We're heading out on Costa

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#1
New Jersey
3,536 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
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
#2
394 Posts
Joined Nov 2012
Originally posted by [email protected]
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.
#3
Currently at Cruise Critic
2,352 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by [email protected]
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!
#4
256 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by [email protected]
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
#5
105 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
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
#6
New Jersey
3,536 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
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

Originally posted by AnonymousCruiser69
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.
#7
New Jersey
3,536 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
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

Originally posted by cruising oceangal
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
#8
New Jersey
3,536 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Great tips, thanks Cruisetrail. Will look into Samsara packages...interesting idea. Will find answers to your questions....

Carolyn

Originally posted by cruisetrail
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!
#9
England
334 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
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!
#10
New Jersey
3,536 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Hi -- will definitely check out hygiene -- and see if pax and crew are following protocol. That's an issue for me, too!

Carolyn

Originally posted by kfowinst
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!
#11
Mississauga ON
1,630 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
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.
#12
1,998 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
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 -
#13
England
334 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
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!
#15
Wales
2,136 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by Blondie008
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.)
#16
CA
37 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by Dancer Bob
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.
#17
New Jersey
3,536 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
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

Originally posted by cruisetrail
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!
#18
New Jersey
3,536 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
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

Originally posted by kfowinst
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!
#19
256 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
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
#20
Mississauga ON
1,630 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
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!