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41 Costa Allegra Cruise Reviews

Do not go if you are expecting any english speaking! They only cater to Italian/Spanish/Portugese/French. Not fun for a Canadian! Food is very european, and it is better at buffet then restaurant. Every night same type of meat! I call ... Read More
Do not go if you are expecting any english speaking! They only cater to Italian/Spanish/Portugese/French. Not fun for a Canadian! Food is very european, and it is better at buffet then restaurant. Every night same type of meat! I call it Mystery Meat with a different sauce! WIFI is a crapshoot, with €28 charges galore! The 1st week of the cruise included dance lessons, zumba, and some cooking lessons by the pool. The 2nd week NOTHING! Absolutely NOTHING! And unless you like 1960's SLOW music, dont bother with the lounge. Nightly entertainment was really bad in the lounge and the Colleseum. Waste of Money! Waste of time! However, staff, is beyond expectations! They try & make up for everthing the cruise lacks. Our cabin was spotless! Our servers topshelf! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We are both retired. I was a Regonal Manager for a multi-natioal company and my wife worked for a Insurance company.We have been on 3 cruises 1 on the Costa Classica. We flew from Manchester with Air France. We Departed at 19.45 to Paris ... Read More
We are both retired. I was a Regonal Manager for a multi-natioal company and my wife worked for a Insurance company.We have been on 3 cruises 1 on the Costa Classica. We flew from Manchester with Air France. We Departed at 19.45 to Paris CdG arrived 22.15. Departed at 23.30 for Singapore. Arrived at 18.05. (we booked with Virgin Cruises)the service was very poor and the plane was dirty and shaby. The food was the worced I have ever had on any flight.Because of the flight times we lost most of that day in Singapore as we just had time to get our bags on board and have a shower before it was time for our meal.Adivise cheak flight times and have them changed (might cost a little more) The cabin and en suite was good. The only problem was that the bed was under the window so we had to stand on the bed to look out. The food in the self service areas was very good with lots of choose from. The restaurant menu was very well written but the meal didn't live up to the hype. The gym was OK but the pools were very small. The large pool was full with 12 people in. The Staff were very good and helpful. This is because they would not receive any bonus if they did not receive good comments from the passengers. (form to fill in at end of cruise}We were told to give them all 5. The Officer on the other hand only spoke to the Italian passengers and ignored everyone else. The Entertainment was poor, with only 1 good singer Barry Ruth he was held the whole show together. Some of the singers in the bars were also very good along with the piano player. Shore Excursions are very expensive. You can do them for much less if you do your homework. We booked our own taxi with 2 or 4 other people and found it much cheaper. For Rome we got the train from Civitavecchia, station 5 minutes from the port gate. It cost 19 Euros return and run ever 30 mins. the time taken to St Peters square was 45 mins and the train was 10 times better than any coach very smooth and quite. Wine, beer, water and spirits very expensive. The say that you cannot take on board your own for heath and safety. This is rubbish it is for their profit. I took on board tins of beer without any problem. Yes the cruise was good value for money if you did not drink or go on any trips other wise could be very expensive.Also we had to pay 6 Euros each per day Hotel Service Charge and also,plus 15% on any bar purchases. Note Please add this to the review sent to you about the Tender Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
This will only be a short review as I've already posted a long one last year on the Costa Allegra. This long repositioning cruise to Italy was our third on the Allegra in 12 months, so we knew what to expect as far as the ship is ... Read More
This will only be a short review as I've already posted a long one last year on the Costa Allegra. This long repositioning cruise to Italy was our third on the Allegra in 12 months, so we knew what to expect as far as the ship is concerned. Obviously we love it, or wouldn't sail three times. My ravings about it enticed a couple of our friends to join us in Mumbai for the second leg of the journey. They too had a lovely time and are now hooked on cruising! We were a bit disappointed with our cabin as it was a bit smaller than what we've had in the past, with very little bench space. (We had chosen it ourselves making sure it was in a good position without any noisy rooms above us) After a couple of days we were offered another one close by with a porthole and slightly more room. We took it until Mumbai, when it was occupied and returned to our original one. We asked for the beds to be separated and this gave us a lot more space. I think Deck 5 seems to have larger cabins and many now have plasma TVs as well (we were on Deck 5 last year). Anyway that didn't stop us enjoying ourselves as we spent little time in the cabin. The staff is wonderful. Always helpful, friendly, courteous and can't do enough for you. Also the Officers always greeted us in a polite fashion. The food is lovely. I didn't have one meal I didn't enjoy. There is so much to choose from, I really can't understand why some people need to complain. If you didn't like something it could quickly be replaced with another meal. The entertainment was sometimes a bit 'ordinary', with a few very good performances. Unfortunately for those of us who did the whole cruise the second fortnight was pretty much a repeat of the first with a few exceptions....and for those like us who had cruised Allegra twice last year it meant we saw some for the 4th time! We had about 17 ports along the way. The Asian ones we had already visited, but Sri Lanka, India and the Middle East were new to us. We were able to visit the Pyramids and Petra on a couple of the excursions. We left the Allegra in Civitavecchia and about a week later while touring Europe, we saw her sail past St Marks Square in Venice and we so wished we were still on board. She is small with no frills of the larger ships, but that's what we like. You get to meet so many passengers and the crew have more time for you and get to know you. We would very happily sail Costa Allegra again!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
My partner and I recently undertook the Mumbai-Civitavecchia leg of Costa Allegra's repositioning cruise. This was our first time on a cruise ship, and we booked it because some friends were doing the full Singapore-Civitavecchia trip ... Read More
My partner and I recently undertook the Mumbai-Civitavecchia leg of Costa Allegra's repositioning cruise. This was our first time on a cruise ship, and we booked it because some friends were doing the full Singapore-Civitavecchia trip and suggested we join them, and because the itinerary was very appealing. Prior to making our booking we had heard little of Costa or the Allegra, and after reading some of the reviews on this site we wondered what we had done. Our friends, though, had sailed on the Allegra previously, and kept telling us to expect a 3 star ship, and we would be happy. It was good advice. We travelled to Mumbai independently, and spent a couple of days there prior to embarking. What a fascinating, almost overwhelming city. This then was our honest experience as 53 year-old first timer cruisers: EMBARKATION This was by far our worst experience of Costa. At no stage, on the website or in our cruise documentation, were we informed where we could board the ship. We understand that perhaps Costa does not regularly dock in Mumbai, but we had to rely on our on-board friends to text message us to tell us where to go to embark. Not a good start. At the "Green Gate" to the port we were met by Indian immigration officials who couldn't (or wouldn't) understand that we were new passengers boarding the ship, not existing passengers returning from a day in port. We didn't yet have our Costa cards, nor the immigration card issued to disembarking passengers, and despite our tickets and booking advices the immigration officers wouldn't let us pass. There were no Costa personnel in attendance. After a 10 minute stand-off we were "rescued" by some returning passengers who pretended that they knew us, and with the sudden force of numbers the immigration officers relented. We were lucky; we later heard some horrendous stories from other embarking passengers, from bribes paid to long hours spent in the shocking heat arguing with police and officials. We felt that a Costa officer should have been on hand at the gate to ensure we were able to pass. Once past immigration our embarkation was smooth, and trouble-free. There was no-one else boarding when we did, and our luggage arrived in our cabin almost before we did. THE SHIP The Allegra is one of the two smallest ships in the Costa fleet, with just 399 cabins. Converted from a cargo ship in 1992, she was apparently last renovated in 2006. The small size of the ship was a major drawcard in our opinion. Within a short period we knew our way around, and we kept meeting the same guests and staff members. It is an intimate feeling. The public areas of the ship are decorated in an "Italian style". They are colourful, shiny in some areas, filled with interesting fittings, prints and statues. It is perhaps becoming a little tired, but it is comfortable decor and suits the small ship ambience. We had expected a less than smooth ride after reading previous reviews, but this didn't eventuate. Perhaps we were just lucky, but our passage was almost universally smooth, and most times we scarcely knew we were afloat. One aspect of Costa which we didn't particularly appreciate was their smoking policy. Half of the main Murano bar is reserved for smokers, plus a section of the Flamenco Lounge, and we understand that passengers may smoke in their cabins. We soon learned which parts of the ship to avoid if we didn't want to walk through a smoke screen, so it wasn't a major issue for us. OUR CABIN Ours was an outside cabin, number 5047 (category E4) on the Modigliani deck and we were pleasantly surprised by the accommodation. It was larger than expected, nicely decorated, we had two large portholes, and it was spotlessly clean. The bed was very comfortable, and the bathroom was more than just a cupboard; the shower was always hot. Carla, our room attendant, was a gem. She serviced the room twice daily, providing fresh towels etc on each occasion. The cabin was maintained in spotless condition throughout the cruise, and on the couple of occasions we requested something extra (like a blanket, or a pillow) it was quickly delivered. Many previous posters have mentioned the quality of the water, and we were expecting something like rust to erupt from the taps. As it was, there was a slight tinge in the hot water, which was only visible when the basin was filled. Early in the cruise it was mentioned that considerable lengths of piping were being replaced throughout the ship as we sailed, so perhaps previous guests' comments have been acted on. DINING We took most of our meals in the Montmartre dining room. This is a large space broken into three smaller areas by low level glass partitioning. It has a comfortable feel to it, and if you're lucky enough to be in the rear area (as we were for dinner) there are full length windows looking over the sea at the rear of the ship. Breakfast is served for 1.75 hours at varying times, earlier when the ship is in port. It is a hot and cold buffet style meal, with a further selection of cooked dishes able to be ordered from the egg-chef or from the menu. We found the choice and quality of food to be very good, although unchanging; in particular the bread products and pastries from the ship's own bakery were excellent. Lunch and dinner are taken from a menu offering six to seven courses, with a choice of two to four dishes in each course. The overall flavour is unmistakably Italian, however there are usually a couple of Asian style options, and at lunch there are several snack type offers such as burgers, hot dogs or club sandwiches. We felt spoiled for choice, and we cannot imagine a situation where passengers could not find dishes to their liking. We found the food to be almost uniformly good - in 17 days of cruising there were only a couple of occasions on which we didn't particularly like a dish we'd ordered (and that can happen in the finest of restaurants). In our experience the food was always served hot (as appropriate), and all diners at the table received their meals at the same time. Our waiter Conrad and wine waiter Sandra provided excellent service, and we looked forward to their cheerful welcomes at the end of each day. There were four formal nights during our 17 night cruise. Not many of the passengers wore full formal attire, but most made an attempt to dress more formally than normal. There was also an Italian night, during which the waiters wore costumes in Italian colours, and the food was more "Italian" than usual. The other dining option is the Yacht Club buffet, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as afternoon tea, and tea/coffee at any time. It is a more casual area, and offers a good spread of cooked and cold dishes from the same kitchen as the dining room. We ate here on a few occasions, usually before or after a long excursion, and were happy with the offerings. However, we are not generally buffet people, and preferred the dining room experience. ENTERTAINMENT The performers in the Follies Bergeres ballroom tried their hardest, and some performances were very entertaining, but most were average. Kiko Martin and the flamenco dancers were great, as was Laszlo's classical piano performance, and we really enjoyed Yolanda Lis's concert. Going to the evening performance after dinner was something we did most nights, but it tended to just be part of a routine rather than something we necessarily looked forward to. The musicians in the Flamenco Lounge and the Murano Bar were very good, and we enjoyed their performances, but by the end of 17 nights we had heard their repertoires many times. A range of activities is offered each day - things like craft sessions, bridge lessons, dancing lessons, bingo, quizzes, language lessons. Many passengers seemed to be enjoying these sessions. We enjoyed always being able to find a quiet place to read a book or enjoy a game of Scrabble (from the library) with our friends. One thing we had expected but were disappointed with was lectures on the countries we were about to visit. Apart from a virtually unintelligible lecture by the Italian hostess (in English) on Yemen, these just didn't happen. EXCURSIONS We booked Costa excursions in four ports (Muscat, Safaga, Aqaba and Alexandria). Without exception these were excellent. The departure from the ship was organised and orderly, the tour guides were knowledgeable, we saw what we had been told we would see, lunches were included, and we had the assurance that the ship would not sail without us (which was almost an issue on one occasion). We have read all the reviews which say that the Costa excursions are expensive. Our personal conclusion is that you get what you pay for. Yes, in every port there are taxi drivers milling at the gate who are willing to take you around for a fraction of the price you pay Costa. You might be lucky, and find a driver who can speak good English, and can actually tell you what you are seeing - maybe even give you some history. We tried this in Salalah and Aden, and were sadly disappointed; we paid a pittance, and received like value. PRICES Published drink prices on board the Allegra are not cheap; however on this particular cruise "happy hour" lasted from 11am to noon and 5pm to 11 pm in various bars, which was excellent value - two drinks for the price of one. Our usual order was two glasses of wine, which cost us 4.86 euros (including service charge). The cocktail of the day is also excellent value at 5.75 euros for two. We don't know if the extended happy hour is ongoing, or was just for this cruise. In the restaurant we took advantage of the wine packages, which offered vouchers for good quality Italian wines and bottled water. The packages can be purchased before the cruise, or while on board, and the vouchers can be used anywhere on ship; we used the water ones to purchase bottled water from our cabin steward each day. The laundry service is efficient, if not cheap. We washed out our smaller items each day in our cabin, and used the laundry to wash some larger items mid-cruise. Five shirts and a pair of trousers cost about 20 Euros. They did offer a special deal towards the end of the cruise where 25 pieces of laundry would be looked after for 19 Euros, which was a bargain. CONCLUSION Costa Allegra is not a five star ship, but doesn't pretend to be and isn't marketed as such. She is cosy and comfortable, and we very much enjoyed cruising on her, particularly when we consider the price we paid and the fantastic itinerary we enjoyed. The crew was terrific, ever smiling, and even the officers (so often maligned in these reviews) were polite and friendly in our experience. Our cruising companions came from many different backgrounds, which we lumped broadly into English, German, French and Italian speakers. From our perspective the interaction between the various groups was always happy - on the occasions we were seated for breakfast or lunch with people from another language group, we always found common ground with some schoolboy French or Italian. That is part of the joy of travel. On the basis of this cruise, we would be very happy to sail again on the Allegra, and other ships in the Costa fleet. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
Firstly, this is a record of my own experiences whilst at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Singapore for 3 days and aboard Costa Allegra during her 34 day repositioning cruise. As always, everyone's experiences and thoughts are different, ... Read More
Firstly, this is a record of my own experiences whilst at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Singapore for 3 days and aboard Costa Allegra during her 34 day repositioning cruise. As always, everyone's experiences and thoughts are different, this is what makes us all individuals and unique. Secondly, I can honestly say that I was extremely disgusted and ashamed of the behaviour of a few British guests aboard Allegra. Lets just call them Virgin Cruises Bullies, should they read this, they will know exactly who I am describing later on in this report. I can also say that I hope I NEVER encounter these people ever again on any cruise ship (or tender) as their attitude, ignorance, arrogance and lack of consideration was probably the ugliest I have ever experienced in 18 cruises and 15 years working in the tourist trade. This behaviour came to a head after a port of call change on the second half of the cruise, but more on that later. Anyway, down to business.......oh and I make no excuses for the length, afterall, what would you expect after almost 6 weeks away, eh? I left home on March 30...seems a very long time ago now. My flights were with KLM and arranged via Costa UK from Manchester to Singapore via Amsterdam. Both flights were on time and very comfortable with a good selection of food and drink available on both segments. They were not without some excitement however. The initial flight from Manchester to Amsterdam was struck by lightning about 10 minutes after takeoff. Very bright flash & loud bang alongside my row of seats that made a few jump. The pilot did come onto the PA and reassure us all that everything was fine and that we would continue to Schiphol as planned. Once off the shorthaul it was a matter of finding the gate for the longhaul to Singapore, not too difficult since I know the airport very well. We boarded about 45 minutes prior to departure and settled into our flight of around 13 hours. Two hot meals, one cold meal and several ice creams & drinks later we arrived in a very soggy Singapore on March 31. Absolute downpour greeted me along with a representative of Costa's port agent. Since I was the only arrival that day he was standing there with my name on a board, smiling from ear to ear. The rain was torrential but we managed to get to the hotel in his car without any difficulties. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Singapore. Now this hotel I had issues with, not overly major but really quite annoying all the same. I have notified Costa UK and they are investigating. Arrived at the hotel quite understandably tired and a bit damp and went to the check-in desk as usual. Girl behind desk asked for my paperwork which I handed over, she then asked for a credit card. I do not have them, so told her that I didn't and she looked at me a bit oddly...while having this conversation she was dealing with my keycard for my room. She then called over her superior who again asked for a credit card and when I told her I did not have one, was asked 'why not?'. Explained that I only use cash and that since my room had been paid for months in advance, I saw no reason to have one anyway. At this point she demanded (not asked) for 250 Singapore Dollars as a deposit. When I asked why she curtly told me that since I had no credit card I had to pay this amount to cover for drinks at the bar and any other services I used during my 3 night stay. I told her very politely that if anything was bought it would be paid for there and then or at check-out...as per every other hotel I had ever stayed in. She then snatched the keycard off the other girl, wiped it and reprogrammed it, handed it to me and called the bellboy over to take my bags to my room. The Costa UK website states that its guests are given ocean view rooms...something I was really looking forward to. Sadly this was not to be the case. The hotel itself is pretty spectacular, known as an atrium hotel...inside 6 glass lifts in the middle of a 21 storey hotel. Not too good though if you suffer from vertigo as the glass lifts are the only way up and down unless you ask the reception desk and they can arrange for a staff member to go with you in the service lift instead. The pool terrace was closed for rebuilding work, which was a shame as that had some spectacular views across Marina Bay. Guests could go to the Pan-Pacific pool by arrangement but that didn't have the views or layout that the Mandarin Oriental boasted. The views from the front of the hotel include Marina Bay and the new mega hotel & casino under construction...The Marina Bay Sands...and the F1 spectator stand, a small harbour area, much of the financial district and the Marina Bay shopping center with the 3 hotels built into it...Mandarin Oriental, Pan-Pacific & Meritus Mandarin. By the second day the weather had improved alot, bright sunshine, hot & humid. I went off for a walk round to the Mer-Lion and through local gardens close to the Esplanade Opera House, over to the F1 stand and to the Singapore Flyer nearby. Most of the time I spent in Singapore was walking in and around the local area, unfortunately the roads & footpaths were disrupted in the hotel section due to extensive building works going on....especially across the bay at the brand new Marina Bay Sands. The hotel & casino is owned by the Las Vegas Sands and will be very spectacular once completed....although even now it is quite an extraordinary building with palm trees right up on the very top where an open air restaurant & spa is being constructed. Boarding Costa Allegra.... On April 3 it was finally time to board Allegra once more and bring her home to Europe. This would turn into the journey of a lifetime, where we would all experience a variety of cultures and see countries that most could only imagine about visiting. Heavy rain had closed in once again, an old timer had also arrived for a short visit to Singapore Cruise Terminal, Long Jie. She left around lunchtime and was replaced by AIDAcara & MegaStar Aries. AIDAcara sailed at 6pm as we settled down into shipboard life for a night in Singapore. The next morning SuperStar Virgo arrived for the day. The weather was still very wet but warm, so not too bad really. We set sail on April 4, Easter Sunday. A large Easter egg had been left in the cabins....VERY nice it was too. Initially I was in cabin 4038, an inside single. Easter Sunday was also a formal Gala night, the first of 8 on the entire cruise (4 on each segment). Our captain was Salvador Donato once again - he was the captain on Allegra in 2008, and our hotesses were Deborah & Erika (Deborah was also aboard in 2008). Passenger nationalities were very mixed...Russian, Italian, French, German, British, Australian, New Zealander, Czech, Canadian, American & Spanish. We had approximately 800 passengers on the first leg from Singapore to Mumbai. April 5.....95 degrees/sunshine/calm sea. After a very calm night, we arrived in Port Klang for Kuala Lumpur. The cruise port is very remote, so not a lot to see in the vicinity. It was well maintained though and there was a fair amount of through traffic in respect to shipping to watch. As we left Port Klang a very sad and faded New Flamenco could be seen laid up, waiting for new orders or to be sold as scrap. Quite a sorry state really for what was a grand old ship. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me, so didn't photograph her. April 6.....95 degrees/sunshine/calm seas. Belawan...another calm overnight sailing brought us to Medan. Very run down port but quite busy. The buildings had all seen better days, many were still showing signs of damage from the earthquake & tsunami of 2004. A large multipurpose ferry, Kelud, was berthed infront of us all day. She was very smart and looked quite recently built...not the usual sort of ferry for Indonesia. The weather had by now settled into bright hot sunshine and high humidity with amazing sunrises & sunsets. April 7.....97 degrees/sunshine/calm sea. Langkawi....we had word in the early morning that we were on tsunami watch following a big earthquake off Sumatra that had been felt in Medan. It was quite sobering to know that the city we had just left some 12 hours before had been damaged again...there wasn't a lot left of the port area as it was, we could only hope that no-one had been hurt or worse. We arrived in Langkawi after a beautiful sunrise. The pier is purpose built and owned by Star Cruises (just as Port Klang used to be). The scenery around the port was very exotic and the sea was a lovely jade colour with shades of cobalt blue. A small Navy ship shared the bay with us, although we were docked across the bay from it. April 8/9.....96 degrees/sunshine/calm sea. Phuket....arrived at dawn for a 2 day stay in Patong Bay. The bay was quite nice although a little too touristy for my liking. A couple of local passenger boats did the tendering to/from the ship over the 2 days we were there. Patong Bay is very heavily geared to tourists with little of the original town still visible. There are tsunami evacuation signs all over the seafront area...a legacy of the 2004 earthquake & subsequent tsunami, and after hearing of the major quake just hours after we left Belawan, it was another sobering reminder of what mother nature can do. I did venture off Allegra but only for a very short time as Patong was very hot and the hawkers were quite oppressive. But from what I saw of the resort, it looked OK but just too much like Benidorm for my personal taste. April 10...98 degrees/sunshine/slight swell. Sea day....The sea had quite a swell on it during the morning but nothing too serious, although a few did look a tad squiffy at lunch. Tonight was our second Gala formal night and there were cocktail parties with the captain for repeat cruisers along with one as a welcome aboard too. April 11...90 degrees/sunshine/breezy/calm sea. Another sea day, plenty of activities available to those wishing to partake in them, otherwise it was more relaxation on the outside decks, in the lounges or if you wanted some quiet time, in the cabin. We had our 2nd emergency boat drill today (the first being on April 4 in Singapore). April 12....96 degrees/sunshine/calm sea. Colombo......Dawn arrival in Colombo under the watchful eyes of the gunboat escort and pilot boat. Stunning sunrise and a fascinating port with a mix of cultural architecture rubbing shoulders with heavy industry. We were welcomed by local dancers who were very acrobatic & colourful to watch. The port is mainly commercial, which was reflected in the ships that were unloading by the time we docked at the passenger quay. The containerships that were visible were Maersk Denpassar, Tiger Cape, ZIM Kingston, APL Oregon and Posen. One thing that did occur in Colombo...and something quite surprising really...around 20-25 passengers were disembarked due to not having appropriate Indian visa's. I found this very strange since Costa make it no secret that you definitely required a visa for India and most agents had notified their clients that one was required. Today the crew held an abandon ship drill, one of several during the cruise. The evening meal was romantic night, where every lady received a red rose from their waitstaff, very special evening for many of us. April 13....90 degrees/sunshine/calm sea. Sea day again today. Lots of things to do around the ship if you wished to partake. There were several fishing skiffs out today, some chased us after we cut through their nets...but then we were in the shipping lane and avoiding the nets was completely impossible. Today the security staff started to prepare the ship, steel cages were welded to the lower decks to prevent anyone roping or climbing aboard. We had Italian night in the diningroom for evening meal with dancing waitstaff and a lot of fun with passengers doing the conga around the room.April 14...90 degrees/sunshine/calm sea. Cochin.....We berthed infront of a very tired ferry, Tipu Sultan. The port of Cochin is beautiful despite it being a very commercial & busy one. Several commuter ferries ply back and forth across the large bay along with a couple of Naval ships that greeted each other with loud blasts on their horns. We had a pilot boat alongside during our stay, a sort of guardian angel to ward off the small commuter ferries who might have come too close for comfort. The architecture is a mix of colonial and modern, with many green spaces that detract from the busy city scene. Cochin itself is built around the sea and the Kerala backwaters, tall palm trees & eucaliptus share space for sunshine. We sailed at midnight. April 15...93 degrees/sunshine/calm sea. Another sea day...huge numbers of fishing boats out and about today. We also had several groups of dolphins & sea snakes along with the usual flying fish close to the ship. We were advised of an arrival time change for Mumbai, we would be a couple hours later than planned due to sea conditions & pilotage. April 16....97 degrees/sunshine/calm sea. Goa....another fascinating port, very busy and quite extraordinary, we were welcomed by a 5 piece band that almost sounded Mexican, lovely to have them playing on the quayside though as we arrived. There were a lot of large iron ore ships discharging onto barges, which in turn were jostling for space at the unloading bays...some came extremely close to our bow. There was also storage for coal alongside us and trucks that looked like museum pieces running about the port area. Ships visible were Tiger Power & Cape America. There were several other ships around but they were too far away to be identified, including a cruise ship anchored out in the bay. The Indian Air Force were about too, flying in an elderly looking Wasp helicopter and an older Russian model helicopter. There is a small fishing fleet in Goa which attracted several Brahman fish eagles and gulls. The homes around the port were both colourful and some very poor looking slum dwellings on the beaches behind our berth. Further preparations were made for anti-piracy measures, including adding 4 extra security guards...2 from Costa Magica and 2 from Costa Romantica. This brought our compliment to 11 plus 4 decoys - 2 up front and two in the stern ladders. Today we also had first news of the Iceland volcanic eruption, at this point we didn't know whether or not our cruise would be affected...or if it was affected just how badly...we soon would find out. Tonight was the crew show and as always it was absolutely superb, highly enjoyable and a lot of fun...especially the animators doing the body orchestra which was hilarious! During the show we had a severe electrical storm outside, but apart from masses of thunder & lightning, the sea remained mirror calm into the night. April 17...96 degrees/sunshine/calm sea. Mumbai...day 1. We sailed through large numbers of ships at anchor and arrived in Mumbai late morning. Passed by Indian Navy and other commercial ships, we took around 90 minutes to reach our berth in this amazing city. Azamara Quest was already in port and we slipped in between her and a containership, Isadora. Other ships in port with us that were identifiable were....Azamara Quest, Jaya, Isadora, Mulberry, Sea Luck II, Blue Lady, Iron Butterfly, Shun Tai and tugs Ajay & Rajul. April 18....95 degrees/sunshine/calm sea. Mumbai...day 2. We had anticipated just over 200 passengers leaving us today as their cruise had come to an end, we were then expecting 300 to board...along with crew and entertainment acts to board ready for the second half of the cruise. As it turned out, just 20 passengers arrived, mainly from the US & Australia, the majority of those who had been due to join us were stuck at home or in European airports unable to fly out after the volcanic eruption in Iceland. Those who had been due to fly home to Europe were then given the chance to stay on board til Civitavecchia or Savona at the cost of the �6 daily service charge if their flights were packaged through Costa, or they could stay on board for �35 per day each if they arranged independent flights. Those who didn't wish to stay on the ship were catered for in hotels in Mumbai until flights resumed - again those with packaged flights were expenses paid and those with independent flights had to pay for hotels but would probably be able to negotiate refunds via insurance. This meant we had around 100 from the first sector that stayed with us. By doing this, Costa deserved great praise, they could easily have told passengers that since their cruise was officially over, they would have to get off in Mumbai and wait there til flights improved. At 11pm this evening we swapped places with Azamara Quest, so by the morning we were over the quay from the Indian Naval Dockyard with many ex Royal Navy ships docked and one quite elderly aircraft carrier, which I believe was Hermes, parallel to us. She was in the process of being turned into a floating museum & recruitment office. She had an equally elderly Sea King helicopter, a Gloster Meteor and an assortment of weapons on display on her flight deck. Situated behind us was a floating taxi station, several brightly coloured boats all vying for trade and only scattering to allow freighters out from the quayside & lock gates behind us. April 19...98 degrees/sunshine/slight swell. Mumbai...day 3. We sailed from Mumbai at 1pm with around 70% less than planned new passengers and many of those who were meant to disembark still aboard. The anti-piracy instructions were sent to all cabins this evening, if the 'Papa Alpha' call went out at any time, everyone must get off outside deck areas and into the main hall area on decks 4 & 5 where there are no windows and no outside access. We had been sailing at an average speed of 7 knots throughout the cruise til this point, but as we approached the more dangerous areas of the Indian Ocean we kept at a steady 21 knots. April 20....98 degrees/sunshine/calm sea. At sea once again and on the way to the Middle East & Oman. Our security guards have started to wear bulletproof vests when on duty and they patrol the outside deck areas 24 hours a day. A group of sharks were jumping out of the sea to catch their food this morning, quite an unusual sight to see. Flying fish & dolphins have also increased in number too, which is lovely to watch. April 21...110 degrees/sunshine/calm sea. Muscat....what an amazing port, extremely clean and some beautiful architecture, though nothing over around 10 storeys high, so quite underdeveloped compared to other Middle Eastern cities like Dubai or Abu Dhabi. The many mosques around the city were calling to prayer as we arrived and we had a magnificent escort into port too...some 160+ dolphins which was quite incredible to see. The port is quite small but very busy...other ships with us were MSC Sierra, Al Maryam, Fulk Al Salamah, MSC Lana. There are also many small fishing boats although they should have come over to where we were berthed as there were thousands of sardines swimming in our shadow, with the seabirds trying very hard to catch them. The scenery around Muscat is beautiful, very rugged mountains that change colour with the sunshine. We sailed at 7.30pm the city was brightly lit up...especially a large frankenscence burner memorial at the entrance to the port....stunning port in daylight and at night. April 22....95 degrees/sunny/slight swell. Back at sea for the day once again. Masses of dolphins at sunrise and later in the day we had pods of whales pass us by too. Despite attempts, no Mumbai passengers boarded late at Muscat, maybe they will be able to meet us tomorrow in Salalah instead. Due to so many cabins now being unused many of us placed our names down for outsides incase any were available after Salalah. April 23....95 degrees/sunny/calm sea. Salalah....a very commercial port compared to Muscat but attractive all the same...apart from a slight whiff of 'eau de camel' that wafts across the harbour from time to time, it was a tad strong. Other ships in port with us were... Maersk Avon, Maersk Dunedin, CMA-CGM Jade, an unidentified Maersk containership, a Greek Naval ship F451, pilot boat Najm and tugs Rahkyut, Salalah, Raysut & Hasik. I received a phone call this morning offering me an outside cabin, 3002, so I moved into it with the help of room steward Roberto. The new cabin was a 3 berth right in the bow.April 24....97 degrees/sunny/slight swell. Gulf of Aden...visibility is endless again today and there are very few ships around. We had heard about a French ship being attacked the day before so some were a little nervous but on the whole everyone was continuing with their sunbathing or other activities around the ship as normal. We have a large tanker following us a few miles behind but other than that, nothing else in sight. For the last couple of nights all outside deck area lights have been left off, so walking outside is almost a surreal experience, the moon lights up the sea and you can see for miles...and the stars look very impressive too. The security guards are always happy to chat with passengers, it breaks their monotony but without them taking their eyes off the sea, constantly watching for trouble. April 25....105 degrees/sunny/calm sea. Aden...another extraordinary port, volcanic mountains, small houses nestled into the hillsides and lots of activity everywhere. Mosques calling to prayer and the hustle & bustle found in any major city. The scenery is very dramatic with small volcanic islands dotted around the harbour and several shipwrecks, many of which are still quite visible and some not that old either. Other ships in port with us were Paloma C, Morning Carrier & Stadt Dresden. There was also a ferry at anchor but her name was not visible from Allegra's decks. This morning a special service was held on the pool deck to commemorate ANZAC day, it was well received and took place as the sun rose and as we entered Aden port's outer reaches. Amongst the islands there were several regional styled boats, mainly cargo but some used for fishing. We received word of a port change today, since the quayside at Sharm el Sheikh was damaged in the accident involving Costa Europa and repairs had not been completed, we would visit Hurghada instead...a decision that would be regretted by Capt Donato and his officers, but more on that later on. April 26....100 degrees/sunny/calm sea. Back at sea again today...still under anti-piracy measures. The sunrise was over Yemen and sunset over Eritrea. A small number of other ships passed us by but otherwise a very quiet and relaxing day for everyone. April 27...90 degrees/sunny/calm sea. Still at sea and now in the southern Red Sea...its like a mirror, hardly a ripple..really beautiful day with a sunrise over Saudi Arabia and sunset over Sudan/Egypt. A few more ships around today as we head north further into the Red Sea and towards the major port areas and ultimately the Suez Canal. April 28...90 degrees/sunny/heavy swell. Safaga...gateway to Luxor. This port is largely commercial but a useful one for cruise ship passengers to make the 12 hour round trip to Luxor. Safaga is also a very busy ferry port too, ships going to Jeddah and Aqaba. Another cruise ship was in port with us, Island Sky. Ferries included Amman, Jamaa II & Mahabbah. Due to the length of travel time needed to Luxor, we sail at 10pm for Aqaba. The port itself is nothing to look at really, the town is some distance away and by all reports wasn't overly interesting. Once again the many mosques were calling to prayer throughout the day which was interesting to listen to. April 29...90 degrees/sunny/heavy swell. Aqaba....we sailed into the city early morning, already there was The World of ResidenSea's 'The World' looking stunning in the sunshine. There were also several other ships at anchor in the bay. Across the bay from Aqaba sits Eilat, Israel. Aqaba is a clean city, very busy with an active waterfront. Both Aqaba & Eilat are quite beautiful cities with dramatic mountain backdrops. Aqaba is the gateway to the Rose Red City, Petra and many of our passengers spent the day there. April 30...85 degrees/sunny/moderate swell. Today we sailed into the resort & town of Hurghada, this port replaced Sharm el Sheik and proved to be one of the worst for passenger behaviour, quite frankly some on board were shameful in their attitude and basic decency towards the crew. As many who have cruised the Red Sea before will testify, it can be fraught with strong currents and winds that change direction without notice, the northern Red Sea ports are often the most difficult to handle a ship and today Hurghada was not going to be easy by any means. It also should be noted that the actions of some Egyptian boat captains also caused increased difficulties during the day. We arrived fairly early in the morning and dropped anchor about 3 miles out. The swell was reasonably high but nothing untoward compared to other ports I have visited. Tendering started almost immediately with those going on shore excursions leaving first. Passengers wanting free time to explore the town left the ship from around 10am. The currents were strong but the tenders were dealing with them well. Two Egyptian boats were also chartered to assist but they were not really suited to ship tendering as they had high side rails, they were dive boats thus usually accessed via the stern, not from the side. They managed a couple of runs but then backed off to allow the ships tenders to continue. During the loading of one of the Egyptian boats another larger dive boat did something that we all thought to be extremely dangerous, the captain steered his boat down the side of Allegra about 10ft off the side and only pulled away & clear about 5ft from the bow of the tender, thus causing significant bow waves and wake which in turn created problems for those getting onto the boat alongside. By lunchtime the current had increased in strength but still not to a level that could be deemed as dangerous, but obvious levels of care would be needed. The wind wasn't overly strong but combined with the currents there was some difficulty keeping the ship on station...we had, by now, moved to around half a mile from shore. By late afternoon many of those on shorex were returning and a couple of the tenders had trouble docking, often requiring 3 or 4 attempts before securing a safe disembarkation position. One tender received moderate fiberglass damage after hitting the tender dock a little harder than normal, a flare went off inside the tender which was quickly thrown into the sea by a crewman. A few of the passengers were alarmed but no injuries were gained by anyone on board. The tender returned to the quayside as a precaution, offloaded and those on it were transferred to the Egyptian boats instead. All three tenders were withdrawn and winched up onto Allegra, one sustained a couple of broken plastic windows on the way up due to assymetric winching, but again no injuries occurred. We were due to leave at 3.30pm but due to tendering processes being delayed and the Egyptian boats experiencing problems getting certain passengers off, we left an hour late but with all passengers and crew safely aboard....albeit some of the more elderly ones a little shaken up by their experiences. Repairs were started on the tenders immediately...none of them sustained enough damage to render them unsafe and none lost any measure of buoyancy...NO-ONE was ever at any risk during the tendering, the safety officer and captain were on hand at the tender dock at all times during the day as were around a dozen other crew to assist in getting everyone back onto Allegra. Most who were on the late afternoon tenders took the experience in their stride and some found it quite exciting too. However..... A vocal few decided that they would essentially gang up on the crew over the tendering. This included at least 4 people who stayed on the ship all day and who did not even go onto the tenders, they seemed to be the ringleaders. This bunch of ingrates tried to enrol others from the tenders to join them in calls for a meeting with the captain etc over the poor handling of the tenders, the fact (and I use that term very loosely) that people COULD have been killed and that in many accounts the tenders sank at least 5 times each - all of which was total hogwash as none of the tenders were in ANY danger of sinking. Yes they were damaged but their integrity remained completely intact. The fuss went on well into the evening as we sailed away from the port. I can only assume that Capt Donato wished he had chosen to stay at sea instead of replacing one port with another as the behaviour of the bunch of ingrates worsened over the rest of the cruise. May 1.....85 degrees/sunny/calm sea. Suez Canal....what an amazing sight the canal and the cities along it are... We were leading a convoy of 5 ships, the others being a car carrier & 3 containerships, through the canal. We reached the entrance at dawn after anchoring from around 2am thru 5am. Spectacular scenery on both sides of the canal, quite beautiful in many ways too. The experience was tarnished by the ongoing behaviour from the ingrates who continued to go on like broken records about the tendering in Hurghada...they refused to be quiet despite being given more than one meeting with the safety officer and other senior officers. May 2....80 degrees/sunny/calm sea. Alexandria....this port was one of the busiest that we had visited. Full of activity, hustle & bustle with the backdrop of some beautiful architecture and the mosques calling people to prayer - the calls echoing across the water. Royal Caribbean's Navigator o/t Seas was alongside all day, spewing out it's thousands of passengers all over the quayside. Other ships in port that were identifiable...Sea Runner, Abu Agila, National Star, Alminufyia, Shendandoah Highway, Alkan Kalkavan & Corelli. There was an old green & white ferry in port too, she looked very neglected and sat leaning to one side. She definitely appeared to be abandoned to the elements & left to rot away in the sunshine. Since Allegra had been away from home since 2005, she had a full inspection by authorities. Special attention given to the tenders that had been damaged in Hurghada but were now fully repaired. They were given a clean bill of health along with the rest of the ship. Navigator o/t Seas sailed first, she left at sunset...looked quite nice as she slipped away into the Mediterranean with the sunset infront of her. We sailed at 9pm once those on shorex to Cairo & the Nile had reboarded. May 3...70 degrees/sunny/calm sea. The Mediterranean was like a duckpond, perfect calm as we made our way steadily northwards towards home. Although the temperatures had dropped significantly, it was a very pleasant day outside, a cool breeze off the sea was a welcome change from the stifling temperatures that we had been experiencing. The ingrates were still on form, this time they cornered and bullied Erika who was one of the English speaking hostesses on board ship. This ended with Deborah's intervention and Erika was left visibly shaken & upset by the experience. This sort of bullying is absolutely out of order but the ingrates continued with it and even boycotted the Farewell Gala Dinner...which was extremely childish really. May 4.....65 degrees/cloudy/heavy swell. So as we still headed northwards the Mediterranean acted in its usual fashion, kicking up a bit of swell, a bit drizzly and very cold & grey. We approached the Straits of Messina at around lunchtime, a snowcapped Etna to our left looking spectacular. As we entered the strait a Royal Caribbean ship (possibly Navigator o/t Seas) was entering Messina port to the left of us. The weather deteriorated as we went along sending many into cabins to fetch jumpers and coats to wear. An hour or so after leaving the strait, we passed very close by Stromboli to our right. The volcano was active and gave us a puff of ash as we passed about half a mile away. I invited Erika to our table for evening meal and she accepted. We had a lovely time and she was able to relax a bit and have a laugh...something she had not done much of thanks to the ingrates and their thuggish behaviour. May 5...55 degrees/sunny/showers/rough sea. Civitavecchia....a busy day for us today, several of the crew leaving and being replaced by French crew ready for the charter to Paquet in a few days time, so many emotional scenes around the ship. We also had around 300 passengers leave too, mainly Australian off to extended holidays in Europe or to fly home. Most of those who elected to stay with the ship in Mumbai also disembarked too. There was a lot of activity on Allegra, she had a lot of new things delivered...doors, windows, carpets, seating etc for a minor refit on the go so that she could be made ready for the charter. This did not go down too well with the ingrates and was added to their ever growing list of complaints. The town was quite busy with 9 cruise ships in port and the usual ferries too. Other ships in port that could be identified were.....Iberocruceros Grand Mistral, La Superba, MSC Lirica, Norwegian Jade, Voyager o/t Seas & Costa Mediterranea. After saying our goodbye's to those who left the ship, we sailed at around 8pm for Savona. May 6....50 degrees/rain/rough sea. So our odyssey came to an end this morning in Savona. We docked at around 7am and commenced disembarkation at 8am. The passengers were bussed to either Nice, Genoa or Milan airports for their flights home. I was on the Genoa bus and we left shortly after 10am for the short drive to the airport. Unfortunately the ringleaders of the thugs were on my bus and it was like listening to a broken record for the entire journey...I almost let rip at them but thought better of it as I didn't want to stoop to their level of behaviour. We checked in for our flight to Gatwick and took off on time into overcast skies. Fincantieri shipyard was next to the airport, Oceania Marina was in her final stages of building. The flight to Gatwick was uneventful, we overflew the Dolomites and Paris Charles de Gaulle airport at 24000ft. We landed at Gatwick on time, had a 3 hour layover and again the flight to Manchester took off & landed on time and was also uneventful. I checked into Bewleys Hotel at Manchester Airport. The hotel is onsite and a free shuttle bus comes to fetch you, which is very useful when lugging large & heavy suitcases. I will describe the hotel in more detail in our hotel review area onsite. May 7...50 degrees/sunny. Caught the train back to York at 9.35am, arriving home at just before midday. The dreaded laundry was started...something I always hate, but even moreso after being away for so long. Summary & Conclusion. Overall the cruise was incredible. Indeed there are not enough positive adjectives to describe the many varied experiences to be had on a cruise of this length or one that visits so many countries and cultures. Special crew mentions go to Erika, Deborah, Roberto, Cinzia, Leah, Valeria, Marrisa, Alfredo, Selwyn, Regie...infact Captain Donato and all of his crew made this cruise an absolute joy to complete. Special passenger mentions go to Shirley, Ken, Patrick, Christine, Vera, Terry, Alan, Madge, Nadia & John (& their lovely friends), Michelle (and her wonderful family), Joan, Beryl, Doreen & hubby, Gary & his lovely wife...infact there are several passengers who I came into contact with who also made the cruise a superb experience. This was an itinerary of a lifetime, a trip that could not be done in a larger ship without having to drop certain ports through accessibility difficulties by using larger ships. The crew were amazing, they were friendly, happy and just a real joy to be around, Allegra herself was a little tired in places but after 5 years in the Far East where she launched the Costa itineraries with such success, well she deserves praise as she was as steady as a rock and she suffered no ill effects or problems on her long journey home to Italy. Yes there were a few minor niggles...one caused a repair that was totally beyond the call of duty by the crew. There were problems in some cabins with orange tinged hot water, this was added to the list of whinges by the ingrates. As a result all of the hot water pipework was stripped out and replaced whilst we were on the way from Mumbai right through to Safaga...a feat in anyone's book and a job usually done in drydock. The crew worked non-stop to get things right and they got precious little thanks for it from the ingrates...especially when the water was turned off for a few hours on a port day. The crew had more than their fair share of problems this cruise...orange hot water, volcanic ash disrupting flights...but we also narrowly missed a major earthquake, made it through the Gulf of Aden without any trouble to name but a few. Through it all they retained their dignity and their smiles...something most of us would probably have trouble doing had we been in their shoes. So overall my experience was excellent all round, the ship, crew and itinerary lived up to beyond my expectations. The food & service aboard was exceptional, the cabins were beautifully appointed and looked after and the atmosphere was wonderful....marred only by the behaviour of the Virgin Cruises Bullies, who made the lives of the crew an absolute hell (and many passengers lives hell too, those who had to listen to it night after night at evening meal or during the day on deck whenever the bullies thought they had an audience to play to). Capt Donato was gracious, as were his officers & crew. I truly hope that I meet them again on my future cruises aboard Costa ships, you could not ask for better people to cruise with. A very big thank you to everyone who made my cruise so very, very special. I have brought home the 'Today' sheets and 9 standard evening meal & 4 Gala evening menu's should anyone be interested in what was on offer in the MDR during the cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
Chose this trip because of the itinerary - great places to visit in the Far East. We chose an inside cabin which was absolutely fine - one of the most comfortable I have had on a cruise. The food was generally good but that is about where ... Read More
Chose this trip because of the itinerary - great places to visit in the Far East. We chose an inside cabin which was absolutely fine - one of the most comfortable I have had on a cruise. The food was generally good but that is about where the positives end. Costa charge 6 euros per person a day service charge - not really sure what this covers certainly don't feel we got £168's worth of service. Over and above this is the 15% service charge on drinks. Drinks are so overpriced it is untrue - £2.60 for a soft drink and £7 for something stronger - we made do with a happy hour cocktail each day. The on board drinking water is desalinated and tastes disgusting - rather than pay their excessive prices for mineral water we used lots of lemon to disguise the taste - even the tea/coffee/juices were made with this awful water. The waiters told us that they have to buy mineral water at the same price as guests! They are also reliant on getting 'excellent' in reviews in order to get time off - can't imagine that they get anything from the service charge we had to pay. We docked at container/oil ports at virtually every destination even places where we know there are cruise terminals. Costa charge £6 - 7 per person to use the shuttle bus and if you don't take the over priced tours provide little or no information about the place you are visiting. Customer service is not a word they understand and the excursion desk is only open to sell trips not provide information or support. The tap water is brown as mentioned by several people before me - one day black water spluttered out of the tap. On a day when the sea was rough and people were ill 50% of the toilets were out of order for around 5 hours. We were not directly affected but we knew of several people who had trouble with leaks in their rooms - one man moved cabin four times, other people had to have their rooms dried out - at times there were buckets on the stairs collecting water as it dripped through the decks. The ship (or ferry as we came to call it) looked tired and old - as did many of the 'entertainers'. There was a French juggler who couldn't juggle and a tenor who just murdered songs - a couple of acts were watchable but the general standard was low. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
I personally don't understand how anyone can judge the cruise we just went on as anything but great. Except for a few most of the people we met were wonderful & will continue to be our friends back on land, the staff were ... Read More
I personally don't understand how anyone can judge the cruise we just went on as anything but great. Except for a few most of the people we met were wonderful & will continue to be our friends back on land, the staff were exceptional & very helpful even under some very adverse conditions (we did go through a cyclone which lasted in excess of 24 hours). Our cabin was always kept clean & tidy by the steward assigned & nothing was too much trouble for him. A water pipe did break on deck 5 but the staff worked hard too ensure passengers were not inconvenienced too much. This pipe burst not far from our cabin & there were only about 7 cabins at the most that were affected, & those that did were offered other cabins (as I was told by one of the passengers affected). We also did not experience any sewerage problems, in or near our cabin. A lot of passengers did get sea sick and again the staff worked their backsides off to clean up after everyone. One of the lifts was a bit whiffy for a few days but what does anyone really expect. If a 5 star plus cruise is what you want then book & pay the price don't book a 3 star cruise and complain about every little thing including not having enough room for a slice of lemon in the glass of water ................can you believe someone did actually do this. The cruise we experienced was great & maybe there are better ones out there but we have NO COMPLAINTS & thank all the staff & our friends for making it SO GOOD. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
I personally don't understand how anyone can judge the cruise we just went on as anything but great. Except for a few most of the people we met were wonderful & will continue to be our friends back on land, the staff were ... Read More
I personally don't understand how anyone can judge the cruise we just went on as anything but great. Except for a few most of the people we met were wonderful & will continue to be our friends back on land, the staff were exceptional & very helpful even under some very adverse conditions (we did go through a cyclone which lasted in excess of 24 hours). Our cabin was always kept clean & tidy by the steward assigned & nothing was too much trouble for him. A water pipe did break on deck 5 but the staff worked hard too ensure passengers were not inconvenienced too much. This pipe burst not far from our cabin & there were only about 7 cabins at the most that were affected, & those that did were offered other cabins (as I was told by one of the passengers affected). We also did not experience any sewerage problems, in or near our cabin. A lot of passengers did get sea sick and again the staff worked their backsides off to clean up after everyone. One of the lifts was a bit whiffy for a few days but what does anyone really expect. If a 5 star plus cruise is what you want then book & pay the price don't book a 3 star cruise and complain about every little thing including not having enough room for a slice of lemon in the glass of water ................can you believe someone did actually do this. The cruise we experienced was great & maybe there are better ones out there but we have NO COMPLAINTS & thank all the staff & our friends for making it SO GOOD. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
The first week we arrived we were placed in a cabin full of what smelt like diesel fumes but turned out to be sewerage problems, via the air conditioning. When we complained, numerous times, but were told that they couldn't move us ... Read More
The first week we arrived we were placed in a cabin full of what smelt like diesel fumes but turned out to be sewerage problems, via the air conditioning. When we complained, numerous times, but were told that they couldn't move us as they they had no other cabins available at that point. Later we found other passenger had they same problems and had been moved but were having to go back and forth between cabins. We were later moved, the next cabin leaked in the bathroom which to the bedroom, we found this out at 2.30 in the morning, we were then moved to another cabin that night, so in the morning we had to pack and unpack to go to the new cabin. (No compensation so far, and the crew were really unhelpful!) The swimming pool was really pokey.12 people and it was full. Food was served luke warm and the entertainment was absolutely rubbish. This was not a cruise it was more like a uk holiday on a wet weekend ! We have been on many a cruise but non were quite like this CONTAINER SHIP, and docked miles from any towns ect . . . They did lay on a bus, of which we were charged 6 - 7 Euros, great !! The trips were very expensive and there was no information offered. Lastly, any drinks you bought cost an absolute fortune, with the service charge on top. GOD I NEED ANOTHER HOLIDAY TO RECOVER. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
Our cruise was chosen for the itinerary and we kept reminding ourselves of that aim every day spent on board the Allegra. First impressions count and we are not first time cruisers but were still disappointed with our Costa experience. ... Read More
Our cruise was chosen for the itinerary and we kept reminding ourselves of that aim every day spent on board the Allegra. First impressions count and we are not first time cruisers but were still disappointed with our Costa experience. Look beyond the Italian style and scratch the surface and you will find a hard working but bewildered crew which lacks leadership from senior management. We neither saw or heard from the Captain on a daily basis, only a brief glimpse during a farewell gala dinner and he was running out of the restaurant faster than Bolt the Olympic sprinter. The on board pricing was very high, the entertainment was mediocre to awful and the ship stability was woeful in medium seas. The visits saved the cruise for us, albeit they were very expensive. The most laughable event was the briefing for the Costa experience questionnaire where the staff had the cheek to ask for excellent markings to reflect a satisfactory cruise experience as it would gain bonuses or even promotion for the crew. As part of a British group disembarking in Hong Kong we were not treated to a leaving celebration meal as we were getting off mid way through the itinerary, most guests embarking/disembarking in Singapore. The Allegra is the oldest ship in the Costa fleet and produced brown water every time a tap was turned on with no apology or explanation offered. I served in the Royal Navy for 30 years and my last ship was 35 years old - we got clean drinking water from the tap every day! Costa claim to be the biggest fleet in Europe in my opinion they are profiteers with not an ounce of care for custom. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
If you're looking for a wonderful, inexpensive cruise of a lifetime being pampered and well cared for, PLEASE believe me the Italian cruise ship COSTA Allegra is NOT the cruise you're looking for! My husband & I have been ... Read More
If you're looking for a wonderful, inexpensive cruise of a lifetime being pampered and well cared for, PLEASE believe me the Italian cruise ship COSTA Allegra is NOT the cruise you're looking for! My husband & I have been on 12 cruises and the14nights we spent on the Allegra was THE WORST by a country mile!! You couldn't really complain about the service because there wasn't any. The Admin staff and the officers were without doubt the rudest, most arrogant people we've ever encountered. My husband injured his foot 10days before our departure and had micro surgery to severed tendons and sinews and was in a toe to knee plaster cast which requires him to have his foot elevated for 6weeks. Our travel agent requested a disabled cabin as he was in a wheelchair; she was promptly told that all disabled cabins had been booked. We subsequently found out on our arrival on the ship that the disabled cabins were occupied by able bodied Italian passengers. Our cabin was supposedly for 4people so one would ASSUME that it would be fairly roomy. WRONG!! The cabin was extremely small and was really only adequate for one person. We were unable to push the wheelchair through the corridors or through the cabin door as the normal size wheelchair was too wide. We had to practically beg the Customer Service staff for a loan of one of their three smaller wheelchairs. It was ALSO too wide for the door and corridors so he had to borrow crutches from the ship's hospital. We had to rely on the assistance of other passengers opening doors to the restaurants etc. On one occasion an officer was approaching the heavy door as my husband was approaching from the other side during particularly bad weather. The Officer opened the door walked through it and promptly closed it as my husband reached the door. The officer continued walking past my husband without even acknowledging him let alone helping by opening the door for him. A 14year old boy passenger ran approximately 30feet to assist my husband. On any other cruise ship we would have had at least 6 crew assisting us at all times. One of the so called 'helpful cruise directors' told many passengers who made complaints to her, to learn to relax & enjoy life! She was overheard on several occasions complaining to other passengers and staff that the complaining passengers were rude whingers. (A case of the pot calling the kettle 'coloured'.) On the third day of the cruise a strong sewerage odour wafted through decks 4 & 5 which lasted for 3 days. Customer Service denied that there was a sewerage problem; we later found out that quite a few cabin toilets on deck 4 were severely blocked. On the 10th night one of the water pipes had burst and there was an inch of water flowing through deck 5 corridors which subsequently flooded approximately 30cabins. No signs had been erected and because of the dim lighting we could not see the soaked carpet until it was too late. A passenger called out a warning to my husband that he was getting his plaster cast wet. We went to Customer Service to ask if the water was sewerage and to tell them that my husband's plaster cast needed to be seen to by the Dr. He was told the water wasn't sewerage THIS TIME so that was acknowledgement that there HAD been a problem previously. Customer Service shrugged us away telling us to go to the hospital. We were adamant that COSTA were responsible for the expense of tending to my husband's foot & we told them THEY would be covering the expense & not us. The way they reacted was as if we were ridiculous to even suggest it, but they rang the Dr & he obviously knew we'd be able to sue them if my husband got an infection. They had huge blowers trying to dry the carpet day & night for the rest of the cruise but to no avail; although the carpet was drying to a certain extent the stench from the wet carpet was putrid as was every lift on board where some passengers had vomited from the effect of the squally seas. The crew kept spraying the lifts with a 'cleaning agent' which only made things worse. On our way to dinner one night I noticed one of the 'paintings' on the wall in the corridor was also extremely wet & damaged, I intended to go to the Customer Service desk after dinner. But when we got in the lift there were two officers in the lift and I reported the damage to them. One officer very aggressively said "Go to the Customer Service desk and tell them.' I think I was too shocked to reply but I should have said 'I've just reported it to you, you arrogant SOB' An American passenger approached me as we got out of the lift and told me she was totally shocked at his arrogance & rudeness towards me. I replied 'I've become accustomed to it on this tub.' As for all expenses on board COSTA cruises: 1. All shuttle bus service to the cities we visited COSTA charged at least 6euro (approximately Aus $8.40.) (On every other cruise we've never had to pay for a shuttle bus service.) 2. COSTA charge 2.5euro plus .38euro service charge for a litre bottle of water. (On every other cruise line we've always had FREE bottles of water delivered to our cabin.) 3. There are no kettles supplied in the cabins and if you request coffee or tea to your cabin between 10am & 6am the following day you are charged 2euro plus .38euro service charge per person. 4. There are no dressing gowns, shampoo & conditioner or clothes lines (These are standard in every other cruise ship we've been on.) 5. Passengers are charged 6euro per person to have their cabins cleaned. SOME passengers are charged when they book their cruise (this is not told to the passengers) others find out when they receive their bill at the end of the cruise. (On our arrival in our cabin I found a dirty restaurant napkin in one drawer and a Singapore 5cent coin in another & our cabin was NEVER cleaned properly. So our 168euro was not well spent!) 6. We were also charged a compulsory 168euro for gratuities (tips) and on questioning many of the service crew we were told they only receive their wages. 7. Alcohol & soft drinks cost at least 5euro PLUS .38 service charge. Our cabin was directly under the stage of the Follies Bergere Ballroom and the dancers rehearsed every MORNING between 2 &3.30 and ever afternoon between noon & 3pm. When my husband complained; the dancers laughed as he walked away. The entertainment director feigned no knowledge of the dancer's rehearsal times. We could not understand why the entertainers bothered to rehearse because most of the performances were pathetic anyway. Every other cruise we've been on the performances have ALWAYS world class entertainment. The GOOD news is the 'entertainment' on the Allegra only lasted 45minutes! However, I must give credit where credit is due, the male English singer & the female Swiss singer were EXCELLENT. Far too good to have to suffer being on stage with the other amateurs. Apparently every passenger has the chance of winning one of five cruises on board one of COSTA cruise ships. WOW!! Unfortunately we don't know anyone we dislike enough to give the prize to if we are one of the 'lucky' winners. I feel very sorry for anyone who states that they have had a wonderful time on board COSTA cruise line. Either they are not used to the quality of other cruise lines or the reports are written by the delusional staff. If anyone books on COSTA after reading this, don't say I didn't warn you that it's the cruise line from HELL!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
The reviews on the web especially from subscribers to this site do not give potential cruisers on Costa Allegra a lot of confidence. How can I explain to those doubters that, "in life you get what you pay for" We chose the ... Read More
The reviews on the web especially from subscribers to this site do not give potential cruisers on Costa Allegra a lot of confidence. How can I explain to those doubters that, "in life you get what you pay for" We chose the itinerary first and then the price, what we got was a 5* package in a 3* ship and in my book this equates to good value, after all cruises on a 5* vessel would have cost nearly double the price we paid. The Costa Allegra is not the most beautiful vessel on the high seas in fact its no more than a converted car ferry but never the less it serves its purpose well with all the facilities one would hope to have on a cruise ship. Our inside accommodation on deck 2 was larger than we expected, kept spotlessly clean by the staff a very comfortable bed and more than adequate hanging space. All the waiting staff in the restaurants could not do enough to help, the food was plentiful if not always as hot as we would have liked however we put this down to the air conditioning which everyone knows has a habit of cooling everything down quickly. Now the main reason for picking this cruise, the locations visited in Indonesia,Malaysia,Thailand and of course Singapore all com firmed our hopes and expectations, in particular the Komodo dragons, K.L. Bali and Phuket. Some of the other ports of call did not have the glamour but even so my wife managed to inflict serious damage to the credit card. Of course there has to be a downside, on board ship drink prices are at a premium high. Take a tip from me unless you have escaped from A.A. wait for the two happy hours per day and then purchase 2 for 1 and also buy the X1 drinks package at 9.6 euros per day which will more than adequately cover all drink requirements at meal times. The worse 'rip off' is the cost of the shore excursions. With the exception of Komodo Island and K.L. where the ship docks at Port Klang some 60 kms away I would recommend doing your own thing. Without exception you can arrange something private with the many taxis waiting for you when arriving on shore and always at a bargain price. So here you have it, ignore the moaners,its the itinerary that counts and if you can get a 5* package at a price you can afford the just go for it Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
It was with horrified curiosity we entered the cruise terminal in Singapore. We had read many cruise reviews saying that everything would be a nightmare from start to the end with memories that you probably would need a shrink to help you ... Read More
It was with horrified curiosity we entered the cruise terminal in Singapore. We had read many cruise reviews saying that everything would be a nightmare from start to the end with memories that you probably would need a shrink to help you deal with afterwards. So standing there in Singapore we wondered if we should take two weeks at the nearest prison instead of going on a cruise and if we did go on the ship, would we have a chance to survive for two weeks? We entered the ship and everything turned out to be just great and we had a wonderful time with visits to many interesting places. However, I do feel sorry for all of them in the past that did not have the wonderful time we had on our cruise. The reason to why we choose this cruise was the interesting ports of call during the cruise. We have cruised several times before but never in Asia and this was something we wanted to do. Also the pricing for the cruise was very good and based on that we could not expect a 5 star cruise ship with all its comfort but we did get a very good value for our money. The check in procedure was very smooth. The staff where very helpful and there were no queues at all. It was easy to find our cabin and our bags arrived just after a little while. The cabin it self was clean and comfortable and it was kept like that during the whole cruise. The only issue, from all the negative reviews we had read, that bothered us was if there would be a problem with the water. In some reviews it sounded like "the thing" coming out from the tap was closer to mud than water and this could be an issue for us since we had to be able to do gruel for our daughter in the cabin. But even this turned out to be not as bad as we thought it might be. The cold water was perfectly OK and clear, the hot water was slightly brown in the beginning but not after a couple of seconds and all three of us survived drinking this water for two weeks. On the deck there were plenty of sun chairs so you could always find a bed when you wanted. The pool is very tiny but it was never crowded. They did have a lovely children's pool, which was almost as big as the ordinary pool, where we spent a lot of time in and we were almost the only one in this pool during the whole cruise. The food was really great and the buffet manager was just wonderful, a lovely person who really did his best to make sure that everybody was satisfied. It was many different dishes to chose from and I had one or two that maybe wasn't in my taste but you can not eat a 5 course meal for two weeks with out having something that you do not like that much. And after all it wasn't Costa's fault that I do not like everything I ordered, I could have chosen something else instead but I like to try new things. We did spend a lot of time at the Squok club with our daughter and the staffs were just great and she loved them, especially June who really gave everything to satisfy our kid. The days were filled with activities and "workshops". It was games, masquerades, snack breaks, bowling, basketball, T-shirt painting and all other stuff you could think of. They also had a special time for the kids to meet the captain and have cake with him which our daughter just loved. We thought that all the cruise staff were very helpful and friendly - even the management team. Maybe the captain did not stay for a long time when you saw him but on the other hand, who really cares? We did go on this cruise to se new places not to chat with the captain, (even if I did and he was really nice). So wasn't there anything that we did not like? Well of course there is always something you can improve. First of all, I am amazed that smoking is aloud inside the ship! This is definitely not acceptable on a cruise in 2010! Second, taking photo during the security drill is not something you should do in my opinion, it doesn't give me a feeling that they take I serious. And the third, everything they said was repeated in 6 or 7 languages. I guess it was great for them who new all these languages but for the rest of us it took for ages before all information was finished. I think it would be enough with just Italian and English. And finally the pricing on board. Yes, it is not cheap but the cruise it self is cheap and I am sure that the Costa cruise line is not into charity so they have to make money some way. On the other hand you can find 2 for 1 deal in the bars from the afternoon and during the whole evening if you just chose the right bar. You can buy coupons for wine to make it cheaper. You do not need to buy their excursions or transfer if you do not feel like it is the best option for you. Otherwise do some searching yourself before the trip and you can do the same excursions in a much cheaper way. So for us the pricing was totally OK. So do not be afraid from reading all the negative reviews, go on the cruise and have a wonderful time and see new interesting places! Some tips on the ports we wisited: 1, Saigon - The ship arrived at Navioil port. We booked a city tour on the internet from home which was the best you could get. I can really recommend www.asianatravelmate.com they did a wounderful job. The contact Ms Kristal really knows how to be serviceminded. Out private guide and driver picked us up outside the port. Our guide's english was excellent so there were no problem at all. They took us to all interesting places and also some shopping and selected an outstanding restaurant for lunch. 2,Da Nang - There are taxis at the port but the price are more or less fixed and it is very hard to deal with them. We paid USD 80 for a trip to Hoi An, a stop for swimming at China beach and some shopping in Da Nang. The driver could not speak english so we did not get any information at all. I would definately recommend to book a tour from home with a local comapany since it will be cheaper and more informative. 3, Hong Kong - We arrived in the middle of the city so it was very easy to take the Star ferry or the metro to all the interesting places 4, Manila - You could easaly walk to Intraminus but we took a ride with a horse and carridge for USD 5. They showed us all interesting places inside Intraminus for 30 minutes and we could then have a closer look at it after we were dropped off. We did some shopping, visited a park and stolled along the beach walk. 5, Kota Kinabalu - We walked to the boat taxi pier, it is not far but it is really hot to walk. We took a boat to Sapi island for swimming and it was just great. The taxi in the city was expensive and outside the pier but from the shopping mall back to the ship the price was easy to negotiate. 6, Brunei - The ship docks 45 minutes away from the city center. The shuttle service Costa offered were EUR 32 per person. A taxi outside the port were USD 50 to 100 for one way. However if you walk outside the port and take left in the roundabout and then left again at the next roundabout and keep walking you will find a bus station (open parkinglot) were local small bussses goes into town and you only pay 1 singapore dollar or 1 USD (depending of what you have). It is nor far to walk and it is easy to take the bus back again. We took a 30 minutes boat ride to the water willage etc and paid 20 Singapore dollar for all of us. 7, Singapore - The ship docks at a mall and it is easy to take the metro from the mall or a taxi which is really cheap. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
Having flown to Singapore feeling very apprehensive after reading so many rather poor reviews about this ship, our first impression was good, the ship looked very clean and smart both inside and out, we were greeted by a very pleasant ... Read More
Having flown to Singapore feeling very apprehensive after reading so many rather poor reviews about this ship, our first impression was good, the ship looked very clean and smart both inside and out, we were greeted by a very pleasant crew, our cabins were much better than expected, and in the dining room we had asked for a small table and indicated that we would prefer to sit on our own as a group of three rather than share a large table, we were allocated table number 48, this seated four people but we had this table to ourselves for the whole cruise, we had purchased the X1 drinks package and found this to be very good value, we found the dining experience to be very good and the food was better than expected and the waiting staff were really superb... The entertainment on board was our biggest disappointment ... Why on earth does the Entertainment Director have to introduce everything in at least six different languages? this became so very irritating, it seemed as if the only person to enjoy this very repetitious procedure was indeed the MC himself! English was spoken by almost everyone on board, mainly as a second language, so there was no need to bore everyone to tears in this way, apart from this, we also found the general entertainment on offer was perhaps more suitable to a ferry service than a cruise ship... The ports of call made this trip for us, the Costa Allegra was a means of transport to make this happen, and at a fairly modest cost, she did it very well, so much so, that we shall be booking another Costa cruise in this part of the world again in 2011, sadly the Allegra is no longer covering that area and we shall miss her! Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
This was my 2nd cruise and first time with Costa. I last cruised 30+ yrs ago on the Fairsky to the Sth Pacific. This was my wifes first cruise and she was really apprehensive to travel,fearing sea sickness. Overall: Our expectations before ... Read More
This was my 2nd cruise and first time with Costa. I last cruised 30+ yrs ago on the Fairsky to the Sth Pacific. This was my wifes first cruise and she was really apprehensive to travel,fearing sea sickness. Overall: Our expectations before this cruise was to relax, make some new friends, visit exciting ports and enjoy the food. Overall the cruise I would rate a B+ Positives: - Cabin Service: (A+) - Cabin: (A) little crammed however we spent very little time in the cabin, it was clean and homely. Bed was comfortable and we were not bothered by any outside noise. I slept like a log. Food: (A)the food was really good and plentiful, however the steak and chops were always very tough. The prawns on the cruise were as big as small lobsters and the cakes were a plenty. I gained 5kgs in two weeks so I ate very well- Hot Tubs:(B+) Hot tubs were comfortable however jets were poor. Entertainment: (A+) The dancers we very professional and friendly! The singers were entertaining and interacted well with the audience. My wife and I enjoyed relaxing in the Murano Bar playing cards and listening to the background singers or recorded music which had an 80-90s theme. Negatives: - Smoking was permitted on one side of the ship and did waft into non smoking areas,this included internal bars and was unpleasant at times. Drinks: There was a charge for non-alcoholic drinks on board and they were grossly overpriced. We did pre-purchase soft drink cards before the cruise but A$4.50 for a can of soft drink was over the top. Cocktails were good, however very expensive around A$13 each, most passengers purchased these during the two for one happy hours. Airconditioning was very poor in the main theatre and the Yacht Club bistro was always very hot. When disembarking onto tenders we at times were delayed for up to 15mins standing in crammed and humid conditions. Phukett Thailand was very picturesque and the ship anchored off the coast. We boarded tenders for a quick 15min trip into port. Upon arrival we were greeted by the local Taxi throng who were very quick to negotiate a fare to where ever you wanted to go. My wife and I teamed up with another two couples and shared a taxi van trip to Patong beach located about 60 mins drive away. The cost of this taxi service was about TB500 (A$16)all up. Patong beach is a travel buying bonanza with a beautiful beach, a relaxing massage for TB200 an Hour(A$6). The highlight of this stopover was going to Funtasia which is a Thai theme park. The food and show package we negotiated down to TB1800 per person (A$60 Aprox)we had a shuttle bus pick up service provided, Scrumptious smorgasbored banquet in a eating area that served over 1000 people at a time. Gold seats at the stunning and breathtaking show, which included live animals, acrobatics, illusions, and traditional costumes. You could even ride an elephant if you wished. Patong beach was a mecca for shopping and we were disappointed we had only limited time here as the bargains were just fantastic. Overall Thailand in our opinion is a must return country the locals are so friendly, the streets are reasonably clean and you need at least 7 days to really appreciate this region properly. Mallaka in Malaysia is a port we visited next and this city is very old and quaint. My wife and I purchased a ride where a man riding a bicycle pushes a cabin built for two around the city. This is a must do as these riders are fantastic tour guides taking you to temples and interesting places around there town and they are great value at aprox MR50 per/hr. Before we left we purchased some traditional sate at a local eating house close to the warf. We purchased 20 sate sticks and two soft drinks for about A$4, great value. Jakarta (Indonesia) was our next port of call and was our first taste of true poverty. The ship docked in a container port and shuttle buses were provided by Costa for A$12 each to travel the 25 mins into town. Time was limited here and frankly this was a port I would have been glad to have stayed on board the ship and given the trip a miss. Bali (Indonesia) The ship once again set anchor of the port and we took a tender boat service onto the mainland. Here the fun begins with the locals who just will not leave you alone. All you want to do is jump into a Taxi to get away from the ravenous local traders. The now famous Kuta beach was located nearly 70 mins drive from we we disembarked and the roads are very busy and narrow. Our Taxi driver was very friendly and drove us for the whole day 7 hrs for A$100. I was advised by others on the cruise that I paid about A$40 more for my taxi than I should have, yet I still believe we got good value for this 7 hrs going to Jewelery houses, Temples, Massage houses, Traditional Eating cafes and a department store that had armed guards checking all visitors cars upon entry. Back to the throng at the port and a quick tender back on board the ship. Bali is probably the pick of the Indonesian ports, but give me Thailand any day, given the choice. Komodo (Indonesia) This is a very picturesque area and the home of the Komodo dragons. Many passengers took trips onto the island to see these interesting reptiles, however this was a port well worth a sleep in and a sit down by the pool whilst taking in the beautiful scenery the area had to offer from a distance. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Costa Allegra Asian Cruise 9 to 23 January 2010 Travelled with my husband, sister and brother in law. Checking in was relatively painless and gave us no indication of the problems ahead. CABINS: Opening our cabin door (4042 for future ... Read More
Costa Allegra Asian Cruise 9 to 23 January 2010 Travelled with my husband, sister and brother in law. Checking in was relatively painless and gave us no indication of the problems ahead. CABINS: Opening our cabin door (4042 for future reference) we were met with a damp stench of wet dirty carpet. This we originally thought was coming from the floor of the bathroom but on further investigation we discovered if was actually coming up from under the floor from a broken pipe outside the bathroom and under the floor of our cabin, not off to a good start. No amount of vacuuming and drying off could stem the flow of water. First night we discovered that every trolley on Deck 4 came and went through a service door directly opposite our cabin door, crashing trolleys chatting staff finally ceasing at 11.30 pm BUT restarting again at 6am. Obviously this was not acceptable so we went up to "Guest Relations" I say their role reservedly as they showed little interest in our plight and bordered on indifference to rudeness, housekeeping continued to mop up the floor as it continually became soggy. This cabin has entrenched problems and should not be sold. The best they could offer was an inside cabin on the same deck. This, despite the fact we had paid for an oceanview, was at least a chance for us to get some sleep. We alternated between two cabins, one for day, one for night, carrying clothes back and forth for five days until, after intervention from the Australian Cruise co ordinator, they finally offered an outside cabin further up the front of the ship. We packed up everything and unpacked again only to find there was no air conditioning at all in this cabin. Cried for a while then repacked AGAIN and went back to our night cabin. Eventually a further cabin was located on Deck 3 but after three goes at getting a decent cabin we were disinclined to pack and repack for the 7th time. All this inconvenience caused and not once were we even offered a free cocktail let alone compensation for the cheaper room we had to use. I should not complain too much as two other people had to move FOUR times. This ship should not be sailing until some major money is spent on her. Another small aggravation was ALWAYS having to ask for soap. They never replaced the tiniest piece of soap unless you asked. Further investigation of this minor annoyance was that it was company policy not to give it unless asked. Really!!!!!!! AIR CONDITIONING: Now let me move onto the problem with the air conditioning. This ship sails in the tropics. The air conditioning according the staff has been malfunctioning for three years now. In the main entertaining area the room was so hot it was almost unbearable to stay in and watch any of the entertainment. You also had to be aware of not sitting in seats where water? dripped on you.These seats were easily located due to the same damp stench of dirty carpet. One should not have to perspire all night without any blankets due to lack of properly functioning AC. THE FOOD...... was mediocre and not up to standard, time and time again it was served (as previous reviewers reported) only warm, which must constitute a health risk. Our waiter took to heating our orders up in the microwave before serving it. He was a delight and was so considerate when I arrived for dinner in tears after the move to the unairconditoned cabin. Jay you are one of Costa's best assets I do hope they look after you. You did your very best under very difficult working conditions. There seems to be a major problem with wait staff collecting used dishes at your table in the mornings and lunch periods. Dirty plates remain in front on you the entire time you eat unless you can find a table to put used dishes on yourself. Coffee/tea man had to be crash tackled for the second cup. This is something that could be fixed in an instant if there was some management leadership. TENDERING PROCESS... This long drawn out process would bring the strongest to their knees. If you didn't do an expensive Costa arranged tour you were left till the very last to get off the ship. The ships tenders were operating on one engine only (due to parts coming from Italy) so the length of time it took to get to shore after sweating it out in the main cabaret room really cut into your time ashore. It was like a Faulty Towers episode watching the crew attempting to berth these boats, they really do need some more instruction on how to operate tenders. FINAL SUMMATION... The Australian Cruise co-ordinator was popular with the mostly Australian passengers and did her best to help us. The entertainment was quite good for a small ship. Smoking, especially by officers in main bars is not acceptable to most non smoking passengers. Get with it Costa. I booked this cruise due to the ports we were to visit, unless you really want to see these unusual ports DO NOT LOWER YOUR STANDARDS BY SAILING ON COSTA ALLEGRA. Management, which is ultimately Carnival, are responsible for the shocking state of this ship and apparently have no intentions of spending any funds on bringing her up to some form of acceptability for fare paying passengers whom they are treating with distain. Due to our experiences on this cruise, we will never use any Costa or Carnival ship again. HEED THIS WARNING I DIDN'T. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Want to go on a cruise on a 50yr old rust bucket? Then book a cruise on the Costa Allegra. Do I sound unhappy? You bet! First of all, if you want some comprehensive information about what goes on on board and what is found where, ... Read More
Want to go on a cruise on a 50yr old rust bucket? Then book a cruise on the Costa Allegra. Do I sound unhappy? You bet! First of all, if you want some comprehensive information about what goes on on board and what is found where, don't expect a brochure on embarking. Want to wander around looking confused? Don't feel out of place. Everybody else looks the same. Want a cabin that doesn't have rusty water coming out of the faucet? Good luck, so don't mind if your nice white undies come out yellow if you wash them yourself. You can't drink the water but don't expect the cruise line to compensate you when you have to buy bottled water with an exorbitant price tag. Want a nice quiet cabin without the noise of rattling pipes and shudders? Again, good luck. Want to be able to have some privacy in your cabin without the cabin staff busting in because you didn't hear their soft taps on the door? Need I say it again? Don't pre book your on-shore tours before embarking or even when on board. If you don't speak the same language as the rest of the tour group, you can't go. You can't cancel (unless you are prepared to lose your money. They don't refund). They'll offer you another tour. By the way, the tours are over priced unless you want to see lots of mosques , dull museums, be taken to selected 'shops' to spend you money, and be entertained by local tour guides who are mostly hard to understand and when in Jakarta, get a hard sell on political propaganda. If the heat isn't tolerable enough for cooler weather people, then don't go ashore when tender boats are used. They are not designed to allow air flow. I became quite unwell and could hardly breathe during a ride on the ships own tender boat. Be prepared to alight by hopping on to rickety jetties and over other 'boats' to get to it. Not all the time, but expect it. The crew help you but it is still unnerving for the older and/or those with some form of physical impairment/unsteady gait. Don't leave things lying around in your cabin. If it is 'misplaced', the officers at the Services Desk wont believe you because their staff 'never lie'. The cuisine was not Italian orientated as advertised. That's OK, but what about the quality? Well, it was so so. The service was great in the main dining room. We had Jay and Susan and they were very friendly and attentive. If you dine in the buffet area, be prepared to be jostled and not have you table cleared. There's an outside smoking area with the other side non-smoking. But that doesn't seem to matter to those who smoke, and don't expect the staff to intervene. Prices on board! Well, what can I say? Expect to pay too much. Want to use the Internet? Why not? I only paid 19.50 euro just to get on line and send one short email. You also pay extra on your mobile phone by using their system. So, go ahead and book a cruise on the Costa Allegra. But don't say you weren't warned. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
This was out third cruise with Costa and the second on the Allegra. We too felt very disappointed after our first cruise on the Allegra. We had flown to Hong Kong and were about to set sail for Manilla, Brunei,Singapore, Vietnam and ... Read More
This was out third cruise with Costa and the second on the Allegra. We too felt very disappointed after our first cruise on the Allegra. We had flown to Hong Kong and were about to set sail for Manilla, Brunei,Singapore, Vietnam and China.Yes the ship is old but you soon find your way around and the itinerary was great.However on reflection how can you go to such lovely places for less than a grand.So we booked again on the Classica around the Middle East. Again great value for money.We booked again to go on the Allegra out of Singapore going to Massaker, Komodo, Bali, Jakarta, Malacca, Phuket and Port Klang.Brilliant itinerary again for about a grand. The way we look at it is have two weeks cruising to remote places on the Allegra or do the Caribbean for a week for the same price. I can put up with the small cabins(They are always clean), the overpriced drinks(stops anyone going OTT.You make a bar your first stop when you land. Get your bearings and off you go),The excursions are a little overpriced but again negotiate with a local driver and do your own thing.No we had a great time.Will definitely go with Costa again. Are looking at the China,Japan itinerary.If you want 5* cruising you will pay 5* prices. The Costa Allegra is 3* and the prices of the tour reflect this. Yes the company will try to claw back revenue for drinks and shore excursions but be bold. Drink a little and explore the stops on your own or with another couple you have just met. Great fun. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
After reading countless reviews on the cost Allegra My friend and I went on the cruise hoping it was not as bad as a lot of people said. Well we were pleasantly surprised to find out that the whole ship and experience was well above what ... Read More
After reading countless reviews on the cost Allegra My friend and I went on the cruise hoping it was not as bad as a lot of people said. Well we were pleasantly surprised to find out that the whole ship and experience was well above what we expected. We were two ladies travelling together and found out the the Food was exceptionally good the service in the Restaurant was quick friendly and the waiters and waitresses could not do enough for us, Many thanks to Sonny, Marten and Ting Ting three of the lovely staff . And also to all the other waitresses and waiters in the AL la ca-rte restaurant, Who made our stay so good. The ports of call were the main reason for the cruise as there were so many and we wanted to have the experience of the different countries . Singapore was a dream we did our own thing and visited all the places we wanted to using the buss es and mrt train service . The people in Singapore are so friendly and helpful we found our way around so easy . We even ate with the locals it was quite a experience. ujung pan dang was very different again we hired rickshaws and were taken all around the city for about 12 Aussie dollars it was great. Jakarta was interesting with the different monuments and again we went around in a six seat er taxi we hired for the day with four other people from the ship fifty Aussie dollars for the day between six is not bad at all . Bali , We hired a taxi with another couple and it was only four dollars each for the day with a guided tour by the taxi driver he took us to some really nice shops and tourist attractions . then back to the ship in time to leave . Malacca we went on the cruise up the river it was just like Venice with all there really pretty bridges and artwork on the buildings . Komodo Was really good but it was twenty five dollars each just to set foot on the island and there were only the dragons to see which was OK for us as we really wanted to see them, A lot of people stayed on the ship as they did not want to pay the fee . Not much else there . Phuket , As a elephant lover one of my favorite places we ended up doing a elephant ride both days and hired a tut tut both days to take us round to all the different places we wanted to stop very cheap too. Kuala lumpur this was our most expensive trip as it was the only place not to get a taxi from port to the town we had to use the ship shuttle bus which was very expensive. Still we did see the twin towers and went to china town where Chinese new year was being celebrated it was really fun and so much going on . Then back to Singapore for one more day til we came home we went to little India which was in my opinion the worst place we had visited on the whole trip I would like to thank JONAD on the cruise critics for all the information given as we purchased a x1 drinks package each and made full use of them. The entertainment on board was great . The craft lady and the other people on the craft days were so funny and interesting we really looked forward to it . We did dance classes every day and watched Shows every night it was amazing . The cabin was a good size with lots of hanging space and out cabin boy kept the room so nice and clean at least three times a day and our beds were always nicely kept . Any complaints , yes The reception staff were very unfriendly and not at all helpful . But other than that we went on the cruise knowing a lot of things of what to expect and what not to we were so glad we did our research on this site and took note of everyone's tips and things went so well . A BIG THANKYOU TO ANY ONE ON THIS SITE WHO PUTS UP ALL THESE LITTLE THINGS THAT ARE SO HELPFUL TO OTHERS Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
CONTAMINATED WATER For the first three days of the cruise passengers including myself endured burning pains in the stomach. When we stopped drinking the tap water, the pains went away. About 5 days to sea, the water in the shower and water ... Read More
CONTAMINATED WATER For the first three days of the cruise passengers including myself endured burning pains in the stomach. When we stopped drinking the tap water, the pains went away. About 5 days to sea, the water in the shower and water basin came out tarnished and stained the white towels. We complained to Costa Customer Service to be told it was only rust in the water pipes and that if we keep running the water the rusty water would disappear. When blackish brown water poured into the outdoor swimming pool, a passenger alerted the captain who was near the pool. The captain advised that he would order more chlorine into the water. No test of what was contaminating the water was ever undertaken nor were passengers asked to leave the pool. RUDE CUSTOMER SERVICE STAFF Costa has a customer service department, unfortunately, the don't have any customer service staff to fill these positions. One particular staff member who was married to an officer on board the vessel, was abusive to staff and I encountered the ignorance and abuse of this person. After complaining the cruise director, the Costa solution was she was not allowed to come into contact with me for the rest of the cruise. No apology was given by Costa Cruises. NO SECURITY FOR PASSENGER PASSPORTS Passengers were directed to surrender there passports to Costa Staff and retained the passports for the rest of the cruise. Costa Staff refused to provide any receipts to passengers that the passports were in their possession. I was awaken that night by banging noise and when I investigated the noise at the cabin next to mind, two Indonesian Immigration officials where preparing visas and were stamping passports. The passports were laying on the floor of the cabin without any security. We approached the Immigration Officer and advised him that we were concerned about our passports. He responded that our passports were locked in his safe. We challenged him to open his safe and show us our passports knowing full well where passports were located. He continued to rest assure that our passports were safe. Then we then asked him to come down to the cabin were the passports were scattered across the floor. A customer service officer and the Immigration got very up tight at being caught out and again became a little abusive to us. Oh! The same customer service officer was so drunk at Phuket that she ordered the tender boat captain to depart the vessel back to the ship earlier than scheduled stranding passengers at Phuket for several hours to the early hours of the morning. OVERPRICED TOURS Tours were overpriced and over stated. The Komoto Island Tour was written up as a two hour jungle tour requiring a reasonable level of fitness, It was a scroll along a defined bush track lasting 35 minutes including a 10 minute photo shoot of the komoto dragons. Some passengers encountered lots of problems with the Costa Tours including one group of passengers who were left stranded in Jakarta when the bus driver took off for the day. They had to make their way back to the ship at their own expense. Costa were offered a free cup of coffee as compensation. The 4wd tour at Phuket which was supposed to include 4wd driving through the jungle, elephant rides etc. It cost $100 US dollars and was an absolute farce with a number of passengers demanding their money back. There is an elephant place just about two kilometres from where the cruise ships dock. For $30 you can get a real one hour elephant ride up a mountain. This was an experience of a lifetime. A taxi all day with air-conditioning $12. Costa or your own tour??? Price of drinks were so expensive, that we smuggled our own alcohol on board the ship. When you are getting charged $10 US for a single nip of spirits and you can buy a bottle of whiskey in Phuket for $18 US it was worth the risk of being caught. Although, it must be noted that security was pretty low and one night returning to the vessel, the security staff didn't even turn on the x-ray machines or check passenger bags. Basically off the tenderboat and straight to bed. ANYTHING GOOD ABOUT THE CRUISE Yes, despite the crappy customer service staff, we had the best entertainment crew we have ever experienced on a cruise ship. They were just outstanding!! They would start at 10am in the morning and they were dancing with passengers at 12pm at night. Even learned how to Tango Argentine Style. Cabin Crew were brilliant and we ended up tipping our cabin steward $50 US... he was just that good. Bar staff, waiters & chefs ....outstanding performance of duties and continuously worked long hours delivering service at an international cruise level. My wife has dietry needs and a lot of effort was put in by the Maitre to satisfy her needs. We had a brilliant time personally meeting lots of people and sadly saying goodbye to some beautiful we meet on the cruise. We entered nearly every competition and sporting event on the cruise and won some little prizes, we danced every night at disco or pool parties and seldom got to bed before 1 am in the morning. We went out to enjoy ourselves and did so to the maximum and we are planning our next cruise . Woo Hoo love cruising!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
I had wanted to see Bali--so I booked this cruise thinking the other ports would be interesting. All materials stated that US$ would be the currency, but euros were used. Cokes and water were around $3.50 each, tap water was decidedly ... Read More
I had wanted to see Bali--so I booked this cruise thinking the other ports would be interesting. All materials stated that US$ would be the currency, but euros were used. Cokes and water were around $3.50 each, tap water was decidedly yellow suggesting persistent contamination, buffet area seating was very cramped and food tepid, pork and beef tended to be tough and tasteless, dishes were misnamed and difficult to interpret--BUT a great crew went the extra mile to accommodate and make up for the deficiencies. They attempted to find a cabin that didn't have contaminated water, helped me deal with details that would include me more completely in opportunities and were so pleasant I felt like the deficiencies weren't so important. ALSO the shows were quite good, particularly considering the small ship. The singers and dancers were among the best I've seen on cruises--even in ships much larger. Some surprises: Stroganoff with a tomato base and no sour cream, Romanov sauce for sundaes was straight vodka instead of a cream sauce. Food descriptions weren't very accurate. I felt they were attempting to be pretentious when a straight-forward description would have been quite adequate. The Bali excursion--what I'd wanted to see most--was very disappointing, several stops advertised weren't included and we were inundated by aggressive street hawkers. The cruise began in Singapore and we didn't leave until the 3rd day of cruise. That day would have been better scheduled in Bali. The port in Port Klang was in the middle of nowhere. Bali and Jakarta dockings were also remote. The Makassar docking put one in the middle of things. I had 24 hour flights to get to the cruise and wonder if the wear and tear was worth the cruise I received. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
I could type forever, but I'll try being as brief as possible. We got a great deal on the cruise about a month and a half before the sail date. We did the flight and hotel on our own. Checking in at Singapore was painless and was even ... Read More
I could type forever, but I'll try being as brief as possible. We got a great deal on the cruise about a month and a half before the sail date. We did the flight and hotel on our own. Checking in at Singapore was painless and was even a little earlier than what was listed on our tickets. The boat looked so little docked next to Costa Classica, but it was just fine for us. We were on the third deck but not too far in the back that it shook. We would walk the decks with our two year old and saw the difference the further back we walked. We had a great cabin steward (May) that cleaned our room amazingly well and paid attention to when we normally left for breakfast and dinner so we wouldn't come in while she was cleaning. The breakfast buffet seemed to be pretty busy and we occasionally had a hard time finding a table for breakfast and lunch just before arriving at a port or just after a tour had come back. The restaurant never seemed really busy but served at a much slower pace. A problem for those dining with little ones. The food was quite good. I had read so many reviews complaining about food but we thought otherwise. Of course you'll come across a dish that you won't like, but for the most part we enjoyed every food experience we had on the ship. My kids were particularly excited to have a kids menu at the restaurant and ate their weight in ice cream during our two week cruise. We had the early sitting in the restaurant and had two great servers (Vassu and Suzan) that altered the table set-up for the kids after the first night. They also brought out their food ASAP to keep them busy. We were slightly disappointed in the kids' room at first glance. It's smaller than the deck 6 bathroom, no joke. But, it doesn't seem to have too many kids at a given time in there. It is for 3-12 year olds (must be potty trained) and they have a teens club as well. It's usually opened 9am-noon, 3pm-5pm, 9-11:30pm. Some days were different, for example gala nights were different hours so they could eat with each other. For kids under three, they can go in but a parent must be with them at all times. Our two year old would go in and color for awhile and then move on. I hate to admit it, but they don't have much for the younger kids. Even my 3 year old spent her two weeks coloring. Regardless, she still loved going in there to play with the other kids. We did the Christmas cruise and there were about 25 kids registered. However, one of the kids' room employees mentioned the previous cruise only had 1. So, if you are planning on taking your kids, it will be hit or miss on playmates for your kids. One of the new features of the kids room, if you purchase an excursion through the cruise, the kids room will watch your kids for you at no extra cost. We ended up doing three excursions through the cruise and they would watch our 3 year old the entire time we were gone. She enjoyed playing and we enjoyed doing the excursions with one less kid. Also want to mention that my daughter loved the two employees in the kids room, Roberta and Yan. We had fun on the deck 8 pool and hot tub. The hot tub wasn't that hot and was right next to a knee deep pool. It seemed like all the kids migrated to this pool. The pool on deck seven was very small and typically crowded. It was also very salty and bothered my kids' eyes. Seems like everyone mentions alcohol in their reviews, I'll keep mine simple. we bought a 10 drink pass for the kids. It made the virgin drinks really cheap and they enjoyed sharing a specialty drink. We really enjoyed going into the Flamenco bar at 5pm for happy hour and listen to the piano. We went the cheapest way and did the daily special drink during happy hour. 5euro for two or super size it for 5.50euro (plus surcharge of course) for two. It's cheaper than buying drinks in Japan, where we currently live. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise. The kids had fun, we had fun, and the staff were super friendly. We'd do another Costa cruise hands down. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Our Costa Allegra cruise, from the 12th until the 26th of December, 2009, was frequently billed "the Christmas Cruise" onboard. From the beginning there were festive decorations in all of the public areas and Christmas Carols ... Read More
Our Costa Allegra cruise, from the 12th until the 26th of December, 2009, was frequently billed "the Christmas Cruise" onboard. From the beginning there were festive decorations in all of the public areas and Christmas Carols playing over the vessel's intercom. It was a nice touch. We arrived in Singapore a day early and spent a bit of time acquainting ourselves with that city's MRT - mass rapid transit. I highly recommend the MRT as there is a station at the harbour front where the Allegra docks and it provides a quick, convenient and cost-effective way to get around. We also used it to return to the Changi Airport after our cruise finished. Don't be daunted as MRT staff are on hand to help you out at each station. Costa crew made it super easy to check in, with one young lady who we found at the foot of the escalator, leading us to our luggage drop-off point and directing us to the check-in spot on the next level up. Check in seemed quite casual: a look at the passports and assignment of the cabin number. Even though we had been provided with forms for our onboard account ahead of time, there was no need to have them completed as all passengers had 48 hours to set it up. Our cabins were very small inside cabins on floor 5 right at the front on the ship (2 cabins for our party of 4). An advantage of this position was the lack of foot traffic outside our doors. There was no undue rocking motion as we had feared there might be. Our water was a dirty brown when it first came out of the tap but seemed to clear a bit after running. As we had been forewarned on previous Cruise Critic posts, we were not unduly concerned. Toward the end of the cruise I was drinking that water and suffered no ill effects. Since the cabins were so small it was crucial that they always be clean and tidy so the services of our cabin attendant were most appreciated. They were nice guys, as well. Our bed linen was changed three times during the cruise, the shower curtain washed three times, and the towels changed twice a day. Regarding the water, I found it quite palatable when ice and a slice of lemon were added. Both of these were available in the Yacht Club buffet dining area. As we learned during the "behind the scenes" talk, the water is desalinated on board. There is a power outlet at the desk in the cabin and we took a power board to expand that so all rechargeable gadgets were catered for. The power adaptor we used was the two round pin variety. The small ship size had a lot of advantages, including the fact that there was never a long way to walk to find something to eat, a place to read, the activity centre, the show room, or back to our cabin. We didn't miss the amenities that the big ships have as we were busy in port most days and the small pools provided an adequate combination of rest and recreation on the others. After a few days of conforming to our 6.30 seating time in the dining room, we asked for a table in the 8.30 sitting and then developed a habit of seeing the show, having a cocktail, then sitting down to dinner. Happy hour was 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. in most inside bars and 9 p.m. until 11 p.m. at the pool bar, and during this time patrons received two (of the same) drinks for the price of one. We always had the cocktail of the day at 5 euros plus the ubiquitous 15% service charge, which kept it affordable, and our under 18 year old children had non-alcoholic cocktails that were paid from the "boys and girls" drinks vouchers that were 10 for 20 euros with no service charge. By the way, we found the dining room to be very chilly on the first few nights so be prepared with something warm to wear, if required. On the third day of the cruise I thought to myself "there must be no cruise director!" - but then she appeared on the first welcome gala show. Her main job was to say a very few words in six different languages so there was none of that rah rah that we had encountered on our 5 previous cruises, thank goodness. A complement of four lively young people did their best to get us involved in the day's activities - including far into the evening - and they were terrific. We enjoyed the food: there was an excellent variety and most of it was well prepared. Best of all, I didn't have to do the cooking or the clean up! The hardest thing about the food was to not eat too much, but just in case, we too ourselves off to the gym or walking track most days. The gym is well equipped and the walking track lovely in the cooler evenings. Although we had been forewarned that smoking was permitted in certain areas inside the ship, except the restaurants, it is hard to understand how Costa Cruises cannot move with the times and permit smoking only on outside decks. It was annoying to have a quiet read in the lounge only to have a Costa crew come and sit nearby and light up - and it was mostly crew. Officers appear to be as arrogant as suggested on previous posts but that did not bother us as the rest of the staff is just great, and they speak English too! Other than the smoking issue, the point we raised on our feedback forms regarded the lack of information about ports and piers. We did not know until the newsletter for the next day arrived each evening exactly where we would be mooring. We did not go on any Costa excursions as there were 4 of us and taxis were very affordable. Even where the local population does not speak English, they are savvy enough to know where the tourists want to go and are quite prepared to spend the day showing you around. Some information we got from the tour department bordered on misleading: regarding Port Klang a message was sent that we were an hour away from the closest city (Klang) and and hour and a half from Kuala Lumpur. We took a taxi to a large Klang shopping centre in 20 minutes and the taxi driver said it would only be another 20 minutes to KL. Of course, that was Christmas day and the traffic would have been down, but the tours people knew it was Christmas day, as well. There was a mixed response from the people who did take tours: some were loved, some were termed "rip-offs". The best bet is to do your own research. This is how we found our first day's activity, a trip to Trans Studio, but we did not find that there was a free shuttle to the ship! Trans Studio management have spoken to cruise personnel and hosted a group of them onsite and was very surprised that there is no information about this amusement park available for the ship's passengers. As amusement parks go, it wasn't great but it was indoors, out of the sun, and could be fun. We turned our passports in after our last time ashore in Singapore and did not have to go through immigration at any other port. I am a Canadian citizen and the others in my party are Australians and we needed at least 6 months before our passport expiry in order to enter Indonesia. Some passengers were upset that their travel agents failed to provide this information. We didn't use a travel agent so did our own research. There were actually 8 ports on the cruise: there was a space in the form I filled out above to say how many but the maximum that was allowed in the form was six. Also, the names of the ports we visited, other than Singapore, are not listed in the "Select a Port" section of "Port Reviews" on this "member reviews" form. While many of our ports were third world, they were all educational and worth seeing. Two points to note were the almost overwhelming hawkers/touters/sellers in the Indonesian ports and the rush by many people to be photographed with our two tall blonde 17 year olds (one male, one female). Overall, this was my favourite cruise to date. The previous posts regarding the Allegra helped us set our expectations appropriately so there were no annoyances, only pleasant surprises. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Have just returned from a cruise on the Costa Allegra. The ship was a good size and everyone really friendly The cabin was as good as it could be, clean, comfortable, and serviced twice a day. Food was well prepared and we had a varied ... Read More
Have just returned from a cruise on the Costa Allegra. The ship was a good size and everyone really friendly The cabin was as good as it could be, clean, comfortable, and serviced twice a day. Food was well prepared and we had a varied choice, service was really excellent. The cruise was good value for money, we had a package including airfares for less than $1100.This was a problem as everyone on board appeared to pay a different price and many passengers paid a great deal more than us, the price of the holiday was the main talking point, who got what for what, even the European and British passengers were saying the same. This left some people very unhappy, particularly people who had paid huge prices for the trip months ago. The entertainment crew were fantastic and worked really hard to please, however the cruise director and her assistant only made very rare grand appearances. The Senior staff were cold and unapproachable, at the Captain's cocktail parties it was a joke, I have never seen so many uniforms run so fast to get away from the passengers.It was a case of one quick drink and go, absolutely do not mingle. The cost of the excursions was unjustifiable,extortionate and prohibitive. People who wanted to do it alone were misinformed misled and made to wait for ages to disembark, We were told transport into towns and tours could not be done alone only on a Costa tour, Even Cunard assist passengers who want to go alone, and their tours are cheap in comparison to Costa, go it alone people were generally treated really poorly, all the shore trips could be done independently and for a tiny fraction of the cost Costa is charging, just get together with other passengers and visit tourist offices before you leave or go on the web, The staff in the tour office have no knowledge of the ports and can give no information at all. The use of the Euro on an Asian route was not practical, US or Singapore dollars would be better,and before you board get some currency for each country you will visit Having done many cruises, I have to say Costa cannot come even close to Star Cruises or Classic Cruises for value and customer satisfaction. The main complaint was a total lack of information at ports of call, we made plans to visit people in Bali only to find that the ship had at the last minute changed anchorage. When we left the ship in Phuket we could get no information on where she would be the next morning as we were staying on the island over night. We went to a 4 star hotel overnight inc breakfast and got gold seats with dinner to the Fantasea show including transfers all for $40 AUD less than the basic excursion done by Costa, this also gave us maximum time to visit the island. The other big failing of Costa is the price of drinks are they supposed to be duty free. The cost was terribly high, we did get the drinks deal on board. Do not preorder them as they suggest,even then they were still expensive, but the most expensive thing is water, the water on board is disgusting, undrinkable and brown, it discolors clothing and makes tea and coffee taste awful and they won't let you buy it on shore, At 5 Euros a bottle is dearer than we pay for wine in Australia Would we do Costa again YES but we would now do it forwarned and that makes a big difference Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
We have just returned from the Costa allegra from the 3rd of October sailing, and feel it's a different style of cruising from what were used to. the officers like to keep away from the guests and even on gala nights they sat on ... Read More
We have just returned from the Costa allegra from the 3rd of October sailing, and feel it's a different style of cruising from what were used to. the officers like to keep away from the guests and even on gala nights they sat on there own table not spread around like on other lines. There was a serious lack of information passed down from above even when stuck on a sandbank for seven hours only received two announcements. Not even the guest relations desk or front desk new what was going on, we nearly had a riot as people were so fed up and we missed most of our day in port a highlight for many. Entertainment was very good I thought and the animation team worked very hard the most I have ever seen on a ship. Food good but never hot not even warm sometimes you don't want to send it back every meal every day you should not to have to. The hard working and very friendly crew do there best and do not stop smiling but I feel they our overworked and not enough of them to keep the ship working properly with the full ship we had. The usual as in previous reviews brown water out of taps water coming up thought the drains, there our problems with that on this ship. I do not know if because of its past but the ship does not ride to well even in not very rough conditions it rolls quite a lot. the ports we visited were very good and that's why we chose the cruise I will not go in to them as revived before but each was good in its own way jus missed ho ch min for most of the day as arrived at 4pm as captain or pilot sails on to sandbank where we spent most of the day did not even get a apology or drink for that. also felt safety was lacking six days before some of guest had lifeboat drill the there was no checking to see if you attended this and we also left Brunei with suspected small fire on board, why leave port till sure problem dealt with to me that is not putting peoples safety first, and after the September sailing you wonder what there safety record is. I was disappointed with this cruise and felt glad to get off and do not know if its Costa allegra or Costa in general but threes things missing and poor service. Not sure if will return to this ship or line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
Costa Allegra Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.3
Dining 3.0 3.4
Entertainment 3.0 2.9
Public Rooms 3.0 3.6
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.2
Family 2.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 3.0 2.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.0
Service 3.0 3.8
Value For Money 3.0 3.2
Rates 4.0 2.9

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