CONTAMINATED WATER For the first three days of the cruise passengers including myself endured burning pains in the stomach. When we stopped drinking the tap water, the pains went away. About 5 days to sea, the water in the shower and water basin came out tarnished and stained the white towels. We complained to Costa Customer Service to be told it was only rust in the water pipes and that if we keep running the water the rusty water would disappear.
When blackish brown water poured into the outdoor swimming pool, a passenger alerted the captain who was near the pool. The captain advised that he would order more chlorine into the water. No test of what was contaminating the water was ever undertaken nor were passengers asked to leave the pool.
RUDE CUSTOMER SERVICE STAFF Costa has a customer service department, unfortunately, the don't have any customer service staff to fill these positions. One particular staff member who was married to an officer on board the vessel, was abusive to staff and I encountered the ignorance and abuse of this person. After complaining the cruise director, the Costa solution was she was not allowed to come into contact with me for the rest of the cruise. No apology was given by Costa Cruises.
NO SECURITY FOR PASSENGER PASSPORTS Passengers were directed to surrender there passports to Costa Staff and retained the passports for the rest of the cruise. Costa Staff refused to provide any receipts to passengers that the passports were in their possession. I was awaken that night by banging noise and when I investigated the noise at the cabin next to mind, two Indonesian Immigration officials where preparing visas and were stamping passports. The passports were laying on the floor of the cabin without any security. We approached the Immigration Officer and advised him that we were concerned about our passports. He responded that our passports were locked in his safe. We challenged him to open his safe and show us our passports knowing full well where passports were located. He continued to rest assure that our passports were safe. Then we then asked him to come down to the cabin were the passports were scattered across the floor. A customer service officer and the Immigration got very up tight at being caught out and again became a little abusive to us.
Oh! The same customer service officer was so drunk at Phuket that she ordered the tender boat captain to depart the vessel back to the ship earlier than scheduled stranding passengers at Phuket for several hours to the early hours of the morning.
OVERPRICED TOURS Tours were overpriced and over stated. The Komoto Island Tour was written up as a two hour jungle tour requiring a reasonable level of fitness, It was a scroll along a defined bush track lasting 35 minutes including a 10 minute photo shoot of the komoto dragons.
Some passengers encountered lots of problems with the Costa Tours including one group of passengers who were left stranded in Jakarta when the bus driver took off for the day. They had to make their way back to the ship at their own expense. Costa were offered a free cup of coffee as compensation.
The 4wd tour at Phuket which was supposed to include 4wd driving through the jungle, elephant rides etc. It cost $100 US dollars and was an absolute farce with a number of passengers demanding their money back. There is an elephant place just about two kilometres from where the cruise ships dock. For $30 you can get a real one hour elephant ride up a mountain. This was an experience of a lifetime. A taxi all day with air-conditioning $12. Costa or your own tour???
Price of drinks were so expensive, that we smuggled our own alcohol on board the ship. When you are getting charged $10 US for a single nip of spirits and you can buy a bottle of whiskey in Phuket for $18 US it was worth the risk of being caught. Although, it must be noted that security was pretty low and one night returning to the vessel, the security staff didn't even turn on the x-ray machines or check passenger bags. Basically off the tenderboat and straight to bed.
ANYTHING GOOD ABOUT THE CRUISE
Yes, despite the crappy customer service staff, we had the best entertainment crew we have ever experienced on a cruise ship. They were just outstanding!! They would start at 10am in the morning and they were dancing with passengers at 12pm at night. Even learned how to Tango Argentine Style.
Cabin Crew were brilliant and we ended up tipping our cabin steward $50 US... he was just that good.
Bar staff, waiters & chefs ....outstanding performance of duties and continuously worked long hours delivering service at an international cruise level. My wife has dietry needs and a lot of effort was put in by the Maitre to satisfy her needs.
We had a brilliant time personally meeting lots of people and sadly saying goodbye to some beautiful we meet on the cruise.
We entered nearly every competition and sporting event on the cruise and won some little prizes, we danced every night at disco or pool parties and seldom got to bed before 1 am in the morning. We went out to enjoy ourselves and did so to the maximum and we are planning our next cruise . Woo Hoo love cruising!!!