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    Regal Princess-7Days-96-Alaska Diamond Princess-7Days-07-Alaska
  1. Bags Packed

    Western Carribean Excursions

    Hi nana We only did one excursion on our trip to w.carribean in feb. We had our 19 month old. We booked with Moby Dicks in Grand Cayman. You can do an internet search to find the web address. They were great, very professional, very informative, lots of fun and a great deal. The excursion is $35 pp and you pay when you check in. Three to three and half hours total time 45 min to 1 hour snorkling 45 minto 1 hour at stingray city(swimming with the rays) 40 min on their boat traveling. If you have not experienced the rays it's a must do.
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    What should I bring with me?

    Hi Sportguy Just return about a month ago. I packed a suit case with 12 bottles of water and juice for my son. This way I had plenty of room for trinkets to bring back. The shower gel smells like drakar if you like the smell use it if not bring soap and shampoo. We were in an inside cabin and the travel size goodies that you find on most ships are not readily available. You may have to ask eveyday for them. In my water suitcase I put my oun snorkle equipment. I didn't want to use the rental snorkle yuk. I also suggest bringing those xl ziplok bags for any booze you may want to bring back. I packed four bottles of rum in the middle of my checked suit case( cann't carry on the plane any more:( ) I padded the bottles with lots of clothes my sons life jacket. They were in a cardboard box. We flow non stop from fll to bos and Jet B--- still managed to break one bottle. There not responsible for glass breakage. The must have been pretty rough with my suit case to break that bottle. I was glad the rum was contained in the card board and the ziplok bag.
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    Life boat drill time 7pm FLL Departure

    We were on the Fortuna inthe w. Carribean on the 2/17/08 sailing. The life boat drill was on the first sea day morning at 9:45 am. The may change it on the e.Carribean sailings but I don't know for sure. It wouldn't surprise me if it conflicted with the itinirary. Costa many be 60 years old and the still have not got the little things right yet
  4. Bags Packed

    Costa Fortuna Review Feb. 24 - Mar. 2

    My family and I just returned from w. carribean on the fortuna on 2/17-2/24. Some info about the tennis court. There is a tennis court but it is located next to the exhaust funnel(Smoke stack). It's quit a court with stadium seating. The thing that we noticed was the wind up there. It will gust hard at sea and less in port. There is karaoke in one of the lounges. Chair hogs, well there on the fortuna. I didn't spent to much time on deck (I was traveling with my 19 month old son). One of our table mates saw people removing personel belongings of other to claim their chairs as their own. Coffee was good (not a dark roast), better than Princess. They use an instant coffee syrup. Cappucino were free at breakfast. This was not public knowledge, I was aware of this from reading cruise critic reviews before my trip. No flavored coffee and I don't know about any spirit coffee drinks. The internet is located on deck 4 under the casino next too the disco. Sorry I did not use it. I don't know cost or speed but people have told me on the ship it was expensive. They just sent an e mail to say "hi" to people back home. The gym was well equipped. There are free weights and exercise machines as well. There are two dinning rooms we ate in the michangelo dinning room table 41. We visited the Raffael dinning room and preferred our assigned dinning room. It was at the aft (back) of the ship with windows on three sides. We watched the sunset every night. We did feel the propellers under us. This was not an issue for us. Hope this was helpful to you all with any questions.
  5. Bags Packed

    Just back from Western Carribean with Costa

    hi njs We did book with a ta. and this issue was discussed with him at length. I guess your correct, Costa doesn't [U][B]have to[/B][/U] tell me or anyone else about a known problem. The request for the crib in the room was made to them and my son's info was sent to Costa. So they don't have to but why make an unpleasent cruise for a family. Are they not there to pamper and make us feel special? Did I misunderstand the brochues? I thought they wanted us to enjoy ourselves and to have a good time. I don't know if you have children but to have your infant as well as ourselves kept awake until 1:30 am not my idea of a good time. Thank You for welcoming us back. This was not my first cruise nor will it be my last. Although it might be my last with Costa. Not just because of the noise.
  6. We (my wife my 18 month old son and myself) also had a great time on the ship and at the different ports. This was our first cruise with Costa. I did read this forum before sailing got lots of good info. [B]Embarkation[/B]- This was a breeze. It took us longer to walk through the terminal at Port Everglads to get on board then the actual check in.(total 10 min.) We went straight to our room to get our Costa cards off the bed. We did check in later(3:15) because the airline left our luggage off the plane. After all the stess and aggravation we got our bags from the airport at 2:30 p. m. (thanks Jet [U]xxxx[/U]). :mad: [B]Ship[/B]- The Fortuna is a beautiful ship. The staff keeps it very clean and mantaines it well. As previously mentioned on this forum;the ship is a bit trickly to navigate around.(remenber deck 5 is the only deck that runs the full inturnal lenght of the ship). To go to dinner in Michelangelo dinning room, we would go to the fifth floor, walk all the way aft. then take a different elevator to deck 3 into the dinning room.:confused: [B]Room[/B]- Deck 6 inside cabin- This was a little more roomy than other ships we've been on. Although the cabin was tight with the added crib. We liked that we could put our suitcases under the bed. We were a little nervous about the safe. You use only one of your Costa cards to open and close it, no number combination. Having said all that I add this [B][COLOR=black][COLOR=red][COLOR=red]WARNING[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR]. [/B]Most inside cabins on deck 6 are over the grand bar. The music from the speakers mounted in deck 5 ceiling, will be heard in the deck 6 inside cabins. The music is very loud in these cabins and kept my son up until 1:30 am. :mad: I'm not being a little picky about hearing noise in our cabin. This music was [COLOR=red]very loud[/COLOR] and you felt the vibrations through the floor and made the wall creek with the vibrations. We told customer service the first two nights and they sent the cruise director up to our room to hear how loud the music and singing sounded. He agree it was too loud and said others were complaining as well. He also said he was going to have the volume turn down. (this didn't happen) We were fortunate a room came open on the 3rd day and got to move to the 9th. deck. I was told we were getting moved because we had my infant son with us. We felt that Costa should warn people when booking on deck 6 especially with infants. [B]Staff[/B]- We found most all staff to be friendly and courteous. All the staff we meet spoke english very well and 3,4, and even 5 different languages. Both (deck 6 and 9) cabin stewardess were great. They would make up the room while we were at breakfast, again before dinner (we showered after the beaches) and they would come again to do the turn down at night. [B]Food-[/B] The food on the Fortuna was a bit disappointing. I am of Italian desent and I am a classically train chef. The food wasn't bad it was just cheaper grade and conveince prep food. The steaks served in the dinning room and buffet were select grade beef(4th level from the best grade). None of us at our table could eat there steaks any of the nights that the various cuts were served, they were just too tough. Vegetables and side dishes were all previosly frozen as well as the seafood. The risotto that was served was made from long grain rice not [I]arborio rice.[/I] (the true Italian rice that is used for risotto) There was very little fresh fruit available. Most fruit was canned and the fresh fruit that was available was basic hand fruit. (apple, oranges, bananas, plums and pears) There was the standard fruit salad with melon, pineapple and watermelon. I never found any tropical fruits. (etc. pineapple) We are in the Carribean put out some papaya and/or mango, is a strawberry to much to ask for. The Costa Culinary staff was just trying to save money and labor. The amount of frozen, canned and purchased preprep. products was excessive. I don't want any one to think that I'm just being a stuck up chef. There were some very good dishes served (some of the pasta and the lamb) but the majority were not. The desserts were the most dissappointing. basic box cake mixes with jams, artifical whipped topping spread on top or mousse mix from packets. There were no grand chocolate buffets as on Princess. The ice creams served were good but they weren't gelato (the ice cream served in Italy, very rich). The soft serve ice cream in the buffet area was a grainy ice milk mix. I've cruised with Princess (also owned by Carnival) and the food as were the desserts are much better. [COLOR=red]*Warning* [/COLOR]One big thing that I didn't like on the Fortuna, was the location and the lack of enforcement of the use of the alcohol gel hand sanitizer. On the Princess ships the gel sanitizer is at the entrance to all buffets and you are not given a plate or your silverware until you us the gel. They also require you to use the gel before reboarding the ship. On our last day at sea one of our table mates didn't make dinner; because they were violently ill all night long. I also watched two different children throwing up that day. One child was on the lido deck next to the pool and the other on the stairs outside the Michelangelo dinning room just after we finish our dinner. :eek: We also meet a couple at the airport, flying back to the midwest. They were sick for most of the trip. The ships doctor should have quarantied them but didn't.(most ship would have). The norovirus is not pleasant to get and spreads very quickly.(No Thanks! Use the gel often people and the serving implements ie: tongs, spoon, spatulas) [B]Service[/B]- The room stewards were excellent. The dinning room servers were a little under staffed. This wasn't as bad as I've read in some of the previous reviews. We never went thirsty but the glasses were slow to be refilled. The Customer Service was good but I don't need to be told or informed evey time, that the questions that I'm asking can be found in the Today Bulletin. If I'm asking the question maybe I didn't have my Today Bulletin memorized or had not read it yet. [B]Passengers- [/B]I would say that the passenger mix was 50% American/Canadians and 50% European (the majority Italian). I had read previously on this forum about "Rude Europeans and Ugly Americans". I can say that I didn't see any "R.E." on this trip. I was told by one of my table mates, they watched some people speaking Italian remove others personal belongings off the deck chairs, move them and sit down on them. I didn't see this I only was told. I did see and dealt with a few "U.A." They were simply obnoxious and just plain rude. The vast majority were Italian/Americans from New York(sorry but your accents are what gave you away). We meet a lot of very nice people. My family and I were seated with two other American couples and three people from Canada all were very friendly and very sweet to my infant son. Just remeber that when you have 3,000 people together you are bound to run into some bad behavior. [B]Ports of Call[/B]- Being with an infant we made our ports of call very simple. We just beached it. [B]Cozmel[/B]- We took a taxi (this is Mexico negotiate prices on anything you pay for)to Playa Parancal. It was away from the crowds clean, quite and had chair and a small bar. We didn't stay very long because the ladies in our group didn't think the water was blue enough.:rolleyes: We took another cab back towards the cruise port to Playa San Francisco. The beach was a little more crowded and had more water activities. The beach and waterline had a good amount of seaweed on them. The water was lite blue(not turquoise) and there was some undertow at this beach. Keep in mind that the cabs know that you will need a ride back to downtown an will try to charge you more for the return trip. [B]Grand Cayman- [/B]I booked ahead of sailing with [I]Moby Dick Tours[/I] (they are easy to find if you do an internet search)to snorkel and swim with the rays at Stingray City( total time about 3hrs). They were great and they only cost $35.00 US. A short walk to the pier and we were taken by bus to the boat. Twenty minute ride to Stingray City. It was a bit crowded at hte sandbar so we snorkeled first. We spent about 45 min at the barrier reef . The water and fish were beautiful. Then back to the sandbar and another 45 min. with the rays. The time with the rays was great and we had 3 guides in the water with us. This is a must for anyone going to Grand Cayman. We had another twenty min. boat ride back to the bus. They would drop you off at seven mile beach or back downtown. [B]Ocho Rios[/B]- Well, even the cruise ship tells you there's not much here. Dunn's River Falls is the big attraction, we didn't do it. We've been told it very beautiful and the climb to the top gives you a great view. Not something I was going to climb with an 18 month old. If you don't want to be hassled by lots of people wanting to give you a ride. If people begging for money and negotiating prices are not your cup of tea, then just stay on the ship or book a tour through the ship. We walked to downtown(10 min.) and we were asked around twenty times to take this car or this taxi. Did a little shopping, bought a red stripe (jamaican beer) and went back on the ship. I woke up the customs officer to stamp our passports when we got off the ship. He told me he didn't have a stamp. I'll bet in I offered him some money he would have found a stamp. A word of advice, just be aware of you surroundings. [B]Grand Turk-[/B] We walked off the ship and there was the beautiful blue water. The beach to the left of the dock was crowded spent 1 1/2 hrs. there. We took a short walk to the other side of the dock. The beach there was quiet, clean and unspoiled with chairs and canopies. We spent 2 hrs. here. I snorkeled just off the beach and the fish and waters were great. We found the prices at the little shopping area next to the dock to be expensive. Then again, I never fell for the on board shopping consultant sales pitches. I personally do not need a $300.- $1,000 watch. I am perfectly happy with my timex. For any one going on there first cruise don't get caught up with all the sales hype. If you don't need it, then don't buy it. [B]Final Analysis- [/B]We had a really good time.:) Would we do this Cruise again or sail with Costa again. We probably might if we get a deal. Met a lot of nice people, made some new friends and had lots of fun. If you book with Costa keep in mind, this is an Italian ship. You dine for dinner (1-2 hrs.) You will see lots of pasta and other Italian specialties. You will hear announcements in Italian, English, German, French and Spanish. The lifeboat drills are given for your safety and Costa take them seriously. Please don't hide in your cabin. The stewards will check and you only make the drill longer for the rest of us. There will be many people from many countries speaking many lanuages. Remember traveling is an adventure. You get out of it what you put into it.
  7. Bags Packed

    Fortuna review 2/17-2/24

    We (my wife my 18 month old son and myself) also had a great time on the ship and at the different ports. This was our first cruise with Costa. I did read this forum before sailing got lots of good info. [B]Embarkation[/B]- This was a breeze. It took us longer to walk through the terminal at Port Everglads to get on board then the actual check in.(total 10 min.) We went straight to our room to get our Costa cards off the bed. We did check in later(3:15) because the airline left our luggage off the plane. After all the stess and aggravation we got our bags from the airport at 2:30 p. m. (thanks Jet [U]xxxx[/U]). :mad: [B]Ship[/B]- The Fortuna is a beautiful ship. The staff keeps it very clean and mantaines it well. As previously mentioned on this forum;the ship is a bit trickly to navigate around.(remenber deck 5 is the only deck that runs the full inturnal lenght of the ship). To go to dinner in Michelangelo dinning room, we would go to the fifth floor, walk all the way aft. then take a different elevator to deck 3 into the dinning room.:confused: [B]Room[/B]- Deck 6 inside cabin- This was a little more roomy than other ships we've been on. Although the cabin was tight with the added crib. We liked that we could put our suitcases under the bed. We were a little nervous about the safe. You use only one of your Costa cards to open and close it, no number combination. Having said all that I add this [B][COLOR=black][COLOR=red][COLOR=red]WARNING[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR]. [/B]Most inside cabins on deck 6 are over the grand bar. The music from the speakers mounted in deck 5 ceiling, will be heard in the deck 6 inside cabins. The music is very loud in these cabins and kept my son up until 1:30 am. :mad: I'm not being a little picky about hearing noise in our cabin. This music was [COLOR=red]very loud[/COLOR] and you felt the vibrations through the floor and made the wall creek with the vibrations. We told customer service the first two nights and they sent the cruise director up to our room to hear how loud the music and singing sounded. He agree it was too loud and said others were complaining as well. He also said he was going to have the volume turn down. (this didn't happen) We were fortunate a room came open on the 3rd day and got to move to the 9th. deck. I was told we were getting moved because we had my infant son with us. We felt that Costa should warn people when booking on deck 6 especially with infants. [B]Staff[/B]- We found most all staff to be friendly and courteous. All the staff we meet spoke english very well and 3,4, and even 5 different languages. Both (deck 6 and 9) cabin stewardess were great. They would make up the room while we were at breakfast, again before dinner (we showered after the beaches) and they would come again to do the turn down at night. [B]Food-[/B] The food on the Fortuna was a bit disappointing. I am of Italian desent and I am a classically train chef. The food wasn't bad it was just cheaper grade and conveince prep food. The steaks served in the dinning room and buffet were select grade beef(4th level from the best grade). None of us at our table could eat there steaks any of the nights that the various cuts were served, they were just too tough. Vegetables and side dishes were all previosly frozen as well as the seafood. The risotto that was served was made from long grain rice not [I]arborio rice.[/I] (the true Italian rice that is used for risotto) There was very little fresh fruit available. Most fruit was canned and the fresh fruit that was available was basic hand fruit. (apple, oranges, bananas, plums and pears) There was the standard fruit salad with melon, pineapple and watermelon. I never found any tropical fruits. (etc. pineapple) We are in the Carribean put out some papaya and/or mango, is a strawberry to much to ask for. The Costa Culinary staff was just trying to save money and labor. The amount of frozen, canned and purchased preprep. products was excessive. I don't want any one to think that I'm just being a stuck up chef. There were some very good dishes served (some of the pasta and the lamb) but the majority were not. The desserts were the most dissappointing. basic box cake mixes with jams, artifical whipped topping spread on top or mousse mix from packets. There were no grand chocolate buffets as on Princess. The ice creams served were good but they weren't gelato (the ice cream served in Italy, very rich). The soft serve ice cream in the buffet area was a grainy ice milk mix. I've cruised with Princess (also owned by Carnival) and the food as were the desserts are much better. [COLOR=red]*Warning* [/COLOR]One big thing that I didn't like on the Fortuna, was the location and the lack of enforcement of the use of the alcohol gel hand sanitizer. On the Princess ships the gel sanitizer is at the entrance to all buffets and you are not given a plate or your silverware until you us the gel. They also require you to use the gel before reboarding the ship. On our last day at sea one of our table mates didn't make dinner; because they were violently ill all night long. I also watched two different children throwing up that day. One child was on the lido deck next to the pool and the other on the stairs outside the Michelangelo dinning room just after we finish our dinner. :eek: We also meet a couple at the airport, flying back to the midwest. They were sick for most of the trip. The ships doctor should have quarantied them but didn't.(most ship would have). The norovirus is not pleasant to get and spreads very quickly.(No Thanks! Use the gel often people and the serving implements ie: tongs, spoon, spatulas) [B]Service[/B]- The room stewards were excellent. The dinning room servers were a little under staffed. This wasn't as bad as I've read in some of the previous reviews. We never went thirsty but the glasses were slow to be refilled. The Customer Service was good but I don't need to be told or informed evey time, that the questions that I'm asking can be found in the Today Bulletin. If I'm asking the question maybe I didn't have my Today Bulletin memorized or had not read it yet. [B]Passengers- [/B]I would say that the passenger mix was 50% American/Canadians and 50% European (the majority Italian). I had read previously on this forum about "Rude Europeans and Ugly Americans". I can say that I didn't see any "R.E." on this trip. I was told by one of my table mates, they watched some people speaking Italian remove others personal belongings off the deck chairs, move them and sit down on them. I didn't see this I only was told. I did see and dealt with a few "U.A." They were simply obnoxious and just plain rude. The vast majority were Italian/Americans from New York(sorry but your accents are what gave you away). We meet a lot of very nice people. My family and I were seated with two other American couples and three people from Canada all were very friendly and very sweet to my infant son. Just remeber that when you have 3,000 people together you are bound to run into some bad behavior. [B]Ports of Call[/B]- Being with an infant we made our ports of call very simple. We just beached it. [B]Cozmel[/B]- We took a taxi (this is Mexico negotiate prices on anything you pay for)to Playa Parancal. It was away from the crowds clean, quite and had chair and a small bar. We didn't stay very long because the ladies in our group didn't think the water was blue enough.:rolleyes: We took another cab back towards the cruise port to Playa San Francisco. The beach was a little more crowded and had more water activities. The beach and waterline had a good amount of seaweed on them. The water was lite blue(not turquoise) and there was some undertow at this beach. Keep in mind that the cabs know that you will need a ride back to downtown an will try to charge you more for the return trip. [B]Grand Cayman- [/B]I booked ahead of sailing with [I]Moby Dick Tours[/I] (they are easy to find if you do an internet search)to snorkel and swim with the rays at Stingray City( total time about 3hrs). They were great and they only cost $35.00 US. A short walk to the pier and we were taken by bus to the boat. Twenty minute ride to Stingray City. It was a bit crowded at hte sandbar so we snorkeled first. We spent about 45 min at the barrier reef . The water and fish were beautiful. Then back to the sandbar and another 45 min. with the rays. The time with the rays was great and we had 3 guides in the water with us. This is a must for anyone going to Grand Cayman. We had another twenty min. boat ride back to the bus. They would drop you off at seven mile beach or back downtown. [B]Ocho Rios[/B]- Well, even the cruise ship tells you there's not much here. Dunn's River Falls is the big attraction, we didn't do it. We've been told it very beautiful and the climb to the top gives you a great view. Not something I was going to climb with an 18 month old. If you don't want to be hassled by lots of people wanting to give you a ride. If people begging for money and negotiating prices are not your cup of tea, then just stay on the ship or book a tour through the ship. We walked to downtown(10 min.) and we were asked around twenty times to take this car or this taxi. Did a little shopping, bought a red stripe (jamaican beer) and went back on the ship. I woke up the customs officer to stamp our passports when we got off the ship. He told me he didn't have a stamp. I'll bet in I offered him some money he would have found a stamp. A word of advice, just be aware of you surroundings. [B]Grand Turk-[/B] We walked off the ship and there was the beautiful blue water. The beach to the left of the dock was crowded spent 1 1/2 hrs. there. We took a short walk to the other side of the dock. The beach there was quiet, clean and unspoiled with chairs and canopies. We spent 2 hrs. here. I snorkeled just off the beach and the fish and waters were great. We found the prices at the little shopping area next to the dock to be expensive. Then again, I never fell for the on board shopping consultant sales pitches. I personally do not need a $300.- $1,000 watch. I am perfectly happy with my timex. For any one going on there first cruise don't get caught up with all the sales hype. If you don't need it, then don't buy it. [B]Final Analysis- [/B]We had a really good time.:) Would we do this Cruise again or sail with Costa again. We probably might if we get a deal. Met a lot of nice people, made some new friends and had lots of fun. If you book with Costa keep in mind, this is an Italian ship. You dine for dinner (1-2 hrs.) You will see lots of pasta and other Italian specialties. You will hear announcements in Italian, English, German, French and Spanish. The lifeboat drills are given for your safety and Costa take them seriously. Please don't hide in your cabin. The stewards will check and you only make the drill longer for the rest of us. There will be many people from many countries speaking many lanuages. Remember traveling is an adventure. You get out of it what you put into it.
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