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

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 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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