Nice ship, poor itinerary
7 of 7 people found this review informative
|Reviewed By: Carpenter, Portugal on 8th Mar 2011|
|Cruise Line: Costa Cruises||Times cruised before: 3-5|
|Cruise Ship: Costa Luminosa||Sailed: February, 2011|
|Destination: Dubai||Age: 65+|
|Cabin: Balcony||Occasion: Wedding anniversary|
Embarkation was easy at 15.00 the day before departure and before most other arrivals as we were staying in Dubai. The usual awful photo looking sweaty and crushed (why do they all do this?), then on board welcome which was a bit chaotic with a mixture of departing and arriving passengers all thronging around. Told cabin would not be available until 20.00 but to go to restaurant where there was a buffet service - the food was less than inspiring and the house wine (on the X1 package) like vinegar - not a good start !!
We then stored our hand luggage and had a tour of the ship - certainly 'Luminosa' and whilst I thought it nice my wife thought it gaudy compared to the similar size RCI ship of our previous cruise. About 17.30 we thought we would see where our cabin was situated and surprised to find it ready although luggage did not arrive until around 18.30. The cabins were very clean,modern and well-fitted with king-size comfortable bed and on deck 4 a larger than average balcony. Steward Sonny introduced himself and looked after us so well througout the cruise that he got a deserved personal tip on top of the compulsory daily service charge. No problems with the liquor we brought on and he even brought fresh ice several times a day for my favourite Ricard aperitive!!
We had continental breakfast in cabin every day - a great no charge service which means no hurry to get down to the restaurant at the other end of the ship. Lunch was in the self-service buffet - badly designed compared to RCI meaning lots of walking up and down looking at a not inspiring range of similar foods at each station. The wine here was for some reason not as good as in the waiter restaurant meaning we stuck to beer and water. Dinner on 5 nights was in the main restaurant and we classed it as OK - nothing more - with rather mechanical service from the mainly Indian waiters (we prefer the more friendly approach of the Filipino waiters on previous cruises) - only showing signs of animation when Tendulkar scored his century against England and knowing that I was a cricketer!!
On two nights we ate in the top deck speciality restaurant - firstly at the Captain's invitation with other anniversary couples and then on our last night for my birthday. After the mundane food in the main restaurant, the service, presentation and quality of food here was superb and we have said that if we go with Costa again we would happily pay €20 every night to eat there.
The wine package (X!) was a complete waste of money - the wines were frankly awful with the choice being 'red or white?'
There was a wine package offered on board for €110 for 6 bottle selection of wines plus 12 bottles of water much better than the £160 for the X! package. In general drinks prices were not as bad as some responents have reported - certainly no more than you would pay in any 4-5* hotel.
The dance show was an amazing mix of technology and technique and even though I am normally not that keen on the shipboard dance shows, felt compelled to give them a standing ovation at the end of the show.
The itinerary was poor, even allowing for having to miss out Bahrain due to their troubles, with 2 nights in port in Dubai and 1 in Muscat meaning that on a 7 day cruise only 4 nights were spent cruising. The smell of diesel and the view of cranes is no substitute for sitting on your balcony with a drink, breathing in the ozone and going to sleep with the gentle movement of the ship. When in port the Casino and shops were closed also - thereby giving only a 4 day cruise service.
There were adequate sunbeds, albeit tightly sqeezed together, two decent size pools with jacuzzis, the aft one being designated child free and sufficient sun and shade areas to keep most people happy. The smoking problem previously mentioned was not too much of a problem, nor were the 'pushy' Italians - loud yes but not problematical.
Would we go again with Costa? - yes but not this itinerary, not purchasing any drinks package and eating in the a la carte restaurant or possibly taking a suite where this is included.
|Quality of Food|
|Self service poor. Restaurant average. Pay restaurant excellent.|
|Dancers superb. Singer ordinary.|
|Abu Dhabi history tour intersting with excellent guide.|
|Sonny our steward was amongst the best we have experienced|
|Pools clean and in good condition.|
|Bigger and better than expected - large balcony and larger than average bathroom area.|
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