Our Travels – Final Day (at Sea) on the Costa Serena
With 25 plus cruises to our record, we’ve developed a routine based on the 7 to 9 day Caribbean cruises that we’ve taken. There’s usually a day at sea at the beginning to explore the ship, detox from the crazy days leading up to the cruise and then another day at sea to wind down at the end of the cruise. Our Mediterranean cruise threw our routine right off the balcony LOL! We hit the ground running from day one, every morning there were new sights to see, and new destinations to explore. I’m sure the typical European cruise fan would have developed their own routine for the Mediterranean, but for us this was all new territory.
So the last day of our cruise was spent exploring the ship, reminiscing over the wonderful memories we were taking back to share with our friends and family, and of course, making plans for our NEXT European cruise!
The Costa Serena is a spacious ship, at 144,500 tons with 13 decks. It has two main dining rooms, a buffet plus two specialty restaurants- Club Bacco and Samsara. It has a fully equipped fitness center and the Samsara spa and beauty salon. Their kids club, known as the Squok Club accepts 3-6 year olds, and 7-11 year olds. The ship accomodates 3000 passengers and 1068 crew members. It launched in 2007, and seems to be holding up quite well, I saw none of the usual signs of an overrun, worn out ship.
Ice carving demonstration at the mid ship pool – the chefs and kitchen staff are wonderfully talented! This was also our favorite spot to have breakfast since its right next to the buffet and offers 2-story floor to ceiling views.
Below is the the aft pool and bar: late breakfast was also set up in this area. Considering the still chilly temps in early March, it was great that they had a retractable roof over both the aft and mid-ship pools. Although it was spring break for many Europeans, the ship never felt overrun with kids despite the many large family groups on board.
An outdoor view of the retractable roof over the aft swimming pool.
Sadly, due to the before mentioned chilly temperatures, I did NOT try out their waterslide. : (
The Formula 1 Race car simulator is a very cool activity for the 16 year old and up crowd who have a need for speed.
The Squok Club Mini (kids club area for the 3-6 year olds).
Passing between the islands Menorca and Mallorca en route to Barcelona.
Running track on the upper deck.
The buffet: unlike most Caribbean cruises, there wasn’t a dinner offering at the buffet, although you could get pizza and salad. Dinner times in the main dining rooms were 7:30 p.m. for the early sitting and 9:30 p.m. for the late-very typical for most European cultures.
Seating in the buffet- lots of availability to accomodate larger families.
Club Bacco (an a la carte restaurant) is a specialty dining room offering ‘molecular cuisine’ favored by Italian chef Ettore Bocchia. This approach to cooking explores the physics behind flavorful food.
Salone Luna, one of the larger lounges.
The video arcade.
Lots of fun and games to be found in the adults only casino.
Bar Sport Victoria-I just love the cute soccer ball seating!
This passageway, next to the coffee and chocolate bar Caffetteria Juventas, is situated between the casino and the Grand Bar Apollo. The various cruise hostesses-English, German, and Spanish- provided hours each day to answer any questions you might have during the course of your cruise in your native language. There were probably other languages represented as well considering the diversity of nationalities amongst the guests.
The Caffetteria Juventas coffee and chocolate bar offered espressos and specialty coffees, cakes and a chocolate fountain for an additional cost. This was a gathering spot for many people in the evenings after the shows and dinner.
The Grand Bar Apollo was always busy with guests dancing and socializing-a very popular spot after dinner!
Lots of shopping available on board the Serena! From sweets to liquors, toothpaste to t-shirts, and designer purses to fine jewellery there was something for everyone with duty free pricing. All prices are in euros and are charged to your on board account.
Great views of the atrium.
The interactive totems were excellent resources! You could register your email for the end of cruise survey (don’t forget to recognize that special staff member who made your cruise especially wonderful!), book an excursion or rent a movie.
This kiosk (below) is strictly for registering your credit card for your on board account, or checking the charges on your on board acccount.
You can also go to the Excursion Desk if you need help with choosing and purchasing a shore excursion.
We’ve returned to the Port of Barcelona. As one adventure ends; another, touring some of the World Heritage sites in Spain, is about to begin!
What a wonderful cruise! Now we are all ready for a real taste of Barcelona!
Author: Desiree Carter
Photos: ©Cedric Carter