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3 Costa Pacifica Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

This was not our first Costa cruise. We went to the Carribbean on the Fortuna in 2010 so we knew what to expect. Again, we chose Costa because of the destinations and overall value. We were hoping for better food since the ship is ... Read More
This was not our first Costa cruise. We went to the Carribbean on the Fortuna in 2010 so we knew what to expect. Again, we chose Costa because of the destinations and overall value. We were hoping for better food since the ship is domiciled in Savonna, Italy, but it was pretty much the same; good variety but bland! Even if you like Olive Garden it gets old after 11 days! (which we don't) What was lacking in food quality was made up for in service. We were concerned that the language may be a problem, but all of the staff we encountered were helpful and accomadating. We spent several days in Rome before embarking so we did not use Costa to get to the Port. We took a taxi for about 90 euros. We arrived early and waited, but once the ship cleared customs we were on the ship in about 20 minutes. We left on time for Savonna where more passengers would board. We had the early seating in the New York New York dining room and noticed that the ship leaves port just as we were beginning to eat as evidenced by the rumbling engines! Our first day we did the Monaco tour amid kid protests. The coach ride was 2 hours each way and there wasn't a whole lot to see except to say you've been to the real Monte Carlo & Hotel Paris(Vegas' MC obviously is not on the Mediterranean!)and seen the "rock" upon which Grace Kelly lived. Oh,and the Grand Prix course was a bonus. The scenery alone made it worth it and the weather perfect (sunny 65F) Anyone apprehensive about going in November (as we were) I would not discourage them. Also, the tour guides kept saying how we were so lucky that we could just walk into so many of the churches and sites as there were no lines and they were open!! Our next day was at sea so we spent that time getting to know the ship. We did not take advantage of alot of the ships activites (spa,crafts,aerobics, etc.) Our kids did participate in the rec games on the top deck (volleyball/basketball) and the Squok Club. Kids went to the Squok club in the evening after dinner in leui of the entertainment. The Squok Club had themed activites and I thought they did a good job. They were multi-lingual so if you're kids are younger I believe their needs would be met; however, we brought walkie talkies to communicate since we didn't pay extra for international phone use. We were truly on vacation with no cell phone/internet access and limited English channels. Some ports had hot spots so we could catch up then. The upside was my kids actually read the USA Today we ordered to stay "connected"! As far as the tours, we are usually the adventureous type, but opted to book through Costa since we were first timers to Europe. I know we could have probably seen more but maybe not. We didn't want the stress and they offered reduced rates for children. The tours were grouped by language and despite being the English speaking minority this was not a problem. Booking the tours was easy & organized. I did not book in advance and for a the Olympia tour I booked the day before and they had room. I thought the guides were knowledgable and loved what they did. My favorite tours were Galilee and Jerusalem/Bethlehem. They were the most expensive but also the longest and included a lunch buffet that was very good. A much needed break from the European fare offered on the ship. The Pacifica did not go to the port of Ashdod due to security concerns. Instead we stayed over night in Haifa but this did not impact any of the tours. This cruise line and itinerary is not for everyone. My husband and I always wanted to visit these ancient places and were happy with the "snapshots" of the places we got to visit. We definitely want to return and visit more in depth. I would recommend this cruise to families who like adventure and want to immerse themselves in the culture. My children have a new appreciation for their home in the USA. Things we liked: Gelato, feral cats, porticos, olive trees. Things we hated: pushiness, driving in Rome, luke warm water, WC's. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
(I am a former tour mgr/director with 40 yrs-on and off-under my belt and a restauranteur who has done it all from PEARL DIVER to owner)....my wife and I normally travel by land....train/car or just rent and apt so we can immerse ourselves ... Read More
(I am a former tour mgr/director with 40 yrs-on and off-under my belt and a restauranteur who has done it all from PEARL DIVER to owner)....my wife and I normally travel by land....train/car or just rent and apt so we can immerse ourselves in the local culture....most of my cruising was done for work...bringing 100-200 clients aboard(lived 4mos on NCL's Starr Odyssey)so this was our first Costa cruise and only our fourth cruise together....we choose the pacifica because of the itinerary and the timing met our schedule....we were concerned about missing out on Egypt and reading some negative reviews on the ship/food/service/entertainment and the mix of passengers(noisy/pushy/and smoking)and added to our concerns were the problems with Costa's web site and personnel who were at the end of our phone calls....but off we went and very glad we did....the ship was spotless/all the staff was very helpful/the food was great and plentiful/the smoking was confined to certain areas on the ship/the mix of passengers added to our enjoyment/and no one was pushy rude or whatever the negative comments suggested and the shows were more than adequate (actually some very good)....we spent 3 nights in Rome prior to our cruise and took the train to civitavecchia where we exited the train(no climbing stairs etc like I had read)and took a taxi right to the ship ($20)....check-in was very organized....places to sit/juice and toilets available...(we were given a number after they took our luggage)by 1:30 we were in our room with bags and info on our beds....we went up to the matre'd(Simone) to reschedule our seating from late to early with no problem and actually as the dinning rooms were quite full and we wanted a table for 2 we were put into one of the Samara's DRs with only 10-20 other guests with the same menu as the main DRs but very quiet and relaxed....we did eat 2 nights in the main DR and both venues had excellent service our cabin was on deck 2 at the rear of the ship and I picked it because of price and the fact that it was bigger then the normal cabin with 2 large windows(it was very QUIET)....at each port the debark and embark was handled very smoothly whether you were on tour or going off on your own....x-ray/pasport check etc....never a problem....Savona on our own where met friends and went to lunch....at sea then to Katakolon for a trip to mt olympus by rent-a-car(no problems locals helpful as they were everywhere)....at sea then Israel(Ashrod) for Bethlehem and Jerusalem(very long day on ship's tour but you have to do it)then on to Haifa for a ships tour of Galilee and Nazareth(well worth the time and money)....at sea then to Turkey(Izmir)and on to Ephesus(the highlight of the tour for us and our biggest adventure as we rent a car for the day)it has to be seen....vast and beautiful(pictures do not do it justice)a stop in Kusadarsi for lunch by the sea and again very friendly/helpful locals....at sea and finally Athens and the Acropolis(we take the metro-about 20 min walk along the pier-easy metro info and a nice walk at the end to the Acropolis and a walk through old Agora and a visit to the Plaka with lunch at a local rest then metro back to the ship....what a perfect ending to our trip.... Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
My husband and I were celebrating our 25yr wedding anniversary. My husband chose the Costa Pacifica ship for its itinerary and price. Shore excursion desk and customer service not at par with other cruise companies such as Celebrity (see ... Read More
My husband and I were celebrating our 25yr wedding anniversary. My husband chose the Costa Pacifica ship for its itinerary and price. Shore excursion desk and customer service not at par with other cruise companies such as Celebrity (see comments on Egypt below). Shore excursion locations are good if you are able to get in english-speaking ones. We talked to British, Americans and other english-speaking cruisers - found this company not amicable to english-speaking people. We liked the food - it is a Mediterranean fare with small portions in the sit down restaurants. A food theme is available almost everyday. Restaurants are very clean. We visited the kitchen - spotless. If you have diet restrictions or concerns, they help you and follow strict guidelines. Drinks are expensive out of happy hour - however they have happy hour two times a day. We found the European cruisers in this ship rude. They reach over your shoulders and cut you in line as if the food was going to be finished or too famished to wait. Do not know if this is normal behavior or not for Europeans. Room was good. We had a handicapped room - bathroom was palatial. However, if you are in a wheelchair and/or have mobility problems this is not the cruise company for you. They have NO handicapped transportation to/from the port or shore excursions. Since ship is new, the surrounding were nice and clean. A bit whimsical but perhaps due the theme of the ship - music. Entertainment was a mediocre compare to other cruise lines we have been. I would have expected a fabulous programming given their ship's theme - music. Beware - the ship keep your passport at all times except in Egypt for which you need to show it personally to Egyptian custom agents. Once you return from the excursion in Egypt, they must get it again. On disembarkation, it was efficient and fast. Luggage was easy to find. Bus drive back to airport was efficient. By the way, on our return we stay one night at a Best Western called Hotel Riviera. Great price for this little hotel. Great service, great transportation to/from airport and Rome city center. Hotel is nearby the old city port with a nice boardwalk you could stroll during the day. Restaurants nearby, on the ocean side, are EXPENSIVE but it was the best risotto I have ever tasted. We went to the Il Pescatore restaurant. Breakfast in the hotel was fantastic! Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Costa Pacifica Ratings
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