Unfortunately this was the highlight of the cruise (in our opinion) and the most TERRIBLE and SCARY experience of our lives! First, the Costa Costa Shore Excursion desk cancelled our excursion to the pyramids without telling us (not enough english-speaking cruisers signed up - they claimed). We found out all this the night before the excursion at 11:45pm. When we consulted with customer service that night, they told us we could attend the meeting point of a german or italian spoken excursions. But we do not speak any of these languages. As we demanded to speak with the shore excursion desk reps, no one seem to have the authority or able to solve our problem. We went to bed without a solution. In the morning of the excursion, we offered a solution to place a english speaking staff member as a translator for us. The shore excursion rep accepted our solution and presented Ilaria as our translator for entire shore trip. At the first stop she abandoned us claiming she need to be at the other buses as well! We were a abandoned with a bus full of italian speaking people and a guide who spoke no english whatsoever. We had to fend for ourselves for the rest of the shore trip. At one stop point, we realized we needed tickets to the outside Saqqara museum. We asked the guide for them by pointing to the fellow bus riders tickets. The guide gave us one used ticket and pocketed the other. My husband was stopped by police. On our return back to the ship, there was an explosion on the road. Had there being any unrest on the road and we had to abandoned the bus, it would have been an extremely dangerous situation for us due to the language barrier. When we came back to the ship and asked to speak to the Excursion Manager, the woman refused to talk to us. We spoke with the Cruise Director, Stephania, who told us it was not their policy to work this way and to make an appointment with the excursion manager for the next morning. During our meeting, my husband asked for a 50% discount on the excursion after much aggravation - we felt the least they could do. After our meeting, the excursion manager said she will get back to us - never did. After trying to get with customer service, we found a 10% discount in our account and the manager never contacted us. We were furious to say the least. That night we were having dinner at our designated sit down restaurant and the manager of the 'paid' restaurant asked us to join them for a complimentary dinner for which we did not know about. We refused! It felt like a buyout for their unprofessional and unethical behavior.
The customer service and shore excursion desk personnel seemed very anti english-speaking customers. Very young, untrained and consequently unprofessional excursion and customer service personnel. If you choose Costa, beware of this behavior. We highly suggest you monitor your excursions daily with this company as they care less what happens to you. It is all about the money!!