We booked our first cruise with Costa back in 2010. We decided to go with them this time, as we had seen them all over the Mediterranean back in 2009. I was very apprehensive as we got closer to the time to go, we were suppose to go to Egypt and Israel, but due to the unrest those ports were cancelled. We had booked this cruise because of those ports, but for myself, I would much rather be safe then sorry. My husband and son were very disappointed, but after talking it out we figured that we would make the best of it. We did contact Costa to see what they were going to do, and we were told that they were going to add another stop in Turkey and another stop in Greece and one in Cyprus. So we figured that shouldn't be to bad. We got our airfare and all transfers included in the price and I am so glad that we did.
We flew from Canada to Rome and were met by a very nice lady from Costa. We weren't expecting it, as alot of the reviews had said that they wouldn't be there! But there she was as soon as we got off the plane and helped to direct us to our luggage and our driver to the hotel. We stayed four days in Rome before the cruise and had a wonderful time!
Embarkation day came and we were picked up at our hotel and driven with another very nice Canadian couple to the port. When we arrived we were greeted by the Costa shore staff and they took our bags and put all of our tags on them and said we were good to go in. When we got onto the ship we didn't know what to expect as we had to ask where our keys to the cabin were. I was shocked that they keep them in the room with the doors open. But when we got to our room, our keys were there and so was our luggage! What service!
The food at the restaurant was amazing! We thoroughly enjoyed our dinners there, but we didn't like how at breakfast we always seemed to be put with people who spoke a different language. It is not always bad, but when you tell them you speak English and they say that's fine, you expect to sit with someone who you can understand! The Buffet was OK, the food was plentiful but the desserts lacked big time! Just way to much pudding for me! The biggest thing we found with this Cruise was that there was only limited times that the buffet was open, there was no supper buffet, which meant that you had to eat at the restaurant even if you didn't want to. I guess we could of had pizza, but you can only eat that so many times.
The staff was amazing, we had gotten a Suite as we took our son with us, and the staff was always smiling and happy. They were always asking us if there was anything they could do for us. Yes, the announcements were done in five different languages, but we expected that as we were on an Italian Cruise Line. If we wanted only English we would have chosen a different line! But we did find that there was a very nice lady that worked on board that if there were any problems we could go to her and she would help us out. They even had times set up, so that you could learn more about the ship or anything else and it was run by her for those who only spoke English.
Overall we had an amazing time on this ship. There are always some things that people will complain about, but overall this ship is much better than bad. For those of us who didn't like the smoking, there were ways around it and yes there was some smell, but to avoid it, stay out of the smoking areas!
My biggest negative for this Cruise, is the disembarkation. We were suppose to be off at 0845am, but due to Customs it kept being put off, so by the time we could leave we had three other color groups leaving at the same time. Now that isn't bad, but when someone has mistakenly taken your luggage and left theirs, its a problem. I had asked the first Costa person I could find, as I was with our found luggage and my family was looking for the missing bag, and I was told that I was talking to the wrong person. I asked her if she could find someone to help me, as I was concerned, I was told the person you need to talk to is not me! This I found as unacceptable, but again this is not like all the other Cruises we had taken before. Luckily my husband found our bag, as the other person exchanged it back, but I found that lady as not very helpful. So I am not going to let that one thing sour my wonderful Cruise that I had on the Costa Pacifica!