The Outward Journey.
All was well until we arrived in Milan. Despite the instruction, to look out for a Rep from GlOCO VIAGGI there was no such person. We wandered around the concourse and the outside coach area in vain in extremely cold temperatures. Convinced we had somehow missed the transfer, we nearly gave in to the many offers of special price to Savona from the many cab drivers touting for business We eventually met up with a Costa rep who appeared from a mini bus, that had been parked for some time, although not displaying a Costa logo until he deemed to make his appearance. Not Acceptable
Somewhat smaller than anticipated. Also I question it's suitability for use in the Atlantic, this early in the year (17-31st January). The passage through the Straights of Gibralter was especially nerve racking for my wife . The ship pitched and rolled alarmingly. We were frequently "airbourne" in bed as the ship behaved in a violent fashion. I suspect that passenger comfort came second to "keeping to the schedule" We were then stopped at sea for quite some time , with no explanation given. We later gathered that repairs had to be made to an area of the hull near the bow, and that in fact cabins on the deck below us had to be evacuated!!!
Also worthy of note was the habit of the cabin staff leaving their trolleys etc partially blocking the corridors. This alone could prove disastrous in an emergency.
The restaurant staff together with the bar staff gave superb service. Not so for the cabin staff who were less than up to speed, needing several requests to reception for such basics as toilet roll, newsletters and even towels!! The English speaking rep (Helen) comes in for particular comment. Perhaps she is good at something, but customer relations is not one of them!
The Additional Costs
Why do we have to pay the crews bonus? Surely this is no more than a hidden charge. This put an extra Euro 168 on our bill. This may or may not be distributed amongst the crew. We were told by crew members that it depended on their getting an Excellent rating. You would do far better to let the individuals be rewarded directly for the service they render us. Again what is this additional 15% on the already hugely overpriced drinks? During our cruise passengers were voting with their feet, by not drinking in the bars. In fact they were nearly empty most of the time.
What are you thinking of? Take the La PalmaTour as an example Euro 160 for a couple!!! This is just a total rip off!!
We have been on several cruises with other operators and are very aware of just how un-competitive these prices are.
Also you seem to berth much farther away from the dock gates than other lines, leaving us to pay an average of 6 Euro each just to get to the gates!! This may save you money on the berth, but we the customer have to pay again
The Return Journey/ The Final Insult
Despite noting an anomaly with our departure time from the ship, and our connecting flight (It would be impossible to make the connection), your rep Helen, assured me (3 times!) that all would be well, and that no passenger had ever missed a connection. Well guess what? We were too late by miles for the connection, and had to pay an additional 100 Euro to get home on a later flight.
Can we recommend Costa to our Friends?
I think you know the answer