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Sail Date: August 2011
We have just returned from a 7 night cruise with costa cruises on the Atlanticaand what a wonderful experience it was. Our party consisted of 2 families with both sets of parents and one daughter each aged 15 and 13.

From the very ... Read More
We have just returned from a 7 night cruise with costa cruises on the Atlanticaand what a wonderful experience it was. Our party consisted of 2 families with both sets of parents and one daughter each aged 15 and 13.

From the very beginning we were impressed with the efficient organisation and flow that the holiday took. I can be hard to please and have high standards which were met every time by Costa. Although our british party (were from Jersey, channel Islands) were in the minority we were always made to feel welcome and indeed part of a wider european community as there were many nationalities aboard.

The ship was breathtakingly beautiful (I am not exagerating) Although we snacked in the buffet restaurant; for our evening meals we ate in the main restaurant with waiter service (the food was to a very high standard) which was an event in itself with themed nights involving music, dance and all the staff interacting with the diners in fact the Italian night was absolutely incredible reminiscent of a new years eve party.

The ship was spotless and the staff were continually cleaning. I was sceptical having read some negative reviews however we would not hesitate in fact we hope to cruise again with Costa. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
We are a Belgian couple who travelled with another Belgian couple from Copenhagen to Sint-Petersburg on the Costa Atlantica.

We had a very nice holiday.

Our inside cabin (without view) was comfortable and large with many ... Read More

We are a Belgian couple who travelled with another Belgian couple from Copenhagen to Sint-Petersburg on the Costa Atlantica.

We had a very nice holiday.

Our inside cabin (without view) was comfortable and large with many space to stock luggage and belongings.

The weather was not so good, and we missed form time to time a balcon to sit on. Costa Atlantica has many many rooms with a balcony. Next time we surely would choose therefor; it is worth the higher price.

The ship offers Italian kitchen, which we really like.

The quality of the food is very good, with 2 seatings in the evening and very friendly personnel.

At night (until 1 p.m.!!) they keep on serving pizza's on deck 9 and a dessert buffet on deeck 3. Very nice!

We enjoyed our holiday and got good value for money.

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Sail Date: March 2011
Costa was just as beautiful as most reviews stated. I didn't find the cabins to be as large as the impression was given. Nothing special there except lots of storage space for those who unpack. Hairdryer in the room kept malfunctioning, ... Read More
Costa was just as beautiful as most reviews stated. I didn't find the cabins to be as large as the impression was given. Nothing special there except lots of storage space for those who unpack. Hairdryer in the room kept malfunctioning, was reported, but no resolution of the problem. Cabin maintanence was sufficient, but again, no cute little towel animals at anytime. Requested shower mats at beginning of cruise which were in shower after that until 3 days before cruise ended. I got the impression that things were beginning to get scimppy and winding down. Perhaps staff was getting tired with such a long cruise.

The food was "alright". I found something to eat everyday. The dining room staffing could have been a little more efficient. The drink package they hound you with at the beginning of the cruise, I didn't find a deal, so don't get stuck with that one. They usually had happy hours every evening, which was good for those who did drink.

SHIP TALENT! Poor, poor, poor. I am a real show person and will not miss a cruise show. I stop going to the shows preferring to stay in the cabin and do laundry.

I think I would try Costa Atlantica again, but on the Cribbean venue. The young animation staff was energetic and kept people busy so I have only compliments for them. They made the difference for me to give Costa another chance. Three strikes and your out.

Last, but not least, the mystery illness. I and lots of others I know came down with some mystery illness (felt like a cold on top of a cold on top of a cold). I don't know what that was all about,(received some caugh syrup from the ship infirmery), but it sure knocked me for a wham. Been back from the cruise over a week, saw my doctor, and still getting over whatever that was.

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Sail Date: March 2011
Overall, the Costa Atlantic is a great ship that is well maintained and well designed. Their is plenty of live entertainment throughout the evening in multiple locations, lots of planned activities, and a lively crew that tries very hard ... Read More
Overall, the Costa Atlantic is a great ship that is well maintained and well designed. Their is plenty of live entertainment throughout the evening in multiple locations, lots of planned activities, and a lively crew that tries very hard to make your trip enjoyable and fun. The food options/quality aren't the best but aren't terrible either. The cabins and cabin stewards are great. The port of calls for the trip were the most I could find for a transatlantic cruise (but some ports had a very limited amount of time alloted). While the drinks were very expensive (7-11 Euros/drink) you were able to find a happy hour somewhere on the ship for two for one drinks from 11-noon and 5-10 PM which helped. For the transatlantic itinerary, you are forced to pay in Euros for everything on the ship, but the ship simply switches all dollar prices into euro prices (i.e. a $10 watch is now 10 Euros, which would be about $15 currently). They also had just informed the crew the first day of the cruise that their wages were going to be paid in dollars now instead of Euros. The crew was NOT very happy about this and it showed in some of the crew members. A $40,000 wage is not nearly as nice as a 40,000 Euro wage.

As for the passengers... we choose the Costa line since it had been reviewed to have a younger passenger set. This may be true for most Costa cruises, but apparently not for a 20 day cruise. There were 2 teenagers on the ship, ~18 children, and I would guess 30 people under 50. Of those 30, I would venture only 10 spoke English. For a 2,000 person cruise, that is not a large population of passengers. The crew did notice this and held separate "under 40" nights in the disco to help us find each other.

Costa's "Stolen Item Protocol" sucks! I brought my iPhone with me on the cruise just in case I may need it, but I turned it off and left it in the cabin the entire time. On the 5th day of the cruise, I looked for it in the cabin and couldn't find it. I told my cabin steward (who was wonderful and I 100% believe that he would never take it) and he helped look for it. He told me to inform security and they would look in the cabin as well. Thinking this a good idea since the iPhone could have fallen into a crack and the security may know of little hiding places it may have fallen, I filled out a security report. I knew they would search the whole cabin so I placed some personal items in a bag beforehand. The security officer shows up with 3 other personal (I'm not sure what their job was other than stand there and watch). The security officer looks through every single article of clothing and underwear. He didn't look in any other special nooks or crannies it may have fallen, but then demanded to look through my personal items I had placed in a bag. I told him the phone was not in there and the items were personal. He then accused me of hiding something and demanded to look through the bag. This is when I realized the "search" was an "interrogation." He questioned my story several times, and demanded to see the phone's charger and ear piece. They told me only the room steward had access to my room. I KNOW this not to be true. I had walked into the room when someone other than my room steward was walking out and had replaced our fresh fruit. After lying to me, searching through all my personal items and feeling completely interrogated, they didn't contact me again for a week. I had to contact the front desk to find out the situation of the incident. The front desk (which I had always found to be rude and unhelpful) made the situation even worse. I regret ever reporting the incident, and this situation really tarnished how I view the cruise line now. Because of this, I will most likely never cruise Costa again. There are far too many other options that don't treat their customers like criminals.

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Sail Date: March 2011
I have never done a Cruise Review but I feel that I must on this occasion, after reading a couple of negative entries about this cruise, that departed March 25th 2011, from Miami, Florida.

This is myself and my husbands second ... Read More

I have never done a Cruise Review but I feel that I must on this occasion, after reading a couple of negative entries about this cruise, that departed March 25th 2011, from Miami, Florida.

This is myself and my husbands second cruise with Costa (we had so much fun on the first one - South East Asia - 14 nights) and we decided to do it again but with a very different itinerary this time. We are from Australia and we travelled this time as a family group of 7 - which ranged in age from 5 to 63! We are 40 years old, so aged nearly in between! This included 2 children, under 11.

I have 7 areas that I think are the most important areas when choosing a cruise, as its a big holiday and you want to get the most out of it.

1: The Ships

Costa ships are beautiful! Yes the colors are bright, the decor is European Influence (it is an Italian cruise line) but the ship is so spotlessly clean, from top to bottom. The Atlantica is a huge ship and with nearly 3500 people on it (including staff) you would never know that there were that many, as everybody has room to find their space and relax.

2: The Staff

The staff are excellent. Very multi-cultural (lots of nationalities with the staff). Nothing was EVER too much of a problem. If you asked polity, you received simple! We got along fabulously with most of the staff that we met and they repaid us with with fantastic service. Common courtesy and decency go a very long way, no matter what language you speak.

3: The food was sensational! Maybe, being an Aussie, I am used to eating a lot of different foods but you had a variety of choice everyday. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, you can have at the buffet (self service) and the Lunch and Dinner menu had a different theme everyday IE: Italian/Indian/Greek/Asian/Portuguese. In the buffet, you have large melamine plates and plastic glasses and mugs (this is to stop the HUGE amount of waste instead of using disposable).

The Pizzeria was open nearly 24 hours a day and you could either have the standard Margarita (tomato and cheese) or what the different standard one that changed daily. If you didn't like either of the ones offered in the large sizes, at lunch and dinner, you could request a custom one (dinner plate size) made just for you. Tea/Coffee was available, 24 hours a day.

If you don't like the hop-o-bump-o style of buffet eating, your 3 main meals a day, could be taken in the Dining Room, where you had a menu to choose from, wait staff, china plates and real glasses. We chose to eat at the buffet for breakfast and lunch (if we were at sea) but enjoyed the dining room for dinner.

Also for lunch out on the pool deck, one side was a Tex-Mex buffet, so tacos and such and the other side was hot dogs and hamburgers and chips. Also for lunch if we were at sea, the would do a massive outdoor buffet running down each side of the pool deck! Afternoon teas, yes, in the buffet, it was cakes and biscuits but when we were at sea, at 4pm they would do "High Tea" in the Florian Bar and the deserts were to die for! The beauty of all of this too, is its all included in your fare. Seriously, for 7 of us to eat like kings up to 5 times a day for 20 days would have cost a fortune. Oh, and there are 8 "whippy" machines on the ship, which were constantly "under the pump" and the only reason that some may not have been working at the time when you wanted it was people had sucked it dry before you got there! Walk to the next one, that's what we did.

4: Drinks - Ah!

4.5 Euro for a 500ml Beer = $6.00 AUD Cheap as Chips!

8.0 Euro for a Mixed drink = $11.00 AUD - not much dearer at home

7.0 Euro for a Cocktail = $9.50 AUD Cheap as Chips!

And Happy Hour was 3 times a day, for sometimes up to 2 hours (?) where you can get mixed drinks and cocktails, 2 for the price of 1! Me not complain!

Get a Coffee package and a non alcoholic drinks package on board.

5: Ports and Excursions

The ports that we travelled to were very diverse, from the Bahamas to the Mediterranean. Some I would go back to tomorrow and other that I am glad that I have been to but they were all fun. Yes, excursions are expensive some times but they take you to so out of the way places that you just wont get to on foot or public transport. Study your excursions on-line before you go and book them online with Costa - don't wait until the day before on the ship because you will end up just booking anything and mostly only the more expensive ones are left they day before at the tour desk.

6: Price

Less than $100 AUD per day, all of your transport on the ship, going from place to place (with some one else driving!) all of your food, all of your entertainment, what more can you ask for? As for the tips, $12 AUD per day, that we prepaid before the cruise. Seriously, if I had to give $1 tip to every staff member that I came in contact with every day, it would have cost me a cracker load more than that. There is a NO cash system on the ship, which is great and you don't feel the pressure to "cough up cash", every time you speak to somebody. I found that the staff are real, too, with no need to act for their tip.

7: Passengers

If you are going on a cruise - CHILL OUT! Be prepared that some people are rude, obnoxious and generally do not give a hoot about anybody but themselves and believe that the whole ship is there for them and them alone! (Especially funny incidents involving pool lounges around the pool). Then you have the majority, who like to have a good time, can laugh at themselves, don't have to be entertained 24/7 and can make their own fun and be prepared to met some amazing people that you will stay friends with for the rest of your life, from all around the world. Yes, there were only about 11 children on the cruise but my nieces loved it, as they had the Squok Club Staff all to themselves everyday! The 2 cruises that we have done with Costa, tend to have been an older age group but for me personally, I am not into the nightclub or pub scene and I don't like to surround myself with loud and inebriated people, so this suits me just fine. I am on holiday to relax and have fun. If you are after the "party" ship, this ain't it!

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Sail Date: March 2011
on march the 25Th 2011 i took my DH on an 18 day transatlantic cruise from Miami to venice.

firstly let me say the ship is beautiful its clean and well maintained, secondly the crew and my room steward were ... Read More

on march the 25Th 2011 i took my DH on an 18 day transatlantic cruise from Miami to venice.

firstly let me say the ship is beautiful its clean and well maintained, secondly the crew and my room steward were fantastic,

My big problems were the food the cost and the tip system they have, firstly the food

yuk yuk yuk, i was under the impretion that being on an intalian ship that the food would be extra special, WRONG it was garbage the worst pizza i have ever had, under cooked pasta with same tomato sause every day, buffet was rubbish breakfast was worst, dinner was pork or turkey most days, green beans every day, and same little square sponge cakes every mealtime,ice cream machine was very often out of order and only open meal times.

SHOWS the worst iv ever seen, i walked out of 3 and didnt turn up for 6 of them, the ships male singer was often off key.the girl and 2 man acrobat act was embarracing to watch,

costa charge 12 euros for a couple in the cabin every day for tips,

they charge 6 euros per person for shuttle busses to take you out of port,one ride took less than 3 mins.

a cocktail drink is 7.50 euros and internet is 10 euros an hour, i have 12 cruise before this one, loved them all,never again costa.

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 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 and ... 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
15 nights back to back cruise from Miami.

2000 passengers 900 crew. excellent service from crew. huge dining room seating about 600. you were asked to choose your selections for 6 to 8 courses covering about 17 choices all at the ... Read More

15 nights back to back cruise from Miami.

2000 passengers 900 crew. excellent service from crew. huge dining room seating about 600. you were asked to choose your selections for 6 to 8 courses covering about 17 choices all at the same time! As you started with your first choice the other courses were piling up at the distribution point so that if you were a slow eater some of the warm courses were not hot enough, the waiters worked very hard to make this work but I think that the system needs looking at.

The majority of the ports were morning arrivals and 2pm departures which did not give one much time to spend ashore.

On the plus side the shows on board were of a high standard though only one and a half hours. High class gym,plenty of pools and deck activities.

Cabins were roomy and in good condition.

One of the main causes of complaint were the surcharges, two and a half per.cent on all on board purchases(US Tax I think) and $11 per head per day Hotel Service Charge (OK We should have read the small print).

One last point, I was told that Costa are the only company that take large group bookings, as far as I know there was only one incident but beware!

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Sail Date: January 2011
My girlfriend loves cruising. She had been on nine Costa cruises before, but with a former coworker. My last cruise (aside from my time on my ship in the Navy of course) was on The Greek Line back during Nixon's second administration. ... Read More
My girlfriend loves cruising. She had been on nine Costa cruises before, but with a former coworker. My last cruise (aside from my time on my ship in the Navy of course) was on The Greek Line back during Nixon's second administration. Although we have been to Vegas several times together and up to Disney World more times than we can count, this would be our very first cruise together.

I am tired from filling out all the other stuff for this review, so I am just going to hit the high points.

I loved the food. I am somewhat of a foodie and loved having authentic Italian food and service available. I loved having Italian olive oil and balsamic vinegar available all the time. Although the ribeye I had in the tenth deck restaurant could have been cooked more (I asked for it medium rare and it came out very rare, but I was too hungry to send it back).

I enjoyed being pampered by our waitress Natalya and beverage guy Naveen in the main dining room (even though it took a little while to get the coffee sometimes).

I liked the corny way they kept playing the march from Aida, the "O Solo Mio" song, and the Goodbye Song all the time. Especially hearing Dean Martin's "That's Amore" on Italian Night! Though I was right under a speaker in the overhead and it distorted the music at the loudness they played it at.

I liked the international flavor of hearing everything announced in five languages, and how Europeans all know how to ballroom dance and love playing Roulette, and how familiar they are with songs from over a hundred years ago.

In fact one of our favorite things to do was watching all the skilled dancers in the lounge with the Trio Tringali.

I didn't like the way Europeans like to smoke though. Walking through the Paparazzi Lounge before or after dinner was rough. And their lack of manners is another issue; see my Port reviews.

Someone in a review said they saw a lot of topless women on the pool decks; on my whole trip I saw only one, and on the deck way aft where the jogging track is. Also I saw a lot of children roaming around without adults even though the rules say they can't use the elevators by themselves, so parents might be concerned about their kids' supervision.

I enjoyed drinking Campari and soda, and espresso almost anytime of the day or night. I discovered I love the flavor of orzata in the Costa Atlantica, the Drink of the Day on the first night!

Even though my girlfriend didn't like the shows, I did. Even the schmaltzy overwrought slow "love songs". Again, a lot of the entertainment was different from what we Americans are used to. This made everything (for the most part) a little unexpected but more enjoyable as I got to see new things. I appreciated all the entertainment, especially the dancing and acrobatics on a deck that wasn't completely still.

One thing I enjoyed (but not many other people) were the Fellini movies they showed on board (La Strada is one of Judy's and my favorite films). Unfortunately they only had two, and most of the dates were on shore days. Costa, if you are reading this, please show more Fellini movies more often!

My girlfriend could have used a wider selection of stuff to buy on the ship. She hardly did any shopping at all. And there was no place to buy sundries.

Two minor complaints: I don't think the Service Desk has enough staff that truly understand English. Also Costa Cruises, you didn't have an English-language catalogue available. I took the one in German, and will have to convert Euro to dollars. Again these are minor complaints.

I am sure that as soon as I hit the "submit" button I will think of other stuff I wanted to mention. Let me close by saying that this wasn't just a cruise to the Western Caribbean. On Costa, this was also a cruise to Italy and the rest of Western Europe, one that I thoroughly enjoyed. On any other line the cruise would not have been as special or as memorable.

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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 ... 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
Costa Atlantica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 3.5
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 3.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.2
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 3.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 3.0 4.2

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