12 La Romana (Casa de Campo) Family Cruise Reviews

Sorry for this being a long review but I tried to cover most of what we did and how we found it. The holiday started well at the airport, travelling premier class with TUI we were whisked through check in and security, it was the last ... Read More
Sorry for this being a long review but I tried to cover most of what we did and how we found it. The holiday started well at the airport, travelling premier class with TUI we were whisked through check in and security, it was the last we saw of our hold luggage until it arrived at our cabin. We were greeted on the plane with a glass of bubbly before take off, we were glad to have booked premier as it was a 9 hour flight the longest we have ever done. There was plenty of room to move around in your seat, video's to watch and plenty to eat and drink. On arrival at the Dominican Republic, going through security was just as fast as check in at home, signing in at the ship was fast and straight forward, if you can travel premier when with TUI it saves a lot of time at check in's and security. Marella Celebration had not changed much from our last cruise her in October 2016, new carpeting and seating in Hemmingways and Horizons lounges. The standard of food on board was very good it was well cooked and presented in The Meridian Restaurant, in the Lido Buffet the standard was just as good with plenty of variety to suit every one. We tended to have breakfast and lunch in the Lido Buffet where there was always a large selection of both hot and cold foods along with a plentiful array of fruit, we were able to have as little or as much as we wanted. Our preference was to have evening dinner in The Meridian Restaurant served by waiters Iasury, Jaydeep and Katerina and wine by Kumar who did an excellent job keeping the glasses full. Health and gluten free meals were available on request in The Meridian Restaurant and on display in the Lido Buffet to help yourself. It was definitely an excellent change to our eating experience on Marella Dream in September 2017 where the food was just about as god as pub grub and dolloped on your plate. Being repeat Marella (Thomson) cruisers we had seen most of the shows/guest artists on previous cruises, so it would not be fair to make comment on any of the shows we attended. Being a repositioning cruise the cruise itinerary had 8 port stops and 9 days at sea this made the cruise very relaxing. After our first day at sea we arrived at Curacao, where we did the Discover Curacao Island Tour which started with a visit to Curacao Museum in Otrabanda, one floor is kitted out like a 19th century Curacao mansion, then on to the Hato Caves which have about 50 steps to enter and exit the caves which are full of stalagmites and stalactites, next we were on to the Chobolo Liqueur Factory where you can see where the islands Blue Curacao Liqueur is made along with a tasting. The caves make this trip unsuitable for wheelchair users or those with waking difficulties. Our next port of call was Aruba where we did the Aruba Off Road trip, starting with a visit to Casibari Rock a formation that is the result of the island’s trade winds, then on to the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins which operated in the 19th century, next it was on to the ocean carved Natural Bridge, followed by the Alto Vista Chapel and the California Lighthouse which sits on the islands northwest tip, finally to the palm fringed white sands at Arashi Beach. This trip would be unsuitable to wheelchair users also those with back or joint problems and pregnant women due to the very rough and uneven terrain covered. Next was the island of Bonaire where we did the Bonaire Highlights & Culture Explorer tour. Our first stop was the village of Rincon at the Rose Inn to sample the locally Cadushy Liqueur made from cactus and lime, then on to the Mangazina di Rei Culture Park where The King’s Warehouse is the second oldest building on the island, finally to the Salt Flats and Salt Mountains where salt was mined by slaves in the 19th century, some of the old slave huts are still standing. This trip would suit most people looking for a relaxing non-energetic trip. Our second day at sea was a welcome break, there were plenty of activities organised if you were becoming bored with the sun bathing, but most cruisers were topping up on their sun tan. Our 4th port of call was Castries, St. Lucia, where we had booked the Scenes of St. Lucia tour, starting with a drive up the scenic Morne Fortune hillside, translated as “Hill of Good Luck”, it was a key battleground during colonial times, our first stop was at St Marks House, a colonial style house high in the hills where you have a panoramic view of Castries harbour and the Caribbean sea. Then it was on to St. Lucia’s one and only rum distillery, where you see how the spirit is produced, afterwards you have a chance to sample the produce, all 17 different rum’s, from double strength to crème liqueur varieties and it was help yourself, you were invited go round twice if you wanted, no one in our group was brave enough. Lastly it was a bit of retail therapy at Howelton Estate/Caribelle Batic which is famous throughout the Caribbean for it’s batic prints. This tour was easy on the legs and would be suitable for most people. The next port of call was St. John’s, Antigua where we went on the Highlights of Antigua, the first stop was The Blockhouse Fort ruins, perched 500 feet above sea level making it a great viewing platform for the island. Then it was on to Shirley Heights where during the 18th century soldiers used this as a lookout to spot their enemies and signal to near by forts. Finally it was on to Nelson’s Dockyard which is the world’s only working Georgian Dockyard still in use today, you are able to stroll through the Georgian buildings and visit the original Naval Officer’s house. This tour is not suitable for wheelchair users or those with walking difficulties due to the rough terrain under foot. Our final port of call in the Caribbean before 6 days a sea was Philipsburg, St. Maarten, where we did the Philipsburg by Trolley Train tour, our first stop was a short distance from the ship at a cheese outlet for free samples, most of the cheese on show was the same as home, but we did get a free tub of ice cream which was delicious, the trolley train then took us on a natural, cultural and historic landmarks trip through Philipsburg, stopping at two venues for a quick taste of flavoured rums. We then had a 30 min stop for shopping etc. before returning to the ship. This was a short easy tour which was suitable for most people. Our next 6 days at sea were spent relaxing, attending some of the activities arranged on ship, but mostly finding a nice quiet place to sit and watch time go by. After 6 days at sea our port of call was Funchal, Madeira, where some cruisers could hardly wait to get on terra firma. We had booked the Taste of Madeira & Cable Car, after a short coach run to the cable car station it into the cable car for the ride from Funchal to Monte where the panoramic views are superb. It was then decision time, go back down by coach or wicker toboggan. The toboggan won, it was a great experience sitting in the wicker toboggan sliding down hill guided by two drivers using their rubber soled boots as brakes, then it was on to the Botanical Gardens, unfortunately the weather had been unusually cold this year and plants were about a month behind normal so there was not much to see. The toboggan ride costs 30 euro per couple or 25 euro single, well worth the experience. This tour is not suitable for wheelchair users and may cause problems for those with walking difficulties. Next it was our last lazy day at sea, by now it was a bit colder 18c and a bit chilly for sitting on deck. Our last port of call was Gibraltar, having been here many times we decided to do our own thing and walk into town for a bit of window shopping, have a coffee or two and people watch. Our disembarking port was Malaga, transfer from ship to airport was carried out very smoothly and efficiently, but not as quick as our outbound flight, overall it was another pleasant experience even though we had to carry our own cases this time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Before the cruise I read a lot critical reviews about Costa but I just thought that Americans are to demanding and as an European I can manage with European customers and service. I was totally wrong. We have cruised before e.g. Princess ... Read More
Before the cruise I read a lot critical reviews about Costa but I just thought that Americans are to demanding and as an European I can manage with European customers and service. I was totally wrong. We have cruised before e.g. Princess Cruises and have loved every second. This time was different. Ok, I have to admit that the ship seemed quite nice and cabin was also proper and clean. For first hour I was satisfied with my choise. Then it began: We did not get our luggage to our cabin until around 6:45 pm and were late few minutes from dinner (7:00) even though we changed our clothes in a hurry. We were not let in anymore and we were advised to go to dinner buffet. That was something I have never seen in a cruise ship and we are not even picky. Plastic plates, nothing to eat, nothing. Normal 5 Euros lunch buffet for construction workes is fine dining compared to this one. I would describe it as a snack bar with unappealing choises. Then we noticed that there is also pizza available which would have made this dinner buffet somehow ok. Pizza, pay extra 4,25$. As going through the ship I also noticed directly that you have to pay extra for everything. We had a drinking package but not even water available in a cabin and you cannot get water bottle from bar. So, you pay to get water to your cabin. Ice-cream extra 1,5$ etc. At this point we were quite disappointed already but still tried to make our cruise comfortable. It did not work, the whole cruise was just pain. Customer service is slow, announcement spoken in bad english after many other languages. Many customers like us are not native english speakers but that is the only language we can use there, so it was hard to handle things because my english is not in excellent level and staff spoke even worse english. Still I could have lived with this food issue, bad customer service and all extra payings. But fellow travelers.... Loud, rude, unpolite. We spend the end of our vacation again in a AI-hotel in Dominican Rep. and were so thankful for civilized way other customers acted in a hotel. Customers were north americans and from Scandinavia. Not pushing in line, not shouting in big groups, always paying attention to other peoples presence and not just thinking of themselves. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I could hardly express how great it was! It really exceeded my expectations. We were on the Caribbean Gems cruise. Indeed, the ship is old but does not ruin anything. The maintainenace is excellent, everything is cleaned every day ... Read More
I could hardly express how great it was! It really exceeded my expectations. We were on the Caribbean Gems cruise. Indeed, the ship is old but does not ruin anything. The maintainenace is excellent, everything is cleaned every day and every hour. We were in a cabin on deck one and it was quite rocky especially during the first night (it was the day at sea) but we got used to it quickly. The cabin was not very spacious but there was enough place for all our stuff. We were a little disappointed that we bed was not double and we had to sleep on separate beds. We had a window and could watch the waves crashing on the ship, it was fascinating.Our cabin steward was great, he cleaned the acbin twice a day and arranged the towels in the shape of animals :) The dining was perfect. Most of the dishes in Lido restaurant (the buffet) were not something really special but there was a great variety and the food was always available, fresh and warm. Mistal's restaurant provided excelent cuisine and service. The lobster and the beef were so delicious. Kora La was not as special as we expected - you could skip it. The entertainment was superb. There was something for everyone - live performances, singing, dancing, theathe, trivia, karaoke and so on. For me, the funniest moments were when the staff themselves were part of the show - they amused us a lot and you can tell that they enjoyed themselves. Speaking of the staff - they are thoroughly amazing and make you feel fantastic. Now that the cruise ended, I miss the ship, I miss the sea, I miss the staff, everything. this is definitely the worst part... Don't worry about getting seasick. I have problems when travelling by car and I often have nausea but I did not feel bad during the cruise. It is just as if you are a little drunk and cannot keep balance ;) The shore excursions were amazing too, especially Seven Sisters in Grenada and Swimming with stingrays in Antigua. The organization of embarkation, excursions and everything was punctual and smooth. All in all - it is soooooo good, do not hesitate to do it! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Fantastic time on this cruise. The staff and crew made the holiday from the time we boarded until the time we left. We would like to thank all the staff but would like to name a few who made our first time special. Our cabin ... Read More
Fantastic time on this cruise. The staff and crew made the holiday from the time we boarded until the time we left. We would like to thank all the staff but would like to name a few who made our first time special. Our cabin steward was Ronaldo who always smiled and was always there if we needed anything. Every morning in the Meridian restaurant we were greeted by the staff who were all pleasant and helpful especially Rosey. At night we returned to the Meredian and was spoilt by Frank our waiter who was always pleasant, polite and who spent time learning our names so we felt special (especially my mother who is in her 80’s and everyone called met mammy). Our wine waiter was Kumar who was so polite and always smiling, he made sure our glasses were never empty and made the most fantastic cocktails. After the show at night (which were always brilliant) we went to the Horizons bar were the staff could not do enough for you. They were so funny the way the reacted to each other it was sometimes like being at another show. We would like to thank Mohammed, Roger, Cecelia, Benjamin and Rohan for making our time on the Marella a memorable one. All the officers were pleasant but we enjoyed chatting to Chimi who was in charge of all the restaurants. If we met any of the staff or officers around the ship they always spoke and therefore when we look at cruising again in the future it will be with Thompson’s. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We were only on this ship last year travelling from Jordon to Dubai and most things were ok. Been on it before around the Med and that cruise was ok too. However this last Caribbean cruise was extremely disappointing! Even more so when ... Read More
We were only on this ship last year travelling from Jordon to Dubai and most things were ok. Been on it before around the Med and that cruise was ok too. However this last Caribbean cruise was extremely disappointing! Even more so when THE PRICE DROPPED BY £600!! What kind of incentive is there to book early when they pull a stunt like that?? The embarkation etc went quite well and fairly speedy but then things went downhill pretty quick. As so often happens with Marella cruises the ship was on precautionary lockdown due to another "Noro Viral" outbreak. Therefore the games room and Library was closed, the Sauna etc was also closed. No helping yourself in the self service restaurant. Drinks, water, tea and coffee etc and all food had to be served to you. No pasta station. No pizza station. No burger chips and salad station either, (normally outside in the fresh air). The dining was like a frenzied cattle market and if you managed to bag a fed up wine waiter.....well done, you normally finish the meal before one appears. Dining in the main restaurant was much calmer and nicer with waiter service which can be slow. I asked for brown sauce at breakfast one day and the waiter just said no sir???? I thought he was kidding....but he wasn't! Careful with your trips, ours got cancelled and they didn't bother to tell us until late at night! Not enough people wanted to go. TOP TIP...HAVE A THINK ABOUT FORGETTING THE DRINKS PACKAGE!! Lots of guests were complaining about the poor quality of drinks. The beer was Fosters lager. Cocktails were mixed by people under pressure and it showed, they were badly made! Gin or Vodka and tonic was very bland with way too much ice and tonic, no slice of lemon or lime available (WHY) even when you asked and no drinking straw, unless you asked. Bottled water is not included! I have to say that the normal drinks waiters in the show rooms and lounges were pretty good on the whole. The evening entertainment was great as were the singers and the band who sang and played exceptionally well. On disembarkation day there are no drinks available on the upper sun decks, you have to wander back into the ship and carry them back up the stairs, try and carry 2 hot cups of tea from aft to stern then up in the lift and finally up the stairs.....great fun!!!! In a nutshell there was nothing to celebrate about the Celebration! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Firstly this was a 3 star cruise with 5 star staff. Having done two previous cruises on Majesty and Spirit we knew what to expect and were not disappointed. Some useful information first. 1. If you are just doing the cruise for one ... Read More
Firstly this was a 3 star cruise with 5 star staff. Having done two previous cruises on Majesty and Spirit we knew what to expect and were not disappointed. Some useful information first. 1. If you are just doing the cruise for one or two weeks without a hotel stay you do not have to pay 10 Dollar entrance or 20 dollar exit from Dominican Republic. 2. There is a charge for the safe in the room which is £15 for one week or £25 for a two week cruise. 3. Do check in early online to get seats together. On previous flights we were only allowed to check in 7days before but on this trip you could do it a month before. 4. The flight out from London Gatwick took 8 hrs 30 mins and back just under 8 hours. Food served around 2 hours into flight going out and a free drink and wine with dinner. Flight back we had Chicken Pie and veg with wine and Breakfast 90 mins before landing. 5. Transfer time from La Romana airport to the ship is 15 minutes then you queue outside for about 30-40 mins to check in and get your room cards and safe keys. Baggage gets to your room about 2 hours later. Suggest have light clothes for arrival as it was 29c when we got there. 6. Wifi is expensive on the ship in my opinion £7 for one hour or £15 per day. I think you can buy a weekly package if you need to use it a lot. The ship is dated 35 years old but the staff are constantly cleaning and maintaining the ship. Whilst we were aboard the captain invoked enhanced santitation which meant you could not serve yourself in the buffet not even coffee or tea. This caused delays which some passengers got frustrated with. This action was taken because a few passengers went down with tummy bugs and they did not want it to spread. Also there was no access to the Saunas, Jacuzzi, or laundry/ironing rooms. It was fine with us. A couple of things that did irritate us were the inconsiderate passengers that gathered in groups and wanted to chat through the shows. Go to the bar or coffee shop if you want to chat. Secondly there is a noticeable engine vibration that feels like a worn prop shaft and you shake in your seat in some parts of the theatre or Lido buffet. The food was ok, always found something to eat some of the starter portions were miniscule like 5 pieces of calamari or the potatoes with blue cheese were just two tiny spuds cut with a bit of blue cheese in the middle. One chap on our table ordered this as a main course and got 4 potatoes on their own no garnish. One tip here is that if you don’t fancy the soups there is a tomato and basil option that is not shown on the menu. The fish was overcooked on a couple of occasions particularly the salmon. The food in the Lido was ok, the sweets and jellies were a bit repetitive but we enjoyed what we chose. A good selection of herb teas and decaff coffee was also available. There are two speciality restaurants, one that serves indian cuisine and costs £17.95 per person extra or the other ala carte which cost £19.95 per person. The main entertainment was in the Broadway Theatre for the shows or in Liberties for the Quizzes or Mr and Mrs evening. If you do participate don’t get caught cold with the answer to the question ‘What unusual place have you had amorous relations’ i.e back of an Austin Alegro or in the sea at the resort!. It is a bit of fun and Gavin the cruise director does a great job at comparing this show. Tarin, Amy and Taylor The Milky bar Kid are also great fun. The two must see shows in my opinion are The Man in The Mirror Michael Jackson tribute and Cameron Classics with a fabulous Les Miserable Finale. The show team were excellent . A couple of the shows were shown twice in the two week cruise. Queen Tribute and Cameron Classics. Andre the Magician was good but Kamika the male/female duo reminded me of a pub act although the guitarist was good with his Eagles rendition. The first port of call after leaving La Romana is Road Town Tortola. The island is just getting back on its feet and some devastation is still there to see but the people are so friendly and welcoming. The ship is only in port for 4 hours we just walked into the town and had a look at the shops but the second week we visited Pussers Bar ‘ Serving cruise ships since 1979’ looks nothing from outside but do go inside and have a look at the art deco, nautical bric a brac and tiffany lamps. Also an exclusive (expensive clothes) shop at the rear of the bar. Next Stop was St Martin, we got a water taxi over to the beach 7 dollars return 15 dollars for two sun beds and brollie some vendors were also offering 5 bottles of beer for 10 dollars. Nice beach and plenty of shops to browse. Off to Granada next, here we did a Tui tour Highlights of Granada £36 each which was 2 hours long with a 20 minute drink stop halfway through at a nice bar in a lovely location. Drink included in cost interesting info from Driver/Guide. Then onto Antigua where we took a Tui tour Sun and Rum £34 each to the Beach which was called Mistic beach. This was very nice two sunbeds and free unlimited Rum Punch ( be careful because after 3 you start to feel tipsy) Fruit punch is another option. You do have to pay an extra 10 dollars if you want a sunshade. I was impressed they had 3 life guards on the beach. Sea a little rough pm so no good for snorkelling. Castries St Lucia next and this was the only place we felt unsafe and hassled. Water Taxi to the centre was $5 return from the berth we were berthed at. As you approach the Water taxi booths choose the one on the right for the nicer boat transfer. You can walk to the nearest beach which is about 20 mins but as a policeman told us be vigilant and keep your eyes open. Do not wear any bling as one guy had his necklace ripped from his neck. Suggest maybe do a tour here but not the little train around the town reports were not good. Back to La Romana where we booked the Altos De Chavron and Boat trip. Supposedly where they filmed Jurrasic park but the tour guide told us that was 100km away! It was a nice tour but the cost is £55 and if you don’t want to do the boat trip part then you can get a courtesy bus to the replica 16th century village for $8. The boat trip 30-40 mins was nice and free drinks on board and sandwiches but all there is to see are a couple of expensive houses palm trees and maybe some Iguana. We enjoyed it. After a second visit to Road town we went onto Bassetere St Kitts. A free shuttle bus takes you to the centre and there are lots of shops a nice town to pootle around. There are also local tours available here at a much cheaper price than the tours on the ship. Also if you are looking at Jewellery and are serious about buying push for an extra 10% off their offer price. As you walk out they may accept your offer!. Martinique was the next port of call with a large port promenade area where you can either pick up a ferry to the beach for $7 or just have a walk around to the castle and around the shops. Bridgetown Barbados is about a 30 minute walk to the centre and it is worth paying $2 each way for a taxi. We docked on a Sunday and the shops do not open until 10am. In the afternoon we did the Beach Transfer to Carlisle beach with Tui which included sunbeds and shade and a free drink. A busy but nice beach cost of trip £24 each. Last port of call was Kingstown St Vincent. Now just to be clear The Botanical gardens are walkable from the ship 30-40 mins at a stroll but last 800m is up hill so do it early in the morning. Price of entry is $2 and $4 dollars extra if you want a guide. We were told by the rep it was a 20 minute taxi ride and $20 dollars entry (not true). In the afternoon we did the Tui Caribbean Pirate Sailaway which was a 3.5 hour trip along the coast to see where Pirates of The Caribbean one was filmed. Rum Punch and soft drinks served on board and one hour stop for snorkelling Not cheap at £55 each but a very enjoyable afternoon. In summary we had a lovely time, the room on deck one was fine, our cabin steward Adang was amazing. As we were at the front of the ship Room 802 there was a couple of nights when the ship was sailing into a headwind and as the waves hit the ship you could hear a loud thud. We took earplugs for situations like this. You have to vacate your room at 8am but you can ask to keep your room til noon for £25 or there is also a courtesy room available for a 20 min shower, key at reception. We met some lovely people each night at dinner and hello to Carol and Chris and Len and Karen whose company and chat we enjoyed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Just came back from my first Costa cruise and comparing with Royal Caribbean, this is definitely way below...Just to summarize: *Bad service overall, worst attitude I've ever seen on a cruise ship. People unhappy, just walking ... Read More
Just came back from my first Costa cruise and comparing with Royal Caribbean, this is definitely way below...Just to summarize: *Bad service overall, worst attitude I've ever seen on a cruise ship. People unhappy, just walking around without a single hello. Had to clean a table many times to sit down, even though employees were close by, they didn't bother. Once, I asked them and they told me "well, we are busy, so it's going to take some time"...no need to say, I did it myself. *Food, just ok *Entertainment, if you offer 11 nights cruises, have a different entertainment for every night. We had to watch 2 times the same shows.... *Unorganized...terrible organization to get out in the ports of call, never on time with the food and opening the restaurants. Dinner never took less than 2 hours and we never ate at the same pace...some where getting second course, as other just receiving the first... The worst part is definitely the food and beverage overall..... Won't cruise again with Costa, that's for sure... Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The MSC cruise a few years ago was my worst cruise, this COSTA was the second worst cruise I ever did. After booking I read all the bad reviews so I had contacted the cruise line and they did charge 75% of what I paid so I decided to go ... Read More
The MSC cruise a few years ago was my worst cruise, this COSTA was the second worst cruise I ever did. After booking I read all the bad reviews so I had contacted the cruise line and they did charge 75% of what I paid so I decided to go anyway. After the MSC I thought it could not be worse, and I was right, second worst! Mainly the food is terrible. Breakfast ordinary and long lines waiting for the food in the buffet restaurant. In the main dining room breakfast almost every time cold and long waiting time. Once I had to wait 35 minutes to get my breakfast, my 3 friends were ready a long time when finally my food came. Food in the main restaurant was really bad. I, and a few others from my table went to the buffet restaurant after dinner had been served. We did try but no taste, sorry, bad taste en mostly cold as well. Once we were too late to have some food in the buffet at night so we could eat a pizza with salad on the second floor.....they charged for it... All other cruises I have done there was a 24 hour snack! Other bad experiences, after 1 day ALL computers in the internet section were down for 5 days!!! Due to embarkation on 4 islands the crew is doing drill with new guests. Is OK and I understand but I don't understand why sometimes closing ALL bars and eateries for 1 1/2 hour because of the drill... This was the 12th cruise I have been on, all American cruise lines and they were all perfect!! The worst two were Italian ships, they don't have it at all!! shame for the cruise industry there are some bad companies like these. I booked already a 13th one, celebrity summit n December, FOR SURE it will be better. I still love cruising, but no Italian ship anymore, please consider American cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, etc. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Starting point was la Romana, Catalina Island, St-Kitts, Antigua, La Martinique, La Guadeloupe et finally St-Marteens. Lets start with the good point for this cruise: the personnel is very friendly, smiling, and always ready to help. I ... Read More
Starting point was la Romana, Catalina Island, St-Kitts, Antigua, La Martinique, La Guadeloupe et finally St-Marteens. Lets start with the good point for this cruise: the personnel is very friendly, smiling, and always ready to help. I was very happy with the service of M. Herlin for tidying up our cabin. I need also to mention M. Haroy Venzon, waiter in the dining room and his assistant M. Vu Congkien. The service in the dining room was great and almost every night, the staff was preparing a surprise, either dancing or singing, or games play. The main problem with this ship is the food. The main buffet is small, with hardly any choice of food for vegeterians. And when the buffet open, there is a long column of people waiting. I saw marinated raw fish 3 three times a day. Only one toaster for 3000 persons. The hour of departure for several excursion was very often 12h45. And we are asked to be there at least 10 minutes ahead. So as the buffet opens at 12h00, that leaves us very little time for eating. The dining room food is also very average. On night I was served a celeri stick cut in four pieces et covered with melted cheese. We book our shore excursion ahead of time on the net and planned the day according to the hour noted on the net. Well, a mistake because the shore excursions are not done on the time on the net, which cause us to have two excursions at the same time. With two shore excursion I heard people complaining that the tour was not what they expected. So I think the excursion manager should take time to explain what the shore excursions is. One excursion on Antigua was in English, and the group was french. So Valentina from Costa tried to translate the informations given by the English guide in Italian and french. Her french was so bad, i couldnt understand what she was talking about. Thanks good my English is not so bad. And shore excursions with people who speaks french, and other italian, that was terrible. When the guide talk in french, the italian people were talking to each other...same thing when the guide was talking italian, french people were not better. Shows at the theater were good. But some night they were no show. We had our safety information the first night around 6h00, although french people were told to watch the safety movie on tv. Another group had the safety information and test at midnight! I know to persons who were no show for this because they were sleeping. And they were never bother by the staff to do the safety regulations. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was one of the worst vacations that I have ever been on. We are a family of 4 with 2 children, ages 6 and 8. Every port we came to we could not wait to get OFF the ship. The food is terrible and every day it's the same thing ... Read More
This was one of the worst vacations that I have ever been on. We are a family of 4 with 2 children, ages 6 and 8. Every port we came to we could not wait to get OFF the ship. The food is terrible and every day it's the same thing in and out. You literally gag walking through the buffet every morning because you are so disgusted and sick of the food. Everything costs extra $. You can't even have pop or a bottled water. It's all extra $. Drinking on the ship is outrageously priced. You are better off to just drink in a town when you port. The dining hall is loud and the meals are served with no rhyme or reason. You'll get your main course and THEN your soup and salad later. The food is mostly frozen and re-heated. Even the kids menu didn't have anything appetizing. A bottle of wine was $23 Euros so for us Canadians it turned out to be about $35 for wine that costs about $12 here. The cabin was the only decent part. We had a balcony room and it had a King bed and bunk beds. LOTS of storage space for your clothing and drawer space. Stow your suitcases right under the bed for more room. Good luck calling room service or trying to get ice. Bring bottles of water and fill them up using the water dispensers in the buffet. Just know they shut them down around 10 pm. In the morning, only coffee, tea and juice are included. The people on this cruise were RUDE and PUSHY! Zero manners! Maybe we're too friendly in Canada, but it was absolutely ridiculous how rude about 90% of the people are. Cutting in front of you in line, not waiting their turns, and I noticed so many people not washing their hands after using the bathroom. GROSS! We were likely in the 2% of English speaking people on the ship. The announcements are always in French and Italian first and then English. I have heard that this is the lowest of the low when it comes to cruises and I wasn't surprised as I read the reviews before hand. Don't expect much and you won't be disappointed! Instead, enjoy your time going to the different ports and getting off the terrible ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My family and I just disembarked from a 7 day cruise with Croisieres de France on the Horizon. My wife, 4-year-old daughter and I enjoyed the cruise and would cruise again for the value. Now, a bit more. I've done 23 cruises before ... Read More
My family and I just disembarked from a 7 day cruise with Croisieres de France on the Horizon. My wife, 4-year-old daughter and I enjoyed the cruise and would cruise again for the value. Now, a bit more. I've done 23 cruises before this one, 14 with my wife and 1 with all three of us. We've been on all the major US-focused lines except Carnival (Royal, NCL, HAL, Princess, Celebrity, Costa, etc) and favor Celebrity above all else for their food, service and quality (in that order). We found an amazing value on this cruise with my daughter cruising for port tax only and airline tickets with miles that made this trip an easy choice based on the value. We like a quiet cruise - we've done all the big excursions and whatnot. We like dinner to be nice and enjoy quiet family time for the majority of our travels. CDF is a French/European line. Period. On a ship of 2,000 there were maybe 8 Americans and 2 Brits. The majority spoke French or Spanish. The crew nearly all spoke English - certainly well enough for us to never go without all week. Since we don't go on trips to meet folks this worked out VERY well... all those annoying conversations you hear on ships were just white noise since neither of us spoke French or Spanish well enough to understand most of it. It's also a value line. Don't expect Premier Cru Bordeaux's on the inclusive wine list. Do expect a quality table wine (and I'm a reasonable oenophile) everywhere. Don't expect foie gras unless you're willing to pay the 15 EUR premium at dinner. It's there... but it's a premium. But there are few of those. The line really is all-inclusive... all liquor, wine with all meals, tips... all inclusive. Paid for satellite internet time (with good speeds I might add) and a gift shop purchase but that was it. Soda machines dispense endless Coca Cola products as well. If you're tied to a specific brand of liquor or beer be prepared to be disappointed but if you're willing to flex a bit you can save a ton and still enjoy yourself. The itinerary was great - At Sea, St Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, St Kitts, Tortola. We did beaches and actually stayed on board a bit and skipped excursions this time around. I was disappointed that our stop in Martinique was on New Year's Day meaning the entire island was seemingly closed for the holiday. One lap through the city center revealed it to be a place I'd like to visit but out of 300+ shops there was a fabric store and a shoe store open. The ship sailed out of La Romana which is about 90 minutes from the airport in Santo Domingo - $100 each way in a taxi which was easily negotiated on both ends of the trip. What WASN'T easy was the immigration portion of embarkation. The DR requires you to pay a $10/pp Tourist Card tax on arrival so be prepared for that. But the biggest problem was they had a single guy working immigration on the front end... thankfully they had 4 on disembarkation. The cruise portion of the embarkation was a breeze - took less than 5 minutes Dinner was the one spot where I'd say I was truly disappointed. The food quality was excellent - it was all prepared well from quality ingredients. But... as a cruise passenger I'm used to an elegant meal experience with "glamorous" (for lack of a better word) choices. I don't want to say "gourmet" since I would only really expect that on Celebrity but there was never really a "wow" item - and even on HAL or Princess there's rarely a dinner without at least one item. But the food was good, and we were in and out most nights right at an hour... so it was GOOD, not great. The other meals were consistent mainly buffet experiences. The pizza crust was easily skipped (it's a French line, not Italian) but the daily selection of baguette, sausage and cheese was nearly as good as I got in Paris 6 weeks before. I was very glad I carry an HDMI cable so I was able to play movies from my laptop onto the TV - otherwise we would have been limited to French, Spanish or the one English-language movie that looped all day. A few other negatives you'd expect... communications with the French-first, Spanish-second, English-third crew were possible but not easy. Smoking was a bit more prevalent than I would like but not out of control nor unrestrained. A few more notes: - Amazing value for the price. - Ships are clean and safe. - Great crew and fantastic itinerary (other than noted). - Ship is not too big or too crowded - was dwarfed at many ports - Guests onboard at several points so embarkation and disembarkation is relatively easy (see below) - Our cabin NEVER got good air conditioning   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We went on a 7 night on MSC Musica, starting December 29, 2013. After reading some of the reviews on this site, my wife and I were a little worried, but in fact, we had nothing to complain about. The food was excellent in the two dining ... Read More
We went on a 7 night on MSC Musica, starting December 29, 2013. After reading some of the reviews on this site, my wife and I were a little worried, but in fact, we had nothing to complain about. The food was excellent in the two dining rooms and the choices were very elaborate; the service was friendly and outstanding, at all times. The buffet had a enormous variety of food, but we used it only for the breakfast. If you try to sit there after 8 AM, you might have to walk around to find a table, but we always did find one. As you can probably detect from my poor English writing, I am French (from Quebec, Canda) and, maybe that's why I don't share some of the critics. This ship stops at many French islands (Martinique, Guadeloupe) and many travelers are from these places. So, for American and British passengers, it might be disturbing to hear passagers talking in French, in many sections of the ship. All the announcements were made in Italian, French, English, German and Spanish; so, there is absolutely no reason to complain. The cabins were very clean and cumfortable and there were live musical performances in every bar or the ship. The shows in the main theatres lasted about 45 minutes, which might seem a little short, but we have to take into account that there were two shows, every night. The pools are small, but were never overcrowded. We did not participate in the day time activities, since we disembarked every day, in a different place to visit. All in all, a very satisfying experience, worth every penny that we paid for. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013

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