This has been our first cruise on a Costa ship and we chose it to try out it's Italian hospitality and I am sad to say it will probably be our last and it would not be a company I would recommend to anyone. I'm writing this letter to give you constructive feedback because without this you are not able to improve your image. The image with the Italian, German and French markets may be good but I feel that with other nationalities it is sadly lacking therefore the Costa brand is limited to a small potential market base. There were few English speaking people on-board and you are missing a large market. When we've cruised on the ships listed above there has always been a very cosmopolitan atmosphere but this is sadly lacking on Costa. The ship lacked atmosphere.
It is the small things that stick in one's mind as to whether you have a good or bad experience and in our case there have been more negatives compared to positives.
1. Our room was well laid out
2. We liked our restaurant staff and our room was well looked after.
3. Interior deco was pleasant
4. Music in the various bars was pleasant
5. Good gym but could do with a steam room as well as a sauna
6. The ships port of calls were good, except Khor Fakkan.
7. I did like the relaxed style of disembarkation -- i.e. you could leave the ship at whatever time you chose on the last day.
1. The draw handles -- (see Figure 1) are totally useless especially if you have arthritis -- which my wife has. I had to use a lock from our suitcase to hook through the piece of leather to give ourselves something to grab hold of to open the draws in the room. The draw handles might look stylish but whoever designed them and specified them for use on your ship is totally useless. Even someone with half a brain cell could tell you that the draw and door handles are totally impractical. There are as much use as chocolate teapot.
2. Public toilets -- these are a total joke assuming you can find them on the ship in the first place. There are small signs just outside the toilets but they are small there are no directions on how to find them. Once you're inside the toilets to say they are cramped is an understatement. These are the smallest public toilets I've ever had to use.
3. It is very difficult to navigate around the ship and there are a distinct lack of maps showing where you are and how to get to other places on the ship. Those you do find are small and the text is nearly impossible to read. Those with poor eyesight are totally handicapped. Take a leaf out how the ships maps designed and displayed on Royal Caribbean or Celebrity X -- I feel that in the design and layout of the ship is exceedingly poor and there has been very little thought on how to navigate from one place to another. You feel the ship had been designed on an ad-hock basis by a group of teenagers. You feel very cramped and there is no sense of space. I've been on other ships with many thousands of passengers before but never felt as claustrophobic as I did on the Costa Favolosa.
4. There was virtually no communication on the ship as to its progress, days' activities or even words from the captain. Never experienced this before.
5. We found the staff were helpful if asked but generally did not smile or speak much unless spoken to. We also found the Italian passengers are generally rude and I believe this rubbed off onto the staff.
6. There was a pool that had a sign stating that is was assigned as adults only and there were children playing in the pool. When we asked staff kindly as to why there were children in the pool they shrugged their shoulders and said that there were powerless to enforce the rules. This is unacceptable -- if you have rules they should be enforced or don't make the rules in the first place. The staff were too afraid of upsetting the passengers and this I also believe rubs off onto staff moral which was obvious to us.
7. While on the subject of rules - Hand sanitation -- not enforced by staff -- it was confirmed by talking to staff that they were afraid to confront passengers and remind them of hygiene rules. Most of the staff were from similar countries as you employ on your other cruise lines and they were happy to talk to us and express their frustrations with their clientele. If you have rules then they should be enforced or don't bother with them - management should support staff in the enforcement of rules.
8. Smoking -- the smoking passengers did not obey the smoking rules and as I've stated before the staff were afraid to enforce the rules. I also thought that allowing people to smoke in one half of the atrium are on deck 3 very damaging to ones health and make the whole area (including the no smoking area) smell and unpleasant to be in.
9. Not impressed with the pools -- too small and in the wrong places.
10. Not many smiling faces on the ship. The staff did not look happy. I've previously given an explanation as to why I think this is the case.
11. People putting towels on sun chairs for the whole day and claiming the sun bed as theirs even when they were nowhere to be seen. Sun beds -- if you were not on deck before 10:00am these were all taken. People would put their towels down and make a claim for the day on a given sun bed. Again there is a rule that if you leave your bed unoccupied for more than about an hour the towel is removed to allow someone else the opportunity to use it. Again the staff are afraid to enforce this rule and even if you do occupy a vacant sun bed and the person who originally claimed it a couple of hours before returns, they claim it to be theirs and can be very rude and intimidating. I've never experienced anything like this before on a cruise.
12. Entertainment -- for the majority of the week I would say was OK except for the last night when it was spectacular. The entertainment on the Costa Favolosa does not compare at all to what we've experienced on other cruise lines.