Author: Barry Cox
We were a little concerned about cruising on a ship this large. She is the biggest we have cruised on but after a short tour we soon grew accustomed to her. We were given priority boarding at Barcelona as we are pearl members. We had chosen a samsara inside cabin.This entitled us to use the seperate samsara restaurant with choices from the samsara and main dining menu. You could choose up to 7 courses for both lunch and dinner and food was of a very high standard but dont go expecting english or american style dining,it is predominantly Italian. We could also have unlimited access to the spa area which included thalasopherapy pool, sauna, steam room, sunbed room and relaxation area,there is also a seperate deck for sunbathing with jacuzzi, this would be very nice in the summer. Our Inside cabin was the largest we'd ever had with plenty of wardrobe and hanging space, kettle with a selection of infusions and a small but functional bathroom with robes and slippers. Roderick our steward kept the cabin spotless at all times and was very attentive and friendly. entertainment for the most part was very good especially the production shows The theatre was on 3 levels but people started to get a seat at least 40 minutes before performance so if you want to be near the front of the stage get there early. Lots to join in around the ship with the entertainment officers if you so wished but also lots of places to relax. One unique addition was the library with no books, everything was on an e reader which you got free of charge from the photo dept. Restaurants around the ship included the 2 main traditional time dining and 1 anytime dining. A buffet restarant which we used on boarding and were very pleased with. No scrambling around here for cutlery as each table had cutlery stands. food stations were clearly marked and choice was plentiful and hot. club restaurant for a 25€ surcharge which included a glass of sparkling wine. we did try this and it was very nice indeed. A tepanyaki show kitchen for 25€. did'nt use but saw lots of people in there. A pizzareia i think for 6.5€,this also seemed to be used quite a lot An ice cream parlour that served home made Italian ice cream,coffee,crepes and maccaroons all at what we thought were reasonable prices and perfect for a mid morning or after dinner treat. There was no buffet restaurant for the evening meal. but we prefer to be waited on anyway. There is an all inclusive package at 25€plus 15% pppd. We dont drink a lot of alcohol so just bought as required. Prices comparable to a 4 star hotel.Eg 5.5€ glass of house wine. 3.75 for small beer.8.5€ for a spirit and mixer. a boys and girls package available for 54€ which gave 20 soft drinks including non alco cocktails. All staff treated us like friends and we were made very welcome. Special thanks to Amy,Justine and all in the Samsara restaurant. There was a non removable 8€pppd service charge but we thought the service we received was well worth this,especially as something comparable on the 3 major lines would have cost double what we paid. The Diadema was delightful and we would definately sail on her again. we are going on the costa neoclasica in march and i will post a review then.If it's as good as the Delightful Diadema we'll have a whale of a time. Thank you Costa, for us you got everything right.