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126 Costa Dubai Cruise Reviews

I agree with nearly all the comments made in the reviews regarding the 1st leg. We felt like 2nd class citizens. Most staff were under trained but about half were smiling and friendly. Only watchable TV in English was News and ... Read More
I agree with nearly all the comments made in the reviews regarding the 1st leg. We felt like 2nd class citizens. Most staff were under trained but about half were smiling and friendly. Only watchable TV in English was News and documentaries on China's CGTN network. Entertainment was quite poor with the best act being a comedy magician on the night before disembarkation. No milk or fridge in our cabin. We could only use our balcony when at sea since there was always cleaning, painting & maintenance being done while in port and the balconies on deck 2 were used as a through way for staff so the extra cost for the balcony was not good value. Why does a brand new ship need painting? Mandatory €10 per person per day (including disembarkation day) for "Service Charge" plus another service charge on any drinks and food purchased. Mixing cultures and too many languages really doesn't work for me. Every announcement was repeated in about 5 languages and the behaviour of some passengers in the buffet restaurant beggars belief with pushing and piling plates to overflowing with one type of food and thus quickly depleting amount left for other people. We've sailed with a fair number of cruise lines and therefore we have something to judge Costa against. One gets the impression that Costa's aim was to relieve passengers of as much money as possible. This was the worst cruise we have been on and no way will be sail with Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Cabin was still brand new and vey nice, only down side no fridge. Food was not up to standard and buffet food very poorly presented. Company policy dictates that water is not to be provided with lunch or dinner, passengers MUST purchase ... Read More
Cabin was still brand new and vey nice, only down side no fridge. Food was not up to standard and buffet food very poorly presented. Company policy dictates that water is not to be provided with lunch or dinner, passengers MUST purchase bottled water. Skim milk was not available at all. A large number of passengers very rude pushing and shoving, taking more food than they could possibly eat (you would think they had never seen food before) this made the cruise experience very unpleasent and would NEVER recommend a Costa cruise to anyone if this is normal behavior on their cruises. Shore excursions very expensive, best to do your own thing by hiring a local taxi. There is a €10.00 per day per person gratuity fee that all passengers must pay, when passengers starting complaining that they would rather pay the gratuity directly to the staff that were looking after them it was suddenly changed to a hotel service charge (we were lead to believe that the staff never actually receive any of this so called gratuity). Activities on board very limited mostly dance classes. Evening entrainment very boring with the exception of the Tenor who quite frankly was too good for the ship. Overall a very disappointing experience. First and last Costa cruise. NEVER AGAIN. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our 50th wedding anniversary and wanted to see Dubrovnik, the excursion was 49eu pp and was advertised for 4 hrs duration was only 3 hrs and at night only saw the main street in the old town. Excursions were expensive one was ... Read More
This was our 50th wedding anniversary and wanted to see Dubrovnik, the excursion was 49eu pp and was advertised for 4 hrs duration was only 3 hrs and at night only saw the main street in the old town. Excursions were expensive one was 145eupp for 10hrs, and was just walking everywhere. Did have a nice lunch though. On arrival we were welcomed into a huge shed with 4/5000people all arriving at the same time, what a joke, it took 3hrs to load all the passengers. Why did we all arrive at the same time? ever heard of allocating times for arrivals. Also there was no water during this waiting period. The service from wait staff initially was appalling, the Indian and the Chinese were not well cordinated, didnt seem to know their duties, felt sorry for them. The restaurants decore were what you would expect from a brand new ship, very elegant, also the food was good, but always cold! this pattern ran thru all food outlets in the ship. Some of the behavior of a lot of the passengers left a lot to be desired, at the buffet piled their plates with food like it was the last supper. There was a masked gala advertised on their original website which never happened, just a few staff wearing masks. We expected a formal dinner dance like other cruise ships have. The nightly entertainment was not as expected and in some cases was amateur. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Looked inviting good price and places we had not been before To start with the best parts throughly enjoyed the cruise ship,and decor outstanding,crew,staff excellent food very good and overall 6/10 1/ But as we arrived on the ... Read More
Looked inviting good price and places we had not been before To start with the best parts throughly enjoyed the cruise ship,and decor outstanding,crew,staff excellent food very good and overall 6/10 1/ But as we arrived on the morning at 9 am and had a taxi to the ship for 9.30 and then discovered we couldn’t board until 8pm what nonsense then they gave us lottery tickets to board in order which would have taken for ever eventually it was a free for all and boarded 4 pm however didn’t do the safety drill that night and a day later they informed us of the drill time and was away on a trip so never did it contrary to Sea going Legislation 2/ At dinner time was then informed of the need to buy water at the dinner table which is a No No when you could bathe in it up in the Buffett. 3/ the cleanness in the upstairs dining area is compromised by hundreds of people filling up unclean water bottles and flasks because of the no water policy in the dining room it’s a disaster waiting to happen. 4/ I have the need to use the disabled toilet but 70% of them did not work or the doors were turned off 5/ on the night of the Buffett only one ordinary toilet was working with all those hundreds of people on that deck 3 times I waited outside the locked sit down toilet only to find they had been locked due to blockages 6/ we were charged €20 a day service charge which we were told could not be removed but none of the crew gets any of this amount it goes directly as profits and decided this wasn’t fair so gave payments to persons accordingly 7/ we had our passports confiscated on day one and didn’t have them until the morning we left the ship in Kula Lampur,we should have been given them the night before and signed a release form so we wouldn’t have to worry about missing our flight 8/ None of the discounts available on board were accounted for in the inroom TV screens and when I was told about the 25% discount on a bottle of Prosecco which wasn’t on my bill you said it did not apply to this particular cruise what a con and you still owe me €3.25 for this discount 9/ At the theatre shows which were fabulous to get a good seat you had to be there 20 minutes early and were then subjected to continuous advertising which after a while became intolerable 10/ No English on any of the TV channels but plenty of other languages available 11/ Chaos when we docked on deck One/Two because of amateur persons performing the landing exercise 12/ would have like a Italian Pizza on deck 13 but every time we went there it was just dry Foccacia bread with no sauce or taste. 13/ And sadly always felt like a second class citizen over the Chinese persons on board 14/ And most of all it was a disaster for Costa Cruises in public relations as hundreds of people I spoke to would never book with Costa Cruises again Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Chosen this cruise line because of the itinerary offered and being an Italian passport holder I did believe to be proud of the italian hospitality offered and convinced friends to join on the Costa Mediterranea. A total catastrophy to say ... Read More
Chosen this cruise line because of the itinerary offered and being an Italian passport holder I did believe to be proud of the italian hospitality offered and convinced friends to join on the Costa Mediterranea. A total catastrophy to say the least!!! Never again will look or put a foot on a Costa vessel regardless on what they offer. A catalogue of mistakes, rudeness, could not care and bother attitude from all, especially from management, supervisors and officers as a whole. Informations as from the so called Head Offce never reached the vessel, comunication failure all round. Billing instructions even worst. Costa liner has become a 'bums on seat' category styled business, they attitude has totally gone astray and into deep waters. No customer skill or customer care in force. All what they want is: come on board, pay the bills and get out!!!!! Arrived in Dubai with BA flight at 08.00, presumably you could check in at 13.00, never advertise differently, the earliest they allowed you to, was 16.30, without a drink, snack or whatsoever. Had a special need individual with us, requested a wheelchair for at least 4 times, never arrived untill 17.20. By this time we were already stressed up. Taken luggages at 11.00am, yet never arrived in the cabins untill 20.45, just before dinner time. We were planning to visit Dubai, we hand up going nowhere expect on board. Lost the visit of Dubai sights!! Next day went to one of the bar for informations on non-alcoholic cocktails, prices and choices, was manned very rudly by an individual in the most abrat way. Complained to Head barman (Umberto) and had no confidence in him simply he was not responding enthusiastically and responsive to guest need. Blant as a tree trunk. Ordered via Costa website, water packages (3), never materialised even dough I had receipt from Costa on my mobile emails. Had to argue my way around. Restaurant food was very mediocre on majority of nights, very small or miniscule portions, mostly was cold or just about warm. Felt sorry for our waiter, because he was getting the hard times from the company failures. Gluten free diet was the worst ever experienced in 11 cruise taken in the past with other companies. Bread roll was like a chewing gum, soups were very watery, offered fish finger as main course, offered mini burgers or pizzas as glutel free mains. These dishes I dont even offer them to my granchildren which are 4 years and a 6 years old!! When decided to by a water package, reception decide to cancel it making my stressful time even harder. Every night in the main bar had discussion and disagreements with catering staff in respect to the totals showing on receipt, and being told the computer has made mistakes. How many naive guest have not checked and lost their drinks? Buffet food was always cold even dough they had proper utensils and not used fully! in numerous occasions had to ask chefs to change the food on offer and ensuring food was hot when it need to be hot!! A Russian originated receptionist and a night Italian male extremely rude in occasions. By the time we arrived in Muscat, I wanted to check out and return to UK, if I had the facilities of internet connection for flight search. Paid a wifi connection for the whole cruise, (48 euros) yet only used 30 minutes a day because it was not working properly, excuse was 'the satellite was not in good condition'. English breakfast tea, not available most of the days, had to beg waiters and given one bag at the time. Same goes to the decaffeinated coffee, you had to beg for getting a sachet. Public toilets closed most day at buffet time, when lunch session started. No facilities of hand washing, hence the contamination of dirty hand on board, not enough liquid jel for guest to use. A broken chair found in the casino and reported was never fixed for a least 4 days, very cleverly the chair was moved to another fruit machine. Lots of inconvenience for guest but very conveniently for the staff. Of course they are there to work but they are there to please and ensuring the guest needs are met. Worst of all, the service charge is a compulsary and very expensive item. £180.00 for the cruise each. The only saving grace was the entertainement team lead by Ariel, was very helpful, friendly, enthusiast, and above all very funny to all guest. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We choose this cruise for its itinerary and a very competiive price. We have 21 cruises behind us and this was our third with Costa so we knew what could be expected and not. Embarkation in Dubai after 6 pm was very swift, no doubt helped ... Read More
We choose this cruise for its itinerary and a very competiive price. We have 21 cruises behind us and this was our third with Costa so we knew what could be expected and not. Embarkation in Dubai after 6 pm was very swift, no doubt helped by the fact that many passengers had already boarded the day before in Abu Dhabi. The ship may be a bit old but is kept tidy and is in a good condition. Our cabin ,a Balcony Premium, on the fith deck was perhaps a bit on the small side but quite okay and always kept tidy by our Philippino steward. .Announcements onboard are made in several languages and english is always one of them. In addition hostesses for english speaking passengers as well as german, french and spanish passengers were availble daily for those who needed assistance. We dined in the main restaurant on the upper deck, very noisy indeed. Slow service the first couple of nights but the service improved a bit during the cruise. Since our last Cruise with Costa in 2016 it they appear to have made cuts and waiter and assistant waiter are no more instead a single "food and beverage server". In our case he had three tables with18 guests. That our fellow passengers prefered 5 course dinners made the dinners rather lenghty. We had breakfast and lunch in the main restaurant most days and were fairly satisfied with both food and service. We tried the buffet restaurant at times it was less crowded. Food acceptable but nothing more. Entertainment in the main theater at best average, For those who like dancing a Costa cruise must be the right place with a lot of dancing opportunities in different lounges and on deck ,often at the same time Through Costa we took part in shore exursions in Muscat a sightseeing, in Salalah a visit to a beach resort, In Aqaba a visit to Petra, in Eilat a visit to a beach resort and finally in Katakolon a visit to Olympia. Pleased with all excursions and by and large pleased with our cruise although many things could for sure have been better.. Disembarkment in Savona was fast and we were off the ship in no time at all. A buss transfer purchased onboard took us to Nice for a couple off nights before returning back home. . . Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My travel agent finally found an affordable trip to the UAE. It all went downhill from there. The dining options were minimalistic. There was only 1 option for dining other than the buffet. I was on a special low-sodium diet. The meals ... Read More
My travel agent finally found an affordable trip to the UAE. It all went downhill from there. The dining options were minimalistic. There was only 1 option for dining other than the buffet. I was on a special low-sodium diet. The meals were plain and EXTREMELY bland. I don't think the chef had ever heard of chicken stock, and definitely had no concept of herbs or spices. It was an Italian style ship that didn't have basil for pizza margaritas. The salad dressing on the buffet was so watered down you could drink it. Hunting for options on the buffet was an adventure to say the least. There was only one carving station and it was always out of whatever it was carving. If you wanted food after 9pm, you had to pay for it, burgers, fries and pizza. Even room service . All of the entertainment was in Italian, Spanish or from the eighties maybe. The club was for teens. Bingo and karaoke were only 1 night . This was my 10th cruise and worst cruise ever. The patrons and staff were overall RUDE. I went on a Italian/English tour, the spoke Italian for the first 30 minutes or more. Even after bringing it to his attention (Aziz) it didn't get better. I voiced this to passenger liaison Eve. She was told by the tour desk manager Christian, that because I was gifted the tickets the morning of the tour, my opinion didn't matter. The reason because I didn't purchase the tickets and register them with my name. I have never been so insulted before in my life. I spoke with several other North American guests and they felt the same. Royal Caribbean is my only cruise line after this CRAPPY CRAPPY Carnival Costa Cruise. If you were giving out free cruises that offered a mega-suite I wouldn't take it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Upon boarding there was no one available to greet our group, no greeter to welcome us (that was probably our first clue to disaster). I got to my room, it’s clean but had a very musty smell so I needed to open the balcony to air it out ... Read More
Upon boarding there was no one available to greet our group, no greeter to welcome us (that was probably our first clue to disaster). I got to my room, it’s clean but had a very musty smell so I needed to open the balcony to air it out as it had a strong stench. Beds hard as hell and unable to control the temperature in the room. There were no English channels on the television only AL-jerze new, no CSI, Barnaby Jones, Murder she wrote or Matlock. There were no activites for people who spoke English. I have never been in a room which did not have a clock, therefore I constantly had to call the front desk for the time or go to the hall by the steps, just so not to be late for my excursions. Speaking of the Excursions I selected easy tours but there was a lot more walking which did not allow me to take in the views. I take cruises to determine which places I liked the most and would revisit by land but I was not able to make a decision being on the Costa Mediterranean cruise. Announcements were all in Italian which made me make several calls to the operator, as I did not know if the message pertained to me as something I should know. Customer Service Personnel was outrageously, rude and rather disrespectful. Here are two examples: I was standing in line at the customer service desk waiting for help, the lady overlooked me and addressed a man behind me like I was not there, so yes, I spoke up and in Italian she asked the guy to wait. She never said sorry. Another, example again I went to customer service for so clarification about my bill, the young guy was not clear and very impatience, so I said to him I am not following what you’re saying as your explanation does not make sense. I said I didn’t feel like I was getting good customer service. He said he's giving excellent customer service and he don't understand. I said it is your job to ensure I understand he said oh well and went on to the next person. So, I waited for morning. Food: The food on the buffet was cold, under cooked, no flavoring or seasoning. The food in the Dining room was not much better. The waiters were very slow at serving dinner then wanted you to hurry up because you are now interfering with the next service. REALLY. You’re slow so I got to hurry. REALLY. Then there was no food available after 9 pm, this is the first cruise that food was not available during the evening and early morning hours unless it was purchased (hamburgers and pizza) which should have been available as part of the price of the cruise. I would understand aa separate price if it was a specialty restaurant but not for something that should be available. SO, since I’m diabetic I had to ensure I brought some snacks on board, so my when my sugars drop, I had something available to bring my sugars up (this is a real issue for people with Diabetes). Drink Package: my understanding was it unlimited bottle water, can soda and selected alcoholic beverage including mix drinks but the bar personnel said they could not give me a bottle of water but could pour the contents in a glass (therefore, I was getting 8 ounces instead of a whole bottle or 6 ounces instead of a can. So, I had to drink it then order another. I was told if I wanted a can or bottle, that I would have to pay for them. WHY? Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We were looking for a week of winter sun in February and chose Costa because of the itinerary, and location. We made our own travel arrangements and flew to Dubai on Emirates, and with a short transfer, we were at the port within an ... Read More
We were looking for a week of winter sun in February and chose Costa because of the itinerary, and location. We made our own travel arrangements and flew to Dubai on Emirates, and with a short transfer, we were at the port within an hour of landing. Embarkation was quick and efficient and our luggage was delivered to our cabin quickly. The ship was clean, all the crew we met were polite, and service was excellent. The other travellers were a diverse group from many different countries. Dining : We ate in the main dining room every night, the food was very good ( despite some criticisms I'd read before we travelled ) fresh pasta, wonderful mozzarella - made fresh on the ship - and well cooked and prepared meat dishes. Our server Emmanuel was polite and courteous. We had the Piu Gusto drinks package which included house wine with our meals and this was constantly topped up without us needing to ask, as was water. Entertainment : We did a morning back stage tour of the ship that was very interesting and well worth doing. The shows were of a high standard, and very enjoyable. There was music in every bar - and there were plenty of bars...and dancing, if thats your thing. Excursions : We didnt do any of the official tours so I cant comment, though we had no problem finding our own way round Muscat, and Abu Dhabi, visiting the Grand Mosque and the heritage village using local cabs. We also spent a day at a hotel pool in Abu Dhabi Saadiyat beach which ws good value and lovely. We would definitely travel with Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The worst cruise line ever! Rude and unprofessional staff in every department.The self serve Restaurant was always packed and we often had to wait for a table and the counters were also so busy that we had to wait in long lines for the ... Read More
The worst cruise line ever! Rude and unprofessional staff in every department.The self serve Restaurant was always packed and we often had to wait for a table and the counters were also so busy that we had to wait in long lines for the most unappetising food I have ever had the misfortune to eat !! The desserts were the same every day, both at lunch and dinner. In the main restaurant it was awful service and disgusting food at breakfast. The hot plated breakfast looked over cooked or reheated and most of the staff were clueless when we asked for anything. No waiters or Maitre ‘d introduced themselves or explained the menu items at dinner time as was done on all other cruise lines I’ve been on. The cabin was a disgrace, it looked like a cheap motel room from 1980. The balcony was unusable as it smelled of paint and cigarette smoke. To sum up, if you’re looking for a decent cruise with good standards, pleasant staff, good food and a nice cabin, don’t even contemplate Costa. It was awful! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this holiday because the cruise around the United Arab Emirates was a part of the world we had not visited before. I thought the process of getting on board and to our cabin was very good. The ship décor is based on 18th Century ... Read More
We chose this holiday because the cruise around the United Arab Emirates was a part of the world we had not visited before. I thought the process of getting on board and to our cabin was very good. The ship décor is based on 18th Century Italian architecture, a little over the top but looks great. I thought the ship was well designed and has a very good gym and spa.. There are a good range of bars that have a range of evening music. Unfortunately the waiter service in bars is very poor. There was often only one waiter visible so placing an order can be very time consuming, so you may have to elbow dance at the bar. The standard of food was quite variable from poor to average, nothing that I would recommend as quite a few dishes were bland. everything is printed in eight languages as often are announcements. It is difficult to understand some of the announcements as it is not a clear delivery. Most announcements are about trying to sell you something. There are too many staff trying to sell you stuff rather than serve you. Having been on two previous cruises with Thomson, I was disappointed by much of the entertainment. The best in my view was an evening with Hugo Palliotti, an excellent tenor. The rest was a mishmash of Eurovision type dancing. We booked Bigbus trips around Dubai and Muscat in Oman, which were very good and the jeep safari to Sir Bani Yas Island was brilliant. getting so close to wild animals in such a beautiful setting. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We were part of a Group travel to the Middle East (Dubai+Abu Dhabi+Sir Bani Was Island-UAE, Muscat-Oman for 14 days). We truly enjoyed our group travel but we cannot say we enjoyed Costa, the only positive out of the cruise is that they ... Read More
We were part of a Group travel to the Middle East (Dubai+Abu Dhabi+Sir Bani Was Island-UAE, Muscat-Oman for 14 days). We truly enjoyed our group travel but we cannot say we enjoyed Costa, the only positive out of the cruise is that they spoke French which is our first language but we also are fluent in English. We have been on RCC and Celebrity ships and really nothing to compare. The ship is old and worn out and the decor is really not our cup of tea. They obviously cater more to their Italian customers as even if you went to the various activities at the pool, the bars the predominant language was always Italian.The service, that it be in the bars or the MDR was inconsistent but I would say overall was not good whatsoever. It took on average 20-30 minutes to get our ordered drinks, wine. In the MDR one evening we decided to change a bottle of wine as we realized it was not the one we wanted and the female sommelier was some pissed off woman, you could tell she was not pleased with our decision-what kind of customer service is that. The food in the MDR was just OK, very basic - if you wanted like Osso Bucco you had to pay extra, no fancy meat throughout. Overall that ship lacks class you find in the ships we've been on thus far. We hardly ever saw our room attendant. The stateroom storage space was good and the bed was comfortable but it stops there. It was dirty-the window curtain was all black-stained at the bottom, should have taken a photo but did not. Did not like the shower curtain as we always had water all over the floor. NO MORE COSTA FOR US IF WE CAN AVOID IT. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise especially for the weather in this region at this time of the year. We traveled with a group of sixteen people. Four families with children between 15 and 23 years old.The procedure for boarding and disembarking was ... Read More
We chose this cruise especially for the weather in this region at this time of the year. We traveled with a group of sixteen people. Four families with children between 15 and 23 years old.The procedure for boarding and disembarking was childishly simple and hardly time consuming. You can see that the ship comes at age but everything was in excellent condition. And the staff were visibly busy with her duties throughout the day. As if it were a military operation. Every day I put a fingerprint in the elevator, but within a few hours it was polished away. The ship is equipped with a diesel-hybrid propulsion. This results is an almost vibration-free experience. Noticeably better than all other cruises that we have previously made. And; no soot on the stern as we have experienced on previous cruises. Our cabin (Standard Balcony Hut) was fine, clean and had a spacious balcony. A few more wall sockets may be installed; there is only one wall socket installed at the desk. The dinners and other food on board are of excellent quality and you have more than enough choices. In any case much better than most of us eat at home! What is annoying is that there are many times that all restaurants are closed at the same time for several hours. You can not get anything to eat on the entire ship. This is especially difficult for our children who came out of bed late. You get the impression that it seems to have something to do with cost savings. That is a serious flaw of this ship and different than we have experienced on all our other cruises. In terms of entertainment, there is enough choice for everyone. Nothing special, however. An average experience compared to previous cruises. In general; the staff on board is fine. We had a not so customer-friendly cleaner at our cabin. If we wanted to go to our cabin during cleaning, this man was very irritated to us. The other participants from our group luckily did not have this experience. The Italian staff at the reception was not particularly friendly and helpful. But luckily we did not need that much. Our route took us to Dubai, Muscat, Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Due to a rough sea we unfortunately could not disembark to Sir Bani Yas Island. After a sea day, that was a minor disappointment. The ship therefore immediately headed for Abu Dhabi where we had an extra evening. In Abu Dhabi buses were ready to take us to a shopping center for free. Our children have had a great time on board. This was partly because we were with a group ourselves. I do not think we will choose this ship again for a next cruise. But if it just happens to have the right itinerary for us, then we do not doubt and we choose Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Our worst cruise ever and, as from the UK , little attention was paid to any of our grievances. Italians came first every time. Some ship announcements were only given in Italian. The Hospitality staff had no idea what the word meant and ... Read More
Our worst cruise ever and, as from the UK , little attention was paid to any of our grievances. Italians came first every time. Some ship announcements were only given in Italian. The Hospitality staff had no idea what the word meant and were constantly rude and unhelpful. The food was awful and the buffet had often run out of food and no attempt was made to replenish supplies. There was no regular supply of hot drinks and we even had to contact Housekeeping for jugs of 'hot' water to have a cup of tea morning , noon or night. The emergency drill was a farce and quite inhuman. We were made to stand for 45 mins in temperatures of 26 degrees, in lines of 5 [why?] and constantly yelled at by crew members/prison guards. Every little thing had to be paid for eg we paid 5.5 euros for a bottle of water and a compulsory service charge each day for everything purchased on the COSTA CARD.. The entertainment was poor and unprofessional, rather like a holiday camp. The ship seems jaded and dirty and the cabins small and out of date. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Have just returned from short cruise, and was concerned on the poor reviews on Costa Cruises. However, we found very little to complain about, and thought it excellent value. Embarkation was very easy, our premium balcony cabin was large, ... Read More
Have just returned from short cruise, and was concerned on the poor reviews on Costa Cruises. However, we found very little to complain about, and thought it excellent value. Embarkation was very easy, our premium balcony cabin was large, clean and comfortable.The decor on the ship in public areas is rather gaudy, but as someone pointed out, by the second day you didn’t notice it! The food was generally very good, although the amount of choice on the dinner menu in MDR varied from day to day, but always offered at least 5 courses. Had heard through CC that water in restaurants was only served by the glass. This was incorrect on this ship, and a large bottle of water cost around 2euros. Also available was 50cl carafe of red or white wine for 11euros, which was quite acceptable. The evening entertainment was varied, and the standard comparable to most cruise lines eg Princess, Celebrity and P & O. Although not many British on board, there was no problem with communication with the Crew, and we felt that there was a wide age range of passengers.Disembarkation was extremely easy, just walked off at passengers convenience. Would advise anyone to give it a try, and think that most people will be pleasantly surprised. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Joined this ship in Dubai near the end of January for a five night cruise to Muscat, Sir Bani Yas Island and Abu Dhabi. We had an inside cabin on Deck 1 which was right under the Piazza Casanova, so there was quiet a lot of bumping and ... Read More
Joined this ship in Dubai near the end of January for a five night cruise to Muscat, Sir Bani Yas Island and Abu Dhabi. We had an inside cabin on Deck 1 which was right under the Piazza Casanova, so there was quiet a lot of bumping and music until 1am. This didn’t bother us too much as we like music and dancing so we rarely turn in before 12.30 anyway. After 1am it was really quiet until 8am so we were happy enough. We found all the staff friendly and helpful and enjoyed dancing in Piazza Casanova and also to the group in Isolodora and to Luciano (guitar/vocals). We also enjoyed some of the artists and the Italian version of ‘The Voice’, where the singers were understandably mainly Italian. Food selection in the restaurant for breakfast and lunch was not too good, so we got into the habit of taking breakfast and lunch in the Buffet and dining in the restaurant in the evening. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth enough and we must credit the staff for the arrangements on the visit to Sir Bani Yas Island. They organised a super beach BBQ and put music and dancing on, and the tenders operated all the time during the day. We expected queues but there were none! On the downside we never expected to have to pay for water with our evening meal and we could only get teas and coffee in the buffet at certain times, unless we paid for it of course. You pay five euros for a pint and four euros for a half pint and they then add 15% to this cost. Invariably there was about an inch and a half of froth in the glass so we always asked for them to be topped up to the line! Gratuiuties were added at 10 euros each per day. Overall though, we had a good time and thought the overall package including Emirates flights and the Dubai Hotel stay, was tremendous value. One final point re. Transfers in Dubai. Be careful to ask the taxi driver what the cost is likely to be as one driver tried to rip us off, not knowing that we had previously made transfers in Dubai. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was our first cruise on Costa, but our 16th overall. Here are our honest thoughts on the various aspects. The cruise was 7 nights and embarked at Dubai. Flight ------ We booked the flight independently of the cruise. It was ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Costa, but our 16th overall. Here are our honest thoughts on the various aspects. The cruise was 7 nights and embarked at Dubai. Flight ------ We booked the flight independently of the cruise. It was an Emirates flight from LHR to Dubai. It was an overnight flight that landed in Dubai at 6am. In hindsite, this was the wrong choice as embarkation didn't start until 8pm and it turned out to be a long day. Still the flight itself was very good and we were impressed with Emirates. Embarkation ----------- This is where it all went a bit wrong. Our embarkation ticket stated 8pm as the boarding time which seemed a tad on the late side compared to a normal cruise. A quick google suggested that if you turn up at around 3pm, they would let you on. However imagine the dismay when we (and many other people) turned up in the afternoon to be told that 8pm was the hard and fast time and so we had to wait for 5 hours in the cruise terminal. Turns out this was because Friday (the day we embarked) is a holiday in the UAE and therefore the immigration control officials were only available from 8pm, hence the time. Can't really blame Costa for this I guess, but it's something to note. Cabin ----- We had cabin 7290 which was classed as a suite 'S' Cabin. It was a very nice size and was quite a bit bigger than a standard balcony cabin, so we were very pleased. Dining ------ Because we were in a suite, we were allowed to eat in the club restaurant (Club Medusa) free of charge for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. We didn't eat in the MDR, so can offer no opinion. We also tried the buffet for lunch a couple of times, but found the choice very limited. Club Medusa was very nice and the choice varied daily. The wine choice was also very good and you could try the wine to see if you liked it first. They try to sit you in the same area each day so you have the same waiters which helps build the relationship. It was also fairly quiet and you don't need to book ahead as suite guests. This was certainly one of the suite 'extras' that helped make the cruise that bit more special. Entertainment ------------- This is one area where both Italian cruise lines (MSC & Costa) fall short compared to American and British lines. The daily activities are very limited and evening shows are centred around song and dance and acrobat routines. I guess it's the language issues that are the cause. The good things of note were the live bands and the animation team. Dress Code ---------- We had lots of varied dress codes on our cruise. We had informal, Gala, Italian, Arabian and white nights, although many people adopted informal for the whole cruise. It was all good fun. The only gripe was that nowhere on the pre-cruise documents stated what was on offer, so you couldn't preplan what to pack. Ports ----- A cruise around the UAE all pretty much stop at the same ports. The main ones on our cruise were Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Sir Bani Yas Island. Ship ---- Having just been on the MSC Preziosa, the Costa Mediterranea looked and felt like an older ship in comparison. We experienced some very rough vibrations in our cabin whenever the stern thrusters were used and there was a constant vibration from the engines all over the ship when at sea. Nothing to bad to spoil the holiday, but not something I ever remember experiencing on any other ship. Suite Extras ------------ As we were in a suite cabin, we were entitled to a number of 'extras'. They were :- - Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner in the Club restaurant (see above) - Complimentary Intenditore drinks package. This is the top level one and pretty much every drink is included (apart from super expensive). You also get drinks loaded in your minibar. - Exclusive activities. We are invited to a couple of cocktail parties with the captain, but didn't attend due to the timings. - Complementary room service etc. We had breakfast in our room a couple of times, but other than that, didn't really test the room service. Disembarkation -------------- This was very smooth. We were free to leave the ship at any time up to 1pm and collect our luggage from the terminal. Perhaps this is something unique to the UAE cruises. Port to Airport --------------- Grabbed one of the many taxis from the terminal. Tooks roughly 20 minutes and cost 55 Dirhams (£11). Overall ------- No one can argue that Costa are not good value for money (much like MSC) but of course that means that certain aspects of the cruise are 'budget restricted' like the food and entertainment. It is also very Italian orientated (not unsurprisingly). However as long as you accept these limitations, then you can certainly enjoy yourselves. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We take a trip from Dubai through gulf. The ship was nice , but nothing special. It looks like Venice in 17. Century. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly, We took a cabin with balcony. It is not in very good condition any more. ... Read More
We take a trip from Dubai through gulf. The ship was nice , but nothing special. It looks like Venice in 17. Century. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly, We took a cabin with balcony. It is not in very good condition any more. Reatorant for diner is beautifull, Dining food is good, but staff is very slow and made a lot of mistakes. Several times we spent almost 2 hours for a meal. Bar Service was average, in bar they serve very expensive drinks in plastic glasses. The coffee is really good. They have Illy coffee. They charge a fee everywhere and allways, plus extra 8 eur per day for every person. Rowbery! In reception dont work enough people, so every time you must wait a lot of minutes, sometimes for just one answer. Internet line is very slow, and dont worth a fee they charged. I thing I will take next time another ship company, not Costa. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I took a last minute cruise to Dubai, sailing on 13th January 2018. Having completed the online paperwork, we had to fill in more forms at Port Rachid. We boarded and were informed our room would be available at 11 am. First impressions ... Read More
I took a last minute cruise to Dubai, sailing on 13th January 2018. Having completed the online paperwork, we had to fill in more forms at Port Rachid. We boarded and were informed our room would be available at 11 am. First impressions were good. Our cabin 1002 was clean, although there was little In the way of toiletries and no sunbed towels in our cabin. From then on things went downhill, firstly Costa will Not allow you to cancel the daily tips, that Cruise Critic States customers can do. The reception staff are rude, patronizing and unhelpful. They charge for every thing. Hot drinks like tea and coffee is only free at breakfast. If you want a Coffee after 9.30 pm on the main pool area, then you will find it unavailable. The food was dreadful, cold and poor quality and choice. They add a 15% surcharge on any drink, on top of the daily gratuity! Food in general is not available after 9.30 pm ( if you want to eat late at night) unless you pay extra for either pizza or burgers. There is no freedom dining in the evenings, we luckily were allocated a 6.30 pm time slot, other passengers sadly could not eat until 9.30 pm and therefore did not leave the restaurant until after 11 pm. The entertainment was very good, and the ship although quite old has some wonderful quirky features. It felt like the British passengers were treated as second class citizens in favour of the Italians on board. Having been on a P and O cruise ship recently I would never again travel with Costa nor recommend it to British passengers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this because of the date and the weather at this times of year. My dh and I had cruised with costa before, my daughter and her son had not and never will again. We stayed in Abu Dhabi in the beautiful Marriott Al Forsan which I ... Read More
We chose this because of the date and the weather at this times of year. My dh and I had cruised with costa before, my daughter and her son had not and never will again. We stayed in Abu Dhabi in the beautiful Marriott Al Forsan which I would recommend. Embarkation was only allowed after 7pm and not one person greeted us with a welcome and the same when we were leaving when we left not one person even spoke to us. The ship is very dated but clean. The cabin for 4 had no room to sit anywhere at any time, the steward never made this possible, perhaps we should have asked him. He kept the room clean and we rarely saw him. Food in the buffet looked like something from a school canteen but tasted ok. Food in the mdr was grand, we were not allowed a glass/jug of water, it had to be paid for. There were no water, tea/coffee supplied at any time during the day except breakfast. Breakfast was awful, a poor selection and dreadfully displayed. Entertainment was enjoyable. Ports were good, Dubai was interesting, Oman also, Siri Ban Yas was beautiful. Staff was rude and I complained and a Director approached me one evening to say she received it and I never heard another word; on the day we left I saw her and told her how disappointed we were, we had little reaction. You cannot remove gratuities and in my opinion no staff has to work to peasr the guests and consequently do not. I cruise a lot with Celebrity, Princess, RCI, Hal and I was just disgusted. I saw a well priced cruise to the Indian Ocean on Costa and my family have said 'not if we get if for free'. Writing this review brings it all back to me and it doesn't feel good. To sum it up a 2 star cruise at best, redeemed by nothing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I wanted a cruise our of Dubai. My hobby is traveling and I travel every month-plus. I have been on about 140 cruises. My first cruise in 1973 was with Costa and I cruised on the Carla C out of San Juan years later. These cruises were ... Read More
I wanted a cruise our of Dubai. My hobby is traveling and I travel every month-plus. I have been on about 140 cruises. My first cruise in 1973 was with Costa and I cruised on the Carla C out of San Juan years later. These cruises were great, but Costa has changed. They charge extra for every thing. I booked cruise, air, hotel and excursions with Expedia. Everything worked out fine, except the cruise and the last two excursions. I had to be out of the hotel by noon. So I got to the terminal at 1130. There the Costa people told me check in was at 8:30 PM, which was new to me. They said it is on your documents, not mine. So the first day of the cruise was spent sitting in the terminal. So it became a six day cruise, even the gratuities were for seven days on a six day cruise. If you had a complaint, they would say what is your cabin number and that was the end of that. Most cruise ships post menus, not this ship. On the plus side best room safes I have seen and most of the crew were friendly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I guess we went with an open mind. As they say..." when in Rome - do as the Romans do" so we adjusted our expectations but ended up enjoying the experience of an Italian themed ship - from the over the top Italian decor to pasta ... Read More
I guess we went with an open mind. As they say..." when in Rome - do as the Romans do" so we adjusted our expectations but ended up enjoying the experience of an Italian themed ship - from the over the top Italian decor to pasta everyday with our meals. We were worried after reading the reviews but I realized that North Americans just cruise differently from Europeans...no bottomless ice teas and lemonades, coffees and teas limited to breakfasts and merendas, lots of pasta, but we got to enjoy Osso Buco, gnocchis, bombolones for breakfast, olive oil and balsamic with your bread instead of butter and many more...Honestly - I enjoyed the food more than the other cruise lines that we've been on. Service was up to par in the restaurants and cabin but they can do a better job communicating with the English speaking passengers. First night apparently was an All-White party and we obviously did not get the memo as we showed up dressed in black...hahaha. Enjoyed the dance lessons and live entertainment was available in many of the bars and clubs. Overall - it was a pleasant experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We have just returned from a back to back middle east cuise sailing on the costa Neo-rivierra for a total of 30 nights. The first week was spent sailing around the UAE and then a 23 night crossing from Dubai to Genova in Italy. The ... Read More
We have just returned from a back to back middle east cuise sailing on the costa Neo-rivierra for a total of 30 nights. The first week was spent sailing around the UAE and then a 23 night crossing from Dubai to Genova in Italy. The following is our opinion on this cruise experience. We try to be fair with our viewpoints on every cruise we do, other passengers on this cruise may have a different opinion than ours. Flight, pre cruise stay and embarkation. We flew to London for a couple of days before the cruise and then took an overnight flight with British Airways from London heathrow to Dubai. The evening hot meal was a choice of meat or veg curry and was suprisingly tasty. Breakfast was a dissapointment, just a cereal bar, juice and tea or coffee. Entertainment system was good and flight was comfortable for the 6h.45m flight. I had assistance at the airport and immigration was fast and efficient. We used the Dubai metro to get to our hotel and bought a gold NOL card. The first class carraige at the front of the train had room for luggage and was not as crowded as the other compartments. It was very easy to use and cost 25 Dirham,with a 19 Dirham credit included. Our hotel was the Novotel Mall of the emirates suites, 2 metro stops within easy walking distance. The hotel was clean and welcoming,all the staff were friendly, our suite was large and comfortable and it was made available as soon as we arrived,which was a nice unexpected touch. Breakfast was very good,with an international selection as well as a few local dishes. 2 days later and we checked out, we took a Taxi to the cruise terminal at about 1pm. We dropped off our luggage and filled out the health questionaire and were informed that boarding would begin at about 3pm but our cabin would not be available until 8pm. A small selection of sandwiches and juice was made available while we waited. At 3pm embarkation started and there was only a few people. The gangway was very steep and there was no way that i could walk it and so a security/immigration officer came down to take my passport and photo and i was escorted through a seperate entrance,i was made very welcome and directed to the buffet on deck 11. Our cruise card could not be collected until 8pm but we just showed our printed ticket to show we had the drink package and that enabled us to get drinks. The Costa Neo-rivierra. A small ship that was at first confusing to get around. The easiest way to navigate was to remember that the vast majority of places could be accessed by walking along deck 6 and make your way around from there. Most of the inside entertainment areas were on deck 6 with a few on deck 5 , 7 and 12. Decks 11 and 12 were the buffet and outside areas. Buffet. We did'nt use it that often, the meal we had on embarkation day here was very nice with a nice selection of dishes including curries etc, however all this changed for the crossing where the selection became a lot more suited to the Med palate. There was always a choice but IMHO you cant really make a ships buffet look appealing. At peak times there could be difficulty in finding a seat,but this is true of any ship we have been on. Breakfast in the buffet on this ship included hot as well as cold selection. There was NO free pizza on this ship but a grill serving burgers, hot dogs, fries and salad was available, i tried a couple of burgers and they were good. The only real complaint i had of this buffet area were the drink stations, they could become a bottleneck. My major problem here was that some passengers would fill thier personal water receptacles from the public stations and on many occasions i saw passengers coughing,then drink from the bottle and then fill this same bottle – small wonder that diseases soon spread. You can't blame the ship for this blatant abuse,there are big notices on the dispensers and even when i pointed the notice out to an offender,he became verbally abusive and a ships officer had to intervene. Main Restaurant Cetera and St Tropez. The Main restaurant is called the Cetera and although we didn't eat here,we had a look around and it looked very nice. Because we are Pearla diamente members,we were allocated the St Tropez restaurant which is used for suite and pearl members and is open every day for breakfast,lunch and Dinner. Most of the meals served here are also served in the Cetera restaurant with the exception of a chefs menu and we could have steak or king prawns as a no cost always available item. The menu on the whole was definate regional Italian with a few exceptions. On the whole the food ranged from good to very good,i only had to send 1 dish back because it was served cold. Lobster was available at a 15€ supplement. I had it and it was my first whole Maine lobster complete with the lobster crackers (to get in the shell)It was messy to eat but superb. Everyone, from the Maitre`D to the asst waiter were incredibly efficiant and friendly,nothing was too much trouble for them. A special thanks to the team led by Tamara. Amanda, Jin Jin (papardelle) Sylvester and Jessica, you are all stars and will be missed. Bars and Drinks. On our first week we had a pio gusto drinks package included. This gave you quite an extensive choice of both alco and non alco drinks. We are not huge alco drinkers, Donald enjoys an occasional glass of wine and i like my non alco cocktails. My fav on this line is the virgin banana colada and the pink panther. The pink panther tasted the same throughout the bars but the banana colada could change so vastly depending on who made it. It tasted so disgusting in 1 bar that i had to send it back,the second time it was better so i don't know what happened. On our 23 night crossing, no drinks were included,so we bought a 40 non alco package at 110€ and a 25 cappacino coffee pack at 85€ inc service charge. Most of the bar staff were very friendly and we never had to wait long before being served. Anjean, Deryl, Leah and Michelle quickly learned our likes and dislikes and were such good fun to be around. Our thanks to you. Entertainment. The usual daytime quizzes,games,dances etc during the day and music and dancing in the bars and lounges in the evening as well as the different theatre shows. We found the entertainment and shows to be a very good standard. The entertainment team were friendly and worked hard. We did hear some people complaining that there wasnt much to do but these were N.Americans and they freely admited that they like every minute of every day filled with organised activities. Excursions. 2 of the 5 excursions we had booked were cancelled due to lack of english speakers. They are fairly expensive but on the whole offered reasonable value for money. We did the safari on sir bani yas island. I was dissapointed not to see the giraffes but like the guide said, sightings can't be guaranteed. We did see cheetahs, gazelles,deers, ostrich eagles etc. The Dhow cruise in Muscat was very relaxing,to be fair theres not an awful lot to see other than the rugged coastline. The ancient etruscan civilization from civatavecia. Nice to look around and learn about these people. Supposed to have a typical etruscan meal included but don`t be fooled, meal was nice but i doubt the etruscans ate chicken, sausage chips and salad. Front desk/customer service Front of house staff, we feel often have the most difficult job aboard. They have to deal with passenger complaints and queries and Costa ships have a very large mix of different nationalities on board,this can result in quite a culture shock,especialy amongst the english speakers. Some of the complaints we heard were quite ridiculous and could have been avoided had the passenger done just the simplest of research or used a modicum of common sense. Why for instance would you complain because the tea used on board is not your favourite brand, why argue that you wont pay the compulsory service charge, saying the service you received is not to your satisfaction and you've only just got on board. Why should they refund your internet account after 3 days usage because you have now decided that this package wasn't for you. I heard all of this and more. The answers given were clear and dealt with in a precise and friendly way. Whenever we walked by we were always greeted by name and asked how we were with a smile. Fellow Passengers. Lots of different nationalities on board, Italians, Dutch, French, German, Swiss, English, Russian, Spanish, Australians and Americans etc. We only encountered a handful of rude passengers. For the first time ever on a Costa cruise we easily interacted with a group of Italian people. This may have been because several spanish words are similar and we have now gained more confidence speaking Spanish. We had such a good time with this group especially in the restaurant. We also met a delightful couple from Oz, Malcolm and Beverly, Thanks for your company and also to Yvonne and Hubby,we'll be in touch soon. The ship and disembarkation. The Neo riviera was kept spotlessly clean and was just a nice size for me to move about with my mobility problems. There are a few areas where i had to be extra careful, sometimes moving from a carpeted area to a piece of flooring caused me to go off balance. Staff were very accomadating at the fire drill and whenever i went ashore, and assistance was always given to me when needed, i never had to ask for this, it was all done with a smile. We arrived back at Genova Italy at 8am and were told we could stay on board until 5 pm and have lunch if we wished. Our train to Milan wasn't until 2pm so we stayed on board and had a bit of lunch and then disembarked. Because of our Perla diamente status, luggage was collected the night before and would be shipped home to us in Spain, so we only had an overnight bag to carry. I was once again assisted down the gangway and the chap took my bag and carried it to the exit,where we were shown the way to the train station, an easy 10 minute walk away. Both Donald and myself were very sorry to leave and we both agreed that this ship has now become the favourite in the fleet so far. We have now arrived home and have booked to go back on her in 2019. Thank you to everyone on board the wonderful Costa Neo-riviera, we had a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I have been on cruises before so went on this one with open mind having read other reviews firstly after a long night flight we arrived at Dubai port at around 9am only to be told we could not board untill 3 pm our party of ten was ... Read More
I have been on cruises before so went on this one with open mind having read other reviews firstly after a long night flight we arrived at Dubai port at around 9am only to be told we could not board untill 3 pm our party of ten was allocated rooms on deck 2 that was the start of this nightmare cruise the noise on this deck is ridiculous not from passengers but the ship and it's crew . After a long day went to cabin for bed there was blood on bed linen we reported it changed next day after going to customer relations not even an apology we where then told we had to pay over 1 hundred euros for hotel service charge we prefare to tip the people we think deserve it but told it was compulsory . On to the food we only ate in the main restaurant twice the food and service was awfull the staff just ignored any request untill it suited them mabye because out of the party of ten 8 sitted in one restaurant 2 in another as we had booked together we asked to sit together they where not to pleased .the ship itself is clean but dated and for the life of me I cannot understand on a 7day cruise on 2days we docked all the lifts where turned off I suffer from bad angina and copd so I could not climb the stairs to deck eleven for lunch so had to wait untill evening for food I asked the reason was told essential repairs I would have thought these things would be done before we sailed . On to the entertainment it's an Italian cruise ship but they seemed to forget about any other languages after about 15 min all they spoke was Italian I will never cruise with this company again neither will any of my friends and to add to my disgust last day my bathroom towels had blood on them I would honestly anyone thinking of cruising with this ship use msc or royal Caribbean Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I went for honeymoon and I have been in Norgweian and Princess cruises before and I was thinking that this was almost the same but this one was a dissaster. Firstly in general the staff was unfriendly and even rude. the food was ... Read More
I went for honeymoon and I have been in Norgweian and Princess cruises before and I was thinking that this was almost the same but this one was a dissaster. Firstly in general the staff was unfriendly and even rude. the food was terrible just mainly pizza and pasta and if you want a piece of meat you have to pay additional. my waitter was rude , unfriendly and lacking of peronal higene. you have to pay additionally for the water on the restaurant. many hidden cost and the buffet closes for long times on the afternoon. if you arrive from your excursion at 4 pm you have to wait until 7 pm to get some cheap food. the cabin luckly was made once per day and no more , even one day the didn´t make the room but the tips are still copulsory. snacks was just pizza margherita and a LOT of bread. ice cream additional. You can have breakfast at the restaurant but takes a lot, if you go to the buffet you cannot get even an omelet. again just bread. it is just best to AVOID costa as it seems that they want to save every single penny tranfered to bad experience for the customers. Entretaiment was good. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
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