Chose Costa cruises because of the itinary and at the time of booking looked to be what we wanted. Cruise commenced in Quebec however you need to know that when you fly into Montreal you need to be aware of your flight times as the transfer is some 3 hours meaning we got on board at approx 2am although boarding procedure was very smooth and bags were to the room very quickly.
Costa failed to give us prior notification that a French troupe were filming during the cruise. The film crew were given priorty over passengers meaning that where they were on the ship, an many occassions, passengers were not allowed access to those areas and at one point we had to wait to get of the ship because they were filming on the embarkation points from the ship
After leaving Quebec we were supposed to go to Prince Edward Island but weather changed that but not to worry as Halifax, Nova Scotia was an excellent alternative. The rest of the itinary was ideal for us visiting Bar Harbour, Boston, New York, Bermuda, Port Canaveral before disembarking at Port Lauderdale. I won't go into what there is to see at each of these ports of call as everyones needs are different but there is something to suit every taste.
As for the Costa Atlantica, then there are a number of things that can cause issue however firstly I must say that the room attendants, resteraunt staff and bar staff were some of the best I have dealt with. Notwithstanding that, some things to note:
Everything is in Euros and if you choose not to use a credit/debit card and decide to pay cash using dollars then the exchange rate they use is 1 euro to 1.4 dollars.
Every announcement is given in 5 different languages with English being a minority language to that of others on the ship. In total there were only 38 english on the cruise.
Use of internet is limited to 5 terminals for the whole ship and it can be very slow to load and this is counted as part of your time (3 hours for 19 euros; also costs if you want to print anything). We had a problem and found out that they have no one on board who is responsible for the internet and they have to send an email to their head office in Genova which takes upto 3 days. In our case they did not do this and I ended up having to argue with the staff over the issue before the manager finally stepped in and removed the charge I had incurred. There were a few other internet problems that I observed being raised.
The other members of staff that I had issues with was the tour office. Although they advertise the excursions do not get fooled by the fact that you have booked it as they will quickly cancel the tour for a number of reasons and you will have no comeback on them apart from them refunding the charge. If you want anything else then pay the extra!. We had one cancelled as they decided they were not going to run the excursion in English because we were the only two English that were booked on the excursion. The staff were totally inflexible in their approach and would not compramise in any way to sort the issue out.
Food: Plenty of variety throughout but unlike a previous review where they found things to be overseasoned, we found that much of the food was underseasoned as well as over cooked.
It may sound like we did not enjoy ourselves but you would be wrong, we had a good time and met some very nice people from a wide variety of backgrounds as well as having a good time in all the ports of call. We would just say that after having been on a couple of other cruises with different cruise companies, the ship appeared to be 'tired' in its decor and was not as good 'value for money' as other companies.
I think it summed it up when speaking with guests that have cruised with Costa a number of times before (one couple had done 5 cruises with Costa) that they said it was the worst Costa cruise they had been on in regards the overall standard compared with other cruise lines.
So we will say thanks for this cruise but no thanks to any further Costa cruises