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2 Costa Pacifica Cruise Reviews for Group and Theme Cruises to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

This was our first cruise and we couldn't have been happier. We love visiting Europe and this cruise definitely had a European flair. Getting on the ship was very quick and easy and our luggage was delivered to our room later that ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we couldn't have been happier. We love visiting Europe and this cruise definitely had a European flair. Getting on the ship was very quick and easy and our luggage was delivered to our room later that evening. We had a interior cabin and it was bigger than I thought it would be. There were 3 closets with plenty of room for our clothes as well as night stands and a desk. Our empty luggage easily stored under the bed. The room had a 220 and a 110 outlet in it. I brought a power strip that made charging our cameras and electronics at night easy. Our cabin steward was very attentive. She made up the room each morning and turned down the bed each evening. Our cabin was on deck one and was very quiet. The TV had 2 English speaking channels (BBC and NBC Action) as well as channels with information about the next port of call and the web-cam of the front and back of the ship. There are also channels in French, Italian, German and Spanish. Since I speak French and am learning Italian I enjoyed watching some of those stations too.We had the first dinner seating at 6:30pm each night. Second seating was at 9pm. Every dinner had a lot of food to choose from. Appetizers, salad, soup, pasta course, main course, cheese course, and dessert. If you didn't find a main course on the menu you wanted, you had the option of ordering standard items that were always available for the main course (Salmon, Spaghetti, Chicken, etc). There were vegetarian options marked. You could order as many items from the menu as you wanted. Two appetizers - no problem; three desserts - no problem. The often had "no sugar added" desserts that were an option - all very good. They also often offered fresh fruit in the dessert section. I always enjoyed my meals and the variety of options that were offered. One night the grilled tuna was dry but with so many other courses I didn't let that spoil my meal. If someone at the table didn't like what they got - a quick mention to the waiter and he would bring something else. The waiter always had a smile and the highest level of service I've seen anywhere. He was from Bali and spoke perfect English.For breakfast we always ate at the buffet. There were omelet stations where omelets or fried eggs could be made to order. In the buffet line there was cheese, meats, hard boiled eggs, oatmeal, cereal, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, french toast, pancakes, waffles, fruit, rolls, toast and more. To drink there was coffee, tea, hot chocolate, milk, juice and water. Breakfast could also be taken in the dining room.Lunch could be taken in the dining room or at the buffet. The buffet offered grilled chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, salad, pizza, fruit, pasta stations, breads and more. They often had a midnight surprise dessert or a special activity with a buffet. The fruit included bananas, pears, watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, mango, apples, oranges, pineapple. One night they had peaches flambeE with ice cream.Each evening there was a show in the theater. This included a magician, ventriloquist, juggler, acrobatics, singers and dancers. Some shows were better than others but all were entertaining. Pietro has a marvelous voice and since we missed his show in the theater we made it a point to hear him sing in the Piano Bar where he performed each night. We also enjoyed the violin player and the trio in the Wein Wein bar. There was music for dancing in other areas too.There were activities during the day that kept us entertained. My wife attended a culinary demonstration. I attended 4 - 30 minute beginning Italian classes held during the cruise. They had dance lessons, bingo, Jacuzzis, pools, receptions for Rotarians/Lions/Kiwanis, and more. We used the jacuzzi that was on the top of the ship - even though the weather was a bit chilly. We also used one of the four jacuzzis on deck nine near the pools. Since this was early spring they kept the glass ceilings over the pool areas closed.I worked out in the gym on a stationary bike most mornings. The bike had an individual TV that could be listened to with your own headphones. Most of the equipment looked out at the sea. Relaxing site early in the morning. They also had treadmills and weight machines available. The gym was generally open from 7am to 8pm - sometimes 10pm. Some days we had to meet for our excursion by 7:45 so I only had time for a quick workout in the morning before showering and going to the excursion. My wife walked in the early morning on the top of the ship. There is a short "track" where you can walk an oval path around the smoke stack.The crew was always very polite and always greeted you with a hello, how are you today? Getting on and off the ship was efficient. You always passed through metal detectors and bags through x-ray machines but this went quickly.There were people on the ship from many countries. I met people from France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Ireland, Australia and the USA. I even made friends with two Italian couples and we plan to stay in touch. The crew are recruited and trained in different areas of the world. There was a session where they gave an overview of the ship. They explained that cabin stewards are often recruited and trained in the Philippines. Many of the culinary staff were from Indonesia and India. The security crew were generally from India. The officers school was in Italy. I was constantly amazed at how well they did working with so many different languages. The entertainment, announcements, signs, etc were done in many languages. There was an English host who had regular hours if we ever needed to talk to a native English speaker from Costa. Our menu was always in English and our daily bulletin was in English. Of course the passengers who spoke other languages received their bulletins and menus in their own languages. Most of the entertainment/bars were on deck 5. There were members of our group with cabins on deck 6 who heard the music quite loudly through the floor / walls until early in the morning. You might want to avoid deck 6 if you want a quieter cabin.Overall we loved the itinerary. Savona, Olympia, Jerusalem, Galilee, Izmir/Ephesus, Athens and Rome were all wonderful. This was a great experience for our first cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Our family had wanted to do something special - The Holy Land Cruise was just the thing. We loved the itinerary of this cruise, with the sale price by Costa, it was too good to pass up. 1. EMBARKATION: We embarked in Civitavecchia ... Read More
Our family had wanted to do something special - The Holy Land Cruise was just the thing. We loved the itinerary of this cruise, with the sale price by Costa, it was too good to pass up. 1. EMBARKATION: We embarked in Civitavecchia in what seemed to be a warehouse on the pier. It took a bit of time, though not unreasonable. We were then directed to the ship and up the gangplank into the ship and directed to the elevator along with everyone else boarding, nobody bothered to check to see where our cabin was. So we had to figure out for ourselves that we needed to go back down the elevator to get to our lower level cabin by looking at the ships map. 2. ROOM: The room was very nice and larger than most ships we have been on. We were quite pleased with our accommodations. We had a nice sized window, a couch you could actually sit on an additional chair with room around the bed, storage was plentiful (there were additional drawers under the couch. 3. STEWARD: Throughout the cruise our Cabin Steward gave us excellent service. Our room was made as soon as we would walk out the door. He was friendly, helpful, informational and spoke English well. In fact most of the cabin stewards had a warm smile and would readily answer questions or direct you where you needed to be. 4. DINING: The dining room was another story. We have traveled and stayed in Italy and Europe at different times. We KNOW Italian dining or European style. Costa just does not LIVE UP to this. The food was not tasty. Many people on board were also unhappy with the meals. We had the late dining - food was served cold, over cooked, undercooked (risotto is not suppose to be crunchy) It seemed the brown sauce was the same on different meats. The exception would be seafood- we did have some good fish dishes. Dining service was not good. Our waiter rarely got the order correct. Twice we were not served our main course. I truly believe they are quite short staffed in the kitchen and dining room. 5. BUFFET: The buffet was basically the same meal each and every day. There would be a theme dish of some kind IF you were there at the right time and a few additional salads, etc. Breakfast was exactly the same each day. Plenty of bland food. Boring after a week. The pastry's were very good - but the same choice of 5/6 every day. Coffee, hot water for Tea and Ice & water are there all day. Juice only in the a.m. 6. PAY FOR FOODS; The Blue Moon restaurant (20 euro) had excellent service. They go all out to serve you and wait on you. The food was good. Unfortunately they have the same menu each night. Few Surprises. HAVE the icecream - it is made at your table! it is quite good. Chocolate Bar - a selection of drinks, coffees, desserts and truffles. Tasty - but the costs add up after 11 days. Ice Cream cart - hard to find it up on deck 9 back of the pool area. It is only there in the evening - but serves a nice sundae. 7. ONBOARD: There is really not much to do. I believe the waterslide was opened only twice for a minimal time, though our weather was very nice. The water aerobic class was available a few times. Dance classes were up on deck near the pool - a little cramped (would have been really nice in the ballroom). The Theater shows were ok. The lounge shows were very nice. A good selection of musicians was good. Unfortunately we kept missing the music. The schedule posted daily was often wrong. We had the late seating for dinner and would like to have listened to music at a lounge for a couple of hours but it really did not start up until 8:00 or 8:30. Every announcement was made in several languages. We had an English speaking hostess. All of our tours had English guides. Disembarkation was a NIGHTMARE let me repeat NIGHTMARE . This was the Port of Civitavecchia problem. We nearly missed our noon flight (there were 10 of us) I cannot believe that this port was so completely disorganized and unprepared for the passengers getting of the ship. KATAKOLON; Interesting little fishing village. Lots of shops. If you choose to forgo the ship excursion, you can take a train to Olympia for 5 euro rt., it is a bit of a walk to the ruins - you may find a cab up there to take you. A bus at the edge of the port will take you to the ruins for 10 euro. The cabs were quite a bit more -- check out car rentals, there were plenty from 35 to 40 euro. PIREAUS; ATHENS; We walked to the light rail from the port (abt. 15 min) It takes you right to the bottom of the ruins. A bit of a walk up the hill gets you to the Parthenon, Mars Hill, etc. A city bus will take you all the way up to the entrance. The entrance fee was 12 euro. Near the rail station is a market area with shops and coffee stands and cute bistros. Walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. IZMIR: We had a private tour company take us to Ephesus. Very worth the trip. The ruins there are magnificent. Those on The ships excursions were equally pleased. Others went to the Bazaar near the port - it is quite a walk, so you may want a cab. Taxi's will also take you on a city tour and out Ephesus. ASHDOD: We took the excursion to Jerusalem, and saw several museums, and the wailing wall, etc. Not near enough time at this stop! CAIRO: There must have been 100 buses in the caravan. We went to Pyramids, Sphinx, lunch on river cruise, citadel & Mosque. Would not do that again - the lunch cruise was a laugh though the food was quite good. Should have gone to the Pyramids, Sphinx & Egypt museum where King Tut exhibition is. All the tours included a Papyrus institute visit - just very expensive souvenirs (disappointing). Take care at the pyramids - a 'free camel' ride will cost about $10 to get off. There are plenty of sellers there and you can find some inexpensive little gift items, if you are careful. There are some nice little gifts to be found at the Port of Alexandria if you have enough time after the very long day. 3/4 hours to the Pyramids, terrible traffic between each "site" then another 3/4/hours back to ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Costa Pacifica Ratings
Category Editor Member

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