Though this is the smallest ship in the Costa fleet and on its relocation back to the Mediterranean after its seasonal circuits around the Indian Ocean, its entertainment programme is very full, despite the crew obviously having to create the timetable ‘on the hoof’.
The ‘Diario di bordo’, our daily news and events programme delivered to each cabin during the evening (in your language), lists all the things you can do from 9am to midnight, with quite few things going on in parallel thus making some decisions difficult. For instance; at 5pm there is an Amber Fashion Show, at 5.15pm a culinary demonstration on how to prepare a pizza and at 5.30pm Mariano Miranda the Argentinian is doing another show, requested after last night’s amazing performance. Problems, problems, problems, yes……… it can be hell at times!
There are Art and Craft activities, dancing lessons of all the popular types, quizzes on every subject at regular times throughout the day and silly game competitions. Then there are the multitude of beauty treatments in the Samsara Spa and exercise classes in the gym and pools. Oh, and I nearly forgot the lessons on mixing particular cocktails and aperitif games which usually follow, you can guess what that entails. Or, you could just sit in one of the bars and listen to live music, from classical to modern at any time of the day or night and read a book. There is also a casino onboard and a popular slot machine area.
The First Class passengers have their own section of the ship and itinerary, and though they mix and share what I have just described there are other things going on that we are not made aware of; cocktail parties, wine and cheese tasting, meeting the captain etc. Not bad for such a small ship, you can walk from end to end in about 5 minutes.
After watching a presentation of the ports that we shall be visiting in the Mediterranean we had some tough decisions to make as to what we would do in each of them. Civitavecchia proved most problematical. The temptation was to take one of the whirlwind excursions to Rome, but sensibly we opted against it, having decided to visit Rome in the autumn and spend some time in the city seeing the sites at our leisure. We booked to go to Lake Bracciano and visit Odescalchi Castle instead, it is an interesting location that we would be unlikely ever to visit otherwise. And, if it is good enough for Tom Cruise and Kate Holmes to get married there, it will do us.
We chose to take lunch in the Botticelli. It was a mistake. As usual the service is so slow that we were late to see the Phil Collins concert on the big screen in one of the bars by half an hour. On the plus side we were seated in the middle of two other pairs of passengers, the down side was that they were French. However, one couple were from Mauritius and both pairs could speak English (of sorts). Entente Cordial prevailed and we engaged in conversation, though I stayed well away from the subjects of Trafalgar and Cressy. Fish was the main topic discussed, you could say it was their poisson!
Afterwards I hit the gym and Sue the top deck with book in hand. It was noticeable that as we head north off the coast of Somalia, the fierce heat has started to dissipate.
We had Aylo for company at dinner. He again did most of the talking and tonight we learned about his daughter and her wayward teenage years in Sao Paulo. It passed the time and it nearly made us late for the evening show, an extravaganza with Latin dancers demonstrating their Tango skills. Quite superb, wish we could do likewise, but I guess Sue would end up breaking one bone or more! Afterwards we dallied a while in the dance bar and as a contrast watched the 70+yrs take the floor to the waltz. Glad we don’t do likewise, I would probably fall asleep!
During the evening I have been having Jim text me the score between England and Wales as it was happening as the satellite TV in our room has no sports channel. I repeat, NO SPORTS CHANNEL ANYWHERE ON THE SHIP. Can you believe it?