We choose this cruise as we wanted to sample their new flag ship, having cruised twice before on the Diadema, We were at the time able to book a cabin for 5, having done so on the Diadema where we had 1,5 bathrooms and 5 proper beds, we expected the same if not better!
Embarkation went really well, and we loved the parking at Savonna. However a few more signs would really help.
The cabin 5070 was only a cabin for a max 4 people, only 1 bathroom - with the glass showing through to the cabin - I know there is a curtain but with kids who think it is fun to play with, it doesn't feel relaxing! Well to accommodate our 5th person, we had a camp bed along side the bunk beds, so no space between the dressing table which meant we couldn't get to the window. So after several visits to the reception desk we were offered a second room for free. Great you may say, however Cabin 5076 was just below the Theatre, which had a disco until 2am on one night the noise and vibration was so bad I called reception where I was offered earplugs!
Dining was great. This time we tried the Pizza place which we found excellent, better designed than on Diadema. However lunch in the buffet restaurant was too popular for the size of the restaurant, with queues to enter, then it closing for afternoon tea. Needs to be re thought.
Bars - could do with more staff.
Swimming pools. On the day of arrival the slides were open, however they were closed for the rest of the cruise due to poor weather. This I would dispute as we had blue skies and temperatures like on the first day on many of the days of the cruise. The Ship only has 4 indoor Jacuzzis which were 4 place, no under 16's - meant the swimming pool was full of little children and 1 x 8 man outside Jacuzzi which was always full. They need more outside Jacuzzis. The designers also placed the indoor showers on a level which flooded the seating area floor ( needs to have a tray to keep the water in).
Entertainment - shows were short. There is no 4D Cinema, laser quest, F1 only a small games room, however they did have a kids/teens club which our kids did not try. Shopping on board also seemed poor, lack of choice, shops were not enticing enough.
Would we go again - no on the Smeralda, yes with Costa. They have just built too many cabins at the expense of public areas.
The have stopped cabins for 5, so our problem shouldn't happen for any new bookings. 5070 - great cabin for 4, except did not like the see through glass from the bathroom to the cabin. I know there is a curtain but with kids who think it is fun to play with, I did not feel relaxed. 5076 - cabin for 2 was great in design but it is an internal room with little soundproofing - I even heard a neighbour's sneeze.
25 euros per person to get into Rome in a mini bus. The town needs to put on more buses to get you out of the port area, big queues. The tour we took included an hour at the Vatican City, another at the Collusseum - 3 hours in the center. Luckily we have been to Rome before, and we had google maps!View All 157 Private Tour Reviews
Were able to walk into the town from the port.