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Long Review/Recap: American Cruisers Try a Costa Transatlantic Cruise (And LOVE It!)

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Day 11 - 13 March 2019 - Sea Day - As if we haven’t been lazy enough so far, today we slept in until 1030 or so, and enjoyed our morning espressos on the balcony with our books. There was no time change today (thank goodness!), and we debated whether we wanted to go to lunch or order room service. Laziness won out today, and we ordered room service. We both ordered Caesar salads with chicken, roast beef and Brie sandwiches (I was so disappointed when they took these off of the Carnival room service menu!), and cake of the day.

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Apparently our butler thought we were starving to death, and brought us 4 slices of cake. Both the salad and the sandwich were good, although the potato chips were stale. Ah well, saved me some calories, I suppose! We both spent the day reading and relaxing, and then got ready for dinner. Tonight’s menu:

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I ordered the potato and sour cream salad, the asparagus risotto, the potato and cheese pie, and the cheesecake and blackberry compote - all of it was delicious! R ordered the bresaola with rocket salad, the pasta, veal tenderloin, and the cheesecake. He was very happy with his dinner as well! 

 

After dinner, we walked around the ship for a bit, and decided to skip the show - it was ‘The Voice of the Sea’ - later we heard from other passengers that the show was fantastic, and that the winner was simply amazing. Oops - sounds like we missed a great show! We sat in the Mirabilis Grand Bar for a bit listening to music, reading, and people watching instead, and saw the winner walk through with his trophy, getting stopped every so often by his new fans.

 

After a bit, we moved to the atrium for more reading, music, and people watching. After a few hours of that, I suggested we each spend 100 euro in the casino and see what we could win. I had a lucky night, and after losing 75 euro, hit a payout of 720 euro! I won a few small amounts after that, and walked away with 750 euro that night. All in all, a good day! We headed back to the cabin and discovered our certificate of crossing the Tropic of Cancer waiting for us.

 

Our certificate (and yes, they had a ceremony on the pool deck, but it was in the morning. As you may have gathered, we are not morning people..)

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Then it was off to bed for us, after some reading on the balcony.

 

 

 

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Day 12 - 14 March 2019 - Sea Day - Today the clocks go forward again at 1100, so we slept in until around 1000, had some espresso, then showered and dressed for lunch. We were lucky enough to nab a window table today, and lunch was very good.

 

Nothing on the schedule jumped out at us today, so we again spent the day reading and people watching a bit. We’re starting to run into quite a few people we’ve met throughout the cruise, and it’s nice to have people to chat with on occasion. Happily, most of the people we’ve met have had great attitudes and are thoroughly enjoying the cruise. Frequently, we overhear people complaining about almost everything on the ship (for example, one couple - this being their first Costa sailing - adamantly stated that they would NEVER cruise Costa again because they couldn’t get ice cream and cookies whenever they wanted them). It’s surprising to us, as we have loved almost everything about this journey so far. R and I agree that this sailing is less frenetic than the usual American Caribbean cruise. There is less 24/7 food and entertainment, and more relaxation and enjoying the sea passing by - which suits us just fine. Staff is super friendly, and we’re generally greeted by name by quite a bit of the staff and crew. Our cabin is maintained flawlessly, the public areas of the ship are always spotless (including the public bathrooms, which are the cleanest I’ve ever seen on a cruise ship and have wash clothes provided to dry your hands),and the food is good. If this is Costa cruising, we couldn’t love it more. After our early lunch, we filled our day with reading and a little gambling, then headed back to the cabin to get ready for dinner. Tonight’s menu: 

 

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R and I ordered identical dinners tonight: the cauliflower cream with shrimp, risotto with Vezzena cheese and veal, the slow-cooked veal cheek, and the chocolate truffle mousse. Again, no complaints about dinner (food or service) at all. R also ordered a cappuccino with dessert, which I skipped since I wanted to get to bed early tonight and start getting on a schedule where a 0900 port call wouldn’t be impossible! After dinner, we headed back to the cabin for an early night, went ahead and set our clocks forward (another time change in the morning), and read on the balcony until around 2300 - then off to sleep by 0030.

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Day 13 - 15 - March 2019 - Sea Day - Today we were to set our clocks forward (AGAIN!) at 1100. I’m glad I did it last night - made it a little less jarring. I woke at around 0900, and snuck out to the balcony to read and enjoy the view of the wake. R slept in as late as he could, probably until 1100 or 1130. He even managed to sleep through me making 1 espresso to sip on the balcony! We puttered about the cabin and the balcony until around 1300, when we decided to go grab some lunch. I went with the standby steak frites as today’s lunch menu was pretty fish heavy. 

 

After lunch, we walked around a bit, then decided to attend today’s cultural lecture in the piano bar at 1400. Today’s topic was The Canary Islands. We got to the piano bar early (we thought) at 1340, and the piano bar was packed! I located a barstool in the back of the room to perch on, and R stood. The bar continued to fill up, with everyone around me grousing about it being in such a small room instead of the theatre, and how awful Costa was in general. Sigh. No really, it was 20 minutes of everyone around me complaining about the cruise. (Although I will agree the lecture should have been in a larger room.) The lecture covered the history of the islands, both ancient and modern, and lasted about an hour. It was a good lecture, but the room quickly grew very warm with the number of people in it. R and I left just as the speaker was finishing up, glad to escape the crowd and heat. 

 

We headed back to our cabin to find that morning/afternoon service had been completed, and the pillows that R had left a note requesting from the pillow menu were delivered. We’re now at 8 full-sized pillows. I took the opportunity to catch up on writing this, and R did some more reading. He then nabbed a Red Bull from the mini-bar, and announced he was heading to the casino with his 100+ euro from yesterday. I stayed behind to finish up today’s ramblings, and to finally put on some makeup. All of this time in the sun on the balcony has left my face a bit sunburnt, so I definitely needed some makeup to even things out! After that, I decided to join him in the casino with a glass of rose. We stayed in the casino for a bit, then decided on an early dinner and an early bedtime, since we needed to meet in the theater at 0900 for our

excursion tomorrow. We headed to the Club Restaurant a little after 1800, and weren’t crazy about the menu options. 

 

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R “only” ordered the spaghetti with shrimps Carbonara style, the braised lamb in wine sauce, and the Catalan cream dessert. I started with the Parmigiana Marateota style, then had a salad, and ordered the grilled beef fillet from the ‘every day’ menu, and finished with the Catalan cream as well. As usual, everything was good. The Catalan cream was like a creme brûlée without the crunchy top - very rich and smooth.

 

After dinner, we stopped by the atrium bar for a glass of wine to go, then headed back to the room to read on the balcony. We also filled out the room service order form for the next morning, and hung it out on the door for pickup. We finally turned in around 2200, and set our alarm for 0700.

 

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Day 14 - 16 March 2019 - Santa Cruz de Tenerife - 0900-1700 - Our alarm went off bright and early this morning at 0700. This gave us time to get vaguely human and have an espresso before room service showed up (and to catch our first sunrise on the ship!).

 

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Room service showed up right on time at 0735, and made for a good start to the day. R ordered the steak and eggs, and I ordered a bacon, mushroom, and green pepper omelet with croissants (the toast is a bit hard and chewy by the time it gets delivered, we’ve found), as well as 2 cappuccinos. 

 

After our leisurely breakfast, we headed to the theater a little early to meet up for our tour - only to be told that our tour was meeting at 0930. Luckily, the bar outside the theatre was open, and we had a chance for more coffee! When we went back in at 0930, everything ran like clockwork. Clear announcements and directions were given, and we were debarking the ship by 0935. At R’s request, we had booked the full day tour of the National Park, including lunch, and the cable car ride up the Tiede Volcano. 

 

The morning was sunny and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky - looked like a perfect day for sight-seeing. We were led out to a large touring bus, and with our combined grouping of English and French speakers, the bus was about a third full. The drive to the location where the cable car started at the bottom took about 2 hours, with a stop at a pull off with gorgeous sweeping views of the national park. The guide narrated the entire way, describing vegetation, animals, the history of the island, the topography of the island, etc. It was all very interesting and informative. She did a fine job of narrating each bit in English first, and then French.

 

View of the volcano from the bus.

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Once we got to the cable car boarding area, she asked us to wait on the bus while she went and procured our tickets - they came with a scheduled time, so we got to avoid the majority of the long line. It was a little cooler there, and I was glad I’d brought a sweater. We finally started moving, and we had our picture taken, then waited for the next cable car.

 

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The ride up took 7 minutes exactly, and we were told we had to be back at the bus at 1330. The car was packed on the ride up, and the views were stunning. 

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When the car reached the top of its tracks, the doors opened, and we realized it was much colder and windier at the altitude of over 11,000 feet than it had been at the bottom. But with the day bright and cloudless, it more than made up for the discomfort of the cold. We marveled at the views, and hiked up the trail for a bit. The thinner air made even our short hike much more difficult than we had imagined! After enjoying the views for around an hour, we thought it would be best to head back down in case there was a long line for the cable car return. Luckily, the line was short, and we were back down the mountain after the first car arrived. I made sure to firmly place myself at a window for the ride down (I’d been shoved away from the window on the ride up), and was able to enjoy the views of the volcano on the ride down. 

 

We had about 35 minutes to wait before we headed to the bus, and so purchased some bottles of water, and took some more pictures. We were back on the bus at 1325, and then were forced to wait as one of our fellow passengers had disregarded the return time, and the guide went to look for him. He finally was brought back at 1350, and we headed off late. The guide informed us we would stop for lunch at a local restaurant, have one more scenic area stop for pictures, then head back to the ship. 

 

Lunch was delicious (at Restaurant Bamby), and consisted of a small loaf of crusty bread, a fantastic soup filled with potatoes, carrots, yellow squash, and zucchini, then a roasted quarter chicken with potatoes, and ice cream and a banana for dessert. There was also a large bottle of water and a bottle of red wine at each 4-person table. They finished the meal by pouring coffee for everyone. We were ravenous (having eaten breakfast at 0700) when lunch was served at 1400 and it was a delightful meal. We had to be back on the bus at 1500, so it was a fairly quick affair by European standards. 

 

Everyone made it back on the bus on time, and we then drove another 30 minutes or so before stopping at a scenic outlook that was at the base of the observatory built on one of the high hills in the park.

 

 

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More pictures were taken, and then we hopped back on the bus for the long ride home. We were much more tired than expected, and our guide knew we would be - as she narrated for a few more minutes, then put some Canarian music on the radio and told us to feel free to nap for the rest of the drive back to the ship. I instead decided to enjoy the views, and after another hour of driving, we finally arrived back at the ship at about 1635 (all aboard time was 1630). We were the last group to board the ship, and we were quickly aboard and sailed out only a few minutes late. 

 

The sail away from Tenerife was gorgeous - with clouds just starting to pour over the tops of the mountains surrounding the port.

 

 

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We were exhausted, and contemplated napping and ordering room service, but decided instead to just watch the sunset over the mountains, then head to dinner.

 

 

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R wasn’t hungry, but still ordered a salad and the pork ribs. I was starving, and ordered the country mushroom and sour mashed potato pie (delicious!), the pumpkin soup (piping hot and less pumpkin-y than I imagined, but still good), and the pork ribs (meh - I’m not a huge fan of ribs, but they were tasty). We skipped dessert and our nightly cappuccino, instead hoping to get some good sleep tonight. 

 

R decided to swing by the buffet and gather up a few desserts to bring back to the cabin to nibble on later, and I wandered down to deck 2 to get a glass of wine to take back to the cabin. We somehow managed to meet up just outside of our room, where our butler had just gone in to do turn down service. Deciding to give him some time, we went down to the casino to play for 30 minutes or so. Then I grabbed another glass of rose to take back to the cabin, and we were in for the night at 2130 or so. We did some more reading, and turned in early after filling out our room service order form for the morning, with a requested delivery time of 0900-0930.

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Day 15 - 17 March 2019 - Lanzarote - 0800-1700 - At 0845, we were awakened by a tapping that I thought was rooms service. Nope - instead it was a maintenance crew on the lido deck 2 floors above chipping away at old paint. I stumbled over to the espresso machine since I was already awake, and it wouldn’t turn on. Definitely not a happy camper this morning. Luckily, our butler showed up with breakfast (pancakes for me, an omelet for R, and cappuccino for both of us), and I explained to him the issues we’ve been having with the espresso machine. He was convinced that since we turn it off at night (to prevent the flashing lights going off all night), it just took longer to wake up. I explained to him that it was taking 5 presses of the button to fill a tiny espresso cup, and he seemed to brush me off. Grrrrrrrr. And of course it worked for him after he turned it off and back on again about 20 times. Sigh. I went to make another espresso, and of course after he left, it took 5 pushes of the button to fill the cup again. R took it upon himself to call the butler and request another machine. He stopped by the room again, and made an espresso with one push of the button, all the while holding the water receptacle in tightly. He seems to think the water tank just isn’t attaching properly. R firmly requested another machine, as it shouldn’t require us to stand there holding the machine together to get it to make a decent cup of espresso. He stated he would deliver one today. Let’s see, shall we? 

 

On with today - we had no excursions planned today, only wanting to wander around the city and maybe find a bit of local shopping and a good restaurant for lunch. The weather was much cooler and windier than it was in Tenerife, so it’s time to break out the warmer clothing I packed. Jeans and a jacket dug out and thrown on, and it was time to go. We were happy to discover a pedestrian trail leading to the city center, that traced along the marina. It was a beautiful day, and a scenic walk that took maybe 15 minutes. 

 

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After occasional stops for pictures, we broke off from the trail to head into the main part of town. The city of Arrecife is stunning - it reminds me of Greece, with its white and blue buildings. I took quite a few photos of painted doors that caught my eye. After checking out a few city streets where most everything was closed, we realized that it was Sunday, and we were more apt to have luck in finding a spot for lunch by the water. Luckily, the malecon was exactly what we were looking for - we found an outdoor cafe on the water called La Raspa that had tapas and wine. Perfect! I ordered a glass of local Lanzarote white wine, and R ordered fizzy water. We enjoyed the day and the views for a while until we started feeling hungry. When we were finally able to get the waiter’s attention (it was a busy day at the cafe, with lots of locals - which is always a good sign), and requested menus. 

 

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The menu was quite seafood heavy, as expected, but R and I each found exactly what we wanted. I ordered the local cheese plate, and he ordered eggs and chorizo, that came on top of French fries. The food was easily the best we’ve had since we left home in February! We enjoyed our plates of food, and then realized we should probably head back to the ship as it was getting close to 1500. We would have preferred to stay and have more food (even though we weren’t hungry at all!), but the ship waits for no man (or woman). We took a leisurely stroll back to the port, and arrived at 1530 or so. 

 

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Heading back to the ship:

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We stopped at the atrium bar for some beverages to go, and then (as usual) headed back to our cabin to enjoy the balcony and our last views of Lanzarote. We sailed away (mostly) on time, and the moon over the peaks of the island was a gorgeous last view. 

 

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Lanzarote has definitely piqued our interest, and we’re looking forward to coming back to explore the island some more in the future. After some reading and relaxing, I decided to check and see if our nightly dinner menu had been dropped off in our mailbox yet. It had been, and as I started planning my evening’s meal, I realized that the cheese and bread hadn’t quite filled me up quite as much as R’s full lunch, and was feeling a bit hungry. Tonight is red and black night, so a black pair of pants and burgundy (close enough) silk shirt will have to do.

 

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We finally headed to dinner. R and I both started with the caciu, then had the chicken bites with Alfredo sauce and rice, and finished with the mango and coconut cream. Everything was good, and unfortunately, we were at dinner a little too long and missed tonight’s flamenco show in the main theater. We instead headed to the casino for a bit, then as usual, headed back to the cabin to enjoy the balcony and our books before turning in for the night.

 

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Lanzarote - random pics of doors and buildings:

 

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Day 16 - 18 March 2019 -  Sea Day - today was a late sleeping day for us, as we were instructed to move our clocks forward at 0200 this morning. We enjoyed our espressos (our butler did replace our espresso machine yesterday - lucky for him!)  and books on the balcony, and relished in having nothing to do for the day. We read, walked around the ship, and were 100% lazy. We spent quite a bit of the afternoon in the casino, missing the Cultural Lecture (Moorish Spain, rise and fall of al-Andalus a bit on purpose, and skipping the show (Gente di Mare - the Crew’s Show) in favor of being gambling degenerates and visiting with fellow cruisers and crew that we’ve come to enjoy chatting with. 

 

Tonight’s menu was the Piemonte menu, but R had reviewed it earlier and said there was nothing on it that looked good. (Unfortunately, I had a look after we ate dinner, and found a few things I would have enjoyed sampling! Note to self: don’t trust R’s opinion on the dinner options!) We instead ordered a pizza and lemon pie to go from the pizza place, and enjoyed dinner and an early bed time in our cabin, largely due to the early arrival time in Malaga tomorrow.

 

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Day 17 - 19 March 2019 - Malaga, Spain - 0800-1400 - This was another port that we had no plans in, and due to the time change, we slept in a bit, and woke up around 0900 and headed off the boat shortly after 1000, without having had breakfast. Our plans were simple - walk around town, and find a restaurant for breakfast and coffee, then walk around a bit more before heading back to the ship for the all aboard time of 1330. 

 

Luckily, the port is near town, and we found a gorgeous path leading along the beach with shops and restaurants. Unfortunately, nothing opened until 1100, so we walked a good long while, enjoying the view, and watching the locals as they jogged, bikes, and generally enjoyed the sunny weather. 

 

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We finally found a spot right on the beach as they were opening, and had a full breakfast with orange juice and coffee for 6.50 euro each. The food was delicious, and we enjoyed our coffee so much that we ordered another cup each.

 

 

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24CCFA6C-17DD-454B-82D1-9DB6E116F50A.thumb.jpeg.b55765dcdba6afb7279cb6b27510aedc.jpegAfter soaking up the sun and ambiance for an hour plus, we finally headed back so we could be on board by 1245 or so.

 

 

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CA3CE572-4777-423D-88B7-6B7E9902CCB2.thumb.jpeg.119cd23e9f380e8e7eb85b07a5b9042a.jpegThe weather was perfect, and the views were heavenly. The port also has a LOT of local and duty free shops in the main building, so we did some shopping, picking up a Christmas ornament, some body wash for R, and some duty free cigarettes that were much cheaper than on the ship. 

 

Once on board, we dropped everything off in the cabin, then changed into swimsuits and coverups and headed to the spa. One of the perks of our suite was a 1-day spa pass - but we could only use it on port days. With today’s short port time, we figured it was the perfect time to use it. The spa was almost empty when we arrived, and we enjoyed the tepidarium (a mid-temperature room with heated stone loungers). We then moved on to the other room with heated stone loungers, but this one was more sauna like - but the views were spectacular, as the wall was all windows. There was also a thelassotherapy pool, that I thoroughly enjoyed, R not so much. I went back and forth between the pool and heated stone loungers for a few hours - R headed back to the cabin after an hour or so. After relaxing in the spa, it started to get more and more crowded, with people talking loudly in the quiet rooms, so I went back to the cabin at around 1630. 

 

Tonight is gala night, with the Officers’ Grand Ball (where you can dance with the officers), as well as the main theatre show, ‘The Tree Gees’ - a Bee Gees cover band. We got dressed in our nicest clothes (a suit for R, a shiny silver and black dress for me), and headed to dinner at 1800. Having not eaten since breakfast, I was starving! The menu for tonight: 

 

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R and I both started with the Veils of Parma ham and mozzarella, then I had the Imperial risotto, and Pink point veal fillet, while R had the Hunters chicken stuffed tortellini, and the slow cooked lamb ribs. Everything was absolutely fantastic, whether it was due to being the Chef’s Gala Dinner, or the fact that (per one of our favorite waitress’ intel) people from ‘corporate’ had just joined the ship, I don’t know. But everything was fantastic! We were even lucky enough to catch a beautiful rainbow off in the distance over the water just before sunset. 

 

After dinner, we made our way to the Tree Gees show, not really knowing what to expect, but honestly thinking it would be a cheesy cover of Bee Gee’s songs by members of the on board entertainment staff. We were definitely mistaken! Our first clue was the stage - set up with a piano/keyboard, a full drum set, a guitar, and a bass - no pre-recorded tracks for this show! We were pleasantly surprised by the Spanish band that quickly had the crowd clapping, dancing, and singing along. It was a really fun evening, even if we saw quite a few older folks leaving mid-show. They don’t know what they missed! After the show, we each took a few euros to the casino, played for a bit, then the standard return to the cabin for reading and enjoying the balcony. 

 

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Enjoying your review. A quick question re the "theme nights". Did you find that most people dressed up or not. I'm not much of a dress up/fancy dress kind of guy.

 

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I am so enjoying your review. Makes me want to be on a ship!

 

We're not overly keen on the sea days and will unlikely ever do a TA. We are trying MSC for the first time in 5w(today). Cannot wait.

 

I find it interesting that there are slightly different things on the menus you are posting. I still recognise many of the dishes and some that I really enjoy. I wonder whether the menus for USA cruises are similar.

 

Don't you just find it amazing about the stuff people moan about. I recall we were on the Diadema once and had a group of (American) guests sitting chatting at a table behind us complaining about the "nickle and dimeing". I have to say I have never thought it was something noted on Costa. Did you experience that?

 

Riana

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40 minutes ago, marsworth75 said:

Enjoying your review. A quick question re the "theme nights". Did you find that most people dressed up or not. I'm not much of a dress up/fancy dress kind of guy.

 

 

Thank you! I feel like it was about a 50/50 split. People who dressed up generally really dressed up, and the other half went with comfy, casual clothes. I wouldn’t worry too much about it if you’re not a dress up guy!

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35 minutes ago, alicat58 said:

I am so enjoying your review. Makes me want to be on a ship!

 

We're not overly keen on the sea days and will unlikely ever do a TA. We are trying MSC for the first time in 5w(today). Cannot wait.

 

I find it interesting that there are slightly different things on the menus you are posting. I still recognise many of the dishes and some that I really enjoy. I wonder whether the menus for USA cruises are similar.

 

Don't you just find it amazing about the stuff people moan about. I recall we were on the Diadema once and had a group of (American) guests sitting chatting at a table behind us complaining about the "nickle and dimeing". I have to say I have never thought it was something noted on Costa. Did you experience that?

 

Riana

 

Thank you! Hubs was pretty apprehensive about the length of the cruise, and the sea days, and was surprised at how much he enjoyed them. 

 

Excellent question on the menus - I would have thought the menus (at least while we were in the Caribbean) would be similar to menus for US cruises. Maybe someone else can chime in? We were of the opinion that if there wasn’t anything we loved on the menu, we could always get a steak and were happy.

 

The amount of moaning and complaining was CRAZY! And yes, we experienced the same thing; one of our favorites - ‘there’s a reason they call it Costa - it’ll ‘Costa’ you a lot of extra money!’ 😂 Probably because we were in a suite, but the only things we paid extra for was the 4D movie theatre and our pizza/hamburgers (which are free at lunch). Maybe if you book a ‘basic’ cabin, there’s a lot more upcharges? 

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The excursion that you took in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, was that a Costa trip or did you book with a local company? If you don't mind my asking what was the cost for that trip?

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3 minutes ago, marsworth75 said:

The excursion that you took in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, was that a Costa trip or did you book with a local company? If you don't mind my asking what was the cost for that trip?

 

It was a Costa trip - on port days where we found something we wanted to do that was a full-day excursion, or would cut close to departure times, we booked with Costa to be on the safe side. I think it was around 150 euro each? It was a full day and included lunch and the tickets for the cable car ride (just under 30 euro each if you buy them yourself), so we didn't think it was toooooo bad. 

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16 minutes ago, marsworth75 said:

No I agree, and the trip itself looks amazing.

 

It really was! We were lucky to have such gorgeous weather!

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Day 18 - 20 March 2019 - Sea Day - Today we thought we might have gotten to bed early enough last night to get up early enough for breakfast, but no such luck. We slept until after 0900, and enjoyed another lazy morning. There was a disembarkation briefing at 1015, but luckily it was just for those guests disembarking tomorrow in Marseille. 

 

It was a chilly morning, so we just puttered about the cabin with our books and espresso until it was time to get showered and head to lunch at noon. Lunch was delicious - we both had pork cordon blue and amaretto mousse (and a salad for me). After lunch, we stopped at the atrium bar for cappuccinos, went and checked out the photos we had taken last night when we were all gussied up, stopped by the duty free shop for some lotion, and then had planned to attend today’s cultural lecture (Marseille Through the Ages) - but we mixed up the times and there was another event happening instead. (Turns out we were an hour early for the lecture - oops.) 

 

After that, we headed to the atrium for a cocktail, then headed to the casino to see if we’d be lucky. After a few hours, R couldn’t win to save his life, and I couldn’t lose to save mine. I walked out with 750 euro (lots of small/medium wins!), cashed it out at the casino cage, and threw it in the safe. After some more time spent enjoying the balcony and our books, we decided to head to dinner at 1815 so we could make tonight’s show. 

 

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Surprisingly, the Club Restaurant was fairly empty when we showed up at 1820 (normally you can’t get a window seat if you’re not there at 1800), and we had our pick of 2 top window seats. We sat in our favorite waiter’s section, and he promptly brought a glass of champagne for me, and San Pelligrino for R - pretty standard, actually. The menu tonight was the English menu, and I was hoping for shepherd’s pie - happily, it was on the menu! R and I both skipped the antipasti. I ordered the linguine with beef ragout, and R had a salad, then we both had the shepherd’s pie as our main course. He had the no sugar added lime and mint parfait for dessert, and I had the paradise cake. We were both happy with all of our selections! 

 

The theater show was an acrobatic show, by a Spanish group - Ice Air Duo. We got there early enough to get our favorite end seats towards the back, and settled in for what we hoped was a good show. It turned out to be our favorite show of the cruise! It was 2 men, who performed a Cirque du Soleil-type show involving contortion, hoops, silks, trapeze work, aerial straps, and more. It really was an incredible show, and I have no idea how difficult it must have been doing it all on a moving ship. After the show, we thought about staying up for the 2230 live show “Cabaret2” which was to be put on by the ship’s animation team, but we felt like we’d be disappointed after the amazing acrobatic show. I had to catch up on my writing anyway, so off to the cabin for us. Reading, balcony, sleep. The usual. The only different thing today was the notice tucked into our mail box for Marseille - basically a terrorism alert telling us not to linger in large crowds, pay attention to our surroundings, etc. Having been in the military for so long, this is all second nature to me, so I’m not too worried about it. 

 

We’re supposed to arrive in port tomorrow at 1130, and I’m curious to see how things work when some passengers are disembarking for good, and loads of us are staying on for another week. Guess we’ll find out. We put out our room service order form for 1000 tomorrow. A nice late morning, followed by absolutely no plans other than to walk around and get lost in the city. Can’t wait.

 

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On ‎5‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 2:30 PM, samiam0403 said:

Here we are, about a month after returning from our first-ever Costa cruise, so I figured I would finally get around to posting my in-depth review/journal/rambles about our trip. There were so many questions I had about Costa when I was researching, and so few American Costa cruisers, that I thought I would keep a running diary of our cruise to share upon our return. This will be a loooooooong thread (24 days at sea! 2 nights in Venice! 2 nights in Milan! 4 nights in Paris! 5 nights in London!), so it will definitely take me some time to get it all sorted, edited, photos added, and posted. But bear with me! I’ll get there eventually.

 

Enjoying your review immensely.  Way too few reviews available and I really appreciate the level of detail.    We've booked Costa Favolosa for March 2020, 20 day Transatlantic out of Guadeloupe.  No suite for us I'm afraid but I'm sure we'll still enjoy the experience.  

Do you know - are menus the same regardless of the dining room you were in? 

Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts on what sounds like a great trip!

Thanks again,

 

deb :)

 

 

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13 minutes ago, wurm914 said:

 

Enjoying your review immensely.  Way too few reviews available and I really appreciate the level of detail.    We've booked Costa Favolosa for March 2020, 20 day Transatlantic out of Guadeloupe.  No suite for us I'm afraid but I'm sure we'll still enjoy the experience.  

Do you know - are menus the same regardless of the dining room you were in? 

Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts on what sounds like a great trip!

Thanks again,

 

deb 🙂

 

 

 

Hi Deb! Thanks for reading! I wish I could help on the menu piece, but I really don’t know. Since we were ‘assigned’ to the Club dining room, I don’t even think we could have eaten in the main dining room. Hopefully another seasoned Costa cruiser who has cruised in multiple cabin categories can help answer your question! I hope you have the best time on your cruise!

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Day 19 - 21 March 2019 - Marseille - 1130-1800 - I woke up early (for me) at just before 0900. R was still sleeping soundly, so I went to turn the espresso machine on, and then slipped out to the balcony to see the sights as it warmed up. It was a beautiful, clear, warm day - should be perfect for exploring Marseille!

 

Hello, France!

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I would have to revise my planned outfit though - I had expected it to be much cooler. No need for jeans and a jacket today! However, R woke up a little after I did, and upon checking his e-mail, found a message from our contractor who needed some signatures on our permit before they could start working on our roof. Looks like we’ll have a later start in Marseille than originally planned, as R needed to find the business center on the ship to print out the documents and get them sent back. An inconvenience, to be sure, but the sooner the work starts on the house, the better! 

 

Happily, his trip to the business center was short, and customer service was able to get him pointed in the right direction to get everything sorted. We were able to make it off the ship at 1130! Since we had no plans again today, we thought we’d just walk to the city - it’s worked fantastically well in every other port so far. 30 minutes later...this port is MASSIVE! We were just 2 in a large number of people from the ship who had the same idea, and were kicking ourselves that we hadn’t purchased the round trip bus tickets on the ship for 7 or 8 euro each. Ah well - lesson learned. We finally came across a bus stop, with a machine for purchasing bus passes. Perfect! We waited in line, and bought 24 hour bus passes for around 5 euro (maybe?).

 

Bus route info:

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And then we waited. And waited. And waited. After 30 minutes of no bus, we decided to follow a French couple from the ship (who seemed to know what they were doing), and walked to the next bus stop. 15 minutes of waiting - no bus. UGH! Finally we gave up and just hailed a cab across the street.

 

Luckily, my ‘used to be fluent, but it’s been years since I’ve used it’ French was able to get us exactly where we wanted to go. I asked for the city center, and a restaurant - one with wine and cheese preferably. He proceeded to talk to us in French the whole cab ride, and I probably got about 50% of it. He dropped us off at the old marina, which was surrounded by a ton of restaurants and shops. We walked around the marina a bit, admiring the gorgeous boats, and finally located a nice looking restaurant with open seats outside. (We do love our people watching!)

 

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I (of course) ordered a glass of rose wine and a cheese plate, and R ordered lamb kebabs.

 

Foooooood!

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The cheese wasn’t as good as the local ones I had on Lanzarote, but it was tasty. R was unimpressed with his first bite of French ‘cheese’. He scooped up what he thought was cheese with his knife and popped it in his mouth. It was butter, to go on the French bread, but I couldn’t warn him fast enough as I was swallowing a bite of cheese myself. I. Was. Dying. After I finally stopped laughing at him, we finished up our snacks and enjoyed the sunny weather and people watching. At one point, a busker set up across the street from us, and began to play music on his guitar. What made him stand out was his big dog that laid next to him, HOWLING during parts of the songs. Such a good boy! We loved it!

 

We finally decided to go walk off lunch, and walked all the way around the marina.

 

Random Marseille pics:

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It was a gorgeous day, and a lovely walk, and apparently today was ‘Samantha belongs in France’ day, as multiple people from the ship and/or tourists approached me to haltingly ask directions to something in French. After a fantastic, perfect day, we walked back to where the cabs tended to be and hailed one around 1630. We got back to the ship around 1700, and were surprised to see so many people hanging about the atrium with their life vests on. Ah yes, lots of new people boarded today, but it couldn’t have been too many as their muster drill was in the Piano Bar. We sat at the atrium bar for a cappuccino, then headed to the room to see what was for dinner.

 

Our menu was waiting for us in the room - dinner tonight is the French menu:

 

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I honestly couldn’t tell you what we had tonight, as I was starting to come down with a bit of a sore throat/sinus-y thing and went to bed super early. It was definitely good though (otherwise I would have definitely mentioned it!), and our favorite waiter Jignesh tried his best to help me kill off the sore throat with tons of prosecco and wine. 😄 After dinner, we went to the cabin to relax, read, and try to get to sleep early since we’ve an early day in Savona tomorrow. We put out our room service order for breakfast in the morning, and snoooooooozed.

 

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Really enjoying the reviews.

We are booked on the Deliziosa for the 2020 World cruise.  I know the ship goes to drydock this summer and I will be really looking forward to the reviews after that.

I know you were in a suite so you ate most of your meals in the Club restaurant.  What did people who ate in the regular dining room think of the food? And the buffet?

 

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On 5/11/2019 at 12:32 PM, samiam0403 said:

 

Thank you! Hubs was pretty apprehensive about the length of the cruise, and the sea days, and was surprised at how much he enjoyed them. 

 

Excellent question on the menus - I would have thought the menus (at least while we were in the Caribbean) would be similar to menus for US cruises. Maybe someone else can chime in? We were of the opinion that if there wasn’t anything we loved on the menu, we could always get a steak and were happy.

 

The amount of moaning and complaining was CRAZY! And yes, we experienced the same thing; one of our favorites - ‘there’s a reason they call it Costa - it’ll ‘Costa’ you a lot of extra money!’ 😂 Probably because we were in a suite, but the only things we paid extra for was the 4D movie theatre and our pizza/hamburgers (which are free at lunch). Maybe if you book a ‘basic’ cabin, there’s a lot more upcharges? 

I think that this is basically a European menu designed for European Tastes...Heavy on fish and and related sea items.  If they offered octopus on an American cruise, most people would stick up their noses.  I read that comment on CC about the couple and their problem with the lack of ice cream and cookies.  I have been thinking about taking a Costa cruise just for the interesting ports they go to....now I am sold on it.  I think I have to save up for a better cabin..:)  will be checking all of the sites.  I think this would appeal to people who have traveled a lot and feel comfortable with different languages and foods, along with the entertainment.  Not much sense in going someplace and staying in a holiday inn.  🙂  just like home.  This has been a very good review and I thank you very much.  

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We were on the same cruise but got off in Savona - much to our relief after 19 days. 

This was our 4th Transatlantic crossing with Costa and by far the worst one for food and entertainment. 

As we are diamanté we usually get to eat club restaurant or have a designated space in the main restaurant. On this cruise it was the latter and for the first 3 days the food was fabulous as it was one of our favourite executive chefs on board. Then after that everything changed - even the soups were different - tasting like they’d forgotten to put the stock in! 

I asked our waiter what was going on and he said it had been change over time and a different chef was on board. How disappointing!

We had some awful meals and some mediocre meals and had 5 nights out of 19 in the club restaurant. Even in there (where they gave their own kitchen and chefs) the food was not as good as other Costa ships club restaurants.

The service everywhere was excellent. 

The buffet at breakfast was so varied and good as it was geared up for the American guests. Lunch wasn’t so good, but the choices were so much better than in the MDR.

Im really glad you had such a wonder cruise Samiam. You really do get what you pay for so we have given up on our usual premium balcony cabin for our forthcoming cruise in September and booked a suite. 

At least we will get all the little luxuries!

The Deliziosa is a ship we won’t go on again. 3 times in 5 months was overkill! The ship has a very annoying judder which makes me feel a bit seasick so I had to wear bands most of the time. I don’t like the decor much either - just hope they pretty her up on her Refit

 

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Morning samiam, a couple of more questions if you would. 

1. When you checked in for your cruise in Port Everglades was there a special area for suit check in or was it any line that was open?

2. Did you have much contact with or was there a big need for the English speaking on board rep? 

3. I notice on the suite restaurant menus there is a section that obviously indicates an up charge for selected items. Were those items an up-charge for suite guests too?

4 Do you have a photo of the room service menu, that is lunch and dinner. Is that how you ordered, with a menu or just by contacting the butler?

Thanks again for any info you can help with. I am looking forward to the rest of your review.

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Thanks for posting about the firm mattresses, I don't use the toppers myself and I keep forgetting about them.

The Pink Panthers are nice, bit I usually recommend the cappucchino, either regular or decaffeinated.

I also like the pizza. My last cruise, only once were there other passengers, otherwise always staff. Some people apparently get their knickers in a knot over this, but it seems just like a normal pizzeria to me, and they pay the same price I do. Did you find it popular with other passengers?

Music in the Grand Bar is generally from 18.00 to 01.00 with the between-dinner party around 20.00 and the main around 22.30, but I have found it to vary on TA's. Is that about what you found? Costa does not have dance hosts per se but as you saw, the cruise staff usually dance with passengers at least briefly, every evening. Almost unique, especially if there's a Latin Dance Group on board (very high-quality partners but only a few sailings, probably not a TA). Only Cunard comes close, sometimes, American ships are utterly pathetic.

I choose Costa for something to do in the evening, by far the best I have ever found, it sounds like your philosophy is different?

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