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7 Costa Magica Family Cruise Reviews

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
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 chose this cruise because the time and cost was right for us and the ports visited appealed to us. The time spent in each port seemed reasonable also. We are American and we did know the experience would be different for us on an ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the time and cost was right for us and the ports visited appealed to us. The time spent in each port seemed reasonable also. We are American and we did know the experience would be different for us on an Italian ship...previously all our cruises have been on Carnival. (The first day as soon as we got on the ship and went to the buffet, a couple sat down next to us at the table, but as soon as we said "hello" they got up and moved...obviously they didn't want to sit next to Americans!) The employee, Michaela, who "took care" of the English-speakers was very nice and helpful, having a separate meeting with us and offering her help when we needed it. If you are English-speaking be aware that announcements will be made on Costa ships in various languages, taking up a lot of time. The cabin was comparable to Carnival cabins, as the designer of the Carnival and Costa ships is the same. However, our cabin was showing wear with the front of a drawer falling off among other things. The cabin steward was efficient and nice. One thing I found disappointing is that Costa assigns you a cabin, no choice of your own! On Carnival we always choose the cabin we want. We ended up with a cabin at the aft of the ship. It wasn't a bad location except in rough waters, which we had only once. Food in the dining room was beautifully presented but not always tasty. Main entrees sometimes seemed odd, even though I am a fairly adventurous eater. One of our waiters was really screwy, laughing at who knows what...our American table-mates and us? Food at the buffet was always the same and plentiful, tasty for the most part. Costa offers drink packages and it seemed to us beforehand on the website that in order to have water at meals you'd need to order a water package, and we ordered one for me. I wish we hadn't as I could have had natural water at meals anyway. The package stated that you'd have this water to carry with you, however, the water is in liter bottles that I did not want to carry with me, especially on excursions. Plus, the waiters NEVER understood that I was to get this water (my choice of sparkling or natural) during the whole cruise, even though it was printed on the back of my Costa card and even after several phone calls in which the customer service person said they would speak to the waiters about it! They admitted the employees needed more training! My husband had the beer package and had the same trouble. His Costa card too had "water" printed on the back of it so it was a reoccurring problem as well. Fact is, you could get wine or beer anywhere without a package and the cost seemed to be the same. I would not recommend purchasing drink packages. The worst part of the cruise was the trouble we had with excursions. The one I was looking forward to the most was cancelled. This was the "Gourmet" excursion with wine-tasting and truffles out of Savona, Italy. First they said it was cancelled due to not enough English-speakers signing up for it, but when I inquired about going on a non-English-speaking excursion to that location they said they were not going there at all! We substituted an excursion to Genoa. As it turned out, I had obviously eaten something in the dining room the night before we reached Savona that didn't agree with me and I just could not risk being away from a bathroom on a bus for an hour to go to Genoa the next morning. I took medicine on my own and knew I'd get over it in time and didn't need a doctor. When we called to cancel that excursion they said we could not cancel it unless I went to the doctor, for a fee of 50 euros, and got a note saying I was not well enough to go on the excursion. We said, soooo you can cancel an excursion on us but we cannot cancel one on you! Right? They said right! If I'd spent the money for the doctor and he said I was okay, which he likely would have done since I had no fever, we would have spent the extra 50 euros and still paid for the excursion. As it was, we paid for an excursion we didn't take. Then, after our excursion in Pisa my husband started having back and hip pain and knew he was not going to be able to walk for the 2.5 hours on the excursion we'd booked for Rome the next day. We decided we'd be better off doing the "Rome on our own" tour and tried to change it the night before Rome but the excursion office was closed. We called early the next morning and they said we could change the excursion at the departure point but still had to pay for the original one. So, we did that out of necessity. Rome turned out to be cold and rainy. That was not Costa's fault of course, but almost all the people on our bus returned to the point we were to meet the bus early because we were all miserable due to the weather, and the bus did not pull up until the exact minute we were to leave. It does seem like the bus could have gotten there a little ahead of time as there was space to park the bus and the weather was so awful! Most of the tour guides were okay. The one in Pisa was excellent! The one in Palma de Mallorca spoke so fast that we couldn't understand her even if it was in English! All in all, the Costa excursions were disappointing for us, although Pisa was excellent and we had a wonderful time on our own in Aix-en-Provence, which was an excursion out of Marseilles. This cruise had people embarking and disembarking at each port, which was also different. This meant that there was a safety session each day for those just getting on the ship, and that there were extra announcements and "noise" each day. We did not take an excursion in Barcelona as we got on and off there. We spent 4 extra days in Barcelona at the end of the cruise and that was a very pleasant part of our trip. Glad we did that. Barcelona is an interesting and very friendly city! Actually, the very best part of our cruise was time spent with the English-speaking couples we met. With so few of us we developed a sort of camaraderie among us and that was fun! Thank goodness for them as I must say that some of the other people on the cruise (not all by any means) were actually rude and pushy, not something we were used to on a cruise. In conclusion, we will not take a cruise on an Italian ship again, and don't recommend it for Americans. My total rating of 3 stars is generous. My husband would rate it a 2. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
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
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
Having cruised with MSC, Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean before plus one time with Costa, I can hardly be categorized as loyal to any particular cruise line. To me, any cruise is a good cruise and I always try to find the perfect ... Read More
Having cruised with MSC, Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean before plus one time with Costa, I can hardly be categorized as loyal to any particular cruise line. To me, any cruise is a good cruise and I always try to find the perfect match of itinerary and value for money. This Costa cruise included a number of interesting ports such as Tangier and Casablanca where we participated in excellent excursions offered by the ship. In Marseille, we walked about 900 metres and then took a local bus (no 38) to the city centre ( at 3.60 Euro for a day pass) - much cheaper than the shuttle bus offered by the ship. We then took another bus up to see the church Notre Dame de la garde from which there is a fabulous view of the old harbour. Furthermore, iif you do not mind walking, you can easily experience both !Lisbon and Cadiz on your own on foot. In recent years, Costa has limted the places where onboard smoking is permitted, which suits me fine. However, unless my memory fails me, they have also cut back on their buffet breakfast options, leaving out hot dishes such as scrambled egg and bacon. Consequently, you have to go to the restaurant in the morning if you want to have an international brakfast. However, if you choose to do so, you can both serve yourself from the buffet in the restaurant or order from a comprehensive menu of different types of breakfast items such as Belgian waffles, American pancakes and various omelettes. If you are back late onboard after having been ashore and are hungry, you will often have to stand in line for a long time at " The Grill" which on many days is the only place to get hot lunch options in the middle of the afternoon. On a more positive note, the various types of beef served in the main dining room in the evenings were all very delicious, and the menu never failed to offer something to my taste. I would, however, have welcomed "icecream" on the list of " always available" items. If you are a night owl you may be rather disappointed to find that the bars close rather early, and even the disco - which mostly semed tobe full of very young teens - stop serving the guests at 3 am. As on other cruises, many guests were up early hoarding sunbeds, but as Costa had limited the space between the sunbeds to sqeeze in as many beds as possible, I never had any problem finding a sunbed. Furthermore, unlike on MSC, no decks were reserved for frequent cruisers with special membership which again increased the possibility for finding a vacant sunbed. Costa is known as the budget cruise liner, but you should be aware that their service charges are as high as € 10 a day. Also, most cocktails cost € 7.45 (plus 15% service charge) which may make you consider opting for the Piu Guso beverage package ( € 29 a day). You can also get a beverage package of 40 softdrinks/ non-alcoholic cocktails for € 110. As on MSC, water is not offered for free in the restaurant, and coffee and tea is only available for breakfast and the afternoon snack. Furthermore, juice is only available in the morning. The fitness centre was larger than what we have experienced on most other ships, but unfortunately some of the machines did not work. We did not go to see more than a few of the shows in the theatre but instead spent several hours listening to a fantastic duo called "Gisele & Daniel" who performed each evening in the atrium on deck 3. Costa has really hit jackpot by signing on this charming and talented Brazilian couple who outperformed any duo we have ever listened to on our previous cruises. Weighing the pros against the cons, I think we got good value for money by choosing this Costa cruise. However, Costa is far from ever becoming our favourite cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
As we got a good deal we decided to try Costa cruises. We have previously done NCL, RCCL, HAL, Celebrity, Carnival and MSC and after MSC we actually decided not to go fo a Italian cruise again. The MSC wold charge you for anytthing and not ... Read More
As we got a good deal we decided to try Costa cruises. We have previously done NCL, RCCL, HAL, Celebrity, Carnival and MSC and after MSC we actually decided not to go fo a Italian cruise again. The MSC wold charge you for anytthing and not much was included compared to the american ships - but money talks and we had the AI drink package included in our offer, which turned out to be excellent value. In order to help to understand the difference between the American shps and Costa I will try to make comparisons during the review. Enbarkation: Arriving at the port we delivered our luggage after having been in a line. At this point you get a boarding number, that should be used n the terminal later. The luggage delivery station was approximately 400 meters from the terminal, so you had to walk from the luggage delivery station to the terminal. At US ships you arrive at the ship and stewards are ready to take your luggage immediately at arrival - no line and not necessary to walk to the terminal. Arriving at the terminal you will wait until your assigned boarding number is called. Then you are put in a new line to wait for document checking. You don't deliver your credit card details here nor is your photo taken for your key card at this point (New lines for you is coming up). After the document checking a new long line is waiting for you for security check. Then you are on your way to board the shp, but has to pass to other lines: 1 for another document check and another line to get your photo taken. Finally on board you have 48 hours to provide your credita card details on the machines onboard. On US ships all of the previous is done at check-in and decrease the embarkation time significant. IT took us 2-3 hours from delivering the luggae to board the ship - area for improvement. The ship: The ship itself is beatiful and very well maintained. The decor is quite nice and italian which we did like, though it was difficult to navigate between the parts of the ships, as you could only pass from one end to the other on deck 5 -on deck 3 and 4 you have to go to deck 5 if you had to move from one end to another. Cabin: We had balcony cabin 9281, which had an excellent location, as it was near the elevators, lido, buffet and bar. There was no noise from the public areas. The cabin itself was slight wider than on the US ships, so you felt that the cabin was larger than on US ships. It was in good condition and had quit hard beds (Which I liked. Restaurant & food: Well this is where the big difference between Costa and US ships really is big. If you want decent food you HAVE to eat in the main restaurants at your specific seating, as the alternative buffet was nearly none exiting. We tried to the buffet one evening and it was a huge mistake: They only have slad and poor poor quality pizza (2 flavours). The pizzas was the worst we have had ever - there was barely no toppings on these, so I would compare those to a flat bread with a bit of cheese and oil on the top - very poor. On US ships you have a broad variaty of dishes during the evening buffet which are very tasty. While at the buffet, there is the usual stuff for breakfast including an omelet station. The variaty is OK, but not as much as on US ships. For lunch it was OK, though it was limited variaty. On US ships you can have Limonade, fruit punch, ice tea or water throughout the day - on Costa you are offered water only, so you had to get other drinks from the bar. There are only very limited personnel to deliver the drinks for you so you will have to line up at the bars to get your drinks. You can also choose to have dinner in the speciality restaurant but did not try that (25 cover charge). The quality of the food in the main restaurant was so so. Sometimes quite delicious - at other times no taste at all. My wife ordered steak on evening and got a small flat piece of dry meat and approximately 30 french fries - that was all. Portions are small and the variaty are again limited compared to US ships. The US ships will beat Costa by far on the food choices, quantity and quality - so don't go Costa if food is a priority for you. Pools: If you don't have kids - forget the pools - they are really overcrowded with kids so it is impossible to have a swim or even to find a spare spot where you can dip. Fellow pasangers: Mainly italians, where you can expect that they smoke more than average, though smoking was not an issue for us - nor inside or outside. You are allowed to smoke in one side of the ship, but the italians smoke all over the ship. On US ships you have very limited smoking and yoiur fellow passangers are US, which we prefer instead of the quite selfish and noisy italians. Drinks: Hey this is great if you are on the AI package. You can order any drinks from the barmenu - except those with a star. The list of drinks available on AI is large and they deliver great drinks including Pina Colada, Daquiries etc. You can also have specialty coffee on the AI package, but not freshly squizzed juice. Other points - Don't expect all the "extra" service you get on the US ships. - The time you are in port is very limited (5 hours or so) compared to the US ships where you will have the most of a day in port. Entertainment: We did see a show or 2 and liked what we saw. We actually prefer the shows on the italian ships compared to the shows on US ships, as the singers and dancers perform very well. At the US ships it seems like the singers try their best to be the new star like Whitney Houston, Tom Jones etc and it becomes often ofthe a pain to listen too. We prefer if the US singers would relax a bit more and just be themselves. Would we go Costa again? - not sure even if we felt that it was a better deal than going with MSC. We prefer US ships as you get better overall deals when you include service, quality, quantity and fellow passengers   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
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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