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8 Costa Rio de Janeiro Cruise Reviews

The cruise was chosen as part of travel package. I have cruises before, but this was the worst for the following reasons: - Lack of food choices and repetitive. They serve pasta and spaghetti with light sauce, lack of flavouring - ... Read More
The cruise was chosen as part of travel package. I have cruises before, but this was the worst for the following reasons: - Lack of food choices and repetitive. They serve pasta and spaghetti with light sauce, lack of flavouring - Entertainment all in Spanish (good for South American passengers) - Day of departure (must leave room by 8am) - Restaurants- can not chose where to sit and you get half hour slot to attend restaurant otherwise you will not enter. For instance, number 312 must attend dinner by 7-7:30pm. Furthermore, lido desk 9 all 5 restaurants serve same food - No English Channel on TV - You must pay tips at the end in American dollars, and must be on credit card. Coming from UK we only had debit card -Orange juice is waterly, and jo hot drink throughout the day apart from breakfast and afternoon tea at 4pm - Desk 2 is noisy and you hear music playing. It is annoying to hear at 11pm! Good: -Some islands were beautiful -We had nice guy who did the room -Gym - interior nice Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We are from the UK and after previous cruises on Princess Royal Carribean NCL Carnival we were worried about the sailing we had booked on the Costa Facinosa from previous reviews we had read we got a great deal for £399 each in an ... Read More
We are from the UK and after previous cruises on Princess Royal Carribean NCL Carnival we were worried about the sailing we had booked on the Costa Facinosa from previous reviews we had read we got a great deal for £399 each in an inside cabin for the South America Transatlantic cruise back to Europe . We had no need to worry at all the ship was one of the best we have sailed on she is pure elegance and the inside cabin was the largest we had stayed in and the bathroom was huge with a large shower .Plenty of storage space in both and the bed was so comfortable. The ship was spotless and the elegant quality of the furnishings and lighting truly amazed us. The crossing was so smooth and we had hot sunny weather most of the way. After reading previous reviews that no one spoke English this was a complete load of rubbish. All staff spoke English the daily update was printed in English and the Captain gave updates in English too. After reading reviews there was nothing to do during the day again a load of rubbish there was something to do from 10:00 to 18:00 every day. We joined in pool games quiz afternoons dance lessons art and craft lesson all with English speaking staff and there were many more activities to choose from. The food and quality was some of the best we had eaten on any ship the quality of the Italian hams cheeses bread pizza meats soups salads etc etc were of a really good standard. Every evening we had a different five course evening meal in the restaurant on Deck 3 and during Gala Nights the meal was also excellent.Lots of people did wear elegant outfits for the Gala Nights. We enjoyed the shows on an evening so much variety acrobats dancers opera singers magician illusionist and many more . We would highly recommend the ship and really enjoyed the South America Transatlantic crossing we had so much value for money and would not hesitate to book another cruise with Costa . Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We have cruised many times before with various companies,including once Costa.We said we would never cruise with Costa again but we were attracted by the intinery so decided to give it another try.What a mistake!! So never again!!!! First ... Read More
We have cruised many times before with various companies,including once Costa.We said we would never cruise with Costa again but we were attracted by the intinery so decided to give it another try.What a mistake!! So never again!!!! First impressions were of a beautiful ship which it was to a certain extent,unfortunately some areas were badly planned. The seating in the theatre downstairs was all on one level instead of tiered so unless you were in the first few rows you couldn`t see the stage,upstairs in the balcony the hand rails were positioned so they obstructed the view of the stage. In the buffet the serveries were well positioned but the seating meant that at busy times the it was difficult to pass between the tables.Also once seated it was difficult to get out without disturbing other diners. The choice of food was unimaginate and monotonous in the buffet and tasted even worse than it looked. The evening meal in the dining room was no better-the choice was poor and the quality was not good.Our service was very slow and the food often cold.We complained to the matre`d and for a couple of days the service improved but soon it was back to how it had been.Some of the meals ordered from the menu were unrecognisable when presented at the table! The organisation was chaotic and as a result there were many angry confrontations. On the plus side the ship was kept very clean and our cabin was kept immaculate by our girl.  We had an inside cabin which was perfectly adequate.There was plenty of cupboard and drawer space for the two of us and the toilet and shower room was fine.The large bed was very comfortable,in fact it was probably the best thing about the ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
I agree with the majority of comments about this cruise. We found the ship a beautiful clean ship but that is the only good thing about this cruise. Why are our travel agents selling these cruises for English speaking guests when Costa ... Read More
I agree with the majority of comments about this cruise. We found the ship a beautiful clean ship but that is the only good thing about this cruise. Why are our travel agents selling these cruises for English speaking guests when Costa only want the English on board for their money and are not prepared to cater for them. The food was awful, limited choice and nearly always served cold or luke warm. The breakfast and lunch were also served on Deck 3 dining room as well as the buffet on deck 9. However because I am Coeliac (gluten free) I was not allowed to eat in the buffet (no food was available for me). I was served in a small section on Deck 3 by Sherwin the only waiter who seemed to know anything about gluten free food. We were served well by Sherwin although the choice was very limited. I had the same dessert for 20 days although they called it by different names, it was still the same cake. They only gave out the announcement for lunch being served in the deck 3 dining room in Italian so rarely English people went there. Our waiter hardly spoke English on our evening table and we spent half an hour sitting waiting for him to bring our menu. I tried the stretch class (I am a teacher myself) but the instructor was Brazilian and spoke no English which I found really difficult to follow. As everyone has said we might as well not have been there. As for the $11 per person per day - what a rip off. We had already paid the fare that Costa required but to get on board and find there was an $11 per day hotel service charge added to your on board account a total shock. This was not to cover gratuities but an increase in the cost of the cruise. A large group of English speaking guests finally rebelled having all complained so many times and not getting anywhere. The staff were all stony faced when confronted but I can now see that from all these bad comments that they are obviously used to people complaining. If you want to have a happy relaxed cruise with good food DO NOT CHOOSE COSTA. This is on behalf of the 5 people in our group who all share these comments. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Just sailed on the Fascinosa from Brazil to Venice. The ship was very impressive and spotlessly clean due to all the staff working so hard and being so caring also very polite. Special thanks to our cabin lad CARL who was so considerate ... Read More
Just sailed on the Fascinosa from Brazil to Venice. The ship was very impressive and spotlessly clean due to all the staff working so hard and being so caring also very polite. Special thanks to our cabin lad CARL who was so considerate and helpful towards my Wife whilst ill in bed for three days. Now the faults! $22 per day service charge for what, most services were help your self. Cost of drinks+15% appalling when we know your buying power, if you charged less you would sell twice as much. A rip off. And the food do the Chefs need to be more qualified, or is it the ingredients they have to use it was appalling the same things nearly everyday. With four self help counters open and only one poor Guy with a small frying pan to make Omelettes and fry eggs at breakfast. Most meats were tough and not cooked or served correctly and so greasy. Pizzas every day from noon until midnight only two choices which consisted of oily dough and very little topping, and that's an Italian dish. The dining room service at dinner was so slow not the fault of the Waitress, she just had to much to do, serve water/wine take our order, fetch from kitchen and present to table and by this time it was getting cold. Very disappointing cruise apart from the lovely people we had the pleasure of meeting. Costa never again! And will certainly not recommend. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This is our first time to write review for cruises as this experience must be shared for future cruisers that are interested in South American sailings. This was our first Costa experience and will most likely be last... We chose ... Read More
This is our first time to write review for cruises as this experience must be shared for future cruisers that are interested in South American sailings. This was our first Costa experience and will most likely be last... We chose Costa Fascinosa bcos the port stops were exactly the ones we wanted and read some of the reviews that were more from Mediterranean sailings but still good enough that we felt quite confident to believe should be as good for South American sailings. We booked inside cabin, which we normally do if we plan to do lots of excursions and know we basically will just sleep in there. The cabin was towards front to mid ship to minimize the noise/vibration from engine but this ship's engine was quite noticeable. However, worse was this loud whistling sound coming from inside of one wall every 30 mins or so and we couldn't sleep!! It was like wake alarm !! so after first night we requested another cabin which they denied saying that the ship was fully booked, we demanded for crew member to stay in our cabin to hear the problem. Then suddenly they had a cabin available for us to move... They explained that it was hydraulic something that needed to be fixed, hmmm... the new cabin did not have the alarming whistle problem but we could hear/ feel the engine, granted it was towards back but it was on 7th deck!! However we were very tired from excursions and basically we slept ok. Following notes are very important for English speaking passengers; 90% of passengers were Brazilians,9% Argentinians, 1% English. We learned this when attended a meeting by English speaking host and there were about 30 including us. Nothing bad about this, just that we needed to request daily schedule and menus in English rather than Portuguese. Then remind them often that they need to speak English to you. We normally prefer to eat in restaurant to be served but food quality was just ok, nothing special. Then found that food in buffet style had more interesting choices and tastefully Latin. Only thing is the line that you stand will be cut in by other passengers and seemed normal for them. We guess that in S/America they don't teach about line in order to take turns. Smiling but no manners. Good things are; Fascinosa is fairly new and clean. Cabin was always cleaned quickly which was nice. Service at restaurants/bars were very good too. If you are party animal, this is the ship for you as the loud music never stopped at every bar/ lounge. We thought could be that it was carnival time. Over all, it was quite interesting cultural experience feeling of being in Brazil the whole time on board but we were quite sorry to have chosen Costa. However we made best of the situation and enjoyed all of our port stops. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
PRE-cruise: All information received in German - despite the fact that I repeatedly emailed the company and asked to have the information sent in English. ARRIVAL cabin: cabin was much smaller than the described (mini-suite, 8 Days / ... Read More
PRE-cruise: All information received in German - despite the fact that I repeatedly emailed the company and asked to have the information sent in English. ARRIVAL cabin: cabin was much smaller than the described (mini-suite, 8 Days / 4800 USD 2 per) believe they have figured the balcony of the equation. No stewards in sight for the first 4 hours. The information - which lay on the bed - in German! In other a dull sour smell from the bathroom. Information from the speaker system: The first 2 days - no information in English. Therefore, we participated neither in the "mandatory" rescue exercise. And we were not wanted. Balcony: You pay for a mini-suite, so you must expect good 2 chairs and a table at balcony. It was plenty of room for this, but there were no chairs and only a small table (dirty with paint residues) EXCURSIONS: No excursions with English guide, neither in Buenos Aries. Montevideo, Porto Belo and Santos. It was a great disappointment to us that we did not want to conduct tours of the few English speaking guests. SHIP general: Crowded, unorganised and certainly not standard as Royal Caribbean. Self-service restaurant: Boring range, long queues, lack of cleaning. The restaurant (Dinner) Beautiful, tasty set menus good service. All in all, our fears struck. We will NEVER participate in cruises with Costa company more, and can certainly not recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Costa Victoria February 12-19, 2005 Brazil: Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador de Bahia, Ilheus, Buzios, Santos This is a cruise up the coast of Brazil designed for Brazilians but we found it quite enjoyable as Americans. We were 2 of 60 ... Read More
Costa Victoria February 12-19, 2005 Brazil: Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador de Bahia, Ilheus, Buzios, Santos This is a cruise up the coast of Brazil designed for Brazilians but we found it quite enjoyable as Americans. We were 2 of 60 Americans on board. The other 58 were with a corporate group that kept to themselves. Not knowing Portuguese and only a little French and Spanish, we anticipated difficulty but were delighted at Costa's surprisingly good logistics -- in six languages. Resourceful tour guide Angela and our lovely hostess Patricia were informed and attentive, close all the time on shore excursions for a quick translation in English or to point out something interesting. This was Patricia's first time hosting an English-speaking group (she usually hosts Germans or Italians) and she did a wonderful job. This particular week after Carnivale was, unknown to us, "Fitness Week." At least 1000 of the 2000 passengers were in rather awesome shape, making poolside people-watching an unusually attractive pastime. Victoria parties into the night, every night, as she cruises Brazil each February. Carnivale was especially hard on the crew, as Brazilian teenagers spray painted cabins, broke into storage lockers, ran down hallways late at night, often did not tip and drank illegally from booze they smuggled on board. This week, they merely ran down hallways and yelled a lot (bring earplugs). We were on deck 9 and it was pretty quiet except for two nights. If noise becomes a problem, demand the information desk gives you a second room in which to sleep. If the ship is not full, they will accommodate your request. Victoria is almost 10 years old but in the last year she's undergone some changes. There is a new captain and cruise director. Balconies were added to two floors of formerly porthole rooms in 2004. The best improvement? The food is *remarkably* better than late 2003 when we sailed her to Egypt. Each night we found cheeses or bruschetta waiting for us on the table. The seafood was excellent, especially the scallop and mussel salad. When we asked the waiter, a charming Filipino named Jay, why the food was so much better, he said, smiling, "The Victoria has had many changes. You know, we have added balconies in the last year." And with that, he left us wondering if this was a translation problem or he was just kidding! Note: the new balcony rooms are nice but you may want to get the exact same room, without balcony, for much less. Getting There and Back: Costa offers no transport to the port at Santos from the airport at Sao Paulo because, frankly, too few foreigners buy this great cruise. We took a taxi for $78 each way for the 75-minute trip. Embarkation, usually 15 minutes or less in other Costa ports, was a sweltering 90 minutes. Get to the port as soon as you can before 2 p.m. to secure a good place in line. You'll need to arrange for early disembarkation (red luggage tags) for any flights prior to 1 p.m. Using another cab, we got to the airport 5 minutes a harrowing 45 minutes before the flight and barely made it thru security and on the plane. Good Deals: 1) Due to a strong dollar against the Brazilian real, shore trips are a good deal. Rio de Janeiro is fantastic and more. Take the all-day Super Rio for $99 which includes a churriscaria (delicious meats) lunch, a train trip to Corcavado (The Big Jesus), a visit to Rio's contemporary Cathedral, shopping, and the trams to Sugarloaf (the big rocks you've seen in every travel poster of Rio). All the major places in about 8 hours, with plenty of nap time on the bus between stops. Everyone loves this tour. 2) Up the coast, the 4-hour "Salvador of Contrasts" features a ornate Cathedrals and monasteries, strolling through the old town plus shopping in the large central market. Ask the tour guide to go to the Donnini jewelry store. A special bus whisks you from the market up the coast to a gated cliff enclave. At Donnini, a guard checks you in, and an elevator takes you upstairs to an incredible display of emeralds and semi-precious stones. An English-speaking clerk shows you what must be a half-million dollars worth of jewelry and how to shop for color, grade, etc. Being the budget traveller, we bought a 7-carat blue topaz for $90. A taxi will return you to port, compliments of Donnini. There's free internet in the port building, all the way to the right as you enter from the ship. 3) Buzios is a picturesque town with nice shops to buy souvenirs, good lunch places, and quite a few nightclubs. Victoria docks here at 1130 p.m., then tenders passengers in to the nightclubs for a hearty party until morning. The ship leaves the next day at 430 p.m. 4) Deck 9 aft (all the way back towards the stern) has a deck with excellent views and relative privacy especially late at night (wink, wink). Not-so-Good: 1) At Ilheus, the "Itacare and Tijuipe Waterfall" tour is advertised at 5 hours but takes an oppressive 8. At least 3 of those 8 are on the bus, and the remaining 5 are three unimpressive stops (a beach overlook, another deserted and ugly beach, and a chocolate shop) and the waterfall itself. It is at the bottom of a long muddy road you walk - straight down. If it rains, as it did for us, that road turns to slush and becomes a long, wet, muddy hike up. Bring a towel and a bathing suit, but be a good swimmer. The rocks are slippery, the water is deep and the potential for injury is high. There's a restaurant adjacent serving good steak lunches for $10 and Brazilian beer for $1. We do not recommend this trip for anyone -- especially those with mobility problems. 2) A number of the public elevators and hallways strongly smell of mildew. This is normal for a 10-year-old ship but still undesirable. Bring a Stick-up for the bathroom, which may have its own special aroma (this is also normal for many ships). 3) Odds and Ends: Internet is slow and expensive at 50 cents a minute with no wireless service available. For that picture perfect cruise moment sipping coffee on your balcony, robes are no longer available except in suites -- even at the spa. Use Common Sense: Although crimes against tourists are few and tourist police are everywhere, use common sense in Brazilian ports. With the exception of Buzios, which is pretty much like Key West and very safe, leave your bling-bling (jewelry) in the cabin, along with your NASCAR tank top and your Budweiser hat. Carry money, your room key, your Costa card and your passport in a pants pocket, preferably zippered. Overall, spending a week on the Victoria is an easy, fun way to see Brazil with reasonably sized cabins and lots to do. For true pampering, choose another line like Princess or Celebrity. But for getting around inexpensively and comfortably to exotic places, Costa is the best. Hello to Mohammed and Rita from Switzerland, Charlie from England, and our waiters Jay and Frances! Happy cruising! George and Eleanor Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
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