty of shelves on each side of the mirror. Our attendant cleaned it spotless every day and provided plenty of fresh towels. There are also 2 beach towels in the closet to take off the ship and to the beach.

Overall the cabin and everything in it exceeded our expectations; by a lot.

Food: I am the king of food an on several FB pages posting reviews and pics and flood my own page with food every day. We eat at 5-star restaurants as well as Taco Bell. I always insist wherever I eat its hot and fresh, even taco bell.

We must remember we are on an Italian ship and the food is going to be a little different. And it was.

Buffett: Free Coffee and Free Water available in multiple stations almost 24/7. Coffee was GREAT, the water was good. Both exceeded expectations as well as cruise reviews that said there was none. It was everywhere.

Breakfast: the first time I ever saw fresh eggs over easy, hot, at a buffet. Bacon, the ship made sausage, and a little bit of everything from fish, to cold cuts to roast half tomato. I loved it. Plenty of stations and plenty of food. Sanitation station at the start of each buffet station. Clean clean clean.

Buffett Lunch and Dinner Food Food Food. Not typical American buffet where way too much food is out and exposed with lots tossed out every sitting. Costa provides many choices, its all hot, it's all fresh and it's all good. I ate everything in sight and tried everything. Deserts, pastries, cheese, rolls, bread. If you can’t be satisfied with the offerings, I suggest staying home, your too fussy.

Pizza: I read pizza was and extra charge. Out of Florida, it was not. It was included and it was great. Guy cranks them out continuously. Coming back from a port in the afternoon, they are ready and cranking them out. I ate pizza every day; multiple times.

Snacks: At the buffet stations they do snacks from 3-4:30. Cold cut sliders, cookies, deserts, all fresh and perfect when your off-ship all day in port. Pizza also going at the same time.

Salad Bar: They have an area with salad, hamburgers and hot dogs that goes until 2 in the morning.

Dining Room: Included with ticket We had second seating and sat with an American couple the entire cruise, With the exception of one oddball European entrée, everything was good to great. Its seven-course meal and takes about 90 minutes. Service was adequate and we did not need anything. The first night the waiter asked what kind of water we wanted, and he proved each couple with a cold 2-liter bottle every night. If we ran out, he got another bottle. We have coffee a few nights and had no issues at all. Dinner exceeded expectations.

Poolside Food: Every day at lunch they set up a huge spread of food. From pasta to fruit to sandwiches. Food everywhere.

I gained 9 pounds on the cruise

Paid Dining and High-End Pastry/coffee shop. We intended to try a couple but found all the offerings better than expected and never paid extra. I got a couple of gelatos from the coffee shop; they were good and only 3 bucks (American)

Beverage Service and packages: Multiple packages. We did not buy. There were ample water and coffee and we opted to buy drinks when we wanted them. Beer consisted of Heineken or some other European beer. Not a fan of them but were cold and reasonably priced.

You want to join Costa Club for free.

Drinks are automatically discounted, like 10-25%. Worth it and free.

The service was excellent. If you wanted a drink a server would quickly get it, if you wanted to order from a bar, it was simple and fast. Very impressed with service. Everyone is happy to help you. When we were at our first stop, we bought a dozen spring water bottles at a dollar each and brought them on board.

Casino Lots of slots and about 15 table games. Unlike an American ship, there was not a lot of action. Maybe not a big attraction for European people?

Shows: Each night in the grand theater at 7:15 and 9. Singing, Dancing, something different every night. Most of the singing is in Italian. All shows satisfactory. Probably no TV pilot will emerge, but they were decent.

Ship Piano Bars. I think there were 2/3, we stuck with one and they were GREAT. Above average and excellent.

Main lounge on Level 2. 2 bands playing non-stop from 4 or 5 until 1 AM. One band would play their set; when they went on break, the other band took over. One band was 3 pc and 2 great singers, the other was one piece and one singer. Seamless, smooth and way above average voices and entertainment.

Crew Entertainers: The jewels of the ship. About a dozen staff members. Doing contest, teaching dancing, starting dancing and showing a good time for everyone. They were genuinely trying to ensure everyone was having fun. Classy. I saw both male and female staff dancing with passengers with the utmost respect. Passengers were appreciative and you could see how good they felt with individual attention from the staff. And let me tell you, these staff members can dance, and they have endless energy and smiles. I enjoyed watching them interact and work hard. And they were funny as heck. BRAVO !!!!

Ship staff; No issues, everyone trying hard. Exceeded expectation.

Ship cleanliness and upkeep. The ship was in almost perfect condition and was spotlessly clean. Sanitary, spotless. Exceeded expectations. At every port, they were whitewashing the ship. Every port they washed the ship !!!!!!!!!

Port Excursions: We did not buy any excursions. We researched ahead of time and went out on our own so we cannot comment on this; however, I did cross reference many of the excursions offered vs buying them on your own and there was not much markup. If I wanted an excursion, I would have booked with the ship.

Ports:

Freeport: They have a large area where the ships come in that are fenced off and controlled. Food, shopping, plenty to do here for a few hours. If you want to leave the port and head downtown, there is a taxi stand when you need to wait until there are 10 passengers. The wait is 5-30 minutes and is 10 dollars per person. There are literally 30 cabs waiting and they will not let a cab leave with 2 people unless you pay a steep premium. Instead, they all sit there with a fraction of the business they could have. Not a good system and the taxi porter that day was a (not nice person). My suggested cure for this is for the cruise ships to forget Freeport and go somewhere else.

Ocho Rios This was a good stop* The ship was docked at an industrial dock used for loading sand onto barges. They have been working on the port to bring in more ships and they are doing a good job. There are lots of beaches and the port is fenced in to keep the locals out. You need to walk out of the fenced-in port to get in town or to the beaches.

** Warning. There is a literal gauntlet of cab drivers and “tour guides” you need to walk through to exit and at the exit. Like at least 150 semi-aggressive guys. This goes on for about 500 feet from the gate and once you clear them, it’s a beautiful walk downtown along the ocean. We walked about a mile and a half to the far end of town, did some shopping, had something to eat at an open-air restaurant and it was decent. Lots of high-end shops and lots of dirt-poor places selling goods which are open to old fashioned bartering. People openly smoking ganja was comical.

We walked back to the original Margaritaville and it was great. Right on the ocean, our ship in the background, (see pics) nachos, drinks and the best gift shop of the entire trip.

Ironically, when we were downtown, we mingled with a group on an excursion from our ship…(LOL). However, if you’re not good at saying no to aggressive locals at the exit port, the excursion route is the way to go. Wi-Fi is available at any place you but a drink and is free.

Rotan, Honduras Shockingly, the best stop on the 10-day cruise! Carnival has invested millions in this port, and it shows. Luxury landscaping, shopping, Mahogany Beach all within walking distance. $5 all-day Wi-Fi (pic) at the start of the shopping plaza and a short walk to the beach. They have a tram for $14 each to the beach…….it’s a very short walk without taking it. The beach was the best on the cruise and the ship was right next to it. (pic) Food and drink at the beach, lifeguards and security everywhere, can’t get over how nice it was.

Cozumel 9 ships in port the day we were there. We walked along the coast to downtown. It was hot and a mistake. 3 miles. Cabs everywhere and a fixed price is the way to go. We had lunch downtown, free Wi-Fi___33 and a very nice place. Felt safe.

Progresso, Mexico the port is very nice with shopping and restaurants, after that it’s all downhill. They have free buses which take you to downtown and meet up for excursions or just drop you off at a shopping market. You can get to a beach from here also. We left the drop-off point and heading in town. There was a funky tour bus we did not get on (see pic) but heard it was fun from a fellow passenger. We walked about 2000 feet into downtown and turned around. Although it felt safe, it’s just a very poor old country downtown. Not really a tourist place to walk around. We went back to the drop-off point and the bus operator also offers direct excursions (I had read about this), so we booked a trip to the Mayan ruins 30 min away. We traveled in a nice minivan with 6 other passengers for $36 each. It was half the price for the same booking through the ship. The Mayan ruins were great and I’m glad we went, I highly recommend. We had a drink at a port bar next to the ship and it was pretty good.

Nassau It’s a good stop, something for everyone. We walked to the beach, ate at a great place, drank beer and had fun. Right next to the ship. Free internet at the bar, lots to see and lots of shopping along the walk.
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