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Costa Luminosa - Venice & Greece July 2019

Costa Luminosa - Venice & Greece July 2019

Postby TimC » 17 Aug 2019 19:54

In July-Aug 2019, we embarked on our sixth cruise. They've always been with Costa and we've managed to go on a different ship each time:
Fortuna - Deliziosa - Fascinosa - Neoriviara - Diadema and now Luminosa.

Unlike the majority of our cruises, we booked this one direct rather than using Cruisenation as we've done for all bar the first one. Only because a deal came up with the second passenger at half price and a larger cabin, plus drinks package at a total of 28€ for the whole week as we are now Perla status. We may-well go back to Cruisenation in the future as they've always been good.
Anyway - this is a summary of how it went:

Drama-free, fairly pleasant Ryanair flight. (yes - you read that correctly!)

2 nights in Venice - We ended up in Mestre but it was easy to get to Venice from there. I wanted to stay near the cruise terminal but as it was so expensive and i didn't want to lug all the suitcases across Venice on the day of departure, we went for the cheaper option and stayed just out of the city. We know Venice well and maximised the first evening and full day.


We then got the hotel shuttle to Piazalle Roma, then the 'Peoplemover' (like monorail that goes to the cruise terminal and another area just past it - I forget the name). This was less than two Euros and took us to the terminal entrance. We then had to walk down the quayside to our ship which was easy to spot despite it being one of six ships in-port.

Our previous Venice cruise was hard-work at the terminal as it was an old goods shed with no facilities. We were at a different quay this time and it was so much better. We also had a much shorter wait and were onboard by about 2pm, leaving plenty of time to explore the ship.

I was keen to be on the deck as we departed but unfortunately, we were delayed - an MSC vessel went ahead of us. It takes 45 mins or so to transit the canal and we were held back because of the poor weather. Apparently only one vessel is allowed to be in the Grand Canal at a time. By the time we left, it was going dark and we set-off whilst we were sitting down for our evening meal at 7pm. We were sat on the port side with excellent views, so we still had a nice experience of Venice as we left, albeit an hour or so late.

In short - a summary of what we liked (most of it) and disliked (not a lot)

Staff - very friendly and welcoming throughout the ship. There were very few English-speaking guests but we had a Representative called Alex who was from Liverpool. He knew his stuff and was really helpful.

Food - I have always been impressed with breakfast/lunch buffets and the sit down evening meal. As on Diadema, we had a 'date night' in the Samsara restaurant and this was fantastic too. There are theme nights which we are now used to. 'white night' 'red night', 'Italian night' and 'gala night' so we now pack accordingly.

Entertainment - my wife used to dance professionally and was quite critical of the dancing/choreography! She said she'd seen much better on other ships. We only saw a couple of shows. The singers were very good. It was a bit cheesy but passed an hour after dinner, whilst accompanied by a G&T.

Excursions - didn't do any - made our own way everywhere.

Cabin - what we've been used to on Costa - well-designed and appointed, clean, plenty of space. Balcony seemed larger - I think we had a deal and got a Premium Balcony cabin. We spent more time on the balcony than we have in the past. We like the balcony cabins as we can sleep with the door open at night. The one time we had a window and not a cabin, we felt hemmed-in. (on Deliziosa) We also had a bottle of fizz and some fruit in the cabin due to our Costa Club membership.


The itinerary was Venice, day at sea, Kefalonia, Santorini, Mykanos, Katacolo (Olympia), Bari, Venice.

Kefalonia was pleasant and we made our way on a public bus to a nice beach on the other side of the island, allowing plenty of time to get back (and to be in time for lunch on the ship)

We stayed onboard in Santorini because we have spent a 10 day holiday there in the past and last time we cruised there, it took ages to disembark on a tender boat. We had a spa day (managed to get a god deal) instead so it involved lots time in the steam room, jacouzi (which broke at one point but they got it going again) and so-on. We followed this with our Samsara meal. There were a lot of attempts made to up-sell various creams, moistures, treatments and potions and it got a bit tiresome to be honest. Conversely, we hardly got hassled by the onboard photographers as we walked through the ship in the evenings, unlike on other cruises. I must have perfected the 'I don't like having my photo taken' face perhaps..?

Mykanos was beautiful. We got a ferry boat from there we docked to the town. (MSC Opera was also there and you could see a big scar on the bow where it had hit the quay in Venice a couple of months earlier). We had plenty of time there and made our way back in time to eat a late lunch onboard. (always a priority!) There was a pool party with DJ and so-on (see pics below) if you're into that sort of thing. If you're not, the ship is big enough to find lots of other things to do.

Katakolo was a half-day. The people we were sat with were a nice couple from Scotland (also teachers like us) - they hoped to make their way to Olympia but were worried about how much time there was to get there and back, and ended up staying local. We found a small beach by turning left out of the port and could see the ship from there. We had a nice morning with just a 15 min walk back to Luminosa.

Bari was another half-day. It is a huge port and it is a short walk to the town which is pleasant.

We then returned to Venice and were escorted in by three tugs. We saw no evidence of protests about cruise ships, other than a few posters in Venice itself with images of the MSC Opera having it's 'moment'.

Anyway - we had a lovely time. Personally, I felt Diadema was too big - we seemed to walk miles to get anywhere, but Luminosa was perfect - it has the 'grandeur' without being enormous. Our cabin was on the port side near the central stairwell making it easy to get everywhere. (When we were on NeoRivierra, it lacked the 'wow' factor being a smaller, older ship)

We have no plans for another cruise at present but we will hopefully end up booking another with Costa - we've never had a bad experience and we love the food and general atmosphere on the ships.

Random selection of photos - sorry there's no obvious order to them.

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Tim

Edits: typos
Booked: Nothing yet.
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Costa Luminosa - Venice & Greece July 2019

Postby hazel20 » 18 Aug 2019 08:13

Thanks for sharing - a great read!
http://www.hazeljgriffiths.net

Future Lecture Cruises:
Saga Sapphire - Christmas
2020 - Saga Sapphire Caribbean
2020 - Saga Sapphire Farewell
2020 - Black Watch - Four Freds in Funchal
2020 - Balmoral - USA in the Fall
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Costa Luminosa - Venice & Greece July 2019

Postby grannyM » 18 Aug 2019 10:55

I too enjoyed your review and fabulous photos Tim. :thumbup:

Thank you very much for taking the time to post them here. :D
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Costa Luminosa - Venice & Greece July 2019

Postby Gillzajoker » 18 Aug 2019 11:18

Very enjoyable review, Tim. I have also been on a few Costa cruises and feel that
they are much maligned. My only complaint of late is the fact that they do not provide
jugs of waterat dinner any more - you have to buy bottled, which I think is a bit mean. :D
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Costa Luminosa - Venice & Greece July 2019

Postby judgegeoff » 18 Aug 2019 11:32

Brilliant Tim, many thanks for sharing your recent cruise, it made interesting and informative reading. :clap: :clap: :clap:
Geoff

Booked cruise :- "MSC Orchestra" - Cape Town to Venice 2020
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Re: Costa Luminosa - Venice & Greece July 2019

Postby Camela » 18 Aug 2019 19:00

Thanks for very readable review with a great flavour of your cruise experience Tim. Venice is a problem isn't it? They want the tourists yet not the cruise ships - difficult one to solve. We've loved our visits there though!
"Won't you let me take you on a sea cruise"
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Costa Luminosa - Venice & Greece July 2019

Postby TimC » 18 Aug 2019 19:12

I presume that if necessary, they could dredge a Channel and come around the other side of the Lido if there was more and more objection to them using the canal. It is spectacular to travel past St Marks and so-on though. I really don’t think that cruise ships are going to be responsible for sinking Venice.

I grew up by the Manchester Ship Canal in Thelwall and the huge vessels of the 1970’s used to make the windows rattle on our house. It is still there!
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