Costa Firenze on an itinerary in the Mediterranean

The story of a cruise in the Mediterranean aboard the new Costa Firenze, a Costa Cruises ship.

Eventually we get to cruise on the brand new ship after a delay in delivery and Covid pandemic. Pushing back this inaugural 3-month season by 18 months. 

20th October to 27th October 2020

Cabin number: 9205 –  Forward ship , Deck  -9 :  Premier Suite
Cruise for 7 nights – see map attached
Barcelona – Marseille – Savona – Civitavecchia –Naples – At Sea – Palma (Majorca) -Barcelona

The embarkation went very smoothly from bags drop off to check in, then the full PCR test paid for by Costa Cruises. The one and half hour wait for the result including a lunch parcel sent made for a rather rushed boarding to ensure sail away could be t 5pm we eventually got to the suite around 4pm to find our luggage in the cabin and the concierge (Henry) awaiting our arrival. Fruit basket and bottle of Ferrari champagne all a warm welcome.

Our Premier Suite was well laid out, very well decorated and structured. The bathroom being the largest I have yet to have in a suite, full jet bath, 2 wash hand basins and plenty space. Including the walk in wardrobe and extended balcony. Our wonderful suite attendant Rahemde from Philippines could not do enough for us as our gifts from Costa each day where waiting on our return each afternoon, the suite was kept spotless and checked throughout the day. The corridors and passenger spaces where always clean, neat tidy.

Along with the suite came the invitation to the Elite Restaurant. A 5-star experience daily be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. The Maître D (Evelyn) along with our table staff, George, Maria, RS all from the Philippines made every time we sat down a wonderful 1st class experience. The extras listed on the menu where a welcome treat and the menus daily well-structured balanced and Highly commended.

The excursions under the Covid protocol of each different country and by Costa where well managed and varied country to country as to how serious they take it. Masks on, masks off leaving or staying in groups varied however still enjoyable and full of good info and handled by very competent guides. Just the walking tour of Naples without warning a good 22km walk included a 20-minute guzzle down of a pizza from Sophie Loren’s favourite spot when in town. Does make for a very tiring day.

Now for the on board entertainment or should I say lack of quality we have grown used to on board other ships in the fleet (not including Costa Smerelda as that was a total mess) . Being part of the inaugural 3 month season you would expect the cruise director or talent scouts to source good talent and great shows.

The cruise director was non-existent only made an appearance after each evenings show. The two solo singing artists where great however the dance groups where not even up to a standard we see on the early rounds of Britain’s got talent. I would strongly recommend a full overhaul of all performers be they the wanna be rock stars in wine bar or the DJ trio who looked so bored with life that nobody wanted to listen. Take a leaf out of the performers on Costa Deliziosa as that is what productions are about.

The overall amenities on board are great and a new direction in design and planning the pool decks the vast space and of course the Aperol Spritz bar are always going to be a favourite. However, the new covid protocol can be worked on as the dialling of 3333 for reception and 6666 for room service keeps you waiting for up to 15 minutes this with only half the passengers on board, not a good way forward to having a full complement of passengers.

Sadly, no Costa Club events or meeting of the Captain and crew events, no reason not to have them after all every guest is tested every 2nd day be it at sea or in port. With good free testing like that in place I am sure a distanced event could still take place.

The ongoing embarking and disembarking of passengers at 3 ports turns is a better situation than 5 ports pre covid. I am all for people not having to fly to far to join the ship but restrict from 5 ports of joining in 7 days to 2 or better on a 10-day route only 3 embarkations.

Overall a good product, back to the traditional Costa cruising way with a reshaping of the entertainment and a new cruise director I am sure this will be a stand out product. Do not miss the Review of Costa Firenze on the webisite aswell → Costa Firenze Review.

Further information, advice and Reviews of Costa Firenze on Cruising Journal, with opinions, photos and cruises on offer.

Craig Stembridge