1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Costa Cruises
  4. Costa Victoria Review
  5. Costa Victoria Cruise Reviews
This was my 10th and 11th cruise, 2nd on Costa. I sailed the Atlantica two years ago on a transatlantic. In my opinion, Costa does a lot of things right but there are some rough spots that need to be addressed. Still, it's just my ... Read More
This was my 10th and 11th cruise, 2nd on Costa. I sailed the Atlantica two years ago on a transatlantic. In my opinion, Costa does a lot of things right but there are some rough spots that need to be addressed. Still, it's just my opinion from my perspective. Others on the same cruises might very well disagree. Pre-Cruise We booked the Sheraton Airport through Priceline for a very good rate. The hotel is very nice and the management was helpful and friendly. We arrived early afternoon and after checking around, we chose to eat dinner at The Rustic Crab, a casual restaurant with a varied seafood menu, but specializing in Garlic Crab. Delicious! But it's quite busy and there will be a wait. Embarkation Long and tedious with not enough chairs in the terminal for those waiting. It seemed organized, but obviously not enough help to process the number of people very quickly. Cabin The Victoria was launched in 1996, before the balcony phase, so no balcony. I decided some time ago that if I could not book a balcony I would book inside, since I am not real impressed by a window I cannot open. Our inside cabin #80243 was about 160 sq ft and quite comfortable. Nicely designed with plenty of storage space and a mini bar. The bathroom was cramped but had an excellent shower. The TV had cable stations but no CNN or ESPN, one English movie channel, the rest in other languages. The Ship I won't go into great detail about the design of the Victoria since that information is available at various sites. The ship is very clean and well maintained and quite beautiful. Even at capacity, the layout presents an open, uncrowded feeling. There are plenty of elevators, some glass enclosed which allows a view of the atrium. Perhaps my favorite thing about the Victoria (which is true of the Atlantica as well) is the open bars which serve both coffee and alcohol. The bar areas are open to public walkways which makes it easy to stop in for a coffee or drink and listen to music without feeling trapped in a bar. This is especially nice if you're alone at the time. Some have couches where you can sit and read, sip coffee, listen to music and not feel out of place. Great idea! The pool is about average size and there are two hot tubs on each end of the pool. There are many, many deck chairs on all of the decks for sunning, and I do think that there were enough to go around. The ship has about all of the other amenities of any modern ship except the mega-mega liners. Card room, spa, fitness center, Internet cafe...it's all there. The Casino The casino is large with the usual table games and tons of slot machines. It is often crowded after dinner and into the night. I played a fair amount, lost a little but did meet a few that hit a jackpot. The bar staff circulates and it is easy to order a drink. Overall, the casino is appealing and comfortable with good ventilation. The Food There is certainly plenty of it in various spots so I will try to break it down, with comments specific to the area. Formal Dining -- The two main dining rooms are on deck five, separated by the kitchen. Passengers are assigned early (6:30 PM) or late (8:30-8:45 PM) seating in one or the other. My first cruise I was assigned to the Sinfonia, the 2nd to the Fantasia. I found no difference. Both rooms are attractive, but not awesome in any way. I would describe the dining room food as fair overall with an occasional entree that excelled. The dinner menu offered six courses, including desert, with a number of selections. Pasta was one of the courses and was the most consistent. The bread was always hard rolls and I felt the deserts were uninspiring. I did not eat in the dining room for breakfast or lunch so I cannot comment. Casual Dining -- Most of the casual dining is located on the pool deck, deck 11. The Nettuno grill is open from about noon till 2:30 PM and serves hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries, with all the trimmings, including bacon, cheese, sauerkraut and sautEed onions, but no pickles. All the food at the grill is excellent, but I did miss the pickles. The grill reopens about 4 PM and offers pizza (not great) and a selection of fruit. The Bolero Buffet, off the pool deck, is open for breakfast, lunch and light snacks throughout most of the afternoon and evening. I would categorize the food there as fair, and selections rather limited. Costa does not offer very good bread. La Terrazza, on the aft of the pool deck, is open for lunch and serves fresh pasta, pizza, and a different International cuisine each day. The pasta is excellent, and the rest of the selections are usually very good. The Pizzeria, on Deck 12 is open from 6:30 PM till 1 AM for pizza or ice cream. The late night buffets (except for the Gala night) are spread out through the bar areas and offers pasta, pastries, fruit, cheese, desserts. A nice selection and a great way to do it. The Gala buffet, a much grander affair, takes place in the Fantasia restaurant. Unfortunately, once you serve your plate, that's pretty much the end of grand for you have to trudge through the very long kitchen in formal attire to the other dining room in order to sit down and eat. This makes no sense. Perhaps the original thought was that there would not be enough tables left since the buffet takes up space, but it's just not the case. The buffet is not that well attended and there are plenty of available tables. At any rate, it turns an enormous effort by the kitchen staff into something rather unappealing. And it needn't be that way. Alternative Restaurant -- Cafe Magnifico is the alternative restaurant, a sampling of Genoa's finest restaurant. Cost is $20 per person and a 15% gratuity. I did not eat there but one of my tablemates who did was truly impressed. He called it most definitely 5 star and in his opinion would cost several times the price on land. Room Service -- Room service is offered 24 hrs although the menu varies after 1 AM. The breakfast menu which can be hung on the door is strictly continental. Coffee, tea, milk, pastries, fruit, yogurt. A variety of sandwiches are offered that are truly excellent. Room service is very quick and courteous. The Service Very, very uneven. My first table steward was barely marginal, the second absolutely outstanding. My room steward ranked with the best I've had. Some of the bar staff were friendly and efficient, a few others not. The tour staff was the worst I've encountered, often rude, abrupt and impatient with questions. The administrative staff was quite nice and tried to be helpful but often delivered the wrong information. Language problems were the culprit at times, I think, regarding wrong information, but frustrating nevertheless. Entertainment I am not a big fan of shipboard production shows, so I solicited the opinions of those who are. For the most part, they were pleased with most of the shows and except for two they thought were terrible, ranked the entertainment about average. The musicians throughout the ship in the various bars are all quite good. The band on the pool deck was always entertaining. They offered the usual deck activities such as bingo, horse racing etc. Miscellaneous Toga Night is a special Costa thing. Bed sheets and a cardboard crown with instructions on how to create a toga are delivered to your room on the afternoon of toga night which is the final night of the cruise. Most participate, and it's fun to see the different creations. Smoking -- I have read many reviews on Costa which made an issue of the smoking, but I have to say I didn't find it to be an issue. There is no smoking in any of the restaurants or the Fantasia showroom. The pool deck has a smoking side and non-smoking side, separated by the width of the ship. All bars have both smoking and non-smoking areas. I didn't encounter anyone smoking in public walkways or at elevators. The casino allows smoking however it is very well ventilated. But the bottom line is Costa is a European based cruise line with a loyal European following and is protective of the rights of both sets of passengers. I think they do it as well as they can. Announcements -- This is another area where Costa has been criticized. Announcements in several languages. Well, there is no way around that since Costa's passengers represent multiple languages, but I will say, since my cruise on the Atlantica, the announcements have been cut way back. On this cruise, there were very, very few announcements. How few? Well, I went through an entire day an hour off in time since I didn't know to turn my clock back. Didn't realize it till dinner when we were the only ones waiting to get in an hour early. Coffee -- Coffee gets it's own heading because Costa's coffee is exceptional throughout the ship. No doubt, the best I've had on any cruise line. And I am particular about coffee. Now if they could just improve their bread. Ports The ports were all popular ports that have been reviewed many times, so I will only list the ones where I have some special input. Catalina -- Costa's private island and I think they do it better than any other cruise line I have been on. They are extremely organized. You are met at the island by chair runners who will set up your lounge chair anywhere you want it. No need to try to chase one down no matter how late you arrive. The bar staff circulates selling drinks (of course) but the downside is that the drinks are jacked up in price. A $1.50 shipboard coke is now $1.95. Why? Anyway, the island is lovely, typical picnic food is offered at more that one location and you can always drink juice or iced tea for free. Cozumel -- Try eating lunch at Pancho's Backyard. Delicious Mexican food in a garden environment, all prepared from fresh ingredients and absolutely outstanding Margaritas. Even better, ask for Manual and mention his web page and get a free (small) Margarita. Adjacent to Pancho's is an interesting shop with a variety of crafts and souvenirs. From downtown, you can get a taxi to the Mayan ruins roundtrip (he will wait for you). The paths at the ruins are uneven and not easy walking so if you want to go at your own pace, this may be the best way. The cost was no more than the tour. Progresso and Merida -- The shuttle drops you off at the craft bazaar in downtown Progresso. Right there, you will find double decker painted busses that will take you on a $2 tour of the little town. Only takes about twenty minutes. Just a few blocks from the bazaar is Progresso's beautiful beach. At the entrance to the bazaar tickets are sold to Merida. A round trip bus ticket is $8. A roundtrip with tour is $20. Take the tour. Merida is very difficult on your own. Very few people speak any English. It takes about 45 minutes by bus to Merida. I don't think any of the busses are air conditioned. Key West -- The Conch Train tour is well worth the money. $18 at the station in Key West. The driver talks non-stop and covers every important bit of history and information you ever wanted to know. The trolley also offers a tour and you can get off and on the trolley at any stop you want to explore. Summary By now, you know my opinion of Costa's good points and problem areas. But I think the positive definitely out weighs the negative. I personally enjoyed the rather relaxed atmosphere and I think the passenger mix was a positive. We were the only Americans at a large table of British passengers and I have never had better tablemates. They were fun and gracious and we made lasting friends. Overall, I felt my fellow cruisers were friendly and courteous and I enjoyed getting to know several of them. The age was mixed, and although the group was generally lively and fun loving, they were not boisterous or brawling drunks. I feel that Costa genuinely tries to deliver a fine cruise experience even though they may at times fall short due to language barriers. I do think that some areas can be improved and that they should make an effort to do so. That said, I feel they offer an excellent product for value and I would not hesitate to cruise Costa again. GSDDAW@aol.com April 2003 Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We have cruised on many cruises ships over the last 30 years, sometimes twice a year and all cruises have been amazing except for Costa. We used Costa 3 years ago and said never again. However we were looking for a cruise and having ... Read More
We have cruised on many cruises ships over the last 30 years, sometimes twice a year and all cruises have been amazing except for Costa. We used Costa 3 years ago and said never again. However we were looking for a cruise and having been all over the world decided to opt for a different costa ship as the itinerary looked appealing. The attitude of the majority of the staff was appalling. we literally had to plead for English Breakfast tea bags, and butter. Please, thankyou and smiles were rarely used. The food was not good, the portions were small and always luke warm. We used the upstairs buffet mostly, this was not much better but at least there was more choice. We got talking to other cruisers and found that a lot had sickness bugs which leads to my main concern -----THE SHIP HAD HAND SANITISERS WHICH NOBODY WAS ENCOURAGED TO USE. Worse still a lot of the time they were empty. When we pointed this out we were met with a shrug of the shoulders. Passengers often used their fingers to pick up food from the buffet and filled their water bottles from the water machine. Oh and by the way be careful if you ask for a bottle of soft drink as we sat and watched the staff filling up bottles with the bits left over. we returned many bottles that appeared full but the seals were broken. There were many other bad points, but just please think twice before you spend your money on a costa cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The itinerary looked good and so I booked the cruise allowing Costa to book the flights. This was a big mistake, you cannot trust them. I normally book my own flights and allow for possible flight delays by staying overnight the night ... Read More
The itinerary looked good and so I booked the cruise allowing Costa to book the flights. This was a big mistake, you cannot trust them. I normally book my own flights and allow for possible flight delays by staying overnight the night prior to boarding. I was due to fly Manchester /Paris Charles De Gaulle changing for flight to Mauritius. They allowed 85 minutes to change planes, anybody knowing this airport would think this tight. This ultimately was not a problem as the first plane was cancelled as my taxi arrived to take me to the airport. I rang Costa who told me to go to the airport and they would contact me . I was left for about four hours without contact, finally with the office now closed for the weekend, I received a call from India in broken English. I could not hear in the busy airport, so went to hotel for Friday night and rang India for instructions. I offered to go home or go on the next cruise with compensation. I was offered to fly me to Seychelles and miss the first 3 days of the cruise, the unnamed hotel was with food , a drink with meals and no entertainment. It meant one day stay in place of 3 days fully inclusive on cruise, I said that I would prefer to stay on the ship and return from Seychelles, so that I would get what I paid for. I would go on the shorter cruise if compensated. I was assured that the compensation would be made onboard. Once onboard, it was left until the day before I left to be told my cruise was not being extended and my compensation was €50 a day. I find this to be grossly undervalued plus all the stress. Upon my return, the offer of a €100 per person off a future cruise was derisory. Entertainment was boring with few entertainment staff working hard. Tours are very expensive and poorly organised. Madagascar very dissapointing. Cruise operating in rainy season did not help. I dined Ist sitting on a table for 12 in Sinfonia Restaurant, they brought another chair so 13 could sit there. This squashed everybody and annoyed next table waiter, who kept telling me to move my chair in. He was friendly, I asked him for a spoon and he told me to ask my waiter. The cutlery offered was often bizarre, a knife and fork for spaghetti. The food was terrible and displayed with pride as you entered the restaurant, it looked unappetising and nobody waived a magic wand when it appeared on your plate. The portions were small,poor quality and often served colder than desired. A doctor sat with me shared my concerns as the restaurant became half full, I developed diarrhoea for five days, so I moved to the upstairs buffet. This is self service and first night a Chinese girl vomited on my table, this could happen anywhere, however I had my suspicions. Every night half the dishes were lukewarm. I never saw anybody with a thermometer and I reported it to a supervisor. He went and spoke to chef, he came back and said that chef would do me some hot food if I wanted it. Says it all Costa have lost control on this ship. Please and thankyou are not used on this ship. Smiles seldom and rude waiters tolerated. This cruise shows the low level now tolerated by Carnival. I was a Perla member with Costa and will not cruise with them again. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
maybe at the outset I will refer to the fact that unless the economic situation of Italy reflected the situation that took place on the ship :), but quite seriously we start with the fact that we had the opportunity to be your guests and ... Read More
maybe at the outset I will refer to the fact that unless the economic situation of Italy reflected the situation that took place on the ship :), but quite seriously we start with the fact that we had the opportunity to be your guests and regret that the conditions that prevailed on Victoria were terrible, I think. that such ships should be removed from use. Everything old, crackling, perishable. There was a haos on the ship, no one knew anything. People working at the reception were forever uninformed. Excursions offered by the shipowner were up to 300% more expensive than in private companies that were in the port, it's embarrassment :). Drinking and eating was terrible, it was hard to choose anything from what was offered in the dining room for everyone, generally hideous food. No wonder that paid thematic restaurants functioned very well, since the hopeless food was for everyone. We also do not understand the situation related to eternally loudly playing music, which instead of bringing some peace and relaxation during the journey caused irritation and anger. Is there nobody thinking about you? After all, the ship had only one pool and it was necessary to take into account that there are young and old people who also wanted peace and relaxation, and not listening to taunting animators and stupid jokes, was Costa so low down? You count for a service of 10 euros per person per day, as a service when during the whole stay none of the service staff asked us whether we would drink something or do we want something? Mockery!!! Costa today represents a very low level, I suggest that you think hard about buying a cruise from this company, in our opinion definitely "no" Please, finally, fix the toilet, because it's hard to run around toilets generally available on the ship, it's not this epoch, time does not go back only goes forward and Costa goes backwards !!!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Taking a cruise on the Victoria is like going back into the early days of cruising, with the exception that the food was for my wife and myself was inedible for the most part. Although the ship underwent renovation in 2018, I found it ... Read More
Taking a cruise on the Victoria is like going back into the early days of cruising, with the exception that the food was for my wife and myself was inedible for the most part. Although the ship underwent renovation in 2018, I found it difficult to see where the improvements were. The ship is dated and worn and stains and wear are evident everywhere I read the previous reviews and I knew enough to lower my expectations, but obviously I didn't lower them enough. The itinerary is excellent and was the primary factor in booking this cruise. Two waiters, Omesha Kilpaldy in the dining room and Kenneth in the specialty pizzeria were outstanding. Other crew members were fine for the most part, but there were a number of instances where crew members were just rude. The majority of guests were French speaking, many of them from the islands, taking advantage of a cruise that leaves close to home. Often we were placed with people who did not speak English for lunch and breakfast. I used the best French I could muster, but in some cases people just didn't want to converse with someone who had poor French language skills. Things you should know: 1. Speaking French would be a real asset, as well as abandoning expectations you would normally have on a mainstream North American cruise line. 2. The water on the ship is not potable. There are four water stations in the buffet area where you can get water for free. There are lineups and the water pressure is so bad that it often takes a minute to fill a glass . Some machines did not work consistently. We had a USA water plan which entitled us to one glass of water each for lunch and dinner. Beyond that you pay 2 euros. You should know that if you go to the specialty restaurant or pizzeria (pay for items) your water plan does not count and you must buy water for 2 euros. 3. The specialty restaurant will offer the advantage of a quiet space to eat, but according to German English speaking acquaintances the restaurant is not worth the price since the menu is largely the same thing you get in the dining rooms. Looking for a North American pizza experience choose the Margherita which is the only pizza which has a tomato sauce base. Other pizza are oil based rather than tomato sauce based, but to be fair they were edible is not tasty. We went to the pizzeria four times, since the food in the dining room was as described earlier. Cost for a pizza and 1 dessert to share was 8 euros, but if you sign up for Costa Club you get a 50% discount. 4. The toilets would often fail to flush in the morning hours. You would press the button and nothing would happen. Then five to ten minutes later it would flush. Some times this led to embarrassment, even for spouses that have been married for over 40 years. The air conditioning system was excellent, but the set up is such that the person closest to the duct gets constant cold air blowing on them. 5. If you don't like crowds, avoid the buffet. Early in the cruise we sat at the larger table for four, an East Indian lady proceeded to take her dirty dishes from her table and place them on the portion of the table which was not occupied, which bring us to the point that, table clearing in the buffet is not as great as on some ships. Needless to say this was an upsetting experience. 6. Be very careful In Madagascar. According to Mauritius friends two ladies were kidnapped and held for ransom in Tamatave. A ransom was paid and the women apparently were returned to the ship. Leaving the port gate in Madagascar is placing yourself among hundreds of people, all wanting to provide transportation. Be prepared to negotiate a price that is considerably less than the asking price. Ships tours are very expensive, but in Madacasgar, I would probably choose the tours since the people are poor and there is a risk to safety. In Nosey Be once we fought our way past the throngs of tour and taxi drivers, we found a wonderful Christian man who took us on a great tour for a very reasonable price (less than one fifth of the ship price). We had to travel a kilometre from the port to find him in a local park. Antisarana (Diego Suarez) was a less pleasant experience with a tuk tuk driver who stopped the vehicle a kilometre from the ship and wanted to renegotiate the price. We were going to tip him 25% anyways. We told him we would walk from there, but if he wanted the tip he would have to take us to the ship. To be fair the police are corrupt and they extorted money from him at two stops. I offered to pay but he wouldn't tell me how much they extorted. 7. For those who like to travel on your own using public transport system, the best place is the Seychelles. Although it is challenging at first, once you know the system and purchase a schedule (main bus terminal) it is quite easy to tour the island at minimal cost. The beaches are beautiful. Anse Goulette and Anse Royal are excellent. Anse Royal is by far the easiest to get to with 5 buses on the route... Buses generally come every 15 to 20 minutes. Would I go on Costa again, not a "snowball's chance in hell", but it was the only game in town and despite the numerous frustrations, it was an interesting trip. Fortunately we did meet some wonderful people on board, Mauritians and Ukrainians. That and the two waiters I mentioned were the best things about the ship. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Chose this cruise because the dates and the embarkation port were convenient for me. That is the good stuff out of the way, and the rest was downhill. The fact that drinking water is not provided free on a cruise in such a hot region ... Read More
Chose this cruise because the dates and the embarkation port were convenient for me. That is the good stuff out of the way, and the rest was downhill. The fact that drinking water is not provided free on a cruise in such a hot region tells you all you need to know. in 21 days only one of the two ice machines worked and then only for one day. No water provided with evening meal and no tea or coffee afterwards. Menus poor and reconstituted potato used. Drinks packages were a complete rip off. Passports were taken on day one, and only a photocopy given out (too late to be useful in some cases). When we went to Langkawi we found that the duty free shops would not allow sales unless the photcopy was shown but we had not received ours. So after a hot and sweaty trip back to the ship - queueing at the info desk to receive a copy, then a further hot and sweaty trip back to the shop - I finally managed to buy some perfume, but the whole process took half of the day we were there. Then the final insult, a photocopy (second one) was delivered to my cabin half an hour before the ship sailed out. I was given the WRONG advice about the mandatory visa for India and so paid out £140 for a two year visa instead of a £40 short term stay visa. The disembarkation port was Savona, Italy, where the ship was going into dock for a 12 day maintenance period, but we still had to vacate the cabin by 8 am and then sit in the theatre until 11.30 waiting for our transfer coach. No laundries on board and the cabin laundry service was EXPENSIVE. Would never book with COsta again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
They say you get what you pay for, but even at the great price they were offering, you got a lot LESS that what you paid for on this cruise. As an adult I have been on more than 100 cruises and as a teenager my father was a cruise ship ... Read More
They say you get what you pay for, but even at the great price they were offering, you got a lot LESS that what you paid for on this cruise. As an adult I have been on more than 100 cruises and as a teenager my father was a cruise ship captain. This cruise was by far the bottom of the barrel. The crew is so over worked, that there is no way they can provide good service. The biggest thing the ship needs to do is get less senior officers and more workers. There are more than enough officers standing around doing nothing while there was a shortage of people to do the work They even charge for water. On every other ship we have been on, you could always go some where to get water, tea or coffee at no charge. If you want water at dinner, no problem either pay per glass or purchase a water package. The food in the dinning rooms and buffet was so bad that it forced you go to the for pay dinning rooms. The terms planning, organization, and logic have totally evaded this ship. Our tours (that we did not book with the ship) were great and we plan to visit many of the ports again on another cruise line. In the disembarkation talk the crew speaker spent over 10 minutes telling us why we should give them 10s on the survey because the problems were not the fault of the crew. In short, stay away from the Victoria and Costa in general. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We had chosen this cruise because of the nice weather and the price was ok for us. We did a cruise with Costa Neoclassica from Savona to India in November 2017 and that one was beautiful. All our cruises with Costa were nice. We ... Read More
We had chosen this cruise because of the nice weather and the price was ok for us. We did a cruise with Costa Neoclassica from Savona to India in November 2017 and that one was beautiful. All our cruises with Costa were nice. We exprerienced more than 10 cruises, but this cruise was a disaster. It was the last cruise of this ship Victoria, it sailed from Asia to Europe and to be refurbished in Marseille to sail in Europe in the next future. The Italian animation team was very much to loud, the whole day they screemed on the deck. The refurbisment was already started. The carpet was already pulled loose, the stairs were already disassembled and sanded, the tenderboats were already sanded, the ceilings already came down, the chairs were already re-upholstered. All day you heard knocking, sawing, sanding, carpentry and so on. The workmen in black and white suits were busy all day. The quality of the food was in the first week ok, but the last two weeks terrible, old frozen food, no variety, cheap food unmade. I think the freezers had to be empty before the cruises ended. The dinner lasted 2.5 hours, there was far too little staff, between the various dishes we had to wait half an hour. Food appeared that you had not ordered, or it did not come at all. At 8 o'clock in the morning most of the chairs were already occupied with towels and personal belongings. Passengers occupied the seats all day long, although sometimes they were not there for hours. Costa did nothing. For me NEVER COSTA AGAIN. Read Less
Costa Victoria Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 2.0 0.0
Public Rooms 3.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 2.0 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 2.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

Find a Costa Victoria Cruise

Email me when prices drop