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19 July 2024
Costa Diadema summary

My thoughts about my cruise after returning.


Summary of my Costa Diadema cruise.

I enjoyed the cruise, apart from being ill for part of it. It made me realise how many medical staff there are aboard a large cruise ship, and it made me feel safer for any cruises I go on in the future.

Organised and pre-booked tours ashore.

This was possibly the one thing that pissed me off about this trip. I had researched the cruise and the places it called before booking the cruise. The only reason I took the cruise was to see the places it called and to take the trips ashore that it offered. I had paid a lot of extra money to take them.

On this cruise, 75% of the shore trips I booked were cancelled due to insufficient people wanting to do them. I was offered different tours in a different language but these pre-booked tours were the reason for this trip. I felt as if I'd been conned into doing this cruise. I wouldn't have booked it if I had known the trips wouldn't occur.

I also question the reason for the trips being cancelled. I was told it was because there were too few English-speaking people but on every trip I did, there were English speakers. Passengers from countries like Germany and Spain also complained and asked for the trips in English as they all spoke English and their native language. The guides that I had on my trips all spoke perfect English. Apart from one trip, the one to Noli and Finalborgo, they would not relay any information in anything but French or Italian.

My tour to Civita de Bagnoregio was sold to me as a moderate walking tour. It was not, and it was too much for me to do. This should not have been sold to anyone with walking difficulties. I had to be assisted by a kind lady walking past me to get back to the coach, as the tour guides had no interest in helping me.

In general, the tours were suitable apart from this, and I would have enjoyed them very much if they had been in English.

Food on board ship.

Breakfast and lunch.

I hate and find going to a buffet-style restaurant difficult. Walking with a stick whilst trying to carry a tray of food and a drink is hard enough without having to avoid people clamouring to get to the buffet. Finding a table is tough work, and the buffet is so spread out that you must walk a long way, carrying your tray to get your food, drink and a seat.

I found the buffets' food quality on this trip inferior. On previous trips, it was good. I was told that there was disabled seating and that the restaurant staff would help me get my food and drink. I didn't see any disabled seating, and the staff at the buffets on this cruise were terrible. Most ignored me and anyone else and looked like they wanted to be anywhere else but at the buffet serving people. On several occasions, I asked for food to be told they couldn't get it or it was unavailable. I was even told by the person making omelettes I could have cheese and ham but nothing else, even though there was a selection of ingredients in front of him to make an omelette with.

Dinner.

The staff in the restaurant that I had dinner in were excellent. They were pleasant and helpful and couldn't do enough for me or others dining there. The food itself, I thought, was very ordinary and the choices limited. Every day, there seemed to be several pasta and fish options but limited meat options. There were very few vegetables served with any of the meals, and I thought that the majority of the food, whilst looking good, tasted quite bland. That, as they say, is down to personal preference, but of the three cruises I have been on in the last eight months, the food on this one was well below the standard of the previous ones.

Entertainment.

I enjoyed most of the entertainment onboard this cruise, but I wonder why there is so little during the day. I do feel, and this has been the case on the last three cruises, that a lot of the entertainment was quite childish with too many TV-style game shows being held to entertain the passengers. On my cruise across the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2, the entertainment was fantastic, and there was always something going on.

Shops.

The shops onboard are just a nuisance. The ships are designed, so you must walk through the shopping area to get anywhere. The shops sell brand-name goods at discount prices but you can buy all these goods cheaper ashore. Because of the laws on selling things in different countries, the shops are always shut whilst docked anyway, as are the casinos because of gambling laws.

Staff.

In general, the staff on this trip were quite good. Some were very good and couldn't do enough for the passengers. Some of the staff were lazy, didn't want to be there, were poorly trained and probably shouldn't be employed in any service industry.

The guides on this trip and the people selling shore trips were inferior, apart from one. This was the worst cruise I have taken as far as guides were concerned. I normally tip all of the guides on my tours very well, but on this tour, only one received a tip; some of them should have received a written complaint about how they looked after or organised the trips.

Why do Cruise Lines Keep Your Passport?

On returning, I decided to investigate why the ship's crew took my passport on the cruises I have been on. Now, I know it seems like a good idea, and at least it stopped me from losing it or having it stolen. I didn't need it to go ashore anywhere I went.

A cruise line may keep your passport for the duration of your cruise or certain segments to make it easier for immigration to check passports when travelling between different countries. Immigration officials will often come onboard cruise ships to check documentation. Keeping the passports centrally makes it much easier and faster for the cruise line and passengers.

Would I take another cruise?

I would take another cruise, probably sooner rather than later. I will, however, now start to be able to decide which cruises are better for me.

I had already worked out how to avoid overcrowded cruises with children. Take a cruise outside school holiday times, and look for adult-only cruises or ones that children do not travel free on.

Entertainment is always a personal choice, but I have found that the bigger the ship, the better the entertainment. Bigger ships mean more passengers, which means more significant acts can be booked.

The food on cruises, in general, has been excellent; this cruise was an exception, but I wouldn't say I like buffet-style restaurants. I will look for cruises that offer table service for all meals. I only eat in the included restaurants, so I can not say what the quality of food in the restaurants you have to pay extra for is like, but I have looked, and many of them seem expensive for what they are. I have also been surprised that snack-type food or pizzas and burgers are included in the price on some ships, whilst on others, they are not. Check what is included before you book.

Photos from this trip.

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