Fjords & Baltic Capitals
August 8-22, 2004
Silvestri of Roma, Italy
had my first experience on Costa and I am very enthusiastic about its
costumer care. I have had many previous experiences with almost all
the major Cruise Lines such as Celebrity, RCC, Princess, Cunard,
Carnival etc., and I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about an
Italian Cruise Line.
We chose two cruises, the Norwegian Fjords and the Baltic Capitals
from 08/8/2004 to 08/22/2004 and we booked the complete packages
(airplanes, transfers, hotels) through Costa.
I received the cruises documents for my Travel Agent. The booklet was
the most complete the most explanatory I ever had. All was clearly
reported and nothing was left undefined or unclear. We had very good
assistance from the Costa representative, arriving and departing from
and from and to the port. We really felt sheltered by them. There were
a Costa help desk in each hotel (The Square and Admiral) and the
representatives were very helpful and nice, giving us a letter with
the welcome of the Cruise Line and all the information we needed
during our stay and the scheduling of the drop in and drop out
services. The rooms at our hotels booked directly from Cruise line
were very good. I liked a lot the Admiral Hotel in
. It’s a very distinct building, and it deserves a stay.
cruise embarkation was very smooth, notwithstanding the security
procedure with a warm welcome by some members of the crew coming into
the amazing “
La Dolce Vita
The ship is fine and it’s a very big vessel, very stable and very
silent (sometimes I asked to myself if we were sailing or not), no
cabin (we choose the first deck and one inside cabin) was very
comfortable and full of space in the cabinets and in the drawers. Our
cabin steward Rodney from
, was very kind and professional and he made a good job also with the
Laundry service (very professional)
The most of the passengers were Italians, then we had a great
representatives of Spain (very cheerful and nice), then Germans,
Portuguese, and French people.
Although it is not a smoker free ship, I never noticed a smoke smell
in all the vessel.
The lounges are all beautiful and inspired to our Federico Fellini.
The most popular lounge was the Piazza Madame Butterfly, where two duo
singers and players performed (all very good). This is maybe the focal
point of the ship, where many activities are held.
of the Italian guest skipped some lounges like Caffe’ Florian,
always deserted. It’s a pity that a so vast space is often empty.
The Olympia Gym very big and full of any kind of fitness equipment.
The outside decks are very well maintained, and there where sun chairs
all with soft mattresses.
The three swimming pools are very nice, and when the weather was not
very good, the middle swimming pool was covered by the crystal mega
dome. All seemed not very overcrowded. The Coral Lounge, directly down
to the Caruso Theatre, was a nice place for dancers and for parties.
It should be more improved by different performances. I appreciate a
lot the most beautiful glass vase collections on each level near
stairways and lifts.
The Botticelli Buffet has 4 buffet lines plus two smaller lines
dedicated to cakes and ice cream and to the Health Corner. Each day
two buffet lines were dedicated to typical national dishes (French,
German, Italian, Spanish, Mexican, and, one of the best, to Italian
seafood). Outside the Botticelli Buffet and in the Ginger and Fred
Pools and the Aurora Pools areas, there were two grill lines serving
breakfast and typical grill food like Hamburger, French fries, and hot
dogs (quite far from Italian taste).
food... (I increased 2 kilos!!! I hate Costa!) very, very Italian. The
taste of the food is very good, we often ate fish, frequently fresh -
they grant us that trucks from Genova reach the Atlantica every 3
days!- and it's true because we ate some kind of Italian specialties
that you can find only over here!
buffets are very different and varied (one day I counted 5 different
kinds of pasta (2 kind of spaghetti dressed with different sauce -
Carbonara and the other with tomato sauce olives, anchovies and caper,
one oven polenta topped with cheese, Gnocchi di semolino - better than
the ones that my mom and I make at home, and chick peas soup), plus
grilled prawns, fried calamari, mussels....at last a great and good
quantity of food!
couldn't help but notice the continuous checking in the restaurants
and buffets by the Maitre D', Mr. Fernando Sanna and the Director of
Food Services, Mr. Percivale. They were everywhere!
Tiziano Restaurant is a very wide two stores dining rooms, somber, and
well decorated. We requested a table for two on the second seating
(9:30 pm, maybe late for not Italian guests) but the service was very
smooth and attentive. Our waiters (Gabriel from
) were very attentive (I requested a special bread and I found it each
dinner on my table thanks to the care of
Wayne). Both waiters were always ready to fulfill any our requests. The
service in the dining room was very, very good, I felt sheltered and
cared for by our headwaitr Mr. Salvatore, who had a nice and pleasant
words for all his guests. The executive chef, Mr. Paolo Màspero, is a
young man from Genova or Liguria
and he received the most applause and a standing ovation from all the
guests during the farewell dinner. He deserve all the ovations. (I
congratulate with him personally). All his staff did a very good job.
For the first time in a back to back cruise we had for dinner an
additional menu, a second choice of the regular menu. Cakes were very
good (specially soufflés, Pastiera - one Neapolitan specialty, and
fruits sorbets) also starters (we appreciate grilled oysters and the
delicious and very special “Frittella di Gianchetti” a sort of
pancakes made with baby fishes). Excellent seafood dishes, soups, and
some little surprises like fried calamari or bruschetta that sometimes
To say the true pizza was not very good, and the afternoon tea is a
little bit lacking. They must improve the variety of the snacks. (On
the Infinity I had one of my best afternoon teas, my mom said the
elegant tea on Cunard was a must!)
ENTERTAINMENTS AND CREW
The crewmembers on board are very nice and patient and the service is
very attentive... especially the personnel at Reception, always ready
to solve any kind of problems.
Captain's Welcome cocktail and the repeaters cocktail are very solemn
and elegant, no hint about business affairs, and the our Master
Giuliano Bossi welcomed all the guests with some beautiful and
poetical words - in 5 languages - at last Italian.
shows are very good and the Cruise Director, Mr. Michele Esposito, and
his staff was very nice and not too much invasive.
We had a very good service from the free shuttle offered by the cruise
line in most of the ports and the program of the day named the
"Today" is very full of information.
had a surprise from the Master of the ship. We were sailing through
Flam Fjord in the direction of
and the ship made a little deviation to another little pristine Fjord.
We reached a very amazing place! A minor harbor. Two little villages,
between mountains and a glacier, waterfall, little red houses, no kind
of noise, and the ship made a couple rotations allowing all the
passengers to watch this fairy-tale landscape.
a night lovers ship. I was very happy about this because I remember a
cruise made in the Caribbean some years ago on board another ship,
when the most of the activities were over around 10:30 pm. What a
bore! Except two Gala evenings each week, suggested dress is casual,
but I must consider that from Spanish People to French, most were
wearing semi-formal attire during the informal evenings. Not many
So, this was one of my best experiences of all my cruises (obviously
I'm not talking about luxurious cruise lines!) It was my best cruise
considering the quality/price factor. I wish to suggest Costa to all
people who expect to have a very lively Italian experience and who who
love to be pampered by a very efficient staff.
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