I arrived in Savona on the evening before the cruise, the weather was bad. On the departure day - it still was -, I proceeded the few meters from my hotel to the 'Palacrociere' terminal in Savona, presented my 'Boarding Form' and passport to a man at the terminal gate and went across the piazza to the baggage claim. My baggage tag from the cruise documents was attached to my rolling suitcase, which then vanished in the terminal, and right next to the baggage claim, a woman began to talk to me in German language - how could she know that I am from Germany -, handed me out a card with the 'Progressive Embarkation Number' 5 and informed me about the CheckIn procedure which was due to begin at 12:00pm. I went up the escalator to the terminal hall with snack bar, restrooms and information desks. Until now, the whole procedure did not even take 5 minutes, but I had to wait for more than an hour until the CheckIn would begin for me, while the terminal hall was populated with cruise guests. Screens gave various information in pictures, comprehensive whatever language is spoken. Electronic devices should be turned off before they would be put into the safe, for example. Women were walking through the seating lines to promote wellness offers as well as beverage packages, and a first announcement over the loudspeakers informed about the start of the embarkation procedure in Italian, German, English and French language, Spanish sometimes, in this order.
The embarkation started at 12:04pm by calling guests having 'Progressive Embarkation Number' card 1, and so on. My card asked me to have my 'Boarding Form', passport and cruise ticket at hand; the ticket was then not necessary at all, by the way. At 12:48pm, my number 5 was called, and I proceeded to the passport control at 'Imbarco Ovest A', where I passed the check - very friendly and multilingual staff was there - followed by the security, the photo wall, where the photographers really tried their very best to take a photo - just one - of me, and a last check in front of the gangway, where my 'Boarding Form' was collected and a photo of me was shot quickly for the security. At 01:04pm, I entered 'Costa Pacifica' on Ponte 3 Mood and proceeded to my stateroom #424 on Ponte 8 Ludwig port side of the ship, where I arrived just 4 minutes later. The door was open, my baggage already delivered, but the room was not ready. Rooms were scheduled to be ready at 02:30pm, and after I had introduced myself to Karen, the stewardess, I took my 'Carta Costa', the boarding card, and went for lunch to the 'Ristorante Buffet La Paloma' on Ponte 9 Azzurro, no problem to find free tables, there is also the upper area of the buffet restaurant - in the evenings the 'Pizzeria Pummid'oro', one deck higher on Ponte 10 Satie, accessible by stairs. As expected, the lunch and patisserie offers were very good, but choice a little bit limited.
At 02:30pm, an announcement declared the staterooms to be ready in Italian, English, German and French language. At 03:23pm, I approached one of the credit card registration terminals at the entrance to the 'Grand Bar Rhapsody' on Ponte 5 Swing, swiped my 'Carta Costa' through the device, inserted my credit card into the slot beyond the keyboard, typed the PIN thereafter, eventually had to sign on the screen with the pen attached to the device and pushed the OK button on the screen. It took a while until the screen displayed the message that the registration was successful.
Karen appeared at my stateroom just 50 minutes before scheduled departure, asking for everything to be ok and to unlock the minibar. She collected the small room cleaning form, but not before I had signed it. The cruise guests can choose between morning or evening cleaning of the stateroom, or even the twice daily cleaning.
An announcement for the security drill was made at 03:49pm. It began for all passengers boarded in Savona some few minutes later with the loud signal on Ponte 4 Groove, where my presence was registered by scanning my 'Carta Costa' with a kind of smartphone right in front of the life boat row. I had to bring a life vest from my stateroom. The event was held trilingual in Italian, English and German language and finished at 04:17pm, followed by an announcement in Italian by the captain Paolo Viscafè, and in English, French, German, Russian and Spanish language by other staff in the name of the captain, giving information about the first leg of the cruise to Marseille with some few and not so good meteorological details.
Grand 'Costa Pacifica' set away from the pier at 04:42pm, with the typhoon blowing and the departure theme "Con Te Partiro", the Italian version of "Time To Say Goodbye". Dozens of sea gulls circled around 'Costa Pacifica', and it took a while until the ship turned after sailing backwards out of the harbor about 25 minutes after departure. A strong and cool wind blew down the mountains from north east, foam caps on the sea and a cloud covered sky, no reason for cruise enthusiasm. Land based LTE mobile internet access was available until about 07:15pm with interruptions.
In order to get access to my 'Spese Di Bordo', I activated WiFi / WLAN on my smartphone and navigated to 'onboardportal-pacifica.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 and birth date. I then had access to my personal information, board account, as well as for purchasing or activating a pre ordered internet package for example. Logging in to the internet was also possible from 'icafe.pacifica.costa.it', bandwidth usage was shown at log in and log out. The guest can otherwise use some so called 'Totem's, interactive screens, on board for booking excursions, making table and wellness reservations, as well as to monitor on-board expense accounting, and much more.