1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Costa Cruises
  4. Costa Serena Review
  5. Costa Serena Cruise Reviews

36 Dubai Costa Serena 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
Let's start with a basic, fly for 8 hours and are met by nice air conditioned car to Dubia port where told would not be allowed to board for 5 hours, 3pm and waited in cramped uncomfortable lounge ...when asked why the delay told ... Read More
Let's start with a basic, fly for 8 hours and are met by nice air conditioned car to Dubia port where told would not be allowed to board for 5 hours, 3pm and waited in cramped uncomfortable lounge ...when asked why the delay told nothing to do with Costa, just wait. At 3 they started to call numbers based on cards given when booking in, but we were not given one because I complained at poor attitude of booking in clerk. I realised this was now to be treated as a laugh and not ruin our trip. 5 hours later we were allowed in our room which was OK but to late to change for dinner. Good job really as the scrum for food was a joke and that was followed by average food, chuched on the table. The dinner places for rest of trip OK and a table of 8 acceptable even with the argumentative Russian, but overall our table was fine....rest of food for week was average. The ship looks like something from Hi Di Hi and the entertainment staff could have improved from watching it ....they may have raised their standard. All the shops were closed for refurbishment so they blocked the isles with their clearance tat. We found the bar staff attentive and quick to advise us which drinks on the cocktail list they could not have as they did not have it in stock. Also which drinks our all inclusive drinks package we could not have not based on price but on how busy was. Overall a good laugh but do not call it luxury cruising. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Arrived at the port at 3pm after a late check out from our hotel. Embarkation was a breeze. Purchased drinks package prior to sailing and was able to use it immediately. Ok, our cabin wasn't ready till 8pm, but we knew that prior to ... Read More
Arrived at the port at 3pm after a late check out from our hotel. Embarkation was a breeze. Purchased drinks package prior to sailing and was able to use it immediately. Ok, our cabin wasn't ready till 8pm, but we knew that prior to sailing so we were prepared. Food was surprisingly good, pasta dishes were great. We had lovely fillet mignon, delicious king prawns and tasty fish. Our waiters were great and our glasses never empty of wine. Entertainment in all the bars was good. Never had a problem with grumpy staff. All the staff we encountered were lovely and very accommodating, even the reception staff. For what we paid, it was great value. Ship was spotlessly clean and cabin was very comfortable. Would we cruise with Costa again? In a heartbeat if the price was right! Great winter sun vacation! Go with an open mind and you won't be disappointed. We did meet people who moaned about everything but we honestly had a lovely cruise. We have cruised RCI,NCL, Celebrity, P&O, Princess, and our favourite, Azamara. For what we paid it was great value. The only complaint I would have is that the buffet was only open 2 nights out of 7, but again, I knew this from cruise critic. Room service was sufficient and tasty and available until 11pm. Go with an open mind and relaxed attitude and you won't be disappointed. 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
We have just returned from the worst imaginable cruise possible. We expected to go on a cruise of Dubai and the Jewels of the Emirates. On arrival at the Costa reception desk in Dubai we were handed a letter stating that minor works were ... Read More
We have just returned from the worst imaginable cruise possible. We expected to go on a cruise of Dubai and the Jewels of the Emirates. On arrival at the Costa reception desk in Dubai we were handed a letter stating that minor works were in progress on the ship with minimal disruption. What a farce. Much of the atriums on the 4th and 5th deck levels were cordoned off and also a major area at the side of the grand bar on deck 5. Major building works started from about 7.30 am throughout the day and into the early evening. The noise was horrendous with the noise of hammer drills, kango's, angle grinders and arc welders in continuous use. Our cabin was directly above major works on the 5th deck atrium. The continual noise coming up through the floor made it impossible to stay in our room at any time during the day. My wife suffered from headaches and a migraine and I had quite a few coughing bouts due to being asthmatic which made my condition far worse than normal. Also there was constant stenches from solvents and burning of metal caused by angle grinders. The builders and some staff were wearing protective dust masks at various times, but no consideration was given to any of the passengers. It was a relief when the cruise finished and we were heading back to the airport. This ship should have been taken out of service and put in dry dock to carry out the extent of the modification required. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
I really don't know where to start! A disaster from day 1. This was my 13th cruise and without any shadow of a doubt the worst ship and company I've ever sailed with. There were however 2 good points......1. The few nice ... Read More
I really don't know where to start! A disaster from day 1. This was my 13th cruise and without any shadow of a doubt the worst ship and company I've ever sailed with. There were however 2 good points......1. The few nice passengers we met 2. Getting off the ship Never have I encountered such, rude, ignorant, miserable, unhelpful crew. EVERYTHING was a chore! If you want a drink fetch it yourself. We asked to be seated on a table just for 2 people at the lunch service, which I wish I'd never bothered for the trouble it caused. The waiters were mocking us for even asking, the reply was literally 'no, full' Don't expect to have a choice of beverages, every wine I picked on the wine list was out of stock until they eventually TOLD me which wine I could have. Same with the beers, again I didn't have a choice. The ship was full and yet no stock. Only 1 shop was open on board, the rest were screened over and a sign on every window closed for maintenance. As was the smoking room (closed after 2 days of sailing) and which will apparently never open again so wherever you may be on the ship you have to head to deck 10 outside. 3 days we went without air con EVERYWHERE on the ship. When I enquired the reply was simply 'later'. 1 morning we awoke to our toilet not flushing, again when enquiring all I got told was 'later' one and a half hour later still the same reply, I said I really need the toilet what am I supposed to do? 'Use a toilet on any deck at the front of the ship' why this couldn't have been explained the first time we asked I will never know. Rude rude rude! Food......rubbish! Bland and some items inedible, wouldn't have fed them my dog. The veal shank was a mass of jelly and fat. The buffet.....good luck! We paid every morning to get breakfast in the cabin for the safe option as trying to even get near the food stations is a fight.....and believe me the food ain't worth fighting for. We nearly got off the cruise early in 2 ports as we were so fed up. LUCKILY for us we were disembarking a day early anyway due to flights and even though we'd still paid for a full 7 nights cruise, our cruise cards got cut off on our last night even though we were in credit with the ship! They owed us and we couldn't get a drink! It's not worth your time even complaining onboard because nobody could care less. There's no apologies, you get a grunt, a huff or a 'later'. The cabin was ok, we had a suite but no robes, slippers or fruit bowl, other suites did. I mentioned this but apparently to have those amenities you have to pay for butler service? All the fellow passengers we spoke to (English) said the same as us.....never again! The best part was getting off the ship which we didn't get any help with our cases. Conveniently that day we were told 'today no porter service' so 2 women travelling alone struggled with 3 cases weighing 27kg each down the gangway. To be fair at this point I couldn't have cared less, I would have carried them on my head just to be off that pathetic excuse of a ship. We had a fantastic 16 day holiday before embarking on the cruise and this just spoilt the holiday. Like I say this was my 13th cruise and have never had to make a complaint before. Please think twice before booking on this cruise. You will save yourself a lot of hassle and money. Far better companies out there than costa and we will be taking this further in hope of being compensated. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We arrived early hours into Dubai in the early hours of the morning, and got a taxi to the ship – approx. £12. So Easy. Check in for the ship was really smooth and quick. A representative at the terminal greeted us, asked us to take a ... Read More
We arrived early hours into Dubai in the early hours of the morning, and got a taxi to the ship – approx. £12. So Easy. Check in for the ship was really smooth and quick. A representative at the terminal greeted us, asked us to take a seat and helped us fill in our embarkation forms. He took our labels and put them on the cases, these were then taking from us and appeared outside our cabin shortly after. After a quick embarkation photograph we boarded. They kept our passports and advised these would be available for collection in Abu Dhabi. Our Key cards were in our cabin waiting for us. We were advised that they had kept the buffet open until 5am for guests arriving through the night. Check in at been open from approx. 3pm the previous day – and closed at 8am for a 10.30am sailing. We had chosen to arrive later due to our holiday restrictions. The food was just snacks, burgers/sandwichs/pizza which was fine, we had eaten all day anyway this was possibly just a combination of curiosity and greed. I am a massive Celebrity Cruises fan so I was apprehensive about my soon to be Costa Experience. When we went to the restaurant, I noticed the décor was very ‘bold’ and ‘Italian’. Being tired, I withheld any judgement until the following morning. I never feel like you make a correct assumption about a place when you arrive in the early hours…. Tired and ready for bed. We opted for the Inside Premium Cabin on Deck 7 – more so because I like to choose our dining times, we prefer late sitting. Also, this was an extra holiday that we squeezed in so we were budgeting. I haven’t done an Inside cabin before – again apprehensive. Although, we were tired first impressions exceeded my expectations. The cabin was spacious, the bed was huge and comfortable and superclean. I would say dated, but I am spoiled by the likes of Celebrity. I was more than happy with our selection and my husband felt the same. We climbed into bed and drifted off. Wondering what the Costa Serena held for us… We didn’t know it at the time… we were in for a treat. Despite our assumptions of the Inside cabin (we like an oceanview normally) being dark and claustrophobic, with no natural light, we found we woke up easily after a great nights sleep in such a comfortable bed and it was completely the opposite of what we thought it would be. Now time to explore. We grabbed our towels and headed out. Personally, I find the first day of the cruise, when everyone is doing the same rather tedious. We went for breakfast and it was so busy. I did the usual ‘have we done the right thing?’ quietly to myself. Breakfast was great, no complaints, other than it was so busy with other guests. As I have cruised before I know that the first day is so busy – everyone is on ship so it’s expected. I was already starting to see the excellent levels of service from the staff. We headed outside to find a sunbed, again when everyone is on-board doing the same thing it can prove to be difficult – however, we did find two in a nice spot. We always got a bed no problem for the rest of the cruise. There were towels provided for pool use, these are in your cabin. They try to deter sunbed reserving by charging if towels are mot returned to the cabin. We were approached (almost immediately) by a lovely member of the bar service team who took our order. In no time at all we were relaxed, drink in hand and got out our ‘whats on today’ (or whatever you like to call it) and were scanning through the delights on offer. There was so much, it soon came apparent that we were NEVER going to be bored. We aren’t ones for joining in with the entertainment but we love people watching. I tend to find us Brits are quite reserved, but with our fellow international passengers on-board – there is ever a dull moment. The entertainment team work so hard to keep everyone happy. The ship had a buzz, and by the end of our first drink… we did too. We had purchased the drinks package for £144pp, the drinks were around 5 euros for a beer and little bit more for cocktails so I would highly recommend the packages even if you don’t drink alcohol. Water was by the glass on the package, but you could buy bottled water for a very small charge. I was happy with the quality of the drinks and the service was impeccable. We rarely waited for the service to our beds or at the bar areas. The décor is quite unusual. Costa Serena ‘Land of the Gods’ is how it sounds – lots of pictures of gods and goddesses everywhere. The atrium has these ‘gods’ looking down on you, we had a bit of a laugh about it initially but actually it’s not as offensive on the eyes as it sounds. It is very clean and there is lots going on. It actually reminded us of a themed hotel in Las Vegas, and we loved Vegas. We had a great first day relaxing into our first Costa Experience and met some lovely people. Evening Meal We had requested the late sitting for evening meal. We were allocated 9pm in the Vesta restaurant Aft of the ship. We were on the upper tier and had a table for two.. surprisingly. I am not sure if this is due to the different languages on-board and mixing the tables up may have been a problem with conversing, but we were really happy. Our waiter introduced himself and his ‘second in command’ and we felt spoiled rotten with the service. My wine and water were constantly topped up. They do only serve beer and wine in the restaurant so if you prefer something from the bar, then you would need to take this in with you. I must say the wine wasn’t the best, My husband said he would never of guessed as I still had three glasses topped up – his point being it can’t have been that bad. We had to laugh again when I asked for a wine list and our waiter said in the friendliest way ever ‘I tell you the wine list… white, red or rose!!!!!’ and giggled his head off. Unless you have purchased a wine package this seems to be the only options, I actually didn’t mind it too much, it certainly didn’t ruin the dining experience. The menu was six courses each evening, on the first night we ordered just three however, spent the rest of the holiday taking five. The portions were small but really tasty. If you have holidayed in Italy then the food standards were very similar. I didn’t have a bad meal once on the cruise. Typically the menu offered a selection of each course, For example I chose: FISH BROTH SEAFOOD RAVILOI SALAD SELECTION CRUSTED HAKE WIH VEGETABLES CHEESE SELECTION (don’t get over excited about this, it was bruschetta with 3 pieces of cheese and a chutney of some kind) TIRAMASU They tended to have fish/meat/vegetarian options each evening and they also offered 2 simple choices which were the same every evening ‘chicken and veg’ or ‘spaghetti bolognese’. We met a lady on the cruise who was in the Ceres restaurant and she was lactose intolerant, she told us that every evening they highlight the menu what she could have or made her special alternatives. As with all cruises if you have any requests, you just have to ask. Nothing is too much trouble I have found. The service was fantastic in the restaurant and when we talked to people they said the same. Gala Evening - The main differences from other evenings were the menu was a scroll which the waiters opened for you, and you got a complimentary glass of fizz after your meal. Now something I have never experienced on a cruise, but had been told about by one of my colleagues before we travelled, was the little surprises which Costa likes to deliver when you don’t expect it. I don’t want to spoil it but let’s just say our waiters served us up more than just great food and attention in the restaurant. Dress Code Dress code is suggested on this cruise but not enforced. I personally like to dress for my evening meal. I tend to wear a dress most evening and cocktail dress for gala nights, my husband wore a dark suit for gala nights and trousers/chinos with a nice polo shirt or shirt on normal nights. If you don’t like to dress up then smart casual was fine. I sometimes thought the attire was too casual, one lady had hotpants, heels and a vest top – whilst she looked stunning, I think this has more to do with the difference in fashion from the different nationalities but I always felt comfortable in my choice. Bars/Lounges/Entertainment There are an abundance of meetings places and ongoing entertainment on-board Costa. Most nights we had a pre dinner drink in Apollo and watched the live music and guests dancing. After dinner we looked at what was going on and made our way to the bar which most appealed. Shows – we were dining at 9pm so the shows were on for us at 7pm. Part of our holiday tends to be coming in after our excursions/day in Port reflecting on what we had done and having a cocktail to unwind and get ready at leisure. We missed the main show every night but made the effort to attend the ‘non-professional’ show one night as it was on slightly later. For a non professional show, of which Costa had handpicked some hidden talent from them service team, I have to say that I was moved to tears a couple of times due to the quality of the singers that Costa had produced, which took me by surprise. The show was fantastic – I have never seen such a high level of talent on any cruise and I have to say it rivalled some professional artists I have seen. Just ‘WOW’. The times of the shows just didn’t suit us but it didn’t ruin our overall holiday enjoyment, there were so many alternatives that fitted in with the way we holiday, that we didn’t know what we were missing… we were having too much of a good time. Every evening we walked through the Chocolate Bar which was always busy – it had live music and a chocolate fountain/chocolate shop and bar. We didn’t sample it because we always seemed to go through it on the way to dinner, but it looked so fun and people seemed to be enjoying themselves. We did go to the nightclub a couple of times for a bit of a dance, as we had met some people. The main difference I found with Costa compared with other Cruise Lines was it kept going into the early hours, without imposing on other guests who don’t want the noise or want an early night. I tend to find that other cruises seem to slow down to stop around midnight. White Party – They converted the main pool areas into an open air party over 3 levels. This was absolutely bouncing. White attire is optional but many people took part and it looked great. They fired off white confetti cannon’s and I felt it could rival a party in Ibiza. Infact a couple of people we met did actually say ‘ I feel like I am in Ibiza’, I was really impressed. There were all ages enjoying it. Again, I feel the international clientele we shared our cruise with played a big party in the fun atmosphere on board. They had a large screen which showed the guests dancing and also the ice sculpted reruns which we had missed. It certainly was a party atmosphere. Everyone seemed to be having so much fun. The entertainment team mingled with the crowds and professional dancers strutted their stuff. There were other things going on elsewhere on the ship, but we soaked up the party atmosphere. Would I choose Costa Again? Overall, knowing what we paid for this cruise - the quality of holiday we got for our money was fantastic. Everything was as advertised, and mostly exceeded our expectations. This was a fun and value for money cruise, with service we could not fault. I find the negative reviews I read on Cruise Critic unfair, I think my husband took them almost personally. I would without doubt choose Costa again.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Cruised the Dubai Emirates on 13/03/2015 Costa Serena GOOD POINTS: Lovely weather Large clean ship Entertainment group worked hard and shows were good Most staff were really friendly.....but there were a few who were not (as if they ... Read More
Cruised the Dubai Emirates on 13/03/2015 Costa Serena GOOD POINTS: Lovely weather Large clean ship Entertainment group worked hard and shows were good Most staff were really friendly.....but there were a few who were not (as if they could not be bothered to make an effort) Had an inside cabin for two people which was a really good size (pleasantly surprised). Went to the port at approx 5.30pm for embarkation and it was pretty straight forward. Disembarkation was pretty straight forward as well. If you drink it is advisable to take the drinks package (25 euros per person per day) Please see below for more info. NOT SO GOOD POINTS: Could not access cabin till 8pm on the first night of the cruise (I had read previous reviews which had highlighted this, so when booking our cruise we opted to fly out a day earlier and book into a hotel which gave us a late check out till 4pm. We could then make our way to the port at our leisure nice and fresh. Would advise doing this. Food on the ship was not the best (you wont starve but it is not on comparison with NCL or ROYAL CARRIBEAN). I found that when it was a red meat dish, it was usually as tough as old leather. Buffet selection was quiet repetitive. Some drinks that were on the drinks package we purchased were not available (Tia Maria) and on another occasion they ran out of Drambuie and the only beer we could get on this package was Carlsberg on draft. Free water and orange juice machines at the buffet stations. (orange juice was cheap nasty diluted stuff...glad I had the drinks package to be able to order other drinks) Big water slide at the pool that never opened for the entire cruise. No working ice cream machines that were advertised. Some sort of refurbishment going on in the ship....did not really impact on the holiday. TOP TIPS: FOR 2 x people it cost us 470 euros in total for the drinks package and gratuities for the week long cruise which we paid on board. Dubai currency is dirhams....Khasab and Muscat are omani rials but accept dirhams Taxi from airport to hotel which was up at the Dubai Marina Jumeriah Beach area was 100 dirhams (approx £20) Taxi from Port Rashid to Airport was 70 dirhams (approx £14) If you take the drinks package remember they have some funny rules: ie If you ask for an irish coffee they say that it is not included in the package and you have to pay extra for it, but if you ask for a coffee with a whiskey on the side and mix it yourself ..well that is ok and included in the package ???? Bit weird. Few things like that. Majority of the holiday makers were European (Italian, French, German, Spanish...very small percentage were Scottish/Irish/Welsh/English). On the whole had a good time would go back on this ship if the price was right.....nice bit of winter sunshine.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Having read some of the previous comments we went on this cruise expecting the worst, however things turned out much much better than expected & our advice to anybody due to travel is go with an open mind & enjoy yourselves, also ... Read More
Having read some of the previous comments we went on this cruise expecting the worst, however things turned out much much better than expected & our advice to anybody due to travel is go with an open mind & enjoy yourselves, also if you enjoy the odd tipple make sure you sign up for the all inclusive drinks package as its got to be one of the best at 25.5 euros p/p p/day of any cruise line. Food on on board is a bit limited & chaotic during the buffet feeding times but the evening dining was excellent & made all the better by the waiting staff & our fellow diners ( Roy,Lorraine, Stewart & Lorraine). The ship is kept spotless as the staff are always busy cleaning though the Greek decor is a bit gaudy & dark. George our cabin steward done a great job & nothing was too much trouble for him. Entertainment was a bit hit & miss as we never got to see some of the shows however the the team do a great job in the Luna bar later on & on a couple of nights we had a great laugh watching the Italian compare playing games with some of the guests. Ports & Tours, we made our own way in each port & found a free shuttle bus in each though this wasn't always made known, the shops & tower blocks are a bit too much at times & our fav bit was hiring a couple of bikes in Abu Dhabi and riding the full length (8k) along the Corniche next to the deserted beaches. Disembarking was easy with taxi's on the key side that cost about 60 dirham = £12 to the airport but beware the drivers think they are all F1 racers. In summary we had a great time for what we paid & wouldn't hesitate to travel on Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Now where do I start.  Having done dozens of cruises with the likes of Princess,  P&O, NCL, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean I have learnt that apart from small differences in presentation,  the typical fair of different ships and ... Read More
Now where do I start.  Having done dozens of cruises with the likes of Princess,  P&O, NCL, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean I have learnt that apart from small differences in presentation,  the typical fair of different ships and lines is pretty much the same.  Happy friendly crew,  excellent food from the buffet from breakfast to last thing at night,  pool side burger bars,  elegant dining rooms with silver service with the best food available,  specialty restaurants, lots of great bars,  to show and entertainment everywhere. This is NOT what you get on COSTA!!! Having just returned from a weeks cruise on the Costa Serena I can honestly say it has been the worst cruise I have ever been on (after completing 15). Ok the ship is clean and much to the best efforts of the staff (who look shattered due to the long long shirfts Costa make them work), things just don't flow like a good cruise should.  I'll go through the points that will show how poor Costa now is:  *Grumpy shattered staff - Talk to staff on any ship you understand how they work for lengthy contracts without any days off, but at least they get decent down time and breaks, the odd half day and rewarded for service by tips and staff competitions. On Costa staff have two shifts and one being 11 hours long and they even get diddled out of their automatic tips by the company. Even with their best efforts you can understand why they are how they are.  *Closed, closed, closed - If you like taking your watch off when on holiday and eating/drinking at your leisure forget Costa.  During the day the buffet is your main option,  but only for short time slots for the serving of hot food. Open for breakfast, 1030 closed. Then open at lunchtime, but be quick as two hours later is closed again,  and the Dessert will always be fruit salad! They do rolls around 4ish, but again they are not great. Other than that, the buffet is closed. No evening meal option. The poolside burger bar, only open for an hour or so at lunchtime,  but don't worry, as you wouldn't eat from here anyway with its grey meat.  The beef and chicken burgers look and taste the same. The best description being cheap meat.  *Food - The food on board is limited, after the cheap bland delights of the day time buffet,  you have the option of your evening meal in the main restaurant.  Poor service,  no banter with the waiters as they have too many tables to serve, and the food.... Bland bland bland.Specialty restaurants (where you have to pay extra) consist of pizza, the same that was free during the day,  or an Italian. No snack bar,  no cafe in the atrium, but there is room service,  if you pay.  *Drinks packages - The all inclusive package should be called the 'some included' drinks package. It costs the same as other lines but virtually everything is excluded from the deal.  *Water - Costa will serve you alcohol all day and all night,  but you can only get a glass of water if you pay.  Even with your dinner no iced water.  And just to make sure they can get some more money out of you, they turn the water fountains off in the buffet when it closes after lunch. Captains drink reception - Nope there wasn't one. Bridge updates - No announcements from the captain giving you an update on your voyage.  *"Just for Crew" "Just for Crew" - Crew safety drills being piped in full volume lasting for hours into passenger cabins. *TV - Cabin TV film channels not operating,  instead showing safety drills on loop. *The ship - It is clean,  very clean.  But good is it ghastly.  It's decor looks like the inside odd a sea-side amusement arcade with dark blue walls and ceilings broken up by red or blue lightsvand neon coloured tin metal strips. In the atrium they have these strange mannequins bolted to the ceiling. Apart from that,  it's not too bad.  So much potential just poorly run.  *Other customers - It would be rude of me to count this against Costa, but the majority of customers are rude,  they just push in everywhere.  The only people queuing will be the brits. *Entertainment - there was certainly plenty of singers and bands on board,  but after a day or two you got this de ja vu feeling as the next repeated the same sets night after night.  It wasn't all bad, but so much was it did takeaway from the glamour of cruising.  The best advice I would give to anyone thinking of going on a Costa cruise would be to go onto another cruise line.  Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
we have just returned from a 7 night cruise on Costa Serena - sailing from Dubai. What an awful experience. I did research a lot of reviews, but still went with an open mind. I have cruised several times with other various Lines, but this ... Read More
we have just returned from a 7 night cruise on Costa Serena - sailing from Dubai. What an awful experience. I did research a lot of reviews, but still went with an open mind. I have cruised several times with other various Lines, but this has to be the worst. The food wasn't up to much....very basic and long wait in Dining Room at evening meal waiting for everyone to catch up with whatever was the next course. The first evening was an absolute shambles...we sent our meal back as it was appalling. The room we were assigned...8318 was directly below the Pool area and when there were evening entertainment taking place our Cabin was like being inside the Disco!!!!!! You'd think at 12.30 after it finished you could retire to bed...NO....at 1.30 am EVERY SINGLE NIGHT....they would start dragging tables, chairs, sun loungers across the deck making this extremely loud scraping noise.......what an horrendous experience this was......we were sooooo tired most of the time, I just wanted to come home!!!!!! I could NOT recommend anything about this Costa Cruise to encourage anyone to join it. Awful experience from start to finish!!!!!! Our Cabin Number was 8318 BEWARE!!!!! Customer Services came into our room and witnessed this noise On more than one evening....but not a THING was done about it......They couldn't have cared less!!!!!!!! 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
Overall very good experience, tasty food, a-la-carte portions were small, but very tasty. We purchased all inclusive drinks package, which was good value for money. Very good entertainment, piano bar- fab! I personally have been sawn into ... Read More
Overall very good experience, tasty food, a-la-carte portions were small, but very tasty. We purchased all inclusive drinks package, which was good value for money. Very good entertainment, piano bar- fab! I personally have been sawn into pieces on the stage by the Italian magician ! Portrait photos were very good quality and prices have been reduced from our last cruise with Costa 3 years ago. My daughter enjoyed kinds club, I used spa, which was a bit overpriced and the state of the art gym. I wish we purchased cruise and stay as 1,5 days were not enough to explore Dubai. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Overall very good experience, tasty food, a-la-carte portions were small, but very tasty. We purchased all inclusive drinks package, which was good value for money. Very good entertainment, piano bar- fab! I personally have been sawn into ... Read More
Overall very good experience, tasty food, a-la-carte portions were small, but very tasty. We purchased all inclusive drinks package, which was good value for money. Very good entertainment, piano bar- fab! I personally have been sawn into pieces on the stage by the Italian magician ! Portrait photos were very good quality and prices have been reduced from our last cruise with Costa 3 years ago. My daughter enjoyed kinds club, I used spa, which was a bit overpriced and the state of the art gym. I wish we purchased cruise and stay as 1,5 days were not enough to explore Dubai. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
The worst Cruise Ship I have ever experienced and will never trust this Company again. My Cabin was 2412. Fine in itself but nobody should have to endure the level of noise that I experienced coming from Deck 3 above which was obviously ... Read More
The worst Cruise Ship I have ever experienced and will never trust this Company again. My Cabin was 2412. Fine in itself but nobody should have to endure the level of noise that I experienced coming from Deck 3 above which was obviously the Restaurant/Galley clearing up after the 2nd dining sitting. The noise I had to endure was those responsible for clearing up seemed to be dragging containers/bins across a steel floor from 11pm until 2pm and then starting again at 5am for the breakfast sitting. When complaining to Reception nothing was done. No complaint forms available on board and the Reception Staff need retraining in Customer Relations. We pay your wages!!! The Air conditioning in this Cabin somehow contained cigarette smoke. Costa cruises have been given ample time to address these issues but they have not bothered or are simply not interested. They say the matter was logged which is unacceptable. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
You have to expect to get a discounted ship if you pay a discounted price - we except that.... but does that really mean that you should expect poor customer service and worse of all dirty pillows and bedding. We paid £850 each for our ... Read More
You have to expect to get a discounted ship if you pay a discounted price - we except that.... but does that really mean that you should expect poor customer service and worse of all dirty pillows and bedding. We paid £850 each for our cruise around the UAE's (including flights)... The embarkation process, on land, was OK - aboard ship was caotic. No body new what to do where to go... and the que at the Customer Service/information desk was insane... then, when you got to the front you were met with a grumpy faces of 4 women who didn't care how they spoke to you and didn't think it was their job to help you... The ports of call were all great - no complaints there. The entertainment on the ship was OK.. nothing spectacular but it wasn't awful. The sunbeds were awful... so dirty with an smell that wasn't pleasent, and I'm not talking about one or two of them.... but most of them.. but the worse thing for me was the bedding. Check it when you go into your cabin - which again is basic but OK. We had badly stained pillows with huge brown marks, blood (or what we assumed was blood). they were disgusting - and the mattress was the same. Unfortunately we didn't do this until disembarking.... when we were leaving the cabin I thought I'd help by stripping the bed.... shocked at what we saw. We're written and complained to Costa who have basically said 'oh well, never mind' and when I said that this wasn't acceptable they have just ignorned my emails. Shocking service - really is. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Having read the 2 previous reviews, I find it hard to believe that we were on the same ship. I too have been on dozens of cruises with Cunard, P &O, royal carribean ets and having read some previous reviews! I booked this cruise with ... Read More
Having read the 2 previous reviews, I find it hard to believe that we were on the same ship. I too have been on dozens of cruises with Cunard, P &O, royal carribean ets and having read some previous reviews! I booked this cruise with some trepidation. I took the view that given the price paid, I was not going to get 5 star service. How wrong I was! Embarkation was fine. having arrived in dubai the previous evening, we booked a hotel a and spent the day in dubai, arriving at the ship around 6pm. We embarked the ship straight away and we're told that cabins would not be available until 8.30pm. We checked around 7pm and found our cabin ready and our luggage waiting for us. The cabin was very clean and larger that we have had on other ships. Service from our cabin steward was excellent. Food in the restaurant was first class with plenty of choice, far better that we had on a recent cruise with Holland America! our waiters attended to every little detail and made sure our wine glasses were always topped up! And yes, water was served to all at both lunch and dinner.No it was not iced water, but does that really matter! We at lunch twice in the buffet. Plenty of choice but very busy but then isn't that the case on every cruise ship. Bar service in both the buffet and on deck was prompt nod efficient. There were 500 Brits on board with the remainder European. Yes some were a little exuberant but we saw no real bad manners. Overall a great cruise which I would recommend to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
My overall impression of Costa Cruises is one of obtaining clients with attractive advertised prices for their cruises but falling short of the quality and service of cruise lines like Holland America, Cunard & Norwegian. None are ... Read More
My overall impression of Costa Cruises is one of obtaining clients with attractive advertised prices for their cruises but falling short of the quality and service of cruise lines like Holland America, Cunard & Norwegian. None are perfect but Costa appears to recoup the majority of its profits by charging for additional items that are included by competitor companies. The ship and our stateroom were well appointed and our maid and dining staff were pleasant and efficient, a credit to the company. It appears that whilst our ship 'the 'Serena' has accommodation for 3000+ guests it does not have the resources to cater for this number. The sun lounger policy is an example. My wife and I wished to use a sun lounger each but because all the available sun loungers were either being used by guests or reserved by them we had to resort to using those that were stacked on deck 11. I was among at least twenty guests who were forced to use these loungers; one lady had to carry four to the sun deck and I had to carry one for one elderly lady who wished to use one. Costa Cruises claims it has a strict policy of not allowing guests to reserve sunbeds but this policy is completely ignored by guests and not enforced by the company. Indeed when I approached a senior female officer she said the company cannot remove towels from reserved sunbeds; but I would be allowed to! The food at our evening dining room was fine but on one occasion at breakfast we were served porridge oats which were very bitter, which my wife said was due to the food being burnt. We advised the waiter and he simply removed the dishes without showing any interest and not offering to replace them. There is a blind spot at late afternoon when it is impossible to obtain any refreshment like tea or coffee unless paying for it. Also a Spanish guest simply asked for cold water at breakfast and was told he would be charged for it. There are inadequate bar staff attending the open upper decks, the buffet breakfast & lunch is like a cattle market with guests to-ing & fro-ing between their chosen table and the food stations. As trays are not supplied it means getting up at least 3/4 times in the meal thereby increasing the congestion at the food stations. The overall feelings from fellow passengers was 'you get what you pay for' and I would willingly pay more for a better standard and less crowded ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We have just returned from this cruise. Our flight arrived in Dubai around 7.15 in the morning so just picked up our cases and went straight to cruise terminal to drop off the cases then picked up a taxi, did some sightseeing then had a ... Read More
We have just returned from this cruise. Our flight arrived in Dubai around 7.15 in the morning so just picked up our cases and went straight to cruise terminal to drop off the cases then picked up a taxi, did some sightseeing then had a great Friday Brunch at Hilton doubletree which meant we were able to use their pool, beach area etc for a bit of a relax before we went to board the Serena around 1800 - walked straight on at this time which was great - cabin available from 2030 so had a drink or two first. The all incl drinks package is a must - we would have spend a fortune without this (average price for a G & T, beer etc is about 7-8 euros) We paid for a balcony cabin but had a mini suite - no complaints here. The actual ship was ok - a bit tired but kept very clean. The ports of call were great. In Muscat we walked to the Muttrah souks for a spot of shopping then took a taxi to Crowne Plaza hotel for lunch and spent the afternoon sitting by their pool. In Khasab we took the free bus to the town, its not touristy but we managed to bag a bargain Iphone 6 for about £70. Abu Dhabi was beautiful and is somewhere I would return to for a holiday - preferred it to Dubai. Had a good week away on the Serena, the only thing that let it down was the food. You won't starve as there is plenty but found it pretty tasteless and poorly cooked. Our evening meals were at Ceres and out of the 6 we had, only had 1 that I could say I enjoyed. Some of the meals were very undercooked, fish and chicken were especially bad and taken away barely eaten not just by our party, but from the adjoining tables too. If you are used to P & O, RCI or similar, the dining experience is not even close to what you will have had before. But if you are prepared to forgo the fine dining experience and have managed to get a bargain, then its fine.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
It has been a rather disappointing experience. This was our second cruise, the first one being a 7 day trip in the Mediterranean with Royal Carribbean on a smaller ship (Legend of the Seas). Costa Serena did not deliver what we were ... Read More
It has been a rather disappointing experience. This was our second cruise, the first one being a 7 day trip in the Mediterranean with Royal Carribbean on a smaller ship (Legend of the Seas). Costa Serena did not deliver what we were expecting, in a nutshell: - Overall service was horrible. Everyone from the reception desk to the restaurant maitre were completely uninterested with their guests well being and engaged in really rude and unprofessional conversations. - Despite the ship being relatively new, it was very badly kept. Rooms were dirty and under mantained, as they were public areas like restaurants and bars. - Food selection was obscene. We are an Italian couple and were expecting more from Costa than just frozen dishes. Beef meet was so hard to cut it was inedible and fish was really the same you can get out of frozen supermarket food. - Important parts of the ship, including poolside attractions, were closed for the whole duration of the cruise. - Shore Excursions were a joke. We did not book any as they were crazy expensive, but our neighbors at the restaurant did one for each stop and told us they find them poorly managed by rude staff. Costa is probably going down the way of cheap cruises, but it is still promising a premium experience, which is really not the case anymore. We will never book with Costa again unless it is a huge bargain for a cruise with no navigation only days. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Embarkation went very smoothly with no queue. Our outside cabin was a good size. We had a table for two this time at dinner which was much better than having to sit with 4 strangers like we did last time. Would much rather have the choice ... Read More
Embarkation went very smoothly with no queue. Our outside cabin was a good size. We had a table for two this time at dinner which was much better than having to sit with 4 strangers like we did last time. Would much rather have the choice of freestyle dining in the buffet restaurant which served good food. Hate having to eat at a certain time. The staff at dinner were very attentive. Not so at breakfast and lunch in the buffet restaurant. We did get told off though for filling our water bottle, even though most people did it. The cost of water is extortionate! The days we were docked were marred by flies in the buffet restaurant. The staff would do better killing the flies rather than policing the drinks dispenser! We arranged our own trips. The hop on hop off buses are fantastic, as are the staff. In Oman we were shown around by a local taxi driver. Very safe and all the taxis are monitored. Our first day was at sea. Most people wanted to sunbathe but there weren't enough sun loungers. Some people were sat on the floor!!!! Never seen that before on any cruise. People were almost coming to blows over the loungers. We only went to get some water and a very aggressive "continental" man had thrown our bag and towels on the floor and taken over our loungers. You had to go everywhere alone and have your partner watch over your lounger. It was the same when we had an afternoon at sea. It really spoiled things. There are far too many people on the ship. This was the only cost effective way of seeing Dubai, Oman and Abu Dhabi. We had spent a wonderful 3 days beforehand at The Hilton Jumeirah Resort which had 6 star staff so this was a rude awakening for us. Dubai, Muscat and Abu Dhabi were wonderful. Would have preferred a second day in Abu Dhabi rather than visit Khasab. We did the city tour of Abu Dhabi in the morning on the bus and went to Yas Island in the afternoon. The rollercoaster at Ferrari World is something else! Disembarkation went very smoothly with no queues. The ship would be great with half as many passengers. The days when people were on trips and we got back sooner than them were the best. It was so much quieter. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We traveled in pair (two person 30 year old). We don't use flight deal from costa (flight&hotel self-booking). Ship is clean and maintained but slide on roof does not work (excluded from use). Very very poor food, buffet closed ... Read More
We traveled in pair (two person 30 year old). We don't use flight deal from costa (flight&hotel self-booking). Ship is clean and maintained but slide on roof does not work (excluded from use). Very very poor food, buffet closed after 5:30pm (when you back to the ship and you are hungry and few moment later...angry). Dinner restaurant (vesta) - we used this restaurant around 3 times - nothing special (dry meat, dry tuna = shoe sole). Boredom on the ship, day by day - the same activities (two singers in two bars/in theater - musical...every day). We have problem with payments with card bank...why? because they want take from card actual balance + deposit, after we increased card limit, they don't want use card again :/ a lot of stress for us...but final, they accept card and take money from card (if you want pay with cash, you must stand up arround 5:30am!!! before departure). We don't buy any excursions from ship. Many people, take towels and lock sunbed on sun terrace... Disembarkation: scratched on baggage, airport service is safer. COSTA NEVER AGAIN Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
I don't often review holidays but to be honest this WAS AN ABSOLUTE DISASTER. Do not use Costa if you want a relaxing time. The food is POOR. The breakfast was a 'Fight' to get food and even then there was NO Orange Juice! ... Read More
I don't often review holidays but to be honest this WAS AN ABSOLUTE DISASTER. Do not use Costa if you want a relaxing time. The food is POOR. The breakfast was a 'Fight' to get food and even then there was NO Orange Juice! Only One of the FOUR Orange Juice Machines was filled and ready for use. When you are All Inclusive and you are a family, everytime you want a drink for the family you have to hand in your ALL Inclusive card, to explain you CANNOT get three drinks for three people on the ALL INCLUSIVE PACKAGE, you will need ALL three cards! The service is VERY POOR! I put this down to the staff NOT receiving any of the tips that you MUST leave. To explain you are 'Forced' to pay EUROS 35, in our case which DOES not go to the staff but to Costa, no wonder the service is very poor! If you go for a la carte lunch menu and you just want a starter and a main course you will have to wait for everyone else at your table to finish because they ONLY serve the time in order of the menu. It took us 50 mins to have a starter and a main course because we were made to wait for the other guests finishing there other courses!! We as a family made the staff aware of these 'issues' and yet NOTHING was done. No-one Cared! They just want your Money! It was so bad we left the ship EARLY! Good Luck you have been warned! Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We are regular Costa Cruisers, and have enjoyed many good trips on several ships. Our stay pre cruise was in the fabulous Meydan Hotel on the race course with wonderful food and accommodation. Wish we could say the same for the rest of our ... Read More
We are regular Costa Cruisers, and have enjoyed many good trips on several ships. Our stay pre cruise was in the fabulous Meydan Hotel on the race course with wonderful food and accommodation. Wish we could say the same for the rest of our trip. We were in an inside cabin which was clean apart from a stained carpet. We felt that this was not a happy ship, few smiling faces apart from our cabin steward and restaurant waiters The food at breakfast was usually cold and bacon seemed to be in short supply ,sometimes served from a plate and when it did arrive was either burnt or nearly raw It. was obvious that staff could not keep up with the demand .At lunch pizzas were cold. When ship was at sea it was impossible to find a sunbed or even a chair to sit on, obviously not enough for a full capacity of passengers. People seemed to be out very early in order to place towels on beds. This was against rules but no one in authority takes any notice. The dress code was not adhered to and people were turning up for Gala Nights in shorts and T Shirts. We complained to the Maitre De who was very nice but was unwilling to make any approach to the offenders .He said that if he mentioned this the person would say he was harassing them and would report him to his manager. If this is the case it is a waste of paper giving passengers advice on dress code .We would also like to know who gets the tips as we asked a member of staff and he did not get anything. Costa are receiving about £140,000.That equates to £130 per crew member per full cruise plus service charges on drinks ..We wonder who gets that! We asked a few crew members and they said that they do not receive it. Perhaps Costa could confirm this. Lastly I will mention lack of handwash gel, and no supervision. Lucky not to have health problems as so many people did not use them. On arrival back to the ship no handwash was available. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We had a great time - much better than expected. We had a balcony cabin this time which we loved. Bigger than many other ships. Similar formula to most other cruises except for no casual evening buffet. We had opted for late sitting so ... Read More
We had a great time - much better than expected. We had a balcony cabin this time which we loved. Bigger than many other ships. Similar formula to most other cruises except for no casual evening buffet. We had opted for late sitting so didn't really notice it. We also arrived from an overnight flight and just changed at the airport and got a taxi to port and dropped our bags off then taxi into Dubai. I noticed lots of people sitting in terminal building and some asking to get on at that time!!! They seemed a bit annoyed that they had to wait until 3pm, but no other cruise would let you on at this time so why would Costa?We returned about 6'ish and got straight on with no queues. We sat around for a short time as everyone was told that cabin entry would be 8.30pm. We thought this quite odd that they would all be ready at the same time so went and had a look and ours was ready and I'm sure others would have been too. Food the first night was awful but perfect after that so no complaints. We did take our travel kettle etc with us so that also made a difference. No problem taking water on board from ports. Great time for a great price - would now go with Costa again. Ports were easy but been to all before so Muscat was new for us and we had a fantastic beach day at Shangri-La resort with lunch. Beautiful place and would love to return. The souqs were good if you want souvenirs. Biggest tip for anyone going to Dubai would be to get around using the metro. Its a really cheap way to see the sights. You can download a map of the metro stations and just get a taxi to the nearest stop. You can also get a separate mono rail to Atlantis which has wonderful panoramic views. Dubai is getting a bit more expensive all round but the quality is always there and always so much to see. Our last night was spent at Meydan Racecourse which has the wow factor and only costs a few pounds each for an upgraded seat.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
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

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click