CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Costa Cruises Costa Mediterranea Western Caribbean January 11, 2004

We had a wonderful week aboard Mediterranea! Here's a short rundown of the pro's and con's as we saw them:

Pro's: Beautiful, new, clean ship (although the comment of Italian interpreted by Las Vegas does somewhat apply). Wonderful deck accommodations - ample deck chairs, pools, Jacuzzi's. Large, well designed cabins with plenty of closet space. Food ranged from good to excellent at most meals. (I'll eat almost anything, but my wife is pretty picky & she always found something she liked.) (Be aware that the European definitions of meat "done-ness" is different from ours - they tend to like their meats rarer, so plan accordingly. This IS NOT Costa 's fault - anyone who's spent a lot of time abroad know this!) Wonderful 24-hour room service with great food selections. Osiris Theatre is wonderful - great sound & light, comfortable seats - I recommend the 4th floor balcony where there's never a crowd. Shows/performers in the Osiris were very good with a European flair - especially noteworthy was the Steel Band, classical pianist & tenor soloist. Cabin stewards were attentive and efficient. We encountered no European arrogance amoung any of the staff and crew - probably because we did not approach them with American arrogance. Enjoyed the mix of American & European passengers. Excellent selection of shore excursions. In-room folio access so that we didn't go into shock when we saw the bar-bill!

Cons: Pre-cruise - Costa website is very, very poor. Often could not access many pages. It should also include online pre-booking and excursion reservations. Embarkation time was too long - ticket noted boarding beginning at 13:30. We arrived at that time & did not board until approx. 15:00. Also, did not like the need to go to information desk to "link" credit card. This should all be done in one step - either at embarkation - or preferably on-line before the cruise. Wait staff, while well intentioned, was not very polished. Food was sometimes only warm & service was generally slow. Allow minimum 2-hours for dinner. Some of the staff, while polite to passengers, seemed a bit disgrutled with their employer. Rules were posted regarding one pool for adults only & no children < 12 in Jacuzzi's. These rules were totally ignored by guests and not enforced by staff. (Forgive me, but this is a pet peeve - with only 50 of 2000 passengers being children, adults deserve one pool where they can relax without being splashed and pummelled. Also, re. Jacuzzi's - especially lothsome are parents who take their pre-toilet-trained infants into them. If we wanted to swim in waste water we could stay home. Ah, for the days of Renaissance adult-only ships!!!) There was no "refillable" cola option available. Photographers were a bit surley and most photos included costumed persons who did not always enhance the photo. Photo's were under lock & key - implying a distrust of the passengers honesty. The cruise ended too soon - Costa should have made time move slower!

In summary we had a wonderful week. I would rate the experience a 7 on a scale of 10. We would certainly consider another Costa cruise.

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