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14 Costa Magica Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Baltic Sea

I was party leader for a group of 10 friends and family. I joined this cruise with low expectations, based on the previous reviews. What I actually experienced was way beyond my expectations. We did the Baltic Cruise and visited Stockholm, ... Read More
I was party leader for a group of 10 friends and family. I joined this cruise with low expectations, based on the previous reviews. What I actually experienced was way beyond my expectations. We did the Baltic Cruise and visited Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg and Tallinn. This is an expensive route normally and this was a budget price in the scheme of things. Based on what we paid and what we received there are no complaints. The food was of a good standard at the buffet and the formal dinner and in fact some of the formal dinner food was amazing. I had one of the best beef steaks I have ever had on one evening! The waiters could have been a bit more jovial but they were not rude and their service was fine and we always had a good experience every night. The room was bigger than expected with a good size comfy bed and plenty of hanging space for clothes. We did not see our cabin steward at any time on the cruise but the service was fine and the room was always well looked after. We did have a problem with a shower tray that would not empty properly so one ended up stood in water and also with water overflowing onto the main bathroom floor. I reported this and they came and fixed it while we were out. They then called the room later that day to make sure that we were happy with the fix and by that time we had not used the shower. When we used the shower we found that it was not working correctly still and so we called them and once again they came out to fix it. Once again they called us later that day to check it was ok and this time the fix had worked. I have been on many cruises and I have never had a follow up call to make sure that we were happy with the fix. This is a first for me, so well done to them for actually taking the time twice to make sure we were happy with the repair/fix. Credit where credits due. We did three excursions through Costa and two of these were very good. However we did do the Best of Stockholm and Vasa Museum tour on the final day which is a 3.5 hour tour at €70 per person their ref 2501. This is rushed tour and is not enough time. It ended up that we only had 40 minutes in the Vasa Museum, which is the highlight. They introduced this as one of the World's best Museums and a wonderful experience and then gave us only 40 minutes inside. This is ridiculous as in my opinion you need at least 1.5 hours inside, minimum. I would suggest that you go privately and take your time as this is an amazing museum that deserves more of your time. This was a blemish on what was otherwise a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
In my opinion this cruise has one port missing. It arrives in Stockholm on a Friday, boarding is on a Saturday, then it leaves for Helsinki, following is 2 days St. Petersburg, then a short time in Tallin. The day after is again in ... Read More
In my opinion this cruise has one port missing. It arrives in Stockholm on a Friday, boarding is on a Saturday, then it leaves for Helsinki, following is 2 days St. Petersburg, then a short time in Tallin. The day after is again in Stockholm, and the following day you have to disembark. I can't understand why they don't add Latvia for example instead of docking for 2 days in Stockholm. Otherwise it would have been nice to have 3 days in Russia, but Stockholm is the least city that one has to see. Something about the ship, decor is very old, brown and orange everywhere, breakfast very poor, bacon and sausages are not even good for dogs...thanks God they offered meat in the grill section which I enjoyed very much for breakfast. In the evening we ate at the sit-in restaurant, food taste average, food decoration very nice. Entertainment during sit-in dinner ZERO neither some background recorded music except for the Italian night and the gala dinner where there was live entertainment which we enjoyed very much. At the pool area NO MUSIC except when there are organised activities which happen only when the ship is at sea...I find this so stupid as it is costless to put a nice music on through a CD...The pool slide on Costa Magica was delusive..it is opened only for 1 hr if you're lucky. So, we booked this ship for the slide and when we boarded we could'nt even use it, we had to wait until the last day to go on it 3 times as they did'nt advise its opening times and we encountered it open by chance....why? we presume so that they won't have to repaint it since the blue colour comes off on your swimsuit or because they don't want to waste human resources to guard the slide. As for the bar service, we bought Piu Gusto for all the cabin which was a family of 4. One of us went to get 2 drinks from the pool bar and the barman humiliated him by asking him for another card....why when our package included unlimited drinks? why ruin guests holiday experience with this approach?? as for children activities the Peppa Pig activities were great and the children had so much fun in the Squok Club...so well done to them. I was going to forget about this...this is unbelievable but true...guys forget that you will be getting an ice cream or a nice milkshake on the ship...if you want one you have to pay for it...this is our 5th cruise and we never encountered anything similar!! As for the Photos...when they will learn that if they reduce the price they will sell more? it's unbelievable how many photos they throw away after every cruise when if they sell them at least half the price many people will be encouraged to buy them...very greedy and stupid behavior in my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Costa is a Very Surprising Compony, We Enter the Ship in St. Petersburg, the ship is quite of big and good. We Booked Cabin with Window and the Cabin is quite big and good but there a addtion staff on money. The food on costa is good , ... Read More
Costa is a Very Surprising Compony, We Enter the Ship in St. Petersburg, the ship is quite of big and good. We Booked Cabin with Window and the Cabin is quite big and good but there a addtion staff on money. The food on costa is good , there what to eat everywhere. there 2 restaurants on the ship. We was on smeralda and it was an goodrestaurant but it was take the food a long to get. Costa having a show every day Evening. there a lot what to see on board and what to do. But Pizza on board is on additonal Payment. the service on board is good. on Information there staff that talking in multi languages. the loading and unloading was good and quick. and the shops on costa is quite good and recommanded to wait to last day for sales . very nice cruise maybe We'll go again Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Visiting the places we were interested in. Good value for money and suits all budgets. Booking in was very efficient. The ship it’s self was very ornate bars, lovely theatre & lounges. The food was ok if not fab, but ... Read More
Visiting the places we were interested in. Good value for money and suits all budgets. Booking in was very efficient. The ship it’s self was very ornate bars, lovely theatre & lounges. The food was ok if not fab, but bearing in mine the cost it was good value for money. The cabin staff, lounge staff and restaurant were lovely. What spoilt our experience somewhat was the aggressive attitude of the bar staff and some reception staff. We always treat all the staff with respect and a smile but some staff thought it was ok to be rude and aggressive. We did the Stockhol, Helsinki, St Petersburg, TAllinn stops and i would highly recommend these, take an extra day in Stockholm as there is plenty to see. At this point I am not sure I would book Costa again, purely due to the number of times I encountered rude staff and saw how they behaved towards other passengers, even on 1 occasion to an elderly and frail lady. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We visited Stockholm, St Petersburg, Tallinn and Helsinki. This was a beautiful cruise that is very well organized in every aspect. I think it also gives you a great sense of Italy and their way of life and partying. The only bad ... Read More
We visited Stockholm, St Petersburg, Tallinn and Helsinki. This was a beautiful cruise that is very well organized in every aspect. I think it also gives you a great sense of Italy and their way of life and partying. The only bad thing that I have to point out is that they have VERY small swimming pools on the ship, and this is a real problem when 3000 people want to swim at the same time. I loved the food, Italian cuisine is famous worldwide and I think there is something to eat for everyone. :))) And they have a WONDERFUL entertainment team which made me dance and stay awake every single night till God knows which hours. Important to know: - You can link your credit card to your ship card and then don't have to worry about payment. - They have totems now, so you can book your excursions there. - Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and without any crowds and problems. I will definitely travel with Costa again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Booked this well in advance and decided to upgrade to a balcony premium room as also taking teenager with us. Given the reviews of Magica and Costa (read them after booking...) I was concerned that we may regret choosing this - but the ... Read More
Booked this well in advance and decided to upgrade to a balcony premium room as also taking teenager with us. Given the reviews of Magica and Costa (read them after booking...) I was concerned that we may regret choosing this - but the itinery was fab and we have been on a couple of cruises before in eastern med with Royal Caribbean - so checked re package and location of cabin carefully - got a single bed sofa sorted rather than bunk bed - and chose Deck 9 as close to bars/buffet/pool etc. We had a fantastic week - and this is why I am writing the review (given the majority of very negative ones!) - as we really rated the following: - the dining room/food ! we were seated at an English speaking table and we had a laugh from the off. Hello Steve and Trish and John and Bev if you are reading this! - the staff - we found everyone helpful and friendly - far more than previous cruises - we enjoyed the gala night - it wasnt formal or stuffy and the whole set up is very relaxed and casual - if you want formal dont book this ship!! Norbert was excellent - the premium room - spacious and spotless all week - decent shower and loads of storage space. Decent bed including the single one - the sofa bed wasnt a hassle and just stayed down along wall all week which was ideal. - embarking/disembarking - all very straight forward - no waiting getting on or off and the same throughout at various stop offs. We got a public bus from central station when arrived at Stockholm - after gettting Arlanda Express from airport - takes 30 mins and cheap! - the itinery - we chose this primarily as we wanted to get as much time in St P and Stockholm as possible - we booked our own shore excursions in St P and did our own thing in other cities. We had a brilliant time in St P as we wanted to do more specific history and politics tours so used Ulko Tours to go to the Political History museum (fantastic - you could spend 5-6 hours there - ask for english speaking tour guide before you go) and also smaller KGB museum. Also did general city tour 1 day with Advertura - very good. These were costly - so it does add a lot to the overall cost of the holiday which we didnt realise when booking cruise. We booked our own flights to and from Stockholm separately so this gave us an extra day in Stockholm - otherwise we would have had to leave the ship by 4.30am on the last day. So this worked out for us and accomm in Stockholm was reasonable - stayed at Park Inn - a couple of stops on metro which was excellent. So overall we were impressed with Costa and would use them again. Yes - the majority of the passengers are Italian/Spanish (no surprise there then) and yes it was loud and noisy in all the public bars/spaces. The entertainment was as to be expected (!) and yes Costa makes the staff try to sell all sorts so there is too much selling at the info sessions - but we found the overall service and the dining experiences great. Just one thing Costa - please add water to the drinks package - its madness not being able to get a glass of water but as many spirits/wine/beer as you wish. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I chose this cruise thinking it would be lovely for my moms very first cruise. Honestly the ports of call sounded more appealing than a normal med cruise. And that was my main reason for picking this cruise line. I have cruised before but ... Read More
I chose this cruise thinking it would be lovely for my moms very first cruise. Honestly the ports of call sounded more appealing than a normal med cruise. And that was my main reason for picking this cruise line. I have cruised before but always with American ships (Carnival in particular)So was expecting high standards. In fairness the crew were very sweet and did everything they could to make the cruise enjoyable in particular the staff at embarkation and disembarkation very helpful to my elderly mother taking her hand on and off the ramp, Our waiter in the evening Dsilva Dolree did his very best to ensure our dining was pleasant. (The food was generally exceptionally disappointing) And our cabin crew lovely and helpful. My main complaints were food related. Bland at best and over salted at worst. The same Italian staples came out at lunch each day same sandwiches same hams cheeses etc. I understand its an Italian ship but they need to cater to those of us that are not Italian. We don`t all love tasteless over-salted pasta. Or a main course for dinner without vegetables. There was plenty of melon on board and plenty of apples and pineapple so I cannot complain about the fruit however a variety would be nice instead of same oh same oh at every lunch and breakfast. Most people go on a cruise for the food drink and entertainment. In all of these I`m afraid i found the Magica totally lacking. (I`m not a drinker so honestly didn't pay for a drinks package because it would have been a waste) hate to say this but will not use Costa again I think I will stick to the American cruises there is no comparison . they know how to entertain and how to put on beautiful edible meals. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I choose costa magica 7 day of Baltic because sdate match for my daughter and wife holiday. I hope this ship is her first cruise made them happy. Last year I and my mother cruise with costa fortuna .We appreciated that ship but nor for ... Read More
I choose costa magica 7 day of Baltic because sdate match for my daughter and wife holiday. I hope this ship is her first cruise made them happy. Last year I and my mother cruise with costa fortuna .We appreciated that ship but nor for costa magica. First at embarkation the officer forgot to stamp complete in boarding ticket and I have to return after X ray. Lunch buffet are hot dog and hamberger but tomato ketchup and mayonaise are inadequate. Dinner no ice cream tea or coffee. Supper has only pizza veg/ham cheese. After midnight has only milk /tea. Entertainment nearly half are non english song but no asian. Gym has some malfunction equipment. inside cabin is small but clean.Port @ stockholm helsinki st peterberg tallin are good. I travel by myself I take uber is good. in St peterberg I takeTaxo vichof for service in hour based have a big problem because call center hot good in english. The last and the most not appreciated is before i disembarkation I check money credit on board gratitude and internet price. It is correct. But 3 day after the credit card officer phone me in midnight because someone try to use my credit card . Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We have been on 10 cruises and Costa Magica does not rate very well compared to the others. We booked this just to see what other cruise lines had to offer and were pleased with the price but overall disappointed. Embarkations was the ... Read More
We have been on 10 cruises and Costa Magica does not rate very well compared to the others. We booked this just to see what other cruise lines had to offer and were pleased with the price but overall disappointed. Embarkations was the easiest so far....flawless and no lines. The ships overall appearance seems to be nice and updated. The rooms are roomy for a cruise ship and we were pleased. We were assigned seating for dining and loved the family that we were paired with but we do not like the assigned seating and prefer the "Freestyle Dining". This allows much more flexibility and not such a rigid schedule while on vacation, The food was edible but not good. Several times we tried what they brought out but chose not to eat it or ate it because we were starving.. We were also disappointed that they do not serve coffee with dessert. Coffee is only served during breakfast and at the bar. Breakfast is good and we chose to go to our assigned dining room for breakfast because it was not as hectic as Deck 9 (which is a free for all). They do offer a menu and serve you coffee as well as a continental breakfast. We were usually off the ship during lunch so we do not know how that went. The service during the Dinner was below average. We constantly had to ask for water and very seldom would pour it for you. The server would just set it on the table. Entertainment was average. We never book shore excursions with the cruise lines because they are too expensive and the groups are too large. We did hear that the ship offered a really good program for the kids which is a plus for families. One of the big things we noticed was they were not require you to clean your hands prior to meals and did not offer warm wash cloths/sanitizer to clean your hands when you are coming aboard the ship after touring another country. Hand sanitizer was unavailable when boarding the ship in some ports and the one going into the dining area did not work properly. Also, we never saw them sanitizing the handrails, etc on the ship. The workers told us they work 8 months a year, 11 hour days, 7 days a week which I am sure this contributed to the poor service. Hopefully, they were given the gratuity that is automatically added to your bill. Our cabin as mid ship on Deck 2 and we could hear the crew working throughout the night most every night. Between the food/service/sanitizing I would not recommend this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was the first time I went on a cruise. I went with my mother, who had previously been on two cruises with RCI. We travelled to Stockholm by train, having spent the previous night in Gothenburg. We arrived at Stockholm Södra ... Read More
This was the first time I went on a cruise. I went with my mother, who had previously been on two cruises with RCI. We travelled to Stockholm by train, having spent the previous night in Gothenburg. We arrived at Stockholm Södra Station and took a taxi directly to Frihamnen, where Costa Magica was boarding. Boarding went very smoothly, we had to wait for maybe 10-15 minutes before we could board the ship. Costa Magica's décor is rather lavish, with thousands of works of art onboard. Depictions of women, in various states of (un)dress, is a theme onboard, which some more conservative passengers could possibly find slightly shocking. The age is beginning to show (she was launched in 2003), and the colour scheme could be called gaudy by some (I rather liked it). The ship's slogan is "Cruising Italian Style", and the aim is to cater to European tastes. In practice, the great majority of the passengers were Italians, the rest seemed to be mostly Spanish, French and Russian. Consequently, most announcements are made in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and Russian, which means that announcements tend to be rather long. Due to the large number of nationalities among the guests, Costa Magica staff makes an effort to seat people who speak the same language together at dinner, which is a very good idea. The quality of the food is OK, ranging from bland to tasty. Costa being an Italian cruise line, the food in the main dining rooms is heavily dominated by Italian cuisine. The buffet is more international, the food arguably tastier (!) than the main dining rooms, and we noticed as the week progressed that the number of guests declined in the dining room and increased at the buffet. Due to the variety of languages among the guests, the entertainment tend to focus on song and dance shows. These were rather enjoyable, but an acrobatic show that was on offer one night was not to our taste. We signed up for an organised excursion in St. Petersburg (if you join an excursion organised by the cruise line, you don't need to apply for a visa), while we explored Helsinki and Tallinn by ourselves. The all-day excursion in St. Petersburg was worth it, even though 2.5 hours at the Hermitage was a bit much. Service onboard was good, the staff was friendly, and especially our cabin attendant Hugo deserves a mention. I would not mind going on a Costa cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Our fourth cruise with Costa (the second with Costa Magica) and, unfortunately, we have seen, over the years, a gradual decline in quality. Both cleanliness and services are maintained at good levels; the kitchen is on the decline. For the ... Read More
Our fourth cruise with Costa (the second with Costa Magica) and, unfortunately, we have seen, over the years, a gradual decline in quality. Both cleanliness and services are maintained at good levels; the kitchen is on the decline. For the entire duration of the cruise we had to avoid shrimp dishes because this crustacean was almost inedible. For the rest, average cuisine. As for the excursions, the two are excellent in St. Petersburg (although rather expensive), very bad that of Stockholm due to various disservices as well as an uneducated guide. It is opportune to emphasize that as an alternative to lunch, 90 minutes of free time have been "granted", from the most spent to bivouac on the steps of the buildings or on the benches of the main square of Stockholm, in order to consume the bad lunch basket, provided by Costa We have carried out, with an absolutely constructive spirit, the appropriate reports to the Customer Service, but finding a strenuous and sterile defense of office. La nostra quarta crociera con Costa ( la seconda con Costa Magica) e, purtroppo, abbiamo riscontrato, col passare degli anni, un progressivo calo della qualità. Si mantengono a buoni livelli sia la pulizia che i servizi; in calo invece la cucina. Per tutta la durata della crociera abbiamo dovuto evitare i piatti a base di gambero perchè tale crostaceo risultava quasi immangiabile. Per il resto cucina nella media. Per quanto riguarda le escursioni , ottime le due a San Pietroburgo ( anche se piuttosto care), pessima quella di Stoccolma a causa di vari disservizi oltre che di una Guida poco educata. Opportuno sottolineare che in alternativa al pranzo ci sono stati "concessi" 90 minuti di tempo libero, dai più trascorsi a bivaccare sui gradini dei palazzi o sulle panchine della principale piazza di Stoccolma, al fine di potere consumare il pessimo lunch basket, fornito dalla Costa, Abbiamo effettuato, con spirito assolutamente costruttivo, le opportune segnalazioni al Servizio Clienti riscontrando però una strenua quanto sterile difesa d'ufficio. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
It was my first experience with Costa Cruise. North Europe destination (Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn). In short: Embarking - just few minutes, nice welcoming by staff, photo and ID card is ready, you leave baggage at ... Read More
It was my first experience with Costa Cruise. North Europe destination (Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn). In short: Embarking - just few minutes, nice welcoming by staff, photo and ID card is ready, you leave baggage at collection point and you go straight to the cabin. Your baggage is delivered to your cabin within next half an hour. As simple as is. Cabin: we had balcony one. 1 double bed and i single one. Both comfortable and well sized. Cabin perfectly clean. TV set might have been a bit bigger but was ok. Shower worked well. Dinning: we chose international breakfast option - enough variety of food - whatever you need. All fresh and tasty. Dinners were extremely good. No standing in queues nor waiting for service. Ship - Magica is quite big ship (apprx 110k tons) - means big enough to be stable but not crowded too much Service - as always staff was just perfect - smiling, speaking different languages, polite and well-skilled. Entertainment - we attended 2 events "Voice of the sea" and "Magic moments" - both worth of spending time. Excursions - we prefer organising trips on our own. Stockholm is stunning, packed and extremely expensive; St. Petersburg is incredible (mus see points are Peterhof, Tzarskie Selo, Hermitage, Nevsky Prospect, Issac's church and On Blood Church. All of them you can easily reach on your own using public transport. Value for money - J have no idea why people spend fortunes on other cruise lines whereas they don't offer anything better than Costa (maybe snobbery?). Long story short: take Costa, pay half of what other lines demand and have wonderfull holiday. Robert Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I have read bad reviews about COSTA, but the destinations looked very appealing so I took my chances. Well, I should have listened to those reviews because other than the great port of calls, reasonable price of the cruise and the very ... Read More
I have read bad reviews about COSTA, but the destinations looked very appealing so I took my chances. Well, I should have listened to those reviews because other than the great port of calls, reasonable price of the cruise and the very entertaining shows by their in house singers and dancers, everything else was bad. There were 14 of us in 7 cabins, and most of us have the same sentiments-never will we take COSTA again! Let me list some of the reasons : 1.Embarkation procedure disorganized, took us 3 hours from arrival at terminal to boarding. And we arrived early ( 11 a.m.). 2.Food low quality & lacked variety , even the specialty restaurant Lobster & Grill ( extra charge of E25 per cover) had bad food - lobster clearly frozen & meat sticking to the shell, Key Lime Pie looked & tasted like the store bought variety. Total waste of money ! 3. Buffet opens only at 7 p.m., frustrating for those who want a quick meal before watching first show at 7:15 p.m. And after 9:30 p.m., there's nowhere to find food . 4. Shore excursions cancelled if not enough people ( this happened twice that I know of with the English ones, could have happened more). 5. Delayed arrival in port, threw a wrench on our tours with private operators. 6.Front desk personnel not very knowledgeable, speak to different people and you get different answers. We wanted to buy their airport transfer upon disembarkation in Amsterdam but no more space- so I asked how much is taxi and the answer was 25E. We took 3 taxis and paid between 70-85 E per taxi, what a nice surprise! 7. Never seen such an unhappy lot of ship personnel, I suspect they are overworked and very underpaid. Confirmed when we spoke with a number of people working there. 8. Cabins were clean, but very warm despite adjusting in the thermostat. 9.Bought a shuttle bus ride with them, trip scheduled for 9:15 a.m. but bus was delayed so we left port at 10 a.m.. And last shuttle back to port was at 12:30 instead of 12:45 so we had very little time for sightseeing. Felt short changed. 10. Pet peeve: shower curtain one inch shorter than it should me resulting in water spraying around. Why can't spend a little money to replace those and save passenger aggravation as well as a lot of work on the cabin cleaners? I usually write a review only when I'm happy with my experience, but this one is to warn others. Unless you're a first time cruiser or you don't mind being stressed, don't take COSTA ! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Having been on 21 cruises over the past 8 years with 8 different cruise lines, we decided to return after about 5 years to Costa having been with them on four other occasions, Victoria, Atlantica twice and Europa. We enjoyed those cruises ... Read More
Having been on 21 cruises over the past 8 years with 8 different cruise lines, we decided to return after about 5 years to Costa having been with them on four other occasions, Victoria, Atlantica twice and Europa. We enjoyed those cruises with minor irritations and wanted to see how they now compare with other ships and companies.This time it was Costa Magica, chosen mainly because of the Itinerary. We were absolutely delighted with our first impressions of the ship's public spaces. In wonderful true Italian style and flare each area was delightful, especially the main lounge deck 5. In fact all the main public lounges, bars, nightclub, piano bar etc were on deck 5 and so tastefully appointed, except the rear lounge, Capri, where the furnishings looked dated and tired. We had a balcony as usual as my wife does not like having the air-conditioning on and we leave the door partly ajar at night. The cabin was very good and nicely furnished but was a wee bit smaller than others we have had...not quite so wide. The shower was excellent although it kept over-flowing flooding the bathroom on three occasions despite having reported it. The situation was perfect for us, mid-ships deck 9 and very near the lifts. This is important for us as my wife does have some mobility problem. Deck 9 on Costa Magica was for us the most perfect of all our cruises...short walk to the morning buffet; a few steps to the outside pool/spa and even shorter to the lift straight down to deck 3 for the theatre. Our dining room was on Deck 3, a short stroll from the theatre which was a delight. We were fortunate enough, as always, so far, to get a table for two. This was in lovely small area beneath the balcony with two very attractive very large blown photo pictures on the rear wall. It was almost like being in a small Italian restaurant in Italy. Of recent times, we don't usually eat in the main dining room more than say 3 times as the Alternative dining arrangements have been so good (see below). We ate every night in the main dining room and the food was very good to excellent with the most attentive and charming waiter and wine waiter who actually delivered your wine BEFORE you start eating. Our experience on many ships has been that the busy wine waiter never manages to get the wine to you until you are on the second course! This was a great plus along with others, one of which was a jug of iced tap water immediately came to your table as you sat down. The reason we ate in the dining room every night is because the Alternative Dining was virtually non-existent, consisting of one buffet area counter no more than 15 feet long consisting of a choice of pizza, pizza, pizza or pizza and some tired looking salad bits. Quite dreadful. Also there was no "Anytime dining for those who like that arrangement and quite clearly Costa have not caught up with the other cruise lines where the alternative dining...buffets are extremely good...for example on the 5 Royal Carribean Ships and 2 Princess ships we have been on, where quite often we have had better meals up in the buffet than in the dining room. And so Costa should take a really close look at what the competition are offering as they will over time, I fear, loose out to those who like a choice. The was just one other place you could eat on a "fine dining" evening and that was in Club Venezia where the ambience, views, furnishings, china, glassware was simple quite stunning. But that cost an extra Euros 20 each person plus wine/drinks etc. Now to the buffet - breakfast and lunch. I rated these 2 out of 10 for several reasons. The main buffet areas finished serving at 10am....help we are on holiday. The only buffet breakfast area still open after 10am was in the covered pool area at the back of the ship which stayed open until 11am. More often than not we ate there. This was a very pleasant and bright area to have breakfast save for the very limited number of tables and chairs with the main space being given over to loungers by the pool. Kids in the pool could be noisey. The main breakfast buffets and the covered pool buffet lacked so many things I am used to on other ships and indeed at home.Apart from diced melon and pineapple all mixed together, there was a marked absence of fresh fruit. A few bananas, plums but they went very quickly and not replaced. I saw no apples. The other fruit was TINNED pears and TINNED peaches. No nuts, seeds, raisons, bagels and the most disgusting looking bacon I have seen...crispy burnt dark lean bacon dripping in fat...no English type bacon which we English like!! On other ships there is usually a choice of bacon . No fresh toast but two slices wrapped in greaseproof and often been standing there for half hour or more. The covered pool area buffet was even worse with a very limited assortment. Bearing in mind they closed at 11am at 10.25 when we got there I asked for some toast, only to be told they were not preparing any more as it was too late. And she was quite rude to. I reported her to the Supervisor who was well aware of her attitude from other guests. Also there was no fresh fruit at all offering only tinned pears...and no yogurts..too late being the answer. Lunch time buffets were acceptable but nothing in comparison to ALL the other ships we have been on, so again Costa need urgently to address these issues. A very large theatre seating 1,600 but because of so many different languages, they are rather limited in the choice of performer...no comedians or any act which has spoken word in it. One of the highlights for me was a brilliant tenor singing some lovely music, only to be spoiled because they do not close the doors at the rear of the theatre and we were sitting about three-quarters of the way back and could hear quite loudly the music coming from the central atrium area...rather disrespectful to the artist ...and that happened each night.On other ships the doors are closed at the start of the performance. Although we knew what to expect through previous travels with Costa, we were just as irritated with the repeat in several languages (usually six at least) of every single announcement throughout day and evening during the entire cruise. One of the worst was when they were trying to get passengers to attend Bingo...and when announced it in a foreign language it comes over even more irritating...as "bingo, bingo, bingo" this happened almost every day and at least twice or three times . They had bingo sessions at 8.30 or 9pm some nights in the main lounges...now I ask you, is that really necessary? Kids...there were quite a lot of children on board up to teenage level and I was quite surprised and rather annoyed that they were allowed up so late. On other ships there is often a curfew at midnight and I think Costa should consider this. Costa Magica, like the other Costa ships is a late night ship with as many as five different areas playing music for dancing or listening well up to and past 1 am..a real must for the keen dancer. The Animators in the two main lounges were just brilliant and always managed to get many people dancing and with such enthusiasm. Excursions. We don't usually do many of the ships' excursions these days and prefer to do our own thing, which where available is the Double Decker Hop on and Hop Off City Sightseeing buses. These are excellent value BUT and a real big BUT , no ship we have EVER been on EVER tells you about them and yet on this particular cruise in at least three ports they stop right outside the ship. I even mentioned this to one of the bus reps who was most surprised saying that he will tell his boss because they pay , in this case , Costa to advertise them. Well they don't and nor do any other cruise ship as far as we have experienced. Life is all about choice and I feel that Costa and indeed other cruise lines should do the decent thing and give their passengers a choice. On one cruise I went on I asked how far the railway station was from the ship...she told me it was quite a long way. It was in Cobh and I wanted to go to Cork and she obviously wanted me to buy an excursion through them. I didn't and to my amazement as you step off the ship in Cobh right opposite on the other side of the road is the railway station..Just another example of being aware of alternatives to the ship's excursions. Gratuities. These were added to your bill at the end of the cruise and no choice but to pay them. Although having no choice, we did find it refreshing that we were not bombarded with reminders almost daily (on Royal Caribbean) of the need to pay gratuities. In fact it was never mentioned in the whole trip with Costa nor did it appear in the Information Booklet in our cabin...so, well done Costa. We still decided to give a small token to our waiters and cabin stewardess. Embarking and Disembarking. Embarking was just amazingly quick...in fact the quickest, walking straight on. This itinerary is rather unusual in that passengers are taken aboard on several ports of call...Dover, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Oslo, Copenhagen , Edinburgh and Le Havre and because only about 120 passengers got on at Dover, it was exceedingly quick and easy. At some ports it was a bit chaotic when returning to the ship and unless you sussed it out, it was quite easy to get behind the new guests who were having their passports and documents checked ...there was no clear sign at any port to show you the entry line for existing passengers. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise bar for the points I have mentioned and would again go with Costa as we know what to expect and not expect.There is a lovely atmosphere on board their ships, which for some, can be a bit too noisy at times. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Costa Magica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 3.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.2
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.2
Enrichment 1.0 2.7
Service 4.0 3.7
Value For Money 4.0 3.2
Rates 3.0 3.9

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