Skip to main content

Costa Concordia: Our Experience

The Costa Concordia sinking is just too terrible for words. There are still people trapped on the ship, including a 5 year old girl, and the search is too dangerous to continue. There are reports that this accident occurred because the captain was showing off. I cannot imagine having to jump off of a cruise ship into the water, even to save my life. When I saw the photos of the Costa Concordia on its side, I just stared and cried.



It's no secret that Sexy Nerd and I love to cruise. Of the 4 cruises we have taken, twice on Norwegian, once on Holland America and Costa, the Costa ship was undoubtedly the most beautiful. The Costa Concordia, built at a cost of almost half a billion dollars, was just over 5 years old. It's difficult to imagine all of that - the amazing glass chandeliers, the artwork, the theaters - all sinking to the bottom of the sea.








 
 
Based on our Costa cruise experience, I was not at all surprised to read about the chaos onboard. We cruised on the Costa Atlantica in 2010 and did not enjoy our trip. There were many problems caused by poor management, none of which we have ever witnessed on other cruise lines.


The majority of the passengers on the Costa Atlantica, ourselves included, became sick with Norovirus. The CDC requires cruise lines to notify them of outbreaks on their ship. Costa crew members insisted to me that we were the only people onboard who were sick and that we must have had food poisoning from something we ate when we were not on the ship. The dining rooms were almost deserted because everyone was ill. The crew was constantly cleaning vomit from the hallways and staircases. Costa did not report this to the CDC.

They also refused to quarantine or care for sick passengers, preferring to ignore the problem. They would not send someone to check on us. They would not even bring us food. I do understand that Norovirus is a common cruise ship problem and that perhaps it is not something I should hold Costa responsible for. However, the way Costa chose to handle the outbreak was inexcusable. Everyone we spoke to on the ship was miserable and no one was receiving any compassion from Costa.

It was no wonder that Costa had a Norovirus outbreak. In the buffet, the same utensils were designated for multiple food items - cross contamination. This is Food Safety 101. There was also a small refrigerator that had a sign warning it was out of order, not keeping food at a safe temperature, and should not be used, yet the crew continued to use it. We believe the problem was that the sign was in English, which many of the crew members could not speak.

Our ship spent over an hour attempting to dock in New York. When we returned home, I read posts on the Cruise Critic message boards from people who had been watching our ship from their homes and offices. They wrote that they couldn't figure out what was wrong with the Costa Atlantica and that they had never seen anything like it. Many times, it looked like our ship was going to crash.

On our final day, no one was permitted to disembark the ship while Costa worked out a billing problem with one passenger. This took over an hour. The doors were locked and everyone was forced to wait in line until we were allowed to leave. Because of this, we missed our ferry to New Jersey. I am sure there are guests who missed their flights home.

Comments

  1. Yikes! Cruises scare me for a multitude of reasons and this recent sinking coupled with your experience does not make it more enticing. How sad that people died this way.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So scary. I am not sure I would ever be able to get back on a cruise ship again!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh wow that just sounds horrible!!

    But thankful you had many memorable cruise experiences prior to that one otherwise you might not to be so passionate about cruising today

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Yesterday, my blog made a whopping 2 cents. I'm blogging just for your comments! Thank you for making my day.

Popular Posts from Kitty Deschanel:

Jessner Peel Photos: A Blogger's Before & After Guide to Chemical Peels

A Handy "Before & After" Guide to Chemical Peels - 7/6/18 Update
Since posting my Jessner peel photos, detailing the stages of the process, and writing my chemical peel blog review back in 2013, I've had quite a few Jessner peels (my favorite) and TCA peels. However, I've saved a ton of money over the past 6 months by doing my own chemical peels at home. At my last professional peel, I made a note of the product being used and did some research when I got home. I was able to buy the exact same one, Dermalure Jessner Solution Acid Peel 14%, from Amazon for less than the cost of a single peel. I also use Dermalure's AHA/BHA Acne Cleanser, which I apply before the Jessner. (Side note: There's currently a 1-star review for the at-home peel that complains "I had to deal with days upon days of gross peeling and flakey chunks of skin falling off my face (and I have super oily skin). If I happened to laugh really hard on a particular day or take a big bite ou…

Amerisleep Mattress Reviews

Best Amerisleep Promo Code as of : $200 Off and Free Shipping

My Amerisleep mattress reviews are NOT sponsored. Unlike other "impartial" reviewers out there, we did NOT receive our AS3 bed for free. All of the opinions here are 100% honest and unbiased. My husband, the overly analytical mechanical engineer, was skeptical of a mail order mattress, but he was quickly won over, as you'll see below.


Mattress in a box - the future is here!

6/12/18 Update: We recently moved into a new home and needed a new mattress for our guest bedroom. Of course, we went with Amerisleep again. We put out 6-year-old king AS3 in the guest room and ordered a brand-new Twin XL AS2 and Twin XL AS4 for our master bedroom, thinking we would push them together. Terrible choice! The AS4 was too soft and unsupportive for either of us. We exchanged the two twins for a King AS2, thinking it and the AS3 were so similar that it wasn't worth the extra cost for the AS3. Ack, another poor choice! The AS2 is…

Instant Pot Explosion

While you're here, please be sure to check out my Instant Pot recipes: Creamy Enchilada Rice and Cranberry Oatmeal with Quinoa
We love our Instant Pot, the digital pressure cooker that seems to suddenly be in every home. You can't mess up - just throw in random ingredients and you'll get something yummy every time. It's foolproof. At least, that's how I used to feel about our Instant Pot, until the explosion...

Ack! We just moved in and look what I've already done to my brand new, all-white kitchen!
I tried to re-seal the vent but the pressure was too high to cooperate. I'm honestly not sure what went wrong with this batch of oatmeal. I've made it a million times. The Instant Pot was only about halfway full.

Here is the link to my extra-healthy Super Oatmeal Instant Pot recipe, in case you are curious or a fan of the delicious. It probably won't explode when you make it.
Oatmeal? More like a batch of tasty homemade glue.
 I was bummed that my quic…

Dream Home Dreaming

*Update*
We've finally broken ground on our mountain dream home! Can you believe it? Even more surprising, we actually managed to work a good chunk of this list into our actual design. See below for details.

*Another Update*
We've finished construction and are finally living in our mountain dream home and it's even better than I'd hoped! Here is a sneak-peak of our new kitchen and living room. Click the "Decorating" button above for more photos.

Believe it or not, our budget was meager. Really! My husband built the coffee table from an olive trunk and did the thin brick backsplash himself. Eventually, he's going to take the brick all the way to the top of the ceiling. He also created the three-tier chandeliers (three chandeliers total - yeah, he's pretty great!). 
I was responsible for all of the shopping and decorating decisions and design details and layout. We had the tongue-and-groove installed upside down (rough-side down) with Sherwin Williams H…

Flooring Ideas

Ever since we purchased our 13.1 acre (gotta get credit for that extra 0.1 acre!) lot outside of Albuquerque last year, Sexy Nerd and I have devoted most of our free time to planning our mountain dream home.

We cannot make a decision about anything. At this point, it seems our best option would be to build a row of townhomes, each in a completely different style. On Monday, we would live in our colorful Victorian home, and later in the week we could switch things up in our ultra-contemporary, all concrete house.

Since I can't imagine our neighborhood HOA (or our budget) ever allowing such a thing, we really do need to narrow down our list of ideas.

Flooring is a tough choice. In our current home, we have premium laminate flooring. It stands up well against our rambunctious dogs, but is easily damaged if you unknowingly drip water onto it and let it sit, like by the dog's water bowl and the dishwasher. We also have real wood flooring on our stairs and our bedroom sitting area,…

A Nightmare Jessner Peel Side Effect

Almost as popular as my Amerisleep mattress reviews, the Jessner chemical peel post here on my blog has been a reader favorite for years. I'm still doing my own peels at home and still recommend this to anyone concerned about acne scars or wrinkles. However, last night I did have a Jessner peel scare.

As written before, timing is everything with a chemical peel. You don't want pieces of dead skin (yuck, right?) flaking off at work or at important social events. I've wanted to do one for months but things kept getting in the way, like extra days spent at work and our recent trip to California. Finally, last night I was able to treat myself to an at-home Jessner peel. (Using this product from Amazon, in case you want to try it for yourself.) I've done this so many times that the steps are automatic. I applied three layers of Jessner solution, brushed my teeth, and went to bed. Snuggled into our new mattress and a mountain of blankets, I fell into a deep sleep. I dreamed…

Cranberry Oatmeal with Quinoa - Instant Pot Recipe

In response to my popular Instant Pot Explosion blog post, I've had a few blog readers ask for my oatmeal recipe. This seems a bit odd...you guys aren't trying to recreate that gooey mess in your own kitchens, right? My recipe does make delicious, foolproof Instant Pot oatmeal. It's only for patient people though. Whatever you do, do not manually release the pressure valve at the end of the cooking cycle!

Super oatmeal. See the little specks? That's part of what makes it so super.
The best thing about my recipe is that it's much healthier than regular oatmeal recipes. Start your day with this and you can feel better about all those cookies and fried donuts and ice cream (I have a bit of a sweet tooth) you munch on throughout the rest of the day. This can also be made in a slow cooker or Crock Pot. I've been cooking up batches of my Super Oatmeal for years, long before I'd heard of the Instant Pot, and have even gifted the dry ingredients to health-conscious…

Family Size Bed (Because a King Mattress is Too Small)

Look! Up In The Sky! It's a Bird. It's a Plane. It's...

(cue suspenseful music)

DUN NAH NUH
What's bigger than a king-size Amerisleep mattress? An Amerisleep Superbed!

As you know, my nerdy engineer husband, SN, and I recently ordered two new twin XL mattresses from Amerisleep. The AS4 bed didn't work out for us (too soft and mushy for our taste) but we loved the extra-firm AS2 bed. It's perfect for people who sleep on their back (SN) and on their stomach (me). SN liked it even better than the AS3 bed we'd slept on since 2012 and I thought it was at least equal to that mattress, which is now making our relatives happy in the guest bedroom. The AS2 costs a little less than the AS3 and a lot less than the AS4. Who would have thought the less expensive option would be the better choice, right? Money really doesn't buy happiness.
(Okay, in all honesty, I think I prefer the AS3 just a hair over the AS2. Your first choice is usually the right choice.)

We loved our …

We're Now the Owners of Amerisleep AS2, AS3, and AS4 Mattresses

$250 Amerisleep promo code at the bottom of this post :)
SN and I recently (finally!) moved into our mountain dream home. We decided to put our Amerisleep Liberty (Amerisleep AS3) mattress in the guest bedroom and treat ourselves to a fancy new bed. The big question was whether we should go with the exact same mattress again or test out another Amerisleep bed. We were still happy with our Liberty and it was like-new, even though we'd purchased it almost 6 years ago. Below is the advice and mattress recommendation we received directly from Amerisleep:

(I guess you're going to know SN's real name now. Oh, and my weight! Darn it.)

Amerisleep Chat Transcript Name: Derek Heather MinierThu, 08/31/17 11:08:45 am America/DenverHello. How may I help you?Derek11:09:09 amOther than firmness, are there any differences between the Liberty and the Colonial? Thanks!Heather Minier11:10:09 amHey Derek, there is. The AS3(Liberty) is going to be designed for all kinds of sleepers where the AS4(…

The World's Easiest Thanksgiving Centerpiece

We have no furniture, no bathroom mirrors, and no common sense - we're hosting Thanksgiving this year! Despite a To Do list ten miles long, I'm pretty certain this is going to be the best Thanksgiving ever.

Okay, I briefly wavered on this earlier, when my Martha Stewart-ish mom lectured me about all the things that could (will) go wrong and how I'll surely ruin the holiday for everyone and "you are going to regret it for the rest of your life" (her exact words!), but time has passed and I'm back to feeling confident. Best. Thanksgiving. Ever.

Plus, I'm now determined to knock her judgemental socks off.


We're going to have the cutest table decor in the history of Thanksgiving. Even better? It's so easy and you surely have everything you need to make it right this very second.

DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece and Fall Decor

Step 1:

Gather a glass or two or a dozen. Matching is fine. Mixed is fine.

The Martha Stewart gene skips a generation.

We received a…