This is our first time to write review for cruises as this experience must be shared for future cruisers that are interested in South American sailings.
This was our first Costa experience and will most likely be last...
We chose Costa Fascinosa bcos the port stops were exactly the ones we wanted and read some of the reviews that were more from Mediterranean sailings but still good enough that we felt quite confident to believe should be as good for South American sailings.
We booked inside cabin, which we normally do if we plan to do lots of excursions and know we basically will just sleep in there. The cabin was towards front to mid ship to minimize the noise/vibration from engine but this ship's engine was quite noticeable. However, worse was this loud whistling sound coming from inside of one wall every 30 mins or so and we couldn't sleep!! It was like wake alarm !!
so after first night we requested another cabin which they denied saying that the ship was fully booked, we demanded for crew member to stay in our cabin to hear the problem. Then suddenly they had a cabin available for us to move...
They explained that it was hydraulic something that needed to be fixed, hmmm...
the new cabin did not have the alarming whistle problem but we could hear/ feel the engine, granted it was towards back but it was on 7th deck!!
However we were very tired from excursions and basically we slept ok.
Following notes are very important for English speaking passengers;
90% of passengers were Brazilians,9% Argentinians, 1% English. We learned this when attended a meeting by English speaking host and there were about 30 including us. Nothing bad about this, just that we needed to request daily schedule and menus in English rather than Portuguese. Then remind them often that they need to speak English to you.
We normally prefer to eat in restaurant to be served but food quality was just ok, nothing special. Then found that food in buffet style had more interesting choices and tastefully Latin. Only thing is the line that you stand will be cut in by other passengers and seemed normal for them. We guess that in S/America they don't teach about line in order to take turns. Smiling but no manners.
Good things are;
Fascinosa is fairly new and clean. Cabin was always cleaned quickly which was nice. Service at restaurants/bars were very good too.
If you are party animal, this is the ship for you as the loud music never stopped at every bar/ lounge. We thought could be that it was carnival time.
Over all, it was quite interesting cultural experience feeling of being in Brazil the whole time on board but we were quite sorry to have chosen Costa.
However we made best of the situation and enjoyed all of our port stops.