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Costa Serena Cruise Review by Enda Matthews: Not so Serena


Enda Matthews
2 Reviews
0 Post

Member Rating

Cabin 3.0
Dining 3.0
Embarkation 4.0
Enrichment Activities 3.0
Entertainment 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 3.0
Public Rooms 2.0
Rates 4.0
Service 3.0
Shore Excursions 3.0
Value for Money 2.0

Compare Prices on Costa Serena Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruises

Not so Serena

Sail Date: November 2009
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Other

We flew Gatwick to Milan Milpanese, landing at Terminal 2. There were no Costa personnel to greet us as we searched out the shuttle bus to Terminal 1 to catch the coach to Savona. The shuttle bus was a normal single decker bus with no luggage racks and was packed to the gills..... At Terminal 1, at least one of the Costa people was having a bad day and was quite abrasive to one passenger. They also said that wheelchair passengers were "nothing to do with them", so several people remonstrated with them. They refused to stop the coach en route to Savona until one passenger demanded a toilet break...welcome to Costa!!!!!

This was my sixth Costa Cruise and probably my last. Granted they have reduced their prices assuming that you book through an Internet Agency at £450 per person whilst Costa were holding out for £875 for a lower class cabin. Cabin 2468, Class E2, right at back of the ship, slightly larger than E1 cabins at side of ship but very little storage/wardrobe More space. Window but no balcony. Quite noisy when docking/leaving port as machines for stowing ropes were on the deck right below the cabin. Friends were in Deck 8 cabin and said that the noise from 6.30 a.m. onwards from trolleys being wheeled through the buffet on Deck 9 was horrendous...they complained and were moved to Deck 7.

We were not impressed by the decor on the ship and there seemed to be an atmosphere amongst the crew for the first couple of days although our Vesta Dining Room staff were excellent. Costa charge a non-negotiable 6 Euro per day per passenger "Gratuity" and we are not sure whether this is passed on to the staff or, as somebody said, used by Costa to pay the wages. I think that this stifles a lot of enthusiasm in the crew as they assume that they will not get any more tips by providing good service. We could see that there have been many cutbacks in the food provided, particularly in the buffet and even more so after 9 p.m. in the buffet. Even the Pepperoni Pizzas had sausage instead of pepperoni and this is an Italian ship! The passengers on this cruise were probably 60+ on average comprising mainly Germans and French. You had the usual towels on sunbeds all day with no sign of ownership, no quarter was given in queues for buffet/theatre/disembarking and even Good Morning/Evening seemed to be beyond their capabilities when passing in the cabin passageways! Less than 200 Brits aboard out of approx 2,900 passengers, sometimes you heard the English announcements in the middle of the other 6 language announcements, sometimes you wondered if English was spoken onboard by any of the Entertainment/Front Office Staff....the Cruise Director was the loudest person I have come across in this role and seemed to shriek continuously and I won't even mention her Bingo calling!

I would recommend a different shipping line in future and, preferably, with no flying involved....our flight left Gatwick at 7.15 a.m. Less


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Cabin review: Costa Serena Oceanview Cassiopea Deck 2468

Cabin 2468, Class E2, right at back of the ship, slightly larger than E1 cabins at side of ship but very little storage/wardrobe space. Window but no balcony. Quite noisy when docking/leaving port as machines for stowing ropes were on the deck right below the cabin. Friends were in Deck 8 cabin and said that the noise from 6.30 a.m. onwards from trolleys being wheeled through the buffet on Deck 9 was horrendous...they complained and were moved to Deck 7.

Port and Shore Excursions


Excursions off the ship are problematic. They seemed to moor at the furthest pier from civilisation so we assumed that this was aimed at getting people to take the ship organised excursions which varied between 45 Euros and 130 Euros, depending on content and length i.e halfday/full day. This can work out quite expensive if two people took all six ports of call excursions. City Maps and Shuttle Bus(6 Euro Return per person) information was not provided until late the evening before you arrived in port and some of the maps bore little resemblance to the actual features on land e.g. one shuttle bus took you to a Plaza/Square that was not even named on the map! Barcelona was catered for with a 5 hour stay in each, hardly enough time to reach the city and back. There was so much confusion in Barcelona as (1) Buy a shuttle bus ticket (2) Report to the theatre and take a number (3) sit and wait for your number to be called. The ship docked at 1 p.m., at 1.40 a.m. the queue for numbers was extending out the door of the theatre with no movement and no English being spoken by the crew. I went to the Front Desk and demanded a refund as it seemed unlikely that we would leave the ship before 2.30 p.m. and we were due to sail at 6 p.m. Utter, complete and unnecessary mayhem but they repeated the performance at Lanzarote and Funchal and Malaga. We discovered that you should ignore the instructions, leave the ship and board the nearest shuttlebus...it worked!


We landed at Arrecife which was an old fishing port in it's day and has a couple of modern shopping streets. There is a Supermarket behind what looks like a cinema but it took us 40 minutes to find it as the natives do not appear to understand what a Supermercado is, strange... Best feature here was a Tobacco Shop with well known brands at 21.95 Euro although we found another one with Philip Morris at 11.50 Euro per 200. Beware, it is a long walk from the ship to Arrecife!!!! Half the walk is along a Main Road with no footpath.


There was an open-top sightseeing bus stop just as we left the pier and it gave a 90 minute tour for 12 Euro, good value. Interesting market house at bottom of Main Street and a cable car service to the Botanic Gardens.


Had to insert Monaco as Casablanca was not a given option. Took a morning ship excursion in Casablanca at 55 Euro each and they took us to the second biggest Mosque in the world(after Mecca, they said). It was very impressive. Went to the Catholic Cathedral, very impressive stained glass features. We then went to an old palace which is now a city council building and the Arabic architecture was very interesting. Saw the new palace but no visitors allowed inside. Took us to an International Shop which accepted Euros and gave Euros in change, usual leather goods, postcards, fridge magnets etc. Also did a short tour of the expensive housing area. Friendly and knowledgeable guide.

Read 189 Monaco Reviews

Very clean but having a very loud strike by taxi drivers objecting to more tramways being introduced. The trams are very clean and modern and brought us up and away for miles for 1.30 each way...return tickets are cheaper but you need to take time to find your language on the machines installed at each tramstop. Found an Internet cafe halfway up the main street at 2 euro per hour, cheaper than the ship's internet.

Read 208 Tenerife Reviews

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