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29 Costa Magica Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We choose the Cruise because at the first sight there were some "exotic" destinations (Casablanca, Tanger) but at the end, these cities were extremely disappointed (dirty, no "magic", only the names..). At the first ... Read More
We choose the Cruise because at the first sight there were some "exotic" destinations (Casablanca, Tanger) but at the end, these cities were extremely disappointed (dirty, no "magic", only the names..). At the first day in Marseille, the ship docked at 9 km from the city and Costa took us 11 eur/person for bus transport (which was supposed to be free). When we returned to the ship, there was a huge queue at the buffet, people were hungry and have to stay in line over 30-40 min. to take the food and then wait for 10-15 min to find a free table. There are not enough tables at the buffet (which was open until 15:00), the service lines closed in front of us without any explanation (even there was plenty of food). In Casablanca the ship docked at 3km from the port exit and they provide no bus to take us out of the port which was dangerous enough. In Civitavecchia we were supposed to disembark at 9:00 am but the disembarkation started at 9:25 so we lost the train (had tickets paid 3 weeks before) and wait over one hour for the next one. Overall, we spend more then 4 hours during our vacation on Costa "Magica" complaining about the conditions and the "hospitality service" was extremely poor and totally hostile to us. All the day-time shows were only in italian (without any translation). The food at the breakfast was poor, there were hours during the day (especially when the people returned from the cities) when no food was enabled. Any extra (eg. pizza, ice-cream, pancakes), had to be paid. At the end, as a "final gift" they charged us a "service" fee of 10 eur/person/night even this was not mentioned in our contract and informed them about this. Overall, I think that Costa is trying to maximize their profit charging anything they offer instead of focusing to customer satisfaction. Costa Magica=an experience we will never repeat. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We are experienced cruisers - this was our 4th or so cruise. We have sailed on MSC through the years. We chose this ship due to the departure date and exotic itinerary. This was the WORST cruise we have ever taken . All services are ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers - this was our 4th or so cruise. We have sailed on MSC through the years. We chose this ship due to the departure date and exotic itinerary. This was the WORST cruise we have ever taken . All services are more expensive but much worse than at MSC. Every day we returned from the town to the ship there was a huge queue at the buffet and there are not enough tables at the buffet. Breakfast was poorly. In Civitavecchia we were supposed to disembark at 9:00 am but the disembarkation started at 9:25 so we lost the train (had tickets paid 3 weeks before) and wait over one hour for the next one. Water from the toilet was broken for 3 times. The balcony door was broken for every 3 days. Air conditioning made a loud noise and we can't rest at night. Overall, we spend more then 4 hours during our vacation on Costa "Magica" complaining about the conditions and the "hospitality service" was extremely poor and totally hostile to us. Crew did not seem very concerned about issues or complaints - they seemed indifferent to our concerns. We will never sail with Costa Cruises again and would not recommend it for any one. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
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
We are experienced cruisers - this was our 35th or so cruise. We have sailed on RCL, NCL, Princess, Celebrity, Carnival and Costa through the years. We chose this ship due to the departure date and exotic itinerary - figured how bad ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers - this was our 35th or so cruise. We have sailed on RCL, NCL, Princess, Celebrity, Carnival and Costa through the years. We chose this ship due to the departure date and exotic itinerary - figured how bad could an Italian cruise be and it could be fun and lively. Well we were very wrong. This was the WORST cruise we have ever taken and our sentiments were echoed by our Norweigen and British tablemates who had cruised numerous times in the past as well. I will list Pros and Cons. PRO - Embarkation from Rome (Civitavecchia) - Exotic Itinerary (5 of the ports we had never visited including 2 cities in Morocco) - Large ship with attractive public rooms - Cabin - interior on 8th deck (only available at time of booking) was kept clean with a fridge and had enough space for both of us - Entertainment - Flamenco dancers, Cruise ship singers and dancers did a good job; White Night deck party was festive with DJ, dancers, confetti; lounge bands were lively, piano bar was busy nightly; casino was fairly busy; the ship had lots of music in various lounges in the evening and The Voice gameshow with 7 contestants which was entertaining. CONS - Embarkation fiasco - no idea we could not be dropped off w/rental car to embarkation entrance...no info provided...husband left son and I on port access road with big pieces of luggage - no bus or cab would stop to pick us up...port police intervened and forced a shuttle bus to stop and let us load our luggage under the bus (seems we should have loaded our luggage on shuttle bus in town of Civitavecchia - we had no info on this procedure. - Only approx 20 Americans on board ship of approx 2800 passengers - 70% Italian extended families; 25% mostly French & German; 5% Brits, Americans, Spanish & other - Msgs repeated in 5 languages all day long - Food was HORRIBLE!! WORST of any cruise we ever have ever taken! Buffets very limited, no real selections, same cold cuts, cheeses, breads and salads daily, same buffet choices both sides...grill outside on decks was normal fare; eggs at breakfast were only possible at the formal breakfast and were set types of eggs pre-made; formal dinner was barely edible - the menu choices were bizarre fare and not tasty - minute steaks, thinly sliced chicken breasts with no sauce, pastas with odd sauces, appetizers no one enjoyed - night after night we all felt the same....what type of menu is this - this food is unsatisfactory - we complained to guest services - we were told the menu was supposed to have been changed; dining onboard was such a huge disappointment - we dreaded our days at sea! We later found out by a fellow American traveler that all the food onboard was PREVIOUSLY FROZEN!!! She said look at the snowflakes next to every item on the dinner menu - the key says previously frozen. We realized thats why the food was soooo bad!! There was no fresh produce and no dishes being cooked onboard!!! Never heard of this policy on a cruise ship. There were NO speciality restaurants either - I guess not if they are not cooking on board the ship! - No late night buffets or special touches like a chocolate fountain or specialty food events. - Air Conditioning barely worked in our cabin - technician came twice said it was a bad, weak system in this line of cabins and close to pool deck with hot air coming in. - Pool deck extremely crowded - 3 pools and 1 slide; slide was always closed; no adult pools - all pools overrun with kids and teens - one day at sea - two of the 3 pools were closed - they claimed seas were too rough - early morning yes - a bit rough but by noon sea was very calm and pools never re-opened. - Rear deck cabins felt a terrible vibration almost nightly when the ship was traveling at 20 knots - made it hard to sleep. - The ship had a lot of movement daily - you could feel it pitching and rolling onboard - we never noticed this onboard any other ships we took and we cruised from Southhampton, England in a rainstorm in the North Sea. - Disco and late night club could not be used by adults (well, it was open to all) however, the 12-16 year olds used it nightly as a teen club occupying it until 3am - most adults would feel uncomfortable dancing in the club with 12 year olds late at night - seemed odd yet, the bar was serving liquor to whoever ordered it. We brought this to the attention of Guest Services and they said this is normal on Costa. - Crew had a private party directly above our cabin on the pool deck with a DJ - our whole cabin was shaking with the music and dancing - we complained 3 times to no avail and even went up to the party to speak to the officer - nothing was done and we were kept awake until 3 am! Other passengers went up to complain and were told sorry party is authorized. - Crew did not seem very concerned about issues or complaints - they seemed indifferent to our concerns and we were not offered any form of compensation either for a bad Costa tour experience we had with some aggressive passengers towards our daughter or the crew party till 3 am above our cabin and the lack of air conditioning every night in our cabin and our 2nd cabin....we both had barely any A/C. - We found out an American couple had chosen to opt-out of mandatory tipping - which was only possible for Americans who booked through American companies - we opted out also and tipped those deserving of tips. All in all this was a difficult cruise experience for us - my kids were bored - 19 and 24 year olds - they always meet others passengers their age on ships - there was no one in their age range....only families with small children or older couples traveling alone. Our two cabins were extremely hot every single night although turned to lowest temps. This was our 5th or 6th European cruise of over 11 nights and we NEVER experienced these negative issues or ever complained about the food on board. We will never sail with Costa Cruises again and would not recommend it for any Americans familiar with cruising. This was not up to American cruising standards. It seems to be a "no frills" operation, with many cost cutting measures in place. The most disappointing was the food and the fact that the dishes were all previously frozen. I had no idea cruise ships - which are known for their food would do this. Fortunately, some of the ports were very exotic and educational. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I was part of the group Croisière Chantante (7 cruises with other cruise-lines) who chose Costa because they proposed a cruise from Marseille to Tanger, Casablanca (2 days), Cadiz, Lisbonne, Valencia, Savona, Marseille. ... Read More
I was part of the group Croisière Chantante (7 cruises with other cruise-lines) who chose Costa because they proposed a cruise from Marseille to Tanger, Casablanca (2 days), Cadiz, Lisbonne, Valencia, Savona, Marseille. Dissatisfaction:- 1:- Ports of call changed:- Casablanca (only1 day); add Civitavecchia instead ! :- Valencia to Alicante :- Alicante to Valencia (last minute change on the way to Alicante due to bad weather at Alicante !!! (no wind, clear blue sky, sea as calm as a mill-pond). Quite a number of passengers did embark at Valencia however!! 2:- Ship; Decoration- kitsch more towards hideous! 3:- Dining; 'Hot' food never more than tepid whether in the dining room or the self service. Why should a notice announcing that meats should be well cooked in order to avoid bacteria and infection mean that they finish up tough enough to sole shoes? Breakfast mediocre to say the least. When there was some bacon (soggy and cold), the accompanying fried egg had to be ordered from a waiter (arriving 8 to 10 minutes later!!) The short afternoon tea break became non-existant in the port of Savona. When asked why, the reply was because this is Savona!!! That they had run out of tea, water, or whatever is a reason (though a badly managed one) but because this is Savona is not a reason! Only on insisting, and to the pleasure of many - tea suddenly became available on deck 9. It seems that embarking new unsuspecting passengers is more important than satisfying those who have already paid the excessive prices for water and drinks and are nearing the end of their cruise. 4:- Entertainment; Music inside or out, even in the theatre played at a deafening, resonating volume. The ship boasts of having 4 swimming pools. More honesty would be to call them water baths! On the only 'quiet' deck of the ship, the lounger-chairs were stacked and tied together ready for the night by early afternoon, too bad if a passenger fancied a quiet time in the sun! 5:- Shore excursions; Civitavecchia- Rome et ses trésors. With the guide's badly placed microphone not very effectif every time she turned her head, and especially in the crowds when it was difficult to keep within a short distance of her, the audio set was more of a nuisance than informative. The guide would also have been more appreciated had she collected our entrance tickets to the Vatican during our lunch break, rather than us having to waste visiting time standing around in the entrance room. I WOULD MOST DEFINITELY NEVER RECOMMEND A COSTA CRUISE TO ANYONE. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We went on an 11-night cruise in the Western Mediterranean, including Tenerife and Madeira, in June 2016. This was our sixteenth cruise, our first on a Costa ship. We decided to sail with Costa despite the mostly negative reviews on ... Read More
We went on an 11-night cruise in the Western Mediterranean, including Tenerife and Madeira, in June 2016. This was our sixteenth cruise, our first on a Costa ship. We decided to sail with Costa despite the mostly negative reviews on Cruise Critic and elsewhere because of the itinerary and because we previously had defied negative reviews of MSC and had a very positive experience with them. Embarkation was at Savona and was very badly organised. We waited for over an hour sitting around in a building in the port along with a huge crowd of other passengers before being allowed to board. Far less efficient than our experiences with Princess, Norwegian, MSC and Royal Caribbean. We had booked a suite and this gave us priority in boarding and when we were taken to our cabin we were very pleased with the accommodation. The quality of the accommodation was the most positive aspect of the cruise. However, when we looked around for the coffee machine which had been promised in the brochure and asked where it was we were told that the coffee machines had not been delivered and would not be available. Another disappointment was that our “private butler” turned out to be just another cabin steward serving a whole number of suites. Also, our daily bowl of fresh fruit was seldom really fresh with wrinkled peaches and plums and apples with rotten brown blemishes on them. The food in our private dining area was the biggest single disappointment. The dishes were poorly executed and over-elaborate Italian cuisine which were mostly tasteless and bland. Worst of all was that almost everything arrived at our table lukewarm or cold. One day we had fish with steakhouse fries which were actually cold ! Uneatable. Nothing tasted freshly made by the time it hit our table. This is the first cruise where we actually sent dishes back because they were so bad. Compounding this was the slow and disorganised service in the dining area. The waiters seemed to be badly trained and worked with no sense of urgency or commitment. Since one of the things we usually most enjoy on a cruise is the food, we were very disappointed. Also tea or coffee is available at no extra charge in the dining rooms only with breakfast, with lunch and dinner it is charged to your account. Another major disappointment was the lack of a decent day-time entertainment programme. There were no movies in the theatre, few interesting instruction sessions and little worthwhile music. The shows in the evening were OK. The on-board shops are the least interesting of any cruise we have been on – only two shops and none which sold pharmacy items such as asprin, toothpaste, sun tan oil etc. On the third last day of our voyage the toilets on our deck (I don’t know about other decks) would not flush. This was repaired but recurred. You can imagine the smells that permeated the cabins. Now, a warning to English-speaking cruisers. The language on this ship is Italian. We had pre-booked one excursion and planned to book others as we went along. However, the booked excursion with an English commentary was cancelled because, it turned out, we were the only English speakers among the whole of 3,000+ passengers. Rather than miss the excursion (to Avignon) we went along with the Italian language guide but it was painful not understanding the commentary. We did not go on any other excursions because none was available in English. Also, if you hate cigarette smoke as much as I do, find another cruise line. Smoke is everywhere even though smokers are supposed to indulge only in designated areas and on cabin balconies. Our cruise also had a number of families with young babies which cried a lot and on a couple of occasions woke us up at night. Also there were a lot of young children who were allowed to charge around the dining areas, disturbing diners. The only positives on the cruise were the quality of our cabin accommodation and the WiFi which was charged by size of download rather time spent online. Would I cruise with Costa again ? Definitely not. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Like most people, we chose Costa because it was the cheap end of the cruise market and we didn't even know if we'd enjoy the experience. If you are reading this, you are looking at the low end of the market and for a cheap cruise ... Read More
Like most people, we chose Costa because it was the cheap end of the cruise market and we didn't even know if we'd enjoy the experience. If you are reading this, you are looking at the low end of the market and for a cheap cruise in the sunshine. Don't let that stop you, because we had a ball! We were so nervous after reading all the reviews on this, and thankfully, not a single one turned out to be true in our case. The ship was full, that's over 3,800 passengers. You are in the hands of each of those 3,800+ people for how they behave and that can change cruise to cruise. On our ship the majority were Italians, second majority English speakers. Language is never a problem as the staff are all international speaking on average 5 different languages, with English as their second language. So from the beginning..... Embarkation - this was messy! We got there by People Mover and the signposts were inadequate to direct us where to go, and asking people that worked there took us to the wrong building twice, dragging heavy suitcases along the way. The crowds headed towards the ship - don't follow! It turned out to be a poorly signposted building where we dumped our cases and then had to proceed to a terminal building with a number. You then wait for your number to be called and join a massive line of people to check in, despite having to check in on line before you leave?! This whole process took around 3 hours and was the worst experience of our entire trip. On board - by the time we got on board it was getting late and the cabins were ready. If you had got there earlier, there was a buffet and welcome drink. We were not shown our cabin, we joined the masses and found it ourselves, cases in there waiting for us. We had a basic inside cabin on the 7th deck - brilliant deck! Excellently located for everything from restaurants to bars by using the stairs. Cabin was small and compact but had everything we needed and lots of space to put everything. It was immaculate. Bathroom was very clean, shower area only no bath, but large shower area and very good shower. The bed was large (2 singles pushed together) and incredibly comfortable. Our Cabin Steward was excellent - I expected a better level of customer service to those that paid for better cabins, but I was wrong. He treated everyone as if they were first class passengers and nothing was ever too much for him, and he was always helpful and cheerful. Each night the beds are turned down, and we walked into towel animals on the bed. Very small thing, but we found we looked forward to seeing what was on our bed each night! The initial pillows we had were too hard, not a problem, they were changed immediately for nice soft ones. Every day our cabin was cleaned to a very high standard, and never once did he get in our way, it all seemed to just happen. Breakfast and Buffet Bars - Breakfast was busy around 0800 - 0930ish. There were queues of people (yes, we had orderly lines the whole cruise!!), these moved fast. Food was always being put out, and in general European breakfast choices (it is an Italian Cruise, so to be expected), with bacon, sausages (European style, not Walls!), pancakes, French Toast, scrambled egg, etc. Always a lot of choice and very nice. There is an omelette station on the Lido Deck, which is where you can also get a later breakfast. Lunch was also Buffet bar - again orderly lines the entire week we were on board and a different theme each day (Mexican, Spanish, Greek, Chinese). The Lido and the Buffet bar tended to do different foods, so if you don't like what you see in one restaurant, then just walk through to the next and see what is on offer there. There was always fish, salad, hams, cheeses, prawns, squid, chicken and beef dishes on offer every day. Again, always fresh food being put out and more than enough choices for everyone to find something they liked. There was a selection of deserts and ice cream on tap. If you didn't fancy trying to find a table in the lunch rush hour, there was an open dining area with waitress service where you get a table on a first come first served basis. We didn't use this, as never really ate in the middle of the rush and enjoyed the food on offer so much, but the people we shared an evening table with enjoyed their lunches away from the lunchtime crowds. This is only available from 11.30 to around 1.30 though. All day Buffet - this is mainly pizza and salad. We only did this twice though as the amount of food on board was more than enough for us not to need to eat between meals. The pizza was margarita or a ham/tuna choice (no tomato - just cheese). I preferred the salad choices over the pizza for a snack, but the pizza was always being made fresh. Each evening there was always someone walking around on Decks 5 and 9 with a tray with different types of food on it too. Evening meals - We were sat at a table with another British couple and next to groups of Americans all travelling. They seem to put you in language groups, which is nice. The couple we sat with were wonderful and we really enjoyed our meals each night. There are 2 sittings, 7pm and 9.30pm. We got the 7pm slot which worked out in our favour in the end. Each night is a 7 course meal, each course is not big, but over the 7 courses it's more than enough for anyone. Some courses you get a selection (starters, pasta, main dish, desert), where there is no choice (ie salad course), select it any way otherwise you won't get it. We wrongly assumed that you got each course. On the other-hand if you don't like a course, you get to skip it. There are also certain foods available every day off the menu (burgers, spaghetti bolognase, beef steak). I stuck with the fish choices every day and not once did I have a bad meal. The food always arrived at a good temperature and I couldn't fault a single meal. Apart from one meat dish (veal), those that choice the meat options each night had no issues either. I can't vouch for the 9.30 sitting being the same service, but can see no reason why it wouldn't be. The waiters at the tables are incredibly busy the whole time, getting food to the tables, drinks, clearing up - they work like mad during this time, but you can always get service. Where we were sitting (Portofino restaurant), our waiters pre-empted our requests - they knew what drinks we would have after our first night, and everything was there waiting for us if we wanted it. There was never any issues getting wine topped up during the meals, or having wine at any point during the meal. We were always served with a smile and a "cheers!" Theatre shows - these were all multilingual shows. We enjoyed them all although some were far better than others. The Animation Team are really great to watch and listen to. Most songs are sung in a variety of languages and the costumes were lovely. A couple of the shows seems to be disjointed from one dance routing to another, but it made for good variety and did help everyone on board understand what was going on. The star acts were great. An acrobatic team from Hungary who were amazing to watch, a great Italian singer who sang in French, German, Spanish, Italian, English and Russian! And an entertainer who didn't actually speak but managed to pull of a silent film show that was so funny to watch using members of the audience. The shows are only on for around 45 minutes so are short enough to enjoy and still have a night afterwards. Bars - right first things first - DO get the drinks package!!!! Drinks are not cheap, and the package is a great package, even if you don't drink a lot. It includes wine, water, soft drinks, coffee, cocktails, and all drinks not marked with a red * on the bar menu. That's most drinks all included. You can get water in a glass throughout all the meals anyway, but you can get large bottles for excursions or sitting up on deck sunbathing during the day. In the reviews we read, smoking was a problem that came up a few times. As I said in the start of this, you are reliant on the other 3,800+ people on board with you. I can honestly say that during the entire week, the only time I noticed smoking was the outside area of the bar on Deck 3 and late at night in the casino. Most of the bars and dance floors are strictly non-smoking around those areas. All restaurants are very strictly no smoking. This was adhered to the whole week of our trip. There were people smoking on deck, but not in huge numbers or to the point that is interfered with our enjoyment. In fact, we didn't even notice it. But this was more to do with the other people on board that same week than anything else, so this can change on your cruise, or any other we take. There are numerous bars, all serving the same drinks, with different entertainment on each night. There is something that everyone will like somewhere on board from the bar point of view. Pools - the pools are small, salt water, not heated and not my favourite places. There weren't an awful lot of kids on board considering a fully booked cruise, but they did seem to fill the front pools in particular. The back one was more adult based, but the pool looked like a bath full of sun-cream rather than an inviting cool dip to cool down in. Jacuzzis are strictly over 16s only, but again, they did resemble a sun cream soup. Not really surprising considering the heat and numbers of people on board, but personally I didn't find them at all inviting and didn't actually use a pool at all, only the jacuzzi. Sun loungers - this is Europe - if you are not up at the crack of dawn with a towel and a personal belonging in hand to tie on a sunbed, then forget it. These are more available when the ship is in dock or shortly before leaving each stop. Despite that lack of them, it didn't bother us. There was more than enough deck space to find a space somewhere and just lie down. It was just more annoying that there were loads of empty sun loungers lying around with just a towel on them! The towels on board are all provided, and as the ship comes in to dock, the pool attendants go around collecting all these up, so this is generally when you can start finding sun loungers after 6am! Excursions - Very well organised really considering the getting on board fiasco! We booked 2 through Costa, but found out afterwards that there are always buses and taxis on hand at every port and you can do these places for very little cost. Getting on and off the ship for excursions was never any issue. The two we did through Costa was Olympia and Akrotiri in Santorini, both of which were excellent with incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides. The other stops we made our own way around. For example in Athens, you can get a taxi to and from the Acropolis for around 20 Euros. In Corfu, you can walk into town from the port. In Dubrovnik, you can get a local bus from the Cruise Terminal into the old town and back again for around 50 Kunas. Once in Dubrovnik centre through, you could use Euros. Disembarking - we drew the short straw with this. You dock at 0900, but have to be out of your cabin by 0800. Your cases have to be packed and out of your room by 0100 and are then taken away for you to collect when you get off the ship. You are each given a colour coded strip that is your disembarkation time. We had the last one - 11am. From 0800 to 11am is a long wait on a docked ship! Although breakfast was supposed to be served only until 0930, we found the Lido deck carried on serving it, and even making eggs to order. We could also still get drinks on board. Despite having to wait, the whole getting off the ship was a lot smoother than the getting on experience. Overall I was very concerned about this cruise because of the reviews. At the end of the day we had voluntarily chosen to cruise with the cheapest on the market, and on a ship designed to take as many people as possible, it was always quantity over quality. Once on board it will always be the other passengers and the staff that dictate your cruise. Maybe we were lucky, everyone lined up for everything, and were polite, courteous and friendly and the staff gave fantastic customer services and we had no issues with languages. At no point did I ever feel that this cruise was quantity over quality. Everyone we met, with the exception of very few bar staff, gave us incredible service and we were always welcomed with a smile. This is a massive ship with a very large number of passengers on board, particularly when fully-booked, but they have an adequate number of very hard working staff who seemed to genuinely enjoy their job and who want to make sure you have a great cruise. If this is the bottom end of the cruising market, then I am intrigued by the other end of the scale based on the experience we had on board. I wouldn't hesitate to go with Costa again, or to do this cruise. We had a fantastic experience where everyone was so friendly and great, but then maybe that's the secret - as my mother used to say, treat others how you expect to be treated yourself, and everyone will treat you like a Queen!   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
just got back from a 6 night late deal on the Costa Magica and from getting onto the ship to getting back to the airport felt letdown by poor service.We wanted to experience The fabled Italian way to cruise and took up on this offer . ... Read More
just got back from a 6 night late deal on the Costa Magica and from getting onto the ship to getting back to the airport felt letdown by poor service.We wanted to experience The fabled Italian way to cruise and took up on this offer . We made our way to the cruise terminal arriving at noon to be told that we could not go on the ship till 3.30pm as they were cleaning it ,not even allowed to get some food /drink in any of the restaurants on the ship as we have done on other ships. The cabin was spotless and well kept and the beds were nice and firm as were the pillows (nice touch),The decor is very chic but not over the top ,again all public spaces were kept clean .The fixed dining option is one we rarely use( on any other ship we have been on) as we prefer to dine on our own and try the different food offered on a buffet service and also we like to dine but no to watch dancing waiters ( even if they are happy doing it). The alternative was to go to the buffet 4/5.30 pm to eat small open sandwiches with salad ,with small cakes to follow or wait till 9.30 and eat 2 different types of pizza.There was only water during the day and orange juice on a morning or the usual tea /coffee when available.The cabin had water (bottled) at a cost of 3.30 euro for 1 ltre which could be very expensive in the summer. The entertainment on the ship in the main theater was not very good and mainly in Italian (not a real problem),the theater was superb in condition and atmosphere .The main star was Italian and we were subjected to a a preview of all his previous encounters with stars before he came on and we had never even heard of this world superstar . We had to be out of our cabin by 8am on the day of going home (not a problem)but why wait till 3.30 pm before new passengers can board. We paid for transfers (via Costa) to return us to the airport only after a 2 and a half hour drive to be dropped of along with about 12 to 18 Brits at the wrong terminal,we pointed this out to the driver whose comment was "not my problem " and ushered us away .!The other passengers were of different coaches and all had the same story ,some said they were not allowed toilet stop( unconfirmed) but we all helped each other to get to the correct terminal . The other Brits were of other Costa ships including the Atlantica and the Mediterranea and they also complained about the standards of food served ( unconfirmed by myself or my wife only on their hearsay). Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
First the very bad: All our 3 excursions were cancelled. With very short notice. (No other English-speaking had booked.) As we are much more interested in the ports, than for example night shows and sunbeds, this made us very ... Read More
First the very bad: All our 3 excursions were cancelled. With very short notice. (No other English-speaking had booked.) As we are much more interested in the ports, than for example night shows and sunbeds, this made us very disappointed. Second, bad things of minor importance: 1. Breakfast- and lunch buffet were very crowded. After some days we find places to slip away from the most busy places. 2. Few of our fellow passengers understood English. 3. Coal flakes from the chimney were falling down on our stern-balcony. Now to the positive (including surprises): 1. Everything in our cabin was of very good quality and function. 2. The English speaking staff saved us from being totally isolated. And they were overall fantastic, both competent and friendly. 3. Food was very good. Both well cooked and high quality ingredients. (my mother was cook to the former Swedish king.) 4. The pool-area on the ship was very attractive, with its levels. 4. The "drink-package" was a very good bargain. Something like 20€/day for everything to drink. (Except the most expensive wines/drinks.) Naturally I compare this Costa-cruise, to the two on similiar ships I've made recent years. One was with Royal Caribbian (RCCL), Splendour of the Seas, the other was with Holland America (HAL.) MS Eurodam. And as I see it, all three give you, all in all, similar quality. Costa is cheaper, but have a more crowded ship. HAL offers more exclusive meals. My conclusion is that you get what you pay for. In future, I can choose any of them. When money is no problem, I prefer HAL. But if I want a wonderful ship, I choose the old Splendour of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
My 3 best friends and I planned this trip to celebrate my sister-in-law's retirement. We planned to go 3 days early and visit Rome before boarding the ship. We booked cruise, tours, transfers and hotel all on line. After landing, ... Read More
My 3 best friends and I planned this trip to celebrate my sister-in-law's retirement. We planned to go 3 days early and visit Rome before boarding the ship. We booked cruise, tours, transfers and hotel all on line. After landing, our transfer took us directly to our hotel, DeLaVille Intercontential in downtown Rome. This hotel is a little pricey, but much worth it. Our rooms had little balconies opening onto a beautiful courtyard with antique french doors. Each balcony had beautiful flowers growing in pots even though it was November. The rooms were refreshing, beds wonderful and staff top notch. I would highly recommend this hotel with it's European flair and immaculate care they give to their customers. We had booked several days of tours with a company called "All Around Italy". Our guide and owner, Fabrizio was prompt, courteous, knowledgeable and very entertaining. He took us to Florence, Rome, then picked us up from the ship in Naples (Amalfi Coast and Pompeii) and into Tuscany after we disembarked from the ship. This was definitely the high-light of our trip. I would highly recommend using this company for any private or group tours. He knows people every where and can individualize your tour as you like. He took us to authentic restaurants off the beaten path for the best Italian food we have ever had. Hands down, he's the best! We boarded the Costa Magica on Saturday, November 5. All four of us were pleasantly surprised over the smoothness of the boarding process. All of us had been on cruises before, but never had we seen such ease with boarding. Before we knew it, we were on and so was our luggage! We had been told that the majority of people on this cruise were European and this is true. However, all the staff on the ship speak many different languages and we encountered no staff member unable to speak English. The cruise ship had a special representative for English speaking guests, and Natalie was absolutely the best. She was always available and even planned events for us to meet other English speaking guests as well. There was no problem getting around the ship and we met many other guests from America. The cabin was surprisingly large for an inside cabin. It had ample closet space and a large bath. We felt it was very adequate for our use. However, don't expect shampoo nor washcloths on these European cruise lines. We didn't mind.....we had brought our own. The food was good. I have been on other cruise lines and I can't say it was better or worse. It's very heavy Italian. We did take the late dinner time and that was a mistake. Europeans eat very late and it was much too late for us Americans. We didn't get started until 9:30, and never finished before 11 or 11:30. However, we felt we could have eaten much quicker, but the service was a little slow. The staff was great, but seemed to have too many tables to take care of. The wine packages are a very good deal. We had read where there had been problems with getting your wine when you needed it, however we did not have that problem at all. It was always readily available where ever, and when ever we wanted. The staff was exceptional. Our cabin attendant, server, etc. all was helpful and attentive. The courtesy desk was very helpful. The ship had lots of activities and the excursions that were good. Most of the tour guides spoke 2 languages on the bus because there was always other languages spoken along with English. Costa tried their best to only put 2 languages per bus. That was usually not a problem, though some times the guides were difficult to understand. The prices on the tours were also priced well and the guides were very nice. Over all, I would recommend the Costa Magica and would cruise again with them if the opportunity exists. I found the ship to be clean, friendly very international. If you want to visit Italy with Italians, I would recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We have been cruising with the Costa Magica in May 2011. Our veranda stateroom on deck 6 was nice but a little cramped for 2 adults and two children. Because of the promotion "children stay for free when sharing a stateroom with the ... Read More
We have been cruising with the Costa Magica in May 2011. Our veranda stateroom on deck 6 was nice but a little cramped for 2 adults and two children. Because of the promotion "children stay for free when sharing a stateroom with the parents" we choose to stay in one stateroom. We loved sitting on the balcony because of the good weather and the nice views. Breakfast was not so good. For lunch there was an option between the self service buffet and the normal restaurant. At 4 o clock there was a high tea at the self service Lido deck. 7 course dinner was OK. The soups did not taste well. Hardly any vegetables and fruit are served. You can eat some good tasting pizza all day long. There were two formal nights. On this nights a children's dinner was being served. Child entertainment was OK. There is children's entertainment from 9 o clock in the morning till 10.30 o clock in the evening, but there are only two children dinners. A lot of the miniclub crew don't speak English very well and sometimes activities are skipped. Children are not allowed in the whirlpools. The water-slide is fun, but really bad for your swimming-clothes. We embarked in Savona. The check-in was quick and there were good parking-facilities for 10 euro per day. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Took a weeks cruise on the Costa Magica. After reading all the other reviews on this cruise I should have took more notice as everything bad that was said happened.So much so that after four days my wife and I booked a flight on the ... Read More
Took a weeks cruise on the Costa Magica. After reading all the other reviews on this cruise I should have took more notice as everything bad that was said happened.So much so that after four days my wife and I booked a flight on the internet and came home.This is not I repeat not for English passengers.After 15 other cruises we though we knew what to expect. WrongAll the English waking trips were cancelled as late as eight pm the night before.The food was really bad, and if you didn't eat by the time the dining room closed that was it until the next morning. That is unless you wanted dried up pizzaI would strongly suggest that you avoid Costa. We tried to switch off by going to the adult only pool.On arrival it was more like a children's holiday camp. This cruise was the pits Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We booked this cruise because it fit the kids spring break, good price, good ports. I liked that it left from Rome because you need more than one day to see Rome. But getting from Rome center to port was long and expensive. We took the ... Read More
We booked this cruise because it fit the kids spring break, good price, good ports. I liked that it left from Rome because you need more than one day to see Rome. But getting from Rome center to port was long and expensive. We took the train to port, not expensive but train station had no elevator, had to carry luggage up and down stairs, signs at station were horrible, no one to help, no announcements for stops. Cruise port to airport we sucked it up and took a taxi for $200.00.Only 10% of passengers are native English speakers so it was interesting hearing all the different languages, crew does speak English. Cleanest ship I've ever been on-never saw a dirty glass or dish even early morning! My 14 year old LOVED hanging out with European teens in the disco and made lots of new friends! 9 year old only went to kids camp once- intimidated by kids speaking italian and Spanish. Really nothing for the 12 year old she was between age groups. We loved the smerelda lounge after the show, they played bingo every night then had a game with audience participation. Kids were allowed which you don't see on American ships! Music was from all countries and everyone danced-it was great fun!! Their version of the midnight buffet is great-every night at midnight waiters walked through the whole ship with trays of appetizers and sweets, much nicer than one night gluttony. We did not care much for the food but did not go hungry. Shows were great-many different kinds not just same dancers every night. Ports were great! Very different experience for kids with all the languages, they saw that the United States is not the center of the universe!!! Europeans are lots of fun and more free spirited than Americans-they must not need much sleep because all ages were in lounge dancing after midnight and up by 7 in the morning!! This is a circle cruise meaning passengers are getting on and off at all ports-this was great because there was not 2000 people trying to disembark at the same time! Cruise was a great cultural experience for all of us!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
I,m going to try to be as fair as possible. I'll start with the embarkation process. We arrived to the port(Civitavecchia) early so we walked around town. When it was time, we didn't have any problems. Everything went completely ... Read More
I,m going to try to be as fair as possible. I'll start with the embarkation process. We arrived to the port(Civitavecchia) early so we walked around town. When it was time, we didn't have any problems. Everything went completely smooth. We went to our cabin and it was perfect. Nice decor and clean. We met our stewardess, Katerina and she was an angel. Really nice and helpful.Our first hiccup, was the fire drill. We asked several employees and no one knew where we had to go. Someone said it was in the theater, but it was empty, so after waiting for a while we went back to our cabin.Food in the MDR was very good. The portions are small but that's the way the Italian eat. If you order the five courses you will be fine. I always order no more than three and for me was perfect, since we had the late seating and I don't like to go to bed too full. The breakfast buffet was awful, the eggs look like egg soup, the oatmeal, completely watery. All this is understandable since Europeans don't eat big breakfast like we do. Lunch buffet was OK. Pizza not the way Americans eat them with a lot of cheese.Smoking is really bad, but again Europeans smoke a lot. It seems they haven't heard about cancer and smoking.We didn't use the casino, because of the smoking. In the open areas was OK.Ports visited were nice. We couldn't visit Tunis and Marseilles was a disaster. We got in to Marseilles and they had buses (7Euros) to take you to the city. We got in a bus and after waiting for one hour in a traffic jam, they stopped a bus that was coming from the town and took us back to the ship. We couldn't see Marseilles which was one of the places I wanted to see. Costa knew that there was a strike in the port and they put the people at risk. Later we learned that a bus was attacked and the strikers laid down on the streets so no one would go into the city. They even had to call the police.All in all, the cruise was OK. We were four couples, so we had a great time. Europeans in general are not as polite as the Americans. They cut the lines, they bump into you and not say sorry, they rush into the elevators even if they see that you were first, but at the end we did the same to them and laugh. Like they say Live and Learn!!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
This was the fourth time we had booked a cruise but the first time we managed to actually embark. Previous cruises were aborted due to cold feet, illness and snow.The GoodThe flights on BA and the embarkation process in Savona went ... Read More
This was the fourth time we had booked a cruise but the first time we managed to actually embark. Previous cruises were aborted due to cold feet, illness and snow.The GoodThe flights on BA and the embarkation process in Savona went smoothly with very little queuing. The ship is large with plenty of hiding places so only felt crowded between evening meal sittings when the bars get busy. Information was pretty good with a newsletter delivered to your cabin every evening.The staff are very friendly and helpful despite the long hours they work and the cruising public they have to deal with.We were travelling on a low budget so had an inside cabin on the lowest deck at the front of the ship. This working out fine as we were out most of the time, if a little noisy when the shipped docked due to the side thrusters being nearby.The food is adequate given the number of people on board. The restaurants are OK - we dined in the Portofino restaurant with 4 other Brits. You are usually allocated a table with people who speak the same language. The Bellagio buffet was pretty good with usually something to suit every taste, but get there early or late to avoid the crowds. There is also a grill serving junk food for those who need it. We purchased the X1 drinks package through Costa before we sailed. This cost around £80 but allows you unlimited drinks at meal times. It states drinks by the glass but we were given a bottle of wine and water at each evening meal so it worked out as a good deal. It does not seem to be promoted on the Costa website or if it is not easy to find! When embarking we also bought the packages for soft drinks which we fully utilised and the one for water which we didn't. Be aware that there are drinking water taps onboard, which you can use to fill up your bottlesThe theatre entertainment was generally good - not London West end but professionally produced shows with the exception of the staff production on the final night. If you prefer a seat in the upper tiers arrive early.The organised tours were mostly good if expensive. So much depends on the guide assigned to your group. They were OK but one was very difficult to understand and they had to give information in at least two languages so everything took longer. Next time we will do our own thing and use the shuttle buses, which operate at every port of call and charge a few euros to go into town. Incidentally, we are now experts on cathedrals in the western med.The BadThere was a mess up with the restaurant allocation at the start. A card is left in your cabin giving the table and restaurant allocation. Ours indicated the restaurant Smeralda at the rear of the ship. When we arrived our table was occupied! After about 20 mins of furious keyboard tapping and discussions we were finally directed to the correct table in the Portofino restaurant.We tried the Club Vincenza fine dining restaurant one evening but it was not worth the extra 20 euro p/p charge. My wife's lamb was tough and the sauce and potatoes very salty. The loo in our cabin stopped flushing twice but was quickly fixed.The ship is not easy to navigate initially with confusing signs at the lifts. You are never sure which way you are facing on the ship. We weren't alone in this respect!There appears to be no air conditioning so bars and restaurants were often very warm, I dread to think what they would be like in summer.The majority of the passengers were Italian with Germans, French, other Europeans and quite a few Americans. The Brits were in a distinct minority. The Europeans don't do queuing, so be prepared for a bit of shoulder barging to get your own way or just chill out and let them get on with it, which is what we did.Italians are extremely noisy with only 2 volumes - loud and extremely loud. If you value you eardrums try to find a table away from large groups. They also invade your personal space standing over your shoulder and shouting to friends and family and pushing recliners hard up against yours on the sun decks.The UglyThere is nothing exceptionally bad to report. My wife had a bit of a dispute with a large Italian, who wanted our theatre seats for his family. She told him in no uncertain terms to shift and he went of muttering about the English! Needless to say, I kept out of the argument to protect my health. Best policy is to have a laugh about the customs of our EU friends. Vive la difference!We enjoyed our cruise on the Costa Magica and are now looking forward to Christmas in Australia and New Zealand on the Diamond Princess. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We sailed out of Rome with 6 adults and 2 small kids (3yrs and 9 mos) Boarding the ship was confusing and because we never received any tickets in the mail we had to fill out a bunch of paperwork when we got there. The building is ... Read More
We sailed out of Rome with 6 adults and 2 small kids (3yrs and 9 mos) Boarding the ship was confusing and because we never received any tickets in the mail we had to fill out a bunch of paperwork when we got there. The building is small and was unorganized but fortunately because it was January it was not too bad to get through. We got on and the crew were all very nice and almost all of them spoke English. Our cabin was very spacious and had a large space like a window sill for my 3 year old to sit in and watch the ocean. They provided a crib and we had a twin bed and still had plenty of room to get around. Our steward was more than accommodating but finding him sometimes was difficult but others were more than helpful to get him in when we needed him. The ship is very pretty it reminded me of a Carnival ship but less flashy but nicer than a Princess ship. There were not alot of activities to do onboard during the day on the ship but because we had a port to go into each day we were ok with that. They do have a round the clock kids room that we took the kids to and they really liked that. Most of the activities that were offered were fitness related like dancing or aerobics. The food in the buffet was ok... breakfast was good, there were some traditional American eats like pancakes, waffles,cereal and bacon and eggs every day. Alot of meats and cheeses and a fish dish each morning! The afternoon and evening buffet offered hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and other finger foods. All ok, nothing spectacular. The dinners in the dining room were much better but I have to say that Carnival has better food. We bought a wine and water package for 99 euros and that was the best way to go for us. It gave us 6 bottles of wine and 10 bottles of water and that lasted the entire cruise. The reviews about getting around on the ship are over exaggerated. Every cruise I have taken is like this. You just have to get it figured out and remember what elevators go where. We feel that by the end of every cruise that we have finally figured it out! So I think that is normal. There are alot of Italians and other Europeans on board and some are rude but so are Americans. I just pushed back when they pushed me and that seemed to work. That only happened a couple of times. For a layed back culture they sure are in a hurray to cut you off in the food lines or to get on and off the ship. Its actually quite funny. I just let them cut. We had our 9 month old daughter and that brought alot of positive attention. Everyone loves a baby! Actually there were ALOT of kids and babies on this cruise. I was surprised. Getting on and off for port tours was easy. This cruise has embarking and disembarking in 3 different ports so it can get crowded at times in the atrium. But they seem to be pretty organized with all that going on. They only thing I dont care for was the smoking section in the atrium. But Europeans are very much into smoking and was expected. Its just stinky and I hated walking through it every day. The Tours offered were nice. We had to deal with the riots in Tunisia and therefore were sent to Corsica instead and then in Marseille there was a strike and had to be rerouted to Tulon which put us about an hour away but those situations were out of Costa's control so I cant blame them. Overall we had a great time. Disembarking was not hard to get through either. I would take this cruise again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Since we were cruising in January, my main concern was about the weather but it turned out to be dry, sunny and the sea was calm throughout the cruise. Overall impression of Costa is very positive. We are a family of 2 adults + 1 ... Read More
Since we were cruising in January, my main concern was about the weather but it turned out to be dry, sunny and the sea was calm throughout the cruise. Overall impression of Costa is very positive. We are a family of 2 adults + 1 teen (15 years old) and everyone was kept busy by Costa's staff: the kid was off for the Teen Zone, my husband was into leaning Italian language and I was happy with Latino dance lessons. The ship is new and cabins are spacious. Negative: staff look exhausted, there's plenty of smoke in some areas and route was changed twice - we skipped Tunis and Marseilles. If you wish to ear gourmet cuisine - you can try it ashore. On board food is plentiful and eatable - nothing more than that. No complaints, though! Evening theatre performances are also far from being top of the range - it's not Vegas, after all! We did enjoy watching it couple of times - no complaints, we booked a cruise and not a theater performance! If you watch your spending you would not loose a fortune for on board expenses. not cheap, but reasonable. Would we like to come back? Yes, we definitely would. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Here's a few of comments on our experience on the Costa Magica: We had a balcony cabin in the middle of the ship right off the elevator. Amazingly enough it wasn't noisy despite the high traffic area. The cabin was larger and ... Read More
Here's a few of comments on our experience on the Costa Magica: We had a balcony cabin in the middle of the ship right off the elevator. Amazingly enough it wasn't noisy despite the high traffic area. The cabin was larger and more spacious than we had on both NCL and Princess. As stated by others who have been on the Magica, it took the whole cruise to figure out how to navigate the ship. I highly recommend that you get yourself one of the larger maps of the ship that the information desk and learn how to find your way around. One of the cruise critic members posted a very good explanation on how the cabins were numbered and the decks broken up. The most important lesson he gave was to look at the picture of the ship located at each elevator. It will indicate where you are and what direction the ship is pointed. When you get off the elevator look to see which direction you need to go so you won't get too frustrated trying to find your way to dinner. The Magica had two seatings for dinner. We chose the first seating and found our table mates extremely pleasant. We were all English speaking and enjoyed each other's company. In fact, the evening meal was the best part of the day with these folks. The other valuable thing I learned on cruise critic was about the 1X package for beer, wine, and water. We called our agent who called Costa and got the package for us. It saved us lots of money on drinks. This package allows you beer or wine by the glass and bottled water at lunch and dinner only. We tipped our waiter at the beginning and during the cruise and he kept our glasses filled. He also poured some for our dinner partners at our request. So each night at dinner we went through one or two bottles of wine and several of water. Big savings there. The breakfast buffet was not as expansive as is on NCL or Princess but it was adequate. We did not take advantage of the buffet for lunch so I am unable to comment. Dinner most nights was good but not outstanding. We did have one evening when they served lamb chops that everyone asked for seconds. We liked the pasta and the bread was great. If you wanted something in between meals you had to find the grill which was located at the very back of the ship where the indoor pool is. It was not like NCL where you could find food at all hours. One of the reasons that you don't see many obese Europeans, the portions were normal sized instead of supersized. I was happy about that. The coffee was only fair however you could buy cappuncino's and lattes that were pretty good. We got our "coffee fix" at the various ports where the espressos were great. The staff worked seven days a week, and usually stayed on the ship for several months. They all spoke excellent English. In addition there was an English speaking "host" by the name of Sean who was available at certain hours if you had questions. He wasn't very helpful with finding out about doing the ports on your own. He said that his job was to support the excursion so he was unwilling to give info on how to get around on public transportation.I surprized and disappointed since I found that the cruise director on NCL to be more than happy to tell you about what cheaper options available once on shore. Embarking and disembarking was the easiest of all. They had everything ready when you got there so all you had to do was go through screening and show you E tickets. Once you got to your room you found your room keys and info on setting up your credit card as well as the daily itinerary in English. They also provided a daily synopsis of the world news in the form of a little newspaper that was created on board. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
We are a Canadian family of four experienced cruisers, who cruised the western Mediterranean with Costa over Christmas 2010. The seven-day cruise is a loop, with guests embarking and departing at every stop. We boarded in Marseilles.The ... Read More
We are a Canadian family of four experienced cruisers, who cruised the western Mediterranean with Costa over Christmas 2010. The seven-day cruise is a loop, with guests embarking and departing at every stop. We boarded in Marseilles.The itinerary is ideal - hitting all the major cities. We disembarked at all stops, and made our way independently into the city. The ship-organized excursions had restrictive itineraries (and were expensive), and we wanted the freedom to explore on our own. While little information is available on the ship, we found it very easy to navigate each city on our own. Onboard, we were not happy with the food, in terms of either quality or quantity. The ship is confusingly laid out (something other cruisers have noted), and it was very hard to orient ourselves. The gym was well-equipped, and we used it every day. Otherwise there were few activities on board - the intent seems to be that the ship is a floating hotel, moving from city to city. Overall, we were very disappointed with our Costa Magica cruise to the western Mediterranean. There were very few activities on board the ship for English-speakers, and literally no programming for children (12 and 14). In light of how bored the children were, I decided to try to download a movie for them to watch. After visiting the front desk and being assured that the very expensive 3 hour internet package (27 euros total) was high-speed, with excellent access throughout the ship, I purchased the package. Within 20 minutes, I had downloaded 0.0001% of our movie - which would have need 400 hours to download! I immediately requested the cancellation of my package, and the return of the fee. Front desk staff told me to come back the next day: this was repeated 4 more times on our 7 day cruise. I wrote to Costa in early January to request the refund - I heard nothing from the company for 7 weeks. After follow-up, today, the office has finally explained that "because I used the service" I cannot be refunded. I would not cruise again on the Magica, and encourage other English-speaking families to think carefully about choosing this ship. Certainly, know that you will need to independently organize all your children's activities, and cannot depend on the cruise to offer options. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Let me start off by saying I had expected this to be a totally different experience than any of my previous 13 cruises. However, I never expected it to be the worst cruise I've ever been on. It was my first cruise out of a European ... Read More
Let me start off by saying I had expected this to be a totally different experience than any of my previous 13 cruises. However, I never expected it to be the worst cruise I've ever been on. It was my first cruise out of a European port. I realize it left out of Italy, but I really thought it would be more amenable to the different nationalities on the cruise. They were not! I DO NOT recommend this cruise to Americans unless they are fluent in Italian. The cruise line made very little effort to speak anything but Italian. It was near impossible to participate on any of the on board activities. The entertainment staff did say a lot of things, ie., Bingo and other games, in English but it was so fast and so mixed in with 5 other languages they rattled off, you could not follow at all. All the ship announcements were in Italian. It seemed that there were only a few announcements that they ever said in English. I was truly terrified that if there were an emergency on this ship, I would never have known what to do. This brings me to the Safety Issues. There was no safety drill upon embarkation at Civitavecchia. This cruise is a circle cruise; meaning people are embarking and disembarking at every port. They do consider Savona the first port, which was the last day for us. That is when they did a life boat drill. Guess it was our tough luck if anything happened the 6nights before that. This is an EXTREMELY budget cruise. It is advertised in Italy dirt cheap with kids sailing free. You truly get what you pay for. The Italians on this cruise were extremely rude. They do not believe in lines or waiting their turn. They were pushy and arrogant. The lack of communication was a huge problem. They also smoke like crazy and smoke anywhere they like. This ship has more smoking areas than non smoking areas. If this is a problem for you, be aware! If you are not used to horrible food and and plastic cups, do not take this cruise. You can see Costa has cut back everywhere they possible can. The only thing you could get 24/7 was coffee and water. They shut the ice cream machines all hours except buffet hours. You had to go to dinner every night in the dinning room. There was not a dinner buffet option. For this reason, people were dressed anywhere from formal to grunge in the dinning room. I'm a 100% Italian American. I am used to good Italian food. There was NONE to be found on this cruise. The pasta dishes at dinner were the only thing that was near what I would call authentic Italian food. The buffet food was hardly edible. Dried out pizza, tasteless burgers and fries. How you can ruin french fries is beyond me. The cabins are good size like all Carnival products. The Entertainment on the first night was okay. The second night, okay, after that it was downhill right to the bottom at horrible. There were three nights where the highlight of the show was juggling. Each night they repeatedly dropped what they were juggling....pretty poor performance. You can tell the cruise lines was spending NO money on entertainment. They were also spending NO MONEY on Air Conditioning. It was almost was an unhealthy hot through out the entire ship. The dinning rooms was unbearable. I left every night as quickly as I could because of the heat. The poor staff was always sweating as were many of the guests. I think it was a health hazard, but I'm sure the cruise lines just looks at it as saving money. The cruise lines provided very little direction when trying to find your tour buses and exit the ship. They never announced you were in port and could start disembarking or what deck to disembark from. It was always a guess if it were deck 3 or 0. The only saving grace at all on this cruise were the staff. The dinning room and other working crew all spoke English and were always willing to help you out. The were great. All in All I wish I had not gone on this cruise. I will gladly pay double or triple on my next cruise to get a better experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
We sailed on the Costa Magica from Savona, Italy. We asked the cruise line a few months prior to departure if we could disembark in Barcelona a day earlier instead of returning to Savona. Costa agreed as long as we understood that we ... Read More
We sailed on the Costa Magica from Savona, Italy. We asked the cruise line a few months prior to departure if we could disembark in Barcelona a day earlier instead of returning to Savona. Costa agreed as long as we understood that we would not get any partial refund. Since we wanted to stay and explore our favorite European city, Barcelona, we agreed to their preconditions. The itinerary was special for two sailings only. The itinerary was for 9 days starting with a day at sea; Malaga, Spain; Casablanca, Morocco; Cadiz (Seville), Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Gibraltar, UK; Alicante, Spain; Barcelona, Spain; and finally back to Savona. Costa is not for all American travelers. We have been on different Costa ships before (2001 on Classica, 2002 on Victoria, 2007 on Fortuna) because we like the European touches and people. We you are used to the more American style of cruising then stick with the other American ships. The staff is mainly from the Philippines and India. Prior to our embarkation in Savona we visited Venice for a few days. We took a train from Venice to Savona through Milan and arrived in Savona the day prior to sailing. The train ride including the connection in Milan took about 5 ½ to 6 hours. Savona is a beautiful seaside city. It is tranquil full of nice little shops and streets. We stayed in the marina area just steps away from the cruise terminal. The name of the hotel is NH Savona-Darsena. It is a new hotel in the marina. The marina is now full of new apartments and shops. I would definitely recommend this hotel although some rooms may be noisy on a Saturday night as there are quite a few bars and restaurants around it. For a good and local dinner try Enzo which is over the bridge, across the marina and behind a gas station. The closest airport to Savona is in Genoa. From Genoa to Savona is a 30 minute train ride. From the train station you have to arrive in the marina by taxi which is about 5-10 minutes away. Getting on the ship was quite easy. The Magica was inaugurated in 2004 and is the sister ship to the Fortuna. The ship is a large ship with nice dEcor. It is quite similar to the Carnival Liberty and its class of ships as it was built by the same shipbuilder. The cabin was typical with adequate furnishings. We stayed in an outside balcony cabin. I would say that the hallways were not as clean as the other ships. I noticed the carpets had spots on them that would need a good shampooing. Overall, the service on the ship, however, was outstanding. European ships are not known for good service but the Magica had very good service. On the other hand, the food at dinner was very bad. Even some of the servers acknowledged the bad food. The breakfast and lunch were good and the afternoon tea time at 4:00 p.m. full of finger foods and small pastries was excellent. We enjoyed the pool. The ship has two pools and a water slide. One of the pools is centrally located while the other is under a retractable roof. On windy or cold days the pool is enclosed while on sunny days the roof is completely open. The night time shows are very nicely produced, although we notice the lack of a live band for these shows. We hope that this is not a trend as nothing beats the sound of a live band during a performance. There are a number of lounge acts. Some were utterly disappointing and should be replaced while others played wonderful Italian music. I think that these Italian singers should stick with singing and playing Italian music since their renditions of American classics, be they rock or swing or jazz, are mostly dreadful. The disco was, for the most part, empty except when the "animators" or the ships employees whose duties were to create excitement visited it. The DJ was only adequate. The casino is not very large and was mostly full even though Europeans are not big on gambling. Day 1 (At Sea) This was a great relaxing day. The weather was unseasonably cooler than normal and the seas were rough as we sped down the western Mediterranean towards Malaga and the Costa del Sol. Day 2 (Malaga, Spain) We did not take a tour since they were expensive (especially with the Euro being so strong). We explored Malaga which is a very nice city. You do not need to take a tour to explore Malaga. The tours take people usually to the beach cities of Torremolinos and Marbella. It is a long walk from the ship to the end of the port. The ship's shuttle took us from the ship and dropped us off on the edge of town. From there we walked up the main streets. The weather was perfect. We took the pedestrian-friendly main street north from the port area. The street is called Called Marques de Larios. On either side of this beautiful avenue you can find many nice stores. You can also take narrow arterial streets and find small stores and cafes serving delicious seafood. A short walk from this area to the east is the beautiful Malaga Cathedral. I would recommend this baroque church that is missing one tower because of the lack of funds when it was built between 1528 and 1782. From here we took a 5 minute stroll to the Alcazaba. This is a Moorish fortification that dates to the 8th century. It is located right next to a Roman ruin that dates to the 2nd Century. From here you can also take in a beautiful view of Malaga's port and see your cruise ship as the Alcazaba is built on a small hill. Day 3 (Casablanca, Morocco) Here we would recommend taking a tour. For those who don't mind being in a bus for several hours there are tours to Marrakech or Rabat. We opted for a ½ day tour in Casablanca. This was a good tour. Our tour guide Kemal was full of wit and tidbits. We visited a seaside area after going through a ritzy neighborhood. We stayed here for 20 minutes. Then we visited a church for about 15 minutes. We visited one of the most beautiful houses of worship we have ever seen. King Hassan II Mosque was partly shrouded in fog when we visited it. The inside is massive and made of mosaic, cedar and granite among others. This is the third largest mosque in the world. We then visited a shop that was filled with souvenirs. We decided to just wait outside since inside was too crowded. We returned to the ship, ate lunch and hired a taxi for $40 to be with us for a few hours. We went to the "Tower Center" area which has some western shops. Shopping was not great as some of the better stores were closed for lunch. We conversed with the driver in French as many people in Casablanca are able to speak French in addition to Arabic. We came back to the ship and used their spa facilities. The spa runs specials when the ship is in port so take advantage of them. On port days the spa is empty. The massages were good. Unfortunately, some "Einstein" ship-designer decided that the children's playroom should be placed above the massage rooms. It is hard to relax when you have the constant thumping of children running above you. Day 4 (Cadiz, Spain) Cadiz is a port city that is the gateway to Seville. We did not visit Cadiz, although it seems like a lovely little town. We took a tour to Seville which I would recommend. Seville is located about 2 hours away and is a lovely city. We visited Plaza de Espana, which was built for the Expo in 1929. We visited the Cathedral in Seville which is the third largest church in the world and where Christopher Columbus is buried. This church is absolutely stunning. We also visited the Alcazar of Seville. This is the palace of Spanish kings and queens whenever they visit Seville. We also visited the old Jewish Quarter where no Jews now live. Seville is overall a stunning city. Day 5 (Lisbon, Portugal) Lisbon has one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. The April 25th bridge (which was built by the same company that built the Bay Bridge in northern California) spans the bay. In Lisbon we did not take any tours as most of the town is within walking distance of where the shuttle drops you off. We paid for the ship's shuttle that dropped us off at the Baixa (lower area) which is the downtown of Lisbon. We walked up some of the pedestrian only streets where shops are located. Some of Lisbon is situated on hills so you have to take either stairs or an elevator (a lovely one called Santa Justa Elevator) We then went to Bairro Alto and Chiado (higher neighborhood) which is where the nicer boutiques are located. Then we took the tram down to Avenida de Liberdade that is modeled after Champs-Elysees. This wide boulevard has a park in the middle and is the nicest street for shopping for luxury or just strolling in cool air. On our way back we sampled some great bacalhau which is cod. Lisbon is well known for cod and other seafood. Great restaurants can be found just off Comercio Square which is at the north end of Baixa. Day 6 (Gibraltar) Unfortunately, torrential rains that were very unseasonable kept us away from here. The rains were so fierce that only a few brave souls managed to get off the ship. We again hit the spa and tried to relax in their Jacuzzi and sauna. The spa was deserted so we had the entire place to ourselves. Day 7 (Alicante, Spain) Again it rained here too although a little better than Gibraltar. We took the shuttle outside of the port from where we tried to explore the city. Unfortunately, a storm hit us again and we had to come back. Also, it was a Sunday and the entire city was closed. This is a beautiful and friendly city. We wished we could have had better weather and there are a number of beaches close by, including Postiguet beach which is adjacent to the port. We will definitely try to come back to this lovely town. Day 8 (Barcelona, Spain) The ship is in port only 5 hours which is like visiting the Louvre and spending 10 minutes there. We disembarked and stayed here 3 days. Barcelona's highlights include La Sagrada Familia (the unfinished church due to be completed in about 20 years), Montjuic, the Cathedral, Gaudi buildings, Park Guell and other interesting sites. Las Ramblas a street where the ship shuttle drops you off is over-rated. Unfortunately, those with a few hours to spend in Barcelona see only this street and leave. Barcelona is so much more. Overall, the cruise was very good. The itinerary was excellent. Unfortunately, we hit some bad weather in some parts of southern Spain. But when there was no rain the weather was perfect as September is really a good month to visit Europe. Costa needs to improve its dinners. Service seems to have improved tremendously since we last sailed with them. Hopefully we can take Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
Overall: Thumbs down, our first unsatisfactory cruise in many years. We like Costa because it is the least expensive way to see Europe, Asia, and Africa in a week to ten days. Costa's galaxy of itineraries feature a new country ... Read More
Overall: Thumbs down, our first unsatisfactory cruise in many years. We like Costa because it is the least expensive way to see Europe, Asia, and Africa in a week to ten days. Costa's galaxy of itineraries feature a new country virtually every morning, with exotic destinations like Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. As soon as Israel gets a little safer, we are sure Costa will be the first to regularly schedule port calls. The Magica is Costa's newest ship and one of their largest. With beautiful styling everywhere, from the public rooms to the hallways, the ship is jammed with art without being garish. You'll be playing hide and seek with the Esmerelda main dining room (sometimes even following the signs won't help you find it) and the ship's small public passageways create traffic jams of pushy passengers. We did not want to believe the legions of cruise reviewers who criticized the Magica's food. It just can't be that bad, we thought. Wrong. The Magica's food was the worst we've ever had at sea. Bland, tasteless dishes and truly awful coffee. Because of it, we won't be taking a planned trip on the Magica in the spring. Poor food quality, however, doesn't stop hordes people from mobbing Deck 9's buffets, taking every single seat. It's shoulder to shoulder, so plan on escaping to Deck 10 to find open seating. Service, on the other hand, is quite good -- in five languages. Costa has mastered serving the Euro market. Sure, some of the evening shows are super lame, but then again it's pretty hard to find entertainment to simultaneously satisfy English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish tastes. Strangely, shows featuring opera, mime, and fashion generally knock the socks off of any comedian, singers, or dancers. Small Changes -- While shore excursions have been bookable through cabin TV for some time, now you can book excursions and even entire cruises through special kiosks on Deck 3. -- Room service now costs 2 Euro except for the conventional continental breakfast. There are now a variety of breakfast pay-options, from a few Euro on up to 59 Euro for the true breakfast gourmet. Given other food, though, I'd be skeptical of getting your money's worth. -- The waterslide is an open tube and limited to children. This is good news, because closed tubes can cause injuries to adults (I was hurt on one of Carnival's ships in a closed tube, as have others). Embarkation Civitavecchia is the port for Rome, about an hour outside the city. Its embarkation area consists of a few large tents. Departing from our usual taxi strategy, we used Costa's transfers from the Rome Airport. Transfers are $60 roundtrip per person, A taxi costs $200 roundtrip at a minimum. Be sure to check with Costa as to availability of transfers. At Rome's international Airport, there may be only one scheduled Costa bus a day. Ports Savona in Italy is a typical mid-sized Italian town but unremarkable. A large market at the Piazza del Populo, a few castles, a few large churches. Barcelona is a grand European city with much to see in a mere six hours in port. Palma in Majorca is home to the jetsetting Eurochic (plus Michael Douglas). The Caves of Drach in outlying Porto Christo are lovely but not worth four hours of bus riding to see. Take the Valldemosa tour instead. In Tunis, try the trip to Carthage if you are into history. You will be surprised how modern the country is. In Malta, the jeep trip is long but covers all the fabulous scenery around the island and views of neighboring Gozo. Palermo, much like Savona. Good Deals -- Buy 13 liters of mineral or sparkling water for 23 Euro, much cheaper than sodas and better for you. The 44 Euro soda card is a value too if you just gotta have Cokes or Diet Cokes. This card also gets virgin drinks, shakes, specialty coffee drinks, and fruit drinks. The Magica moves to the Americas the last few days of November, so catching the last Med run gives you cool weather and a lack of tourists in the ports. Sales are 75% off on Med-branded clothing before they relocate to Florida or Brazil for the winter. -- To increase bar revenue, Costa used to take shore bought alcohol and hold it until the end of the voyage. Similarly, they take and hold alcohol purchased onboard. Costa is testing a new and much more common sense policy on the Magica -- buy all you want ashore or on board and bring it directly to your cabin. Costa has realized that old policy annoyed passengers and cost too much for screening, holding, and moving all that booze multiple times. Not So Good Deals -- The spa is expensive and offered very few discounts during the week. No wireless internet anywhere on board, and no free wireless in port. The Internet cafe is still quite high at 30 Euros per hour and runs at barely 56K over satellite. Pay wireless is available only in Malta, but it's high speed and cheap. The casino has no conventional poker tables. I guess the world's Texas Hold'em craze evidently has not reached the Italians. -- There are unusually long lines to get on the ship in port. Costa cut back on security and there is often just one guy to process hundreds of returning passengers. This route is not a good choice for the first time cruiser, who should do Costa's 7-day Venice to Istanbul run or an 11-day trip featuring Athens, Cairo, Turkey, and a few spectacular Greek islands. For the Magica, we suggest that Costa drops the ports of Palermo and Savona in favor of Monaco, Nice, Cadaques, or Sete. Hello to Jan and Bob, and shop 'til you drop Celia and Jimmy! To see all our reviews, see www.georgesmart.com/travel. Happy cruising, George and Eleanor Durham, North Carolina Read Less
Sail Date November 2005
Ah yes! The COSTATRAGICA! For starters-Ugly ship. Did I say Ugly ship? I meant VERY UGLY SHIP! It must have been designed by a person with a severe drinking problem. It can't have been planned that way on purpose. Not to mention, ... Read More
Ah yes! The COSTATRAGICA! For starters-Ugly ship. Did I say Ugly ship? I meant VERY UGLY SHIP! It must have been designed by a person with a severe drinking problem. It can't have been planned that way on purpose. Not to mention, it's dirty. Terrible food, really terrible food served in a sweltering dining room and on deck. Your choice of either bread (bread sticks or thawed out rolls) left much to be desired. It did however compliment the boringly bland poor quality entrees. The COSTATRAGICA must have a corner on rude people both passengers and many of the crew personnel. If you are lucky enough to find an elevator that works, good luck trying to get on or off it. The pool was loaded with pushy slobs and children in diapers--in violation of the rules and common sense. God help you if you speak English! You are a 5th class citizen and if you happen to deal with the English speaking representative and he says hello to you, he's most likely lying to you. Talk about useless. Unfortunately,the ship was sooo bad that it overshadowed the excellent ports of call. What the heck, it only cost 6 K altogether. We sail at least once a year and have booked a cruise to Alaska in July on Celebrity which we have used 5 times before as well as Royal Caribbean and Holland America, all great lines. It's a shame we didn't use one of them for this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
This is a huge ship, accommodating something like 2800 passengers, and it came as a surprise just before we started to find out that this formerly Italian line had been purchased by Carnival. The cruise itself was mostly a big ... Read More
This is a huge ship, accommodating something like 2800 passengers, and it came as a surprise just before we started to find out that this formerly Italian line had been purchased by Carnival. The cruise itself was mostly a big disappointment, and the biggest disappointment -- universally as far as I could tell from other American passengers -- was the food. Drab, tasteless, and certainly not the quality of Italian food that you can find at the simplest Trattoria in Italy or even decent Italian restaurants in the States! The "buffet" offered as an alternative to the formal dining rooms for breakfast, lunch and dinner was mostly "disgusting" -- offering, for example, breakfast of powdered scrambled eggs, dry pancakes and waffles, and lots of cold cuts. "Gross!" as the kids say. The only really good meal we had aboard was at the extra-pay "private" restaurant, where the service and the food reminded me of what cruises used to be. With the $20/each fee, wine and tip, it ran $100. The cruise was clearly aimed at middle class Italian and European families (kids travel free) and offered little that was upscale or sophisticated. The service onboard was good, and the price was probably fair. The diversions onboard, mostly slot machine gambling or sunning, were sort of empty. The entertainment, except for one night, was painfully amateurish. Finally -- and I guess this is widely true of all cruise lines -- the cruise has its hands out for extra money every time you turn around. You pay for excursions, which are mostly poorly organized affairs that "dump" you into hard-sell shopping opportunities in awful places like Tunis. You pay for drinks, of course, even bar prices for every Coke you imbibe. The cruise itself is a constant barrage of shopping opportunities with a great deal of junk jewelry ($10 watches, for example) and other junk. Remember that Europeans smoke like chimneys, everywhere including elevators! Children are unruly and all parents don't pay enough attention to controlling their kids, inflicting them on others! And, finally, as has been widely stated -- Europeans do not know how to stand in line! They push and shove their way in to buffet lines and everywhere else. After being surprised, even shocked, the Americans I saw simply started standing their ground and refusing to allow this kind of line crashing. One irony is that it is an international group of passengers. All announcements are made in 5 languages! But, you don't get the benefit of the internationality, as they seat you with people like you. That does allow easier conversation, but it would be much more fun if there are a greater opportunity to mix as even if the English weren't perfect, most Europeans speak some to quite a bit of English. One thing to be very careful of planning better than we did is ground transportation to and from the ship. You can buy transfers from the cruise line at a reasonable price ($30 each way) if you are going to and from the airport. But, if you go to Rome ahead of time, you will find yourself stuck paying huge fees to limo services -- I figure we spent around $500 just for ground transportation between Rome and the port Civitavecchia! There are cheaper ways to do it, including the train, but you'd better be able to lug your own suitcases from the train platform without any help, elevators or escalators. We did love the stops in Spain, both Barcelona and Majorca, and in Palermo and Malta. Most of these we explored on our own. Many people remarked that they found the excursions were overpriced and not well run. In conclusion, I suppose I am a grouch and the cruise probably was a lot of fun for most of the 2800 passengers onboard this HUGE ship, but it has cured me of the desire to ever again do this kind of cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
On October 29, 2005, my wife and I flew to Rome with two friends for a cruise to the Mediterranean on Costa Cruise Lines. The airline personnel on Alatalia were less than candid regarding seating. At JFK airport we arrived 2-1/2 hours ... Read More
On October 29, 2005, my wife and I flew to Rome with two friends for a cruise to the Mediterranean on Costa Cruise Lines. The airline personnel on Alatalia were less than candid regarding seating. At JFK airport we arrived 2-1/2 hours early and were told bulkhead seats were only available just prior to boarding the aircraft. I am 6'4" and could use the extra leg room. We were also not permitted to upgrade. At the Rome airport, we arrived three hours early and requested bulkhead or exit seats and were informed that they had already been filled and that we should have phoned two hours earlier. The Costa rep never informed us of this situation. Not only did she lose two of us at the airport in her haste but she was no help to us in any way. It seems that if you show up early they will not accommodate your seating request but if you show up later, they won't do anything either. As for Alatalia airlines, we WON'T be showing up again! To date, we have not been credited with our onepass miles with Continental. It seems to be taking forever. The ship, CostaMagica, is something to behold! The color scheme and design of the main dining room must have been dreamt up by Ray Charles subject to the approval of Stevie Wonder. Talk about tacky..........what color combinations. The room was a constant hot house. The men were lucky, as we were able to remove our jackets. Many of the passengers did not have that concern on formal nights. They simply wore clean polo shirts. Undoubtedly, one of the male diners was a "gentleman" who earlier in the afternoon saw fit to blow his nose into the hot tub (YUCK!) What the heck..........babies in diapers were also allowed in the hot tubs! Very sanitary! The chandeliers bordered on being obscene. They would have to be seen to be believed! On a good day some of the elevators worked but not all. After our second day at sea, we were given the life jacket drill. Isn't that usually done before you leave port? Thank God we didn't sink before the second day! On an Italian ship, one would expect to be served good food. Guess again, selections were limited, bread was terrible....a choice between bread sticks and thawed out rolls. No variety. Forget about seconds or changing your order. Beef, chicken and veal were tough enough to sole your shoes with, all of which was in line with the general lack of quality and poor service. Desserts were so bad they could have been upgraded with Twinkies! What ever happened to good old-fashioned Italian pastries? All of the other cruises we've been on (this was our 12th), we've been served Lobster and Filet Mignon at least once during the course of a seven night cruise. We did have some very bad shrimp once. I requested iced tea at dinner and was told it was only in a can and would cost extra. We were provided with one very small bar of soap for the week and it did not lather. If you wanted body lotion or a shower cap, it was by request only. BATHROBES? Forget about it! Chocolates on your pillow? Are you kidding? No way! In all fairness, the coffee was good but on the last day at the last meal, a couple next to us (not Americans) were asked if they'd like espresso or cappuccino. That's the first we knew that this was a choice we could have had all week. Nobody volunteered any information to us. Talk about chintzy!!! ENTERTAINMENT!!! What entertainment? I have been more entertained by watching my daughter-in-law change my grandson's diaper. All of the music was canned and the same recorded introduction was played every night. The introductions for the "Shows?" were done first in Italian (understandable), followed by French, Spanish, German and as an afterthought in English! We sailed on Cunard, Holland America, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean lines and were always astonished at the number of and the talent of the musicians. Usually there are two Broadway-worthy shows! The Captain's "Cocktail Party" was designated to sitting in the theatre and being served a choice of either something that tasted like bad Gatorade and Philadelphia's finest canned champagne, while listening to the Captain introduce the entire crew......once again in Italian, French, Spanish, German and oh yes, English! Cleanliness - Some of the glasses and tables in the Piano Bar appeared to have been washed with floor mops. The shops on the ship were expensive (to be expected) but had no variety. Our travelling companions (friends for over 55 years) are of Italian-American descent, and they too were, to say the least, very disenchanted! We had been on several cruises with them previously and they declared that no way would they ever again take a Costa Cruise or tour. Costa also booked us into a second-class hotel costing $200 per person per night somewhere in the middle of nowhere in the middle of Rome. We had to take multiple transportation to get to anything worth seeing. There was nothing within walking distance. We are now looking into a July/August Alaska cruise on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean or Holland America. It's best to stay with a proven winner and not be treated like a fourth class citizen. I wonder.........does anyone ever book a second cruise with Costa? Maybe people who enjoy root canal and are rude, pushy and ignorant. WHAT MORE CAN I SAY? Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
Costa Magica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 3.0 3.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.2
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness & Recreation 3.0 N/A
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 1.0 N/A
Service 4.0 3.7
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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