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25 Costa Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Reviews

My wife and I did a 7 day trip from Rome Port. The food, cleanness, staff, experience were better than expected! Also after reading bad reviews. The food is not the same for each day, and is not just burger and pommes frites. Lots of ... Read More
My wife and I did a 7 day trip from Rome Port. The food, cleanness, staff, experience were better than expected! Also after reading bad reviews. The food is not the same for each day, and is not just burger and pommes frites. Lots of other choices. You mostly don't have to wait long to get a drink. During dinner it was depended on waiter how often you were asked for more wine. The entertaining in the theater were mostly no so good. We explored the cities our selves, except for Marseilles, where we took a costa arranged tour. If you read about each city beforehand, you can go by your one, with no problem. We very much like the port of Savona, where the ship is set right in the city center. One excursion was cancelled without explanation. We would like to go again, when we have the money. Maybe on a different ship, to get a different experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Costa Deliziosa – My wife and I just got back from a TA (20 days) on the Deliziosa leaving from Rome and ending in Ft. Lauderdale and let me say from the beginning that all the negative reviews of Costa and this ship in particular proved ... Read More
Costa Deliziosa – My wife and I just got back from a TA (20 days) on the Deliziosa leaving from Rome and ending in Ft. Lauderdale and let me say from the beginning that all the negative reviews of Costa and this ship in particular proved false. The embark was fast and very efficient. We were in our room (BC Balcony) with our bags, in less than 20 minutes. I had booked a few things through MyCosta before the trip,(excursions, wine, etc.) and that part did not work seamlessly. The items showed up on their ship board computer, but the various departments never received the requests. I would probably not do that again. ALSO, it pays to go to the front desk and get a itemized printout of your charges at least three times during the cruise. Service on board was great and efficient. I read all the reviews I could find about the Deliziosa and their TAs in general and here are some of the things that have changed. The common restrooms were all very clean and well stocked. The nightly shows were very good and we only missed one or two. Yes, the main language onboard was Italian, but then the 2nd was usually English. A daily Ship Events paper was in English and the menus were in English as well. We ate most of our meals in the main dining room on deck two, but also tried the buffet a few times. Dining at the buffet was like WalMart on Black Friday. This was not Costa’s fault but our fellow passengers. We met other passengers that had been on other Costa cruises; some as many as 11 times. We asked them what had changed and most said was the details. Things seemed worn and dirty, like where you would put your hand on an upholstered chair. Most guests were charged for water, but US guests were not. German travel companies from what we heard had sued Costa about their automatic tipping policy and won. Therefore, the Germans tip on service and are not automatically charged. We did not purchase a drink package but drank daily Things that did help: we took a multi plug with a surge protector (there was only 1 plug in the room!), we took stick-on wall hangers that worked great to hanging coats, pants & etc. We have trouble with cramping if we are walking a lot, so we took packets of G2 (they make up a 20 oz. btl.) Very nice to have along. We took advantage of having breakfast in our room for only $5 svc chg. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I chose this cruis for the itinerary and Costa's Italian touch. I really loved this boat, the food both in the buffet and at night, our premium balcony cabin and the staff. We only took a ship excursion in Barcelona. We sail ... Read More
I chose this cruis for the itinerary and Costa's Italian touch. I really loved this boat, the food both in the buffet and at night, our premium balcony cabin and the staff. We only took a ship excursion in Barcelona. We sail from lovely Civitavecchia. Then we sailed to Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and Cagliari, returning to Civitavecchia. All are fantastic places. If you like Italian food and products cruise on the Diadema. Every night, we drank Prosecco or Sprtitz during the shows. On our table for 2, we had a ncice bottle of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (paid). We had the free water package for lunch and dinner. The ship is very modern and the ambiance is fantastic. A lot of bars to hang on with live music. I liked the shops and the outside promenade boarding the restaurants on Costa Diadema. We ate at the pizzeria ( Diadema makes its own fresh mozzarella) and at the Amarillo gelateria (great gelatos) Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My Italian parents (65+) enjoy cruising and invited us to go along (single mum & 2 kids, aged 11). So we chose Diadema to coincide with our various travels and room requirements, schoolbreak, flightsprices, etc.... no other particular ... Read More
My Italian parents (65+) enjoy cruising and invited us to go along (single mum & 2 kids, aged 11). So we chose Diadema to coincide with our various travels and room requirements, schoolbreak, flightsprices, etc.... no other particular reason. Its a huge ship, therefore called the Queen of the Med with about 4500 passengers and 1300 staff members. Clean cabin, attentive & friendly service staff. Most of the entertainers are Italians, hence it is the most spoken language.When sunny and at see the Sundecks are packed with no space in between. The buffet has plenty of food with above average quality. For unknown reasons, there was a waitling line of about 30min to enter the restaurant every evening. Entertainement was nice, with a vast variety in how you want to spend your evening. My kids were looking forward to use the F1 simulator, but this was out of order for the whole week. Unfortunately Icecream and Pizzas are not included, so these have to be paid extra for, which seems a little strange on an Italian Ship. The Waterdispensere where only located in the selfservice restaurant and only accessable when these were open (and...a funny smell surrounded this dispenser). Check out the locations you want to disembark and study public transport, as their offers are very pricey.All in all, OK but just too crowded. If I am ever going on a cruise again, then just in a cabin with private balcony. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
As a seasoned world traveler I knew that choosing to cruise on an Italian liner would mean that I would not be having the same experience as one of the ships that Americans usually choose. Why did I choose this particular cruise? I ... Read More
As a seasoned world traveler I knew that choosing to cruise on an Italian liner would mean that I would not be having the same experience as one of the ships that Americans usually choose. Why did I choose this particular cruise? I wanted a winter get-away, the price was fantastic, the itinerary included ports I wanted to visit. I did not choose based on food, drink, onboard activities, amenities or what language was predominant. In reading the reviews prior to the cruise, I was surprised at how many folks were unhappy that English was not more prevalent (duh! - it was an Italian liner!) And all the complaining about having to purchase water was way out in left field. Contrary to some reviews, the water from the taps onboard was perfectly safe (there has to be warnings when it is unsafe to drink the water). No such warnings were evident anywhere. Yes, if you wanted bottled water with dinner there was a charge but that happens in a lot of land restaurants too. Free water was always available at the open seating buffet anytime of day. I had no problem bringing bottled water back onto the ship after daily excursions and I did not witness anyone else having a problem with that. I think the water issue is blown out of proportion in the reviews. I did not participate in any of the ship's excursions as I did my own research on each port of call and determined what I wanted to do and see based on public transportation, etc. This of course made the cruise more affordable and was easy to manage. Only at Mallorca did I have to purchase a ship's shuttle bus ticket into the city because there was no public transportation available and the walk was a long one. Overall, I was happy with my experience on Costa's Diadema because it was just what I expected and I had done my "homework" to make it fit my ability and desires for what I wanted to see at the various ports. The Diadema is the same as any big name cruise liner that takes on thousands of people for a cruise - it's all in what you personally enjoy about the cruising experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We had toured a week in Venice and a week in Florence. As Valentines Day was approaching we started exploring something different for the following week. Since we were already in Europe we wondered about a cruise. This cruise was the only ... Read More
We had toured a week in Venice and a week in Florence. As Valentines Day was approaching we started exploring something different for the following week. Since we were already in Europe we wondered about a cruise. This cruise was the only one to fit our interest and time frame. We got a great last minute deal by phone directly through Costa in the week before departure. We were thrilled to find that we had been randomly upgraded from an Outside Classic Ocean View (window) to a Premium Veranda (balcony). Very few English as a first language passengers, but many spoke enough to be understood and were very warm to us. There were a LOT of Families from Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Slavic countries. A TON of kids who were up late after the 9PM Seating for Dinner and would be howling while being dragged down the long passageway to their cabin and bed. The kids at 6:30 Dinner seating were very well behaved. The Dining Room crew was very creatively active in musical "celebrations" both in the Dining Room and also in the Theatre. I'd suggest that they could provide more late night snack and room service options. There was a LOT of smokers on board There is only one inside smoking lounge, but it traveled to other areas in a big way, but it is southern Europe and that way everywhere you go. Bottom Line is... The food was fine. The itinerary was fine. The weather was fine. The crew was fine. The ship was fine. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Costa really needs to solve the unruly children problem on their ships. This is our 4th costa cruise and it is getting worse - children jumping into the adult pool and whirlpools. " Adults Only" signs need to be posted in ... Read More
Costa really needs to solve the unruly children problem on their ships. This is our 4th costa cruise and it is getting worse - children jumping into the adult pool and whirlpools. " Adults Only" signs need to be posted in different languages and Costa should enforce the rules as the Europeans let their children run wild with no manners . Adult couples at our evening dinner table complained that it felt like a noisy, family kitchen and surrounded by children. Suggestion: Costa should seat families with children on one side of the dining room and couples on the opposite side to ensure a relaxing atmosphere for those who want an adult dining experience. Buffet restaurant needs better organizational flow as long line ups and different food stations require another line up resulting in eating your food cold when you can finally find a table to eat at. Food at buffet was good in variety and taste (remember that this is European cuisine, not American). Evening dining room food was either very good or not so good, depending on the particular dish. Need more menu choices and without giving up quality. For the most part, good service. Recommend the all inclusive drink package. Lovely ship. Evening entertainment had good dancing and listening music with singers. Evening shows did not impress me but were okay for many of the guests as far as I could tell. I was apprehensive in taking this Costa cruise as I noticed the food quality on my last 2 cruises was going downhill, so, I was pleasantly surprised and hope that Costa finally realizes that many customers choose Costa for the experience of good quality Italian cuisine and takes steps to make this a priority on all of their ships at all times.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
The ship is sharp and well laid out . . . it is actually the same ship as the Carnival Legend/Miracle twins with a bit classier decorations and fittings. Costa out shines everyone on embarkation proceedings . . . but is in the "not ... Read More
The ship is sharp and well laid out . . . it is actually the same ship as the Carnival Legend/Miracle twins with a bit classier decorations and fittings. Costa out shines everyone on embarkation proceedings . . . but is in the "not ready for prime time" class for food and tours. Food . . . well prepared but dull compared to other cruise lines such as NCL and Royal Caribbean . . . and with poor access. A 3 hour only lunch buffet . . . less than 2 hours for served breakfast . . . and no dinner or evening buffet options were very old school. You essentially eat at your assigned dinner time or starve! Food was well prepared but with very limited choices.. Tours had to be pre-purchased and there were no refunds. Costa then mixed languages which essentially gave you half a guide. When questioned, the tour staff shrugged and essentially said "tough".   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Our first joint adventure on the high seas started at 0700HRS on the 22st July 2011 at Gatwick. It was booked through Virgin Cruises and was a Costa package cruise. This is what happened. We flew from Gatwick to Rome Leonardo Di ... Read More
Our first joint adventure on the high seas started at 0700HRS on the 22st July 2011 at Gatwick. It was booked through Virgin Cruises and was a Costa package cruise. This is what happened. We flew from Gatwick to Rome Leonardo Di Vinci, great flight (BA) under 2 hours. Arrived at Rome and our baggage arrived one hour and 20 minutes later. There were no seats at the airport and it was HOT! Found the Costa reps and they seemed happy enough to just chat amongst themselves. Finally we got our luggage and then we all galloped with our big cases, cabin cases and hand luggage to the taxi cabs waiting for us. We then travelled to Civitavecchia all snuggled up nice and tight and very hot, but excited! We arrived at the embarkation port. First real Costa criticism coming up, the 'helpfull' staff were patronising and next to useless, it was hot pacjked and there was only orange juice to drink. We finally got on the ship, straight to cabin, it's now 1500HRS. Tipped the porter who hovered around saying 'is there anything else I can do?' untill we got the message. Then we unpacked. Absolutely fantastic looking ship at first glance and the cabin was roomy with loads of storage and a surprisingly comfy, big bed. Mini bar was open so got a drink and sat on the balcony, phew! We had arrived. Fantabulosious ship (needs a new descriptor to explain the decor), very decorative and very big and well, very very big and decorative! The non Italian staff and customers were superb in everyway and we had alot of fun and laughter. This laughter often became subdued because of all the dead pan looks from a certain majority on board, initially, this bothered us. After four days the non Italian speakers were ganging up. It only mattered that you were not Italian, we where French, Spanish, German, Swiss, Irish, Icelandic and British, language was not a barrier to fun and puns! We had a purpose! That purpose was to refuse to change our manners. We would still smile and thank people in lifts, hold doors, move out of the way, make room even though this would never be reciprocated. So we spoke for them, thankyou! Your welcome! Have a nice day! which floor? Pardon me! Sorry? Can I help you get up off the floor? Thankyou for letting your 6 teenage sons stamp all over my feet while you look the other way, that kind of thing, we learned these phrases in another language. We learned from our new social techniques teachers all around us how to intimidate people out of your favorite spot. How to jump in front in a line and avoid eye contact. We bribbed people too! And then we all had a really great time! Seriously the food was generally very good, lots of choice. Coffee, cocktails and icecream very good! Breakfast in your room really nice sat on the balcony at 0700hrs with your coffee, and selection of pastries and cereals, juice and preserves. Lovely jubbly! Apparently the theatre entertainment was soso to bad, but we never went so it did not matter. Lounge music was generally very good. Casino was a casino and we learned new types of black jack. The decks were never too busy with loungers always available. J2 all inclusive package great, especially for multiple speciality coffees and, well everything fluid, nothing was off limits. Very little fluid of any description is available free. Itinerary very good, but its just way too hot in the eastern med during July and August. Everything was really well cleaned all the time, never a fingerprint on the shiny chrome, which was everywhere! Would we go Costa again? Yes we would because the new guests from Italy came aboard in Savona when the others left, and they were a completely different set of people. However, there was two disembarkation meetings, Italians and basically others. I was sent to ours and hubby stayed slumped in the cabin. So he decided to watch the event on TV instead. What he watched was the one before ours, the Italian one. He asked as I came back, did we win anything? or anyone we know win? Confused I watched the other meeting. Envelopes had been secreted under the chairs with prizes in them. If you had an envelope you where presented with your prize on stage by the cruise director and other notables. Word of outright discrimination soon spread, it was the principle, official complaints started going in. One person complained about this to customer services and was asked ' were you offended?' Like he would be complaining if he was not and he was a man of the cloth! Then when complaints really spread, because we were all on for another day and had plenty of time to get angry, they shut off the TVs and said it never happened LOL! Then the really horrid bit that left us needing another holiday. We disembarked at 0900hrs and our, and others peoples flights started leaving at the earliest at 1810hrs. We asked if we could have the 1230hrs or 1500hrs disembarkations made available for some, but got a flat no! We were all stuck in Rome airport all day and some people had children. So - yes even after being ethnically discriminated against we would go with Costa again, but not in the med in July or August (too hot to enjoy the ports), not embarking in Italy and not as a package arranged through Costa ;) Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
We cruised from Civitavecchia to the Greek Islands and back in June of 2011. One of the best things about the trip was the transportation from Rome Fiumicino airport to the port at Civitavecchia - we put our bags down next to the coach at ... Read More
We cruised from Civitavecchia to the Greek Islands and back in June of 2011. One of the best things about the trip was the transportation from Rome Fiumicino airport to the port at Civitavecchia - we put our bags down next to the coach at the airport and did not touch them again until in our stateroom on the ship. It was the best $24 we could spend. The ship, although somewhat old being built in 1993, was comfortable. Our shock came the first evening at dinner, when we asked the waiter for a pitcher of ice water. He said he could not, because a new Costa policy prohibits this. We asked for the Maitre D, and he repeated the new policy. The only way we could get water was to buy bottles of it for $4 each. This is price gouging to the extreme. I have a personal policy of never buying bottled water because studies have found it is no better than, and in some cases not as good as, ordinary tap water. We complained loudly but to no avail. So everyone at the table told the staff that 1. We would not sail on Costa again; 2. We would write reviews about the policy; and 3. We would consider reducing our automatic gratuity amounts. The next day the Maitre D brought our table a bottle of Proseco (sparkling wine) as a peace offering to calm our dismay. Another day we were given a bottle of wine. These were good getsures, but did not make up for not having a glass of water with which to take medications. A few other things made the cruise less than optimal, such as the inability of the "Animation Team" to speak English, which was within Costa's control, and the presence on board of some 100 under 5 year old children who pretty much ran wild with no limits due to their ultra permissive parents. It was not fun to try to dance in any of the venues when a dozen little ones were running in circles on the dance floor - no exaggeration. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We picked Costa having read tons of reviews ranging from horrible, would never go back experiences to rave reviews, so we went on the Costa Romantica with really no expectations and were pleasantly surprised. First of all, the Romantica ... Read More
We picked Costa having read tons of reviews ranging from horrible, would never go back experiences to rave reviews, so we went on the Costa Romantica with really no expectations and were pleasantly surprised. First of all, the Romantica was only 1/2 booked, which if you've cruise before that was a huge perk. There were no lines, no wait times and plenty of seats for everything. Our cabin (4049) was an ocean view and was really nice. I was surprised it had as much room as it did and a very large ocean view window. We usually book balcony rooms, but the Romantica only offers maybe 10-20 suites with balconies and with prices to match their limited selection, so we opted for an ocean view room and were not disappointed. The staff was fantastic and cannot say enough enough about their service. Keep in mind, this is an Italian cruise line and English is the last language they speak. French, Spanish and even German were more popular than English which means the staff members who do speak English aren't fluent. Most of the staff members who do speak English are servers and are from the Philippines as English is taught through their schooling. The guest services reps don't speak English well and I would definitely opt for the 1 hour daily Q&A session with the English speaking rep for any help you may need. The food was very good, especially the pasta, but Costa was lacking with the grand meals to accompany the Gala evenings like Royal does, so that was a little disappointing. The mixed drinks are terrible! Be forewarned, stick with beer , wine, or straight liquors drinks. The mixed drinks are nothing but mix and have very little alcohol despite their 6.75 euro price tag.The ship excursions were run very well and a Costa cruise member travelled with each excursion to ensure it went well. See my port reviews for more details on ports. Avoid the Jeep Excursion in Mykonos!Overall very pleased with the Costa Romantica and would sail Costa again. I understand they are remodeling the ship and adding more floors, 4x the number of balconies and activities like rock climbing walls which was definitely needed. My husband and I are under 30 and we struggled to entertain ourselves since the activities on the ship were really focused for a much older crowd, but Costa seems to know that and is working to remedy that on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We booked our first cruise with Costa back in 2010. We decided to go with them this time, as we had seen them all over the Mediterranean back in 2009. I was very apprehensive as we got closer to the time to go, we were suppose to go to ... Read More
We booked our first cruise with Costa back in 2010. We decided to go with them this time, as we had seen them all over the Mediterranean back in 2009. I was very apprehensive as we got closer to the time to go, we were suppose to go to Egypt and Israel, but due to the unrest those ports were cancelled. We had booked this cruise because of those ports, but for myself, I would much rather be safe then sorry. My husband and son were very disappointed, but after talking it out we figured that we would make the best of it. We did contact Costa to see what they were going to do, and we were told that they were going to add another stop in Turkey and another stop in Greece and one in Cyprus. So we figured that shouldn't be to bad. We got our airfare and all transfers included in the price and I am so glad that we did. We flew from Canada to Rome and were met by a very nice lady from Costa. We weren't expecting it, as alot of the reviews had said that they wouldn't be there! But there she was as soon as we got off the plane and helped to direct us to our luggage and our driver to the hotel. We stayed four days in Rome before the cruise and had a wonderful time! Embarkation day came and we were picked up at our hotel and driven with another very nice Canadian couple to the port. When we arrived we were greeted by the Costa shore staff and they took our bags and put all of our tags on them and said we were good to go in. When we got onto the ship we didn't know what to expect as we had to ask where our keys to the cabin were. I was shocked that they keep them in the room with the doors open. But when we got to our room, our keys were there and so was our luggage! What service! The food at the restaurant was amazing! We thoroughly enjoyed our dinners there, but we didn't like how at breakfast we always seemed to be put with people who spoke a different language. It is not always bad, but when you tell them you speak English and they say that's fine, you expect to sit with someone who you can understand! The Buffet was OK, the food was plentiful but the desserts lacked big time! Just way to much pudding for me! The biggest thing we found with this Cruise was that there was only limited times that the buffet was open, there was no supper buffet, which meant that you had to eat at the restaurant even if you didn't want to. I guess we could of had pizza, but you can only eat that so many times. The staff was amazing, we had gotten a Suite as we took our son with us, and the staff was always smiling and happy. They were always asking us if there was anything they could do for us. Yes, the announcements were done in five different languages, but we expected that as we were on an Italian Cruise Line. If we wanted only English we would have chosen a different line! But we did find that there was a very nice lady that worked on board that if there were any problems we could go to her and she would help us out. They even had times set up, so that you could learn more about the ship or anything else and it was run by her for those who only spoke English. Overall we had an amazing time on this ship. There are always some things that people will complain about, but overall this ship is much better than bad. For those of us who didn't like the smoking, there were ways around it and yes there was some smell, but to avoid it, stay out of the smoking areas! My biggest negative for this Cruise, is the disembarkation. We were suppose to be off at 0845am, but due to Customs it kept being put off, so by the time we could leave we had three other color groups leaving at the same time. Now that isn't bad, but when someone has mistakenly taken your luggage and left theirs, its a problem. I had asked the first Costa person I could find, as I was with our found luggage and my family was looking for the missing bag, and I was told that I was talking to the wrong person. I asked her if she could find someone to help me, as I was concerned, I was told the person you need to talk to is not me! This I found as unacceptable, but again this is not like all the other Cruises we had taken before. Luckily my husband found our bag, as the other person exchanged it back, but I found that lady as not very helpful. So I am not going to let that one thing sour my wonderful Cruise that I had on the Costa Pacifica! Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Costa markets itself by highlighting their gorgeous fleet of ships. And how true! The Costa Pacifica could not have been more elaborate and gorgeously appointed. Truly a visual and comfort feast!Our veranda cabin was a decent size and ... Read More
Costa markets itself by highlighting their gorgeous fleet of ships. And how true! The Costa Pacifica could not have been more elaborate and gorgeously appointed. Truly a visual and comfort feast!Our veranda cabin was a decent size and gorgeous. Truly pleasant and comfortable. The precise temperature control mechanism on the shower was very nice (wish we had at home!). The air conditioning and control were absolute, quiet, and contributed much to our comfort. Closets and drawers were adequate. Lighting was more than adequate.The entire ship is spectacular and very well maintained.The problem with Costa is its passenger services model. Food quality was good but not excellent or up to the standards we experienced on Princess or NCL. The selections of foods and eating options was barely adequate. We much prefer the larger options available on other cruise lines.In fact, we are now fans of the Free Style Cruising offered by NCL. We so much more enjoyed choices, options, and food on NCL, compared to Costa.Entertainment on Costa two nights was professional and excellent. The other nights represented what I would call a good performance by a high school group.But one must keep in mind that Costa is a GOOD VALUE. Our Mediterranean Cruise on Costa was substantially less expensive than other lines. In short, eating is diminished, entertainment is diminished, the features and beauty of the ship and service are not diminished. You get what you pay for. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We had read other reviews of the Pacifica and were a little apprehensive but, in all honesty, were pleasantly surprised.Our cabin was very good and we did not feel cramped. There were plenty of drawers and closet space, along with a safe. ... Read More
We had read other reviews of the Pacifica and were a little apprehensive but, in all honesty, were pleasantly surprised.Our cabin was very good and we did not feel cramped. There were plenty of drawers and closet space, along with a safe. The bathroom and shower were more than adequate and larger than in some hotels we have stayed in.Our biggest kudo's are for the staff who were very customer service oriented and made you feel welcome. For example, I was trying to find some basketball scores (march madness) and could not. I asked the desk if they could suggest a solution. The following day, they sent the scores of all NCAA games up to that point to our cabin. I can not say enough for their courtesies, be it the restaurant, bars, housekeeping, etc.As it was lent, I was appreciative that Costa has a priest who is part of the crew and said mass each morning. I think others felt the same way as the chapel was always full.We signed up for two tours on the ship and were generally happy with them. The only negative is (and this is applicable to most all tours) is that you got herded along and had little time to linger at a spot that might be meaningful. However, they seem to stop longer than necessary at the souvenir stands.We felt the only downside was the small portions at mealtime. However, our waiter was good enough to get an extra desert or two if requested. We felt the meals could be upgraded. Also, there was no open seating restaurant for dinner like the Princess lines and therefore were stuck with the same dinner companions each night. The buffet was not an option and the food looked unappetizing the one night we went there when our tour got back late.Our biggest complaint with Costa was getting good information before we left. If you called to get a clarification of a previous answer, the information received did not seem related to the original answer. We never did get good information and often it was contradictory. All in all, we would sail on Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We sailed out of Rome with 6 adults and 2 small kids (3yrs and 9 mos) Boarding the ship was confusing and because we never received any tickets in the mail we had to fill out a bunch of paperwork when we got there. The building is ... Read More
We sailed out of Rome with 6 adults and 2 small kids (3yrs and 9 mos) Boarding the ship was confusing and because we never received any tickets in the mail we had to fill out a bunch of paperwork when we got there. The building is small and was unorganized but fortunately because it was January it was not too bad to get through. We got on and the crew were all very nice and almost all of them spoke English. Our cabin was very spacious and had a large space like a window sill for my 3 year old to sit in and watch the ocean. They provided a crib and we had a twin bed and still had plenty of room to get around. Our steward was more than accommodating but finding him sometimes was difficult but others were more than helpful to get him in when we needed him. The ship is very pretty it reminded me of a Carnival ship but less flashy but nicer than a Princess ship. There were not alot of activities to do onboard during the day on the ship but because we had a port to go into each day we were ok with that. They do have a round the clock kids room that we took the kids to and they really liked that. Most of the activities that were offered were fitness related like dancing or aerobics. The food in the buffet was ok... breakfast was good, there were some traditional American eats like pancakes, waffles,cereal and bacon and eggs every day. Alot of meats and cheeses and a fish dish each morning! The afternoon and evening buffet offered hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and other finger foods. All ok, nothing spectacular. The dinners in the dining room were much better but I have to say that Carnival has better food. We bought a wine and water package for 99 euros and that was the best way to go for us. It gave us 6 bottles of wine and 10 bottles of water and that lasted the entire cruise. The reviews about getting around on the ship are over exaggerated. Every cruise I have taken is like this. You just have to get it figured out and remember what elevators go where. We feel that by the end of every cruise that we have finally figured it out! So I think that is normal. There are alot of Italians and other Europeans on board and some are rude but so are Americans. I just pushed back when they pushed me and that seemed to work. That only happened a couple of times. For a layed back culture they sure are in a hurray to cut you off in the food lines or to get on and off the ship. Its actually quite funny. I just let them cut. We had our 9 month old daughter and that brought alot of positive attention. Everyone loves a baby! Actually there were ALOT of kids and babies on this cruise. I was surprised. Getting on and off for port tours was easy. This cruise has embarking and disembarking in 3 different ports so it can get crowded at times in the atrium. But they seem to be pretty organized with all that going on. They only thing I dont care for was the smoking section in the atrium. But Europeans are very much into smoking and was expected. Its just stinky and I hated walking through it every day. The Tours offered were nice. We had to deal with the riots in Tunisia and therefore were sent to Corsica instead and then in Marseille there was a strike and had to be rerouted to Tulon which put us about an hour away but those situations were out of Costa's control so I cant blame them. Overall we had a great time. Disembarking was not hard to get through either. I would take this cruise again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Here's a few of comments on our experience on the Costa Magica: We had a balcony cabin in the middle of the ship right off the elevator. Amazingly enough it wasn't noisy despite the high traffic area. The cabin was larger and ... Read More
Here's a few of comments on our experience on the Costa Magica: We had a balcony cabin in the middle of the ship right off the elevator. Amazingly enough it wasn't noisy despite the high traffic area. The cabin was larger and more spacious than we had on both NCL and Princess. As stated by others who have been on the Magica, it took the whole cruise to figure out how to navigate the ship. I highly recommend that you get yourself one of the larger maps of the ship that the information desk and learn how to find your way around. One of the cruise critic members posted a very good explanation on how the cabins were numbered and the decks broken up. The most important lesson he gave was to look at the picture of the ship located at each elevator. It will indicate where you are and what direction the ship is pointed. When you get off the elevator look to see which direction you need to go so you won't get too frustrated trying to find your way to dinner. The Magica had two seatings for dinner. We chose the first seating and found our table mates extremely pleasant. We were all English speaking and enjoyed each other's company. In fact, the evening meal was the best part of the day with these folks. The other valuable thing I learned on cruise critic was about the 1X package for beer, wine, and water. We called our agent who called Costa and got the package for us. It saved us lots of money on drinks. This package allows you beer or wine by the glass and bottled water at lunch and dinner only. We tipped our waiter at the beginning and during the cruise and he kept our glasses filled. He also poured some for our dinner partners at our request. So each night at dinner we went through one or two bottles of wine and several of water. Big savings there. The breakfast buffet was not as expansive as is on NCL or Princess but it was adequate. We did not take advantage of the buffet for lunch so I am unable to comment. Dinner most nights was good but not outstanding. We did have one evening when they served lamb chops that everyone asked for seconds. We liked the pasta and the bread was great. If you wanted something in between meals you had to find the grill which was located at the very back of the ship where the indoor pool is. It was not like NCL where you could find food at all hours. One of the reasons that you don't see many obese Europeans, the portions were normal sized instead of supersized. I was happy about that. The coffee was only fair however you could buy cappuncino's and lattes that were pretty good. We got our "coffee fix" at the various ports where the espressos were great. The staff worked seven days a week, and usually stayed on the ship for several months. They all spoke excellent English. In addition there was an English speaking "host" by the name of Sean who was available at certain hours if you had questions. He wasn't very helpful with finding out about doing the ports on your own. He said that his job was to support the excursion so he was unwilling to give info on how to get around on public transportation.I surprized and disappointed since I found that the cruise director on NCL to be more than happy to tell you about what cheaper options available once on shore. Embarking and disembarking was the easiest of all. They had everything ready when you got there so all you had to do was go through screening and show you E tickets. Once you got to your room you found your room keys and info on setting up your credit card as well as the daily itinerary in English. They also provided a daily synopsis of the world news in the form of a little newspaper that was created on board. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Chaos reigned at the embarkation point ( which we expected ) we did not wait for too long to board as we had joined Costa club beforehand and got through a bit quicker than some other poor souls who had to wait upwards of 3 hours ! Got ... Read More
Chaos reigned at the embarkation point ( which we expected ) we did not wait for too long to board as we had joined Costa club beforehand and got through a bit quicker than some other poor souls who had to wait upwards of 3 hours ! Got into our cabin and it was lovely..clean cool and spacious with a balcony and the bathroom was fine too..shower curtain but it did not stick to us and the shower was very powerful. Set off into gale force winds that night ( sailed very late due to a technical fault ) The Pacifica is not built to ride steady on any kind of rough sea and we had a terrible night sailing to Savona through 158km winds ! Was afraid the ship would tip over at some points. She sails fine with winds of up to about 40km hour and smooth sea at 20 knots but anything over that and she struggles ! just be warned if you like smooth sailing this is not the right ship..she dudders and shudders an awful lot. Ship itself is pretty and immaculately clean. Staff in restaurants and bars are amazing..can't do enough for you. Officers are snotty and stuck up and the pursers are not very helpful at all..quite curt with a lot of passengers we noticed. Yes Italians are noisy and this ship was crammed with them..they don't mind yelling at each other at 2am outside your cabin and banging, banging their their doors and they do push in line everywhere..it gets a bit tiresome after a few days. Food is okay but not special...lunch buffet has very good variety usually and the food seems to improve towards the end of the cruise when you will see things like shrimp and steak on the menu. Drinks are not too bad if you are from UK the prices seem to be in line with the UK prices. Noise levels on this cruise were very high...music is everywhere BUT it is the same old stuff EVERY day. The entertainment really is abysmal...on one night they showed a film of Riverdance at 10.45pm and that was the show for the night ! We only saw two shows that were any good and it is a shame as the theatre itself is stunning. Costa need to up their game in the entertainment area it was one of the major reasons we would not re-book with them. After 2 sea days we were bored out of our minds and glad to get off. Disembarking was relatively smooth apart from losing one of our cases that turned up about an hour later. Lucky we did not need to catch our flight too early. People DID dress up for Gala evenings ( we had 3 ) We had a couple of massages and they were good and the Spa area is beautiful but the prices are quite ridiculously high. Would we go again..no, as we think there are other cruise lines better suited to our wants Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Our primary reason for booking this trip was the itinerary and it did not fail us. It hit all the places we hoped to see someday all in one trip. While you really can't see a country in one day, you can get a feel for it and the ... Read More
Our primary reason for booking this trip was the itinerary and it did not fail us. It hit all the places we hoped to see someday all in one trip. While you really can't see a country in one day, you can get a feel for it and the desire to return to see more, which is what we hope to do. We absolutely loved their itinerary. For us, it made up for the food in the dining area. The second reason for booking this trip was that the price was very good, about half the going rate at the time of booking. I know a lot of others on the ship must have done this for the same reason. I was told by someone on the ship that they usually cater to Europeans and that there were a lot of Americans on that cruise. The ship itself was beautiful and clean. Our room was wonderful, probably about 20 or 25% bigger than other balcony rooms that we've had on other cruise lines. The man who took care of our room was extremely helpful. I think there's a few things they could do to make the ship 'better', by maybe redoing some of the things they have. It would be great if they had another specialty restaurant on the ship. How about a seriously Italian restaurant? And please, boot up the entertainment. There's a 'disco' room that I saw consistently empty. How about a small theater (like maybe use the lame disco room) with large screen and do really recent movies for a fee? How about doing a wine tasting room, come in and do a 'tour of Italy' (or a tour of France, etc.) wine tasting for a price? I think that would be a good money maker. LOVE their chocolate bar! It was the only spot on the ship to get decent hot chocolate. Wish they would start serving that yummy hot chocolate before 9. My husband's favorite was Rick's bar. Very attentive and stocked. Here's the bad. The food in the dining rooms is not up to what we've had on other cruise line dining rooms. Not even close. We were told that it's because we're American and are not used to what Europeans eat. This is what the young woman from Costa told us when we were all given the review sheets to fill out. I found that comment to be very condescending. We can't figure out what they eat in Rome? We've been to Rome and loved their restaurants and the ship dining rooms don't hold a candle to that. Dining room staff also seem to not remember requests or maybe they didn't always understand them, not sure. If you got there 15 minutes before they are scheduled to shut down, they don't hide trying to rush you. We had also heard that Costa had cut crew (this was obvious in the dining rooms), plus they had deleted the chefs that did the sauces and the salads. Not sure if THAT was true, but the salads (and choices of dressings, salad add-on's) were pretty sad. IF this was true, it was a bad choice. A hash cook cannot compete with a saucier. Costa Pacifica has two specialty restaurants, Blue Moon and Samsara. Samsara is supposed to be ONLY for the Samsara Spa guests (not sure if that is a big money maker for them. Why not just do a 'spa package' separately like their drink packages?). However, it is possible to eat at the Samsara Restaurant and pay the $20 extra without being a Samsara guest. Wow, what snobs in there. Definitely got the whole, 'And what are YOU doing in here?' vibe when we had dinner in there, so we didn't return. Blue Moon was wonderful. And the maitre d', Samuel, had a lot of class without being a snob. He made sure everything was fine; his customer service skills are excellent. After being told by someone that we should try dinner at the dining rooms because the formal nights food would be better, and found that they were only barely better, we spent most of our dinners at the Blue Moon. They use 'molecular cooking' to make fresh ice cream on the spot within just a few minutes. That was always fun to watch and tasty to eat. Again, $20 extra per person and well worth the expense. (A caveat: meat tended to be overcooked; please consider only ordering medium rare to rare) The rack of lamb (just a half-rack) was my favorite. The buffets were acceptable and we ended up eating our day food there instead of the dining rooms. The only downside is that the buffet has hours of serving, not like other cruise lines who basically have no hours on their buffets. The excursions were fine and competent, if not spendy; but the truth is that excursions are ALWAYS spendy on cruises. This is a way for them to make up money that they didn't receive by getting people to book with lower rates. I get that. Overall, a good cruise, a great ship, and fantastic choices for ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
We booked a balcony cabin on the Pacifica from Civitavecchia to Savona, Italy; Katakalon,Athens, and Rhodes, Greece; Limmasol, Cyprus; and a morning drop off in Port Said with evening pick up in Alexandria, Egypt. Our cabin was mid ship ... Read More
We booked a balcony cabin on the Pacifica from Civitavecchia to Savona, Italy; Katakalon,Athens, and Rhodes, Greece; Limmasol, Cyprus; and a morning drop off in Port Said with evening pick up in Alexandria, Egypt. Our cabin was mid ship and we found it spacious enough and comfortable -- we had a sofa, so I would imagine it would sleep a third person. The inside cabins seemed to be smaller. It was too cold most days to use the balcony -- we sailed March 3rd to March 14th -- but we did get some use of it. The stateroom amenities included a refrigerator and safe. The bathroom had a bar of soap and a dispenser for shower gel/shampoo. Our cabin steward was attentive and very pleasant. If you like a particular soap or shampoo or a washcloth, I would suggest bringing your own. We went for the ports. In Savona, we took the ship excursion to Monaco. We really enjoyed it and left the casino with both of us having won a small amount of euros. The famous casino did not open until later in the afternoon, so we did not get in there. We saw many sights and visited the church where Princess Grace and Prince Rainier were married and later buried. While we were in front of the palace, a limousine with Prince Albert in the back seat, passed us. We hooked up with another couple on CruiseCritic and planned some excursions on our own -- which saved us quite a bit of money. In Katakolon, we rented a car and drove to Olympus, then spent a little bit of time wandering the port. In Athens, we shared a cab and went to the Acropolis and the new museum, then wandered around Plaka on our own. Due to rough seas, Rhodes was canceled and replaced with Marmaris, Turkey, but we were unable to pull into port because of rough seas there, as well. Later in the day, the ship was hit with a 110 mph wind and tipped at an angle that caused plates and glasses to fly. The captain was quick to correct it, but a lot of damage had been done. Crew who had cruised for over fifteen years said they had never seen anything like it. In Cyprus, we took the ship's shuttle bus (six euros round trip per person), an option that was offered in some other ports, as well. We wandered Cyprus on our own (with our new best friends) and visited a historical museum, shopped, and visited a bakery where we bought olive bread and baklava to eat at the beach. In Israel, the other couple did another tour and we went to the Fort at Masada and had a good lunch at Hotel Hod -- where we also were able to float in the Dead Sea. This tour was half English and half French, so everything was in two languages. In Egypt, our friends cruised the Nile and I went on the pyramids, camel, and jeep tour on my own with a couple we had met on the previous day's excursion. This bus was half English and half German speakers. My husband got sick and made use of the ship's medical facility. He needed a doctor's note to get a refund for his excursion. His initial visit was 35 euros, but he had to go back three more times for shots and was also given medication. The total bill was slightly over 68 euros (including the 35 euro office visit). Our next two days were at sea. Even with the two languages, the excursions were very good. Lunch at Hotel Hod in Israel and at Sakkara Country Club in Egypt were both very tasty. Ship food, however, was rather bland. There were only a couple of meals that I enjoyed. I wished I had my jars of spices so I could add some zing to the food. Pastas were al dente -- as they should be -- but most lacked sufficient sauce and were rather dry. I did not enjoy the buffet, although they do have a made to order omelet station in the morning. Ship coffee in the buffet is not potable. We ate breakfast in the restaurant where we could get cappuccino or espresso and we also ordered more from room service. A light breakfast in your room is included, but there is a service charge for other meals. Other than breakfast, cappuccino and espresso cost money. The only drinks available throughout the day are tea and water. (That buffet coffee might also be available, but after that first cup, I never looked for it again.) There were not a lot of activities on the ship other than the traditional exercise program, bingo, trivia, etc. The shows were rather lame unless you enjoy jugglers, acrobats, and singers. One show was a crew show and another was ship talent. We went to the first 3 of the shows and skipped the rest. There were no happy hours -- as others had led me to believe. The best bar special was a five euro tropical drink at happy hour or a specific drink for each bar each day -- also five euros plus 15% service charge (almost eight US dollars). I ordered a cosmopolitan and it ended up costing about eleven US dollars. I did not notice a lot of children on the ship. I would imagine that most children would be in school early March. We rented a car at the airport in Rome and were able to drop it off in Civitavecchia. We had thought we had rented a car from Civitavecchia back to Rome, but the rental car company was closed on Sunday -- despite their having sent us a reservation reminder a couple of days before. The train station is a short walk from port. It cost us about 12 euros each to get to Siena, but it was a hassle and we lost most of one of our days in Tuscany. The disembarkation seemed quite organized. We were late arriving and I heard that embarkation included a lot of pushing and shoving. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
Costa Pacifica. A Novel. We are a couple in our 40's who have cruised 12 times (HAL, X, Oceania, Carnival, RCCL, Regal Empress, NCL, MSC). We booked this cruise because of the itinerary, price and, in part, international clientele. We ... Read More
Costa Pacifica. A Novel. We are a couple in our 40's who have cruised 12 times (HAL, X, Oceania, Carnival, RCCL, Regal Empress, NCL, MSC). We booked this cruise because of the itinerary, price and, in part, international clientele. We are independent travelers--have only taken 2 excursions on all these trips--who like to explore new cultures via interesting itineraries, and relax on board when we cruise. With the exception of the gym and library--which we hope will be well equipped and stocked- -we are not interested in ship amenities such as entertainment, activities, casinos and so on. The ship appeared well designed for persons with a disability. We also booked before the Pacifica was launched so it was a bit of a gamble. When the reviews started rolling in, we started to sweat—needlessly it turns out! I know this cruise is not for everyone, but we had a terrific time. If you want things to be exactly like other cruises you have been on and will sulk if they are not, you may not have a good time. Open your mind and heart when you go. Additionally our concerns were because we had sailed MSC in the Mediterranean and most people were saying the two lines were similar. I can say that in my experience the worst food and service was on MSC, and we probably had our best trip ever on the Pacifica (due to many factors besides the ship such as the great ports and flawless weather--yes sometimes the planets line up). Thankfully the two experiences were like night and day. Was "corporate" on board our sailing? How does one explain this? Heading overseas: We flew Alitalia, and the experience was excellent. After I booked, I read the reviews and they were horrible. However, the plane was clean, on time, crew excellent, the complimentary wine pleasant and always available AND no lost luggage. On the return trip we had personal TV's with probably 50 movie selections. Pre-cruise: we spent 2 nights in Rome at the Crosti. It was a clean, nice hotel with a great breakfast. It is near Termini which it is nice for those who transfer independently. The only issue for me was that we had a first floor room, so there was street noise, and also shoe noise on the marble floors in the lobby which was just a few feet away. Last time we were in Rome we used the Leonardo Express from the airport to Termini, but ended up booking a shuttle this time because I found a good deal. We regretted it. We had to wait 45 minutes for other passengers to come in, and we ended up being the last dropped off. It was a 2.5 hour ordeal, when the train would have been about 45 minutes, total. We used the same company to shuttle us from port to the airport (not enough time to use trains), and they were excellent--I think around 100 euro and only took 45 from Civitavecchia to FCO. It is called "Airportshuttle". We purchased daily subway cards and found our way around the city with ease. We took in some sights we had not seen on our last visit: Tivoli Fountain, Spanish Steps, Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, Circus Maximus, and revisited the Coliseum. Because we heard Saturday was the busiest day at the Vatican, we used a ticket buying agency before we left to smooth the way inside. It was a good call since the lines were hours long to just buy tickets. It was crowded but at least we got right in. Not sure if I can post a link, but it was called Rome-Museum— http://www.rome-museum.com/. The local food specialties we tried were great: tripe Roman style, oxtail, fresh anchovies, sautEed greens, caprese salad, whole artichokes dressed with the ubiquitous but delicious olive oil and lemon, and of course cured meats and cheeses. On Sunday morning we headed to port. We purchased tickets to the Civitavecchia port the night before at Termini station. This is not necessary, but we went ahead and did it because we had no idea if there would be lines the next day. The ticket was 4.5 Euro each and the ride took an hour and 15 minutes. It was not an express train- you can get an Express ticket for about twice as much and shave off 30 minutes or so. We chose the slow train because the schedule worked better. Be advised that Termini is a high theft area (not robbery, but theft), so don't let you bags out of your sight for a second. From the train station in Civitavecchia, you walk through the little town for 10 minutes or so to the port entrance, where there is a free shuttle. We arrived to a makeshift embarkation hall and were given a number to board, and were told it would be about 1:50pm -we had arrived at 1pm. There were uncomfortable chairs to sit in and the bathrooms became dirty quickly. We had prepared ourselves to expect the worst so we tried not to get too worried. The check in staff was excellent and we were quickly on the ship once our number was called. We went to our unlocked room to retrieve our key cards and then went to a self serve Kiosk to register the credit card for on board expenses. The ship was beautiful! Maybe a little flashy for my typical tastes, but spotless and lovely. I liked that many of the lounges radiated out from the atrium. It became like a village square at night, albeit on several levels, with everyone out and about in the same general area. This ship was kept cleaner than other ships I have sailed. Fewer dirty dishes lying around, and bathrooms were cleaner. Or maybe in Europe they just know how to flush the toilet and not pee all over the seat. The fellow passengers were European, mostly Italian. We were told there were about 500 persons speaking English on board -about 15% of the passengers. I suspect this included many people that spoke English as a second language but did not speak Italian, French, German or Spanish--the other main languages served on board. For instance, there were many Japanese, and persons from other parts of Europe on board. Sure there were different ideas about space, including the infamous sidling into line a bit, entering the elevator before anyone could vacate, but it was hardly a big deal for us. I could not see going all the way to Europe and insisting on being on a ship full of Americans with American food and customs. It just made no sense unless of course the Italian product does not measure up (but oh, does it). Also being blissfully ignorant of all the chatting around us was liberating. Honestly understanding what people drone on and on about can get old. The announcements in other languages were no big deal, I just tuned out the other languages. In fact I felt that announcements occurred with less frequency than all other ships I have been on except Oceania. They also did not seem to blare into the cabin at a high volume. Besides, how could you not love cheery greetings from fellow passengers in the elevator in so many languages? Cabin: Our inside cabin purchased at a very low rate seemed much larger than many outside cabins we had in the past. There was no couch which made it seem bigger. The fact that there were two vanity mirror areas was a huge plus. The hair dryer was fine. The bathroom was also larger than prior rooms with tubs had been. The bedding was wonderful--nice quality cotton sheets and comforter. The first couple days the bathroom has a faintly bad smell that thankfully disappeared. We both love to sleep in very cold temps and opined the A/C could have been better. The first deck cabin was actually very quiet and we only once detected motion. The only English speaking station was the BBC. There was a mini bar which we did not have the steward bother to unlock. Food: I really expected the worst, and we ended up being happily surprised. My tastes are a little different from average. I love ethnic and local type foods from gourmet to street food. I welcome an octopus on my plate! I am not really a meat and potato person, unless it is on occasion. For health reasons, I also no longer eat sugar, or flour, starches, so wondered how this would work on an Italian cruise line. Dinner: We were assigned to the My Way restaurant. There is no evening buffet, but there is an alternative restaurant on board which we did not have the need to try since the dining room food was so good. We requested a 2 top table. We were dreading a group table. I know some people love this, but it is not something we prefer. We were happy to see a perfect 2 top in the corner. We were thrilled our request was granted as MSC had refused it on our cruise with them. We were assigned first seating with dinner start ranging from 6:45 pm to 7:00pm. It is worth noting that because there is no evening buffet, EVERYONE is in the dining room, including babies, toddlers etc. So yes, at first seating you are going to hear more squalling than you ever would on a traditional US cruise line. Parents also did not seem to feel compelled to take a walk out of the dining room with the screaming child--they just let it run its course. We dined in My Way 6 of 7 nights—too full from tapas in Barcelona, so we missed a night. I bet it was the night they had lamb, because I was really surprised I never saw it on the menu any of the other nights (drats!) After the first night or so our waitress was able to detect the pace we liked and each dinner had excellent service. She was easily waiting on 25 people, and the assistant seemed to be assigned to not only her but possibly another waiter, so she was bussing the table a lot as well as taking wine orders and delivering wine. Crazy talent! Also with the exception of possibly Tunisia, people are embarking/disembarking at every port so that surely had to make things interesting for her. Other than an occasional issue with language at both dinner and lunch in the dining room when asking specific questions about the menu which were incorrectly answered (e.g., Is this coated with bread crumbs or flour?) everything was perfect. Because I do not eat the pasta, bread, or desserts (except for a few sugar free I tried), I filled in the gaps by ordering 2 or sometimes even 3 appetizers, an entrEe, and cheese course. Once I even had 2 entrees, with nary an eyebrow raised. There were typically 3 appetizer available -one would have seafood, the other meat and/or cheese, and the third, vegetarian. I will go into details later, but I usually chose the fish, and hands down will say that in the dining room, this is better fish than on ANY other line I have sailed. Take it for what it is worth because I have really found cruise ship fish to be terrible. Was it as good as the seafood I was eating in fish market restaurants in port? Well, no, but dressed with lemon (requested from waitress) and olive oil (on the table), was satisfying. There would be 1 soup, 2 pastas, 4 entrees: one seafood, one poultry such as quail, duck, or chicken, one other type of meat such as pork or beef, and a vegetarian. I tried 2 different soups--a cream of cauliflower and a bean soup with pancetta. Both were probably better or as good as any cruise ship soup I had tasted in the past. Salad would come either with or after the entrEe and was always the same: greens lightly dressed with oil. The veggie sides were weak. Where were all the tasty sautEed greens I was getting on shore everywhere? The cheese course, usually my last, was really nice. The cheeses were generally nice quality and varied--a sharp aged cheese, a soft brie or blue, and a medium sharp cheese. The house wine (8.50 euro a half liter) was to our liking in white, but not red. I imagine these can change at anytime though. We tried some of the sugar free custard style desserts, and they were all rich and excellent. I seriously questioned if they were sugar fee. Truthfully the cakes did not look that great. I am guessing desserts may not be the forte on Costa. Overall the appetizers and entrees exceeded expectations and in many cases were better than other cruise lines we have sailed. I have eclectic tastes (but obviously adjust my palette for cruising) and my spouse is a bit more traditional. On past cruises we had to put hot sauce on almost everything to make up for the lack of flavor and/or quality. While the flavors are mostly subtle on Costa, something was better--be it the preparation or quality or type of ingredients. I really don't know. At these prices, they can't have a big food budget. I think we only used hot sauce once in the dining room and couple times on the buffet. I did dress things up with fresh lemon and olive oil. I was also happy things were less salty and portions more manageable than a lot of cruise meals I have had. Both of us enjoyed the dining room food (will discuss less loved buffet later). The oddest things were that on the 2 formal nights, the food was only average. The rest of the nights were excellent or above average. We had a pitcher of ice water on the table every night. Even people drinking mineral water had the same. Again this contrasts with MSC where it took two nights of bitter negotiations with the head waiter to get non bottled water. Favorite dinner examples: wild boar chops, quail, duck (1 preparation not the one the other another night), excellent fish almost every night (asked for fresh lemon). We tried steak one night and it was fine, not better or worse than other ships. Favorite appetizer examples: rabbit terrine, tuna carpaccio (my favorite), cured meats, smoked salmon, octopus, grilled whole prawns. . Dining room attire. Best described as what I saw on Oceania: country club casual, even on formal night most people did not dress up. Jeans were not uncommon, however no sloppy or "Mom" style jeans, ball caps, white socks, shorts, Senor Frog's logo tee-shirts. What I am saying is people did not look like slobs. They may have worn (tidy) jeans, but paired it with a smart shirt, blazer or sweater—and not tennis shoes. A couple nights , "Italian Night" and the Captain's dinner, resulted in people breaking into Italian song and dance. I usually don't get into this kind of thing, but watching the Italians get weepy when patriotic Italian songs were playing made me smile that I was "not in Kansas anymore" (so to speak). Lunch in the dining room was very good, however service a bit confused due to open seating and language challenges. At dinner you are seated with staff who speaks your language; at lunch, this is maybe not as likely. Lunch at the buffet was hit or miss. Some items were fine (e.g., burgers), others excellent--don't miss the "seaman" buffet if you like authentic Mediterranean-style seafood. The octopus with green sauce was as good as any I have had in Spain. Fish was sometimes good sometimes below average. Sliced meats not great. Green beans served too often. Pizza available nearly all the time (maybe even all night?). Tried the toppings and they were good. Spouse had a slice and said it was great. Buffet quality was similar to other cruise lines, however selection was MUCH less than most. Breakfast at the buffet--only did this one time. Poor selections compared to competing cruise lines, although this is from an American perspective which the cruise line does not cater too (which is fine). Kind of low quality unless they brought out the "good" meats such as prosciutto and cheeses at the Lido area. Breakfast in the dining room: We ate breakfast in the dining room all other days. They had a buffet portion with good meats and cheese, great looking pastries and breads as well as hot items ordered off the menu. Every day, I had poached eggs that were served over toast with hollandaise. Also had smoked fish (salmon) most days which was better than most cruise ship-smoked fish I had tried in past. Cappuccinos and espressos are free in the dining room only and at breakfast only. The coffee at the buffet (and probably dining room) is an abomination! Avoid! The service was a bit tired and cranky in the dining room for breakfast, but given some folks are probably starting an 18-hour day, my heart goes out to them. Big show entertainment : we stuck our heads in to see a few shows and they were just as lame, maybe more so, as any other cruise ship entertainment. I just don't get it, I guess. But I don't care either, so no harm done. Music: live and recorded throughout the ship was generally pretty cool. Wien Wien Lounge: classical music lounge. Loved it, the group was very talented. We had a wedding vow renewal. Unexpected! I am wondering if I indicated we were celebrating a big anniversary (albeit in NOV) when we booked or it was just a mistake -but we got an invitation to a reception for honeymooners and anniversary folks. Free champagne, canapEs, and Captain "remarried" everyone in 5 languages. I am a bit jaded sometimes, but this was very charming and heart -warming. Smoke in public areas: lingering smoke smell from time to time in non smoking areas. Most places were non- smoking. I am second hand smoke intolerant and was not too offended. Granted I was not in the casino or out and about late night. I have experienced far worse on RCCL, MSC. Library: small selection of English language books -bring your own. The travel books were excellent, and we took lots of notes. They were reference only so you could not check them out. No American newspapers, so took a welcome break from the rat race. Gym: Excellent. Lots of great machines, cardio and free weights. The first day we went was in Savona and no one was there so it was heaven. The next day we went we were at sea before port and it was awful --packed with people who had never worked out but gosh darn it they weren't going to start that very day, slamming weights, camping on equipment for several minutes while fiddling with an ipod, sitting on machines backwards and people watching, not wiping sweat. My spouse made it a few more times, but after that I could not tolerate it. It was always packed when we wanted to go. We took the stretch class once in the atrium pool area and liked it. The ladies sauna is not to be missed. It has a picture window and the view was great. The spa was beautiful, but I did not partake in any of the services. Service: Next to Oceania (an upscale cruise line) Costa had the best customer service desk of any ship. If they did know the answer to the question you asked, they got it. I hate to say I was shocked. Given English was a second, third or fourth language they were great. Even officer level staff would sometimes greet you around the ship. We all know outside of functions, this is not the norm. Ports of call: we tend to do things on our own. With the exception of Tunis, we toured independently. Sunny and temps in the mid 50's to upper 60's F everyday did not hurt matters. Best tip: hit any old style, traditional market halls you can find--we researched them beforehand. Great sights, smells, and food to try. We made copies of "walking tours" from Lonely Planet, Rick Steves, etc. so we knew our way around in different ports. I also have a few phrases and food translations on crib notes in various languages so we can have good manners when we visit places. "Hello, good bye, please and thank you" go a long way. 1) Savona: ship tours went to Monte Carlo and Genoa-= both of which we had already visited. Since we really run ourselves ragged in Rome, we took this as a day to relax. We worked out and enjoyed the ship in the morning and headed into town after lunch on board for some strolling around. We ended up in the harbor soaking in the early spring (late winter actually) sun, drinking prosecco, and people watching. 2) Barcelona: I would truly die if I went on a tour here, this city speaks to the free spirit. We took the shuttle to town for 6 euro (includes return). We did a little research before leaving and made some good copies of maps. La Rambla is the Old Town area. It is where tourists go but locals, too. Walked over there enjoying the architecture. Had some wine in the sun. Further up La Rambla there is the Boqueria Market on the main promenade. Razor clams and grilled sausages were had at a counter cafe in the market. Delectable. Picked up some local wine at a wine store which we brought on board with no issues. This area has some GREAT shopping for affordable, trendy clothes. More tapas: wandered into a place down an alley and had local wine and what translates to "face of pig": bite sized pieces of ears, cheek, snout, deep fried and salted. Tasty. Don't knock it until you try it. If you eat hot dogs, you have eaten worse, plus chemicals. Next stop, more local wine (Galician for me), grilled octopus, chorizo. All fabulous. It was impossible the hours were swallowed up like minutes. We headed back to port. Not surprisingly we skipped dinner. 3) Palma De Mallorca: Arrived at 7:30 am. There is a public bus right out front for 1.25 euro (bring change), it goes into town. There are a lot of nice walking places, again it is nice to have a map. Found another great market, I am sorry I do not have the name. The fish and meat displays were works of art. Lots more walking along the water front, walked up into the older part of town and enjoyed expresso with milk. Took the bus back to ship. This was a beautiful island, however I think it was more of a resort/second home area, than old city like some of the other ports of calls. 4) Tunis: took the Sidi Boud Said/Carthage Tour. Carthage is beautiful, we went to 3 different sites, and I was glad to have a guide to help negotiate our way around as we had traveled into Tunis on our own last time we visited, and I do not recommend it. I did not like that our tour guide made us stop at "preferred" stores (kick back) throughout the tour. I hate organized tours but I guess this is not uncommon. Otherwise the guide was good, very knowledgeable and passionate about Tunisia. Sidi Boud Said was lovely also, but it was hard to see the beauty through all the crap/trinkets lining the whole main street. It was a total tourist trap. It was a pity, all the same stuff at every store. I am sure mass produced somewhere, not in Tunisia. We ditched the group and agreed to meet them in an hour. The Costa English host Michael, an awesome Australian, did not seem thrilled. We are just not tour people! Got ripped off at a cafe (happened last time we were in Tunisia), thought it not best practice to quibble--just get me out of here. I guess they depend on that. Got back only 10 minutes before dinner and long after all aboard call. Not real happy about going to dinner with time only to wash my hands and change clothing. 5) Malta/Valletta: this was our second time. The entry and exit into the harbor should not be missed. Jaw dropping! Walked into town. There is a bus just outside of port that runs every hour on the half hour and takes you to the old city gate. Last time we rode the bus around the city of Valetta and felt it was a really fun experience. I think it was the #198. The busses are at city gate, and worth checking out just to see all the great colors and styles. The city has a wonderful history and it was great to take in all the architecture and views. Had some local wine, and walked ALL over. It is nice if you can read a bit of history before going. If I went in the summer I would hit a beach or snorkel. 6) Catania, Sicily: Next to Barcelona, this was our favorite port. I am not sure if I can explain, but it just spoke to me. We walked off ship and dropped jaws at the site of Mt. Etna. It was a nice walk through port, and into the city (walk to the left) found many nice squares and cafe, and GREAT shopping. Got several pieces of trendy made-in-Italy clothing on sale for under 20 Euro a piece. There were plenty of expensive things too, but the sales were good when we were there. The famous fish market is not to be missed. I really mean it. Best market I have ever seen, and I understand one of the largest in Italy. All the shouting Sicilian fisherman, huge swordfish, Old Italian grandmas, families, couples hand in hand--priceless. We then sat on a piazza in the sun and drank Sicilian wine. Husband had to drag me kicking and screaming back to ship. BIGGEST COSTA Criticism: not enough time in ports. Compared to other ships, you lose several hours in many ports. This is a problem. After leaving Catania, it is fun to be out on deck when you go through the Straits of Messina between Sicily and the tip of the "boot". It is about 2 hours after leaving. Further along, the MOST IMPORTANT sight to see while at sea is the island of Stromboli. It is an active volcano that we passed at sunset. As we sipped our wine, pondering if this might be the best cruise yet, the mountain gave her prod to help us decide...she spewed lava! It would be a pity to be somewhere on the ship that you could not see Mt. Stromboli. Disembarkation day: Flawless. Breakfast in the dining room, out of room by 8:30, cappuccinos while lounging on padded solarium lounge chair until 9:40, went to disembarkation area we were assigned to at 9:45 and walked off ship. We were assigned to 10am, but we had requested a shuttle for 10 AM and did not want to keep it waiting. No problem walking off with the 9:45 A.M herd. Bags were ready and waiting, no lines, we were onto shuttle and headed to airport 10:00 am. I noticed many regional transfers had meeting times as late as 2 or 3 pm. They may want you out of your room, but they don't throw you off this ship which is nice if you have a later flight. Had I known this I would have requested the shuttle later since our flight was not until 2pm. Conclusion: We would not hesitate to sail Costa again in Europe. I really have nothing serious to complain about EXCEPT, as mentioned, I do wish their times in port were not so short. While Palma, Malta and Tunis visit duration were fine, my heart was breaking having to leave Barcelona and Sicily. We probably won't sail Costa in the Caribbean because of this. Given the feeling some people have had about Costa and the Pacifica I know this cruise is not for everyone, but we had a terrific time and we travel a lot (cruises and on our own). If you want things to be exactly like other cruises you have been on and will sulk if they are not, you may not have a good time. Open your mind and heart when you go, and you may just have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
Just returned from 10 day trip and overall it was good for our family of 5. The greatest disappointment was that we missed Alexandria because of high seas but did Palermo instead. Whilst everyone was deeply disappointed, we understood it ... Read More
Just returned from 10 day trip and overall it was good for our family of 5. The greatest disappointment was that we missed Alexandria because of high seas but did Palermo instead. Whilst everyone was deeply disappointed, we understood it was an act of nature. Some good and bad points about Costa and Pacifica. Good Kids under 18 sharing with adults are free. Efficient check in, disembarkation and always arrived early or on time in every port. Crew pleasant and mainly English speaking, particularly the Philipinos. Happy hour 4-6 alcohol two for one. Teen club got the thumbs up. Outside cabin spacious, aisles spacious. Bad Tours overpriced. Fortunately we did most independently. Food nothing to rave about and more limited venues than on other ships. Pacifica's buffet wasn't open at night- only for pizza and salad. Piped music on each floor was hideously monotonous. Our floor played only one song in a continuous loop 24/7. Decor rather garish and overdone. Every square inch was decorated in clashing styles- a bit like Italy meets Vegas. Smoking allowed in most rooms. Kids awake at all hours of the night and morning. Even the teen club didn't kick in till after 11. Sometimes we felt that non italians were discriminated against. If costa is marketing aggressively around the world they should not make non Italians feel like foreigners. However, all announcements were in italian, english, French, German and Spanish and there were always english speakers at help desk. Overall we enjoyed our cruise and thought it great value for money. A word of warning about Civitavecchia- there is no cruise terminal, only a tent and it is a nightmare to find by car. Port directions and facilities need to be dramatically improved. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
My wife and I sailed on the November 16th Romantica sailing to Cantania, Athens, Izmir, Mykonos, and Santorini. First, the ports of call are the reason we booked the cruise, and they were amazing. Also, we were driven by the price, as this ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the November 16th Romantica sailing to Cantania, Athens, Izmir, Mykonos, and Santorini. First, the ports of call are the reason we booked the cruise, and they were amazing. Also, we were driven by the price, as this was the cheapest cruise we have ever taken. Getting to/from Civitavecchia We took the train from Roma Termini to the port without any issues. Just went to Termini in Rome, bought tickets and a self-service machine, and took the 45 minute ride to Civitavecchia. We took the express train, and used 1st class; the car was mostly empty. From the station in Civitavecchia, take a right out of the station and it's a 10 minute walk to the ship. We used Costa's transfer on the way back to the airport, which was on $20 USD each. About 1 hour drive from port to the airport. Ship Overall the ship was clean and well maintained. It is a small ship (55k tons) and lacked a lot of public spaces; we have been on smaller ships (Carnival Holiday for instance) that actually had more public spaces. The cabins appeared to be recently remodeled, as they were very clean and modern for a cruise ship; we were actually surprised the cabins were in such great shape given the age of the ship. Of course winter in Europe it was cooler, so we did not use the pools (they are not covered as on other ships in cooler climates), but did use the hot tubs; as this was very port intensive the pools were not much of a big deal. Overall, a decent ship with nice cabins for its size and price. Food This is the first cruise I had been on where food was difficult to come by at times. Bear in mind this is an Italian cruise ship, NOT American. Italians apparently do not stuff themselves 24x7. The buffet was awful - very small, food was terrible; overall the worst buffet I've seen on a cruise ship. It is only open for breakfast and lunch. No dinner; no 24x7 buffet as on most ships. The dining room was much better, still not to the quality of American ships but I was able to find something to eat every meal. I think some of my issues with dining room food were more due to the fact that it was Italian style, not American, thus I cannot fault the ship for this as I expected an Italian experience. People Italians are a different bunch - I thought they were rude, loud, and very inconsiderate of others (we spent several weeks in Europe traveling all over and have no complaints other than with Italians). They smoke everywhere.....smoking is very bad on the ship. Apparently breathing oxygen is optional in Italy. This is by a million miles the worst I have seen smoking on a cruise ship. Surprisingly there were large numbers of Americans on the ship - far more than I expected. Our dining table was all American, and it appeared assigned by age, which we found to be great. Despite being a ship dominated by Italians, I think we had the best table group on any of the cruises we have taken. The excursions were organized by language, and we were mostly with Americans. Overall, that piece was well organized by Costa. Ports We choose this cruise for the itinerary above all else, and were not disappointed. We used all Costa excursions (in the Caribbean we always go it alone, but on port intensive cruises such as this, Alaska, and a few others we went with the ships excursions). The excursions were in English, mostly attended by Americans. I have no complaints on any of the excursions we took - they were all worth the money. Catania: Did the 4x4 up Mt. Etna. Actually was off road, did a nice hike around Mt Etna. Supposed to be a 4 hour excursion, was closer to 6. We were happy with this excursion. Izmir: Our favorite port, not at all what we expected. Did the 9 hour Ephesus, House of the Virgin Mary, and St Johns excursion. Well worth the money. Ephesus is one of the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World, and it is well deserved. Santorini: Did the Oia Village, which I think was the only worth while excursion here. Oia is very pretty and we got great photos....it is what I picture when I think of Greece. The village where the ship actually ports (different than if you take an excursion) is just a typical cruise shopping place, nothing special. Mykonos: I think this is really a beach stop, but in November and at 6-11 pm there was nothing to do. No ship excursions, which is the first time I've been to a port with an excursion being offered. We got off, walked around went back in maybe 30 minutes time. Athens: Took the Acropolis and Museum excursion. Museum was boring, nothing special to see. If I had to do it again, I would just take the Acropolis excursion. The Acropolis is very cool, with nice views of Athens. But it pales in comparison to Ephesus. Overall we had a great time on the cruise. Given the price ($299 pp) and itinerary, it was well worth the trip. The key is to remember it is an Italian ship, not an American. Of course, as you are in Italy, this should be expected.....yet many Americans still think it will be like America wherever they go. As long as you book based on itinerary and expect an Italian experience, I think anyone would enjoy this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Costa Romantica 10/26/09 Review Ok I know a lot of you have been looking for a review of this ship, so here we go. I was just on the 10/26/09 cruise that departed from Civitavechia and had an itinerary of Catania-Sicily, Sea Day, ... Read More
Costa Romantica 10/26/09 Review Ok I know a lot of you have been looking for a review of this ship, so here we go. I was just on the 10/26/09 cruise that departed from Civitavechia and had an itinerary of Catania-Sicily, Sea Day, Izmir-Turkey, Santorini-Greece: Mykonos (same day), Athens, Sea Day. I have been on several cruises on NCL, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, as well as a previous Mediterranean cruise in 2005 on the Costa Magica so I will be comparing much of the experience to those sailings. The Ship Yes the ship is small. The ship was much cleaner than I anticipated. They did a great job making sure everything was spotless. It is well designed for its size and age (1993). There is very limited entertainment on board besides the shows which I will highlight later. Besides attending every show I played in the casino a little bit which is about half the size of other ships. There was a foosball table and ping pong table on board. There is one lounge (Italia) where they have silly events and games and this is where most of the Italians gather around dinner and show times. The weather was actually warm enough to lie out on the top deck for 2 days. We had fantastic weather on our cruise, we were quite lucky. The internet cafe is adequate but expensive at 1 Euro every 2 minutes. After dinner the only thing going on was at the Tango Lounge where they would have a live band with various theme nights, this is where we had the most time. The disco was the only other option at night and it was mostly filled with younger people so I would say 16-25 year olds and they played the traditional club techno garbage so we stayed away. The announcements in several languages did not bother me AT ALL. They were very limited and exactly what I expected. The Shows I would have to say that the entertainment in the theatre was one of the biggest disappointments on this cruise. The dancers and singers were all average although almost all of their songs were in English so I give them credit as you can tell this isn't their natural language. The non dancer/singer nights were just horrible. I just kept thinking of the show America's got talent because every single one of the acts would have been stopped within 2 minutes. Either way we had nothing else to do so we watched all of the shows and pretty much just made fun of how awful they were. Also, Italians for some reason insist on showing up after the show starts and most of them decide to walk all around the theatre to find a seat in the dark while talking most of the time. Quite annoying actually, also, about every other seat was comfortable so you had to search around to find good seats. The Passengers and Staff I give the staff a rating of 10/10. They were excellent. I really have no complaints at all, they were extremely friendly and most seemed very happy. Our ship had 1200 passengers on board. Of this 800 were Italians, about 150 were English speaking, 100 French, and the rest a mix of Spanish and German is my guess. No complaints with any of the passengers. The Italians are very pushy and like to use their elbows in the buffet lines. Also, they seem to go by the rule of "whoever pushes to the front first wins". Lines and order seems more like a guideline to them. Once you get used to this mentality it was ok. It was also fun to feel really big. I am only 6'2 but was probably the fifth or sixth tallest person on board. This came in handy when the Italians would try to cut around me in lines as I glared at them with disapproval. The cabin We stayed in an inside cabin in the front of deck 4. It was probably the cheapest room on the ship but our cabin steward went above and beyond. Our cabin was quite lovely and actually was much better than I anticipated for an inside cabin. No complaints here. 10/10. The Food and Drink Because of the itinerary we were able to eat most of our meals in the dining room. Most mornings we had room service delivered for free. They would also give us cappuccinos for free although they charged up on deck. We generally tipped the person who delivered it 1 euro although it wasn't required. The food in the dining room for lunch and dinner was better than I expected. The food wasn't as Italian as I expected but it was good. We had the X1 package and they always had a bottle of wine and mineral water waiting for us. Most nights we shared a bottle but some nights we drank 1 ½ bottles of the house red. The house red was tolerable but obviously cheap wine. It was just hard to drink the same thing every night, compare it to Traders Joes Charles Shaw wine. They were very quick to bring us any drinks we requested. The buffet lines at lunch were sometimes crazy as it seems that every Italian eats at the same time. The buffet food was worse than I expected so we stayed away and ate in the dining room as much as we could. When we did eat we sat outside on the deck. Once we sat down the drink people would constantly be around asking us for drinks. WE COULD USE THE X1 ON DECK DURING THE BUFFET TIMES no problem. I wasn't sure about that going in, but they would bring us coke, beer, wine, the usual. Good perk to have. The itinerary The port was very easy to get to from Rome. From the Termini station we took a train for about 70 minutes (6 euro each way) and walked about 5 minutes from the station to the harbor. From here a shuttle took us to the ship. Check-In went smooth and took about an average amount of time to get through. In Catania Sicily the ship docked. We walked around the city for a couple of hours and didn't really do much. They drive crazy here and the city is quite hectic. Izmir Turkey was much better than I anticipated. This was by far the cleanest city that we visited. The people were friendly and didn't bother you or heckle you in shops and on the streets. Izmir probably had the best looking people and most western looking clothes and culture of any of the ports. The ship docked at the pier and again we just walked around town for a couple of hours. There was a military parade the day we were in town (I think it was their independence day or some city holiday but either way it was fun to watch and security was extremely tight). The next day we went to Santorini and Mykonos (both tenders to shore) and in both cities we just walked around town for a couple of hours. In Athens we did a DIY to the Acropolis which was very easy and probably only took about 3 hours from the time we left the ship until we were back near the ship. I didn't describe the itinerary here very much so just ask if you have more questions. This review was much longer than I anticipated so please just ask if you have any questions and I will make sure to answer them. Overall I was very pleased with the experience and it met my expectations for the price. It was a very cheap cruise and I think it was a GREAT VALUE! I wouldn't hesitate doing it again at all but if you are spending a lot of money on a cruise, I wouldn't pick this ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
Wow..OK here goes. First the positive. I traveled on Costa Pacifica on the July 5th trip in the Western Mediterranean. The ship is beautiful and absolutely spotless. My cabin steward and waiters were incredibly nice and efficient and spoke ... Read More
Wow..OK here goes. First the positive. I traveled on Costa Pacifica on the July 5th trip in the Western Mediterranean. The ship is beautiful and absolutely spotless. My cabin steward and waiters were incredibly nice and efficient and spoke fluent English. All of the staff with the exception of one gal were amazingly nice and helpful. English was not their first language but we got by. I purchased the X1 card and it was the smartest thing we did. This you have to purchase in advance from your travel agent. It can only be used during lunch and dinner BUT meals are always being served. I really enjoyed the casino. The dealers and pit bosses were really nice and pleasant. We had a outside room at the front of the ship and it was adequate in size...we were comfortable.OK now....with a population of 3000 there were only 30 English speaking passengers on board. The person in charge of us was Deborah. She was NOT pleased when there were complaints by the English speaking passengers. The complaints were numerous and Deborah crossed the line of professionalism and actually told the gal I was traveling with that her daughter was very difficult. Now, her daughter was upset as were all of us because Costa cancelled an excursion because they did not want to hire an English speaking guide for a small group. Then we were put on another excursion that zero english was spoken. When we vehemently complained and said we wanted all of our excursion money returned if we were not going to have English speaking guides we then received those guides. Numerous encounters with Deborah were not pleasant and I would have to say that this seriously impacted our vacation. She was extremely offensive and not with just our group. For the position she held she was ineffective.We knew going in that this is an Italian ship but if Costa is not going to cater to all languages than that should be said upfront. The ports of call were lovely. Not quite sure the reason for going into Savona, Italy other than its cheaper than the dock charges in Monaco. I will say that it really bugged me that we picked up passengers in every port and dropped them off. This was like a moving transport system. I am used to cruises when everyone gets on at a certain port and off at a certain port.The first 2 nights the food was horrible. Than, for some reason, it was good. We could not figure out this one. I will tell you it was HORRIBLE...and then we really enjoyed it.The constant music on the ship was annoying. They had the same soundtrack they kept playing over and over. On this soundtrack included Christmas songs. That was driving us CRAZY. For the ship of "MUSIC" it sucked. The shows were sub par except for one evening that was really good. We could not quite figure this out either.The ship could have really used a third pool. The 2 pools are small and were ALWAYS crammed full. Not appealing at all and I did not once put on a suit to sit in a toilet.I dont know if this is just Costa but at beginning of cruise, because we were non Europeans our passports were conviscated and we did not get them back till end of cruise. That bugged me a bit. They did give us a photo copy.We only had one formal night and Costa did not have the traditonal toga night that they usually have. This was fine just letting you know.All in all...we(4 firends) had a decent time because we viewed the ship as our transportation to get us to the ports. This is NOT a ship for English speakers because truthfully.....COSTA does not care. Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
Actual embarkation was Naples with the following itinerary:Palermo, Tunis, Palma, Barcelona, Marseille, Savona. Getting to Naples is easy from Rome with a 2hr train ride. Here are some brief comments: -Lower levels outside/inside are a ... Read More
Actual embarkation was Naples with the following itinerary:Palermo, Tunis, Palma, Barcelona, Marseille, Savona. Getting to Naples is easy from Rome with a 2hr train ride. Here are some brief comments: -Lower levels outside/inside are a bit nosy as you can sometimes hear the ship ride over the waves. Try to get level 3+ if you stay in your cabin a lot. This won't matter if you are itinerary focused or spend your time at the sun/pool decks. -Try to pick up some Italian/French/Spanish if you plan to go to Europe. We didn't mind hearing 4x languages on the ship since after all you are in another country and shouldn't expect english to be spoken frequently. -Don't expect North American style of service and cuisine. Majority of passengers are Italian. But we didn't mind too much as we came to enjoy the different cultures although it was annoying to wait with everyone each nite as the second seating dinning room was never on time to open. Overall service of dinning, room attendant, buffet staff more like 3 star than 4-5 star as they are all very friendly but don't have the fine tuned training that they should have. -New ship, so facilities and technology is top notch. Ship arrived and departed each port on time and embarkation/debarkation was very efficient. -itinerary was excellent and information about each port of call was very good. Cruise tour was efficient although it would be nice to have it a little longer. Only port you really need to do some research is Savona....take the tour to either Genoa or Portofino. -Overall good value for new ship and excellent itinerary. Excellent way to visit and travel around Europe. This type of cruise is suited for itinerary focused vacations and a touch of language learning. Set your expectations about Europe and you will have a wonderful trip! Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
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