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smgapp

Another 11/20 Costa Mediterranea review

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I also just returned from the Costa Mediterannea and I read Wishful's review. I do agree that the ship did seem disorganized at times. There were also long lines for checking in but they seemed to go quickly (at least in the line for check in if you had documents.) I found the rooms to be a good size and the bathrooms were large for a cruise ship. We had 4 rooms on the same floor but had 3 different stewards. All the room stewards were very friendly. Our waiter at dinner was very friendly. He and his assistant made us feel special and welcome. We were on the cruise for my dad's 70th birthday and they did a great job singing and bringing out a great whipped cream pastry cake. Aside from the room steward and the waiters, I found the staff to be rude at times. Many times we had to step out of their way as they were passing by with trays, carts etc... When I have been on other cruise lines, the employees always let the ship guests pass by but that is not the case on Costa. Also, it was very hard to find a waiter to order a drink outside on the pool decks (most cruise ships are very aggressive with asking for drink orders but this is not the case with Costa) I finally found a cocktail waitress one day when I was on a pool deck and when I asked to order drinks, she looked over at the bar near us twice and implied that I could get my drink at the bar! I finally got her to take our drink order.

 

The food was better than expected (I had read many bad food reviews for Costa). We sat down to breakfast in the main dining room on three of the mornings- had great eggs benedict but had trouble getting the waiters to take our orders, bring water, coffee etc... (they were not our usual dinner waiters) I enjoyed the breakfast buffet by the pool although it was the same food everyday- bacon,sausage, eggs, great potato pancakes, fresh fruit, waffles, pancakes,cereal, yogurt etc... The pizza on the ship is the best that I have ever had on a cruise. We often had a piece of pizza late in the afternoon since we had late dining which was 8:30. The first night we were on the early dining which was at 5:45 and was way too early- especially since we often did not get back on the ship until after 5. I recommend late dining- sometimes the shows are before the dinner other times they are after the dinner. The shows were entertaining but not as good as on other cruise lines. We especially liked the 70's-80' s music show. Wine prices were good- $4.75 for a glass of chardonnay and the frozen mixed drinks were around $6. Beer was $4.50 or so.

 

The first day was in Key west. We took the ship's complimentary conch train shuttle into town and shopped and bought some bottles of wine to bring on board-at first we were told the ship had to hold the wine but then they said that only hard liquor had to be held -we could take the wine to the room. We kept it in the mini bar. The steward filled our ice bucket each day with fresh ice which we mixed with vodka that we had also brought from home in suitcases without a problem. We were able to get to Cozumel (ships that tried to dock there the day before us were unable to dock due to extremely high winds). We took ship tenders and it was very confusing getting on the tenders (I am sure this was because Costa did not know until the last minute that we would defintely go to Cozumel) . There were some stores and restaurants open in Cozumel but many were closed from the hurricane. We went to a boat operator and were able to hire our own glass bottom boat for 9 of us for $200 (we had to negotiate the price) - he took us to three snorkeling spots. The water was a bit rough and the visibility limited but it was nice to get out of the town and on the water (we did see many hotels that were destroyed along the coast- it was sad to see). In Jamaica, we had prearranged an all day trip with a friend of a friends to be our guide around Ocho rios. He met us at the taxi stand outside of customs. He had two large van rentals for our group of 9. He first took us to go rafting on handmade bamboo rafts- it was a lot of fun- we sat on a bamboo bench on the raft while the raft guide stood up and guided us through the river with a pole. Our guide then took us to climb the Dunns river falls- he waited and we climbed the falls without a guide (you do not need a guide and we preferred not having one since we could go at our own speed) After the falls, we went through a jungle area and saw more falls and did a nature walk- sampled fresh coconut milk that a guide cracked open and also tried sugar cane and smelled some spices. We ended the trip eating Jerk chicken at an outdoor restaurant near town. Our guide was Phillip Kongal- 876 871-2366- he charges $200 for the day plus the cost of a van rental. (note: his fee does not include admission to the falls or the rafting ) In the Cayman islands, we hired our own snorkel boat to go to Sting Ray city- I went scuba diving with the sting rays while the rest of my family snorkeled on the surface with the rays. As a diver, I was able to bring the sting rays to the surface so the others could pet them. We arranged our scuba trip with Divers Down- the dive master Paul and boat driver Pete were great- the only drawback was we had to take a $54 cab ride to the Cayman Island Yacht club to meet the boat (the dive master took us back into town). Cost for 8 snorkelers, the boat and one diver was $450 (included all equipment).

 

Costa has great kids clubs and planned activities on baord for kids. We were with a 10 year old and a 15 year old. We rarely saw the 10 year old- she met lots of friends at the Kids Club and they were constantly doing activities. The 15 year old met a lot of new friends through the teen zone and he was also always busy in the evenings with the other teens.

 

The ship is beautiful inside- in a Las vegas sort of way. The tv in the rooms has satellite which is nice- we were able to get all the major tv stations and watched US news and prime time shows. I did miss that the little things that some ships do like leaving mints on the pillows or folding the towels into animal shapes-Costa does not do that.

 

I found it hard to find fresh drinking water- in the evening you had to go to the 9th floor deck or purchase it from the mini bar. There was great iced tea always available on the ship. The gym is beautiful with most of the machines in front of the big windows for great sea views.

 

We really enjoyed the cruise and liked relaxing on the pool decks on the days at sea. Although the food lacked flavor and spice, there was always a good variety to choose from at dinner and most meals were good. I would probably cruise again with Costa but I would like to see their employees get better training on customer service and manners.

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Hi, I hope you get to use Phillip Kongal in Jamaica. He lives in Negril but drives down to meet tours.He does not have an e-mail address but he uses his cell phone for contacts- 876 871-2366. He will take you anywhere that you want to visit. He is very professional and friendly. He was the best man in my sister's friends' wedding- that is how we found out about him.Mention that you got his name from the Zurad group that was just in Ocho Rios .

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:confused:

 

You say the food was good and you could get TV to watch?

 

You must be the 1st:)

 

Okay, I'm joking, it's just the manic reviews on this board where everything is either the WORST or really GOOD.

 

I hope I fall under what your experience was. good!

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:confused:

 

You say the food was good and you could get TV to watch?

 

You must be the 1st:)

 

Okay, I'm joking, it's just the manic reviews on this board where everything is either the WORST or really GOOD.

 

I hope I fall under what your experience was. good!

 

We were on this ship last March (and have cruised once since with RCCL) and it was very clean and well maintained. The food (in our opinion) was fantastic! I would highly recommend this ship to everyone. We just loved it!

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Can I join too please - I just love Costa and am constantly amazed by some of the things I read on here. I don't post very often - just read and shake my head in disbelief.

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just returned from 12/04 cruise on mediterannea.. had a fabulous time.. the cruise staff is the most interactive staff I've had on any of my 25 cruises.. they are wild, crazy and fun... our waitstaff was excellent.. couldn't have been nicer.. the ship is great..lots to do,,many activities.. they have even bought a real bingo machine for the U.S. bingo fans..

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goldencup & Host Star:

 

Consider youself a members of the CLC! Glad you both had wonderful experiences. I can't wait to get on board again... 27 DAYS AND COUNTING!

 

Andy

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Ditto, I cant wait either. Its going to be a long cold winter, at least I have something to look forward to during the spring thaw. Its great to read a very positive and glowing review.

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Hi, I hope you get to use Phillip Kongal in Jamaica. He lives in Negril but drives down to meet tours.He does not have an e-mail address but he uses his cell phone for contacts- 876 871-2366. He will take you anywhere that you want to visit. He is very professional and friendly. He was the best man in my sister's friends' wedding- that is how we found out about him.Mention that you got his name from the Zurad group that was just in Ocho Rios .

 

Hi - I am so sorry to barge in on your thread - I have a question for you. It's a small world sometimes, you never know... Is your sister's friend a chef in a resort (and quite a resort might I add) in Negril? I met a girl when I was there in June, and your description fits the bill...

 

I read your review (great by the way), you mentioned that Phillip Kongal charged 200$ + the cost of the van. How much was the cost of the van?

 

Thanks, have a great day!

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Hi, my sister's friend (who was our connection for our guide Phillip in Ocho Rios) actually lives in upstate Pennsylvania- so no, he is not in the restaurant business.

 

My brother-in-law paid for our van rental in Ocho rios and I think it was around $60- he was surprised it was as low as it was.

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