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3 Costa Malta (Valletta) Cruise Reviews

This was our first ever cruise!! and It was SuperB!!! Our cabin was on Deck 8, very comfortable; bed and the shower was good & we also had a sofa. Loads of wardrobe space, not noisy.. and with Balcony. Near the lifts, all we had to do ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise!! and It was SuperB!!! Our cabin was on Deck 8, very comfortable; bed and the shower was good & we also had a sofa. Loads of wardrobe space, not noisy.. and with Balcony. Near the lifts, all we had to do is go up 1 flight of stairs for breakfast and Lunch; & use the lift to go to the Restaurant on Deck 3 or other bars etc. on Deck 5. Room was kept very clean; Our steward who was in charge of our Room was amazing he came twice a day and everything was spotless...always smiling & ready to help! Thanks for everything Roel!! The food was Excellent, the buffets at lunch and breakfast will be a little packed, some queuing to be expected but alot of seating available, as one can also sit in the bars outside which are connected to the restaurant, which also has upstairs where there is also a Sandwich station. For Lunch the Grill will also be open serving burgers, hot dogs etc. Coffee, tea, milk and water was available free of charge in the buffet 24hrs. The evening meal in Duca D'Orleans one of the two MDR, was simply excellent with alot to choose from. We had an All Inclusive package and therefore had unlimited amount of drinks through out the cruise which was very worth buying; MDR served tiny portions of food but if you like a particular plate one can opt to ask his server for a larger portion, but having a 6 course meal be sure that you will be full by the end of the evening, if You will not than there will be Buffet in Deck 9. Not everyday is the same for the Dinner Buffet; sometimes only Pizza will be available. Our Servers at the MDR were simply amazing, they went out of their way to make sure that we are satisfied and having a great time! Way to go Eugene & Putu!!! The cruise is mainly for Italians, however all the announcements were in 5 different languages, Italian, English, French, German & Spanish. Nathalie our English host was available to chat an hour a day, and she was very helpful. Great Shows & good entertainment, always having something you can do. A daily program is delivered to the cabin that let you know of what will be happening on the ship. We went to 1 excursion- Classical Rome costed 96€; Could have been cheaper, but we had 2 guides who were very informative & explained the History of Rome, and lunch included (3 course meal incl. wine and Water) Excursion was not available in English, but this depends on demand. When visiting Savona, we were told that there is nothing to see there, but at the Port there is an information centre where you can get a map with all the spots worth visiting- make sure to visit the Sistine chapel in Savona (tickets 1eur), and you can also swim in a nearby Sandy beach just 10 mins walk from the Port. Photos are quite expensive 20€ each. We were only disappointed about the handling of the luggage when disembarking, as we had one of the luggage damaged. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Check in started at 1pm. Embarkation was quick here in Malta since there was a group of about a hundred staring their cruise. They don’t give you your cruise cards, but you find everything on the bed once you go to your cabin. No white ... Read More
Check in started at 1pm. Embarkation was quick here in Malta since there was a group of about a hundred staring their cruise. They don’t give you your cruise cards, but you find everything on the bed once you go to your cabin. No white glove attendants to show you to your cabin (as on MSC), you have to find it yourself. But they were already available when we boarded. Not too big, compared to the Outside and Balcony Cabins we had on MSC, but probably their Insides are the same size. We had no sofa or chair, just a stool. There was just enough closet space for our family of 4. The thing I hated most in the cabin were the wardrobe door knobs. They are not knobs but loops of rope which after a couple of times opening the wardrobes and drawers start hurting your fingers. Totally stupid idea! Cabin was always kept clean by our attendant, Agnelo and here is another difference from MSC….. only 1 cabin attendant per cabin and not 2! Bathroom was of a good size, but they still have the silly shower curtains. Cabin door was very light, making it easy for our 2 year old to open by himself. There was a flat screen in the cabin. The beds were very comfortable, nothing to complain here. Our cabin no 2350 on Deck 2, was situated close to the lifts which take you next to the pool and buffet. After putting our luggage in the cabin, we made our way to Ca d’Oro Buffet on deck 9. It was not too crowded this time but sometimes we had to walk around it 3 or 4 times to find a table. Choice of food items not too big but what was available was good. The stupidest thing about it was that even if you wanted just one item, you had to queue after everyone since all the food items were next to each other. There were no separate pizza station or soup station, just one thing after each other, probably a money saving idea from Costa so people would not go more than a couple of times to get different food since at certain times there were long queues and when an item finished it was not replaced immediately, so people just stopped in front of food and waited. Sometimes queuing took even 10 mins. This is another difference from MSC, where they had various stations and the choice was much better, especially after the big change MSC made to the Buffet after July 2012, where they started having more choices available and the buffet started opening all day until 9.30 pm everyday. Not the same case on Costa though. Apart from having too few choices of food, food was available until around 3pm and the grill until 4pm. The grill was only available outside near the pool, so if you wanted some fries, you needed to queue outside as well. The grill consisted of fries, burgers, sausages and a different type of grilled meat (chicken, pork or beef) everyday, plus some grilled vegetables. At least the food on offer was always of good quality. There were 5 stations (all having the same food) where you could queue which were all open at peak times. Then there was 1 station offering pizza, cheese and 3 types of pasta. Coffee, tea, milk and water was available free of charge in the buffet 24hrs. There were different kinds of sweets available everyday in the buffet, just simple sponges, nothing fancy. I hardly ever liked any of them. Same as on MSC. Both lines need to employ some good pastry chefs! But at least there was soft serve ice cream available at lunchtime and tea time. We had dinner at the Duca di Borgogna 5 times during our cruise. The other 2 nights we had table service pizza at the Buffet. We liked most of the food we had at the MDR, but the service was not that great. The waiter seemed to be serving too many tables and they were not next to each other, which seemed stupid to us, because he was always in a hurry, running from one side of the restaurant to the other. On the other hand, the assistant waiter seemed to be taking it too easy! I hardly ever had any dessert here because most of the time it was either forgotten or they took the order so quickly they forgot to ask us about dessert. The pizzeria was nothing fancy, just 4 different types of pizza every day which you can choose from, but both times we went, it was quite busy. There is only pizza and salad available in the buffet after tea time. Although most people prefer to eat in the MDR, Costa should leave it up to the guests to choose where they want to eat and open the buffet for dinner as well. We know it would be very popular because it was always busy on MSC. Most people with young children like us, prefer casual dining and the buffet is ideal. In the MDR we were seated with a young couple who had no children, therefore we felt we had to give them a break from ours for at least 2 nights. Service in the MDR was much better on MSC and even the variety of food available was better. We ordered room service breakfast every day and it was promptly delivered without any problems. The coffee was very nice and hot. Same things available as on MSC. I ordered room service once in the afternoon, just a bread roll with shrimps and the bread was not fresh. The menu was very basic, just a couple of salads, soup and about 5 different types of bread rolls. Really nothing to write home about! There was a sandwich bar on deck 10, open until 6pm where they had 4 different types of rolls available every day. They were ok, especially when toasted. We did not like the décor of this ship, you either love it or hate it! We found some places too flashy to the point of looking cheap. MSC are much sleeker in their modern yet simple designs. The ship is overall quite clean, but not perfectly clean like MSC, and you do not see people cleaning all day long as you do on MSC. We got the all inclusive drink package as part of a package from the tour operator. It is very good value for money if you like to drink. The quality of the drinks was always very good. Service depends on the bar staff. Some of them were very attentive and others seemed to be taking it easy, even at peak times. Our favourite bar was the atrium bar, where Christopher was always so nice and helpful. We used the retractable roof Pool most of the time. The water was comfortably heated and they closed the roof at around 4pm every day. There was no one to guard the pool apart from the ‘at sea’ day. There were a lot of Sicilian young men who were partying all the time by the pool, diving and smoking and no one was stopping them. This made it difficult for us to swim with a 2 year old. My son and I used the slide once and it was not very busy. But after about 4 goes, I got dizzy and had to stop. My son could go on forever though, if I let him! The infant pool on the top deck was closed every day during our cruise, probably because the weather was still slightly cold. Now to Smoking, a hot debate on Costa ships. People were smoking in smoking zones only inside, but sometimes you could smell the cigarettes even in non smoking areas. But outside, passengers were smoking everywhere, even on the non-smoking side on deck and the problem was that no one stopped them. Smoking policy is stricter on MSC. We would really prefer if smoking is abolished at least from inside. Kids club was very well organised. My son spent a few hours nearly every day at the Squok Club and they even organised a show by the kids in the theatre. The trick is to look at the kids activities programme so you get to know what and where anything is happening. It took me a couple of days to get used to this, and my son ended up missing a couple of interesting activities because I did not carry the programme with me all the time. They even gave a token to the kids the night before leaving the ship. My son got a Costa Squok Club hat and he absolutely loves it! I felt Squok Club was more organised on Costa than MSC and it seemed to be more popular too. The ports of call on this cruise were very interesting. Here is a brief description: Malta – our home country. Valletta, the capital city is easily accessible on foot, either by walking up the hill or by using a public elevator. It is a beautiful city. The hop on hop off bus is also available at the port, and it is possible to go around the island on these buses. Catania. We have often been here, and we love it! We used the port bus from the ship to the port gate, very good idea! Not many people seem to know about it because we saw most people walking. Then we walked around the city, visited our favourite spots, visited the market and then spent some time in Giardino Bellini. We would have liked to stay here longer. Naples. It was our first time here. I had planned a route of around 2 hours walking. First we walked to the Galleria and then to Piazza del Plebiscito. Both of them are a must if you are visiting Naples. Then we walked along Via Toledo, a shopping street, and then into the old town centre, along Via San Biagio to see the crib shops. Most of the shops were open even though it was a Sunday. Again, we felt we did not have enough time to see Naples. We plan to go back. Savona. It was also our first time here. The sight of Savona from the ship makes you think it is a beautiful city. Via Paleocapa with porticoes and Art Nouveau buildings, is the high street. It is the most interesting street in the town, nothing else to see here. The port itself is beautiful though, as is the view of Torre Leon Pancaldo, just across from the ship. There was a market here in Piazza del Popolo. Barcelona. We used public transport from the ship to the Ramblas. Tickets cost Eur 3.50 per person, compared to Eur 9 for the Costa Shuttle. And public transport actually stops you closer to the Ramblas than the shuttle! We have been here a couple of times and we always end up walking the narrow streets to the right of the Ramblas. We always walk around the cathedral and up to Piazza Catalunya. It is such a beautiful and vibrant city. For first timers, the hop on hop off bus is a very good idea. Palma de Mallorca. We felt this was the highlight of this cruise. It is such a beautiful place. The Eur 9 we spent for the Costa shuttle was a bit high, but well spent, since we did not waste any time to arrive in Town, under the beautiful cathedral. We spent 3 hours walking the beautiful streets of this lovely town. They have beautiful squares where you can sit down and enjoy the ‘dolce vita’ and they have some good shops too. We would surely love to go back. And now to the big questions: Would you cruise with Costa again? Although we have experienced better, we would surely cruise with Costa again if we get a good deal. Do you prefer Costa or MSC? Sadly, I would say I prefer MSC because their ships are more beautiful, they give better service and they have better food!   Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
First impression: The ship is huge. Even walking from one end to the other takes time, and this creates a 'village' feel, where numerous people attend any event or activity, be it lunch, darts, aerobics, casino or nightlife. ... Read More
First impression: The ship is huge. Even walking from one end to the other takes time, and this creates a 'village' feel, where numerous people attend any event or activity, be it lunch, darts, aerobics, casino or nightlife. Meals: Breakfast is on par with a land-based good 5-star hotel. Cooked varieties of all types, including custom-ordered pancakes, eggs or sausages. 4 choices of cereal in the normal section, and 2 more choices in the 'healthy' section. 3 choices of milk including soy. Fresh fruits, yoghurts, sweets and pastries. French toast, bread of all kinds and everything in between. The missing component: A good (Italian) coffee. Granted, you can help yourself to unlimited machine-poured coffee or take a sachet of Nescafe's "Grand Aroma" available in sachets, but if you want a proper Espresso or Capuccino, you must pay for it. More about pricing later. Lunch is a choice of the buffet on the 9th floor or free seating on the 4th floor (My Way and New York, New York). We preferred the 9th floor, where the food was simply incredible. At the extreme end of the restaurant next to the pool there was always some cooking station going on, which cooked fresh pasta, fresh fish, spicy beef on the Mexican night, and so many other delicacies which would have cost an entire day of cruising in an equivlent restaurant. Portions are unlimited, and the food quality was excellent. Desserts always included a huge variety of fresh fruit, unlimited ice-cream in chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, and a massive variety of mousse or cream-based sweets which were individually presented in bowls. Pizza in 4 flavours was available 24-hours, as was (machine) coffee, ice and water. Water was also freely served during dinner, in jugs which were continuously re-filled. Tea-time was 1 hour between 4pm and 5pm. This offered a huge variety of sweets and fruit. Tiramisu featured regularly, as well as apple strudel, cream cakes, and fruit cakes of all types. Not to be missed! Dinner was based on 2 fixed-seating arrangements. The tables are huge so it is shared with other families. Our table seated 11. Food was a' la carte, with a 7-course meal with choices at each stage. You can also choose 'off-the-menu' dishes, such as spaghetti bolognese, fries, chicken and meat choices .. the meal always included a cheese platter and dessert. Food quality again was extremely high and presentation of dishes was superb. My only complaint would be the cheese platter, where the same 4 cheeses were offered each night, even though the menu stated things differently! If you fancy wine at dinner, a purchase of 6 bottles as a 'pack' will set you back 99 Euro. The wine itself is usually sold closer to 4 Euro a bottle from a normal shop, but I expect you need to pay the premium as in good quality restaurants. We were almost 'conned' by the waiter telling us that the menu we had picked up on deck was the 'old' one, and the 'new' one offered 5 bottles of wine for 92 Euro, but we held firm and got the 6 bottles after all. On deck they were still touting what had been called the 'old' menu. On the 7th night there is champagne served during the Gala dinner anyway. Entertainment during dinner was great with waiters doing their best to dance and sing. Highly entertaining, and very enjoyable. On the Spa/gym side, there is a gym reserved for over-18 although it said over-16 in other places. However, the staff insisted on over-18. Gym is very well equipped, lots of machines, although it can get pretty full at peak times. The view from the gym is incredible while using the treadmill or cycles. On the cruise downside, you feel that there is an element of over-selling. One time during lunch we were approached 7 times or more by waiters selling the drink packages, which we had already bought anyway. Also, several Spa 'informative' sessions are just marketing their products and treatments. No hard selling however - the moment you indicate non interested you are set free :) Pools are crowded as expected with some 3,000 people on board. Of course it depends on timing - the decks get very quite when ashore and during lunch. The water slide is pretty cool, and the jacuzzi was fun too, although kids were uncontrolled, and were jumping the queue to the water slide, or jumping wildly in the jacuzzi. Could have been just the group of kids on our cruise though :) However the crew did nothing to prevent it happening. Excursions were either pre-booked or else there was usually a help-desk at port to help the individual travellers. Usually offering some money-saving advice too, like purchasing the day-card in Rome (Civitavecchia) and taking the public shuttle (rather than the Costa shuttle) in Barcelona! Midnight buffets were especially spectacular. Ice sculptures, carved fruit, staff entertaining .. each night was an event by itself. This was mainly on the deck on the 9th floor. Apart from this, the Stardust theater had a performance nightly - some were absolutely fantastic events, but other nights can only be classified as amateurish. It was all good entertainment, however. On the 'good' nights the place gets crowded, with people even sitting on the stairs and standing all around. After midnight, two areas were heavily attended: The Rhapsody bar with dancing for the older generation, and the Fever disco for the younger generation. On some nights there were parties on the 9th floor in front of the massive screen, with animators leading the way. Incidentally, the animators had an excellent control of english, but this varies in the ship. A large percentage of the crew are either from the Philippines or possibly Brazilian, so both English and Italian were not their native language! The Playstation area was a disappointment, since the consoles were there but you needed to somehow purchase the games to play. On the other hand, the F1 simulator was great. Although it was not as realistic as promised, since there was no 'manual' mode, it was great fun. Euro 10 gets you the sample 3 minute ride, then Euro 20 gets you into the feel of racing. Excellent fun, and the feel of the full-sized car is incredible. Overall, a cruise to remember and recommend! Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
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