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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was my first cruise setting sail from a port within Mainland China. It is understandable that a large number of the passengers came from within Mainland China. My immediate impression on embarkation after passing through passport ... Read More
This was my first cruise setting sail from a port within Mainland China. It is understandable that a large number of the passengers came from within Mainland China. My immediate impression on embarkation after passing through passport control is that Costa's staff starting from the point where our passports were collected, vessel's officers along the gangway up to the point where our photos were taken for the Costa Cards for use during the cruise, were less than friendly and welcoming. There was no smile whatsoever on their faces and nothing to suggest from their body language that we as paying passengers were welcome for this cruise. This I found out to be the norm for all vessel's offcers during the entirety of this cruise. My review now continues by bullet-points : 1. As Costa Venezia is less than one year old since it joined the Costa fleet, everything on the boat is very new and modern. Wife and I booked a cabin with balcony and the cabin is roomy and nicely appointed. The room was on deck 9 towards the rear of the boat and is very convenient to get to Deck 10, where a lot of actions and eateries are located. During our cruise, our cabin was looked after by a dedicated cabin steward. He was Star Serondo from the Philippines. He also greeted passengers with a big smile and is industrious. Every morning when wife and I went upstairs to deck 10 to take a quick breakfast, Star would have completed the cabin cleaning within the short time that we went for our breakfast, which was normally 40 min. from the time we left our cabin to the time we returned to our cabin. He comes with my high commendation. 2. One very important feature that I noticed is that a large number of the crew on the boat only speak Mandarin. This is undertandable as a large number of the passengers come from Mainland China and they only speak Mandarin. Unfortunately for someone like me who is not well versed in Mandarin found it hard to communicate with crew members when I need to. In one instance, I was asked if I can speak to them in Mandarin!! Their Mandarin speaking crew appeared to be inexperienced and went about their business by adopting Chinese custom and lacking in Internationally accepted mannerism and etiquette. This is a real disapointment for someone like me who is so adpated to Western culture and mannerism. 3. Tying in with my previous comments, a lot of the announcements made on the boat were made in just one language. Yes, you guessed it, mandarin only. This left me in the dark at most times and in particular, I was worried that I might miss any important announcemnt that is safety related. The only times that the announcement was made in both English and Mandarin was immediately before disembarkation when we arrived back in Shanghai. to remind passengers to go and settle their bills before they disembark!! All in all, the entire cruise was geared towards Mandarin speaking passengers and for those who do not speak Mandarin, best to choose other cruises not setting sail out of China ports. 4. In terms of food, those outlets that serve free food offered little varieties and their taste was poor to average. For me, there are only two categories of food, one being to fill you up when you are hungry and the other is looking for quality in the food that one takes. The food served at these outlets only qualify for the first category that I described. 5. I have also tried out four paid resturants during my cruise and they include Casanova, the Hot Pot place, the Teppenyaki restaurant and the BBQ outlet. The only place that comes close to my second category of food is Casanova. The place is quickly filled up and my best advice is to make a reservation for this restaurant as soon as you settle into your cabin to avoid disappointment. However, whilst the food in Casanova is okay to good, do not expect their service can complement the food. Most of the staff in this restaurant has no knowledge on how food should be served. This place is definitely not a fine dining outlet. For the BBQ outlet, the food served was cold and not sizzling hot as one would have expected from BBQ experience. The only consolation is the food served at the BBQ outlet is relatively cheap. The teppenyaki experience is more to attend a show dinner more than quality of the food. At any rate, the quality of the food is nowhere near the authentic teppenyaki restaurant that I have come across, be it in Japan or outside Japan. Hot Pot place is worthed a visit as the food does not require Chef's cooking and the price is again relatively cheap. The boat also has a steakhouse, a seafood restaurant, Napoli Pizza and noodle house which i did not have a chance to savour. 6. We joined a shore excursion when the boat berthed at Kagoshima. Save for the lunch provided with the excursion, the experience was bad. The guide for our group made us stand in line to wait for all the execurion participants to arrive before she led us to our coach. When we arrived at one of the three designated sight-seeing locations, the guide just pointed to where we were suppose to head and did not actually show us the place. At one location, we had to resort to using Goggle Map to find out where we were supposed to be going. The worst part came at the end of the excursion when we were all asked to leave the coach to move into a supermarket like medicine store. We were made to stay there for over an hour. For those who were not interested to shop in the store was made to stand around and were not allowed to stay on the coach! The attendants in the shop were mainly Chinese and that shop can be mistaken as another shop found in Mainland China if we were not told that that was Japan. Better off saving your money by not joining the excursion and simply disembarked and explore the destination yourselves. 7. I want to complement a lot of the English speaking crew who came form India and the Philipines. They are all very cheerful, helpful, hospitable and ready at all times to make passengers to enjoy the cruise as it should be enjoyed. This contradicted sharply with the Western officers who not only appeared to be unfriendly, but also too arrogant in front of their mainly Chinese pasengers. They seem to have forgotten that all passengers are paying to come on board and we are not refugees!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2017
I choose this cruise for the visit to Naples. I was disappointed with the food. too me the buffet was very blan and the dinners where not anything special. If the cooking was Italian at it´s best then I would query this. The ... Read More
I choose this cruise for the visit to Naples. I was disappointed with the food. too me the buffet was very blan and the dinners where not anything special. If the cooking was Italian at it´s best then I would query this. The organization was lacking on the cruise. The cabin was very reasonable. I thought that the decore of the Ship was very over powering and heavy making you feel very enclosed. The entertainment staff seamed to support firstly the Italians, the French ! I thought that the entertainment was very average. The tours were good. ONE WORD OF WARNING CHECK ALL THE AMOUNTS THAT WILL BE TAKEN FROM YOUR CREDIT CARD! Many mistakes were made with my account and I have not received a detailed invoice. Bcareful when booking tours and make sure that the correct ones are booked and charged I would thing again before I used Costa Cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I was part of a larger group, booked via Globetrotter so I really did travel with Costa by my own choise. (Aktiespararna, where I´m a member, had a 50 year anniversary cruise.) • The cabin was really excellent, spacious and fresh. ... Read More
I was part of a larger group, booked via Globetrotter so I really did travel with Costa by my own choise. (Aktiespararna, where I´m a member, had a 50 year anniversary cruise.) • The cabin was really excellent, spacious and fresh. Very few disturbing sounds. • The theatre, where we had two days of education, was poorly equipped; the resolution on the screen was terrible and it was impossible to read. • The service in Taurus was excellent but the food was not; we had two really nice dinners, and five average ones, which I found disappointing. • The breakfast buffé at Taurus was excellent but I was not happy with the fact that I could not have breakfast after 9,00. • I did found it disturbing to have a feeling of being thrown out from the restaurant. • The buffé restaurant Andromeda, was a bit chaotic and not so nice. • I was satisfied whit the offer of your drinking package ”Pio Gusto”. Good value! • The ship was nice with many really nice areas to sit down, read and have a drink. • The crew who where engaged with the excursions was not very service minded, and spoke a poor english. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
Costa Mediterranea 17th to 24th July 2015 Arrived in cruise terminal with several hundred other guests , embarkation was supposed to start at 1400 hrs a numbers system operated deck 1 was called first you were only handing over a ... Read More
Costa Mediterranea 17th to 24th July 2015 Arrived in cruise terminal with several hundred other guests , embarkation was supposed to start at 1400 hrs a numbers system operated deck 1 was called first you were only handing over a medical declaration form and another form it would take about 10 minutes for each group to go through, in theory if you were on deck nine you could wait 90 minutes ,we successfully dodged the ships photographers before going through first security check ,on boarding the ship your photo was taken for your ship board pass ( in our cabin when arrived). We decided to explore the ship beautifully decorated throughout clean ship, interactive screens with information in various languages , also terminals to register your visa /debit/Mastercard card to pay your account, you can deposit cash at reception for expenditures . We knew from past cruising holidays the All inclusive (Costa) drinks package was good value. Entertainment was very good in a modern theatre and well attended throughout the cruise. Catering for guest's (always check the ships dairy time table) Psychology has been used in the set-up with meals service ( Perla del Lago Resturant) starting with continental breakfast , lunch hot /cold food speciality of the day always had a long line, you are not supplied with a tray to carry your self service meal and cutlery, by the end of the afternoon only one food station is open for finger bite snacks closing at 1830hrs In my opinion the food in the Self service was high volume poor quality with macaroni by the slice . If you like a cup of tea or coffee after 1030 hrs. you’ve had it, next time is 1530 – 1830 hrs, (you can pay for a pot of tea at the bar). It is more less compulsory for you to attend dinner in Degli Argentieri Restaurant (2 sittings each evening) were allocated second sitting @ 2115 hrs (we could not change the time) eating our dinner at 2315hrs just far to late for me, food was similar to the self service restaurant ( all prepared in the main galley) the other option is to dine in a speciality restaurant (paid service) or book a pizza meal you pay 4 Euros per person , Gala dinner evening some members had commented that photographing of guest's was compulsory we found if you waited them out all the officer's had drifted away. International cooked breakfast Degli Argentieri restaurant Watch out they keep changing the start finish times and the only thing edible was scramble eggs the rest of breakfast was over/under cooked , you ask for toast and a pot of tea. We paid for the tour Secrets of the Costa Mediterranea , ( life in crew area) observed staff cleaning the galley working in the laundry /bakery NO visit to the bridge or Engine room, at end of the tour finger bite sandwiches provided with soft drink or wine and our tour guides were gone , No customer feed back there , ( tour was a waste of money) .We were disappointed with the standard /quality of food, we asked for Hotel charges waver form (12 Euro per person a day) to be told we paid & accepted company conditions The ship is run for the benefit of Managers/ Chefs and maximum profit, well the guests they provide the money ! NEVER AGAIN WILL I PAY FOR A TRIP ON THIS BOAT . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2013
We were on the ship during the dreadful storm in the Philippines, and as a large proportion of the crew were Philippino it was very difficult for them. There is not high enough praise for all the staff on the ship, they were fabulous. The ... Read More
We were on the ship during the dreadful storm in the Philippines, and as a large proportion of the crew were Philippino it was very difficult for them. There is not high enough praise for all the staff on the ship, they were fabulous. The service was wonderful,nothing was ever too much trouble, and even when things were very difficult they were marvellous. They work over 13 hours a day and go home rarely and are astonishing people in their kindness and helpfulness. I became ill on the last part of the voyage and this ship is the place to be ill at sea, They were concerned, careful of me and very kind indeed. Thank you Dottore and Beatrice for your time and attention, and also to the nurse in charge, you were all very good friends to me. The chapel is lovely and as we were on pilgrimage to the Holy Land we really appreciated having both a beautiful spiritual space and new Canadian Philippino friends to share it with. They were lovely people who squished up on small benches, shared their teachings, Father Joe and their service sheets and we became a group of travellers on the road together. Our cabin was small but comfortable, the shower was not particularly luxurious, but ok. I was disappointed that the balcony was noisy and needed attention, keeping us awake at night, but it was lovely to have one even though the clouded glass did not allow a good view of the sea when we were sitting down, clear glass would have been much better. All our large group were grateful to have a table together on early sitting, especially as we had a very old and disabled lady with us who wouldn't have been able to wait until late for her dinner. The maitre d' was lovely to help us out over this. Everyone enjoyed the 'all in one' drinks package and it was amazing value. We also enjoyed the table tennis and swimming and the ability to have a cigar in the evening without going on deck. So positive I hear you say. Well yes. What didn't we enjoy? The entertainment. We tried it for 3 nights and it was terrible - too loud, to amateurish, too weird altogether. The theatre itself is lovely but they really do need to bite the bullet and employ much better acts, which will mean finding English/American entertainers and not regional German/Italian poor quality acts. The piano bars are too loud and sometimes it is good just to be able,to sit and talk and not be blasted constantly with loud music played not very well. Turn if off in the breaks! The lack of enrichment activities and those that happened were badly planned, involving terrible shouting, blaring music, all being held in the same place on the top deck. We tried a bit of arts and crafts that would have been too easy for junior school children and wouldn't have minded but couldn't stay as the noise was unbelievable with awful shouting the music too loud for anyone to bear. The food. Unbelievably bad. Please change the head chef immediately Costa. Many nights there was very little I wanted to eat on the menu. One day burgers and chips appeared at lunchtime and everyone cheered to have something good to eat. It never came again. The fruit was constant melons sometimes there were tiny portions of cake, the salads were always the same, lettuce and tomato and really Eggs Benedict is not a poached egg on stale toast covered with cheese sauce and bits of cold tomato. It was inedible. It was much worse than a ferry. Even the 'Italian' food was dreadful. I can say this now as at the time the thought of those poor people in the Philippines made any moaning about food so inappropriate that we just ate to stave off hunger. This Will Not Do. The dinners were also shockingly bad and we sighed and drank more wine, also on the all in one package, hooray. The puddings fit only for the nursery in their dreadful sweetness and the fruit salad? You guessed it - melons all over again. There were very few English speakers aboard, and we think we were the only people from England at all. The Italians we encountered on board were extremely rude, unfriendly and wit only one exception amazingly dreadful towards someone in a wheelchair. (Hello Stella Maris's mum and dad!) At one time we were getting on board very wet, along with a young couple with very small children in a pram and the rush for the lifts was terrible, leaving the children and the very old lady sitting very cold and wet for a long time. Not one person stood back and showed concern. I was amazed and saddened. We tried smiling at them, trying to chat in the lifts and public places, making way - by the way never do this they only took advantage, rushing past without a thank you or a smile. Astonishing. People kept places in the buffet by using towels and coats, sometimes saving a table which would seat six for only two or three people, and being aggressive on a number of occasions when we tried to sit down in half used tables,. Waiting in the buffet was hopeless, people just marched up to the front and picked their food, ignoring everyone waiting to be served behind them.The Germans we met, who also saved places living up to their stereotype, surprised us by speaking very little English and were also not friendly or easy to talk to. We were glad to be in a group as if we had gone as a couple we would not have enjoyed ourselves at all. There was a large Korean contingent, also from Canada, who were beautifully dressed in national costume on Gala nights. Hello Yudi and Kim, hope you arrived home safely! Hardly anyone else made an effort and the men in our party were glad they had not packed a tux, thanks to reading other reviews, and a lot of men didn't even bother wearing a suit. However, change the food and the entertainment Costa and we may come again. We know there is nothing you can do about the culture, well maybe you could serve weaker coffee to calm down the impatience! We did miss P and O and the civilised lifestyle, but loved the all in one package! We loved the staff A Lot, without exception. Than k you Danny for telling us about the Canadian Philippinos and Father Joe, they made our trip a beautiful thing, and the rudeness easier to bear.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
Our family had wanted to do something special - The Holy Land Cruise was just the thing. We loved the itinerary of this cruise, with the sale price by Costa, it was too good to pass up. 1. EMBARKATION: We embarked in Civitavecchia ... Read More
Our family had wanted to do something special - The Holy Land Cruise was just the thing. We loved the itinerary of this cruise, with the sale price by Costa, it was too good to pass up. 1. EMBARKATION: We embarked in Civitavecchia in what seemed to be a warehouse on the pier. It took a bit of time, though not unreasonable. We were then directed to the ship and up the gangplank into the ship and directed to the elevator along with everyone else boarding, nobody bothered to check to see where our cabin was. So we had to figure out for ourselves that we needed to go back down the elevator to get to our lower level cabin by looking at the ships map. 2. ROOM: The room was very nice and larger than most ships we have been on. We were quite pleased with our accommodations. We had a nice sized window, a couch you could actually sit on an additional chair with room around the bed, storage was plentiful (there were additional drawers under the couch. 3. STEWARD: Throughout the cruise our Cabin Steward gave us excellent service. Our room was made as soon as we would walk out the door. He was friendly, helpful, informational and spoke English well. In fact most of the cabin stewards had a warm smile and would readily answer questions or direct you where you needed to be. 4. DINING: The dining room was another story. We have traveled and stayed in Italy and Europe at different times. We KNOW Italian dining or European style. Costa just does not LIVE UP to this. The food was not tasty. Many people on board were also unhappy with the meals. We had the late dining - food was served cold, over cooked, undercooked (risotto is not suppose to be crunchy) It seemed the brown sauce was the same on different meats. The exception would be seafood- we did have some good fish dishes. Dining service was not good. Our waiter rarely got the order correct. Twice we were not served our main course. I truly believe they are quite short staffed in the kitchen and dining room. 5. BUFFET: The buffet was basically the same meal each and every day. There would be a theme dish of some kind IF you were there at the right time and a few additional salads, etc. Breakfast was exactly the same each day. Plenty of bland food. Boring after a week. The pastry's were very good - but the same choice of 5/6 every day. Coffee, hot water for Tea and Ice & water are there all day. Juice only in the a.m. 6. PAY FOR FOODS; The Blue Moon restaurant (20 euro) had excellent service. They go all out to serve you and wait on you. The food was good. Unfortunately they have the same menu each night. Few Surprises. HAVE the icecream - it is made at your table! it is quite good. Chocolate Bar - a selection of drinks, coffees, desserts and truffles. Tasty - but the costs add up after 11 days. Ice Cream cart - hard to find it up on deck 9 back of the pool area. It is only there in the evening - but serves a nice sundae. 7. ONBOARD: There is really not much to do. I believe the waterslide was opened only twice for a minimal time, though our weather was very nice. The water aerobic class was available a few times. Dance classes were up on deck near the pool - a little cramped (would have been really nice in the ballroom). The Theater shows were ok. The lounge shows were very nice. A good selection of musicians was good. Unfortunately we kept missing the music. The schedule posted daily was often wrong. We had the late seating for dinner and would like to have listened to music at a lounge for a couple of hours but it really did not start up until 8:00 or 8:30. Every announcement was made in several languages. We had an English speaking hostess. All of our tours had English guides. Disembarkation was a NIGHTMARE let me repeat NIGHTMARE . This was the Port of Civitavecchia problem. We nearly missed our noon flight (there were 10 of us) I cannot believe that this port was so completely disorganized and unprepared for the passengers getting of the ship. KATAKOLON; Interesting little fishing village. Lots of shops. If you choose to forgo the ship excursion, you can take a train to Olympia for 5 euro rt., it is a bit of a walk to the ruins - you may find a cab up there to take you. A bus at the edge of the port will take you to the ruins for 10 euro. The cabs were quite a bit more -- check out car rentals, there were plenty from 35 to 40 euro. PIREAUS; ATHENS; We walked to the light rail from the port (abt. 15 min) It takes you right to the bottom of the ruins. A bit of a walk up the hill gets you to the Parthenon, Mars Hill, etc. A city bus will take you all the way up to the entrance. The entrance fee was 12 euro. Near the rail station is a market area with shops and coffee stands and cute bistros. Walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. IZMIR: We had a private tour company take us to Ephesus. Very worth the trip. The ruins there are magnificent. Those on The ships excursions were equally pleased. Others went to the Bazaar near the port - it is quite a walk, so you may want a cab. Taxi's will also take you on a city tour and out Ephesus. ASHDOD: We took the excursion to Jerusalem, and saw several museums, and the wailing wall, etc. Not near enough time at this stop! CAIRO: There must have been 100 buses in the caravan. We went to Pyramids, Sphinx, lunch on river cruise, citadel & Mosque. Would not do that again - the lunch cruise was a laugh though the food was quite good. Should have gone to the Pyramids, Sphinx & Egypt museum where King Tut exhibition is. All the tours included a Papyrus institute visit - just very expensive souvenirs (disappointing). Take care at the pyramids - a 'free camel' ride will cost about $10 to get off. There are plenty of sellers there and you can find some inexpensive little gift items, if you are careful. There are some nice little gifts to be found at the Port of Alexandria if you have enough time after the very long day. 3/4 hours to the Pyramids, terrible traffic between each "site" then another 3/4/hours back to ship. Read Less
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