This is a review for those who want to take a cruise, but have some doubts.
We decided to try a new type of vacation - the cruise on a cruise ship. Cruise company made no matter for us, we were interested in the itinerary, the price and the weather (we didn't want it to be too cold). As a result, we found a deal for October for 11 days. It was the Mediterranean Sea itinerary with entering the Atlantic Ocean (Marseille, Malaga, Madeira, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Cartagena, Savona).
Embarkation was in Marseilles. We arrived on the day before the departure, walked around the city, spent the night and boarded on the next day. The port is uncomfortable, it's located 3 kilometers away from the city.
Once we settled in a cabin, we were immediately led to take part in a drill. They do not allow to shoot it. They take it seriously, take attendance in the journal. During the following days, they remind that you should come and get through an instruction if you missed the drill.
We did not take excursions, just wandered on our own. We took a taxi if the interesting places were far away.
When we were entering the Atlantic Ocean we got into a storm. It became stronger in the afternoon and it rocked significantly toward the evening. The water was blown from the pools on the deck.
There were bags left everywhere on the ship, if someone will suddenly feel the nausea.
Every 30 minutes the rain was changed by the sun and vice versa.
The water poured out from the covered pool at every heel. It was an amasing performance.
We did not come out on the deck. All the activities were canceled: sports, theater, dances.
By the evening the wind speed was more than 100 km per hour. Half the tables were empty at dinner. Our cabin was on deck 11, it was rocking like a swing. I went down to deck 3 but I did not really understand if the rocking was not so strong there or not. Our child felt perfectly during this rocking. Such rocking and walking from one wall to another was some kind of amusement for him.
In the morning everything was calm, and we moored in Madeira.
We had 4 days at sea. As for me, this is very good. You can easily explore the ship, not to run anywhere, to attend events. I visited the gym on those days. Attended the Italian language courses, dance courses, just swam in the pool, went to the baths.
Really good weather pleased us only once during those 11 days. When we could sunbathe on the deck in the speedos. The rest of the days we experienced the uncertain weather, but nobody wore the jackets, just shirts and shorts (it was mid-October).
This is one of the Canary Islands glowing at night.
Everything was in 4 languages: English, Italian, Spanish and French. A lot of info was in German.
This flag is a place from where passengers are taken in the city. We didn't have the tickets (the transfer is usually paid), we were running late to board. The guide said: get in, we do not leave our guests. We got to the port for free.
There are cities with the free transfer from the city, you need to find out this info and do not overpay. However, you'll hardly get this info on the ship, it is profitable for them to earn money.
At the end of the cruise, our suitcases were waiting for us in the terminal. We were told in advance the label color and the time when we could come and take them. This is very convenient. We walked in the city, and after the appointed time (that's okay), we took our luggage.
There was a children's club on the upper deck. You leave your kids against receipt there and take them away against receipt. It was open from 9 am to 11 pm. Our child (4 years old) liked it. It is very convenient to leave your child there in the evening, and go to the theater. It is not allowed to take pictures there, I made this shot in secret. Children are from 3 to 12 years old. Elder kids are no longer interested in such place.
They did crafts of pasta.
They put on a show, they all had costumes. Parents were invited to the premiere in the main theater hall.
There was disco in the evening. Children collected virtual ship money, they received them taking part in different competitions. At the end of the voyage, they were awarded the prizes in accordance with the amount of money they earned.
In the evenings, while we were at the theater, they went to eat. Our kid liked it, they served pizza, juice.
As for food. The Costa company's ships serve the Italian cuisine. With a lot of starchy foods.
A couple of times we ordered breakfast in the cabin. As for me, it's better to go down and have breakfast in the restaurant. It's nice there, and the service is good.
There were gala dinners. 2 dinners with alcohol (a glass of champagne), the welcome and the farewell one. You can choose from the menu. There was the cuisine of some region of Italy every day. I liked everything.
We didn't order alcohol. We ordered a bottle of mineral water each dinner. In general, the alcohol system is as follows: you can take all inclusive for a person and drink all the day round all sorts of drinks - it cost 25 Euro a day (at the time of my cruise). You can have a non-alcoholic package -15 Euro a day. That is, you have to spend 250 Euro per person for 10 days on a drinking package (you can't buy it for a day or for two persons, only for one person and for the whole cruise).
If you just go to a bar and buy there, you need to add another 15% to the price.