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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We have cruised on many cruises ships over the last 30 years, sometimes twice a year and all cruises have been amazing except for Costa. We used Costa 3 years ago and said never again. However we were looking for a cruise and having ... Read More
We have cruised on many cruises ships over the last 30 years, sometimes twice a year and all cruises have been amazing except for Costa. We used Costa 3 years ago and said never again. However we were looking for a cruise and having been all over the world decided to opt for a different costa ship as the itinerary looked appealing. The attitude of the majority of the staff was appalling. we literally had to plead for English Breakfast tea bags, and butter. Please, thankyou and smiles were rarely used. The food was not good, the portions were small and always luke warm. We used the upstairs buffet mostly, this was not much better but at least there was more choice. We got talking to other cruisers and found that a lot had sickness bugs which leads to my main concern -----THE SHIP HAD HAND SANITISERS WHICH NOBODY WAS ENCOURAGED TO USE. Worse still a lot of the time they were empty. When we pointed this out we were met with a shrug of the shoulders. Passengers often used their fingers to pick up food from the buffet and filled their water bottles from the water machine. Oh and by the way be careful if you ask for a bottle of soft drink as we sat and watched the staff filling up bottles with the bits left over. we returned many bottles that appeared full but the seals were broken. There were many other bad points, but just please think twice before you spend your money on a costa cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Cruise was chosen primarily for the itinerary and because we had travelled with Costa before. Although not 5 star, Costa has generally offered good value but this time there were cutbacks apparent which changed all that. Firstly, it seems ... Read More
Cruise was chosen primarily for the itinerary and because we had travelled with Costa before. Although not 5 star, Costa has generally offered good value but this time there were cutbacks apparent which changed all that. Firstly, it seems that staffing has been reduced. For example, no poolside or buffet bar services offered - apart from the short period at breakfast, supplying coffee etc. Also, only one cabin visit from the steward per day which meant having to reuse wet towels for a morning shower. There seemed to be fewer staff around generally which might have been the reason for slower bar and restaurant service - and as a result this may explain the tepid or sometimes cold food being delivered to tables. The Cruise Consultant confirmed (sadly) that these changes were across all Costa ships, not just this one. There was a lot of pressure to buy the drinks packages, which we tend to do anyway but far fewer people seemed to be PAYG for drinks. With the reduced staffing it was much more difficult to get served and we began to wonder whether this was engineered to reduce the drinks bill for those having bought packages. Also, talking about the drinks package, we were on board for nearly 4 weeks and at dinner and lunch we were served only two different white wines and two red. It got rather monotonous after a while. Finding a table for a buffet lunch was a challenge to say the least. Queueing was the norm - at the buffet and bars, the information desk, to see the English host, the Costa Club rep, even the Cruise Sales rep. A friend, went back to book their next cruise but walked away because the rep allowed someone to queue jump. Additional quick points: No chance of getting into the gym - far too small At the quiz, shabbily presented - girl with a mike - and poor English. Embarkation - bit of a farce, but that's not unusual with Costa Disembarkation - they blamed Port Authorities for a long delay, but it was Costa that evicted us from cabins at 8am Informstion Desk - visited twice and twice given incorrect info Despite all the above comments, I do want to emphasise that overall, staff were trying their best, still smiling and obliging. They seemed to be hampered by trying to serve more people in less time. This seems to be more of a management issue - or dare I say, a profits issue. Overall, I do feel reviewers should rate cruises with some consideration of the price they have paid for the their cruise and I have done so. Previously, I have been more than happy with the more laid back approach to cruising proved by Costa, and found it to be good value. Now, I feel it's gone too far. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We sailed from Mauritius to Venice, we picked this trip because of the itinerary I did look at some of the reviews before we went, but unfortunately I was too late to cancel. A lot of what I have to say has been said elsewhere, so I ... Read More
We sailed from Mauritius to Venice, we picked this trip because of the itinerary I did look at some of the reviews before we went, but unfortunately I was too late to cancel. A lot of what I have to say has been said elsewhere, so I will confine my self to the main points, i.e. cabin, food, staff, general wear & tear of the ship. The cabin was tiny, with no room to stow our suit cases, the safe was also very small with only enough room to stow my wives jewels, also set so far back it was an effort to open & close it, the shower tray & curtain didn't meet, so the first time I had a shower I flooded the bathroom. as for the beds, in this day & age you expect foam mattresses not ones with the springs sticking our, our cabin steward did his best. Next door there was a French couple, my wife speaks good French, the walls were so thin that she could hear every word they said, which she then translated for my benefit, Food, others have commentated on the standard of food, regardless of where you eat was equally terrible, The variety of the food on board was good, just that the cooks didn't know how to cook it, 9 times out of 10 it was served up cold, the meat was so tough I thought the knives were blunt. My wife & I used to run a hotel, we had regular inspections by the catering standards board, one of the things they always were hot on was that all food must be served at 60º F (15.55ºC) this is an EU regulation. on many occasion I pointed this out to the staff & they said yes, yes we will put it right, next day they were serving cold food again, the ship has a motto (Taste don't waste) the majority of the waste was due to cold food. The staff seemed to think it was alight if they put it in a bane-marie, you can not reheat food in a bane -marie. It didn't matter if you eat in the main restaurant or in the buffet it was just the same. Water this has been covered by other reviewers, I will just add a foot note that no other cruise line makes you pay for water. They do not serve coffee after dinner, you have to go up 5 decks to the buffet to get a cup of coffee, they only serve hot milk at breakfast & lunch, so it's. stewed coffee with cold milk or do without. while on the subject none of the dinning rooms have a sommelier, you have to ask for the wine list, which is handed to you with very bad grace, as if to say "why haven't you bought a wine package" For some reason all music on board must be amplified which means where ever you go on the ship your ears are assaulted by Jungle music, they even amplify the concert grand. The evening entertainment was supposed to be top of the range acts, at best they were feeble at worst vulgar. On the qustion of dress code, Gala Nights (formal nights on a proper cruise ship) I packed a DJ, waste of space passengers came to Gala Night dinners wearing any thing from jeans normal trousers, some of the ladies made an effort but not many, out of the 2000 odd passengers you could count the number of DJs worn on one hand, However Costa do like to confuse its passengers, they throw special nights, like red & black night, or Italian night when you should wear red & green, this is all very well but they do not tell you any where, web site or Costa club when the nights or even how many there will be, There have been some comments in the reviews that the staff seem surly, I feel this is due to passengers not being able to give gratuities to the staff that have served them well, whether you like it or not 10€ per person per day will be added to your account. The price of the cruise may look cheap, but add on all the extras, like paying for an invitation to the captains cocktail party, having to buy more than 1 photo I believe its 4 or 5. The ship has been nicknamed Costa Packet. The ship is past it's prime, perpetual maintenance is the order of the day. Tired & tatty. This is an Italian ship, but it doesn't have the Italian flare, unlike MSC also Italian but as different as chalk from cheese. To sum up, if you are an english speaker, don't sail with Costa. I likened Costa Victoria to a 50 holiday camp on water, i.e. Butlins, some one piped up that that was an insult to Butlins. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We had previously traveled with Costa and it was just wonderful. Hoping for a similar experience, we booked this trip with great difficulty. Costa would not return e-mails or phone calls with our travel agent. They shoved a comfort package ... Read More
We had previously traveled with Costa and it was just wonderful. Hoping for a similar experience, we booked this trip with great difficulty. Costa would not return e-mails or phone calls with our travel agent. They shoved a comfort package up our nose, saying we could not have the room without the package. Our room steward was wonderful. The swimming pool was very small and the hot tub was extremely dirty. The food was boring to say the least. Two buffet tables each with the same: always two curry dishes and two pasta dishes that were the same. That means a grand total of four spaces for each. From the buffet,hot water and free coffee were limited to breakfast and tea time.The coffee was just horrid. The cruise had been initially listed as 2 nights longer and we booked a bus tour accordingly. So we almost had to pull teeth to get Costa to cover our two extra nights in Rome that would have normally been on board. For the most part, much of the staff were rude and very stuck in their job descriptions. But there were a couple of gems: Lewis in the buffet room, two very special little ladies in the buffet room who got me hot water when I need it badly, the gentleman at reception who made the arrangements for me to play the bar piano in the afternoon(grr - first time had to find someone with a key, AND a piano bench). And since I was sick from Mumbai to Rome, everything was extremely frustrating. It was just our bad luck that we were not Italian, or our fortune that we were not screaming out heads off in that language. I could go on and on, but I think I have expressed my extreme disappointment with the whole trip. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a 31 day repositioning cruise from Reunion to Venice and the main attraction was the itinerary around the Indian Ocean and the Eastern Med. The Victoria is an old ship and the decor, compared to MSC ships can best be described ... Read More
This was a 31 day repositioning cruise from Reunion to Venice and the main attraction was the itinerary around the Indian Ocean and the Eastern Med. The Victoria is an old ship and the decor, compared to MSC ships can best be described as ‘drab’. This was my first Costa Cruise so I had an open mind. The usual mix of five languages with French and Italians being predominant - very rude and very ignorant. The cabins were comfortable and the showers were always hot with plenty of pressure. Food was very good. Never a bad meal. I did not use the buffet after witnessing people handling food directly, replacing food from their plates having changed their mind (I assume) and generally coughing all over it. The standard of hygiene was a genuine concern - the Staff did nothing to enforce cleanliness and, as others have commented, hand gel containers were usually empty. Almost all passengers were affected to varying degrees with a severe cough and chest infection which the staff did nothing to prevent or restrict. Passengers that were clearly very ill and should have been confined to their cabins were allowed in the dining rooms - happily sharing their germs to all and sundry. Security was also very poor - the ‘Security Team’ inspired absolutely no confidence. Entertainment was generally good and the majority of the bar and restaurant staff worked very hard and always with a smile. My cabin steward was hopeless but he was probably the exception. Shore excursions were, basically, a rip off. Extremely poor value for money. Drinks prices in the bars were high - much higher than in a shore bar and with a 15% service charge. The daily service charge of 10 euros was mandatory. Pizza was available at an additional charge - on an Italian Ship! Because of the hygiene and security concerns I would never consider a Costa cruise again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Visiting unique ports of call like Madagascar and the Seychelles the Costa Victoria was fine. The staff on the ship worked very hard and managed well dealing with the incredibly variety of languages spoken by passengers from so many ... Read More
Visiting unique ports of call like Madagascar and the Seychelles the Costa Victoria was fine. The staff on the ship worked very hard and managed well dealing with the incredibly variety of languages spoken by passengers from so many different countries. Entertainment was first class and probably better or at least equal to the best on any of our previous cruises. The food supplied was very good but not outstanding with extra charges for things normally included on a cruise like ice cream (not even supplied with the desserts in the dining room) and pizzas ( on an Italian ship!!) As a European registered ship paying minimum EU wages it was consequently understaffed compared to some other cruise lines paying lower wages. This was evident in the dining room, bars and cabin care. No waiters or bar evident in the theatre either. Excursions (in such an impoverished part of the world) were very expensive but were generally very interesting and worthwhile. We suspect that staff would make extra efforts if the gratuities were not a compulsory automatic addition to the ship account. Another oddity was the daily debit of our credit card rather than the usual procedure of settling the bill at the end of the cruise. This made it difficult to dispute the bill or cancel a reserved excursion (if, for example! It became apparent that it required more physical ability than expected). However - we are confident that the totals at the end of the cruise were correct. The ship was in excellent condition and was constantly being varnished and painted. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We didn't have high expecations after all bad reviews on ths website. But by the end it was a very nice surprise for us! It was an excellent cruise as we could stay almost three days on Seychelles, we spent three days on Madagaskar ... Read More
We didn't have high expecations after all bad reviews on ths website. But by the end it was a very nice surprise for us! It was an excellent cruise as we could stay almost three days on Seychelles, we spent three days on Madagaskar and two days on Reunion! Crew on the ship was just perfect, entertainment team was unbelievable (entertaining for 24 hrs a day!), teather shows were excellent!, food in the restaurants very good (Club restaurant very professional!) - and some very very nice wines! Yes, gym was too small and some equipment broken, that could be improved. Internet was also very slow, we bought 3000Mb package, but we could use only half of that, that could be improved also. Some shore excursions were ok, some could be better, but it is everybody's choice. We had a rented car on Seychelles and Mauritius. CONCLUSION: Vivat Victoria! We will definetelly go again with Costa! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Excellent itinerary - The pearls of the Indian Ocean including Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Reunion. We are frequent travellers from Norway and we have been on cruise many times with Cunard, RCCL and Celebrity. We were rather ... Read More
Excellent itinerary - The pearls of the Indian Ocean including Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Reunion. We are frequent travellers from Norway and we have been on cruise many times with Cunard, RCCL and Celebrity. We were rather surprised to read about the bad critics made by other travellers. We decided therefore to write this review in order to give other points of view regarding Costa Cruise. Although the Costa Victoria is old, she is very well maintained and very clean. The overall organisation and logistics on board are outstanding. In my view at same level as the other companies we know: RCCL and Celebrity. The security is taken very seriously and the service everywhere is excellent. The food is better than average and one will always find something he/she likes. Very large variety of menus. However, after 2 weeks, one loose appetite, which is rather normal. We "upgraded" our meals to the restaurant Club Victoria for 5 days at an additional cost of EUR 25 per day including breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant is more elegant and smaller. The service there was more personalised and sitting place/time flexible. Activities on board are good. Dynamic teams entertain people on deck. In my view, there are a little bit too much activities on deck, but it probably suits younger people than me. There are quiet places many other places on board when it gets too noisy at the pool deck. The shows in the evenings were exceptional nearly every night. Bravo to the dancers! The fitness room needs to be refurbished. The size is too small and not adapted to the large number of users. The cabin (with balcony) is not very large but comfortable. The beds are good. We did not use the excursions proposed on board because we are used to take local taxis or other transportation means when we are on land. Excursions sold on board are too expensive. The spa and massages are far too expensive as well. But overall we will highly recommend Costa Victoria and the itinerary in the Indian Ocean. High value for the money paid. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
My wife and I chose this cruise for its itinerary, its cost and not the cruise line. We had read a variety of differing reviews and were expecting to have some problems with availability of free drinking water and hot drinks. We ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise for its itinerary, its cost and not the cruise line. We had read a variety of differing reviews and were expecting to have some problems with availability of free drinking water and hot drinks. We encountered no such problems as both were readily available in the self service restaurants throughout the day and late evening. Staff were approachable and friendly given the fact they had to contend with so many different nationalities. Once we had recognised we were aboard a ship reflecting the United Nations we embraced the opportunities to interact with our fellow passengers who reciprocated in a similar manner. Fellow passengers were friendly and it is to be expected with so many people in a confined space there were some occasions when people acted in a discourteous manner. Embarkation was the quickest we had ever experienced and everything was available for us to use once we were aboard. Disembarkation proved to be a similar experience and because we were going to hotel later on in the day we were able to stay onboard enjoying the benefits until no later than 12 noon. Our outside cabin was comfortable and clean. We had no issues of disturbance from entertainment sounds even though we were below the Concorde plaza which had live music until the early hours. Lifts were plentiful and efficient. However, our cabin was on deck 6a and to get to it we had to climb down a flight of stairs from deck7 which would be challenging for anybody with mobility problems. Staff easily changed our assigned dining time to our preferred time. The menu choice in restaurants and buffet was varied given the large numbers of diners.The Sinfonia restaurant provided a more relaxed environment for breakfast and you were able to order items from a menu additional to the buffet. On our 14 night cruise there were two Gala dinners and dress code was optional, black tie, suit and smart casual. We were not able to find out before embarking on the cruise what the dress code was going to be. Additional to the two formal nights we had a white night and an Italian red white and green night, all of which were optional. The daily diary,delivered late evening, was full of the days activities, timings and venues. We participated in some and watched others entertain us and fellow passengers as is usual when cruising. Entertainment in the the theatre included a variety of genres and overall it provided a pleasant experience. Visiting the Seychelles for 2 days enabled us on the first day to tour the Island using the local buses from the central bus station in Victoria for 7 rupees per journey. On the second day we used the services of one of the many tour touts ,outside the port gates, to provide us with a days tour to to the marine reserve, Moyenne Island, snorkelling and Creole meal for 90 euros each, which was cheaper than the cruise line. During our 3 days in Madagascar we used the excellent services of Madagascar Excursions to provide us with 3 excursions offered by the cruise line but at a much reduced price. In all the ports we visited taxis were available to negotiate a price for an excursion and we heard of no one being disappointed by using them. In Reunion Island we chose to hire a car from Avis, who have a pickup location five minute walk from the cruise terminal.The location also provides rentals from Budget. We chose to tour Reunion using a car because it gave us greater freedom of choice. We booked the car knowing we had to find overnight parking which we were pleased to find was available in the cruise terminal char park. In Mauritius we secured the services of Mauritius taxis, operated by a Mr.Charles, to provide us with an 8 hour tour of the south of the island for 83 euros between 3 persons. Both Mad’Ex tours and Mauritius taxis can be contacted by email. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed the islands we visited acknowledging we have only had a snapshot of them. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We booked this cruise mainly due to the itinerary and this was our first taste of a Costa cruise. I did not have high expectations of Costa after reading the reviews here and so was not disappointed!!. Our cruise was in February 2019 ... Read More
We booked this cruise mainly due to the itinerary and this was our first taste of a Costa cruise. I did not have high expectations of Costa after reading the reviews here and so was not disappointed!!. Our cruise was in February 2019 visiting Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Reunion. . My review is about the ship and not the ports visited. What is the first thing you associate Italy with and would presume an Italian ship would deliver??.....Pizza and Ice Cream!!!. What a let-down… Ice cream available at a cost from a small freezer cabinet at the back of the buffet on the rear deck in the style of a Cornetto. Pizza only available from one of the specialist outlet at €8.50. What a lost opportunity for them to incorporate an ice cream bar like other cruise lines and serve some of the amazing Gelatos you find in mainland Italy. Also, instead of serving beef burgers and chips (everyday) at the pool bar, this area could have served slices of pizzas, at, I’m sure, a lower cost than burgers. Arrival: This was one of the quickest embarkation we have experienced(Mauritius). N.B. Debit cards cannot be assigned to your account, only credit cards. Also, if you usually pay your account at the end of the cruise by cash, this money must be deposited within 48 hours of boarding. Drinks packages: These are a nightmare to work out…I believe there are about 30 different types. Here are a few: 24 Cappuccinos €75, 24 Expresso €44, 12 x 1ltr water €36, Brindiamo (beers, juice, coffee, wine by glass, shorts) €28 per day per person. Piu Gusto (as Brindiamo but includes some cocktails) €33 per day per person. Intenditore (total freedom for any drink up to €9 each) €46 per person per day. Coffee and water packages can be taken by one person per cabin but beware drinks packages must be taken by all persons in same cabin over 18 years old. We drink very little, and so only went for the water package and purchased drinks as and when we wanted them. We found the prices were not as high as some cruise lines i.e. €5.50 for glass wine, €3.45 for Coca Cola, €5 for a draught beer. Prices mentioned here includes the 15% surcharge. Minibar drinks not included in the drinks packages. N.B. No water or coffee is served with lunch or dinner in the MDR. Coffee, tea and water by the glass is available free in the buffet areas from approx. 6.30am to 9pm. Food: (Lack of hand sanitizer used by many passengers and no staff enforcing this) Buffet: Oh, what a let down. Same old, same old….. The buffet deck has 4 different food areas, but the choice changed very little day to day. No hot plates, so by the time you got to your table, the luke-warm food was now cold! The tea urn supplied during the evening in the buffet is very poor. I think they show the teabag to it as it was so weak. MDR: Breakfast and lunch is open seating with Dinner being served at 2 different times, depending on which dining room you are allocated. The 2 sittings are 6.30pm and 6.45pm and then 9pm and 9.15pm. Breakfast in the MDR was part self service and a few set items on the menu…again this was a fixed menu for the whole cruise. Beware some items are pre prepared and kept refrigerated, so arrive cold and solid. Coffee and tea available, but had to ask for a teapot otherwise it’s just a small cup, which takes ages to get a refill. Lunch: again very little choice and at best luke-warm food served. Dinner: A very basic 3 star affair and they know how to put you off eating too much!!...on entry to the dining room they display each of the meals on a plate in a cabinet, talk about a turn off. Any drinks, water etc is not free at the table, unless you have purchased a drinks package. I think this is the first cruise we have ever been on where water is not served free of charge with a meal ( I can get it free in the buffet, but not the MDR!). Formal nights/Gala nights were no different to any other night. We also saw people arriving in t.shirts etc to sit in the dining room. When I challenged the waiters to this ,they just shrugged their shoulders and said they couldn’t do anything about it…memo to myself: if I go on a Costa cruise again I will only pack casual clothes. Speciality dinner in Club Victoria…DON’T DON’T DON’T!!!! For a special offer of only €14 per person (this price is only if the lead person of the cabin books, otherwise the cost is €28pp) you can have a ‘gourmet dinner in an elegant environment’. We tried the restaurant one evening. The seating and décor is very well laid out but the food was nothing special. We took the menu with us to compare it to the MDR……guess what. IDENTICAL!!!! Word for word the menus read the same, even the wine they suggested with the meal. So for an extra €28, We ate the same food as if we had eaten in the MDR!!. By the way anyone who would prefer to eat in Club Victoria for the whole cruise, it will set you back €330 pp. Cabin: We booked an inside cabin. Our first cabin was 80527. It was the average size for a cruise ship. It had a hanging wardrobe with a few huge hangers locked onto the rail..grrrr, why oh why do they have to do that. Also it means there is very little room to hang more than about 12 items. There were also 4 drawers, 3 shelves, safe, fridge etc. Bathroom was a corner layout. Soap was in a dispenser in the shower and a small bar of soap on the side of the sink. No other toiletries were supplied. That evening we went to bed and then realised there was massive banging going on as much as 27 times in 15 minutes. By 2.30am my husband got dressed and went to reception, to be told it was ‘normal and just the waves outside’........it was flat calm outside!!!. With barely any sleep, in the morning, we asked our cabin steward to come in and listen..he agreed something was wrong. Complained again to reception and they sent an engineer. Again he agreed and even said he could hear it in his cabin. Anyway after a few more calls and meetings, they moved us to another inside cabin 90534…oh bliss, no noise. There is no turn down service in the evening and no chocolate on the pillow! There are no launderettes on board any Costa ship. In addition there was no washing line in the bathroom. To have a shirt laundered by staff was approx. €2.50. Shops on board: There was not much choice unless you like watches!. 3 watch shops, 1 handbag shop, 1 clothing shop and a general store. Toiletries were very limited in the general store. There was the usual sea day sales bonanzas going on. The best was the ‘scrum’ at these events, which seemed much livelier due to mainly European passengers!. Sunbeds etc: Usual complaints regarding sun beds being commandeered by passengers with towels left on them, unattended for hours on end. Again staff did not do anything about it. We had some passengers pulling sun beds across gangways and again staff just walked around them. Maybe staff don’t do anything as they are forcing you to buy time in the quiet area..€10-14 pp per day!! Tours/port transfers: Tours costs as usual were much higher than if you did them on your own. I only did one tour, on my own, by the ship (2nd day in Reunion). We did visit all places mentioned but due to the traffic congestion, time was cut from the stops, so we still arrived back at the same time. For all independent travellers there is no information or maps given out. Any port transfers to town were charged approx. €7. Generally…the staff are very friendly and helpful. We felt the staff were much happier than on other cruise lines we have cruised with. I wonder if this is due to the automatic tipping system that cannot be cancelled. On Costa it is called Hotel Service Charge at €10 pp p.n.. Finally, would I cruise Costa again??..never say never, but the itinerary and price would have to reflect another Costa cruise! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The itinerary looked good and so I booked the cruise allowing Costa to book the flights. This was a big mistake, you cannot trust them. I normally book my own flights and allow for possible flight delays by staying overnight the night ... Read More
The itinerary looked good and so I booked the cruise allowing Costa to book the flights. This was a big mistake, you cannot trust them. I normally book my own flights and allow for possible flight delays by staying overnight the night prior to boarding. I was due to fly Manchester /Paris Charles De Gaulle changing for flight to Mauritius. They allowed 85 minutes to change planes, anybody knowing this airport would think this tight. This ultimately was not a problem as the first plane was cancelled as my taxi arrived to take me to the airport. I rang Costa who told me to go to the airport and they would contact me . I was left for about four hours without contact, finally with the office now closed for the weekend, I received a call from India in broken English. I could not hear in the busy airport, so went to hotel for Friday night and rang India for instructions. I offered to go home or go on the next cruise with compensation. I was offered to fly me to Seychelles and miss the first 3 days of the cruise, the unnamed hotel was with food , a drink with meals and no entertainment. It meant one day stay in place of 3 days fully inclusive on cruise, I said that I would prefer to stay on the ship and return from Seychelles, so that I would get what I paid for. I would go on the shorter cruise if compensated. I was assured that the compensation would be made onboard. Once onboard, it was left until the day before I left to be told my cruise was not being extended and my compensation was €50 a day. I find this to be grossly undervalued plus all the stress. Upon my return, the offer of a €100 per person off a future cruise was derisory. Entertainment was boring with few entertainment staff working hard. Tours are very expensive and poorly organised. Madagascar very dissapointing. Cruise operating in rainy season did not help. I dined Ist sitting on a table for 12 in Sinfonia Restaurant, they brought another chair so 13 could sit there. This squashed everybody and annoyed next table waiter, who kept telling me to move my chair in. He was friendly, I asked him for a spoon and he told me to ask my waiter. The cutlery offered was often bizarre, a knife and fork for spaghetti. The food was terrible and displayed with pride as you entered the restaurant, it looked unappetising and nobody waived a magic wand when it appeared on your plate. The portions were small,poor quality and often served colder than desired. A doctor sat with me shared my concerns as the restaurant became half full, I developed diarrhoea for five days, so I moved to the upstairs buffet. This is self service and first night a Chinese girl vomited on my table, this could happen anywhere, however I had my suspicions. Every night half the dishes were lukewarm. I never saw anybody with a thermometer and I reported it to a supervisor. He went and spoke to chef, he came back and said that chef would do me some hot food if I wanted it. Says it all Costa have lost control on this ship. Please and thankyou are not used on this ship. Smiles seldom and rude waiters tolerated. This cruise shows the low level now tolerated by Carnival. I was a Perla member with Costa and will not cruise with them again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Taking a cruise on the Victoria is like going back into the early days of cruising, with the exception that the food was for my wife and myself was inedible for the most part. Although the ship underwent renovation in 2018, I found it ... Read More
Taking a cruise on the Victoria is like going back into the early days of cruising, with the exception that the food was for my wife and myself was inedible for the most part. Although the ship underwent renovation in 2018, I found it difficult to see where the improvements were. The ship is dated and worn and stains and wear are evident everywhere I read the previous reviews and I knew enough to lower my expectations, but obviously I didn't lower them enough. The itinerary is excellent and was the primary factor in booking this cruise. Two waiters, Omesha Kilpaldy in the dining room and Kenneth in the specialty pizzeria were outstanding. Other crew members were fine for the most part, but there were a number of instances where crew members were just rude. The majority of guests were French speaking, many of them from the islands, taking advantage of a cruise that leaves close to home. Often we were placed with people who did not speak English for lunch and breakfast. I used the best French I could muster, but in some cases people just didn't want to converse with someone who had poor French language skills. Things you should know: 1. Speaking French would be a real asset, as well as abandoning expectations you would normally have on a mainstream North American cruise line. 2. The water on the ship is not potable. There are four water stations in the buffet area where you can get water for free. There are lineups and the water pressure is so bad that it often takes a minute to fill a glass . Some machines did not work consistently. We had a USA water plan which entitled us to one glass of water each for lunch and dinner. Beyond that you pay 2 euros. You should know that if you go to the specialty restaurant or pizzeria (pay for items) your water plan does not count and you must buy water for 2 euros. 3. The specialty restaurant will offer the advantage of a quiet space to eat, but according to German English speaking acquaintances the restaurant is not worth the price since the menu is largely the same thing you get in the dining rooms. Looking for a North American pizza experience choose the Margherita which is the only pizza which has a tomato sauce base. Other pizza are oil based rather than tomato sauce based, but to be fair they were edible is not tasty. We went to the pizzeria four times, since the food in the dining room was as described earlier. Cost for a pizza and 1 dessert to share was 8 euros, but if you sign up for Costa Club you get a 50% discount. 4. The toilets would often fail to flush in the morning hours. You would press the button and nothing would happen. Then five to ten minutes later it would flush. Some times this led to embarrassment, even for spouses that have been married for over 40 years. The air conditioning system was excellent, but the set up is such that the person closest to the duct gets constant cold air blowing on them. 5. If you don't like crowds, avoid the buffet. Early in the cruise we sat at the larger table for four, an East Indian lady proceeded to take her dirty dishes from her table and place them on the portion of the table which was not occupied, which bring us to the point that, table clearing in the buffet is not as great as on some ships. Needless to say this was an upsetting experience. 6. Be very careful In Madagascar. According to Mauritius friends two ladies were kidnapped and held for ransom in Tamatave. A ransom was paid and the women apparently were returned to the ship. Leaving the port gate in Madagascar is placing yourself among hundreds of people, all wanting to provide transportation. Be prepared to negotiate a price that is considerably less than the asking price. Ships tours are very expensive, but in Madacasgar, I would probably choose the tours since the people are poor and there is a risk to safety. In Nosey Be once we fought our way past the throngs of tour and taxi drivers, we found a wonderful Christian man who took us on a great tour for a very reasonable price (less than one fifth of the ship price). We had to travel a kilometre from the port to find him in a local park. Antisarana (Diego Suarez) was a less pleasant experience with a tuk tuk driver who stopped the vehicle a kilometre from the ship and wanted to renegotiate the price. We were going to tip him 25% anyways. We told him we would walk from there, but if he wanted the tip he would have to take us to the ship. To be fair the police are corrupt and they extorted money from him at two stops. I offered to pay but he wouldn't tell me how much they extorted. 7. For those who like to travel on your own using public transport system, the best place is the Seychelles. Although it is challenging at first, once you know the system and purchase a schedule (main bus terminal) it is quite easy to tour the island at minimal cost. The beaches are beautiful. Anse Goulette and Anse Royal are excellent. Anse Royal is by far the easiest to get to with 5 buses on the route... Buses generally come every 15 to 20 minutes. Would I go on Costa again, not a "snowball's chance in hell", but it was the only game in town and despite the numerous frustrations, it was an interesting trip. Fortunately we did meet some wonderful people on board, Mauritians and Ukrainians. That and the two waiters I mentioned were the best things about the ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We had an amazing time during our stay on Costa Victoria mainly because of the nice friendly and helpful staff. We travelled with our 7 year old son who was treated like a Prince by all staff on the ship but mainly the animation team and ... Read More
We had an amazing time during our stay on Costa Victoria mainly because of the nice friendly and helpful staff. We travelled with our 7 year old son who was treated like a Prince by all staff on the ship but mainly the animation team and kids club. Ferdy and Sara were exceptionally good with him, most of the staff is Italian nd most of the guests were French spraking but they all made my son included and welcomed. I was happy my son made so many friends even though he can only speak Polish and English, the language is not a barrier he loved his time in the kids club. The animation team work so hard, special thanks to Ralph who was the kindest person on the ship, Francesco the sports instructor and crazy Marco. The staff at the restaurant were incredible as well and made up for the bad food at times. Donna the waitress is so lovely and helpful always smiling. The exurcions are terribly expensive, it's much cheaper to get something on the land. WE MET SO MANY nice people on the ship and on the land and visited hidden gems and that's what we are grateful for. The food, drinks packages and service charges are things we want to quickly forget about ;) Thank you to the staff of Costa Vicortia who made our journey so special Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
maybe at the outset I will refer to the fact that unless the economic situation of Italy reflected the situation that took place on the ship :), but quite seriously we start with the fact that we had the opportunity to be your guests and ... Read More
maybe at the outset I will refer to the fact that unless the economic situation of Italy reflected the situation that took place on the ship :), but quite seriously we start with the fact that we had the opportunity to be your guests and regret that the conditions that prevailed on Victoria were terrible, I think. that such ships should be removed from use. Everything old, crackling, perishable. There was a haos on the ship, no one knew anything. People working at the reception were forever uninformed. Excursions offered by the shipowner were up to 300% more expensive than in private companies that were in the port, it's embarrassment :). Drinking and eating was terrible, it was hard to choose anything from what was offered in the dining room for everyone, generally hideous food. No wonder that paid thematic restaurants functioned very well, since the hopeless food was for everyone. We also do not understand the situation related to eternally loudly playing music, which instead of bringing some peace and relaxation during the journey caused irritation and anger. Is there nobody thinking about you? After all, the ship had only one pool and it was necessary to take into account that there are young and old people who also wanted peace and relaxation, and not listening to taunting animators and stupid jokes, was Costa so low down? You count for a service of 10 euros per person per day, as a service when during the whole stay none of the service staff asked us whether we would drink something or do we want something? Mockery!!! Costa today represents a very low level, I suggest that you think hard about buying a cruise from this company, in our opinion definitely "no" Please, finally, fix the toilet, because it's hard to run around toilets generally available on the ship, it's not this epoch, time does not go back only goes forward and Costa goes backwards !!!! Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We had read previous reviews and we must have been cruising on a different ship as the ship was beautiful spotless good furnishings and fabrics and the public toilets were kept spotless.The itinerary was 27 nights from Italy to Mauritius ... Read More
We had read previous reviews and we must have been cruising on a different ship as the ship was beautiful spotless good furnishings and fabrics and the public toilets were kept spotless.The itinerary was 27 nights from Italy to Mauritius ports included Crete Suez Canal Jordan Israel Maldives Seychelles Reunion Island.We could not call at Oman due to a Cyclone so much value for money on this cruise even with gratuities and drinks package we paid half for a four week cruise compared to a two week cruise on other companies. All the staff spoke english and were very friendly. The food was very good five courses every evening in the main dining rooms so much choice and of a good quality . Water was available free all day in the buffet restaurant until about nine in the evening .You only had to pay for water lunch and evenings in the main restaurants.Our cabin was kept spotless as was all the ship cleaning was done 24 hours a day. There was so much to do during the day and every evening there was a show. The entertainment team were a credit to the company especially Marco and the rest of the team. The english speaking guests had their own dedicated english speaking customer service advisor as did french german and spanish speaking guests. The daily information newspaper was printed in English and other languages. The cruise was magical and we have no hesitation in recommending Costa and Costa Victoria this was one of our bucket list cruises we travelled a quarter of the world and received so much value for the price we paid. We will be looking forward to booking another cruise with Costa for next year. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Costa NeoRiviera review – sailing date 20 January 2018 The itinerary: My Fly, land cruise was marketed as “Mauritius Stay and Jewels of the Indian Ocean Cruise”; Costa cruise documents listed it as “Heaven by the Sea”. ... Read More
Costa NeoRiviera review – sailing date 20 January 2018 The itinerary: My Fly, land cruise was marketed as “Mauritius Stay and Jewels of the Indian Ocean Cruise”; Costa cruise documents listed it as “Heaven by the Sea”. Boarding was scheduled to be in Mauritius, followed by Seychelles, Madagascar and Reunion Island, returning to Mauritius. However due to Cyclone Berguitta, the ship was not able to dock in Mauritius, and Costa Cruises had to move passengers from Mauritius to Seychelles and vice versa. Whilst this was a major logistics enterprise, Costa could have kept passengers informed and handled it a lot better than they did. I boarded the ship on Saturday 20th January at 11.49pm in Seychelles (thereby missing the complete first day there) and was told that I would be charged the full “service fee” of €10 for the remaining 11 minutes of that day. Really? I thought that was a bit rough! Passenger demographics: On this cruise, the ship catered mainly for French, German and Italian passengers, with a few Spanish and very few English-speaking ones. Visas: late on the evening of January 24th, with our daily program, we received a note regarding Madagascar visas. We were advised that we needed to contact Reception by midnight that day regarding the visas and that a temporary visa would be issued on board for €13. When I had contacted Costa, some months prior to sailing, regarding this, I was told that it was every passenger’s own responsibility to get their own visas – mine cost $A80. I was not impressed. Costa Club: Belonging was worthwhile. I joined on line before boarding. I received 50% discount on extra price menu items and also 50% off the “Dinner under the Stars” menu at the restaurant on deck 6. Bottles of wine received a 25% discount, and there were other smaller discounts available on ship’s services and shop items. Cabin 9196 Premium 0ceanview: Not a great deal of room if configured as a double/queen, but ample usable centre space when turned into a twin bed cabin. This also resulted in good access to the window shelf for extra storage. I was travelling solo – it would be a little tight for two. But set up as a twin, the bed lamps are back-to-front as the metal backing faces the nearest bed and the lamp and switch faces the bed opposite! Also, the bedside cabinets open from the middle, back towards each bed, and have no handles. Drawers would be a much better option. Bed and pillows, firm but comfortable, linen very good quality and changed every three days. The desk was good with two Europe/Asia 220w power points as well as two American 110w points; good lighting and large mirror. There is a capsule coffee machine, with cups – bring your own capsules. This can also be used for hot water for tea – but gives just over half a mug – do it twice! Hot water is available from Room Service between 7am and 10pm otherwise phone Reception. There are two triangular cupboards – one on each side of the desk – the hairdryer is stored here. The wardrobe had 14 bulky hangers – that unhook from centre fixture – so annoying and old fashioned! Thin wire hangers were available on request. There were only two shelves – a big gap between, and three drawers – 1½ each? Bathroom: Towels are large and soft – excellent quality and the hand towel was a good size – there is no washer supplied. Towels will be changed when damp – even when hung up – unless cabin steward is instructed otherwise. Liquid soap/shampoo in shower and excellent soap on washbasin. Some toiletries are available on request. Water is hot, adequate pressure. Better than usual quality toilet paper for a ship’s vacuum flush toilet. Safe: this is large and very easy to use, but it is positioned at the front of the cupboard above the minibar (opposite side to the desk), thus completely limiting any other access to this space. Lifts: The forward lift will travel from deck 5 to deck 12 – midship lift will only go deck 5 to deck 9 – with no access to deck 7. Note: You cannot even walk from one end of deck 7 to the other. The aft lift goes from deck 5 (which is not really used as it is at the rear of the dining room) to deck 11 – buffet. Food: available in buffet and dining room also a “pay for” restaurant. Hygiene: there were hand sanitizers at the entrance to all food areas, but these were mainly ignored by the majority of passengers. However, I was not aware of any cases of Noro-virus on board, though what became known as the “Costa cough” was prevalent throughout the ship. Buffet: open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Tea and coffee are only available breakfast and afternoon tea. Situated at the rear of deck 11 with an open-air section. Flies can be a big problem after some ports. Costa denies access to FREE, filtered drinking water, except when the buffet is open. All other times one must pay for bottled water. Breakfast: a mix of cereals, yoghurt, fruit, cold cuts (cheese is sliced processed cheese), hot foods – with a separate egg station, and a good variety of bread, pastries and cakes. Lunch: Cold cuts, prepared salads and salad vegetables, cheese (block), fruit, hot foods, breads, a daily roast, about half a dozen desserts, (often mousses) and a pasta station. A hamburger/grill station is outside near the pool – this also serves a late breakfast and late lunch. There is no FREE pizza on board this Italian ship served in the buffet, grill or restaurant! There is a charge of between €7.00 and €8.50. Dinner: I always ate this in the dining room, never in the buffet, so cannot comment. Dining room – breakfast: Similar “serve yourself” fare to buffet (but no flies) with a choice of various “themed” breakfasts – English, American, Mexican, Spanish, German and omelettes to order. Lunch: I didn’t have lunch in the dining room. Dining room is closed on “port days”. Dinner: set time sittings – early at 6.30 – late at 8.45. Menu changed every day. One could go right through all the courses if wanted – appetiser, salad, pasta, mains, dessert, cheese. Be aware that what the menu states may not be quite what you receive! Often lost in translation! Main meal sizes vary greatly - sometimes we received entrée size and at other times a large meal. At nearly all times, green vegetables were lacking. We always ordered two dishes of vegetables for our table of five. The menu also contains “extra price” items. One night I ordered the lobster, which was absolutely superb. The flesh was firm and pearly white – it had been caught locally in Mauritius. As a member of the “Costa Club” I received a 50% discount on the price. Beverages: wine and water could be purchased anywhere on board and taken into either the buffet or dining room – or the bottles could be held over from meal to meal. Lounge areas: there are many to choose from, though some of the chair upholstery could do with a good cleaning. Bar: opening hours and musician times are listed in the daily program. Reception: open 24 hours – knowledgeable and efficient, however there are no “queue” guidelines – this needs to be addressed to cope efficiently with busy times. Shore excursion office: Often very limited opening times – usually closed on port days. Again, this area needs “queueing guidelines” as there was often “push and shove” and “get out of my way” chaos! Make sure you really know what you are purchasing because many tours list “see” when they should state either “view” or “visit” – there is a great deal of difference! Full day excursions were much better value than so called half day ones. Be aware that the buffet will not be open if you are back after 2.30pm – only the grill area. Crew: The lower levels of the crew – cabin stewards and food staff, friendly, but not so the officers – hardly an acknowledgement or a smile given out during the whole cruise. Internet: Three packages available 250mb for €25.00; 500mb for €39.00 and 3GB for €99.00 – all come with a €3.00 “connection fee”, which I thought was a bit rough. It was excellent paying by usage rather than by time as most cruise companies do. I found the internet reasonably fast and efficient – even though sometimes I had to go through 5 steps to log in! And I was in a fairly isolated area of the Indian Ocean. Entertainment: The Cruise Director was a “way out” dresser and he was enthusiastic, but spoke so quickly that it was really hard to know what language he was speaking. I enjoy trivia and quizzes, but some of the entertainment crew had such heavy accents that made the quiz questions impossible to understand. The couple of evening “guest” shows that I saw were quite good – I did not see a “production” show. Library: Open for short periods – seemed to have a good collection of books – but not many in English, as the ship does not really cater for English speaking passengers. There is also a small “swap” section under a window – again no English reading. Pool: there is a small pool, a slightly smaller rectangular spa pool and two hot tubs. Pool chairs are available on decks 11 and 12 and sometimes on deck 6 where there is shade as it is undercover. Casino; Gym; Spa: cannot comment as I did not use these services. Smoking: There is a smoking area on deck 11 (pool deck) and I think there was also one in one of the lounges. Children: children’s activities seem to be well catered for. In summary: I have done over 40 cruises and feel that I can objectively judge this cruise. Costa is just a 3-star cruise line, good in some ways, not good in others. There were many inconsistences and things that certainly could have been managed better. Would I cruise with Costa again, most likely not, except if the itinerary and destinations were exceptional – as this one was. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise primarily because it stopped in Madagascar, however, a few days before departure we were notified they would not be stopping at Madagascar because of the plague. We, of course, were notified too late to cancel so we ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily because it stopped in Madagascar, however, a few days before departure we were notified they would not be stopping at Madagascar because of the plague. We, of course, were notified too late to cancel so we proceeded with the trip. For the most part the cruise was fantastic. Wonderful crew, great food, spacious and private cabin. Since we were not going to Madagascar we were given an OBC and told we would get a 30% discount certificate for a future trip. Due to a medical problem of mine the ships Doctor decided we would not be allowed back on the ship at Reunion even though I had the proper medication. We, therefore, were abandoned on Reunion to fend for ourselves. Due to the Christmas Holidays no seats were available on the flights to Mauritius where we had our on going reservations. The result was that we had to wait at the Reunion airport all day to finally get two standby seats to Mauritius. I have written to Customer Care at Costa (Italy & Miami) several times about the 30% discount certificate, but have been totally ignored. They won't respond at all. The cruise, food, cabin and excursions were one of the best ever, but the Customer Care is a farce and enough reason to never use Costa again. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try a whole new destination for us. The cruise started in Port Louis, Mauritius and went on to Seychelles, Madagascar and Reunion before returning to Mauritius. Things started off well when we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try a whole new destination for us. The cruise started in Port Louis, Mauritius and went on to Seychelles, Madagascar and Reunion before returning to Mauritius. Things started off well when we saw the large cabin, but things went rapidly downwards when the cruise started. I'll start with the worst: The food. Every day, it's the same sad story. And it doesn't matter where you go. The "formal" restaurant on deck 8 serves the same food as the buffet on deck 10, only they bring it to your table and it's more aesthetically pleasing. We tried the "pay-Pizza restaurant" on deck 11. This pizza had less taste than the frozen pizza you buy at home for €3, so it was slightly better than the shameful thing they served in the complimentary restaurants. The "soup of the day" was occasionally decent. The free water often had a strong taste of chlorine. (I found that the water on deck 11 often was better). Service: Most of the staff are friendly and helpful, but when it comes to issues regarding money they turn quickly. If you paid for internet and it didn't work, don't go to the reception because they will only trash you for asking for your money back. It's a problem with the signal, not the ship. Entertainment: Well.. what can I say. It was poor. Very poor compared to what we got used to with Royal Caribbean. It was entertainment, but as long as someone takes their job seriously I don't know if it can possibly be worse than the entertainment on board that ship. The female singer(s) was unable to pronounce any words in English (but all singers has decent voices - however that's a minimum) The dancers knew how to more but the choreography was off off off. The songs the singers had to sing were mostly boring and dull, and there was no good or logical pattern in the shows. Activities: Didn't care to join as most of them were about dancing like animals, play some obscure variant of volleyball or learning how to dance. I hoped to play chess in the library, but when I came for the scheduled time for that event, there was no staff there to even unlock the locker where they had the chess board. Excursions: Costa is limited to what the visited places has to offer, and it was ok. We went on boat/hiking/beach excursions and they were all good experiences. Sum it up: Horrible food. It's disrespectful towards the Italian kitchen which I'm quite a fan of. Bad entertainment and activities. Decent service (as long as it's not about getting money back) and a nice cabin. I would recommend my friends and family to stay FAR AWAY from Costa. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We boarded in Port Louis Mauritius for an Indian Ocean cruise. Itinerary was good - perhaps would have preferred an extra day in Reunion at the expense of one of the three days in Madagascan Ports. Staff/ crew were exemplary. The ship ... Read More
We boarded in Port Louis Mauritius for an Indian Ocean cruise. Itinerary was good - perhaps would have preferred an extra day in Reunion at the expense of one of the three days in Madagascan Ports. Staff/ crew were exemplary. The ship condition was good but equivalent to the 7 previous ships we had been on - it did not warrant the 'luxury' hype it was given. It had recently been extended and capacity increased. This was probably why it was free dining as opposed to the traditional two sittings. There were times that the restaurants could not cope - waits for tables were too long, waits for food were too long; we were served ice cream in warm bowls and food that should have been hot was tepid at best. I cannot remember the Gala Dinner. Another loss was the theatre. I completely disagree with a previous reviewer who thought the show lounge was an adequate replacement. It was not! It was actually on a thoroughfare to two other venues, it was too small, the sightlines were atrocious - an embarrassment to the high quality performers. The gym was [free!] and well equipped but it was too small. The ethos on board seemed to be to make as much money as possible - there were 9 opportunities each day to pay extra food, there was no 'free' food after 22:00, there was no midnight feast, tea coffee and water was not freely available [it should have been] Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We found the boarding process unlike any other cruise we have been on. You fill in a registration card on the dock and have your passports taken from you, passports are returned to you after a face to face interview with one of the many ... Read More
We found the boarding process unlike any other cruise we have been on. You fill in a registration card on the dock and have your passports taken from you, passports are returned to you after a face to face interview with one of the many immigration officials that come on board the ship the day before the cruise finishes. Then you have a photo taken and have to take your own luggage on board and leave it in one of the restaurants and collect it later and take it to the cabin yourself when the cabin is ready. Your key cards are on the bed in your unlocked cabin, it’s then your responsibility to swipe a credit card at one of 3 automated machines on board so that any spending onboard or excursions can be deducted from your credit card (we had issues with amounts being debited to our account that we did not spend and found these very hard to rectify even though you have to give the staff your “ship card” to be swiped in there terminals and sign for everything you purchase). Small very informal ship, very few people wear “formal clothes” in the evenings it’s rare to see a jacket, tie or evening dress. Many nationalities on board, announcements usually made in five or six languages, entertainment in many languages, all staff we encountered understood and spoke very good english. Food and drink on board good, service in restaurants excellent, free tea or coffee not available between 11am and 4pm even in dining rooms. Staff not allowed to serve tap water in main restaurants but tap water is available at all meals in the self service restaurants. Bottled water is €3.05 per litre. The cabin walls are paper thin and even low conversations can be overheard, opening and closing of drawers or toilet door, flushing toilet etc sounded loud. There are large grills in the external doors and any conversations or noise in the corridors outside can be heard clearly, all in all a very noisy ship to try to sleep or even rest on at times. Not many shaded/covered areas on the sun deck, this may sound silly but when it’s sunny and over 30c most days it would be nice to find a shaded spot for some of the day and when it’s raining be able to use a sun lounger under cover. Entertainment was a violin quartet, a pianist, a Peruvian sounding duo who I believe come from Paraguay, a man playing an electric organ, a dance band and the show team who put on several shows, single performers singing, a local group came on board in the Seychelles to perform and a magic show plus of course the late night disco. Vocals were in each of the five main languages. There is no theatre on this ship, there is a cabaret area but its not very large. Excursions were as usual on cruise ships very expensive, there were always many taxis waiting at the ports that offered similar trips for far less money and you could decide on the day whether to go on a trip or not depending on the weather. If you pay for a ships excursion and it’s raining or you are not feeling too well you cannot cancel or they may cut the trip short (for example not go to a beach etc) but there will be no refund. Most port towns we walked to or took the shuttle bus, (there is a charge for shuttle busses) taxis from these towns can be cheaper than from the dock for excursions or a trip to the beach. We did not go to one port (Nosy Be) where tenders were to be used as the waves were to high for it to be safe Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Overall friendly helpful staff, excellent service and small, modern clean boat with comfortable atmosphere. Good points: varied entertainment, hardworking animation team, trips mostly good value for money, cabin comfortable size, good ... Read More
Overall friendly helpful staff, excellent service and small, modern clean boat with comfortable atmosphere. Good points: varied entertainment, hardworking animation team, trips mostly good value for money, cabin comfortable size, good destinations, plenty to do throughout day, lots choices in buffet and Capri Grill. Suggestions: Need free 24 hour water /ice/ tea/ coffee could be located in Capri Grill. Could do with current FILMS on deck 11, every night,could rotate languages or subtitles. INDEPENDENT TRAVELERS need more info e.g. local bus services When disembarking, all guests need input whether COSTA transfers or not. (Ensure they all are promptly organised and not left in the sun for hours). A pleasure to be on a ship with so many lovely people (crew and guests) of varying nationalities. Fabritzio made the quizzes highly entertaining. Dancing on deck11 good fun. Good to watch all deck activities, made entertaining by animation team. Cooking competition good fun. Main entertainment in Cabaret Vienna Deck 9 singers, magicians, dancers some brought aboard others ship dancers, crew and entertainers. Grand bar had Guiseppe playing on keyboard and singing and alternated with Jack's band. Anticipate either a drinks package 28 euros a day for all inc (this is water/tea/coffee/juice as well as alcoholic drinks) or just drink couple a night. There is a variety of packages. One of the quiz teams was called Costalot!! Lot people managed to be independent travellers and raid the buffet for snacks juice and water. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
4½ stars. We went on the "Indian Ocean " cruise, calling in at 10 countries, mostly difficult-to-get-to islands, including Madagascar (3 ports) and finishing in Capetown. We were apprehensive on this cruiseline after ... Read More
4½ stars. We went on the "Indian Ocean " cruise, calling in at 10 countries, mostly difficult-to-get-to islands, including Madagascar (3 ports) and finishing in Capetown. We were apprehensive on this cruiseline after reading so many complaining reviews. We did note that many of the grumbles were of a minor nature. The ship was quite small, comfortable and homely. Staff were generally excellent, There was a multinational set of passengers, mostly Italians. The port destinations were exotic and pioneering in some cases. A phenomenal opportunity to get to see them. This was an adventure cruise. We were well pleased with the food. Lunches in particular always had a good seafood selection and fresh fruits and salads. (It was irritating to not have gratis water on the dining table. Take your own bottle in!) The captain was excellent - out-running a cyclone down the coast of Madagascar and presenting well to passengers. There were a few issues with mis-organisation - including on one occasion letting young inexperienced childcare staff run the issues of tender tickets. They treated us like infants. There was no senior member of staff there. It is a pity this cruise is not appearing on the 2015 list. I would implore Costa to run this again. i would definitely not hesitate to sail with Costa in future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2014
Currently on the Costa Neo Riveria so thought I would add a review for those planning to book a cruise on the Neo Riveria as decent information about this ship is hard to find. Embarkation was very easy and friendly. The classic cabin ... Read More
Currently on the Costa Neo Riveria so thought I would add a review for those planning to book a cruise on the Neo Riveria as decent information about this ship is hard to find. Embarkation was very easy and friendly. The classic cabin (window only) is compact! The shower too. And it has a plastic curtain. i think I read an earlier review saying shampoo is not provided - it is. The television has no inputs so you cannot attach your tablets etc to watch your own programs. The premium cabin does have a full-size tv and a bath. Food is of good quality. lots of fresh salad and fruit. and a choice of 3 main courses each evening in the a la carte restaurant. There are 5 courses so no need to go hungry. Seating is unreserved which is a new feature available on the neo ships. The drinks package: there is only one choice and that is €28.75 pp/day. This does not include premium brands so the gin is Beefeater or Gilbeys so excludes Grey Goose. There is usually a discussion each day at the smoothie bar as to whether all the smoothies are included in the extra package so this appears a bit disorganised. there is no separate wine package. Evening entertainment is a bit lacklustre and together with the price of drinks means the bars and venues are quiet in the evenings. Before sailing I rang the Costa "customer care" line and one of the questions I asked was if the sauna was free on this ship. They said it was. However it is €15 per visit! I asked guest services about this. They told me this is only applicable on their neo ships. This is the same for the new drinks package. So, it seems the new concept is to charge as much as possible! From speaking with other guests who have been on other Costa cruises it appears that the cabins are smaller on the Neo Riveria compared to their other ships. Maybe this is also part of the new concept.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2014
We have just returned from the Dubai to Cape town cruise on Costa neoRiviera. On the plus side, the itinerary was wonderful. We visited some incredible places. The beds were the most comfortable we have had on a cruise ship, the staff ... Read More
We have just returned from the Dubai to Cape town cruise on Costa neoRiviera. On the plus side, the itinerary was wonderful. We visited some incredible places. The beds were the most comfortable we have had on a cruise ship, the staff were always smiling, polite and helpful. The ship although basic was clean. There were plenty of towels and lotions including after sun which was welcome. When we booked the holiday with Iglu we were under the impression that gratuities were compulsory but flexible. In actual fact there are no gratuities only a compulsory service charge of €8 pp/day, the first half of which was taken from our bank account half way through the cruise. On the Costa web site a 5% discount was available for tour reservations before 31 January. Because I have walking difficulties we decided to reserve the easy trips, as we thought they would be the popular ones and spent €1,500. Had we known that the ship would be less than half full, we wouldn’t have bothered. When we arrived on the ship the tours were the same price as we paid. When we enquired at the Tour Desk we were told that this package was not available on neo Riviera!! As we had to put the code for the ship, our booking number and name when reserving these tours we feel we were mis-sold these trips. When we asked to see the Tour Manager she suggested we put in a Formal Remark Form which would be stamped and sent to the Head Office in Genoa. We would get a reply very quickly – certainly before the end of the cruise. To date we have not even had an acknowledgement, so we will be pursuing this. We have been on many cruises and have never known the self service restaurant to close during the day. There was nowhere to get water tea or coffee while the restaurant was closed unless you bought them at the bar or had the drinks package which although advertised on the internet before the cruise at €19 increased to €28 once on ship. The restaurant closed for the day at 21.30 which meant that after the show in the theatre there was nowhere to go for refreshment before bed. We only used the Cetara Restaurant once but were not impressed with the menu. The self service restaurant had lots of salad and fresh fruit, an omelette station at breakfast time and a grill bar on deck at lunch time, together with a pizzeria. These were the only really hot food. The cooked food in the self service restaurant was at best passable and was only warm and very rarely were there any hot plates. Because there were multi-national guests, all announcements were made in several different languages which at times was quite tedious. There was also piped music everywhere except cabins, including the library. Even the port talks were conducted with piped music in the background. Overall the cruise was not as cheap as we were led to believe as the Service charge was over £500 for the five weeks and everything on board was very expensive – drinks, photographs etc. However the itinerary was superb.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2014
We have just returned from the Dubai to Capetown cruise on Costa neoRiviera. On the plus side, the itinerary was wonderful. We visited some incredible places. The beds were the most comfortable we have had on a cruise ship, the staff were ... Read More
We have just returned from the Dubai to Capetown cruise on Costa neoRiviera. On the plus side, the itinerary was wonderful. We visited some incredible places. The beds were the most comfortable we have had on a cruise ship, the staff were always smiling, polite and helpful. The ship although basic was clean. There were plenty of towels and lotions including after sun which was welcome. When we booked the holiday with Iglu we were under the impression that gratuities were compulsory but flexible. In actual fact there are no gratuities only a compulsory service charge of €8 pp/day, the first half of which was taken from our bank account half way through the cruise. On the Costa web site a 5% discount was available for tour reservations before 31 January. Because I have walking difficulties we decided to reserve the easy trips, as we thought they would be the popular ones and spent €1,500. Had we known that the ship would be less than half full, we wouldn’t have bothered. When we arrived on the ship the tours were the same price as we paid. When we enquired at the Tour Desk we were told that this package was not available on neo Riviera!! As we had to put the code for the ship, our booking number and name when reserving these tours we feel we were mis-sold these trips. When we asked to see the Tour Manager she suggested we put in a Formal Remark Form which would be stamped and sent to the Head Office in Genoa. We would get a reply very quickly – certainly before the end of the cruise. To date we have not even had an acknowledgement, so we will be pursuing this. We have been on many cruises and have never known the self service restaurant to close during the day. There was nowhere to get water tea or coffee while the restaurant was closed unless you bought them at the bar or had the drinks package which although advertised on the internet before the cruise at €19 increased to €28 once on ship. The restaurant closed for the day at 21.30 which meant that after the show in the theatre there was nowhere to go for refreshment before bed. We only used the Cetara Restaurant once but were not impressed with the menu. The self service restaurant had lots of salad and fresh fruit, an omelette station at breakfast time and a grill bar on deck at lunch time, together with a pizzeria. These were the only really hot food. The cooked food in the self service restaurant was at best passable and was only warm and very rarely were there any hot plates. Because there were multi-national guests, all announcements were made in several different languages which at times was quite tedious. There was also piped music everywhere except cabins, including the library. Even the port talks were conducted with piped music in the background. Overall the cruise was not as cheap as we were led to believe as the Service charge was over £500 for the five weeks and everything on board was very expensive – drinks, photographs etc. However the itinerary was superb. Further emails to Customer services from the UK regarding the misselling of excursions have been similarly ignored!! Read Less
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