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1 Costa Fascinosa Greece Cruise Reviews

We decided to fly to Venice a day before our flight because we had heard that Marco Polo airport is sometimes fogged in and we did not want to miss embarkation of the Costa Fascinosa. The following day we did the usual trips around the ... Read More
We decided to fly to Venice a day before our flight because we had heard that Marco Polo airport is sometimes fogged in and we did not want to miss embarkation of the Costa Fascinosa. The following day we did the usual trips around the canals on the Vaporettos or water taxis before heading to the cruise port with our cases to check in. Embarkation It had been foggy that morning but was clearing up when we arrived at the port. What we did notice was that there was no sign of the ship which is unusual because they are so big it is hard to miss them. A lot of people were heading away from the terminal with their cases toward a large number of coaches. This should have given us a clue. We were directed up escalators with our large cases and joined a queue supposedly to check in. After waiting about 20 minutes in the queue we reached the front and discovered that the Costa Fascinosa was in fact lying in Trieste and we were to go back down stairs cross the road and get on a coach. We were given a card with a number 10 on it and were told to wait until our number was called. When the number was called a while later we struggled down the stairs with our large cases then across the road to the waiting coaches. We left Venice and headed off towards Trieste a 2 hour plus journey. Unfortunately there was a serious accident holding up traffic on the way so the 2 hours journey was nearer 3 hours long. On arriving we saw the fabulous Costa Fascinosa sitting in the terminal next to an Italian aircraft carrier which looked very small next to the massive Costa ship. We got off the coach expecting our cases to be taken away and on to the ship as they were all labeled and ready for the cabin. Wrong. We joined a large melee of passengers from other coaches all looking a bit confused with no one directing or giving instructions. It turned out we had to drop our bags off around the corner of the terminal building at a single X-ray security point one case at a time. While queuing a Costa person turned up and started handing out more numbered cards but without explanation of their significance . We shuffled forward to the corner of the building and through an iron gate and eventually saw our destination ahead as the funnel of passengers diminished until we reached the two porters loading cases on to a conveyor belt and an X-ray machine. We then were able to walk back around the crowd to the entrance of the terminal building. We sat down but at that point had no clue what was going on. After about half an hour, finally some one got on to a microphone and told us to wait for our number to be called so that we could proceed through to the next room. When our number was called we went through to the next room and joined another queue which to be fair was much more orderly and moved quite quickly to the front where four Costa personnel checked our paper work and took our photos and then told us to board the ship after the inevitable embarkation photograph. No room key cards had been given to us but we found out that the keys were on our beds in our state room which was unlocked. Public Areas The Costa Fascinosa is a beautiful ship and the internal decor is marble and polished wood and richly patterned carpets. There are a number of very nice bars, and two main restaurants, one amidships on two decks and one near the stern and a speciality restaurant which we did not use. There was also a buffet on deck 9 The gym was very well equipped but also very busy. Food We found the buffet very disappointing both at breakfast and lunch. Also the breakfast closed down very promptly at 10.30 and sometimes earlier and drink stations were also closed down. Although there was more choice during the lunch period the quality of food was disappointing. We ate in the main restaurant the Otto e Mezzo on deck 3. Food was well presented but not very tasty and one meal of chicken was undercooked. The waiters in the restaurant were very good and because we were on the all inclusive package, our wine glasses always remained full and we did not have to ask for refills. On the last night the waiters gave an entertaining cabaret performance at the end of the meal. Versions of this can be seen on YouTube. Apart from the waiters at dinner, most of the crew were efficient but not particularly friendly. The ship did not feel like a happy ship and crew members did not smile much. One of the reasons for choosing this cruise was the itinerary. Starting off in Venice, well at least in theory, we sailed out of Trieste and down the Adriatic to Bari in southern Italy and then on to the Greek Islands before finishing in Dubrovnik. Having purchased the drinks package, about 25 euros a day per person, the opportunity to enjoy some on board cocktails and glasses of wine was a definite bonus given the disappointing food. We enjoyed watching the enthusiastic dance couples on the Topkapi dance floor before dinner each night while enjoying cocktails. The casino had a few tables which seemed quite busy at times and there was an interesting selection of colourful Vegas Style slot machines. We only caught the tail end of one show in the theatre. They looked very professional and we probably missed a good thing not seeing the shows in full. We were able to sail back in to Venice at the end of the cruise and it was worth getting up early to enjoy the views as we passed St Marks Square. We had to be out of our cabins by 8 a.m. our luggage colour coded was left outside the cabin the previous night. Disembarkation or debarking as some call it now was relatively well organised and we were off the ship by 10.30. We were through to the outside of building 107 very quickly and were able to leave our luggage at building 103 for 5 euros per bag. When we found building 103 which was close to the water taxi ticket offices we discovered that we could have our luggage taken to the airport for 10 euros per bag. This was really useful as we were able to leave not only our large cases but our smaller cabin luggage with the baggage handlers and we arranged to pick them all up outside departures at Marco Polo, 2 hours before our flight back to Gatwick. We were then able to spend some more time in Venice and enjoy the experience of walking along raised walkways through a flooded St Marks Square. Conclusions. We had a really enjoyable cruise all in all. Being all inclusive helped and we had booked late on the Costa Cruises own web site, so got really good value. The free upgrade to a balcony was a big bonus. The itinerary was excellent but we feel we did not have enough time in each stop. Perhaps one less port and more time to get to sail between the rest with longer stops at each port would be better. The buffet definitely needs attention. We have never had such poor selections at breakfast and lunch or restricted access to tea and coffee stations before. There were nearly 3,500 passengers on board and only just over 1050 crew so 3:1 which is may be too low. The crew are probably worked too hard and could be too tired to provide the best service and this may explain the lack of a relaxed atmosphere on board.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Costa Fascinosa Ratings
Category Editor Member

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