Thursday, 9 July 2015

June 20, 2015- At Sea Again

At Sea Day, Time +1 hour,  Lisbon to Valencia, Breakfast in room,  Lie on deck in sun (and wind), Lunch at buffet with a pink chick thigh, Lie in sun and wind, Pass through Strait of Gibraltar at approximately 1:00 PM, Sauna and steam room, Nap,  Meet with Guest Services Manage,  Write blog, Dinner at 9:30 PM

Time moved ahead by one hour early in the morning. Today started with a sleep in. Breakfast was delivered to the room at 9:30 AM. We went up to the pool to get deck chairs only to find that there were earlier birds than us who had reserved all the seats around the pool and in the decks closest to the pool (against cruise policy again). We were again relegated to the upper and windy decks. This was just as well, because it was very loud near the pool. They were having loud dance classes, quiz games, and causing tons of racket. It was truly annoying to try and relax in the sun with the constant din around us. It wasn’t just the music. It was the fact that some fellow on a microphone kept yelling over the music the whole time in Italian.

We left stuff on our chairs to reserve them, against cruise ship policy, but since no one was enforcing this rule on others, we did it anyway, and went for lunch at the buffet. The food was lackluster and generally gross as usual. Bill tried to send pink, undercooked chicken back, but the bus boy/waiter, was too afraid to “insult the chef” and refused to. A supervisor did come to visit, but he said “that’s the way we cook the chicken here” and walked off without us being able to give any response. Thanks again, Costa Cruises! We ate virtually nothing and left, although our appetite was erased by the experience.

April walked back to the pool to see an enthusiastic dance session taking place to "Gangham Style" and tried to relax in the sun, while Bill reported the events of lunch to the kind English hostess, Nuria. We tried to relax in the sun, but it was very cold and windy so we went to the spa/gym, to sit in the separate steam rooms/saunas for men and women. Sitting and looking out of the window of the sauna while passing through the strait of Gibraltar was probably the coolest experience of the day.

We returned to the room, had a nap, and received a note that the guest services manager was ready to meet with us regarding our checkered experience with this Costa Crociere Cruise. We had a shower and went to the buffet for a salad with lettuce and bitter cucumbers and a couple of mini sandwiches.

We met with the guest services manager and it was a huge disappointment. She suggested that we buy a private tour of Monaco or rent a car and drive there themselves. Costa just doesn’t get it. She offered us 20% off other tours we might want to take out of Savona to Italian towns…what a slap in the face. Finally she offered us an upgrade to a suite for the remaining four days of the cruise. We declined this bizarre offer. Why would we want slightly more room for a few days and have to remove everything from our room that is organized and unpacked? When we said this would not do, she said that they had no power on the ship to refund us, or do anything else, other than send a complaint form to the head office. We must fill it out in front of her and cannot do it electronically as it uses carbon paper. She said that she would get back to us about how much a private tour of Monaco would cost.

It is formal night tonight even though when April called Costa before we left, it was supposed to be the last night before the cruise ended (June 22nd)…. More misinformation and disorganization. We supposed it made sense though, because most of the ship's occupants will be disembarking in Savona soon. We are not looking forward to another previously frozen dinner.

Formal night was an interesting and confusing cultural experience. The menu was different from previous evenings, with fewer selections, and was found rolled up on our plates, tied with a pretty ribbon. Unfortunately, the food quality was once again lackluster, although Bill’s roast beef was acceptable for most fundraising dinners—in reflection that’s pretty sad for a highlight, but with this cruise, fundraising dinner fare would be deemed luxury.

Right before dessert arrived, there was a blaring blast on the loudspeaker of a loud voice in Italian. It rapidly switched into the various different languages on board so quickly, one couldn’t discern what was going on… then even louder…we’re talking mega-decibels here… the “pizza pie” song erupted on the speakers. Suddenly and without warning all of the dining room started swinging their napkins in a circular motion above their heads like a helicopter never destined to take flight  in a spectacle that resembled a playoff game at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. Waiters danced in with a kind of tiramisu cake with Cool-Whip with white sugar as an icing on top. Everyone cheered and stood up, and dessert was served. If you like recently thawed M&M Meats cakes, you would have been very satisfied. Thankfully for her, April had ordered some ice cream well in advance from our two kind waiters who made sure she did not have to suffer.

April's gastro-intestinal issues will not abate. She is feeling awful. We are getting worried.

2.62 km walked today.

Gorgeous decor in the buffet restaurant (Bellagio Restaurant) with green dismembered arms holding the lights.
Pink chicken for lunch. "That's the way we cook it." as the supervisor walked away without any time for rebuttal. The same supervisor who the busboy did not even want to tell because it would "insult the chef" if he knew he was serving raw chicken.

Too far to swim to shore. Damn.
April "enjoys" another dinner as the Smerelda Restaurant on the Costa Magica.

These were odd stains on the ceiling above our place in the restaurant

At least the chicken was cooked at dinner...too bad it was so dry it was like eating yarn.

We survived another day on the Costa Magica!

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