vacation

Diving Into Costa Deliziosa

As I’ve mentioned before as travel agents we get some special perks.  In June of 2016 I got the actual dream trip.  At a conference I won a 7-day cruise along the Western Mediterranean (which I hadn’t been able to explore extensively) on a cruise line I had never used before.  We embarked on the cruise in Savona, Italy and sailed to Naples, Sicily, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca and disembarked in Barcelona.  As usual, I run into my usual problem which is who to take with me? I of course took my travel buddy and long-time bestie, who had never been to Europe so off we set to explore Italy and Spain on the Costa Deliziosa!

            I will be writing more about my trip in other posts but this one is all about the ship!   Costa Cruise Lines is an Italian cruise line, they have just started exploring the North American market.  The food, the entertainment, the service and the crowd you can expect on a Costa Cruise. 

            Let’s start with the food that’s the real important part here.  The primary areas we ate were in the main dining room, buffet and the lunch bar by the pool. The dining room served mainly Italian dishes and seafood.  Let’s note that I spent a week in Italy before jumping on this cruise ship, as much as I love Italy and Italian dishes this girl was ready for more variety. The bar in the pool had more traditional “American dishes”, such as burgers and French fries.  The buffet mainly had pizza and more pastas.  We usually had lunch in the pool bar because the room Costa accommodated us with was a balcony suite right under the pool. Needless, to say we had lunch usually at port just because we enjoyed fully immersing ourselves in the culture and eating in local restaurants. 

            The entertainment, meaning the shows, put on by the cruise ship were nothing to rave about.  We went to the theatre the first 2 nights to see what how we would like it and we were honestly not impressed at all.  For the remainder of the cruise we would hang out on the main bar where we felt it was a lot more fun.  

            The crew members really make the trip a memorable experience.  It’s mentioned several times through their advertisements that the first language is English on the ship.  Yes, that’s true the main language is English; which means if you speak to the crew member in English they will understand or try their hardest to understand you, however, many of the guests on this ship were Europeans. Which if you board a European cruise line especially in Europe you need to keep this in mind.  If this is something that is a deal breaker for you I suggest you reconsider.  

            Our room was out of this world. I’ve sailed on everything from an interior cabin to a balcony suite.  On this cruise they gave us a balcony suite towards the end of the ship.  This means we had a bigger balcony than usual, to give you an idea we had 2 lounge chairs, 2 regular sitting chairs and a table which all fit comfortably.  We also had the best views from our very own balcony whenever we got to a new destination. We were treated like queens on the ship from everyone I honestly have no complaints on that end.  Another thing I like about Costa is that they are usually more economically priced than other cruise lines in that region.  Also, since they are European line they have ships in Europe year-round compared to American liners that come to North America in the fall and go back in the summer.  I also thoroughly enjoyed the ports.  These are ports I had been wanting to visit for awhile but never got around to because they were not convenient in my other trips, especially in Spain.  I was able to visit cities that had been on my list for a while that I never got around to seeing.  

            Costa Cruise lines is a line I will be considering using in the future.  I’ve had several clients on this line and they’ve thoroughly enjoyed themselves and haven’t given me any complaints.  They have a price point that is very enticing. One thing I forgot to mention earlier they have a system that you can start and end your cruise at whichever port you’d like instead of the traditional cruise that must start at one end and end in the other.  They also have ports that are very popular however aren’t accessible to all the cruise lines and that is a very attractive factor for them, including the fact that they sail throughout Europe year-round. Their destinations are not traditional, and I appreciate that.  Costa Cruise Lines has a unique way of cruising and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I look forward to my next trip aboard one of their ships. 

 

 

Why Travel Agents are Better Than Going it Alone

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DO I REALY NEED A TRAVEL AGENT?

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Hey Michelle...WTH DO YOU DO?

I get asked several times a day what exactly is my job? I wear many hats, and I change them depending on the day and circumstance is usually my answer. My main job is a travel consultant. I have had the pleasure of traveling to several destinations around the world and my main reason
for those travels is to serve as a walking human review. From the moment I leave my house to the moment I return I am constantly observing everything. It starts with my mode of transportation, from the Uber/Lyft to the airport/cruise ship; I am observing the cruise line or airline I am on, the service they give me, the food.

Once I get to a destination, my first thought is, “is it easy to get here?" What kind of traveler will this attract? Is it suitable for all demographics/ages?” Then I start with the sights. I start observing all of the things there are to do, the sights that are a must see and those that aren’t, the must do activities, places to stay and places to eat. Everything you can possibly think of I observe and I review. I give you an honest opinion. Anyone can sell you a destination or an excursion I on the other let my experiences speak for themselves.

Another frequently asked question I get is” I can get my hotel anywhere online why go to you?” Here’s my answer I don’t charge you anything more than any other price you can find, most times I can even find it cheaper for you. However, you gain a lot more than you would with an online agent. I’ve been able to visit a lot of places and I am a walking human review. Also, I’m as honest as they come. All of my clients are treated as friends and family members. I make it my #1 priority to make sure all of my clients have the vacation of their dreams.

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