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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
The ship is first class, everywhere is spotlessly clean, the cabins are kept clean and tidy, the sheets, pillowslips and towels are pure white and changed frequently, as are the rubbish bins. There are various restaurants around the ... Read More
The ship is first class, everywhere is spotlessly clean, the cabins are kept clean and tidy, the sheets, pillowslips and towels are pure white and changed frequently, as are the rubbish bins. There are various restaurants around the ship, the food served is A1 first class and really cannot be faulted, do not expect English cuisine it is mainly Italian based. My only real gripe is, that unless you pay for it, water, tea and coffee is only available twice a day, in the morning at breakfast and again in the afternoon at tea time. On board activities are sparse and not very inspiring throughout the day, although the entertainment team are very congenial and at times quite funny and good for a laugh. The things that put me off the ship are, I thought going on a cruise meant everyone boarded at the departure point and all disembarked at the finish, not so, at every port of call people either left or joined the ship, it is in truth really a luxury ferry! The other problem is that at meal times in the served restaurants, the waiters show you to a table and take no regard as to the nationality of those that they seat or are seated, so it is likely that you will not be able to converse with anyone during the meal because of language difficulties, so instead of it being a pleasant experience it can be quite a drag. For my wife and I the Costa format did not work, and many of the (English) passengers told me it is probably the worst cruise line to travel on and that most other cruise lines are better. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our first cruise with Costa and whilst we enjoyed our holiday overall we thought the Costa NeoRiviera was poor in comparison with other cruise companies who we have travelled with. Arrived at Dubai Cruise Terminal at 8am and ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Costa and whilst we enjoyed our holiday overall we thought the Costa NeoRiviera was poor in comparison with other cruise companies who we have travelled with. Arrived at Dubai Cruise Terminal at 8am and was not allowed to embark until 7pm - yet passengers who were embarking for the same cruise itinerary when we disembarked were allowed to do this at 9.30am!!! Black tea served form 1pm, no snacks and certainly no consideration for passengers stuck in the terminal - absolutely disgusting!!!! The service in the restaurant and bars, with a few exceptions, was very good and congratulations and thanks to the staff concerned. I could not write a review on the Costa's web site as it says I had ran out of time, yet the email stated we had until 14th Feb to write one - i tried on the 14th Feb!!! Very very Italian, very noisy by the pool caused by the entertainment staff, poor shows, limited talks of forthcoming ports, meet the english passengers/friends 3 days before the end of the cruise, was told there would be 6 formal nights - packed clothes accordingly and only 2 formal nights in 3 weeks. Generally poor!!! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We found the boarding process unlike any other cruise we have been on. You fill in a registration card on the dock and have your passports taken from you, passports are returned to you after a face to face interview with one of the many ... Read More
We found the boarding process unlike any other cruise we have been on. You fill in a registration card on the dock and have your passports taken from you, passports are returned to you after a face to face interview with one of the many immigration officials that come on board the ship the day before the cruise finishes. Then you have a photo taken and have to take your own luggage on board and leave it in one of the restaurants and collect it later and take it to the cabin yourself when the cabin is ready. Your key cards are on the bed in your unlocked cabin, it’s then your responsibility to swipe a credit card at one of 3 automated machines on board so that any spending onboard or excursions can be deducted from your credit card (we had issues with amounts being debited to our account that we did not spend and found these very hard to rectify even though you have to give the staff your “ship card” to be swiped in there terminals and sign for everything you purchase). Small very informal ship, very few people wear “formal clothes” in the evenings it’s rare to see a jacket, tie or evening dress. Many nationalities on board, announcements usually made in five or six languages, entertainment in many languages, all staff we encountered understood and spoke very good english. Food and drink on board good, service in restaurants excellent, free tea or coffee not available between 11am and 4pm even in dining rooms. Staff not allowed to serve tap water in main restaurants but tap water is available at all meals in the self service restaurants. Bottled water is €3.05 per litre. The cabin walls are paper thin and even low conversations can be overheard, opening and closing of drawers or toilet door, flushing toilet etc sounded loud. There are large grills in the external doors and any conversations or noise in the corridors outside can be heard clearly, all in all a very noisy ship to try to sleep or even rest on at times. Not many shaded/covered areas on the sun deck, this may sound silly but when it’s sunny and over 30c most days it would be nice to find a shaded spot for some of the day and when it’s raining be able to use a sun lounger under cover. Entertainment was a violin quartet, a pianist, a Peruvian sounding duo who I believe come from Paraguay, a man playing an electric organ, a dance band and the show team who put on several shows, single performers singing, a local group came on board in the Seychelles to perform and a magic show plus of course the late night disco. Vocals were in each of the five main languages. There is no theatre on this ship, there is a cabaret area but its not very large. Excursions were as usual on cruise ships very expensive, there were always many taxis waiting at the ports that offered similar trips for far less money and you could decide on the day whether to go on a trip or not depending on the weather. If you pay for a ships excursion and it’s raining or you are not feeling too well you cannot cancel or they may cut the trip short (for example not go to a beach etc) but there will be no refund. Most port towns we walked to or took the shuttle bus, (there is a charge for shuttle busses) taxis from these towns can be cheaper than from the dock for excursions or a trip to the beach. We did not go to one port (Nosy Be) where tenders were to be used as the waves were to high for it to be safe Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
i would like to start with we have done 3 cruises before all pand o first time with costa will be last. it was mine and my husbands honeymoon, the ship was beautiful clean and tidy, the cabin we were in 6234 was noisy couldnt sleep we ... Read More
i would like to start with we have done 3 cruises before all pand o first time with costa will be last. it was mine and my husbands honeymoon, the ship was beautiful clean and tidy, the cabin we were in 6234 was noisy couldnt sleep we informed them 3 days later they moved us to deck 4. due to the room had a problem, our new suitcase was damaged handle hand been snapped off, eventually after speaking to ciara english hospitally rep who was lovely, we got it sent to the onboard carpenter who fixed it, the food in the restaurant albatross was nice, our waiters on table 225 was excellent. the buffet food had alot to be desired same things, usually the food in there would be cold, breakfast scrambled eggs freezing, costa is all money you had to pay for everything, water which is a neccessity and should be available all the time, instead of paying for it, coffee was not available all the time like on other cruises, unless you paid for it again cold, entertainment was mostly for the italians on board, the band in the disco on deck 3 were brilliant, shows crap, announcements mad mostly in italian so if you were english or american you had no idea what they were saying, we spoke to americand and board and they were the same as us. most of the english said they wouldnt do costa again, we did however get a surprise from the executive chef a bottle of wine sent to dining table, and champagne and chocolates to our cabin for honeymoon, ciara got us an invite to captains honeymoon cocktail nite where the captain bleesed our marriage that was the best bit, the cabin staff, cleaning staff, and waiters all work hard, they need more regognition, not much to do on the ship disappointed. will be goin back to p&o, or royal carribean for next cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Costa Mediterranea (Venice/Croatia/ Montenegro/Kefalonia/Corfu) Costa not as good as Royal Caribbean. Decoration is very gaudy/loud/not matching (don’t know who their interior decorator was but I wouldn’t have him in my bathroom ... Read More
Costa Mediterranea (Venice/Croatia/ Montenegro/Kefalonia/Corfu) Costa not as good as Royal Caribbean. Decoration is very gaudy/loud/not matching (don’t know who their interior decorator was but I wouldn’t have him in my bathroom never mind house) – except for the Osiris & Isobella theatre . We paid for the AI package which we felt was prob worth it when you consider you have to pay for coffees & sometimes water (not at breakfast & lunch). Rooms are big & spacious, beds comfy, food good. Not just pasta ie last night we had a choice of pork, veal, chicken & fish. We were told by another passenger that self-service not available at niht other than gala night. Self-service breakfast limited to fruit/yoghurt/pastries/Salami type meat/cube cheese. We tried the waiter restaurant for breakfast as we wanted choice of cooked brekki but service was diabolical! One morning I had my eggs 10 mins before hubby had his brekki. Everything served warm not hot (but maybe this is the Italian way as the cappuccinos when we were out & about in port were just warm not hot). Breakfast times varied from 7.30 -9.9.30 in restaurant. Longer in self-service. Boarded in Venice. Embarkation easy & painless. Had rest of day & next day in Venice as bad weather meant we stayed put and missed first port of call (Trieste), considerate of Capt I thought. Cheaper to do your own thing, easy to get into Venice from port (monorail 1.5 euro), or pick up boats on port. Lido lovely peaceful island (has the only beach in Venice) & so is Murano, they are like mini Venices’, with their own canals & bridges. First port of call Split on the Croatian coast – eta noon, etd 6pm. Lots of island dotted along this coast. Terracotta & cream buildings nestled at the bottom of the mountains lining the harbour, interspersed with green conifers. View from the top of the park is stunning. Local tour buses as soon as you get of the cruise, in the port car park. 75Kuna (11 euros). There is also a motor train a little further on but this has no commentary. You are within a minutes walk to the walls of the old town and the Diocletian Palace, built originally in the 4thC, we just missed the city market. We had another amazing sunset like in Venice. Blood red sky turning a purply red and in Split shades of burnt orange merging into the darkening blue sky in front of which were the blackening mountains with tiny pin pricks of lights at their base from the homes and lamps of distant towns. Next stop Kotor, Montenegro – the deepest natural harbour in the Adriatic. It had that WOW! Factor. Wake up look out of the window & there looming is a tree dotted mountain. Into the ffiords this huge ship entered the port of Luka (free wifi in port). Tour buses at port gate 20 euro each. Taxi 40/50 euro and takes you to Budva. Kotor has an old walled town with the walls going up the mountain dividing north & south, Austrian made. Budva is a lovely town/city on the other side of Kotor which was once ruled by Ghengis Khan. I have only seen pics of the Norwegian ffiords but they looked like Kotor, Montenegro. Only 5 hours but enough time for a tour. Amazing sail out back through the ffiords. Next stop Kefalonia. I wasn’t expecting much after wonders of Kotor but it was a lovely island. Ship docked in an inlet so more mountain views & green trees. Relaxed and friendly people & what a surprise to see the turtles swimming in this inlet. Seems that we were the lucky ones to dock here at the past week had seen bad weather which stopped previous ships. Corfu, tenders to the port as dockers on strike. Open top bus tour with commentary 15 euro. Interesting but only one stop to hop off which is at the Old Town but good for shopping/bars/cafes. Dubrovnik – amazing! 1hour panoramic tour in a taxi with commentary 50 euro for the car right outside gangplank. 13euro into old town (if you have any Kuna you could get the local bus). A really scenic, interesting & beautiful place. War museum showing war damage and after war. Amazing to think how they have rebuilt it. No crime to speak of, safe at night. Back in Venice our flight back home wasn’t until 8pm. It’s easy to leave your luggage at the end of the pier (5 euro per case). We went off into Venice on the monorail & came back to get our luggage & pick up our pre-paid taxi. Wouldn’t cruise with Costa again if I could help it – food good not very good, service bad in restaurant in the morning, entertainment good not very good (bad on last night) but they had a really good acrobatic act. Good illusionist, very good resident male singer but poor female one. One evening the ‘entertainment’ was to put up 3 tables and do spa treatments in front of the main reception bar & a hair do??! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We booked a Winter getaway at a fairly good price We are seasoned cruisers who enjoy the freedom cruising offers The ship is in good shape and the Decor is classically pleasant The design would work with fewer passengers and on ... Read More
We booked a Winter getaway at a fairly good price We are seasoned cruisers who enjoy the freedom cruising offers The ship is in good shape and the Decor is classically pleasant The design would work with fewer passengers and on cold windy sea days there is little to do. The 2 mini pools are useless for anyone wishing to swim. An enclosed pool area is missing and the price for Solarium use at €35.00 per day when all one wishes is to have a sauna i not value for money The ever present Solarium staff pushing Solarium deals are also indicative of the fact that the price is too high The free Gym, (one of the few free facilities), is fairly well equipped, very clean and almost always full at peak times The change rooms and toilets are 5 star The wine bar is an exceptional although very expensive feature Shopping on board is fairly limited but adequate, the range is limited, again because of the space problem The cigar smoking room was also a wonderful plus for the addicts and contained the smoke perfectly, a plus for Costa here The deck smoking area is a bit too close to the doors and can be a bit of a problem The animation staff do a lot to keep passengers busy with an array of ideas detailed in the daily newsletter The service most of the time is good and sometimes outstanding. Credit card verification was easy and quick We did not use the ships excursions and there were the usual shuttle bus charges for the ports where the ship docked a distance from town A safety warning was issued in the daily newsletter for Athens and not for Naples In Naples we were mugged and robbed in a busy street and have since learned that the town is regarded as unsafe. One must be extremely aware and should maybe walk around in a small group, leave all valuables and jewelry on board The ports were a poor substitute for those that have become unsafe, but that cannot be blamed on anyone. Kalamata was good, Napfilon, Volos were not great, Athens is Athens and Trapani was pretty run down and nothing special, Marseilles is also a typical large European port with many possibilities but also earned a safety warning The bus trip by Costa from Villach in Austria was uneventful as was the return trip Boarding in Savona was a little disorganized as usual - queue jumping due to poor system control, luckily not all passengers boarded in Savona Our Inside cabin was a little crammed due to the overhead bunks, although stowed take up a little extra space Otherwise it was adequate, without any problems and the cabin steward was invisible and efficient The food in the buffet was always fresh and the range sufficient to satisfy most tastes At peak times it was very busy and getting a table was not always easy The MDR food was mainly good , for breakfast and lunch the service was a little slow but the area adjacent the entrance was always well served and relaxing The early bird coffee and juice service was erratic and the coffeee quality questionable The small number of children seemed adequately entertained Entertainment was reasonable but with too many dance shows and if you arrive late not all seats have unobstructed viewing A theatre is missing but the ship design does not allow for it Disembarkation for us took a while and Costa mixed up our departure time and delayed our bus for over an hour We checked 3 times but were told to wait until we were called!! This retro ship was not for us and we prefer medium sized ships If you are English speaking multiple announcements will drive you mad. The manner less pushing and shoving of the French, Germans and Italians is also mindboggling. They all need to be first at all costs Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Costa Mediterranea Eastern Mediterranean October 2015.  It can be very difficult to get a picture of a cruise line by reading cruise reviews. People experience the same thing but their opinions can differ. The case of Costa might be ... Read More
Costa Mediterranea Eastern Mediterranean October 2015.  It can be very difficult to get a picture of a cruise line by reading cruise reviews. People experience the same thing but their opinions can differ. The case of Costa might be the the most confusing of them all since reviews are so diverse when it comes to this particular company.  Does Costa offer a really nice cruise experience, or is it the worst thing that has ever happened to the seven seas?   The simple answer is -YES, both of these opinions are actually correct, which also explains the recycled headline of this review.  THE GOOD  The pricing  Because of Costa's horrible reputation you can get great deals, even if you have to add the ridiculous “service fee” (bakshish) no matter how bad they treat you.  The ship  Costa Mediterranea is a fabulous ship, the most beautiful thing I've ever sailed on. It offers some awesome public areas. They've managed to create great venues without making the ship look the same all over. I'd like to highlight the gym which is absolutely marvellous. Compared to some other cruise lines the policy of this section is rather generous. You can use the saunas, the steam bath and the hot tub without extra charges. The stern is interesting with all its venues but rather complex. The flip side would be the theatre. All the pillars and windows leave very few seats with full view of the stage. Another inconvenient arrangement is the beautiful buffet restaurant which is placed between the different sections of the sun deck. The fact the the passage between the lifts and the sun deck has been closed off for passengers forces swimmers and tanners to walk through the restaurant, and that really doesn't please anyone.  Entertainment  Shows in the show lounge and elsewhere are surprisingly good. The welcoming is in five languages, but for the rest it's easy to enjoy by anyone.  The atmosphere on board  It's truly enjoyable to sail with The Costa Med. Fellow passengers and the crew together create  The ports  I've never been on a better cruise when it comes to the ports, it was just fantastic.   Split with the old town and the beach is well worth a visit.  Everything is within walking distance.  Kotor is a gem that should be included in any cruise in the Adriatic sea.   Early in the morning the vessel slowly made its way into the end of the fjord in the mist. It was still possible to realise that we'd come to a place of remarkable beauty. Across the street from the pier is the magnificent old town. If you have the physical strength you can walk up the mountain to catch the stunning views. Try to do it as fast as possible, because it gets hot later on. The tenders were very efficient, because Costa had hired a large number of local operators for this purpose.  Argostoli When we got to Argostoli (Kefalonia) I first wondered why they had dumped us in such a place. There was little or nothing of interest. After lunch we took a taxi to the nearest beach (7 Euro), and it turned out to be one of the best beaches I've ever been to. The water was amazing, and we got this beautiful spot to ourselves.   Corfu has a lot to offer if you just walk around town. Apart from old fortresses and nice views of the island it's a pretty town in itself. If walking is a problem you can reach the town centre by taxi, bus, horse & carriage or a very expensive shuttle provided by Costa.  Dubrovnik is as good as they say. The stop in port is short, but long enough to make it over to the Old town which is an absolute must. The taxis are extremely well organised, and the price per car is fixed.  Venice   Instead of the scheduled overnight stay in Trieste Costa added on Venice as a pleasant surprise.   One can use the People mover or walk into town. A free shuttle bus from the ship to the people mover is provided by the port.  THE BAD  The food  Can eating options and food quality really be as bad as a lot of reviews claim? - Yes indeed!  Breakfast  If you are new to the concept a few guide lines will come in handy. We very rarely go á la carte for breakfast, but this time it was different. We normally went to the MDR in the morning.  This is the explanation; the buffet restaurant is dysfunctional in a few ways. Apart from the traffic situation mentioned earlier the station for drinks and cereals is undersized and placed in the entrance/ exit and therefore a chaotic place to be.   The hot items that you can expect are only to be found in the MDR.  The different sections of the buffet has different cold items and long lines. This means that if you would like to have bread, butter and cheese you would have to line up three times spending more time in lines than the whole meal would normally take. This is a pity since it's the most beautiful self- service restaurant I've ever been to.  The MDR serves set breakfast menus with the choice of English, American, Belgian, Norwegian or Mexican breakfast combos, and it's really nice apart from the fact that the quality is poor.  Another thing that makes the MDR the best option is the fact that it also has the very same buffet as the buffet restaurant, with the exception of the lines. If you just want to eat from the buffet, then it's a lot quicker to do it in the MDR provided that there isn't a long line to get in.  Lunch  For lunch there is also the choice of the MDR and the buffet restaurant   The BR offers a limited choice and sometimes dished based on the theme. The quality is definitely below average. The MDR has free seating for lunch. The time it takes to get served depends on how crowded the place is at the moment, so it varies a lot. The same goes for breakfast and dinner.  Dinner  This is Costa cuisine at it's worst.  The buffet restaurant becomes a pizzeria at night, and you have to pay extra to eat there, so unless you want to spend more money on the smaller restaurants it's the MDR or starving.  Consequently this is where everyone seem to be, and you can therefore expect to spend a lot of time here. The waiters don't seem to enjoy their work, but they could be worse. Most of the time they get it right.   The quality of the food is surprisingly poor, since I've always eaten well at sea. In the case of Costa the quality ranges between below average and hardly eatable.  Children  Kids mess around the adults only area without any action from parents or crew. Relatively few children attend the ship's kids' club. The reason why our kids rejected a kids' club for the first time ever was that it was too boring. Having to sit and listen to long and complex instructions in five languages just wasn't their cup of tea. Another complaint was that the staff didn't care about the children. My daughter felt like she was invisible to them.   The poor quality of the children's entertainment remains a mystery. The animation team managed very well to entertain the adults without much use of spoken languages. Why is it so difficult to do the same with the children when other cruise lines manage so well?  The Ugly  Being poorly treated at your cruise is no joke. Unfortunately, these stories about unfortunate  Costa cruisers are plentiful. So if you don't think that you can stand being mistreated on your holiday then you should definitely choose another cruise line because Costa is anything but civilised.  It started at the boarding process. It all went fairly quickly through the different stations until the moment when we were about to physically enter the vessel. Everyone else got their tickets scanned and were allowed  to board with us being the only exception. The security guard claimed that our ticket wasn't good enough for passage, and simply refused to scan it. We were supposed to have been given a special slip by the first crew members in the line of stations. I got no help to sort it out, they simply thought that it was my problem, so I had to run backwards and forward between security checks (a long walk) without getting any result. The people who were supposed to give me the slip claimed that the had given it to my children (!)  In the end we managed to get on board. The slip issue was a lie from both sides, because such slip just does not exist. The security guard finally let us on board with our ticket and its perfectly working bar code and the comment “ sorry, I just didn't look at it carefully enough”.  The Costa Mediterranea does not give you any options for dining other than the MDR if you “only” pay for the cruise that is supposed to give you everything you need when it comes to food. They have decided that you you either eat at one specific table or not at all. Our table was at the lower level right below the edge of the upper level. The people in charge had decided to place the one family with troublesome children at the table right above us. Apart from being generally messy, these kids were hanging over the edge and throwing down objects to the lower level. The first night my daughter got a fork thrown at her. A falling fork landing right on your head from that distance hurts a lot. Fortunately it did not hit an eye. The management in the MDR did not see it as a problem. We did indeed. When we got no response we went to “Guest services”, but it really is no good place to ask for help. They would just tell you to go away to get rid of you. We kept complaining and squeezed in four in a row style trying to seek cover due to the falling objects. Eventually the whole thing got too embarrassing for them, so on the third night they offered us a safe place to eat.  The cruise line decided to not complete the cruise in terms of final destination without giving us a reason, so we all had to disembark in Venice instead of Trieste. We got no assistance to get back toTrieste offered by Costa. They considered it to be our own problem. Upon complaining we got told that the terms of transport clearly states that Costa has no responsibility to actually bring us back to where they planned the cruise to end. Some German speaking people got a bus transfer to Trieste paid by Costa, so I tried again, this time speaking German, but it did not help. Everyone who earlier had claimed that they speak a certain language all of a sudden lost their ability to speak that language when you tried to get help, and used that as a reason to not to assist in any way.   Will we cruise with Costa again?  Well, this might have been our last cruise with Costa. For our next cruise we've chosen to pay more to get a better experience using another cruise line. However, if no one else takes us where we want to go, or if the offer is incredibly good then we might consider it.  Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
This was our first on cruise on Costa (Favolosa) and did not meet our expectation compare to other cruises we had taken in the past. Although, the ship was fairly new (4 years), we were disappointed by the lack of customer care, limited ... Read More
This was our first on cruise on Costa (Favolosa) and did not meet our expectation compare to other cruises we had taken in the past. Although, the ship was fairly new (4 years), we were disappointed by the lack of customer care, limited food selections with average quality and staff professionalism. We paid for the premium cabin service but could never get a hold of room service. When I complained to the customer service desk, her answer was "we cannot do anything since we have a big crowd you need to keep trying". Excursions were another disappointment. Length of tour was shorter than advertised. Tour guides were ok. We will not use Costa again on future cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I have never encountered such an ineffective customer service (and I mean the customer desk and e-mail customer service, the other staff at the ship was ok). We were 9 in our party and had an altogether good time at the ship based on our ... Read More
I have never encountered such an ineffective customer service (and I mean the customer desk and e-mail customer service, the other staff at the ship was ok). We were 9 in our party and had an altogether good time at the ship based on our own company, the excellent dinners and the party-crew. On the bad side were: It was really cheap of costa to charge for water and coffee and tea were only free at certain times and quite poor quality. In total the cost is more expensive than other better cruiselines after all the extras. We took some proffessional photos and wanted to buy them but somehow we got the wrong instructions on when to pick them up and had to finally disembark without the pictures (which we had already paid for). We left all contact information to the customer service desk and they were to contact us when they got hold of the photografer. That didn't happen. I tried to find contact information online and wrote about the situation, no reply. After a few more e-mail I got an answer that they were forwarding my question to another "customer service". By then I didn't want to wait two moore weeks for them to answer so I wrote directly and actually got an answer that they would get back to me after they've heard from the staff on the boat. I guess they haven't, beacause I haven't heard from them since then even though I have e-mailed them several more e-mails and asked for a phone number etc. We still havent heard (now about 6 weeks later) and certainly haven't got our money for the photos back! They just have no idea of what customer service is. I'm pondering sending them a basic online course in my next mail. If you want to cruise (which in general is lovely) don't choose Costa! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Embarkation was a little more organized than noted in some of the previous reviews. At first it was not made clear how the process works. Upon arrival at the port, you hand over your luggage and are given a plastic card with a grouping ... Read More
Embarkation was a little more organized than noted in some of the previous reviews. At first it was not made clear how the process works. Upon arrival at the port, you hand over your luggage and are given a plastic card with a grouping number. After entering the main hall it became clear (after a while) that Costa was calling up small groups at a time for check-in based on the grouping number. Warning - the arrival hall has very limited seating, so depending on what time you arrive you may be standing for quite a while. Management staff are Italian, and the the crew (i.e., hotel, wait staff, etc.) are mainly from Asia, India, and South America. The staff worked very hard. But in the main dining room there just is not enough staff to take care of all of the diners. This leads to overworked staff, who were, at times, not at their most pleasant. Adding to their stress is the fact that passengers spoke many different languages, and not many of the wait staff are fluent in 4-5 languages. Looking at a picture of the outside of the ship gives you some perspective on how many balcony cabins there are (a lot). The cabins are quite roomy and well appointed. The interior of the ship has a very Carnival Cruise Line décor (read - gaudy and garish). The art is strange. The atrium lounge area has no WoW factor. Most of the shore excursions were very good, especially Corfu, Santorini, Athens and Dubrovnik. The ship caters to the European market, which can be quite different from a North American cruise experience. For example, the buffets were extremely limited and had the same food items every day. No eggs, bacon, toast, etc. for breakfast. No fresh juice. In fact, during our stay on board the "juice dispensers' at the buffet (which, when working, serve up a watered down version of Tang) were mostly non-operative during meal services. The ice/water dispensers are turned off when the buffet was not in operation; making it extremely difficult to get a glass of ice water.....there's just no excuse for that. I would rate the food as just average. Although it's an Italian cruise line, the pasta and pizza were also very average. Most announcements are made in multiple languages (Italian first, German, Spanish and English). Since the bulk of the passengers were Italian, after their announcement was made they'd start to "chat it up", making it very difficult for foreigners to hear the announcement in their native language. Suggestion for Costa - make the Italian language announcements last, not first. The entertainment on board was mostly very good. The entertainers were some of the hardest working folks we've encountered on cruise ships in recent times. Costa uses the tipping practice of automatically adding crew tips to your bill. Bar service automatically adds 15% gratuity. Disembarkation went fairly smoothly - once you figured out where you were supposed to congregate (based on colored baggage tags handed out the night before). Disembarkation announcements were not made ship-wide; just at the individual congregation points. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Flew to Nice from Liverpool to pick up pre arranged transport to Savona. No rep available and had to find our own way to find many people with Costa luggage tags all waiting for coaches. Eventually found a rep who told us we were on number ... Read More
Flew to Nice from Liverpool to pick up pre arranged transport to Savona. No rep available and had to find our own way to find many people with Costa luggage tags all waiting for coaches. Eventually found a rep who told us we were on number 13. Had a long wait for it to turn up. Embarkation in Savona was more orderly. Queued to get photo taken but straight to cabin which had key cards in. Had booked late dinner but we're on early sitting. Cabin steward friendly, efficient and English speaker suggested late sitting would not suit us. We were in My Way restaurant on a six seated table with other English speaking people even though one couple were Welsh and the other couple Romanians living in England. Lovely people who enhanced our holiday. The menus were translated into English as too were the daily dairies delivered to our cabin. Food was different and not really to my taste but there was always something that I could choose from even if it was the same alternative choice. Food was never hot even when it was supposed to be. For a Mediterranean ship it was very lacking in salad and vegetables! The cabin, we had a balcony, was both comfortable and spacious. Although the beds were close together we were given a single duvet each so it was like being in single bed. The bathroom was better than some other ships, it was easy to avoid a clinging curtain if the shower was positioned prior to entering. The TV was supposed to be interactive but wasn't. BBC world news and Euronews were the only English speaking channels. There was a fridge with drinks and snacks in but we're not included in the €25 a day all inclusive drinks package. Water in bottles had to be bought with an extra 15% service charge! Even if you drink little in alcoholic drinks, the drinks package is really good value. The list of drinks available is extensive with premium liquors included. We took ice and lemon water to our cabin every night. Because the decor of the ship is themed- Music. All areas are very ornate but very dark and depressingly gloomy in daylight. At night they are overly glaringly illuminated. We spent a lot of the time in the coffee/ chocolate bar as it was bright and open. It was also the walk through to the restaurants and casino. Great for people watching. Many nationalities on the ship so lots of languages spoken. Fortunately all the crew spoke English. Many were from Brazil particularly in the bars and restaurants. Filipino staff in housekeeping but European staff in other areas. The buffet restaurant was usually chaotic. No trays, difficulty getting a seat, and the food stations in different areas making it very difficult to know what was available. It was much easier to eat in the restaurant but choice more limited. The entertainment in the theatre every night was international and on our cruise excellent and varied. Possibly some of the best we have seen on any cruise line. The entertainment team was geared to daily activities and not to our taste. The adults only craft groups were more like play school activities and very poor. The dance classes were very popular and well attended but deafeningly loud. Tendering to our first port of call was madness. Utter chaos! Took forever to get people off,and it was even worse to get people back on board. Only people on organised trips had any chance of seeing anything before joining the very long queues to get back. The ports of call were OK. Some much better than others. Santorini the best. Shops ok with daily special deals. Photographers working all the time taking some excellent posed photos of individual band family groups. Quality of photos probably the best seen on a cruise ship. Costa as a company really are not the most efficient. In our experience they do not stick to times or agendas. We heard of excursions being cancelled with very little notice, indeed we even had a cancellation for a trip sent to our cabin for a trip the day after. It was not for us but for someone in another cabin! I would go on another Costa cruise if the itinerary, ship and cost were suitable. A must is the drinks package without a doubt. It would also be better if it was not in school holidays. Preschool children are fine but a ship full of families is not for us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
In an attempt to keep this brief I'll list good and bad points from our first ever cruise. We are a married couple in our 50s. Good: Service Facilities Entertainment variety Cadiz , Valencia and Lisbon Inside Cabin ... Read More
In an attempt to keep this brief I'll list good and bad points from our first ever cruise. We are a married couple in our 50s. Good: Service Facilities Entertainment variety Cadiz , Valencia and Lisbon Inside Cabin was adequate and I really can't see the argument for upgrading to outside or balcony given the short time we actually spent in the cabin. Steward Uri was excellent Fresh towels and bedding every day Pools Drinks package is a must even though we are not big drinkers Not too many announcements Embarkation and disembarkation were always smooth and well organised to minimise waiting times Variety of food Bad: Excessive charges for shuttle bus at some ports Too little time to explore Barcelona (4 hours) Rude people pushing and shoving at buffet meal time Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
I have used costa for the second time and once again i was not impressed at all with the service given. Here under are some favourable and unfavourable conditions. favourable: Depart from my own country in Malta, only 10 minutes away ... Read More
I have used costa for the second time and once again i was not impressed at all with the service given. Here under are some favourable and unfavourable conditions. favourable: Depart from my own country in Malta, only 10 minutes away from home. Very well clean room. Settle the bill very quickly Costa card is given at imbarcation stage and thus you don't need to go to the reception for yoyr room key card and such it avoids queuing. unfavourable: No nappy change for my 11 month old son on the entire shop, you have to either go into your cabin or you need to improvise. Should you need to a midnight snack forget it, after your main restaurant sitting the only food restaurant open would be by payment. If you need to disembark from deck 3 such as when in Barcellona or Savona there would be a huge amount of passenger at one go, immagine around 1000 people and over which needs to disembatk for personal or organised tours all together. Ice cream on board at a payment of 2.50 euro even if we were on all incl. Should you wish to have an english breakfast you need to go at the maun restaurant and order one, you will get one egg, one sausage, one half tomato and backed beans without flavour at all. the tour to the Neo camp in Barcellona although its aroung 54 euro has no enough time to go to the museum since we were allowed less than 1.5 hours. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We had great food, great entertainment. We were more than happy with our cabin, and our dinner waiter. However, the thing that spoilt this cruise was lack of water. They wanted us to pay for every drop we drank. I found some waiters ... Read More
We had great food, great entertainment. We were more than happy with our cabin, and our dinner waiter. However, the thing that spoilt this cruise was lack of water. They wanted us to pay for every drop we drank. I found some waiters downright rude, if you asked for a glass of water the reply was "card". If we did not want to hand over our card, they did not even bring tap water. The other issue was tea and coffee. There is none available except for between 4 and 5pm. And if you do not speak Italian you would not even know about this one hour. Even on the English daily bulletin, it is written in Italian. The man looking after this station, was rude and unhelpful. It took us 3 days to discover afternoon tea hour. When we were shown the daily bulletin, and I said that it was in Italian, he told me that it was in English in the English version. this turned out not to be the case. He said "its up to you to read it, its not toilet paper you know". The soda fountains were never open, the whole time we were on the ship. All I wanted available was a glass of water, and it spoilt the whole experience. I approached the matre de about the water situation, he was apologetic at least, and he told me that Costa made a decision to not serve water with the meals, and instead forced customers to purchase bottled water. Service on board was mixed. Some of the staff need to get another job, they are totally unsuited to customer service. Then we were lucky enough to have a wonderful waiter (Renaldo) for evening meals, and an efficient polite cabin boy, (Dino). My other complaint is that I would liked to have bought a drink, but refused to run up costs on their cards. Surely they could allow cash purchases for drinks, and supply water with meals. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
As a regular Costa traveller we are concerned with the latest changes in service, food, quality and choice. Since May many Costa ships are no longer serving or making available English breakfast food in the Buffet areas....no bacon, ... Read More
As a regular Costa traveller we are concerned with the latest changes in service, food, quality and choice. Since May many Costa ships are no longer serving or making available English breakfast food in the Buffet areas....no bacon, sausages, eggs of any descriptions , no omelettes they do have toasters which won't toast even after passing through 3 times. English Breakfast, German, American & Belgium breakfasts were all available in the Restaurant this was just a cattle market in the mornings, follow the line and sit where your told, lots of staff but no organisation or structure, no-body in control, service or no service was a shambles if you got coffee you were lucky as for Tea or fruit juice it was an after thought. Food ordering was slow and often cold when it arrived. We first thought this change of breakfast service was something new and therefore the staff were not used to the recent changes but no in more than 3 months the food and service is very, very poor. If like a good English breakfast to start the day then check to see whether the Breakfast is being served The ship is nice, Entertainment in the Theatre was generally good, staff were OK but too many young children running round which was not expected at end of Septeember Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
It wasn't what I had heard of and what I had expected. In the pool areas there was no control, and organisation. To go in the spa, you had to wait a long time because the people stayed in there for about an 1 hour, and children ... Read More
It wasn't what I had heard of and what I had expected. In the pool areas there was no control, and organisation. To go in the spa, you had to wait a long time because the people stayed in there for about an 1 hour, and children would occupy the spa and they weren't allowed to go in. At Palma we paid for the shuttle bus, and because weather they suspended the service and we didn't use it after we had paid for it. We had to get a taxi and we weren't compensated. The day we had to leave the ship we had to leave the room at 8.00a.m but the ship arrived at destination at 1.00p.m and all the people that waited to get off were sleeping in the lounges, because they were getting bored, we couldn't even go in the pools because the company didn't give us beach towels. A very negative experience! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
A last minute booking, but having been on Costa ships previously I had a good idea of what to expect. I liked the fact that there were only 13 English passengers on board and lots of interesting people to meet from around the world. The ... Read More
A last minute booking, but having been on Costa ships previously I had a good idea of what to expect. I liked the fact that there were only 13 English passengers on board and lots of interesting people to meet from around the world. The staff were polite, even under pressure, and were extremely hard working. The cabin was kept clean and serviced efficiently. It was pleasant having a 'dual aspect' balcony. Yes, from time to time the table service was slow and there were a few other small issues that would have made a good experience even better, for example free tea and coffee and being allowed to remain on board longer at the end of the cruise. However when taken as a whole it was a lovely holiday. I have read other reviews and people love to complain but i enjoyed my holiday and I would certainly cruise with Costa again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
The ship is very big. Getting around took some time but slowly we learned where we were going. Embarkation was a breeze. We each had forgotten we had a bottle of something in both checked bags and carry on which was completely ignored. ... Read More
The ship is very big. Getting around took some time but slowly we learned where we were going. Embarkation was a breeze. We each had forgotten we had a bottle of something in both checked bags and carry on which was completely ignored. Once onboard the English speaking guests were sequestered for our safety briefing. I was a little worried there were so few of us. I later learned that of the 3000 passengers we only had about 200 English speaking ones. The staff did their best to compensate but so few of us meant we missed out on a lot of things like entertainment and English tours. The staff were very friendly. Our dinner servers Ravirajah and Mina did an awesome job. My lady friend and I had a small table for two in Il Gattopardo upper. I was pleasantly surprised by the dinner food. It was a selection of Italian dishes based upon the region we were sailing near. If those didn't work you could always buy alternatives like Lobster for 15 Euro. We never went hungry as there were always 4 or 5 dishes for dinner plus soup and salad if you wanted. As neither of us drink much we opted out of the all-inclusive. We found that our beverages of choice were priced almost the same in a card or individually so we chose to pay one at a time. (Sodas were 3.30 Euro including gratuity). We were happy to find out that being from North America we had a special option called USAWATER included for free which gave us free water, regular or sparking, with our dinner. Breakfasts were simple and apparently European. Coldcuts, cheeses, pastries, bread, fruit, cereal. Juice, tea, cafe au lait and water was free and unlimited. If we chose to use the restaurant instead of the buffer we could get eggs. North American coffee was non existent, likewise milk to drink. My friend just got hot water and watered the coffee down. We were rarely there for lunch as we were ashore all but 1 day but the buffet choices ranged from sandwiches to burgers to salads. For lunch the only free drink choice was water. Our cabin staff, Michael, did an awesome job and was very friendly. The cabin was large enough. We had 6 english channels to watch but they were all news shows. We had a selection of movies to watch. WIFI onboard was disappointing. Using it on my mini IPAD was extremely slow. It was better to go down and use the chips computers. Instead we went ashore and used wifi cafe's which were abundant everywhere except Palermo. Worse case, almost every McDonalds had free wifi. After doing a ton of research we opted out of the excursions and went ashore on our own. Savona was awesome. We were alongside right near downtown so walked ashore and did some touring and some shopping. Rome was hot. 40C We took the free shuttle out of the port and the 2 euro bus from there to the train station and the train to Rome. Palermo was disappointing. not much to see, and it was very hot. Ibiza, was a pleasant surprise. We chose to walk almost 3 km instead of pay for the expensive shuttle. Apparently the cab back was cheaper than the shuttle. The fortified old town was something to see. Shopping was good. Palma de Mallorca was also a nice stop but very hot. Castle Belver was pleasing. Disembarkation was fairly organized and we were ashore to the free shuttle which dropped us near Las Rambla in Barcelona. If there was one major complaint we had it was the noise. This is not a cruise if you want a restful vacation. Despite the note daily in the newsletter to the contrary, unruly kids inhabited the adult pool non stop. The posted notices about kids under 12 needing supervision were also ignored. We experienced several instance at dinner where children lost it and spent a significant time disturbing everyone at dinner. One family let their children run around UNDER other tables with their toys. Our cabin neighbours slammed their doors day and night and talked loudly on their balcony. In IBIZA, since we departed at 3 am, they were noisy in the hallways til late night. The shows were also way too loud as was the music blaring in every bar and pool area. We did have an overall good time on the ship and in most ports but I would not recommend this cruise to someone unless you were also a party animal. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
Costa Mediterranea 17th to 24th July 2015 Arrived in cruise terminal with several hundred other guests , embarkation was supposed to start at 1400 hrs a numbers system operated deck 1 was called first you were only handing over a ... Read More
Costa Mediterranea 17th to 24th July 2015 Arrived in cruise terminal with several hundred other guests , embarkation was supposed to start at 1400 hrs a numbers system operated deck 1 was called first you were only handing over a medical declaration form and another form it would take about 10 minutes for each group to go through, in theory if you were on deck nine you could wait 90 minutes ,we successfully dodged the ships photographers before going through first security check ,on boarding the ship your photo was taken for your ship board pass ( in our cabin when arrived). We decided to explore the ship beautifully decorated throughout clean ship, interactive screens with information in various languages , also terminals to register your visa /debit/Mastercard card to pay your account, you can deposit cash at reception for expenditures . We knew from past cruising holidays the All inclusive (Costa) drinks package was good value. Entertainment was very good in a modern theatre and well attended throughout the cruise. Catering for guest's (always check the ships dairy time table) Psychology has been used in the set-up with meals service ( Perla del Lago Resturant) starting with continental breakfast , lunch hot /cold food speciality of the day always had a long line, you are not supplied with a tray to carry your self service meal and cutlery, by the end of the afternoon only one food station is open for finger bite snacks closing at 1830hrs In my opinion the food in the Self service was high volume poor quality with macaroni by the slice . If you like a cup of tea or coffee after 1030 hrs. you’ve had it, next time is 1530 – 1830 hrs, (you can pay for a pot of tea at the bar). It is more less compulsory for you to attend dinner in Degli Argentieri Restaurant (2 sittings each evening) were allocated second sitting @ 2115 hrs (we could not change the time) eating our dinner at 2315hrs just far to late for me, food was similar to the self service restaurant ( all prepared in the main galley) the other option is to dine in a speciality restaurant (paid service) or book a pizza meal you pay 4 Euros per person , Gala dinner evening some members had commented that photographing of guest's was compulsory we found if you waited them out all the officer's had drifted away. International cooked breakfast Degli Argentieri restaurant Watch out they keep changing the start finish times and the only thing edible was scramble eggs the rest of breakfast was over/under cooked , you ask for toast and a pot of tea. We paid for the tour Secrets of the Costa Mediterranea , ( life in crew area) observed staff cleaning the galley working in the laundry /bakery NO visit to the bridge or Engine room, at end of the tour finger bite sandwiches provided with soft drink or wine and our tour guides were gone , No customer feed back there , ( tour was a waste of money) .We were disappointed with the standard /quality of food, we asked for Hotel charges waver form (12 Euro per person a day) to be told we paid & accepted company conditions The ship is run for the benefit of Managers/ Chefs and maximum profit, well the guests they provide the money ! NEVER AGAIN WILL I PAY FOR A TRIP ON THIS BOAT . Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
We found this cruise at a very convenient price but the topics we are reviewing we understand that no matter how much you pay are good to be aware. Positives: Food was good for Italian and Spanish but Americans or British may suffer ... Read More
We found this cruise at a very convenient price but the topics we are reviewing we understand that no matter how much you pay are good to be aware. Positives: Food was good for Italian and Spanish but Americans or British may suffer without a cooked breakfast or egg options. Staff is friendly and attentive what indeed makes it better. The cruise is kept clean and you can see staff cleaning constantly. The entertainment is good and the organizers are respectful when people do not want to participate and the events are family friendly. We have been told that kids only 30 euros what seems really good. Pizza restaurant for dinner was excellent Negatives. We booked a cabin with a window and got and internal one. you will receive millions of emails check them a be sure that it reflects your booking. Embarking was not very good organized but if you arrive early you will no t have much delays. First language is Italian. Even thought they translate you will have to be patient. Some of the girls in costumer service are not very nice to address problems and bring solutions. We needed to use the internet which didn't work well in the business area, we were charged double and have to wait until the cancellation of the overcharged was authorized. ( half day) If you register to use internet be aware 3euro hidden charge. If you buy the all inclusive package as well be careful 36 euros per service surcharge never disclosed. Food in the buffet is good but people do not queue and it is very busy. Probably cultural clash but it can be stressful Adults only pool was full of kids but in the second day they controlled more. First two days almost impossible. If you want to have a chair to lay down it is impossible. Most of Italians put their towels to reserve the space 4 hours prior actual use. The best way I to skip a day in the port and enjoy the quiet Hope this is useful for you and if you are patient and want a good value costa is the way to go but expect places to be busy and mostly check the charges before accepting payment. The itinerary was good and I enjoyed the music and the sit downs dinners. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
My family had a great time, we really did, but we probably won't do this ship again. My kids are 8 and 6 and they loved it. This particular trip was organized by a local tourist company based out of Nanjing. Originally it was to ... Read More
My family had a great time, we really did, but we probably won't do this ship again. My kids are 8 and 6 and they loved it. This particular trip was organized by a local tourist company based out of Nanjing. Originally it was to go to Korea, but after MERS and the river cruise boat flipping, they've had to change courses. It's our first time with Costa, previously we have done Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Disney. Just trying to board the ship was a different experience. Very crowded. I've never experienced this before. Lines yes, but crowded lines, not really. Seems like they could have done a better job managing the flow of people. In the past we have always gotten our stateroom keys and paired our credit cards before heading on board. This was the first time where we had to go to our rooms first to get our stateroom keys. Our luggages were already there. Then we had to go to one of the few portals and pair our credit cards to our cards. There was something wrong with the machines. You have to leave a digital signature and we tried multiple times and it wouldn't go through. Finally we signed in Chinese instead of English and it was fine. Forgive me if my memory is wrong, but I believe in the past all drinks on cruises except for alcoholic drinks are basically free. Like your basic milk, juices, and cokes. Well not on Costa. They sell multiple drink packages. There's a drink package where you can have a limit of 10 drinks per day. Or unlimited beer per day. Then they sell this "unlimited" package, or that's how it's labeled. The kicker is everybody in the same room has to pay for the same package (it's a little cheaper for the kiddos). Which is fine, my husband and I don't like feeling restricted so we opted for that. Except apparently the staff didn't really know how to get it done. First one staff member tried really hard to convince us we didn't want this package and tried selling us another package. Then we were told we can do this at any bar, which we went to a bar on the 5th floor and the guy was obviously confused. Taking his time, calling for help. Once it worked and we tested it, we still ran into problems. At dinner for example, our waiter said he could not get it to work. Finally my husband went to guest services and were told we need new cards, and they would print our stateroom cards with the word "extra" on the back. This was also fine, except guest services was so incredibly rude. The lady at first refused to be helpful at all. My husband had to ask for the manager to come. And even the manager had to do some convincing for the lady to print four cards. So it's finally working and we find out, really it's not an "all-inclusive" or "un-limited" drink package at all. For example I can only have original margarita, can't have the blue or pink margarita. And they have this drink of the day deal, also not included. I remember all the other cruises had soft-serve ice-cream at the buffet. This one has a vending machine for ice-cream. The staterooms are decent. I don't remember which cruise I was on that provided on-board mobile phones, easy for staying in contact with other family members. This cruise does not have this. My kids had a bunk bed. We slept well in general. The TV was a nice flat screen. The bathrooms - they do not stock shampoo or conditioner like the other cruises. I had to go to the spa to buy some (but it was not expensive). The shower floods. Basically if more than one person needs to shower in a row, your bathroom well flood and it takes a while to drain. They use shower curtains. In general the staff members were great. Some spoke Chinese, most spoke English. We had a few more run-ins with guest services and always really really rude. Literally my husband got to the guest services desk and the guy at the counter just said "what?". There was no "how can I help you" kind of attitude at all. At the end of the trip they ask for everyone to fill out a survey, and they had it in Chinese only. Another thing that made us feel nickled and dimed was when we found our room service costed money. All the other cruise ships - it is definitely included. My kids tried out the children club and didn't like it. Said the staff was really cold and not nice at all. They wouldn't go back. Okay to the positives. Dining service was beyond compare. Of all the cruises this was the best dining service in terms of family fun. The servers put on a small show every night and it was always very funny. The food was excellent as well. The shows were fun. The casino is a good decent size, but the lowest bet is 25USD. The arcade is well done. Very well done. It was easy to play games by swiping your stateroom card. And the card keeps the points. Then there's a machine where you can pick our toys based on your points. This is my first time on a cruise where almost everyone is Chinese. It was fun. The dance floors were always full. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
This was my second cruise, and first cruise with Costa. I recommend cruising but potentially with a different Cruise company. From the first instance, Embarkation is a nightmare as it is very unclear to guests the process that they need ... Read More
This was my second cruise, and first cruise with Costa. I recommend cruising but potentially with a different Cruise company. From the first instance, Embarkation is a nightmare as it is very unclear to guests the process that they need to follow. We got their at 12 30 and did not get on to the boat until 1530. The main area that we felt needed improvement was the food. It was terrible and did not vary much day to day which gets a bit hard to eat after a week. Even although its an Italian cruise line, the Pasta and Pizza was very average. Another comment we would like to make is that the all inclusive drinks package does not include a bottle of water you can only get it by the glass. We felt dehydrated the whole trip as we were already paying roughly 25 euros a day each for drinks we could not justify paying for bottles of water on top of this. The third disappointment is that all the staff in management rolls or officers were Italian and the rest of the staff e.g. hotel and wait staff were from Asia, Africa and South America. These staff work very hard and we were guessing that Costa employ them on less money than the Italians. At the end of our cruise we received a bill for 60 euros each for 'hotel tip.' We were annoyed at this as they do not inform you of this and we do not think that the staff would actually receive little if any of this 'tip.' That brings up another point, it is not a custom to tip in Italy but every purchase has a 15 percent surcharge put on to it. We did however have a lovely room, awesome service and beautiful views. From our experience we felt that Costas as a cruise company do not care for their guests or staff it is all about money for them. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We are not seasoned cruisers having only been on four cruises - the first three with P&O and the last with Costa. The price we paid for our inside cabin was very reasonable - however it was discounted still further by Iglu cruise ... Read More
We are not seasoned cruisers having only been on four cruises - the first three with P&O and the last with Costa. The price we paid for our inside cabin was very reasonable - however it was discounted still further by Iglu cruise because we booked an outside cabin but were allocated an inside. Iglu cruise said this was an error but I strongly suspect that they sell you anything to get your booking and then work out what they can and cannot provide. Not an acceptable business practice in my view - but that is an issue with Iglu Cruise and not (possibly) with Costa. The bad points first. Costas organisational ability in relation to our transfer from Nice Airport to Savona Port was absolutely woeful. No one was there to meet us from our on time flight at 0905 am from Gatwick. After about half an hour of waiting around I noticed a man sticking up "Costa meeting point" signs just outside the terminal building. I spoke with him and he said that I must have spoken with his colleague who was there to meet us as we arrived. I told him that there was no one there to meet us - as all our fellow Costa customers can vouch for. He simply refused to believe me - saying that was not possible and laughing nervously - basically implying that I was making it up. After a further half an hour a coach turned up and a woman from Costa who had just arrived said to us "what can I do - I have four hundred people and just one coach" With the best will in the world - it's not our problem. Costa would have (should have) known well in advance how many transfer customers were arriving at Nice Airport that morning. If they lack the ability to organise enough coaches to cater for that then they really shouldn't be in business. We were lucky - we were at the front of the queue and managed to get on the first coach. However, there was no Costa rep provided on the transfer coach - just our driver Giovanni who spoke no English. He was a good driver but on arrival at Savona port for our embarkation we were greeted by a Costa rep who spoke for five minutes or so in Italian. She apparently had no idea we were all British and so was wasting her time - she just assumed we were Italian. We were then given vague directions about entering the terminal building to board our ship. Now as we could see from the coach where Giovanni had parked, there were two terminal buildings. A smaller one on our left right next to where our ship was docked and a much larger terminal building to our right where another Costa ship (Costa Favolosa) was docked. We all not unnaturally made the assumption that the terminal building to our left next to our ship was the one we wanted. We went there and were turned away by a Security Guard who gave us further unclear instructions about where we needed to go. We thought perhaps there was an entrance on another side of the building that we should be using. We found no other entrance so returned to the same Security Guard and were finally given proper directions and instructions. We had to enter the large terminal building on the opposite side of the dock from where our Ship was docked and we would then make our way to our ship across an upper level walkway that linked the two terminal buildings. Sorry Costa - but how on earth were we supposed to work that out by ourselves without either clear instructions or a member of staff to guide us there - neither of which were provided. Couple that with our pathetic/non existent meet and greet at Nice Airport and I confess I was not in the best of moods and my opinion of Costa Cruises was at a very low level. You only get one chance to make a first impression and Costa - you failed on a biblical scale. After we embarked and got to our cabin - still seething from our dreadful transfer - the first thing we noticed was that it absolutely stank of cigarette smoke. I don't know how it found it's way in there - there are smoke detectors in the cabins. Possibly from the previous occupants smoking in the ensuite which cannot have smoke detectors because the steam from the shower would activate them. Or possibly through the A/C system. I called Guest Services (Reception) and they said they would pass on a request to housekeeping to refresh the room. I asked how long that would take because it was so overpowering. I was just told that it had been passed to housekeeping. That answer was supposed to satisfy me - they had done their job in passing it on - so what more did I expect?!! Anyway, the smell did reduce after a few hours. Another bad point relates to the all inclusive drinks package we purchased at a cost of 28.75 euros per person for the duration of our cruise. Now having spent that amount of money, I don't expect to have to spend extra to buy water. With Costas all-inclusive package you do if you want a bottle to take to bed. You can only have water by the glass. What use is that when you want to drink water in the night. They even had the cheek to leave a bottle of water out of the mini-bar (all mini-bar drinks are extra) with a little tag around it. We made the assumption that because it was left outside the mini-bar it was complimentary. WRONG - we were charged 2.95 euros for it. On closer inspection of the tag around it it said "Dear Guest - we are sure you will appreciate the provision of this bottle of water in your cabin. Please note that should you open it your room account will be charged 2.95 euros" True hospitality!! OK now I've got that off my chest - all that remains is the positive. Firstly the staff. Secondly the staff Thirdly the staff All the front of house staff were exceptional. Happy, relaxed and customer focused. Now our previous cruising experiences have all been with P&O. Their staff are drawn from the same Countries - mainly India, Philippines and Indonesia but with Costa they just seem so much happier and that is reflected in the wonderful service they provide. I'm not saying service is poor on P&O but it is just so much better with Costa. The food. Really good quality cuisine - but for my British palate, P&O definitely has the edge and has more variety of cuisines Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Firstly the ship is huge and it took nearly a week to navigate our way around it.There were a lot of good things ans some not so good. With size you get variety but you also get crowds, there were certain times of the day particularly ... Read More
Firstly the ship is huge and it took nearly a week to navigate our way around it.There were a lot of good things ans some not so good. With size you get variety but you also get crowds, there were certain times of the day particularly between evening meal sittings when this could be overwhelming and also at times in the vast buffet restaurant. At the formal evening restaurant the food was quite good and the waiters friendly but they were always waiting for meals to arrive from the kitchens meaning that our table of 6 were rarely served together. At the buffet restaurant i found the waste of food appalling. This restaurant served food virtually from 7am to 17.00 and you would see people piling up plates and just wasting 3/4 of it obviously they were to lazy to get up off their backsides and make a second visit. They would probably say that they have paid for it but then so have i and every other considerate passenger who was paying for their waste. In the evening there was the choice of about 5 places where you could listen to live music the best of which was the piano player in the piano bar and the 2 guys who played acoustic guitars in the chocolate bar. The rest of the music was to middle of the road for my taste. The main theatre had 2 great shows a pair of acrobats and a musician the other evenings were just mundane. The ship was spotlessly clean and our cabin guy always had a smile on his face. My biggest gripe was that being an English speaker i was cheesed off that 3 of the 4 English speaking tours i had booked were cancelled due to lack of bookings. Finally I would like to recommend the all inclusive package which was a bargain. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Booked the cruise through Cruise Nation as it was advertised at a bargain price with a very low single supplement. First time with Costa, but I have sailed 4 times with MSC so I knew what to expect - particularly after reading Cruise ... Read More
Booked the cruise through Cruise Nation as it was advertised at a bargain price with a very low single supplement. First time with Costa, but I have sailed 4 times with MSC so I knew what to expect - particularly after reading Cruise CRitic reviews. And bonus - I got a free upgrade to an outside cabin. We sailed from Savona although the nearest airport is Nice in France. The transfer was very smooth on a superb French/Italian autoroute with over 50 tunnels on the way. The cruise is a bit of a hop on-hop off with arrivals and departures at Monaco, Barcelona, Malta, Salerno and Livorno so a changing passenger contingent, but the ship was never more than 60% full - and a number of them were travel agents on a special deal to push Costa to their clients. And it is just as well that it wasn't full as the buffet area was the smallest I have seen on any ship although the choice was such that there was always something to choose from, some of which was rather good. Tea time , however, if you were Jewish (I am not), your choice of little rolls was severely limited. I ate lunch, breakfast and tea in the buffet and dinner in the restaurant. Freedom dining but they do not facilitate sharing. Luckily, some other single Brits took pity and we formed a table for 6. The dining room staff were pretty good, although some in the buffet had perfected the art of appearing busy without actually seeming to do anything tangible. And passengers first is a concept some have yet to acquire. The food in general was good but by no means the best I have had on a cruise and I was quite happy till day 8 when, in the loo and washing my hands, I heard the cubicle flush and a chef, complete with uniform and hat, emerged and did a quick exit without washing his hands. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he had better hand washing facilities in the kitchen. But in general, hygiene enforcement was non-existent with no member of staff asking passengers to use the hand disinfectant. Entertainment was passable, with the resident performers working hard. Only 2 singers who did have some difficulty with some genres of music. The animation team were everywhere and were very popular. Evening music was great - if you liked Latin, ballroom, line/sequence dancing etc and it did annoy me when the band played some decent disco style music, the animation team and their followers took over the floor with some mechanised follow-my-leader dances that involved stepping forward, to the side, turning through 90 degrees ad infinitum. Half a dozen variations of that, with clapping and jumping in some, then 10 minutes dancing for the rest of us before the duo came on and played salsa, cha-cha, mambo, samba rumba, waltz etc. How to clear the floor!!!!! The ports were a mixed bag. Livorno & Salerno are not attractive, but a combination of bus and train gets you out of Livorno and to Pisa for less that 10 euros, so please don't book the ship tour. And certainly not in Monaco either. And that brings me finally to the grand fiasco on the last day. We all had transfer pick up times to Nice. Mine was 10.30 for a 16.50 flight. Others' transfers and flights stretched to 22.00. So what did Costa do? Without telling us until we got the "Today" event sheet after 7.00 p.m. when some people were obviously at dinner, they arranged for all the Nice coaches to come early and we had to disembark from 8.15 a.m. There was a near riot on the penultimate evening with literally dozens of angry Brits demanding that they revert to the original arrangements. However, at 22.00 at sea and the coach company in Nice not open till 8.00 the next morning, by which time their buses would be at Savona, we were stuffed. This fiasco was a variation on other poor organisation events I encountered on MSC and a couple of event clashes on Costa so I really have very little faith in Italian organisation. To sum up - if I had paid the brochure price, I would be very disappointed, but if you decide to eat in a Harvester, don't expect Brasserie Blanc or Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons. Read Less
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