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5 Costa Serena Senior Cruise Reviews

Where do I start? After reading many terrible reviews of the Costa Serena after I had booked this cruise I should've learnt my lesson & cancelled it! Several times I tried to contact Costa by email prior to departing with some ... Read More
Where do I start? After reading many terrible reviews of the Costa Serena after I had booked this cruise I should've learnt my lesson & cancelled it! Several times I tried to contact Costa by email prior to departing with some requests but to no avail, they don't seem to acknowledge any sort of email enquiry. So why was I suprised that when I tried to call them they didn't answer the phone either? To my better judgement we decided to go ahead with the cruise, as we particularly wanted to see this side of the world & with only Costa available to this area we had no choice. We spent 3 wonderful days in Dubai staying in a lovely hotel before boarding the Costa Serena. (Wish we had stayed in Dubai now!) we wanted to board the ship during the day but all the information we had told us we could only board after 8pm. What utter rubbish!! We decided to go to the port early & try to get on board. Evidently people had been boarding since about 1pm, we got there about 4pm. My first impression was at the port, there was one girl doing the check in with a face like a fish and no courtesy what so ever. On other ships we had to leave a deposit on either on a card or cash, nothing was requested here? On arrival into the main atrium I found it dowdy and gloomy with not much light. The decor was appalling!! Then I noticed what sounded like drilling and chipping noises, LOUD!! When I looked up on the next deck there were maintenance men working on what would've been the shops? I just assumed that perhaps it was something they done when in port? How wrong was I, the work was continuous the whole duration of our cruise. The noise limits were endless. You couldn't sit to relax with a drink you couldn't hear the music being played for the horrendous sounds coming from the workforce above. We then ventured to other parts of the ship to find some areas divided where some areas were not accessible, workmen were walking around the ship carrying huge boards of plasterboards over guests heads?? What have we come to I asked myself?? As our cabin was not available until 8pm & we couldn't access our bags as all the doors to the cabins on each deck were not only shut but locked?? We had no choice but to arrive in the dining for our evening meal in the clothes we had travelled in.lucky for us we had a table of 6 & we were all English ( not many on board) the waiters were very attentive but we did seem to wait a while between each course. The choice was not very large (compared to other cruise ships) & the food was not very variable and tasteless. We were on the all inclusive drinks package & it was worth every penny as the drinks on board were expensive. Only trouble was you were not allowed a bottle of water it had to be a glass! The dining room was fine for the evening meal we ate in Vesta restaurant, but forget having breakfast or lunch there, it was a nightmare! We went twice to each then forgot it. The service was appalling & so was the food. Once I waited 20 minutes for a coffee?? So we went to the self service restaurant on deck 9. Although it was the same choice every day, breakfast was continental, cereals, fruit, pastries,anything that was suppose to be hot clearly was not & the waiters made no attempt to clear the tables until you walked away & had finished. At lunchtime there was pasta, carvery, salad, bread, soup & desserts of fruit, cakes of some description. It was not horrendous but the only trouble is after getting your food there were no tables available so by the time you found a table your food was cold!! The bar staff that continually parade around the restaurant conveniently chose to ignore the British guests unless you were lucky enough to grab one & ask them to serve you. The entertainment team were very amateurish & the shows were the worst I've ever witnessed. The first was a magician, we walked out half way through it was unbelievable! Most of the staff had a couldn't give a damn attitude & it became very stressful! The noise & dust from the continuous Maintenance going on around the ship really ruined our cruise along with the attitude of the staff, the dim gloomy cabins and dreadful decor on board, together with the awful entertainment and plain unimaginable food made this our worst cruise ever! The jacuzzi turned my new swimsuit brown (far too much chlorine in the water) when I complained to the guests services they were not interested & told me to claim on my insurance?! After a lengthy argument with them I demanded to see the Captain, who obviously doesn't deal with such trivialities!! I was told it will be dealt with & a letter will be with you within a few hours with a decision as to what can be done. After 8 hours I had heard nothing so returning to see them I demanded to see someone of higher authority. When speaking to her I was told nothing can be done on board & it has to be dealt with when I get home. With my previous experience of trying to contact Costa I don't hold out much hope?? There attitude was unbelievable & they really couldn't care less. The queue was so long when we had finished our meeting with her & everyone was complaining about one thing or another. There were several pools on board, we decided to use the "Adult Pool" at the Aft of the ship on deck 9. Unfortunately though this was not adhered to as plenty of European kids decided they would use it "bomb" every guest using it! The pool attendant asked them to use but as in the case of many situations they decided to ignore it!! The pool slide was out of action the whole duration due to maintenance but actually no work was seen to be done? The 4D Cinema was not in English & had no sound!!! Unfortunately for everyone on board on Thursday we experienced a sandstorm which meant that we couldn't really get off the ship back in Dubai. This meant it was another day we had to endure the ship! There was no additional entertainment to enjoy and soon the ship became very full with lots of disgruntled guests hanging around. im not convinced that the ports of call in Oman were of any interest, in particular Khasab! We thought as many guests did that they should forget Khasab and have 2 days in Abu Dhabi where there was so much more to see & do & not enough time for only having 1 day. Probably though knowing all the savings Costa was trying to make this was just another? So to sum it all up, would I do another Costa cruise? NO WAY NOT IF THEY PAID ME!!! Someone recently wrote saying this was the Ryanair of cruise ships, this is an understatement!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Whilst not a major cruiser we have completed enough to know this was the worst of our experiences and total rubbish. We will never cruise with Costa again. As part of a package advertised on cruise critic we spent 4 days in Dubai then 7 ... Read More
Whilst not a major cruiser we have completed enough to know this was the worst of our experiences and total rubbish. We will never cruise with Costa again. As part of a package advertised on cruise critic we spent 4 days in Dubai then 7 days aboard the Costa Serena. Our first dissapiontment was being transferred from hotel to port embarkation arriving just after midday to be told we could not gain access to cabins untill 8pm. Whilst annoyed and frustrated we did notice some passengers sleeping on the more comfortable seats who had arrived around 9am following overnight flights from the uk. Imagine how they felt. We couldn't understand this as the ship had docked the previous day early morning. At app 5pm we were allowed to board to gain access to the buffet restaurant to at least get something to eat. Getting to our cabin at app 7.50pm we found it to be a reasonable size and comfortable. At breakfast we chose the Al la carte restaurant preferring not to get involved in the rush at the buffet counters. Orange SQUASH was available but when I asked for orange juice I was told there is a charge of normally €4.50 (but was on offer of €3.50). At the end of breakfast, filter coffee was served but a choice of say, cappuccino or latte etc incurred a charge of €4.50. It was interesting to note that following breakfast orange SQUASH machines were switched off and not available at any other time although orange juice could still be purchased. Again at dinner, coffee was only available if purchased. A drinks package was available to purchase at (alcoholic) €25 pppd or (non alcoholic) €15 pppd. I did experience many passengers complaining that having purchased the alcoholic package, were disappointed to find that when selecting wine it was house red or white. If you wanted a particular wine, say a Chardonnay or Cabernet, you would have to pay for a bottle (not even a glass was available). There was a staff service charge of €8 pppd, and whilst I did not have a problem with this I objected to a 15% surcharge on all and every other purchase. Why not just add it to the price. Even to request a bottle of water cost €4.50 plus 15%. Water was available in the cabin but again only from the mini bar at the usual cost. There was a cinema available but again a charge was made. A small pizza restaurant was available but again, at a charge. There was a large amount of maintenance work going on and many passengers made complaints although we were not personally affected. Talking to fellow passengers it became apparent that almost everyone was dissatisfied with the whole experience. Talking at breakfast to an elderly retired Italian lady professor and a seasoned Costa cruiser, she was most disappointed. She had made numerous complaints and vowed never to sail with Costa again. The evening dinner was excellent and could not be faulted and we were fortunate to have a table of 4 other very pleasant passengers. We were very puzzled as to why the farewell dinner was held on the Tuesday when the cruise didn't end untill the Friday . The entertainment provided by our waiter/catering staff was most amusing and enjoyable. The evening entertainment in the theatre was ok, not great but not bad. Shore excursions were expensive and as usual, could be purchased at dockside considerably cheaper, particularly the "Big Bus" tours. I elected to complete a customer survey/questionnaire online via an email to be sent to me by costa, interesting to note, no survey/questionnaire has been sent to me. Maybe they don't want to get my opinions. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
1. We had an over night flight to Dubai and arrived to the Port Rashid at 12.00, the reception asked us to whait another 3 hours till 15.00 to let us in to the ship, so we forst to sleap at ports metal bench as homless!!! Is this is how ... Read More
1. We had an over night flight to Dubai and arrived to the Port Rashid at 12.00, the reception asked us to whait another 3 hours till 15.00 to let us in to the ship, so we forst to sleap at ports metal bench as homless!!! Is this is how you treat you costumers??? After 3 hours, they let us in to the ship and informed that now we can have food at the buffet and wait till 20.00 for our rooms to be ready!!!!! I have been working in Hospitality industry for 15 years and I have never seen so poor service!!! You have wasted all our day! Insted of few our of sleep at the cabin and going to explore Dubai we have been trapped in the all day waiting! I have told that Im not happy to reception but they say that We need to wait and nothing they can do!! Just ignored us. 2. The food at he buffet was cold and disgusting..I have reported to the reception,but they said that is only today because they are very busy and promised that they will improve.. and guess what it didn't ! all the cruise the food level was not like hotel standart but school canteen! For example: Breakfast- bacon every morning was burned down and swim in the oil (restaurant and buffet) at the restaurant they put small plates of meat, after 5 sec, nothing left and when you need to wait another 15min to be replaced and after 5sec gone..Im wasting my time of waiting. Lunch- long queues, most of the food is cold and swim in oil, the desserts are all warm as should be cold. Dinner is the same story...cold main courses, zero presentation,the bread rolls was hard as stone (probably from the morning) warm dessert and should be cold..I have tommato soup wich was probably from the tin and warmed up...The level of food below zero! I have told to the restaurant supervisor about that and he said that he know that problem and he said that they receive a lot of complaints about food. I have few compaints from the crew that they work long hours and for the overtime nobody pays! Italian crew members got longer breaks then the other countries crew got much less!! The time managment it's realy bad as well, for example: when we come for brekfast to the restaurant 10 membars of crew showing to us where to sit (most of the crew I have seen last night working) do you really need them??? Why you using fabrick napkins for breakfast and lunch?? I guess that you want to show 5* hotel standarts, but with school canteen food it looks terible..You waisting laundry and waiters time!! Free tip for you. I would really think about your Head chef's abilitty to work this job. 3. Entertainment was really poor, the dancers looked tired and wasn't sure that they dancing, the singers didn't have great voices. I love entertainment, but this one was like 12 years old school performance. 4. I come to complain to reception on Wed about all that and I said I dont wanna be charged for the service and the guy said that is inposble because it's part of contract, he wasn't helpfull so I have asked to speak with manager, but manager wasn't where. So I come back next day and spoke with supervisor, she took litle paper peace wrighted few word and said that she will get back to me. So at the evening we received the bill with charge of service. On friday finaly I have spoke with reception manager and I told her once again that how can I pay that charge when I haven't receive service that is suppost to be!!!?? She said that sorry to hear that and said to contact you!!! Do you pay tips for bad service? Your company represents Arab Emirates and Oman countries, Do you think they would be happy to hear how your company representing they country? Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
The destinations were great, the crew were not overly friendly or accomodating, the excursion that we went on was good. The other passengers on the ship were not very courteous especially in lines. The dress code is casual, but some ... Read More
The destinations were great, the crew were not overly friendly or accomodating, the excursion that we went on was good. The other passengers on the ship were not very courteous especially in lines. The dress code is casual, but some passengers attended dinners really sloppily (t-shirts, etc). The food in the buffet was really mediocre, not much variety with low quality (served prawns which were tasteless and over-cooked, not much variety of hot breakfasts (porridge, cream of wheat etc), The dinners weren't very good quality food except the soups were excellent. The entertainment was ho-hum. The guitar player only did karaoke guitar, he couldn't sing so he just mumbled, and his playing was very simple. The guitar duo was really excellent. The couple in the main lounge/atrium were ok, but the girl was terrible, once again only doing karaoke style. The pianist was quite good however. There was really no "piano bar" which is where i usually spend my time.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We flew Gatwick to Milan Milpanese, landing at Terminal 2. There were no Costa personnel to greet us as we searched out the shuttle bus to Terminal 1 to catch the coach to Savona. The shuttle bus was a normal single decker bus with no ... Read More
We flew Gatwick to Milan Milpanese, landing at Terminal 2. There were no Costa personnel to greet us as we searched out the shuttle bus to Terminal 1 to catch the coach to Savona. The shuttle bus was a normal single decker bus with no luggage racks and was packed to the gills..... At Terminal 1, at least one of the Costa people was having a bad day and was quite abrasive to one passenger. They also said that wheelchair passengers were "nothing to do with them", so several people remonstrated with them. They refused to stop the coach en route to Savona until one passenger demanded a toilet break...welcome to Costa!!!!! This was my sixth Costa Cruise and probably my last. Granted they have reduced their prices assuming that you book through an Internet Agency at £450 per person whilst Costa were holding out for £875 for a lower class cabin. Cabin 2468, Class E2, right at back of the ship, slightly larger than E1 cabins at side of ship but very little storage/wardrobe space. Window but no balcony. Quite noisy when docking/leaving port as machines for stowing ropes were on the deck right below the cabin. Friends were in Deck 8 cabin and said that the noise from 6.30 a.m. onwards from trolleys being wheeled through the buffet on Deck 9 was horrendous...they complained and were moved to Deck 7. We were not impressed by the decor on the ship and there seemed to be an atmosphere amongst the crew for the first couple of days although our Vesta Dining Room staff were excellent. Costa charge a non-negotiable 6 Euro per day per passenger "Gratuity" and we are not sure whether this is passed on to the staff or, as somebody said, used by Costa to pay the wages. I think that this stifles a lot of enthusiasm in the crew as they assume that they will not get any more tips by providing good service. We could see that there have been many cutbacks in the food provided, particularly in the buffet and even more so after 9 p.m. in the buffet. Even the Pepperoni Pizzas had sausage instead of pepperoni and this is an Italian ship! The passengers on this cruise were probably 60+ on average comprising mainly Germans and French. You had the usual towels on sunbeds all day with no sign of ownership, no quarter was given in queues for buffet/theatre/disembarking and even Good Morning/Evening seemed to be beyond their capabilities when passing in the cabin passageways! Less than 200 Brits aboard out of approx 2,900 passengers, sometimes you heard the English announcements in the middle of the other 6 language announcements, sometimes you wondered if English was spoken onboard by any of the Entertainment/Front Office Staff....the Cruise Director was the loudest person I have come across in this role and seemed to shriek continuously and I won't even mention her Bingo calling! I would recommend a different shipping line in future and, preferably, with no flying involved....our flight left Gatwick at 7.15 a.m. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Costa Serena Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 3.0 3.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.6
Family 3.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.4
Enrichment 2.0 3.1
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 3.0 3.6
Rates 3.0 3.6

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