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 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.