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2 Costa Europe Cruise Reviews

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
We mainly chose this cruise because it took us from Northern Europe to the Mediterranean. We were very sceptical of cruising with Costa because of the reviews on this site. However the experience couldn't have been better. Costa ... Read More
We mainly chose this cruise because it took us from Northern Europe to the Mediterranean. We were very sceptical of cruising with Costa because of the reviews on this site. However the experience couldn't have been better. Costa Luminosa is a bit smaller than other cruises we have done (MSC) and we enjoyed that. It enabled us to meet more people and make some firm friends who we'll keep in touch with. The only thing lacking was enough pools. On a day at sea you almost had to queue to get a swim! We had a premium balcony cabin which was large and comfortable. We liked having a seperate sofa to sit on when we were resting, and the balcony was a great place to escape to if we wanted a little peace. We always had breakfast and lunch in the buffet, and this is where we met most of our new friends, just by sharing tables. The food was good with lots of choice. My only negative would be that there was far too much salt in all the savoury food, both in the buffet and in the restaurant. The entertainment was a bit hit and miss. There were some grea artists playing the various bars on the ship and we rotated around them most evenings. There were also a handful of amazing shows in the theatre, and a handful of not very amazing shows. But we never lacked entertainment somewhere on this ship. We also enjoyed the guest speaker who gave lectures on the history of the area we were in on days at sea. Service was very good and any reasonable request was delivered promptly and with a smile. We didn't do shore excursions at every stop, but the ones we did do were really good. Great local guides. The only downside was having excursions sharing two languages. It was ok when we understood the other language, eg French or Italian because we got the whole story. Unfortunately other languages left us in the dark when you could tell they had more of the story. Overall a great trip and would certainly travel with Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
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