Costa Cruise or Costa 'a lot' as indicated on the wed.
We booked the cruise via Thomas Cook who we feel manipulated the fact that Costa Cruise who will allow you to book a cruise & flight even though 'no' flights were available & then contact you three days later to say 'sorry' we don't have any flight - so Thomas Cook then offer to construct a package for you, which you end up paying £400 plus more for!
We flew with both KLM & Air France.
KLM were excellent in terms of service & in flight entertainment as well as meals.
Air France were not; with poor service & in particular poor meals.
We arrived in Dubai on the 5th April & were transferred to the port, arriving around 7.30 am to embark onto the ship (Costa Deliziosa) @ 8.30 am.
At check-in the staff looked bored & provided little in any information on what we were to do or what time we would be boarding the ship - other than give us a 'public health' form to fill in.
They also take away your passports, the reason becomes apparent when you leave the ship - the reason why their keep your passport is that you have to clear your bill (either by credit card or cash) before your passport are returned! This we feel speaks volume of the type of people who run Costa - treating all with distain.
We embarked @ around 9.30 - again without any information regarding the ship or our cabin or cabin keys, which apparently you have to find yourself & the keys are left in-side the open cabin with your luggage!
The ship is lovely - new & very clean. We had a cabin on the '8th' deck which was had very little engine noise - but the lower cabins may not be the same.
The cabins have no robes or bathroom condiments such as shampoo, conditioner etc.
The meals were average & the drinks were very expensive, as were the excursions.
The 'Wed' site indicates that a daily charge of €7/14 per day is charged as a service charge or tip for the cabin boy, cook, cleaners etc, which adds around £110.00 per couple per week to your bill BUT what they don't tell you is that in addition every purchase on the ship i.e. drinks etc. also a service charge applied of a further 15%. We worked out that for the week we paid around £180.00 in mandatory 'tips' to Costa, we would have preferred to give this to the staff direct but the customer service desk were less than interested in our comments.
The excursions are very expensive, charging around £50.00 per person (£200.00 for a family of four) to go to the beach @ certain ports - the taxi (for four) charges around £20 to £30.
On the visit to Bahrain; Costa fails to tell you that the day you dock (Friday) is a holiday in Bahrain & all the shops are closed! Their only tell you once you have paid for the excursion & then refuse a refund when you complain - we spent 15 min's in Bahrain - nothing was open; no Malls etc!
You need to keep an eye on the daily activities & meal times as Costa will change them without notice so when you go to lunch @ 13.30 you will find they have changed the opening times from 13.00 to noon, closing @ 13.00!
Disembarkment is a farce, people leave the ship over a three day period, with them milling around the ship with bags, sitting & sleeping as you are trying to enjoy the rest of your holiday.
The instructions as boarding are none existent, we sent 10 min's on the process of leaving the ship & 20 min's been told how to fill in the satisfaction survey form, been manipulated to tick the correct boxes by the crew!!
If you leave the ship @ 10.30 you will be told to leave your cabin @ 6.00 / 6.30 in the morning!
We enjoyed the cruise in spite of Costa 'Lot'.