February 2015 - 10 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Costa Mediterranea
First let us say, we have cruised 3 other times within the past couple years and travel often. We seldom have issues and always make the best of our holidays. My understanding is this is the first year Costa was offering cruises in the Caribbean. If this is correct then they did not do their due diligence regarding what North Americans like on a Caribbean cruise. They did not have open dining which we have become accustom too. You had to either dine at 6:30 or 9:00 pm in the dining room. They close the buffet at 3pm and the last place you can eat on the ship during the day closes at 5pm. If you want to eat after this, you must go to the dining room. There is a buffet afterward at 9 pm but you have to pay for this. (Yes - I did say you had to pay for the 9:00 pm buffet - by the way its pizza). If you buy (which we didn't) the all inclusive drink package - be aware that if you buy this - your cabin mate will also be charged for it (whether they drink or not - this will cost you $344 ea.). When we arrived to board the ship no was very helpful (good thing we've cruised before). They were quick at getting our luggage to our room and our room Steward was great and very friendly. The rest of the staff, well lets just say everyone seemed to be either scared to smile or they don't like their job or its a European thing - No one smiles or seems happy. We did a 10 day cruise and the ports were great. Two were tendered and there were no issues when going ashore or coming back. We did not do the ship tours as we feel these are always overpriced as well the small print noted that if your tour was cancelled due to weather, it appeared you would not get your money back but would be given the option of taking another tour through the cruise ship that wasn't cancelled. BE AWARE - the wifi on this cruise ship is very, very slow. We found the logout info provided did not work well and had to back track to the original portal (where you sign in) to actually sign out properly. When inquiring about the time we were on the internet we found they were charging us for 35 minutes of time but we only sent 2 emails and kept track of the actual time we felt we were on the internet. They credited us 10 minutes when we talked to them about their wifi system. FYI - turns out only one of our emails actually went (we found this out when we got back home - although onboard it showed they both went). The dinners were okay. We've definitely had better on other cruise lines. A couple of the evenings were entertaining at dinner but the food seemed unimpressive. Staff in the dining area were okay as well, but nothing stood out as being fabulous or impressive. Entertainment was also somewhat disappointing. We did go see a couple of the shows but again nothing was outstanding or worth spending the hour watching. I will say that on deck there were always lots of areas to get sunshine and there were ample loungers available. We did enjoy the length of the cruise and it was worth what we paid (although we did get a really, really good deal). If we had paid full price for this cruise, we would have been disappointed. Would we ever cruise with Costa again - NO. Everyone we talked to during our cruise that was from North America (US and Canada) all agreed that this Cruise line needs to review their approach to the North American Market (they really missed the mark). The cruise itself was fine - it was all the little annoying, misstep details that seemed to continually intrude into the day to day on the ship.