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1 Costa Fortuna Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Mediterranean

BEWARE POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE AND EXTRA (HIDDEN) COSTS NB: Skip to the five bottom categories if you simply want to read about our major complaints. My partner and I booked a last minute deal for a Mediterranean cruise on the Costa ... Read More
BEWARE POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE AND EXTRA (HIDDEN) COSTS NB: Skip to the five bottom categories if you simply want to read about our major complaints. My partner and I booked a last minute deal for a Mediterranean cruise on the Costa Fortuna departing from Savona, Italy on April 10, 2015. Our cruise ship visited Marseille, Barcelona, La Valletta, Cagliari, and Civitavecchia. We were immediately blown away by a free room upgrade to a balcony stateroom and the experience of being on our first cruise ever (for a very reasonable last-minute price). We also liked the money-less Costa Card system on the cruise ship and appreciated that we did not have language barrier issues, as most of the cruise staff were bilingual or multilingual. We chose to evaluate each category separately, as only certain aspects of our cruise experience were negative enough to affect our overall experience. DÉCOR: Although we thoroughly enjoyed our spacious balcony stateroom, the tastelessly tacky common areas of the ship were very overwhelming and did not make for good photo opportunities. Too many patterns and styles were mixed (rather unskilfully). PHOTOS: To avoid aesthetic issues regarding the ship’s gaudy decorations, we could have paid for decent pictures taken by a professional photographer with a plain background. There were also opportunities to purchase cruise memory photos for a fee, since a cruise ship photographer took our picture upon boarding the cruise ship and at a few dinners. We might have been willing to spend around 15 Euros for digital copies of all the pictures, but the cruise line only advertised outrageously priced hard copy photos that were priced individually. No thank you! HOUSEKEEPING: Our primary housekeeper was welcoming and approachable. He was very informative when we initially boarded the cruise ship and he was very diligent about cleaning our room twice daily. He also delivered the “Today” magazine (itinerary) once per day. Our only complaint is that it took a long time for things to be restocked or replaced. When we purchased water from our mini-bar, it was not restocked for a couple of days. Also, housekeeping tended to take away our blue swimming towels (presumably to clean them) and not replace them for days. This was rather inconvenient. We also never received our copy of the free “Tour” magazine in our room (detailing the excursions available to us), so we eventually asked for one at the excursion desk. ENTERTAINMENT: Although many of the casual musical entertainers were very skilled, the volume was far too high for us to appreciate the music properly. The sounds were so loud that it was difficult to order drinks, speak to customer service, or even make a phone call from the front desk (to report a missing phone to our phone company). We also felt (as musicians) that the live music would have been better without the synthesized drum tracks in the background. The theatre shows were neat but nothing too remarkable. We did not bother with any day programs. AMENITIES: The pool was very nice - its warm temperature and the fact it was a saltwater pool pleasantly surprised us. We would have enjoyed the hot tub more if it were actually hotter than the swimming pool. (For some bizarre reason, the pool was much warmer than the hot tub!) We did not get around to trying the water slide, but it looked very fun! We did not try the spa, either. DINING: Although the buffet food left something to be desired, dinner was incredible! The menu options were plentiful, each course was delicious, and everything was presented tastefully. Our two servers at dinner were very friendly, as were our assigned dinner companions (there were 8 people at our table). The free “Today” magazine delivered to our room clarified the dress code for dinner. It would have been nice to know before we packed that there would be a formal dress code at dinner on three separate occasions, though… We ate at the back of Raffaello (lower level) during the late sitting. We really enjoyed sitting at the back of the restaurant because it was quieter and less busy. BAR/LOUNGE: The servers and bar tenders in the common areas were always available and very prompt. We noticed that they used an efficient napkin system whereby they placed a napkin at our table after asking if we would like anything. This conveniently prevented us from being ignored accidentally or being harassed into buying something (or simply leaving the area) to be left alone. Regardless, we often took our drinks to our room simply because the music was far too loud and it actually hurt our ears. (It would not be good for two musicians to lose their hearing!) EXCURSIONS: The staff at the excursion desk were lovely and recommended excellent excursions for us based on our specific interests. They could also describe from memory what each excursion entailed, which was very impressive! We were very pleased with our purchases: “La Valletta” (La Valletta, Malta), “Nora and its Excavations” (Cagliari, Sardinia/Italy), and “Baroque Rome” (Rome, Italy and Vatican City). Although “Nora and its Excavations” was less impressive than our other two tours, we later discovered that our day was much better than anyone else’s (as our dinner companions all chose to stay in Cagliari and were less than impressed). Thus, the tour had good value. There was never a long queue to purchase excursions, but it was a little annoying to wait up to half an hour for latecomers to get on the tour bus. Also, Costa would cancel an excursion if too few English-speaking people purchased tickets by the night before. Consequently, we had to discover Marseille independently, as our main interest was not going on a shopping tour (the only tour offered in English at this port). Regardless, discovering Marseille for ourselves was a great experience. We also chose to explore Barcelona by ourselves, since we were already familiar with this city from a previous visit. However, we were surprised that we needed to buy coach tickets from the port to the city and vice-versa, they were only about 5 Euros per ride. POOR RULE ENFORCEMENT: The (unsupervised) groups of children noisily running around the pool and doing pencil dives into the hot tub were very irritating. None of the staff ever addressed the issue, despite the fact one supposedly cannot enter the hot tub until one is 16 years of age. Although there were always plenty of staff close by on the cruise ship, nobody showed any initiative when children were being disruptive. EXTRA (HIDDEN) COSTS: We disliked that the cruise line forced more money out of us for basic things that really should be included in the upfront price. We were often forced to buy bottled water (even during a full day at sea) without being offered a free tap water alternative that was safe to drink. Also, we were often forced to pay for a snack between lunch and dinner because were assigned a late dinner time (9:00PM) and all of the included (“free”) food options on the cruise ship were closed when we returned (hungry) from excursions. We were also surprised by an extra 60 Euro service fee at the end of the cruise, which should really have been added to the upfront price, since it is calculated via a “per day” basis and visibly upset many customers settling their bills on the final departure day. We were also surprised that we had to purchase shuttle rides between the port and the city (although perhaps that one was a little most reasonable as an add-on price, as people on excursions did not require this service). POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE – APATHETIC AND RUDE: Most of our complaints concern customer service. Customer service often had a long queue (not enough staff). Additionally, customer service was apathetic and even condescending when customers voiced concerns. On the third morning of our cruise, we tried to buy the 25 Euro all inclusive drinks package for our full day at sea. When we experienced difficulty doing so, we visited a customer service representative, who was quite condescending to us. We explained it was not advertised in the “Today” magazine advertisement that you must buy the drinks package for your entire cruise and that only a daily price was advertised. Her response was simply to pull out a different advertisement in a booklet where it said (hidden in the back of the booklet in small print, separate from the obvious terms of use information) that the deal was only available if you bought it for 6 or more days. She did not even try to make a 5-day exception based on the misleading advertising or even simply agree that this condition was unclear on the advertisement and record our complaint for future reference. She also failed to mention there were other drink packages that might better suit our situation. Perhaps one of those might have interested us. She merely quoted policy in the least personal way possible (except for her condescending tone, of course). Customer service was also very complacent about our lost phone. Apparently, since they did not consider Costa to be legally liable, nobody could not be bothered to contact the tour company about our phone’s potential whereabouts or simply reassure us in any manner whatsoever. When we voiced our displeasure concerning this lack of initiative, the agent (Elena) gave us the run-around and refused to let us speak to her manager upon request, even after her manager’s shift began! Eventually, after waiting nine hours and refusing to simply be quoted policy, we convinced Elena that it was worth letting us speak to her manager to make us go away. Her manager was more useful and reassuring, although customer service still has all my contact information and (to this day) has not contacted me about my phone’s whereabouts. Interestingly, we called the excursion company ourselves after the cruise finished and ascertained some information about the phone’s whereabouts (it was left in the coach and set to be returned to Costa and then mailed to us). We have sent Costa two emails so far, with no response. We have also tried to call them, but their satellite phone causes complications. We are sincerely unimpressed, as we are not sure what they have done with my phone and whether they are competent enough that we will ever see it again. DISORGANIZED - THEY ALMOST LOST OUR PASSPORTS: Embarkation took a few hours, despite our early arrival at the cruise port. Settling our bills and checking out was also a nightmare. They literally told us the night before we left that we could not pay cash until the next morning, and then they told us the next morning that the deadline for us to pay cash was the previous night. Although Costa insisted on taking our passports for the duration of the cruise, they experienced great difficulty locating our passports when we disembarked from the cruise ship. We stood there for over fifteen minutes watching a member of staff look frantically for our passports. We almost had a heart attack! (It might be a little hard to leave Italy / go back home without them…) MYSTERY PHONECALL: For some reason, we received a phone call at 3 or 4 AM on the morning before our departure. The man on the phone wanted to know my name. I told him in no uncertain terms that it was late and he had called the wrong number. According to other reviewers, members of staff sometimes call your room late at night if they want to hook up with you (a woman). Anyways, we were less than impressed that we were woken up with a phone call – even less so that unwarranted late night phone calls occur regularly enough for people to write about them in their reviews. We did not book a cruise to be woken up unexpectedly or sexually harassed - thank you very much! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Costa Fortuna Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.2
Entertainment 4.0 3.3
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.3
Enrichment 3.0 3.1
Service 3.0 3.7
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 4.0 3.9

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