Background Info: I am 16 years old, and I cruised with my mother
from February 25- March 4, 2007. This was our first time on Costa,
but not our first cruise. It was my 7th, and her 8th. We have
sailed on HAL Maasdam, Zuiderdam, & Noordam; CCL Victory &
Triumph; and X Zenith. We live in upstate New York, and only booked
this cruise 18 days in advance.
Embarkation: We flew down to Fort Lauderdale on the day of the
cruise. We were supposed to arrive by 11am, but due to flight
complications, we didnt get to the cruise pier until about 3pm.
(Good thing it didnt set sail intil 7pm!) The luggage porters took
our bags as soon as we stepped out of the taxi, and then we were
off to go through security and check in. The line was surprisingly
long, but moved quickly. We passed through security smoothly, and
then waited some more to check in. From there, we got on the ship.
We were onboard the ship within an hour, and were surprised at not
our cards or having our photos for them taken! Since we arrived so
late, we were able to go straight to our cabins and get settled in.
Not having to carry around our suitcases was great!!
The Ship: The Magica was impecable. Everything was clean, she
looked brand new. The layout is a little wonky, but you will get
used to it. It was annoying not being able to walk from bow to
stern on every deck, and we would always forget that. We loved the
art work that is all over the ship, especially the panels in the
stateroom hallways, and the large pictures in the stairwells. The
lightbulb holders in the buffet area were very unique (arms and
hands holding the lights).
Public Areas: There were 11 lounges and bars, and every night
something exciting was happening. The Salento Grand Bar is the
best, it is located right in the middle of deck 5, and is very open
and has a nice dance floor. The Capri Lounge was great too, and the
band that played in there was amazing. This is where kareoke took
place. The Urbino theater is gorgeous...but make sure not to sit
somplace where the poles would be blocking your view! The atrium is
gorgeous...and the glass elevators are just too much fun (no matter
how old you are!). The nightclub, Grado Disco, was tons of fun!!
Popular music was played, and everyone was dancing and having a
Activities: It would have been impossible to attend every single
activity that was planned. Every day, there were dance and exercise
classes by the midship pool. Also, many games like hula hoop
competition, sexy legs, kens vs barbies, old macdonalds farm game,
ect happened near this pool. Multiple trivia and quiz gatherings,
as well as volleyball, ping pong, and basketball games occured
daily. Even Italian lessons!! The activities staff was amazing,
each one speaking at least 5 languages!! It is unbelievable how
much energy they have, and we talked to some of them personally and
they dont know how they do it! No matter how fun their jobs look,
it is very socially demanding and hard; most of the time their
smiles are false.
Pools: There were 2 main pools...both on deck 9, located aft and
midship. There was a smaller pool located up on deck 10, next to
the end of the waterslide. Also, a kiddie pool was up near the
childrens room. The pool area is the most active, and where
everyone is on sea days, and the line for the waterslide often went
down the stairs! Watch out for little kids (in the deck 10
pool)...they had discovered that the plastic cups were great for
throwing water at people. There were several hot tubs, all of which
were wonderfuly hot and relaxing.
Service: Wonderful. The crew was amazing and very friendly
(would say hi to us whenever they saw us, and remembered our
names). I dont know how other people could say bad things about
them!! They all spoke English very well (as it is a requirement for
them if they come into contact with passengers), and were extremely
accomodating to all the needs of the passengers.
Cabin: We were in cabin 7380, an inside on deck 7. It was the
second one back from the aft elevators, and only 2 decks up to the
buffet and 2 down to the casino and shops; no complaints at all
about the location. There was plently of storage space for all of
our belongings. There were 4 drawers in a dresser, 2 nightstands,
and 4 closets (one with shelves). The bathroom was spacious, and
there were 4 shelves above the sink (perfect size & location
for beauty products). The shower was good, had a retractable
clothes line going across which was handy, and a shampoo dispenser
(smelled quite nice, but we always bring our own). There was one
problem with the shower. It would overflow everytime i used it. The
drain was very slow, and the ledge around the base was not high
enough to contain all the water! There is a drain behind the toilet
too, and a path around the perimeter of the floor for water to
follow, so maybe this was supposed to happen?? I doubt it though.
So dont leave your clothes on the floor! Another oddity about the
cabin: the handles on the drawers and closets were leather-like,
and hard to get ahold of, resulting in the opening of them veryyy
difficult. We often left everything slightly open to avoid this
issue. The lighting was great (fixtures were unique and modern),
and there were plenty of mirrors everywhere. There was a
minifridge, and a safe too. The artwork was cute, and the beds
werent that bad. Maybe because we were so tired when we retired to
sleep? It doesnt matter. (We were happy to be on a cruise ship in
the Caribbean and NOT in the -10 weather in NY.) The sheets and
towels were a little rough for our liking, but that didnt ruin our
cruise or anything. (The pool towels that are left in your room for
shore excursions are wonderful!!)
Food and Dining: Once again, I can not believe that people have
complained about the food!!! It is delicious!!! We were
disappointed at no sushi, but dont worry...they made up for it in
their pasta dishes!! In the buffet, the food was great!! Always
pizza, pasta, salad, a meat or 2 of some sort, fresh fruit,
vegetables, all the regular cruise fare. The only area they lacked
in was dessert. The selection was very limited, and always cold
(pie is supposed to be warm!) The ice cream made up for it though,
having self-serve machines located all around deck 9. There were
specialty ice creams available at the bars, but we thought that it
was rediculous to pay for ice cream on a cruise so we never got
any. The food in the buffet is just about the same as in the dining
rooms. We went to dinner the first couple of nights, but each night
the service got slower and slower!! Originally, we were assigned
the early seating, but we were able to easily change that to the
late seating (allows much more time to get ready after being
onshore all day). On the second formal night, instead of lobster,
there was king crab legs. Personally, I prefered this!! It was
Breakfast: offered in the dining room (Smeralda) from 7:30-9:30.
We never went to this. A buffet was set up from 7:30-11am. The one
by the back pool was always the least crowded, and had the same
exact things as inside the Bellagio. There were pancakes, waffles,
eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, bagels, hash, and fresh fruit
Lunch: offered in the dining room (Portofino) from 12-1:30pm. We
also never went to this. The buffet was available from 12-2:30 in
the Bellagio, and the grill was open from 11am-6pm. Dinner: There
is 2 different seatings in each restaurant. Costa Smeralda: 5:45
& 8:30 Restaurant Portofino: 5:30 & 8:15
Also, a buffet is set up from 7:30-9:30 in the Bellagio, and a
specialty restaurant from 6:30-9:30pm (never went to it). ONE OF
OUR FAVORITES: from 9:30pm-1:30am, a pizzaria was set up in the
Bellagio. We did not discover this until near the end of the
cruise, and the pizza here is THE BEST. Each night there were about
5 different types of pizza offered, so Im sure you would be able to
find something you liked. They would make you your own pizza, about
a foot in diameter. Also, every night there was a midnight buffet,
and the theme differed from night to night. Furthermore, there was
tea time. One was in the Spoleto Lounge, Deck 5, from
3:45-4:45pm,where there was a WIDE variety of tea to choose from.
The other was in the Bellagio and had mini sandwiches and desserts
Childrens Program: I participated in the teen program (13-18
years old), and it was wonderful!! The two teen directors, Marco
and Sabryna, were fabulous!! There were a couple activities
scheduled daily, and they were tons of fun! The prizes were great
too. I saw the littler kids around the ship sometimes,
participating in themed dinners and treasure hunts, and they all
had a smile on their faces (and often face paint too!!)
Entertainment: The one show I actually went to, Myth Trio in
Circus of the Seas, was FANTASTIC. I actually went to both
seatings. It was unbelieveable!! All of the other shows were
basically the same as on every cruise...a special singer one night,
a Broadway-type show, a magician, ect...
Theme Nights: Almost every night had its own theme. It was so
much fun, this is part of the reason why Costa is amazing. Italian
Night: Supposed to wear red, white, or green. There were several
stations all around deck 5, such as rose making, mask making, face
painting, and dance classes.
Mediterannean Night: You were able to visit 4 different
countries this night. France..and there was a Can Can show
(hilarious!!!!), and Moulin Rouge-type singing. Greece...a fun
dance..OMPA! Spain..dancing the Paso Doble. Egypt and
Turkey....crazy belly dancing!! (also HILARIOUS). Also followed by
a midnight buffet with food from each country in each section. DO
NOT MISS THIS!!
Roman (Toga) Night: This is one thing Costa is known for.
Everyone is supposed to get dressed up in a toga (and accessories!)
and spend the night in it! This is the Guest Talent Show and Crew
Show night too, and happened on the last night of the cruise. Maybe
only about 50% of the pax actually wore a toga, but the ones who
didnt missed out on all the fun!
Tropical Night: Tropical wear, with music by the calypso band
and dancing by the pool! Dances such as the YMCA, hot hot hot, and
limbo. Tons of fun!!
Other Passengers: About 80% of the passengers were European.
Being onboard this ship was like being in a foreign country. Most
of the other pax were Italian and French. None of them were rude at
all, they were all lovely to converse with (give that you can speak
their language/interpret their English). A couple were pushy and
cut in line, but hey, Americans do that too!!! Im sure you would
find someone on any other cruise line who would cut infront of you
(we found it on HAL!).
Debarkation: There was the option of early self-debarkation. We
opted not to do this, since you would have to carry all your own
luggage offboard, and 2 woman pack a lot!! They hand out colored
tags, depending on your cabin and status, and you get assigned a
time to get off the ship. They dont even check if you leave in the
right time (we got off earlier than assigned). There was one
discression with a passenger and his/her card, apparantly they
tried to get off without paying for their onboard purchases. That
did hold up the line, but was resolved quickly. After we got off
the ship, was had to go through customs. There were 2 different
lines, one for US passengers and one for Foreign. They both moved
at about the same rate.
Overall, we had a wonderful experience and would cruise Costa
again in a hearbeat!! We are trying to plan to go on the Fortuna
this winter. (The Magica wont be sailing out of Fort Lauderdale.
Too bad. This ship is amazing!)
Feel free to PM me with questions, or if you want to see daily
programs, menus, or photos!!