We boarded the Costa Allegra in HongKong on the 11/09/09 wish we had never bothered.We had read a batch of mixed reviews on cruise critic so I 'E' mailed Costa who assured me that the reviews were unjust.(I will add we had more negatives than positives)Costa sent me copies of the good reviews they had recently been sent. ( Someone must have had rose tinted glasses) If it was not for the Itinerary we would not have continued with the booking.The ship had gone through a Typhoon the night before we joined and to be fair the crew were making a good job of clearing up however no Costa official during the 8 days we were on board informed us of what had caused the damage.
Our cabin was clean but a bit tired and the shock to find what we thought was a complimentary bottle of water was in fact if opened would be charged to our room at a cost of 5 Euros. The Air conditioning failed in our room after the first night I had to tell the alleged Technician that was sent to repair it what the fault was.
The Self service restaurant would be best described as a work's canteen in fact a works canteen is better organised when I think about it. The food was bland of poor quality but I will add hot where the main restaurant was either lukewarm or cold.
Everything had a price even a table tennis ball and always very very expensive. We bought the X1 package before we joined the Costa an arm and a leg and be assured if you do expect very slow service compared to people who charge the drinks to their card, my wife and I achieve a grand total of 2 drinks each per dinner setting (21/2 hours) leaving us well out of pocket. I raised this issue with the customer services and also the bar manager who said he would deal with the issue which he never did. All drinks were expensive even if the Pound had been strong against the Euro.
The main restaurant food went from a good bar meal to where McDonald's would have been better. A couple of examples of this was I ordered a medium rare steak and I got what would best be described as a flip flop, a Banana sundae consisted of one scoop of ice cream and one slice of banana with a little bit of strawberry sauce, the food was either lukewarm or cold. I could not have got a bet on with Ladbrokes by the end of the cruise for the waiter to get our order correct or even the correct serving even though our table consisted of only 4 people.
The entertainment all bar one show would best be described as rejected Butlins Redcoats trying their best.
I raised the question on a number of occasions about the colour of the Hot water a shade of brown which turned a white face cloth to a light chocolate colour by the end of the trip, each time I felt as though I was being fobbed off by the customer services.
Whilst on board we never heard a good point mentioned by anyone and believe me after the second day we struggled to understand why Costa had convinced us that the ship was good.
I know now why Costa made the service charges mandatory on this ship because the only person worth tipping was the cabin steward as the rest were hopeless but always courteous.
When we came to disembark all the immigration documents were incorrect and when I asked at the customer services why I was given no real answer and tippexed over the incorrect information and had to complete the forms myself.
The best way to describe our trip would be we paid for a 5 star ship and got a dressed up bath tub, we should have stayed with Basil Faulty. Sorry to go on but this trip was a very expensive lesson and had it been our first cruise we would never cruise again.