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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.