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Costa Cruise's Accident Ship+BA BHD-LHR-FCO+Lounge  
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13477 times:

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Hello and welcome to my latest trip report. Im sure it will come of no surprise that this is another Cruise one  

During the latter part of December I had decided I would look for a late deal to just take a cruise for a week anywhere around Europe. Fellow Anetter Mark ( EI CVD ) also fancied the idea so I decided to keep an eye out and then when I found one ran it past him. At the time I was in London looking after my Mum as she took a bad dose of the flu, I also got sick so it was a miserable two weeks. I needed a break badly. Whlst there I checked lots of cruise lines and it seemed Costa had quite alot of bargains. No need to tell you why ! Since the Concordia outrage they have been loosing bookings and loyal customers at an alarming rate.

Costa Cruise's were certainly not my first choice but the ship and itinerary were not bad at all and neither was the price. After much reading of the reviews and places of interest Mark and I decided to go ahead and book. It was going to be hit and miss with the weather but the ports of call made up for it. Next it was to check flights and we decided to book British Airways BHD-LHR-FCO-LHR-BHD. We decided to overnight in LHR to break the journey and also to make sure we could take the first flight out of LHR to FCO .

So finally the day came and Mark got the train from Dublin to Belfast and I got on in Newry and we made our way to Belfast Central. We then got the connection to Sydenham ( Belfast City Airport ) .


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DATE: 17JAN2013
AIRLINE: BRITISH AIRWAYS
ROUTE: BHD - LHR
CLASS: ECONOMY
AIRCRAFT: AIRBUS A319
REG: G - DBCC
SEAT: 25 E F


We approached the check in and handed over our cases.







After that we made our way via Fast Track lane to airside. We were both hungry so we decided to get something from the cafe.

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Titanic stuff to buy :

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After that we decided to head to the BA Lounge :

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Nothing amazing here in the old BMI lounge. No major changes . During this time I chatted to Mark about being concerned about the snow that was due for the London area for the morning. We decided that on arrival to LHR we would get our bags and head over to T5 to see if we could be rebooked onto the last flight out to FCO that evening. We would try to overnight in FCO instead. I was worried that we might get stuck at LHR and miss the cruise.

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Soon our aircraft arrived .

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After a while boarding was called with direct boarding from the lounge.

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Boarding was completed and we made our way to the runway to take off.

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Once airbourne the crew came around with the usual drinks and snacks.

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The flight went really fast as Mark and I were chatting about the cruise and current news in the Aviation world.
Soon it was time to commence our decent into LHR.



After landing we disembarked the aircraft and made our way to Terminal 5 Via the Free Heathrow Express.

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After a short time we arrived and made our way to the First Class check in area.



We were greeted by a friendly guy who happened to be a supervisor. I explained our case and asked if he would consider the request. He said that normally there would be a fee but given the circumstances he thought it was wise and another two less to deal with in the morning should the worse happen. Soon enough he took our bags and gave us our boarding passes and we were on the last flight. We thanked him very mcuh and made our way to the First Class lounge.

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We arrived at the desk and were welcomed in. We were hungry so decided to raid the food options.  http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps475dddc2.jpg

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The famous BA Burger . Went down a treat .

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Time for one of my favourite things about the F Lounge. The Champs bar.

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Soon it was time to leave the lounge and head to the gate. I had got online and booked the Courtyard by Marriott at FCO. It looked decent and had a 24 hour mini shop for snacks and drinks which we could get on arrival.

57 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 1, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13728 times:

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DATE: 17JAN2013
AIRLINE: BRITISH AIRWAYS
ROUTE: LHR - FCO
CLASS: ECONOMY
AIRCRAFT: AIRBUS A320
REG: ? - ????
SEAT: 9A B MOVED TO BACK.



At the gate I asked the agent if there were any spare rows so we could get a row of three middle seat empty. She was very friendly and changed our boarding passes to the last row. Then we boarded via the Priority lane.



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We boarded and were welcomed by some friendly crew.

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Plenty to read :

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Soon we made our way to take off and then the seatbelt sign was turned off.

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A quick trip to the bathroom:

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Soon the crew came around with wraps. There was a choice of two . It was Hoisin Duck which I liked but Mark didnt like it at all.

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During the flight I got chatting to the crew and one of them was from Sicily so I told her we were going there on the cruise. She was telling me all about it. The flight went by quickly and soon it was time to get ready for landing.

A smooth touchdown and then made our way to the gate where we then made our way to baggage reclaim.

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The bags took ages to arrive and also the area was very cold. No heating at all. Not the nicest place.

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User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 2, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13659 times:

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Eventually the bags came and we took a taxi to the hotel. We checked in and everything seemed ok the route to the room was a bit shabby and carpets torn in places. Not what you expect in a Marriott.

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Upon entering the bathroom this was in the bath . An empty beer can. I showed Mark and we kind of laughed it off. I then decided to head downstairs to get a snack and a few bottles of water.

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When I got to reception I asked where the 24 hour mini market was only to be told it had closed. It seemed something fishy was going on because the manager had walked out and the place had been taken over whilst keeping the Marriott franchise. I mentioned the beer can in the bathroom and was told they had work men in fixing the hotel. None of this was on the website at booking and considering it cost EUR100 it is something I would expect to be advised before accepting my payment. I was told I could get snacks and drinks at the bar but when asking the bar man I was met with a blank face. They had no snacks at all not even a chocolate bar. He reluctantly prodcued two bottles of water. I went back to the front desk and asked if there was a manager on duty to which I waited a few minutes and she appeared. she was the night duty manager. In fairness to her she was friendly and took me to the bar to sit down and chat to me. I told her my complaints and she said she agreed and explained the who issue and that the place was a mess at the moment and staff were not happy either. She agreed there should have been something on the website at booking. A gesture was made by her to offer us free breakfast in the morning to which I accepted and it was case closed as far as I was concerned. I was tired and wanted to go to bed. I couldnt really be annoyed at her as she said she was dealing with lots of complaints.

Anyway the next morning we woke up early and made our way to breakfast. I have to say they did put on a good spread so was happy enough in the end.

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Im sure this is nice in the Summer .

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Back up to the room and some nice views for sure .

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As it turned out our flight did make it from LHR but who could have known. At least we got a good nights sleep.

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User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13641 times:

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Soon it was time to head to the Airport to were our Costa Reps were to meet us and take us to the Port.

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We arrived with time to spare so we had a stroll around.

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Sad to see . I used to fly these from DUB-ATH Via Milan.

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Soon it was time to meet the Reps and we boarded the transfer bus for the one hour journey to the Port of Rome. Soon enough we arrived and having priority boarding we boarded the ship. I have to say the staff were all very friendly from transfer to check in to boarding.


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13657 times:

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Our ship for the next week.

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We made our way to our stateroom and I have to say we were pleased with the choice. A bright and airy room with private balcony.

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Our dining request for a particular restaurant had been granted also.



Smart pass cards for opening the stateroom/charging to our accounts/ getting on and off the ship. Also safety drill cards to be handed in at the safety demo.

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After un packing it was time to tour the ship.

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User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 5, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13629 times:

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zpsa721f7f1.jpg

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zpsb4f77007.jpg

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps1a3e1f6e.jpg

If Pizza is your thing this was not bad at all.

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zpscaaf5c43.jpg

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On every cruise ship I go on I always have a place where I like to chill with a coffee and cake. This did not dissapoint as this became my favourite place. Coupled with a friendly waitress from Barbados who looked after Mark and I for the week .

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This nightclub was never that busy at night apart from Kids/Teens. It amazed me how many Kids were on the ship during school term time !! I guess some Families dont mind their Kids loosing school time. Was always a No No in my Family.

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps030b57ca.jpg


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 6, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13600 times:

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps38e05a39.jpg

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps9a593dfe.jpg

What else on an Italian ship but a Catholic Church.



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The first coffee and cake. Drizzled under the Choc fountain  http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps691af505.jpg

We decided to try out the shows which were before Dinner. They were quite good compared to how I remember them before on previous Costa ships. The languages were Italian English French German which can get a bit much after a while especially when they all run into each other and you cant make out which is which .

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Our first night we went to dinner and had a table by ourselves assigned. We were introduce to our lovely waiter from the Phillipines Marvin. He looked after us so well over the week and we had a few laughs too. Mark does not like certain foods and they really excelled in trying to accomodate this which was nice.

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After Dinner it was time to get some rest as the next day was our first stop in Savona .


SAVONA - ITALY

Arriving into Savona it was cold and raining but this did not put us off we decided to go ashore and look around.

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After of course having a nice breakfast.

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User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 7, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13582 times:



http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps90f5d461.jpg

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After a while we had had enough and decided to head back to the ship. By this time it was icy cold and snow was threatening to fall. We thought Savona was ok but nothing special.

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps36795a97.jpg

As we got on we passed this show room. Some Italian agents were onboard having a ship visit. Not bad for an outside.

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Costa offer a free room service menu to certain types of balcony staterooms. The description sounded better than the actual quality . I ordered a few things but it was just ok nothing amazing.



The rest of the day I went to the Spa which was really nice. Lots of steam rooms and hydrotherapy pools, aroma showers etc... I have to say that was Cota cruises strong point. Mark meanwhile went to the gym. It was weird laying in the relax area ''Winter Garden'' drinking Green tea and watching it snowing ourside.

The next day it was Marseille. I had heard mixed reports from people that say they hate it to people that say they love it so I was looking forward to making my own mind up.

MARSEILLE - FRANCE


Weather wise not a great day . Lots of rain but later in the day it brightened up and was pleasant. Lots of building work around the port and outer city areas. I did find a lovely French bakery with fresh Pain Au Chocolat.

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User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13562 times:

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Soon it was time to head back to the ship. I have to say I liked Marseille and would certainly go back sometime.

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Out on deck and some plane spotting  http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps4d8dc7cf.jpg

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A day at sea and a leisurely breakfast.

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User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13546 times:

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps87162bf5.jpg

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A decent burger from the grill.



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Another coffee break.



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Cold sea at night .



http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps43f75083.jpg

The next port of call was one of my favourites and my 16th time to this wonderful city.


BARCELONA - CATALONIA

A nice welcome to Barcelona  http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps23c8e05b.jpg

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zpsebf16c33.jpg

And another  http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps48d50dd6.jpg

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As soon as we docked it was time to get off to explore the city. I know my way around so it was going to be an easy day . Mark and I wanted to clothes shop so it was time to see the main sights then go to Massimo Dutti.

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http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps6921f51a.jpg

A must everytime Im in town.


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 10, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13520 times:

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps097fda64.jpg

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http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps617618f8.jpg

Time to shop and the 50% sales were great   Some nice shirts / Jumpers and aftershaves were bought.

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zpsab7d9d26.jpg

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zpsf7d11b87.jpg

Time to visit the Nespresso store. I got myself a new glass set and we both had coffee. Mark also had his first Nespresso.

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zpsb20fc8ae.jpg

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Some nice ice cream. Gotta love the Kinder one .

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zpsb531b003.jpg

Time to head back to the ship . Chavi Tours   lol...

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zpsf342cce6.jpg

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http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps1b89efff.jpg

Time for some spotting on top deck. So many times we see pics in TRs of from the air looking down and now this is the other way around  http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps796ae494.jpg

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps52ec243f.jpg

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So time to leave Barcelona it had been a wonderful day and the weather even played ball. Next up Palma - Majorca.


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13506 times:

PALMA - MAJORCA


We arrived with a lovely sunrise. I had never been before so was looking forward to this port.

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http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps2bd9ad51.jpg

I have to say I loved Palma. So many nice streets to stroll around with nice shops and cafes.


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 12, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13492 times:

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zpsc68bb783.jpg





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Back to the ship .

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps60e96823.jpg

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zpsf6d7c760.jpg

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zpsc6ff9c36.jpg

Never far from some overhead activity.


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 13, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13482 times:

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps8e7332af.jpg

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Bye bye Palma.

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps30209a8b.jpg

Trying out the room service. Like I said before ok but nothing special. The crisps were the nicest thing !!

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zpsa7d47e02.jpg

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Next was Cagliari .


CAGLIARI - SARDINIA


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This was the damage to the ship that was covered over after crashing into the port at Marseille.

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps4c5964c2.jpg

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This was it when it happened :



Time to see the city .

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zpsead53f9a.jpg

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps0add9f79.jpg


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 14, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13484 times:

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zpsac7803d5.jpg

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Must be AZ !!

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User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13468 times:

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps1a45b3b3.jpg



http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps992077c4.jpg

We then found a lovely place to have coffee and cake. Mostly locals and always the best places.

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On the way back to the ship we came across this ! Weird .

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Time to leave after a lovely day and quite impressed with the place.

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps762a34bc.jpg

Cocktail party ,photo with the Cpt . Not my thing so we didnt attend .

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Tiramisu and Ice cream was lovely  http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zps98f6ffbb.jpg

The next and last port of call was Palermo .


PALERMO - SICILY


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The weather as with other places rained but brightened up later. Lots of Pakistani guys on hand to sell everyone umbrella's.


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 16, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13494 times:

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/COSTA/file_zpsea45dca8.jpg

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Cute dog . Also we witnessed a postman delivering in the neighbourhood. He put the mail in a basket dropped down by the residents who then pulled it back up. Neat system.

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Time to head back to the ship. I loved Palermo I have to say . The old decaying streets had character.

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A nice view from the balcony . Next stop Rome and the end of the cruise.

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The next morning we got up had breakfast and disembarked the ship. The week had flown. Disembarkation was quick and efficient. Our transfer bus was waiting to take us back to FCO.

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Nice adverts by Aegean .

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DATE: 25JAN2013
AIRLINE: BRITISH AIRWAYS
ROUTE: FCO - LHR
CLASS: ECONOMY
AIRCRAFT: AIRBUS A320
REG: ? - ????
SEAT: 27 A C


We approached check in but they would not check us in until the exact time of two hours before. Even though they were sitting there doing nothing. The staff took ages to do anything and were very lazy. Even a request for a seat number change was met with a sigh.

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Time to head to the BA lounge.

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After a while in the lounge it was time to head to the gate. The BA lounge does a great Cappuchino I must say. Mark agreed too.

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Priority boarding commenced so we made our way onboard.

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Boarding completed we made our way to the runway .

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After take off crew began the service.

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More wraps .

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Mark got himself a model.

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The flight passed quickly and soon time to land into a randomly snowy England.

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User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 17, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13447 times:

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We disembarked the aircraft and made our way to flight connections to Terminal 1 .



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DATE: 25JAN2013
AIRLINE: BRITISH AIRWAYS
ROUTE: LHR - BHD
CLASS: ECONOMY
AIRCRAFT: AIRBUS A320
REG: ? - ????
SEAT: 29 D F



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A short time to relax in the BA Domestic lounge.

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Then it was time to head to the gate for boarding.

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Bad choice it seems . Sorry Mark   Maybe others should take note and beware.

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Boarding was completed and we made our way to the runway to take off.

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After take off snacks were handed out with drinks.

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A short hop to Belfast and soon we landed and disembarked thanking the crew.

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One last shot .

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So thats the end of the report folks . Thanks so much for reading this far. I know it was long. I really enjoyed this week away despite the weather.

Costa cruise's were ok . For a cheap week away they provided a decent product. I rate them 3 star Family fun ships. Food not gourmet but you will always find something to suit. Personally some of the Italian food was very boring 4 days in and I craved something different like a Chinese or Curry / Middle Eastern food etc... Still for what was paid I would not hesitate to go again. The Concordia disaster has had its impact though both on pricing and the crew. One crew member said the morale had gone to hell and its not the line it was. Hopefully they can get their company back on track with the help of decent management skills.

Mark I really enjoyed your company as usual.   Never thought Id convert you to Cappuchinos/cruise ships and Massimo Dutti but I did it LOL..   Glad your Mum loved the Bvlgari perfume I recommended. You cant go wrong with that brand !

To all my Anet friends and TR readers I look forward to hearing your replies and appreciate them all.


Kind regards

Philip / OA260  


User currently offlineN172DM From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 115 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 12901 times:

Awesome report. Unfortunately, a few of the pictures didn't load due to my terrible internet connection, but I still enjoyed it very much. Thanks a lot for taking the time to make a long and detailed report. Almost makes me feel like I went along with you!

Keep the TRs coming!

N172DM



And in the world, a heart of darkness... -U2
User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 12366 times:

Wow very cool....

I honestly always thought that cruise ships were just for family's with kids ('cuz the parents can let them loose since they can't get "lost" on a ship) and really OLD people...

Glad to see other age groups can enjoy cruises too!


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 20, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 12228 times:

Quoting N172DM (Reply 18):

Hi and thanks alot for the reply. I know it was rather long and thanks for your patience. Im glad you enjoyed.

Quoting Burj (Reply 19):

Hey thanks for the reply. Thats what alot of people think but these days there is a cruise ship for all tastes and age groups and even the more conservative brands seem to attract a whole range.


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 21, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 12159 times:

Hey Philip


Great report about the Costa Cruise, will be embarking a cruise boat in Belgium on saturday (only for a few hours tough).
This report really warmed me up herefore.
BA doenst look bad neither

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineAndriyko From Ukraine, joined Jan 2007, 49 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 12123 times:

Fantastic report and pictures! Thanks so much for taking the time to post it!

User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 23, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 12103 times:

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 21):
Hey Philip

Hey Marc  
Quoting MSS658 (Reply 21):
Great report about the Costa Cruise, will be embarking a cruise boat in Belgium on saturday (only for a few hours tough).
This report really warmed me up herefore.
BA doenst look bad neither

Thanks for the reply. Oh sounds interesting what one is it? Look forward to seeing some pics on FB. Yes BA did a good job no issues there.

Quoting Andriyko (Reply 22):
Fantastic report and pictures! Thanks so much for taking the time to post it!

Thank for the kind words its much appreciated and Im glad you enjoyed the report. It did take alot of time to put together but I feel it was worth the time.  


User currently offlinegpbcroppers63 From Ireland, joined Jan 2008, 519 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 12046 times:

Excellent report again Philip. I very much enjoyed reading about your fab trip with Mark.

Costa cruises (no apostrophe in the plural    ) seem how I would expect them to be. A little "fur coat no knickers" for my liking but if the price is right then you can't go wrong!

Was MSC Splendida following you by the way?  

Thanks again for sharing.



According to one of my colleagues, my problem is that I'm addicted to travel!
User currently offlineToulouse From Switzerland, joined Apr 2005, 2758 posts, RR: 58
Reply 25, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 11631 times:

As usual Philip, a truly enjoyable TR to read and view (your great selection of photos).

Palma looks really nice. It's always on my list of places to visit, I really must go soon. And I see they have a nice looking Nespresso boutique there too!

I've never been attracted to the idea of going on a cruise, but I must say that reading your reviews does tempt me to try one out.

Anyway, thanks for the TR Philip



Long live Aer Lingus!
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 26, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 11588 times:

Quoting gpbcroppers63 (Reply 24):
Excellent report again Philip. I very much enjoyed reading about your fab trip with Mark.

Hi Gareth and thanks for the reply. We did indeed have a good trip.

Quoting gpbcroppers63 (Reply 24):
Costa cruises (no apostrophe in the plural    )

Glad your spell checker is better than mine  
Quoting gpbcroppers63 (Reply 24):
A little "fur coat no knickers" for my liking but if the price is right then you can't go wrong!

Indeed for that price it was worth the downgrade. Mind you the pizza would have been ok for you but for me it was forgettable.

Quoting gpbcroppers63 (Reply 24):
Was MSC Splendida following you by the way?  

Yes seemed so .  
Quoting Toulouse (Reply 25):
As usual Philip, a truly enjoyable TR to read and view (your great selection of photos).

Hi thanks for the reply and hope all is well.

Quoting Toulouse (Reply 25):
Palma looks really nice. It's always on my list of places to visit, I really must go soon. And I see they have a nice looking Nespresso boutique there too!

It really was nice and I would deffo go back to it .

Quoting Toulouse (Reply 25):
I've never been attracted to the idea of going on a cruise, but I must say that reading your reviews does tempt me to try one out.

Allot of people say that but once they get onboard they change their minds. You must choose the right one though. Id recommend NCL/Celebrity for your first one.


User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2990 posts, RR: 37
Reply 27, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 11230 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Very nice TR... Looks like you had a great time!

Having just gotten off a cruise myself on a cousin of the Pacifica (Carnival Valor), it's funny to see the similarities between the ships.(The Concordia class is a modified Conquest class which includes the Valor)... Same card holders, same lighting, same atrium layout, same style lighted signs...

Never seen those Drill cards though on any of my cruises, is it a Costa thing? The 2 cruises I've done since the Concordia (One on Ruby Princess and the just came back from one on the Valor) did not have those for sure.



Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 26
Reply 28, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 11079 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Hi Philip,

Thank you very much for an excellent trip report and also the awesome collection of photographs. I enjoyed it very much!

Take care and have a great evening,

SA7700



When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
User currently offlineJambost From Ireland, joined Jun 2010, 250 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 11064 times:

Hi Philip,

Another great read, thanks for your time to upload it. My phone nearly choked to death downading the pictures!

Have you ever tried a cruise up north through the Noregian fjords? Truly spectacular scenery which has lured me towards doing a little research.

As always I look forward to your next TR like many others.  

- James



1APR14 Ireland Direct, 3 A380-9LR,Equiped Irish Bar & Casino. All Y+ seating. Serving DUB-PER-SYD/MEL
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 30, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 11016 times:

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 27):
Very nice TR... Looks like you had a great time!

Hi many thanks for reading and replying. Yes we had a great time . I rarely dont to be honest. Even when things go wrong you just make the best of it but no major complaints really here.

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 27):
Having just gotten off a cruise myself on a cousin of the Pacifica (Carnival Valor), it's funny to see the similarities between the ships.(The Concordia class is a modified Conquest class which includes the Valor)... Same card holders, same lighting, same atrium layout, same style lighted signs...

Interesting I have never been on a Carnival ship and less likely now they just pulled out of Europe for 2014!! Its causing them alot of hassle. I know what you mean though about similar ships. I have been on a few and when onboard you think something is missing where you saw it on another ship  
Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 27):
Never seen those Drill cards though on any of my cruises, is it a Costa thing? The 2 cruises I've done since the Concordia (One on Ruby Princess and the just came back from one on the Valor) did not have those for sure.

I have only seen that on Costa to be honest. Their system is different because of their hop on hop off nature. You had people getting on and off at all ports basically. I did not like that concept as you got to know someone for a day or two then they were leaving and the dining room was like a merry go round. We had to be at a lounge area at a certain time and they showed a safety video on a projector. It was all very hurried and I felt not as good as other lines.

You were on Ruby Princess ( Princess Cruises ) ? I was on the Caribbean Princess a few weeks back and loved it. They seem to offer a good product and great food. I would love to sail on them for my personal holiday sometime.

Quoting SA7700 (Reply 28):
Thank you very much for an excellent trip report and also the awesome collection of photographs. I enjoyed it very much!

Thank you very much for the reply much appreciated. I know lots of photos and was hard to limit them down so just went with it   Im glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting SA7700 (Reply 28):
Take care and have a great evening,

You too and thanks again  


User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4253 posts, RR: 51
Reply 31, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 10783 times:

Hey Philip, great report. Tons of good pics, giving a nice idea of the cruise and your time along side. That Costa ship looks good to me, though I'm sure you had better ones before. For me, any of these size cruises would impress me a lot, since I never took one so far.

Good work, waiting for your next sailing now  

Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2990 posts, RR: 37
Reply 32, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 10742 times:
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Quoting OA260 (Reply 30):
You were on Ruby Princess ( Princess Cruises ) ? I was on the Caribbean Princess a few weeks back and loved it. They seem to offer a good product and great food. I would love to sail on them for my personal holiday sometime.

The Ruby was ok... but that cruise was complicated considering I got married on it and all  

Honestly the food was great, the ship was nice, but our service was abysmal... 3 hours the first night in the dinning room. Wedding added alot of complications timewise so I didn't have time to enjoy everything...

Also the Ruby is used as Princess' training ship so service can vary greatly...


But we are going on another Princess for the new year, this time the Sapphire Princess out of LA.

I will be posting my own trip report for the Valor cruise soon... I'm still dumping SD cards  



Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 33, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10604 times:

Quoting Jambost (Reply 29):
Another great read, thanks for your time to upload it. My phone nearly choked to death downading the pictures!

Hi James   Thanks for the reply. Hope your phone recovered  
Quoting Jambost (Reply 29):
Have you ever tried a cruise up north through the Noregian fjords? Truly spectacular scenery which has lured me towards doing a little research.

Yes some years ago I went with my Cousin in Celebrity Century which is a fab ship for this kind of cruise. I loved it so much and the scenary was amazing. I have also done the Hurtigruten North Lights cruise.

Here are a few pics :

Century Fjords cruise :


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Hurtigruten Northern Lights :



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Quoting Jambost (Reply 29):
As always I look forward to your next TR like many others.  

Thanks finally starting to clear the backlog.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 31):
Hey Philip, great report. Tons of good pics, giving a nice idea of the cruise and your time along side. That Costa ship looks good to me, though I'm sure you had better ones before. For me, any of these size cruises would impress me a lot, since I never took one so far.

Good work, waiting for your next sailing now  

Hey Eric   Thanks glad you liked them. I forgot you didnt get on one yet I know you were looking at NCL once. Hopefully you will get on one soon as I know you would really enjoy it.   You would also get some really good photos with your camera.

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 32):
The Ruby was ok... but that cruise was complicated considering I got married on it and all  

Honestly the food was great, the ship was nice, but our service was abysmal... 3 hours the first night in the dinning room. Wedding added alot of complications timewise so I didn't have time to enjoy everything...

Arr ok I see. Congratulations BTW .  
Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 32):
Also the Ruby is used as Princess' training ship so service can vary greatly...

Never knew that thanks for the heads up . Princess is going to move towards a more independent branding. At the moment they feel its the 3rd brand after P&O , Cunard . They are going to be focusing alot on seperate media and marketing to highlight their brand. Some amazing deals at the moment. They had 12 nights around the Med for June for GBP£599 in a balcony !! Amazing .

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 32):
I will be posting my own trip report for the Valor cruise soon... I'm still dumping SD cards  

Looking forward to that . Dont hold back on the tons of pics  


User currently offlineLHRBFSTrident From UK - Northern Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 655 posts, RR: 0
Reply 34, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 9783 times:

Bravo Phillip on another fab TR - just when I had finally got used to the fact that the BA Shuttle of my childhood was never coming back - here they are buying up bmi and committing to BHD...odd how the 'unthinkable' (BCal, Dan Air, bmi) keeps happening   

Nespresso should cut you a check for all the good PR you do for them - it'll be my office's next machine (I get to decide!)

I think I enjoy your Cruise TRs more than actually going - I've only been on RC, 4 times, but because it was incentive travel connected to work, I was surrounded by all the muppets from the office I'm usually happy to see the back of on Fridays...plus I end up doing all the organizing: dinner seating plans, distribution of giveaways, photography co-ordination...

now maybe if it wasn't always Ensenada, I'd feel differently!



Next up: LAX-LHR NZ002 Y SkyCouch! LHR-LAX NZ001 Y
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 35, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 9407 times:

Quoting LHRBFSTrident (Reply 34):
Bravo Phillip on another fab TR

Hi thanks for reading and replying  
Quoting LHRBFSTrident (Reply 34):
just when I had finally got used to the fact that the BA Shuttle of my childhood was never coming back - here they are buying up bmi and committing to BHD...odd how the 'unthinkable' (BCal, Dan Air, bmi) keeps happening   

Oh I know its weird how its gone full circle. Great to see BA back though especially for me . I used to commute to LHR on the old BA Super Shuttle from BFS. Those were the days   BHD for me is better also coming from the South using public transport. I like the train so very handy.

Quoting LHRBFSTrident (Reply 34):
I think I enjoy your Cruise TRs more than actually going -

Well if I had to do all that then I would think the same. I hate having to organise people and make sure they are where they are supposed to be. Been there done that and dont intend to take it on again  
Quoting LHRBFSTrident (Reply 34):
Nespresso should cut you a check for all the good PR you do for them - it'll be my office's next machine (I get to decide!)

Good stuff . I have the Lattisima and I recommend it if your big into your Latte and Cappuccinos.

http://www.nespresso.com/lattissima/?l=jp_en

I paid the extra and got the Silver one. I was over at my Mums a few weeks back and woke up one morning and switched hers on and it had given up. Now it was a good few years old so had its life. You can imagine my shock and without my morning fix I dont function well   So off I went to Knightsbridge to the Nespresso Boutique and bought her a new one. She thought I was mad but I cant be without it   There was an offer for GBP50 free coffee which they applied in store so didnt feel so bad. I would check to see if they have same in your local one.


User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7084 posts, RR: 12
Reply 36, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 9319 times:

Great pics from the cruise, looks awesome. Thanks for sharing

User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 37, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 9188 times:

Quoting ZKSUJ (Reply 36):
Great pics from the cruise, looks awesome. Thanks for sharing

Thanks   Your welcome glad you liked it .  


User currently offlinemdavies06 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2009, 381 posts, RR: 0
Reply 38, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 9118 times:

Wow Philip. Thanks again for a great and long TR. Lots of nice pics!

I should do one of these cruises around the Med sometimes. How much did you pay? (sorry if you have mentioned it already)


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 39, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 9093 times:

Quoting mdavies06 (Reply 38):
Wow Philip. Thanks again for a great and long TR. Lots of nice pics!

Hi thanks  
Quoting mdavies06 (Reply 38):
I should do one of these cruises around the Med sometimes. How much did you pay? (sorry if you have mentioned it already)

No I didnt mention it but you could have been excused for missing it with all the above LOL... It was GBP199 all in for a balcony including transfers from FCO to port of Rome. It was on their Lux package which meant being able to have free room service and priority dining table selection. As you can see it was a no brainer to go on it  


User currently offlineeicvd From Ireland, joined Mar 2008, 2146 posts, RR: 4
Reply 40, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8902 times:

Hi Philip  
Thanks for posting this excellent report, all those brilliant photo's really bring back great memories of one of my best & most memorable trips away, really was worth the wait to read it  

Those missing registrations were G-EUYJ (LHR-FCO), G-EUYG (FCO-LHR) & G-MEDK (LHR-BHD). Really enjoyed my first flights with BA, I definitely noticed the difference in class after mostly flying with BD, EI & FR in the past. I was quite impressed with the BA lounges too, wouldn't mind visiting the T5 lounge again someday  

Was great to visit many new places on the trip aswel, Savona & Palermo were not as exciting as the other stops but were quite nice all the same, the poor weather those days obviously didn't help. At least in Palma I got to be the "tour guide" for a change  

I really appreciated the effort the waiter made in the restaurant to accommodate my taste, being such a fussy eater I was always worried about the hassle I was going to cause ha. The very friendly waitress in the chocolate bar onboard the ship was a positive too  
Quoting OA260 (Reply 20):
Bad choice it seems . Sorry Mark   Maybe others should take note and beware.

Not to worry, sure it was probably the least exciting flight of the trip   Anyway we had something else to keep us "entertained" during that short delay  
Quoting OA260 (Reply 20):
Mark I really enjoyed your company as usual.

Thanks for the compliment, was a pleasure to be asked along & enjoyed your company as always too  
Quoting OA260 (Reply 20):
Never thought Id convert you to Cappuchinos/cruise ships and Massimo Dutti but I did it LOL..

Never thought id be converted to a cappuccino or cruise fan either! haha. That cozy little cafe in Cagliari was definitely the right place to have my first cappucino & the BA lounge in FCO sure did a nice one, havn't had many as nice as that since I came home  
Quoting OA260 (Reply 20):
Glad your Mum loved the Bvlgari perfume I recommended. You cant go wrong with that brand !

Thanks again for your help that day, she sure did appreciate it   I wish I had you to help me the last day too! The confused look on my face drew attention from the store attendant ha.

Quoting Burj (Reply 19):
I honestly always thought that cruise ships were just for family's with kids ('cuz the parents can let them loose since they can't get "lost" on a ship) and really OLD people...

I always thought that myself until I went on this cruise, I was quite surprised at the profile of the other passengers.

Quoting Toulouse (Reply 25):
I've never been attracted to the idea of going on a cruise, but I must say that reading your reviews does tempt me to try one out.

To be honest I had never any intention of going on a cruise either until I was kindly asked by Philip if I would have liked to join him & I would definitely recommend going on one.

Look forward to your next reports Philip  


User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1652 posts, RR: 30
Reply 41, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 8674 times:
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Hi Phil, how's you doing?

Thanks for this extensive picturesque journey report. BA delivering you service as solid as a rock and good to see plenty of mighty good looking AZ birds, the Mad Dog and oh yes, the sexy retrojet as well. And the OS retrojet, ouch...!
You know about boats err... ships are not my cup of tea but I'm glad you had yourself a good and cheap week off cruising the Med!

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
We were both hungry so we decided to get something from the cafe.

Fish and chips lol!

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
He said that normally there would be a fee but given the circumstances he thought it was wise

Good to see this staff member was quite easy going or did you wave your Gold card  

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
Time for one of my favourite things about the F Lounge. The Champs bar.

Did you have the whole bottle  Wow!

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
Not the nicest place.

Rome Fiumicino airport for you... 

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offline817Dreamliiner From Montserrat, joined Jul 2008, 2181 posts, RR: 1
Reply 42, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 8512 times:

Hi Phillip

Nice report! and a rather long one too. Makes me want to go on a cruise again! oh well... Thanks for sharing this, was an interesting read  Though, the last few pics didn't show up for me...



Reality be Rent. Synapse, break! Vanishment, This World!
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 43, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 8146 times:

Quoting eicvd (Reply 40):
Hi Philip  

Hey Mark  
Quoting eicvd (Reply 40):
Thanks for posting this excellent report, all those brilliant photo's really bring back great memories of one of my best & most memorable trips away, really was worth the wait to read it  

Thanks and Im glad you enjoyed it and it brought back those fab memories. It really was a lovely week.

Quoting eicvd (Reply 40):
Those missing registrations were G-EUYJ (LHR-FCO), G-EUYG (FCO-LHR) & G-MEDK (LHR-BHD). Really enjoyed my first flights with BA, I definitely noticed the difference in class after mostly flying with BD, EI & FR in the past. I was quite impressed with the BA lounges too, wouldn't mind visiting the T5 lounge again someday  

Thanks for the Regs. Also thanks for all the other info you provided along the way. Your knowledge of even the minor details always amazes me. Never met anyone with such a memory and attention to detail with regards to everything aviation.  
Quoting eicvd (Reply 40):
Savona & Palermo were not as exciting as the other stops but were quite nice all the same, the poor weather those days obviously didn't help. At least in Palma I got to be the "tour guide" for a change  

Yes I agree . And thanks for being the tour guide in Palma. It was nice for me to have a day off  
Quoting eicvd (Reply 40):
I really appreciated the effort the waiter made in the restaurant to accommodate my taste, being such a fussy eater I was always worried about the hassle I was going to cause ha. The very friendly waitress in the chocolate bar onboard the ship was a positive too  

They really went the extra mile those two. A credit to Costa. I hope they are appreciated by the company also.

Quoting eicvd (Reply 40):
Never thought id be converted to a cappuccino or cruise fan either! haha. That cozy little cafe in Cagliari was definitely the right place to have my first cappucino & the BA lounge in FCO sure did a nice one, havn't had many as nice as that since I came home  

Yes we covered some new things and Im sure I can introduce you to some more exotic cuisine  
Quoting eicvd (Reply 40):
Thanks again for your help that day, she sure did appreciate it  

No probs its your Mum so you have to get her the best.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 41):
Hi Phil, how's you doing?

Hello Nils my friend  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 41):
You know about boats err

SHIPS lol.... You would love it if you got onboard.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 41):
Fish and chips lol!

Yes you should try sometime  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 41):
Good to see this staff member was quite easy going or did you wave your Gold card  

Yes they were very helpful. No need to show card it was on the BP the status and in the booking system.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 41):
Did you have the whole bottle  

No just half . I am not too much of a drinker so a few glasses and Im done. Thats all I can handle LOL

Quoting sultanils (Reply 41):
Rome Fiumicino airport for you... 

Yes it needs to be knocked down and re built.

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 42):
Nice report! and a rather long one too. Makes me want to go on a cruise again! oh well... Thanks for sharing this, was an interesting read  Though, the last few pics didn't show up for me...

Thanks   Yes you cant beat the cruise ships. Sorry the last pics didnt load. I know there has been a huge draw of bandwidth on my PB account so it may be playing up a bit.


User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1447 posts, RR: 33
Reply 44, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 7831 times:

Hi Philip,

I’m so hungry after reading your report. They usually have that effect on me!

A good decision to spend a few days in slightly warmers climes. I especially enjoyed your photos of Palma, such a lovely city in my opinion. The market in Barcelona looks great too! As for Costa, the interior looks a bit too Las Vegas-like for my taste, even the chapel is a bit too bright & cheery.

Shame about the problems you encountered at the Marriott, very bad that you couldn’t even get a snack in the hotel.

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
After that we made our way via Fast Track lane to airside. We were both hungry so we decided to get something from the cafe.

Fish, chips & mushy peas. Something I miss so much in Switzerland.

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
Once airbourne the crew came around with the usual drinks and snacks.

Mmmh, the cookies!

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
The famous BA Burger . Went down a treat .

I love the cute ketchup & mayo pots.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 16):
We approached check in but they would not check us in until the exact time of two hours before. Even though they were sitting there doing nothing. The staff took ages to do anything and were very lazy. Even a request for a seat number change was met with a sigh.

That’s awful!

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 45, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7538 times:

Quoting infodesk (Reply 44):
Hi Philip,

Hi Hannah  
Quoting infodesk (Reply 44):
I’m so hungry after reading your report. They usually have that effect on me!

Haha yes never read on an empty stomach  
Quoting infodesk (Reply 44):
I especially enjoyed your photos of Palma, such a lovely city in my opinion

Thanks yes its a lovely place. Alot nicer than I thought it would be.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 44):
As for Costa, the interior looks a bit too Las Vegas-like for my taste, even the chapel is a bit too bright & cheery.

Yes very true . Not my taste to be honest but tolerable for the 7 nights cheapo deal when your off everyday. The Italian cruise lines seem to like this style though. MSC was the same.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 44):
Shame about the problems you encountered at the Marriott, very bad that you couldn’t even get a snack in the hotel.

Indeed , dont charge full price when your hotel is having issues and things are closed down. At least put up an honest warning so you can decide.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 44):
Fish, chips & mushy peas. Something I miss so much in Switzerland.

Haha well loads of that here but rare for me to eat these days.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 44):
I love the cute ketchup & mayo pots.

Yes I did too very cute.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 44):
That’s awful!

Well I guess if you go knowing the drill at FCO then you kind of shrug your shoulders and expect in. ''When in Rome'' and all that  


User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 959 posts, RR: 0
Reply 46, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7349 times:

Another great detailed report as always! Thanks for sharing and taking the time to produce it!

User currently offlinerogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1197 posts, RR: 20
Reply 47, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7001 times:

Hola Philip!

Great to see this report on line, as usual a pleasure to read and look at the pictures.

I really enjoy the way you write and comment on the cruise, it looks like food lovers paradise, I cannot go on one and gain some pounds , I tend to eat with my eyes so I would need to concentrate a lot to refrain from eating the whole day... I do not know if I could resist the temptation.

I liked the pictures of the different cities you visited, some more familiar than others... Be sure to save some extra time on your 17th visit to BCN  

It is clear that some do, while some others don't, speaking about the BA agents at LHR and FCO, very different attitudes on the same company, I think they need a dealing with customers course there.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 48, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 6872 times:

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 46):
Another great detailed report as always! Thanks for sharing and taking the time to produce it!

Hey Robert thanks and Im glad you enjoyed it  
Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 47):
Hola Philip!

Hola Roger  
Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 47):
Great to see this report on line, as usual a pleasure to read and look at the pictures.

Thanks alot  
Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 47):
I really enjoy the way you write and comment on the cruise, it looks like food lovers paradise, I cannot go on one and gain some pounds , I tend to eat with my eyes so I would need to concentrate a lot to refrain from eating the whole day... I do not know if I could resist the temptation.

Thanks I try to make it as in depth as possible as people like to see the minor details that you dont get in the brochures from the cruise lines. Well I try to keep a balance and do not eat everything and pace myself. When I first did a cruise it was very hard to no over eat.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 47):
I liked the pictures of the different cities you visited, some more familiar than others... Be sure to save some extra time on your 17th visit to BCN  

Yes cant believe I have been so many times to Barcelona. Always enjoy it and never get tired of it.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 47):
It is clear that some do, while some others don't, speaking about the BA agents at LHR and FCO, very different attitudes on the same company, I think they need a dealing with customers course there.

Indeed. Simple requests seem to be a task for them.


User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1246 posts, RR: 4
Reply 49, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 6197 times:

Hi Philip, great detail as usual - felt like I was there!

Seem to remember your relief when BA let you go for the earlier flights, although that hotel doesn't sound too great. Guess thats the problem when you have to book hotels without any research like that though. Thankfully I've only had to do that the once, and it was one quite a few a.netters had reported on so knew the deal!

The ship looks pretty good, as do the stop overs en-route. And I liked all the food pics! Very tasty looking!!

BA looked like your typical BA really - reliable without being overly special. Those wraps bring back memories of my LCA-LHR sector late last year!

Looking forward to your next instalment!



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlinepalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Reply 50, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 6175 times:

Super report P

Loved all the enroute pics of all the stops. Nice to get a cruise and flight combination again.

I also loved Palma - it's a great city even just for a weekend break. We found a couple of great places to eat as well, including one place selling Majorcan snails floating around in chicken gizzards. Apparently a local delicacy.. I skipped that one.

Glad that there were no weather delays on your outbound flight too - good thinking to try and get there earlier in case of snow. We all know how London grinds to a halt when there is a slight dusting of snow!

Thanks again P/jet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlinemad99 From Spain, joined Mar 2012, 527 posts, RR: 0
Reply 51, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5489 times:

Thanks for taking the time to post your trip!

Do you see many kids on board?

all the best


User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1118 posts, RR: 4
Reply 52, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5012 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello there Phillip  

Finally got to reading this report, another great one with many many nice pictures!
Looks like you had a fantastic week away on the ship despite the weather. BA looks like the usual, well done!

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
Im sure it will come of no surprise that this is another Cruise one

Very true  
Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
After a while boarding was called with direct boarding from the lounge.

That is a nice feature!

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
Boarding was completed and we made our way to the runway to take off.

Doesn't look like a very heavy load..

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
I explained our case and asked if he would consider the request. He said that normally there would be a fee but given the circumstances he thought it was wise and another two less to deal with in the morning should the worse happen. Soon enough he took our bags and gave us our boarding passes and we were on the last flight. We thanked him very mcuh and made our way to the First Class lounge.

That's what I call customer service!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 1):
I had got online and booked the Courtyard by Marriott at FCO.

Shame to hear it was such a dissapointment.. Hope the managers can set things straight there!

Thanks once again for sharing and for yet another enjoyable report  

Cheers!

Brendan


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 53, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5010 times:

Hi Philip,

very nice report abour your latest cruise ship test! These ship interiors are amazing and the food looks great!


PH

[Edited 2013-06-10 09:57:23]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6491 posts, RR: 55
Reply 54, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4737 times:

Hi Philip!

Very nice report with nice pictures !

Flights seem nice; standard BA fair.

The ship seems amazing like most modern cruise ships.

Very nice pictures from the land excursions!

Looking forward to your next report!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offline797 From Venezuela, joined Aug 2005, 1891 posts, RR: 27
Reply 55, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4695 times:

Hello there!

Nice report. I wouldn't go on a Costa Cruise, I have read numerous times they lost all the class they had. That's too bad, but Capt. Schettino ruined it for everyone!

Looks like you had the same craphole experience I had when I stayed at that "Marriott". It's one of the only times I have sent an official complaint to Marriott's headquarters flaming the inefficiency, mole odor in the rooms, dirty showers (more mole!), disgusting carpets, rude attitude from ALL staff members, and perhaps the thinnest walls I had ever slept within. That hotel should be burned to the ground.

Regarding Fiumi-shit-no, what can I say. It's the worst airport in Europe. I just moved out of Rome and couldn't be happier not to have to go through there as often as I did, although tomorrow I'm flying back up there and I'm hoping my bags don't take centuries to come out and everything goes smooth. I've had my number of unpleasant experiences in that airport.

Anyhow, I'm glad you had fun mate. Looks like fun for a few bucks.

797



Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 56, posted (1 year 1 month 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4086 times:

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 49):
Hi Philip, great detail as usual - felt like I was there!

Hey James thanks for the reply glad you liked it and yes the earlier flight was good  
Quoting palmjet (Reply 50):
Super report P

Loved all the enroute pics of all the stops. Nice to get a cruise and flight combination again.

Thanks and yes deffo a good combo for me  
Quoting mad99 (Reply 51):
Do you see many kids on board?

There were more than I expected but not lots to make if crazy  
Quoting adamspotter (Reply 52):
Hello there Phillip

Hey Brendan  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 53):
very nice report abour your latest cruise ship test! These ship interiors are amazing and the food looks great!

Yes was nice . Not as good as my recent one on Royal Princess but still nice.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 54):
Very nice report with nice pictures !

Flights seem nice; standard BA fair.

The ship seems amazing like most modern cruise ships.

Very nice pictures from the land excursions!

Many thanks for the reply. Yes nice for a 3 star category is how I would rate them.

Quoting 797 (Reply 55):
Nice report. I wouldn't go on a Costa Cruise, I have read numerous times they lost all the class they had. That's too bad, but Capt. Schettino ruined it for everyone!

I can understand your view I was the same for many months after the terrible events caused by this mad man. He ruined peoples lives and careers.

Quoting 797 (Reply 55):
Regarding Fiumi-shit-no, what can I say. It's the worst airport in Europe. I just moved out of Rome and couldn't be happier not to have to go through there as often as I did, although tomorrow I'm flying back up there and I'm hoping my bags don't take centuries to come out and everything goes smooth. I've had my number of unpleasant experiences in that airport.

Yes its not a nice airport it needs pulling down and re built and some better staff at the BA desks and check in.


User currently offlinemalioil From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2010, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 57, posted (1 year 1 month 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3842 times:

Hi Philip,

Thanks for the great trip report.

I too am a chronic cruiser and was actually aboard the MSC Splendida two weeks before you were on the Pacifica which was following us around!

While I have not sailed Costa, I'd concur that MSC, which other than their ship designs I'd imagine to be very similar to Costa, was great value for money, and a good week away.

I don't know what you felt about Costa's so-called "entertainment architecture"?

I truly am glad the flights were okay, and that BA accommodated your wishes.

Calm skies and fair winds,

malioil

[Edited 2013-06-22 22:00:25]

[Edited 2013-06-22 22:02:40]


Flights Booked: BAH-DOH-EDI-LGW-JER-LGW-EDI-DOH-BAH-LHR-EDI-LHR-EDI-LHR-BAH-DXB-HKG-SIN-HKG-DXB-BAH-LHR-EDI
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