After 13 previous cruises with other lines, all of which we thoroughly enjoyed, this was our worst experience ever. The ship seems older than her alleged 19 years and we've been on better car ferries than this. The flowery descriptions in the Costa brochure must surely be an offence under the Trade Decriptions Act. The self-service restaurant is like a works canteen, the stairwells are like a multi-storey car park and the atrium walls looks like a prison. The restaurant waiters are under-staffed and under-trained and have to look after the wine & drinks service as well. At our first dinner on second sitting took over an hour before we got our first course and our wine followed slightly later. We had to keep asking for water and when it arrived it was warm. Complaining to the Maitre D produced extra waiters for a few minutes but we finally got out of the restaurant at 11.40pm ! ! Lunchtime in the restaurant was also chaotic as the waiters were unable to cope.
In the self-service restaurants open deck area the tables were left uncleared for long periods and one morning there were soot deposits from the funnel on some tables and chairs but nobody bothered to clean them. Likewise after heavy rain it took a long time before anyone wiped the table and chairs.
The organization on board is poor with often the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing....or perhaps they just like to keep their passengers in the dark. We complained about the fixed gratuities charge because we were paying for a service that we were not getting. Needless to say we had no joy but when we spoke to one of the waiters he said that they only get the full fee if we tick 'excellent' on the questionnaire and if we tick 'poor' they get nothing. So what happens to that money ? Sounds like a case of obtaining money by false pretences to me.
There are many more things that could be said about this non-luxurious shabby ship and the organization but I think much has already been said in the previous report by Kay Brooks. Reading past reviews it seems that Costa have not bothered to address any issues raised on this website. Everyone on board that we spoke to was complaining so why aren't there more reports here. This website needs more publicity.
The only good thing about this cruise is that we enjoyed the shore excursions, although they are expensive, but they were tainted by the thought of having to return to the ship. ! !