I already arrived in Venezia on the day before. The weather was quite evil, cold, windy and with rain nearly all the afternoon and evening, the situation was the same on departure day. I was about to leave my hotel, which was in walking distance to Piazzale Roma, but I had to wait until a rain shower had done its job.
Masses of incoming cruise passengers were at the 'People Mover', the monorail that connects Piazzale Roma with the Cruise Terminal as well as Tronchetto, I decided to walk therefore and arrived at 11:35am, after a walk of 850m and about 12 minutes at the entrance checkpoint, where I had to show the 'Boarding Form' and my passport to security staff.
Some more steps towards the cruise terminal, I saw a table which listed all today's cruise ships together with each their terminals and directions to, among them 'Costa Luminosa' at terminal 109-110. Looking around, I saw an ATM, ticketing for different water transport services, a Bistro, a Tabacchi and 2 souvenir shops, a Cambio and a Parafarmacia. 'Costa Luminosa' had already turned and berthed at her usual pier and terminal. I observed departure delays nearly always in the past weeks on MarineTraffic, even more than 1 hour sometimes. I had to walk down the entire pier, through rain puddles here and there, the way is partially roof covered. Fortunately, I have a rolling suitcase.
At 11:44am, I finally arrived in front of terminal 109-110, presented my 'Boarding Form' to a man, who directed me in German language to the correct entrance, guests were separated by different decks, it was raining again. A few minutes later, I was at the baggage drop off, presented the same documents to the man at the counter, was recognized as a German again, and he started to speak German to me. I was handed over a 'Health Form' in German language, regarding a possible infection risk, and a card with the 'Progressive Embarkation Number' 11. He attached the baggage tag from my cruise documents with a tape, and at 11:52am, my baggage vanished in the x-ray. The escalator up, I found a snack bar and a big hall with many passengers waiting. I asked staff about the further procedure and was told that the boarding process would start after approximately 1 hour. A woman was walking through the seating lines to promote wellness offers and a man collected waste from waiting passengers. At 12:50pm, an announcement over the loudspeakers informed about the start of the embarkation procedure in Italian, English, French, Spanish and German language, which then started 5 minutes later by calling guests having 'Progressive Embarkation Number' 1, and so on.
At 01:40pm, my number 11 was called, and I proceeded to the passport control. My 'Progressive Embarkation Number' card asked me to have my 'Boarding Form', cruise ticket and passport at hand, it was collected at the line-up, where I had to wait another 24 minutes. Screens gave various information in pictures, comprehensive whatever language is spoken. Electronic devices should be turned off before put into the safe, for example. Again, I was addressed in German language by the man at the desk who checked my documents. Only 4 desks were open, by the way. Most guest declined to get photographed at the photo wall and rushed through the set, as well as I did. Nonetheless, the photographers tried their best to take photos for and from at least a few guests. It was 02:09pm, when I went through the security. I had totally forgotten the small bottle with something to drink and the fresh giant cookie from one of the famous Venetian bakeries, but even my nail scissor wasn't subject to inspection or confiscation. Next to the security behind the customs, there is a small duty free shop. I went up the stairs, along the gangway and entered 'Costa Luminosa' at 02:14pm in the 'Atrio Supernova' on Ponte 2 Zaffiro. My 'Boarding Form' was collected, a photo of me was made with some sort of a smartphone, and the embarkation procedure was done. I arrived at my stateroom 5381 on Ponte 5 Avorio, starboard side at 02:20pm, and found my 'Carta Costa' on the bed, 165 minutes since arrival at the port gate.
At 02:55pm, steward Christian from the Philippines showed up and handed out the 'Diario Di Bordo' in German language, I asked him for the English version in the future, and how to listen to loudspeaker announcements in my stateroom. He told me that only emergency announcements would be audible in the staterooms.
I left 'Costa Luminosa' for a short visit of Venezia at 03:23pm, returning after less than 2 hours, the weather was only a little bit better now, at least the rain stopped. I passed the security, where my passport and 'Carta Costa' were checked at 05:10pm, and found my baggage 5 minutes later in front of my stateroom door.
I then proceeded to the security drill, which began for all passengers boarded in Venezia at 05:45pm on Ponte 3 Ambra, where my presence was registered by scanning my 'Carta Costa' with the same kind of smartphone. The event took less than 30 minutes, and I started a small ship exploration right after that. It was raining again. I found some clocks going wrong, and generally, light wear and tear.
It was 08:15pm, when 'Costa Luminosa' set off the pier and started to sail down the Canale Della Giudecca in the darkness. Venezia is not illuminated spectacular, the 'Campanile' at Piazza San Marco does not have any illumination at all. The passage took exactly 1 hour to the new flood protection system 'M.O.S.E', which is located at the lagoon exit at the northern end of Isola Del Lido in Canale Di San Nicolò. The construction site for a new proposed cruise terminal for all grandi navi is located outside of the then protected lagoon, and they did obviously not start with it yet. 'Costa Luminosa' left the lagoon and sailed towards the river Po mouth, where she finally changed course, heading east towards Trieste.
'Costa Luminosa' offers 5 small terminals for the credit card registration, 2 on Ponte 2 Zaffiro and 3 terminals on Ponte 3 Ambra. At 10:35pm, most of the terminals were free. I first selected the menu language, moved the magnetic strip of my 'Carta Costa' through the slot, was asked to insert my credit card with the chip into the slot underneath the keyboard, had to type my PIN, and received the message that the credit card registration was done successfully. The last 4 digits of my credit card number appeared on my 'Spese Di Bordo', the board account, from then on. On board expenses, including the tip which is billed daily, would be deducted every day from the credit card account. Otherwise, the guest would have to pay a cash deposit in order to cover on board expenses, details were given in the 'Diario Di Bordo'. The one for the next day was delivered to my stateroom in the evening, again in German language, together with an excursion ticket in an envelope. I had to ask the steward, he was present until about 10:00pm every day, for unlocking the minibar, he simply had forgotten it.
In order to get access to my 'Spese Di Bordo', I activated WiFi / WLAN on my smartphone and navigated to 'onboardportal-luminosa.costa.it'. Various services were available in 9 different languages, the 'Diario Di Bordo' for example, downloadable as PDF. I first had to register with my 'Carta Costa' number, stateroom number, eMail and a password of my choice. I then could log in to get access to my personal information, on board account, as well as for purchasing an internet package for example. Logging in to the internet was also possible from 'onboardportal-luminosa.costa.it', bandwidth usage was shown at log in and log out. The guest can also use some so called 'Totem's, interactive screens, on board for booking excursions, making table and wellness reservations, as well as monitor on-board expense accounting, and much more.