SIX STARS!!! EXCELLENT!!! I had the loveliest time! Went on the Costa Mediterranea Christmas Cruise 7 nights 22-29 December 2015. From the initial booking with Iglu (Thank you to Louise, who was so helpful and friendly, not to mention highly efficient!) to the experience on the ship with all the lovely friendly crew members, I enjoyed it all so much. Beautiful Italian ship with a great cabin with balcony. There was a bowl of fresh fruit and a selection of gluten free pastries in my cabin when I arrived. A nice touch. Breakfast was delivered to my cabin every morning - what a treat!
My cabin Steward, Sidney, was highly efficient, friendly and helpful. My cabin and bathroom were cleaned twice a day. The ladies in the Spa were all just wonderful. Had my nails done with Lycel from Philippines, who was so sweet; Had my hair done by a wonderful hairdresser called Dea from Romania and amazing massages from Maria Antonia from Spain. Everyone was so warm, kind and gentle and I felt as though I was the most important person in a warmhearted family. They are all highly professional and great at what they do. The food served in the restaurants is delicious and of the highest quality.
(I was embarrassed by one or two British passengers who complained about being served Italian cuisine on an Italian ship... next time stay at home and eat egg and chips!!) I have to follow a strict gluten free diet and this ship has separate kitchens to cater for gluten free food. I had my own new gluten free menu every day and Maria, my designated 'gluten free waitress' took care of me really well. Nothing was too much trouble. She was warm and friendly and very pleasant indeed. After dinner a drink in the bar was served by a delightful gentleman called Francis. He treated us like members of his family and couldn't have been more kind and friendly. Although they work long hours, the crew members made it look as though they were just enjoying looking after family members. Everything was done willingly and with a smile. Exceptional service. I couldn't go on any of the organised shore excursions because I have mobility difficulties (I use a stick to walk) and it seems you needed to be fit and well enough to walk distances for most of them. I think this is something that the company could address.
There are helpers for disabled people at airports and seaports, so why not have designated wheelchairs and pushers to help passengers with restricted mobility to enjoy excursions. As it happened, I met another passenger on the first day, single lady who also walked with a stick, and we hooked up together and took our own taxi tours around the places of interest to us in each port. Overall, as a single older lady, with restricted mobility, I was not sure if a cruise was the best idea for a Christmas holiday. However, I need not have worried: this cruise far exceeded my expectations. I had a great time, thoroughly enjoyed myself, made new friends and I'd like to thank all the crew members and Costa Cruises for making my first cruise so special.