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Cruise4Andy

Costa Mediterranea Review - Eastern Caribbean 01/30-02/06

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Somehow CC still has not posted my detailed review in the Review section, even though I submitted it on February 6... Don't know why, but here it is:

 

Okay – unfortunately we are back on land and both my wife and I have to go back to work today. But not without ever lasting memories to our recent trip and journey on board of the Costa Mediterranea, which we called home from January 30 to February 6, 2005. So here’s what we experienced:

 

 

EMBARKATION:

I still was kind of hesitant if there were any improvements made to the embarkation procedures. Last time when we went on the Atlantica, it was kind of a hassle. This time, everything went extremely smooth, and I never imagined being on board of the ship that fast.

We arrived with plenty of time at the port in Fort Lauderdale at around 10:00 AM. The craze was still going on at the port as they were still disembarking from the prior cruise. As what I heard the Mediterranea came in a little late that morning, so they were trying to catch up with the schedule. At around 10:30 AM we were able to check-in our luggage with the porter, so all we had to worry about was our carry on items.

Around 11:20 AM they started with the first group to check-in. I checked before with a Costa staff member, if you need a number to check in if you are booked in a suite. She said we would not need a number, but gave us one anyway. Sure in deed, you do not need a number, as suite passengers and passengers with special needs will be called first. So we were pretty much the first at the check in counter.

Make sure to fill out all your forms in your travel documents, as that will speed up the process tremendously. Stamp here, stamp there, through security and we were on board of the Mediterranea. As we were fairly early, the staterooms were not ready yet, so we proceeded to the Osiris Theatre in the front of the ship where Costa had set up tables and computers on stage to register your credit card. This is a great idea and great improvement! We waited a little bit and chatted with other passengers until shortly after noon when we decided to check out the welcome buffet on Deck 9. After finishing our lunch, our suite was ready to move in!

Embarkation Process Rating: “10”.

 

 

THE STATEROOM:

We originally booked a Suite (Category S), but were upgraded shortly after we booked to a Panorama Suite (Category PS). There are several Panorama Suites mid-ship, but we had one of two existing PS aft-suites.

The stateroom 5266 is located on the aft port side of the ship. When entering the cabin, you find a long wooden floored walkway, which leads to a 90-degree corner before entering the bedroom. Straight ahead is the door to the bathroom, which is beautifully appointed and features granite countertops and splash guards, double sinks, plenty of lights and storage areas, a large mirror and best of all a Jacuzzi tub/shower combination. When going to the actual room, there is a large sliding door closet towards your right, a dresser/desk with large lighted mirror towards your left. In the middle of the room there is a queen size bed with headboard and large mirror above. Right on the foot of the bed there are large floor to ceiling windows and the balcony door. Following the bed is a leather sofa, table and a chair as well as another shelf/dresser with drawers, the safe and TV. When exiting the room to the balcony, my first impression was: Wow! This balcony is HUGE! It was furnished with two lounge chairs, two reclining chairs and a table. And you easily could have fit more furniture out there! Absolutely gorgeous views! And what’s more beautiful as to wake up in the morning and look out on the open ocean? I don’t know in what the mid-ship cabins or Grand Suites in the aft look in reality (just from the virtual tour online), but we enjoyed our cabin and the huge balcony to the fullest all week long!

Stateroom Rating: “10”.

 

 

THE PUBLIC AREAS & THE SHIP:

The Costa Mediterranea is another example of a superlative ship, beautifully appointed with extreme attention to details. It is laid out exactly as the Costa Atlantica, but differs in interior design and colors.

Some may say the design is a little bit too much, but we loved it, as we did the sister ship Atlantica.

One thing really stood out, as I paid special attention to it. There was not one day, one area or one hour going by where you not met at least one person cleaning something on this ship. From polishing the chrome panels of lights, stairways and elevators to washing and cleaning the windows, to waxing wooden floors and vacuuming. You probably could have gone over every light fixture with white gloves, and they would have been still white afterwards! Costa does an outstanding job in keeping their ships maintained, clean and sparkling. All around the ship there was never a sign of wear and tear. Both the Atlantica and Mediterranea must be surely some of the cleanest cruise ships around. The second night we had a “Galley Buffet” at midnight. Truly amazing how clean this ship is even behind the scenes. The stainless steel was sparkling everywhere, and that just a little over an hour after the second seating in the dining room ended. I have to personally give every employee a big round of applause and compliment for an outstanding job! Elegant, yet trendy would be the ideal description and category to put the Costa Mediterranea in. The casino was great, and I even walked away ahead by playing my favorite game Black Jack!

For those who are concerned about the smoke and smoking areas, no smoking is allowed in any areas where food is being served, with the exception of the outdoor/poolside grills. No smoking in the theatre as well. Even though smoking is permitted in the casino, bars and lounges, smoke odor was never a problem, not even noticed. Believe me I am a past smoker and notice smoke smell if there is one.

Conclusion: The Costa Mediterranea is an outstanding, elegant and classy ship! She’s a beauty!

Ship & Design Rating: “10” (wonderful, wonderful & wonderful)

 

 

PERSONNEL & STAFF MEMBERS:

I read several comments and posts about employees and cruise staff being rude or unfriendly. I really cannot relate to those statements whatsoever. I already knew that from the Atlantica, but now also from the Mediterranea. There was never an unfriendly or rude person. Everybody is wearing a smile and greets you while walking by, no matter if cleaning personnel, cabin stewards, buffet attendants, casino staff, etc.

The Guest Service desk staff is extremely helpful, friendly and will go out of their way to make you a happy customer and passenger!

 

Our cabin steward Ronzio and our butler Jah were outstanding. The room was always perfect, sparkling clean and picked up. They made the return to our cabin always interesting as they always showed their creativity. One day we found an elephant sitting on our bed, folded and crafted out of towels. The other day I left my shorts on the bed and when we returned they were also folded in some creative way I never seen them before. We always had ice in the bucket, fresh cold water and fresh fruits every day. We had breakfast in the cabin and enjoyed it a lot!

 

A special thanks also to our waiter Brian Baptista from Bombay, India. He is not only funny, entertaining and well educated, but is every efficient and pampers you from start to end. We were seated towards the front of the restaurant on table # 28. So if you have a chance to get in his section… go for it!

 

Our cruise director Paul Rutter also became very familiar and a friend. Always had a minute to chat and personal contact to the passengers seems to be his top priority! Outstanding!!! He absolutely fit in the role of cruise director! Thanks also to Stefano from Italy, the assistant cruise director and the rest of the Costa Mediterranea staff. They each individually gave their best and made our cruise a wonderful experience!

Staff Rating: “10”.

 

 

FOOD:

Well, I could go on and on and on about the food (and also about some of the negative comments you’ll find here on this site). Bottom line: Out of this world, excellent, outstanding and beyond!

 

For Breakfast you can choose either the sit-down breakfast (they have wonderful creations of Eggs Benedict) or the breakfast buffet on deck 9, which also features custom made omelets or eggs at the grill station. Or simply order breakfast in your stateroom and enjoy it on the balcony!!!

 

For Lunch we usually went to the buffet or pizzeria on deck 9. They have daily changing menus, and had different countries featured throughout the week (Greek, Italian, Caribbean, etc.). Of course there is always the wonderful and real delicious Italian pizza!!! Also offered were daily changing specialty stations, where you can get freshly prepared pasta, mussels, etc.

 

Dinner we had at the dining room and we were scheduled (as requested) for the second seating. We always enjoy a little spare time between the shore excursions and dinnertime. If you have first seating, you will usually have dinner at 6:15 PM (on formal nights 5:45 PM), if you are scheduled for second seating, your dinnertime will be around 8:30 PM (on formal nights 8:45 PM). We also had a complimentary dinner for two at the specialty restaurant “Club Medusa” (on the Atlantica it’s “Club Atlantica”), where there is usually a charge of $ 20 per person. But if you stay in a suite, you get it for free! Even if you don’t stay in a suite, it’s well worth the extra money. You will experience exclusive, fine five-star Italian dining at it’s best. Renowned Italian chef Gualtiero Marchesi will present you with a one of a kind and unique Italian dining experience. Not to be missed, as Machesi was the first Italian chef in the world to receive 3 Michelin stars!

If you dine at the Ristorante Degli Argentieri (the “regular” dining area) located on decks 2 and 3 you’ll find a broad variety of Italian specialties. Every night a different region of Italy is featured as the “Chef’s Selection”, which is unique and typical for that region. In addition you can choose from usually three or four appetizers, three soups, three salads, three pasta dishes, four to five entrees and four to five dessert options. So if you go out hungry after dinner, that is your own fault! We had wonderful dinner choices ranging from fresh Sea Bass, and Filet Mignon to Lobster Tail. Appetizers and Soups are a must try and always delicious, so are the Pasta Dishes, which will be served prior to your entrée. Don’t miss out on them (and I don’t know how they do it), but the pasta is always cooked to perfection: Al Dente!

The pizzeria serves thin Italian pizza, not the thick crust Chicago style, just as in Italy. Piping hot pies are flying out of the oven on a regular basis and the variety of pizzas changes daily as well. Pepperoni and Ham & Mushrooms one day, anchovies and Hawaiian style the other, plus the always available cheese pizza. The preparation, presentation, variety and quality of food is outstanding throughout the ship, the same as what we experienced on the Atlantica a year ago. If you truly enjoy real Italian food, you will love Costa and their chefs. You might very well think you are in Italy!

Food Rating: “10” – Absolutely no doubt about it!!!

 

 

ENTERTAINMENT:

I don’t know about other cruise lines, but Costa sure in deed offers a wide variety of entertainment choices throughout the week. We had two wonderful production shows “Time Machine” and “Solid Gold” which were both magnificent! “Time Machine” featured the music, dances and performances throughout time, from the Medieval Era to the New Millennium and everything else in between. Great performances from the Costa Mediterranea dancers! “Solid Gold” featured countless number one hits and their stars, from Elton John, Cher, Abba, Michael Jackson and Elvis, just to name a few of them.

The first night featured an acrobatic duo, “Duo Platschkov” from Moscow, Russia. The performers won multiple performance awards and gold medals throughout Europe. It was certainly a great, upbeat performance with great music, light effects and laser show! And all of that in the Osiris Theatre! Of course there was also the final night’s Roman Bacchanal Party, combined with the Passenger Talent Show. Did not know that we had that many talented passengers on board. Lot’s of people are dressed up in toga’s, which is a blast by itself. You will get some bed sheets delivered to you stateroom with instructions on how to tie it into a toga, but of course if you want something more “advanced” you can bring your own toga as well. All I can say… another episode of “Cruise Ship Gone Wild”!

Entertainment Rating: “10”

 

 

PORT OF CALLS / ITINERARY:

The Eastern Caribbean itinerary differs quite a bit from the Western one. Where on the Western cruise you have most of the time full days in port, you sometimes only spend half days in port on the Eastern route. That’s the only one thing I can think of that I would change, besides taking “Catalina Island” off the itinerary.

 

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO:

Our captain must have pushed the speed button, or the Mediterranea has Ferrari engines instead of the regular diesel engines (overall, it’s an Italian ship!). We arrived about an hour early at San Juan, which was around 3:00 PM local time. Of course it took a little time to clear the ship through local authorities and got off the ship with no further delay. We read that the Fort “El Morro” closes at 5:00 PM, so not much time to get up there. We jumped into a cab which drove us to the Fort, about a 10 minute ride in the traffic and narrow (and I mean narrow) streets. We were greatly surprised, that the Fort would not close until 6:00 PM, so plenty of time to stroll through and enjoy this historic place. We left the Fort around 5:00 and strolled through the many small streets with their local specialty stores left and right. On the way we found an excellent ice cream store… Gelato, so rich and creamy, we could not resist! We went back to the ship around 7:00 PM, and got ready for dinner. We sailed away, heading for St. Thomas around 10:00 PM.

Port Rating: “9” (but wish we would have more time!)

 

ST. THOMAS, U.S.V.I.:

We arrived as scheduled in St. Thomas at 7:00 AM. We already made arrangements ahead of time and booked a rental car through Budget, an open Jeep. I know they drive on the left, so that was quite an experience, but lots of fun. We picked up our car right across from the cruise pier and off we were. We definitely wanted to see St. John as well, so we drove straight to Red Hook, where we took a car barge over to St. John. If you are afraid of narrow spaces or narrow roads, maybe you are better off taking a taxi, but being raised in Europe it was not a problem for me, as I was used to that kind of traffic. The barge ride takes about 20 minutes to St. John, and we were cramped in between pick up trucks, semis and other vehicles which we also travel on the same (small) barge. Arriving in St. John, we drove to Trunk Bay, which is a national park and you will have to pay an entry fee of $3 per person. Well worth every single penny, as this is one of the most beautiful islands I have ever seen. Trunk Bay offers a marked snorkel path, much like a nature trail. A buoy marks the start of the trail, which is wrapped around a little island. There are plaques on the ocean floor, which will give you information about fish and wildlife, corals, etc. Very informative and interesting – and I am pretty sure one of a kind as well. Even though the water was cloudy due to the wind, it was a wonderful experience! If you don’t bring your own snorkel gear (which we did) they offer also rental gear (don’t know how much they charge though). After going back to St. Thomas we enjoyed the ride over the islands narrow mountain roads and enjoyed the breathtaking views from the top over the island, the harbor and numerous bays and beaches. I would have loved to spend even more time in St. Thomas, but unfortunately we left port at 5:00 PM.

Port Rating: “10” (a true one!)

 

CATALINA ISLAND / LA ROMANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:

If there was one Port of Call which I could have scratched from the itinerary, that would be it. Although Costa claims that it is “their” private beach/island, it’s kind of hard to believe. I am sure that only Costa and Carnival ships anchor there, but it’s nothing what really excited us. You tender to the little pier right next to the beach where you will be greeted by locals. Walking towards the left (there are plenty of beach chairs for free available) we got approached by somebody who will wipe down and arrange your chair and put on your towel – all for a tip of course. The swimming area is limited and marked with rope and little buoys, not really exciting. For lunch, the Costa staff will bring over food from the ship and they will have a cookout, a complete BBQ, with ribs, burgers, chicken, salads, etc. Very nicely arranged underneath a provided pavilion. If you walk on the provided wooden walkway, you will pass by several booths, locals which want to sell you their merchandise. For a minute I thought we are in Jamaica, where they almost glue to your back, just making you buy something. That’s the one thing really disturbed me! If it is in deed Costa’s and Carnival’s beach, what are all the local vendors doing there? As it was quite windy and a little shower passed, we decided to call it a day and went back on the ship to enjoy the beautiful Mediterranea instead. La Romana, just 10 nautical miles from Catalina did not do much for us as well. We heard that you should be careful when leaving the port without a tour group. So we stayed on board and enjoyed a wonderful evening on the ship. That’s the only worthless stop of the cruise and should be replaced with something more appropriate, such as St. John, St. Croix, St. Marten, etc. I rather spend a half day there, than a full day at Catalina/La Romana.

Port Rating: “3” (did not like this port and should be removed from the itinerary, beach was okay though)

 

FREEPORT, BAHAMAS:

Our last Port of Call was the Bahamas. There were plenty of cruise ships in port that day, and we and the Celebrity Millennium, actually had to circle (like an airplane waiting for the clear to land) before we were cleared to dock. That got us behind our scheduled arrival time by almost an hour, but the ship was cleared fairly fast and we were off for shopping. We went to the Straw Market first, well worth an experience, where you definitely want to bring along your negotiation and bargaining skills – you’ll need them in deed. Locals selling all kind of stuff, from useful to useless. They usually tell you one price first, but because it’s a slow day (yeah, right – with 5 cruise ships in port?!) it’s “only” x amount, which is still too high too buy it, so simply negotiate, and if you can’t get it for the price you want to pay, simply walk away with a “no thanks” and a smile. They may come down if they want to make a deal. Enjoyed the Kalik beer!

Port Rating: “9”

 

Overall Itinerary: “7.5” (Needs more full day port of calls! Liked Western Itinerary better – time wise)

 

 

DISEMBARKATION:

Extremely organized and well done. As we were in a suite, we received priority disembarkation. We received red luggage tags in our cabin, which is the second group to disembark the ship. The first group (pink tags) is usually reserved for travelers which have to catch a plane somewhere. We went to the restaurant for breakfast and wanted to proceed to the Club Medusa afterwards, as this was the VIP lounge for suite customers. We never made it up there, as by the time we finished our breakfast we were already allowed to go and disembark. There was not even a huge crowd at the immigration and customs and had our luggage picked up quickly. Out the door we went with a porter, as this line is still faster than the regular customs lane. So if you are in the middle of the pack disembarking, take a porter to take you out the terminal. This is the fastest way and well worth the tip you give the porter. In our lane we were not even asked if we have bought anything or had anything to declare. From the time going off the ship and walking out the terminal: less than 10 minutes.

Disembarkation Rating: “10”

 

 

FINAL CONCLUSION:

The Costa Mediterranea is, like the Costa Atlantica a beautiful and wonderful appointed ship. Elegant, luxurious, yet trendy and modern. Costa is definitely for us and we will be back for sure! No doubt about it!

Enjoyed every aspect of our cruise, and the Costa staff made our vacation enjoyable, relaxing, fun and entertaining. Thank you Costa, we will be loyal passengers in the future!

 

If you have any questions about the Atlantica, the Mediterranea or the Eastern or Western Itinerary, please do not hesitate to e-mail me at PPPOWER96@aol.com!

 

Have a wonderful vacation (if you are scheduled to depart in the near future) and Happy Cruising!

 

 

Andy

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Hello Andy, Ms. Bee here......

 

I would also like to thank you for the wonderful review, as MO put it. It was very detailed and really boosted my anticipation to see our lovely ship, the Mediterranea. We will be on the April 3rd sailing to the Western Caribbean. Sounds to me like we are in for a wonderful sail on a beautiful ship.

Thanks again.......and Buon Giorno........Ms. Bee

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Thanks Mo, Thanks Ms. Bee!

 

You won't be disappointed! I love the Western route and hope you both will enjoy your cruise on board of the Mediterranea as much as we did!

 

Any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time.

 

HAPPY CRUISING!

 

 

Andy

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Hey Andy,

 

Brian was our waiter too, at first seating. I understand that was only his second week on the ship. He had that so earnest and polite manner, charming and endearing.

Like you, I thought the food was outstanding. And I was really nervous about it, beause of the negative comments I have read. I guess we all have different tastes regarding food, so I don't envy those reading the different viewpoints and trying to decide if they should go or not based on dining.

Our embarkation was later, after 1pm, but we didn't have much of a wait.

Same disembarking experience as you, though we were in one of the last groups to leave at 10am. We had our luggage and were out of the port within 5 min. No questions, no checking of anything. I did get a chuckle out of the pile of fruit at the port entry from the ship and the customs official offering to smoke any Cuban cigars passengers happened to have with them.:D

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Thanks for the detailed report. Although not much can ruin my vacations, I too was not sure what to expect. It seems that the reports a very negetive or very good. We are going on The Mediterrena to the Eastern Caribbean also March 13. Thanks again!:D

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I don't smoke cigars, and if I did I would never chance it.............but from what I saw they could have easily been brought in that day. I was really surprised that no luggage was checked at all. Although I do wonder about the fruit.........either they were finding it, people were voluntarily surrendering it(why even bother to take it from your cabin?) or it was put there as a psychological prop.:D

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Yes, as the cruise director said....if that dog goes to up to your bag, you better pray he is just gonna lift his leg and P........ but hand carried bags weren't sniffed by man or dog that day.:D

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Thank you for the wonderful review of your recent cruise. We will be sailing on March 13th and are really looking forward to it. But I too was a bit disappointed in looking at the itinerary --- my cabinmate wanted to do the Eastern as she'd already done the Western --- and this K9 cruise came up so we decided to take it. I enjoy days at sea most --- and with the K9 seminars, I figure I'll be a very happy camper indeed. But I was not impressed with the layout of the itinerary -- not much useful time in port it seemed to me. You rather confirmed that. And I wouldn't even bother with Catalina Island were it on for the fact some of our classes are being held there. But it's nice to know the lay of the land for planning purposes since we won't have a lot of free time on this cruise because of the classes.

 

I was also glad to hear about the food. I've run into a lot of picky people during my travels --- and personally, I wonder why some of them bother to travel at all. But I enjoy just about anything within reason and have learned over the years how to pick through the good, the bad and the "just there to fill you up" stuff.

 

Now I'm really getting excited about this cruise and can hardly wait. If I could just get Costa to fix whatever the problem is that's keeping me from signing into their website to check out the tour offerings, :mad: I'd be a very happy camper!!

 

Thanks for the report. :rolleyes:

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"And I wouldn't even bother with Catalina Island were it on for the fact some of our classes are being held there."

 

I agree with everything Andy had to say about Costa but for Catalina Island. Love this stop. The crew from the ship go out of their way to make the day on the beach prefect! But then, I don't care a fig about shopping, it's all about, beach, beach, beach!

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cariad:

 

LOL, I just can picture to dog on the luggage. At the end you might think that the fruit cake was leaking... ROFL ;-)

 

I must have missed the fruit and cigar "station"... LOL

 

We really had a wonderful time with Brian. He's 11 years with Costa and has sailed pretty much every Costa vessel. His knowledge is quite impressive as well as he seems to be extremely well eductated and is interested in a variety of topics. One night we were talking about digital cameras, and here he was, sharing his thoughts on resolution, pixels, etc.

 

So for anyone going on board in the near future. Look for Brian! He's the best!

 

 

Hei1980:

I completely agree that the staff goes out of their way in Catalina Island. They ship all that food and drinks over, serving BBQ, etc. No complaint there.

Just the local vendors, along the walkway are kind of annoying. I just happened to stroll by there of course I wanted to see what's at the end of the beach and here they were just almost hanging on my, trying to take a look at their merchandise and stuff they sell. I smiled, thanked them and walked on, until the owner or sales person from the next booth approached me. I was glad when I returned to our beach lounge chairs. It was nice, but then again, in my personal opinion St. Thomas had the most beautiful and wonderful beaches on this itinerary.

 

Fedora:

You'll love this cruise! Just think about the relaxing times you gonna have!

I hope you will enjoy it to the fullest!

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Thanks, guys, I'm really looking forward to it. I'm ready for a break --- 2 jobs -- work in a law firm all day and have my own virtual assistance business at home. So I'm really ready for a break.

 

And I'm not a big shopper either --- I look for beads (I make beaded jewelry for therapy, when I'm not chasing attorneys around) and cloth for quilting. But frankly, with the hours I've worked for the last 18 months, I've no time for either of those bad habits at the moment --- last time I did any beadwork was on a cruise last May!! This time it will be dog classes --- although if anyone sees some crazy lady with a floppy hat sitting up on a deck somewhere stringing beads, stop buy --- it'll probably be me. I found on the last cruise it was a great way to meet folks.

 

Really looking forward to this, and I'm feeling better about the Catalina Island thing now --- everyone loves a good BBQ --- and if they go to all the trouble of hauling the stuff out and back, the least we can do is enjoy it!!

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hi andy,

Thanks for the great review. We will be sailing next week, feb 27. I am looking forward with a much better attitude after you review! Is there any way to get off of Catalina and spend the whole day in casa de campo??

 

My e mail is cb2052@earthlink.net

 

Thanks chip brady

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chip brady:

 

I know that topic was discussed here on CC in another thread, if there are possibilites to get from Catalina Island to Casa de Campo, where you would join the ship again.

 

As it was explained to us on our cruise, the ONLY way to get to the mainland of the Dominican Republic was through Costa organized tours, which will join the ship later on again in Casa de Campo. So we did not attempt that kind of adventure, but who really knows?

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My wife has the memory card from the camera. I'll hopefully get that from her tonight, so that I can post some pics tomorrow morning. I'll post them here in this thread, as well as a new thread.

 

Hope that's good enough... ;-)

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We just returned from the Feb 13th Med sailing. Same itinerary and cabin type as Andy.

 

We had an aft corner Panorama suite (#5295). the other side of the boat. If you can book one of the corners, do it! The balconies are huge and they wrap around slightly to the side. Only complaint was the noise from the prop wash when sailing at night. If you leave the balcony door open to sleep it got a bit noisy when cruising at 40 knots. Sometimes the mist/spray actually made it up into the cabin.

 

We enjoyed Catalina Island and the Dominican. The beach was very nice, especially when the tops started coming off (wink, wink). Yes the vendors on the island are a pain, but if you stay clear and ignore them you'll be OK. Just walk on the sand instead of the boardwalk when near the village. They have to stay in a designated area and can't come on the beach to sell you. While at La Romana, we went to Casa de Campo and saw the Kandela show. It was great! very professional.

 

Do not worry about poor service. Everyone was great and very helpful (except the gift shop people). Slight language issue with room service. The person who answers had a difficult time understanding certain English words.

 

I liked this cruise and the ship, but must warn people that it is different than a Carnival, Princess or other domestic cruise. If you are expecting a "party" cruise you might want to look elsewhere. There were very few young adults or children for that matter during this week. The squok club had 6 or 7 workers and only about 20 or so kids. The crowd was generally older (55 plus) and there was a huge contingent of Italian and French passengers.

 

I had never been to Europe, but it was such a wonderful experience to watch and talk with the European passengers. They seemed so vibrant and full of life. They had a great time and celebrated everything. I actually came to a point where I admire them for their love of life.

 

If you are a cigar smoker, Club Medusa opens the 2nd level each night from 10 - 2 for cigars and cognac. They sell some brands (Dominican) there but I would advise to bring your own. Met some nice people and good conversations there.

 

For sun bathers, the ship has 3 pools. One of the pools has a retractable roof in case of rain. There are small deck areas with chairs and seats all over the place so finding a seat was never an issue. Throughout the week I kept finding new spots that I hadn't seen before.

 

All in all a good time

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Welcome back Chaparral97!

 

Glad you had a wonderful time as well!!! So all we can do now is wait and hope that the time will fly by fast, so that we can book our next cruise.

 

Hey, did I miss out on something in Catalina??? Where were the tops flying off???

 

;-)

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great to hear you enjoyed the cruise Chaparral97. thats the same cabin i am booked in on april 3rd. i believe i will like the noise of the water at night, but if i don't, i'll probably be tired to worry about it. did you get any pics of the cabin ? and how was the butler service..anything really special i should'nt miss on board ?

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Andy.....,.Yup, ya had to pay attention to see it. :D On the beach.

 

Desiree.........think of a waterfall. That is the sound you hear.......all night.

 

Our butler's name was Yhen. She was nice, but we rarely saw her. Our steward was Ronzan (sp). We saw him a lot. I'm not real sure why we needed a butler and steward. The butler delivered room service, etc. the steward cleaned the room. To be honest, one really attentive butler/steward would have been adequate.

 

Don't miss the Kandela show at Los Altos de Chavon.

 

One thing we discovered was if you don't feel like dressing or going to the dining room at the assigned time, you can go to the alternative buffet on deck 9 and get the EXACT same dishes as what is being served in the main room. This was great because first seating is at 5:45, too early when you've been out all day.

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Cool Beans!! I will probably take your advice on the dinner buffet several nights after those long days in port.

 

Did you get any pics you can post of the cabin ?

I've been bugging Cruise4Andy, but he has let me down. (wink ,wink..jab , jab)

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Desiree:

 

Would I ever let you down??? No, never!!! (wink wink wink)

I am bugging my wife to at least give me the memory card or the disc, to that I can post a pic here... will try that again tonight, otherwise I just sneak out with it...

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