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  #1  
Old October 22nd, 2013, 03:07 PM
editor@cruisecritic editor@cruisecritic is offline
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Default We're heading out on Costa

On Friday, we're boarding Costa Luminosa in Barcelona, for a preview cruise before the ship heads for its Caribbean season out of Miami. Happy to check out anything you're curious about (though I encourage you first to read Kfowinst's terrific review -- she's just back, and it's here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1929150).

Otherwise, post away, and I'll do my best, Internet willing, to respond to you from the ship (if not, I'll respond when I'm back on land).

And if you have any advice, please feel free to include that as well!

Thanks.

Carolyn Spencer Brown
Editor in Chief
Cruise Critic
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  #2  
Old October 22nd, 2013, 03:22 PM
AnonymousCruiser69 AnonymousCruiser69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by editor@cruisecritic View Post
On Friday, we're boarding Costa Luminosa in Barcelona, for a preview cruise before the ship heads for its Caribbean season out of Miami. Happy to check out anything you're curious about (though I encourage you first to read Kfowinst's terrific review -- she's just back, and it's here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1929150).

Otherwise, post away, and I'll do my best, Internet willing, to respond to you from the ship (if not, I'll respond when I'm back on land).

And if you have any advice, please feel free to include that as well!

Thanks.

Carolyn Spencer Brown
Editor in Chief
Cruise Critic
i don't know if you've cruised costa before, but i offer this to all 1st time costa cruisers: don't expect it to be just like all the other lines. costa is 'different' (some would say not in a good way). go with an open mind and you'll have a great time.
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  #3  
Old October 22nd, 2013, 06:33 PM
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cruisetrail cruisetrail is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by editor@cruisecritic View Post
On Friday, we're boarding Costa Luminosa in Barcelona, for a preview cruise before the ship heads for its Caribbean season out of Miami. Happy to check out anything you're curious about (though I encourage you first to read Kfowinst's terrific review -- she's just back, and it's here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1929150).

Otherwise, post away, and I'll do my best, Internet willing, to respond to you from the ship (if not, I'll respond when I'm back on land).

And if you have any advice, please feel free to include that as well!

Thanks.

Carolyn Spencer Brown
Editor in Chief
Cruise Critic
What I would suggest to my friend:
1. Samsara is the way of cruising on Costa.
2. For solo cruisers - Book a regular cabin and purchase Samsara package separately. You'll pay for Samsara twice if you book Samsara category cabin.

My questions.
1. By design the promenade deck on the Luminosa must have a transverse connection in the forward end that makes it fully wrap-around. Is that part open to the public? Can we actually walk there?
2. Does the Luminosa offer live music band on the main stage? On our cruise on the Favolosa there was prerecorded music that was very disappointing.

Thank you and enjoy your cruise!
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  #4  
Old October 22nd, 2013, 07:56 PM
cruising oceangal cruising oceangal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by editor@cruisecritic View Post
On Friday, we're boarding Costa Luminosa in Barcelona, for a preview cruise before the ship heads for its Caribbean season out of Miami. Happy to check out anything you're curious about (though I encourage you first to read Kfowinst's terrific review -- she's just back, and it's here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1929150).

Otherwise, post away, and I'll do my best, Internet willing, to respond to you from the ship (if not, I'll respond when I'm back on land).

And if you have any advice, please feel free to include that as well!

Thanks.

Carolyn Spencer Brown
Editor in Chief
Cruise Critic
Hi Carolyn,

My DH and I will be cruising on the Luminosa in December, our first Costa cruise. It was nice reading a couple of good reviews recently as there is not much information on CC about this ship. Kfowinst review was terrific and helped answer questions I had.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts of the Luminosa!

Safe travels and enjoy your cruise!

Thank you!

Barb
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  #5  
Old October 23rd, 2013, 04:21 PM
TravelTrotter TravelTrotter is offline
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Default Upcoming cruise

Thanks Carolyn. I'm booked on the Nov. TA cruise and have appreciated the recent Luminosa chatter. This is my first time on Costa and I'm preparing for a new unique experience. I'm a 3 star HAL Mariner so I'm determined to keep an open mind. They have huge roll calls and there is nothing for my upcoing cruise - only 3 people have posted. I'm curious if there are any activities for single, solo travelers. Can you check that out please. Thanks, Christina
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  #6  
Old October 23rd, 2013, 04:41 PM
editor@cruisecritic editor@cruisecritic is offline
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Hi, Anonymous. I'll second that advice, Costa, like other European lines (including but not limited to AIDA, MSC and others) mostly market to Europeans. At least in Europe. And Europeans travel differently from Americans. So there are quirks. As long as you're not expecting an all-American ambience, you'll be fine.

Carolyn

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonymousCruiser69 View Post
i don't know if you've cruised costa before, but i offer this to all 1st time costa cruisers: don't expect it to be just like all the other lines. costa is 'different' (some would say not in a good way). go with an open mind and you'll have a great time.
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  #7  
Old October 23rd, 2013, 04:45 PM
editor@cruisecritic editor@cruisecritic is offline
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I found the same thing, Barb! So will be happy to provide info. I'll be writing a blog, posting occasionally on Facebook (facebook.com/cruisecritic) and answering any questions here. And then of course writing a review. But that takes a few weeks

Carolyn

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruising oceangal View Post
Hi Carolyn,

My DH and I will be cruising on the Luminosa in December, our first Costa cruise. It was nice reading a couple of good reviews recently as there is not much information on CC about this ship. Kfowinst review was terrific and helped answer questions I had.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts of the Luminosa!

Safe travels and enjoy your cruise!

Thank you!

Barb
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  #8  
Old October 23rd, 2013, 05:00 PM
editor@cruisecritic editor@cruisecritic is offline
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Great tips, thanks Cruisetrail. Will look into Samsara packages...interesting idea. Will find answers to your questions....

Carolyn

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisetrail View Post
What I would suggest to my friend:
1. Samsara is the way of cruising on Costa.
2. For solo cruisers - Book a regular cabin and purchase Samsara package separately. You'll pay for Samsara twice if you book Samsara category cabin.

My questions.
1. By design the promenade deck on the Luminosa must have a transverse connection in the forward end that makes it fully wrap-around. Is that part open to the public? Can we actually walk there?
2. Does the Luminosa offer live music band on the main stage? On our cruise on the Favolosa there was prerecorded music that was very disappointing.

Thank you and enjoy your cruise!
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  #9  
Old October 23rd, 2013, 07:42 PM
kfowinst kfowinst is offline
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Hey Carolyn,

I hope you enjoy your trip on the Luminosa.

Glad you found my review useful - a lot of it is my subjective opinions of course, but I tried to include lots of details as I benefited from CC posters when booking my honeymoon.

One thing I'd be interested in is your take on hygiene - is this ship doing enough? Even though the ship looked very clean, my mum was concerned by the lack of enforced hand washing. Does it make a difference?

You are right, this is a very European cruise, most passengers were from Europe and to non-Europeans may appear to be rude. For example, it is not custom to say 'please' and 'thank you' as often as Brits and Americans do in Italy/ Spain. It is also not the norm to tip (e.g. you just round up the bill in an Italian restaurant in general). Queuing is also not a cultural norm in med countries. So it's not people being rude, the culture is just very different. We did not find the passengers an issue on this cruise as other reviews have highlighted - but it might be because we are less sensitive having been accustomed to European travel and living in a cosmopolitan city in England.

Happy travels!
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  #10  
Old October 25th, 2013, 03:48 AM
editor@cruisecritic editor@cruisecritic is offline
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Hi -- will definitely check out hygiene -- and see if pax and crew are following protocol. That's an issue for me, too!

Carolyn

Quote:
Originally Posted by kfowinst View Post
Hey Carolyn,

I hope you enjoy your trip on the Luminosa.

Glad you found my review useful - a lot of it is my subjective opinions of course, but I tried to include lots of details as I benefited from CC posters when booking my honeymoon.

One thing I'd be interested in is your take on hygiene - is this ship doing enough? Even though the ship looked very clean, my mum was concerned by the lack of enforced hand washing. Does it make a difference?

You are right, this is a very European cruise, most passengers were from Europe and to non-Europeans may appear to be rude. For example, it is not custom to say 'please' and 'thank you' as often as Brits and Americans do in Italy/ Spain. It is also not the norm to tip (e.g. you just round up the bill in an Italian restaurant in general). Queuing is also not a cultural norm in med countries. So it's not people being rude, the culture is just very different. We did not find the passengers an issue on this cruise as other reviews have highlighted - but it might be because we are less sensitive having been accustomed to European travel and living in a cosmopolitan city in England.

Happy travels!
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  #11  
Old October 25th, 2013, 12:39 PM
Dancer Bob Dancer Bob is offline
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I don't know of any ship anywhere that enforces handwashing for passengers. In my experience, Costa seems to be better than most for sanitizing elevator call buttons and handrails during port stops.
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  #12  
Old October 25th, 2013, 01:47 PM
Blondie008 Blondie008 is offline
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Although there were santiser stations on NeoR - have to say, there were some who just bypassed them - and no, they were not enforced by MDR or Buffet staff.
Carnival actually are the best I have seen in recent years at enforcing the santiser stations - and also, placing tissue for use at the door handles exiting the loos - didnt see that at all on Costa.
Sadly it might take an outbreak for them to sharpen up -
just cannot understand why people dont use the sanitiser.
I run a food business and I guess am very aware of door handles, taps - surfaces, anything that one can touch - I carry little sprays, wipes and gel liquids in my purse.
I must admit to giving that look of disgust to those who body swerve the sanitiser stations -
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  #13  
Old October 25th, 2013, 02:18 PM
kfowinst kfowinst is offline
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Sounds like neoromantica is better than the Luminosa- not once did we see anyone use the hand sanitisers! We used them every time we walked by of course.

The staff never asked once for guests to use them. There was no sanitisers on entering the ship from port. We were surprised because RCL won't let anyone on the ship if they don't wash their hands.

I was just very careful, although it did make me quite paranoid!
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  #14  
Old October 25th, 2013, 04:30 PM
Dancer Bob Dancer Bob is offline
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I've been on RCL three times and never been required to wash my hands.
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  #15  
Old October 26th, 2013, 11:05 AM
chrispb chrispb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blondie008 View Post
Although there were santiser stations on NeoR - have to say, there were some who just bypassed them - and no, they were not enforced by MDR or Buffet staff.
Carnival actually are the best I have seen in recent years at enforcing the santiser stations - and also, placing tissue for use at the door handles exiting the loos - didnt see that at all on Costa.
Sadly it might take an outbreak for them to sharpen up -
just cannot understand why people dont use the sanitiser.
I run a food business and I guess am very aware of door handles, taps - surfaces, anything that one can touch - I carry little sprays, wipes and gel liquids in my purse.
I must admit to giving that look of disgust to those who body swerve the sanitiser stations -
They had tissues and signs on the Mediterranea for people to use when exiting.

I also noticed that during the day the towels were paper but in the evening they provided cloth towels.

Odd how things are not consistently the same. (Applies to other cruiselines too.)
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  #16  
Old October 26th, 2013, 12:51 PM
hxhbk hxhbk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancer Bob View Post
I've been on RCL three times and never been required to wash my hands.
I was on the Radiance of the Seas earlier this May on a cruise in Alaska. Dining staff were positioned at the entrance of the Windjammer to politely ask guests to use the sanitizer. Likewise in the MDR.
Agree with the above posters that this practice is somehow not enforced on Costa. I was on the Deliziosa earlier this month. In some location, the dispenser is tucked away in a not easily visible spot.
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  #17  
Old October 27th, 2013, 05:35 AM
editor@cruisecritic editor@cruisecritic is offline
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Hi, Cruisetrail, just need clarification. When you're asking about music on the main stage, which stage, specifically is that? Do you mean the Atrium or the main theater?

Carolyn

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisetrail View Post
What I would suggest to my friend:
1. Samsara is the way of cruising on Costa.
2. For solo cruisers - Book a regular cabin and purchase Samsara package separately. You'll pay for Samsara twice if you book Samsara category cabin.

My questions.
1. By design the promenade deck on the Luminosa must have a transverse connection in the forward end that makes it fully wrap-around. Is that part open to the public? Can we actually walk there?
2. Does the Luminosa offer live music band on the main stage? On our cruise on the Favolosa there was prerecorded music that was very disappointing.

Thank you and enjoy your cruise!
Reply With Quote

  #18  
Old October 27th, 2013, 05:42 AM
editor@cruisecritic editor@cruisecritic is offline
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So yesterday, I got stuck in a long line to enter the buffet on Luminosa because -- everyone in front of me was using the hand sanitizer!

They're around the ship, mostly in food venues, and people do seem to be using them. There's no staff to make sure but on most lines I've been on (save for Norwegian, where they make it fun by singing the "washy washy" song) that's usually the case. I'm like a lot of you -- I carry my own stuff anyway, and wash my hands thoroughly after getting back on board, etc.

The public bathrooms have cloth towels; that's a nice touch I haven't seen on other mass market lines.

Carolyn

Quote:
Originally Posted by kfowinst View Post
Sounds like neoromantica is better than the Luminosa- not once did we see anyone use the hand sanitisers! We used them every time we walked by of course.

The staff never asked once for guests to use them. There was no sanitisers on entering the ship from port. We were surprised because RCL won't let anyone on the ship if they don't wash their hands.

I was just very careful, although it did make me quite paranoid!
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  #19  
Old October 27th, 2013, 09:40 AM
cruising oceangal cruising oceangal is offline
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Hi Carolyn,

I'm glad to hear the hand sanitizers are out for people to use! Hygiene is important especially after being on several cruises that had the norovirus outbreak!! Nothing worse than having your vacation spoiled by getting sick!!

I noticed on FB that you have a balcony cabin. If I may ask, what deck are you on? We booked a BP Cabin on deck 8, below the walkway into the buffet area. I'm hoping its not too noisy. Thanks for sharing a pic of your cabin! Happy to hear the shower is a bit larger than the standard size.

Barb
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  #20  
Old October 27th, 2013, 01:08 PM
Dancer Bob Dancer Bob is offline
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kfowinst asked about hand washing, not sanitizers. I do not know of any ship anywhere which enforces hand washing for passengers.
As far as I know, all the brands of hand sanitizers used have a barrier gel. I used to agree with the "better than nothing" school, but I'm now leaing towards "false sense of security". I've seen people who actually think that a couple of gloops of hand sanitizer actually constitute effective decontamination after a port stop!
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