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465 Costa Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise mainly because of the price being £250 for 7 nights. We have been to all the destinations before but are happy being on any ship in the sun and not having to tear around sightseeing made for a relaxing time. This is ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly because of the price being £250 for 7 nights. We have been to all the destinations before but are happy being on any ship in the sun and not having to tear around sightseeing made for a relaxing time. This is our third Costa cruise this year. One has to ask how you can fault anything at this price but I'll try to be critical bearing in mind some will pay a lot more. Embarkation was smooth in all ports. A little half hour queue in Barcelona for intitial embarkation. Food was really superb in buffet and restaurant. Only criticism here was that service in the dining room was sometimes slow. The buffet coped well with the large numbers and queues were rarely more than a few people. Problems arose early evenings when a large part is closed off to become part of the main restaurant. Seats were in short supply. This needs attention. Staff were friendly and helpful without exception. We were surprised, being the flagship and newest of the Costa fleet that we much prefered the decor of the much older Luminosa and Magica. It just doesn't have the wow factor that these ships have. It is largely brown, beige and gold with some orange thrown in. It all felt a little dated and dull to us. Some outside chairs are orange plastic like the seventies. I wouldn't want to do a sunshine cruise on this ship. It lacks a 'focal point' pool on deck. The main pool has a sliding roof and the second pool is on the back deck and small. That is all there is. There are however many hot tubs and jacuzzis and we liked the heated pods on promenade deck where you can sit inside on cooler days and look out to sea. Perhaps Costa only do colder areas/seasons with Diadema(?) , in which case it is fine for purpose. The shows were superb. Top class and as good as we have seen on any cruise ship. Many excellent musicians and bands around the ship. The atrium was a great place to sit in the evening watching the life on the dance floor Cabin (inside) was comfortable if a little bland. Some of the seating around the ship is very uncomfortable, especially in the Country and rock venue and Atrium. Daft designs. This is a Costa cruise so expect it to be busy with very few Brits and lots of lively Italians and Spanish. It is very different from a P & O experience. All in all very enjoyable and perfect for what we wanted. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise primarily because it stopped in Madagascar, however, a few days before departure we were notified they would not be stopping at Madagascar because of the plague. We, of course, were notified too late to cancel so we ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily because it stopped in Madagascar, however, a few days before departure we were notified they would not be stopping at Madagascar because of the plague. We, of course, were notified too late to cancel so we proceeded with the trip. For the most part the cruise was fantastic. Wonderful crew, great food, spacious and private cabin. Since we were not going to Madagascar we were given an OBC and told we would get a 30% discount certificate for a future trip. Due to a medical problem of mine the ships Doctor decided we would not be allowed back on the ship at Reunion even though I had the proper medication. We, therefore, were abandoned on Reunion to fend for ourselves. Due to the Christmas Holidays no seats were available on the flights to Mauritius where we had our on going reservations. The result was that we had to wait at the Reunion airport all day to finally get two standby seats to Mauritius. I have written to Customer Care at Costa (Italy & Miami) several times about the 30% discount certificate, but have been totally ignored. They won't respond at all. The cruise, food, cabin and excursions were one of the best ever, but the Customer Care is a farce and enough reason to never use Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Comments also posted on TripAdvisor. This was the second transatlantic cruise for us. This time from Venice to Fort Lauderdale. Last year we crossed the Atlantic on the Costa Favolosa from Savona to Guadaloupe. Both crossings were, for ... Read More
Comments also posted on TripAdvisor. This was the second transatlantic cruise for us. This time from Venice to Fort Lauderdale. Last year we crossed the Atlantic on the Costa Favolosa from Savona to Guadaloupe. Both crossings were, for us, very good and fulfilled almost all our expectations. Embarked in Venice on a cold, rainy day. Took a water taxi from our hotel directly to the ship. Boarding took a bit over an hour, but when 2000 passenger need to get on board, quite normal. You proceed directly to your cabin where the Costa Card - your identity card for the trip and the Diario (newspaper outlining the activities) are waiting. The luggage arrived soon. Three cupboards, two hanging, one with shelves and under the desk five drawers are sufficient. We never used the mini-bar. The dining room is at the stern of the ship. The ship is 295 m (about 900 ft.) long . This meant each visit there at least half a kilometre walk! Great way to do some sport! We had a table for six in the "English" section of the dining room. Occasionally we enjoyed the company of a Scottish couple. They however seem to have preferred the buffet on the ninth deck. So, except two evenings when we were joined by families from Guadeloupe, we enjoyed a private table. Our waiter, Mat from the Philippines, was great. Friendly, curteous, helpful. Could not wish for a better one! Louis from Honduras assisted him. Always happy, always laughing and quick with serving. The menus are available in several languages. The English copy was excellent and the food we selected was usually to our tastes. Once or twice, the meat was not our taste, but this is minor. The other diner was on the 9th deck, the buffet. Breakfast and lunch were served there and people, often with youngsters or teens ate there. Here I want to comment on statements made often in previous comments that the food was terrible. First of all these commentators forgot that they were on an Italian ship serving Italian food for its majority of passengers, Italians. Yes, there were no toasters, just a few stone hard pre-toasted slices. There was no porridge, no waffles, etc. However consider, when you travelled in Italy, in mass tourism hotels, did you find waffles or porridge? Italian breakfast means usually an espresso with a couple of sweet buns and maybe a bit of fruit. And that is it! You go to Italy not to eat your home foods, go you to experience Italian food. Something worse than commenting on the food, were the overloaded plates in the buffet area. We have seen daily, for breakfast and lunch, passengers who selected so much food that they could not eat it all. For example, to just mention one of hundreds cases, a passenger took 6 slices of white bread, added six croissants, butter, cheeses, sausages and a few sweet rolls onto her plate. Started to eat. Soon left the plate and departed. The leftovers? Four slices of bread, five croissants, and most of the trimmings. And this in an age where there a millions starving. Costa tries to stem this waste. This year (not last year in the Costa Favolosa) the breakfast and lunch tables all had five three-sided displays with the heading “Taste do not Waste” and text in various languages urging the passengers to show restraint. In our opinion, the texts were to “nice” to carry fruit and should really be of the smoking category, showing examples of overloaded plates. Interestingly Costa removed those displays during the second part of the voyage. Once a woman passenger came to our breakfast table with such an overloaded plate. My wife asked politely if she would eat all that. She got up and left. In many previous comments, complaints were uttered regarding the waiters and often in general about the crew. Let me state that we almost never had an unfriendly or not helpful waiter or other crewmembers. They all responded gladly when you asked them politely for something or other. Most were happy to speak with you. Consider, they are working on a seven to nine months contract. Mostly work eleven hours a day with no day off. In general, the old saying “Just as one calls into the forest, so it echoes back.” applies Only a couple of staff members did not fit the above-mentioned attitude. In the dining room, neither the first nor the second maître d’hôtel ever came to our table to welcome us or inquire if we are satisfied. Never. In 31 days! And our table was not in a dark corner. What a difference to the maître d’hôtel on the Favolosa last year. There a smiling and friendly maître d’hôtel came by almost every evening to inquire, to tell of specials. Simply “normal” of what his job demands. Many complaints in the blogs are about the speed of service. There again you have to consider that the Costa ships are Italian ships. Moreover, Italians take their time to eat! One evening the service was quite slow, however on the Lido deck a huge buffet was served, with a meter high shank and square meter sized cakes. That took many cooks and they were missing for the normal dinner service. A prior mention in the daily Diario would have been appropriate. A previous comment on this same voyage stated that the dining room doors were not opened at the scheduled time. Let me state that for a specific reason I was at the door openings all except two nights, and the doors were always opened within a minute or two from the stated times of 6:15 or 6:30. One last item re food and this item is truly a shameful item for Costa. As a Perla member (travelled enough with Costa), you are invited for one evening to eat in the Samsara restaurant without a normally applying surcharge. When you make the reservation, you are shown an exclusive menu. When you sit down you are shown a small narrow menu with only two choices of main dishes. Definitively a cheat in my opinion and we hope Costa will soon remove this falsification. Sanitation: Norovirus on a ship is definitively bad. There have been cases and we were happy that we did not have an outbreak on the ship. To fight this there are many disinfectant dispensers at the entrances to the dining rooms and all around the buffets plus at many other places on the ship. Much to our annoyance, hardly anyone made use of these. Quite a difference to the German cruise ship we once travelled. There two men stood at the entrance to the dining room and made sure that everyone disinfected their hands. Well… that’s a bit if Germany vs. Italy. The other health problem was coughing. Typically, the infamous air conditioning coughs. Ice cold dining rooms against warm outside. I did catch it this time and brutally with high fever. A few visit to the ship’s hospital ensued. Great praise for the two doctors and the nurses. I was treated perfectly. The downside of those passengers, as necessary as those visits are, are the costs if you do not have a proper travel insurance, which also covers shipboard hospital visits. There is more that could be mentioned, maybe another time. To end my comments: During the crossing of the Atlantic Costa arranged (naturally a small charge applied – Costa has to be profitable) to tour the insides of the ship. Many places we saw. Not the engine room. We also had a visit to the bridge which was immensely interesting. Chatting with Captain Varese I asked if anyone on the bridge still uses the sextant, the clock and the admirality tables to fix the ships position. He said yes, the cadets still have to do this procedure same as I used before GPS became standard. I also told him that I always hope to once see a submarine surfacing alongside or at least see the snorkel. He, who has sailed a lifelong said “never saw one”. Summary: We again enjoyed the trip and, yes, we will again choose Costa. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We were going to Italy with some friends for a couple of weeks. We thought that it would be fun to include a cruise midway in our vacation. This cruise left from Civitavecchia (Rome) and was quite reasonable. It included ports of ... Read More
We were going to Italy with some friends for a couple of weeks. We thought that it would be fun to include a cruise midway in our vacation. This cruise left from Civitavecchia (Rome) and was quite reasonable. It included ports of Marseille, France, Barcelona, Spain, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Palermo, Sicily, Italy & Savona, Italy. At every port, there were people boarding and departing, which wasn't a problem and actually worked out quite well as boarding went quite fast. Our boarding time started at 12:30. We are arrived at 1:30. There was no one in line ahead of us and we walked right on. This is the first time that we have not waited for an hour or two in lines! So the trip started very positive! We had read that there is only a cold breakfast buffet unless you ate in the dining room, so that was not a surprise, but there buffet was large & certainly was very, very good. And we also ate in the dining room once and were very happy with it also. The entertainment was fun and no problems with language. The dinners were excellent & the waiters could have not been better. We wondered how the mandatory life drill would be, with 6 ports, would we have to attend 6? Would we wait though 2 or 3 or 4 languages? No problem! They have that figured out as well. English language - went to a show room where we sat and watched a video, They have this all figured out for everyone and we only went to 1 life boat drill, incidentally. After reading some reviews, we were apprehensive, but we could have not been happier. By the way, our cabin was the largest cabin that we have ever had! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Just back from a med cruise. We had an excellent time well looked after by very helpful and friendly crew nothing was a problem for them.Food was excellent and varied although all meals had Italian theme.The shows were fantastic and ... Read More
Just back from a med cruise. We had an excellent time well looked after by very helpful and friendly crew nothing was a problem for them.Food was excellent and varied although all meals had Italian theme.The shows were fantastic and repeated so you could have meal then see show or vice versa.The excursions were a bit pricey but makes life easy and hassle free in the short time you have onshore.Port buses at most locations give you the option to explore on your own.Embarkation and disembarkation was all very smooth and no problems or queues luggage was taken care off from cabin to shore.The friendly staff especially in the restaurants justified the gratuities at 10 euros per person.Ship was spotless although did take a few days to get used to layout but easy to get around with the many lifts. Well done Costa great value for money We will return again and won't think twice about going with Costa Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The cruise in October was my 65th birthday present to myself and also the itinerary had great appeal, embarking in Barcelona. Interestingly , there were new passengers on a daily basis, so there were new faces most mornings at ... Read More
The cruise in October was my 65th birthday present to myself and also the itinerary had great appeal, embarking in Barcelona. Interestingly , there were new passengers on a daily basis, so there were new faces most mornings at breakfast.I noticed at least 8-10 wheelchair bound passengers during the seven day trip, fantastic to have such provision for disabled people.For once , the British speaking passengers were the minority, which added to the fun we had. large Italian families travelling together in addition to other folk from all over the world.Offshore shuttles, for those of us not wishing to join booked excursions were punctilious and well organised.The office"staff' went to so much trouble to assist us on disembarkation day, we hade a late evening flight to Dubai, so they kept our luggage in the office and let us stay on Board until 15h00, they phoned the taxi company to change our collection time, all with a smile and such efficiency (Laura and Miekle) World Class Service indeed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Wow where do I start?? 7 family and friends first time cruisers. Flew into Venice and transferred to the amazing ship on the pre arranged bus..painless security and embarkation and a really friendly welcome to the ship from the great ... Read More
Wow where do I start?? 7 family and friends first time cruisers. Flew into Venice and transferred to the amazing ship on the pre arranged bus..painless security and embarkation and a really friendly welcome to the ship from the great staff. Luggage handled by Costa and placed outside our cabins...obtained a costa card that would become our best friend for the next week...it goes everywhere with you..no getting on or off the ship without it or drinks from the bar. Having read numerous reviews was a little worried about the cabin size but no worries at all...premium balcony cabin had a queen size bed ,table and sofa,three single wardrobes with hangers (but did take some of my own hangers) set of storage shelves with the safe in and cupboards under a surface with a mirror above and hairdryer...a full length mirror was on the inside of the wardrobe door. Plenty of shelves in the bathroom and great power in the shower and plenty of hot water..dispenser of shower gel in the shower. The cabins were cleaned daily... you had a choice of morning or afternoon cleaning..lovely hard working professional Frankie looked after us well. There were 2chairs and a table on the balcony ideal for a quiet afternoon with a book and watch the scene changing in front of you The food...oh the food! Again after mixed reviews was a little worried but again no need to be! Hot and cold choices for breakfast...seated in the restaurant or at the buffet all hot if needed to be or cold if needed to be...lunch...3 courses seated in the restaurant or tremendous choice in the buffet meat fish and vegetarian and accompaniments at each sitting....afternoon tea...focaccia sandwiches or filled cobs always along with cake and fresh fruit..and of course tea or coffee dinner was an amazing 4 course affair seated at our own table each night...with differing dress codes which you found out on the daily diary sent to your room We had purchased a drinks package with meals and were very glad we did...I would purchase an all drinks next time...the only minus point was the seating at lunch if you wanted the buffet it was a scramble to get a seat. The entertainment was great..shows each night and days were packed with things to do if you wanted.Being an Italian ship and many different nationalities made listening to all the introductions in all the languages a bit monotonous We went on 3 costa excursions which were well organised and for first timers we felt safe. The tuk tuks in Dubrovnik were amazing with very informative guides...there were chances to do your own thing too Looking already at booking the next one...if you're looking to book...do! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Note: Boarded Dover,09.09.17. left Marseille 21,09,17. This was our second Costa Cruise, the last was on Luminosa. We chose it because of the bargain price of £600, outside cabin for 13 nights and the itinerary of Dover to Marseille ... Read More
Note: Boarded Dover,09.09.17. left Marseille 21,09,17. This was our second Costa Cruise, the last was on Luminosa. We chose it because of the bargain price of £600, outside cabin for 13 nights and the itinerary of Dover to Marseille taking in some different to usual ports. We were extremely pleased with the ship. Spacious, clean and comfortable, nicely decorated in the usual glitzy costa style. Food and service were excellent in both the buffet and restaurant although the meanness of Costa regarding charging for water on the dinner table and the limited availability of free water, coffee around the ship still irks somewhat (coffee and tea only until 11am and during afternoon tea, water only at buffet hours so you have to stock up). Our cabin steward Chandan was exceptional and delighted us with his different towel creations every night. Our waiter Andreo also was superb and very attentive whilst discreet. The buffet was overcrowded for afternoon tea on sea days, needs longer opening times. Entertainment was superb in the theatre, the shows being of very high standard (excepting the ventriloquist, amazed he is still around having seen him before on Luminosa). The musicians around the ship were also mainly of a high standard, particularly the classical duo. Rather a pity the latter who played in a quiet room had to endure a noisy bartender crashing around and a few people who insisted on talking during the performance. Embarking and disembarking the ship was easy and smooth in most ports with the exception of Savona which was an utter shambles. We docked late. Staff put up signs to exits then changed them. Hundreds of people were trying to get off with luggage mixed wiith the day trippers. The port authorities would not allow walking but did not provide enough buses and Costa had no staff organising getting onto the buses. People blocking the doors from closing refused to get off so the bus couldn't move, it was bedlam. Also embarking at Dover was confused. The staff didn't seem to be expecting new guests and seemed very confused. We don't do excursions, prefering to do our own thing so cannot comment on these. All ports were an easy walk excepting Porto (why the shortened day there? It wasn't tide as we sailed on a low tide) which is easy on public bus or hop on bus and as we have been to Rome we got a local bus to Tarquinia. €2.60 return. The tour would have been 70 euros each (incl a lunch and museum entry). The main problem with this cruise however was not the ship or staff but the passengers. We have read before of issues with certain nationalities pushing and shoving, jumping queues etc on Costa ships but this was not our experience on our previous Luminosa cruise at all. It certainly was this time! Until Savona, guests comprised of around 20 British, maybe similar no of Americans, 800 Russians! and the rest mainly a mixture of Italian, German, Spanish and Dutch. We have never encountered so many rude people in one place. Now I'm sure it was a minority but because it was such a significant minority the whole atmosphere of the ship seemed unfriendly. Rare were the usual greetings when one got into a lift or passed in the cabin corridors for example. Bacause the queue jumping was so prevalent people seemed on edge, always expecting it. Talking through the theatre shows was extremely irritating. One man even made a phone call! Swimwear in the buffet, nobody using the hand gel dispensers etc just general bad manners but what we really hate to see is the rudeness to the hardworking staff. On one breakfast table I was even saying 'por favor' and 'gracias' after ever order from one Spaniard for him I was so annoyed by his arrogance with the waiter. Strangely after Savona, with one day left of our cruise and where the majority of guests changed to start a new cruise, the atmospere completely changed. It was like a different ship. People were smiling again, the usual greetings and friendly chat returned. Yes there are always a few idiots but it really highlighted to us what a difference one's fellow passengers can make to a cruise. I'm not going to blame any particular nationality, we saw bad behaviour from different nationalities, however the dominance of Russians did not help. We met some lovely ones who found it necessary to apologisee for the behaviour of their compatriots. We have two more Costa cruises booked and it has put us off booking more. We shall see what the next ones are like. Costa provide an excellent cruise at a bargain price but perhaps they need to be careful where they do their marketing? Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
osta Magica 8th September to 21th. Amsterdam, Dover, Le Havre, La Coruna, Leixoes, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Malaga, Civitavecchia, Savona, Marseille. Getting on in Dover & off in Savona made this trip a lot easier for us, so many ... Read More
osta Magica 8th September to 21th. Amsterdam, Dover, Le Havre, La Coruna, Leixoes, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Malaga, Civitavecchia, Savona, Marseille. Getting on in Dover & off in Savona made this trip a lot easier for us, so many thanks to the lovely Amanda in Genoa for making this possible, she has proved more than once to be a true credit to Costa, she & her colleagues are always polite and helpful, sorting out our many needs.   Our fifth time on the Magica completing our 200 days with Costa, usual lovely cabin on deck ten, spotlessly clean and an extremely helpful room steward who soon had us settled in even help us to un-pack. Through cruise critic we had spoken to others on this trip before going, this proved to be a nice way to meet up, Adelaide & Frank from the US, Lilly & the Vagabond from Italy and our table companion's Tine & Bob gave us so much enjoyment we could not thank them enough for making this cruise special. We have become use to the crew of this ship who always go that extra step in ensuring we have everything we need, certainly better than the bigger Costa ships which seem to have lost some of the personal touches we have come to expect from our many Costa cruises. The larger ships like the Diadema do not have the same friendliness as on mid-sized ones, probably down to the huge numbers of passengers on board.  We tried, with some success two tours on this cruise, the first in Le Harve to a small fishing port on our own, mostly on the level so my walking was manageable made a nice change to be able to get off, although had to get assistance boarding coming back as tide had come in and gangway far too steep for me. Next to Oporto lovely river trip, sightseeing by coach, visit to Cathedral, major problem going back to coach up a really steep slope, however tour guide had coach brought down to us and assisted us on, really understanding driver and indeed guide, Costa should consider maybe mini-busses for the few English who often have tours cancelled, after all we have managed to use taxis in some ports.   Dining was in the Perla Diamante/Suite restaurant above main dining room aft, far too crowded now, with new club rules adding many more guests to an overcrowded room during the evening meals, with table allocation by number & two sittings, not as nice as our previous enjoyable meals there. Food was again disappointing, one day excellent even outstanding, next inedible and menus difficult to understand, no good translating to English but then using mostly Italian terms. Surely the number of plates being returned with food left raises some concerns, one evening ordered a special (lobster) which was so overcooked and tough I asked Maître D to return it to kitchen, no problem but no feedback or explanation as to why, just offer to choose something else, which was a veal medallion & really lovely.  Perhaps I should send them copies of the wonderful menus of the early 2000's  English Host Stephanie was an absolute joy, as our special member of staff she booked all our onboard requirements made us feel welcomed and visited us many times during our cruise, checking that all was okay. As we don't venture ashore much now it is so nice to chat with members of the crew who always had time to stop and enquire about our day, bar tenders, waiters, even maintenance workers on deck spoke, which to me makes a great cruise. The Magica is laid out like most ships of Costa so very easy to find way around all areas were clean, slight down side to the piano bar, no coffee now, but lovely waiter from classical bar next door brought me Cappuccinos on the hour each night with a smile. All in all still a great way to spend a couple of weeks in the sun on one of my favourite ships. Now looking forward to the Diadema at Christmas first time back on Costa for the festive season for over 10 years. Not quite the best ever Costa cruise but very close. 9/10 Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Sail Date: 08 September 2017 Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean Embarkation: Kiel Just returned from a cruise, the Costa Pacifica.We chose this cruise for the itinerary and we were not disappointed. We enjoyed every port ... Read More
Sail Date: 08 September 2017 Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean Embarkation: Kiel Just returned from a cruise, the Costa Pacifica.We chose this cruise for the itinerary and we were not disappointed. We enjoyed every port of call, stunning scenery combined with history and beautiful buildings. The Costa Pacifica is a lovely ship with lots to offer My husband and I are cruising enthusiasts. this was my first cruise. Being both retired we have chosen cruises to have the opportunity to visit different country but most of all to discover all the entertainment on board and to meet such wonderful and charming people on board. My husband is already a Costa Club member , the last time it was on Costa Victoria. The staff was as usual fantastic and really did all what they could to keep up the hospitality of Costa. It was an excellent and very amusing experience. We dined in the New York restaurant and the food was excellent as was the waiter service. We had a fantastic wine waiter called Boaquina Santos II who was excellent at his job. The food was really good and the service was amazing. The show in the evening was good. We have been so lucky to meet people such as Beautiful Cynthia Bulka, very good and warm bar maid services with the smiling and charming Lalremruati (Remy) (Cocktail Waitress), the very beautiful friendly blonde from Portugal, Zaenal Mustopa F& B server. These persons have really touched our heart with their kindness, great devotion and most of all with the communicating friendly smile, a great thanks to them who have make our day and night a real dream. I wish them all the best in their professional and personal life. Do not change anything, be always the same .You are wonderful persons. We watched all the dance shows in the theatre and the lounge bar, the Afro Arimba dance productions were brilliant. A big thank and applause to the beautiful fantastic singer Julia & the great and talented Saxophonist Roberts for their romantic song. The everyday shows were excellent with different teams and the unforgettable show delivered by the various people (non entertainment team) on the day before our departure was just fabulous, talented and surprising Just can't imagine such good and hidden talents behind the scene. Hospitality Service well managed and very helpful with different foreign languages - Mainly the smiling Rodrigo and the charming Laura Sini. A big kiss from Costa Pacifica Boutique to the beautiful and smiling waiter 407 Michele Pereire, excuse us for not writing well the name. We will not forget our two Francophone Hospitality Service Senior Specialists namely the charming and smiling Lisa Coppola and Julia Fouquet with their unconditional devotion. They were more than helpful A big thank to the very talented photographer Alexandre Bega and his team. We did various good excursions - value for money - A big thanks for the hospitality and animation team, the fantastic and talented Josuah. Wish him Good luck VIGO City Tour Visited a city in Spain and then Portugal. Was an interesting tour. CHERBOURG The trip to Normandy was our favorite excursion of the cruise. It was very moving, our guide well informed, and the museum at the graveyard very well done. Overall it was a fantastic cruise with great values. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
First of all Good prices - Wifi was too expensive and not properly received - The ship cleaned all day long and the pool well kept Our Cabin was properly done every time we needed by Ian Magdaraog - Astonished entertainment ... Read More
First of all Good prices - Wifi was too expensive and not properly received - The ship cleaned all day long and the pool well kept Our Cabin was properly done every time we needed by Ian Magdaraog - Astonished entertainment by people singing different languages - Good and various food for all tastes - Hospitality Service well managed with the help of foreign languages - Mainly Rodrigo with his smile - Very good and warm bar services - with smiling and friendly bar maids - mainly Remy and the blonde girl (forgot her name) The everyday shows were very good with different teams and the show delivered by the various people (non entertainment team) on the day before our departure was great- can't imagine such good talents behind the scene We bought various good excursions - value for money - To end : Very Good cruise to be renewed every time now and then when in need of rest Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Crew and staff are very nice and all the Port excursions are well organised in different languages. Food is very good , especially Italian food, Entertainment is awesome during the cruise. Cabin comfort is good although it was an ... Read More
Crew and staff are very nice and all the Port excursions are well organised in different languages. Food is very good , especially Italian food, Entertainment is awesome during the cruise. Cabin comfort is good although it was an inside cabin, next time it will be one with a balcony. Overall the cruise exceed my expectation. Looking forward for the next one in the Mediterranean next year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This cruise was chosen by Altius Insurance Cyprus (my husband work in this company) as a reward. It was my first cruise, but definitely I will do it again!!! The ship was so clean, nice odor, you could smell the cleaning odors ... Read More
This cruise was chosen by Altius Insurance Cyprus (my husband work in this company) as a reward. It was my first cruise, but definitely I will do it again!!! The ship was so clean, nice odor, you could smell the cleaning odors everywhere. We had cabin 6109. The service was amazing. The man that was cleaning our cabin was so polite. The dining on the second deck was amazing. I was wondering how they could serve so tasty food to thousand people "a la carte". The waiters were amazing...so polite! What impressed me the most was the guy and the team in charge with the entertainment!! I remember his name! Louis...was everywhere...dancing...singing... presenting...amazing humor and energy! But what amazed me the most was the assistant bar manager: Pantelis Zoografos! What a personality! I am a marketer and maybe I evaluate different than other people but his eyes were everywhere, ready to offer his services, to say a joke or to say something nice! Make me wonder if this man was born for this job or maybe the job was invented for him!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This cruise went to all the places we wanted to visit. Our cabin had a balcony and was very clean and comfortable. Our cabin steward Pravin from India was very friendly and efficient. We thought the food was good and in the sit-down ... Read More
This cruise went to all the places we wanted to visit. Our cabin had a balcony and was very clean and comfortable. Our cabin steward Pravin from India was very friendly and efficient. We thought the food was good and in the sit-down restaurant there was a lovely waiter, another Indian called Jackson. In the late afternoon we would usually visit the Bar Marabile where there was another great character, a waiter from the Philippines called Marck. We had a beverage package so we didn't find that we didn't have extra expense from ordering drinks throughout the day. Our only criticism of Costa is that they sent us a questionnaire after the cruise, they had told us that favourable reviews of excellent staff would improve their chances of promotion. However all the questions were "fill in the dots"and no personal input. All the staff were good but that is why I've mentioned our favourites on this site. We didn't really take part in activities except for a couple of quizzes in the bar so I can't offer an opinion although the talent show by the crew is apparently very good. We didn't take part in any shore excursions, preferring to make our own way, partly because the excursions were quite expensive and often a bit long. There was a fierce heat wave at our destinations and we mostly didn't stay longer than a couple of hours ashore. Back at the boat the pool was mostly empty because everyone is off the boat -good tip if you like a quiet pool. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise for its itemerary and price. It was a very good value. You need to understand Costa is an Italian/German line and there's not many English speaking guests on board. If this is a problem for you DO NOTGO ON THIS ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itemerary and price. It was a very good value. You need to understand Costa is an Italian/German line and there's not many English speaking guests on board. If this is a problem for you DO NOTGO ON THIS CRUISE, My wife and I enjoy being around people from around the world. If we want to only be around overweight people speaking English we can just go to the local Cracker Barrel. We had many interesting conversations with guests from all over the world. Unlike Americans, most Europeans can speak English in addition to their native language. Embarkation was a bit chaotic. We waited 2 hours or more in line checking in, On the flip side, disembarkation was very smooth and fast. The food was fine. Not as many choices as to where to eat as we are used to but pretty soon you figure out where to go eat during the day. If you can't decide what to order off the menu just order both choices. You have to pay for most anything, colas, ice cream, etc. The ship is called the Music of the Seas and it lives up to its name, with numerous bars with a variety of music. Our only complaint is that although most of the performers sing and play instruments quite well, they always accompany pre-recorded music. It sounds great having an orchestra behind them but I would prefer the music being all live. Evening shows were very good and good seats were usually available. We did not go on the ship excursions, preferring to arrange them on our own. We used Viator for tours in St. Petersburg and for biking in Tallinn and were very pleased. If you do go rogue and schedule your own tours beforehand in St. Petersburg be absolutely sure your documents are in order or customs won't let you off the ship which would be a major bummer. Overall, we thought the ship was beautiful. Staff was attentitive and food was good. We had a great time! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Cruise Costa Luminosa 1st – 8th July 2017 We have just returned from our first cruise on Costa. After reading lots of negative reports I did go with some trepidation. However the whole cruise exceeded my expectations and wonder if ... Read More
Cruise Costa Luminosa 1st – 8th July 2017 We have just returned from our first cruise on Costa. After reading lots of negative reports I did go with some trepidation. However the whole cruise exceeded my expectations and wonder if I was on the same cruise line as the people complaining. Now this is a positive report so if you are not into that then best stop reading. The whole package was booked through an online travel agent far cheaper than booking direct. There was four of us me, hubby, two daughters age 23 and 16. We chose a premier balcony cabin with drinks package. We had cabin 6339 in the middle of the ship. We left home very early to catch the flight with Ryan air to Venice Marco Polo airport. The flight was fine I was a bit nervous if it was delayed or cancelled then not sure how we would get there. But booking as a package I knew we were protected. I had pre-booked 4 single tickets for the express coach to Venezia P.zzale Roma this was booked direct with their website for 1 euro cheaper than paying on the day. I paid 7 euros per person, if I had booked a return then it would have been cheaper than that. However I wanted to return from Mestre station so booked singles. This worked very well but a bit pushy getting onto the coach. The suitcases are loaded by yourself onto the coach and then showing the ticket you get on. We got to Roma bus station within 25 mins without any stops. I know that ACTV do a bus for the same price but it is a local bus and stops everywhere. We then debated walking from there to the ship but the people mover was there for a reason. I think even though it was walk-able it would not have been easy with suitcases. Don’t be put off by the queues at the people mover it is only for the automated ticket machines that take notes and cards. It will cost 1.5 euros each but worth it. From the people mover it was a 10 min walk to the ship luckily we had wheeled cases. There is a shuttle that takes you there if you can’t manage. We checked in all our luggage and went through to the hall to wait to be called. We were given ‘9’ so knew it wouldn’t be too long. I did find that people with much higher numbers kept trying to get through but were turned away. However they did just stand there blocking the entrance a bit. Why? They are not getting on any quicker. The check-in process was quick and we skirted around the photographer as we were all grubby and didn’t want our photo taken. We then got on board and immediately went to our cabin to drop off our carryons and pick up our cards. First impression of the ship was how beautiful it was. If may be a bit over the top but very glitzy and why not. The glass elevators were amazing so fast. Cabin 6339 Premium balcony We really liked our cabin the room was made up for 4 sleeping and was left that way the whole cruise. This was perfect for us as if we all wanted a nap we all had somewhere to sleep. There was loads of storage two big wardrobes and one shelving unit. There was also a small chest of drawers, a cupboard and two small bedside cupboards. We could fit two of the cases under the bed but the others we stacked in the corner of the room. If we weren’t using both wardrobes then I assume we could have put them there. The cabin was very clean and kept that way the whole cruise. There was a fridge which we used for some snack items. However be aware that on the last night they lock the fridge and not sure what happened to the cake I had in there! I didn’t want it but wondered if there was something else then would it be lost. The balcony was a great size but with 4 in the cabin could do with 4 chairs. However every cruise line we have been on only gives 2 chairs. Dinning We chose the early seating 6:45 pm and wanted a table for 4, which we got. We did debate long and hard about whether we wanted the early or late seating. In hind sight we maybe should have chosen the late seating for some days we were back on board and had missed dinner, but there are pros and cons. The late seating is very late and dinner is a long process. You are not rushed and it would take a couple of hours to have dinner. We loved the slow pace and it felt like an event more than just food. Our server just had 3 or 4 tables to look after so we were very well catered for. He remembered and anticipated our requirements each night. We always had a bottle of wine ready for us and some sprite for our 16 year old. Very polite and courteous young man. The singing and dancing waiters one night was excellent they really put everything into it and got tremendous applause at the end. One night they had to dance with each of the female guests in turn. The quality of the food exceeded my expectations (after reading reviews!). It was perfect for us we love the Mediterranean diet, with the smaller portions and more courses. Some we liked more than others but they were all cooked and presented really well. We tried the breakfast/lunch in the buffet and in the restaurant. It was calmer and more relaxed in the sit down restaurant. We could all eat together and there wasn’t the long queues of the buffet. I liked the breakfast style continental where you could order hot food if you wanted in the restaurant. There was also hot food in the help your self-section of the restaurant. The lunch was all served at the table and was nice to eat in a calm and ordered manor. We did find queuing in the buffet a bit stressful and by the time you have done it and found a table it was cold. Everyone queued nicely but one women insisted on holding up the whole queue as there was no chips left and wanted to wait for them! Why didn’t she stand back and let people through but her plate was not moving from the section! I find buffet stressful in very cruise line though not just Costa. I was disappointed there was no pizza but I knew there wouldn’t be but hoped. You could buy it in the evening but you didn’t see many people doing that. Drinks We bought the drinks package Brindi which turned out to be an excellent buy. Drinks are not cheap on board and being able to get what we liked was great. We are not huge drinkers but it soon adds up, coffee, wine, prosecco, beer etc. Definitely worth it and made it so easy. The waiters were great very courteous and quick we rarely had to wait around very long. I prepaid via my travel agent and it worked out loads cheaper than paying on board or direct with Costa. I paid about £450 for 3 adults and 1 child for a 7 night cruise. Excursions This is the only criticism of the whole cruise. I ordered a trip to Olympia via the website and paid for 4 adults as children price is only up to 13. However the Olympia monument does not charge for children under 18. I queried this with Costa prior to going on the cruise, they couldn’t explain apart from saying it’s their policy. Also 5 days before you cannot cancel or change your excursions. When we arrived on the ship it turned out that we could have just got transfers for 15 euros each paying for our own entry. This was an official transfer by Costa so no worries about missing the ship. Since it is only docked as a tender for about 5 hours we didn’t want to take the chance with a private tour. Also ship tours got priority with the tender boats. We did the tour which was good and the tour guide spoke in English and German. We got to Olympia and she said make sure to only take a paid for ticket if you are not a child! So I queried this with the ship tour desk when we returned and again they didn’t know anything! I know it is petty but I would rather Olympia had the entry fee than Costa or the tour company used. Where has the entrance fee gone? My tip would be unless absolutely desperate to do a particular ship tour wait until you are on board there are deals and cheaper options once boarded. Corfu I had done my homework and knew that there would be a local bus to take us into town or we could walk. Since it was only a 4 hour stop we elected to catch the bus there and look to see the walk was ok. Costa claimed 4K to town centre, not true it is about 2.5 km and a nice easy 25 min walk. The local bus charges 1.7 euros each to the centre. Costa wanted something like 11 euros return! There is a free shuttle bus from the ship to the coach / bus area or you can walk. We tend to walk where ever we can as it is much nicer. Corfu doesn’t need an excursion at all you can wander around the town and enjoy the atmosphere. Since we arrived after 4pm into Corfu all the museums etc. were shutting so if you are interested in the forts then you will be disappointed in the timings. We just wandered bought a couple for nik naks and then stopped for a drink and mixed starter platter. We don’t normally eat off ship but we knew that we would miss dinner (early sitting  ) and thought it made up for it. We had a snack when we got back on in the buffet. Lovely port but could have done with coming earlier and staying a little longer. Katakolon (Olympia) If you don’t want to do an excursion to Olympia then you can just wander around the little port that has shops and bars etc. If I did this itinerary again I wouldn’t bother with the Olympia tour once you have seen it then no need to again. Olympia monument was lovely and very interesting it was good that it was a morning tour as the heat would have spoilt it later. We then had a trip to Olympia town that wasn’t really needed. We wandered around and got back on the bus about an hour later. It is a very busy place and the coaches find it really difficult to stop anywhere. So when you are asked to be there for pick up they really mean it as they have to block the whole road to load up. Mykonos This was our only whole day stop and the seas were too rough to use a tender. So we couldn’t stop, they then sailed around announcing they would let us know where we could stop. It turned into a sea day with an extra half day and overnight a Dubrovnik the next day. Dubrovnik Since we had an overnight stop arriving at midday we decided to walk into Dubrovnik. Now on google maps it said 45 mins, and yes it is a long walk up hill! Really regretted doing it as it was so hot. We walked back as well in the eve but it was downhill and much cooler. The next day we took the local bus at 12 Kuna single ride each person. We bought the tickets at the bus station as it was 3 Kuna cheaper than buying on the bus. Dubrovnik is a great city but on hot days it seems hotter. We explored the town the first afternoon stopping for a drink at the harbour side. Quite expensive in the city for drinks and food. The next day we paid to walk around the walls and it was 150 Kuna per adult and 50 Kuna for under 18s. Well worth doing and is about 1hr to walk. We then explored the city some more and found off a main square a little supermarket. Bought cold drinks and ice creams in there for vastly reduced prices. You are not frowned upon sitting on the steps drinking. There was a little market on and I bought some lovely lavender oils and Rose oil from a stall. Glad we had the extra time as the ship wasn’t originally set to dock until the morning. Venice Well I totally fell in love with Venice, even in the heat of July. It exceeded my expectations in every way. Yes it was crowded in the very touristy spots but a few streets away you could find yourself in an empty square or ally. We bought the Rick Steves guide book and did the walking tours that took us to areas that we never would have found. Well worth buying lots of tips. The food was not as expensive as I had imagined we used trip adviser to find out of the way restaurants and wine bars. We ate where the locals ate and it was fabulous. We added 3 nights onto our cruise to do Venice which allowed us to do the islands of Murano and Burano. Both well worth the boat trip. We bought 3 day travel cards which were needed as our hotel was outside the city. We decided to stay in a 3 star hotel in Mestre a lovely old Italian town. This proved really good as we got off the ship onto the people mover off on the number 2 bus right outside our hotel door. If we had chosen to stay in Venice it would have involved quite a lengthy walk with cases. From Mestre station we took the coach back to Marco Polo airport. Summary Enjoyed our cruise and would not hesitate to take another costa cruise :-) Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We were not sure what to expect as this was our 14th cruise but first with Costa. Previous cruises were with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Norwegian. We selected this cruise because of the itinerary and ports of call. ... Read More
We were not sure what to expect as this was our 14th cruise but first with Costa. Previous cruises were with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Norwegian. We selected this cruise because of the itinerary and ports of call. I had read previous reports and fortunately did not base our decision on these reviews. The cabins were spacious (for a cruise ship) and spotlessly clean. We had the option of having the room made up once or twice a day and selected twice a day. Previous reports talked about the rudeness of other passengers and the pushing and shoving. We never experienced any of this. We did not encounter any other English passengers but all the crew spoke English. If you are English speaking and you are looking to socialize with other guests, this will not be the cruise for you. The crew were AMAZING! They went out of their way to help make our experience memorable. We ate in the dining room 4 out of the 7 nights. There was pasta on the menu each night, so even if we didn't like the featured choices, we could always get a good plate of spaghetti! Because of the late departure on 2 of the nights, we ate ashore. The entertainment was varied and there were multiple dancing venues. I can highly recommend the NeoRiviera. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I have traveled to many places all across the world, but this vacation was my absolute best yet! The Costa Diadema is a huge(really, really Huge) ship with things to do for people in every age. From going to the Daily show att 9.30 PM to ... Read More
I have traveled to many places all across the world, but this vacation was my absolute best yet! The Costa Diadema is a huge(really, really Huge) ship with things to do for people in every age. From going to the Daily show att 9.30 PM to playing bingo, there's something for everybody on this ship! The staff on the costa Diadema is well trained and always put you first. The service is outstanding. We ate dinner in the Fiorentino Restaurant and the food there was amazing! There is a new menu every day where you can choose four different courses. You have the same table and server every night which gives you a "luxurious" feeling. At all the ports you could chose from going on an excursion(which comes with an extra cost) or just take the shuttle bus to the city you where in. We went on several excursions and att all of them there was a professional tour Guide who told us about our different destinations. The cabin was spacious and very clean. You could choose from getting your room cleaned once or twice a day, and during the morning or the evening. Great experience and would love to go again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose The Diadema for a week's cruise around the Med to celebrate family birthdays. We were bowled over with the caring attentive staff on board - every single member working so hard to make our holiday a memorable one. This is, by ... Read More
We chose The Diadema for a week's cruise around the Med to celebrate family birthdays. We were bowled over with the caring attentive staff on board - every single member working so hard to make our holiday a memorable one. This is, by far, the best cruise we have been on. All the staff went that extra mile. Everything on board was immaculate, fully equipped for your every need. The food was of the highest standard and was very tasty and very well presented.. The evening shows were top quality and entertaining. Toilet facilities were immaculate and well stocked with hand towels and toilet paper at all times. This was let down by a small minority of passengers who could not be bothered to flush the toilet after use!!! I guess they have a "poop" fairy that just magically comes along to dispose of it! This was by no means the fault of the ship or crew!! It is not their job to flush the toilets! Hope this is not a reflection of how they would behave at home. There is a vast amount of top entertainment around the ship including Clubs and entertainment for children such as Peppa Pig and Princess and Captain for the day. Also a late night disco for teenagers and youngsters to dance the night away. Again, in some of the venues, a small minority of passengers let their children climb all over furniture with total disregard for other passengers around them! Again it left us thinking how they would act in their home environment! I have children and grandchildren and they love to enjoy life to the full but we would make every effort to stop them from climbing all over the tables and chairs - this was somewhat lacking with some passengers. Again - not the fault of ship or crew members who worked so tirelessly to ensure everyone had a great experience on board. Great facilities for passengers with mobility problems and staff were on hand to assist passengers to their cabin rooms etc.. The cabins were immaculate with super comfortable beds and lovely shower rooms, lots of storage space and a fridge. There were plenty of lifts and we never had to wait for any length of time before one arrived. The ship is very colourful and tastefully decorated. Lovely outdoor pool, jacuzzi areas, indoor pool, well equipped gym , 4D Cinema, Casino, Massage, Laser games, Hairdressers and vast amounts of shops to browse around. Everything was computerised which made for very littlle queing at any Hospitality Desks. I would highly recommend this cruise ship. We have definitely had a holiday to remember with many happy memories made along the way. 10/10 - well done Costa Cruises. Having read some of the reviews on here just before we were due to go on our cruise, we were more than a little apprehensive! We need not have worried so much as our fears melted away as soon as we stepped on to the ship. Will definitely return. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I choose it because I travel with my 81-year old mother and was an excellent opportunity to know different cities by using the cruise as a hotel. I had the chance to stay on a suite with balcony and it was amazing. Wonderful staff and ... Read More
I choose it because I travel with my 81-year old mother and was an excellent opportunity to know different cities by using the cruise as a hotel. I had the chance to stay on a suite with balcony and it was amazing. Wonderful staff and service. Restaurants were great and food was incredible. Since we were on a suite, the menu was different from the other cabins, but, nevertheless we went to the buffet restaurant to have lunch several times and the experience was positive. The only negative thing is related to tours. Sometimes it was difficult to get spanish speaking tours and when we finally managed to have a tour in spanish, some guides did not speak the language fluently (they sometimes read from a folder and they have a very poorly translation of the information they have to give) I love the cruise experience and I will probably repeat it again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinery and largely because it was incredible value at £380 pp. Having read some reviews here we approached with an open mind (first time with Costa) but were very pleasantly surprised. The ship is ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinery and largely because it was incredible value at £380 pp. Having read some reviews here we approached with an open mind (first time with Costa) but were very pleasantly surprised. The ship is very stylishly fitted out, we loved all the detail. All is spotlessly clean and doesn't look the 8 years old that it is. We were upgraded from an inside to a premier balcony cabin and given a lunch and dinner drinks package for free, both were very welcome and made it even better value. We really can't fault anything at that price and it would be hard to even if we had paid twice as much. Food was superb. Service and staff without exception were extremely friendly, helpful and courteous. The only dining criticisms are that buffet hours are limited compared to our previous cruises with nothing available mid morning or after 9pm. Even breakfast and lunch are limited to less than two hours. Also, breakfast and lunch service in the dining room can be slow. Evenings were fine. Coffee and tea were only available from the machines during buffet hours. Water was always available (and was served at the dining table free). Of course everything is available if you pay for it. Entertainment was good with musicians around the ship. The evening shows were of a high standard though not quite the P & O west end style productions. It is of course difficult on such an international ship to provide entertainment to suit all with the language issues. Outside areas are good. Plenty of quiet or noisy areas to choice. We particularly like the 'stacked' rear decks where you can sit out in some shelter and enjoy the rearward view. Many modern ships lack this. We always managed to find a sunbed on sea days eventually but they need to clamp down on people reserving beds. We are not pool people but there are only two pools and the large one with the retractable roof was always enclosed, even on hot days. This made it noisy and steamy. This is probably the only area of the ship that shows it's age and not as stylish as the rest of the ship. It is also used for evening parties and lacks atmosphere. We had a look at the spa and it looked superb if that's your thing. We don't do excursions so can't comment on these. It irked somewhat to be told it was a 4m walk to Corfu and Dubrovnik when it was 2km. This was just trying to sell the expensive shuttle tickets. The local buses, and even taxis if you share, are cheaper an 2km is a reasonable walk. Some have commented about certain nationalities pushing in and jumping queues. We rarely experienced this (there are always a few rude individuals). We found all nationalities mixed very well and the atmosphere on board was lively yet well behaved. All in all it is hard to believe we were on the same ship as some who have reviewed here. The above really is nitpicking but Costa need to know where they can improve an already top notch experience which genuinely is what it was. We had a fantastic time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
As a pensioners we looked for a good value for money cruise and couldn't believe the price we got it for, very reasonable plus we had three days in Venice prior to cruising. We read lots of reviews which were not very favourable but ... Read More
As a pensioners we looked for a good value for money cruise and couldn't believe the price we got it for, very reasonable plus we had three days in Venice prior to cruising. We read lots of reviews which were not very favourable but decided to go ahead anyway, as long as our cabin was clean and the food reasonable we would be OK. The itinerary was very good which was a big plus in choosing this cruise. The ship is magnificent and everywhere spotlessly clean and shining, lots of marble and beautiful lighting, all the lifts were quick, silent and plenty of them. Lots of sunbeds on different levels. Our balcony cabin 6281 was superb with plenty cupboard and wardrobe space, nice bathroom, sofa and table, mini bar, hairdryer, and a very nice touch was a coffee machine (1.55 euros) per cup. The cabin was kept spotless and tidy by our steward and towels were changed twice daily if we wanted them changed (just leave them on the floor ) every evening the next days itinerary was left on the bed along with any other information. All the food in the main dining room was great with lots of choice and if you wanted an extra portion of the same dish then we only had to ask, we had a drinks with meals package ( red, white or rose wine or beer) and glasses were refilled constantly or just ask for another beer and it was there in minutes. Presentation of the food was also very nice especially the deserts. Self service buffet food also plentiful and good choice. We didn't join any on board activities but those who did were obviously enjoying themselves. The evening shows were very good entertainment. Service by all staff was first class, specially waiters and Jessie (our cabin steward) couldn't have been any better. Ports of call very good....Trieste a lovely place, Piraeus (for Athens) Katakolon (for Olympia) Corfu a beautiful place and Dubrovnic another beautiful place. Took a Costa sight seeing trip to Athens which was 30euros each and well worth it.Also used Costa transfer to Dubrovnic old town which was about 10 euros again worth the money. Corfu we used local bus which was very cheap and just a few minutes into town. Overall it was a fabulous cruise, had NO complaints about anything and would certainly recommend to anyone......Well done Costa we will certainly travel with you again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We boarded the Fascinosa from Valletta Malta.When we boarded rightaway we could see that the ship was of high standards and the decoration of the whole ship was amazing.Our cabin was extremly tidy and quite big and comfortable and it had ... Read More
We boarded the Fascinosa from Valletta Malta.When we boarded rightaway we could see that the ship was of high standards and the decoration of the whole ship was amazing.Our cabin was extremly tidy and quite big and comfortable and it had everything we required.Our cabin boy Romeno was friendly and he attended to all our needs.As regards to food on ship,we could t ask for more!There was such a variety of food all through the day that it was impossible not to find something to one s liking...and it was all soo delicious! The evening dinner menu was changed everyday and varied.But my favourite section was the sweets and bakeries...yummy !We made friends with aa waiter at the dinner table...he wasn t exactly our attendent but he served the table behind us but he we still managed to become friends as he was the friendliest guy ever!Good luck Harron..keep up your good work and friendliness.Last but not least I d really like to thank the animation team..they were GREAT!We participated in all their activities and they were all soo good in keeping the atmosphere lively and joyful especially in the evenings.We had such a great time dancing and singing with you!Thanks to all especially to Marco and Rodrigo! All in all ours was an experience that we can never forget and we r sure that whenever it may be our choice of cruise would be Costa! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
we wanted to try a European cruise having sailed previously with p&o , fred olsen , cruise maritime ,Holland America please do not be put off by the many negative reviews food - contrary to the many negative reviews we thought ... Read More
we wanted to try a European cruise having sailed previously with p&o , fred olsen , cruise maritime ,Holland America please do not be put off by the many negative reviews food - contrary to the many negative reviews we thought the food was as good as ,better than most other cruise lines we have been with. Don't expect it to be English , the breakfast is very European , lunch has fast food options pizza ,burgers ,hot dogs ,as well as 7 or 8 cooked options , pasta ,extensive salad buffet , cooked meats ,cold meats , rolls nd cakes tea and coffee ,water and juice was available at all times in the resteraunts last buffet sitting is 6pm -8pm after which there is no more food unless you are on the late dinner sitting 9.15pm we had the piu gusto drinks package , non stop drinks including illy coffee , cocktails ,bear ,spirits and wine , waiters are very attentive and unlike some cruises never leave you with an empty glass, the waiters performance on gala night is something else and not to be missed - entertainment - grand rhapsody bar -ballroom and social dancing until 1am (with occasional hilarious adult games or dance hows between bands sessions) ricks piano bar - fantastic pianist/singer doing easy listinening rock a round the clock bar - live bands and shows lik abba and beatles wien wien bar - classic duo pool deck -regular late night party events (white night party is something special) disco on deck 4 from midnight (for the clubbers) cabin - clean and well presented overall a fantastic cruise ,great value we where also very lucky to meet some wonderfull people on our dinner table (margerat and lynn from scotland and norman and margerat from kent) Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
It seems most of the reviews on this site are from couples, and not very many Americans on Costa. So I thought I would post our impressions and some thoughts in particular regarding kids. Spoiler alert: we loved it! But I can see that ... Read More
It seems most of the reviews on this site are from couples, and not very many Americans on Costa. So I thought I would post our impressions and some thoughts in particular regarding kids. Spoiler alert: we loved it! But I can see that Costa might not be for everyone. My family (me, my wife and two girls aged 11 and 13) went on a one week cruise on the Costa Diadema sailing form Savona on April 8. Basically a different port every day, with only one sea day. I was trying to expose my kids to as many places as possible within our time constraints. While we succeeded in seeing a lot, we may have overdone it, as we were rushing around the whole week. Timing. Our cruise was scheduled around my kid’s spring break from school. This seemed like a great idea to me. I thought it would be less crowded than the summer. I’m not sure it was. Our spring break coincided with Easter week, so there were tons of people everywhere but especially in the Vatican and other cathedrals in Italy. We were at the Vatican the day before Good Friday. At our school, if Easter comes particularly early or late, they will not schedule spring break around it. If you have a situation like that, I would say go for it on spring break. I would not recommend the Vatican during Easter Week. Our kids break was only one week. We flew out of San Francisco on Thursday night and returned a week and a half later on Monday afternoon. Kids had to miss two school days and were actually not happy about that – they are serious students and didn’t want to miss any school, so we tried to minimize it. It was really a lot ground to cover in that time. If we do it again I think we will try the summer. Kids on Costa. On our cruise, there were tons of kids, so you will have lots of company. Our girls are 11 and 13, so we were a little surprised when we were told on check-in that the initial organizational meeting for the kids club would be at 11:30 p.m.! Italian kids stay out later than their American peers, and Italian families like to eat late. Our kids never participated in any of the organized kid’s club events. Aside from the somewhat inconvenient hours, we were just too busy. Ambiance. Hard to explain. The ship was loud and bling, bling, bling everywhere. Lot of excitement, music, shows, kind of crazy. We actually liked it, but if you are looking for peace and quiet it’s hard to find. It was sometimes hard to figure out where things were, how they worked, or what was going on. All of the crew spoke adequate English for their jobs, but not always adequate to give directions, and there seemed to be a lot of confusion on their part about how things actually worked. So if you are a control freak and expect there to be some resource somewhere that finally and definitively spells everything out, I expect you are going to be disappointed. If you can kick back and go with the flow, you will have a great time. Dress. Not nearly as formal as we expected. I had only been on one cruise before, on Norwegian years ago. On that trip, I actually brought two tuxedo jackets, one black and one white, for the two gala nights. No need for that on Costa! Diadema had one gala night. I wore a blazer and tie for it and my girls (big and small) wore cocktail length dresses. Most people didn’t bother. I would say maybe 10% of the men were sporting a jacket and tie that night, and maybe another 10% jacket no tie. We actually packed pretty heavy for the trip as my girls were kind of into the idea of the theme nights (all white, tricolore, black and red). But when we saw how casual everyone else was, they didn’t want to bother to dress up. We could have packed a lot lighter and if we go again we will. The only theme night that had a high percentage of participation was the White Nights. Most of the people that actually went to the White Nights party were wearing white. You often hear in the US that “Europeans are better-dressed than Americans.” There is a lot packed into that statement, not least of which that “Europeans” is a pretty broad term, that includes diverse populations that are not homogenous. I will leave that aside and address only the Europeans on our cruise (practically everyone on our cruise except us was European.). The second nuance is just what you mean by “better dressed.” This can be used to mean either (i) “more formally dressed” or (ii) “more stylishly or fashionably dressed.” I can say that, with respect to the Europeans on our cruise (i) was not true at all. It used to be that you seldom saw adults in Europe wearing jeans, shorts or sneakers unless they were American tourists. This is absolutely no longer the case. I do not think people were dressed more formally than they would be at, say, a resort in the US. However, with respect to (ii), dressing more stylishly, it is true. Everyone you saw just looked better than the average American in terms of their clothes. They were wearing the same general kinds of clothes, just wearing them better. Even families with little kids managed to have everyone clean, matching (where appropriate or desirable!), newish and somehow just together and well turned out, all the time. So I would say, don’t worry about dressing up too much, but do try to bring your “A game” in terms of not wearing worn out clothes or mismatched outfits unless you want to stand out as a schlub. Dining. Fabulous. I actually thought the food alone was worth the price of the cruise, like they were throwing in the accommodation and travel for free. We were assigned to the main dining room, Fiorentino, for the early seating for dinner, which was supposed to start at 6:30. Our biggest challenge of the whole cruise was getting there on time! We basically never were on time. The first night, it was about 8:00 when we were ready for dinner, and they wouldn’t let us in. We went to the Corona Blu for dinner that night, which had open seating with the same menu as the main dining room and had a great meal. We tried that again later in the cruise but were rebuffed, and told that this option was only open for those who had been assigned it as their dinner choice every night. Second night we got to the dining room around 7:30. We bypassed the Maitre D’ by entering through the upper level and going down the internal staircase to get to our table. After we were seated, the Maitre D’ came back to our table and started yelling at me very animatedly in French. I speak French well enough to know what he was saying, but not really well enough to go toe-to-toe with him in real time. He was actually justified at being annoyed at us – we were an hour late after all – but I thought the way he went about it was more than a bit rude. So, I responded with my best Gallic shoulder shrug and a casual “D’ac” while I returned my attention to my aperitif (vermouth, light on the ice, with a lemon twist, not a wedge – I already had the bartender at the Stella del Sud trained!). This turned out to be the perfect response, as he sort of ran out of steam and stomped off, still in a huff. The rest of the week we struggled to get there on time, and ate at the Adularia one night, which also had open seating, and at the buffet one night when we were really late. Although we only made it there half the time, the waiter at our assigned table in Fiorentino (Ahri) was great. Very attentive, perfect English, he would leave wine and water on the table so we could help ourselves (Piu Gusto drinks package is supposed to be by the glass only). He was the only waiter we really talked to much or got to know anything about on the whole ship. He was from Jakarta and was very interested that I had been there recently on business. He was also the only person on the ship that we tipped separately. I figured Costa’s 10 Euro per person per day could take care of the rest of them. On any given day you would likely receive service from literally dozens of people, not necessarily the same from one day to the next, and I don’t see how you could tip them all individually. In general, the whole ship is run pretty efficiently, but it’s kind of an assembly line operation. You are waited on by tons of people, so it’s understandable if the service is not very warm or personal. Overall, I thought almost everything we ordered in the main dining room was good quality, with a thoughtful menu, well presented and served hot. There were usually two to four choices for the main course, two for the other courses or maybe three for desert, along with several “always available” items. It was basically all an Italian menu, although varied and tending towards Northern Italian and a mix of more original dishes and traditional ones. It was not just spaghetti marinara all week, have no fear. My wife was a little disappointed they did not also feature more French or Spanish dishes but overall we were very satisfied. My kids ended up loving the formal dining. I was sort of surprised by this since normally they prefer buffets. They would bring a book or an iPad to dinner and did not mind how long we took. My wife and I would kick back, have a couple (or more!) glasses of wine and really enjoyed the pace, which would be considered very slow by American standards. We had a great table with views out big windows on the stern and a couple nights were able to see the sunset from it. I helped my kids order and encouraged them to order most of the six courses on offer. They would try things and if they liked it they would eat it. I never pressured them to eat anything. This worked great – they tried a lot of things they would not have otherwise, and ended up loving some of them. It was successful in getting them to broaden their palates a little. Breakfast. The buffet selection was pretty big. As many others have noted, it did not include eggs. But for a “continental” breakfast, there was a lot on offer. I prefer complex carbs and protein for breakfast so usually selected whole grain bread, cold cuts and cheese. My wife likes fresh fruit for breakfast and there were always several good choices including fabulous and fresh melon. My kids love pastries and sweets for breakfast and they were in absolute heaven. There was some really good prosciutto, which I liked to have with the melon. In the US, and I suppose in Italy as well, this is usually eaten as an appetizer at dinner, but it worked just fine for breakfast. I think even the pickiest eater should be able to find something they liked here. It’s crowded, but manageable after you learn your way around. If you absolutely have to have bacon and eggs, it is only available in the main dining room. We did this on the one sea day. I had an English Breakfast, which was awful. My wife had Eggs Benedict, which she thought was barely edible. My kids ordered the Belgian Waffles with chocolate sauce and whipped crème, which they pronounced delicious. We didn’t bother with the cooked breakfast after that. Lunch. We only had lunch on the ship two days, the day we arrived and the sea day. The buffet both days was vast but insanely crowded. The food was good, especially the roast suckling pig, but the mob scene sort of detracted from it. Drinks. We got the “Piu Gusto” drinks package and I highly recommend it. Everyone in your cabin or traveling together has to get the drinks package if anyone does, and I wasn’t sure if my kids would get the value from it. I needn’t have worried. Kids enjoyed a steady stream of hot chocolate (including multiple flavor variations from the “chocolate bar”), smoothies and Shirley Temples and other virgin cocktails. They really liked being able to get whatever they wanted whenever they wanted (I liked that too!). They normally are not allowed to drink soda or other sugary drinks at home, so this was a treat. One funny thing about the drinks package is that it included almost anything you could want to drink, but you could only get water by the glass, not a bottle. This was inconvenient if you wanted to have water in your cabin. I would basically stop by the nearest bar and get four glasses and carry them back to the cabin. Kind of silly. Cabin. We booked last minute, and we had no flexibility on dates due to kid’s school schedule. We got what I was told was the very last four person cabin on the ship, and that may have actually been true as I got on a waitlist to upgrade but did not get an opportunity. The ship was very full due to Easter holiday. The only cabin available was an interior one, with one queen bed and two bunk beds to the sides over it. Really cramped for four people! My only prior cruise experience was with two people in a suite with a balcony on, if I recall, the top deck of the ship, so this was a different experience. Having said that, the cabin was laid out very well and efficiently with lots of storage. We hardly spent any time in the cabin, literally just sleeping, showering and changing clothes, and my family cooperated and made the best of it. If we do it again we will upgrade to balcony cabin at a minimum, and maybe a suite. The best part about the cabin we had? I kept reminding myself what a great price we got! Shore excursions. We went on shore at every opportunity, and most days stayed as long as we could. On three days, the days where we had more ground to cover, we booked tours through Costa. On two days we toured on our own. I thought the Costa tours were well run, interesting and packed a lot in. I was aware that we could book tours independently and save some money. I was afraid that if we toured independently and were late returning to the ship, we might get left behand. If we were on a bus full of people who were all late on a Costa-booked cruise, I figured they would have to wait for us or at least put us up and get us to the next port or something. This theory got tested on our day in La Spezia. It was Good Friday, and we did the longest, most jam-packed tour available, going to Florence and Pisa (In one day! This is probably a criminal act, and if not it should be.). Every place was swarming with tourists, and the bus was quite late getting back. But they waited for us! Price. I thought the whole thing was very reasonably priced, and if you spend a few minutes pricing cruises on websites you will see Costa is consistently competitive or lower than the competition. I felt we got good value for money. Travel Tips. We flew into Milan via Istanbul on Turkish Airways. I think a lot people, especially Americans, are afraid to go through Istanbul, and many of our friends scrunched up their noses when we said we were flying Turkish. I think this is misguided. Although there have been terrorist incidents in Turkey, nowhere is immune from this in today’s world, and when you factor overall crime rates, I believe you are safer there than in many American cities. Because of this skittishness, Turkish Airlines is offering great fares right now. It is an old school “flag carrier” which means service is far superior to what you will get on an American airline in the back of the plane. I chose the longest layover in Istanbul offered, 24 hours. We booked a hotel in the Old Town, toured some historic sights, had a great meal and overall had a wonderful finale to our vacation. Highly recommend both Turkish Airways and a stop in Istanbul. We had access to airport lounges in Milan and Istanbul through “Priority Pass” which is offered as a perk through many credit cards in the US (and I assume worldwide). This is a very valuable bonus and made the layovers much less stressful. My kids normally get pretty cranky waiting in airports, but with a clean, comfortable place to sit, wifi, snacks and drinks, they really didn’t care when the plane left! If you don’t otherwise have lounge access you should look into it. Bottom Line. If you want a high energy, fun-packed experience that covers maximum ground in a limited time in a part of the world rich in history, Costa Diadema, should be on your list. You should think twice before going to Rome Easter Week, however. If you want to kick back and relax on spring break, I suggest you might want to look into Club Med in Mexico! For us, I think we will do it again, likely Eastern Mediterranean next time, but will probably go in summer, book a bigger cabin and not try to do everything in one week. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
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