Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Costa
Ship: Costa Mediterranea
Sailing Date: February 4th, 2007
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Costa Cruise Line
Costa Mediterranean Cruise Review
We sailed Feb 4th from Ft. Lauderdale on Costa Mediterranean and had a really great time. We had a balcony stateroom (5270) on deck 5 at the stern near the centerline. The 'ride' was very smooth with a minor amount of the usual ship noises, occasional small vibrations, etc. The balcony was a plus. We left the door propped open at night for the sound of the sea sliding past the ship and the great night air.
Boarding the ship was an easy affair. We lined up for mere minutes at the terminal and the shore side folks had us registered and on the ship is short order. The stateroom was roomy, clean, and bright. The bathroom was actually quite well laid out and shower had no end of hot water (a real plus for me). There a great big dressing mirror in the room and gobs of lighting. The TV was sort of superfluous except for the great briefing tapes about the ship and the excursions.
The food was good to great. The formal dining room is a treat. However, the seven course meals were a bit too much for us for every day, so we ate at the deck nine buffet quite a few times. The buffet had just about everything the main dining room had, but in a very relaxed setting. There's a hamburger and hot dog grill next to one of the pools and pizza and snacks at the buffet outside of lunch and dinner hours.
The ship's crew were marvelous. Our cabin and the ship were always clean. They really make a fetish out of it on Mediterranean. The food staff were always ready to fetch anything or help find anything. I had an appetizer I didn't like and the immediately took it away and brought me another to try, and all with a truly helpful attitude - no snobby waiters, thank you. The entertainment staff did a great job. There are full productions in the Osiris theater as well as numerous lounge acts and musical solo, duo, and trio acts in the many lounges.
The shore side tours were a mixed bag (as expected). We froze our butts in Key West due to nasty weather arriving from Canada, so we cut or shore time to go back and warm up. We did do the Conch Train Tour and I'd recommend that as a good way to just roam about the island and see things. Georgetown, Grand Cayman was nice, if a bit touristy (well, what did you expect?). We just roamed about until landing at Margarittaville where we had a pleasant couple of hours chomping on a monster chips and salsa 'Volcano' and washing it down with various rum and tequila drinks. Tourist junk is a lot cheaper here than in Key West, by the way. Roatan was our favorite. The weather cooperated and we took the Canopy Adventure Tour and Tabiyana Beach. You have to be physically fit to do the Canopy Tour. If you can't do a chin up or two and 5 or 10 full sit-ups without collapsing in pain - forget it. You also have to do a little walking on a jungle path full of tree roots. It is a very do-able tour and a once in a lifetime adventure. If you're up to it - GO! My wife and I are 61 years old and we made it. She did a minor George of the Jungle and banged a knee on one of the trees, but nothing serious. Tabiyana Beach was a real treat. There are trees providing adequate shade except right on the shore line. So you can cool off or bake away. The beers were a bit steep at $4 a bottle, but once again - what did you expect? Cozumel started out nice and then the weather did it again. A real downpour for hours messed up the desire to roam the beach. For me it was costly as we were stranded inside the beachside shopping mall - full of jewelry shops! My wife wound up with a beautiful red coral necklace and accessory set, set it silver. The guy we bought from had unique designs which is why we bought. The rest of them tend to all look alike, and then there was this guy.
Finally back to Ft Lauderdale. Debarking was a minor disaster. Some couple scheduled to go up to West Palm Beach with the other 40 of us never bothered to read anything the ship sent us all, or go to the briefing in the theater, etc. So we all had to sit on the bus for nearly an hour while the crew tried to track these idiots down. Costa needs to group the exits by destination, and then give everyone something like 30 minutes from the time the first person shows up at the bus and then you're on your own! The customs and immigration folks were very laid back and that part of it went very nicely.
The airlines coming and going managed to screw up in about as many ways as possible. Not Costa's issue, so I won't dwell on it except to say - airlines -!
Our only regret is that we did not have more shore time at
each stop. We rate the cruise as SUPER! The only negative thing is that in the
US Costa uses hired hands to handle the phones, so no one can actually tell you
about the tours or the ship as they've never been on it. Not a show stopper, but
annoying. At sea, Costa really shines.