July 2016 - Costa Mediterranea to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Nice ports! Trieste, Croatia and Montenegro are the best! Greece did not meet my expectations and much lower level than other countries! Trieste - take bus 6 or 36 to the palace - beautiful views - grab your bathing suit! Split - spent few hours on the beach right across from port and then walked around city - try their pita pastries - yum! Kotor, Montenegro - went up the mountain - definitely worth it even if you can only make it half way up the mountain! Kotokolon Olympia - took local tour bus - very dirty ride - garbage collectors had a strike so roads were covered with trash - went around Olympia, did not go inside as we didn't have enough time - if you take local tour bus, make sure you have at least 3-4 hours for the tour. Corfu, Greece - was way better than Katakolon - took open bus around the city - worth it for a quick ride - have lunch on the hill next to the airport, planes land few hundred feet from you! Dubrovnik, Croatia - go inside the fort - beautiful views! Venice - we stayed 1 day before at Una Hotel - $300 and 3 days after the Cruise at Friendly Venice Suites - same quality $140. For me Venice is only worth couple days unless you are fascinated with history of architecture - you get the feel of Venice in 1 night and 2 days - too many tourists during the day. If you stay closer to San Marco - you'll encounter more tourists, the further away - less. Everything starts to calm down after 7 pm and it becomes physible to walk the streets. we took gandola ride for 80 euros and split it half way with strangers - it was 3 of us and 2 of them. 80 euros is standard before 7pm, after 7 pm - its 100 euros.
Ship provided very little information about ports, except in the form of the excursion descriptions, so definitely do your homework, which I didn't, so we had to find Tourist Info at every port and buy a map and we still had good time!
Definitely worth getting up an hour or two earlier and watching ship getting into the ports in Montenegro and Croatia. We had a balcony so it made it easier. I feel like Costa chooses to go between islands as an addition to the itinerary rater than going straight to the port. These views can only be see from the 11 story ship! We did all excursions on our own.
Food was good (buffet had a limited selection) but i wasn't going there for the food. Service in the main restaurant was very quick - considering the amount of customers and dishes for each customer. We were finished with our 4-5 course dinner in 1-1.5 hours every night. I think 4th and 6th day had a great surprise performances from the waiters and we danced around the restaurant with our waiter.
The only complain was no ATM on the ship and request to register Credit Card on the Costa account, which I don't own, so we had to wait till the next day to even buy water until we got of the ship and got cash from ATM ashore to put on the Cruise account, only later to find out that Costa was able to use Bank of America debit card as a credit card. Never been on the ship with no ATM...
Overall - great times.
My daughter participated in Voice of the Sea competition and was finalist in Tu Que Vales (Italian version of Americas Got Talent)- we got to spend time backstage - great addition to the trip experience.
Don't forget your white clothes for the White night! And definitely attend White Night party - very fun! Same as any events with Animation Team.Great Animation Entertainment Team on the ship!
Great Great Time!