In October 2023, we sailed on Costa Cruises for the very first time. This was a cruise line that we'd heard a lot about and had seen various bloggers and vloggers try, but we hadn't had the opportunity to sail until now. We had been searching for a cruise that fitted into Lizzy's school half term dates for a while. Our usual go to, P&O Cruises, didn't have anything that worked for us. In fact, we couldn't find a cruise out of the UK at all during the specific week that we needed.
Our friends, Tom and Dom Travel, actually spotted this Costa Cruise first and sent us the details. It was a great deal so we jumped at the opportunity. We've got a lot more information over on our YouTube channel about exactly what we got up to on board, so please do check it out. In this post we're going to give you a quick summary of what we loved and what wasn't so good.
The parties - Now this won't be for everyone, but Costa Diadema is definitely a party ship. There was a different party every night of our cruise, each with a different theme. We had Italian night, a Halloween/White Party combo, Latin night and a silent disco during our week onboard and every event was great fun. These parties started a lot later than we're used to with one event starting at 1.15am. We really enjoyed them, but we are still recovering 3 weeks later!
The price - As we mentioned in the intro this cruise was a great deal. We paid less than £600 per person for the week including the drinks package. For the quality of the product this was unbelievable value.
The staff - We say this about every cruise, but it wouldn't feel right not to mention how fantastic the staff were on Costa Diadema. We experienced great service onboard and we were always made to feel like nothing was too much trouble. We reported a couple of minor issues with our cabin and these were resolved quickly and efficiently. There were also some small moments where bar staff did things like go to another bar to get a specific drink we wanted, whereas on other cruise lines we've been told they haven't got it there and we've needed to choose a different drink.
Food quality - All of the food we were served on Costa Diadema was of a very high quality. Granted, it wasn't always to our taste but we appreciate that this was because we aren't the target audience for this cruise line. We ate in the buffet, main dining room and the speciality pizza restaurant, and enjoyed almost everything we ate. At times, we felt like the selection was a bit limited but we still felt that everything we ate was presented well and of a very high standard.
Entertainment - With so many nationalities onboard, we were concerned that the entertainment wouldn't work well for us but we were wrong. The very hardworking entertainment team on board did a great job of putting together activities that worked across multiple languages. We particularly enjoyed a quiz that involved them acting out movie titles. The theatre shows were also all performed by a very talented cast and whilst of course there were moments that confused us a little, we were still able to appreciate the talent on display.
The announcements - This is something we thought we were prepared for from seeing other reviews, but we still under estimated how many there would be. As Costa embark and disembark passengers at every port, there are a lot of daily announcements which will be repeated over and over. Most announcements are also read out in 5 languages so they went on for a while. There wasn't much opportunity for quiet time on this ship, as our usual afternoon nap time was often interrupted by the muster announcements.
Noise - In addition to the announcements, we found the ship to be noisy in general. Our cabin was located directly above Teodora lounge, which had live music or a DJ playing from 6pm through to 2am every night. Most of the time, we were out of our cabin for this time period, so it wasn't too much of a big deal for us. However, we noticed that there were lots of other venues open late and as we were heading back to our cabin we could regularly hear loud music. There was also music playing in the corridors during the daytime which we could hear inside our cabin and we know we weren't the only ones.
No included pizza - We thought that it was odd, that an Italian cruise line had no included pizza available onboard. The only pizza that we found on Costa Diadema was in Pummid'Oro Pizzeria, which is one of the speciality restaurants onboard. We would have liked to be able to get some pizza slices in the buffet or by the pool like you can on most cruise lines but unfortunately this isn't the case.
As I'm sure you can see, the positives on this cruise far outweighed the negatives and we really enjoyed ourselves. For what is considered to be a value cruise line, we found the quality of service to be very high and generally we enjoyed the fun atmosphere on the ship. There were some quirks, as there are with any cruise line, but we certainly wouldn't let them put us off cruising with Costa again.
Check out the below video to see what we got up to on day one of this cruise, you'll find lots more content over on our channel too.