June 2015 - Costa Diadema to Europe - Western Mediterranean
I recently cruised on the brand new Costa Diadema "Jewels of the Western Mediterranean" 7 night itinerary, departing Barcelona on June 29, 2015. VERY DISAPPOINTING. I have cruised on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and the Bahamas Express. Costa is BY FAR THE WORST in every way imaginable. It was so overpacked that I could not sit down to breakfast or lunch even ONCE. I was forced to sit at tables with somebody else's dirty dishes. There are no forks, no knives, no spoons nor napkins unless you sit at a table, and since NO TABLES are EVER vacant you can imagine how unpleasant mealtime is. Same buffet every single day. No eggs, no hot food unless you go to restaurant which is so crowded there's no chance of getting in. One day I took a shore excursion that departed at 8:15 a.m. so I ordered breakfast to be delivered to my room at 7:30 a.m. I am diabetic so eating before a long day of walking is important. They never delivered my breakfast. I called room service and the person who answered the phone promised it was on its way, but they never came. I called back and they hung up on me (probably can see room number.) II purchased the all inclusive beverage package, but it doesn't include bottled water. They charge $3.50 for bottled water. The pools are tiny and dirty, again overpacked. No deck space, never a lounge chair. The elevators are SLOW, PACKED or always reserved for luggage transport. Unruly children hit every button making the elevators stop on every floor. I had to walk up and down 9 flights of stairs every time I left my cabin. There were so many noisy children running up and down the halls and yelling even at 3:00 a.m. No staff member is empowered to do anything. Internet speed terrible and a scam. The Costa portal makes you purchase a new hour for $10 euros, then kicks you off after five minutes use. Then force you to purchase another hour. Very confusing and I am tech saavy.. I paid about $70 to use their internet for a total of about 20 minutes. No staff member has authority to credit your account. They make you waste your time when you have a legitimate reason to seek a credit to your bill. The poor employees are exhausted and underpaid. Few speak or understand English. Terrible disorganization. For example I was required to attend a disembarkation meeting at a specific time and specific place. I show up and the employee yells something loud in Italian. No rhyme or reason for the meeting. They require you to leave your luggage out the night before you disembark, so how are you supposed to shower and get dressed the day you leave? I can't think of one reason to cruise on Costa, even if the trip is FREE. It is seriously that bad and I am not normally a picky person. CHoose a different cruise line, even if you pay a little bit more.