Costa Allegra - good or bad ?: Costa Allegra Cruise Review by Mike Dovey
Overall Member Rating
Costa Allegra - good or bad ?
Destination: Cruise to Nowhere
Embarkation: Hong Kong
Boat drill was chaotic. Done in 5 languages, English came 4th and by the time we had our turn the Italians, Spanish and French people on board jabbered on so much we couldn't hear a thing and no-one told them to shut up. Luckily the Germans (5th) had only the same trouble as us as the Brits kept quiet !
All this stood us in good stead so that when the ship broke down close to the Vietnam coast we knew exactly what not to do when the engines cut out and all the lights went out (at dusk) leaving us in the dark and drifting for around 40 minutes.
The food in the Montmartre dining area was good for the first couple of days but soon the food got colder so that most servings More were luke warm and the 4 course meals were served so that one person was eating the first course and another could be on their third. At breakfast a 4 minute boiled egg was raw while a replacement poached egg was solid. In the evening, on one occasion, our table of six all ordered Sea Bass and while the fish was fresh it could have been better if it had seen a stove, it was so raw.
The drinks were just so expensive. A previous reviewer complained about prices. By the time we got on board a small bottle of beer was 4.25 Euros plus 15% service charge making a pint of beer around £7.25. To make matters worse when we left the ship it was for a Chinese voyage and the prices dropped to US dollars and a large beer became $4.50. We were not amused.
The entertainment was third rate with only two good acts in 16 days while the ship's crew entertainers were so bad they would have been no-hopers on the X factor.
The saving grace was the ports of call, although for the 60 Brits on board all excursions were cancelled at a moments notice, so we had to do our own thing in every port of call. Luckily we did band together and we had a great time especially in Singapore (how can you fail) and Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City, formally Saigon, Da Nang and the Gulf of Tomkin) were a joy to visit. At Kota Kinabula we saw Orange Utangs and they were just fantastic although we had to make our own way to find them as it was not a ship excursion.
If you want to see the places around the China Sea and enjoy them then this is the cruise for you as the ports are superb (48 miles up the river to Saigon is a treat). However if you do not like sterilized milk, luke warm food, being tee-total, and seasick as the ship will roll in a slightly rough sea then maybe another ship and cruise line could be good.
It was an experience summed up in the fact that we came back home the same weight that we went (a first for a cruise) and basically were just glad to get home and put the kettle on. Less