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  #1  
Old November 20th, 2012, 11:43 AM
AnonymousCruiser69 AnonymousCruiser69 is offline
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Default live-ish from Costa Mediterranea 11/20/2012

sitting here in south beach anticipating my 10 cruise on Mediterranea. Precruise stay was at the Beacon hotel, south beach. Perfect for a one night stay (excellent location, free breakfast, free port shuttle.)

It has been a couple years since my last cruise with costa. This time i have an aft Grand suite.

I will mainly be reporting on the ship itself as the ports have been done to death. I'll update this as internet access allows.

Time to checkout and head for the ship.
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  #2  
Old November 20th, 2012, 12:28 PM
Ex-vogue model Ex-vogue model is offline
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Default Looking forward to review!

Am going on Mediterranea on 20th December for 10 nights so looking forward to your review! Any chance of some photos too?? Am staying in Panorama Suite which looks lovely so can't wait!
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RCCL Jewel of the Seas Dec 2009
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Costa Fortuna June 2011
Costa Mediterannea December 2012
Norwegian Jade August 2013
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Norwegian Star July 2014
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  #3  
Old November 20th, 2012, 01:34 PM
AnonymousCruiser69 AnonymousCruiser69 is offline
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Boarding was painless and fast, even though there is no special line for costa club/suites. Still, took no more than 5 minutes. Having some pizza since cabins won't be ready for about a half hour. Pizza is thin crust and better than i remembered.
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  #4  
Old November 21st, 2012, 09:12 AM
Ex-vogue model Ex-vogue model is offline
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I thought suite members got priority boarding? Obviously not! Glad the pizza is good though!
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RCCL Jewel of the Seas Dec 2009
Celebrity Millennium Dec 2010
Costa Fortuna June 2011
Costa Mediterannea December 2012
Norwegian Jade August 2013
Costa Fortuna December 2013
Norwegian Star July 2014
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  #5  
Old November 21st, 2012, 10:40 AM
AnonymousCruiser69 AnonymousCruiser69 is offline
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Default end of day one

lifeboat drill was very thorough. i've always thought it ws very light-hearted on past cruises, but this time i couldn't help thinking of concordia and what it must have been like during the emergency. we were counted several times and had to turn in a card with name and cabin number. costa does appear to be taking this very seriously.

dinner was fine, if a bit drawn out. i had planned on taking the majority of my meals in my suite but the butler hadn't provided the evening menu for the first day (i have since spoken to him, he will get this done for me). i had requested and received a table for one (yes, i am being anti-social on this trip). i had a very good tomato and mozzerella salad followed by roasted lamb with lyonaise potatoes and zucchinni. appropriately small portions when having multiple courses. i had ordered a cheeseplate for dessert but after waiting about 20 minutes, i gave up and left. i didn't need the calories, anyway.

a note about the suite itself. i have always booked an inside or outside for my previous 14 cruises because i was not spending a lot of time in the cabin. this vacation is a 'do nothing' trip, so i splurged on an aft grand suite. technically, there are 4 rooms: living room, dressing room (with walkin closet) bath and separate bedroom. can the large balcony be room 5? the space and privacy is superb. very clean. and nicely appointed.
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  #6  
Old November 22nd, 2012, 07:27 AM
AnonymousCruiser69 AnonymousCruiser69 is offline
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Default day two

day two 21nov2012

slept very well. i love the gentle rocking of the ship when i sleep. early morning cappucinno from the apollp bar @ 6:30am. room service breakfast was delivered promptly @ 7:00am by the butler (fraulain, i believe). egg benedict-ish, fruit plate, croissant, three cappucinnos. i say eggs benedict 'ish' because it was made with ham vs. canadian bacon and the hollandaise was clearly something other than the real thing. it was just ok.

explored the ship for about an hour while most people were tourng nasssau , bahamas (aka the armpit of the caribbean). i was here in c.1995 on my very first cruise aboard carnival fascination. they cruise was a christmas gift for my parents. they hated it, i was hooked. fortunately for them, it was only a four day cruise visiting nassau and freeport out of port canaveral, fl. i did get off the ship for about an hour. nassau is still a dump, IMHO, but i did need the aerobic exercise.

i do like the ship so far. it is medium-sized. not too garish but joe farcus' fingerprints are all over it. for anyone who has sailed on carnival spirit, this is the same class ship. they call it a linear design because decks two and three go all the way fore and aft uninterrupted. all the main lounges and casino are located on these decks as well as access to the two- story dining room and main theater. a good layout.

room service lunch at 1:30pm delivered by an alternate butler as the regular one was between shifts. table was set properly with tablecloth. grilled chicked salad appetizer, linguini with sage pesto and tomato, cous cous with grilled vegetables, cheese plate. all quite good.

HINT: the portion sizes are quite small so several courses can be enjoyed. i happen to love eating this way. if you just want one course, best order two or three of that thing.

afternoon was for tanning and power lounging. double esspressos from the apollo bar on deck nine. lynn and byron are keeping me well supplied. i do have the all-inclusive beverage package even though i do not drink alcohol. between the coffees, bottled water (i have been allowed to take away full bottles) and soda water i think it will be a good value. the package was USD 259 including tax and gratuity.

after an exhausting afternoon tanning and drinking esspressos, i hit the gym. they do have. some nice equipment there. it is a two-story affair at the front of decks nine and ten.

sunset and sailaway from nassau was watched from the aft balcony. good riddance oh mighty tourist trap. if shopping is your thing you'll be in heaven.

dinner has been ordered. rabbit terrine, gazspacho, gnocchi with lamb and artichoke ragout, guinea fowl with roasted potatoes and carrots, cheese plate (DO order the cheese plate, costa does an excellent job varying the selections). as i sit here typing this, i am wondering where it is.

dinner delivered, table set. i've taken some 'food porn' pictures, but can't get them uploaded until i get home. everything was quite good - especially the rabbit and guinea fowl.

navigational update: cruising at 16.6 knots on a compass heading of 37.7 degrees. it is raining at the moment as i sit at the apollo bar having an apre' dinner esspresso.

victoria horne was the main theater act tonight. she belted out motown standards in a floor-length red sequined gown. isobello lounge had the sharade band (cool lounge under the theatre on deck one - hard to find, but worth it.) dance madness in show lounge on deck two. people on costa love to dance, and i enjoy watching. casino was fairly busy. went to bed about midnight. a good day, all-in-all.
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  #7  
Old November 23rd, 2012, 08:34 AM
AnonymousCruiser69 AnonymousCruiser69 is offline
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day three, 22NOV 2012 Thursday at sea

Happy Thanksgiving

the morning started as usual with room service breakfast. today it was steak and eggs with grilled tomato on the side. the hashbrowns were missing and the rye toast turned into rye rolls. a sectioned grapefruit and cappucinnos (of course), also. on-time delivery again.

after breakfast i walked around deck 10 for 45 minutes in hopes of working off some of that food. side note: over the past several years i have lost 180 pounds (eat less, move more) and i am determined to keep the cruise weight gain to and absolute minimum. i am making liberal use of the stairs and walking a lot.

there was a cocktail reception @ 11:00am with Captain Fava and some of the senior officers. i believe this was for the costa club members and repeat cruisers. informal dress was specified so i donned a light tan linen suit. quite a few people in attendance, mostly properly attired.

tanning took up another portion of the morning followed by the watching the macy's thanksgiving parade. lunch was brought at 1:30pm. proscutto and cheese (orderedd, but some other meat was served), vegetable lasagna, lamb chops with artichokes (turned out to be rack of lamb and it was outstanding!) melon for dessert. yummy. went to deck nine for a double esspresso. being a sea day, the place was packed so i took it back to my balcony. a two-hour siesta was required after all that work.

later i had more esspressos and then went to the gym for an hour of lifting weights. by the time i finished that, it was time to dress for gala night. i did not bring my tux this time. i did bring a black tone on tone stripe suit, black shirt and black tie. as i sit in the disolo lounge, deck 3, observing the early-seating dinner crowd i see NO tuxedos on the men (except for the staff). sad. most of the men are in suits or sportcoats. the ladies outdid the men, as usual.

demographics: mainly an older crowd, well over 50 (i'm fifty and one of the younger ones). there is a scattering of thirty-somethings. german is the main language i am hearing followed by french and italian. very, very few english speakers onboad. i did meet natialee, the english speaking hostess this morning at the reception but i forgot to ask her how many english speaking guests were onboard. i'll try to get an update later. there are very few kids onboard, less than 10 would be my guess.

smoking: as reported, smoking is allowed in the cabin and on the balcony. most lounges, but not all, have a tiny smoking area.

the captains gala reception is tonight at 8pm. oddly, they are having the first and second seating reception at the same time but in different lounges. the captain will speak at both.

dinner was quite tasty. pate maison, risotto with mushrooms, turkey rolade (stuffed with dressing) served with mashed potato, green beans and corn-on-the cob.

just wandered the ship checking out the various nightclub acts. went to bed about 11:30pm. another good day on mediterranea.
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  #8  
Old November 23rd, 2012, 08:52 AM
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Default thanks so much!

Hi anonymous cruiser 69!

I am going on the Dec. 10, 2012 cruise on this ship and your updates and details are great. Please keep them going as they are very helpful with an insight into the daily goings on upon this ship. I have been on the Miracle which is the same layout as Mediterranea, and found it a lovely ship. Although Farcus' fingerprints were extremely heavy in her decor.

Your cabin sounds wonderful. We will be in a grand verandah for the first time and are very excited.
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  #9  
Old November 23rd, 2012, 09:12 AM
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Thanks for the live updates.
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  #10  
Old November 23rd, 2012, 03:38 PM
Ex-vogue model Ex-vogue model is offline
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Great reviews - looking forward to the rest and the photos too! So many people really do Costa down and it's such a shame as our last cruise was on the Fortuna and the food and service was excellent. As we sail on 20th December, I guess there will be lots more children as its the holiday season but as long as they are well behaved it won't bother me Are you planning on trying out the speciality restaurant?
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  #11  
Old November 23rd, 2012, 09:10 PM
leyla leyla is offline
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Hi..thanks for the daily updates. I love reading them & very helpful. We've just booked a balcony for the Dec. 10 cruise. This will be our 6th Costa cruise. Been on the Atlantica (sister ship to this one & 3 years older) so it will be nice & familiar. Was also on the Concordia in 2008. So sad Glad to hear that the boat drill is really taken seriously!

To-date, the ship does not seem to be at full capacity; I wonder if it might be due to some cancellations due to the recent weather turmoils.

Wish all our American neighbors a wonderful Thanksgiving safe holiday. Vicky & Joe
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  #12  
Old November 24th, 2012, 08:13 AM
AnonymousCruiser69 AnonymousCruiser69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-vogue model View Post
Great reviews - looking forward to the rest and the photos too! So many people really do Costa down and it's such a shame as our last cruise was on the Fortuna and the food and service was excellent. As we sail on 20th December, I guess there will be lots more children as its the holiday season but as long as they are well behaved it won't bother me Are you planning on trying out the speciality restaurant?
Yes, i will do one night in the specialty restaurant. Havent decided which night, yet.
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  #13  
Old November 24th, 2012, 08:14 AM
AnonymousCruiser69 AnonymousCruiser69 is offline
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i'm starting this post with a rant against jamaica's all-but governement sanctioned murder of gay and lesbians by citizens and police depaments. i refuse to get off the ship here - as do a lot of gays and lesbians. there are several threads about this on the g&l boards, so i will leave it at that.

a lighter breakfast in the buffet this morning, if chocolate croissants can be considered light. lol. i did have some fruit to balance out the bad. that was followed by a couple hours of tanning and an hour of brisk walking for exercise.

lunch was also in the buffet because i was craving a burger and fries (something i almost never eat a home.) not as good as burger king, but few things are. i was reminded, why i generally avoid the buffet: someone in line coughed right into his hand and then picked up the tongs. gross. there are hand sanitizers at the entrance, and reminders in the daily paper to use it but people aren't.

sitting at the apollo lido right now having a double esspresso. i've not been keeping strict count, but between all the cappucinnos, esspressos, bottled water and diet cokes i think i am saving money. in any event, it is nice to order and see the drink ticket say 0.00 for the charge.

apparently the ship is docked at the 'cheap' berth, right by an abandoned factory of some sort. there is another berth where one can walk into town, but this one requires a short cab ride. no matter to me, since i (and my money) am staying onboard. every couple minutes a wave hits the ship and knocks it into th dock, causing a booming noise and dramatic shaking. we are only here from noon until 6pm, which is plenty long enough for me.

dinner was a potato and onion flan with a cheese sauce (interesting, but it needed 'something') then beef tenderloin with green beans, carrots and mashers. beef was a bit overcooked, but this IS banquet food afterall. i don't expect steakhouse (or my even better home quality) steaks.

the show tonight was OUTSTANDING: alex carolli did a juggling, comedy and acrobatic aerial show (flying on silk ribbons). very entertaining. if you get a chance, see it.

a note on seaday activities: there are many, from gym classes, bingo, comedy games all around the center pools. the aft pool is reserved for quiet and relaxiation (thank you, costa). i have not been hearing any annpuncements selling things, either. very nice.

that was the end of day four. another good day
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  #14  
Old November 24th, 2012, 10:32 PM
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ComeSailAwayWitMe ComeSailAwayWitMe is offline
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fun to read your 'daily' posts. I will be sailing on the Dec 30th cruise. Love to hear about nightly entertainment; dinner menus; etc but will settle for anything you write! Thank you
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  #15  
Old November 24th, 2012, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ComeSailAwayWitMe View Post
fun to read your 'daily' posts. I will be sailing on the Dec 30th cruise. Love to hear about nightly entertainment; dinner menus; etc but will settle for anything you write! Thank you
Hi ComeSailAwayWitMe........ come and join our Roll Call :

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1719770
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  #16  
Old November 24th, 2012, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonymousCruiser69 View Post
i'm starting this post with a rant against jamaica's all-but governement sanctioned murder of gay and lesbians by citizens and police depaments. i refuse to get off the ship here - as do a lot of gays and lesbians. there are several threads about this on the g&l boards, so i will leave it at that.
Thank you Anon Cruiser for your review. We know the Mediterranea well and will be sailing on her for the New Year. For the same reasons, we shall not leave the ship in Jamaica.

If you have any advice for the other ports of call (we love snorkelling) we would really appreciate it.

B&T
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  #17  
Old November 25th, 2012, 07:44 AM
Ex-vogue model Ex-vogue model is offline
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Another great review! Love hearing about the food and entertainment - keep the reviews coming. Our kids love the pink panthers and Shirley temples - are they included in the all inclusive drinks package? Grateful for confirmation. Very jealous that you are sunbathing - herein the UK we have had the most horrendous floods so cant wait to get out to some sunshine!
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Costa Fortuna June 2011
Costa Mediterannea December 2012
Norwegian Jade August 2013
Costa Fortuna December 2013
Norwegian Star July 2014
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  #18  
Old November 25th, 2012, 07:47 AM
AnonymousCruiser69 AnonymousCruiser69 is offline
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day five 24Nov2012 Saturday Grand Cayman

i think today i have finally achieved 'cruise mode'. some people will know what i mean: where life onboard hits a familiar rhythm. it feels 'right' to be here. unfortunately, today also marks the halfway point. only five full days to go, then debarkment day madness. enough about that day. yikes!

the morning started as usual with cappucinnos, croissant, grapefruit half (minus the berries, as advertised) and allegedly fresh squeezed OJ being delivered promptly a 7am (the earliest time on the breakfast order card). i got up quite a bit earlier and was happy to discover the coffee machines in the buffet are left on 24 hours (i asked an attendant) however there is not alway milk. black coffee it is, then. the earliest a cappucinno is available is supposed to be 6:30am at the apollo bar (not quite open the time i tried, but the guys back there are so nice i cut them some slack).

i went back to bed for a bit after that. were arrived at grand caymen about 9am. i have no excursion booked. this is a tender port. i was in no rush, so i waited until there was no tender ticked required. i believe they got up to number 22 before they made the 'no ticket required' announcement. the tenders were very large, capacity rated at 350. i hate tendering in lifeboat. cramped an stinky, they are. took about 20 minutes to load the tender an another 10 to get off.
i keep a substancial stockpile of gold buillion on grand cayman, for emegencies only. i stopped by the bank to visit it, and then milled around town for my aerobic exercise. came back and tanned for a bit before ordering lunch (grilled mixed veggies, carrot soup, curried veggies on basmati rice - especially delicious - no sugar added chocolate mousse). more tanning and reading and double esspressos while people watching at the apollo lido pool.

well rested, and hopped up on caffine, i hit the gym for some weight training. called room service for some fruit (all that was available in the buffet was pizza and salad at the end of a VERY long line of people returning from excursions.) watching the sailaway from my balcony right now. goodbye bye grand cayman, goodbye buillion. joking about the buillion, by the way

the show tonight was 'beat the rhythm' featuring the mediterranea singers and dancers. an entertaining way to kill an hour. prior to the main show, i hung out at piazza cassanova (deck 2) for the live music and dancing. there are some serious dancers onboard (like all the costa cruises i have taken).

TV channels: there are two english language one being a european news station and the other is NBC. oddly, local news from casper, wyoming is shown.

internet speed test: i ran a test to check the interent speed for the ship's wifi. both upload and download was around 400k which seems acceptable for posting on CC and checking mail.

not very hungry for dinner, so i just ordered a double order of the prime rib (it was horribly overcooked - first meal this cruise i am dissatisfied with).

tonight the clocks roll back an hour (we have beeh on eastern time until tonight. i hope the crew gets an extra hour of sleep, too. they deserve it.

that's all she wrote for day five...
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  #19  
Old November 25th, 2012, 10:09 AM
AnonymousCruiser69 AnonymousCruiser69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-vogue model View Post
Another great review! Love hearing about the food and entertainment - keep the reviews coming. Our kids love the pink panthers and Shirley temples - are they included in the all inclusive drinks package? Grateful for confirmation. Very jealous that you are sunbathing - herein the UK we have had the most horrendous floods so cant wait to get out to some sunshine!
There is a child's all-inclusive that would cover those.
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  #20  
Old November 25th, 2012, 02:53 PM
Ex-vogue model Ex-vogue model is offline
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Thanks for letting me know about the all inclusive drinks package! Kids will be pleased now. Looking forward to hearing about Day 6
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Costa Fortuna June 2011
Costa Mediterannea December 2012
Norwegian Jade August 2013
Costa Fortuna December 2013
Norwegian Star July 2014
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