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22 Costa Victoria Cruise Reviews

My hubby and I are not seasoned cruisers and the only previous cruises we’d done were only 4 days each, 25 years ago. We booked this cruise because of its length (28 days) and its interesting itinerary. Only after booking did we read ... Read More
My hubby and I are not seasoned cruisers and the only previous cruises we’d done were only 4 days each, 25 years ago. We booked this cruise because of its length (28 days) and its interesting itinerary. Only after booking did we read the reviews and some were not very flattering. Well, I don’t know what the complainers were expecting because we were blown away by the entire experience. Boarding at Port Lois in Mauritius looked chaotic at first glance but went very quickly and efficiently. We were even given a fruit drink while we waited - all of 20 minutes. Our sea view cabin was on Deck 4, was very comfortable and we were very well looked after by our steward, Agnad. The only thing that I did not like was the bunks hooked up on each side of the bed but once used to them I stopped bumping my head! Obviously the cabin could take a family of 4. We booked late which is probably why we got the cabin with extra bunks as many other cabins did not have them. We upgraded our drinks package from pranzo and cena to brindiamo. It was well worth it as it included limitless tea, coffee, mineral water by the glass, beer, wine, soft drinks and other alcoholic drinks that were not above €9 each. We were assigned to Sinfonia Restaurant - first sitting and our table companions were all South Africans like ourselves. Costa try to at least place you in language groups even if not with compatriots. The food was amazing and our waiter, Talekar, the gentlest young man with exquisite manners. Not only was he attentive to our needs but he always asked about our day and made sure we were enjoying our cruise. The Sinfonia was also open for self service breakfast with the option to order egg dishes or salmon. But if you just wanted to grab something quickly the buffet breakfast was also available but you might struggle to find a spot to sit. We found sitting on the stern deck was the best option both at breakfast and lunchtime. The buffet food was very varied and you could always find something to suit your taste. Of course the Sinfonia was also open for lunch. This cruise was not during School holidays and most of the passengers were over 60. There were perhaps a dozen pre-teen children on board. Activities on board were varied - I enjoyed the stretch classes, water aerobics and walking offered at various times of the day on the Pool Deck. The animation team were in charge and they were awesome. Then during the day there were craft classes, cultural quizzes, Bingo etc. at all times there would be a place you could go to listen to live music. In the evenings the theatre shows were outstanding. There was also a casino but we didn’t ever use it. Costa offer a variety of shore excursions. They are pricey but excellent. We chose the least expensive ones at most ports and were never disappointed. The guides were excellent and if something went wrong you could rest assured that the ship would not leave without you. However, don’t be afraid to explore on your own if you’re on a tight budget. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get back on board before the ship sails! Photographers are all over the ship and the photo packages are over-priced. If we were able to just get the digital copies at a reasonable price we would have gone for that. I feel it’s an enormous waste to print huge copies of all the photos that most people won’t buy! The Costa Victoria is an older ship and does not have the glitz of the newer cruise ships. Call me old fashioned but I like that! There were less than 2000 passengers. Everyone was friendly . The staff were amazing. The cruise director, Daniela was charming and fun and had a word for literally everyone in their own language - she speaks five fluently! I can49not recommend a Costa Victoria Cruise highly enough. We enjoyed the dining, dancing, shows, daytime activities and the shore excursions. We loved the food. We made wonderful friends and it’s a holiday we will never forget. Thank you Costa Victoria! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We didn't have high expecations after all bad reviews on ths website. But by the end it was a very nice surprise for us! It was an excellent cruise as we could stay almost three days on Seychelles, we spent three days on Madagaskar ... Read More
We didn't have high expecations after all bad reviews on ths website. But by the end it was a very nice surprise for us! It was an excellent cruise as we could stay almost three days on Seychelles, we spent three days on Madagaskar and two days on Reunion! Crew on the ship was just perfect, entertainment team was unbelievable (entertaining for 24 hrs a day!), teather shows were excellent!, food in the restaurants very good (Club restaurant very professional!) - and some very very nice wines! Yes, gym was too small and some equipment broken, that could be improved. Internet was also very slow, we bought 3000Mb package, but we could use only half of that, that could be improved also. Some shore excursions were ok, some could be better, but it is everybody's choice. We had a rented car on Seychelles and Mauritius. CONCLUSION: Vivat Victoria! We will definetelly go again with Costa! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Excellent itinerary - The pearls of the Indian Ocean including Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Reunion. We are frequent travellers from Norway and we have been on cruise many times with Cunard, RCCL and Celebrity. We were rather ... Read More
Excellent itinerary - The pearls of the Indian Ocean including Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Reunion. We are frequent travellers from Norway and we have been on cruise many times with Cunard, RCCL and Celebrity. We were rather surprised to read about the bad critics made by other travellers. We decided therefore to write this review in order to give other points of view regarding Costa Cruise. Although the Costa Victoria is old, she is very well maintained and very clean. The overall organisation and logistics on board are outstanding. In my view at same level as the other companies we know: RCCL and Celebrity. The security is taken very seriously and the service everywhere is excellent. The food is better than average and one will always find something he/she likes. Very large variety of menus. However, after 2 weeks, one loose appetite, which is rather normal. We "upgraded" our meals to the restaurant Club Victoria for 5 days at an additional cost of EUR 25 per day including breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant is more elegant and smaller. The service there was more personalised and sitting place/time flexible. Activities on board are good. Dynamic teams entertain people on deck. In my view, there are a little bit too much activities on deck, but it probably suits younger people than me. There are quiet places many other places on board when it gets too noisy at the pool deck. The shows in the evenings were exceptional nearly every night. Bravo to the dancers! The fitness room needs to be refurbished. The size is too small and not adapted to the large number of users. The cabin (with balcony) is not very large but comfortable. The beds are good. We did not use the excursions proposed on board because we are used to take local taxis or other transportation means when we are on land. Excursions sold on board are too expensive. The spa and massages are far too expensive as well. But overall we will highly recommend Costa Victoria and the itinerary in the Indian Ocean. High value for the money paid. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My wife and I chose this cruise for its itinerary, its cost and not the cruise line. We had read a variety of differing reviews and were expecting to have some problems with availability of free drinking water and hot drinks. We ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise for its itinerary, its cost and not the cruise line. We had read a variety of differing reviews and were expecting to have some problems with availability of free drinking water and hot drinks. We encountered no such problems as both were readily available in the self service restaurants throughout the day and late evening. Staff were approachable and friendly given the fact they had to contend with so many different nationalities. Once we had recognised we were aboard a ship reflecting the United Nations we embraced the opportunities to interact with our fellow passengers who reciprocated in a similar manner. Fellow passengers were friendly and it is to be expected with so many people in a confined space there were some occasions when people acted in a discourteous manner. Embarkation was the quickest we had ever experienced and everything was available for us to use once we were aboard. Disembarkation proved to be a similar experience and because we were going to hotel later on in the day we were able to stay onboard enjoying the benefits until no later than 12 noon. Our outside cabin was comfortable and clean. We had no issues of disturbance from entertainment sounds even though we were below the Concorde plaza which had live music until the early hours. Lifts were plentiful and efficient. However, our cabin was on deck 6a and to get to it we had to climb down a flight of stairs from deck7 which would be challenging for anybody with mobility problems. Staff easily changed our assigned dining time to our preferred time. The menu choice in restaurants and buffet was varied given the large numbers of diners.The Sinfonia restaurant provided a more relaxed environment for breakfast and you were able to order items from a menu additional to the buffet. On our 14 night cruise there were two Gala dinners and dress code was optional, black tie, suit and smart casual. We were not able to find out before embarking on the cruise what the dress code was going to be. Additional to the two formal nights we had a white night and an Italian red white and green night, all of which were optional. The daily diary,delivered late evening, was full of the days activities, timings and venues. We participated in some and watched others entertain us and fellow passengers as is usual when cruising. Entertainment in the the theatre included a variety of genres and overall it provided a pleasant experience. Visiting the Seychelles for 2 days enabled us on the first day to tour the Island using the local buses from the central bus station in Victoria for 7 rupees per journey. On the second day we used the services of one of the many tour touts ,outside the port gates, to provide us with a days tour to to the marine reserve, Moyenne Island, snorkelling and Creole meal for 90 euros each, which was cheaper than the cruise line. During our 3 days in Madagascar we used the excellent services of Madagascar Excursions to provide us with 3 excursions offered by the cruise line but at a much reduced price. In all the ports we visited taxis were available to negotiate a price for an excursion and we heard of no one being disappointed by using them. In Reunion Island we chose to hire a car from Avis, who have a pickup location five minute walk from the cruise terminal.The location also provides rentals from Budget. We chose to tour Reunion using a car because it gave us greater freedom of choice. We booked the car knowing we had to find overnight parking which we were pleased to find was available in the cruise terminal char park. In Mauritius we secured the services of Mauritius taxis, operated by a Mr.Charles, to provide us with an 8 hour tour of the south of the island for 83 euros between 3 persons. Both Mad’Ex tours and Mauritius taxis can be contacted by email. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed the islands we visited acknowledging we have only had a snapshot of them. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We had an amazing time during our stay on Costa Victoria mainly because of the nice friendly and helpful staff. We travelled with our 7 year old son who was treated like a Prince by all staff on the ship but mainly the animation team and ... Read More
We had an amazing time during our stay on Costa Victoria mainly because of the nice friendly and helpful staff. We travelled with our 7 year old son who was treated like a Prince by all staff on the ship but mainly the animation team and kids club. Ferdy and Sara were exceptionally good with him, most of the staff is Italian nd most of the guests were French spraking but they all made my son included and welcomed. I was happy my son made so many friends even though he can only speak Polish and English, the language is not a barrier he loved his time in the kids club. The animation team work so hard, special thanks to Ralph who was the kindest person on the ship, Francesco the sports instructor and crazy Marco. The staff at the restaurant were incredible as well and made up for the bad food at times. Donna the waitress is so lovely and helpful always smiling. The exurcions are terribly expensive, it's much cheaper to get something on the land. WE MET SO MANY nice people on the ship and on the land and visited hidden gems and that's what we are grateful for. The food, drinks packages and service charges are things we want to quickly forget about ;) Thank you to the staff of Costa Vicortia who made our journey so special Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I am eager to write this review in order to increase this cruise rating. After my mom paid for this cruise, she did a bit of research about Costa Victoria. Mostly was awful, so we almost cancelled our cruise and let the money go instead of ... Read More
I am eager to write this review in order to increase this cruise rating. After my mom paid for this cruise, she did a bit of research about Costa Victoria. Mostly was awful, so we almost cancelled our cruise and let the money go instead of wasting our time. But it is our last trip with my brother before he went overseas, so we decided to go. And seriously, this is my first cruise and it is AWESOME! well, for me the ship was huge (although they said it's a small ship). Food was FREE (even for semi fine dining version), unlimited and great (especially for indian food), but you have to pay for other premium drinks. the timing was PERFECT (23 Dec at 22.00 until 27 Dec 14.00). I respect all of the crew members that give their best effort to serves us day and night with their best smile to ensure our best experience on cruise (THANK YOU!). The cabin design is old fashioned, but CLEAN, they clean our cabin twice a day. Endless parties and event for sure. Definitely WORTH IT for their value for money. To get this personal, I'm 22 yrs old and I came from Indonesia. Not really the best cruise for my age, but I totally recommend this cruise for FAMILY who had kids around 12 yrs old. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Great service, shows and food. We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the cruise and were made feel special by certain staff.. It is an older ship but has all the facilities for a short cruise. Staff member were very friendly and ... Read More
Great service, shows and food. We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the cruise and were made feel special by certain staff.. It is an older ship but has all the facilities for a short cruise. Staff member were very friendly and went out of there way to provide a little extra. There is a great choice of eating options with food served all day. The restaurant meals were big and very tasty and breakfast was great. A poolside hamburger or a midnight pizza ensured we were never hungry. In fact quite the opposite we were full all the time. The cabins are old but comfortable and keep very clean by on board staff. We visited Phuket and Penang and embarkment and disembarkment were hassle free.The tour were good and the tour guides were friendly an knowledgeable particularly in Penang Great value for money. We got a special deal on tickets paying about 500000 IDR per person per night for a deluxe balcony cabin. Exceptional value for what we received. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I travelled with Costa Cruise recently and it was awesome! My family and I decided to try after numerous trips with other cruises – been on star cruises way too many times. There was a huge variety of food and the staff was really ... Read More
I travelled with Costa Cruise recently and it was awesome! My family and I decided to try after numerous trips with other cruises – been on star cruises way too many times. There was a huge variety of food and the staff was really friendly. The rooms were clean too which was something my parents were particular about. But most of all, what differentiated costa cruise from the rest is how relaxing it was! We had a hard time in the other cruises because there seems to be a lot of people everywhere no matter where we go and regardless of the period of time we were out and about. Costa Cruise also seem to cater more to the older generation which works really well for us because we are all adults in the family and we didn’t like how there were so many young children in the other cruises running up and down. Don’t get me wrong, we love children but it sucks when you are preparing to relax on the cruise and some kid starts bawling his eyes out for God knows what reason. Not much of a relaxation in my opinion. In Costa though, there were few people around and there were times when I only had to share the pool with a few other people :D My sis and I are gym fanatics so it’s really cool how we can go to the gym and we didn’t have to fight with everyone else for the treadmill or the weights. The staff were really friendly and I never had a boring time at the gym since they would always strike up conversation with us. Doesn’t hurt that some are pretty good eye candies ;) We kept going back to the gym and I even lost weight despite eating so much! Killed 2 birds with 1 stone haha. There was a downside though… the engine’s humming and vibration gets pretty loud and hard to ignore some nights but if you feel like you can’t sleep because of that, I suggest hitting the gym or binging on the food. Definitely guarantees a good night’s rest. Tested and proven. Wellll, overall it’s a memorable and pretty cool experience for my family. We shopped quite abit on the main deck and saved lots of money due to the discounts given at the shops. Would be nice if they were to give more discounts though ;) We’ll be back again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Realized that most reviews here about European expeditions. I’ve travelled with Costa with my husband when we visited Singapore for a holiday. We celebrated our first wedding anniversary with Costa when we were on board, after much ... Read More
Realized that most reviews here about European expeditions. I’ve travelled with Costa with my husband when we visited Singapore for a holiday. We celebrated our first wedding anniversary with Costa when we were on board, after much comparison with other cruise liners. Great trip overall, the ship was really big, and hence spacious, and we had no problem finding dining areas or drinking areas at the numerous bars. Unlike locals bars and restaurants, the staff were very attentive and friendly, always chatting with my husband and myself during meal times. The food was great too, i enjoyed the free flow ala carte buffet of wide selection of Italian cuisine. Prior to our first meal, we were allocated table numbers, hence didnt have any trouble finding a seat. We had a great table throughout our stay, by the side with a mesmerizing view of the sea. Rooms and toilets are clean, the turn down service was prompt and efficient. Though a little small, the toilet was clean and full equipped, just remember to bring your toothpaste! The all-day beverage promotion was my husband's favorite! Being an avid alcohol lover, he was excited to try all the different concoctions, especially when the prices in Singapore are so steep. Do get the drinks package when you're on Costa, it's really affordable and life definitely gets better when you’re abit tipsy ;) I recommend this cruise line especially to those Asians like me who are keen to try for a holiday off in the seas! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Costa's cruise is everything better than the last previous cruise that I had board on. I wasn't keen on the trip due to work reasons, but I am happy that I had been there to experience it all. After left our cabin, we head ... Read More
Costa's cruise is everything better than the last previous cruise that I had board on. I wasn't keen on the trip due to work reasons, but I am happy that I had been there to experience it all. After left our cabin, we head immediately to the information counter. Its good to have 'Today' newsletter with you. The Today newsletter tells you a lot of things like what to do on that day, when will the ship reaches a certain port and what do you need for the this and that, what kind of programs are there, when and where are you meals and more. The information counter can be overcrowded because there are the most, 3 staff (usually 2) and there are many passengers to attend to. We headed to the tour office after getting information on where to book our trips. Its advisable to book your trip fast before its out of slots. However, if you have not book any trips. You don't have to worry. Many private tour guides will be near the ports to ask if you would like to have a tour. All you need if the Costa card to check in and out of the ship, money, the courage to get of the ship, the courage to go around with someone you think you could trust and whatever you need to bring. There is a drill to attend at about 4pm on the first day, please bring along your drill card which will be issue to you when you receive your Costa card. Also, go to your cabin and get your life jackets. Get it all done on the first day, and you will never be asked to attend on the second day or attend any presentation after that. Be cooperative, thats all they asked for, its for your safety. Sometimes you could feel the ship moves and it might cause migraines. I get used to it after day 1, but I still feel rocky after disembarkation. It is best to keep an empty water bottle with you, because they don't provide water. They would charge USD$2.75 for 1 litre of water. Of course, you could get water when you are at the buffet area. There are some people who stood there for a long time to refill their hard to refill bottles. (My suggestion is that you could get glasses of water and refill them at your table, do not use long or tall bottles, because the water dispenser is only suitable for glasses and short bottles) If you have not or decided not to bring bottles, you could make use the buffet area during breakfast, lunch, tea breaks and dinners to get water, tea, coffee, milk and in the morning you could get pineapple, grapefruit and sometimes orange juices. Soft drinks are at USD$2.70 per can. Whats good about the ship is that it gives you the chance to make friends with people, you will be asked to share table with people from other cabins in the restaurant. You might think that its not very nice, or you could be too shy to talk or doesn't want any interaction. When everyone is happy, people tend to not mind what you say and you could even share which trip you had been to and whats worth it and whats not. Due to limited seats and tables in the buffet area, (the buffet area is split into two, one on the right and one on the left) you have to find tables to share with someone sometimes. Don't worry about 'do you want to interact' or not, if you choose to keep quiet, no one would talk to you. I say, don't bother about having breakfast in the cabin, they charge you and you don't get to see the beautiful sunrise and you feel that you are missing out on all the action in the buffet area. When the ship drives into a storm, the external buffet area could be in chaos for while and I could still see a family of four munching down while everyone is hiding from the rain. Omelette stations are available in the morning and pasta stations are available during lunch. If you don't like the food served in the restaurant (they will issue you a card, which is found in your cabin for the time of your dinner (either 5.45pm or 8.00pm), where is it and your table number. Please remember and attend dinner at the same time and place everyday.) you could always go for a later dinner at 8pm-9pm. If you go to the wrong restaurant, they will ask you to go to the restaurant that you had been assign to. If you had missed it, don't worry, go to pizzaria and they will serve you pizza according to daily special menu (four pizzas to choose from everyday) and noodles (look like instant noodles, and you could choose to go with beef, pork, chicken, seafood and vegetables), pizzaria serves pizzas (you eat whatever they serve at the counter) only during the day. I love the curries in the Halal section. The breakfast are more or less the same everyday and the bread at sandwich bar at night can be quite hard to digest. The buffet areas are nicer since you could enjoy the sea and sky view. I saw dolphins on my last afternoon on board. The second last dinner on board was served with lobster and the last lunch has crab claws on the buffet menu. Yes!! Even if you do not wish to go offshore, there are things to do on the ship. I must say that even if the ship is on high sea, its not as boring as another cruise ship that I had been. They have cooking demonstrations, live music, performance after dinner (two performances for two shifts of dinner), art and craft sessions, dance lessons, ice craving and many more. If you are so bored, you can always watch tv, take a nap or look at the sea. This is the only chance I could enjoy live music without having to be force to have alcohol or breathe in cigarette smoke. (Of course, you could order drinks (alcoholic or non alcoholic) when you are watching any performance.) I watch live music almost everyday after my father asked if I want to watch people dancing. You can suntan, they have clean towels and many beach chairs for your to lie on. You could swim or enjoy Jacuzzi. This trip is special because children boards on free. There is a children club, known as Squok Club, which takes care of your kids while you were away on excursions. What I heard is that some kids thinks that its like schooling, some kids thinks that its fun when they make lots of friends. The staff there will play with kids and take care of their meals. We didn't use that, but we had seen how they do it and the children are in good hands. Internet registration is USD$3, every hour you use the internet is USD$10 and every 3 hours you spend online is charged at USD$24. If you have a Costa card, they will link it to your credit card and charge accordingly. If you don't have a credit card, please make payment using USD by the second day. Laundry services are affordable. Say, you want to wash a T-shirt, its about USD$3. They will deliver the clothes to your cabin by the next day. Remember to check your payment by the last day, they might have to return you your change or you have to pay up. There are many halls and places to perform and many places to eat on board, but there is only one place to shop. The shops were selling international brands of watches, perfumes and bags. Some expensive liquor or snacks are available too. You could buy Costa design clothes. Sometimes, they have promotions to clear stocks, so look out for that. Shops would only open certain times of the day, they usually will open after you had finished your meals. Nearby those shops, you could find Spas and Salons. Good thing is, no one pesters you to buy anything. Phew! There is a disco room, a shop to buy your photos (taken when you board the ship, captain's night and second last night with an acting captain) and cameras. Many bars available. Since there are so many places to eat and find entertainment, its good to take your time to walk around and explore the ship. Otherwise, you will be caught not knowing where to go when you wanted to attend certain events. You could get extra copies of Today at the information counter, they are presented in English, French, Italian, Japanese, Greek, Chinese and etc. Stay alert on those things, you wouldn't want to miss anything you like to attend or are important. There are plenty of lifts, not plenty on toilets. Since this is a family based cruise ship, the Casinos are design in a way that its not so much on winning big. Some people feel that the Casinos there are no fun on board, but I feel thats very healthy. Parents are warned not to bring those under 18 to the Casinos. I had seen some parents staring at the gambling tables with babies in arms or holding their children hands were asked to leave the venue. Please attend the presentation on the disembarkation. It is important to know what to do to disembark smoothly. They will present their staff to thank you and tell you a little about their work. Its interesting. You don't have to tag your hand baggage when to prepare yourselves for disembarkation. You only have to know which color group you belong to and wait for your color to be called out by the PA system. You can wait any common areas while waiting for disembarkation. Taxi will be difficult to get, so try to board on a bus and go somewhere else to get a taxi if you like. We took a bus and train home. We enjoy our trip very much! Thank you! We will board on the ship again and we will recommend to those who know! Staff are friendly and polite. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We sailed on 18th December visiting Malaysia and Indonesia. After reading some reviews we were apprehensive about this our first cruise with Costa. My advice; ignore the reviews judge for yourself when you try it. The ship was lovely, the ... Read More
We sailed on 18th December visiting Malaysia and Indonesia. After reading some reviews we were apprehensive about this our first cruise with Costa. My advice; ignore the reviews judge for yourself when you try it. The ship was lovely, the staff were fantastic, the entertainment especially Janos Olha Duo was excellent. Our cabin was kept sparkling clean by our ever helpful steward. The restaurant waiters couldn't have tried harder to provide for our different needs. The itinerary was varied and, here is my only criticism, it would have been nicer if a little more time could have been spent on shore, particularly in Bali. The thing we didn't like was the way in which some guests treated the staff. I realise that on occasions there were problems with language but how many cruisers could cope with so many languages and dialects? We witnessed some appallingly rude treatment of staff by a variety of nationalities. To these people I say try being polite and quieter with your requests, shouting is non productive. Also try reading the information sheets in your cabin, you could prevent many of the problems if you showed a little more care and consideration for the environment. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We receive a promotion package from a road show and I must say, its really worth it! Our embankment was simple, smooth and fast. When we enter the ship, we have to take a photo to identify ourselves. Next, we have to take a lift to our ... Read More
We receive a promotion package from a road show and I must say, its really worth it! Our embankment was simple, smooth and fast. When we enter the ship, we have to take a photo to identify ourselves. Next, we have to take a lift to our cabins. There is a map of the ship and the numbers that would help you to know where your cabins are. Food are already served when you board the ship. There was an announcement to tell you that you are encouraged to participate in the emergency drill. Go to your cabin and get your life jackets and give your drill card to the staff when you reach your designated area to disembarkation for emergencies. Of course, there are second drills which you could attend. I suggest that all passengers should attend such important and life saving activities, its for your safety and its only for a while. Take your time to know your environment. You don't want to be lost when you are going to watch a performance, to have a meal, go to the bathroom or meet someone. A copy of 'Today' will be given to you at the mailbox of your cabin. The newsletter are represented in several different languages like English, Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, Greek and more. If you need extra copies, you could get it from the information counter. The information can be busy with confused passengers and limited staff. So, its good that you have your 'Today' with you, read as much as you can and ask only if no such information is on the newsletter. We head straight to the Tour office as early as we could to book tours, you don't have to pay for it yet, you will pay via your Costa card (you got to link to your credit card, or pay in USD the next day. Its good to know where and when to pay for it for your convenience. Read 'Today' to get information. Pay a little extra, and you will get your deposit back. Pay less, and you will have to pay extra on the last day. Remember to settle your bills on the last day if you are paying by cash). If you have not book any tour, fear not. There are private tour guides and drivers around the port areas where you can hire. There are activities such as art and crafts (making paper flowers, making jewelries and more), cooking demonstrations, dance lessons and performance after dinner for your entertainment. They are all listed on the newsletter. TV programs are also quite new. I remember that we watched a live telecast of the Golden Horse awards on our first day. When the ship is on high seas, there could be movies (like Johnny English and more) repeated throughout the day. Channels in English, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and more and available. There are two performances after dinner, one of each shift (there are two shifts, 5.45pm and 8.00pm). The performance at night includes magic shows, singing and dancing shows, acrobatics and etc. I love the live music performance after that. Ever since my father asked if I would like to watch people dancing randomly on board, I have been following the live band's performance ever since. Its the only time where I could enjoy live music without breathing in smoke. You could order drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) in all theaters during performances. As the cruise ship focus on family fun, the Casino was meant to make winning hard and therefore there wasn't many people gambling at the gambling table. Children below 18 were asked to leave the casino. There is also a disco hall, which are more active at night, they open it in the morning for art and craft and other activities. Kids can entertain and be taken care of by the staff at Squok club. I have not use that service, but I could see how children enjoy themselves when they were brought to the buffet area to have their lunch. I heard from one parent that her son doesn't like it because it feels like going back to school. Another parent told me that her son made a lot of friends there. You can leave your kids there and tour the ports of call without having to worry about them or having the hassle for bringing them along. I would recommend you to bring an empty bottle with you for water. Costa do not provide bottled water or water in any form as you please (except for buffet area). You can refill water when you are in the buffet area. They charge 1 liter of mineral water at USD$2.75 per bottle and USD$2.70 for canned soft drinks. You could ask for a kettle if you don't find one in your cabin, boil some water in your cabin so that you have water to drink. Or else, you can always drink tea, coffee, tea and juices in the buffet area. Don't worry about bringing water to your trip. If you are going via a Costa planned trip, they will give you water. If you are going with a private tour guide, tell them to stop by somewhere you could get bottled drinks. You can't bring food and drinks away and to the ship (don't worry about being hungry or bringing food off the ship, because most likely you don't feel hungry after having buffets for a few days.), but you could empty bottles and bring them to the ship to store water. There are a few areas where you could have your breakfast. Don't bother about having breakfast in cabin, there are so many food you can eat at the buffet area. There are omelette stations during breakfast and pasta stations during lunch. If you would like to have pizza, you could go to pizzera. In Pizzeria, they will serve desserts and whatever pizza they bake. At night, it serves instant noodles (soup are not instant noodle base) with either beef, chicken, pork, seafood or vegetables (choose one) and four pizzas of the say to choose from. There are two restaurants, you will know where your dinner is served when you enter your cabin by the first day, you should see a card on your writing desk. On the card, it will show your table number, the time for dinner and which restaurant is it. Dinner is usually Western, with appetizer, soup, pasta, main course and dessert. Get ice cream for desserts here, because you don't get ice cream when you are in the buffet area. If you had missed all the meals and buffets, a sandwich bar is served from 1am to 6am, usually buns (sliced into halves with egg fillings) than white breads, salads, tea and coffee are served. Buns are pretty hard, those with gastric problems should reduce your intake or stay away from it, get salads instead. There is a salon, a spa, several shops selling items from international brands, and one shop selling snacks. Sometimes, there are mini fairs to sell items on promotion. Shops don't open throughout the day. Usually, they will open after you had your meals. We observed that there are many staff who are doing more than one job. On our last day, we were told that they have to work on 8 months contact without breaks, receiving USD$800 per month. I say, its hard work on those staff. We appreciate it. Staff are friendly and polite. They made an effort to make you happy and we could remember some staff and on their cruise ship, I didn't have any impression at all. Before your disembarkation, please attend a presentation about that and know what to do. You will be given a colored baggage tag and remember that color, they will call out your color for disembarkation. You don't have to tag to your bag, just remember your color. If you want to sit around and wait, you could wait in any common areas. Those with baggage (not hand carried) have to leave their baggage outside their cabin by 1am on night before your last day. I had seen people who left their baggage after 1am and I have no idea what happened to them. Remember to collect your passports, settle your bills before you leave the ship! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
On our way to Venice, KLM managed to lose our baggage in Amsterdam and it didn't catch us up until 4 days into our one week cruise. Despite this we had a wonderful time thanks mainly to the efforts of the ship's crew who are ... Read More
On our way to Venice, KLM managed to lose our baggage in Amsterdam and it didn't catch us up until 4 days into our one week cruise. Despite this we had a wonderful time thanks mainly to the efforts of the ship's crew who are among the nicest,most caring people I have met. Having read some of the more unflattering reviews on this site, I wonder if those who wrote them were on the same ship. The decor certainly was not "tired" but highly imaginative and well maintained. The food was superb both in the buffets and the restaurants. Far from "never changing" I had no fewer than 17 different types of fish and shellfish in the first four days and I still have lingering memories of the tournedo Rossini I had one night. As a Scot and a committed European,one of the best features of the cruise for me was the absence of hordes of the sort of English people who so often mar our country's reputation when abroad. Seeing large Italian families with impeccably behaved chilldren at dinner was an educational experience and we saw none of the queue barging and rudeness that others have commented on. But returning to the crew, Costa must have a first class recruitment procedure.Our waiters were friendly without being in any way intrusive. Our cabin was immaculately maintained. The customer service people did everything they could to mitigate the loss of our luggage ranging from offering to lend clothes, giving us free use of the express (and excellent) laundry service, arranging for us to be invited to a number of events usually restricted to those in higher tariff cabins etc,etc. Our English speaking representative (who was Welsh) was also highly competent and approachable. In short, I would certainly cruise with Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
My wife and I had a very enjoyable cruise. The stateroom had a balcony and was spotless The food was excellent and was '5 star' quality although I would have preferred a better choice of cereals for breakfast.The staff were most ... Read More
My wife and I had a very enjoyable cruise. The stateroom had a balcony and was spotless The food was excellent and was '5 star' quality although I would have preferred a better choice of cereals for breakfast.The staff were most efficient, and helpful as well as being very friendly. We would like to mention in particular our Indonesian waiter in the Sinfonia restaurant, Daniel, a Brazilian waiter in the bar and Mozart, another lovely Brazilian a most gifted and entertaining member of the entertainment group.The evening shows in the theatre were very good on some nights.On a negative side, we really felt quite upset at the behavior of some of the passengers who rushed and pushed to get first at every opportunity. We also felt angry at the practice of a number who took over seats in the theatre and held them for their late arriving friends. We remember seeing a whole row of the best seats booked by a group of Germans. The Germans were the main culprits, but some Italians also abused the system. We reported this , but nothing was done about it.As a small group of English speaking passengers, we travelled with a larger group of German speaking passengers on a tour in Salvador de Bahia. However, although the tour was meant to be in two languages,the German born guide spoke mostly in German. He only spoke in English when we asked him to translate what he had said in German. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
The first two things that really strike you about Victoria is the amount of space in her public areas inside & out, and (more importantly to some) the almost complete lack of revenue driven areas on board. These two aspects are hand in ... Read More
The first two things that really strike you about Victoria is the amount of space in her public areas inside & out, and (more importantly to some) the almost complete lack of revenue driven areas on board. These two aspects are hand in hand in many ways, for example, Orpheus Grand Bar on deck 6 has a huge amount of unused floorspace, this is the same on deck 7 in the casino where large swathes of floorspace has been intentionally left furnishings & thus revenue free. The space in her public rooms is quite unique for a purpose-built cruise ship of her size, one of the big complaints against some cruise ships is the way that tables & chairs seem on top of each other & crowded, this is far from the case on Victoria.Design wise, Victoria is a very elegant ship...as close to an ocean liner as you can probably get in a cruise ship. She has curves everywhere, her external & internal architecture has been beautifully designed and, as with all German built ships, her build quality, attention to detail and overall atmosphere is second to none, she really is quite exceptional in most areas.Technologically speaking she is actually very advanced, especially in her propulsion systems. Her four main powerplants drive two screws, she has two large rudders and 5 thrusters...2 aft & 3 forward. The thrusters are how she manages to parallel park so efficiently. She can berth in about 15 minutes from arriving to roping up, equally getting away is just as quick, a case of drop the ropes and let the thrusters do the work....no hanging about for tug assistance at all. Despite a minor blip off Brazil when she lost all power for about 20 minutes, she has had no major problems...and that is with one engine out of action. Incidently, the engine with the fault will be put right before she leaves for Asia next year, so she should be firing on all cylinders without any difficulties.Boat drill...as per all Costa cruises, you will get a boat drill every 7-8 days and unlike most modern ships, Victoria has her muster stations outside on the boat deck (deck 6) and they have 6 muster stations - A, B, C, D, E & F - three down each side. The drill takes around 15-20 minutes depending on languages required, so be prepared to stand a long while in possibly hot/humid temperatures (especially in Asia).Concorde Plaza is almost cathedral like in its design & build, stretching from deck 7-11 and with two incredible mezzanine floors that are both user friendly and elegant, again the attention to detail is just superb. Another of the main rooms is the theater on decks 6 &7, superbly designed, very thoughtfully built to enable 90% of theater goers to see without obstruction, there are screens on each side of the stage for those in the upper level on deck 7 so that no-one misses anything on stage.Music lovers will really enjoy Victoria...Orpheus (deck 6), Planetarium (deck 5), Capriccio (deck 7), Concorde Plaza (deck7 thru 10) & Tavernetta (deck 12) all have live music in the evenings, Orpheus & Planetarium starting early evening. There are bars in each lounge too, with long drinking hours, so the drinkers will be happy.Dancers are also very well catered for, Victoria has a variety of dancefloors, all with live music in the evenings...ranging from ballroom to disco. A disco is also available on deck 6. Daily dance lessons are available to those wishing to learn from expert dance teachers.Kids & teens....the usual teen & Squok programmes are available and were well organised on my cruise. The children on board seemed to enjoy their experiences, which appears to be standard on Costa, so kids are definitely well looked after aboard Victoria.Sun worshippers will enjoy Victoria. There are no shortages of loungers anywhere on the ship, the sun deck area stretched to the equivalent of around 3 football fields, and as in the inside areas, there are large swathes of space to stretch out in without having to clamber over others to get to a lounger. The upper decks (11, 12 & 14) all have loungers, deck 11 has two bars, an outdoor buffet counter and two very large pools, 4 whirlpools, a stage for live music and plenty of areas to just watch the world float by.One unusual aspect to Victoria is her indoor pool on deck 6. It is alongside the gym & spa and is very popular...the pool itself is larger than most ship's outside pool, so if a few lengths is what you want to do when the weather is not good, then you will be pleased.Eating....often a bone of contention with some people, but in Victoria's case, there is no problem. The service is very good, food quality is very high, I personally did not have any bad meals or slow nights service wise. The pizza is to die for...absolutely wonderful at lunchtime. There were apparent issues with the Sinfonia restaurant at breakfast & lunch which seemed to have been sorted after a couple of days. I had evening meal in Fantasia. Both Sinfonia & Fantasia are on deck 5...Sinfonia is aft whereas Fantasia is midships.Drinking water at evening meal......just ask the waitstaff and they will happily provide jugs of iced water for your table, along with lemon slices too if you so wish. Never a problem for me or countless others in the dining room and always waiting there on my table for when I arrived in the evening.Posh frock nights & cocktails parties....on this cruise we had 4 Gala nights & a total of 3 cocktail parties over the 3 weeks. The buffet & pizza restaurants were either closed or partially closed most nights as most passengers preferred to eat in the main dining rooms, so it would have been pointless to open up both sides of the buffet. Obviously this changes according to itinerary/passenger mix & demand.Powerpoints in the cabin.....standard two voltage shaver point in the bathroom and a two voltage powerpoint in the cabin area (at least in my cabin). Lighting consists of two bedside lamps, 2 spotlights over the desk with independent switches & overhead spotlights, again with independent switches.Theater....the entertainment is very professional and varied, the crew show was standing room only as usual and extremely enjoyable. Overall the shows on Victoria were of an excellent standard - most of the performers were aboard Allegra last year, so it was great to see & hear them again, The animator crew are hysterical, they play pranks on the passengers and crew daily and can always raise a laugh, even when the weather is miserable...whether it be dressing as babies and throwing tantrums in the casino or chasing each other like cops & robbers, these guys & gals put their all into having fun with everyone....brilliant to see and watch.Smoking...another bone of contention...again, I think it really depends on the nationalities & region/itinerary - some are more attached to their ciggies than others and in many respects this showed a little during the cruise. The usual smoky areas to avoid...casino & to some extent Capriccio next door. However, on the whole the smoking was not too much of a problem for the majority of passengers...there are ways and means to avoid the worst areas.Cabins....as with any purpose built cruise ship, the cabins are a tad compact & bijou but since they are just for sleeping, dressing & washing in, they work perfectly fine. My cabin was 80456 a grade I1 inside that was a standalone...with a crew access behind one wall, a linen cupboard behind another wall and the aft elevators behind another wall. Noise transmission was pretty much none existant, the elevators are quiet and foot traffic across the marble landings/stairs is negligible. The bathrooms have a large wooden sliding entry door (be gebtle with these doors as they can be tempermental) and the shower has a curtain to play with. Water pressure is excellent, as is the hot water...very hot and compared to other ships (inc QM2) your tightie whities will stay white, not go an attractive shade of orange. Access to the cabins is via a perforated door key, identical to Costa Allegra. There is a push button safe in the cupboard. Other storage in the cabin comprises of a double wardrobe with a chest of drawers to one side, two bedside chests of drawers, a small desk or table (depending on grade), a fridge and a cupboard with shelving. The TV is a CRT type, therefore not interactive...BUT...there are totems around the ship where you can book shorex, check your ship account, book the speciality restaurant etc, so you do not need to go to the tour desk on deck 6 or the reception deck on deck 5 for everything, it can be done remotely using the totems.There are also several totems for registering credit cards around the ship too.Hosts & hostesses...this is unique to Costa, they always have hosts & hostesses who can speak a variety of languages and they are the point of contact for passengers if they have a problem or just want to ask a question. This time around the English hostess was Rachel and the German hostess was Elke...there were also hosts/hostesses for the Portugese, Spanish & French. They had specific hours where they were available on deck 5 and passengers could just drop by for a chat or whatever. Other lines should take this on as it really does break down barriers tween crew and passenger. All the hosts/hostesses were excellent on this cruise, very hard working, polite & efficient,Secret spaces.....yes, she does have a few areas that you can often have to yourself. Apart from the stern rail on deck 6 (boat deck), decks 7 thru 10 have full width stern balconies that are reached via doors in the cabin corridors. Deck 8 stern balcony also has the Italian flag flying from it when in port. These balconies are brilliant for sailaways...and yes, you CAN smoke on them if you so wish (quite often you'll find crew on them having a quick ciggie]. Many people do not realise that passengers have access to these balconies, but you can and they offer unobstructed views from the stern along with limited wind/weather cover at each end.Ship's photographers...again an area of some consternation on other lines. Yes you will see them and they will see you, but a polite 'no thank you' will suffice and they will leave you alone. They will not continually hassle you to take photo's...if you want to have a photo taken whilst eating, having fun at the pool or whatever, then they are happy to oblige and the standard of the photo's is actually very good, with some unusual and unique montages that make lovely souvenirs for those wanting to purchase them. Costs range from $9.99 to $14.99 each depending on size/event.Potential drawbacks.....with the benefit of hindsight & the fact that nothing is ever perfect, Victoria does have a couple of areas that need to be taken into consideration when booking a cruise on her, especially with your choice of cabin.With the theater behind the aft stair tower from deck 6 thru 7, anyone wanting a siesta in the afternoon or are early/light sleepers might want to book a cabin forward of the aft stair tower due to the inevitable noise issues. Inside aft cabins on deck 8, 9 & 10 aft do pick up noise, this cannot be avoided, obviously deck 8 is probably the worst with 9 & 10 offering some improvement. Outside cabins on these decks aft of the stair tower also experience some noise too but to a lesser extent since the insides are right over the stage area.Concorde Plaza at the very front of the ship could potentially cause noise issues for the outside cabins on decks 6A, 7, 8, 9 & 10 (there are no insides forward of the forward stair tower).Another potentially difficult thing to consider in regard to Concorde Plaza is that with the loss of the inside cabins to accommodate the huge expanse of lounge area, Victoria can be a very bow light ship, so even the slightest of swell could be a problem for those with even slight motion sickness...she does move a lot she has quite a pronounced shimmy and she actually bounces too, especially when fully fuelled/ballasted. In all honesty I actually felt that her center of gravity was too high and that had been messed up by the balconies being added, combined with the weightless bow and engines/fuel tanks aft. The amount of movement IS excessive for a ship of this size and could put some off booking her, but I do suggest that you give her a try, making sure that if you are prone to motion sickness that you take appropriate precautions. You can obtain anti-nausea pills from reception or the pharmacy free of charge if you think you might require them. My inside cabin on deck 8 was right next to the aft stair tower & elevators and I felt every single roll, pitch & shimmy.So the old addage of a cabin midships & low comes into play...if there were low cabins, midships.....Victoria is essentially an upside down ship...her main public areas are deck 5, 6 & 7, there are cabins on deck 4, 5 & 6A but mainly midships to forward. The bulk of her cabins are decks 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12 (the suites are on the upper decks). The retrofitted balconies are mainly decks 9 & 10. The midships cabins are probably the best if you want to avoid the noise of the theater aft or the excesses of movement forward due to the lack of weight in that section of the ship.Seeing the sea.....I have to admit that I found Capriccio & Orpheus a little disappointing when it came to seeing the sea...Capriccio - well you can't and in Orpheus its glimpses via 3 vertically stacked large portholes, so I feel the design (which is otherwise superb) has let the ship down a little in these two areas. Tavernetta on deck 12 has huge picture windows, so seeing the sea is excellent, albeit too high to take in the wildlife very easily. Concorde Plaza has the huge wall of windows overlooking the bow....however, although the visibility forward is good (albeit slightly obstructed by the huge steel trusses), I personally feel that I have been spoilt by Costa Allegra and her Flamenco Ballroom at her stern where she has huge picture windows that look over the wake. Had I designed Victoria I think I would have swapped the theater over with Concorde Plaza and made more of the view by having Concorde at the stern with big windows on three sides...that, IMHO, would have been spectacular. On decks 6 & 7 you can sit on some very comfy wicker chairs or on round sofa's around the atrium, these either look down onto the Planetarium bar on deck 5 or out to sea on 6 & 7. Another 'problem' about both Capriccio & Orpheus is that both lounges are used as corridors to other parts of the ship, so there is always a constant flow of foot traffic and that can spoil an otherwise very pleasant atmosphere.The marble used on the stairs & landings might prove to be a problem for those with sight deficiencies. All passenger stairs & landings are in cream marble and it is not always easy to see where the stair riser is against the landing. Grooves have been cut into the riser surface but they are still cream, thus no clear demarcation, so greater care is required when using the stairs if your eyesight is not great. This could (and did) cause a few stumbles, so be aware of it and don't rush up or down the stairs too often.None of these potential drawbacks are meant to put people off Victoria, she is a stunning ship and ahead of her time in many areas, they are my own observations of how certain areas of the ship could have been made much better than they already are, and to act as guidance for those looking to book a cruise on her and wondering where to go for the quietest or most stable cabins. Costa is by no means responsible for the bad sea handling, crew that I spoke to are equally critical of her sea manners, they too feel that it is her achilles heel in many respects.Visually Victoria is stunning inside and out, her curves and attention to detail is exceptional, her crew are her heart and soul and they are a pure joy to be around, I cannot praise them enough during the 3 weeks I spent aboard her. She is extremely easy to get around...even for those with mobility issues...the flow of her rooms is perfect, access is via either one of 12 elevators (4 of which are glass in the atrium that go from deck 5 thru 12) or via 2 stair towers.So in summary.....is she a good fit for Asia...yes, definitely. She will be very well received out there and will give Legend o/t Seas & SuperStar Virgo a real run for their money. By introducing Victoria to Asia, Costa should be able to capitalise on their already popular itineraries with a very capable ship. However, one part of the itinerary might have to be curtailed, the cruise up the river into Saigon might have to go, this is an uncertainty at time of writing this report, but I fear that her draught & her height could cause a problem with the depth of the river and the new suspension bridge outside Saigon. Time will tell on this.Victoria delivers a great product, her crew are superb, her eating & drinking venues are excellent & her entertainment is varied and very professional. Yes she has her potential drawbacks but they are not really deal breakers, but should be taken into consideration by those they are most likely to affect. By booking a cruise aboard Victoria you are assured of a really friendly & happy ship and some marvelous itineraries. Wherever she is in 2013, I will definitely try to get another cruise on her (2012 is Costa Classica's turn for 37 days) in the knowledge that she is a very different vessel to those I have sailed in the past.One thing that is quite strange, and I know it is never wise to compare ships too much, but when chatting to other passengers, its become clear that many rate Allegra & Marina higher than Victoria. The two main reasons are cabin size & the way that Victoria reacts with weather/sea state. When you consider that both Allegra & Marina are less than half the size/weight of Victoria and the consensus is that they handle the sea better than Victoria, it is quite a surprise to hear that opinion. However, both Allegra & Marina were originally containerships, so their hulls were V shaped and thus built to take any & all weather conditions, Victoria is a purpose built cruise ship with a flat bottom and a shallow draft. As I have already said though, Victoria is slightly hobbled by her weight & balance issues and her high center of gravity.I have a huge amount of gratitude towards Captain Massimo Pennisi & his crew, especially Rachel, Elke (and the other hosts), Alvin, Marianna, Pian & all the crew in Fantasia, Lucas in Orpheus, Brian in Planetarium, Heri my wonderful cabin steward, Alex & the reception staff....and well everyone on board who made my cruise very special & one that I will remember for a very long time to come. A very big thank you to you all & I hope to see you again someday aboard either Costa Victoria or one of the other Costa ships.I would have no hesitation is recommending the Costa Victoria for the Med or for Asia, my only reservations are as I have already pointed out in regard to cabin position & basic 'sea manners' of the ship itself, you will always find some cabins are better than others, just as some ships handle the sea better than others. Do your homework, keep your expectations realistic and you will have a wonderful cruise aboard Costa Victoria. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
just returned from a week on the Costa Victoria and could not fault it, i did not want to get off the ship. embarkation was a breeze free shuttle provided by Costa from piassa Roma to the port and then luggage taken, and strait to check ... Read More
just returned from a week on the Costa Victoria and could not fault it, i did not want to get off the ship. embarkation was a breeze free shuttle provided by Costa from piassa Roma to the port and then luggage taken, and strait to check in, i arrive around 2pm and was on the ship in 20 minutes every thing went smoothly and even helped to the cabin. a good size inside cabin better than some and near to the central lifts with glass elevators this was quite stunning. the Costa Victoria is mid sized and has a sedate interior con-paired to the newer Costa ships but that suited me fine. lots of quite spaces if needed and lots of things going on around the ship if you wanted to be-lively. on the 7 th deck there was a small inside pool and spa area this was a nice place to get away from the hot sun and and action from the two pools on the top deck. there were quite a few children on board of various aged and the team that look after them did a good job keeping them happy with lots of things going on. i found the entertainment on this cruise some of the best i have ever had and to keep so many nationality happy this took some planing. the sinfonia restraunt had two sitting one at 7 and one at 930 pm and around 600 passengers at a time the service was good and the food choice was good not so much steak or beef as American lines but thoroughly enjoyed the food. and the x1 package is very good value and with good table wines provided . as the cruised progressed the happy hour in all the bars kept extending to later as the prices our on the high side so this was a welcomed relive. i found the trips on the pricey side and on the two occasions paired up with the French on tours but both sides kept quite so at least we all herd the commentary. found the crew very friendly and the animation team worked very hard with lots of things going on. i felt that we could have done longer port time as in one port just over 5 hours with tendering even though fast and efficient it was just not long enough. this is my second on Costa and thoroughly enjoyed this and will be back on another costa ship. i have sailed with 4 other lines and this is well up there in service and standard, good 4 star line Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Our expectations were not high as we knew the Victoria was an old ship-we had been on the Indy media launch and knew what a superb vessel she was. We couldn't,t fault Victoria. Our cabin was small but very comfortable and ... Read More
Our expectations were not high as we knew the Victoria was an old ship-we had been on the Indy media launch and knew what a superb vessel she was. We couldn't,t fault Victoria. Our cabin was small but very comfortable and spotless,with a cheerful steward who kept us supplied with iced water. The food couldn't be faulted whether in the buffet or in the dining room. We had a window seat in the dining room and sailing down the Grand Canal on the first night was a wonderful experience. We had bought the X1 drinks package and thought this was value for money. Thought the tours were very poor value and would do our own thing another time. Entertainment was first class but often difficult to find a seat-one night we just stood at the back. Although it is made clear that a sum is added to final account for 'service' some people were having a moan after receiving their final account. We actually left a tip for our steward as he was so good. Do check your final bill as there were mistakes on mine and my daughters bills. Although this year we are flying to Cuba it will be at least a two weeks cruising every year from then on. I only wished more cruises would cater for the lone passengers-I don't say singles because this implies you are looking to become a double. Can recommend cruising for all ages Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
I took my mam on a cruise last year as we wanted a holiday and had never been cruising. We flew from Dublin to London and then stayed overnight in a hotel in London before we flew out to Venice. I had been to Venice before but had flown To ... Read More
I took my mam on a cruise last year as we wanted a holiday and had never been cruising. We flew from Dublin to London and then stayed overnight in a hotel in London before we flew out to Venice. I had been to Venice before but had flown To Bergamo on that occasion which was a bit of a nuisance as it was not a direct journey to get to Venice from there! We embarked in Venice after a trip from the airport on a speed boat! What wonderful views of the area we got! the embarkation was so straight forward and organised it was great to hand over the bags and then have them in the cabin when we got to it! The Ship was well organised and signposted well. There were different styles of decor in the various bars and restaurants which was lovely. We chose to eat in the Top Deck restaurant on two occasions as a treat! We had a ball - the food was gorgeous - the staff were wonderful - they had lovely manners and paid great attention to detail. We took advantage of the spa and pool facilities on more than one occasion! We did an excursion on every day except the first one! It was great to see the best bits of each port in an organised way. We went to the theatre every night and had a few cocktails also! The different bars had selections of entertainment which was a change to being stuck with the same entertainment when out at home!! I would totally cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
We have just returned from 7 nights on board Costa Victoria cruising Eastern Mediterranean. This was our second cruise, the first being on Ocean Village 2.I was slightly filled with trepidation once on board Costa Victoria when I realised ... Read More
We have just returned from 7 nights on board Costa Victoria cruising Eastern Mediterranean. This was our second cruise, the first being on Ocean Village 2.I was slightly filled with trepidation once on board Costa Victoria when I realised how few British were on board!!! But soon I realised I liked this as we felt more 'abroad' than if we were on a ship full of Brits!!!  All anouncements were made in all languages, all staff spoke English and the shows were predominently english spoken/sung.Our cabin (as was the whole ship) was spotless and everytime we returned to it, the room had been tidied, bed re-made. The only thing it was lacking was a kettle in the cabin for tea/coffee-making (we had this on Ocean Village), but I accept they can be a fire hazard. Food was exceptional, you can choose from self-service buffet to waiter service in the restaurant with a very full menu. The Italian ice-cream is to die for!!!  You are allocated a table for the week (for evening meal only) in the restaurant, but the staff are happy for you to change table if you are not satisfied for any reason. Each evening meal ends with the waiting staff making some fun and entertainment by various means, Italians really know how to party!!!!!Fellow cruisers were largely Italian but there was also some french,spanish and a few germans and british. I found the Italians wery friendly and quite able to queue as well as the Brits!!!!The evening shows were all a very good standard with the exception of the female 'magic' act, (would go down well at a childrens party probably though!!!!).We only had half days in port which we found very rushed, I would not choose an itinery with half days again. We did not do any ship excursions as they are very overpriced (as with all cruise ships). We did our own thing using available local taxi's.Ancona - lovely old town, but everything closed as we visited on a Sunday.Santorini - you have to choose between Cable Car or Donkey to get up to the town!Mykinos - very lovely with a beautiful sunset.Corfu - very expensive taxi's!!! Lovely Old Town.Athens - shame about all the scaffolding around the Acropolis. Facinating changing of the guard outside the palace.Disembarkation was very organised but long and needlessly drawn out, we had a midday check-in for our flight home so we had no time to explore Venice which was a bit of a disapointment.We would definately use Costa Cruises again, 9 out of 10 for value and satisfaction!  Read Less
Sail Date June 2009
A word about me: I'm British, and have cruised several times before on both Princess and Cunard. I travelled with my extended family (British/South African) in a group of 10. When I first saw the Costa itinerary for this cruise, I ... Read More
A word about me: I'm British, and have cruised several times before on both Princess and Cunard. I travelled with my extended family (British/South African) in a group of 10. When I first saw the Costa itinerary for this cruise, I was very excited because it offered a rare chance to see Libya. I immediately agreed to go. I was a little apprehensive at first because Costa, as an Italian company, are a bit of an unknown quantity on Cruise Critic and there aren't all that many reviews. I will therefore be quite detailed but feel free to skip to the end for my conclusion. We travelled down to Civitavecchia by train from London, via the Eurostar and then Trenitalia's sleeper service to Rome. From there, we took the express service to Civitavecchia, which takes about 45 minutes. You can take a cab from the station to the docks, you can walk, or there is a free shuttle service which goes from the entrance to the docks to the ships. Although it is not a very long walk (just under a mile), it might be difficult with heavy luggage and the layout of the docks is quite confusing. I recommend the shuttle bus or a taxi if you are new to Civitavecchia's port. EMBARKATION We arrived about an hour before embarkation closed, and then had to wait for nearly an hour before we could enter the ship. There was a hall full of people, and only one person doing the embarkation administration. This seemed to consist of waiting in three or four separate queues and having our passports checked, photocopied and checked again and again. To be fair to Costa, some of our party had embarked much earlier, and had found the process very smooth - so it's probably sensible to arrive early. We dodged the inevitable embarkation photograph and boarded. FIRST IMPRESSIONS The ship's decor is elegant and modern, mainly dark blues, whites and silvers with some beautiful marbles on the walls of the casino and stairwells. Our balcony cabin at the rear of Deck 11 was small but well appointed and there was plenty of cupboard space. The bathroom was tiny, but again it had plenty of storage space. The shower wasn't great but it was adequate, and the room was very clean. Costa Victoria is a relatively old ship and its position in Costa's fleet was classified by one of the crew as "middle...well, slightly less than middle" with the newer Costas at the top. There are two main outdoor pools and four hot tubs. These were unheated and so only for the brave. Another indoor pool in the spa has a bizarre rule banning swimming, so one wonders what it's for. The pools are filled with fresh salt water daily, and close at 8pm. The gym is small but adequately appointed for all but the most dedicated weightlifter, and I never found it too overcrowded. The bars and public areas are well kept and pleasantly decorated. We didn't use the spa or casino. FOOD The buffet was much, much smaller than I am used to, but the food was very good, politely served and nicely presented. The buffet, and eating arrangements generally, reflect the Italian attitude towards food. Italians have great respect and love for food, and they eat plenty of it, but they don't see the need to be constantly eating. Therefore, the buffet is closed for several hours during the day: between 5 and 8pm and again after about 11.30pm. However, a limited range of pizzas, salads, sandwiches, fruit and cakes could be had in the pizzeria on Deck 12 up till 1am, and room service runs 24 hours. We never went hungry. I recommend the room service breakfast, which provides a continental style meal of pastries and cereal. It is also the only way to get proper, free cappuccino on the ship as ordering speciality coffee anywhere else results in a charge of about 2 euros. It is also worth noting that the free hot tea and coffee dispensers are out of action between 5 and 8pm, although there is a good afternoon tea from 4 until 5 in the pizzeria. A tip is to avoid the fruit juice dispensers at breakfast and use the bottled juices in the "Healthy Corner" as the juice from the dispensers tasted very watered down. The dining rooms were very nice. We're all used to anytime dining, but didn't find the set dining times too onerous. We had booked a table for 10 for the second sitting, but when we received our dining tickets, we seemed to be down for the first sitting. This was, however, relatively easily sorted and we had the table and time we wanted. The meals were very good: perhaps not as good as the food on Princess or Cunard, but for the money we paid I was not going to complain. The choice was good and there was something for everyone each night. Another thing worth remembering is that menu items containing previously frozen ingredients are highlighted. This is a requirement of Italian law and does not mean that the food is of poor quality, nor that other cruise lines do not do the same. It's obvious that a ship must use quite a lot of frozen ingredients. The waiters were polite, efficient and unobtrusive. We didn't use the bars very much, but they had a good selection, were reasonably priced and also served Amaris, which are odd Italian herbal liqueurs with strange ingredients like artichoke. These are perhaps an acquired taste but worth the effort. SERVICE This is an interesting topic. Being mostly English, our party are used to mentioning issues to the relevant people and then having them sorted out. We soon worked out that Italian culture is quite different. My sister's cabin was incredibly hot, despite cold air coming from her air conditioning vent. She reported this problem every day for three days, and each time an engineer visited her room and vaguely suggested that she might have left the balcony door open. This wasn't the case and she was so hot at one point that she slept on the balcony. Eventually, she reported the problem in a more Mediterranean manner, which is to say forcefully and loudly, and refused to leave the information desk until she had a satisfactory answer. Her air conditioning problem (caused by air bubbles in the vent) was solved almost immediately. There was also a general problem of leaks in the air conditioning system on our deck and in odd places around the ship: at one point it appeared to be raining in one of the toilets. We heard an engineer telling an increasingly frantic room steward that there wasn't anything he could do until she told him where the leak originated from. However, we understand that the Costa Victoria is very shortly due for an overhaul in dry dock so these problems will presumably be fixed. Be prepared for a lackadaisical attitude to any issues unless you make a fuss. I would not say, however, that these issues spoiled our holiday in the slightest. EXCURSIONS Costa's USP is its eclectic itineraries. We were very excited about visiting Tripoli in particular. In Catania, I took the trip up to Mount Etna, which was spectacular even in the misty, drizzly weather. In Tunis, we took a taxi under our own steam and explored the city, which was fascinating. The taxi driver was very pleasant and agreed to pick us up when we'd finished exploring. I would say that the best strategy in Tunis is to avoid the tourist souk, unless you like being hassled to buy a lot of junk. Once out of the tourist trap area, we were left alone. From Tunis we went to Gabes, which would have been quite a shock if we weren't expecting it. Gabes is not a tourist port: it is completely and unapologetically industrial. So industrial, in fact, that several tons of sulfur were sitting around on the dock next to the sulfur extraction works. The famous desert wind, already loaded with fine Sahara sand, whipped up plenty of sulfur dust and deposited it on deck, in our food and in the pools. Stinging eyes soon sent almost everyone scuttling inside. However, we were soon taken out to the desert. In Tripoli, we took the excursion to the beautiful Roman ruins at Leptis Magna, which I would recommend only if you enjoy archaeology (which fortunately I do). The port is walking distance from the town, and some of our party spent the day exploring the city alone. They say the city is beautiful, very clean and completely safe. In Valletta, Malta, I took the horse riding excursion in the morning. I would say that to get the most out of this excursion, one really needs prior experience of horse riding to avoid being led. The views are amazing. We were given the chance to have a half-hour's swim in the sea and then we spent the rest of the day exploring Valletta on our own. It's a lovely town. The organization and quality of the tours is very good: English speaking guides were provided for us, the vehicles were well maintained with seat belts and I have no complaints, apart from the fact that we did feel (in Tripoli and Catania in particular) that it would have been nice to have had some free time to explore the cities independently once the tour had ended. ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment on the ship was reasonable but not brilliant. The shows were fine, but perhaps a bit amateurish at times: they didn't really float my boat. What the Italians seemed to really enjoy were the late night audience participation shows in the Concorde Lounge. These were, frankly, baffling to non-Italian speakers, but they did look like fun. Italians also really like a conga, and many of these snaked their way around the ship after midnight, which is when things really get going. Since smoking was banned in much of Europe, it seems to have become much less popular. There were a few smokers in the bars and lounges, but certainly far fewer than I would have expected of a European ship. The smokiest place was probably the casino, or the upper balcony of the Concorde Lounge: both easily avoided. There were two formal nights. Italians are stylish folk and I would strongly recommend bringing some nice gear with you: a tuxedo isn't strictly necessary but everyone looked like they had made an effort. Ladies should bring a cocktail dress or two. The other evenings had a range of attire from smart casual to formal. Basically, you can't be overdressed on any night. OTHER If you have the option of choosing a cabin, I would recommend avoiding the fore cabins on decks 11 through 7 as these are next to the Concorde Lounge. There are windows from the lounge looking onto the deck corridors. You can sit quite happily on the floor of the corridor and watch the whole show, and hear it extremely well. I would guess the cabins are quite noisy until the shows finish: this would be 1am at the earliest. The aft cabins on Deck 11 can get noisy when people are on the deck having breakfast: you can hear tables and chairs scraping from 7am onwards so if you're a late riser these are cabins to avoid. There are the usual cruise annoyances: photographers leap out from nowhere and then the unflattering results are put on display for all to see, and there are all sorts of ways to squeeze some extra euros out of you. SUMMARY This is a ship that's showing its age, but this didn't spoil our holiday. Yes, you might have to slum it a little - the only toiletries provided are soap and a shower gel dispenser in the shower and the pool isn't heated - but Costa provides excellent value for money. This isn't the cruise for you if you like to be waited on hand and foot with your every need provided for. If, however, you are quite relaxed, like a bargain, don't mind joining in the odd conga and want to visit unusual ports, this *is* the cruise for you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
Costa Victoria February 12-19, 2005 Brazil: Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador de Bahia, Ilheus, Buzios, Santos This is a cruise up the coast of Brazil designed for Brazilians but we found it quite enjoyable as Americans. We were 2 of 60 ... Read More
Costa Victoria February 12-19, 2005 Brazil: Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador de Bahia, Ilheus, Buzios, Santos This is a cruise up the coast of Brazil designed for Brazilians but we found it quite enjoyable as Americans. We were 2 of 60 Americans on board. The other 58 were with a corporate group that kept to themselves. Not knowing Portuguese and only a little French and Spanish, we anticipated difficulty but were delighted at Costa's surprisingly good logistics -- in six languages. Resourceful tour guide Angela and our lovely hostess Patricia were informed and attentive, close all the time on shore excursions for a quick translation in English or to point out something interesting. This was Patricia's first time hosting an English-speaking group (she usually hosts Germans or Italians) and she did a wonderful job. This particular week after Carnivale was, unknown to us, "Fitness Week." At least 1000 of the 2000 passengers were in rather awesome shape, making poolside people-watching an unusually attractive pastime. Victoria parties into the night, every night, as she cruises Brazil each February. Carnivale was especially hard on the crew, as Brazilian teenagers spray painted cabins, broke into storage lockers, ran down hallways late at night, often did not tip and drank illegally from booze they smuggled on board. This week, they merely ran down hallways and yelled a lot (bring earplugs). We were on deck 9 and it was pretty quiet except for two nights. If noise becomes a problem, demand the information desk gives you a second room in which to sleep. If the ship is not full, they will accommodate your request. Victoria is almost 10 years old but in the last year she's undergone some changes. There is a new captain and cruise director. Balconies were added to two floors of formerly porthole rooms in 2004. The best improvement? The food is *remarkably* better than late 2003 when we sailed her to Egypt. Each night we found cheeses or bruschetta waiting for us on the table. The seafood was excellent, especially the scallop and mussel salad. When we asked the waiter, a charming Filipino named Jay, why the food was so much better, he said, smiling, "The Victoria has had many changes. You know, we have added balconies in the last year." And with that, he left us wondering if this was a translation problem or he was just kidding! Note: the new balcony rooms are nice but you may want to get the exact same room, without balcony, for much less. Getting There and Back: Costa offers no transport to the port at Santos from the airport at Sao Paulo because, frankly, too few foreigners buy this great cruise. We took a taxi for $78 each way for the 75-minute trip. Embarkation, usually 15 minutes or less in other Costa ports, was a sweltering 90 minutes. Get to the port as soon as you can before 2 p.m. to secure a good place in line. You'll need to arrange for early disembarkation (red luggage tags) for any flights prior to 1 p.m. Using another cab, we got to the airport 5 minutes a harrowing 45 minutes before the flight and barely made it thru security and on the plane. Good Deals: 1) Due to a strong dollar against the Brazilian real, shore trips are a good deal. Rio de Janeiro is fantastic and more. Take the all-day Super Rio for $99 which includes a churriscaria (delicious meats) lunch, a train trip to Corcavado (The Big Jesus), a visit to Rio's contemporary Cathedral, shopping, and the trams to Sugarloaf (the big rocks you've seen in every travel poster of Rio). All the major places in about 8 hours, with plenty of nap time on the bus between stops. Everyone loves this tour. 2) Up the coast, the 4-hour "Salvador of Contrasts" features a ornate Cathedrals and monasteries, strolling through the old town plus shopping in the large central market. Ask the tour guide to go to the Donnini jewelry store. A special bus whisks you from the market up the coast to a gated cliff enclave. At Donnini, a guard checks you in, and an elevator takes you upstairs to an incredible display of emeralds and semi-precious stones. An English-speaking clerk shows you what must be a half-million dollars worth of jewelry and how to shop for color, grade, etc. Being the budget traveller, we bought a 7-carat blue topaz for $90. A taxi will return you to port, compliments of Donnini. There's free internet in the port building, all the way to the right as you enter from the ship. 3) Buzios is a picturesque town with nice shops to buy souvenirs, good lunch places, and quite a few nightclubs. Victoria docks here at 1130 p.m., then tenders passengers in to the nightclubs for a hearty party until morning. The ship leaves the next day at 430 p.m. 4) Deck 9 aft (all the way back towards the stern) has a deck with excellent views and relative privacy especially late at night (wink, wink). Not-so-Good: 1) At Ilheus, the "Itacare and Tijuipe Waterfall" tour is advertised at 5 hours but takes an oppressive 8. At least 3 of those 8 are on the bus, and the remaining 5 are three unimpressive stops (a beach overlook, another deserted and ugly beach, and a chocolate shop) and the waterfall itself. It is at the bottom of a long muddy road you walk - straight down. If it rains, as it did for us, that road turns to slush and becomes a long, wet, muddy hike up. Bring a towel and a bathing suit, but be a good swimmer. The rocks are slippery, the water is deep and the potential for injury is high. There's a restaurant adjacent serving good steak lunches for $10 and Brazilian beer for $1. We do not recommend this trip for anyone -- especially those with mobility problems. 2) A number of the public elevators and hallways strongly smell of mildew. This is normal for a 10-year-old ship but still undesirable. Bring a Stick-up for the bathroom, which may have its own special aroma (this is also normal for many ships). 3) Odds and Ends: Internet is slow and expensive at 50 cents a minute with no wireless service available. For that picture perfect cruise moment sipping coffee on your balcony, robes are no longer available except in suites -- even at the spa. Use Common Sense: Although crimes against tourists are few and tourist police are everywhere, use common sense in Brazilian ports. With the exception of Buzios, which is pretty much like Key West and very safe, leave your bling-bling (jewelry) in the cabin, along with your NASCAR tank top and your Budweiser hat. Carry money, your room key, your Costa card and your passport in a pants pocket, preferably zippered. Overall, spending a week on the Victoria is an easy, fun way to see Brazil with reasonably sized cabins and lots to do. For true pampering, choose another line like Princess or Celebrity. But for getting around inexpensively and comfortably to exotic places, Costa is the best. Hello to Mohammed and Rita from Switzerland, Charlie from England, and our waiters Jay and Frances! Happy cruising! George and Eleanor Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
Overview: We were attracted to this cruise by the reasonable price and interesting itinerary (visiting Italy, Egypt, Turkey and Greece). Before booking I read 'official' cruise guide reviews, which gave the ship a fairly good ... Read More
Overview: We were attracted to this cruise by the reasonable price and interesting itinerary (visiting Italy, Egypt, Turkey and Greece). Before booking I read 'official' cruise guide reviews, which gave the ship a fairly good rating. I however became a bit concerned after reading a number of critical 'customer reviews'. I think it is however very much about perception and what sort of person you are. I can appreciate some regulars perhaps giving the ship a lower review if they have been on many cruises that they preferred, however it should be remembered that this is a mass-market cruise at a great price. For value for money, it was excellent. The Costa Victoria is a modern, well-maintained ship. Everything looks like new and is spotless. Especially after walking around places like the interesting but hectic Alexandria, we were very pleased to see our beautiful white ship in the harbour on our return. I have only sailed with Orient Lines/NCL previously and there were areas that both companies excelled in. The crew on the Victoria seemed a little more rushed perhaps, especially during the dinner service. However none were unfriendly and my parents, who had never sailed previously, thought the service was fantastic. So much so that they have booked to travel with Costa again in September. Food: I can honestly say that we never had a bad meal on board. The main restaurant served a 5-course dinner which featured quite a lot of fish and was Mediterranean in terms of oils/sauces etc. It was all of a high standard and the staff were really wonderful. It is however true that if you like, say, steak and hot puddings then these featured on rare occasions. I read a review stating that the pizzeria served frozen food, this simply isn't true. The poolside grill had lovely well cooked chicken and the cafes throughout the ship were relaxing and pleasant. Breakfast/lunch buffets could be a little busy but we always found a table somewhere. There was the midnight buffet (disappearing from some lines) that was outstanding. There was also complimentary coffee/juice most of the day at the back of the ship. It is worth buying a 'honeymooners card' (you don't need to be on your honeymoon) for a set number of drinks for one reduced price. Alcoholic drinks were quite expensive although the duty free shop did actually let you take your purchased back to your cabin for consumption, if you so desired. Shows: The cruise featured 'the entertainment team' a group pf Italian performers, which it perhaps took a couple of days for me to get on to their wavelength, however they were very talented. Costa goes in for quite a lot of audience participation shows, which you either love or hate. They could be very amusing to watch and there was little pressure to join in. Cabin: The cabin was a reasonable size and well designed. The hairdryer was damaged but I reported it to the reception and it was replaced with a whole new unit by the time we returned to the cabin. Itinerary: This was a very interesting voyage. One negative was that in most ports, you had to travel some distance to get to the main attraction (eg Pyramids, Taormina, Olympia etc) however only in Alexandria and Messina did we feel we had little option but to take the official tour. On all other occasions we just took local transport. In Katakolon I would recommend taking a taxi, and in Piraeus, if you don't mind some walking then head around to the train station. On our cruise someone was taken ill while we travelled to Alexandria and the boat needed to turn around and due to the delay we missed out Rhodes. The situation was handled professionally although information could perhaps have been more forthcoming. Misc. Others have commented about smokers onboard. As a non-smoker I feared the worst, but really there wasn't too much of a problem. Some bars could be a little smoky but I never saw anyone smoking in the corridors or waiting for the lift etc as others have reported. Summary: I'm sure that many of the criticisms of Costa will be genuine (otherwise why would people write them) however I believe much is down to Costa being very different and very European. We met French, Germans and Italians on board, who were all very friendly. Yes, one couple did push in the queue in front of us on an occasion but this was very rare. Yes, all the announcements in different languages do take some time, but really - is it that such big a deal? If you are an average easygoing person, then I think you will like (and perhaps even love) Costa. If you want to moan and find fault with anything and everything then this is possible too. Read Less
Sail Date March 2004
Costa Victoria Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.4
Dining 3.0 3.0
Entertainment 2.0 3.1
Public Rooms 3.0 3.3
Fitness Recreation 2.0 3.0
Family 2.0 3.0
Shore Excursion 2.0 3.1
Enrichment 1.0 2.7
Service 4.0 3.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.1
Rates 3.0 3.8

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