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boatdrinx

Costa Mediterrania Review 2/19-2/26/06

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The Mediterranea provided us with many lasting memories this past week.

We are a family of four with two children ages 9 and 11. I am a born and bred NY-er who is half Italian and let me tell you – I was in heaven!

I loved the international flavor of this ship and I was never disturbed by announcements in multiple languages.

 

We booked a Panorama suite on Deck 6. Embarkation was very smooth. Although suite passengers have priority boarding, there was no line for the non-suite passengers. We breezed right through. When we got to our cabin, we were quite impressed. Champagne, fruit and h’ordouevres awaited us. The suite was spacious with plenty of closet and shelf room – we never felt crowded. I was amazed that we could fit 6 suitcases under the bed. We requested a mattress topper and extra pillows ( tips I got on this board ). Extra hangers were offered to us which we took advantage of. We always felt well taken care of by our butler, Yhen and our room steward, Anna. Wet towels miraculously disappeared and were replaced with fresh ones. We always had ice and fruit. We were greeted by fanciful towel animals upon arrival on some nights.

 

The cleanliness of the ship is beyond compare. We found the employees to friendly and courteous.

 

I thought the food was delicious. We ate in the dining room every night except one. There was a nice variety to choose from. The only time I did not enjoy a course was when I ordered the prime rib. It was quite different from what I am used to. The waiter readily exchanged it for something else. I particularly enjoyed the pasta courses. There was plenty of variety and the opportunity to try new and different items. For example, one night I tried a chilled apricot honey soup. It was outstanding. My favorite night in the dining room was Italian night. The singing, dancing waiters and napkin waving was a memory to hold on to. We enjoyed excellent service from our waiter Jonathan, assistant waiter, Reyn and drink waitress, Rhea.

 

The grownups ate at the specialty restaurant, Medusa one night. The filet mignon was superb and the portion was huge. Since we were in a suite, we did not have to pay extra. I don’t know if I would have ventured out of the dining room, otherwise.

 

I ordered the wine package from the website in advance of our trip. It came with 5 bottles of wine and 10 bottles of mineral water. It was just the right amount of wine to get us through dinners for the week. Whatever you did not finish was brought to your table the following night.

 

I visited the midnight buffet twice. Neither time did I really partake in the food because it was too much, too soon after our late dinner seating. However, I could never pass up the cannoli. One of the buffets took place in the galley. If for nothing else, it was amazing to see behind the scenes in the kitchen. The other buffet I went to was the Buffet Magnifico on the last formal night. The ice carvings and food sculptures were a sight to be seen. The food looked pretty good, too.

 

For breakfast, we mostly ate in the buffet but a couple of days we enjoyed room service with cappuccinos. I was partial to the brioche and croissants with coffee. The omelette bar was another favorite. At lunchtime, when on ship, we enjoyed delicious burgers and tacos at the Mexican buffet. The kids seemed very happy with the burgers, hot dogs and chicken. I was thrilled with the pasta and pizza.

 

On ship days, we tended to sleep in. By the time we made it to the pool, there were never any chairs available, but that was to be expected. We could easily find room at one of the tables on the pool deck.

 

I took advantage of the hair salon and spa while on board. I had my hair done prior to the first formal night and I had a facial on the last day at sea. I was suitably impressed with both. If you are interested, I would suggest booking your appointment upon arrival

 

For the formal nights, my husband rented a tuxedo on-line. It was a painless transaction and helped to save room in the suitcase. The tuxedo was delivered to our suite on the first day. Although he grumbled about having to get dressed up on his vacation, I think he was glad he did.

 

Although we were told there were 400 children aboard, I never thought it seemed overrun with kids. We used the kids club on the night of our Medusa dinner and it wasn’t crowded at all. We also used the babysitting two nights. This takes place in the kids club from 11pm – 1am. You do have to reserve a spot a day in advance for the late night babysitting. Our children enjoyed it.

 

We went to most of the shows. The children really liked the first one. The performer was sort of like a mime. The variety shows were nothing to write home about but they served their purpose. The Newlywed Game was a hoot. My personal favorite was the singer on Italian night. I missed half of the talent show on the last night but I enjoyed what I saw.

 

When the kids were with babysitters, my husband and I visited the casino. It was not too crowded or too smokey. Within the first 5 minutes, my husband won $100 in the slot machine. Who can complain about that? We also went to karaoke one night – some talented singers and some not so talented but that’s what it’s all about.

 

We had a great time on all of our days in port. The only trouble was it seemed like there was never enough time. TIP – if you have a shore excursion, even if it is not booked through the ship, you do not need a tender number to exit the ship. You can get on line right away, just show your tour tickets/paperwork.

 

Key West – we went to the Pirate Soul Museum. The kids loved it although it might be scary for little ones.

 

Cozumel – took the Dune Buggy/Snorkel Tour through Island Marketing. We got to see the other side of the island, swim, snorkel and lunch.

 

Jamaica – we had a full day tour with A-Z Planners. We climbed Dunns River Falls, visited Wassi Pottery, saw Fern Gully, ate at the Ruins for jerk specialties, went river tubing and capped off the day at Margaritaville

 

Grand Cayman – Used NativeWays for the Stingray, Snorkel and Island tour. A great time had by all. We managed to fit in a quick stop to Breezes by the Bay prior to tendering. We just had to try the local Stingray beer.

 

Fort Lauderdale – Everglades Tour with drop-off at Airport. This was the only tour I booked through Costa and the only one I had a problem with. For some reason, they did not receive notice of our booking even though I had a website confirmation. I was told that they often have computer glitches – please bring you confirmation with you if booking through the website. Eventually, we made it on the tour and it was the perfect time-filler. Beats hanging around at the airport!

 

Well I know this is long and I hope I didn’t leave anything out. These boards have been so helpful to me that I wanted to make sure to share our experience. Some of the critical reviews had me worried but we couldn’t have had a more wonderful trip.

 

Every time I hear the song Volare, I will have a smile on my face thinking of our fabulous holiday aboard the Costa Mediterranea.

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Great report!!!! Seems no one on our cruise had a terrible time. we all enjoyed the food etc etc.

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Thanks, MJASP. I had never taken a week long cruise before. I'm afraid I might be hooked, now!

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What a great review!!!:) You covered just about everything. Thank you.

 

I'm going tommorrow :) :) :)

 

Same ports, in Cozumel we plan to go to Paradise Beach. In Jamaica we are doing the tubing. I am a little concerned about the tubing. Does anyone fall off? Is it safe for seniors?

 

Thanks again,

Linda

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Thanks, MJASP. I had never taken a week long cruise before. I'm afraid I might be hooked, now!

 

We bought a timeshare (resale) so it was pretty inexpensive. My husband said it was the perfect thing to do as it forces him to take vacation. I like cruising as it takes him totally away from the business world.

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I am a little concerned about the tubing. Does anyone fall off? Is it safe for seniors?

 

Thanks again,

Linda

 

Don't be concerned about the tubing. My daughter and I can't swim ( we wore life vests). Also, my daughter has Down Syndrome and she was perfectly fine. The guides stay with you the whole time and make sure you don't have any mishaps. I actually think the water wasn't very deep for most of the ride.

 

Have fun and Bon Voyage.

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Great review,I think that crossing the ocean with a lot of seadays,

must be easy!

What are the prices for a haircut /washing etc about.Cause-----

or I take the last day my own coiffeur or I'll wait.

Prices can be so surprising aboard of any ship!

Strenghs the coming weeks !

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What are the prices for a haircut /washing etc about.

 

I had a wash, blow dry and styling and it was $45 - a bit pricey. However, they did a much better job than I could have done myself.

 

The next day when we were riding around Cozumel in the dune buggy and my hair was whipped into a frenzy, my husband kept carrying on about $45 down the drain. Oh well...

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I just read your review and that song Volare came to my mind and made me feel melancholic. I was on the Christmas 05 Mediterranea cruise and we had the GREATEST TIME!!! VIVA COSTA!!

 

usmanjar

 

 

 

 

The Mediterranea provided us with many lasting memories this past week.

We are a family of four with two children ages 9 and 11. I am a born and bred NY-er who is half Italian and let me tell you – I was in heaven!

I loved the international flavor of this ship and I was never disturbed by announcements in multiple languages.

 

We booked a Panorama suite on Deck 6. Embarkation was very smooth. Although suite passengers have priority boarding, there was no line for the non-suite passengers. We breezed right through. When we got to our cabin, we were quite impressed. Champagne, fruit and h’ordouevres awaited us. The suite was spacious with plenty of closet and shelf room – we never felt crowded. I was amazed that we could fit 6 suitcases under the bed. We requested a mattress topper and extra pillows ( tips I got on this board ). Extra hangers were offered to us which we took advantage of. We always felt well taken care of by our butler, Yhen and our room steward, Anna. Wet towels miraculously disappeared and were replaced with fresh ones. We always had ice and fruit. We were greeted by fanciful towel animals upon arrival on some nights.

 

The cleanliness of the ship is beyond compare. We found the employees to friendly and courteous.

 

I thought the food was delicious. We ate in the dining room every night except one. There was a nice variety to choose from. The only time I did not enjoy a course was when I ordered the prime rib. It was quite different from what I am used to. The waiter readily exchanged it for something else. I particularly enjoyed the pasta courses. There was plenty of variety and the opportunity to try new and different items. For example, one night I tried a chilled apricot honey soup. It was outstanding. My favorite night in the dining room was Italian night. The singing, dancing waiters and napkin waving was a memory to hold on to. We enjoyed excellent service from our waiter Jonathan, assistant waiter, Reyn and drink waitress, Rhea.

 

The grownups ate at the specialty restaurant, Medusa one night. The filet mignon was superb and the portion was huge. Since we were in a suite, we did not have to pay extra. I don’t know if I would have ventured out of the dining room, otherwise.

 

I ordered the wine package from the website in advance of our trip. It came with 5 bottles of wine and 10 bottles of mineral water. It was just the right amount of wine to get us through dinners for the week. Whatever you did not finish was brought to your table the following night.

 

I visited the midnight buffet twice. Neither time did I really partake in the food because it was too much, too soon after our late dinner seating. However, I could never pass up the cannoli. One of the buffets took place in the galley. If for nothing else, it was amazing to see behind the scenes in the kitchen. The other buffet I went to was the Buffet Magnifico on the last formal night. The ice carvings and food sculptures were a sight to be seen. The food looked pretty good, too.

 

For breakfast, we mostly ate in the buffet but a couple of days we enjoyed room service with cappuccinos. I was partial to the brioche and croissants with coffee. The omelette bar was another favorite. At lunchtime, when on ship, we enjoyed delicious burgers and tacos at the Mexican buffet. The kids seemed very happy with the burgers, hot dogs and chicken. I was thrilled with the pasta and pizza.

 

On ship days, we tended to sleep in. By the time we made it to the pool, there were never any chairs available, but that was to be expected. We could easily find room at one of the tables on the pool deck.

 

I took advantage of the hair salon and spa while on board. I had my hair done prior to the first formal night and I had a facial on the last day at sea. I was suitably impressed with both. If you are interested, I would suggest booking your appointment upon arrival

 

For the formal nights, my husband rented a tuxedo on-line. It was a painless transaction and helped to save room in the suitcase. The tuxedo was delivered to our suite on the first day. Although he grumbled about having to get dressed up on his vacation, I think he was glad he did.

 

Although we were told there were 400 children aboard, I never thought it seemed overrun with kids. We used the kids club on the night of our Medusa dinner and it wasn’t crowded at all. We also used the babysitting two nights. This takes place in the kids club from 11pm – 1am. You do have to reserve a spot a day in advance for the late night babysitting. Our children enjoyed it.

 

We went to most of the shows. The children really liked the first one. The performer was sort of like a mime. The variety shows were nothing to write home about but they served their purpose. The Newlywed Game was a hoot. My personal favorite was the singer on Italian night. I missed half of the talent show on the last night but I enjoyed what I saw.

 

When the kids were with babysitters, my husband and I visited the casino. It was not too crowded or too smokey. Within the first 5 minutes, my husband won $100 in the slot machine. Who can complain about that? We also went to karaoke one night – some talented singers and some not so talented but that’s what it’s all about.

 

We had a great time on all of our days in port. The only trouble was it seemed like there was never enough time. TIP – if you have a shore excursion, even if it is not booked through the ship, you do not need a tender number to exit the ship. You can get on line right away, just show your tour tickets/paperwork.

 

Key West – we went to the Pirate Soul Museum. The kids loved it although it might be scary for little ones.

 

Cozumel – took the Dune Buggy/Snorkel Tour through Island Marketing. We got to see the other side of the island, swim, snorkel and lunch.

 

Jamaica – we had a full day tour with A-Z Planners. We climbed Dunns River Falls, visited Wassi Pottery, saw Fern Gully, ate at the Ruins for jerk specialties, went river tubing and capped off the day at Margaritaville

 

Grand Cayman – Used NativeWays for the Stingray, Snorkel and Island tour. A great time had by all. We managed to fit in a quick stop to Breezes by the Bay prior to tendering. We just had to try the local Stingray beer.

 

Fort Lauderdale – Everglades Tour with drop-off at Airport. This was the only tour I booked through Costa and the only one I had a problem with. For some reason, they did not receive notice of our booking even though I had a website confirmation. I was told that they often have computer glitches – please bring you confirmation with you if booking through the website. Eventually, we made it on the tour and it was the perfect time-filler. Beats hanging around at the airport!

 

Well I know this is long and I hope I didn’t leave anything out. These boards have been so helpful to me that I wanted to make sure to share our experience. Some of the critical reviews had me worried but we couldn’t have had a more wonderful trip.

 

Every time I hear the song Volare, I will have a smile on my face thinking of our fabulous holiday aboard the Costa Mediterranea.

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How was the tour of Fort Lauderdale? I am flying in and out of FL alone, and my flight does not leave until 6:45pm when we disembark. Taking the tour might be a good way to kill some time. How long was the tour? How much did it cost and did you think it was worth the money??? Any answers would be greatly appreciated:)

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How was the tour of Fort Lauderdale? I am flying in and out of FL alone, and my flight does not leave until 6:45pm when we disembark. Taking the tour might be a good way to kill some time. How long was the tour? How much did it cost and did you think it was worth the money??? Any answers would be greatly appreciated:)

 

I guess the best way to answer is that the tour served its purpose - as a time killer. We had been on a swamp tour in New Orleans a few years back so the alligator experience was not entirely new to us. Although, I must say that the kids enjoyed it. The cost was $178 for the 4 of us.

It was a brief tour of Fort Lauderdale and then a visit to an Everglades park. We took an airboat ride and saw alligators and other local wildlife. There was also a show that we saw about alligators.

 

The tour was actually shorter than I thought it would be. We were at Fort Lauderdale airport at noon and our flight was at 3:45pm. Apparently they drop off at Fort Lauderdale and then go on to Miami airport.

 

In any case, the less time at the airport, the better. I'm glad we did it.

 

Even with taking the tour, you would still have a good amount of time to kill. Perhaps you could check in to an inexpensive hotel for the day.

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We were also on this cruise and have been on 7 others, never before on Costa. Our first two cruises were free, corporate cruises on Royal Carribean and I can sincerely tell you this was our favorite, and we paid for it ourselves!

I have never seen a cleaner ship! The decor was over the top, but on vacation, I want to see exotic, not what I live with every day! I loved the fact that the crowd was diverse, I actually think that at least half of the passengers were either Canadian or European. The food was great, and I am a food network junkie, half Italian, and considered by many, a great cook. The cabins were big. We have never before had closet space for suitcases (always had to cram them under the bed). We bought earplugs in Florida before boarding, because I have always needed them to sleep through the night, but I never used them. The doors were so air tight that they couldn't slip the ship newsletters or bills under the doors! Believe it or not that makes a big difference. Lots of fun activities and the shows, though not as "Vegas like" as other ships, were good enough and fun. My south Georgia husband even won a hat at a Bocce ball tournament, which impressed my Italian dad Dominic! All in all, the best cruising value (including the free ones) that we've had. I only signed on this forum, because we booked the cruise having never heard of Costa. Now I'm glad I did. Have a great time with no worries.

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I had a wash, blow dry and styling and it was $45 - a bit pricey. However, they did a much better job than I could have done myself.

 

The next day when we were riding around Cozumel in the dune buggy and my hair was whipped into a frenzy, my husband kept carrying on about $45 down the drain. Oh well...

 

 

Anyway you have your husband for the complaints.

I am DW (wiidow) .

I think its really pricey but-----an experience . (not your husband but the hairdresser)

 

Greeting to your husband and yourself from the Netherlanss

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We bought a timeshare (resale) so it was pretty inexpensive. My husband said it was the perfect thing to do as it forces him to take vacation. I like cruising as it takes him totally away from the business world.

 

What do you mean when you said you bought a timeshare? Do you mean at one of the ports of call, or do you mean on the ship itself?

 

Sounds interesting.

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What do you mean when you said you bought a timeshare? Do you mean at one of the ports of call, or do you mean on the ship itself?

 

Sounds interesting.

 

No, We bought a time share on land a few years ago. Just replying to the above poster who stated they never take vacation. Being a time share owner forces us to take a vacation

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How was the tour of Fort Lauderdale? I am flying in and out of FL alone, and my flight does not leave until 6:45pm when we disembark. Taking the tour might be a good way to kill some time. How long was the tour? How much did it cost and did you think it was worth the money??? Any answers would be greatly appreciated:)

 

When we were at the Port between back-to-back cruises on Mediterranea on Sunday Feb 19th. we decided to take a taxi to the Sawgrass Mall. Getting off the ship there was a sort of taxi line but also some hotel shuttle vans. There was another couple there looking for a ride to Sawgrass and I asked them if they would like to come with us and split the cost. They said yes, and I went to a man who looked like he was in charge of the taxi stand and asked for a minivan or large town car. He whistled for a limo town-car to come over. The driver took us on a 2 hour sightseeing tour - houses, boats, marinas, Riverside Walk, the condo area, millionaires gated communities and the beach boulevard. He waited while we got out for pics and walked on the beach etc.. then he dropped us off at Sawgrass Mall and gave us his card to call when ready to go back to the ship. His name was Kleber 754-366-4195 of KCS Express Tours and Transportation.

He charged $50 an hour for personalized tour and spoke excellent English.

I took Lily through the Neiman Marcus outlet at Sawgrass where she nearly died looking at the price tags... then we went a few stores down to BeBe's and she bought a really nice blue silk long formal evening dress for $39. Every dress in the store was $39. Sawgrass seems to be the place all the Floridians go on a Sunday. Normal taxi charge to Sawgrass from the Port terminal is $45 one-way.

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