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Lisa

Age: 47

Occupation:Retail Management

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Costa

Ship: Costa Mediterranea

Sailing Date: January 22nd, 2006

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

Costa Cruise Line
Costa Meditteranea Cruise Review
Western Caribbean

Lisa

Our first time on Costa. I read every review I could find. The reviews were all over the place, but it seemed that a positive attitude would help. My husband and I were looking forward to the vacation, so we definitely went with a positive attitude.

Embarkation:
Real easy getting on board. We were dropped off at the terminal by friends and our bags were immediately handled by a porter and stowed for putting on the ship. The document processing was simple. Bags arrived at our cabin within an hour.

Cabin:
After reading a recommendation in a review, I immediately asked for a topper pad for the bed when we got to our cabin, the cabin attendant got us one without hesitation and it certainly made our bed very comfortable. We had an inside cabin, it had plenty of space, storage was no problem and the bathroom plenty big enough. Took a minute to figure out that the knob on hot/cold for the shower needs to be pressed in to increase the temperature past warm. I think this may be to avoid scolding. Plenty of room under the bed (two singles pushed together) for our empty bags. Our cabin attendant was very nice, inconspicuous and always kept our cabin spotless.

Dining:
We had some concerns regarding food following negative reviews, but we found the food to be great. We ate breakfast and lunch at one of the many buffet areas every day. Food and service was very good, and no problems with crowds or finding a table to eat at. We ate dinner in the main restaurant (second sitting) all except one night when we went to the small upscale restaurant (Medusa) where there is a $20 charge for each person. The food and service at the main restaurant was wonderful and although it was very nice at the Medusa restaurant, I don't think I would bother going again as the food and service in the main restaurant was so good. The food was well presented and not at all strange as some reviews had implied, plenty of variety and excellent service.

Entertainment:
We enjoyed the shows we went to. Fun, and performed by Costa prsonnel who were very good. I went to a couple of informal lectures also that were interesting. Bingo and Horse Racing were fun events and the casino provided a nice distraction too.

Shore Excursions:
We went on shore at each port but did not go on any organized trips. After looking around at the shops for a couple of hours we would return to the serenity and comfort of the ship.

Disembarkation:
Once again, very easy. After getting excellent instruction on what to do, it was a breeze. No trouble getting our bags and exiting through customs etc. A bit of a traffic jam outside the terminal, but that is to be expected.

In summary:
Excellent value. The ship is a work of art and kept very clean, the service is exceptional and the food and beverage services are great.

The only negative comment and advice we could make has to do with the photography service. While the photographers were pleasant and non-intrusive, the actual processing and purchase of photos needs some attention. We purchased photos the second day, and again later in the week. We noticed that the color quality of the second set of prints was far better than the first set, so we went to the people in charge and asked if we could exchange the first prints for others where the color quality was better. We were told that they do not permit returns or exchanges. We were a little surprised at this rigid policy as every other service on the ship had been so accommodating. Our recommendation is to wait until the last day to purchase photos, then you will be looking at all photos in a group and be better able to get the best selection and also possibly qualify for a discount if multiple photos are purchased.

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