Arrived in the midst of a raging thunderstorm in Hong Kong by Air France (flights booked through Costa). Flights were excellent, great food & service and suitcase made it both ways without going walkies en-route.
Allegra is a stunning little ship. What she may miss by way of bells and whistles, she makes up for in bucketloads in character and understated sophistication. Her staff are second to none, nothing is too much to ask and being a small ship, you get to know each other very quickly and soon lose the 'passenger' feel and become more like a member of the family.
I had a single inside cabin, very roomy, lots of storage and Dijong (steward) looked after things superbly. Only downer was that I did not check what was above me...the show stage...totally my fault, so didn't make a fuss.
The food and service were very good. Lots of international cuisine choices...Chinese, Italian, English...and if you couldn't find anything out of the 12 available course choices, the staff were happy to oblige with an alternative within reason.
Drinks were on par with other lines if you remember that the cruise itself was not expensive to begin with. £100/$200 a night with longhaul flights to one of the most beautiful and enchanting areas of the world is damn good value for money, so a little extra for a drink is no real hardship. I managed the entire cruise on 270 euro, which included the 4.50 a day auto-grat, a soft drinks card and ruby welcome package.
I celebrated my birthday on the first week aboard, absolutely wonderful experience (thanks to my TA who organized a cake and bubbly).
There were 3 gala/formal nights, everyone put themselves out and dressed up. Even on other nights around 75% dressed for dinner in elegant evening wear. There were several captain's cocktail parties throughout the fortnight, I was invited to 4 of them and it was truly a great experience.
Captain Salvatore Donato, his officers & crew were excellent hosts, very cordial and extremely jovial & friendly with everyone.
English hostess Rose, Aussie hostess Deborah, CostaClub manager Anna-Marie, front desk manager Sara, Chen in Murano Bar, Dijong - cabin steward are all worth mentioning as they all contributed to make my cruise exceptional.
This was my first cruise with Costa Crociere and I have two more booked for 2009.
I would recommend this cruise aboard Allegra without hesitation!