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15 Costa Atlantica Cruise Reviews

EMBARKATION Those unlucky enough not to have priority waited in a queue for up to four hours to board the ship. LUGGAGE 3.5 hours after boarding one of my two suitcases showed up. I eventually found the other one on the wrong deck. ... Read More
EMBARKATION Those unlucky enough not to have priority waited in a queue for up to four hours to board the ship. LUGGAGE 3.5 hours after boarding one of my two suitcases showed up. I eventually found the other one on the wrong deck. DINNER AFTER BOARDING We were allocated an 8.30dining time. The queue at the dining room took 20 minutes to negotiate. At 9.30there was compulsory lifeboat drill. Much of the meal went unbeaten. This wasn't such a bad thing as it was barely edible anyway. SHIPBOARD ANNOUNCEMENTS. Repeated in 5 languages through a crackly intercom. DISEMBARKATION The ship docked at 2.00 pm but cabins had to be vacated by 10.00 am leaving 1500disembarking passengers wandering the decks and public areas with overnight luggage in tow. Overcrowded lounges and bistro resulted. TENDERED PORT 2 hour wait for a tender. There has to be a better way of allocating times so that the passengers need show up when their transfer is to take place rather than waiting in the theatre for an hour and a half before their allocated number is called. BRIDGE PLAYERS My wife and I are bridge players. There was no process for identifying other bridge players. Surely a notice board in the card room would suffice! MEALS Generally poor selection and very questionable quality. The bistro was ok but the main dining room was very mediocre. The charge for plain water in the premium dining room was outrageous. CREW Generally polite and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
The overall experience on Costa Atlantica was poor. Most of the crew were not very friendly with exception of Room Steward, some bar staff and Wait staff at dinner. I thought that cruise line took advantage of exchange rate as all items ... Read More
The overall experience on Costa Atlantica was poor. Most of the crew were not very friendly with exception of Room Steward, some bar staff and Wait staff at dinner. I thought that cruise line took advantage of exchange rate as all items charged on ship were in Euros vice dollars even though most of cruise ports in Caribbean take dollars. Additionally, this is the first cruise line that charged 5 Euros/person for room service - I guess that have to make their money anyway that they can. Breakfast in ship dining room was disappointing as they serve buffet style that was almost the same food as buffet upstairs. When asked for menu, the staff gave you a disgruntled look and said it would take a long time for service (which was not true). I had eggs benedict one day and it came with rock hard toast (no English muffin). The upstairs buffet had a limited selection food choices when compared to other cruise lines. The wait staff in buffet area seemed lazy and not very proactive in providing coffee or juice refills. They had a limited choice of juices. The evening buffet was very limited in selection (e.g., hamburger hot dogs and some salads) and they did not have any tomatoes for hamburgers. Make sure you eat in dinner room or you will be disappointed. The evening meal was generally good food, although I thought they should have provided more choices and perhaps a light food menu. Our wait staff at dinner was excellent. I was disappointed they the ship did not provide a daily news of current events - for a price they will provide a newspaper to your room. Internet service was ten Euros/hour or three hours for 24 Euros. The wifi was a little slow downloading connection programs, but was ok. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
We were on Costa Atlantica from February 17th to 27th, 2012 If you were thinking about cruising with them, I hope to help you with your choice. If you already booked with them, I wish you have better service than we did. Too many ... Read More
We were on Costa Atlantica from February 17th to 27th, 2012 If you were thinking about cruising with them, I hope to help you with your choice. If you already booked with them, I wish you have better service than we did. Too many languages are spoken in each announcements, Italian, Spanish, German, English, French 2 evacuation drills (first time we see that) in a 10 day cruise, in... 5 languages each, is too long Crew members do not seem to be happy being there. They do not smile (I could count on my 10 fingers those who did during our 10 day cruise). They do not make us feel welcomed. What we liked on our previous 8 cruises was that crew members made us feel like prince and princess and always ready to do something to make our day. Not on this ship. No inside (quiet) pool Almost no lounge chairs under shaded area Too much smoking areas = too much smoke. Even on the balcony No news paper recap, from the rest of the world. Although it is written in the book in each stateroom that it should be provided The safe in each stateroom, locks with the use of door card. But must be unlocked with the same card used to lock it ... If the other one went for a walk with this card... just too bad So and so cuisine, sometimes not good. What we always said about cruises was that you always eat well (sometimes too well). Not on this ship. Waiters don't introduce themselves on the first diner Waiters have too many table to serve to give good quality service Waiters never came back to ask if the meal was good Waiters never said (like on other cruise lines) that if we do not like a meal, that they will be glad to serve another one They do not serve coffee at diner in Dining room. They say they do not have time to do so. They do not serve tap water at diner in Dining room. Only bottled water from... Italy. Not very green, in my opinion. First diner at dining room, instead of being welcomed by the waiter, he was upset because he heard all of us speak french (we are french Canadian). We said that we all can speak English and that it was no problem to us. Well, he insisted that it said on his list that we were English speaking... He was rude taking our orders, like we were never fast enough for him to tell him each meal we wanted. He was rude serving our plates, and literally threw parmesan cheese on my plate before I finished saying yes I wanted some, and droped some of it on my arms, since he had no manners So after the very first diner we went to see maitre D (being followed by our waiter to hear what we would say) Maitre D was not very welcoming either, and when we told him we wanted to switch for another table, he was not very receptive, asking why we had that request. So we told him that we did not like our waiters. He made no fuss about it. The second diner we were at another table, but the service was barely improved... One of us did not like one main course meal and the waiters never realised that he did not eat. They asked him, as they were taking away other's plate, if he was finished... He said he was not please with it, and they said nothing. So he asked them to see maitre D. Well maitre D came... the following night... and never inquired about the problem. If you go to an island with tender, do not book a tour with a private tour company at a fixed time. We had to argue with cruise employees to get on a tender 45 minutes before our excursion and we finally got on land 50 minutes later. Needless to say we missed our tour and lost our deposit. When we got back on the tender at the end of the day, we were stucked on it, next to our ship, during 30 minutes, without being said a word from the tender crew why we did not get to the ship. We found out later the it was because the ship had to move closer to shore because of rough waves. A simple explanation wouldn't have cost much... Because 3 or 4 tenders waited next to the ship for so long, a long line built up on the sidewalk at pier waiting for the next tenders. Because Costa did not think of using ropes for the people in lines, some people got into the line, from everywhere, in front of those waiting. Arguments and almost fights started and the security agent had to call the police to calm people. Of course we enjoyed ourselves, besides all that. I said during these 10 days, that there are worse living conditions in the world, than that. But there are better cruise lines. We had to try Costa to know about them. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, make you happy thinking of your next cruise. It is sad that for the same price, Costa do not care about it or about you. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
I am an avid cruiser and I had sailed on virtually all major cruse lines including Costa before I took my Dec29-Jan8 Caribbean cruise on Costa Atlantica. The good: like all other cruise lines, Costa follows its itinerary, the ... Read More
I am an avid cruiser and I had sailed on virtually all major cruse lines including Costa before I took my Dec29-Jan8 Caribbean cruise on Costa Atlantica. The good: like all other cruise lines, Costa follows its itinerary, the rooms/bars/restaurants/shows are OK compared to the other mainstream cruise lines. The bad: they have been absolutely disorganized, careless about customers and have messed up things we could have not even imagined. Below are only the facts from my real experience: 1. Booking. We couldn't book Costa cruise on the weekend. Their computers were rejecting all reservations and their agents didn't work during the weekend. This issue was confirmed by travel agencies and fellow passengers on the ship. Good side: my room was still available on Monday, as they nobody could buy it over the weekend. 2. Embarkation. They didn't properly process our documents and on the way back the officer at the border couldn't see that we had ever left USA for the cruise. Not a big deal for me but it could have created immigration problems for those on visitors visas. 3. Missing room credit. Our cruise was sold with the $100 room credit but on the ship they just said that "our computers don't see the credit". I spent 7 days in a row talking and escalating and every day the response was "come back tomorrow". After 7 days, they finally admitted: we cannot solve it, essentially meaning "we have stolen your money, go to hell". 4. Internet service - they may mislead you and steal your time. To disconnect, they said to type "logout.wifi" from any browser. So we did, and got confirmation "You've been logged out" But our internet time still disappeared. Through trial and error we found a way: after typing "logout.wifi" there's one more "logout" button to click which they never told us about. After clicking there I got a message "you have been properly (!!!) logged out. The counter has been stopped". They never advertise this as the way to PROPERLY log out. 5. Finally, their port service. I was unfortunate to forget some items in the stateroom after I disembarked on Sunday. I already knew that Costa doesn't work on the weekends, but in the daily bruchure they posted a telephone of their Miami port agent "for emergencies" while on shore. So I called that number and discovered that they were all out for the weekend. Nice EMERGENCY service, thank you Costa! Thank you for the time spent reading this long review, I hope it would be helpful for future travellers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Hi. Just returned from first Costa cruise. Saw "kids sail free" offer and decided to give as a gift to our 4 children and my parents for Christmas since none of them had ever been. Husband and I sailed with Carnival last August ... Read More
Hi. Just returned from first Costa cruise. Saw "kids sail free" offer and decided to give as a gift to our 4 children and my parents for Christmas since none of them had ever been. Husband and I sailed with Carnival last August and although we realize it is not the "top of the line" we enjoyed it. Kids were free as the 3rd and 4th guests only so I reserved 2 cabins with my children being the 3rd and 4th in both cabins since my parents were going too. Our price was $299/person but we still had to pay port taxes, etc on the children. Final price per inside stateroom was just shy of $1000. Still not a bad deal. We drove 3hrs to Nashville, TN and then flew to Miami, FL. We were departing from Fort Lauderdale, FL but it was cheaper to fly in to Miami and then arrange transportation to our hotel in Fort Lauderdale. We are equally as close to St. Louis, MO but most hotels in Nashville, TN offer free parking up to 7 days, which was worth saving since we were driving 2 vehicles. We stayed at Alexis Inn and Suites which was $79.95 for a room with 2 beds and a pull out sofa. They shuttled us to airport for free to catch our flight. We flew with United Express which was a much smaller plane than I had ever been on but worked out "ok". Upon arrival to Miami payed $100 for van transportation for 8 to Crowne Plaze in Fort Lauderdale. Crowne Plaza was very nice and close to Port Everglades. Upon arrival to Port the Costa staff was wonderful. They assisted us with tagging our luggage to be taken to our room. They even allowed us to tag 2 12packs of Coke and 1 case of Bottled Drinking Water, which surprised me. Arrived a little early and were allowed to embark, very fast and easy. Had a decent buffet, the fresh fruit was the best part. Not many entertainment options. Went to pool with kids and after a short bit, all families with kids were asked to leave since it was an "adult only" pool. There were 2 more pools but only one uncovered in order to get sun while the kids swam. First night went to register kids for "Squok Club." Filled out papers for all stating they were not allowed to sign themselves in/out. Waited to speak to woman in charge of it to confirm that the childrens' groups would not be unsupervised by at least 1 staff member while there. She confirmed this. The next evening while at sea my children decided they wanted to try the kids club. Went and signed them in and there was a young man seated in chair with face propped in hands with elbows on knees silently watching a couple young children play with blocks and puzzles independently. He appeared very disinterested in them. My children went to adjacent room were there was an individual entertaining them while seated around a table. I had told my children I would be back to sign them out in 1 1/2-2hrs. My husband and I had gone back to our room to relax for a bit. Suddenly there was a knock on our door. It was my daughter-ALONE. The staff had told her she could sign herself in/out whenever she wanted so she decided to sign herself out since she had been feeling nauseated for a while(from the motion of the ship rocking which was more noticeable towards that end of the ship). The staff never attempted to contact me to tell me she was feeling ill but also had no means to contact me other than my stateroom phone. I was very upset to learn that the staff had allowed her to sign herself out when I had specifically indicated AND discussed this with the staff member on duty previously. She fortunately found her own way back to our room as she wandered around the ship alone. I was very upset and went up to the kids club and signed my children out and expressed my dissatisfaction. They didn't reply much. I also went to guest services to share my experience and the fact that their childrens' program was in much need of additional security measures. When on Carnival without children we did take notice that the childrens' program was extremely secure. I couldn't help but wonder, What if my husband and I had been off the ship on an excursion? What would she have done. A young girl alone wandering on the ship alone; too many horrible possibilities to mention!!! Guest services contacted the Supervisor of the childrens program; Monica. She accompanied the individual responsible to come to me and apoligize for the incident. My reply was, "thats fine, but if something had happened to harm her, your words would not mean much to me. Your children's progam is not secure at all and that is unacceptable!!!" I then returned to my room. We did not get off the ship at our 1st port, Key West. Although it was very beautiful it is quite touristy and expensive and there is not much for children to do. At Cozumel, we were headed to Chankanaab and we took a taxi van for $25. During transport our driver was wonderful and arranged a private reservation for a boat to take the 8 of us snorkeling at 3 locations for $200 rather than paying to get into Chankanaab. It was $16 for transport back to port. I learned from my last cruise that it is much cheaper to just pay for tranportation to go to desired destination and avoid the expensive "cruiseline" tours. Had a great time snorkeling with kids and the guides were wonderful. Ate at Grenado's which was probably the best meal we had during the entire cruise. Then at Grand Caymans I had prepaid for a private snorkeling tour to Coral Gardens and the Barrier Reef followed by swimming with Sting Rays at Sting Ray City. I read great reviews of Captain Marvins so booked a tour with them. It was much less expensive than with Costa. We were scheduled to arrive there at 1pm. I had arranged for a tour from 2:30-5:30 which was perfect since we were going to be there from 1p-7pm. It was a 2 block walk from the port. I was told to be at Captain Marvins at 1:45 which should not have been a problem, right? WRONG!!! Costa refused to issue us a tender boat ticket because we had not booked our tour thru them which was about triple the price. I was furious. I had paid for this cruise just as everyone else and I was not going to be discriminated against. We literally had to argue loudly and insist on going to the tender boat to make it in time for our excursion. The staff kept telling us "you will be fine. We have to give priority to those that have booked with Costa." But then they would make us stand there while everyone else went in front of us. It was ridiculous!!! We made it but there were others that didn't. Some people did not get onto the island til 3:15pm when we had arrived prior to 1pm and did not get to do any activities due to lack of time. We had an awesome time. Saw 1 sea turtle. The boat was very nice and was not overcrowded- maybe 20 people max and everyone was friendly. Snorkeling there was so much better than at Cozumel but we enjoyed both places. We collected some large shells to bring home which were $20 at port in Cozumel the day before. Just know that stuff in Grand cayman is extremely pricey. I ran into a place called Tortuga's to get some gum. They had the small packs of Wrigley's gum with $.35 marked on the package. I grabbed 4 packs and pulled out $2. I was then told they were $1 a pack. Wow!! Someone said a typical steak dinner at a restaurant there was $62. I would definately recommend Captain Marvins to anyone. Highly recommend buying own snorkeling mask as most rented masks leak. Not very expensive and enhance your experience. Last comment on Costa is that food quality was poor. Buffet was not hot. Restaurant not great. Could only have tea or water and tea was horrible. Ice cream was not good and only available at certain times and more often than not was not working or was just liquid when dispensed. They ran out of ice after about 2 days into cruise. My husband went to 9th deck to get some water after midnight, not available. Ended up eating mediocre pizza most of the time after we tried eating buffet and formal restaurant. Still enjoyed time spent with family and our snorkeling experience and swimming with Sting Rays. Will never take Costa again. Very few English speaking people and most were extremely rude. Very few shows-1/night and corny. Director says every sentence in 6 languages so takes a while to say, "Hello everyone, welcome to the show." Missed the entertaining shows by the restaurant staff during dinner that we saw on Carnival. Also know that there were several women and children (females) topless throughout the cruise. Many men wore speedos. Not what we anticipated. Ship was decent just lack of entertainment and services. Actually went to guest services and filled out paper to decline automatic gratuity charges and preferred to tip generously to staff independently when appropriate. Hope this helps. Thanks. P.S.-Transportations to/from MIA and FLL airports can be pricey and hard to find. Upon debarkation, since we had rented a car before going on cruise you may present your rental care receipt for free shuttle from Port to Fort Lauderdale Airport. During shuttle I got on priceline on my phone and got a rental mini-van for $29 plus tax, etc totaling $44. Drove 30min to Miami and left it at MIA upon flying out. Much cheaper than all shuttles and an easy drive. Would choose this option again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
We've sailed with Costa before and loved the wonderful food and the relaxed atmosphere. We've sailed on the Atlantica before and had a wonderful experience. This time was to be much different. We drove from our home to Ft ... Read More
We've sailed with Costa before and loved the wonderful food and the relaxed atmosphere. We've sailed on the Atlantica before and had a wonderful experience. This time was to be much different. We drove from our home to Ft Lauderdale and arrived around 4:30pm - the ship was scheduled to leave at 9pm. We'd made advance reservations at Park N Fly right near the port - receiving a nice discount for booking in advance. Once we arrived at the port the confusion and disorder started. We had not received luggage tags in advance of our trip via email or snail mail but were told by Costa that it was a simple task to get them at the port. I questioned this, but didn't push the issue. Luckily we arrived when the porters weren't busy because it took them two tries before they got the right name and cabin number on the tags. It was just by accident we noticed the cabin number was incorrect the first time or who knows when we would have gotten our luggage. Once we saw our two bags put on the luggage transporter we proceeded to check in. We have sailed many times and this was the strangest check-in we've ever encountered. As we approached the counter I had our passports, emailed boarding passes and credit card in hand along with the usual health questionnaire. The very pleasant young man took the boarding passes and the health questionnaires, telling me he didn't need the other items. Within seconds he handed the boarding passes back and directed us to the ship. I asked about the guest card and was told, "Oh, that's taken care of on board. Enjoy your cruise." We were very sceptical, but did as we were directed. Upon entering the ship we were met by a crew member with a hand held scanner. She scanned the bar code on our boarding passes and took our pictures. "Next", she said ushering us on. Before I lost her attention I asked where we picked up our guest card and was directed to the customer service desk...where there was a very long line. Once in line a crew member started asking who needed to register their credit card - almost all of us - and he took us to a machine next to customer service. We all got turned away because we had to go to our cabin to get our guest card before we could register our credit card. This is a very messed up system. I think it would would all right IF we'd received instructions before boarding. Email is easy. There was no excuse for such confusion. Next we attempted to change our "fixed" dining time from 9pm (it used to be 8:15pm but again lack of information caused us to make a wrong decision) and were told that the maitre'd wouldn't be available until the next day at noon. So we ate at the casual dining that night. Now let's talk about the cruise and all that terrible: - we were supposed to leave Ft Lauderdale at 9pm - didn't happen. Supposedly they were waiting for a "plane load" of people who were delayed by the storm. Later we found out this wasn't true. I don't think we left port until 2am. - late leaving meant late arrival in Key West ... not necessarily a bad thing because Key West isn't open at 8am. - when we attempted to change our dining time, the assistant maitre'd just about screamed at us - stating he'd already submitted 10 pages of changes and it just couldn't be done. He finally agreed to ask the person in charge and if they could change us we'd have a note delivered to the room. He also wanted to know why we waited so long to change. (Because we were told he wasn't available.) - food .... their normally heavenly bread was stale - every single meal of every single day - totally dry on the inside - and tasteless. Pastries were not any better ... dry, tasteless and totally unappealing. We resigned ourselves to eating the machine based ice cream (not wonderful either, but it had taste.) Pasta (fantastic on all other cruises with them) was starchy/gluey. Sauce (used same sauce on EVERYTHING) was good - but got boring after awhile. Pizza (deck 9)was superb as was the salad. But we didn't want to eat pizza for every meal. They must have gotten a sale on lamb (not my favorite) because it was in everything ... even when you didn't expect it - like lamb gravy served over beef tenderloin on the second Gala night (yes 2 gala nights on a 5 night cruise). - wait staff on deck 9 - let's just say that the words customer service are not in their vocabulary. Twice we heard servers being yelled at by the bosses for not cleaning tables. - wait staff in the main dining room - they couldn't even keep our water glasses filled. Finally a water pitcher was dropped in front of us so we could pour our own - but we lost that to another table when they asked for water. Is there only one water pitcher per bus boy?? We never got offered coffee after diner EVEN after we asked for it the first night. Apparently "fixed" dining times meant NOTHING to many of the foreign passengers as they were allowed to come in whenever they wanted. When one waiter turn a couple away because they arrived at 7:00pm his manager ran after them and personally seated them - apologizing. About 30 minutes later the other 5 people in their group strolled in. Later we discovered they were assigned to 2nd seating. This was happening all over the dining room. - Costa has solved the 5 language announcements - they don't make announcements any more - well a few, but very few in English. - cabin - NO TOILETRIES - 1 little bar of soap and a liquid soap dispenser in the shower. No tissues for the dispenser provided. We asked about the lack of tissues, hand lotion, etc. and were told Costa had eliminated them along with the chocolate on the turned down bed. The cabin steward apologized. - No voice of the Captain at noon time - or ever. We never saw any of the officers except at the captains cocktail party (we left early due to all the push rude passengers) - entertainment - they used to have movies in a theater type setting and/or on the television. Now you have to rent them at $10 each. Many channels on the TV, BUT only 2 in English and every other hour both run infomercials at the same time. No news in English - but if you understood most any foreign language there was news. We finally found a Korean channel - that either was in English or had English sub-titles. Of course, we only got the news of Korea. They did show movies in one theater - all old (1963 Fellini style). - live entertainment - not much. Classical music, dance classes - definitely not anywhere near the normal Las Vegas style shows. - we asked about changing the tips automatically charged to our account. We normally change the amounts to people depending on the service. Guest Services said only Americans and Canadians could choose to cancel ALL charges IF they brought their passports to them so they could take a copy plus fill out the usual form. Lots of English speaking people did so. - equipment - one evening after dinner we discovered our television no longer worked. When we tried to call for assistance, we discovered the phone didn't work. My husband went down to guest services to report the problems. Apparently the girl on duty could only take one report because she asked him which ONE do you want to report. Then she picked up her phone and called our room. My husband asked her if the phone was ringing - Yes, it's working. He then told her I was in the room and would have answered if it was working. She got huffy and said there would be no one to take care of the problem until the next day. In the hallway of our room he grabbed a cabin steward and told him of the problem. Withing minutes our cabin steward was knocking on the door. He was able to get both working. Later the huffy guest services person called to see if the phone was working - probably so she could close the complaint. - Not enough time was allotted to Grand Cayman. We arrived late..again. We had to tender in - and since we weren't taking a tour we weren't allowed off the ship until after the tour people were off. We wound up having about 1 1/2hrs on land to do some shopping. Americans and Canadians were allowed to disembark the ship via self service IF they signed up in advance. We tried to sign up at guest services but were turned away (by the same person who could only take one repair report). We tried again later - when there was a long line of people - and found out all the person had to do was type something in the computer. Needless to say there was a very, very long line of English speaking people waiting to get off the ship by 7:00am the morning of arrival. Oh, we arrived late getting back to Ft Lauderdale too - probably because we left Grand Cayman late. Costa should be ashamed of the way the Atlantica treated their English speaking passengers. It was obvious this cruise was geared to the European market. That's okay - BUT it should communicated so those who are not European can make an informed decision as to whether to take the cruise or not. Sadly, we won't be sailing with Costa any more. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
This was our fourth cruise on Costa, but our first on the Atlantica. It was also our first cruise in a suite, as we always had a balcony stateroom before. The check-in process was not much different from others, even though we were told we ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise on Costa, but our first on the Atlantica. It was also our first cruise in a suite, as we always had a balcony stateroom before. The check-in process was not much different from others, even though we were told we would have priority embarkation. As we found out, that only applies after you have waited in the line to go through security. Only then were we directed to a priority line, which was considerably shorter than the general embarkation. Once aboard the ship, we were pleased with the stateroom and happy to find a bottle of chilled sparkling wine waiting for us. In addition to the regular room steward, we also had a butler, who proved to be invaluable during the cruise. He took care of our every wish and was very attentive, which was not the case of the room steward. The main dining room proved to be mediocre at best, with lukewarm food, a very limited menu, and long waiting times between courses. What few shows we saw were only average. The main problem with our cruise was the air conditioning in our cabin. It was too warm from the very first day and even though we complained, it was never properly repaired. The maintenance people came up daily, but never got it cool in the room. On the next to last day of the cruise, the ventilation system for our entire corridor shut down for a few hours and it was extremely hot in the staterooms. Guest services on the ship was notified and had representatives in our cabin for two straight days and assured us that they would notify their home office of the problem. After the cruise, I wrote a letter to Guest Services in Hollywood, Florida. Their response was that they acknowledged that we had had a problem that was not resolved during the cruise and that we had been inconvienenced, but they offered no compensation whatsoever. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
I must admit the Atlantica is a beautiful ship. The atrium was spectacular! But the dining room service was quite poor. It was noisy and exceptionally warm. Getting refills on water or ice tea took several attempts. The food was mediocre ... Read More
I must admit the Atlantica is a beautiful ship. The atrium was spectacular! But the dining room service was quite poor. It was noisy and exceptionally warm. Getting refills on water or ice tea took several attempts. The food was mediocre at best. We tried one morning to have breakfast in the main dining room and left after not being served for over a half and hour. Complaints were made to several of the staff to include the head person and nothing happened! We decided to try the buffet it was a little better. The food was lukewarm and it took us 10 minutes to find a place to sit. The serving lines in the buffet area are scattered all over the place, completely disorganized. If ice cream was available we had to go looking for spoons to use to eat it. There were no normal sized spoons anywhere on the ship, we could only find TABLESPOONS! Evidently customer service is not the Italian way! Also, had to witness one of the headwaiters belittling one of the staff. This is something that should not be done in front of passengers! It was very annoying to have each and every announcement done at least 5 times for each language. This even included the shows! I thought English was the international language! The shows were okay. Our room was very nice and our room steward was superb! Always smiling always a warm welcome each time he saw us. Excursions offered were okay. In St Thomas it would have been nice to have more excursions offered over to St Johns! Renee our shopping guide was quite helpful and a lot of laughs! As for the overall experience, I will NOT travel with COSTA again! Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
Well where do I begin? Okay, getting on the ship. Boarding was quite easy. We've been on 7 other cruises (Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Carnival) and I have to say I've never had boarding issues with any cruise line. We ... Read More
Well where do I begin? Okay, getting on the ship. Boarding was quite easy. We've been on 7 other cruises (Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Carnival) and I have to say I've never had boarding issues with any cruise line. We boarded about noon and couldn't get in our room until 1:30 so we went to the lunch buffet. Please keep in mind my husband and I are not picky eaters, but my husband has been in the restaurant business for over 30 years and definitely can tell the difference between great, good, okay, or bad food. The food was really bad and we didn't just try one or two things. We went back to the food bar three separate times thinking maybe I'd find one thing that tasted good. No luck, maybe dinner would be better. I read reviews before we went on the cruise BUT NOT BEFORE I BOOKED. Big mistake, HUGE mistake. If I had only known. Every breakfast, lunch, and dinner service was equally bad and during dinner service slow, slow, slow. I love Italian food, so I thought. I was on an Italian ship who had no idea how to make simple Italian dishes. I can throw together in my little tiny kitchen at home a dynamite marinara sauce in 15 minutes or less. How is it that the Italians can't make a good red or white sauce. Their what they called alfredo was extremely bad. I told my husband, no way there is that much bad food on a cruise, the people had to be exaggerating because there no way it's all bad! I've went on a carnival cruise once and the food wasn't great but most of it had flavor and I did find dishes that were good or at the very least okay. Wow I must apologize to the previous reviewers, I didn't think they were being honest. If your on a diet, and care nothing about fun filled planned activities to choose from all day, this is probably the cruise for you. My husband lost 4 pounds and I lost 2. Not that we couldn't afford to lose a few pounds, but I've never lost weight on a cruise or any other vacation before and I've never lost weight because the food was so bad I just didn't eat it. Our anniversary night dinner, Thursday, April 1st. The Club Atlantica Tuscan Restaurant at $30 per person was an absolute nightmare! Not only was the food as bad in that restaurant as on the rest of the boat, one side of the restaurant was vibrating so badly that no two items such as silverware, glasses, plates, etc. could touch one another without this horrendous clacking sound. When I tell you the vibration was terrible, let me try to explain. Turn a fan on high, get about 6 inches away from the breeze and talk. You know how your voice trembles and shakes as you talk into the breeze. Yes my husband and I sat through 2 1/2 hours of this vibration trying to talk to one another. You might say, why did you stay? Well it was our anniversary, our reservation wasn't until 8:45 p.m. Our regular dinner service had already started and the upstairs buffet closed at 9:00, we ate nothing all day because we thought at $30 per person this dinner was going to be the bomb (especially since they were supposedly completely booked). When we walked in we should have known since there were so many empty tables we were going to be in trouble. Not to mention I called at 9:00a.m. Thursday morning and tried to reschedule our dinner reservations to 7:00 instead of 8:45. The woman on the phone said they were completely booked and I would be unable to change my reservation. I thought man this dinner is gonna be good. SAD SAD SAD...... Well my husband and I will definitely NEVER forget our 5th anniversary. Lets talk about daily activities. They schedule periodic activities but not throughout the whole day, and definitely not something I'd be interested in. Knitting Class... What the @#$%? If you've been on a Holland American or a Royal Caribbean Cruise, there is no comparison. Both Holland and Royal know what they are doing and Costa could stand some lessons. There was one planned activity that I wanted to participate in during the entire 7 days and that was the Newly Wed Game, I waited all week for it to appear on our daily program. We've been to this activity on EVERY cruise we have taken. Wouldn't you know that on our anniversary night it was scheduled at 10:15. We were still at the SLOW, BAD, TASTELESS dinner in the Tuscan (didn't get out until 11:15). I really wished we would have just got up and walked out, but honestly I never gave up hope that at one point this dinner was going to get better. SADLY IT JUST NEVER HAPPENED! Our room 7256 a BALCONY... We went to our room at 1:45p.m. The attendant said it was ready and welcome, he was very nice. We walked in: Well it started out, that there was sand all over our dresser. It looked like someone had poured about 1/8 of a cup of sand right on the dresser. How did our room attendant miss this when he was cleaning? It was VERY noticeable. The light fixture had spit or something gross smeared on it. Then toothpaste/spit on the bathroom counter, and a dirty mirror. Our balcony windows were very dirty and the outside balcony wall that faced the inside of our balcony was filthy. I quickly brought this to our room attendants attention and he quickly took care of everything except the balcony issues. He said one day during our cruise he was scheduled to clean out there. The day we're in St Thomas, 3 days into our cruise. I really think the balcony should have been cleaned before I arrived. But, he was very nice and I was okay with the balcony issues as long as he took care of the rest of the room. Note to future Costa cruisers, if you want your room cleaned you must remember to put out your clean my room sign or it doesn't happen. If you forget, no clean towels, etc. To all you people who wait to see what amazing towel animal your gonna have in your room when you return from dinner, my room attendant didn't even know what a towel animal was. No mints on the pillow. NO FRILLS, NO EXTRAS! Our room attendant was very nice and he acted like he really wanted to please us and he did ask me every single day, several times a day if everything was okay. The smoke.. We had a smoke free room, however, there were so many smokers I guess in other rooms on our floor when we walked out of our cabin it was like walking into a fog. Our room was located right next to the elevator hall. It was very thick and if you have smoke allergies there is no escaping it. If it's not in the room your in, you have to go through so many rooms that are smoke filled to get to where your going, you might as well be lighting up yourself because your gonna have to inhale at some point simply because no one can hold their breath long enough to make it where their going. There's not suppose to be smoking in the elevator or stairways but I noticed some people didn't think those rules were for them. The spa and fitness center was a great feature on the boat. They had a steam sauna, dry sauna, jacuzzi, lots of work out equipment. It was set up beautifully and everything was very clean everywhere in the place. Showers in the Spa were the absolute best feature on the ship. The showers in there were so fine, I literally brought my show bag, everyday so I could shower in the Spa rather than our room. They strictly enforce the 18 and older rule in the spa, and the outside adult pool was also strictly monitored for adult use only, which I really appreciated. Life Jacket Drill: This was the biggest load of crap I've ever encountered on any ship. The boat drill was NOT conducted on the first day while we were in port until 7:00 p.m. Oh no...They do this drill on day 2 while your having a leisurely day at sea, they do this right in the middle of your slumbering, relaxing afternoon. This right here was a good enough reason not to chose this cruise line. Say for instance..Saturday night (the first night on the boat)we had a real life jacket emergency..Hello..Don't you think they should have had this drill while we were still in port like every cruise line I know of. If there had been a real emergency on that first night or morning would all the passengers know what to do and where to go? NO WAY! Oh and lets not forget the what turned out to be an April Fools joke, I guess, they never really said. They announced that all persons on board must bring their life jacket and bathing suit to deck 9 at noon for a buoyancy test required by the Bahamas Authorities. I told my husband, I've been to the Bahamas 4 time before and I have never heard of such a thing and there was no way I was participating in what sounded like a big load of crap. I went to the spa at 11:00 and at 11:50 I was in the jacuzzi and the captain made an announcement. Blah Blah Blah Deck 9 by the pool 10 minutes. These little old ladies about 80 years old get out of the jacuzzi and of course they brought their life jackets with them, they are headed to the pool. They say honey you only have about 6 minutes are you coming? I said, I appreciate the offer but the only way I'm participating is if they come in this jacuzzi and drag me there! It was another leisurely day at sea and I wasn't going to interrupt my day at sea for something else stupid! If I would have went and got my life jacket and met these lunatics by the pool I would have been so mad and I would have given guest services a piece of my mind and then some. The food was bad enough, at the very least they could let me enjoy a leisure day at sea, uninterrupted. Excursions: St. Thomas was so fun. We went snorkeling and then we took the sky ride up to the top and got some amazing pictures. Our ship was parked next to the Oasis when we were docked in Port Everglades but they were so close you couldn't really picture it's size. But when we were in St Thomas they were docked next to us and we were looking from the sky ride, it was massive. Our pictures are amazing! Puerto Rico we went on a city tour and then shopping. The tour was really drug out and by the time we finished our tour we only had a couple of hours to shop. We definitely would like and need more time in port! What's up with a 7 hour time limit. There was no need to rush as we were just going out to sea for a day and half the Bahamas were closed because it was Good Friday. I think they could have compensated and gave a little more time in Puerto Rico. But I don't understand the whole time in port, maybe they weren't allowed to stay because they didn't plan ahead. I have no idea, but I think 12 hours in port would be a lot nicer. All in all, for the price we paid, it was about a 2 star cruise. If they had a half way decent planned activity list to choose from like other cruise lines and if the food had been at the very least okay, it could have made it to a 3. I would recommend this cruise to anyone who is looking to lose weight, and work out on vacation (because the spa was very nice). I would not recommend this cruise to anyone who expects good food or to be wowed or amazed by the taste of any food or the presentation of it. If your looking for any added frills or special anything (for free) this is not the cruise for you. Good Luck Cruisers Our next destination is Aruba (not on Costa or Carnival) Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
In reading the initial critic's review I wonder if we were on the same ship. You are greeted to an assault of your senses when you board the ship. The colors the ideas, the design is not harmonious in the slightest. There is no sense ... Read More
In reading the initial critic's review I wonder if we were on the same ship. You are greeted to an assault of your senses when you board the ship. The colors the ideas, the design is not harmonious in the slightest. There is no sense of the wonderful Italian design as a complete composition. Smidges of ideas here and there are crammed together in a cacaphony of texture and pattern. The circus atmosphere is accentuated by the struggle of pattern with Roman classicism, as though the designer was an Italian student on speed. We felt that we had stepped into a modern remake of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Hard to take. The atrium and it's surrounding salons would be a good example of where to take students of design on what not to do. There is no regard for the design from one area flowing to the next. It makes for a constant topic of conversation however with cruise-mates known and unknown. The announcements were done in five languages which I do not mind but are frequent and generally about how to part with your money. There was a nice cosmopolitan flavor in the guests although the common denominator which the ship seems to cater to was extremely low- and therein is a main complaint. We had hoped that, being an Italian ship, we would be finding some attention to the food. This was not the case in the entire ship for the entire week. The food was laughably bad. The pastry chef should be fired for any number of reasons, from bread to plastic desserts. The lovely availability and variety of fresh vegetables that the Italians are so good at was no where in evidence for the entirety of the cruise, overcooked vegetables, weak sauces, eggs created from powdered mixes, non-descript meat was the norm. By the end of the week we were eating the small offerings of the salad bar as it was the only thing that was consistently palatable. Our best meals were in our ports of call at restaurants recommended by locals- not fancy but real food. There is some award given for environmental excellence. I think this ship should be reviewed. The waste of laundry, trash blowing around the deck-straws, napkins, etc- things that could easily have been avoided are paid no heed. Like a zoo extra trash is easily avoided by not offering it. I trust my fellow passengers to respond to concepts of environmental footprint. The cessation of cheap plastic straws and napkins are an easy item to avoid polluting the waters with. Although we hung our towels daily to reuse them again they were replaced- unnecessary, expensive and poor stewardship. For several days the water in our suite was yellow tinged and tasted terrible making one suspect of the filtering system and the source. We were told they were flushing the pipes. Hmm. The crew was pretty disconnected from the passengers, pleasant enough but it was a job, nothing more. The spa treatment worker complained about the work conditions and had poor quality supplies. The gym did not have disinfectant bottles, so standard in most gyms to prevent the spread of germs and disease.. As a result the bars of the treadmills and other well used equipment that was in service was somewhat sticky, pretty, unhealthy feeling. The casino dealers sniped at the guests saying -"go talk to my boss" and "those are the rules" with a sourpuss expression. Granted, the guest was unpleasant, but surely that is nothing new. Diplomacy in the service industry? A must. The restaurant staff seemed to want to do a good job but were poorly trained and less informed than a mediocre restaurant on shore. Did we have a terrible time? No. We have traveled a lot and know to roll with the flow. The weather and the company was great. Will I take Costa again? -Not if they give me a free ride. There are too many other choices out there. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
Our first cruise with Costa was on the Frederica C in the 70's. This was our sixth cruise with Costa. The Atlantica is a beautiful ship. We have been on 45 cruises and embarkation on this cruise was the smoothest ever. We ... Read More
Our first cruise with Costa was on the Frederica C in the 70's. This was our sixth cruise with Costa. The Atlantica is a beautiful ship. We have been on 45 cruises and embarkation on this cruise was the smoothest ever. We couldn't believe how fast we went through embarkation. Previous to boarding, we contacted Costa and asked if I would have a problem with a request for a low protin diet. I suffer from kidney problems. I was advised that the ship's personnel would be advised and my request would handled. I also checked with the Costa Club and was told that my wife would receive the same benefits that I was entitled to since she had the same number of credits. That turned out not to be the case. We are not wine drinkers but were disappointed that we did not receive one bottle each. We were told on ship that it would be one bottle per cabin. The Club people shold have known this. We were supposedly upgraded to to an ocean view cabin. It was an obstructed view which wouldn't be so bad but their was a tarp covering a lifeboat directly outside the window and every windy night this made a terrible racket and kept us up half the night. The fist night in the dining room, the dining room manager came to our table and asked me if I was the one who requested a low protein diet. He never came back again for the rest to the cruise. I was called from the Cursers office the third day and asked about the diet. I told them about the dining room manager's visit. They said they would take care of it. They didn't. Two days later a note was left in our cabin. It looked like to said something about a debt. Turns out it was another note about the diet. Again nothing was done. The dining room service was quite poor. We ordered salads that were never served, ice tea and sugar substitute was constantly forgotten and worst of all, the waiter smelled bad! There was a fruit basket in our cabin the first day. It was treated like a special treat. A club member benefit. For the rest of the cruise, we had to obtain fruit from the buffet. They also made a big deal out of a piece of chocholate the first evening. I can't remember any of our many cruises where there wasn't a fruit basket every night and choacalate every evening. We decided to try the buffet for breakfast. It was a disaster. The food was cold and it took us 10 minutes to find a place to sit. The serving lined in the buffet area are scattered all over the place, completely disorganized. We tried the buffet once for lunch. After walking around for I don't know how long, looking for a place to sit, we finally put the trays of food down and went to the dining room. By then it was too late. It was closed. We were told by FOUR other couples that they were upgraded to a balcony and paid $100 less for the cruise. They didn't book directly with Costa. We wrote to the President of Costa. We received a weak apology. We felt that being a past cruiser, we would have gotten better treatment. They seemed to think we were asking for compensation. The entertainment was better than average. The Cruise Director was quite good. We didn't get off the ship at the ports. We've been to these islands too many times already. We enjoy having the ship to ourselves when most of the passengers get off at the islands. Disembarking was relatively smooth. We will NEVER cruise with Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
This was the first Costa and sixth cruise overall for DDP and me. Previously we have cruised on Celebrity to Alaska, NCL Sun to the Western Caribbean, Atlantis (aboard X) to the Eastern Caribbean, Eastern Med on NCL Jade and last ... Read More
This was the first Costa and sixth cruise overall for DDP and me. Previously we have cruised on Celebrity to Alaska, NCL Sun to the Western Caribbean, Atlantis (aboard X) to the Eastern Caribbean, Eastern Med on NCL Jade and last Thanksgiving to the Mexican Riviera on NCL Star All in all, it was a pretty disappointing experience. Due to inconsistencies of service, food and staff, Costa failed to live up to our admittedly low expectations. But as all of us Cruise Critics know, even the worse day on a cruise is better than any day at work....and Costa's two, that's right count-em, two happy hours a day with 2-4-1 drinks at both made a positive impression on us...or at least help us forget our troubles. Of course trying to convince the bartenders that it would be easier for them and us if they put both drinks in one larger glass took most of the week! Precruise We departed RDU aboard Southwest on Friday morning and after an uneventful flight and a plane change in Tampa, we arrived in Fort Lauderdale a little after noon. I checked us in exactly 24 hours ahead and we had boarding passes 30&31 for our first leg and 24&25 for the second. Not that they did us that much good...both flights were continuations of previous flights so they were at least half full when we boarded. We did ok though, I got an exit window and DDP got an aisle...so no middles! I had pre-booked our hotel at Comfort Suites. We ended up here through a website www.Stay123.com. This website is set up for free parking at airports and cruise ports, but they had the cheapest rate - we paid $89 for the one night and included free shuttle from the airport and to Port Everglades. Their shuttle arrived about 10 minutes after I called. Other than a racist driver, the short trip to the hotel was uneventful. We arrived there to a lobby full of folks waiting for their rooms. We got on their list for early check-in (apparently my pre-check-in faxed letter didn't do the trick) and left to find some lunch. After following the hotel's front desk clerk's directions which resulted in what the DDP called the "Pre-Cruise Death March" we failed to find the promised land of Cuban food ...so we ended up across the street at Pollo Tropicale. Which while not perfect did give us a quick and tasty Cuban fix. We returned to the hotel to be told our room was ready...of course the oh so helpful clerk told four other parties that their rooms were ready at the same time so it took almost 30 minutes to finally get to our room. The room was fine and we were only going to be there for one night so all was good. At 3 pm, I went down and signed us up for the complimentary shuttle to the port. If you stay here, be sure to sign up fast. When I went down at 3:05, the 11am shuttle was almost full so I signed us up for the noon ride. I went back about 10 minutes later to sign up some friends who were checking in later and "our" shuttle was full so they ended up on the 1 pm shuttle. The complimentary shuttle runs every hour on the hour starting at 11am. They run a second one on the half hour for $5/pp. Even though officially embarkation wasn't scheduled to start until 1:30, after reading the CC boards, it appeared we could board earlier so I was hopeful that the noon shuttle was a good decision. Embarkation We had the complimentary breakfast and were lucky enough to get a late checkout. We headed to the lobby about 11:30, got on board the shuttle (along with one other couple headed to Atlantica and five couples heading for Ruby Princess a little after noon. After dropping them off, we arrived at the Costa building about 12:50. After a quick pass through security - TSA stopped DDP for his eight pack of caffeine free Diet Pepsi, but let him pass onboard, however the agent pointed to a Costa sign that said NO FOOD or BEVERAGES were allowed - we did a quick check in shoreside and went right on board. Costa has a different system than other lines we have sailed. Rather than taking your picture and credit card on shore, they do it after you are on board. Just after stepping on board, there were three or four staff members with hand held scanners. They scanned the bar code off of your "print at home boarding documents" and took your picture. We were then allowed to go directly to our rooms which were open and ready for us. We got there at 1:15 so not quite 30 minutes from shuttle door to cabin. Waiting for us on the bed were our Costa Cards. With these in hand, we then could go to any one of a number of kiosks where we could register our credit card. It's a great system but due to inconsistent directions both written and from Costa staff, it wasn't clear if how or when we could use the kiosks. Several staffers told us we couldn't register our card until 3pm when the front desk would be open. So at 3 pm we headed to the desk and after standing in the 35 person line for a couple of minutes, I saw a sign that said Kiosks were upstairs, so up we went. Of course there was no one telling anyone in line that the kiosks were available, you only had to register at the front desk if you were making a cash deposit (and maybe if you were using a debit card). Anyway, like most instances on Costa, it was a great system but due to lack of communication failed to serve Costa well. Ship & Cabin We had a balcony cabin on Deck 5 starboard. Our stewardess was friendly and helpful but not overly so. She kept our ice bucket full and our room straight and clean. On the few occasions we asked something extra of her, it was quickly and pleasantly done. Unlike our staterooms on other lines, Costa has the bed near the window and the sofa near the toilet and closet. We decided this layout is an improvement since it provides more open space near the closet and door where you typically need it to get dressed. One thing we didn't like about Costa is that rather than entering a code to open/close the safe, you use your Costa card. This seems like it would work fine until you discover that if your DDP uses his card to lock the safe, your card won't open it! So we quickly got an extra key and hid it in the room so either of us could open the safe. Our only real complaint about the room was the air conditioning. We were on the starboard side so we faced south. Despite two requests and follow-ups the room didn't get cool until we left St. Thomas and weren't on the sunny side of the ship anymore. While keeping our curtain closed through out the day did help, the room really was uncomfortable almost all the time. With the exception of one elderly lady down the hall who we heard complaining she was cold, I heard a number of folks complaining about the heat. The bed was comfortable but I like a hard bed. The bed was made with a bottom sheet and a duvet. Our request for extra pillows was the first of our requests that was quickly met. The bath was fairly typical, I missed NCL's glass shower door but the shower was roomy enough for me so I didn't have to fight the curtain the whole time. We did wish the lip at the floor of the shower was taller or the curtain longer as typically we ended up with a wet bathroom floor. The ship was similar to others we have sailed. It was a little gaudy but I guess that was the style for ships at the turn of the century. We did think that having the pools separated was a good touch. Made it seem like there really weren't 2000 folks on board. We didn't like the layout of the exercise area as much. It is located forward and is set up in a series of wide steps that step down from an upper deck to a lower one. I am sure the intent was that everyone would be able to look out the windows and see the sea ahead of the ship. Unfortunately, it doesn't work out that way; you basically look at the top of the heads of the folks in front of you. Unfortunately, the equipment doesn't come equipped with televisions or a sound system so it was pretty boring. Lastly, there is a big skylight over the whole area so it was quite warm...and this was before you start sweating. Entertainment Be advised that Costa's late seating opens at 8:45 so it makes for a very late night. Due to the late seating, we only went to two shows. One was a late nite comedian - some enjoyed him, I didn't. The other was the passenger talent show - as always it was fun. We had expected that our last night would be toga night. Apparently Costa is changing this. Rather, they had an Italian Festival night on the next to last night. The dining room staff danced and provided entertainment during dinner. The talent show was that night after the last dinner seating. They had some togas at the doors to the theatre if you wanted to wear one. The show was MCed by the Cruise Director in full Caesar garb attended by his staff and dancers. The talent show was treated as an event in the coliseum with us giving the contestants thumbs up to go to the buffet or a thumbs down to send them to the lions. Additionally, there was midnight food in the central atrium and the casino which looked tasty but it was so quick after dinner, I couldn't even bring myself to taste it. We didn't see The New and not so Newlywed Game live but did enjoy them on the TV later - as always, it was very funny. Ports/Sea Days DDP and I have determined that we enjoy being on our own while in port so we did not take any of the ships excursions. Additionally, given our ports, we had decided to take it easy and treat this as a vacation rather than feeling the need to have educational tours. We had two sea days right off the bat. The first one started with a muster drill. Given we didn't leave port until 7pm I am not sure why Costa didn't do the muster before we left rather than on our first full day. So at 9:30 am (who wants to get up that early on your first day of vacation?) we headed to our station out on deck. In another difference from other lines we have traveled, Costa only has four muster stations. All were on Deck 4, two forward, two aft. Lots of other Critics have complained about having to listen to announcements in five languages on Costa. This was the only time it got a bit tedious to me. I think they actually did the life vest demonstration in six languages. By the fourth or fifth time, I was really ready to be done...but safety first! One interesting thing that Costa did was to scan everyone's key card...that's right - EVERYONE's. If you forgot your card, no biggie, they used the same scanner to enter your name and stateroom number into the system. Seems like a good way to make sure that everyone was there. Not sure what they did if you weren't at muster - maybe come to your cabin and make YOU do the vest demo in six languages? After muster, we headed to the buffet for breakfast and then lounged around the pool for most of the day. I don't have any notes for our second sea day, but I suspect it was more of the same. I also suspect the two happy hours a day had something to do with the lack of memory! In St. Thomas, after a big breakfast, we taxied ($8 each) to Megan's Bay ($4 each) and enjoyed our morning floating on the beautiful sea. We each had a pina colda ($12 for two) to make the visit complete. We left there about 12:30 and taxied downtown ($8 each) where we each bought our allowed six liters of duty free liquor (5 plus one VI Rum). We had planned on walking back to the ship but unfortunately, we missed the 2pm cutoff for free delivery to the ship so we had to lug it back ourselves. We taxied back ($4 each) but lucky us, we had a great driver. She reminded me of Maya Angelou and seemed to know everyone we passed. She was great fun and made the long trip - road construction had really slowed down traffic- a lot of fun. We got back to the ship about 2:30 and spent the rest of the day having lunch being lazy before our 6pm departure We had planned to go to the Barcardi factory in San Juan but after our lazy day in St. Thomas, we decided why should we ruin a good thing so we ended up just wandering around Old San Juan. We enjoyed lunch at The Parrot Club so I could try mofungo for the first time..very tasty and the BEST Mojitios I have ever had. Their chocolate tres leches cake was also very good. On our way back to the ship we stopped at Don Q's for our free rum drinks. Very tasty, we would have bought some but we had already filled our allowable quota in St. Thomas. Just before we got to the ship, we stopped at a tiny little store and watched cigars being made and bought some to bring home. All in all another relaxing day. During our lunch, there had been a thunderstorm and just as we got back to the ship it started raining again. This was the only bad weather we had during the week. It actually made the departure from San Juan very picturesque - El Morro in the grey drizzle was great. Our last sea day was spent almost totally on the balcony. So relaxing! We read, watched the ocean and really just enjoyed ourselves. It was the first time that I realized that I might consider paying for a suite sometime just so I could have a balcony big enough for a lounge chair...boy did I want a hammock! Unfortunately, Costa doesn't have room service during meal times so I did have to run up to the buffet and play room service stewart so we could lunch on the balcony. Our cruise ended with a short day in Nassau. We arrived at 1 pm and had to be back on board at 5:30. So we decided to take the water taxi over to Paradise Island to see what all the fuss about Atlantis was about. The taxi was fun - way too many people but it was fine for the short ride and our "guide" was pretty funny so I didn't mind when he passed his hat for tips. Atlantis is quite the resort. Having never been to Las Vegas I presume it is like the hotels there - very over the top. It was interesting to see the difference in architecture between the original Atlantis towers (plain) and the new ones (a wedding cake from The Cheesecake Factory). We took a taxi back to the port and then wandered into town to buy a few souvenirs for family at home. Not a bad day, but if I ever end up in Nassau again, I think I will just stay on the ship. Obviously from the title of this review, we loved the two happy hours a day and took full advantage of them! Our On Board account was about half of its usual amount. I wish all cruise lines would follow Costa's lead on this - but that is about the only thing I would like to see others learn from Costa. Like all other service on the ship, it was very inconsistent. We had two of the best Mahattans we have ever tasted one night in the atrium bar followed by two of the worst later the same evening in the theatre. Midway through the cruise, limes seemed to be in short supply. I order a mojito at one point and it was made with lemons. When I complained, I was told they were out of limes….funny but next time I was at the bar, they had limes. We heard similar stories from others on the cruise. We did luck out that there was a great head bartender at the rear pool - where we tended to spend our time. I overheard one of the bar staff call him Papi and when I started calling him that (much to the staff's amusement) I suddenly became his best friend…and he mine! Costa offers an unlimited house wine at meals package you can order before you board. We were lucky enough that two folks at our table had purchased this package. Because of a lack of understanding or training of the servers we lucked out. When the two who had the package ordered their wine and mineral water, it was offered to everyone at the table. Such a deal FOR US! I tried to make it up to my table mates by buying them drinks a couple of times, but it sure seems like it could be a big money loser to Costa. The house wines were nothing special but they were very drinkable. Food I am going to break down this portion of the review into each of the dining areas. Main Dining Room - We never had an awful meal in the MDR but nor did we have a fabulous one either (of course we didn't have one of those at all on Atlantica). It started the first night. After we were seated and while perusing our menus, I asked to see the wine list. I was given a preprinted card selling their wine packages. If I was a mineral water drinker, I might have considered one of them but since I am just fine drinking tap water, the wine packages weren't going to save any money. So I again asked for the wine list. After asking a third time, I finally got the list. Of course about a minute later, she was back asking what I wanted to order. Given the list was six? seven? pages long, I of course had no idea. We went ahead and placed our food order and then when I had settled on a bottle to order, it took another round of requests to find someone to order it from. This procedure with minor differences happened each time I wanted to order wine or get my unfinished bottle from the night before. After the second night of it taking a major effort to find last's night's wine, we started just carrying it back to the room and delivering it to the table ourselves. The inconsistent service represented by the wine steward carried over to food and its servers. Each night at our table there was at least one WONDERFUL dish, one awful dish, and several ok or marginal ones. Examples of the awful dishes were the worst example of mushroom soup any of us had ever tasted. It was like mushroom water. Our table decided that the chef had forgotten the cream, the salt, the pepper and everything else that was supposed to be in it but the mushrooms. Another awful dish was what was called a Napoleon. It was more like rice pudding on a cracker. It was the first time in my life I sent a dessert back and asked for something different. At the other end of the spectrum were the Oso Bucco, the butternut risotto, and the short ribs one day at lunch. Most of the other dishes were about on par with what one would expect at a fund raising banquet at your local Holiday Inn's meeting room….overcooked fish with a sauce with a film on it, nothing special vegetables, nothing special desserts, etc. The most surprising disappointment was the pasta course. With the exception of the risotto, none of them were exceptional. We had expected this to be where Costa shone. It was never exactly clear to us who was "our" server" and who was our busboy. This wouldn't have been a big deal except when we needed something and no one seemed to be our server. It became a joke each night at our table to check out the bread and butter. We either had no butter and plenty of rolls or some butter but few rolls and the worst night was when we had butter but only a half roll in the basket. I guess they were so rushed between seatings that this got over looked Buffet - There are four buffet stations on the pool deck plus two "grills" by the rear pool and another set at the center pools. All four stations served the same food at each meal. For breakfast, this was typically sausage, bacon, dry eggs, cold cuts, cheeses, oatmeal, and fruits. There were omelet stations both inside and outside by the grills. These had the same ingredients every day - tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, cheese and ham. They were tasty but I missed the variety that X has and the waffles from both them and NCL. For lunch, typically there were a couple of fish dishes, a couple of meats, a couple of chicken dishes, several pastas, vegetables, cold cuts and cheeses, a few items to prepare a salad, some prepared salads - none of them had much flavor. Between the four buffet stations were two other stations serving pizza and a larger salad bar. None of the food on the buffet typically appealed to me except for the salad and the pizza….And the best part of the buffet area - the pasta stations. Each day there were three pasta carts serving fresh made pasta. Typically two of the stations served the same dish and the third a different one. My favorites were the pesto, the duck ragu and the veal bolognese. This was the best food on the ship. The grills typically served hamburgers, chicken burgers and hot dogs along with fries, lettuce and some of the same prepared salads. The second grill station in each set typically had premade sandwiches along with cold cuts, cheeses and fruits. Inside and sometimes at the grills, there would be small - very small by cruise ship standards - desert stations - none had anything memorable other than that the cake was usually pretty dry and not very sweet, though I must admit it did make a good base for some soft serve ice cream. We never did dinner in the buffet so I can't comment on it but I understand it was a variation of what was being served in the MDR. Club Atlantica - this is Costa's specialty restaurant and seems to specialize in steaks. I was excited that for a surcharge of $30pp I could have foie gras AND get to finally try Wagyu (American Kobe) beef. We had originally been scheduled to eat here with our group of about 60 but through some snafu, the restaurant didn't know we were coming so after seeing the wait staff scurrying to set tables, DDP and I decided to skedaddle to the MDR and try again another evening. While this turned out to be a good decision, those that stayed reported underdone potatoes, mis-delivered food, extremely long waits. about what you would expect when the kitchen had reservations for 20 and instead 80 showed up and 60 of them were at the same time. Anyway, we went back on the second formal night, just DDP and me..date night if you will. The restaurant is lovely. It has a large dance floor in the middle that was mostly unused on the night we were there. I suspect it was intended for there to be a dance band but all we had was a piano player. So the center of the room sits sorta empty. Once again, I had issues with getting the wine list (I lived in Italy - I know Italians drink wine - I really don't understand why Costa didn't want to sell any to me!) but it was finally brought to me. We ordered and our appetizers arrived in the expected time. The foie gras was cold…very cold and was served as a large lump. Not the delicately cooked versions I have enjoyed elsewhere. It's ok I said to myself…the Wagyu rib eye is coming…don't worry about the foie gras. DDP had French onion soup. It was fine but was overly sweet and the beef broth wasn't as flavorful as it should have been. We each had a glass of sparkling wine with our appetizers; these came just fine and were tasty. For our second course I ordered the lobster pasta and he had a Caesar salad. The pasta (like the pastas in the MDR) was overcooked and wasn't what I would have expected in a fine dining restaurant. The salad appeared to be exactly the same salad that is on the "available anytime" menu in the MDR. That's ok I said to myself…that American Kobe beef rib eye is almost here. It was about this time that one of the servers rolled over the wine cart - candle, decanter, white cloth, the whole nine yards. Uh oh, had I accidently ordered the $380 bottle of wine? My eyes are getting old (I guess in actuality all of me is) and sometimes I have trouble reading menus….I thought the wine was only $38. I stopped her from opening it and asked to see the wine list again….funny, this time it was immediately in my hand. No the bottle she was ready to open was indeed only $38, phew. Go ahead and open it…she does, but that's all she does, no lighting of the candle, no decanting…why did she bother to bring the cart over….who knows? So with a glass of big red wine in hand I was so ready to taste this beef I had been hearing about for so long. Here it came….my Wagyu rib eye. Funny, it sorta looks like an Outback rib eye…that's ok, I am sure it will taste different, it will be so tender and so flavorful. DDP's T Bone arrived, he cuts into it….hmm, medium rare never looked so brown, back to the kitchen it goes. I cut into mine, perfectly cooked - warm red center, just like at …hmm…Outback. I take my fork, lift it to my mouth, close my eyes and wait for the epiphany that I know is coming….hmmm…wait for it...the violins and harps are gonna start playing any second now…I just know they are but…..hmmm, this tastes like an Outback rib eye. Nothing wrong with it, but so much for my big foodie moment! DDP got his steak and it like mine was just fine, but nothing that we couldn't have on a normal Friday night at Outback. For dessert, DDP ordered the cheese cake and I ordered the dark chocolate pyramid. From the description, I expected a hard chocolate exterior with a mousse interior. Instead it was just moose in a pyramidal shape. Again good, but nothing special. DDP's cheese cake was very disappointing. It was exactly the same cheese cake that is on the "always available" menu in the MDR…wait, I think it had a couple of extra strawberries on it. The chef did complement us with a glass of bubbly with dessert which was a nice touch. So while we had a nice meal and none of it was awful, I don't think it was worth the $30pp surcharge and I certainly hope that someday I get to taste Kobe beef. Wellness Restaurant - because of Costa's snafu with our group reservation in Club Atlantica, they invited all of us to dine one night in the Wellness Restaurant. This restaurant is open for all meals for Costa guests who book the wellness cabins and is available ala carte to other guests at dinner. It was the best food and service we had the entire cruise. DDP had shrimp and crab cocktail for his appetizer and I had a salad. We both had a filet which was tasty and tender. Unfortunately since it was the last night, I didn't take notes and we followed dinner by closing down the disco which included finishing up all the leftover booze and wine from the week so neither of us can recall what we had for dessert…but our memory of the Wellness Restaurant was that if we ever happened to cruise with Costa again (highly doubtful) we would only do so if we got a good enough price to either book a wellness room or plan on paying to eat in this restaurant every night. Disembarkation Costa leaves luggage tags in your room on the next to last night, different colors signifying different times. Ours were later than I wanted since we had a 12:30 flight so we stopped by the main desk and exchanged them. Unlike some lines, rather than having to leave your room by a certain time, Costa invites you to remain in your room until time for your departure when you are asked to be at a meeting point. Once at the meeting point, a Costa representative welcomes you and once they are ready for the group to depart, escorts you to the departure gangway. The cruise staff was lined up to say goodbye at the gangway. All in all a very civilized way to leave - no endless announcements, no sitting around in a public area for hours waiting. My only complaint was that our cabin was three from the stern on deck five, our meeting point was on Deck One in the very bow of the ship and after lugging our carrryons from one end of the ship to the other and then down four flights of stairs, we then had to schlep iback up a flight and to the middle of the ship. Once landside, it was the usual chore of finding our luggage - one tag had apparently fallen off so that bag was in the land of misfit suitcases…and then through immigration, the cursory custom inspection and out to the taxi stand. Lots of taxi's waiting for us, jumped in one and a quick trip to FLL. We arrived at the lines at the SW counters along with probably 300 of our closest friends! Because of our full liquor boxes, we were very concerned about being under the 50 lb weight limit for our two big bags. We had already filled our collapsible bag and had planned on checking it along with the two big bags and our usual duffel carryon. We found an unused checkin counter where the scales were turned on and held our breath. My bag was 4 pounds overweight, DDP's was seven. So here we go, open the bag, stuff more dirty clothes, books, souvenirs in the two smaller bags….reweigh the big ones..still over…only two more pounds each to go…what are we gonna do?...wait, says DDP, didn't Costa give us some fancy tyveck bags? Where are they? Here in the front pouch. Fill up one of those with the big old ziplock bag of really dirty clothes from the floor of the closet (thank you to which ever CCer it was that suggested taking one along) and viola - one bag weighs 49.25 and the other 49.5 pounds. Yippee. Into the cattle corral we go…over and over we hear the SW guy tell folks you can't check luggage more than four hours before your flight..not a problem for us. The lines get longer and longer as more and more cruise ship passengers arrive. Luckily the lines move quickly, I suspect it took us about thirty minutes, we check in and discover that it was probably worth our $10 each for early bird checkin - we were #20 & 21. I wasn't sure how hard it would be to find an internet cafe in Nassau to check us in and it would have been closer to 22 hours preflight so I suspect we would have had pretty high numbers. We then headed to security…again very long lines…since it was all Southwest passengers; I guess it makes sense that the line would be the same length. We stepped off the ship at approximately 8:35 and we were our gate at 10:45 so it is not unreasonable to allow 2 hours - I am sure we spent at least 15 minutes getting our luggage repacked. The Southwest flight home was a direct flight and we thought we had hit the jackpot when the gate agent closed the door and we were sitting in bulkhead seats with an empty middle (one of only three on the plane) when our joy was ruined by the flight attendant asking anyone with an empty seat beside them to please trade with a mother and child so that they could sit together. This commotion was all taking place at the back of the plane near the other two empty seats but apparently those folks weren't taking the hint so when they made a second request, DDP hit his call button and made the trade. SW offered all the free cocktails he wanted but because of the amount of drinking done the night before, he wisely declined! Summary Did we have a good time? for sure. Was it a cheap cruise? Yep Did we get what we paid for? I don't think so. Similar cruises were priced comparably on NCL but I think the inconsistencies of service and food aren't nearly the issue that they were on this trip. Would we cruise Costa again? Highly doubtful. The price would have to be incredible…I mean incredible and I would budget to eat in the Wellness Restaurant every night and set my expectations even lower than they were before this cruise. Suggestions for future Costa cruisers? Have minimal expectations. Enjoy lunch in the MDR, we only did it once and wish we had of done it more. Have a late breakfast by the back pool on the sea days - they keep the pool grills serving breakfast until noon…we really enjoyed that. Don't miss a happy hour…it makes some of Costa's other issues less painful! Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Embarkation: The actual embarkation was fantastic, quick and very speedy. Within 5 min of getting to the port we were greeted with smiling faces and on board in no time. My friends and I thought "Wow this is going to be a great ... Read More
Embarkation: The actual embarkation was fantastic, quick and very speedy. Within 5 min of getting to the port we were greeted with smiling faces and on board in no time. My friends and I thought "Wow this is going to be a great cruise". But that was soon to change. Cabins: Our cabin number was 4219. The cabin itself was fairly large and laid out well. It had a small washroom with a shower, a vanity set with a light up mirror, a double bed . It also had two glass doors that opened up to a view of the outside via the spacious balcony, it was a nice space to relax and enjoy the sea air. The room was clean which was nice, but upon closer inspection, the linens seemed a bit tattered and old and could use an upgrade. In the bathroom I was very surprised to find there was no shampoo or other amentity bottles available, which a staple of all other cruise lines. The TV as a bit outdated and difficult to figure out the remote but carried a nice selection of International and English television programming; our room steward did keep our room very clean. All in all this was a very average room. Dining: There was one main dinning room and a buffet for dinner options. At the dinning room we were sat at the 2nd sitting, 8:45pm. The wait staff was great, when there were enough of them to be found. The dinning room was so understaffed. The waiters were busting there buts without any help of any type of support staff. I have to say the manager of the dinning room should get off his butt and take a few tables to wait on because 2 hours for 4 course, cold, overcooked dinner is horrible. And trying to get a cup of coffee with dinner. They would not do it. WHAT? They said coffee is served with the dinner course. It was also said that a salad would be served only with the main course. Okay not making this a very enjoyable dinner guys. The Buffet was horrible, minimal selections, no signage, and the worse horrible operating hours. The worse was that the Buffet would close at times 10 minutes early or close right while you were in line, which was witnessed by a fellow cruise companion. The Buffet manager closed the screen right on top of the cruisers head. Entertainment: The entertainment wasn't amazing, but it was just what it is, entertaining. The dancers and singers in the main lounge shows were kind of theme park quality. The Group Sunrise Duo was a nice little combo that plays wonderful requests in the Via Veneto lounge they were very wonderful to listen to. The Nightclub Dante's Inferno was a nice little night club, and actually had a fairly good dj that played the crowd on most nights. Only drawback, the clubs and pool bars ran out of most premium liquor brands by mid cruise. No Bacardi, Grey Goose or Crown Royal. Really? Only 3 days into the cruise and you run out? Service: Service was good, not quite excellent but very good. Most of the wait and service staff were wonderful and very friendly, top notch. The Officers and upper staff were the coldest and unfriendliness I have ever encountered on a cruise line. Several times, I overheard senior officers barking orders in harsh tones to the general crew staff. Overall Cruise: The overall cruise was the worse cruise I have been on. Too many cons and not enough pros. The Service staff was great but the senior staff needs to work on their friendless. The ship itself is in good shape and layed out well. The Dinning room needs a totally revamp and the food itself needs a major overhaul. If it wasn't for the excellent company of my friends on this cruise, this would have been a been the worse vacation of my life. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Ok, Let's start with Embarkation: Smooth as silk pie. Incredibly easy and simple. The people at the pier were friendly and helpful. Best check in I've ever had, hands down. I had booked a Grand Suite on this ship because the ... Read More
Ok, Let's start with Embarkation: Smooth as silk pie. Incredibly easy and simple. The people at the pier were friendly and helpful. Best check in I've ever had, hands down. I had booked a Grand Suite on this ship because the price was affordable and I wanted the space. The room was clean and orderly but for a suite seemed rather small. The layout was awkward with the bathroom in the middle that really cut off the space. Removing the little wall around the vanity would have opened up the space tremendously. Closet space was adequate for a 7 night voyage but wouldn't want to try it on a longer trip or with 3-4 in the room. The balcony was MASSIVE, completely wrapped around the back of the ship and awesome. Loved it! My biggest problem with the room was the light switches everywhere. I never did figure them all out. So, The general layout of the ship is fairly straight forward with 2-3 main decks in the bottom of the ship housing most of the activities but what I did find odd is that the pools and hot tubs were consistently small. The water slide was open for very brief periods. We would joke that it was open from 10 to 10:10 and not a minute more except that it really wasn't that consistent. Some mornings it would be open and then not again till the next afternoon. My Room Steward and Butler were extremely attentive, almost to the point of being overbearing and apparently they didn't talk to one another because as soon as one would leave the other would show up with the same questions and if I asked for something from one that wasn't within his job specs it didn't get done 50% of the time. The AC in the room was....bad... it would barely cool off enough at night for me to sleep if I did so "au natural" and above the covers. The first time I mentioned this I was told it was because we were in port and part of the ships AC required us to be moving. The second time I complained I was told it was because all my windows were uncovered and to cover the windows with the black out curtains. I admit this helped slightly. Finally on my third and fourth complaints maintenance came down and did something that didn't really help. I talked to my neighbors and it seemed to be an issue on the entire back half of this deck. You could feel a temperature change from the elevators to the hallway 10 feet away. Food: now I realize food is entirely subjective so take this with a grain of salt. Food was usually over or under cooked and almost always cold. The Bread could have been used as bullets and I can only imagine the amount of dental work required by the people getting off the ship. Surprised there wasn't a dentist on board, Costa could make some money. Buffet was slightly below typical cruise standards. But at least it was warm right? Buffet design had no logic as you had to wander the entire buffet to find all the stations. And the buffet hours seemed a little odd and when it was time for them to close, they closed, period, whether there were people waiting to eat or not. The service in the main dining room was good, for the most part. But you could tell that about half the waiters did not have an assistant waiter so waiting on tea and water refills could take a while. We did have 2 minor incidents with the dining room staff... the first was when I asked for A1 steak sauce the second night of the cruise and I was brought a bottle and told it was the last bottle and there was very little left. I turned the bottle up to find there was none left. So I asked again if there was another bottle somewhere and the waiter replied no, it was the last bottle. Now, wait a minute, this was the last bottle of A1 on the entire ship and it was only the second night?! I was willing to let it slide but one of my table mates was not and he asked flat out if the waiter meant to tell us that this was the last bottle on the entire ship? The waiter disappeared for a minute and returned with an entirely full bottle. The second incident came when we ordered coffee after dinner. After 10 minutes we still had no coffee nor coffee cups. So, we asked again, another 10 minutes and still no coffee nor cups. Finally on the third time, my same boisterous table mate demanded to see the head waiter. I won't repeat what he said but, needless to say we got coffee when we wanted it from there on out. Spa: I like to pamper a little when on a cruise ship so I usually order a mani/pedi and a massage. This cruise I only did the manicure. The woman doing it was friendly but seemed depressed and wasn't good company while she was working on my hands. She did a decent job but her depression was off putting and I canceled the rest of my services because I do expect the spa services to be things that lift my spirit not bring me down. Bar Service: The bar service was....odd. If a bar, in the course of its day, ran out of a particular liquor they did not restock it until the bar closed for the night. So....if you were all comfortable drinking Crown, or Grey Goose Martini's and they ran out of those you had to go to another bar to get your drink. I've never seen a bar run like this and at times they would run out of a liquor at 2 pm and never replace it all day. General Service: the Italian staff at times was foul tempered, rude, and condescending to the point of being unhelpful. There were several instances of them snapping at other staff right in front of guests. The non Italian staff was friendly and accommodating but as soon as an Italian would walk by they would clam up and look scared. I have an example here, a new friend I made on the ship accidentally left his ID/credit cards in some pants he sent for laundry. He did not realize his mistake immediately but when he did he set about getting his stuff back since we were in port that day. Ok, so he calls the front desk, who tells him to come down in person. So he does and waits in line, when he gets there the woman behind the desk from Romania is very sweet and calls the laundry but no answer, so she leaves to go to the laundry. She comes back and before she can say anything to him the other woman at the desk, an Italian, starts berating her for leaving her post. The woman tries to explain but the Italian lady is just tearing into her, promising to report her and that she should have sent my friend away until they had time to deal with the problem. Finally, my friend comes to her rescue and interrupts to find out about his stuff. The Italian shoots him a dirty look and turns back to her customer. Now all this happened in front of 10-20 people in the MAIN lobby and no, it was not a quiet exchange. Finally, the flustered Romanian woman says yes they had found the stuff but it was in the laundry manager's safe and he won't be back on the ship till 3:30. 3:30 rolls around and only the Italian is on duty now. He goes back and she tells him that she doesn't have time to go get his stuff that he should come back during dinner when the line is shorter, there were 4 people in line at this point. Finally at dinner he leaves his meal and goes to the desk and his property is returned, by the Romanian woman. Debarkation was quick easy and orderly...no problems at all was off the ship and waiting for a taxi within 15 minutes of my color being called. Overall: if you are extremely budget minded and get this cruise for free or almost free, go. But really and I don't say this lightly...I'd rather do Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
What can I say about CostaAtlantica, except it was quite the experience. I'll tell you the good first, being that there wasn't much good, to say the least. The embarkation/debarkation was all fine. It was quick, easy and no ... Read More
What can I say about CostaAtlantica, except it was quite the experience. I'll tell you the good first, being that there wasn't much good, to say the least. The embarkation/debarkation was all fine. It was quick, easy and no real problems that we were aware of. Now for the bad... let's face it, it was a cheap cruise. My husband and I decided to take a moderate cruise to get away and relax... we have vacationed 3 times this past year so we wanted to keep it on the less expensive side. It's true that you get what you pay for and sometimes you even get what you didn't pay for! First of all I don't know what Italian cruising means to Costa, but this cruise carried very few Italians. It looked like just the officers were Italian. I can tell you the cook certainly was not. The food was about the worst I ever had and it came with a few little "critters" to boot. The room service couldn't manage to get hot coffee to anyone, the rolls and bread were like rocks, and they managed to run out of cream as well. Now try to complain or explain...forget about it!!! No one spoke or understood English, they just smiled and moved on. Our cruise was Nov 28 and on the first Gala night... by 3 in the afternoon I was tossing my cookies from something really bad on the poolside cafe. I sat in bed the rest of the day and night... On Thursday my husband ate something and topped it off with sour milk... and the morning juice, well out of 7 days, 3 days it was a bit off. So just how long does juice last??? Seems to me my containers are good for a month or more. How OLD was it?? We spoke to many many people on this wonderful cruise and most were very unhappy and annoyed at the lack of expertise of this cruise line. The service at the restaurants at night was appalling..the waiters were rude and rushed. (Costa's fault, no doubt.) How can you have over 2000 on board and a crew of about 900 and even dare to think that the service will be even somewhat acceptable? We cruised Celebrity last year and that ship was spotless... this ship was downright dirty. The glass was dirty, there was dirt an inch think on the windows that lined the corridors on the 4th floor. (I took a picture.) I will admit the itinerary was fabulous... all ports were great and even the tender service was good. But listen up... if your looking for good food, good desserts (they had ZERO) kind friendly waiters, and someone who can understand what you ask or say and most of all food that hasn't been sitting around producing bacteria, or bugs or just getting sour look elsewhere. We have sent them a letter and we are hoping for some kind of compensation...if they do respond and compensate us maybe then they can redeem themselves in our eyes. We will see and we will be sure to let you know. There were also, I must add, some we spoke to that thought it was the "best cruise ever"... I attribute that to having no taste or knowledge of what a "real cruise should be". And for those who said the food was good... once again "no taste." But all in all we had a great time because we met some great people and made friends and we all just complained and moaned and decided we'd make our own fun. Oh and the entertainment... the "Italian pianist" was awesome, but the rest including Max the cruise director was so inept it was laughable to say the least. Costa better shape up and make amends to the many calls and letters they are sure to get if they want any kind of redemption or second chance. Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
Costa Atlantica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 3.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.5
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 3.0 4.3
Fitness & Recreation 3.0 N/A
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursions 3.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 3.0 4.2
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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