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4 Costa Magica Family Cruise Reviews

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
Costa is a good cruise line if you want to spend a lot for very little. I had cruised on Carnival in the Caribbean and had expected a comparable level of quality. I was totally wrong. The food is akin to a high school cafeteria. It is also ... Read More
Costa is a good cruise line if you want to spend a lot for very little. I had cruised on Carnival in the Caribbean and had expected a comparable level of quality. I was totally wrong. The food is akin to a high school cafeteria. It is also available only at select times (unlike Carnival, when there is ample food available around the clock). The ship employees are barely friendly, and often not. The excursions were inferior and sometimes unavailable to English speakers. The English-speaking guides speak broken English which is hard to understand, and many did not have a command of their topics (or felt limited by their barely proficient English). Unlike Carnival, the ship employees are not eager to please. When I repeatedly requested a change in table, I was told it was impossible. That may have been the case, but their attitude was that I was asking for something unreasonable -- again, quite in contrast to my experience on Carnival. The food was not good and rarely varied from day-to-day. The meat was dry or tough. There were no "special foods" like shrimp or lobster. The desserts were plain and uninteresting. There were many other non-friendly customer elements: the slide is open only four hours per day. The pools close at 10 pm. There is one choice for dinner (no optional buffets as is the case on Carnival), unless you want to pay extra to eat at the pizza bar. The only bright spot was the rooms and overall condition of the ship, which was well-maintianed and attractive (though I could do without the nudity all over the walls, especially with kids along). I know that Carnival owns Costa, but this was not in evidence. I would discourage English-speakers from taking a Costa Cruise. And I can't imagine that the food quality could be pleasing even to Europeans. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
we went on this cruise for our sons 21st birthday it was booked back in january 2014.i read quite a few of the reviews regarding the ship and type of holiday and although people are entitled to their opinion i thought some of the bad ... Read More
we went on this cruise for our sons 21st birthday it was booked back in january 2014.i read quite a few of the reviews regarding the ship and type of holiday and although people are entitled to their opinion i thought some of the bad reviews were a bit harsh, i was wrong the reviews were right, i know the ship is run by a italian company but did not realise so many foriegn people would be on it our group of 5 people were the the only english people.Apart from the theatre in the evening time any announcements were all done in foreign languages apart from maybe about 2 times,i can not fault the staff or the cabin room, we have been on other cruises and the cabin room was loads bigger (inside cabin aswell) the food was ok mainly italian catered for and i agree with one of the reviews the italians were the most ignorant people we have met and did not like queueing for food even when they could see the queue but were pushing in all the time at which point after about 2 days of putting up with this me and my husband no longer did and had quite a few arguments with said people and told them to get to the back of the queue and queue like the rest of us had to and they do understand english?????also on costa cruises you only get free water throughout the day and fresh orange juice in the morning(unless you purchase there drinks packages the cheapest being about £25.00 each per person per day hence we did not have this) of which your not suppose to but most of these people were filling up bottles hence holding up the people queueing for drinks,if they got seen they were told off but did this very crafitly ,the italians also gorged themselves on the food piling there plates with huge masses of food but then did not eat it all which was a great waste and taking this amount of food in the first place meant less for everyone else but they were not bothered about this.and as usual the old sunloungers debate people putting towels on sunbeds but not actually being any where near there sunbed and also people taking your stuff off your sunbed (we had only gone to the toilet) and came back to other people on our sunbeds tannoy annoucements were made but still not adhered to and other charges that you need to be warned about. everytime you order a drink there is a service charge on it and as well as this you are charged everyday another service charge which is payable every day for each person and was 8 euros each per day per person which in the exchange rate worked out bout £9.60 so for 10 day for us 5 which equates to about £480.00 and although the travel agent told us about the service charge she didnt know if this was optional and she did not know how much it would be rubbish travel agent???? so my advise is to anyone thinking of going on a cruise dont go on any costa cruises as we felt we were being ripped off all the time and the word cattle market came to mind as you just felt like you were being herded round all the time especailly at meal times so avoid avoid theres plenty of other cruise liners out there. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
SMOKE OR DIE, OR BOTH. Great Cruise if you like second hand smoke everywhere you go. We booked a 7 night cruise on Costa Cruises from Venice to Greece particularly to visit the sites of Olympia and Athens, for our daughter who had studied ... Read More
SMOKE OR DIE, OR BOTH. Great Cruise if you like second hand smoke everywhere you go. We booked a 7 night cruise on Costa Cruises from Venice to Greece particularly to visit the sites of Olympia and Athens, for our daughter who had studied the Greek legends. She is 4.75. This was accomplished. Before offering my negative comments, I do want to say that the staff on the boat was wonderful. Rarely have I seen so many people working so hard to make the cruise a success, and for so little in wages. It is clear the the cruise line pays extremely low wages because almost all the staff was from disadvantaged countries in Central America, South America, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines. These hard workers not only provided service, they did it in 4-6 different languages! Italian, English, Spanish, French, were basic, plus some Portuguese and Russian, and other languages. Unlike some other reviewers, we did not have any language problems with the other passengers or any staff. However, Costa Cruises is not friendly to NON-smokers and it was like riding in a smoke filled room for 7 days and nights. I felt like our boat was trailing a smoke cloud down the Adriatic Sea. Costa allows smoking in all the bars and lounges, including Guest reception. This interior smoke permeates the entire boat, and can be smelt in the cabin and even in other areas and on decks that do not have smoking. By the pool, there are supposed to be both smoking and non-smoking areas. I could never find any non-smoking area, there was smoke everywhere. It was so bad that on the last morning when there was smoke inside the non-smoking restaurant, no smoke alarm went off, and most people ignored it, even though it was clear that the smoke was not from cigarettes. I became ill from the smoke with a sinus infection, beginning day 2, as did my wife and daughter. Although Costa purports to offer a free medical checkup if you develop signs of influenza (and I had at least 4 symptoms) we could not obtain one. This was not my previous cruise experience and in my opinion, it is completely inappropriate to put a persons unhealthy recreational habit in higher priority to the good health of another. We did not book a cruise to be sneezing, coughing and uncomfortable for 7 days just so others could puff away like a teepee of American Indians. It is also my opinion that Costa needs to come into the 21st Century. Smoking is now recognized as a serious health hazard to non-smokers, and smoking is banned in offices, restaurants and modes of transport (planes and trains) in respect to the health of others. Smoking bans on planes also are a recognition that smoking constitutes a FIRE HAZARD, something that is really a problem on a cruise ship. I see a lot of reviews making negative comments about the food, deservedly so. First, the tap water is not drinkable in the cabin, rather important because you must pay 7.50 E for the bottle of water (I thought it was complementary until I read the fine print, but I could replace it once I got the drink package.) THEREFORE, YOU MUST GET THE DRINK PACKAGE for 19.50 E per person per day, everyone in the reservation must get it. Lunch buffet was pretty ordinary unless you were able to find a carving station, but they moved them from day to day and you had to search by the smoke filled central pool area to find them. Any pasta station had a long line. The breakfast buffet was good but it took me several days to realize that they were offering an omelette station. No ketchup/chili sauce/salsa/condiments with breakfast. The dinners were great if you had just been released from prison in Bulgaria. We shared a table with another couple and I think everyone sent back at least one plate during the cruise. There were 7 courses per meal, Appetizer, Soup, Pasta, Main plate, Salad, Cheese and dessert. The portions enabled you to order all 7 courses and not be stuffed. In all fairness, though most of the choices were pretty bland, I enjoyed the Osso Bucco and the Veal Shanks on separate nights, just the portion was so small, 4 bites. We also had service issues the first night, table not set up correctly, missing plates, glasses, cutlery that was not provided during the meal; and one of our group got 3 courses served so late that we had all finished our course before his came. When I reported this to management, I was told that this happens first night of a cruise, but this does not make any sense, because the staff was not there for their first night. I must say that the problems were resolved immediately, and our serve staff was very attentive after that. We won't be booking on COSTA again, until it changes its policies towards smoking and bans smoking from the interior of the ship and in any eating area, including around the pool. I want to commend our Steward, Juan Alvarado, our waiters Jose and Jorge at table 16 in the restaurant. and our photographer, Michael who each provided wonderful service. Juan Alvarado was an absolute pleasure and greeted us with warmth and a smile every day. He made us fell like were there for a family visit. The boat- claims to have 5500 works of art. Well, if you count the nudes on the wallpaper in the corridors, maybe. Some of these "works of art" are large pixeled photo reproductions of actual art. There are some very nice sculptures by the pools, if you can see them through the smoke. (jk :)) We did see the tea set but no coins. The marionettes were nice. But we mostly saw them the first day when exploring because these were in bars and lounges where smoking was mandatory and we could not stand to go into them after day 2. I am still coughing as I write this. The boat was a comfortable cruise. But we missed Santorini because "there was no comfortable anchorage due to winds and waves, not good for the transfers". So the chart of our cruise showed a hard right turn after we were 5 hours out of Athens. Then we cruised to Corfu at 9 knots, after having gone SSE at 17-19 knots. The smoke cloud we were trailing caught up to us. In all fairness, we did have some rolling during the cruise between Athens and Corfu, and at a higher rate of speed, even the 100,000 tons could have been unsteady. One bad aspect of sharing the cruise with 3450 smokers and 50 non smokers (jk, again) was that we created our own crowds everywhere we went. When we arrived at Katakolon for Olympia, there were 25 buses lined up for the Costa Cruise excursions. We took Katakolon Express and were the first bus out and to Olympia 20 minutes earlier than the other ones. By the time we left, we could have walked back to the harbor on the tops of the buses. BTW- HIGHLY RECOMMEND KATAKOLON EXPRESS/PIRAEUS EXPRESS for their Olympia/Athens tours. I thought the furnishings were very tasteful and comfortable, lounges, restaurants and theatres. Our cabin had 2 drop down twin beds to sleep 4. But we all piled into the 2 twins pushed together. The Internet package was $$$$$$$, unbelievable in this day. Equal to 3 months of service at home, at least. Squok Club for kids was conducted in Italian, but daughter is flexible and made friends in all languages. She produced coloring and a mask. They had a stage production the 5th day that they all participated in, very nice with lots of costumes. They did show movies, in Italian, which included Tangled and Wreck it Ralph, both of which we knew. Since daughter is a movie-a-holic, she was happy. Daughter was sold on going to Squok Club from day one and never said she did not want to go. We explored Corfu without her, and while I was sorry she missed the Mon Repos museum and Mouse Island (which is a little itty bitty teeny weeny island at the end of the peninsula near the airfield on which there lives a little itty bitty teeny weeny itsy bitsy mouse) I am sure she would have complained about the walking, she was happy at Squok Club. I used the fitness club a couple of times, particularly to avail myself of the steam room to try to clear up my sinuses. Good variety of machines, busiest from 9-11, very quiet before and after. Steam room was great. There was an internal Jacuzzi there, co-ed, but mostly a geriatric hot tub party. I did not see anyone under 55 use it. Overall: so so, even through the smoke. Poor because of it.   Read Less
Sail Date May 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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