This captivating six-part series features the Costa Serena, one of Europe's largest cruise ships. Longer than London Bridge and with entertainment areas covering more space than 20 football pitches, her 1,000-strong crew are pushed to the max keeping some 3,800 passengers in check. Follow all the action at sea as Italian Captain Russo and his crew cope with the onslaught of bad weather, demanding guests, wacky entertainers and medical emergencies. Expect tango, tempers, brawls and birthdays - this is the inside story of cruise ship life.
Cruise Ship Diaries: CRUISE SHIP DIARIES: HONEYMOON SEASON
With major staff changes, brand new entertainers, worsening weather and several unexpected challenges ahead, the Costa Serena’s crew must be prepared for rough seas ahead. The new cruise director has her hands full with 160 more honeymooners than expected. Meanwhile the ship’s entertainment dancers are under serious pressure with limited time in the theatre and nasty run-ins with their high-maintenance and highly demanding choreographer. Approaching Istanbul, underwater construction in the port makes the margin for entry much tighter than usual and Captain Russo must use all of his nautical know-how to steer the ship safely into the harbour. Finally, the hotel director has just one week to get the ship in perfect order for her replacement before she leaves, but disobedient crew and some unplanned schedule changes could be enough to rock the boat.
Cruise Ship Diaries: CRUISE SHIP DIARIES: INSPECTORS ON BOARD
The Costa Serena staff must be on their toes as inspectors from Genoa board for a weeklong inspection of the ship from top to bottom. Evaluating everything from the engineering room to the kitchens to the dance stage, the inspectors leave no corner of the ship untouched and their findings could put jobs on the line. The 1000 crew members must keep up with a gruelling pace while also balancing life away from family and friends – some half a world away. After a disappointing first week, the entertainment dancers have to shape up for this cruise; bad reviews – and too much weight gain – could have them packing their bags. Meanwhile, the wait staff put on a surprise performance of their own during the big Italian night dinner and the entertainment team unveils a daring plan for late-night revellers. And, the auditors reveal their results, so who will stay and who will go?
Cruise Ship Diaries: CRUISE SHIP DIARIES: MAGIC AND MAYHEM
Things get off to a rough start for the Costa Serena as the ship leaves Venice without several passengers’ luggage. This leads to a potential medical emergency for one passenger whose medication for a recent kidney transplant may have been in his bag. And, in another medical emergency a sudden death is discovered on board. The captain and chief engineer focus their attentions on energy-saving techniques to reduce the ship’s fuel consumption by almost 70 tonnes while the ship’s safety officer puts the crew to the test with a difficult man-overboard drill. Chief adult animator Bepy pumps up the ship’s nightclub energy, organising a Mr. Olympia contest, and some passengers let it all hang out. Some of the dancers also get a fresh routine, working as assistants for the Serena’s thrilling magic show. And finally, the ship puts crew members from all different departments on stage to enjoy a moment in the spotlight.
Cruise Ship Diaries: CRUISE SHIP DIARIES: ROCK CONCERT
After arriving late in misty Venice, the scene is set for a challenging week on the Costa Serena. The captain and his team must navigate through the one of the world’s busiest channels with little visibility. And, as winter approaches, rough seas lie ahead, which will make fuel saving difficult and docking in Croatia problematic. They are in for some logistical nightmares. A famous band, Nomadi, will be boarding in Istanbul for the Serena’s first rock concert at sea. In addition to the band, the ship will also welcome high-profile celebrities so the security must be on constant look-out for paparazzi, and overeager fans. With a large contingent of German guests on board, the crew must evaluate its entertainment to account for cultural differences. Meanwhile, a new dancer and male singer have joined the team, but with tight costumes and the singer finding himself out of tune with the female singer’s demands – they are struggling to fit in.
The week ahead is set to challenge even the toughest crew members with bad weather, demanding guests, wacky entertainers and medical emergencies. As the ship leaves Venice, the crew are hurtled into action. There is a big group of Tango dancers and their instructors on board, with a string of demands. A lavish Argentinean feast will be prepared in their honour. Tempers are frayed as the new singer is not up to the female lead singer’s standards. In the same theatre, the Dancing Gauchos vie for rehearsal times with the Tango troupe. Elsewhere on the ship, a famous photographer is looking for models among the staff for some on board photo shoots. Meanwhile, the hotel director is on the war-path to exterminate any pests on board. Tango, tempers, brawls and birthdays – this is the inside story of cruise ship life.
Cruise Ship Diaries: CRUISE SHIP DIARIES: FINAL COUNTDOWN
This week is set to create some waves – the Costa Serena has just begun a fresh itinerary, and sailing new waters and visiting different ports of call has the crew working double time to settle into the new routine. In Captain Russo’s last week on board, he wants to enjoy everything the ship and the ports have to offer while completing a rigorous master inspection of all decks. He has set up a dangerous helicopter evacuation exercise as a final test of his team’s skill. Some of the most treacherous stretches of the Mediterranean force brand new stage performers to take turbulence into account as they rehearse routines that include juggling real running chainsaws. To boost morale, the Chaplain organises a stage show especially for crew. At the final port, fresh staff board along with a new Capitan just as blizzards strand thousands of cruisers and the team must take drastic action.