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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise because of port of embarkation convenience and itinerary. Also had cruised before with Costa, and had an overall great experience. The embarkation procedure was not very smooth, but forgivable because it was not ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of port of embarkation convenience and itinerary. Also had cruised before with Costa, and had an overall great experience. The embarkation procedure was not very smooth, but forgivable because it was not the main embarkation port (cruise normally starts at Venice, we embarked in Katakolon). The ship was adequate, with all the usual amenities, fairly good condition. The cabin was on the small-ish side but understandable since it was an inside cabin at the lower deck. The cabin attendant was polite, but seemed overwhelmed with the number of cabins he had to attend to (reduction in staff?). Also we were charged minibar usage we never made. The amount was returned after complaining about it. Additionally, there may or may not be a situation with the blue towels (pool towels): twice the cabin attendant gave us back fewer than the initial number (there is a plaque when you arrive that states any missing towels will incur a 20 euro fine). I would like to believe it was an honest mistake. The dining was the highlight of the cruise, as the food was consistently good and well presented. However, we were assigned to just one waiter (as it seemed to be the normal in this cruise) who was not overly friendly. Also very bad decision not to include water with the restaurant meals (you have to actually buy it). The buffet restaurants (which we used fewer times) had also good quality food, but it seemed that the quantity was very tightly controlled. The main entertainment (theater/shows) was a hit-or-miss affair. The highlight was the "Voice of the sea" final. The singing/dancing troupe was adequate, and probably better than the remaining one-man-shows. Also one of the shows was repeated on two separate days in a 7-night cruise. The various activities however, where probably geared toward either humiliating a guest for the enjoyment of the other guests, or bluntly advertising a for-pay on board service available. The service in the bars was generally good, however the best (in our opinion) venue which is the gelateria on deck 3 was not adequate (too many customers for the assigned waitstaff). The itinerary was changed just before we embarked to visit Argostoli instead of Mykonos (not a big deal for us, but I can imagine the disappointment for someone having traveled from afar just for this visit). The visits and excursions were generally good, however very brief in some cases (Trieste is 4 hours at best). The excursions were very expensive for what they were offering (the exception being the visit of the caves of Postojna which was excellent). Case in point: the offered shuttle to take you from the cruise terminal in Corfu to the old town, is 10 euro per person. A taxi for the same distance (up to 4-5 people) is just 5 euro total. We traveled with our two children (pre-school age) who probably enjoyed it more than us adults. Costa seems to have taken the wrong approach, compared with their past. It used to be great value, great food, but now it seems that they are trying to compete on price on the initial ticket, and then attempt to monetize the rest after you board. The cost cutting is also obvious: no more free pizza, no more free ice cream, no more free water (outside the buffet restaurant), obvious reduction in staff (dining and cabin). Also the decision to automatically deduct the tips every day (instead of asking for it at the end) has probably an averse effect on the behavior of the crew in general - they are definitely trying, but honestly they are not really compelled to. I would probably try with a different Carnival brand, but overall our experience with Royal Caribbean was better. Read Less
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