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Costa Luminosa Cruise Review

We just came back from a 14 days cruise on board the Costa Luminosa and in this article we will give you a complete review of our Cruise! As usual we will assign a score from 1 to 5 anchors for each aspect of our Cruise!

Let’s start our Costa Luminosa Cruise review from:

Boarding

With the Italian cruise protocol we had an assigned boarding time. We had to be at the pier at 10:30. Right after we walked in the terminal we got our documents checked and then they sent us to a station for our antigenic Covid test.

Once our test was done we walked to the check in agent that did the check in. Right after checking in we sat in the waiting area. After about 10 minutes a Costa agent told us that our test were negative and we could proceed on board!

The process was really efficient and quick And by 11am we were in our cabin! As we said we were probably among the first passengers to walk on board and for sure the first passengers in the cabin! 

For this reason, I think that Costa deserves a 5 anchors out of five for the boarding procedure!

Next topic on our Costa Luminosa Cruise Review is:

The Ship

The Costa Luminosa is a great ship, built by Fincantieri and launched in 2008. It is 293 meters long and it has a capacity of 2826 passengers at maximum capacity and 1050 crew members. The ship is in great condition. Actually, we were told that the ship was in dry dock very recently and it shows!

Costa Luminosa
Costa Luminosa

Inside the ship, it feels very well laid out, with a nice atrium that has panoramic elevators. By the way if you want to know more about the ship here is a virtual tour video we did.

The ship decor is the usual Costa style, colorful and cheerful, though in some areas, it feels very outdated & sometimes borderline kitschy. 

The Interior

On this trip, we sailed through some pretty rough seas and I have to say the ship handled the huge waves really well keeping passengers as comfortable as possible.

Overall the ship was nice, and updated in many areas. However, it could still use some work in other places. But, it was very comfortable and for this reason I believe it deserves a 4 out of 5 anchors.

Next item we will review on board of the Costa Luminosa is:

The Itinerary 

Our cruise was a 14 days round trip from Genova Italy to the Canary Islands and Madeira.

Our Itinerary

The first two ports of call were Marseille and then Barcelona. After Barcelona, we had a day and a half at sea before we reached Lisbon Portugal – where we stayed overnight. We then had another sea day before reaching the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.

Our next stop was Tenerife island in the Canary’s. We then sailed to the Portuguese island of Madeira. From there we had two more sea days to our next port of call Valencia Spain. The night before reaching Valencia the Captain announced that due to the bad weather condition near Valencia we would change our itinerary and stop in Majorca instead. After spending a day in Majorca we had one last sea day before reaching our final destination of Genova.

The itinerary was good but we believe it could be improved. In fact, it would be much better to spend a couple of extra days in the Canary instead of going to Lisbon. We think that passengers that pick this itinerary do so to visit the warm and sunny Canaries so it would be better to stay there longer either than to visit other, cooler cities. 

For this reason, our vote is a 4 out five anchors.

Moving on to our next topic for the Costa Luminosa Cruise Review is:

The Cabin

Our balcony cabin on the Costa Luminosa was located on deck 7 towards the front of the ship. Overall the cabin was pretty identical to the other Costa cabins we had so far. Like we mentioned in our last Costa review video the cabin would benefit from a decor update.

Balcony Cabin

The only major pleasant surprise in the cabin was the 4 USB ports available on the nightstand to charge all our electronics. Here is the link for our Costa Luminosa Ship tour where you can see all about the cabin. 

For us, the cabin was good, and we’ll give it a 4 out of five, mostly because the balcony was quite wide and the USB ports made a big difference. 

After reviewing the cabin we will move to:

Service

Service on board the Costa Luminosa was particularly good. Everyone was friendly and very well trained. The staff seemed happy and in a very good spirit. In particular, our waiter in the main dining room was unbelievable. One of the best we have ever had, not just on a cruise. Also, The cabin Steward was quick and very efficient.

The bar staff was always very good, quick, and well trained. Other than very few exceptions the service on board the Costa Luminosa was top quality! 

For this reason, we think they deserve a solid 5 out of five!

Let’s move to our next topic:

Cleanliness 

This ship was Incredibly clean! Every single inch was constantly scrubbed. We always made the joke that we could eat off the floor. We have never seen so much cleaning on board of a ship! Our balcony was washed 4 times during the cruise! We have never had that in any past cruise. This made us feel incredibly safe! 

Cleaning

The Covid protocols were still in place during our cruise even though they weren’t as strict about it as they were in previous cruises. On this topic, we had a funny story happening with the temperature check machines. A couple days after departure, the machines stopped working. So, we decided not to use then anymore. Well, fast forward a week and we received a letter telling us to go and have our temperature checked! No big deal but we found it a bit funny! 

Another thing that was quite strange was the fact that we were able to walk around the ship with just regular masks but for the theater, we had to use the N95 – or here in Europe, it’s called an FFP2… very bizarre! By the way, stay tuned till the end for an entire chapter about other bizarre things on this cruise!

After having said that there is no doubt that our vote for cleanliness is 5 out five! 

And now we will review one of my favorite topic:

Food

As we mentioned in previous Costa Cruise reviews (by the way check them out here)  food on Costa is extremely good! We mean really good! Potions are small but they are meant to have a 4-course meal. The presentation is Michelin Star perfect. Every dish is seasoned perfectly.

The selection on the menu is also excellent. You will always find a selection of appetizers – one seafood, one meat, and one vegetarian. After that you will find the “primi” which is usually a pasta dish, and again you’ll find one seafood, one meat pasta, and a vegetarian. On top of that, you’ll often have a soup option. Then you’ll find your “Secondi” or mains and again you can choose between seafood, meat, and vegetarian. On top of all that you’ll find the “Destination dish” designed by one of the Michelin chefs that partnered with Costa. 

If those selections weren’t enough for you, there is a section in the menu that is called “Great Classics” where you can find a selection of dishes that are always available. But wait there is more! If you really can’t find anything you like in all those options you can check the Squok menu – it’s the Kids and teen menu where you can pick dishes like chicken nuggets, burgers, fries, tomato pasta, and more. But it doesn’t end there! There is an entire section of gourmet dishes available for a fee that includes caviar, lobster pasta, lobster and prawns, tomahawk steak, and so on! 

And then there are desserts! On Costa, we had probably some of the best desserts at sea ever! The selection is usually limited to 2-3 choices but they are unbelievable! Again perfectly presented, tasty, and very innovative. Of course, if you are not in the mood for desserts you can always pick a selection of cheeses.

One thing though – We really have to mention that with a selection like this it is very unlikely that you feel like going to a specialty restaurant. On the Luminosa there are 3 of them one is a sushi bar called Sushino and in our 2 weeks cruise, we never saw it busy. For the most part was always empty.

The second specialty restaurant is called Archipelago, and it is a new concept on Costa. There 3 world-famous Michelin star chefs presenting a tasting menu of 5 courses paired with wine for a flat fee. I’m sure the food is good. But we didn’t go because there’s something REALLY REALLY BIZARRE about this restaurant – just CRAZY.  And I’ll tell you more about it later on when we talk about the strange things we encountered. 

The last specialty restaurant is the Pizzeria. This is a section of the buffet that is converted to a pizza place at night. We had pizza on Costa before, it is good but we did not feel like having one on this cruise. Apparently, the pizza place was incredibly busy very late at night after people finished dancing. 

Lastly, at the burger grill, they serve street food at night for a small fee, again we did not try this either.

As we mentioned in previous videos about Costa the buffet is open only for breakfast and lunch, not for dinner. We are not sure why. 

Well one more note is breakfast. Now, the food on Costa is VERY Italian. And Italian breakfast is not bacon and egg. BUT, we were shocked when we was able to get the PERFECT over-easy eggs, bacon and hashbrowns. And we mean perfect. This was a huge plus for us. So we give Costa a 5 out of 5 for food!

Eggs and Bacon

And now we move to our next topic on our Costa Luminosa Cruise review.

Drinks and drinking packages

Costa has some really good and affordable drinking packages. Especially if you buy the all-inclusive drinking package with your booking.

Our package was the “My Drinks” one. This is the basic package and includes pretty much everything we needed. In fact, it included a selection of 3 white wines, 3 reds, one rose, and a prosecco to choose from. It also included most cocktails, spirits, dessert wines, drought beer, and digestives like grappa and scotch. It also included espresso, cappuccino, specialty coffees, and teas.

On top of that, it included one half liter bottle of water per person, per day at bars. At the restaurant still and s[sparkling water is included. There is an upgrade available that includes more premium wines and spirits but for us, the basic one was more than enough. For the under 18’s, there’s non alcoholic beverage packages available. 

So we think that the drinking package is a really good deal and my vote is a solid 5 out of 5. 

Next on our review of Costa Luminosa we have

The Costa Club

The Costa Club is a Costa loyalty program. Passengers have to sign up for it, it is not automatic like it is with other cruise lines. When you sign up the perks are quite good.

First of all there are a lot of great discounts available on board if you are a member. For example our huge tomahawk steak was €20 instead of €40. Also, there is a Costa Club party during the cruise. Unfortunately, the party at the moment is a bit lame due to the covid protocols. Also once you reach the highest tier of the program the perks are quite nice, like a free bag of laundry per passenger, a dedicated restaurant, and €75 per passenger of on board spending.

We think we will give a 5 out of 5 for the Costa Club because we think it is a good program.

Let’s talk about another aspect of our Costa Luminosa Cruise review and we’ll talk about 

The Bars

On the Costa Luminosa the bars were pretty identical to any other Costa Cruise bar. Service was fine even though in one particular bar we had trouble getting the white wine we liked – that was included in the package.

As it turned out, the bartender was lazy, and didn’t want to go to get a bottle of it. And he kept telling me that they didn’t see that particular wine at that bar – which we knew was untrue… Well, one night we saw the food and drink manager at the bar and we asked him about that particular wine and he told us “Of course, you can have it – it’s part of your package!” Since then we did not have any problem finding it at any of the bars!

We loved that particular bar because the piano bar singer was good and we liked listening to her performing. 

The service at the pool bars was excellent, friendly, and very good. So for this reason we would give a 4 out of 5 for bars on the Costa Luminosa.

Moving to the next topic for our Costa Luminosa Cruise review 

Entertainment

We have to be brutally honest the entertainment team on this cruise was mediocre at best. We don’t know if it was the team or the passenger’s fault but we found that it was really lame. The Entertainment team was not engaging at all.

They were playing the same games by the pool over and over again. There was little or no attempt of involving the passengers and making them participate. It seemed that the only activity that was quite busy was the dance class. Other than that there was not much going on. Which was quite unfortunate considering we had several sea days in bad weather. The only 2 events that were more successful were the voice at sea and the white party that was quite good. 

Costa White Party
Costa Luminosa White Party

For those reasons we think that the vote for Entertainment is a 2 out of 5, sorry Costa Luminosa you really missed the mark there.

And now we continue with our Costa Luminosa Cruise review talking about:

Shows

The shows on the Costa Luminosa were surprisingly better than we experienced on our previous cruise last November. By the way, if you want to see our Costa Diadema cruise review check this link.

There was a better variety of shows, less acrobatics and more singing and dancing performances. We also had a professional Flamenco dance team come on board while in Spain which was quite good. For a couple of nights, there were different singers. But, the dance shows were more fun with a lot of retro music.

So overall it was much more enjoyable watching these shows compared to our last Costa cruise. For this reason our vote is a 4 out of 5 for shows. 

Now we will talk about another aspect of our Costa Luminosa Cruise

The Casino

The Casino on the Costa Luminosa is quite big. It has a very good selection of table games and slots. Unfortunately on this particular cruise was a total ghost town. We rarely saw anybody there. I think passengers on this particular journey were not interested in gambling. Seriously nobody was there ever! One of the casino managers was walking around the bars selling lotto tickets and we bought a few of those. She was telling us that they were thinking of closing at 10pm instead of midnight because it was always dead. 

Oh well, different crowds like different things. Due to the fact that we did not use the Casino and we can only vote the location and the ambiance that I think it was more than adequate for this ship so my vote is a 4 out of 5.

An now let’s review one of my favorite place on the Costa Luminosa

The Spa

Well folks for those of you that follows our videos you know that the SPA is Rick’s natural habitat! We love the spa. On this ship, we were able to book the “Area Benessere” or wellness center for the entire cruise just over €10 a day which was a fantastic deal. The area is great, it has a huge jacuzzi, a dry sauna, a warm relaxing room with heated chairs, a hot room with heated chairs, a regular relaxing room, and a tea room.

Despite that, we spent a TON of time there. The area is spacious with a lot of large bright windows and a ton of natural light. Unfortunately, the water temperature in the jacuzzi was not as warm as we’d hope.

Costa Luminosa Spa

But even on this sailing in which we had a lot of sea days and the weather was not great, this area was amazing! Rick also had 2 massages that were absolutely fantastic! The massage therapist was amazing! Definitely worth every penny! 

One thing – if you’re wanting to save a little money on a massage, wait for the 60 minutes for 80 euro deal. If they don’t have it right away – you can ask the spa manager. They can give it to you!

For this reason, we’ll give a 5 out of 5 to the Spa!

Now let’s move on with our review of Costa Luminosa with 

Excursions

Due to the Covid health protocols we were still not able to go out on our own but we had to use the cruise line excursions to leave the ship. Now the experience with the excursion team was disorganized at best. A couple of excursions that we booked in advance were canceled and when we booked something else on board the tickets did not arrive in our cabin. We had to call several times to get our tickets.

On a boat excursion in Lanzarote, they did not warn anyone that the excursion was going to be in English only. There were a lot of Germans and French people on board that was not able to understand the tour guide and they were really mad.

For some excursions, the gathering place was at the theater with huge crowds gathering in tight spaces. Isn’t that what the health protocols are supposed to prevent? And other times the meeting point was at the bus with several people boarding the wrong bus. Let’s say it was a bit of chaos. 

The excursions themself were usually fun and very interesting, and we had a lot of fun, it was just the organization that was really bad.

Cestinos Experience in Madeira

For this reason, we give the excursion a 2 out of 5 just because we had a lot of fun.

Next topic of our Costa Luminosa Cruise review is

Stores

The stores on the Costa Luminosa are located on deck 3 in what they call the Galleria. There was a clothing store, a duty free store and gift store. There was also a Costa merchandise store.

Overall the selection was adequate for the size of the ship. We did not buy much, just a little gift for Andrea’s mom so they did the job. Unfortunately on this ship, like all the other Costa ships we experienced, the selection of toiletries is very very limited and it can be a problem if you forget something at home not being able to buy it in port.

For that reason, we give a 4 out of 5 for the stores because the selection of toiletry was very limited.

Well let’s talk about our next topic of the Costa Luminosa Cruise review

Internet on board

Costa Cruises doesn’t have an unlimited internet package as they offer on many other cruise lines. They only offer unlimited for social media or whatsapp. On costa, you have to buy gigabytes, like you do a cell phone plan. Andrea bought 1GB for €40 while Rick was paying per minute. At the end we spent the same amount which we think is very pricey.

Nowadays Costa’s competitors in the Mediterranean all offer an unlimited internet package for less than €100 which we think would be fair. The connection speed was decent, I was able to video chat with my parents with no problems. It was also stable. On the plus side because the cruise was all in the EU we were able to use our cell phone connection in port with no extra charge. The problem was only during sea days.

So for the Internet on board, our vote is a 3 out of 5.

Our next topic for our Costa Luminosa Cruise review is:

Costa App

The Costa App is the mobile portal on Costa ships and in theory allows passengers to do a bunch of tasks. In our opinion, it is a bit buggy. Also, no one seems to know anything about it on the ship.  Still, It is great to check the itinerary, the on board activities, the daily spending and check the restaurant’s menu. Another feature is the agenda for excursions and events. This part is very buggy and rarely works. What did not work was the possibility to book excursions using the App. We tried a few times and it always crashed at checkout. The app also has a messaging feature to allow passengers to talk to each other around the ship. Unfortunately, this feature doesn’t have push notifications so it is pretty useless.

However, we have been on a few others cruise lines and we have never found an app that works 100%. So in conclusion the Costa App is not the worst nor it is the best cruise line mobile portal. For this reason, we give it a 3 out of 5.

And now we move to our next topic for our Costa Luminosa Cruise review

Overall Feeling

One thing that we noticed on board the Costa Luminosa was the fact that the crew members were quite happy. It was really nice to see that the staff appeared genuinely happy and willing to help and make passengers feel at home. We mentioned this to several officers on board because it was really nice and made us feel extremely happy.

Another thing we noticed that was completely different from our last cruise on the Costa Diadema, was the fact that officers were always around. We were able to talk to the Hotel Manager, the Captain and to several others. We really liked that.

For this reason our vote for the overall feeling onboard a 5 out of 5

Moving on to our next aspect of the Costa Luminosa to review

Disembarkation

On this particular cruise we were in no rush to disembark because our train back home was around noon. For that reason, we decided to stay on board as long as we could. We were pleasantly surprised to know that there was a dedicated secure area to leave our bags on the ship – in the casino! That allowed us to stay on and enjoy our breakfast, a walk around the ship, and some time relaxing by the pool. When we were ready to disembark the process was incredibly quick and efficient. 

For this reason, our vote for disembarkation is a 5 out of 5

 Our next topic is not really part of the review but it is something that we think it is worth mentioning

Quirkiness

We noticed some rules on board the Costa Luminosa that did not make much sense. Here are few of them:

Here’s the first bizarre thing. At the buffet, you can’t order sparkling water, as you can everywhere else. You have to leave the buffet, go to one of the adjacent outdoor bars, and bring it to the buffet. Ok. But.. say you want to skip a step and bring your food outside, to the aft pool? Nope! Not allowed!  So we were able to eat inside without a mask but not in an area outside with plenty of air?  Pretty strange don’t you think?

Another very bizarre thing is the fact that both at the buffet and main dining room you can have coffee at breakfast. But not at lunch and dinner!  At lunch and dinner, they want you going to a different bar for coffee.

Also was quite strange that they have a pizza restaurant at dinner time but at lunch, there was no pizza anywhere! 

Now, remember before we were talking about Archipelago – the specialty restaurant?  Well, Another very strange rule was the fact that at Archipelago you were not able to substitute anything. The menu was written in stone. You get what they give you, no exceptions. So for example Andrea doesn’t eat seafood and the menus there were very seafood oriented. We could not change for example the main course for something else! For that reason, we ended up not going there! Imagine, you’re a table of 6 or 8. One’s a vegetarian. Or one is gluten free. At Archipelago, they won’t cater to these folks, DESPITE having to pay!  


Now you might think, what about the main dining room- where it’s free to eat? Well, there, they are happy to bend over backwards to help. But at Archipelago – no so!  I think it’s a mistake… but what do I know.

Lastly at the spa the indoor activities were almost all open – but the outdoor solarium for spa clients was closed for because of covid! So according to this rule, it is safer to be in the sauna than outside tanning?  Not only that, the sauna was open, but not the steam room?

We know these quirks were just minor details but they are quite strange.

Lastly we have to mention that some areas of the ship were closed so we were not able to review these: golf simulator, car race simulator, and movie theater. Nothing very important but we have to mention it.

Conclusions

In conclusion, we had a fantastic time on board the Costa Luminosa. Overall our review is very very positive. There are some areas that need improvement, in particular the excursions, the decor, and the entertainment team. Other than that food was sublime, the service was excellent, the ship was super clean and everyone on board was genuinely happy. So we look forward to being on board again soon!

Thank you see you in the next article!

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