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25 Costa Victoria Cruise Reviews

Price and Itinerary were the reasons picked. I was quite scared after booking after I read the bad reviews about the Victoria and all of Costa's ships. I found the bad reviews not to be true at all. I guess I was on board with ... Read More
Price and Itinerary were the reasons picked. I was quite scared after booking after I read the bad reviews about the Victoria and all of Costa's ships. I found the bad reviews not to be true at all. I guess I was on board with civil travelers. Lots of Italian speaking, but they all seem to be having a great time. Fun atmosphere. Cabin was clean and adequate and always made up. Friendly cabin staff. Food: I preferred the dinning room for breakfast. Good menu and also a self serve buffet and coffee, juice, milk available. Quiet. We were off the ship for lunch, but enjoyed the deserts and sandwiches at tea time from 4-5 pm. We had early seating and having assigned seating made service quick and we liked our waiter. He worked very hard. Food choices were kinda weird for me, but enjoyed trying new things. We did not spurge on the added price options. I was concerned about paying for water, but we had USA water on our card and always offered water with meals. We do not drink, so we did not buy or need a beverage package. But everyone seemed to have plenty to drink. So I would say the food was as good as most cruises I have been on. Entertainment in showroom was good. Happy we only had one sea day, because there was nothing to do on the ship and NO Movies! I missed having movies, even if I had to read subtitles, would have been OK. So I would suggest that you pack a small DVD player and movies in your bag if you have room. Venice port was amazing. Be sure to be up on deck when you leave and see Venice. We also got up early on day we returned and saw Venice at sunrise. Again best view of the city is on top of the cruise ship. All the ports were amazing. Bari/Alberlobelo Italy, Corfu, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Venice!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
As part of my aim to cruise with as many different cruise companies as possible in 2019 it came to the turn of Costa. I will have to say my expectations were low in advance of the cruise, mainly for three reasons. My previous ... Read More
As part of my aim to cruise with as many different cruise companies as possible in 2019 it came to the turn of Costa. I will have to say my expectations were low in advance of the cruise, mainly for three reasons. My previous experience with an Italian based cruise line, MSC, had been appalling. Secondly the cruise was cheap - did that mean I would be getting what I paid for and, thirdly, there have been some very mixed reviews about the ship on here. Embarkation was typical Mediterranean chaos but it was reasonably quick. Registering payment card for onboard spend was easy at the self-service terminals on board. As we were planning to spend most days ashore we opted for a seaview cabin and it was satisfactory with a nice large porthole style window. The cabin was a reasonable size with plenty of space to walk around. Both the bed and pillows were very comfortable and that is praise indeed from me as I'm incredibly difficult to please when it comes to pillows. Initially we only had one pillow each but a quick chat with the cabin steward soon resulted in a couple of extra pillows. The steward was very good, almost OCD when it came to tidying - charging cables left on the desk were always neatly arranged on our return. Paperwork was also neatly stacked etc. and most days the valance across the bed had been arranged in some neat sculpture. The bathroom was good and although very small the shower head was detachable. Water temperature was just about hot enough. There is no night time turn down service but that's more a luxury than necessity. Food fell into two categories. The main dining room was good with five courses available for the main evening meal. Food was hot and of a good standard. Service, on the whole, was good although one night there was a problem with the tablet used for ordering and they had to resort to paper, which slowed things down a bit. The final night of the cruise they played Italian opera with some audience participation - not normally my scene but it was actually good fun. Most days we had breakfast in the main restaurant, although the first morning we diod regret our decision. There are breakfasts from around the world available and we made the mistake of ordering the "full English" The only edible part was the scrambled egg, the rest was inedible as everything else had clearly been deep fried and it was like eating an oil slick. Plus the "bacon" was the appalling streaky variety, cooked to within seconds of cremation. The other days we stuck to the extensive cold buffet which was good with plenty of variety. By contrast the buffet was disappointing. relatively small with limited choice and many items appearing every day, so not a huge amount of variety. Also, in contrast to the main dining room, the food quality was variable. Minute steaks for example were very chewy with a lot of gristle. Buffet opening hours were more limited than other cruise lines. What was exceptionally good was the use of ropes to funnel passengers through the serving areas, greatly reducing the amount of pushing in which can occur. Other cruise lines take note. We had the Pranzo and Cena mealtime drinks package included in our fare but upgraded to the Brindiamo package for €10 a day each. We are not great drinkers by any means but the package also included tea and coffee so it was worth the extra cost. Dress codes are optional. On the "Gala night" probably no more than a dozen men wore dinner jackets. It's a shame but that's the way it is with some cruise lines Three of the four shows in the theatre were from the in-house entertainment team with two lead singers to the fore. The female singer was superbe and the male singer had a good voice as well, however many of the songs he was given to sing were not suited to his voice, which did not do him justice. The other show was an exceptional acrobatic show - the standard of which would give Cirque du Soleil a run for its money. There were plenty of activities throughout the day with an enthusiastic entertainments team - although having to use half a dozen languages all the time did slow things down. Costa Victoria is a smaller cruise ship, around 2,000 passengers but for me that is a major plus - I prefer the smaller ships to the new mega-ships which are, sadly, becoming the norm. Built in 1996 she is also a little dated but that, also adds to its charm. The staff were generally friendly and attentive, without being in your face. The captain was conspicuous by his absence, appearing only for the obligatory photo call - something I still cannot get my head around. Why do people queue to have their photograph taken with the Captain then pay an extortionate amount for the photograph. If I catch a bus or train I don't queue to be photographed with the driver, so why do it on board a ship. I'm happy to admit my initial concerns about Costa were wholly unfounded. Would I sail with them again - absolutely. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Visiting unique ports of call like Madagascar and the Seychelles the Costa Victoria was fine. The staff on the ship worked very hard and managed well dealing with the incredibly variety of languages spoken by passengers from so many ... Read More
Visiting unique ports of call like Madagascar and the Seychelles the Costa Victoria was fine. The staff on the ship worked very hard and managed well dealing with the incredibly variety of languages spoken by passengers from so many different countries. Entertainment was first class and probably better or at least equal to the best on any of our previous cruises. The food supplied was very good but not outstanding with extra charges for things normally included on a cruise like ice cream (not even supplied with the desserts in the dining room) and pizzas ( on an Italian ship!!) As a European registered ship paying minimum EU wages it was consequently understaffed compared to some other cruise lines paying lower wages. This was evident in the dining room, bars and cabin care. No waiters or bar evident in the theatre either. Excursions (in such an impoverished part of the world) were very expensive but were generally very interesting and worthwhile. We suspect that staff would make extra efforts if the gratuities were not a compulsory automatic addition to the ship account. Another oddity was the daily debit of our credit card rather than the usual procedure of settling the bill at the end of the cruise. This made it difficult to dispute the bill or cancel a reserved excursion (if, for example! It became apparent that it required more physical ability than expected). However - we are confident that the totals at the end of the cruise were correct. The ship was in excellent condition and was constantly being varnished and painted. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We had read previous reviews and we must have been cruising on a different ship as the ship was beautiful spotless good furnishings and fabrics and the public toilets were kept spotless.The itinerary was 27 nights from Italy to Mauritius ... Read More
We had read previous reviews and we must have been cruising on a different ship as the ship was beautiful spotless good furnishings and fabrics and the public toilets were kept spotless.The itinerary was 27 nights from Italy to Mauritius ports included Crete Suez Canal Jordan Israel Maldives Seychelles Reunion Island.We could not call at Oman due to a Cyclone so much value for money on this cruise even with gratuities and drinks package we paid half for a four week cruise compared to a two week cruise on other companies. All the staff spoke english and were very friendly. The food was very good five courses every evening in the main dining rooms so much choice and of a good quality . Water was available free all day in the buffet restaurant until about nine in the evening .You only had to pay for water lunch and evenings in the main restaurants.Our cabin was kept spotless as was all the ship cleaning was done 24 hours a day. There was so much to do during the day and every evening there was a show. The entertainment team were a credit to the company especially Marco and the rest of the team. The english speaking guests had their own dedicated english speaking customer service advisor as did french german and spanish speaking guests. The daily information newspaper was printed in English and other languages. The cruise was magical and we have no hesitation in recommending Costa and Costa Victoria this was one of our bucket list cruises we travelled a quarter of the world and received so much value for the price we paid. We will be looking forward to booking another cruise with Costa for next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Before I go on to Costa Victoria, I read that most of the review are bad. But I will like to comment, overall, we enjoyed the whole cruising. Checking in the luggage was a breeze, boarding, to last day collection of passport n arrival back ... Read More
Before I go on to Costa Victoria, I read that most of the review are bad. But I will like to comment, overall, we enjoyed the whole cruising. Checking in the luggage was a breeze, boarding, to last day collection of passport n arrival back to Singapore. Greet by every staff. The male service crew in all the restaurants or buffet corners are all very friendly, they can remember you and joke with you, but not the female crew, no smile, for food, u can't expect high grade but last night we got lobster n lamb grill was really good. Try to go for the A la carte but queue half n hr earlier. Even embarkment to Phuket, Penang n Malacca is a breeze too. But try to aim for the 1st ferry for Phuket. For activities, most of the staff are nice. The pool is seawater but the jacuzzi is normal pool water. House keeping fold us an elephant using towels, mine is a balcony premium cabin, big room. Everyday my room is clean n nice. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This cruise is great for families with or without kids. From the moment we check-in our luggage to the queuing to go into the ship was a breeze. Staff at check-in was very efficient. When we finally got to embark on the ship it was fun all ... Read More
This cruise is great for families with or without kids. From the moment we check-in our luggage to the queuing to go into the ship was a breeze. Staff at check-in was very efficient. When we finally got to embark on the ship it was fun all the way. The staff gave a very warm welcome. Throughout the cruise, staffs were very courteous and helpful. Cabin was very clean although the mattress was hard. We had 2 pillows each and we slept very well. For our first meal we dined at Bolero. The food is good but not fantastic. Ambience of the restaurant was so-so. We decided that we will not be having our meals there anymore. We tried the other two restaurants, Sinfornia and Fantasia. They have better variety of food there. Still good but not fantastic. Much better than Bolero. Buffet menu is the same everyday. I must give good credits for the entertainment and activities. It was so much fun with all the parties, dancing and games. The live entertainment was amazing. I would give it 5 star for the dancers. Would I go again? Yes I would but hopefully they change their daily buffet menu. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I picked Costa Victoria because she is the only vessel that arrives in Penang in the morning. Most market areas are open early in the morning and most traditional shops close by early or late afternoons. Food is good(lots of seafood) ... Read More
I picked Costa Victoria because she is the only vessel that arrives in Penang in the morning. Most market areas are open early in the morning and most traditional shops close by early or late afternoons. Food is good(lots of seafood) and value for money as compared to my recent experience onboard Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess.I think Costa Victoria has a more experienced kitchen team. Food is available 24hrs a day in different parts of the ship. Onboard activities were less varied.Service from the different dining restaurants were top-notch.My only dissatisfaction is the drinking water.It tasted salty during my stay. There was no TV entertainment in English. I rang the reception to confirm there was no movie on TV. Every channel was in mandarin when most of the passengers are from India. There is an onboard app which can be downloaded before we board the trip. This app allowed me to ring the cabin, communicate with other passengers when we are in different parts of the ship.It's free and we could find the whereabouts of our family members in the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
First cruise experience, and I felt like the review is not doing Costa Victoria the justice it deserved. All review was so negative, but in fact, it worth as far as the price we paid. It suitable for laid back Asian family, and that's ... Read More
First cruise experience, and I felt like the review is not doing Costa Victoria the justice it deserved. All review was so negative, but in fact, it worth as far as the price we paid. It suitable for laid back Asian family, and that's it. Don't expect too much for over 25 years old ship. The pool are too small, and overall facilities was not a state of the art. About the service, it's not as nightmare as described as the early years of operations. Not excellent also, though. Ports experience was not winning any first impression prize. They start late and people are all crowded in less than suitable condition. But after that, in Phuket and Penang, everything was much better coordinated. The room is definitely cleaner than public area. Especially on the last day, the queue for ladies toilet and how awful the smell was, was terrible - if not traumatizing. So, overall it worth the money, by means if you still get their promo prize of cabin upgraded. More than that, good luck. You will lost the good value. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I became pessimistic while read some critics for this cruise, and my family already booked a trip for last December. But since I got into the cruise until the trip finished, my worries turned into satisfaction. First, the food was ... Read More
I became pessimistic while read some critics for this cruise, and my family already booked a trip for last December. But since I got into the cruise until the trip finished, my worries turned into satisfaction. First, the food was nice-I love their dessert and cakes!- and we got two times gala dinner with crab and lobster, which was delicious. Restaurants opened as promised, pizza station on midnight was a good idea, our favorite place after night games and dance. A bit critic is the drinking water, it would be much better if they provide more fresh water. Second, the staffs are amazing! They were friendly and nice, you can get information easily, the restaurant staff gave warm ambiance, and the dancers were so energetic. More interesting shows will be a good improvement, although we love the Michael Jackson show. Third, the cabin, pool, jacuzzi, and other facilities were well maintained. Yes, it is not a new cruise, but I saw almost no significant damage in it. Overall, I found it nice and cozy sailing with Costa, just want to give the credit and fair critic despite of bad reviews I saw. Good job! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Choice of cruise was due to the attractive rates and yearly family get together bonding. We board at around 5.30pm, warm welcome and picture taking at entrance. My Costa Mobile App is very useful to communicate on board tapping on ... Read More
Choice of cruise was due to the attractive rates and yearly family get together bonding. We board at around 5.30pm, warm welcome and picture taking at entrance. My Costa Mobile App is very useful to communicate on board tapping on cruise Wifi. There is no lack of entertainments as daily schedule was given, dancing class, Michael Jackson show by Ice, Acrobatics Show, Movies, games, tournaments, dance party, lounge singing... Lots of "lepak" places. Deck 11 Self service buffet counter serve the same dishes at Indian Corner & International corner, however the mutton is very delicious. Yummy desserts too. Experience Authentic italian pizza at deck 12 for teabreak and supper. Pools are 1.4m too deep for children. Basket balls and ping pong bats are not so "good". Shore excursions was interesting however, when return there was chaotic at the tender boat boarding. Overall crew were helpful, despite some miscommunication issues due to coming from different country. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
If you are looking for upper class society experience, this ship is not for you. Costa Victoria is a very laid back, relax ship. Overall, this is a ship without big wow factor like rock climbing or ice skating rink. It is quite an old ... Read More
If you are looking for upper class society experience, this ship is not for you. Costa Victoria is a very laid back, relax ship. Overall, this is a ship without big wow factor like rock climbing or ice skating rink. It is quite an old ship, but some hardware have been upgraded since the editor review was made. Costa card now opens the door as well, so you can just bring one card around the ship. The inside room is tiny but the beds are very comfortable. I fall asleep almost instantly every night. Bathroom is small but for Southeast Asian size it is good. The most fabulous thing about the cruise is the programme newspaper. It tells you literally everything. It have every info you need on board and even reminds you about things you might forget. Following the programs will make you sufficiently busy the whole day. Shows at night is nice but we all feel that the Michael Jackson show could be better... Maybe there's too much emphasis on that one show. The other shows are equally good, if not better than Michael Jackson show. Food are OK, be warned there are A Lot of bread and cakes. If you are a rice person, there is always a pot of rice at the end of buffet line at Bolero. Sit down restaurant have rice options as well. The indian food are nice. Guests on board are all really casual. Staffs are friendly and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Hi all, I would really like to share with you guys my cruise experience with Costa Cruise (Victoria). I went on 3 Dec 2015 with my family, cruising to destinations such as Penang and Phuket. (Malaysia, Thailand) Service: I felt ... Read More
Hi all, I would really like to share with you guys my cruise experience with Costa Cruise (Victoria). I went on 3 Dec 2015 with my family, cruising to destinations such as Penang and Phuket. (Malaysia, Thailand) Service: I felt very welcomed when I first entered the ship. All the staffs, officers and captains were there to welcome us. The staffs then led us to our room (Deck 4,Nabucco). As for room service, the staffs were excellent and skillful in their job; they tidied our room when we were out for breakfast & dinner and spent the fastest time to complete their job to make sure that the room is neat and tidy before we come back. The guest service was very helpful for us, as my grandparent's room' air conditioning was faulty, I called the guest service to send men to repair, and immediately the workers were here to fix it as fast as possible. Staffs were polite towards everyone and helpful to guide us and help us throughout the cruise journey. Dining: We all know that the origin of Costa Cruises is Italy. So maybe you guys will be wondering: Would the cuisine be Italian? My answer is no, there are all varieties of cuisine such as Chinese and Malay. For my case, I am a 13 year old Chinese boy (Singaporean) and I was worrying about the food, will it be close to Chinese food? But when I got on board the ship, it was quite a shock to me that it wasn't all Italy food, but International cuisine. The bolero buffet (Deck 11, Rigoletto) serves rice, fruits, pasta for sure and other international delicacies. Tip 1: Try not to go to the A La Carte restaurant at Deck 5, Boheme (Fantasia & Sinfonia) because the dishes are all the same as the Buffet on Deck 11, so might as well go to Deck 11 with unlimited servings. Tip 2: If you do visit the Bolero Buffet on Deck 11, you would notice that there are 4 sections divided throughout the restaurant (International/Halal/Vegetarian). But there are actually more dishes avaliable at the end of deck 11. So don't miss the chance! Cabin: The cabin is spacious and neat. The room service is twice a day in order to keep the room tidy. The staffs who help you to make up your room will often use napkins/towels to form animals/plants. The air conditioning's temperature can be manually controlled. The overall rating for the cabin is excellent however, the design is a little weird. The window is located above the beds, so in order to view the scenery, you might have to climb up. *Note: The room card is in your room* Embarkation: Singapore I was thinking that it would take very long for us to board the ship because I have read other reviews from other users that we were given a pass/queue number and had to wait for a long period of time, just like my Star Cruise, Gemini experience last year. To my surprise, after siting at the waiting area of 10mins, we could check in and board the ship already. Tip 1: Try to board the ship as early as possible to prevent "human jam" Embarkation: Phuket The ship travelled 2 days to reach this destination. The ship will anchor at the "mini port" at the entrance of Phuket. Therefore, to get on shore, there will be boats to ferry us to Patong Beach. Patong Beach is a place for relaxation for everyone, they have many activities along the beach such as water skiing, rides on speed boat. For my family, we went with the shroe excursion that costa: Highlights of Phuket and Island Safari. Island Safari is similar to Singapore Zoo, there were performances by Monkeys and Elephant. We even had a chance to ride on elephant, it was an enjoyable moment riding the elephant with my Dad. We also went to the famous temple in Phuket, Wat Chalong. Afterwards, we visited the first cashew nut factory in Phuket. We bought many dried fruits/nuts there and we went back to the ship. Our tour guide, Pao, he's an awesome person, he took care of my grandparents throughout the journey, sharing his life experience on the bus, chatting with us went we were bored. *Note: There are more choice of excursions* Embarkation: Penang After leaving Phuket, we headed for Penang. This time, my Dad did not book any shore excursion because my grandparents were not feeling well. So it was a Sunday, my family was walking along the streets, and happened to see many people at the street market nearby the port. It is on every sunday and the shop owners offer a reasonable price for their merchandise. It was quite troublesome before we had to walk one big round around the port to get out of the port. I suggest everyone to download the offline map of Penang in Google Maps. *Note: There are shore excursion available too* Tip 1: There will be taxi drivers outside the port waiting for you. Embarkation: Singapore (End) The had to wait till 3pm to disembark the ship although the ship reached Singapore at 2pm. There will be a colour tag for you to tag on your luggage and the colour will decide the time of disembarking. At 10am, we were requested to leave our room already. This is something I don't really like, there's still 4 hours to reach Singapore, and yet we have to leave our room so early. I had nowhere to rest but under the hot sun at deck 11, beside the pool. Entertainment: There are lots of entertainment on the ship, like Casino, Mini Arcade, Festival theatre for performances, the main hall of the ship for party and Deck 11, Pools. The Casino is only available for certain ages however the arcade is for all. Performances were held in the Festival Theatre such as "Angiolino&Janette La Fracci in Surreal Circus Comedy" and "Michael Jackson Tribute Show". The parties like "The Carnival of Venice Party" and many more are held at Deck 5. There are 4 pools of jacuzzi and 2 rather deep swimming pools. **Note: THE WATER OF THE SWIMMING POOLS IS SALTY** In a nut shell, I feel that Costa Victoria is worth the money and very suitable for family. There will be many activities for you to participate on board and board games/ balls (e.g. Basketball)/rackets (Table Tennis) can be rented by deposit. ***PLEASE DO NOTE THAT ALL MONEY SHOULD BE PAID IN US CURRENCY*** Tip: Register your credit card upon boarding the ship because at the end if the journey, you will be paying a service charge of US$48, because if you don't register your credit card, on the last day, you will have to pay US$48 and requested to queue up. I hope you like my review of Costa Victoria. Do ask me anything regarding the ship and I will try to answer it. Do share your experience with me! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This is the first time travel in a cruise, I really enjoy these days! When I get on the cruise, every staffs are very nice with smile and direct us to the cabin clearly. I went there with my boyfriend. Although the cabin is not very big, ... Read More
This is the first time travel in a cruise, I really enjoy these days! When I get on the cruise, every staffs are very nice with smile and direct us to the cabin clearly. I went there with my boyfriend. Although the cabin is not very big, it is clean and comfortable like a tiny hotel. We need to gather in the hall first to learn basic survival knowledge. Then we went to have our buffet dinner. It is convenience that we only bring our room card to record all our expenses. The buffet did not have much choice but taste good. We went to the deck after dinner. The wind was tender and full of stars on the sky. How a romantic night for us! It is quite difficult to see this beautiful sky in urban city now. If we didn’t get on the boat, we will miss it! The next day we enjoy breakfast in room, it came fast in warm temperature, nice! Then we swam in pool with sunshine, so relaxing! I also had a spa, it was relaxed. The staffs were considerate of my body with soft message and my boyfriend went to gym, he told me the fitness center was big. They played music inside and serve with towel, cool water to all guests. We met at the function hall, there was a show tonight, the MC was funny drove everyone being crazy and happy. The disco and casino opened until late night, we have so much fun inside! We met a young couple as well. They have come twice already and also agreed the service of Costa was good, very suitable for them to spend their holiday here. When we arrived on Malaysia, we took few hours to land on the beach. Sunset on beach was stunning! We ate something before back to cruise if we can stay longer, that’s must be prefect! It is really an enjoyable trip for us to escape from the busy city. The staff’s services are good and won’t feel boring or dull during the trip. Costa brings me a memorable cruise travel. I will come back when I feel tired again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
I have a wonderful trip with my wife and kids during Chinese New Year this year. Our family went on Costa Victoria’s New Year Cruise which had many festive events planned out. Due to unforeseen circumstances that happened at home, my ... Read More
I have a wonderful trip with my wife and kids during Chinese New Year this year. Our family went on Costa Victoria’s New Year Cruise which had many festive events planned out. Due to unforeseen circumstances that happened at home, my family could not celebrate it back in Hongkong, thus we decided to travel out to spend this one-of-kind New Year in a different way. And I’m glad we did it. My sons are big eaters like me, and we had the chance to eat non-stop onboard. The pizza onboard was marvelous! And the CNY dinner reminds us the festive feelings of Chinese New Year, despite being on the waters. There were little dim sum, lou hei… and I didn’t expected to have so much chinese traditional dishes onboard an Italian ship, I’m quite surprised! Aside to activities, there were many rowdy activities such as dancing and performances. Though none of my family are fans of the special-feature HK singer, we did enjoy all the night-time shows, fun to watch the MJ impersonator perform and other Italian shows. If you have not been onboard Costa Victoria before and deciding if you should take this cruise, here are some points that you’d find useful in making your decision: Costa App: Allows you to communicate with guests onboard. It is free being able to communicate with each other especially when you have a big group on board, is very crucial Rooms: The rooms are cleaned everyday and choosing a room with a balcony is highly recommended. Nothing beats waking up to the serenity of the sea. The hygiene and cleanliness is alright. The only gripe is that the bathroom is too small! Activities: There will be a info sheet placed inside your room before the start of each day, and there is hardly an hour where there is no activity going on. The cruise is constantly busy with an event, so there is definitely no worry about getting bored or dull. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Thank you Costa Victoria for organizing the best cruise trip for me and my family over Chinese New Year! To all the reviews here, I was quite shocked to read about the negatives comments because I feel that the Costa Victoria crew are the ... Read More
Thank you Costa Victoria for organizing the best cruise trip for me and my family over Chinese New Year! To all the reviews here, I was quite shocked to read about the negatives comments because I feel that the Costa Victoria crew are the best and I will like to praise them for their thoughtful and wonderful service. My cruise departed from Hongkong and travelled to Sanya and Danang and Halong Bay. The destinations that the cruise chose were extremely perfect travel points and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I have not travelled to Vietnam before so the expedition showcased the country really well and Halong Bay was amazingly beautiful! One of the highlights of the trip was definitely being able to watch a HK star, Louis Cheung perform! I was thrilled that Costa invited him to perform on stage. Watching him sing and playing games with audience in the theater was fun! and together with the CNY atmosphere, I knew I will never have such an experience any where else. Also, I am impressed with how Costa and the travel agent planned the cruise’ activities, inviting Louis to perform, selecting beautiful destination spots, and also organizing a special Chinese new year dinner. It was definitely a pleasure to be able to all kinds of food (From Italian cuisine to Chinese dishes) as well as enjoy the shows and spend it overseas. Definitely beats the hustle and bustle of the city life especially since its so chaotic back in HK during the festive celebration. My family and I enjoyed it a lot. Thank you Costa for being such a wonderful host, I hope everyone will support costa!   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
I travelled with Costa and it was my first cruise experience. It was a short getaway with my JC friends as we wanted to get away from work for awhile before the year starts. As this was my cruise expedition, I didn’t know what to expect ... Read More
I travelled with Costa and it was my first cruise experience. It was a short getaway with my JC friends as we wanted to get away from work for awhile before the year starts. As this was my cruise expedition, I didn’t know what to expect but it was a good experience overall! However, as necessary as it sounds, I must remind anyone who’s about to take the cruise that COSTA CRUISE IS FROM AN ITALIAN COMPANY. It’s one of the cruises DNA and main selling point that separates this cruise from other cruise lines. So, logically, their menu will consist of Italian food like pizza and pasta! It’s funny that we met other fellow Singaporeans who complained to no end about the cruise, saying that the food has not enough Chinese variety. Furthermore, as crazy as it sounds, even though I am not a frequent cruise taker, I for one, know that due to the ship’s engine, the beds will vibrate slightly at night, and the food may not taste as delicious due to mass preparation! It was quite embarrassing for me to find out that the people who complained are Singaporeans, and they grumble about not having enough Chinese dishes and that the engine makes too much noise at night. To all reviewers out there, please have a fair judgment on this! Don’t blame Costa for your own unrealistic expectations and shallow reasoning. The beds may vibrate slightly at night, but it did not affect my sleep nor wake me up in the middle of the night. Furthermore, taking this cruise is to allow you to experience the different variety of Italian cuisine! Be adventurous and stop sticking to your Chinese appetite. Even so, when I was craving for some Chinese comfort, Costa did provide hot soup wanton noodles and dumplings at night during their supper meal. Absolutely wonderful and I see no reason to complain. Thumbs up for Costa for sticking true to your Italian roots and always keeping a smile despite dealing with unreasonable people. Ciao! Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Services: 3.5/5 Paid services were much better than those that were free. Went for facial and spa that were on discount. Everyday there will be an event and sale and you can find good discounts on their paid services then Restaurant ... Read More
Services: 3.5/5 Paid services were much better than those that were free. Went for facial and spa that were on discount. Everyday there will be an event and sale and you can find good discounts on their paid services then Restaurant staff were very friendly and funny. They made an effort to converse and always ensured that we had out food quick and hot. They always made me and my daughters laugh. WIFI was expensive! This is the only reason why my rating isn’t 5/5. It is USD 10 per hour and even so, the connection is weak, particularly in our cabin rooms. Please do something about this Costa! Entertainment Activities:/ Facilities 4/5 Expect a lot of dancing. If you are not into dancing, you can win a quick buck at their gambling casino or play at their acrade. Seems like they hold nightly bingo sessions, but I didn’t play Most of the activities seem more catered for kids, such as basketball, party mask creation. I visited most of the gym facilities such as the gym and pool. Overall Experience: Definitetly unlike the other cruises like Royal Carribean, Costa is a more laid back cruise experience catered to young families and a relaxing holiday.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Finally after some saving up I was finally able to take my mother on a cruise I promised her a whole year ago. We boarded the Costa Victoria in August and I have never seen my mom being so satisfied, she enjoyed the trip a lot. The price ... Read More
Finally after some saving up I was finally able to take my mother on a cruise I promised her a whole year ago. We boarded the Costa Victoria in August and I have never seen my mom being so satisfied, she enjoyed the trip a lot. The price of the Costa Victoria cruise was also much cheaper than I expected. So the trip started with us taking a flight to Shanghai for embarking and of course we took advantage of this side trip and did some sightseeing around Shanghai for 2 days. The route that we chose was a cruise from Shanghai to South Korea, which could not have been more perfect for us as my mom have always enjoyed historical novels and visiting heritage museums and I could bring her to all those places so effortlessly. I also realized that it is so convenient if you have a credit card to pay for stuffs on the cruise so you do not need to bring a lot of cash. But even if you do not own a credit card, you could just use the Costa Card they give out to pay everything on cruise then pay at the end of the journey at the counter. So at the first day of the cruise, when we were waiting to embark, Costa staffs came around with a round of drinks for us while we wait. That’s so heartwarming! It is quite embarrassing but I have to admit that I don’t have the strongest sense of direction, probably inherited that from my mom; we got lost on the way to our cabin. Fortunately for us a staff was there to guide us to the door of our cabin. Thank you Nicola! At the end of the trip, I found out Nicola is the best staff on Costa Victoria(Clap) After we settled down, it was almost 2pm and that was when we realized that we have not had any breakfast that morning and we can hear our stomachs rumbling. We immediately got to our feet and decided to go the restaurant on Deck 11 first. There was not a huge variety of food to choose from, but the dessert was an amazing finishing touch to our breakfast/lunch! We went to other restaurants in the remaining days and we found a burger joint which serves excellent burgers!! In terms of on-board entertainment, there were mini performances by singers on Deck 5-7. My mom was a quiet and self-contained woman so we went to library to pick up some books instead. On a few mornings my mom would just lay by the pool side while I swim. Be sure to take with you a cardigan or a sweater when you were on the deck though, it could get quite chilly when you step out onto the deck at night. At night, my mom and I went to a paid-restaurant to have our dinner. All of a sudden, the music started and the staffs were dancing to it. We were totally surprised and were invited to join the staffs. We were a bit too shy to dance in public so we passed but the children there were not. We were amazed and impressed by the Italian culture. We were also surprised when we went back to our cabin on the 2nd night. There were a couple of super cute elephant dolls on our beds! How sweet Costa is! Really a big thank you and we appreciated for Costa staffs to make our days on cruise! I could still remember how cheerful and patient they were when they taught us the way, because both of us have no sense of direction. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
The first cruising trip with my boyfriend. We were so excited for it. This was something we longed for a very long time. A 6D5N trip, from Shanghai to Nagasaki and Kobe is our choice. We booked for a balcony cabin because of the limited ... Read More
The first cruising trip with my boyfriend. We were so excited for it. This was something we longed for a very long time. A 6D5N trip, from Shanghai to Nagasaki and Kobe is our choice. We booked for a balcony cabin because of the limited budget. Both of us believed in an old saying in Chinese: a buck in exchange of a buck’s worth service. So we didn’t expect much. In contrast, the sea view turns out to be absolutely stunning!! We had a great time spending overnight in the balcony. We watched the sunrise with the dolphins swimming. The buffet area was filled with sea and sky view. In fact, we enjoyed the view more than the food. The food was not bad though. They was traditional Italian dessert called “Cannoli” which I love the most! If you like to eat dessert, you couldn’t leave without eating it in the Club Restaurant. Swimming alone was always a precious sport to pursue. I went to the swimming pool 30 minutes after the meal. I felt flesh and blood after exercises. So did my mind. I didn’t remember the route to get to my room! I got lost! Haha. Fortunately leading the way back to my room was part of the customer service. The staffs was nice enough to lead me until I set foot in the door. We went offshore and had a One-Day Tour in Nagashima. The atmosphere and clean environment in Nagashima were excellent. There were so much entertainments to we could do in the ship. Live music, Opera each night after dinner, art and craft sessions. We joined the Captains Night once. We got dressed up and showed off. LOL. This was our first taste of cruising. After all, we felt great and would definitely bring my parents next time and let them feel how relax I felt this time. After this trip, I concluded who suitable for cruising trip. 1. People who won’t have seasick: you could feel the cruise shaking 2. Family trip with seniors: you don’t need to spend too much energy on moving from one spot to another. Keep packing and unpacking the luggage is tedious thing to do.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
I don't normally take time out to write reviews, but I feel I owe Costa one. =) After all the reviews I had read about Costa Victoria, I was expecting the worst, but hoping for the best. We boarded Costa Victoria at the Shanghai ... Read More
I don't normally take time out to write reviews, but I feel I owe Costa one. =) After all the reviews I had read about Costa Victoria, I was expecting the worst, but hoping for the best. We boarded Costa Victoria at the Shanghai port with ports of call at Jeju, Yeosu and Incheon. It was a 6 day cruise. We took this cruise because the it was right smack during our long holidays and tThere are 17 of us in the group and we booked 4 balcony staterooms and 2 inside cabins. Contrary to the bad reviews I had read, all 6 rooms we booked were above complaint. They were clean, everything in the room worked well and storage spaces were more than enough to store everything from our luggages. Since most of the passengers were from China, it is to be expected that the food will mostly be catered to their needs. There are some Italian choices for the sit-down dinners, pizzas during afternoon and midnight snacks, a burger, fish and sausage grill available daily and some daily variations like a mexican station during one of the days we were there. Breads and pastries are also available daily. But mostly, food is chinese food. If one keeps in mind that this ship is primarily catering to the Chinese clientele, then one could say that the food, though not gourmet, is pretty good. Since the passenger profile were mostly from China, there are certain cultural differences which one has to consider. They don't respect lines and taking turns very much. I find this annoying but then, this has nothing to do with Costa. Just something one has to take note of when one decides to choose this itinerary. One family in our group has kids aged 4-5. They were very happy with the Squok Club. They were able to leave the kids there while they enjoy the entertainment on board by themselves. Kids were kept busy and happy. Maybe the ship can offer more activities for the pre-teens and teeners because there were none to speak of. There were arts arts and crafts as well as some cooking demos which our teener would like to attend but it was specifically stated for adults only. Entertainment was okay, though nothing great. I would also like to recommend that they specify if shows are for adult consumption only or also fit for kids. We brought our kids aged 8-13 to shows which we watched for only a few minutes because the show was suggestive and attires were skimpy. Knowing beforehand would allow us to plan our activities better. Costa would do well to enforce "smoking areas" and make sure passengers follow the rules since a number of common areas smell badly of smoke. I read really bad reviews about embarkation and disembarkation but we didn't encounter any problems at all. It would help if they had more signs and instructions at the Shanghai port so passengers will be directed accordingly but aside from that, everything was ok. We did not join their shore excursions so I don't know how the disembarkation procedure went. However, we explored the ports of call on our own and during all 3 ports of call and final disembarkation, everything was very efficient. Overall, I had a very good experience with Costa Victoria. All my fears were unfounded and all of us in the group were happy with our cruise. Will I join Costa again? Definitely. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
My family of 8 (booked in a total of 4 inside cabins) spent 2 weeks (17 Nov -- 1 Dec) on the Costa Victoria, departing from Singapore. When we originally booked this cruise, it was sold as a 14 night cruise but it was subsequently broken ... Read More
My family of 8 (booked in a total of 4 inside cabins) spent 2 weeks (17 Nov -- 1 Dec) on the Costa Victoria, departing from Singapore. When we originally booked this cruise, it was sold as a 14 night cruise but it was subsequently broken up into 3 separate cruises (a 4 night cruise from Singapore visiting Langkawi and Penang, a 3 night cruise visiting Port Kelang and Malacca, and finally a 7 night cruise visiting Kuantan, Laem Chabang and Koh Samui) We booked this cruise due to the interesting itinerary and the unbelievable price. After reading the reviews of the Victoria, I was a bit apprehensive but not to fear. Everyone had a fantastic time on the cruise, making the best of the sometimes frustrating situations we encountered on the Victoria. Embarkation: We booked online and the Costa website indicated that the Singapore port is at Harborfront, so we headed there. However, at the Harborfront Port, we were advised that a recent change now had the Costa Victoria pulling into Marina Bay, resulting in an additional taxi ride. Not a good first impression of Costa! However, once we got to Marina Bay, the rest of our embarkation went smoothly. Interestingly, our room card was separate from our Costa Card (used to swipe for on board purchases, drinks, etc) which forced us to carry 2 cards at all times. Our inside cabins (quite small) were ready, and we quickly unpacked before the evacuation drill. Provided in the room was a power strip (sufficient for our power needs), a kettle/tea bags, and a bucket of fresh ice (replaced quite often thanks Imelda, our fantastic Cabin Stewardess). The evacuation drill was an exercise in patience, as instructions were repeated in numerous languages at a volume that was indiscernible. Whoever set up Victoria's public announcement system needs remedial training...very ineffective and we could hardly understand 75% of the announcements made. Dinner at the Fantasia Restaurant (located mid ship) was great. On the first leg of the cruise (Days 1-4), we had a very attentive staff of Vietnamese waiters (the fantastic husband/wife duo of Tran and Ha), which we thought was a very thoughtful move on the Maitre d' as half of our group hailed from Vietnam. Dinners were more than adequate, with lots of choices (Western and Asian dishes) and we never left the table hungry. Not sure of what to order? No worries, our waiters would bring multiple dishes so a sampling could be tried. We had read (prior to the cruise) that getting iced water might be a problem with Costa, as other members reported being forced to purchase bottled water. However, this was never a factor and we had plenty of ice water during the entire duration of the cruise. Annoyances: Passports were necessary for disembarkation for Singapore and if overnighting at Laem Chabang. Obtaining passports for Singapore disembarkation was fairly straightforward, but for the Laem Chabang port, this was utter chaos. Tempers were high and we witnessed several passengers in hysteria the morning of, and all of this could have been prevented if Costa had better organizational skills and a much better trained front desk/reception staff who appeared quite indifferent to the hordes of angry/upset passengers. Here is the background to this entire debacle: The day before Laem Chabang (sea day), Costa staff put out that passports could be obtained anytime in a 2 hour period during the day. However, that was not the case. When we tried to get our group's passports, we were advised to "come back tomorrow morning after we pull into Laem Chabang and you can get your passport then". Thankfully, we had several inquisitive members of the group, who managed to find out that there was an official "Costa List" for passengers who intended to stay overnight while at Laem Chabang. This list would be used to by immigration to pull those individual's passports, stamp them for entry to Thailand and allow them to disembark the ship. Why this information was not put out by the Costa staff managing the front desk is a mystery. My father approached the front desk at least 3 times before obtaining this nugget of information. As a result, our names/cabin numbers were added to the "list" and magically, our passports were ready for us the next morning at Laem Chabang, but for all those who had been advised to simply "show up and get your passport", that was not the case. Tempers were flaring as many of our fellow passengers had coordinated private tours and they were severely delayed in their disembarkation process due to not being able to obtain their passports in a timely manner. We were able to get off the Victoria about 30 minutes after arrival, and have no idea how long it took the rest of the passengers to finally get their passports and disembark...VERY very poor service on Costa's part for this port. This could absolutely have been prevented by Costa and is an absolute disgrace that it was allowed to happen. Ports of Call Singapore: We flew in early to spend a few days here. Fantastic hawker food (cheap and delicious). Bought a 3 day MRT card which cost $30 (with a $10 refund if you turn the card back in) so for a whopping $20, you can ride unlimited MRTs and buses throughout Singapore...great deal! We stayed in Chinatown which has a vibrant and lively atmosphere. Visited the zoo, jurong bird park, Arab Street, the merlion, Marina Sands rooftop pool/bar, Gardens by the Bay. Great stop...this island nation is so very well organized and super easy for the independent traveler to get around. Bit pricey though compared to the rest of Southeast Asia. Langkawi: We decided to do our own thing here and booked an island hopping tour for just over $100 for 8 people (our own private boat) for a 3-4 hour tour. Much cheaper than what was offered through Costa. We booked it right at the end of the port where motorbikes can be rented (40 Malay Ringgit for the day). Visited 3 islands (Pulau Beras Basah , Tasik Dayang Bunting and Pulau Singa Besar) which included eagle feeding at Pulau Singa Besar. It started pouring with rain, so after the tour, we headed back to Victoria for lunch, and afterwards the rest of the group hung out while my husband and I rented a motorbike for a scenic ride into Kuah. Langkawi is where you can stock up on super cheap duty free..great prices here! Penang (Georgetown): A walkable city. Just ignore the taxis swarming you at the port and armed with a map, this is an easy city to navigate. Loved Georgetown...very pretty with gorgeous architecture. The blue hued Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion is only open for a group tour at 11 am so we admired it from outside. Lots of pretty temples here. For a glimpse of yesteryear, head to the Weld Quay Clan Jetties, home to five main Chinese clans -- Lim, Chew, Tan, Lee and Yeoh. An easy stroll back to the cruise where we had lunch before leaving pretty Penang. Port Klang/Kuala Lumpur: My dad wasn't feeling 100% today, so the rest of us (7 total) hopped on the free Costa shuttle to the awaiting taxi mafia. Here we tried to negotiate for a ride into KL but kept getting referred back to a "negotiator" who had a "fixed price" list. We ended up getting a full day tour for the 7 of us in one taxi van (plenty of room) for $160 which included a visit to Batu Caves, Merdeka Square, Railway Station, National Mosque, Petronas twin towers (where we lunched at local hawker stalls on the second floor of the towers ) and had some nice photo ops of the towers themselves, a brief shopping trip in Chinatown, and a quick photo opportunity at the King's Palace. Our driver, a friendly female muslim, was fantastic and we really enjoyed the day trip. Note: leave plenty of time for travel....there was an overturned truck on our ride back and it took us over an hour to negotiate through that traffic jam. Malacca: Gorgeous city. Had to tender here. I downloaded a free "walking the Dutch Trail" tour and led my family on it...very easy to do this on your own, don't book a tour here unless you absolutely love crowds and being herded from one spot to another. Our tour took us to Dutch Square (Stadthuys & Christ Church), St Paul's Hill & Church, Baba Nyonya Museum, the famous Jonker street (where Wah Aik Shoe Maker still sells shoes for bound feet - one of the last shoemakers in the world to make these), onward to Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Kampung Kling Mosque, Portuguese Fort A Famosa, and the replica Sultan's palace. This is a very pretty port of call and we enjoyed it very much, rain and all. Kuantan: Ugggh! Please drop this port of call. Its horrible. The extortionate taxi mafia wanted a ridiculous $80 round trip for a ride to the Teluk Chempedak beach (visible from the top deck of the Victoria) but who wants to pay a small fortune to hang out at the beach? Not us...we stayed on board and didn't feel like we missed a thing, lounging by the salt water pool and enjoying cocktails. This port could have been a complete miss... Laem Chabang: We had already visited Bangkok so we opted to stay overnight in Pattaya. Read above for the nightmare scenario in securing passports for an overnight stay. Costa really disappointed us with their horrible organizational skills at this port. The reception staff was less than helpful and dozens of our fellow frustrated passengers crowded the front desk without getting adequate support...not good! Once we got off the Victoria, we hopped in our pre-coordinated ride to Pattaya (van for 8 pax was 1200 Baht). We stayed near Walking Street, and headed immediately to the excellent Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Gardens for elephant show, thai kickboxing, tigers, cultural show. Tickets were 500 Baht per person, the gardens were excellent. After heading back to Pattaya, we strolled by the beach, did some shopping (bargains to be had here but be sure to negotiate) and had fantastic street food. Lots of sights to be sure. Walking Street more tame that we expected, lots of fun. Ko Samui: We had to tender to Nathorn Port. It was pouring with rain here, so instead of our plan to hire motorbikes around the island, we settled on a van to drive us around for a 4-5 hour tour, cost was $110 for 8 people. We visited Na Muang waterfall, Wat Khunaram (where a mummified body of Ko Samui's best known monk, Loung Pordang can be seen), the natural geological formations known as Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks (the Grandpa and Grandma rocks), which look, respectively, like male and female genitalia, Chaweng Beach and Fishermen's Village. Since the last boat tender was at 3:15 pm, we headed back to Nathorn Port for some last minute shopping before catching one of the last tenders for the Victoria Overall thoughts: We had a fabulous time cruising around Asia and enjoyed most of the ports of call. Costa Victoria isn't for everybody, but we enjoyed it despite the setbacks (uncoordinated and misinformed front desk staff). In terms of value for money, this holiday couldn't be beat. Would we cruise with Costa again? Yes, but next time we would know what to expect of a Costa holiday. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
First the good...Embarkation was very easy.  The service was great, from the fantastic cabin steward to the pleasant waitstaff in the restaurants to the helpful English-speaking hospitality person.  The local tour guides were very good. ... Read More
First the good...Embarkation was very easy.  The service was great, from the fantastic cabin steward to the pleasant waitstaff in the restaurants to the helpful English-speaking hospitality person.  The local tour guides were very good. The excursions are a little expensive, but overall were very good.   The food in the sit-down restaurants was excellent.  The ports were absolutely beautiful.  The cabins were small but always very clean.  The frozen drinks were good but a bit pricey.The bad...The tours were very early in the morning.  Also, we didn't have much time in each port.  The pool area was a disaster.  There were only two small outdoor pools and four small hot tubs.  There were never any chairs and the area was always a mess.  The kids overran the pool area.  There were rules at the pool but they were never enforced, such as you couldn't reserve chairs and kids weren't allowed in the hot tub, but people would leave their stuff on chairs and leave for hours.  Also, there were babies in the hot tub.  The buffet was equally as bad.  They had the same food everyday, very few vegetarian options and the labels on the food weren't accurate.  The buffet was always packed and people cut the line and pushed and shoved and took huge portions so there was no food for the rest of us.  There was never anywhere to sit.  The only good food was the ice cream, but the machines were always broken or empty because people hogged them and there weren't enough machines.The other cruisers-The other cruisers were rude, pushy, cut lines and hogged the food.  It seemed like parents decided they were on vacation from being parents as all of the children were unruly, screaming, splashing, cutting lines, pushing, etc.  My mom saw one child lying on the floor of the restaurant and the parents didn't do anything about it.The website description is also inaccurate.  It said there was an all day ice cream bar, which didn't exist and an all day pizzeria, but the pizzeria was only open in the evenings.Recommendations--Get a cabin with a balcony-Do the Frasassi Caves tour in Ancona - they are amazing!-Do sit-down meals whenever possible-If you drink a lot of water, get the water plan.  There is never free water available on the ship except at meals.Things to be aware of-Most cruisers are European and not English-speaking so announcements take forever because they are made in a variety of languages and excursions may get cancelled because there are not enough English-speaking guests.There is not a lot of nightlife for 30-somethings.  Most entertainment was geared towards kids or retirees. Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
I'm American & my wife is Polish. We picked this cruise for the warm weather & sunshine in the Eastern Med at this time of year. We had previously cruised on the Costa Concordia in February 2008 & knew what to expect with ... Read More
I'm American & my wife is Polish. We picked this cruise for the warm weather & sunshine in the Eastern Med at this time of year. We had previously cruised on the Costa Concordia in February 2008 & knew what to expect with Costa overall. I was hoping that Victoria being a smaller ship would have better food and it certainly was true. We were very pleased with our dining experience. At our first dinner we noticed that there were several vacant tables for 2 next to the windows. We requested a seating change and very much enjoyed a table for 2 window seating for the rest of our cruise. Our waiter Sirinc from Mumbai India was very pleasant and we enjoyed his service. The first night I had prime rib that was a good start and the food selection was excellent during the whole cruise. Our E1 outside cabin on deck 5 was fine but Victoria being built in the mid 90's has small cabins compared to the new ships today as their was no sofa with extra room to relax. Our steward Chris did an excelent job looking after our cabin. I would not recommend cabins on deck 5 as I didn't notice they are under the jogging track when I booked & it was a little annoying hearing the joggers above us in the morning & late afternoon. Victoria has a large sun deck with 2 pools. One can lay in the sun by the pools and hear all the noise from the entertainment team or find more quiet at the bow or stern. For Northern Europeans that want a sun tan, this is the perfect ship for them! Being a Californian, I was happy to sit in the shade with a cold drink. After dinner we would enjoy walking around deck six and enjoying the sunset then go to the Concord Plaza Bar for drinks listening to the music & then back to bed. I don't care much for the new "Joe" designs from Carnival that are installed on the latest ships with Costa having all the garish plastic colors. I enjoyed the sedate interior of Victoria. All in all we enjoyed our cruise and for the price I think Costa delivers a good product. It's true the port stays are short and I would wish for less ports but longer stays. Since most of the passengers are Italian, I've read this is more of just a boat trip for them as many have already seen the ports visited. I didn't visit the casino & only saw one show, the magic act whick was OK.I was impressed with Venice as we spent 2 days there on our return. It is certainly a "one-of-a-kind" place. My take is that this cruise a good value for the money. If you are American & have never been to Europe before, you might enjoy this Italian experience or be frustrated many fellow passengers don't speak your language. It depends on your own comfort level of not being surounded with everyone being the same as you.  Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
A few tips from our Costa Victoria cruise to Dubai: - the buffet (on deck 11) is open 24 hrs and has free tea, coffee and cold water to help yourselves. (Although we did find the cold water some times luke warm, even though you were ... Read More
A few tips from our Costa Victoria cruise to Dubai: - the buffet (on deck 11) is open 24 hrs and has free tea, coffee and cold water to help yourselves. (Although we did find the cold water some times luke warm, even though you were meant to be able to get ice from it too.) There is also free tea, coffee and cold water out the back of deck 11 in the 'open restaurant' at dining times. - food quality and restaurant staff are fantastic. Food was really amazing, esp the pastas at lunchtime. - someone asked about minimum bets on the casino, from memory there were definitely 1 euro tables minimum, but I think like most casinos the min bet varied on different tables. - one thing I wished we had done before we went was printed some maps of the ports of call off the internet. The ship does give you a map, albeit it is so poor that it wasn't of use at all. If we had just spent some time printing off a few detailed maps with road names etc, we could have been a bit more adventurous walking round - esp so in Abu Dhabi (which is like Dubai, pretty affluent and easy to walk round) and Bahrain (which we found sandy and hustly bustly and a more traditional Arab place). Muscat is pretty small, so a map wouldn't be so needed there. - we took local taxis in most ports I'll give you a few tips re the ports we visited. Abu Dhabi - we did a 1 hour city tour for 100 dirhams (dhs) and asked to end it at Marina Mall, a large, good modern mall. Then got taxi from the Mall back to the boat. (Loads of taxis at the Mall). Worth driving out to the new Grand Mosque (looks amazing, like the Taj Mahal). Our favorite port - nice Corniche promenade along the front if you fancy a walk. You can't walk from the port entrance and need to get a taxi to the city centre. Bahrain - we got the Costa shuttle bus to the centre of Bahrain and had a wander round. Very old Arab feel to the city, found the souks (from the mini bus drop off head forward and to the left - down a few little alley ways, by the side of building site alleyway) worth going round the souks if you like that sort of thing. I wore a pashmina head scarf in the souks just to avoid the stares really. Fajarah (sorry can't remember the spelling). A complete waste of a cruise stop, and everyone we spoke to agreed. We got the Costa bus to Lulu mall - which is in fact a very poor excuse of a hypermarket. The trips didn't seem to go down with passengers better. I wouldn't know what to suggest here - everything seems a long way from the port and it seemed to be an Emirate with not much to see. Maybe stay on the ship?! Muscat, Oman - again took a 1 hour city tour for 100 dhs. Really interesting - firstly stopped at the souks, out to the Palace, then a post 5 star hotel for a look round and a stop at the museum. We squeezed a lot in to an hour. Nice port stop. There is a nice promenade on the front too, if you fancy a walk. (Don't walk to the souks from the port entrance - just too far in the heat). In all these places don't be frightened of getting taxis - they are really a good way to see the cities. If you are a bit adventurous you can get a lot out of it. If you don't mind spending more, of course the cruise tours have advantages - ie you don't have to organize anything and it is all done for you - each to their own I guess. But we were happy with taxis. They are everywhere, esp in Dubai where you flag them down like in London. They are outside all the malls and hotels in Dubai and queue up right where the ship docks up. The one and main tip for getting taxis is make sure the driver speaks pretty good English. You can do this when you are negotiating the price. Ask him to show you on the map where he would take you on a 1 hour city tour (or 2 hours if you want) and see if it is the same places you want to visit. If he can't show you or communicate to you in good English, I would just give him a miss and walk onto the next taxi driver. Ok, on to other tips: - we bought a couple of large 2 litre mineral bottles of water (2.50 euros each) on the ship. Then we were reluctant to keep spending this money to buy more water, so I nipped to the gym which has a water dispenser where you can easily refill the bottles up. No one said anything. I did see others do this in the buffet which gives free water, but the dispenser is not so easy to fill up bottles from. - X1 is only Carlsberg beer (no other beers) and only 1 choice of red or 1 choice of white wine. So if you are looking to save money and you like a drink with your lunch/dinner X1 is fab, if you are more choosey with your wine/beer you may not be happy with this. We found X1 fine for us - we ordered a last beer/wine just as leaving lunch - and took it to the pool, and the same in the evening and took our last drink to the bar we wanted to sit in after dinner. Just phone Costa Cruises directly if you want to find out more about the X1 package for your cruise - ours was around £55 per person for 8 days. - We have done an Ocean Village cruise and it was interesting comparing the 2 - entertainment on OV is far better. The entertainment on Costa was pretty poor really - Songs from the Shows, Belly Dancing, Puppet show. No comedians on Costa, which we liked on OV. - The checking in procedure is quite slick on Costa, yes they do take your passport and give you a copy of your photo page to use to enter the ship with your Costa Card, but that is all fine. Just remember to go to the Plaza Lounge on the last morning, to pick up your passport! - Depending when you check in you may not get your bags until 8pm outside your room. We took one large suitcase and one smaller 'pull along one' with our day clothes in so we could just get sandals/teeshirts out before they took our bags away. Also handy in that the smaller bag would fit in the large suitcase in our cabin, and that large case could fit under the bed to save space in the cabin. - We were on Virgin flights and got into Dubai around 10am and we had a 'service room' for the first day, before getting our proper cabin at 8pm. That was a godsend for a little sleep after a night flight. Not sure why we got this cabin, if it was a Virgin thing or what, but it was good. -You get your cabin on the last day until 4.30pm as Kevsgirl says, and you are allowed to stay on the ship until 10.30pm. We decided to postpone the flight home by 4 days and booked into a Dubai hotel so checked into the hotel, then came back to the ship for free dinner/drinks on the last night - only cost was a taxi there and back! - As to currency to take - Dirhams is needed for the UAE states, and in Muscat and Bahrain they all seemed happy to trade in Dollars. (Our rep said Euros would be OK too, but I'm not so sure - Dollars seems the currency which was sought after). - there are 2 'posh' dinners. The first was not the day we arrived but the next day. Really don't worry about what you wear for this - my husband wore a suit and tie but it was a complete mix. He wished he had worn a modern stripey shirt/cufflinks with no tie and trousers, rather than his work suit. As long as you don't have jeans on, you'll be fine. Lots of women just wore black trousers and a pretty top and fitted fine. Blokes tended to wear suits with ties or DJs, or chinos with nice shirts was absolutely fine. - we felt that the Reception staff were really rude (one elderly couple only had taken Nationwide Debit cards, no Credit cards - they didn't realize a Costa didn't accept Debit cards for payment at the end of your holiday - and the Reception staff were so rude to this poor elderly couple who didn't understand the difference between Debit/Credit cards). - we took water and cans of coke into the ship after each port. Although you put your bags thru scanners, no one said anything. We did it by mistake the first time and realized we had done it, and then we thought we could keep doing it and the worst that could happen is they take our water/soft drinks away. But I don't want to put anyone off a Costa cruise - overall we would definitely do it again - we just wished we had known the tips above before hand. Yes the service charge is a lot, but you know that when you book. Read Less
Sail Date February 2009
My wife and I started planning our cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean just under a year ago as a gift to each other for our 25th wedding anniversary. We had been on one cruise previously, with another line and had been extremely ... Read More
My wife and I started planning our cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean just under a year ago as a gift to each other for our 25th wedding anniversary. We had been on one cruise previously, with another line and had been extremely impressed by the quality of service and the friendliness of the staff. Our expectation with Costa was therefore quite high. We were not intimidated by the multicultural environment offered by Costa as we both speak French and English quite well and can get along in Italian. Venice was our port of embarkation and we made independent arrangements to get there, spending most of a day and a night in that beautiful city before getting to the ship. In Venice, there is a shuttle bus service from Piazzale Roma to the ship. Near boarding time, the buses come at +/- 20 minute intervals. We got there in plenty of time and hooked up with a small group of fellow travellers who were boarding the ship that day. We actually got into a queue at the point where the bus was expected and as only a few people were ahead of us, we were expecting an easy shuttle. Wrong! When the bus arrived, a throng appeared out of nowhere and pushed and shoved its way onto the bus. My wife and I managed to get our suitcases into the compartment and found standing room on the bus. Then we were told to get off and take the next bus, our suitcases would wait for us at the port. When we did get to the port, 20 minutes later, our suitcases were there, on the parking lot, unattended. We picked them up and lugged them towards the check-in, following the Costa signs for some 500 meters. Once there, we realized that we should have left our luggage at the drop-off point near the area where the first bus had deposited our luggage. So we went back, with our luggage, for another +/- 500 meters. At the luggage drop-off, things went rather smoothly as did the subsequent check-in. Our stateroom was a standard category 10 stateroom with ocean view and balcony. Were talking pretty small here, perhaps 150 square feet plus perhaps another 40 square feet for the balcony. The use of the space, however, is quite efficient and the stateroom was very comfortable. We were on the port side and got the chance to see some spectacular views along the cruise. A small irritant was the room safe. It was quite finicky, requiring several attempts to open or close and occasionally requiring reprogramming. Moreover, it operates with only one of the ID cards issued by Costa for the cabin, which means that I had to stay on my wifes good side for the whole duration of the cruise. On the first day, we rushed to the front of Deck 12 to get a good place in order to observe our departure through the spectacular Canale della Giudecca which we had been observing for a few weeks on the ships webcam. Each time, the ship had departed, like clockwork at 6:00 PM sharp, local time. This time, 6:00 PM came and went. We waited and waited. At 6:45, we had to go to our meal sitting. The ship left shortly after that, having been delayed by some late passengers. We had been at sea for the first day when we had our emergency drill. Much effort was made to place the passengers by height so that the ships photographer would be able to get a snapshot of everyone. The drill took forever as all announcements had to be made in six languages (Italian, French, English, German, Spanish, and Portuguese). The ship is just about the right size. It is big enough to offer a variety of services and enable passengers to roam without feeling constrained, and yet not so big so as to preclude them from finding their way about. All the main services are available: shops, casino, enough bars to satisfy a very large number of thirsty people, a theatre, a spa and a very small space serving as a gym. In all honesty, the gym could use more space, more equipment, and longer opening hours. My wife and I enjoy a brisk walk and we often used the jogging track on Deck 6. The problem here is that people will run or walk, at whatever pace they see fit, in any direction they see fit. The jogging track could use a couple of lanes, fast and slow, as well as directional arrows. The meals are pretty good, although, given the Italian reputation for superb eating, not quite up to our expectations. The coffee was nowhere near the rich dark brew one would expect. The breakfast buffet presented a rich selection of fruit together with a wide choice of artery clogging foods including all sorts of eggs, pancakes, waffles, bacon and sausage. A small section is reserved for the Health Corner where one can find a bit of stewed fruit, some yoghurt, and a limited selection of cereals. For dinner, we were told wed share our table with two other couples. We were surprised to find ourselves at a table for two. Each dinner consisted of a seven-course meal. The food was plentiful, servings were generous and the preparation was quite good albeit not exceptional. The wine selection is varied and suggestions are offered on the menus. During the cruise, we got to know our waiter and assistant quite well. They were friendly, helpful and quite competent. Entertaining a complement of passengers speaking at least six different languages has got to be a nightmare, and the staff did an impressive job in this respect. Roberto, the cruise director, was a riot and he was ably assisted by his colleagues. The after dinner show every night was different and entertaining. The talent was varied and competent. DO NOT miss the Roman Night on the last night of sailing. I cant remember the last time I laughed so hard. The shore excursions were handled efficiently. Each group was individually led off the ship and handed over to the tour guide. Overall, the tour guides were quite good and knowledgeable. On two occasions, however, the tour guide would give us instruction for place and time to return to the ship, and then drop off in order to give the passengers free time for sightseeing and shopping. This is quite good except for one thing. When you have to board a tender by a specific time, you may encounter a bottleneck at the port if more than one cruise ship is anchored offshore. We started heading back with what we thought was a good margin for making the tender only to encounter long queues of people trying to do the same thing at the same time. Not good for the blood pressure! The disembarkation procedure was exactly the opposite of our first days boarding. On the day prior to our return to Venice, we were invited to a meeting at which the disembarkation procedures were clearly explained. Our luggage was picked up as promised. We got our suitcases within five minutes of getting off the ship. We breezed right through out to the shuttle bus and were back at Piazzale Roma within ten minutes. My wife and I both enjoyed the multi-cultural composition of the passengers although it did tend to slow down communication at times. There is probably less mingling among passengers than there would be if there was a more common background. We certainly did not notice much mixing between the cultural groups. This may please people who want to keep to themselves but disappoint more outgoing types. As a general impression, I would say that we got good value for the price of our cruise. Our opinion is mitigated by the fact that our previous cruise experience had left us with very high expectations. One might say that the Costa Victoria suffered by comparison. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
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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