Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

ighten

Members
  • Content Count

    669
  • Joined

About ighten

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Bronte County England
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    https://notesfromthebarn.blogspot.co.uk/

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Pearl last June we had towel animals every night for 14 nights
  2. I think most of those are just the various MDRs/buffet- also looks like they are going to use the same method as Diadema and use part of the Buffet as a table service at night - Think we'll have to wait to see if they add anything more than the usual Samsara (Italian/Thai Fusion - coconut rissotto and monkfish mmmmm) and (pay extra) pizza/burgers - I notice they do seem to be showing pics of a tapas type place (extra cost) and a cooking school (not sure why I would want to pay extra to ruin my dinner 😉 ) TBF I think the Italians and Med countrys actually prefer just eating traditional good food in the MDR - perhaps costa dont think its worth adding seafood or steakhouses to the mix - Samsara has been almost empty on our last 2 Costa cruises
  3. Main advantage is a much better dining experience (- smaller quieter room - private table etc - )than the MDR - excellent service - you also get quite a good discount (well you did on the Favolosa last year) from the Costa Club system so make sure you sign up before you go.
  4. The Lake Girl Diadema is here Favolosa is here Regarding Smerelda does anyone know what restaurants they are planning to have - it seems quite hard to find much info on English sites
  5. I have now just booked Smelda (cant stop calling her Esmerelda though) so just seen how it works.. As mentioned above though it tends to apply to mainly half day trips and some of the full day drop off (do your own thing) type so it does pay to check it actually works out at good value (TBF most costa trips compared to many other cruise companies are not too badly priced). Yes if you book all the available ones in each port you will save money - but in our case if you choose to be doing your own thing by train etc in a port or take a longer trip on one of the days then it slides the other way. Its a good offer though if you are doing the former (especially as the "do your own thing" buses tend to be included)
  6. Have sailed costa twice and on both times when we took tours the English version was running (though to be fair we were the only English on board - dont forget they will lump multi languages together for non Italians into an English group or sometimes shared (we once had a half French and English ). I think on a ship the size of the Smerelda it shouldnt be an issue but it will be great to hear your experience as we are booking for March and I had not heard of this option which sounds good (especially as we have visited most ports before) - are the choices available now on your My Costa section of the site Previous Costa trips here Favolosa and here Diadema
  7. Thats good news... I have now found the details buried in the UK website so its confirmed on the site as well.. Thx
  8. Two cruises - HAve to say on one I think there were two other English on board and on the other I dont think any.. Both were excellent. Illustrated Trip reports for both can be found here Costa Favolosa and Costa Diadema
  9. These worked like a charm on our last cruise with Costa - (Trip report) though as usual Costa seem to keep it unmentioned in the booking site etc -- just wondering if this is a company policy that is still going or its changed as I am looking at trying the Smerelda - Never had an issue with any aspect of Costa apart from the way they handle MDR dining (Bright lights and shared tables isnt really my style -especially when they seem to have a thought process of put all the non Italians together in the corner ) .. So the club pass has always been a huge draw.
  10. Day 15 Amsterdam Before we leave the NCL Pearl just a few things to add; the house band have been excellent especially when it comes to the live music support they have supplied in the main theatre to the guest singers and shows - however I would say they have been lost a little at times doing their own thing because of being placed in the rather oddly placed Bliss club. Also we haven't mentioned much about the main theatre shows simply because it's not really our thing.Music yes: The Motown show was exceptional, as was Legends - comedians and the current obsession with Cirque type shows, no. Disembarkation was as smooth as ever (we always just use the "do it yourself method") - no rush to leave as we had flights after lunch (though Manchester airport decided to have an IT meltdown that day which added a delay of a few hours). Luckily Schipol is a pretty decent airport to be stranded in with a wonderful museum and art gallery, great wine and of course fantastic apple pie.. And so that is it - done - there you have it. I admit its probably a hard cruise to read about and then try to search out and make a booking as it tends to only happen twice annually - but trust us, keep your eyes peeled (it may be a different ship), but they really do tend to have the best itineraries. Thanks for reading and cheers! Click here for the previous Cruise Hawaii - on NCL Pride of America - Feb 2019 Click here to return to the Latest Post And that is it - thanks for reading - Any questions feel free to post
  11. And so we find ourselves for the last time boarding the gang plank and leaving yet another country behind.Six countries (Eight If you split the UK up), twelve Ports, and 15 days in total. A most excellent itinerary - no wonder this ship had so many guests from so many differing countries onboard. We only ever heard one other English couple but anyone from the UK who dismissed this because it was "too local" has really missed out. We had paid grats up front on this cruise but as we head for dinner we take the time to find and tip a little extra to a few of the people who have really excelled on this cruise - the guys in the atrium bar, a particular excellent waiter from Bistro and of course our wonderful cabin steward Haj who has over 15 days somehow managed to never repeat a towel sculpture; and of course kept our cabin spotless. Another great dinner and then a final evening around the atrium bar listening to Ge Luz (great guy can play pretty much anything and everything from Van Morrison to Ed Sheeran - doesn't talk much though) This has now been our 7th cruise with NCL as they offer good itinerary, price, food & drink offers as well as great service. Staff have always been excellent and friendly. First time on the "Pearl" though we have cruised on "Jade" twice before including one TA. As I said earlier the Jewel class is our preferred size of ship - though I do miss the Ocean Blue seafood restaurant of the NCL Getaway. If I had one criticism I just wish though they had updated Bliss, it's an unfriendly space in effect giving you one less option for live entertainment at night & most people seemed to think the same thing as well. The guest band on board for this season has been Funky Roots who have put on an excellent show nightly - usually in the crows nest (Spinnaker). Wonderful 6 string bass player and singers who can turn their hand to almost anything. Click here to Continue
  12. We picked up a private car when we arrived in Mauii and prebooked with Jack Harter for the Helicopter Doors Off whilst in Kauai (Blog Here) - That was the highlight of the trip.. Used Uber a lot in Honolulu - We had planned to use private cars a lot more but ended up with quite a bit of free Credit on the Cabin so used a couple of ship tours.
  13. And of course the Flemish Beers - I like Ghent a lot more than Brugge. Not masses and masses of touristy restaurants and bars competing to offer you the most expensive Spaghetti Bolognese in the world. Here the restaurants and bistros are good and full of locals. The beer of course is just as good in both cities and should be sampled at every opportunity - with caution. Most are around 8 - 9% Alchohol on average and can be even higher. Treat them like wine. Incidentally every brewery (of which there are hundreds) has its own shape of glass made supposedly to enhance the fragrance and taste. The bistro we chose just happened to be next door to one of the most famous Chocolaterie chefs (L Van Hoorebeke) in Brussels. So a visit was obviously called for. Again beware as in Brugge; the masses of shops selling Belgium Chocolate to the tourists are often not selling you anything like the real thing. Here its made on site and only the best quality ingredients are used. And so we find ourselves for the last time boarding the gang plank and leaving yet another country behind.Six countries (Eight If you split the UK up), twelve Ports, and 15 days in total. A most excellent itinerary - no wonder this ship had so many guests from so many differing countries onboard. We only ever heard one other English couple but anyone from the UK who dismissed this because it was "too local" has really missed out. Click here to Continue
  14. The Ghent Altarpiece is in St Bavo's cathedral, attributed to the Van Eyck brothers, Hubert & Jan. It's official title is Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, a very large & complex 15th-century polyptych altarpiece. One quite inventive thing they have done inside the Cathedral is they have dedicated one of the side chapels to show a full size printed copy of the polyptych - though it is quite funny watching the look on peoples faces who didn't realise its a copy - when the guide starts tapping areas with his long stick to explain each panel. Other notable art works in the cathedral : Laurent Delvaux’s Rococo pulpit and The Conversion of St Bavo by Peter Paul Rubens We have a little free time after visiting the Cathedral and this time its a decent amount that allows us to enjoy the city a little - sampling the food (apple pies here are to die for according to Jack) And of course the Flemish Beers - I like Ghent a lot more than Brugge. Not masses and masses of touristy restaurants and bars competing to offer you the most expensive Spaghetti Bolognese in the world. Here the restaurants and bistros are good and full of locals.
  15. Finally getting to the end of moving this - apllogies it has taken longer than I thought Rather like Brugge, Ghent sits mostly on the canals and rivers and has managed to keep all its medieval buildings despite the war - where the target was more the port of Zeebrugge. We enjoy a walking tour with our guide which takes us through the old cobbled streets taking care to avoid the trams and bicycles that seem to fly out of every corner - here the car/bicycle parks have digital displays that tell you how much room is left to abandon your bicycle for the day. Its a lovely day again and a wonderful city to just wander around. There is lots and lots to see in Ghent as is illustrated by the tourist signs having so many destinations they have more branches than the trees. However the big thing most people come for is to take a peek inside the cathedral at one of the most significant & most stolen, works of art in the world. The bottom left panel is still missing (the theory being the person who bought the stolen panel hid it but has since died) The Ghent Altarpiece is in St Bavo's cathedral, attributed to the Van Eyck brothers, Hubert & Jan. It's official title is Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, a very large & complex 15th-century polyptych altarpiece.
×
×
  • Create New...