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63 Costa neoRomantica Cruise Reviews

1.We chose this cruise because we hadn’t cruised with Costa before and the itinerary included ports in Japan and one port in Russia, Vladivostok. We were disturbed to find that Costa Cruises allows smoking on the balcony of the ... Read More
1.We chose this cruise because we hadn’t cruised with Costa before and the itinerary included ports in Japan and one port in Russia, Vladivostok. We were disturbed to find that Costa Cruises allows smoking on the balcony of the balcony cabins. We are non smokers so we complained about the constant smell of smoke drifting int our cabin from adjacent cabins. We were told that passengers choose balcony cabins so that the can smoke. We replied that we choose balcony cabins to enjoy the fresh air and the ocean views. This was ignored as it is obvious Costa Cruises values the needs of smokers above non smokers. We were offered a change of cabin to an inside cabin but were refused compensation for the difference in price. We wrote a letter of complaint to Costa Cruises . They failed to reply directly to us , instead ,they issued a response through our cruise agent iCruises. Other cruise lines such as Princess, Cunard, do not allow smoking on balconies. I believe in this respect Costa Cruises has a long way to go . 2. Gratuities were supposed to be debited to our account at the END of the cruise. Instead they were charged DAILY to our account. The contract did not state how much would be charged. Who agrees to pay an undisclosed figure? We declined the gratuity scheme but were refused. 3. Port disembarkation. There was no order nor control of the disembarkation process, the shambolic likes of which I have never seen since the seventies when people surged to the exit door. People were distressed and tempers flared. Most cruise ships have a crowd control policy. Very uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. ( see pics) Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
There is not enough time to see anything on land, even on tours. Food is so so and the same dishes are repeated over the week. Drinking water is not free in the restaurant and ridiculously expensive. Entertainment on board is boring and ... Read More
There is not enough time to see anything on land, even on tours. Food is so so and the same dishes are repeated over the week. Drinking water is not free in the restaurant and ridiculously expensive. Entertainment on board is boring and are outdated even for seniors. The cruise ship is too small and not ther is enough to do. Even the swimming pool is so small, just like a whirlpool. In general, the restaurant and bar staff are very friendly and accommodating. Most of them are happy to serve, even if you can tell that they hardly have any break. The service is the only one I have really good to say. Embarkation and going through immigration takes so long, at least an hour, when you only have 4-5 hours after disembarking. Overall, it’s a waste going on this cruise. If you expect to see Japan, fly directly to Japan and skip this cruise. There are also hidden fees that they won’t tell you until you are booked. They will also require for the tips on top of the cost. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Having already "sunny-days-cruise experience" with fun ships, this time, I was interested in the itinerary, Costa offers since 2017 in Asia: Japan, Korea, Taiwan. Be prepared that this cruise is not always nice weather. But, even ... Read More
Having already "sunny-days-cruise experience" with fun ships, this time, I was interested in the itinerary, Costa offers since 2017 in Asia: Japan, Korea, Taiwan. Be prepared that this cruise is not always nice weather. But, even with rough sea, we always felt safe. And it was a great experience, since the ports of call on this 15-niter were perfectly chosen. Begin the cruise in Tokyo and choose a hotel at Tokyo Bay with stunning view to Rainbow Bridge is the perfect start for this cruise. A "must". At Kobe, you can try the famous "Kobe beef" or just enjoy the relaxed atmosphere at the waterfront with illuminated Kobe Tower. For me, Shingu was a highlight. You can take a walk to holy Natchi waterfall and the most important japanese Shinto shrine where you will feel the energy of a 1000 year old pilgrimage place. The offered excursions cover all these places. Service on the ship was perfect. Everything clean. Very friendly staff. Monte Carlo Lido aft with its huge white sunbeds and the whirlpool. A wonderful spa. Gym equipped with the newest Techno Gym machines. I enjoyed a lot the sea view, you have from the treadmills and the crossfit trainer. On this Asian tour, buffet was never crowded. Food is a good Asian /European mix. Lots of fish, I appreciated. Also midnight snacks. Which I never took: for me, there was enough food offered from 6am to 9.30pm. Apart from sandwiches, always excellent cakes and puddings at the sandwich bar from 2 to 5pm. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Norway is a lowly populated country with beautiful landscapes. You get to see lots of Countryside, natural beauty and sail into the Fjords while there. Even the Air seems fresher! Cabin was good and well maintained. Shower was small ... Read More
Norway is a lowly populated country with beautiful landscapes. You get to see lots of Countryside, natural beauty and sail into the Fjords while there. Even the Air seems fresher! Cabin was good and well maintained. Shower was small but that was ok. Food options good . The Sit down dinner restaurant allows you to tinker your next days dinner menu to suit your tastes. We chose local port based tour operators , who are waiting as you disembark on ports and bought their tours, having pre checked options on google/on Board . For instance we recommend a trek to Briksdal glacier. You need buy bus tickets as you get down from ship. Buses go there and then you do an hour or 90 minute walk up to base of glacier , come and board your bus back to port. . Ask anyone for local operator , at port disembark area. They actually wait for ship arrival and time their bus departures accordingly and arrivals to match. Tours bought on Board are typically 2-3 times priced. On board we could play TT at pool side and do our walks on top deck. So go for Norway!! We plan a Repeat! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try a whole new destination for us. The cruise started in Port Louis, Mauritius and went on to Seychelles, Madagascar and Reunion before returning to Mauritius. Things started off well when we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try a whole new destination for us. The cruise started in Port Louis, Mauritius and went on to Seychelles, Madagascar and Reunion before returning to Mauritius. Things started off well when we saw the large cabin, but things went rapidly downwards when the cruise started. I'll start with the worst: The food. Every day, it's the same sad story. And it doesn't matter where you go. The "formal" restaurant on deck 8 serves the same food as the buffet on deck 10, only they bring it to your table and it's more aesthetically pleasing. We tried the "pay-Pizza restaurant" on deck 11. This pizza had less taste than the frozen pizza you buy at home for €3, so it was slightly better than the shameful thing they served in the complimentary restaurants. The "soup of the day" was occasionally decent. The free water often had a strong taste of chlorine. (I found that the water on deck 11 often was better). Service: Most of the staff are friendly and helpful, but when it comes to issues regarding money they turn quickly. If you paid for internet and it didn't work, don't go to the reception because they will only trash you for asking for your money back. It's a problem with the signal, not the ship. Entertainment: Well.. what can I say. It was poor. Very poor compared to what we got used to with Royal Caribbean. It was entertainment, but as long as someone takes their job seriously I don't know if it can possibly be worse than the entertainment on board that ship. The female singer(s) was unable to pronounce any words in English (but all singers has decent voices - however that's a minimum) The dancers knew how to more but the choreography was off off off. The songs the singers had to sing were mostly boring and dull, and there was no good or logical pattern in the shows. Activities: Didn't care to join as most of them were about dancing like animals, play some obscure variant of volleyball or learning how to dance. I hoped to play chess in the library, but when I came for the scheduled time for that event, there was no staff there to even unlock the locker where they had the chess board. Excursions: Costa is limited to what the visited places has to offer, and it was ok. We went on boat/hiking/beach excursions and they were all good experiences. Sum it up: Horrible food. It's disrespectful towards the Italian kitchen which I'm quite a fan of. Bad entertainment and activities. Decent service (as long as it's not about getting money back) and a nice cabin. I would recommend my friends and family to stay FAR AWAY from Costa. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
i choose costa neoromantica because its sales around iceland it was nice bout the ship is ripoff because the buffet close at 9pm and the restaurant close at 10pm there was 3 more restaurant you has to pay even for a pizza in the ... Read More
i choose costa neoromantica because its sales around iceland it was nice bout the ship is ripoff because the buffet close at 9pm and the restaurant close at 10pm there was 3 more restaurant you has to pay even for a pizza in the restaurant you can not order water like you get in the buffet you have to pay for the water in the buffet always the same . i have been 3 cruises always had a lobster in a week on this one in 2 weeks we never had it you has to pay for the lobster and there was part off the ship is closed you have to pay.the waiters was nice and we had one when we dining he was realy nice and if you like to have another if the same he bring it to you .the entertainment was good it not in theater but its good. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
After having made many cruises with mid-class (like Princess, Celebrity) and luxury cruise lines (e.g. Oceania) we wanted to investigate the difference between those cruise lines and Costa, which is frequently offering cruises for very ... Read More
After having made many cruises with mid-class (like Princess, Celebrity) and luxury cruise lines (e.g. Oceania) we wanted to investigate the difference between those cruise lines and Costa, which is frequently offering cruises for very attractive prices. As we had already booked an Oceania cruise for later this summer, we accepted a cheap last minute offer for the Costa NeoRomantica cruise tot he Norwegian fjords (€700 in the cheapest cabin), a.o. to be able to make this investigation. We had read beforehand various reviews on CruiseCritic and hence were prepared for a somewhat different experience then with the other abovementioned cruise line companies. We must say that the ship NeoRomantica itself was much nicer then expected, and certainly not attractive then ships of other cruiselines of a comparable size. It was just a pity that with the latest renovation the theatre had been removed to make space for a wellness area. The cabins are vary spacious and well equipped (although without bathrobes), and the available inside public areas is ample enough even in cool weather situations. Boarding and debarkation was very smooth and efficient. COMPARISON OF TOTAL CRUISE COST: COSTA vs e.g. OCEANIA (a luxury cruise line specially known for it’s exquisite food) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- COSTA ---------- Last minute cruiseprice = €700 p.p. for 9 nights in the cheapest cabin. Effective real additional costs for service fee + a modest amount of non-alcoholic drinks (1 specialty coffee, 1 non alcoholic drink + 0,5 bottle of mineral water a day): € 170. The total cost (without excursions) thereby comes to € 97 p.p per night Crew to Passengers ratio: 650/1700 = 38% OCEANIA ------------ Pseudo last minute cruiseprice (4 month before embarcation) = €1575 p.p. for 12 nights in cheapest cabin: € 131 per night all-in. Included in this price: * $400 board credit (repeater rebate + travel agent offer) which covers the service charge * limitless non alcoholic drinks + specialty Illy coffees/teas * free WiFi * a complimentary visit to a specialty restaurant every 3 nights (value of appx €30: €10 per night) * a complimentary full day shore excursion every 3 nights (which I value at € 50: €17 per night. List value is much higher but irrealistic) Crew to Passengers ratio: 787/1250 = 63% Deducting the value of the complimentary specialty restaurants + shore excursions, the daily rate comes to € 131-27 = € 104, €7 more then at Costa. COMPARISON CONCLUSION ------------------------------------ For a daily extra of € 7 p.p. one gets with Oceania next to free WiFi, limitless non alcoholic drinks and really exquisite food (e.g. including lobster, steaks, etc.; we experienced the quality on various previous cruises), much friendlier and quicker service: incomparable to Costa. If a specific itinerary is offered by Costa as well as Oceania I would allways choose Oceania. However, to get this all for this little extra, one has to be very alert on special offers, as the regular list prices of Oceania are very much higher. Moreover one has to value the complimentary specialty restaurants and shore excursions. If you don’t care for those, Costa may be a good bargain. SOME OBSERVATIONS on the COSTA NEOROMANTICA ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Positive points: ------------------- * Efficient boarding and debarkation * Very spacious and well equipped cabins (although without bathrobes) * Sufficient public areas (inside as well as on deck), inside even in cool weather situations * Linen towels in public restrooms (a luxury touch!) * Excellent Illy coffee (extra charge) * Offering of an area with popular classical music next tot he venues with popular music. Weak points: ---------------- * The penny pinching and high costs for extra's (like coffee during the day, better but still simple food, entry fee for aft deck, etc). During over 30 trips with other cruise lines we never experienced that one had to pay extra for items in the main restaurant, pizza, etc. * Excessive drink prices, e.g. € 3,50 for a cappucino coffee, € 8 for a non alcoholic coctail * The offered food was OK but nothing more. There was never anything on the menu which I would have ordered in even a simple local restaurant. * Service is very slow, mainly because of a crew to passengers ratio which is to low. * Most (but luckily not all) of the service personnel worked like robots, not giving the feeling they were happy with their job. They appeared to be overstressed and underpaid. * Very noisy animateurs * Dinner times are not well coördinated with timing of shows * No real theatre: just lounge shows * Complimentary coffee and tea is only available during breakfast + afternoon tea. * Tap water is available during lunch at the buffet restaurant, but not automatically offered in the main restaurant. * Hygiene is not stressed overly strong. * Life enrichment lectures were only at midnight .... FELLOW PASSENGERS ------------------------------- The passengers are mainly Italian and French, with a smaller but still considerable group of Dutch and Germans (departure was from Amsterdam). As far as we can tell almost no Americans, Englishman or Australians. Because of differences in culture and mentality the south European and north European passengers groups practically don’t mix. The whole atmosphere is more oriented towards the Italian style. E.g. where on ships with mainly Anglo-Saxon passengerst there is usually the silence of the grave after the last show, that’s the moment where on the NeoRomantica the big parties start. Announcements are always made in 5 languages: Italian, French, Spanish, English and German. Especially during the emergency exersize quite tiring. ITINERARY & EXCURSIONS ------------------------------------ In essence the cruise to the Norwegian fjord region was fine, although the time spend in small towns like Geiranger, Olden and Flam could have been slightly shorter as there is not much to do. Better spend part of the afternoon cruising the fjord. We didn’t use the shore excursions as these are excessively overpriced (as is the case with all cruiselines). We always organise excursions ourselves, whenever possible by renting a car. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our first cruise ever; and it will be not the last I think. The Norwegian Fjords are a super destination, Wonderfull sceneries, almost always daytime in this part of the year on the most Nordly destinations. The cabin (with ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever; and it will be not the last I think. The Norwegian Fjords are a super destination, Wonderfull sceneries, almost always daytime in this part of the year on the most Nordly destinations. The cabin (with seaview) was very comfortable and bigger then we thougt. The crew was very friendly and very international. The service and food was excellent (sometimes served a bit too cold). A lot of choise in the excursions, in all difficulties and prices. Embarcation was smootly and the quick desembarcation worked very fine. Tip 1: book also a drink package. It is much cheaper Tip2: avoid as much as possible the self service restaurant. Not for quality, but for the rude custumors. Tip 3: you are in a multi cultural invirement, so try the Samsara restaurant. Tip 4: check reguraly the prices before booking Minus point; entertainment, could be better, but this is not our cup of tea Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I preferred to try an European Line after have done many cruises with British and American Lines. I specially liked the food. The cabin was excellent as well as the cabin service. Entertainment and features of the ship very enjoyable. ... Read More
I preferred to try an European Line after have done many cruises with British and American Lines. I specially liked the food. The cabin was excellent as well as the cabin service. Entertainment and features of the ship very enjoyable. What really stood out for me and made my holiday very special was the Hungarian Latin Dance Group. They were four outstanding professionals and kind human beings. The two bands playing in the Grand Piazza were superb. I would like to do another cruise with Costa mainly because of them and the Entertainment Team, formed by Italian, Spanish and Brazilian nationals. Nothing was too much trouble for them. The one disappointment was Ingrid, the Hotel Officer. My wallet was stolen in the Port of Savona just before starting the Cruise. She just was not interested in my problem and frustration. With the help of my son from Britain I could get money sent to the next Port: Barcelona. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We flew to Port Louis Mauritius to board the Costa NeoRomantica. On arrival after overnight flights and taxi journey we were met in a marquee by crew members. A welcome drink or wet towel would have made us feel welcome. We had our ... Read More
We flew to Port Louis Mauritius to board the Costa NeoRomantica. On arrival after overnight flights and taxi journey we were met in a marquee by crew members. A welcome drink or wet towel would have made us feel welcome. We had our passports taken and were told they would be returned at the end of the cruise. We boarded the ship and as our onboard card was in our cabin which was not accessible for another hour were directed to the lift and told to go to deck 10 for the buffet. On leaving the lift we discovered the restaraunt cannot be reached on deck 10, you need to go up or down a level to reach that end of the ship. As we left 2 weeks later they were still sending guests to 10. It seems that all Costa are interested in is your money they make no effort to provide an enjoyable experience on this ship. Buffet restaraunt juice is a sugary cordial. Cereals of the cheapest kind. For the first time in 50+ years of travelling I struggled to find something to eat and I am not a fussy eater. Free tea and coffee available. The only time of day it is. Main restaraunt. The food was good but very Italian. They could have had the occasional theme night. It became very bland after a week or so. No coffee after the meal. The waiters were exceptional friendly and very hard working.cabin was adequate. Walls were thin and we could hear other people's conversations and for 2 days we had workmen in the next cabin stripping it down so noisy doors banging etc. A bonus was no charge for safe. Entertainment. Show lounge was poor they gave up the theatre for a spa I believe. Dancers were good. Also had a wonderful opera singer and 2 singers from S. Africa. Usual quizzes, bingo, cookery demos. Air conditioning in public areas to cold. Lots of people coughing. Outdoor areas not enough shade for people who want to be outside but not in full sun. Compulsory tipping €9 per day p.p. Charged to your account. 15% tax added to all purchases drinks etc. Drinks package € 28 p.p. Per day make it an expensive holiday. The shop was poorly stocked. A few cigarettes mainly Costa merchandise lack of everyday items, things you may need. Baileys and another liqueur . No food or drink allowed to be brought on board. We booked a couple of tours but mainly did our own thing. Seychells, you can use euros but need local money for busses market. Atm's in town. We took a local bus to the south of the island costing about £1 each also a bus across the top of the island. The ferry to Praslin was €90 each way for a 1 hour journey. Madagascar, not for the feint hearted. A very poor island. Nosy be. Tender port we were met by a crowd of people offering tours and lots of market stalls selling touristy items. There is really nothing to see in the town. Diego Suarez. We took an excursion to red Tsingay roads in poor condition as were vehicles. A 2 hour drive on Tarmac and dirt roads to reach the site. Not sure if it was worth it only to see some of the country. Beware we were told toilets were of a local nature. We were not offered a stop and everyone had to use the bushes. Tamatave. We went to see the lemurs at a local park. They were all kept in cages, there was 1 snake . Worth the trip to see the villages. Reunion island. This is a very different is. You have to get a shuttle bus through the port area as it is a working industrial port. We shared a taxi to St Denis €40 one way. Lots of shops and some beautiful houses. We took the local bus back €2 but it only goes part of the way. You have to get a free shuttle bus to the port this is a 15 minute walk and not easy to find. Mauritius.We took a taxi tour to Papplemousse gardens. Well worth a visit 100 rupees each to get in. You can pay extra for a guide and it is well wort it as all the plants are explained. We then went on to the north coast and beaches. There is a very strong Indian influence here. Food is inexpensive. In some of the ports we asked onboard for maps information and were just tol no we have nothing. On previous cruises (not Costa)we had information sheets delivered to our cabin the night before. Disembarkation. Had to vacate cabin by 8 a.m. So went for breakfast at 7a.m. Leaving hand luggage in our cabin to collect later. On returning at 7.30 to collect it we discovered our cabin had already been made up for the next guests before we had vacated. Our taxi transfer was booked for 9 a.m. Although our flight was 11p.m. We were stuck with our suitcases all day as we couldn't check in until 3 hours before our flight. Take note Costa people go on holiday to enjoy themselves. If you want clients to return you need to up your game. Listen to what they say. I was not the only one other people we spoke to were dissatisfied. I will not be booking another Costa cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We boarded in Port Louis Mauritius for an Indian Ocean cruise. Itinerary was good - perhaps would have preferred an extra day in Reunion at the expense of one of the three days in Madagascan Ports. Staff/ crew were exemplary. The ship ... Read More
We boarded in Port Louis Mauritius for an Indian Ocean cruise. Itinerary was good - perhaps would have preferred an extra day in Reunion at the expense of one of the three days in Madagascan Ports. Staff/ crew were exemplary. The ship condition was good but equivalent to the 7 previous ships we had been on - it did not warrant the 'luxury' hype it was given. It had recently been extended and capacity increased. This was probably why it was free dining as opposed to the traditional two sittings. There were times that the restaurants could not cope - waits for tables were too long, waits for food were too long; we were served ice cream in warm bowls and food that should have been hot was tepid at best. I cannot remember the Gala Dinner. Another loss was the theatre. I completely disagree with a previous reviewer who thought the show lounge was an adequate replacement. It was not! It was actually on a thoroughfare to two other venues, it was too small, the sightlines were atrocious - an embarrassment to the high quality performers. The gym was [free!] and well equipped but it was too small. The ethos on board seemed to be to make as much money as possible - there were 9 opportunities each day to pay extra food, there was no 'free' food after 22:00, there was no midnight feast, tea coffee and water was not freely available [it should have been] Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We found the boarding process unlike any other cruise we have been on. You fill in a registration card on the dock and have your passports taken from you, passports are returned to you after a face to face interview with one of the many ... Read More
We found the boarding process unlike any other cruise we have been on. You fill in a registration card on the dock and have your passports taken from you, passports are returned to you after a face to face interview with one of the many immigration officials that come on board the ship the day before the cruise finishes. Then you have a photo taken and have to take your own luggage on board and leave it in one of the restaurants and collect it later and take it to the cabin yourself when the cabin is ready. Your key cards are on the bed in your unlocked cabin, it’s then your responsibility to swipe a credit card at one of 3 automated machines on board so that any spending onboard or excursions can be deducted from your credit card (we had issues with amounts being debited to our account that we did not spend and found these very hard to rectify even though you have to give the staff your “ship card” to be swiped in there terminals and sign for everything you purchase). Small very informal ship, very few people wear “formal clothes” in the evenings it’s rare to see a jacket, tie or evening dress. Many nationalities on board, announcements usually made in five or six languages, entertainment in many languages, all staff we encountered understood and spoke very good english. Food and drink on board good, service in restaurants excellent, free tea or coffee not available between 11am and 4pm even in dining rooms. Staff not allowed to serve tap water in main restaurants but tap water is available at all meals in the self service restaurants. Bottled water is €3.05 per litre. The cabin walls are paper thin and even low conversations can be overheard, opening and closing of drawers or toilet door, flushing toilet etc sounded loud. There are large grills in the external doors and any conversations or noise in the corridors outside can be heard clearly, all in all a very noisy ship to try to sleep or even rest on at times. Not many shaded/covered areas on the sun deck, this may sound silly but when it’s sunny and over 30c most days it would be nice to find a shaded spot for some of the day and when it’s raining be able to use a sun lounger under cover. Entertainment was a violin quartet, a pianist, a Peruvian sounding duo who I believe come from Paraguay, a man playing an electric organ, a dance band and the show team who put on several shows, single performers singing, a local group came on board in the Seychelles to perform and a magic show plus of course the late night disco. Vocals were in each of the five main languages. There is no theatre on this ship, there is a cabaret area but its not very large. Excursions were as usual on cruise ships very expensive, there were always many taxis waiting at the ports that offered similar trips for far less money and you could decide on the day whether to go on a trip or not depending on the weather. If you pay for a ships excursion and it’s raining or you are not feeling too well you cannot cancel or they may cut the trip short (for example not go to a beach etc) but there will be no refund. Most port towns we walked to or took the shuttle bus, (there is a charge for shuttle busses) taxis from these towns can be cheaper than from the dock for excursions or a trip to the beach. We did not go to one port (Nosy Be) where tenders were to be used as the waves were to high for it to be safe Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Overall friendly helpful staff, excellent service and small, modern clean boat with comfortable atmosphere. Good points: varied entertainment, hardworking animation team, trips mostly good value for money, cabin comfortable size, good ... Read More
Overall friendly helpful staff, excellent service and small, modern clean boat with comfortable atmosphere. Good points: varied entertainment, hardworking animation team, trips mostly good value for money, cabin comfortable size, good destinations, plenty to do throughout day, lots choices in buffet and Capri Grill. Suggestions: Need free 24 hour water /ice/ tea/ coffee could be located in Capri Grill. Could do with current FILMS on deck 11, every night,could rotate languages or subtitles. INDEPENDENT TRAVELERS need more info e.g. local bus services When disembarking, all guests need input whether COSTA transfers or not. (Ensure they all are promptly organised and not left in the sun for hours). A pleasure to be on a ship with so many lovely people (crew and guests) of varying nationalities. Fabritzio made the quizzes highly entertaining. Dancing on deck11 good fun. Good to watch all deck activities, made entertaining by animation team. Cooking competition good fun. Main entertainment in Cabaret Vienna Deck 9 singers, magicians, dancers some brought aboard others ship dancers, crew and entertainers. Grand bar had Guiseppe playing on keyboard and singing and alternated with Jack's band. Anticipate either a drinks package 28 euros a day for all inc (this is water/tea/coffee/juice as well as alcoholic drinks) or just drink couple a night. There is a variety of packages. One of the quiz teams was called Costalot!! Lot people managed to be independent travellers and raid the buffet for snacks juice and water. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We booked a Winter getaway at a fairly good price We are seasoned cruisers who enjoy the freedom cruising offers The ship is in good shape and the Decor is classically pleasant The design would work with fewer passengers and on ... Read More
We booked a Winter getaway at a fairly good price We are seasoned cruisers who enjoy the freedom cruising offers The ship is in good shape and the Decor is classically pleasant The design would work with fewer passengers and on cold windy sea days there is little to do. The 2 mini pools are useless for anyone wishing to swim. An enclosed pool area is missing and the price for Solarium use at €35.00 per day when all one wishes is to have a sauna i not value for money The ever present Solarium staff pushing Solarium deals are also indicative of the fact that the price is too high The free Gym, (one of the few free facilities), is fairly well equipped, very clean and almost always full at peak times The change rooms and toilets are 5 star The wine bar is an exceptional although very expensive feature Shopping on board is fairly limited but adequate, the range is limited, again because of the space problem The cigar smoking room was also a wonderful plus for the addicts and contained the smoke perfectly, a plus for Costa here The deck smoking area is a bit too close to the doors and can be a bit of a problem The animation staff do a lot to keep passengers busy with an array of ideas detailed in the daily newsletter The service most of the time is good and sometimes outstanding. Credit card verification was easy and quick We did not use the ships excursions and there were the usual shuttle bus charges for the ports where the ship docked a distance from town A safety warning was issued in the daily newsletter for Athens and not for Naples In Naples we were mugged and robbed in a busy street and have since learned that the town is regarded as unsafe. One must be extremely aware and should maybe walk around in a small group, leave all valuables and jewelry on board The ports were a poor substitute for those that have become unsafe, but that cannot be blamed on anyone. Kalamata was good, Napfilon, Volos were not great, Athens is Athens and Trapani was pretty run down and nothing special, Marseilles is also a typical large European port with many possibilities but also earned a safety warning The bus trip by Costa from Villach in Austria was uneventful as was the return trip Boarding in Savona was a little disorganized as usual - queue jumping due to poor system control, luckily not all passengers boarded in Savona Our Inside cabin was a little crammed due to the overhead bunks, although stowed take up a little extra space Otherwise it was adequate, without any problems and the cabin steward was invisible and efficient The food in the buffet was always fresh and the range sufficient to satisfy most tastes At peak times it was very busy and getting a table was not always easy The MDR food was mainly good , for breakfast and lunch the service was a little slow but the area adjacent the entrance was always well served and relaxing The early bird coffee and juice service was erratic and the coffeee quality questionable The small number of children seemed adequately entertained Entertainment was reasonable but with too many dance shows and if you arrive late not all seats have unobstructed viewing A theatre is missing but the ship design does not allow for it Disembarkation for us took a while and Costa mixed up our departure time and delayed our bus for over an hour We checked 3 times but were told to wait until we were called!! This retro ship was not for us and we prefer medium sized ships If you are English speaking multiple announcements will drive you mad. The manner less pushing and shoving of the French, Germans and Italians is also mindboggling. They all need to be first at all costs Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
A most disappointing cruise. We have cruised 10 times but this was the worst ever.It can only be described as a rip off.Every thing bought on the ship has a 15% service charge added everything ! In addition to the daily service charge ... Read More
A most disappointing cruise. We have cruised 10 times but this was the worst ever.It can only be described as a rip off.Every thing bought on the ship has a 15% service charge added everything ! In addition to the daily service charge which is compulsory. Another thing which irritated was that the only way you can have tea in the cabin is by room service along with the added service charge.Even all but the worst hotels have tea making facilities in the room these days. There was a coffee machine in the cabin but there was a charge of 1.50euros per cup (plus the service charge15%) To top it all there is a 15euros a day charge to sunbathe on the so called solarium which is just an enclosed deck. On the plus side the food is good although the service in the restaurant left a lot to be desired .It depended which waiter you got.Talking to other passengers it seemed most of them agreed with me. Most complaints were about the service charges put on the already very high prices. No more Costa cruises for us.they ought to all themselves Costa Fortune Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This ship has been newly refurbished to a high standard. Everyone comented on how tastfully decorated it is. Our inside cabin was huge with plenty of storage. The crew were helpful, happy, friendly and well trained while still managing to ... Read More
This ship has been newly refurbished to a high standard. Everyone comented on how tastfully decorated it is. Our inside cabin was huge with plenty of storage. The crew were helpful, happy, friendly and well trained while still managing to be unabtrusive. We had truly miserable weather. We were impressed that the captain and Costa were flexible enough to chase the sun and we skipped.Athens in favor of Malta. They've gone to complete open seating "my time" dining. I'm not a fan but they are.the ony line that I remember to open the main dining room for lunch when in port. The menue was limited but delicious and well presented. Something we've always advocated for --- a port co-ordinated dinner with paired wines. IMPRESSIVE! The only downside is the pool is smaller than a postage stamp and I heard comment that there was very little for kids. Neither is a problem for me. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We cruised on the ‘Around Iberia’ itinerary at short notice and bagged a fantastic last minute deal. Having said that, the overall experience was poor and we would not recommend Costa to anyone interested in a cruise holiday. We ... Read More
We cruised on the ‘Around Iberia’ itinerary at short notice and bagged a fantastic last minute deal. Having said that, the overall experience was poor and we would not recommend Costa to anyone interested in a cruise holiday. We joined the ship at Dover, the day after it sailed from Amsterdam, and, as per previous experience at the Dover port, check in was a complete dream, with no queues, friendly port staff and easy access via the high speed rail link from London. The passenger contingent based on our non-scientific analysis during the 8 days on board was (in descending order) Italian, French, Dutch, German, Rest of the World, including English speakers from various parts of the globe. If I have to summarise the negative points of the cruise into a simple statement, it is: Incredibly bad management. The Italian management in particular swagger around the ship with an arrogance that belies the poor levels of service, staff and crew motivation and customer experience on offer. By way of example, we dined in the paid-for pizza restaurant one evening. A group of about a dozen Costa staff arrived to eat, then complained about the pizza and the service aloud, leading to the Food and Beverage director summoning the chef to the table to be chastised in front of everyone, with additional guidance provided on how to prepare a pizza properly. It was mortifying and all the passengers present watched aghast. We regularly had a particular member of staff using the upper sun lounge deck as a venue to make loud telephone calls back home of an afternoon. Queueing for anything on board is a nightmare. I know we have special ‘queueing IQ’ in the UK, but the mismanagement of passengers waiting their turn for anything was an embarrassment. A request for a towel to use by the poolside on debarkation day – we had to vacate our stateroom by 9:30 but wouldn't disembark until 16:00 on a gloriously sunny day – was simply met with “That is not possible”. The receptionist explained, as we had already understood and complied with, that towels are assigned to staterooms and that once you've vacated your stateroom and left your towel there, you’re without one. It beggars belief that Costa have yet to adopt the ‘sign out, sign in’ towel process of other large lines. The NeoRomantica is a beautiful ship, the cabins are modern with excellent storage, and the bar, restaurant and stateroom staff are all wonderful. We loved all of the interesting and varied ports of call on our itinerary. The food offering is mixed – it was nice to have daily pasta choices, the soups were uniformly excellent, but mains were variable. I don’t mean for this review to sound like a giant moan, but rather as an honest appraisal of our experience on board. Caveat Emptor! Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was a cruise I especially looked forward to , going North along the Norwegian coast had been on my to do list for a long time . The Costa Neoromantica is relatively small compared to the ships we have sailed on previously , and it was ... Read More
This was a cruise I especially looked forward to , going North along the Norwegian coast had been on my to do list for a long time . The Costa Neoromantica is relatively small compared to the ships we have sailed on previously , and it was our first Costa experience . We embarked in Amsterdam after a transatlantic flight , and we ended up being the first to arrive at the terminal . This gave me high hopes we would also be among the first to board the ship . We ended up being among the last , which reflects how poorly organized the process was . This was also the first time we had to stand in line again inside the ship to get our credit card hooked up to our Costa card . As expected everyone was sent to the buffet restaurant to have lunch , by the time we got some food it was almost 3 o'clock . Our cabin was just a standard balcony cabin , but it was surprisingly spacious , and the storage was the best I ever experienced on a cruise ship . I pounced on the coffee maker on the desk , because to my dismay there was no drink station at the restaurant . You actually have to pay for every cup of coffee or tea except at breakfast . Really , Costa ??? I mean , you get used to being charged for lots of things on cruise ships , but on all other ships we could get at least coffee , tea , and water at beverage stations in the buffet restaurant . Surprise , surprise , every coffee pod for the machine in the cabin was added to your bar tab . Being the tech nerd that I am , I purchased 3 hours of internet time to do some emailing etc , and I kept track by writing down my log-in times . They cut me off after half the time telling me my time was up . The arguing with guest services didn't do anything . They insisted they were right . I sprang for one more hour later into the cruise , got cut off after half the time . I had enough after that and decided to do without . The food in the buffet restaurant was not bad , selection was good , the ice cream was fabulous . However , the food they served at dinner in the main dining room was mediocre at best and heavily fish based . A couple of times I had to return my food because it was simply inedible . Never happened to us before on any ship we were on , and we have been on lots . The one really good thing was the itinerary , we got to see some marvellous sights and magnificent landscapes . If you decide to go for it , bring a good supply of Gravol , we ran into some really rough seas . No More Costa for me after this experience . Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was our 3rd cruise and our first with Costa. We absolutely loved it. We had been on a Celebrity cruise before and found it much too big and impersonal. On the NeoRomantica we could find our way around and regularly bumped into people ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise and our first with Costa. We absolutely loved it. We had been on a Celebrity cruise before and found it much too big and impersonal. On the NeoRomantica we could find our way around and regularly bumped into people we got to know. There were not many English on the cruise but we went to the introduction meeting for English speaking and met a lovely American couple. Later at dinner that night they were sat on our table and we spent most of our holiday with them. The evening meal was amazing with 6 or 7 courses if you wanted. We paid extra for the all inclusive and enjoyed cocktails, wine with our dinner, coffees and hot chocolates. Well worth the money, infact considering the amount of food and drink we had I'm surprised Costa made any profit! There wasn't much in the way of evening entertainment, but I don't really expect it on a holiday. We ate late and with the good company, didn't finish eating until at least 11pm, we would then have a couple more drinks and go to bed, there was always tomorrow's new port to get up for. We were supposed to have a 7 hour wait at the airport on our way home but we changed our flights to earlier ones with easy Jet for no charge. All in all an amazing holiday, we arrived home relaxed and suntanned! Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Costa neoRomatica, eastern Mediterranean, April 2014. I embarked at Savona, other embarkation ports were Civitavecchia, Messina and Marseille. This led to a somewhat different passenger dynamic. With smaller numbers, boarding at Savona was ... Read More
Costa neoRomatica, eastern Mediterranean, April 2014. I embarked at Savona, other embarkation ports were Civitavecchia, Messina and Marseille. This led to a somewhat different passenger dynamic. With smaller numbers, boarding at Savona was quick and easy. Unfortunately, on our return, we were docked at the terminal extension, which is still under construction. While reasonably efficient, it's not much fun when it's raining and the temporary walkways are only partially covered. I have been on Atlantica, Mediterranea, Fortuna, Serena, Deliziosa and most recently Luminosa, three weeks in February this year. I have made several comparisons to Luminosa/Deliziosa. Grand Bar Piazza Italia Dance floor roughly semi-circular, base about 26', extending about 18' from stage. One-third the size I would have expected in a Costa Grand Bar, and not well maintained, overdue for refinishing. The floor was constantly crowded. Two groups playing continuously from 18.00 to 01.30, entirely satisfactory and like most Costa musicians, took pride in playing what passengers want to hear. There was a cruise staff activity each night around 22.30, often followed by line dancing. The male cruise staff frequently danced with passengers. The female staff danced with married men but pointedly avoided singles (not just me). Theatre. There is no theatre, Broadway shows are impossible. Shows are staged in Cabaret Vienna. Cabaret Vienna Dance floor 28' x 24'. A much better dance floor than the Grand Bar but still not up to Costa's normal standard. This is the primary show venue, with concerts, entertainers and cabaret-style shows, usually three shows per evening. Ballroom dancing was advertised one evening, a fiasco. The DJ was utterly clueless. The Cruise Director admitted several complaints and promised to do better next time. A second try was barely acceptable; there were only the two evenings and only for one hour. At 23.30, there would be a period of loud, obnoxious disco music to cater to the couple of dozen teens on board, but I believe it lasted only an hour. Salone Tango Disco. Dance floor oval, 20' x 12' Neither a disco nor a tango salone, this room did not seem to get much use. The keyboard player Doriano was good, but the latino group Paraguayos was among the worst I have heard on Costa. I understand one member of this group was leaving at the end of the cruise, so it would appear they are contract musicians rather than a fixed group. Enoteca wine & cheese bar. In its present form, a total flop. I intended to sample the cheese but never got around to it, the schedule conflicts directly with restaurant sittings. I cannot see how this concept can be made profitable. Food Service Restaurant Two traditional fixed dining times, 18.30 and 21.00. An Anytime option is available using part of the Giardino buffet seating area. Water is available (the magic word seems to be “carafe”) but coffee is included only at breakfast, extra-cost at dinner. Food service times can vary, you need to check the program daily. The food was entirely satisfactory for my admittedly simple tastes, however, allowing for local availability, the menus seemed identical to Luminosa. Capri grill Open for evening buffet most evenings til 21.00. The best I have seen on Costa, perfectly adequate for my tastes. But the seating area was limited, either open deck or downstairs. Capri Pizzeria. A charge of 7.50 euros per person for pizza which is no extra charge on other ships. Only available til midnight. Several times a special price, 4 Euros for one pizza was offered, suggesting the concept is not selling very well. Giardino buffet The food was again, perfectly adequate for my tastes, but not well organised. Separate hot and cold lines which are too close, causing constant traffic jams. No beverage stations, water glasses are in the bottom of the dessert station, very awkward. Dinner plates rather than the platters used on other ships, it seemed like I had to make at least 3 trips every time. Midnight buffet. Several times, there were waiters with trays in the lounges as is done on other ships. However, they passed through so quickly I never had a chance to find out what was available. Room service. Premium cabins have continental breakfast included, Classic cabins, 5 euro charge for full breakfast. 2 Euro charge for orders after breakfast. I did not order any room service. Club restaurant. 25 Euro per person service charge. As a Gold Pearl member I receive a complimentary visit. Portion sizes were quite large, but I did not find enough of an improvement to be worth paying the normal charge. The restaurant seats well over 100 people, it was nowhere near that busy. Samsara restaurant. Samsara dining (anytime seating with different menu) is available (note that Costa uses the term “Samsara” for several different things). Included with Samsara cabins but also available as premium dining. My Samsara experience in the past has been good, but I did not try this restaurant on this trip. Cabin. Inside guarantee, I was assigned a handicap cabin. This was the most awkward and badly arranged cabin I have seen since the NCL Epic studios. No reading or vanity lights, lighting was either on or off. Beds were jammed together end to end and could not be put together to make a double. There was a design fault in the closet doors which caused the bathroom door to jam, which has not been rectified even though the ship has been in service over a year. I was only able to visit other cabins briefly during debarkation, my impression was they are not as well laid out as Luminosa. Interactive TV Most messages and advertising are sent by interactive TV, greatly reducing waste paper. The new-message icon was not visible on most screens. Laundry. No self-serve laundry. Ship laundry prices seem comparable to shore prices. A 25 piece for 20 Euro special was offered later in the cruise. Squok Club. A Squok Club is available, open morning, afternoon and evening. It did not seem to be very large but I did not ask for any details. There were several families on board even though this was a off-season cruise. Smoking A smoking lounge is available. I did not see anyone smoking anywhere else on the ship. Language The English-language hostess said there were about 10% English-speaking. I would have guessed somewhat less; Costa tends to lump “other” together with English. Safety announcements are always done in English; the working language of the hotel staff is also English. I was told Costa marketing is trying to position this ship as “upscale”. There are a number of obvious design compromises due to the rebuilding which Costa has not really addressed. In several places, the passenger walkways are so narrow two people can barely pass. The pool area is not covered. The nickel-and-dime charges in food service do not fit an upscale image. The dance environment is the worst I have seen on any Costa ship. The floor in the Piazza Italia is completely inadequate in size and poorly maintained.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
After reading a lot of the reviews on this website concerning Costa, we were very worried about how our cruise holiday would turn out. This was our first time going on a cruise and we are a family of four - two kids who are 4 yrs old and 6 ... Read More
After reading a lot of the reviews on this website concerning Costa, we were very worried about how our cruise holiday would turn out. This was our first time going on a cruise and we are a family of four - two kids who are 4 yrs old and 6 yrs old. We took a bus transfer from Nice, France, to Savona, Italy, which was arranged by Costa. This went without any troubles and the driver stopped after about 90 minutes of driving for a 30 minute rest stop, then we continued our way to the cruise terminal in Savona. When we arrived there, we were all given embarkation cards with a number on them to indicate in which order we could board the ship. We were given a card for group number 21 and we waited in a very comfortable terminal for around 45 minutes before our number was called. There was a little children's room available where our kids could play while we waited. Also, there was a cafe and outdoor seating on a nice terrace, if you preferred to wait in the open air. Once on board, we had our photos taken by the crew to go with our Costa Cards and then we were directed to our cabin. I had already looked at the floor plan for the deck we were on, so I knew where to go to find our cabin. I would suggest people do this before getting on board, as the cabins did not appear to be in sequential order! So, ensure you know which direction to head in once you are on the ship! We got to our room and our luggage was brought to us about 5 minutes later. The cabin we had was a classic sea view cabin. We were on deck 5, towards the front of the ship. Our kids were very happy, as their beds were folded down from either side of the cabin, over the top of the king-sized bed in the middle of the cabin (this was made up of two beds pushed together, but it was very comfortable). Everything was made up nicely and I was happy with the cleanliness of the cabin :) We were excited to explore the ship but decided to stay in our cabin until the emergency training drill was ready to take place. We put on our life jackets and headed up to deck 9 where we were 'herded' towards our muster station. The training is useless and just lip service, honestly! I didn't learn a thing. But I guess that Costa have to say they have given us the training and it was all over after 15 minutes. We found 99% of the staff members on board of the neoRomantica to be beautifully polite and willing to help us. After reading other reviews, I had expected the worst, but everyone doted on our daughter and were very nice to us despite the fact we only speak English! Our kids were fine in the Squok club but it was a little bit small. The kids went there for about 3 hours minimum each day and also experienced 3 squok dinners, which allowed us (mum and dad) to have a few nice quiet dinners on our own! The Squok club hours are in three 3 hour lots during the day, usually 9am - noon, then 3pm-6pm, and then 9pm-midnight. Our kids NEVER went to the last session, as it is very late for little ones. For older children, that may not be a problem. We also were informed that we could leave the children with the Squok staff for a continuous period if we were going on an excursion that was booked through the Costa Tours. So if a tour is scheduled to leave at 8am and return at 3pm, we could drop the children off at the club at 7.45am and then the staff would be with them until we returned. We did this twice on our cruise, as sometimes our kids did not want to spend a long day sightseeing. Remember that you cannot leave your children in the Squok club if you are planning to go on a self-organised excursion. On days when the ship is at sea for the entire day, the second session of Squok is from 3pm-5pm, and then the third session begins at 7pm and the children all have a themed dinner together, followed by a movie or games. We found the food on the ship to be acceptable, it's not 'amazing' but it's not revolting either. It is what it is, but don't go in with huge expectations. There were a couple of standout dishes that I can remember from my 10 day cruise and there were a couple I would rather forget, but overall, it was okay. We realised after the first few days that we didn't have to always eat at the restaurant with table service, as Giardino's restaurant actually turns into a self-service buffet for breakfasts and lunches! We much preferred this option as we could make big salads and eat much healthier, balanced meals. You can't rely on getting a nice salad or main meal with vegetables at dinner, so get all the greens and fresh produce you can at lunch time. By the tenth day of our cruise, we were beginning to tire of the multi-course dinners and felt a bit unhealthy. Thank goodness for the salad bar at lunch! We sometimes took fruit back to our cabin to eat at other times. This seemed fine with the staff, as no one tried to stop us. Generally, you can get breakfast from 6.30/7am up until about 10.30/11am. Lunch is at noon. Late lunch is from 2-4pm, then there is afternoon tea from 4-5pm. Early casual dining for dinner begins at 5pm in the Pizzeria (but you have to pay 7.50 euros per person for all you can eat pizza), and 6pm in the Grill (free). The other restaurants are serving from 6.30pm. There is a club restaurant that anyone can book into and pay for their dinner. It looked beautiful but we never went there. Also, if you are not in a Samsara cabin but would like to eat in the Samsara restaurant, you can either buy an upgraded dining package or pay for a one-off dinner at 25 euros per head, excluding drinks. We did not do this, so I cannot comment on the food in that restaurant, but it was said to be 'healthier'. As for drinks, we purchased the all inclusive package. We did not have to purchase this for our daughter, as she is 4 yrs old. 5yrs and upwards do have to have a drinks package. Please be aware that you cannot get bottles of water with the package, only GLASSES of water. We did bring a couple of drink bottles from home and filled these up in our cabin for the excursions. The water on the ship is totally FINE for drinking, so do not be scared by some people's photographs of the water quality!!! We made friends with a couple of the waiters and barmen and they gave us a few cans of ice tea that were unopened for our journey home when we disembarked on our last day. Also, at dinner, if you do not finish the bottled water, just take it back to your cabin at the end of the meal. There is no problem in doing this and you might as well not let it go to waste. Other comments on the ship - the cabins seemed to be pretty sound proof, as I didn't hear our neighbours at all. Sometimes I could hear people in the hall, but this did not bother me. On the contrary, we were probably the noisiest people around with our young kids... We tried our best to keep them quiet! There was a good selection of in-house movies available to purchase through the tv in the cabin. Yes, there were available in all languages, including English. We paid 8.95 euros to watch The Croods and the kids loved it. We also brought our laptop, loaded up with movies, Don't forget to bring a power adapter and a power board/ power strip so that you can charge all of your devices/cameras/etc. The only toiletries provided are soap. There are no shower caps, or shower gels, shampoos, etc. You can purchase those things in the dutyfree shop on deck 9 if you come unprepared. The entertainment on the ship is a number of little bands which are directed at old people, not very exciting for us (in our 30's). The dancers were pretty good though. There was a magician one evening, and we thought he was good, as did our kids. He did the show in Italian, French and English! Other nights there were events that we didn't attend, but that is because of our kids needing to go to bed. I am not going to rate the shore excursions, because everyone would be different. We took an excursion to Ephesus from the port of Izmir, Turkey. This was a good tour, but we were taken to a rug shop after seeing Ephesus were we were hassled to buy a rug. These people were nice enough and I would have liked to buy a rug but I do not like being forced into a situation like that! We were given wine or tea here too, and a little demo about how the silk is farmed and the rugs are made. After refusing many times to buy a rug, we had to find the exit which was at the end of numerous rooms containing jewellery - we have never seen so much jewellery in our lives! The actual tour in Ephesus was very interesting though! The other tour we took was to see the volcano in Sicily called Mount Etna from the port of Messina. It was quite a drive to get there (2 hours, not 90 mins as stated in the tour guide). However, it was cool to see the volcano. Take very warm clothes if you go here during the colder months. It was incredibly windy and FREEZING. I used the gym a number of times. It is sufficient for keeping up fitness on the cruise but if you go at peak times, you will need to wait to use a cardio machine. The machines are meant to be used for 20 minutes per person, but keep your eye on people, as some rude individuals may try to restart their session as soon as the 20mins are up! As for weights, there are 3 benches and dumbells ranging from 4kgs upwards. There are some weight machines but I didn't like them and never attempted to use them, as they weren't the traditional type but some weird ergonomic sort. There is a stretching area with a few yoga mats and an ab ball or two. The view from the gym is directly over the front of the bow of the ship, so quite nice. Disembarkation took a while and we were given an approximate time of 10.30am as our timeslot (the ship docked at 9am). We ended up getting called off at about 11.15am. We were not allowed to be in our cabin after 8am, so after we had breakfast, we sat in the main bar, where we could get drinks, etc. It is very comfortable there, so we didn't have a problem. I even took my daughter back up to the Squok club for a play. You are able to utilise anything on the ship until you are ready to leave, except your cabin, ofcourse. This review is getting very long but I just wanted to say that if you go on the cruise with an open mind, you realise that some Europeans can be a little rude at times, you are polite to the people who are serving you - you will have a nice time. Honestly, the neoRomantica was fine! Each ship can speak for itself, I suppose. But I wouldnt hesitate to go back again to this one. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We joined the ship at Sydney for the last leg of a round the world cruise and what wonderful places we visited! Sydney to Savona via Africa.. Costa delivered everything they promised and more.....free drinks at meal times and 6 free ... Read More
We joined the ship at Sydney for the last leg of a round the world cruise and what wonderful places we visited! Sydney to Savona via Africa.. Costa delivered everything they promised and more.....free drinks at meal times and 6 free excursions to mention some highlights.We learnt to play bridge( free of charge ) with a superb instructor, learnt to dance with the on board dance team and enjoyed the swimming pools, jacuzzi and gym.The food was excellent in every area with seven course meals in the evening and special Gala menus, The evening entertainment wasn't always to our taste and I found it rather old fashioned, rather stuck in the 50's, but the Italians and French loved it. The on-board musicians were very good but rather repetitive. The visiting acts were classical singers or Italian tenors on the whole, with some jugglers/ comics.The dancers were great considering they had such a small area in which to perform as the ship has no stage.The casino was well run. New Year's Eve was on a party on deck watching the firework display in Cape Town with plenty of free champagne. All the staff were polite, helpful and efficient. Everything was well organised and appeared effortless. I found my fellow guests, mainly Italian, lovely as individuals but rather overpowering as a group, often dismissive of others aboard the ship. I can't fault Costa though, they did everything to provide the holiday of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was my and my girlfriend's first sea cruise and we chose it as a relaxed way of seeing western Norway and also because it departed from a port relatively close to our home city. The cruise went from Amsterdam all the way up to ... Read More
This was my and my girlfriend's first sea cruise and we chose it as a relaxed way of seeing western Norway and also because it departed from a port relatively close to our home city. The cruise went from Amsterdam all the way up to Honningsvag and back, spearing the gorgeous fjords along the way. We had no trouble getting to the ship. The Amsterdam passenger terminal is very close to the Central Station (which is itself not that far from the Schiphol airport) and the terminal is not busy so the processing does not take long. Costa NeoRomantica is a 14 deck ship (Wikipedia seems to disagree, but I was just there), with the top 3 or so containing cabins for people who I sincerely hope donate to various charities, 4 more decks worth of living quarters for the average plebians and several recreational decks in between, the majority of which are occupied with bars and restaurants. Costs and value It was a promising ship, but I believe that how much you will enjoy this cruise and how costly it will be for you will largely depend on how much information you can acquire, how quickly you can acquire it and act upon it. This is of course true of any vacation and, I suppose, true of our lives in general, but it is especially applicable to this cruise, for it was rigged with extra costs. It appears that the price of the cruise itself, as high as it was, had in fact been cut for some time in order to attract more customers, but rest assured, the cruise company will try to make up for that loss in other ways at the customer's expense. Here, even the hidden costs have hidden costs. Most drinks on board are overpriced, something I suppose this cruise will share with all the others, and you are not allowed to bring any drinks or food with you from the shore for "safety reasons". Not making a profit is very unsafe, I agree. Your bags get x-rayed upon every embarkation, though the security staff did not care about our water, which makes me think it is all about the alcohol content of what you are bringing on board. On top of that, the prices of food and beverages you buy on board do not include the so called "service cost", which usually amounts to 15% of the price and usually only appears on the bill, once you have already been charged. The bright side of this is that you don't have to worry about tips and I hear that in countries like US 15% is the norm for tipping. If you are planning on having any alcoholic drinks, you may want to get the all-inclusive package. It is expensive, yes, but you will be amazed how quickly you will go over the limit if you don't buy it. A couple of soft drinks at dinner will cost you EUR 10. Our cruise was advertised as being 13 days. The 13th day was a straight out lie, since you have to clear your cabin by 8 a.m. (yes I know this is an industry wide problem); the 1st day of the cruise started in the evening and consisted of leaving the port of origin; and then there were the 4 days that were spent entirely at sea (bring your books). This leaves us with 7 actual days and the number of hours you are allowed on land each day differs from just enough to why did we bother waking up so early? So, if you do the math it all amounts to, let's see...1...6....not very good value for money. The destination and excursions The true prize of our trip was the destination and Norway is one diamond of a destination. It is difficult to judge the choice of the ports of call made by the cruise company, as it is trying to appeal to everyone's taste. The cruise did appear to cover all the different sides of western Norway, from the cute cities of the South to the lush fjords in the middle, to the barren cliffs of the North. However, as mentioned before, I found that the time you are allowed on land is not enough when set against the amount of time you have to spend on board. The cruise company offers several excursions in each port of call. You can book them from the comfort of your bed through the interactive TV. However, we quickly learned just how much more money you lose by booking the excursions through the cruise company instead of spending time on a bit of research and booking directly through local tour operators. A shuttle bus to and from the Norwegian North Cape cost about 60 Euro p.p. The same trip booked through the ship cost 80. For other excursions the price differences were even higher with barely any justification. And please note that Norway's prices are considered to be rather high already. Norwegians on their Western coast have a developed tourism industry and the port towns offer quite a few possibilities in the summer, from a simple bike rental to glacial hikes. There is usually a tourist information point right at the port where you get equipped with a free map and can see the various tours being offered. Despite the prices, most of the ship's excursions were quickly fully booked, so if you are going to book through the cruise company, do it before the trip or as soon as you enter your cabin. The quality of the excursions is also rather mixed. It is likely because they are executed by local operators, often several different ones per excursion. On one occasion the guide spoke good and clear English. On another part of the same excursion the bus guide spoke bad English and could be barely heard. However, in both cases you did at least get a sense that the local guides try. Either way, most of the excursions should have been called transfers. Really, all they do is get you to the place you want to visit. It so happens that Norway does not have much in terms of urban history that a guide could babble about for a long time. Facilities and things to do on the ship The ship has a little bit of everything available. There are two pools, two jacuzzis, a game room, a mini-library (read: two book cabinets), a fitness center, an overhyped spa, a little chapel, a couple of stores and more. Unfortunately no theater and that is especially unfortunate because there are so many different spacious bars so you know they could have made place. There is a game room on board but during our stay the machines were malfunctioning. Another small annoyance is that at 18:00 the crew starts taking off and stacking up the seat cushions on the whole of the upper deck, including the adults only section, leaving only a few places inhabitable. I guess adults go to sleep at that time and I have been doing it wrong all my life. There is, of course, a wi-fi connection. However, not only is it very expensive, but we were warned by one of the guides that the satellite connection is unstable and not worth it. Considering that Norwegian towns often have reasonably priced wi-fi available, the guides advice is worth listening to. The on board entertainment in general is a bit of a mixed bag. Although officially the program starts in the morning, only the evening part of it can be called entertainment. Everything before that is a poorly disguised filler. It consists either of spa commercials disguised as seminars or events that involve the guests entertaining one another and are therefore done at minimum cost to the cruise company. This is not as bad as it sounds because, by comparison, river cruises have far worse evening entertainment and nothing at all during the day, so the company's financial creativity is commendable here, but it is a little irritating that the company is trying to sell such filler as part of the entertainment. As for the evening entertainment, there is some variety, but a lot of it is clearly targeting the elderly. This is again forgivable because most of the guests appeared to be 50+, but this leaves the younger adults on the sidelines most of the time, which has as its result that when an interesting event does come along it is likely to be ignored by the younger out of habit, who could have otherwise enjoyed it. It is nice though that if you do not like the main even of the evening there are a few alternatives, and you can just go listen to a couple of guys playing classical music. For the youngest guests there appear to be some games and special baby-sitting entertainment programs, but most of the older kids just hang out in groups around the pool anyway, more than well entertained by one another without the assistance of the cruise company. The cabin The general issue cabin we had was quite spacious by ship standards. Very dominant in that space was the huge bed  a correct investment of space. The cabin design looks neat but has a flaw where parts of the cabinets protrude above both sides of the bed and also towards the end of it, so that getting off the bed from the sides without injury is challenging. If you want to connect an electrical appliance you may need a special connector. There was one in the room which worked for us (for us the voltage was right but the some plugs did not quite fit). There is a coffee machine and a fridge but no water cooker. The rest of the room is quite ordinary. There is a big screen interactive TV containing about 20 channels, but it was a bit of a letdown. On the one hand it has a lot of practical and useful functionality, like allowing you to order room service, providing port information and even providing a webcam view from the bow and from the stern, something I found out is standard on all Costa ships. On the other hand, the channels are mostly news channels and most of them are in Italian, because it is an Italian ship you see that departed from Amsterdam to go to Norway. Maybe the crew really value their TV. Considering that we spent at least 4 days purely at sea and considering the occasional empty afternoons, the cruise could really benefit from a higher selection of English channels and at least one movie channel. You can of course watch movies but at a high price (why don't you add some service cost on top of that?). There was a problem with the sewer closer to our cabin that created a nasty stench in the hallway, which lasted throughout the 1st half of the cruise, but it did get fixed eventually. Food and drinks The nourishment is good, and in fact, of all the things on board the food seems to justify the price of the trip the most. It gave us a scare at first because our first meal was a dinner and dinners on board would for the rest of our trip consist of very small (French cuisine size) portions, but the cruise made up for it by the all-you-can-eat breakfasts, lunches, tea-times and room services. But do heed that this is coming from a writer who is easily dazzled by any food, like a kid at an amusement park. Perhaps if the company diverted some of the funds spent on those ten different types of meat in its all-you-can-eat buffets towards its entertainment, it would balance things out a bit more. Dinners contained good variety, offering a taste of Italian, International and local cuisines (customary lobster included) and the quality of the meals was acceptable though not praiseworthy. This reviewer is not a fan of alcoholic drinks and my partner is a very moderate drinker (making us mortal enemies of the cruise industry) but when we did try their cocktails we were surprised how tasty they were. Almost worth the money. Servicing and staff Everyone is polite and predominantly helpful. Many of the staff could use some more English lessons though, if the cruise is trying to appeal to such an international clientele. This boat wears a very self-aware Italian face, as if it declares that they are Italian and the passengers are too. As mentioned before, the boat cruise was restricted to the Netherlands and Norway, while the crew appeared to be mostly Filipino, so I do not think the attitude is justified. A really nice feature is being able to order room service almost for free (say it with me now once more so we don't forget: "Service Cost"!). Information services are mostly ok. The travel papers we received prior to the departure contained a good deal of info and every evening during the cruise we would get a program for the next day with all the important information. But you only get the critical information concerning the ship. It does not tell you that even though some doors say crew only you can still go through some of them; it does not tell you that during those days you spend on sea there will be nothing for you to do but eat and read; it does not tell you about the cheaper alternatives to their expensive cruises and, although you can exchange Norwegian Crown for Euros, it does not tell you that this relates only to banknotes. There were other issues for us as well. With reference to the aforementioned bus trip to the North Cape, the staff member at the ship's tourist information desk told us that there was no other transportation there other than the busses they had booked, so she either lied or spoke when she did not know. Due to my unrelenting hope in human beings, I trust it's the latter. There was also a problem with the disembarkation in the ports where mooring at a berth was not possible. The ship's tender boats (read "life boats") would take guests ashore but this had to be done in many trips and some people (read us) had to wait a very long and uncertain time before we could leave. There were no embarkation or disembarkation problems with normal ports though. With reference to the already mentioned prices, they are explained ahead of time but it is done in such a way that the final price is always blurry. Verdict Hopefully the reader does not get too discouraged by my somewhat dark review - the cruise was in the end enjoyable, but you don't pay a mercenary to bake you cookies and you don't come to me for a pep talk. Final verdict is then that the cruise is average value for money, but it did provide us with a window into the beautiful Norway in relative comfort, albeit a small window...a small round attic window...partially barred. Port summary Hellesylt: Were not allowed off at this port. Geiranger: One of the most beautiful places Ive ever seen. Developed tourism. A tiny town. Trondheim: Small provincial, pretty churches, cheap city-wide wi-fi connection. Honningsvag: Northernmost town. Surprisingly warm. Barren but beautiful landscape. Tromso: Relatively large city. Not much to do and not particularly pretty. Leknes: Pretty islands (Lofoten) with small communities. All about hiking and boating. Olden: 2nd Prettiest place after Geiranger. Small towns. Home of the glaciers. Good hiking. Bergen: Nice little city. Interesting fish market and harbor, though very touristy.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
As first time cruisers we had a lot of questions. Cruise critic was very helpful for many of them. Neo romantica is a really beautiful ship and the staff are superb. The Baltic Northern Capitals are really beautiful and there are plenty of ... Read More
As first time cruisers we had a lot of questions. Cruise critic was very helpful for many of them. Neo romantica is a really beautiful ship and the staff are superb. The Baltic Northern Capitals are really beautiful and there are plenty of opportunities to see great art and design which we took full advantage of. We picked the all inclusive drinks package and enjoyed the range within in it. We really enjoyed the smaller bar entertainment where we found an excellent extempore pianist Akos who really had us sitting up and taking notice and a silver trio with sax, electric piano and excellent singer who provided a great atmosphere. Listening to the night out band in the background whilst drifting out of port looking out of the full length windows with a cocktail in hand and some nibbles of nuts, mini pretetzels and crisps was another pleasure. The other entertainment was also fine, the other standout being an italian tenor whose name I have misplaced - sorry that I have. We hardly ate or drank ashore just took a small bottle of water, a bit of fruit and hardboiled eggs from the breakfast buffet and a flask of spirits from our all inclusive package for pain relief for an osteoarthritic knee! We found the public transport affordable and clear and convenient meaning that we did not have to do much walking. St Petersberg did private tour which was three times what we paid for the actual cruise which we got on late avail..! At Stockholm we concentrated on the Museum of Modern Art which has an exhibition stuffed with Andy Warhol, Richard Hamilton, Matisses including his metal work, Piccasso etc etc. In Copenhagen we concentrated on the Museum of Design and saw some really unique beautiful things, again concentrating on maximum things to see per pace walked.Visby was on the itinerary but most people including ourselves never got to see it because the conditions were not right for the tender boat transfers and we have little time on Bornholm where we had to go to a small town on the other side rather than Ronne due to the sea and wind combined conditions making tender boat transfer too challenging. Also we went at the advertised time to pick up tender transfers and ended up at the end of the list as they were doling out tickets before the time advertised - my only real criticism. Strategically I think if you really want to be sure of seeing most of a tender boat destination with shorter time ashore then you need to pay out for the ship tour as they seemed to go ashore first and be least affected by the situation - understandably I suppose. Evening meals on board Neo Romantica were served; not buffet. The menus were varied and especially good if you like fine dining,italian approaches to food. Fruit was available throughout but vegetables tended to be nodded at through foams etc so ensure you get your fibre through salads and lunch buffet items if this is important for you. There was plenty of food overall. When ordering you need to say I want the soup, cheese etc though as at first we just told them what we wanted where there was a choice and so didn't get served the other items at all. If you did not like anything they were responsive to this, being willing to offer an alternative. As service is tailored to people relaxing and enjoying a leisurly meal rather than a fast food fill up, those with demanding stomachs may find it advisable not to miss an odd item from the grill or tea menu earlier. Snacks are not available at all times so keep an eye on food opening times! The hot chocolate drinks from the Chocolate bar are a particularly delicious fall back!The spa prices are nowhere to be found on costas website or by enquiry. On board we decided to avail ourselves of the spa access package for the whole 12 night cruise at 199 Euros for a couple or 123 Euros single. This provided access to facilities which were beautiful, clean and relaxing including thallostherapy pool, saunas at two different temparatures, steam room , frigidarium, tepidarium, foot baths, a relaxing warm room with sofas and heated ceramic ergonomic leaners and a japanese tea room with three choices of ayeravedic tea and a daily solarium session if wanted. Daily prices were 38 Euros and sometimes 25. There were plenty of clean towels available and hot and cold water to drink as well as showers. Lockers were digital which saved the issue of having to have coins available. There were plenty of treatments available and a hairdressers also on board. Prices were in the league of what people pay when when they are not going for cheapest end of the market but there were various package offers available on some days. All in all prices were nowhere near what we would would ever pay for anything being natural cheapskates but not sufficiently high for us to be tempted to make sarcastic remarks! Air hockey, table football, a small library with books in different languages and other entertainments were also around. The swimming pools are more accurately water holes to cool off in on deck - if you want to keep fit you'll have to use the gym or jog round the track on deck. You cannot plug any devices into the TVs in the cabins and we couldn't see any way of viewing your own media on the TV. The only TV channel in English is BBC and France 24 is sometimes in English. I think they may have had movies on demand but we didn't have time or inclination to explore what they were, another couple of nights and we probably would have done. One of us speaks a little of other languages and this made the cruise experience more fun too as we were able to chat a bit with other guests who also tried to utilise their English a bit. People who only speak English and want access to TV English programming may feel more isolated unless they bring their own media - a great chance to potentially connect with that other person who shares the same living space with you but is always busy doing something else! On a final note Amsterdam railway station is a nightmare as there are no porters or trolleys available and the left luggage lockers only work with credit and possibly debit cards and there are too few lockers for large suitcases and some of those available are at head height - you have been warned. It may be worthwhile trying to get a hotel added at Amsterdam when you book as this is of course one of the most beautiful cities with so much to see and do and will ensure you have somewhere to leave those cases. There was hardly any alcohol available at Costa's embarkation point. I think there may have been a bottle of wine, not sure whether it was openable there or not. After a long journey to the embarkation point access to a beer would have been great. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Costa neoRomantica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 3.5
Entertainment 4.0 2.9
Public Rooms 4.0 3.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 4.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.3
Enrichment 3.0 2.9
Service 3.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 4.0 3.5

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