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14 Costa neoRomantica Cruise Reviews

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 Entertainment on board is boring and are outdated even for seniors.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
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
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 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
My wife and myself decided to leave all of the work of Christmas and new year and let somebody else do all of the work to somebody else. Finding this cruise was by accident whilst surfing the net for particular travel destinations rather ... Read More
My wife and myself decided to leave all of the work of Christmas and new year and let somebody else do all of the work to somebody else. Finding this cruise was by accident whilst surfing the net for particular travel destinations rather than seeking out Costa as a cruise of choice. Having never been on a Costa ship and the deal being ever so good, we took the plunge and booked the cruise thinking that an Australian-New Zealand cruise would see many other English speaking guests embark at Melbourne and enjoy a Christmas and New Year break at sea. That was not so as the total passenger numbers totalled approximately only 800 (can carry approx 1800), the majority being made up of Italian (it is an Italian cruise liner after all), French, German and Russian passengers. A significant number of these passengers could not speak or did not try or want to speak English. This was a bit disappointing. Still trying to be positive just after sailing and trying to engage with other passengers with our limited Italian or French speaking skills, we soon formed the opinion that we were a hindrance to some passengers who perhaps wished us not to be on board. An Italian speaking Australian passenger, travelling with her husband and friends advised us she was mortified by some of the comments made by some Italian passengers in their language that were very derogative to non European travellers. I suppose that is the risk you take when taking a cruise on a ship with full prior knowledge of English not being the primary language. Our cruise commenced in Melbourne, Australia and believe it or not the compulsory lifeboat training drill was at 1.00am in the morning of the first day of departure. Absolutely ridiculous and these sentiments where echoed by all and sundry who presented their required attendance card to staff who marked you off as attending. Those that did not attend promptly were identified and found in their cabins and marched to their stations. There certainly was an assortment of clothing attire ranging from bedtime wear to suits. Quite amazing picking that time to do a drill. It was an unusual cruise atmosphere for us and apart from the ability to veg out for 21 days reading or sleeping, their was very little else to do on board. This ship has no theatre having been removed during the recent refit and replaced with a lavish day spa type area where you apparently can pamper yourself silly for an exorbitant fee. Over all our experience of the Costa Line and this ship was quite poor. The meals in the dining room were good to average. The cafeteria meals were poor to average. The staff though were attentive and tried their best. Smoking on board the ship is woeful and it was very unusual to see Senior and Junior ships staff, smoking, drinking coffee and cool drink (hopefully) in lounges in full view of paying passengers. This is the first time we have seen this done. Personally, we do not think that is professional. To the ships credit, the costly refit has been done well, but again the rocking and rolling of the ship with associated creaking sounds is a bit disconcerting and irritating. Not having free tea and coffee and cold/hot water available 24hrs a day is also something new to us and although the coffee costs throughout the ship were 2 to 3 euro per tiny cup it just was not worth it. In summary, you pay for what you get but if I had paid a full fare to be on this cruise instead of the heavily discounted fare we got I would have been banging on someones door demanding my money back. My advice to English only speaking passengers intending to travel with Costa, think again or take language lessons prior to the cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Cruising with Costa was perhaps one of the worst travel experiences I have ever had, from lousy service to overpriced (and terribly translated) excursions. My best friend and I went with an open mind despite what we read about it, taking ... Read More
Cruising with Costa was perhaps one of the worst travel experiences I have ever had, from lousy service to overpriced (and terribly translated) excursions. My best friend and I went with an open mind despite what we read about it, taking into account it was an Italian cruiseline. We are seasoned inernational travellers, and we realize different cultures, different countries provide different levels of service. But nothing prepared us for what we experience on the Oct. 21-28 eastern Med cruise from Rome to Greece and Turkey. We found out after we boarded that the ship, Costa Romantica, was on its final cruise before going to dry dock for an overhaul. Though I suspect the new version of Costa Romantica will have the same problems as the old version. The initial boarding was like a cattle call, with a climb up steep steps. Disembarkation was the same. For older folks and the disabled, this proved to be difficult. The ship has the ability to allow folks to use a gang plank, of sorts. But you had to demand to use it to get on and off the ship at the main embarkation and disembarkation at the port in Rome. Be warned, unlike other cruise lines, this one charges for water. And the price for water is astronomical (think airport prices in the U.S.). As you can't drink the water from the tap, you are essentially held hostage for water. There is a water dispenser in the buffet, though access to it is limited. Also, we found the price of alcohol was more expensive than other cruise lines. A word of advice, don't prepay your excursions with Costa. You can get better deals once you get onboard and they won't refund the difference. Also, you can't get out of them after you discover the overall poor quality of the tour guides. Two of the tours, including one of its big sellers -- the Parthenon -- were terrible. During the tour to the Black Madonna in Messina, we resorted to buying a guidebook in English rather than depend on the tour guide ... whose English was poor. That said, the Euphesus and Santorini tours were fantastic! The Romantica excursion staff took no responsibility for the quality of its excursions even after receiving a number of complaints from English speakers who complained heavily about tours in Messina and Athens. The excursions office manager told us that she would check with the tour company and then offered no solution. She took the word of the company over dozens of complaints by the people who were actually on the tour. The room was a fantastic size, and the oceanview we had was fantastic. Our cabin steward was also great. That said, there were problems with the plumbing and hot water. Nothing like being forced to take an ice cold shower two days in a row. A day before we docked, our last full day at sea, the staff was already preparing to dry dock the ship ... and therefore a number of services were not available. There seemed to be a greater concern by the English liaison officer, Sean, about tipping the staff rather than addressing any legitimate issues we brought to him. During his final shipboard presentation, he said that the staff works hard in tough conditions. But there seemed to be little recognition that many folks taking this cruise worked hard, in tough conditions ... in order to save money to take this cruise. Perhaps the most telling thing about the cruise -- an Italian cruiseline -- is that even the Italians we met complained about the service. And veteran cruisers told us not to base our experience on Costa. For those considering a Costa Cruise, you have been warned...   Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We selected this cruise because of the itinerary and our positive experiences with the aforementioned Carnival owned cruise lines. Given Costa is a subsidiary of Carnival, Inc., we felt comfortable booking with what we anticipated was a ... Read More
We selected this cruise because of the itinerary and our positive experiences with the aforementioned Carnival owned cruise lines. Given Costa is a subsidiary of Carnival, Inc., we felt comfortable booking with what we anticipated was a proven commodity. It is also relevant to note that we expected some cultural differences and perhaps even some service level inconsistencies. Between October 21st and October 28th, the Costa Romantica followed a seven day itinerary to include Messina, Izmir and three ports in Greece which included Santorini, Mykonos, and Athens. What we experienced was a reasonably positive experience with the front line staff (cabin stewards, waiters, etc.) and a tremendous amount of frustration with Costa policies, fees (notably drinking water), and an incredibly poorly conceived buffet (we understand this will be overhauled during dry dock). Below you will find a bullet point assessment of what we felt was positive (the good), less than desirable (the bad), and what was downright miserable (the ugly). We cruise approximately every 18-24 months and are uncertain of our future with Carnival owned cruise lines given the very disappointing experience last week on Costa Romantica. We hope you take our feedback to heart and consider ways to improve the experience. While we recognize North American travelers compose a small proportion of the passengers on the Costa lines, we would be remiss in sharing that the views expressed in this letter were replicated in conversations we had with several other English speakers at the end of the trip. There was a growing consensus that Costa must exhibit significant improvement to earn the business of repeat North American travelers or avoid being negatively reviewed on popular travel websites. Please note the feedback below. ---The Good Stanley and his assistant, server at Table 85, lots of fun, great service and attitude. Dinner "shows" with the wait staff were funny and energetic Cabin was terrific, comfortable and large, bed was very comfortable Sean, the English Liaison, was friendly and was an important reference for English speakers The Ports of Call (with the exception of Messina) were good to great (Santorini was especially wonderful) Dance/Entertainment team was very good and made attempts to cater to all major languages when possible Formal Dining Room options / quality of food were as good as we've had on prior cruises Bar wait staff was mostly friendly and attentive "Afternoon Tea" snacks were enjoyable and provided a good bridge between lunch and dinner We appreciated the English translations for announcements and the shows Cabin steward consistently respected the privacy signage ---The Bad Lunch wait staff was not unfriendly, but not particularly engaging. They looked exhausted at times. Not being able to get off the boat in tender ports until an hour after Costa based excursions made us feel like second class citizens and we had much less time in port as a result Toilet backed up, but was repaired quickly Pool music played one song consecutively for three hours straight; this is not an exaggeration or inaccuracy. We asked customer service to send someone to fix it. It didn't get changed until we requested involvement from a supervisor on the pool deck staff. All lounges (not the restaurants) were smoking areas that proved stifling for non-smokers and prevented us from enjoying entertainment areas or drinks without going outside. Smoke also seeps into cabin areas as there is little in the way of containing it in the lounge areas Messina was largely a wasted port. Shops and venues were largely closed and it appears the only reason we stopped there was to pick up additional guests. We really enjoyed Santorini, Izmir, and Athens, but we had little time to venture too far away given the very short port schedules. Another hour or two would go a long way toward making deeper port exploration possible Cabin ran out of toilet paper without excessive use-bathroom should have been stocked with at least one extra roll Cruise effectively shut down on the last day because of the pending dry dock. The buffet was closed which meant there was no water outside of required purchases of water bottles. Various goods were transferred to another boat the previous day while in Mykonos. Alcoholic beverages were extremely expensive. Had they been less expensive, we would have felt we were receiving more value and would have had many more drinks. Drink margins would fall, but I suspect gross contribution would improve significantly with a higher volume strategy Only one English television station (BBC) and Carnival parent company infomercials were looped throughout the trip. On the last couple days, a blank screen played with no programming on two channels limiting our already limited viewing options Internet crashed many times while I tried to log on and it charged me for full minutes each time; accounted for the majority of my internet charges Mini-fridge in cabin was locked the entire cruise Customer service desk could not tell me how our tip monies were distributed proportionally to staff. This really made it difficult for me to apportion additional gratuities. Gym was small and closed early in the morning and too early in the evening. No laundry facilities onboard, passengers required to pay 20 euros to have clothes washed and ironed as an alternative. There are two formal gala nights without an ability for men to iron their formal wear We were required to be back on the boat at 12;30 pm, yet, we didn't leave port until 1:45pm Shows did not start on time and most port calls occurred at times different than the itinerary. Also, "All Aboard" calls were always 30 min earlier than departure, so itineraries overstate the amount of already limited time in port The final night of the cruise featured crew members singing songs rather than providing a professional show. Many audience members walked out in frustration ---The Ugly Forced to buy water at all meals (water was provided in buffet until the last night of the cruise). We were forced to drink tap water at night in the cabins (no alternatives) and I got sick for three days; our dining room table-mates had the same problem. Customer relations told us to pay to see a doctor which cost 90 euros. Could not even buy cough syrup because Duty Free was closed back half of the trip. This is extremely upsetting and was a real turnoff to other North American travelers. Customer service was apathetic, at best. We heard from staff later that cabin water was not, in fact, potable and we should not drink it. Given we are captive at sea, it seems that basic life sustaining essentials like water should be plentiful and always free of charge. The buffet is a disaster, poor quality food, and not properly managed logistically. Crowds move in all directions with little regard for safety or efficiency Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
just got back from the most exasperating cruise i have ever been on, the good bits:- lovely room, evening food good Philippine and indian staff lovely lots of beds and no bed reserving_ a new experience for me!!! the awful ... Read More
just got back from the most exasperating cruise i have ever been on, the good bits:- lovely room, evening food good Philippine and indian staff lovely lots of beds and no bed reserving_ a new experience for me!!! the awful bits, complete cock up with payment details, they provided the wrong bacs details and it took 4 weeks to resolve!! (should have smelt a rat then) claustrophobic ship, dark below no window, felt cramped and unpleasant, embarkation was a complete shambles, took hours only 4hours at each port to try to force you to use the extortionate ship excursions, 2 posts were very isolated. independent travel at the post was was virtually impossible drinks very expensive plus 15 % !!! disembarkation was also very poor, the staff provided no help loading bags, the bus driver looked bored and just dumped everyone at terminal 3 of airport without any explanation that this may not be your terminal, noisy all the time, smokey in most of the bar areas and virtually nothing to do during the day at sea or evening unless you like bingo. The buffet restaurant was a virtual scrum area, closed in the evening , coffee not offered with evening meal, 2 coffees six euros, (non smoking areas a joke) tips are 49 euros compulsory each, result: apathetic staff i went to none of the evening entertainments but all were described as awful by others muster was a very poor affair no privacy in male changing rooms after sauna, pool attendant left door open!! not a pretty sight. spoke to some serial costa cruisers who said the larger ships were much better, this ship is about to go for refurbish, staff need to be properly educated as well changing the name to neu romantica equivalent to windscale being renamed to sellafield. I would have grave reservations about costa again. I went as i did not believe the summaries , i should have listened. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Well, we have no-one to blame but ourselves really. After our experience on Costa Classica from Dubai to Singapore in March 2009 (reviewed on this site), we said no more Costa small, older ships. We weakened, however, when we saw the Costa ... Read More
Well, we have no-one to blame but ourselves really. After our experience on Costa Classica from Dubai to Singapore in March 2009 (reviewed on this site), we said no more Costa small, older ships. We weakened, however, when we saw the Costa Romantica itinerary from Singapore to Makassar, Komodo, Bali, Jakarta, Malacca, Phuket and Port Klang (for Kuala Lumpur) and unfortunately we did live to regret it! The flight (booked via a Costa package) was the first bone of contention. Rather than flying direct for about 14 hours, we went via Dubai with a touchdown in Colombo, Sri Lanka, adding another 7 hours to the trip each way. We did know we had this flight home, but when we booked, the original outward flight was direct from Dubai to Singapore, saving about 4 or 5 hours, but that got changed. Having said that Emirates were very good, with good food and service and adequate leg room. We arrived on the ship at about 10.30 pm to find covered plates with two filled rolls and a few pieces of fruit in our cabin. This was all the food available on the ship at the time, not even a cup of tea could be found other than via room service (sandwiches and hot drinks) with a charge! Not very welcoming!! The cabin itself appeared fine, and our Chinese stewardess was very good throughout the cruise, apart from inexplicably throwing away our Today magazines and menus that we were keeping as souvenirs - that was a new one on me! She was very apologetic and did her best to replace them, but how long had she been throwing away passenger's belongings other than those in the rubbish bins? The cabin itself was fine, and reasonably spacious, but we had an ongoing issue with the toilet not working, and were reporting it once or twice a day at some points. Customer Service response varied from the fairly concerned to the totally indifferent, and it was usually mended fairly quickly, although only to break down again within a few hours. On one day, most of the passenger toilets failed for a period and there were areas of the ship with very unpleasant smells, plus a cabin along the corridor from us was being dried out using dehumidifiers/fans for several days. The toilet issue would not have been so bad, except that we were both ill with acute diarrhoea during the trip, and needed it in working order. My husband fell ill after two sea days (so no he couldn't have got it, whatever it was, anywhere else). I followed three days later and we subsequently found that many of those in our area of the dining room had had similar troubles. We tried to report this to Costa, but they were in total denial. Customer Services were just not interested, while the English-speaking host just kept repeating that there was no problem and we must have had too much sun! We felt that perhaps some additional measures should have been taken, although more basic ones, like ensuring the hand cleansing machines weren't empty most of the time in the buffet, would have helped. Generally, the food in the main restaurant was very good and our waiters were excellent (although we missed several dinners while ill). The buffet was another story - totally inadequate for the number of passengers, totally overwhelmed with people, tables seldom cleared of their dirty crockery, cutlery, etc. Also no alternative dining except for two evenings (Singapore before we arrived on the first evening and the evening in Phuket). Not even a hot drink after they closed at about 5.30 pm, or not after the hot water ran out anyway. We did try room service when I was recovering from my stomach troubles, which was mainly a selection of sandwiches, and despite having to pay EUR2 for the privilege we were much amused by my husband's order of a sandwich and two teas arriving as a sandwich and 2 plates of cheese!!! There appeared to have been staff cuts since our last voyage with Costa and this was evident in most areas - too few waiters, limited buffet openings, fewer animators and virtually no daytime entertainment, fewer pool attendants, fewer bar staff on deck and inside, and fewer evening shows (films on a couple of nights). The supply situation was also very poor; cruise ships often seem to run out of things on the last day or so, but this started early on Romantica, with butter being in limited supply the whole cruise and disappearing altogether on the last day; at dinner the silver dishes with ice were there, but empty!!! Other things absent for the last three or four days included water melon, bananas, yoghurt, skimmed milk and decent tea bags (other than herbal and Chinese black tea). But what of the itinerary, I hear you say! It was exceptional, but was rather spoilt by Costa's organisational abilities or lack of. Most significantly, you are on your own if you don't want to go on their excursions. I am sure this is true of other cruise lines, but sometimes we didn't even know where we were going ashore (staff didn't know or gave the wrong info if asked) and the maps were incredibly, with the Bali map showing the whole island (but not where the ship was!) perhaps the best example!! We did take two Costa excursions - one on Komodo and one in Jakarta and I have to say that they were both fairly good, although on Komodo there was no choice of excursion, just a 1.5-hour, 1 km trek to see the Komodo dragons, and we would rather have done something more ambitious, which was available privately, although Costa's tendering of those on excursions meant that independents would not have had enough time ashore to do any longer treks. Tendering was another issue. According to the itinerary we were only tendering in Bali, but in fact we also tendered in Komodo, Malacca and Phuket (for two days). As usual, Costa excursions went first (that is generally the same with all cruise lines), but the organisation of the independents was pathetic and on one occasion bordering on the dangerous. Hordes of (mainly but not exclusively) Italians mobbed the table where the tender tickets were being handed out and some even just took tickets, with no-one sending for security and no-one trying to stop them. Apparently down on Deck 3, a group was also trying to push past the excursion groups onto the tenders, although apparently they were turned back successfully. Knowing the Continental dislike of queuing, you would think they would have instigated a proper system rather than allowing such conduct, which was more like a riot than anything else! It was only the next day that they started a proper queuing area roped off and adequately staffed. Anyway, all this meant that the time ashore was very limited, particularly in places where we only had a half day stop, such as Malacca. In that case, the departure time was moved from 1.30 to 2.30 pm because of the delays, but many of those going ashore were not told, so we all had to rush round in about 1.5 hours (it was a fascinating place) only to return to the pier to find that we could have had had another hour. The excursions in Phuket were weird, as we arrived at 2 pm, and then there were excursions of up to 8 hours going out, meaning that parts of these trips, including beach trips, tours of temples and elephant rides, were carried out in the dark! Not sure what all that was about, but if I had been on them I would not have been happy! The stop in Port Klang for Kuala Lumpur was cut from a full day to a half day. This was announced the previous evening after we left Phuket, with technical problems blamed, although a rumour did go round that it was to save money on fuel by going more slowly. Personally I doubt that, as the amount of money lost on their excursions, with full-days going down to a limited number of half-days, would probably have cost far more than the fuel. It does illustrate many passengers' disenchantment and distrust of Costa by this stage, however. There were quite a few first time cruisers on the trip, and we tried to emphasise that Costa was not typical of cruising and that they should try with another company before deciding whether cruising was for them. The cut down time was still disappointing for those wanting a reasonable time in Kuala Lumpur, however, although we had been before so were not personally too concerned. The last day in Singapore, most flights left at or just after midnight. In 2009, after our cruise on Classica, we did not have to leave the ship until 8 o'clock, but that has all changed and we had to leave at 4.45 pm, giving us over 6 hours to wait at the airport, so we had plenty of time to contemplate the coming 21-hour flight!! So, although we saw some wonderful things, it was overall a very disappointing and exhausting trip - the ship was poor, which we suspected in advance, but there appear to have been additional cuts and problems even over Classica 18 months ago. And they shouldn't keep using a ship where the plumbing is so problematic!! Also, we didn't get enough time to see the fantastic destinations properly. Although you may say this is always an issue on cruise ships (and I would agree), we lost far more time on this trip that we should have, leaving the feeling that we had not seen the best of things, which is a great pity as we are unlikely to return to any of them. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
We were tempted by the itinerary. Who wouldn't be? In particular, cruising over to the Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius sounded very exotic. While the itinerary was exceptional, I am afraid the ship itself leaves a lot to be ... Read More
We were tempted by the itinerary. Who wouldn't be? In particular, cruising over to the Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius sounded very exotic. While the itinerary was exceptional, I am afraid the ship itself leaves a lot to be desired. We had no issues with embarkation as is mentioned in other posts. We checked our bags in and continued shopping until we were able to board. As is typical with all cruises, we were ambushed once on board by those selling beverage packages. We were disappointed but not surprised that any wine package purchased only incorporated Italian wines. We selected the premium package and must say the wine was not what we would call premium. It was average at best and for 5 bottles at $109 Euro was a bit of a rort. Plus service charge of course!! The room was sufficient. Although I must say the bathroom was scungy with mould in the shower and behind the taps on the vanity. I did 10 rounds with the shower curtain on a regular basis and in the end decided it was a lot easier to shower without it. The toilet system is continually under stress which is most unpleasant. Many times, the toilet would not flush and there were occasions where the system was blocked. When we advised our hostess of this, she checked and advised us that this was OK, the entire level had the same problem!! For the next few hours, I needed to use the public toilets instead of our own and the smell was putrid. The choice of television stations is interesting. There is one English movie channel which plays movies at certain times of the day. Over the 3 weeks on the ship, the movies were repeated 3 times. Other selections other than European channels were Russian news being read in English and details of the ship. In other words, the TV service is what I would call substandard. Other areas on the ship are tired and dated. While the leather chairs and sofas are a nice touch, the corners are worn and overall appear scruffy. I had to laugh when on the first day I ventured out to the pool deck for a quick drink. I kid you not, the pool is about 3m by 3m. More like a plunge pool than a traditional swimming pool. You cannot 'swim' in it. I just assumed that the other pool at the back of the ship must make up for this. No! It is exactly the same size. In all my time travelling, I have never seen anything so ridiculous to cater for 1,600 guests. Our room was located directly across from the Emergency Exit. On the first and second nights, we had constant slamming doors as staff were using this exit to transfer baggage. In addition, all room service came up through this exit. Next to this exit was the cleaning cupboard. If you end up with room 7146, don't expect a good night's sleep. On the 3rd day, I approached the 'service' desk to inform them of the noise issue and to ask if there were any alternate cabins available that we may move to. The 'service' attendant stated that the ship was full and she didn't understand why I would have any issues with the noise. She said if I had an issue, I should tell the people responsible to be quiet. Hmmm, I thought that was their job. She then proceeded to tell me pointedly that noise can be expected on all cruises. Then she smiled and asked for the next guest enquiry. I guess that is what they call service. The restaurant for dinner was the only option. We found this extremely inconvenient. Dress rules apply for dinner and it would have been appropriate to offer at least one alternate option (eg, the buffet) for dinner, especially considering the total number of days the ship was at sea. A pizza bar did open at 8pm each night, but one can only eat so much pizza. The one night we opted for pizza, the dough was not cooked and the while dish lacked flavour. Truly awful. The food was average. The choices were varied and always contained vegetarian options. Seafood was available on a regular basis which was good. The best offering of the day was generally the buffet at lunch - a great deal of variety and specials. However, in the end I compared this buffet with that of a pig's trough. I learned quickly not to get in between a hungry European guest and the buffet. If you did, you were in danger of losing body parts. People consistently were rude, pushing in front and eating in gigantic proportions. Poor hygiene was on full display. The buffet obviously is unable to cater for the entire number of guests on board and it is frustrating when other guests treat this buffet as the social centre of the ship instead of being efficient and completing their meal so others could be seated. The breakfast catered mainly for the European guests on board. Toast was more like a Cruskit, but there were plenty of pastries available if you wanted. In fact, over half of the buffet consisted of these pastries. Salami seemed popular for breakfast! The quality was a lot less than what I have experienced in hotels and on other cruises. The tours were limited for English speaking guests. This was further exaggerated by bilingual guests choosing the English speaking tours. We spoke with many other English speaking guests who had many of their tours cancelled. Worse still, it seemed that the cheaper tours were the ones cancelled (by cheap I mean $50 - $80 Euro) while the more expensive tours proceeded. There was a significant lack of organisation. Many tours were late and you were not kept informed by the tour organisers - just left sitting in the opera lounge waiting for your number to be called. On one tour in Seychelles, an announcement was made 15 minutes after the due departure time that we would be ready to go in 5 minutes. We were moved out 45 minutes late. For a $184 Euro excursion, an apology or explanation would have been nice. By this stage of our trip, we knew better. The same old issues arose on our tours as happens on all of them. Ignorant and selfish guests were consistently late back to the bus. However, the worst incident of lateness was a Costa staff member. The guests waited on a bus in Reunion Island for 25 minutes for a Costa staff member and his partner. We applauded them when they finally made it back to the bus. His comment? "Don't worry, the ship won't leave without me". This pretty much sums up the attitude of the staff on board. I truly believe that they are indifferent to the experience of the paying guests. The overall disorganisation by staff came to a head two days before we disembarked. Upon arriving at Mauritius, we were instructed to pick up our passports and that we would all individually undergo a customs interview with a Mauritius official. For those heading on tours for the day, we were asked to line up from 8am. Other guests wanting to go ashore were to follow at 8.30am. Knowing this could be a bit of a debacle, we started lining up at 7.30am. Already, there were around 12 people in front of us. Quite quickly the line grew and as usual, people consistently attempted to push in and get to the front of the queue. The Mauritius officials were late which added to the hysteria. Guests were shouting at each other, different nationalities were fighting each other, age was no barrier to aggression and I actually felt scared at one point that there was going to be an all in brawl. Finally at 8am, the Costa staff placed barriers up to stop people attempting to push in. The line ended up being from one end of the ship to the other. What a disgrace. This could have been organised so much better, I cannot believe with their experience that they would not intuitively understand how this frustrated some of the passengers. But again, as I have said, I really don't think they care. Due to the cost of the tours, it was evident that a lot of guests chose to stay on board or do their own thing. We had many days at sea and I must say the entertainment budget must be very constrained. Entertainment consisted of trivia competitions (skewed towards European trivia of course), a professor providing history talks, sessions from the Spa about keeping your tan, losing your kilos or having the perfect abs (same thing every day and more or less just a sales pitch), and some religious activities. Prizes for winning competitions were limited to Costa notepads, mousepads and other cheap gadgets. We just kept to ourselves when at sea and lucky I had several books and an IPhone handy. The ship provides WiFi which is great, but at $24 Euro of 3 hours is absolutely a ridiculous price. Some other things to note: Alcohol is ridiculously overpriced - if you like a drink, be prepared for a massive bill; Don't by any means get any laundry done unless you have a spare $150 Euro; Be prepared for massive currency discounts when changing into Euro's - worse than an agent; Take hand sanitiser with you - insufficient supplies on board. The good points? The service staff and the actual places we visited. We will never cruise with Costa again. When completing the feedback forms, we were told we were in with a chance at winning a free cruise. One, I do not believe Costa would give away something for free and two, even if I won, I would be loathe to take up the opportunity. Way better cruises available for similar prices. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
I looked at Cruise Critic reviews prior to departure so wasn't expecting a great voyage. Only booked because good price and excellent ports of call. At least it partly reached my expectations. That was the price and ports of ... Read More
I looked at Cruise Critic reviews prior to departure so wasn't expecting a great voyage. Only booked because good price and excellent ports of call. At least it partly reached my expectations. That was the price and ports of call!!. I have never embarked on such a disorganised ship. There was little to no information available. We had booked a Costa package which included airport transfers. Out of about 30 people arriving on our flight they managed to lose 4 elderly ladies at Shanghai. Enough said about that because it just got worse. They "guide" only gave us information regarding trips nothing about procedures of boarding the ship. On arrival at the terminal we had to carry our cases a good distance without assistance okay for my husband and I but there were several elderly and very very tired passengers who like us had travelled from various destinations via Dubai. Enough said because I could write a great deal more! When we finally got to our cabins after chaos in the atrium. There was again no information! There is a person on board who is described as the English speaking host who is a total waste of space and makes information up as and when its suits him to do so. Again it is pointless in further describing the whole of his performance during the 16 days. Sadly my husband took ill and eventually had to seek medical treatment. The Doctor and two nurses on board did not have English as their first second or even third language! As there was a mixture of Australian English and Americans totalling over 400 travelling it was quite amazing. I am Not saying the competency was compromised but it was seriously uncomfortable. Food was not particularly good but given the price it was "okay" The waiters were excellent chefs...well certain dishes could have been "warmer" Drinks expensive not much in the way of packages..15% service was really over the top for such a class of ship. Too much smoking too! The small wine bar as it is described was above an open stairway leading from a huge lounge . As passengers could smoke there ...smoke rises so us non smokers got the smoke as well. This area also included the only "alternative" dining option which was a pizza place. As pizza was readily available at the Buffet from mid morning onwards it hardly offered a change of dining options! Also the buffet was in a miserable room although a good variety it was not a pleasant area! Utter chaos again on embarkation no information until late the day before and then utter chaos again in getting to the airport and checking in! To sum up as I am sure anyone reading this is probably bored..Ships Officers arrogant ships staff who make it happen friendly polite and undermined! For no cost whatsoever to Costa things could be improved. If they had an English speaking Host who was competent and didn't exaggerate and tell porkies a lot of passengers would be happier. Never again we shall put it down to a poor experience. Wonderful ports awful cruise line!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
This was our 10th cruise and 5th cruise line. We were really looking forward to our first mediterranean cruise. We really thought it would be more of an upscale cruise line and wonderful food. Much to our disappointment, it was far less ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise and 5th cruise line. We were really looking forward to our first mediterranean cruise. We really thought it would be more of an upscale cruise line and wonderful food. Much to our disappointment, it was far less than that. The ship itself is not as upscale as other lines we have been on. It is very minimal at that actually kind of plain but that really wasn't that big of a deal. The problem was the total disorder that we faced once on board. Now we new it was an Italian cruise line with mostly european guests however, we were not prepared for the total chaos and rudeness of our fellow passengers. We have never experienced anything like it. The Buffet (which we nicknamed the "jungle") was exactly that. Very over crowded, not enough seats to accomodate everyone, people cutting in line or what resembled a line, children running everywhere , and people literally hoarding huge plates of food. There was no regard for any manners whatsoever. The food was adequate at best, the coffee was always cold, and water and ice only worked at intervals. The sit down restaurant was much more organized however the portions were much smaller than normal, the food options not always appealing however again we were kind of prepared for that being it was european. The staff, all though they worked very hard, did not go out of their way to form a relationship with you like other cruises. They didn't offer coffee with dessert you had to ask more than once, and we always felt like we were rushed so they could prepare for the 2nd seating. The elevator and pool situation were similar to the "jungle". No manners, pushing and shoving on and off and no regard for any rules especially no children in "adult only" pool. The parents seemed to allow their children to do whatever they wanted, and the minimal security was only able to control the situations temporarily and then they would resume as soon as they walked away. We witnessed soccer balls being kicked in the lobby, children screaming and lying on the floors of the restaurants, running up and down halls till late night hours, jumping on and over people in the pool, and playing with window shades (which hit me in the head once). We talked with fellow passengers from the U.S.,Canada, Germany, the U.K. and even Italy which were just as disappointed and shocked as we were. The ports and excursions were nice , but not alot of accomodations for english speaking guests. We booked one tour that was all in Italian and no discount or anything even after we told them that it was not communicated to us that noone spoke or understood English. This was true to most of the cruise. Very minimal announcements in English. The disembarkation was also very unorganized and we nearly missed our flight. Needless to say it was a very horrible experience and I don't know if we will give Costa another chance or not. We found out only after returning that apparently Costa offers great deals to the Italians even some offers of kids cruise free.(which may account for our situation) So be prepared and ask before you book. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
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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