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325 Costa Cruise Reviews

Selected Costa because was going where I wanted go and at exactly the right time. I chose a grand suite and it was very comfortable, included a butler, and specified dining in the exclusive 88 seat deck 11 dining room. Dining service ... Read More
Selected Costa because was going where I wanted go and at exactly the right time. I chose a grand suite and it was very comfortable, included a butler, and specified dining in the exclusive 88 seat deck 11 dining room. Dining service beautifully served and attended to; however, the quality of the food was only fair. Ship was too large for my liking and everything was extra. Bought the top drink package to avoid hassle of paying for water and drinks. WiFi quality OK but it was much too expensive. Could not find a free ice cream machine and had to pay 3€ per scope at the several spots that has ice cream. There we no talks about port stops, only pressure to buy ship excursions. Embarkation and disembarking procedjres were easy and swift. The attention and service to the grand suite customers was very good and much appreciated on such a large ship. Though announcements were either in four languages or only in Italian, the crew all spoke good English And were all very cordial. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Our fourth cruise with Costa (the second with Costa Magica) and, unfortunately, we have seen, over the years, a gradual decline in quality. Both cleanliness and services are maintained at good levels; the kitchen is on the decline. For the ... Read More
Our fourth cruise with Costa (the second with Costa Magica) and, unfortunately, we have seen, over the years, a gradual decline in quality. Both cleanliness and services are maintained at good levels; the kitchen is on the decline. For the entire duration of the cruise we had to avoid shrimp dishes because this crustacean was almost inedible. For the rest, average cuisine. As for the excursions, the two are excellent in St. Petersburg (although rather expensive), very bad that of Stockholm due to various disservices as well as an uneducated guide. It is opportune to emphasize that as an alternative to lunch, 90 minutes of free time have been "granted", from the most spent to bivouac on the steps of the buildings or on the benches of the main square of Stockholm, in order to consume the bad lunch basket, provided by Costa We have carried out, with an absolutely constructive spirit, the appropriate reports to the Customer Service, but finding a strenuous and sterile defense of office. La nostra quarta crociera con Costa ( la seconda con Costa Magica) e, purtroppo, abbiamo riscontrato, col passare degli anni, un progressivo calo della qualità. Si mantengono a buoni livelli sia la pulizia che i servizi; in calo invece la cucina. Per tutta la durata della crociera abbiamo dovuto evitare i piatti a base di gambero perchè tale crostaceo risultava quasi immangiabile. Per il resto cucina nella media. Per quanto riguarda le escursioni , ottime le due a San Pietroburgo ( anche se piuttosto care), pessima quella di Stoccolma a causa di vari disservizi oltre che di una Guida poco educata. Opportuno sottolineare che in alternativa al pranzo ci sono stati "concessi" 90 minuti di tempo libero, dai più trascorsi a bivaccare sui gradini dei palazzi o sulle panchine della principale piazza di Stoccolma, al fine di potere consumare il pessimo lunch basket, fornito dalla Costa, Abbiamo effettuato, con spirito assolutamente costruttivo, le opportune segnalazioni al Servizio Clienti riscontrando però una strenua quanto sterile difesa d'ufficio. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
The cruise itinerary was excellent, lots of time to explore some fascinating cities, and the value for money was reasonable. I was disappointed that none of the traditional Italian foods I was looking forward to like pizzas, gelato and ... Read More
The cruise itinerary was excellent, lots of time to explore some fascinating cities, and the value for money was reasonable. I was disappointed that none of the traditional Italian foods I was looking forward to like pizzas, gelato and coffee were included, all were extra costs. In addition, they lost my bag on disembarkation and made me trek around Stockholm trying to recover it, taking no responsibility for it - the tags they give you and say are needed to reclaim baggage are literally entirely pointless. One or two junior staff tried to assist but on the whole a really awful way to end the trip. Wifi is expensive and no maps or anything are ever provided so without the wifi package it's not easy to get around on your own - and the shuttles into town provided by the liner are ridiculously expensive. The ship itself was pretty nice, except that the slide never worked at all throughout, and most of the passengers were surprisingly pushy and rude. Most of the other people I spoke to who had been on other cruises said they wouldn't use Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Embarkation We picked this cruise because the dates fitted our needs and it was departing from the UK. I've cruised extensively with multiple cruise lines, but this was only my friend's second time at sea having travelled with ... Read More
Embarkation We picked this cruise because the dates fitted our needs and it was departing from the UK. I've cruised extensively with multiple cruise lines, but this was only my friend's second time at sea having travelled with P&O last time. It was relatively inexpensive at around £680 for the week including a drinks package. Embarkation was disappointing. We were 2 of only 65 guests joining the ship in Dover, the majority of people had set sail from Amsterdam a couple of days earlier. Being a five hours plus drive away from Dover, we'd stayed overnight at a local hotel. We'd been given an embarkation time of 2pm, but we had to vacate our room for 11am so we got to the port around 11.30. The ship was in, lots of guests had gone off on excursions etc and yet we had to sit in the terminal with our luggage for two and a half hours, with no hot or cold drinks available, not even water. Nobody from the ship was in sight until bang on 2pm when they came and set their stall up and checked us in. It seemed petty to not invite us onto the ship earlier so we could start our holiday, we would have understood if our cabin hadn't been available but it seemed petty to leave us kicking around in an empty terminal. Excursions We'd looked on line before we sailed at excursions - our first port of call was Le Havre and we'd been hoping to visit Paris, but there were no listed excursions on-line for Paris and we didn't want to risk a 3hr train journey or independent excursion in case something went wrong, since it's 3 hours away from port. It turned out that excursions to Paris were in fact available once on board but by the time we got on the ship in Dover they'd all sold out. We bought tickets for the shuttle bus to Hamburg, for 10 Euros each only to watch lots of people who'd got off the ship without shuttle tickets being allowed on for free which was great for them but left us feeling cross. The shuttle driver who took us to a train station so we could get a train to Amsterdam later in the week told us the pick up point was the same as the drop off point and that was incorrect, resulting in us waiting over an hour in the baking sunshine for a shuttle that was operating back and forth from the other side of the station. It was just al really badly organised, verging on Chaos, and there were lots of annoyed customers, us included. The ports of call were miles from the actual cities, and two shuttles dropped us at a station where we had to catch a train in to both Amsterdam and Bruges...it was not convenient or easy and significantly diluted the pleasure of looking around somewhere new. Food Oh dear. The food and dining experience in general was terrible. The food tasted okay but it was consistently lukewarm, in fact I'd go so far as to say we never had a hot meal the whole week we were away. The choice was far more limited than I've experienced on other cruise lines. The breakfast buffet was just awful with cold greasy bacon and very limited choice, and all clap cold. On two of the days they ran out of bread rolls and there was no cereal of fruit. We tried the formal serviced dining room one morning to see if it was any better but sadly is wasn't. Overall we were horribly disappointed with every single dining experience. The waiter regarded us as a pair of freaks for expecting hot food and a roll of the eyes was all out guaranteed every time we fed back that the food wasn't hot enough. Service & standards It was pretty inconsistent. A couple of the bars had friendly engaging waiters but generally they were miserable and even a bit sullen. Overall not great. One of the officers with 3 pips on his shoulder wandered around often with a shirt that looked like it had been slept in, with faded navy chinos on the bottom half, and a female officer who looked much smarter was more interested in looking at herself in the many mirrors than engaging with the guests. Overall We had a good time in spite of Costa. It's a safe bet that we will never ever travel with them again..it's not an experience we would wish to repeat. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The reason I decided to write this review is to warn those people who privilege the rest and sleep at night to dancing and partying (I am not judging here, cruises are the right place for such things, just claiming my share of pleasure-the ... Read More
The reason I decided to write this review is to warn those people who privilege the rest and sleep at night to dancing and partying (I am not judging here, cruises are the right place for such things, just claiming my share of pleasure-the night's sleep): this is an old ship and there is practically no sound isolation. My cabin ( 11101 if i remember well) was exposed to very loud music to the point things were trembling each night from 23 till 1.00. Earplugs were not helpful. In this ship it is either one is lucky to have one's cabin far enough from the epicenter or not. Hospitality did not offer any sustainable solution either. Having paid about 4000 euros for three persons in a suite for a week's time, I really think it was a pitiful investment. This was a real shame, because on the whole the total experience was not awful at all. The club restaurant provided very friendly personalized service accompanied by quite acceptable and sometimes deliscious food. I could say Edd and Err saved our expeprience on the whole. Excursions, inspite of all the efforts of the guides, were not at their best, because the poor guides had to speak up to 4 languages which resulted in repeating one thing like where to find the toilettes and where to meet up to 4 times...Very little space left for cultural information. Spa on this ship is a joke and not worth a try, a shame again because it used to be a good part of a cruise activity for me and family. Finally, a valuable info for coffee lovers: traditionnally, on all Costa ships I travelled coffee is a very delicate issue: my point is, the americano they are offering in general service, is below human dignity, while the one in the bars is too strong for a morning. Well, I could order a cappucino, but I do not drink milk... My personal solution was to pack a little french press coffee maker and the brand I am used to. It could serve for a good verbal tea as well. Hot water is something one can always count on Costa company! The last but not least-many thanks to our cabin butler Yan for his perfect service and friendly smile. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I choose this cruise, primarily because I was able to coordinate dates with a friend and because it is a newer ship. I didn't appreciate how large it is and I found it too large for my taste, and there was a lack of information about ... Read More
I choose this cruise, primarily because I was able to coordinate dates with a friend and because it is a newer ship. I didn't appreciate how large it is and I found it too large for my taste, and there was a lack of information about some services on board - such as which bars actually will serve a cappuccino? The atmosphere was very much family oriented which made it noisy and hectic. If I had read the ship features more closely I would have realized that this ship would be catering to families. As some other reviews have pointed out, what you get for your money is the ship. No information about the ports you stop at, and the shuttle was for a fee 10 - 12 euros per person at each port. It seemed like they are pinching pennies in ways that detract from the overall experience - being changed for water in our room even though we had a drinks package, being able to get a cappuccino at the bar, but the pastries at the bar were for a price, even though you could go to the dining room and get all the pastries you wanted. Overall the food was ok to good. A little disappointing given the Italian pride in their cuisine. The staff were very friendly and helpful, and our waiter in the dining room was very thoughtful. Getting off and on was well organized and delays were kept to a minimum. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The events and the food inside the ship are good. But Costa seriously sins in the organization and contracting of services. For example, I booked through the site a laundry package ($ 29.90) and did not use the service. However, on the day ... Read More
The events and the food inside the ship are good. But Costa seriously sins in the organization and contracting of services. For example, I booked through the site a laundry package ($ 29.90) and did not use the service. However, on the day of shipment my credit card was already charged without my having used the service. I looked for customer service and they said they could not extort the value because I hired it in the site! I was at the loss! I also had requested a sparkling wine in my cabin ($ 46.00) to surprise my wife on the day of boarding. I had to call multiple times to receive 2 days later! Never hire the tours offered by Costa. We hired 2: a tour with "cheese and wine tasting" in Tenerife at the most regular. The cheeses we could not even taste because they were "free sample" and finished in a few seconds. The wines were very simple and were not worth the tasting. We ended up going to a small restaurant on our own to eat something! The second tour in Casablanca - Morocco was even worse! The guide was rude and just walked with the sign raised without explaining anything and leaving tourists behind! We did not have time to snack or drink water because the guide did not give us time in the points for this. Aside the mosque all other spots were horrible and it became torture to accompany with hunger and be the guide. In the mosque the guide took men and women to shared bathrooms and without suitable toilets, forcing us to stand up to use! Most of the women were embarrassed and could not even go to the bathroom! I and dozens more customers filed complaint with customer service and we were totally ignored! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Our first cruise on Costa was great. We took 4 children and everyone had a great vacation. All food was included - there were no "excluded" items for extra $ such as lobster. There was all the ice cream you wanted. You ... Read More
Our first cruise on Costa was great. We took 4 children and everyone had a great vacation. All food was included - there were no "excluded" items for extra $ such as lobster. There was all the ice cream you wanted. You could eat pretty much any time you desired. I am not a cruise snob but I have now been on 9 cruises on 6 different cruise lines both with and without children. My expectations are not unreasonable, simply based on previous experience. Unfortunately Costa has changed and not for the better. For example, There is no "free ice cream" available. Many of the best food items you now have to pay extra for. The dishes offered were definitely not as good as on the previous trip. The buffet closes prior to ending time and runs out of food. Much of the food is the same every day. However our waiter, Joey, in the dining room was wonderful. Very attentive, trying constantly to please. Internet/wifi costs an exorbitant fee and many at the hospitality desk are not very helpful. However, Matteo was the epitome of what an ideal customer service representative should be. The evening entertainment (singers not including the opera soloist) was less professional than on previous cruises. The on shore excursions were pricey. And a heads up to those who have not cruised before. There is a "service fee" every day on your account which you may or may not be made aware of until check out. You can opt out but it is a major undertaking to get this accomplished. Conflicting information and requirements from different employees at the same hospitality desk. Thank you again Matteo for your help. We had a good time doing out own agenda on shore, the food was adequate and the employees mentioned, along with help from Jessica, (the english liason), made it a good trip for our family. However I think I will be looking at other cruise lines in the future unless Costa Cruise Line makes some major modifications to their current policies. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Friends found cruise at a reasonable price. A group of 8 decided it would be a fun trip. The written instructions we received after purchase informed us that our luggage must be smaller than allowed by the airline. This was a 29 day ... Read More
Friends found cruise at a reasonable price. A group of 8 decided it would be a fun trip. The written instructions we received after purchase informed us that our luggage must be smaller than allowed by the airline. This was a 29 day trip. Our carry on was to meet very small criteria and was not allowed to have wheels. The reason was that there would not be room on the land tour buses. There was plenty of room on the buses. The written material explained that we would be charged a daily per person amount for gratuity that would be divided among certain staff. We learned this was not accurate and that this money would go to Costa to help defer salaries. We were asked on regular basis to tip all who served. The amount charged for “gratuity” was about $600 per couple and was in addition to regular tips. We learned that this could be removed but we were not informed of this by staff or YMT. Tours provided by the ship were more expensive than private tours. There were many, many complaints about the food. Many items free on other cruises were purchase items on this cruise. You purchase water for your room, soft drinks, ice cream and various other items. You were provided one bar of soap and no wash cloths. You could ask for extra soap. Wash cloths were harder to obtain. TV was limited. You could usually get BBC. WiFi was a charge item. Entertainment was very average and often put on by the Costa staff. We saw some really interesting places but I would not take this tour again. Many people on the ship got a upper respiratory illness near the conclusion of tour and of course you can get no help without paying to see a doctor. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this holiday because the cruise around the United Arab Emirates was a part of the world we had not visited before. I thought the process of getting on board and to our cabin was very good. The ship décor is based on 18th Century ... Read More
We chose this holiday because the cruise around the United Arab Emirates was a part of the world we had not visited before. I thought the process of getting on board and to our cabin was very good. The ship décor is based on 18th Century Italian architecture, a little over the top but looks great. I thought the ship was well designed and has a very good gym and spa.. There are a good range of bars that have a range of evening music. Unfortunately the waiter service in bars is very poor. There was often only one waiter visible so placing an order can be very time consuming, so you may have to elbow dance at the bar. The standard of food was quite variable from poor to average, nothing that I would recommend as quite a few dishes were bland. everything is printed in eight languages as often are announcements. It is difficult to understand some of the announcements as it is not a clear delivery. Most announcements are about trying to sell you something. There are too many staff trying to sell you stuff rather than serve you. Having been on two previous cruises with Thomson, I was disappointed by much of the entertainment. The best in my view was an evening with Hugo Palliotti, an excellent tenor. The rest was a mishmash of Eurovision type dancing. We booked Bigbus trips around Dubai and Muscat in Oman, which were very good and the jeep safari to Sir Bani Yas Island was brilliant. getting so close to wild animals in such a beautiful setting. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We realised it was not a 5 star cruise but value for money. Heading shows 10 day Caribbean but this was a back to back cruise ending up in Venice. They had a gratuities charge of US$12.50 per day and with 3 passengers in our group for ... Read More
We realised it was not a 5 star cruise but value for money. Heading shows 10 day Caribbean but this was a back to back cruise ending up in Venice. They had a gratuities charge of US$12.50 per day and with 3 passengers in our group for 34 days worked out to be US$1,275 or AUS$1,653. I do not know of many people who will part with Aus$1,653 as a tip. We always tip the waiter, waiters assistant and cabin person and STRONGLY object to this money grab by Costa. In my opinion they use these funds to subsidise their wage bill. All cruise lines should get rid of this tax and just quote an all up fare. Most of the other cruisers we met were very unhappy about this surcharge. We did find out that any of the Americans that complained had it refunded. No refund for Australians despite taking to four levels of staff. They missed two ports blaming it on rough seas (debatable) with no refund to cruisers. Costa would have saved on Port charges etc. We travelled Norwegian last November and when they missed a port due to bad weather they reimbursed each passenger. Service was very good overall except for bar staff. They seemed to have a different idea than us of service. They served you when and if they wanted and it was not only us that noticed it as other passengers in conversation complained as well. We ate in the restaurant every night and our waiter and waiters assistant were first class. In fact the meal was the highlight of every day and we would look forward to interacting with the staff over a meal. (Francesca and Willy) Our cabin man was very friendly and kept our room clean and comfortable every day. We were more than impressed with the entertainment staff who encouraged us to join their games which made for a lot of fun. You really need to join in to get the most of this free add on. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Joined this ship in Dubai near the end of January for a five night cruise to Muscat, Sir Bani Yas Island and Abu Dhabi. We had an inside cabin on Deck 1 which was right under the Piazza Casanova, so there was quiet a lot of bumping and ... Read More
Joined this ship in Dubai near the end of January for a five night cruise to Muscat, Sir Bani Yas Island and Abu Dhabi. We had an inside cabin on Deck 1 which was right under the Piazza Casanova, so there was quiet a lot of bumping and music until 1am. This didn’t bother us too much as we like music and dancing so we rarely turn in before 12.30 anyway. After 1am it was really quiet until 8am so we were happy enough. We found all the staff friendly and helpful and enjoyed dancing in Piazza Casanova and also to the group in Isolodora and to Luciano (guitar/vocals). We also enjoyed some of the artists and the Italian version of ‘The Voice’, where the singers were understandably mainly Italian. Food selection in the restaurant for breakfast and lunch was not too good, so we got into the habit of taking breakfast and lunch in the Buffet and dining in the restaurant in the evening. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth enough and we must credit the staff for the arrangements on the visit to Sir Bani Yas Island. They organised a super beach BBQ and put music and dancing on, and the tenders operated all the time during the day. We expected queues but there were none! On the downside we never expected to have to pay for water with our evening meal and we could only get teas and coffee in the buffet at certain times, unless we paid for it of course. You pay five euros for a pint and four euros for a half pint and they then add 15% to this cost. Invariably there was about an inch and a half of froth in the glass so we always asked for them to be topped up to the line! Gratuiuties were added at 10 euros each per day. Overall though, we had a good time and thought the overall package including Emirates flights and the Dubai Hotel stay, was tremendous value. One final point re. Transfers in Dubai. Be careful to ask the taxi driver what the cost is likely to be as one driver tried to rip us off, not knowing that we had previously made transfers in Dubai. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was our first cruise on Costa, but our 16th overall. Here are our honest thoughts on the various aspects. The cruise was 7 nights and embarked at Dubai. Flight ------ We booked the flight independently of the cruise. It was ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Costa, but our 16th overall. Here are our honest thoughts on the various aspects. The cruise was 7 nights and embarked at Dubai. Flight ------ We booked the flight independently of the cruise. It was an Emirates flight from LHR to Dubai. It was an overnight flight that landed in Dubai at 6am. In hindsite, this was the wrong choice as embarkation didn't start until 8pm and it turned out to be a long day. Still the flight itself was very good and we were impressed with Emirates. Embarkation ----------- This is where it all went a bit wrong. Our embarkation ticket stated 8pm as the boarding time which seemed a tad on the late side compared to a normal cruise. A quick google suggested that if you turn up at around 3pm, they would let you on. However imagine the dismay when we (and many other people) turned up in the afternoon to be told that 8pm was the hard and fast time and so we had to wait for 5 hours in the cruise terminal. Turns out this was because Friday (the day we embarked) is a holiday in the UAE and therefore the immigration control officials were only available from 8pm, hence the time. Can't really blame Costa for this I guess, but it's something to note. Cabin ----- We had cabin 7290 which was classed as a suite 'S' Cabin. It was a very nice size and was quite a bit bigger than a standard balcony cabin, so we were very pleased. Dining ------ Because we were in a suite, we were allowed to eat in the club restaurant (Club Medusa) free of charge for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. We didn't eat in the MDR, so can offer no opinion. We also tried the buffet for lunch a couple of times, but found the choice very limited. Club Medusa was very nice and the choice varied daily. The wine choice was also very good and you could try the wine to see if you liked it first. They try to sit you in the same area each day so you have the same waiters which helps build the relationship. It was also fairly quiet and you don't need to book ahead as suite guests. This was certainly one of the suite 'extras' that helped make the cruise that bit more special. Entertainment ------------- This is one area where both Italian cruise lines (MSC & Costa) fall short compared to American and British lines. The daily activities are very limited and evening shows are centred around song and dance and acrobat routines. I guess it's the language issues that are the cause. The good things of note were the live bands and the animation team. Dress Code ---------- We had lots of varied dress codes on our cruise. We had informal, Gala, Italian, Arabian and white nights, although many people adopted informal for the whole cruise. It was all good fun. The only gripe was that nowhere on the pre-cruise documents stated what was on offer, so you couldn't preplan what to pack. Ports ----- A cruise around the UAE all pretty much stop at the same ports. The main ones on our cruise were Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Sir Bani Yas Island. Ship ---- Having just been on the MSC Preziosa, the Costa Mediterranea looked and felt like an older ship in comparison. We experienced some very rough vibrations in our cabin whenever the stern thrusters were used and there was a constant vibration from the engines all over the ship when at sea. Nothing to bad to spoil the holiday, but not something I ever remember experiencing on any other ship. Suite Extras ------------ As we were in a suite cabin, we were entitled to a number of 'extras'. They were :- - Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner in the Club restaurant (see above) - Complimentary Intenditore drinks package. This is the top level one and pretty much every drink is included (apart from super expensive). You also get drinks loaded in your minibar. - Exclusive activities. We are invited to a couple of cocktail parties with the captain, but didn't attend due to the timings. - Complementary room service etc. We had breakfast in our room a couple of times, but other than that, didn't really test the room service. Disembarkation -------------- This was very smooth. We were free to leave the ship at any time up to 1pm and collect our luggage from the terminal. Perhaps this is something unique to the UAE cruises. Port to Airport --------------- Grabbed one of the many taxis from the terminal. Tooks roughly 20 minutes and cost 55 Dirhams (£11). Overall ------- No one can argue that Costa are not good value for money (much like MSC) but of course that means that certain aspects of the cruise are 'budget restricted' like the food and entertainment. It is also very Italian orientated (not unsurprisingly). However as long as you accept these limitations, then you can certainly enjoy yourselves. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We take a trip from Dubai through gulf. The ship was nice , but nothing special. It looks like Venice in 17. Century. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly, We took a cabin with balcony. It is not in very good condition any more. ... Read More
We take a trip from Dubai through gulf. The ship was nice , but nothing special. It looks like Venice in 17. Century. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly, We took a cabin with balcony. It is not in very good condition any more. Reatorant for diner is beautifull, Dining food is good, but staff is very slow and made a lot of mistakes. Several times we spent almost 2 hours for a meal. Bar Service was average, in bar they serve very expensive drinks in plastic glasses. The coffee is really good. They have Illy coffee. They charge a fee everywhere and allways, plus extra 8 eur per day for every person. Rowbery! In reception dont work enough people, so every time you must wait a lot of minutes, sometimes for just one answer. Internet line is very slow, and dont worth a fee they charged. I thing I will take next time another ship company, not Costa. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Costa NeoRiviera review – sailing date 20 January 2018 The itinerary: My Fly, land cruise was marketed as “Mauritius Stay and Jewels of the Indian Ocean Cruise”; Costa cruise documents listed it as “Heaven by the Sea”. ... Read More
Costa NeoRiviera review – sailing date 20 January 2018 The itinerary: My Fly, land cruise was marketed as “Mauritius Stay and Jewels of the Indian Ocean Cruise”; Costa cruise documents listed it as “Heaven by the Sea”. Boarding was scheduled to be in Mauritius, followed by Seychelles, Madagascar and Reunion Island, returning to Mauritius. However due to Cyclone Berguitta, the ship was not able to dock in Mauritius, and Costa Cruises had to move passengers from Mauritius to Seychelles and vice versa. Whilst this was a major logistics enterprise, Costa could have kept passengers informed and handled it a lot better than they did. I boarded the ship on Saturday 20th January at 11.49pm in Seychelles (thereby missing the complete first day there) and was told that I would be charged the full “service fee” of €10 for the remaining 11 minutes of that day. Really? I thought that was a bit rough! Passenger demographics: On this cruise, the ship catered mainly for French, German and Italian passengers, with a few Spanish and very few English-speaking ones. Visas: late on the evening of January 24th, with our daily program, we received a note regarding Madagascar visas. We were advised that we needed to contact Reception by midnight that day regarding the visas and that a temporary visa would be issued on board for €13. When I had contacted Costa, some months prior to sailing, regarding this, I was told that it was every passenger’s own responsibility to get their own visas – mine cost $A80. I was not impressed. Costa Club: Belonging was worthwhile. I joined on line before boarding. I received 50% discount on extra price menu items and also 50% off the “Dinner under the Stars” menu at the restaurant on deck 6. Bottles of wine received a 25% discount, and there were other smaller discounts available on ship’s services and shop items. Cabin 9196 Premium 0ceanview: Not a great deal of room if configured as a double/queen, but ample usable centre space when turned into a twin bed cabin. This also resulted in good access to the window shelf for extra storage. I was travelling solo – it would be a little tight for two. But set up as a twin, the bed lamps are back-to-front as the metal backing faces the nearest bed and the lamp and switch faces the bed opposite! Also, the bedside cabinets open from the middle, back towards each bed, and have no handles. Drawers would be a much better option. Bed and pillows, firm but comfortable, linen very good quality and changed every three days. The desk was good with two Europe/Asia 220w power points as well as two American 110w points; good lighting and large mirror. There is a capsule coffee machine, with cups – bring your own capsules. This can also be used for hot water for tea – but gives just over half a mug – do it twice! Hot water is available from Room Service between 7am and 10pm otherwise phone Reception. There are two triangular cupboards – one on each side of the desk – the hairdryer is stored here. The wardrobe had 14 bulky hangers – that unhook from centre fixture – so annoying and old fashioned! Thin wire hangers were available on request. There were only two shelves – a big gap between, and three drawers – 1½ each? Bathroom: Towels are large and soft – excellent quality and the hand towel was a good size – there is no washer supplied. Towels will be changed when damp – even when hung up – unless cabin steward is instructed otherwise. Liquid soap/shampoo in shower and excellent soap on washbasin. Some toiletries are available on request. Water is hot, adequate pressure. Better than usual quality toilet paper for a ship’s vacuum flush toilet. Safe: this is large and very easy to use, but it is positioned at the front of the cupboard above the minibar (opposite side to the desk), thus completely limiting any other access to this space. Lifts: The forward lift will travel from deck 5 to deck 12 – midship lift will only go deck 5 to deck 9 – with no access to deck 7. Note: You cannot even walk from one end of deck 7 to the other. The aft lift goes from deck 5 (which is not really used as it is at the rear of the dining room) to deck 11 – buffet. Food: available in buffet and dining room also a “pay for” restaurant. Hygiene: there were hand sanitizers at the entrance to all food areas, but these were mainly ignored by the majority of passengers. However, I was not aware of any cases of Noro-virus on board, though what became known as the “Costa cough” was prevalent throughout the ship. Buffet: open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Tea and coffee are only available breakfast and afternoon tea. Situated at the rear of deck 11 with an open-air section. Flies can be a big problem after some ports. Costa denies access to FREE, filtered drinking water, except when the buffet is open. All other times one must pay for bottled water. Breakfast: a mix of cereals, yoghurt, fruit, cold cuts (cheese is sliced processed cheese), hot foods – with a separate egg station, and a good variety of bread, pastries and cakes. Lunch: Cold cuts, prepared salads and salad vegetables, cheese (block), fruit, hot foods, breads, a daily roast, about half a dozen desserts, (often mousses) and a pasta station. A hamburger/grill station is outside near the pool – this also serves a late breakfast and late lunch. There is no FREE pizza on board this Italian ship served in the buffet, grill or restaurant! There is a charge of between €7.00 and €8.50. Dinner: I always ate this in the dining room, never in the buffet, so cannot comment. Dining room – breakfast: Similar “serve yourself” fare to buffet (but no flies) with a choice of various “themed” breakfasts – English, American, Mexican, Spanish, German and omelettes to order. Lunch: I didn’t have lunch in the dining room. Dining room is closed on “port days”. Dinner: set time sittings – early at 6.30 – late at 8.45. Menu changed every day. One could go right through all the courses if wanted – appetiser, salad, pasta, mains, dessert, cheese. Be aware that what the menu states may not be quite what you receive! Often lost in translation! Main meal sizes vary greatly - sometimes we received entrée size and at other times a large meal. At nearly all times, green vegetables were lacking. We always ordered two dishes of vegetables for our table of five. The menu also contains “extra price” items. One night I ordered the lobster, which was absolutely superb. The flesh was firm and pearly white – it had been caught locally in Mauritius. As a member of the “Costa Club” I received a 50% discount on the price. Beverages: wine and water could be purchased anywhere on board and taken into either the buffet or dining room – or the bottles could be held over from meal to meal. Lounge areas: there are many to choose from, though some of the chair upholstery could do with a good cleaning. Bar: opening hours and musician times are listed in the daily program. Reception: open 24 hours – knowledgeable and efficient, however there are no “queue” guidelines – this needs to be addressed to cope efficiently with busy times. Shore excursion office: Often very limited opening times – usually closed on port days. Again, this area needs “queueing guidelines” as there was often “push and shove” and “get out of my way” chaos! Make sure you really know what you are purchasing because many tours list “see” when they should state either “view” or “visit” – there is a great deal of difference! Full day excursions were much better value than so called half day ones. Be aware that the buffet will not be open if you are back after 2.30pm – only the grill area. Crew: The lower levels of the crew – cabin stewards and food staff, friendly, but not so the officers – hardly an acknowledgement or a smile given out during the whole cruise. Internet: Three packages available 250mb for €25.00; 500mb for €39.00 and 3GB for €99.00 – all come with a €3.00 “connection fee”, which I thought was a bit rough. It was excellent paying by usage rather than by time as most cruise companies do. I found the internet reasonably fast and efficient – even though sometimes I had to go through 5 steps to log in! And I was in a fairly isolated area of the Indian Ocean. Entertainment: The Cruise Director was a “way out” dresser and he was enthusiastic, but spoke so quickly that it was really hard to know what language he was speaking. I enjoy trivia and quizzes, but some of the entertainment crew had such heavy accents that made the quiz questions impossible to understand. The couple of evening “guest” shows that I saw were quite good – I did not see a “production” show. Library: Open for short periods – seemed to have a good collection of books – but not many in English, as the ship does not really cater for English speaking passengers. There is also a small “swap” section under a window – again no English reading. Pool: there is a small pool, a slightly smaller rectangular spa pool and two hot tubs. Pool chairs are available on decks 11 and 12 and sometimes on deck 6 where there is shade as it is undercover. Casino; Gym; Spa: cannot comment as I did not use these services. Smoking: There is a smoking area on deck 11 (pool deck) and I think there was also one in one of the lounges. Children: children’s activities seem to be well catered for. In summary: I have done over 40 cruises and feel that I can objectively judge this cruise. Costa is just a 3-star cruise line, good in some ways, not good in others. There were many inconsistences and things that certainly could have been managed better. Would I cruise with Costa again, most likely not, except if the itinerary and destinations were exceptional – as this one was. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
My husband & I choose this cruise for it's value. We had never been on a Costa ship. This was our 9th or 10th cruise and we had never had a bad experience. The ship itself is beautiful and the entertainment was awesome but ... Read More
My husband & I choose this cruise for it's value. We had never been on a Costa ship. This was our 9th or 10th cruise and we had never had a bad experience. The ship itself is beautiful and the entertainment was awesome but that's about it. The food was not hot even in the dining room. Our waiter seemed overworked. He barely had time to talk to us. Staff didn't really speak to us except for our room attendant. It was difficult finding anyone who spoke English. A lot of people both crew & passengers were sick. (This was told to me by an attendant I spoke with when I went looking to purchase something for a cough.)There was nothing available not even cough drops. I developed a very bad cough. Because our flight was not out until 10pm, we decided to take the excursion that was offered in ENGLISH that would drop us off at the Ft Lauderdale Airport when complete. We were going to visit the Everglades. We paid $65 each. We could have taken a cab for $11 each.(that's what we paid to get to the ship.) The disembarkation did not go smoothly. We showed up in our designated area and showed our tickets to the lady who was in charge. She looked at our ticket and said "Ok take a seat and wait for your number to be called." We did and waited and waited. Another lady joined us going on our bus too. All 3 of us would stop talking and listen whenever there was an announcement was made. Our number was not called. Finally the lady came over and asked what we were waiting for. We said "for our number to be called". She said you should have been gone??? We were in a very long line that took us 1 hour and 10 minutes to get through. Our friend was US so she got through right away. When we got outside we were shocked to learn that our bus had already left. Now they didn't know what to do with us. The "Miami" bus had not left yet so guess what, that's where they put us. The problem with that was it was "SPANISH" We had no other choice. The whole excursion was in Spanish and we did not understand one word. They all knew that. We could have gotten to the airport for total $22 but instead we paid $130 to listen to a foreign excursion to Miami. We need to get that money back but how? Ruth & Shad Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise because of the great port calls; Italy, athens, olympia, Kotor, and Split. The destinations did not disappoint. They were fantastic and we avoided much of the crowds by cruising in the winter. Unfortunately, we did ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the great port calls; Italy, athens, olympia, Kotor, and Split. The destinations did not disappoint. They were fantastic and we avoided much of the crowds by cruising in the winter. Unfortunately, we did not have a chance to explore Venice before our cruise departed as Easyjet canceled the flight. Needless to say, we had to scramble to find alternative transportation to Venice and it cost us an extra day of travel. The embarkation and disembarkation was extremely smooth at Venice. We had no issues getting on the ship four hours before the departure. Customs was smooth and friendly and this was the easiest embarkation we have experienced. The Luminosa allows you to embark or disembark at any of the port calls but I'm unsure how smooth the process was at the other locations. Like other reviewers, we found the Luminosa to be average. Compared to other cruises, the food was disappointing. Mainly pasta dishes and you pay extra for the dishes that are included on other cruises such as steak and lobster. Costa cruise lines charges extra for things like coffee, bottled water, ice cream, and even pizza. We found the layout of the cruise ship to be very similar to other cruise lines of this size. Spa on the 9th floor near the front of the ship, cafeteria style dining on the ninth floor, restaurant on the 2nd floor, casino, bars, etc. Our classic cabin with a balcony was nice; easily accommodating two adults and two children. The cabin was well insulated but we did hear some children running in the cabin above us. Thankfully, no issue with neighbors that smoke. The kids club seemed fine. My nine year old only went a few times but there didn't seem to be any language barriers. The teen club, however, was given over for infant space. As a result, the teens didn't really have a place to hang out and they would meet on various parts of the ship. It was a poor compromise and our teenage daughter, whom usually likes the teen club, chose not to participate on this cruise. It is apparent the crew is overworked. We were told they work 13 hour days for nine months without a day off. Our steward was responsible for around 20 cabins and it showed. Although hard working and friendly, you could tell the staff was stressed. Also, be prepared for lots of Italians and a lack of personal space and no regard for queues. Of course, this happens with other nationalities as well. Also, the announcements must have been in at least three languages which got tedious after a while. We did not attend any of the entertainment options but other passengers had good reviews for the nightly entertainment. All in all, we had a good cruise thanks to the port calls. Costa Luminosa has the potential to be a great cruise ship. Unfortunately, the quality of the food and overworked staff prevent the experience from rising to the next level. I would recommend the ship to those who are excited about visiting European ports and the timing works or the Luminosa price is significantly less than the competitors. Otherwise, it would be wise to consider other cruise ships. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
It's a pity I only read the reviews about Costa after I have booked its Mediterrean cruise. Turned out the negative reviews of most critics are true! Indifferent restaurant service, overcrowded and messy restaurant with mundane food, ... Read More
It's a pity I only read the reviews about Costa after I have booked its Mediterrean cruise. Turned out the negative reviews of most critics are true! Indifferent restaurant service, overcrowded and messy restaurant with mundane food, chaotic restaurant seating arrangement, below average night shows, confusing ship facilities layout, poor communication regarding embarkment & disembarkment etc., all made our experience with the cruise under-whelming. The buffet was always too jammed with insuffucient seats & you had to be quick to grab a table & sat almost shoulder to shoulder with another fellow passenger. On a postive note, the premium insde cabinet was large enough for 2 persons with sufficent storage space. It was also clean & tidy. If you go to the breakfast on the third floor where eggs and bacons are served, you are allocated to sit with others without any sense of logic. We are a couple & there are plenty of small tables with 2 seats. Why are we allocated to a big table where similar couples are forced to sit together? Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
The crew on the hospitality area aren’t friendly. Their smiles are very expensive. I am reluctant to fall in line as if I am about to be punished for a mistake i have done. The Filipino waiters are so sympathetic on Ristorante ... Read More
The crew on the hospitality area aren’t friendly. Their smiles are very expensive. I am reluctant to fall in line as if I am about to be punished for a mistake i have done. The Filipino waiters are so sympathetic on Ristorante Florante. They are the ones who are ready to help. Our cabin in-charge is also sympathetic and very smiling. It perked our day whenever we met him everyday on the alley. The shuttle buses are on time. I didn’t appreciate the Crew Members entertainment night. Of course their efforts are appreciated but using Teatro Emerald for Amateurs didn’t commensurate my expectations. The embarkation and disembarkation is alright. I didn’t appreciate so much the food at the restaurant. I prefer the food on windjammer. Hygiene is not strictly implemented. We can still see people getting water using used bottles from the juice and water dispensers despite the signages. The antibacterial dispensers aren’t displayed where people can see them. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We wished to do a Transatlantic with interesting stops rather than an A . B We were happy to go on the Deliziosa as we were satisfied with our 2 previous cruises After reading the Carnival annual report for 2016 some of the sub ... Read More
We wished to do a Transatlantic with interesting stops rather than an A . B We were happy to go on the Deliziosa as we were satisfied with our 2 previous cruises After reading the Carnival annual report for 2016 some of the sub standard services on this cruise were inevitable The company is cutting costs to maintain profitability. The embarkation in Venice was the usual Costa shambles that took forever - this time worse than usual, as it rained in Venice so no.one visited the port and everyone wanted to board at once. You would think it was the first time Costa was loading passengers Once on board we had lunch in the Buffet The ship looked fine and the cabin was ready early with the luggage inside. The only issue was a badly stained toilet seat and cabin steward Carlos sorted out a replacement immediately. He always went the extra mile and is a star Most nights the dining room was never open on time and the service was always hectic The dining room is short staffed due to cutbacks and upsets the ambience. Yes Carnival you are saving on costs, irritating your client base, image and damaging the business - an area of gross mismanagement No esteemed Italian themed line would charge for Pizzas or Ice Cream and never serve Ice Cream as a Desert on a 26 day cruise. These cuts you will ultimately cost the line market share The food quality in the Buffet and Main Dining Room was in keeping with the expectations of a middle class ship The standard of entertainment was high and there was always something on the go . The theatre shows were sometimes a bit repetitive ,but it was a relocation cruise. Max the Cruise/Entertainment Director really had the ship buzzing fantasti job and did a Table clearing in the Buffet and on the outside decks was very slack management The selection of ports and the variety of port excursions were more than adequate although some excursions, perhaps, were a little pricey We noticed that the few young children on the ship seemed to have lots of fun We chose to do the Port visits alone as most of the times were fairly short Disembarkation in Miami unfortunately also had some hiccups We requested and had an early departure agreed, then we were given 2 different sets of labels for times much later and needed to go to reception to fix the error, to be told our name should be on the early list, when the list was checked our name was there, not good.- some passengers missed their transport as they did not change their labels and left the ship late We probably would cruise with Costa again but with all the Nickel and Diming one needs to be sure of what to expect.Beware the cruiseline varies the facilities included in the price, from cruise to cruise A guy I met in the sauna summed it up, a Volkswagen will not give you the trimmings that a Mercedes will! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Hi, we are a couple in early 60s, physically fit and enjoy the port activities. It is about a year since I last cruised with Costa. We did it then because it was cheap and again chose this 4 day cruise , Savona/Barcelona/ Marseilles in ... Read More
Hi, we are a couple in early 60s, physically fit and enjoy the port activities. It is about a year since I last cruised with Costa. We did it then because it was cheap and again chose this 4 day cruise , Savona/Barcelona/ Marseilles in November to complete a cheap winter break. The cruise was a surprise, some things radically improved, some things excellent and many important things so bad it defies all logic why Costa should behave the way they do. First of all the prices on board, all up 10% in the last year. All prices in Euros. Compulsory tipping now 10 per day. Cocktails mostly 8.20 plus 15%. Cheaper prosecco 25 plus 15%. We do not buy any of the daily booze deals as we cannot work out any way they could be good value for us. There are other important reasons to avoid them unless you intend to drink in the more unsocial hours (please read on). Food - buffet still limited but the vast majority of food on offer was good. Coffee (poor) available only at breakfast. Free fruit juices are flavoured sugar. Dining - wow what an improvement. Food warm and sometimes hot and really, really good especially if you like Italian food. Service from our waiter Edgar was excellent despite the huge pressure placed upon him (and all other Costa staff). Cocktails are still the poorest on any cruise line we have experienced. Getting on and off the ship - Costa still the best. Quick and prompt. They manage to behave as if it is as simple as it really is. Why cant other cruise lines copy them? The one trip we went on was good and good value although the port transfers were very expensive for those not taking a trip. Now to some serious downsides. The bars and saloons on this ship are mostly confined to deck 5. They are large but the bar areas are small. The coffee lounge is small. By keeping all but one bar area shut before and after dining time they herd all the passengers into a confined area. Around the bars themselves, the queue can be 3 or 4 deep. Sitting down it can be almost impossible to attract waiting staff, although they are working flat out. You need to allow about an hour to place an order and then receive your drink. Watching staff being pursued by passengers trying to place an order is a sorry sight. On one night we eventually managed to order pre-dinner drinks but they only arrived 5 minutes before dinner was starting. It was hopeless. I chatted to staff in quieter moments and they said it was always like this. To enable you to get the picture, imagine 60% of the bar areas shut and the people all corralled into one space. If you have bought a drinks package, or worst of all, the coffee package you are not going to be happy. The staff were cheerful but not surprisingly tempers got a bit short amongst passengers. So, is it a deliberate ploy by Costa to sell as many drinks packages as possible and then limit consumption by making ordering any beverage very difficult? Thats what it looked and felt like. Could not discuss this with management because management only appear to parade themselves to applause, again and again and again, then disappear. The ratio of passengers to staff on Costa is very high (one of the ways they keep costs down). I have never seen staff work harder or be more polite. They really were great. Staff are so sparse however that you had to decide whether you wanted you room cleaned in the morning or night. Compared with other cruise lines this appeared to be a 40-50% reduction in cabin cleaning. We chose to be cleaned in the morning. It worked well and I thought it a sensible cost saving. For my wife, important aspects of a cruise are to be able to drink a pre-dinner cocktail in pleasant surroundings and occasionally to dress formally for dinner. Costa had already removed the latter pleasure by the last time we cruised with them. Now they have removed the former as well. The shows on each night were better than our last Costa cruise. For me they rank equal bottom of the many cruise lines I have experienced , along with MSC. If you have cruised with Princess /Celebrity or Cunard I think you would consider it very clearly inferior but frankly not bad for the price point. We are travelling with Costa again from Dubai in February 18 because I wish to invest in the many excursions available rather than a luxury ship. I just hope the bar situation is sorted by then. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We did a Med. cruise on this ship and it was , well ok, but I couldn't say I would recommend it to anyone, in fact I would not recommend Costa t anyone other than an Italian, why, well it's because they don't really care ... Read More
We did a Med. cruise on this ship and it was , well ok, but I couldn't say I would recommend it to anyone, in fact I would not recommend Costa t anyone other than an Italian, why, well it's because they don't really care about anyone much other than the Italian passengers. The annoncements are in Italian , sometimes repeated in English if you could call it that,very hard to understand most times, there are no english speaking TV channels other than the BBC news, excursions are only in Italian. No sour grapes here let's get that straight, I have done quite a few Costa cruises, why , well because they suited me and so I put up with the negitives. Sometimes on Costa, ships you are treated like a second class citizen if you are not Italian, on my last cruise our cabin was not made up for two nights after embarkation , we rang the service desk to be told that on coming passengers have priority , well hello who just got on, took two days for our cabin steward to say hello, hang on Cabin steward, not really just the maid so to speak unlike other ships and other cruise lines i have been on we had a dedicated cabin person usually a young chap who's job it was to make you feel at home and make sure you were happy, not on Mederiteranea . Food always a sore point with some but we found the food great, the buffet servery was fast flowing although you had to stand your ground when in line because certain Nationalities think they have some right to just push in. The meals in the dining room were also great and the service from the waiters was remarkable to say the least, they even smiled , even? yes even because something was not quite right on this ship it was hard to get a smile out of anyone, gone were the waiters with their jovial manner with a grin from ear to ear, yep they made having a beer or a wine enjoyable, Mediteranea is not a happy ship. Cruise itself was great Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
My wife and I chose to cruise on Costa knowing full well that they are an Italian line that does not cater to English speakers because we wanted to have a more European experience. We embarked in Barcelona directly from the airport after ... Read More
My wife and I chose to cruise on Costa knowing full well that they are an Italian line that does not cater to English speakers because we wanted to have a more European experience. We embarked in Barcelona directly from the airport after an approximately hour drive around the city while out transfer company (Eros Bus) dropped off other passengers who were not going to the port. Barcelona is a beautiful city and we would like to spend some more time that at a later date. Embarkation went smoothly and we found that all the staff people that we interacted with knew enough English to answer our questions and were very helpful. Once aboard, we were met by the English speaking representative who invited to an orientation in English which was very helpful and she informed us that she would be available for a specified time each day to address any questions or concerns. I did see her several times during the cruise and she was very helpful. I should say here that she told us that there were about 300 English speakers on the cruise out of a total of about 3,800 passengers aboard. During the course of the cruise, we did not meet another American. The entertainment was very good and plentiful, lots of singing and dancing. The shows were very entertaining and included singing, acrobatics, opera and dance. The Italians, who made up more than half of the passengers ( the rest being mainly German, French, Dutch and various other Europeans) kept things lively late into the night during the length of the cruise. We were a little disappointed in the quality of the food in the main restaurants. All the pasta dishes were excellent, but the rest of the dishes were not up to the standards of other cruise lines we have been on. The food in the buffet was very good but does not have a lot of variety. Coffee is not served with dinner and is not always available on the ship, but cappuccino and espresso are available at all the bars on the ship at any time and are excellent. The ship is beautiful and clean, the crew is generally helpful and know enough English to answer any concerns. I will say that they went out of their way to be helpful when they found out that we were Americans. The excursions were excellent, but not always available with an English speaking guide. I would advise you to go anyway, the guides were very patient and knew enough English to let you know anything vital to the excursion. If you are looking for a different experience on your next cruise, this may be for you. However, if you want to go on an Italian cruise for the food, you will probably be disappointed. We came away with a better knowledge of Italian (and European) culture, as well as some very memorable excursions to incredibly amazing locations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This is the first time I have been motivated to write a review, but we were so disappointed with Costa this time. We have cruised with them for several years, and have always been very happy. Everything started fine. Embarkation in ... Read More
This is the first time I have been motivated to write a review, but we were so disappointed with Costa this time. We have cruised with them for several years, and have always been very happy. Everything started fine. Embarkation in Venice was more or less painless, the cabin was ready, and the food in the buffet dining room at lunch time absolutely fine. It was only when the cruise really got started we began to notice how things had gone down even from 6 months ago. In the main dining room for dinner, there were clearly staff shortages, only one waiting at table, previously had been two. Our waiter, as did many others, looked exhausted, but still managed to be delightful always with a smile and a cheerful attitude. The menu choices have been reduced for every course, and the 'everyday' menu, that is the one that doesn't change day to day, pretty restricted. No steak or meat dish available, mostly consisting of pasta. We expect pasta, there is always a pasta course, but for there to be no alternative for those who don't especially like pasta is not really satisfactory. The food was good, but having experienced what costa had to offer in previous years, didn't feel that it was as good. Worst of all, and we could hardly believe this, given that Costa is an italian cruise line, there was no pizza or ice cream available anywhere on the menu included in the cost of the cruise, not even in the buffet dining room. Reason - they sell it. Outrageous; we have complained very strongly on the feedback form they send out at the end of the cruise. Don't mind the paid for restaurants, don't use them, but accept that everyone has them these days. But pizza and ice cream??!! In the bars, again lack of staff very noticeable. We waited for about half an hour for a waiter, then gave up and went to the bar to collect our own drinks. Which is fine, except that all drinks carry a 15% service charge, so you kind of expect service. Some of the staff behind the bar were very offhand, appeared to be quite demoralised, and some didn't even give any eye contact, let alone engage in conversation. They weren't rude exactly, just did what they had to do, took the card and served the drink and that is all. Once we managed to get a waiter, the ones we had anything to do with were lovely, chatty and friendly, but appeared very rushed. Breakfast in the main dining room was pretty chaotic, they have a weird system of cold buffet, but with some hot items, as well as the served menu items. Getting those hot items from the buffet, to co-ordinate with a hot item from the menu so as to make up a breakfast dish was challenging to say the least. Main dining room should be a served menu, if you want buffet dining then you would go in the buffet restaurant. The reason we didn't go up there was that it was extremely difficult to get a seat at busy times, and again was pretty chaotic. At least in the main dining room you do get a seat, even though service could be slow, and on one occasion we had to get the Maitre'd involved as the table we were led to was not set, and no amount of asking got us any cutlery or crockery. The ship was almost full, there were clearly not nearly enough staff. Everything else was pretty much what we have expected from Costa. Entertainment is difficult we recognise that, with there being so many different languages to contend with. The cruise dancers and singers are good, and the acrobat dancers who put on an individual show were excellent. Otherwise the only alternative was 'the Voice of the Seas', talent show, and the crew show. The crew show was the most enjoyable of them all and the theatre was packed. Sadly packed with some very rude people who don't get that pushing past people and knocking their drinks over isn't acceptable, especially when the show has started. But this is the passengers, not Costa. They no longer serve drinks in the theatre, which is a good thing, but you can take them in. Apart from a cruise in an area where Costa don't go, this is the only line we have used in the past few years. Sadly, we will be trying someone else next time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I booked this cruise because of the itinerary and the very good price. We have been on several other cruises in the Carnival brand i.e Cunard X1 Princess X4 and Carnival X1 plus also NCL X2 and Royal Caribbean X1 . I was expecting some ... Read More
I booked this cruise because of the itinerary and the very good price. We have been on several other cruises in the Carnival brand i.e Cunard X1 Princess X4 and Carnival X1 plus also NCL X2 and Royal Caribbean X1 . I was expecting some compromises due to the very keen price... what I wasn't expecting was the constant penny pinching for example no tap water or coffee with meals outside of the breakfast time without additional charge.It is also the most aggressive sale of Drinks packages I have ever seen 30 euros per day plus...you have to drink a lot to make that worthwhile and many people were. The ship itself was very clean and high standard certainly having the Italian sparkle. I knew about the compromises on the multi language being mainly European clientele my wife and I were okay with that. The menu is European focused and we really liked the menu in the formal dining room (I like pasta and Italian and sea food) however the buffet was very limited choice compared to other ships and much more restrictive hours presumably to keep costs down... it was even additional charge for pizza!. Entertainment by the formal ships company was good but several of the nights were just Karaoke by the ships entertainment crew in Butlins red coat style not really cruising standard by any stretch. Trieste Easy walk and okay for 4 hours not fantastic but ok. Corfu 2.5 Km into town not really enough time allowed here... we arrived late and due to weather only 3 hrs so did not see much beyond the immediate town. Katakolon good trip to Olympia for 15 euros with Costa...and enough time to see. Mykanos landing by tender but nice place and decent time allowed. Dubrovnik...this was missed out and went to Kotor in Montenegro instead which was lovely. In summary great potential but I do not think we will be cruising Costa again.... an inclusive drinks package would remove some of the grumbles on penny pinching. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
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