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20 Costa neoRomantica Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We booked a Winter getaway at a fairly good price We are seasoned cruisers who enjoy the freedom cruising offers The ship is in good shape and the Decor is classically pleasant The design would work with fewer passengers and on ... Read More
We booked a Winter getaway at a fairly good price We are seasoned cruisers who enjoy the freedom cruising offers The ship is in good shape and the Decor is classically pleasant The design would work with fewer passengers and on cold windy sea days there is little to do. The 2 mini pools are useless for anyone wishing to swim. An enclosed pool area is missing and the price for Solarium use at €35.00 per day when all one wishes is to have a sauna i not value for money The ever present Solarium staff pushing Solarium deals are also indicative of the fact that the price is too high The free Gym, (one of the few free facilities), is fairly well equipped, very clean and almost always full at peak times The change rooms and toilets are 5 star The wine bar is an exceptional although very expensive feature Shopping on board is fairly limited but adequate, the range is limited, again because of the space problem The cigar smoking room was also a wonderful plus for the addicts and contained the smoke perfectly, a plus for Costa here The deck smoking area is a bit too close to the doors and can be a bit of a problem The animation staff do a lot to keep passengers busy with an array of ideas detailed in the daily newsletter The service most of the time is good and sometimes outstanding. Credit card verification was easy and quick We did not use the ships excursions and there were the usual shuttle bus charges for the ports where the ship docked a distance from town A safety warning was issued in the daily newsletter for Athens and not for Naples In Naples we were mugged and robbed in a busy street and have since learned that the town is regarded as unsafe. One must be extremely aware and should maybe walk around in a small group, leave all valuables and jewelry on board The ports were a poor substitute for those that have become unsafe, but that cannot be blamed on anyone. Kalamata was good, Napfilon, Volos were not great, Athens is Athens and Trapani was pretty run down and nothing special, Marseilles is also a typical large European port with many possibilities but also earned a safety warning The bus trip by Costa from Villach in Austria was uneventful as was the return trip Boarding in Savona was a little disorganized as usual - queue jumping due to poor system control, luckily not all passengers boarded in Savona Our Inside cabin was a little crammed due to the overhead bunks, although stowed take up a little extra space Otherwise it was adequate, without any problems and the cabin steward was invisible and efficient The food in the buffet was always fresh and the range sufficient to satisfy most tastes At peak times it was very busy and getting a table was not always easy The MDR food was mainly good , for breakfast and lunch the service was a little slow but the area adjacent the entrance was always well served and relaxing The early bird coffee and juice service was erratic and the coffeee quality questionable The small number of children seemed adequately entertained Entertainment was reasonable but with too many dance shows and if you arrive late not all seats have unobstructed viewing A theatre is missing but the ship design does not allow for it Disembarkation for us took a while and Costa mixed up our departure time and delayed our bus for over an hour We checked 3 times but were told to wait until we were called!! This retro ship was not for us and we prefer medium sized ships If you are English speaking multiple announcements will drive you mad. The manner less pushing and shoving of the French, Germans and Italians is also mindboggling. They all need to be first at all costs Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
A most disappointing cruise. We have cruised 10 times but this was the worst ever.It can only be described as a rip off.Every thing bought on the ship has a 15% service charge added everything ! In addition to the daily service charge ... Read More
A most disappointing cruise. We have cruised 10 times but this was the worst ever.It can only be described as a rip off.Every thing bought on the ship has a 15% service charge added everything ! In addition to the daily service charge which is compulsory. Another thing which irritated was that the only way you can have tea in the cabin is by room service along with the added service charge.Even all but the worst hotels have tea making facilities in the room these days. There was a coffee machine in the cabin but there was a charge of 1.50euros per cup (plus the service charge15%) To top it all there is a 15euros a day charge to sunbathe on the so called solarium which is just an enclosed deck. On the plus side the food is good although the service in the restaurant left a lot to be desired .It depended which waiter you got.Talking to other passengers it seemed most of them agreed with me. Most complaints were about the service charges put on the already very high prices. No more Costa cruises for us.they ought to all themselves Costa Fortune Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This ship has been newly refurbished to a high standard. Everyone comented on how tastfully decorated it is. Our inside cabin was huge with plenty of storage. The crew were helpful, happy, friendly and well trained while still managing to ... Read More
This ship has been newly refurbished to a high standard. Everyone comented on how tastfully decorated it is. Our inside cabin was huge with plenty of storage. The crew were helpful, happy, friendly and well trained while still managing to be unabtrusive. We had truly miserable weather. We were impressed that the captain and Costa were flexible enough to chase the sun and we skipped.Athens in favor of Malta. They've gone to complete open seating "my time" dining. I'm not a fan but they are.the ony line that I remember to open the main dining room for lunch when in port. The menue was limited but delicious and well presented. Something we've always advocated for --- a port co-ordinated dinner with paired wines. IMPRESSIVE! The only downside is the pool is smaller than a postage stamp and I heard comment that there was very little for kids. Neither is a problem for me. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our 3rd cruise and our first with Costa. We absolutely loved it. We had been on a Celebrity cruise before and found it much too big and impersonal. On the NeoRomantica we could find our way around and regularly bumped into people ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise and our first with Costa. We absolutely loved it. We had been on a Celebrity cruise before and found it much too big and impersonal. On the NeoRomantica we could find our way around and regularly bumped into people we got to know. There were not many English on the cruise but we went to the introduction meeting for English speaking and met a lovely American couple. Later at dinner that night they were sat on our table and we spent most of our holiday with them. The evening meal was amazing with 6 or 7 courses if you wanted. We paid extra for the all inclusive and enjoyed cocktails, wine with our dinner, coffees and hot chocolates. Well worth the money, infact considering the amount of food and drink we had I'm surprised Costa made any profit! There wasn't much in the way of evening entertainment, but I don't really expect it on a holiday. We ate late and with the good company, didn't finish eating until at least 11pm, we would then have a couple more drinks and go to bed, there was always tomorrow's new port to get up for. We were supposed to have a 7 hour wait at the airport on our way home but we changed our flights to earlier ones with easy Jet for no charge. All in all an amazing holiday, we arrived home relaxed and suntanned! Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Costa neoRomatica, eastern Mediterranean, April 2014. I embarked at Savona, other embarkation ports were Civitavecchia, Messina and Marseille. This led to a somewhat different passenger dynamic. With smaller numbers, boarding at Savona was ... Read More
Costa neoRomatica, eastern Mediterranean, April 2014. I embarked at Savona, other embarkation ports were Civitavecchia, Messina and Marseille. This led to a somewhat different passenger dynamic. With smaller numbers, boarding at Savona was quick and easy. Unfortunately, on our return, we were docked at the terminal extension, which is still under construction. While reasonably efficient, it's not much fun when it's raining and the temporary walkways are only partially covered. I have been on Atlantica, Mediterranea, Fortuna, Serena, Deliziosa and most recently Luminosa, three weeks in February this year. I have made several comparisons to Luminosa/Deliziosa. Grand Bar Piazza Italia Dance floor roughly semi-circular, base about 26', extending about 18' from stage. One-third the size I would have expected in a Costa Grand Bar, and not well maintained, overdue for refinishing. The floor was constantly crowded. Two groups playing continuously from 18.00 to 01.30, entirely satisfactory and like most Costa musicians, took pride in playing what passengers want to hear. There was a cruise staff activity each night around 22.30, often followed by line dancing. The male cruise staff frequently danced with passengers. The female staff danced with married men but pointedly avoided singles (not just me). Theatre. There is no theatre, Broadway shows are impossible. Shows are staged in Cabaret Vienna. Cabaret Vienna Dance floor 28' x 24'. A much better dance floor than the Grand Bar but still not up to Costa's normal standard. This is the primary show venue, with concerts, entertainers and cabaret-style shows, usually three shows per evening. Ballroom dancing was advertised one evening, a fiasco. The DJ was utterly clueless. The Cruise Director admitted several complaints and promised to do better next time. A second try was barely acceptable; there were only the two evenings and only for one hour. At 23.30, there would be a period of loud, obnoxious disco music to cater to the couple of dozen teens on board, but I believe it lasted only an hour. Salone Tango Disco. Dance floor oval, 20' x 12' Neither a disco nor a tango salone, this room did not seem to get much use. The keyboard player Doriano was good, but the latino group Paraguayos was among the worst I have heard on Costa. I understand one member of this group was leaving at the end of the cruise, so it would appear they are contract musicians rather than a fixed group. Enoteca wine & cheese bar. In its present form, a total flop. I intended to sample the cheese but never got around to it, the schedule conflicts directly with restaurant sittings. I cannot see how this concept can be made profitable. Food Service Restaurant Two traditional fixed dining times, 18.30 and 21.00. An Anytime option is available using part of the Giardino buffet seating area. Water is available (the magic word seems to be “carafe”) but coffee is included only at breakfast, extra-cost at dinner. Food service times can vary, you need to check the program daily. The food was entirely satisfactory for my admittedly simple tastes, however, allowing for local availability, the menus seemed identical to Luminosa. Capri grill Open for evening buffet most evenings til 21.00. The best I have seen on Costa, perfectly adequate for my tastes. But the seating area was limited, either open deck or downstairs. Capri Pizzeria. A charge of 7.50 euros per person for pizza which is no extra charge on other ships. Only available til midnight. Several times a special price, 4 Euros for one pizza was offered, suggesting the concept is not selling very well. Giardino buffet The food was again, perfectly adequate for my tastes, but not well organised. Separate hot and cold lines which are too close, causing constant traffic jams. No beverage stations, water glasses are in the bottom of the dessert station, very awkward. Dinner plates rather than the platters used on other ships, it seemed like I had to make at least 3 trips every time. Midnight buffet. Several times, there were waiters with trays in the lounges as is done on other ships. However, they passed through so quickly I never had a chance to find out what was available. Room service. Premium cabins have continental breakfast included, Classic cabins, 5 euro charge for full breakfast. 2 Euro charge for orders after breakfast. I did not order any room service. Club restaurant. 25 Euro per person service charge. As a Gold Pearl member I receive a complimentary visit. Portion sizes were quite large, but I did not find enough of an improvement to be worth paying the normal charge. The restaurant seats well over 100 people, it was nowhere near that busy. Samsara restaurant. Samsara dining (anytime seating with different menu) is available (note that Costa uses the term “Samsara” for several different things). Included with Samsara cabins but also available as premium dining. My Samsara experience in the past has been good, but I did not try this restaurant on this trip. Cabin. Inside guarantee, I was assigned a handicap cabin. This was the most awkward and badly arranged cabin I have seen since the NCL Epic studios. No reading or vanity lights, lighting was either on or off. Beds were jammed together end to end and could not be put together to make a double. There was a design fault in the closet doors which caused the bathroom door to jam, which has not been rectified even though the ship has been in service over a year. I was only able to visit other cabins briefly during debarkation, my impression was they are not as well laid out as Luminosa. Interactive TV Most messages and advertising are sent by interactive TV, greatly reducing waste paper. The new-message icon was not visible on most screens. Laundry. No self-serve laundry. Ship laundry prices seem comparable to shore prices. A 25 piece for 20 Euro special was offered later in the cruise. Squok Club. A Squok Club is available, open morning, afternoon and evening. It did not seem to be very large but I did not ask for any details. There were several families on board even though this was a off-season cruise. Smoking A smoking lounge is available. I did not see anyone smoking anywhere else on the ship. Language The English-language hostess said there were about 10% English-speaking. I would have guessed somewhat less; Costa tends to lump “other” together with English. Safety announcements are always done in English; the working language of the hotel staff is also English. I was told Costa marketing is trying to position this ship as “upscale”. There are a number of obvious design compromises due to the rebuilding which Costa has not really addressed. In several places, the passenger walkways are so narrow two people can barely pass. The pool area is not covered. The nickel-and-dime charges in food service do not fit an upscale image. The dance environment is the worst I have seen on any Costa ship. The floor in the Piazza Italia is completely inadequate in size and poorly maintained.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
After reading a lot of the reviews on this website concerning Costa, we were very worried about how our cruise holiday would turn out. This was our first time going on a cruise and we are a family of four - two kids who are 4 yrs old and 6 ... Read More
After reading a lot of the reviews on this website concerning Costa, we were very worried about how our cruise holiday would turn out. This was our first time going on a cruise and we are a family of four - two kids who are 4 yrs old and 6 yrs old. We took a bus transfer from Nice, France, to Savona, Italy, which was arranged by Costa. This went without any troubles and the driver stopped after about 90 minutes of driving for a 30 minute rest stop, then we continued our way to the cruise terminal in Savona. When we arrived there, we were all given embarkation cards with a number on them to indicate in which order we could board the ship. We were given a card for group number 21 and we waited in a very comfortable terminal for around 45 minutes before our number was called. There was a little children's room available where our kids could play while we waited. Also, there was a cafe and outdoor seating on a nice terrace, if you preferred to wait in the open air. Once on board, we had our photos taken by the crew to go with our Costa Cards and then we were directed to our cabin. I had already looked at the floor plan for the deck we were on, so I knew where to go to find our cabin. I would suggest people do this before getting on board, as the cabins did not appear to be in sequential order! So, ensure you know which direction to head in once you are on the ship! We got to our room and our luggage was brought to us about 5 minutes later. The cabin we had was a classic sea view cabin. We were on deck 5, towards the front of the ship. Our kids were very happy, as their beds were folded down from either side of the cabin, over the top of the king-sized bed in the middle of the cabin (this was made up of two beds pushed together, but it was very comfortable). Everything was made up nicely and I was happy with the cleanliness of the cabin :) We were excited to explore the ship but decided to stay in our cabin until the emergency training drill was ready to take place. We put on our life jackets and headed up to deck 9 where we were 'herded' towards our muster station. The training is useless and just lip service, honestly! I didn't learn a thing. But I guess that Costa have to say they have given us the training and it was all over after 15 minutes. We found 99% of the staff members on board of the neoRomantica to be beautifully polite and willing to help us. After reading other reviews, I had expected the worst, but everyone doted on our daughter and were very nice to us despite the fact we only speak English! Our kids were fine in the Squok club but it was a little bit small. The kids went there for about 3 hours minimum each day and also experienced 3 squok dinners, which allowed us (mum and dad) to have a few nice quiet dinners on our own! The Squok club hours are in three 3 hour lots during the day, usually 9am - noon, then 3pm-6pm, and then 9pm-midnight. Our kids NEVER went to the last session, as it is very late for little ones. For older children, that may not be a problem. We also were informed that we could leave the children with the Squok staff for a continuous period if we were going on an excursion that was booked through the Costa Tours. So if a tour is scheduled to leave at 8am and return at 3pm, we could drop the children off at the club at 7.45am and then the staff would be with them until we returned. We did this twice on our cruise, as sometimes our kids did not want to spend a long day sightseeing. Remember that you cannot leave your children in the Squok club if you are planning to go on a self-organised excursion. On days when the ship is at sea for the entire day, the second session of Squok is from 3pm-5pm, and then the third session begins at 7pm and the children all have a themed dinner together, followed by a movie or games. We found the food on the ship to be acceptable, it's not 'amazing' but it's not revolting either. It is what it is, but don't go in with huge expectations. There were a couple of standout dishes that I can remember from my 10 day cruise and there were a couple I would rather forget, but overall, it was okay. We realised after the first few days that we didn't have to always eat at the restaurant with table service, as Giardino's restaurant actually turns into a self-service buffet for breakfasts and lunches! We much preferred this option as we could make big salads and eat much healthier, balanced meals. You can't rely on getting a nice salad or main meal with vegetables at dinner, so get all the greens and fresh produce you can at lunch time. By the tenth day of our cruise, we were beginning to tire of the multi-course dinners and felt a bit unhealthy. Thank goodness for the salad bar at lunch! We sometimes took fruit back to our cabin to eat at other times. This seemed fine with the staff, as no one tried to stop us. Generally, you can get breakfast from 6.30/7am up until about 10.30/11am. Lunch is at noon. Late lunch is from 2-4pm, then there is afternoon tea from 4-5pm. Early casual dining for dinner begins at 5pm in the Pizzeria (but you have to pay 7.50 euros per person for all you can eat pizza), and 6pm in the Grill (free). The other restaurants are serving from 6.30pm. There is a club restaurant that anyone can book into and pay for their dinner. It looked beautiful but we never went there. Also, if you are not in a Samsara cabin but would like to eat in the Samsara restaurant, you can either buy an upgraded dining package or pay for a one-off dinner at 25 euros per head, excluding drinks. We did not do this, so I cannot comment on the food in that restaurant, but it was said to be 'healthier'. As for drinks, we purchased the all inclusive package. We did not have to purchase this for our daughter, as she is 4 yrs old. 5yrs and upwards do have to have a drinks package. Please be aware that you cannot get bottles of water with the package, only GLASSES of water. We did bring a couple of drink bottles from home and filled these up in our cabin for the excursions. The water on the ship is totally FINE for drinking, so do not be scared by some people's photographs of the water quality!!! We made friends with a couple of the waiters and barmen and they gave us a few cans of ice tea that were unopened for our journey home when we disembarked on our last day. Also, at dinner, if you do not finish the bottled water, just take it back to your cabin at the end of the meal. There is no problem in doing this and you might as well not let it go to waste. Other comments on the ship - the cabins seemed to be pretty sound proof, as I didn't hear our neighbours at all. Sometimes I could hear people in the hall, but this did not bother me. On the contrary, we were probably the noisiest people around with our young kids... We tried our best to keep them quiet! There was a good selection of in-house movies available to purchase through the tv in the cabin. Yes, there were available in all languages, including English. We paid 8.95 euros to watch The Croods and the kids loved it. We also brought our laptop, loaded up with movies, Don't forget to bring a power adapter and a power board/ power strip so that you can charge all of your devices/cameras/etc. The only toiletries provided are soap. There are no shower caps, or shower gels, shampoos, etc. You can purchase those things in the dutyfree shop on deck 9 if you come unprepared. The entertainment on the ship is a number of little bands which are directed at old people, not very exciting for us (in our 30's). The dancers were pretty good though. There was a magician one evening, and we thought he was good, as did our kids. He did the show in Italian, French and English! Other nights there were events that we didn't attend, but that is because of our kids needing to go to bed. I am not going to rate the shore excursions, because everyone would be different. We took an excursion to Ephesus from the port of Izmir, Turkey. This was a good tour, but we were taken to a rug shop after seeing Ephesus were we were hassled to buy a rug. These people were nice enough and I would have liked to buy a rug but I do not like being forced into a situation like that! We were given wine or tea here too, and a little demo about how the silk is farmed and the rugs are made. After refusing many times to buy a rug, we had to find the exit which was at the end of numerous rooms containing jewellery - we have never seen so much jewellery in our lives! The actual tour in Ephesus was very interesting though! The other tour we took was to see the volcano in Sicily called Mount Etna from the port of Messina. It was quite a drive to get there (2 hours, not 90 mins as stated in the tour guide). However, it was cool to see the volcano. Take very warm clothes if you go here during the colder months. It was incredibly windy and FREEZING. I used the gym a number of times. It is sufficient for keeping up fitness on the cruise but if you go at peak times, you will need to wait to use a cardio machine. The machines are meant to be used for 20 minutes per person, but keep your eye on people, as some rude individuals may try to restart their session as soon as the 20mins are up! As for weights, there are 3 benches and dumbells ranging from 4kgs upwards. There are some weight machines but I didn't like them and never attempted to use them, as they weren't the traditional type but some weird ergonomic sort. There is a stretching area with a few yoga mats and an ab ball or two. The view from the gym is directly over the front of the bow of the ship, so quite nice. Disembarkation took a while and we were given an approximate time of 10.30am as our timeslot (the ship docked at 9am). We ended up getting called off at about 11.15am. We were not allowed to be in our cabin after 8am, so after we had breakfast, we sat in the main bar, where we could get drinks, etc. It is very comfortable there, so we didn't have a problem. I even took my daughter back up to the Squok club for a play. You are able to utilise anything on the ship until you are ready to leave, except your cabin, ofcourse. This review is getting very long but I just wanted to say that if you go on the cruise with an open mind, you realise that some Europeans can be a little rude at times, you are polite to the people who are serving you - you will have a nice time. Honestly, the neoRomantica was fine! Each ship can speak for itself, I suppose. But I wouldnt hesitate to go back again to this one. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Cruising with Costa was perhaps one of the worst travel experiences I have ever had, from lousy service to overpriced (and terribly translated) excursions. My best friend and I went with an open mind despite what we read about it, taking ... Read More
Cruising with Costa was perhaps one of the worst travel experiences I have ever had, from lousy service to overpriced (and terribly translated) excursions. My best friend and I went with an open mind despite what we read about it, taking into account it was an Italian cruiseline. We are seasoned inernational travellers, and we realize different cultures, different countries provide different levels of service. But nothing prepared us for what we experience on the Oct. 21-28 eastern Med cruise from Rome to Greece and Turkey. We found out after we boarded that the ship, Costa Romantica, was on its final cruise before going to dry dock for an overhaul. Though I suspect the new version of Costa Romantica will have the same problems as the old version. The initial boarding was like a cattle call, with a climb up steep steps. Disembarkation was the same. For older folks and the disabled, this proved to be difficult. The ship has the ability to allow folks to use a gang plank, of sorts. But you had to demand to use it to get on and off the ship at the main embarkation and disembarkation at the port in Rome. Be warned, unlike other cruise lines, this one charges for water. And the price for water is astronomical (think airport prices in the U.S.). As you can't drink the water from the tap, you are essentially held hostage for water. There is a water dispenser in the buffet, though access to it is limited. Also, we found the price of alcohol was more expensive than other cruise lines. A word of advice, don't prepay your excursions with Costa. You can get better deals once you get onboard and they won't refund the difference. Also, you can't get out of them after you discover the overall poor quality of the tour guides. Two of the tours, including one of its big sellers -- the Parthenon -- were terrible. During the tour to the Black Madonna in Messina, we resorted to buying a guidebook in English rather than depend on the tour guide ... whose English was poor. That said, the Euphesus and Santorini tours were fantastic! The Romantica excursion staff took no responsibility for the quality of its excursions even after receiving a number of complaints from English speakers who complained heavily about tours in Messina and Athens. The excursions office manager told us that she would check with the tour company and then offered no solution. She took the word of the company over dozens of complaints by the people who were actually on the tour. The room was a fantastic size, and the oceanview we had was fantastic. Our cabin steward was also great. That said, there were problems with the plumbing and hot water. Nothing like being forced to take an ice cold shower two days in a row. A day before we docked, our last full day at sea, the staff was already preparing to dry dock the ship ... and therefore a number of services were not available. There seemed to be a greater concern by the English liaison officer, Sean, about tipping the staff rather than addressing any legitimate issues we brought to him. During his final shipboard presentation, he said that the staff works hard in tough conditions. But there seemed to be little recognition that many folks taking this cruise worked hard, in tough conditions ... in order to save money to take this cruise. Perhaps the most telling thing about the cruise -- an Italian cruiseline -- is that even the Italians we met complained about the service. And veteran cruisers told us not to base our experience on Costa. For those considering a Costa Cruise, you have been warned...   Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We selected this cruise because of the itinerary and our positive experiences with the aforementioned Carnival owned cruise lines. Given Costa is a subsidiary of Carnival, Inc., we felt comfortable booking with what we anticipated was a ... Read More
We selected this cruise because of the itinerary and our positive experiences with the aforementioned Carnival owned cruise lines. Given Costa is a subsidiary of Carnival, Inc., we felt comfortable booking with what we anticipated was a proven commodity. It is also relevant to note that we expected some cultural differences and perhaps even some service level inconsistencies. Between October 21st and October 28th, the Costa Romantica followed a seven day itinerary to include Messina, Izmir and three ports in Greece which included Santorini, Mykonos, and Athens. What we experienced was a reasonably positive experience with the front line staff (cabin stewards, waiters, etc.) and a tremendous amount of frustration with Costa policies, fees (notably drinking water), and an incredibly poorly conceived buffet (we understand this will be overhauled during dry dock). Below you will find a bullet point assessment of what we felt was positive (the good), less than desirable (the bad), and what was downright miserable (the ugly). We cruise approximately every 18-24 months and are uncertain of our future with Carnival owned cruise lines given the very disappointing experience last week on Costa Romantica. We hope you take our feedback to heart and consider ways to improve the experience. While we recognize North American travelers compose a small proportion of the passengers on the Costa lines, we would be remiss in sharing that the views expressed in this letter were replicated in conversations we had with several other English speakers at the end of the trip. There was a growing consensus that Costa must exhibit significant improvement to earn the business of repeat North American travelers or avoid being negatively reviewed on popular travel websites. Please note the feedback below. ---The Good Stanley and his assistant, server at Table 85, lots of fun, great service and attitude. Dinner "shows" with the wait staff were funny and energetic Cabin was terrific, comfortable and large, bed was very comfortable Sean, the English Liaison, was friendly and was an important reference for English speakers The Ports of Call (with the exception of Messina) were good to great (Santorini was especially wonderful) Dance/Entertainment team was very good and made attempts to cater to all major languages when possible Formal Dining Room options / quality of food were as good as we've had on prior cruises Bar wait staff was mostly friendly and attentive "Afternoon Tea" snacks were enjoyable and provided a good bridge between lunch and dinner We appreciated the English translations for announcements and the shows Cabin steward consistently respected the privacy signage ---The Bad Lunch wait staff was not unfriendly, but not particularly engaging. They looked exhausted at times. Not being able to get off the boat in tender ports until an hour after Costa based excursions made us feel like second class citizens and we had much less time in port as a result Toilet backed up, but was repaired quickly Pool music played one song consecutively for three hours straight; this is not an exaggeration or inaccuracy. We asked customer service to send someone to fix it. It didn't get changed until we requested involvement from a supervisor on the pool deck staff. All lounges (not the restaurants) were smoking areas that proved stifling for non-smokers and prevented us from enjoying entertainment areas or drinks without going outside. Smoke also seeps into cabin areas as there is little in the way of containing it in the lounge areas Messina was largely a wasted port. Shops and venues were largely closed and it appears the only reason we stopped there was to pick up additional guests. We really enjoyed Santorini, Izmir, and Athens, but we had little time to venture too far away given the very short port schedules. Another hour or two would go a long way toward making deeper port exploration possible Cabin ran out of toilet paper without excessive use-bathroom should have been stocked with at least one extra roll Cruise effectively shut down on the last day because of the pending dry dock. The buffet was closed which meant there was no water outside of required purchases of water bottles. Various goods were transferred to another boat the previous day while in Mykonos. Alcoholic beverages were extremely expensive. Had they been less expensive, we would have felt we were receiving more value and would have had many more drinks. Drink margins would fall, but I suspect gross contribution would improve significantly with a higher volume strategy Only one English television station (BBC) and Carnival parent company infomercials were looped throughout the trip. On the last couple days, a blank screen played with no programming on two channels limiting our already limited viewing options Internet crashed many times while I tried to log on and it charged me for full minutes each time; accounted for the majority of my internet charges Mini-fridge in cabin was locked the entire cruise Customer service desk could not tell me how our tip monies were distributed proportionally to staff. This really made it difficult for me to apportion additional gratuities. Gym was small and closed early in the morning and too early in the evening. No laundry facilities onboard, passengers required to pay 20 euros to have clothes washed and ironed as an alternative. There are two formal gala nights without an ability for men to iron their formal wear We were required to be back on the boat at 12;30 pm, yet, we didn't leave port until 1:45pm Shows did not start on time and most port calls occurred at times different than the itinerary. Also, "All Aboard" calls were always 30 min earlier than departure, so itineraries overstate the amount of already limited time in port The final night of the cruise featured crew members singing songs rather than providing a professional show. Many audience members walked out in frustration ---The Ugly Forced to buy water at all meals (water was provided in buffet until the last night of the cruise). We were forced to drink tap water at night in the cabins (no alternatives) and I got sick for three days; our dining room table-mates had the same problem. Customer relations told us to pay to see a doctor which cost 90 euros. Could not even buy cough syrup because Duty Free was closed back half of the trip. This is extremely upsetting and was a real turnoff to other North American travelers. Customer service was apathetic, at best. We heard from staff later that cabin water was not, in fact, potable and we should not drink it. Given we are captive at sea, it seems that basic life sustaining essentials like water should be plentiful and always free of charge. The buffet is a disaster, poor quality food, and not properly managed logistically. Crowds move in all directions with little regard for safety or efficiency Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
just got back from the most exasperating cruise i have ever been on, the good bits:- lovely room, evening food good Philippine and indian staff lovely lots of beds and no bed reserving_ a new experience for me!!! the awful ... Read More
just got back from the most exasperating cruise i have ever been on, the good bits:- lovely room, evening food good Philippine and indian staff lovely lots of beds and no bed reserving_ a new experience for me!!! the awful bits, complete cock up with payment details, they provided the wrong bacs details and it took 4 weeks to resolve!! (should have smelt a rat then) claustrophobic ship, dark below no window, felt cramped and unpleasant, embarkation was a complete shambles, took hours only 4hours at each port to try to force you to use the extortionate ship excursions, 2 posts were very isolated. independent travel at the post was was virtually impossible drinks very expensive plus 15 % !!! disembarkation was also very poor, the staff provided no help loading bags, the bus driver looked bored and just dumped everyone at terminal 3 of airport without any explanation that this may not be your terminal, noisy all the time, smokey in most of the bar areas and virtually nothing to do during the day at sea or evening unless you like bingo. The buffet restaurant was a virtual scrum area, closed in the evening , coffee not offered with evening meal, 2 coffees six euros, (non smoking areas a joke) tips are 49 euros compulsory each, result: apathetic staff i went to none of the evening entertainments but all were described as awful by others muster was a very poor affair no privacy in male changing rooms after sauna, pool attendant left door open!! not a pretty sight. spoke to some serial costa cruisers who said the larger ships were much better, this ship is about to go for refurbish, staff need to be properly educated as well changing the name to neu romantica equivalent to windscale being renamed to sellafield. I would have grave reservations about costa again. I went as i did not believe the summaries , i should have listened. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We were honeymooners. This trip was supposed to be our dream mediterranean vacation. It was my wife's first cruise and first time in Europe. We had a fantastic time during our land tour with Contiki around Europe. With that joyful ... Read More
We were honeymooners. This trip was supposed to be our dream mediterranean vacation. It was my wife's first cruise and first time in Europe. We had a fantastic time during our land tour with Contiki around Europe. With that joyful spirit, we expected to have a great and relaxing time with this cruise. As it turned out, Costa cruise ruined the 2nd part of our honeymoon trip. To start, arriving at the port, there was no sign or staff to show us where to go to embark. I had to ask around to find the bus that would take us to the ship. The bus had no AC. It was during a hot day during the first week of september, 2011. Once arrived, the "gate" which was just a big tent. Inside, it was so disorganized and chaotic, the staff had no sense of how to manage the crowd. Adding to the insult, there was the smell of portable toilet inside the same tent!!! We had to wait 1 hr in this smelly place before getting on board. What a good way to start!!! This should have been a warming sign for what to come next. Once on board, our cabin has no English speaking channels. I had to wait 2 days and over 10 calls to the italian staff to have it fixed. It was useless to talk to the italian crew, whose English skill was poor and did not care about our complaint. Finally, we had the chance to complaint to our English host, Sean, and the problem was solved. Going to our first lunch in the buffet, it was like a zoo. All the people in there were Italians and appeared not to have been fed for days. They were pushing, screaming and cutting the line like a pack of hungry hyenas. The word courtesy was totally foreign to them. The sad part was that they were fighting for poor quality food. Water was limited and dispened in water cooler, which was most of the time empty. Our toilet of cabin smelled like urine, not matter how hard our steward tried to clean it. The boat was old with little activities that a non-Italian would enjoy. We ended up staying in our cabin most of the time. We are not picky travellers but this company hit rock bottom in terms of service quality. The non-Italian staff were kind and helpful and deserved all the credit to make this cruise a little more tolerable. During the disembarkement, it took the cruise staff over 5 hrs to let us leave the ship. While waiting, there was no refreshment or entertainment offered. Overall, I would highly recommend to avoid Costa cruise. It is poorly managed by its Italian crew. However,the olive oil is the fine dining was excellent. That was the only positive of this awful experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We were very pleased with our cruise with Costa. Our only complaint was that we never seemed to have enough time at the port. The ship was built in 1993, not a huge ship (which was fine with us), but it was still very nice. The food in ... Read More
We were very pleased with our cruise with Costa. Our only complaint was that we never seemed to have enough time at the port. The ship was built in 1993, not a huge ship (which was fine with us), but it was still very nice. The food in the dining room was excellent and the wait staff were all excellent. The faster service buffet in the rear of the ship didn't have quite the quality of food but if you wanted to grab a meal in a short amount of time it was fine. Our cabin steward was always on top of everything. The staterooms were surprisingly roomy--including the bathroom! We went to all the evening shows--they were all quite entertaining and a fun thing to do in the evening. The pool deck was very nice. They had a quiet area at the front of the ship that was shaded by the circular glass lounge above which was great if you didn't want to be in the sun. One of the members in our family needed medical attention and we found the medical staff and facility exceptional. I would certainly recommend the ship to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
We sailed on the Costa Romantica in June of 2011. The ship holds about 1500 passengers and 700 crew. On our trip we were 300 shy of being full. Of the 1200 passengers, 100 spoke English but all of the crew did. This was not an issue at ... Read More
We sailed on the Costa Romantica in June of 2011. The ship holds about 1500 passengers and 700 crew. On our trip we were 300 shy of being full. Of the 1200 passengers, 100 spoke English but all of the crew did. This was not an issue at all. We had a great time because of the English speaking staff from Philippines,China and Malaysia. The staff are great people trying to make a living for their families back home. Take a moment and get to know them. We met the Executive Chef, Massimo, who did an excellent job. Seek him out, a young man who has been on the cruise ships for 17 years. The food was great, the entertainment entertaining and an overall great experience. We have been on the big ships-Royal Caribbean , Carnival, etc.but this is much better. Last year we took a similar cruise with Louis Cruises and this too was small and great. People complain about the announcements in different languages,so what, if all you wish to hear is English, stay home. There are lots of passengers speaking different languages and they too deserve to hear the messages. All in all a great cruise and we will use Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
I was with a family group of 25 on this cruise, so interacting with and meeting others was not a priority. If I had been alone, however, the predominantly foreign crowd and lack of English announcements and activities would not have been ... Read More
I was with a family group of 25 on this cruise, so interacting with and meeting others was not a priority. If I had been alone, however, the predominantly foreign crowd and lack of English announcements and activities would not have been conducive to socializing.The stateroom was very nice, and I liked the layout of the ship. I'm not big on activities, and with early and late happy hours, when not on excursions or eating, a lot of my time was spent in the bar. The happy hour is 2 for price of 1, but they must be identical drinks. OK, so I'll drink some more. Wine and soda/water packages kept the price down at meals. The dining room was very nice, with elaborate multicourse meals. The ingredients are put on board at the beginning of a cruise, and I would have preferred simple, fresh foods. The pizza at the bar is good late at night, and I never went to the midnight buffet (except on a tour). I went on all the official Costa sponsored land excursions, as I figured they are guaranteed to get back to the boat on time. Every tour was excellent, with good busses and guides.My main gripe was the poor air conditioning. When the dining room doors open and hundreds of bodies pour in, the temperature rises 20 degrees and the AC can't keep up. The mediterranean is hot and humid in the summer, and it was uncomfortable most of the time on board. The heavy cigarette smoke doesn't help either.For a follow-up cruise I would be inclined to look toward a cruise line that is geared to Americans, as I believe the AC would be up to snuff and smoking would be curtailed. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We cruised from Civitavecchia to the Greek Islands and back in June of 2011. One of the best things about the trip was the transportation from Rome Fiumicino airport to the port at Civitavecchia - we put our bags down next to the coach at ... Read More
We cruised from Civitavecchia to the Greek Islands and back in June of 2011. One of the best things about the trip was the transportation from Rome Fiumicino airport to the port at Civitavecchia - we put our bags down next to the coach at the airport and did not touch them again until in our stateroom on the ship. It was the best $24 we could spend. The ship, although somewhat old being built in 1993, was comfortable. Our shock came the first evening at dinner, when we asked the waiter for a pitcher of ice water. He said he could not, because a new Costa policy prohibits this. We asked for the Maitre D, and he repeated the new policy. The only way we could get water was to buy bottles of it for $4 each. This is price gouging to the extreme. I have a personal policy of never buying bottled water because studies have found it is no better than, and in some cases not as good as, ordinary tap water. We complained loudly but to no avail. So everyone at the table told the staff that 1. We would not sail on Costa again; 2. We would write reviews about the policy; and 3. We would consider reducing our automatic gratuity amounts. The next day the Maitre D brought our table a bottle of Proseco (sparkling wine) as a peace offering to calm our dismay. Another day we were given a bottle of wine. These were good getsures, but did not make up for not having a glass of water with which to take medications. A few other things made the cruise less than optimal, such as the inability of the "Animation Team" to speak English, which was within Costa's control, and the presence on board of some 100 under 5 year old children who pretty much ran wild with no limits due to their ultra permissive parents. It was not fun to try to dance in any of the venues when a dozen little ones were running in circles on the dance floor - no exaggeration. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We picked Costa having read tons of reviews ranging from horrible, would never go back experiences to rave reviews, so we went on the Costa Romantica with really no expectations and were pleasantly surprised. First of all, the Romantica ... Read More
We picked Costa having read tons of reviews ranging from horrible, would never go back experiences to rave reviews, so we went on the Costa Romantica with really no expectations and were pleasantly surprised. First of all, the Romantica was only 1/2 booked, which if you've cruise before that was a huge perk. There were no lines, no wait times and plenty of seats for everything. Our cabin (4049) was an ocean view and was really nice. I was surprised it had as much room as it did and a very large ocean view window. We usually book balcony rooms, but the Romantica only offers maybe 10-20 suites with balconies and with prices to match their limited selection, so we opted for an ocean view room and were not disappointed. The staff was fantastic and cannot say enough enough about their service. Keep in mind, this is an Italian cruise line and English is the last language they speak. French, Spanish and even German were more popular than English which means the staff members who do speak English aren't fluent. Most of the staff members who do speak English are servers and are from the Philippines as English is taught through their schooling. The guest services reps don't speak English well and I would definitely opt for the 1 hour daily Q&A session with the English speaking rep for any help you may need. The food was very good, especially the pasta, but Costa was lacking with the grand meals to accompany the Gala evenings like Royal does, so that was a little disappointing. The mixed drinks are terrible! Be forewarned, stick with beer , wine, or straight liquors drinks. The mixed drinks are nothing but mix and have very little alcohol despite their 6.75 euro price tag.The ship excursions were run very well and a Costa cruise member travelled with each excursion to ensure it went well. See my port reviews for more details on ports. Avoid the Jeep Excursion in Mykonos!Overall very pleased with the Costa Romantica and would sail Costa again. I understand they are remodeling the ship and adding more floors, 4x the number of balconies and activities like rock climbing walls which was definitely needed. My husband and I are under 30 and we struggled to entertain ourselves since the activities on the ship were really focused for a much older crowd, but Costa seems to know that and is working to remedy that on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
This is an old(er) ship (1993) - and it looks rather 'tatty'. Although we stayed in the Grand Suite, it was all rather 3 star (not 5 star). When it rained, the water came into our suite in sheets. We had a butler, who was ... Read More
This is an old(er) ship (1993) - and it looks rather 'tatty'. Although we stayed in the Grand Suite, it was all rather 3 star (not 5 star). When it rained, the water came into our suite in sheets. We had a butler, who was ever so obliging, and this is the only 'saving grace' on this rather mediocre experience. The dining room food was very, very hit or miss (more miss, than hit). A rather gruesome canteen with hoards of passengers with lots of loud children throwing food at each other, and not enough places to sit down, was the other 'option'. The entertainment was simply awful, quite often vulgar, and tasteless. The shows were amateur, with very little talent. (Games in which passengers tried to break balloons with their bodies, or where they simulated a sexual act with a large skillet and ladle. The 2 'gala' evenings - were everything except chic - especially since 90% of the passengers didn't bother to dress up (let alone put on a tuxedo). If there is a problem with an excursion, even if it is the fault of the ship, they will hound you for payment. This company is not client centric. If your standards are moderate to high, we urge you to look at another property (and probably not on the Costa line). Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
My wife and I sailed on the November 16th Romantica sailing to Cantania, Athens, Izmir, Mykonos, and Santorini. First, the ports of call are the reason we booked the cruise, and they were amazing. Also, we were driven by the price, as this ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the November 16th Romantica sailing to Cantania, Athens, Izmir, Mykonos, and Santorini. First, the ports of call are the reason we booked the cruise, and they were amazing. Also, we were driven by the price, as this was the cheapest cruise we have ever taken. Getting to/from Civitavecchia We took the train from Roma Termini to the port without any issues. Just went to Termini in Rome, bought tickets and a self-service machine, and took the 45 minute ride to Civitavecchia. We took the express train, and used 1st class; the car was mostly empty. From the station in Civitavecchia, take a right out of the station and it's a 10 minute walk to the ship. We used Costa's transfer on the way back to the airport, which was on $20 USD each. About 1 hour drive from port to the airport. Ship Overall the ship was clean and well maintained. It is a small ship (55k tons) and lacked a lot of public spaces; we have been on smaller ships (Carnival Holiday for instance) that actually had more public spaces. The cabins appeared to be recently remodeled, as they were very clean and modern for a cruise ship; we were actually surprised the cabins were in such great shape given the age of the ship. Of course winter in Europe it was cooler, so we did not use the pools (they are not covered as on other ships in cooler climates), but did use the hot tubs; as this was very port intensive the pools were not much of a big deal. Overall, a decent ship with nice cabins for its size and price. Food This is the first cruise I had been on where food was difficult to come by at times. Bear in mind this is an Italian cruise ship, NOT American. Italians apparently do not stuff themselves 24x7. The buffet was awful - very small, food was terrible; overall the worst buffet I've seen on a cruise ship. It is only open for breakfast and lunch. No dinner; no 24x7 buffet as on most ships. The dining room was much better, still not to the quality of American ships but I was able to find something to eat every meal. I think some of my issues with dining room food were more due to the fact that it was Italian style, not American, thus I cannot fault the ship for this as I expected an Italian experience. People Italians are a different bunch - I thought they were rude, loud, and very inconsiderate of others (we spent several weeks in Europe traveling all over and have no complaints other than with Italians). They smoke everywhere.....smoking is very bad on the ship. Apparently breathing oxygen is optional in Italy. This is by a million miles the worst I have seen smoking on a cruise ship. Surprisingly there were large numbers of Americans on the ship - far more than I expected. Our dining table was all American, and it appeared assigned by age, which we found to be great. Despite being a ship dominated by Italians, I think we had the best table group on any of the cruises we have taken. The excursions were organized by language, and we were mostly with Americans. Overall, that piece was well organized by Costa. Ports We choose this cruise for the itinerary above all else, and were not disappointed. We used all Costa excursions (in the Caribbean we always go it alone, but on port intensive cruises such as this, Alaska, and a few others we went with the ships excursions). The excursions were in English, mostly attended by Americans. I have no complaints on any of the excursions we took - they were all worth the money. Catania: Did the 4x4 up Mt. Etna. Actually was off road, did a nice hike around Mt Etna. Supposed to be a 4 hour excursion, was closer to 6. We were happy with this excursion. Izmir: Our favorite port, not at all what we expected. Did the 9 hour Ephesus, House of the Virgin Mary, and St Johns excursion. Well worth the money. Ephesus is one of the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World, and it is well deserved. Santorini: Did the Oia Village, which I think was the only worth while excursion here. Oia is very pretty and we got great photos....it is what I picture when I think of Greece. The village where the ship actually ports (different than if you take an excursion) is just a typical cruise shopping place, nothing special. Mykonos: I think this is really a beach stop, but in November and at 6-11 pm there was nothing to do. No ship excursions, which is the first time I've been to a port with an excursion being offered. We got off, walked around went back in maybe 30 minutes time. Athens: Took the Acropolis and Museum excursion. Museum was boring, nothing special to see. If I had to do it again, I would just take the Acropolis excursion. The Acropolis is very cool, with nice views of Athens. But it pales in comparison to Ephesus. Overall we had a great time on the cruise. Given the price ($299 pp) and itinerary, it was well worth the trip. The key is to remember it is an Italian ship, not an American. Of course, as you are in Italy, this should be expected.....yet many Americans still think it will be like America wherever they go. As long as you book based on itinerary and expect an Italian experience, I think anyone would enjoy this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Costa Romantica 10/26/09 Review Ok I know a lot of you have been looking for a review of this ship, so here we go. I was just on the 10/26/09 cruise that departed from Civitavechia and had an itinerary of Catania-Sicily, Sea Day, ... Read More
Costa Romantica 10/26/09 Review Ok I know a lot of you have been looking for a review of this ship, so here we go. I was just on the 10/26/09 cruise that departed from Civitavechia and had an itinerary of Catania-Sicily, Sea Day, Izmir-Turkey, Santorini-Greece: Mykonos (same day), Athens, Sea Day. I have been on several cruises on NCL, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, as well as a previous Mediterranean cruise in 2005 on the Costa Magica so I will be comparing much of the experience to those sailings. The Ship Yes the ship is small. The ship was much cleaner than I anticipated. They did a great job making sure everything was spotless. It is well designed for its size and age (1993). There is very limited entertainment on board besides the shows which I will highlight later. Besides attending every show I played in the casino a little bit which is about half the size of other ships. There was a foosball table and ping pong table on board. There is one lounge (Italia) where they have silly events and games and this is where most of the Italians gather around dinner and show times. The weather was actually warm enough to lie out on the top deck for 2 days. We had fantastic weather on our cruise, we were quite lucky. The internet cafe is adequate but expensive at 1 Euro every 2 minutes. After dinner the only thing going on was at the Tango Lounge where they would have a live band with various theme nights, this is where we had the most time. The disco was the only other option at night and it was mostly filled with younger people so I would say 16-25 year olds and they played the traditional club techno garbage so we stayed away. The announcements in several languages did not bother me AT ALL. They were very limited and exactly what I expected. The Shows I would have to say that the entertainment in the theatre was one of the biggest disappointments on this cruise. The dancers and singers were all average although almost all of their songs were in English so I give them credit as you can tell this isn't their natural language. The non dancer/singer nights were just horrible. I just kept thinking of the show America's got talent because every single one of the acts would have been stopped within 2 minutes. Either way we had nothing else to do so we watched all of the shows and pretty much just made fun of how awful they were. Also, Italians for some reason insist on showing up after the show starts and most of them decide to walk all around the theatre to find a seat in the dark while talking most of the time. Quite annoying actually, also, about every other seat was comfortable so you had to search around to find good seats. The Passengers and Staff I give the staff a rating of 10/10. They were excellent. I really have no complaints at all, they were extremely friendly and most seemed very happy. Our ship had 1200 passengers on board. Of this 800 were Italians, about 150 were English speaking, 100 French, and the rest a mix of Spanish and German is my guess. No complaints with any of the passengers. The Italians are very pushy and like to use their elbows in the buffet lines. Also, they seem to go by the rule of "whoever pushes to the front first wins". Lines and order seems more like a guideline to them. Once you get used to this mentality it was ok. It was also fun to feel really big. I am only 6'2 but was probably the fifth or sixth tallest person on board. This came in handy when the Italians would try to cut around me in lines as I glared at them with disapproval. The cabin We stayed in an inside cabin in the front of deck 4. It was probably the cheapest room on the ship but our cabin steward went above and beyond. Our cabin was quite lovely and actually was much better than I anticipated for an inside cabin. No complaints here. 10/10. The Food and Drink Because of the itinerary we were able to eat most of our meals in the dining room. Most mornings we had room service delivered for free. They would also give us cappuccinos for free although they charged up on deck. We generally tipped the person who delivered it 1 euro although it wasn't required. The food in the dining room for lunch and dinner was better than I expected. The food wasn't as Italian as I expected but it was good. We had the X1 package and they always had a bottle of wine and mineral water waiting for us. Most nights we shared a bottle but some nights we drank 1 ½ bottles of the house red. The house red was tolerable but obviously cheap wine. It was just hard to drink the same thing every night, compare it to Traders Joes Charles Shaw wine. They were very quick to bring us any drinks we requested. The buffet lines at lunch were sometimes crazy as it seems that every Italian eats at the same time. The buffet food was worse than I expected so we stayed away and ate in the dining room as much as we could. When we did eat we sat outside on the deck. Once we sat down the drink people would constantly be around asking us for drinks. WE COULD USE THE X1 ON DECK DURING THE BUFFET TIMES no problem. I wasn't sure about that going in, but they would bring us coke, beer, wine, the usual. Good perk to have. The itinerary The port was very easy to get to from Rome. From the Termini station we took a train for about 70 minutes (6 euro each way) and walked about 5 minutes from the station to the harbor. From here a shuttle took us to the ship. Check-In went smooth and took about an average amount of time to get through. In Catania Sicily the ship docked. We walked around the city for a couple of hours and didn't really do much. They drive crazy here and the city is quite hectic. Izmir Turkey was much better than I anticipated. This was by far the cleanest city that we visited. The people were friendly and didn't bother you or heckle you in shops and on the streets. Izmir probably had the best looking people and most western looking clothes and culture of any of the ports. The ship docked at the pier and again we just walked around town for a couple of hours. There was a military parade the day we were in town (I think it was their independence day or some city holiday but either way it was fun to watch and security was extremely tight). The next day we went to Santorini and Mykonos (both tenders to shore) and in both cities we just walked around town for a couple of hours. In Athens we did a DIY to the Acropolis which was very easy and probably only took about 3 hours from the time we left the ship until we were back near the ship. I didn't describe the itinerary here very much so just ask if you have more questions. This review was much longer than I anticipated so please just ask if you have any questions and I will make sure to answer them. Overall I was very pleased with the experience and it met my expectations for the price. It was a very cheap cruise and I think it was a GREAT VALUE! I wouldn't hesitate doing it again at all but if you are spending a lot of money on a cruise, I wouldn't pick this ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
This was our 10th cruise and 5th cruise line. We were really looking forward to our first mediterranean cruise. We really thought it would be more of an upscale cruise line and wonderful food. Much to our disappointment, it was far less ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise and 5th cruise line. We were really looking forward to our first mediterranean cruise. We really thought it would be more of an upscale cruise line and wonderful food. Much to our disappointment, it was far less than that. The ship itself is not as upscale as other lines we have been on. It is very minimal at that actually kind of plain but that really wasn't that big of a deal. The problem was the total disorder that we faced once on board. Now we new it was an Italian cruise line with mostly european guests however, we were not prepared for the total chaos and rudeness of our fellow passengers. We have never experienced anything like it. The Buffet (which we nicknamed the "jungle") was exactly that. Very over crowded, not enough seats to accomodate everyone, people cutting in line or what resembled a line, children running everywhere , and people literally hoarding huge plates of food. There was no regard for any manners whatsoever. The food was adequate at best, the coffee was always cold, and water and ice only worked at intervals. The sit down restaurant was much more organized however the portions were much smaller than normal, the food options not always appealing however again we were kind of prepared for that being it was european. The staff, all though they worked very hard, did not go out of their way to form a relationship with you like other cruises. They didn't offer coffee with dessert you had to ask more than once, and we always felt like we were rushed so they could prepare for the 2nd seating. The elevator and pool situation were similar to the "jungle". No manners, pushing and shoving on and off and no regard for any rules especially no children in "adult only" pool. The parents seemed to allow their children to do whatever they wanted, and the minimal security was only able to control the situations temporarily and then they would resume as soon as they walked away. We witnessed soccer balls being kicked in the lobby, children screaming and lying on the floors of the restaurants, running up and down halls till late night hours, jumping on and over people in the pool, and playing with window shades (which hit me in the head once). We talked with fellow passengers from the U.S.,Canada, Germany, the U.K. and even Italy which were just as disappointed and shocked as we were. The ports and excursions were nice , but not alot of accomodations for english speaking guests. We booked one tour that was all in Italian and no discount or anything even after we told them that it was not communicated to us that noone spoke or understood English. This was true to most of the cruise. Very minimal announcements in English. The disembarkation was also very unorganized and we nearly missed our flight. Needless to say it was a very horrible experience and I don't know if we will give Costa another chance or not. We found out only after returning that apparently Costa offers great deals to the Italians even some offers of kids cruise free.(which may account for our situation) So be prepared and ask before you book. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
Costa neoRomantica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 3.0 3.5
Entertainment 4.0 2.9
Public Rooms 4.0 3.6
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 4.0 3.3
Shore Excursions 3.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 3.0 3.8
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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