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4 Costa Magica Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Mediterranean

I chose this Costa Magica cruise as a way to start off a visit in Sicily and Italy, which are our family heritage. I was a little leery of this cruise line (rightfully so, it turned out), as I prefer smaller and higher-rated ships. But ... Read More
I chose this Costa Magica cruise as a way to start off a visit in Sicily and Italy, which are our family heritage. I was a little leery of this cruise line (rightfully so, it turned out), as I prefer smaller and higher-rated ships. But the itinerary suited our needs, and a few of the shore excursions listed were appealing, and it seemed to be a good price listed on Vacations to Go. So we made plans, reserved mileage air tickets, and booked the cruise. Surprise! The cost had increased substantially from what was listed that very day on the internet. Oh, well, too late now to change everything... so we paid hundreds more than we originally expected. I had already chosen and booked shore excursions for each day on the ship, months ahead. This was a key reason for using this cruise line. You can imagine how disappointed we were when EVERY excursion we had booked was cancelled at the last minute, due to minimal signups. I believe that they could have run the excursions with smaller vans for transportation, but the level of profit desired was not reached, so our plans were dashed, too late to make other arrangements. ( I firmly believe that these tours would have at least broken even, but NO... apparently not enough profit for Costa!) I was surprised to receive emails before the cruise offering lobster, steaks, and even hamburgers and pizza, which could be ordered and paid for ahead of time. WHAT? If you want steak, lobster, pizza and other rather ordinary cruise food, there would be an extra charge! This was shocking to me, after experience on at least seven other cruise lines, where these items are included and readily available. The decor on the ship gave no hint of the beauty and subtlety of high-end Italian modern design, nor historical styles, but combined patterns and colors in the carpeting, and in marble, granite, gilding, and ornateness in a dizzying array of styles and colors, not to mention the paintings of nearly-nude women plastered all over the hallway walls. This was personally embarrassing to me, as I am proud of my Italian heritage and the genuine artistry which has made Italy world-famous. No sign of that here! The staff members were accommodating and pleasant, but the tour desk was closed just when it was needed most. Waitstaff in the Dining Rooms were competent, but regulations prevented their bringing us a glass of wine with dinner until we registered our credit card at a certain kiosk on another deck. They did match us up with other English-speaking passengers at table, which proved to be the only high point of the entire cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 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
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
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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