Costa Cruise - Jan 3 - 11, 2009

Costa Fortuna
Caribbean Cruise
Jan 3rd - 11th, 2009
Key West, Grand Cayman,
Roatan, Honduras and Cozumel Mexico
Debe & Diana
While hubby was off skiing in Colorado, my sister Diana and I decided to head to the Caribbean for some fun in the sun and away from the snow. Costa Cruise Line is owned by Carnival Cruise Line but are Italian cruise ships. So you get a lot of Italian food which I do love. Now that Costa has moved into the Caribbean, it makes for a great cruise with a different clientele. We ended up being on board with a huge amount of Italians which made Karaoke many things in Italian at times. But overall, a great trip for relaxing and having fun. And believe me, the Italians were the least of my concerns. This cruise would take us from Fort Lauderdale into the ports of Key West, Grand Cayman, Roatan Honduras and final stop at Cozumel. So come along as we leave the cold winter clothes and dig out the shorts and swimsuits while we enjoy the Caribbean.

After spending the night in Fort Lauderdale (we always do that in the winter in case of snow and flights canceled in St. Louis), it was off to the ship. Our cabin was a huge ocean view but, it didn't start great. Our cabin obviously had smokers in it last cruise and it was so bad you couldn't breathe. So the staff got busy cleaning walls, furniture, whatever it took to get it up to par. We were totally impressed with the staff and what all they did to make this happen. So cabin 2352 became our home for the next week. Below you can see me sitting in the window in our cabin along with pictures of our beds and couch/table in cabin, etc. Very nice.

As we checked out the ship, we snapped some shots of the pool areas and even a shot of the beautiful little chapel used for church services and/or wedding ceremonies.

Our first night at dinner we met our tablemates. We had a smaller table than we like to have but very nice tablemates. The service didn't start out so great especially when it came to getting ice. We wondered if it was rationed. lol The homemade bread was delicious and served hot. My soup was also very good but unfortunately no warm melting chocolate cake (a carnival cruise favorite) and no souffles (princess cruise favorite) so I don't do many other desserts.

Our first stop was beautiful Key West, Florida. Key West has alot of history and many stories to tell. The Conch Train gives you a quick view of most things in Key West to see with a narrative that is great. With a cost of $29 per person, you can't beat what you get. Also it was a gorgeous day. After the tour, we headed for a walk around Key West inlcuing down famous Duvall Street. . Below you will see photos of famous Mallory Square. A great shopping area and a short walk off the ship if you are docked there. We were docked at the Naval Base pier so we were shuttled from the ship and dropped off right at Mallory Square so no matter where your ship is parked - this is a great stop. The photo on the right is another shipping area but it is a walk down Duvall Street. Of course all of Duvall Street is filled with shops and bars so you can't go wrong whatever you are looking for.

Below are photos of two historical places. On the left is Ernest Hemingway Home. It is now a museum and for a small fee you can tour it. Below on the right is the Key West Light House. Also for a fee you can visit it.

And for all those big drinkers and people that have ask me about bars in Key West - well, my answer is I don't drink at all so I don't know the bars in Key West. But to help you, I took a picture of this shirt and you can find almost all the "famous/well known" bars on it. So here is your answer!! lol (John this is for you so click on the photo to make it bigger. lol)

And here's the marker for the southern most part of the US. Unfortunately, they were painting the marker but still, you can't go to Key West without getting a photo with the marker.

Below are a couple of beaches that you can go to. The one on the left is Clarence Higgs Memorial Beach and is a very nice beach. It is on the East coast and when the ship sails away from Key West, it is a beautiful site. Below, in the photo on the right is the beach that is right outside the Naval base restricted area. It is also found on the East Coast. Many people from the ship took the shuttle and were dropped off at the entrance area to the beach versus going to Mallory Square.

Below is the picture of the famous "0" mile marker. It is said that they have to replace these mile markers often from people stealing them for souvenirs.
After a beautiful day in Key West we cleaned up and headed to dinner. Again, difficulty getting ice for dinner. Not sure why. We did have a different asst. waiter so had to remind him that three of the four at the table loved ice. Bread was again hot and very good. I ordered my favorite appetizer, bowl of berries, and was delighted at how many I was sent. The service overall was very slow (dinner at 5:45 we got dessert at 8 p.m.) After dinner it was off to the "las vegas" show. It was called Grand Variety Circus Show and was very good. Filled with acrobats as in a circus. They also had the singers and dancers but it was surprising to see the acts that were preformed on the ship. I would never want knifes or chinese stars thrown at me while out to sea on a moving ship. lol Below are just some of the acts during this show. Very good.

When we arrived in our cabin each night, we might find an animal made out of a towel or something made out of a small cover that was laid on the bed. Below we found a rose made from the small covering along with our daily paper and "breakfast" in the room order form.
The next day, Tuesday, Jan 6th, 09 was a day at sea along with formal night. (And Tara - Aiden's mom - turned 23 - Happy Birthday Tara). We had breakfast in the dining room and the service was horrible.) Five people along with us two was having problems getting drinks and food. The food did come quickly and was very good. We found that if you were seated at the center of the dining room (we are at night also) the waiters had a longer walk to get their items so either they would forget in route to their station or they would get stopped by other people/tables. In 37 cruises, I got to thinking that I had never been seated in the direct middle of the dining room. We then headed to the pool to grab chairs. As usual, they were filled with people or items holding them. On the upper floor we found chairs available but had to suffer through the wind. Still was able to enjoy the sun. Tonight was formal night so we cleaned up early and got all dressed up. The dining room was set up as candlelight dining and was beautiful. (see photo below)
After dinner we headed to the Captains party and stayed in there for the show afterwards. Costa was celebrating their 50th year in service.
The show was another phenomenal show. It was called "H20" and related to things to do with water. Beginning with Noahs Ark and ending with the Costa Fortuna with all types of water things in between from the yellow submarine, meet me in St. Louis, and many others. Costumes was so awesome and the singers and dancers were great. What a great performance by the performing crew.

When the show let out, we headed through the lounge enroute to walk around the ship. Lots was going on in one lounge and people/crew we had already met stopped us. So we hung out and watched, including dancing with staff during a "prize ticket" giveaway. We didn't win but had a great time.

After a great night sleep, it was off to breakfast and on the tender to beautiful Grand Cayman in the Bahamas. I picked up my pin at Hard Rock Cafe and we shopped and walked around. Then back on the ship for lunch and our tour tickets for the afternoon. We would be doing the "Snorkeling at two reefs and a wreck!" The cost was $39 per person but the water was very cold. We had about 50 people on the tour and we were fairly close to the ships that were anchored out in the harbor area. I did decide if Bob and I were ever back here - it would be a great dive site for us.
Above is the harbor area. Below on the left is the meeting areas at the pier while the right photo shows ships anchored off shore.

Below on the left is the boat we used for our snorkeling tour and on the right is "Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville" bar right in town.

Above, are photos from dinner tonight. It was Italian night and the waiters danced with the tablemates. So here we are shown with our waiter dancing. After dinner we headed to the show in the theatre. It was a singer but most songs were in Italian so we couldn't enjoy it as much since we didn't know what was being sung. Then to bed for another day at port tomorrow.

Today we were at Roatan, Honduras which has really changed at the pier since we had been there just in 2008. (photo above) Shops were being completed right on the pier which had nothing there from the past years. Below you will see the group that greeted us at the island with dancing and singing (of course for tips). And on the right, security is trying to keep traffic control.

We had booked a ship tour here that was called, "Glass Bottom Boat and West End Village!" This tour was $52 per person and was 3 1/2 hours long. First stop would be at the Cameo Factory. It was beautiful looking back at the ship so I took a great photo of my sister, Diana with our ship in the background. (below photo)
The Cameo factory was just across from the above picture and even though the cameos were nice, we had just been to a cameo factory in Pompeii, Italy in Nov 2008 that was awesome. So we passed on any purchases. But the factory was a very nice stone building that looked like a castle and was named Stone Castle Cameo Factory. (below left) In the right photo is the marina at West End Village. We would later come back there to board the Glass Bottom Boat.
Part of our tour took us to the restaurant/bar in the below left photo. As we sit and enjoyed a complimentary drink, the locals performed a show for us. From there we were allowed to walk around and shop in the village. We didn't find anything to buy but was a relaxing walk.

Then it was back to the marina to board our Glass Bottom Boat. For people who can't take closed in places - this isn't for you. (check below photo on the left) As we drove/rode around the reef in our semi sub type boat, many fish swam all around. I did see a nice size puffer fish along with a large sting ray. But many other fish were seen by everyone. A lady was on board with us to explain the fish and tell the types they were.

Back on the ship, we got all cleaned up for dinner. Tonight the food was very good but the service still lacking. We aren't really asking for anything extra, just a normal meal with a drink. Below is a photo of our tablemates. From there I played some video poker while we waited for the Tropical party by the pool to start. We grabbed chairs when it started and a little later the line dancing started. It begin as English music but changed quickly to Italian line dancing when the area filled with Italians on board. They were fun to watch and did very well. Below is a picture of the limbo during the tropical party by the pool.

Our final port of call is beautiful Cozumel. We were docked at the Punta Langosta Pier. It has a walkway that takes you right over into the Punta Langosta Mall. (below left photo) It is also close to the main town so we decided to walk into town. I used the internet for a hour and we did some shopping around town. Prices are always cheap and we did pick up some clothes and souvenirs. Back at the mall we watched a performance done by some locals wanting tips. It was very good and we watched it from the upper rail which gave a great view. (below right photo)
Below on the left is a view into town while the photo on the right below is a catamaran as it sails off with the moon above it.

Back on the ship, we got cleaned up for our final formal night. After dinner we headed to the final dancers/singers show. It was called "In Concert" and even though it was good, it wasn't the best of the three shows. Later it was off to Karoke. People just don't realize how bad they sing and I hated it when they were singing in Italian. From there, off to the Grand Bar to watch dancing. It was so neat to see a group of people that were doing the old type dance number partners. Very fun to watch. Below you will find the photos from the final show - "In Concert!"

While I headed back to the room, Diana headed to the Midnight Buffet Gala. It included visiting the galley and being able to take pictures. Below are some of the pictures from the food being served and the decorations made out of fruits and vegetables.

On the final day, we were able to get some chairs out by the pool and enjoy the sun and pool entertainment. But the last night on Costa is always something totally different. Being an Italian ship, they always deliver extra sheets and crowns to your cabin for Toga NIght. That is when many make their own togas and enjoy the night as Romans. The staff is all dressed in Togas and do a parade through the dining room. Below is a photo of Diana as she dressed for the night.
Below in the photo on the left is people waving their napkins during the candlelight dinner. During this time the parade of staff in their togas came through and the photo on the right shows them in the upper level of the dining room looking over at us.

This cruise was a great time to flee the winter weather of Missouri but also a great trip for two sisters to bond. We had a very good time on the cruise even with many circumstances that happened beyond our control. This had been my second Costa cruise and the first one was during spring break with some of the kids with us but a total difference in the nationality of the people. But you have to take what is thrown your way and overall, we did. Thanks again for coming along with us for our first trip of 2009. We have an exciting year ahead of us regarding trips and look forward to sharing all these experiences here on our blog. Thanks again for coming along with us.


1 comment:

  1. Debe, some of your pictures sure do look familiar. I guess it's because hubby and I were just there on our Panama Canal cruise.



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