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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Greatly recommend to those who are keen to go for a cruise managed by a poor management who always put on an "unhappy" face on all their cruise with no proper instructions given and when questions were raised by their guest to ... Read More
Greatly recommend to those who are keen to go for a cruise managed by a poor management who always put on an "unhappy" face on all their cruise with no proper instructions given and when questions were raised by their guest to their crew, the standard reply was "I don't know, please check with another crew.". Also if you do not wish that the crew to enter your cabins, do remember to put the "Do Not Disturb" sign at your door as our room was entered multiple times for no particular reasons even though we didn't call for housekeeping and we realised that our laptop had been touched ( as we left room for a short time to attend their concert, we left our laptop open and when we were back, it was closed and the whole room was pitch dark - even side table lights were offed. ) When asked to the information counter, they said we didn't put "DTD" thus the crews can enter and leave anytime they like. Toilets were filled with moulds at bathing area, beds were stained with black stains even after a housekeeping session done.. Smoke can be smelt along the corridor of the cabins, insufficient kettles available as well. The adapter given by the crew had sparks coming out from it when it was plucked it and when asked for an exchange, the crew said that they ran out of it. Long queues during meal times and there was no one controlling the crowd nor guiding the passengers. Ice cream stall only open for 1 meal throughout the 5 days of cruise. Speciality restaurant does not offer all indicated food items and we were not told before we sat down for our meal. Waste of money. There is 3 eating area for the passengers, however, only 2 is available as 1 is converted to "FOR SUITE" passengers only. We purchased the non-alcoholic beverage package but the crew would keep on telling us that the non-alcoholic drinks are not included and we had to pay extra (don't buy package as they don't honour it). No proper lightings near the swimming pool where some kids are found running in dark as well which is very dangerous. Entertainment were the same for the 5 days. Poor management on disembarkation and embarkation as well as no proper direction nor instructions given, announcement system is also not clear. Overall, its a waste of money and time, both my partner and I are very displeased with the service provided, management control, experience, condition of the cabin and the embarkation and disembarkation process. This is not our first time cruising on a cruise liner but it will be the first time and LAST TIME cruising with COSTA VICTORIA. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This cruise was chosen by Altius Insurance Cyprus (my husband work in this company) as a reward. It was my first cruise, but definitely I will do it again!!! The ship was so clean, nice odor, you could smell the cleaning odors ... Read More
This cruise was chosen by Altius Insurance Cyprus (my husband work in this company) as a reward. It was my first cruise, but definitely I will do it again!!! The ship was so clean, nice odor, you could smell the cleaning odors everywhere. We had cabin 6109. The service was amazing. The man that was cleaning our cabin was so polite. The dining on the second deck was amazing. I was wondering how they could serve so tasty food to thousand people "a la carte". The waiters were amazing...so polite! What impressed me the most was the guy and the team in charge with the entertainment!! I remember his name! Louis...was everywhere...dancing...singing... presenting...amazing humor and energy! But what amazed me the most was the assistant bar manager: Pantelis Zoografos! What a personality! I am a marketer and maybe I evaluate different than other people but his eyes were everywhere, ready to offer his services, to say a joke or to say something nice! Make me wonder if this man was born for this job or maybe the job was invented for him!!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinery and largely because it was incredible value at £380 pp. Having read some reviews here we approached with an open mind (first time with Costa) but were very pleasantly surprised. The ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinery and largely because it was incredible value at £380 pp. Having read some reviews here we approached with an open mind (first time with Costa) but were very pleasantly surprised. The ship is very stylishly fitted out, we loved all the detail. All is spotlessly clean and doesn't look the 8 years old that it is. We were upgraded from an inside to a premier balcony cabin and given a lunch and dinner drinks package for free, both were very welcome and made it even better value. We really can't fault anything at that price and it would be hard to even if we had paid twice as much. Food was superb. Service and staff without exception were extremely friendly, helpful and courteous. The only dining criticisms are that buffet hours are limited compared to our previous cruises with nothing available mid morning or after 9pm. Even breakfast and lunch are limited to less than two hours. Also, breakfast and lunch service in the dining room can be slow. Evenings were fine. Coffee and tea were only available from the machines during buffet hours. Water was always available (and was served at the dining table free). Of course everything is available if you pay for it. Entertainment was good with musicians around the ship. The evening shows were of a high standard though not quite the P & O west end style productions. It is of course difficult on such an international ship to provide entertainment to suit all with the language issues. Outside areas are good. Plenty of quiet or noisy areas to choice. We particularly like the 'stacked' rear decks where you can sit out in some shelter and enjoy the rearward view. Many modern ships lack this. We always managed to find a sunbed on sea days eventually but they need to clamp down on people reserving beds. We are not pool people but there are only two pools and the large one with the retractable roof was always enclosed, even on hot days. This made it noisy and steamy. This is probably the only area of the ship that shows it's age and not as stylish as the rest of the ship. It is also used for evening parties and lacks atmosphere. We had a look at the spa and it looked superb if that's your thing. We don't do excursions so can't comment on these. It irked somewhat to be told it was a 4m walk to Corfu and Dubrovnik when it was 2km. This was just trying to sell the expensive shuttle tickets. The local buses, and even taxis if you share, are cheaper an 2km is a reasonable walk. Some have commented about certain nationalities pushing in and jumping queues. We rarely experienced this (there are always a few rude individuals). We found all nationalities mixed very well and the atmosphere on board was lively yet well behaved. All in all it is hard to believe we were on the same ship as some who have reviewed here. The above really is nitpicking but Costa need to know where they can improve an already top notch experience which genuinely is what it was. We had a fantastic time. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I had in the past considered an Easter cruise but was always late with the booking so when I saw a good offer on Costa web site, I decided to book. I continue to sail with Costa mainly because tends to have nice offers for solo cruisers ... Read More
I had in the past considered an Easter cruise but was always late with the booking so when I saw a good offer on Costa web site, I decided to book. I continue to sail with Costa mainly because tends to have nice offers for solo cruisers and because the nice privileges of being a Costa Club member used to be tempting. Travelled to Savona by Genoa airport this time (my traditional route is via Milano Linate and then the train), as I found a surprisingly good fare (Genua has a small airport - smaller planes, limited routes - so fares tend to be high) and noticed that the airport is not far from a train station. I tried to walk from the airport to the station but it was not so easy to find my way as I expected. On reaching the station I found out that there is a local bus which links the station to the airport (tickets can be purchased at the train station or at the tourist information desk at the airport) Reached Savona on a Good Friday so not much was open and decided to walk from the station to the airport which is not that far (and almost a straight line). In 25 minutes, walking with luggage, I was at the NH Darsena Savona where I have stayed before, located in the renovated part of the port, which is almost like a marina now, and steps away from the cruise terminal. Costa has its own terminal in Savona which is nice, comfortable, and decorated with nice pics of the time it was Linea C. It is also quite an efficient terminal and embarkation tend to be smooth, even if there were two other Costa ships in port that day. The cruise had an easy itinerary too: Savona – Barcelona – Palma (Mallorca) – Marseille – Savona The Costa Favolosa is one on a series of large ships built after the ‘Carnivalisation’ of the Italian company and therefore, externally, it is not too different to the large Carnival ships. Its interiors were created by Joe Farcus (and it is not always easy to say if they are pleasing or not until one is on board). It was launched in 2011 and built at Marghera (‘continental’ Venice) The ship has 12 passenger decks, named after existing places or palaces which would link with the ‘fable’ theme of the ship (more on the name than on display), like Hermitage, Tivoli, Escorial, etc. My cabin, on deck 7, described as an Interior Single Classic, had actually a double bed. There was not space for a table and chair as in previous single cabins I had on Costa but the wardrobe was large enough and there were a lot of storage space and options. Bathroom was the standard with shower and plastic curtain. Nice shower though and easy to control temperature. I had a problem with noise in the air ducts but it was looked at by a technician and improved although it was not solved entirely. As a gesture I was given a nice box of sweets with an apology letter, which was a nice touch. Decks 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8 are almost exclusively dedicated to cabins. On deck 3 there is an Atrium, with a piazza kind of feeling, where there are also the reception and the excursions desk. It also has access to the lower level of the Teatro Hortensia (a large theatre occupying three decks) and to the MDRs Duca di Borgogna (center) and Duca di Orleans (aft), both occupying two decks. The theatre has good and modern equipment and the facility to present ice skating shows. The restaurants like most of the ship was decorated on subdued, wooddy tones as well as beige, black and red. The décor, considering it was created by Farcus, is incredibly classy and not so ‘a punch on your senses’. Deck 3 also has some open deck space which is a bit more sheltered than the one on the top decks. Deck 4 contains the top levels of the MDRs as well as the middle level of the theatre but also the photo shop, a tasteful meeting room called Fabergé, a beautiful chapel (similar to the ones on the other Costa ships but in more pastel colours) and the discotheque. One deck above one finds the top level of the theater, the shops, a nice, spacious library with beautiful sea views, a smokers room/bar called Montespan, the Grand Bar Palatino (one of the central areas for entertainment, which has an exquisite central ceiling composed of light blue glass shells and also has some colourful, vibrant sculptures in glass cases and the ships model), a cafeteria where one could get excellent hot chocolate and ice creams, the 4 D cinema, the casino, a piano bar called Camelot (where most of the colour used was red but the piano is white… one of the rare feelings of clashing colours on the ship), a ‘ballroom’ (actually not such a large room but also not much used) called Pompadour (in interesting tones of green, brown and interesting chair design) and perhaps my favourite space on board: the Molière lounge with simple, almost minimalistic, but well-designed chairs, and all in quite subdued colours, apart from the round blue ‘shields’ around the room. This was the place for the private events as well as some of the themed parties. The main swimming pool is on the center of deck 9 with a two-deck lido. Deck 9 is also where the lower level of the buffet as well as another swimming pool (aft with more open deck space) are to be found. One deck above is where the Squok Club (a separate area for small children) is located as well as the upper level of the buffet (a quieter, more pleasant area which in the evenings offer a pizza as well as a burger restaurant (extra tariff). The well-equipped gym, the spa thermal area as well as the Club Favolosa (the top extra tariff restaurant on board almost exclusively for suite passengers) are on deck 11. On deck 12 there is the formula one car experience, the top level of the spa, an Acqua Park for small children, jogging tracks and a area for basketball, etc. The other passengers were a mix of nationalities but the larger groups were French and Italian, with their not so well behaved children in tow (I now know to avoid Easter cruises in future). The passenger profile was not much different from the average mass market cruise these days, but, as a short cruise, during school holidays, it was not so impressive in behaviour and social manners, a price to pay to get a good offer on a single occupancy cabin sometimes. The food was quite ok, some interesting Italian regional menus but the portions are becoming smaller and smaller… the Samsara restaurant was worth the extra tariff for its creativity on menu and flavours as well as for the quieter environment (despite been next door to the larger Duca di Borgogna MDR). Food on the buffet was varied but it is often crowded and not a nice experience. Waiters no longer serve you drinks at the table and one must go to some points near the food stations to get drinks. More casual, probably logistically easy for the staff but not ideal when one is part of a large group, etc The weather was sunny for most of the cruise and the ship sailed smoothly for almost all the cruise (a bit more rolling when crossing the Gulf of Lions but glass smooth around Mallorca) Service was excellent in the cabin, which was kept spotless, restaurants (although more staff is needed… the poor waiter was taking care of five tables practically alone, so delays did occur), a bit slow on the bars but still ok, and the usual hit and miss at the buffet and open deck areas. Staff was mostly friendly but there was a feeling in the air that this is not a happy ship. Disembarkation was ok, on time and fairly smooth apart from the fact that Costa no longer arranges for a shuttle from the terminal to the train station (which was quite popular in the past) and there is not much information to be had once one leaves the ship. Luckily, I knew my way back to the station walking. The Costa Club ‘privileges’ are not so many now and there seems to be efforts to cut costs on them, but still better than in the competitor’s cruises. The ship was nice and well-kept but nothing particularly special. The itinerary was good and simple but again with nothing special. Costa needs to improve the product. There were no hosts talks on embarkation day, although they seem to have a fixed desk point on the ship, nothing really special on the gala night menu, that noisy, tedious white night, and the thermal area at the spa is in need of repairs and refitting. All in all, an average cruise, enjoyable if one knows where to go and when, but nothing remarkable. A pity as the ship is nice. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
It was my birthday present from my husband so we chose a week long Meditteranean cruise! Brilliant from start to finish. The food was amazing, our cabin steward (John) was extremely efficient, and our waiter (Vincent Madavana) was ... Read More
It was my birthday present from my husband so we chose a week long Meditteranean cruise! Brilliant from start to finish. The food was amazing, our cabin steward (John) was extremely efficient, and our waiter (Vincent Madavana) was excellent! We found all the staff very friendly, nothing too much trouble. Could have stayed aboard when the cruise finished and done it all over again!!! We could not have found fault with anything, although we would have liked to have at least one bar where there was no dancing just music playing, as each bar there was there seemed to be dancing all the time (either ballroom or latin (not good if you don't know the dances, or don't want to dance, just to relax. All in all, really enjoyed the surroundings, the Jacuzzi and pool were also great to use, really did not want to come home. We boarded ship in Marseille where we stayed overnight at the Hotel Hermes which is a very good hotel in the old port, this is a lovely place in itself to visit, the rest of our visits included Barcelona, Valencia; Cagliari, Civitavecchia, and Savone; all of which were marvellous, the highlight of our trip being Rome! Will definitely go on another cruise! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise as it was extremely good valve for money. We secured it through Groupon and flew from Gatwick to Nice. Transfers smooth and on arriving at the ship our bags were whisked away and placed outside our cabin, let the fun ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was extremely good valve for money. We secured it through Groupon and flew from Gatwick to Nice. Transfers smooth and on arriving at the ship our bags were whisked away and placed outside our cabin, let the fun begin! The ship is very ornate and the interior decorating a little offensive to those who like colour co-ordinated surroundings! However it was clean and the cleaning staff kept the whole ship slick and span. The waiter dining was good but could be a bit protracted in the evening's (we went for the early sitting as the 8 30 could mean queuing) As we got acclimatised we went to Deck 9 for meals as these are buffet style which was more to our liking. You get to see whats on offer and it was generally very good. One gripe of mine was the tomatoes! They weren't the lovely rich Italian ones, supermarket bland! The theatre acts were brilliant thoroughly enjoyed them. We enjoyed also the library and quiet areas. We did 1 excursion, Sorrento (which is beautiful) could have done without the Lemoncello factory experience as so much to see in Sorrento and would rather have skipped that and gone straight to Sorrento. We did hop on/off buses at Barcelona and Marseilles, great value for money and easy to book when we went ashore, so don't worry about doing them on board. We did the drinks package which we were pleased with, but be aware if you order a bottle of wine you will be charged, same with a bottle of water - by the glass you won't. This worked for us but of course of you want to sample wines from the extensive list you shave to bear t his in mind. Service charge. This is added daily so don't know if its worth enquiring paying at booking? May be discounted but not sure, one to ask travel agents. If we cruised again we would not try to see too much on going ashore as nearly missed the ship in Barcelona!!!! Just be aware that 5/6 hours, which you get in most stops, is not long. Long transfer on return. We flew out from Milan, lovely scenery on route, but had a long wait at the airport. This was not ant fault of Costa of course. In all we met some lovely people. Italian, French, German, Russian, Cuban in fact a very eclectic mix of nationalities! We really enjoyed this aspect of the cruise and although we both have only English it made for some hilarious conversations!!! Would I travel again with Costa? Most definitely. Why? Good cabins, good food and drink, good entertainment (would love to take my grandkids!) Excellent friendly "can't do enough for you staff), special mention here to Maria our cabin steward who was kindness itself! Lastly - great cruise if you can go Italian as very family orientated and relaxed. Loved it!!! Read Less
43 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Horror!!! Horror! Could not wait to disembark after a week from hell !!! The most mercenary employees in tourism i have ever met in my numerous travels, the managers have absolutely no consideration for the passengers, only for their ... Read More
Horror!!! Horror! Could not wait to disembark after a week from hell !!! The most mercenary employees in tourism i have ever met in my numerous travels, the managers have absolutely no consideration for the passengers, only for their business. My family live on different continents hence we thought a week together on a cruise would mean both rest and togetherness, something to remember fondly. We booked together,we flew together, we embarked together only to be split on different decks by the company ( you do not want to know the distances between the decks and the daily hassle). The stewards told us they had rooms on the same decks and we repetitively tried to reason with the management/ guests services explaining that the very reaons for the cruise was for us to be together. it was to no avail. We were all hassled non-stop, we ended the one week exhausted since we had not had a single restful day. They are extremely mercenary in everything, thin air is the only thing you do not pay for on costa diadema. No rest, no afternoon naps ever, every afternoon emergency drills and announcements in all cabins (!!!), even if you were drilled upon embarkation you repeat everything every single day, every single afternoon for about 2 hours both in your cabin and on the halls in 5-6 languages. A total of 7 days x 2 hours / day afternoon drills resulted in a large number of hysterical passengers who embarked in the same hope to be able to enjoy a few restful days, only to literally weep with joy at the end of the cruise. Moreover, again, on a daily basis, all the crew only announcements are heard in all cabins, non- stop, as they are way too cheap to buy walkie talkies or professional switchboards to only announce the drills in specific rooms or crew only announcements delivered only to staff. By the end of a week we were bone tired, traumatized, a bundle of nerves and happy to crawl off this pathetic ship swearing never ever to book costa cruises again. Everything on this ship is focused on covering them against any complaints/claims coming from passengers, it is never about the passengers' wellbeing. Nothing works properly hence you have to run to and fro for several km/ day from upper decks to reception to sort out malfunctioning cards, misunderstandings etc after, obviously, repetitively standing in huge queues. 5000 people and two tiny pools ( one in the middle of the buffet area- imagine the chlorine smell and the flooding restrooms nearby - pictures upon request) . Ever day they automatically withdraw 10 euro/ passenger from your card unilaterally - you are compelled to put money on their card and they administer it as they think fit- conveniently forgetting to mention that this is a daily tax not legal to impose on passengers in european waters. On the contrary, the management at guest services insists that it is a must. In european waters, it is the passengers' decision to offer the sum if you are happy with the services, at the end of the journey as all other companies know and accept. Generally speaking on cruises you comply gladly because you are satisfied and well rested, happy with the services provided. here, whether you are a satisfied customer or an extremely dissatisfied one you are told that " bad luck", you have to pay (i have recorded proof i can provide in this respect). On costa diadema everything is on savings mode. On other cruises you are looking forward to the fabulous performances in the theatres every evening. On costa diadema they have a weekly evening show ( one of your 7 paid evening shows!!) delivered by the employees - pathetic amateur night they claim the passengers must appreciate as it is a gesture for them. I shall not be imposed amateur shows upon myself and my family as we did not pay for them ( can provide some videos for general hilarity). I suggested we, the passengers, could also help with further savings, some can sing, others dance, a few recite, numerous hum etc. It is extremely embarrassing for both sides: passengers who are told that they should be grateful and appreciate this " nice" gesture on the part of the staff, and the staff themselves who are ridiculed on stage. When compared with the grandiose shows on other cruise lines you feel like crying at your stupidity of having chosen costa. On the other nights a few pathetic dancers/ singers on a big stage on which they get lost, try hard to warm up the passengers, again to no avail. Non stop mix ups, attitude problems, laziness, misunderstandings because of language difficulties of employees ( we suspect super overworked and very cheap for the company, hence no special skills are needed). Should you - god forbid - expect an egg for breakfast, you are told to go down two decks and buy one in a specific restaurant:)) how cool is that ?! Fabulous Diadema savings mode Part of my family accommodated forcefully- as i have shown above-on a superior deck hardly saw their steward ( we had a very good steward on a lower deck). When they complained at reception they were sent a few apples in a basket and a bottle of cheap champagne and nothing changed, they were told that they should be pleased. No further comment. Do not recommend costa diadema to anyone ever!!! Those who worked hard for their money and wish to rest and enjoy a few nice days are in for a very nasty surprise. Buffet closed and cordoned off 1-1.30 hours before closing hour, resulting in even longer queues, even machine water and coffee are attentively monitored and offered only for a short time, while staff watch eagle-eyed so that you do not take 3-4 cups of water. Have been waiting for months on end for this cruise together with my family only to find that at the end of it i had to apologize to them all for the week from hell i had imposed on them. Never, never again costa. We have been on very many cruises before but never experienced anything of the kind. I had expected february to be a more savings oriented cruise but nothing to this extent. If that is the way they treat passengers i do not think i can afford to throw money away on them and, meanwhile, on my own money, masochistically torment myself and my entire family. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
The ship was excellent always clean and well maintained well done to the captain and his entire crew. The Latin dance lessons was brilliant and well presented best we've had. The entertainment was Plentyfull something for everyone on ... Read More
The ship was excellent always clean and well maintained well done to the captain and his entire crew. The Latin dance lessons was brilliant and well presented best we've had. The entertainment was Plentyfull something for everyone on board. A high standard was set by the entertainers on the ship. The crew in general was excellent. The service on deck 9 in the buffet lounge was good the food was always of a high standard. Ariel our waiter on deck 3 was good in coping with the guests food was excellent. The lady singer on deck 3 in front of the hospitality desk was a pleasure to listen to the variety of songs was phenomenal. Leaving the ports was an experience and a brilliant atmosphere music and all. Joel (cabin 6257) you did a brilliant job with our cabin thank you, you made us feel special. Will definitely recommend the Costa Fascinosa to other Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Having just returned, and travelled with Costa before a few years ago which was superb we decided to use them again, what a change and for the worse. Firstly, embarkembartion once on the ship was a nightmare, the crew had no idea where to ... Read More
Having just returned, and travelled with Costa before a few years ago which was superb we decided to use them again, what a change and for the worse. Firstly, embarkembartion once on the ship was a nightmare, the crew had no idea where to direct the passengers to their cabins, I found the language a big barrier and I ended up on the ninth floor thinking it was my cabin but in actual fact I was sent to the buffet with luggage in hand. Once settled into the cabin we then had to do the emergency drill which was a joke, many didn't even wear their life jackets and were not checked for this, myself and my husband wasn't even checked to see if we had arrived, let alone accounted for, it wasn't until the following day did we receive a letter stating...as we hadn't attended the drill the evening before, we were to attend another one that day! The ship is beautiful but is spoiled by the thousands of passengers which pass through and have no regard for fellow travellers on a daily basis, with the pushing and shoving which accumulates at the food stations and seating areas to eat the food. The queues are long and tiresome with no time to ponder on which food to put on the plate, it's like a conveyer belt of passengers which never stops. The public areas are very crowded and are a fight to obtain a nice relaxing atmosphere in a seated area. The bar prices are way over the top and with a surcharge on top of that which makes social drinking quite painful. You could order bar packages for several hundreds of £'s but to get your monies worth you would have to be completely out of it to appreciate the so called perk of the package. The food where ever you chose to eat was a dismal experience with cold to luke warm plated meals or self service. It got to a point where we were dreading meal times because I hate cold food and we don't like bringing attention to ourselves by bringing it to the attention of crew members who couldn't understand English...at one point I did ask if my dinner could be put into the microwave...I even had to demonstrate in mimbe a microwave and said Ding Ding at the end, and to my amazement was told there are no microwaves on board, and yet when I challenged this to someone in authority he informed me they do indeed have microwaves! The crew members never smile, they shuffle along the decks doing their usual duties but if they can get away with it they will...many a time I had to clear my own table from previous diners before I could set my cold food down. One of the water and ice machines in the buffet had been out of order for the whole two weeks of my trip, and meal times were the only time you got free water to drink. Tea and coffee was free at breakfast and afternoon tea, but the rest of the time you had to purchase, I've been on many cruise ships and this service has always been free! The public toilets seemed to be a meeting place for the crew who mingled with the passengers to do their thing, I've never noticed this on other ships and must admit I'm not a fan. The sanitising stations are dotted around the ship but unfortunately hardly anyone uses them...they should be manned at the buffet and dining areas especially to ensure cross contamination is none existent. It only takes one mistake which could effect the entire ship and its reputation? The evening entertainment in my view was on par with other ships, tired acts which were repeated for the benifit of new passengers, audience participation was the order of the day, which in another language other than your own is quite daunting. There were the usual dance classes, bingo etc etc, but nothing to write home about. In fact, instead of coming home relaxed and energised I am now looking to book a retreat where I can rest my loins and brains....I so need a holiday! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose the Costa neoRiviera purely because of the itinerary - we wanted to start in Istanbul. The departure was changed to Athens but we had been there before so it was a disappointment, although understandable in the circumstances. What ... Read More
We chose the Costa neoRiviera purely because of the itinerary - we wanted to start in Istanbul. The departure was changed to Athens but we had been there before so it was a disappointment, although understandable in the circumstances. What wasn't so understandable was why we were still flown to Istanbul for a 4 hour wait for transfer to Athens, leaving us arriving at the ship at 12.30 on 26th unable to eat or drink because all facilities were closed for the night. Customer service staff weren't all that helpful and to be fair a cold snack was later sent to our rooms. Despite having been to Athens already, we really enjoyed seeing it again. Exiting the port we were offered a 15 euro transfer for 3 to the Acropolis which on discussion with the driver became a 50 euro day tour of Athens with return direct to the ship which we found to be great value. The weather certainly plays its part in influencing your memories of the Greek islands and we were not disappointed. Mykonos was our next stop, really no need for any excursions, the town is lovely in itself, and a water bus takes you there for 2 euro, no need to buy expensive transfers. We headed for Delos on a guided tour and it was better than we expected, a mini Pompei. Santorini was reached by tender, but our Costa excursion was really a glorified bus trip to two villages, which, while worth visiting, were swamped by the occupants of two cruise liners, and the guide on our bus added little value to the day. However the island is beautiful and if you can force yourself to put the crowds to one side it was a great day out. We are, after all, part of the crowds ourselves! Our bus trip did include the cost of returning to the tender boats by cable car. Argostoli on Keffalonia was less impressive, nice to see but not worth going out of your way to do so. We had a private excursion, not a Costa one, and it was just ok. Quick tour of the area and a wine tasting, but nothing exciting. Anyone visiting this island could have as good a time just walking into the town which looked nice. Other guests were not impressed with the Costa tours they went on. Dubrovnik was spectacular. Heading to the cable car we again hit on a taxi driver who took 4 of us up to the cable car viewpoint but stopped on the way at a few other vantage points to allow photos. it was cheaper than 4 cable car tickets and we had better views. We then walked the walls, as everyone does, and it was impressive. Again, the weather did us many favours and on a wet day I'm not sure the same impression would have been made. Rain did greet our arrival in Venice for the end of the trip but it dried up as we docked and we walked from Piazzale Roma to San Marco and enjoyed it immensely despite it being our 4th visit. Venice always pleases. So all in all it was a great experience. However Costa could do some little things to enhance the experience. The buffet breakfast was a chaotic free for all. Staff and tour guides put this down to the arrival of the first 600 Spanish guests for the season, who really don't know the meaning of manners. However from earlier reviews of this ship we had been pre warned, and really on any ship when all occupants need to exit the ship at the same time its going to be hectic no matter how you organise it. But if Costa had opened at say 7.00am instead of 7.30, and had provided more than 4 coffee machines for 1600 guests it might have been better. After half an hour two machines usually packed in so it was a road rage type atmosphere around the 2 remaining coffee machines. Otherwise the food was fine, nothing spectacular, and the restaurant evening experience was good. We were not offered our choice of sitting but were told by a tour guide that the Spanish and Italians got the 10 pm sitting and us northern europeans got the 7.30 sitting. Lucky for us as I'm not sure I'd have lasted till 10.00. Staff and stateroom were fine and the ship itself was in good nick for an old ship. It clearly caters for Italians and knowing this in advance you just get on with it. Lots of shore excursions were cancelled because of low numbers but only after we had sailed, leaving short notice to re-arrange. Obviously you couldn't go to outside companies at this point! We had one cancelled on Santorini and as outlined above I'm not sure the alternative was value for money. Excursion staff weren't exactly sympathetic, using the shoulder shrug as the international language of communication. The fellow guests were the rudest I have come across, but on the other hand we did also meet some lovely people every evening. All in all it will be a great memory for us due to the ports of call and the lovely May weather. One person travelling with us was on her first ever cruise and far from being put off, is now seeking out a second cruise for later in the year. To sum up, you probably get what you pay for, and if the itinerary is what you want this compensates for other shortfalls. Read Less
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