I was awake early again this morning so set about trying to review last night’s events. Once we had unpacked our cases it was about 8:20 pm and with dinner at 9:00, we had lost any chance of seeing more of the ship at that time. So, we went in search of a bar for a quick pre-dinner drink. We found somewhere on deck 5 outside the speciality restaurants called Bella Bar and were quickly served. It was only a short walk from there to our dining room at the aft of the ship and is called Ristorante dei Medici, it is the larger of two MDR’s onboard with the other not open on this cruise. Social distancing is very obvious with the seating arrangements and our table for this cruise is 431 on the upper level. Our two waiters Bryan and Melvin are from the Philippines, both very engaging and attentive. The food was excellent and as expected, Nicole also had her own vegan menu to choose from. The centre area of the dining room is quite stunning as you will see from the photos below
After we had finished our meal we made our way to the atrium which is called the Piazza Della Signoria and ended the evening there with a few drinks. At one point before the theatre kicked out, there were 14 bar staff with only 13 passengers to serve.
There is no issue at all getting served so far that’s for sure.
To get off the ship in Abu Dhabi, you have to take an official excursion so we decided not to bother today, however, we are getting off tomorrow and going to Al Maya which is described as an exclusive beach Island just minutes from Abu Dhabi. We had to book this using the Costa app as the excursions office is closed under the Covid restrictions onboard. It’s the same with Guest Services as well, all communication with them is to be done over the phone. Another area that is closed is the gym which was a bit of a disappointment for Nicole. Another thing we have not seen with any of the other cruise lines we have been on since Covid is Costa have a mandatory temperature check to be done daily before 3:00pm and there are machines dotted around the ship at various locations to enable you to do this. Talking of machines, they also have other points around the ship where you can register your credit card for the final payment of your onboard account.
The weather wasn’t the best first thing today, it started off overcast and windy and never really improved that much until around 2:30 when the clouds cleared to provide some welcome sunshine. The morning did however give us a great opportunity to explore the ship and get a feel for it. We started on the upper decks and worked our way down, checking every possible area available. It’s an absolutely beautiful ship, it still has the Costa feel but a lot more refined than others we have been on.
One thing evident to us was the number of places to sit, there are options available everywhere. After lunch in the buffet, we made our way to an outside area of the Lounge Della Moda at the aft on deck 5, whereas I mentioned earlier, the sun started to break through around 2:30 and it was really nice to sit outside. Today we have completely relaxed and after the run-up to boarding now feel totally chilled.
The rain returned around 5:00 so being as dinner wasn’t until 9:00 we went to the buffet to grab a couple of sandwiches. So, that’s it from me today, hopefully, I can find time tomorrow to bring you up-to-date with how our island excursion went.