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Costa Fascinosa Med Cruise

Costa Fascinosa Med Cruise

Postby TimC » 02 Aug 2017 09:00

We never expected to go on another cruise so soon after our last one in April but a small inheritance from my wife's grandmother was put to good use. We stuck with Costa, booked through Cruisenation. Flights were Ryanair (rather than BA like last time) and a hotel was added for three nights at the end of the cruise which began and ended in Barcelona. We would call at Savona, Palermo, Naples, Ibiza & Majorca.

Flight was on time thankfully and we got a taxi from the airport to the cruise terminal for about €40. Having read a negative post on here about Barcelona Terminal, I was nervous, especially when I saw some people lining-up outside in what was already blazing heat. We were only stood there for a couple of minutes with our bags. I was fumbling with sellotape to fix the baggage labels on but a guy appeared with a stapler, got it sorted and took our large suitcases from us immediately.

We were then given a numbered card and sat in the terminal building for no more than 15 mins before joining the queue at the desk. We then had the obligatory cheesy photo taken in front of a ship's wheel and went straight onto the ship - from taxi to ship only taking 30-35 mins - MUCH more efficient than anything we've experienced before.

We got a welcome onto the ship (something that was missing on Deliciosa) and went straight to our cabin where our bags were waiting for us. Following our last cruise, we paid the extra for a balcony - something we'll always do in future. The cabin was identical to Costa Fortuna and was well laid out, and kept clean several times a day by 'Ha' - a very pleasant girl from Vietnam.

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The cabin was right opposite the main central lifts and 'lobby' of the vessel. I was worried that it would be noisy at night. It WAS slightly noisier than I've experienced on the other ships but as we slept with the balcony door open, the sound of the waves drowned out any noise from inside the ship. It wasn't an issue for us at all.

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We had a British rep on the ship - Jessica - and she worked hard and was extremely personable. In the meeting she hosted for English speaking guests, she explained that we were in a minority (part of the attraction of Costa for us) but we bumped into her quite often and she had a great attitude and warm personality.

Entertainment was the usual sort of thing - good fun but not a great cultural experience. My wife is an ex-dancer and was complimentary about some of the Russian dancers on the vessel. She did criticise the way in which one of them was stood (I forget the term) until I pointed out that the ship was in rougher seas than we'd experienced before than that the singer almost fell-over at one point and she was possibly being over-critical, which she conceded.
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We had about 24 hours of fairly rough seas. Sick bags had been left on the banisters in the stair wells. The swell wasn't too bad from my point of view although it was a relief to wake the next morning and find ourselves in calmer conditions again.

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As repeat customers, we got to go to another Captain's Cocktail Party. I also returned to the cabin one day and found a scale model of the ship on the bed with a note saying that it was an extra gift (but implying that we shouldn't expect it on EVERY cruise!) and that we could exchange it in the shop for an item of similar value. This was a nice touch although it did almost cause an international incident at the Xray machine at the Airport as I'd forgotten to take it out of my hand luggage and they were rather curious (an understatement) to find out what I had in my bag.

Food was excellent - I have always been impressed with what Costa offer, although the buffet choice on Deck 9 was limited to pastries and so-on. For a cooked breakfast, you had to go down to the deck 3 restaurant which is what we did very day. The buffet lunches were varied and the evening restaurant meal had about 6 courses on offer and the waiter just left our wine on the table (in the past, with the drinks package, they'd just keep your glass topped up but wouldn't leave the bottle) - I think our waiter quickly realised that it was a waste of his time going back and forth with the bottle - leaving it with me was an arrangement that suited us both. The drinks package saves one from totting up every drink. I wouldn't want to go on a cruise without paying for this in advance.

We (meaning my wife) signed-up for a massage/facial package during our brief stay at the cruise terminal. I was keen on the massage as I had a painful shoulder but wasn't really bothered about having a shave and a face mask. We also got free use of the jacuzzi for half an hour. It was all very nice but massage apart, I wasn't too bothered about the other parts. I do wish Costa still allowed 'free' use of the sauna and so-on as they did two years ago on Fortuna.

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We went on one excursion from Naples to Pompeii. The one we signed up for (Vesuvius) was cancelled - we had been warned this may happen. It was fascinating and amazing to think that it had been buried under 22 feet of ash. We were given a guided tour with headsets so that we could hear the guide. She was knowledgeable - especially about the many phallic symbols that were present in Pompeii.

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We made our own way in Savona - it was a pleasant town and we found some markets. We got back to the ship fairly quickly though so that we could have lunch on board.

Palermo was a big commercial port. We had a quick look around and decided that walking around wasn't for us (there was a note from Costa warning us about crime) so we took an open top bus and got off at several places. It saved us a lot of time and it was actually aa nice city with some interesting buildings from the two large theatres to the Post Office building built in the Mussolini-era with a very different style of architecture.

Palermo
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In Ibeeetzah (as it seems to be pronounced) we walked from the ship and found a nice beach 10-15 mins away. We remained there until 6pm, went back to the ship, had our meal and then got a service bus for a small sum into Ibiza town. We didn't sail until 2am, and I was wondering how long we'd be delayed by, waiting for 'drunken revellers' to return to the ship, but I never found out as I was asleep by midnight and woke at about 3am by which time we were at sea again.

We had a walk into town when we docked in Palma, Majorca and found a shopping centre. Both of us were tired and we didn't stay on land for too long before returning to the ship for lunch and sunbathing etc.

We docked in Barcelona and the disembarkation procedure was very efficient. We were off very quickly and reunited with our bags before getting a taxi to the hotel.

Overall, we really enjoyed it. We would always have a balcony in future, even though we didn't spend much time on there. It was lovely to go out in the middle of the night and to have the fresh air and sound of the water. The staff on the ship were great and made us feel welcome.

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Booked: Nothing yet.
TimC
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Costa Fascinosa Med Cruise

Postby Gillzajoker » 02 Aug 2017 09:36

Interesting review and lovely pics., Tim. Good to hear you are Costa fans! I'm going with them again in Oct. (Indian Ocean on neoRiviera). :D
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Re: Costa Fascinosa Med Cruise

Postby khkate » 02 Aug 2017 09:37

Thanks for sharing details of your cruise Tim - sounds like it was a positive experience for you. The cabin certainly looks very nice and spacious too.
Cruises booked for the Med, Baltics, Canaries, Scandinavia, UK, Europe
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Costa Fascinosa Med Cruise

Postby Dave » 02 Aug 2017 09:37

Thanks for the interesting and excellent review Tim. Costa Fascinosa certainly looks very nice.

We'd booked a cruise on Fascinosa for Christmas the year before last but Costa rearranged itineraries and we accepted a change to Diadema. We got a more expensive cruise for no more money but, much as we loved Diadema, I think we'd still have preferred Fascinosa. We'd done two previous cruises with Costa (on Deliziosa) but sadly for us, we thought that the Costa experience had worsened considerably and so we haven't considered returning to them since.
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Booked cruise: Tui Discovery 2 - Cuban Fusion, Christmas 2017
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Costa Fascinosa Med Cruise

Postby grannyM » 02 Aug 2017 10:41

Thank you for that detailed and interesting review with photos TimC. I am glad everything went well and you both enjoyed another Costa cruise. A balcony cabin for us is an absolute must. Nothing like the sound of the waves late and during the night when all is quiet. :D
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Costa Fascinosa Med Cruise

Postby bobbyoscar » 02 Aug 2017 12:16

Thank you Tim, I enjoyed reading your review and seeing your photos.
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Cruises booked:
August 2017 - Celebrity Eclipse - Fredericia – Copenhagen – Stockholm – Tallinn - St.Petersburg - Warnemunde
October 2018 – P & O Oriana - Cadiz - Catania - Corigliano Calabro – Venice –Zadar - Dubrovnik - Kotor - Corfu
February 2019 – P & O Aurora - Andalsnes – Tromso – Alta – Stavanger
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Costa Fascinosa Med Cruise

Postby tomvet » 02 Aug 2017 20:52

Enjoyed the review! Like Dave we loved our Costa Pacifica, Serena and Favolosa cruises but things took a nose dive on Mediterranea and we haven't or are likely to return any time soon! We have graduated to river cruising, staycationing and hiking!
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November 2017 - Phoenix Reisen M/S Aurelia - Cologne - Bonn - Cochem - Koblenz - Rudesheim - Frankfurt - Mainz - Cologne
April 2018 - Phoenix Reisen M/S Asara - Cologne - Amsterdam - Ijsselmeer - Hoorn - Rotterdam - Gorinchem - Arnheim - Cologne
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Costa Fascinosa Med Cruise

Postby Trace » 02 Aug 2017 21:33

Really enjoyed this, thankyou... But only one photo showing for me, of the bathroom. :(
Tracey :-)
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Costa Fascinosa Med Cruise

Postby Mungo » 04 Aug 2017 08:33

I'm glad a good time was had! :D
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Re: Costa Fascinosa Med Cruise

Postby TimC » 19 Aug 2017 09:05

Thank you. I tried a site called photouploads to host the images but the account is suspended and I can't get on it and none of the images are visible. I guess I'll have to find somewhere else.
Booked: Nothing yet.
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