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5 Costa Amsterdam Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
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
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