1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Costa Cruises
  4. Costa Cruises Cruise Reviews
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We are an active over 70 couple and like to get away from the European winter for a while The Costa arranged bus trip from Austria to the Port of Savona was smooth and comfortable, Embarkation was painless despite the extra USA ... Read More
We are an active over 70 couple and like to get away from the European winter for a while The Costa arranged bus trip from Austria to the Port of Savona was smooth and comfortable, Embarkation was painless despite the extra USA requirements We did a short walking visit in friendly Savona as the weather was a bit chilly The Ship was spotless and its classic layout still works well - all that is missing is a quiet solarium area Although the weather was mostly calm even on the bumpy nights there was never any discomfort. On some days there was a slight irritable vibration, but no real problem The cabin was adequate and served the purposewell serviced by Alms The food is good - sometimes exceptional and sometimes average, It is no surprise that the menus are Italian flavoured as Costa is an Italian Line. The complainers amaze one - how people can criticize the extensive breakfast selection that caters for all tastes is beyond comprehension. Yes - sometimes dining orders are lost in translation. as the new waiters do not always understand the drawling and yowling American dialects In the MDR Marc, Carlos and Alfredo were stars At breakfast we never had to place an order after the first day- our order came automatically, so good was the attention, Juice,Coffee, Mueisl, Eggs. Toast etc As for those complaining about he lack of pasta - in the buffet there were never fewer than 4 variations daily!!! Spaghetti is not the only Pasta type On the entertainment front there was always something on the go for everyone and the international theatre shows and costumes were varied and excellent The overall service was good to excellent and always friendly. a smile and greeting from passengers also works wonders - these workers are not there to be be abused by ignorant, demanding guests, We did an excursion that was good, otherwise we did our own thing So all in all we had a invigorating cruise with interesting ports Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2017
Overall a very good cruise with tending to excellence for me as a single passenger. Boarding was a bit delayed, because of some officials for boarder control hadn’t been in time, but however I was onboard within 35 minutes from official ... Read More
Overall a very good cruise with tending to excellence for me as a single passenger. Boarding was a bit delayed, because of some officials for boarder control hadn’t been in time, but however I was onboard within 35 minutes from official start of boarding. Costa succeeded to get me onboard within 20 min on an earlier cruise elsewhere, but for me the second fast boarding ever anyway. As I didn’t stay in my cabin I don’t know exactly when my luggage arrived, but for sure not more than two hours after my boarding. The ship is a huge one with a capacity of about 3800 passengers. But although the MDR was pretty full most evenings I hadn’t the impression of an overcrowded ship. There are way enough facilities to find a spot for everybody, only that passengers are reserving “their” deckchairs before breakfast with their towels is ongoing, although Costa forbids it expressively. General the service is great, especially in restaurants and bars. How can it be that some people in bars, serving hundreds or thousands guests a day, remember already the second day your name and the drink you had the day before? By the way: be sure that you have a drinking package that suits your needs, otherwise you’ll pay a fortune instead of a moderate price for a package. I got the first seating for dinner, but my request to change to the late seating was honoured the next day. The meals were in most cases delicious Italian kitchen, completed by some local courses. Nearly everything was done between very well prepared and just perfect - just two courses disappointed me personally - on a cruise of three weeks. Generally Costa could do something with the cheese offered with dinner. The cheese itself varied daily and I enjoyed it, but it was every evening “cheese with dried fruit” and dried fruit were three weeks just raisins. Overall I really enjoyed the meals offered and at home I know more restaurants I dislike than those I’d recommend to you. The excursions I did with Costa were as mostly in the industry: well-prepared, all as promised, but without the special touch. I only use ship excursions if there is no alternative locally - with local providers or on my own. As usual ship excursions were much more expensive than locals were. The opportunity to arrange things on my own wasn’t available in the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Tenerife and for single passengers in Barbados. Absolute the best excursion during this cruise I did with an independent operator on Martinique, who is for me personally on a very good second place of all tour guides ever (Christelle from Karambole tours). Indeed Costa cancels tours if there aren’t enough participants, it happened to me twice. Once without any acceptable alternative for me, the second time I was able just to change the language and I got my excursion. The only very cheap offer I booked with Costa was an excursion from Marseille to Avignon on my disembarkation day. Costa generally offers excursions on disembarkation days (sometimes with flight time limits e.g.). My online booking has been accepted and I was happy to fill the gap between arrival in Marseille and my hotel check-in. I went to hospitality service to ask about my luggage tags and they wanted to know the exact excursion times for giving me new tags and as I didn’t know they sent me to the excursion desk. There I met the only arrogant staff member aboard who first did a phone call in Italian language (which I don’t understand), cancelled my ticket and thereafter (!) told me that it is forbidden (!) for me (!!!) to book that excursion. I returned to the excursion desk, wrote down her name and reported her to Costa as such a behaviour can ruin the name of an entire cruise line. I can handle a mistake if a booking is accepted and it turns out to be impossible by some reasons, but arrogance of service staff I just don’t tolerate. Because of her behaviour excursions got the lowest rating of all I gave for this cruise. But for the rest I recognise that she is just one member of a crew of 1500 and not representing all of the Costa Favolosa staff. Entertainment is various, I think everybody can find something suitable. The problem of the many languages spoken onboard is solved by concentrating on music and artistic entertainment. Readings on one topic are done in one lounge a couple times a day, but in always in different languages. Great if you are fit in languages, when I missed something I had the opportunity to listen later in another language. The staff is able to communicate in English and at least one other language - although an Italian vessel the many nationalities of the staff is usually talking to each other generally in English. For every language there is one hostess you can visit daily at scheduled times or during information events. The Favolosa is a six-year-old ship without any notable tear and wear, undergoing works permanently I noticed, but didn’t mean any hinder to me. Thousands of people course a lot of dirt, but when there was anything visible at all it was cleaned up in no time, the house keeping was really very alert, some cleaning was going on all the time. I found one small technical problem in my cabin (from my own job I know these things just happen), called the reception and left my cabin. It was solved within half an hour. I noticed it myself when returning to my cabin, but also had a notice in my letterbox and was contacted by phone with another time excuses for the inconvenience. My cruise was at the very end of the winter season and a large part of the staff was going home one day after I left the Favolosa. But except the one exception mentioned before everybody was extremely friendly, helpful and service orientated, greeting with a smile and nobody seemed to be overworked after months of just working. Overall: I really enjoyed and I’d do it again! Read Less
44 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Most of the highly critical reviews are unfair. Do your homework - this is an Italian line catering primarily to Europeans. If "foreigners" and hearing other languages upset you then stay home and go to Epcot instead. All crew ... Read More
Most of the highly critical reviews are unfair. Do your homework - this is an Italian line catering primarily to Europeans. If "foreigners" and hearing other languages upset you then stay home and go to Epcot instead. All crew members speak fluent English so that will not be a problem. A great variety of good food available at all meals... but (particularly on long cruses) do not expect fresh seafood or American style steaks. Most excursions were excellent and a good value and impossible to duplicate on your own. Spring for a beverage package - Brindiamo gets you unlimited wine, hard liquor (Johnny Walker Red, but not Black) as well as sparkling water, sodas juices whenever you want it. Service staff were amazingly pleasant and hardworking, as swell as fun. Onboard entertainment was fun...from Opera, to popular music to comedy and magic shows, as well as passenger participation contests like the "Voice of the Sea" competition.. More onboard enrichment activities would have been appreciated. Only one on-board lecturer covered Italian language lessons as well as lectures on history and culture. Overall an excellent value with the understanding that you are not booking (or paying for) a "premium" Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
We booked this cruise because of its destinations and reasonable price. Having been on Costa before on several occasions, we were aware of the potential problem with few english speaking passengers but this did not detract from our ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of its destinations and reasonable price. Having been on Costa before on several occasions, we were aware of the potential problem with few english speaking passengers but this did not detract from our enjoyment. We travelled as a group of 8 younger pensioners into dancing and activities, all of which were excellent. Even the six days at sea from Tenerife to Buzios in Brazil were busy, dance classes, Stretch classes and the entertainment team were excellent. The decor of the entire ship was top class and the cabin, [an outside one for the first time] was well worth the extra. The buffet area was often a bit too hectic for us and we ate in the restaurant on most occasions. The food was certainly not as described by some reviewers and the menu changed constantly. We were more than happy with the quality and the service. We found that the shore excursions were way overpriced as is every cruise ship we have ever been on. Being fairly resourceful people, we just get outside the docking area and find a mini bus or similar and negotiate with the driver a price for where we wish to go. Invariably, the price is around one third of the book on board price. All in all an excellent cruise at a good price which is apparently going in reverse in March/April. Look for a deal!!! Read Less
90 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
Hi all, I would really like to share with you guys my cruise experience with Costa Cruise (Victoria). I went on 3 Dec 2015 with my family, cruising to destinations such as Penang and Phuket. (Malaysia, Thailand) Service: I felt ... Read More
Hi all, I would really like to share with you guys my cruise experience with Costa Cruise (Victoria). I went on 3 Dec 2015 with my family, cruising to destinations such as Penang and Phuket. (Malaysia, Thailand) Service: I felt very welcomed when I first entered the ship. All the staffs, officers and captains were there to welcome us. The staffs then led us to our room (Deck 4,Nabucco). As for room service, the staffs were excellent and skillful in their job; they tidied our room when we were out for breakfast & dinner and spent the fastest time to complete their job to make sure that the room is neat and tidy before we come back. The guest service was very helpful for us, as my grandparent's room' air conditioning was faulty, I called the guest service to send men to repair, and immediately the workers were here to fix it as fast as possible. Staffs were polite towards everyone and helpful to guide us and help us throughout the cruise journey. Dining: We all know that the origin of Costa Cruises is Italy. So maybe you guys will be wondering: Would the cuisine be Italian? My answer is no, there are all varieties of cuisine such as Chinese and Malay. For my case, I am a 13 year old Chinese boy (Singaporean) and I was worrying about the food, will it be close to Chinese food? But when I got on board the ship, it was quite a shock to me that it wasn't all Italy food, but International cuisine. The bolero buffet (Deck 11, Rigoletto) serves rice, fruits, pasta for sure and other international delicacies. Tip 1: Try not to go to the A La Carte restaurant at Deck 5, Boheme (Fantasia & Sinfonia) because the dishes are all the same as the Buffet on Deck 11, so might as well go to Deck 11 with unlimited servings. Tip 2: If you do visit the Bolero Buffet on Deck 11, you would notice that there are 4 sections divided throughout the restaurant (International/Halal/Vegetarian). But there are actually more dishes avaliable at the end of deck 11. So don't miss the chance! Cabin: The cabin is spacious and neat. The room service is twice a day in order to keep the room tidy. The staffs who help you to make up your room will often use napkins/towels to form animals/plants. The air conditioning's temperature can be manually controlled. The overall rating for the cabin is excellent however, the design is a little weird. The window is located above the beds, so in order to view the scenery, you might have to climb up. *Note: The room card is in your room* Embarkation: Singapore I was thinking that it would take very long for us to board the ship because I have read other reviews from other users that we were given a pass/queue number and had to wait for a long period of time, just like my Star Cruise, Gemini experience last year. To my surprise, after siting at the waiting area of 10mins, we could check in and board the ship already. Tip 1: Try to board the ship as early as possible to prevent "human jam" Embarkation: Phuket The ship travelled 2 days to reach this destination. The ship will anchor at the "mini port" at the entrance of Phuket. Therefore, to get on shore, there will be boats to ferry us to Patong Beach. Patong Beach is a place for relaxation for everyone, they have many activities along the beach such as water skiing, rides on speed boat. For my family, we went with the shroe excursion that costa: Highlights of Phuket and Island Safari. Island Safari is similar to Singapore Zoo, there were performances by Monkeys and Elephant. We even had a chance to ride on elephant, it was an enjoyable moment riding the elephant with my Dad. We also went to the famous temple in Phuket, Wat Chalong. Afterwards, we visited the first cashew nut factory in Phuket. We bought many dried fruits/nuts there and we went back to the ship. Our tour guide, Pao, he's an awesome person, he took care of my grandparents throughout the journey, sharing his life experience on the bus, chatting with us went we were bored. *Note: There are more choice of excursions* Embarkation: Penang After leaving Phuket, we headed for Penang. This time, my Dad did not book any shore excursion because my grandparents were not feeling well. So it was a Sunday, my family was walking along the streets, and happened to see many people at the street market nearby the port. It is on every sunday and the shop owners offer a reasonable price for their merchandise. It was quite troublesome before we had to walk one big round around the port to get out of the port. I suggest everyone to download the offline map of Penang in Google Maps. *Note: There are shore excursion available too* Tip 1: There will be taxi drivers outside the port waiting for you. Embarkation: Singapore (End) The had to wait till 3pm to disembark the ship although the ship reached Singapore at 2pm. There will be a colour tag for you to tag on your luggage and the colour will decide the time of disembarking. At 10am, we were requested to leave our room already. This is something I don't really like, there's still 4 hours to reach Singapore, and yet we have to leave our room so early. I had nowhere to rest but under the hot sun at deck 11, beside the pool. Entertainment: There are lots of entertainment on the ship, like Casino, Mini Arcade, Festival theatre for performances, the main hall of the ship for party and Deck 11, Pools. The Casino is only available for certain ages however the arcade is for all. Performances were held in the Festival Theatre such as "Angiolino&Janette La Fracci in Surreal Circus Comedy" and "Michael Jackson Tribute Show". The parties like "The Carnival of Venice Party" and many more are held at Deck 5. There are 4 pools of jacuzzi and 2 rather deep swimming pools. **Note: THE WATER OF THE SWIMMING POOLS IS SALTY** In a nut shell, I feel that Costa Victoria is worth the money and very suitable for family. There will be many activities for you to participate on board and board games/ balls (e.g. Basketball)/rackets (Table Tennis) can be rented by deposit. ***PLEASE DO NOTE THAT ALL MONEY SHOULD BE PAID IN US CURRENCY*** Tip: Register your credit card upon boarding the ship because at the end if the journey, you will be paying a service charge of US$48, because if you don't register your credit card, on the last day, you will have to pay US$48 and requested to queue up. I hope you like my review of Costa Victoria. Do ask me anything regarding the ship and I will try to answer it. Do share your experience with me! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Greetings, fellow cruise lovers, I write a review like this one once in a blue moon, but this time, in view of the "terrible press" this ship has been having here, I felt that I had to. I understand that other cruisers have ... Read More
Greetings, fellow cruise lovers, I write a review like this one once in a blue moon, but this time, in view of the "terrible press" this ship has been having here, I felt that I had to. I understand that other cruisers have not much appreciated this ship lately (to put it mildly). My companion and I had a rather different experience. We boarded the ship in St. Petersburg which turned out to be a smart move as very few people have done so that day (most passengers boarded in Stockholm). To be more precise, when we came we were the only ones checking-in and the whole process, which included a passport control, took less than five minutes. We were warmly received by several crew members, and in no time found our premium balcony cabin. It was spotless-clean, and very well maintained, its equipment working perfectly. All and all, a very typical cabin for the category, no different from the various balcony cabins we've booked on all our previous cruises, taken with Celebrity, RCI and (once) with MSC. The only difference was that its balcony seemed to be a bit bigger than usual. The room's attendant was quick to service us when we needed something (which only happened twice). He kept the cabin clean and tidy throughout the cruise. Generally speaking, the service on the ship was very good without being pushy. Waiters and bartenders alike worked quickly and efficiently. Breakfast (continental being the only room service option) was delivered on time to our cabin every morning. The wines we ordered were always available (not always the case) and were delivered ahead of the food as they should be (again, not always the case). Every crew member we've talked with spoke English fluently. The ship was kept clean and orderly, and featured very nicely designed public rooms, that didn't feel crowded at any time. Finding your way was easy. Getting off the ship in ports and on board again was also quick. So was disembarking (we walked out with our luggage). I cannot rate the enrichment activities, entertainment, and fitness facilities since we didn't partake in, or have used, these. I did want to have a massage but gave it up after I had a look at the Samsara Spa price list... The ship's weak link was the dining room's and casual diner's food, which left a lot to be desired. It was not bad, but definitely mediocre. However we did enjoy very much our meal in the specialty Club restaurant. Its service was excellent as well and overall, for 28 EUR per person, it presented good value for quality. As far as our experience went, the same could be said about the ship in general, as the cruise's rate was very reasonable. The other cruisers seemed very content as well. Our fellow cruisers, mostly Italians, Spaniards and Russians, smiled, laughed, relaxed and had a good time – not signs of a bad, malfunctioning, ship. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
Cruise from Santos (Brazil) to Venice (Italy) in 23 days (including flights from Europe) on board the COSTA FORTUNA, a large ship of 102,000 tons with a capacity of 3,200 passengers launched in 2003. On this trip, we were about 2,300 ... Read More
Cruise from Santos (Brazil) to Venice (Italy) in 23 days (including flights from Europe) on board the COSTA FORTUNA, a large ship of 102,000 tons with a capacity of 3,200 passengers launched in 2003. On this trip, we were about 2,300 passengers on board. We are a French Canadian couple and traveled with our close friends, a couple living in Paris. Because of the world media attention regarding the circumstances of the tragic wreck that befell the COSTA CONCORDIA and then of another COSTA liner in the Indian Ocean that ended up being towed to the Seychelles Islands, some friends were actually concerned that the writer and his spouse were going to spend over three weeks on board the COSTA FORTUNA. There were many e-mails with humorous advise, the most common being to follow the captain as he was sure to get out of the ship safely...! This was no joke for some people; on the first day at the lifeboat drill while talking to another passenger, this reviewer was told that a couple of his friends had cancelled their cruise and were quite willing to loose half of its cost. There were no such fears on our part. Before leaving however, our friends teased us with a great deal of joking about: 1) navigating near the coast, 2) if our captain was a happy-go-lucky playboy like his (former) colleague, 3) to be sure to follow the captain in an emergency as he would be safe, and so on. One thing for sure, the regrettable incidents noted above were (and remained) on people's minds. COSTA thus has an enormous challenge to restore its image as a credible cruise company. Negative points: Internet access is an outright "King's Ransom" by these later day web buccaneers of the High Seas. For the princely sums of $10 for one (1) hour or $24 for three (3) hours, you can check your e-mails, etc. The only respite is logging in just to take your messages and log out. But even then, they have it figured out; this is not High Speed broadband but some "dialup" that seems to date from the days of Alexander Graham Bell. One night, out at sea between the Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, 16 messages took over 20 minutes to come in...! This is a 21st century version of extracting booty from unwilling and helpless hostages, when one thinks that, in my country, a month's broadband service is cheaper than six hours on board the appropriately named COSTA FORTUNA. Fortuna indeed! While the COSTA FORTUNA is very nicely appointed, one wonders about the management of some of the furniture upon which the passengers sit. 1) The bench-like arrangement in the dining areas, at least those sat upon, were invariably sinking one's bottom alarmingly low; this can be a real and painful experience for the more elderly who have backbone, sciatic nerves and kneecap pains. 2) Two chair's whose wooden armrests were broken and detached themselves were noted on deck 3, Buenos Aires hall. It is surprising that these "health and safety" issues are not attended to. Having a suitable dining table can be an experience... In our case, our two couples had: 1) a table at the other end of the ship at the late second service whereas a table at the restaurant almost next to our rooms and at an earlier service was, for various mobility and medical reasons, preferable. 2) Having obtained table 22 at the Michelangelo Restaurant nearby soon proved to be the coldest frigid air spot on the ship as well a being rather minuscule. Staff told the writer that no one wanted to sit there and directed us to the Maitre D who was under assault by a horde of dissatisfied clients. 3) At length, another table was assigned, consisting of benches under a stairway, which now proved unsuitable when one of us, who has serious back problems and mobility issues, could only rise with great effort and much pain from this unholy bench of penance. Even the staff, kind as always, was alarmed at seeing him gasp in agony as he grasped the wall panels and the Maitre D quickly assigned another table for the next night's diner. On the 4th try, this simple but welcomed round table with chairs proved to be relatively suitable, but it was noisy around and conversation difficult. Our kindly waiter eventually solved the difficulty by putting us at another free nearby table, the 5th and last after a week and a half of diligent efforts. The daily "Today" newsletter that listed the next day's activities was always delivered rather late on the COSTA CONCORDIA, usually at about 10 pm or so. This was annoying because it either prevented us to plan activities with our traveling companions for the next day, or else made it a late night affair. It would be very helpful if it could show up earlier, as has been our experience on past cruises. On Thursday March 29, the daily "Today" day's program announced that N. Carta Llenas, international singer, would be giving a representation at the "Rex Theatre", but when we got there, we were turned back, rather rudely I would say, by what seemed to be an enormous "bouncer" telling us that there was a cocktail for the German passengers instead. Why was this not announced in the "Today" for the information of passengers? The COSTA Tours were, well, an expensive mixed bag. The buses were comfortable and the guides adequate. However, nearly every tour in Brazil took us to the "world's most beautiful beach" and to a handicraft market whose offerings seemed usually similar at every stop. (Hence this reviewer's theory that there exists somewhere a huge factory for these items...). It was frustrating to be whisked rather quickly through the lovely historic quarters of Salvador de Bahia and Olinda (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites) only to be deposited two (frustrating) hours in a beach restaurant at Salvador's outskirts and to a prison turned into craft market at Recife, thus missing the intensely unusual and interesting 17th century Dutch forts in that city. Beaches and handicraft markets don't have entry fees so that COSTA Tours' greed was proven considering a museum entry rarely exceeded $5. In fairness, it must be said that the tour of Salvador seemed somewhat better. The tours averaged $200 to $300 for four people, which was ridiculously expensive for hours at beaches and old prisons turned into doubtful crafts markets. We had regrettably reserved COSTA Tours in advance for stops in Brazil, but gave up on the COSTA Tours as not offering value for the money paid and took taxis at European ports, which proved to be much cheaper and far more enjoyable. Indeed, there seemed to have been a "passenger revolt" of sorts once we reached Europe. A tour of Malaga was suddenly offered at $39, which was still a waste since one could walk there in 15 minutes. Few must have "bitten" because tour buses at the ship were few. On the other hand, Costa now charged $7 for shuttle buses that were previously free... Always expect a new twist with those tour buccaneers! To top it off, stops in Malta and Corfu were only a few hours and, in Dubrovnik, passengers were landed at about 10 am, which left roughly two hours in that lovely place before heading back to the ship. It proved to be impossible to find shaving cream, shoelaces or a cord for securing one's eyeglasses in this 102,000 tons ship. This in spite many shops within selling eyeglasses, perfumes, purses and every imaginable souvenir trinket and jewellery. The ship's minuscule "library" is woefully short of books. There were hundreds of passengers from France as well some from Quebec to share about 30 or so books their native language! The situation did not seem very hopeful for other languages, not even English. There were some nice hardcover books, most about COSTAs glory days, but these could not be loaned and read in one's cabin. So...bring your own books or iPad with previously downloaded books, etc. Being "nickeled and dimed" to death is a disagreeable, but seemingly inescapable feature of life on a cruise ship. However, thanks to these later-day buccaneers, a peak of sorts was reached by the offer to visit the ship's machinery, command deck, kitchens, etc. for a mere $69 per person (or $138 per couple)! Certainly something that should be offered for free to passengers who, after all, paid several thousand dollars each to be on board. A kitchen tour was later offered free, but for a "limited number" of passengers... The food was generally all right, but cannot be rated as outstanding for cruise ships. Some Canadian and British passengers told this writer they ate better on CARNIVAL cruises in the West Indies where such things as good smoked salmon and shrimps were always offered at buffets. A German passenger confided much the same from his recent cruise experience in other lines. Recollections of our own previous three-week cruise to the Tierra del Fuego on the COSTA ROMANTICA bears this out. It does not seem the chefs and their staff are unable to present a good fare; the root of the faults was that some of the "upper notch" ingredients were not as readily available, presumably because of budget restrictions. Thus the old adage that one eats better on a COSTA ship because of its Italian origin seems, sadly, no longer true. The ventures into French cuisine were disappointing. One night the menu proclaimed "confit de canard" which turned out to be a dentures-defying affair that also should have been served sliced; the "crepes Suzette" were, at our table, as good as thin cardboard; a cup of orange sorbet was strangely reminiscent of the "Tang" American powdered drink and the "Poire Helène" while made with decent ice cream, did not seem to have much in common with Chef Auguste Escoffier's inventive recipe. The writer did mention duck "confit" to the Matre D when asked how the food was. On the whole, the Italian dishes usually were the better ones on the COSTA FORTUNA, at least the for pasta dishes and the pizza was also always a good simple fare. The evening meals of the last three or four days were noticeably better... The wine list was not outstanding, but decent with, as expected, a varied offering of Italian wines. Regrettably, they were overpriced and certainly not in line with the recent price tumbles of many European wines due to market conditions and of the Euro's devaluation versus the dollar (US and Canadian). While the writer and his spouse were once active in wine societies, they are not addicted to overpriced wines and were quite happy to drink water instead, especially as the food did not usually create an overwhelming desire to order wine. Had the wine been more reasonably priced and the quality of the dishes proposed more predictable, we would have been pleased to spend our money. The COSTA training schools might devote more time to basic proper service of wine. One night, our most kindly, but obviously insufficiently trained waiters, brought half of a remaining bottle of white wine warm and, rather than put it in a bucket with ice, served it warm and left the bottle on the table. Needless to add that, after this, we did not order any more white wine. Another odd instance of insufficient instructions was that, at the beginning of the cruise, the writer (who does not mind paying for good coffee) was told that such thinks as espresso, cafe latte and cappuccino were not served at breakfast in the dining room...until the last day when it turned out that it was. Personally, this mishap was lamented as a great pity. There was a "Club Costa" supposedly superior restaurant on the COSTA FORTUNA. However, a hefty $33 charge per person was also levied. That, for four, comes to $132 (or about €100), which, from the wine and food performance experienced elsewhere on board, seemed like an overoptimistic bet. The writer went to see the premises, which apart from being on an upper deck and smaller, did not seem all that extraordinary; there was further doubts about the place having its own real "Cordon bleu" chef of repute, which seemed unlikely having tasted the general downgrading in the ship's kitchens. So we decided to invest the money in a good restaurant we know in Venice instead. A rather odd event was an unabashed "pitch" given at the final meeting. A good part of it concerned the COSTA comments form we were asked to fill out. This writer (who has attended French, American and British learning institutions and published widely in both languages) was interested to learn that there were great differences between the French and American meaning of the word "excellent". Francophones should know that the Americans bandied about "excellent" all the time, that the form was provided by COSTAs American owners so that the answer "excellent" was really what was meant by "very good". So Francophones should mark "excellent." Mmmmhhh... Further reasons given were that, after all, it was a wonderful cruise, the crew tried its hardest, the American owners were watching (but it was not mentioned that the Costa family had sold the line to the American Carnaval cruises and a British booking firm since the mid-1990s) and everyone loved us. For our part, the four of us were not especially well disposed after this unabashed pressuring. Neither great or bad: Entertainment was, in general correct, the best show being that put on by crew members. An odd and annoying practice was that performers (of "international" fame, naturally) were announced in the "Today" program, but what they would play or sing was almost never announced. One night, there was the exception of the "Trio Tango" who would play "Classics" so we expected classical music, but what they played instead were musical themes of various cinema classics such as "Love Story", "Casablanca", etc. It can be added that a lot of the entertainment was of rather loud "rock" music with "go-go" dancers and so on that was certainly "out of sinc" with the age of most passengers, the great majority seemingly in their 60s and 70s. This betrays a lack of considerate effort on the part of they who plan the entertainment, especially as the COSTA line has the age group data weeks if not months in advance through the bookings. One wonders why there was no cinema offered (as the writer recalls on an earlier three-week COSTA cruise). Indeed, it might have been much better and less expensive for the shipping company than some of the entertainment on this Atlantic crossing. One night, the four of us evoked just for fun the "classic" films that could have been presented and came up with about a dozen European and American films. The elevators are fast and efficient for the number of passengers therein. Well, most times except diner time. Positive points: First and foremost: the staff of the ship. They were seemingly mostly from the Philippines with a large contingent of Brazilians led by Italian managers. Ever smiling and cheerful, ever polite and trying to do what they could to ease the problems that faced many passengers on the COSTA FORTUNA. They were remarkably versed in languages generally being able to have a basic understanding of English, French, Italian and Portuguese. They obviously had undergone a rigorous training and generally applied it well, although diner service tended to be long and there was an instance when lunch took some 45 minutes to arrive in spite of having signaled that we had an early tour to catch -- we made it just in time, but it was a disagreeable experience. The staff's efforts and good cheer can only go so far by what are, by our observations, faults in various levels of management control and resolution processes. One must also praise remarkably patient staff putting up with some truly horrid passengers who seemed to think they were the world's navel. This reviewer recalls a disgraceful "dressing down" by a lean and bearded young man in a rage at an Italian staff member because the stern of deck 9 only had plastic cups and that he never drank out of those (a wise COSTA regulation to prevent broken glass on a deck with many barefooted bathers). Or the irate mature lady proclaiming that she was a "hostage" who was imposed a table, a menu, a dining hour, etc., and that she would therefore only be served in her room, which of course was declined in spite of great exclamations of dubious anger. Then there were the bullies who charged in elevators, stairways and doorways, practically knocking ladies down on their hurried ways; whoever they were, they were not gentlemen (or ladies in some cases). The COSTA line has something of a long-standing reputation for having consistently hired some of the best designers for the interior decoration of its ships. The COSTA FORTUNA is indeed a very tastefully appointed ship, the decorative themes being about early explorers and cruise ship travel from the 1930s. The buffet restaurant featured reproductions of a fine collection of early maps on wall panels and table tops, which are a delight and intriguing to examine. There are several fine models of some of COSTAs past ships such as the "Michelangelo" that used to do the Italy to New York run in the 1950s and 1960s. It was a joy just to walk about the ship. The COSTA FORTUNAs cabins are also quite nicely appointed; the decoration is very relaxed and yet quite thoughtfully set up. We had a balcony and certainly recommend it. The rooms seem practically sound proof from other cabins. The air-conditioning was not at all aggressive and "out of control" as on older COSTA and MSC ships, which was a great bonus. All in all, a very comfortable ship. Barmen were cheerful, knew their business and swiftly prepared good drinks. Naturally, there was a good offering of Italian wines (and the white ones were served chilled). Curiously, ten year or older Tawny Port was not on board (I would not recommend old vintage Port on a moving ship). Pity. Staff was invariably very helpful to solve minor problems. Our cabin's door sometimes jarred so that, at times, we wondered if we might not have to phone for help to get out. Our Stewart was advised and he quickly had it fixed. In conclusion One can't be too sure about what COSTAs policies are just now, but, from what was observed, a comprehensive management review of this firm by its owners would seem a good idea. At this point, the Italy-based management appears to be waging a desperate struggle to retain its independence from its owners. To show profits, it appears to cringe on some passenger benefits and also influence those same passengers to say everything is excellent. Which is, in this writer's view, rather dubious. Otherwise, apart from some most frustrating tours and rather odd food at times, it was a nice crossing. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Email me when prices drop