We did a cruise to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. This was our 17th cruise and so we certainly love the lifestyle. We were looking for an Asia cruise and this cruise provided the time and itinerary we were after. The whole trip was booked via an online agency and there were no problems with the booking. We found the Costa website a little difficult but managed to navigate it and booked our shore tours before we left. The ship left from Singapore. No problems with flights or arriving at terminal. When we went to embark there seemed to be some confusion. Embarkation was late and we were given three different times. However, we made it aboard but our cabin was not ready. We headed for a buffet lunch and then went to the cabin.
The cabin was great. Roomy, spotless and a great ensuite. The cabin steward was helpful for the entire trip and nothing was an issue. His service was exemplary. We were on second siting dinner. Our table allocation was fine and the people on the table were tremendous. We made plenty of new friends with them and shared many laughs. We met up during the day and spent lots of time together. This was just as well as the entertainment during the day was woeful. It was very repetitive. As an example on one day there were three trivia quizzes! This is not much variety for entertainment. Teams needed to be titled by a country as the World Soccer Cup was on and so they were sticking with the theme. This was a good idea but the scores for the trivia quizzes were accumulative over the whole cruise. If you didn't attend one session you couldn't possibly win.
There was no activities for younger people at all. Often an activity was led in multiple languages which was great but if you couldn't follow the accent you just missed out. We often felt belittled as we didn't speak Italian. One person we met on the trip was actually told by the office star that they shouldn't have come if they didn't speak Italian.
The meals were fine and well presented. There was a great variety and never a shortage of any dish. The ship itself could be fine but needs some major refurbishments. The pools were crowded and small and the pool surrounds needed maintenance. The outdoor carpet needed replacing and so signs were placed warning of dangerous surface rather than having it repaired. There was no picture theatre on board or any other form of watching a movie. The TV in the room only had tow English speaking channels - one a news service, but over a dozen Italian language channels even though a large percentage of the passengers were English speaking. Due to language issues the night entertainment in the show room had to be limited. It would be difficult to run a comedy show in six languages. The entertainment in the show room was fine. Twice we went to karaoke only to find it had been cancelled. The disco often didn't open at all.
The ports of call were brilliant but the shore tours were very mixed. The ship berthed in Tianjin and we were able to purchase a ride to town on shuttle service. We were given a map of Tianjin form the ship staff only to find that the shuttle bus actually took us to Tugganu which was 40 kilometres out of Tianjin. The bus driver explained that we were nowhere near where the map was and we needed to catch a taxi for a one hour ride to get to the town centre. We were in a starbucks coffee carpark and there was nothing around so we, along with everyone else on the bus, went straight back to the ship. The same issue happened with Cheju where we told it was a shopping tour but we were taken to a duty free shopping centre and as the ship had collected our passports we couldn't buy anything. When I put my grievances in writing to the shore tours manager when getting back on the ship I was informed that Costa had fulfilled their obligations and taken us to a shopping centre. It was not their fault that we couldn't buy anything! They were anything but helpful. We will continue to cruise but never again with Costa.