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13 Costa neoRomantica Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
Dining room staff, bar staff, cabin staff all very helpful and friendly English was not too good though. Reception staff though they wore English badges they could speak English but could not understand your problem in particular Jacques a ... Read More
Dining room staff, bar staff, cabin staff all very helpful and friendly English was not too good though. Reception staff though they wore English badges they could speak English but could not understand your problem in particular Jacques a French staff member was rude and abrupt to me. Food was good preferred the Giardino restaurant which we used at breakfast and lunch as it was buffet type though manic everyone rushing to find a table and one without plates piled up. The Botticeli Al La Carte restaurant which we used for the evening meal was only geared up to Italian food and the actual meal could take some considerable time to get served. Staff in dining room put on entertainment which was excellent. Was told only English & Americans tip though we were already paying compulsory tips in the cost of the cruise. We upgraded before the cruise to the drinks package for around 400 for the both of us we added up that it was worth it even though we are not serious drinkers as even a glass of water is charged for.No drinks offered with meals unless you paid for them, no offer of tea only 4-5pm in a designated dining area. No snacks between meal and no midnight buffets like we have experienced on other cruises. Odd mini snack handed out at the bar. Cabins are spacious and come complete with use of towelling robe which mosr wore to sit outside around the pool and slippers, mini bar which drinks are charged for and a coffee machine which any drinks taken are charged for we took our own kettle and adapter. TV in room we only found BBC World News majority of everything else was in Italian and French. Entertainment geared up for the Italians some seemed rather dated and childish things which the Italians seemed to like such as making a train of people dancing round the room or getting up on the dance floor and doing silly things with balloons. Enjoyed the dance groups and tenor singers but the nightly singer and her partners music was very repetative. The constant announcements in several languages got on your nerves especially as English seemed to be the last language. Very disorganised to get off the ship when the tender was required waited hours to get off and weather kept getting the blame majority of the problem was because they did not start letting people off sooner and in a more organised fashion, Italians do not believe in queuing and would push at customer services and to get off the ship. A time was anniunced to oick up tickets to nget off the ship to enter the tender boats but we found that these tickets had been handed out long before the time announced we always ended up with a high number, the first time tender boat was used to get off at Bornholm barely anyone other than the ship trips got to go there and weather was blamed some gave up and never went ashore others were taken to another place near Bornholm with barely anything there. The same happened when we was meant to used tender boats to visit Visby barely anyone got off to see that they abandoned it after ticket number 9 and we was 22 so never saw that place either. Why announce a time to collect tickets then hand them out a hour sooner. We had to pay to get on a coach at every port into the town and this was added to our cruise bill think this should have been included in the cruise. The chocolate bar was amazing every tyoe of chocolate drink and chocolates free if you had took the drinks package, next to their a cigar room where people could smoke if they did not want to go to the designated area outside. Outside we was told you were not allowed to reserve sun beds however on the adult deck only some had the same lounger and pods all the cruise by leaving their belongings there all day which seemed very unfair, the jacuzzi up there was amazing and water lovely and warm. There are 3 computers up on deck 10 in the library people forever queing to get on to them but not cheap at 10 a hour and connection rather poor I got a refund as argued that I had been charged when the ship had no connection they checked this out with head office and confirmed this. Wi fi available at a big cost but I never used it. A small selection of books in all languages in the library. Towels given out on the decks so no need to pack any No one dresses up on this cruise ship felt over dressed at times they only made an effort on the formal nights, even at evening meal many came in t-shirts which we feel should not have been allowed. Cannot comment on trips as we did our own thing much cheaper with exception to St Petersburg which we booked on line 3 weeks before the cruise wherever we tried the companies told us no group tours left so had to have a private one at the cost of 700 for 2 days this was more than we paid for the 12 day cruise we did not feel it was value for money the guides did not come as early as on the itinerary and got us back earlier than the itinerary and rushed us from one place to the other we had to snatch taking photos and lunch was 10 minutes manically eating our food same with a souvenir stop over that was 10 minutes rushing about to frantically find something not enjoyable at all as not able bodied to do this, guides very informative and friendly. Not nice having to be out your cabin by 8am when you luggage is taken off ship 1am previously so everyone looking for somewhere to sit waiting for their colour to be called to disimbark. All in all had a great time great company even though only 300 Brits on board made some great friends, liked the elegance of the ship and enjoyed the cruise even with a few things that got on our nerves so booked another one this November. Used the hairdressers 3 times whilst there which was good and around 30 for blow dry. Was told that staff have been informed that it will be compulsory to speak good English over the next couple of weeks so no idea if this as been an issue as we struggled to find staff that spoke both good English and understood what you was saying back. They did have a member of staff Sean who you could meet once a day with problems, he seemed to play things down as I assume they are instructed to do.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We went on Costa NeoRomantica on 26th July for 8 nights departing from Dover and visiting Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Oslo and Le Havre. There's a lot to say so for ease I will break it down. We travelled two adults age 40 and our ... Read More
We went on Costa NeoRomantica on 26th July for 8 nights departing from Dover and visiting Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Oslo and Le Havre. There's a lot to say so for ease I will break it down. We travelled two adults age 40 and our twin boys age 9. We are new to cruising so nothing really to compare it to but I hope this helps: The ship It has been newly refurbished and it stunning. Everything is new, beautifully designed and very Italian looking. Some of the facilities are: - Fabulous spa with numerous steam and sauna rooms and Jacuzzis (extra charge) - Two outdoor saltwater pools but they were freezing and we couldn't use them, even our children found them too cold - Fabulous chocolate cafe serving hot chocolate and chocolates (extra charge) - Shops -- large general duty free shop, sweet shop, jewellers, gifts, all very nice and different promotions every day - The most amazing fine wine and cheese rooms, totally under used but exquisite (extra charge) - Games room and Casino Cabins We had cabin 6060 and 6062 for our children. Avoid these if you can as 6060 is directly opposite a cleaning station and we were woken at 7am every morning by staff clattering around. No amount of complaining stopped this! The cabin itself was so much nicer than expected. A large double bed (made of two singles) plus a single pull down too. A huge porthole with an outside cabin, much bigger than I have seen before. Lots of cupboard space and hanging space and hangers. A small table and chair, a dressing table and stool too. Large flatscreen TV but beware only English channel is BBC World Service so a bit disappointing. A minibar fridge is in the room but if you want a coffee its 1.50 euro in your room and tea is not available. If you like tea and coffee during the day or before breakfast, bring a travel kettle! Food Breakfast was lovely, fresh and plentiful. Hot food, cereals, pastries, cakes, juices, toast, I could go on and on! We ate in the Giardinno every night which is anytime seating usually between 630pm and 9pm. This suited us very well with young children. The Botticelli had set times of usually 6pm or 830pm, however their menu was identical. Always a varied choice of 3 appetizers, 2 pastas, 3 main courses and then dessert. On the gala nights (two of them on the sea days) also a soup and cheese plate included. Small portions but could not fault it. Loved the food. Lunch time you could eat in Botticelli for a 3 course meal or Giardino for a buffet which again was fantastic. Also a late lunch always served from 2-4pm in the Grill bar. Then 4-5pm tea and cakes. Drinks These are not included in the price and so you can pay for all inclusive which is quite expensive but you can do this on board and don't need to do it in advance. We purchased on board a package of I think 20 or so soft drinks (included non-alcoholic cocktails) for Euro 50. Otherwise a can of coke is Euro 3 each time! Can work out expensive. Staff Absolutely fantastic. Never came across a single staff member who did not speak English and considering there were so few English people on board this was impressive. Entertainment Major disadvantage is that there is no theatre. This has been replaced with a spa on two levels which is stunning, but I assume this is because it brings in extra money whilst a theatre doesn't. Singers were average. Hard to get a seat to see any of the performances. Very smoky in the lounge areas even though this was on one side only it really carried across. On a cold sea day not much to do unless you like folding towels, making necklaces, bingo or learning to tango. Definitely not aimed at our age group. Most of the guests seemed to be over 60 so would suit a lot of people I'm sure. Nothing sporty at all. Kids club Our 9 year olds went on a couple of occasions but weren't over keen. I think they were a little old for this, but too young for the teen club. Very few English speaking children even though it was in school holiday time. Ports Every single one was fabulous. Worth it all just for that. We didn't do any organised excursions. In most places we took a hop on hop off bus which was at least a quarter of the price of a tour. Costa often offered transfers into the centre of town for 10 euro per person return which we took once before realising that a taxi for 4 people was only 8 euro each way. If you are on a budget the ports are all very close so a taxi is better value, or in most cases you can walk. There is lots more to say but if you have any specific questions feel free to ask here and I will try to answer them if I can. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
We flew from Boston to Madrid and then caught a connecting flight to Barcelona. There were six adults in our group. We were told just days before we left that we were upgraded to a suite. Never had been in a suite before. Since we were ... Read More
We flew from Boston to Madrid and then caught a connecting flight to Barcelona. There were six adults in our group. We were told just days before we left that we were upgraded to a suite. Never had been in a suite before. Since we were told we couldn't board til 3 and we arrived in the morning, we had arranged with Barcelona tours for a 4 hour tour. The tour was very nice, although with little sleep, we were anxious to get on the ship. When we arrived finally at the port, we were very surprised to see we were the only ones there to board the ship. I guess the vast majority of our shipmates had boarded in Savonna. So, boarding was quite easy! We all thought the ship was very beautiful, after all it had just been redone. Everything seemed new and sparkly clean. Although I had sailed before in balcony rooms, I had never really been bothered by the small rooms. Compared to those the suite we had on the 11th floor was very very roomy. Big comfy bed, a pillow menu, large flat screen TV that swiveled on its base so that you could watch it from the bed or sitting area. The bathroom was huge with both a tub and a shower. And of course a nice large balcony. There was a platter of assorted canapes, a basket of fruit, that was replenished every day and an ice bucket with a bottle of bubbly were all waiting for us. The butler...(butler!) and room steward came to meet us shortly after we arrived. They were both very pleasant and always asked when they saw us if they could do anything for us. We had others from our group on one side of our room, but the other side was vacant until the next to last day. The ship hold around 1800 guests, but we were told that there were less than 1000 during our week on board. This of course was no problem for us and allowed us to get deck loungers almost anywhere and at anytime of the day. We loved that! Although in a suite you get complementary room service, we really didn't use it that much. We did have a continental breakfast delivered each morning. Juice, coffee, fruit and rolls and danishes. But they weren't able to deliver a regular breakfast till 7:30 at the earliest, and well we were usually out and about by then. The continental came every day at 6 am. Since our room was on deck 11 near mid ship, we wee only steps away from the mid ship pool and the lido bar. It seemed like a perfect location. We had last cruised on Costa three years ago from Venice to the Eastern med. Although we certainly enjoyed the food on this trip, we all think we had enjoyed the last cruise food much better. Maybe our memories fail us. We did use the gym. It is at the bow of the ship, and if you use the treadmills as your ship is entering the harbor, it feels like the faster you walk or jog, the faster the ship will get in! There is a small walking/jogging track on the top deck. We tried to walk off several meals there in the mornings. We usually had it to ourselves. The ship has a cigar bar,wine bar, chocolate bar and a pizza shop. The entire week I rarely if ever saw anyone using these places. There was a specialty restaurant on board and since we were in a suite were offered one free meal there. We made a reservation, although it did not seem necessary because when we ate there we were practically the only ones there. This was our least favorite meal of the week. It wasn't terrible, just not as good as the others. Go figure. Since there were so few folks eating in there, well, the service folks could have backed up 2-3 steps and we might have enjoyed our meal better. But maybe that had nothing to do with the food. I have never been much of a fan of the entertainment provided on cruise ships in the theater. So much lip syncing and well, I tend to avoid them. This ship did not have a large theater and I thought that was a plus. Between the cigar bar and wine bar there were usually some sort of quartet playing classical music. I never sat around to listen to them but always enjoyed walking by. Sometimes I paused for a few minutes, they sounded great. There are 2 lounges on board. We usually spent most evening drifting from one to the other. The entertainment staff was great at getting people to dance together. We spent many a night dancing and very much enjoyed it. The singers and comedians were OK. I never stayed for a whole show but enjoyed it in little bits and pieces. The casino was very small and although I did win a little at the Roulette table, none of us really spent much time there. We were lucky to have great weather for the week. The pools are very tiny and none of us used them. Nor did any of us use the hot tubs.. Did I mention we had a whirlpool in our room? I tried it once, I guess I am just not a tub person, but my wife used it every day. We did purchase the all inclusive drink package before we left. Although we could have purchased it on board. It was easy to use at any bar or at any time of course. I had downloaded the list before I went, however any drink you asked for they were able to make for you and have it included. We were all glad we had the package. We visited Palma de Mallorca, Malta, Catania, Naples and Savonna. I had never been to any of these places and liked all of them. In Malta, we rented a car and went to a nice beach. Driving on the left with a manual using your left hand took a little getting used to, but it wasn't hard. We did not book any excursions, as we do the research ahead of time and prefer mostly walking and exploring. I found Palma to be the most pleasant city to walk in, but all were quite walkable. I wasn't sure what to expect from Naples. We were there on a Sunday and well...we loved it. Its crowded and a little dirty, but still, has a great deal of charm. We even were able to find a place open for authentic Naples pizza. We had really enjoyed our trip three years ago on the Costa Victoria and were looking forward to sailing with Costa again. We had been booked on the Concordia. I'm sorry for the tragedy that occurred with the Concordia, but I think for us, this was the better ship to be on. Much smaller and not crowded at all. I so often read negative reports on here about Costa. I just don't see what others are talking about. i am not at all bothered that as an English speaking American that I am in the minority. I really think that adds to the experience. And I have not, after two cruises on Costa witnessed the so-called rudeness of any Europeans. We always ate dinner in the MDR, but breakfast and lunch were in the two different buffets. I didn't witness any pushing or line cutting at all. Everyone. the ships crew and our fellow ship mates were always very pleasant and courteous. It wasn't perfect, no trip ever is, but we all had a great time. One thing that I did find somewhat amusing though, had to do with Caesars salad. On our room service menu I saw it was offered as an anytime item. It was never on any dinner menu though. On our second night I ordered it in the main dining room. It arrived with many many little bits of bacon. It wasn't what I expected but i just tried to eat around the bacon. As we were eating our desserts our waiter told us that if we wanted Caesars salad again, we should order it in advance. OK. Seemed we all wanted it for the next night, but asked if we could have it without the bacon. Sure, we were told. Well the next night they brought our salads. Now it had grilled chicken and bacon bits. I wanted croutons and anchovies..oh well. Never had a Caesars salad like that before. I just wondered why it was available always on the room service menu, but had to be ordered in advance in the dining room. Not a gripe, just found it amusing. My only gripes are two. The promenade deck is always my favorite on a ship. I like walking the deck where the lifeboats are kept. I makes me feel like I am really on a ship. This was for crew only. Also i always enjoy the outside eating area in the stern near the buffet. Love to have my meals sitting outside. On this ship this spot is missing. We will sail again with Costa. The food could be better, the stops could be longer, but the price is right and all in all everything was just fine.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We cruised from Civitavecchia to the Greek Islands and back in June of 2011. One of the best things about the trip was the transportation from Rome Fiumicino airport to the port at Civitavecchia - we put our bags down next to the coach at ... Read More
We cruised from Civitavecchia to the Greek Islands and back in June of 2011. One of the best things about the trip was the transportation from Rome Fiumicino airport to the port at Civitavecchia - we put our bags down next to the coach at the airport and did not touch them again until in our stateroom on the ship. It was the best $24 we could spend. The ship, although somewhat old being built in 1993, was comfortable. Our shock came the first evening at dinner, when we asked the waiter for a pitcher of ice water. He said he could not, because a new Costa policy prohibits this. We asked for the Maitre D, and he repeated the new policy. The only way we could get water was to buy bottles of it for $4 each. This is price gouging to the extreme. I have a personal policy of never buying bottled water because studies have found it is no better than, and in some cases not as good as, ordinary tap water. We complained loudly but to no avail. So everyone at the table told the staff that 1. We would not sail on Costa again; 2. We would write reviews about the policy; and 3. We would consider reducing our automatic gratuity amounts. The next day the Maitre D brought our table a bottle of Proseco (sparkling wine) as a peace offering to calm our dismay. Another day we were given a bottle of wine. These were good getsures, but did not make up for not having a glass of water with which to take medications. A few other things made the cruise less than optimal, such as the inability of the "Animation Team" to speak English, which was within Costa's control, and the presence on board of some 100 under 5 year old children who pretty much ran wild with no limits due to their ultra permissive parents. It was not fun to try to dance in any of the venues when a dozen little ones were running in circles on the dance floor - no exaggeration. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We picked Costa having read tons of reviews ranging from horrible, would never go back experiences to rave reviews, so we went on the Costa Romantica with really no expectations and were pleasantly surprised. First of all, the Romantica ... Read More
We picked Costa having read tons of reviews ranging from horrible, would never go back experiences to rave reviews, so we went on the Costa Romantica with really no expectations and were pleasantly surprised. First of all, the Romantica was only 1/2 booked, which if you've cruise before that was a huge perk. There were no lines, no wait times and plenty of seats for everything. Our cabin (4049) was an ocean view and was really nice. I was surprised it had as much room as it did and a very large ocean view window. We usually book balcony rooms, but the Romantica only offers maybe 10-20 suites with balconies and with prices to match their limited selection, so we opted for an ocean view room and were not disappointed. The staff was fantastic and cannot say enough enough about their service. Keep in mind, this is an Italian cruise line and English is the last language they speak. French, Spanish and even German were more popular than English which means the staff members who do speak English aren't fluent. Most of the staff members who do speak English are servers and are from the Philippines as English is taught through their schooling. The guest services reps don't speak English well and I would definitely opt for the 1 hour daily Q&A session with the English speaking rep for any help you may need. The food was very good, especially the pasta, but Costa was lacking with the grand meals to accompany the Gala evenings like Royal does, so that was a little disappointing. The mixed drinks are terrible! Be forewarned, stick with beer , wine, or straight liquors drinks. The mixed drinks are nothing but mix and have very little alcohol despite their 6.75 euro price tag.The ship excursions were run very well and a Costa cruise member travelled with each excursion to ensure it went well. See my port reviews for more details on ports. Avoid the Jeep Excursion in Mykonos!Overall very pleased with the Costa Romantica and would sail Costa again. I understand they are remodeling the ship and adding more floors, 4x the number of balconies and activities like rock climbing walls which was definitely needed. My husband and I are under 30 and we struggled to entertain ourselves since the activities on the ship were really focused for a much older crowd, but Costa seems to know that and is working to remedy that on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We have cruised on many other cruise lines but this was our first with Costa. We would be unlikely to choose Costa again because we prefer specific "english speaking" ships. The Costa Romantica is showing its age and its origins ... Read More
We have cruised on many other cruise lines but this was our first with Costa. We would be unlikely to choose Costa again because we prefer specific "english speaking" ships. The Costa Romantica is showing its age and its origins (probably designed as a cargo ship and then converted). However, the cabins are very spacious and very comfortable. The cabin staff are excellent but unfortunately the management staff tended to be rude and unhelpful. The embarkation process was chaotic and frustrating. There was no organisation, no assistance and no information about what was happening. The food in the buffet area was very average but in the dining room it was very good, especially at breakfast time and lunch time. The dining room staff were helpful but there was some difficulty with language (I ordered two eggs and got two servings, each with two eggs...). We cruise for the ports of call and this cruise had some excellent ports. There were no bad ports but some of the shore tours could have been better organised and should have had a crew member present to address any problems. We loved Halong Bay, Hanoi, Hoi An, Hong Kong and Saigon. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and we would recommend it to friends. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
We've just returned from the May 1, 2010 sailing of the Costa Romatica out of Singapore (stops in Ho Chi Mihn, Da Nang, Hong Kong, Manila, Kota Kinabalu and Bandar Sari Begawan). While many reviews of the ship, staff and Costa line in ... Read More
We've just returned from the May 1, 2010 sailing of the Costa Romatica out of Singapore (stops in Ho Chi Mihn, Da Nang, Hong Kong, Manila, Kota Kinabalu and Bandar Sari Begawan). While many reviews of the ship, staff and Costa line in general have been pretty tough, my overall assessment is that this was a decent trip and the destinations were worth the problems. Having said that, many of the points raised in the tough reviews are true and lots of improvements are needed. This review comes from a very experienced business traveler with high but realistic standards and experience on four other cruises on Princess, Norwegian and Carnival. This cruise was my first experience with Costa. My wife and I are Canadians in our early 40s and traveled with our 1.5 year old son. We chose this cruise despite reading the negative reviews based on the itinerary. We really wanted to visit Vietnam and a cruise is a great way to see some harder-to-visit places with a young child. The Ship This ship is older, but is in decent condition and still has many elegant touches. The large lounge on the 8th level deck is particularly elegant, albeit quite retro-looking. It is a small one so is easy to figure out but lacks some amenities of other ships. As other reviews note, Costa appears to have a far more liberal smoking policy than other ships and the corridors had a fairly heavy smoke smell. I am very sensitive to smoke, so am pleased to report this did not penetrate the cabin at all. One of the other problems is that on three occasions, there was a strong smell of fuel on our deck. While it was quickly addressed (within an hour or so), it did lead me to wonder what was the source of the problem. One of the other issues was the very weak air conditioning. AC was non-existent in the common areas like elevator banks, weak in the halls and cabins, but decent in the dining rooms and show lounge. The Cabin We had an outside cabin (for some reason Costa would only allow us to book an outside cabin with our small child) on the 4th level. The cabin was in decent shape, a good size, and had a reasonable amount of storage space. The furnishings were fine and everything worked. The room had both European and American power outlets, which was helpful. The carpet was filthy - it had stains everywhere and needed replacing, not cleaning. The bathroom was functional but wasn't well cleaned upon our arrival. There were two dried contact lenses on the bathroom counter as well as some hair bands from a previous guest in the shower. The shower also had mildew in several places. On the positive side, I did mention this to our cabin steward and she did a "deep clean" of the shower on the second day and removed most of the mildew. One of the other complaints was the water supply. There was no cold water at all in the cabin. In fact, even when on a full cold setting, the water was almost hot. I am not sure if this was due to the steamy Asian itinerary, but was strange to me. More importantly, the water was also quite yellow on several occasions. I suspect this was due to receiving different water supplies in different ports, but it did seem to vary from day to day. Some days were fine, others less so. The Itinerary/Tours This was the primary reason for our choice of this cruise (and it appeared to be the same for almost everyone on board) and we weren't disappointed at all on this score. The itinerary was fantastic and the problems we encountered on board were certainly compensated by the fantastic itinerary and tours. We did Costa-arranged tours in Ho Chi Mihn (Exploration of Ho Chi Mihn), Da Nang (My Son Holy See and Shopping at Hoi An), Manila (Tagaytay Tour and Panoramic Manila), Kota Kinabalu (Rainforest Trecking, Sun and Sea) and Bandar Sari Begawan (Brunei City Orientation). I'd have to say that all tours were good and some were excellent. They were a bit expensive (not too much more than other lines though), but the tour operators were very good. Several tours provided bottled water and small gifts (like ballcaps) which were unexpected, but appreciated. Vietnam was definitely the highlight for us. We loved the Da Nang tour and despite the extreme heat, had a great time even with a 1.5 year old in tow. The Vietnamese were incredibly warm and generous and despite visiting about 60 countries in five continents, wowed me. We saw workers in straw hats behind oxen and water buffalo in rice fields - and it wasn't a Disney-like show for tourists. An old vendor selling trinkets offered my boy a little gift from his shop and wouldn't take any money when offered. The visit forced me to think about how well we live in the West and, like many other visits to developing countries, reminded me to worry less about the petty stuff about which we spend too much time worrying. Of course, many of the other places we visited were rich and wonderful in their own ways. Singapore is an amazing and fun Asian bubble and Brunei showed its enormous oil wealth alongside its rich and beautiful Muslim heritage. My photos of the mosques are amazing. As we had friends in both Singapore and Hong Kong, we did our own things and both ports are very easy to do that. As Costa was involved in choosing the local tour operators and setting the itinerary, I'd give them high marks for that. The Food/Dining The food quality was also quite high. It was clear that money was spent bringing in good quality ingredients (cheeses were excellent and portions were large). Each dinner had seven possible courses (appetizer, soup, pasta, main dish, salad, cheese and dessert). This is where the Italian heritage of the cruise line showed - the food quality and preparation was very good. Many pastas were fantastic (my favourite course). There were always many options for each course and the menu continued to change throughout the cruise (I'm not sure there were any repeats in 14 nights). As a North American, many options were more suited to the European palate (different meats and/or cuts and the preparation was quite different than at home), but I can't imagine anyone not finding something to their liking. I didn't like everything I ordered, but that's the case with anyone, anywhere. I think other reviewers were far too hard on this aspect of the cruise. Costa did a good job in the kitchen. I heard good things about the pizza restaurant, but due to its terrible hours (only opened from 9 pm to midnight), we didn't get to go a single time (remember, we had a 1.5 year old with us). My major complaint about the dining were the restrictive times and options. Several days into the cruise we skipped our early seating dinner and were surprised to learn that the buffet was not open for dinner. If you missed dinner, the only option was to order from a limited list of room service items (with a two euro charge). I have to admit, our Norwegian cruise really sold us on the "anytime" dining idea. The buffet was open for breakfast and lunch and was of surprisingly good quality. A few special stations were open (made to order eggs, fresh pasta and other items) at each meal time as well. I do not understand why a small buffet wasn't available for dinner. There were no specialty restaurants on board. There was an outside grill for hamburgers and hotdogs at lunch, but these again were not up to North American standards. Both the hotdogs and hamburgers were gross. Chicken and lunch steaks were available and were a bit better at the grill. As many have asked, the buffet had soft ice-cream machines open at certain times, but while it was ok, it wasn't great. My comments about the service in the dining area will follow. Staff/Service The service levels on the ship were a mixed bag to be honest. I struggle to write this section as several staff people were very good (Nilesh, our assistant waiter was a super nice guy), but overall, Costa staff were noticeably less friendly and service-oriented than other lines. I generally hate to make generalizations, but I will make a few. Typically, staff from the Phillipines (whether on a ship or not) are among the most kind and hardworking people you'd ever meet. You have to work pretty hard to get a Filipino to stop smiling, but it appeared that something did just that. Many, many staff seemed quite unhappy and I found that I would often say hello or smile long before they did. I suspect this may be due to the ship's management. I'm generalizing again, but the Italian management staff was quite unfriendly and seemed to brush by passengers without a greeting or even a smile. I did hear that staff wages were recently cut drastically and the ship wasn't full, so perhaps that affect staff morale. Still, the ship seemed to run reasonably well. Meals were delivered, rooms were cleaned, tours were arranged, so it wasn't all that bad. But as many of us travelers know, the attitude of staff towards the guests makes a huge difference in one's perceptions of the experience. If other Costa sailings are like this (and reviews suggest this may be true), a major tune up of management is in order. I will say that despite Costa being part of the Carnival family, it definitely does not have an American level of service. The Passengers Let me add that while other reviewers didn't like the fact that announcements were made in many languages or the degree of diversity among the passengers, this was a nice thing about the cruise from my perspective. I'd say that the largest groups on the ship were Italians, Australians, New Zealanders, Germans, French and Russians. As is typical of longer and pricier cruises, it was an older crowd. I really enjoyed meeting people from around the world and everyone was super nice to my little boy. I was surprised to see several children (perhaps 10-15) and even a baby younger than our son. We did visit Costa's children's program a few times and I can see why it is well-regarded. The Italian manager there was just excellent and his staff was very kind too. Pricing We paid about $2200 US per person for our outside cabin for a 14 night cruise. After an awesome deal on a South American cruise with Norwegian last year ($750 for a 12 night cruise for a balcony), this did seem high to us. I will say that staff was definitely not pushy about trying to get more money out of passengers like on other lines. I can't recall anyone asking us to buy or upgrade anything, which is a difference between the American lines. Photos were available, but not in your face or forced on you. There was a modest amount of shopping and prices didn't seem too bad. Internet usage seemed far less expensive than on other cruises. I believe I had 2-3 hours of time for about 30 euros. Everything was priced in euros, but the financial crisis seems to have helped us as even our Canadian dollar was at a decent exchange rate with the euro. Other than cruise tours, we didn't spend a great deal of money. We had the odd soft-drink or glass of wine and prices seemed about the same as other cruises (expensive but not ridiculous). I will say that bottled water seemed pricy especially as the ship water was so terrible. Either provide passable tap water or don't charge so much for the bottled stuff is my opinion. Laundry services were available but at a fairly high price. There was no ability to launder your own stuff in pay machines (I liked Princess for that). Other lines have at least had an occasional deal to do a bunch of stuff at a flat rate (all you can stuff in a bag). Costa did offer this, but only the second to last day. On such a long cruise, I would have thought they'd do this a few times (like other lines). Drinkers may have benefited from a drink package (some had to be purchased in advance). We didn't do too much of this, so a package wouldn't have made sense. Traveling with a Small Child As I mentioned earlier, I think a cruise is a perfect way for parents with small children to travel. This was Kennedy's second cruise. We took him on a South American sailing with Norwegian (Buenos Aires to Valparaiso) when he was six-months old and on this Asian sailing at 1.5 years. He is a good traveler (he's been on 150 flights and four continents now), but I think most kids could do this more exotic sailing with some degree of ease. The time zone change was tough (it is exactly 12 hours different for us), but our trip was almost three weeks in total so there was time to adjust. The ship was well set up for kids (high chairs for dinner, the ability to request certain foods, milk given to us by the litre, a play-yard to use for sleeping, a decent kids club and play area). I should say that while the ship had two small pools, both had salt-water and were very deep (the shallow pool was over five feet deep at a minimum). This wasn't great for our boy as even in my arms he didn't like being in such deep water. As a result of traveling with a child, I'm not able to evaluate the evening shows. We did attend a few lectures on Asian history with an Italian professor and they were very good. While it was some work (the heat, pushing a stroller in tight Asian streets and alleys), we had a blast showing our son another part of the world. We have some amazing photos of him in Asia which we'll proudly show him in future years. Cruises really do allow you as a parent to see some exotic places while offering your child a degree of structure, safety and standard food to eat. The best part for parents who have to pack a million items is that you can pack and unpack once, while seeing many terrific places. Kennedy has his Hep A and B shots (and the other standard shots for kids of his age), but we did not have to give him malaria pills or other tougher treatments. We enjoyed almost everything with him (we couldn't do the Cu Chi tunnels in Vietnam as he was too young). We were careful to bring a few food items with us to avoid having to feed him on the street, but otherwise, he enjoyed everything with us. The other passengers (likely as most were grandparents) were terrific and patient if he had the odd cry or fussy moment. Overall Assessment I'd give this cruise a B minus overall. The itinerary and tours were excellent, the food quality was very good, but the service and some ship amenities were lacking. I wouldn't recommend this cruise to those wanting the full, pampered experience available on some sailings and lines. My first taste with Costa was that it is a lower to mid-range line that is in need of some major management overhauls. Still, I'd give them another chance and would do this cruise again even with the problems as the itinerary was so fantastic. If you are looking for a great itinerary and don't mind some challenges on board, then this cruise is for you. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
My wife and I sailed on the November 16th Romantica sailing to Cantania, Athens, Izmir, Mykonos, and Santorini. First, the ports of call are the reason we booked the cruise, and they were amazing. Also, we were driven by the price, as this ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the November 16th Romantica sailing to Cantania, Athens, Izmir, Mykonos, and Santorini. First, the ports of call are the reason we booked the cruise, and they were amazing. Also, we were driven by the price, as this was the cheapest cruise we have ever taken. Getting to/from Civitavecchia We took the train from Roma Termini to the port without any issues. Just went to Termini in Rome, bought tickets and a self-service machine, and took the 45 minute ride to Civitavecchia. We took the express train, and used 1st class; the car was mostly empty. From the station in Civitavecchia, take a right out of the station and it's a 10 minute walk to the ship. We used Costa's transfer on the way back to the airport, which was on $20 USD each. About 1 hour drive from port to the airport. Ship Overall the ship was clean and well maintained. It is a small ship (55k tons) and lacked a lot of public spaces; we have been on smaller ships (Carnival Holiday for instance) that actually had more public spaces. The cabins appeared to be recently remodeled, as they were very clean and modern for a cruise ship; we were actually surprised the cabins were in such great shape given the age of the ship. Of course winter in Europe it was cooler, so we did not use the pools (they are not covered as on other ships in cooler climates), but did use the hot tubs; as this was very port intensive the pools were not much of a big deal. Overall, a decent ship with nice cabins for its size and price. Food This is the first cruise I had been on where food was difficult to come by at times. Bear in mind this is an Italian cruise ship, NOT American. Italians apparently do not stuff themselves 24x7. The buffet was awful - very small, food was terrible; overall the worst buffet I've seen on a cruise ship. It is only open for breakfast and lunch. No dinner; no 24x7 buffet as on most ships. The dining room was much better, still not to the quality of American ships but I was able to find something to eat every meal. I think some of my issues with dining room food were more due to the fact that it was Italian style, not American, thus I cannot fault the ship for this as I expected an Italian experience. People Italians are a different bunch - I thought they were rude, loud, and very inconsiderate of others (we spent several weeks in Europe traveling all over and have no complaints other than with Italians). They smoke everywhere.....smoking is very bad on the ship. Apparently breathing oxygen is optional in Italy. This is by a million miles the worst I have seen smoking on a cruise ship. Surprisingly there were large numbers of Americans on the ship - far more than I expected. Our dining table was all American, and it appeared assigned by age, which we found to be great. Despite being a ship dominated by Italians, I think we had the best table group on any of the cruises we have taken. The excursions were organized by language, and we were mostly with Americans. Overall, that piece was well organized by Costa. Ports We choose this cruise for the itinerary above all else, and were not disappointed. We used all Costa excursions (in the Caribbean we always go it alone, but on port intensive cruises such as this, Alaska, and a few others we went with the ships excursions). The excursions were in English, mostly attended by Americans. I have no complaints on any of the excursions we took - they were all worth the money. Catania: Did the 4x4 up Mt. Etna. Actually was off road, did a nice hike around Mt Etna. Supposed to be a 4 hour excursion, was closer to 6. We were happy with this excursion. Izmir: Our favorite port, not at all what we expected. Did the 9 hour Ephesus, House of the Virgin Mary, and St Johns excursion. Well worth the money. Ephesus is one of the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World, and it is well deserved. Santorini: Did the Oia Village, which I think was the only worth while excursion here. Oia is very pretty and we got great photos....it is what I picture when I think of Greece. The village where the ship actually ports (different than if you take an excursion) is just a typical cruise shopping place, nothing special. Mykonos: I think this is really a beach stop, but in November and at 6-11 pm there was nothing to do. No ship excursions, which is the first time I've been to a port with an excursion being offered. We got off, walked around went back in maybe 30 minutes time. Athens: Took the Acropolis and Museum excursion. Museum was boring, nothing special to see. If I had to do it again, I would just take the Acropolis excursion. The Acropolis is very cool, with nice views of Athens. But it pales in comparison to Ephesus. Overall we had a great time on the cruise. Given the price ($299 pp) and itinerary, it was well worth the trip. The key is to remember it is an Italian ship, not an American. Of course, as you are in Italy, this should be expected.....yet many Americans still think it will be like America wherever they go. As long as you book based on itinerary and expect an Italian experience, I think anyone would enjoy this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Costa Romantica 10/26/09 Review Ok I know a lot of you have been looking for a review of this ship, so here we go. I was just on the 10/26/09 cruise that departed from Civitavechia and had an itinerary of Catania-Sicily, Sea Day, ... Read More
Costa Romantica 10/26/09 Review Ok I know a lot of you have been looking for a review of this ship, so here we go. I was just on the 10/26/09 cruise that departed from Civitavechia and had an itinerary of Catania-Sicily, Sea Day, Izmir-Turkey, Santorini-Greece: Mykonos (same day), Athens, Sea Day. I have been on several cruises on NCL, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, as well as a previous Mediterranean cruise in 2005 on the Costa Magica so I will be comparing much of the experience to those sailings. The Ship Yes the ship is small. The ship was much cleaner than I anticipated. They did a great job making sure everything was spotless. It is well designed for its size and age (1993). There is very limited entertainment on board besides the shows which I will highlight later. Besides attending every show I played in the casino a little bit which is about half the size of other ships. There was a foosball table and ping pong table on board. There is one lounge (Italia) where they have silly events and games and this is where most of the Italians gather around dinner and show times. The weather was actually warm enough to lie out on the top deck for 2 days. We had fantastic weather on our cruise, we were quite lucky. The internet cafe is adequate but expensive at 1 Euro every 2 minutes. After dinner the only thing going on was at the Tango Lounge where they would have a live band with various theme nights, this is where we had the most time. The disco was the only other option at night and it was mostly filled with younger people so I would say 16-25 year olds and they played the traditional club techno garbage so we stayed away. The announcements in several languages did not bother me AT ALL. They were very limited and exactly what I expected. The Shows I would have to say that the entertainment in the theatre was one of the biggest disappointments on this cruise. The dancers and singers were all average although almost all of their songs were in English so I give them credit as you can tell this isn't their natural language. The non dancer/singer nights were just horrible. I just kept thinking of the show America's got talent because every single one of the acts would have been stopped within 2 minutes. Either way we had nothing else to do so we watched all of the shows and pretty much just made fun of how awful they were. Also, Italians for some reason insist on showing up after the show starts and most of them decide to walk all around the theatre to find a seat in the dark while talking most of the time. Quite annoying actually, also, about every other seat was comfortable so you had to search around to find good seats. The Passengers and Staff I give the staff a rating of 10/10. They were excellent. I really have no complaints at all, they were extremely friendly and most seemed very happy. Our ship had 1200 passengers on board. Of this 800 were Italians, about 150 were English speaking, 100 French, and the rest a mix of Spanish and German is my guess. No complaints with any of the passengers. The Italians are very pushy and like to use their elbows in the buffet lines. Also, they seem to go by the rule of "whoever pushes to the front first wins". Lines and order seems more like a guideline to them. Once you get used to this mentality it was ok. It was also fun to feel really big. I am only 6'2 but was probably the fifth or sixth tallest person on board. This came in handy when the Italians would try to cut around me in lines as I glared at them with disapproval. The cabin We stayed in an inside cabin in the front of deck 4. It was probably the cheapest room on the ship but our cabin steward went above and beyond. Our cabin was quite lovely and actually was much better than I anticipated for an inside cabin. No complaints here. 10/10. The Food and Drink Because of the itinerary we were able to eat most of our meals in the dining room. Most mornings we had room service delivered for free. They would also give us cappuccinos for free although they charged up on deck. We generally tipped the person who delivered it 1 euro although it wasn't required. The food in the dining room for lunch and dinner was better than I expected. The food wasn't as Italian as I expected but it was good. We had the X1 package and they always had a bottle of wine and mineral water waiting for us. Most nights we shared a bottle but some nights we drank 1 ½ bottles of the house red. The house red was tolerable but obviously cheap wine. It was just hard to drink the same thing every night, compare it to Traders Joes Charles Shaw wine. They were very quick to bring us any drinks we requested. The buffet lines at lunch were sometimes crazy as it seems that every Italian eats at the same time. The buffet food was worse than I expected so we stayed away and ate in the dining room as much as we could. When we did eat we sat outside on the deck. Once we sat down the drink people would constantly be around asking us for drinks. WE COULD USE THE X1 ON DECK DURING THE BUFFET TIMES no problem. I wasn't sure about that going in, but they would bring us coke, beer, wine, the usual. Good perk to have. The itinerary The port was very easy to get to from Rome. From the Termini station we took a train for about 70 minutes (6 euro each way) and walked about 5 minutes from the station to the harbor. From here a shuttle took us to the ship. Check-In went smooth and took about an average amount of time to get through. In Catania Sicily the ship docked. We walked around the city for a couple of hours and didn't really do much. They drive crazy here and the city is quite hectic. Izmir Turkey was much better than I anticipated. This was by far the cleanest city that we visited. The people were friendly and didn't bother you or heckle you in shops and on the streets. Izmir probably had the best looking people and most western looking clothes and culture of any of the ports. The ship docked at the pier and again we just walked around town for a couple of hours. There was a military parade the day we were in town (I think it was their independence day or some city holiday but either way it was fun to watch and security was extremely tight). The next day we went to Santorini and Mykonos (both tenders to shore) and in both cities we just walked around town for a couple of hours. In Athens we did a DIY to the Acropolis which was very easy and probably only took about 3 hours from the time we left the ship until we were back near the ship. I didn't describe the itinerary here very much so just ask if you have more questions. This review was much longer than I anticipated so please just ask if you have any questions and I will make sure to answer them. Overall I was very pleased with the experience and it met my expectations for the price. It was a very cheap cruise and I think it was a GREAT VALUE! I wouldn't hesitate doing it again at all but if you are spending a lot of money on a cruise, I wouldn't pick this ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 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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