January 24, 2012

I Heart Costa

We all know the story. We've seen the headlines, the photos, heard the developing news about the Costa Concordia disaster off the coast of Italy.

Photo retrieved here

The Italian cruise line, Costa, has undoubtedly suffered a big blow to its reputation, although the fault of this tragedy ultimately lies with the ship's captain.

And the most recent headlines are sparking outrage--Costa has offered all survivors of the Costa Concordia a full refund of their voyage and a 30% discount on all future Costa cruises. This does seem utterly ridiculous and I can only imagine what an insult it must seem to those passengers.

Why am I talking about all of this, you may ask? Well, it's because way back when, in 2001, I cruised the Caribbean with Costa. And it was lovely.

Though Costa ships mostly sail the Mediterranean, every so often, they send one or two of their ships across the Atlantic to sail the Caribbean. That's when I, along with best friend Laura and her parents, joined them for a week-long Spring Break vacation.

Laura and I especially loved that the ship's crew was Italian. Our dining steward assigned to us for the week was so sweet and had a great accent when he spoke English. Even though we weren't in Europe, there was a sort of feeling of Europe lingering in the air. The ship itself {it wasn't the Concordia} was stunning and immaculate. The food was beyond incredible, the entertainment spectacular, and the organized land tours by the cruise were wonderful, too.

We sailed to Mexico, Jamaica, and the Grand Cayman islands. It was really a dream-trip come true for me. And I was so impressed with the overall experience of cruising that I decided this was one of THE ultimate ways to travel.

Since it was my first cruise experience, and such a lovely one at that, I have to say that I've held a special affection for Costa cruise lines in my heart. The Costa Concordia is such a sad tragedy, and my heart goes out to all of the victims and the survivors as well. I think that Costa's reputation will likely be forever tarnished because of this and that they will have trouble attracting future vacationers. I don't necessarily have plans to cruise with Costa in the future, but I can tell you that aside from the Costa Concordia disaster and based upon my own personal experience with Costa, I wouldn't hesitate to book with them again.

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