If you're looking for a wonderful, inexpensive cruise of a lifetime being pampered and well cared for, PLEASE believe me the Italian cruise ship COSTA Allegra is NOT the cruise you're looking for!
My husband & I have been on 12 cruises and the14nights we spent on the Allegra was THE WORST by a country mile!! You couldn't really complain about the service because there wasn't any.
The Admin staff and the officers were without doubt the rudest, most arrogant people we've ever encountered. My husband injured his foot 10days before our departure and had micro surgery to severed tendons and sinews and was in a toe to knee plaster cast which requires him to have his foot elevated for 6weeks.
Our travel agent requested a disabled cabin as he was in a wheelchair; she was promptly told that all disabled cabins had been booked. We subsequently found out on our arrival on the ship that the disabled cabins were occupied by able bodied Italian passengers.
Our cabin was supposedly for 4people so one would ASSUME that it would be fairly roomy. WRONG!! The cabin was extremely small and was really only adequate for one person.
We were unable to push the wheelchair through the corridors or through the cabin door as the normal size wheelchair was too wide. We had to practically beg the Customer Service staff for a loan of one of their three smaller wheelchairs. It was ALSO too wide for the door and corridors so he had to borrow crutches from the ship's hospital.
We had to rely on the assistance of other passengers opening doors to the restaurants etc. On one occasion an officer was approaching the heavy door as my husband was approaching from the other side during particularly bad weather. The Officer opened the door walked through it and promptly closed it as my husband reached the door. The officer continued walking past my husband without even acknowledging him let alone helping by opening the door for him. A 14year old boy passenger ran approximately 30feet to assist my husband. On any other cruise ship we would have had at least 6 crew assisting us at all times.
One of the so called 'helpful cruise directors' told many passengers who made complaints to her, to learn to relax & enjoy life! She was overheard on several occasions complaining to other passengers and staff that the complaining passengers were rude whingers. (A case of the pot calling the kettle 'coloured'.)
On the third day of the cruise a strong sewerage odour wafted through decks 4 & 5 which lasted for 3 days. Customer Service denied that there was a sewerage problem; we later found out that quite a few cabin toilets on deck 4 were severely blocked.
On the 10th night one of the water pipes had burst and there was an inch of water flowing through deck 5 corridors which subsequently flooded approximately 30cabins. No signs had been erected and because of the dim lighting we could not see the soaked carpet until it was too late. A passenger called out a warning to my husband that he was getting his plaster cast wet. We went to Customer Service to ask if the water was sewerage and to tell them that my husband's plaster cast needed to be seen to by the Dr. He was told the water wasn't sewerage THIS TIME so that was acknowledgement that there HAD been a problem previously. Customer Service shrugged us away telling us to go to the hospital. We were adamant that COSTA were responsible for the expense of tending to my husband's foot & we told them THEY would be covering the expense & not us. The way they reacted was as if we were ridiculous to even suggest it, but they rang the Dr & he obviously knew we'd be able to sue them if my husband got an infection.
They had huge blowers trying to dry the carpet day & night for the rest of the cruise but to no avail; although the carpet was drying to a certain extent the stench from the wet carpet was putrid as was every lift on board where some passengers had vomited from the effect of the squally seas. The crew kept spraying the lifts with a 'cleaning agent' which only made things worse.
On our way to dinner one night I noticed one of the 'paintings' on the wall in the corridor was also extremely wet & damaged, I intended to go to the Customer Service desk after dinner. But when we got in the lift there were two officers in the lift and I reported the damage to them. One officer very aggressively said "Go to the Customer Service desk and tell them.' I think I was too shocked to reply but I should have said 'I've just reported it to you, you arrogant SOB'
An American passenger approached me as we got out of the lift and told me she was totally shocked at his arrogance & rudeness towards me. I replied 'I've become accustomed to it on this tub.'
As for all expenses on board COSTA cruises:
1. All shuttle bus service to the cities we visited COSTA charged at least 6euro (approximately Aus $8.40.) (On every other cruise we've never had to pay for a shuttle bus service.) 2. COSTA charge 2.5euro plus .38euro service charge for a litre bottle of water. (On every other cruise line we've always had FREE bottles of water delivered to our cabin.) 3. There are no kettles supplied in the cabins and if you request coffee or tea to your cabin between 10am & 6am the following day you are charged 2euro plus .38euro service charge per person. 4. There are no dressing gowns, shampoo & conditioner or clothes lines (These are standard in every other cruise ship we've been on.) 5. Passengers are charged 6euro per person to have their cabins cleaned. SOME passengers are charged when they book their cruise (this is not told to the passengers) others find out when they receive their bill at the end of the cruise. (On our arrival in our cabin I found a dirty restaurant napkin in one drawer and a Singapore 5cent coin in another & our cabin was NEVER cleaned properly. So our 168euro was not well spent!) 6. We were also charged a compulsory 168euro for gratuities (tips) and on questioning many of the service crew we were told they only receive their wages. 7. Alcohol & soft drinks cost at least 5euro PLUS .38 service charge.
Our cabin was directly under the stage of the Follies Bergere Ballroom and the dancers rehearsed every MORNING between 2 &3.30 and ever afternoon between noon & 3pm. When my husband complained; the dancers laughed as he walked away. The entertainment director feigned no knowledge of the dancer's rehearsal times. We could not understand why the entertainers bothered to rehearse because most of the performances were pathetic anyway. Every other cruise we've been on the performances have ALWAYS world class entertainment. The GOOD news is the 'entertainment' on the Allegra only lasted 45minutes!
However, I must give credit where credit is due, the male English singer & the female Swiss singer were EXCELLENT. Far too good to have to suffer being on stage with the other amateurs.
Apparently every passenger has the chance of winning one of five cruises on board one of COSTA cruise ships. WOW!! Unfortunately we don't know anyone we dislike enough to give the prize to if we are one of the 'lucky' winners.
I feel very sorry for anyone who states that they have had a wonderful time on board COSTA cruise line. Either they are not used to the quality of other cruise lines or the reports are written by the delusional staff.
If anyone books on COSTA after reading this, don't say I didn't warn you that it's the cruise line from HELL!!!