This was our first cruise and possibly our last. We booked because of the Itinerary and started our cruise on the classica on the 06/11/2011. From the first moment we got there the feeling was that it was being run by a fly by night company who would be taking our money and running - how right we were. it seemed geared up to take as much money from us as possible from the cost of the excursions to the cost of the drinks everything was pay, pay, pay. The only difference between Costa and Dick Turpin was that Dick Turpin wore a mask! The English speaking International cruise hostess admitted she had no qualifications and could only speak English. When we went to complain about an excursion she thanked us for our feedback and called us mates - we explained the difference between a complaint and feedback and that we where not her mates, for our trouble we received a bottle of flat champagne and complimentary nibbles (left over from the Captains cocktail party!)
The entertainment was pitiful and we likened them to second rate working mens club turns. The cabin was basic but comfortable and the shower tray had to be resealed due to a leak, the wardrobe door had to be realigned as it wouldn't open/close properly but the saving grace was the cabin boy who provided excellent service. The food left a lot to be desired and breakfast in the self service restaurant was like a bun fight. There was no organisation and each excursion was filled with some disaster of some type. Having to buy Indian Visa's was not mentioned in the initial booking of the holiday and the cost of the Indian visa was extortionate and varied from passenger to passenger, cheapest being via the local mosques who would complete applications and send off in bulk and receive large discounts, prices ranged from 40 euros to 330 euros per person!! Everything from the cost of the visas to the cost of drinks/drink packages etc should have been mentioned/highlighted at the point of booking. However, the only good thing we can say is that we were able to keep our cabin until 16.00hrs on the day of disembarkment as we were due to fly the following morning and that the waiting on staff and cabin crew were excellent.
Our "International Guide" gave us a 3 point guide to Costa Cruising: 1) Live life Simply 2)Smile More & 3)Expect less!!! that ethos puts Costa at the bottom of cruising league table. We were also told to mark our feedback form with excellent or all the staff would not get their share of the bonus, which I presume was the additional 200 euros we had to pay for the service charges that had been added to our final bill. Talk about brainwashing!! Forget your dreams and abandon all hope when stepping aboard the Classica! To sum up - would we cruise with Costa again, the answer is a big fat no!!!