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16 July 2024
Alan Morris on board Costa Diadema in Valencia.

Today I boarded my cruise ship the Costa Diadema in Valencia for my cruise around the Mediterranean.

Depart Valencia on the Costa Diadema.

I slept until about 4 am today, I got up used the bathroom & went back to bed & fell asleep quickly. I woke up again around 8:30 am. When I had woken up properly I took a shower, took my tablets & got ready to leave the hostel. Checking out was strange as all I had to do was leave my room key in a box in the entranceway of the hostel as I left.

When I left I walked to a cafe a few steps up from the hostel. I stopped & had a coffee & tostada at the roadside cafe. After my breakfast, I walked the short distance that Google was telling me to go to the nearest bus stop to catch a bus to the Trans-Mediterranean port. The bus arrived in a couple of minutes, they come along every nine minutes according to the bus stop digital readout. It only cost me € 1.50 on the bus as opposed to €11 in a taxi, well played Google Maps.

After arriving at the cruise terminal the check-in process was very simple & I was on the bus that transferred me to my cruise ship, Costa Diadema, in less than 20 minutes. I did find it strange that the cruise company had to take both my passport & Spanish id card. I am told it would be given back on board the ship at the end of my cruise. Can someone explain why this is necessary?

After getting on board the ship I quickly found my cabin. It was an inside room but I was pleased with the size of the room & bathroom. Once I had unpacked my case & hung all my clothes up I went to a bar at the back of the ship called the sunset bar. I ordered myself a cocktail, a Pina Colada, & sat down with it to look out over the port area & the Valencia skyline. As I sat there I noticed a large black cloud of smoke rising up from the downtown area of Valencia. The smoke was very black & was billowing up in a large cloud, judging by its size & colour & how quickly it appeared I can only think it was a car fire or maybe even car tyres on fire somewhere.

Video of fire in downtown Valencia.

When I finished my drink I walked around the ship for a while, trying to find all the different bars, shops & theatres before going for lunch in the Restaurant Fiorentino. I am disappointed to find that despite it being advertised as service at the table it is actually a buffet & that the seating is a seat yourself restaurant meaning you have to find a seat & hope it is there when you have struggled back with your food. After eating my lunch I went back to my cabin to sleep, I seemed to be very tired after all the travelling yesterday.

When I woke in the evening I got ready to go back to the Restaurant Fiorentino for my dinner. I was pleased to find that dinner had proper table service, served at a reserved table. Costa Cruises do everything via the Costa app on a mobile phone, this includes reading the menus for all meals & the drinks list for all bars on your mobile phone. This is a bugbear of mine & I think it is unnecessary, I realise this was set up due to COVID regulations but there must be a better way, lots of people don't have mobile phones or don't want to use them in this way. It did however make it easy for me to take home a copy of all the menus.

For dinner this evening I had seafood salad to start. Next, I had a Bouillabaisse, a traditional Provencal fish soup originating in the port city of Marseille. For my main course, I had Grilled salmon, in an orange-scented hollandaise sauce, served over saffron mashed potatoes & pan-sauteed escarole. You can see a copy of all of today's food & drink menu here.

After dinner, I watched tonight's show at the Emerald Theatre. Although there are tables for you to put your drink on in front of every seat, there is no service in the theatre & I should have got a drink before going to the theatre. The show was equally good & bad in different parts. Some of the singers were very good; others were average pub karaoke singers. After watching the show I returned to my cabin to have an early night as I have a trip booked in Marseille tomorrow to have a guided tour of Aix de Provence.

Videos of different parts of tonight's show in the Emerald Theatre on the Costa Diadema.

View photos from the day I boarded Costa Diadema.