Before I took my first Costa cruise, I researched the company’s vessels on the usual review sites and discovered that they tended to rank lower than the British and American ships.
Delving a bit deeper, I noticed that the criticism was coming mostly from Britons and Americans whose main complaint seemed to be the “Italianness” of the Costa offering.
Basically, some people didn’t like the fact that ships flying the Italian flag catered largely for Italians. They didn’t like the fact that English was demoted in onboard annoucements and during entertainment programs to a second, third or even fourth language. And they didn’t like the food, especially the authentic pizza (presumably because it wasn’t like the pizza they had delivered back home.)
I’ve just booked my next cruise — for next week (I don’t muck about) — and it will mean travelling on the flag ship of the Costa fleet, the Diadema.
With a capacity of 4,947 passengers plus 1,253 crew, a length of 306 metres, and a gross tonnage of 132,500 (all according to Wikipedia) — and, apparently, a stunning art collection — it’s a mighty vessel, though in most metrics smaller than the Norwegian Epic, on which I cross the Atlantic two years ago.
I’ll be flying into Munich on Etihad on March 10 and then making my way, probably by train, to Savona for the March 12 departure. The itinerary takes in Western Med ports including Palma Mallorca and Barcelona.
This will be my fourth Costa cruise in just over two years. I was hoping to travel with another company this time, but the dates didn’t suit my schedule. And, as usual, Costa had a great last-minute booking deal.