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4 Barcelona Costa Magica Cruise Reviews

We chose this 23 day cruise from Genoa to Stockholm only to find out 2 weeks before we left that it was in fact 3 separate cruises. This meant we had to change cabins 3 times ! Food was always cold no matter what time you ate. Even if ... Read More
We chose this 23 day cruise from Genoa to Stockholm only to find out 2 weeks before we left that it was in fact 3 separate cruises. This meant we had to change cabins 3 times ! Food was always cold no matter what time you ate. Even if you were there at opening time. Nearly all announcements were in Italian or Spanish. Also entertainment. No such thing as queuing for anything, it is just push and shove wherever you go, especially when going ashore. Several Shore Excursions cancelled because they don't have English speaking guides. Very quick to take your money though. Fight to get it back. Not enough drink waiters at busy times. Cabin crew do the best they can in the time given them but don't expect clean glasses every day because you only get them on the first day, after that you wash them yourselves. Never again!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise because the time and cost was right for us and the ports visited appealed to us. The time spent in each port seemed reasonable also. We are American and we did know the experience would be different for us on an ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the time and cost was right for us and the ports visited appealed to us. The time spent in each port seemed reasonable also. We are American and we did know the experience would be different for us on an Italian ship...previously all our cruises have been on Carnival. (The first day as soon as we got on the ship and went to the buffet, a couple sat down next to us at the table, but as soon as we said "hello" they got up and moved...obviously they didn't want to sit next to Americans!) The employee, Michaela, who "took care" of the English-speakers was very nice and helpful, having a separate meeting with us and offering her help when we needed it. If you are English-speaking be aware that announcements will be made on Costa ships in various languages, taking up a lot of time. The cabin was comparable to Carnival cabins, as the designer of the Carnival and Costa ships is the same. However, our cabin was showing wear with the front of a drawer falling off among other things. The cabin steward was efficient and nice. One thing I found disappointing is that Costa assigns you a cabin, no choice of your own! On Carnival we always choose the cabin we want. We ended up with a cabin at the aft of the ship. It wasn't a bad location except in rough waters, which we had only once. Food in the dining room was beautifully presented but not always tasty. Main entrees sometimes seemed odd, even though I am a fairly adventurous eater. One of our waiters was really screwy, laughing at who knows what...our American table-mates and us? Food at the buffet was always the same and plentiful, tasty for the most part. Costa offers drink packages and it seemed to us beforehand on the website that in order to have water at meals you'd need to order a water package, and we ordered one for me. I wish we hadn't as I could have had natural water at meals anyway. The package stated that you'd have this water to carry with you, however, the water is in liter bottles that I did not want to carry with me, especially on excursions. Plus, the waiters NEVER understood that I was to get this water (my choice of sparkling or natural) during the whole cruise, even though it was printed on the back of my Costa card and even after several phone calls in which the customer service person said they would speak to the waiters about it! They admitted the employees needed more training! My husband had the beer package and had the same trouble. His Costa card too had "water" printed on the back of it so it was a reoccurring problem as well. Fact is, you could get wine or beer anywhere without a package and the cost seemed to be the same. I would not recommend purchasing drink packages. The worst part of the cruise was the trouble we had with excursions. The one I was looking forward to the most was cancelled. This was the "Gourmet" excursion with wine-tasting and truffles out of Savona, Italy. First they said it was cancelled due to not enough English-speakers signing up for it, but when I inquired about going on a non-English-speaking excursion to that location they said they were not going there at all! We substituted an excursion to Genoa. As it turned out, I had obviously eaten something in the dining room the night before we reached Savona that didn't agree with me and I just could not risk being away from a bathroom on a bus for an hour to go to Genoa the next morning. I took medicine on my own and knew I'd get over it in time and didn't need a doctor. When we called to cancel that excursion they said we could not cancel it unless I went to the doctor, for a fee of 50 euros, and got a note saying I was not well enough to go on the excursion. We said, soooo you can cancel an excursion on us but we cannot cancel one on you! Right? They said right! If I'd spent the money for the doctor and he said I was okay, which he likely would have done since I had no fever, we would have spent the extra 50 euros and still paid for the excursion. As it was, we paid for an excursion we didn't take. Then, after our excursion in Pisa my husband started having back and hip pain and knew he was not going to be able to walk for the 2.5 hours on the excursion we'd booked for Rome the next day. We decided we'd be better off doing the "Rome on our own" tour and tried to change it the night before Rome but the excursion office was closed. We called early the next morning and they said we could change the excursion at the departure point but still had to pay for the original one. So, we did that out of necessity. Rome turned out to be cold and rainy. That was not Costa's fault of course, but almost all the people on our bus returned to the point we were to meet the bus early because we were all miserable due to the weather, and the bus did not pull up until the exact minute we were to leave. It does seem like the bus could have gotten there a little ahead of time as there was space to park the bus and the weather was so awful! Most of the tour guides were okay. The one in Pisa was excellent! The one in Palma de Mallorca spoke so fast that we couldn't understand her even if it was in English! All in all, the Costa excursions were disappointing for us, although Pisa was excellent and we had a wonderful time on our own in Aix-en-Provence, which was an excursion out of Marseilles. This cruise had people embarking and disembarking at each port, which was also different. This meant that there was a safety session each day for those just getting on the ship, and that there were extra announcements and "noise" each day. We did not take an excursion in Barcelona as we got on and off there. We spent 4 extra days in Barcelona at the end of the cruise and that was a very pleasant part of our trip. Glad we did that. Barcelona is an interesting and very friendly city! Actually, the very best part of our cruise was time spent with the English-speaking couples we met. With so few of us we developed a sort of camaraderie among us and that was fun! Thank goodness for them as I must say that some of the other people on the cruise (not all by any means) were actually rude and pushy, not something we were used to on a cruise. In conclusion, we will not take a cruise on an Italian ship again, and don't recommend it for Americans. My total rating of 3 stars is generous. My husband would rate it a 2. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
just got back from a 6 night late deal on the Costa Magica and from getting onto the ship to getting back to the airport felt letdown by poor service.We wanted to experience The fabled Italian way to cruise and took up on this offer . ... Read More
just got back from a 6 night late deal on the Costa Magica and from getting onto the ship to getting back to the airport felt letdown by poor service.We wanted to experience The fabled Italian way to cruise and took up on this offer . We made our way to the cruise terminal arriving at noon to be told that we could not go on the ship till 3.30pm as they were cleaning it ,not even allowed to get some food /drink in any of the restaurants on the ship as we have done on other ships. The cabin was spotless and well kept and the beds were nice and firm as were the pillows (nice touch),The decor is very chic but not over the top ,again all public spaces were kept clean .The fixed dining option is one we rarely use( on any other ship we have been on) as we prefer to dine on our own and try the different food offered on a buffet service and also we like to dine but no to watch dancing waiters ( even if they are happy doing it). The alternative was to go to the buffet 4/5.30 pm to eat small open sandwiches with salad ,with small cakes to follow or wait till 9.30 and eat 2 different types of pizza.There was only water during the day and orange juice on a morning or the usual tea /coffee when available.The cabin had water (bottled) at a cost of 3.30 euro for 1 ltre which could be very expensive in the summer. The entertainment on the ship in the main theater was not very good and mainly in Italian (not a real problem),the theater was superb in condition and atmosphere .The main star was Italian and we were subjected to a a preview of all his previous encounters with stars before he came on and we had never even heard of this world superstar . We had to be out of our cabin by 8am on the day of going home (not a problem)but why wait till 3.30 pm before new passengers can board. We paid for transfers (via Costa) to return us to the airport only after a 2 and a half hour drive to be dropped of along with about 12 to 18 Brits at the wrong terminal,we pointed this out to the driver whose comment was "not my problem " and ushered us away .!The other passengers were of different coaches and all had the same story ,some said they were not allowed toilet stop( unconfirmed) but we all helped each other to get to the correct terminal . The other Brits were of other Costa ships including the Atlantica and the Mediterranea and they also complained about the standards of food served ( unconfirmed by myself or my wife only on their hearsay). Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Costa Cruise lines -- Magica was a terrible disappointment. I had read a lot of reports the food was bad on Costa lines. I got scared when the first day our cruise director warned us the food wouldn't be what we would expect, as we ... Read More
Costa Cruise lines -- Magica was a terrible disappointment. I had read a lot of reports the food was bad on Costa lines. I got scared when the first day our cruise director warned us the food wouldn't be what we would expect, as we are not familiar with European food. Personally I've been to Europe numerous times, and while I am always happy to come home to American food, I've always found plenty of food to keep me happy. None-the-less, being someone who can be content on a single food for the week, I wasn't concerned. Additionally, I don't go on cruises for the food, so it really didn't phase me. Did I ever learn my lesson. The food was so bad, everything from burnt, dry chicken to disgusting fish, even the French toast was awful. To make it worse, the second day we all got food poisoning from dinner. Do NOT underestimate how TERRIBLE food can deteriorate your experience. The ship itself was quite boring, it reminded me of the very first Carnival ship I went 15 years ago that was decommissioned that year, only not quite as fancy. The dining room looked like a cheap cafe with chairs that had the same fabric my father's VW bug had for curtains. While there are 11 bars, most are just big hallways with a dance floor ...i.e. constant traffic. Don't plan on spending more the five minutes at the gift shops. Beyond that... besides a Casino... there really isn't much else on the ship. There wasn't a single place on the ship that felt elegant, or romantic. DON'T go on this ship if you are looking for a high quality relaxing piano bar. (They did have one, but it was in the center of the busiest part of the ship, and the piano player, that sang, was quite awful). As a matter of fact, almost all of the artists in all of the bars were quite awful. We attempted several nights to relax in a variety of bars, but ended up retiring early after severe frustration. Nobody dresses up. Formal night... many people wear jeans and shorts. Not that you felt comfortable in a Tux sitting in the incredibly cheap atmosphere of the ship. Entertainment was actually OK. If it weren't for the incredibly rude Italians constantly getting up in front of you and standing, I would say the entertainment was almost good several nights, as long as you are open to opera and a few other Italian forms of entertainment. As with many ships... good luck finding a chair by the pool. The people on the ship (Italians) are incredibly rude. Woman would quite literally push you out of the way to get to the elevator first, to get to the buffet first, or just to get in front of you. The men would belch, pick their noses, and undress in public. Service was not any where near the standard of even Carnival (let alone Royal Caribbean). Getting a glass of water at the beginning of a meal would take about three or four requests and thirty minutes of wasted of time. Don't even think about asking for a refill (we ended up bring water with us). Usually you would have to flag about three people down before someone would finally take your order. Don't expect any towel animals or anything special in your room... while the rooms are nice (quite big actually)... there's no special attention given to guests. The interesting thing about this ship was the way they board the ship. Passengers embark and disembark at almost every stop... which means its relatively fast to get on and off. It also means that unless you get on at the stop with the most people (Palermos, if I recall)... the ship caters its welcoming events to them. We actually had our emergency life vest demonstration the day before we got off, right after the welcome party for the English speaking guests... Nobody speaks English. Don't plan on going on this cruise and meeting anyone, unless you know Italian or Spanish. There were about 50 people in total that spoke English. I'm sure there are plenty more bad things to say about Costa, but if I haven't convinced you now not to go, then nothing can. The itinerary was very nice... just don't even THINK about letting Costa take you through it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
Costa Magica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 3.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.2
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.2
Enrichment 1.0 2.7
Service 4.0 3.7
Value For Money 4.0 3.2
Rates 3.0 3.9

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