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3 Costa neoRomantica Romantic Cruise Reviews

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
After having made many cruises with mid-class (like Princess, Celebrity) and luxury cruise lines (e.g. Oceania) we wanted to investigate the difference between those cruise lines and Costa, which is frequently offering cruises for very ... Read More
After having made many cruises with mid-class (like Princess, Celebrity) and luxury cruise lines (e.g. Oceania) we wanted to investigate the difference between those cruise lines and Costa, which is frequently offering cruises for very attractive prices. As we had already booked an Oceania cruise for later this summer, we accepted a cheap last minute offer for the Costa NeoRomantica cruise tot he Norwegian fjords (€700 in the cheapest cabin), a.o. to be able to make this investigation. We had read beforehand various reviews on CruiseCritic and hence were prepared for a somewhat different experience then with the other abovementioned cruise line companies. We must say that the ship NeoRomantica itself was much nicer then expected, and certainly not attractive then ships of other cruiselines of a comparable size. It was just a pity that with the latest renovation the theatre had been removed to make space for a wellness area. The cabins are vary spacious and well equipped (although without bathrobes), and the available inside public areas is ample enough even in cool weather situations. Boarding and debarkation was very smooth and efficient. COMPARISON OF TOTAL CRUISE COST: COSTA vs e.g. OCEANIA (a luxury cruise line specially known for it’s exquisite food) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- COSTA ---------- Last minute cruiseprice = €700 p.p. for 9 nights in the cheapest cabin. Effective real additional costs for service fee + a modest amount of non-alcoholic drinks (1 specialty coffee, 1 non alcoholic drink + 0,5 bottle of mineral water a day): € 170. The total cost (without excursions) thereby comes to € 97 p.p per night Crew to Passengers ratio: 650/1700 = 38% OCEANIA ------------ Pseudo last minute cruiseprice (4 month before embarcation) = €1575 p.p. for 12 nights in cheapest cabin: € 131 per night all-in. Included in this price: * $400 board credit (repeater rebate + travel agent offer) which covers the service charge * limitless non alcoholic drinks + specialty Illy coffees/teas * free WiFi * a complimentary visit to a specialty restaurant every 3 nights (value of appx €30: €10 per night) * a complimentary full day shore excursion every 3 nights (which I value at € 50: €17 per night. List value is much higher but irrealistic) Crew to Passengers ratio: 787/1250 = 63% Deducting the value of the complimentary specialty restaurants + shore excursions, the daily rate comes to € 131-27 = € 104, €7 more then at Costa. COMPARISON CONCLUSION ------------------------------------ For a daily extra of € 7 p.p. one gets with Oceania next to free WiFi, limitless non alcoholic drinks and really exquisite food (e.g. including lobster, steaks, etc.; we experienced the quality on various previous cruises), much friendlier and quicker service: incomparable to Costa. If a specific itinerary is offered by Costa as well as Oceania I would allways choose Oceania. However, to get this all for this little extra, one has to be very alert on special offers, as the regular list prices of Oceania are very much higher. Moreover one has to value the complimentary specialty restaurants and shore excursions. If you don’t care for those, Costa may be a good bargain. SOME OBSERVATIONS on the COSTA NEOROMANTICA ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Positive points: ------------------- * Efficient boarding and debarkation * Very spacious and well equipped cabins (although without bathrobes) * Sufficient public areas (inside as well as on deck), inside even in cool weather situations * Linen towels in public restrooms (a luxury touch!) * Excellent Illy coffee (extra charge) * Offering of an area with popular classical music next tot he venues with popular music. Weak points: ---------------- * The penny pinching and high costs for extra's (like coffee during the day, better but still simple food, entry fee for aft deck, etc). During over 30 trips with other cruise lines we never experienced that one had to pay extra for items in the main restaurant, pizza, etc. * Excessive drink prices, e.g. € 3,50 for a cappucino coffee, € 8 for a non alcoholic coctail * The offered food was OK but nothing more. There was never anything on the menu which I would have ordered in even a simple local restaurant. * Service is very slow, mainly because of a crew to passengers ratio which is to low. * Most (but luckily not all) of the service personnel worked like robots, not giving the feeling they were happy with their job. They appeared to be overstressed and underpaid. * Very noisy animateurs * Dinner times are not well coördinated with timing of shows * No real theatre: just lounge shows * Complimentary coffee and tea is only available during breakfast + afternoon tea. * Tap water is available during lunch at the buffet restaurant, but not automatically offered in the main restaurant. * Hygiene is not stressed overly strong. * Life enrichment lectures were only at midnight .... FELLOW PASSENGERS ------------------------------- The passengers are mainly Italian and French, with a smaller but still considerable group of Dutch and Germans (departure was from Amsterdam). As far as we can tell almost no Americans, Englishman or Australians. Because of differences in culture and mentality the south European and north European passengers groups practically don’t mix. The whole atmosphere is more oriented towards the Italian style. E.g. where on ships with mainly Anglo-Saxon passengerst there is usually the silence of the grave after the last show, that’s the moment where on the NeoRomantica the big parties start. Announcements are always made in 5 languages: Italian, French, Spanish, English and German. Especially during the emergency exersize quite tiring. ITINERARY & EXCURSIONS ------------------------------------ In essence the cruise to the Norwegian fjord region was fine, although the time spend in small towns like Geiranger, Olden and Flam could have been slightly shorter as there is not much to do. Better spend part of the afternoon cruising the fjord. We didn’t use the shore excursions as these are excessively overpriced (as is the case with all cruiselines). We always organise excursions ourselves, whenever possible by renting a car. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We did a cruise to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. This was our 17th cruise and so we certainly love the lifestyle. We were looking for an Asia cruise and this cruise provided the time and itinerary we were after. The whole trip ... Read More
We did a cruise to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. This was our 17th cruise and so we certainly love the lifestyle. We were looking for an Asia cruise and this cruise provided the time and itinerary we were after. The whole trip was booked via an online agency and there were no problems with the booking. We found the Costa website a little difficult but managed to navigate it and booked our shore tours before we left. The ship left from Singapore. No problems with flights or arriving at terminal. When we went to embark there seemed to be some confusion. Embarkation was late and we were given three different times. However, we made it aboard but our cabin was not ready. We headed for a buffet lunch and then went to the cabin. The cabin was great. Roomy, spotless and a great ensuite. The cabin steward was helpful for the entire trip and nothing was an issue. His service was exemplary. We were on second siting dinner. Our table allocation was fine and the people on the table were tremendous. We made plenty of new friends with them and shared many laughs. We met up during the day and spent lots of time together. This was just as well as the entertainment during the day was woeful. It was very repetitive. As an example on one day there were three trivia quizzes! This is not much variety for entertainment. Teams needed to be titled by a country as the World Soccer Cup was on and so they were sticking with the theme. This was a good idea but the scores for the trivia quizzes were accumulative over the whole cruise. If you didn't attend one session you couldn't possibly win. There was no activities for younger people at all. Often an activity was led in multiple languages which was great but if you couldn't follow the accent you just missed out. We often felt belittled as we didn't speak Italian. One person we met on the trip was actually told by the office star that they shouldn't have come if they didn't speak Italian. The meals were fine and well presented. There was a great variety and never a shortage of any dish. The ship itself could be fine but needs some major refurbishments. The pools were crowded and small and the pool surrounds needed maintenance. The outdoor carpet needed replacing and so signs were placed warning of dangerous surface rather than having it repaired. There was no picture theatre on board or any other form of watching a movie. The TV in the room only had tow English speaking channels - one a news service, but over a dozen Italian language channels even though a large percentage of the passengers were English speaking. Due to language issues the night entertainment in the show room had to be limited. It would be difficult to run a comedy show in six languages. The entertainment in the show room was fine. Twice we went to karaoke only to find it had been cancelled. The disco often didn't open at all. The ports of call were brilliant but the shore tours were very mixed. The ship berthed in Tianjin and we were able to purchase a ride to town on shuttle service. We were given a map of Tianjin form the ship staff only to find that the shuttle bus actually took us to Tugganu which was 40 kilometres out of Tianjin. The bus driver explained that we were nowhere near where the map was and we needed to catch a taxi for a one hour ride to get to the town centre. We were in a starbucks coffee carpark and there was nothing around so we, along with everyone else on the bus, went straight back to the ship. The same issue happened with Cheju where we told it was a shopping tour but we were taken to a duty free shopping centre and as the ship had collected our passports we couldn't buy anything. When I put my grievances in writing to the shore tours manager when getting back on the ship I was informed that Costa had fulfilled their obligations and taken us to a shopping centre. It was not their fault that we couldn't buy anything! They were anything but helpful. We will continue to cruise but never again with Costa. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Costa neoRomantica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 3.5
Entertainment 4.0 2.9
Public Rooms 4.0 3.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 4.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.3
Enrichment 3.0 2.9
Service 3.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 4.0 3.5

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