Travelled with my husband, sister and brother in law. Checking in was relatively painless and gave us no indication of the problems ahead.
CABINS: Opening our cabin door (4042 for future reference) we were met with a damp stench of wet dirty carpet. This we originally thought was coming from the floor of the bathroom but on further investigation we discovered if was actually coming up from under the floor from a broken pipe outside the bathroom and under the floor of our cabin, not off to a good start. No amount of vacuuming and drying off could stem the flow of water.
First night we discovered that every trolley on Deck 4 came and went through a service door directly opposite our cabin door, crashing trolleys chatting staff finally ceasing at 11.30 pm BUT restarting again at 6am. Obviously this was not acceptable so we went up to "Guest Relations" I say their role reservedly as they showed little interest in our plight and bordered on indifference to rudeness, housekeeping continued to mop up the floor as it continually became soggy. This cabin has entrenched problems and should not be sold.
The best they could offer was an inside cabin on the same deck. This, despite the fact we had paid for an oceanview, was at least a chance for us to get some sleep. We alternated between two cabins, one for day, one for night, carrying clothes back and forth for five days until, after intervention from the Australian Cruise co ordinator, they finally offered an outside cabin further up the front of the ship. We packed up everything and unpacked again only to find there was no air conditioning at all in this cabin. Cried for a while then repacked AGAIN and went back to our night cabin. Eventually a further cabin was located on Deck 3 but after three goes at getting a decent cabin we were disinclined to pack and repack for the 7th time.
All this inconvenience caused and not once were we even offered a free cocktail let alone compensation for the cheaper room we had to use. I should not complain too much as two other people had to move FOUR times. This ship should not be sailing until some major money is spent on her.
Another small aggravation was ALWAYS having to ask for soap. They never replaced the tiniest piece of soap unless you asked. Further investigation of this minor annoyance was that it was company policy not to give it unless asked. Really!!!!!!!
AIR CONDITIONING: Now let me move onto the problem with the air conditioning. This ship sails in the tropics. The air conditioning according the staff has been malfunctioning for three years now. In the main entertaining area the room was so hot it was almost unbearable to stay in and watch any of the entertainment. You also had to be aware of not sitting in seats where water? dripped on you.These seats were easily located due to the same damp stench of dirty carpet. One should not have to perspire all night without any blankets due to lack of properly functioning AC.
THE FOOD...... was mediocre and not up to standard, time and time again it was served (as previous reviewers reported) only warm, which must constitute a health risk. Our waiter took to heating our orders up in the microwave before serving it. He was a delight and was so considerate when I arrived for dinner in tears after the move to the unairconditoned cabin. Jay you are one of Costa's best assets I do hope they look after you. You did your very best under very difficult working conditions.
There seems to be a major problem with wait staff collecting used dishes at your table in the mornings and lunch periods. Dirty plates remain in front on you the entire time you eat unless you can find a table to put used dishes on yourself. Coffee/tea man had to be crash tackled for the second cup. This is something that could be fixed in an instant if there was some management leadership.
TENDERING PROCESS... This long drawn out process would bring the strongest to their knees. If you didn't do an expensive Costa arranged tour you were left till the very last to get off the ship. The ships tenders were operating on one engine only (due to parts coming from Italy) so the length of time it took to get to shore after sweating it out in the main cabaret room really cut into your time ashore. It was like a Faulty Towers episode watching the crew attempting to berth these boats, they really do need some more instruction on how to operate tenders.
FINAL SUMMATION... The Australian Cruise co-ordinator was popular with the mostly Australian passengers and did her best to help us. The entertainment was quite good for a small ship. Smoking, especially by officers in main bars is not acceptable to most non smoking passengers. Get with it Costa.
I booked this cruise due to the ports we were to visit, unless you really want to see these unusual ports DO NOT LOWER YOUR STANDARDS BY SAILING ON COSTA ALLEGRA.
Management, which is ultimately Carnival, are responsible for the shocking state of this ship and apparently have no intentions of spending any funds on bringing her up to some form of acceptability for fare paying passengers whom they are treating with distain. Due to our experiences on this cruise, we will never use any Costa or Carnival ship again.
HEED THIS WARNING I DIDN'T.