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dluetje1

Trans Atlantic Costa Mediterranea Report

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We sailed on the Costa Mediterranea from Savona(Nov. 4, 2005) to Fort Lauderdale(Nov. 20 2005).. There were 4 couples, 2 from Missouri and 2 from Florida. Three of the couples had multiple cruise experiences.

 

Selected this sailing because of the specific dates we were available to cruise, wanted to do a trans-Atlantic crossing on a new ship with balconies and a reasonable price. This was the only cruise that met the criteria. We made our reservations in February after comparing prices with various TAs. We all used Costa Air. Our Florida friends added a 5 day Venice to Savona cruise on the Mediterrenea for a BTB. We opted to arrive a day before sailing and stayed in Genoa with transfers and hotel arranged by Costa. This all worked very smoothly.

 

We talked with the Hotel Director and asked about the make up of the passengers. Said there were 2094 passengers. 850 were Italians, 800 English speaking and that about 175 Spanish speaking boarded in Barcelona. Included in the English speaking was a very large tour group comprised of US and Canadians. This tour (several hundred in size) had a 5 day bus tour in Italy prior to the cruise. Heard neg. comments from this group, but it was directed to the tour operator, not about Costa. We were expecting a cruise of only senior citizens, but were surprised with the number of young Italians. Not sure the reason for this.

 

We were all concerned about previous reviews and the quality of food. However I think we all agreed these were (as a whole) the best meals we have ever had on a cruise. Sure there were a couple of entrees that were not to our liking, but I've had that happen in top notch restaurants. All in all the food was great. I especially enjoyed the pastas that were available before the main course, both in the dinning room and the buffet. Also gave me the opportunity to try certain seafood that is not available in the Midwest. Deserts were nothing special. Overall, I was very pleased with the food.. I did not go hungry and gained 8 pounds. Those that panned the food in previous reviews must have had Cunard Grill expectations at Costa prices.

 

Service was the best we have ever had on a cruise. Waiters, cabin steward, were all excellent. They always addressed you by name. The cruise staff (Melanie) went out of her way to assist with a problem. My wife brought along a 4 string banjo. About the 4th or 5th day one of the tuning pegs broke. We saw Melanie on deck and ask her if the musicians on board had any ideas at what port we could find a music store that could help. Melanie called us twice to tell us about music stores (with a street name) in various ports that we would be stopping. We were very surprised that she even pursued the question, as we thought this was above and beyond a reasonable request. Yes the music stores were there as she told us, but they didn’t carry the correct size peg. In fact, it is going to be hard to find such a peg here in St. Louis.

 

The Captain was very accessible, saw him at least once a day, making the rounds. He was happy to chat and answer questions. He also gave a presentation on the ship, in English with slides, in the main theater. Since I like ships, I found it to be very enjoyable. He also gave the talk in other languages during the cruise.

 

The language issue was not really a problem (other than with the entertainment). Ship wide announcements in five languages were few and far between. The staff was able to converse in English as well as other languages.

 

The boarding process in Savona was not acceptable. Our bus arrived at the pier at 1:30 pm and we were given a boarding number 18. At that point they were boarding number 11. Our number was called at 4:30pm. When you number was called, a mob formed around the security check in entrance. When the mob size got small, the next number was called. No attempt was made to have a line or to have any sense of order. The terminal is new with an outside patio area. Drinks and snacks are available to purchase. Since the weather was nice, we spent most of the time outside.

 

The entertainment was spotty at best. The production shows with the Costa dancers and singers were on a par with other cruises. The weak spots were the individual acts. Saying everything in 5 languages was disruptive. One bright spot was an Italian tenor. Sang all the classics and naturally brought the house down, however it was scheduled for 4:30pm. (Maybe he only does one show a day?)

 

There was a toga night on the last night. It was combined with a talent show and provided for a fun show. The sheets for your toga appeared on your bed, but no promotion was done in the daily “Today”. Had there been a little fanfare and promotion there would have been more participation. This, in my opinion, should have been scheduled for the mid Atlantic. Selection of movies on TV was limited for a 16 night cruise. Several days the same movie was shown. The entertainment appeared to be a dry run for the upcoming 7 day cruises.

 

I felt the shore excursions were a bit over priced. However the tour guides were all very professional and did a better job than on most cruise ship tours. Also the disembarkation for the tours was done in an efficient manner. No waiting around or long lines. I guess it evens out.

 

I had a cultural shock concerning the rudeness of certain people butting in line as if you were not even there. Always have heard of that, but first time I have experienced it. After a couple of days, I sharpened my elbows, refined my passive aggressive tendencies and defended my territory.

 

Joe Farcus designed the interior of the vessel in 17th and 18th century Italian palazzo (palaces) motif. It is eye catching, to say the least, but very enjoyable. There is always something new to discover. It is certainly appropriate for an Italian vessel.

 

Would I do it again? YES.

Would I recommend this cruise to someone else? YES, if you like 5 sea days in a row.

Did I get value received? YES

 

If anyone has any questions, I will try to answer them.

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That review was great. I feel that you were fair and impartial and if you would have had any excessive problems you would have told us. Reading your review has alleviated a lot of my fears from reading alot of the other reviews.

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Excellent review, thank you very much.

 

Can you give me an idea of what the weather, temperature and sea conditions were like? Did the ship head south to get better conditions?

 

I have only cruised the once, and only for a week, but am now hooked. I'd love to go on a transatlantic voyage as the sea days sound ideal for relaxing - so long as it was warm enough to be outside!

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The crossing was very smooth. No rough seas whatsoever. The weather was very mild and pleasent. Wore short sleeve shirts and short pants and was very confortable out on deck. Passengers were in the pools and occupying deck chairs every day. Could not have ask for better weather or conditions. It seems to me that most of the repositioning cruises are in the South Atlantic and I'm sure that makes a big difference. Took one sweater, didn't use it. On sailing day in Savona and in Barcelona, did wear a light jacket. In the Caribbean it was very warm. Captain commented that we had ideal conditions. It did rain one afternoon for an hour or so on the last day of the actual crossing. Hope this answers you questions.

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Thank you. That's decided it. Next year I am definitely going.:D

 

It sounds like I had rougher weather rounding Greece in September. The cabin screen said wave heights of 35ft and despite being a little queasy (which maybe had more to do with a very large gala dinner than the sea condition!), I coped fine. I'll maybe not sail to Fort Lauderdale though as I've spent a lot of time in Florida. Perhaps the Brazil sailing on Victoria, which has the benefit of a stop at Cape Verde meaning a maximum of three or four sea days in a row.

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You will have a refrigerator in a cat. 10. It is small and stocked with booze, etc. We found room to add a couple of glasses from the bar. We were in cat. 7 veranda.

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You will have a refrigerator in a cat. 10. It is small and stocked with booze, etc. We found room to add a couple of glasses from the bar. We were in cat. 7 veranda.

 

you can ask your room steward to remove all items in the fridge.. then you can place what you want in it.. we have had no problem doing this

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Thanks, I didn't know they would remove the things from the refrigerator that they were trying to sell. I am going to take a couple of cases of water and possibly some juice on board and I would like to keep them cold if at a possible.

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Hello there,

My mom and I are booked on the Magica for the transatlantic crossing in November 2006. Pretty much the same cruise as the one you were on. I haven't seen much posted about TA cruises so I went back into the threads to see what I could find and there you were. It was nice to get the weather report. I was wondering what to wear. I am also curious to find out the passenger nationalities and ages. If you have any suggestions, tip, tricks that you want to share, please do.

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