Costa Atlantica is a beautiful ship. Its decor has an old world ambiance yet it is truly a modern ship in all respects. The staff could not have been better. From the cabin steward, to the wait staff, everyone fell all over themselves to be friendly and accommodating. Ship cleanliness would be hard to top. It seemed that an attendant followed behind anyone who left the pool and dripped water away from poolside. All tables were cleaned almost at the moment they were finished in the buffet area, at poolside and the main dining rooms.Ray Rouse, the cruise director, was most outstanding. His high energy level and seeming involvement in all aspects of the social agenda was very impressive. He handled every responsibility that we saw with the utmost professionalism.We felt the service in the dining room was excellent, while the food was just above average. Several dishes, notably the fish, were less than hoped for. All of the shore excursions, and in fact every single event we had anything to do with, went exactly as expected. Absolutely nothing was late, arrivals, departures, excursions --- nothing. Lines were reasonable at all times.The ship?s captain was impressive, providing all of his talks fluently in five languages. This comment leads to the feeling aboard ship of being in a more international setting than we have experienced on other ships. The travelers seemed to be more international and with many events being delivered in 5 languages it was an exposure we actually enjoyed despite the additional time it took.On the downside, we did experience the rudeness of some travelers, some of whom seem to have the idea that they should not be subject to waiting in a line like everybody else. We personally found this to be true on more than one occasion. Also, I don't know if is the ship policy regarding smoking or that Europeans do actually smoke more, but if smoking is a problem for you, be aware that more open areas seem to be smoking friendly than we have experienced elsewhere. Standing, waiting for an elevator, one is subject to smokers who douse their cigarette just before getting on the elevator.Our room with a balcony is the nicest room we have had on a cruise. Previous rooms with just a window are not even close. We felt like we had another whole room with the balcony, plus the fabulous view.We used the workout area 5 of the 7 days on the cruise and found the entire gym/spa area to be outstanding. Located high in the front of the ship provided a nice view while getting rid of Italian wine on the treadmill.A relative downside for us was the bands and entertainment. Van Pressley, of the Platters family, put on an excellent performance but after that we felt it was downhill from there. Perhaps the shows and bands were more appealing to the Europeans but to me the shows looked like extravaganzas with much dancing and lip synch music from the dancers/chorus. Pretty costumes, but a big yawn for me.The bands also did not seem in tune with our desires. Far too much Latin and ballroom dancing at every dancing venue with little rock and roll or swing type music. It wasn't as if the dance floors were full of ballroom dancers either, there were as many or more who danced to the rock and role and swing music when it was played.A terrific area of the ship is the Cafe Florian, copied after one of the same name in Venice. It featured a wonderful violin/piano duet. This was a great place for an after dinner drink and to relax to Straus favorites.Departure from the ship went like clockwork, while embarkation seemed to take longer than one might hope. Get there early to enjoy the beginning few hours on board before the ship departs.
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