We cruised with Costa previously (Costa Mediterranea) and enjoyed it very much so when we decided on this cruise our obvious choice was Costa. The ship for this route was Classica.
We flew to Hong Kong, transfers and overnight hotel stay was fine. We were picked up from our hotel and taken to the ship and expected to go on board without much delay as we had already checked in on line, which Costa encourages. We arrived at the ship to be told we had to join a very long queue and that there were no facilities to fast track people who had already checked in. We were not the only ones in this situation. We queued for over two hours in the scorching heat, lucky for us it was not raining, and the whole system was a shambles. We eventually got on board and were a little taken aback at how basic the entrance was as Mediterranea has such a grand atrium but we though it could only get better. Costa claim to have larger cabins on this ship but we soon realized that to make the cabin larger we had less wardrobe space. The bathroom was very sparse; we had to ask for toilet paper, as there was less than half a roll. The shower was very small and each time you used it the water went all over the floor.
There was a kettle, tea and sugar but no coffee or milk/cream so we asked for coffee and milk; we received two days' supply of coffee but no milk. We went to reception and enquired about this and were told that they do not supply milk in the cabins and if we wanted to have coffee we had to use the bar service at a cost. We decided to go into the self service restaurant to get the coffee we needed but still no milk. On the second week, we received three days' supply of milk but no coffee. On the first day, we had a jug with ice but during the fourteen days cruise this was only refilled twice. The food in the self-service restaurant was of good quality and quantity but there were not enough tables at peak times. The dining room in the evenings was a shambles; it became apparent there was some problem between the kitchen and the waiters. We were seated at a table for eight and even though our orders were taken at the same time, the food was brought at different times. Some of us were still waiting for our second courses whilst others were on their last course. The food was always luke- warm and the soup was very often slopped over the side of the bowl. The toilets outside the restaurant were very poorly maintained. On numerous occasions, there was no toilet paper and no hand towels and the floors were wet.
The quality of entertainment was poor and only seemed to be in one bar, Piazza Navone and there were long periods without anything. There was a smoking and a non-smoking section in the bars but some evenings you could smell the smoke all over the ship and as a non-smoker, this was quite repulsive.
The staff were very nice, friendly and polite but they all expressed concern about the amount of work they had to cover.
The excursions were of very high quality and we really enjoyed all of them.
COSTA CLASSICA is one ship you will not see me on again.