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11 Rome (Civitavecchia) to Europe - Western Mediterranean Costa Diadema Cruise Reviews

I want to preface this review by saying I'm not often a big complainer. I can roll with most annoyances with ease and I rarely feel the need to make an issue. But this was by far the WORST CRUISE in my entire life. Why did we go? ... Read More
I want to preface this review by saying I'm not often a big complainer. I can roll with most annoyances with ease and I rarely feel the need to make an issue. But this was by far the WORST CRUISE in my entire life. Why did we go? Never been to Europe before and Costa had numerous itineraries, dates, and prices to choose from so it was the sheer availability of options that other lines simply did not offer. Next, I've cruised with Costa twice in the past (both in the Caribbean) and it was wonderful. The price was right compared to other US-based lines. Where did it go? Understand that this cruise, and I assume all others, are basically a 7-day ferry service to various ports. Folks will embark and disembark at different ports during the week, so it's not a traditional everyone gets on and leaves at same port. That being said, we boarded and left at Civitavecchia (Rome's port). We visited Savona, Italty; Marseille, France; Barcelona, Spain; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. Having not been to Europe before, these were appealing ports because most were places I would not ordinarily visit on a first time. What did I know BEFORE Leaving? This is important and you have to do your own research before leaving. I knew that the bulk of passengers were Europeans and English speaking guests were likely in the minority. I knew that passengers embarked and disembarked at various ports throughout the week. I knew that lifeboat safety drills were done at every port. I knew that entertainment on-board was likely geared towards European passengers and the language would be mostly in Italian. All this being said, I went on this cruise with a positive outlook and knowing it would be very different than a traditional North American cruise. Next, let's talk about why this cruise was horrible. I will discuss positives at the end and other general issues like cabin, ship, ports, etc, but this is really what English-speaking guests need to know before going on this cruise. I. CANCELLED EXCURSIONS and DISCRIMINATION TOWARDS ENGLISH SPEAKING GUESTS This is by far the biggest complaint and totally ruined this cruise. I can understand an excursion cancelled due to lack of participants because an outside company is used and if only a few folks select that excursion, than obviously it won't go forward. The problem lies in how a participant is defined. On this ship, a participant is not simply defined by having a human body but rather defined on the language spoken by the human. In short, the number of excursions available to English-speaking guests is far less than what is available to Italian speaking guests. YOU WILL HAVE NOT THE SAME OPTIONS AS OTHER GUESTS AND WILL BE TREATED DIFFERENTLY. In Savona (our first port), we pre-booked a seemingly wonderful sounding excursion only to find out, on embarkation day, that it was cancelled with no explanation so we were forced to choose another and had a very limited number of available options. At the excursion desk we were told we had about 3 to 4 to choose from for English speaking guests; which told me that if I spoke Italian, I would have had more. The excursion we ended up with was mostly ok, but it was not one we would have selected. Details on the excursion will follow later on. In Barcelona (our third port), we pre-booked an excursion that sounded great on paper, only to find out the night before that it was being cancelled. Once again, the same process was repeated at the excursion desk BUT this time we found out that our original selection was cancelled because there were not enough English-speaking guests who selected that particular excursion. The excursion was ended up having to pick was nothing short of a pointless, waste of time, and ended up costing MORE MONEY than the original one we wanted. Finally and the most incriminating of all was that Costa offered a behind the scenes tour of the Diadema on the at-sea day. A copy of the excursion description is attached. Once again, the night before we found out that we would NOT be able to do the ship tour. However, the ship was kind enough to provide a written letter explaining why. At the same time, the letter (also attached) completely confirmed by suspicion that English-speaking were clearly being discriminated against and proof lies in the letter. Whether you speak English, Italian, French, German, or Spanish; everyone pays to be on this ship and have the same options as everyone else. The ship tour is conducted entirely by Costa; unlike the shore excursions. The ship tour was made available to everyone, for a price, which we were willing to pay. There is NO EXCUSE for us not being to take advantage of this exclusive tour but for we were English-speaking guests. It was confirmed to me later on that the ship tour did in-fact go forward and the original Barcelona excursion also went forward. Remember that Costa is owned by the Carnival Corporation (a US company). Costa is mostly an Italian-oriented cruise line but you cannot treat English-speaking guests differently simply because there's not many of them. It's not my problem that not many English speakers booked this nightmare of a cruise. I personally addressed the cancelled excursions, with emphasis on the ship tour, with the shore excursions manager and the guest services people (who are mostly pointless) and it was confirmed that the ship defines participants based on the language they speak. The shore-based excursions are limited if you're an English speaker and you will not the same options as everyone else. Even on your tour (assuming it goes forward), English speakers will be grouped with another language, so the tour operator does the tour in both languages. The ship-based tour, however, is 100% within the control of the ship and an accommodation should have been made. The Diadema flatly DENIED us the ship tour, we were willing to pay for, simply because not enough other English-speakers wanted to do it. This amounts to a form of discrimination based on national origin and I will formally address it with Carnival. In short, ENGLISH-SPEAKERS please know that you will be treated differently. You will be in the minority. Expect an excursion or two, or three, to be cancelled due to lack of other participants who also speak English. You will not have the same tour options as other guests. II. GROSS INEFFICIENCY On Deck 3 there is a desk called Hospitality Service Desk which is staffed by mostly pointless individuals who cannot do a damn thing except tell where you need to go to address your problem. These same individuals also give conflicting information and clearly have no idea what's going on half of the time. The first instance was an embarkation day. We wanted to exchange some USA currency to Euros and were told we could do so but only before 5pm which left us 10 minutes. So we raced to our room, got the cash, went back down, waited in line, only to be told that it had to be done before 4pm and we cannot do until after Marseille (2 days later). Keep in mind we were at the same desk, just talking to a different person. How is it that a group of people working at the same desk can be on two totally different understandings? The next instance involved the complaints with our cancelled excursions. The hospitality desk told us we need to talk to the excursions department. What the hell is the point of the hospitality desk if they cannot address passengers concerns. The final instance was on disembarkation day when we had to deal with several issues on our final bill. After waiting in line, the hospitality service guy said we needed to talk an individual sitting at a setup desk, with a laptop, to address the billing issues. Let that sink in...a sole individual, sitting at a setup desk, with only a laptop, to address ALL account issues for ALL passengers disembarking in Rome. After being told this, we flatly yelled at the hospitality service people saying, "You people are pointless!" So, before going, know that the Hospitality Service Desk is relatively pointless. The resolution you'll get will be them telling you to go some place else and talk to whoever else. Also, you will get conflicting information because clearly these people do not talk amongst themselves. I've never seen such gross inefficiency, lack of communication, and lack of clarity onboard a ship. Overall, a complete waste of time. III. Horrible Food I'm not a food critic. I have no idea what's supposed to be good and what's not. I can only go by whether I liked it or not, the portion size, temperature, availability of options, and if I'd order it again. In short, the food in the main dining room was awful. They are all about presentation but the accompaniments, such as sauces, drizzles, etc) were small and mainly just there to look nice; even though they were actually GOOD and should have been in greater quantity. Service took forever. Our waiter was very difficult to understand. The food itself was mostly forgettable and gross. The best meal we had was in the Samsara Restaurant, for which there was a charge. The buffet breakfasts were mediocre and the concept of cooked bacon is elusive as another English-speaking guest. Lunch in the formal dinning room, which we did on the at-sea day, was equally gross. The buffalo mozzarella cheese they pride themselves on looked like a white ball of gelatin and was disgusting. The buffet lunches on the Lido Deck were so-so, and by the time you found a seat, good your drink, and were ready to eat your food was cold. Out of all the dinners we had in the formal dining room, only ONE was excellent. Do yourself favor, eat in port if you can. Overall, the worst food and the worst dining I've ever had....and I'm usually content eating at places ranging from Pizza Hut to a 4-star restaurant. Compared to other cruises, this was by far the worst. IV. WARM ROOM I've preface this part by disclosing I'm from Florida. Therefore, I'm used to constant air conditioning and cool indoor environments. Also, this may be an issue that's more specific to me and not representative to everyone. That being said, on prior cruises, the ventilation and thermostat in the cabin was mostly comfortable. Not here! For the first FOUR DAYS we made daily complaints to the un-Hospitality Services Desk about the lack of airflow in our cabin and the perpetual stuffiness. You could feel cold air coming through the vent but it wasn't forceful. The technician told us they would increase the air flow and seemed to acknowledge there should be more air. The issues didn't seem to resolve itself until about day 5. Thus, for over half of this cruise, we spent in a stuffy room and waking up sweaty and gross. V. GENERAL THOUGHTS 1. Cabin Overall, the cabin size was adequate and roomy. No major complaints other than the AC issue. The bed was somewhat comfortable BUT the pillows were thin and I need 2 in order to actually lay flat. Even then, the pillows were hard and I ended up using the one of the pullout couch. Don't bother with the TV because there's only a few English channels ranging from business news (who cares), BBC News, and a movie station that's actually Italian but plays with English movies. Closets and storage spaces were plentiful. The bathroom was what you'd expect. Adequate shelving. However, the shower curtain doesn't go all the way down to the floor for some unknown reason so water gets all over the floor from the water dripping down the curtain and from splashing out. I tried moving in the limiting room available to avoid the water splashing out; it looked like a Cirque du Soleil in there. The cabin steward was very good and the room was kept clean and orderly. THERE IS NO TURN DOWN SERVICE and no cute towel animals. Not a major issue but just something to know. 2. Entertainment an Activities Not much say to here because we didn't do anything except see a few shows. Know that Mediterranean cruises are heavily port-insensitive so days started early and we were mostly tired by the end of them. Most shows were done in Italian with little english thrown in so we didn't bother. The production shows were good and enjoyable. The acrobatic stuff was cool. They could have had more universal type shows so everyone could enjoy regardless of language; such as magicians, variety acts that do not involve speaking, or anything you see an AGT (America's Got Talent) that involves dancing, light acts, etc. 3. Ports By now, you've already read and understood the excursions issue we had so this bit is more on the specific ports and our experiences with the tours we had. Savona - A mostly pointless port as the bulk of excursions were to Genoa, so why not just go there? I would have liked to have seen the Cinque Terre, Portofino, and Genoa but the availability wasn't there [for English speaking guests]. The excursion we ended up took us to two small towns which were wonderful and charming. But I would rather seen the Cinque Terre. Stopping in Genoa, La Spezia, or Livorno would have lent itself to more cooler excursions and things to see; assuming of course they aren't cancelled. Would I return to this port, NO. Select a route that goes to Genoa, La Spezia, or Livorno. Marseille - There is a lot here and our pre-booked excursion actually went forward! We were in a tour with another language so heard the information twice. The guide was wonderful and I appreciated the time she took having to do double the work. I would have liked more time to see Marseille but our excursion took us to two small towns in Provence (Arles and Saint Remy).At each town, you had at least an hour of free time. Overall, this was an enjoyable day and no major complaints or issues. Would I return to this port, YES...on another cruise of course. Barcelona - Barcelona has A LOT to offer and A LOT to see. I would suggest booking your own excursion with an outside company. We separately booked tickets for the Sagrada Familia before we left and planned accordingly. You want to see the inside of this church as it is magnificent. Our original excursion would have taken us to different landmarks around the city an allowed free time. It was only 4 hours in the AM, which left us enough time to make it back to the Sagrada for our tour inside. The excursion we ended up with was a complete waste of time. You saw Barcelona's treasured landmarks from a bus, but I was sitting on the wrong side so I didn't get to see them. And there was no let-off time to actually see them. We did better exploring on our own. My advice, if you're in Barcelona for a long time, look for an outside company that can do a tour in 5-6 hours. Or, do a ship-based excursion that allows you to see the major sights BUT do not miss seeing the inside of the Sagrada Familia. Would I return to this port, absolutely YES. I would return here on my own. Palma de Mallorca - Palma is on the island of Mallorca, which is part of Spain and right off the coast from Barcelona. This is a truly wonderful port and was the highlight of the entire cruise. We pre-booked the dragon caves tour and it went forward (yay). The excursion was great, nicely coordinated, guide was wonderful, and only lasted 4-5 hours which left you the entire afternoon to see an explore Palma on your own. There was a stop to a pearl factory but I could less about glass pearls so it mostly yawn time for me. Do not do a full day tour here. You want time to explore Palma and eat at the local restaurants. For me, the food in Palma was among the best food I had during the cruise...because it wasn't that garbage served onboard. Would I return to this port, YES. I would combine this with a Barcelona vacation in a heartbeat. Cagliari - Cagliari is the capital city on the island of Sardinia which is part of Italy. We did a walking tour of the city which was helpful because we dropped out of the tour about 3/4 of the way and went back to see stuff on our own and eat at the local restaurants which were very good. There is a lot of shopping and nice sights; but the city itself is rather grimy (graffiti on the walls, poorly cared for buildings, etc) but whatever. The beaches in Sardinia are supposedly beautiful but we didn't see any. There is a nearby beach called Poetto which is the main beach for Cagliari, but the island's more prettier beaches are about 45 minutes outside of the city. Overall, this was an average port and worthwhile seeing. Would I return to this port, POSSIBLY but not in a hurry. If I did, I would want to see the beaches on the rest of the island. 4. The Ship Itself Despite all the issues, the Diadema is a gorgeous ship. The atrium lobby is breathtaking. The colors and design are very nice and what I expected based on two prior Costa cruises. The public spaces were nice. The pool areas were nice. There seemed to be adequate deck space for chairs, but we didn't use the pools at all because it was mostly chilly this time of year. The ship was kept clean and despite the prevalence of Europeans, there was not a lot of smoking and no indoor smoking permitted. There is no promenade deck that encompasses the ship! In prior cruises, we would enjoy strolling on a deck (usually around decks 6 to 4) that takes you all around the ship. That doesn't exist on this ship and the only promenade deck to speak of is actually up the pool and you have to go up and down various stairs and you have no access to the bow of the ship. The main dining room was not as lavishly decorated as you'd expect and the main theater was a bit underwhelming. The casino is SMALL compared to other ships. 5. Embarkation The embarkation process varies from port to port, so I can only talk about Civitavecchia and it was a breeze, efficient, and hassle-free. The terminal building is a new and construction remains ongoing but the inside was sleek, clean, and had adequate seating (upstairs ONLY). We had our bags relatively quickly. Overall, no major issues or complaints. 6. Disembarkation The ship's disembarkation process structure was fine and I have no complaints. The process of reconciling your account is an absolute disaster and goes back to issues of gross inefficiency addressed above. Remember the terminal I discussed above? Herein lies the problem, if you are disembarked and waiting for a car service or whatever, there is NO PLACE TO SIT INSIDE OR OUTSIDE. All the seating is upstairs past security. We weren't 100% of exactly when we would be able to leave the ship so we told our car service to pick us by 11, but we were actually off by 9:30 so we waiting around for over an hour with no place to sit except the ground. My advice, if you are pre-arranging a car service, give them the hour after the ship pulls into port. For example, if you're arriving in Civitavecchia at 8am, tell the car service 9 and then request the earliest disembarkation time (I was told you could do that). VI. CONCLUSION and FINAL COMMENTS I would never again go on another Costa cruise; even if they gave me a free cruise or credit towards another. Compared to my last two Costa cruises, this was horrible. My next Mediterranean cruise will ONLY be on a US-cruise line such as Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, or grudgingly NCL. If you're considering a first time Mediterranean cruise, I would highly recommend leaving from Civitavecchia because you will want a few days to explore Rome. Rome itself is at least an hour from Civitavecchia so any Rome-centered excursions will be a full day and you'll be paraded through the major sights at rushed speed. We spent 4 full days in Rome before the cruise even left; there's just so much to see and you don't want to be rushed. I would seriously reconsider any thoughts you might have about going on this ship. Do your own research, read the comments and reviews, and know what to expect before you go. If you've never done a Mediterranean cruise, I would look for a US-based line instead because if you go with Costa, you will be disappointed and frustrated every day. I would definitely NOT recommend this cruise to anyone and it was an overall disappointment and a blight on my entire cruising experience. If anyone wishes to contact me directly with specific questions or concerns, I'm happy to respond. Send your email to sfarkas425@gmail.com and put "Costa Review" in the subject line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My wife and I chose this particular cruise because of the whole package being offered, the flight, start location, ports of call, and generally inquisitive as to what we would get for the unbelievable price. With regards to the ship we ... Read More
My wife and I chose this particular cruise because of the whole package being offered, the flight, start location, ports of call, and generally inquisitive as to what we would get for the unbelievable price. With regards to the ship we could not find any fault at all with everything in general, the cabin superb, service to be believed, everything in our opinion 5 star. We had the drinks package and it more than covered all that we required, the bar staff were so attentive and nothing was too much bother, and Kumar the head barman at the bar on deck three could work at any 5 star bar/restaurant. The food presented at dinner in the Fiorentino restaurant, beatifully presented, service second to none, wine glasses filled without asking and good quality wines on offer in the drinks package. All in all a wonderful experience. We will be looking to cruise with Costa again perhaps next year when the new ship Emeralda comes into service. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My wife and I did a 7 day trip from Rome Port. The food, cleanness, staff, experience were better than expected! Also after reading bad reviews. The food is not the same for each day, and is not just burger and pommes frites. Lots of ... Read More
My wife and I did a 7 day trip from Rome Port. The food, cleanness, staff, experience were better than expected! Also after reading bad reviews. The food is not the same for each day, and is not just burger and pommes frites. Lots of other choices. You mostly don't have to wait long to get a drink. During dinner it was depended on waiter how often you were asked for more wine. The entertaining in the theater were mostly no so good. We explored the cities our selves, except for Marseilles, where we took a costa arranged tour. If you read about each city beforehand, you can go by your one, with no problem. We very much like the port of Savona, where the ship is set right in the city center. One excursion was cancelled without explanation. We would like to go again, when we have the money. Maybe on a different ship, to get a different experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I am a fun loving over 50 Australian female travelling solo. I chose this cruise as I had a limited time in Europe (3 1/2 weeks) and wanted to experience as many places as possible... but specifically chose this line as a wanted to be ... Read More
I am a fun loving over 50 Australian female travelling solo. I chose this cruise as I had a limited time in Europe (3 1/2 weeks) and wanted to experience as many places as possible... but specifically chose this line as a wanted to be surrounded by Europeans and feel like I was in Europe. This I got and LOVED. Very European experience- 10% passengers spoke English, shops opened from 4pm to midnight with passengers roaming arcades ( as per Europe), European influence food with Italian options available every night, Waltzing to oompah music. Partying gets going at 11pm and boy can they party. Families go everywhere together including the partying till 2am. Different Music genres going in multiple bars at night. Costa gets it very right. 5000 passengers and next to no queuing like other lines. Loved every aspect of this cruise. Itinerary great - a different city every day to wander around. Food good quality and plentiful. Drinks package well priced and generous - recommended for the included coffee water alcohol. Service great. With drinks package really no need to spend a cent once on board. Do this cruise only if you like to immerse yourself in the culture of Europe including families with children (have to say though I did not see one crying baby/child or any unruly behaviour, just kids having fun). If you want a cruise that is American culture or black tie nightly and that just visits Europe ports this is not the cruise for you, but if you want to experience true Europe whilst on a ship.and have fun... you will love it. Note: passengers mostly a mix of Italians Spanish French and Russians. People hop on and off at every port so no true start and finish. Very very little English speaking so you need to feel comfortable in your own company. But it was a blast. I will be back.. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
First time cruisers from Canada, celebrating a milestone birthday with family. Our boarding was in Rome so we could potentially see this great city both before and after the cruise. We loved the itinerary, didn't know much about Costa ... Read More
First time cruisers from Canada, celebrating a milestone birthday with family. Our boarding was in Rome so we could potentially see this great city both before and after the cruise. We loved the itinerary, didn't know much about Costa so I read lots of reviews. Don't believe half of them, any cruise is only as good as your preparation and expectations. Yes, this is a very European cruise line, so expect children everywhere, lots of hustle and bustle. However the staff were great, the food was amazing, the shows very enjoyable. Boarding was smooth - we told the very first person we met that it was our first cruise and we didn't know anything. The desk staff were so friendly and helpful, and it was a smooth process. They even told us to try and hurry and we might still be able to get lunch, as we were just boarding right at 4pm. We made our way to Corona Blu (buffet) and the food was amazing! What's more, as they started to clear the staff told us we could go to the other side if we still wanted more food, as the Tea time was starting - sandwiches, desserts, tea and coffee. I had read the reviews complaining about lack of coffee and water, I can only assume they didn't buy a package. Coffee and tea were available at breakfast, tea time and dinner; however, we had the Intenditore included in our package at booking and we enjoyed espresso/cappuccino anytime. As others have said, we expected to know when we were departing but we didn't feel a time - after that first time, I made sure to head to the proper deck and enjoy "Con te Partiro" with each departure (as well as a new drink each time). We lost track of time after enjoying a great show, and the maître d' was gracious in allowing us into the second seating, which we set as our default after that! Wine selections provided by the friendly staff were amazing; food was plentiful with excellent choices, quality comparable to a Michelin restaurant. We were fortunate to dine at the Club Diadema, again was part of our booking, and we felt no interest in dining anywhere else. The staff got to know us and our preferences, and we had a constant supply of anything we'd want. One evening our mother was not feeling well and asked for a simple rice dish - staff went to another restaurant just to accommodate her request. As for excursions, we had quite a mix. In Savona, we simply milled around port and town, did some shopping and enjoyed the lovely town. Marseilles we took the Easy Bus Tour, loved it! Did same in Barcelona, Mallorca, and Sardinia - nice to have a half day tour, not have to get up too early, saw many sights while not stressing too much. I'd read a review that said (especially for first timers) to not try to do too much and end up stressed out by the end of your 'vacation'. Took it to heart. We have raved about this cruise to many people and hope they will enjoy as much as we did. We've caught the bug and will try another cruise sometime, maybe a different cruise line, and then we'll have something to compare. But don't let a few negative reviews impact your choice - find the points that are consistent across reviews and go with a positive expectation! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I choose this cruise, primarily because I was able to coordinate dates with a friend and because it is a newer ship. I didn't appreciate how large it is and I found it too large for my taste, and there was a lack of information about ... Read More
I choose this cruise, primarily because I was able to coordinate dates with a friend and because it is a newer ship. I didn't appreciate how large it is and I found it too large for my taste, and there was a lack of information about some services on board - such as which bars actually will serve a cappuccino? The atmosphere was very much family oriented which made it noisy and hectic. If I had read the ship features more closely I would have realized that this ship would be catering to families. As some other reviews have pointed out, what you get for your money is the ship. No information about the ports you stop at, and the shuttle was for a fee 10 - 12 euros per person at each port. It seemed like they are pinching pennies in ways that detract from the overall experience - being changed for water in our room even though we had a drinks package, being able to get a cappuccino at the bar, but the pastries at the bar were for a price, even though you could go to the dining room and get all the pastries you wanted. Overall the food was ok to good. A little disappointing given the Italian pride in their cuisine. The staff were very friendly and helpful, and our waiter in the dining room was very thoughtful. Getting off and on was well organized and delays were kept to a minimum. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Our first cruise on Costa was great. We took 4 children and everyone had a great vacation. All food was included - there were no "excluded" items for extra $ such as lobster. There was all the ice cream you wanted. You ... Read More
Our first cruise on Costa was great. We took 4 children and everyone had a great vacation. All food was included - there were no "excluded" items for extra $ such as lobster. There was all the ice cream you wanted. You could eat pretty much any time you desired. I am not a cruise snob but I have now been on 9 cruises on 6 different cruise lines both with and without children. My expectations are not unreasonable, simply based on previous experience. Unfortunately Costa has changed and not for the better. For example, There is no "free ice cream" available. Many of the best food items you now have to pay extra for. The dishes offered were definitely not as good as on the previous trip. The buffet closes prior to ending time and runs out of food. Much of the food is the same every day. However our waiter, Joey, in the dining room was wonderful. Very attentive, trying constantly to please. Internet/wifi costs an exorbitant fee and many at the hospitality desk are not very helpful. However, Matteo was the epitome of what an ideal customer service representative should be. The evening entertainment (singers not including the opera soloist) was less professional than on previous cruises. The on shore excursions were pricey. And a heads up to those who have not cruised before. There is a "service fee" every day on your account which you may or may not be made aware of until check out. You can opt out but it is a major undertaking to get this accomplished. Conflicting information and requirements from different employees at the same hospitality desk. Thank you again Matteo for your help. We had a good time doing out own agenda on shore, the food was adequate and the employees mentioned, along with help from Jessica, (the english liason), made it a good trip for our family. However I think I will be looking at other cruise lines in the future unless Costa Cruise Line makes some major modifications to their current policies. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We were looking for a Mediterranean cruise to take the middle week of a three week vacation. After reading a lot of reviews, we booked this cruise on the Costa Diadema with a little bit of trepidation as it seemed a majority of the ... Read More
We were looking for a Mediterranean cruise to take the middle week of a three week vacation. After reading a lot of reviews, we booked this cruise on the Costa Diadema with a little bit of trepidation as it seemed a majority of the reviews were either four star or one star. From the very beginning, we knew we were going to love this cruise.....checkin at Civitavecchia was seamless -- we showed our tickets and passports and were boarded without a wait....have never had that happen on any cruise ship, yet alone one that had close to 5,000 passengers on it! The cabin was nice sized with very comfortable bed and ample room to move around. Our cabin steward was outstanding the entire week. Since we had been on vacation for a week already, we had laundry needs, and Costa was the best, with a laundry special of 25 pieces for a flat rate of $20 euros, washed and folded. The cabin was made up each morning and evening. Dining was a great experience every evening in the Fiorentino Ristorante. Our waiter, Ajid, was the best we've ever had on a cruise. The menu was fantastic, with three or four special choices in each category, plus a standard Italian fare always available. My wife and I both cook gourmet recipes, and this food was five star in every respect; choice, presentation, flavor and service. Being from USA we had bottled water at our table each evening free of charge. Sparkling for me, still for my wife, with full bottles sitting on the table when we sat down. We were never rushed, nor did we ever wait too long. We ate at the Teppanyaki Grill one evening and it was a fun show and marvelous Japanese food, right down to the Miso soup and Asian ginger salad. We had lunch one day at the Lido buffet, and like most cruises, found it to be a feeding frenzy, although the food was better than we've had on other cruises. Most mornings we opted for breakfast in our cabin at no charge, as we had paid a little extra for premium services. The excursions were well planned and reasonable, as cruise ships go. We appreciated the fact that Costa forewarns customers which excursions might be difficult for mobility impaired passengers. We took three 'easy' tours, which were perfect and still let us enjoy the major sights of each port.... Disembarking was just as easy and flawless as getting on the ship! No long waiting for our time slot, we were out of the cabin at the required 8:00 a.m. time, went to breakfast, retrieved our passports and left the ship to find our luggage waiting. Would we take Costa again? In a heartbeat! We have decided that all the negative reviews come from people who do not understand European service. While many of the passengers seemed rude and would brush by you, that is just the way they are. Announcements were always made in several languages and easy to understand. The 10 euro daily service fee is below that of most other cruise lines, and in fact we tipped both our room steward and waiter additional before we left the ship. Ship crew was not indifferent as many people have said, but were attentive to and responsive to all of our needs. Well done, Costa Diadema, and thank you for a wonderful experience! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was the worst cruise I have ever taken, based solely on the onboard experience. I was shocked at how bad our cruise experience was. And extremely disappointed. Stem-to-stern I have never encountered so much unprofessional behavior ... Read More
This was the worst cruise I have ever taken, based solely on the onboard experience. I was shocked at how bad our cruise experience was. And extremely disappointed. Stem-to-stern I have never encountered so much unprofessional behavior by any cruise ship's staff. At all levels. We were treated rudely by nearly every member of Diadema's staff. And the overall customer experience clearly indicates that Costa Diadema's staff are among the most poorly trained in the cruise industry. Dining room staff were rude and bad at their jobs. Our stateroom steward was nice but very, very bad at his job, always forgetting to clean in a timely manner and when he did get to our room, would always forget to perform some basic, necessary duties. Two of our shore tours were cancelled only at the last minute, leaving us with very few options to choose an alternative tour. We were left on our own in multiple ports, because Diadema refused to offer English language tours due to a low number of English speaking clients; that's not totally illogical but the fact that they waited until the last minute to advise us that they were cancelling is unprofessional and incredibly rude. And to make matters worse, when we tried to work with staff at the Tour Desk, we were treated poorly, were lied to, and generally experienced several staff members who did not wish to perform their jobs. We had to beg them to focus and beg them to get answers to our questions. When we boarded we were told by two Costa staff to hand our USA passports over at the ship's Front Desk. We did so and were given receipts. Days later we read that Americans needed their passports in port for Monaco, so we went to the desk to request that ours be returned to us. The two staff members at the passport pickup desk proceeded to claim that Diadema NEVER took our passports and therefore did not have them. They said they never take passports from Americans. Both people were extremely rude to us. When we pointed out to them that we had receipts in our hands from the ship's staff member who took our passports from us, then and only then (but only after we refused to leave) did one of the two staff members agree to walk somewhere else and see what the problem was. She did so with extreme and obvious anger, like an angry child. Of course she DID find our passports and ultimately they were returned to us. But even then she had the gall to accuse US of being at fault for having turned in our passports in the first place! COSTA STAFF TOLD US TO TURN IN OUR PASSPORTS WHEN WE CAME ONBOARD!!! We were shocked at the constant rudeness onboard Diadema. And we were not alone; we met a few other non-Italian cruisers, all of whom told us that they were seeing and experiencing the same kinds of unprofessionalism and outrageously rude behaviour from all of the ship's staff. All of us agreed that staff were particularly rude toward Americans. Not once did any of us observe Italian guests being treated that way. Disgusting behavior. Costa Diadema staff clearly do not have a customer service focus on their poorly-run ship. I've cruised dozens of times on many cruise lines and have never in my life experienced the general rudeness and unprofessional behaviour that we experienced everywhere on the Costa Diadema. I'm not only unhappy, I am genuinely angry. Not only will I never sail again on Costa, but I will shame them publicly in cruise web communities - as I am here - as the single worst cruise line and worst cruise ship possible. If Costa is serious about solving their significant and many problems, they will have to start listening to their customers, and they will require serious retraining with a focus on customers. Right now Costa clearly don't care about their customers. Shame on them. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
As a seasoned world traveler I knew that choosing to cruise on an Italian liner would mean that I would not be having the same experience as one of the ships that Americans usually choose. Why did I choose this particular cruise? I ... Read More
As a seasoned world traveler I knew that choosing to cruise on an Italian liner would mean that I would not be having the same experience as one of the ships that Americans usually choose. Why did I choose this particular cruise? I wanted a winter get-away, the price was fantastic, the itinerary included ports I wanted to visit. I did not choose based on food, drink, onboard activities, amenities or what language was predominant. In reading the reviews prior to the cruise, I was surprised at how many folks were unhappy that English was not more prevalent (duh! - it was an Italian liner!) And all the complaining about having to purchase water was way out in left field. Contrary to some reviews, the water from the taps onboard was perfectly safe (there has to be warnings when it is unsafe to drink the water). No such warnings were evident anywhere. Yes, if you wanted bottled water with dinner there was a charge but that happens in a lot of land restaurants too. Free water was always available at the open seating buffet anytime of day. I had no problem bringing bottled water back onto the ship after daily excursions and I did not witness anyone else having a problem with that. I think the water issue is blown out of proportion in the reviews. I did not participate in any of the ship's excursions as I did my own research on each port of call and determined what I wanted to do and see based on public transportation, etc. This of course made the cruise more affordable and was easy to manage. Only at Mallorca did I have to purchase a ship's shuttle bus ticket into the city because there was no public transportation available and the walk was a long one. Overall, I was happy with my experience on Costa's Diadema because it was just what I expected and I had done my "homework" to make it fit my ability and desires for what I wanted to see at the various ports. The Diadema is the same as any big name cruise liner that takes on thousands of people for a cruise - it's all in what you personally enjoy about the cruising experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
It was our fifth cruise with costa and what can i say fantastic ,we just come back from a cruise with costa diadema in the med ,we departed from civitavecchia we took the costa shuttle bus from fuimicino airport to civitavecchia all was ... Read More
It was our fifth cruise with costa and what can i say fantastic ,we just come back from a cruise with costa diadema in the med ,we departed from civitavecchia we took the costa shuttle bus from fuimicino airport to civitavecchia all was very organized. the ship is beautifull with very nice cabins and beatifull decor staff very helpfull and friendly.the lunchtime buffet was wonderfull with plenty of choice you definetly wont stay hungry with all the choices that was offered.in the evening we still opted for the buffet as restaurants tended to get very busy and you could wait for a while and we didnt want to wait as we would miss all the activities they had to offer.entertainment was of high class especially with the latin dancers from hungary and also the shows in the teatre.embarkation was very smooth so was when we wanted to go on land .We booked the all inclusive as we always do and it was well worth the money.I just dont understand people complaining about the ship and the staff as there is nothing to complain about ,myself i am a complainer but really there was nothing to complain about i very much recomend costa to anyone especially costa diadema and dont get put off about people complaining it is just not true ,i just dont know why they do that thank you costa you are the best Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Costa Diadema Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 3.7
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.3
Family 4.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.0
Enrichment 2.0 2.9
Service 4.0 3.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.2
Rates 3.0 N/A

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