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294 Costa Mediterranea Cruise Reviews

Choice of cruise made by price and choice of stop-overs. Ship was kept in very good condition, and friendly helpful staff. Main problem was disembarkation and embarkation at two of the stops, which were nothing short of disastrious. We ... Read More
Choice of cruise made by price and choice of stop-overs. Ship was kept in very good condition, and friendly helpful staff. Main problem was disembarkation and embarkation at two of the stops, which were nothing short of disastrious. We had to wait in the blazing sun for over an hour to get the Costa bus back to the ship (one woman infront of us fainted). No one available to offer drinks or aologies. Same thing again two days later. We also found that the stopover at Dubrovnik was much to short (3 hours). Food and entertainment were good, and most of the staff were helpful. The customer service desk was 0ermanenty undestaffed, with waits of 20 minutes typical to speak to someone. I personally found the loudspeaker announcements when I was trying to rest on deck somewhat annoying. The ship's decor is rather garish, but that is a matter of taste! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose this cruise for the ports, which did not disappoint. However, we encountered many problems on our first time on the Costa line. The cruise was marred by inefficiency, little concern for the passenger, needless standing, waiting, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports, which did not disappoint. However, we encountered many problems on our first time on the Costa line. The cruise was marred by inefficiency, little concern for the passenger, needless standing, waiting, and rude customer service. The worst was rude treatment at the customer service desk. On the third day of the trip our internet stopped, costing us about 100 mb on our package (about $50 worth). At customer service we found that this was because our onboard account had been closed as we had failed to register our credit card upon boarding. Unlike other cruises where we registered the card online, Costa requires an additional step of standing in line at one of a handful of machines to feed and register the card. There is fine print on page 5 or 6 of cruise documents saying “register your card.” We wrongly assumed online registration was enough, but customer service very sternly let us know otherwise - we should have stood in one of those lines upon boarding. We then gave our card, they registered it, and after we apologized for our stupidity, asked if Costa could make good on the internet package we had paid for and restore the 100 mb. NO, we were told, it was our fault that we had not registered our card so it was also our fault we lost the time. “You would not have lost the time if you had registered your card as required.” We tried to explain innocent ignorance. Heightened reprimand by customer service, by this time the worker and her supervisor. I asked politely for a business card or their names, making clear that Costa had refused to make good on my purchase. The supervisor immediately covered his nametag with a brochure as did the customer service worker. The supervisor backed into his office and closed the door. No names. On any of our prior cruises, the internet time most likely would have been restored and our apologies accepted. And certainly customer service workers would not have covered their names. Now the inefficiencies. The first was at luggage drop. As instructed, we had printed our luggage tags and attached them to our luggage prior to arriving at the port. We arrived at luggage drop a little before 2 PM as instructed and encountered what we thought was a reasonable line. We anticipated a quick trip through the line and out of the Venice heat. Problem was, those ahead of us in line had not printed out nor attached luggage tags. So, while 3 people were working the conveyor belt for luggage and 2 were at the check in desk, the employees did little most of the time due to the inefficient setup. Each party that had not attached tags stood there while one person at the desk gathered their ID and information and made out and attached tags. The other person at the desk simply handed a numbered card when this was done. The men at the conveyor belt stood there waiting for the luggage to be handed over once this procedure was completed. And we stood in line waiting as this slow procedure was repeated over and over. Seems like they could have had one line for tagged luggage to be handed over, which would go very quickly, and another to take care of those who required personal assistance. When we finally got to the front of the line it took all of 5 seconds to hand luggage over and receive a number. Next was waiting to board. Our number was 11, so we figured at the rate they were going (on number 2 when we arrived) that we would be onboard about 3 PM. Wrong. There were pages of documents to fill out prior to arriving and many passengers had not done this. Rather than have two lines upon arrival – those with completed documents being able to immediately stand in line for check in and the others directed to desks to fill out documents, everyone was taken by number into the check in line. When our number was called about 3:30, we could tell that the check in workers were filling out documents for people, taking quite a while with those people as we waited in line. Once we got to check in, it took but a minute to hand in the documents, show our passport, and be on our way to the gangway to board. But boarding via that gangway is another story in standing and waiting. On the glassed in gangway to the ship, we were next to board when suddenly boarding stopped and the gangway connection pulled back from the ship. The connection had slipped and staff could not figure out how to fix it. We stood there for over an hour waiting for repairs. No place to sit, no option to go back to the waiting room. It was after 4:30 when we finally got onboard. Lunch service had stopped. We stood in another line to drop off our passports and by 4:45 we were finally on our way to our cabin. Lifeboat drill was coming up at 5:30. We donned our orange vests and arrived at our designated station at 5:30 in a blazing 90 degree Italian sun. We stood and waited. And waited. Finally, at 6 PM some Costa crew arrived. They took attendance and looked to see if vests were on properly. Then lined us up, women and children in front, men in back. Checked vests again to fill the time. Made adjustments. We stood there. About 6:15, announcements over the loudspeaker started in multiple languages. Instructions to come to our stations if the horn sounded. Finally, after 6:20, we were let go. This all would have been done in 10 minutes on Disney. Costa required 50 minutes in hot sun wearing padded life vests, with crew a half hour late and inefficient even then. First seating for dinner was in 20 minutes and the first day on the cruise had been spent standing and waiting. Then there was room service, ordered one day at an extra charge of 5 Euro so we could be off the ship in Dubrovnik by 8:15. We put a marked order card on our door the evening before indicating 7 - 7:30 delivery, the earliest possible time. At 6:45 AM we got a call confirming our order. We got ready for the day expecting breakfast at any minute. Then we waited. And waited. At 7:40 we called to see if they had forgotten us. We were told it was taking so long because it was a galley order. Seems like they should have known that at 6:45. It finally was delivered at 7:50, leaving little time to eat and get off the ship. Had we been told at 6:45 that they could not fill the order on time, we would have cancelled and gone up to the buffet. About the buffets - they were difficult to figure with multiple locations but no one theme on any of them except the pasta buffet at lunch. They again required waiting and standing. Especially at breakfast there would be different foods at different buffets, but no theme or marking overhead to ease the search, thus causing additional traffic of people wandering around looking at each buffet line to find something more than limited options. The buffets were heavy on breads and dessert items for breakfast. No hot foods, no oatmeal or bagels. No salmon, sausage, eggs, French toast, strawberries or blue berries as on DCL and other cruises. The lunch buffet was also limited. We stuck to the pasta line, which was great, making a salad from the limited salad items on the main buffet. I am not choosey on food but much of what was in the lunch buffet line was unattractive. We found the restaurants to be better than the buffets both in terms of food quality and speed of service. However, it was not up to our experience in previous cruises. The breakfast menu was limited and did not change, offering a choice of 5 or 6 plated items themed to a country. For example, U.S. was pancakes and bacon, England was a fried egg and sausage. Fruit and accompanying items were to be gotten from the buffet and fresh squeezed orange juice was available at a charge of 5 Euro for 2. It was worth it as what was passed as OJ had to be tang or a poor substitute for tang. The ambience in the restaurants for breakfast and lunch was pleasant with cloth napkins and linen tablecloths. The many portholes offered good views. The lunch menu offered a variety of items and lunch in the restaurant was our favorite meal on the ship, especially the pasta course. Dinner was at an assigned table in the dining room, which we did like. Our server and assistant server were both competent and we have no complaints. All of our tablemates were native English speakers, most from the U.S. One couple at our dinner table, from Scotland, was on their first cruise. On the first night they brought up the long day and slow lines. “Was it always this bad on cruises?” they asked. No, everyone else assured them, Costa was just bad. Seems everyone at the table found Costa to be disorganized and inconsiderate, pledging a one-time experience but willing to see if things would get better. As it turned out, two other couples at the table also would have their onboard accounts closed, requiring varying degrees of complexities and costs to get things cleared up. We liked the public rooms better than on Disney, especially some of the quiet bar areas with interesting, if somewhat excessive, art themes. One bartended in particular, Joseph, learned our names immediately and we made a point to stop by each evening before dinner and try his suggestion of a drink. He had excellent English and we enjoyed chatting with him until the bar got busy. In the afternoon he was on deck and would seek us out to bring sparkling water. We had an inclusive drink package and we found it very easy to use and to get all the drinks, sparkling water, and coffees we wanted. With the package, there was nothing to sign and the process of getting something was so quick. We have been on 15 ocean cruises and 6 river cruises including Disney, Princess and Celebrity. Although there were some things about Costa we liked, this was the first time we encountered significant problems and the first time we left without a “WOW” feeling. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Not recommended for English speaking or US residents. The staff are disrespectful, rude, very unorganized, never on time, staff never smiles, once cruise over never says thanks or acknowledges you. This is an international ship that ... Read More
Not recommended for English speaking or US residents. The staff are disrespectful, rude, very unorganized, never on time, staff never smiles, once cruise over never says thanks or acknowledges you. This is an international ship that provides for the Italians. Boring itinerary, no courtesy shuttle having all ports too far to destination highlights and Costa will rip your wallet on charging too much for a shuttle. Towels are old and gross to use. Décor so old with stains, etc. shower curtain too short making it a mess to take a shower. Always continental breakfasts. Never hot meals. You miss your designated dinner time, no dinner. Buffet horrible food. After numerous notifications and requests for diet and twin beds vs queen. They didn't care and will do things on their time and when they feel if will be done. During mandatory meetings all they do is promote another cruise with them. Very pushy. They charge for everything possible...pizza, etc. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We wanted an Adriatic cruise with great destinations and ports. This cruise delivered spectacular views and 7 ports of call. The positives included the amazing food and service at the restaurants. The shows were excellent as well with the ... Read More
We wanted an Adriatic cruise with great destinations and ports. This cruise delivered spectacular views and 7 ports of call. The positives included the amazing food and service at the restaurants. The shows were excellent as well with the singers and dancers being professional and enthusiastic. Best stops included Split, Corfu and Venice. Sailing out of Kotor was a great experience to watch the boat maneuver through the fjords. Announcements were in many languages which you expect for a European cruise and it became quite easy to manage after a while. The staff are courteous and professional and helpful in every circumstance. The boat is very beautiful and brightly decorated. The ship has started to charge for late night food and for things like pizza so that was a turn off. The pools were small and constantly overrun with children as were the so called hot tubs. Even the adult only pool was crawling with kids as young as 3. These are things that the ship and company could fix and earn a much higher rating from me. Overall a very good experience Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Travelling independently we flew from Stansted to Trieste airport, which is around an hour from the city. A bus from the airport to the city costs around 6 Euros and leaves half hourly, it delivers you to the bus station which is adjacent ... Read More
Travelling independently we flew from Stansted to Trieste airport, which is around an hour from the city. A bus from the airport to the city costs around 6 Euros and leaves half hourly, it delivers you to the bus station which is adjacent to both the rail station, taxi stance and local bus terminii. Rather than pay top whack for a city or riverside accomodation for a 3 night stay we opted for a very cheap option costing £104 for 3 nights at the hotel /restaurant Sonia just oustside Trieste, whilst not the most salubrious area it was only a 20 minutes bus ride from town. Bus tickets giving an hours travel when validated in the machine on the bus cost 1 Euro 35, they can be bought in a host of shops in town. Trieste I found to be much more elegant than the city of Genoa, I prefer it. Boarding on the Saturday morning was a revelation, despite having a boarding time of 2pm we pitched up at the terminal shortly after leaving our hotel at 11 am. Bags were taken from us and we were asked to come back at 12 so we spent an hour at a cafe over the raod from the terminal.On returning we found that despite Trieste being a major departure port there was none of the massive queues experienced previously with MSC at Genoa or Venice, quite the opposite infact, we were onboard and in the buffet before 1pm with our cabin available complete with luggage shortly after. The whole boarding procedure was so much quicker and eaier with Costa than with MSC. The Costa Mediterranea is a fair sized ship, perhaps not quite as massive as the new MSC ships, but certainly bigger than MSC's older ships, it seemed similar in size to Cunard's Queen Victoria and Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas both of which were berthed alongside in Venice, it also measured up against TUI's Mein Schiff 2 which we seemed to follow around the Adriatic. The ship looks more traditional compared to some, however the inside art decor was a little OTT for me, whilst it hit you on first viewing it certainly didn't detract from the enjoyment of the cruise. Whilst the Mediterranea certainly didn't have the elegance and bling of the large MSC ships I must say that I thought its lounges looked and felt better. Despite its peculiar internal decoration the Mediterranea won over MSC because you felt that you had so much more space in the lounge areas, even when busy of an evening with events you never felt crowded out and could see what was happening on the dance floor in front of you. Costa also won over MSC at mealtimes, in the main. Only on one day of the cruise was the buffet very busy at lunch and even then a table outside was found after a short while. The buffet itself was quite pleasant with different sized tables and booths inside and a host of tables outside. Lunch offerrings were similar to MSC but I thought that MSC offered more choice in the buffet options, the food however was always good. The breakfast buffet was never the trial that MSC's breakfast is but that is probably down to the splitting of the 2 offerings between buffet and restaurant. If you are happy with a continental breakfast, cerails, fruit, ham and cheese, bread and cakes it is the buffet for you. If a cooked breakfast is required it is served in the downstairs restaurant. We tried this once and found it busier than the buffet, it's offerings were not as good as MSC's either. Where MSC do have the upper hand is the availability of food in the buffet at most hours, this is not the case with the Mediterranea, neither does it have tea and coffee available 24/7 in the buffet. We resorted to having a pot of tea delivered by room service of an evening, at no extra cost, the ability to make a mug of tea and take it to the cabin was something that we missed. You'll also find that the Mediterranea has no ice cream concession onboard, neither did it have ice cream on any menu! There is nothing in the way of speciality restaurants on the Mediterranea, saving a burger bar and pizzeria, if you're looking for speciality dining this ship is not for you. The main restaurant was a revelation, old fashioned it may look with its balcony looking down on diners below but having asked for a table for 2 we were surprised to find we got a table for 2. Costa are trying hard with their restaurant service, it might not quite be there but it's not far off, it is generally good with only some very minor niggles if we were to be particularly picky. Personally I prefer the 4 course Costa menu over the 7 course MSC menu and I enjoyed 4 courses every evening. The choice was not as large or as varied as MSC's, however the quality was good. My partner had one or two issues with the choice available but I found I was catered for. The Costa menu raised some questions as it is very open and honest in identifying food that had been prepared on shore, is this something that other lines do and are equally open and honest about? The noticeable difference between MSC and Costa is the dress of diners, whereas on MSC diners will dress for gala dinners I found I was the only diner in a dinner jacket, it won't be going with me next time, smart casual suffices for Costa whereas I would dress more formally for MSC. There was only one gala dinner, with a rather restricted choice of menu compared to MSC, there was a White night, an Italian (Red, Green & White) night, a 50's / 60's night and a mask night, there was no baked alaska night, what there was though was some fun with staff performing and leading a conga. My gripe with Costa would be the lack of formality, not only in a dress sense, seeing people pitch up in flip flops, shorts and tee shirts, but also the fact that people arrived an hour late in some cases! You'll also find the obligatory photographers appearing during your meal, although not as often as during dinners on MSC which was a relief. The cabin, balcony on deck 7, I found to be a good size and was always well serviced. There was ample room for a sofa bed affair in the cabin. The balcony had ample room for two chairs and a small table. Smoking is allowed on Costa balcony's using the ashtrays provided on the bulkhead. I found the shower, although having a curtain rather than being a cubicle gave me more room than on MSC and I never once touched the shower curtain it was that spacious, the showe was good too. Smoking on the Mediterranea was limited to balcony's and specified locations on the decks, whilst these locations near doors allowed a bit of a smell of smoke to come inside you didn't have to walk through a foggy and smelly smoke filled casino as we've done previously on MSC. The big disappointment was the entertainment in the theatre, it wasn't to my taste and dispite not enjoying MSC's offerings much there entertainment appeared to be better than Costa's. Having sat through all of MSC's shows we only stayed for the entire duration of one show on this cruise. It just wasn't my cup of tea and didn't float my boat which was a bit disappointing as the theatre was good. The big winner was the cruise and its destinations. Trieste we explored ourselves pre-cruise, taking in the tramway and a boat trip up the coast. Split : We had a morning and afternoon in Split which we found to be very busy, the square outside the church and Diocletians' palace being full to capacity. We explored the old city ourselves on foot having toured the basements of the palace. One thing to note, the coloued glass we bought from one of the myriad ofcraft stalls in the palace basements was not Croatian but was marked as being an import from Indonesia, all is not always what it seems, but the craft stalls are worth a look. Dubrovnik : We had a morning in Dubrovnik which gave us enough time to do the cable car at leisure having walked the walls on a previous visit with MSC. Like Split we found Dubrovnik to be very busy, unsurprising as there were Costa, P&O (Oceana) and TUI's Mein schiff 2 in port. Katakalon : We had an afternoon / evening in Katakolon which we had also visited before, we found that whilst the village hadn't changed the shops had, they were more upmarket than before and prices had risen noticeably since our last visit a couple of years previously. Corfu : We had a morning and afternoon in Corfu and were a little disappointed with it. We chose the most well known hop on hop off sightseeing bus only to find that apart from the port stop there were only 3 others, sights would be described then sailed past without the chance to get off, stupid! We wandered around the old town shops but found them very expensive compared to elsewhere,I know the Greeks have problems but 5 Euros for two scoops of ice cream is taking the biscuit. What was noticeable was the huge piles of rotting and smelly rubbish left out on the streets due to a strike, it wasn't pleasant to walk past at all, one half expected to see rats amongst it.We did visit Kanoni as a stop on the hop on hop off tour and found it worth finding the stairs down to a cafe at the waterside, it's only when you're there that you realise the airport runway is adjacent! Kotor : We only had a morning to explore Kotor so done so ourselves on foot wandering round the streets of the old town. Again Mein Schiff 2 was also in port so it wasn't quiet, but it was a revelation and sailing out of the fjord kept us enthralled for a good couple of hours, spectacular. Venice : We had a full day in Venice, 9am to 9pm and again explored ourselves on foot for a fair part of the day opting to take the waterbus to St Mark's and back rather than use the people mover and walk in as we had done previously. On our last day in Trieste our flight wasn't until gone 5pm so we opted to take an excurion to put in a few hours, we're glad we did, our trip to see the Postojna cave was much enjoyed. Having taken the excursion we disembarked earlier than we would have otherwise so can't comment on the disembarking procedure as compared to MSC's long winded process of sitting waiting your turn. We returned by bus from the coach station to the airport as we had arrived. On arriving back in Stansted we found the border had a queue and a lack of working gates which caused a delay, there was an even longer delay awaiting baggage, around 45 minutes, not good. So, the opinion is this was our best cruise and most enjoyed. Costa compared favourably and in some cases better than MSC. I'd do this cruise again to take advantage of the destinations and the tours offered by Costa. Would I sail with Costa again – yes, would I sail on the Mediterranea again - yes. To be clear my comparison is with MSC's; Splendida, Fantasia, Divinia and Musica. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I chose this cruise because the timing and itinerary worked best for me to relax on a cruise after a land tour. I have never cruised with Costa before. Though my agent said that it is so-so, I decided to give it a try. After 7 days on ... Read More
I chose this cruise because the timing and itinerary worked best for me to relax on a cruise after a land tour. I have never cruised with Costa before. Though my agent said that it is so-so, I decided to give it a try. After 7 days on the Mediterranea, I think I most probably will not come back to Costa cruises again. Costa cruises may be for some people but not for me who can only understand English and looking for a relaxing ship. The decor in the ship was nice and in general it is a beautiful ship. The cabin is similar to those of medium priced cruise lines. As for dining, I think the food is OK, generally not as good as the other similar priced cruises I was on (e.g. Princess, Celebrity). The Entertainment was typical and the performances were enjoyable. I was told that there are be many languages spoken by the announcers (which is expected being in Europe). But I think it is difficult for me to understand some of the announcements when some announcers, after speaking many sentences in Italian and just summarize in a short sentence in English. In addition, some announcers spoke too fast and with a heavy accent that the clearest words to me were ‘Ladies and gentlemen,…, Thank You’ with much of the message being missed. Since we were at port every day, I did not attend any of the ship’s activities. So the language barrier only affected me in understanding the general announcements. I feel that the staff and crew were doing their best to try to maintain order in a generally chaotic ship. My personal experience is that the guests were very often loud. Many people did not seem to have the concept of lining up for service. They shamelessly jumped queues (whether it is for information, paying the cashier or waiting for tendering service). When they were asked to line up, they expressed disgust verbally and/or non-verbally before reluctantly walking to the back. I was told that we would have pay for water with our meals if we did not have the ‘water package’ as one of the added features in our reservations. One guest told me that she was charged 1 euro for having water with her lunch in the dining room. Initially we were told coffee/tea was not available during dinner time because coffee/tea was only available at breakfast time. The reason is that it takes special staff to prepare them. After more enquiries, coffee/tea was offered for free at our dinners with a qualifier that the coffee/tea is not prepared by ‘professionals’. There is only one short paragraph about the port on the daily bulletin. Most other ships I was on provided a page with a map for each port. The Information Desk staff pointed us to the Shore Excursion Desk for information. We were then told by the Shore Excursion desk that they only sold excursions and did not have any information. Tendering ashore was also less than satisfactory as there was a small print on the daily bulletin telling us to pick up tickets the day before. Many of us missed reading that and only picked up tender tickets later. For Katakalon, some people had to wait for 2 hours in the lounge for their ticket number to be announced before getting on the tender. We were at that port only for the afternoon. The situation in Kotor was improved because there were some local boats in addition to using the ship’s life rafts. Coming back to the ship at Kotor was a challenge as we lined up for nearly an hour in the blazing sun for the tender. The wait time was made longer for people in the line because there were people frequently jumping the queue, making it an unpleasant queuing experience. No Costa staff was around to maintain order. Settling the account was another challenge. Generally I could settle my account the day before in my previous cruises with other cruise ships. We were told that if we would like to pay cash and not charge our credit card, we had to do it from 7:00 a.m.-8:45 a.m. on the day of disembarkation. This again created a big crowd waiting outside the lounge before 7:00 a.m. and we lined up for almost an hour to settle our account. Disembarkation was another chaotic scene as people did not seem to stay in the lounges assigned according to their luggage tag colour. I was told that people who did not have checked baggage could go any time and so many were trying to disembark right away. Staff was just trying their best to maintain order in that chaos. To summarize, though the itinerary was good, I did not find this cruise relaxing at all and I will think twice before I try another Costa cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We were a little worried due to some of the negative reviews that we read but are very happy that we went - my husband and 7 year old boy. We chose this cruise because we wanted a true European experience and we definitely got it! :) ... Read More
We were a little worried due to some of the negative reviews that we read but are very happy that we went - my husband and 7 year old boy. We chose this cruise because we wanted a true European experience and we definitely got it! :) There were only 52 Americans out of the 3800 on board. We also really like the ports that this cruise offered, not the traditional stops. The service as fantastic. The fact that people embarked and disembarked at each port made our embarking and disembarking very easy. There were not the huge crowds with everyone trying to get on and off the ship at the same time. The announcements were made mostly in Italian followed by English. Our balcony room was very nice and clean. The cabin steward was amazing! Made towel animals for our son which he loved. The dining options were good, we like casual so we ate at the buffet a lot. A lot of pasta!! There was a small buffet set up for a traditional American breakfast if you are craving scrambled eggs and bacon, but the European buffets were great! We read that you have to pay for water at dinner- you get water for free with dinner. Have to pay for soft drinks, cocktails etc...just like most other cruises. Excursions- we went on our own at most ports but there were English speaking tours available - make sure to specify that. The one we took to Portofino was Spanish and Italian but the guide was very kind and gave us the important information in English. Loved it! Great Experience, definitely would recommend this cruise and go again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
My review is written in 2 sections for reasons that will become apparent. I'm reviewing the service and food etc, then an incident that had a major impact on our trip. This is our 5th Costa cruise. Despite what is written by ... Read More
My review is written in 2 sections for reasons that will become apparent. I'm reviewing the service and food etc, then an incident that had a major impact on our trip. This is our 5th Costa cruise. Despite what is written by others we have always had a great holiday. Yes, there are issues, things aren't quite what is expected, the management are surly and short (not height!), but that happens with many holidays, not just cruises. And perhaps many things are down to language differences. Booked this a month after the last one, in November last year. Got an excellent price and the Euro was cheap. We book it with a travel agent in Italy and got on board credit as well. Was looking to get an outside cabin, I am aware that on Mediterranea the outside are behind the life boats, but they are like a balcony. Sliding door and all. But....they are categorised as Classic and for breakfast and room service, we need Premium! The price of a premium Balcony was too good to miss. We flew Ryanair to Treviso the night before, after school finished! Got there around 22:30. Stayed opposite the airport. It always amazes me that here in UK we have such tight security around airports but in some European destinations, the terminal is doors off the main highway! We walked across the road to the (cheap) hotel. (Reviewed as are many things from the cruise, on Trip Advisor). Up next morning, breakfast on the street looking in the terminal and waited for our transfer. With smallish kids and luggage for 12 days, (we were staying on after the cruise), I couldn't face bus and train. Transfer arrived on time and we were in Venice at 10:30 at the terminal. Boarding was from 14:30 so we left the bags and went into Venice for a walk around. Many must have done this as were given a boarding number, 4, to present on our return. Took the boat ferry bus to Venice, that's not cheap! Enjoyed our walk around, bought a few bits, were amazed at the amount of water traffic. Headed back from a different ferry bus stop as we walked so far! And had our first Ice Cream!!! Back at the terminal for 15:00 and we were on the ship in about 15 minutes. It was busy but with the number 4, we were waved through. First stop lunch. Then the cabin, it that was made up for 4. Standard Costa cabin, room enough for us but mental note that as the children get bigger, we might need 2 cabins...... We were one person short this year as the eldest decided at 18 not to come with us.......or we would have had 2. The Mediterranea is decorated out in an amazing fashion. Its surreal!! I think its the best Costa ship so far. Has to be seen to be believed. Odd figures dotted around everywhere, very Gothic. Very over the top...typical Costa and thats why we go! Now here is one controversial bit. We usually go all inclusive drinks. But this time my wife said lets not...lets get the packages for soft drinks and water. buy anything else. Have to confess, we aren't big drinkers and we would drink more because it was included! But we didn't need a bottle of wine a day....etc. I was sceptical. I didn't want to worry about drinks but she won the argument so we purchased 40 soft drinks around 110 Euro i think and 15 bottles of water 35 Euro i think. If we needed more water we could fill up at the dispensers, Ice in the room from room service. We had asked for early dining, but found our cards said late. So we went to the dining room and the man in charge looked at the girls and adjusted it with no problem. Last time we had to join a throng and wait for hours...... Food at dinner was as always, great. Lots of choice. Except for the children. The childrens menu is a little restricted, but saying that, the 7 yr old always found something in combination with the main menu. The 10 yr old ate from the main menu each night, always enjoyed it. And this is where I started to see, my wife may be right not going all inclusive. Each night there was a wine special. Generally half price. So I bought a bottle every other night, drank half and the rest was waiting for me next day. Bottle of fizzy water and still plus soft drinks. Take the water away if any left. I was also surprised that the kids started to request water not soft drinks! But no ice cream for desert. Ridiculous, no ice cream for the children's menu. A cost saving too far. So our first day was perfect. Good and everyone was as always, very attentive. Woke up in Trieste. This place is so close to Venice I find it an odd choice for next day. I think we could have been there in a n hour or 2....but if you look at the route we take, we go out into the gulf and meander around for a while!!! Then into Trieste. Ship docked in town. Walked through town, more ice cream, stopped and watched a wedding party, made our way to the Tram up the hill. Nice trip, interesting rife, great views. Had lunch at the town and made our way back to the ship to walk along the waterfront, looking at jelly fish in the water. Nice stop. We always dress for dinner....its a tradition, off we went, had another good meal. Woke in Split where we had arranged a private tour with bike tour and sea kayaking. Had a great day, picnic lunch on the way, did many firsts! Normal routine in the evening, dinner, cocktails, some non alco others normal, show, walk around, outside, then bed about 11. Kotor next, again ship docks in town, I mean right in town! Not here long, so walked in old town, coffee, ice cream, shopped. Back on for lunch and off we go. Very scenic sail out, sat on deck as the girls were swimming and wife baking, this really is the life! It was on this night there was a very strange and unfortunate incident. Not the crew who were looking after us, but the officers and Captain. It made the rest of the cruise a bit difficult but I will list it after this and scoot over the rest of the cruise. Katakolon, visited Olympia, walked off the ship and booked a local coach, 10 Euro, kids free. Interesting place! Normal routine on the ship in the evening. Corfu was a nice day, we walked to town, took about 20 minutes. Had lunch and just walked around seeing sights! Dubrovnik we didn't get off, arrived early and away by lunch. Seemed a waste of a stop for the ship really. Nice to relax on board. As we were independant, we got off the ship in Venice at around 11:30, had breakfast and snacks, then off to a beach holiday for a few days. Couple of other comments. The shows were typical Costa. Easy on the eye, just good all round stuff. The singing was a bit off, but hey, I'm on holiday and it was good to have dinner and a show, we saw them all except 1, when we felt we couldn't listen to the off notes any more!!! We knew what to expect from previous and got what we expected! The room steward was nothing like the other cruises. We aren't early risers, rarely get cooked breakfast. (That's another bug bear, too early finish for cooked!). But he was knocking at 9 saying he needed us out to make up the room. I explained he couldn't as were still in it. So he looked at me as if I was mad! Off he would go....only to come back 10 minutes later....you have to go!!!! He got the message eventually, broke an ornament we purchased in Venice (he told us), no folded towels. I think he didn't like it! But I also don't think he is representative of cabin staff. Now, the incident. My children are very media aware. The study news at school and watch TV. They have watched disaster movies, have heard about the Concordia when everyone asks us what ship and we say Costa! The 7 yr old is a nervous cruiser...she thinks we might sink. The 10 yr old similar but lesser, age makes it better i think. They like to be in control! So the first few days she is listening and looking....but eventually it goes away. Life boat drill is always trauma, lots of noise, lots of people. I don't think its done very well, as I am tall I am separated and put to the back of a line and they are small so they go to the front. They both cant be next to my wife. It needs done, I'm happy for that. I also sit them down and give them a brief about not leaning over...where we go....what to expect. That sorts it! We left Kotor going to Katakolon. I showed them the map, its a straight line down the sea, nothing on our side of the ship, just water! Simple. We went to bed at 23:00 as always and they were asleep in minutes. I leave the balcony door open to hear the sea and feel the breeze, the weather was still and calm. I dropped off about midnight. At about 01:00 we were woken by the ships horn blasting. I knew that's not right, it jolted me awake and I guessed something was up for this in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. It is very loud. I decided to have a look outside, see what I could see. Imagine my horror to look out on the balcony to see a cliff. It seemed only a few hundred metres away. I looked down and could see we were making way forward, and at that moment the emergency sound went off in the cabin and throughout the ship. Go to lifeboat station. The ships horn continued to blast, the go to muster stations alert was sounding. Its piercing as it needs to be. By now the children were distressed. That's an understatement. I actually thought we should be far out to sea, we had come in and were about to go aground. I grabbed the life jackets, put them on the kids, looked outside the cabin and others were on there way. Just as I managed to get them sorted, the sounds stopped. Dead silence. Nothing. What should we do. To try and see where we were I put the TV map on, far from being at sea we were in a narrow channel between mainland Greece and Corfu. I turned the forward camera on thinking perhaps a ship was in front of us, nothing. People were now still in the corridor and faces were looking out the balcony railing on the ship. After 10 minutes, a voice, the off note singer, came on and said only in English it was a false alarm and good night. As you all know, Costa have many languages, English is usually 2nd or 3rd. So now, the very few English people knew something, but not the French, Germans, Italians. After another 10 minutes, other languages came on one at a time. And they kept saying it for an hour or so as I don't think people believed them. Im not suggesting we were off course, they can sail any where they want, just I wasn't expecting it having looked at a map of a route. It seems they usually go between the many islands. But like I say, I nearly had a heart attack to look out and see in someones lounge. We never heard another thing. No information about the cause, nobody wanted to talk about it. I asked officers when we saw them, which isn't often, they shrugged shoulders and walked away. It was like it was a dream, only it wasn't. This incident caused our children to want to sleep in life jackets that night. It took a long time to get them to sleep, and each night after, was trauma to get them to sleep. Daylight was fine, Breakfast, lunch, swimming. All normal. It would start at dinner. Any strange sound, which you will get on a ship, any vibration out of the ordinary, they would start getting nervous. The dining room is right at the back of the ship, I have to say, there was more vibration and resonance than other ships we have been on, that would not help. And as soon as it was bed, the 7 yr old was terrified. I don't want to say it ruined the cruise, but the effect was devastating on all of us around her. Its not her fault, that's how she felt, she would eventually fall asleep and we would wake to her crying. And that never stopped until we got off. And my wife and I were helpless to give her confidence, there aren't many places to go in the middle of the sea. The 10 yr old was affected but not so much, but when the small one started it set her off too! If we had been told what happened I think it would have helped. But the fact it was ignored was an error. Interestingly she said that on previous cruises, the Captain has been seen in many different places, being kids they think he is the boss! They have always said hello to him and the Captains have been good enough to have conversations. This time no Captain anywhere. I believe he did go to the Costa Club evening for a quick picture, we didn't make it. I think this is a mistake on Costa thinking. The Captain is a figurehead, they seem to be separating the hotel side as the main part of the trip, the ship is just a method of transport. No weather charts up as it always was, no route charts displayed as before. It seems they want to sell a hotel holiday. So that's our cruise. A tale of 2 cruises. Would we go again, that depends, I have written to Costa and lets see their response. We are Pearl club members so they can see we cruise a lot with them, it would be a shame for this to ruin that relationship. Plus where would we go next..... Time will fade the memory for our children, and I love cruising! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We choose our cruises by itineraries and desired destinations since little time is spent in a room. The Mediterranea food is average to poor. Dinner menus are fine in that they offer more than you would ever cook at home, although seafood ... Read More
We choose our cruises by itineraries and desired destinations since little time is spent in a room. The Mediterranea food is average to poor. Dinner menus are fine in that they offer more than you would ever cook at home, although seafood was less than normal, no treats like crab, lobster or escargot. We understood the line is largely Italian and that was a plus for us. The partying element they promote was not the case on our ship. We have Italians in our family so we looked forward to a very international vacation. However, the offering of pastry/donuts and limited deli meats for both breakfast and lunch was a very large portion of the buffets. We went to the formal dining room to seek out eggs and salmon. Things like pancakes and waffles were very greasy. There was no complimentary ice cream, coffee bars or pizza like on american lines, FYI. Also, a lack of lounge chairs are a problem. ALSO, if you end up on deck ONE beware, the crew works through night below. We has to ask for ear plugs! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
It occurred to me that the reality was reoccurring of another Concordia accident. People were running around like chickens chased by foxes. finally the bridge adivsed all cabins to go back to sleep! I've cruised Costa several ... Read More
It occurred to me that the reality was reoccurring of another Concordia accident. People were running around like chickens chased by foxes. finally the bridge adivsed all cabins to go back to sleep! I've cruised Costa several times, and it has steadily declined over a 10 year period. The biggest stink is that coffee & tea are not allowed to be consumed free outside of meal times (must be purchased like a soda) and that water is not allowed at dining tables, unless a guest agrees to pay for an entire bottle. Most passengers felt that this was an insult to their purchase of the cruise product. My biggest disappointment was that there were very few really good activities to be had at night. I made a note to myself that being in my house would have been more exciting that being on this promised enjoyable cruise in the Adriatic. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Costa is a good provider of fun, food, pleasure. While the quality of the shows has deteriorated and the experience of the Medusa Restaurant was embarrassing, the overall ship is to die for... the service is as usual, excellent. Must ... Read More
Costa is a good provider of fun, food, pleasure. While the quality of the shows has deteriorated and the experience of the Medusa Restaurant was embarrassing, the overall ship is to die for... the service is as usual, excellent. Must admit, the creativity of the four star chef was not top-of-the-mark. Now then, they have changed the drinks package. So if you get the 25 euro a day rather than the 29 euro, your disappointment factor will be high. What is advertised, what you find on the table provided menu cards versus reality - well good luck, And getting into an argument with the bartender will only frustrate the issue, especially when you have the paperwork in front of the two of you. Beware! Costa is Italian. Each port was as are ports today, full of tourist shoppes, tourists and if you think I would pay 17 euros to walk to Dubrovnik wall, you must think little of me. We don't take the cruses just for the stops, they are at best secondary. Our reason is the ship and she is a beauty. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Hi, We are an English couple, 60 years of age who have just completed our first Costa cruise. This was on Costa Mediterranea, 7 days down the Dalmatian coast in late April 2016. To put our comments in context I should add that we have ... Read More
Hi, We are an English couple, 60 years of age who have just completed our first Costa cruise. This was on Costa Mediterranea, 7 days down the Dalmatian coast in late April 2016. To put our comments in context I should add that we have previously cruised with Cunard, MSC, Princess and Celebrity. If you have experience of different cruise lines you will know that each has its own individual character and indeed its own strengths and weaknesses that make it quite difficult to rank them fairly. However one thing is clear, Costa would comfortably come bottom of the list unless of course you were focusing on value for money. In that ranking Costa can easily come to the table. Our Costa cruise cost £450 pounds each for 7 days. Included in the package was an upgrade from a basement cabin to one with a window (which opened) and a magnificent view of our own personal lifeboat, useful of course should the Captain choose to show off to his girlfriend. In addition we had Easy Jet flights and a two night stay in Mestre (for Venice ) thrown in as a freebie. This is cruising on the “very cheap” indeed. To be fair what should you expect for that money? So how do Costa do it? Well they do it by cutting corners. Some you hardly notice , many other savings are more glaring. For example while there is a show every night, there is no live band, only taped music. I found the dancers and performers to be excellent but the direction and production of all but two shows to be staggeringly amateurish. You could only watch dancers for so long do a routine, do a quick costume change and come out and repeat it, again and again and I do mean again! If you like euro pop, quite loud and continuous you will love Costa. If you like classical music you will search in vain. If you like quiet you have to search hard. Our cabin on the 4th floor bounced along nicely from 11pm to the early hours to the base riffs of euro pop elsewhere in the ship which we were clearly supposed to be enjoying. However this is a ship that appeals to the youngest clientele we have experienced. Two thing strike you immediately when you come on board the Costa Mediterania. The first is that this is a modern, quite brash ship in excellent condition in all respects. The second is that the air quality is poor and even main areas can be a little smelly. We have never noticed this on any other cruise line but it is unmistakable on Costa. We often played the “What does it smell like now game?". Fish was usually the winning perfume. It was fine in our cabin however. Food was unreliable. While there were two sittings in the formal dining room there was a drive for efficiency over quality resulting in everything being placed on your dish or plate prior to serving. To be fair some of the food served in this fashion was good (beef once excellent) but some was poor. I had some chicken that was impossible to cut. Nothing was said however and it was quietly replaced with another choice by attentive staff. If food was 10/10 on say Celebrity and 7/10 on Cunard then you would give this 4/10 overall varying between 1 and 7 ( some sweets and cakes 10/10). It was OK but the illusion of fine dining , enjoyed on all other cruise lines, was completely gone unless you obtained a VIP table. There are no formal evenings. If you put a DJ on, you would be given a drink order. There are two special nights a week (wear something white or where the colours of the Italian Flag - but only about 40% bothered) The worst meals were breakfasts. Cooked food was only available in the main dining room and if you ordered for example an English breakfast it arrived looking like tired airline food. Surely people only ordered this once? (the Norwegian breakfast was fresh, had smoked salmon and was good!) During formal dining, people were crammed into the main dining room and with the truly international flavour of the customers , one could fine oneself surrounded by people only conversing in foreign tongues - - - a problem, if like me your French and German are limited. We found the Germans who predominated to be friendly and very prepared to give their English a go for a bit. I found it just too crowded and claustrophobic. Because of this and absolutely not because we felt unwelcome, I decided to tip appropriate staff and find my way to a quiet table for two from day 2. Tipping on these ships is mandatory and automatically added to your bill (at 9 Euros per head per day on this trip). I found additional cash tipping to be very effective, maybe because it is unusual. Try it should you need anything done. Most people talked about buying the all inclusive drinks package as a must for these cruises as free water, and coffee were in scarce supply and the drinks were quite expensive. Of these accusations, I only found the free coffee (breakfast only) to be in short supply. I had no trouble with water which was available 24/7 maybe not everywhere but at least somewhere on the ship. I had two refilled bottles in my fridge most of the time. Drinks are cheap for a cruise. In the wine list basic choices start at 20 Euros plus 15% and go up to about 55 euros. (Cunard would die of shock) Cocktails are about 7.45 euro plus 15% , beer from about 3.5 Euros (small) and coffee from about 2 euros plus 15%. At these prices, with the all inclusive packages at about 58 euros for two, per day, I calculated I would have to drink quite heavily and consistently to make a package an economic choice. Furthermore there are openly available promotions. One night we had a bottle of white wine in the dining room for 11 Euros and two cocktails (pina coladas) for 9.99 Euros plus 15% for two. If you are happy to be directed to the bargain offers then this must be the cheapest way to drink on board. Official water bottles are about 3.5euros per litre. The cocktails were not as good as on other cruise lines. Sometimes there was plenty of spirit included and little else. For example, I had a margarita that was unrecognisable (did not contain the ingredients in the cocktail list) but was certainly strong enough! Other times they seemed very thin. I found this hard to explain bearing in mind there were specific cocktail staff. What was going on? Our room was excellent and the bed fresh and pleasant but very noisy at night (4th floor front ) . The bathroom is up to size but smells a little stale at times (not of sewage etc.) Air temperature worked well. All staff were very helpful, approachable and polite. To my surprise my waitress insisted on dancing with me on the final night. Getting on and off was simple, easy and well organised. For me, best in class and well done. When I needed help I got it without queuing. Princess cruises, simply awful in this respect in my experience would do well to study how Costa do it. Would I Costa cruise again? Yes if the cruise had an itinerary like this one which was one of the best, stopping in a fresh and amazing place everyday. Would I cross the Atlantic with them? Absolutely not. Was it good value? Yes Did we have a good time? Yes . Is it a very different cruise experience ? Yes it is. Hope that helps....... Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
First I would like to say I called the Costa Cruise line several times prior to booking to be sure, that as a Orthopedic, Chronic Pain and Cardiac Handicapped person, I could get from where the ship docks to the front of the port. They ... Read More
First I would like to say I called the Costa Cruise line several times prior to booking to be sure, that as a Orthopedic, Chronic Pain and Cardiac Handicapped person, I could get from where the ship docks to the front of the port. They assured me .....no problem they supply intraport buses. When I got to Olympia, Greece. I disimbarked and asked where to wait for the port transport. "sit right there, they come every 20-30 minutes" and 1 hour and 45 minutes.later, I made my way back to where I disembarked and asked the employee at that station a tall man from India (name tag), when and where were the buses. He looked me up and down, "you look like you could use a walk, it is 2 kilometers to the front of the port". I was in shorts. My long scars on both legs, the 1 inch shorter left leg were visible. He couldn't see the heart failure which wasn't well controlled by medications in a situation where there is uncontrolled salt in the food and this particular heart failure is best treated by transplant which I don't want to do. My legs were swollen, I was obviously diaphoretic and short of breath. Who was he to tell me "you could use a walk'. I missed this port entirely. I swam instead in the ship pool, grateful not to have body to body contact as usually happened after 9am. Hot water, Tea and Coffee were only available at Breakfast and 'Tea Time" unless you purchased a special beverage package for Hot Water. What a stupid issue to anger the passengers over......the hot water is a by product of the engines being on, which they always were. Food was terrible and took 2 hours and 30 minutes most nights in the main dining. The Sugar Free dessert option were Excellent on a consistent basis. Those Chefs should really write a Diabetic Dessert Cookbook. We asked several times if we get in and out in an hour.....we were told to go to the buffett. But I can't carry plates and walk as I need to steady myself on something. The cabin was quite worn. Light switches had gouges out of it exposing what looked like cork. The balcony was rusted in many areas with the metal separating. I was afraid. Entertainment. The Acrobats and Magician were really good. The Costa Cruise dancers and 2 singers that performed the other nights were okay if it was 1 performance. They did the same hip hop dance style every night just in different costumes. I have been on 25 cruises........this is probably the worst service. The best part was the 7 ports of call, though once you got there Split Croatia an improvished port hat didn't have anything to offer, other than a bus rides viewing hanging laundry. It was also Easter. I was hoping for a Sunrise service. The only services were for Catholics and they were at Midnight and 5 pm on Easter Day. They have an option to send 1 email at 20 cents Euro/ minute. What they didn't tell you was that it took 16 minutes to send a 1 paragraph email and though we asked several times first if there were any other charges they billed a $6. nondisclosed registration fee. I took the Internet brochure to the front desk and showed them there was no disclosure about this $6. registration fee. The guy said too bad you have to pay it. It cost $9. to send a 1 paragraph email. It would have been better to wait for a port with a McDonalds and buy coffee and send from there. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This cruise exceeded all our expectations. Accommodation, ship, staff and the food was simply some of the best I have had on my dozen cruises. The passenger make up was mainly Italian, but few English but many English speaking foreign ... Read More
This cruise exceeded all our expectations. Accommodation, ship, staff and the food was simply some of the best I have had on my dozen cruises. The passenger make up was mainly Italian, but few English but many English speaking foreign nationals. My one concern was safety. We attended the lifeboat drill, were actually some of the first there and led our line. It was disappointing to see some of the staff pay scant attention to what was going on and chatting during instructions in languages other than Italian. It also went on for 45/50 minutes, far too long. But hey when your most infamous ship is Costa Concordia why not? However, a day later we received curt letter asking why we hadn't turned up for the drill. We told reception we had been there and had time dated pictures to prove it (our family insisted we didn't miss it because of ship's reputation and we sent them pictures). They told us not to worry, but next day another letter asking why we missed a second drill and ordering us to watch something on tv and sign a form to say we had...and so it went on - and we got more and more cross. Repeated visits to reception ...to get off our backs, and while it might be considered admirable to pursue this - apparently staff should have swiped our cards on the day to show we attended. If it hadn't been an exercise they might needlessly be looking for us when we were on deck in line where we were supposed to be. Staff were very lax. So Costa clearly not learnt their lesson. Much to improve in safety marshalling. The rest was awesome and drinks package worthwhile. Really fab cruise, we managed Savonna, Milan on extra time plus Valencia (good), Palermo (dump), Naples (superb), Palma (lovely), Barcelona - speaks for itself. Entertainment was superb. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Embarkation and disembarkation - Fast and efficient. Gym - Antiquated equipment. Much of it should be replaced. Entertainment - In the theater...I only went to the shows where the ship's singers/dancers performed and the crew ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation - Fast and efficient. Gym - Antiquated equipment. Much of it should be replaced. Entertainment - In the theater...I only went to the shows where the ship's singers/dancers performed and the crew talent show. For the most part, the singer/dancers were pretty good. However, they only performed to pre recorded music. There was never a live band at their performances. Most ships bands are very good. This ship didn't have a band, and that's a shortcoming. Entertainment - On the cabin TV. There was a movie shown in English everyday, but there wasn't a guide telling us what time it was to be shown. It was hit or miss as to when you'd see it. Also, some activities held in the theater and other venues were apparently video taped and shown at various times on the TV, but we were never told when this was to occur. The daily paper could have been used to give passengers that type of info, but it wasn't. Ports - Biggest problem is that, with a couple of exceptions, we weren't in the ports for very long. This meant that it was almost impossible to visit sites that were located outside the ports. This was true whether you were interested in doing something yourself or going on a ship's excursion. Also, I never remember the ship providing a map to passengers as they left the ship at any of the ports. Oftentimes, a port's tourist bureau will have someone provide maps and info to passengers as they exit the ship, but this only happened at 2 of the ports we visited. I understand that Morocco isn't a wealthy country, but there's a cruise ship in port....the only cruise ship on that particular day...and there are a couple thousand passengers getting off the ship...so how about having someone meet the ship with maps and info and a smile that indicates they welcome visitors? Passenger Services - Very responsive. Whenever we had an issue, they were very prompt in getting back to us. Shore excursion - We only went on one. It was a 13 hour roundtrip to Marrakesh. The bus the ship used didn't have a bathroom. We made one 'pitstop' outbound and inbound, but the bus really should have had a bathroom. The bus passengers were made up of those who spoke Italian (80%) and those who spoke English (20%). The guide spoke both languages, but the English speakers felt we weren't being given the same information as the Italians. For instance, as we neared a famous Casablanca landmark the guide went on and on in Italian for what seemed like 5 minutes...and then, in English he said "That's the third largest mosque in the world". That's it. That's all he said in English. I'm pretty sure he left something out. And this happened a number of times. In the restaurant in Marrakesh chosen by the guide, we were rushed to finish our lunches. The waiters came around to pick up the dishes only a very short time after we had been served. I don't know if there was another tour group coming in or what, but we felt rushed. Another problem was that the guide didn't give us an itinerary or even a brief rundown as to what we would see/do and how much time was allotted for our activities. A heated argument ensued between the guide and some Italian passengers about not being given enough 'free' time to shop/explore. The guide had taken us to a couple of shops he clearly wanted us to buy at, and then wanted to lead us back to the bus for the ride home. Not wanting to have an open rebellion, the guide told us we'd be given an additional hour to shop. We usually tip our guides. No way were we tipping this guy, and it appeared most passenger felt the same. Dining - I so wanted to like the food. Oftentimes on cruise ships, the food offerings are hit and miss. On this ship, it was mostly miss, miss, miss. First of all, there wasn't an evening buffet on this ship. We usually always eat dinner in the formal dining room when we cruise, but we will often times visit the buffet just to see what's being served. On this ship, if you don't eat dinner in the formal dining room, you go to one of 3 venues where you pay...a specialty restaurant...a pizza place...a hamburger place, or you don't eat. Sometimes, after you leave the casino or a show on a cruise ship...you might like a bite, so you'd go to the buffet and get something. That's on most cruise ships. Not on this one. Sometimes you get back from a day walking around the port...you notice your dinnertime isn't until 6:30 (that's the early seating...if you are late seating, you're not getting in the dining room until 9:15!) and you want something to tide you over until then. The other ships I've been on, part of the buffet will be open for snacks, or there's a cafe where there's no charge for food. Not on this ship. We did try the buffet a couple times...for breakfast and lunch. I understand...most of the passengers are Italian, so the buffet served the Italian breakfast. This consisted mostly of little cakes. You cannot get a hot item at the breakfast buffet. If you want an egg of any kind, or bacon, sausage, etc, you go to the formal dining room. I'm sorry.. that doesn't make sense to me. What also doesn't make sense is the layout of the buffet itself. It's chaotic. It has 'choke points' built in. Why is the line to access the dispensers for water and coffee located with the line to get to the food? Why are the salad 'fixins' located at the beginning of the buffet line? There are close to 2 dozen ingredients a passenger could choose from to assemble a salad, but everytime you got behind one of these people assembling a salad, the line for the other food got held up. Most of the other ships I've on solved this problem by having the salads at a separate island where people getting a salad didn't impact people getting other food. Another problem was that there we usually 2 buffet lines on either side of the ship. If you asked a waiter if the food was the same on both lines and they'd invariably say 'yes'. But they weren't. They never were the same. 90% of the items were the same, but each line had some unique items. So, if you wanted to be sure that you saw everything that was available, you had to go through both lines. Ridiculous. Most days the standard buffet would feature a particular cuisine. For instance, they had a Mexican buffet. Besides the standard buffet items, there would be foods commonly found on a Mexican menu. At least that's how I thought it would be. Other cruise ships I've been on would have the regular buffet food and then there'd be a separate area with the featured cuisine. Not on this ship. For Mexican day, there was one item..chile con carne. No tortillas, no tacos, no burritos, just chile con carne. In fact, on most days with a featured cuisine, there were only a couple of dishes of that cuisine. Pizza. I love pizza. You would think that an Italian cruise ship with mostly Italian passengers aboard would have good pizza. They didn't. Now maybe the 'pizza place' the venue where you paid for a pizza was good. I don't know...but I didn't want to pay 6 euros for a pizza when I was told the ship had a free pizzeria. Most of my cruises have been on Princess, whose parent company also owns Costa. I think pizza on the Princess ships is pretty good. I had the expectation that if I was on an Italian ship with a bunch of Italians that I'd get a good pizza. Nope. Not on this ship. I have the sneaking suspicion that the dough used in the free pizza venue is likely different from that used in the pay venue. The ingredients for pizza are simple and pretty cheap and it's easy to make. There's no excuse for providing an inferior product at the free venue. Buffet service - Sadly lacking. I think the waiters in the buffet area are only there to clear the tables and clean them (oftentimes you have to remind them to do the latter). When I told one that I had looked all over for a glass for water (they were all out where the dispensers were), he told me I'd have to wait until there were some clean glasses. If I was on another cruise ship, the waiter likely would have asked me where I was sitting and then he'd bring me a glass. One day I asked where ketchup was and I was told it was out on the pool deck where the burgers were. When I explained that french fries were also being served in the buffet and that that's where I got them and it didn't make sense that there wasn't ketchup available there as well, I got a shrug. Again, most of my cruise experience is on Princess. On Princess, the tables are already set with silverware in the buffet area. You sit down at the table and the waiter asks what you want to drink. You don't have to juggle drink glasses and silverware and your food plate all at the same time. This is the way it should be. You've got waiters in the buffet area. Have them do something productive. Have them wait on the passengers. Dinner fare in the formal dining room - Forgettable, with a few exceptions. Many of the menu items have florid explanations as to their origin and they're nicely presented. But, it's mostly a matter of style over substance. They're not very good. I don't think I was the only one that noticed that when fish was on the menu, it was usually 'trash' fish like hake, pollock, cod. Salmon was on the menu only twice. I'm not saying everything was disappointing. There were exceptions and they were what was considered standard fare...the items that were available every night. The spaghetti with sauce and the broiled chicken breast were always good, as was the 'house' salad and the bread and rolls. Incredible bread and rools. But, the most exceptional course in the formal dining room was dessert. Almost without exception, the desserts were superb. Consistently better than I've had on any cruise ship. In particular, any item made with chocolate was incredible. They seemed to use the darkest chocolate in all their desserts. Summary - If you're used to cruising on 'American' cruiselines...you're likely to be disappointed by Costa. We got a very good fare for our cruise. Despite that, I felt it wasn't a good value because Costa fell down in areas where i think it would be so easy to please me and similar passengers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Staff are wonderful, Food superb (lots of choice from Buffet - several different service statons offering different sorts of meals - so wander around first before you decide!! (preferred it to main restaurant as two sittings one is very ... Read More
Staff are wonderful, Food superb (lots of choice from Buffet - several different service statons offering different sorts of meals - so wander around first before you decide!! (preferred it to main restaurant as two sittings one is very early (18:30) and one is very late (21:15)). Gym excellent and Pilates and Yoga also on offer. Security very good. Everyone speaks english though some of the entertainment is in italian. Organisation of every part of your experience from arriving to leaving is first class and trouble free (unless you try to take an iron on board -they will find out and confiscate it!) Recommend you - buy a drinks package. Tea, Coffee, Juice available for breakfast but only water for other meals. If you dont have a package you have to pay. The paid card makes so much more sense (you can check on line what you will get - trust me it is value for money) Recommend you DONT book any excuisons before you board. For example - on your own Palma - local bus outside port (much cheaper than their shuttle), tourist office near Cathedral for maps. Ship says 5 km walk - dont think it was when we walked back along the marina and stoped off for a coffee on the way. Palermo - We took a really kitch train (you get a map) for 10 euros and then retraced the steps to have a better look at things we liked. Savona - Tourist office at Port gate - get a very good map with a tourist route around the town. Valencia - do spend your euros on a trip to the aquarium, absolutely fabulous. most undercover so good plan if rains. WIFI is available but expensive and does not work terribly well with Apple products. However, in port most cafes have free WiFi so just caught up each day over a cup of coffee on land. Anyway you are supposed to be on holiday not checking your emails!!! Quite a lot of things laid on but if you just want to chill is an incredible place to do it. Leaving port to music playing is amazing - we have a short video we took of leaving palma and still smile and cry when we watch it. As you will have gathered we had a wonderful time on this completely over the top boat - she really didnt need the Christmas decorations. We will certainly be using Costa Cruises again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I am a single older lady with mobility difficulties (I use a stick to walk) and I must say I had the most wonderful time on my Christmas cruise aboard this beautiful ship. This was my first cruise with Costa Mediterranea. From the ... Read More
I am a single older lady with mobility difficulties (I use a stick to walk) and I must say I had the most wonderful time on my Christmas cruise aboard this beautiful ship. This was my first cruise with Costa Mediterranea. From the booking procedure through to the last day of the cruise, this was an excellent experience. The Ship is stunningly beautiful. The crew members, each and every one of them, were delightful. Friendly, helpful, kind and although they work hard and long hours and seem to have no days off, they didn't seem as if they were working at all. They just seemed to be enjoying themselves serving guests. It was like being the most important member of a lovely, warmhearted family. Thank you so the Spa salon staff who looked after me with massage (Maria Antonia is a fantastic massage therapist!) with hair (Dea is one of the best stylists I've ever met!) and lovely Lycel who did my nails on the first day. My cabin Steward (Sidney) was just lovely, and always there to help whenever necessary. The restaurants were excellent. I am coeliac, so it is very important that I follow a strict gluten free diet. The Costa Mediterranea catering department takes this very seriously and have their own designated gluten free kitchens! I had my own waitress (Thank you Maria!) and my own gluten free menu. The food was, in the main, really delicious. Nothing was too much trouble. Service always with a smile. The entertainment was great too, although I didn't see all of the shows available. What I did see was really good and I enjoyed it immensely. The bars are great. Thank you to Francis, who served drinks after dinner each evening. I was alone, but met another English lady of a similar age to myself on the first day and we had a really great time together. We didn't go on any excursions because most of them were unsuitable for people with mobility disabilities, but we went off on our own and explored and thoroughly enjoyed each port of call we visited. I think the only negative aspect was the unfortunate attitudes of some (British!) passengers - who go on a Mediterranean cruise on an Italian ship and expect to be served the junk food they eat at home. I was embarrassed to be British at times... But it was easy to ignore such uneducated, self-limiting people as everything else was absolutely lovely and I can't wait to go again! I do hope readers will find my review helpful and go on - what are you waiting for? - Book that cruise on the beautiful Costa Mediterranea. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We cruised on this ship in December 2015. The ship itself was very clean and well maintained if somewhat flamboyant in the decor, still everyone's taste is different. However if you are English speaking beware. The announcements ... Read More
We cruised on this ship in December 2015. The ship itself was very clean and well maintained if somewhat flamboyant in the decor, still everyone's taste is different. However if you are English speaking beware. The announcements on board were given in 4 languages, English being one of them, but so heavily accented that we could not understand them. The staff all seemed to struggle with English so getting anything sorted out was a problem. Some of the information printed in the daily paper delivered to your cabin was incorrect resulting in us being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We didn't book any excursions so we can't comment on them but any helpful information about ports of call such as local bus services, street maps or places of interest was sadly lacking. If you want tea or coffee mid-day you would be out of luck as the machines were switched off, although of course you could pay at the bar. We are both vegetarian but we found some dishes labelled vegetarian contained meat. A daily charge of 9 euros per person is compulsory. You may agree with this but we preferred the money to go to the staff that helped us, i.e. our cabin cleaner and waiter at dinner. Additionally all drinks carry an additional 15% service charge, that is on top of the 9 euros per day. You even had to pay for water at meal times. We found the staff very unfriendly, not helped by the lack of English being spoke. So, we would not book with Costa again. We contrasted this cruise with one we took last year on the Norwegian Spirit which was amazing and so much better than our Costa experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We boarded the ship at Trieste where l have to say was very disorganised, whether it was due to the hurricane strength winds l don't know. Anyway after boarding we went straight to our cabin which was the largest inside cabin ... Read More
We boarded the ship at Trieste where l have to say was very disorganised, whether it was due to the hurricane strength winds l don't know. Anyway after boarding we went straight to our cabin which was the largest inside cabin we've had. It was lovely and clean with plenty of storage. There we met our steward who was very polite and cheerful. After we had the safety drill we went to explore and l have to say we loved it. After cruising with Princess & Royal Carribean we found it highly decorated which was a nice change, plenty to look at. The staff were all nationalities with most speaking English. They were all cheerful, polite & helpful. Also other passengers with a range of nationlities instead of just American & British was nice. We went for 2nd sitting dinner and again were blown away with the quality of the food, for what we paid it was outstanding. We didn't go on excursions as we could walk off the ship at most ports. The only criticism is that it was a bit too warm in our cabin although we had ac on lowest setting. After reading previous reviews I don't know what people want!?! we enjoyed our cruise thoroughly. It wasn't the usual stuffy, people looking down their nose at you cruise, it was fun, easy going, relaxing and we will definitly go with Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
After reading some reviews we were slightly aprehensive about the cruise but l can honestly say l don't know what people want. It's an Italian line so they do it Italian style which is fun, laid back with a relaxing atmosphere. A ... Read More
After reading some reviews we were slightly aprehensive about the cruise but l can honestly say l don't know what people want. It's an Italian line so they do it Italian style which is fun, laid back with a relaxing atmosphere. A real change from the stuffed shirts of Princess & Royal Carribean that we have been on before. There's nothing wrong with that but don't expect that on this ship. So much to look at with the vibrant decor. A real feast for the eyes. There's a wide range of nationalities in both staff and passengers, which is great. The staff were all cheerful, helpful and friendly, a real credit to the ship. Our steward was lovely and kept our cabin spotlessly clean. The cabin was the largest inside we've had on any previous cruise with plenty of storage. The food in the dining room was outstanding, as good as if not better than we've had previously. The buffet was nice although we only dined there twice. We don't do shows so can't comment but some of the other entertainment in the bars was ok. The only criticisms l have is the embarkation was chaotic, but there was hurricane strength winds blowing so we wasn't in any rush to board. Also the cabin was very warm even with AC at it's coolest. It was a fabulous cruise and we will definitly be returning. Exceptional value for money. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Was on the CM this last week and had an awesome time! We were due to embark in Venice and flew in the day before and stayed at the best western olimpia in P. Roma. Very beautiful hotel and I highly recommend it. Only one bridge to cross ... Read More
Was on the CM this last week and had an awesome time! We were due to embark in Venice and flew in the day before and stayed at the best western olimpia in P. Roma. Very beautiful hotel and I highly recommend it. Only one bridge to cross with luggage. The ship didn't dock in Venice the morning we were supposed to embark due to fog. We went early to the terminal to see what we were supposed to do and they put us on a bus to Trieste. Was a nice ride about an hour and a half. All very well managed and I actually really enjoyed the extra time in Trieste since I've never been before. Once on the ship we found our cabin. We booked an interior but were upgraded to a balcony..nice. I'm so glad the reviews on here didn't put me off from going with Costa because it was a really great trip and awesome value. We have spend 3x as much at mediocre resorts so this was really a surprise. So you know where I'm coming from...I'm American and my husband is Italian, I have lived in Italy and France the last 10 years just to give you an idea of my background. I thought the food was great (I wasn't expecting Michelan star fare though) and even my husband who is the worlds biggest food critic (thanks to his mamma) loved it too. Sure it isn't 5 star but it's good. The breakfast buffet isn't your American brunch but I didn't have trouble finding something to eat at all (donuts, croissants, fruits...) if you do want American stuff get room service. I did it one morning just to try and got a huge amount of French toast, pancakes and eggs Benedict for just 5 euro. The best lunch was when the chefs set us a pasta demonstration near the central pool. There was 5-6 different pastas and all were soooo good. I found you do have to look around the different buffets to find different things. I didn't eat breakfast or lunch in the mdr so I can't comment on them. The drink package is defintely worth it even if you don't drink tons of alcohol. I had no problems paying for a few bottles of water here and there for the room, but could easily get glasses of water free with my drink package from any bar or in the mdr. I did not have the USA water thing because I didn't book through the us site. I didn't notice the "lack of personal space" or rude cultural differences everyone always mentions in Costa reviews, but maybe after living here so long I don't notice it. Everyone stayed in the lines and were patient. The staff were awesome! Everyone always smiling and greeting you by name. That was impressive. I do wonder if I had a better time because I speak Italian and French though. I got to know a lot of people and staff because of that. But there were other English only speakers around and seemed to be having a great time too. We also had no problem asking the maitre d to change us to late dinner when we saw we were assigned to the early seating. He also happily changed us to an Italian speaking table (you can request anything language wise or just a table for 2). The gala night was fun and people dressed up in everything from gowns to just nice pants/ dress shirts or even just normal clothes. It was a great time. The only bummer was the club medusa. We paid to eat there one night with our table mates from the mdr and the food was just ok...I actually liked the menu in the mdr a lot more, so I don't recommended it. Everything else was fabulous and we booked our next cruise on the diadema the 3rd day in on this cruise lol. I say you need to try it for yourself..some of the reviews on here sound so crazy after I have actually been on the ship now. Someone said on here people must have hugh and unrealistic expectations to leave such extremely negative reviews. It was my first cruise but not my last with Costa! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Actually this was only a 2-dot cruise. But seen to the discounted price we, and most others, paid, it was a 5-dotter. In my eyes the ship did not look nice, neither outside, nor inside. This 1:st november-week was warm and sunny each ... Read More
Actually this was only a 2-dot cruise. But seen to the discounted price we, and most others, paid, it was a 5-dotter. In my eyes the ship did not look nice, neither outside, nor inside. This 1:st november-week was warm and sunny each day. Because of wind (we were told, but perhaps not the truth) we had to embark in Venice instead of Trieste. So, nice bus-ride along the coast. Embarkation fast and simple. Our cabin, standard balcony with restricted view (from lifeboats below) was about the same class as in HAL and RCCL. Only that the quilt and pillows were very cheap kinds. (non-ventilating.) I have had larger balconies. The sofa/extrabed was placed far from the window, and not comfortable. Thank God our excellent room-steward did not waste time on towel-animals. Instead we had our best-cleaned cabin hitherto. Passengers were a nice mix of nationalities and ages. The food tasted good, and hot dishes were hot. (A dry duck-leg and though lamb-chops I count out.) Instead often great simple soups and pasta-dishes. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was understaffed. So, we learned to be prepared with patience. Much patience. High-quality treadmills in the gym. Spa ok. We only went one night to the theatre. I was a show with Costa singers and dancers. Surprisingly high quality. Both in performance and sound quality. As we heard from others, it was high-life nighttime. But we are early sleepers On our previous Costa cruise, all of our booked excursions were cancelled. No english-speaking bus. Instead we had brought folding-bikes, and cycled around in 3 of the ports. And took a stroll in the others. Disembarkation even faster than embarkation. We just went off the ship. All in all, I could choose Costa (or Oceania or RCCL or HAL) again. The only cruise I did not like at all, was the one with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We just returned from a 7 day cruise on Costa Mediterranea. We have been on 5-6 cruises on other lines, but I would say this was our favorite, and for the price, far and away the best value we have ever had on a cruise. We were pretty ... Read More
We just returned from a 7 day cruise on Costa Mediterranea. We have been on 5-6 cruises on other lines, but I would say this was our favorite, and for the price, far and away the best value we have ever had on a cruise. We were pretty worried, reading some other reviews that seemed pretty critical, and I just want to say our experience was wonderful. We are Americans, but I've been working to learn Italian for several years (we hosted an Italian foreign exchange student several years ago, which has enriched our lives in may ways), so I welcomed the chance to hear it spoken and to converse with Italians (who were generally very tolerant of my efforts!). You need to remember this is a European line, so announcements need to be in 4-5 languages. Italian is most spoken, but English is probably second, given how many Europeans also speak English. Embarkation and dis-embarkation were very simple and quick. We were in a grand suite, and all I can say is, it was truly grand! Large space, large balcony, amazing staff, en suite dining when we wanted (only once, because we enjoyed the various dining venues also), and great food on board. The Club Medusa dinner was great, but all the food we had was very fresh, great quality (especially all the smoked meats!), well prepared and well served. The beverage package is a must--plan to include it in your cruise price. But even with that, the price was one-third of what we would have paid on other cruise lines for a suite like what we had. The ship's decor is amazingly over-the-top, but fun. I think you get out of a cruise what you look for--in our case, we love meeting people from other parts of the world, and we had the opportunity to do just that-- great conversations, wonderful places to see, good entertainment (again, remember you are on a multi-lingual ship, so not everything will be in English, though much is). If you are considering a cruise on this ship, and worried about other reviews, feel free to contact us and we will try to reply. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Costa Mediterranea Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.2
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursions 5.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 1.0 N/A
Service 4.0 3.7
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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