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127 Costa Middle East Cruise Reviews

chose this cruise because of the ports of call and the cost which was much cheaper than other cruise lines the cabin was fine , clean and all that is needed.....large balcony to sunbathe. ok , the italians like to push in at the ... Read More
chose this cruise because of the ports of call and the cost which was much cheaper than other cruise lines the cabin was fine , clean and all that is needed.....large balcony to sunbathe. ok , the italians like to push in at the buffet for food but if you are not happy with that the restaurant is open to get served. i was in no hurry . waiters giving good service. drink packages are brill value for money.international drinks , wine and beer. embarkation organised with no waiting around varied entertainment for all ages. not much for children to do not many british on board but lots of italians , indian and russian did not do any excursions as taxis cheap . nice walks from ship will sail with them again next year , maybe same cruise If you want to pay twice the price then sail with someone else Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The price was good and we thought it would be a good idea to cruise the Middle East with our family. We could have choosen other cruise lines but Costa had the best deal so we boarded on Costa Diadema on our first Costa cruise. We have ... Read More
The price was good and we thought it would be a good idea to cruise the Middle East with our family. We could have choosen other cruise lines but Costa had the best deal so we boarded on Costa Diadema on our first Costa cruise. We have been on other popular cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL, MSC and Celebrity and our expectations were high because it was an italian cruise line! But we were wrong. The ship s decor was really ugly, too many colours and patterns that made no sense at all. Ok, most ships are like that but we always think abut the italians good taste and modern design so it was disappointing. It has pools and jacuzzis and a very small kid s zone but nothing else for teenagers. No mini golf, no water slide, just plain pools. We were lucky with our cabin though. It was an accessible cabin so it was really huge, great bathroom, spacious room and spotless clean. Now what s really important for italians?? Food of course, that s where we got mos disappointed, the menu on Fiorentino restaurant was always very poor. Corona Blu buffet was like being in a war zone, people were fighting for their meals because the area is small and the crew couldn t refil the dishes fast enough. If you were late for the meal you would find out many items were over. What can you say about an italian ship that doesn t serve pizza?? (unless you payed for it at Pummi d`oro!). Entertainement was also one of the poorest we have ever seen. They had an arabian dance show one night that was all but arabian! They have a library onboard that had empty shelves (yes, they had about a dozen books and that was all!) Service was only ok, the crew is, in general, professional but cold. I had a really unpleasant incident at their photo shop as i was looking at my pictures and picked up my phone to answer a message. One of the photografers started shouting at me saying i couldn t take photos of my pictures! It was so embarassing, the thought of taking photos of my photos never ever crossed my mind! Why on Earth would i do that??? If Costa offers me a free cruise vacation I will surely decline. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This is my first time with Costa. In the past I usually cruised with Princess and Celebrity. After this cruise, I'll never cruise with Costa again. First, the service is terrible. The hospitality desk is absolutely clueless. ... Read More
This is my first time with Costa. In the past I usually cruised with Princess and Celebrity. After this cruise, I'll never cruise with Costa again. First, the service is terrible. The hospitality desk is absolutely clueless. There's always a long queue in front of the desk. When you finally got your turn, they would usually ask you to go somewhere else. Just to quote an example. When we board the ship, we were told that we had to deposit cash into our account. Then we went to the hospitality desk, and they asked us to do it at the machine. But when we tried to do it at the machine, it turned out that it doesn't accept the new type of Euro, and we ended up having to queue up at the hospitality desk again. On the last day. we needed to close the account. This time we didn't want to wait in long queues again. So we got up at 4am in the morning to close the account. Not surprisingly, the guy at the hospitality desk asked us to do it at the machine. When we did that, the machine asked us to contact the hospitality desk because it could not offer that amount of change (we were getting a refund of 120 Euro). Then we got back to the desk, the guy insisted that they could not close the account there. We had to show him the receipt generated by the machine. Then he finally went into the back office. In my view, if there are so many limitations with the machines, they should not drive people to use the machine all the time. Or at least they should not be that clueless when a customer said the machine couldn't do it. The story still hasn't ended. After waiting for more than 10 minutes, we asked the guy why it took so long. He said something like if we came in the middle of the night, it would be like that, and asked us to come again in the morning! Come on! Can't he see why we took all the troubles to get up in the middle of the night to get this thing done? My husband got angry and asked for his name. He then lost it! When my husband took a picture of his name plate, saying that we'll complain against him, he literally shouted at us "Are you happy now?" When we were talking to the manager, he tried to argue with us in front of the manager. The manager had to stop him several times in order to allow us to speak. I think this kind of attitude shows that the staff don't really care if the customers complain to the manager. They probably got used to it already. I've done some research about the ship and knew that the excursions are terrible. So we've decided to do our own excursion. Unfortunately, our stop at Oman had to be cancelled because the Sultan of Oman had passed away. The ship had to call on another port in UAE instead. This is not the ship's fault, but since we knew nothing about that new port, we wanted to seek some simple information about the new port, such as whether the cruise terminal is close to the town center, whether we need to take a taxi or there will be free shuttle. But then, there was a really long queue at the excursion office, and we needed to queue up for nearly an hour in order to seek those basic information. When we cruised with Princess and Celebrity, they would offer port information in many ways. Sometimes they would even organize seminars to facilitate passengers who do tours on their own. But there was nothing like that in this ship. Guess they want to make the passengers use their excursion service, which is so notoriously poor. The food is terrible. It's a ship for Italians. I don't understand how they can make the spaghetti so terrible. The dinner buffet only lasts for 2 hours, yes, 2 hours, and usually only one food station is open. When all the passengers are on board, they only open one food station for 2 hours! So you can imagine that you have to queue for nearly everything, even french fries. We've tried its assigned-sitting restaurants, but the food is even more awful, and the service sucks. You have to wait 30 mins for the water. So we gave up after 2 nights. For breakfast, there's always a long queue in front of the fried eggs. I'm not talking about made-to-order fried eggs, but those pre-cooked fried eggs contained in a pot. We need to queue for that every morning. I can go on and on, but I'm just too fed up to think about this ship again. To conclude, just stay away from Costa if you want quality service in your cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
EMBARKATION: We embarked in Dubai. We arrived at the cruise terminal ~1200. We were allowed to enter the ship ~1500. The terminal is large with numerous shopping options, so we began souvenir shopping early! We were on the ship very ... Read More
EMBARKATION: We embarked in Dubai. We arrived at the cruise terminal ~1200. We were allowed to enter the ship ~1500. The terminal is large with numerous shopping options, so we began souvenir shopping early! We were on the ship very quickly, and luggage arrived quickly. Overall, very nice and efficient embarkation process. CABIN: We chose an inside cabin as we had a port-intensive itinerary. There was enough space for 2 people, with lots of closet space and drawers. Our cabin steward, Elder, was wonderful - very friendly and accommodating! The bed was very hard, but the cabin steward brought an extra douvet to lay on top of, to act as a mattress pad. Overall, nice cabin with excellent steward. BUFFET: This is where the nightmare started. The Pros: Decent selection. The stations repeat themselves on each side, so you can move to a less crowded section. Absolutely DELICIOUS donuts served several of the mornings! The Cons: The hours - it is only open for ~2 hours at each meal time. So if you sleep in, no breakfast! Come back late from shore excursion, no dinner! The crowd - HUNDREDS, literally hundreds, of rowdy Europeans with absolutely no concept of how a LINE works. Endless cutting. Repeated pushing. Sneezing in their hands and then immediately grabbing the serving spoon?! Or worse, sneezing and coughing without even covering their mouths at all?! Unsupervised children running around, spilling plates of food everywhere. No employees encouraging guests to wash their hands before entering the buffet area. The silverware is hanging, uncovered, on racks on each individual table, so they are probably all covered in sneeze and cough germs too... Overall, decent food with BAD guest interactions. MAIN DINING ROOM: We were assigned the Fiorentino Dining Room, early seating. The Pros: The decor inside the restaurant is absolutely beautiful. It is spacious enough that you do not feel crowded with the other diners. We were seated at a table with fellow English speakers at dinner. At lunch we were seated with whomever they wanted - once a French-speaking woman, and once a Russian couple. There are two or more options for each course. The Cons: The service was extremely slow! Example: we waited one hour and ten minutes and had only eaten ONE course! They then brought out three courses simultaneously and hurried us out of the restaurant?! Often the food was bland, sometimes is tasted downright bad, and one time our dessert was literally still frozen. Overall, the food in the buffet was much better, but you have to encounter hundreds of people lacking common decency. So you need to decide which is more important to you to determine where to eat. ONBOARD EXPERIENCE: The Pros: Piu Gusto drinks package was wonderful! The staff at the bars were friendly. The decor is beautiful!!! Lots of room in hallways, so you don't feel crowded. There is an abundance of live music being played in the bars, for a great atmosphere. Adult only pool available in Samsara Spa. Main pool has retractable roof. The Cons: Hours of Hospitality Desk and Shore Excursion desk were ridiculous, only a few hours per day. The shows are geared towards Italian-speakers mainly. Occasionally they would translate a line or two into English, but the accent was too strong to understand? There are only 10 English-language television channels - 6 are news, 2 are televangelists, (?!), 1 is NASA channel (?!), and 1 is Paramount Network for cheesy movies. So don't plan on watching tv before bed!!! Hours of buffet are minimal, often there are hours at a time where no food is available without paying extra. They put away all the pool loungers (sunbeds) by 2000 each night?! We literally went out to the deck at 2015 (8:15pm) to try to lay on loungers and star gaze. There wasn't a SINGLE lounger that hadn't already been stacked and locked?! Bare minimum of available activities on ship. SAMSARA SPA: Separate, for pay area if the ship. We bought a day pass (35 Euro) to use during our one sea day. We also bought the reserved lounger pass for the duration of the cruise. The Pros: Incredibly inexpensive fee for such an amazing place! Day passes are available too! Adult only Separate jacuzzi Separate warm, indoor pool Two types of saunas/steam rooms Heated stone loungers in two separate rooms, overlooking the ocean, for amazing relaxation. Separate lounger (sunbed) section from the rest of the ship, so you dont need to fight over a lounger on a sea day!!! Private bar tender available by the loungers. The Cons: The hours - they close at 2200 (10pm) SHORE EXCURSIONS: The Pros: PASSEPARTOUR option available (a selection of excursions to choose - one in each port for 199Euro total). Inexpensive compared to other cruise lines. Ship waits for you when your excursion is late (and they almost always were). The Cons: Tours consistently started and ended late. Tours consistently ran HOURS longer than scheduled. Which is fine if you didn't make plans for after the tour and didn't care about missing dinner. But most people do care... Tour operators don't seem to know what they are doing?! Example: The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi offers (for FREE!) abayas with hoods so that women are appropriately covered to enter the Mosque. Our tour operator did not know that and several women were not allowed to enter the Mosque because their pants showed ankle, head scarf was see-through, etc. Shouldn't a tour operator know that?! They do it every day! The Mosque was beautiful and a highlight of the trip - people shouldn't miss that due to tour operator not know basic details! Tours are cancelled last minute for "lack of participation", meaning there aren't enough people who speak your language interested in that tour to warrant a bus. Once they inform you that your tour is cancelled you have to wait for the afternoon, when the tour desk opens, to go stand in line with hundreds of other passengers, to reschedule a different excursion. By the time it's your turn, there are only one or two options to choose from. Why not just have everyone on the bus wear headsets that provide translation?!?! DISEMBARKATION: Fast and efficient. We were off the ship in a few minutes and had our luggage picked out within 5 minutes. OVERALL: This cruise was significantly less expensive than any other cruise I've taken (previously taken: 3 Princess, 1 Royal Caribbean, 2 Carnival, 2 Norwegian). The onboard charges are also significantly less than any other cruise I've taken - drink package was ~$240 for a week, including gratuity?! But the interactions with other guests who do not have any concern for personal space or manners was more than I could take. It ruined the cruise for me. The ONLY way I would ever sail Costa again is in a Samsara Suite, so that I could eat in the private restaurant, with separate lounger section. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Our second cruise with Costa had some good points but some unbelievably bad points too. We chose a suite because my husband had worked interstate for the past year and we wanted some quality time together. Embarkation was a nightmare ... Read More
Our second cruise with Costa had some good points but some unbelievably bad points too. We chose a suite because my husband had worked interstate for the past year and we wanted some quality time together. Embarkation was a nightmare - over two hours standing outside in a queue outside in the sun to drop cases. The delay was the people checking for visa's could not read English. There were two people checking passports and a queue that stretched way to the back of the car park. There were over 1000 English speaking passengers on this voyage. So much for priority embarkation. That did not happen until after you were inside the port building. We had late lunch in the Club dining room - we asked if this was possible and were told that we had to go to the buffet and we couldnt access Club dining. We went anyway and found that we could. The meals in the Club dining room were quite nice. The menu is much the same as the rest of the ship with a few changes. However, the atmosphere is supposed to be "refined, exclusive and a private environment for suite guests". They forgot to tell you that the basketball court is overhead. Lots of thumping and banging from the courts use totally put us off our dinner and we ended up in the buffet regularly. The buffet - although very busy and noisy provided and excellent choice and all food that we had there was of a good quality. When we complained about the banging overhead we were told that the "teenagers have to have something to do". Around 2pm our cabins were ready and ours was old but nicely appointed and comfortable. Until that night!! We were tired after travelling and had an early night, the music from the Concorde Plaza was loud. At 10.45 it was deafening. I was wearing noise cancelling headphones and could still hear every word of every song. We thought ok this is the welcome party. However, 21 night cruise and the band played every night - deafening, tiring, outrageous that this could not be fixed by moving the band elsewhere. It kept all the suite guests awake for the sake of a few (6 when I went to investigate) late night partygoers. They played the same songs over and over every night. When we tried to rest in the afternoon they practiced most afternoons. When we complained about the afternoon practice we were told we were wrong that there were no bands playing. !!!! Our cabin was also inundated with smells - paint, varnish and turpentine smells from the maintenance room and the replacement of the outdoor carpet. The maintenance room surprisingly had an airconditioning system linked to the deck below -our deck. Once it was discovered where the smells were coming from maintenance was stopped on sea days (the day before we left). The suites do not have opening windows so for 9 of the 10 sea days it was impossible to breathe in the cabin and it caused headaches and vomiting. Entertainment was provided and was reasonably good. We attended quizzes and dance lessons. The people who did craft reported that they enjoyed those sessions. Although there was a majority of English speaking people there was no English speaking entertainment organiser. So you got weird translations that didnt make sense. Such as "which is the river with the most affluence" !! so we felt that the Italians and French had an advantage at quiz and it got to the stage where everyone was groaning when the same people won nearly every quiz. We took two Costa excursions and these worked well for us although we usually do our own as we do not like travelling with crowds of people where you cannot hear the guide. We also do not like waiting for people who can't make it back to the meeting place on time so the only Costa excursions we took were to places that we found difficult to get to on our own. We went to Matera from Bari and Masada and the Dead Sea from Eliat. These were excellent places to visit and we would go again. We went Petra from Aquaba with a private tour company and the rest we did with taxi's and public transport. We had two tender ports and both of these were well organised and we had no difficulty getting ashore. We felt the service from the crew that we dealt with on a daily basis was excellent, service in the bars, the room steward, the dining staff but the administration and management were either unwilling or unable to resolve any issues. They just did not care. We were told that they understood our cruise had been a disappointment and we had not received what we had paid for and were told we had to complain when we arrived home and we would be compensated. We were given an email address to write to. However, the complaint and request for compensation was viewed as "feedback" and an apology was given. So we felt we were brushed aside during the cruise and there has been no resolution from Costa. All in all our romantic holiday together for my 60th birthday turned out to be anything but. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chosen this cruise line because of the itinerary offered and being an Italian passport holder I did believe to be proud of the italian hospitality offered and convinced friends to join on the Costa Mediterranea. A total catastrophy to say ... Read More
Chosen this cruise line because of the itinerary offered and being an Italian passport holder I did believe to be proud of the italian hospitality offered and convinced friends to join on the Costa Mediterranea. A total catastrophy to say the least!!! Never again will look or put a foot on a Costa vessel regardless on what they offer. A catalogue of mistakes, rudeness, could not care and bother attitude from all, especially from management, supervisors and officers as a whole. Informations as from the so called Head Offce never reached the vessel, comunication failure all round. Billing instructions even worst. Costa liner has become a 'bums on seat' category styled business, they attitude has totally gone astray and into deep waters. No customer skill or customer care in force. All what they want is: come on board, pay the bills and get out!!!!! Arrived in Dubai with BA flight at 08.00, presumably you could check in at 13.00, never advertise differently, the earliest they allowed you to, was 16.30, without a drink, snack or whatsoever. Had a special need individual with us, requested a wheelchair for at least 4 times, never arrived untill 17.20. By this time we were already stressed up. Taken luggages at 11.00am, yet never arrived in the cabins untill 20.45, just before dinner time. We were planning to visit Dubai, we hand up going nowhere expect on board. Lost the visit of Dubai sights!! Next day went to one of the bar for informations on non-alcoholic cocktails, prices and choices, was manned very rudly by an individual in the most abrat way. Complained to Head barman (Umberto) and had no confidence in him simply he was not responding enthusiastically and responsive to guest need. Blant as a tree trunk. Ordered via Costa website, water packages (3), never materialised even dough I had receipt from Costa on my mobile emails. Had to argue my way around. Restaurant food was very mediocre on majority of nights, very small or miniscule portions, mostly was cold or just about warm. Felt sorry for our waiter, because he was getting the hard times from the company failures. Gluten free diet was the worst ever experienced in 11 cruise taken in the past with other companies. Bread roll was like a chewing gum, soups were very watery, offered fish finger as main course, offered mini burgers or pizzas as glutel free mains. These dishes I dont even offer them to my granchildren which are 4 years and a 6 years old!! When decided to by a water package, reception decide to cancel it making my stressful time even harder. Every night in the main bar had discussion and disagreements with catering staff in respect to the totals showing on receipt, and being told the computer has made mistakes. How many naive guest have not checked and lost their drinks? Buffet food was always cold even dough they had proper utensils and not used fully! in numerous occasions had to ask chefs to change the food on offer and ensuring food was hot when it need to be hot!! A Russian originated receptionist and a night Italian male extremely rude in occasions. By the time we arrived in Muscat, I wanted to check out and return to UK, if I had the facilities of internet connection for flight search. Paid a wifi connection for the whole cruise, (48 euros) yet only used 30 minutes a day because it was not working properly, excuse was 'the satellite was not in good condition'. English breakfast tea, not available most of the days, had to beg waiters and given one bag at the time. Same goes to the decaffeinated coffee, you had to beg for getting a sachet. Public toilets closed most day at buffet time, when lunch session started. No facilities of hand washing, hence the contamination of dirty hand on board, not enough liquid jel for guest to use. A broken chair found in the casino and reported was never fixed for a least 4 days, very cleverly the chair was moved to another fruit machine. Lots of inconvenience for guest but very conveniently for the staff. Of course they are there to work but they are there to please and ensuring the guest needs are met. Worst of all, the service charge is a compulsary and very expensive item. £180.00 for the cruise each. The only saving grace was the entertainement team lead by Ariel, was very helpful, friendly, enthusiast, and above all very funny to all guest. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We choose this cruise for its itinerary and a very competiive price. We have 21 cruises behind us and this was our third with Costa so we knew what could be expected and not. Embarkation in Dubai after 6 pm was very swift, no doubt helped ... Read More
We choose this cruise for its itinerary and a very competiive price. We have 21 cruises behind us and this was our third with Costa so we knew what could be expected and not. Embarkation in Dubai after 6 pm was very swift, no doubt helped by the fact that many passengers had already boarded the day before in Abu Dhabi. The ship may be a bit old but is kept tidy and is in a good condition. Our cabin ,a Balcony Premium, on the fith deck was perhaps a bit on the small side but quite okay and always kept tidy by our Philippino steward. .Announcements onboard are made in several languages and english is always one of them. In addition hostesses for english speaking passengers as well as german, french and spanish passengers were availble daily for those who needed assistance. We dined in the main restaurant on the upper deck, very noisy indeed. Slow service the first couple of nights but the service improved a bit during the cruise. Since our last Cruise with Costa in 2016 it they appear to have made cuts and waiter and assistant waiter are no more instead a single "food and beverage server". In our case he had three tables with18 guests. That our fellow passengers prefered 5 course dinners made the dinners rather lenghty. We had breakfast and lunch in the main restaurant most days and were fairly satisfied with both food and service. We tried the buffet restaurant at times it was less crowded. Food acceptable but nothing more. Entertainment in the main theater at best average, For those who like dancing a Costa cruise must be the right place with a lot of dancing opportunities in different lounges and on deck ,often at the same time Through Costa we took part in shore exursions in Muscat a sightseeing, in Salalah a visit to a beach resort, In Aqaba a visit to Petra, in Eilat a visit to a beach resort and finally in Katakolon a visit to Olympia. Pleased with all excursions and by and large pleased with our cruise although many things could for sure have been better.. Disembarkment in Savona was fast and we were off the ship in no time at all. A buss transfer purchased onboard took us to Nice for a couple off nights before returning back home. . . Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Having read so many negative reviews, we were very sceptical & even contemplated cancelling before sailing. Thank goodness we didn't. We have been on 13 cruises with different companies and this cruise was by far the best. ... Read More
Having read so many negative reviews, we were very sceptical & even contemplated cancelling before sailing. Thank goodness we didn't. We have been on 13 cruises with different companies and this cruise was by far the best. Mediterranea was scrupulously clean, the service in main dining room (Jayson) , bars (Little John, Chai) very attentive and prompt (after 1st day, your preferred drink brought to you). Our cabin 8131 was kept clean & our request for ice automatically delivered each day. Food was excellent - good variety and top quality in both Buffet & main Dining room. Never once got cold food as some reviews said. The English International Hostess Eve McAlpine was very helpful & went the extra mile to assist were necessary. Embarcation in Abu Dhabi was efficient & we were even given refreshments during the wait. Baggage was delivered to our cabin promptly. Our drinks package was activated on embarcation. Yes, announcements are always in Italian, but always repeated in English, German & Spanish. Excursions were well organised. Disembarcation in Savona also very efficient. We will most defenitely sail again with Costa. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Upon boarding there was no one available to greet our group, no greeter to welcome us (that was probably our first clue to disaster). I got to my room, it’s clean but had a very musty smell so I needed to open the balcony to air it out ... Read More
Upon boarding there was no one available to greet our group, no greeter to welcome us (that was probably our first clue to disaster). I got to my room, it’s clean but had a very musty smell so I needed to open the balcony to air it out as it had a strong stench. Beds hard as hell and unable to control the temperature in the room. There were no English channels on the television only AL-jerze new, no CSI, Barnaby Jones, Murder she wrote or Matlock. There were no activites for people who spoke English. I have never been in a room which did not have a clock, therefore I constantly had to call the front desk for the time or go to the hall by the steps, just so not to be late for my excursions. Speaking of the Excursions I selected easy tours but there was a lot more walking which did not allow me to take in the views. I take cruises to determine which places I liked the most and would revisit by land but I was not able to make a decision being on the Costa Mediterranean cruise. Announcements were all in Italian which made me make several calls to the operator, as I did not know if the message pertained to me as something I should know. Customer Service Personnel was outrageously, rude and rather disrespectful. Here are two examples: I was standing in line at the customer service desk waiting for help, the lady overlooked me and addressed a man behind me like I was not there, so yes, I spoke up and in Italian she asked the guy to wait. She never said sorry. Another, example again I went to customer service for so clarification about my bill, the young guy was not clear and very impatience, so I said to him I am not following what you’re saying as your explanation does not make sense. I said I didn’t feel like I was getting good customer service. He said he's giving excellent customer service and he don't understand. I said it is your job to ensure I understand he said oh well and went on to the next person. So, I waited for morning. Food: The food on the buffet was cold, under cooked, no flavoring or seasoning. The food in the Dining room was not much better. The waiters were very slow at serving dinner then wanted you to hurry up because you are now interfering with the next service. REALLY. You’re slow so I got to hurry. REALLY. Then there was no food available after 9 pm, this is the first cruise that food was not available during the evening and early morning hours unless it was purchased (hamburgers and pizza) which should have been available as part of the price of the cruise. I would understand aa separate price if it was a specialty restaurant but not for something that should be available. SO, since I’m diabetic I had to ensure I brought some snacks on board, so my when my sugars drop, I had something available to bring my sugars up (this is a real issue for people with Diabetes). Drink Package: my understanding was it unlimited bottle water, can soda and selected alcoholic beverage including mix drinks but the bar personnel said they could not give me a bottle of water but could pour the contents in a glass (therefore, I was getting 8 ounces instead of a whole bottle or 6 ounces instead of a can. So, I had to drink it then order another. I was told if I wanted a can or bottle, that I would have to pay for them. WHY? Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My travel agent finally found an affordable trip to the UAE. It all went downhill from there. The dining options were minimalistic. There was only 1 option for dining other than the buffet. I was on a special low-sodium diet. The meals ... Read More
My travel agent finally found an affordable trip to the UAE. It all went downhill from there. The dining options were minimalistic. There was only 1 option for dining other than the buffet. I was on a special low-sodium diet. The meals were plain and EXTREMELY bland. I don't think the chef had ever heard of chicken stock, and definitely had no concept of herbs or spices. It was an Italian style ship that didn't have basil for pizza margaritas. The salad dressing on the buffet was so watered down you could drink it. Hunting for options on the buffet was an adventure to say the least. There was only one carving station and it was always out of whatever it was carving. If you wanted food after 9pm, you had to pay for it, burgers, fries and pizza. Even room service . All of the entertainment was in Italian, Spanish or from the eighties maybe. The club was for teens. Bingo and karaoke were only 1 night . This was my 10th cruise and worst cruise ever. The patrons and staff were overall RUDE. I went on a Italian/English tour, the spoke Italian for the first 30 minutes or more. Even after bringing it to his attention (Aziz) it didn't get better. I voiced this to passenger liaison Eve. She was told by the tour desk manager Christian, that because I was gifted the tickets the morning of the tour, my opinion didn't matter. The reason because I didn't purchase the tickets and register them with my name. I have never been so insulted before in my life. I spoke with several other North American guests and they felt the same. Royal Caribbean is my only cruise line after this CRAPPY CRAPPY Carnival Costa Cruise. If you were giving out free cruises that offered a mega-suite I wouldn't take it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We were looking for a week of winter sun in February and chose Costa because of the itinerary, and location. We made our own travel arrangements and flew to Dubai on Emirates, and with a short transfer, we were at the port within an ... Read More
We were looking for a week of winter sun in February and chose Costa because of the itinerary, and location. We made our own travel arrangements and flew to Dubai on Emirates, and with a short transfer, we were at the port within an hour of landing. Embarkation was quick and efficient and our luggage was delivered to our cabin quickly. The ship was clean, all the crew we met were polite, and service was excellent. The other travellers were a diverse group from many different countries. Dining : We ate in the main dining room every night, the food was very good ( despite some criticisms I'd read before we travelled ) fresh pasta, wonderful mozzarella - made fresh on the ship - and well cooked and prepared meat dishes. Our server Emmanuel was polite and courteous. We had the Piu Gusto drinks package which included house wine with our meals and this was constantly topped up without us needing to ask, as was water. Entertainment : We did a morning back stage tour of the ship that was very interesting and well worth doing. The shows were of a high standard, and very enjoyable. There was music in every bar - and there were plenty of bars...and dancing, if thats your thing. Excursions : We didnt do any of the official tours so I cant comment, though we had no problem finding our own way round Muscat, and Abu Dhabi, visiting the Grand Mosque and the heritage village using local cabs. We also spent a day at a hotel pool in Abu Dhabi Saadiyat beach which ws good value and lovely. We would definitely travel with Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The worst cruise line ever! Rude and unprofessional staff in every department.The self serve Restaurant was always packed and we often had to wait for a table and the counters were also so busy that we had to wait in long lines for the ... Read More
The worst cruise line ever! Rude and unprofessional staff in every department.The self serve Restaurant was always packed and we often had to wait for a table and the counters were also so busy that we had to wait in long lines for the most unappetising food I have ever had the misfortune to eat !! The desserts were the same every day, both at lunch and dinner. In the main restaurant it was awful service and disgusting food at breakfast. The hot plated breakfast looked over cooked or reheated and most of the staff were clueless when we asked for anything. No waiters or Maitre ‘d introduced themselves or explained the menu items at dinner time as was done on all other cruise lines I’ve been on. The cabin was a disgrace, it looked like a cheap motel room from 1980. The balcony was unusable as it smelled of paint and cigarette smoke. To sum up, if you’re looking for a decent cruise with good standards, pleasant staff, good food and a nice cabin, don’t even contemplate Costa. It was awful! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
DO NOT BOOK any cruise with Costa! I have never experienced a company before that care so little for their customers. I should have known that it was going to be bad. Before we even set sail they were impossible to contact. They do not ... Read More
DO NOT BOOK any cruise with Costa! I have never experienced a company before that care so little for their customers. I should have known that it was going to be bad. Before we even set sail they were impossible to contact. They do not answer the phone or reply to any emails. All I wanted was some information, apparently even that is too much for them! They ship's decor is ugly and old. Do not expect anything special. Cabins are even worse. Ours was again old and ugly and not maintained properly. Mold in the shower and in the light fittings that were falling down. Scratches and chipping all over the units and fittings.What looked like a blood stain was on the out door mat, which was next to the bed. Couldn't open cupboard under the TV without hitting it, the design is terrible. The balcony was totally pointless. The view was totally obstructed by the life boat, if this was the case then why weren't we informed of this whilst booking. I would have paid the extra money. The balcony is also in terrible condition. I understand a boat's exterior must be repainted to maintain it but the paintwork was the worst I have ever seen. Paint splashes everywhere. It was just disgusting to look at. Oh and the disgusting passengers smoking on their balconies ruined it too, what a waste of money. Don't expect to ever see your steward, never saw him once on the whole holiday. Dinning is horrific!!! The worst food you could imagine! Expect a lower standard that school dinners with 'chefs' that have no idea what is going on. I was served pink chicken and not one single person in that whole restaurant cared. Even with me telling them that they could have killed someone who didn't see it i.e. the older or children. Absolutely disgusting, the reply I got was 'I'll get you a new one'. Do you really think I want a new one when you can't even acknowledge that this a problem? The rest of the buffet food I can't even describe. Just awful. They serve things like chicken curry and don't label it that it contains bones! What an awful surprise and again just as well I am of an age to cope with it! I dread to think what could happen with children. For the last 3 nights of the cruise I ate potatoes and cabbage for my dinner every night. Costa seem to want to spend as little as they possibly can on food, you won't find any fruit that is ripe or even has a taste. The queues in the buffet are spectacular, especially at lunch time! Expect to wait up to 20 mins to get the burgers and chips. Oh and the most shocking thing I thought for an Italian cruise ship, you won't get pizza or ice cream unless you pay a lot of extra money! Also expect the other passengers to behave like complete pigs, 90 of them are absolutely disgusting because staff let them do what they like. Like I said no one cares. You can go and sit with you shoes on and put your feet all over the tables. What an appetising site. Don't expect to get a seat in the buffet dining ever! Also don't expect staff to help you find a seat. They will shrug their shoulders and walk away from you. I think the experience in the proper dining room is even worse. Expect to get shoved on a table with total strangers. Thanks Costa for again ruining my holiday with this! I don't know these people!!! I don't want to sit with them and make small talk!! The waiters will not explain the menu to you, you will have to decipher it yourself and try and get some sense out of them! Now for the best thing! All of the food on this menu comes from frozen! Nothing on it is fresh! And the staff on board will rave about this restaurant, it's amazing! NO IT'S NOT! It is terrible! The weirdest food you have ever seen cooked extremely poorly! A poached egg is a pumpkin cream, and that was the best thing on the menu. It's a nightmare. And there is no tea or coffee after your meal, and no will come and tell you that. We sat at our table for 30 minutes and no waiter even came to ask us what we were waiting for. It is even worse at breakfast, they literally have no idea what is going on. My Mum sat for 30 mins waiting for them to actually bring her what she ordered while the wrong thing just sitting in front of her. 4 times I asked for a table for 4 and was given a table for 8! Stop putting strangers on a table it is disgusting when you don't want that! When you order a coke the staff do not inform you that it is Pepsi not coke. I don't drink Pepsi so I am not paying for that! Also if you order something like lemonade or Fanta then they will bring you a diet version without telling you, again I don't want to poison my body with sweeteners but they don't care! So... in case you haven't guessed, my biggest issue with Costa is their staff. Staff do not say hello or speak to passengers as they walk round the ship. They purposely avoid you, it's disgusting. Lower level employees I actually feel a bit sorry for as they are just not trained. The people that work in the restaurants and bars have no clue. The bar staff kept walking past us not taking our order even though we were literally the only people there. There is never any cutlery available at the buffet and if you ask someone to refill it they will huff at you. Oh I am sorry I am asking you to do your job. The restaurant staff will pointblank refuse to meet your needs and any Costa staff eating in the restaurant will barge in front of you and I saw a woman shoved out of the way whilst getting cutlery. God help you if you have some sort of food allergy! I think Costa will try and kill you. I saw a young boy try to find out if there was mushrooms in a pasta and the staff couldn't answer him. Staff all stand and smoke openly of the lower deck. It is absolutely disgusting! People in chefs whites standing smoking in front of passengers, I dread to think of the kitchen hygiene if they think this is acceptable. Don't try and get any information about practicing your muster station, no one knew and we spent 2 hours waiting in our cabin. The next day we got the rudest letter telling us it is illegal for us not to do it! What on earth?! We tried to find this information out for hours. You are disgusting Costa, you need to learn how to treat your customers. The spa staff are so annoying, all they do is try and sell you treatments that are 6 times the price you would pay in a fancy hotel. They will accost you everyday. The worst staff are the ones that work on reception. Don't even bother standing in the queue for 20 mins to speak to them. They look at you like it is a hassle for them to even talk to you. Most of the answers they give will be a shrug and a blasé attitude. It is absolutely disgusting. In fact, it got the point that I was close to tears as I was so frustrated with them. All I wanted was an explanation but I got an answer of phoning when I get home! How can I do that when no one answers! Costa claim that all staff are fluent in English. They are not. If you ask them anything other than what is usual they will not have a clue what you are talking about. Frustrating does not even explain this. This is my biggest complaint of all, Costa do not know how to say sorry. Noyt a single staff member said sorry once. Never. They are not capable of this. They are robots that only care about themselves. How miserable we were every day was actually laughable. We spent so long complaining everyday that my family were bored of it and we had to make a pact to not complain to each other! I think that lasted 10 minutes! It was just one thing after another. It literally did not stop 24/7. Costa could not meet a single need on the whole holiday. It was like going from one ordeal to an other all day long. I am still so angry just thinking about it now. What a waste of £4500. On our return we managed to get an email address that would actually reply to us. Guess what?! They didn't care! Again no apology and basically denied everything that we told them. It is awful and so upsetting. They have absolutely no customer service. The emails were all copied and pasted and generally did not reply directly to what we said. Their grammar and spelling is awful too. Don't expect even coherent sentences or an address or sign off. No apology and no offer of even a little refund for what they put us through. Overall if you chose to have a holiday with Costa, Expect horrible staff Expect rude staff Expect untrained staff Expect rude passengers Expect terrible food Expect long queues Expect dirty rooms Expect balconies to have no views Expect to be angry 90% of the time EXPECT AN ORDEAL NOT A HOLIDAY! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this holiday because the cruise around the United Arab Emirates was a part of the world we had not visited before. I thought the process of getting on board and to our cabin was very good. The ship décor is based on 18th Century ... Read More
We chose this holiday because the cruise around the United Arab Emirates was a part of the world we had not visited before. I thought the process of getting on board and to our cabin was very good. The ship décor is based on 18th Century Italian architecture, a little over the top but looks great. I thought the ship was well designed and has a very good gym and spa.. There are a good range of bars that have a range of evening music. Unfortunately the waiter service in bars is very poor. There was often only one waiter visible so placing an order can be very time consuming, so you may have to elbow dance at the bar. The standard of food was quite variable from poor to average, nothing that I would recommend as quite a few dishes were bland. everything is printed in eight languages as often are announcements. It is difficult to understand some of the announcements as it is not a clear delivery. Most announcements are about trying to sell you something. There are too many staff trying to sell you stuff rather than serve you. Having been on two previous cruises with Thomson, I was disappointed by much of the entertainment. The best in my view was an evening with Hugo Palliotti, an excellent tenor. The rest was a mishmash of Eurovision type dancing. We booked Bigbus trips around Dubai and Muscat in Oman, which were very good and the jeep safari to Sir Bani Yas Island was brilliant. getting so close to wild animals in such a beautiful setting. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We were part of a Group travel to the Middle East (Dubai+Abu Dhabi+Sir Bani Was Island-UAE, Muscat-Oman for 14 days). We truly enjoyed our group travel but we cannot say we enjoyed Costa, the only positive out of the cruise is that they ... Read More
We were part of a Group travel to the Middle East (Dubai+Abu Dhabi+Sir Bani Was Island-UAE, Muscat-Oman for 14 days). We truly enjoyed our group travel but we cannot say we enjoyed Costa, the only positive out of the cruise is that they spoke French which is our first language but we also are fluent in English. We have been on RCC and Celebrity ships and really nothing to compare. The ship is old and worn out and the decor is really not our cup of tea. They obviously cater more to their Italian customers as even if you went to the various activities at the pool, the bars the predominant language was always Italian.The service, that it be in the bars or the MDR was inconsistent but I would say overall was not good whatsoever. It took on average 20-30 minutes to get our ordered drinks, wine. In the MDR one evening we decided to change a bottle of wine as we realized it was not the one we wanted and the female sommelier was some pissed off woman, you could tell she was not pleased with our decision-what kind of customer service is that. The food in the MDR was just OK, very basic - if you wanted like Osso Bucco you had to pay extra, no fancy meat throughout. Overall that ship lacks class you find in the ships we've been on thus far. We hardly ever saw our room attendant. The stateroom storage space was good and the bed was comfortable but it stops there. It was dirty-the window curtain was all black-stained at the bottom, should have taken a photo but did not. Did not like the shower curtain as we always had water all over the floor. NO MORE COSTA FOR US IF WE CAN AVOID IT. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise especially for the weather in this region at this time of the year. We traveled with a group of sixteen people. Four families with children between 15 and 23 years old.The procedure for boarding and disembarking was ... Read More
We chose this cruise especially for the weather in this region at this time of the year. We traveled with a group of sixteen people. Four families with children between 15 and 23 years old.The procedure for boarding and disembarking was childishly simple and hardly time consuming. You can see that the ship comes at age but everything was in excellent condition. And the staff were visibly busy with her duties throughout the day. As if it were a military operation. Every day I put a fingerprint in the elevator, but within a few hours it was polished away. The ship is equipped with a diesel-hybrid propulsion. This results is an almost vibration-free experience. Noticeably better than all other cruises that we have previously made. And; no soot on the stern as we have experienced on previous cruises. Our cabin (Standard Balcony Hut) was fine, clean and had a spacious balcony. A few more wall sockets may be installed; there is only one wall socket installed at the desk. The dinners and other food on board are of excellent quality and you have more than enough choices. In any case much better than most of us eat at home! What is annoying is that there are many times that all restaurants are closed at the same time for several hours. You can not get anything to eat on the entire ship. This is especially difficult for our children who came out of bed late. You get the impression that it seems to have something to do with cost savings. That is a serious flaw of this ship and different than we have experienced on all our other cruises. In terms of entertainment, there is enough choice for everyone. Nothing special, however. An average experience compared to previous cruises. In general; the staff on board is fine. We had a not so customer-friendly cleaner at our cabin. If we wanted to go to our cabin during cleaning, this man was very irritated to us. The other participants from our group luckily did not have this experience. The Italian staff at the reception was not particularly friendly and helpful. But luckily we did not need that much. Our route took us to Dubai, Muscat, Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Due to a rough sea we unfortunately could not disembark to Sir Bani Yas Island. After a sea day, that was a minor disappointment. The ship therefore immediately headed for Abu Dhabi where we had an extra evening. In Abu Dhabi buses were ready to take us to a shopping center for free. Our children have had a great time on board. This was partly because we were with a group ourselves. I do not think we will choose this ship again for a next cruise. But if it just happens to have the right itinerary for us, then we do not doubt and we choose Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Our worst cruise ever and, as from the UK , little attention was paid to any of our grievances. Italians came first every time. Some ship announcements were only given in Italian. The Hospitality staff had no idea what the word meant and ... Read More
Our worst cruise ever and, as from the UK , little attention was paid to any of our grievances. Italians came first every time. Some ship announcements were only given in Italian. The Hospitality staff had no idea what the word meant and were constantly rude and unhelpful. The food was awful and the buffet had often run out of food and no attempt was made to replenish supplies. There was no regular supply of hot drinks and we even had to contact Housekeeping for jugs of 'hot' water to have a cup of tea morning , noon or night. The emergency drill was a farce and quite inhuman. We were made to stand for 45 mins in temperatures of 26 degrees, in lines of 5 [why?] and constantly yelled at by crew members/prison guards. Every little thing had to be paid for eg we paid 5.5 euros for a bottle of water and a compulsory service charge each day for everything purchased on the COSTA CARD.. The entertainment was poor and unprofessional, rather like a holiday camp. The ship seems jaded and dirty and the cabins small and out of date. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Have just returned from short cruise, and was concerned on the poor reviews on Costa Cruises. However, we found very little to complain about, and thought it excellent value. Embarkation was very easy, our premium balcony cabin was large, ... Read More
Have just returned from short cruise, and was concerned on the poor reviews on Costa Cruises. However, we found very little to complain about, and thought it excellent value. Embarkation was very easy, our premium balcony cabin was large, clean and comfortable.The decor on the ship in public areas is rather gaudy, but as someone pointed out, by the second day you didn’t notice it! The food was generally very good, although the amount of choice on the dinner menu in MDR varied from day to day, but always offered at least 5 courses. Had heard through CC that water in restaurants was only served by the glass. This was incorrect on this ship, and a large bottle of water cost around 2euros. Also available was 50cl carafe of red or white wine for 11euros, which was quite acceptable. The evening entertainment was varied, and the standard comparable to most cruise lines eg Princess, Celebrity and P & O. Although not many British on board, there was no problem with communication with the Crew, and we felt that there was a wide age range of passengers.Disembarkation was extremely easy, just walked off at passengers convenience. Would advise anyone to give it a try, and think that most people will be pleasantly surprised. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Joined this ship in Dubai near the end of January for a five night cruise to Muscat, Sir Bani Yas Island and Abu Dhabi. We had an inside cabin on Deck 1 which was right under the Piazza Casanova, so there was quiet a lot of bumping and ... Read More
Joined this ship in Dubai near the end of January for a five night cruise to Muscat, Sir Bani Yas Island and Abu Dhabi. We had an inside cabin on Deck 1 which was right under the Piazza Casanova, so there was quiet a lot of bumping and music until 1am. This didn’t bother us too much as we like music and dancing so we rarely turn in before 12.30 anyway. After 1am it was really quiet until 8am so we were happy enough. We found all the staff friendly and helpful and enjoyed dancing in Piazza Casanova and also to the group in Isolodora and to Luciano (guitar/vocals). We also enjoyed some of the artists and the Italian version of ‘The Voice’, where the singers were understandably mainly Italian. Food selection in the restaurant for breakfast and lunch was not too good, so we got into the habit of taking breakfast and lunch in the Buffet and dining in the restaurant in the evening. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth enough and we must credit the staff for the arrangements on the visit to Sir Bani Yas Island. They organised a super beach BBQ and put music and dancing on, and the tenders operated all the time during the day. We expected queues but there were none! On the downside we never expected to have to pay for water with our evening meal and we could only get teas and coffee in the buffet at certain times, unless we paid for it of course. You pay five euros for a pint and four euros for a half pint and they then add 15% to this cost. Invariably there was about an inch and a half of froth in the glass so we always asked for them to be topped up to the line! Gratuiuties were added at 10 euros each per day. Overall though, we had a good time and thought the overall package including Emirates flights and the Dubai Hotel stay, was tremendous value. One final point re. Transfers in Dubai. Be careful to ask the taxi driver what the cost is likely to be as one driver tried to rip us off, not knowing that we had previously made transfers in Dubai. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was our first cruise on Costa, but our 16th overall. Here are our honest thoughts on the various aspects. The cruise was 7 nights and embarked at Dubai. Flight ------ We booked the flight independently of the cruise. It was ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Costa, but our 16th overall. Here are our honest thoughts on the various aspects. The cruise was 7 nights and embarked at Dubai. Flight ------ We booked the flight independently of the cruise. It was an Emirates flight from LHR to Dubai. It was an overnight flight that landed in Dubai at 6am. In hindsite, this was the wrong choice as embarkation didn't start until 8pm and it turned out to be a long day. Still the flight itself was very good and we were impressed with Emirates. Embarkation ----------- This is where it all went a bit wrong. Our embarkation ticket stated 8pm as the boarding time which seemed a tad on the late side compared to a normal cruise. A quick google suggested that if you turn up at around 3pm, they would let you on. However imagine the dismay when we (and many other people) turned up in the afternoon to be told that 8pm was the hard and fast time and so we had to wait for 5 hours in the cruise terminal. Turns out this was because Friday (the day we embarked) is a holiday in the UAE and therefore the immigration control officials were only available from 8pm, hence the time. Can't really blame Costa for this I guess, but it's something to note. Cabin ----- We had cabin 7290 which was classed as a suite 'S' Cabin. It was a very nice size and was quite a bit bigger than a standard balcony cabin, so we were very pleased. Dining ------ Because we were in a suite, we were allowed to eat in the club restaurant (Club Medusa) free of charge for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. We didn't eat in the MDR, so can offer no opinion. We also tried the buffet for lunch a couple of times, but found the choice very limited. Club Medusa was very nice and the choice varied daily. The wine choice was also very good and you could try the wine to see if you liked it first. They try to sit you in the same area each day so you have the same waiters which helps build the relationship. It was also fairly quiet and you don't need to book ahead as suite guests. This was certainly one of the suite 'extras' that helped make the cruise that bit more special. Entertainment ------------- This is one area where both Italian cruise lines (MSC & Costa) fall short compared to American and British lines. The daily activities are very limited and evening shows are centred around song and dance and acrobat routines. I guess it's the language issues that are the cause. The good things of note were the live bands and the animation team. Dress Code ---------- We had lots of varied dress codes on our cruise. We had informal, Gala, Italian, Arabian and white nights, although many people adopted informal for the whole cruise. It was all good fun. The only gripe was that nowhere on the pre-cruise documents stated what was on offer, so you couldn't preplan what to pack. Ports ----- A cruise around the UAE all pretty much stop at the same ports. The main ones on our cruise were Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Sir Bani Yas Island. Ship ---- Having just been on the MSC Preziosa, the Costa Mediterranea looked and felt like an older ship in comparison. We experienced some very rough vibrations in our cabin whenever the stern thrusters were used and there was a constant vibration from the engines all over the ship when at sea. Nothing to bad to spoil the holiday, but not something I ever remember experiencing on any other ship. Suite Extras ------------ As we were in a suite cabin, we were entitled to a number of 'extras'. They were :- - Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner in the Club restaurant (see above) - Complimentary Intenditore drinks package. This is the top level one and pretty much every drink is included (apart from super expensive). You also get drinks loaded in your minibar. - Exclusive activities. We are invited to a couple of cocktail parties with the captain, but didn't attend due to the timings. - Complementary room service etc. We had breakfast in our room a couple of times, but other than that, didn't really test the room service. Disembarkation -------------- This was very smooth. We were free to leave the ship at any time up to 1pm and collect our luggage from the terminal. Perhaps this is something unique to the UAE cruises. Port to Airport --------------- Grabbed one of the many taxis from the terminal. Tooks roughly 20 minutes and cost 55 Dirhams (£11). Overall ------- No one can argue that Costa are not good value for money (much like MSC) but of course that means that certain aspects of the cruise are 'budget restricted' like the food and entertainment. It is also very Italian orientated (not unsurprisingly). However as long as you accept these limitations, then you can certainly enjoy yourselves. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We take a trip from Dubai through gulf. The ship was nice , but nothing special. It looks like Venice in 17. Century. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly, We took a cabin with balcony. It is not in very good condition any more. ... Read More
We take a trip from Dubai through gulf. The ship was nice , but nothing special. It looks like Venice in 17. Century. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly, We took a cabin with balcony. It is not in very good condition any more. Reatorant for diner is beautifull, Dining food is good, but staff is very slow and made a lot of mistakes. Several times we spent almost 2 hours for a meal. Bar Service was average, in bar they serve very expensive drinks in plastic glasses. The coffee is really good. They have Illy coffee. They charge a fee everywhere and allways, plus extra 8 eur per day for every person. Rowbery! In reception dont work enough people, so every time you must wait a lot of minutes, sometimes for just one answer. Internet line is very slow, and dont worth a fee they charged. I thing I will take next time another ship company, not Costa. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I took a last minute cruise to Dubai, sailing on 13th January 2018. Having completed the online paperwork, we had to fill in more forms at Port Rachid. We boarded and were informed our room would be available at 11 am. First impressions ... Read More
I took a last minute cruise to Dubai, sailing on 13th January 2018. Having completed the online paperwork, we had to fill in more forms at Port Rachid. We boarded and were informed our room would be available at 11 am. First impressions were good. Our cabin 1002 was clean, although there was little In the way of toiletries and no sunbed towels in our cabin. From then on things went downhill, firstly Costa will Not allow you to cancel the daily tips, that Cruise Critic States customers can do. The reception staff are rude, patronizing and unhelpful. They charge for every thing. Hot drinks like tea and coffee is only free at breakfast. If you want a Coffee after 9.30 pm on the main pool area, then you will find it unavailable. The food was dreadful, cold and poor quality and choice. They add a 15% surcharge on any drink, on top of the daily gratuity! Food in general is not available after 9.30 pm ( if you want to eat late at night) unless you pay extra for either pizza or burgers. There is no freedom dining in the evenings, we luckily were allocated a 6.30 pm time slot, other passengers sadly could not eat until 9.30 pm and therefore did not leave the restaurant until after 11 pm. The entertainment was very good, and the ship although quite old has some wonderful quirky features. It felt like the British passengers were treated as second class citizens in favour of the Italians on board. Having been on a P and O cruise ship recently I would never again travel with Costa nor recommend it to British passengers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this because of the date and the weather at this times of year. My dh and I had cruised with costa before, my daughter and her son had not and never will again. We stayed in Abu Dhabi in the beautiful Marriott Al Forsan which I ... Read More
We chose this because of the date and the weather at this times of year. My dh and I had cruised with costa before, my daughter and her son had not and never will again. We stayed in Abu Dhabi in the beautiful Marriott Al Forsan which I would recommend. Embarkation was only allowed after 7pm and not one person greeted us with a welcome and the same when we were leaving when we left not one person even spoke to us. The ship is very dated but clean. The cabin for 4 had no room to sit anywhere at any time, the steward never made this possible, perhaps we should have asked him. He kept the room clean and we rarely saw him. Food in the buffet looked like something from a school canteen but tasted ok. Food in the mdr was grand, we were not allowed a glass/jug of water, it had to be paid for. There were no water, tea/coffee supplied at any time during the day except breakfast. Breakfast was awful, a poor selection and dreadfully displayed. Entertainment was enjoyable. Ports were good, Dubai was interesting, Oman also, Siri Ban Yas was beautiful. Staff was rude and I complained and a Director approached me one evening to say she received it and I never heard another word; on the day we left I saw her and told her how disappointed we were, we had little reaction. You cannot remove gratuities and in my opinion no staff has to work to peasr the guests and consequently do not. I cruise a lot with Celebrity, Princess, RCI, Hal and I was just disgusted. I saw a well priced cruise to the Indian Ocean on Costa and my family have said 'not if we get if for free'. Writing this review brings it all back to me and it doesn't feel good. To sum it up a 2 star cruise at best, redeemed by nothing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I wanted a cruise our of Dubai. My hobby is traveling and I travel every month-plus. I have been on about 140 cruises. My first cruise in 1973 was with Costa and I cruised on the Carla C out of San Juan years later. These cruises were ... Read More
I wanted a cruise our of Dubai. My hobby is traveling and I travel every month-plus. I have been on about 140 cruises. My first cruise in 1973 was with Costa and I cruised on the Carla C out of San Juan years later. These cruises were great, but Costa has changed. They charge extra for every thing. I booked cruise, air, hotel and excursions with Expedia. Everything worked out fine, except the cruise and the last two excursions. I had to be out of the hotel by noon. So I got to the terminal at 1130. There the Costa people told me check in was at 8:30 PM, which was new to me. They said it is on your documents, not mine. So the first day of the cruise was spent sitting in the terminal. So it became a six day cruise, even the gratuities were for seven days on a six day cruise. If you had a complaint, they would say what is your cabin number and that was the end of that. Most cruise ships post menus, not this ship. On the plus side best room safes I have seen and most of the crew were friendly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I guess we went with an open mind. As they say..." when in Rome - do as the Romans do" so we adjusted our expectations but ended up enjoying the experience of an Italian themed ship - from the over the top Italian decor to pasta ... Read More
I guess we went with an open mind. As they say..." when in Rome - do as the Romans do" so we adjusted our expectations but ended up enjoying the experience of an Italian themed ship - from the over the top Italian decor to pasta everyday with our meals. We were worried after reading the reviews but I realized that North Americans just cruise differently from Europeans...no bottomless ice teas and lemonades, coffees and teas limited to breakfasts and merendas, lots of pasta, but we got to enjoy Osso Buco, gnocchis, bombolones for breakfast, olive oil and balsamic with your bread instead of butter and many more...Honestly - I enjoyed the food more than the other cruise lines that we've been on. Service was up to par in the restaurants and cabin but they can do a better job communicating with the English speaking passengers. First night apparently was an All-White party and we obviously did not get the memo as we showed up dressed in black...hahaha. Enjoyed the dance lessons and live entertainment was available in many of the bars and clubs. Overall - it was a pleasant experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
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