1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Costa Cruises
  4. Costa Cruises Cruise Reviews

24 Costa Amsterdam Cruise Reviews

We loved the Itinerary ( Enchanted Fjords), the friendly polite staff, the spacious beautiful cabins. (panorama suite). We had most of our meals in Club Medusa Restaurant... the atmosphere was great , the waiters were very friendly and ... Read More
We loved the Itinerary ( Enchanted Fjords), the friendly polite staff, the spacious beautiful cabins. (panorama suite). We had most of our meals in Club Medusa Restaurant... the atmosphere was great , the waiters were very friendly and polite ( Mr. Prasad Fargose and Mr Daniel Perreras). Mr Prasad Helped us to choose the meals that don't contain alcohol or pork . he was very patient with us and very helpful . he also helped our kids to find the meals they like and suggested alternatives in case they don't like what was in the menu . Mr Daniel was very friendly as well , smiling all the time and made our little boy happy everyday by bringing him his favorite chocolate milk . Mr Linnon, the restaurant manager was very helpful , he always came to ask if we were comfortable or needed any thing ... and asked how was the food . One day we asked Mr Linnon for Indian food and we got an Indian feast after two days...especially made for us . we were very happy and the Indian food was super delicious . Our teen son loved the teen club and made some friends there. He met some german and Italian friends who speak english . I also liked the magic bag offer for laundry ( 20 euro for 25 pieces). Costa doesn't have self launderette like Disney. Food in the free buffet restaurant was average ...Costa is Italian cruise but the buffet didn't have daily pizza or risotto or Parmigiana di Melanzane. The available pizza was mostly plain with some oregano . buffet was crowded ... difficult to find a table ...in summary food was average in taste and no variety. Shows were average ...the four elements show was boring ...shows suppose to be family friendly but female dancers were wearing thongs ...not acceptable for me . performers appeared one time with scary make up that really scared my children .We liked the clown show. My kids laughed a lot . we also loved the traditional Italian dance . kids club : I took my kids to Squok ( The kids Club) , the counselors assured me that they will speak english with my kids ...but that didn't happen . I stood in the corridor were I could hear but my kids can't see me . I waited for one hour and didn't here any english word . It was all Italian . my kids felt left out and refused to go there again . I understand that the majority were Italian children thats why I suggest that costa dedicate one hour at least of kids activity during the day to be only in english. Squok was small in size not like disney cruise clubs. our last cruise was with Disney magic . one problem regarding the excursions with costa is that the time of excursion is not announced until the night before the excursion ... so we couldn't plan our day until we receive the daily newspaper of the cruise where the time of excursion is written. I suggest that costa write the time of each excursion in advance I also suggest that costa put Indian as well as Lebanese food frequently in their buffet and menu. Disney magic did that . people love those cuisines . The staff were friendly ... we had no problems with them . the itinerary was great . Norway has beautiful Nature . one good thing about costa is that before we depart Norway , they organized tax refund service inside the ship. We booked a suite so we had free access to Club Medusa Restaurant ... had priority check in , priority when tendering in Geiranger, the exclusive drinking Package that include water bottles , 24/7 free room service with breakfast served in cabin if ordered, a daily fruit basket and reserved front seats in theatre. for internet, costa offers a social media package that includes snapchat , whats up , instagram and facebook for 28 euro for the whole cruise duration. ports Bergen it was a beautiful city ...we took the hop on hop off bus . We booked online from Stromma for both the bus and funicular ride. We found their famous red bus in the port where we exchanged our online vouchers for tickets. we took the funicular ride and went up to Floyen mountain . the view from there is beautiful . you will find there kids playground, a zip line and of course a troll statue ... also you can walk for 5 minutes to a beautiful lake ...you can rent bike or kayak Bergen is the wettest city in the world ...it rains most of the days so you should be prepared . Geiranger beautiful village , we took hop on hop off bus from Stromma . you can also walk around or rent electric car . Olden we booked neon sky lift shuttle with the cable car tickets as well as glacier sightseeing bus from the tourist office in the port. The sky lift is new . it opened in 2017, it is 10 minutes ride from the port to the cable car station then it takes 5 minutes to reach the top. on the top there is a modern restaurant and you can hike if the weather permits. down at the station , theres is a souvenir shop . Glacier sight seeing bus takes you in a tour around olden ... the scenery is beautiful with two photo stops . the tour takes about one hour ...try to set on the right side . you won't see glaciers ... just snow on the top of the mountains. when it was time to leave the port , Olden port workers put a good bye song... loud through their speakers and wave the Norwegian flags . that was nice Andalsness we took excursion from costa for Rauma rail way and the trolls wall . the scenery from the train was very beautiful . Try to sit on the right and choose the big window. the troll wall was just a black mountain with trolls statue near the souvenir shop. Haugasend I didn't like this city . we booked excursion from costa " the marvels of Akafjord" . it was boring and long and nothing new . they took us back to the fjord . we were sailing inside the beautiful fjords for more than three days so there is no need to go back there . the tour included a visit to a local artist who draw flowers on every thing ...boring . then a trip in a small ship to get close to a waterfall ...boring too because in Norway you see a lot of waterfalls everywhere so nothing new. yes this trip included a Norwegian lunch . I tasted the deer hamburger ...it was delicious but little salty. also the Norwegian coffee ...their bread . other selections were available too . Bremerhaven we took costa cruise shuttle to Bremen . it took one hour to get there and one hour to come back . we spent almost two hours as free time in Bremen . it is a beautiful city ... famous for Bremen musicians story. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Just very shortly: A cabin with a window means that the window looks at the side of a tender boat just half a meter away. It totally blocks all view, the cabin practically equals an inside cabin. We were given a shady explanation on ... Read More
Just very shortly: A cabin with a window means that the window looks at the side of a tender boat just half a meter away. It totally blocks all view, the cabin practically equals an inside cabin. We were given a shady explanation on some sort of a "lottery" for guaranteed cabins, which means that Costa can give you worse cabins you thought you had paid for. Quite interesting practice from consumer protection point of view. So avoid guaranteed cabins and cabins on Deck 4. Otherwise the cabin was clean, well maintained. There are many levels of available satellite internet services, we chose the one that allows social media use. It was unreliable, sometims totally out. The weather forecast on the CCTV is apparently not updated, unreliable. The buffet breakfast/lunch/dinner all are surprisingly poor as compared to our Celebrity and TUI experience. The restaurant seems to be too small for this number of guests, at the same time some service stations do not seem to be opened. The excursionas and the boarding are well organised. The shows/entertainment are fine. The service charge is hefty and I wonder how much of it is actually given to the personnel. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Yes, It Can be Sweet in a Costa Suite We are recently back from a nine day Costa Mediterranea cruise to the Norwegian fjords. We typically sail HAL, Celebrity, or RCI and usually in a balcony cabin. To be honest, the reviews have kept ... Read More
Yes, It Can be Sweet in a Costa Suite We are recently back from a nine day Costa Mediterranea cruise to the Norwegian fjords. We typically sail HAL, Celebrity, or RCI and usually in a balcony cabin. To be honest, the reviews have kept me away from considering Costa. This time we were traveling with another couple and were looking for an itinerary that departed from and returned to Amsterdam. Costa fit the bill. We booked this cruise less than two months out due to a last minute change in plans. As this cruise was a few days shorter we were able to book a suite for about the same price as our balcony cabin on the other line. If you enjoy traveling to Europe and the pricing is within your budget, sailing in a Costa suite will be a very similar experience to the other lines I have mentioned. It could even be better if you don’t usually book a suite. Embarkation in Amsterdam We arrived around 12:30 and check-in took about 20 minutes. We had one family member with mobility issues so the combination of this along with priority boarding sped things along. We then took the lift up to Deck 9 for lunch in the buffet. When we arrived in our cabin an hour later our luggage had been delivered and the security video was playing on the TV in anticipation of the muster drill, which would be held before our late afternoon sail away. Cabin Our cabin was a corner aft on deck four. The layout consisted of a sofa and desk area, a dressing area with walk-in closet, the attractively tiled bathroom had dual sinks and combo tub/shower with sliding door, and the bedroom was adjacent to that with its own TV and drawer space. We found the bed comfortable. The huge balcony had two chairs with footstools as well as two loungers and small table to hold your drinks, snacks, phone etc. Décor colors in the room were a bit retro but I loved the small Murano lamps. Plenty of storage space, a safe, and frig also. The non-alcohol mini bar and bottled water are one of your amenities. Demographics No worries if you only speak English as the hard working staff were multi-lingual. Italian was the primary language followed by English, French, and German. We didn’t feel it was that tedious for announcements but you can appreciate the effort made for entertaining everyone! On this sailing there were mostly Europeans, and though many also spoke English, aside from the staff you didn’t hear a lot of English spoken among the guests. Don’t let that deter you as the daily “Diario di Bordo,” menu, and signage are also offered in multiple languages. Food & Drink I attribute our positive cruise experience to two perks included in our Costa suite amenities, the Intenditore drink package and the Medusa (suite) restaurant where suite guests can eat B-L-D. This doesn’t mean you can’t grab a burger in the buffet at lunchtime or order room service. We were able to get coffee, water, a cocktail, or glass of wine /beer anytime we wanted from the bars or at meal time in the rstaurants. We found the food in the suite restaurant to be quite good and except for a few sugary cocktails were never disappointed in our drinks. The Medusa Restaurant was for suite guests but could also be purchased as a dinner package for other guests, though suite guests would get priority seating. We usually arrived for dinner around seven and never had to wait or make a reservation. There are no other specialty restaurants on this ship. The space held about 100 people and had a variety of table configurations. Each night featured choices from a particular region of Italy. A copy of the Medusa menu was delivered ahead of time to your room. It was a four course meal but that can be filling so we started to order two of the “primi” courses for the table to share among the four of us and that worked well. Food is always subjective but the consensus among us was that the seafood, pork, or lamb were always very good. The steak, which was an option every night, was not so tender. There was also a “Chef’s Choice” menu option that you could order or swap around for some of the a la carte choices. Wine by the glass was part of our drink package and there were a few that we particularly liked. We often would pair a different wine with a different course so a benefit of “by the glass.” There were also vegetarian food options offered each night. Sufficient staff made it a pleasure to have a relaxing dinner. We usually chose the Medusa restaurant for breakfast and one day for lunch. There is a cold buffet station as well as a pastry table in addition to ordering hot choices off the menu. The food is quite good but hope you aren’t in a hurry! The hold up appeared to be on the kitchen end not in the dining room. We did have lunch in the Perla del Lago buffet restaurant a few times. My favorite was to select ham, cheese, and choice of bread and build your own sandwich. There were also a variety of salads, pizza, and burgers. Lunch is served noon-2:30 pm. Between 4-5 pm the Perla del Lago opens for “La Merenda” or afternoon snack. You will find people cueing up for little sandwiches and pastries. If you aren’t eating in the Medusa restaurant for dinner, the Main Dining Room seating is either 6:15 pm or 9pm. Between 7pm-1am you can purchase a higher quality burger or pizza in the designated section of the La Perla buffet restaurant. The informal dinner option is in the buffet restaurant on deck 9 between 7-8:30pm. Crepes are also available for purchase between 10pm-midnight. The bars are open late, midnight and some beyond. A lot of the reviews I’ve read are filled with complaints about the food, paying for water, not having coffee available etc. I think a “must do” item is to clip the sunshine yellow “Buon Appetito” guide in the daily “Diario” and keep it handy until you sort where and when the meals are available. There are many options but limited timing so you don’t want to be disappointed. Having the premium drink package included avoided really simplified things. Life on Board If you have cruised before you know what your expectations are. I will just mention a few things that stood out for me. We were cruising at the end of summer so you knew children would be onboard. There is the Squok Club to keep them entertained. This was also a colder climate so not everyone was in the pool and there were no chair hogs. The ship is lively. At night there were multiple venues with live music. The dance floor was actually a good size for a ship. In fact, as we were getting off a dance workshop group was getting ready to board. Drink service was adequate but they weren’t pestering you if you just wanted to sit and listen for a bit. Photographers were around taking pictures but they were less intrusive and didn’t pester you to buy. A few of ours actually came out nice and we did buy them with a package that also included the digital version. We had a minor issue with our club number and they fixed it on the spot! Room service was on time and nothing missing. Tender tickets were given out the day before saving time the day of. This is an older ship so didn’t have the specialty restaurants that are popular on newer chips. The spa had treatment rooms but not much space for relaxing around the whirlpool. The gym had a variety of equipment. The theater was nice and we went to a couple of shows which were good. We were invited to a wine tasting which was fun to do on a sea day and they even served grapes and cheese to go along. There also was a large attractive game room area that was popular with people playing board games, cards, etc. Accessibility As I mentioned earlier, a family member had mobility problems. We booked too late to get an accessible room. We booked a Panoramic Suite and were able to accommodate both a mobility scooter from Special Needs at Sea, wheelchair, and walker in the cabin. As the tub was fairly deep, we inquired with our attendant if they had a step to assist getting in the tub. The next day we were given a two foot long step that served the purpose. Getting ashore on the two tender stops was also possible with the help of the crew lifting the wheelchair onto the tender and our fortune of having calm seas. Ports-our intent was for relaxing port visits rather than action packed Bergen-able to get ashore with a mobility scooter; docked in Jekteviken close enough to town to walk to cable car which also has a lift and allows for access to the top where there are shops and a café. Olden-Tender, very scenic; spent time taking photos Andalsnes-able to go onshore with mobility scooter. This was also scenic but not a lot to do unless you plan an excursion. We walked along the lake; The train station is very near where the ship docked and is accessible for wheelchairs and smaller mobility scooters. Check the timetable for return. Geiranger-This was our second visit here. Able to get around with mobility scooter. Very scenic and great ice cream! Two of us walked up along the waterfall trail near where the ship is docked. Great photo ops. Look for the goats nearby! There is also a very nice artist’s studio, Geiranger Gallery, between the waterfall and the mainstreet . It is not clustered with the other tourist shops and cafes but set back a little on the left as you walk towards the fall. A nice choice of quality gifts, pottery, and glass objects. Stavanger-One of my favorite port stops; Visit the old section of town where the white houses are. We were docked nearby. The streets are quite steep so not accessible with a mobility scooter and would be difficult with a wheelchair. If you can walk up, after you visit the white houses continue to walk to Breidablikk Mansion on Eiganesveien, 40A. It is about a 25 minute walk through a beautiful neighborhood to see this well preserved home with most of the original furnishings. Your ticket will than allow you to enter many of the other small museums in town for either half price or less. Back in the town center the walkways are flat. You will find the Stavanger Cathedral here and a large shopping area. Bremerhaven-a brief stop to disembark and embark some passengers. It was a Sunday morning and rainy so stayed onboard. There was a shuttle available for €12 r/t to the center of town about 4.5 km away. Tickets must be purchased on the ship at the kiosks or Hospitality Desk. Maximum waiting time was 40 minutes. Disembarkation- Your cabin must be vacated by 8am but you could still enjoy breakfast at the appropriate restaurant, in our case the Medusa Restaurant. There was also a hand luggage deposit for you to use so you didn’t have to bring everything with you to breakfast. After breakfast we left the ship and retrieved our luggage in the Customs Hall in Amsterdam. In summary, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with my Costa Cruise experience. It definitely was value for money in this category. Their shorter itineraries to different ports could work for us and I am interested to try some of their newer, larger ships. But, I would probably only do so with the Intenditore Drink Package, access to a smaller restaurant venue and not the MDR……fingers crossed for a sweet, suite deal! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Let me just start by saying this: if Costa cruise line offered me an all expenses paid cruise to any of their destinations, I wouldn't take it. Costa is H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E. If you haven't booked them yet, please trust me and save ... Read More
Let me just start by saying this: if Costa cruise line offered me an all expenses paid cruise to any of their destinations, I wouldn't take it. Costa is H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E. If you haven't booked them yet, please trust me and save your money. I am on the ship right now as I type. I simply couldn't wait until I got home to do this review because I am so angry and disappointed. We are so miserable and unhappy on this ship that we hardly enjoy the cities once we arrive. Mostly lousy food, terribly uncomfortable and dirty accommodations make for a stressful, awful vacation.  We are seriously considering getting off at the next port and heading home from Hamburg instead of Amsterdam, which is where the cruise ends. Our first impression of the ship (Mediterranea) was that the outside looked tired and dingy. The check-in process was very hectic, disorganized and chaotic. The hallway carpet is absolutely filthy, with clearly visible dirt and stains. The carpet in our room is completely disgusting, to the point where we dare not walk around without shoes. The ship's decor in the public areas is VERY cheap looking, gaudy and dated. We booked a 7-day cruise in a 3 person cabin. It is decorated in colors of the 1980's - light peach, mauve and turquoise.  The bedding is very minimal: one thin comforter, no flat sheet. So, if you get hot at night and only need a light covering, too bad. All you get is a comforter. The extra blankets they provided are very old and worn, they smell awful, and they have rips and tears in them. One extra blanket actually has a huge, yellow stain. I have no idea what it is but it looks like urine. This ship is in DESPERATE need of updating/renovation and of a deep, thorough cleaning. The beds are extremely, ridiculously firm (like nothing I've ever felt, like sleeping on wood) so we can barely get up each morning as we are aching all over, in pain from the awful beds. Food in the buffett is mediocre and it is THE SAME EVERY DAY! Sure, you might have mashed potatoes one day then sliced, roasted potatoes the next but there is very little change to the menu, for breakfast and for dinner. The meats are pretty much always overcooked, and most food items are luke warm, rarely piping hot. Very limited desserts at the buffet...one day, there were only two choices! The waiters/waitresses walk around like unhappy zombies, never smiling and interacting with passengers grudingly and with zero enthusiasm. And  most of the employees in other areas are snarky, rude, barely tolerant and blatantly disrespectful to passengers. If you dont purchase a drink package of any kind, all you get to drink is water, except at breakfast and at "tea time", which is from 4-5p daily. At breakfast, you get unlimited juice, coffee and tea and at tea time, you get coffee and tea, no juice. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy water. We considered buying a drink package until I figured out that the cheapest, non-alchoholic drink package is like €69 (approximately $77 per person USD), and you only get a total of 20 drinks per person for the whole 7-days! That amounts to about $3.85 per drink. That is a total ripoff. So, in our luggage, we brought empty, leakproof plastic bottles from home (Dollar Tree) and fill them with juice at breakfast every morning. We dont let the waiters see us but it's pretty easy to do. Just fill the provided cups with juice (pineapple, grapefruit, orange and apple), bring them to your table, and when the waiter isnt looking, fill your container. There is a little refrigerator in the room so we kept it in there. Had we known, we would have also brought a thermos for hot water or coffee, so we could have it later in the day, without having to pay for it. I'm only giving this advice to those who've already booked and will lose money if they cancel. Otherwise, JUST DON'T BOOK ANY CRUISE ON COSTA!!!! They nickel and dime you for everything! For example, ice cream isn't free on Costa...you have to pay extra for it. The restaurants and buffets completely close down for hours and, unless you pay, there is nothing to eat until they open back up or you are willing to pay for the pizza station or something else that remains open. The buffet closes at 9 or 10 at night and doesn't reopen until 7am! It also closes for some hours before opening back up for dinner. There is nothing for my 12-year old son to do. There are stand alone activities here and there (a lot of them you must pay extra for, like playing Xbox games and air hockey), but no actual kids' club for his age range. There is no movie theater and the shows are kitschy, amateurish and just not well done. At port, they charge you to take a bus into the city center. Yesterday, we arrived into LeHavre, France and were told that it would cost €13 ($15 or so USD) roundtrip, per person to take the Costa provided shuttle to the city center. Turns out the ride is literally about 4 minutes! We opted to walk (for free) and it only took about 20 minutes. The library was closed during prime daylight hours on our day at sea, so my son (who'd run out of his own books to read) had to sit and do nothing. We went to the library 4 or 5 times, at different times of day, and although the room was open, all of the books were locked away. This cruise is BOOOOORRRRIIIIINNNNNGGGG. I could go on writing for hours about how awful this cruise is but suffice it to say: Celebrity is world's above Costa, absolute perfection from beginning to end. They make a laughingstock of Costa...there is absolutely no comparision. Save your money and book pretty much any other cruise line but Costa. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Picked this cruise because of the ports - Zeebruge, Le Havre, Hambyrg Embarkation in Amsterdam was pretty smooth. Food - the hours when the buffet and restaurants open are pretty odd, the lunch is available from 12 to 3 when almost ... Read More
Picked this cruise because of the ports - Zeebruge, Le Havre, Hambyrg Embarkation in Amsterdam was pretty smooth. Food - the hours when the buffet and restaurants open are pretty odd, the lunch is available from 12 to 3 when almost everybody off the ship (most of the ports hours were from 8 to 20). When people are back to the ship everything is closed until 7 pm and the the buffet is open from 7 to 8:30 and two sittings for finer at the restaurant are 6:30 and 9 pm. Not any food available even for money between 3 pm and until dinner and if you miss your dining sitting there is not any food available. There are cakes at the bars but you have to pay 1.50 Eur for the slice. Food at the buffet is limited and almost every time was a line to get the food since only limited buffet locations were opened. Bars/Beverage packages - had a package and was limited information available during the booking of the cruise, it was just like you get unlimited water, coffee, DOC wine and aperitif anytime. I am a wine lover and when I saw DOC wine was assuming that I will get the good wine. It came as could get water only by glass, could not get even small bottle with me to the cabin, wine is only house wine one type of white wine and one type of red wine were available at the bars and buffet and 3 whites and 3 reds very poor quality were available in the fining room. Aperitifs are very low cost and quality. If I would know this a head of time I would not buy the package and would just pay for better quality of wine and would get water by bottle and so on. As they enroll everybody be costa club member, members get discount at the bar up to 25%. Excursions - the excursion desk is not helpful at all, they don't provide the full information on the tour. The tours are expensive, the transfer to Bremen cost 39 Eur. Service - pretty inconsistent. Casanova bar has a very friendly waiter but generally they are not great. They are also confused with all of the package choices and not helpful at all. Only good was the entertainment - plenty with good shows and variety selection of the evening entertainment at the multiple venues on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The ship sailed from a different port in Amsterdam than all the other ships. Many people went to the wrong port on embarkation day and had to take a 40 Euro Uber ride to the correct port. The itinerary was good with long days in port. The ... Read More
The ship sailed from a different port in Amsterdam than all the other ships. Many people went to the wrong port on embarkation day and had to take a 40 Euro Uber ride to the correct port. The itinerary was good with long days in port. The dining options were VERY limited. There were times that all the restaurants & buffets were closed. Not even coffee or Ice Cream machine. When they were open there was not a good selection in the buffet.... a lot of repeat items and the staff actually scooped it out for you so that you didn't take too much. The quality and flavors of the food was not very great. The beer & wine package during lunch & dinner was limited to very cheap quality. The spa only had 4 lounge chairs and the packages were double the price of normal. The room was clean but showing age. The shows were not memorable. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Note: Boarded Dover,09.09.17. left Marseille 21,09,17. This was our second Costa Cruise, the last was on Luminosa. We chose it because of the bargain price of £600, outside cabin for 13 nights and the itinerary of Dover to Marseille ... Read More
Note: Boarded Dover,09.09.17. left Marseille 21,09,17. This was our second Costa Cruise, the last was on Luminosa. We chose it because of the bargain price of £600, outside cabin for 13 nights and the itinerary of Dover to Marseille taking in some different to usual ports. We were extremely pleased with the ship. Spacious, clean and comfortable, nicely decorated in the usual glitzy costa style. Food and service were excellent in both the buffet and restaurant although the meanness of Costa regarding charging for water on the dinner table and the limited availability of free water, coffee around the ship still irks somewhat (coffee and tea only until 11am and during afternoon tea, water only at buffet hours so you have to stock up). Our cabin steward Chandan was exceptional and delighted us with his different towel creations every night. Our waiter Andreo also was superb and very attentive whilst discreet. The buffet was overcrowded for afternoon tea on sea days, needs longer opening times. Entertainment was superb in the theatre, the shows being of very high standard (excepting the ventriloquist, amazed he is still around having seen him before on Luminosa). The musicians around the ship were also mainly of a high standard, particularly the classical duo. Rather a pity the latter who played in a quiet room had to endure a noisy bartender crashing around and a few people who insisted on talking during the performance. Embarking and disembarking the ship was easy and smooth in most ports with the exception of Savona which was an utter shambles. We docked late. Staff put up signs to exits then changed them. Hundreds of people were trying to get off with luggage mixed wiith the day trippers. The port authorities would not allow walking but did not provide enough buses and Costa had no staff organising getting onto the buses. People blocking the doors from closing refused to get off so the bus couldn't move, it was bedlam. Also embarking at Dover was confused. The staff didn't seem to be expecting new guests and seemed very confused. We don't do excursions, prefering to do our own thing so cannot comment on these. All ports were an easy walk excepting Porto (why the shortened day there? It wasn't tide as we sailed on a low tide) which is easy on public bus or hop on bus and as we have been to Rome we got a local bus to Tarquinia. €2.60 return. The tour would have been 70 euros each (incl a lunch and museum entry). The main problem with this cruise however was not the ship or staff but the passengers. We have read before of issues with certain nationalities pushing and shoving, jumping queues etc on Costa ships but this was not our experience on our previous Luminosa cruise at all. It certainly was this time! Until Savona, guests comprised of around 20 British, maybe similar no of Americans, 800 Russians! and the rest mainly a mixture of Italian, German, Spanish and Dutch. We have never encountered so many rude people in one place. Now I'm sure it was a minority but because it was such a significant minority the whole atmosphere of the ship seemed unfriendly. Rare were the usual greetings when one got into a lift or passed in the cabin corridors for example. Bacause the queue jumping was so prevalent people seemed on edge, always expecting it. Talking through the theatre shows was extremely irritating. One man even made a phone call! Swimwear in the buffet, nobody using the hand gel dispensers etc just general bad manners but what we really hate to see is the rudeness to the hardworking staff. On one breakfast table I was even saying 'por favor' and 'gracias' after ever order from one Spaniard for him I was so annoyed by his arrogance with the waiter. Strangely after Savona, with one day left of our cruise and where the majority of guests changed to start a new cruise, the atmospere completely changed. It was like a different ship. People were smiling again, the usual greetings and friendly chat returned. Yes there are always a few idiots but it really highlighted to us what a difference one's fellow passengers can make to a cruise. I'm not going to blame any particular nationality, we saw bad behaviour from different nationalities, however the dominance of Russians did not help. We met some lovely ones who found it necessary to apologisee for the behaviour of their compatriots. We have two more Costa cruises booked and it has put us off booking more. We shall see what the next ones are like. Costa provide an excellent cruise at a bargain price but perhaps they need to be careful where they do their marketing? Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
osta Magica 8th September to 21th. Amsterdam, Dover, Le Havre, La Coruna, Leixoes, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Malaga, Civitavecchia, Savona, Marseille. Getting on in Dover & off in Savona made this trip a lot easier for us, so many ... Read More
osta Magica 8th September to 21th. Amsterdam, Dover, Le Havre, La Coruna, Leixoes, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Malaga, Civitavecchia, Savona, Marseille. Getting on in Dover & off in Savona made this trip a lot easier for us, so many thanks to the lovely Amanda in Genoa for making this possible, she has proved more than once to be a true credit to Costa, she & her colleagues are always polite and helpful, sorting out our many needs.   Our fifth time on the Magica completing our 200 days with Costa, usual lovely cabin on deck ten, spotlessly clean and an extremely helpful room steward who soon had us settled in even help us to un-pack. Through cruise critic we had spoken to others on this trip before going, this proved to be a nice way to meet up, Adelaide & Frank from the US, Lilly & the Vagabond from Italy and our table companion's Tine & Bob gave us so much enjoyment we could not thank them enough for making this cruise special. We have become use to the crew of this ship who always go that extra step in ensuring we have everything we need, certainly better than the bigger Costa ships which seem to have lost some of the personal touches we have come to expect from our many Costa cruises. The larger ships like the Diadema do not have the same friendliness as on mid-sized ones, probably down to the huge numbers of passengers on board.  We tried, with some success two tours on this cruise, the first in Le Harve to a small fishing port on our own, mostly on the level so my walking was manageable made a nice change to be able to get off, although had to get assistance boarding coming back as tide had come in and gangway far too steep for me. Next to Oporto lovely river trip, sightseeing by coach, visit to Cathedral, major problem going back to coach up a really steep slope, however tour guide had coach brought down to us and assisted us on, really understanding driver and indeed guide, Costa should consider maybe mini-busses for the few English who often have tours cancelled, after all we have managed to use taxis in some ports.   Dining was in the Perla Diamante/Suite restaurant above main dining room aft, far too crowded now, with new club rules adding many more guests to an overcrowded room during the evening meals, with table allocation by number & two sittings, not as nice as our previous enjoyable meals there. Food was again disappointing, one day excellent even outstanding, next inedible and menus difficult to understand, no good translating to English but then using mostly Italian terms. Surely the number of plates being returned with food left raises some concerns, one evening ordered a special (lobster) which was so overcooked and tough I asked Maître D to return it to kitchen, no problem but no feedback or explanation as to why, just offer to choose something else, which was a veal medallion & really lovely.  Perhaps I should send them copies of the wonderful menus of the early 2000's  English Host Stephanie was an absolute joy, as our special member of staff she booked all our onboard requirements made us feel welcomed and visited us many times during our cruise, checking that all was okay. As we don't venture ashore much now it is so nice to chat with members of the crew who always had time to stop and enquire about our day, bar tenders, waiters, even maintenance workers on deck spoke, which to me makes a great cruise. The Magica is laid out like most ships of Costa so very easy to find way around all areas were clean, slight down side to the piano bar, no coffee now, but lovely waiter from classical bar next door brought me Cappuccinos on the hour each night with a smile. All in all still a great way to spend a couple of weeks in the sun on one of my favourite ships. Now looking forward to the Diadema at Christmas first time back on Costa for the festive season for over 10 years. Not quite the best ever Costa cruise but very close. 9/10 Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We did the Scotland -Iceland cruise from Amsterdam (14 nights) The pro's Beautifull itinerary Beautifull weather in Iceland! Embarkation proces was very quick and well organised Breakfast was very good (the Italian ... Read More
We did the Scotland -Iceland cruise from Amsterdam (14 nights) The pro's Beautifull itinerary Beautifull weather in Iceland! Embarkation proces was very quick and well organised Breakfast was very good (the Italian sweets were delicious) Quality of the food in the buffetrestaurant was good too Con's Very bad service in the restaurant: lots of mistakes, every night we had to wait 45 minutes before the first dish came (our first dish came tat 21:30 PM and the restaurant opened at 20:45 PM No free water or coffee anymore at night in the restaurant. Food came cold in het restaurant!!! Food itself was good but you see that they use cheap ingredients (scaloppina :from porc instead of veal..., ) and some portions were also very small Buffetrestaurant was always very crowded and loud (long lines + difficult to find a table) Ship itself: not clean at all, dated decor, very crowded , not enough space for all the people on board (3400), not enough personel on board. It needs to stay for a long time in the drydock in my opinion before it will shine againl!!! Announcements always made in 7 languages so resting on deck was impossible. Why make announcements for sales in the shops, beginning of animation... You find everything in the daily newspaper! It is so ennoying. The music (outside decks) was very loud too! Very bad communication about important things (you never knew when the ship was cleared and when you could leave the ship while in port...) Personnel not friendly and not interested For Costa only one thing counts: MONEY!!! They do not care about the passengers! It was our 3rd cruise with Costa. The first one was OK but we did not have much expectations because it was cheap, the second one was one of the best cruises we have ever had (Costa Victoria in Asia 2 years ago- the food on this ship was so delicious!) This cruise was a real dissapointment and I do not think we will cruise with Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
i choose costa neoromantica because its sales around iceland it was nice bout the ship is ripoff because the buffet close at 9pm and the restaurant close at 10pm there was 3 more restaurant you has to pay even for a pizza in the ... Read More
i choose costa neoromantica because its sales around iceland it was nice bout the ship is ripoff because the buffet close at 9pm and the restaurant close at 10pm there was 3 more restaurant you has to pay even for a pizza in the restaurant you can not order water like you get in the buffet you have to pay for the water in the buffet always the same . i have been 3 cruises always had a lobster in a week on this one in 2 weeks we never had it you has to pay for the lobster and there was part off the ship is closed you have to pay.the waiters was nice and we had one when we dining he was realy nice and if you like to have another if the same he bring it to you .the entertainment was good it not in theater but its good. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
After having made many cruises with mid-class (like Princess, Celebrity) and luxury cruise lines (e.g. Oceania) we wanted to investigate the difference between those cruise lines and Costa, which is frequently offering cruises for very ... Read More
After having made many cruises with mid-class (like Princess, Celebrity) and luxury cruise lines (e.g. Oceania) we wanted to investigate the difference between those cruise lines and Costa, which is frequently offering cruises for very attractive prices. As we had already booked an Oceania cruise for later this summer, we accepted a cheap last minute offer for the Costa NeoRomantica cruise tot he Norwegian fjords (€700 in the cheapest cabin), a.o. to be able to make this investigation. We had read beforehand various reviews on CruiseCritic and hence were prepared for a somewhat different experience then with the other abovementioned cruise line companies. We must say that the ship NeoRomantica itself was much nicer then expected, and certainly not attractive then ships of other cruiselines of a comparable size. It was just a pity that with the latest renovation the theatre had been removed to make space for a wellness area. The cabins are vary spacious and well equipped (although without bathrobes), and the available inside public areas is ample enough even in cool weather situations. Boarding and debarkation was very smooth and efficient. COMPARISON OF TOTAL CRUISE COST: COSTA vs e.g. OCEANIA (a luxury cruise line specially known for it’s exquisite food) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- COSTA ---------- Last minute cruiseprice = €700 p.p. for 9 nights in the cheapest cabin. Effective real additional costs for service fee + a modest amount of non-alcoholic drinks (1 specialty coffee, 1 non alcoholic drink + 0,5 bottle of mineral water a day): € 170. The total cost (without excursions) thereby comes to € 97 p.p per night Crew to Passengers ratio: 650/1700 = 38% OCEANIA ------------ Pseudo last minute cruiseprice (4 month before embarcation) = €1575 p.p. for 12 nights in cheapest cabin: € 131 per night all-in. Included in this price: * $400 board credit (repeater rebate + travel agent offer) which covers the service charge * limitless non alcoholic drinks + specialty Illy coffees/teas * free WiFi * a complimentary visit to a specialty restaurant every 3 nights (value of appx €30: €10 per night) * a complimentary full day shore excursion every 3 nights (which I value at € 50: €17 per night. List value is much higher but irrealistic) Crew to Passengers ratio: 787/1250 = 63% Deducting the value of the complimentary specialty restaurants + shore excursions, the daily rate comes to € 131-27 = € 104, €7 more then at Costa. COMPARISON CONCLUSION ------------------------------------ For a daily extra of € 7 p.p. one gets with Oceania next to free WiFi, limitless non alcoholic drinks and really exquisite food (e.g. including lobster, steaks, etc.; we experienced the quality on various previous cruises), much friendlier and quicker service: incomparable to Costa. If a specific itinerary is offered by Costa as well as Oceania I would allways choose Oceania. However, to get this all for this little extra, one has to be very alert on special offers, as the regular list prices of Oceania are very much higher. Moreover one has to value the complimentary specialty restaurants and shore excursions. If you don’t care for those, Costa may be a good bargain. SOME OBSERVATIONS on the COSTA NEOROMANTICA ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Positive points: ------------------- * Efficient boarding and debarkation * Very spacious and well equipped cabins (although without bathrobes) * Sufficient public areas (inside as well as on deck), inside even in cool weather situations * Linen towels in public restrooms (a luxury touch!) * Excellent Illy coffee (extra charge) * Offering of an area with popular classical music next tot he venues with popular music. Weak points: ---------------- * The penny pinching and high costs for extra's (like coffee during the day, better but still simple food, entry fee for aft deck, etc). During over 30 trips with other cruise lines we never experienced that one had to pay extra for items in the main restaurant, pizza, etc. * Excessive drink prices, e.g. € 3,50 for a cappucino coffee, € 8 for a non alcoholic coctail * The offered food was OK but nothing more. There was never anything on the menu which I would have ordered in even a simple local restaurant. * Service is very slow, mainly because of a crew to passengers ratio which is to low. * Most (but luckily not all) of the service personnel worked like robots, not giving the feeling they were happy with their job. They appeared to be overstressed and underpaid. * Very noisy animateurs * Dinner times are not well coördinated with timing of shows * No real theatre: just lounge shows * Complimentary coffee and tea is only available during breakfast + afternoon tea. * Tap water is available during lunch at the buffet restaurant, but not automatically offered in the main restaurant. * Hygiene is not stressed overly strong. * Life enrichment lectures were only at midnight .... FELLOW PASSENGERS ------------------------------- The passengers are mainly Italian and French, with a smaller but still considerable group of Dutch and Germans (departure was from Amsterdam). As far as we can tell almost no Americans, Englishman or Australians. Because of differences in culture and mentality the south European and north European passengers groups practically don’t mix. The whole atmosphere is more oriented towards the Italian style. E.g. where on ships with mainly Anglo-Saxon passengerst there is usually the silence of the grave after the last show, that’s the moment where on the NeoRomantica the big parties start. Announcements are always made in 5 languages: Italian, French, Spanish, English and German. Especially during the emergency exersize quite tiring. ITINERARY & EXCURSIONS ------------------------------------ In essence the cruise to the Norwegian fjord region was fine, although the time spend in small towns like Geiranger, Olden and Flam could have been slightly shorter as there is not much to do. Better spend part of the afternoon cruising the fjord. We didn’t use the shore excursions as these are excessively overpriced (as is the case with all cruiselines). We always organise excursions ourselves, whenever possible by renting a car. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our first cruise ever; and it will be not the last I think. The Norwegian Fjords are a super destination, Wonderfull sceneries, almost always daytime in this part of the year on the most Nordly destinations. The cabin (with ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever; and it will be not the last I think. The Norwegian Fjords are a super destination, Wonderfull sceneries, almost always daytime in this part of the year on the most Nordly destinations. The cabin (with seaview) was very comfortable and bigger then we thougt. The crew was very friendly and very international. The service and food was excellent (sometimes served a bit too cold). A lot of choise in the excursions, in all difficulties and prices. Embarcation was smootly and the quick desembarcation worked very fine. Tip 1: book also a drink package. It is much cheaper Tip2: avoid as much as possible the self service restaurant. Not for quality, but for the rude custumors. Tip 3: you are in a multi cultural invirement, so try the Samsara restaurant. Tip 4: check reguraly the prices before booking Minus point; entertainment, could be better, but this is not our cup of tea Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Our family and friends has been looking forward to this cruise for a long time, it was our first time on Costa Fortuna (we've been on several other cruises before). We are so disappointed and frankly, upset about the way they treated ... Read More
Our family and friends has been looking forward to this cruise for a long time, it was our first time on Costa Fortuna (we've been on several other cruises before). We are so disappointed and frankly, upset about the way they treated us throughout the trip. The worst part is, there were BED BUGS (as several of our group was bitten) and many of us was diagnosed with allergic reaction to these bites even weeks after the trip. The Boat - The ship itself is much smaller and older than other cruises. - Activities are made for people who either own a COSTA card or speak Italian/French. Not particularly friendly to outside tourists. The Rooms - Wifi cost 30 Euros an hour. And boy it is super slow. - The rooms are decent, we didn't have any issues with the room itself. - Bedsheets, towels, or wherever the bed bugs lived on, is DISGUSTING. Of course everything is bleached so by the looks of it, everything (looked) clean but clearly many of us that experienced these bites have a lot to say about the hygiene of their sheets!!! The Food - Not great but we expected this given our past experiences with cruises. - Prepare to pay to drink water. In the past, water as given to us at no additional cost. On the trip, it would cost 25 Euro for drinking water a day. The Service - If I could give negative stars, I would. Throughout the cruise, we were astonished by the quality of service received from our rooms, the restaurants and management. - Rooms: Because we lived in suites and was paired with butler service, there has been snarky remarks made by these staff to us about asking for additional towels, water etc. - Restaurants: They make it very difficult to order (often serving the wrong dishes that we ordered), but maybe, they are very understaffed/stressed/underpaid. But when we make any sort of request (nicely of course) we are shut down by rude responses and answers. - Medical: When some of our group members found out they had bed bugs bite, the doctor on board told us that it would be "impossible" to have gotten it from the boat since bed bugs can't live in this type of ventilation (thinking we are dumb). They charged us quite heavily for the medicine and IV and did not offer in any way to compensate for it. When we clearly stated the obvious pattern as more of our group got the same diagnosis, which we received these bites DURING the cruise and SLEEPING ON THEIR BED, they reluctantly told us to submit a request to their management. Of course we did, and received a slap in the face by the team claiming they don't have the authority to grant our request for medical claim (or any sort of apology really). The only thing they offered was laundry service for the clothes and a change of room (because obviously, they know it is bed bugs). Till today, we still have NOT RECEIVED any word from them. - Bonus: One of the room service personnel told us in confidante that in the past, there has been many bed bugs incidents. Still denying?? We are appalled and strongly suggest that you DO NOT take any of Costa Fortuna's cruise lines unless you want to also get bitten and spend weeks of applying medicine to your bites all over your body AND get treated horribly throughout the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Having read previous reviews of the Costa Fortuna and the Norwegian fjords cruise we had doubts and low expectations of the ship and the itinerary. However, we were very happy that everything was far beyond our expectations. We had ... Read More
Having read previous reviews of the Costa Fortuna and the Norwegian fjords cruise we had doubts and low expectations of the ship and the itinerary. However, we were very happy that everything was far beyond our expectations. We had previously been on a Carnival Line Caribbean cruise so we did not know what we would experience from an Italian line. However, we had a large and confortable cabin (2nd Deck) with ample wardrobe space; the food was excellent both at the buffet and in the dining room; the staff were friendly; service excellent and the entertainment varied and enjoyable. We took 5 excursions, which, despite the very cold and inclement weather,were generally good. We heartily recommend this cruise, which has a distinctly European flavour, and woulkd go on this line again, despite the saying "Costa Fortuna - costs you a fortune!) Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was a cruise I especially looked forward to , going North along the Norwegian coast had been on my to do list for a long time . The Costa Neoromantica is relatively small compared to the ships we have sailed on previously , and it was ... Read More
This was a cruise I especially looked forward to , going North along the Norwegian coast had been on my to do list for a long time . The Costa Neoromantica is relatively small compared to the ships we have sailed on previously , and it was our first Costa experience . We embarked in Amsterdam after a transatlantic flight , and we ended up being the first to arrive at the terminal . This gave me high hopes we would also be among the first to board the ship . We ended up being among the last , which reflects how poorly organized the process was . This was also the first time we had to stand in line again inside the ship to get our credit card hooked up to our Costa card . As expected everyone was sent to the buffet restaurant to have lunch , by the time we got some food it was almost 3 o'clock . Our cabin was just a standard balcony cabin , but it was surprisingly spacious , and the storage was the best I ever experienced on a cruise ship . I pounced on the coffee maker on the desk , because to my dismay there was no drink station at the restaurant . You actually have to pay for every cup of coffee or tea except at breakfast . Really , Costa ??? I mean , you get used to being charged for lots of things on cruise ships , but on all other ships we could get at least coffee , tea , and water at beverage stations in the buffet restaurant . Surprise , surprise , every coffee pod for the machine in the cabin was added to your bar tab . Being the tech nerd that I am , I purchased 3 hours of internet time to do some emailing etc , and I kept track by writing down my log-in times . They cut me off after half the time telling me my time was up . The arguing with guest services didn't do anything . They insisted they were right . I sprang for one more hour later into the cruise , got cut off after half the time . I had enough after that and decided to do without . The food in the buffet restaurant was not bad , selection was good , the ice cream was fabulous . However , the food they served at dinner in the main dining room was mediocre at best and heavily fish based . A couple of times I had to return my food because it was simply inedible . Never happened to us before on any ship we were on , and we have been on lots . The one really good thing was the itinerary , we got to see some marvellous sights and magnificent landscapes . If you decide to go for it , bring a good supply of Gravol , we ran into some really rough seas . No More Costa for me after this experience . Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
As first time cruisers we had a lot of questions. Cruise critic was very helpful for many of them. Neo romantica is a really beautiful ship and the staff are superb. The Baltic Northern Capitals are really beautiful and there are plenty of ... Read More
As first time cruisers we had a lot of questions. Cruise critic was very helpful for many of them. Neo romantica is a really beautiful ship and the staff are superb. The Baltic Northern Capitals are really beautiful and there are plenty of opportunities to see great art and design which we took full advantage of. We picked the all inclusive drinks package and enjoyed the range within in it. We really enjoyed the smaller bar entertainment where we found an excellent extempore pianist Akos who really had us sitting up and taking notice and a silver trio with sax, electric piano and excellent singer who provided a great atmosphere. Listening to the night out band in the background whilst drifting out of port looking out of the full length windows with a cocktail in hand and some nibbles of nuts, mini pretetzels and crisps was another pleasure. The other entertainment was also fine, the other standout being an italian tenor whose name I have misplaced - sorry that I have. We hardly ate or drank ashore just took a small bottle of water, a bit of fruit and hardboiled eggs from the breakfast buffet and a flask of spirits from our all inclusive package for pain relief for an osteoarthritic knee! We found the public transport affordable and clear and convenient meaning that we did not have to do much walking. St Petersberg did private tour which was three times what we paid for the actual cruise which we got on late avail..! At Stockholm we concentrated on the Museum of Modern Art which has an exhibition stuffed with Andy Warhol, Richard Hamilton, Matisses including his metal work, Piccasso etc etc. In Copenhagen we concentrated on the Museum of Design and saw some really unique beautiful things, again concentrating on maximum things to see per pace walked.Visby was on the itinerary but most people including ourselves never got to see it because the conditions were not right for the tender boat transfers and we have little time on Bornholm where we had to go to a small town on the other side rather than Ronne due to the sea and wind combined conditions making tender boat transfer too challenging. Also we went at the advertised time to pick up tender transfers and ended up at the end of the list as they were doling out tickets before the time advertised - my only real criticism. Strategically I think if you really want to be sure of seeing most of a tender boat destination with shorter time ashore then you need to pay out for the ship tour as they seemed to go ashore first and be least affected by the situation - understandably I suppose. Evening meals on board Neo Romantica were served; not buffet. The menus were varied and especially good if you like fine dining,italian approaches to food. Fruit was available throughout but vegetables tended to be nodded at through foams etc so ensure you get your fibre through salads and lunch buffet items if this is important for you. There was plenty of food overall. When ordering you need to say I want the soup, cheese etc though as at first we just told them what we wanted where there was a choice and so didn't get served the other items at all. If you did not like anything they were responsive to this, being willing to offer an alternative. As service is tailored to people relaxing and enjoying a leisurly meal rather than a fast food fill up, those with demanding stomachs may find it advisable not to miss an odd item from the grill or tea menu earlier. Snacks are not available at all times so keep an eye on food opening times! The hot chocolate drinks from the Chocolate bar are a particularly delicious fall back!The spa prices are nowhere to be found on costas website or by enquiry. On board we decided to avail ourselves of the spa access package for the whole 12 night cruise at 199 Euros for a couple or 123 Euros single. This provided access to facilities which were beautiful, clean and relaxing including thallostherapy pool, saunas at two different temparatures, steam room , frigidarium, tepidarium, foot baths, a relaxing warm room with sofas and heated ceramic ergonomic leaners and a japanese tea room with three choices of ayeravedic tea and a daily solarium session if wanted. Daily prices were 38 Euros and sometimes 25. There were plenty of clean towels available and hot and cold water to drink as well as showers. Lockers were digital which saved the issue of having to have coins available. There were plenty of treatments available and a hairdressers also on board. Prices were in the league of what people pay when when they are not going for cheapest end of the market but there were various package offers available on some days. All in all prices were nowhere near what we would would ever pay for anything being natural cheapskates but not sufficiently high for us to be tempted to make sarcastic remarks! Air hockey, table football, a small library with books in different languages and other entertainments were also around. The swimming pools are more accurately water holes to cool off in on deck - if you want to keep fit you'll have to use the gym or jog round the track on deck. You cannot plug any devices into the TVs in the cabins and we couldn't see any way of viewing your own media on the TV. The only TV channel in English is BBC and France 24 is sometimes in English. I think they may have had movies on demand but we didn't have time or inclination to explore what they were, another couple of nights and we probably would have done. One of us speaks a little of other languages and this made the cruise experience more fun too as we were able to chat a bit with other guests who also tried to utilise their English a bit. People who only speak English and want access to TV English programming may feel more isolated unless they bring their own media - a great chance to potentially connect with that other person who shares the same living space with you but is always busy doing something else! On a final note Amsterdam railway station is a nightmare as there are no porters or trolleys available and the left luggage lockers only work with credit and possibly debit cards and there are too few lockers for large suitcases and some of those available are at head height - you have been warned. It may be worthwhile trying to get a hotel added at Amsterdam when you book as this is of course one of the most beautiful cities with so much to see and do and will ensure you have somewhere to leave those cases. There was hardly any alcohol available at Costa's embarkation point. I think there may have been a bottle of wine, not sure whether it was openable there or not. After a long journey to the embarkation point access to a beer would have been great. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
This was my and my girlfriend's first sea cruise and we chose it as a relaxed way of seeing western Norway and also because it departed from a port relatively close to our home city. The cruise went from Amsterdam all the way up to ... Read More
This was my and my girlfriend's first sea cruise and we chose it as a relaxed way of seeing western Norway and also because it departed from a port relatively close to our home city. The cruise went from Amsterdam all the way up to Honningsvag and back, spearing the gorgeous fjords along the way. We had no trouble getting to the ship. The Amsterdam passenger terminal is very close to the Central Station (which is itself not that far from the Schiphol airport) and the terminal is not busy so the processing does not take long. Costa NeoRomantica is a 14 deck ship (Wikipedia seems to disagree, but I was just there), with the top 3 or so containing cabins for people who I sincerely hope donate to various charities, 4 more decks worth of living quarters for the average plebians and several recreational decks in between, the majority of which are occupied with bars and restaurants. Costs and value It was a promising ship, but I believe that how much you will enjoy this cruise and how costly it will be for you will largely depend on how much information you can acquire, how quickly you can acquire it and act upon it. This is of course true of any vacation and, I suppose, true of our lives in general, but it is especially applicable to this cruise, for it was rigged with extra costs. It appears that the price of the cruise itself, as high as it was, had in fact been cut for some time in order to attract more customers, but rest assured, the cruise company will try to make up for that loss in other ways at the customer's expense. Here, even the hidden costs have hidden costs. Most drinks on board are overpriced, something I suppose this cruise will share with all the others, and you are not allowed to bring any drinks or food with you from the shore for "safety reasons". Not making a profit is very unsafe, I agree. Your bags get x-rayed upon every embarkation, though the security staff did not care about our water, which makes me think it is all about the alcohol content of what you are bringing on board. On top of that, the prices of food and beverages you buy on board do not include the so called "service cost", which usually amounts to 15% of the price and usually only appears on the bill, once you have already been charged. The bright side of this is that you don't have to worry about tips and I hear that in countries like US 15% is the norm for tipping. If you are planning on having any alcoholic drinks, you may want to get the all-inclusive package. It is expensive, yes, but you will be amazed how quickly you will go over the limit if you don't buy it. A couple of soft drinks at dinner will cost you EUR 10. Our cruise was advertised as being 13 days. The 13th day was a straight out lie, since you have to clear your cabin by 8 a.m. (yes I know this is an industry wide problem); the 1st day of the cruise started in the evening and consisted of leaving the port of origin; and then there were the 4 days that were spent entirely at sea (bring your books). This leaves us with 7 actual days and the number of hours you are allowed on land each day differs from just enough to why did we bother waking up so early? So, if you do the math it all amounts to, let's see...1...6....not very good value for money. The destination and excursions The true prize of our trip was the destination and Norway is one diamond of a destination. It is difficult to judge the choice of the ports of call made by the cruise company, as it is trying to appeal to everyone's taste. The cruise did appear to cover all the different sides of western Norway, from the cute cities of the South to the lush fjords in the middle, to the barren cliffs of the North. However, as mentioned before, I found that the time you are allowed on land is not enough when set against the amount of time you have to spend on board. The cruise company offers several excursions in each port of call. You can book them from the comfort of your bed through the interactive TV. However, we quickly learned just how much more money you lose by booking the excursions through the cruise company instead of spending time on a bit of research and booking directly through local tour operators. A shuttle bus to and from the Norwegian North Cape cost about 60 Euro p.p. The same trip booked through the ship cost 80. For other excursions the price differences were even higher with barely any justification. And please note that Norway's prices are considered to be rather high already. Norwegians on their Western coast have a developed tourism industry and the port towns offer quite a few possibilities in the summer, from a simple bike rental to glacial hikes. There is usually a tourist information point right at the port where you get equipped with a free map and can see the various tours being offered. Despite the prices, most of the ship's excursions were quickly fully booked, so if you are going to book through the cruise company, do it before the trip or as soon as you enter your cabin. The quality of the excursions is also rather mixed. It is likely because they are executed by local operators, often several different ones per excursion. On one occasion the guide spoke good and clear English. On another part of the same excursion the bus guide spoke bad English and could be barely heard. However, in both cases you did at least get a sense that the local guides try. Either way, most of the excursions should have been called transfers. Really, all they do is get you to the place you want to visit. It so happens that Norway does not have much in terms of urban history that a guide could babble about for a long time. Facilities and things to do on the ship The ship has a little bit of everything available. There are two pools, two jacuzzis, a game room, a mini-library (read: two book cabinets), a fitness center, an overhyped spa, a little chapel, a couple of stores and more. Unfortunately no theater and that is especially unfortunate because there are so many different spacious bars so you know they could have made place. There is a game room on board but during our stay the machines were malfunctioning. Another small annoyance is that at 18:00 the crew starts taking off and stacking up the seat cushions on the whole of the upper deck, including the adults only section, leaving only a few places inhabitable. I guess adults go to sleep at that time and I have been doing it wrong all my life. There is, of course, a wi-fi connection. However, not only is it very expensive, but we were warned by one of the guides that the satellite connection is unstable and not worth it. Considering that Norwegian towns often have reasonably priced wi-fi available, the guides advice is worth listening to. The on board entertainment in general is a bit of a mixed bag. Although officially the program starts in the morning, only the evening part of it can be called entertainment. Everything before that is a poorly disguised filler. It consists either of spa commercials disguised as seminars or events that involve the guests entertaining one another and are therefore done at minimum cost to the cruise company. This is not as bad as it sounds because, by comparison, river cruises have far worse evening entertainment and nothing at all during the day, so the company's financial creativity is commendable here, but it is a little irritating that the company is trying to sell such filler as part of the entertainment. As for the evening entertainment, there is some variety, but a lot of it is clearly targeting the elderly. This is again forgivable because most of the guests appeared to be 50+, but this leaves the younger adults on the sidelines most of the time, which has as its result that when an interesting event does come along it is likely to be ignored by the younger out of habit, who could have otherwise enjoyed it. It is nice though that if you do not like the main even of the evening there are a few alternatives, and you can just go listen to a couple of guys playing classical music. For the youngest guests there appear to be some games and special baby-sitting entertainment programs, but most of the older kids just hang out in groups around the pool anyway, more than well entertained by one another without the assistance of the cruise company. The cabin The general issue cabin we had was quite spacious by ship standards. Very dominant in that space was the huge bed  a correct investment of space. The cabin design looks neat but has a flaw where parts of the cabinets protrude above both sides of the bed and also towards the end of it, so that getting off the bed from the sides without injury is challenging. If you want to connect an electrical appliance you may need a special connector. There was one in the room which worked for us (for us the voltage was right but the some plugs did not quite fit). There is a coffee machine and a fridge but no water cooker. The rest of the room is quite ordinary. There is a big screen interactive TV containing about 20 channels, but it was a bit of a letdown. On the one hand it has a lot of practical and useful functionality, like allowing you to order room service, providing port information and even providing a webcam view from the bow and from the stern, something I found out is standard on all Costa ships. On the other hand, the channels are mostly news channels and most of them are in Italian, because it is an Italian ship you see that departed from Amsterdam to go to Norway. Maybe the crew really value their TV. Considering that we spent at least 4 days purely at sea and considering the occasional empty afternoons, the cruise could really benefit from a higher selection of English channels and at least one movie channel. You can of course watch movies but at a high price (why don't you add some service cost on top of that?). There was a problem with the sewer closer to our cabin that created a nasty stench in the hallway, which lasted throughout the 1st half of the cruise, but it did get fixed eventually. Food and drinks The nourishment is good, and in fact, of all the things on board the food seems to justify the price of the trip the most. It gave us a scare at first because our first meal was a dinner and dinners on board would for the rest of our trip consist of very small (French cuisine size) portions, but the cruise made up for it by the all-you-can-eat breakfasts, lunches, tea-times and room services. But do heed that this is coming from a writer who is easily dazzled by any food, like a kid at an amusement park. Perhaps if the company diverted some of the funds spent on those ten different types of meat in its all-you-can-eat buffets towards its entertainment, it would balance things out a bit more. Dinners contained good variety, offering a taste of Italian, International and local cuisines (customary lobster included) and the quality of the meals was acceptable though not praiseworthy. This reviewer is not a fan of alcoholic drinks and my partner is a very moderate drinker (making us mortal enemies of the cruise industry) but when we did try their cocktails we were surprised how tasty they were. Almost worth the money. Servicing and staff Everyone is polite and predominantly helpful. Many of the staff could use some more English lessons though, if the cruise is trying to appeal to such an international clientele. This boat wears a very self-aware Italian face, as if it declares that they are Italian and the passengers are too. As mentioned before, the boat cruise was restricted to the Netherlands and Norway, while the crew appeared to be mostly Filipino, so I do not think the attitude is justified. A really nice feature is being able to order room service almost for free (say it with me now once more so we don't forget: "Service Cost"!). Information services are mostly ok. The travel papers we received prior to the departure contained a good deal of info and every evening during the cruise we would get a program for the next day with all the important information. But you only get the critical information concerning the ship. It does not tell you that even though some doors say crew only you can still go through some of them; it does not tell you that during those days you spend on sea there will be nothing for you to do but eat and read; it does not tell you about the cheaper alternatives to their expensive cruises and, although you can exchange Norwegian Crown for Euros, it does not tell you that this relates only to banknotes. There were other issues for us as well. With reference to the aforementioned bus trip to the North Cape, the staff member at the ship's tourist information desk told us that there was no other transportation there other than the busses they had booked, so she either lied or spoke when she did not know. Due to my unrelenting hope in human beings, I trust it's the latter. There was also a problem with the disembarkation in the ports where mooring at a berth was not possible. The ship's tender boats (read "life boats") would take guests ashore but this had to be done in many trips and some people (read us) had to wait a very long and uncertain time before we could leave. There were no embarkation or disembarkation problems with normal ports though. With reference to the already mentioned prices, they are explained ahead of time but it is done in such a way that the final price is always blurry. Verdict Hopefully the reader does not get too discouraged by my somewhat dark review - the cruise was in the end enjoyable, but you don't pay a mercenary to bake you cookies and you don't come to me for a pep talk. Final verdict is then that the cruise is average value for money, but it did provide us with a window into the beautiful Norway in relative comfort, albeit a small window...a small round attic window...partially barred. Port summary Hellesylt: Were not allowed off at this port. Geiranger: One of the most beautiful places Ive ever seen. Developed tourism. A tiny town. Trondheim: Small provincial, pretty churches, cheap city-wide wi-fi connection. Honningsvag: Northernmost town. Surprisingly warm. Barren but beautiful landscape. Tromso: Relatively large city. Not much to do and not particularly pretty. Leknes: Pretty islands (Lofoten) with small communities. All about hiking and boating. Olden: 2nd Prettiest place after Geiranger. Small towns. Home of the glaciers. Good hiking. Bergen: Nice little city. Interesting fish market and harbor, though very touristy.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Dining room staff, bar staff, cabin staff all very helpful and friendly English was not too good though. Reception staff though they wore English badges they could speak English but could not understand your problem in particular Jacques a ... Read More
Dining room staff, bar staff, cabin staff all very helpful and friendly English was not too good though. Reception staff though they wore English badges they could speak English but could not understand your problem in particular Jacques a French staff member was rude and abrupt to me. Food was good preferred the Giardino restaurant which we used at breakfast and lunch as it was buffet type though manic everyone rushing to find a table and one without plates piled up. The Botticeli Al La Carte restaurant which we used for the evening meal was only geared up to Italian food and the actual meal could take some considerable time to get served. Staff in dining room put on entertainment which was excellent. Was told only English & Americans tip though we were already paying compulsory tips in the cost of the cruise. We upgraded before the cruise to the drinks package for around 400 for the both of us we added up that it was worth it even though we are not serious drinkers as even a glass of water is charged for.No drinks offered with meals unless you paid for them, no offer of tea only 4-5pm in a designated dining area. No snacks between meal and no midnight buffets like we have experienced on other cruises. Odd mini snack handed out at the bar. Cabins are spacious and come complete with use of towelling robe which mosr wore to sit outside around the pool and slippers, mini bar which drinks are charged for and a coffee machine which any drinks taken are charged for we took our own kettle and adapter. TV in room we only found BBC World News majority of everything else was in Italian and French. Entertainment geared up for the Italians some seemed rather dated and childish things which the Italians seemed to like such as making a train of people dancing round the room or getting up on the dance floor and doing silly things with balloons. Enjoyed the dance groups and tenor singers but the nightly singer and her partners music was very repetative. The constant announcements in several languages got on your nerves especially as English seemed to be the last language. Very disorganised to get off the ship when the tender was required waited hours to get off and weather kept getting the blame majority of the problem was because they did not start letting people off sooner and in a more organised fashion, Italians do not believe in queuing and would push at customer services and to get off the ship. A time was anniunced to oick up tickets to nget off the ship to enter the tender boats but we found that these tickets had been handed out long before the time announced we always ended up with a high number, the first time tender boat was used to get off at Bornholm barely anyone other than the ship trips got to go there and weather was blamed some gave up and never went ashore others were taken to another place near Bornholm with barely anything there. The same happened when we was meant to used tender boats to visit Visby barely anyone got off to see that they abandoned it after ticket number 9 and we was 22 so never saw that place either. Why announce a time to collect tickets then hand them out a hour sooner. We had to pay to get on a coach at every port into the town and this was added to our cruise bill think this should have been included in the cruise. The chocolate bar was amazing every tyoe of chocolate drink and chocolates free if you had took the drinks package, next to their a cigar room where people could smoke if they did not want to go to the designated area outside. Outside we was told you were not allowed to reserve sun beds however on the adult deck only some had the same lounger and pods all the cruise by leaving their belongings there all day which seemed very unfair, the jacuzzi up there was amazing and water lovely and warm. There are 3 computers up on deck 10 in the library people forever queing to get on to them but not cheap at 10 a hour and connection rather poor I got a refund as argued that I had been charged when the ship had no connection they checked this out with head office and confirmed this. Wi fi available at a big cost but I never used it. A small selection of books in all languages in the library. Towels given out on the decks so no need to pack any No one dresses up on this cruise ship felt over dressed at times they only made an effort on the formal nights, even at evening meal many came in t-shirts which we feel should not have been allowed. Cannot comment on trips as we did our own thing much cheaper with exception to St Petersburg which we booked on line 3 weeks before the cruise wherever we tried the companies told us no group tours left so had to have a private one at the cost of 700 for 2 days this was more than we paid for the 12 day cruise we did not feel it was value for money the guides did not come as early as on the itinerary and got us back earlier than the itinerary and rushed us from one place to the other we had to snatch taking photos and lunch was 10 minutes manically eating our food same with a souvenir stop over that was 10 minutes rushing about to frantically find something not enjoyable at all as not able bodied to do this, guides very informative and friendly. Not nice having to be out your cabin by 8am when you luggage is taken off ship 1am previously so everyone looking for somewhere to sit waiting for their colour to be called to disimbark. All in all had a great time great company even though only 300 Brits on board made some great friends, liked the elegance of the ship and enjoyed the cruise even with a few things that got on our nerves so booked another one this November. Used the hairdressers 3 times whilst there which was good and around 30 for blow dry. Was told that staff have been informed that it will be compulsory to speak good English over the next couple of weeks so no idea if this as been an issue as we struggled to find staff that spoke both good English and understood what you was saying back. They did have a member of staff Sean who you could meet once a day with problems, he seemed to play things down as I assume they are instructed to do.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
I am retired and have so far 121 cruises on 51 different ship. We flew into Amsterdam and arrived at the cruise terminal at noon. There were about 2000 people, in the venue with 200 seats, and people were still disembarking.When they ... Read More
I am retired and have so far 121 cruises on 51 different ship. We flew into Amsterdam and arrived at the cruise terminal at noon. There were about 2000 people, in the venue with 200 seats, and people were still disembarking.When they called to start boarding at 1 p.m. utter chaos started, because the majority of the passengers were Italiens with at least 4 children each. We finally made it on board. The ship is "Costa" but not as overdecorated as the other ships. Cabin 7821 was a standard cabin with a shower, with a larger balcony than usual. First seating for dinner was at 6:45 p.m. a bit late for some. The restaurant was nicely decorated, but the waiters have to many tables compared to other cruise lines, so they are constantly running, still the service takes very long. The food was Italian, and we found it to be quite good. On the 5th day we stopped the maitre D when he passed by and told him our complaints. He had not been to our table before, after that he made it an issue to pour the water into our glasses. Since there were more than 1200 children on board, which could do whatever they wanted, the rules and regulations were not observed at all. e.g. 12 year olds were playing the machines in the casino, 4 year old naked girls were in the mens sauna, the whirlpool reserved for adults was constantly full of children, and all the people in charge or the officers looked the other way. When we finally approached them, because the no smoking signs were not observed at all, and people smoked heavily everywhere, he said: so far nobody has complaint. I said "am I a nobody", he shrugged and left me standing there. The shows varied in quality, some were so bad that we left, some were ok. BUT it seems to be an Italian custom to come 15 min. late into the show. So everybody has to get up and there was fighting over the vacant seats. The on board activities catered exclusively to the Italians, English was spoken by 20 % of the crew, the rest of them did not understand a word. Tips are automatically added to your bill, drinks are relatively expensive, but still international standard. We stopped in Cork, nice to visit Cough after you have done the Blarney stone. Vigo is a wonderful port, lots to do, Lisbon is always one of our favorite stops. Cadiz was very nice and unfortunately we arrived in Barcelona at 8;30 and left at 1 p.m. already. Disembarcation in Savona was as it is with other cruise lines, BUT the minute you step out of the terminal, chaos starts, no order at all, and we took the Costa Bus to Milan, which was a good deal, since it took the bus 2:30 h to get there, but 1 hour to get out of the parking lot. We had too many passengers on the bus, so they had to off load 4 people. As a resume we strongly suggest to avoid Costa during Italian vacation time. Children travel for free and some parents in an inside cabin bring their five children. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
COSTA DELIZIOSA: BALTIC CRUISE ALL GREAT PORTS BUT . . . 1. Bad food badly cooked. Absence of fresh ingredients renders all dishes bland, often breaded and undercooked, covered with glop. Even pizza and minestrone not Italian on ... Read More
COSTA DELIZIOSA: BALTIC CRUISE ALL GREAT PORTS BUT . . . 1. Bad food badly cooked. Absence of fresh ingredients renders all dishes bland, often breaded and undercooked, covered with glop. Even pizza and minestrone not Italian on this over-Italian fiasco that does not represent Italy well. Hot food is seldom hot. The coffee is no good. There is no menu on display at any time. Everything is over-salted. Pasta everywhere. The joke is these not-so sophisticated Europeans are all pretending to be enjoying themselves with their constant reliance on wine and bottled water but the food is half outright inedible, half same-old same-old. The cheapest ingredients prevail. For instance, the apple juice is only 10% of fruit origin. 2. Temperature issues. Zero air circulation can render the Albatros Restaurant -- effectively their only -- uncomfortably hot and humid. The Buffet area can be way too cold. Cigarette smoke prevails in corridors and gathering places. 3. There is no buffet option after lunch, only a pizza bar that the hungry over-rely on despite its lack of flavor. Plastic food. Cheese is everywhere "cheesefood". No pizza ten through ten, only a tea and coffee station that can run out of milk and be refused absolutely replenishment. "No" is often the answer, mocking laughter the response. 4. While the magician and the mime are good, the general sashay and leap is not choreography (Kim excepted). Except for the jazz trio, the acts are generally mediocre. Fran, the emcee, is useless and not social. She actually upstages each act by announcing her own entrance into the audience after introducing the act by not dousing the backlight. "I HAVE A DREAM" is the worst show I've seen in my life (from NYC I've seen thousands). The lights are aimed at the eyes of the audience. This includes lasers. Not nice, escpecially for old people. Not professional. Amateurism abounds throughout. Salting the food injures the old particularly. In the general melee, old people are actually in danger -- on the fjord trip one gentleman fell amid the onboard confusion and had to have his leg amputated that day. 5. Since you pay in euro for everything, Costa can exact an exorbitant rate of exchange along with their already exorbitant price for everything (except medical attention). They tack on four or five cents US per euro. You want room service, it will cost, as will movies in cabin or out. Even ping pong balls cost in this brave new world. Forget the FREE ship's tour. Toss out tradition. You want a beverage? How much you got? 6. Babel. It was obvious from get-go as we wait four hours to be allowed on the ship. Why can't the entire cruise experience be taken into account? More pushing and shoving among Europeans than Americans or Brits, we notice, more xenophobia. No real mixing on the fjord cruise if you're Anglo. Cacophony. 7. Excursions run generally twice the going rate but not in St Petersburg, one tour you have to take because the Russians won't let you in without an expensive and punishing visa processing from them. The $600+ price tag for the weekend seemed safer with Costa than doing business with the Russians, which I found no less dodgy. Problem is Costa tour guides are corrupt and Euro tourists are docile. In our case, we're hauled out of the Hermitage by Olga, which has 45 minutes still to go, and led to this nasty windowless tourist shop on a pearl of a day. I actually witness the bribe go from the shopdealer to the bus driver. When I point this out to Costa, the rep shrugs (always with the comeback) tourist shops are standard on these excursions. Actually that weekend we do another tour with another guide Tatiana whose bus-driver offers to do a drive-by on another tourist site rather than take us to a shop. Tatiana has us vote. She is a country girl, she tells me. Maybe that explains her willingness to give us what we want. But the food offered on lunch both days is a joke. Vegetarians, we get a little pile of plain rice and another pile of frozen peas and carrots. 8. Costa knows all this, and I know they are cynical. I know this from my conversations with the staff, who will readily lie to you. An unnecessary conversation with the chief service person Katia (this our first request) consisted of a tirade from her when all we asked for was a discreet chat with the maitre'd. No library, by the way. The books are literally trash. 10. Invasive overuse of the speakers in languages most of us don't understand. One comes to ignore them as tasteless pitches for more business. Evidently other than silly games the few free events this ship offers are but brief pitches for our financial expenditure. Exception, a decent lecturer who gave but two in each 12-day period. PLUS THE NORWAY FJORD CRUISE FAILS IN HALF ITS PORTS . . It's just that Costa is so cheap we wind up in cargo ports and places useless to non-excursionists. Finally, are those of us so few who don't want to queue up and sit down and be led around like children? Are ports ships can berth in becoming useless for the traveler? It's true that the three ports out of seven I take issue with as deeply dull (Honningsvag, Leknes, Andalsnes) I secured some payoff out of (a herd of reindeer, a stave church, a 19th c. octagon church) but we could have done so much better in near-by real ports. Nice as Norwegians are, their cost of living is the highest in the world, twice NYC! It's also cold, windy and fickle with fog and showers, so inevitably you end up with a respiratory ailment, especially with this nonfood we're trying to survive on. I think the fjords are overrated, at least from what I've seen on this cruise. Alaska's Inside Passage is but half the price and Vancouver is a great port. Just rent a car for a week and head to Denali. Sure, the euro is $1.24 but there are people here who charge you $1.49 anyway. For two cups of java and one danish in a modest dive in Bergen, we were charged 132 Kroner, which comes to $30. We thought Costa, being the biggest fleet in Europe, would double-down and raise their ante for excellence. Instead, having cruised four continents with them in the past, I think they're cashing in on the credibility achieved by other more accountable brands. I could never have imagined there could be such a confluence of disappointments possible within one established brand. Without meaning offense, I'd say the Concordia disaster is completely understandable under the circumstances. As well as default as a mode, this two-year old ship has serious air issues they're aware of. It is not a good value. It does not represent the industry. Europe is losing its way. While US and Canada become more European, Europe has dumbed down. In 55 years of sailing the food is the worst we've seen on a cruise ship. We both became ill from it as a consequence. Neither of us ever do vendetta, but in this instance we feel the information should be out there. There is a lot more negatives we could cite such as St Petersburg ballet which did not have an elevator forcing the patrons (one coming in a wheelchair) to be hauled up several flights only to get half-sight of a stage for their dream of a lifetime. St Petersburg, they say, is nine months of anticipation and three months of disappointment. That could very well be MO of the Costa Deliziosa instead of the lie "Experience pure pleasure" while they bombard you with videos in Italian of gold facials. How delude yourself with extras when half the basics are missing? Our last meal with them, by the way, was a total disaster -- impossible for anyone to eat. It's hard not to believe giving us the worst meal of the trip was the chef's way of saying good-bye. Costa-style. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We joined the cruise at Amsterdam, having made our own way there and spending a couple of days sight seeing before we embarked. Embarkation was slow and a bit haphazard, but we eventually boarded around 2.30, having arrived at 1.30. Lunch ... Read More
We joined the cruise at Amsterdam, having made our own way there and spending a couple of days sight seeing before we embarked. Embarkation was slow and a bit haphazard, but we eventually boarded around 2.30, having arrived at 1.30. Lunch was provided on arrival and our cabin was ready immediately, our bags arrived quickly too. All good news to start with. The first impression of the ship is that is gaudy and glizzy - one might say full of bling. The colours used throughout are really bright, with loads of lights, which almost hurt the eyes to look at. Cabins, however, were light, bright and much less colourful! The standard of accommodation in the cabin was very good, it was always kept beautifully clean and everything worked, as you might expect on an almost new ship. We picked this holiday for the itinery - Tallin, St. Petersberg, Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen and back to Amsterdam so the programme was quite hectic with lots of time in port. We only did excursions in St. Petersberg and did our own thing in the other ports which worked out well. Most times the ship was 'parked up' quite a way outside the town and Costa put on shuttle buses for passengers, which worked well but were quite expensive. There were times when staff at the tour desk were rather misleading of their description of how long it might take to walk into town, which meant that one bought a shuttle bus ticket when it was not necessary. The standard of the excursions we did was very good but because of the lateness of one arriving back to the ship we were unable to take another trip which we had booked, which was very annoying. Days at sea were full of opportunities to do something but most of it was not to our taste. There were approximately 300 English speaking passengers out of 2200 (ship not full), the majority of the rest were Italian. This resulted in multi-language announcements which could get intrusive. For example, the 'card room' is actually an open space on the side of the biggest lounge area. Whenever cards were being played (e.g. Bridge), there would be a fashion show, quiz or someting else noisy going on right nearby which was irritating. Because of the open plan nature of the lounges as well, smokers were placed quite close to non smokers, so there was often a smell of cigarette smoke wherever you sat. The evening meals were extremely good, although some of our table-mates were critical of the level of choice. Each dinner was at least five courses and some of them were 'themed'. We were on second sitting, which was not until 9 p.m. This meant that often we did not finish eating until 11, after which one could go to the disco or a show if one wanted. The self-service cafeteria was always a bit of a scrum and we ended up trying to avoid it for breakfast, going to the restaurant instead. Lunch was available at both locations too. My biggest grip with Costa is that they try to get more money out of you whenever they can. From the minute you board the ship, they take photographs of you at every opportunity, for which they charge 9.99 euros each. Of course, you don't have to buy them, but it does become irritating. We also had a bottle of water in our cabin with a note saying that if we opened it, the price would be charged to our bill - about 1.30 euros, I think. This is petty when, had we paid full price, the cabin would have been 4000 euros between the two of us. There is also a fee-paying restaurant that one can use as an alternative (20 euros)and cappucino and espresso coffees are also charged as extras. One lovely event is the 'elegant tea' which happened twice within our cruise, beautiful variety of teas, exquisite sandwiches and cakes with strawberries dipped in chocolate. Everyday afternoon tea was supplied in the self-service restaurant, but the elegant one was far superior. Disembarkation was well organised and our luggage easy to find when we got off. I wouldn't go with Costa again because I didn't really enjoy the daytime activities and wouldn't want to pay full price but I suspect that it would suit some people very well. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We have cruised on Costa twice, in 2010 on the Luminosa, in 2011 on the Costa Deliziosa. I am amazed at the low average score. he last cruise we boarded the ship in Amsterdam. Reasonably fast boarding procedure but it will be faster if you ... Read More
We have cruised on Costa twice, in 2010 on the Luminosa, in 2011 on the Costa Deliziosa. I am amazed at the low average score. he last cruise we boarded the ship in Amsterdam. Reasonably fast boarding procedure but it will be faster if you are a Costa club member. The Costa Deliziosa is a large ship but with more elevators than you can you care for. Our cabin was nice and spacious and light, the balcony had enough space. You can't book the weather but we spent lots of time outside. The first harbor was Bergen, Norway. Beautiful place and it does not rain there half as often as they say. We have been there many times so we walked around and took the funiculair up the mountain. Then on to Iceland. I like sea days but if you don't then you probably would not have chosen this trip. Your loss. Akureyri on the north of Iceland is a nice small place and has a beautiful botanic garden. There are tours to the volcanic countryside with some beautiful sights and a large waterfall. From Iceland we sailed to Greenland. There we visited 2 harbors, small villages, where you were landed on shore with the boats. We watched whales, visited a Inuit family, walked to a gletcher and enjoyed every minute of our stay there. Lots of ice around us. Returning to Reykjavik we had another view of Iceland, then on to the Faroer which is a beautiful number of islands, last port of call was Invergordon in the north of Scotland and after a day at sea back in Amsterdam. On the ship there were lots of activities, nice shows in the large theater, disco for the youngsters (there were lots of young people on board) and some very nice singers in the bars. We dined at a table with 5 other couples, who were matched by the catering staff after the first hectic evening. Perfect! Now I am writing all this just to tell you how we enjoyed this trip and have not met a single person who was not full of enthusiasm. The ship is excellent and the prices on Costa are very reasonable compared to other, moe luxury cruiselines. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
embarkation day was messy and a long wait in a very hot room with few seats. finally getting called to board, we made on our onto the ship, but were not allowed to go directly to rooms, as they were not all ready yet, so we joined the ... Read More
embarkation day was messy and a long wait in a very hot room with few seats. finally getting called to board, we made on our onto the ship, but were not allowed to go directly to rooms, as they were not all ready yet, so we joined the hoards in the Buffet area. This would prove to be the first of many disappointing meals. When we found our rooms, they were nice, roomy and well-lit, but with smaller closet spaces than I had expected, and very basic needs in the bathroom. Our steward was very nice, and was accessible at all times thru the cruise, in fact, he was the one bright star on the trip. After the long,(as it was given in many, many languages) safety drill, we all met up in the dining room for the second of bad meals. I doubt I have ever seen such a display of boring-to-mediocre offerings on any cruise line. You had little to no choice but to buy drinks-even non-alcoholic types. There was orange juice (or grapefruit some mornings) tea, coffee and water for lunch and dinner, and everything else had to come thru the bar, even iced tea, which was canned! The one thing that I would label edible was the pasta with meat sauce, most everything else was just this side of passable. For an Italian cruise line, you would think pizza would be good, but the frisbees they offered were more like three-day old crust with a thin smear of sauce, thinly sprinkling of cheese, and your choice of either margarita style or sliced (and really greasy and awful) hot dogs......yes, hot dogs for sausage!I have eaten a lot of pizzas, even in Italy and they would probably chuck these things into the garbage, also. The soft serve ice cream machine was thinned down with water to make it go further, but also added chunks of ice to your dessert, salad dressings were watered down to serve more people, and the desserts were just plain bad. The staff in the MDR tried their best to serve, but are so over-worked it was hard for them to do a decent job. Courses were skipped, food forgotten, drinks never served and bread baskets not filled was pretty much the norm every night. And no buffet for dinner? Come on, it was the MDR, the pay-for-dining venue, or nothing. One night one of our people didn't wait formal dinner, and wandered up to the buffet where he spied hamburgers being cooked only to be told he wasn't allowed to have one, as it was for the kid's formal meal. Would one burger really short them that much? The decor of the ship, I find loud and garish, nothing seems to match or have a scheme to it, it looks like random, brassy items shoved into a room together. altogether a cruise that made us flee the ship at every port to seek out food and make me resolve to never set foot on a Costa ship again. In case you think I am judging this by one bad cruise, we did a Costa trip a couple of years ago, and as mad as I was at that cruise, this one topped it by a mile! Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click