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13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
Arrived at the port at 1pm to find pushing , shoving and yelling and no signs to help and had to hunt for assistance. Finally on board and we were directed to the buffet as our cabin was not yet ready. More pushing, shoving and yelling ... Read More
Arrived at the port at 1pm to find pushing , shoving and yelling and no signs to help and had to hunt for assistance. Finally on board and we were directed to the buffet as our cabin was not yet ready. More pushing, shoving and yelling with lines to the buffet ,scrambling for a table and the food was not good. 6pm and no suitcases but I found them by the elevators and took them to our cabin. Dinner: we finally found our assigned table but there was no place left for us. More pushing , shoving and yelling as there were about 60 other passengers without tables and only one Maitre D who could reassign tables and only he could take you to the new table so he was running around like a chicken with its head cut off . Our cabin was pleasant with a balcony.Our bathroom was "stocked" with one small piece of ordinary soap and a liquid soap dispenser in the shower.Our balcony neighbour smoked frequently and even the ash came onto us. Coffee and tea were only available at breakfast and afternoon tea.Any other time like lunch or dinner you had to pay for it. The coffee served often tasted stale and reheated. Water was available at the buffet but if you wanted table water in the dining room at lunch or dinner you paid for it At sea the buffet was closed in the evening so if you wanted a snack there was a pizza room with a charge. Food: served almost warm,never hot, and of mediocre quality. The only salad served was sad looking green salad with a few garnishes and commercial tasting dressing Meal service in the dining room at breakfast and lunch was very slow and often the waiters were grumpy. Meals in the buffet had long lines and poor food. It had the atmosphere of a high school cafeteria Library: the books were old paperbacks left by passengers and the Costa label stuck on.They then filled out a triple form to take them out. There were generous areas for smoking but that did not stop some passengers for lighting up wherever they felt like it.Passengers were told in the daily bulletin not to enter the buffet in bathing suits but that did not stop them. They also left their towels on the sun chairs and disappeared the result was that these were in short supply. Breakfast in the cabin.5 euro charge Often the ship was docked far from the entrance a shuttle was provided with a charge for it At each entrance to the dining rooms when about 600 people would charge in at the same time only one hand hygiene gel dispenser was provided and it was often empty. The ports were interesting( which is the main reason we chose this ship) but they did not always stay for a full day. If there was ever a problem the staff would make the excuse that "the ship is full". Surely they would have known this for some time and made adjustments? It seemed to be understaffed which is perhaps the reason some of the staff were grumpy and less helpful than usual. On the positive side the Costa theatre perfomances by their entertainment team were very innovative and professional. Also on the positive side we arrived back healthy and in one piece! The business model seemed to be like Ryan Air i.e. charge for everything and anything they could. However what we paid for the cruise did not reflect this and so we feel we did not get what we paid for. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
First Costa Cruise after 1 NCL and 3 Celebrity. Only company for Canrian Islands in July, with a very intersting deal for a Balcony "Premium" stateroom. Embarkation was slow and a little chaotic but bags were waiting at our ... Read More
First Costa Cruise after 1 NCL and 3 Celebrity. Only company for Canrian Islands in July, with a very intersting deal for a Balcony "Premium" stateroom. Embarkation was slow and a little chaotic but bags were waiting at our cabin. Cabin kept immaculate by our steward, towels changed daily and beach/pool towels on request. Plenty of storage, surprisingly spacious and a large comfortable bed. Small but adequate balcony. Clean ship. Decor is kitsch, but less in real life than on the pictures... Main restaurant is good.(Italian) food very nice, if not amazing. Portions would be regarded as small by some US guests. Buffet restaurants are noisy and more chaotic. There are lot of "mediterranean" people on this cruise so do not expect straight queuing, and be prepared some times to cope with the crowd... Average food. Continental breakfast in cabin. At the buffet restaurant : no eggs.You have to go to the main restaurant if you want eggs. Very effective room service ( 15/20 minutes). Holiday camp style entertainment at the pool venue. Most of the Theatre shows very amateur but some of them of high quality. Nevertheless lively atmosphere with lot of young and older cruises enjoying themselves in the different bars ; "italian" atmosphere. Be aware that the cruise line is somewhere "money grabbing " : especially on photos/videos and shore excursions. But we always organise our excursions by ourselves : Costa doesn't provide any information on ports... Disembarkation at Savona was rapid. But leaving the port with the local shuttle bus needs nearly one hour Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2013
As a group of four Canadians travelling together, this is the first time we have had so many negative things to say. Embarkation went well. Ship itself was nice with excellent teen club. Cabin and Dining Service was excellent, and we ... Read More
As a group of four Canadians travelling together, this is the first time we have had so many negative things to say. Embarkation went well. Ship itself was nice with excellent teen club. Cabin and Dining Service was excellent, and we really appreciated the guys we got to know. Other staff seemed more stand-offish. A lot of them did not look like they were happy in their jobs. Nightly entertainment was appreciated, and some were totally awesome. Cabin with window was very nice--more spacious than inside cabins we have been in on other ships. Disembarkation also went well. **Pet Peeves: ----Smoking was disgusting. We were so used to non-smoking in public places in Canada we were grossed out on the ship. We all were stuffed up every morning onboard and found bars etc too smoky. Non-smoking areas right beside smoking tables did not work. --- Rude, loud children yelling and screaming in hallways outside our room ....up til 1:30 at night. Did not stop until guest services called several times. --- Forced to be assertive/aggressive which is not usually the "Canadian" way.... otherwise you would **:never get off the elevator as some of the mostly Italian guests would plow onto the elevator as soon as it stopped ** never get through the self-serve line as some people continued to butt in front -- Shore excursions cancelled in English several times, because of lack of numbers -- Nickel and diming by Costa... were told not to bring drinks on board ship because of health concerns. Water bottle in fridge was going to cost $2.99! Had no filling of water bottle signs by water dispensers in self-serve restaurant areas. Pops/Sodas extra cost. -- Shuttle service to edge of port given $6 charge per person...would find out night before in newsletter and required to get a ticket if we wanted to use it. They did not tell patrons that in Malaga, for example, there is a cheap public bus that comes right into port, as well as the Hop On Hop Off Bus. Sad! Even some staff that we talked to found some of the Italian patrons rude and bold. -- English was usually the fifth or sixth language used for messages on the loud speaker or stage, (if used at all)   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
Four days after the Concordia drama, the fully booked Serena departed for a 12 day cruise to the Canary islands, but it was a very disapointing cruise for several reasons. -Safety: the safety exercice was reduced to standing in front ... Read More
Four days after the Concordia drama, the fully booked Serena departed for a 12 day cruise to the Canary islands, but it was a very disapointing cruise for several reasons. -Safety: the safety exercice was reduced to standing in front of the lifeboats for 30' with a short aviation-style explanation how to inflate the life jacket(4 days after Concordia disaster!) -The ship: too big (3800 pax)overcrowded with mostly italians from who you wander how they can afford such a trip (low price vacation offered to workers by company?): large "very popular"families with babies and badly educated children, noisy,no dress codes at all, eating huge amounts of food all day long and occupying all the spaces on board (reminder: we have done two other cruise with Costa with "normal" people....) -Design: where has gone the famous italian taste? Not a sinle inch is left without fancy-fair style decoration, crazy colours and figures all over. -Cabins: the only pluspoint (we had booked a balcony): soft design, very comfortable, excellent bedding, functionnal bathroom, lots of stowing space. -Restaurants: 2 classic restaurants (3800 pax!)but many "bad" tables:no view, against wall, close to kitchen entries and service islands = extremely noisy. No possibility at all to change. -Food: ok except poor choice at lunch in the classical restaurant and very repeatative in the overcrowded self-service (dirty tables due to too many crowds) -Staff: the non-europeans (asians a.s.o)are still very friendly and smiling, but demotivated since their (poor) wages were turned from € to $ (same amount!)for working 13h a day for 6-8 months without a single day off. The european staff is mostly ignoring the clients (especially if you are not italian) -Stops: on this trip , the Serena was mostly docked in the industrial parts of the harbours, very far away from the cities (shuttle tickets sold on board) -Entertainment: in the theater, 2/3 good shows, but all day long very loud games presented by screaming presentators all over deck 5 -Prices: have gone up a lot: 5€ per person for cabin breakfastservice(free untill last month), classic drink package at 119€, and even a guided ship visit at 75€ per person! Drinks in the bars also quite expensive (+15%service) CONCLUSION: if you are looking for a "serene" winterbreak in company of normal educated fellow travellers, avoid this noisy lower class fancy-fair. Read Less
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