My first experience on a Mediterranean Cruise
Don’t go on a cruise they said. You won’t enjoy it, they said! It’s only for families and couples, many said. “Oh, how wrong they were, and how glad I am that we went ahead with my plans. Summer 2019 could have ended on a better note.
Of all the things we did, I think stepping foot onboard the beautiful Costa ship and witnessing the luxury such a vessel had to offer was a fuzzy feeling of excitement I had not felt in a while. Bear in mind that I travel every month with work and to see my man who lives in London so hopping on a plane feels like getting a bus and it’s taking its toll on me.
Being on a cruise felt like being on a proper holiday and of all the things we got to enjoy, hearing the “All aboard signal” from the captain every evening to sail away and waking up in a different port in the morning was the highlight of my days. Our days were packed with stuff to do, the “Diario di bordo” was delivered every evening which enabled us enough time to plan our days and choose our daily favorite picks.
The ports we visited were: Civitavecchia, Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma De Mallorca and Cagliari which made me hit my target of places to visit In 2019 just by one trip!!!
Everything was super easy, the staff were really friendly and we knew where everything was thanks to a welcome meeting with our hostess on day 1.
I’ve often heard people compare cruise-ships to five-star hotels and Costa Cruises definitely have that element. I worked with Hilton in Malta and Rome for a long time and highly value five-star service as it is one of the diplomas I have and must admit that I am starting to miss the travel industry again!
Our cabin was on the 11th pier which had our own balcony with two loungers where we could sit looking out at the beautiful Mediterranean coast. It was close to the facilities we hung out at, such as the main restaurant which we were assigned to, the gym (yes I made sure to indulge but work it off), the spa, the Aperol Spritz bar and the main pool on the highest deck just to mention a few.
But what really made it a five-star experience was the staff, there’s almost one staff for every two passengers who remembered our names and what drinks we liked. Okay, this could also be down to the fact that we were the only two young females on their own (lol) but I saw them being friendly with everyone onboard.
What I also learned is that there is no such thing as a “Typical Cruise Experience”, you can make your trip whatever you want it to be. Myself and Laura, are very independent and did not need to be exploring the new cities in big groups. I liked that there was no pressure from staff to join the tours and their suggestions felt more honest as at no stage did, we feel that they are after our money. Of course, the tours are great if one is not used to traveling alone with public transports or happy to walk. Tour prices range between Eur30 – Eur60 and for those independent travelers like us, there’s a shuttle bus option which cost Eur10 return.
The food was delicious, and we got the “Pranzo e cena” and upgraded the open bar option for as little as €15 per day. I found this extremely worth it as you get the value of it even by getting two cocktails and two ladies like us would definitely have a drink or two onboard!!!
I am vegetarian and have been so since I was a kid. The options were great! If you want to indulge in all the goodness, there’s ample of choices to “pig-out” with no worries and there’s a good variety of healthy options for those who wish to keep their specific diets going. Believe it or not, I actually lost weight on board! Which is not surprising as everything I needed was there, the only thing I missed was my daily smoothie with avocados and PeanutButter, but I enjoyed my delicious omelets cooked to perfection with a good doze of fresh chillies and my favorite cheese made upon request.
There’s always something going on aboard the lovely Costa ships. Although it is highly Italian influenced due to its native brand, there is something for all nationalities and what I enjoyed most is that the food and entertainment are themed with the current harbor location. When in France and in Spain they offered French and Spanish traditional bites and so was the entertainment. My favorite night was in Barcelona, but I love latino culture! Spanish create the kind of vibes like no other and I LOVE IT!!!! Maybe it’s because I lived in Ibiza and connect to the Spanish more, and I loved being in Palma de Mallorca too! That island is gorgeous, and it is not on my nr1 list to go back to next year for a longer time.
All the people aboard come together at nighttime, it’s so nice to see the big mix of ages and nationalities dancing, mingling and having a great time whilst collecting the best memories! Many of them had been before, knew what to expect and they were already planning their next one with the Costa Agents, a clear sign that such holidays are addictive, and I know for sure that I will be back! Especially seeing that as of 2020 Costa will be leaving from Malta every week!!
Would I recommend Costa Crociere?!
HELL YES!!! 100% sure!!! I am also the typical millennial who does everything on her own when It comes to travel but had it not been for SMSMondial, I would have not gone. They were extremely helpful from start to finish and suggested the best options. At no stage did I feel that they were after my money and they do know what locals would be after and what we would like. They even told me what to pack according to the entertainment which I found extremely thoughtful!
My next cruise trip will be with my boyfriend as I must admit, as much as I LOVED MY TIME with Laura, you can’t help but not miss your loved one with so many romantic scenes and picture-perfect sunsets.
I have a lot more to say about my cruise experience onboard and on land including a Q&A post for first time cruisers so if you do have questions, please leave them in the comments below or contact me via email.
I will also write a post with a DAY TO DAY plan including the “Diario di Bordo” of every port to make things easier for those currently planning their holidays!
Hope you enjoyed this post and that I got you excited to know more and more about it!