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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
The cruise per se was O.K. but did not exceed expectations. After much encouragement from friends, who often go on cruises, we decided to try one out. We wanted a small cruise so we drove to Savona and got on the Costa Fortuna, which is a ... Read More
The cruise per se was O.K. but did not exceed expectations. After much encouragement from friends, who often go on cruises, we decided to try one out. We wanted a small cruise so we drove to Savona and got on the Costa Fortuna, which is a large boat. Impressed in the beginning we later realized that big size is not an advantage. There were too many people and from all nationalities: orientals, blacks, muslim, etc. The food was average and there was no flexibility as to where we sit for dinner. The personnel was polite but they generally had very poor knowledge of Western languages! The excursions were too expensive so we opted out. The cabin was O.K. but coming back home we found a bedbug, my wife was bitten several times and she is allergic to insect bites. We were alarmed and began house cleaning, boiling sheets, vacuuming everything, etc. and my wife slept in the living-room for ten days. So far neither she nor I have been bitten again, so we hope that the bedbug we killed was the only one we got, and that it was a male! By now we hope that any offsprings should have manifested themselves. I give Costa the worst note possible because when I brought the issue up with them, they dismissed it for lack of proof! We had no bugs like that in our home and we found one bug 3 days after we got back from the cruise. How much more proof can there be? If it weren't for the bedbug, it would have been an "average" type of cruise not to get too excited about. If we ever go again, we will try to save money ahead of time and go for a more expensive (hopefully higher quality) cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I have never encountered such an ineffective customer service (and I mean the customer desk and e-mail customer service, the other staff at the ship was ok). We were 9 in our party and had an altogether good time at the ship based on our ... Read More
I have never encountered such an ineffective customer service (and I mean the customer desk and e-mail customer service, the other staff at the ship was ok). We were 9 in our party and had an altogether good time at the ship based on our own company, the excellent dinners and the party-crew. On the bad side were: It was really cheap of costa to charge for water and coffee and tea were only free at certain times and quite poor quality. In total the cost is more expensive than other better cruiselines after all the extras. We took some proffessional photos and wanted to buy them but somehow we got the wrong instructions on when to pick them up and had to finally disembark without the pictures (which we had already paid for). We left all contact information to the customer service desk and they were to contact us when they got hold of the photografer. That didn't happen. I tried to find contact information online and wrote about the situation, no reply. After a few more e-mail I got an answer that they were forwarding my question to another "customer service". By then I didn't want to wait two moore weeks for them to answer so I wrote directly and actually got an answer that they would get back to me after they've heard from the staff on the boat. I guess they haven't, beacause I haven't heard from them since then even though I have e-mailed them several more e-mails and asked for a phone number etc. We still havent heard (now about 6 weeks later) and certainly haven't got our money for the photos back! They just have no idea of what customer service is. I'm pondering sending them a basic online course in my next mail. If you want to cruise (which in general is lovely) don't choose Costa! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
In an attempt to keep this brief I'll list good and bad points from our first ever cruise. We are a married couple in our 50s. Good: Service Facilities Entertainment variety Cadiz , Valencia and Lisbon Inside Cabin ... Read More
In an attempt to keep this brief I'll list good and bad points from our first ever cruise. We are a married couple in our 50s. Good: Service Facilities Entertainment variety Cadiz , Valencia and Lisbon Inside Cabin was adequate and I really can't see the argument for upgrading to outside or balcony given the short time we actually spent in the cabin. Steward Uri was excellent Fresh towels and bedding every day Pools Drinks package is a must even though we are not big drinkers Not too many announcements Embarkation and disembarkation were always smooth and well organised to minimise waiting times Variety of food Bad: Excessive charges for shuttle bus at some ports Too little time to explore Barcelona (4 hours) Rude people pushing and shoving at buffet meal time Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Our family and friends has been looking forward to this cruise for a long time, it was our first time on Costa Fortuna (we've been on several other cruises before). We are so disappointed and frankly, upset about the way they treated ... Read More
Our family and friends has been looking forward to this cruise for a long time, it was our first time on Costa Fortuna (we've been on several other cruises before). We are so disappointed and frankly, upset about the way they treated us throughout the trip. The worst part is, there were BED BUGS (as several of our group was bitten) and many of us was diagnosed with allergic reaction to these bites even weeks after the trip. The Boat - The ship itself is much smaller and older than other cruises. - Activities are made for people who either own a COSTA card or speak Italian/French. Not particularly friendly to outside tourists. The Rooms - Wifi cost 30 Euros an hour. And boy it is super slow. - The rooms are decent, we didn't have any issues with the room itself. - Bedsheets, towels, or wherever the bed bugs lived on, is DISGUSTING. Of course everything is bleached so by the looks of it, everything (looked) clean but clearly many of us that experienced these bites have a lot to say about the hygiene of their sheets!!! The Food - Not great but we expected this given our past experiences with cruises. - Prepare to pay to drink water. In the past, water as given to us at no additional cost. On the trip, it would cost 25 Euro for drinking water a day. The Service - If I could give negative stars, I would. Throughout the cruise, we were astonished by the quality of service received from our rooms, the restaurants and management. - Rooms: Because we lived in suites and was paired with butler service, there has been snarky remarks made by these staff to us about asking for additional towels, water etc. - Restaurants: They make it very difficult to order (often serving the wrong dishes that we ordered), but maybe, they are very understaffed/stressed/underpaid. But when we make any sort of request (nicely of course) we are shut down by rude responses and answers. - Medical: When some of our group members found out they had bed bugs bite, the doctor on board told us that it would be "impossible" to have gotten it from the boat since bed bugs can't live in this type of ventilation (thinking we are dumb). They charged us quite heavily for the medicine and IV and did not offer in any way to compensate for it. When we clearly stated the obvious pattern as more of our group got the same diagnosis, which we received these bites DURING the cruise and SLEEPING ON THEIR BED, they reluctantly told us to submit a request to their management. Of course we did, and received a slap in the face by the team claiming they don't have the authority to grant our request for medical claim (or any sort of apology really). The only thing they offered was laundry service for the clothes and a change of room (because obviously, they know it is bed bugs). Till today, we still have NOT RECEIVED any word from them. - Bonus: One of the room service personnel told us in confidante that in the past, there has been many bed bugs incidents. Still denying?? We are appalled and strongly suggest that you DO NOT take any of Costa Fortuna's cruise lines unless you want to also get bitten and spend weeks of applying medicine to your bites all over your body AND get treated horribly throughout the cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
Having read previous reviews of the Costa Fortuna and the Norwegian fjords cruise we had doubts and low expectations of the ship and the itinerary. However, we were very happy that everything was far beyond our expectations. We had ... Read More
Having read previous reviews of the Costa Fortuna and the Norwegian fjords cruise we had doubts and low expectations of the ship and the itinerary. However, we were very happy that everything was far beyond our expectations. We had previously been on a Carnival Line Caribbean cruise so we did not know what we would experience from an Italian line. However, we had a large and confortable cabin (2nd Deck) with ample wardrobe space; the food was excellent both at the buffet and in the dining room; the staff were friendly; service excellent and the entertainment varied and enjoyable. We took 5 excursions, which, despite the very cold and inclement weather,were generally good. We heartily recommend this cruise, which has a distinctly European flavour, and woulkd go on this line again, despite the saying "Costa Fortuna - costs you a fortune!) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
8.5 euros each day is exorbitant The service we received was not worth 2 euros a day.I note it is mentioned 6 euros a day in a previous review but we were asked to pay 8.5 euros. with no get out clause. Entertainment on board was good on ... Read More
8.5 euros each day is exorbitant The service we received was not worth 2 euros a day.I note it is mentioned 6 euros a day in a previous review but we were asked to pay 8.5 euros. with no get out clause. Entertainment on board was good on three occasions, Sury Boltman first and last night and the ventriloquist. Although the show company tried very hard, the singers could not sing in tune although the dancers tried hard. The comic act on the 4th or 5th night was atrocious very suitable for a 4 year old maybe not for adults - a very puerile performance. In all, very amateur performances. The level of noise and lights strobing all the time was excessive. In the restaurant we were often served the wrong food which we had to point out to the waiters. No fresh water at the table, ridiculous to have to pay for mineral water I have been on 5 star ships and 3 star ships with far superior service. The beef served one day was red raw I didn't have it but my friend did and I would have sent it back my fish was sometimes overcooked, the only really decent part of the meal was the dessert which was good. Often a long wait between courses. All the ships I have been on include a coffee to finish off the meal, and fresh water at the table, I do not drink alcohol. In my cabin on all other ships and I include river cruise ships, there was always a kettle and tea bags and coffee making possibilities - nothing like this existed on your ship. The general decoration throughout the ship was garish and completely tasteless and I found it very oppressive. The main criticism I have of the ship is that the British contingent on board were basically ignored as the Italians and Germans dominated everything. Another problem I had was there was not enough information about the ship in the cabin. Usually there would be a schematic of the layout of the ship and although there was a small one on the back of something there was not information about the size of the ship, when it was commissioned and length overall, dimensions etc. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Having just returned to Dover from Savona on our latest cruise my wife and I found that the noise from the groups playing in the main entertainment area' s was to loud also the atrium bar was also rather loud from the male ... Read More
Having just returned to Dover from Savona on our latest cruise my wife and I found that the noise from the groups playing in the main entertainment area' s was to loud also the atrium bar was also rather loud from the male pianist/singer, their is no where on the ship to listen to quiet music whilst enjoying an after dinner drink. The service in the restaurants was taking two hour's or more to serve dinner up to 45 mins for the first course. The entertainment was excellent in the theatre and the cabin service was also very good, the organisation getting on and off the ship was quick. The service in the bars was excellent and courteous. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
After reading many negative reviews was a bit hesitant to book and wasn't expecting anything exceptional, well We were surprised we travelled as a group of eight and found the cruise to be very enjoyable. have cruised with ... Read More
After reading many negative reviews was a bit hesitant to book and wasn't expecting anything exceptional, well We were surprised we travelled as a group of eight and found the cruise to be very enjoyable. have cruised with four other lines and found costa to be the most memorable. boarding was quick as was disembarkation . the entertainment and activities were well planned, Décor at first was overwhelming to many patterns on the walls couldn't tell a door from a wall but we got used to it. after the third day. we were in minority as only minimal English speaking passengers on board but staff were courteous and tried very hard to communicate with us. We had a balcony cabin on deck 6 our room was always clean even though we never saw our cabin steward. we only took a few organized tours and did other ports of call independently. The ship offered shuttle buses to town at ports where transport was needed, in our opinion it was not expensive and worth the cost as it was convenient due to being easy not having any hassles trying to find your own way as you are only in port a minimal amount of time. Time is whats valuable. only negative we had was the drinks package while it was good value if you are a heavy drinker everyone in the cabin was expected to buy it. was not catered for individuals. we were three in a cabin and two drank little alcohol so there would of been no value for everyone to buy the package . also the food was ok but the same thing every day with no variety at the buffet . restaurant food was just ok nothing flash .but same food just a different name each night with a different dressing . if you wanted anything special on the menu you had to pay extra for it . all in all the cruise had a European vibe and that's why we took it . it was a fun ship to be on . We would cruise costa again ports visited Savona, Marseilles, Palama Majorca, Cadiz, Malaga, Lisbon, La Coruna, Le Havre, Dover , Amsterdam. only regret we had was we opted to take a shore tour in Lisbon . advertised 5 hrs 4WD to see all the country sites around Portugal. It was useless spent most of the time sitting in traffic and driving through bush stop for a quick photo stop at a lookout then only had 30 minutes at the final destination which was beautiful needed at least two hours there better to have spent the day in Lisbon town independently. Traffic Not Costas fault but this tour was overrated not worth the money spent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
We have not travelled on the Costa line for 3 years and the change was beyond belief. No carafe water was served in the dining room at any time. Bottled water was available, of course, at a cost and including a service charge. Tea and ... Read More
We have not travelled on the Costa line for 3 years and the change was beyond belief. No carafe water was served in the dining room at any time. Bottled water was available, of course, at a cost and including a service charge. Tea and coffee were available at breakfast, but not at lunch or dinner, unless one was prepared to pay for specialist drinks. The buffet closed at 5 p.m. for everything except iced water, (no hot water available after this time). We do not drink alcohol or soft drinks so this made it more difficult. Food quality was very poor. One lunch time we left the dining room, after an inedible meal, and were so hungry we had to go to the buffet. There was no steak served at any time, in the dining room, and one could have prawns or lobster, but at a price-- this in the ordinary dining room. We remember the quality and variety of the meals that used to be served, and it seems such a shame that it has deteriorated so badly. We are pearl members and chose this cruise for the excellent itinerary, but will never travel with Costa again, while present policy holds. The entertainment was poor, probably more suited to children. Shore excursions, that we were able to do, were excellent, but few available on the first leg of our cruise, as there were few English speakers. After having two tours cancelled we had to tell the tour office that we would be happy to take any tour, but still had tours cancelled late on the day before a tour, and after the tour office closed, so too late to organise anything else. We had pre- booked, weeks before embarkation. Staff and crew were generally excellent, except in the dining room, where there were too few waiters for meals, and too many drinks waiters. The ship was very pretty, but lacking in lounge areas; standing room only in the evenings, after first dining, unless one wanted to sit in the theatre. Comparing it to the 5 other cruise lines we have travelled, Costa does not give value for money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Costa Fortuna is a ship I would not recommend. My wife and I cruised several times with Celebritiy, NCL and Royal Caribbean and we just loved it, especially Celebrity. This ship is maybe a 3 Star vessel, but definitely not more. Staff ... Read More
Costa Fortuna is a ship I would not recommend. My wife and I cruised several times with Celebritiy, NCL and Royal Caribbean and we just loved it, especially Celebrity. This ship is maybe a 3 Star vessel, but definitely not more. Staff is the unfriendliest we encountered, which is a real surprise, because most members of staff are from the Philippines and being unpolite is against their nature. You can see that the Italian Management is trying to skip costs everwhere, charge everywhere possible and certainly do not know how the motivate the crew. Sad really! Food was not exciting. Drinks Cost (a) Fortuna! Not much restaurant choice and the annoying constant translation into 5 languages ist not for everybody. This is my first and last cruise with Costa Cruises! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
BEWARE POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE AND EXTRA (HIDDEN) COSTS NB: Skip to the five bottom categories if you simply want to read about our major complaints. My partner and I booked a last minute deal for a Mediterranean cruise on the Costa ... Read More
BEWARE POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE AND EXTRA (HIDDEN) COSTS NB: Skip to the five bottom categories if you simply want to read about our major complaints. My partner and I booked a last minute deal for a Mediterranean cruise on the Costa Fortuna departing from Savona, Italy on April 10, 2015. Our cruise ship visited Marseille, Barcelona, La Valletta, Cagliari, and Civitavecchia. We were immediately blown away by a free room upgrade to a balcony stateroom and the experience of being on our first cruise ever (for a very reasonable last-minute price). We also liked the money-less Costa Card system on the cruise ship and appreciated that we did not have language barrier issues, as most of the cruise staff were bilingual or multilingual. We chose to evaluate each category separately, as only certain aspects of our cruise experience were negative enough to affect our overall experience. DÉCOR: Although we thoroughly enjoyed our spacious balcony stateroom, the tastelessly tacky common areas of the ship were very overwhelming and did not make for good photo opportunities. Too many patterns and styles were mixed (rather unskilfully). PHOTOS: To avoid aesthetic issues regarding the ship’s gaudy decorations, we could have paid for decent pictures taken by a professional photographer with a plain background. There were also opportunities to purchase cruise memory photos for a fee, since a cruise ship photographer took our picture upon boarding the cruise ship and at a few dinners. We might have been willing to spend around 15 Euros for digital copies of all the pictures, but the cruise line only advertised outrageously priced hard copy photos that were priced individually. No thank you! HOUSEKEEPING: Our primary housekeeper was welcoming and approachable. He was very informative when we initially boarded the cruise ship and he was very diligent about cleaning our room twice daily. He also delivered the “Today” magazine (itinerary) once per day. Our only complaint is that it took a long time for things to be restocked or replaced. When we purchased water from our mini-bar, it was not restocked for a couple of days. Also, housekeeping tended to take away our blue swimming towels (presumably to clean them) and not replace them for days. This was rather inconvenient. We also never received our copy of the free “Tour” magazine in our room (detailing the excursions available to us), so we eventually asked for one at the excursion desk. ENTERTAINMENT: Although many of the casual musical entertainers were very skilled, the volume was far too high for us to appreciate the music properly. The sounds were so loud that it was difficult to order drinks, speak to customer service, or even make a phone call from the front desk (to report a missing phone to our phone company). We also felt (as musicians) that the live music would have been better without the synthesized drum tracks in the background. The theatre shows were neat but nothing too remarkable. We did not bother with any day programs. AMENITIES: The pool was very nice - its warm temperature and the fact it was a saltwater pool pleasantly surprised us. We would have enjoyed the hot tub more if it were actually hotter than the swimming pool. (For some bizarre reason, the pool was much warmer than the hot tub!) We did not get around to trying the water slide, but it looked very fun! We did not try the spa, either. DINING: Although the buffet food left something to be desired, dinner was incredible! The menu options were plentiful, each course was delicious, and everything was presented tastefully. Our two servers at dinner were very friendly, as were our assigned dinner companions (there were 8 people at our table). The free “Today” magazine delivered to our room clarified the dress code for dinner. It would have been nice to know before we packed that there would be a formal dress code at dinner on three separate occasions, though… We ate at the back of Raffaello (lower level) during the late sitting. We really enjoyed sitting at the back of the restaurant because it was quieter and less busy. BAR/LOUNGE: The servers and bar tenders in the common areas were always available and very prompt. We noticed that they used an efficient napkin system whereby they placed a napkin at our table after asking if we would like anything. This conveniently prevented us from being ignored accidentally or being harassed into buying something (or simply leaving the area) to be left alone. Regardless, we often took our drinks to our room simply because the music was far too loud and it actually hurt our ears. (It would not be good for two musicians to lose their hearing!) EXCURSIONS: The staff at the excursion desk were lovely and recommended excellent excursions for us based on our specific interests. They could also describe from memory what each excursion entailed, which was very impressive! We were very pleased with our purchases: “La Valletta” (La Valletta, Malta), “Nora and its Excavations” (Cagliari, Sardinia/Italy), and “Baroque Rome” (Rome, Italy and Vatican City). Although “Nora and its Excavations” was less impressive than our other two tours, we later discovered that our day was much better than anyone else’s (as our dinner companions all chose to stay in Cagliari and were less than impressed). Thus, the tour had good value. There was never a long queue to purchase excursions, but it was a little annoying to wait up to half an hour for latecomers to get on the tour bus. Also, Costa would cancel an excursion if too few English-speaking people purchased tickets by the night before. Consequently, we had to discover Marseille independently, as our main interest was not going on a shopping tour (the only tour offered in English at this port). Regardless, discovering Marseille for ourselves was a great experience. We also chose to explore Barcelona by ourselves, since we were already familiar with this city from a previous visit. However, we were surprised that we needed to buy coach tickets from the port to the city and vice-versa, they were only about 5 Euros per ride. POOR RULE ENFORCEMENT: The (unsupervised) groups of children noisily running around the pool and doing pencil dives into the hot tub were very irritating. None of the staff ever addressed the issue, despite the fact one supposedly cannot enter the hot tub until one is 16 years of age. Although there were always plenty of staff close by on the cruise ship, nobody showed any initiative when children were being disruptive. EXTRA (HIDDEN) COSTS: We disliked that the cruise line forced more money out of us for basic things that really should be included in the upfront price. We were often forced to buy bottled water (even during a full day at sea) without being offered a free tap water alternative that was safe to drink. Also, we were often forced to pay for a snack between lunch and dinner because were assigned a late dinner time (9:00PM) and all of the included (“free”) food options on the cruise ship were closed when we returned (hungry) from excursions. We were also surprised by an extra 60 Euro service fee at the end of the cruise, which should really have been added to the upfront price, since it is calculated via a “per day” basis and visibly upset many customers settling their bills on the final departure day. We were also surprised that we had to purchase shuttle rides between the port and the city (although perhaps that one was a little most reasonable as an add-on price, as people on excursions did not require this service). POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE – APATHETIC AND RUDE: Most of our complaints concern customer service. Customer service often had a long queue (not enough staff). Additionally, customer service was apathetic and even condescending when customers voiced concerns. On the third morning of our cruise, we tried to buy the 25 Euro all inclusive drinks package for our full day at sea. When we experienced difficulty doing so, we visited a customer service representative, who was quite condescending to us. We explained it was not advertised in the “Today” magazine advertisement that you must buy the drinks package for your entire cruise and that only a daily price was advertised. Her response was simply to pull out a different advertisement in a booklet where it said (hidden in the back of the booklet in small print, separate from the obvious terms of use information) that the deal was only available if you bought it for 6 or more days. She did not even try to make a 5-day exception based on the misleading advertising or even simply agree that this condition was unclear on the advertisement and record our complaint for future reference. She also failed to mention there were other drink packages that might better suit our situation. Perhaps one of those might have interested us. She merely quoted policy in the least personal way possible (except for her condescending tone, of course). Customer service was also very complacent about our lost phone. Apparently, since they did not consider Costa to be legally liable, nobody could not be bothered to contact the tour company about our phone’s potential whereabouts or simply reassure us in any manner whatsoever. When we voiced our displeasure concerning this lack of initiative, the agent (Elena) gave us the run-around and refused to let us speak to her manager upon request, even after her manager’s shift began! Eventually, after waiting nine hours and refusing to simply be quoted policy, we convinced Elena that it was worth letting us speak to her manager to make us go away. Her manager was more useful and reassuring, although customer service still has all my contact information and (to this day) has not contacted me about my phone’s whereabouts. Interestingly, we called the excursion company ourselves after the cruise finished and ascertained some information about the phone’s whereabouts (it was left in the coach and set to be returned to Costa and then mailed to us). We have sent Costa two emails so far, with no response. We have also tried to call them, but their satellite phone causes complications. We are sincerely unimpressed, as we are not sure what they have done with my phone and whether they are competent enough that we will ever see it again. DISORGANIZED - THEY ALMOST LOST OUR PASSPORTS: Embarkation took a few hours, despite our early arrival at the cruise port. Settling our bills and checking out was also a nightmare. They literally told us the night before we left that we could not pay cash until the next morning, and then they told us the next morning that the deadline for us to pay cash was the previous night. Although Costa insisted on taking our passports for the duration of the cruise, they experienced great difficulty locating our passports when we disembarked from the cruise ship. We stood there for over fifteen minutes watching a member of staff look frantically for our passports. We almost had a heart attack! (It might be a little hard to leave Italy / go back home without them…) MYSTERY PHONECALL: For some reason, we received a phone call at 3 or 4 AM on the morning before our departure. The man on the phone wanted to know my name. I told him in no uncertain terms that it was late and he had called the wrong number. According to other reviewers, members of staff sometimes call your room late at night if they want to hook up with you (a woman). Anyways, we were less than impressed that we were woken up with a phone call – even less so that unwarranted late night phone calls occur regularly enough for people to write about them in their reviews. We did not book a cruise to be woken up unexpectedly or sexually harassed - thank you very much! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
This year we picked a cruise in the western Mediterranean from Savona (Italy, near Genova), to Malaga, Casablanca, Cadiz, Lisbon, Valencia, Barcelona and back to Savona. We were a party of five, two couples and me as a solo traveller. To ... Read More
This year we picked a cruise in the western Mediterranean from Savona (Italy, near Genova), to Malaga, Casablanca, Cadiz, Lisbon, Valencia, Barcelona and back to Savona. We were a party of five, two couples and me as a solo traveller. To get to Savona we booked the bus transfer from Munich which took about 9 hours during the night and was very comfortable and less exhausting than I expected. Check-in was quick and well organized but a bit later than expected. The service on board was sometimes very good (restaurant, room), sometimes rather bad (bar service). I was travelling without a partner, but with family and friends. It seemed like I was fair game to several Costa employees. On the first night my phone rang at 11:30 p.m. Someone who knew my first name said I looked sexy and he wanted to see me in private. I told him that I found this quite inapppropriate and hung up. The next day he called again. I asked for his name and he said he wouldn't tell as he feared I would report it. I told him I knew who he was (I had an idea) and I wanted him to stop bothering me. Then it was "quiet" for a few days. Another night I was asked by several waiters separately to meet in a private place. One of them stared at me the whole time during dinner. One told me he would be coming to my cabin at midnight. The other one said he'd call me. I said no again. I was not encouraging them in any way, I was with my parents and friends. I really dislike doing that but at that point I started threating to report them. Well, that was not so cool. For some solo travellers this might be what they are looking for. Not for everyone. Back to the cruise itself: the animation and music was loud and fast and everywhere. There was one bar with life music that actually made it possilbe to talk while enjoying a drink. At night they had a "piano bar" in the club restaurant but no drinks were served there. I loved the classical to modern piano music, but without anything to drink it's not so great either. I didn't take part in any of the pool games, but the dancing lessons looked fun. We spent most of the time on the aft pool on deck 9 where it was quieter. The restaurant was huge but we had a nice table near the aft windows with great views and it wasn't too loud either. We had the first sitting at 6:30 p.m. which wasn't perfect for me as I like to watch the ship leaving port and the sunset. The food was awesome however. Modern italian cuisine, served in beautiful arrangements. I enjoyed every meal. I bought the boys and girls drinks package and a water package, both very good deals if you are ok with non-alcoholic drinks. The fresh squeezed orange juice kept me alive and the cocktails without alcohol were included, too. I only saw one show at the theater: the flamenco show. It was very professional, beautiful and as everything else really loud. We also went to a presentation about the ship. Technical data, personnel, departments etc. Very interesting, we got a lot of information in a very entertaining way. The 10 days were over in what felt like a few hours. Disembarkation was quick and easy and when we left the ship there was a delegation waving goodbye. Not so great was the search for our Costa-organized bus back to Munich, Germany. We couldn't find the bus or anyone who knew anything about it. Later a fellow traveller who had found the bus by accident informed us where it was parked. The bus trip itself was a bit weird, too, e.g. At the gas station the drivers told us we couldn't get off the bus while they sat next to the petrol pump smoking their cigarettes. All things considered we had a good time and we saw great places. Not everything went well, but everything that mattered was fine and most problems could be solved. In my opinion Costa is not the perfect Cruise Line, but for the price they offer a lot and something for everyone. I would definitely book with them again. Ports of Call: Malaga (Spain): we took the Costa shuttle bus which cost about 7 Euros and took us to the city center. We ended up on a bus tour of 20 minutes inside the port area before they let us out at a spot we had passed after about 5 minutes of driving. The city center was only a short walk away and it's a very romantic, touristy place with lots of shops and tapas bars. Some of the bars offer very cheap arrangements, like 4 tapas for 10 Euros etc., but in our opinion it's worth paying a bit more and getting typical, more work intensive tapas than just olives and ham. We had a great lunch at a pretty wood-furnished place plus free internet. While my fellow travellers took the bus back to the ship I walked through a beautiful park by the sea toward the yacht port. I very much enjoyed browsing the somewhat more sophisticated stores and a drink in one of the modern open air lounges. They have a walkway covered with white sails and spraying cold water from above. There's also a little blue train (one of those open trains you'd find in amusement parks also) that takes you to the ships for 3 Euros. Unfortunately I didn't have time to make it to the beach which looked very beautiful from afar. Definitely a good place for a first good impression of Spain. Casablanca (Morocco): Our plan was to visit the Hassan II mosque, have lunch at Rick's Cafe and go to the souk for some souvenir shopping. No taxi or anyone without a Costa card was allowed to come closer than 500 m to the ship for security purposes, so we walked to the gate where a huge group of taxi drivers waited. They virtually jumped at us as soon as we came closer. The only thing they want to sell is full sightseeing tours for horrendous prices (25 Euros per person for 5 people). We told them we needed a ride to the mosque and they started cursing at us. So we started walking and one of the drivers came to us, saying he would take us to the mosque for 5 Euros. Still too much as we learned later but it sounded fair. He had a huge old mercedes in which all 5 of us fit in. After a short ride he tried to talk us into the sightseeing tour and kicked us out as we didn't want to go for it. He said we'd never make it to the mosque or the restaurant which - he told us - was on the other side of the city. A few minutes later we found the restaurant by accident, only about 500 m from the mosque. The Hassan II mosque is very impressive and has a peaceful atmosphere. We did only see it from the outside as going in is only possible in groups and we didn't have enough time. It was still a powerful experience. We found another taxi. The driver was fun and friendly and didn't want money for the short ride from the mosque to the restaurant. He seemed to just enjoy talking to us. Rick's Cafe is a replication done of the cafe in the the classic movie "Casablanca", done in painstaking detail and owned by an american lady. The ambience was breathtaking, the food delicious and we had 3 waiters to our own. For those who really want to experience the classy moroccan 40s this place is a must. On the first floor the movie is running in infinite loop. After lunch we decided to walk through the medina towards the souk. It was a somewhat unpleasant and uncomfortable walk in a very dirty part of the city, with people staring at us. The souk (market) is basically one street with lots of clothes and a few stands aimed at tourists. The shop owners seemed quite uninterested. At the end of the day we found a nice little bar near the port with a comfy lounge area before we went back to the ship. This city is not a tourist place and one can feel that everywhere. Cadiz (Spain): Beautiful city! The port is only a short walk from the inner city, but we took a tour on a hop-on-hop-off-bus, which took us in a circle around the city. Well almost, but part of the street was closed. I started walking around by myself and it was easy to find all the interesting sights. The cathedral was closed but we were allowed to peek in and take some pictures. There are a lot of nice places to discover and the beaches are worth a visit, too. It blew my mind how intense the colors were. I took my time and sat down at one of the squares to listen to a guy playing flamenco guitar. There are a lot of caribbean looking buildings, some painted in bright colors and palmtrees next to very british looking elegant lightposts. I loved Cadiz. Lisbon (Portugal): Very fun jeep tour to Estoril, Cascais, Cabo da Roca and Sintra. The driver was from Sintra and gave us a lot of information. Offroad was a lot of fun as it had rained a lot the days before and that day, too. Cabo da Roca was absolutely breathtaking, not only because of the really beautiful view but also because of the strong wind. For me it was a highlight, no question. The driver showed us eucalyptus and cork trees and stopped several times at the best locations for pictures. The stop in Sintra was a bit short and since it started raining - no, pouring: the street became a river in no time - there was no time to visit any of the amazing palaces. I had planned to go to the Quina la Regaleira, the palace that was built by a freemason and has symbols everywhere. The most amazing thing there must be the initiantion well, an inversely built tower. At the bottom you have to make a choice to get out. I will definitely come back to Sintra. I didn't see much of Lisbon, but I had a great day. Valencia (Spain): We only had one afternoon in Valencia. We took the Costa shuttle bus to the city center. The port is way too far to walk. Valencia is a big city with a beautiful old city center. In the cathedral which is built in several different architectural styles the holy grail is on display. Fact is, the chalice is about 2000 years old, which makes it interesting to see in any case. The city is beautiful with a lot of small plazas to discover. I didn't see most of them though as I met with some friends to go do a game called "The X-Door". It's a detective game. They lock you (a group of 2-5 people) in a room for 60 minutes and you have to try to escape by finding clues and solving riddles. We made it in 49 minutes with one hint by the owner who watched us on video all the time. No worries, there's an escape button in case someone panics. It's a lot of fun and I would recommend it to anyone who is getting tired of sighseeing. Don't try to walk there though. Take a taxi. It's far. Barcelona (Spain): In Barcelona we only had a few hours from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., we just took the shuttle bus to the port exit, then the subway straight to the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. I had bough the tickets online in advance and we hat the time slot 9:45-10:00 to go in without waiting. Buy a ticket there and wait up to 2 hours to get in. The cathedral is breathtaking. Gaudi, the art, the light, the music. Inside they show a film with the building plans up to 2026, when it's supposed to be finished. The cathedral is a must see. On the way back we crossed the Les Rambles, a broad street with a huge market. Unfortunately we had no time to browse the stalls. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
We recently took a cruise on the Costa Fortuna in Eastern Europe. We chose the Costa cruise line simply because we had no other choices as we had specific dates we could travel in August. We departed from Copenhaugen and made port at ... Read More
We recently took a cruise on the Costa Fortuna in Eastern Europe. We chose the Costa cruise line simply because we had no other choices as we had specific dates we could travel in August. We departed from Copenhaugen and made port at Stockholm, Sweden, Tallin, Estonia, St. Petersburg, Russia, and Warnemunde, Germany. From Germany we returned to Copenhaugen. This was my family’s fourth cruise. We had been on three cruises prior to this one: a Carnival (Caribbean islands) cruise and two Holland American cruises (Caribbean islands and Alaska). We found the Carnival cruise line to be a party boat with lots of loud music and partying passengers. Our cruise with Carnival also happened to be over spring break so maybe that would have been the norm for any cruise and not specific to this boat. For my wife and two pre-teen children, however, this was not our cup of tea. We had a great experience on both of our Holland American cruises and this set the bar for all of our expectations of a cruise experience. On Holland American the boats were exceptionally clean and well maintained, all crew members were exceptionally friendly and the food choices and quality were excellent. Overall, we felt that we got what we paid for on the Holland American line and when considering a cruise, we seek them out first. Now on to our recent cruise on the Costa Fortuna. My wife reviewed a number of blogs regarding this cruise line and this ship. We were particularly interested in learning about this cruise line in view of what happened on the Costa Concordia. Most of the blogs were fairly neutral, though some warned that the cruise clientele would primarily be European and less friendly in regards to our American expectations. Furthermore, we were warned of the expensive beverage policy on the boat, which proved to be quite correct. I’ll start with the ship itself. Overall the boat was exceptionally clean and mostly well maintained. There was an ice dispenser that was out of service for most of the cruise, though there was a cooler of ice adjacent to it so we were never without access to ice during meals. There was also a window that had been broken in the outdoor dining area of deck 9, but it had been covered over by a piece of fabric which hid the problem quite nicely. Otherwise, the entire boat seemed to be very clean and well maintained. Regarding the ship’s décor, some in the blogs described it as distasteful and gaudy. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some of the décor seemed mismatched, such as the backlit glass panes with blobs of green and blue tint above the warm colored inlaid wood panels, or the columns of blue and red splotches mixed in the areas with the warm wood panels. In my opinion it was not objectionable. While some of the color palates seemed mismatched, the colors and panels were not faded, the paint was good and there were no scratches, scrapes or other signs of wear. Furthermore, related to the décor, I’m much more interested in cleanliness, service and food quality. The service we experienced on the ship overall was very good. Our room steward was friendly and very eager to assist us. He kept our room very neat and clean and always made sure we had ice. On all three of our previous cruises our room steward left towels on our beds in the shape of animals, but this room steward did not do this. We learned from other passengers on this cruise that there were stewards on our ship who did provide this nice touch, but ours was not one of them. Not a big deal… One down side to our room service was that there seemed to be a lot of service carts and service supplies in the hallway for most of the day and evening. I don’t recall this from any of our other cruises. Regarding our rooms, we had an exterior room with a veranda as well as an interior room. There was only one electrical outlet in each room by the vanity. It would accept a standard (American) 110 volt plug. I think that it was 110 volts, but all the chargers we brought would work with 110 or 220 volts (look on your wall wart/power supply: the input parameters are printed in fine print on the back). Most modern electrical computer or communications devices will work with 110 or 220 volts, but check out your device before plugging in to a foreign outlet. Here’s a travel tip: bring a small power strip. We had more accessories that needed to be charged than we had outlets (iPads, iPhones, laptops, etc.). Another tip: the outlet in the bathroom can be used to charge a phone or a tablet, but it is only energized when the light is on, so don’t plug into it at night and then turn the light off, as the light switch kills the power to the outlet, too. Our room also had a small refrigerator, which was nice. It was stocked with a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (no diet drinks) and candies, but we did not consume any. Based on the excessive charges of all the other amenities, I’m guessing that the pricing structure of the refrigerated items was exorbitant. Our bed was two twin mattresses put together to form a king size bed. The mattress was a foam material about 8 inches thick that I would equate to a futon mattress. My wife and kids had no complaints, but I found it to be too firm and uncomfortable. There were no box springs under the mattress and the bed was on legs, so there was plenty of storage space under the beds, which was a big plus. Regarding storage space, our room had three closets with ample hang up space in two of them; the third had shelves. There were also two sets of drawers/cabinets in the room. In addition, there were also two hooks on the bathroom door as well as the bedroom wall for hanging items. Another tip is to bring coat hangers! One closet had 6 hangers and one had 8 though there was plenty more hang up space in each closet. The room also had a small safe, which was nice. It operated by swiping your Costa Card. I guess my only question here was that if our room steward had access to our room with his master card key, is it possible that he would have access to the safe, too? I don’t know… The room came equipped with a color television. We only saw two English language stations, but my view is that if you are on a cruise you shouldn’t be in the room watching TV! When we were in the room, it was nice to have the channel on with the bow and stern cameras. This channel also had classical music. We had internet access pretty much everywhere on the ship where we tried it, but it was VERY expensive and VERY slow. In most of the hotels I frequent in the U.S. it is generally free, and if I do have to pay for it, it is typically about $15 U.S. per day (24 hours). Not so on the Cost-a-Fortuna! Here internet service is .50 euros per minute. They also had a rate for 20 or 30 minutes, but it was equally expensive. Based on the extra slow speed of the internet service, you might be able to download and reply to about four emails in 20 minutes. If you cruise on this line, don’t plan on getting a lot of work done if it requires a lot of internet connectivity. One of the blogs we read spoke of the multiple public address (PA) pages that were disruptive in the rooms. We had PA speakers in our rooms and bathrooms but we never heard anything broadcast over them. Instead, we heard the pages through the PA speakers in the hallway (which were plenty loud). All pages were given in 5 languages, so they would last several minutes. There were only two or three pages through out the day. I’m not sure if our in-room PA speakers were disabled by the person making the announcements, attenuated in the room by a control knob somewhere, or just plain didn’t work. Either way we could hear the announcements just fine and they were not excessive. The food on this trip was average at best, regardless of the time of day. Again, I think that we were spoiled on our Holland America cruises where the food was excellent and the variety was fantastic at every meal and in-between. For breakfast there was the standard fare that one would expect; a variety of breakfast meats, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, pastries, etc. Each morning I had an omlette made to order. The omlette chef tended to have a poor disposition. He was also skimpy with the omlette ingredients. My son joked that he would dip the spoon into each of the ingredients and whatever stuck to it was what he would put into the omlette. My observation was that maybe the ingredients he used were deducted from his paycheck. Regardless, the food was well prepared and tasty, though light on the ingredients. This particular chef was replaced by mid cruise; not sure why but we were glad. I have to add here that we were spoiled on Holland America with eggs benedict and eggs Florentine every day; no such dishes on the Costa Fortuna... Lunches at the buffet on Deck 9 were good. The hamburger/hot dog bar was great. On occasion there was sushi, which was good (we had it every day on Holland America). At the salad bar the standard dressings were Italian, French and Thousand Island. On one occasion I saw and sampled a very runny Caesar salad dressing. As an American, I’m accustomed to having the options for bleu cheese and Ranch, but these were typically not available. We did have the choice of bleu cheese dressing the last night in the dinning room. We dined each evening the Michelangelo Dining Room on Decks 3 and 4. Our waiters were attentive and engaging and our table was next to the windows at the stern of the ship, which was very nice. Again, we’ve had waiters on other cruises that did magic tricks or food service tricks (like pulling a cork from inside a wine bottle with just a napkin) but no extras here other than good service. The food choices were good and the food was average to good. There was always a good variety; seafood, mammal meat (beef, venison, etc.), poultry and a vegetarian dish. Serving sizes were somewhat small, but one could order as many dishes as one pleased, so quantity was never an issue. Hot dishes were warm and cold dishes were cold. The deserts were generally average, but the ice cream was really good (especially the strawberry)! Probably our biggest issue with this cruise line is their beverage policy. At our first dinner we paid 46 euros for a bottle of wine and a liter of bottled water for dinner. They DO NOT serve ANY free beverages (including water) in the formal dining rooms! We then learned that they have beverage “packages”, and to save money we would need to buy a package. We bought the smallest wine and water package for 99 euros. This package included (4) 750ml bottles of wine and 7 liters of water, which we felt was fine for our family of four. I thought that I could apply our 46 euro bottle of wine and water to this “package” after the fact, but was told that the wine we bought was a “premium” wine (and one liter as opposed to 750 ml) and that they could not apply it to our 99 Euro package. We kind of felt like we had been taken. To facilitate our hydration and in protest of their beverage policy, we always took our empty liter water bottles from dinner and filled them at the buffet so we would have water for the day. The only free water we saw on the ship (water fountains) was in the gym. Also note that there are signs at the water vending area of the restaurants that ask that you do not fill water bottles there. We would fill up glasses and then do the transfers into our liter containers at our table to get around this. We were told not to drink the tap water in the bathrooms, though it was OK to brush teeth with that water. As a side note, if your kids are addicted to pop it will cost you. The soda water package provided 20 carbonated beverages for several dollars per beverage… what a bargain! There also is no free pop at the buffet: only water, tea, coffee and milk. The gym was fairly spacious, very clean and well maintained, and it had plenty of equipment. Furthermore, the week that we were aboard I never saw an “out of service” sign on any piece of equipment, which is rare in any gym! The dressing and shower area was well maintained and spotless. We did not sample any of the numerous spa services. We attended three of the nightly shows. The first one was moderately entertaining. The sound system for the music and singers was very anemic. All the sound came from behind the stage. Normally in a venue like this, one expects a fuller sound system that can fill the entire auditorium. This sound system sounded like the ones used by cheap high school DJs. One the third night there was a talent review using talent from the ship’s staff. It was actually pretty good despite the fact that it was amateur talent. The last night featured singers performing covers of great musical artists, and they were all pretty good and entertaining. We went on Costa-sponsored shore excursions in Stockholm, St. Petersburg and Germany. The tours were all excellent in terms of the places we visited and the quality of our tour guides. We felt like they were all good values for the money they cost. As a side note, on our Holland America cruise to Alaska, we felt like all of the excursions were a terrible value for what they cost, but everything in Alaska was expensive. In Sweden we first visited the Royal Palace, which was an interesting fact-filled tour and well worth our time. Then we had a short time for touring the old city square on our own and lunch on our own. In the old town square we visited the Nobel Museum, which I would give low marks as it was not very well organized an it was very expensive. We had a light lunch there, which was very good. The museum was not a good value for what we spent on it. Also we did not have the time require to really see all of the exhibits. We watched part of the Changing of the Guard at the Palace, and then took, a quick tour of the cathedral next to the Palace, which was very beautiful and ornate and well worth the price of the suggested admission. They did not take dollars but did take credit cards. After lunch we got back on the bus and went to the City Hall where we bought three T-shirts and a 4 bottles for about $100! Be wary of the gift shop pricing! Next we went to the Vasa Ship Museum, which was great. We had a little less than and hour there, which was far too little time to see it all. We could have easily spent half of the day (or more) there. I highly recommend it. In Tallin, Estonia, we decided to self-tour, which was a huge mistake! The streets were VERY poorly marked and with overcast skies it was difficult to get an orientation on our bearings. We ended up buying tickets on the Red Tour Bus, which allowed us to do a driving tour or the whole city in the hour we had left. As this is a get on/get off, narrated tour, this was an excellent investment of our time and what we should have done once we first got off the ship. There are three different tour routes, and between the three routes one can pretty much see the entire city and surrounding area. The only down side to this bus tour was that the bus stopped to let some people off (and we followed) and we returned to that “stop” after touring our site, only to later learn through a helpful local, that the actual bus stop was 200 yards away and no bus would stop where we were waiting. Furthermore, the drive spoke very poor English and unintentionally misdirected us at that particular stop. Traveler’s Tip: Only wait at the marked Bus Stops! In St. Petersburg, Russia, we took the Hermitage and Palace tour. Our guide was very good. His English was great and his knowledge of the places we visited and the tricks of the trade (which entrances and routes were best based on time of day) were very good. I was amazed at the huge masses of people at all the tourist sites we visited and the lack of order. Fortunately we had a good and aggressive guide who could get us through the log jams. The Winter Palace Hermitage was the palace constructed for Catherine the Great in 1764 and was room after room after gaudy, gold leaf adorned room full of artwork. If you are an art fan, this is your place! There was little time to stop and really ponder and appreciate the artwork, but we did see a very large number of paintings by Rembrandt, Da Vinci and other famous artists. If you are not a huge art fan or person interested in classical architecture, then skip this tour because this is most of what you will see (along with hundreds of other noisy, pushy tourists). Our lunch was an excellent four-course meal served in an old palace-turned office building. The meal was very good and included the obligatory shot of vodka and glass of sparkling wine (as well as bottled water). A young man played piano for the first part of the meal, which was very nice. After lunch we toured the very ornate church in the Peter-Paul Fortress and saw the tombs of the Romanov family as well as other famous Russian Royals. Here the crowd control was most needed, as there was a huge mob of tour groups trying to enter at the same time. The cathedral was absolutely beautiful but hard to take in given our short time there and the pressing crowds. I might also add that flash photography and the use of a camera tripod are prohibited here. Next we drove to an old cathedral with brightly colored spires and turrets. We were not able to go into it. Our bus parked on the street and our guide escorted us to the “perfect place” from which to photograph the cathedral (his wife is a photographer). He was right about the spot. Our next stop was a tourist shop where there was a huge variety of very expensive tourist trinkets as well as free vodka shots and coffee and clean rest rooms. We got back to the boat thirty minutes late, but found that there were still busses that were behind us, so it wasn’t a big deal. Apparently this is the norm in Russia. Clearing customs was a snap and we headed back to the boat. Overall, I would say we had a very good experience on the Costa Fortuna. With the exception of the beverage policy and internet service, I would say that this was a good ship and a good value.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
Very unorganized cruise Poor English speaking staffs Cabin carpet needs cleaning Charged water at restaurant Few choices of the food Poor entertainment activities for kids, only 1 ping pong tables and 3 football tennis tables Poor ... Read More
Very unorganized cruise Poor English speaking staffs Cabin carpet needs cleaning Charged water at restaurant Few choices of the food Poor entertainment activities for kids, only 1 ping pong tables and 3 football tennis tables Poor show arrangement Messed up excursion Worst disembark experience! Had to go back to port to pick up missing luggage. Unresponsive staffs!!! Costa --- first time and last time!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
This was not my family’s first time on a cruise liner, however Costa surpassed our expectations. Our trip immediately started on a good note. Even though we were quite skeptical for the embarkation procedure I have to say it was ... Read More
This was not my family’s first time on a cruise liner, however Costa surpassed our expectations. Our trip immediately started on a good note. Even though we were quite skeptical for the embarkation procedure I have to say it was flawless. The staff was very helpful and midday sharp we boarded the ship, an hour before planned. As soon as we boarded the ship we were instructed that lunch was available at the Christopher Columbus restaurant. The food was excellent, both quality and quantity were present. At two our rooms were ready. It is easy to note the cleanliness of the ship. The rooms are cleaned twice a day. Before we boarded the ship we had decided to take the all-inclusive beverages packet. I must say that it was an excellent idea. The package has a vast variety of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. Regarding the excursions the Costa crew is very organized and efficient. All our excursions were worth our money. The entire staff on Costa Fortuna is very friendly and does their best to make sure you have the best holiday you can imagine. Throughout the day there are different activities and they continue throughout the night; games, shows and music are never absent. For our disembarkation we had decided to take a final excursion with Costa which ended at the airport. Again we were assisted and everything went according to plan. All in all we had an amazing holiday on Costa Fortuna and we cannot wait to go back on one of their ships!!!!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014
Our first time experience of cruising was not the best. Very disappointed - in summary: # playing pop music throughout the whole ship at 10am- even in the cabins! So if you've decided to sleep in or have a hangover and want peace ... Read More
Our first time experience of cruising was not the best. Very disappointed - in summary: # playing pop music throughout the whole ship at 10am- even in the cabins! So if you've decided to sleep in or have a hangover and want peace and quiet, or even just having got your baby to sleep, you can't because you regaled, at significant volume by Eric Clapton and co! Why not just the public areas if you have to? # endless ship announcements. Our 2pm siesta one afternoon, constantly interrupted by ship announcements over two hours culminating in 'BINGO BINGO' with all the joining details shouted in FOUR languages at which point I gave up and went for a coffee # ONE English speaking tv channel out of thirty five! # There's a reason the upfront cost seems very reasonable - everything else 'additional' is a rip off, e.g. Euro 20/ hour for the internet. The ship is aptly named, extras 'Cost a fortune' The spa was unusable due to extortionate pricing # I only made one successful attempt at ordering room service, against countless attempts diverted to an ansaphone. Not once did I get to customer services from the room. When I complained, I was told 'we only have one phone'. That was it! Not interested. #if you're into decor designed by a crack addict whilst concurrently experimenting with glue sniffing and heroin, this is the ship for you! It's so bad it's almost, almost I say, quirkily good - but not quite. Migraine sufferers are advised to avoid. It's now tired and very, very dated. # no tea/coffee making facilities in the room, which is EXTREMELY annoying when you wake/ get back to your room and fancy a cuppa. You can't even use room service (see above) because no one picks up the phone. # your allocated seat in the main restaurant is yours for the duration. There is no rotation, you're with the same people every night in the same restaurant - unless you take the daytime cafeteria buffet option. Maybe that's normal for a cruise, but we found if irritating. # the rose wine served with our lunch would strip paint off of cars. It was beyond 'cheap'. # evening show. Watching a juggler spinning plates and throwing bummer angus around, is something I was watching 40 years ago. A skilful guy definitely, but strictly very, very ho-hum entertainment. Finishing on some good things: We purchased the drinks package and list of cocktails included was very good Asian bar staff by enlarge were very friendly. Our room 'concierge' was exceptionally friendly despite appearing to be on duty 24/7 Room (with balcony) was comfortable and the AC was good Ship was clean Gym was reasonable Overall, we can see the potential of cruising, despite Costa's efforts, and will try again in about 10 years in a more up market company. In the end, you pay for what you get.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014
It did not start well - an overnight flight from the UK which was very squashed and uncomfortable (Emirates. VERY disappointing) and then we were in the embarkation area by 9.30am and told we would not have a cabin until 20.00. We were ... Read More
It did not start well - an overnight flight from the UK which was very squashed and uncomfortable (Emirates. VERY disappointing) and then we were in the embarkation area by 9.30am and told we would not have a cabin until 20.00. We were appalled. Luckily we managed to get a good armchair each and catch up on some sleep. Then there was a mad surge forward around 3pm and it was utter chaos. We began to panic thinking we had come on the 'Ryanair' of cruises. However, somehow our chairs were near the front and we slipped into the queue and the embarkation was then painless and quite efficient although I would not have been able to stand for several hours as the people at the back must have done. We went on board and ate on Deck 9 at the lido grill and all was well. I went off to locate our cabin and was told we could not have it until 20.00 (it was 16.00 then and I had a dreadful headache and this seemed totally unreasonable) I spoke to the steward and explained I felt unwell and needed to lie down and amazingly he said we could have the cabin at 18.00 and sure enough we did. After that it was pretty much perfect. We had balcony cabin 8439 at the back of the ship and it was fine. The air conditioning was a little noisy but the main problem was a 'squeaky wardrobe' when the ship was in motion overnight. This really was irritating. Cabin steward Joe anticipated our every need and was faultless, absolutely SUPERB. We ate on the early sitting in the Michelangelo restaurant for 6 nights and at the buffet on deck 9 for one. We didn't care for the pushing and shoving in the self service and greedy people in shorts and singlets piling it high. We didn't go to any of the entertainment as not our thing - we sat on our balcony and read. Bliss. We retired early as all the trips started early. The trips were superb, really enjoyed them all, excellent guides. We did Niswa and Jabrin Castle, Mystical Muscat (LOVED Muscat) Khasab and surroundings, Abu Dhabi and Dubai city tours. All brilliant. We thought the ship was great, we have no complaints about the decor and I especially liked the rear sundeck on deck 9 and the adults only pool which I mostly had to myself every day for half an hour or so. We have confidently recommended Costa cruises to our friends (and everyone sneered when we were going because of what happened to the Concordia) and we will certainly travel with them again if they go where we wish to travel. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
We arrived at the port at 1230 to find that the earliest time boarding could take place was 1500 and we were told that we were lucky as we were really not due to board until 2000!! The conditions at the embarkation point were very poor and ... Read More
We arrived at the port at 1230 to find that the earliest time boarding could take place was 1500 and we were told that we were lucky as we were really not due to board until 2000!! The conditions at the embarkation point were very poor and most people were standing for over 2 hours as there were very few seats. It was a total ‘free for all’ when boarding commenced. No order or priority on arrival time. I have never experienced anything like it. When we did get on board we were told that NO cabins would be ready before 2000. I have never know this on any other ship. Usually availability of staterooms is phased and announced. It seems ridiculous for everyone to have to wait until 2000. Some people had been travelling all night and had been at the port since very early in the morning. The weather was good to sit on deck but there were no towels for the sunbeds as these are supplied in the staterooms so the waiting was not comfortable. Food was available in the buffet and it was adequate. We had booked first sitting for dinner as we had been told sittings were 1900 or 2100. However, it turns out the sittings are 1800 and 2030 which makes a big difference. We were lucky to be able to change to 2nd sitting as 1800 is really too early. The ship is looking dated and in need of refurbishment but there was nothing fundamentally wrong with it. The food wasn’t fantastic but again nothing wrong with it. The crew were all delightful, friendly, helpful and professional. We did not experience any language problems. The ship was clean and our suite was spacious and well equipped. We may have been lucky having a suite as we met 2 ladies who had a dreadful time in an inside cabin and were totally frustrated by the lack of response from customer service. The 4 trips we went on were well organised, interesting and value for money. The evening theatre entertainment was superb. The drinks package was very good value although it could be made more clear that bottles of water are not included and they are expensive. We were able to obtain drinks easily whenever we wanted them. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on Costa Fortuna, the only downside really being that the ship is old and it shows but having cruised with Cunard, NCL and Princess (which were all much more modern ships and the food was better) I would certainly cruise with Costa again and I am at a loss to understand some of the adverse comments about the Fortuna on the reviews.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2014
firstly let me say that i wrote a very bad review once before about costa and their attitudes so i can only blame myself. we arrived in dubai at 8am and went straight to the ship , we were told that we could not get on the ship until ... Read More
firstly let me say that i wrote a very bad review once before about costa and their attitudes so i can only blame myself. we arrived in dubai at 8am and went straight to the ship , we were told that we could not get on the ship until 3pm...not a problem as my wife told me that the shops were open .we reurned at 1.30 pm as by this time we were physicly exhausted with the hope that we might get on early , no was the answer, they would not issue boarding cards until exactly 3pm .as most people will realise by 3pm there were over 250 people involved in a bun fight to get to the front of the line.my wife protested three times that we could get our cards and then wait until time to board but was told with some glee that this was the system that was used and that it worked great for them .about 8 of them were standing about for over an hour drinking the free tea and coffee. when we finaly got on the ship we were not allowed into our cabin , we were sent to the buffet on deck 9 which was virtually empty of food , then on asking were told we would not get in the cabin until 8pm . ship.....................9 out of ten food.....................5 out of ten tour costs.............0 out of ten waiting staff.........10 out of ten cabin ...................9 out of ten cleanliness ...........8 out of ten entertainment........2 out of ten in conclusion the ports of call were excellent and overall the ship very good but the entertainment was not bad it was truly terrible with an act called " the broken band " on all the time in the main bar . the food is far from the normal standards on a cruise liner but is liveable with as you can get a good meal when you are onshore. the staff on costa seem to be there for a party as they are not helpfull if you have any problems , be warned if you need to use there internet it is a nightmare and very expensive. finally on retuning from an onshore excursion when going though the security my wife tripped over a rug that is there just as you step onto the ship,she twisted her ankle badly and was crying in pain. the secuirty staff that were there rushed to her aid and were excellent.the doctor was phoned to come to see her...some 15 minuted later we were still waiting and i phoned the doctor direct and was a bit shocked to be told that it would be 85 euros for him to come and look. after agreeing we waited another 15 minutes still no doctor so we returned to our cabin. after about 2 hours my wife went to the customer service to try to get a bandage...surprise surprise no bandages. She was then assisted to see the nurse who put a bandage on her ankle and advised that on this occasion they would not charge, and again they asked when and where the incident happened. Obviously the first call was not logged if you would like to try cruising please please do not try Costa, the staff's grasp of English is not good, the ship we were on had a large Chinese contingent who seemed to be more important than any english speaking guests, the entertainment was mostly in Italian with very little effort made for English speaking passengers, to the extent that one of the tours, two of the English guests were sent on a boat where they were the only non Chinese tourists and the tour guide did not speak English, a waste of money and time. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
My wife and I sailed on Costa Fortuna around the UAE and Oman in febuary for 7 nights. For the price we paid the cruise represented very good value and I would definately use this company again. We have sailed with Celebrity twice and ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on Costa Fortuna around the UAE and Oman in febuary for 7 nights. For the price we paid the cruise represented very good value and I would definately use this company again. We have sailed with Celebrity twice and Thomson once previously. Costa are not as polished as the former but are better than Thomsons and this is of course reflected in the amounts charged for the Cruise experience. On all the cruises we have met people who complain at every instance and this is very common. In our experience you sometimes have to take the rough with the smooth.Many of my work collegues have started cruising recently and more are going year on year.Costa had a very european atmosphere in the deck areas a beatifully designed ship and super dance/ballroom area. Pros: great value drinks package(109£). Mens sauna/steam room.Good pizza availalable all day. Good buffet selection but never saw a grape or strawberry all week -a first on a cruise ship. Very clean in dining areas. Lots of supervision . Embarkation day very well managed -best by far-. Highly polished shows -very strong singers combined with high standards of professional dancers and great choreography. The Radio dance show was of an exceptional standard but should have been staged on a Formal night(tuesday). Didnt see the Staff show(never do).Very talented solo artist on another night.English speaking hostess excellent. Cons: constantly watched in the bars.Dont select the cheese/biscuits option-you get cheese currants and bread! times must be hard.... Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
This was my first cruise, and would have been my last , but as my wife has cruised several times before she was able to assure me that this wasn't typical!!! It didn't start well when despite having enquired when booking that we ... Read More
This was my first cruise, and would have been my last , but as my wife has cruised several times before she was able to assure me that this wasn't typical!!! It didn't start well when despite having enquired when booking that we could settle dining times on arrival , we were allocated 6-00pm , there are only two times this or 8-30pm, we meet the Maitre the next day who rather off hand said if we had paid more for our cabin maybe we could have picked a dining time, I persisted and on day 3 we got the later dining sitting. However the trip got worse as we were in cabin 6420 which seemed at first OK it smelt rather damp but the worst thing was that it was directly over a lounge/ disco on deck 5, the noise was so loud that it vibrated the floor.Despite calls to Customer services with no answer, I then went at midnight to the Customer Services Desk, and complained and was meet with a "lack of interest at best" darn right rudeness at worst, the best they could promise was that it might stop at 12-30/1-00am!! which have to say it did at last! next day we asked to move our cabin , we were told the ship was full, this turned out to be untrue, we were also told we get lots of complaints "about noise on this ship". With exception of Laura the English hostess all the European staff we unhelpful and in some circumstances rude. On the contrary the Asian and Oriental staff we helpful and courteous. On deck on a sunny day you couldn't find a sun bed after 10-00am, and there was pretty little room to move around. At no time were we encouraged to use the hand gel dispensers, that were available sometimes, and not at all on some restaurant entrances, we did not see any one cleaning handrails etc. throughout the entire trip. The Costa crew give you the impression that they really don't care On the 7 day cruise we spent about 40% of the time was cruising, on two occasions the ship was moored up for 36 hours in ports, clearly Costa make a lot of money on the day trips. The TV was appalling if you were English speaking as the only channel BBC news disappeared for 3 days,, and we were told that they had to run a safety film, this didn't stop 3- Italian, I- Russian,2- German, 1-Chinese,1-French Channels. Needless to say all the Brits, Americans,Canadians and the Scandinavians were really hacked off. From discussions around with lots of other guests who had cruised many times before this was the very worst they had experienced. The food was average, breakfast at the two main locations was a second rate buffet, water service with coffee does not make up for congealed and overdone food! Evening dinner was served by diligent really helpful staff, but they broke the rules to serve coffee to finish with, as this was not normally available at your table|!!! Wi Fi if you can get it to work cost 40 euros an hour and its very slow!!! I can find very little to recommend this cruise at all, Costa really need to up there game I know of at least 6 couples who left saying never again!!!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2014
Crowded is the first word that comes to mind when I think of the cruise I just took on the Costa Fortuna. In my opinion, the distribution of passengers is not well organized. Most of the guests end up eating meals in the same ... Read More
Crowded is the first word that comes to mind when I think of the cruise I just took on the Costa Fortuna. In my opinion, the distribution of passengers is not well organized. Most of the guests end up eating meals in the same restaurant--The Columbo, I think it was called--if they don't want to change out of their bathing suits and eat in the formal dining rooms. The queues at the buffets are so irritating. And the food aboard the Costa Fortuna is the cheapest products the company can get away with. There's s reason why half the food ends up in the rubbish bin. It's just not very good. The food is also not great in the formal dining rooms: soup that tastes like baby food, risotto that looks like a bloop of baby poo (ungarnished and bland), and prosciutto that actually isn't proscuitto, 'gelato' that had nothing in common with traditional Italian gelato except perhaps the temperature. I'm not a fan of Italian food, and my experience aboard the Costa Fortuna didn't do anything to change my mind. Italian food is simply boring. The staff: I have sailed with The Pacific Princess (16 days to the Holy Land) and twice aboard AIDA ships (Canary Islands, Black Sea), and I can say, with very few exceptions, that the staff aboard the Costa Fortuna were unfriendly and seemlingy unacquainted with the concept of hospitality. There are swarms of waiters trying to make money off you while there are precious few Customer Service staff to help you when you have a problem. I actually called the Customer Service number from our cabin and let it ring for 20 minutes once just to see if anyone would pick up the phone. No one did. Hygeine: Again, Costa Cruises puts more energy and staff into making money off the guests than they do in providing a quaility experience. The toilets always smelled terrible and indeed were not very clean. Although there are hand sanitizers positioned at the buffets, almost no one used them. In contrast to other cruises I've been on, I don't believe guests were even urged to use them. A few hours before we left the ship, I returned to our cabin from breakfast to find that housekeeping had already made up our bed for the next guests. All of our things were heaped up on the sofa next to the bed. And this was three hours before we had to vacate the cabin. When I complained about this, the Customer Service staff member told me I didn't need to worry about it. I told her it wasn't about me; it was about the next guest. I wouldn't want to be that next guest. A room should never be prepared for the next guest until the previous guest has left it. That's why you find dirty underwear between your sheets. The Customer Service staff member seemed uninterested and uncomprehending of this basic level of hygeine. Drink Packages: Apparently--but I may be mistaken about this since I didn't book the cruise--you are offered only one Drinks package when you book the cruise, and everyone in your cabin must buy it (if you buy it, which we didn't). Once on board, you are suddenly told about a host of less expensive options. We chose the four bottles of wine and seven bottles of water package, and the juice package for our non-alcohol-drinking cabinmate. All in all, unless I got an incredible deal, I wouldn't book another Costa cruise. Too many people, boring food, surly staff, poor hygeine. Too many cons, not enough pros here.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
After reading all the reviews we were a little worried about the ship but have to say what a great week we had. I went with a girl friend, we try to go to places our husband's don't want to come along to! We had a cabin with ... Read More
After reading all the reviews we were a little worried about the ship but have to say what a great week we had. I went with a girl friend, we try to go to places our husband's don't want to come along to! We had a cabin with balcony 9226, quite enough space for us both after all you are only in there for sleeping! Although the ship was full, we found people seem to disburse themselves around the ship. Most like us did day trips so were on and off the ship at different times. The cruise took us to Muscat, Khasab, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We decided just to do the morning tours to give us a feel of the area in each stop. The guides were all most informative and learnt loads We ate at the 9pm seating. There are two formal restaurants both serving the same food, with sittings of either 6.30 or 9pm and a pizza restaurant which only served pizza. On other cruises I have been on another choice was a buffet restaurant which was much more informal and sometimes a nicer option. With the formal dining most dressed up with two evenings being even more sparkly ! Food was a five course meal with different choices, apart from one dinner could not fault the food. We paid for the drinks package when we booked and certainly felt we drank our quota which was a good deal, ask for this when you book as you do not seem to get an option later on. Breakfast was buffet type serving hot and cold, lunch was the same. Afternoon tea with cakes 4pm to 5pm, so you do not come home thin ! The staff were excellent, so very helpful and always happy. One impressive thing was there was a lifeboat drill for us all to see one morning, with every lifeboat being let down and driven around and then returning to the ship. We would not hesitate to return to another Costa cruise it was all great fun and the sun shone throughout! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2013
As a frequent and enthusiastic Costa client I was extremely disappointed this time. What was meant to be a romantic getaway turned into a nightmare. Where do I begin.... Well for a start, I'd like to point put that the itinerary was ... Read More
As a frequent and enthusiastic Costa client I was extremely disappointed this time. What was meant to be a romantic getaway turned into a nightmare. Where do I begin.... Well for a start, I'd like to point put that the itinerary was excellent and has been my favourite so far. Visiting both the Baltic cities and the Fjords in a 2 week cruise the stopovers just get better and better, allowing one to make the most of both the history and culture of the cities as well as the breathtaking natural wonders. So again, this review is by no means a reflection of the cruise itinerary. The ship was awful! Everything on the entire ship was falling apart and tattered. All the decoration was outdated and the furniture in the restaurants was falling apart. The bathrooms on board the ship were all broken, most of which had 2 or more cubicles out of order. The floors were often flooded, the smell was revolting, they were often out of toilet paper, paper towels and soap. Very outrageous! To use a clean toilet you had to return to your cabin. On entering the cabin, the first thing I noticed was the quantity of broken things; drawers with no handles, the safe, and various bits and pieces in the bathroom like the paper towel holder and the drain in the sink (the parts were actually missing). In addition the cabin appeared to not have been cleaned. The sheets had hairs in them and appeared to not have been changed prior to our entry, there were crumbs on the floor which also hadn't been hoovered, the mirrors in the room and bathroom were greasy and dirty and the sofa was so full of dust that it stained my trousers when I sat on it. The TV as covered in dust as well. Also, the shower had some unidentifiable residue in it and had obviously not been washed either. As if all this wasn't enough, the cabin window (which we had paid extra to have) was so filthy that we could hardly see through it! Although upon complaint housekeeping arrived to clean, a lot of the broken things remained broken throughout the duration of the cruise. When I asked to speak with a manager in customer services on board they told me that all complaints were to be submitted online. I found the customer services and housekeeping staff's attitude highly dismissive and unsatisfactory considering the state of the cabin. When I told the housekeeping manager that everything in the room was old and broken he simply replied that the whole ship was old and the only thing that mattered was that the cabin was now clean. They offered no complements or compensation. Finally the drinks package, by far the most ridiculous policy ever devised. Me and my partner had paid like €10 per day for drinks. These drinks are almost impossible to get hold of. So you can only have a glass of water at a time which must be consumed on the spot. At lunch you have like 2 hours to order drinks in any restaurant aboard, at dinner however, you can only drink in 1 restaurant and if you choose to eat at the buffet instead you can go thirsty. Unfortunately for me I came down with a severe kidney infection and high temperature during my cruise and it was a constant battle to obtain a bottle of water down in the cabin. The waitressing staff insisted that it had to be bought- in spite of our drinks package. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2013
I took a cruise on the Costa Fortuna departing from Copenhagen. She is 10 years old and looks her age. The good things: Size of the cabin was very convenient. Lots of cabinets and a large bed which was very comfortable. Many shelves in ... Read More
I took a cruise on the Costa Fortuna departing from Copenhagen. She is 10 years old and looks her age. The good things: Size of the cabin was very convenient. Lots of cabinets and a large bed which was very comfortable. Many shelves in the bathroom and safety measures not to fall or slip. The balcony we booked was small but with a table and two comfortable chairs and it was nice sitting there. Staff was very friendly, the steward efficient ,the elevators speedy and lots of them. Evening performances at the theater were quite entertaining despite lasting only 45 minutes. 5th floor has several bars with singers and dance floors. quite enjoyable. Before going on the cruise we were often in contact with the company's representatives and they did their best to help us with anything. The bad things: The air conditioner was very weak and hardly noticeable. And it was hot. In the bathroom we had almost no hot water and it was very unpleasant. TV was huge with a small screen (TV not even LCD). Both the TV and the remote only allowed to jump forward one channel or change volume. The picture quality was poor and unclear and that could not be improved. There were a lot of the ship's channels and the rest were Italian. There was only one news channel in English, the BBC. We talked with the steward on these issues and we were told that's that. The room's water had terrible taste, no way we could drink that. We had to buy the ship's water, each liter for 3 euros!!! Even that had very funny taste. When I talked to other passengers who were on other companies' cruises no one has encountered such a problem. I understand the ship is 10 years old but is that an excuse for such disregard? Breakfast and lunch were very scarce and very poor selection. The same the whole seven days. Other people from other cruises were just amazed. For example, there were only two Yellow Cheese kinds, throughout the voyage. Everyone is familiar with the disaster that happened last year to the Concordia. I'll have to assume that because of fall in demand Costa is looking for every way to cut expenses and get passengers to pay more... Another example of that would be the outrageous cost of 10 euros for one hour for the ship's Wi-Fi! Tours: The ship was not sailing to Bergen although most other tours do. In Geiranger we had to get off not directly to the harbour but through a boat and on return everyone had to wait half an hour in the heat for their turn to get back to the ship. On the third day we came to Skjolden from nine in the morning till five thirty. It's a tiny place with nothing realy to do if you wanted to go ashore. We took a tour of the glacier and drove for three hours there and back ond then only saw it from afar. There was no nice scenery on the way as well. At Oslo we arrived at seven in the morning and stayed only until 12 which wasn't enough for a proper tour. We were told the reason for that was that the ship wanted to get in time to the next stop, Warnemunde, so that people wanting to do a tour in Berlin could get there in time. As we didn't need that tour and there was nothing to do in Warnemunde we had to stay in the ship from nine and a half to eight in the evening! Another annoying problem was that in each of the docking points there weren't any taxis or other means of transporatation besides that of the ship's. Friends who cruised other companies in this area told us that wasn't their experience. In conclusion, this was my first cruise and next time, if there is one, I'll be wiser in choosing the right cruising company. Read Less
Costa Fortuna Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.2
Entertainment 4.0 3.3
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.3
Enrichment 3.0 3.1
Service 3.0 3.7
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 4.0 3.9

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