It seems like some people may be confusing Nov cruise with Oct cruise.
Our cruise was from 11/6-11/21--no collision or atrocious weather.
The weather was quite nice.
Contrary to some negative reviews, we loved the Southeast Asian cruise on Classica!
We find it hard to believe that those people who complained so much were on the same ship
with us. The people we spoke with on the ship (mostly British) said they enjoyed the
cruise, though like us, some were scared by the past reviews here.
Overall, we love Costa's European atmosphere (vs. American on other ships).
We like the fact that the staff speaks multiple languages.
We were really impressed, esp. with the multi-lingual entertainment staff!
We didn't check in until after 7pm. (We spent 2 days in HK before the cruise.)?@There was
no line at the check-in.
There was a big line for immigration, but by the time we checked in our luggage and went
back for embarkation, the line was gone. (We'd be rather wandering around in HK or
having nice Cantonese dishes than waiting in line. Not sure why people do that.)
Disembarkation was very smooth.
While relaxing in the outdoor area of the buffet, we missed our disembarkation time!
Our luggage was waiting when we disembarked.
Sure, Costa Classica is an old ship, but it didn't bother us at all.
In fact, we like the fact that the cabin was bigger than our past ones on other ships.
We did hear the next-door passengers (who were pretty loud), but it didn't bother us. (We
went to sleep at 10 pm or earlier every night without a problem.)
We really prefer a small ship like Classica to those 4,000-passenger ships that force you to
line up when getting on/off. It was fun to watch the ship maneuver out of HCMC in the
We didn't find the ship especially noisy.
We liked the TV programming--BBC, Euronews and NHK World with focus on
Asia news. (Thank goodness, no CNN or FoxNews or life-wasting crap shows!! We
rarely watch TV at home.)
We go for local food at each destination and don't have high expectations for onboard food
regardless of the ship, but we liked Costa's food better than on other ships.
Costa's food is more Italian/European--serving pasta before the main dish at every dinner.
We loved their pasta! (though it wasn't so great some nights.)
They had two Italian chefs onboard.
Their buffet seafood (esp. the Fisherman's Delight ) was also good.
I liked the sardines (and bacon) at the breakfast buffet.
We thought the breakfast was better at the buffet.
(It was mostly buffet in the main dining room anyway.)
There was an Indian cook who made the best omlette, in the buffet, much better than in the
We found Costa's crew much more courteous and friendly than on other ships.
On some ships, the crew doesn't bother to greet passengers.
One night we told the waiter and the (Indian) asst. rest. mgr that we love Indian food and
had great Indian food in SG. The following night, the asst. mgr surprised us with a special
Indian dish, which was very good! They had an Indian chef onboard and some of their
buffet Indian dishes were also pretty good.
We thought the entertainment was about the same as on other ships, no better or worse;
probably more European, though. We loved the crew talent show!
We participated in the quizzes on every sea day.
The questions were more European-oriented (and English questions were sometimes
mistranslated), but hey, we learned a lot! (and won three prizes :)
We wish we could've stayed up later at night.
They had pretty funny contests almost every night. (I watched them on the TV).
Reading other reviews, people seem to complain about smoking on the ship.
It didn't bother us at all. When non-smoking tables weren't available in the outdoor area of
the buffet, we even took a smoking table.
If you can't deal with that, you won't be able to travel in many parts of the world!!
My guesstimate: 40% Italians, 30% Germans (a German passenger told us there were 350
German or German-speaking passengers; some were Swiss) 15% British/Australians, 10%
French, 5% other, incl. 10-20 North Americans (incl. some Chinese) and 3 Japanese
Most of them seemed to crave the sun and were sunbathing on the top two decks even on
not so sunny days.
Adequate. We worked out on every sea day.
We liked the fact that it was never packed (because most passengers were sunbathing!)
We enjoyed all destinations, though I had been to some of them previously.
We are independent travelers and don't take excursions.
We like taking the subways, buses or taxis and lots of walking.
(We do our homework before the cruise so we don't ask the crew for any help or info.)
We were forced to take the shuttle bus at Sanya--it was announced in the daily newsletter
(TODAY) of Nov14 under "IMPORTANT VISA INFORMATION FOR GOING ASHORE IN
SANYA (NOVEMBER 18) on page 1 (I have a copy) and we bought the shuttle tickets on the
We were also aware of the visa costs, as provided on Costa web site.
Other cruise lines I sailed with also charged for the shuttle. Likewise, mandatory daily
tips/service charges are pretty standard in the industry now.
Our next cruise will be with Costa :)