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305 Costa Cruise Reviews

The ship is a very beautiful ship. It is a Carnival Destiny (Sunshine) class ship that has a slightly different layout. The decoration is very well done with some odd art work here and there. The cabin was standard to all other ships I ... Read More
The ship is a very beautiful ship. It is a Carnival Destiny (Sunshine) class ship that has a slightly different layout. The decoration is very well done with some odd art work here and there. The cabin was standard to all other ships I have been on. This was my first time on an Italian ship. I have cruised on British and American ships more times then I can count. The ship did pick up an drop off passengers at every port which I had never experienced before but did not affect our vacation in any way shape or form. The biggest difference was of course the language for all activities (except the production shows) were all in Italian (Production shows were fabulous by the way)... which is understandable. I'm not much of a dance lesson, trivia contest guy anyway. The dining was the biggest not so good surprise... The food on this Italian ship is the most different then any other ship I have sailed on ... The breakfast was always continental not the typical huge American/british fatty breakfast. The pizza and ice cream which is normally free on the American/ british ships was an upcharge (our kids were disappointed). There was not a free coffee, tea, water dispenser available all day like other ships... It was only available for buffet meal times which kind of forces you to get the drink package... The food in general compared to carnival, rccl, norweigen, celebrity, etc. you could see how this cruise line pays significantly less for quality and if you do want the quality food you have to pay an upcharge (do not expect to get a free lobster night and chocolate molten cake). On to the service... The service from waiters, bar staff, was wonderful... The room steward service on this ship and all other ones I have been on gets worse every time I sail so that was not surprise. All the workers I met spoke English along with Italian, and other languages so was very impressed and humbled as I am in the typical American that only knows English. I admire anyone that can learn other languages. The ports are the main reason why we picked this ship... We were in a port every day except one and got a chance to explore castles, cathedrals, and beaches. We chose to travel on the busiest month in Italy so we did pay extra for that but it was the only time work permitted average was $1000 per person. I do overall recommend this cruise line but as an American and having cruised on more American and British ships... I will go out of my way in the future to make sure the next cruises we go on are American or British mainly because of the comfort level of the language and food make the whole experience way more appealing and on a vacation that is very important. That is why I gave this ship an average rating... This ship was lacking overall a feeling of southern hospitality if you know what that means then you will understand... All other ships and lines I have been on have a deep feeling of southern hospitality but this one did not. That is the best way I can describe it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
In my opinion this cruise has one port missing. It arrives in Stockholm on a Friday, boarding is on a Saturday, then it leaves for Helsinki, following is 2 days St. Petersburg, then a short time in Tallin. The day after is again in ... Read More
In my opinion this cruise has one port missing. It arrives in Stockholm on a Friday, boarding is on a Saturday, then it leaves for Helsinki, following is 2 days St. Petersburg, then a short time in Tallin. The day after is again in Stockholm, and the following day you have to disembark. I can't understand why they don't add Latvia for example instead of docking for 2 days in Stockholm. Otherwise it would have been nice to have 3 days in Russia, but Stockholm is the least city that one has to see. Something about the ship, decor is very old, brown and orange everywhere, breakfast very poor, bacon and sausages are not even good for dogs...thanks God they offered meat in the grill section which I enjoyed very much for breakfast. In the evening we ate at the sit-in restaurant, food taste average, food decoration very nice. Entertainment during sit-in dinner ZERO neither some background recorded music except for the Italian night and the gala dinner where there was live entertainment which we enjoyed very much. At the pool area NO MUSIC except when there are organised activities which happen only when the ship is at sea...I find this so stupid as it is costless to put a nice music on through a CD...The pool slide on Costa Magica was delusive..it is opened only for 1 hr if you're lucky. So, we booked this ship for the slide and when we boarded we could'nt even use it, we had to wait until the last day to go on it 3 times as they did'nt advise its opening times and we encountered it open by chance....why? we presume so that they won't have to repaint it since the blue colour comes off on your swimsuit or because they don't want to waste human resources to guard the slide. As for the bar service, we bought Piu Gusto for all the cabin which was a family of 4. One of us went to get 2 drinks from the pool bar and the barman humiliated him by asking him for another card....why when our package included unlimited drinks? why ruin guests holiday experience with this approach?? as for children activities the Peppa Pig activities were great and the children had so much fun in the Squok Club...so well done to them. I was going to forget about this...this is unbelievable but true...guys forget that you will be getting an ice cream or a nice milkshake on the ship...if you want one you have to pay for it...this is our 5th cruise and we never encountered anything similar!! As for the Photos...when they will learn that if they reduce the price they will sell more? it's unbelievable how many photos they throw away after every cruise when if they sell them at least half the price many people will be encouraged to buy them...very greedy and stupid behavior in my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Visiting the places we were interested in. Good value for money and suits all budgets. Booking in was very efficient. The ship it’s self was very ornate bars, lovely theatre & lounges. The food was ok if not fab, but ... Read More
Visiting the places we were interested in. Good value for money and suits all budgets. Booking in was very efficient. The ship it’s self was very ornate bars, lovely theatre & lounges. The food was ok if not fab, but bearing in mine the cost it was good value for money. The cabin staff, lounge staff and restaurant were lovely. What spoilt our experience somewhat was the aggressive attitude of the bar staff and some reception staff. We always treat all the staff with respect and a smile but some staff thought it was ok to be rude and aggressive. We did the Stockhol, Helsinki, St Petersburg, TAllinn stops and i would highly recommend these, take an extra day in Stockholm as there is plenty to see. At this point I am not sure I would book Costa again, purely due to the number of times I encountered rude staff and saw how they behaved towards other passengers, even on 1 occasion to an elderly and frail lady. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We had used Costa once and were not very pleased, the only reason we chose it again is because it was the only cruise that we found that would go to Norway on the dates we had available. The ports of call were spectacular, enjoyed the ... Read More
We had used Costa once and were not very pleased, the only reason we chose it again is because it was the only cruise that we found that would go to Norway on the dates we had available. The ports of call were spectacular, enjoyed the views, the fjords, nature, falls and train rides. It was a multicultural experience with people from a lot of nationalities. The food was average, being vegetarian, I had usually one option on the menu. On our last cruise with Costa, in South America, the pasta was superb, so I was looking forward to that, but was very disappointed. The menu was very weird. They need an italian chef to bring good pasta. Going to the buffet was a challenge for me because I had a walking disability and used a cane, and you had a station for fruit, another for salads, for deserts, for water, and for hot foods. So there was a lot of walking, and it was usually crowded and hard to find a place to sit. One day I felt like eating pizza and found out that they charge for pizza! and also for ice cream! (which was a free option when we cruised with Costa before) Being from USA we were not charged for water, but the rest of the passengers had to pay. Our server for dinner was I Nyoman Darsana from Indonesia. Great person, very polite and courteous. The programming was average. The best shows were the acrobatics and Mimes. The room cleanliness was average. The carpet was stained and needs to be cleaned (room 4181) The sheets and towels in general seemed old and grayish colored. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have chosen this cruise like most people because of the itinerary. 11 NIGHTS WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN - an amazing itinerary.We sailed on 11 July from Savona. Reading reviews I knew the cruise line is not perfect and did not expect ... Read More
We have chosen this cruise like most people because of the itinerary. 11 NIGHTS WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN - an amazing itinerary.We sailed on 11 July from Savona. Reading reviews I knew the cruise line is not perfect and did not expect much, but what we have experienced was so much worth! Starting from the drill - which took at least an hour or more. English speaking people were wondering around the decks asking where to go. Eventually we were put on one of the outside areas under the sun (no seating and no sun protection) where we had to stay for at least 30 mins prior the briefing which we cant hear due to noise. By that time older people were not able to stand longer and some were shouting at the staff who were saying that it was not their problem - go and talk to the management. That was a big waring flag of what would follow. - No good service (except our stuart) - Poor quality towels and bed sheets, poor quality of linen at the restaurant . - Food of low quality and variety - what was not eaten on breakfast was used for lunch and then for dinner. - I had twice food poisoning from the dinners' dishes - Horrible service during dinners, when we had to wait for one hour to be served. - Only 2 properly trained and knowledgeable staff at the excursion desk, the rest could not do the job and were asking them to book or change tours and it took really long time to rebook excursions which were cancelled. I can continue, but really don't want to as it makes me so upset. The reason of all that - poor management on this ship. I would never step again on any of the Costa ships or recommend this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Review Summary The question is...Would I recommend taking a Baltic Cruise on Costa Pacifica? I will reluctantly say “Yes”. The Cruise Ship is well worth the money spent. The destinations are absolutely exquisite. The only hesitation ... Read More
Review Summary The question is...Would I recommend taking a Baltic Cruise on Costa Pacifica? I will reluctantly say “Yes”. The Cruise Ship is well worth the money spent. The destinations are absolutely exquisite. The only hesitation I have is the food as it was terrible. Embarkation Getting to the Port in Kiel Germany was very easy. The Cruise Terminal is ~1 mile from the Kiel Train Station (HBF). Plenty of shops and food establishments to peruse before boarding. The boarding process was abysmal. Massive amount of passengers being funneled into 6 check-in stations. It took ~4 hours from arriving at the Terminal to boarding the ship. Baggage arrived to the cabin later in the evening. Absolutely miserable experience. Ship Experiences Food and Dining Main Dining Room was mediocre at best. Presentation of dishes was average. Quality and variety was well below average. Little to no fresh vegetables and fruits. Buffet was nearly inedible. Same low quality dishes every single day. The breads and desserts were above average. Little to no fresh vegetables and fruits. Specialty Restaurants were no better. Drink Packages and Bars were above average. This is the primary disappointment. Was expecting good Italian Dining, yet received meals that were so horrible. In addition, four of our party became violently ill throughout the cruise directly related to the food. Onboard Activities The shipboard activities were outstanding. The ship was filled with activity daily and was one of the most exciting cruise ships I have been aboard. Entertainment All of the Performances and Entertainers were excellent. One the most exciting cruise ships I have been aboard. Children's Programs No children Service and Staff The Crew were outstanding in all aspects. Very friendly and professional. Ship Quality The ship is in great shape. While the decor is very brash, it fits the energy of the cruise. Appropriate Music throughout the ship. Cabin / Stateroom Cabin is above average with plenty of storage space. Tastefully decorated. The bed and pillows were average. Ship Tip Really think about how important the quality of food is to your cruise experience. Ports Of Call Kiel, Germany No excursion. Good port for Embarking and Disembarking Gdynia (Gdansk), Poland Average port. It is a young city so in a couple of years it will be a much better port. Shuttle to city center is ~$8 Klaipeda, Lithuania Wonderful port. Lots to see and do. Walk to the city center. Very inexpensive. Tallinn, Estonia Wonderful port. Lots to see and do. Walk to the city center. Very inexpensive. St. Petersburg, Russian Federation The Crown Jewel of the Baltics. Spend as much time and money as possible in St Petersburg. Extremely inexpensive. Must obtain a Visa prior to cruise or book an Excursion through the cruise line to exit the port. No exceptions. Helsinki, Finland Beautiful port but not much to see or do. Very expensive. Shuttle to city center is ~$15 Stockholm, Sweden Wonderful port. Lots to see and do. Shuttle to city center is ~$15 Disembarkation Couldn’t get off the ship fast enough. Disembarking is typical as with other ships. Received color coded baggage tags the night before. Pack and set your bags outside your cabin by 1am. Depart the ship at time coordinated by your color code. Bags awaiting you in the Terminal. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was my first cruise setting sail from a port within Mainland China. It is understandable that a large number of the passengers came from within Mainland China. My immediate impression on embarkation after passing through passport ... Read More
This was my first cruise setting sail from a port within Mainland China. It is understandable that a large number of the passengers came from within Mainland China. My immediate impression on embarkation after passing through passport control is that Costa's staff starting from the point where our passports were collected, vessel's officers along the gangway up to the point where our photos were taken for the Costa Cards for use during the cruise, were less than friendly and welcoming. There was no smile whatsoever on their faces and nothing to suggest from their body language that we as paying passengers were welcome for this cruise. This I found out to be the norm for all vessel's offcers during the entirety of this cruise. My review now continues by bullet-points : 1. As Costa Venezia is less than one year old since it joined the Costa fleet, everything on the boat is very new and modern. Wife and I booked a cabin with balcony and the cabin is roomy and nicely appointed. The room was on deck 9 towards the rear of the boat and is very convenient to get to Deck 10, where a lot of actions and eateries are located. During our cruise, our cabin was looked after by a dedicated cabin steward. He was Star Serondo from the Philippines. He also greeted passengers with a big smile and is industrious. Every morning when wife and I went upstairs to deck 10 to take a quick breakfast, Star would have completed the cabin cleaning within the short time that we went for our breakfast, which was normally 40 min. from the time we left our cabin to the time we returned to our cabin. He comes with my high commendation. 2. One very important feature that I noticed is that a large number of the crew on the boat only speak Mandarin. This is undertandable as a large number of the passengers come from Mainland China and they only speak Mandarin. Unfortunately for someone like me who is not well versed in Mandarin found it hard to communicate with crew members when I need to. In one instance, I was asked if I can speak to them in Mandarin!! Their Mandarin speaking crew appeared to be inexperienced and went about their business by adopting Chinese custom and lacking in Internationally accepted mannerism and etiquette. This is a real disapointment for someone like me who is so adpated to Western culture and mannerism. 3. Tying in with my previous comments, a lot of the announcements made on the boat were made in just one language. Yes, you guessed it, mandarin only. This left me in the dark at most times and in particular, I was worried that I might miss any important announcemnt that is safety related. The only times that the announcement was made in both English and Mandarin was immediately before disembarkation when we arrived back in Shanghai. to remind passengers to go and settle their bills before they disembark!! All in all, the entire cruise was geared towards Mandarin speaking passengers and for those who do not speak Mandarin, best to choose other cruises not setting sail out of China ports. 4. In terms of food, those outlets that serve free food offered little varieties and their taste was poor to average. For me, there are only two categories of food, one being to fill you up when you are hungry and the other is looking for quality in the food that one takes. The food served at these outlets only qualify for the first category that I described. 5. I have also tried out four paid resturants during my cruise and they include Casanova, the Hot Pot place, the Teppenyaki restaurant and the BBQ outlet. The only place that comes close to my second category of food is Casanova. The place is quickly filled up and my best advice is to make a reservation for this restaurant as soon as you settle into your cabin to avoid disappointment. However, whilst the food in Casanova is okay to good, do not expect their service can complement the food. Most of the staff in this restaurant has no knowledge on how food should be served. This place is definitely not a fine dining outlet. For the BBQ outlet, the food served was cold and not sizzling hot as one would have expected from BBQ experience. The only consolation is the food served at the BBQ outlet is relatively cheap. The teppenyaki experience is more to attend a show dinner more than quality of the food. At any rate, the quality of the food is nowhere near the authentic teppenyaki restaurant that I have come across, be it in Japan or outside Japan. Hot Pot place is worthed a visit as the food does not require Chef's cooking and the price is again relatively cheap. The boat also has a steakhouse, a seafood restaurant, Napoli Pizza and noodle house which i did not have a chance to savour. 6. We joined a shore excursion when the boat berthed at Kagoshima. Save for the lunch provided with the excursion, the experience was bad. The guide for our group made us stand in line to wait for all the execurion participants to arrive before she led us to our coach. When we arrived at one of the three designated sight-seeing locations, the guide just pointed to where we were suppose to head and did not actually show us the place. At one location, we had to resort to using Goggle Map to find out where we were supposed to be going. The worst part came at the end of the excursion when we were all asked to leave the coach to move into a supermarket like medicine store. We were made to stay there for over an hour. For those who were not interested to shop in the store was made to stand around and were not allowed to stay on the coach! The attendants in the shop were mainly Chinese and that shop can be mistaken as another shop found in Mainland China if we were not told that that was Japan. Better off saving your money by not joining the excursion and simply disembarked and explore the destination yourselves. 7. I want to complement a lot of the English speaking crew who came form India and the Philipines. They are all very cheerful, helpful, hospitable and ready at all times to make passengers to enjoy the cruise as it should be enjoyed. This contradicted sharply with the Western officers who not only appeared to be unfriendly, but also too arrogant in front of their mainly Chinese pasengers. They seem to have forgotten that all passengers are paying to come on board and we are not refugees!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I cannot fault the staff, who always wore a smile, however such a lot would appear to have changed since we last sailed with Costa, though that was on the Mediteranea. This ship was really tired and I could not believe that there were ... Read More
I cannot fault the staff, who always wore a smile, however such a lot would appear to have changed since we last sailed with Costa, though that was on the Mediteranea. This ship was really tired and I could not believe that there were only two ladies toilets in each location for a ship of 2500 passengers, with one almost always not working. There is no waiter service in many areas of the ship, which I find a massive problem being disabled and unable to carry glasses easily and the food and coffee, was always tepid.. Entertainment was very good, but there was none on the last night, which was a disappointment as we were only on for 7 nights. Organisations was lacking in many areas including the tour desk and the photo shop, which was almost a free for all. Our cabin 80225 was an excellent size for disabled and consisted of a walk in shower room, as well as an additional toile, though I would not consider there were any other disabled facilities throughout the ship and certainly not the toilets Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We wanted to take my Mum who is 84 to see Venice, Rome, Croatia, Montenegro and Athens for her first time. We always choose Costa for value for money. The crew do a great job. Can't fault bar service, restaurant service or ... Read More
We wanted to take my Mum who is 84 to see Venice, Rome, Croatia, Montenegro and Athens for her first time. We always choose Costa for value for money. The crew do a great job. Can't fault bar service, restaurant service or care/cleanliness of cabin. The buffet food was great but the physical layout is annoying. Restaurant food fantastic. The ship is badly laid out. The bars and even the specialist restaurants are all thoroughfares making it impossible to relax as people are constantly streaming through. There is a huge upper outdoor deck away from the pools and children but no convenient bar up there if you like a cocktail while you sunbath. We had booked Samsara cabin giving inclusive Spa access. It was a sanctuary we used every day but facilities are co-ed which is very off-putting. Theatre shows we're all amazing and cruise director Sabrina fabulous. Embarkation in Venice would have been a nightmare if we hadn't had priority because of Mum's reduced mobility. Poorly organised and little space. Disembarkation was also a nightmare. They don't explain it in advance that there may be a long time between docking and getting to your taxi. One final point about Costa..... Wait until you are on board to book your internet package. The best value social media package is not offered on the web site and they won't let you cancel your prebooked package once on board to change it. If you take one thing from this review remember Costa offer FANTASTIC VALUE FOR MONEY. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This ship was chosen by a friend,we were a group of 8, because of price,doing research after cruise ended this became evident.We are from U.S.A.and have cruised Carnival to Alaska,Celebrity 2 years ago to Mediterranean and others and this ... Read More
This ship was chosen by a friend,we were a group of 8, because of price,doing research after cruise ended this became evident.We are from U.S.A.and have cruised Carnival to Alaska,Celebrity 2 years ago to Mediterranean and others and this ship was the least enjoyable.This line is owned by Carnival along with many others so when we saw that even water at lunch was extra unless you had a USA on your the back of your card. The standard formal night even charged $25 extra for lobster. The cabins were pretty standard,we had booked a balcony but the smell of cigarette smoke and overflowing toilets were in hallways or in room was an issue.Unlike other ships we traveled on this one picked up passengers at several stops during our 7 days on board so instead of resting in your room your got the alarms and intercom blasting for muster drills. The ship carried people from multiple countries so things were repeated in each language,and this continued on excursions the tour guides spoke in at least 2 languages.One tour was English and Spanish but the accent was enough that I had trouble understanding the english. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Our friend selected this cruise for his first cruise and first trip to Europe. We are faithful Celebrity cruisers so I use that cruise line as my baseline. The price of this cruise included the cruise cost, airfare, and hotels on arrival ... Read More
Our friend selected this cruise for his first cruise and first trip to Europe. We are faithful Celebrity cruisers so I use that cruise line as my baseline. The price of this cruise included the cruise cost, airfare, and hotels on arrival day and day of disembarkation. The Diadema is a fairly new ship that accommodates about 5000 people. People are able to embark and disembark at any of the ports, I believe. For Europeans with families this probably makes it a fairly cost effective cruise. That being said, there were way more people on this ship than on Celebrity. And there were way too many kids. The atmosphere just seemed chaotic. Kids on the dance floor at 11 pm is not my idea of a good time, for example. There are no adult only activities on this ship. The ship is very nice and clean. Cabins are only cleaned once a day. The food was mediocre at best and the choices at the buffet were rather limited compared to other ships. The staff did their jobs competently, but were not the friendliest. We are used to the “welcome back” and smiles that the Celebrity crew provides at all times. Our waiter in the dining room was great, however. A bit of advice if you are booking on the Diadema: beware of the 9th deck. The buffet and pool are over some of the cabins and the noise from these areas is unbearable at times. Chairs were scraping the deck above at all hours. Better to book on a lower deck unless you enjoy being awake half the night. The thing that I liked the best about the cruise was the itinerary. I’ll be sticking to American cruise lines and smaller ships in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We cruised with Costa for the first time in 2018, on the Diadema. It was excellent, so we booked again on the Fortuna. All in all, it was a good cruise, but I felt not as good an experience as the Diadema. The ship is smaller for a ... Read More
We cruised with Costa for the first time in 2018, on the Diadema. It was excellent, so we booked again on the Fortuna. All in all, it was a good cruise, but I felt not as good an experience as the Diadema. The ship is smaller for a start, and I missed the numerous bars and extra expanse of the Diadema. The staff were in the large part nice and friendly with a few exceptions. Those who run the buffet cannot get it cleared quick enough at 'closing time'. Apart from he fact that breakfast has to be taken by 9.30am, and the food will be whipped away at exactly 9.30am, lunch and dinner are a similar experience. Food in the buffet was decent enough, but repetitive. However the biggest issue was that everything was luke warm to downright cold. Even seconds after replenishing, cuts of meat, potatoes etc all luke warm. Costa also still persist with this ridiculous policy of having a manned drinks area. Stingily opening cans of coke etc and pouring them into glasses. God forbid you should want a WHOLE can of coke! This is glaringly different to my last cruise on the MSC Seaside in the Caribbean, where drinks of all kinds are dispensed, water freely available, and even Wine is help yourself at dinner time. Food in the restaurants is excellent, every night was superb. I just felt overall, the Diadema was a better experience. We enjoyed the Fortuna, it tries, is very clean and pleasant, but we would probably not book it again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We choose this cruise for its itinerary and a very competiive price. We have 21 cruises behind us and this was our third with Costa so we knew what could be expected and not. Embarkation in Dubai after 6 pm was very swift, no doubt helped ... Read More
We choose this cruise for its itinerary and a very competiive price. We have 21 cruises behind us and this was our third with Costa so we knew what could be expected and not. Embarkation in Dubai after 6 pm was very swift, no doubt helped by the fact that many passengers had already boarded the day before in Abu Dhabi. The ship may be a bit old but is kept tidy and is in a good condition. Our cabin ,a Balcony Premium, on the fith deck was perhaps a bit on the small side but quite okay and always kept tidy by our Philippino steward. .Announcements onboard are made in several languages and english is always one of them. In addition hostesses for english speaking passengers as well as german, french and spanish passengers were availble daily for those who needed assistance. We dined in the main restaurant on the upper deck, very noisy indeed. Slow service the first couple of nights but the service improved a bit during the cruise. Since our last Cruise with Costa in 2016 it they appear to have made cuts and waiter and assistant waiter are no more instead a single "food and beverage server". In our case he had three tables with18 guests. That our fellow passengers prefered 5 course dinners made the dinners rather lenghty. We had breakfast and lunch in the main restaurant most days and were fairly satisfied with both food and service. We tried the buffet restaurant at times it was less crowded. Food acceptable but nothing more. Entertainment in the main theater at best average, For those who like dancing a Costa cruise must be the right place with a lot of dancing opportunities in different lounges and on deck ,often at the same time Through Costa we took part in shore exursions in Muscat a sightseeing, in Salalah a visit to a beach resort, In Aqaba a visit to Petra, in Eilat a visit to a beach resort and finally in Katakolon a visit to Olympia. Pleased with all excursions and by and large pleased with our cruise although many things could for sure have been better.. Disembarkment in Savona was fast and we were off the ship in no time at all. A buss transfer purchased onboard took us to Nice for a couple off nights before returning back home. . . Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We booked this cruise mainly due to the itinerary and this was our first taste of a Costa cruise. I did not have high expectations of Costa after reading the reviews here and so was not disappointed!!. Our cruise was in February 2019 ... Read More
We booked this cruise mainly due to the itinerary and this was our first taste of a Costa cruise. I did not have high expectations of Costa after reading the reviews here and so was not disappointed!!. Our cruise was in February 2019 visiting Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Reunion. . My review is about the ship and not the ports visited. What is the first thing you associate Italy with and would presume an Italian ship would deliver??.....Pizza and Ice Cream!!!. What a let-down… Ice cream available at a cost from a small freezer cabinet at the back of the buffet on the rear deck in the style of a Cornetto. Pizza only available from one of the specialist outlet at €8.50. What a lost opportunity for them to incorporate an ice cream bar like other cruise lines and serve some of the amazing Gelatos you find in mainland Italy. Also, instead of serving beef burgers and chips (everyday) at the pool bar, this area could have served slices of pizzas, at, I’m sure, a lower cost than burgers. Arrival: This was one of the quickest embarkation we have experienced(Mauritius). N.B. Debit cards cannot be assigned to your account, only credit cards. Also, if you usually pay your account at the end of the cruise by cash, this money must be deposited within 48 hours of boarding. Drinks packages: These are a nightmare to work out…I believe there are about 30 different types. Here are a few: 24 Cappuccinos €75, 24 Expresso €44, 12 x 1ltr water €36, Brindiamo (beers, juice, coffee, wine by glass, shorts) €28 per day per person. Piu Gusto (as Brindiamo but includes some cocktails) €33 per day per person. Intenditore (total freedom for any drink up to €9 each) €46 per person per day. Coffee and water packages can be taken by one person per cabin but beware drinks packages must be taken by all persons in same cabin over 18 years old. We drink very little, and so only went for the water package and purchased drinks as and when we wanted them. We found the prices were not as high as some cruise lines i.e. €5.50 for glass wine, €3.45 for Coca Cola, €5 for a draught beer. Prices mentioned here includes the 15% surcharge. Minibar drinks not included in the drinks packages. N.B. No water or coffee is served with lunch or dinner in the MDR. Coffee, tea and water by the glass is available free in the buffet areas from approx. 6.30am to 9pm. Food: (Lack of hand sanitizer used by many passengers and no staff enforcing this) Buffet: Oh, what a let down. Same old, same old….. The buffet deck has 4 different food areas, but the choice changed very little day to day. No hot plates, so by the time you got to your table, the luke-warm food was now cold! The tea urn supplied during the evening in the buffet is very poor. I think they show the teabag to it as it was so weak. MDR: Breakfast and lunch is open seating with Dinner being served at 2 different times, depending on which dining room you are allocated. The 2 sittings are 6.30pm and 6.45pm and then 9pm and 9.15pm. Breakfast in the MDR was part self service and a few set items on the menu…again this was a fixed menu for the whole cruise. Beware some items are pre prepared and kept refrigerated, so arrive cold and solid. Coffee and tea available, but had to ask for a teapot otherwise it’s just a small cup, which takes ages to get a refill. Lunch: again very little choice and at best luke-warm food served. Dinner: A very basic 3 star affair and they know how to put you off eating too much!!...on entry to the dining room they display each of the meals on a plate in a cabinet, talk about a turn off. Any drinks, water etc is not free at the table, unless you have purchased a drinks package. I think this is the first cruise we have ever been on where water is not served free of charge with a meal ( I can get it free in the buffet, but not the MDR!). Formal nights/Gala nights were no different to any other night. We also saw people arriving in t.shirts etc to sit in the dining room. When I challenged the waiters to this ,they just shrugged their shoulders and said they couldn’t do anything about it…memo to myself: if I go on a Costa cruise again I will only pack casual clothes. Speciality dinner in Club Victoria…DON’T DON’T DON’T!!!! For a special offer of only €14 per person (this price is only if the lead person of the cabin books, otherwise the cost is €28pp) you can have a ‘gourmet dinner in an elegant environment’. We tried the restaurant one evening. The seating and décor is very well laid out but the food was nothing special. We took the menu with us to compare it to the MDR……guess what. IDENTICAL!!!! Word for word the menus read the same, even the wine they suggested with the meal. So for an extra €28, We ate the same food as if we had eaten in the MDR!!. By the way anyone who would prefer to eat in Club Victoria for the whole cruise, it will set you back €330 pp. Cabin: We booked an inside cabin. Our first cabin was 80527. It was the average size for a cruise ship. It had a hanging wardrobe with a few huge hangers locked onto the rail..grrrr, why oh why do they have to do that. Also it means there is very little room to hang more than about 12 items. There were also 4 drawers, 3 shelves, safe, fridge etc. Bathroom was a corner layout. Soap was in a dispenser in the shower and a small bar of soap on the side of the sink. No other toiletries were supplied. That evening we went to bed and then realised there was massive banging going on as much as 27 times in 15 minutes. By 2.30am my husband got dressed and went to reception, to be told it was ‘normal and just the waves outside’........it was flat calm outside!!!. With barely any sleep, in the morning, we asked our cabin steward to come in and listen..he agreed something was wrong. Complained again to reception and they sent an engineer. Again he agreed and even said he could hear it in his cabin. Anyway after a few more calls and meetings, they moved us to another inside cabin 90534…oh bliss, no noise. There is no turn down service in the evening and no chocolate on the pillow! There are no launderettes on board any Costa ship. In addition there was no washing line in the bathroom. To have a shirt laundered by staff was approx. €2.50. Shops on board: There was not much choice unless you like watches!. 3 watch shops, 1 handbag shop, 1 clothing shop and a general store. Toiletries were very limited in the general store. There was the usual sea day sales bonanzas going on. The best was the ‘scrum’ at these events, which seemed much livelier due to mainly European passengers!. Sunbeds etc: Usual complaints regarding sun beds being commandeered by passengers with towels left on them, unattended for hours on end. Again staff did not do anything about it. We had some passengers pulling sun beds across gangways and again staff just walked around them. Maybe staff don’t do anything as they are forcing you to buy time in the quiet area..€10-14 pp per day!! Tours/port transfers: Tours costs as usual were much higher than if you did them on your own. I only did one tour, on my own, by the ship (2nd day in Reunion). We did visit all places mentioned but due to the traffic congestion, time was cut from the stops, so we still arrived back at the same time. For all independent travellers there is no information or maps given out. Any port transfers to town were charged approx. €7. Generally…the staff are very friendly and helpful. We felt the staff were much happier than on other cruise lines we have cruised with. I wonder if this is due to the automatic tipping system that cannot be cancelled. On Costa it is called Hotel Service Charge at €10 pp p.n.. Finally, would I cruise Costa again??..never say never, but the itinerary and price would have to reflect another Costa cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Chose this cruise due to outstanding places, visiting Singapore, Bangkok, Khuala Lampur, Phuket, Langkawi, Penang, Ko Samui, Sinahoukville. All were great places to visit with lots of temple, artifact, great people and fabulous food. ... Read More
Chose this cruise due to outstanding places, visiting Singapore, Bangkok, Khuala Lampur, Phuket, Langkawi, Penang, Ko Samui, Sinahoukville. All were great places to visit with lots of temple, artifact, great people and fabulous food. Best of all, Bangkok. A city so vibrant, lots of cafes and restaurant in every corner with so many dishes to choose from, its an unbelievable city. Next on the list is of course Singapore, so clean, friendly, cosmopolitan and a bit on the expensive side. Phuket was not that great, of course if you like athmosphere towns like Ibiza or Ayia Napa full of restaurants and bars and night clubs, than Phuket its for you. Had a nice meal in a hotel restaurant and overall was good. Local dishes were great! Prawns in quantity and abundance. Cambodia was a let down, I wonder what the local government is doing about the state of the city. After all they suffer, the population demand and expect better, tourist are flocking into the city, money is coming in, but the total structure is way below poverty line. Feel very sorry for the locals. The ship (Costa Fortuna) was a bit of let down, cabin was good and spacious, restaurant were mediocre, buffet very crowde as expected due to lay out. Far too many DONT for a crusie liner, hence the heading of cutting services. Far too many member of the catering team in the buffet area, speak other language execpt the language to connetc with guest. Meaning, if a waiter is from Indonesia or the Philippines, they continually speak own language aloud in public areas. Denying English Breakfast Tea at breakfast time, afternoon tea time and any other time, contrary to other company in the market, which tea is always welcome and available. Some guests were asking for lemon for the tea, and were told no more lemon. Run out of Prosecco on board, run out of sparkling water with 5 day to end the cruise. In the restaurant, lots of supervisory member walk around the floor, including the Manager, but none interact with guest in checking that food is appreciated and of the standard required, in few occasion had to send back the dinner due to food being cold. Felt sorry for the waiter, but after all I paid for a service that didnt get accordingly! Have another cruise booked with Costa in March, and have lots of concern of fulfillment and pleasure. Worst of all, at the end of the cruise, you are lumped with a bill of 200 euro for service charge which the company say its compulsory making the total of cruise much higher than expected. Surely this is against the law in the UK. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
- I got a last minute offer from an agency (on 2nd January and the cruise started on 5th January from Savona), and it was a good value for the money paid, but if I had to pay the full price, I would be disappointed. It was not our ... Read More
- I got a last minute offer from an agency (on 2nd January and the cruise started on 5th January from Savona), and it was a good value for the money paid, but if I had to pay the full price, I would be disappointed. It was not our first time cruise with Costa, but in general the service is of lower quality than on MSC and that reflects also on prices. The embarkation went smoothly when our time arrived, but we had to wait for more than 1,30 hrs although we arrived late (approx. at 15,00 h). Usually, when we arrive this late we are immediately scheduled for embarkation. The disembarkation went more smooth, since we waited until 10,30 h to disembark, and not push to be the first to get off the boat. SHIP - the biggest in the Costa fleet - a small city on the sea - balcony cabin on the left side of the boat (8th deck); great, spatious cabin, always clean; got a bottle of sparkling wine since I am in the Costa Club - the cabin choice was good for some rough sea that we have experienced - Dining restaurant is huge, service staff was nice, but it took them a long time to get us drinks; also, since I bought a package of soft-drinks, once they get us drinks in glasses, and once we got them in cans (more hygenic) and the size is different. Food in general is of average quality, but it downgraded from our last trip (in 2017). There is no more scrambled eggs, the line for breakfast eggs is soo looong, there are no American pancakes for breakfast. The staff in Diana Restaurant (deck 10) is generally less hospitable than in other restaurants. The ship was overcrowded with families, well, basically with kids, but we are used to this. If you are looking for a high-class cruise, peaceful and with lots of attention, this is not a cruise for you. Entertainment was great, and we loved Jose Navarro, the tenor. Service in our room was good, although we were a bit surprised that we did not received 3 hand towels but only 2 although there were 3 adult persons onboard in our cabin. Service in general area and in the restaurant Adularia was good. Ports visited were great, but we have visited them already, and we enjoyed visiting them again. The tours booked on the ship are too expensive in general, so we opted for self-organised tours, mostly with taxi (cheaper, visited some other places, had enough time to visit inside the building if we wanted, get time also for shopping and return to the ship afterwards - like with our private driver and guide). I travel with my teenager doughter and she was much happier 2 yrs before, because we had more international group. Italian kids do keep for themselves and do not mix much with others. We will definitively go for another cruise, but maybe with a different fleet, different ship or different itinerery. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because it suited the dates we wanted to be away. The Good: The ship and cabin were nice and clean. The Staff in general work so hard!! They have so much energy!! We really appreciate their enthusiasm! We enjoyed ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it suited the dates we wanted to be away. The Good: The ship and cabin were nice and clean. The Staff in general work so hard!! They have so much energy!! We really appreciate their enthusiasm! We enjoyed the shows and had great time at the Mirabilis bar. New Year's Eve was a blast! The Bad: Food was very plain, every day at the lunch buffet, they offered the same thing, over and over. The meat, chicken, and pork were dry and lacked of flavor. In the restaurant, the menu contained choices that really didn't jump on your eye. Nothing interesting or tasty. We didn't get the chance to pick our time for dinner when booking the cruise. We requested it to be changed and never heard back. We didn't book it directly, but we registered on their website to pick some excursions. We never received any formal communication on the time of embarking and/or what to expect. We would have appreciated some details before hand. Two of our excursions were canceled due to the wind at a very last minute, and the "excursion desk" was closed for business. We couldn't find any alternatives. The data plan was a bust... again not entirely clear what you were getting. The drink plan was decent. But sparkling water nor water of any kind was included. As other reviewer said, you get what you pay for. The crew and social staff were wonderful, but because of the food and lack of communication we unfortunately won't go with Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
It was the only eastern Meditteranean cruise available at Christmas time. My family and I had a wonderful time however the cruise itself was very average. Not excellent, not terrible. I appreciate the fact that they made it feel as ... Read More
It was the only eastern Meditteranean cruise available at Christmas time. My family and I had a wonderful time however the cruise itself was very average. Not excellent, not terrible. I appreciate the fact that they made it feel as "Chistmassy" as possible which was important since this was our first time ever travelling during the holiday. The food was good however not always available. For example, if you'd like to eat something after dinner, your only choice is room service or a pizza - each at an additional cost unless you buy upgraded package. The service was very good and there was definitely an appropriate number of employees. Kudos to the ship for getting that right. The excursions were overpriced...I found that paying a taxi driver would give you a better tour and more for your money. The ports were good. Croatia was the highlight although pulling into port of Montenegro was nothing short of spectacular. Upon return, were delayed due to immense fog thus creating traveling nightmares for many. I heard through the grapevine that there were options to get us into port however I cannot confirm this. I would recommend this cruise to someone with the same goal as ours however keep your expectations in check and you might be pleasantly surprised. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We booked this trip last minute to sail over Christmas. We had sailed on Costa a few years ago in the Mediterranean, and thought it was average at best. Thought we'd give it another try to see if anything would be different sailing ... Read More
We booked this trip last minute to sail over Christmas. We had sailed on Costa a few years ago in the Mediterranean, and thought it was average at best. Thought we'd give it another try to see if anything would be different sailing from the US. The short answer is NOPE. The ship itself is fine, we don't put much stock in decor and room size and such. It is the food, the staff, and the clientele that put us off a second time. If you think that an Italian cruise will serve fantastic Italian meals, think again. Barillo pasta from a box, almost al dente but not quite cooked enough. Absolutely nothing special about the food, and really the selections were quite mundane. The staff seemed tired and bored. Our cabin steward(ess) was scattered and finally left us pool towels on the last two days aboard. Other passengers were pushy and rude when expected to queue up for anything. We talked to fellow passengers who had these same experiences. This will definitely be our last Costa cruise. Two strikes and we're out! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I am Italian and I really enjoyed this cruise over Christmas.. Traditional Christmas activities happened including a wonderful tenor and selection of the Christmas Princess pagent and the Miss Costa Deliziosa pagent as well... this ship is ... Read More
I am Italian and I really enjoyed this cruise over Christmas.. Traditional Christmas activities happened including a wonderful tenor and selection of the Christmas Princess pagent and the Miss Costa Deliziosa pagent as well... this ship is not like the usual mainstream cruise lines... the entertainment was for everyone no matter which language you speak.. the food was quality over quantity, the rooms are spacious ... and the first language is Italian...the ports were not important but we enjoyed them when we did get off the ship..friends whom we traveled with enjoyed as well... I recommend Costa Cruises for all who would like decent quality food...even though it seemed the same all the time due to lack of other ethnic foods like Chinese, Indian, and local Caribbean foods..there was many good daily choices in the buffet.. Thank you Costa cruise lines for a marvelous Christmas cruise.. I would take another Costa cruise in a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I travelled with my wife and children to Port Klang and Phuket recently. We had quite an enjoyable time as this was our first trip aboard a ship. Despite the many shortcomings - shower not very hot, food quite average only, difficulty to ... Read More
I travelled with my wife and children to Port Klang and Phuket recently. We had quite an enjoyable time as this was our first trip aboard a ship. Despite the many shortcomings - shower not very hot, food quite average only, difficulty to find our way going through several rooms, no mineral waters in cabin and few pillows only, we had a fun time generally. We enjoyed the night shows, music and walkabouts around the ship. Perhaps, the coffee served could have been better as some guest look forward to it in the mornings. Also, the tours organised at Klang and Phuket were too short for shopping and sight-seeing. The organisation by CTC tours was orderly and well managed generally though. Overall, we had a good time as the room was kept clean daily and comfortable. We would like to compliment the waiters at Michelangelo for their excellent service, especially Janice Raj and Fahrul who were extraordinary in their service throughout our dining time there. We were entertained without any delay and were even served beyond our expectation. On the last night of our trip, Fahrul even surprised me being a vegetarian with an Indian food that really touched our hearts. These 2 gentlemen are definitely wonderful ambassadors to your fleet who made our day special. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because the time and cost was right for us and the ports visited appealed to us. The time spent in each port seemed reasonable also. We are American and we did know the experience would be different for us on an ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the time and cost was right for us and the ports visited appealed to us. The time spent in each port seemed reasonable also. We are American and we did know the experience would be different for us on an Italian ship...previously all our cruises have been on Carnival. (The first day as soon as we got on the ship and went to the buffet, a couple sat down next to us at the table, but as soon as we said "hello" they got up and moved...obviously they didn't want to sit next to Americans!) The employee, Michaela, who "took care" of the English-speakers was very nice and helpful, having a separate meeting with us and offering her help when we needed it. If you are English-speaking be aware that announcements will be made on Costa ships in various languages, taking up a lot of time. The cabin was comparable to Carnival cabins, as the designer of the Carnival and Costa ships is the same. However, our cabin was showing wear with the front of a drawer falling off among other things. The cabin steward was efficient and nice. One thing I found disappointing is that Costa assigns you a cabin, no choice of your own! On Carnival we always choose the cabin we want. We ended up with a cabin at the aft of the ship. It wasn't a bad location except in rough waters, which we had only once. Food in the dining room was beautifully presented but not always tasty. Main entrees sometimes seemed odd, even though I am a fairly adventurous eater. One of our waiters was really screwy, laughing at who knows what...our American table-mates and us? Food at the buffet was always the same and plentiful, tasty for the most part. Costa offers drink packages and it seemed to us beforehand on the website that in order to have water at meals you'd need to order a water package, and we ordered one for me. I wish we hadn't as I could have had natural water at meals anyway. The package stated that you'd have this water to carry with you, however, the water is in liter bottles that I did not want to carry with me, especially on excursions. Plus, the waiters NEVER understood that I was to get this water (my choice of sparkling or natural) during the whole cruise, even though it was printed on the back of my Costa card and even after several phone calls in which the customer service person said they would speak to the waiters about it! They admitted the employees needed more training! My husband had the beer package and had the same trouble. His Costa card too had "water" printed on the back of it so it was a reoccurring problem as well. Fact is, you could get wine or beer anywhere without a package and the cost seemed to be the same. I would not recommend purchasing drink packages. The worst part of the cruise was the trouble we had with excursions. The one I was looking forward to the most was cancelled. This was the "Gourmet" excursion with wine-tasting and truffles out of Savona, Italy. First they said it was cancelled due to not enough English-speakers signing up for it, but when I inquired about going on a non-English-speaking excursion to that location they said they were not going there at all! We substituted an excursion to Genoa. As it turned out, I had obviously eaten something in the dining room the night before we reached Savona that didn't agree with me and I just could not risk being away from a bathroom on a bus for an hour to go to Genoa the next morning. I took medicine on my own and knew I'd get over it in time and didn't need a doctor. When we called to cancel that excursion they said we could not cancel it unless I went to the doctor, for a fee of 50 euros, and got a note saying I was not well enough to go on the excursion. We said, soooo you can cancel an excursion on us but we cannot cancel one on you! Right? They said right! If I'd spent the money for the doctor and he said I was okay, which he likely would have done since I had no fever, we would have spent the extra 50 euros and still paid for the excursion. As it was, we paid for an excursion we didn't take. Then, after our excursion in Pisa my husband started having back and hip pain and knew he was not going to be able to walk for the 2.5 hours on the excursion we'd booked for Rome the next day. We decided we'd be better off doing the "Rome on our own" tour and tried to change it the night before Rome but the excursion office was closed. We called early the next morning and they said we could change the excursion at the departure point but still had to pay for the original one. So, we did that out of necessity. Rome turned out to be cold and rainy. That was not Costa's fault of course, but almost all the people on our bus returned to the point we were to meet the bus early because we were all miserable due to the weather, and the bus did not pull up until the exact minute we were to leave. It does seem like the bus could have gotten there a little ahead of time as there was space to park the bus and the weather was so awful! Most of the tour guides were okay. The one in Pisa was excellent! The one in Palma de Mallorca spoke so fast that we couldn't understand her even if it was in English! All in all, the Costa excursions were disappointing for us, although Pisa was excellent and we had a wonderful time on our own in Aix-en-Provence, which was an excursion out of Marseilles. This cruise had people embarking and disembarking at each port, which was also different. This meant that there was a safety session each day for those just getting on the ship, and that there were extra announcements and "noise" each day. We did not take an excursion in Barcelona as we got on and off there. We spent 4 extra days in Barcelona at the end of the cruise and that was a very pleasant part of our trip. Glad we did that. Barcelona is an interesting and very friendly city! Actually, the very best part of our cruise was time spent with the English-speaking couples we met. With so few of us we developed a sort of camaraderie among us and that was fun! Thank goodness for them as I must say that some of the other people on the cruise (not all by any means) were actually rude and pushy, not something we were used to on a cruise. In conclusion, we will not take a cruise on an Italian ship again, and don't recommend it for Americans. My total rating of 3 stars is generous. My husband would rate it a 2. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Our very first cruise as passengers - and I was disappointed. I work in entertainment for living and have worked on board these vessels, so when we got home, I thought I'd share my opinion on the Entertainment on the Costa Luminosa. ... Read More
Our very first cruise as passengers - and I was disappointed. I work in entertainment for living and have worked on board these vessels, so when we got home, I thought I'd share my opinion on the Entertainment on the Costa Luminosa. Please forgive me if my review contains technical stuff and jargon that only entertainers might understand. I can't just say it was terrible, because it wasn't, but some of it was pretty poor. I think maybe I just expected better. I might have expected too much, but I don't think so. Review of the Entertainment on the Costa Luminosa. My wife and I have just had our very first cruise experience with Costa on board the Luminosa and we found the ship, the food and the staff wonderful. My career has been in entertainment, starting professionally in 1984, and at 60 – I’m now working as a Production Manager, or Company Manager or other similar roles. I’m currently preparing a show for XXXXX, which has already sold over 35,000 tickets, and I will be the Company Manager for this production. A number of my previous dancers have worked for Costa, so I was looking forward to the on-board entertainment. On arriving at the theatre I noticed a good technical installation – Digico sound desk and the stage revolve and lifts. Sadly, once the shows started to run, things were not so good. Small things at first – I’m aware that cruise ship shows are pre-produced and run from timecode, but some of the things I observed were a failing of the house crew in maintaining and tweaking. For example, pre-show, the lighting provides some slow moving gobos on the auditorium sides – all in one colour, bar one that was green. Nobody noticed, or they did, they didn't fix it. Similarly, quite a few states features fixtures with their beams in a row, apart from the odd one – presumably it had been removed for servicing or repair and replaced, but nobody checked the alignment. The actual lighting design was a bit odd – so many basic stock effects and bog standard gobos – that I can see everywhere – just not special. The one person technically who stood out was the guy mixing sound. He was clearly skilled, and dedicated. He removed his comms headset which shows he was only interested in sound balance, and he made constant adjustments, and did not lose his focus in any of the shows where I observed him. I think he did an excellent job with the material he was presented with. In the technical department the only crew issues from the production point was the video. The theatre has decent equipment but those Vinten heads are capable of very smooth and precise movement. The cameras have remote zoom and focus demands, but the head is set up badly, so moves were very jerky. Not really an operator fault, merely nobody skilled enough to set up the head controls and realise that pan bars should be more horizontal than vertical – because this exaggerates the jerks. Staging Power flying of the slower sort always looks a little iffy – but what became very annoying was the continual flying in and out of the various screens and gauzes, and some of the moving lights fixed to the vertical drops had very visible equipment in the almost dark state – this encourages viewers to try to see what it is. Whenever this kind of thing is done, the lighting needs adjusting to make the mechanics invisible. In one show there were two mirror balls, rigged at different heights – looked really tacky. One safety issue I noticed. Scanning the audience with lasers is a very controlled effect, and this wasn’t controlled at all. I held a finger up to my eyes so I could see the effect, but not the actual device for my own safety. Where I was sitting on deck 3, the beams clearly hit the people on deck 2 seating and occasionally went up above my level. The risk assessment for the lasers would be interesting to read. The usual rule would be to NOT scan the audience. Costa seem to think this is OK - in the UK, it would not be done. The performers, however, were a very weak link. Singers I appreciate that almost certainly the tracks they performed to are common to all ships, but their range did not match the tracks at all well. Both male singers were weak in their bottom range and had little power, so it wasn’t until they could sing higher that any power was available in their voice – unfortunately, many numbers started low – too low for these two. The taller of the two was quite weak, vocally - and had very poor stage presence looking awkward in some numbers. The shorter of the two had a nicer voice in his higher range, but was still weak. The two girl singers were simply average – pleasant enough, but in numbers where they were clearly supposed to be singing in a certain style – Diana Ross, Whitney Houston etc. they were unable to be convincing. One had quite painful pitching in places. In general, the four singers were typical of the UK Haven holiday centre standard – I’m very familiar with Haven, Warners and a few others, including the excellent Potters holiday centre – which is equipped in a very similar way to the Costa ships. None of the singers met the Potter’s standard, which was not what I expected. Dancers Clearly the dancers at audition were probably competent, however I can only assume there is no dance captain, or that there is, and this person is ineffective. Many routines, and I saw all the entertainment available, were sloppy. In some, difficult to guess if sequences should have been in unison or canon! Things like split leaps for example. Simply all over the place. No symmetry and messy. One of the dancers – who looked a little older and had lighter hair and featured in some duet numbers looked like he knew exactly what to do, but was doing it at his version of the correct time, while the others did it reasonably together in theirs. He partnered frequently with a guy with short dreadlocks, and the two never seemed to gel. The other two male dancers were forgettable. Not bad, but they didn’t shine. The five girls were competent but uncoordinated – all the small things – too much hip turn or too little compared to the others – arms and legs at different angles and very varying degrees of effort and energy, A few numbers looked like they were marking, not performing. The girls also had spacing issues, despite the usual tape numbers on the hidden stage edge – I checked. They had trouble retaining shape when going upstage, especially when the lifts were up, and they had to go up and back, and the shape got lost. Small things made it messy – in one routine when they all saluted, they all did it differently. Different arm angles and worst of all, their palms – vertical and facing front, or horizontal facing down – and those facing down had some rakish angles? These small attention to detail features should have been spotted and rectified by the dance captain, but clearly this was a feature not implemented, which comes down to not just the dancers but the person in charge. If this person was me, I’d have had them in for extra calls to tighten things up, fix the spacing, remove some strange physical weirdnesses (the dancer who always turned their lip up, for example). Exits were also a bit odd – some doing some very contrived movements, others not. Some looked bored, some looked keen and excited. The Acrobats They were competent, professional and entertaining – for about ten minutes. An entire show was just too much, it got repetitive and dull. Cannot fault their performances but better as an insert to another show, it did not warrant a show of it’s own. The Voice I had low expectations and wasn’t disappointed. It made me feel embarrassed to be there. The standard of the performers was bound to vary considerably, but it was the management of it that was awkward. As a concept it had merit, but I sensed the audience were not like the Voice or X-Factor audiences out to laugh at them, and they too felt embarrassed with the weak ones, and over enthusiastic with the better ones. Picking the winner was simple. The Crew Show I expected, based on the professional performers, that this show would be terrible. In fact, it was excellent. Showing up the professional dancers in terms of energy, and one of the singers was better than the professionals – this should NOT have happened. A crew member, singing for fun should not perform better than somebody who does this as a career. The dancers and singers did not appear to have any extra duties, so I wonder what they did with all their time off? Certainly it wasn’t spent rehearsing. Show Bands I’m familiar with the ship band concept from my own limited experience on ships – I’m in a tribute band who have played on P&O, and like the theatre team, many seemed bored to tears. The guy playing the piano in one bar used tracks, and got hopelessly lost in one of the songs, clearly he can play and sing, but just forgot where he was. In another venue there was a duo, and in the venue where guests were dancing, their showband were clearly talented but playing dire music – although I have to say that people were dancing to it. Tarentellas and Polkas I really did not expect on a cruise, but that’s almost certainly me not realising what the average guest wants. Ents Team They tried hard, but so much of what they had to do was old fashioned and boring, what could they do? Quizzes – who on earth designed these, they were awful. Showing images from countries around the world, and guests writing down the countries was so dull – then they went around them all again, to cope with a few new guests who strolled in. Gripping? More like watching paint dry. So long for so few questions. Same again with the only other quiz I witnessed – identifying beer brands from bottles around the world! Really? This kind of entertainment is cringeworthy if you are under 30, and awkward for me, just turned 60. I also started to watch a quiz where the three ents team members mimed actions to movie theme music. I left. It’s also probably a country specific thing, but I resented after a while, the constant demand to applause – applause. If I want to applaud a performer, I will. In this case I was asked to applaud performances that were poor, lacklustre or in some cases, embarrassing. Conclusions I saw a number of very average shows, and none that impressed me with the exception of the crew show. Standards wise, in the UK we have various levels of performance standard in shows. In quality terms, the West End shows are at the top, with very critical attention to detail, the touring production of these shows try to maintain this quality, but there are compromises due to the differences in venues. Out of the holiday centre market, I have not seen better than the shows at the Potters Resort in Norfolk. Good staging, competent singers, dancers and musicians. The Warner holiday centres come next in quality, with Haven and the individual small group sites firmly at the bottom because their entertainers tend to be generic rather than specialists in one area. I have to report that the Costa show falls to the bottom of the list. Not entirely the fault of the performers, but the management who clearly have noticed none of this. It did not spoil my holiday, as the off-ship experience was very good, and of course the food on board was wonderful, but as my job is entertainment, I was looking forward to excellent entertainment, and it was embarrassingly poor. We shared our dining table with two other couples and they said exactly the same thing, from their non-entertainment background. Sadly - that's my first and last Costa cruise - I shan't be doing any more whatever. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This is a good ship if you are either looking for or a budget cruise or a first time cruise. If you are a regular traveller on cruises then to be honest I think you will be a bit disappointed. The public areas are really well set out and ... Read More
This is a good ship if you are either looking for or a budget cruise or a first time cruise. If you are a regular traveller on cruises then to be honest I think you will be a bit disappointed. The public areas are really well set out and the staff try their best. The food is mediocre. The entertainment is a bit of a let down. We had 2 excellent acts on our tours but the other nights were not great. I think the acts go from ship to ship, so the best acts are reserved for the bigger ships that ultimately costs more. The cabin was well appointed. We appreciated the large walk in shower we had which made all the difference. We went on a cruise a few months ago with the smallest shower know to man. So it makes a difference when you start the day on a positive note and you enter the dining room smelling fresh! :) Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
On September 23, having just disembarked from MSC Fantasia in Genoa, I took a taxi to Savona (the driver offered me a special price of EUR100) and embarked on Costa Fascinosa, a back-to-back cruise though changing ship. I had bought this ... Read More
On September 23, having just disembarked from MSC Fantasia in Genoa, I took a taxi to Savona (the driver offered me a special price of EUR100) and embarked on Costa Fascinosa, a back-to-back cruise though changing ship. I had bought this second cruise last minute via internet while still on MSC Fantasia. What I got was nothing more than an Outside cabin without balcony that was still available, but paying a very good price. This cruise had a similar but not a same itinerary as the one I just left. Only two ports are repeated (Barcelona and Palma). Simply because I had another spare slot of time in the area before yet another cruise, and another cruise is always a good way to spend time (probably cheaper than simple living on land in Europe). I have previously cruised Costa a lot, but in recent years I preferred MSC which operates almost side by side. It was good to return to see how Costa fare, which I am still familiar with. What differences between the two! Simply put, MSC operates a more mature, more traditional cruise, while still cater to some younger cruisers, but Costa remains still the craziest and noisiest of cruise lines, cater to the youngest. Few cruise lines, if any, has main activities starting near midnight that can last till dawn. The White Night party was the craziest. Practically all passengers join, or like me, at least I had a long look of the action. Even in the main dining room, more than once there were activities of singing and dancing. The Baked Alaska parade was still on. Costa has shows every night, mostly production shows, unlike many competitors which seek cost cutting by presenting Headline Entertainers that may be of doubious standard. The shows were good, always highly energetic, and with real dances well choreographed. I consider the Costa shows among the best, if you like action-packed shows. This ship is smaller than competitor ships but has the largest show lounge of all. My stateroom, a basic Outside on the lowest level, is not bad at all. It is among the most spacious, bigger than similar cabins on RCCL, MSC and NCL. The ship’s hull is the same as the expensive Cunard’s Victoria. House-keeping was very good, and restaurant service was also adequate. For the price, I ought to say that my experience again exceeds my expectation, though I know Costa well, with more than 10 previous cruises earlier. I came with the lowest expectation of the food, but what a surprise! The food is better than RCCL and NCL. It serves a different menu devoted to a different region in Italy everyday (I believe they learned this from MSC). The cooking was more than adequate and on occasion even some pleasant surprises. One of the evenings they serve a menu specially designed by a famous Italian chef, and it was good. The free menu consists of paid choice which can be as simple as Wiener Schnitzel at a few Euro, up to a lobster at EUR25. On the buffet deck, more than once they serve very good local food, even sucking pig appeared, as well as Paella when in Spain. Cost cutting is through table water to be paid for, and even at the buffet they turn off the water as soon as dinner service ends. Tea and Coffee are available only at breakfast. For lunch and dinner you pay for it. So many passengers buy a drinks package as a matter of necessity. In this respect Costa is the meanest of them all (while everyone tries to cut back). For an ultra active cruise that is animated round the clock, Costa is supreme. Guests are mainly Italian and Costa employs several language hostesses who each have their station to answer any questions. Hospitality was good, again better than I expected (I had cruised on this ship, as well as the newest of them all, the Diadema). A satisfactory cruise that is good-valued. I only hope that Costa can spare passengers of the unnecessary ordeal of the emergency drill, which they operate seriously in the hardest way while competitors are more considerate. Was this the aftermath of Concordia? You are expected to put on the jacket and listen to the instructions in 6 languages before you are allowed to retire. The standard itinerary calls on Naples, Palermo, and after a sea day, to Ibiza for a long stay arriving early and sails for Palma de Mallorca at 4am the next day. Ibiza in late September was still active and the weather is fine. A true highlight of this cruise as you can sample Ibiza nigh life. Last port of call to Barcelona winds up the trip of a very standard itinerary. Savona was a convenient home port for embarkation and disembarkation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
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