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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
Have just returned from 7 day cruise around the med on Costa Serena. How let down I was. This was our third cruise with Costa and will now be our last. How things have changed in 7 months has been a real turning point. We took the All ... Read More
Have just returned from 7 day cruise around the med on Costa Serena. How let down I was. This was our third cruise with Costa and will now be our last. How things have changed in 7 months has been a real turning point. We took the All Inclusive drinks package and found out that this was the only way you could get a cup of tea in the evening as they have now stopped the self service in the buffet area. The ice cream machines have been disabled, the buffet food selection has been decreased by half, you can't get a bottle of water ( unless you buy it) as it is only served by the glass with the All Inclusive package! You now have to pay for pizza after 6pm, the staff seem to have lost the ability to communicate with passengers, although they work really hard and cannot fault their service, but it would have been nice to have a conversation with them like on our previous cruises. We were 'upgraded' (if you can call it that). We were given an inside room on the Deck 9 which was fitted out for disabled passengers. The walk in shower was in need of some regrouting, the room available to get into bed measured about 2 inches either side of the bed, the noise from people walking past the rear of our cabin was ridiculous, and then there was a party on Deck 9 one evening where we could hear the music blaring whilst we tried to sleep. I know Costa are cheap, but they were cheap before, but offered a much better deal. I feel that we have been cheated big time and will not be cruising with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
The destinations were great, the crew were not overly friendly or accomodating, the excursion that we went on was good. The other passengers on the ship were not very courteous especially in lines. The dress code is casual, but some ... Read More
The destinations were great, the crew were not overly friendly or accomodating, the excursion that we went on was good. The other passengers on the ship were not very courteous especially in lines. The dress code is casual, but some passengers attended dinners really sloppily (t-shirts, etc). The food in the buffet was really mediocre, not much variety with low quality (served prawns which were tasteless and over-cooked, not much variety of hot breakfasts (porridge, cream of wheat etc), The dinners weren't very good quality food except the soups were excellent. The entertainment was ho-hum. The guitar player only did karaoke guitar, he couldn't sing so he just mumbled, and his playing was very simple. The guitar duo was really excellent. The couple in the main lounge/atrium were ok, but the girl was terrible, once again only doing karaoke style. The pianist was quite good however. There was really no "piano bar" which is where i usually spend my time.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
I was on a 7 day cruise. Destinations were very good. Cabin Staff and Bar Staff were excellent. My main concern is that the Costa Cruises took the amount from my MasterCard that I spent on the ship but after 10 days are still holding the ... Read More
I was on a 7 day cruise. Destinations were very good. Cabin Staff and Bar Staff were excellent. My main concern is that the Costa Cruises took the amount from my MasterCard that I spent on the ship but after 10 days are still holding the exact amount spent as a pending amount. This means that I cannot access my own money. So basically they are holding onto my money for whatever reason I cannot understand. I travelled with 3 others people and they are holding pending amounts for them as well. I have sent 3 emails to their customer services and have not had a reply. I am being totally ignored. Facilities Breakfast every morning was exactly the same. Hot breakfasts i.e. eggs, bacon, were cold every morning. Plus queues to get food were unbelievable. Evening meal although 5 courses was sparse and of poor quality. Same soup every night but with a different name. The sun beds were less than a foot apart and the day the ship sailed all day there wasn't room for everyone to lie in the sun. Where is my MONEY - Costa.... I would say that the destinations were fabulous i.e. Fri 06 Jun BARCELONA 19:00 Sat 07 Jun MARSEILLE 09:00 17:00 Sun 08 Jun SAVONA 09:00 16:30 Mon 09 Jun CIVITAVECCHIA 09:00 23:59 Tue 10 Jun NAPOLI 13:00 19:00 Thu 12 Jun PALMA DE MALLORCA 09:00 23:59 Fri 13 Jun PALMA DE MALLORCA 00:01 01:00 Fri 13 Jun BARCELONA 13:00 We made our own travel arrangements from the ports and had plenty of time to enjoy our destinations before going back to ship. Thank you for that Costa but unfortunately, you fell down very badly on breakfasts and evening meals. Plus the close proximity of sun-beds, and too many people on the ship to enable my friends and I to sunbathe. A few benches/chairs on the top decks would have been well received. It has now been 17 days since I disembarked, some of my cash has been released but not all. Summary: Cold bacon and eggs and any hot food - cold every morning. Evening meal though well served was of poor quality Sun beds too close and no space to move them to Withholding money.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
I’ve just arrived from my first cruise experience in Costa Serena, through the Mediterranean. I am Portuguese (had my 38th birthday during the trip) and I travelled with a friend, in also their late 30’s. I have to say that, because ... Read More
I’ve just arrived from my first cruise experience in Costa Serena, through the Mediterranean. I am Portuguese (had my 38th birthday during the trip) and I travelled with a friend, in also their late 30’s. I have to say that, because the reviews I have read here, I was a little bit suspicions, especially about the food. But, once there, I realized that I didn’t have to worry about, because the variety and quality of the food - provided by the self service restaurants (during the day) and dinning service at night - was quite good. I must also say that you are able to eat almost anytime. While a restaurant closes, another one is available. It’s impossible to get hungry there. During the navigation day, when all the passengers were on board, the self-service rooms were a little bit crowded. So we had to face queues to get food. The cabin was very clean and twice a day we had cleaning services in the room. The public bathrooms, although not quite noticeable, were very clean as well. The interior decoration was really weird and for me that is the only minor aspect of the ship. Too much colors and elements all together, especially in the main lobby. I felt like I was in a 70s or 80s disco and not in a 2007 ship. Besides that, it was a lovely experience and I had a great time. The animation team was really great and You have the opportunity to dance and have fun at night, in spite of your musical preferences. The karaoke night was not so fun for a non-Italian speaker, because almost all the participants were Italians… singing Italian songs. (A tribute to the Scottish people that saved the Karaoke night )… A special mention to the evening shows in the theater: I wasn’t expecting so much! The dinner service was very pleasant, with very funny animation moments, performed by the staff.  Next time, I won’t forget a formal/cocktail dress to wear in the «gala dinner». About the fellow passengers, I acknowledged almost every kind of people: Asians, Indians, Arabians, Africans, but most of all Italians, a bunch of Spanish and French as well. Me and my friend, and a nice Portuguese couple, were the only Portuguese on board. It was a multicultural scenario, although I felt that the Italian people ruled the environment. So…memorable days in the sea and I’m looking forward for another cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
This review contains some of my own personal thoughts, opinions and suggestions that could improve your crusing expereince, especially if you are a first time crusier((like me). The review will be seperaetd into three sections. Positive, ... Read More
This review contains some of my own personal thoughts, opinions and suggestions that could improve your crusing expereince, especially if you are a first time crusier((like me). The review will be seperaetd into three sections. Positive, Negative and would be even better ifs! Positives Embarkation at Barcelona quick , efficient and hassle free. Cabin with a balcont worth paying the xtra for and spacious lovely and clean Drinks package, buy before you cruise. Its great value and not anywhere close to as limited as stated by other reviewers. At somewhere around £16 per person per day it is well worth it, especially if you, like me, make it your lifes work to travel all the way through the cocktail list! There are of course non alcholic cocktails so when you have made your way through the ones containing alcohol and fancy something else, feel free to ask the waiter or bar person to add alcohol of your choice to the non alcoholic ones and they will happily oblige! The staff on this ship are second to none, always polite, always helpful and even on occasion go above and beyond the call of duty. PLease ensure that you save a few euros for the end of the trip to tip your cabin person as they do an amazing job, often twice a day cleaning and tidying your cabin, should it be required. The english rep madeline is lovely, knowledgable polite and the epitomy of professionalism. Top marks there. Trip to pompeii- Do not miss this, this was the very best part of the trip for all of the guests in our party. the sites were amazing and margot the guide was excellent, so much so that we tipped her at the end of the excursion. Trip to Tunis. no need to buy the expensive excursion. Ten euros will get you on the shuttle bus that drops you at the souk and this is great fun! Trip to the catacombs- The catacombs are great if not a little scary but get the shuttle bus into town rather than the expensive excursion. the trip is long winded spends too much time in one place and often the commentary takes ages as the tour guide has to describe everything in a number of different languages which on the surface is fine but does become really tiresome and both myself and my sister in law got really agitated by this towards the end of the trip. savona- simply get off the ship walk into town and sit at the side of the harbour and watch the world go by whilst trying some of the beautiful pasta and pizza on offer its awesome. Entertainment on board isnt to everyones taste but is fine Good hairdryer in room There is an indoor smoking room located on one of the decks look out for Dark vader! The chap who cleans this room comes in with a gas mask on! rightly so but was quite funny the first time we saw him! For him indoors there is an F1 simulator. Be prepared to be left for long periods of time if your chap is into his motor sport. Testosterone was in buckets and the competition was fierce! Good fun though i was told. Hubby spent almost 100 euros on here so it must have been! Negative I expereinced a lot of the pushing and shoving and not queing Food was fine for the first few days but it was never particulalry hot just warm. I suppose only to be expected taking into consideration the amount of people needed to be fed. A gripe from all our group was that bottled water is not included in the drinks package The mini bar is expensive and there is a charge for it to be restocked I love the sun and therefore if you do too i would say dont book to go on a cruise in feb,march etc as you wont see much sun on board you will get some in Tunis though. No mention of hand hygeine in presentation and few people taking advantage of the hand sanitiser available at most entrances to eating areas. A ship this size could see food poisioning spread quickly, Decor, not to everyones taste and whilst im no linda barker found it all to bright and gawdy with no where except the cabin to give the eyes a rest. Quality of the coffee at breakfast is rubbish and the hot water is only hot not boiling so even if you were to take your own t bags it doesnt make a decent cuppa. if you like a sing song and see karaoke on your 'today' magazine, dont get excited, its mainly in other languages, you dont stand a hope in hell of being able to get up and sing, the screen wobbles all over the place and the graphics are pants.The compare gets people in the wrong order so it causes loads of confusion, give this one a wide berth(excuse the pun) Even better if You dont go expecting The QE2 (as was) Your happy to mingle with individuals that have no manners and can overlook this Water was included in drinks package You go in the warmer months (obviously you will pay more) The decor was toned down in a few areas The food was hot Finally I have said that i would be unlikely to cruise again. The main reason for this is that the whole experience simply reminded me of all inclusive holidays that i had previously on land, without the benefit of being able to jump on a bus or a taxi whenever i felt like it. Therefore i found it restrictive. However i have considered this in more depth and come to the conclusion that if i had gone during the warmer months, and perhaps to a smaller ship and to better destinations that i could be persuaded to try it again. As a woman in my early 40s i ditched all inclusive type holidays when i didnt have my children in tow,. Cruising isnt for everyone but if you like the all inclusive vibe then you will be fine and it is something that you need try at least once.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
This was our second trip on the Costa Serena and knew exactly what to expect. Firstly this is an Italian Cruise Line and you will only occasionally hear the English Language being spoken by your fellow passengers. Lots of children on board ... Read More
This was our second trip on the Costa Serena and knew exactly what to expect. Firstly this is an Italian Cruise Line and you will only occasionally hear the English Language being spoken by your fellow passengers. Lots of children on board of all ages and a real family atmosphere prevails with plenty of activities for them. The food is geared to Continental tastes and it can be a bit hectic in the self service at times although we have never had to queue for more than a few minutes - never mind 40 minutes as claimed by an earlier reviewer. Our cabin staff were excellent and always visible - we did have a suite (offered an upgrade from balcony cabin at a reasonable extra charge). Lively entertainment areas - with the Italians and other Europeans enjoying their dancing - the old fashioned way. Plenty of quiet areas to escape the crowds if required. If you are a complainer then don't bother - one couple approached out English Hostess with a list of seven of the most trivial matters - why they bother leaving home I don't know. This is not a stiff and starchy Cruise Ship with a formal atmosphere and you get what you pay for - by the way we are a couple in our seventies (just) and will use Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
We have recently returned from a costa cruise, which we almost didn't take because of all the awful things said about the line. So pleased we went with our common sense we had a fantastic time. The important thing to remember when ... Read More
We have recently returned from a costa cruise, which we almost didn't take because of all the awful things said about the line. So pleased we went with our common sense we had a fantastic time. The important thing to remember when booking a Costa cruise is that this line caters very much to the southern european market, especially italian. therefore dining arrangements, especially at breakfast, are done to suit, i.e. more emphasis on buffet style, less so on the sit down served arrangement as is prevalent on other lines. there is the option to go to the restaurant and be seated, most of the food is continental buffet style but tea and coffee are served, as are items that don't lend themselves to buffet such as omelettes, fried and poached eggs etc. evening dining is the event with 7 courses, and there is the usual lunch buffet/burger and fries bar very much like most cruise lines. there is no buffet dining in the evening, the area turns into a sit down served pizzeria. very italian. Our embarkation in Barcelona, was quick and very efficient, but most of the passengers don't get on and off here so we are unable to comment on the other ports. We were treated wonderfully from the start, politely, friendly and we didn't come across many staff who couldn't at least make themselves understood in English. Costa are very thorough these days with lifeboat drill, as they should be. the arrangements for english speakers at this port were as plain as the nose on your face. turn up at the arranged time at the theatre, listen to the english hostess give a talk and watch a video and then be ESCORTED to your muster station for the lifejacket demo. simples. you can then happily ignore any further announcements regarding lifeboat drill at other ports no matter what language the announcement is in. language does seem to be a major issue for some cruisers on costa especially in europe. the bulk of the passengers come from italy, spain, france, portugal, germany etc. their first language is not english, why should it be and why should this need spelling out. it annoys us greatly that some english speakers seem to have this bizarre idea that everybody should be able to speak english. There is also a perception that if the passengers are european therefore there is bound to be pushing and shoving. i will admit that in some instances some of them don't grasp the concept of queuing very well, but in the restaurants we saw none of that. everyone waited in line, generally patiently and did not push in. the smoking rules on board are very strict, more so than some other lines we have been on. no smoking inside, not even in the casino. we saw no one disobey these rules and never smelled smoke inside. the only place where smoke could be smelled was at the side of the door leading to the promenade deck but it never lingered as the air conditioning was very efficient here. there were so many bars and seating areas it was never necessary to sit there. in fact, this ship has more bars and seating areas than most of the ships we have been on. there is only one paid for restaurant plus a small one specifically for spa cabins and the space for these has to come from somewhere. full marks to costa for resisting the many paid dining areas (so far). most of the bars had some form of live music/entertainment which was excellent as was the talent in the theatre shows. no big production shows as on lines such as royal caribbean but the in house dancers and singers were as good, if not better than we have seen elsewhere. the shows were very popular, and they managed to find something which could appeal to all cultures and languages. well done to Costa for what is potentially difficult. This is a large ship and absorbs its full complement of passengers really well, there is never any need to feel overwhelmed by people if you want to get away. we never used the library, internet area, or disco so cannot comment on these. considering the large number of teens on board and that alcohol is served from age 18, the behaviour was very good. The food was absolutely wonderful. maybe fewer choices in the buffet than some cruises but generally you would have to be extremely picky not to find something to like. I have read poor reviews about the pizza. this is probably due to expectation. certain nationalities (not to be named) expect their pizza to have thick or stuffed crust and a hundred or so toppings to choose from. italian pizza is not like that, it is a snack really, made to be cooked very quickly and eaten on the run, hence thin crust and few toppings. we love it, and when you are on costa you are effectively in italy. whereas costa's pizza is not the best we have ever had it italy, it is more than acceptable. The burger and fries bar tended to be the busiest (there were many teens on board on this sailing), especially between 11 and noon. the main buffet did not open until 12 noon and on one day in particular when the ship docked at 1 pm everyone wanted to eat and be ready for getting off. however, there were actually 2 burger/fries bars on this ship and the one at the other end of the buffet from the main pool was usually quieter. all you have to do is wander around and look. we never waited very long in the main buffet, even at the busy lunch time. the evening dining was wonderful, 7 courses (all small) which meant you can try lots of different food items and still be able to walk. and if you didn't think any course was big enough, they would have happily brought you another one, or a different one. all the staff wanted to do was to please and i never heard the words its not possible once. the food was of very good quality, beautifully cooked and presented and politely served by the friendly waiters. if costa is at the 'cheap' end of cruising the food did not make it feel like it. we had the drinks package which was fantastic value and the wine at dinner was most acceptable. if you are a connoisseur you may have problems, but then maybe you are on the wrong cruise line. the food was excellent quality, beautifully cooked and presented and politely served. there were many children on board, all of them very well behaved and the odd one that misbehaved was soon pulled into line by a parent or carer. yes they were noisy and lively especially in the activities around the pool which they were all encouraged to join in, even the tiny ones. i would be very concerned about children in this environment that weren't noisy and lively. at dinner, all the children we saw, and there were many of them, knew how to sit up to a table, sit still, manage cutlery and behave in a civilised manner. perhaps this is because they are brought up to do this from a young age. it is obvious from our travels in europe that they seem to grasp the idea that children are a joy to have with you and you want to give them a good time, but they are not the centre of the universe and sometimes they have to fit in with the grown ups and do it with good grace. the children on this ship certainly knew how to do this. the main pool area was where many of the activities took place, mostly around dancing, singing, games and exercise. we expected it to be like a zoo but it wasn't. the glass roof was nice as it meant the area was available to use even in bad weather. the weather on our cruise wasn't especially good, quite windy and a bit of a swell so that sometimes the pools had to be closed due to water slopping around which would have not been safe. similarly, not all the beds were out because there weren't enough people outside to use them. however, if you could find a nice warm sheltered corner (which we did), there was nothing to stop you getting a bed and moving it. (which we did). we didn't ask someone else to do it for us, we just took a bed and moved it. we expect service on a cruise, not slavery. the public bathrooms were plentiful but not easy to locate and this was a niggle which we intend to raise on our survey. the doors were the same colour as the ladies/gents sign and this made them easy to miss. there was supposed to be a lit sign above the door but it was not always lit up. plus, the ship map did not show the location of the bathrooms. when we did find one, it was always spotless and fresh. occasionally towels and tissues did run out, especially the bathrooms around the theatre which were heavily used, but it never took long to replenish them. besides there are hand air driers as well. hygiene was paid attention, hand sanitiser available outside all the restaurants and coming on board. no washee washee (ncl) you were left to make the decision to sanitise your hands yourself. you would be a fool not to. Costa does not present, or price itself as the Ritz of cruising. It is a family orientated and family friendly line and this shows in the way that children of all ages are welcomed and valued. some of the kids did go to the kids club, some not. the carers of the kids club certainly knew how to keep their charges in line and they did. we never once saw any child 'running wild' - whatever that means. haven't reviewed the cabin specifically, they are pretty similar to cabins on most cruise lines. we had an inside one, midships, deck 7 which was a premium cabin an a little larger than some we have had and a very nice bathroom. we do usually tend to go for the cheapest option because we spend so little time in it, but Costa have this arrangement whereby if you book the cheap, to be allocated cabin, you cannot choose your dining location or time. for two people travelling together perhaps this is OK but we were in a four and wanted to be sure we were dining together. For that reason only we upgraded to the premium cabin, classic is the cheapest. it actually wasn't that much more expensive, about £28 per person. we also got room service free with this class of cabin and as we do like our early morning tea/coffee it was nice to have that. we did have breakfast pastries once in the cabin an were impressed with them, they were delicious and fresh. Using the medical facility isn't something you particularly want to do but on this occasion we had to. They were excellent, very well staffed, treatment first class and wonderfully caring and considerate. the medical facility must report to the customer service staff details about their patients because 2 days after i started receiving treatment they called me in the cabin to ask how I was and had my condition improved. a nice touch. Fortunately for me I wasn't confined to the cabin (not norovirus!). What I would say to the nigglers and complainers about Costa cruises is this - they are exceptionally good value - don't expect the Ritz from what you have paid If you are travelling in Europe, the ship will probably be full of Italians, Spanish, French etc. what did you expect. These passengers will probably not speak English, why should they. Do you hate the presence of visible children, especially in the dining room. if you do, choose another line, or an adult only ship. Going on holiday should be an adventure, it won't be totally under your control and like it is at home. that is the joy of a holiday. if you really can't stand it that there may be little things that are not exactly as you might like them to be, then better to stay at home. We have travelled on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and NCL as well as Costa and independent travel throughout Europe and the USA. There are things about each one that have been specially nice, and things that we were not too sure of. That applies to probably every holiday we have ever been on. Keep an open mind, be flexible and you will have a wonderful time, on Costa as on any other cruise line. Moderate your expectation to what is realistic and do some research first (and not just bad reviews). Be grateful you can afford to cruise, and are fit enough to do so. There are many out there that would give their right arm to be doing what you (and we) are fortunate enough to be able to do .   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2014
We are not normally difficult to please. We have taken eight cruises between my sister and I and have never been so disappointed as with this Costa Cruise. If I ever hear the phrase "impossibla" or "madam it is not ... Read More
We are not normally difficult to please. We have taken eight cruises between my sister and I and have never been so disappointed as with this Costa Cruise. If I ever hear the phrase "impossibla" or "madam it is not possible" again I will scream! When you take a cruise you have to accept that you are a captive audience and all that goes with that. However, Costa take this to an entirely different level. The staff are trained in the a way which seems to be that the customer is never right and expects too much! By the end of our seven day cruise we had a list of three A4 sheets of complaints (we don't normally do this!). A few examples - The lifeboat drill was a farce - we asked a number of crew for directions and were sent the wrong way three times before finding the English speaking presentation - this did not fill us with confidence from the first day!! We politely asked the deck crew to get out some sunbeds on an upper deck - they were very reluctant, saying that they could only get them out on one deck (not where we had found a sheltered spot!) We both drink a lot of water……despite being on the all inclusive package, water was restricted to a serving by the glass (small) and I could not get a glass of Prosecco (normally included at the bars) in the dining room as a dessert wine. Also huge queues for the buffet on returning from excursions, pools closed for no apparent reason, children in adult areas and poor excursions, where supposed English speaking guides could only repeat "is very important" for most of the landmarks! All of these are indicative of poor organisation and poor customer service. After complaining with Guest Services and speaking with the English Cruise Representative (who we felt were understanding of our issues), we decided not to pay the Service Charge as we had received very poor service. To cap it all, when we were disembarking we were shouted down by a tall overbearing Italian man (The Assistant Administrative Director – Daniele Gorini) who did not listen to anything we said but just insisted on speaking over us. He then proceeded to say that Trip Advisor and Cruise Critic were “Bull Shit.” Needless to say, we will not be taking a Costa Cruise again. We normally take NCL cruises, however, they did not have the specific dates we needed on this occasion. Next time we will take a different holiday rather than a Costa Cruise!!! Read Less
Costa Serena Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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