It was spring 2022 with the biggest COVID-19 travel restrictions gradually being lifted it was time for the first big holiday for my boyfriend and I. As I wanted to convince my boyfriend that travelling without his beloved car can also be fun I decided to drag him along on a Mediterranean cruise on Celebrity Reflection, starting from the Italian port of Civitavecchia near Rome.
After our visit to the Extra-Schengen E gates where we spent some time in the ITA Airways Piazza di Spagna lounge, as ITA Airways still didn’t have a lounge in the A-gates area. We made the long trek back to the A gates. Our flight would be leaving from gate A68, in the brand new recently opened pier. This is a vast departure of the sad and dreary airport Rome used to be with vast glass walls, a high ceiling and plenty of light. The displays at the gates where very clear and I liked that they put in permanent queues using glass walls, which looks very neat and modern.
From Rome (FCO) 15:15 to Brussels (BRU) 17:30
Flight Time 2 hours and 15 minutes
Airbus A319-100 EI-IMX
Delivered to Alitalia in January 2013, Flying for ITA Airways since October 2021
Boarding took a while to begin as our flight just arrived inbound from Madrid. First they had to board an older lady in a wheelchair before allowing the rest of the passengers to board. The business class cabin of this Airbus A319 consisted of three rows with the middle seat blocked by a fold down table and the armrests slightly widened to offer more room. Legroom was also much bigger in the front rows compared to the Iberojet A320 we flew on from Brussels to Madrid.
Contrary to Air Europa we weren’t given a disinfecting wipe upon boarding nor a pre-departure beverage. Which Sam thought was sad, as a pdb is such a nice welcome on board sign and would have been very welcome after waiting and walking in the very hot terminal.
Our departure was also delayed as they only started loading the catering at the time we normally should have taken-off, ahh Italian efficiency!
After we finally managed to get airborne it still took quite a while before service started. Especially after a very demanding passenger in the first row kept the flight attendant from serving the rest of the cabin it became quite frustrating.
Eventually we were served a meal however. It contained a green salad with bread, cheese and a vinaigrette dressing. A hot vegetarian pasta and nice warm bread with butter. There was also plenty of dessert with a strawberry, a rich chocolate cake and a delicious apricot cookie.
I had some prosecco and water with my meal to drink, both served with a full bottle but unfortunately in plastic cups.
After the meal we were offered some hot tea. After the trays where cleared away, we were offered a glass of delicious Limoncello.
All too soon we started our descent into Brussels and our wonderful holiday was over. Service on ITA Airways was ok, but as a young airline they still need to learn and streamline their operations somewhat.
Catering was delicious, but with the ground delay it would have been better to proactively hand out some water to the Business Class guests.
Mediterranean Cruise 2022
- REVIEW | Diamond Lounge Brussels Airport.
- REVIEW | Iberojet Business Class Brussels to Madrid.
- REVIEW | Puerta del Sol Lounge Madrid Barajas Airport.
- REVIEW | Air Europa Business Class Madrid to Rome.
- REVIEW | Palazzo Montemartini Rome, A Radisson Collection hotel.
- REVIEW | Celebrity Cruises Concierge Class.
- REVIEW | Celebrity Reflection.
- REVIEW | ITA Airways lounge Piazza di Spagna Rome Airport.