My first cruise experiene was a delight! So glad that I didn’t listen to who claimed it is only for families and couples.
“Don’t go on a cruise” many said. Oh, how wrong they were, and how glad I am that we went ahead with our first cruise experience. Summer 2019 could not have ended on a better note.
Of all the things we did, I think stepping foot onboard the beautiful Costa ship and witnessing the luxury such a vessel was one memory I will treasure. Seeing what it had to offer left me with a fuzzy feeling of excitement that I had not felt in a while. Bear in mind that I travel every month with work and to see my man who lives in London so hopping on a plane feels like getting a bus and it’s taking its toll on me.
Being on a cruise felt like being on a proper holiday! Of all the things we got to enjoy, hearing the “All aboard signal” from the captain every evening to sail away was a nice highlight. Another one was waking up in a different port in the morning was the highlight of my days.
So much to do! So little time…. so how do you get around?
Our days were packed with stuff to do. This was communicated on the “Diario di bordo” which is delivered every evening. Checking what is on the itenarary was Laura’s
‘thing’. She would grab her pen and circle what we would like whilst I get ready. Handy right? We found this cruise diary very handy as it enabled us to plan our days efficiently.
The ports we visited were: Civitavecchia, Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma De Mallorca and Cagliari which made me hit my target of places to visit In 2019 just by one trip!!!
Everything was super easy, the staff were really friendly and we knew where everything was thanks to a welcome meeting with our hostess on day 1.
I’ve often heard people compare cruise-ships to five-star hotels and Costa Cruises definitely have that element. I worked with Hilton in Malta and Rome for a long time and highly value five-star service. Hospsitality is a diploma I have and admit that I miss the industry which is why I travel often and contribute with such blogs.
Our cabin was on the 11th pier. We had our own balcony with two loungers where we could sit looking out at the beautiful Mediterranean coast. It was close to the spa and other facilities we often hung out at. The restaurant we were assigned to was just one floor down but you could also book others at an extra cost. We had access to the gym (yes I made sure to indulge but work it off), the Aperol Spritz bar and the main pool on the highest deck just to mention a few.
What we really think that made the five-star experience was the staff. There’s almost one staff for every two passengers who remembered our names and what drinks we liked.
Ok, let’s be realistic here, this could also be down to the fact that we were the only two young females on their own (lol) but I saw them being friendly with everyone onboard.
What about the people and activities on board?
What I also learned is that there is no such thing as a “Typical Cruise Experience”, you can make your trip whatever you want it to be. Myself and Laura, are very independent and did not need to be exploring the new cities in big groups. I liked that there was no pressure from staff to join the tours. Their suggestions felt more honest as at no stage did we feel that they are after our money.
Of course, the tours are great if one is not used to traveling alone with public transports or happy to walk. Tour prices range between Eur30 – Eur60 and for those independent travelers like us, there’s a shuttle bus option which cost Eur10 return.
The food was delicious, and we got the “Pranzo e cena” and upgraded the open bar option for as little as Eur15 per day. I found this extremely worth it as you get the value of it even by getting two cocktails and two ladies like us would definitely have a drink or two onboard!!!
I am vegetarian and have been so since I was a kid. The options were great! If you want to indulge in all the goodness, there’s ample of choices to “pig-out” with no worries and there’s a good variety of healthy options for those who wish to keep their specific diets going.
Believe it or not, I actually lost weight on board! Which is not surprising as everything I needed was there, the only thing I missed was my daily smoothie with avocados and PeanutButter, but I enjoyed my delicious omelets cooked to perfection with a good doze of fresh chillies and my favorite cheese made upon request.
There’s always something going on aboard the lovely Costa ships. Although it is highly Italian influenced, there is something for all nationalities. We enjoyed the themed food and entertainment which changed according the current harbor location.
When in France and in Spain they offered French and Spanish traditional bites and so was the entertainment. My favorite night was in Barcelona, but I love latino culture! Spanish create the kind of vibes like no other and I LOVE IT!!!!
This may be due to the time I lived in Ibiza. Connecting to the Spanish culture comes natural. We both loved being in Palma de Mallorca too. Oh my god, what a pretty island that is! The cathedral is spectacular. It is absolutely gorgeous and rest assured that I will go back to next year for a longer time.
All the people aboard come together at nighttime. It’s so nice to see the big mix of ages and nationalities dancing, mingling and having a great time. We were all there collecting the best memories in harmony together! Many of them would have been before. You could tell that they knew the crew and what to expect. It remided me of when I worked in hotels and regular guests would ask me to re-book them for the following year.
Costa Agents were always busy giving out info or booking trips which is a clear sign that such holidays are addictive. I know for sure that I will be back! Especially seeing that as of 2020 Costa will be leaving from Malta every week!!
Would I recommend Costa Crociere?!
HELL YES!!! 100% sure!!! I am also the typical millennial who does everything on her own when It comes to travel. However since this was going to be my first cruise experience, I opted to speak to SMSmondial and had it not been for them, I might not have gone. The ladies assisted me with excitment and explained everything in detail. Sharing pics with them during my vacation felt like the most natural thing to do. I even went live during the Tepinyaki experience and most of them were following my daily updates eagerly.
They were extremely helpful from start to finish and suggested the best options. At no stage did I feel that they were after my money. Travel agents tend to know what locals would prefer & they nailed it. They even told me what to pack according to the entertainment which I found extremely thoughtful!
Will I go another cruise? Yes most definitely and it will be with my boyfriend. As much as I LOVED EVERY MINUTE with Laura, I couldn’t help missing my man. The romantic scenery and picture perfect sunsets left me wanting cuddles lol.
I have a lot more to say about my cruise experience onboard and on land including a Q&A post for first time cruisers so if you do have questions, please leave them in the comments below or contact me via email.
There will be another post with a DAY TO DAY plan including the “Diario di Bordo” of every port. Planning your holidays has never been easier. There will also be a post with FAQs. Therefore if you wish to ask anything, please comment below and I will include them.
Hope you enjoyed reading about first cruise experience! Keep following this space for more and more about it!