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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014

Disappointing waste of hard earned savings. Absolutely NO entertainment unless you enjoy passengers being called up and derided. No films. English speaking guests avoided. Italian staff mostly rude and unhelpful not to mention the ... Read More

Disappointing waste of hard earned savings. Absolutely NO entertainment unless you enjoy passengers being called up and derided. No films. English speaking guests avoided. Italian staff mostly rude and unhelpful not to mention the misinformation they give out on order to boosts their sales of shore excursions etc eg. Told must pay 11 euros p.p. to get from port in Mykonos whereas the trip costa 1.5-2 euros max. From the beginning they gave us wrong configuration of cabin then said they couldn't change it as the cruise was "full" , which it wasn't. Toilet blocked. Pipes leaking in corridors into bucket. Refused to lend an iron when we required it to look after our own expensive clothing. Instate we must pay 10 euro and send to laundry. If you want to lie peacefully by the pool forget it - blaring distorted loudspeaker disrupting passengers.

Anything good? The Pilipino and Indian staff working in bar and food areas were all delightful And special commendation to Don Jardine and Zaraida Mangagao (forgive spelling) who went out of their way to give excellent service.

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Sail Date: October 2013

The Ship

This was our first cruise and so we have nothing with which to compare it. It was my wife who had wanted to try a cruise and I was the sceptical one. The boat was much bigger than I had imagined and much better ... Read More

The Ship

This was our first cruise and so we have nothing with which to compare it. It was my wife who had wanted to try a cruise and I was the sceptical one. The boat was much bigger than I had imagined and much better appointed. We are used to minimalist Travelodge or cluttered country hotels but this room/cabin was cleverly arranged with lots of hanging and drawer space easily enough to accommodate the amount you could reasonably bring aboard if travelling by airplane. The lighting was first rate; how often we have grumbled about hotel bedrooms which have insufficient light to read by. The balcony was well worth the extra money. We were blessed with lovely weather and sitting outside with a starchart listening to the sea was a real priviledge

I would advise taking clothes pegs and hangers. The hangers provided were not portable and drying on the balcony took very little time.

There were ample lifts; they were efficient and we seldom had to wait long for one to appear going in the required direction.

There were plenty of places for smokers but we did not find it intrusive.

The gym etc was excellent. Even if you don't feel like using the gym, the showers there were far superior to the one in the cabin and a locker and lovely big towels were provided; you just had to sign for the key, Some of the equipment looked a bit tired, but it all worked. There was a nice hot bubbly pool without children or cool breezes and various hot rooms.

The pools were rather small. The water fountains generally did not work.

Considering the carpeting was in constant use, it was very clean. Indeed the whole ship was continuously cleaned and there were very few occasions when you sat down at a dirty table.

We had benign weather and so I really cannot comment on the behaviour of the ship in rough conditions; I was hardly aware most of the time that we were at sea.

The Food

Plenty.

We probably ate too much on the first few days. The seafood paella on embarkation was memorable. We tried all the variations for breakfast and lunch and preferred the less formal arrangements on Deck 9 to the multi-uniformed presentation in the Dining Area.

There was also a Burger fest late afternoon and a rather quaint offering of afternoon tea.

The evening meal was 7 courses, but I don’t think many people managed all seven we certainly did not. Having been allocated the early sitting 18:45, we quickly decided that the 20:45 sitting was a better option for us. There was no problem in switching.

Having been there for more than a week we realised that they were working on a 7 day menu turnover. Considering how many they had to serve, the whole meal was remarkably quick, taking less than 1 ½ hours from entry to exit.

The quality of food was good and there was choice. There were some exceptional courses like the Osso Bucco, most were far more adventurous than we would prepare at home for ourselves.

The Drinks

Do not envisage a Costa Cruise without taking the 19:50 euro drinks package. It made everything so easy. Coffee in the morning, beer at lunchtime, Cocktail in the afternoon, more beer, more coffee, pastis as an aperitif, wine with the meal, strega or whiskey to finish the day, whoops no we’ll have another one or two probably not very good for us, but neither is worrying about how much you are paying every minute.

The Entertainment

Lots to do and see. As many keep fit sessions as you could wish.

Consistently high standard of background music in the main bars.

The shows were varied, enjoyable and lasted about ¾ hour.

We did not partake but gather that the partying went on well into the night.

The Staff/Crew

Mostly delightful and eager to please. We had a fantastic cabin steward Josephine, super waiters in Ktut and Jay. Customer services came up trumps with Antonio and Thomas who gave us a lot of their time. Oscar was good fun on the bar on deck nine. The maitre d’ Salvatore from Chorley was the almost perfect……. I won’t spoil it for you ….. but you will know who I mean.

Value

We reckon we got a great deal. It came to just under £2000 for 15 nights for two with balcony cabin to include 4 nights in Rhodes to start with and flights. I cannot see where you could match that in other sorts of holiday. The Drinks Package was of course extra as were the excursions. We did not use the Costa excursions, but the ones we chose were cheaper and extensive.

The Holiday

We were unfortunate. It became apparent in crossing London that my wife was experiencing severe lower back pain. We got to Rhodes OK and she could only lie down on one side. After our 4 night stay there, she could only sleep on her back and I had to push her in a wheelchair where I could get one. On the boat we managed after some persistence, to avail ourselves of a wheelchair which was fine for 7 days.

When it became apparent she could no longer even lie down on her back, we realised we were in trouble. We therefore had to try to contact insurers, find timetables, communicate with Italian doctors and make our own way home. We managed just - and that is an exciting story in itself.

The Gripes

The difficulty of procuring water for the cabin was paramount. There seemed no problem in bringing bottles onboard, it was just that we did not go off ship as much as we might have done. In England water is on tap as it were and it was difficult to have to plan ahead. We had thought Premium Cabin meant Premium Service which it apparently does not.

Almost all those we dealt with were very sympathetic to our predicament with the exception of one waspish lady obviously quite senior who accused us of changing our mind again about leaving the ship which was unfair. The difficulties in finding a suitable flight home were pretty extensive. Internet connection on the ship was poor to non-existent even using the ship’s facilities. We were fortunate in having someone in England who could arrange things for us.

I would have thought that Post Concordia the applause and plaudits for our celebrated captain doubtless merited - could have been a bit more muted.

Be aware that if you do have problems you will be dealing with non English speakers. The command of English and many other languages of many of the crew was quite humbling, but the fact remains that you will be trying to communicate detailed technical difficulties in other than your own language. As you are at sea for most of the time without communication the problems are exacerbated.

Do not expect much useful help from your Insurance policy.

The Verdict

We would go again like a shot, health permitting.

 

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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2013

We was really looking foward to the second part of our Holiday. The first week we stayed in Rhodes at a great Hotel and really enjoyed ourselves. The second week we stayed on the Costa Classica our first bad experience was the mandatory ... Read More

We was really looking foward to the second part of our Holiday. The first week we stayed in Rhodes at a great Hotel and really enjoyed ourselves. The second week we stayed on the Costa Classica our first bad experience was the mandatory safety drill. To say it was a shambles would have been kind. We felt if in the event of abdoning ship we would have no idea what to do. The instruction where very sketchy and as the English where definately a minority on board there was next to no instructions in English.

Each port we visited there was no information for passengers going asdhore on their own. When I asked for information. I was told they had no Maps!! and we should either find tourist information or ask a taxi driver. The drinks where very expensive and a service charge of 15% was added to each bill. At the end of the cruise we had to pay £8.00 per person each day for staff Gratuities.

The entertainment was very amateurish on the evenings and on deck there was no where to get away from the constant noise and silly games. The cliental was mainly Italian,French and German and in all honesty I have never come acros a ruder set of travelling companions. We was pushed and shoved and the staff did nothing to control the flow of passengers. Getting off the ship was survival of the fittest.

The only saving grace of this cruise was the food was good in the evening restuarant. But daytime again survival of the fittest.

If I never had another holiday there is no way I would sail with Costa again

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Sail Date: September 2011

We cruised on the Mediterranea in September this year. We boarded the ship in Rhodes which was uneventful. Quickly processed and on board within about half an hour. Our suite was lovely, plenty of storage and an excellent bathroom. Our ... Read More

We cruised on the Mediterranea in September this year. We boarded the ship in Rhodes which was uneventful. Quickly processed and on board within about half an hour. Our suite was lovely, plenty of storage and an excellent bathroom. Our luggage arrived very quickly. We enjoyed the champagne ready and waiting for us in our suite. The Canapes delivered a little later too were a nice touch and we certainly enjoyed the fresh fruit each day. The bed was comfortable with lovely soft pillows. The cabin staff were efficient and helpful.

Breakfast - As the restaurant offering waiter service closed far too early we chose to have breakfast in the self service restaurant. It was utter chaos. Not all serving areas were open and those that were would suddenly close even if there was a queue of people waiting to choose their breakfast well before the closing time. The drinks queue was always hectic due to coffee running dry or water running dry then milk packing in or juice. Rolls and bread seemed to be in alien places and butter in a totally different area. Nothing flowed. Tables however were cleared quickly " too quickly sometimes when you had put a plate down and turned around to search for milk for your cereals or butter for your bread when you returned your plate had gone!

Lunch - this too in the self service area was just the same. Utter chaos. The area serving food by the pool was very basic too - chips and burgers mostly.

Dinner - We chose to have dinner at the earlier time at 7.00 and found ourselves seated at a table of 8 which suited us as we all got along well.. The dining room is beautiful and our table was by the window. However, we found the food extremely disappointing. For example, the first night we both chose Lamb Shank as our main course and when it came it was a few thin strips of tough lamb on a bed of sloppy instant mash " no taste " no seasoning. It was tasteless and not what we expect of Cruise Dining. The following evening I selected the veal and I think it was the same meat as the previous night, again on a bed of instant mash and tasting of absolutely nothing! We took the option one evening of dining in Medusa Restaurant (extra supplement of around 22 Euros) NOW THIS WAS MORE LIKE IT! We were back to what we expect of cruise dining. The napkin was placed on our lap, we were made to feel special, the food was an absolute dream. The service wonderful " just like it used to be; but in this restaurant there were enough staff to provide this excellent service not like in the main restaurant where the staff were trying to give a good service with far too many people to attend to.

The bars on this ship are lovely, very comfortable, plenty of them and good entertainment to suit all tastes, plus quieter areas if you want them. The service from the waiters was good even though they were rushed off their feet. We had taken the all inclusive option and the variety of good quality drinks was very extensive and generous. We would certainly recommend this package.

The sundecks are pleasant and well laid out with room for everyone. Only slight criticism here is that the sun beds are very close together making it difficult to get on and off them and also not giving an inch of personal space. Must say though that each time we wanted to lie and relax we found a sun bed every time. The waiter service on the deck areas was very good and we regularly had morning coffee for me and a pot of tea for my husband sitting at one of the many tables on deck (then a couple of other drinks as the day progressed!) Entertainment by the pool was provided but it did not take over; there were enough quiet times too.

We liked this ship, lovely polite staff who work so hard but the catering left a lot to be desired. It let Costa down. Part of the joy of cruising is enjoying fine dining with attention to detail. Somehow this did not happen " shame isn’t it? So come on Costa get it sorted. You have a gorgeous ship, great staff, lovely suite, fantastic bars. First time in a decade hubby and I have stayed up until 2.00 am enjoying the other parts of the cruise.

 

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