Many of you may know that we just recently returned from our first-ever, full-fledged foreign Mediterranean cruise. Yes, we took the children. Yes, we had a good time. No, we didn’t see all that we wanted. It wasn’t what I expected. We did learn a lot about Italians and our “cultural” differences, though. They are loud, fast, and don’t have issues with sharing their personal space with you, whether you like it or not. But despite the shoving, arguing, crowding, and mob mentality vs. queueing, I still think some of the Americans onboard were the most annoying. (Maybe it’s because I could understand what they were saying.)
First, about the cruise line, Costa Cruise. It is loosely associated with Ryan Air, is run by Italians, and therefore favored by Italians. (I mean the company and ships are flagged Italian. I think the ship is actually run by the many, many third-world country employees, but the helm is in the hands of an Italian. ) The ship was very nice, and well kept. All announcements were made in at least half-a-dozen languages, which was tiresome. Smoking is still permitted throughout the ship, which was a bit of a damper. We could even smell smoke in our cabin sometimes. Maybe in the next few years the Italians will catch on to the No Smoking movement.
There were plenty of opportunities set up for children, as far as day-camps, entertainment, special dinners, and such. Our boys didn’t enjoy it, though, because they were the only non-Italian kids there, and so they were often unsure of what was going on. The kind staff all spoke English, but that wasn’t enough to keep them excited. In fact, Gus hated it at the day-care, called Squok Club. He said it was so boring. We had to bribe him to go.
Aside from that, we enjoyed the ship, the crew, and our trip. Even though we don’t gamble, drink, smoke, lounge or like to stay up late, we amazingly still found enough to stay busy onboard. And even though our desired port-of-call destination was cancelled on this trip, we still saw some cool things in places we never thought we wanted to go. We’d even consider taking another Costa cruise in the future.