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118 Costa Romantic Cruise Reviews

We booked Costa Pacifica for 10 night Mediterranean cruise for our wedding anniversary. It was our first cruise and i would say that it met and sometimes exceeded our expectations. Value for money was great and with few exceptions ... Read More
We booked Costa Pacifica for 10 night Mediterranean cruise for our wedding anniversary. It was our first cruise and i would say that it met and sometimes exceeded our expectations. Value for money was great and with few exceptions everything was awesome. Cleanliness overall was top. Reaching places on the ship was easy after we discovered the interactive screens. Sadly, always some of the elevators were out of service. With the exception of our dinner waiter who was later then other waiters, the staff was very helpful and friendly. Food quality and variety for us was exceptional. Many serving buffets and hours. We loved sea fruits, bakery, grills, pastas and desserts. We dinned in My Way restaurant. The menu was different each night, with 3-5 options for each meal, italian cuisine at it's best. Daily and evening events, some free, some paid. We were clearly explained that this is an italian ship and although we enjoyed the italian atmosphere, we felt that some events were for italian guests mainly. English is the second language here. Theatre shows were ok with some good singers, decent dancers and great acrobats. Some comedy also. Internet packets are expensive like all cruises, but there are some social packets and even one option to pay for minute. Excursions were worth it, some a little expensive but it was the best option. We booked northern part of the Lanzarote, Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife, and the 9h all around Funchal (fabulous experience). We chose to visit Marseille and Malaga on our own and it was a good plan. We absolutely loved the condition of the ship, the design and decorations. Everything reflects a musical theme. Recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We visited Stockholm, St Petersburg, Tallinn and Helsinki. This was a beautiful cruise that is very well organized in every aspect. I think it also gives you a great sense of Italy and their way of life and partying. The only bad ... Read More
We visited Stockholm, St Petersburg, Tallinn and Helsinki. This was a beautiful cruise that is very well organized in every aspect. I think it also gives you a great sense of Italy and their way of life and partying. The only bad thing that I have to point out is that they have VERY small swimming pools on the ship, and this is a real problem when 3000 people want to swim at the same time. I loved the food, Italian cuisine is famous worldwide and I think there is something to eat for everyone. :))) And they have a WONDERFUL entertainment team which made me dance and stay awake every single night till God knows which hours. Important to know: - You can link your credit card to your ship card and then don't have to worry about payment. - They have totems now, so you can book your excursions there. - Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and without any crowds and problems. I will definitely travel with Costa again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Summary - if your only language is English, it is best to avoid, it is heavily weighted towards Italian, including language, entertainment, food, majority of guests. You Que for almost everything, a lot of items were extra cost and it is ... Read More
Summary - if your only language is English, it is best to avoid, it is heavily weighted towards Italian, including language, entertainment, food, majority of guests. You Que for almost everything, a lot of items were extra cost and it is not a budget cruise. Quick tips – Avoid Costa if you can only speak English. Carefully select your drinks package to suit, select your evening meal timings to suit (early is 6.45 seated, late is 9.30). Service charge is automatically 10 Euros per person, per night. If you port at Dubrovnik it is KN not Euro in most shops. Do not let your internet package run out, as you can not top it up then, it has to be re-purchased (up to 100 Euros per device) Non of the staff were helpful when it came to being charged or overcharged with anything. Full Review - We booked this cruise as a bit of a last minute choice, we had the itinerary in mind and only had 2 options, Costa or Norwegian Star, I should have read reviews but instead went off photographs, which made the cabins look dated on the Norwegian, so went with Costa. The ship itself is nice, our cabin was ok, although I am not used to cruises, so it felt a bit caravan like, I am unsure if this is across all cruise ships. We upgraded to an unrestricted balcony view room, as we liked the idea of seeing where we were going on a first cruise, this was worth it, as it was great to see it leave and arrive at Ports, or gave us something to look at. Food - Evening set meal times in main restaurant are not ideal, 1st seating is a 6.45 which for some days is too early and 9.30 which by the time you eat, is late. You do not get to switch between meal times, so decide and request before you go. If your going as a couple, have to sit with strangers at this meal, if like me then that is not for you, the choices are buffet or pay for one of the other restaurants. Buffet was very repetitive, you had to que much of the time, but there was a large selection and nice food, it is all self served, including drinks, so there is no service as such. There are set meal times, anything outside of this is charged like mini bar, room service, any other restaurants, including the burger and pizza, which are served from the buffet area and in the same seating area which is a bit of a cop out. Drinks - You can choose a drinks package, be careful which one, as its very labelled on what you can or can’t have, anything above your drinks package is charged. Ours for example was the brandino, which included branded drinks but not bottled water or cocktails/champagne, which apart from the water did not bother us, but as they ask you to not fill water bottles from the vending machines, you have to keep refilling small glasses or pay for the bottles (3 euro). Vending machines only had juice at breakfast time, all other set meals were water, or tea/coffee, alternative drinks are all a visit to the bar for a drink, in which case you have to que up, most of the time. Service - Majority of the staff were friendly, there were a few that because of the language barrier, just didnt want to know. There is no drinks service by the pool, so it’s all ques at the bars. There is no pool side service, although at the main bars inside there is table service. You are automatically charged 10 euros per person per night for a service charge too. Entertainment - Being a cruise ship, there is a fair few bits to do and a good schedule, however it is largely Italian based, including evening, with a large language barrier. Pools - Larger indoor pool, with a screen and more entertainment, does have a sliding roof but doens't seem to get a lot of sun, outside pool is small and full of children, not many sun loungers although this is one of the main areas for bathing, also saw staff taking away towels when people had only just gone in for dinner or drinks, I can understand if they are trying to reserve for hours but this caused arguments. Destinations - This was the best part, I felt you got a good amount of time at most locations, although some are early and some are leave just after mid day, I got to see some lovely locations in a short space of time, whilst resting between locations, this is what it was all about for us. Getting on and off the boat was very organised too. Although they had to change our Mykinos stop to Athens due to bad weather. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The ship was clean and well cared for. Staff very nice, I even tipped extra. The food however was horrible. Very few dinning choices and most had an extra cost to eat such as hamburger or even a pizza. I get that if you want something that ... Read More
The ship was clean and well cared for. Staff very nice, I even tipped extra. The food however was horrible. Very few dinning choices and most had an extra cost to eat such as hamburger or even a pizza. I get that if you want something that cost more like lobster but a hamburger really? Speaking of the lobster one of our group members tried it. He said it looked green and slimy and thought that was just how it was prepared. It was hard to tell because of how bad the food was everywhere else. He ended up with food poisoning as well as my wife whom had eating some eggs. The serving times where so short that you had nowhere to sit and eat. The staff even stopped the serving lines 15 to 20 minutes early so many time we went with out eating. No big loss their. They allowed smoking on most of the ship including dinning areas so you couldn't get fresh air. We even had my own balcony but we couldn't even use that because our neighbors smoked on the balcony next to us. We totally waisted our money. They also have several hidden charges that we discovered later. Geev Galvez and his helper Charle Ramirez. They worked in the main dinnig room for the special dinner. The service was spot on. Drinks before we even had to ask for them and offered different food choices as they notced people not eating the food. Not their falt on the food qulity but they did their best. Other service in restraunts was good to vary poor. We ate one night at the pizza / hambeger place and after asking 6 times to get someting to drink we all took turns to go to the buffet to get drinks and come back. We never did get any drinks that we didn't go get our selfs. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We wanted to go to Norwegian Fjords cruise for quite a long time so, when I saw this cruise on special promotion and checked its itinerary, we bought it the very same date. Itinerary is very important as many cruise ships just stop at ... Read More
We wanted to go to Norwegian Fjords cruise for quite a long time so, when I saw this cruise on special promotion and checked its itinerary, we bought it the very same date. Itinerary is very important as many cruise ships just stop at major cities where you should take local fjords tours, which are pricy as everything in Norway. This cruise had excellent itinerary, I could not wish to be better. First of all - it started in Amsterdam harbour, which is in about 40 min taxi from Airport. We took this opportunity to explore town of Harlem, with is absolutely beautiful and provides very different experience in compare to crowded touristic Amsterdam. Embarkation was fine except one of our suitcases was never delivered to the cabin and we picked it up by ourselves, staying lonely by the elevators :) First ship impression - WOW! we never saw such kitch before. Do not believe anyone, who wrote this ship design was impressed by Italian castles. It was rather impressed by Gipsy kings houses and made by people, who never saw anything produced in Italy :) Despite its design, ship is very well structured and its quite easy to get where you want different ways. On-board experience - Costa cruises do promotions on their cruises very often, so never buy their cruise full price. In return everything on board is PRICY. Drinks are expensive, photos - very expensive, paying restaurants - expensive and price for SPA is over expensive. As result service staff is busy whole day, trying to catch customers for their services. Looks like Stambul market a bit and annoying as well. On the other side, you can always say no, which let you control your expenses. Only thing you can not avoid is ironing, which is expensive as well, and they do not let you to iron things by yourself :) Its strongly recommended to buy wine and water package as soon as you are on board or in advance. Internet - Costa has great option for unlimited Facebook, Instagram and messengers for only 5 Euro per day. Dining - though buffet on the upper floor was mostly disappointing as mentioned in many reviews, menu breakfast and evening dining at the main restaurant was superb! Dishes were on top restaurant quality and we really put on weight during the cruise as could not miss any course, some times asking for the same dish twice for the evening! 5 stars to the chef! Our evening waiter really provided us top service possible. Same time room service was good at the beginning, but starting from the middle of the trip made it worse and stop doing anything, even cleaning at all for last two days. Probably he expected to get a tip after two days? Needless to say he did not get anything. For excursions we used local company called Norwegian Excursions which I'm glad to recommend. Unfortunately we decided to use Costa Excursions for Stavanger and Bremen and it was complete disaster. First of all you can not neither complain nor get any refund. Excursion desk is always full with unsatisfied customers, but its written in their terms - no refund in any case, except full cancelation of the excursion by local provider! Costa acts as local provider agent and in case you are not satisfied with your experience, Costa may provide you with local provider details and you may send your complains directly to them. Costa sold us Fjord trip in Stavanger, stating its going to be small boat cruise, you'll go behind the waterfall with this boat, while sipping Prosecco with nice music, observing fjord though its glass roof. In fact local provider gave us a transport ferry, which is not even close to the promised small boat and not suitable for any excursions at all. Needless to say, Costa did not provided any refund. Excursion in Bremen lasted only 2 hours, despite this day stop in harbour is over 6 hours - I think they just save on buses. Best solution was just to go to harbour shopping center with local bus. Fellow passengers complained on other excursions as well.. Some did not book any excursions at all, always choosing the ones in local ports - good idea! Ship has very good disco room, which starts to work as disco at midnight acting as teen zone before this time. Entertainment was mostly different dancing performances which is not in our style, though Roberto Sinagoga signing performance was really impressive. Animators team was great and do perfect job! Summary: If you buy your cruise with discount, avoid Costa Spa and excursions, there is good possibility to enjoy Costa cruise even with few cocktails every day. Tipping your cabin attendant at the beginning might be a good idea. Quickly on ports - Bergen - nothing to do except little old district and tourist fish market, If weather permits, take funicular uphill (buy tickets through internet to avoid cue) and hike up there - they have beautiful nature trails there. Stavanger - considered to be most beautiful city in Norway. Probably it is. We downloaded map of Stavanger graffiti festival and did our own city quest searching for different graffities - it was amazing! Alesund - Troll wall is not quite interesting, and troll road is a must! nothing to do in town itself, though we do good shopping of local tourist equipment in local outdoor outlet. Geiranger - Just took standard excursion, which should including mount Danisba (or something like that) and 7 sisters view point. Avoid hope on bus - it won't take you there. Olden - Piece of glacier you see is quite small though road to it is fun despite crowded. You can get there with Norway Excursions as well as take excursion in the harbour. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
1.We chose this cruise because we hadn’t cruised with Costa before and the itinerary included ports in Japan and one port in Russia, Vladivostok. We were disturbed to find that Costa Cruises allows smoking on the balcony of the ... Read More
1.We chose this cruise because we hadn’t cruised with Costa before and the itinerary included ports in Japan and one port in Russia, Vladivostok. We were disturbed to find that Costa Cruises allows smoking on the balcony of the balcony cabins. We are non smokers so we complained about the constant smell of smoke drifting int our cabin from adjacent cabins. We were told that passengers choose balcony cabins so that the can smoke. We replied that we choose balcony cabins to enjoy the fresh air and the ocean views. This was ignored as it is obvious Costa Cruises values the needs of smokers above non smokers. We were offered a change of cabin to an inside cabin but were refused compensation for the difference in price. We wrote a letter of complaint to Costa Cruises . They failed to reply directly to us , instead ,they issued a response through our cruise agent iCruises. Other cruise lines such as Princess, Cunard, do not allow smoking on balconies. I believe in this respect Costa Cruises has a long way to go . 2. Gratuities were supposed to be debited to our account at the END of the cruise. Instead they were charged DAILY to our account. The contract did not state how much would be charged. Who agrees to pay an undisclosed figure? We declined the gratuity scheme but were refused. 3. Port disembarkation. There was no order nor control of the disembarkation process, the shambolic likes of which I have never seen since the seventies when people surged to the exit door. People were distressed and tempers flared. Most cruise ships have a crowd control policy. Very uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. ( see pics) Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
No matter what nationality you are, when you travel with Costa Cruise you will become Italian and live in an atmosphere full of love and human warmth. Italians are different from everyone, they are unique in the way they live their ... Read More
No matter what nationality you are, when you travel with Costa Cruise you will become Italian and live in an atmosphere full of love and human warmth. Italians are different from everyone, they are unique in the way they live their lives with others. The secret is in human contact, in the way they make you feel comfortable and important at same time , they know that everyone has a weakness for good food, pizza, pasta. wine, sweets and the beautiful Italian and Neapolitan melodic songs, I have had experiences with other Cruise Companies as: Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean but with Costa I reserve indelible memories, I do not exaggerate but the cleanliness that I have always found on Costa Cruise ships I have not found them from any others Cruises Ship For this and more if you decide to take a cruise I recommend Costa Cruise My next cruise will be with Costa Cruise again Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Cruising for me is a wonderful experience no matter what. I have traveled by cruise ship 30+ Times. This shop was by far the worst in terms of food quality and options. I would gladly pay more for better quality food. The drink ... Read More
Cruising for me is a wonderful experience no matter what. I have traveled by cruise ship 30+ Times. This shop was by far the worst in terms of food quality and options. I would gladly pay more for better quality food. The drink package is deceptive. We upgraded 2 times and still had to pay for a bottle of water to take in shore. Their menu in the dining room was not what I expected. Very limited and mostly lie cost meals prepared poorly. When I complained about this I was given a complimentary dinner at one of the specialty restaurants. It was the worst lobster I have ever had! How in the world do you mess up a lobster?? Never got ice with my drunks even though I asked multiple times. I will never cruise with costa again. The excuse that they cater to a European crowd as unacceptable. I have had some amazing food at restaurants in the untied states. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because it suited the dates we wanted to be away. The Good: The ship and cabin were nice and clean. The Staff in general work so hard!! They have so much energy!! We really appreciate their enthusiasm! We enjoyed ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it suited the dates we wanted to be away. The Good: The ship and cabin were nice and clean. The Staff in general work so hard!! They have so much energy!! We really appreciate their enthusiasm! We enjoyed the shows and had great time at the Mirabilis bar. New Year's Eve was a blast! The Bad: Food was very plain, every day at the lunch buffet, they offered the same thing, over and over. The meat, chicken, and pork were dry and lacked of flavor. In the restaurant, the menu contained choices that really didn't jump on your eye. Nothing interesting or tasty. We didn't get the chance to pick our time for dinner when booking the cruise. We requested it to be changed and never heard back. We didn't book it directly, but we registered on their website to pick some excursions. We never received any formal communication on the time of embarking and/or what to expect. We would have appreciated some details before hand. Two of our excursions were canceled due to the wind at a very last minute, and the "excursion desk" was closed for business. We couldn't find any alternatives. The data plan was a bust... again not entirely clear what you were getting. The drink plan was decent. But sparkling water nor water of any kind was included. As other reviewer said, you get what you pay for. The crew and social staff were wonderful, but because of the food and lack of communication we unfortunately won't go with Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We had an amazing time during our stay on Costa Victoria mainly because of the nice friendly and helpful staff. We travelled with our 7 year old son who was treated like a Prince by all staff on the ship but mainly the animation team and ... Read More
We had an amazing time during our stay on Costa Victoria mainly because of the nice friendly and helpful staff. We travelled with our 7 year old son who was treated like a Prince by all staff on the ship but mainly the animation team and kids club. Ferdy and Sara were exceptionally good with him, most of the staff is Italian nd most of the guests were French spraking but they all made my son included and welcomed. I was happy my son made so many friends even though he can only speak Polish and English, the language is not a barrier he loved his time in the kids club. The animation team work so hard, special thanks to Ralph who was the kindest person on the ship, Francesco the sports instructor and crazy Marco. The staff at the restaurant were incredible as well and made up for the bad food at times. Donna the waitress is so lovely and helpful always smiling. The exurcions are terribly expensive, it's much cheaper to get something on the land. WE MET SO MANY nice people on the ship and on the land and visited hidden gems and that's what we are grateful for. The food, drinks packages and service charges are things we want to quickly forget about ;) Thank you to the staff of Costa Vicortia who made our journey so special Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I took a Costa cruise 35 years ago, before Carnival got in the picture, and had a wonderful time with a friend for 3 nights! As I was celebrating my 60th birthday this year, I wanted to do another cruise. After reading some of the ... Read More
I took a Costa cruise 35 years ago, before Carnival got in the picture, and had a wonderful time with a friend for 3 nights! As I was celebrating my 60th birthday this year, I wanted to do another cruise. After reading some of the reviews on Costa, I was worried, but trusted my gut and with with them. We got a suite for my birthday. If you like to drink, it's definitely worth it! It also gives you some extra perks that you can read about. The 2 gentlemen that were assigned to our room, were there for our every need! Thank you Ganesh and Dharma! I had read some reviews that said "all they serve you was pasta!" I have to say, even though we could go to the Club Restaurant with our package, we chose the buffet a lot, just for quickness, and found it hard to even find some pasta! lol There was plenty of food and variety! So I don't know what everyone is talking about! I saw some signs saying, hamburger for $5.00 Euros, but didn't see the need to buy one as there were patties and hot dogs on the buffet and pizza! Whoever is going on this cruise and said they didn't get enough good food, probably needs to go on a American cruise ship where there seems to have food and buffets 24 hours a day! lol Getting on and off the boat, was very easy. Always seems hectic the first day, so just chill! Did 3 excursions while there and all done very well and worth the money! Our favorites were the Abberebello(?) tour in Bari, Italy and the Tuk Tuk in Dubrovnik, Well done by tour guides and organizers! there were plenty of activities on board, if you wanted to participate. Games, dance lessons, trivia. Plus they had nice bands during happy hour and the evenings that you could enjoy a drink and a dance. All the staff was polite and helpful when we needed. I just can't say enough! We went to stage show, just one late night and heard a wonderful Tenor sing, fantastic! didn't use any of the fitness rooms, but saw them and took a tour of the spa. All there if you need it! All in all, well done! If you go with a good and positive attitude and just be patient sometimes, you will enjoy it!! I would definitely go again!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
So a group of 7 girls decided to go on a cruise for one of our friends 40th birthday, only 2/7 people has done a cruise before so it’s an amazing idea on something different to do. We boarded at Barcelona, everything went very smooth, ... Read More
So a group of 7 girls decided to go on a cruise for one of our friends 40th birthday, only 2/7 people has done a cruise before so it’s an amazing idea on something different to do. We boarded at Barcelona, everything went very smooth, the check in staff were helpful and informative, so sat at the bar waiting to be called. After looking at the info the check in desks give we head into our room, collect the cards and walk out. We then go to reception get a drink, go for an explore, then head to the top deck. That’s when it goes slightly downhill, no one knows what to do next, we didn’t know about the entertainment information or the timetable as we were so excited to go exploring we seemed to miss the little pigeonhole right next to the door, I finally understood on the last night. Not Costas fault but it’s not explained very well once onboard the ship. Also being a group on girls on a birthday weekend I think there was a few more drinks flowing than normal. At 6.30 there was a safety demonstration which lasted about 20 odd minutes, then off to dinner for 9.15pm, that was a definite eye opener so very busy, the waiter we had wasn’t at all friendly (although we later found out they can work up to 8 months and that’s without a day off), even I don’t think I could plaster a smile on my face everyday. While dining in the main buffet Michael Jackson started blaring on the loud speaker, then up out of no where all the waiters start jumping about dancing. That was amazing as it comes out of nowhere!! Food was good, although the menu can get confusing as the waiter never did explain that you can order anything and everything if you choose. We all dance the night away and that was a great first night. Next morning with a slight hangovers and an early morning wake up call as someone managed to get locked out of their room and went off with another friend in another cabin, we all shower and up we get for a buffet breakfast. I can see from the choice of breakfast that they do try to cater for different nationalities but the breakfast isn’t great to be honest. I try some pancakes and bacon and that’s it. The coffee also isn’t great as unlike the bars where they have a machine and a milk frother they don’t have in the buffet, so water or orange juice is the way forward, also they don’t have a toaster, and the bread is rock solid. You could kill a bird with it. Off we go to marseille, hmmm next time I won’t bother as there’s not overly a lot to do there, walked around, saw some buildings, forced an alcoholic drink down our neck and back on the boat. lunch at the buffer, again it wasn’t too great, rock hard bread again, some warm focaccia, pasta, and a big lump of beef with potatoes, not great if you’re a vegetarian (I’m not, but 2 of our friends are). Go to dinner at 9.15pm, this time the waiters dance to some latin songs, ver well done again. Then another repeat of the night before, more drinks and dance the night away). The 3rd morning head off to the buffet again, this time no pacncakes, I don’t eat eggs so not a lot to choose from, I grabbed 2 pieces of French bread with cinnamon and some pineapple, that will do. We get off at Savona, 1 MASSIVE tip, other than supermarkets everything else shuts at 1.30 and opens back up at 4.30, unfortunately we have to be back on the ship by 4.30 so we spent an hour walking in a group of 7, with different people trying to find a restaurant just so we can get a pizza, it didn’t go down too well but got there in the end. Back on the ship, more drinks, a lot more passengers so the bar on deck 9 was a complete nightmare, then off we go again. Down to shower, off to the 9.15pm dinner, waited until 10pm to ask the waiter what time will the dancing be on tonight, he tells us there won’t be any, shame, so we all thanked him, 3 went off to bed, 4 of us decided to pop off to the casino. Within half hour our 50€ was spent and off to the bar we go. A few more drinks down our necks an the conversation turned to the bar staff. When we took 5 minutes out of our busy lives to see the amount they work, the stuff they have to put up with, and the hours they work on a daily basis, I’m so grateful for my life. The amount of time they’re away from home, they don’t see their families for months and months at a time. While we go on holiday they’re there at our beck and call when we want a drink or service. So thank you Henry and Danny for that night. So last morning just before we go to Barcelona, we set our alarms to make the restaurant breakfast. I do wish I’d gone there before but to be there by 9 is a bit of a deal breaker, unfortunately again we had a not so friendly waiter and had to be called about 3 times before he would come over to serve, at least it was nice. Back to the room to get our stuff as we had to be out by 10. We decided to go back to deck 9, as we started off from there a few more Prosecco to finish up the holiday, and off we go to the shops, pay our bill at the desk and get ready to leave. As they bleep mine and my roommates cats and unfamiliar buzz goes off, we’re not allowed to leave but everyone else disembarked, so back off to the desk to sort the cards out. Cards done and out we go. The 2 of us are last to pick up our luggage go through everything and my friend realizes she’s had some money stolen from her case. Do not leave any money in your case. There’s signs around saying the same so I don’t know what was going through her mind at that time when she left the case outside the door the night before. You HAVE to leave your cases outside of the room the night before for them to collect it. They advise to leave the cases the night before by 12 midnight and no later than 1am, but I witnessed them not coming until 3.30 am. Do not leave anything valuable at all. There’s always people workers and non workers wandering the hallways so could have been anyone. I also had stuff taken but luckily not money. Anyway other than the little hiccup at the end it all went well. I also missed the last day lunch as I was too busy booking my next cruise onboard. This time as a family, so hopefully the next one will be a little less partying and a little less hangovers. On the last note, be aware that if you suffer from rocking on land, It’s been 48 hours and I still don’t feel great and I’m still rocking and swaying. Maybe I was a little hasty in booking the next one but I’m sure I’ll be over it then. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
restaurants was of poor quality and service was poor. The crew were rude and not very helpful. You ask a question and the crew person would turn away and walk away. We were 12 people from the USA and all 12 of us felt like costa did ... Read More
restaurants was of poor quality and service was poor. The crew were rude and not very helpful. You ask a question and the crew person would turn away and walk away. We were 12 people from the USA and all 12 of us felt like costa did not want our business. The crew just made you feel unwelcome The room did not have towels or wash cloth After a meal if you want coffee or another drink you had to buy them. You had to ask for ice. In the restaurants you had to ask for butter and ice with the meal The pasta was the worst I have ever tasted. Breakfast on the buffet was poor at best. you the to go to three different place to find eggs and meat and after breakfast the only drink was water with not ice so the water was room temp. I have already started telling my friends not to use costa lines Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
It was my 50th birthday this year & to celebrate we chose a Miami 3 night stay & Western Caribbean cruise with Celebrity through Cruise 365. There were 8 of us on the holiday (family) & we had a truly amazing time from start to ... Read More
It was my 50th birthday this year & to celebrate we chose a Miami 3 night stay & Western Caribbean cruise with Celebrity through Cruise 365. There were 8 of us on the holiday (family) & we had a truly amazing time from start to finish. It was our first time cruising & everything from the Art Deco hotel in Miami to our time on the Celebrity Equinox was perfect. We had such a fantastic experience that when we returned my Wife & I decided to book another cruise & stay holiday for just the two of us later in the year. We compared several deals through Planet Cruise, Iglu & Cruise 365. We wanted a cruise deal that took in destinations that we hadn't previously visited & eventually found what we thought looked like a great deal with Iglu. It was a 12 night cruise & stay deal which included a 3 night stay in Lake Garda, 2 night stay in Venice & a 7 day cruise on the Costa Luminosa. We boarded the ship on the Saturday afternoon which took around 1.5 hours. The buffet food was pretty much the same every day & very much like school or canteen dinners. Some of the stations weren't open. We had set dining in the restaurant at 18.45 but this wasn't much better unfortunately. The food was very average & the choice seemingly aimed exclusively at the Italians. As a result we only ate in the restaurant once. You had to pay extra for things like pizza, burgers & steak. We had a drinks package but this didn't include water. Coffee was only available from the drinks machine in the mornings. The ship felt a bit scruffy & most of the staff seemed a bit miserable. The entertainment was ok on 2 or 3 nights but dire for the rest of the time. I think there were about 1900 people on the ship with no more than around a dozen English people. There were over 1600 Italians. This wasn't a problem for us other than we found them to be very loud, quite ignorant & lacking in manners. At mealtimes it became a bit of a free for all. We enjoyed most of the destinations but the timings weren't particularly great. The ship had a bad vibration for long periods of time making the experience uncomfortable. Overall, the cruise was a huge disappointment. None of what we experienced was special in any way & didn't compare to the amazing experience we had with Celebrity although the price we paid was very similar. Our verdict: Sorry Costa but if you want to provide a positive cruise experience then you need to see how Celebrity do it. If this had been our first cruise it would most certainly have been our last. Never again with Costa. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This has been my absolute worst trip ever (I have travelled to over 60 countries) and never experienced such a lousy service and environment in all my previous trips! -Paid over 1500 Euro for a inside cabin per person with unlimited ... Read More
This has been my absolute worst trip ever (I have travelled to over 60 countries) and never experienced such a lousy service and environment in all my previous trips! -Paid over 1500 Euro for a inside cabin per person with unlimited drinks for this trip for me and my girlfriend. -I was lied to about price of drink from bartender and later, I AM NOT trusted by the receptionist. (Johnie Walker Gold label. Was told I was going to be charged the difference of what my drink package included vs listed price. but got charged full 15 Euro drink price) -The jacuzzi was too warm to enjoy. We only visited ONCE and never used it again. -The pool was impossible to use. Only children occupying it! -Children everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. It is not acceptable for example to see kids and teens in the nightclub at 1AM occupying the whole dance floor. There was no space on the entire boat other than inside our room, where I could enjoy quality time with my girlfriend in peace without kids shouting or bumping into us!!!! -We paid 30 euros each for a "luxury" dining experience at Teppanyaki. We got sat right next to 3 little children who could not sit still and made lots of noises. We were met by apologies from the Chief of Restaurant, but no discount or any other compensation was offered. I expect some level of service and environment when I pay 60 Euros on top of my all inclusive!!! -Childish servers and staff on the boat. I invite you to see this for yourself by going undercover. For example: Talking with them-self, laughing and when they look at me: Their face turns very serious like they are having a joke! I saw this in two different places on the boat by different staff. Maybe its humor from their side, very stupid one if that is ture, but that is not acceptable if you want to deliver good international customer service. They should meet clients with a smile at least! -Restaurant service: -Waiting 30 min. after sitdown for first drink even before ordering food. This happened on several occasions!! -Mix up of food and tables. For example, in one instance we waited for champagne 20 minutes. After waiting so long, I see our champange delivered to next table. I inmediately let know the waiter that it is probably mine. He said nothing and went away without aplogizing. We had to wait another 20 minutes for the champagne we ordered while waiting for our food and no other drinks at our table! I sent a email to higher mgmt. at Costa and Carnival cruises to ask for their opinion about my feedback, no response yet. (4 days ago). Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The check in process was very tedious but once we arrived at our suite I was surprised to see it was much smaller than expected. Balcony was cramped also. Barely enough room for 2 seats. Staff were a mixed bag of emotions to be honest. ... Read More
The check in process was very tedious but once we arrived at our suite I was surprised to see it was much smaller than expected. Balcony was cramped also. Barely enough room for 2 seats. Staff were a mixed bag of emotions to be honest. Some very happy, others seemed like they had enough. Food was good. Breakfast buffet was average but the ala carte was much better. Facilities seemed rather simple. Empty bar lounges. Tiny casino with 2 tables and heaps of pokies. Pool area was packed with kids as expected and was less than inviting. English is not the preferred language onboard and it's hard to communicate to most people you meet also. Shore excursions were simple and seemed rushed. Given the short duration of the port visit, travelling 2-3hrs by bus to see something quickly wasn't worth over 100 euros each. Overall it was an average experience and I would not recommend it if you only speak english Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We travelled on a cruise for the first time so we did not know what to expect. I would like to give advise to people who are in the same situation. We booked the Baltic cruise through Tallin, Helsinki and St Petersburg. I was nervous ... Read More
We travelled on a cruise for the first time so we did not know what to expect. I would like to give advise to people who are in the same situation. We booked the Baltic cruise through Tallin, Helsinki and St Petersburg. I was nervous about the fact that I have never been on a cruise and I might get seasick. Luckily, we had great weather and the sea was calm. We were told that this is mostly the case on this route. You might feel the vibrations of the motor from time to time and on the bow (front) you feel the waves more than at the stern (rear). We booked a cabin with a balcony which is totally worth the price difference to see the beautiful Stockholm archipelago in the morning when you sail out and sunbathe away from the crowded pools if you enjoy your peace and quiet. We booked the non-alcoholic drink package but soon realized that for 2 persons 40 drinks were too much. Since you are out on most days and water is available all along the cruise. We kept drinking sugary mocktails, which were delicious but surely not very healthy. Also, the prices of the regular cocktails and drinks are not too high, with a bottle of wine starting at 20 Euros during dinner and a mojito costs 7,50 Euros. In summary, I would not get a drink package at all, unless you like to get drunk and party every night. The food quality at the buffet is reasonable but it gets pretty full, so the option for a quiet dinner on your table is great, although the selection is limited and you need to dress up a little. Be aware of the dress codes: There is a forrmal dinner, a white night and a Gala dinner and although not everyone in the cruise follows, it is nice to fit in during seated dinners. In my experience, staff were extremely friendly and the service was great (we ordered breakfast in the cabin on the departure day and had it on the balcony as we cruised out of Stockholm) We had the impression that most staff look happy, which gives you a good feeling. We did experience a couple of angry guests on the other hand, shouting at the customer service staff. If you do not like criowds or screaming children, there are many ways of avoiding them. The ship is so big, you can alsways find a quiet spot on one of the decks. There are many first-timer traps that are easy to fall into: The photographs, the souvenirs, the overpriced tours, the drinks and the spa. If you are sailing in nice weather, you don't need the spa. It is tiny, dark and the sauna and steam bath are separate for men and women, so if you are a couple you cannot share the experience. There are six jacuzzis and three swimming pools, two without loud music, you can enjoy without extra payments. The spa does not have a pool, only two indoor jacuzzies and a tiny relaxing area indoors. In Tallin and Helsinki do not book tours nor use the hop on hop off buses, you can take public transportation to the center of the cities which are easy to walk along if you are used to touring on your own.In St Petersburg we took the Costa tour, it offers some advantages, such as the fact that they wait for you if you are a bit late to come back,which might happen since the traffik is so unpredictable. You also feel very safe in the bus and during the tour. You might choose to take a tour on your own, bit it is necessary to have a visa from the Russian authorities to disembark without a booked tour. In all, Costa Magica was a pleasant experience and we would like to travel again on a different route some other time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our first cruise. We needed a cruise that fit in with pre-allocated holidays at work and also to discover somewhere new. The Western Mediterranean ports have mostly been visited on other, non cruising holidays, so we wanted the ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We needed a cruise that fit in with pre-allocated holidays at work and also to discover somewhere new. The Western Mediterranean ports have mostly been visited on other, non cruising holidays, so we wanted the Eastern Mediterranean and chose a cruise from Venice on Costa Luminosa. Some of the points highlighted in this review may seem trivial to seasoned cruisers but we had 101 questions before our cruise so hopefully this review may help others who are/were in the same situation as ourselves. To anyone like ourselves I would say "don't worry. A lot of things become self explanatory once on board" There are lots of variables when booking a cruise and I did some hefty research on sites like Cruise Critic. Some of the items we booked were merely a "fluke" like getting a drinks package included. We booked around 7 months in advance on the Costa website and chose a Premium Balcony cabin. This allowed us to choose the cabin we wanted and we opted for cabin 7260 which was mid-ship on the left hand side and had cabins above and below us to minimize the noise from bars, disco's, engines, theatre and the sundeck. As mentioned this also included the Brindiamo drinks package - more later. Also, by choosing this type of cabin we could specify preferences about meal times and we chose the first sitting (18:45) and specified a table for two in the upstairs dining room. My wife is on a Gluten Free diet so, a few days after booking, I telephoned Costa in Genoa and told them about the special request. We were advised that they could only guarantee gluten free food if we ate in the main dining room. They advised us not to eat in the buffet for this reason. We paid our deposit and I made a note to myself and paid the balance about 8 weeks in advance. Whilst the initial booking could be done online we could only pay the balance by telephone. Approximately 3 weeks before travel we received an email from Costa with boarding forms and luggage labels which we had to print out ourselves. We traveled from the UK to Venice by train and stayed the night before the cruise in a hotel in Mestre which is a few miles from Venice on the mainland. Our documentation from Costa said that boarding began at 14:00 so we headed from Mestre to Venice late morning and had a bite to eat. From Santa Lucia railway station in Venice it's a steady 25 minute walk to the cruise terminal. There's also a people mover which costs 1.50 Euro's and would reduce this transit time to about 12 minutes. Once at the port (at about 14:05) we handed our suitcases over and were given embarkation number 15. We proceeded to a waiting room and discovered that they were processing group number 12. We sat and waited for a short time before they called number 15. There were long queues but we seemed to move quickly. After checking in we had the obligatory pose for the camer-man and headed to the ship. It took exactly 1 hour from arriving at the terminal to getting to our cabin. The cabin was excellent. Plenty of room. A decent sized en-suite. Balcony with two chairs and a small table. Mini-Bar and a comfy bed. There was a selection of fruit and biscuits for us and a sign saying that they were gluten free (as we had told them). It was my wife's birthday on the day of boarding and there was a birthday card from the captain waiting for her in the cabin. On the bed were our Costa Cards, and some other information. At this point we discovered that people were allowed on-board from 11:45. So we had been killing time all morning waiting when we could have been on the ship 2-3 hours earlier. We had read many articles suggest things to do during the first few hours onboard. To put it mildly, we were overwhelmed. I think initially someone had suggested the pool. We didn't get this far until day 3 ! Each day a "Diary de Bordo" is delivered to your cabin. This shows navigation, weather and entertainment information and also information about shore excursions (where to meet and at what time etc). However, something that we almost missed was the "Welcome meeting" which was done at 15:30 in the Grand Bar Ellectra for English speaking guests. We found this very useful and would strongly suggest that any novice cruisers like ourselves seek this out on the first afternoon. We were advised that "English Speaking Guests" totaled 440 on this cruise. English speaking guests are those who don't communicate in the main languages used (French / German and Italian but not Russian). So included in this number were Swedish, Norwegian and Brazilian nationalities as well as British, Amercan and Canadians etc. I believe there was also a Russian host on board but ship announcements were not made in Russian. Whilst I am not privy to exact numbers I would estimate that the cruise consisted of 40% Italian, 25% German, 25% French and 10% split between other nationalities. It was rare to hear any other guest speak English on board. Most of the ships activities are on decks 2, 3 and 9. It's a beautiful ship. Very clean and well maintained. It was interesting to watch the officers do their inspections and pick up on the tiniest area that wasn't clean enough and tell staff to clean it. The Costa Card :- in our cabin was a Costa Card. This was our "passport" to the ship for the next week. It opened the cabin door and was used to obtain services on board. It was shown (and scanned) when leaving on shore excursions and likewise when returning to the ship. As our cabin included certain drinks we had to show it whenever ordering a drink. Each bar has a drinks menu. Next to each drink is a colour code representing the various drinks packages. I believe a grey dot represented a drink included in our package. Should we have ordered a drink that was not included in the package we would have been given a receipt and this amount debited to our room. Drinks on board generally ranged from 3 to 6 Euros. We subsequently discovered that our drinks package would have cost us 27 Euro's per day - that's between 5 and 9 drinks per day to make it worthwhile. We probably had about 5. Drinks that are included in your package convey no surcharge. However, anything not included has a 15% surcharge levied. Free water is available (by the glass) in the buffet area and pool area at the rear of the ship. Bottled water costs 1.70 Euro's (plus service charge) for 0.5 litres. One thing worth noting is that we were told that for environmental reasons all drinks are by the glass. When ordering a Pepsi it was poured from a 330ml can into a glass holding 250ml. What happened to the last bit I have no idea but we never saw them "recycle" a drink by pouring a bit from one can and the rest from another. The main dining seemed to be quieter (and smaller) on deck 3 rather than deck 2. Our waiter said the later sitting was the busiest. We found the food the be excellent. Yes, there is an Italian theme but also plenty of choices that are not just pasta. Each evening my wife was given a special "Gluten Free" menu which generally contain choices not available on the standard menu. Our waiter was slightly dour on the first day and we recalled some bad reviews with trepidation. However, we joked with him, talked to him and, by the end of the cruise felt that he was one of our best friends. A truly warm, genuine person. The cabin steward was also a very kind, warm person. Always smiling and kept the cabin in immaculate condition. When we got to the cabin on the first afternoon we could choose the time that would suit us best for it to be cleaned. We opted for the afternoon/evening as we would normally be having dinner. We had a very slight problem with a light not working and the cabin steward immediately stopped everything he was doing to fix it (it transpires that a previous guest had unplugged it) The bar staff were also great. Often remembering who arrived for drinks in what order and dealing with 3 people at once. On our subsequent feedback questionnaire to Costa we rated the ships officers quite badly as they hardly spoke and were miserable. However, without exception, the "normal" staff were incredibly attentive and cheerful. If you engage with them you would be treat like royalty. I received a free drink at the bar one day because, he said, " I had made him smile". Also, I had a daily ritual with one of the chefs at breakfast. Early in the cruise she was singing "You are my sunshine" as it was a beautiful sunny day. As the week progressed I asked her about the song of the day. As she normally was cooking omelets we had songs like "How do you like you eggs in the morning" and "Smile" though we changed the words a little from "Smile though your heart is aching" to "Smile though your eggs are breaking". Even though my wife was on a Gluten free diet we did use the buffet area on more than one occasion. My wife has an intolerance to wheat but if we are sensible we can work out what foods are likely to contain this substance. By 8am the buffet was busy. As early risers we were there at 7-7.30 and it was almsot deserted. The buffet restaurant opened about 11.30 for lunch. Usually at this time (until about midday) it wasn't that busy. However by 12:30 people were hunting for tables. There are four main serving areas. However there may be small variation with what's available at each one. For example, one may have carrots whilst another one may have the carrots swapped for Broccoli. Unless you are really picky and desperate there is certainly no need to visit more than one serving station. We only visited the buffet once in the evening and this was at 8pm and found it to be quiet. There is some repetition of food and some dishes (potato wedges appeared every night) In the main dining room you have an allocated table for evening meal but you are shown to a seat at Breakfast and Lunch which could be anywhere and generally only on deck 2 (the upstairs restaurant is only open on an evening). We had breakfast in the main dining room once and was bitterly disappointed. There is a small buffet area and you can also order one of a themed breakfast - so they had an American breakast, an English breakfast a Norwegian brekfast etc. We found, on the English breakfast that the bacon was like charcoal and the egg very "snotty". However for lunch and evening meal the food was spectacular. The portions are not huge but the menu is based on having 4 or 5 courses. We really enjoyed our meals and found them to well presented and very tasty. Dress code was varied. Each night there was a theme. Red & Black night / White night / Mask night. I would estimate that only 10% of guests actually took heed of this. People were having meals in shorts and t-shirts - even on gala night. The theatre has two showings. (I believe) at 19:30 if you have a late meal and 21:30 if you have an early sitting for dinner. Each show lasts 35-40 minutes. The first night was a magician who was "ok". Other nights we thoroughly enjoyed each show. One reviewer said "slapstick". We would vehemently disagree. Each announcement was made in Italian, French, German and English. Some people have said this was tedious. However we are an English couple sailing from Italy to the Greek islands. How lucky were we that they even took the time to speak English ? In our opinion - very ! Every member of staff was fluent in all the aforementioned languages. Also, we found it nice to be part of the minority. If, as an English couple, we wanted to be surrounded by English speaking people and visit a destination where everyone spoke English then we could have gone to Skegness. It was an eye-opener in our last port as a cruise ship with predominantly English speaking guests was also in port. Suddenly everywhere in town were British people and it spoilt what I would describe as the "exclusivity". We found the majority of other passengers to be miserable and very bad mannered. The staff would pass you and say "hello, Good morning". You would have been lucky to get a scowl from other guests. At the bar I would say " a cappuccino please". Many, many times I heard other nationalities just say "expresso" or "pepsi". No manners ! Needless to say that their bad manners persisted on shore excursions and meal times. We booked all of our shore excursions through Costa as we were unsure what would happen with self booked tours. This was, to us the worst part of our cruise. Generally, with fewer English speaking guests we shared our coach with other nationalities. French one day, Italian the next etc - however all announcements were multi-lingual Bari - Sassi de Matera We were in port for 6 hours but this tour took 5.5 hours. We were rushed with hardly any time for toilet stops. An audio/visual presentation was made in a cave. The tour guide cut in half way through say "got to go". We were given 30 minutes of free time at the end and told to meet "back here at 17:30". At 17:25 the tour guide took us back the coach, as she was in such a hurry, leaving some guests behind and a couple of these must have been in their 80's. Of course we were then delayed whilst she went back to find them... Keffalonia - Caves/Lake/Beach The visit to the beach was to "look at it" from 1000ft up a maintain. The caves and lake were good but very long queues for the lake (1 hour queue) Santorini - Oia and Fira Excellent tour guide. Excursion spoilt by very long wait to use the cable car. Queuing for 1 hour to use it. Worried about making the last tender back to the boat Mykonos- walking tour of Mykonos Waste of money. Tour guide took us on a 1 hour walk around Mykonos. "here's a windmill", "this is a shop", "that's a church". We discovered more in our own time that with him. Katakolon - Olympia We got a coach from Katakolon to Olympia with entrance included but no tour guide. We were disappointed by the short time we had there and also the lack of signage in Olympia telling you what things were. At the end of the cruise we were disappointed to leave. Whilst we didn't participate in many of the activities available time went by quickly - even our last day- at sea. We are now looking forward to our next cruise - but would like to try another company for comparison. Considering all of the negative reviews on Cruise Critic about Costa we were very impressed and they exceeded our expectations. I use an old adage "behavior breeds behavior". Treat the staff with courtesy and respect and they will treat you like royalty. The poor shore excursions and bad mannered, rude fellow travellers has stopped me rating this as 5* Even though we would like to try another cruise line we would not hesitate to book with Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because it departs and arrives from a single location (Savona), where we can park our car safely. This is our third time to cruise with Costa and we always enjoy their friendly service and their on-board entertainment. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it departs and arrives from a single location (Savona), where we can park our car safely. This is our third time to cruise with Costa and we always enjoy their friendly service and their on-board entertainment. The itinerary included some of our favorite locations (Malaga and Barcelona), as well as some places we had not been before (Valencia and Cadiz). The length of stops was okay, except for Barcelona, which was only about 4 hours and was therefore pretty frustrating. Savona is always our starting and stopping place for Costa cruises. This is a lovely little Italian town. Boarding was well organized, with parking and luggage service. We dropped our bags off together with our car, then walked into the terminal and waited for our boarding time. The parking/luggage attendants are really friendly and they took excellent care of our luggage and our car. After boarding, we had time to have a drink or snack while enjoying a view of the harbor, waiting for the cabins to be ready. When our cabin was available, they advised us, and then our luggage was there waiting for us, without incident. Disembarkation at Savona is chaotic and not so well organized. Although Costa enforces the disembarkation schedule, there were too many people in the terminal at one time, making it very hard to negotiate with a wheelchair AND baggage cart. However, we were prepared for this and we just took it as it was. We were driving to our next location so we were not stressed about meeting a plane or train, but I can understand others who did have to deal with that stress. We highly recommend to others to NOT plan to drive a long way on the day you leave the cruise, because you will be really tired. We normally drive a few hours to Firenze (Florence) that day, and that is as far as we would want to drive that day. Prepare to be exhausted at the end of a cruise. On board, we enjoyed the evening shows with fantastic dancers and great musicians. They truly make it easy to have fun. This time we were less than impressed with the overall dining experience, where we felt that the variety was limited, and the qualify of food was not as good as on previous Costa cruises. Unfortunately, Costa does not really cater to travelers in wheelchairs. They have some accessible cabins, but very few accessible suites, and so far we have been unable to get a suite, even though we tried to reserve from the first day the cruise was available online. Maybe we have to have some other connection that we don't know about. More about the cabin below. Excursions organized by Costa do not offer wheelchair accessible buses, so it is up to us to organize ourselves. We gave the "Public rooms" category a lower rating because in many places, the music was way too loud, making it impossible to have a conversation. However, we found a piano bar where the music was to our liking and not too loud, and there we enjoyed snuggling with drinks and having time to just be together as a couple. Overall, we had a great time and are looking forward to another cruise in the next couple of years. One plus of traveling with Costa is that they are registered in Italy and therefore are subject to EU regulations. One of these regulations states that when traveling with a disabled person that needs constant assistance, the companion/carer does not have to pay other than drinks and taxes. Costa respects this regulation and therefore we pay full price only for one of us. However, beware that if you are eligible for this allowance, you must request it from Costa BEFORE departure. We learned about this during our second Costa cruise but too late to request it for that cruise, so this time we were wiser. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Having cruised with Costa previously, this was a very disappointing experience to the point we have now chosen not to book this line ever again. Ship needs refurbishment, cabin was very small and service was non existent. At the start of ... Read More
Having cruised with Costa previously, this was a very disappointing experience to the point we have now chosen not to book this line ever again. Ship needs refurbishment, cabin was very small and service was non existent. At the start of the cruise we were asked to select when we would like the cabin to be cleaned! The suggestion was it woul only happen once a day. Rembrandt, you have to pay the gratuities with this line. Forget breakfast unless you like cake, bread buns and fruit. Entertainment was ok but catering for Italian customers. Dining experience was very slow and they now charge fro the water! My wife has made the suggestion that we only use Costa to get from A to B. In other words, use Costa as a ferry service e.g. Barcelona to Savona. Real cruisers willl be let down by booking Costa Cruise so be warned. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Our first cruise on Costa was great. We took 4 children and everyone had a great vacation. All food was included - there were no "excluded" items for extra $ such as lobster. There was all the ice cream you wanted. You ... Read More
Our first cruise on Costa was great. We took 4 children and everyone had a great vacation. All food was included - there were no "excluded" items for extra $ such as lobster. There was all the ice cream you wanted. You could eat pretty much any time you desired. I am not a cruise snob but I have now been on 9 cruises on 6 different cruise lines both with and without children. My expectations are not unreasonable, simply based on previous experience. Unfortunately Costa has changed and not for the better. For example, There is no "free ice cream" available. Many of the best food items you now have to pay extra for. The dishes offered were definitely not as good as on the previous trip. The buffet closes prior to ending time and runs out of food. Much of the food is the same every day. However our waiter, Joey, in the dining room was wonderful. Very attentive, trying constantly to please. Internet/wifi costs an exorbitant fee and many at the hospitality desk are not very helpful. However, Matteo was the epitome of what an ideal customer service representative should be. The evening entertainment (singers not including the opera soloist) was less professional than on previous cruises. The on shore excursions were pricey. And a heads up to those who have not cruised before. There is a "service fee" every day on your account which you may or may not be made aware of until check out. You can opt out but it is a major undertaking to get this accomplished. Conflicting information and requirements from different employees at the same hospitality desk. Thank you again Matteo for your help. We had a good time doing out own agenda on shore, the food was adequate and the employees mentioned, along with help from Jessica, (the english liason), made it a good trip for our family. However I think I will be looking at other cruise lines in the future unless Costa Cruise Line makes some major modifications to their current policies. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Let me start off by saying I am neither a complainer nor a pushover. I like to say things as they are and to hell with what the majority or otherwise might say. Nor am I a happy clapper willing to give out praise where it not due. That ... Read More
Let me start off by saying I am neither a complainer nor a pushover. I like to say things as they are and to hell with what the majority or otherwise might say. Nor am I a happy clapper willing to give out praise where it not due. That out of the way, let me proceed. As seasoned travellers myself and my wife have been most places in the world and often several times over. However, until now we have resisted the urge to cruise. Don't ask me why, I have no logical reason, other than liking to be in charge of my our own day to day lives and what we decide to do with them, which is best suited to a holiday where we set the daily itinerary. I was often put off by the choice available, the often very high prices, and unfortunately, the high prices upfront to fly to some of the departure ports from Northern Ireland. For instance, the Caribbean felt a good option several times, but paying up to £700 each for flights just to get to Miami and then the cost of the cruise on top was a turn off. Deep down I also had a fear that I would get cabin fever, and also harboured an illogical feeling that a cruise ship was merely a tarted up ferry and I would know it inside out and back to front within an hour. This proved to be unfounded. So this year we decided it was time to break our mould and book a cruise. The Western Med seemed a safe bet, and being slightly off season in March we wouldn't have spent a Kings ransom if it turned out we really were not up for cruising at all. If we liked it, then spending a lot more in some sunny summer exotic destination would be less of a worry. After an evening of internet research, I arrived at the Costa website, and we finally decided on a Western Med 7 night cruise on the Costa Diadema out of Barcelona. We booked an exterior room with a balcony. We also booked the Piu Gusto all inclusive drinks package including Cocktails. So off we set in early March 2018 In the midst of severe arctic weather as a result of the polar vortex over Ireland and the UK in late feb early March 2018, and we duly arrived in Barcelona on a rather pleasant saturday afternoon. Our cruise wasn't due to leave until Monday night, so we decided it would be good to book a hotel for 2 nights in Barcelona as well. This was a great decision, we had 2 lovely days in the city, and our hotel was right by the cruise port which meant a 2 minute transfer from hotel to Ship on Monday afternoon. Monday came quick enough and a quick taxi run saw us arriving at a modern fresh Cruise terminal purpose built by Costa. The Diadema in all its spotless glory was tied up alongside. Our labelled bags were whisked away, and an hour later, we were called to board. On entering the ship the lavish design is the first thing that hits you. This was no glorified ferry! The ship is beautifully fitted out and spotlessly clean. We made out way to room 2037 on deck 2 and were pleasantly surprised at the size of the room, the bed and balcony. Our two Cruise cards were awaiting us on the bed. These act as your boarding card/ ID at port stops, your payment method whilst onboard, and your door keycard for entry to your room. The idea is you "pair" your credit card to the cruise card at one of the multiple terminals onboard. You then no longer use personal cards or cash on board. Any accrued cost, you settle the night before your trip ends. Of course, the card also holds details of your drinks package, so all your drink 'purchases' are free. You will be called to a meeting point an hour or two after boarding, resplendent with life jacket for a compulsory drill. All in all it took about 20 minutes. This is taken extremely seriously by the crew members and they expect you to treat it as seriously and pay attention to all that you are told. Common sense, and no more an interruption on your cruise than the flight attendant instructions at the start of a flight. At this point, I'll explain go back and explain the drinks packages. There are several, from water only, kids soft drinks, meal only wine packages, wine only all areas, main spirits wines and beers, everything inc Cocktails (but not absolute premium brands) this is the package that we had , and the everything you want package including the very top brands like 20 year old Brandys. Note: everyone travelling on the same booking must have the same package for adults. This is to prevent the card holder 'buying' drinks on the all inclusive package, and passing them to others who haven't paid for the package. Incidentally, I saw this once with a group of 30 something men. The barman saw it happening and immediately refused further service to the whole group. They were then escorted from the bar. I don't know if their cards were confiscated, but on the literature it does say that this could happen if abused. Simply, do the right thing and you are fine, if caught, the bar staff take it seriously and will take action. All the bars on ship serve the same range of drinks and the extensive drinks menu is at every bar. You simply look at the coloured dot that represents your package on the front page of the menu, and any drink that has your colour dot (yellow in our case) then that drink is included. Our package was hugely inclusive and only about 3 cocktails and a selection of like 20 year old brandies were excluded. It included dozens of top brands. Martell, Johnny Walker, Baileys, Smirnoff, Gordons, Martini, Bacardi, Canadian Club, and loads of liquors and beers, coffee, soft drinks and juices.. The Cocktail menu was to die for, with about 30 on offer. (Try the Bahama Mama!!) At €8.20 a cocktail, it would be an expensive night if you were paying by drink. Our package was €175 each. We each drank about €70 of cocktails etc on the first night! :-) Suffice to say, the drink package is worth it. When you consider it includes your wine at dinner, soft drinks etc at lunch time, all your Illy coffees on board. I estimate our tab would have been not much shy of €1000 for the 8 days onboard. (you can avail of your breakfast, lunch and drinks package on departure day as well!) Stay away from the minibar in the rooms as usual over priced. Now for all said above, heres the anomaly. This company (Costa) has a real bee in its bonnet over drinking water! Yes, the stuff you need to stay alive. It is not included free in the room (€3.50 a litre from the mini bar.) It is only dispensed from water dispensers to cup in the buffet area, and by glass only in the restaurants. If you want chilled bottled water, you have to pay extra! even with a drinks package, unless you take out the actual water drinks package! So Martell VSOP brandy and €9 Cocktails are included on your package, but chilled bottled water isn't even though they would likely stock it at about 10 cents a bottle! Very strange, and it seems to irk a lot of people going by comments here and elsewhere. It also seems unique to Costa. So, sort it Costa, really silly policy and one which needs addressed. I cannot for the life of me understand having an all inclusive drinks package and not having the cheapest and most basic form of drink available on it! However that said, I don't remember gasping for water onboard, it is available from dispensers 24/7 and we kept a litre in the room at all times. Moving onto dining. I can genuinely say that If I had have believed some of the ridiculous reviews left by some people here and elsewhere, I may have cancelled the trip. What it did do was leave us with some doubts as to what the food would be like. There must be a lot of people out there with very low tolerance levels, or very delicate palettes . This is an Italian cruise ship. There is no escaping it caters mainly for Italian, Spanish, French and German peoples. In fact English was the 3rd or 4th language translated for announcements. I am not a picky eater at all, but I admit enjoying the typical UK/ Irish diet. Everything from fish and chips, roast beef, a good curry etc. But I also enjoy rice dishes etc. I wouldn't say I am a big lover of the classic mediterranean diet, but I would have a go anyway. Suffice to say, the food will be different than the UK or Irish traveller might be used to. But its of very high quality. In a nutshell, both my wife and I were bowled over with the quality of food on offer. The Italian chefs onboard created dishes each night that were just amazing. From basic spaghetti and pasta dishes, to the beef, lamb, chicken and pork offerings. We were blown away. It was so satisfying too, as our expectations had been lowered so much by these reviews!. I have to say to some of the reviewers on this site, some of you must be serial complainers or just unfortunate, because the experience we had all over the ship was of a serious effort to provide top class food and experience and I don't think we were let down once. You will be allocated a dining room on day one, with either sitting 1 or 2. We were in the Fiorintino restaurant on deck 3/4 for first sitting. Some reviews said staff were nasty and overworked, food arrived cold and took hours. I think you are reviewing the wrong boat. Our waiter was prompt, wine bottle in hand before you had even warmed the seat. The 5 course menu browsed, a nibble at the constant supply of fresh breads, and the first course arrived within 10 minutes. We never spent longer than 1 hour to 80 mins in the restaurant unless chatting to people. It was a lovely experience in 5 star surroundings. The waiting staff were warm and friendly and nothing was too much for them. The food was superb, resented like a top restaurant and cooked perfectly. Now, if you didn't want the sit down 5 course meal, or you decided to eat later, the Buffet on floor 10 was available up until well after 9. If you have experienced all you can eat buffets before, this will be of no surprise to you, but it was no where near the problem some have posted. Its busy, but we never found it crazy busy. You may well have to look around for 2 or 3 minutes to get a seat in the actual buffet area, but never longer than that. Also the area directly outside the buffet has hundreds of seats and tables to eat at also. The buffet runs along 3 sides, and is split into Oriental (Chinese type dishes, rice, fried rice, noodles, ribs, chinese chicken pork etc,) Italian, spaghettis, pasta, lasagnes, ravioli, then a big area serving roast beef, chicken etc. A large salad area and a dessert area. Again, for a buffet, the food is very good and you can have a really nice meal here. One review I read actually said, "most of the food available in the buffet is cold"! what absolute rubbish! This is also the location for your continental breakfast. Cooked breakfasts are at your designated restaurants. In addition to this, there are 3 or 4 "prestige" restaurants, costing about €25 per person per head over and above your inclusive package. There is the Tarayaki, The Ferrari and another. We never bothered, as the food inclusive was so good. You also have an Italian Pizzeria and a burger bar available (at a cost) to about 1.30am, or room service 24 hours at a cost of course. The Pizza is to die for, seriously. We had a full cooked breakfast in bed one morning for €10 all in. (Full UK style) So thats the food aspect. We were really delighted. I expect in review columns like this, it is natural that people will come to complain more than compliment, but I really must say a big congratulations to Costa for service and food. So on to the ship itself. Wow. Its a bit of an assault on the senses. The sheer size of it is the first thing that hits you. It is vast. 16 floors high, numerous bars restaurants etc. A shopping mall, casino, cinema, theatre, disco, nightclub, 2 pools, jacuzzis, country club, Ice cream parlour, spas. Just about everything you would expect. I understand its one of if not the biggest currently on Mediterranean duty. The shops are typical of cruise liners. Tommy Hilfiger, up market watches, and the typical Boots type perfume and lotions shops. Not really our thing but nice enough to kill an hour or so. Do be aware, they run 'sales and promotions' most nights, but in reality the prices are rubbish and its easy to get sucked in when in holiday mode. You will pay at least what you will pay at home, sometimes a lot more! Suffice to say, ignore the 75% off luxury watches promos. Ripoff. But I am sure you are not cruising for the shops on board. Each night, you will receive the ships "newspaper" detailing all of the next days activities and the port of call. This is excellent because you know whats on the ship at any time. We enjoyed a show one night in the vast theatre, and shows change nightly. But we found our home in the country club where a terrific cover band called Royal Alligators played Dire Straits,Queen, Toto, Police, and all the old classics until the early hours. They were very talented and pulled big crowds each night. Other than that, it was nice to just drift about the ship in and out of venues to see what was on, you really can lose yourself walking about the many decks and bars. The bar and lounge areas are all slightly different but designed beautifully, and its lovely to sit in any of them and just take in a bit of entertainment. And this is non stop. This is a dancing boat! Morning noon and night, there are couple Cha cha'ing or Latin dancing to their hearts content. There are free classes on constantly, with bands, singers, musicians, comedians, and dancers doing different shows every night. The public areas are busy, but not frantic. Italians do tend to converse loudly and shout rather than talk, but I don't remember ever feeling that the Ship was rowdy or boisterous. Just happy! You would have thought the waiting and bar staff would be trained to slow down the drinks intake of all those all inclusive passengers to save the company money, but its quite the opposite. The staff will arrive as soon as your glass is empty to fetch a refill. The service is excellent. In fact, the attention and service of staff all over the ship is really exemplary. They are courteous, well trained and efficient. There are always people polishing stair rails and glass partitions, cleaning surfaces etc. You will not see a fingerprint on this ship. I'll not dwell on the ports called at. Suffice to say, we stopped at Palma, Palermo in Sicily, Rome, Savona, Marseilles and back to Barcelona. I cant comment on the tours, but we booked the bus transfer to Rome and it left and came back on time, and the same in Palma. On early arrival back at Barcelona, we had breakfast. Our cases were left outside the room the night before to be transferred to the terminal for collection (saves you carting them through he ship on exit). We were told we could stay on board until about 1 pm which we did, availing of lunch and a few more Cocktails! So an excellent trip with 5 star service board and food. We will definitely cruise on the Diadema again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We originally choose this cruise because it was a 10 night cruise, was affordable $949 PP premium balcony and it went the route we did 15 cruises ago (2005) and we wanted to see the changes, if any in the various ports. The reviews we had ... Read More
We originally choose this cruise because it was a 10 night cruise, was affordable $949 PP premium balcony and it went the route we did 15 cruises ago (2005) and we wanted to see the changes, if any in the various ports. The reviews we had read described the ship as 41/2 stars with many premium features. We agree with this assessment it is a very nice ship! That being said, there is very few nice things that can be said. Our waiter was very nice as was our cabin attendant the remainder of the crew suffered from "language block". This is a condition wherein they either do not understand English or simply use the ruse of lack of understanding to either ignore you or direct you to another subject or choice. Many questions we asked remain unanswered to this point in time, which is after the cruise has ended. While the ship sails out of an American port (Port Everglades) the ship is Italian and that is the dominant language spoken thus the overwhelming majority of passengers are European and that being Italian also. We (Americans) found the food to be bland, tasteless, and offering few variations. Personally, I thought the breakfast sausage was the worst I had ever encountered, the bacon was usually under cooked as were the scrambled eggs! And the general offering was unlike anything we had ever encountered. However, the Europeans seem to love it and that is just fine with us, we can simply book cruises with cruise lines such as Celebrity, Holland America, Carnival, Princess or Norwegian or any number of lines that reflect American tastes! There are NO specialty restaurants on the ship. Instead they sell you specialty meals in the dining room. eg: Lobster which is generally offered one night on any of the other cruise lines we have cruised on and in this case it was horrible! It was dry, tough and tasteless . On another night I had King Prawns and they were juicy but tasted unlike anything I had ever eaten! Oh yes, and the stage shows, well most High Schools present shows that are equal to,or better than those presented on the Deliziosa. The final night of the cruise the entertainment was provided by the crew members themselves and it proved to be the best show of the trip! We did not do any of the shore excursions offered as they seemed quite simple and uninteresting. Going back to the ship and basically its design, it is constructed so that instead of 4 large buffet areas there are many scattered around, such as Pizza here and a grill there and something else over there. This causes a major problem for Americans in that someone is always cutting in front of you, which we assumed to be poor manner or rude people. However, in hindsight I believe it to be a case of the diners get something here and then go to a different area to get something else. They seem to have adapted to this method of obtaining food and we have not and never will! We will simply not sail on a Costa Ship again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We selected this cruise because of the itinery and price. We wanted to try an asian cruise this time, and not that many options are available departing from Singapore. Royal Caribbean was much more expensive and had a less attractive ... Read More
We selected this cruise because of the itinery and price. We wanted to try an asian cruise this time, and not that many options are available departing from Singapore. Royal Caribbean was much more expensive and had a less attractive itinery. Costa Victoria is old. Built in 1996, and is by current standards a small ship. This would however not have to be only a disadvantage. A small ship can have its advantages. Unfortunatelly that was not the case with Costa Victoria. The decor of the ship is just uggly and would really need an upgrade. There's plenty of space on deck, but not enough deck chairs forcing people to simply place the towels on the fake "grass" floor, and the "solarium" in the forward of the ship needs at least a jacuzzi or something to relieve the main pool area. We we're upgraded from an inside to an outside cabin which was a very nice surprise! The outside cabins which comes with only a porthole window. The cabin is very small and the orange colors are not pleasant.No seating are is available so oyu have to sit in the bed to view TV. The bathroom is fine though. The dining options available are the absolute basics. It's either the buffet, or the main dining rooms. The buffet has 4 parallel lines, but only one is serving the grilled meat/fish why all people needs to queue in this line. For lunch the poolside of the buffet is serving burgers. unfortunatelly not tasty at all :(. No pizza or ice cream was available at all which suprised me on an italian ship. The MDR has two seatings, no flexible time dining. The gala dinner was rather good, but most other days the food was below standards. We shared dinner table with people from Scottland, Italy, Russia, Ukrain and Slovakia (we're from Sweden). Exiting, but not practial since not all could speak the same language. There was about 25 other Swedes onboard the ship and some british/americans which would have been much better for us to dine with for language reasons. The "theater" is more like a normal show room in 2 levels. 2 of the shows, one italian tenor and one acrobatic show was good, the other dance shows was boring. When we embarked costa took our passports and said they we're going to keep it for the entire cruise. I tried to understand why, but no one could answer me. They just said "this is how Costa always do", however, I have been with Costa 2 times before and they have not taken my passport. The day before disembarkation we had to queue to get them back. I then noticde the passports had been stamped by Thai and Cambodian customs. So maybe this was the reason for collecting them, but it would have felt better if this information was provided to us prior to embarkation. Btw, we was informormed just days before the cruise that a mandatory fee of $40 per person was going to be applied for Cambodian Visa (also applicable if not disembarking the ship). This shold have been made clear when booking the cruise, or better, including in the cruise price. Cruising is always a pleasurable way to travel, and even with the bare minimum of the cruise experience the Costa Victoria provides I find it worth the money paid. But for sure there shold be a significant difference in price, or much better itinery if I would choce costa again for my future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was our first cruise on Costa, but our 16th overall. Here are our honest thoughts on the various aspects. The cruise was 7 nights and embarked at Dubai. Flight ------ We booked the flight independently of the cruise. It was ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Costa, but our 16th overall. Here are our honest thoughts on the various aspects. The cruise was 7 nights and embarked at Dubai. Flight ------ We booked the flight independently of the cruise. It was an Emirates flight from LHR to Dubai. It was an overnight flight that landed in Dubai at 6am. In hindsite, this was the wrong choice as embarkation didn't start until 8pm and it turned out to be a long day. Still the flight itself was very good and we were impressed with Emirates. Embarkation ----------- This is where it all went a bit wrong. Our embarkation ticket stated 8pm as the boarding time which seemed a tad on the late side compared to a normal cruise. A quick google suggested that if you turn up at around 3pm, they would let you on. However imagine the dismay when we (and many other people) turned up in the afternoon to be told that 8pm was the hard and fast time and so we had to wait for 5 hours in the cruise terminal. Turns out this was because Friday (the day we embarked) is a holiday in the UAE and therefore the immigration control officials were only available from 8pm, hence the time. Can't really blame Costa for this I guess, but it's something to note. Cabin ----- We had cabin 7290 which was classed as a suite 'S' Cabin. It was a very nice size and was quite a bit bigger than a standard balcony cabin, so we were very pleased. Dining ------ Because we were in a suite, we were allowed to eat in the club restaurant (Club Medusa) free of charge for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. We didn't eat in the MDR, so can offer no opinion. We also tried the buffet for lunch a couple of times, but found the choice very limited. Club Medusa was very nice and the choice varied daily. The wine choice was also very good and you could try the wine to see if you liked it first. They try to sit you in the same area each day so you have the same waiters which helps build the relationship. It was also fairly quiet and you don't need to book ahead as suite guests. This was certainly one of the suite 'extras' that helped make the cruise that bit more special. Entertainment ------------- This is one area where both Italian cruise lines (MSC & Costa) fall short compared to American and British lines. The daily activities are very limited and evening shows are centred around song and dance and acrobat routines. I guess it's the language issues that are the cause. The good things of note were the live bands and the animation team. Dress Code ---------- We had lots of varied dress codes on our cruise. We had informal, Gala, Italian, Arabian and white nights, although many people adopted informal for the whole cruise. It was all good fun. The only gripe was that nowhere on the pre-cruise documents stated what was on offer, so you couldn't preplan what to pack. Ports ----- A cruise around the UAE all pretty much stop at the same ports. The main ones on our cruise were Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Sir Bani Yas Island. Ship ---- Having just been on the MSC Preziosa, the Costa Mediterranea looked and felt like an older ship in comparison. We experienced some very rough vibrations in our cabin whenever the stern thrusters were used and there was a constant vibration from the engines all over the ship when at sea. Nothing to bad to spoil the holiday, but not something I ever remember experiencing on any other ship. Suite Extras ------------ As we were in a suite cabin, we were entitled to a number of 'extras'. They were :- - Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner in the Club restaurant (see above) - Complimentary Intenditore drinks package. This is the top level one and pretty much every drink is included (apart from super expensive). You also get drinks loaded in your minibar. - Exclusive activities. We are invited to a couple of cocktail parties with the captain, but didn't attend due to the timings. - Complementary room service etc. We had breakfast in our room a couple of times, but other than that, didn't really test the room service. Disembarkation -------------- This was very smooth. We were free to leave the ship at any time up to 1pm and collect our luggage from the terminal. Perhaps this is something unique to the UAE cruises. Port to Airport --------------- Grabbed one of the many taxis from the terminal. Tooks roughly 20 minutes and cost 55 Dirhams (£11). Overall ------- No one can argue that Costa are not good value for money (much like MSC) but of course that means that certain aspects of the cruise are 'budget restricted' like the food and entertainment. It is also very Italian orientated (not unsurprisingly). However as long as you accept these limitations, then you can certainly enjoy yourselves. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
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