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Costa Diadema Cruise

Hello everyone, we just got back from our 11 day Mediterranean cruise on the Costa Diadema and in this article we we want to give you a complete review of our Mediterranean Cruise on board the Costa Diadema. We will rate every aspect of our cruise from 1 to 5 anchors!

So let’s begin our review from:

Boarding

We start our review of our Mediterranean Cruise on board the Costa Diadema by the boarding procedure. 

We received an email from Costa about 2 weeks prior to departure with our assigned boarding time. 72 hours before departure we were able to do our online check in and print our boarding passes. The day of departure we arrived at the terminal at 10:30am,  our assigned time.

We had our antigenic test done right away. While we were waiting for the results they sent us to the check in agent that verified all our documents. After that, we sat down in the waiting area for about 10 minutes. By then our results were in and we were able to walk on the ship. We were really surprised that by 11 am we were walking into our cabin. Yes, the whole boarding procedure only took 30 minutes. we were really impressed with the efficiency and the speed of the process and for this reason, we give a 5 out of 5 for boarding.

The next topic of our review of the Costa Diadema Cruise is 

The ship

The Costa Diadema is 300 meters long and was built by Fincantieri in 2014. It has 1862 passenger cabins and 676 crew cabins. It has a maximum passenger capacity of 4947 passengers and 1253 crew members. 

During our cruise, the ship was running at a reduced capacity of approximately 1500 passengers. 

The ship feels really nice and in great condition. The main decks for bars, restaurants, and lounges are decks 3, 4, and 5. At midship there is a set of 4 panoramic elevators that run from deck 2 to deck 12 that are the core of the whole ship. Most of the outdoors activities are on deck 10, 11 and 12. The ship has 2 swimming pools both on deck 10, one mid-ship with a retractable roof and a second one at the back of the ship. Around the ship there are several Jacuzzis located on different decks. One thing that can be improved, on the ship, is the signage for bathrooms. In fact, it took us a few days before we remembered where the bathrooms were. 

Overall the ship feels glamorous, spacious and it is very easy to navigate. For this reason, we give the ship five anchors out of 5.

Moving on we will talk about:

The Itinerary

We sailed 11 days, 10 nights starting from Savona Italy. From there we went to Marseille France, then we had a sea day before reaching the port of Malaga in Spain. After that, we crossed the Strait of Gibraltar during the night to reach the port of Cadiz, Spain on the Atlantic ocean. From Cadiz, we moved to Lisbon Portugal the following day. After Lisbon, we had another sea day, in which we crossed the Strait of Gibraltar again to reach the port of Cartagena Spain. We then stopped in Valencia, Spain, then Barcelona, and then back to Savona. 

We found the itinerary very interesting with a lot of ports of call and very few sea days. Most of the places we stopped were new to us and I was quite pleased with them so I think I’ll give the itinerary a 5 out of five. 

Now let’s talk about

The Cabin

Our balcony cabin was on deck 10 toward the front of the ship. The cabin itself is simple with no frills but quite efficient. The decor is kind of dated, so it would benefit from an update.The bathroom wasn’t the biggest, but still not too bad for a ship. The bed was comfortable even though it was a little too close to the window. The cabin has a huge couch that I think is a bit of a waste of space. I guess it is good to accommodate children. The closet space is not bad, it could be improved if they used smaller hangers.

However, We really enjoyed the location of the cabin because it was on the same deck as the pools and it was really close to the elevators. If you would like to know how we pick our cabins on a ship here is a great article for you to read.

Overall the cabin was adequate with a great location so our vote is a 4 out of five.

And now let’s rate the:

Cleanliness 

The ship can NOT be any cleaner! Every single corner of the ship was amazingly clean. The cleaning crew was constantly working to keep the ship impeccable. Every single deck was constantly cleaned. From this point of view, it made us feel very safe that every surface was perfectly sanitized. 

We think that the ship deserves a solid 5 out of 5 for cleanliness. No doubts about that.

Let’s continue our Costa Diadema Cruise review talking about 

The restaurants

The Costa Diadema has 3 main dining rooms, 2 on deck 3 and one on deck 4 plus an area at the buffet that can be converted into a main dining room when the ship is at full capacity. It also has a buffet on deck ten. On deck 5 there are the specialties restaurants:  the Teppaniaki, the Pizzeria, The Italian Asian fusion restaurant Samsara and the Costa Club restaurant.

The main dining rooms are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The buffet is open for breakfast and lunch but not for dinner. However, an area of the buffet is open at night for a street food paid menu. The pizzeria and the Teppanyaki restaurants are open for lunch and dinner while the Samsara restaurant is only open for dinner. 

Unfortunately due to the requirement for social distancing and the reduced staff there was no anytime dining available. There was the first seating at 6:30 and a second one at 9:15. 

Because we are at the highest status for the Costa Loyalty program, Perla Diamante, we had a special dedicated restaurant on deck 3. But, Even there it was not possible to have any time dining – only assigned seating.

The restaurants are nice, wide and with a lot of natural light. The fact that during this sailing we were not able to eat anytime was irritating but I guess they are doing the best they can in these tough times.  Unfortunately, the service was rather inconsistent from day to day, and restaurant to restaurant. Unfortunately, we have to give the restaurants a 3 out of five!

Our next topic for our Costa Diadema cruise review is

The food

As we mentioned in our review of the Costa Deliziosa last summer, the food on Costa is absolutely amazing. Portions aren’t huge but they are perfectly presented. Seasoning is spot on. The variety of items on the menu is excellent. 

In the main dining room For breakfast, there is always a wide variety of freshly made pastry. Cold cuts, cereal, and yogurts. It is always possible to order eggs and omelets made fresh. 

Coffee, tea, and juice are included, while espresso, cappuccino, or specialty coffees are included only with a drinking package.

For lunch, there is always a selection of starters, first course, main course and desserts. Also there is a selection of items called “Great Classics” that are always available every day for lunch or dinner.  

For dinner one of the dishes is always specific to the destination of the following day, and it is designed by a famous chef. Also at dinner, it is possible to choose from the Great Classic menu.

Also available for lunch and dinner are items designed for children in the “Squock Menu”. These include chicken fingers, hot dogs, hamburgers, tomato pasta etc.

Finally, there are some items that are always available for a fee like Caviar, Spaghetti with Lobster, grilled lobster or Tomahawk steak.

Caviar

As you can see the options are incredible and there is always something delicious to eat. Desserts deserve a very special mention because they are amazing! Always perfectly presented, tasty, and very creative.

Costa Cruises dessert

Strangely, however, you cannot order coffee at the restaurants for lunch or dinner… only breakfast.  

So after this long review of the food, we will give a solid 5 out of five for food on board of the Costa Diadema.

Ok let’s move to the next topic of the Costa Diadema Cruise review are

Bars

The Costa Diadema has several bars. The most popular ones are the Eliodoro Bar on deck 3 mid-ship right by the panoramic elevators. Another busy bar is the Salone la Buena on deck five all the way aft. This bar has a great outdoor area as well and it is great for a drink at sunset. Next to this bar, you can find the Piano bar, Principe Nero. The most popular bar though it is the grand bar Orlov on deck four mid-ship. This bar becomes incredibly busy at night because people love to dance here with a live band.

Note mentioned is the bar Bollicine on deck five midship. This bar specializes in aperitivi with Ferrari wine. Keep in mind that at this bar the basic Brindiamo drinking package doesn’t cover the wines served here. On the same note, the craft beers from the Birreria La Fiamma are also not covered in the basic drinking package. Also Worth mentioning is also the lido stella del sud, the bar located on deck ten by the aft pool. This bar is very busy during the day when people sunbathe.

Overall the bars on the Costa Diadema are quite nice, and they offer a wide variety of locations and entertainment. For this reason, we give a five out of five to the bars on the Costa Diadema.

Next topic on our Costa Diadema Cruise review is:

The Casino

On the Costa Diadema, the casino is located on deck 4 towards the back of the ship. The size of the casino is pretty good and there is a great variety of table games and slots. Overall it is a great area with a lot of light and is easy to navigate. We are not big casino players but we think that the Casino on the Costa Diadema deserves a five out of five as well

Moving on to our Costa Diadema Cruise review we will talk about

Costa Diadema Casino

Theatre and shows

The Theatre on the Costa Diadema is located on decks 3, 4, and five all the way to the front of the ship. The size is quite big and it is pretty well laid out. Like the theatre on the Deliziosa, this theatre has a good amount of leg room and it is very comfortable. The Stage is large. Some of the seats were not available to maintain the social distance.

The shows on the Diadema are mostly involve dancing and singing. A lot of acrobatic performances. On our eleven day cruise, there were a number of good shows as well with a couple of good performers. The dance and acrobatic shows are really good with some very great moves.  Most of the time they show a lot more skin than they do in North America. But Unfortunately, after a few days, the shows became a little repetitive.  Like, they were great for the first few days, but, it was always the same performers, singing and dancing to similar songs.  Towards the end of the cruise, we didn’t really care much for the shows. For this reason, we give the shows a three out of five.

Costa Diadema shows

Our next topic on our Costa Diadema Cruise review is:

On board Entertainment

We have to admit the entertainment team on the Costa Diadema was quite good. They had a lot of activities during the day and some good parties at night. In particular, they had a very popular white party and a disco party on deck ten by the pool that was a lot of fun. During the day most of the activities were also on deck ten by the pool area and passengers really enjoyed them. Very worth mentioning were the bands and the singer on board. Every evening and night all the bars had some form of live entertainment with bands playing, piano players, singers, or a DJ. As we mentioned before, the most popular one was the band performing at the Orlov bar where people danced.

We have to admit the entertainment on board the Costa Diadema was really good and passengers seemed to really enjoy it. So we give them a five out of five! Solid.

Ok let’s move to our next topic on the Costa Diadema Cruise review 

The Spa

The Costa Diadema has a great spa with a beautiful area with a jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and relaxation chairs. This is located on deck 12 all the way at the front. This area has plenty of windows and natural light. It also has a private deck dedicated to the spa customers. 

Unfortunately due to the covid restrictions, only six people were allowed to this area at the time. Also, because of that, the price was quite steep. Normally it is possible to buy a pass for the area that is valid for the all cruise for a little over €10.00 per day. During our cruise, the pass wasn’t available and the entrance fee was about €75.00 per person for 90 minutes. This was a bit disappointing but we hope it will go back to what it used to be.

Costa Diadema Sauna

Continuing about the Spa Rick was very skeptical about booking a massage on this ship after the less than enjoyable experience last summer on the Costa Deliziosa. Anyway, the Spa had a special on massages on the last day of our cruise so Rick booked it. Let us tell you this was an awesome experience! The massage was amazing and Rick was very glad to say that he was really surprised. No one tried to upsell hi stuff he didn’t want, there was no sales pressure or anything. So the Spa on this ship deserves a five out of five!

Andrea did not have a massage and he only used the spa area. He really enjoyed the area and was quite happy to spend time there. Unfortunately, the steam room was still closed, due to the restrictions.

Our next topic on this Costa Diadema Cruise review is

Excursions

Due to the pandemic restrictions, we could only leave the ship on a Costa excursion. This is a bit disappointing but for now, this is what it is. Most of the excursions we did on this cruise were good, informative, and fun. Most of the tour guides were trying to give us a good tour without making us feel too restricted. We only had one tour guide that was really strict and it made the experience less than ideal but I don’t think this was not Costa’s fault but this particular guide. 

Unfortunately, one of the excursions we really wanted to do, the segway tour of Barcelona, was canceled due to a lack of interest. Overall the excursion experience was positive, even though not amazing. We have to stress the fact that it is really important to book all the excursions in advance to avoid the risk of being sold out. In fact, we were talking to some fellow passengers that waited till on board to book their excursions and they were quite disappointed by some of them. Also when booking the excursions on line it is quite important to read the description really carefully to avoid surprises.

Overall we give the excursions a 3 out of five for this cruise.

Continuing on our Costa Diadema Cruise review we will talk about

Service on board

As we mentioned before the ship was running at low capacity and even the staff was at low capacity. For this reason, there were a few times when it was noticeable that service was not ideal. This was more apparent at the restaurant where sometimes waiters were running around like crazy to try to keep up with the service. In the restaurants, it was also apparent that some staff members didn’t have the proper training on the food that was served and sometimes they were not able to describe the choices to us. 

The health protocol sometimes had some bizzare rules that appeared to contradict themselves.  For example at the bars, it was not possible to order a drink at the bar but rather, it was mandatory to sit at the table when inside, and wait for someone to take your order. But – at the pool, it was exactly the opposite was not possible to order a drink at the table but only at the bar… very strange!

We also noticed that due to the covid protocol the ship tried to keep interaction between staff members and passengers to the minimum. For this reason, for example, we rarely saw our cabin steward. For the same reason the front desk was only available by appointment or by phone. Also was really unusual to see officers in the passenger areas. We understand the reason for doing this but it makes the experience on board a little less personal.

We understand it is a strange time now and there are rules in place but we think that some of them could be tweaked to improve passenger’s experience. For this reason our vote is a 3 out of five!

Our next topic for this Costa Diadema cruise review is

Stores

On the Costa Diadema, all the stores are located on deck four. The galleria is bright and well laid out. There are several different stores available, from jewellery to clothes, duty-free and Costa merchandise. Overall we think that this area is more than appropriate for a ship of this size and it is a pleasant area for a stroll. One thing we noticed is the very small selection of toiletry and necessity items. This, we think, is a bit of a problem due to the fact that passengers are not allowed to go shopping in the ports. For this reason, our vote is a 4 out of five.

We continue our Costa Diadema Cruise review by talking about

What was not available

We have to admit there were very few areas of the ship that were not available considering the restrictions. One major difference from our cruise on the Costa Deliziosa last summer was the fact that most dance clubs and dance floors were open and really busy! This was really nice to see. Basically only the 3D movie theatre, the car race simulator, and the laser tag area were not open. This made the experience on board almost 100% normal. 

There were a few things that we did not try like the kids and teens zones, the Teppanyaki restaurant, and the Samsara restaurant. We also did not use the gym, it looked pretty nice and big but we did not use it. For this reason we can not review those. 

Let’s now talk about

The overall feeling

The overall feeling on board was quite good. Passengers seemed to have a great time. The comments on board were quite positive and we did not hear many people complaining. There was the occasional grumbling about a bad excursion, a bad dish or a lack of freedom to go shopping in port but for the most part, people seemed to really have a good time. During our 11 days cruise, we had two Covid tests performed on board and even then people did not complain.

Costa Diadema Covid test

Last area of our Costa Diadema cruise review is

Disembarkation 

The disembarkation process was incredibly efficient and fast. We arrived in port at 8:30 am and by 9 we were getting our car keys from the parking people at the port. 

Conclusions

Our Costa Diadema cruise was actually really good. Even with the Covid restriction protocols in place, we think that Costa did a great job in keeping people safe while letting them have fun and enjoy their time on board and in port. There are a few things that can be tweaked, especially in the service area, but overall it was a very positive experience and we look forward to be on board again!

Well folks this is the end of our Costa Diadema Cruise review, we hope you enjoyed it, let us know in the comments below.

Rick and Andrea

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