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435 Costa Family Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because it visited the Countries and Ports we really like. I contacted Costa on 29th February the day before flying into Singapore and they told me the cruise was going ahead as originally planned. We had heard via ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it visited the Countries and Ports we really like. I contacted Costa on 29th February the day before flying into Singapore and they told me the cruise was going ahead as originally planned. We had heard via (Facebook) that Cambodia and Vietnam ports had already been canceled, and I suspected that Thailand and Malaysian Ports were also going to be canceled as well. We arrived in Singapore the next evening, only to be advised this was true, and that all guests were notified via email whilst we were all flying towards Singapore. This was very poor customer service on behalf of this Cruise line, as they put profit well ahead of their Customer Satisfaction and Care protocols. We arrived onto the ship on 3rd March, to a throng of staff wanting to sign us up to drinks packages Starting at 110 Euro per 40 x 200ml soft drink cans. This equated to AUS$5 per drink, and as we were told that NO table water would be available in the dining rooms for meals except breakfast, we were then encouraged to purchase two packages for the entire 16 days cruise. Two days later we arrived into our first Malaysian stop and the day was just stunning, we then moved onto Phuket Thailand when the drama then unfolded. Thailand denied access into Phuket, this then caused a domino effect with all ports thereafter denying us access. Costa advised all passengers that we were heading straight back to Singapore, where we would be bussed straight to the airport, and flown home 9 days early. Even Singapore didn't really want us! To Costas credit, they did organize our flights home early and gave us a cruise credit for the missed ports, however, Costa should have canceled this cruise before any guests had jumped onto a plane two days prior to our departure! They lied to me that ports had not been canceled, and didn't fess up until we all started boarding the ship. Being a regular Princess customer and knowing their very high customer Care standards, we were very disgusted with Costa in providing very minimal communications with their passengers and saw us all as captive guests to touch with every passing day. Would I cruise with Costa again, NO they have burnt me badly with their total lack of Customer Care, seeing all passengers as a fountain for their wealth, and very poor communication skills, they have seen our backs for life! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I have been on 17 cruises and this was by far the worst I have ever been on. I purchased this cruise thru cruise builders (never again) and therefore I don’t know how much the cruise by itself cost us. We are a couple in our 50’s and ... Read More
I have been on 17 cruises and this was by far the worst I have ever been on. I purchased this cruise thru cruise builders (never again) and therefore I don’t know how much the cruise by itself cost us. We are a couple in our 50’s and we brought our two adult daughters. But Costa tries to charge for every little thing. You should not go hungry on a cruise and we did. The buffet is open only short periods of time through the day and it is the same every day. The sit down dinner was so bad. Food was terrible, the food in the buffet is better. We were at dinner for two hours and still hadn’t received our dessert. We decided to give it another try and the food was worse the second time. We didn’t return. On all other cruises we have been on pizza and ice cream are free and available a lot of the time. Burgers and fries are also available for free. And there are lots of free food options. The saying in the USA is that you will gain a pound of weight a day on a cruise and none of us gained weight. We actually brought snacks back on the ship. The food off of the ship at the ports was amazingly good. I understand that Costa pays their staff the worst of any cruise line and it shows. You have the least staff of any line we have been on. Costa is the least friendly and helpful. No one asks if you need a drink or anything else for that matter. I saw a photo lady trying to take a picture of some ladies and she was very rude to them when they expressed how they wanted to arrange themselves for their picture. She said, “This is Costa, I have to do it their way” (she said it in a super rude way). I felt bad for the ladies. I would have told her I was not interested in pictures anymore. Also, I saw a man approach some ladies and tell them they could not play cards in the buffet area. He was super rude. We are on vacation and paid a lot of money. We should not be treated like children and spoken to rudely. We are also told we can’t take food to our rooms or out of the dining area. Are you serious? We needed to stock up for the sea day because we knew that the dining room food was terrible. I was told by two other people, after I purchased the cruise, that Costa was terrible and they would never go again. We now feel the same. The ship was amazing and beautiful. The bands in the main hot tub and pool area were fantastic. I wish we could have the ship on a different cruise line. All the overhead loud announcements, in our room, each day new guests arrived was over the top. There should be a better way. The rooms were beautiful. We did not make a connection with our room steward like we normally do. We did not ever formally meet them. Getting on and off for excursions was easy and good. Why couldn’t we give a credit card on file before the cruise. We had to take time out to sign up our credit card, after we got on the ship. That has always been put in during registering for the cruise when we put in our passport info and emergency contact info. Why do we have to wait to collect our luggage until after all the luggage is set out for each color (stupid rule). If they are so concerned check the luggage tags against the tags that are torn off. I guess in Italy people don’t use washcloths, that’s okay I just used the hand towel to wash my face. We usually get shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion in the rooms and there was just hand soap and one wash in the shower for hair and body, no conditioner. And there is usually a fridge with soda, water and alcohol for purchase and there was not even a fridge. This was not a big deal to us. With our package it stated USAwater meaning that we could get tap water for free, but we were also charged for this. We had a wonderful time at all of the ports. We made great memories with our daughters. But Costa won’t see us again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I went on the Costa Smeralda cruise to the Mediterranean with three friends. We had two premium balcony cabins with the upgraded drink package. We found the ship to be beautiful, the service to be excellent, and the on board activities ... Read More
I went on the Costa Smeralda cruise to the Mediterranean with three friends. We had two premium balcony cabins with the upgraded drink package. We found the ship to be beautiful, the service to be excellent, and the on board activities to be lots of fun! We had read the awful reviews and were prepared for the worst. To out delight, the cruise couldn't have gone more smoothly. Embarkment and disembarkment were the easiest I've ever encountered and I've been on several other cruises. The ship was clean and the cabins were larger than others I'd stayed in. We always had our breakfast delivered to our rooms as we left the ship early each day to go on excursions. We were able to get coffee, butter, or anything else that we wanted. We often ate lunch on shore, but when we did eat in the dining room we found there to be many wonderful choices. For dinner, we ate in the regular dining room three times and tried the specialty restaurants the other nights. We didn't mind paying a little extra for finer dining, as the cruise was very cheap to begin with. We enjoyed the casino, the special theme nights, the dance parties, and the overall ambiance of the ship. I would definitely recommend this cruise to others looking for a good time at a great price. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We choose this cruise as we wanted to sample their new flag ship, having cruised twice before on the Diadema, We were at the time able to book a cabin for 5, having done so on the Diadema where we had 1,5 bathrooms and 5 proper beds, we ... Read More
We choose this cruise as we wanted to sample their new flag ship, having cruised twice before on the Diadema, We were at the time able to book a cabin for 5, having done so on the Diadema where we had 1,5 bathrooms and 5 proper beds, we expected the same if not better! Embarkation went really well, and we loved the parking at Savonna. However a few more signs would really help. The cabin 5070 was only a cabin for a max 4 people, only 1 bathroom - with the glass showing through to the cabin - I know there is a curtain but with kids who think it is fun to play with, it doesn't feel relaxing! Well to accommodate our 5th person, we had a camp bed along side the bunk beds, so no space between the dressing table which meant we couldn't get to the window. So after several visits to the reception desk we were offered a second room for free. Great you may say, however Cabin 5076 was just below the Theatre, which had a disco until 2am on one night the noise and vibration was so bad I called reception where I was offered earplugs! Dining was great. This time we tried the Pizza place which we found excellent, better designed than on Diadema. However lunch in the buffet restaurant was too popular for the size of the restaurant, with queues to enter, then it closing for afternoon tea. Needs to be re thought. Bars - could do with more staff. Swimming pools. On the day of arrival the slides were open, however they were closed for the rest of the cruise due to poor weather. This I would dispute as we had blue skies and temperatures like on the first day on many of the days of the cruise. The Ship only has 4 indoor Jacuzzis which were 4 place, no under 16's - meant the swimming pool was full of little children and 1 x 8 man outside Jacuzzi which was always full. They need more outside Jacuzzis. The designers also placed the indoor showers on a level which flooded the seating area floor ( needs to have a tray to keep the water in). Entertainment - shows were short. There is no 4D Cinema, laser quest, F1 only a small games room, however they did have a kids/teens club which our kids did not try. Shopping on board also seemed poor, lack of choice, shops were not enticing enough. Would we go again - no on the Smeralda, yes with Costa. They have just built too many cabins at the expense of public areas. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
After reading all of the negative reviews for this cruise we were very apprehensive about our trip. Our experience was quite different than the reviews I read and I feel compelled to write my own. This was our 12th cruise. We have ... Read More
After reading all of the negative reviews for this cruise we were very apprehensive about our trip. Our experience was quite different than the reviews I read and I feel compelled to write my own. This was our 12th cruise. We have previously sailed on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney, and MSC. This was our 3rd cruise out of a European port. The other two were on MSC and Royal Caribbean. We are from the US but have been living in Eastern Europe for the last two years. During our time living abroad we have visited 24 different countries. The first thing everyone needs to understand is that Costa is a European cruise line. It is not an American cruise line and really shouldn’t be compared to an American line. The level of service and the food were right on par with what we’ve come to expect when traveling throughout Europe. They cater to the European demographic as that is their main clientele. It is not uncommon for European cruise lines to embark/disembark in each port. The announcements are first made in Italian but were all repeated in English (with the exception of a few where they announced “for crew only” at the beginning). Every crew member that we encountered spoke English. They were all friendly, polite, and respectful. The food was good and always served hot. Keep in mind that the food is prepared toward European tastes. We have found that they tend to use less spice and less salt. Also, butter is only served upon request because it’s not common for them to butter their bread and the butter will not be salted because salted butter does not exist in Europe (at least from what I have been able to find in the grocery stores). I cannot speak for breakfast dining because we opted to have breakfast delivered to our room every day - the crab eggs Benedict is delicious! As for lunch, there are multiple options available for sit down table service (two dining rooms offered table service every day) or buffet style. The schedule is listed in the Oggi each day. We chose to eat in our assigned dining room each night and did not feel the need to try the speciality dining. It is true that there is no free pizza, not even on the children’s menu. It is true that there are no free burgers on the dinner menu, but they are included on the children’s menu. Also, hamburger patties (no buns) are available in the family buffet on deck 16. There is also no free ice cream, again not even on the children’s menu. In fact they did not offer any special desserts for kids like cookies, brownies, or Jello. The gelato on board can be purchased for €1.5 per scoop which was cheaper than we found in any of the ports. It seems that the lack of table cloths is a complaint for many but personally, I’ll trade the elegance that they add for the positive environmental impact of not having them. Our 7yr old went to the kids’ club several times and had a great time; she even found other children who spoke English. Our 13yr old was not interested in participating in the teen events and activities so I can’t provide any feedback there. The swimming facilities are definitely lacking for a ship this size. There is one small indoor pool and only four hot tubs; they were always packed. There are two small outdoor pools and the water is heated but again they were often crowded. The biggest disappointment for our kids was that we only saw the water slides open one time the entire week and unfortunately it was on our embarkation day so the kids never got a chance to try them out. The gym appears to be somewhat small, but we went 5 times (always in the morning around 9 or 10) and it was not crowded. There were always open machines and the best selection of kettlebells I have ever seen on a cruise ship. We also used the jogging track 3 times and found that most people were respectful of it’s purpose and would move out of the way. Of course, like every other ship there were also the oblivious few who had no clue or no desire to move and the rudest of rude that think the jogging track is a good place to hang out and smoke. We booked a balcony guarantee but were some how extremely fortunate and were assigned to a grand suite. The room was incredible! On Costa, when you receive a room upgrade, it does not include the upgraded amenities. However, for just a one time fee of €100 we were given the option to add the butler service. It was beyond worth it! Our butler and our room steward were fabulous. Our room was always spotless. We had the Brindiamo drink package and found that it was sufficient for us. You don’t get to choose your wine - you get whatever red, white, or sparkling that they give you. We found that it did vary at times and while perhaps not the best it was definitely drinkable. We only did one shore excursion which was Pisa on Your Own. It was a good experience and I’m glad we went. Two of the ports are “non-pedestrian” and a free shuttle is offered in those ports. Some of the other ports have an optional shuttle that is way overpriced. We chose to stay on the ship in Marseille as we had been before and didn’t feel it was worth the transportation cost to head into town. Barcelona is a fairly long walk but definitely doable and we chose this option. Palma de Mallorca is also a long walk. We took a taxi into town as it was WAY cheaper (at least for a family of 4) than the shuttle but we chose to walk back. Overall, this was a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The ship is beautiful. New, lots of bars, modern and clean. Plus the port stop offs are lovely. Plenty of time to walk around. We do recommend purchasing shuttle buses at the port information desks rather than on ship as way cheaper. No ... Read More
The ship is beautiful. New, lots of bars, modern and clean. Plus the port stop offs are lovely. Plenty of time to walk around. We do recommend purchasing shuttle buses at the port information desks rather than on ship as way cheaper. No need to pay for excursions, just the shuttle buses into the cities needed and you can find your own way around. The staff work hard and are helpful. Our room cleaner was brilliant. For the last three days, he shaped animals out of the towels! So whenever we walked in to a clean room, we found one on our bed. Really made us smile. However Costa are focused on taking your money at every turn, including extra €10 daily fee per person. With careful spending, we ended up with extra €340 bill upon disembarking. And that’s without a single alcoholic drink. As soon as you get on board, they push drink packages which cost hundreds of Euros. Choose carefully and come with plenty of extra cash! They charge for everything. Even when you choose a package for the internet (which of course is pricey), then also charge an extra 3 Euros for the pleasure of starting the internet package which you're already paying for??! The entertainment is really lacking, just one 30 minute show each evening. That was the most disappointing thing on board (aside from the money they take from you). Hardly any dance classes until the day at sea. No dance music or live music for the under 65s. Thankfully we found a really good band on the top deck called Night Out which played in front of the swimming pool. There is no room for dancing, and of course, the acoustics were challenging, and yet this band were the best on board by far! Why they put them in a part of the ship that hardly anyone ventured to and is quite ill equipped for entertainment is quite bizarre. There were about a dozen people watching them because of where they were put. Costa - put them on the main floors with a dance floor! They're great. The food during the day is OK, though long queues in the buffet during tea time as they only had one area open for desserts! The even meal was disastrous (but we did have a fabulous waiter). Disguised as upper class food, it was bland, boring and small portions. I really struggled to find anything I liked to eat each evening. If they made the food simpler, it probably would have been ok. They changed the menu every evening except for five standard dishes (e.g spaghetti bolognese, chicken and mashed potato). But then they changed the entire menu half way through the week removing the five standard dishes, which resulted in fewer options. I could have cried! The dance floor only accommodates the over 65s with ballroom and the like. No real disco in the evenings. We were so disappointed. I brought some beautiful dresses with no occasion to wear them. The entertainment is really poor. And of course, if you're from the UK, you'll have to deal with the cruise and language being Italian (and French, Spanish, German). We tried to play one of the games but all the questions were based on Italy and surrounding nations. We just gave up. As for activities, if you're happy spending a fortune in the overcrowded spa, or on Bingo which you have to pay for, or in the Casino, then you're fine. The pool looked nice but was full of children. It had three small jacuzzi pools around the main swimming pool which looked great, but they too were packed and each of them had a large foam floating on top of the water (no doubt from everyone's lotions and creams). Clearly they weren't cleaning the jacuzzis. It really made it uninviting. We won’t be sailing with Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We had a great holiday but it’s the worst ship we have been on. The bars are so boring and old fashioned. No waiting staff at breakfast or pool deck or even in the theatre, even though we paid £300 in tips. Very poor ... Read More
We had a great holiday but it’s the worst ship we have been on. The bars are so boring and old fashioned. No waiting staff at breakfast or pool deck or even in the theatre, even though we paid £300 in tips. Very poor entertainment, not much of it. All parties started very late. All the food was cold, I complained many times, I had upset stomach most of the trip. Very poor manners from Italians and Indians, pushing in. Sun bathing towels was a joke. From 6 am people put towels out, some had 3 beds each, 1 in the sun, 1 in shade plus a sofa and chairs. Great itinerary. Unhelpful reception staff. Lots of cuing for passports and e visas over 1.5 hours for worst time. Tips must be paid, way to much. We upgraded to the club restaurant at €420, it was beautiful and away from the bun fight below. But the food was still cold most of the time. You cannot serve luke warm rice and prawns. Hardly anyone used hand sanitiser, even though corona virus is rife. Great holiday but I don’t like the ship. Happy to be off. I won’t be using costa again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
For people who are not used to paying for water in the 'free' restaurants, this is not for you. You can only get free water from the buffet restaurant. Tea and coffee only free flow in morning and tea time. They do have some ... Read More
For people who are not used to paying for water in the 'free' restaurants, this is not for you. You can only get free water from the buffet restaurant. Tea and coffee only free flow in morning and tea time. They do have some packages for drinks, but it's only worth it if you're a fan of alcohol. Wifi on board is quite weak in the cabin but good in the lounge. Dining wise it'd say the restaurants don't cater much to a very Asian stomach. Mainly western options. If you can appreciate five kinds of chees yes go for it. My mom went mostly to the buffet because she cannot eat very salty food. Desserts were ok, maybe a little repetitive. Personally I prefer dining options onboard Carribbean. Service is genuinely good. Lovely waiters at any restaurants who put up great performance at the end of the voyage and tries to guess your nationality everyday. Some headache about allocation of restaurants and dining time on the first day. The cleaners were cheerful and nice. Performers and dance coaches (?) were sweet and remember you if you've interacted before. Very nice crew who started the ferry service between Phuket and the cruise ship immediately (instead of waiting for a full boat of people) when he saw that I had sand in my eye and needed to get treatment. There was a Chinese New Year celebration they hosted for the chinese speaking passengers. Personally I didn't find it to be well organized. Wrong dates were printed on the invite, planned entertainment was delayed by food distribution. We left halfway because it was boring and went to watch the other night show which was bomb. Overall a good experience. My blessing for all currently onboard. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
When I think of Costa Smeralda I’m drawn to Longfellow’s Poem, “The Little Girl” There was a little girl, And she had a little curl Right in the middle of her forehead, When she was good she was very, very good, And ... Read More
When I think of Costa Smeralda I’m drawn to Longfellow’s Poem, “The Little Girl” There was a little girl, And she had a little curl Right in the middle of her forehead, When she was good she was very, very good, And when she was bad she was horrid. Those last two lines perfectly sum up Smeralda, making this an incredibly difficult review to write. The cruise was a one week, circular cruise from Barcelona, indeed that’s all the ship is scheduled to do in 2020. The day we were due to sail storm Gloria was approaching Barcelona and waves crashing over the sea wall meant the ship had to berth in the container port, resulting in passengers having to check in in central Barcelona – despite this, check-in was very quick and efficient. In the end Gloria meant the ship was 30 hours late leaving Barcelona leading to Palma being omitted from the itinerary. In fairness Costa gave all passengers a €70 onboard credit as compensation and you could hear the frustration in the Captain’s voice when he announced the delay. Speaking of the Captain, it is interesting to note the ship doesn’t have a “meet the Captain” evening – a major plus in my book. The ship is, at the time of writing, the 5th largest cruise ship in the world and the largest outside the Royal Caribbean fleet, with a maximum capacity of some 6,500 passengers. If you are a regular cruiser and are a bit blasé about safety drills beware on this ship, the life jackets onboard are not the same as on other ships. The layout of the ship does differ from other super cruise ships in that it has no internal promenade deck and it is more a mish-mash of different areas. Instead of a traditional atrium, Costa Smeralda has the Colosseo, loosely based on Rome’s Colosseum, it spans three decks and serves as a theatre and entertainment centre which is good in theory but in practice viewing from the upper levels is, at best, limited – thankfully there are plenty of TV screens broadcasting the shows. Speaking of which the shows are broadcast on the ships TV system so you can watch them from the comfort of your own cabin. There is also a theatre, the Sanremo, over two decks at the front of the ship, although it is more like a cabaret bar than a traditional theatre. Whilst talking about these two venues it’s probably worth mentioning the “entertainment” on board – notice the use of quotes there, as entertainment was very limited and done on the cheap. Even on the sea day there was limited entertainment available, especially when compared with other cruise lines, indeed even in comparison with other Costa ships. To save money they even have “virtual” concerts – basically videos of some house band played on a big screen with one member of the entertainment team attempting to encourage guests to dance. On the rare occasion there is some live activity it came close to crossing the line in terms of taste and decency – PC it wasn’t. There are very few quiet areas on the ship either with background noise, I think it’s officially called music, everywhere – even in the lifts. The cabin was a good size and the balcony was very big, almost as big as the cabin, however despite the size it only had two chairs, whereas it could have easily accommodated two sun loungers as well – perhaps they will appear in the summer, when the weather improves. Our cabin steward was conspicuous by his absence, we only saw him once the entire week and that was by accident as we happened to be in the cabin when he came to clean it. This maybe an official policy as other passengers also commented about not seeing their steward. In truth this is no bad thing as, too often in the past, the stewards have been the other extreme and in your face all the time. A subject dear to my heart is food and this is a very iffy area on this ship. There are two buffets onboard, which sounds good in theory – however they are far too small for the number of passengers on board and finding a seat was often a challenge – not helped by some guests taking up permanent residency after they have finished eating. Choices in the buffets are limited and don’t change day to day – breakfast was always the same choice. Bacon was always cooked to within an inch of its life, whilst sausages looked pale and insipid. Steak was available for breakfast but contained more gristle than mead and some days was so highly seasoned it was inedible. It’s worth noting the buffet isn’t a traditional buffet in the majority of the food is served to you by staff and you cannot help yourself. Theoretically this is to reduce waste but in reality food is still wasted. There are several main restaurants, we were allocated a table in the Arlecchino Restaurant, luckily a table for two. The restaurants are odd though as they don’t use table cloths, presumably to reduce the need for cleaning and saving the environment. Dining was an “experience” and not always in a good way. As it quite common we had a waiter and an assistant waiter. Although a pleasant young man the assistant waiter was worse than useless, actually creating more work for the main waiter, this meant he was rushed off his feet and mistakes happened. Food quality varied from the sublime to being so bad I wouldn’t feed it to a dog. One night there was a lamb dish as a main course- it was inedible, what little meat there was on the bones was so tough it got stuck between your teeth – assuming you could find anything edible in the first place. It wasn’t a case of me just being unlucky either, diners on other tables had the same issues. In fairness the waiter did offer an alternate meal but that’s not the point – the food should never have been presented in the first place. Service was incredibly rushed – most days as soon as you put your cutlery down for a course the plate was taken away and the next course appeared immediately. There were even occasions where two courses were served at the same time. To add further intrigue to dinner there was the randomisation factor when dishes you had not even ordered appeared. There were some paid for, premium restaurants, although the only one we used was the pizzeria and, in fairness, it has to be said the pizza was excellent – the charge is €8.50 or €10, including a dessert, although being a Costa club member it was half price – very good value. However it is interesting to note that, despite being an Italian ship, this is the only place on board you can get pizza – it never appears in the dining room or buffet, so if you want pizza you pay for it!! It’s the same with ice cream, they have an excellent Gelateria on board, which you have to pay for, but if you want ice cream as a dessert in the dining room there is a charge. So anything popular, available for a charge, cannot be obtained free elsewhere. Even the Gelateria had its issues though – on day one we fancied an ice cream sundae but after placing the order the waitress came back to tell us they only had ice cream available in one of the three flavours in the sundae – when we returned a couple of days later they had the full set and it was lovely. Similarly, they have a menu of flavoured hot chocolates, from memory there were about ten different options, yet when we went to order only two were available. There is a similar problem if you like tea, it appears each outlet has a limited number of tea bags each day and cannot restock, so if you want Earl Grey tea and they’ve finished their quota it’s tough luck, you have to go round a ship to find an outlet that still has some. When entering the eating areas they have automatic hand washing machines, often instead of a hand sanitiser. That’s all well and good but the soap is so strong it’s no good for people with sensitive skin and where there is no sanitiser option passengers are going in without cleaning their hands. Being only a few months old the ship has a clean fresh appeal, there are some quirky seating areas, however there are also some terribly badly designed carpets with patterns which make your eyes go funny. Each deck is themed on an Italian town or city, with a different coloured theme ranging from subtle blues through to garish orange. There are a few swimming pools but certainly not enough for the number of passengers on board - luck it wasn’t hot and sunny. What was noticeable is how quiet the ship is – on most cruise ships the sound of the engine is an incessant accompaniment to trying to get to sleep – on this ship you were barely aware of the engine noise and vibrations were non existent. For a modern block shaped ship she was also incredibly very stable, leaving Barcelona in the tail end of storm Gloria rolling was slight and rare and even pitching was minimal. There is a museum of Italian design on the ship, which is frankly a complete waste of space. However there are some massive negatives, both of which would be showstoppers in terms of sailing on this vessel again. Firstly this is a new and expensive ship, which clearly has to be paid for and filling the ship every week is going to be a challenge. The cost cutting in terms of entertainment and food quality is already self-evident. They are also filling the ship by charging rock bottom prices which, without wishing to sound snobbish, doesn’t attract your more traditional cruiser. As a fellow passenger succinctly put it “they are clearly aiming for the Blackpool rather than Bournemouth crowd.” It has to be said the approach to life onboard is different to the British approach. Too many passengers were fiery, incredibly rude to waiting and bar staff and have little or no concept of good manners or queuing, which does make for an unpleasant onboard experience. An even bigger negative is they allow smoking on balconies – we were lucky it didn’t cause any problems for most of the voyage, however we acquired new neighbours after Marseille the ship picks up and drops off passengers at every port – and the pair if them were chain smoking Gaulouises type cigarettes on their balcony, effectively making our balcony unusable. I was really looking forward to this cruise as having previously had a really good experience on Costa Victoria I was sure this would be even better – sadly it wasn’t. It has certainly put me off the larger super ships and I would seriously think twice before sailing with Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Cruise number 54 Costa Cruises – Costa Smeralda 20th January to 27th January 2020 Cabin number: 15250 - midship , Deck 15 - Premier Balcony Cabin Total pax : 6554 , Crew : 1646 : Decks : 19 Cruise for 7 nights ... Read More
Cruise number 54 Costa Cruises – Costa Smeralda 20th January to 27th January 2020 Cabin number: 15250 - midship , Deck 15 - Premier Balcony Cabin Total pax : 6554 , Crew : 1646 : Decks : 19 Cruise for 7 nights Barcelona – Palma – at sea – Civitavecchia – La Spezia – Savona – Marseille – Barcelona Eventually we get to cruise on the brand new ship after a delay in delivery of 2 months and rebooking’s being made we get to cruise on the 5th departure. The week started with Storm Gloria hitting Barcelona 2 hours before our arrival, hence preparing ourselves for some disruption. However British Airways got us into BCN on time. Our private transfer got us to the port in a good 30 minutes and that’s where the disruption started. The non-planning and lack of communication by Costa portside and front desk on board was very clear. With over 1000 passengers disembarking and 1000 plus embarking all in the same 20m sq hall which was 7km away from the ship. Needless to say it took 4 hours from arrival to boarding. The drive by bus from the embarkation hall to the ship gave you a perspective of the new look, new direction Costa is going in (checking in excluded) The Costa Smeralda does not resemble any prior Costa cruise ship (exception of the one half size funnel in yellow and blue) it is unique, modern with a stunning freshness. From bow to stern is an exciting build and one you are eager to explore. First entry on board is that of space and banks of elevators taking you to the central areas on board. Who then knew we would be port bound for the next 48 hours. Being Carnival Corp’s first LNG (liquefied natural gas)-powered ship. LNG is the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel. As you venture through the decks, each deck is designed around a Italian city. This brings for uniqueness and steers away from the stereotype found on board other ships. Our Premier Balcony cabin was well laid out, very well decorated and structured. The bathroom being the largest for this class I have yet to find. Our wonderful cabin attendant Gebe from Bangladesh could not do enough for us as our gifts from Costa each day where waiting on our return each afternoon, the cabin kept spotless and checked throughout the day. The corridors and passenger spaces where always clean, neat tidy and with the modern décor always looking like a Italian interior shop window. However, the on going embarking and disembarking of passengers at virtually every port turns a relaxing cruise into a constant bags in corridor, manic receptions and no real structure with 5 of the 7 days having rescue drills and people constantly moving around in life vests this format of booking becomes more like a bus service at sea . I am all for people not having to fly to much to join the ship but restrict from 5 ports of joining to 2 or worse on a 10 day route 3 embarkations The restaurant set up is again new without a central dining room you spread across 4 decks in 5 serviced restaurants, non of the typical themed nights and the “whatever will be will be “ attitude by staffing is not what one expects. Lacking of understanding your work environment leads to very slow service and matre d ‘s that are actually clueless as to the setting out of there restaurants. The on going selling of drinks packages and speciality restaurants borders on harassment when they not meeting daily sales targets. This prompted us to book direct with the Teppanyaki restaurant and had an amazing night with excellent service and food. This could not be said about the pedestrian meals set out by so called Michelin star chefs. The tours in every port (never got to Palma due to Storm Gloria) are always multi lingual, ether English and French, or mixed with German or Russian. They well planned and structured and using companies local is always a good way forward. The productions in the theatre and Colosseo, are the worst I have seen on the 7 Costa ships and 54 cruises overall I have cruised on. Made up of two groups of Ukrainian gymnasts trying to be dancers or a very poor version of cirque du soleil. We got to see 2 shows only in 7 nights as the rest where not ready to be performed. Who contracted these people and why??? Little show segments of half hour slots around the ship in venues that don’t seat more than 400 is not going to keep people busy. Hence a lot of complaints you here about the bad lay out of the main theatre only seating 1000 max and a central Colosseo, which has seating for 400 with 18 x 3 deck high pillars covering 40% of the space. The entertainment team seemed only to be out at the white party the rest of the time in hibernation or just welcoming and saying goodbye to guests on this on going embark and disembark situation. Totally pointless. The hardest working entertainment was the private dance group of 4 giving lessons each day 4 times a day and then having to fill in 4 x 30 minute shows each day as well due to the lack of productions on board. I could have added a lot more to this review, like no water in the cabin being charged 4 euros per bottle amongst others. I would give this wonderful looking ship sadly a wide berth for a long while as the fixes required will take years if not a cut loose start again way forward with crew or going in the direction of others (Virgin , RCCL etc) where what you pay for is merely a place to sleep and décor . This will attract everyone but the wide cruising community that has built the industry up and supported it and are willing to pay for good service , entertainment and food. 2020 star rating – 2+ Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
In comparison to previous cruises I’ve taken I have never seen people board/disembark at every port. This created lots of confusion throughout the cruise and during this period you were not allowed to purchase food or snacks during the ... Read More
In comparison to previous cruises I’ve taken I have never seen people board/disembark at every port. This created lots of confusion throughout the cruise and during this period you were not allowed to purchase food or snacks during the safety drill that occurred everyday with the exception of one sea day. I was in a party of 12 with 4 of them being first time cruisers. I respect all cultures but this was the worst experience ever. The Europeans are VERY RUDE cut in front of you in lines and while waiting for the elevators. Very few crew members spoke English. We were promised certain packages that were never given to us and showed on our bill. When we tried.to discuss the issues no one understood us. The food was terrible from the lobster being soggy to the steak being tuff and limited salad dressing or the creamy salad dressing was like milk/water consistency. You will not get anything related to American food on this ship. You ask for a slice of cake you will get pudding. Other than the room attendant and the bartender and a few guys cooking in the Japanese restaurant the overall service was terrible. We had one tour guide lady that had terrible English and the English speaking people in our group had to keep asking for clarification on the information being shared. My group was so offended by one show they had with white/Europeans with huge Afro wigs, pampers and black Charcoal on their backs. We were unable to get the story of the show but it was very disappointed to see something like this on stage. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The price was good and we thought it would be a good idea to cruise the Middle East with our family. We could have choosen other cruise lines but Costa had the best deal so we boarded on Costa Diadema on our first Costa cruise. We have ... Read More
The price was good and we thought it would be a good idea to cruise the Middle East with our family. We could have choosen other cruise lines but Costa had the best deal so we boarded on Costa Diadema on our first Costa cruise. We have been on other popular cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL, MSC and Celebrity and our expectations were high because it was an italian cruise line! But we were wrong. The ship s decor was really ugly, too many colours and patterns that made no sense at all. Ok, most ships are like that but we always think abut the italians good taste and modern design so it was disappointing. It has pools and jacuzzis and a very small kid s zone but nothing else for teenagers. No mini golf, no water slide, just plain pools. We were lucky with our cabin though. It was an accessible cabin so it was really huge, great bathroom, spacious room and spotless clean. Now what s really important for italians?? Food of course, that s where we got mos disappointed, the menu on Fiorentino restaurant was always very poor. Corona Blu buffet was like being in a war zone, people were fighting for their meals because the area is small and the crew couldn t refil the dishes fast enough. If you were late for the meal you would find out many items were over. What can you say about an italian ship that doesn t serve pizza?? (unless you payed for it at Pummi d`oro!). Entertainement was also one of the poorest we have ever seen. They had an arabian dance show one night that was all but arabian! They have a library onboard that had empty shelves (yes, they had about a dozen books and that was all!) Service was only ok, the crew is, in general, professional but cold. I had a really unpleasant incident at their photo shop as i was looking at my pictures and picked up my phone to answer a message. One of the photografers started shouting at me saying i couldn t take photos of my pictures! It was so embarassing, the thought of taking photos of my photos never ever crossed my mind! Why on Earth would i do that??? If Costa offers me a free cruise vacation I will surely decline. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Embarkation was very disappointing. There was absolutely no system of boarding the ship. On board everything was Italian themed. Even the quizzing and bingo was in Italian. If you are sailing in international waters you need to make ... Read More
Embarkation was very disappointing. There was absolutely no system of boarding the ship. On board everything was Italian themed. Even the quizzing and bingo was in Italian. If you are sailing in international waters you need to make allowances for other passengers as well because not only are Italians travelling on your ship but other nationalities. I think one of the bars should have had English music for at least a couple of hours for non Italian people to enjoy. I spoke to a number of groups while disembarking and they were all very disappointed. As for the food it was horrible. The meats were hard and had no salt or taste. As for the Indian counter the food was absolutely tasteless. The food in the Indian/Asian counters (I felt) were actually the food that the staff eat and Costa decided to make an Indian/Asian counter out of that. Very disappointing. My cabin 6263 was very noisy. All night I could hear banging of doors and could not have a good nights sleep on the 8 day cruise. The staff at the information desk were not very helpful and would get irritated if you asked them a question. I have been on Princess cruises and they is absolutely stunning no comparision to Costa. Princess Cruises are a class above all. I will never ever cruise a Costa ship again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
So I've read a lot of bad reviews about this ship and they are not true at all. I've cruised Costa before as well as Princess, Celebrity, NCL, RCI etc.. To start with it's worth saying that this is not an American cruise ... Read More
So I've read a lot of bad reviews about this ship and they are not true at all. I've cruised Costa before as well as Princess, Celebrity, NCL, RCI etc.. To start with it's worth saying that this is not an American cruise line, its quintessential European (Italian) and you get what you pay for! We paid for a suite for the same price of an ocean view on a similar Celebrity cruise itinerary of the far east. Pro's: - Free room service breakfast (for suites) was well worth it. It avoided the queues and the rather bland breakfast buffet. Really good option! - Staff were generally amazing. Especially restaurant staff, our Butler Angelo and our room steward Babbo (?) - Lunch buffet and dinner buffet were good. Not amazing but on par with carnival cruises -Evening meals at the speciality restaurant which is included for suite guests is good! Some really good options especially if you are a fish eater! - Clean ship with lots of pools and hot tubs, plus a free spa which is good -Suites are awesome and worth paying the extra for! Huge balcony and shower room, plus priority boarding , tenders, disembarking etc.. Con's: - Entertainment is generally terrible. I don't go on cruises for the entertainment, but if you do then please note this! You get what you pay for with the entertainment - The food is generally geared towards meat eaters at the sit down restaurants. Just a note for any vegetarians or vegans. I coped ok, but with a lot of cheese and pasta - The experience would have been considerably different had we not had a suite. Our friends had a standard balcony and said they didn't enjoy it as much due to not as great food options, queuing, no free drinks package , no butler etc.. we had such an awesome deal it made sense. Could never afford it on NCL or princess etc.. Generally very good, great itinerary and I would recommend it for anyone looking for something slightly different and cheaper. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The dates worked for us, the itinerary looked fine and we were excited to share good family time aboard a new ship that promised a high quality cruise experience and delicious Italian food. We occasionally choose cruise ship travel with ... Read More
The dates worked for us, the itinerary looked fine and we were excited to share good family time aboard a new ship that promised a high quality cruise experience and delicious Italian food. We occasionally choose cruise ship travel with our 2 young adult daughters and their partners and especially appreciate extended dinners, good food and excellent service. We were stunned on our first night at the horrible food that was brought to us. It was both indistinguishable and inedible! Apparently the "new design" of this cruise ship contains a single mid ship kitchen that is tasked with preparing (90% of food served on this ship is designated on menus as previously frozen for compliance reasons.) This means that wait staff must run to mid ship to get food items, thus the food is often cold, delayed and brought in random sequence throughout the meal. We were entertained watching other passengers look alarmingly and curiously at their food -- wondering what it was and how curious it looked and how bad it often tasted. This is sad. Menu item descriptions were not clear and on several occasions a different item would be brought for the same item description. The ship personnel did their very best to make guests happy -- clearly they were put into an impossible situation. We noted the "rank" of employees, especially in the cafeteria where managers would rudely "bark orders" and lower ranking waiters and table clearers. This made us very uncomfortable. To be fair, given the price of these cruises, customers don't pay for high end food. They tried to make us happy and brought us requested vegetables and white rice to us nightly so we could get some nutrition. So strange also to be on a ship that does not have coffee and/water available throughout the day. They charged for water! Entertainment was average to below average with an amazing acrobatic show. Low to mid range singers and lots of tacky videos accompanied by "porn like" sound tracks. It was laughable -- The rooms were nice and clean and the ship was very clean, of course it was new. In one of the ships areas there were so many pillars you could see from way to many seats. One day while returning to the ship we were forced to stand in line for nearly an hour waiting for new passengers to go through the desk. People had been waiting for up to 2 hours because they didn't have enough desk staff. Management was responsive and seemed to care but are helpless because this ship and the way it is run falls way below the mark for the average cruise customer. In the future we will avoid COSTA cruise. What irks me most is that COSTA knows it is delivering this kind of cruise experience and I don't think they care, once they have your money, they will do their best to placate you thought the experience. We still had a great time with our family and exploring the towns where we docked. Pool is super NOISY - no place for quiet reading time like on many ships. No Library or Internet/Computer Lounge. Pretty much what you read here in other reviews about the disappointing aspect of the Smerelda are true. Reading these reviews reminded us of aspects of the cruise we downplayed when we are on it, but all of it is true. Literally can not get a slice of pizza or ice cream on this ship without paying more. Stay away from Smerelda Inedibelda ! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Went on Costa Fortuna for about 2 weeks (2 adults 2 children) just came back. We have great things to say about the staff in restaurants, buffet and room service. The food was good and catered for food allergies. Although that’s it for ... Read More
Went on Costa Fortuna for about 2 weeks (2 adults 2 children) just came back. We have great things to say about the staff in restaurants, buffet and room service. The food was good and catered for food allergies. Although that’s it for the positives the rest was terrible. Spa manager was very rude, not all the gym classes booked online are available on ship. Took 6 attempts to get refunded. Kids club catered for Italians speaking mainly, even if on occasions the majority of kids spoke English. Entertainment very limited, musician accompanied by audio music. People complained for extra cost for water and gratuities. Pool deck unmanaged people leave towels on chairs all day (yet not used) leaving no seats available. Air conditioning in rooms hot and stuffy, reported 4 times no change. We had pina colada on board it was very watery no taste. Excursions on board way too expensive. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this as a last minute cruise with a deal we found on Black Friday. You get what you pay for. This was our 4th and worst (by far) cruise. If you are american expect to be treated horrible. I had one bar staff (Roberto Santo) ... Read More
We chose this as a last minute cruise with a deal we found on Black Friday. You get what you pay for. This was our 4th and worst (by far) cruise. If you are american expect to be treated horrible. I had one bar staff (Roberto Santo) who intentionally served other Italian guests (that came to the bar AFTER me) before serving me. He was so rude! Here are just some of the complaints: *They do not provide pen or paper anywhere (in the room even) *We bought the drink package-many times we would wait in an unorganized line only to have many people cut in front of us just to be told they didn't have the drink we were wanting at this bar and we would have to go to another bar. *If you buy the drink package find a drink menu and take it to your room-the bars don't even have them! *There is no food after 8pm (or if there is it is lunch meat, cheese slices, and fruit) you have to pay for pizza after 8pm-Ice cream costs all the time! *They don't have shuffle board!?!? They do have basketball but only have 3 balls on the ship and don't require them returned so people check them out at the beginning of the cruise and never return them! *They charge to play ping/pong *There is only 1 plug in the whole room to plug stuff in *Their Costa app doesn't work for US citizens *They have the most unfriendly staff around! I have never had someone turn their back on me so much and just walk away. Very unhappy staff! *They don't offer anything but water with your sit-down dinner service (I got up one night and went to the bar then came back with drinks. *Their buffet closes!?!?!? *They won't give you a whole can of soda with a drink package they open it and pour it in a cup then if you go get a drink later you get flat soda from a previously opened can! *Their ice/water machines are horrid--many times you cannot get anything out of them! *We had dirty linen in the drawer under our couch. I took them out hoping for clean ones and they just re-folded and put on the couch. *Their evening shows are boring ---they need more variety than just singing and dancing. The comedian and acrobatic shows were the only good ones. Here is the one positive thing I can say *Their evening shows always started on time *They do have ONE staff member who smiled and worked hard: Juan Zapata Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
It was by far the worst cruise we have ever been on! The service was terrible! Nobody was friendly. Bartenders are not nice or helpful. The food is absolute trash and the chefs and servers are very very rude. We talked to over 50 people ... Read More
It was by far the worst cruise we have ever been on! The service was terrible! Nobody was friendly. Bartenders are not nice or helpful. The food is absolute trash and the chefs and servers are very very rude. We talked to over 50 people and all of them agreed to never go on a costa again. After 8pm you can’t get anything to eat except for the pizza that they charge you for. Can’t get bottles of water unless you want to pay $8 for a bottle. Anytime food is put out it’s a race to get it first as they run out every meal. There is more things to list then I can even remember. It was terrible and nobody was happy nor did anyone speak English or understand you when you talked to them. Most of the crew would turn there back on you and walk away and not acknowledge you at all. No basketballs or volleyballs available they said they were all rented. No other activities on board. Pools were closed half the time. 4 year old boy couldn’t sit in the hot tub with parents. Drink packages never included everything there was always a catch or scam to charge you for something even with the unlimited drink package. Hotel room service charge daily per person. Terrible cruise line! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise at the last minute for a New Years Cruise, our first of this nature. The ship is beautiful, the cabin spacious, entertainment and activities are above average for a cruise of 7 days. BUT, this ship is really ... Read More
We chose this cruise at the last minute for a New Years Cruise, our first of this nature. The ship is beautiful, the cabin spacious, entertainment and activities are above average for a cruise of 7 days. BUT, this ship is really BEAUTIFUL, Murano glass, marble floors and highly polished interiors make the Luminosa a spectacular ship. We had booked this cruise, allowing the cruise line to assign our room which turned out to be not that bad. Embarkation was relatively painless, as was debarkation. We opted to walk off, a quicker way to exit the ship. The bar staff is very well trained and energetic, however, timing should be redone to schedule more bartenders prior to dinner times as a crowd usually start to amass 30 minutes before assigned dinner seating's. If you are going to enjoy cocktails, cappuccino, coffee, wine with dinner etc....it is recommended that you purchase a beverage package. We opted for the piu gusto. But be prepared to purchase water at cruise stops, less expensive. Our cabin steward was fantastic, our room was always clean and he always had a pleasant hello when seen in the hallway. Entertainment was wonderful, colorful, and everything I expected. The New Years Show was excellent. We opted for the Vueve champagne package which came with a private table on the upper deck during the festivities and was well worth the $69 paid. Now for the sad part....I am of Italian descent, groomed in a kitchen and taught to cook at a very young age. That being said, our dinner menu leaves much to be desired. On one seating, dinner served was "shrimp salad" appetizer (this was ridiculous as I was served 6 / 16-20 shrimp cold on 3 leaves of arugula) Granted, shrimp salad should be cold, but I expected somewhat more in a presentation and quantity. Another seating, risotto with snow crab cluster was served (and by cluster I mean is should have said snow crab garnish) Not only was the snow crab cold, it was not prepared correctly as the meat could not be extracted from the shell without a fight. Additionally, no steel cracker, nor small fork was given to extract meat either. On another night, a guest seated next to me laughed at the choice of his dinner which was hot dogs on a skewer....amazing even to be on the menu on an Italian Cruise Line. The buffets were mundane at best....serving italian slice meats, runny scrambled eggs, and grilled pork chops....and that was breakfast. Lunch is a similar buffet, bar the eggs, but still not spectacular. Their waitstaff needs to visit a Disney Cruise Line and be trained in salutation and food delivery. No one I encountered in the buffet area, as far as staff, bothered to ask if everything was satisfactory, or if I needed any water or coffee. Smiles to not exist here. Staff is barely present in the dining room, having one poor waiter taking care of about 30 diners. (Along with one back waiter) The gelato bar is only open for a small window of time, so make plans to visit, it is wonderful. Food is usually served cold and barely palatable. So much for the Michelin chef. Moving on and off the ship are done very nicely with the utilization of your Costa Card, which is your payment card while on the ship. Do not be drawn in by sales while on the ship, the merchandise is vastly overpriced to begin with, and even with a "sale" barely a deal. I purchase an iTouch smart watch, priced at $99, on sale for $69 only to find out later, that Amazon has the same watch with free shipping for $39. As the saying goes...."Let the buyer beware" Ports of call are a plus on this ship, as Grand Turk, Amber Cove, Nassau, and Key West are nice stops. Be ready to experience the t-shirt extravaganza at all ports. I have been to most of these ports before and knew what to expect. That being said, I have my favorite vendors in most ports, especially Nassau. We opted to rent chairs and an umbrella in Grand Turk and had a great time at the pool. $45 covers your rental all day and includes a solar powered cooler for your beverages...a nice touch. In Key West, if you have never been before, opt for the hop-on hop-off trolley. A nice excursion around the town with narration on the history of this great town. Do the Duval walk about and be charmed at what Key West is all about....you will love it. In Amber Cove, we took the excursion to Puerta Plata and surrounding area to include the cigar factory, the Don Fernando ranch, and the chocolate factory. Some hype about each of the factories products, but we purchase cigars and chocolate just the same. Lunch was provided at the ranch and was wonderful. On a closing note, the cruise line should be aware of families travelling with small children and NOT seat them at the second seating of dinner (8:30pm) as they are usually cranky and run amuk in the dining room, or cry through most of dinner, not impressive. I hope this review help you in your choice of cruise lines for your next vacation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted a short year end cruise. It was very convenient for us as it sailed from Buenos Aires to Rio and we could us the ship as a hotel in Rio for the night of December 30th to December 31st, 2019. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted a short year end cruise. It was very convenient for us as it sailed from Buenos Aires to Rio and we could us the ship as a hotel in Rio for the night of December 30th to December 31st, 2019. The ship is nice like any Costa ship made by Fincantieri. We embarked in Buenos Aires after a two days stay in this amazing city. Embarkation procedures were quick and efficient. We had two cabins; my wife and I were in balcony cabin 6420 and my daughter and son in law were in interior cabin 7224. Our balcony cabin was quite nice, similar to the one that we had two years ago in Costa Diadema. My daughter said their interior premium cabin was pretty nice too. We enjoyed the many bars and the entertainment of this ship. It is a ship with great ambiance and with lots of music to choose from. The entertainment people were fantastic. The food at the restaurant New York New York was just ok not great like in other ships like Luminosa or Diadema, maybe because the menu is better on Mediterranean cruises. Here the menu was a mix of Italian, Brasilian and Argentinian dishes to please their South American guests.Some dishes were great like the Caprese salad made with the mozzarella made on the ship, or the roasted prime rib or the pasta dishes.Our waiter Marlon was just correct. Regarding our cabin steward, we never met him. He did not make any of the nice animals they usually make with towels.We had to ask through the virtual concierge for soap, shampoo, body cream and additional pillows. The room was cleaned and the bed made in the morning, never at night like in other cruises. We thought , we deserved a better service being level Perla Costa Club members. We must say that the shows at the theater were very nice, we loved the Christmas show and the Lyric show with a great tenor. Service at the bars was good. We did not take any excursion. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Decided to enjoy Christmas on a cruise around Italy Spain and france . This is a new ship . It had been delayed in leaving for its maiden voyage a few weeks earlier as it wasn’t quite ready . We had hoped it would be ready for our cruise ... Read More
Decided to enjoy Christmas on a cruise around Italy Spain and france . This is a new ship . It had been delayed in leaving for its maiden voyage a few weeks earlier as it wasn’t quite ready . We had hoped it would be ready for our cruise on the 23rd of December 2019. Reassuringly we were told our cruise hadn’t been cancelled and our cruise dates were to be the maiden voyage. Arriving to board in the port of Barcelona we found the check in process at the terminal straightforward. The terminal in Barcelona is huge and spacious but no where to have a coffee or drink as the only cafe was closed. Not too big a problem because we boarded fairly quickly. Once boarding the ship there appears to be zero information of any kind whatsoever. In fact we had to ask a member of the animation team (who was dancing around) what we had to do . Do we have to check in to reception? and how to get to the rooms ? and even if the rooms were ready ? Nobody knows . Just hedge your bets and make a trek to your room. We had a balcony room on deck 12. Room 12267 . My mother-in-law and our son shared a separate internal Cabin on deck 9, room 9145. Of course the ship is brand new so all the furnishings are very clean and tidy . The faults I found with the room is firstly you cannot switch off the air con facility.either cold or warm air constantly. Secondly all the balconies are joined together with locked partitions . Great idea but not so great if the cleaner decides to unlock every balcony door so that all rooms in the corridor are then accessible without a key . There is no mini fridge in the room . I’m on the best drinks package but I don’t even get a daily bottle of water in my room. There’s a ridiculous curtain which hides a full lengthwise Dow looking into the shower cubicle. Don’t get the point of this at all. The nicest part of the cabin is that you don’t need to pay extra for the locked safe and the bed is relatively comfortable. Being English speaking it’s nice to have some English tv . You would think that’s possible on such a big ship especially as it’s such a popular language . Over 40 plus tv channels and only have one bbc news channel . You can’t even change language settings on the tv remote to watch programs in their original recording . Some points I’ve listed 1. RECEPTION. Being a ship of almost 4000 passengers the designer of the ship felt a reception desk with only 5 computer terminals was enough . The actual size of the receptiion area will be space enough only for two parked cars and then not even all of these desks are open at all times . During one visit to make another complaint at reception I was in a que of almost 61 people waiting to be served . You guessed it, I didn’t wait . A special thank you to the receptionist called Mstyslav. He was a truly useless receptionist . I was Trying to make a complaint to him but it got me nowhere. He then refuses to offer any help, refuses even to give me a pen to write down his name .This was exceptional service from an ignorant reception member . I can’t imagine he will last long with this attitude . Perhaps I caught him on his period. 2. SPA. Just beautiful to look at . Again being brand new everything was furnished nicely . Brought two 7day passes to use the spa. Had a rubbish 190euro massage . After the massage I was given a lecture on what I needed to buy to maintain my Colon and Intestines in order to prevent my neck pains . Can’t see the connection between the two myself. Lovey large sauna area and small Hammam . There is a snow room also which is a novelty but after a couple of minutes it’s just way too cold. The annoying parts are that none of the locker wristbands in the spa ever worked correctly so you are forever changing them over to get one to actually lock . Of course this is frustrating to the clients as well as the spa team who are constantly huffing and puffing when you are changing wristbands maybe 4 or 5 times . By day two of the cruise every one of the 26-27 sun beds in the spa were occupied . There appears to be no crowd management control , and it filled up very quickly. Whilst you are in the sauna the staff are giving tours around the spa to other guests that they want to entice to visit them . This includes children (who are not even allowed in the spa). The tours are given around the wet areas of the spa while passengers are wearing their own clothes and shoes . The people being shown around are peering I tot he sauna as you sit there in your pants. Perhaps they should consider using shoe covers if they want to have passengers visiting for a tour of the spa as that would be more hygienic then allowing them to walk through these areas in their own footwear and fully clothed 3. SWIMMING POOL . We were told there are four pools . In reality there is a jacuzzi pool in the spa ( of course you pay extra for this ) There is one Centre pool on deck 16. It’s a tiny pool to cater for this many passengers. My son was desperate to try the lovely slide. Of course it was shut the first few days because they were still testing it (don’t take our money if you can’t provide a service). Once it did open it was only open for two hours per day. It was useless timing when trying to entertain a young child. It’s the only novelty of the ship that the children can enjoy if it’s open long enough 4. KIDS CLUB. Used this on two occasions . My son is 8. He didn’t enjoy the club. He got bored and refused to go by the third day. If you don’t book lunch for your child with the kids club then when lunchtime arrives then you will have to collect your child because they actually close the kids club to take the prebooked children for their lunch . How crazy is that . Perhaps consider keeping the club open and having more staff to take the other children to lunch . You have to book lunch for them before 10:30. It was 10:45 and I had to argue with the rep at the door to get a meal for my son . Cannot comment further on the club as adults are not allowed inside and rightly so . 5. THE GYM. Don’t worry about this because there is so much walking to do from your room in order to go to the reception desk to lodge a complaint that you won’t need any additional exercise. Your trips to reception to lodge your complaints will help you shed pounds and inches . 6. PIZZA RESTAURANT. Ordered two takeaway pizzas here. We were given the wrong pizza once we arrived into our room to eat them . Complained the next day . My drinks package was the highest drinks package but the pizza restaurant (where you pay additionally for food ) is only able to provide the basic red and white wine of the basic package . What’s the point of a drinks package that you can’t actually use ???? 7. PANORAMA RESTAURANT. Lovely warm food. And nice service by Aimee and Dino . Had a fillet steak here ( paid extra to eat here) was a pleasant experience. Again having the more expensive drinks package was a waste of time 8. TEPANYAKI RESTAURANT. This was the nicest restaurant to eat in ( again you pay extra here ). Being much like a show it was a more pleasant experience. Again us having a higher drinks package meant they have to go to another bar to bring you your better quality wines. They can only bring it by the glass because if I ask for a bottle then I’m charged full price . 9. BUFFET RESTAURANT. Do you like wrestling and begging ?? Then this is the place for you . Ate here a couple of times . Every thing is spread so far apart that it’s just too big to negotiate. There is a coffee machine located in an area the size of an aeroplane toilet. The queue for the coffee go for miles. When you get to the front they have no cups left . Sometimes you are given coffee cups. Most of the time your are begging a waiter to provide more cups. It’s a buffet restaurant but everything is placed behind glass so you cannot help yourself . In principle a great idea as people are not touching the food needlessly . If you visit the dessert section you will see a member of staff trying to serve 20 people at a time with no order of service . People shouting at him to give them puddings 10. Rigatoni II restaurant. This was our allocated dining room . Although some of the food is ok it is never hot. I like my food to be very hot when it arrives. They won’t give you a bottle of water . You are served cups of water . Seems a rubbish way to serve water. All in all it was disappointing in the quality of the food . 11. Some of the toilets on different decks only serve women or only serve men ! So if yours is a mixed party then be prepared to walk around looking for the correct gender toilet or do what I do and use any ! 12. There is an open air cinema screen on deck 16/17. It appears only to show adverts for costa cruises . What a waste . They genuinely should consider having movies shown here. I understand you are a new ship but if you are not fully ready then do not open for boarding or pay back the money you took off the passengers. 13. Painting . They hadn’t finished painting the ship so some of the deck areas were cordened off whilst they paint. A lovely aroma of fresh paint . Perhaps the passengers should have helped as they had nothing else to do on this ship . 14. Was it Christmas . ??? You wouldn’t have guessed it was actually Christmas on this ship . The lack of any Christmas decorations or any acknowledgement of the Christmas festivities except my free panatone delivered to my room . Maybe Costa Cruises don’t believe In Christmas or Santa Claus ? 15. Shows. A couple of the shows were ok. But repeated on consecutive days . They should have booked a special act for Christmas Day but they just did a repeat show . The dancers and show teams were good. Not so difficult when you are young and have a perfect physique. 16. Bars . Some bars have menus of drinks that they don’t actually serve . Don’t ask for any novelty drinks . They seriously will only serve you what’s on the bar menu . The mixologists are not capable of making anything else. You are better off requesting the individual drink ingredients and mixing it yourself if it’s an unusual drink . Unusual your asking, what could I mean ??? I only asked for an expresso martini !!! 17. Disembarkation. You will be counting the days to your disembarkation. If you cannot wait then of course you could try the excursions . There is no information of procedure. Our two cabins were booked on a joint booking but given different luggage tags for disembarkation. I was advised the night before not to worry . The incorrect details for disembarkation (actually no details) were left at my door. Hence the morning of disembarkation another trip to dreaded reception . 18. Excursions . We got off at Palma and made our own way in a taxi to sightsee . We got the small train excursion in Rome also and then did our own thing again . Half our party were given pre printed transfer tickets for the Rome transfer then the other half given nothing . Another trip to complain to reception was needed where I’m advised no ticket is needed. Very chaotic. I really cannot recommend this boat . It’s such a disappointment and such a waste of money . I would call it a ferry at best . It’s gets to you each port but there is actually nothing to do on this boat. Please consider a trip with a different cruise company as you will truly regret the visit into this monumental disaster from costa cruises . The lack of any sort of organization and lack of any activities on this ship is truly mind blowing . I can truly confirm never to use costa cruises again . We met not even one happy customer on this trip . Some of the passengers complaining are expert cruise users . I heard they are building another ship to match the smeralda. A waste of money Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
It sounded like fun to sail away for the Christmas holiday but it was last minute and many cruises were booked. Along comes Costa with their fantastic itinerary and price. I read many negative reviews before sailing but I am here to tell ... Read More
It sounded like fun to sail away for the Christmas holiday but it was last minute and many cruises were booked. Along comes Costa with their fantastic itinerary and price. I read many negative reviews before sailing but I am here to tell all of you and especially those of you in the US, not to pay attention to the negative reviews. Embarkation was the fastest we have had out of 6 cruises including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Carnival and MSC. We arrived about an hour after they said we could embark and got right on the ship with no waiting. Our room key was in the room so we went directly there and while checking out our cabin, the suitcases were delivered! The balcony cabin on deck 7 was like any other balcony cabin room we have had however there was much more storage space on Luminosa. The ship is immaculate at all times. We had a service problem with the only American electric outlet in the room but it was fixed immediately. Entertainment crew does their best to get everyone involved. There is sometimes a language barrier but it wasn't an issue. Our one and only issue was that the cruise director spoke mostly in Italian and when he spoke in English it was so rushed we couldn't understand. Food was outstanding. The buffet is open several hours a day. The restaurant was entertaining. Excursions were well organized and we enjoyed our very much. Disembarkation was organized and very fast. All in all, we had a wonderful time on Luminosa and it was a terrific value for the money! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Staff was very helpfull, food was fantastic. Overall I give it a 8.5 out of 10. English was no problem for any of the staff. We are family of 6 and I will definately use Costa Deliziosa again. Great enternainment, very good safety ... Read More
Staff was very helpfull, food was fantastic. Overall I give it a 8.5 out of 10. English was no problem for any of the staff. We are family of 6 and I will definately use Costa Deliziosa again. Great enternainment, very good safety procedures, overall proffesional outfit. We only did the 7 night mediteranean, beautiful weather and ports visited exceed expectations. The balconies just give you something special. If you font have a drink package you may expect to pay a lot on any cruise ship. We enjoyed the shows, the singers and dancers were very proffesional. Facilities on board were very clean, the swimming pools were well maintained. All you have to watch is your weight and the crew will take care of the rest. Ports of Dubrovski, Athens, Venice, Bari, Kotor and Corfu is beautifull. Plan upfront and you'll gave enough time for good visit. Well done Costa!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose the cruise not because of the ship but mainly due to the dates 22/12 from Barcelona suited my work break and family commitments. Living on the island of Lanzarote my plan was to take an internal flight to BCN and catch the cruise ... Read More
I chose the cruise not because of the ship but mainly due to the dates 22/12 from Barcelona suited my work break and family commitments. Living on the island of Lanzarote my plan was to take an internal flight to BCN and catch the cruise ship for our 7 day festive trip. Boarding the ship at Barcelona was fast and efficient although be aware in the departure lounge there is no cafe/bar in fact no place selling cold drinks or food however as the boarding was extremely fast it wasn’t an issue. Once onboard we weren’t greeted by anyone nor we we offered any kind of instructions as what or where we should go. I sought advice from a a member fo the crew who gave me some directions of where to find my mothers cabin. We had booked 2 cabins an internal on the 9th floor ( room 9145 ) this room was super small and at this point i decided to ask for an upgrade. My own room was 12267 an external with a balcony. The room itself was more than adequate with nice new furnishings and fixtures. The reception staff were not able to offer me any kind of upgrade as the ship was full. At first they thought i wanted the upgrade for free, i explained that i was more than happy to pay for it but the response was no upgrade available. Not to worry “or so i thought”. Each restaurant we very well furnished and clean I can not express how clean and new everything was so much so that the crew were mostly clueless as to where things are or what entitlement was for drinks. I had upgraded to the Intendore Package This is a big mistake as you don’t really get anything extra for this. Absolute waste of money. The wine list is set out so any bottle of wine you have to buy but i could have a glass of certain wines but if i wanted a bottle it was to pay for. All very very confusing. All the bars onboard display the same drinks menu but be warned as not all the bars serve the drinks on the menu. Example .... in the sports bar i asked for a cocktail from the menu but was told no, then in the pizza bar i asked for a red wine i was told no and so on. The guys in the Campari Bar really are a great bunch and were the saving grace for the night time crew. The Spa Solomeio Spa what can I say. I paid 110e x 2 for the week pass but be warned as it has a small spa pool and 24 sun beds and they fill up extremely quick and you find yourself pacing the rounds looking for a bed. The sauna and steam room are new and well kept and there in a novelty snow room. None of the key fobs for lockers were working and consequently the staff were getting very frustrated with passengers who were complaining either too full or locker fobs etc. I did complain to the Spa staff about the size of the Spa and pool for 6000plus passengers. There needs to be some form of passenger traffic flow applied especially when people like us paid upfront to use this facility. The WiFi packages are all a joke. Again i paid up front 110e for the 3gb package it didn’t work and after 4 days of complaints i received a refund. The Buffet restaurant is like Piccadilly Circus in rush hour, that was quite unpleasant and the food items are scattered across such a vast area it becomes impossible to sit and have a timely meal without entering back into the scrum for you next course. Again no wines available other than the basic white. I did ask if there was any other selection as i do like my wines and enjoy trying different varieties but once again I was told no. Reception area on this ship was like a war zone from mornin until night throngs of people hanging about waiting in line to lodge their complaint. All nationalities all angry people. I myself became one of many to take my ticket and join the line waiting to lodge one of many complaints. It’s an open area with 4 or 5 counters that afford no privacy so we can all hear each other. The crew are human and would snap under the pressure and often became quite rude to passengers, myself included. This design is quite stupid and should be scrapped. I appreciate that staffing a ship like this is a mammoth task however it was evident that many of the crew had no desire to be there on that ship and perhaps felt that they had little or no option. Recruited from the Philippines or India with little to no interest of passenger hospitality. This i found had a massive impact on the feel of the ship, the ignorant leading the ignorant springs to mind. The upper deck swimming pools are 3 the main pool in under cover on deck 17 and is way too small for the passenger flow. The two extras pools are equally smaller and do not equip a ship of this size it turns the area into a municipality swimming pool from the 1980’s England not the Italian Lido that it aims to convey. The water park was a massive disappointment it remained closed for the first 3 days excuse as it hadn’t been tested when it did open it was only for two hours. My 8 year old was disappointed but perhaps the weather didn’t allow for it to be opened for longer periods. It was obvious that this ship wasn’t ready not only were the crew ill prepared but they had painting crews everywhere on upper deck painting during the day two of the bars on upper deck permanently closed. It was all very disorganized. My overall opinion is that this ship is not s cruise ship but a ferry boat that is only suitable for 2-3 night trips (any longer is simply too long). It’s not really a holiday feeling its more of a means to get to a holiday. Very disappointed and after paying 7300e it hasn’t been an economic lesson to learn. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Worse cruise I have ever gone to. Terrible food. They promote 17 restaurants. These include nutella bars, ice cream, sports bar, and like three or four light meal/tapa places. One is only available to costa members and one only for those ... Read More
Worse cruise I have ever gone to. Terrible food. They promote 17 restaurants. These include nutella bars, ice cream, sports bar, and like three or four light meal/tapa places. One is only available to costa members and one only for those with families. You’re left with the assigned restaurant which serves terrible food, a pizza place, and a teppanyaki. The buffet basically serves italian food with very limited options. The restaurants and constantly closing and opening. At one point there was nothing open and we refused to eat at the buffet. We initiallu thought that maybe the real italian food was simply different to the italian food we are used to at our home town. However, the food in the different cities we visited was fantastic. The breakfast is basically an expanded continental breakfast. The ship is new and we were excited since cruises deteriorate with time. However, staff members were not trained. None of them could tell us where the different restaurants or different things were in the ship. The excursions are a ripoff. For a 5 hour excursion you’d spend 2 hours getting there and 2 hours getting back, with an hour to take quick pictures of the monument. You barely have enough time to eat. One of the excursions was at 2:30. By the time we arrived, it was already starting to get dark. The fitness room is too small for the amount of people. And they don’t even let you use the aerobic room which was for paid classes. However every single time I went to the gym, the aerobic room was completely empty while I was trying to find some space to use the dumbbells. If you’re still planning to go, make sure you check your credit card constantly. We were charged 200 dollars for no reason. Which came at no surprise since during our trip to the spa, about 3 other persons were there to complain about mystery charges to their credit cards. Other than that, the staff was nice and the rooms and cruise were very clean. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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