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Old December 3rd, 2008, 03:29 PM
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beenie weenie beenie weenie is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Default We're back from the Concordia

Well we're back! I have very mixed feelings about this cruise. It was a 7 day western Med cruise. The ports were pretty good. We did two ship excursions, one called the Principalities of Monaco, and it was terrific. One was in Tunis to the Souks and Carthage, which was just OK. The ruins of the Roman Baths in Carthage are a Unesco site and was fascinating, the souks were just not my cup of tea. These people drove us crazy trying to sell us stuff we had no interest in.

The ship is in very good condition. We have sailed the Carnival Liberty which is very similar in design and size. They do utilize some of the spaces differently in areas. This ship has a huge spa area, it is nicely equipped with a Thallasotherapy pool, heated ceramic loungers, steam and dry sauna rooms, relaxation room, tea room, treatment rooms, which encompass 2 floors and large expanse of space. I went to the spa twice it is about 35 Euro for a day pass, which seems a bit pricey considering that both times the dry sauna wasn't working and the ceramic loungers were out of service once. The steam sauna was terrific.

A word about the clientelle that Costa attracts in the Med. I read countless reviews warning of the rude "Italians", their inability to cue and that they feel entitled to cut in line in front of you or they can pile into an elevator like frat boys piling into a Volkswagon. Well to be perfectly fair about this subject, I found that this behavior was indeed rampant, BUT some of the Italians were as shocked by this behavior as we were. We did observe some Italians, but also many french. What cracked me up was their indignant expression when we would confront them and tell them to go take a hike to the end of the line. One of the other fun activities of the folks was lets trap the english speaking people in the back of the elevator and not let them off at their floor. Well my Husband had enough, after saying "excuse me, pardon me" a half dozen times after repeatedly being the victim of this game, he finally cleared an entire elevator as he took everyone blocking his way out with him.

Entertainment on this ship is pretty limited. If you are a ballroom dancer you may like it as they had a guy who played a keyboard along with digitally synthesized music for the balroom dancers. One night they had a guy in the theatre who made shadows on a screen with his hands in the theatre, another guest said she went in the theatre one night and found a bunch of dancing mushrooms on the stage, so if you have a fungi fetish, you're in luck with Costa lol. But aside from the theatre they just had a handful of single or duo acts that played a lot of pre-dubbed background music. It's kind of like watching professionals Karaoke all night.

Regarding the food, Costa's food garners a lot of mixed reactions... the best word I can think to use to describe it is "inconsistent". It is not horrible. It is not even close to the quality of food you will find on other mainstream cruiselines. One night I ordered Halibut, but got some other fish (but definitely NOT halibut), another night ordered the dark chocolate and white Chocolate mouse...but there was only white chocolate in the dish. You will not starve on this ship, but it may disappoint you if you are accustomed to RCCL, Carnival or NCL. Some nights it was OK, but others, not so good. The buffet was adequate, but plagued by fruit flies constantly. At night they would cover the juice and ice cream machines and the covers had tons of these bugs on them feasting on the sticky residue. BTW the buffet is not open for dinner, only pizza is served at that time. One very weird thing they did on early port days, was to set up a buffet in the main dining room, so no matter where you went for breakfast you were compelled to do the buffet service, though I understood some items could still be ordered if you insisted. When we mentioned to the MaitreD that if we wanted to eat "buffet style" we would have gone to the buffet, he got very loud and aggressive and was quite unprofessional.

We went to Club Concordia and tried the dinner there. It was good, but was what one would generally experience in the main dining room of the ships we have sailed on, it was not even in the ballpark of the Carnival Supper Clubs or NCL or RCCL surcharge venues. It was a good meal but not 30 Euros extra worth.

One thing that was great was the X1 package. Basically unlimited soda, wine or beer at meals.

Also, I liked our cat 10 Balcony, it was nice and very clean, our room steward Frances did a great job and we loved the room except it was very noisy at night, but earplugs helped that alot.

I'll come back in a bit and post a bit more as I remember stuff. I have to go get groceries... BRB
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