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5 Costa Fortuna Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Caribbean - Eastern

This trip was destined for doom the minute we stepped out of our vehicle at the port. We left out of Ft. Lauderdale. Embarkation was quick, easy and smooth and the people were very nice. Would have liked to have their attitudes on the ... Read More
This trip was destined for doom the minute we stepped out of our vehicle at the port. We left out of Ft. Lauderdale. Embarkation was quick, easy and smooth and the people were very nice. Would have liked to have their attitudes on the ship. When we got on the ship we went and found our rooms and got refreshed before going exploring. There was a total of 26 of us. We booked through an internet travel agency that we've dealt with for the past 5 years and have never had problems. My family and I quickly discovered that half of us had early seating and half had late even though we have ALWAYS requested to have early seating dinner. So we quickly went to the dining room and at first was told by the rude maitre'd that there was nothing we could do and it wasn't there fault it was the travel agent. We phone our travel agent and he was actually able to email me through my phone the documents that showed EVERYONE in my party had early seating. I quickly took this back to the dining room and was told they couldn't fix it till tomorrow night after everyone had been seated and things had settled down. We said OK. Dinner that evening was very slow and the food not so good but we realize the first night out is always the craziest while the crew works to get passengers settled into their assigned seats. When we returned the next night to dinner we were told the same thing. They would fix it tomorrow. I said absolutely not and if they were not able to fix it tonight we'd sit where we wanted. We had 6 small children ranging in ages from 6 months to 9 years and there is no way they could possibly wait till 830 to eat. We werent expecting to be sat together but in several tables near each other. Needless to say the problem was NEVER resolved and we ended up being put at 5 or 6 tables around the dining room and just had to rotate each night so all could sit with each other at least once. The food was mediocre at best and one evening when my husband attempted to return his steak because he asked for it rare and it was brought to him medium well (and that's being generous) he was given the dirtiest look. The service itself was VERY slow and forget trying to get a coke, beer, wine, drink of any kind from the bar steward in the dining room. There was entertainment one night in the dining room and the waiters sang amazingly. The demographic throughout the ship was older European and some of the most rudest and offensive people I have ever seen. I have a problem with grown woman walking around topless on the ship around the pool when I have small children about. I'm pretty sure our group were the only Americans on the ship. Our cabin steward Mika was the absolute best cabin steward I've ever had from any cruise. He was the highlight for us. He was very gracious and always had the cutest towel animals ready for my little girl in her crib. She loved it! The crew at the purser's desk were as rude as the passengers. Several times we called to complain about the a/c in our room and nothing was ever done about it. The entertainment on the ship was mediocre. The best show was the elton john impersonator. The singers and dancers were ok. There was one female singer who couldn't carry a note to save a sinking battleship. We walked out on several of the shows. We made the cruise ourselves, because costa did nothing to help us have a memorable and wonderful cruise. Their definition of pepperoni pizza is "hot dog" on top of a cheese pizza. I have pictures for proof if anyone would like them. The food was horrible. Always cold. Portions were smaller than usual. No lobster. Very limited alcohol selection. Asked for a couple types of drinks and they had no idea what I spoke of. My family and I love our days at sea but we were actually looking forward to the days at port cause it meant we could escape the ship for a few hours. My bestfriend had plans to propose to his girlfriend and when he approached the cruise director to see if something could be planned he was rudely turned away. They did nothing and offered absolutely no help whatsoever. My family and I will NEVER again cruise costa cruise line again. We actually refer to our trip as sailing aboard the "caca fortuna" because that is what we felt. In our 30 years combined of cruising I've NEVER gotten off a ship without tipping. This time I did and I actually didn't feel bad about it. The only one whom received tips from us that I felt deserved it was our cabin steward Mika. NEVER AGAIN!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We just arrived home after a week on the Costa Fortuna in the US Virgin Islands. I also found the roll calls for Costa slower than NCL or Carnival but I think it may be a difference in cultures. North Americans seem to live on the ... Read More
We just arrived home after a week on the Costa Fortuna in the US Virgin Islands. I also found the roll calls for Costa slower than NCL or Carnival but I think it may be a difference in cultures. North Americans seem to live on the computer. Someone on our original thread said that Costa was completely different than the others because it was Italian but he couldn't explain what different meant. Embarkation was super quick & we were on the ship within 30 minutes!! Our room was ready & our luggage was to our room by noon. Unlike Carnival & NCL, they don't process your on-board credit account there. They have set up several machines around the ship to swipe your Costa card and your credit card. Done - 2 minutes and you have 2 days to get around to doing it! Debarkation was just as easy!! What I experienced was that it is multi-cultural. Everywhere you went, you were hearing different languages - Italian, German, Spanish, English, etc. On our other cruises, the staff was from all over the world but mostly the passengers were American. This time, the passengers are from all over the world and 50%+ of the staff were Italian and the rest seemed to be mostly from India and the Philippines. Very few American or Canadian staff. Staff are more flirty than on the other lines. You may have a hard time with the "behind the scenes" staff, as a lot of their English was so-so but all the staff that worked with you, all spoke English. The food isn't fatty and they have amazing pasta!! The desserts were really good (I have a sweet tooth and didn't like the desserts on the others ships). We were at table 242, 1st seating at the Michelangelo Dining Room and the food was ok but our waiters were really, really bad and didn't give us a good opinion of that portion of our experience HOWEVER, the waiter on the next set of tables was very attentive and our experience was the waiter & not the cruise. The Lido deck opens in shifts for each meal. It was constantly being switched from one section to another. With the constant time changes, it confused me a bit as to where I could eat ;) On the very back of the Lido deck (deck 9), they had the "healthy choices" breakfast - including soy milk and sugar free juices. I didn't find the food to be listed as "spa menu" but it certainly wasn't hard to make healthy food choices. In our group, we had 13, 17, 42, 43 & 68 yr olds with a variety of food tastes. My 68 yr old aunt is a country girl from rural Nova Scotia and always found good food. Even our 13 yr old boy enjoyed the food selection. Beverages were hot milk (great for hot chocolate) in the morning and ice tea the rest of the day. There was always a variety of teas, cold milk, coffee & decaf (which was pretty good). It's worth it to buy the $22 non-alcoholic drink package. It gives you 10 drinks of either soda or their virgin bar drinks. It includes the 15% gratuities. If you buy it when you're in port the first day, you have to pay $3 service fee but not if you buy it on-line or the next day. They have the same thing for coffee - 25 coffee for $32 but it's not brewed but espresso coffee. The entertainment on the ship was the same as the other lines. If you've been on one before, it's all the same. The spa will offer you $10 off massage treatments the first day but they go down by $20 mid-week (25 min massage - $59; 25 min massage with facial - $99). Manicures were $25 and near the end they offered manicure & pedicure for $50. Usually I don't use the spa but 4 of the 5 of us had treatments and enjoyed it. Both my aunt & I have back problems and worry about other therapist working on our backs. But Jacki was amazing & certainly knew her stuff!! They have a gym and my husband said it was pretty good (not much for free weights but the machines were good) and there are several treadmills & bikes. Our ship had both a dry & wet sauna with a hot tub. The ship was really, really clean and I always found the staff pleasant. I've read some Costa comments that said the staff were nasty and I would honestly take that to be a reflection of the one making the comment. The service desk was amazing & I never waited in line more than 5 minutes and the staff were always wonderful. Debarkation morning was smooth and NO huge line ups - even at the buffet!! Can't comment on the excursions desk because we did our own thing once in the port and for 1/2 the money the cruises charge. The thing I like the most about this cruise was the amount of activity. There were always people around!! We found on Carnival, everything shut down early & passengers weren't around. My husband & I are going to take dance lessons. There were always passengers dancing in the Grand Bar and it certainly wasn't the "high school waltz!" I'm 100% about service and expect 100% quality service. I'm a pretty tough judge and certainly not a fluff ball that things everything is roses & sunshine. If I weren't impressed, I'd say so (I was really upset at NCL Spirit & wrote a 4 page letter!) Would I recommend this line? Absolutely and it will be our next cruise after Bermuda in August. Have fun and enjoy this beautiful cruise line! Elizabeth Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
Our family group of 5 sailed the Costa Fortuna the week of March 7. We booked 3 rooms back in October during "The World's Largest Cruise Night" promotion through a travel agent. This was my third cruise and I have booked ... Read More
Our family group of 5 sailed the Costa Fortuna the week of March 7. We booked 3 rooms back in October during "The World's Largest Cruise Night" promotion through a travel agent. This was my third cruise and I have booked three ways- directly through cruiseline, on-line travel agency and brick and mortar agency. This one was through a brick and mortar agency and I would not do this again. We chose Costa for the itinerary and price, as well as a promotion for OBC. They have the best price for singles. Our travel agent had a lot of difficulty dealing with Costa and we did not get our OBC, though we have looked into it and are supposed to be getting a refund for $150 ($50 a room). I also have to say that Costa's website is very difficult to navigate. We did get a small category upgrade, but found out by talking to a lot of different people that many got huge upgrades- inside rooms to balconies for instance and at a lower price than we paid. However, I am not complaining about the cost- Costa delivers a big bang for the buck and we all enjoyed ourselves. We flew down to Fort Lauderdale the day before and rented a minivan for $44 using a code from mousesaversdotcom. One thing to note is that there is a car rental center at the airport, but unless you come in at Terminal D, you will have to wait for and take a shuttle to it. We had rooms at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Cruise Port. This is a new hotel in Dania Beach, about 10 minutes from the airport. They do have a free shuttle from the airport and also one to the cruise port for $10 per person. We chose to rent the minivan so we would have more flexibility and we had found out that there were no restaurants within walking distance to the hotel. Hotel was fine, clean and basic, also had a free breakfast, though the cruise passengers cleaned it out by 8:00 am. We drove to Las Olas Blvd. for dinner which is a fun place to eat and people watch. Plenty of reasonable parking in either lots or garages, though we had brought our GPS which was handy. Embarkation Day: We ate breakfast in the hotel, then loaded up the van around 10:30 and dropped off 3 people and all the luggage at the cruise port, which is very easy to do. There were 5 ships in the port that day, and the hotel shuttles were taking people to all 5, which looked like a long process. Two of us took the van back to the airport and then took a $13 cab ride back to the port. We found out when dropping off the van that there is a rental car drop-off at the port, wish we had known about it. Embarkation was a breeze and if you want to bypass the photo line you can. Your ship photo is taken once you are on the ship, room keys are in your room and your credit card must be activated within 48 hours through a kiosk, but that is very easy to do. Sail-away was at 7:00 pm, so we got to watch the other ships leave. If you order a drink while still in port, you will have to pay a port tax in addition to the cost of the drink and the gratuity. Rooms: We all had inside rooms. They were all the same, typical cruise-ship rooms. One of them (8273) was very loud and next to some machinery that banged alot. We did experience a language problem with the customer service rep. When we asked to have someone come to the room to explain the banging she got very defensive and kept telling us the ship was full and we couldn't change rooms. We tried to tell her we did not want a room change, just a maintenance person to come check it out and make sure there wasn't a problem. She is pretty hateful and her name is Daniela. If you go on this cruise, I would suggest you wait until another rep is available before you try to deal with her. Several people in the line were frustrated with her. I think it would be a good idea for Costa to have service reps who are fluent in English when they are in the Caribbean. This cruise had a lot of senior citizens on board and the language barrier was difficult to a lot of them. Dining: We had the first seating in the Michelangelo Dining Room, table 109. Dinner is at 5:45 which is a little early, but the second seating is at 8:30 which was too late for us. The food was very good- we especially enjoyed the pasta dishes-Lasagna was awesome! Steaks were sometimes good, sometimes overcooked. The crab legs were great. Desserts were fine, but if you order Baba Rhum you need a sense of humor. The dining room entertainment was fantastic and occurs every night after dessert, so make sure you stay for it. One of the people at the next table had a gluten allergy and he was very well-attended to, the chef even made him a special gluten-free birthday cake, which he shared with us and it was very good. Drink service at dinner was spotty. We did not have a wine package and the wine steward rarely came by. We ended up stopping at a bar and bringing a glass of wine or a cocktail to dinner with us. This was a good solution, especially since the drinks were usually 2 for 1 between 4-6, so we could have one pre-dinner drink and then bring the other one with us. The mixed drinks are pretty pricey and very weak, so wine or beer is a better choice. A nice touch was the free champagne at the farewell dinner, and they were generous with it. Our waiter got better as the week went on, he seemed nervous, but it didn't look like he had more than 2-3 tables and one table was almost always empty. We tried both the buffet and restaurant for breakfast and lunch, both were good- different pastas at each buffet line. Lunch in the restaurant was a little slow and a lot of food, especially with the early dinner. Afternoon tea was everyday from 3:30-4:30 and had good desserts and sandwiches. Pizza was also very good and toppings changed daily. Entertainment: Entertainment was hit or miss. If you like the welcome show, you will like all of the rest. We liked the Elton John impersonator and the Tenor. The staff talent show was just okay, but the last night Toga Party and passenger talent show were really fun. There was a ballroom dance group on board and they were fun to watch in different areas of the ship. Lounge music was good also. Daily bingo games drew big crowds, with pots ranging from $50-$1000 and you never knew until someone won how big the pot was. We missed the Newlywed Game, but did catch it on the TV the next day and after that no one got near any hot tub based on one of the couples comments about where they last "did it". The pools were larger than on other cruise ships and not full of kids. There is a water slide, but it was only open a few hours a day. There did not seem to be many kids on this cruise and the ones we saw were well-behaved. The Squok Program got rave reviews from people we met. The spa was nice and we did use the steam room, saunas, gym and showers, as well as spa treatments. Ports: We did not take any ship excursions, but booked private ones based on Cruise Critic reviews. In St. Thomas we took a snorkel excursion with Captain Mike of the Fury and got to swim with sea turtles. In San Juan we spent the day with Albert Aguirre (surfcabs@yahoodotcom (787)317-6907), he is a great tour guide and we highly recommend him. He took us to the rain forest, a tour of old San Juan and a local roadside lunch stop. If you plan to buy duty-free alcohol, San Juan has excellent prices. Anything we bought did not get confiscated when we got back on board. Grand Turk was a beach day for us, no sightseeing. There were two ships in Grand Turk that day and they were on different time zones, so that was confusing. Also, when we arrived at Grand Turk we took our time getting off the ship which was a mistake because The Emerald Princess came in about 20 minutes behind us and they closed the port until they cleared customs, so we were forced to stay on our ship an extra 30-40 minutes. Plenty of chairs in the shade at Grand Turk. We really enjoyed our Costa Cruise even more than we expected to. We were a little worried after the lukewarm and negative reviews, but it was a great vacation. We loved the European flavor and the overall experience was well-worth it. The ship was beautiful, clean and comfortable and we would sail Costa again. In addition, we went to a Meet and Greet from this board and that was one of the highlights of the trip. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
We are a family who went on a family vacation. We have been 4 other cruises with four other cruise lines. We are in our 40's with teenagers who are looking to find other teenagers to hang out with on the ship (to get away from their ... Read More
We are a family who went on a family vacation. We have been 4 other cruises with four other cruise lines. We are in our 40's with teenagers who are looking to find other teenagers to hang out with on the ship (to get away from their lame parents). Us, adults, are causal drinkers and are looking for some fun shows to watch, dance a little, get involved in some on board organized games/fun and maybe play a hand or two of blackjack and call it good. Our kids want to mesh with other teenagers and walk the ship looking bored (it's the thing!), dance with their teenage friends, play ping pong, play video games, swim and sit in the hot tub and talk about whom is "cute" on the ship AND at all cost avoid THEIR PARENTS! The Good: Beautiful Ship! The water slide was fun. Fun Activities (Toga night and talent show was FUN!!!!) Great deals on pictures - got all the digital negatives and ALL THE PRINTS for $150 at the end of the cruise. We probably had over 30+ pictures we took over 2 formal nights and New Years Eve Night. Great Drink Packages! I prepaid for the X1 packages for adults (includes alcohol) and kids (non-alcohol) for a little over $300 ... and we all drank enough carbonated drinks and, we adults, drank enough wine and beer to surpass the price we prepaid. Dining room service was IMPECCABLE and probably the best I have ever had on any of my cruises. The food presentation and wait staff presentation was extraordinary. On Italian night, in the main dining room, the wait staff danced down the steps and sang in Italian while everyone clapped. During NYE the wait staff danced around and lit off sparklers as they came down the steps. On the last night, Toga Night, they danced down the steps in Roman Get Up and said "All Hail Caesar!" ... it was FUN, very well planned and really entertaining. The shows on board were family appropriate without being so clean it was boring. The shows were everything from curse free comedians, Elton John impersonation show, and Broadway tunes show to a musical review of decades of music. We never encountered rude staff ANYWHERE on board this ship. Everyone was courtesy and very helpful. NYE was the best party we have ever been too ... will defiantly do NYC on a cruise ship again. The Bad: The ships pools were TOO SMALL. I wrote this in my comment card. We have been on 4 other cruise lines and ships. The pools on this mid range ship pale in comparison to ships of equal size we have been on. Additionally their pools were SMALLER then ships we have been on that don't even equal their gross tonnage. This is just bad design and they need more people to give this feedback so they can consider expanding their pool sizes in future ship designs. It's not fun when the pool so small that you aren't swimming but bumping elbows. The food was tasteless and just plain weird (tacos without cheese, lettuce or tomato ...What? ...that is their TexMex). It makes me feel guilty to say their food sucked because the food presentation and fun in the dining room almost made up for the lack of tasteless food. But hey I came back with absolutely no weight gain (I was HAPPY!!! ... so much I had to weight twice because I didn't believe it) and how many people can say that after a 2 week vacation? Anyway I had fun with everything else so in the end they DID me a favor with their bad food ... it's like I went to fat camp and had fun. Lowdown: I went to be with my family and have fun. Costa accomplished both of this for me. I had little to no problems with the cruise line. I wasn't at the customer service desk day and night with issues so this, of course, made for stress free time that I spent with the family. I didn't go to excessively eat or get drunk every day. I seen some great shows and found enough edible food to stay alive and enjoyed all the amenities and planned activities on board. We enjoyed our ports of call. Getting off and on the ship was easy and hassle free. I would go on anther Costa Cruise again ... you beat ... it's a good price for a newer ship and it was fun. Word to the Wise: PREPLAN! Seriously you need to preplan if you are going on this cruise. You can NOT buy X1 packages on board the ship. They will not sell them to you on board. You have to call Costa customer service and organized this BEFORE your cruise. A great tip here is to load up on the unlimited beverages and put them in your refrigerator. We came home with soda. We got our money back. READ your "Today" on board every day. By reading the "Today" we found out that you can buy your digital negatives for $75 on CD and print them yourself at home or send out for prints and enlarges (not copyrighted ... they will give you the digital negatives for $75). You do have to go down every now and then and pick up your pictures and have them place it in a folder for you. We did this every time we walked through the main atrium area (grand piano bar) which was every day. I will pick my own pictures if they give me the negatives ... then I can make my own prints through Clark photo's of formal photos and give to family ... all good. By having this information up front we took MORE pictures because we figured there was opportunity here to get some great photos for a really good price. We found out on the last day of the cruise when we went to pick up our CD of negatives we could buy all the photos we took too for an additional $75 ... which made it a $150.00. We took over 30+ photos so we bought it. When is the last time you got formal pictures AND the negatives (for future prints) for $150. It was a good deal. Shore excursions are always expensive on any cruise ship line. The cruise ship line MAKE $ off you taking their "provided" excursions because they are offering a service. If you do research on ports you go to you can take your own shore excursions for more than half the price. Remember all these ports of call have taxi's lined up and ready. Most beaches in the Caribbean are usually free. Walking around in Atlantis in the Bahamas is free and the taxi ride is a set rate $4 per person as set by the Bahamian government and posted at the pier. Puerto Rico is an American Territory along with St. Thomas VI. They all speak English and use American money. You can RENT a car on American soil (and it is) and go to the rain forest yourself for half the price with car rental, gas and entrance fee included. We don't do many shore excursions through cruise lines because of two factors ... TOO EXPENSIVE and TOO LITTLE TIME ... 20 minutes to stop and look and get back on the bus is not enough time at $65 a person. You can also use external shore excursion sites found through Google. Remember it's YOUR MONEY and with a little time and research you can do your own shore excursions for less money. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
We drove from Georgia to Florida the day prior and overnighted in Fort Pierce, about an hour and a half from Ft Lauderdale. Arrived at the pier by 10:30 am, unloaded our luggage and parked in the parking garage next to the pier. Very Easy. ... Read More
We drove from Georgia to Florida the day prior and overnighted in Fort Pierce, about an hour and a half from Ft Lauderdale. Arrived at the pier by 10:30 am, unloaded our luggage and parked in the parking garage next to the pier. Very Easy. After check-in we waited until 11:45 to begin boarding. This was our second cruise on Costa. We sailed the Mediterranea last March and enjoyed the european atmosphere. We have sailed on 18 cruises: Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Holland America,and Celebrity. While I can say we have never had a bad cruise experience, Carnival is my least favorite and Holland America my most favorite. Royal Caribbean is great with all the kids and grandkids. We sailed with two other couples on the first week and just my husband and myself on the second week. So we explored late night fun the first week and rest and relaxation on the second. We had two different staterooms, the first was a balcony cabin at the very back of the ship the second was an oceanview forward. We found good things about both. The balcony aft was enjoyable while sailing, watching the ship's wake from here late at night is so peaceful. One drawback is while in port if the wind is blowing the soot toward the back of the ship it does fall onto your deck and deck chairs so beware. The other drawback is vibration, we had two days of rough seas in the beginning and experienced alot of vibration at the back of the ship during this time. Our other cabin was convenient to the elevators and on a lower level. Both cabin stewards were attentive and did a great job in maintaining our cabins. Since we were a group of six in the dining room we all sat together and had the best waiter and assistant, Patrick the waiter and Greg his assistant. Patrick's suggestions were right on and they both were very attentive. Our second week we requested a table for two and had very good service again. However, when at a table for two it seems you wait a little longer to order and between courses because the waiters take the orders in groups, I think. But we always had water or other beverages replaced frequently at both tables. The Italian night festivities in the dining room are great fun. Don't miss them. A word about the buffet, the design of this area causes a jam up of people. You need to navigate around it by utilizing the other areas where the buffet is placed. However, if you like PASTA, you will not go hungry. At lunch there are at least three different pasta dishes offered on the Lido, along with a hot meat carved to order and Pizza of course. You'll find the cookies served at tea time,3:45pm in the Lido. The dining room meals for dinner offered nice selections and good desserts. Costa does offer a children's program but there are other cruise lines better suited for families with kids. The international blend of passengers may not be enjoyable for children sighting communication differences. I must comment on the passenger participation onboard Costa ships, I have never seen so much passenger participation in the activities held on board. We never laughed so hard as we did on the oldies night. Great Time!! Just a word about the Ship's design, deck 5 is the only deck you can walk from front to back inside. Unless, you walk a cabin deck, like deck 6 or 7 through. We also liked the tiered top decks for lounging. We never had a problem finding a deck chair up on deck 11 or 12. In addition, the Fortuna offers many areas of piano and other music. These were very comfortable and we enjoyed them each evening. While a Costa cruise is not for everyone, it is all in what you make it. Each line has its niche and Costa offers a European experience close by. Listening to all the various languages is a part of the experience. We enjoy cruising Italian Style!!! and will do so again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2009
Costa Fortuna Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.2
Entertainment 4.0 3.2
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 3.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.3
Enrichment 3.0 3.0
Service 3.0 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 4.0 3.9

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