As a first-time cruiser, I didn’t quite know what Costa Serena had in store for me – but having heard quite a bit from colleagues, my expectations were high. Happily, they were mostly met.
I noticed the decor was rather lively – but this is an Italian company cruising in the Mediterranean, so the gold, mirrors and mannequins dressed in Venetian carnival outfits didn’t seem out of place.
The cabins were larger than I expected, with more than enough room to walk around and unpack.
The restaurants were excellent, with good food and waiters who would not be out of place in a Michelin-approved restaurant.
The casual dining arrangements – with breakfast and lunchtime buffets – offered a huge variety of good food. Equally important, there were so many based around the ship, you could dine in a different area with a different view each day.
The bars were well stocked, and overall Costa Serena offers enough entertainment on its 13 passenger decks to ensure quality distractions are never far away.
Costa Serena fact sheet
Passenger decks: 13
Cabins: 580 inside cabins and 920 outside cabins.
Facilities: Five restaurants, including one à la carte Club Restaurant; 13 bars, a cinema, casino, disco and spa.
Book it: A seven-night cruise on Costa Serena departing Bari, Italy and taking in Greece and Turkey, costs from £599 per person, cruise-only in an inside cabin in April 2008.