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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
This was a cruise I especially looked forward to , going North along the Norwegian coast had been on my to do list for a long time . The Costa Neoromantica is relatively small compared to the ships we have sailed on previously , and it was ... Read More
This was a cruise I especially looked forward to , going North along the Norwegian coast had been on my to do list for a long time . The Costa Neoromantica is relatively small compared to the ships we have sailed on previously , and it was our first Costa experience . We embarked in Amsterdam after a transatlantic flight , and we ended up being the first to arrive at the terminal . This gave me high hopes we would also be among the first to board the ship . We ended up being among the last , which reflects how poorly organized the process was . This was also the first time we had to stand in line again inside the ship to get our credit card hooked up to our Costa card . As expected everyone was sent to the buffet restaurant to have lunch , by the time we got some food it was almost 3 o'clock . Our cabin was just a standard balcony cabin , but it was surprisingly spacious , and the storage was the best I ever experienced on a cruise ship . I pounced on the coffee maker on the desk , because to my dismay there was no drink station at the restaurant . You actually have to pay for every cup of coffee or tea except at breakfast . Really , Costa ??? I mean , you get used to being charged for lots of things on cruise ships , but on all other ships we could get at least coffee , tea , and water at beverage stations in the buffet restaurant . Surprise , surprise , every coffee pod for the machine in the cabin was added to your bar tab . Being the tech nerd that I am , I purchased 3 hours of internet time to do some emailing etc , and I kept track by writing down my log-in times . They cut me off after half the time telling me my time was up . The arguing with guest services didn't do anything . They insisted they were right . I sprang for one more hour later into the cruise , got cut off after half the time . I had enough after that and decided to do without . The food in the buffet restaurant was not bad , selection was good , the ice cream was fabulous . However , the food they served at dinner in the main dining room was mediocre at best and heavily fish based . A couple of times I had to return my food because it was simply inedible . Never happened to us before on any ship we were on , and we have been on lots . The one really good thing was the itinerary , we got to see some marvellous sights and magnificent landscapes . If you decide to go for it , bring a good supply of Gravol , we ran into some really rough seas . No More Costa for me after this experience . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
The first cruising trip with my boyfriend. We were so excited for it. This was something we longed for a very long time. A 6D5N trip, from Shanghai to Nagasaki and Kobe is our choice. We booked for a balcony cabin because of the limited ... Read More
The first cruising trip with my boyfriend. We were so excited for it. This was something we longed for a very long time. A 6D5N trip, from Shanghai to Nagasaki and Kobe is our choice. We booked for a balcony cabin because of the limited budget. Both of us believed in an old saying in Chinese: a buck in exchange of a buck’s worth service. So we didn’t expect much. In contrast, the sea view turns out to be absolutely stunning!! We had a great time spending overnight in the balcony. We watched the sunrise with the dolphins swimming. The buffet area was filled with sea and sky view. In fact, we enjoyed the view more than the food. The food was not bad though. They was traditional Italian dessert called “Cannoli” which I love the most! If you like to eat dessert, you couldn’t leave without eating it in the Club Restaurant. Swimming alone was always a precious sport to pursue. I went to the swimming pool 30 minutes after the meal. I felt flesh and blood after exercises. So did my mind. I didn’t remember the route to get to my room! I got lost! Haha. Fortunately leading the way back to my room was part of the customer service. The staffs was nice enough to lead me until I set foot in the door. We went offshore and had a One-Day Tour in Nagashima. The atmosphere and clean environment in Nagashima were excellent. There were so much entertainments to we could do in the ship. Live music, Opera each night after dinner, art and craft sessions. We joined the Captains Night once. We got dressed up and showed off. LOL. This was our first taste of cruising. After all, we felt great and would definitely bring my parents next time and let them feel how relax I felt this time. After this trip, I concluded who suitable for cruising trip. 1. People who won’t have seasick: you could feel the cruise shaking 2. Family trip with seniors: you don’t need to spend too much energy on moving from one spot to another. Keep packing and unpacking the luggage is tedious thing to do.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
we went on this cruise for our sons 21st birthday it was booked back in january 2014.i read quite a few of the reviews regarding the ship and type of holiday and although people are entitled to their opinion i thought some of the bad ... Read More
we went on this cruise for our sons 21st birthday it was booked back in january 2014.i read quite a few of the reviews regarding the ship and type of holiday and although people are entitled to their opinion i thought some of the bad reviews were a bit harsh, i was wrong the reviews were right, i know the ship is run by a italian company but did not realise so many foriegn people would be on it our group of 5 people were the the only english people.Apart from the theatre in the evening time any announcements were all done in foreign languages apart from maybe about 2 times,i can not fault the staff or the cabin room, we have been on other cruises and the cabin room was loads bigger (inside cabin aswell) the food was ok mainly italian catered for and i agree with one of the reviews the italians were the most ignorant people we have met and did not like queueing for food even when they could see the queue but were pushing in all the time at which point after about 2 days of putting up with this me and my husband no longer did and had quite a few arguments with said people and told them to get to the back of the queue and queue like the rest of us had to and they do understand english?????also on costa cruises you only get free water throughout the day and fresh orange juice in the morning(unless you purchase there drinks packages the cheapest being about £25.00 each per person per day hence we did not have this) of which your not suppose to but most of these people were filling up bottles hence holding up the people queueing for drinks,if they got seen they were told off but did this very crafitly ,the italians also gorged themselves on the food piling there plates with huge masses of food but then did not eat it all which was a great waste and taking this amount of food in the first place meant less for everyone else but they were not bothered about this.and as usual the old sunloungers debate people putting towels on sunbeds but not actually being any where near there sunbed and also people taking your stuff off your sunbed (we had only gone to the toilet) and came back to other people on our sunbeds tannoy annoucements were made but still not adhered to and other charges that you need to be warned about. everytime you order a drink there is a service charge on it and as well as this you are charged everyday another service charge which is payable every day for each person and was 8 euros each per day per person which in the exchange rate worked out bout £9.60 so for 10 day for us 5 which equates to about £480.00 and although the travel agent told us about the service charge she didnt know if this was optional and she did not know how much it would be rubbish travel agent???? so my advise is to anyone thinking of going on a cruise dont go on any costa cruises as we felt we were being ripped off all the time and the word cattle market came to mind as you just felt like you were being herded round all the time especailly at meal times so avoid avoid theres plenty of other cruise liners out there. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
We had a generally nice cruise (2 adults, 2 children). The crew was very polite, the ship very clean and well decorated, the program of free entertainment very rich. However, it was relatively expensive everything it was not included in ... Read More
We had a generally nice cruise (2 adults, 2 children). The crew was very polite, the ship very clean and well decorated, the program of free entertainment very rich. However, it was relatively expensive everything it was not included in the cruise package (excursions [well organized] etc). Our cabin was in the size I imagined, well climatized and served. No problem with the food; well cooked and satisfactory variety. You can also fill small bottles with water on the 9th deck. No smoking rules were strictly kept throughout the cruise. You have to know english or italian to communicate easily with most people (the tourists are mainly italians). In reception some speak more languages (french, german etc). The pools are rather small. It's not a good idea to take a bath in them with many others aroynd you. The free time we had in some ports (Venice, Corfu) was less we expected. I would travel again with Costa. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
To celebrate my 40-year-old birthday and my husband’s 50-year-old birthday, we decided to book a suite for our son and us. We have tried a cruise with Royal Caribbean before, so we hoped that the experience would be at least just as ... Read More
To celebrate my 40-year-old birthday and my husband’s 50-year-old birthday, we decided to book a suite for our son and us. We have tried a cruise with Royal Caribbean before, so we hoped that the experience would be at least just as pleasant and where looking forward to some luxury with a butler and other nice stuff being pampered a little when we finally have the yearly vacation together. Our expectations were not met at all. We experienced a ship filled with people not happy to work there and therefore the service was not nearly as good as it should be. When talking to another couple at dinner, who had tried other Costa ships, they said, that they had never tried a mood so bad before. They told us that the staff are usually happy and ready to give you a good time, but that is not what we saw at the Costa Serena at all. We decided to buy an all-inclusive drink package that should be easy to manage. Order and drink. It was not easy at all. In the leaflet, Costa had written, that at dinnertime we could choose between 3 different wines and that a wine list specially made for the all-inclusive drink guests would be presented, so we were looking forward to that. At dinnertime, the waiter looked at us strangely when we pointed that out and would only serve 1 wine which I did not like at all. That next day we went to the information desk to find out what was going on and after talking to different people, the lady assured us that it would be taking care of that night, but unfortunately it was not. We were only served that same bad wine. The next day we complained to the Maitre D in the restaurant at dinner, and for some strange reason, the man had never heard or seen that the all-inclusive guests should have a wine list and different wines to choose from so I handed him the leaflet with the information. After consulting again with his boss he told us, that they would create a wine menu and that it would come in 15 minutes time as written in the all-inclusive drink leaflet. When I asked him if we were the only people ever buying the all-inclusive drinks and why they had not such a menu already as they should have, he just gave us attitude and said angry to me, if I thought it was easy to make such a menu. We did not ask for anything other than stated in the drink package! This experience was just unnecessary and did not make our experience pleasant at all. On a cruise, you are supposed to relax and be pampered and instead we experienced one thing after the other being annoying and not very pleasant. Our headwaiter told us the last day that he had been working on the ship for 9 months and he was VERY tired. He was looking forward to get off in the same port as us. No wonder a lot of the crew members were no fun at all if that is how they work. But again, that just took away from the experience we had hoped for and as a customer paying a lot of money for an experience, this ship was a total disappointment. Setting aside the very bad food and the horrific lunch time where you literally have to fight yourself through thousands of other guests because there are only 1 place to eat lunch, a couple of bad shows where people just looked at each other not bothering to clap, there was also the strange “entertaining” trio in the Grand Bar with a big dance floor, where the “singer” only sang to every fifth song and otherwise just stood and held the microphone. The “saxophone player” started every song by a mouse click on a computer and otherwise stood there holding his saxophone and not playing as the computer did that for them. This was extremely weird to look at and as they were there every day we got to know their routine, and Costa could have spent just a little more and found somebody willing to perform and not just stand on a stage holding a microphone and a saxophone. On the fifth day, I ordered a drink and a limoncello as I had done the other days and was now told that I could only order one thing at a time. The all-inclusive leaflet did not mention anything about that and it was first 2 days before leaving we were told this. Then we had to visit the information desk again and was this time met by a very aggressive lady who definitely not had the personal resource at that time to take care of our problem. She called somebody who could tell her that this is “company policy” so that people do not get drunk to easy. This was not mentioned anywhere, it had not been this way the first 5 days, this was both alcoholic drinks, warm beverage and cold beverage and did not make any sense. I could not order a beer and a bottle of water to take to my room, because I could be drunk to fast? It looked like that Costa and the crew members uses the term “company policy” when they want to make a rule up not mentioned anywhere, as they had done this a couple of times. The worst thing about the cruise was that our troubles did not end when leaving the ship. As you are to give a credit card number when entering the ship so that Costa can later withdraw the money that you have spent on board, we of course expected them to take the amount we had spent and that would be it, but that is not how it went. When they had withdrawn the right amount, we found out that our credit card suddenly could not be used anymore, as there were no money available on the card. There should be money on the card, so we called our bank that could tell us that Costa had reserved nearly 2000 Euro MORE on our card, so they could not do anything and we could not use the card. When calling Costa Cruises we were just told that we could not call their bookkeeping department as you can only send them a mail. Very unsatisfying when something like this happens. When my husband wrote the bookkeeping department, we did not hear anything from them. Not a mail saying that they had received our mail or anything. The next couple of days strange amounts was released on our credit card in different portions so that we now again can use our credit card. We have still not heard anything from Costa. Not an explanation or anything else. Very strange behavior. Another thing that is very odd and frankly not OK at all is the way they handle the tips. When I have had a bad experience on board, I do not feel like mandatorily giving a huge amount in tips as I have to with Costa. I would like to choose to give a tip to the people who have made my vacation better and a pleasant trip. This is what we did when using Royal Caribbean and that gave the crewmembers incentive to treat the passengers as good as possible. If they do not then they do not get many tips. One positive thing can be said about this cruise and that is the boarding and leaving procedures when paying a little extra to get a suite. We were supposed to be “VIP” guests, what ever that means, so we had gotten these red things to put on our luggage. When we loaded the luggage on board in Savona, the lady asked us, if we were VIP and we pointed to the red things on our luggage and she said that we had not and gave us a number for the boarding queue as everyone else. After waiting in the very warm hall with everybody else, I could see from the progress on the queue that it would take a while for us to board so I told my husband that it is strange, that everybody should be in the same line, if we were so-called “VIP”, so he went to the information desk and the nice lady there told us, that of course we should not be in the same queue as everybody else. Thanks luggage-loading-lady for the wait in the hot waiting area! We got another number for the red-carpet line and got on board very quick. This of course would not have happened if we had not went to the information desk to check again. We are not use to luxury like this but when we for once spend the extra money on something just a little more “over the top”, then give us all you got! Not a butler we only saw about 5 times doing the cruise not helping much with anything without us asking for it. Not a cleaning lady not giving us 1 single pillow sculpture. Not a suite with a balcony where we could not sit or open the door because both neighbor-suites smoked. Not a staff so tired and certainly not happy to work there or make my family’s cruise something to remember. Not a ship lacking in most areas. Bad and very small swimming pools and very bad quality of food can also be mentioned and not helping the experience at all. My family and I will definitely not be using Costa Cruises again as there are so many other companies that will take our money and hopefully make our future vacations something to remember…..in a positive way.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Background information, family of 4 with children from 1993, and 1998 (This year 20 and 16, first time travelled when they were 13 and 17) All Cruises in Mediterranian first one Venice, Split, Athens, Turkey, Dubrovnik - Venice and two ... Read More
Background information, family of 4 with children from 1993, and 1998 (This year 20 and 16, first time travelled when they were 13 and 17) All Cruises in Mediterranian first one Venice, Split, Athens, Turkey, Dubrovnik - Venice and two days at see, second time Venice, 4 greek places, Venice and two days at see. Third time with Costa Savona, Rome, Naples, Sea, Palma De Mallorca, Barcelona, Marseille and Savona. We drove all three times, the first two trips was inclusive a week on a campsite in a mobile home. WONDERFUL DEAL that unfortunately do not exist anymore. Ship information.. can be found on Costas home page. Not so many activities that we used except the shows, and they were poor compared to NCL. Service in the restaurant was good. The two waiters were smiling and happy, and I am sure if they could have, and were allowed to, I could have gotten my coffee after dinner. Port and shore excutions - seemed equal to other cruiselines, when I look around. Travel to embarkation, we drive from Denmark, and we had a week this time in Nice first, so this was not bought from Costa. Cabin was OK, but the housekeeper, wasn't that excellent. He was not bad, but he was not good. I think perhaps, he just didn't know better. Dining - The food was OK, but it was not splendid. Childrens Club - we did not use. Entertainment, the shows were poor compared to NCL, but OK, not brilliant, or overwelming, just a little below average. Disembarkation. Was a surpricing experience, we couldn't choose ourselves, when to disembark, FORTUNATELY we were given an early disembarkation time (9 AM), which is good, as the drive to home is long. So we were in the car 9:45 packed and ready, and arrived in DK at 4:30 the next morning. It was OK. Summary: (conclusion is, I will not choose Costa again, I don't dare, Prefer to be sure to have a perfect vacation) Good things with Costa compared to NCL: - fast embarkation in Savona, Both with luggage and personal. We had checked in from home, so it took just a few minutes, once we were called in. - My husband says the shower was bigger. I think it is because at Costa it was a curtain, on Norweigian it is a glass door. So with his shoulders he had some place problems. - Advantage to be able to embark and disembark in many ports. I think (but I don't know) if this is the reason for the fast embarkation. Some might dislike it because the drill excercise then had to be performed more often, which meant that the drilling bell rang the signal several days, instead of only one. - A fixed table, in the restaurant, with the same two waiters all week. Both friendly, smiling and open. - There seemed to be more sun beds (or we are better at understanding the system now). Good things on NCL compared to Costa: - Plenty of clean 'public toilets' all over the ship. None were ever dirty, or broken. - Welcome/Goodbuy by the director and the captain (small thing, but it made it personal) - Can't remember it it was once or twice a day, but a bucket of ice + water in the cabin. - Water, juice, icecubes, tea and coffee available all day all decks any time. - Buffets and several others open all day (meaning if you were late, it wasn't a problem, or if you went ashore, there would still be food for you. - In the all inclusive restaurants : One side in the menu is the same every day. One of the meals was a steak (every day). The other side of the menu changed depending on the port destination. - You could order food from buffet, if you had a picky child, that wanted just that. - Water all the time also during dinner,. - Free movies in all languages during the day/night. - Shows SO much higher quality - Presentation in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian. Fast -but presented. - many good lounges - Free popcorn (important for the children) - Free Softice (though we in the family have a rule only to eat one ice or one cake a day) - In the Fitness club it was possible to use the big room for personal excercises when unused. - So much better Fitness facilities. - Strict rules around smoking and the personal was not afraid to make smokers aware of it. - Rules in the pool were not to be negociated! (no babies without diper pants, and no children under 16 in the adult pool) - Many restaurants to pay extra for (not that we do, but we would have if it was possible at Costa) - Food so much better prepared. - Much more vegetables and fruit available - Hygiene much higher - Sprayed hands going in or out on the ship. - When going ashore and coming back there was always a 'tent' with cold water, cold washing cloths, and white dressed waiters serving the cloths. So after a hot day in e.g. Santorini - while waiting to come on board (e.g. on the tender boat) one could drink water, and fresh the face, and hands. - Small thing, but So appreciated. - Possible to order coffee in the restaurant...! (For me a BIG minus on Costa that I couldn't) - Possible to have a bottle of wine, and not drink it all, and have it brought from restaurant to buffet or vice versa (not a problem on NCL) - Getting of the ship was easy, there were ALWAYS personal directing people to the right level, and the right side and end, and the signs were ALWAYS correct.! - Clean bathroom in the cabin.... - The menu on the all inclusive restaurants was known and visible on the day, so one could decide to eat in the buffet, if it wasn't what one wanted, or at an 'extra payment restaurant'. General comments: The biggest problem with Costa was, that despite the fact it was all inclusive. Water was not available all day- only during breakfast, and lunch. That is not all inclusive I think. Personally I will not pick Costa again, unless some things change. We picked it because on a ranking list(which I can't find right now) Costa was higher up than NCL, so it should - on paper - be better. Unfortunately I don't think so, and I do believe the director on Costa Serena did a poor job. Shows were presented in the loud speakers. She wasn't very visible. (Compared to the director on NCL He is a chapter for himself we think) Bad things compared to NCL: In General we experienced smiling and happy personal, Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
The food in the dining room and the lunch buffet had excellent food. A buffet option should also be available. I have to say that the dining experience was not very pleasurable in several ways. The last night, the entree didn't arrive ... Read More
The food in the dining room and the lunch buffet had excellent food. A buffet option should also be available. I have to say that the dining experience was not very pleasurable in several ways. The last night, the entree didn't arrive until one hour and twenty minutes had passed. The shortest time for the entree to arrive was 55 minutes. I have to say that I ate much wonderful Mediterranean seafood and other dishes. So many children were running around the dining room and screaming while the waiters were carrying their heavy trays that a possible dangerous situation was there. Some children were crawling down the aisles and under the tables. A few were climbing the dividing walls. Some were jumping down short flights of steps for entertainment. This is not my idea of a good dining experience. I had a nice roomy cabin. Noise started about midnight above my head and continued (every night) until about 2 am. The kitchen was there. The excursions were very good. I don't recommend the "total freedom" excursions, although some might benefit from them. The independence in this type of excursion was not good for me who needed more guidance to see the sights. The ship decorations look like they were planned by someone who had taken hallucinogenic drugs. They were very ugly and disturbing to look at. The brass sculptures were nice, the others look like an acid trip (although I have not had the experience).   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
Before leaving on this cruise, I read some reviews on cruise critic and was a bit concerned, but the itinerary of this trip was too appealing. Now, I am wondering what people's expectations were? I found the staff extremely helpful, ... Read More
Before leaving on this cruise, I read some reviews on cruise critic and was a bit concerned, but the itinerary of this trip was too appealing. Now, I am wondering what people's expectations were? I found the staff extremely helpful, switching languages effortlessly and answering every question clearly. The cabin was lovely and constantly being tidied and cleaned. I am celiac and the attention paid to ensuring gluten free dining was amazing. Evenings in the dining room revealed one waiter looking after all the gluten free diners scattered at various tables exclusively. The menu selection was wonderful and the meals delicious- the portion size was exactly what it should be- no need to worry about over eating and gaining weight on this trip. Breakfast and lunch for the gluten free crowd was again in the dining room in a specially marked area. Again, the staff was attentive and the meals delicious. One waiter almost dived across the table to save me from eating a non gluten free bun that had been left for the partner of another passenger who was not celiac. We had a good laugh. A few questions to other reviews- Why do you need to see the captain so badly and talk to him? Doesn't he have a job to do? If I saw the captain regularly, I would be concerned The entertainment may not have been for everyone every night, but some nights were great. The choices of other bars could surely let you find something to do and listen to. The staff in the bars were also interesting to talk with and provided great service. I have a feeling that what made my trip outstanding and perhaps left others wanting, was the dinner assignments. I lucked out with a great group and then met other fascinating people at breakfast, lunch and the excursions. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
We are veteran cruisers but this was our first time to sail on Costa. Costa took the fun out of shipboard life. On our cruise of the Norwegian fiords we were charged three Euros for every one liter of water in the dining room. Free iced ... Read More
We are veteran cruisers but this was our first time to sail on Costa. Costa took the fun out of shipboard life. On our cruise of the Norwegian fiords we were charged three Euros for every one liter of water in the dining room. Free iced tea was not an option either. Though water was free in the buffet for breakfast and lunch, there was no buffet at dinner time. Instead Costa offered salad,pizza, and dessert for four Euros in the buffet area if one chose not to go to the dining room in the evening. There was a charge in the buffet in the evening for water, tea, etc. We soon realized that even though we drink wine, water is necessary for our health and so we purchased plenty of it but we did not like being charged for it. The only cookies on board, according to what I was told by the maitre de, were sugar cookies at tea time. With no buffet, there was no option to go and get an evening dessert in the buffet except for one night's very late evening party. The ship's photography department printed the best photos from the customer's onboard sitting in a giant size of about 12 X 15 inches. When we wanted the best photo in a series of photos, they said to print it in a smaller size we must pay for two photos "to recompense" them. The 8 x 10s were 19 Euros and the 12 X 15s were 29 Euros. They were definitely not customer friendly and we responded by not buying any. Our cabin attendant was very pleasant and did her job well. She was the bright spot for us in the Costa cruise personnel. Each time we walked through the casino during the hours it was open we noticed it had no more than about ten percent of the tables or machines occupied. Since cruise ships usually make a big percentage of their profits through their casinos, we had to wonder if Costa is trying to make up for lack of casino activity with charging for water and photographs, a poor strategy at best in my opinion. We do not foresee ever sailing Costa again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
Our Baltic/Norway cruise was July 5-19. Luminosa is a beautiful newer ship and our room was very nice. Costa still has a way to go to get me back. - Charging for water at dinner was unbelievable. - Same for yoga and spinning sessions ... Read More
Our Baltic/Norway cruise was July 5-19. Luminosa is a beautiful newer ship and our room was very nice. Costa still has a way to go to get me back. - Charging for water at dinner was unbelievable. - Same for yoga and spinning sessions (13 Euros each time). - Want pizza after 6:30....then pay extra. - Want a nice dinner....reserve a table at their special restaurant for 25 Euros each person. - Want room service....pay extra. - If you want food available at any time go somewhere else because there is no 24 X 7 food. The dining room food was ok but not great - the service was very good however. When in port you are pretty much on your own as no port information provided either before hand or at the dock is to tell you where the ship docks, public transportation available etc. Seems like Costa is pushing their excursions and shuttles. They were very efficient in handling the excursions and do a nice job getting people off the ship quickly. Beware that there will not be many English speakers, we had less than 100 out of 2200. Wasn't a major problem but can impact English excursion options. Read Less
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