Want to go on a cruise on a 50yr old rust bucket? Then book a cruise on the Costa Allegra. Do I sound unhappy? You bet! First of all, if you want some comprehensive information about what goes on on board and what is found where, don't expect a brochure on embarking. Want to wander around looking confused? Don't feel out of place. Everybody else looks the same. Want a cabin that doesn't have rusty water coming out of the faucet? Good luck, so don't mind if your nice white undies come out yellow if you wash them yourself. You can't drink the water but don't expect the cruise line to compensate you when you have to buy bottled water with an exorbitant price tag. Want a nice quiet cabin without the noise of rattling pipes and shudders? Again, good luck. Want to be able to have some privacy in your cabin without the cabin staff busting in because you didn't hear their soft taps on the door? Need I say it again?
Don't pre book your on-shore tours before embarking or even when on board. If you don't speak the same language as the rest of the tour group, you can't go. You can't cancel (unless you are prepared to lose your money. They don't refund). They'll offer you another tour. By the way, the tours are over priced unless you want to see lots of mosques , dull museums, be taken to selected 'shops' to spend you money, and be entertained by local tour guides who are mostly hard to understand and when in Jakarta, get a hard sell on political propaganda. If the heat isn't tolerable enough for cooler weather people, then don't go ashore when tender boats are used. They are not designed to allow air flow. I became quite unwell and could hardly breathe during a ride on the ships own tender boat. Be prepared to alight by hopping on to rickety jetties and over other 'boats' to get to it. Not all the time, but expect it. The crew help you but it is still unnerving for the older and/or those with some form of physical impairment/unsteady gait.
Don't leave things lying around in your cabin. If it is 'misplaced', the officers at the Services Desk wont believe you because their staff 'never lie'. The cuisine was not Italian orientated as advertised. That's OK, but what about the quality? Well, it was so so. The service was great in the main dining room. We had Jay and Susan and they were very friendly and attentive. If you dine in the buffet area, be prepared to be jostled and not have you table cleared. There's an outside smoking area with the other side non-smoking. But that doesn't seem to matter to those who smoke, and don't expect the staff to intervene. Prices on board! Well, what can I say? Expect to pay too much. Want to use the Internet? Why not? I only paid 19.50 euro just to get on line and send one short email. You also pay extra on your mobile phone by using their system. So, go ahead and book a cruise on the Costa Allegra. But don't say you weren't warned.