We went on Costa NeoRomantica on 26th July for 8 nights departing from Dover and visiting Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Oslo and Le Havre. There's a lot to say so for ease I will break it down. We travelled two adults age 40 and our twin boys age 9. We are new to cruising so nothing really to compare it to but I hope this helps:
It has been newly refurbished and it stunning. Everything is new, beautifully designed and very Italian looking. Some of the facilities are:
- Fabulous spa with numerous steam and sauna rooms and Jacuzzis (extra charge)
- Two outdoor saltwater pools but they were freezing and we couldn't use them, even our children found them too cold
- Fabulous chocolate cafe serving hot chocolate and chocolates (extra charge)
- Shops -- large general duty free shop, sweet shop, jewellers, gifts, all very nice and different promotions every day
- The most amazing fine wine and cheese rooms, totally under used but exquisite (extra charge)
- Games room and Casino
We had cabin 6060 and 6062 for our children. Avoid these if you can as 6060 is directly opposite a cleaning station and we were woken at 7am every morning by staff clattering around. No amount of complaining stopped this! The cabin itself was so much nicer than expected. A large double bed (made of two singles) plus a single pull down too. A huge porthole with an outside cabin, much bigger than I have seen before. Lots of cupboard space and hanging space and hangers. A small table and chair, a dressing table and stool too. Large flatscreen TV but beware only English channel is BBC World Service so a bit disappointing.
A minibar fridge is in the room but if you want a coffee its 1.50 euro in your room and tea is not available. If you like tea and coffee during the day or before breakfast, bring a travel kettle!
Breakfast was lovely, fresh and plentiful. Hot food, cereals, pastries, cakes, juices, toast, I could go on and on!
We ate in the Giardinno every night which is anytime seating usually between 630pm and 9pm. This suited us very well with young children. The Botticelli had set times of usually 6pm or 830pm, however their menu was identical. Always a varied choice of 3 appetizers, 2 pastas, 3 main courses and then dessert. On the gala nights (two of them on the sea days) also a soup and cheese plate included. Small portions but could not fault it. Loved the food.
Lunch time you could eat in Botticelli for a 3 course meal or Giardino for a buffet which again was fantastic. Also a late lunch always served from 2-4pm in the Grill bar. Then 4-5pm tea and cakes.
These are not included in the price and so you can pay for all inclusive which is quite expensive but you can do this on board and don't need to do it in advance. We purchased on board a package of I think 20 or so soft drinks (included non-alcoholic cocktails) for Euro 50. Otherwise a can of coke is Euro 3 each time! Can work out expensive.
Absolutely fantastic. Never came across a single staff member who did not speak English and considering there were so few English people on board this was impressive.
Major disadvantage is that there is no theatre. This has been replaced with a spa on two levels which is stunning, but I assume this is because it brings in extra money whilst a theatre doesn't.
Singers were average. Hard to get a seat to see any of the performances. Very smoky in the lounge areas even though this was on one side only it really carried across.
On a cold sea day not much to do unless you like folding towels, making necklaces, bingo or learning to tango. Definitely not aimed at our age group. Most of the guests seemed to be over 60 so would suit a lot of people I'm sure. Nothing sporty at all.
Our 9 year olds went on a couple of occasions but weren't over keen. I think they were a little old for this, but too young for the teen club. Very few English speaking children even though it was in school holiday time.
Every single one was fabulous. Worth it all just for that. We didn't do any organised excursions. In most places we took a hop on hop off bus which was at least a quarter of the price of a tour. Costa often offered transfers into the centre of town for 10 euro per person return which we took once before realising that a taxi for 4 people was only 8 euro each way. If you are on a budget the ports are all very close so a taxi is better value, or in most cases you can walk.
There is lots more to say but if you have any specific questions feel free to ask here and I will try to answer them if I can.