A Very Nice Cruise Trip: Costa Favolosa Cruise Review by siumee
Overall Member Rating
A Very Nice Cruise Trip
Destination: Middle East
It's decoration is outdated in my opinion. The atrium is too small and no grand feeling.
The swim pools are small, too. But there are a lot of facilities for children. I guess children will like them.
The rooms are very comfortable. Cabins are make up twice a day. The door loops of the wardrobes make it very difficult to open. I suggest placing something in between the wardrobe and its door to stop it from closing tightly. There are 3 wardrobes and many drawers in our cabin. We can place all our luggage in them.
Favolosa adds a floor name to each floor which I think is just confusing. There are a lot of restaurants and bars on the same floor and they are in Italian Names, so very difficult to remember. Moreover, signs are not enough. So, I suggest one look at the floor maps (which is provided at check-in) to find out the location before going out of the cabin.
Meals are generally fine, though occasionally More tasteless. We think choices are enough.
Staff are hardworking and polite. All of them can speak English. But sometimes not so easy to understand (my English is not good either). But I learned that they have to work 11 hours a day and have no leave until the end of their contract (at least 6 months). Even the singers have to sing continuously for 6-8 hours. So, they are sometimes too tired. And I found staff at the information desk not really helpful.
We all think their shows only average, if not boring. We saw the same group of performers almost every night. The only good show is "Ice and Fire" on Thursday. But, at Dinner time, the staff will have a small show almost every evening, which make the atmosphere cheerful.
Regarding the drinks, water is Euro 2.6 per 2L bottle in cabin which I think should be free of charge. Other non-alcoholic drinks are Euro 5 to 6.5 + 15% service charge. Alcoholic drinks, which we did not take, may be several Euro higher. They have several kinds of drink packages. People who often drink think they are good deals. So, their bars and lounges are usually full of people.
One more aspect worth mentioning, one day on cruise was my birthday. No one had mentioned it with Favolosa. But in that morning after breakfast, I received a Birthday Card signed by the Captain. In the evening, the Restaurant Head together with the staff sing "Happy Birthday" to me and presented me with a birthday cake! I did not have such experience when I cruised with Norwegian last birthday.
Embarkation and disembarkation are extremely smooth. This may be due to our timing is right. Actually, I must appraise their disembarkation process. On the last day on board, they allow you to leave the cabin at 1pm. For those joining their excursions, 4pm. You can stay and keep on using their facilities until evening. No push at all! Some people even leave on Saturday. I don't know how much would the additional charge be.
Ports: All the ports, except Dubai, have free Port shuttles to go out of the Port. There are plenty of taxis waiting at the shuttle stop. (except Khasab, where there is no buses and no taxis).
We hired a taxi for a city tour for 2 hours and negotiated a price of USD50 for 4 adults. We had visited Bait Al Zubair Museum (Entrance Fee AED8), Fort Mirani, Fort Jalali, and Al Alam Palace for an outside view. Then the taxi left us at the Coniche near the souk. From there we walked back to take the Port shuttle.
Favolosa now stops at Khor Fakkan Port instead of Fujairah Port. Since Favolosa has only given us a map of the city of Fujariah. I was not aware of these are two different Port and made a mistake to hired a taxi to go to Fujairah fish market which is 20KM away. Khor Fakkan is more beautiful than Fujairah and it has a fish market too. The Fish market in Fujairah is great as we saw a lot of hugh fish there, very interesting! Other places, especially the heritage village and the Palace, seem not worth visiting. The heritage village nearly has nothing to see. The Palace is in a very remote area in the mountains and very outdated. It is in fact an old fort, nothing like what we expect for a Palace of a King or something like that.
With regard to the taxi, at first, we thought we got a good driver who looked shy. Others have to negotiate with the driver. We just got on the taxi and asked him to go to the Fish Market of Fujariah and he go without saying anything. We found there seems no taxi returning from Fujairah. Again, to play safe, we asked if he could wait for us when we visit attractions. He agreed. But on the way when we return to Khor Fakkan, he told me that I should pay him Euro 200 as he waited for us and the trip was 3 1/2 hours which rounded up to 4 hours. I didn't answer him until we arrived at the pick up point of the free shuttle bus. The meter read 160. Then I told him that I understand that taxis in UAE are paid by Meter and waiting time charge is included. Then he said he'll accept Euro 100. I'll said I'll only pay him AED 200, or I'll call his company to ask how much I should pay. Then he accepted the money.
If I would visit Fujairah again, I'll stay in Khor Fakkan and explore more of it. The ship also had paid shuttle to the city, costs 6-8 Euro.
The Grand Mosque is a MUST. It's so amazing! You ought to arrive before 11:30am as I saw it closed at 12 noon and the next visit is at 4pm and you're expected to be on board again at 5pm.
There are plenty of taxis waiting at the Port Gate. But many of them ask for an unacceptable price, say Euro 100 to the Grand Mosque. When we opt to leave, another taxi driver approached us and agreed to pay by meter. We take it to the Mosque. It cost AED35, about 30 min ride.
If you wish to roam around the Emirate Palace Hotel, you must make a reservation first. The min charge for afternoon tea is AED100 per person.
When you're at the Marina Mall, make sure you take the transparent lift to the top floor. It's free and the view is spectacular. You can also have a drink there. But the windows are not clean enough. You can take a bus (No. 11, AED1) back to the Port. It takes at least 1 hour. The ships shuttle costs Euro 8 round trip Port & Marina Mall.
I would highly recommend the Full Day Dhow Cruise conducted by "Khourshem Tours" (also named " Khour Shem Tourism")?. The trip is terrific! You can search for its website on internet.
The dhow is very comfortable with a western style toilet. There is also fresh water for showers after swimning or snorkeling. The cushions looked clean and new. It can carry 25 passengers, but there were only 11 of us. Very spacious. Others from crowed large Dhows must have envied with us.
The captain is great. He was born and grown up in Khor Shem, a village in Khasab. It seems he knows the behavior of dolphins. He did induced a flock of dolphins to chase our Dhow for 2 times for about 10 minutes in total. We have enough time to take movies. Very exciting, indeed! The dolphins swam like bullets in the sea. Unexpectedly fast!
After watching the dolphins, we stopped at telegrahic island to swim or snorkel. Some people climb on the island to see the fort. I stayed on board.
There are plenty iced soft drinks, fruit, hot tea and coffee. We did the full day cruise, so lunch is included. Though choices are not many (coloure rice, grilled chicken, gravy, salad, desert), but more than enough for everyone, warm and taste quite well. The Dhow kept moving on slowly while we were having lunch. It was wonderful to have breezes and mountains around you when eating!
Other passengers slept on the deck to enjoyed sun bathing after lunch. But I just didn't want to miss the beautiful structures of the mountains surrounding me and stayed awake.
Its price is unbeatable, too! Full Day Dhow Cruise for AED200 per adult (including lunch, free pick up and snorkeling equipment) and buy 3 get 1 free!
This trip is really a memory for a life time. I will highly recommend it to everyone visiting Khasab or Musandum.
There are plenty of taxis waiting at Port. You much take a taxi to go out of the Port. There are too much to see and do in Dubai. If you're interested, please refer to my reviews at Tripadvisor.
We had heard of many unfavorable comments regarding Costa during the recent months. If these comments were heard before we book, we certainly will not have booked it. But now, we have experience with Favolosa, I'm willing to cruise with Costa again. But I will only choose new ships, such as Favolosa. This was because last year, the Norwegian ship was 9 years old. The experience has been good, except the 2 beds in our cabin formed an W shape which is very uncomfortable. So, I would only choose new ships on whatever lines. Less