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5 Costa Magica Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise to get away from the Winter and have Christmas at sea Our Costa organised bus trip from our home town in Austria to Savona was smooth and punctual. Savona is a pleasant port, but as it was a bit chilly and windy, we ... Read More
We chose this cruise to get away from the Winter and have Christmas at sea Our Costa organised bus trip from our home town in Austria to Savona was smooth and punctual. Savona is a pleasant port, but as it was a bit chilly and windy, we elected to stay in the departure area Boarding was a little slow and Costa could improve communication to keep people informed Our cabin was ready and the luggage arrived quickly except for i case that was detained .This was due to a small hand steamer - this deice has been on about 10 cruises ,but this time was classified as an Iron. HERE I MUST CRITICIZE COSTA - they know who the detained cases belong to but allow a queue of about 40 or more people to wait like idiots to reclaim their baggage, instead of telling them where where to go. The enquiries desk is a bunfight and the reception staff and passengers are put under unnecessary pressure when a simple collection system would alleviate the problem The ship was clean and everything worked although some of the external steel is showing its age. Navigating the ship with the restaurants in the middle can be a little confusing The dining was really good in the MDR and the buffet was more than adequate. On sea days after the crossing it was a bit hectic The theatre entertainment was generally good and the theatre was always full. The daily activities were always well attended and the passengers enjoyed themselves.The design of the ship does not lend itself to undercover relaxing areas on hot sea days as the solarium is inadequate. It is a pity that use of the sauna is not free or a package separate from the SPA packages The service was good and the ship was kept clean and tidy The ports are all typically Caribbean with enough Tours available from Costa or ashore For us the best ports were Santa Cruz Tenneriffe, Roadtown and Martinique A message to all the unhappy passengers - Costa is an Italian cruiseline so why were you surprised the were so many Italians on board. And likewise most food menus on an Italian ship will be Italian Costa could cut down on the multilingual promotional announcements and fix the water issue that annoy so many people All in all a good time was had by most people Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My husband and I sailed, along with friends, the Costa Magica transatlantic May 4-20, Ft. Lauderdale-Copenhagen. Before I start the review, I want to make clear that we definitely got our dollars worth since this was an extremely ... Read More
My husband and I sailed, along with friends, the Costa Magica transatlantic May 4-20, Ft. Lauderdale-Copenhagen. Before I start the review, I want to make clear that we definitely got our dollars worth since this was an extremely inexpensive cruise, including airfare at $1400 pp. We embarked in Ft. Lauderdale. We have been through that port several times, as usual the embarkation was a breeze and we were on the ship very quickly. My first clue that we were in for an 'interesting' voyage: as soon as we got through the door, I asked one of the staff a question, got a blank stare. Didn't understand me. Oh boy. Got to our cabin, we had an inside on the lowest deck, which was fine, it was sufficient. I must say our steward was excellent. First night out we were pretty tired as we had flown to Ft. Lauderdale from LAX and it was just a long day. The first couple days were non eventful. Nassau was fine, been there, done that. We had a sea day and a half to arrive in Bermuda, we were supposed to dock at 6 p.m. Weather was rough and our ship could not get into the port safely, so I guess we bobbed along out there all night. Next morning we were able to dock,we had a very nice day touring Hamilton and the beaches, on our own. We took the city bus all day for $5, what a deal. I highly recommend it. The next few days is when it gets really interesting. We knew that every announcement would be made in no less than 5 languages, but no matter what you think...it gets really, really annoying. We like to do trivia on sea days, I gave up after the 2nd day...the cruise staff conducting the trivia could not pronounce the words. They couldn't spell the words. We didn't know what we were supposed to be trivia-ing about. And when they asked the trivia question, it was also in 5 languages. Most activities were very unorganized at the least. I kept wondering why there was always a long line at the purser's desk, day and night. I later figured it out. Our first issue happened a week into the trip. We, and our friends, got notices in our room to come to the shore excursion desk regarding the excursion we had booked in Copenhagen before we flew back to the states. My girlfriend had RUN to the desk when she boarded the first day to sign us up as the Costa website was impossible to navigate. Anyway, seems the staff had decided to only offer our excursion in Italian ONLY. Mind you, we had been signed up for a week already and now they are telling us this? We asked if more Americans, or english speaking passengers signed up for this particular excursion in the next few days, would they offer it in English. No, only Italian. We could go on the Italian bus, uh duh. No. I was pretty ticked off at this point, and I said, why did i t take you a week to decide to eliminate the English speaking bus, sounds like discrimination to me. She just looked at me and said, 'Well, this is an Italian ship. Well, my Euro is as green as their Euro. There was another excursion that was similar that we could sign up for, but it was more money. We suggested that they give us that excursion for the same price as the one we had originally signed up for. Nope, couldn't do that. Ok, so we just signed up for it because we really needed an excursion that would get us to the airport. Mind you again, language problems here. Long story short, over the next week there was a major screwup with our tickets our friends got theirs, we got one at a much lower price, and then didn't get a second one for us. The staff was basically just rude to us and 'oh well'. We got fed up toward the end of the 2nd week so we wrote a note to the Captain asking to meet with him at his convenience. Well, the last day of the cruise we did just that. The Hotel Director escorted us to his quarters. The Captain was truly annoyed and I am sure that Hotel Director's goose was cooked as this really should have been handled at his level. Well, the Captain agreed with us on this issue of cost and told the Director to fix it. This price issue did not get fixed until we were out of our cabins to disembark and my husband had to hunt down the shore excursion people as we were still short a ticket. We finally got the missing ticket, but none of this should have even happened. Most evenings there were activities...one night was 'Carnivale'. What a mess. In one area, there were 3 cruise staffers making venetian masks. Taking a plain white mask, drizzling glue on it, then glitter. Not a big deal. You would have thought they were giving out money. Oh my, I have never seen so much shoving and pushing and rudeness ever. Where the staff messed up was they should have had a roped off line, one at a time. One woman got so upset with one of the staffer, for no reason that I could figure out, the poor girl started crying. Oh come on, its a cruise. My friend and I gave up. It wasn't a big deal for us, but give something away and true bullying comes out. The evening before we got to Dover, England we were having dinner and a couple at the table next to us came in to dinner. The man was extremely upset, so we asked him what happened. He had just come from the pursers desk. Seems that a couple from England they had met on board asked them that day if they had received their invitation to the farewell Captain's private gala for passengers disembarking in Dover. Well, no so our friend went to the pursers desk and they told him that the gala was for 'all passengers except Americans'. I am not kidding. He said he told them that he wasn't American, he was Canadian, but what would it matter if they were American? No answer. This confirmed to us that there was truly discrimination against Americans. I expected that in our ports in Europe, but not on the ship. Shopping on board was poor. Not that I cruise to shop, but it was really bad. They sold amber jewelry almost everyday outside one of the shops, expensive. No sales on anything, very small sundries area to buy aspirin, etc. I was glad I had brought all that stuff myself because I wouldn't have found it there. Adding insult to us, they had part of one shop 'closed' off. The windows were wide open, not papered over or anything so you could see in the closed off section. The whole last week they were setting up that part of the shop for the Baltic cruises after ours. There were some lovely things in there, so my friend asked the manager if they were going to open that shop to us during the cruise and she was told that another manager was getting on board in Paris, then they would open it. Well, it never opened. I know it's not a big deal, just say no, it's not going to open , not for this cruise. End of discussion. And they really should have papered over those windows, we weren't the only ones looking in there longingly.. Unfortunately, two days before the end, I got quite sick. I went to the ship dr. the day before we got to Copenhagen, he was Italian, and of course, could not speak English. What else is new. So somehow I managed to tell him what was wrong..I walked out of there with 3 days worth of antibiotics, amoxicillin, and generic cough syrup. That will be $44 Euros, ma'am (approx $60 usd). I got back to the cabin and looked at those pills. I am allergic to penicillin and told him so. My husband took the pills down there and they said, no problem, ok to take. Uh huh, right. I'm so glad none of our party had a real emergency, that would have been really scary. I ended up going to my dr. a couple days after we got home as I wasn't much better. She could not believe they gave me those pills. She was glad I didn't have an allergic reaction. And you always give out at least a 10 day course of pills. Disembarkation in Copenhagen. Well, that was a fine mess. As everyone needed to be out of their cabins by 8 a.m. we went to the main theatre with our hand carry luggage to wait. It got crazy. One of our cruise critic members had been on board with her 9 year old son, who is probably the most mature and polite 9 year old I have ever met. In the theatre that morning, all of a sudden we hear this ruckus...As our friend and her son were coming into the theatre, this woman and her husband literally shoved our friend out of the way, when our friend complained to them about it, the husband came back and punched her. No kidding. Security was standing right there, did nothing. We couldn't believe it, a man hitting a mom. The ship was full of Europeans, mostly germans, and this couple was a german couple. Unfortunately, most of the Europeans we had dealing with were bossy, pushy and rude. Anyway, our friend was ok, but what the heck! We didn't buy many drinks onboard. Cocktails were more expensive than on any ship I had been on before, and sodas were expensive too. Brought our own sodas on board, so that helped. What we did love: The meals were for the most part really good. We had heard a lot of complaints before hand that they didn't know how to cook beef. Karen and I almost always had the beef if it was offered, it was tender and delicious. Lots of Pasta. Some of the main dishes were kind of weird combinations. Lots of Anchovies. Anchovy sauce, anchovies on salad, I guess if you like anchovies its ok. Not to our taste. The ports were wonderful. The Azores are absolutely beautiful, we had a wonderful excursion to Paris and also to London. Copenhagen was nice, what we saw of it. We never did see the Little Mermaid statue that was supposed to be on our tour so we were disappointed. All in all a good value for the money. I don't think we would cruise with Costa again, but if a great deal pops up,who knows. Oh one last thing. No toga party. Everyone in our cruise critic group had brought fabrics, etc...to create togas. We were told there would be a toga party. I think most of our group was disappointed. My husband wasn't very happy to have to haul that stuff home. Well, the fabric will make great kitchen curtains, I guess. Read Less
Sail Date May 2007
Costa Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Copenhagen on the Costa Magica from May 4, 2007 to May20, 2007 My wife and I booked the cruise because the price was unbelievable and we had never been to Copenhagen.  We immediately notified all of ... Read More
Costa Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Copenhagen on the Costa Magica from May 4, 2007 to May20, 2007 My wife and I booked the cruise because the price was unbelievable and we had never been to Copenhagen.  We immediately notified all of our cruising buddies and had a party of six booked on the cruise in minutes. Since two of our cruising buddies lived near us in Tampa, Fl., I rented a minivan to drive us from Tampa to Ft. Lauderdale to board the ship. The drive took about four hours and the embarkation at 1:00 pm went flawlessly. Our cabin (9239) was ready and we unpacked our carry-on luggage before heading for the Bellagio restaurant that turned out to be just a few yards from the cabin. The food was plentiful and very good and there were enough serving lines that there was no waiting. After lunch, my wife and I took a tour of the ship. At 105,000 toms, she was the largest ship we had cruised on and one of the nicest. All the cabins were full and with a few children on board we had about 2770 passengers traveling with us. The fitness gym, complete with Jacuzzi, a small pool, sauna, and every piece of equipment you could think was just three decks up from our cabin. The spacious theater was six decks down and three swimming pools were just steps away on either side of the Bellagio dining room. We had early seating (6:00 pm) in the Smeralda restaurant that was on deck three at the aft end of the ship. It took a little walking to get to but we could use the exercise before and after dinner. The ship had just about everything one could want on a cruise. The only complaint we had was that there was no washer and dryer except the expensive ship laundry so we did a little washing in our bathroom that was really nothing new to us. The ship was spotless and almost identical to the Carnival Destiny and Carnival Liberty. It looked like it was going to be a wonderful cruise until the afternoon lifeboat drill. We turned out for the drill and then it hit us in the face like a chilling north wind off the North Atlantic; the drill instructions were given in five languages. While English was the language of choice for the largest group of passengers (over 1000 of the 2770 passengers), there was a significant number of Germans (about 800) and Italians and 28 other nationalities many of them speaking French and Spanish. Little did we realize how annoying this was going to be. If you are use to cruising on ships that cater to Americans, don't cruise Costa. It is definitely Italian. We sailed for Nassau at 9:30 pm. We found that there were a number of music venues and they were all very good and you could usually find a nice place for dancing after dinner. We preferred the Capri with the Night Out Band for dancing and the Spoleto Lounge for easy listening. However, beware of Paolo in the Capri lounge. When he takes over for the Night Out Band, people vacate the lounge and for good reason. He plays the piano and does a good job but when he opens his mouth to sing, it's time to leave. Costa needs to replace him. The next day we arrived at Nassau. Since everybody in our group had visited Nassau before, we just took the water Taxi to the Atlantis hotel. If we had known that the taxi was not leaving until they were full, we could have avoided 30 minutes in the heat by taking a smaller boat. After a few hours at Atlantis we headed back to the ship for a late lunch and a rest before dinner and a show. Formal dining on the Costa takes two hours and can become a little tedious. Our waiters were great and the headwaiter was more visible and friendly than on any cruise we had taken. The food was good but had a sameness about it that made it boring by the end of the cruise. The menu writer had obviously never seen the food that was actually being served or the chef had not read the description of the food on the menu. If you really got what was stated in the menu, it was pure luck. I had fruit cocktail for starter each evening and while the menu advertised the fruit salad as "exotic, tropical, Caribbean etc.," it was always just pieces of various melons. And the Italian idea of a sundae is not what Americans are acquainted with. Of course, there was pasta available every night. Overall, the people at our table rated the food as below average from their experiences on other cruise lines. After dinner we headed for the Urbino Theater to see Van Pressley Jr. from the legendary Platters. He sang all the old tunes and did it very well. It would have been nice if Costa could have afforded all of the Platters but Mr. Pressley a good performer and sang in English. If the following shows had been as good as the opening one the total entertainment experience would have been outstanding. However, such was not the case. In my opinion Costa took six good shows for a seven-day cruise and supplemented them with mediocre shows to cover the 16-day transatlantic cruise we were on. The two production shows, Magic Moments and Cinemagique were as good as any I have seen in over thirty cruises in the last seven years. The Myth trio in "Circus of the Seas" reminded me of a miniature version of the Cirque Du Soleil and done on a moving ship. John Ciotta, an Italian-American from New York put on an outstanding show. He sang a variety of songs in English and Italian and the crowd responded with a standing ovation. He did for an encore of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" and I am sure that Frank would say "well done". The "Grand Variety Show" with Allison Mc Areavey and Ian Fraser and the Costa Magica Dancers was good but not up to the standards they set on their two big production numbers. The other shows were weak. Price and McCoy and Vincenzo Silvestris were probably the best of the fill-in shows. Allison Mc Areavey, the lead female singer in the production shows was not strong enough to do her own full show. From what I saw, I think that Ian Frazer may have been a better choice for a full show. The bubble art show was a good children's show but there were few children on the ship. Maria Grazia was a so-so singer and her straw-like hair detracted from her singing. The Duo Badi should have stayed in the Piano Bar. The only good thing I can say about the "Fantasy Sorin Show" was that the lead in by the Magica singers and dancers was the best part of the show. Probably the best of the fill-in shows was the Costa Magica Crew Show that was promoted to prime time. For amateurs they were outstanding. There was no comedian on board and probably for good reason. Comedy in five languages would probably not translate well. The cruise director announced all the shows in five languages which got boring after awhile. On-board activities were plentiful and well attended. There seem to be something going on all the time. The most attended activity seem to be sun bathing and on the sunny days, it was hard to find an empty lounge. The only complaint I heard was that there were not enough bridge tables. It seemed that the eight tables could not handle the number of bridge players on board. This has not been the case on other cruises when tables usually outnumber the players. The fitness center was packed in the morning but seem to clear out by about 10:00 am. There were plenty of special events and were attended well. There was limbo, line dancing, ice sculpture, karaoke, hat making, and bocce ball for those so inclined. There was a nice casino but the gambling devices were in Euros and you lose three percent off the top because you must change your dollars into euros before you even try the machines. We chose not to gamble. The shops on board had the same problem. We found as we travel that prices seem to stay the same as the currency changes. What cost 10 dollars on some cruise lines cost 10 euros on Costa and 10 pound in England. The Art auction had the same problem. All the bidding was done in Euros so the prices paid for art carried a 35% premium over other art auctions we had attended. Needless to say we purchased no art on this cruise. Since we had visited all of the places that the cruise ship stopped except Copenhagen, the only shore excursion we purchased was in Copenhagen. However, our traveling companions did do the Normandy excursion from Le Havre and gave it high praise. It was unfortunate that the Magica could not dock as scheduled in Bermuda because of high winds but we did have a few hours ashore the next day. We landed in the Azores on a Sunday and the shops were closed. However they had a festival in Ponta Delgada and they had a four-mile bed of flowers that was very beautiful. The shops in Le Havre were also closed when we stopped there so we walked around the city for a few hours and enjoyed meeting some of the local residents. Several hundred passengers toured Paris from Le Havre and London from Dover and had nothing but good things to say about the excursions. We toured the white cliffs of Dover and aside from being blown by high winds, we enjoyed the tour. It was rumored that a couple of people were lost in Paris and missed the bus back to the ship. While I cannot confirm the rumor we did sight a police car rushing with lights flashing up to the ship about thirty minutes after our scheduled departure time. We departed shortly thereafter so the rumors might be true. The debarkation in Copenhagen was a disaster. We were asked to leave our cabins at 8:00 am although debarkation was scheduled to start at 9:00 am so it meant that 2770 people and their hand luggage were crowded into the public places for over an hour because debarkation never starts on time. Around 9:30 am debarkation started. We marched down the stairs to the warehouse where some people picked up their checked luggage and proceeded to the exit only to find that the busses were not yet there. There was a marathon being run in Copenhagen and because of street closures the busses were late. The warehouse was full of people milling around and as luck would have it, the busses for the people at the back of the pack arrived first. It was about an hour before our bus arrived and it cut our tour short by about an hour. However, since some free time for shopping was built into the tour, we did not miss any of the sights of Copenhagen. Our tour guide was great and we enjoyed the sights of Copenhagen. We even had time for lunch at McDonalds before rejoining the tour group for the ride to the airport. We had no problems getting on our British Airways flight to London to visit our English friends for a few days before flying home to Tampa. Some of the complaints I heard on board the Magica were really trivial. Several people complained about the lack of chocolate candy on their pillow each night. Costa only gives you pillow candy on "formal nights." The biggest complaint from Americans, other than the time wasted by giving announcements in five languages, was really a clash of cultures. While the English, Canadians, and Americans are willing to get into line at the buffet or before the doors open for the shows, the Germans and Italians seem to push their way into the buffet line at whatever point they find the food to their liking. They also seem to push past people exiting the theater to get seats while those in line wait patiently for people to exit the theater before looking for seats. All in all, the cruise was a great value for the money spent. However, my first cruise on Costa will probably be my last. Unless, however, they are going somewhere I want to go and the price is right! Read Less
Sail Date May 2007
Poor Costa: Heres a cruise line that doesnt know what it wants to be. Lively Italian, sophisticated European, deep discount American. Or all of the above, overlaid with both panache and confusion. Costa, said a fellow passenger, is ... Read More
Poor Costa: Heres a cruise line that doesnt know what it wants to be. Lively Italian, sophisticated European, deep discount American. Or all of the above, overlaid with both panache and confusion. Costa, said a fellow passenger, is actually an Italian word meaning completely disorganized. No kidding. The cheapest cruise Ive ever seen offered 13 days across the Atlantic in May 2006 for just $499 - or 16 for $505 if you left from Florida. But the Costa reservationists were confused and the web site wanted $1499 for a berth which was really a grand cheaper. The boarding process lived up to the lines reputation: a 45-minute lineup because only one security screening station had been set up. Transfer from JFK was excellent, though, and the air arrangements, though complicated, worked. The ship is very large and very ugly inside, but the cabins are pleasant and well-equipped. It is singularly ill-suited for cruising oceans or non-tropical waters: there is no observation lounge, let alone a forward-facing one and the main route to the buffet goes out of doors. There is lots of public space, however, though seat-saving Europeans sometimes block access to it. The main show lounge is well-designed, though pillars obscure some sightlines. The ship has 20 elevators, so getting around is easy. Unless you are assigned to the aft dining room, which is orphaned away around a series of corners. Once there, the food is mediocre at best, though the service was eager, if occasionally inept. The Bellagio buffet got better reviews. Service in bars was dismal: servers would often make eye contact but not stop to offer a drink. Some bartenders needed basic drink-mixing lessons. Beds were hard, as I had read here, but my steward was a gem. In eight days crossing the Atlantic, the daylight hours were tedious: the need to communicate in five languages slowed any meaningful activity to a crawl. But at this price, no guilt attached to the idea of sleeping all day. At night, the ship came alive, with fine singers and musicians in the lounges and join-in activities galore. The main stage shows were energetic but suffered from homogenized multiculturalism - an Italians idea of what might appeal to an audience of many countries. Shore tours were adequate in the two ports we visited, though the departures were never on time and long lineups were common. The front desk operation was a disaster - confused and disinterested. The cruise staff worked hard though the cruise director was seldom seen. The Captain was, though, impressively. The mandatory tip was a mere six Euros daily, though a martini cost seven. Costa is an Italian cruise line and that wont change even if ownership is now entirely American. So if you speak the language or dont mind hearing it constantly, this might be a good choice, particularly in the Mediterranean, where the line is most at home. Elsewhere, I think, its a big fish out of water. At $499, no denying this particular cruise was good value for money. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
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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