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MishelleMcc

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Posts posted by MishelleMcc

  1. WOW! those prices are terrible!!! I don't know if we will ever get back there again or not but you have a WEALTH of detail that I refer to if we ever do!!! Thank you for the wonderful stories and pictures... I am sad the story is finished! Ha!!!

  2. Mishelle, I'm sure some of the single women are not single, but their partner doesn't dance or it's just more fun with a guy as leader.

    Costa tries for a family image and blatantly gay couples are rare- no matching pink tuxedos, As far as I can see in practice, looking at all the trips I've done on Costa, nobody seems to really care. How did you see things? (I confess I was with another dance group, the women were accepting of gay couples but downright vicious towards lesbian couples.)

    HAL, unless you're on a whole ship charter, seemed to me to attract people who are only open-minded and tolerant towards people just like themselves.

    DancerBob: My dancing skills leave quite a bit to be desired but I can tell you that I only know how to dance with a "lead" - male or female! (I cannot lead!) Ha! The best Swing I ever danced was with a young man half my age in a country bar deep in conservative Idaho! He never over-threw me and always controlled my turns! Ha! I am sorry to hear that you experienced viciousness towards lesbians during our cruise and I am glad we didn't witness it. Generally, Lesbians are usually accepted more easily than the Gay men. We didn't experience any "prejudice" from any passengers or staff on our cruise. We made friends with many couples (European and American) and felt comfortable and safe at all times. We never experienced bad behavior on HAL cruises either. It could be that because we are "mature" that we are not as "threatening" to otherwise homophobic folks. (Think - eccentric Aunts! :eek:) We loved the high energy feel on this cruise! The bartenders were excellent and greeted us by name! Our room steward thanked us for our tidiness! (God knows he was overworked!) Our MDR waiter was excellent and helped us with menu choices when were weren't sure and never let our glasses become empty! I think I mentioned before that we saw the dance group many times as well as in the MDR and we admired how well dressed they were every evening! My "gaydar" must be off because even though we saw females dancing together (not unusual) I didn't see any lesbians in the dance group...
  3. nanwell - I love exploring ships too! I don't think you will have any trouble finding a special nook to read in! Although there were some children on board, we really didn't see them that often. Also, I was told by Ciara (Hospitality) that there was coffee available starboard side of the mid-ship pool 24/7 but I didn't go there early morning to verify. As alicat58 said, specialty coffees are included in your drink package (if you buy one) and they were awesome! Cappuccino and iced coffee were delicious!! If you purchased "premium" cabins you should be able to select dinning time, table size and upper or lower MDR level. We chose first seating (18:15 hrs) upper level, 2-top! But we talked to folks around us every evening! Ha! You will definitely find something you will like on the menu! Enjoy your Cruise! As you said - there are no bad cruises! We really did enjoy ours! I loved the people and felt everyone was there for the same thing - to have a great vacation!!

    punkybett - I THINK they were pepsi products and I THINK I saw Canada Dry Gingerale but don't know if they had diet or not. Hopefully someone else can have a better answer for you. No they don't allow you to bring your own beverages on board. Enjoy Your Cruise!!

  4. Yes, general customer service is lacking but we found that our MDR waiter, room steward and bartenders were very good! We had a wonderful vacation! We did not have an issue with the announcements in different languages at all! I have a rudimentary understanding of Spanish, French and German so I could understand the "gist " of most messages but really didn't find it necessary. There will be an English announcement in there somewhere! A dear family member loves the Mediterranean itineraries and I understand that Costa consistently wins awards for theirs! Don't be afraid of the dining reviews! There will be something on the menu that you will enjoy! I know how hard it can be to satisfy a 5-yr old and no worries there either - our waiter took care of families around us with no issues! Enjoy your cruise! There are no bad days sailing!!

  5. We had the Pui Gusto package on the Deliziosa and no, bottled water was not included. We knew this before sailing so were resigned to it but we were surprised that we were allowed to bring bottled water back on the ship from shore! Just one each (at a time) We only ended up buying water on ship twice. Happy sailing!!

  6. As I was on this sailing, I can add some comments.

    No mention of nightlife- which is far, far superior to any American ship. Did they go to bed at 8PM like they were on one of Holland America's floating mausoleums?... Why on earth did their agent recommend Costa if all they wanted was Holland America?

    Bob, Bob, bob... Crusty old salt! :D We stayed up 9 of the 10 nights and did indeed enjoy the night shows! I absolutely agree that they are superior to HAL. Our favorites were the "Chicks with Tricks" and "Sapori D'Italia" . Also, my soul was moved by the voice of the Tenor, Emanuele Sevidio - but that's just me.

    So here is why we've sailed HAL so much in the past... It was our honeymoon cruise in 2006 on an Olivia chartered cruise (special entertainment;p) so it is sentimental to us. Also, it was the last of American Cruise lines to allow smoking on cabin balconies. Costa was appealing to us because they still allow this and a dear family member recommended them - not our TA. So now you know the dirty truth...:D No hard feelings!!! ;p

  7. Thanks for the detailed review! We’ll be sailing on Deliziosa in 2019 (our first Costa sailing - all in for 24 nights!) so I appreciate anything and everything I can find to read on her. Thanks again for the balanced and honest review!
    24 nights! whoot whoot!! how exciting! A couple of things that might help you with your planning:

     

     

    Laundry - As with most lines, Costa offered a "fill the bag" deal towards the end of the cruise with a one day turn-around. For you - on a 24 night :D cruise, they may make the offer 2-3 times. (but don't know for sure) Ours was $29.99 usd for all you can fit in a bag. The bag was very thin paper and we would have double bagged to prevent the bag from tearing. (I would roll the items to maximize space)

     

     

    Also, you can ask your room steward for additional hangers as soon as you board (which you will need)

     

    Internet - Costa had an unlimited "social media package" for $28.00 usd that was for all 10 days of our cruise. With this package, you wouldn't be able to access or surf the internet or check e-mail, but it was a very reasonable price (we thought) to be able to access facebook and Messenger which was how we stayed in touch with our pet sitters and family back home.

     

    Drink package - I loved that there was a commercial grade espresso machine at every bar! If you buy one of the drink packages, cappuccinos/espressos are included ( as well as smoothies) Cocktails were $7.00-$13.00 ea. usd, so for us, the combination of drinks made the cost of the package a bargain!

     

    Misc.: I recommend that you sign up for the Costa Club before you cruise. We had a bottle of sparkling wine waiting in our cabin at embarkation and received a couple of invitations to cocktail parties because we were "Ambra" level cruisers during the cruise.

    I would also download the free MyCosta Mobile App before sailing as well. I successfully downloaded the app to my phone but was unsuccessful downloading it to DW's phone. It would have allowed for free "calling" between the two devices. Costa doesn't have any IT support for this app land-side or on-board. We would have had to create a new e-mail before we could download the app again and attempt a new registration.

     

     

    Oh! And we asked for and received extra pillows if you need them;p

     

    Costa Deliziosa really is a beautiful ship! She was clean and sparkled! Most of the Bartenders were awesome (We tipped a couple of them extra at the end of the cruise)

     

    Have a wonderful time!!!

  8. We are going on this cruise on Feb. 22. We haven't sailed Costa for about 15 years. Thanks for your review so we know what to expect. Have you eaten at the Samsara Restaurant? Is it worth the extra charge?

    I can't believe they have no pizza slices on the ship? We've been on 30 cruises, all had free pizza.

    Hi There! We didn't eat at any of the specialty restaurants and as I said, the buffet was terrible but MDR was always good! Yes, the Pizza was an upcharge... :( MDR was not "amazing" (like cruises on any line in the past...) but because of previous comments, I knew not to expect that... We were lucky that our courses came timely and hot! I credit our waiter in the upper deck for that! Enjoy your Cruise!!! The Cruise line itself is mediocre but being on a ship, the ports and the friends you'll meet? Priceless!! Bon Voyage!!!
  9. On same cruise. Never Costa again. should have been called Costya. Food Industrial. No pizza slices on an Italian ship, what! Dining room, went in 6:15...saw waiter 6:45, saw first food 7:20.. Said Lido for us....a bad move also. Getting on your right...nightmare. Took it as a lark after Holland and Princess. Should have known better. Ciao Bella
    We love HAL too!!! Haven't tried Princess but always hear good things about them!
  10. On same cruise. Never Costa again. should have been called

    Costya. Food Industrial. No pizza slices on an Italian ship, what! Dining room, went in 6:15...saw waiter 6:45, saw first

    food 7:20.. Said Lido for us....a bad move also. Getting on

    your right...nightmare. Took it as a lark after Holland and Princess. Should have known better. Ciao Bella

    We love HAL too!!! Haven't tried Princess but always hear good things about them!

  11. Sorry in advance for the length of this review but I wanted to be thorough.

     

    Our travel documents said that we could begin boarding at 13:00. We arrived at about 13:30 and it was a Zoo!! It took over two hours to complete! We were moved by group through three different rooms. We waited the longest in the last room. Only 2 crew members to check boarding tickets to board the ship was seriously inadequate. Then once aboard, crew herded everyone to elevators to go to buffet. I’ve never boarded a ship and not been allowed to navigate freely. We were told the cabins weren’t available and an announcement would be made over the PA when they were, which never happened. We took a chance and went up at about 16:30 and the room was ready and our luggage already delivered!

     

    We had to switch out our cards... as others have said, the previously purchased drink plan (Piu Gusto) was not listed on them. We used the receipt that I printed off at home to obtain our first drinks. The bartender said that my receipt showed a cost $30.00 pp higher than the schedule he had. So we questioned the price at customer service when we went to exchange our cards and she first said she didn’t have the ability to adjust pricing for previously purchased services, and when I said that I would check with Corporate after the Cruise, she asked to look at my receipt again and then stated the bartender was wrong and that the schedule he had was $30.00 pp more than what we paid. I think she was lying but since I didn’t see the schedule, I can’t prove it.

     

     

    Even though we knew in advance that the departure was at 23:00 the wait for Bon Voyage was agonizing! Ha! I did later confirm that this is done to allow for late flight arrivals from Europe.

     

     

    We originally booked an Aft Premium Balcony through Costa. We later found through an online TA, a lower price for an Aft Mini Suite at a savings of $469 pp! I called Costa to ask if they were okay with my cancelling the first booking to book through the TA and he was very encouraging and said that it was a regular travel partner of theirs and to feel confident in their services! And that once new reservation was complete, to call Costa back with the new booking number and they would cancel the old booking and move my deposit over to the new booking! This was accomplished easily and I realized afterward that they would have no problems re-renting the original cabin at a higher price so this was a win – win for both parties!

     

     

     

    We loved our Mini Suite! Although it does not have the amenities that full suites have, we were surprised that we indeed did have a coffee machine in our cabin! The pods are $.50 ea so we opted not to use it. We did not receive the mini-bar price list until the 3rd day but knew there would be a cost so didn’t use it either. The TV is not interactive and there are no game consoles. In fact we were unable to retrieve messages and the TV would start flipping through channels on its own. There are no English speaking movie channels but two foreign speaking movie channels. …About 3 or 4 English speaking news channels... cbs, abc, cnn Asia and another Asian documentary channel that we enjoyed. The cabin was spacious! Although I’d previously read that the storage was inadequate, we found that for a 10 day cruise we had enough room for our clothes and belongings. The Head is small but the glass shower stall is a nice upgrade. The balcony was delightful! It was not windy (as port or starboard balconies are) well shaded and the balcony chairs were quite comfortable! Our Cabin Steward was responsive and did a great job!

     

     

    Morning room service is very limited for “premium” cabins / mini suites. (the only benefits derived over “classic” cabins are this limited room service and ability to choose early or late dinner seating and maybe a better cabin location. You would have to decide for yourself if these meager benefits are worth price difference) Full room service for breakfast $7:00 pp. premium or not.

     

     

     

    Dinner experience (always something I look forward to on a cruise) was delightful! We chose 1st seating, upper deck. We liked the variety and pacing of the courses. Always managed to eat something great and usually ate too much! Our waiter was excellent and prompt. Never an empty glass! We noticed that we consistently received our dishes before those on the main floor! It may be because of the large dance group presence, but I was pleased to see most dinners beautifully coiffed at dinner!

     

     

    Here is the dress code/themes: Nights 1 & 2 – Informal. Night 3 – Gala (formal). Night 4 – Tropical. Night 5 – Masquerade/Informal (wear Masks!). Night 6 – White Night! Night 7 – Casual. Night 8 – Formal. Night 9 – Casual. Night 10 – Green, White & Red! (Italian night!).

     

     

    Key West: one ship in port. (Us!) It was cold and windy but we still enjoyed walking around and stopping for appetizers. Everyone was friendly! We even saw a newly married couple, in full bridal costume, returning to our ship! They got married in Key West! What a wonderful memory for them!

     

     

    1st sea day: Experienced a little rough Seas but that was the worst of the trip. There were lots of activities on board. Lunched at buffet. Octopus was inedible. Other foods were disappointing as well. We avoided the buffet after that.

     

     

    The great banana hunt! I was getting leg cramps and repeatedly asked buffet, room service and customer service for bananas. They all said they didn’t have bananas. Really? After another agonizing talk with customer service, we got two bananas. Low and behold, on fourth day, buffet had large bowls of bananas! And they were gone at 09:40 – both the bowls and bananas! Three days later, we received 2 more! Desperate times call for desperate measures! I Started each morning with banana coladas (double the bananas NOT the liquor!)

     

     

    The Diario di Bordo. Comes late evenings for next day. Found out what time excursions are at that time. A bit concerning to me as there is no coffee available on board ship before 07:00. Had to call customer service as soon as I realized this and insist on 06:00 coffee service for following morning! Very upsetting to me as I did not expect the timing issue or the reluctance of customer service to help me. I did manage to get this done after raising my voice and insisting. Totally not necessary for them to allow the issue to escalate like that. We later spoke with Ciara during “hospitality time” and she told us that the room service time adjusts depending on ship’s arrival time in port. So if reaching port at 08:00, then room service is available at 07:00. If ship arriving at 07:00 then room service available at 06:00. If arriving at 06:00 then room service at 05:00. HOWEVER, we attempted to get 0600 coffee room service the morning we arrived in Roatan ( 07:00 arrival time). Room service DID NOT deliver until 06:50. Also, we always ordered 2 coffees, 1 hot milk, 2 hot coco packages, 1 OJ and sometimes croissants each morning. They had 9 mornings to get this right and they never did. So my conclusion is that this department is not customer oriented and needs a robust overhaul! (btw, we continued to tip the delivery person each morning in spite of this)

     

     

    Grand Cayman: Five ships in port. Very crowded. Turtle farm and rum cake factory tour. The turtle Farm was very crowded and I felt we didn’t get the full sea turtle experience I had on a previous cruise 15 yrs ago but it was still entertaining thanks to our guide! Made for an interesting trip and we made great acquaintance with our bus-mates!

     

     

    Sea day... warm and raining! Pool/hot tub pump problems... We were aft deck 8 and that is where these pumps were located. They opened the doors and the compartment was flooded and hot! They managed to fix the problem that day. The Next morning, they were going to perform an electrical system test. Don’t know if it was related or not but The Diario di bordo stated that areas of the ship would be without electricity for several minutes. This would effect elevators, air-conditioning, etc. They even made an announcement 15 minutes prior to the scheduled test. We made sure any electrical needs we had were out of the way prior to that. Ultimately, the test was cancelled. It was an ominous sign when the hall lights outside our door started flickering after the cancelled test! Ha! But that was rectified that day! Ha!

     

     

    Roatan: one ship in port.(Us!) It stormed all the previous night and it was truly torrential! Amazing experience! It’s been said that there are two kinds of people when it rains: some who get wet and some who FEEL the rain!! The port was very nice. It rained lightly through the morning and was cloudy during day. You don’t need to pre purchase “swing” tickets. They are same price ashore. It’s actually a ski lift. We took a lot of pictures on there. We really enjoyed the beach... walked to the end and had a nice spot to ourselves.

     

     

     

    Sea Day: Warm and beautiful! We made acquaintance with many couples on this trip (4 of which we exchanged emails and addresses with!) We very much enjoyed the mix of Europeans and a few Americans. We socialized, gambled and napped. It was a great day!

     

     

    Belize: one ship in port.(Us!) 20 minute tender to shore. Diario di bordo warns of crime and to be vigilant. Sure enough... went to shops and restaurant in port. Ordered cocktail at entrance of a restaurant to the right. Then went in for an appetizer and more. When we settled the bill, we walked out on dock for pictures and as we walked back, a restaurant worker said we still owed for the first drinks ordered at entrance. We knew that was b.s. but paid it with no extra tip. We had observed another table having problems with a credit card and one of the gentleman went back to ship for cash. In hindsight, we wonder now if there was another fleecing under way.

     

     

    Costa Maya: two ships in port. (HAL arrived at 12:30.) Very nice port area. Dolphins, flamingos, & parrots. Lots of shops and restaurants/bars. First one we ate at watered down the wine! Hope they used bottled water! Second one, down by the little beach wonderful spot! Started raining on way back to ship and we were drenched! Had to take off my glasses to see!

     

     

    Cozumel: 2 ships in port. We docked at the “down town” port and walked throughout town with another couple we made acquaintance with on the ship. The other couple had been there before and also to other areas in the vicinity. It was a sleepy Sunday and enjoyed the park and appetizers at a nearby restaurant. We really did enjoy this port. It had an “Old Mexico” feel.

     

     

    Sea Day: Last day of the Cruise. Seems like everyone was out and about the ship this day! This was the most crowded we’d experienced even compared to the other two sea days. It felt festive and busy! We took lunch in the dining room. Not many people chose to do this that day. The food was COLD. So sigh, another disappointing meal. We missed dinner but met up with friends that evening!

     

     

    Disembarkation: The ship arrives in Port Everglades at 06:00. The airport is only a few miles from the port. There is no room service this morning and they did remove the coffee machines. The Buffet is open 06:15 – 09:00. If you desire to self-disembark, the earliest time would be 07:15 and you must manage your own luggage and transportation. If you want to utilize this method, you must register with customer service the last 2-3 days of the cruise so that they can arrange your immigration clearance prior to the rest of the passengers. General disembarkation starts (by color coded groups) at about 07:30 to 11:30. Cabins must be vacated by 09:30. As we were not flying out until the next day, we left at about 09:30. Luckily we’d been assigned 08:30 so they let us go right away whilst there was a very long queue for the other groups of that time. U.S. Immigration was about 30 minutes since there were so few of us. The Europeans were not so lucky…. Their queue was horrendous and I have no idea how long they languished.

     

     

    Overall impressions: We really did have a wonderful trip! We spent 4 days in Lauderdale by the Sea prior to cruise just to relax and unwind and were ready for adventure when we boarded Costa Deliziosa! The ship is bright and shiny! The public areas (including restrooms) were very clean and well maintained. Our cabin showed its age and desperately needs the mattresses and TV replaced. We enjoyed the entertainment and music on board even though there is no way to experience it all. The Piu Gusto drink package was a great bargain as it includes Cappuccinos and ice coffee – delicious as well as alcohol!! I had 2-4 of those a day! I am going through caffeine withdrawals as I type! Ha! If you can, book an Aft balcony, do it - it was wonderful!! Customer service and room service departments desperately need an overhaul. It felt like they would find ways to say no before trying to find a way to say yes.

     

     

    Would we sail Costa again? DW says no but I say Sure! There are no bad days cruising!! If you have any questions, just ask away! Happy Sailing!!

  12. Welcome aboard Cruise Critic and congratulations on your Anniversary and upcoming Proposal!!! I haven't been on RCCL in years but I have talked to folks who love them so you should have a great time! I suggest following the RCCL Forum and utilize the search tool for specific topics of interest or post a question yourself! I do a lot of research (I love it) before any vacation and have learned a lot from fellow cruisers. We just returned from a 10 day Costa Deliziosa cruise and had a blast. The 21st of January was our 11 yr wedding anniversary!! There are no bad days cruising so even if service is lacking in some areas, you can still make it an amazing adventure!!!! There are lots of opportunities for romance. Sunsets alone can be fantastic. We always book a balcony cabin and this time we got a Aft Mini Suite! We loved it! If you are not sure if you will experience sea-sickness, I would go with a mid-ship, lower floor balcony. Ships these days have "stabilizers" which reduce ship movement but there will still be some movement. We've had seasickness once on a really stormy sea but otherwise most of us never experience it at all! Rocking of the boat is part of the fun and you will sleep like babies! Also, check RCCL website for things you can add to your experience and book them in advance... Flowers, Champagne, or specialty restaurant (with an upcharge) and probably other things! Most of all, be prepared to make new friends! We made friends with 4 couples on this cruise alone! There wasn't a big LGBTQ presence on our cruise this time. But we knew that would probably be the case beforehand. If you have any questions that I can help you with, feel free to ask! Happy Sailing!!!

  13. GMT is correct... so if the cancellation fee stands, you could wait for an upgrade or up sell.... I know that would be nerve wracking for us, but it’s an option! Please let us know how this all turns out!

     

     

    Sent from my iPad using Forums

  14. It's possible that your TA is miss-informed. I would contact Costa directly and ask them how to go about upgrading to the premium cabin. It may be that you do have to change cabins but your deposit should be transferable to a "new" reservation especially for a sailing 9 months away!

     

    Last March we booked our upcoming cruise (Jan 13th - Aft Premium Balcony). A couple months later, I saw a rate for a better cabin (aft mini suite) for less through an on-line TA! So I called Costa and they said that this was a regular travel booking agency of theirs and that I should have no worries booking through them AND Costa would transfer my original deposit to the new reservation! Everything worked perfectly!

     

    Look at it this way: You are still sailing Costa and they will re-rent your original cabin at a higher rate so they win too!

     

    We would not be able to offer advice regarding your rights without knowing who your TA is and reading their terms and conditions

     

    Happy Sailing!

  15. Just to update this thread: there's a new free bus/trolley called Duval Loop. It goes within two blocks of most of the places tourists usually want to visit - Butterfly House, Southernmost Buoy, Duval, Hemmingway House, Lighthouse, Cemetery, museums, pier B where many cruise ships dock, etc. Just google Duval Loop Key West and you'll find it. Just keep in mind that I don't think there's any narration on what you'll see, so if you want that, the various trolleys are probably best. Also, if you want to visit the new part of Key West, you'll need to take one of the trolleys/trains. But back to Duval Loop: On the map on their website, you'll see the dates the bus runs (for example, starting in December, daily), times, frequency, and stops. Between a look at the info on the Conch Train/Old Town Trolley website and a look at the Duval Loop map, you can figure out which stops might interest you. If you want to visit attractions that are not really close to the loop (for example, Fort Zachary and the beach below there) you can determine closest stop and then walk from there.

    Thank you!!

  16. I understand your concerns but I think that if you stay in groups and don't exhibit PDA you should be okay. We won a trip to China a few years ago and had MAJOR concerns! We did a lot of research and hired private tours and drivers to ensure our safety. We had a great time and never felt unsafe! So, in hindsight, we may have gone overboard (pun intended! Ha!)

     

    So don't engage in any risky behaviors or activities (true for straights too!) and have a blast!!!!

  17. Very interesting read! I would say that our limited experience is in line with most of the rest of you... Meh... We may see other couples but haven't interacted with them. we went to a FOD meet-up on HAL a couple years ago. We (two lesbian couples) walked up to a group of guys and said "hi" . Couple guys said "Hi" back but they all basically stopped talking and none offered to move their chairs so we could join them so we were under the impression that it was a "closed" group or that they just didn't want to include Lesbians... either way, we walked on...

     

    I think that in the last 5-10 years, LGBT is more mainstream and there is less of a need for community. I miss community of the old days. Where we fiercely loved and encouraged each other...

     

    A few years ago, we moved to a very redneck community (for work) and we realize how dear our old friends are to us. We work harder to stay close to them to this day!

     

    I hope we meet LGBT or Straight couples on our upcoming cruise in January (Costa) that will just enjoy our company and not be obsessed with how "different" we are! (ever notice how some straights always want to talk about your "gayness" when you are around?? Ha! Gets old!! Ha!!!)

  18. This post just made me laugh. It doesn’t matter if we know how old he will be. It’s a matter of wanting to celebrate. He has the Rolex he’s always wanted. I’m sorry you don’t find decorations exciting, but we do 😁

    Also there’s thing thing called tape 🤫 let’s keep that one a secret! 🙄

    Yes, I agree! celebrate all you want! What a wonderful Idea!!! It's your vacation!!! Happy Sailing!!!

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