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7 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
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
We were honeymooners. This trip was supposed to be our dream mediterranean vacation. It was my wife's first cruise and first time in Europe. We had a fantastic time during our land tour with Contiki around Europe. With that joyful ... Read More
We were honeymooners. This trip was supposed to be our dream mediterranean vacation. It was my wife's first cruise and first time in Europe. We had a fantastic time during our land tour with Contiki around Europe. With that joyful spirit, we expected to have a great and relaxing time with this cruise. As it turned out, Costa cruise ruined the 2nd part of our honeymoon trip. To start, arriving at the port, there was no sign or staff to show us where to go to embark. I had to ask around to find the bus that would take us to the ship. The bus had no AC. It was during a hot day during the first week of september, 2011. Once arrived, the "gate" which was just a big tent. Inside, it was so disorganized and chaotic, the staff had no sense of how to manage the crowd. Adding to the insult, there was the smell of portable toilet inside the same tent!!! We had to wait 1 hr in this smelly place before getting on board. What a good way to start!!! This should have been a warming sign for what to come next. Once on board, our cabin has no English speaking channels. I had to wait 2 days and over 10 calls to the italian staff to have it fixed. It was useless to talk to the italian crew, whose English skill was poor and did not care about our complaint. Finally, we had the chance to complaint to our English host, Sean, and the problem was solved. Going to our first lunch in the buffet, it was like a zoo. All the people in there were Italians and appeared not to have been fed for days. They were pushing, screaming and cutting the line like a pack of hungry hyenas. The word courtesy was totally foreign to them. The sad part was that they were fighting for poor quality food. Water was limited and dispened in water cooler, which was most of the time empty. Our toilet of cabin smelled like urine, not matter how hard our steward tried to clean it. The boat was old with little activities that a non-Italian would enjoy. We ended up staying in our cabin most of the time. We are not picky travellers but this company hit rock bottom in terms of service quality. The non-Italian staff were kind and helpful and deserved all the credit to make this cruise a little more tolerable. During the disembarkement, it took the cruise staff over 5 hrs to let us leave the ship. While waiting, there was no refreshment or entertainment offered. Overall, I would highly recommend to avoid Costa cruise. It is poorly managed by its Italian crew. However,the olive oil is the fine dining was excellent. That was the only positive of this awful experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Embarkation set the tone for this dire cruise, chaotic, badly organised, with total lack of helpful staff. From the dockside sight of the ship, she appeared tired and shabby, and the interior did nothing to improve that impression- she is ... Read More
Embarkation set the tone for this dire cruise, chaotic, badly organised, with total lack of helpful staff. From the dockside sight of the ship, she appeared tired and shabby, and the interior did nothing to improve that impression- she is dated, badly cared for, badly managed and long past her best. Stairwells are echoing , carpet-less, decor-less spaces, reminiscent of school corridors, except lacking artwork! Welcome aboard was a drinks package sales pitch, and there were no directions given for finding cabins. We found our way to our deck 4 cabin, with its large round window- this style was the norm for most of the ship, with the exception of a few balcony suites. the cabin was bland wood panelled, had ample wardrobe and drawer space and a comfortable double bed. Pillows were hard and slab-like, towels long past their pristine best, with only a tiny soap bar provided as toiletry, with harsh gel in the grubby-curtained shower. Requests for softer pillows were refused, and we were advised to phone room service for a few toiletries. Dining was dismal, with repetitive menus, no healthy choices, overcooked fish, poor salads and badly organised service, so tables were not served together. Alternative dining, the open buffet was very poor, with limited repetitive menus, very poor salads, and ran out of green salad in the second week, and , incredibly, butter disappeared from all menus after 10 days. Probably the best choice was a daily pasta, served with fresh parmigiano, but we expected that on an Italian cruise line, and even the most ardent pasta lover would not want it for every meal. Entertainment was very third rate, with tired dancers, poor singers and bizarre novelty acts. If you preferred dancing, then a live trio performed, but often this turned into strange line-dancing sessions. Day time entertainment would have disgraced a holiday camp, with childish, badly organised game like activities, shouted instructions,and little entertainment value. Several ports were tender disembarkation, which again was chaotic to the point of being worrying. Tickets were issued, by ineffective entertainment staff, on a first come-first served basis, to pushing, shouting crowds , and the whole process was so disorganised as to feel totally intimidating. This ship completely fails to deliver a product of acceptable quality, utterly fails to deliver the promised brochure experience and is a Costa concept that needs serious overhaul Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
We were for warned that the ship was older and that the cruise was geared for Europeans and that we would be one of the few Americans aboard. We booked the cruise for the itinerary. Dining room service was inconsistent. I didn't ... Read More
We were for warned that the ship was older and that the cruise was geared for Europeans and that we would be one of the few Americans aboard. We booked the cruise for the itinerary. Dining room service was inconsistent. I didn't get two of my entrees and was served wrong desserts on several occasions. The morning cappuicino and espresso were cold(probably made ahead of time) It was difficlut to get decaf coffee. The ice cream was runny and we actaully got hot orange juice out of the dispenser. It was not uncommon to clean our own tables off in the buffet Dishes were left everywhere. The selection in the buffet and the dining room were good. The cabin was clean..our room steward was a joy. The ship was very outdated and was in need of some major updating. Carpets looked dirty but were just worn out. There was lots of smoking on the ship and lots of people just pushing ...Again were were warned that the Europeans will just push you out of line. THE BIG LIE.......This is a very long story and I will try to condense it. We asked to have half our gratuity taken off of the bill We like to tip according to the service received(we are good tippers). We met with Micheal the English speaking host on five occasions. If he had said no you can't do this we would've said ok and dropped the subject. The first meeting he told us that it was possible and that he would contact the American consulate and they in turn would call the IRS. In Singapore we could be detained up to Six months if we didn't pay but he would proceed if we wanted him to. On the second meeting he said that he hadn't heard from our consulate yet. Meeting three he said everything was taken care of and the charges wouldn't be on our bill, however they were still on the bill. Meeting four he contacted us let us know that he called The US Consulate to advise them that they might need to pick up out luggage. He also said that our luggage would be scrutinized and that we should be frightened . When we asked for the phone number of the consulate he said the Singapore authorities would take care of that. Meeting five and hour before we got off the ship the charges were still on the bill. Micheal told us that they would be taken off as soon as we got through immigration... We didn't go to jail and they did charge us...Needless to say the whole thing was a lie. We felt threatened and harassed. On the positive side the whole itinerary was very educational. The ports were very interesting. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
The Ship: Romantica is quite old and dated. It is clean enough on first glance, but quite tired looking. No effort at all has been made to beautify it anywhere. There are no green potplants on the decks outside the lifts. There are no ... Read More
The Ship: Romantica is quite old and dated. It is clean enough on first glance, but quite tired looking. No effort at all has been made to beautify it anywhere. There are no green potplants on the decks outside the lifts. There are no bright paintings or art work on the walls anywhere the ship is basic and provided the means to get from port to port but not much else. We chose this cruise for the ports of call. We would not travel on Costa again. We found that the drinks were expensive, particularly for the southern hemisphere passengers as it was all charged in Euro. A can of coke was 2.7Euro!! Cabin: - Our cabin was on deck 4 and an outside cabin. It was quite roomy with plenty of storage space. The bed was hard and just OK but the mattress really needed to be renewed. It was sagging. The furnishings were once again adequate, but needed to be renewed. The ensuite was clean and a good size. The shower is on an extension hose and ours would not stay upright on the holder. Once the cabin steward knew that it was broken he got a maintenance person to come and fix it immediately. Our Cabin Steward - was Fillipino and he was great. I have read other reviews and they all commend the hardworking cabin staff and I do too. Ours was exceptional. I have heard and read on Cruise Critic that the cabin staff have had a pay CUT recently and they don't get paid the prepaid gratuties that we and I am sure many other passengers would have prepaid. This is unacceptable by Costa and should not be permitted, but unfortunately the cabin staff can't do anything about it as they need the jobs and any complaints mean they would nothave a job. Disgusting and greedy of Costa and something needs to be done about it. Our young cabin steward was wonderful. He was hard working and did longhours. He always had time to stop and talk to us and always a ready smile. My regret it that we could not do anything about ensuring his "tips" would be paid to him by Costa. The certainly work very hard and deserve and by rights should be given this money. Dining Staff: we had a wonderful Chinese waitress in the evenings and she was very good, my only criticism is that as we were first sitting the staff was under pressure to get us out of the dining room as quickly as possible to they could set up for the second sitting passengers. The food was just OK...... very monotonous afer a week. On this ship you can only eat dinner in the formal dining room. It would have been good to have the buffet offering food at night too as we and others didn't want to eat formally every night. The lunch was served in the buffet and probably the best food of the day, although getting it was difficult lining up like at a "Coles" Cafe trying to fill our plates along with all the other passengers and people butting in. Not good at all. Breakfast was also served in the buffet and once again a struggle to get to the buffet and get the food and then even more difficult to navigate through the queues to find a table. The aisles are far too narrow to walk down with everyone waiting to try and get their food and the ship staff trying to replenish the food too. The ONLY FREE thing on the ship was the "cold" water, Even this was never cold, usually very hot actually and oneneeded to add the ice from the same machine to get the water cold. We filled up our drink bottles at the water machine every night. There are about 5 machines and all of them are in the buffet on Deck 8.!!! Why don't they have them scattered around the ship. No sense really. SMOKING: - this was permitted everywhere it seemed. Certainly the Costa staff did nothing to discourage it and people were even smoking cigars and pipes!!!! The main lounge on Deck 8 was always smokey and stunk as did most of the corridors on the ship. The trouble with smokers is they don't care if you don't like it!!! and they certainly made no efforts them selves to be courteous about where they smoked. It was disgusting. Even out at breakfast smoke was puffed into people's faces. Air conditioning: - it was almost non existent in the cabin where it was really needed at night to try and get a good sleep. Other parts of the ship it was freezing cold. Swimming decks: - the pools were nice and warm but there was very little shade for passengers and Costa staff would just come and take the sun umbrellas down if a little breeze blew!!!! There was no consideration given to the passengers at all. Entertainment: - was uninteresting and unispiring apart from one show where there was a tumbling act and a comedian which was from USA. Apart from this the Costa dancers and singers worked hard, but it was all done on the cheap. Costa Officers: These are mostly Italian and could care less about pleasihg the passengers. No effort was made to help even when help was asked for. The officers are just full of their own self importance and no politeness in them at all. Entertainment Crew: these were young, loud and immature. They took no consideration of the age group of this cruise which i would estimate to be on average 55 - 65 yrs of age. The Entertainment crew were very young and just came out and taught the ChaCha or Samba every day for 2 weeks..... no variation.... It was boring. The young woman running the quiz's had a very strong Italian accent and her speaking was sometimes undecipherable,she could care less!!! Even when quite a few English speaking passengers said they coudn't understand her well, she just shrugged her sholders, looked down her nose at us and walked away. Not good customer service at all and yet another bad critisism of the ship and the crew. The meanness and penny pinching of Costa was also shown at the quiz times too, when they would not even give each winning team a small prize. They would only give one prize to one person and to get that if there was more than 1 winning team a member from each team had to throw a dice and the highest number won!!! I am not talkingabout expensive prizes either. Just cheap Costa writing notebooks, or a recycle bag jst big enought to hold a block of chocolate. We are not talking about expensive giveaways here. They were cheap and nasty prizes and the Costa meanness really showed. The ports we went to were great. We did not take any organised tours from the ship as they were expensive even in Euro. We would find a taxi on the wharf or outside the gates and after bartering we would agree on a price for the whole day and the taxi took us in airconditioned comfort to all the places the tours went to, but we didn't have to wait for the slow tour person or sit on an uncomfortable unairconditioned bus as one tour had to in Da Nang. I strongly recommend that you taxi everywhere it is cheaper and much more leisurely. Manila is so dirty and so many young homeless people and slums. It was disgusting place and made me very sad to see so many young children out on the streets begging for money. Filty place where nothing looks to be finished. The roads are rough and potholed, thefootpaths was unfinished and dusty and dirts. Everyone should see this country I think and then they would realise how lucky they are to live in relative comfort and have the oney to holiday from time to time. I now understand why Fillipino's work overseas. Even tho many of them are maids in Arab countries and poorly paid it would be preferable to the miserable brokenlives they would endure in their home country. I feel very sorry for the inhabitants of Manila. It was a dump. Sabbah was great and different again. Lots of slum houses and rubbish everywhere, so unkept, just like Maniala but not quite as bad. Brunei was great, clean and tidy but the port is about a 40 minute drive to the city. You need to get a taxi here and go to the Water Village. this is something else andwell worth the visit. Amazing place. Singapore is wonderful. Great people, great shopping, great sights too. Clean and orderly and a pleasure to be there. Ho Chi Minh was chaotic but exciting too. Loved Vietnam and its people, lots of poor people too and very untidy place with lots of rubbish but not nearly as bad as Manila. Da Nang was great and we also took a taxi to Hoi Ahn a wonderful little vietnamese village, no cars inthe streets and a very different place to visit. Would like to go back to Da Nang and really see the place. Loved China Beach there too. In 10 years time it will be full of resort type hotels as they were all being built already. Overall I would not recommend Costa Cruising to anyone. It was just a very basic cruise, but the price we paid was not basic and certainly all the prices on board were expensive. The shops on board are a waste of time. only 2shops. One of jewellery the other sold bags, cigarettes, cruise t-shirts and a few blingly tops and pashminas but nothing really to even be bothered buying. Very disappointing cruise over all. Arrogant main staff and overworked and underpaid cabin staff. Wake up Costa and start paying your staff what they deserve. You know that they can't fight for themselves as Costa would just put them off so the staff are stuck and obviously Costa don't want passengers to know that staff are not getting their gratutities. Don't go Costa but do go the the ports, each and everyone was different and really worth the visit. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
This is an old(er) ship (1993) - and it looks rather 'tatty'. Although we stayed in the Grand Suite, it was all rather 3 star (not 5 star). When it rained, the water came into our suite in sheets. We had a butler, who was ... Read More
This is an old(er) ship (1993) - and it looks rather 'tatty'. Although we stayed in the Grand Suite, it was all rather 3 star (not 5 star). When it rained, the water came into our suite in sheets. We had a butler, who was ever so obliging, and this is the only 'saving grace' on this rather mediocre experience. The dining room food was very, very hit or miss (more miss, than hit). A rather gruesome canteen with hoards of passengers with lots of loud children throwing food at each other, and not enough places to sit down, was the other 'option'. The entertainment was simply awful, quite often vulgar, and tasteless. The shows were amateur, with very little talent. (Games in which passengers tried to break balloons with their bodies, or where they simulated a sexual act with a large skillet and ladle. The 2 'gala' evenings - were everything except chic - especially since 90% of the passengers didn't bother to dress up (let alone put on a tuxedo). If there is a problem with an excursion, even if it is the fault of the ship, they will hound you for payment. This company is not client centric. If your standards are moderate to high, we urge you to look at another property (and probably not on the Costa line). Read Less
Sail Date November 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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